Putnam County Medication Take Back Day Scheduled for November

CARMEL, NY— The Putnam Communities That Care Coalition, in collaboration with the Putnam County Health Department and Putnam County Sheriff’s Department, will be holding a Fall Medication Take Back Event at Putnam Hospital Center (PHC).

To help combat this growing threat to our nation’s children, Putnam Hospital Center will host the event on Saturday, Nov. 7. The disposal hours are between 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Please enter through the PHC Cancer Pavilion entrance. Signage will be posted leading to the disposal area. Individuals can dispose of prescription medication, over the counter medication, and pet medication. Syringes will NOT be accepted. Please keep all medications in their original packaging and remove personal patient information.

Why should I participate in Medication Take Back Day?

The answer is pretty simple – it’s safe, good for the environment and can save lives.

By bringing in your expired or unwanted medications to a take back day, you insure that it will be disposed of in a safe manner. Members of the Sheriff’s Department will be present to secure and dispose of the medications according to the law. By doing so, you also insure that there are no “accidental” poisonings/overdoses by leaving unwanted prescriptions in your home.

When you participate in Medication Take Back Day, you don’t have to worry about causing harm to the environment by flushing medications down the toilet or disposing of them in your trash. Medicines that are flushed down the drain or that leach from landfills eventually end up in our waterways. Pharmaceuticals have become a significant water pollutant nationwide.

Prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing drug problem in the United States today. Home medicine cabinets can be now be seen as the “new” drug dealer. Every year, prescription painkillers cause more than 16,000 deaths and 475,000 emergency room visits.

So on Nov. 7, come over to the Putnam Hospital Center and help us make Putnam County a better place to live! For more information, please call Robert Morris of the Putnam County Health Department at (845) 808- 1390 ext. 43166 or Bruce Kelly of the Putnam CTC Coalition at (845) 225-4646.

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Putnam Stands Against Domestic Violence

CARMEL, N.Y. – Purple is the color that represents the domestic violence awareness.  Putnam County’s employees wore purple colored clothing to work on Wednesday, Oct. 21. Many joined Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell in a photograph with Putnam/Northern Westchester Women’s Resource Center (WRC) Executive Director Ann Ellsworth to show their support for the WRC’s initiatives to end domestic violence.

“Wearing purple and standing outside on the Historic County Courthouse steps during the day draws attention briefly to subject of domestic violence in Putnam,” said Odell.  “But Ann Ellsworth’s work and that of her staff at the Women’s Resource Center is on-going. This is the least we can do to help bring awareness to the public about the problems too many residents of Putnam face as victims of domestic violence.”

The Putnam Northern Westchester Women’s Resource Center provides advocacy, education and services to the community in order to create a safe, supportive environment that eliminates violence against women and children and promotes gender equality.

“We can only make strides against domestic violence when the silence is broken,” said Ellsworth. “I am grateful for the support that MaryEllen and the County employees always show for our efforts. It is always the right time to stand up and get the word out about domestic violence.”

Each October, which is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the WRC and People Against Domestic Violence (PADV) hold a Candlelight Vigil on the Historic County Courthouse steps to draw attention to the on-going problems arising from domestic violence.  The vigil will be held on Monday, Oct. 26, at 6 p.m. Refreshments and speakers will follow at the Knights of Columbus Hall, Fair Street, Carmel.

In addition, the Historic County Courthouse is illuminated purple at night for the month of October.

Photo Caption: County Executive MaryEllen Odell joined Putnam/Northern Westchester Women’s Resource Center Executive Director Ann Ellsworth and Sheriff Donald B. Smith on the Historic County Courthouse steps where County employees had gathered. Wednesday was Wear Purple to Work Day at the County to show support for putting an end to domestic violence.

Putnam Hosts Fourth Annual Disability Mentoring Day

CARMEL, N.Y. – About a dozen individuals with special needs spent the day working within one of Putnam County Government’s departments on Wednesday, Oct. 21 as part of the fourth annual Disability Mentoring Day.  Coordinated for the fourth year by Tina Cornish-Lauria, Executive Director of CAREERS for People with Disabilities, the annual event is much-anticipated by County staff and clients from participating agencies.

“Disability Mentoring Day breaks down barriers—both the ones that society contrives with preconceived notions and the ones that each one of us develops of our own limits,” said Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “Every year I hear from the departments how mentees exceed expectations and I see how proud the participants from CAREERS are to accomplish goals. Disability Mentoring Day brings awareness to the community and confidence to those with disabilities.

This October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, a time to celebrate individuals with disabilities in the workplace as well as spread awareness of the importance of hiring people with disabilities. This year’s theme is “My Disability is One Part of Who I Am.”

“Working with Putnam County helps bring attention to a workforce available that business owners in the community may be overlooking,” said Cornish-Lauria. “The goals of Disability Mentoring Day are fourfold: to enhance internship and employment opportunities for people with disabilities; to dispel employers’ fears about hiring people with disabilities; to promote disability as a central component of diversity recruitment for a more inclusive workforce and to increase confidence among students and job seekers with disabilities.”

County departments participating in the program include Consumer Affairs, County Clerk, Finance, Health, Highways, Information Technology, Personnel, Purchasing, Senior Resources, the Sheriff’s Office and Youth Bureau.


Photo Caption: County Executive MaryEllen Odell met with mentors and mentees during the Fourth Annual Disability Mentoring Day held on Wednesday, Oct. 21 throughout the departments of Putnam County Government.

County Executive MaryEllen Odell honored with the Bronze Key Award

The National Council on Alcoholism & Other Drug Dependencies/Putnam (NCADD) honored Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell at their annual fundraising luncheon on October 16, 2015 for her exemplary contributions to alcohol and drug prevention in Putnam County. County Executive Odell received the NCADD Bronze Key, which is a national recognition award granted by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence organization to an individual or organization that has made an outstanding contribution to the field of substance abuse prevention.

In 2014, County Executive Odell launched the One Army on the War on Addiction, a partnership between government, not-for-profit organizations, and law enforcement agencies. Their mission was to collaboratively battle the addiction epidemic that has affected the community through education, treatment and enforcement.

County Executive Odell also supports the Putnam County Treatment Court, the Simulated Impaired Driving Experience, the Too Good for Drugs school-based prevention program and the Putnam County STOP DWI Program.

“County Executive Odell’s dedication to our community has improved the quality of life in Putnam County. We are so pleased to have honored a leader who contributes so much to substance abuse prevention in Putnam County” stated Kristin McConnell, Executive Director of the National Council on Alcoholism and Other Drug Dependencies/Putnam.

Varricchio Starts as New Putnam EDC President

Jill M. Varricchio, a successful marketing entrepreneur and community leader, is taking the helm of the   Putnam County Economic Development Corporation (EDC). Varricchio has been hired as the new president of the EDC. The position was vacant since Meghan Taylor left the position earlier this year to become the regional director of the Empire State Development Mid-Hudson Region, which includes Putnam County.

“Jill will be a great asset to the EDC,” said Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “Her marketing background and knowledge of the development process will give her the tools to execute the strategic plan the organization put in place. Putnam is in the primetime. Now with Jill, here in the county, and Meghan, at the state level, we have supporters who understand that unique offerings Putnam can provide potential developers. Putnam is open for business.”

Varricchio, an Orange County resident, has been the owner and president of Concept Promotions since 1985 and its affiliated company D&D Mailing Services since 1996. She has developed and implemented national marketing campaigns for companies such as Sylvania, Tamko and Cellular One. In addition she has created programs to fortify her clients’ brand positions.

Active in the business community, Varricchio is a member and past board member of the Orange County Chamber of Commerce. She also served for 12 years as the chairwoman of the NYS Administrative Board of the Orange County Empire Zone.

“We had a long list of qualities that we sought in a new EDC president,” said Acting EDC Chairman Jeff Kellogg. “We took our time to find the right candidate that fit our needs and I am happy to say that Jill’s background and passion for the business community made her stand out from the others. I look forward to working with her on bringing the right projects to Putnam County.”

The Putnam EDC has been Putnam County’s leader in economic development. It acts as a facilitator between organizations that can deliver economic growth and the resources that can help them financially. It finds ways to bring millions of dollars into the county each year for economic development and growth.

The EDC has been successful in leading projects through the state’s Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) process and having them be awarded grants. In 2014, $2 million was awarded through the CFA to projects in Putnam County. In addition, regional entities that serve Putnam were able to garner $1.1 million in financial awards. The 2015 CFA awards will be announced later this year.

“I am excited to be able to continue the strategic and thoughtful economic development approach that Putnam County has created,” said Varricchio. “I will be working diligently with the EDC Board, the elected and appointed officials and the business leaders in the community to bring Putnam County to the next level.”

An advocate of education, Varricchio was the first chairperson of the business literacy program of the Junior Achievement of the Hudson Valley’s Orange County Chapter, which educated 1,400 elementary students on free enterprise. She was also on the SUNY Orange Community College Foundation Board.

Varricchio has a B.A. in research psychology from Northeastern University and a Master’s in education from Springfield College. She is also a graduate of the Leadership Orange Institute, where she was also awarded the Leader of the Year award.

Varricchio’s first day as president of the EDC was Monday, Oct. 19.

Veterans Mobile Service Office to Come to Putnam

County Executive MaryEllen Odell is pleased to announce that a certified mobile service office (MSO), which assists Veterans in dealings with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), will be operate in front of the DeCicco’s Family Market in Brewster on Wednesday, Oct. 21 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. It will be the first time that the van, which is run through the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Chapter #137 NY, is setting up hours in Putnam County.

“Too many Veterans do not know about or do not have access to the benefits and services provided by the federal government,” said Odell. “Having the MSO van come to Putnam is one more way that we can help our Veterans. I hope that all the Veterans in Putnam and the surrounding communities take the opportunity to visit the van.”

The van is equipped with on-board computers and staffed by certified DAV Service Officers, who are professionally trained to assist all Veterans, not just DAV members, in dealing with the VA in the filing of claims, claim follow ups and general claim information.

Veterans do not have to be Putnam County or New York residents to use the van’s services.

“We get a lot of Veterans who come to the van who are getting information for the first time,” said Michael Hartnett, commander of DAV Chapter #137, N.Y. “The van provides such an important service to the Veterans.”

All Veterans will be served as per order of arrival and should bring a copy of his or her DD-214 military discharge papers.

“Thank you DAV for bring this mobile clinic to Putnam County,” said Karl Rohde, Director of Putnam County Veterans Service Agency. “Any time we can help educate the public regarding Veterans needs and assist our Veterans in gaining much need services is a plus.  Having this van in our county will go a long way in providing awareness of Veterans needs.”

DeCicco’s Family Market will be providing refreshments and lite fare.

The DAV is one of the oldest and most prestigious Veterans Service Agencies in the Unites States. It was officially chartered by the United States Congress in 1931. It is widely acclaimed by many as the most helpful of active Veterans Service Agencies. In addition to many physical locations throughout the United States, the DAV sponsors the traveling MSO van, which covers all areas of the U.S. east of the Mississippi.

DeCicco’s Family Market is located at 50 Independent Way, Brewster, NY 10509.

The DAV MSO van will be in the parking lot of the Jefferson Valley Mall on Thursday, Oct. 22.

Putnam County Drug Treatment Court Team

Putnam Drug Treatment Court, Broege, Pascale and Sheriff among PCSN winners

Individuals and organizations that have made a significant difference in the lives of others through their community and human service accomplishments in Putnam County were honored at the Annual Awards Breakfast on October 7th, hosted by the Putnam Community Service Network (PCSN) at the Putnam County Golf Course.  For 30 years PCSN, an educational program of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Putnam County, has recognized over 600 professionals, volunteers, and organizations that “go above and beyond” to improve the quality of life for our County residents. Marjorie Keith, Executive Director of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Putnam congratulated all of the nominees for their dedication and commitment. She said, “the PCSN Awards Breakfast highlights organizations delivering dynamic programs and volunteers and professionals, who unselfishly give of themselves to make our Putnam communities a better place to live.” The Breakfast was attended by170 people representing over 75 public and nonprofit agencies throughout Putnam County.

The 2015 PCSN Awards were presented to:

  • Distinguished Service Award for an Individual— Samuel B. Ross Jr, founder of Green Chimneys, in Brewster
  • Distinguished Service Award for an Organization— American Cancer Society’s Mahopac Relay for Life
  • Ruth Dain Voluntary Service Award— Amy Sayegh, Mahopac and The Community Crafters, Mahopac
  • Norman Vincent Peale Outstanding Service Award— Danielle Pascale, Putnam County Assistant District Attorney
  • Fred L. Dill Community Service Networking Award – Putnam County Treatment Court
  • Lyn and Buzz Burr Excellence in Communications Award – Lisa Kaslyn, Prosper Communications
  • Professional Career Recognition Award – Joseph Whalen, Executive Director of Green Chimneys, Brewster
  • Public Service Award – Donald B. Smith, Jr, Putnam County Sheriff
  • Joe Gomez Memorial Advocacy Award –Medley Broege, Director of the Putnam County Office for People with Disabilities
  • Special Youth Award— In memory of Sean Callahan, Mahopac

Twelve additional PCSN Award nominees representing broad range of service providers were also recognized for their outstanding community contribution including: Officer Frank Chibbaro, Town of Carmel Police Department; Cold Spring Film Society; Carol Donick, Kent Public Library Director; Susan Hoffner, Putnam County Department of Health Educator; Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Cold Spring; Larry Light, The Men’s Fraternity in Mahopac; Kristin McConnell, National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependencies of Putnam Director; Marisa O’Leary, Putnam Community Action Program Assistant Director; Putnam County Humane Society Volunteers, Carmel; Putnam County Suicide Prevention Task Force; Father Anthony Sorgie, St James the Apostle Church (formerly); Therapeutic Equestrian Center, Cold Spring.

For information about the Putnam Community Service Network Awards contact Marjorie Nichols Keith, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Putnam County at 845-278-6738. Visit our website at www.cce.cornell.edu or on Facebook search Cornell Cooperative Extension of Putnam County.

Cornell Cooperative Extension is an employer and educator recognized for valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities and provides equal program and employment opportunities.

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NBC Segment “Hooked on Heroin” Featuring Putnam Drug Treatment Court Wins Emmy

On April 11, 2014, NBC and MSNBC broadcasted a four-minute segment as part of its “Hooked on Heroin” series that featured the Putnam County Drug Treatment Court program and profiled one of its graduates. Recently an NBC television producer called Putnam County Judge James Reitz to let him know that the segment won an Emmy.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Murphy, Serino and Odell to Host Veterans Chow Down Dinner

CARMEL, N.Y. – Honoring the men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, Senator Terrence Murphy, Senator Sue Serino and Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell are teaming up with the PFC. Joseph P. Dwyer Vet2Vet Program to offer the 2015 Veterans’ Chow Down, a complimentary appreciation dinner, on Sunday, Nov. 1 at Putnam County Golf Course, located at 187 Hill Street in Mahopac.  There are two seating times, noon and 3 p.m. for veterans and their guest to choose between.

“When it comes to Veterans, there is no task too small,” said Murphy.  “Without these incredibly brave men and women, our world would be completely different today.  The very least we as a community can do is offer a special thank you and recognize their service and sacrifice.”

The Chow Down will bring Veterans together with their brothers and sisters in arms for a family-style meal.  Entertainment will be provided by the USO.  Military vehicles, dating from 1916 to 2012, that are part of the American Veterans Historical Museum’s Interactive Military Display will be available for the attendees to see and even climb into.

“The 2015 Chow Down is an opportunity for local Vets and their guests to come together, share a meal, learn about some unique resources available to them, and -more importantly- to remind that that they have an incredibly grateful community behind them,” Serino said.  “While words are rarely enough to truly thank our Veterans -and their families- for the countless sacrifices they have made on our behalf, it’s important that we take every opportunity to show our gratitude and that’s what the event is all about.”

In addition to the meal and fellowship, the Chow Down provides an opportunity for the Veterans to learn about local services that available to them.

“Providing a complimentary meal to local veterans from the Putnam and Northern Westchester area is a simple gesture to show the men and women, who has served in the U.S. Armed Forces, how much we appreciate the sacrifices they made defending our freedoms,” said Odell.  “The 2015 Veterans’ Chow Downs also gives us an opportunity to support the work of the Putnam County Veterans Service Agency through the Joseph P. Dwyer Vet2Vet Program.”

The Joseph P. Dwyer Vet2Vet Program, which is staffed by Veterans, provides a place for peers (fellow Veterans, members of the Armed Forces and their families) to connect with and support one another in a safe and nonjudgmental environment.  It is a free, anonymous and confidential program that provides support, lunch-and-learn workshops, mentoring opportunities as well as training and development options.

“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.  “What better way to do this than with a family style meal where they can share the comradeship they cherished during their service.”

Attendance is limited. Veterans are asked to RSVP for the Chow Down on Senator Murphy’s website, murphy.nysenate.gov or call 914-962-2624.

Putnam County Clerk reminds patrons that the Putnam County DMV is open for business


Recent changes to registration and license renewal notifications have caused some confusion for local DMV customers.  Some notifications state that these renewals may only be done by mail or online, and that is not true!  Putnam County Clerk Michael C. Bartolotti invites you to “Come on in”; our local County Run Motor Vehicle Office located at 1 Geneva Road, Brewster, New York is open for business!

“I am delighted to continue processing registration and license renewals in addition to the hundreds of additional transactions performed in our office each day while you walk out of our office with the information you need in your hand”, Bartolotti states.  “The knowledgeable and courteous staff of the Putnam County DMV is happy to process your transaction quickly and answer any questions you may have.”

Bartolotti also reminds patrons that renewing locally helps support our local office by keeping our revenues in County and not sending them to the State.  “We use these revenues to not only cover the cost of our local DMV, but to also help keep your County property taxes low.  If you renew by mail or online, those revenues are lost to Albany”.

Please visit us and see — you’ll love your experience at Putnam DMV!


For further information, call:Office of the Putnam County Clerk at 845-808-1142 Ext. 49301