The Town is getting ready to leave for a three day weekend in honor of President's Day, and before I tell you about our week, I want to share some interesting events related to presidents and our local history.
I would also encourage you to check out the Gallery outside the Budarz Theater at the Ossining Public Library for a peek at "Me and My Presidents," a collection of presidential memorabilia compiled by local history buff William Reynolds. Although the installation runs through February 28th, the Library will host an Opening Reception on Sunday, February 19th between 2 and 4PM, light refreshments will be served.
This past Monday, my office spoke with Superintendent of Recreation Chris Soi and our Parks Foreman Mario Velardo to continue planning the grand re-opening of the Shine House in Cedar Lane Park. Just in case you haven't been following along, this is a project that has been going on for many years. Longtime residents may remember when the Town of Ossining, under Supervisor John Chervokas, purchased the land that is now Cedar Lane Park from the 52 Association, an initiative that more than doubled our acreage of parkland while also becoming one of the area's most beloved open spaces. When the Town purchased the property, the area that is now the Organic Community Garden was instead an in-ground swimming pool, and the Shine House served as the pool house. The pool was dealt a fatal blow in Hurricane Floyd and was demolished, but the pool house remained and, as it was not being regularly used, it began to deteriorate. Seeing a unique opportunity to add to our recreational facilities, previous Town Boards began to rehab the Shine House, with the majority of the labor being done with by our talented Parks staff. (I stopped by earlier today to check on the progress and found Mario and Juan hard at work, taking care of last minute touches. As you can see, the finishes are looking very nice. They stopped for a few minutes to show us around and pose for this quick photo.)
With that brief look back into history as perspective, I am sure you can appreciate why we are so very proud to announce the grand re-opening celebration, which is scheduled for Friday, April 21st. Our hope is to offer tours of the building, while also offering a program for children and adults to introduce them to our new pottery studio and flex space, and possibly also kicking off Mind, Body, Spirit-Ossining for the 2017 Spring/Summer season (speaking of which, have you filled out our survey yet?) We will also, very shortly, be calling for entries for a contest in which the winner will be producing a one-of-a-kind art piece to be mounted in the Shine House entry and welcome everyone to the building. So, consider this your invitation! We will have more details in the coming weeks, and we can't wait to see you at the Shine House!
On Tuesday, the Town Board had a short morning meeting to pay our bills and conduct some pressing business, and then most of us headed down to the Community Center to enjoy Valentine's Day Breakfast with our Seniors. I want to offer special thanks to the ossining School District and the National Honor Society students as well as all the student performers who put together an exceptional morning for our Seniors, as well as to our Town Senior Nutrition and Village Recreation staff who, as always, put together a fine morning out for our senior sweethearts.
That wasn't the end of the Valentine's Day celebration, though. Accompanied by Director of the Ossining Girl Scouts Rosie Foster, and the hundreds of valentines the Ossining Girl Scouts made, I participated in Veteran Patient Recognition Week at the Montrose VA facility, and delivered valentines and a little cheer. Special thanks to the Vietnam and World War II Vets who posed for pictures with us, as well as Nursing Administrator Chi Chi and Yvette Rodriguez from the VA for working with my office to set up this wonderful afternoon.
I also want to be sure to share how much of the Town and Village staff has been fueled by delicious food from Good Choice Kitchen this past week, most recently, this afternoon, where we were in very good company! Our office tends to lean towards veggie-based meals on a regular basis, but the variety of soups, salads, and meals available at Good Choice Kitchen will satisfy any palate. We are so proud to have this fantastic new restaurant in our community; if you haven't visited yet, I hope you will pop into their storefront at 147 Main Street and say hello!
As we move into a new week here in Ossining, I hope to see you at some of these upcoming events, including Thursday, February 23rd's Ossining Documentary and Discussion Series presentation of "What's Race Got to Do With It?", a film screening accompanied by a panel discussion, which will include students in Ossining High School's SUNY Racism, Sexism and Classism class. You can see the trailer for the documentary here.
Next Monday and Tuesday, Councilwoman Feldman, Town Budget Director Maddi Zachacz, and I, along with representation from our Tax Office and Town Court, will be attending the Association of Towns annual meeting in New York. Last year was the first time around for Councilwoman Feldman and I, and we learned a lot from the experience. I look forward to making even more contacts this year-- getting to know folks in other Towns who have encountered challenges similar to ours, and made a way around them, is well worth the price of admission! I will also be voting on behalf of the Town on Wednesday morning; the Association of Towns is one of our most powerful lobbying tools at the State level, and I am glad to serve as the voice of our community to make sure our needs are considered by the State of New York.
The Town Board will not be meeting this coming week, so the next time we communicate with you will be Friday, February 24th in my next Supervisor's Update (as a final reminder- the Town and Village offices will be closed on Monday, February 20th). Until then, enjoy the warming weather and the long weekend!