It can come as no surprise that this has been a challenging week in Ossining, as our nation witnessed the massacre in Orlando. I am strengthened by the fact that we live in a community where we all watch out for one another and can count on our friends and neighbors for support during this difficult time. The Briarcliff Congregational Church will be hosting a candlelight vigil tomorrow evening at 7PM-- let this togetherness and hope start to heal our hearts as we honor those who we've lost in this senseless tragedy.
We have so many positive things happening in our community to make us even stronger, together. This past Saturday, the Town, along with Green Ossining, the Town Environmental Advisory Committee, and water from the Village's Indian Brook Reservoir were set up at booths at the Village Fair where we shared a lot of great information about ways to protect our precious environment, including the many watersheds in Ossining, and how to participate in the Great Healthy Yard Project (have you taken the pledge yet?), as well as how to enjoy our parks and improve ourselves through the Mind, Body, Spirit Ossining program. A special thank you goes out to the Town and Village staff for making sure our tents and tables got back and forth safely, and a special shout out to Suzie Ross and Mitzi Elkes for organizing volunteers and for holding down the fort for us! Your enthusiasm and hard work are a huge asset to Ossining, and we are honored to have you on our team.
Tomorrow is an action-packed day in Ossining, starting with Portugal Day in Market Square, which starts at 11AM with the Opening Ceremony at 12:30PM. Also tomorrow? The Anne M. Dorner and Ossining High School moving up and graduation ceremonies at Pace University in Pleasantville. The community is welcome to share in this momentous occasion and to celebrate the accomplishments of our students.
The Town is also hosting two Mind, Body, Spirit Ossining events tomorrow! At 1PM, Club Fit Trainer Candice O'Brien will lead a hike at the Edward J. Crawbuckie Nature Preserve on Beach Road. At 6PM, Kendra Rossney of Dragonfly Wellness Yoga Studio will lead a slow and easy Yoga Flow class at the waterfront; Louis Engel Park is known for its great sunsets, so stay awhile after the class and take in one of Ossining's best views.
(Speaking of Engel Park, have you visited the Spray Park yet this season? The hours are 12 Noon to 6PM on weekends until school is out; after June 24th, it will be open 7 days a week, also 12 Noon to 6PM, weather permitting.)
The outdoor activities continue throughout the week, as the St. Ann's Fair begins on Tuesday, June 21st and goes through Sunday, June 26th. This is one of our community's best-attended events, and I am looking forward to seeing many of you there.
Another event we're looking forward to this week is the long-awaited ribbon cutting at Henry Gourdine Park at the Harbor Square Apartments, which will take place on Thursday, June 23rd at 11AM. This beautiful spot will be the location of a jazz series on alternating Monday nights this summer, and we are thrilled to have another beautiful space join our awesome Ossining Parks system.
Preparations continue for Ossining's annual Fireworks Celebration, which is scheduled for Thursday, June 30th. KJ Denhert and her band will take the stage at 7PM before the fireworks show at 9:15PM, and Powderfinger will wrap up the night with some great tunes once the fireworks are over. We are excited to announce that we have several food trucks on board for this year, so make sure to come early to grab a bite and get a good seat!
The fireworks mark the kick-off of summer in Ossining, and they also mean the start of the Summer Concert Series. We have some great new acts this summer, and will even be ending the series with a DJ Dance Party on Friday, August 26th. Still plenty of time to find the right pair of dancing shoes!
Also this week, I had a chance to visit the Shine House in Cedar Lane Park, and... wow. The amount of work that we have been able to do "in-house" is so impressive, and we can't wait to share it with all of you. We are hoping for a ribbon cutting in late September, keep an eye out for the official invitation to come celebrate with us!
As a reminder, the Tentative Assessment Roll for 2016 has been posted (you can find it on the Town's homepage or here), and Grievance Day is Tuesday, June 21st. This is the final day that assessment challenges can be submitted for consideration by the Board of Assessment Review. Please be mindful of this important deadline, and call the Assessor's Office with any questions (762-8274).
I am also pleased to share with you that our Legislators Sandy Galef in the Assembly and David Carlucci in the Senate both carried, and were successful in getting passed, a bill that address some of your concerns about the results of the new property assessments following the Town-wide revaluation. The Ossining-specific bill in the House (you can find the bill memo here) would allow the Town of Ossining to enact an exemption for property owners who have had their assessments go up as a result of the revaluation; the new assessment would be "phased in" over a two year period, provided that the property owner was current on taxes, eligible for STAR, and had no other outstanding municipal violations on their property. We are hopeful that the Governor will sign this legislation and permit the Town to offer this exemption, but we will certainly keep you posted on details as we hear them.
A final note: as you and your family spend more time outside, please be mindful of your surroundings. Between the reports of a black bear in the Unincorporated Town, a bobcat in New Castle, and coyotes popping up all throughout Westchester, be mindful and don't leave children or pets unattended outside, especially if you live near a wooded area. Also, the Zika virus threat potential continues, so make sure to take all possible precautions to keep you and your loved ones safe this summer.
And finally, I hope you will join me at one of the three Westchester Collaborative Theater performances this weekend! (See the flyer below) This Ossining-based group always has some very inventive work to share, and I have it on very good authority that this monologue series is some of their best work yet!