Putnam County Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day Scheduled for Saturday, Oct 7

BREWSTER, NY—Putnam County will hold a Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collection Day for Putnam County residents on Saturday, October 7. The Putnam County Department of Health and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) are co-sponsoring the FREE event, scheduled from 9 am to 12 noon (rain or shine) at the Donald B. Smith County Government Campus located at 110 Old Route 6 in Carmel. Pre-registration is required.

Improper storage or disposal of hazardous waste poses a health risk to residents and their families. For this reason, the HHW Collection Day event continues to be maintained in the budget by County Executive MaryEllen Odell as an opportunity for Putnam residents to safely dispose of toxic materials such as: household cleaners, pesticides, herbicides, oil-based paint (not latex), solvents, thinners, mothballs, rodent poisons, gasoline, kerosene, small propane tanks (up to 20 pound size), etc. For a more complete list of acceptable items, see “Special Wastes” under “Recycling” on the Green Putnam webpage at http://www.putnamcountyny.com/green-putnam/.

Disposal items must be labeled and identifiable to be accepted. Items not accepted include: water-based paints (latex), used oil, lead-acid batteries, plastic bags, batteries, tires, electronic waste or any materials from commercial establishments. Materials packed into garbage or lawn bags will also not be accepted. Latex paints can be discarded by routine means, after they have been dried out.

Call early to reserve a spot. The Putnam County Department of Health number is (845) 808-1390 ext. 43150 for questions or to pre-register.

For information regarding electronic waste disposal, call your local town. Please note that household hazardous waste items are not accepted at the town electronic waste drop-off locations.

The mission of the Putnam County Department of Health, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), 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. For more information, please visit our County website at www.putnamcountyny.com; or visit our social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealth  and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.

Putnam Replenishes its Fleet with Eight New Buses

In efforts to ensure passenger safety and maximize efficiencies, County Executive MaryEllen Odell announced that Putnam recently added eight new buses to its fleet, allowing older buses to retire.

“Updating our buses allows us to better serve the public,” said Odell. “Newer vehicles are less prone to breakdowns and are better to accommodate the needs of our ridership. They help us to meet our fiscal and social responsibilities to our residents.”

The new buses have led lighting, are more comfortable, less noisy and are more fuel efficient.  In addition, each bus has a wheelchair lift to accommodate persons with disabilities.  The new buses are also better for the environment because they replace inefficient diesel buses.

With the latest additions, the buses traversing the fixed routes are all uniform.

The older buses that will be decommissioned have over 200,000 miles on them.

The buses were deployed on every route in mid-June with a positive response from riders and drivers alike.

Photo Caption: Several of the new buses that have been added to the Putnam County fleet.

PCDOH Schedules Three Fall Public Flu Clinics

 BREWSTER, NY— Predicting how severe the next flu season will be is always part guessing game. Experts usually look at what happens in the Southern hemisphere, where the flu season comes first. Based on that, the forecast for the upcoming flu season in Putnam, starting in October and running through next spring, is that it will be worse than last year’s.

Three public flu clinics are scheduled for the fall. Hosted by the Putnam County Department of Health (PCDOH), the first clinic is Monday, September 25, at the Carmel Fire Department, Route 52 and Vink Drive in Carmel. The second is on Wednesday, October 18, at the Garrison Fire Department, 1616 Route 9; the third is Monday, October 23, at Carmel Fire Department again. The health department’s skilled and experienced public health nurses will be giving flu shots at each site from 2 to 6:30 p.m.

“Early vaccination offers the best protection,” says Michael Nesheiwat, MD, Interim Commissioner of Health. “Antibodies take about two weeks to develop, so receiving your shot early means your protection starts sooner and reduces your risk of becoming sick. Flu shots are important for other reasons as well. You save money on medical and prescription costs, and you avoid being absent from work. From a public health standpoint, flu immunization is important because it provides what we call ‘herd immunity,’ and those who can’t be vaccinated because they are too young, or have a specific medical condition, are protected as well. It is the right thing to do.”

Certain people need to be vaccinated. They include pregnant women, children 6 months through 18 years of age, people over 50 years of age, and those with chronic (long-lasting) medical conditions and those who live with them. All these groups may have serious health problems if they get the flu themselves, or they may cause serious problems for others. Health care workers are also required to get the flu vaccine in order to protect their patients.

The clinics are open to all Putnam County residents 18 years of age and older. (Proof of residency is required.) The vaccination fee is $25 for residents under 65 years of age. Those 65 years and older, or with a Medicare card, can receive the vaccine free of charge. High-dose flu vaccine is being offered for seniors, aged 65 years and older, as studies show this vaccine is more effective for this population. Nasal FluMist will not be available at the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Pneumonia vaccine will also not be available through the Health Department’s public flu clinics.

Appointments are not necessary, but a signed “Seasonal Influenza Consent Form” is required. Forms are available on the health department’s immunization page on Putnam County website at http://www.putnamcountyny.com/health/immunization under “Flu Vaccine.”

In order to streamline the registration process, people are encouraged to print and complete the form, and bring it with them to the clinic. The forms will also be available at the clinics.

More public flu clinics may be held later this year. Any future dates will be announced on the health department’s website and through social media. Flu vaccination is also offered by the Health Department in all school districts this fall for students and staff only. Check the school calendar or with the school nurse for details of these school-based clinics.

The mission of the Putnam County Department of Health, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), 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. For more information, please visit our County website at www.putnamcountyny.com ; or visit our social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealth  and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.

Public Health Summit VII Draws Record Crowd

BREWSTER, NY— Breaking previous attendance records, 85 public health partners from 48 different community agencies convened at Putnam Hospital Center (PHC) last Thursday, September 7, for the seventh annual public health summit. Unlike previous years, the 2017 event focused on a single issue, health equity, and how by building a culture of equity, rather than equality, community health can be improved. Organized by the Putnam County Department of Health with support from Putnam Hospital Center, the event brought together community leaders, public health partners and residents to start a conversation about putting an equity “framework” into action.

“So much of health happens outside our walls,” said Lindsay Farrell, president and CEO of Open Door Family Medical Centers, as she welcomed the group. “It comes from who we hang out with, where we live and where we work.” These social factors determine an individual’s health as much as, maybe more than, what is passed on through a person’s genes. It is these “social determinants of health” in part that account for the fact that the U.S. ranks 28 out of 43 developed nations in the world for life expectancy, despite spending significantly more money per person on health care.

County Executive MaryEllen Odell, Putnam Hospital Center President Peter Kelly, interim Health Commissioner Michael Nesheiwat, MD, and Commissioner Michael Piazza of the department of social services and mental health, were among the community leaders in attendance. County Executive Odell spoke of her administration’s challenge to balance social and fiscal responsibilities while state-mandated programs are being defunded and vulnerable populations such as veterans are being negatively impacted. Mr. Kelly, who assumed leadership of Putnam Hospital just one year ago, applauded Putnam for its community partnerships, stronger than all he witnessed in his thirty years of health care experience.

“Health equity is about determining what an individual, or particular population needs, and then providing that, rather than simply providing the same or equal service to everyone.” said Dr. Nesheiwat. “In public health, we’re doing this when we bring our flu immunization clinics into schools, or to segments of the community where they are really needed.”

Epidemiologist Erin Pascaretti spoke about the collaborative approach labeled “Health in All Policies,” which encourages all sectors to incorporate health considerations into their decision-making. The tactic was endorsed earlier this year by the New York State (NYS) Governor’s Office with a similar plan named “Health Across All Policies,” and a heightened focus on creating age-friendly communities and policies, given the state’s rapidly aging population. The concept accounts for the reality that many social determinants of health are the responsibility of non-traditional health partners, such as housing, transportation, education, air quality, parks, criminal justice, employment and energy agencies.

Keynote speaker Andrea Beltran Ruggiero, senior director of care coordination and wellness at Open Door Family Medical Centers, reported how successful the federally qualified health center has been not only in providing a “medical home” for patients, but also incorporating behavioral health integration specialists into their care plans. For example, Brewster Open Door has increased its rates for depression screening with follow-up from 39 percent in 2013 to 69 percent so far in 2017. This was a needed service for the Putnam population, given the County’s focus on addiction issues, suicide prevention and the high reported rates of binge drinking.

The second part of the summit consisted of viewing a series of clips from “Unnatural Causes,” the acclaimed PBS documentary series. Each clip was preceded by provocative questions, and followed by an interactive discussion. Led by Barbara Ilardi, supervising public health educator at the health department, the session provided eye-opening statistics of our health care system and a segue for the next health equity event on Tuesday, October 17, at Putnam Hospital Center. Titled “Blueprint for Health Equity,” the full-day experience is being organized by HealthlinkNY Community Network, a NYS Department of Health Population Health Improvement Program grantee.

Previous summit gatherings have taken a more task-oriented approach, focusing on the Community Health Improvement Plan, known simply as “the CHIP,” and its priority areas of preventing chronic disease and promoting mental health and reducing substance abuse. However, health funders and partners are realizing that the social determinants of health must be factored in first, if true community health improvement and reduction of health care costs are to be achieved.

The mission of the Putnam County Department of Health, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), 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. For more information, please visit our County website at www.putnamcountyny.com; or visit our social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealth  and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.

PUTNAM COUNTY PASSPORT SATURDAY-OCTOBER 14, 2017 NEW DATE!

***PLEASE NOTE CORRECTED DATE***

PUTNAM COUNTY PASSPORT SATURDAY-OCTOBER 14, 2017

In recognition of the upcoming holiday travel season, Putnam County Clerk Michael C. Bartolotti is hosting a “Third 2017 Putnam County Passport Saturday” at the offices of the CARMEL TOWN HALL, 60 McAlpin Avenue, Mahopac, New York on Saturday, October 14, 2017 from 9:00 am until 1:00 pm to provide passport information to U.S. citizens and to accept passport applications.  County Clerk Bartolotti is holding this event as a convenience to our customers who need to obtain a passport in time for the busy holiday travel season.  County Clerk Bartolotti can be reached at 845-808-1142 X49301 for any questions or concerns regarding obtaining a U.S. Passport or traveling abroad.

U.S. citizens must present a valid passport book when entering or re-entering the United States by air.  U.S. citizens entering the United States from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda at land borders and sea ports of entry must present a passport book, passport card, or other travel documents approved by the U.S. government.

Information on the cost and how to apply for a U.S. passport is available at the Putnam County Clerk’s Website located at www.putnamcountyny.gov .  U.S. citizens may also obtain passport information by phone by calling the Putnam County Clerk’s Office at 845-808-1142 X49273.

9/11 Putnam Heroes Memorial

Putnam County’s annual September 11th Candlelight Vigil will be held on Monday, September 11, 2017 at the Putnam Heroes Memorial located at Spain Cornerstone Park 1 Fair Street Carmel at 8:00 PM

This year the service will also include a dedication of a new memorial to those citizens of Putnam County who have died as a result of their action in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks. Along with the eight Putnam Heroes who died on September 11th, there will be an additional six citizens recognized. They are Firefighter Edward Tietjen of the FDNY and Battalion Chief John Vaughan of the FDNY, both formally of Mahopac. Battalion Chief Thomas Van Doran of the FDNY and Firefighter Glenn Bisogno of the Brewster Fire Department, both formerly of Brewster. Firefighter Thomas Kelly of the FDNY and Firefighter Charles Flickinger of the Lake Carmel Fire Department, both formerly of the Town of Kent.

For those wishing to attend, preceding the Candlelight Vigil there will be a Mass of Remembrance at St. James the Apostle Church, 14 Gleneida Avenue, Carmel at 7:00 PM

Odell names Kenneth W. Clair Jr. acting Emergency Services Commissioner as Sutton retires

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell has named Kenneth W. Clair Jr. Acting Commissioner of the Bureau of Emergency Services (BOES) after the retirement of the current Commissioner Anthony W. Sutton. The change will be effective Tuesday, Sept. 5.

“Kenneth Clair’s knowledge, experience and passion have made him an asset at the Bureau for decades,” said Odell. “I know that with his capabilities, he will successfully lead the Bureau through this transition.”

Prior to becoming Deputy Commissioner, Clair served in the Bureau a Deputy Fire Coordinator for nine years. In addition, he has served as Assistant Fire Inspector in Southeast from 1997-2003 and more recently as the Emergency Preparedness Officer for the Town of Southeast from 2003-present. He is a New York State Fire Prevention Officer and is National Incident Management certified.

A lifelong Brewster resident, Clair has been a volunteer fire fighter for the Brewster Fire Department for more than 25 years.  He is also a former Brewster Fire Chief, Past President of Putnam County Fire Association, a member of the National Fire Protection Association, New York State Chiefs and Putnam County Chiefs Association and currently serves as a Fire Commissioner in the Brewster-Southeast Joint Fire District.

For his commitment to fire prevention and education, Clair was honored as the New York State Fire Educator of the Year in 2010 and was a recipient of the Michael Neuner Fire Prevention Award.

“I’m excited to lead the Bureau of Emergency Services in Putnam,” Clair said. “I thank County Executive Odell for her confidence in me, and for giving me this tremendous opportunity. I have spent my entire public service career preparing for this role. I pledge to work hard every day to protect the people of Putnam County.”

Odell named Sutton as Emergency Service Commissioner in March 2015, after a selection committee comprised of first responders interviewed the candidates and narrowed down the field to the finalists they thought best fit the position. The legislature approved Sutton as Commissioner in May 2015.

“I appreciate the devotion Commissioner Sutton has shown the Bureau during his tenure and thank him for his service to the people of Putnam County,” said Odell. “His steady hand and calm demeanor helped the county through a difficult period. Under his leadership, the Bureau has enhanced its effectiveness to provide prompt and efficient emergency assistance to residents and visitors of Putnam County. Comm. Sutton restored relationships with the Sheriff’s Department, police departments and all of the first responder organizations.”

For Sutton retirement is bittersweet.

“I’m both excited and saddened to leave my post,” said Sutton. “It has been my distinct pleasure to serve County Executive Odell as commissioner of Emergency Services. She set the bar high, but was there at every turn to support the Bureau and help us face the challenges.”

Sutton thanks the elected officials that made sure he did his homework by asking the hard questions before approving BOES projects, initiatives and budgets. He also grateful to members of the Fire Advisory Board, Emergency Services Advisory Board, Putnam County Fire Chiefs Association, 911 Committee and the other associations, committees and organizations he worked with.

“It has been an honor to work with Putnam’s fire fighters, EMT’s and police officers,” Sutton said. “I am forever indebted to the administration staff, the dispatchers, the Deputy Fire coordinators, special teams and all the other volunteers that I have had the honor to work with during my tenure at the Bureau. They have made my job easier and more enjoyable.”

Chairwoman of the Putnam County Legislature Ginny Nacerino recognized the efforts of Sutton and the ability of Clair.

“We have been very fortunate to have Anthony Sutton serve as our Commissioner of Emergency Services,” Nacerino said. “Tony’s wealth of insight, experience and caliber has vastly improved the department and services during his tenure. I wish him all the best in retirement.”

She added, “I support passing the torch to Ken Clair and have him serve as our Acting Commissioner,” Nacerino said. “As Deputy Commissioner, he has proven to be a proactive and effective leader. I am confident that having him at the helm, he will continue in Tony’s footsteps to raise the bar and work in earnest towards improving and protecting the lives of Putnam County residents.”

Sutton is satisfied knowing the Bureau will be led by Acting Commissioner Clair and Deputy Commissioner Robert Lipton.

“They have my total confidence and make it comfortable for me to hand off the baton of leadership,” Sutton said. “I will truly miss the entire Putnam “Team” and will always remember my time here fondly.”

Photo Caption: Acting Commissioner of the Bureau of Emergency Services Ken Clair

Tilly’s Table is Ready for your Reservation

Tilly’s Table is Ready for your Reservation

Tilly’s Table is taking your dinner reservations now, for dinner seating that will begin Friday, Sept, 8. The restaurant, located in the lodge on the county-owned Tilly Foster Farm in Brewster, will highlight organic and locally sourced ingredients. After the grand opening, Tilly’s Table will continue to be open Friday and Saturday nights for dinner starting at 5 p.m. On Sundays, it will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Brunch specials will be offered on Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

“Over the summer the county unveiled its partnership with Homestyle Caterers at Tilly’s Table and the beautiful craftsmanship the county’s highway and facilities department put into the renovation to the lodge so it could be used as an event venue,” County Executive MaryEllen Odell said. “The response has been incredible. Now Homestyle Caterers is ready to officially open its restaurant part of the operations. Patrons can come in any enjoy a delicious dinner or brunch on the farm.”

The menu features organic NY Strip Steak, Alaskan King Salmon, fresh Maine lobster and many more scrumptious cuisines. The side dishes and salads will use organic kale, quinoa, romaine lettuce and potatoes.

To make a reservation or to plan your next event at Tilly’s Table, call 845-808-1840.

Bogey finds a home with Putnam golf pro

MAHOPAC, NY – A stray dog found at Putnam County Golf Course in July was adopted by its in-house golf professional Jim Woods through Putnam Humane Society.

Staff at the golf course found the 35-pound Beagle-Labrador mix wandering around the course and then by the carts. After catching the dog swimming in the pond, Putnam Humane Society was called. With no identification tags found on him, the nonprofit decided to name him Bogey a golf term meaning one-over par, to recognize where he was found.

“Everyone at the golf course hoped that his owners were going to be able to find him,” said Woods. “But we kept an eye on him through the humane society’s website.”

Jim Quinn, the shop manager at the golf course, wanted to take him but already had two dogs that he did not think would get along with Bogey. Woods, who lives in Stormville, contemplated it, but kept his consideration to himself.

About two weeks later, Woods approached his wife Lisa about the possibility of adopting Bogey.

“She would take every dog in the pound if she could,” said Woods. “We are already parents to Bunker and I was the one who needed to ready to take on another dog.”

Bunker is a 14-year-old Labrador. Bogey is believed to be 8 or 9 years old.

On Monday, July 31, the Woods went to Putnam Humane Society to spend some time with Bogey. Then after deciding together that he was meant to join their family, came back on Saturday with Bunker.

“They hit is off from the start and by Saturday night we took Bogey home with us,” Woods said.

Michele Dugan, president of Putnam Humane Society, is pleased whenever a match can be made.

“We are very happy that Bogey was able to find a new home,” Dugan said. “All of the dogs that come in are assessed by a trainer so we can identify the right family for each one. Bogey is an amazing dog and Jim and Lisa are great people.”

Bogey was almost adopted by someone else.

“We did have a volunteer approved to adopt Bogey, but she was going on vacation and was not going to be able to take him until afterwards,” Dugan said. “When she found out that someone else was willing to adopt the dog earlier she was willing to let him go.”

Woods thinks it was meant to be.

“I thought that it was cool that he was found on the golf course and I always wanted a dog that wanted to come to the dog course because Bunker is scared of people,” Woods said. “And I would have named him Bogey.”

When filling out the application to adopt Bogey, one of Woods’ reference contacts was Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell, who could not have been happier to throw her support toward the union.

“I am a supporter of Putnam Humane Society and all of the work that they do,” said Odell. “There are so many rescued pets that need homes that it is always a joy when you can help a family come together. I know that Jim, Lisa, Bunker and Bogey will all bring each other a new sense of fulfillment by being together.”

While Bogey is still adapting to his new home, Woods is already looking forward to bringing him back around the course.

“I will bring him around in the fall, when he understands that I am his master and there are less people around,” Woods said.

This winter, don’t get left out in the cold…

This winter, don’t get left out in the cold…

With the cold weather slowly setting in, the Putnam County Office of Consumer Affairs would like to remind you to use licensed and registered tradesmen for all of your home repairs.

All too often, especially during the winter months, Consumer Affairs receives complaints from residents regarding sub-standard work performed by unlicensed or unregistered tradesmen, on boilers and other heating systems.

When it is cold outside, and the heat goes out, consumers tend to look for a quick, economical solution and many are forced to agree to repairs, not knowing anything about heating systems. Consumers have to trust that the technician is telling them the truth and most times, the consumer doesn’t have time to get a second opinion or doesn’t have the luxury of shopping around.  Often times, consumers end up looking at price and availability as top priorities for hiring servicemen. Also, consumers forget to get written estimates and signed contracts. Finally, at the urging of the repairman, consumers are tempted to save money by paying cash up front.

While entering into service work agreements can seem like a good idea at the time, the Office of Consumer Affairs asks consumers to consider this:  When you hire a Putnam County licensed/registered tradesman, know that the person you are hiring is insured and bonded and had to go through the rigors of becoming licensed, including in most cases, testing to verify they are qualified to perform trade-specific work.  Through this process, the licensed tradesman is invested in his commitment to the residents of Putnam County.   And while there is no guarantee that all jobs will go off without a hitch, if something does go wrong, in many cases, the Office of Consumer Affairs can assist the consumer in finding a resolution.

When consumers do not get a signed contract for proposed work or fall into the trap of paying cash up front as a means of saving money, they enter into a he said/she said situation. Consequently, should problems arise, consumers have no proof of either agreements for work or payments made.

Therefore, the Office of Consumer Affairs’ recommendation to all homeowners, aside from keeping warm this winter, is to always ask if a tradesman is licensed/registered in Putnam County. If the answer is yes, ask to see the license. Each tradesman is given an identification card complete with photo. Ask for written estimates and get signed contracts. If paying cash, get a signed receipt for payments made. Hopefully this advice will help to keep our community safe, warm, and scam free this winter.

For questions or concerns, or for a complete listing of Putnam County licensed tradesmen,  contact the Putnam County Department of Consumer Affairs at (845) 808-1617 or visit our website at www.putnamcountyny.com/consumer-affairs.