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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.


Cold Spring-Beacon Shuttle Highlights Regional Collaboration between Putnam and Dutchess Communities

Cold Spring-Beacon Shuttle Highlights Regional Collaboration between Putnam and Dutchess Communities

CARMEL, NY – Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell and Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro celebrated the launch of an inter-county shuttle service offered between the Village of Cold Spring and the City of Beacon including stops at Mount Beacon, Main Street, the Metro-North Train Station and Dia. The new service provides a critical regional tourism connection and offers much desired Sunday bus service in the City of Beacon.   The two were joined by other regional dignitaries at a press conference held on Thursday, August 6 at the Cold Spring Visitors Center on Main Street in Cold Spring, before a trolley took them on a symbolic voyage to Mount Beacon.

The shuttle service will run on Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. beginning Saturday, August 8, and continuing through December.  The route is the product of an inter-municipal partnership between Putnam County, Dutchess County, the Village of Cold Spring and the City of Beacon.

“From a regional standpoint, the Cold Spring and Beacon communities are destinations that complement one another, so it makes sense to offer a means of transit between the two,” said Odell. “Providing a shuttle service is the fiscally and socially responsible thing to do. The shuttle will encourage tourism and commerce while also offering a safe means of travel along Route 9D for hikers who want to discover some of the most notable trails in the country such as Breakneck Ridge.”

“We are excited to partner with our neighbors in Putnam County to enhance transportation services, creating a direct link to the City of Beacon and Dutchess County,” said Molinaro. “This service will further promote our tourism efforts by providing visitors a quick and easy ride to Beacon and allowing residents the opportunity to engage with their community. Thank you to Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell and City of Beacon Mayor Randy Casale for coordinating this partnership. This type of partnership further demonstrates our desire and ability to establish shared services partnerships that create efficiencies and benefits for our residents.”

The route runs from the Bandstand in the Village of Cold Spring through Main Street and up Route 9D to Mount Beacon in the City of Beacon.  Riders will be able to get on or off the shuttle at the trailheads or marketplaces along Route 9D.

On Saturdays, the Putnam County shuttle service will offer connections to Dutchess County Public Transit’s Route G bus route line at Mt. Beacon as well as Main Street, the Metro North train station, and DIA.   Since Dutchess County Public Transit bus system does not operate on Sundays, the new shuttle service will provide an important connection for tourists as well as residents looking for public transit options in Beacon.

Beacon Mayor Randy Casale agreed. “In the spirit of cooperation, two counties, a city, and a village have been working together to connect our respective business districts and our natural resources from the Hudson River to Mount Beacon,” said Casale. “We are very excited about the launch of the Cold Spring-Beacon shuttle bus.  This shuttle service is sure to be a boon to tourism in both communities by making it easier for visitors to access both areas through one mode of convenient transportation.”

This regional collaboration will offer hikers, shoppers and other visitors a safe way to travel between the two municipalities on weekends. The new route will assist traffic control and benefit local business and tourism.

“The level of cooperation between counties in the Hudson Valley Region is immense, and this partnership is just a small example of that teamwork,” said Interim Director of Putnam County Tourism Frank Smith. “Giving visitors easy accessibility to two leading area destinations will only benefit the region as a whole. Whether you went to Beacon and ended up in Cold Spring, or vice versa, the shuttle service will be a welcome addition to an already bustling local tourism industry.”

The shuttle service will extend the area visited by travelers arriving by trains.

“It’s vital for our counties to work together to make it easier for visitors to access these two great areas of the Hudson Valley,” Dutchess Tourism President and CEO Mary Kay Vrba. “Many visitors arrive by train, but still need transportation linkages to access things to see and do after they arrive. Having this opportunity to connect area attractions will appeal to outdoor enthusiasts, history, culinary, and arts buffs alike, giving everyone the chance to enjoy all we have to offer.”

Cold Spring Village Trustee Cathryn Fadde agrees that visitors who come by train will have the opportunity to do more because of the shuttle service.

“Metro-North riders will now have greater mobility and a richer Hudson River Valley experience with the ability to travel between our river communities,” said Fadde. “Putnam County has done an excellent job at leading the way toward promoting the region.”

Putnam County Transit System will be operating the trolley that does the route.

“The partnership is forward thinking and enhances the regional transportation system,” said Putnam County Transportation Manager Vincent Tamagna. “The safety issues resulting from hikers along route 9D has long needed support and this should elevate pedestrian traffic and allow for the safe delivery of individuals enjoying Little Stony Point and many great hiking trails along the Fjord Trail.”

Legislator Barbara Scuccimarra also sees the shuttle as a way to expand services to residents in Cold Spring and Beacon.  “Regional collaborations are so important because they knock down local borders,” said Scuccimarra. “The residents of Philipstown, especially our senior citizens, can use the shuttle to link to the Dutchess County Bus system and transfer to reach many places. It is also important to our local businesses and restaurants in Cold Spring.  This is a terrific partnership.”

Riders will be charged $2 per trip on the shuttle. Seniors and children will be charged $1.

Route and schedule information is available on the Putnam County website or at the Cold Spring Visitors Center.

Photo caption: Dutchess County Legislator April Marie Farley, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, Beacon Mayor Randy Casale, Putnam County Legislator Barbara Scuccimarra and Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell celebrate the launch of the inter-county shuttle that will transport riders to Cold Spring and Beacon.


Putnam Mourns Death of County Executive MaryEllen Odell’s Mother, Muriel Hicks

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell’s mother, Muriel Hicks, dies at 76

CARMEL, N.Y. (August 5, 2015) – Muriel Edith (nee Helwig) Hicks, the mother of Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell, died at the age of 76, surrounded by her family at Putnam Hospital Center on Tuesday night, Aug. 4. She was a Somers resident, who was formerly of Carmel and a Yonkers native.

“My mother was an amazing woman who will always be with us.” said Odell. “My sisters and I are the women we are today because of the love that she showed us and the values she instilled in us. My siblings and I are a reflection of our parents. My brother Brian is a family man who respects women, as does our dad.  She taught all of us the importance of family, faith, integrity and hard work.  My mother took her role in the family very seriously. She taught us not to let the past dictate the future; if you want something you have to go out there and get it.”

Muriel Edith Helwig was born on Aug. 27, 1938 in Yonkers, N.Y., to the late Henry Jr. and Mary (O’Neil) Helwig. She was the oldest of three children.

On Nov. 8, 1959, Muriel Helwig married Ronald F. Hicks at the Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Yonkers, N.Y.

As a child, she attended The School of Our Lady of the Rosary and graduated high school from Sacred Heart High School in 1956.

Prior to becoming a mother, Mrs. Hicks worked in the business office of New York Telephone Company in Yonkers.

In 1963, Ronald and Muriel Hicks moved to Putnam County with their two daughters MaryEllen and Michelle. In their Carmel, N.Y. home they added two more children to the family, Laura and Brian.

While Ronald Hicks worked at Consolidated Edison, Muriel’s main focus was on raising their children.

“My mother was in charge of raising four kids and keeping the house in order,” said Odell. “It was her job and she was devoted it. My mother had a very low tolerance and had high expectations. She taught us to have a thick skin so we could take care of ourselves, but to also have a big heart so we can take care of others.”

Once she returned to the workforce, Mrs. Hicks was a unit secretary at Putnam Hospital Center.

A devout Catholic she was a parishioner at St. James the Apostle Church in Carmel for over 50 years.

“The family is very grateful for the compassion and support of our pastor, Fr. Sorgie,” said Odell. “The family would also like to acknowledge His Eminence Cardinal Dolan for his visits and hours of ‘chats’ they shared.  We are eternally grateful; he gave her so much peace.”

In addition to her husband Ronald of 56 years, Mrs. Hicks is survived by her children, MaryEllen (David) Odell of Carmel, Michelle Hicks (Ralph) of Carmel, Laura Hicks (Gary Prato) of Croton Falls and Brian (Stacey) Hicks of Pound Ridge; grandchildren, Hope, David, Connor, Aidan and Logan; as well as her brothers Michael Helwig and Gerald Helwig.

Visitation will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. at Cargain Funeral Home, 10 Fowler Avenue, Carmel on Sunday, Aug. 9.

A Christian Mass will be celebrated on Monday, Aug. 10 at 10 a.m. at St. James the Apostle Church in Carmel.

“The family extends a special thank you the Mount Kisco Medical Infusion Center and the wonderful staff who cared for our mother during her treatments,” said Odell. “And of course a very special thank you goes to all those at Putnam Hospital Center and Putnam Hospital Center Hospice Care. Our mother was in the very best hands with all her friends and colleagues.”

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to Hospice Care in Westchester and Putnam, 540 White Plains Rd # 300, Tarrytown, NY 10591 or Rosary Hill Home, 600 Linda Ave, Hawthorne, NY 10532.

Photo Caption: A photo of Muriel Hicks with her husband, children and a couple of her grandchildren. Pictured in the back row from left to right: Brian Hicks, Hope Odell, Michelle Hicks, Laura Hicks, MaryEllen Odell, David Odell Jr. In the front row from left to right: Muriel Hicks and Ronald Hicks.


Heat Wave to Continue in Putnam; Protect Yourself, Check on Seniors

Carmel, N.Y. – The long-range weather forecast shows that Putnam County will be subject to high temperatures and humidity levels through next week. County Executive MaryEllen Odell, Dr. Allen Beals, Commissioner of Health and Anthony Sutton, Commissioner of Emergency Services, are asking residents to take the proper precautions to protect themselves and to check on the elderly and those with special needs.

“It is summertime and while we want everyone to enjoy the various outdoor activities that we are blessed to have in Putnam County, we also want everyone to be smart and stay safe through the heat wave,” said Odell. “It is common sense, if you are uncomfortable, do something to make yourself more comfortable.”

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends those who work outdoors to take frequent rest breaks and drink plenty of water. When possible, avoid working during the hottest part of the day (between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.) and reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening hours.

“I would urge all those who will be outside to drink plenty of water, avoid caffeine and alcohol, wear loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothing and to stay out of the sun as much as possible,” said Odell. “I would also ask you to check on your family members or neighbors, who are elderly or have special needs, for the next few days as high heat and humidity can be especially hard on them. In case of any heat related emergency, dial 9-1-1.”

Heat related illnesses occur when the body is unable to cool itself. Heat or sun stroke can be deadly. Symptoms include hot, dry, red skin, rapid pulse, high body temperature, loss of alertness, confusion, loss of consciousness and rapid, shallow breathing. In case of this emergency, call 9-1-1 immediately and cool the person off as quickly as possible by placing ice packs in cloth on neck, wrists, ankles and armpits or wrapping them in cool, wet sheets.

“Heat or sun stroke is the most dangerous type of heat-related illness and causes several hundred deaths in the United States each year. Heat stroke occurs when a person’s body temperature goes over 105 degrees Fahrenheit. If you think someone has heat stroke, call 9-1-1,” said Dr. Beals. “A person may not have heat or sun stroke, but can experience heat exhaustion and heat cramps. Heat exhaustion symptoms include cold, pale, clammy skin, fainting and vomiting. Move the person to an area out of the direct sunlight and put a washcloth or towel with cool water on the back of their neck or forehead. Give them water every 15 minutes for one hour.”

Heat cramps are painful spasms in the legs and abdomen. To relieve heat cramps, apply pressure on the cramping muscles or gently massage them. As in the case of heat exhaustion, give the person sips of water every 15 minutes for one hour.

“Summertime heat can be dangerous for anyone,” said Sutton. “Remember, NEVER leave children, pets and older adults in a parked car. Temperatures in a car can become dangerously high in just a matter of minutes.”

He recommended for residents to go someplace air conditioned if possible or to take a shower to cool off.

“Take heart, this heat wave will end soon and in just 4-to-6 months of time we’ll be complaining about the cold,” said Sutton.”

Check the Putnam County Health Department website for more information about heat related illnesses at Click on Health Topics A-Z, then scroll down to HEAT for more information on heat related health concerns from the New York State Department of Health.

At this time, there are no plans to activate any town or county operated cooling centers. However, local recreation centers, libraries and places of worship are available locations where residents may cool off. Senior citizens or their family members who may need help may also call the Putnam County Office for Senior Resources at (845) 808-1700 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.


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44th Annual Putnam County 4-H Fair Opens at Veterans Memorial Park

CARMEL, N.Y. –  County Executive MaryEllen Odell and other dignitaries celebrated the start of the 44th annual Putnam County 4-H Fair on Friday, July 24 at Putnam County Veterans Memorial Park in Kent. The fair, which is presented by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Putnam County, will run through Sunday, July 26 and features games, crafts and animal exhibits. It also showcases the talents of Putnam residents.

“The Putnam County 4-H Fair is one of the premiere events held in the Hudson Valley region and I think that is because it is all about family,” said Odell. “This year is the Year of the Family in the county and certainly the 4-H Fair promotes the importance of family. It also shows how the residents of Putnam County consider themselves part of one big family. The 4-H Fair is staffed by hundreds of volunteers throughout the weekend who are simply doing their small part to make Putnam County a great place to live.”

Marjorie Keith, executive director of Cornell Cooperative, welcomed everyone to the fair. She also thanked the Putnam County Parks and Recreation Department for its efforts in helping set up for the fair.

“We are looking forward to a fabulous, beautiful weekend and we are off to a good start,” said Keith. “This fair really emphasizes all the positive things of Putnam County. It engages our youth and our good neighbors from throughout Putnam County come together to make the fair happen.”

Every year the 4-H Fair recognizes the efforts of one or two volunteers. This year the fair is dedicated to Al Lotrecchiano and his wife Dimmy of Carmel. Each of them has been a longtime volunteer for Cornell Cooperative Extension and other community organizations.

“These are two people who volunteer above and beyond what is expected,” said Keith. “They generously and unpretentiously volunteer their time and talents in many ways with numerous organizations, to make our Putnam community a better place to live.”

Al Lotrecchiano said that volunteering for the 4-H Fair has always been very special to him.

“I think it is because the 4-H Fair represents the perfect cross section of the people of Putnam County throughout the weekend,” he said.

Dimmy Lotrecchiano agreed with her husband. “I think the whole message of the fair is volunteerism—the importance of going out and doing what you can to make your county a better place,” she said.

At the fair there will be performances by amateur and professional musicians and dancers at the Shady Grove Theater.  View the entries that local residents submitted for the photography, quilt, baked goods, great vegetables and crafts exhibits. Stop by the Master Gardener Plant Sale which will feature colorful display of perennials, annuals, trees and shrubs for sale.  Master Gardeners will also be on hand to answer your gardening questions.

There will be demonstrations from Tony’s World of Science and Magic. In addition there will be pet shows, food, face painting, games, Civil War and Revolutionary War encampments, Putnam history, horse demos, chicken barbecue, fishing contest and more.

On Saturday afternoon there will be county auction at 3 p.m. Come bid and win tools, paintings, antique farm equipment, patio furniture and an array of other items.

The 4-H Fair has free admission and free parking. It is open until 6 p.m. on Friday, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Putnam County Veterans Memorial Park is located at 201 Gipsy Trail Rd., Carmel, N.Y. 10512.

For more information, visit Cornell Cooperative Extension online at

Photo caption: Al and Dimmy Lotrecciano of Carmel were honored for their years of volunteerism at the 44 annual Putnam County 4-H Fair which runs Friday, July 24 through Sunday, July 26 at Putnam County Veterans Memorial Park in Kent. They are pictured with Cornell Cooperative Extension Executive Director Marjorie Keith (left)  and Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell ( right).


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Putnam Kennel Club dog shows are a hit at Veterans Memorial Park

CARMEL , N.Y.  – Putnam County Veterans Memorial Park is known for many things. It hosts the annual 4-H Fair and the Daniel Nimham Pow Wow and is home to the Putnam County Veterans and Military Museum as well as related military artifacts and monuments. It may now be known to those in the canine competition world as one of the best venues to host a dog show.

Hundreds of dogs from all over the East Coast and Canada competed to be named “Best in Show” at Veterans Memorial Park in Kent on Friday and Saturday, July 17 and 18, at the Putnam Kennel Club’s All Breed American Kennel Club Show. It was the first time the park was used by PKC which previously held its annual dog shows in Stormville and Pound Ridge. The Hudson River Valley Hound Association also held a hound-only show at the park on Sunday, July 19.

“We are ecstatic about how well the park worked out as a venue,” said Barbara Pessina of Putnam Valley, who is president of the Putnam Kennel Club. “We host our annual picnic here at Veterans Memorial Park and Chris Ruthen, [director of the Putnam County Parks and Recreation Department], suggested we consider hosting our dog shows here as well. I am so glad he did. Everyone has been talking about how great the site has worked out. There was plenty of shade to keep the dogs cool and just as much room for the RVs that many of the people travel in. We could not be happier.”

Garry Newtown of Texas, a seasoned dog show judge who travels all over the country, commended the location choice.

“The Putnam County Veterans Memorial Park is one of the best site in the country to hold a dog show event,” said Newtown. “The shade provided comfort for the dogs and the grounds allowed space to showcase the canines’ movement. It was a pleasure and honor to judge there.”

The Friday show had about 600 dogs entered. On Saturday there were an estimated 700 dogs entered. An additional 400 hounds were entered in the Sunday show. Joining the dogs on the road are typically the owners, handlers and groomers. Hundreds of spectators also came to see the shows.

“The PKC dog shows are incredible opportunities for so many people from outside of Putnam to see how beautiful our county is and the things we have to offer,” said County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “We are fortunate that people are talking and word is spreading. Putnam is in its primetime. Our parks, Veterans Memorial, the golf course and Tilly Foster Farm, are all becoming regional destinations. Promoting use of these county resources is both fiscally and socially beneficial to Putnam residents.”

Often visitors discover Putnam County for the first time by attending an event hosted by a local organization.

“I am amazed at how many visitors from outside of Putnam County came to support the dog show,” said Interim Director of Tourism Frank Smith. “These are people that dined and shopped in the area. I hope that Putnam County’s beauty and hospitality will entice them to come back.”

Of the hundreds of dogs that competed in Friday’s and Saturday’s show, the top honors of “Best in Show” each day were given to GCh Takara The Time Is Now, known affectionately as Ali, a Saluki breed. Aly’s handler is Lesley Potts of Hannacroix, N.Y., and her owner is Pam Mohr of Oxford, N.J.

Photo caption: County Executive MaryEllen Odell was invited to present to Lesley Ann Potts and Ali, a Saluki bred dog,  the Best in Show award with its judge Garry Newtown.

Cardiac Arrest

Cardiac Arrest at Putnam County Golf Course in Mahopac

Having the right people there at the right time turned what could have been the worst day for a New Jersey man into a fortunate situation. Robert “Bob” Beggs, a 78-year-old Riverdale New Jersey resident, was playing a round of golf at Putnam County Golf Course in Mahopac on Tuesday, July 14 when he went into cardiac arrest at the 16th hole.

Daniel Cocozza of Danbury, Conn., who was part of Beggs’ foursome, immediately started to administer CPR to his friend.

“I didn’t suspect anything was wrong with Bob earlier,” said Cocozza, who coached baseball in the past and was trained in CPR. “He seemed fine and then he just wasn’t.”

James Gilchrist Jr., a staff member of the golf course saw what was happening and went to the club. He notified David Solomon, assistant Golf Operations manager at the golf course, and also called 9-1-1. Solomon assessed the situation and had Mike McCall, general manager of golf course, bring out the AED out from the clubhouse.

Solomon, who is a retired physical education teacher from the Bronx, then took over for Cocozza, applying the AED and administering one shock per the device’s direction.

“When I got out there, he was blue and had no pulse,” said Solomon. “After I used the AED on him, he started breathing on his own. Then after about 30 seconds he stopped.”

Solomon then continued with CPR.  Michael Lopez, who had just walked to the driving range to hit some golf balls, was summoned over to the area and volunteered to administer supplementary breathing.

“We had to give him a second shock from the AED and then he started breathing on his own again,” said Solomon.

Within seven to eight minutes of the 9-1-1 call, the Mahopac Falls Volunteer Fire Department and a Transcare Ambulance were on the scene. Paramedic Tracy Lombardo took command.

“She was spectacular,” said Solomon. “She came right in and took over the situation. We were relieved and she worked with the EMS workers to get Mr. Beggs into the ambulance and to the hospital.”

Since Beggs had an irregular pulse when the first responders arrived, Lombardo administered antiarrhythmic drugs to him to stabilize his heartbeat. She then traveled with Beggs to the Putnam Hospital Center in the Mahopac Falls ambulance.

Lombardo, a seasoned paramedic with over 26 years of training under her belt and seven years at TransCare, credits the staff at Putnam County Golf Course with saving Beggs life. “Those people on the golf course saved that man,” said Lombardo. “There were right where they needed to be. It was like the planets aligned and the angels sang.”

Frank Tomasulo of Somers, who was also a member of Beggs’ foursome, commended the golf course staff also. “Kudos to the general manager and the staff.” said Tomasulo, whose foursome has a regular tee time at the golf course every Tuesday morning. “They were amazing. They came out and did what they needed to do without a gap in anything happening. Without them we would not have had a happy ending.”

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell recognized the heroic efforts of Cocozza and the golf course staff on Friday, July 17.

“You never know when something like this is going to happen and it is like Mr. Beggs bought the winning lottery ticket,” said Odell. “The right people were here at the right time to save his life. I am so proud of Mike McCall, Dave Solomon and Jimmy Gilchrist Jr. and the rest of the staff at Putnam Golf Course.”

Putnam County Commissioner of the Bureau of Emergency Services Anthony Sutton isn’t crediting luck with the successful situation.

“The way it went down is the way it is supposed to,” said Sutton. “This was the perfect example of the chain of survival.”

In the chain of survival, somebody witnesses someone in cardiac arrest. The person then begins CPR without delay. Someone else calls 9-1-1 to activate the dispatch system. Another person retrieves the AED. They come back and apply the AED. Then the ambulance and paramedics arrive on the scene.

Odell is working with Sutton and McCall to ensure that the golf course is ready for any future medical incidents.

“This instance certainly gave us a heads up. Now that the golf course is getting more populated, we have to look at what we are doing here with our new commissioner of the Bureau of Emergency Services to make sure that we are able to help someone in distress no matter where they are on the course,” said Odell. “We already have on AED located on the premise, but we are looking to add two more. We want to have one upstairs by the catering hall, another downstairs in the clubhouse and a third one that will be located in the halfway house on the far end of the course.”

Beggs has recovered and is relaxing at his home in New Jersey.

Photo caption: County Executive MaryEllen Odell and Commissioner Anthony Sutton met with the staff of the Putnam County Golf Course and the friends of Robert Beggs to thank them for their valiant actions that helped save Robert Begg’s life. Pictured left to right: General Manager Mike McCall, Operations Manager Jim Woods, James Gilchrist Jr., Assistant Operations Manager David Solomon, Greg Gutter of Carmel, Daniel Cocozza od Danbury, Conn., Frank Tomasulo of Somers, County Executive MaryEllen Odell, Commissioner Anthony Sutton.


Groundbreaking Ceremony Held for Roger Ailes Senior Center in Cold Spring at Butterfield

Carmel, N.Y. – Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell and other elected officials participated in the groundbreaking ceremony of the Butterfield redevelopment project and the dedication of the Roger Ailes Senior Center on Wednesday, July 8 in Cold Spring.

The Roger Ailes Senior Center will be a senior friendship and nutrition center, run by the Putnam County Office for Senior Resources, which will offer more space and services to the aging population on the western side of the county than where services are currently being held. It is being named after Garrison resident Roger Ailes, who with his wife Elizabeth, donated $500,000 toward a senior center facility.

“I’m very proud to say that we did fulfill our promise, that we would bring services here to Putnam County here on the western part of the county,” Odell said. “You have been sorely underserved for so long but, the future is bright. I want to thank Roger and Beth Ailes, Paul Guillaro, Leg. Barbara Scuccimara, the senior citizens, our beloved veterans and all the residents who supported such an important project, which will position us for the future.”

Patricia Sheehy, director of the Office for Senior Resources, is looking forward to the new center which will help her office with its mission of keeping the aging residents healthy, active and social so they can live longer happier lives.

“Putnam County has the fastest growing senior population in New York State and it is growing even faster on the western side of the county,” said Sheehy. “Having more space will allow us to provide more activities and help more residents. It is a dream come true and I cannot thank County Executive MaryEllen Odell, The Putnam County Legislature, Roger and Beth Ailes and Paul Guillaro enough for making this a reality.”

The Butterfield property is being repurposed by Paul Guillaro, a private developer, into a mixed use complex that, in addition to hosting the senior center, will offer retail, office space and senior housing.

Odell commended Guillaro for his vision to renew this once thriving heart of the community.

“Butterfield Hospital was once the center for community and care in Cold Spring and the surrounding area,” said Odell. “As time passed, it seemed to have lost its purpose, but thanks to Paul Guillaro and his vision this once vital asset to the community will be reborn and become a driving economic force in the Hudson Valley.”

The development will also have Pataki Park, a 1-acre park named in honor of former New York Governor and Garrison resident George Pataki.

“This year is the Year of the Family in Putnam County and the Butterfield project will help our families,” said Odell. “The Butterfield project has been blessed by the contributions of great Americans, who reside here in Putnam County, most notably Roger and Beth Ailes and of course Gov. George Pataki. Two keystones of the property will be Pataki Park as well as the Roger Ailes Senior Center, both improving the quality of life for our residents in the western part of the county and those in the Hudson Valley by providing an opportunity  to enjoy open space and a new senior friendship and nutrition center.”

Legislator Barbara Scuccimara, who represents Philipstown, Cold Spring, Nelsonville and parts of Putnam Valley, who has been advocating for the senior center and the Butterfield project, was thrilled to be at the groundbreaking.

“It is a great day for the residents of Philipstown,” said Scuccimara. “We are finally getting this vital project underway. The seniors deserve this and I can’t wait to see this center when it is complete. I feel like somebody should pinch me. I appreciate Paul Guillaro for sticking with this project and thank the Ailes for donating the funds needed to make this project affordable for the county.”

The cost of establishing the senior center at Butterfield is $850,000 minus the $500,000 contributed by the Ailes family.  The total outlay for internal construction, operations and rental occupancy over 15 years is projected to be $3,428,950 as compared to the costs of county-owned senior citizen centers in Putnam Valley and Mahopac which are projected to be $5,929,913 and $5,186,440, respectively in the same period.

“Today, I can be proud, along with my colleagues on the legislature that supported this project, that we, as elected officials, have met our fiscal and social responsibility to the people of Putnam County,” said Odell.

The senior center is expected to open in the summer of 2016.

Photo Caption: Roger Ailes, Elizabeth “Beth” Ailes, Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, State Senator Sue Serino, County Executive MaryEllen Odell, Sheriff Don Smith and Paul Guillaro put the shovels in the ground during the celebratory groundbreaking ceremony.


Putnam Officials Urge Fireworks Safety When Celebrating Independence Day

County Executive MaryEllen Odell, Sheriff Donald B. Smith and Commissioner of the Bureau of Emergency Services Anthony Sutton are warning residents that although this year marks the first time that certain fireworks are legal to purchase and use in Putnam County, it does not mean they are harmless.

“Independence Day is a joyous celebration of the beginning of our nation,” said Odell. “While we encourage our residents to observe the holiday with friends and family members at backyard barbecues and parties, we also ask that you be safe, follow the law and take the proper precautions.  Leave the fireworks displays to the professionals and be mindful when using sparklers or other permitted novelty items.”

Putnam County permits the use of sparklers and similar ground based, and hand held devices that produce a shower of white, gold or colored sparks.

“Fireworks are synonymous with our traditional celebration of Independence Day,” said Sutton, “But they are also very dangerous.  The truth is sparklers burn as hot as a blow torch (up to 2000 degrees) and accounted for 26 percent of the all emergency room firework related emergency room visits in 2014, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Thirty-five percent of those injured by fireworks in 2014 were under the age of 15. Eighty-one percent of those injuries resulted from fireworks that Federal regulations permit consumers to use”.

Deputy Emergency Services Commissioner Bob Lipton reminds parents to closely supervise children and teens when using these devices. “You can have a festive celebration and be safe by observing some simple precautions and exercising constant supervision,” said Lipton.

Some of those simple precautions are:

  • Never allow young children to light sparklers.
  • Never carry sparklers in your pocket.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over sparklers when lighting them.
  • Light sparklers one at a time.
  • Never point or throw sparklers at another person.
  • Always keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy case of a fire or a mishap.
  • Never light sparklers in a glass or metal container.
  • After the sparklers complete burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water.


“While certain sparklers are legal, all other fireworks remain illegal to sell, possess or use in Putnam County,” said Smith. “All too often, though, the happy holiday is marred—and sometimes very tragically—by the unsafe and unlawful use of fireworks.”

Under the New York State Penal Law, any person who possesses, uses, or explodes any prohibited fireworks is guilty of a violation. Violations are punishable by up to fifteen days in jail or a fine of up to $250 for each offense.

The criminal penalties are even more severe for people who offer fireworks for sale, or sell or furnish any fireworks to another person. Selling–or even giving away–fireworks to someone else is a Class B misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to three months in jail and a fine of up to $500. Offering to sell, selling or furnishing more than $500 worth of fireworks is a class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail or a fine of up to $1,000.

Selling or furnishing “dangerous fireworks”–which are defined by law to include larger firecrackers and sparklers more than ten inches long or one-quarter inch thick–to a person under the age of eighteen is a class A misdemeanor. A first offense carries a possible one-year jail term and a maximum fine of $1,000. A repeat offense committed within five years of a previous conviction is a felony under the law, which could result in a state prison term of up to four years and a fine of up to $5,000.

“One of the goals of the Sheriff’s Department, and what I consider to be an important part of its mission, is to educate our citizens about the law and to raise people’s awareness about safety issues,” said Smith.  “When it comes to fireworks and the Fourth of July, our message is not intended to dampen the community’s celebration in any way, but is meant to ensure that the celebration is lawful and safe for everyone.”

County Executive Odell reminds residents that there are many local professionally performed fireworks displays scheduled for the Fourth of July celebration.

“Please remain safe and attend one or more of these sponsored presentations,” she said.  “I also ask everyone to take a moment to remember all the Americans who served throughout our history to protect our freedom as well as defending those in foreign lands whose freedom and independence has been threatened. I ask that we especially remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our Country and for all those who serve today.”

To see a list of what fireworks are permitted by law in Putnam County visit:

To see a list of professional fireworks displays happening in Putnam County visit:


Putnam Expands Carmel Senior Center Program Room

Carmel, N.Y. – To the delight of its seniors, the Carmel Friendship Center recently expanded their exercise room, which holds a multitude of classes and events. The project was promised to the seniors by Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell when she declared 2014 “The Year of the Senior.”

“If you want to know how your children will treat you when you grow old, remember they are watching how you treat your elders now,” said Odell. “So let’s show the generation behind us how we honor our elders – with gratitude and respect.”

Odell partnered with Fred Pena, commissioner of Putnam County’s Highways and Facilities Department to make this dream a reality.

“After reviewing the needs and the assessment of our seniors with the County Executive, our facilities and engineering staff have worked diligently to create a safe and enjoyable area for our seniors at the Donald B Smith Campus,” said Pena.”

The size of exercise room was increased from approximately 360 square feet to approximately 800 square feet. Pena made sure to address potential safety concerns by repairing the floors and adding an exercise bar for seniors who require extra stability.

The seniors are welcoming the change.

“I usually get 15 to 25 students in my class,” said George D’Alessandro of Carmel, chair fitness class instructor. “We used to have a waiting list of participants and I was limited before as to what type of exercises I could teach because of balance and safety issues. Now we have a balance bar and extra space so I have the freedom to teach a lot more.”

In addition to the chair fitness class on Wednesdays, the Carmel Friendship Center offers other fitness classes throughout the week such as Zumba, yoga, line dancing and Tai Chi.

Raphelaella Fattori, a resident of the Plaza at Clover Lake, is an active participant in chair fitness class, even as she nears her 101st birthday on July 7th. “I love coming to this class,” she said. “We have so much more room now.  It used to be too tight for us to do some of the exercises.”

Helping Putnam senior citizens stay active as they successfully progress through the “continuum of aging” is a role that the Office for Senior Resources Director Patricia Sheehy relishes.

“Seniors live healthier and happier lives if they exercise and participate in fitness activities,” said Sheehy. “We used to have to limit the number of classes a senior could attend to make sure that everyone had an opportunity to go. Now we encourage them to attend as many classes as they want.”

Sheehy and her staff oversee a myriad of opportunities which aid Putnam residents who are 60 years and older. Hundreds of seniors gather daily throughout the four Friendship and Nutrition Centers in Putnam County to enjoy exercise, arts and education programs, lunch and each other’s company.

“Seniors are among our most valuable residents,” says Odell. “We need to honor and embrace the wisdom that our seniors possess. They are our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. They are our veterans, first responders and volunteers. They are our teachers, our mentors and our business leaders as well as leaders in doing charitable work with our not-for-profits.”

According to the New York State Office for Aging, and based on information from 2010 Census, Putnam’s senior population, those aged 60 years and older, now account for 1 in every 4 residents in Putnam County. The county has the fastest growing senior population in the state.

The Carmel Friendship Center serves seniors in the Carmel, Kent, Patterson and Brewster communities. The county also has friendship centers in Mahopac, Cold Spring and Putnam Valley.