You may have heard there's a heat wave coming... what better way to beat that heat than with a river breeze? Tonight is the third Food Truck Friday coming at you from our friends at the Greater Ossining Chamber of Commerce-- we will be joined by Westchester Burger Company, Eat My Balls Food Truck, Aji Limo Peruvian Cuisine (that passion fruit and basil refresher will come in handy tonight), Cravin Jamaican Cuisine, Sing Sing Kill Brewery, and FTF newcomer The Blue Pig Ice Cream (happy to have them anytime, but especially in this kind of weather!) Make sure to bring some cash if you plan to check out the trucks, as some of them are unable to take credit cards.
While the trucks line up at 5PM, make sure to get a good spot and plan to settle in for the night. Ossining's own KJ Denhert will be taking the Louis Engel Park stage at 7PM. She is one of our favorites and we can't wait to see you down at the Park tonight for some storytelling, snacks, and an awesome sunset.
On Monday evening, the Village of Ossining held their second in a series of four Jazz Concerts at Henry Gourdine Park, featuring the Roni Ben-Hur Quartet.
As an added bonus, the Village took the opportunity to introduce their new Village Manager Karen D'Attore! It was exciting for the community to meet Karen in this new context. As much as we miss having her enthusiasm, wisdom and institutional knowledge on the Town Board, she is doing a great job in the Village and I know they are happy to have her there!
Work continues at the Ryder Park Caretaker's House, and we are ALMOST DONE with the kitchen renovation. Floors are in, cabinets are in, backsplash tile is installed, and appliances are getting moved into place as we speak.
This place was in pretty sorry shape at this time last year, and while the work has taken a bit longer than we had hoped, we are thrilled with the result. By using our in-house staff, we have been able to keep costs down significantly, and by purchasing new energy efficient appliances, we hope to keep utility bills down long into the future.
We held two installments of a special training this week-- Pamela Jones-Brice from Westchester County Employee Assistance Program came to talk to the staff about Cultural Competency, which examines implicit biases we all have, as well as privilege we may not realize changes our outlook on the world. Still not clear? Here is an example that really resonated: Pamela asked the group if they noticed where the curb was cut when walking into the building that morning. No one had. Why? Well, probably because no one in the room uses a wheelchair to get around. This is one example of ability privilege, which most of us do not even consider when going about our daily lives.
The training had several exercises to do, one of which was idenitifying your privilege and making keychains with different colored beads to represent the types of privilege (racial, gender, class, etc.) you have. While everyone loves a good craft project to break up the day, this one was especially meaningful to the folks assembled and even prompted several staff members to ask what other courses Pamela could bring to us to help us do our jobs better (and naigate the world better too).
Seeing one another through this new lens sparked a lot of conversation-- our staff is very diverse, and Maddi reported back that everyone learned a lot about one another and how we can work together more effectively and respectfully. I look forward to taking the course when Pamela returns in September.
In closing, we started this week with some bittersweet news. Our Deputy Town Clerk, Ann Marie Rocco, announced that she will be taking the position of Village Clerk in the Village of Ardsley and will be leaving the Town (and Village) of Ossining later this month. Ann Marie has been with the Clerk's Office for nearly ten years, and is leaving Ossining with a great deal of experience. We will miss her, but we wish her all the best in her new position! In discussions with Town Clerk Mary Ann Roberts, we knew we needed to move quickly and will be appointing a new Deputy to start work with Ann Marie right away so that we can get as much training in as possible.
Luckily for us, we had a perfect candiate working just up the stairs-- Martha Quituisaca will be appointed on Tuesday evening into this role. You may know Martha from her current role as a part-time Intermediate Clerk in the Tax Office on the 3rd Floor, where she started a little over one year ago. Martha is an enthusiastic, friendly, dedicated employee and we are lucky to have her on our team in any capacity, but the Clerk's Office will be especially fortunate to have her, as she is just a few credits shy of a Masters in Public Administration, and is a fluent Spanish speaker. Make sure to stop in and say hi to Martha as she starts this exciting journey-- it'll be a steep learning curve, but if anyone is up for it, it's Martha!
I look forward to seeing everyone at the Waterfront tonight, but there is plenty to do around Ossining this weekend! (Yes, I will also be at WCT for opening night of Brand New Shorts –see flyer below). Please make sure to check the weather before you go out (as well as social media in case of cancelations)-- a Heat Advisory will be in effect until late Sunday, and "real-feel" temperatures are expected to crest 100 degrees for most of the weekend. The Village of Ossining wants to remind everyone that the air conditioned Joseph G. Caputo Community Center will be open between 9AM and 10PM today and tomorrow (Friday and Saturday, no word yet on Sunday), and we would like to remind you that the Spray Park at Louis Engel Park will be open extended hours (10AM to 8PM) all weekend and through Monday night. You can also pop into the Ossining Public Library until 6PM tonight and between 9AM and 5PM tomorrow. Make sure you stay hydrated and stay out of the sun as best you can-- prolonged weather like this can cause heat related illness-- and be sure to check on elderly relatives, friends and neighbors. One final reminder-- DO NOT LEAVE PETS INSIDE YOUR VEHICLE, even if you are just running a quick errand. High temperatures like this can be deadly to an animal in mere minutes. If you see someone else do this, please call 911.
On Saturday morning, head down to Louis Engel Park for morning yoga with the beautiful backdrop of the Hudson River and the fantastic Elisha Simpson from Crossover Yoga Project starting at 9AM. Unfortunately, due to the hot weather we are expecting this weekend, the Delphi Dance Ensemble has postponed their class this coming Sunday. Stay tuned for new dates to come! Mind, Body, Spirit – Ossining classes are always free and do not require pre-registration, but if you register in advance, you will qualify for raffles and giveaways from Club Fit Briarcliff and UMAC Briarcliff at the end of the summer, and if a program is cancelled for weather, you will be notified directly. This is especially important this week, as we are expecting extremely hot weather, so keep an eye out for a message from Elisha if she also chooses to cancel her class this weekend. Be sure to bring lots of water and be prepared for the weather!
I can't wait for this annual favorite (below), and I will see you there!
Monday evening (July 22nd) is another chance to try a free yoga class with Shannon at Law Park-- make sure to bring a mat or towel so you can comfortably get your crow pose on.
This coming Wednesday (7/24), the Ossining Police Department will be hosting their second of four Summer 2019 Block Parties-- this one will be on Yale Avenue between 5PM and 7PM. We had a great time at the one last time and I hope to see you on Wednesday night for Round 2!
The Briarcliff Manor Chamber of Commerce's concert last night was rained out and I've heard they plan to reschedule, but don't forget to check out Skyfactor on Thursday, July 25th, by which time hopefully the weather will have dried out a bit.
After tonight, we have one more FTF and Summer Concert Series performance before we take a short break on August 2nd to see the Ossining Fire Parade. Make sure you mark your calendar for the July 26th concert featuring an Ossining fave, The Mike Risko Band!
Finally, we received some sad news earlier this week, when we learned that former Town of Ossining Tax Receiver Barbara Bates passed away at the age of 92. Ms. Bates will be remembered in the community for having been an exceptionally hard worker and a friendly presence in the Tax Office. Our prayers go out to the Bates family and all who knew and loved Barbara.