First things first-- congratulations to former Town Councilwoman Karen D'Attore, who began her role as Village Manager in the Village of Ossining this past Monday! We wish her and the Village the very best of luck, and know that things are in good hands with Karen behind the wheel. And come on, how great does she look in that chair?
Like getting your exercise out of doors when the temperaure starts to rise? We have a great Mind, Body, Spirit- Ossining lineup coming your way this summer, which we offer in partnership with Open Door Family Medical Center and our local wellness businesses. Check out our first offering tomorrow (Saturday, June 15th), when Solarah brings us the SharQui belly dancing workout on the Louis Engel Park stage. These classes are free, and while registration is not required, it helps the instructors to prepare and also can help us alert you of an changes or cancelations. The full schedule as it stands can be found below-- stay tuned for more classes to be added in the coming months. Please bring your own bottle of water or any other item the instructor may suggest.
It looks like we will at least START next week off with some sunshine-- why not celebrate by offering that sun some salutations? Join Briarcliff native Shannon Reilly at Law Park for a free yoga class Monday night at 6:30PM. It'll be a great way to kick off the week.
The last day of school is coming up, and that means that it's almost time for the Spray Park at Engel Park to be open full time! Last week, we discovered a mechanical issue that caused some hiccups this week, but the worst news of all? The mechanical component that needed changing was under one of our brand-new, colorful, laid-in-place and glued down, tiles. Due to some very careful and precise work by our Parks department, the damage was contained to one teeny, tiny incision...
... and voila! Is there NOTHING these guys can't do? The Spray Park will be open between 12PM and 7PM both days this weekend and next, and then on June 26th when school is out, you can visit every day, all summer long! We also hope to see you at the ribbon cutting, scheduled for 12 noon on July 9th. Don't forget the sunblock!
We have some exciting grant news to share! We recently learned that the Town is going to be receiving close to $100,000 in grant funds from the New York State DEC’s Municipal Food Scraps grant to establish a food scraps recycling program in the Town of Ossining, with a primary collection point at Cedar Lane Park. For this project, we will be working closely with Teatown on education, outreach, and public engagement. Stay tuned for more information about how you can start collecting and recycling your food scraps at home. Although not as much of a crowd pleaser as composting, the Town also found out this week that we will be receiving $145,000 in grant funds from the New York State Archives in partnership with the Village of Ossining to create new records storage space in the basement of the Operations Center for Town and Village records. This project will be instrumental in improving our records retention practices in Town and Village government, in addition to helping keep our permanent records in a safe and secure location. I want to give a big shout out to self-trained grant writer extraordinaire Victoria Cafarelli in my office who has been instrumental in the success of our grant applications over the last few years. Bringing outside money into the Town is critical to the health of our community. If you bump into Victoria at a farmers market this weekend, please give her a high five!
Over the last two weeks, we had most of our staff trained in Heartsaver/ CPR, courtesy of Chief Nick Franzoso at Ossining Volunteer Ambulance Corps, including myself and two Town Board members.
We heard from not only the Chief, but also some of our department heads how engaged our staff members were, and how seriously they took the training.
It has been a few years since I have taken the full course, so I am happy now to be CPR certified-- I think it's awesome that so many of our staff signed on to take this important training, which could potentially save the lives of family members, friends, or residents of our community. Also, special thanks to Chief Franzoso and OVAC volunteer Jim Drohan for helping out, and taking this cool shot of me in action-- chest compressions are hard work, even on a mannequin!
On Wednesday, I had an opportunity to receive some free local training from the NYS Comptroller’s Office covering audits, policies and procedures for effective fiscal planning, fraud prevention and detection, and other financial oversight procedures. These trainings are always so helpful as refreshers and offer so many helpful tips for effective oversight of our town resources. I am always grateful for the opportunity when they come down to our neck of the woods.
This morning, I attended a Westchester Putnam Workforce Development Board sponsored program at Regeneron, focused on preparing the next generation for the ever-changing demands of our workforce. We had a panel of dynamic women presenters discussing the benefits of a S.T.E.A.M. powered workforce, education and the next wave of scientists and engineers who look more like this panel did (young and female) than the stereotypes would lead you to believe. With innovative partnerships between public and private institutions, there are so many possibilities for how we approach job readiness, and I hope as municipalities we can continue to be part of the conversation.
As we announced last week, please also note that this Tuesday, June 18th, we will be holding our Work Session at the Birdsall-Fagan Police/Court Facility at 86-88 Spring Street instead of our usual location of 16 Croton Avenue (the Assessor's Office will be holding Greivance Day in the Town/Village Hall Board Room that evening.) We are devoting that Work Session to a Board discussion about the River Knoll project which has been proposed for the Stony Lodge site on Croton Dam Road, a project that is still before the Town Planning Board. We will begin at 7:30PM and, as an exception to our usual rule for Work Sessions, we will be allowing public comment. We hope you can join us-- if not, we will be filming the Work Session and it will be posted to the Town's Youtube channel the day following the meeting.
Lots to do around Town this weekend-- let's get to it!
Once you're done yoga-ing in the park this evening, consider heading to the Steamer Firehouse at 117 Main Street for a night of original music and covers with Windfeather Harmonies, presented by the Ossining Arts Council. It's not too late to get your tickets here.
Then tomorrow (Saturday, June 15th), show your community some love and meet up with the Ossining Historic Cemeteries Conservancy at Dale Cemetery to clean and restore some gravestones under the watchful eyes of experts. No experience is required. Just a willingess to get a little damp and dirty, and an interest in preserving the important history of Ossining. That's a pretty big box to check before 12 noon on a Saturday!
Then scurry over to Market Square for the Ossining Portuguese Festival, which will begin at 12 noon. Make sure to come down for food, music, and fun-- I will see you there! If time is on your side, do yourself a favor and check out Down to Earth Farmer's Market, which will feature a very special vendor this week. Nahmias et Fils Distillery out of Yonkers will have their whiskey for sale, but also their locally made Mahia, which I received as a gift last year... this Moroccan fig-based spirit is very hard to come by in the US, and not something you will want to miss and would make a spectacular Father's Day present. Tell them the Supervisor's Office sent you.
Bill T. Jones returns to Ossining this weekend with even more opportunities for community involvement. If you participated with them last year, you know what an incredible chance this is to get your dance on! Check out their offerings (many of them free!) below.
Then, cap off your Saturday with Alexis Cole's "Canary in Combat Boots," a one-woman show about Cole's experiences in Army Basic Training, married with World War II era jazz classics-- seating is limited at WCT, and tickets for Saturday's performance will sell out (tonight's already has!) Make sure to get yours ahead of time!
Then on Sunday (June 16th), check out Lee Marvin and the 3rd Bell at the Campwoods Auditorium at7PM. Aside from being a Campwoods resident, Lee is also a bass player, vocalist and song writer-- his band (the 3rd Bell)'s members are experts in storytelling and will keep you entertained with their original music. Check out their website and be sure to visit them at Campwoods on Sunday night-- this concert would make a cool Father's Day celebration! The concert is free, but donations are always accepted to fund the upkeep of the historic Auditorium. If you do plan to attend, please be sure to find parking outside of the Campwoods Grounds.
However, a huge event this weekend, right in our backyard at Croton Point Park, will be the Clearwater Festival, aka the Great Hudson River Revival. You can buy tickets for the weekend, or a single day, or get a camping pass. Learn more here. There are some big names coming, including Taj Weekes, who will also be performing at the Louis Engel Park stage this summer!
Next Tuesday, check out the Ossining Innovates! "Meet the Entrepreneur Next Door" event at the Tasty Table on Campwoods, and get a chance to hear from the owners of one of Ossining's newest dining spots. Mike and Miriam Risko from Mike Risko Music will also be in the house to discuss their experience opening and running a business here in Ossining. The program starts at 7PM.
Then next Thursday, the Greater Ossining and Briarcliff Manor Chambers of Commerce have invited me to come speak at their breakfast meeting, taking place at 105 Ten in Briarcliff. I look forward to catching up with our local business owners about what is happening in the Town, and what we are doing to support our loal businesses, so I hope you can join us! Register here.
That same evening (Friday, June 21st), the Ossining Public Library will host a showing of "Us" as part of the Friday Night Flix series. This offering from "Get Out" director Jordan Peele is, by far, one of the creepiest movies that has come out in a long while. I am going to recommend you bring a stress ball or stuffed bear or something to squeeze, because there is a very good chance that your free popcorn and beverage will end up in your lap. (Maddi tells this to me from personal experience.)
And don't forget-- we are less than 3 weeks away from the Independence Day Fireworks, and the kickoff of the 2019 Summer Concert Series! We look forward to celebrating on our beautiful waterfront with you all summer long. Music starts at 7PM, food trucks will arrive at 5PM. We have been working with the Greater Ossining Chamber of Commerce as well as the Riskos to make sure this year’s food and music offerings are better than ever so mark your calendars now! (We are still finalizing the art work but here’s a taste of what’s to come, thanks to local artist Brian Sheridan at Hothouse Designs.)
Finally, I want to wish all the dads, grand-dads, foster dads, like-a-dads, cat dads, dog dads, and all other father figures a very happy Father's Day. Thank you for all the joy, love and lessons you bring to our lives, this weekend and every day, year round.