Putnam County Guardian Canine Complex Ribbon Cutting

The community is invited to join County Executive MaryEllen Odell, Guardian Revival, and the Putnam County Veterans Service Agency, for a (soft) ribbon cutting/dedication ceremony on Tuesday, December 6th at 2 pm at Putnam County Veterans Memorial Park-Upper Park. This is a soft open of the Putnam County Guardian Canine Complex, a 50,000 square ft public dog park/Canine training course expected to be open to the public in the Spring of 2023.

The complex will be dedicated to memorializing two guardians we lost to suicide: Joseph P. Dwyer & Max Kalkstein.

For more information, please contact:
Alex Othmer
Co-founder / Executive Director Guardian Revival
Phone: 845.661.0863
Email: alexanderothmer@guardianrevival.org
www.GuardianRevival.org

Decade of Storms

While the ten-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy brought back painful memories of devastation, it also provided an opportunity to look at all that Putnam County officials and emergency responders have learned in the past decade about keeping the community safe in a disaster, Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell said.

Fourteen monster storms – hurricanes, tropical storms, winter storms and tornadoes — have struck Putnam since Superstorm Sandy tore through the county in October 2012.  These storms brought power outages, road closures and threats to our residents’ safety and property.

“We certainly had a lot of disaster preparedness practice, and with every storm we learned invaluable lessons,” County Executive Odell said. “We managed to keep Putnam residents safe thanks to the county’s Incident Command Team and the fast work of the County Highway Department working with the town highway departments, the local police departments, fire departments and ambulance companies. Different agencies throughout the county and municipalities worked seamlessly together. It was very impressive to watch, and I am so proud of all the county employees and all of our partners in the municipalities who repeatedly performed heroic work for the people of Putnam County.”

County Executive Odell also extended thanks to NYSEG and Central Hudson Gas & Electric for being good partners with the county. In fact, NYSEG has used Putnam County’s storm response model for the rest of the region.

“The lights didn’t always go back on as fast as everyone hoped, but the utilities that serve Putnam County always worked round the clock to get power back as fast as possible,” Odell said.

When power couldn’t be restored quickly, community organizations like the Knights of Columbus, the ELKS Club, the public libraries and more stepped up to help. They set up warming centers and offered charging stations to help those without heat or electricity.

There was a lesson to be learned in every storm. It turned out that the mobilization and coordination between our Health Department and all the municipalities and school districts created a model of cooperation that helped us in ways we could not have anticipated. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, the crisis response we developed enabled us to quickly respond countywide with information, data, public testing sites and vaccination sites once the vaccines were available.

“While the pandemic was a completely different kind of emergency, all of these storms helped us develop a system that allowed our first responders, Department of Health and emergency service providers to efficiently set up mass Covid testing and vaccination centers for our residents,” County Executive Odell said. “I have been proud to serve as the Incident Commander for our county who always was ready to rescue and always ready to respond to whatever came our way. I wish all our volunteers safe and healthy times ahead, and I know that as I leave the County Executive’s Office, I leave a county ready to take on anything.

Storms that Impacted Putnam County:

  • Superstorm Sandy – 10/28-29/2012
  • Tropical Storm Andrea – 6/7-8/2013
  • Tropical Storm Bill – June 21-22, 2015
  • Winter Storm Jonas – January 20-22, 2016
  • Tropical Storm Bonnie – May 28, 2016
  • Tropical Storm Cindy – Jun 19, 2017
  • Tropical Storm Jose – 9/19-20/2017
  • Tropical Philippe – 10/28-30/2017
  • Winter Storm Quinn – 3/2/18
  • Winter Storm Riley – 3/7/18
  • Tornado – Patterson/Kent – 5/15/18
  • Winter Storm Harper 1/19/2019
  • Tropical Storm Isaias – 8/4/2020
  • Hurricane Henri – August 22, 2021
  • Hurricane Ida – September 1, 2021

 

ADDITIONAL EARLY VOTING POLLING PLACE INFORMATION FOR GENERAL ELECTION

CARMEL, NY—Due to the announced closure of Route 52 for the funeral services of Monsignor Anthony Marchitelli, the Putnam County Board of Elections Commissioners Catherine P. Croft and Kelly K. Primavera have announced the following additional Early Voting poll location for the 2022 General Election:

  • Putnam County Board of Elections at 25 Old Route 6, Carmel NY 10512. This poll site will be open as of Wednesday, November 2, 2022.

This Early Voting poll site is in addition to the following two Early Voting poll sites:

  • County Office Building, 40 Gleneida Ave, Carmel NY 10512 (GPS 20 County Center Dr)
  • The North Highlands Fire House, 504 Fishkill Rd, Cold Spring, NY 10516

All Early Voting poll sites will be open the following dates and hours:

  • Wednesday, November 2, 2022:  9:00am-5:00pm
  • Thursday, November 3, 2022: Noon-8:00pm
  • Friday, November 4, 2022: 9:00am-5:00pm
  • Saturday, November 5, 2022: 9:00am-5:00pm
  • Sunday, November 6, 2022: 9:00am-5:00pm.

There is no Early Voting on Monday, November 7.

For more information, please contact the Putnam County Board of Elections at 845-808-1300 or at putnamboe.com.

Over 100 Hudson Valley Residents Attend Film’s Premiere: Loneliness and Resilience Take Centerstage

CARMEL, NY–Last week, more than 60 Putnam residents gathered in Carmel and dozens more watched remotely from the Poughkeepsie Public Library to view an inspiring documentary “All The Lonely People.” Participants from both locations stayed on afterwards to talk with the filmmakers Joseph Applebaum and Stu Maddox. They headlined the panel discussion in the Putnam County auditorium at the Bureau of Emergency Services and answered questions about how their film came to be and what changes they hope it will launch. It was part of two-month, 20-county tour in New York State for their film, which was created to spur social change.

Loneliness and social isolation have been the topic of health research for decades and surgeon general Dr. Vivek Murthy began calling it an epidemic more than two years before the pandemic began. The film was also well into production before the world encountered COVID, the filmmakers explained. The film’s urgency grew of course, as it tells the story of how for the past two years, a handful of people overcame crippling social isolation and loneliness with breathtaking stories of resilience. Despite the film’s poignancy, in introducing the film the creators expressed hope that the discussions afterwards would be as beneficial as the film itself.

Loneliness is a natural part of the human experience, explained Eric Toth, who was part of the panel discussion. Mr. Toth is executive director of CoveCare, a Putnam County mental health and addiction counseling services group. When loneliness is chronic and debilitating, it becomes problematic, often cited as being as detrimental to one’s health as obesity or smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Loneliness should also be viewed through the lens of health equity. Certain populations including LGBTQ populations, and both youth and the elderly are at higher risk for serious loneliness that affects health and quality of life.

Michael Cunningham, director of the Putnam County Office for Senior Resources, who was instrumental in bringing the film to Putnam, and Shanna Siegel, supervising public health educator at the Putnam County Department of Health, also participated in the discussions. Mr. Cunningham pointed out that how much has changed in our way of life in the last two to three generations and this has resulted in many struggling with loneliness, made that much more critical by COVID.

Despite the challenge and inherent sadness of the pandemic, the film portrayed the clear call of resilience. Numerous “loneliness life hacks” appeared throughout the film such as connecting with nature or expressing gratitude, all of which have social research and history of success to back them up. A question from the Poughkeepsie audience asked about low-cost interventions that local governments could easily implement. One suggestion touted in the discussions was the “chat bench,” which offers a seat to someone who is open to a conversation from a passerby. Another mentioned by Shanna Siegel described a multigenerational program “seniors helping seniors” that put seniors seeking online COVID vaccine registration in touch with tech-savvy high school seniors who helped them register.

Many things can cause loneliness and while it may be different for individuals, many experiences commonly affect people. For more information on these factors and to see a list of all twelve “loneliness life hacks,” visit the website of the production company the Clowder Group, at https://www.allthelonelypeoplefilm.com/.
The Putnam County Office for Senior Resources serves the seniors of Putnam County, providing senior center programs, nutritious lunches, transportation, home-delivered meals, recreation, and other services that address the social determinants of health and support seniors living at home as independently as possible.

Full Volume Test for Indian Point Sirens set for Wednesday, November 2, 2022, at 10:30 AM

There will be a full-volume test of the Indian Point siren system in Westchester, Rockland, Orange and Putnam counties on Wednesday, November 2nd, at approximately 10:30 AM.
During the test the sirens will sound for four minutes. WHUD Radio (100.7 FM) will test the Emergency Alert System immediately following the siren test.
County officials will use the siren system to alert the public during an emergency at Indian Point. A sample of the Siren Sounds can be found at our website. www.putnamcountyny.com/pcbes/oem/indian-point/

In an actual emergency, all the sirens would sound at full volume for four minutes. Sirens are not a signal to evacuate; but to alert the public to tune to their local Emergency Alert System (EAS) radio or TV station for important information. The EAS stations are listed in the booklet “Are you Ready? Putnam County Indian Point: Emergency Guide,” which was distributed, as well as available online.

For additional information see:
• Visit https://holtecinternational.com/company/divisions/hdi/our-fleet/indian-point/
Information on Indian Point emergency planning is on the New York Alert website:
https://alert.ny.gov/indian-point

Filmmakers Joseph Applebaum and Stu Maddox to Attend Putnam Film Screening on Friday

Carmel, NY—This Friday, October 21, producer Joseph Applebaum and director Stu Maddox will be in Carmel for the Putnam screening of their film “All The Lonely People.” They will participate in a panel discussion that follows the one-hour documentary, which places a human face on the hidden epidemic of chronic loneliness and social isolation. The film, by the creators of the acclaimed 2010 film “Gen Silent,” begins at 1 pm in the auditorium at the Putnam County Bureau of Emergency Services, 112 Old Route 6, in Carmel. Tickets can be reserved at AllTheLonelyPeoplePutnam.eventbrite.com for this free event, sponsored by Putnam County’s Office for Senior Resources. For more information or to reserve accessible seating, call 845-808-1700.

“We are thrilled at this opportunity to support organizations across the state that are doing amazing things to ease loneliness and isolation,” said producer Joseph Applebaum. “New York is making a meaningful commitment to easing loneliness and isolation.” Carmel and Poughkeepsie are the only two sites in the mid-Hudson Valley on a tour that traverses 20 locations from St. Lawrence County near Canada to Long Island.

Speaking about the event, writer and director Stu Maddox said, “This is more than just watching a film. It’s a chance to reconnect after a life-changing few years of isolation.”
The Putnam County Office for Senior Resources serves the seniors of Putnam County, providing senior center programs, nutritious lunches, transportation, home-delivered meals, recreation, and other services that address the social determinants of health and support seniors living at home as independently as possible.

Remembering Angela Lansbury – Star of stage and screen who sought refuge from the Nazis, came to Putnam County

This past week the world was saddened by the passing of Angela Lansbury, British-born Hollywood actress and Broadway sensation.   Here in Putnam County we remember “Bridget”, who, along with her younger twin brothers and Irish actress mother, fled the Nazi Blitz of London during World War II and lived for a time at “Cobble Stone Posts”, the summer home of C.T. Wilson on Lake Boulevard in Mahopac.

Before heading to Hollywood, the Lansburys were active in social circles around Lake Mahopac including fund raisers for hospitals and war causes.  “Bridget”, as she was known locally, was even in the running for the Lake Mahopac Business Men’s Association crowning of 1941’s Lake Mahopac Queen.

The following transcription comes from the Putnam County Courier, September 6, 1945:

Mother-Daughter Film Team Lived in Mahopac

Mrs. Lansbury and Angela, Here to Escape Bombing in Britain, Reviewed in Times Theatre Section

In the New York Times Sunday theatre page, an article “Looking into a Family Matter” telling about a mother-daughter film team, Moyna MacGill and Angela Lansbury was of interest to many Lake Mahopac residents who knew the Lansburys during their stay at the Lake.

Mrs. Lansbury (Moyna MacGill), the widow of Edgar Lansbury, British lumberman and important personage, who died in 1935, came to New York with Angela, then 14 and her twin boys, Edgar and Bruce, aged nine to escape the Nazi bombing of London in September 1940.  She had previously driven an ambulance in London during the first weeks of the blitz.  They were on the last of the ships permitted to leave England with evacuated children.  The increase of the U-Boat peril had made it more dangerous to cross the Atlantic than to remain in Britain under the Luftwaffe bombs.  After a dangerous crossing, Mrs. Lansbury was to have taken charge of ten other English children – they were to come over on a later ship, but after the increased sinkings the officials cancelled passage.  When they failed to come and no funds which were to have been sent for her tutelage over the additional children she was without means of support, as regulations prevented taking her own money out of Britain.  Her situation would have been desperate if the children’s American sponsors had not come to the rescue.  The family lived in the C. T. Wilson home on Lake Boulevard for about a year or so.  Later they removed to California where Angela made considerable progress in the movies.  Her debut in “Gaslight” led to other roles, and she has appeared in “National Velvet” and the feminine lead in “The Picture of Dorian Gray.” Her mother is also a well known actress and played in American moving pictures.  During the past winter Mrs. Mary A. McLaughlin and daughter Nora, visited the Lansburys in Hollywood (Beverly Hills.) They have taken out their first American citizenship papers.

 

 

 

Image Credits:

  • Angela Lansbury (left) and her mother Moyna MacGill, on the set of Kind Lady (1951), publicity still, source: Wikicommons
  • Clipping of August 19, 1945 New York Times theatre page, “Looking into a Family Matter”
  • Charles Boyer and Angela Lansbury in “Gaslight.” Credit: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (clipped from New York Times)
  • Putnam County Courier clipping, September 16, 1943

Putnam County Clerk’s Office Offers “Fraud Alert” Protection Service

Putnam County Clerk’s Office Offers “Fraud Alert” Protection Service

The Putnam County Clerk’s Office is happy to offer a new tool to help property owners
protect one of their most valuable assets.

With “Fraud Alert”, you can sign up to receive alerts whenever a document, such as a
deed or mortgage, is recorded under your name. Documents can be viewed online or
at the Clerk’s Office.

“We are happy to provide this free service to our constituents so that they are informed of any recordings or filing that may be made regarding their name in our office”, said County Clerk Michael Bartolotti.

You can sign up for “Fraud Alert” now by visiting the Putnam County Clerk’s website at www.putnamcountyny.com/county-clerk

Putnam County Announces No Property Tax Increase

Putnam County Announces No Property Tax Increase

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell proposed a $180 million county budget for 2023 that includes no property tax levy increase, a help to homeowners in this time of high inflation.

The proposed budget, presented to the Legislature Thursday night at the Historic Putnam County Courthouse in Carmel, is within the New York State property tax cap and includes an increase of $11.3 million, or 6.3%, over the 2022 budget. It reflects the conservative spending that has been the hallmark of Odell’s tenure and showcases the county’s very strong fiscal position.

“Tonight, our proposed 2023 Budget carries out our vision of laying the groundwork for a better quality of life for future generations, and its implementation will complete our challenge of fulfilling our fiscal and social responsibilities to our constituents,” said County Executive Odell, who will step down at the end of the year.

Odell began her eleventh and final budget presentation “by thanking all the citizens of Putnam County that have given me the honor and privilege of serving you for the past 3,982 days, and I want to let you know that I will continue to do my very best in performing this job that you have entrusted to me right through my last day of December 31, 2022.”

Odell’s disciplined approach to budgeting has reduced Putnam’s debt level by more than $48 million since she took office and completely eliminated short-term borrowing. It has also increased the county’s general fund balance by nearly $49 million during her tenure. Those measures have allowed the county to maintain its high Aa1 bond rating, a designation few counties statewide ever achieve.

Legislature Chairman Neal Sullivan praised the County Executive’s budget proposal.

“The financial stability of the county has never been better, and we are extremely well positioned to withstand any bumps in the economy that may be ahead,” Legislator Sullivan said. “County Executive Odell has invested in areas that matter to our residents and to the quality of life of Putnam County. She has invested in public safety to make Putnam one of the safest counties in the country. She has invested in infrastructure, education and recreational facilities, including the Tilly Foster Farm and Educational Institute and the Putnam County Golf Course so we can all have fun, and have exciting places to take our families and friends right here in Putnam County.”

The 2023 budget proposal anticipates $74.7 million in sales tax revenue, or 42 percent of the budget.

“In March, we presented a sales tax revenue sharing proposal called ‘share the growth’ that we hope will continue the intermunicipal partnership between the County and local municipalities to get vital infrastructure projects done,” Odell told the Legislature and the audience that came out to hear her budget final address. “Recall that earlier this year we proposed, and the Legislature approved, $10 million in combined sales tax and American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to spearhead this initiative. Based on current trends, it appears that this initiative can continue in 2023, but it will be up to the future Administration and Legislature to implement it.”

The proposed budget also provides a 3.5 percent cost-of-living increase to employees in its largest union – the CSEA – and in funding to the outside agencies that contribute to the high quality of life in Putnam County – the libraries, the Putnam Arts Council, Cornell Cooperative Extension and the Putnam Humane Society and SPCA.

If the proposed budget is approved by the Legislature, it will include almost $46.7 million in real property taxes, the same amount as in 2022. The average county homeowner whose property is assessed at $400,859 will pay $1,250 in county property taxes. The property tax rate per $ 1,000 of assessed value will be $3.12, the lowest county property tax rate since 2009.

The Legislature is expected to vote on a final 2023 budget by November.

As always, County Executive Odell thanked all those who support Putnam County.

At the start of the meeting, green lightbulbs were handed out to the audience without explanation. In her address, Odell noted that the Courthouse will be lit in green for Veterans Day and thanked Guardian Revival, a nonprofit that helps support the mental health and well-being of veterans and first responders, for donating the green lightbulbs.

She thanked the county employees and all of those in her administration who work hard for the people of Putnam every day. But it was her thank you to the county finance director that drew a standing ovation.

“I’d like to recognize that this is the final budget not only for myself but for our esteemed Commissioner of Finance William “Bill” Carlin,” Odell said. “Anyone and everyone who has had the pleasure of calling Bill a colleague, has also had the pleasure of calling him a friend. Putnam County will never know how much dedication and brilliance that Bill has, in his career, brought to us.

“In March 2020 when the state and Putnam County shut down from Covid, we were devasted by the unknown. Bill with his insight kept us not even just above water, but better than that. There is no person that I can say cared more about the fiscal stability and the impact it would have on all of the families in our county than Bill Carlin. I am eternally grateful to you Bill, and I am honored to have had the opportunity to serve beside you for the good of the people of Putnam County.”

You can quit smoking. We can help.

Join the American Lung Association’s week quit smoking program, conveniently
held at the Putnam County Department of Health, 1 Geneva Road, Brewster 10509

Hundreds of thousands of people have become smokefree through a Freedom From
Smoking® Group Clinic which offers a structured, systematic approach to quitting
smoking.
Overseen by a certified facilitator, you will learn:

  • How to know if you’re really ready to quit
  • Medications that can increase your success
  • Lifestyle changes to make quitting easier
  • How to prepare for your quit day
  • Coping strategies for managing stress & avoiding weight gain
  • How to stay smokefree for good

at the Putnam County Department of Health, 1 Geneva Road, Brewster 10509.

Freedom From Smoking Group Quit Program (7 Weeks)
Wednesdays at 6:00 pm (8 Classes)
First class starts on Wednesday, October 26 from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm
Open to the public over 18 yrs. old
For more information contact:
Alexa Contreras (845) 808-1390 ext. 43155 or email alexa.contreras@putnamcountyny.gov
Program Facilitators: Alexa Contreras, Putnam County Department of Health and
Sarena Chisick, Nuvance Health. Click here to register.
Visit Lung.org/ffs for more information about the program or our online Freedom From
Smoking® Plus if a Group Clinic isn’t right for your quit.