Happy Friday! How was your week?
It was such a pleasure to celebrate Car Free Day this past Wednesday! Several Town and Village of Ossining staff and I walked to work, and it was fun to hear from and see others online taking the car-free/car-lite pledge, in addition to those who signed up in person at last week’s Farmer’s Market.
Many thanks to the folks who made Car Free Day happen this year. Suzie Ross and Green Ossining, our amazing teams of Town and Village staff, Mike & Miriam Risko, and the many businesses who participated in offering incentives for car-free and car-lite travel: Mike Risko Music, Sing Sing Kill Brewery, recenter space, Speak Easy 10562, Family Veterinary Care, Bob’s Army & Navy, The Tasty Table, and Bigfoot Creamery.
Though September 22 has been the official Car Free Day worldwide for many years, any day is a good day to think about what it would mean to use our cars less frequently. New York State observes this week as “Get There Green” week, and there’s still time to participate.
This weekend is an especially good time to ponder car-free travel, as we’ll have representatives from Bewegen Technologies at the Farmer’s Market demonstrating their bike share solution. Please stop by between 10 AM and 1 PM to learn more about it and share your thoughts! After that, walk over to Bigfoot Creamery, which is closing out “Get There Green” week by offering a free scoop of ice cream any day this weekend to car-free visitors who take the pledge.
As a community, we’ve been thinking about roads and connectivity issues for a long time. Millwood-Ossining Go, our partnership with New Castle and Westchester County, was recently in the news as the topic of bike lanes has come up again. You can read more about that in the River Journal Online. These issues are also addressed in a component of our Comprehensive Plan; click here to take the comprehensive plan survey and give us your input (and stay tuned for more on this topic).
One last note on the topic of car-free/car-lite travel - quick plug for the MTA’s Customers Count & COVID Travel Study! Take the survey to give the MTA insight into your travel habits, to assist with planning. The survey closes October 4.
Also happening at the Farmer’s Market tomorrow: Green Ossining & Ossining Pollinator Pathway’s Seed Swap! If you’ve been collecting seeds, please stop by and share between 8:30 AM and 1 PM.
Other fun things to do this weekend: Cedar Lane Arts Center clay instructor Keith Gordon will be hosting an introduction to Horsehair Raku and Obvara Pottery at Bethany Arts Center tomorrow, September 25. You can register at www.bethanyarts.org.
And ENU Builds is hosting Adult Recess this Sunday, September 26 from 12-3 PM at Snowden Avenue Park. De-stress with some fun and games!
Westchester Dance Artists is hosting an all-styles youth dance battle at Market Square this Sunday, September 26 at 4 PM. It’s $20 to enter and a donation of any amount to watch.
Nelson Park is now home to a new nine-hole disc golf course! The course will be open daily from dawn until dusk starting Tuesday, September 28. For those who don’t know, disc golf is a game played like traditional golf, but instead of a ball you use a frisbee! It’s fun for all ages. Instruction is available for new players; register for youth programs (grades 5-8) here and adult programs here.
The new Ossining Youth Bureau has lots of new programming coming up, planned by youth for youth! Next Wednesday, September 29, the bureau will be hosting a coed basketball skills challenge for 12-16 year olds from 6:30-8:30 PM at the Community Center. There will be free gifts for all as well as raffles and prizes for winners. Capacity is limited, so click here to register in advance.
The Ossining Public Library is hosting Latin Dance workshops every Thursday during Hispanic Heritage month. There is an all-ages session at 6:30 and a teens and adults session at 7:30. Learn salsa, bachata and more! Click here to register.
Also on the topic of Hispanic Heritage month: Altice USA is running a Hispanic Heritage Month essay contest for middle and high school students. Eligible students are invited to submit an essay about a person of Hispanic heritage, past or present, who inspires them and explain why. Essays must be received by October 31, 2021. Winners will be announced around November 24th and a virtual winner ceremony will take place in early December. Prizes include a $1,500 cash scholarship and iPads. More details, including where to submit, can be found at www.optimum.com/HMM.
It’s nearly October! Save the date and register for Bethany Arts Community’s second annual Artoberfest, taking place Saturday, October 2 from 10 AM - 4:30 PM. A fun day of art, food and fun for the whole family. Click here to learn more and register.
Periodic check-in as we continue to recover from natural disasters and a pandemic. How are you doing? Hurricane recovery is a long process. Are you in the process of filing claims for damage related to Hurricane Ida? Read your correspondence with FEMA carefully. Here’s how.
The US Small Business Association also opened a Business Recovery Center at the New York Power Authority building (123 Main St.) in White Plains on September 21. It will be open from 9-5 every weekday until further notice. Representatives will be on hand to answer questions about the disaster loan program and help people complete applications. As a reminder, business owners can also apply for aid online at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/ela/s/m.
Also, remember that if you or someone you know lost work or income due to the pandemic but were not eligible for unemployment insurance or other forms of federal COVID relief, there are resources to help if you act quickly. Dial 211 to learn more about programs like the Excluded Worker Fund and apply. Emergency Rental Assistance funds are also still available; click here to start or continue an application, and click here to read more about the program and see if you might be eligible.
Many people are rethinking their career paths in light of the disruptions (and opportunities for reflection) brought to us by the pandemic. If you’re one of them, the Westchester Library System has a variety of free career coaching resources and they will be offering several sessions of their “Managing Your Career in Changing Times” webinar series this fall. The next two sessions begin October 5 and 6 and the deadline to register for one of these is Monday, September 27. Click here to learn more and register.
If going back to school would help you in your career, click here to learn more about applying to Westchester Community College through their virtual information sessions this fall. There are general information sessions taking place every Thursday this month at 3 PM, and a special session on the Nursing program coming up on Wednesday, September 29th at 5:30 PM. Participants will find out more about available programs and services and be able to ask questions and apply to the college. Attendees will also receive an online application fee waiver code to waive the $50 application fee!
Here’s an opportunity for those working in science, technology, engineering & math: The Westchester County Biosciences Accelerator, a business incubator for innovation in science and technology, is accepting applications for its 2022 cohort. Click here to read more about the program and how to apply.
If discounted internet would also be helpful to you, read on. Altice USA announced last week that it is increasing the speed of its “Altice Advantage Internet” affordable broadband service at no additional cost and renaming it “Optimum Advantage Internet.” The speed increase will provide download speeds up to 50 Mbps to new and existing “Optimum Advantage Internet” customers as soon as October at the same price of $14.99 per month. To learn more and check your eligibility for the discounted internet, click here.
Please remember that the gas powered leaf blower ban remains in effect in the Unincorporated Town of Ossining through the end of this month. Thank you to Green Ossining for preparing the summary below, and thank you for your cooperation! Please share this information with your friends, neighbors, and landscapers. We have made this available for download in both English and Spanish as JPG and PDF files. Please help us spread the word! This information was mailed directly to all landscapers who are based in Ossining for their reference.
Reminder: the first half of school taxes for the Ossining and Briarcliff School districts is due September 30. If you pay your taxes directly (as opposed to it being paid by a mortgage escrow account) please make sure to get your payment in on time. You can pay your taxes online, by mail (postmarked September 30 or earlier to be considered timely), or in person at our offices at 16 Croton Avenue from 8:30am to 4:30pm. The Tax Office will also be open until 6pm on Thursday, September 30. You can also drop your envelope with payment in the dedicated mail slot at the Ossining Post Office, which then gets delivered to our offices the following day (no passing through White Plains!). Just don’t forget to put a stamp on it!
Please be mindful of timing if you are using online bill pay from your bank. These payments are not postmarked, and if they are not received in our office by the deadline, you will be assessed a penalty. Please consider paying your bill directly through our online payment feature on our website instead. We also know that with many people heading back to the office, it may be more challenging to get your local errands done during the work week. So if you need help getting your payment to us or have any questions at all, please call (914) 762-8790 to speak to Tax Receiver Holly Perlowitz and her team. They are always happy to help and they always do so with a smile!
Lastly, we experienced some technical difficulties with our e-mail server for most of Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. We are back up and running for the most part, but if you have a hard time reaching a department by e-mail, please do give us a call. Earlier in the week, we posted a quick list of departmental phone numbers on our website for easy reference. Thanks for your patience.
We will see you soon -- till then, be safe and healthy!