Murphy, Serino and Odell to Host Veterans Chow Down Dinner

CARMEL, N.Y. – Honoring the men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, Senator Terrence Murphy, Senator Sue Serino and Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell are teaming up with the PFC. Joseph P. Dwyer Vet2Vet Program to offer the 2015 Veterans’ Chow Down, a complimentary appreciation dinner, on Sunday, Nov. 1 at Putnam County Golf Course, located at 187 Hill Street in Mahopac.  There are two seating times, noon and 3 p.m. for veterans and their guest to choose between.

“When it comes to Veterans, there is no task too small,” said Murphy.  “Without these incredibly brave men and women, our world would be completely different today.  The very least we as a community can do is offer a special thank you and recognize their service and sacrifice.”

The Chow Down will bring Veterans together with their brothers and sisters in arms for a family-style meal.  Entertainment will be provided by the USO.  Military vehicles, dating from 1916 to 2012, that are part of the American Veterans Historical Museum’s Interactive Military Display will be available for the attendees to see and even climb into.

“The 2015 Chow Down is an opportunity for local Vets and their guests to come together, share a meal, learn about some unique resources available to them, and -more importantly- to remind that that they have an incredibly grateful community behind them,” Serino said.  “While words are rarely enough to truly thank our Veterans -and their families- for the countless sacrifices they have made on our behalf, it’s important that we take every opportunity to show our gratitude and that’s what the event is all about.”

In addition to the meal and fellowship, the Chow Down provides an opportunity for the Veterans to learn about local services that available to them.

“Providing a complimentary meal to local veterans from the Putnam and Northern Westchester area is a simple gesture to show the men and women, who has served in the U.S. Armed Forces, how much we appreciate the sacrifices they made defending our freedoms,” said Odell.  “The 2015 Veterans’ Chow Downs also gives us an opportunity to support the work of the Putnam County Veterans Service Agency through the Joseph P. Dwyer Vet2Vet Program.”

The Joseph P. Dwyer Vet2Vet Program, which is staffed by Veterans, provides a place for peers (fellow Veterans, members of the Armed Forces and their families) to connect with and support one another in a safe and nonjudgmental environment.  It is a free, anonymous and confidential program that provides support, lunch-and-learn workshops, mentoring opportunities as well as training and development options.

“It is rare that Veterans have an opportunity to be recognized and thanked by the public and by elected officials,” said Karl Rohde, Director of Putnam County’s Veterans Service Agency.  “What better way to do this than with a family style meal where they can share the comradeship they cherished during their service.”

Attendance is limited. Veterans are asked to RSVP for the Chow Down on Senator Murphy’s website, or call 914-962-2624.


Odell to Recognize the Carmel Girls Scouts for Building First Responders Garden

Odell to Recognize the Carmel Girls Scouts for Building First Responders Garden

CARMEL, N.Y. – As a thank you to the law enforcement, fire department and emergency service workers in Putnam County, three Girl Scout Cadettes from Carmel Troop 2655 built a First Responders Garden on the lawn of 34 Gleneida Avenue in Carmel.  On Oct. 8 Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell will recognize the efforts of Alexandra Baranowski, Ashley Leftwich and Gianna Nardini at the First Responders Garden at 3 p.m. Several first responders will also be in attendance.

“Putnam County is a county made of first responders—career and volunteer, who are willing to risk their lives day after day in Putnam, the surrounding counties and in New York City,” said Odell. “To have these young ladies recognize the efforts of our first responders gives me confidence in the next generation. With their big hearts and open minds I know we can expect great things from Alexandra, Ashley and Gianna in the years to come.”

The First Responders Garden was the Silver Award Project for the Girl Scouts. The Silver Award is the second highest award that a Girl Scout can receive.

Baranowski, Leftwich and Nardini worked together to plan, design and construct the garden. Putnam County has committed maintaining the garden, which is on county property, for a least a year.

The details for the event are as follows:

WHO: County Executive MaryEllen Odell

            Alexandra Baranowski

            Ashley Leftwich

            Gianna Nardini

            First Responders


WHAT: Opening of First Responders Garden

WHERE: First Responders Garden, 32 Gleneida Avenue, Carmel, N.Y. 

WHEN: Thursday, Oct. 8 at 3 p.m.





County Executive Odell Presents 9/11 Memorial Exhibit

County Executive Odell Presents 9/11 Memorial Exhibit

“In the 14 years since September 11, 2001, babies have become teens; teens have become adults and the adults are becoming seniors.  Time has passed, but still, WE REMEMBER. The purpose of this exhibit, the reason I decided to present it, is to display tangible memorabilia from that horrific day so that it never becomes a fleeing memory.”- County Exec. MaryEllen Odell.

On Monday, September 21, Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell will present a special 9/11 Memorial Exhibit in the lobby of the TOPS Building in Donald B. Smith Campus in Carmel, NY. The exhibit will be open from 3:00 to 9 p.m.

“The world forever changed that day after the terrorist attacks that killed thousands at the World Trade Center, the pentagon and in a field in Pennsylvania,” said Odell.  “The World Trade Center attack is considered the deadliest incident for firefighters and law enforcement.  It claimed the lives of 2,753 people—343 of whom were firefighters and 72 of whom were police officers.   In addition, thousands of first responders have been diagnosed with cancer or respiratory illnesses as a result of the World Trade Center attack.”

The 9/11 artifacts in the exhibit are part of the personal collection of Brewster resident John Hyland. The collection has also been displayed at the Brewster Library.

Brewster Bulldog Hockey

Welcome the Brewster Bulldogs Pro Hockey Team to Putnam County


9a.m. Tuesday, September 15

Brewster Ice Arena

Welcome the Brewster Bulldogs Pro Hockey Team to Putnam County

Putnam County is the new home to a Class-A Level Federal Hockey League team the Brewster Bulldogs for the 2015-16 season. County Executive MaryEllen Odell will join Brewster Bulldogs Owners Bruce Bennett and Ed Crowe, General Manager and Head Coach David Lund, hockey officials and community leaders in the official announcement of the FHL’s newest league member at the Brewster Ice Arena on Tuesday, September 15 at 9 a.m.

The Brewster Bulldogs will play its home games at the Brewster Ice Arena. The season will begin with exhibition games against the Danbury Titans, a local rival Federal Hockey League team. Information on ticket prices and an on sale date are forth coming. The official website of the Brewster Bulldogs is

The Federal Hockey League (FHL) is a professional ice hockey league with teams in the Northeastern United States and Midwestern United States. Created in 2009, the league emphasizes strong local ownership, high quality competition and affordable family entertainment. (

The Brewster Bulldogs will be unveiling the team’s colors, logo and jersey.  In addition, Brewster Bulldog Owners Bruce Bennett and Ed Crowe as well as Head Coach David Lund, who is also the general manager, will be on hand to answer questions and outline the plan for the future.

The Brewster Ice Arena is located on 63 Fields Lane, Brewster, New York.

The details for TUESDAY’s event are as follows:

WHO:   Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell

Team owners Bruce Bennett and Ed Crowe

Head Coach David Lund

Brewster Ice Arena owner Steve Santini

Local Elected Officials

Community Leaders


WHAT: Welcoming the Brewster Bulldogs Pro Hockey Team to Putnam County

WHEN: 9 a.m. Tuesday, September 15

WHERE: Brewster Ice Arena, 63 Fields Lane, Brewster, New York

CONTACT: Special media requests should be directed to Mike Ciaramell, Director of Marketing for the Brewster Bulldogs, at 631-902-5544 or via email at



Putnam to host Traveling Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall Sept. 24-27

wall4CARMEL, N.Y.  – Honoring the sacrifice of those who have served in the U.S.  Armed Forces is important to Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell.  To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, the Putnam County Joint Veterans Council, in cooperation with Putnam County Government, will host the Traveling Wall at Putnam County Veterans Memorial Park from Thursday, Sept.  23 through Sunday, Sept.  27.  The Traveling Wall is an 80 percent scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and is the largest of the traveling wall replicas.


“It is of utmost importance to support our veterans and show gratitude for all they have done to protect out great nation,” said County Executive Odell.  “I am honored to have the opportunity to bring the Traveling Wall here to Putnam County as we remember the start of the Vietnam War 50 years ago this month.  Hosting the Wall at Veterans Memorial Park allows veterans and families who might not have the chance to travel to Washington D.C.  the ability to see the names on the Wall.”


The display will be open 24 hours a day from the opening at noon on Thursday through Sunday at 3 p.m.   Volunteers will be setting up the exhibit at 8 a.m. on Thursday, Sept.  24 at the park.  At noon the exhibit will be open to the public.  The ceremony marking the opening of the exhibit will be at 7 p.m. on Thursday.  The closing ceremony will be at noon on Sunday.  With Sunday being Gold Star Mother’s Day, after the closing ceremony will segue into the annual Gold Star Mother’s Day Observance at 1 p.m.   The Wall will remain open until 3 p.m., when volunteers will break down and packed up the display.


wall 1“Bringing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Traveling Wall to Putnam is a labor of love,” said Director of Putnam County Veterans Service Agency Karl Rohde.  “Many hours go into planning such an event.   However the fact that viewing the wall by one Veteran or family member who has never seen it may finally bring that person closure makes all the effort worthwhile.”


Over the days that the Wall is open, there will be the occasional performance from local music groups.   In addition, there will be volunteers continually reading the names that appear on the Wall, in order of their death until the exhibit closes.


“I encourage everyone to stop by to see the names of the men and women who answered the call of their nation and paid the ultimate price,” said Art Hanley, Chairman of the Putnam County Joint Veterans Council.   “Everyone was someone’s son, daughter, brother, sister, boyfriend, girlfriend or father.   Each one lives on in our through this Memorial of over 58,000 names.”


The Traveling Wall will be arriving in Putnam County on Wednesday, Sept. 23.   There will be an escort of law enforcement, fire department vehicles along with motorcycle groups.   The staging point for the start of this escort will be the northbound rest area on I-684 at 3 p.m.


It is the third time that the Traveling Wall will be hosted in Putnam County. It was last here in 2011.


wall 2County Executive Odell said “Welcome Home,” the traditional salute to the Vietnam Veterans.


Volunteers are needed to help setup, break down, read names from the Wall and to help people find specific names on the display.  If you are interested in volunteering contact Karl Rohde or Art Hanley at 845-808-1620.


Photo Caption: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Traveling Wall will be on display at Putnam County Veterans Memorial Park from Thursday, Sept. 24 through Sunday, Sept. 27. Photo from the 2011 display of the Traveling Wall. Photo by Denis Castelli. wall 3   ariel wall picture


Putnam Awarded $3.5 Million for First Responders Communication Improvements

Putnam Awarded $3.5 Million for First Responders Communication Improvements

CARMEL, N.Y. – County Executive MaryEllen Odell announced that New York State has awarded Putnam County $3.5 million to enhance its vital emergency communications systems under the fourth round of the Statewide Interoperable Communications Grant (SICG) program.

The SICG is a competitive grant program seeking to establish best practices for interoperability within and between counties and regions, and provides for measurable outcomes and plans for long-range sustainability.  Putnam was one of 17 counties statewide to receive a grant to fund projects involving infrastructure, equipment and technology upgrades that serve important roles in localities’ emergency response.

“Putnam County is a county made up of career and volunteer first responders—law enforcement, fire departments and emergency medical service workers,” said Odell.  “It is important that we provide our first responders with the ability to communicate faster and respond sooner.  This grant will help us increase the reliability, efficiency and interoperability of our existing communication system.”

A team, led by Putnam County’s Director of Information Technology Thomas Lannon and Captain Francis Christian of the Sheriff’s Department, documented the problems with the existing system, identified solutions and submitted the grant application.

“As technology continues to evolve we must stay in the forefront,” said Lannon.  “In analyzing our current radio system we have found areas that need to be addressed and this grant gives us a great opportunity to move to the next generation.  Ensuring a reliable radio system for our vital first responders is our main priority and this grant will allow us to continue that objective.”

One project the funds will be applied toward is the replacing and expanding of the county’s existing microwave system.  It is aging equipment that is near the end of its life and has reached full capacity.    With the grant now funding this project, taxpayers will save over $2 million.

“I am very pleased that Putnam County has been selected to receive the $3.5 million communications grant,” said Sheriff Donald B. Smith.   “We have plans to acquire new radio towers and to upgrade equipment on existing towers, which will reduce the number of ‘dead spots’ and create system redundancy so that, in the event one tower experiences a problem, another tower will seamlessly relay the critical transmissions.”

The grant funding will enable Putnam to enhance the radio communications capabilities for emergency services throughout the entire county.

“Our focus will be on enhancing our current microwave system which provides direct communication to our towers, increasing tower capacity and providing interoperable radio equipment,” said Bureau of Emergency Services Commissioner Anthony Sutton.  “That equipment serves as the backbone which enables all of the law enforcement, fire and EMS services to communicate.  The improvements will deliver a reliable, stable backbone that will allow us to expand capacity as needed.”

This was the first time that Putnam County was granted money under the SICG program.  It was awarded the maximum prize of $3.5 million.

Photo Caption: Putnam County received a $3.5 million grant to improve the communications system for law enforcement and first responders throughout the county.


Public 9/11 Remembrance Ceremonies to be held in Putnam

CARMEL, N.Y. – It has been 14 years since the heinous acts of terrorism in New York City, Pennsylvania and in Washington D.C. occurred on September 11, 2001, which will forever be known as 9/11. To remember the eight Putnam residents who were among the thousands killed as well as the their families and the first responders and recovery workers who have suffered sickness as a result of the World Trade Center attacks, Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell will be participating in a number of 9/11 ceremonies on Friday, Sept. 11.
911memorialcarmelmeo“In our hearts it feels like it was yesterday,” said Odell. “The world forever changed after the horrific terrorist attacks that killed thousands at the World Trade Center, Pentagon and in a Pennsylvania field. It is important to remember those that died on Sept. 11, 2001, support those who suffered a loss and thank those who continue to serve us.”

The eight men from Putnam County who died as a result of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center were: Thomas Kuveikis of Carmel (F.D.N.Y.), 48; Robert Minara of Carmel (F.D.N.Y.), 54; Christopher J. Blackwell of Patterson (F.D.N.Y.), 42; George Kain of Patterson (F.D.N.Y.), 35, Daniel Harlan of Kent (F.D.N.Y.) , 41; Stephen Patrick Driscoll of Lake Carmel (N.Y.P.D.); 38, George Paris of Lake Carmel (Cantor Fitzgerald), 33 and David Fodor of Garrison (Fiduciary Trust International), 38.

On Friday, Sept. 11, 2015 at 8:44 a.m., Jack Gress of Brewster will be raising the American flag and lowering it to half-staff as a mark of respect to those who died on 9/11 at Someday Retirement Community, located at 2 Stone Ridge Road in Brewster. There will be a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m., the time the first plane flew into the World Trade Center, to honor the innocent individuals from around the world who lost their lives as a result of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. People are asked to arrive by 8:30 a.m.

911memorialcarmelThe Brewster Elks Club, located at 1430 Route 22 at the corner of at Milltown Road in Brewster, will be holding its annual 9/11 remembrance ceremony at 6 p.m.

Then at 7 p.m., there will be a 9/11 Mass at St. James the Apostle Church in Carmel, followed by a candlelight procession to Cornerstone Park on the corner of Route 52 and Fair Street in Carmel.

At Cornerstone Park, the Stephen P Driscoll Memorial Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police will host a solemn service at 8 p.m. Putnam County’s eight heroes murdered by terrorists on 9/11 will be honored during the ceremony.

The public is invited to attend all of the events.

County Executives 3

Orange County Executive Neuhaus invites Putnam County Executive Odell to assist with stunt at New York Air Show

County Executives 3Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus invited Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell and Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro to teamed up and help with an air stunt during the 2015 New York Air Show held at Stewart International Airport in Newburgh on Saturday, Aug.  29. The demonstration was featured on the first day of the two-day event.
The county executives held poles in the air that were connected by a ribbon and the Lucas Oil Pit Special Plane, a Pitts S-1-11b, flew upside-down through the ribbon, breaking it in two. The stunt was one of many acrobatic acts performed by new and vintage aircrafts.

“The New York Air Show was an incredible event to bring to the Hudson Valley and I want to thank County Executive Steve Neuhaus for allowing me to be part of the festivities,” said Odell.  “This event brought thousands of people to the region, some for the first time, which shows the important role tourism has in the Hudson Valley.  We are at a time where counties need to work together and support one another, not compete against each other.  Events like the air show benefit all of us in the region.”

County Executives in Action 2The New York Air Show featured four branches of the U.S. Military including the Air Force F-22 Raptor, Navy F-18 Super Hornet, Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier and the West Point Parachute Team.

Next year’s show has already been scheduled for Aug.  20-21, 2016 at Stewart International Airport.



meo-scucc 9d

Taxpayers save as Putnam Hwy Dept. does drainage work on Route 9D in Cold Spring


Carmel, N.Y. – Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell and Legislator Barbara Scuccimarra went to the worksite where Putnam County is helping the Village of Cold Spring complete a portion of the restored Multi-Modal Drainage Project (MMDP) on Route 9D near Craigside Drive. The Putnam County Highway Department is currently replacing drainage pipes and catch basins as part of an Inter-Municipal Agreement (IMA) with the village.

The MMDP was planned by Mayor Anthony Phillips in the early 2000s, but stalled when new leadership came into office in 2009.

In 2014, Legislator Barbara Scuccimarra of Philipstown initiated the relaunch of the program and recommended the use of shared services with the county so that the improvements would have the least financial impact on the taxpayers.

“The Village of Cold Spring desperately needed the project done, but did not have the manpower or the equipment needed to do it,” said Scuccimara, who co-chairs the Fiscal Vision and Accountability Commission. “I could not bear the thought of Cold Spring taxpayers having to foot the bill for contractors and equipment rentals, when the county highway department had so many of the resources readily available. That is why I suggested that the work be done as a partnership between the village and county.”

The county highway department is doing the project at cost.

“The village has had drainage issues for years and it created plans to rectify the problems,” said Putnam Commissioner of Highways and Facilities Fred Pena. “When the village did the numbers and sought bids from outside contractors the officials found out it was going to cost a lot money. We were able to offer a more affordable way for it to get done that benefits both departments.”

In return for the county highway department’s work in the drainage project, the village highway department will plow the American Legion property on Cedar Street and the Nelsonville Fire Department on Main Street. The county holds the Cold Spring Friendship and Nutrition Center, providing lunch for seniors, at the American Legion and uses the Nelsonville Fire Department building as a sub-station for the sheriff’s department. The county has an annual inter-municipal agreement (IMA) with the village.

“As elected officials it is our job to ensure the health and safety of the residents of Putnam County in the most efficient way possible,” said County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “Having the IMA between the county and village allows us to meet our social and fiscal responsibilities cooperatively. I commend Leg. Scuccimara for coming up with the idea to amend the existing partnership to include the drainage project on Route 9 in Cold Spring.”

The drainage project was completed on Aug. 14.


Photo caption: Putnam County Highway Commissioner Fred Pena showed Legislator Barbara Scuccimarra (center) and County Executive MaryEllen Odell the drainage work that was being done on Route 9D in Cold Spring.