It's almost time to get to the Waterfront! Our friends at the Greater Ossining Chamber of Commerce are back this week with another round of Food Truck Friday-- this week, we have some locals (Aji Limo and Brother's Fish & Chips) as well as the EMB rice ball truck (if you haven't met them yet, you should come by to see what EMB stands for!), and a bunch of newcomers-- Foodie Bus, Penny Lick Ice Cream, and Lobstercraft. Pro tip: make sure to bring some cash with you, as not all trucks are able to take credit cards, and I wouldn't want you to miss out! We have also heard that there will be a wine tasting, and the Chamber will be selling a selection of craft beer curated by Tapsmith in Croton. It's going to be a decadent night at the Waterfront-- it may be advisable to wear something with an elastic waist so you can snack all night long. (That isn't another pro tip. Just planning ahead.)
Once you load your plate and fill your glass, get comfortable and settle in for a night of fun with Ossining's own Mike Risko Band! We know these guys are going to draw a big crowd so make sure to get there well in advance of start time at 7PM and get set up-- the weather is going to be PERFECT.
As a reminder-- there will be no Waterfront Summer Concert on Friday, August 2nd, as we will be cheering on our friends in the Ossining Fire Department as they march in our annual parade! We are so very proud of the women and men that volunteer in our very big, and very decorated, fire department, and I hope you will join me in showing them some love next Friday-- the parade steps off at 7PM from Croton Avenue at Campwoods and ends at Engel Park. If you don't plan to join in on the fun, please be aware that traffic around town will be tight for a few hours-- try to reroute your travels until about 9PM!
If you are following along at home, you know that the Town Board has been taking public comment on a new local law which signs into law the longstanding rules and regulations at the Cedar Lane Dog Park and the Ryder Park Dog Run (if you're unfamiliar, it's a tiny little green space between the tennis courts and the far baseball field-- one of the best kept local secrets, see below).
Today was the deadline for major grants from New York State agencies under the Consolidated Funding Application. This year, we submitted two applications as lead applicants and participated in another application with Westchester County and the Hudson Valley Regional Council. Both of the Town's applications support our beautiful waterfront along the Hudson and other waterbodies in our community, like the Croton River. We applied for planning funding under the Department of State's Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP) to establish an LWRP in the Town of Ossining. The LWRP grant stream also allows for funding for implementation, so we are hopeful that once we have a plan in place, we can continue to apply back to this grant program year to year to implement recommendations of the plan, which might include parks improvements, wastewater infrastructure improvements, and so much more. We also applied to the Department of Environmental Conservation's Division of Water for planning to complete a feasibility study and sanitary survey for the beach at Louis Engel Park. As you might remember, citizen scientists from Ossining High School have been working closely with Riverkeeper to monitor the water quality at the Louis Engel Park beach, and have reported back that it might be feasible to re-open this beach to swimming. However, we need to deal with some of the real water quality concerns with thoughtful and considerate planning before taking the plunge (no pun intended!) and officially allowing swimming at our park. Finally, alongside the Village of Ossining, we joined an application submitted by Westchester County and the Hudson Valley Regional Council to work collaboratively with other Westchester municipalities, following a model used in Ulster County, to monitor our local greenhouse gas emissions and establish a new Climate Action Plan for our community. Our current Climate Action Plan and greenhouse gas emissions data have become dated, so we jumped on the opportunity to participate in this project since the commitment of Town resources will go a long way by working with our neighbors in Westchester County and experts from the Hudson Valley Regional Council. Our commitment to this project will not be monetary, it will be in staff time from the Town Supervisor's Office and Town/Village Engineering, in addition to volunteer time from Green Ossining and the Environmental Advisory Committee. All of these grants will help fill funding gaps in the Town's budget to address these pressing concerns, while saving local taxpayer dollars.
Last weekend, I had an opportunity to take full advantage of some recreational opportunities on our beautiful Hudson when I participated in the Shattemuc Yacht Club's Annual Ladies Kayak Day, which was open to all (and raised money for SPCA). It was a hot one, so it was great to be on the cool river. I spotted a bald eagle, a cormorant, and got to talk to some friends here (Abby Lewis with Ossining Innovates is one of them, pictured here). We did even go for a dip off Croton Point that made the rest of the day feel much cooler. Make sure not to miss it next year.
This past week was the second block party hosted by the Ossining Schools and the Ossining Police Department. Huge shout out to Superintendent Ray Sanchez, Chief Kevin Sylvester, and their teams for reaching out to and providing positive programming for our community, supporting healthy activities for all ages and fostering healthy relationships with local law enforcement. The next block party is scheduled for Wednesday, August 7th on Croton Avenue -- mark your calendars, you won't want to miss it!!
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to join the Ossining Children's Center for the groundbreaking of their new facility on State Street. Ossining Children's Center does so much to support so many of Ossining's families, regardless of their financial needs. Having safe, affordable child care is critical to the success of our community. The new, state of the art facility planned for State Street will help the Ossining Children's Center grow their programs and provide their various childcare services all under one roof. Congratulations to the Ossining Children's Center on this important milestone!
Also yesterday, I joined Westchester County Executive George Latimer for a press conference to announce some exciting news that for the first time since 2010, Westchester County will be receiving $4.1 million in federal funding to address lead hazards in our community. The grant funds will support healthy home assessments and education about lead paint hazards, and help low income homeowners remediate lead-based paint in their homes. Property owners, including rental property landlords, are eligible if the property and the occupants meet the program requirements. It is so important that everyone be safe and healthy, and chipping lead paint can be especially hazardous for young children in their homes, so I am pleased to celebrate this new funding opportunity coming through the County. To learn more about this program and how to apply for funding for your home, visit Westchester County's website.
We also engaged in our last Heartsaver/CPR training session yesterday, thanks to OVAC Chief Nick Franzoso, who gave of his time so generously for this project. This group, in addition to the other four that met earlier this summer, learned how to perform both adult and child CPR using a "manikin" and a CPR face shield, and also learned how to use an AED.
While we all hope that we will never need to put this knowledge into practice, the odds are not in our favor. According to the American Heart Association, 475,000 Americans die from cardiac arrest each year. Around the world, cardiac arrest claims more lives than breast cancer, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, HIV, the flu, pneumonia, auto accidents, firearms and housefires COMBINED. Knowing what to do in this type of emergency could save the life of a friend, family member, or coworker-- I was so glad to see so many of our staff members participate so enthusiastically.
I am proud to say that more than 75% of Town staff participated in this initiative and are now certified as Heartsavers by the American Heart Association. Congratulations to our team!
Finally, we have two new online components of Town government that we want to show off. Starting last winter, we started work with Sustainable Westchester on the Recollect software package, which is going to be helpful for our unincorporated area residents. Not sure when your home is scheduled for bulk pickup? Simply type in your address and all of the information will populate. You could also get the calendar via an app on your iPhone or Android. Even cooler? Tap the "Get a reminder" button and you will be sent a text message the night before OR the day of (your choice) so you never miss Commingled Day again. Our favorite part? Don't miss the Recyclopedia feature. Special thanks to Fern Quezada in the Highway Department for her work with SW to get this going!
The Forest o' Fears has a new website too, and it went live yesterday. Check it out! This year, we are working with the SPCA of Westchester and the newly formed Ossining Kiwanis Club to make this event extra special. All proceeds above what it takes to run the Haunt will go to the SPCA. While the site is up, tickets won't go on sale for another couple of weeks. Make sure you register your email address to be kept in the loop about what ghoulish goings-on are coming up this Fall! Shout out to Gina Balog-Sartario of GMB Creative, LLC for her excellent design work and dedication to developing this new website.
On that note, it is hard to believe we have nearly reached the end of July! We are looking at some beautiful (dare I say perfect?) weather for the weekend, so make sure to check out some of the awesome activities scheduled around town.
This weekend, Westchester Collaborative Theater’s Brand New Shorts continue. I saw them last week and they were outstanding. 4 performances remain, so be sure to buy your tickets right away, you won't want to miss these nine short plays! (My very handsome playwright husband may have written #5, so I look forward to hearing that his was your favorite.)
Mind, Body, Spirit Ossining continues this weekend, first we had Recess Rocks by Open Door today, Friday, July 28th at 3:30PM at Louis Engel Park. Tomorrow, Saturday, Solarah Delphi will lead a class in SharQui, the Belly Dance Workout, at 11AM at Sparta Park, and Sue Radparvar of Studio95 Zumba will lead a class at Market Square at 4PM. Also next Saturday, August 3rd, join Ben Leavitt for Tai Chi Easy at Cedar Lane Park at 9AM for the last of his monthly Tai Chi classes. If you register in advance on the Town’s website, you will qualify for raffles from Club Fit Briarcliff and UMAC Briarcliff and be notified in the event of a weather related cancellation. Hope you will come join us!
I also want to remind everyone that St. Augustine's Church’s 42nd Annual Italian Festival continues this weekend through Sunday, July 28th. I was there last night and couldn't resist dinner number two! Plus, I had a taste of their sangria, and it was outrageous. Head down to the festival between 6PM and 11PM for delicious food, rides, food, casino, food, games, and so much more. Did I mention the food?
On Monday July 29th, the Ossining Recreation and Parks Department will be holding their next installment of the Jazz Concert Series at Henry Gourdine Park. This week will feature the Amaro Freitas Quartet, so be sure to get there early and get a good spot. The music is great and the view can't be beat.
Live music is the name of the game in Ossining this summer-- don't miss the Summer Acoustic Series at Market Square every Wednesday night, 6PM to 8PM. Stop in at First Village before you head over and grab one of their famous iced beverages-- our office is partial to the "Choatley" (iced chai with oatmilk), but don't let that stop you from trying the Coffee Lemonade, or their new Agua Fresca which I tasted yesterday. Watermelon, lemon, mint--all in one drink. SO refreshing!
Looking for something a little more interactive? Sing Sing Kill Brewery on Spring Street will be hosting a "Change" tournament starting at 7PM that very same evening. Change is best described as tabletop cornhole-- the tournament is free to enter, so it doesn't hurt to try! Your team could win beer, a t-shirt, and a game set of your own to take home and practice for next time.
The Briarcliff Manor Chamber of Commerce had a great concert last night at Law Park featuring Skyfactor-- Your Welcome comes to the stage next Thursday, August 1st. Come down for some live music and grab some dinner and drinks-- 105 Ten and Mission Taqueria will be on site with their tasty delights for sale. I have also heard that the July 18th Off The Record concert, which had been rained out, has been rescheduled for Thursday, August 15th-- same time, same place!
Next Thursday, August 1st at 7:30PM, the Ferry Sloops Summer Music Series continues with a performance by singer-songwriter Rosie D’Angelo. Head over to the Shattemuc Yacht Club to enjoy a night of live acoustic music on their deck overlooking the Hudson. Admission is free and open to the public! Then on Saturday, August 3rd, Westchester Collaborative Theater continues its Jazz Music Series with the Valerie Capers Quartet, featuring Valerie, an accomplished performer, educator, and composer and her band – John Robinson on bass, Alan Givens on saxophone and flute, and Doug Richardson on drums. The band will perform two sets at 7:30pm and 9pm at WCT at 23 Water Street. $20 tickets can be purchased online here.
As a reminder, the Town Board has a "Fifth Tuesday" this coming week so we do not plan to hold a meeting. I hope you will join us on Tuesday, August 6th for our combined Legislative Session and Work Session, which will be held in the Boardroom at 16 Croton Avenue at 7:30PM.