Let's start with some awesome news-- the 2019 list of Best of Westchester winners have been revealed, and there are quite a few superstars among us here in Ossining! Among them-- Atria, Coral Sea Pools, Jimmy Dee Entertainment, Mike Risko Music, the Ossining Public Library, Pets A Go Go, and Village of Ossining newcomer Penny & Ting who won for Best Toy Store (I have to agree-- they are amazing.) Congratulations, we are so proud of you all! Thank you for making Ossining such an outstanding place to live, work and play.
It's finally here -- next week officially starts Ossining's Summer Concert Series! The Independence Day Fireworks Celebration will be next Wednesday, July 3rd, featuring a performance by the Jay Prince Band starting at 7PM. You are going to want to head down to the waterfront around 5PM to enjoy the great line-up of food trucks the Chamber of Commerce has helped to bring to Ossining for this community favorite. So far, the food trucks include Abeetz with some amazing pizza, The Blue Pig’s locally sourced ice cream, Aji Limo with ceviche and wings and shakes, Cravin' Jamaican, Leila's Crepe Station, Hudson Lemonade, Lonnie’s Fish and Chips, Sloppie Joe's, Sabor Bakery, and our very own Sing Sing Kill Brewery serving up their icy cold local craft beers. Word is, we will also have a truck selling sweet & savory arancini, or rice balls. It should be quite a fantastic night!
Before we even get there, though, the Ossining Fire Department will have all of their equipment and our awesome fire houses out on Saturday night for the annual inspection. We are privileged to be invited to this annual event to have a chance to say THANK YOU for having our backs (when we are sleeping and when we are awake) to over six hundred incredible volunteers that make up the OFD.
The Concert Series fun will continue every Friday this summer with this year's addition of Food Truck Fridays. Save the date for these great performances coming up:
Before we get to all of the awesome 4th of July (and pre-4th) activities coming up, let's chat about the week we had here in Ossining. It has been jam packed.
We met with our Highway, Parks, OVAC, OPD and OFD, plus Village personnel to review the plan for the Fireworks and Concert Series. This year we are changing where we park the food trucks and we will be hosting our local craft brewery (SSKB) so we wanted to be sure everyone was on the same page. We hope we can better accommodate all our visitors and make sure everyone arrives and departs without event, and has lots of fun in between. Please remember not to park in the river side parking lot that morning if you are commuting to work, since we need to make sure the parking lot is available for our first responder trucks, ADA parking, and food vendor set up (which starts at around 3PM).
Earlier this week, the Village and Town had a Skype meeting which our friends from 511RideShare facilitated with Gotcha, another bike share company. We have another one with Zagster coming up, as we evaluate our best options to offer alternative mobility to our community. Mayor Gearity and I also participated in a call with 511NY Rideshare to kick off our regional meetings as we start plan for Car Free Day 2019, scheduled for this September 20th. We had an opportunity to speak about the Lime Bike popup we hosted in 2018 as a way to test the waters and the demand for bicycles. We are all hoping that newly passed legislation to permit pedal-assist bicycles will get signed into law by Governor Cuomo so that this technology can better assist cyclists who want to navigate our hills instead of using their cars. Stay tuned as we work on a best fit for the Ossinings.
Also this week, arborists from Davey Resource Group started the process of inventorying street trees in the unincorporated Town and trees in our parks and cemeteries. This week they focused primarily on the parks, and they will likely be around next week too, now focusing on trees along our roadways. They are wearing Davey Resource Group uniforms and high visibility vests, and only inventorying trees on Town-owned property. This inventory is being funded by a grant from the New York State DEC – we are excited to learn more about our trees and how they contribute so much to our environment! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Supervisor’s Office at (914) 762-6001.
Last night, Town Receiver of Taxes Honorable Holly Perlowitz attended the Lion’s Club annual scholarship. This year, three Ossining High School students received scholarships for their remarkable academic achievements and dedication to volunteerism and community service, and Holly presented each of them with a Certificate of Achievement from the Town. Aaliyah Guerrero received the Ed and Ann Klotz scholarship, Grace Bourne received the Community Service scholarship, and David Sassano received the inaugural Sara Levin Memorial scholarship. In addition to David’s impressive resume, he received this recognition based on a beautiful essay he wrote about how immigrants to the United States, like Sara, are truly the heart and soul of communities, especially here in Ossining. Congratulations to Aaliyah, Grace, and David and we wish them the best of luck as they start college in the fall!
You may remember that a few weeks ago, three Girl Scouts working on their Silver Award came to a Town Board Work Session to discuss the installation of a GaGa Pit at Ryder Park. Well, the job is done and it looks great! Thanks to Sarah G., Sarah J., and AriAnnah (and their cooperative parents, of course), along with our Town Parks staff, for making this new addition to Ryder a reality, just in time for summer camp.
Finally, earlier today, my staff and I were joined by our labor counsel Craig Olivo from Bond, Schoeneck and King to kick off our first Teamsters negotiation for the upcoming contract renewal. I met with Maddi two weeks ago to review the provisions of the contract that will ease administration, and to contemplate how we may want to do things differently going forward to help our staff work more efficiently together. We discussed these ideas with Craig last week, and he created the set of proposals we shared with the Teamsters Local 456 today. They also shared a proposal with us, and I am cautiously optimistic that we will get this contract settled well in advance of the adoption of our 2020 budget. While the Teamsters are the smaller labor unit within the Town, we depend on them to do a lot of very important work, including the care and keeps of our parks, streets, and cemeteries, and, of course, plowing our roads! This is a particularly tough time of year to be a Teamster-- it's hard not to break a sweat out there! If you see our guys out in Town, please tell them they're doing a great job. They are partial to Blue Pig ice cream and always welcome a well-timed Slurpee.
Mind, Body, Spirit – Ossining continued this week with Recess Rocks from Open Door earlier today at Nelson Park. If you missed today's opportunity to celebrate the end of the school year by helping your kids learn fun ways to stay active this summer, the folks from Open Door will be back on Friday, July 12th and Friday July 26th at Nelson Park for more Recess Rocks. On Sunday, June 30th, head down to Engel Park for morning yoga with Club Fit Instructor Lauri Nemetz at 8AM and stick around for SharQui, the Belly Dance workout, with Solarah Delphi at 11AM also on Sunday—I can vouch for this being a great way to work out and you do NOT need to show your belly! Registration is FREE, and although not required, if you register in advance you will qualify for raffles and giveaways, and be able to be reached if a class needs to be cancelled due to weather.
We are so pleased to announce that Club Fit and UMAC Briarcliff are offering raffle prizes for people that register for any Mind, Body, Spirit – Ossining programs all summer, including a gift card to Club Fit, a UMAC Birthday Party, or a free month of classes at UMAC. Drawings will be held in September! Thank you so much to our partners, especially Club Fit, UMAC Briarcliff, and Open Door Family Medical Center for their hard work at making this summer’s classes such a success!
The St. Ann's Parish Festival continues tonight, so head over for some great multi-cultural eats celebrating St. Ann's multi-cultural parish and stick around for games, rides, dancing to DJ Johnny G's great tunes, and a White Elephant sale too. I really feel like this festival is the official kick off to summer as it always coincides with the last days of school. Last night I split a half dozen cherrystones on the half shell with my family, and it tasted like summer! (And the big cup of mango I had as a chaser was not to be beat.) You can still buy tickets for the Big Raffle ($20 each) and the 50/50 raffle ($5 each) which are available during the festival and you just might win the $10,000 first prize or one of the other five prizes of $1,000. Only 2,000 tickets will be sold and the drawing is Sunday -- not bad odds!
Or, after you grab your pizza fritta, head to the Ossining Public Library for Friday Night Flix with Captain Marvel. With girl power, 90s throwbacks, and out of this world adventure, it is no surprise that this movie set box office records! The library doors will open at 6:45PM, and the film begins at 7PM.
The Campwoods Annual Summer Services continue this Sunday, June 30th with a performance by MoJazz, a unique Brooklyn based women's dance group led by teacher, dancer, and choreographer, Audrey Madison, and featuring Campwood's own Karen McClain. After MoJazz performs, another Campwoods talent, Cheryl Edelman (aka Dr. Sherry) will play music from her newly released album, Tranquil, and tell the stories that inspired the songs on the album. This event is free, but donations are welcome to help support the historic preservation of the auditorium.
On Tuesday, July 2nd, instead of having our regularly scheduled Work Session in the evening, we are going to have a short Special Meeting at 8:30AM to approve a few time sensitive resolutions. We will be back to our evening meetings on Tuesday, July 9th with a Legislative Session at the Courthouse. The remainder of next week is pretty open due to the Independence Day fireworks celebration on Wednesday night and the holiday on Thursday (as a reminder, Town and Village offices will be closed on July 4th, but we will be in bright and early to serve you on Friday, July 5th). That night, get ready for a DJ dance party with DJ Johnny J, which will be our FIRST official Food Truck Friday down at Engel Park! Food trucks will be there at 5PM, music starts at 7PM.
Then on Saturday, July 6th, head down to Westchester Collaborative Theater on Water Street for the next installment of the 2019 Jazz Masters series, where the Marshall McDonald Jazz Project will be hitting the stage at 7:30PM.
Ossining Recreation Camp starts Monday (7/1) -- I hope those registered enjoy a summer filled with fun at Ossining's parks and schools! If you didn't register for Recreation Camp, Theater O is also offering the Camp of Witchcraft and Wizardry at Bethany Arts Community and Fairy Tale Theater Camp at Theater O headquarters on State Street both starting next Monday, July 8th. The Camp of Witchcraft and Wizardry is open to all muggles ages 8 to 14, and Fairy Tale Camp is for smaller humans, ages 3 to 5. Learn more about these fun opportunities at Theater O's website. St. Paul's on the Hill starts its Summer Music Camp next Monday, July 8th from 6PM to 8PM every Monday to Friday through July 19th. This program provides small group music lessons for children between the ages of 4 and 17 in singing, keyboard, drums, dance, and guitar. This program serves the community as a whole. Register now!
On Monday, July 8th, you also have the opportunity to get in a free yoga workout with Shannon Reilly at Briarcliff Manor's Law Park-- her last class was so popular, she added three more dates! Shannon is a Briarcliff native and an outstanding instructor. If you are headed over to Law, I will probably see you there!
If live music is your thing, you are in the right place this summer. Every Wednesday night starting on July 10th, head down to Market Square for Acoustic Night between 6PM and 8PM. (Also free, by the way!) Make sure you stop in at First Village Coffee or Good Choice Kitchen and grab a smoothie, a coffee, or a snack while you listen to some crooning. Did someone say Date Night?
Then starting on Thursday, July 11th, the Briarcliff Manor Chamber of Commerce will be starting their summer concert series at Law Park, which will take place on four consecutive Thursdays. Come down for some live music and grab some dinner and drinks-- 105 Ten and Mission Taqueria will be on site to sell you some yummy snacks and icy drinks to round out the evening.
Need a passport for any international trips this summer? Timothy C. Idoni, the Westchester County Clerk, and his staff will be visiting Ossining to assist in applying for a passport. Head down to the Community Center on Tuesday, July 16th from 11AM to 2PM to get your application ready and even take your passport photo! If you have any questions, you can contact the County Clerk's office at (914) 995-3082.
It's going to be a hot one this weekend-- don't forget, effective today, the Spray Park at Louis Engel Waterfront Park will be open daily between 12PM and 7PM, with extended hours on the "dog days"-- make sure to bring the kids down to cool off and, while you're at it, take in that gorgeous view. We often forget just how lucky we are to have constant access to the Hudson-- try not to take it for granted this summer, or any time!