- Last Updated: 01 April 2019 01 April 2019
One surefire sign that warmer days are on the way... the dock at Engel Park has been installed! Our Parks crew got it ready to go this afternoon-- despite the drizzly, cold weather, it lifted our spirits to see this photo come in.
Before we get into the fun stuff, here is a bit of info from the Ossining Police Department about some issues out on Route 134 that may affect your evening plans:
"Route 134 is closed between Allapartus Road and Minkel Road due to a downed utility pole w/wires in the roadway. Con Ed on scene. Repairs are underway and are expected to continue into the evening. Some intermittent power outages may be experienced by residents in the immediate area. For your safety and convenience, please observe posted traffic restrictions and use an alternate route."
This was a bittersweet week for the Town of Ossining, as we said "See ya later" to one of the employees who has been with us the longest. Matteo Velardo, who became the Highway Foreman in 2018, has been with the Town since 1994 and is well-known as the backbone of the Town Highway Department. Matteo is a quiet guy, but his work speaks for itself. An expert mason, there are very few problems that Matteo can't solve, and throughout his decades here, he has been asked to solve more than a few. On Tuesday, Michael G. O'Connor organized a luncheon for us to thank Matteo and his family for his service to the Town-- my office was joined by (of course) the entire Highway Department, Parks Department, Cemetery crew, our Engineering team, and even a few residents and retirees.
It was a tough one, folks. There were a lot of tears, and not just from Matteo. We (and our residents) have been incredibly fortunate to benefit from Matteo's skill, talent and work ethic throughout the years, and his loss is going to be felt throughout Ossining. We are fortunate, though, that so many of our current employees have learned a great deal from Matteo and will carry on his legacy, including our new Highway Foreman Kevin Moore. Another obvious one? His son, Mario, who is the Foreman of the Town Parks Department. See the resemblance?
We also got a chance to recognize Matteo at our Board Meeting on Tuesday night, and my colleagues on the Board had some lovely words to share about him as well. It was a great day to celebrate a great man, and we know we will see Matteo around soon!
That very same evening, on the other side of the county, the board of directors of Sustainable Westchester voted to install me as one of theirs. I look forward to getting sworn in at the next meeting, and continuing to work with this great group of folks to make Westchester cleaner and greener for all of our residents.
This week, we asked our Superintendent of Cemeteries (and soon to be Superintendent of Highways) Pete Connolly to give us a pictorial update on what he and his crew have been up to over at Dale Cemetery. If you've been following along, you know we have been working for the past year with an architect to restore the Superintendent's Cottage to its former (and historically important!) glory. As we continue down that path, we have had our employees who were tenants relocate, and the space they were occupying is now to serve as the office for the Ossining Historic Cemeteries Conservancy (OHCC)-- you may remember them from such community activities as the gravestone cleanings at Dale and Sparta cemeteries (one such event is pictured below).
They are working on putting their Board Room together, and it is looking great so far! Using money they raised, they got a conference table and some folding chairs (this area can also be used by Pete when he meets with families to discuss arrangements).
In speaking with some of the members earlier in the month, they are very much looking forward to having a "home base" where they can work on planning events to support the future of our beautiful, and historically significant, cemeteries.
To learn more about OHCC's mission and to get information on upcoming events (including two gravestone cleaning workshops in May), visit their new website here.
I hope everyone is planning to see this year’s Ossining High School Spring Musical, which is Chicago! You still have two more nights to catch a performance -- tonight, Friday, March 29th and Saturday, March 30th, both at 7:00PM. Hope to see you there.
The Village of Ossining Water Department which services the Town is getting ready to start their semi-annual hydrant flushing program on April 1st: Per the water department, “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."
On Wednesday, April 3rd at 7:30PM, visit the Shattemuc Yacht Club for the Ferry Sloops event, “Sing Sing: A History.” Ossining Village Historian Dana White will be walking us through the surprising ways that our famous prison has shaped the Village, and give an update on the Sing Sing Prison Museum project. Come at 6:30PM with a dish to share and enjoy a potluck supper. This event is free, all are welcome.
Ossining is going vegan -- there are a lot of opportunities coming up to learn more about plant-based eating. On Wednesday, April 3rd at 7PM, Dr. Janet Levine will host the Health and Wellness Series at the Ossining Public Library's Budarz Theater, discussing the power of plant-based nutrition. Dr. Levine will speak about how whole foods can help prevent and reverse disease. Dr. Levine will also prepare some yummy plant-based samples for all to try. Registration is required, check out OPL's website for more information. Chef Laurie Gershgorn of Good Choice Kitchen also recently announced her line up of early spring cooking classes. With topics ranging from boosting your immunity to detoxes, learn about how plant-based 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 the family members’ impact on local and national history on Sunday, April 7th at 2PM at the Vescio Community Center, Briarcliff Public Library. Hear "The Story of the Kress Family" led by Steve Worthy. Also, stay tuned, because Steve will be coming to present to the Town Board this Tuesday (April 2nd) at our work session. He has a wonderful offer as well as a great suggestion he would like us to consider, having to do with art, music and Cedar Lane Park, some of his very favorite topics, and ours.
Next Saturday, don't miss The Lantern Gift Shop's annual Bunnies & Stuff sale-- stop by to pick up spring wreaths, handcrafts, Easter cards and more. The Lantern, located at St. Paul's on the Hill Church (40 Ganung Drive) is famous for these seasonal events, and don't forget, they also have a Bake Sale. You can stop in any time between 10AM and 3PM, but I have a feeling that the most delicious goodies will go quick!
Next weekend marks the first of four weekends for Westchester Collaborative Theater's new show, The Legend, which will debut on Thursday, April 4th. Head down to Water Street and check out what has been described as an "urban fairy tale"-- tickets are only $25. Visit WCT's website to learn more.
Ossining is making big moves for the environment this spring. The Ossining Documentary and Discussion series is hosting two events, both with a focus on the Hudson River...
Green Ossining is also partnering with the Greenburgh Nature Center to offer 50% off rain barrels and composters through April 24th! Once you've ordered, you can pick them up on Earth Day at the Ossining waterfront.
Speaking of which, Ossining's 9th Annual Earth Day will take place on Saturday, April 27th. Ours happens to be the biggest in Westchester County and completely volunteer-run (#humblebrag). And this year, Westchester Magazine ranked it as a must-do event for 2019. Check out the link here (also note the shout out to our fireworks at Louis Engel Park in July!) Special thanks to Green Ossining and their fearless leader Suzie Ross for taking on this incredible (and increasingly important) endeavor.
Wanna get in on this green wave a little early? Tomorrow (Saturday, March 30th), join me and people all over the world in observing Earth Hour and #Connect2Earth for 60 minutes. Turn off your lights and electronic devices for an hour and celebrate the beauty that is our environment. Host a candlelit dinner or gaze at the stars, whatever helps you connect with and appreciate our fragile planet and remember why we are working so hard to keep her safe. Learn more about Earth Hour here-- it begins at 8:30PM our time tomorrow night.
Looking for some family-friendly entertainment in town? Check out Friday Night Flix at the Ossining Public Library. On Friday, April 12th at 7PM, bring the gang to the Budarz Theater for "A Dog's Way Home"-- enjoy this heartwarming "tail" and free popcorn and drinks. Doors open at 6:45PM.
If caffeine isn't your ideal way to get hopping, come on down to the Joseph G. Caputo Community Center for the Eggtastic Carnival with two sessions (10AM and 11AM). Come play games, win eggs, and pose for a photo with the Bunny himself (or Herself, you decide!) while you are entertained by Annie and Safari Bob. Be sure to register in advance for this program, as both sessions will fill up! Call 941-3189 to reserve your spot for Saturday, April 13th. This event is best for families with children ages 2 to 9.
Finally, don't forget to sign up for the Green Ossining Tag Sale-- last day to get your home on the map is April 16th! Learn more here.
Have a great week, everyone-- see you around Ossining!