Finally a sunny Friday! We are so excited to be officially kicking off our Summer Concert Series and Food Truck Fridays tonight with Ossining favorite KJ Denhert taking the stage at 7pm. Head down to the park early for food and craft beverages starting at 5pm – the Food Truck line up for tonight includes Galapagos, Westchester Burger, EMB Rice Balls, Cravin Jamaican Cuisine, and Brothers Fish & Chips. Sing Sing Kill Brewery will be pouring alongside Six Degrees or Less Brewery and Doc’s Hard Cider for our very first Craft Beverage Corral. We are so excited to see some familiar Ossining faces behind our menus tonight – come hungry! Special thanks to the Greater Ossining Chamber of Commerce, Mike and Miriam Risko who helped line up the bands - and who are fresh off their recognition by National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) as Best Community Retail Store in the world, among other honors, congratulations Mike and Miriam! - and Sing Sing Kill Brewery for helping bring this summer Fridays tradition back to Ossining, plus support from Recreation Superintendent Bill Garrison. We can’t wait to get started! Remember to save the dates for the rescheduled performances of The Thornwoods on Sunday, July 25 and the Sleepy Hollow String Band on Sunday, August 8. The Sunday performances will start at 5pm.
Ossining and Briarcliff are full of opportunities to catch local performers this summer. On Tuesdays in July, the Ossining Recreation Department offers family-friendly entertainment at 7pm in a Village park.
The Village of Ossining’s Summer Acoustic Music Series kicked off this week. Performances will take place in Market Square on Wednesday evenings at 7pm, with an added performance scheduled for next Thursday, July 22 with Midnight Maizey.
The Briarcliff Chamber of Commerce is also bringing the summer fun! Music fans are invited to Law Park Field for a concert series starting July 11th and continuing every Sunday until August 1st.
We are going to be taking advantage of some of these community events this summer to bring the Town’s Comprehensive Plan, Sustainable Ossining, to the people! As we get close to finalizing a draft of this Comprehensive Plan with sustainability elements, we will be holding public engagement efforts throughout the summer to hear from the community on their priorities for the action plan, which is the “to do list” that will be derived from the goals, objectives, and strategies identified in the Comprehensive Plan. The Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee, Town staff and consultants, and other important stakeholders have been fine tuning these recommendations based upon input from the community throughout the process and best practices in the field of planning. We are excited to continue bringing to life these ideas for a new vision for Ossining to the people of Ossining. If you see a Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee member, or a poster board looking for feedback at a local business in the coming weeks, please take a moment to let us know what you think we should prioritize. Visit the Sustainable Ossining website to learn more, and stay tuned for more information to come very soon.
This week, the Town’s blacktop contractor was hard at work repaving the access roads to the Cedar Lane Park Pavilion and Dog Park. Thank you for your patience as this project was slightly delayed as we waited for the weather to finally clear. There is still a little more work to be done along the edges, so we are not quite ready to open them to vehicular traffic. These roads were the last remaining in this park to be repaved, and the project was planned for last year but delayed due to COVID-19. You can walk up to the dog park or pavilion and get in your extra steps.
Remember, if you are an Ossining resident, you get free access to the Cedar Lane Park Dog Park and Ryder Park Dog Run by getting your dog licensed and maintaining the license annually. Our Town Clerk is in the process of completing a Dog Census to get a better understanding of how many dogs there are in Ossining, and to encourage people to get their dog licensed. We ask that everyone complete the doggie census to help us count the dogs we have in the Town and Villages of Ossining and Briarcliff Manor. New York State Law requires all dogs over four months old to be licensed, and a record of your dog will be kept with our Town Clerk, or the Village of Briarcliff Clerk if you live there, which makes it easier to reunite you with your dog if they get lost. Be a good pet parent by registering your dog with the Briarcliff Clerk’s Office printable form or the Ossining Clerk’s Office online form.
The Community Equity Task Force re-released its survey to gauge community opinion on issues of equity in our community. Last year, this survey was distributed as the second COVID-19 spike began. Residents who completed the 2020 survey are encouraged to update the Task Force by completing it again in 2021. Take the survey here.
Across the Country, and locally here in Westchester County, there has been a slight uptick in COVID-19 in recent weeks. The main contributing factor to this increase is low vaccination rates. The delta variant is also spreading across the United States, but studies have shown that all three vaccines currently authorized in the US are highly effective against this variant. So, please do your part to slow the spread of the virus by getting vaccinated now if you have not done so already. Getting vaccinated helps protect you, and your family members, especially if they are unable to get vaccinated, like children under 12 years old. This is especially important for college students returning to school in the fall - you are starting to run out of time to receive your one-dose or two-dose series of the vaccine and allow two weeks for maximum effectiveness. The Ossining Volunteer Ambulance Corps is vaccinating today, Friday, July 16 until 6pm at their 8 Clinton Avenue Headquarters with all three vaccines available for walk-ins. Be sure to follow OVAC’s Facebook page for more vaccination dates as they become available!
With COVID-19 in the news, it is a reminder that the pandemic is certainly not over, and neither are the economic hardships many families have been struggling with for the past 18 months. Thankfully, there are so many programs available to help families in need. This week, eligible families with children began receiving the 2021 Advance Child Tax Credit payments from the IRS. Eligible families can receive advance payments of up to $300 per month for each child under age 6 and up to $250 per month for each child age 6 and above, funded through the American Rescue Plan Act. Families who filed a 2020 tax return do not need to take any action to start receiving payments. Payments began on July 15, and will continue monthly through December 15 without any further action required, and you can benefit from the credit, even if you do not have any earned income or owe any income taxes. This monthly benefit is sure to be transformative for so many families, and you can learn more at the IRS website.
Rent relief is available for tenants struggling to pay rent and landlords who are owed rent, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. See below for information specific to tenants and landlords in Westchester.
Food distributions also continue in the Ossining community for all our neighbors in need of food and resources. Walk-up and curbside pick-up are available every Tuesday at 12noon at Trinity Church and 4pm at HORAC Ministries.
Children entering school have other immunizations they need to receive besides the COVID-19 vaccine. The Westchester County Health Department will be offering back-to-school immunizations throughout the summer to students who qualify at the County Dept. of Health Clinic in White Plains. Ossining and Briarcliff residents can call the Health Department at (914) 995-5800 to find out if you qualify for an appointment.
Historic Hudson River Towns and all its member communities, which include the Villages of Briarcliff, Ossining, and the Town of Ossining, worked with the company TravelStorys to develop a driving tour of communities along the Hudson, north of the Mario Cuomo Bridge. The tour app is available for free via the TravelStorys app. Check out the tour!
The Farmer's Market is brimming with great seasonal produce this time of year, and our friends from the Ossining Public Library will be there too for storytime, giveaways, and library card sign ups. Get your fruit and veggies for the week, and your library card too!
For those keeping track, this Saturday is a 3rd Saturday of the month, which means Mind, Body, Spirit – Ossining will be featuring Elisha Simpson of the Crossover Yoga Project for a Trauma Conscious Yoga Class at the Louis Engel Park stage starting at 9am. This event is free, but pre-registration is encouraged on Community Pass.
HORAC Ministries is holding a summer camp for all ages, with events free to the community and lunch-to-go served daily at 12pm. See the comprehensive calendar below – next week’s theme is mentorship.
Friends of Hilltop Hanover Farm & Environmental Center is launching an outdoor film series. Films will play at sunset on Saturday July 17th and Saturday July 31st. Rain dates will be the day after the originally scheduled date. Register here for tickets and book now as the guest count is limited.
The Ossining Elks Club is hosting the “Big Dog Challenge” tomorrow, Saturday, July 17 at 2pm. Word on Twitter is that Ossining Police Chief Kevin Sylvester and Ossining Schools Superintendent Dr. Ray Sanchez are gearing up for a showdown at this hot dog eating contest. It costs $25 to enter, so call ahead to reserve your spot at 914-941-1486. You are not going to want to miss this!
Ossining Recreation has week-long camp programs scheduled throughout the summer. Next week’s program is Advanced Engineering for grades 5-9. Sounds cool, can’t wait to see what these students build! Register for this program and learn of other programs on Community Pass.
Sing Sing Prison Museum’s Justice Talks webinar series brings amazing conversations to Ossining. The 1971 Attica Prison Uprising brought issues of injustice inside US prisons into the national spotlight. In this program, scheduled for next Thursday, July 22 at 6pm, SSPM will examine racial justice activism, civil rights, and the significance of the 50th Anniversary. Register on the SSPM website.
A new exhibit opened last week at Bethany Arts Community. Artists in the Time of COVID: Paralyzed and Prolific explores the effect of the pandemic on art and artists. The show will run until August 11th. A reception is planned for July 23rd. More information is available on the Bethany Arts Community website. There are also camp programs available at Bethany Arts Community over the coming weeks, including their Camp Weird (and Wonderful!), the Camp of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and Show Camp with Theater O. To view upcoming dates and register, visit the Bethany Arts Community calendar.
The St. Augustine’s Italian Festival is scheduled for next weekend, July 24th and 25th. This event was cancelled last year and we are excited to see its return.
The Youth Event Planning Task Force begins meeting weekly on July 28. This is open to middle and high school students and is a great way to earn community service credit. Register on Community Pass.
On Saturday, July 31 and Sunday, August 1, Westchester Collaborative Theater (WCT) returns to live, in-person performances with an outdoor production of Parking Lot Plays, six short new works from WCT’s play development program. Each site-specific play integrates the environment into its story as the characters navigate the terrain of the parking lot while they tell their tales. Grab your tickets now!
This week, we are taking a short summer break from Town Board meetings, so there will be no Town Board meeting on Tuesday, July 20. We will be back with a Legislative Session on Tuesday, July 27 in our new hybrid in-person/Zoom format from the first floor boardroom at 16 Croton Avenue.
It has been quite a hot day today, and the hot weather will continue this weekend with some chances for thunderstorms. If you plan to be outside, please remember to stay hydrated and take breaks, if you are working. These weather conditions will also strain the power grid, and may cause some customers to lose power. Reduce your electricity usage by turning down air conditioners and avoiding running appliances like washers, dryers, and dishwashers during daytime peak hours. Con Ed customers can report outages or service problems by calling 1-800-75-ConEd or online. Con Edison customers can also sign up for text notifications online or by texting REG to OUTAGE (688243) and follow the prompts. Have your Con Ed account number handy to complete the registration process.
The Joseph G. Caputo Community Center is available through Sunday, July 18 as a cooling center from 10am to 8pm today and 10am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday. The Louis Engel Park Spray Park will be open extended hours this weekend, too, from 10am to 8pm.
For our boaters looking to get out on the Hudson to beat the heat, please remember permits are required to launch at the Bryan Johnson Memorial Boat Ramp. It is super easy to get your permit online, or pay on the spot by scanning the QR code at the kiosk by the boat ramp.
Stay cool everyone!