Boy, what a dreary day. I don't know about you, but I have spent an awful lot of time this week longing for summer-- less than 2 months from today, we will be down at Louis Engel Park enjoying the Independence Day Fireworks Show (on Monday, July 3rd!) We have been working with the Ossining Arts Project to choose the line-up for our Summer Concert Series this year, which kicks off at the Fireworks show each year, and we hope to release that list next week. I can promise, you will not be disappointed!
This week started with a meeting in New Paltz, where the Department of State discussed with us the plan passed by the State Legislature and signed by the Governor as part of the State Budget bill to have counties take the lead on coordinating more sharing of services between municipalities. The good news is there is some matching money if we are able to figure out how to proceed, and we do have some plans brewing locally. The bad news is that the State has not made it easier for municipalities to benefit from State services for sharing. As you probably know, the Town of Ossining is truly ahead of the curve in this regard and has, for many years, made an earnest effort to share services and find efficiencies wherever possible, as have many of our neighboring municipalities. Whether or not the State mandates that we do so, we will continue to seek out opportunities for savings whenever it is sensible and feasible, and I will be sure to fill you in when I hear more information about how this program will unfold.
And Tuesday? Well, Tuesday was the big day-- our first electric car arrived to be part of the Town of Ossining fleet! As you may recall, we have been working with Ron Kamen and Sustainable Westchester for the past several months to put together some grant funding and incentives to take this step, and after a lot of paperwork, phone calls and trips to the DMV, she has finally arrived.
We were even brave enough to take her out for a spin, and I can sincerely say I was impressed-- the car is roomy (we even had a few of our Highway and Parks guys pop into the driver's seat, and they fit comfortably), the ride is smooth, and the car is virtually silent, so much so that it beeps when reversing. Although we were sad to have to give it back, we can always visit it at the Armory-- our Building Inspector, John Hamilton, will be charging it there so he can get around Town with no worries. A full charge lasts around 105 miles, although that distance may decrease based on what features the driver uses, how fast they are moving, etc. All in all, we are thrilled with this endeavor, and it doesn't hurt that we got such a bargain; our out-of-pocket expense for the car will be $17,000 after the State incentive, and while we are leasing, we will pay nothing in Year 1. Can you sense our excitement?
Does an electric car sound like something that may be great for your family? Check out the Electric Car Show at Teatown on May 21st. Some of the vehicles on site will be the Chevy Volt, the Tesla Model S, the plug-in Prius, and (our new favorite) the Nissan Leaf! Check out the details here.
Some more exciting news this week: Ossining Recreation ran several days of programs in the newly unveiled Cedar Lane Arts Center! Between Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday classes, we hosted 26 little participants from Kindergarten age through 8th graders under the supervision of Cathy Carabee-Faiella, and Keith Gordon ran his Adult Beginners class on Monday for 6 people. We look forward to more community members checking out this great new space and taking advantage of Keith and Cathy's extensive backgrounds in the ceramic arts. Check out the pdf Spring/Summer Recreation Brochure (2.92 MB) for more information!
I stopped by the Arts Center on Wednesday to meet with the winner of the Ossining Arts Council's signage contest for the site, and with a little help from our Parks crew, Ossining Arts Council's Mark Sarazen, and our ceramics studio supervisor Keith Gordon, we think we are going to be able to pull off a really creative installation that incorporates multiple facets of the park. Have you seen the winning entry? This is the design that was chosen by the OAC to represent CLAC, imagined by Ossining resident and graphic designer Brian Sheridan:
Not only is it beautiful and meaningful, but it also lends itself to all different kinds of branding for the Arts Center. We can't wait to show you more!
This is shaping up to be a big weekend in Ossining Parks, and it looks like the rain will hold off until around 7PM, leaving plenty of time to visit the many exciting events we have planned. Tomorrow, Saturday, May 6th, kicks off 2017 Stash the Trash. Check out the flyer below, along with the pdf "How To" sheet (138 KB) to help you have the most productive and safe day, whenever and wherever you Stash the Trash.
You can also celebrate "I Love My Park Day" on the Croton Aqueduct by ridding the trail of invasive plants-- be prepared to get a little dirty, and be sure to dress appropriately for the weather and for the activity (long sleeves/ pants would probably be wise, as we are hearing this will be one of the worst tick seasons.)
If you need a break from the trails, why not stop by one of Green Ossining's many tag sale locations? Their semi-annual Townwide tag sale is on for tomorrow (check Green Ossining's website tomorrow morning after 7AM to make sure it will not be moved to Sunday due to rain), and you can check out the map of locations here. You could also swing by the "Spring Fling" at The Lantern Gift Shop at St. Paul's for some last-minute Mother's Day gifts for the special ladies in your life.
Finish off your great Ossining weekend with a Community Concert at Trinity Episcopal Church, with all donations benefitting IFCA.
Throughout the week and into next weekend, the events continue-- please check out the information below about what we have in store this week. May is off to a great start here in Ossining.
I also hope you will join me NEXT Friday evening (May 12th) at Teatown for the annual PlantFest "First Picks" event-- $20 will get you first dibs on the beautiful selection of flowering plants, herbs, vegetables, and advice about which plants would work best in your garden, along with small bites from Rivermarket Bar and Kitchen, local craft beer and wine. PlantFest continues on Saturday, when admission is free. Check out Teatown's event page for more information on both days of PlantFest 2017, along with the other fantastic programming Teatown offers almost every weekend!