Odell Supports Search for Outstanding Senior Citizens

Odell Supports Search for Outstanding Senior Citizens

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell is supporting Director of the Office for Senior Resources, Patricia Sheehy, and the Putnam County Senior Citizens Advisory Board as they seek nominations for this year’s SENIOR CITIZEN OF THE YEAR AWARD.

“We are fortunate to have a very active senior population,” said Odell. “Selecting one man and one woman from among so many seniors who do so much to make a difference and enhance the lives of Putnam residents will be an exciting challenge.”

This year’s nominating theme is “Recognizing Seniors Who Demonstrate the Power of Making a Difference through Civic Engagement.”

Candidates must be 60 years of age or older and residents of Putnam County.

Two seniors from each of New York’s counties will be honored at a luncheon on May 10 in Albany. Putnam’s winners will also be honored at the annual Putnam County Senior Volunteer Ceremony this spring.

Nominations should be made on an official form which can be obtained from the Office for Senior Resources or downloaded from their website: http://www.putnamcountyny.com/osr.

Completed nomination forms must be received by Friday, February 12, 2016. Forms may be mailed to: Senior Award, Putnam County Office for Senior Resources, 110 Old Rt. 6, Building No. 1, Carmel, NY  10512  or faxed to (845) 808-1942 or emailed to: sherrie.gilmore@putnamcountyny.gov.

Employees of federal, state, county, or local municipalities who provide services to senior citizens are not eligible to be nominated.  Previous recipients of this award are also ineligible.

For more information or to request a nomination form, please call the Putnam County Office for Senior Resources at (845) 808-1700.

Click here to download the
Senior of the Year Nomination Form 2016

Plant Putnam 2016 — Putnam County Tree and Shrub Seedling Sale

Plant Putnam 2016
Putnam County Tree and Shrub Seedling Sale
“Spring will be here sooner than you think!”

You Can Now Order Online!!

With that, comes sprucing up the yard and making decisions about plant materials for your property.  The Putnam County Soil & Water Conservation District is once again offering a variety of native trees, shrubs, groundcovers and flowers to assist landowners in providing food and shelter for wildlife; groundcover for erosion control, riparian buffers and rain gardens; and general beautification.  Every year we try and offer a wide variety of options and I’m sure with this year’s offerings you won’t be disappointed. Plant material is sold bare root, hand dipped in a moisture protection gel, wrapped and bagged at a very low price.  Orders need to be placed by March 30th.   Call 845-878-7918, email lauri.taylor@putnamcountyny.gov or go to www.putnamcountyny.com/keepputnamgreen to order online or download an Order Form.


United for the Troops – Operation Cupid

United for the Troops has a red box in the County Office Building.

Operation Cupid with United For The Troops. It starts now and we pack on January 23. All small Valentine favorites, Plenty of Valentine Cards from all ages and any items from our Wish list.


“ We support our troops serving overseas by
sending them care packages of …items they say they

    SNACKS (preferably single serve) TOILETRIES
    Pretzels (canned) Baby Wipes
    Pringles Chapstick & lipbalm
    Trail mix Eye Drops
    Chex mix (canned) Shampoo & Conditioner
    Cookies (oreo,chocolate chip, * Insect Repellant (wipes are good)*
    oatmeal raisin etc.) Disposable Razors & shaving cream
    Crackers (ritz, triscuit, saltines) Toothbrushes & toothpaste
    Granola Bars Dental Floss
    Power Bars Mouthwash
    Cereal Bars Eyeglass lense cleaning wipes
    Fruit Roll Ups Body wash (liquid) NO BAR SOAP
    Nuts (peanuts, pistachios,cashews) Kleenex (individual Size)
    Sunflower seeds Skin moisturizers
    Slim Jims Deodorant
    *Beef Jerky * Q-Tips
    Hot Chocolate Packets Nail clippers & nail files
    Tea Bags Feminine Hygiene Products
    Pop Tarts * Athletes Foot Spray or powder*
    Easy mac Laundry Detergent (individual size)
    Salsa (plastic jars or canned)
    * Icy-Hot Gel Packs*
    Tuna Fish in a pouch SUNDRIES
    Chicken in a pouch Batteries ( AAA-AA-D-C-9 volt)
    Peanut Butter (plastic jar) Tan Undershirts
    Jelly/Jam (plastic jar) Boxers (funny ones)
    Single Serve Drink Mixes ( kool-aid, crystal light, etc) Crew socks (black or white)
    Yoo-hoo /Chocolate milk (non refrigerated) Word Games
    Instant Oatmeal CD’s and or DVD’s
    Cereals (individual serve) Sports, Fashion, Computer Magazines
    Chili, Stew, Pastas (individual serve) Comics
    Candy (M&M’s, sweet tarts, etc.) Ibruprofen, Tylenol etc..
    Gum & lifesavers Calling Cards
    Single serve condiments ( ketchup, mayo,mustard, Pipe Cleaners
    salt & pepper, hot sauce etc..) ZIP-LOC BAGGIES _ ALL SIZES

The Brewster Sports Foundation (‘BSF’) is planning for our 9th Annual Fundraising Gala on behalf of Brewster School Athletics on Saturday, January 30, 2016

The Brewster Sports Foundation (‘BSF’) is planning for our 9th Annual Fundraising Gala on behalf of Brewster School Athletics on

Saturday, January 30, 2016 Star Ridge Banquet Center 38 Starr Ridge Road Brewster, New York 10509.


The event draws 180-200 local Brewster voters active in the Brewster school district and community who I’m sure would appreciate your presence.

The BSF, a 501 c (3) not-for-profit organization, in collaboration with our local community, school district and sponsors have been able to contribute to the athletic needs of the Brewster Central School District for the past 9 years. Brewster Sports Foundation activities include:

  • Wrestling Room Renovation $13,000 – 2015
  • Track Refurbishment $44,000 – 2013/2014
  • Turf Field contribution in conjunction with a grant $1,200,000 – 2009
  • Ongoing account services for BHS athletic teams

We would appreciate any auction items, sponsorship, advertising space or consideration to attend the event and purchase a table.  Attached is a flier and sponsorship sheet.

Please register online at http://brewstersportsfoundation.org.   The BSF would also appreciate donations of auction/raffle items for the event.  Email info@brewstersportsfoundation.org with offerings or referrals of potential supporters.

Thank you for your consideration!

Caroline Cummins Dumont



Dr. Nesheiwat Named Acting Commissioner of Putnam County Health Department

Michael Nesheiwat MD

CARMEL, N.Y. – County Executive MaryEllen Odell has named Dr. Michael Nesheiwat Acting Commissioner of the Putnam County Health Department.

“Dr. Nesheiwat has been an asset to the Putnam County community for many years,” said Odell. “I am confident that he will do an incredible job overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Health Department while we undergo this transition.”

As a local physician, he has shared many innovative strategies to truly integrate care, striving to eliminate the silos of physical health and behavioral health.

“I am honored to be appointed Acting Health Commissioner of the greatest county in New York, Putnam County,” said Dr. Nesheiwat. “I will work closely with our County Executive’s office, and the outstanding Health Department staff to ensure that our citizens’ health, wellness and safety needs are served well.”

This is the second time Dr. Nesheiwat has assisted the health department through a period of transition in leadership.

“Dr. Nesheiwat has always been there for Putnam County through the many roles he has played,” said former County Executive Paul Eldridge, who is the current Director of Personnel. “In my short stint as County Executive, I tapped Dr. Nesheiwat to serve as our medical consultant when Dr. Amler went to serve as Commissioner for Westchester County, and Dr. Nesheiwat was there for us.  And, so he is again.”  He served as medical consultant until June 2012.

“I have known Dr. Michael Nesheiwat for many years and I am looking forward to working with him,” said Robert Morris, Putnam County Director of Environmental Health Services. “His reputation as a professional is outstanding and he is also a pillar in the Putnam County community. As the Department begins a new chapter under his leadership, I am confident we are in very capable hands.”

In addition to his own well-established family medicine practice, with offices in Brewster and Somers, Dr. Nesheiwat has been a senior attending family practitioner on staff at Putnam Hospital Center (PHC) since 1992. He also currently serves on the on the PHC Board of Directors and has served as chairman of its Department of Medicine for over a decade.

Dr. Nesheiwat received his medical degree in 1985 and completed a medical internship at Brooklyn Hospital. His post-doctoral training included a residency in family practice at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Yonkers, where he also received training in emergency room trauma medicine.

His passion in caring for our community is evidenced by his active community involvement. He is a member of the Free and Accepted Masons; Shriners; Rotary Club; and the Putnam County Board of Health (a membership which he will be suspending during his tenure as Acting Commissioner of Health).  He also serves as Putnam County Correctional Facility’s medical director and surgeon;  Fraternal Order of Police member; Carmel Fire Department board member; and medical director/consultant to numerous Putnam County Volunteer Fire Departments.

A Carmel resident, Dr. Nesheiwat and his wife of 22 years, Heyam, are the parents of daughter Sara and son Michael.

Odell Recommends Recording a Gift That Will Keep Giving for Years to Come

CARMEL, N.Y. – Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell encourages families to take the opportunity this holiday season to bridge the gap between your family of today and your family of yesteryear by recording an oral history during the holidays.  Today’s ever-changing technology allows for ease of recording by old and young alike. So charge up all your devices and decide which one will be best to capture unique oral histories from family members.

“History is made from the stories that have been passed down from generation to generation,” said Odell, “With advances and availability of technology to record and share things, the holidays are a wonderful time to record your family history. There is no excuse to let the opportunity of capturing your family’s past pass you by.”

The nonprofit StoryCorps provides an opportunity to record, share and preserve the stories of your family members. You can download the Story Corps app to a smartphone or tablet and be guided through the process that enables you to share your story to the StoryCorps database or just keep it for your family.

Odell termed 2015 as the Year of the Family in Putnam County. She has teamed up with County Historian Sarah Johnson, Ph.D., and The Association of Public Historians of New York State to suggest simple tips to record a family member’s unique history.

  1. Be prepared with information you already have and collect photographs or artifacts to jog the memory the person you are interviewing.  Select a favorite chair or room to sit in where your narrator will be comfortable and not distracted by your holiday guests and sounds of good cheer.
  2. Make sure your devices are charged and there’s enough memory space to record. Too often we find ourselves scrambling for a charger or short on device memory for new pictures. Test your device prior to recording and make sure distance is suitable to pick up your story teller’s voice and not too much of the background noises.  It’s also a good idea to show the device to the narrator and play back before you start so they have an idea of what the process will be and what he/she will sound like.
  3. Always begin your recording with place, date and names of who is involved and introduce the topic if there is a specific one.  Have your questions listed ahead of time and be sure to avoid “yes or no” questions or those that would be easily answered with just a few words.
  4. A great place to start is by showing the person an old family photograph, particularly if they are in the scene. Then, ask if they remember the event, how they feel about a certain subject or where they were when a specific event took place.  Try to get specifics out of them, for example, what age they were when the event took place and where they were living at the time.  Always practice patience, don’t try to finish their sentences and don’t give a follow up question too quickly. Be willing to follow the direction the person you’re interviewing takes with a memory but be sure to get back to your list of questions. These conversations can be helped along by asking for funny memories, memories involving childhood pets or toys, favorite foods, or events at school or work.
  5. If sometimes the narrator says something you think is incorrect, don’t challenge them on it. You might suggest that you’d heard the story differently and that gives a chance to either clear up the discrepancy.  Family histories are full of myriad points of view!
  6. Sometimes new photos or artifacts will be presented by the narrator so be sure to be ready to scan photographs and if possible, take photographs of the items presented.


“There’s no greater gift to the family and coming generations than identified photos with names, locations and approximate dates when the photographs were taken,” Johnson said, “Your family archives will thank you!”

Johnson also advises that, “Once you are completely finished with your interview, be sure to label the file and back it up immediately. It is amazing how quickly things can build up and never get filed correctly or lost to history.”

Photo caption: Listen to the stories about your family members over the holiday season.

Putnam Awarded REDC Money for Cooperative Feasibility Study

CARMEL, N.Y. – County Executive MaryEllen Odell announced on Thursday, Dec. 10, that Putnam County was granted funds through the fifth round of the New York State Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative to develop a cooperative county-wide blueprint for the future.  The state is supplying $50,000 for Putnam to lead a feasibility study with the other nine municipalities within its borders that offers solutions to critical issues pertaining to economic development and tourism throughout the county.

“The study is about taking a holistic approach toward the planning of the communities in Putnam County,” said Odell. “We have learned through the years that issues such as infrastructure, sewer, water and broadband extend past the borders of individual villages and towns. By collectively working together we can combine our resources, identify appropriate areas for potential economic growth and tourism as well as find solutions for longstanding obstacles.”

The study is intended to be the first-step in a multiphase plan. Once the study determines ways to promote tourism and improving the hamlets and commercial districts, a strategic approach can be used to make the best use of available funding processes.

“Putnam County, along with the six towns and the three villages within its borders, has learned that when dealing with New York State or the federal government the results are better achieved when we work together,” said Putnam County Legislator Barbara Scuccimarra. “The findings from the feasibility study will help us to determine which projects we can move forward collectively and which ones a municipality can choose to pursue on its own.”

The Putnam County Planning Department will be working in conjunction with the towns and villages to gather the necessary information.

“Kent, like each of the other municipalities, has its own characteristics that make it a unique place in the county,” said Kent Town Supervisor Maureen Fleming. “To know that we can maintain our identities, while working together to find solutions for the issues we all have, is an important aspect of this study.  We already share services with one another but this opening us up to conversations about the big picture of Putnam County.”

Two other Putnam-specific projects were awarded grants through the REDC initiative. The Town of Patterson was awarded $22,500 to undertake a consolidation study of its two fire departments. Also, the Town of Philipstown, in a partnership with Scenic Hudson, was awarded $400,000 to design a trail between Little Stony Point and Breakneck Ridge. It is part of multiphase plan for the Hudson Highlands Fjord Trail.

“I am pleased with the outcome of this year’s REDC initiative,” said Odell. “The way the funding was allocated shows the applicants the importance of planning.  Studies will be modestly funded and projects that have been done their due diligence will be supported by the state. Putnam has the potential access to more funding through the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council once we have identified the projects we want to move forward on.

The state awarded the Excelsior Job Credits program $9.6 million for future projects in the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council and $38.2 million was allocated for local governments issuers to sell tax-exempt bonds for economic development, infrastructure and community revitalization projects. In addition, the region was awarded $1.7 million to use toward adopting energy efficiencies.

This was the fifth round of REDC funding. Several projects from Putnam have been granted funding in the past. Past recipients include Green Chimneys of Brewster, the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival in Cold Spring and the Village of Brewster’s revitalization plan Envision Brewster.

The Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council consists of Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester counties. It was awarded at total of $90.4 million through the REDC initiative.

Photo caption: The designing of a trail that will go from Little Stony Point to Breakneck Ridge (shown) in Philipstown was one of the projects from Putnam County awarded money from the fifth round of grants given through the New York State Regional Economic Development Council initiative.



This little guy, Kevin Blackman, has been fighting leukemia since only 3 months of age. This week as so many of us are
celebrating the holiday season visiting decorated trees and Santa Claus,. Kevin, after several weeks of chemo at St. Jude’s in
Tennessee, is going to Boston in hopes of a bone marrow
transplant. He needs first and foremost your prayers that the transplant can be done. Secondly let’s send he and his family
whatever we can so that all those extra costs that they face can be met. Kevin’s grandfather is a driver for the Office for Senior Resources and his mother Kelly attended St. James and Carmel High.

Cash or check to Sherrie Gilmore at the Office for Senior Resources extension 47109
(checks made out to Kevin Blackman)
Online at GO FUND ME :

Kevin's Flyer (3)



Putnam First Responders Conduct Emergency Exercise with Metro-North

CARMEL, N.Y. – County Executive MaryEllen Odell observed the full-scale joint emergency exercise between the first responders of Putnam County and the MTA Metro-North Railroad that was held on Saturday, Nov. 21 at the Metro-North Railroad Brewster Yard. The Brewster Fire Department was the host department of the event.

“We never want to see the scenarios happen in real life, but it is good to know that the MTA Metro-North Railroad and our first responders are prepared with the tools and knowledge to handle these types of incidents,” Odell said. “Seeing everyone in action reaffirmed my confidence in the ability of the first responders who are committed to keeping the residents of Putnam County safe.”

In the drill scenario, a passenger train traveling north along Metro-North Railroad’s Harlem line encountered a motor vehicle impeding the right-of-way. The train engaged its emergency brakes, but was unable to stop in time. Passengers of the train in the front two cars sustained injuries as a result of the impact.

“Ensuring the safety and security of our customers, employees, and the public at large is the most important thing we do,” said Metro-North President Joseph Giulietti. “We strive to prevent accidents from taking place, but nevertheless, part of being safe means being ready to act quickly and carefully in the event that something does go wrong. Our exercise in Brewster helped us to do that and we appreciate the assistance of County Executive Odell, Mayor [James] Schoenig and all of the teams of first responders who participated with us in the exercise.”

The Metro-North staff and the first responders went through the response and recovery actions of the scenario. The areas of consideration were: critical transportation, operational coordination, mass search and rescue operations, public health and medical services, on-scene security, protection, and law enforcement and operational communication. The scenario included Metro-North employees, first responders and other participants who acted as victims or bystanders.

“Understanding how to handle a large-scale situation that has both injured and non-injured groups is such an important takeaway fMTA 1rom drills like this one,” said Brewster Fire Chief Tom Leather. “We are always looking to hold exercises like this one with the large corporations within Putnam’s borders. It allows our volunteers an opportunity to practice the skills they need in a safe environment, the departments gain inside information from the corporations about the emergency plans they have created and we develop working relationships with the employees of the corporations. The experience is truly valuable.”

The goal of the exercise was to ensure the participants familiarization with Metro-North’s Passenger Train Emergency Plan (PTEP), emergency response procedures, and equipment. In addition, the players were able to demonstrate incident management and coordination between the Metro-North entities, local dispatch centers and on-scene Unified Command during a complex incident. It also provided an opportunity to evaluate the rail-based search and rescue operations, management of mass casualty incident (MCI) response capabilities, including patient management and tracking, the ability to maintain a secure perimeter and facilitate crowd control and Metro-North’s and local first responders’ ability to address passengers with disabilities during emergencies.

“The value of an exercise like this is immeasurable,” said Putnam County Commissioner of the Bureau of Emergency Services Anthony Sutton. “Drills such as this put first responders together in a setting where they can observe and learn each other’s capabilities and tactics. As a first responder, you do not want to meet the members of other services for the first time at an actual crash. My hat goes off to the organizations and individuals that planned, hosted and participated in this opportunity to practice in a very realistic scenario. Putnam’s first responders learned many lessons and best practices today. Now have this learning experience to draw on should they someday face a real emergency of this nature.”

MTA 2In addition to the Brewster Fire Department and the MTA Metro-North Railroad, other participating entities include: Brewster Village Police Department, Carmel Fire Department, Carmel Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Croton Falls Fire Department, Lake Carmel Fire Department, Mahopac Falls Fire Department, Mahopac Fire Department, MTA Metro-North Railroad, MTA Police Department, New Fairfield CT Fire Department, New York State Police, North Salem Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Patterson Fire Company, Putnam County Bureau of Emergency Services, Putnam County Office for People with Disabilities, Putnam County Sheriff’s Department, Putnam Lake Fire Department and Transcare EMS.

Photo caption: Firefighters from the Brewster Fire Department participate in the Joint Emergency Exercise between Putnam County first responders and the MTA Metro-North Railroad. Photos provided by MTA/Patrick Cashin.