News digest

| 15 Feb 2012 | 10:20

    Palisades Park Commission announces seasonal road closures Bear Mountain — With the threat of inclement storms as winter quickly approaches, the Palisades Interstate Park Commissions advised that the following roads will be closed and motorists should seek alternative routes: Bear Mountain State Park’s Perkins Memorial Drive will close for the season on Dec. 1. Lake Welch Drive and Tiorati Brook Road are currently open and will close for the winter on Dec. 1 or earlier if weather dictates the need. Arden Valley Road remains closed due to storm damage and will probably remain so through the winter into spring. Seven Lakes Drive will be open unless some unforeseen event takes place or if the ongoing construction at the Askoti-Skanattati Dam necessitates its closure in that area. The Orange County section of County Route 106 (west of Kanawauke Circle) is closed due to storm damage. The Rockland County portion of Route 106 (east of Kanawauke Circle) is currently open. For more information on road conditions or closures, call 845-786-2701, ext. 242. Judge asked to oversee redistricting NEW YORK — A group of civic leaders has filed a lawsuit asking a federal judge to take over the process of redrawing the boundaries of New York’s congressional districts. The plaintiffs say Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers now working on a redistricting plan are engaged in “an exercise in partisan self-dealing and incumbent protection.” They say dysfunction in the process could jeopardize elections in 2012. The suit was filed Nov. 19 in Brooklyn. The governor and legislature have been squabbling over the best method for redrawing the state’s political maps, which have to be adjusted as New York loses seats in Congress. A lawyer for the community leaders who filed the suit tells The New York Times that they believe the plan ultimately produced in Albany will be flawed and partisan. Get a free $25 camping gift card with online purchase of season pass ALBANY — As a special one-time offer, anyone who purchases the $65 Empire Passport on-line at on “Cyber Monday,” from midnight, Nov. 28, to midnight Nov. 29, will receive a free camping gift card worth $25. The $65 Empire Passport offers unlimited vehicle access to New York State Parks for all four seasons. Valid through March 31, 2013, Empire Passport holders avoid the daily $6 to $10 vehicle entry fee to upwards of 250 state-operated parks, recreation areas, boat launch sites, arboretums and forest preserve sites. The camping gift card can be used for campsites, cabins or cottages at nearly 70 state park campgrounds operated by the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Gift cards can be purchased for any dollar amount and have no expiration date. The gift card is not available for state campgrounds in the Adirondacks and Catskills. Gift Cards and Empire Passports may also be purchased anytime by calling 518-474-0458 during regular business hours, or visiting a local state park or regional office. To ensure holiday delivery, phone and website orders must be received by Dec. 15. For more information, including conditions and locations where the gift cards and Passport can be used, visit