This has been another whirlwind week in Ossining-- can you believe it's already been 4 days since the Independence Day Fireworks? Although unofficial (The Gazette estimated 6,000, wow!), it seems like we may have had a record number of visitors down to Engel Park for this year's event, and you couldn't ask for better weather!
Our food trucks were cranking out snacks,Tribal Legacy kept the crowd moving with some great reggae tunes (there was a lot of dancing going on, to be sure) and the firework show was exceptional. The party didn't stop with the fireworks, though-- Tribal Legacy stayed on and played for a big crowd until after 10:30PM!
We had a great time, and I want to thank everyone who helped this annual event to go smoothly this year, including Superintendent of Recreation Chris Soi, our Town Parks crew, the Village of Ossining Parks and DPW, and of course, our first responders (the Ossining Police, Ossining Fire Department, and Ossining Volunteer Ambulance Corps) for getting everyone in and out of the park safely, and a special shout out to Maddi Zachacz in my office for all of her behind the scenes work she did (and in front! Check her out making sure the band was as awesome as they promised!)
We also had a sad event last week with a fire in the Town at Nicole Circle. We want to recognize the incredible response by the Ossining Fire Department who was able to contain the fire to just one and a half units-- a fire that could have easily spread to all eight. Thank you to Chiefs Mannichio, Da Cruz and Gallery, and all those men and women who responded, for your heroism and volunteerism-- we are blessed and grateful to have you working for Ossining.
Tonight is the official kick-off of the Summer Concert Series, so I hope you will come down to Engel Park for the show. Two Ossining bands will share the stage tonight-- Sundad will start at 6:30PM, and The Soul Projekt will play at 8PM. Even though today started off rainy and damp, tonight should be nice and dry (but I would recommend bringing a chair down to the concert, as the ground will probably be a little wet!) We plan to have a couple food trucks on site, but you could always bring your own dinner and enjoy a picnic!
If you're not planning to attend the concert but you're still looking for something to do in Ossining tonight, the Ossining PBA will be hosting a showing of the great Disney film "Angels in the Outfield" at the Ossining Community Center starting at 7:30PM. You should bring a blanket or chair along, but snacks and refreshments will be provided.
Although our Parks may be a little soggy today, the gorgeous weather earlier this week allowed our guys to get a ton of work done, specifically in Engel Park. On Wednesday and Thursday, they began pouring the concrete slabs for our new grills and hot ash containers down at the waterfront, and finished up late yesterday. Before long, we will have the new picnic benches and trash cans set and some more plantings added, which will complete the site work at Engel Park for this season.
Next up? The first official order of business will be to seal the basketball court at Ryder Park and finish the games area adjacent to the pavilion. Paving around the Cedar Lane Park pavilion will happen in late July, followed by some extensive work at the Gerlach Park pavilion later in the summer. As always, I want to extend a big thanks to Parks Foreman Mario Velardo and his team for keeping up with the enormous amount of work that our parks require. There is always more to do, but we have made tremendous headway these past few months thanks to some new equipment and a commitment by the Town Board to restore our parks and provide the level of service that our residents deserve. I am also happy to share that Larry Abreau Jr., former Village of Ossining Parks Foreman (approx. 10 days out of retirement!), will be joining the Town Parks team on a part time basis starting next week-- Larry has been a tremendous asset to us these past few years at Ryder Park, and we look forward to seeing him around Town a little more!
This week brought a change at 16 Croton Avenue, as it was our first week working with Holly Perlowitz, our new Receiver of Taxes. Holly's first day was Monday, and she is settling in just fine! Next month, her office, along with the Supervisor's Office and the Assessor's Office, will begin working on school tax bill creation. (Although we would love for you to come visit Holly in her new digs, we also encourage you to pay online through Xpress-pay, which recently began accepting American Express.) I also want to remind everyone that on July 25th, the Town will be holding a Foreclosure Auction at 16 Croton Avenue, and you can find all of the necessary information here. Earlier this week, one of the property owners redeemed their property, which means that the home at 48 Ellis Place has been removed from the auction. This is fantastic news, since the Town would prefer to never have to foreclose on a home-- thanks to the staff in the Town Tax Office for working with this homeowner and getting them to a happy resolution.
I also wanted to share that Community Voices Heard and the Hudson Valley Justice Center have partnered to bring free legal services to Ossining-- on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month, visit Trinity Church on South Highland Avenue between 7 and 9PM for access to attorneys who can give you some guidance on some of the issues below. There are many members of our community who may be in need of these services but are reluctant to contact an attorney because of cost or privacy concerns, so this is a great opportunity for our residents to get what may be much needed help in a safe, accessible way from experienced people who can be trusted.
Aside from the concert tonight and the "Movie in the Gym", there are plenty of great events going on around Town this weekend. Tomorrow, Saturday July 8th, Teatown will host a Summer Saturday event called "Beaver Dams and Lodges" beginning at 10AM, and on Sunday, July 9th, they will host another very special event: "Shinrin-yoku" for adults, starting at 9:30AM, will demonstrate the positive effects of nature on human health with a slow, meditative walk through the woods (this one is adults only.) For more information on both programs and on how to register, click here.
We also have TWO Mind, Body Spirit Ossining events scheduled for this weekend. Tomorrow (Saturday, July 8th), Sue Radparvar will host her new toning class, Waterfront Toning Zumba, at Engel Park at 3PM. On Sunday, July 9th, Club Fit will be hosting Fitness for Seniors at the Cedar Lane Park pavilion beginning at 9AM. Both of these classes are free to attend-- get ready to have a great time while breaking a sweat!
Finally, I would be remiss if I didn't mention a great event coming up on Wednesday, July 12th-- the Ossining Public Library will host "Ben Franklin and the Great American Experiment", a free event celebrating America's birth month. Brian Patrick Mulligan will be performing as Mr. Franklin himself, and will be sharing some "behind the scenes" insights into the birth of our nation, and a bit of humor as well. So if, like me, you are still feeling extra patriotic after that great fireworks show, mark your calendars for this great event in the Budarz Theater on Wednesday night, 7PM.