- Last Updated: 14 November 2018 14 November 2018
The days are getting shorter-- have you noticed? I know I have! When the sun sets so early, we feel a little more urgency in the office, so you've gotta know this was a productive week!
We started off our week with a very exciting occasion-- I was joined by many of my elected colleagues, as well as many community leaders, at the Byington Scholarship Fundraiser on Monday night. Each year, the Ossining Rotary Club holds this event to raise money to later give out to deserving Ossining High School Seniors for college scholarships. They ask local organizations to submit an "Employee of the Year" for this annual event. For 2018, we could think of no Town employee more worthy than my office's own Victoria Cafarelli. Victoria, who has been working for the Town since 2015, has brought such a powerhouse of skills to our team. She has been responsible for our grant writing and many of our environmental initiatives, and she has been successful in not only securing money for the Town to continue to "get greener," but has helped us to consider what we are already doing in new ways. Victoria was also appointed as the Town/Village Interim Clerk this past summer to fill in for Mary Ann Roberts and has now run two elections for the Town. She is an incredible young woman doing a fantastic job for our community, and we had a great time celebrating her this week! Special thanks to Bethany Arts Community for hosting this event.
After we all returned from the Tuesday holiday, our trucks got rolling on Hawkes Avenue for our long-awaited paving project. This two-part process began on Wednesday, when the Highway Department (supplemented by our Parks and Cemetery crews) got going on step one, the "reclamation," which is a method in which existing pavement is ground up, packed down, and then a special compound is added to help harden and strengthen the new "recycled" surface. This is a somewhat common practice that should allow us to spend less money and also avoid a great deal of wasted material, it's a win-win! Here are some pictures of the reclamation process in action:
This process took two days and was completed yesterday. We even had some reclaimed pavement left over, which has been moved from the site and will be used in future paving projects.
The Town's annual bidder for paving came in this morning to begin finishing off the road with a top coat. Due to the rain we are expecting this evening, they will likely also come in tomorrow to finish off the road and Hawkes Avenue will be all set.
Paving Hawkes Avenue was truly an "all hands on deck" job -- thank you to our Highway Superintendent, Michael G. O'Connor, the Highway crew, and the staff of the Parks Department and Dale Cemetery for pitching in this week to get the job done!
We received word this week that the Town has been awarded a $50,000 Urban Forestry Grant to complete a tree inventory along all Town roadways. You may remember that we received a smaller grant from the same program last year and conducted a tree inventory along selected roadways and parks that were included in the Millwood-Ossining Go! Plan. We anticipated this information would help inform any roadway improvements associated with making Ossining more bike and pedestrian friendly. We were so pleased with the information we gathered through this initial inventory, we decided to go ahead and seek funding for phase 2 and inventory all roads in the Town. We hope to begin work in the coming months and have a report in the spring about the number of street trees in the Town, the safety of these trees, as well as quantify the numerous environmental benefits these trees provide to the community and our earth.
We also took this afternoon to start our first budget meetings with the Town Board. Upon reviewing the Recommended Budget (what I submit as the Supervisor's Budget in late October), it was encouraging to note that we needed to make very few changes going into this round-- most of the requests that our Department Heads submitted were fairly close to where they should be, and I want to thank our staff for being so conscientious and thoughtful with our taxpayer's dollar (as usual).
This is a long weekend for many (the Town offices will be closed on Monday in observance of Veterans Day), so I hope to see you around Town for some of the many events scheduled. I think I am most excited for the Ossining High School Performance of Peter and the Starcatcher-- if you haven't caught it yet, there are still performances tonight and tomorrow night at 7PM. Ossining High School always puts on amazing performances throughout the year -- be sure to catch this year's Fall Drama.
Also tonight, Spotlight Theater is in Town with their Westchester premiere of "Mamma Mia."
Tomorrow, Saturday November 10th, you do not want to miss the Ossining Farmers Market. This week we say goodbye to one of the Ossining Market's longest vendors, Pete Taliaferro of Taliaferro Farms. For nearly 20 years, Pete, his wife, Robin, and their family -- children Peter, Ian, and Delaney and grandchildren Mason and Mack -- have been the rock of the Ossining Market, always there selling beautiful organic produce. Over the past two decades, I have had the opportunity to get to know Pete, Robin, and their family personally, and I know that I am one of many that will miss them terribly. However, after nearly 50 years of farming, Pete has certainly earned his well-deserved retirement. Please join Down to Earth Markets, Mayor Victory Gearity, and myself tomorrow at 11AM, as we say farewell to this pillar of the Ossining Farmers Market.
Not going to make it to the Market? There are two fun events happening at the Sing Sing Kill Brewery this weekend, starting with Barre & Brunch tomorrow (Saturday) at 12PM. Pure Barre Mt. Kisco is holding a barre class (a full-body workout using the bar for balance) at the brewery, and you can sample a flight of beers to make up the calories after your workout. Grab your tickets here.
Then on Sunday, come to the Brewery for brunch between 1PM and 3PM. Dam Good English Muffins will be there making breakfast sandwiches using locally sourced ingredients, and you can also grab a bloody mary or some SSKB to make it a well-balanced meal. Learn more about both events here.
Also tomorrow morning, Saturday, November 10th, Green Ossining hosts its Repair Cafe at the Ossining Community Center. Bring all of your items that may be a little broken or tired, and breathe new life into them and keep them out of the garbage. Event sponsor Melrose Lumber will bring lamp parts that can be purchased at cost at the Repair Cafe.
There is still time to get your tickets for the Ossining Arts Council's 2nd Annual "Souper Supper" fundraiser at the Steamer Firehouse Gallery at 117 Main Street. Come enjoy some delicious, hearty soups with friends and neighbors and take a unique handcrafted bowl home with you. Only a limited number of bowls will be available, so be sure to get your tickets ahead of time at www.ossiningartscouncil.org.
On Thursday, November 15th, the Ossining Documentary and Discussion Series will host a screening of “Plastic Paradise,” a documentary about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Did you know that the largest plastic accumulation zone on earth, or the GPGP, covers an area twice the size of Texas in the ocean between Hawaii and California? How did this happen? What can we do to fix it? Learn more next Thursday in the Budarz Theater beginning at 6:30PM. The film will be followed by a panel discussion and this event is free to the public. Can't make it? Find out more about this troublesome phenomenon here.
Opening that very evening is “Of Aliens and Avocados,” a series of one-act readings at the Westchester Collaborative Theater. Beginning the evening of Thursday the 15th and lasting through the afternoon Sunday the 18th, come to see seven original pieces written by local folks and performed right here in Ossining—visit www.wctheater.org to get your tickets.
I am so excited to be celebrating Bethany with their first fundraiser! They have brought such a wealth of creative offerings to Ossining and been so supportive of all that we already have in play. Please join me and a whole bunch of other people who recognize how much the arts contribute to our quality of life.
On the evening of Friday, November 16th, check out Deni Bonet live at the Steamer Fire House at 117 Main Street. Deni is not only a singer-songwriter but an electric violinist, and she has toured and recorded with artists like Cyndi Lauper, REM and Sarah McLachlan. Doors open at 7:15PM for an 8PM show—tickets are $20 each ($15 if you’re an OAC member) and are available at www.ossiningartscouncil.org.
Please take some time this weekend to thank all in your life, and in our community, who have served our great nation in the US military. With the hustle and bustle of modern life, it is easy to take our freedoms for granted without pausing to acknowledge the willing sacrifice made by so many men and women, and the hardship borne by their families as a result. A little less "me" and a little more "we" would go a long way in today's society, so I hope you will join me and spend some time contemplating the concept of service as it applies to all of us. Looking for a way you can help? The Briarcliff Manor Fire Department will be hosting a Blood Drive this Monday, November 12th between 3PM and 9PM at 1111 Pleasantville Road-- what a fantastic way to pay it forward!