First things first. Special thanks to those who attended and helped to organize the 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony at Engel Park this past Wednesday. While a challenging day for all Americans, we gather every year on this date to recognize the civilians who lost their lives, but also our first responders who were lost and the sacrifices made daily by those who remain. As always, I was humbled to be part of this ceremony and was honored to be able to recognize those in our community who served, continue to serve, and who keep us safe every day.
Please be reminded that this Tuesday, September 17th, we will be holding a Town Hall Meeting at the Ossining Public Library’s Budarz Theater, hosted by the League of Women Voters of the Rivertowns. We will start a little earlier than usual at 7PM. I hope you will join us for an exciting “pro" “con” and “neutral” panel discussion about the 3 ballot initiatives that will be before you to vote on this November to permit converting elected positions of Highway Superintendent, Tax Receiver and Town Clerk into appointed ones effective January 1st. For more information, please visit the Project Forward website. We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday night for this informative discussion.
We are all sad to see the end of summer coming up, and doubly sad because it means the end of Food Truck Fridays and the Waterfront Concert Series for 2019. I was joined yesterday by Dr. Gayle Marchica from the Greater Ossining Chamber, Mike & Miriam Risko, our Parks Foreman Mario Velardo, Recreation Superintendent Bill Garrison, graphic design extraordinaire (and the Concert Series' #1 fan) Brian Sheridan, and Victoria and Maddi from my office to discuss the high points of the summer, as well as what we could do better next time. As you can see, we didn't have any fun at all.
All jokes aside, we did have a very productive meeting and came up with a lot of great ideas for 2020. Just hold out a little longer-- July 2nd will be here before you know it!
This week, we officially kicked off the Climate-adaptive Design Studio in Ossining. As you may remember, the Town and Village of Ossining was selected as part of an open application process to host Cornell University’s Climate-adaptive Design (CaD) studio. The CaD studio is co-sponsored by the Hudson River Estuary Program and pairs communities along the Hudson River with students from Cornell’s Landscape Architecture students to develop design concepts for waterfronts that are resilient to climate change and associated impacts like increased flooding and sea-level rise. To learn more, check out the press release on the program. (link to press release TBD) Earlier this week, Town staff and Village staff had the opportunity to meet the students via web chat so the students could learn more about our community.
Today, the students and professors from Cornell traveled to Ossining for the first of three site visits and stakeholder meetings this semester.
It was such a great opportunity to connect with stakeholders, discuss our visions for the community, and learn more about the CaD process.
The students will be back in October for a design workshop, and then save the date for Monday, December 16th for their last visit when they will present their final designs in a community workshop open to all. Huge thanks to First Village Coffee for providing refreshments today to keep us well-fed and well-caffeinated during our meeting!
Also earlier today, I had the opportunity to join Arcadian Barber Shop owners Mario Caparelli and John Fazzalori and their friends, clients, and families to recognize 50 years in business in the Ossining community! This is such an exciting milestone — their business has been an important facet of Ossining for generations. Congratulations on 50 years and hopefully many more!
You may remember a few years back, the Town underwent our first re-valuation of properties in several decades, and we enlisted the help of Tyler Technologies to help us do inspections of properties to get all of our values corrected. Our Assessor Fernando Gonzalez and his staff have been working hard ever since to keep the roll at 100% of full market value in the years since, but at the recommendation of the State, it is once again time to get out there and take a look at the inventory. Very few of the Town's 10,200 properties need to be re-inspected (a few hundred at the most), and if you are one of those property owners, keep your eyes peeled for a notice in the mail. However, even if you are not one of those folks and have questions about the process, Fernando and I filmed a TV show last week about what you can expect, which you can find on our Youtube channel. But of course, if you have any more specific questions, the Assessor's Office can be reached at (914) 762-8274.
Are you or someone you know looking for a job locally? Sing Sing Prison is hiring-- see below.
Finally, we continue to hammer out the plans for the 2019 Haunting at Cedar Lane Park. No hayride this year, but we will have an extra-scary haunted house and some other cool surprises that we will release in the weeks leading to the event. Tickets went on sale last week and they are going like hotcakes (PUMPKIN hotcakes!) Make sure to get yours soon, or you'll miss out on all the ghoulish glee that our team has planned for you this Halloween.
Tonight at the Ossining Public Library's Budarz Theater, coming of age film "Booksmart" will be shown at 7PM (doors open at 6:45PM). I saw this film when it first came out and thought it was a hoot, but keep the kiddos at home-- this one is Rated R. Popcorn and drinks will be available, so make a night of it and come hungry!
Tomorrow (Saturday, September 14th), I hope to see you at the Ossining MATTERS 5K Run and 2 Mile Walk, kicking off at 9AM at the corner of Main and Spring Streets. it is a great way to support Ossining’s students, teachers, and schools. I plan to run, as I have for the past many years. I hope you will consider joining me! Register now!
After you finish your Oss Matters 5K run or 2K walk, I encourage you to meet our friend Modou Cham from 511 New York Rideshare and pledge to go Car Free or Car Lite on September 20th for Car Free Day! Modou will be at the Community Table at the Ossining Farmers Market taking pledges and sharing more information about this important initiative in addition to all the great work his organization does on a regular basis. We are excited to share that Green Ossining’s own Kate Marshall and her husband Victor will be leading a bike ride starting at the Farmers Market for those of you who might be considering your two wheeler for car free day. I don’t know about you, but if I ride my bicycle on Car Free day, I need a little refresher in advance to give me the confidence I need. Bring your Bicycle and your helmet and hopefully we will be ready to roll (ha!) at about 12PM.
Lots to do on Sunday too! At 10AM, join the Delphi Dance Ensemble at Louis Engel Park, from 10AM to 12PM as part of the Hudson Valley Ramble and get your dance on with a sweet backdrop. (The Ramble takes place all month long-- you can also head to Engel on Saturday 9/14 at 4PM for a Zumba class with Sue Radparvar of Studio95 Zumba.)
Reward yourself for a dance well done and check out "Poses for Pints" at the Sing Sing Kill Brewery, starting at 12PM. This "fun-raiser" for the Crossover Yoga Project will put you through a creative vinyasa flow before SSKB serves you a cold one. Though of course, you are welcome to nama-stay for more! Get your tickets here.
Just down the hill, the Ossining Boat and Canoe Club will be hosting their annual Clambake, also starting at 12 noon, down at the Waterfront. Come for the clams (and corn and sausage & peppers and beer and wine), stay for the raffles and prizes and make some new buds. Find an OBCC member to get your ticket (advance sales only!)-- $40 for adults, $10 for children ages 7 to 12, anyone younger than that is free. You can contact our very own Town Board member Liz Feldman and she will make sure that a ticket finds its way to you.
After you've had your fill, you can head up the hill to the Ossining Public Library and hear Ossining's own Blake Rowe perform "Solo Piano Meditations" as part of their Sunday Afternoon Concert Series. As always, these concerts are free, and a mellow way to close out your weekend.
Still need some more mellowing after the start of the week? Shannon Reilly has your back, and sides, front, and, most importantly, your aura!-- she will be teaching her last free class of the summer at Law Park on Monday the 16th.
Have a little one at home who is shy about reading? Sign up for "Reading to Rover" at the Briarcliff Manor Public Library. Sign up for a time slot and read (privately) to a certified therapy dog and get some practice reading out loud-- you couldn't ask for a more enthusiastic audience!
Take a mid week break with part one of the two part presentation by Town of Ossining Historian Scott Craven on Wednesday, September 18th at 7PM (part two is Wednesday, September 25th, also at 7PM). Scott will captivate you with tales of Old Ossining and will help you to see the sights we cruise past each day in a whole new light.
Get your tickets now for “The Wait Room,” a performance that explores the hardships suffered by women with loved ones behind bars, performed throughout California in recent months, and brought to Ossining’s own Louis Engel Park by the Sing Sing Prison Museum. Performances start Friday, September 20th and continue through the weekend. Tickets are available on Eventbrite.
There are other events scheduled next week in conjunction with the “The Wait Room” performances. On Tuesday, September 17th, meet the choreographer and the dance team at Bethany Arts Community on Somerstown Road as part of Flyaway Production'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 at the Ossining Public Library. 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.
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. That very same night, Teatown will host "A Night in the Woods", their annual gala, beginning at 5:30PM. Find more information on that event here.
And finally, be sure you mark your calendars for a very important discussion on the 2020 Census, which will be held at the Ossining Public Library.
Speaking of our beloved library, September is Library Card Sign Up Month! If you don't have one already, now is the time-- not only will it grant you access to books, movies and media from throughout the Westchester Library System, it will also allow you to borrow media online and download it to your phone or your Kindle without leaving home. They even have Mango software to help you learn new languages, passes you can borrow for free access to local museums and so much more! September is almost halfway over, so make it happen this weekend! Check out the Library's website for more information.