What a romantic week we've had here at 16 Croton-- everyone has been wearing various shades of pink and red since Tuesday, even some of the guys! Did you manage to pick something up for your honey at the Floral Shop Pop-Up on Main Street? Ashley Drago had some beautiful arrangements if you got there early enough-- she was practically sold out before noon on both Tuesday and Wednesday! Ashley is a recent Ossining transplant doing beautiful work, and we are fortunate to have her talents here in our community.
I started off my Valentine's Day at the Joseph G. Caputo Community Center, where the Ossining High School National Honor Society hosted many of our regulars from the Senior Nutrition Program at their annual Senior Citizens Valentine's Day Breakfast. Our senior sweethearts were treated to musical performances from all the schools in the District, and we had a great time singing along-- I especially liked Skidamarink-a-dink by the Park School Chorus. Thanks go to the Village of Ossining Parks and Recreation Department for helping to set up and break down the room for such a fun party!
Later in the day, several Girl Scouts, their leaders and I visited our brave veterans at the VA Hospital in Montrose and handed out valentines that the Scouts had made for the occasion. It was so nice to see these generations interact and I am proud that our youth are learning the importance of service so early on in their lives-- I know that the folks they visited, as well as those who work at the facility were incredibly appreciative of their time and attention.
This past weekend was another busy one-- on Saturday, I headed to Teatown's annual Eaglefest celebration and it was just as great as I remember from years past. The weather held out for most of the morning (there were a few drenching showers, but we persevered) and I enjoyed a fun time spotting eagles on the water and hearing tales of the Riverkeeper by the original one, John Cronin, with Assemblywoman Galef, State Senators David Carlucci and Terrence Murphy, Deputy County Executive Ken Jenkins, and some of my fellow Teatown Advisory Board members. My family joined me for this one and my nephew had an opportunity to to hold a kestrel! Boy was he excited.
What made this year even better? We enjoyed a live performance by singer-songwriter Dar Williams!
My last stop before leaving Croton Point Park was an Eagle Walk with our friend, and newly appointed Town of Ossining Historian, Scott Craven. Scott walked us around and pointed out some eagle babies and some of the interesting historical and architectural details of the park we spotted en route.
That afternoon, I was joined by Councilwomen Feldman and Shaw, along with County Executive George Latimer, County Legislator Catherine Borgia, Deputy Village Mayor John Codman, and many members of the Ossining Public Library staff, Board of Trustees (Maddi Zachacz from my office being one of them!), Friends, Foundation, and Ossining residents, at the Ossining Public Library's 125th Anniversary Kick-Off Celebration. We were able to present a proclamation to the Library, which was graciously received by (L to R) Board of Trustees President Matthew Weiss, Programming and Events Coordinator James Trapasso, and Director Karen LaRocca-Fels.
We gathered in the Budarz Theater to hear a brief history of our library and its many iterations, and to enjoy some of the wonderful performances that make our Library such a gem. The crowd enjoyed a violin performance by a pair of Ossining High School students, followed by a lovely piano performance by internationally-known concert pianist David Fung-- as usual, I was blown away by the high caliber of performer that we are able to secure at the Budarz Theater, but to hear many of these musicians tell it, they consider themselves the lucky ones to perform in such a beautiful space (and, on such a beautiful piano!)
Our friend and former Town Supervisor Catherine Borgia, who represents us at the County Board of Legislators, joined with her colleagues in the County to name Tuesday, February 13th "Ossining Public Library Day" in the County of Westchester. A well-deserved honor!
The celebration will continue throughout the year, so be sure to visit the Library's (soon to be updated!) website to see what's up next.
Yesterday, we were privileged to have County Executive George Latimer visit the 1936 Sing Sing Powerhouse to take a tour and discuss the County’s interest in moving the Sing Sing Prison Museum forward. The press stopped by as well, so you may have caught the story on the 6:00 News last night on News12. I am thrilled that the County has indicated it would like to commit resources to this transformative project. Stay tuned to hear more about the project’s development or follow along on the Sing Sing Prison Museum Facebook page or website.
Have you heard? We're supposed to get some snow tomorrow night, so if you want to be ready for the low temps, consider joining me at the Gullotta House "Escape from Sing Sing Polar Plunge" tomorrow (Saturday, February 17th) at Louis Engel Waterfront Park. Participants will be running into the Hudson (assuming it isn't frozen over!) for a quick dip before coming back to the beach for cocoa and hot chocolate. If you'd like to participate, be sure to bring a donation for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, along with a warm change of clothes, a fluffy towel and water shoes-- you will not be allowed in without them!
Now about that snow. All the reports we're getting suggest that the snow will start falling around 7PM tomorrow (Saturday) night and will continue through the early morning hours, leaving between 3 and 9 inches of fluffy stuff behind. be sure to keep an eye on the skies and if the snow does materialize, please stay off the roads as much as possible so that our crews can clear the way and get us back on track. Be sure to observe all parking regulations (no overnight parking on any Town roads through the end of March!) and once the snow is done falling, we implore you not to shovel your driveway, or clean your car off, into the street. Not only does it make the job of clearing the roads for our first responders more difficult, it is also plain old inconsiderate and causes a hazard for your neighbors. Do you have a contractor clear your walks and driveway? Please pass this along to them so they don't have to hear it from us :)
Town offices will be closed on Monday, February 19th for President's Day, and our offices will re-open bright and early on Tuesday, February 20th. However, I, along with our Receiver of Taxes, Budget Director, and several Town Board members and Town Justices will be heading down to Manhattan for the annual Association of Towns Meeting and training school. This will be my third time attending this conference and we always bring back information that not only improves our policies but also helps us to learn from our neighbors and think about our challenges from a different angle. We also always meet interesting vendors who can help us meet a variety of administrative and operational issues head on. I am looking forward to spending Monday and Tuesday with my colleagues in these seminars and then placing a vote on behalf of Ossining on Wednesday morning. Due to the fact that many of us will be coming back from New York, the Town Board will not be meeting on Tuesday night. We will see you next on Tuesday, February 27th at the Court House for our Regular Meeting.
This is a big music weekend in Ossining, starting with an Open Mic night at First Village Coffee tonight at 8PM. I also plan to catch KJ Denhert at WCT AND Sarah Browne at the Elks Lodge, all on Saturday night (after I've warmed up from my afternoon at the Engel Park Beach, that is!) See what else is going on around Town this weekend, starting with Coffee and Conversation with County Executive George Latimer and County Legislator Catherine Borgia on Saturday morning between 10AM and 11AM. They will be at the Joseph G. Caputo Community Center ready to meet you and hear your ideas about how to move Westchester forward, while sharing some exciting new initiatives happening at the County level.
Afterwards, don't forget to drop by the Ossining Farmer's Market to stock up for the long weekend and maybe a cozy day in the house. All of the Down to Earth vendors will be in Market Square on Saturday until 1PM. Want to grab something refreshing afterwards? Our office's new afternoon pick-me-up of choice is an Iced Lavender Choatly from First Village Coffee (Iced Chai with oat milk and lavender syrup-- Luis says it reminds him of a traditional horchata, you won't be sorry!)
On Thursday, February 22nd, IFCA will join with the Ossining Micro Fund and Star of Bethlehem Church to host a Financial Wellness Seminar at Star of Bethlehem Church at 7PM. This is part of IFCA's Credit Smarts Program, and the Executive Director (you may know her as Town Councilwoman Karen D'Attore) suggests thinking of the class as "Weight Watchers for your Wallet"-- learn how to stay away from credit scams, stick to a monthly budget and more.