- Last Updated: 20 May 2019 20 May 2019
First thing's first-- today is National Pizza Party Day! Each year, this holiday is celebrated on the 3rd Friday in May. Whether you make your own or call in for delivery, don't miss your chance to celebrate tonight-- maybe a pizza crawl?
Second thing's second-- earlier this week, a project that we have been working on for several months was finally completed-- a company called CGI produces a series of short videos for the Town at no cost to us to encourage folks to relocate here. It's an opportunity to show off our best assets, including our facilities, our business, and of course, our people. The videos are embedded in the Town's homepage and debuted today-- make sure to take a look. I suspect you may see some familiar faces...
I was pleased to be part of the chartering of the Greater Ossining Kiwanis Club, one of the first new Kiwanis Club’s to be chartered in this area in 40 years-- this international organization focuses efforts on improving outcomes for children and youth and is a perfect addition to our Volunteer-Spirited Town!
We were lucky to have many of the Kiwanians from the region join us for this special meeting, some from Spring Valley, a past governor of Kiwanis from Staten Island, Port Chester members and more.
I hope this new service organization will help us find even more ways to support our youth throughout our community, and certainly with Susanne Donnelly and Cynthia Smart, Michael Grant and Richard Hall at the helm, I have every confidence we will.
It was so exciting to join Howard Permut, Kevin Carter and Dianne Barron at Teatown Lake Reservation on Wednesday to cut the ribbon on their new Teatown Environmental Science Center.
Per Kevin Carter, “We were surrounded by students, board members, friends, dignitaries and partner organizations to celebrate the transformation of an old garage into a unique regional resource – an environmental science field laboratory in the heart of Teatown’s 1,000 acre preserve. The Teatown Environmental Science Academy (TESA), began in 2013 and will welcome another group of young scientists in this, its 7th summer. Importantly, the students are researching the same ecological challenges that we deal with on a daily basis in the stewardship of our preserve: invasive plants and animals, watershed pollutants, pollinators and other wildlife. This is an invaluable feedback loop that helps inform Teatown’s management decisions. 4 students have won prizes at I Sweep, the International Science Fair, while the Westchester Science and Engineering Fair has awarded 15 TESA students over the last 7 years.”
This newly renovated facility should go a long way to helping this wonderful program expand to allow even more students to pursue research on critical environmental issues. Congratulations to all those involved!
Earlier this year, we applied to the New York State DEC’s "Trees for Tribs" program to receive a "Buffer in a Bag" and this week, it was delivered! So what, exactly, IS a Buffer in a Bag? We received a shipment of tree and shrub seedlings to be planted along the tributary of the Pocantico River in Ryder Park to help strengthen the shoreline and reduce erosion. Here is the spot we picked:
The buffers were first come, first serve, so grant writing extraordinaire Victoria Cafarelli got our application in early and the seedlings were delivered to Ryder Park. We received a mix of wetland rose, elderberry, dogwood, birch, and red oak seedlings, all of which are species native to our area. Sadly, the bank around the pond is full of invasive plants, so before we could lay down the buffer, we needed to remove the plants choking off access to the waterway.
I joined the Parks Department as they got to work planting these delicate seedlings, which hopefully will thrive and become large trees in just a few years!
Special thanks to our resident Master Gardener Donna Sharrett, as well as Mario and Mark in the Town Parks Department for their enthusiasm about this initiative.
Wanna follow our lead? Tomorrow (Saturday the 18th) is Community Planning Day at Teatown. Between 9:30AM and 12:30PM, all are welcome to lend a hand planting native shrubs along the Twin Lakes Trail. No experience or equipment is required-- just wear comfy clothes and shoes, along with some water and snacks if you really plan to work up a sweat! Learn more here. There is also a cool program about Aquatic Invasive Species on Sunday-- we are so on trend right now.
Here’s a quick update on the Old Albany Post Road wall project in Crotonville from our Highway Superintendent Pete Connolly: The repairs consist of drainage improvements, repointing and resetting of the stones of two retaining walls along Old Albany Post Road. One of the walls, the northern wall, is almost complete, and the Town’s contractor will now shift to the southern wall followed by drainage work for both walls to complete the project. The southern wall needs more TLC than the northern wall, so we now expect the project to last a few more weeks, most likely until the end of June or early July, especially if the weather continues to be as uncooperative as it has been these past few days. Highway Superintendent Pete Connolly and Town/Village Engineer Paul Fraioli have been monitoring the progress, and checking in on the job site every day. You should continue to expect some traffic delays during weekdays for the duration of the work. Thank you for your patience as we complete this much needed infrastructure improvement.
We are also excited to join with our friends at Ossining Volunteer Ambulance Corps. and Briarcliff Ambulance to prepare to celebrate National EMS Week (May 19th- May 25th), which has been a special way to thank our first responders since dedicated by President Gerald Ford in 1974. We have exceptional service here in Ossining, and that is no exaggeration-- the Mid Hudson Ambulance District, serviced by OVAC, provides emergency medical service to the entire Village of Ossining and unincorporated Town, as well as portions of the Town of New Castle, and their response times regularly improve upon the national standard. We are able to provide the very best care to our residents at an incredibly competitive price through the District, which will be celebrating its 10th Anniversary next Thursday. OVAC has been a strong presence in our community since 1958-- their crew of paid EMTs and volunteers is always looking to grow! Visit their website to learn about volunteer and training opportunities.
You will be in good company if you do decide to get some training-- Town of Ossining staff will be working with OVAC Chief Nick Franzoso to become Heartsaver certified throughout the coming weeks. Our conscientious staff have requested that we bring this training back (we offered it last in 2014) and Chief Franzoso stepped up to the plate (as he always does!) I, for one, am looking forward to gaining access to this knowledge to keep my family, friends, and neighbors safer. Classes are offered monthly at OVAC-- visit their website to sign up.
We have a very informative Town Board Work Session coming up on Tuesday evening-- we will have a veritable "who's who" of Town Department Heads on the agenda to give departmental updates, as well as some very special guests from Ossining Girl Scouting. Two weeks ago, I met with Parks Foreman Mario Velardo, Parks Superintendent Bill Garrison and this group of Scouts to discuss a service project they about which they are quite passionate: a Gaga Ball Pit in Ryder Park. (Not sure what I'm talking about? It's new to me too-- check it out here.) These young ladies will be coming to the Work Session to share their proposal to the Town Board; if you share their enthusiasm for all things Gaga, you can livestream our meeting from the comfort of your home right here, or come see us in person at 16 Croton Avenue-- we always like visitors!
Do you have a Girl Scout hopeful in your home? There is an info session scheduled for this coming Wednesday, May 22nd at the Ossining Public Library-- come on down and see if entering the awesome world of scouting is a good fit for your family.
I hope to see you out and about in Ossining this weekend with so many great options! Kick your weekend off tonight by enjoying some live music-- for a good community cause! The Mike Risko Band will be performing tonight at the Elks Lodge-- all donations at the door will benefit Ossining Destination Imagination.
Then, on Saturday and Sunday, the Garner Arts Festival is being celebrated on this side of the river too. With the Ferry in full swing, our arts organizations have put together some special stuff at Henry Gourdine Park. Plan an arts-filled weekend starting at our waterfront and see where the day takes you-- check out this awesome map of our local attractions and plot a course through Ossining!
Don’t miss the Ossining Farmers Market this week. On Saturday, Obercreek Farm joins the market with Certified Organic produce, herbs, and flowers. After longtime vendor Taliaferro Farms retired at the end of last season, and D&J Farm left the market after keeping us well fed with produce all winter and yummy dumplings for several seasons, it is exciting to have a new produce vendor in Ossining. Down To Earth Markets has a lot of exciting vendors and programs coming up this season, including local favorite R&G Produce returning next Saturday and another new Certified Organic Vendor, Deep Roots Farm, joining in a few weeks. Sign up for weekly farmers market updates here.
We are looking for groups and individuals interested in taking on a small project as part of Stash the Trash, Ossining’s annual effort to help clean-up and beautify the community, also happening tomorrow. Projects will be supported by the Village of Ossining Parks Department-- learn more about available projects here and organize a group to take part in this community event.
Where are you planning to spend your Saturday night? One option? Check out Mala Waldron at the Westchester Collaborative Theater as part of their "Music in the Air Month." Vocalist and keyboardist Waldron will be joined by Christopher Dean Sullivan on bass, Tani Tabbal on drums and Allen Won on sax and flute. Come down to Water Street for a night of soulful jazz-- $20 gets you in the door (which opens at 7, for a 7:30PM show).
Just up the hill, jazz trio Rio Nova will be playing at Good Choice Kitchen, also beginning at 7:30PM. Check out Ossining resident Nancy Carmichael on vocals; guitarists/mandolinists Martin Aronchick and Richard Brooker will share two sets. Make sure to call (914) 930-1591 in advance to reserve your seats-- there will be a $5 cover charge to see the band, and the kitchen will be OPEN! Enjoy a girls night out or a romantic date night right here on Main Street.
The Ossining Boat and Canoe Club will hold their annual Commissioning Day and Veterans Memorial Ceremony on Sunday, May 19th at 11AM. Head down to the Waterfront and enjoy this important annual event commemorating our soliders lost at sea.
Very important: Please do not forget – next Tuesday, May 21st is our annual school and library vote on the Ossining School and library budgets and school and library board trustees, as well as on the Briarcliff School Budget and their school board trustees. Voting will take place at Ossining High School in the small gym from 7AM to 9PM, and in the Todd Elementary School Cafeteria from 6AM to 9PM. Make sure to vote on Tuesday (or pick up an absentee ballot at any of the schools or Ossining Library if you anticipate being out of Town that day), and let your voice be heard!
Then on Saturday, May 22nd, Ossining resident (and local favorite) KJ Denhert returns to the Westchester Collaborative Theater-- make sure to order your tickets like, now. This show will sell out shortly.
We have a lot of live music in Ossining these days. I can't blame you for getting the itch for some limelight of your own! Check out Open Mic Night at Mike Risko Music. Bring your vocals and your entourage and voila, a star is born!
Be sure to check out Theater O's elementary school production of the classic "A Wrinkle in Time" beginning Thursday, May 30th-- performances on 5/30, 5/31 and 6/1 will take place at the Bethany Arts Community on Somerstown Road at 7PM-- tickets are only $10 each. Purchase your tickets ahead of time here.
Finally, while some among us are getting pumped for the Game of Thrones finale this weekend, here's an alternative if you like your dragons a bit less terrifying. On Friday, May 31st, the Ossining Public Library will be showing "How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World" at 7PM in the Budarz Theater as part of their family-friendly "Friday Night Flix" series. Doors open at 6:45PM-- be sure to get there a little early to collect your free popcorn and beverage, no HBO subscription required.