It's that time of year again! Ossining and Briarcliff students head back to school Tuesday, September 5th for what will surely be a great school year. As always, be sure to stop for school buses and be mindful of our students getting to school safe and sound. Please slow down and do not forget to stop for school buses.
Tomorrow, Saturday, September 2nd, the Ossining School District is kicking off the school year with an event at Park School, in partnership with IFCA and the Star of Bethlehem Baptist Church.
Speaking of ways to ensure our students get to school safely, the Town has been working very closely with our neighbors in the Village of Ossining and Town of New Castle to make biking and walking to work, school, and play much safer around Ossining. Today, Councilwoman Feldman and Victoria from my office attended a meeting of the newly named Millwood-Ossining Go! (aka MOGO) task force, which is looking to develop increased bikeability and walkability between our community's commercial corridors, neighborhoods, open spaces, and trails, such as the Old Croton Aqueduct and North County Trailway. We are happy to report that this group has made great headway with identifying various potential routes that link up all the best Ossining, Millwood, and the surrounding areas have to offer. However, we need your help! The MOGO task force is scheduling a few public meetings for October and is developing some exciting web content for public input. Stay tuned for more details very soon!
Back to school also means it is time for the Ossining MATTERS Education Foundation's annual 5K/2 miles run/walk, next Saturday, September 9th. This is a great opportunity to support an organization that does so much for Ossining's students and schools. The deadline to pre-register is this Thursday, September 7th. To register, visit the Ossining MATTERS website.
But summer is not quite over yet! Tonight is the last of our summer concert series, with the Old Mill Singers performing at 7PM. They are set to perform some great tunes from their "Vinyl Revival" Showcase. The weather is beautiful, some come down to the waterfront and enjoy a great local group on the last Friday of summer.
The good news is that while the official concert series ends next Friday, we are excited to hear of two upcoming fundraisers which will utilize the stage at Engel Park as well, plus we are hoping to announce, soon, the rain date for Marc Berger & Ride. On Saturday night, September 9th, Jigsaw will play a benefit concert in memory of Phil Ishmael, the beloved Ossining coach who passed away last year. And we just got word that an Ossining High School student organization, Junior State of America (JSA) will host a fundraiser concert with student performances on Saturday, September 16th from 6-8:30PM.
As another "back to school" reminder, we want to be sure that everyone is aware that work at the intersection of Route 9A and Route 134/ Croton Dam Road is scheduled to begin on Monday, September 11th around 9AM-- the State will be installing a new culvert, and our Highway Department will then swoop in to install a stormwater pipe as well. This work will necessitate the closure of some portions of Croton Dam Road, so keep an eye out for detour signs. We have heard recently from the State that this work may take as long as two weeks to complete, so please be patient and leave yourself extra time in your commute to account for possible delays.
Today was a bittersweet day at 16 Croton Avenue. While the Village officially welcomed their newly appointed Manager Deborah McDonnell for her first day today, we also said goodbye to an employee who has been with the Town for nearly three decades. Mary See, who you will likely recognize as a friendly face in the Office of the Town Clerk, came to us as a part timer when she retired from the Ossining School District, where she served as Secretary to the Principal at Roosevelt and Brookside Schools. We want to wish Mary a very happy and healthy second retirement, and look forward to hearing about her adventures now that she has some free time on her hands! Here she is with her Clerk's Office buddies Christina, Mary Ann, and Ann Marie, celebrating a job well done.
As we move into the long weekend, I want to remind you that Town and Village offices will be closed on Monday, September 5th in observance of the holiday-- we look forward to seeing you bright and early on Tuesday morning.
I also want to remind you that the Town Board will be meeting at 16 Croton Avenue on Tuesday the 5th for a Special Meeting (where we will re-open the Public Hearing on our Zoning Law) and will attend to some other pressing business before moving into our Work Session, during which we will discuss releasing a new RFP (Request for Proposal) for our sanitation contract. I hope you can join us in person or remotely through our website.
While this weekend will be a little quiet, we have a lot of community events coming up very shortly. On Saturday, September 9th, you can join OHCC between 9AM and Noon at Dale Cemetery, where they will gather to clean gravestones. This is some really satisfying work-- they will teach you everything you need to know about restoring a gravestone to its former glory, all you need is a willingness to learn. Follow the yellow arrows from the Havell Street entrance once you arrive and the OHCC folks will get you up to speed in no time.
Later that day, the Ossining Arts Council will be hosting Joe Duraes and the Skills at the Steamer Firehouse on Main Street-- stop by to check out some live music right here in our backyard.
On Monday, September 11th, I hope you will join us for the annual Ossining and Briarcliff Manor 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony at Louis Engel Park, beginning at 7PM. This is always an incredibly touching event and a fitting reminder of all of the civilians and brave first responders we lost on that fateful day sixteen years ago, as well as all of our first responders who selflessly put their lives on the line for us each day.
Additionally, the Briarcliff Manor Fire Department has been chosen to host the 11th Annual Westchester County Volunteer Fireman’s Association Convention, which will culminate in a Fireman’s Parade on Saturday, September 16th at 1PM. The parade will start on Pleasantville Road and head down to Law Park, where the marchers and onlookers will be met by a live band. We look forward to celebrating this great honor with the Village of Briarcliff Manor.
Also, don't forget that the price for tickets for the Haunted Hayride at Cedar Lane Park will increase after September 15th. I hope you will join us for this annual event highlighting our beautiful park which, this year, is taking place the weekend before Halloween.
It's not too late to volunteer for the Hayride! If you have any spooky skills to offer, please send an email to our resident zombie-tamer Fern Quezada and let her know how you'd like to pitch in-- even if you aren't available the weekend of the event, there are plenty of other ways to get involved.
Speaking of our Parks, have you been over to Gerlach this week? Our Parks guys have added a new layer of clay to the Gerlach ballfield just in time for the next season to begin, and they even installed three timed sprinklers to keep the clay at its most optimal texture. We know our softball players will love playing on their new field!
In some not-so-great news, we found out earlier this week that our Spray Park at Louis Engel Park needs to be repaired, and we had to close it early for the season (usually, it stays open through Labor Day Weekend, so we are just a few days early.) We look forward to seeing you down at the Spray Park next summer, we've had a great season!
Finally, this week has brought sad news from the Gulf Coast of Texas and Louisiana, especially in Houston, as they bear the brunt of Hurricane Harvey's unprecedented devastation. As these areas begin the recovery and rebuild process, there are many ways we can support those that have been impacted by this hurricane -- here are just a few. The Ossining community always steps up to help others, and we will keep you updated on any local efforts to support families rebuild in the coming weeks and months.