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 http://www.putnamcountyny.com/health/. 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 www.cce.cornell.edu/putnam.

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: www.putnamcountyny.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Local-Law-No-4-of-2015.pdf.

To see a list of professional fireworks displays happening in Putnam County visit:  http://www.tourputnam.org/fireworks-displays-in-putnam/.


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.


Pro Hockey Team, Stateline Whalers, to Call Putnam Home

The Federal Hockey League (FHL) announced that a new team, called the Stateline Whalers, will be playing the 2015-16 hockey season out of the Brewster Ice Arena, located in Brewster, New York. The team is owned by long-time minor league hockey operator Barry Soskin, a Chicago native.

“Brewster is a fantastic location for our league,” said Sorkin. “We wanted to keep a team in the New York-Connecticut market and this fits our footprint.  This is a hockey community and the fans have given us a great response.”

The Brewster Ice Arena (BIA) has seating for 850 fans with additional second floor VIP areas to take the capacity to 1,000.  Built in 1997, the BIA features four sheets of ice which also includes one outdoor rink.  On the second floor of the venue, fans will enjoy the Players Club Restaurant & Sports Bar and banquet facility which offers a full menu and beverage selection.

The FHL has worked with BIA owner and operator Steve Santini to formulate a plan for the future.

“We are committed to this team and are eagerly looking forward to this season and hosting a professional hockey league,” said Santini. “We are in the process of exploring future seating options and envision an increase in the seating capacity with approval from the town.”

FHL Commissioner Don Kirnan is looking forward to the leagues expansion into Brewster.

“I have known Steve Santini and his for family for a number of years,” said Kirnan.  “He is a fantastic operator.  This is a hockey first facility which we love.  We have found a jewel in Putnam County.”

County officials think that having the Stateline Whalers call Putnam home will be a great economic opportunity for the region.

“Having the Stateline Whalers here in Brewster is very exciting for Putnam County and the benefits of a minor league team in the area are priceless.” said Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell.  “It will boost economic development, create jobs, increase tourism in the county and heighten an already strong sense of community.”

Leg. Joseph Castellano, who serves Putnam County Legislative District 7, which includes Brewster Ice Arena, is thrilled to see how much the ice arena continues to grow and meet the needs of the communities surrounding it.

“As a neighbor, it has been great to watch Brewster Ice Arena expand from a one-rink sporting facility to a four-rink ice arena that serves hockey players and ice skaters from not just Putnam but, northern Westchester, southern Dutchess and western Connecticut,” said Castellano. “With BIA hosting the home games of the Stateline Whalers, hockey fans now have an opportunity to see professional games at affordable prices right here in Brewster.”

NY State Senator Terrence Murphy, who represents Brewster as part of the NYS 40th Senate District, already is a regular patron of BIA, is looking forward to taking his family to see the Stateline Whalers play.

“Putnam County just scored a big win by having the Stateline Whalers call Brewster home,” said Murphy.  “I know my kids, who learned how to play hockey at the Brewster Ice Arena, can’t wait for the first game.  This announcement only adds to Putnam County’s resume as a great place to live, work and raise a family.  I applaud everyone’s efforts in this endeavor and look forward to the Whalers future success right here in our backyard.”

With hockey being such a popular sport for both athletes and fans in the region, Deputy Director of Putnam County Tourism Frank Smith sees the Stateline Whalers laying its roots down in Brewster as catalyst to increased tourism to the county.

“Having a professional sports team is an incredible opportunity for Putnam County,” said Smith. “Fans from Connecticut, northern Westchester and southern Dutchess will be traveling to Brewster to watch the games and will hopefully discover some of the other activities Putnam County has to offer. Brewster Ice Arena is already one of the top attractions in the county. Being the home rink of the Stateline Whalers will now make it one of the major destinations of the lower Hudson Valley and western Connecticut regions.”

With the team coming to Brewster, it crossed into the existing territorial rights for the Danbury Whalers.

“The official position on the Danbury Whalers is that the team is a member of the Federal Hockey League in good standing that is on in-active status,” said Commissioner Don Kirnan. “They are at an impasse with their landlord the Danbury Ice Arena.  In an effort to continue their commitment to the Federal Hockey League, the team has waived their territorial and naming rights to the Brewster franchise.  We back and support our league member and partners.”

The Whalers will play a 56-game schedule as part of the Federal Hockey League’s sixth season of operation.

In the coming weeks the team will be releasing information on ticket packages and pricing, fundraising opportunities, sponsorship, and the head coach.

Fans can sign up for the team newsletter at www.statelinewhalers.com

Entering its sixth season of operation, the Federal Hockey League is one of five professional leagues in the United States.  The FHL has promoted over 200 players to various other professional leagues including the AHL, ECHL, CHL, & European Leagues.  The FHL currently has teams located in Berlin (NH), Danbury (CT), Dayton (OH), Watertown (NY), Danville (IL), Berkshire (MA), and Port Huron (MI).  Last season over 100,000 fans watched FHL action live.  Check out the league at www.federalhockey.com

For further information, contact team general manager, Herm Sorcher 973-713-7547 or by email at hsorcher@statelinewhalers.com.


Odell Honors Patterson Teen for Outstanding Volunteerism

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell recognized the efforts of 17-year-old Jasmine Rodulfo of Patterson, who completed more than 7,000 hours of volunteerism.

“A role model to us all, Jasmine has accomplished more in terms of volunteerism than most do in their entire lifetime,” said Odell, whose volunteerism was the foundation of her career in government. “Her leadership ability and desire to help others are traits that will take her far in life.”

This past spring, Rodulfo received the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest achievement a Girl Scout can attain. Additionally, she received the Presidential Service Gold Award, a national award for those who commit their lives to serving others. Previously, the Brewster High School student earned her Bronze Award and Silver Award through Girl Scouts.

For Rodulfo’s Gold Award Project, she partnered with the ConKerr Cancer organization, to provide children at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital with colorful, bright and comforting pillowcases. Her dedication to thoroughly planning her project and putting it in effect brought insurmountable joy to numerous children with serious illnesses and injuries.

“Jasmine is truly an inspiration and her achievements display how Girl Scouts, like so many other local volunteer-based organizations, can assist young people in identifying their passions,” said Odell. “The mission of Girl Scouts is to help girls build the courage, confidence and strength needed to make the world a better place. Girl Scouts allows girls to discover where their talents lie and how they apply those talents to helping others”

The Rodulfo family moved to Patterson from the Bronx last year.

“I am thrilled that the Rodulfo family chose Putnam County as their new home,” said Odell. “As a community, we look forward to tracking Jasmine’s career and I would love to have her in our Putnam Invests in Leaders of Tomorrow program, also known as the county’s PILOT intern program.”

Rodulfo said that her mother Jessica taught her how to be a leader and inspired her to give back to the community.

“My mom has always encouraged me to do things for others through both her words and her own actions,” said Rodulfo. “When I started Girl Scouts 14 years ago, she was a parent volunteer. Then she became so involved that she became the membership manager for the Girl Scouts of Greater New York. When we moved up to Patterson she stayed with Girl Scouts and became the community development manager for the Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson.”

In her position, Jessica Rodulfo seeks volunteers, starts new troops and helps the Girl Scout community. She understands the impact that volunteerism has on a community and is proud of how Jasmine has devoted herself to making the world better.

“To see Jasmine, like her sister, receive all three awards is a huge accomplishment and I am very happy she invested as much time in this as I did.” She continued, “It is incredibly rare for a Girl Scout to receive all three awards, so I could not be more proud of my daughter.”

Jasmine Rodulfo’s accomplishments go beyond Girl Scouts. She has taken the stage in plays such as Les Miserable’s, Aladdin, The King and I and In the Heights. One of her dreams is to one day become an award-winning actress. Rodulfo expressed that she aspires to open a performing arts center for underprivileged children. In addition, she has posed as a cover model for Girl Scout Cookie Magazine.

Truly demonstrating beauty inside and out, Rodulfo currently reigns as Miss New York Teen 2015. In July, she will compete in the USA National Miss Scholarship Pageant in Disney World.

For more information about becoming a Girl Scout call Jessica Rodulfo at 914-747-3080 ext. 778 or visit girlscoutshh.org.

For more information about the USA National Miss competition visit USANationalMiss.com.

Photo Caption: Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell honored Jasmine Rodulfo, who has received many awards for her commitment to volunteerism and currently reigns as Miss New York Teen 2015.


Odell Supports Astorino’s Plan to Improve Sexual Assault Bill

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell went to Manhattanville College in Purchase on Tuesday to show her support of a four-point plan proposed by Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino to improve Gov. Cuomo’s campus sexual assault bill, which is pending in the State Legislature.

“While we can all agree with the governor that rape and sexual assault are serious issues on college campuses, I, like County Executive Astorino, believe more needs to be done to strengthen the rights of the victims and protect the integrity of cases,” said Odell who supported Cuomo’s bill when it was introduced.  “County Executive Astorino’s proposal is smart and addresses some of the finer points of the legislation. His plan is not adversarial to the pending bill, it enhances the bills effectiveness.”

Astorino said his chief concern with the proposed state bill id that it imposes an unworkable new standard of “affirmative consent,” which would then be adjudicated by campus “conduct commissions,” with the result of adding more confusion, rather than clarity, to an already complex issue. Cuomo has yet to receive the support of either party to either stale legislative body for his new paradigm that conflicts with state penal law. Astorino said his plan seeks to protect victims and prevent colleges from adjudicating sex crimes.

Under Astorino’s plan, colleges would be required to report an alleged rape or sexual assault to local police immediately. Failing to do so would result in a Class B Misdemeanor for any college employee that had direct knowledge of the alleged sex crime but failed to report it to police.

In addition, colleges would be required to provide for an independent victim advocate by entering into formal agreements with state-certified rape crisis agencies.  A 1-800 hotline phone number would be prominently displayed throughout campuses and provided to all students at the beginning of each school year. A student could directly call the IVA or would be put in touch with the IVA by college officials to ensure the victim receives support and advice from an independent advocate without any potential conflict of interest.

Also, Astorino is calling for police departments to be required to incorporate “Start by Believing” training into their instructional curriculum, which aims to improve trust and cooperation between victims and investigators.

Astorino is proposing a Victims’ Bill of Rights that addresses protocols on rape kits and exams, and interactions with the colleges, police and victim advocates.

“Colleges are good at educating young adults,” said Astorino. “They are not good at investigating and prosecuting violent felonies, especially sexual assaults.  That’s not their job. Not only are colleges ill-equipped to investigate such crimes, but an inherent conflict of interest exists when colleges attempt to do so. Colleges have a right to create their own code of personal conduct for students, but they no longer should be defining and adjudicating crimes. That should be left to police and district attorneys.”

While no college is located within the borders of Putnam County, Odell said that Putnam is just as invested in the protection of college students.

“Putnam County has an educated workforce,” said Odell, “I represent families who send their children to college. As a mother of two children who have gone to college, I can tell you that parents expect a college or university to give their child an education. If there is a crime, especially one of rape or sexual assault, you expect law enforcement to handle it, not a college official. I wholeheartedly think that an independent victim advocate should be readily available so a victim has immediate access to trusted support and advice. I also agree that the investigation of any report of rape or sexual assault should be handled exclusively through law enforcement agencies not college security officers.”

During the press conference Astorino cited recent alleged sexual assaults at Hobart& William Smith Colleges in Upstate New York and Stony Brook in Long Island, as examples of cases that were terribly mishandled by the colleges.

Sarah Tubbs, who was treated poorly by Stony Brook officials and even forced to “prosecute” her alleged attacker, attended the press conference and supported Astorino’s plan.

“I learned the hard way that colleges have no business handling rape cases. I honestly feel as though I was victimized twice, first by my attacker and then by the systemic failures of my college,” said Tubbs. “I also think having a caring, independent advocate on my side could have changed everything.”