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: 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

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Cold and Flu Season Arrives: Antibiotics are not always the answer, warns health department

Cold and Flu Season Arrives:

Antibiotics are not always the answer, warns health department

BREWSTER, NY— As the cold and flu season swings into full gear, visits to doctors’ offices will undoubtedly rise. To receive the best care, patients as well as doctors should stay informed about proper use of antibiotics. Two studies this year have reported not only about the overuse of these medicines, but also frequent incorrect prescribing. These problems are a focal point of the campaign for the Get Smart About Antibiotics Week, from November 14 to 20, which calls attention to the increasing problem of antibiotic resistance. This phenomena occurs when bacteria evolve into “super bugs” that no longer respond to ordinary antibiotics.

“Antibiotics can’t help a patient who has come down with the flu,” explains Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD, Interim Commissioner of Health. “The flu is a viral infection. Antibiotics are only helpful with bacterial infections. People need to understand the difference.”

This popular misconception is familiar to Dr. Nesheiwat. He has run a busy family medicine practice in Putnam County for the past 25 years. “Sometimes patients just want a prescription—something they think will make them better. This is why the health department has been helping physicians educate their patients by providing doctors with more information, posters and a new type of prescription pad. The pad gives physicians a place to check the appropriate diagnosis—cold, cough or the flu, and clearly spells out the best medicines—simply fluids, saline nasal spray and throat spray.” Older children or adults can also use lozenges for sore throat relief.

According to the New York State Department of Health, Putnam County’s overprescribing rates may be among the highest in the state. The state health department has identified Putnam as one of 11 counties with the uppermost rates of potentially avoidable antibiotic prescription—with 55 to 64 percent of adults filling a prescription after an upper respiratory infection diagnosis, such as a cough or cold. Most other counties fall in the lower two ranges, either 35 to 44 percent, or 45 to 54 percent.

Another problem on the rise is with prescribing the wrong antibiotic. An October 2016 report released from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Pew Charitable Trusts describes the pattern for ear and sinus infections, and sore throats. They found that only 52 percent of patients were given the recommended “first-line” medication. That leaves 48 percent getting a broad-spectrum antibiotic, which is not necessary and increases drug resistance. Surprisingly, adults are much more likely than children to receive the wrong antibiotic. The report found more than 60 percent of adults diagnosed with strep throat were prescribed an antibiotic not recommended by medical guidelines. Only 40 percent of children faced the same situation.

“The public health implications of this situation are huge and not confined to New York or even just the U.S,” continues Dr. Nesheiwat.  “In fact, global health experts have warned that by the year 2020, super-bugs may kill more people than cancer kills today. These are truly scary numbers.

“Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple solution,” says Dr. Nesheiwat. “But we have to start with what we can do, and informing the public, as well as health care providers, is that first step.”

For more information about Get Smart About Antibiotics Week, visit:

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250 Flags Frame Lake Gleneida in Honor of Veterans Day Row of Honor Raises Funds and Gives Thanks to our Military Vets

250 Flags Frame Lake Gleneida in Honor of Veterans Day

Row of Honor Raises Funds and Gives Thanks to our Military Vets

Completing its fourth year, the Row of Honor continues a Putnam County tradition of respect and gratitude for those who have served in the military this Veterans Day. The Row of Honor is an installation of American-made flags that border Gleneida Avenue on the shores of Lake Gleneida in the Hamlet of Carmel.

“Each Veteran’s Day, we assemble our Row of Honor to give residents the opportunity to publicly acknowledge and thank those who have served their country. This year, the funds raised will support the Putnam County Museum,” said Odell.

The Row of Honor project is a group venture of the Putnam County Joint Veterans Council, Putnam County Veterans Service Agency, the Putnam County Executive and the Legislature. While each branch of the American Armed Forces has been represented in the past, additional organizations have asked and received permission to have their flags added to the Row of Honor as well. The flags will remain on display through the 22nd of November.

“It is rare that Veterans have an opportunity to be recognized and thanked by the public and by elected officials,” said Karl Rohde, Director of Putnam County’s Veterans Service Agency. “The Row of Honor is a symbolic visual reminder to take pause and salute the invaluable sacrifice and bravery of our Veterans.”
Sponsorship of the American-made flags is meant to raise awareness and funds for various Veteran’s programs. County Executive Odell has sponsored flags in special remembrance of the late Veteran Joe Morrissey of Putnam Lake, Mario Antoci of Carmel and Judge John King of Patterson, as well as first responder, retired NYPD Jimmy O’Neill. Monies raised this year will benefit the Putnam County Museum. In the past, the sponsored flags have borne the names of loved ones who died while serving in the military, those presently serving on active duty or simply messages of thanks to area veterans from friends and family.
Veterans Day is commemorated each year on November 11 and is a federal holiday. It marks the official anniversary of the end of World War I when hostilities with Germany ceased on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918.

Sponsorship for a Row of Honor flag is $100.00. Flags can either be picked up or remain for future tributes. To order a flag, e-mail: or call Mim at Putnam County Veterans Service Agency at (845) 808-1620.

Putnam County Golf Course/Jim Woods, PGA The Transformation of Putnam County Golf Course Putnam County Golf Course – One of a Kind

Putnam County Golf Course/Jim Woods, PGA

The Transformation of Putnam County Golf Course

Putnam County Golf Course – One of a Kind

Having been a PGA Golf Professional for over 20 years I have never seen such a transformation as I have at Putnam County Golf Course (PCGC) over the past four years.  When I first started at PCGC, I was challenged by how our team would provide a private country club experience at a municipal price.  Thanks to County investments in the facility and golf course and the hard work of both the golf and catering staff we have met the challenge.

Golf rounds and catering events have steadily increased each year.  Course conditions are constantly compared to private country clubs thanks to our golf course superintendent John Garger.  I am fortunate to have a staff of highly dedicated and courteous local residents.  This has allowed me to focus on growing the game of golf.

Growing the game is an important part of PCGC’s success.  This season, I worked with the PGA Hope program providing disabled veterans the chance to improve their skills or play golf for the first time.  I have also had the privilege of helping special needs adults offering a six-week program at the course for the Putnam Rehabilitation Program & Habilitation.  Additionally the participation in private lessons, camps and clinics for all ages and abilities and has annually increased, a good sign for the future.

Giving back to the community is an important part of our success.  Providing donations and hosting outings and events with various local charities, PBAs, schools, and many other nonprofits with worthy causes helps make Putnam County Golf Course one of a kind.


Jim Woods, PGA Professional

Putnam County Stands with Putnam/Northern Westchester Women’s Resource Center Against Domestic Violence FOR THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20th at 1:30PM

Putnam County Stands with Putnam/Northern Westchester
Women’s Resource Center Against Domestic Violence

CARMEL, NY – On Thursday, October 20, 2016 at 1:30pm, Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell and county employees will stand together on the steps of the Historic County Courthouse with the Putnam/Northern Westchester Women’s Resource Center (PNWWRC) in an effort to raise awareness against domestic violence. During the month of October, the issue of Domestic Violence is recognized through national awareness campaigns. PNWWRC Executive Director, Ann Ellsworth, will be joined by County Executive MaryEllen Odell, Senator Terrence Murphy and county employees, dressed in purple to demonstrate their support.

A press conference will be held for the PNWWRC to publically thank Senator Murphy for his grants over the past two years to enhance the agency’s Domestic Violence Advocacy services in Putnam County and to highlight those leaders, including County Executive MaryEllen Odell, who have and continue to support the Women’s Resource Center’s mission to end domestic violence and all forms of violence in our county.

The PNWWRC and People Against Domestic Violence (PADV) will also host a Walk to End Domestic Violence on Saturday October 22, 2016 at 12:00 pm at St Mary’s Church, Main Street, Cold Spring. The walk will proceed down Main Street.

The details for the Thursday, October 20th event are as follows:

WHO: Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell, Putnam/Northern Westchester Women’s Resource Center Executive Director, Ann Ellsworth, Senator Terrence Murphy

WHAT: Photo and Press Conference to Raise Awareness for Domestic Violence

WHERE: Putnam County Historic Courthouse Steps, Gleneida Avenue, Carmel, NY

WHEN: Thursday, October 20th at 1:30pm