This snow turned out to be a wonderful surprise: not enough to force a change in plans, but just enough to get everyone to slow down and admire the magnificent landscape here in Ossining! The weekend is expected to be chilly and dry, but there is the potential for significant snowfall on Tuesday. Keep your eyes on the skies as we move into next week, and check back here for any delays, closures or weather related information.
On Monday, I was invited by the Village of Ossining to participate in a Stakeholders Meeting on the topic of housing in our community. This has been an incredibly hot topic in Ossining over the past several years, and I appreciate the Village's inclusionary vision for the Housing Needs Assessment study process. One of the other stakeholders present was Robert Rosenbloom from the Housing Action Council, who will be coming to a Work Session in April to share how their programs can help homeowners in distress. He did, however, share the following information with us for circulation. If you or someone you know is facing the stressful situation of a pending foreclosure, HAC may be able to provide guidance.
At the Town Hall Meeting on Tuesday evening, we re-opened the Public Hearing on Local Law #2 of 2017 (formerly Local Law #1), which proposes zoning changes in several neighborhoods throughout the Unincorporated Area. Our Planning Consultant David Stolman presented a Powerpoint on the changes thus far (you can watch the video here, the Public Hearing begins around the 24:25 mark), and we took comments from members of the audience. Mr. Stolman will attend our March 21st Work Session to discuss where we go next in this process. In the meantime, we will be re-opening this Public Hearing at our meeting this coming Tuesday, March 14th, in case anyone wishes to share their input on the newest iteration of the Local Law, which was updated as of March 6th. The draft law and accompanying documents can be found here. I want to stress to the community that the Board has not made any changes yet and is taking all of your feedback under advisement during this challenging process.
At that same meeting, we had a short presentation from Interim Village Manager (and Village/ Town Engineer) Paul Fraioli, accompanied by Victoria Cafarelli in my office, explaining the work scheduled for Cedar Lane Park over the coming months. Several months ago, the Town was awarded a DASNY grant from the office of Senator David Carlucci to complete what we are calling the "Cedar Lane Park Pond Facilities Restoration" project. With the $85,000 grant, we will be demolishing and replacing the red dock along the road, demolishing the floating dock on the far side of the pond and replacing it with a manicured beach, installing a crushed stone path for walking and jogging around the pond, and adding rain barrels to help irrigate the organic garden. Once we have finalized reports from our engineer, we will be on our way, and the hope is to get the project done for Summer 2017.
We continue to ramp up work at the Shine House, which, as the Board announced at Tuesday night's meeting, will be re-named the Cedar Lane Arts Center. Our Parks crew is moving full steam ahead to prepare for the April 21st grand re-opening, which will be here before we know it, and my office has been at work behind the scenes planning the day's events. We also announced at Tuesday's meeting the specifics of the contest we will be holding to choose the entrance signage for the building. You can find the specific submission requirements here. Even if you don't plan to submit a piece, I do hope you will join us on Friday, April 21st for a tour of the new space, a pottery demo, and an art show hosted by the Ossining Arts Council (and, don't forget, some delicious snacks and a toast to celebrate all of the hard work, and our Parks Foreman's birthday!)
Also, I had an opportunity to hear from Regional Plan Association on the draft of their fourth plan for the metropolitan region which they presented to Hudson Valley stakeholders. There are many interesting and pertinent recommendations, and those participating were able to suggest additional areas to include. I look forward to seeing their final recommendations and a plan for implementation.
This morning, Sustainable Westchester hosted a conversation on Microgrids which was something being considered for both resilience and long term security, as well as potential economic and environmental benefits. Many communities that participated in the first round of NY Prize money did not come away with positive recommendations for how to implement a microgrid locally; we had an opportunity to discuss some of the programs shortfalls to see if there is an opportunity to get back on track and look for other benefits such a plan could afford our municipalities. I will keep you posted as we glean new information from Sustainable Westchester.
Also today, I participated with a group of local community leaders in a meeting the Ossining Public Library initiated to discuss ways to make summer reading a priority in our community for children of all ages. We are looking at places where we tend to get a lot of children and families and considering ways to incentivize and energize reading to make sure our young people do not lose what they learned at school during the summer months. There will be more to hear about in the coming months as we perfect another collective impact effort to drive literacy in Ossining—look and listen for the reintroduction of the Ossining Loves to Read campaign!
There are many events going on in the community this weekend, if you dare to brave the cold! Please do not miss stopping by the Down to Earth indoor farmer's market at the First Presbyterian Church tomorrow to pick up some comfort food makings appropriate to the weather. Of special interest? This recipe they published for Colcannon, three ways-- just in time for St. Patrick's Day!
St. Patrick’s Celebration
What: A gathering for families, neighbors and friends featuring: Bag-pipers, Irish Step Dancers, Children’s activities, Lively DJ music, Dancing, Sing-a-long, and Cash Raffles Adult $42 (Corn beef dinner, Non-alcoholic beverages & one alcoholic drink incl.21 yrs+) Child (3-12 yr) $12 (Pizza, cookies and juice), Children under 3 are free [Immediate Family: 1st child $12; 2nd child $12; 3rd child or more $0]
Register and pay online at http://www.stpatrickcelebration.brownpapertickets.com
Where: St. Augustine’s School Gym, 381 No Highland Ave, Ossining
It's also great weather to check out "Sugaring Sunday", a weekly event at Teatown. Come learn about the interesting history and fascinating process behind maple syrup making. Pre-registration is required; call (914) 762-2912 x110 to register for a 1PM, 2PM or 3PM time slot. (This is also a great warm-up for Teatown's Pancake Brunch on Saturday, March 18th!)
Westchester Collaborative Theater's run of "Lot's Wife" continues this weekend (the 3PM show on Sunday, March 12th features a "talk back" with the playwright, director and cast, and the Thursday, March 16th show at 8PM is a BOGO ticket night), but the WCT has even more in store. On the morning of Saturday, March 18th, they will be offering tours of their new Blackbox Theater space at 23 Water Street. Tours and talks kick off at 10:30AM and 11:30AM. If you haven't visited yet, I hope you will come celebrate the opening of this important new cultural space on our waterfront.
Finally, although it's still a few weeks out, mark your calendars for "The Big Soiree" on Saturday, March 25th at 7:30PM to benefit Ossining Matters and help them reach their "One Million Dollar" milestone. This event will take place at The Briarcliff Manor on Studio Hill Road-- you can buy your tickets on the Ossining Matters website.