Supervisor's Update – Friday, July 31, 2020
This week we will say goodbye to July. To help celebrate this special summer Friday, join us for our fifth virtual summer concert. The shows are emceed by Mike and Miriam Risko, this week featuring the acoustic-based rock/pop group Skyfactor. Originally formed in NYC, this group’s tours have come to The Cutting Room, The Bitter End, and Garcia’s at Port Chester’s Capitol Theatre. Maybe you caught the sneak peek earlier in the week? We are excited to see their show tonight. Tune into the live streamed show starting at 7 on the Town of Ossining Facebook Page.
We hope to possibly offer a couple more encore performances in August and possibly September as well so stay tuned. Additionally, make sure you take full advantage of the local businesses offering meals, drinks, or treats tonight. This is especially important on Fridays when I hope you’ll order a delicious local meal to eat while enjoying the concert. Call early with your order and request a 6:45 pick up time, this way we won’t overwhelm our local businesses with a hundred phone calls all at once. Thank you for your continued patience as our local businesses maneuver through these difficult times. Your support is literally keeping neighbors and neighborhoods afloat. Here is the list of local eateries open this week. We update the list based on what we hear, so if we missed someone, please let us know.
Speaking of our local businesses, you may have noticed some upgrades have been made on North State Road to ease accessibility and make the area nicer. We are so pleased we were able to add in a bike lane, as we have seen a big increase in cycling with the pandemic, and this makes the road safer for everyone. Thanks to some help from the Greater Ossining Chamber of Commerce, and our Highway department we added some lovely planters with flowers along the route as well. The flowers and flags were paid for by a special purpose fund of the Town, and organized by the Greater Ossining Chamber. We hope efforts like these will make the area an even more comfortable and inviting place to visit, shop, and eat.
Other Town services have been up and running as well. Our Court reopened to the public with their walk-up window this past week, which is open weekly Monday through Wednesday from 9:30-11:30 am, and Thursdays and Fridays from noon-2pm. We have taken many additional steps to keep our Court employees and the public safe, so please follow the directions shared with you if you are visiting the Town Court.
Hurricane Isaias reached Puerto Rico today and is expected to reach Florida soon. It will likely climb the coast over the weekend and reach us as a tropical storm early next week. We can expect strong winds, heavy rainfall, and some flooding along the waterfront and low-lying areas. Beachgoers should be weary of high surf and dangerous rip currents. Please keep an eye on the forecast next week, keep all of your mobile devices charged in case of power outages and remember – do not touch downed power lines! You can notify Con Edison in the event of a power outage via their website and mobile app. In the Unincorporated Town, our Highway Department is set and ready to get to work if there are downed trees or limbs in the roadways.
The Municipal Building at 16 Croton Avenue in Ossining continues to be open to the public with reduced office hours. If you must attend to something in person, we are open to the public Mondays through Fridays from 9 to 2:30. We understand many people are being called back to work, and these hours may not be convenient for you. Our Clerk’s Office has done a terrific job of transitioning to online accessibility for so many of its forms and functions. To request a marriage license, dog license, cabaret license or other popular requests, visit the Clerk’s page on Town of Ossining website. As a reminder, if you are visiting Cedar Lane Dog Park, your dog must be registered with the Clerk’s Office.
Another great online feature is for those who enjoy our waterfront from the actual water. Boat Ramp permits are available through our Community Pass program. You can pay for your permit completely online – hassle free. In the past, permits were sold through the Ossining Boat & Canoe Club but they are not accepting cash for boat permits at this time.
With the waterfront in mind, I would like to extend a “thank you” to everyone who has cooperated with us to keep the parks clean and safe. We have invited on a new part time employee on board this week to help set up areas for permitted gatherings. The Ossining Police department will be enforcing the regular 9pm park closing times (and possibly a tiny bit later at Engel for now, so you do not miss the spectacular sunsets). By closing on time you help our Town team be able to handle clean up of the areas before people start using them all over again. Park use has grown markedly since March, as you can imagine. Now, with the heat wave we want to make sure to take extra care of these spaces so you can escape the heat. As a reminder, during the week you can stop by the Ossining Community Center to take advantage of our cooling center, open Monday through Friday from 9am to 6pm. We have noticed an increase in “lost” masks on our parks and on sidewalks around town. These masks most likely fall out of pockets, off car dashboards, or out of bags, but the reason does not matter. The CDC reminds us that you should not fiddle with your mask, touch it, or take it on and off unless you can immediately wash your hands. That means your mask should not have the chance to fall on the ground outside and get lost. They are good little helpers and we need to be sure to wear them any time we interact with people outside our household.
New York State expanded the number of Restricted States listed in their Travel Advisory. Restricted States are determined by their current positive case numbers using a formula balancing active cases and total population. The Travel Advisory requires a 14 day quarantine for anyone returning from a Restricted State, even if you are a New York resident returning home. I know there has been some confusion about the advisory and which states and territories specifically are included. I encourage you to review the COVID-19 Travel Advisory section of the New York State website before and after traveling.
This week members of the Ossining Community Equity Task Force participated in the 400+ Years of Inequality with Dr. Angel Acosta. The event was hosted by the Coalition for Understanding Racism through Education (CURE) from Larchmont Mamaroneck. Anyone who is interested in the timeline discussed in the class can review the materials here. The timeline is very large, below is a small piece of extensive history discussed.
On Friday last week I was honored by the Gullotta House as an “unsung hero”. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all Town employees who have helped during this crisis. I continue to be inspired by the dedication of essential service employees and everyone else who has chosen to help in their community. Here is a photo of all five “unsung heroes”, safely in our masks for the quick picture. Congratulations to Irene Amato, Perry DiNapoli, Cinthia Gullotta, and Laura Rey Iannarelli.
A quick reminder to all parents of fur babies. Whether walking in a park, on the sidewalk, or in a wooded area it is important to pick up after your pooch. Many first-time pet owners fostered or adopted pets starting in March when shelter animals urgently needed homes. If you have welcomed a new addition to your household, you have probably taken on a lot to make them feel comfortable. You may be exploring new parts of town or our Dog Park or never-before-noticed paths – but it is unlikely you are the only person using that space. Please clean up after your dogs. Save newspaper bags, bread bags, and other creative options so you always have something helpful on hand.
Starting in August, the Ossining Public Library will be hosting interactive workshops via Zoom to help the class of 2020 in their job hunts. The initiative is a collaboration between #GrowWithGoogle, the American Library Association, and the Public Library Association. The workshops are available as both morning and evening sessions, each week focusing on one of four topics: online job searching, resumes / cover letters, interviews, and networking. Sign up on the Library’s Website to get ahead of the curve.
The Ossining School District hosted an online conversation with parents this week about their reopening plans for the 2020 school year. Please visit the District’s Reopening Website for more information.
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 traveling 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.
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.
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 at the Farmers Market. Kits are not available for sale in-person at the Market, but learn more about getting your own and the Ossining Composts program by visiting: www.ossiningcomposts.org.
On Saturday, 8-1 Sing Sing Kill Brewery is hosting a virtual Singer/Songwriter Showcase from 8 to 10pm. The event will be streaming live on the Brewery’s Facebook page.
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 have been hand-stitching masks next to a broken Singer or other machine, this Repair Café event may be perfect for you.
The IFCA thrift store at 138 Spring Street has reopened and donations will be accepted again starting August 3rd. The thrift store sells new and gently used clothing, shoes, bedding, dishes, pot/pans, costume jewelry and handbags. It’s a great find for new parents, new homeowners, and just-moved families.
I know a lot of people started home gardens as prices rose at grocery stores. For teens looking to hone their skills, the Ossining Public Library is holding outdoor gardening classes. Register here.
Grab your yoga mats - the Mind, Body, Spirit Ossining program is holding its first in-person event of the 2020 summer season! Join in for some socially distanced relaxation at the waterfront’s Engel Park on Saturday, August 8 at 9am. Register for this FREE class through the Community Pass section of the Recreation and Parks site. A second class is already scheduled for Saturday, August 22 at the same time. Register now for either class.
Also on Saturday, August 8 Green Ossining is hosting an event to clear an invasive species from Crawbuckie Nature Preserve. Volunteers must wear a mask, gloves, long pants/long shirt preferred if sensitive to poison ivy, and bring loppers or saws. Please remember that hydration is crucial during this heat wave so bring water (and a snack). Pre-registration required by Friday, August 7th through the Community Pass Program.
LEGO lovers will be thrilled to participate in this in-person building class. Available through our Recreation and Parks Department, this class is great for kids who want to build. Sign up now through Community Pass for this Snapology class.
Ossining Matters has announced they will be holding a drive-in movie fundraiser on Saturday, August 15 at Brookside Elementary School (30 Ryder Rd, Ossining). The featured film is Sonic the Hedgehog, a family-friendly movie. Tickets go on sale TOMORROW at noon.
On August 20th, 2020 from 3PM to 7:30PM stop by OVAC for a Blood Drive at 8 Clinton Ave, Ossining. Blood supplies are very low due to the cancellation of large donation events at colleges and offices. If you would like to donate please go to NYBC.org or NYbloodcenter.org and search for location or "Ossining Volunteer Ambulance Corps". Once you set up an account you can schedule your donation time. If you have any questions you can direct them to OVAC through their Facebook page.
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.
Food Distribution events have been taking place since early March through a number of channels, including the Gullotta House which also helps support local restaurants while serving those in need. Gullotta House has distributed over 75,000 meals throughout Westchester, and will be hosting their weekly Food Distribution today starting at 4pm at the Ossining Stop & Shop.
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 will respond to all calls and emails.
Right now, weekly on Tuesdays, 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 its summer food program Monday through Friday at Park School (22 Edward St, Ossining).
It is with heavy hearts that we share that this year’s beloved Earth Day festival has been cancelled. The event was originally pushed from April to September in hopes that crowds would feel safe in gatherings. The Green Ossining festival plans to return in April 2021.
Please continue to be safe out there and have a good weekend.