The Office for Senior Resources Annual Holiday Parties are a hit!

The Office for Senior Resources Annual Holiday Parties are a hit!  There were parties held on Monday and Tuesday and the last one is being held today.  There is plenty of good food and lots of entertainment with many people dancing.  Even Santa Claus was in attendance spreading good cheer!  Our County Executive, MaryEllen Odell, along with several elected officials, are there to wish everyone a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season.


Karl Rohde Presents First Public Reading of “Hero’s Highway” at Arts on the Lake

Karl Rohde Presents First Public Reading of “Hero’s Highway” at Arts on the Lake

KENT, NY (November 16, 2016) – On Veteran’s Day, The Arts on the Lake, Lake Writers Group hosted its annual reading.  Members of the group gathered to take in an array of writing genres from their peers, including memoirs, poetry, novel excerpts and more.  This year, the event happened to coincide with Veterans Day.  In honor of the sacrifices of the nation’s brave military men and women who serve, the group invited Karl Rohde, also a writer, and the Director of Putnam County’s Veterans Service Agency, to participate.book-cover-actual-jpg

“We could not have been happier to have Karl participate in such a meaningful way at our event,” said group leader, Tom Kersting . “Karl helped us honor those in service to our country and by sharing  several poems that he wrote while serving in Vietnam, he enabled attendees to connect with that experience.”

Rohde’s poetry is part of a Putnam Veterans’ anthology of artistic expression that was recently published under the title of Hero’s Highway. According to John Bourges, the program coordinator for the Dwyer Vet2Vet Program in Putnam, the book was created as a project for the PFC Joseph P Dwyer Vet 2 Vet Outreach Program of Putnam County.

“Our Veterans Outreach Studio meets on the first Wednesday of every month in Patterson to explore veterans’ creativity and artistic talents.  The catalyst for creating the book was to share the unique art and creativity coming out of these meetings with veteran peers at the Veterans Chow Down that took place on November 1st.”

“The response to the book has been tremendous, says Bourges. “We are in our second printing and plan to use the book as a fundraising tool to support other events and activities for our vets. For more information about the book and to obtain a copy, please visit the Dwyer Vet2Vet of Putnam website at www.dwyervet2vetputnam.org/upcoming-events.html.


Joe Murdock, Justyn Lewis and Mark Semo.

Workers Repair Pillars to Historic Putnam County Courthouse

CARMEL, NY — As the second oldest county courthouse still in use in New York State, it’s no surprise that the Putnam County Courthouse requires structural repairs from time to time.  On November 14, 2016, Putnam Highway Department workers, Joe Murdock, Justyn Lewis and Mark Semo, repaired pillars, which were added to the Courthouse during an 1847 renovation.

Joe Murdock, Justyn Lewis and Mark Semo.

Pictures from Left: Joe Murdock, Mark Semo, and Justyn Lewis


Putnam Accepting Applications for 2017 PILOT Program Student Internship Program

Putnam Accepting Applications for 2017 PILOT Program Student Internship Program

Carmel, NY – Putnam County Government will once again offer high school, college and graduate school students the opportunity to apply for paid and unpaid summer internship opportunities throughout its many departments as part of the Putnam Invests in Leaders of Tomorrow (PILOT) Program.  The concept of the PILOT Program was introduced by County Executive MaryEllen Odell in 2013 and continues to be supported by the Putnam County Legislature.

“The PILOT Program is one of the best professional resources offered to Putnam County Youth,” says MaryEllen Odell, “It is a program that I take tremendous pride in and I recommend students to apply, not only to gain real-world experience, but to learn more about the county in which they live.”

Eligible participants must be Putnam County residents who are graduate, college, or high school students in their junior or senior year.  Applicants must be at least 16 years of age. For college students a GPA of 3.0 or higher is recommended.

The 2017 Summer PILOT program will run from May through August, depending on student availability.  Internship hours, are typically 28 hours a week, and will be coordinated with Department supervisors.

For more information, contact Putnam County Personnel,  Adriene Iasoni at 845-808-1650 ext. 46625 or


Online application available at www.putnamcountyny.com/internapply.


Senator Murphy Announces Securing $550,000 Grant for Renovations to OSR Friendship Center

Senator Murphy Announces Securing $550,000 Grant for Renovations to OSR Friendship Center

On October 27, 2016, Senator Terrence Murphy came to the Carmel Friendship Center to  announce that he has secured a $550,000 grant to renovate the center.  County Executive MaryEllen Odell along with OSR Director Patricia Sheehy, Legislator Carl Albano,  Undersheriff Peter Convery, Judge James Reitz and Carmel Supervisor Kenneth Schmidt were in attendance to accept the honorary check.

The below press release was posted on Senator Murphy’s website:


“The renovations will increase the Center’s square footage and give it a more modern look, which will inspire more seniors to engage in the programs and services the Center has to offer,” said Senator Murphy. “Common sense is not so common in Albany. We have to continue to work together to keep our seniors in New York, whether this means lowering taxes or getting the funding to renovate the Friendship Center.”

The renovations will transform the Center into a state-of-the-art, energy efficient facility with a room for information and technology, as well as an area to expand the Center’s senior programs.

“Approximately one in four of Putnam’s residents are over the age of 60,” said Putnam County Executive Odell. “Our seniors are a vital foundation in our county. We depend on them for their wisdom, experience, and volunteerism, which consistently fills gaps in our community — and within our families. We owe it to our seniors to modernize the Friendship Center to make it a better place for them to socialize, stay connected and keep healthy.”

Carmel Town Supervisor Kenneth Schmitt added, “The Center is a good place for seniors to meet new friends, get involved in exercising and to have a good meal. It is time the Center was renovated, and I want to thank Senator Murphy for getting the funds to make this project a reality.”

“Our seniors are very important to us,” said Putnam County Legislator Carl Albano. “Senator Murphy has done a lot in Albany to pass legislation to help seniors throughout the state. I am looking forward seeing to the long-anticipated improvements to the Center.”

Improvements to the Carmel Friendship Center will include:

Additional space dedicated for use by seniors,

  • An improved and expanded exercise area,
  • An improved and expanded arts and crafts room,
  • New interview and counseling rooms,
  • Expanded nutrition counseling rooms,
  • Improved pantry and lunch areas,
  • And improved access to the building for the handicapped.

Looking around the room at the seniors applauding the news of the Center’s refurbishment, the Hon. James Reitz, Putnam County Court Judge commented, “There are many important people her today that deserve thanks, especially the people we serve. You have a real friend in Senator Murphy, who listened to your needs and responded. The work he is doing on behalf of seniors and his efforts to solve the heroin problem are commendable.”

“The Seniors from Patterson, Southeast, Carmel and Kent who frequent the Friendship Center in Carmel along with the team at the Office for Senior Resources are very grateful for the efforts that Senator Murphy has extended to bring this grant to fruition,” said Patricia Sheehy, Director of the Putnam County Office for Senior Resources, “The funds will allow us to carry out the much needed renovations transforming our over crowed 1960’s Nutrition Center into a twenty-first century facility that will be a warm and welcoming center where our seniors can get together!”


PUTNAM VETERANS MUSEUM HOSTS WORLD WAR II VETERAN, 97, FORMER CARMEL RESIDENT Lt. Richard G. Hopkins, USN Ret. and Daughter Donate Treasures of Storied Military Service


Lt. Richard G. Hopkins, USN Ret. and Daughter Donate Treasures of Storied Military Service

Carmel, NY, November 1, 2016 — Veterans and volunteers at the Putnam Veterans Museum recently hosted some very special guests.  World War II veteran Lt. Richard G. Hopkins, USN Ret., and his daughter Susan Hopkins came to Veterans Memorial Park in Carmel to present the museum with artifacts from his service and Putnam County’s past.

Hopkins, 97, was born on Oak Street in Brewster, and his family moved to Carmel when he was young. Now residing in Westchester, Lt. Hopkins likes to visit the museum that exhibits ship models he donated in honor of his late brother, T/5 Reed Hopkins, member of the 1257 Combat Engineers Battalion, U.S. Army.  Reed, also a Carmel native, died in France during World War II.

The ship models include the USS Decatur and USS Porter, two vessels on which Lt. Hopkins served during his 28 years of active duty with the U.S. Navy and an additional 2 years of service in the Reserves. The museum also displays a model of the USS Dahlgren, yet another model that Lt. Hopkins can detail from bow to stern.  The USS Decatur and USS Dahlgren models were made in Sweden by a master ship model-maker; the USS Porter was made in Eastham, Mass., by a master ship model-maker.

The Hopkins family has deep roots in Putnam County’s history, so deep that they precede the Revolutionary War.  Lt. Richard Hopkins is the sixth-generation descendent of Lt. Solomon Hopkins of the 6th Dutchess County Regiment with the New York Militia during the Revolutionary War.  Solomon’s wife, Elizabeth Crosby, was the sister of Enoch Crosby, the famed Revolutionary War soldier and spy.

Susan Hopkins was pleased to present a framed drawing of the Enoch Crosby house in Brewster to complement the historical display that commemorates the soldier/spy story.   “A member of the Daughters of the American Revolution Enoch Crosby Chapter gave it to me; and when I first saw the display here, I thought it would be perfect to donate it,” said Susan.

“We are so grateful to Lt. Hopkins for his service and the generosity of his family,” said County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “Adding this beautiful drawing of the Enoch Crosby house to our Veterans Memorial Museum is rare a gift. This historic treasure will be appreciated by many visitors for years to come.”

Putnam County residents and veteran-volunteers were on hand that day to host the Hopkins’. They included Jim McCarthy, Michael Tiren, and Jerry Imbo, all U.S. Army veterans.  A representative from the Putnam County Historian’s Office was on hand to record this very special visit.

“I really enjoyed hearing Richard’s fascinating account of being part of the rescue of the USS Kearney (DD-432) off Iceland after it was torpedoed by U-boats,” said Jim McCarthy, “and the stories of his incredible world-wide adventures spanning the China Sea, Casablanca and Barcelona – when as an engineer he actually met and shook hands with Generalissimo Franco while onboard the USS Coral Sea.”

Not all of Lt. Hopkins years were spent at war on the high seas. There was a time when he was stationed at the Brooklyn Army Terminal, and for two years he was in charge of the heartrending job of bringing home the war dead.  After 32 years in the service through wars and conflicts, Lt. Hopkins found it was time for a change.  “I was up for Lieutenant Commander and they said I had to do three years more and I said, ‘You can have it!’, said Hopkins with a hearty laugh. “I got a chance to work for IBM up in Fishkill so I took it.”

On this sunny fall day, Lt. Hopkins donated his display case of service medals, ribbons and awards which include two World War II campaign medals, the World War II Victory medal, combat action ribbons and an impressive number of good conduct medals.  The case will be prominently exhibited along with his service portrait, his brother’s portrait and the beloved ship models – a special and collective display of sacrifice.

Before leaving the museum, Lt. Hopkins stopped to admire another special exhibit.

“That’s the New York!” he exclaimed, pointing to the ship model of the USS New York LPD-21. This post-9-11 United States Navy warship’s bow was forged from the steel of the World Trade Center and its official motto is “Strength forged through sacrifice. Never Forget.”

Lt. Hopkins smiled and commended the veteran volunteers saying, “That’s good that you got that model!”

The Putnam County Veteran Memorial Park is located at 201 Gipsy Trail Road in Carmel. The Putnam Veterans’ Museum is open on Wednesdays from 10 am – 1 pm and is administered by the Putnam County Veterans Service Agency.



Carmel Girl Scouts Junior Troop 1086 Learns About Government County Executive Helps Girl Scouts Earn “Inside Government” Junior Badge

Carmel Girl Scouts Junior Troop 1086 Learns About Government

County Executive Helps Girl Scouts Earn “Inside Government” Junior Badge

CARMEL, NY – On October 25, 2016, County Executive Odell visited Carmel Girl Scouts Junior Troop 1086 to talk with the girls about working in government. The scouts, ranging in age from seven to ten, were working towards their “Inside Government” Junior Badge and wanted to learn about the types of problems a County Executive addresses.


The County Executive spent an hour talking and answering questions about her day-to-day responsibilities; how laws are made and why, and the importance of leadership roles among girls and women.  They also discussed 16 year-old Sybil Ludington and her bravery as she rode through the dark of night to alert militia forces to the approach of British troops.

After the presentation, the girls presented Odell with her own “Inside Government” badge and named her an honorary member of the Carmel Junior Troop 1086.

For more information on joining Girl Scouts or volunteering, visit the Carmel Girl Scouts website: carmelgirlscouts.org or come to the Carmel Girl Scouts Craft Fair at Carmel High School on Saturday, November 19th from 11am-3pm.


NOW IT IS their TURN TO LISTEN Putnam County Veterans Task Force 4th Annual Legislative Forum

Putnam County Veterans Task Force 4th Annual
Legislative Forum
We have invited elected officials
Who are On the
National, State & County levels
We ask you to join us at the TOPS Center
To support Veterans legislation and issues
Being Presented to those who make the laws
November 17, 2016 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Donald B. Smith Campus
Bureau of Emergency Services Auditorium

112 Old Route 6. Carmel, NY 10512



Recycling Reaps Rewards: Health Department Holds “Caught-in-the-Act” Contest on America Recycles Day

Recycling Reaps Rewards:

Health Department Holds “Caught-in-the-Act” Contest on America Recycles Day

BREWSTER, NY— Plastic film is everywhere. Store “carry-out” bags are made of it. Beverage cases are shrink-wrapped in it. Newspapers are delivered curbside in it, and unfortunately most is not recycled. The Putnam County Department of Health is trying to change that. On Tuesday, November 15, America Recycles Day, the department is holding a “Caught-in-the-Act” Contest.

From 10 a.m. to 12 noon and then again from 2 to 4 p.m., the recycling coordinator from the health department will be looking for residents who recycle and rewarding them with a free reusable shopping bag, and social media recognition for their efforts. The morning session will take place at Acme Supermarket, 149 Route 6 in Mahopac, and the afternoon hours will be spent at DeCicco & Sons, 50 Independent Way in Brewster.

“We are launching this campaign because most people are unaware you can recycle these plastic film items,” says County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “Curbside recycling does not include them. Instead they must be brought to a drop-off location. But it’s the responsible and civic thing to do—for your family and your community.”

“Less than one percent of plastic bags are being recycled,” continues Interim Health Commissioner Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD. “It may take a bit of extra effort in the beginning, but only until it becomes more routine. And it makes a positive impact on our environment.”

The health department has been working with stores in the county that are required by law

to accept plastic films. All large retail stores, or chains with more than five smaller stores, must participate. Currently there are 25 drop-off locations in Putnam County, including Home Depot, Acme, and Kohl’s in Brewster, and at Foodtown in Cold Spring. A complete list is posted online at the PCDOH website.

The Health Department’s mission is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education.




Putnam County Welcomes Mentoring Day Participants

 Putnam County Welcomes Mentoring Day Participants

Carmel, New York — Putnam County residents were given the opportunity to work at a job that interests them as CAREERS for People with Disabilities, Inc. (CAREERS) coordinated the fifth Annual Mentoring Day on October 25th. A collaboration with Putnam County Executive Mary Ellen Odell, the event pairs mentors from County Departments with individuals interested in learning  what it takes to be successfully employed.

“Putnam’s fifth Mentoring Day is a great time for County staff to share their employment skills and interests with individuals who don’t always get the chance to prove themselves,” remarked CAREERS Executive Director Tina Cornish-Lauria.  “County Executive Odell and her staff always make our participants feel welcome and needed, and everyone leaves the event with new understanding and a new friend,” Cornish-Lauria said.

“People with disabilities represent a largely untapped well of talent that are loyal, dedicated and hard-working, but oftentimes get overlooked by employers,” said Odell. “After participating in this program for a fifth year, I can personally attest to its success in educating the public so they recognize the contributions of people with disabilities, rather than limitations, and welcome them in the workplace.”

CAREERS, Carmel High School students, and PARC participants were matched with volunteer County mentors, based on the interests of each mentee. County departments participating included The County Clerk’s Office, Department of Social Services, Office for Senior Resources and Veterans Services, among others. Participants worked side by side with mentors for several hours learning administrative skills, customer service, landscaping, delivering mail and food service, among other activities.

About CAREERS for People with Disabilities, Inc.

Since 1987, CAREERS has provided job placement and support services to people with disabilities in Westchester and Putnam Counties and provided services to over 2,500 other disabled individuals. CAREERS’ mission is to ensure that all disabled individuals find sustained, meaningful employment in the communities in which they live. We work one-on-one with each client and employer to facilitate ongoing success in the workplace and help those with disabilities reach their maximum level of self-support and self-reliance.  All of CAREERS’ services are provided free of charge to clients and employers.

For additional information about how CAREERS helps disabled individuals or employers in need of qualified help, contact CAREERS’ Valhalla office, which serves central and lower Westchester at 914-741-8500, or the Carmel office, which serves northern Westchester and Putnam Counties, at 845-225-8007.  For more information, please visit www.careersforpeoplewithdisabilities.org.

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