- Last Updated: 28 March 2019 28 March 2019
We started Spring this week, although you may not know it by stepping outside today! It's pretty cold and blustery out there (and it may flurry tonight?), but we know warmer days are just around the corner.
Last Friday, I attended the NY Metro InfraGard Active Shooter Discussion Panel. The discussion was thought provoking and, unfortunately, timely. Shout out to Virginia Benedict for bringing many of us together for this important conversation, and for many of our first responders and community leaders for attending.
Then on Saturday, I had the opportunity to join the Ossining Girl Scouts as they packed donated books to be shared with some of Ossining's pre-k and daycare programs for low-income families. As part of their partnership with United Way, the Ossining Girl Scouts aimed to collect 1,000 books. They outdid themselves and surpassed their goal by collecting well over 2,500 books for children in need. Way to go Ossining Girl Scouts!
I started off this week meeting with Brett Swanson from Lime and Modou Cham from 511 New York Rideshare on Monday to discuss last fall's Lime dockless bike share pop-up, as well as to explore the idea of an expanded program here in Ossining. We will be discussing Lime and future opportunities for dockless bike shares in Ossining at the Town Board's April 2nd Work Session, so stay tuned for more information on where we're rolling next. Brett also brought one of Lime's electric scooters for Village Manager Debbie McDonnell and me to "test drive."
Check me out, burning some (eco-friendly) rubber the in parking lot at 16 Croton!
I look forward to learning more about dockless bike shares and other new transportation technologies as they come on board in other cities, and maybe one day here in Ossining too.
This was a big week for the Ossining Police Department, as they celebrated three significant promotions. Lieutenant Jeffrey Giorgio was promoted to Captain and became the department’s executive officer.
Patrol Sergeant Aaron Zimmerman was promoted to Lieutenant, and will now replace Captain Giorgio as head of the OPD Detective Division.
Finally, Officer Joseph Spinelli was promoted to Sergeant, and will transition from Street Crime to the Patrol Division.
Congratulations to all the recently promoted members of OPD, and thanks to their families for sharing them with us-- Ossining has a lot to be proud of, and our men and women in blue are a large part of that pride.
Also, (and in more exciting news of the two-wheeled variety), with the first day of spring came new bicycles. The OPD's Mountain Bike unit (which includes Officers Perillo and Hirshowitz, below) is already on the road and will be patrolling our parks and neighborhoods-- give them a wave if you see them out and about.
Our Parks crew is still hard at work over at the Ryder Park Caretaker's Cottage. While we are waiting for the new floor, cabinets and appliances to be delivered, the next task was to replace several of the windows on the first floor. Here's why.
Once the old window and sills were removed...
The new one slid right into place. Tada!
There was also the issue of the kitchen window. Since the house is a little older (did we mention it was built in 1900?), many of the modern conveniences either don't exist or have been shoehorned in where they may not have been perfectly appropriate. In order to accommodate the new arrangement, one of the windows needed to be made smaller in order to fit the sink where we needed it. Here's the before:
And the during (forgive the enthusiasm, they are getting cabin fever-- don't forget these are typically outdoors guys)...
... and then, the after. A half-size window for a tiny house.
They have also been working to get the parking lot cleaned up near the Pavilion side of the park. Since our Parks Department really doesn't have a "yard", the Ryder lot sort of becomes a storage area during the winter months. But before you know it, that Pavilion will be rented, and, well, nobody wants to look at this during their birthday party!
They've made a lot of progress- once those temperatures start to climb, we will have a clean slate for enjoying summer camp, parking for picnics and more. Thank you, guys!
On Thursday, I had so much fun visiting Roosevelt School to participate in Reading Week and read to fifth grade students in Ms. Rosa's class. I had such a good time reading a book written by a 13 year old (at the time), Omari Jeremiah. He had come to visit Ossining students some years back, and had written and gotten published two books at the time, Paperboy and Paperboy II. I left the book for the class to finish reading on their own time. There were a great, participatory audience with lots of thoughtful predictions, listening, and discussion skills. Thank you Ossining Schools for doing such a great job with our children!
Also this week, I attended this month's Ossining Basics stakeholder meeting. The new strategy for this important program is to saturate businesses and offices throughout Ossining with informational materials about the Ossining Basics. It is essential that the five principles become as "basic" as possible to parents, grandparents, and other caregivers to ensure that all of Ossining's children start school with the literacy skills necessary to succeed. You can learn more at the Ossining Basics website about this collective impact initiative.
At Tuesday's meeting, the Town Board will be accepting (to say "with regret" doesn't come close to covering it!) the retirement of Matteo Velardo, our Highway Department Foreman. Matteo has been working for the Town of Ossining since 1994, and he knows the Unincorporated Area of Ossining better than just about anyone. His decision to retire is a blow to our team, for sure, but he has more than earned some time to kick back and watch some HGTV in peace, knowing that he is leaving us in the capable hands of Kevin Moore, who will take the reins on Thursday. Matteo and his family will be joining us Tuesday evening to give him a proper send-off before his last day on Wednesday. If you plan on joining us, or if you see Matteo out on the road the next few days, be sure to wish him "Buona Fortuna" and a happy, restful retirement.
Harry Potter fans (and, come on, isn't that EVERYBODY?)-- tonight's Friday Night Flix at the Ossining Public Library is for you! Tonight, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will be playing at the Budarz Theater starting at 7:00PM. Doors open at 6:45PM, popcorn and drinks will be served.
Don't miss the second annual ENU Youth Expo, tomorrow, March 23rd from 9:30AM to 4:00PM at Ossining High School. It is sure to be a fun and inspirational event -- see below for more information:
You still have another night to catch "The Outsiders," Theater O's middle school winter production. The play, by Christopher Sergel and based on the novel by S.E. Hinton, is a powerful drama about friendship, class identity, and young people who are not yet hopeless about latent decency in the midst of struggle. A performance will be held tomorrow night, March 23rd at 7PM, at the Bethany Arts Community. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased through Theater O's website.
Also tomorrow night (Saturday, March 23rd) at 7:30PM, Good Choice Kitchen welcomes local musicians Fred Gillen Jr. and Sarah Browne for an evening of live music. Both Fred and Sarah will perform solo, then combine their prolific singer/songwriter talents as a duet, joining their poetic folk styles for what is sure to be an excellent performance.
On Monday, March 25th, Village Historian Dana White will present “The History of Croton Avenue” at the Elks Lodge, which also happens to be on Croton Avenue. Doors open at 6:30PM for this fundraiser to benefit Greater Ossining Television, our local access cable station who films Town and Village events-- $15 per person includes one glass of house wine, and there will be a cash bar and light refreshments available.
Then on Thursday, March 28th at 7PM, author, actor, activist, and radio host, Malachy McCourt (brother of the late and legendary author, Frank McCourt), will be visiting the Ossining Public Library's Budarz Theater to discuss his newest book, Death Need Not Be Fatal, and share his musings on life with his trademark wit. Copies of the book will be available for purchase courtesy of the Village Bookstore in Pleasantville.
You will not want to miss Ossining High School's Spring Musical, this year's selection is Chicago! Performances are next Thursday, March 28th, Friday, March 29th, and Saturday, March 30th at 7:00pm.
April 15th is creeping up on us. If you need some help preparing your 2018 taxes, check out this program at the Ossining Public Library. You could also call IFCA at (914) 941-5252 to see if you qualify for their free VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program.
Chef Laurie Gershgorn of Good Choice Kitchen recently announced their line up of early spring cooking classes. With topics ranging from boosting your immunity to detoxes, learn about how food can be a tool for healing and improve your overall wellness. You will get a great meal and gain the cooking skills you need to apply what you have learned in your everyday cooking. For more information and a schedule of upcoming classes, visit Good Choice Kitchen's website.
Did you know that Cedar Lane Park used to be known as the Rock Hill Estate? The property was once owned by the Kress family, who created over 260 Five and Dime stores across the country beginning in the late 1890s. The Kress family members also became prominent art collectors, and their collection, along with John Paul Getty's, was a large part of the art donated to create the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. Learn more about the Kress family and their impact on local and national history on Sunday, April 7th at 2PM at the Vescio Community Center, Briarcliff Public Library for "The Story of the Kress Family" led by Steve Worthy.
Cedar Lane Park is still home to some excellent art work -- check out some of the pieces made at the Cedar Lane Arts Center during this winter's art classes. Thank you to instructor Cathy Carabee Faiella for sharing these works of art with us! If you would like to learn more about the Cedar Lane Arts Center's offerings, check out the recreation catalog.
Finally, I would like to share a message from the Village of Ossining Water Department, as April 1st is right around the corner:
"The Village of Ossining Water Department will start their semiannual hydrant-flushing program on Monday evening, April 1, 2019. Flushing of hydrants will be performed between 9:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m. in order to minimize disruptions to our residents. We will initially flush hydrants in the Low Service District, which is the area west of Route 9. Once work in the Low Service District has been completed, we will begin working on the east side of Route 9 in the Lakeville and Torbank Service Districts. The entire hydrant-flushing program will take approximately five weeks to complete. As the flushing of hydrants takes place closer to your home, you may notice some discoloration in your water first thing in the morning. Do not be alarmed. Just run your water for a short period of time and it should clear up. If the discoloration persists, please notify the Water Department at 941-6111. The Water Department regrets any temporary inconvenience you may experience; however, this operation is necessary for us to ensure the continued cleanliness of the water distribution system. We will do everything possible to minimize any problems."
I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend! The weather tomorrow (Saturday) is supposed to be drizzly, so if you have any indoor chores, get em' out of the way (ahem-- Spring cleaning to get ready for the Green Ossining Tag Sale?) but Sunday is supposed to be glorious!
If you get outside to enjoy the (hopefully) warmer weather on Sunday, try to flex your creative muscles with photography and consider submitting your photo of the beautiful outdoors here in the Hudson Valley to Mariandale's "The Hudson Valley through a Lens" call for artists. Entries must be received at Mariandale by May 1st, must be a minimum of 8 x 10 inches, and must be relevant to the Hudson Valley nature theme. For more information and to submit your photograph, visit Mariandale's website. Good luck!