November 8, 2010

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Using local Guardian Angels is the answer to solving Newburgh’s problems, says GA founder

Sliwa, right, welcomed by Mayor Valentine and his wife

NEWBURGH – As the first class of the Newburgh chapter of the Guardian Angels officially graduated Sunday afternoon, the founder of the Alliance of Guardian Angels, Curtis Sliwa, personally honored this newest outfit by stressing the importance of positive community attitudes and outlooks during his address to supporters in the Newburgh Activity Center.

“I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a more negative circumstance than Newburgh,” said Sliwa explaining that the way in which the community is viewed by both those inside and outside is far too negative and therefore no one believes that anything can be done.   

The timing of the graduation is fitting, especially in light of the latest two murder victims found late last week, Sliwa said.

“That’s the kind of stuff that I’ve seen growing up in Brooklyn and the Bronx and that’s the kind of stuff that I would associate with some of the characters who have decided to settle here, who are not from Newburgh originally, but are from Brooklyn or the Bronx.”

Sliwa said by using local people to solve the problems, that is the answer, especially in bad times when there are no additional resources.

“So while everyone else continues to cast dispersions against Newburgh I think what we’ve been able to do, although it’s taken us a long time to get to this point, really establishes how people can do more with less.”

All of the members of the Newburgh Guardian Angels Chapter are residents of the City of Newburgh and their Captain, Miguel Rivera, said that they’re there to help other people and the community, not patrol the streets and make arrests.

Mayor Nicholas Valentine attended Sunday’s graduation ceremony and expressed his excitement about the establishment of such a positive presence saying that he believes they will be able to successfully build a base in the community due to the fact that they from Newburgh instead of outsiders coming in and telling people what to do.


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