Even though the snow is done falling, it is still awfully crisp out there. I want to offer special thanks to our Town Highway and Parks crews and the DPWs in both of our Villages for ensuring that our residents and first responders could get around safely. It was a tough storm to deal with due to ice, wind, and cold temperatures, and I think you will agree that they battled it admirably.
First and foremost, if you aren't doing anything tonight, I would strongly recommend that you attend the Ossining Documentary and Discussion Series' "The Hudson River At Risk" event tonight (Friday, February 10th at 7PM at the Ossining Library), where they will be sharing three short (and timely) films followed by a panel discussion. Come learn about how pipeline projects, the proposed anchorages and contamination have the potential to affect our river and all who enjoy it, and what you can do to help.
Before I touch on this coming weekend's other events, I wanted to share with you some of what we've been up to in the Town over this past week. When we last spoke, I was en route to join many friends and neighbors at Market Square for a Unity Vigil. I was so very pleased to see such a fantastic turnout that was also incredibly representative of Ossining's diverse population. Although the weather was freezing, the crowd continued to grow as I was joined by Councilwomen Liz Feldman, Kim Jeffrey and Karen D'Attore, as well as Congresswoman Nita Lowey, Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, Assemblyman David Buchwald, Westchester County Legislator Catherine Borgia, Mayor Victoria Gearity, Village Trustee Rika Levin, and dozens of other community leaders, all coming together for the sole purpose of demonstrating how, regardless of political persuasion, that we recognize that we are stronger together than we will ever be apart. I was invited to speak, and I wanted to share my thoughts with those who were unable to attend, which I read to the crowd in both English and in Spanish.
"We are one Ossining!
Somos Un Ossining!
We are special because of the fabric of our individual lives coming together here in harmony
We are interesting, intelligent, and international
We work together to improve our lives and the lives of our neighbors, sisters, brothers and friends.
We are beautiful because of our colors.
Because of our religions.
Because of our diversity.
Because of our love and respect for one another.
We have wonderful schools, parks, businesses.
We have crafts people, boaters, professionals, entrepreneurs, and teachers, and so many more.
We have love.
This is what makes us rich.
This is what makes us powerful.
We believe in our diversity and we embrace it so that the tides of the Hudson on our grounds will raise all ships.
Let our passions, let our love for each other, let our respect for one another raise our ships and those of our neighbors and shine.
We are strong because we are one Ossining. Somos un Ossining.
Let's show the world why America is Great because of all our Ossining's by being who we are, every day, no matter what. And loving it."
My office has also been working with Sustainable Westchester to get moving on our newest "green" initiative, which involves bringing electric cars and trucks into our fleet, putting in solar charging stations, and finding a place for solar panels to help offset the Town's electric bill. We are hoping to report more details after we have finalized the logistics. There are a ton of incentives and grant funding out there for these kinds of projects, not to mention the long-term savings that come from a lower dependence on fuel and the benefits to our environment.
Our Parks crew is also hard at work getting the Shine House (and the Ice House) ready for its grand re-opening this Spring. We are still planning this event, but we are not just talking about a ribbon cutting. Be prepared for an exciting day in our newest recreation space that just so happens to have the most exceptional views around.
Speaking of our Parks, we are ramping up for our second year of Mind, Body, Spirit- Ossining and want to hear from you about what you loved and what we can improve this time around. If you participated, please take a few moments to complete our survey. We are here to make the best possible programming available for you, so tell us-- how did we do?
Finally, we are working towards getting photos of all of our Town Department Heads posted on the Town website. With the help of Michael G. O'Connor, we did an extensive photo shoot a few weeks back (see below) and I'm pleased to share that most department pages now feature the opportunity to recognize the folks who keep this place running. We still have a few who have yet to model for us, but hopefully we will have the project completed by month's end.
There are a ton of great events going on in Ossining this weekend, including the annual favorite Eagle Fest! You can find a schedule of the day's events here.
I hope to see you out and about in Town this weekend. Don't forget to pick up something for your honey, Valentine's Day is on Tuesday-- even if you aren't exchanging gifts, a home cooked meal with fresh ingredients from Down to Earth Market is a gesture they won't soon forget. You can check them out at their indoor Winter location at the First Presbyterian Church on South Highland every Saturday through April from 9AM to 1PM; Good Shepherd Distillery will be on site with their special fruit brandies, so you can treat yourselves to this awesome Valentine's Day cocktail to make your day even sweeter.