It's hard to believe, but summer is coming to an end and our last installment of the 2019 Summer Concert Series is here. Tonight at 7PM, blues, funk and folk musician (and Ossining High School graduate!) Marc Von Em will be helping us wrap up the season and say goodbye until next year.
Sadly, we are also hosting our last 2019 Food Truck Friday-- make sure to get down to the Park and enjoy the feast while it lasts! This week, we will be joined by Aji Limo, Sloppie Joe's, Westchester Burger Company, EMB rice balls, Brothers Fish & Chips, Baked by Susan, and Sing Sing Kill Brewery. Special thanks to our friends Gayle Marchica and Johnny Girolamo (otherwise known as DJ Johnny G!) for working with us to involve the Greater Ossining Chamber of Commerce this year. We can't wait to see what next year will bring!
At our Town Board meeting this week, we were joined by Stephanie Lynn from the Sing Sing Prison Museum, who proposed a very cool performance for a section of Engel Park this September. "The Wait Room" explores the hardships suffered by women with loved ones behind bars and has been performed throughout California in recent months; SSPM's interest in the social justice aspect of the prison system in our nation is what makes this an especially important collaboration, and I am so excited that we will be hosting the production right here in a Town park. I encourage you to check out a video clip of the production here and purchase your tickets for one of the four performances coming up in just 3 weeks time-- proceeds will go to benefit the Sing Sing Prison Museum, slated to open in 2025.
There are also a variety of events leading up to the performances which you are invited to attend. On Tuesday, September 17th, meet the choreographer and the dance team at Bethany Arts Community on Somerstown Road as part of Flyaway's weeklong residency there-- doors open at 6:30PM. You can also check out an open rehearsal on Wednesday, September 18th at Engel Park at 5:30PM. The Ossining Documentary and Discussion Series will be screening "Tre Maison Dasan," a documentary telling the stories of three boys, each of whom has an incarcerated parent, on Thursday, September 19th. Doors open at 6:30PM for the film, and it will be followed by a panel discussion. Finally, check out a Masterclass at Bethany with the dance team on Saturday the 21st between 10AM and 11:30AM-- no prior dance experience is required. It's going to be an exciting and educational week in Ossining, so make sure to mark your calendar now.
Speaking of Engel Park, we held the ribbon cutting at the spray deck this afternoon! Senator David Carlucci helped the Town get $100,000 to pay for new flooring for the spray park, and the tiles were installed prior to this season. However, the ribbon cutting we had scheduled for July fell through, which turned out not to be such bad news-- today was BEAUTIFUL!
Senator Carlucci and I were joined by my Town Board colleagues Councilwomen Liz Feldman and Jackie Shaw, Water Superintendent Andy Tiess, Town Parks Foreman Mario Velardo, Recreation Superintendent Bill Garrison, and our insurance agent Jim Duffy, all of whom played a critical role in making this upgrade a reality.
Special thanks also to Victoria Cafarelli in my office for her diligent work to get the grant paperwork in ship shape, and to Maddi Zachacz for her insistence on such a cheerful and colorful design. The Spray Park is only open through Monday before it closes for the season-- make sure to get down there and enjoy the last few warm days in Ossining, like the Senator, Councilwoman Feldman, County Legislator Borgia and I did earlier today.
Over the past several months, we have heard from many of you about concerns related to usage of the Unique Area, a piece of state-owned land bordering Ossining, Croton and Cortlandt, along the Croton River. In response to the complaints regarding parking, littering, public urination, and more, we have stepped up enforcement while continuing to ask the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation to do their part in regulating and enforcing the use as well. Earlier this week, pdf we received this response (183 KB) . We will continue to advocate, along with our municipal partners in Croton and Cortlandt, for more lasting change to how rules regarding this area are enforced.
This weekend will be a bit quiet around town, as many folks will be away for the long weekend. As a reminder, Town and Village offices will be closed on Monday, September 2nd in observance of Labor Day. If you are around and looking for some place to hang out, Sing Sing Kill Brewery will be open between 1PM and 8PM, offering $2 off draft beverages for all Union members from open till close.
If you do stay in Town, wind down after a great weekend with Shannon Reilly, who will be back with her free "Yoga in the Park" in Briarcliff Manor's Law Park on Monday, September 2nd. After all the Labor Day festivities, I bet a nice outdoor workout will be a welcome way to clear your head before it's back to reality for most of us!
Although some of us are sad to say goodbye to summer, I think we may be outweighed by the amount of folks who openly welcome the Pumpkin Spice Season, including our resident ghoul, Fern Quezada. Fern has been hard at work to make the Haunting at Cedar Lane (formerly known as the Haunted Hayride) even scarier this year, and ticket sales open up this weekend! The Haunting (or Forest o' Fears) is an event imagined, built, costumed, and staffed by a large crew of mostly volunteers, and offers an affordable alternative to some of the other local Halloween attractions. This year, we decided to partner with the SPCA of Westchester, who had been dreaming of doing a similar event on their own, and all proceeds over and above the Town's cost to run the event will be donated to them! You may be wondering why am I mentioning this here-- tickets go on sale this Monday! Make sure to get yours right away for one of the four dates scheduled for October.
It’s time to get ready for Car Free Day 2019! Take the pledge to go car free or car light (think carpooling) on Friday, September 20th. We will be celebrating Car Free Day here in Ossining with a 511 New York Rideshare booth at the Ossining Farmers Market the Saturday before and on social media. Plan how you and your family can reduce your impact on the environment by taking simple steps to walk, bike, carpool, or take public transit to and from work and school on Friday, September 20th. Stay tuned for some more fun activities to help celebrate Car Free Day around Ossining. I will be dusting off my bike and bike helmet to get ready!
Outdoor concerts are not quite over for the season. Next week, Ferry Sloops Summer Music Series concludes with the music of All Wheel Drive. A strong catalog of original and cover songs combined with a wide array of musical styles, All Wheel Drive can be counted on to satisfy even the most discriminating listener. Their sets are tailored to fit each venue as they feel it's important to “play the room”. Their energetic presentations and good humor make for exciting and enjoyable performances. Join them for an evening of music on the shore of the Hudson River at Shattemuc Yacht Club on Wednesday, September 4th at 7:30PM. Admission is free and open to the public.
This weekend kicks off the 20th Annual Hudson River Valley Ramble! During the month of September, there are events scheduled throughout the Hudson Valley to celebrate the history, culture, and natural resources of our region, including the amazing landscapes, communities, and trails throughout. Here in Ossining, you can participate in the Hudson River Valley Ramble by joining in the last few Mind, Body, Spirit – Ossining classes scheduled in September! There are no classes scheduled this weekend, but on Saturday, September 14th and 28th, Sue Radparvar of Studio95 Zumba will be at Louis Engel Park from 4PM to 5PM with Zumba for all ages. You can also join the Delphi Dance Ensemble for the day on Sunday, September 15th, also at Louis Engel Park, from 10AM to 12PM. I hope you will consider joining in one of these events in Ossining, or checking out the many other Ramble events scheduled nearby. You can learn more on their website.
Also just a few weeks away, the annual Ossining Matters 5K Run/ 2 Mile Walk will be racing through our streets! Register today.
Finally, mark your calendar for the TreeHuggers Ball, a fundraiser to benefit the Center at Mariandale, scheduled for Sunday, September 22nd between 4:30PM and 7PM. Come for seasonal food and drinks, gift baskets, raffles and end the night with a candlelit labyrinth walk. Mariandale is dedicated to making sure that their services and programs are accessible to and inclusive of people living in poverty, and your support will help them be able to carry out that mission. Also, the event sounds like a whole lot of fun! Get your tickets here.
Finally, I want to let everyone know that the Town Board will not be meeting next week (Tuesday, September 3rd) and will resume our regular meeting schedule on Tuesday, September 10th with a Legislative Session at the Courthouse. We look forward to seeing you then! Please also note that on Tuesday, September 17th, we will be co-hosting a Town Hall Meeting at the Ossining Public Library with the League of Women Voters to discuss the 3 separate referenda that will be on the November 5th ballot regarding the replacement of three Town elected positions (Superintendent of Highways, Town Clerk, and Receiver of Taxes) with appointed positions. We will have panel members representing "for," "against" and "neutral" stances, and the League will be following their protocol for speakers, as well as Q&A. Please come to the Budarz Theater at 7PM on 9/17 to learn more, or visit the project webpage here.
Until that time, I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday weekend and takes some time to reflect on the meaning of Labor Day. Thanks to many brave Americans in our nation's history, we are able to enjoy paid leave, weekends, and most importantly, safe and fair working conditions. We are incredibly fortunate to live under a flag where these collective benefits are recognized as rights.