It has been a love-filled week in the Town of Ossining!
I started off the week on Monday visiting the Montrose VA for their Salute to Veterans week. I joined the staff and residents there for an ice cream social, visiting several of the different inpatient care centers just up the road from Ossining. I have participated in this event for the past few years, and it is always such a meaningful way to thank those that have given so much in service to our country. Thank you to the staff in the Voluntary Services office for always inviting me to join in the fun and huge shout out to the Ossining Girl Scouts for making Valentine's Day cards to share with the veterans!
This morning, I joined the Ossining School District and the staff of our Senior Nutrition Program for the annual Valentine's Day breakfast for seniors at the Community Center. There were so many talented performers from the Ossining Schools, with breakfast served by the wonderfully enthusiastic students of Ossining High School's National Honor Society.
There were even a few celebrity sightings! County Legislator Catherine Borgia was there, along with other elected officials like Senator David Carlucci and Mayor Victoria Gearity.
I also ran into some familiar faces, here's Legislator Borgia with Chris and Dom Cafarelli (yes, the grandparents of the Supervisor's Office's very own Victoria Cafarelli!)
It was such a great way to start Valentine's Day and I very much enjoyed being able to spend time with our community's seniors to kick off a fun day.
Then, I joined Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, other elected officials, and the staff of New York Presbyterian Hospital for a press conference at New York Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital Center in Cortlandt Manor to highlight how you can spread the love this Valentine's Day by becoming an organ donor. Signing up to be an organ and tissue donor is an easy way to help save lives and give hope to the thousands of people on the list waiting for a life-saving transplant -- one life can save the lives of eight! Learn more and sign up to be an organ donor today by visiting LiveOnNY's website.
We received an update from the Village of Ossining Water Department today regarding the steps they have taken to address the taste and odor issues many residents have been experiencing in recent months. Please read the message here for more information.
A few messages from our Highway Department:
Did you know that the Town of Ossining Sanitation and Recycling calendar is now available online? Get ALL your waste and recycling-related questions answered easily, accurately and when you need it, at your fingertips! Visit the Town's website OR, download the free mobile app for Apple and Android devices. Search keywords are “Westchester” and “Recycle. How is this better?
- Get your address-specific sanitation and recycling schedules - download, print or add it to your iCal or Google calendars.
- Get reminders to set your trash and recycling out - via phone call, text, app, or email
- Receive service alerts about pickup cancellations - same as above
- Find out how to dispose of just about anything using ‘Recyclopedia’ - an up-to-date and ever improving directory of what goes where.
- Ask questions and report a problem at any time of day
- Access all of the above in 7 languages!
Sign up now (for FREE)!
Also, the Highway Department would like to remind everyone to not flush baby wipes or even wipes labeled as "flushable" down the toilet! These items will clog up our sewer system and often cause issues with our sewer lift stations, which could cause serious problems if they are damaged. The Highway Department staff will be very grateful if everyone helps out a little and does their part by making this simple change.
The Ossining Schools have started up their advocacy efforts again as the State Legislature is well into their 2020 session and budget meetings. As you may know, the Ossining Schools are part of "The Harmed Suburban Five" alongside Port Chester, Glen Cove, Riverhead, and Westbury School Districts. Since the Foundation Aid Formula was established in 2008, the Harmed Suburban Five have experienced increasing student enrollment; decreases in community wealth; and also received less than 55% of the Foundation Aid funding originally promised, while other school districts have remained fully funded, or in some cases, over funded. The Foundation Aid gap in these Districts will continue to grow as student needs and enrollment increase. Our communities are simply asking that these Districts be funded at the same level as our peers by providing us with at least 80% of the fully phased-in amount and that this matter be discussed and resolved in legislative conference. Sign the Change.org petition to Governor Cuomo, or learn more about the District's advocacy efforts at the Ossining School District's website.
The Village of Ossining is seeking proposals to lease the Kiosk at Gourdine Park. Ossining’s busy waterfront is home to the Summer Concert Series and Food Truck Fridays, the Louis Engel Spray Park, playgrounds, picnic areas and unbeatable views of Hudson River sunsets, and directly abuts the Ossining Boat and Canoe Club, the Ossining Metro North railroad station and the Haverstraw/Ossining ferry. The Village hopes to find a tenant to run a seasonal concession in the Kiosk beginning in May 2020. Please visit the Village’s website to view the RFP; all responses must be returned to the office of the Village Clerk no later than 10AM on Monday, March 9th.
Starting in February and ending April 15th, IFCA Housing Network will be providing free income tax preparation services at their offices on Spring Street and at Ossining High School. This program is for New York State residents, who work in New York State, have incomes less than $56,000 per year, and who are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit. You can start making appointments now by calling (914) 941-5252 for sessions at IFCA's headquarters at 138 Spring Street and appointments are available Monday (12pm-3pm), Tuesday (10am-3pm), Wednesday (1pm-5pm), Thursday (10am-3pm), Friday (1:30pm-3:30pm), and Saturday (12:30pm-3:30pm). There will also be walk-in hours on Mondays from February 3rd through April 6th at Ossining High School (Room 202) from 4pm through 8pm. Please note the walk-in hours at OHS will not be held on February 17th, April 6th, and April 13th. This program is sponsored by Wells Fargo Foundation.
There is also tax preparation help available at the Ossining Public Library. Here are the details:
Tomorrow, Saturday, February 15th at 12 noon, the day has finally arrived to join me at our very own Louis Engel Park beach for Gullotta House’s 3rd Annual Escape from Sing Sing Plunge. It’s supposed to be both a beautiful day and MIGHTY cold--maybe below freezing, yikes! You can join me or sponsor my fellow plungers and I by visiting www.gullottahouse.org. Money collected will support scholarships for OHS students as well as local families with emergency needs. I sprung for a new suit just for the occasion—bathing suit that is!
Tomorrow is the February meeting of the Talk Culture Literary Book Club at the Ossining Public Library. As part of OPL's adult programming recognizing Black History Month, the book this month is Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. You may have run out of time to read the book, but if you want to give speed reading it a try, copies are available at the information desk at OPL. Otherwise, grab your copy of March's book, Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison, and get started for next month's meeting. All discussions take place on Saturdays at 3pm in the 2nd Floor Conference Room.
On Thursday, February 20, the Ossining Documentary and Discussion Series is also honoring Black History Month with a screening of “The Trials of Constance Baker Motley” at 7pm at Sing Sing Kill Brewery. This film follows the story of Constance Baker Motley, who joined the NAACP’s legal team at the height of the Civil Rights movement, and went on to achieve pioneering successes in the fields of law and public service as the first black female New York State Senator, Manhattan Borough President, and Federal Judge. What an incredible life! Join Ossining residents Rick Rodgers (the film’s director and producer) and Joel Motley (the film’s producer and Constance’s son) for a special Q&A discussion of this important film.
On Saturday, February 22, the Mala Waldron Quartet, a group of internationally acclaimed jazz virtuosos headed by jazz vocalist/pianist/composer Waldron accompanied by her top-flight backup group, will make a rare local appearance in Westchester Collaborative Theater (WCT)’s Jazz in the Box Series. Waldron, will perform a sophisticated blend of soulful jazz together with Steve Salerno on guitar, Michael T.A. Thompson on drums, and Jennifer Vincent on bass at WCT’s black box performance space, 23 Water St. in Ossining. The Mala Waldron Quartet will play sets at 7:30 and 9:00 pm. General admission is $20, and tickets are available now online.
Start working on your award winning chili recipe now for the chili cook off fundraiser for the Ossining Pride 11U JCYS baseball team at Sing Sing Kill Brewery also coming up next month.
Finally, all Town offices will be closed on Monday, February 17 in observation of Presidents Day. Next Monday and Tuesday are also the dates of the Association of Towns Annual Conference, so we have canceled our Work Session for Tuesday, February 18. Most staff will be back in the office on Tuesday, but please call ahead if you need immediate assistance from any office and plan on visiting us on Tuesday. The Town Justice Court will be closed on Tuesday, February 18 as the whole staff will be attending training at the Association of Towns conference. Everyone will be back and ready to serve you on Wednesday! I hope everyone enjoys the long weekend, or for those will school aged children, a nice and relaxing winter break!
Happy Valentine's Day!