Food Truck Fridays and the Summer Concert Series continue tonight with Drew Bordeaux and Friends at the Louis Engel Waterfront Park stage starting at 7pm. The Food Trucks and Craft Beverage Corral will start serving earlier in the evening at 5pm. As we have all seen in the news for the past few weeks COVID-19 continues to be a threat, so we are requiring all concert goers to wear masks when in crowded situations and walking around the park waiting for food or grabbing a refill at the Craft Beverage Corral. Thanks to the Westchester County Department of Emergency Services we have a stock of 1,000 disposable masks to distribute to those who may have left their masks behind. Thank you for your cooperation, we know this change in protocol will go a long way to keeping us all safe.
The Food Truck line-up for tonight is looking very tasty with Cravin’ Jamaican, EMB Rice Balls, Bazodee Street Foods, Brothers Fish & Chips, Wrappers Delight, and La Bella Sophia Pizza Truck. Sing Sing Kill Brewery and Peekskill Brewery will be pouring at the Craft Beverage Corral tonight.
It is actually a two concert weekend, with the rescheduled performance of The Sleepy Hollow String Band scheduled for this Sunday, August 8 at 5pm and Food Truck Sundays starting at 4pm. Cravin’ Jamaican, Bazodee Street Foods, EMB Rice Balls, Brothers Fish & Chips, and Wrappers Delight are slated for the food truck line-up, and Sing Sing Kill Brewery will be back with Soul Brewing Company at the Craft Beverage Corral. Thank you to the Greater Ossining Chamber of Commerce, Mike and Miriam Risko, and Sing Sing Kill Brewery, with help from Recreation and Parks Superintendent, Bill Garrison and the Town Parks Department for organizing and supporting this summer’s events, it has certainly been a bit challenging navigating rainouts and the changing COVID-19 landscape, so thank you for your help.
Unfortunately, the Delta Variant has brought COVID-19 back into the headlines again. Active cases in the Town of Ossining, including both Villages, are at 56 with 3 new cases as of August 4, according to the Westchester County dashboard. Masks are now required to be worn by all visitors and employees, regardless of vaccination status, in Town and Village of Ossining buildings in public areas like lobbies, public facing offices, restrooms, and meeting rooms. We strongly recommend that all residents follow this guidance and wear masks in public settings like grocery stores, restaurants when not eating, gyms, and more. Many businesses have taken it upon themselves to require masks once again, so please be respectful of these changes and follow the guidance provided. We now know that masks are critical to our defense against COVID, even among those who are fully vaccinated. Westchester County and most of the surrounding counties are now categorized as areas of “substantial” or “high” transmission by the CDC, so these recommendations carry to those areas as well if you are travelling this weekend.
In better news, 71.2% of people in the 10562 zip code and 74.8% of people in the 10510 zip code have at least one dose of a vaccine, and 64.8% in 10562 and 68.6% in 10510 have received both doses. On the national level, there has also been a huge uptick in people getting their first dose of the vaccine over the past two weeks. These are promising numbers and evidence that people are responding to the call to get vaccinated. Remember, all three approved vaccines in the United States are proven effective against infection, but most importantly very effective against severe illness, hospitalization, and death. Vaccines have never been easier to get – most pharmacies are providing vaccines with no appointment necessary. If you have questions about the vaccine, or would like to learn of pop-up vaccination clinics in Westchester, visit VaxUp Westchester as they are a great local resource for this information. Please follow the facts and get vaccinated now!
To that end, we are planning a pop-up vax event with OVAC at our 8/13 Food Truck Friday/Summer Concert (The Riskos are playing!) so bring your tired, your hungry, your unvaccinated friends and family with you!
Westchester County Department of Health is another great resource for vaccine information as they have set up a phone line for residents to speak one-on-one with nurses and doctors about the vaccines. Call 914-995-5800 to be connected with a healthcare professional in either English or Spanish to ask questions. Please get your facts from verified sources like healthcare providers, because we know and the data shows that these vaccines save lives with extremely, extremely low risk for serious negative side effects. The County also has ongoing vaccine clinics at 20 S. Broadway in Yonkers and 134 Court Street in White Plains for COVID-19 vaccines and back-to-school vaccines for eligible young children. The Yonkers clinic is open Mondays and Thursdays from 4pm to 7pm and the White Plains clinic is open Fridays from 10am to 1pm. Call in advance for an appointment for back-to-school vaccines at 914-995-5800, but walk-ins for COVID-19 vaccines are welcome.
Public outreach for the Town of Ossining’s Comprehensive Plan “Sustainable Ossining” continues. As we near the release of a Draft Comprehensive Plan, we are seeking additional community feedback in an effort to highlight some of the larger policies and ideas to be discussed in the draft plan. The Plan will continue to incorporate the input from this summer engagement into the final guide for the initiatives and policies for the Town to consider for further planning and development as defined in the Plan. The Steering Committee members will be using posters as an easy way to engage people in this conversation and to make sure people stay informed as to when the draft Comp Plan is released. So, if you see a Steering Committee member at an event this summer or stationed at a local business, with engagement posters, please take a moment to say hi and respond to the activities. There will be boards around this week at Club Fit, Torview Swim and Tennis Club, UMAC Briarcliff, Fred’s Autobody, SBS Print and Ship, and the Ossining Public Library. In the picture below below is Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee Member and Town Planning Board Chair Gareth Hougham at a recent Friday night concert getting lots of post-it note ideas from concert goers. We are looking forward to sharing the final result with the community, so stay tuned!
The deadline for the Ossining dog census has been extended to August 15. We ask that everyone complete the doggie census that was mailed to all residences 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. 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. It protects them and you!
Please remember that the gas powered leaf blower ban remains in effect in the Unincorporated Town of Ossining through September 30. Thank you to Green Ossining for preparing the summary below, but an easy way to remember the guidelines for gas powered leaf blowers is that they are generally allowed during the spring clean-up season (which typically wraps by the end of May) and fall leaf season (which kicks into high gear in October). Thank you for your cooperation, and please share this information with your friends, neighbors, and landscapers. We have made this available for download in both English and Spanish as JPG and PDF files. Please help us spread the word, we also plan on mailing this directly to all landscapers who are based in Ossining for their reference.
With COVID-19 cases rising, I am sure many of us are considering “staycations” more local to home. Westchester County Tourism has an excellent site highlighting fun things to do across the county this summer. Check out the Visit Westchester website to learn more. And don’t forget about the TravelStorys app which is a self-guided audio tour and Historic Hudson River Towns has organized a tour of the Hudson Valley which includes Ossining and the surrounding communities. A great, fun, safe, and affordable option for summer fun, right here in the Hudson Valley.
Assistance for those impacted by COVID-19 financial losses is still available. Renters and landlords who are not sure where to turn can use a new website from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This website makes it easy to find rental assistance providers in our area. Visit the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and be sure to share with others who may benefit from this assistance as well.
Please also remember that New York State has funds available for New Yorkers who lost income during the COVID-19 pandemic and were ineligible for other federal relief programs due to lack of citizenship or other factors through the Excluded Workers Fund (EWF). Visit the Department of Labor’s website to learn more and apply.
Don’t miss the last installments of the Village of Ossining’s Family Entertainment Series and Acoustic Series this week! On Tuesday, August 10, there will be Family Zumba at Nelson Park, then on Wednesday, August 11, Two’s Company will wrap the Summer Acoustic Series at Market Square.
The Village of Ossining is seeking community input for their anticipated 2021 application to the NYS Downtown Revitalization Initiative. In its fifth year, the program will invest $200 million in up to 20 downtowns statewide. Participating communities will be nominated by the state’s ten Regional Economic Development Councils (REDCs) based on the downtown’s potential for transformation. Within the Mid-Hudson region, where the Village of Ossining is located, the Mid-Hudson REDC (MHREDC) will nominate either two downtowns to receive $10 million each or one downtown to receive an award of $20 million to develop a downtown strategic investment plan and implement key catalytic projects that advance the community’s vision for revitalization. This is an opportunity to think big and to realize a vision for a thriving downtown. In 2019, the Village of Ossining was a finalist and your input is needed to make Ossining a winner this year! Join the public input session on Thursday, August 12 to learn more about this exciting opportunity and to provide your thoughts and ideas. The session in English will take place at 5:30pm and the session in Spanish will take place at 7:30pm.
Artists in the Time of COVID: Paralyzed and Prolific, which explores the effect of the pandemic on art and artists, continues showing at Bethany Arts Community thru August 11th. I had a chance to catch the opening reception and I strongly recommend you don’t miss this!
The Youth Event Planning Task Force started its weekly meetings. This is open to middle and high school students and is a great way to earn community service credit. Register on Community Pass.
Save the date Saturday, August 14 from 9am to 12noon for a Gravestone Cleaning Workshop led by the OHCC at Dale cemetery. This is another great opportunity for community service hours, and you get to learn about some really interesting stories from Ossining’s history to boot!
Bethany Arts Community will be featuring Performing Families with Inti Andino and Mariachi Sol Mixteco on Saturday, August 21 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm. Celebrate the bonds of music and dance with two family ensembles as they explore the connections between kinship, tradition and the arts. Bring your lawn chair or picnic blanket! This event is co-presented by ArtsWestchester and Bethany Arts Community and sponsored by Con Edison, Etain and New York State Council on the Arts.
Westchester County is conducting a Construction Jobs Career Fair on Wednesday, August 25th from 11-2pm at 123 Main Street in White Plains (the New York Power Authority Building). Those attending should bring their resume and be prepared to interview on the spot. Make sure to pre-register!
I hate to admit it with still a whole month left of summer, but I know many families are gearing up for back to school shopping. The New York State DEC recently sent out a very informative version of their “Living the Green Life” newsletter with some suggestions for making your back to school to do list a bit more environmentally friendly. One suggestion is to consider “precycling” or shopping from your own store of school supplies. I am sure we all have a pretty good stash of pens and pencils, crayons, notebooks, and more that can be re-used for the school year (hint: look under the couch!) Read the full newsletter here, and consider signing up for the DEC newsletters yourself. A fan favorite in the Supervisor’s Office is the weekly Hudson River Almanac – it’s a great newsletter featuring the beautiful natural world right in our backyard.
Next week’s Town Board meeting will be a Legislative Session and we are keeping to our hybrid format with members of the public having the option of joining us virtually or in person. Please note masks are required for all if you choose to join us in person. On Tuesday, we will be taking action on a couple of important items, including setting a public hearing on a local law to opt-out of on-site consumption of marijuana in the Town of Ossining. The public hearing will start on August 24, and we look forward to hearing from the community on this in the near future.
I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable weekend! It is going to be quite hot, with an air quality alert, so if you have asthma or other conditions that make you sensitive to high pollutant levels, please remember to exercise caution and maybe hang out in the AC instead of taking part in any strenuous activities outdoors. Summer is back, after a bit of a cool week-enjoy!