What could be better than a Hudson River breeze on a balmy evening? Savor it with some tunes, food and drink as Food Truck Fridays and the Summer Concert Series continue tonight! The Mike Risko Band will be playing at the Louis Engel Waterfront Park stage starting at 7pm. Food and bevs start at 5pm, and you won’t want to miss it! This week we have Wanna Empanada, Westchester Burger, Brothers Fish & Chips, EMB Rice Balls, Bazodee Street Foods, Kinwich, La Bella Sophia Pizza Truck and Rockland Kettle Corn serving dinner and treats. Sing Sing Kill Brewery and Captain Lawrence Brewing Company will be pouring at the Craft Beverage Corral. As always, special thanks go to the Chamber of Commerce, Sing Sing Kill Brewery, Mike Risko Music School and recreation supervisor Bill Garrison for their hard work organizing this series!
Please wear your mask when you’re 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 large stock of disposable masks to distribute to those who may have left their masks behind. Thank you for your cooperation! Masks help us enjoy our beautiful public spaces while keeping each other safe.
Speaking of safety, our very own Ossining Volunteer Ambulance Corp (OVAC to those in the know--hopefully all of you!) will also be at the event with the Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, so you have options if you haven’t gotten yours yet! Help our community overcome the virus and reward yourself with a treat afterward. Locally, rates of residents with at least one dose are up to 72.2% for 10562 and 75.2% for 10510 - let’s keep pressing forward! As of August 12, active cases of COVID-19 are up to 59 in the Town and its two Villages, according to the county dashboard. Please help us bring these numbers back down by getting vaccinated and wearing a mask in public settings. 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.
Last call for Dog Census! The deadline has been extended to this Sunday, August 15. Whether or not you own a dog, please 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. If you have a dog over four months of age, New York State Law requires them 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! If you’re not a dog owner and misplaced your Census form, you can call the Clerk’s Office at 914-762-8428 to let us know.
Once you’ve taken care of your dog census and other responsibilities, come back to the waterfront Saturday morning for yoga! Our Mind Body Spirit Ossining series returns to the Louis Engel Park main stage 8/14 at 9 AM. Bring your own mat and water bottle and decompress under the guidance of Elisha Fernandes Simpson. Pre-registration on Community Pass is encouraged, but not required.
Continue your weekend fun with a lovely walk! The next walking tour of the historic Sparta neighborhood at the south end of Ossining will take place on Sunday, August 15. The tour will begin at the Jug Tavern (Rockledge Avenue and Revolutionary Road, behind the CVS) at 1 p.m. with an introduction to the history of the area. Participants will then walk about six blocks through the neighborhood learning about the historic homes in the landmarked district; the tour will end at around 3 p.m. Dr. Alan Stahl, a neighborhood resident who teaches in the History Department of Princeton University and has served as chair of the Village of Ossining Historic Preservation Commission, will lead the tour. The last tour for this year is scheduled for Sunday, September 19. The tour is free, but participation is limited to 20 people. To make a reservation or get further information, go to the Jug Tavern website: www.jugtavern.org.
If it’s not too hot for you, consider a game of tennis on the newly striped and netted tennis courts at Ryder Park. Thanks as always to our stellar Parks staff for all their hard work!
Keep the fun going with Westchester County Tourism! They have an excellent site, Visit Westchester, highlighting fun things to do across the county this summer. Another great resource is the TravelStorys app, which holds self-guided audio tours of a variety of locations. Historic Hudson River Towns has also 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 our backyard!
A reminder that the Town is still seeking community feedback on the latest draft of the Comprehensive Plan! Steering Committee members will be present at a variety of community events and locations 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. If you see a Steering Committee member at an event or stationed at a local business with engagement posters, stop by, say hi and complete the activities! There will be boards up this week at UMAC Briarcliff and Fred’s Auto Body in addition to Food Truck Fridays. We are looking forward to sharing the final result with the community, so stay tuned!
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. 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! This week, we mailed this directly to all landscapers who are based in Ossining for their reference.
If you or someone you know is struggling with rent payments, assistance for those impacted by COVID-19 financial losses is still available. Renters and landlords who are not sure where to turn can use this new website from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which makes it easy to find rental assistance providers in our area. Be sure to share with others who may benefit from this assistance as well.
Also note 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.
Looking for community service hours and/or a way to learn a bit about local history? Kill two birds with one headstone - join OHCC tomorrow, 8/14 from 9 AM until noon for a gravestone cleaning workshop at Dale Cemetery.
Here’s another way to earn community service credit - the Youth Event Planning Task Force has started its weekly meetings. This is open to middle and high school students. Register on Community Pass.
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!
Save the date: from 4-6 PM on Thursday, August 26, the Ossining Schools will be hosting a Community Kickoff party in anticipation of the start of school. The party will be on the lawn of Ossining High School and feature a school supplies giveaway, books, resources & activities for families! Join in the fun!
Our next Town Board meeting will be on August 24. We will be taking a week off from Town Board meetings this coming week so the Town Board and staff (and hopefully you too!) can enjoy a much needed summer break. When we return to meetings on August 24, we will be opening a public hearing on a local law to opt-out of on-site consumption cannabis lounges in the Unincorporated Town of Ossining. On-site consumption lounges are one of the two uses municipalities can opt-out of before the end of 2021. The other use is dispensaries. At this time, the Town Board is only considering opting-out of on-site consumption lounges, which means by default, dispensaries will be allowed in the Unincorporated Town of Ossining in the future. This move is in line with the Village of Ossining, which yields some additional financial benefits for the Town as with both the Town and Village allowing dispensaries, there is an opportunity for a revenue sharing agreement to be put in place for tax revenue from dispensaries in the Village of Ossining. As we open the public hearing at our next Legislative Session, we look forward to hearing more from the community on this topic.
This opt-out/not opt-out decision is the first policy decision the Town will make in reference to legalized recreational marijuana use. Next will be to evaluate our zoning ordinances to ensure any future dispensaries align with the needs of our community. The Town Board will also have an opportunity to consider how the revenue from marijuana sales may be allocated within the Town’s budget, likely with a focus on youth programming and addiction prevention.
I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable weekend!