What are you doing reading your email? Unless you are doing so from a beach chair or blanket in Louis Engel Park, you are in the wrong spot. Tonight we will feature our second “Food Truck Friday” and 2019 Summer Concert Series installment—Ossining’s own Soul Projekt with featured singer Zola Kendi (I've heard her, she's awesome), will be performing on the Louis Engel Park stage beginning at 7PM, but no need to wait—the food trucks will start slinging at 5PM! This week, come down for Westchester Burger Company, Leila’s Crepe Station, the EMB rice ball truck, Aji Limo, and Sing Sing Kill Brewery. It’s going to be a great night along the Hudson River and we can’t wait to see you there!
Make sure you mark your calendar for next Friday night as well-- Ossining resident KJ Denhert will be joining us at the Waterfront for a 7PM performance. If you haven't heard KJ before, you are in for a treat-- she has been described as an urban folk singer, and she also tells a great story with her words and her tunes. Don't forget to arrive early and get a spot for Food Truck Friday, starting at 5PM.
While the fireworks were outstanding (as they always are in Ossining), we were sad to discover that a few tiles at our newly-refinished spray park at Louis Engel Park did get damaged, despite our very best efforts to keep them safe. While the damage is somewhat minimal and does not undermine the safety of the Spray Park, we canceled the ribbon cutting that had been scheduled for this past Tuesday so that we can show off the Park at its very best. We also did not want to close the spray park down for repairs during what is obviously peak usage season for us. In the meanwhile, stay tuned! We will cut that ribbon if it's the last thing we ever do-- we worked hard to get that Spray Park done and we are going to show it off!
Monday was an exciting day at the Town Highway Garage. First, we got to meet two new trucks that were delivered on Friday-- a dump truck with salt spreader for the Parks Department, and a service truck with a crane for Highway! We have now received 3 of the 5 trucks we ordered in February (these things take an awfully long time to fabricate); we are expecting our truck for the Cemetery to arrive later this summer, and the Freightliner for the Highway Department to roll in early next year.
I don't think anyone was happier than our two mechanics, Gary and Chuck, to see the service truck roll onto the lot. This truck is going to make their job a lot easier and also safer-- one of the top uses is pulling the pumps (from our sewer lift stations) out of the ground. That crane is going to come in real handy. Just look at those smiles!
Just as we were getting ready to leave, look who made a surprise cameo!
Yes, your eyes do not deceive you. Former Town of Ossining Highway Foreman Johnny Martin, who parlayed his knowledge of all things sewer into a job with one of our contractors, stopped by just in time to admire the new wheels. Yes, he was jealous. Yes, he admitted it.
Then, we headed inside for a quick tour of the office which, you may remember from last week, got a fresh coat of paint and new carpet tiles. Now that everything is put back together, you can really have an appreciation for how great it looks in there.
Everyone is feeling good about the chance this gave them to get organized and think about the space differently-- even Alicia, our newest employee, was thrilled about getting a fresh start!
Again, I want to send a special shout out to our appointed Superintendent of Highways Pete Connolly for pushing to make this work happen, along with Intermediate Clerk Fern Quezada for coordinating the contractors and making sure everything went according to plan! Pete was especially proud of his new white board, posted right by the front door, that will list work tasks for the week so everyone is on the same page about where our crews are working and what they are doing. Pete is a very meticulous guy, and we have no doubt that he is going to get this department humming even more smoothly than before-- if that is even possible!
On Wednesday night, I, along with my Board colleagues Liz Feldman and Jackie Shaw, attended the first of four scheduled Block Parties hosted by our very own Ossining Police Department in conjunction with the Ossining Schools. County Exec George Latimer had a great time welcoming the neighbors, Chef Peter Kelly did a cooking demonstration with healthy zucchini, Westchester Medical Center and Phelps had good tips, the Food Bank sent a truck from Stop and Shop with bags of fresh produce for anyone interested, Bethany Arts Community sponsored a chalk Mandala making on the pavement, teachers from the School District’s Dual Language program read aloud in both English and Spanish, OPD had their best crew grilling up burgers and dogs, and I think a soft ice cream truck even handed out free ice cream. Lots of local service organizations like the Ossining Public Library, Teatown, Phelps Hospital, Neighbors Link, Open Door Family Medical Centers, and more.
I want to commend our OPD staff and Chief Kevin Sylvester for always making an effort to connect with our community in meaningful ways. The work they do is so very important, and having a relationship with the residents we serve not only makes everyone's lives easier, but also makes for a safer community. Mark your calendars for the next three; upcoming dates are Wednesday, July 24th (Yale Avenue), Wednesday, August 7th (Croton Avenue), and Wednesday, August 21st (Dale Avenue). All block parties begin at 5PM and wrap up around 7PM. Be sure to bring the youngsters out and enjoy a fun night courtesy of OPD! Mind, Body, Spirit – Ossining was also represented at the Block Party by MBSO favorite Sue Radparvar of Studio95 Zumba, who will be doing a demo at each block party that will be fun for parents and kids. Sue is hosting classes every other Saturday (including this Saturday) at Louis Engel Park for all ages, so be sure to check out her expertise at the Block Parties and then join in the fun at the park throughout the summer.
Yesterday, Maddi and I attended a meeting of community organizations to discuss the upcoming 2020 Census (thanks to the Village Manager's office for coordinating everyone!) We were joined by several staff members who will be working with local offices, and also who will be recruiting folks from our community to work for the Census Bureau-- many hourly jobs will be available, and you can learn more about how you can get involved in this important work here.
The Census is important for all communities, but particularly to ours-- collecting data on who lives in our community will inform our Federal funding levels for years to come, and the Census Bureau wants to make the process as easy as possible to complete. For the first time, you will be able to fill out the census form online! All households will be encouraged to self report, but those who do not respond will be sent a survey by mail to complete. Census workers will be hitting the pavement this summer-- here are some more ways to be one of them.
After you cool down with Soul Projekt tonight (and some cold drinks from Aji Limo-- those blood orange coolers are addictive), be sure to rest up-- we have lots to do in Town this weekend, so stay hydrated and get some REM cycles in. We need you on your toes, Ossining!
On Saturday, July 13th, the Ossining Historic Cemeteries Conservancy will hold another gravestone cleaning, this week at Historic Sparta Cemetery, between 9AM and noon. Wear clothes you won’t mind getting a little grubby, and no experience is required. The folks from OHCC will teach you everything you need to know to restore some of Ossining’s history to its former glory.
We also have some awesome Mind Body Spirit-Ossining programs coming up this weekend. On Saturday July 13th, you have 3 choices: learn Tae Kwon Do with Master Kenyon Winfield of UMAC Briarcliff at the Ryder Park Pavilion at 10AM, join SharQui instructor Solarah Delphi for a belly dancing workout on the Louis Engel Park stage at 11AM, and then head back down to Engel Park for Studio95 Zumba with Sue at 4PM! Register in advance to qualify for raffles and giveaways from participating businesses. Visit the Village of Ossining’s Recreation page and look for MBSO events coming up!
On Monday the 15th, more live music! The Roni Ben-Hur Quartet will be at Henry Gourdine Park for a night of jazz down at the Waterfront. Head down at 6:30PM and enjoy some tunes on the Hudson. Not a bad way to start the week.
The concert this coming Monday will have a special guest along-- come down to Gourdine Park and meet Ossining's new Village Manager between 6:30 and 8PM. Manager Karen D'Attore is new to the Village (she has been with them for just over one month) but she should be familiar to Town folks-- she served as a Town Board member from 2016 through earlier this summer. I have worked alongside Karen for many years and have always known her to be smart, thoughtful, smart, accessible (and did I mention smart?), and Village residents are in good hands with her at the helm. Be sure to go down and introduce yourself on Monday night.
Planning any international travel this summer and in need of a passport? Westchester County has you covered. Timothy C. Idoni, the Westchester County Clerk, and his staff will be visiting Ossining on Tuesday, July 16th; head down to the Community Center between 11AM and 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.
Also on Tuesday (the 16th), Westchester County will be holding a job fair at Eastview Middle School targeting school jobs, that’s at 350 Main Street in White Plains between 10AM and 2PM. School jobs aren’t just for teachers—they are looking for folks who are looking for clerical work, custodial jobs, and more. This event is open to the public, call (914) 995-2501 for more information.
If you are looking to educate yourself on something new, check out "The ABC's of CBD" at Good Choice Kitchen on Wednesday, July 17th at 7PM. Debra Borchardt and Soli Pierce, owners of new wellness venture Kanna Revolution, will be providing information about how you may wish to consider adding CBD (cannabidiol) into your wellness routine, and products will be available to sample and purchase. CBD is derived from the hemp plant, but does not contain the psychoactive element THC-- CBD is used to treat anxiety, depression, pain, inflammation, acne, pain, and more, so this is not about getting high, this is about getting healthy. This event is free to the public-- bring your questions and learn why this product is popping up all around us lately.
Sadly, the kick off for the Briarcliff Manor Chamber of Commerce's summer concert series at Law Park, which had been scheduled for last night, was rescheduled due to expected rain. The good news is two-fold-- 1) it has been rescheduled for tonight (Friday) at 8PM, and 2) you have another chance to check out the series this coming Thursday, July 18th, when "Off The Record" will perform. 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 eats and icy drinks to round out the evening.
A new run of ten minute plays is coming to Westchester Collaborative Theater starting on Friday, July 19th, called “Brand New Shorts.” I know a lot of these excellent playwrights. Make sure to get your tickets in advance by visiting www.wctheater.org. This program only runs through July 28th, so make sure not to miss out.
Finally, I want to share one last reminder about the Town Board Work Session on Tuesday evening (July 16th). While Work Sessions typically do not allow for public comment, we will be allowing input and questions from the public as a special exception this week, as the one topic on our agenda is the proposed River Knoll development (Croton Dam Road). We know that neighbors have many questions about the proposed project and, while the project is still before the Town Planning Board, we want to give you a chance to be heard. The meeting will take place at the Courthouse (86-88 Spring Street, 7:30PM), we look forward to seeing you there. If you can't make it, the meeting will be filmed and shared on our Youtube channel on Wednesday morning.
Have a great weekend everyone!