- Last Updated: 07 May 2019 07 May 2019
The last we spoke, we were preparing for Ossining's 9th Annual Earth Day Celebration at Engel Park, and I'm pleased to share that despite the cool, damp weather, we had a very successful showing and a lot of fun!
Yes, believe it or don't, that sign was made in house just for this event, using driftwood and invasive vines, by our very own Town Parks Department. I can prove it to you!
Is there anything those dudes CAN'T DO???
We had a great day at the waterfront shopping, listening to great live bands, eating, and making new friends. Check out this Ossining resident using one of our electric car charging stations that we installed at last year's Earth Day!
We had some awesome special guests with us at the Town/Village booths this year, including our friend Modou Cham from 511 Rideshare who presented the Town with a certificate acknowledging our partnership as a CleanAirNY community. This means we will help push out information about air quality action days when outside air quality is in the unhealthy range so we can all consider alternative modes of transportation that would lessen the stress on the environment of single occupancy vehicles.
Zeke Mermell from Sam Schwartz Engineering was another special guest at Earth Day this year. You may have seen him at the Town/Village booth discussing the North County Trailway improvements as well as the proposed design concepts for a bike lane along North State Road. We received some great initial feedback from the community, and we are excited to welcome Zeke and his colleague Michael Flynn to a Town Hall meeting in the future to discuss their proposed designs in depth. Here are some of the boards Zeke prepared for Earth Day, take a look for yourself and let us know if you have any comments, questions, or if one of the long-term options proposed looks better to you.
It's not just our Parks Department breathing a sigh of relief this week-- Tuesday was the last day for Town/County tax collection, and the Assessors Office is finished collecting exemption applications for the year and will soon begin work on the 2019 roll. Our Receiver of Taxes Holly Perlowitz will be giving the Town Board a Departmental Report at our Work Session on Tuesday evening, and I'm sure she will have some good news to share on how we fared in this year's collection. You can join us for that at 16 Croton Avenue at 7:30PM.
Last Sunday, I joined my fellow Ossining Democrats at the Victory Brunch at our very own The Briarcliff Manor Restaurant on Studio Hill Road to celebrate Town Clerk Mary Ann Roberts, who the Committee honored with the Steven A. Galef Award for 2019.
Later that day, I joined Assemblywoman Sandy Galef and County Legislator Catherine Borgia for a rally in Briarcliff, where our aim was to compel New York State to change the process by which we assess golf courses.
We held our weekly staff meeting on Tuesday morning, where we welcomed Pete Connolly with his new hat-- it was his first meeting as BOTH Superintendent of Cemeteries and newly appointed Superintendent of Highways. Pete is eminently qualified for this new role, and adjusting quite well-- with a slightly reduced crew and a full project list, he is keeping up with the work and seems to be enjoying his new role. Big thanks to Pete for stepping up to the plate-- I know our residents are appreciative of your efforts, and this is only the beginning!
This week, the Town submitted comments to the New York State Department of Transportation about improvements planned on the North County Trailway/Empire State Trail in the vicinity of North State Road. The Empire State Trail is a major initiative led by Governor Cuomo to create a trail network across New York State from New York City to Plattsburgh, and along the Erie Canal to Buffalo through existing trails (like the North County Trailway in our area) or by building new trails. As you may remember, the Town is currently working with Sam Schwartz Engineering on developing a concept for bicycle lanes along North State Road and exploring ways to connect our business district to the nearby North County Trailway. We were disappointed that the DOT did not include in their original concept a crosswalk across Route 100 to allow bicyclists and walkers to come visit North State Road to shop, grab some lunch, or even hop on the Bee-Line bus. We asked Sam Schwartz to develop a design concept that would make it safer for bicyclists and pedestrians to cross Route 100 to and from North State Road and the North County Trailway. We shared this design with the DOT and are hopeful they will consider this short-term option in their planned improvements this year.
There was also some bittersweet news for us in the Town of Ossining this week-- the Village of Ossining has tapped Town Board member Karen D'Attore to be their new Village Manager! I have worked with Karen on the Town Board since we were first elected in 2016, and for many years before that on a variety of community projects and initiatives. The Village has certainly chosen an exceptional candidate-- I have nothing but the utmost respect for and belief in Karen, she will be a real shot in the arm for Village of Ossining government. Of course, I will miss her calm, considered, insightful and creative presence on the Town Board-- good thing she will still be close by!
Tomorrow is setting up to be a very busy day around Ossining and I have a full dance card, as I'm sure do many of you! But before we get into tomorrow, I want to call your attention to a special event happening tonight, Friday May 3rd at 6PM. Come down to the Ossining High School auditorium for a Unified "Gimme The Mic" concert-- concessions will be sold and donations accepted, with all proceeds going to raise money towards the purchase of a sensory cart for the OHS Special Education Program. This project has been spearheaded by Ossining student Charles Blaha, who is working towards his Eagle Scout project. Please come down and support this incredible effort to improve the quality of education for our students.
Now, on to Saturday! As for me, I will start my day celebrating "I Love My Park" Day, care to join me? Spend your day at the Old Croton Aqueduct State Historic Park. There are 3 volunteer projects that could use some spare hands – lopp vines and invasive plants and bushes, help to restore historic stone walls, or restore plantings along the trail.
The big day has finally arrived-- tomorrow will be Green Ossining's bi-annual Community Tag Sale! While there is rain in the forecast for the early morning, don't be dissuaded! The sky should be clear by 10AM when the bargaining begins. Check here for a list of locations that will be participating in the sale-- you can even click on the interacative map to see what items are available at each spot.
You can also visit the Briarcliff Congregational Church's Annual Rummage Sale between 9AM and 4PM at 30 South State Road.
Searching for a different kind of treasure? Help the Ossining Historic Cemeteries Conservancy will be hosting their first Gravestone Cleaning event of 2019. If you're interested, be sure to wear clothes you won't mind getting a little messy. The only other thing you need to bring is your curiosity-- the OHCC members will show you everything you need to know.
You could also participate in one of two Riverkeeper Sweeps between 7:30AM and 11AM, one of which is on the other side of Dale Cemetery from the Gravestone cleaning. Join volunteers from Riverkeeper, Hudson Valley Arts and Sciences, and Friends of Croton History to clean up the Sing Sing Kill! Meet at the corner of Marble Place and Americo Circle (the back entrance to Dale Cemetery)-- please bear in mind, the Sing Sing Kill site is not suitable for elementary-aged children. Green Ossining will be hosting their own all-ages sweep of the Hudson at our very own Louis Engel Waterfront Park. Whichever event you choose, be sure to wear sturdy boots or shoes, clothes you won't mind getting dirty, waterproof gloves (if you have em!) and a hat, and don't forget a reusable water bottle and some snacks. These are just two of the dozens of Riverkeeper sweeps happening throughout the Hudson Valley on May 4th-- learn more here.
You can also check out The Greenheart (Fred Gillen Jr., James Dean Conklin, Julie Corbalis and Laura Bowman), an eco-justice folk rock group performing at Good Choice Kitchen on Saturday night-- there's a $6 cover charge and the kitchen will be open, so grab a bite and make a night of Going Green right in downtown Ossining.
Feel like taking it easy with the kids on Sunday? The Ossining Public Library has you covered. Bring children ages 12 and under to "Read to Lexie," who is a certified therapy dog visiting the OPL's Children's Room at 2:30PM. A great way to practice reading with no pressure, and you get to hang out with a dog you don't have to walk? Sign me up!
Then on Monday, May 6th at 7:30PM, join our friend (and Town of Ossining Historian) Scott Craven at the Jug Tavern for their Annual Meting, where he will be giving a talk about our local history that you do not want to miss! Be sure to RSVP for this one too-- admission is free but seating is limited.
Need a night out? You're not alone! The Briarcliff Manor Chamber of Commerce will host their first annual Sip and Shop event on Thursday, May 9th from 5-7PM (rain date of Saturday, May 11th from 2PM to 4PM). Learn more about this fun shopping/ happy hour hybrid here.
I hope I see you all out and about this weekend-- the weather may make things a little tricky, so be sure to check for cancellations before you hit the road. Worst case, Sunday is a rainout-- stay home with a book and enjoy the solace for a few hours. There are two book recommendations coming out of my office this week-- Victoria's is "The Library Book", a NYT best seller about a case of arson at a Los Angeles Public Library which delves into the history of the city as well as libraries and what makes them so intrinsically valuable to our communities. Maddi recommends the surprisingly readable "Doing Justice: A Prosecutor's Thoughts on Crime, Punishment and the Rule of Law" written by former US Attorney Preet Bharara-- it's full of anecdotes from Bharara's career that are sure to pique your interest and get you thinking about the very real people who keep our justice system working for us every day-- they're more like us than you'd think. These two amazing women are powering my office and finding time for some good reads, so take their suggestions very seriously- I do!