County Historian Denis Castelli passed away April 19, 2014 at 67 years old

Putnam County Mourns The Loss Of County Historian Denis Castelli

Putnam County Historian Denis Castelli died on Saturday, April 19. He was 67 years old.

“Today the county mourns the loss of a great man and I mourn the death of a great friend,” said County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “I met Denis over 10 years ago and we have worked on a number of projects together that dealt with the history of Putnam County, the betterment of his beloved Brewster or about bringing awareness, and where we could solutions, to the issues affecting veterans. His spirit and unwavering loyalty will be missed.”

Castelli was appointed as the county historian by then Putnam County Executive Paul Eldridge in 2011. As the county historian, he helped spearhead the county’s bicentennial activities. Prior to serving as the county’s historian he was first appointed as the Village of Brewster’s historian in 2006. He continued to serve in that capacity until his death.

Castelli served in the 1st Cavalry during the Vietnam War and received the purple heart for being wounded in the line duty. A proud veteran, he worked tirelessly to help his brothers in arms. Castelli was a member of the VFW Post #672 in Brewster. He also had assisted Congresswoman Nan Hayworth for two years as a veterans advocate. He was also instrumental assisting Putnam County to become the first Purple Heart County in New York State.

Castelli was born on April 26, 1946 in the Bronx, N.Y., to the late Pasquale and Caroline (Piacquadio) Castelli. He married Athena Arvan on Oct. 2, 1982 at Church of Our Savior in Rye, N.Y.

From the late 1970s until his retirement in 2000, Castelli had been a computer analyst for Daprex Inc. in Stamford, Conn. He had lived in North Salem since 1989 and Brewster prior since the early 1970s.

Castelli was an avid photographer, displaying his works in both the Applebee’s restaurant in Brewster and the Putnam County main offices; he enjoyed writing articles for the village of Brewster among many entities. Castelli was also a trustee of the Southeast Museum for 19 years and a board member for both the Putnam County Land Trust from which he recently received the emeritus award and the Landmarks Preservation Society.

Besides his wife Athena of 31 years, Castelli is survived by his brother Michael Denis Castelli of Venice, FL as well as several aunts and uncles and many many friends.

A mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Friday April 25, at 10 a.m. at St. Lawrence O’Toole Church in Brewster. A private cremation was held earlier. Calling hours will be on Thursday, April 24, at Beecher Funeral Home, 1 Putnam Avenue, Brewster.

The county will honor and remember Denis Castelli on June 12 during the bicentennial celebration of the Putnam County historic courthouse in Carmel, N.Y.


NBC’s TODAY Show featured one of our Putnam Residents in a series called HOOKED: A Teacher’s Addiction and the New Face of Heroin

The heroin epidemic is on the rise and much more severe than before. On April 8th, NBC’s Today Show interviewed one of Putnam’s residents. Who is a Teacher, a mother, a daughter and now a recovering heroin addict. Follow the link below to find out more about this interesting story in Putnam County. CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


Putnam Goes Blue for Child Abuse Awareness Month

County Executive
MaryEllen Odell

Putnam Goes Blue for Child Abuse Awareness

Putnam County employees wore blue on Friday, April 4 to launch its “Blue Ribbon Campaign” and commemorate Child Abuse Awareness Month.

Child abuse is a national tragedy. One in seven girls and one in 25 boys will be sexually abused by the age of 18. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration on Children & Families, in 2011 alone, an estimated 1,570 children died from abuse and neglect, and in 2013, over 17,000 children were served at a Child Advocacy Center (CAC) in New York State alone.

“We recognize Child Abuse Awareness month to promote the issue around the country, not just the state or around the county,” said Commissioner of Social Services Mike Piazza. “Very often we see things that happen in New York City and say ‘How could a parent do that to child?’ We had 762 reports of child abuse last year in Putnam County alone. Not all of them were founded, but they were all investigated. Our concern is the safety of children and that is why bringing awareness to child abuse is so important.”

As part of the planned activities for the month the county’s Child Advocacy Center held a workshop “Protecting Your Child: Lessons Learned from Sex Offenders” on Friday at the TOPS Building on the Donald B. Smith Campus in Carmel.

“Everyone has the ability and responsibility to prevent child abuse,” said Marla Behler, Program Coordinator of the CAC. “We need to become more educated about how to recognize the signs, how to respond and how to intervene. The topic of child abuse will be at the forefront of national discussions during April and we hope that everyone will take an interest, as light is shed on this issue.”

Last year, the CAC officially implemented the use collaborative investigations and digitally recording the interviews with the victims. Working in tandem with the District Attorney’s Office and the Sheriff’s Office as well as other local law enforcement agencies, the CAC workers were able to collect the information needed from the victims without having to have the children repeat their stories over and over again to different strangers. In addition to providing a more welcoming environment for the child-aged victims, the tactic streamlined the process making it more efficient and effective.

“Child abuse is not something we as a society can turn a blind eye too, said County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “As the county executive, I know one of the most important roles of government is to protect those who cannot protect themselves. I am so proud of the strides the Putnam County Child Advocacy Center has made in the past three years in generating awareness to the epidemic of child abuse in the community, providing training to further educate the investigators, social workers and others in identifying possible victims and predators and mostly for making the experience of reporting the abuse less traumatic for the victims and providing them resources to help in their recovery. Their work in cooperation with the Department of Social Services, Youth Bureau, District Attorney’s Office and Sheriff’s Office has helped more children live in a safer environment.”

This year, a female investigator was added through the District Attorney’s office to assist with the child abuse cases to provide children who may have been abused by a man the opportunity to speak with female law enforcement officer.

To cap off the month’s activities the CAC will hold their 9th annual Children’s Expo & Public Safety Fair at the Donald B, Smith Campus on Saturday, April 26. The event is free and open to the public.


Photo Caption: Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell and other government employees wore blue to kick start the “Blue Ribbon Campaign,” which recognizes April as Child Abuse Awareness month.


15 Students Honored by Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell and the County Youth Bureau

MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
(845) 808-1001

15 Students Honored by Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell and the County Youth Bureau

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell and the county’s Youth Bureau recognized the volunteer efforts of 15 high school students during the 29th Annual Youth Award Dinner held on the evening of Friday, March 28 at Putnam County Golf Course. The keynote speaker for the awards ceremony was WHUD’s morning radio personality Kacey Morabito-Grean.

“These young people are an inspiration,” said Odell. “They give of their time, their talent and their hearts to better the community. They touch people’s lives and make a difference. I am proud to consider these students the future leaders of Putnam County.”

The students that were honored are: Carli Ceckanowicz, Kaitlynn Figueroa, Vincent Garofalo, Giana Grandetti, Maggie McDonnell, Meghan Mammola, Justin Mazzarisi, Philip Nicklin, Shauna Ricketts, Patrick Salerno, Robert Salerno, William Salerno, Jenna Schweigler, Greg Tock and Sarah Warren.

“It amazes me how involved these students are in their community,” said Janeen Cunningham, director of the Youth Bureau. “Theses students are an example of how we can become better citizens in the future by working hard in order to achieve success.”

The Youth Awards Dinner is an annual event hosted by the Putnam County Youth Bureau to recognize youth for their outstanding community service to the county.

“I want you to promise us that you will always remember how grateful we are to you for making our community a better place to be,” said Morabito-Grean, a Cold Spring resident, to the students as she gave her speech. “You gave of yourself. You changed lives. You are only in your teens but you have already done so much good… We cannot wait to see what you’re going to do next and in advance we thank you.”

The Putnam County Youth Bureau is responsible to the County Executive for coordinating and supplementing the activities of public, private and religious agencies devoted in whole or in part to the welfare, development and protection of youth. The Youth Bureau has the primary responsibility of advocating for the youth of Putnam County and promoting positive youth development.

Photo Caption: County Executive MaryEllen Odell and WHUD morning show host Kacey Morabito-Grean with the 15 students honored at the Putnam Youth Awards Dinner on March 28.  The students that were honored are: Carli Ceckanowicz, Kaitlynn Figueroa, Vincent Garofalo, Giana Grandetti, Maggie McDonnell, Meghan Mammola, Justin Mazzarisi, Philip Nicklin, Shauna Ricketts, Patrick Salerno, Robert Salerno, William Salerno, Jenna Schweigler, Greg Tock and Sarah Warren.

Click Here to see the Video coverage.


2014 Annual Food Operator’s Seminar

The 2014 Annual Food Operator’s Seminar was held on March 25 and 26, with over 140  food service establishments attending this event held at the TOPS building. The Health Department kicked off its  campaign for “Eat Smart Restaurant Week” to be held in September.    A panel of local farmers and restaurateurs discussed the trend of farm-to-table initiatives in Putnam and the benefits of developing the farmer and  chef alliance.



County Executive MaryEllen Odell was the keynote speaker at the Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson Annual Community Partnership Luncheon

IMAG3658Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell was the keynote speaker on March 14 at the Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson Annual Community Partnership Luncheon held at the Renaissance Westchester Hotel. Chosen as a role model for young girls, Odell recounted the matriarch-inspired family in which she was raised and gave credit for her successes to her own role models, especially her 100-year-old grandmother, Mae O’Brien. For more information on the Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson, visit:

Video Clip


Opt Out


March 26, 2014

To All Putnam County Pistol Permit Holders:

Putnam County is continuing to fight for the right to protect our citizens from an unwarranted invasion of their safety and personal privacy. Putnam County Clerk Dennis J. Sant and First Deputy Clerk Michael C. Bartolotti have one thing to say to all Putnam County Pistol Permit Holders; that is, “It’s not too late to file your opt-out form.”  RUN, don’t walk, to your Putnam County Clerk’s Office so you can help us help you.

During our latest wave of community outreach to our pistol permit holders to assist in the filing of their opt out forms, we learned that this provision in the law, more notably the 120 day moratorium period, was very confusing to the public it was designed to protect.  The wording of the law, along with its misinterpretation by certain media outlets, led to confusion by the public that once the moratorium period ended no opt out forms would be accepted.  We just want to stress to all pistol permit holders that is not the case and nothing could be further from the truth.

Again, we urge all pistol permit holders that if you have not done so already, please remit an Opt-Out form to this office as soon as possible.  Currently, the only protection you may have from disclosure is to have an approved Opt Out form in your permit file.    The sooner you get this completed form back to our office, the sooner your personal information will remain confidential.  Contact Michael Bartolotti, 1st Deputy County Clerk, at 845-808-1142 Ext. 49303 to file your opt-out forms and with any questions or concerns you may have. 


Putnam County Pistol License holder FOIL “Opt Out” Form

If you are a pistol license holder or know of somebody who is this may be of interest to you;

As you may be aware New York State has made available an “Opt Out” form for all pistol license holders who wish to exempt their name and address from disclosure. County Clerk Dennis Sant and County Executive MaryEllen Odell want to make sure all pistol license holders have the opportunity to take advantage of this new provision.

If a pistol license holder wishes to “Opt Out” of disclosure they may do the following:

  • Please download the attached form
  • Complete all relevant parts of the form
  • Sign and date the form
  • Return the completed form to the Putnam County Clerk’s Office either in person, or via U.S. mail at 40 Gleneida Avenue, Room 100, Carmel, New York 10512

Should you have any questions regarding this matter please contact us at 845-808-1142 extension 49307.



Search for Outstanding Putnam Seniors Is On

MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
(845) 808-1001

February 26, 2014

Search for Outstanding Putnam Seniors Is On

Once again Director of the Office for the Aging Patricia Sheehy and the Putnam County Senior Citizens Advisory Board are seeking nominations from the public for this year’s Senior Citizen of the Year award. 

“This year’s nominating theme is “Safe Today, Healthy Tomorrow,” said Sheehy. “We are focusing on older New Yorkers who demonstrate the power to make a difference through civic engagement and volunteerism and how that impacts on the physical, mental and/or environmental health and safety of our communities,” she said.

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell has designated 2014 as the Year of the Senior Citizen and is looking forward to seeing who among Putnam’s many seniors will be nominated.

“We are fortunate to have a very active senior population,” said Odell. “Selecting one man and one woman from among so many seniors who do so much to make a difference and enhance the lives of Putnam residents will be an exciting challenge.”

Candidates must be 60 years of age or older and residents of Putnam County.

Two seniors from each of New York’s counties will be honored at a luncheon in Albany on May 6. Putnam’s winners will also be honored at the annual Putnam County Senior Volunteer Ceremony this spring.

Nominations should be made on an official form which can be obtained from the Office of the Aging or downloaded from their website:

Completed nomination forms must be received by Wednesday, March 19, 2014. Forms may be mailed to: Senior Award, Putnam County Office for the Aging, 110 Old Route Six Center, Building No. 1, Carmel, NY  10512  or faxed to (845) 808 1942. 

Employees of federal, state, county, or local municipalities who provide services to senior citizens are not eligible to be nominated. Previous recipients of this award are also ineligible.  

For more information or to request a nomination form, please call the Putnam County Office for the Aging at (845) 808-1700.