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McKinstry: Stay cautious and safe on Halloween in Hudson Valley

A tunnel made of pumpkins is one of

A tunnel made of pumpkins is one of the many installations seen at The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze at Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton-on-Hudson. (Oct. 12, 2012) Credit: Samantha Finch

There won’t be a countywide Halloween curfew Wednesday night in Westchester.

County Executive Rob Astorino won’t impose any limitations on kids seeking some tricks or treats. Instead, he’s urging “extreme caution” and asking parents to act responsibly.

Astorino was asked earlier Wednesday about taking children outside and along streets that could have hidden dangers like downed wires or inadequate street lighting. “That’s an adult decision,” Astorino said. “Adults are going to have to be adults at this time.”

For many kids, this Halloween won’t be as fun as usual since the Hudson Valley -- really much of the East Coast -– is grappling with the aftermath of superstorm Sandy.

Hundreds of thousands of households are still without power in our region, so that could mean little or no sweets for little ones -- or worse, hidden dangers that create risks that aren’t worth taking.

Communities throughout the region are canceling or changing Halloween plans. In Yonkers, Mayor Mike Spano urged residents to celebrate on Saturday, presumably when the pickings for kids will be greater and remnants of Frankenstorm are cleaned up, even if just a little bit.

Tarrytown has postponed its festivities until Friday and Stony Point in Rockland County until Saturday. 

For many in the region, it’s the second consecutive year they’ve had an interrupted Halloween. Last year’s October storm blanketed the region with an early and unexpected snowfall.

While it may sound trivial to those of us who have had our share of treats over the years, it’s a harder sell to the kids. It is our job to assess the dangers, and disappoint if necessary –- all in the name of parenting.

So this year, if a street looks haunted, it’s wise to stay away. That way there won’t be any more frightening circumstances with tragic consequences: We’ve had our share this week.


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