Supervisor’s Update – December 17, 2021
Happy Friday! Hope everyone is doing well as the week comes to a close.
Earlier this week, Governor Hochul’s new mask mandate went into effect. Per this mandate, all indoor public spaces must now require mask wearing regardless of vaccination status, unless there is a vaccine requirement in place as a condition of entry. This State mandate is in effect until January 15, 2022, at which time it will be reviewed and next steps issued depending on circumstances.
This mandate was issued with good reason. Unfortunately, COVID case numbers are heading back upward statewide and locally. There were 144 active cases in the Town and its two villages as of yesterday, up from just 25 the last time we reported out on local case counts here in mid-November.
The Town of Ossining requires the wearing of masks in all indoor facilities, regardless of vaccination status. (Our residents are by and large vaccinated, something we’re very proud of! As of yesterday, 88.5% of residents in zip code 10562 and 93.9% of residents in zip code 10510 had at least one vaccine dose.) We do this because we want all of our residents to be safe and healthy. In the face of new COVID variants that arise due to insufficient vaccine supply abroad and resistance to vaccination in some parts of this country, masking is one of the most important strategies for slowing the spread of the virus while still enabling us to go about our daily lives.
Please be safe this holiday season. Avoid crowds, choose small gatherings over large ones, and wear your mask in public and in any indoor situation where you are unsure of the COVID status of others.
Last COVID note -- if your 5-11 year old has been recently vaccinated, why not enter them in a raffle for a full ride scholarship to the SUNY or CUNY of their choice? New York State is offering up to 50 lucky vaccinated kids immunity from student loan debt - click here for more details! Entry period closes this Sunday, December 19.
To do this weekend: The Nutcracker is back! Visit WestchesterBallet.org to get your tickets for this weekend’s shows.
There will be a holiday pop-up shop from 8 AM till 1 PM at the farmer’s market, courtesy of the Greater Ossining Chamber of Commerce and ENU Builds. Food, goods from local merchants and a raffle - join the fun!
At 7 PM and 8:30 PM on Saturday, Westchester Collaborative Theater will continue to celebrate its reopening with a special holiday concert by the very wonderful KJ Denhert Jazz Project. The performance will combine holiday themes and new material from Denhert’s latest shows. We love KJ and feel so blessed that she is one of our own! Get your tickets here!
On Sunday, December 19 from 10 AM until noon, Gullotta House will be hosting a holiday gift giveaway at St. Ann’s School. Treats and hot cocoa will be served.
The Village of Ossining will be celebrating the life of one of its most memorable young residents at 10:30 AM on Tuesday, December 21 and every day thereafter. A portion of Main Street will be renamed Dream Shepherd Way in memoriam. Read more about Dream Shepherd and her legacy here.
Also on Tuesday, December 21: celebrate music! Ossining/Briarcliff has an impressive array of participants for International Make Music Day; special thanks to Mike Risko Music School for organizing. Wear your mask and check out all the great musical events going on in Ossining (and Briarcliff) on 12/21. While you are out, support local businesses and grab some holiday gifts!
In other arts news, Bethany Arts Community is preparing for spring residencies and other offerings. Applications are now open for poetry and multidisciplinary residencies, and are due on January 21, 2022. They are also seeking submissions for an upcoming multidisciplinary exhibition called “Impact 2022: Art that Bears Witness.” Click here to learn more and send a submission by January 31, 2022.
If you are in a position to help neighbors in need, read on. The Baker-Collyer Christmas Cheer Fund is collecting donations for its 106th year of ensuring that everyone has something to eat at Christmas. If you are able to give, you can do so online at their website or via the following methods:
- Mail to Baker-Collyer Christmas Cheer Fund, ℅ John Crawford, PO Box 508, Ossining, NY 10562
- Over the phone - call (914) 438-9843 or (914) 762-1958
Mike Risko Music is offering the opportunity for someone to receive six months of music lessons for free - submit their story by December 31 for a chance to win.
Neighbors Link is collecting winter clothes for workers and toys for kids. Click the links to see their wish lists, select items to donate, and mark them as pledged. Items can be brought/delivered to their Mount Kisco location (27 Columbus Ave), or their Ossining location at 23-25 Spring Street.
The Ossining Boat & Canoe Club is collecting toys for its holiday toy drive at the following locations through tomorrow, December 18, (which may be extended, so stay tuned):
If you are in need of generosity right now, read on. If you are behind in your mortgage payments due to causes related to the pandemic, the New York State Homeowners Assistance Fund can help. Applications open up January 3.
Note for small business owners: the State’s COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program has recently been expanded. Visit nysmallbusinessrecovery.com to learn more and apply for assistance.
As the weather gets colder, please reach out for help if you or someone you know is having difficulty heating their home. Applications are open for the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), overseen by the state’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. Click here to read more about the types of help that are available, check your eligibility, and apply.
If you are filing a FEMA claim for Hurricane Ida-related damage, the deadline to do so has been extended to January 4, 2022. See below for details on how to access help; the remaining information, minus the date, is still accurate!
FEMA also recommends that you protect your home with flood insurance. To learn more about it and the National Flood Insurance Program, click here.
Continued rental assistance is available for people who have been displaced by Ida.
If you’ve been feeling depressed or sad since Hurricane Ida, help is available for that too.
If you have kids and teens looking for things to do during the holiday break, Ossining Recreation has you covered! Read on and be sure to subscribe to their e-blast to stay in the know about all of their offerings. Click the images to access the registration links!
Ossining Communities that Care is encouraging adults to step up and begin having conversations with the young people in their lives about avoiding substance abuse. Visit their Grown Ups Show Up page for tips and talking points to guide these conversations.
The YWCA of White Plains and Central Westchester is accepting applications for its Y Leaders program, a free leadership initiative that aims to equip high school and college-aged women and gender minorities with the tools they need to be effective and empowered leaders. The program takes participants through workshops and conversations that will teach them how to improve communication skills, how to incorporate daily affirmations into their lives, how to empower each other and how to navigate spaces in a way that affects change. You can read more about Y Leaders here, and students can apply here. Applications due January 10, 2022.
There are so many local young leaders to be proud of lately! Special congratulations to Emma San Martin, 2018 graduate of Ossining High School & West Point Class of 2022, who has won the prestigious Marshall Scholarship and will be pursuing TWO masters degrees related to aerospace engineering abroad after completing undergrad next year. Read more about her work (and how OHS impacted her) in the Patch! And a round of applause to the staff of Briarcliff High School’s Briars and Ivy literary magazine, which recently won the Empire State School Press Association award for Best Overall Literary Magazine. Go all of us!!
The second half of Village of Briarcliff Manor taxes are due on January 3, 2022 without penalty; click here for more information. Village of Ossining taxes are due on January 31, 2022, as well as the second half of this year’s school taxes for both Ossining and Briarcliff School Districts. Click here for the Village of Ossining payment link and here for school taxes. Our schools help our children do amazing things (see above), so let’s be sure to do our part to keep them funded (and avoid penalties at the same time!)
We are hiring! The Highway Department is in need of an Assistant Automotive Mechanic. Click here for more details and application instructions.
Lastly, a note about holiday schedule changes. Be sure to take note of the Waste and Recycling calendar for holiday-related changes to your pickup schedule. (If you can, download the Recycle Right app to get notifications right on your phone! Click here for Android and here for iPhone.) Town offices will be closed on Friday, December 24 and Friday, December 31.
The Supervisor’s Update will be on holiday hiatus until January 7, 2022. The Town’s social media feeds (@townofossining on Facebook and Instagram) will still be active. I hope you’ll be able to join us for our 2022 Inauguration of new Town and Village officials at noon on New Year’s Day, which will be virtual in light of the recent uptick in COVID cases. We want to make sure we keep everyone safe. It will be livestreamed on both the Town and Village Facebook pages.
Have a safe and enjoyable holiday break, and Happy New Year!