Tilly Foster Country Fair Officially Opens

It was a blustery start to Putnam’s first effort to host a 4th of July holiday event when dignitaries and guests gathered in Southeast to cut the ribbon and launch the opening of the Tilly Foster Country Fair on Thursday.

County Executive MaryEllen Odell, Deputy County Executive Bruce Walker, Legislator Carl Albano, Legislator Ginny Nacerino, Legislator Barbara Scuccimarra, Legislator Lou Tartaro and Undersheriff Peter Convery were among those present at the ribbon cutting.

“Well, we can’t say it wasn’t exciting,” said Odell. “But the worst of the weather will be over tomorrow morning and we’re in for a glorious weekend. So pack up the kids and come to the fair.”

The fair was the brainchild of Walker who wanted to bring the public onto the county-owned property to have fun and to learn about the future of the 199-acre former horse breeding farm

“Everyone who has participated in the meetings we have held over the last few months – both the public and Putnam officials – are excited about the prospects for Tilly Foster Farm,” said Walker. “The Country Fair is just our way of enticing as many other residents as we can to come onto the farm proper, learn about its future, see how we plan to accomplish our goals and enjoy a country fair at the same time.”

Homestyle Catering’s Al Ciuffetelli, Putnam County Golf Course General Manager Mike McCall and Tourism Director Libby Pataki have been organizing the event which is being sponsored by the county, Putnam County Tourism, Homestyle Caterers and the Putnam County Golf Course.

Ciuffetelli was responsible for contracting with All Star Amusements whose carnival rides and games fill the front pasture bordering Route 312. And, as a special added attraction, Ciuffetelli has arranged for a Petting Zoo to be present at the farm from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday. A good old-fashioned pie eating contest for adults and children has also been added to the roster of events and will be held on Saturday, July 5th at 7 p.m.

Ciuffetelli and McCall booked local bands to perform throughout the 4-day fair. Tom Dowd and Buried in Blue (July 3, cancelled due to weather); Rich Kelly and the New Fiction (July 4); Stone Hill (July 5); and Slick Trixie (July 6). Each band will perform from 6 to 9 p.m. Radio station KICKS 105.5 will be live from the fair on Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m.

Fair hours are 4 to 11 p.m. on Thurs., July 3 and Fri., July 4. The fair will be open on Sat., July 5 from 1 to 11 p.m. and on Sun., July 6 from 1 to 8 p.m. (later if Southeast fireworks have been postponed from July 4th.)

Visitors are reminded that due to safety regulations, no open flame grilling and open alcohol containers will be allowed for the duration of the event.

Entrance to the Country Fair is free as is parking. Tickets for the carnival rides may be purchased singly at $1 each or $25 for an unlimited ride wristband.

For further information and to see a color layout of the Tilly Foster Country Fair, please go to: visitputnam.org/countryfair.

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Rides & Bands Lined Up for Tilly Country Fair

MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
(845) 808-1001

June 20, 2014

Rides, Bands Lined Up for Tilly Country Fair

Close to 30 carnival rides are reserved and ready and four popular bands are booked for the first annual Tilly Foster Country Fair to be held at the historic horse farm located on Route 312 in the Town of Southeast. Fair dates are Thursday, July 3rd through Sunday, July 6.

All Star Amusements will set up their rides and games, enough to please young and old – and everyone in between – in the front horse pasture alongside Route 312. There promises to be rides to please thrill seekers like a faster than the speed of sound (almost) Cyclone roller coaster and a gravity defying (seriously) Graviton. Got kids? Well, who doesn’t love a merry-go-round or a Super-Slide? Looking for a bird’s eye view of the goings-on? Climb aboard a view-riffic Ferris wheel and reach for the sun – or the stars. No extra charge for the spectacular scenery.

If listening to great music and dancing up a storm is your kind of night out, come to the Country Fair by all means where live bands will play nightly from 6 to 9. Opening night band, Tom Dowd and Buried in Blue, will definitely warm things up and keep the crowd moving. Rich Kelly and The New Fiction take center stage on July 4th with their original and modern rock sound mixing it up with classic U2, Zeppelin, and The Who. Catch them before viewing the Southeast fireworks show at 9:30. On Saturday, local favorites Stonehill will raise the rafters and a musical ruckus. Finally, to wind things down as they wind things up, Slick Trixie, Westchester’s grooviest dance-till-you-drop band, will play everything from classic rock to today’s Top 40 hits as they bring the fair to a close Sunday night.

Admission to the Country Fair and parking is free. Visitors may purchase single ride carnival tickets for $1 apiece or an unlimited ride wristband for $25.

Country Fair hours are 4 to 11 p.m. on Thursday, July 3; 4 to 11 p.m. on Friday, July 4; 12 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, July 5; and 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday, July 6. For more information, go to visitputnam.org/countryfair.

tilly foster pencil sketch flyer - Copy


Cottages To Castles – A Tour of Historic Southeast Properties

The Landmarks Preservation Society of Southeast presents an historic property tour on Sunday July 13th

Brewster,NY July 13, 2014:  The Landmarks Preservation Society of Southeast will be presenting some of Southeast’s most historic properties.

Each of the properties selected for the tour reflects a distinct era in Southeast’s history:

  • the 1795 Ryder Homestead in the Starr Ridge Historic District, today it is also a certified organic farm and artist’s retreat
  • Morningthorpe on Turk Hill, one of Southeast’s “Castles.” It was owned and remodeled to replicate an English Tudor Manor in 1893 by circus entrepreneur Seth B. Howes. It was bought in 1980 by the Delancey Street Foundation and restored along with the adjoining buildings.
  • The Madrey Farm, An Italian style fieldstone castle was the weekend estate of famous music publisher Max Dreyfus and his horse breeder wife Victoria. The Castle is currently the sales office for the Fortune Home Builders. The Barn and playhouse are now part of the Castle Hill riding establishment owned by US Equestrian Olympian McClain Ward.
  • Drewcliff Cemetery, the final resting place of many notable Putnam County residents from the late 1700’s until 1962.
  • The Walter Brewster House, an 1850 Greek Revival Mansion built by Walter Brewster, the founder of the Village of Brewster. It has been restored inside and out by the Landmarks Preservation Society with furniture of the period since 1977. It is the society’s headquarters, available for tours, events and rentals to the public.


Docents will answer questions and share fascinating facts about each property. Drive your own vehicle to each location or use the Society’s “Shuttle to History” and park your car at the Walter Brewster House for the day. The tour begins at 1pm at the Walter Brewster House, 43 Oak Street in Brewster. Tickets are $30 per person and can be purchased online, by mail or at the door. It includes light fare served at the end of the tour. Proceeds of the tour will benefit the Society’s ongoing preservation of their three historic properties and fund educational programs on preservation and local history. “These properties are prime examples of Southeast’s architectural heritage as well as the character of individual neighborhoods,” said Erin E. Meagher, President of the Landmarks Preservation Society of Southeast. Checks can be mailed to the Landmarks Preservation Society of Southeast 12 Main Street #218 Brewster, NY 10509. For more information email postmaster@landmarksse.org or call 845-279-7429.

Contact: Erin E. Meagher, President

The Landmarks Preservation Society of Southeast Inc. 12 Main Street #218 Brewster, NY




Marines Thank Odell and Golf Course Staff

MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
(845) 808-1001

June 17, 2014

Marines Thank Odell, Golf Course Staff

One of the more enjoyable tasks of a county executive is to present certificates and proclamations to deserving individuals and organizations for their good deeds and accomplishments. But this week, the tables were turned when MaryEllen Odell found herself the recipient along with Mike McCall, the general manager of Putnam County Golf Course and Al Ciuffetelli, owner of Homestyle Catering, of Certificates of Appreciation presented by Mahopac VFW Post 5491 member Craig Keitel who was accompanied by Sergeant Jerry Hillis, Adjutant, Detachment 242, Putnam County Division of the Marine Corps League. Last November, the Marines held their annual Marine Corps Ball at the Putnam County Golf Course. The presentation was made to officially thank McCall and Ciuffetelli who helped to make the evening such a success and to thank Odell for her “unwavering support of all veterans.” Hillis is a Purple Heart recipient who was wounded while serving in Vietnam. Odell and the late Putnam County Historian Denis Castelli were integral in having Putnam named the first Purple Heart County in New York in April 2013.


Photo of 4 caption: Left to right – General Manager of Putnam County Golf Course Mike McCall, County Executive MaryEllen Odell, Marine Sergeant Jerry Hillis, and Al Ciuffetelli, owner of Homestyle Catering at Putnam County Golf Course.


Photo of 5 caption: L to R: Putnam County Golf Course General Manager Mike McCall, County Executive MaryEllen Odell, Sergeant Jerry Hillis, Homestyle Catering owner Al Ciuffetelli, and former Marine Craig Keitel. Sgt Hillis and Keitel are members of Mahopac VFW Post 5491.


Country Fair at Tilly Foster Farm, July 3rd-July 6th

MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
(845) 808-1001

June 11, 2014

July Country Fair at Tilly Foster Farm

It’s definitely going to be stay-cation time in Putnam once area schools close and the Tilly Foster Country Fair comes to town in time for the long 4th of July weekend.

The fair, which is being sponsored by the county, Putnam County Tourism, Homestyle Caterers and the Putnam County Golf Course, will open at 4 p.m. on Thursday, July 3 and run through Sunday, July 6. Easy viewing of the 9:30 p.m. July 4th Town of Southeast fireworks show at the Highlands Shopping Center comes with the price of admission to the farm and parking – it is free.

A full-fledged carnival will be held in the front pasture along Route 312 during the Country Fair. Think carousels and Ferris wheels, roller coasters and tilt-a-whirls, bumper cars and bouncy houses. And don’t forget all those skill-challenging games of chance. Homestyle Catering will provide food concessions and offer better-than-carnival fare in the area beyond the farm buildings and across the entrance road. There will also be live music and entertainment provided daily along with a variety of specialty vendors who will be selling their wares.

“We are so looking forward to opening our beautiful Tilly Foster Farm once again to the public for this special holiday weekend,” said County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “I personally invite every resident, young and old, to have the time of their lives – and to participate in the best 4th of July Putnam has ever seen.”

Safety, of course, will be a major priority during the four-day event and several county departments are already working closely with the Sheriff’s Office as plans are put into place.

Sgt. Frank Christian, among the law enforcement officers participating in the pre-planning process, assured Deputy County Executive Bruce Walker that police will be on the grounds of the former dairy and horse-breeding farm day and night, on foot and in vehicles.

“There will be a very visible police and Emergency Medical Services presence during the fair,” Christian said. “We will be there to provide assistance in case of any kind of emergency. We are already anticipating there will be, especially on July 4th, a great many people coming out to the farm to enjoy the carnival and to stay to see the fireworks. And we’re ready.”

Earlier in the week at a planning session, Walker mentioned that state and Southeast safety regulations prohibit open flame grilling and open alcohol containers for the duration of the event.

“There will be designated areas around the food concession area for people to socialize but there will be no tailgating permitted anywhere on the grounds at the farm,” he said.

“These are important safety issues and we will be strictly enforcing them,” said Christian. “After, all, we want everyone who attends to be assured that their safety is foremost on our minds.”

Roads, fields and trails at Tilly Foster Farm are being prepped and light towers will be in place to illuminate pedestrian pathways and parking areas.

For updated information on the Tilly Foster Farm Country Fair, and to see a map of the fairgrounds, visit the Tourism website at: visitputnam.org/countryfair or putnamcountyny.com.


Historic Courthouse Turns 200 in Carmel

MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
(845) 808-1001

June 13, 2014

Historic Courthouse Turns 200 in Carmel 

A 200th birthday is certainly a milestone and last night the Historic Courthouse in Carmel was filled with invited guests and history buffs as County Executive MaryEllen Odell and the Putnam Legislature hosted an evening celebration commemorating the event. A special unveiling of new outdoor lighting donated by Entergy replaced the traditional blowing out of birthday candles at the conclusion of the hour long festivities.

Odell, who was away attending a NYSAC Board Meeting sent her regrets in a message read by Legislative Chairman Carl Albano.

“The evening of June 12th will be a history lesson for all of us and a salute to Denis Castelli whose love of history and talent as a photographer will be greatly missed. Thank you to the staff and volunteers at the Historian’s office,” she said.

Albano, who filled in for Odell, welcomed the judicial dignitaries who included District Administrative Judge Hon. Alan D. Scheinkman, New York Supreme Court Justice, Appellate Division, Hon. John W. Sweeny, Jr., Putnam’s Supreme Court Justice Hon. Victor Grossman, Putnam County Court Justice Hon. James F. Reitz and James T. Rooney and Kent Town Justice J. Peter Collins.

Once again members of the Mahopac Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5491 served as the Color Guard for the ceremony. Albano presented the group with a proclamation thanking them for their service and volunteerism.

“There is nothing more moving than watching a well-trained color guard and the volunteer members of VFW Post 5491 add a solemn and dignified display to any occasion,” he said.

Following the Pledge of Allegiance led by Sweeny, Albano introduced Deputy County Historian Sallie Sypher who gave a condensed but enlightening history of the Historic Courthouse whose construction costs in 1814 was $6,000.

“The courthouse was a 30 x 40 unadorned rectangle until the 1840’s when it was gussied up some,” she said referring to the addition of the Corinthian columns that still stand today and to other decorative measures that were made. Sypher recounted the 1924 fire at Smalley’s Inn when sparks of fire ignited the courthouse roof and the 4-to-2 vote by the supervisors to rebuild the charred structure. In the 1970s and ‘80s New York State officials declared the courthouse unsuitable and the county was instructed “to build a new one.”  In 1988, preservationist, notably Brewster’s Eleanor Beach Fitchen, banded together and eventually won their battle to have the original courthouse restored.

Christina Micciolo, a clerk in the Historian’s office, gave a brief talk on the many trials of Henry Warren whose stagnant and foul smelling dykes on Constitution Island were blamed for numerous cases of malaria in the village of Cold Spring.

Albano thanked the staff of the Historian’s Office, Archivist Reginald White, clerk/researchers Catherine Wargas and Tim Crawford, along with volunteers Elizabeth Allison, Joseph Gyscek and Fred M. Sturzenbecher for their efforts in preparing the evening’s program and historical displays.

Richard Shankowitz, a longtime friend and fishing buddy of the late County Historian Denis Castelli, paid tribute to “the smart kid” his father predicted would be a great success. Shankowitz noted that Castelli, who passed away unexpectedly in April, “enjoyed a second career of public service” and “doing many random acts of kindness” following his retirement as a computer analyst in 2000. Castelli’s widow, Athena Arvan, was also present in the audience.

Afterwards, Angelina Mendez sang “God Bless America” and the indoor ceremony concluded. Guests enjoyed a birthday cake and sparkling cider before going outdoors to watch as Entergy Representative Brian Vangor of Carmel led the countdown and threw the switch to illuminate the new lighting.

Indian Point Site Vice President John Ventosa sent his regards. “Entergy is pleased to celebrate with Putnam County the 200th anniversary of the historic County Courthouse. We appreciate the opportunity to partner with County Executive MaryEllen Odell and her initiative to enhance and beautify the courthouse with new lighting.”


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Media is invited to attend the 200th Birthday Celebration of the Putnam County Historic Courthouse on June 12, 2014 starting at 7 p.m

MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
(845) 808-1001

June 10, 2014

Members of the media are invited to attend the 200th Birthday Celebration of the Putnam County Historic Courthouse on June 12, 2014 starting at 7 p.m. Following the indoor program, there will be a special unveiling of new lighting for the historic building funded by a grant from Entergy.

The evening’s program will consist of posting of the colors by Mahopac VFW Post 5491 Color Guard, an invocation by Fr. Vincent Howley from St. James the Apostle Parish, the Pledge of Allegiance by the Hon. John W. Sweeny, opening remarks by Legislative Chairman Carl Albano, a “History of the Courthouse” by Sallie Sypher, deputy county historian, a review of notable trials by Christina Mucciolo, a special tribute to the late County Historian Denis Castelli by his friend Richard Shankowitz, and the singing of “God Bless America” by Angelina Mendez.

The Historic Courthouse is located at 44 Gleneida Avenue, Carmel, NY. 


New York State Unemployment Rate Reaches Its Lowest Point in Over Five Years

MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
(845) 808-1001
June 2, 2014

New York State Unemployment Rate Reaches Its Lowest Point in Over Five Years

The State Department of Labor announced that, as of May 15, New York’s unemployment rate has dropped to its lowest level since December 2008. From March 2014 to April 2014, the statewide rate fell from 6.9% to 6.7%, which represents a 0.2% decline.

The resulting numbers for the state’s unemployment rate are calculated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, using a statistical regression model and the results from a 3,100 household telephone survey in New York State.

Additionally, in April 2014, the state’s private sector job count grew by 2,500. This count is based on a payroll survey of 18,000 New York employers and was conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Most importantly, the resulting numbers, from the growth in the state’s private sector, represent New York’s 17th consecutive monthly gain in private sector jobs. Consequently, the state’s overall private sector job count has been raised to 7,543,000, which makes for an all-time high and the longest streak in private sector job growth since 1990.

In the 10-county Downstate Region, which includes Putnam, Rockland, and Westchester County, the unemployment rate has caused a change in the total non-farm jobs (which accounts for both the private sector and the government). Overall, a net of -1,500 and a percentage of -0.3% have resulted. As for the change in private sector jobs, a net of +100 and percentage of 0.0% was recorded.

When it comes to what Putnam County is doing, in relation to unemployment and job retention, Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell has a plan for future growth and opportunities. “Our administration will continue to work with the Putnam County Chamber of Commerce, Bill Nulk, and Jennifer Maher – in a partnership with Meghan Taylor, President of the Economic Development Corporation – to continue to promote Putnam County as a great opportunity to bring in entrepreneurs and capital investors, to encourage job growth,” said Odell.

The change in non-farm and private sector jobs has caused certain sectors to experience job gains, while others have experienced losses. Sectors with notable gains, in order from greatest to least, include: Educational and Health Services; Trade, Transportation, and Utilities; Professional and Business Services; Leisure and Hospitality; and Construction. Educational and Health Services received the greatest gain, with an increase of 32,200.

On the other hand, sectors which experienced job losses include: Manufacturing (loss of 5,900); Government (loss of 4,000); Financial Activities (loss of 1,100); and Natural

Resources and Mining (loss of 100). Between April 2013 and April 2014, government sector job losses were greatest at the federal (-1,700) and state (-1,600) levels.


Odell Recommends APP and Hurricane Preparedness Plan

For Immediate Release
MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
(845) 808-1001

May 28, 2014

Odell Recommends APP and Hurricane Preparedness Plan

As June 1 was the official start of the hurricane season, Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell is urging residents to plan ahead by creating emergency plans, storing necessary supplies and knowing what resources are available to help.

“In recent years, Putnam residents have endured Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee and Superstorm Sandy, so we know that we are not immune to the devastation that can come with severe weather,” said Odell. “While I hope that we are spared from the loss of power, limited accessibility to gas and downed trees that have plagued the region in past storms, it is always a good idea to be prepared and plan ahead.”

To help residents devise their own emergency plan, Putnam County has on its Putnam County Cares mobile app, an Emergency Services category where the Emergency Go Kit and Weather Emergency Tips can be found. The app is free and is available through iTunes and the Google Play Store. The app will provide information to residents about outages, charging stations and other valuable information during and after a storm.

“For so many of us, our cell phones become our lifeline during and in the aftermath of a storm. By having the Putnam County Cares app downloaded onto your device, you will instantly have valuable information at your fingertips,” said Odell.

In addition to updating information on its app, Putnam County also has information available on its website (www.putnamcountyny.com) where PutnamCountyCares.org can be found in the streaming news banner. The county also pushes information out through its Facebook (Facebook.com/Putnam-County-Government) and Twitter (PutnamCountyGov.) pages.

Odell strongly recommends that residents participate in NY-Alert, the state’s all-hazards alert and notification web-based portal. NY-Alert is a free service that provides critical emergency-related information including instructions and recommended protective actions developed in real-time by emergency service personnel. Concurrent with the posting to this website, that same information is disseminated through various communications systems (e.g. email, cell phones, media outlets) to those who have signed on.

The information posted through NY-Alert includes severe weather warnings, significant highway closures, hazardous materials spills, and many other emergency conditions. By signing up, users will find information regarding response actions being taken by local and state agencies and protective actions that should be taken to protect individuals, families and property.

“NY-Alert is a tool to provide residents with critical information when it is most needed,” said Odell.

To sign up for NY-Alert visit www.nyalert.gov.

The county is continually working with other municipalities as well as with New York State Electric and Gas and Central Hudson Gas & Electric on the best practices and decisions in the days leading up to a forecasted storm, during the storm, and in the short- and long-term recovery following a major storm.

Putnam County Government is online at putnamcountyny.gov, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Putnam-County-Government/157050931063685 and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/putnamcountygov