Tonight is the night! Get your tickets now for the East Coast premiere of "The Wait Room," right here in Ossining at Louis Engel Park. "The Wait Room" is a California-based production that highlights the experience of women with loved ones behind bars and the unique hardships they face. Performances start tonight, Friday, September 20th at 8PM, with performances tomorrow, Saturday, September 21st at 3PM and 8PM, and one last performance on Sunday, September 22nd at 3PM. Huge shout out to the Sing Sing Prison Museum for bringing this moving performance to Ossining. "The Wait Room" was even featured in The New York Times and Fox5 News in advance of the performances! I had a chance to stop down and see the rehearsals and can assure you it will be very special and really moving.
You are going to want to head down to the waterfront before the performance starts tonight for one last encore of Food Truck Fridays! Tonight The Hudson Oven will be serving up pizza and local favorite Cravin' Jamaican will also be at the waterfront, from 5PM to 9PM. The Sing Sing Prison Museum will also have Greyston Bakery brownies-- a great complement to the theme and mission of "The Wait Room." It is going to be a beautiful night for dinner (and a show!) along the Hudson here in Ossining.
We had an exciting week here at 16 Croton -- the Town of Ossining officially joined Instagram! We are so excited to be engaging with the community in this new way, and featuring all of the exciting things that go on in the Town that don't always make the Friday update. Here we are filming the introduction video on Thursday, with "Director" Tom Warren and "Choreographer" Yadley Beaubrun, both from the Village Finance Office, and "Videographer" Victoria Cafarelli from the Supervisor's Office.
Check out our inaugural Instagram story documenting Car Free Day, featuring the Town's very own Tax Receiver Holly Perlowitz and her staff Angela Juarez and Patti Cunningham-Jay. As Holly reminded us in her walking shoes and backpack, school taxes are due at the end of the month!
The first half of your school tax bill is due on Monday, September 30th. You can pay your taxes online, or come visit Holly, Angela, and Patti Monday through Friday from 8:30AM to 4:30PM. If you have any questions, or need any assistance, give the Tax Office a call at (914) 762-8790. If you want to sign up for the countdown reminder, you can do so on our Instagram page!
Also this week, the League of Women Voters of the Rivertowns hosted a forum at the Ossining Public Library on Tuesday night-- we gathered a group of panelists for the "pro", "con" and "neutral" positions on the upcoming ballot initiatives, where we will be asking the public whether we should change the elected positions of Highway Superintendent, Receiver of Taxes, and Town Clerk to appointed offices. We were joined by Jerry Faiella, who has more than 30 years of public sector management experience and has twice converted similar positions in other municipalities, elected Town of Cortlandt Receiver of Taxes Mary Breining, and Kyle Wilbur from the Department of State, and we had a great discussion of the upsides and downsides of potentially making this switch. Check out the video here.
Special thanks to Jodie Reaver at the LWV for coordinating the event, and also to all of our panelists for taking the time to educate us on the finer points. We look forward to hearing from more of you this November (and late October, if you plan to vote early!) when these three separate referenda will be on the ballot for everyone in Ossining. If you wish to learn more, check out the Project Forward webpage.
We got quite a surprise leaving the Library when we saw the art display in the Lobby. Greg McWilliams was on our planning board in addition to working on many structures for the Town over the years, but sadly passed away this past June. His daughter in law and grand niece put together this wonderful and inspiring tribute through photographs taken in his studio, mixed media, as well as sketches of the artist and his work.
Another exciting event this week was our annual confined space training with the Start Group. Mike Kelly and his wife Karen come every year to train Parks, Cemetery and Highway staff in confined space (they have been working with us for about 4 years, but working with the Village DPW and Water departments and the Ossining Fire Department for much longer!) Our guys get so much out of this training and are so engaged throughout, due in great part to Mike's expert instruction and real-world experience as a Chicago firefighter.
This is dangerous work for our employees (though, thankfully, not something they do more than a few times per year) and we do annual refreshers in the classroom and in the field to make sure everyone is prepared in the instance that they have to enter a confined space (in the Town's case, this is usually a sewer lift station).
Not only do the guys learn about testing air quality, but also how to construct, use, and decommission the tripod and winch to get staff in and out of the space safely.
This year, "newbie" Highway staff member Vittorio volunteered to put on the harness and do the demo for the group. Thank you, Vic, for always having such a good attitude and being such a team player! Also special thanks to our confined space guru John Orlando in the Town Highway Department for keeping us organized and our safety equipment carefully calibrated!
This year, we added a second day with Start Group and the guys did their first ever Trenching class.
While the concept of trenching is not new to most of them, the science behind the various containment systems was new, and most of the staff found it fascinating.
Special thanks to the Village of Ossining for letting us borrow your equipment for Trenching Day-- now that we have some practice on both systems, it should make picking out our own a little easier!
Finally, last night, I visited the Lasdon Park arboretum for the Westchester Municipal Planning Federation's award winners forum. Annually, the WMPF recognizes planning projects around the county and then offers an up close and personal view and short discussion. Inside the arboretum is a wonderful rainforest exhibit, so if you need to warm up, be sure to stop by to see some wonderful plant specimens.
In addition to "The Wait Room," there are so many other great events going on in Ossining this weekend. At the OAC Steamer Firehouse Gallery on Main Street, there is an exhibition of large artwork by members of the Ossining Arts Council from 2PM to 4PM on Saturday, September 21st and Sunday, September 22nd. The exhibit also continues next weekend, too.
On Saturday, September 21st, Ferry Sloops participates in the Hudson River Valley Ramble with free sails on the Hudson River. Each sail will be approximately 45 minutes, and depart every hour on the hour between 10AM and 3PM.
That same day, you can also check out Westchester Collaborative Theater's Fall Fundraiser at Shattemuc Yacht Club. The WCT brings us chances to see affordable and local theater year round, and they count on your support to continue doing so.
Mind, Body, Spirit -- Ossining is starting to wind down for the season -- join Elisha Simpson of Crossover Yoga Project for morning yoga on Sunday, September 22nd at 9AM at the Louis Engel Park stage. Register in advance -- in just a few weeks will be holding a drawing for our season-long raffle for everyone that registered for Mind, Body, Spirit -- Ossining events this summer, with prizes from our partners at Club Fit Briarcliff and UMAC Briarcliff. Next weekend, Sue of Studio95 Zumba will be back for one last hurrah for her popular Zumba class at Engel Park on Saturday, September 28th at 4PM.
This weekend is also the TreeHuggers Ball, a fundraiser to benefit the Center at Mariandale, scheduled for this 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.
After you try the Hudson Oven's amazing pizza tonight (and maybe check out Sunday's sourdough scavenger hunt), learn more about this unique business from Artisan Baker and Founder, Chase Harnett, at Ossining Innovates! on Monday, September 23rd from 7PM to 9PM at Sing Sing Kill Brewery. The theme is nutrition, health, and sustainability, with Roberta Gershner, MS, RD, CDN, also participating to share more about her nutritional consulting practice. I am excited to learn more about these two entrepreneurs and what they have done to address issues that are very important to me with their businesses.
The Ossining Public Library has some great programming going on this week, from musical performances, to the history of the Hudson Valley, help navigating health care and more, there is something for everyone:
Even if you missed the first go-round, it isn't too late to see Part Two of Scott Craven's presentation on Wednesday, September 25th at 7PM. Scott will captivate you with tales of Old Ossining and will help you to see the sites we cruise past each day in a whole new light.
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.
I hope to see everyone down at the Waterfront this weekend for one of the performances of "The Wait Room"-- I know I will be there tonight supporting the Sing Sing Prison Museum while enjoying some powerful live theater.