Whatcha doin tonight? At 7PM tonight, we are kicking off our 2018 Summer Concert Series with Roadhouse Roosters, so come celebrate the start of summer with some funky tunes and a picnic on the Hudson River. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and a picnic dinner, or plan to order Mediterranean delights from the Gyro Uno food truck. It's looking a little cloudy, but it should be a dry night here in Ossining, so I look forward to rocking out with the Roosters and with you!
If you don't get enough to eat at the concert, consider popping up the hill to 6 Degrees of Separation and testing out their new menu-- word on the street is there is a new chef, and he may look a little familiar if you're used to dining out around Ossining!
As part of the Summer Concert Series, we will hold a concert every Friday night through Labor Day Weekend (with the exception of Friday, August 3rd-- that concert will be moved to Thursday, August 2nd), with a wide variety of music styles that will engage the whole family. Additionally, the Independence Day Fireworks will be held on Tuesday, July 3rd-- the Jon Bates Band will join us at 7:30PM before the fireworks get started at around 9:15PM. Come early to get a good spot, and plan to enjoy food from one of the many food trucks and purveyors including some of the old faves.
This week sure has been busy. Last night, I was honored to celebrate Ossining Police Chief Kevin Sylvester, who was chosen as one of the Business Council of Westchester’s Westchester Business Journal's "40 Under 40," at their event in Rye Brook. I was joined by Village Treasurer/Town Comptroller Tom Warren and Village Deputy Treasurer/ Town Deputy Comptroller Dale Ferreira and several hundred of our closest friends from around Westchester, who gathered to celebrate some of our county's youngest movers and shakers, and we are so proud that our own Police Chief was among them. Congratulations to Chief Sylvester, his department and his family-- our community is certainly made stronger every day by his enthusiasm, wit and dedication. Also, a big shout out to Ossining’s own Catherine Cioffi who was also a “40 Under 40” winner for her work in the office of Westchester County Executive George Latimer. Go Catherine!
Also yesterday, the staff from our Town Highway and Parks Departments attended a Confined Space Training with a favorite instructor. Mr. Mike Kelly is a firefighter from the Chicagoland area who really walks the walk, and our guys are always more interactive when he's around! The day starts with several hours of classroom training, where the group gets a refresher on the kinds of confined spaces we have in the Town and the procedures required to safely enter and exit.
The part that gets the conversation moving is when the teams get to discuss their personal experiences with confined space work.
Having this group discussion gives a good platform from which to focus when they go on to the afternoon portion, which involves visiting a confined space, examining and checking all safety equipment, and performing a practice entry. As always, we are incredibly appreciative of Mr. Kelly's professionalism and attention to detail-- we know that our employees are in good hands and have the skills they need to be safe on the job.
Speaking of our parks, tis the season to be in them, and we have a lot going on to share with you.
First and foremost, you may remember from last week that our Parks crew was setting a foundation for the new shed at the Ossining Organic Community Garden in Cedar Lane Park. Well, on Monday, it was delivered, and I think you'll agree it fits in perfectly.
Also on Monday, I, along with Budget Director Maddi Zachacz and Parks Foreman Mario Velardo, met with our Superintendent of Recreation Bill Garrison to discuss some ongoing concerns at Engel Park. We originally came down to find a better spot for the dumpster servicing the picnic area (a plan is in motion!) but we also got to discuss the placement of the Louis Engel Memorial, which has long been discussed. Right now, it's kind of easy to miss-- it's shaded by trees and off to the side of the path next to the fence.
Once we find out a little bit more about the dedication, we are hoping to move it closer to the stage near the September 11th monument where it can be more easily viewed, and we also plan to have a new plaque made for the monument that lists the original Board Members who dedicated the park to the memory of former Town Supervisor Louis Engel Jr., who passed away in 1982.
We also discussed re-imagining the kayak storage at Engel. Right now, the kayaks are chained to a few posts that are not standing terribly straight and could use some re-enforcement. Since we plan to create an enclosure for the dumpster just a few feet away, we thought this may be the time to take up a small project here as well.
As the temperature continues to climb, please keep our spray park (just on he other side of Engel!) in mind as a way to get cool. We are officially in our summer hours, which means that the Louis Engel Park spray park is open every day between 12PM and 6PM-- if the temperatures are super high, we tend to open at 11AM and stay open until 7PM. This is one of Ossining's best amenities and one of the most popular hang out spots for parents to bring their kids, so we look forward to seeing you down at the waterfront during the hot days coming up!
Towards the end of the week, the guys have been up at Gerlach Park getting the Pavilion area finished up. You may remember that last Fall, our team took this project on and unfortunately was unable to finish before the frost set in. Now, however, they are rolling full steam ahead finishing the drainage before the final paving can take place.
What they were working on today was installing box drains on the inner edge of the pavilion (just as they did at Ryder and at Cedar Lane) to keep water off the pavilion floor-- it's a pretty cool process to see the forms put into place...
...especially when you consider how the finished product will turn out in just a few short days!
Our guys have been doing an incredible amount of work in this hot weather and have worked some very long hours to get our facilities ready for the season. If you see them around, please tell them thank you for keeping our parks looking beautiful (and maybe offer them a towel or a cold soda, if you can-- the sun can be pretty brutal this time of year!)
This week the MOGO (Millwood Ossining GO!) Task Force reconvened to review the draft MOGO Bike & Pedestrian Connectivity Plan as well as to discuss presenting a final draft of it to the various Town and Village boards who have been involved in planning this bike/pedestrian connectivity corridor between downtown Ossining and the North County Trailway. We are hoping to make the rounds in the next month and get feedback from the boards and the communities so we can continue to move forward with establishing safer routes for all forms of transportation and particularly those that encourage healthy living.
One last note before we get into the weekend-- we have been keeping up with the project at North State Road and Route 9A, and I am glad to say that the project is moving along swimmingly. The Town agreed to take part in this project, partnering with the Village of Briarcliff Manor, and the end is in sight! Here is a note from Briarcliff Village Manager Phil Zegarelli from his e-blast earlier this week:
"Route 9A x North State Intersection. The permanent lane striping work has been rescheduled to Wednesday, 27 June. This is to enable NYSDOT’s subcontractor to complete the wiring and testing of the new signals before Con Ed activates the system. It is expected that all improvements at this intersection will be completed prior to the alternating one-lane traffic going in effect on Pleasantville Road. Accordingly, you are encouraged to seek alternate routes to avoid the vicinity of Pleasantville Road and Route 9A until this work is completed."
Lots to do around Town this weekend-- don't forget to visit the St. Ann's Parish Festival! On the grounds of St. Ann's School on Eastern Avenue, stop by tonight, tomorrow or Sunday night between 6PM and 11PM for rides, games of chance, and some incredible food-- "the summer ain't complete without a pizza frite," says Maddi.
You can also check out "The Sting" produced by Theater O, being performed at Bethany Arts Community on Somerstown Road. With gender-blind casting (seventh-grader Audrey Schnecker plays Johnny Hooker, the Robert Redford role), the show encapsulates the slick and sassy world of the 1930s con. With unique staging and fun choreography and music, the play will delight audiences of all ages. Get your tickets here for the shows through Sunday night at 7PM, tickets are $10 each.
The Town will also be hosting three Mind, Body, Spirit Ossining events this weekend, starting tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon:
- Saturday, June 23rd, 1:30PM at Ryder Park Pavilion: UMAC Briarcliff will offer a fun-filled introduction to the martial art of Taekwondo. Learn blocks, kicks, self-defense, and even break a board! This class is open to all those ages four years old and up.
- Saturday, June 23rd, 3PM at the Engel Park Stage: Sue Radparvar of Ossining’s Studio95 Zumba is back! Join Sue each week for an invigorating and fun afternoon of Zumba, a fusion of Latin and International music and dance themes create a dynamic, exciting class based on the principle that a workout should be enjoyable and easy to do. The routines will feature aerobic/fitness interval training with a combination of fast and slow rhythms that tone and sculpt the body. You are sure to be back week after week to participate in Sue’s fun class.
- Sunday, June 24th, 9:30AM at Cedar Lane Park: Mind, Body, Spirit – Ossining is excited to welcome local mindfulness expert (and all around good guy) Ben Felcher Leavitt this weekend for a demonstration of Qigong, Chinese Yoga. Come to learn about this practice, how it can help you attain balance and stability, and bring positive improvements to your life.
After all that running, you may want some time to calm down and enjoy a Summer Solstice Concert right here in Ossining. The Cassatt Quartet will be performing at the Bethany Arts Community at 5:30PM on Sunday evening (6/24) -- get your tickets here.
This is your last week to help out the Ossining Cultural Arts Advocates (OCAA) and PTA to collect shoes to raise money for teacher grants and student scholarships! and the goal is to collect 2500 pairs of new, used and gently-worn shoes by the last day of school. There is a collection box in each OUFSD school, one at Theater O on State Street, and now we have one on the first floor of 16 Croton Avenue near our Clerk's Office. They aren't too picky when it comes to style-- bring your shoes from last season, those outgrown by your kids, galoshes, cleats, crocks, clogs, platform shoes, even swim flippers!, but the boxes will be picked up next Friday, so make haste and clean out those hallway shoe closets!