This week we will share our fourth concert of the year. We switched to a virtual format this year so people could enjoy the concerts without worrying about crowds or exposure. Funny enough, this week is the first Friday without heavy rain in the forecast – so virtual performances have been a silver lining for our 2020 Summer Concert Series. Place your dinner order with a 6:45 pick up time so you will avoid missing any of tonight’s concert. Chris and Nancy will be performing TONIGHT starting at 7, tune in live on our Facebook Page.
Each week we share a list of local businesses offering meals, drinks, or treats. This is especially important on Fridays when I hope you’ll order a delicious local meal and enjoy our concert. We have asked a lot of our businesses since March and we are proud of their resilience. Our businesses are owned by our neighbors, each adapting to the new health guidelines as they are unrolled by the State. I ask for your continued patience as they maneuver through these difficult times. The list is updated each week, so if we missed someone, please let us know. Show your love, support local businesses.
This week we lost Geoffrey Harter, a former Town Board Member. Geoffrey served the Town for 24 years and was a Recreation Advisory Board member before then serving many years as the Town Liaison to the Rec Board. He was a wonderful person, very giving and clearly devoted to the Town, as well as his beautiful family, who still lives in Ossining. In memoriam, his family is asking that donations be made in Geoff's name to the Alzheimer's Association or the FDR Veterans Hospital of Montrose. We will be honoring Geoffrey at our July 28th Town Board Meeting.
We held a number of meetings this week to discuss increased use of our parks. Since March there has been an explosion in the amount of foot traffic in our parks. This has impacted the amount of garbage left behind and made people uncomfortable about crowding, especially at our waterfront Engel Park. As we shared earlier this week, we are taking some extra steps to help keep our parks beautiful. You may have seen Chief Sylvester talk about some of these extra steps in his recent Facebook Live post. We are encouraging a carry-in-carry-out policy for garbage in the parks. There is so much garbage that our pails are overflowing, making it difficult to keep up with our lean, mean Parks crew. We have added extra bins and extra workers on the weekends. Our parks officially close at 9pm and alcohol is not allowed. The Police Department will be doing extra patrols to help enforce these rules to help ensure we are able to keep up with the demand for pleasant outdoor spaces. Similarly, gatherings of more than 20 people require a permit at the Louis Engel Park picnic areas. I know our parks have been a wonderful outlet during the outbreak and a much needed escape from the heat. If you are interested in reserving a space, please be courteous to your neighbors and apply for a permit through our Community Pass program. Please do whatever you can, also, to help us help you by wearing your masks, socially distancing with those not in your household, and picking up after yourself when you leave.
I would like to remind everyone that masks are required any time social distancing is not possible. Unless you can tell the future, you need to bring a mask with you whenever you leave the house. Masks and social distancing are key defenses against the spread of the Coronavirus. This also means you should pick up the phone if you see an incoming call from “NYS Contact Tracing.” The person on the other side of that call has been trained by New York State to alert you that you’ve been exposed to COVID-19. They can connect you with medical resources, groceries, senior/child care, and other necessities. It is crucial that you pick up this call. There have been recent reports of scammers requesting that people install software on their computers to aid with the tracing. Do not worry, here is some helpful information about what a Contact Tracer can and cannot request. As a reminder, official calls will only come from the “NYS Contact Tracing” Caller ID.
States have slowed – or stopped! – their reopening plans because of the nationwide rise in case numbers. We have to make every effort to protect our health and the health of our neighbors. This week, New York State added ten more states to their Travel Advisory. I know there has been some confusion about the advisory and which states specifically are included. I encourage you to review the COVID-19 Travel Advisory section of the New York State website before and after traveling.
The Governor has also unveiled the COVID Rent Relief Program. Households can apply for a rental subsidy, which would be sent directly to the renter’s landlord. This is not a loan and renters would not be required to pay this money back. The State has established a section of their website with information about the program and a detailed FAQ section. Applicants for the program are eligible if they have lost income between April 1st and July 31st, 2020. Additionally, applicants must provide some information on gross income and rent payment amounts. For more information, please review the COVID Rent Relief Program site.
On Tuesday, I attended the Unity Rally and Vigil held at Market Square to hear discussions of the impact our Black and Latinx communities can have by joining together to combat systematic racism. I am proud to see the continued activism and calls for progress. We continue to work together on looking at how we can make change at all levels and appreciate all the efforts many of our young people have made to continue to keep this critical issue in the forefront. Thank you to the organizers.
The Ossining School District has unveiled their reopening plans for the 2020 school year. Please visit the District’s Reopening Website for more information.
Ossining Schools are holding returns for the district-issued Chromebooks (and the power cord) until August 6th. Stop by the OHS gym on Tuesdays or Thursdays between 9 and noon to drop off your Chromebook. The district needs to catalogue the condition of each Chromebook and add updates so they can be ready for a possible district-wide distribution in the fall. If your child does not need their Chromebook for a summer program, the district asks that you return it sooner rather than later.
Make a clean break from screen time by picking up a great story. Ossining schools have launched their Ossining Loves to Read Program. Students can request books, leave book reviews, and set up book deliveries to their home. Check out the program at the Ossining Loves to Read site. The BookMobile has also announced the dates and times it will be travelling this summer.
The Tri-State Mask Making Group has put out a call for graduation gowns and choir gowns. Clean out your closet! The gowns will be transformed into protective medical masks. Our school colors can go to very good use, so why not? TSMMG has made and donated countless cloth masks and PPE to our community since March. Gowns can be dropped off at 119 Edgewood. If you want to support the Tri-State Mask Making Group, you can donate through their GoFundMe campaign.
Many of us have been separated from our elderly relatives during the Coronavirus Crisis. As nursing homes reopen, I know many people are still nervous to risk bringing the virus with them. Here are some senior-friendly tech solutions to help keep in touch. As a reminder, residents of the Town can sign up for daily R-U-OK calls from our Senior Services Program. Call (914) 762-1350 to sign up.
Tonight, the Gullotta House will celebrate its 5th year anniversary. The organization has done so much good work during this very difficult time, having held countless food distribution events since March. This event is raising money with this annual fundraiser (postponed from an April date). I am so excited to be among these very charitable folks being honored tonight as “Unsung Heroes” beside Irene Amato, Perry DiNapoli, Cinthia Gullotta, and Laura Rey Iannarelli. It’s not too late to buy a last minute raffle ticket at www.gullottahouse.org or jump onto the Gullotta House Facebook page for their live-streamed auction.
A quick PSA: dog poop cannot teleport itself into trash cans. We hope that technology will someday exist, but until then you have to pick up after your pooch yourself. You can use leftover empty grocery bags, bread bags, or newspaper bags. The important thing to remember is to keep our parks, sidewalks, neighbors’ lawns, and wooded areas clean.
The IFCA thrift store has reopened! Closed for renovations prior to the pandemic, the thrift store sells new and gently used clothing, shoes, bedding, dishes, pot/pans, costume jewelry and handbags. Donations are not being accepted just yet (wait until August). Perfect for new parents, new homeowners, and just-moved families.
The Ossining Rec still has room in some of their summer programs. Check out their full Summer Catalogue for all the info on our Summer Playground Programs, Chess Wizards, Lap Swimming, Kayaking and more! You can register now for next week's Basketball Clinics.
Our Census numbers are slowly growing but we are still hovering in the low 60 percent area. Ossining loses $2,500 a year for each non-responding resident. That is millions of dollars we do not want to miss out on. Share information about the Census and make sure this issue makes it into the national spotlight. I know some people may feel more comfortable answering in their native language. The good news is that the Census can be completed in your preferred language either online or by phone. Click here to fill out the Census now in your preferred language (it only takes 10 minutes). The Census is a new concept for many people, so remember: the Census is a count of each resident and is completely confidential by law.
Green Ossining volunteers will be at the Farmers Market every Saturday from 9:30am - 11:30am. We now have two locations for food scraps drop offs: the Farmers Market and Cedar Lane Park. You can pick-up your pre-purchased food scrap recycling kits or buy one at the Farmers Market. For more information on the Ossining Composts program visit: www.ossiningcomposts.org.
On Saturday Sing Sing Kill Brewery is hosting a virtual Singer/Songwriter Showcase from 7 to 9. The event will be streaming live on the Brewery’s Facebook page.
If you are interested in learning about white privilege in a mindful way, you will want to sign up for Deconstructing White Privilege with Elisha Simpson. You remember Elisha from our Mind Body Spirit Ossining program. She’s pairing yoga and meditation to help people approach a topic that can be difficult for some people to understand. This effort to teach and help us grow is an important first step for many. To learn more about the class, visit the class Events Page.
Teatown Lake Reservation is hosting a Meet the Reptiles event on Sunday, July 26th. Hold onto your hats people because this event is actually in person! Bring a blanket or a chair, and join Teatown’s reptile Animal Ambassadors on the lawn. Masks required. The event is free for members and only $5 for non-members. Pre-register at the Teatown website.
Get engaged at the state level. County Legislator Catherine Borgia and your State Assemblywoman Sandy Galef are holding a joint Town Hall Meeting. This event will be held through WEBEX (another zoom-type platform). Register here and set a reminder for this July 28th event.
The Greater Ossining Chamber of Commerce is hosting a zoom lesson on domestic violence, social services, and COVID-19. These compounding issues may not be visible to those outside their circumstances. Learn more about the event and how to register on the Greater Ossining Chamber of Commerce website.
You may see some interesting looking planes fly overhead next week. Planes are headed to the New York International Air Show, which will take place this year from July 29-30 at Stewart Airport. The headliners this year are the Air Force Thunder Birds.
On July 30, Sing Sing Kill Brewery is hosting Pub Talk: Food Insecurity, Climate Change & Agriculture starting at 5pm. For ticket information and more, check out SSKB’s Facebook event.
Food Distribution events have been taking place since early March through the Gullotta House which also helps support local restaurants while serving those in need. Gullotta House will be hosting their weekly Food Distribution today starting at 4pm at the Ossining Stop & Shop.
Westchester County will be hosting two drive-in movies in the Playland parking lot this year. Tickets are available online only at wcparks.ticketleap.com/drivein.
Ossining Matters has announced they will be holding an August drive-in movie fundraiser. The movie title and location have not been announced yet, but we are excited for this fundraiser.
For everyone who has helped make masks and other PPE, there is an upcoming Sewing Machine Maintenance discussion on August 3rd. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation shared the event information with us, though the event’s host is a group in the Carolinas. If you’ve been hand-stitching masks next to a broken Singer or other machine, this Repair Café event may be perfect for you.
Information about what is available right now to help people is included in our easy-to-access COVID-19 Resources Document. This is a joint effort by the Town and Village to organize information during this hectic time. The document lists information on legal assistance, WiFi access, services for seniors, and much more. If you cannot find what you need in this doc, you are welcome to reach out to the Town offices. Our Town staff is responding to all calls and emails.
On Tuesday, there are three pickup food distribution locations running during the day. A number of organizations are coordinating together to keep these distributions ongoing.
For children under 18, the Ossining School District is continuing their summer food program Monday through Friday at Park School (22 Edward St, Ossining).
Please continue to be safe out there and have a good weekend.