How are you doing this week? If you are among those still recovering from the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, help is available. Read more about the Major Disaster Declaration on the FEMA website. If you have been displaced and/or need some form of immediate help, call 211 to reach the United Way Help Center and be connected to shelter and housing options, utilities assistance and other forms of disaster relief.
As you assess your storm-related damage, individuals can visit www.disasterassistance.gov to learn more about federal assistance and apply if needed. You can also call the FEMA Helpline at 1-800-621-3362 (TTY: 1-800-462-7585) for additional help. Businesses can visit this link or call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY/TDD: 1-800-877-8339). Be sure to document any damage sustained and keep all receipts related to the incident. If you have insurance, you should file your claims prior to applying for federal assistance.
Here are some guides from the CDC regarding post-disaster cleanup:
- Clean Up Safely After a Disaster
- Homeowner’s and Renter’s Guide to Mold Cleanup After Disasters
- Mold After a Disaster
As storms like Ida make the threat of climate change more apparent and urgent, our work to protect our community and its natural resources from the effects of climate change continues. This week, we’re excited to announce that the NY Department of Environmental Conservation Revitalization has awarded $125,000 in funding to Henningson, Durham and Richardson Architecture and Engineering, P.C. (HDR) to design a living shoreline project at the Henry Gourdine and Louis Engel Waterfront Parks along our very own Ossining waterfront. This is part of round two of the Climate-adaptive Design Studio (CaD) through Cornell University and we became eligible for this opportunity as a result of winning and participating in round one. The project will result in professional level designs inspired by the student level designs developed in the first round and with input from the community. The plan will also help create fish habitat and promote recreational fishing opportunities. Stay tuned - we'll be seeking public comment on specific design elements. In the meantime, learn more about the Ossining Climate-adaptive Design studio here!
I hope you’ll have the opportunity to head down to the waterfront at Louis Engel Park and join me for the last Food Truck Friday/Summer Concert of the season! Wanna Empanada and Brothers Fish and Chips will be available from 4-8 PM, as well as Sing Sing Kill Brewery at the Craft Beverage Corral. Soul Sacrifice will play from 6-8. They are a five piece guitar and horn-driven band playing classic blues, soul, funk and R&B. You’re gonna wanna dance--they are THAT good--so make sure you wear your best dancing-on-the-grass shoes!!! Beyond grateful for the amazing crew that made this incredible series all possible this year: the Greater Ossining Chamber of Commerce, Sing Sing Kill Brewery, Mike Risko Music, our sound man Keith Heilmann, our recreation superintendent Bill Garrison, our Town Parks department, Brian Sheridan from Hothouse Design, Victoria Cafarelli in my office, and our sponsors - Mark Seiden Real Estate, Robison, Open Door Family Medical Center, Matero Fine Jewelry and Grace Lane Kennels.
Tomorrow at 9 AM, the emergency service agencies of Ossining and Briarcliff Manor will host their annual 9/11 remembrance ceremony at Louis Engel Park. All are invited. The event will also be livestreamed on our Facebook page. If you cannot join in person, like us on Facebook to receive a notification when the event goes live. If you do not have a Facebook account, you will still be able to view the Facebook live because we are a public page. Just visit our page when the ceremony is scheduled to begin. We will recognize the 20th anniversary of this national tragedy that directly impacted so many of our local families and pay homage to those lost on the day, in the immediate aftermath, as well as those we lost years later as a result of their heroic acts.
At 3:30 PM, Westchester County will also be commemorating the 20th anniversary of 9/11 at the Kensico Dam. During this ceremony the County will unveil its memorial to first responders and those who died from 9/11-related illnesses. The event will be streamed live on the County facebook page.
Volunteer NY is also partnering once again with Westchester County and the Westchester Parks Foundation to host the “9/11: Serve and Remember” National Day of Service. For information about how you can take part in a day of service this weekend to honor victims of 9/11 and their families, visit the Volunteer New York website.
As we approach the 20th anniversary of this horrific day, I have been reflecting upon the impact of 9/11 and how the tragic events of that picture-perfect September morning, which turned so ugly, continue to influence our lives even to this day. I hope you will join me in focusing on how 9/11 has inspired a generation of helpers - first responders, teachers, healthcare workers, volunteers, and so much more. Many of the people serving in these essential roles today were young children 20 years ago, but have continued to be positively influenced into a life of service by those who, on September 11, 2001, did everything in their power to save others, even at the expense of their own lives or health. We must never forget that spirit of volunteerism and heroism exhibited by our first responders as well as ordinary citizens on 9/11. This is even more significant in 2021 as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, which we would be unable to do without our first responders, healthcare workers, and so many other essential workers who have stepped up in the past year and a half, also often at their own risk, to serve us all. For those in our community who experienced personal losses on September 11th and in the years following as a result of these terror attacks, our hearts go out to you and we wish your family peace and comfort on this anniversary.
Yesterday, President Biden announced a six-part plan to get the millions of Americans who are not yet fully vaccinated to do so as soon as possible. The aspects of this plan include vaccinations or mandatory weekly testing requirements for employers with 100 or more employees, vaccination mandates for federal employees and contractors, affordable access to regular testing, and more. This announcement was made in an effort to combat the Delta variant, which is spreading fast and has become a very dangerous situation largely for people who are unvaccinated, including children. To learn more, view President Biden’s plan here.
Here in the Town of Ossining, we will be starting a weekly testing mandate for our staff members who are not yet fully vaccinated next week. We have spent the past few weeks surveying our employees and working closely with our unions to develop a plan that will help keep our employees and constituents safe, on top of other existing safety measures, including mandatory masking in public areas of Town buildings. We are happy to report that over 90% of Town employees have received at least one dose of the vaccine. We are grateful to our union partners, CSEA and Teamsters Local 456, for coming to the table with us to establish this policy to help protect our workers as well as the public, and which closely reflects the new OSHA recommendations for employers across the country that President Biden just announced.
Please please please: if you have not yet gotten vaccinated, please do so. We know that this is largely a pandemic of the unvaccinated right now, and getting the vaccine will go a long way towards protecting your health, your family’s health, and even your community’s health. Recent data illustrates that in areas with high vaccination rates, COVID-19 positivity rates among children are lower than in areas with low vaccination rates. Getting vaccinated will help keep safe the children in our community who are not yet eligible for the vaccine. We all need to do our part to make schools as safe as possible during yet another challenging new school year.
Now, let’s dive into some other great events happening around town this weekend and in the upcoming weeks. Many are outdoors, which is COVID safe. I know I can’t get enough of this beautiful weather!
The gardens of Historic Sparta will be open for tours between 11 AM and 4 PM on Saturday, September 11. The price of a ticket includes a map, water and refreshments for your walk, and a donation to the Jug Tavern to support its work to preserve local history.
In the mood for more live music? Head over to The Boathouse between 8 and 11 PM Saturday to party with the Mike Risko Band.
If you have little ones who could use some homework help (or just a safe, enriching place to hang out till you get home from work), remember that OUFSD is partnering with the Recreation Department to provide an after school program with homework help and enrichment activities every school day from 3-6 PM. Click here for more details and to register.
This coming Monday, September 13, a representative from State Senator Elijah Reichlin-Melnick’s constituent services team will be hosting mobile office hours at the Briarcliff Manor Public Library from 1-4 PM. Bring your questions, concerns and ideas to the Senator’s staff!
Car Free Day, coming up on Wednesday, September 22, will be here before you know it! If you’d like to participate, click here to read more and take the pledge. Planning is ongoing and we are looking for local businesses to participate. Pedestrians and cyclists are excellent customers - the ability to pause and discover new businesses is higher on foot, when you are not zooming by on your way to something else! If you are a local brick & mortar business that would like to support this initiative, please fill out this Google form, let us know what you might like to offer patrons as a reward for participating (for example, $1 off any purchase of $10 or more; a stamp on a frequent customer card, etc. Be creative!), and we will provide a poster for you to hang in your business and add your establishment to our promotional efforts.
Speaking of car-free travel, the MTA, along with the LIRR, is building on its popular Summer Saturdays program with its new Autumn Weekends program. Starting this weekend, monthly ticketholders can bring four additional riders with them on train trips for just $1 each. Leave your car behind and #TakeTheTrain to a variety of destinations along our Hudson Line!
We want to hear from you as we finalize a draft of our Comprehensive Plan (which, for newcomers to the Supervisor’s Update, is a document that serves as our ten-year plan for the Town of Ossining). Outreach boards like the one pictured below will be making their last rounds this week and next. Right now, visit Mrs. Green’s or the lower level of the Ossining Community Center to let us know your big ideas for the Town or what you would like to see on our main business corridor, North State Road. We will share more locations on our Facebook and Instagram pages. We also plan on circulating an online survey once the draft plan has been released later on this fall. Visit the project website to learn more.
The Cedar Lane Arts Center fall schedule is now available - click here to view the schedules and register for clay, painting, and more. Additionally, CLAC clay instructor Keith Gordon will be hosting an introduction to Horsehair Raku and Obvara Pottery at Bethany Arts Center on September 25. You can register at www.bethanyarts.org.
Jill Kiefer of the Ossining Arts Council is offering on-line art history classes via Bethany Arts Center this fall - click here to view more details and register.
Getting a lot of seeds from your garden this summer? Start collecting them now so you’re ready for the Green Ossining + Ossining Pollinator Pathway Seed Swap event September 25 at the Farmer’s Market! Click here to learn more about how to collect and preserve your seeds, and check out the flier below for more details on the event.
Registration for Green Ossining’s Community-Wide Tag Sale is also open now and ends September 24. The sale will be on Saturday, October 2. For the $25 registration fee, you’ll receive branded promotional materials and placement in online and local media publicizing the event. Click here to learn more and register to help reduce, reuse and recycle your old stuff. Remember one woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure!
Waste not, want not! Green Ossining will also be hosting a Repair Cafe on Saturday, 9/18 from 11 AM - 3 PM at the Community Center. See the flyer below for information about what sorts of items can be brought for repair.
The Westchester County Board of Elections is looking for poll workers to help administer the election coming up this November. Help make democracy possible and make some money in the process! Click here to learn more and complete the poll worker application.
Please remember that the gas powered leaf blower ban remains in effect in the Unincorporated Town of Ossining through the end of this month. Thank you to Green Ossining for preparing the summary below, and thank you for your cooperation! 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 information was mailed directly to all landscapers who are based in Ossining for their reference.
Our next public meeting will be held in person on September 14th. At this meeting, we will be re-opening the public hearing on a local law to opt-out of on-site cannabis consumption sites in the Unincorporated Town of Ossining. As you might remember, this is one of two uses that municipalities can opt-out of as part of the recently adopted marijuana legalization in New York State. The other use is dispensaries, which the Town Board has opted to not take action on at this time. But, we expect permitting to take quite a bit of time at the state level, and the Town Board has expressed interest in evaluating our zoning codes that pertain to where dispensaries could be responsibly developed. The public can also watch and participate remotely using the link at the top of the agenda, which is distributed to this email list prior to every meeting.
The NYS Legislature also recently adopted a law which extends our ability to hold meetings exclusively by Zoom through January 15, 2022. After next week’s meeting, we are planning on resuming meetings via Zoom only starting September 20, but we will keep you posted. We will see you soon - till then, be safe and healthy! And to those observing Yom Kippur, here is wishing you an easy fast.