Summer Art for Everyone @ The Belle Levine Art Center in Mahopac

Registration is currently being accepted for a wide variety of programs in the arts to take place this summer at the Belle Levine Art Center on Kennicut Hill Road in Mahopac.

THE SUMMER ARTS ACADEMY for kids ages 6-12.

Join our Visual Arts Program offered on Monday through Thursday from 10-2 in one week options through August 1, featuring projects that celebrate a multi-cultural theme taking inspiration from Master Artists as well as Asian and African arts along with some recycled art just for fun!  Summer instructors include Sarah Gilchrist, Cathy Faiella and Jim Sparks.

Enjoy our Clay Program with Amy Menasche offered in our completely renovated and air conditioned clay studio, the program meets on Monday & Thursday from 2-3:30 in three week options.  Session 1 runs June 24-July 11 and Session 2 runs July 15-August 1. Clay projects planned for this summer include making instruments that work including ocarinas, whistles and wind chimes; creating mosaics, animal sculptures, and fanciful face pots.

Combine both Programs for a summer full of art & imagination and self- expression! 


Short Shops for Teens with Sarah Gilchrist mornings from 10:30 – noon

Mixed Media – Fridays, July 12, 19 & 26

Plein Aire Drawing – Saturdays, August 3, 10, 17, & 24

3-D Art – Tuesdays, August 13, 20 & 27

Clay for Teens with Amy Menasche offered on 4 Fridays from 2:30-4pm from July 26 – August 16.


5 & 6 week instruction offered in watercolor, plein aire painting, photography, pottery and drawing.

NEW – One day workshops in Journaling with Karen Herbst and two day Pottery-Closed Forms with Deb Lecce.  Yoga by donation continues in the gallery with Liz Carey beginning August 5 @ 6:30pm.

Details, prices, bios, registration info and forms available or by calling the office at 845.803.8622.

Join us as we Step Up For Kids in Westchester County and across New York State! Saturday, September 28


4wdhOn Saturday, September 28, sixteen Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs) across New York State – including Westchester County’s own CAC at the Westchester Institute for Human Development (WIHD) – will simultaneously participate in a local 5K run/walk to benefit their community. Our primary goal is to raise awareness of the prevalence and the realities of child abuse in our state.


Child Advocacy Centers provide a comprehensive, culturally competent, multidisciplinary team response to allegations of child abuse in a dedicated, child friendly setting. The CAC model ensures that children are not re-victimized by the very system designed to protect them. In 2012, CAC’s across New York state provided services to over 18,500 children.

Please join us on September 28th for a festive, fun-filled morning that will leave you feeling invigorated and proud of the difference you have made in the lives of children around Westchester County and New York State. The Westchester walk, which is being hosted by Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center, will take place on the sprawling Valhalla campus, and will begin just outside WIHD. Please bring your friends, family, and your enthusiasm!

Register Now
Register at

More Information
To learn more about sponsorship opportunities, or to participate, volunteer, or learn more, please contact: Danielle Weisberg, Event Coordinator, at

Please help us get the word out about this fun and worthwhile event taking place in Valhalla, NY on Saturday, September 28, 2013.fbookfollow

Looking for volunteers for Flag Lines to Welcome Home From Afghanistan United States ARMY Spec 4 Michael Cairney Brewster High School Graduate

Welcome Home From Afghanistan United States ARMY Spec 4 Michael Cairney Brewster High School Graduate, Tuesday Morning June 25th. The Minuteman Riders will Welcome and Escort Michael Home from Rest Stop on Northbound Side of 684 in Brewster. Motorcycle Escort Headed up by Minuteman Rider Rob Gallacher and Flag Line at Putnam Fire Dept Headed Up by Don Clady & Lloyd St Louis. Looking for who can participate on the escort or flag line times will be posted soon. Groups can meet in Connecticut and go to either Welcome Home Location.

Other Organization are Welcome to join our Group The Connecticut Cruise News Minuteman Riders to welcome home another American Hero.

Flag lines can assemble where most convenient. Suggested sites are Kelly’s Corner, Post office on Doansburg Road Brewster and the main flag line at Putnam Lake Firehouse/Market/Monument at 9:45am. We expect him in Putnam Lake by 10:15 if all goes well.

Please let us know who can escort and who can do Flag Line, Please bring a friend. We would like to See 40 Flags Up.

Let Get Another Great Minuteman Riders & Friends Turnout.

Thank You Hope to See You There.
Don Clady Director Connecticut Cruise News Minuteman Riders.

Carmel Students Create Artistic Panels for Historic Kent Fire Tower


Carmel Students Create Artistic Panels for Historic Kent Fire Tower

Members of Carmel’s George Fischer Middle School Go Green Club accepted a challenge by the Kent Conservation Advisory Committee to create four painted murals to replace the cab walls atop the historic 85-foot Mt. Nimham Fire Tower.  The fire tower was built in 1940 by the Civilian Conservation Corps. It is the tallest fire tower still in existence in New YorkState.

The panels, each depicting a separate season of the year and featuring local flora and fauna, have been given protective coats of varnish and will have acrylic sheets attached to protect them from vandals who regularly cover the tower interior with graffiti. Before the colorful panels are installed, however, they will be presented to the Kent Town Board during the June 25 meeting in the KentTown Hall.

KCAC Chiarwoman Beth Herr advertised the project in local newspapers. GFMS art teachers Amanda O’Shaughnessy and Jayne Chiappone responded and supervised the club’s 25-week long project which ran from October 2012 through May 2013. The KCAC has been charged with the care of the fire tower and its grounds and will initiate fundraising efforts to have the fire tower repainted and restored. 

For more information on the fire tower and the hikes and events sponsored by the KCAC, visit their website at:

New Image

 Go Green

The 8th Annual Children’s Expo & Safety fair Recap & Pictures

The 8th Annual Children’s Expo & Safety Fair took place at the Donald B. Smith County Government Campus in Carmel on May 4, 2013.  Hundreds of people attended the event which was organized by the Child Advocacy of Putnam County (CAC) and the Bureau of Emergency Services (BES).   Eric Gross once again sponsored the event in honor of his wife Barbara, who lost her battle with cancer in 2011.  Barbara Gross, an educator in both the Carmel and North Salem districts, was a strong advocate for children’s education and safety. Other sponsors included Daniels, Porco & Lusardi Law Firm, Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union, Molly Maid, and Kids Country Day Care.   The overall goal of the event is to promote community education and awareness around keeping children safe.

Vehicles & Various Equipment available for Auction! Click to find out more!

Putnam County is offering Vehicles,
Heavy Equipment,
Miscellaneous Equipment and
other items for auction.

Click the button to find out more!

[button link=”″ size=”xl” color=”orange” text=”grey” window=”yes”]Putnam County Auction[/button]

Odell to Accompany Carmel Vet on Honor Flight to D.C.

Odell to Accompany Carmel Vet on Honor Flight to D.C.

Carmel’s Antoci Spent 5 Months as a POW

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell will accompany 87-year old Carmel resident Mario Antoci, an Army veteran, as they join approximately 90 other veterans and their guardians on a HV (Hudson Valley) Honor Flight to Washington, DC to visit the World War II Memorial on Saturday, April 20.  

The HV Honor Flight is a local chapter of the National Honor Flight Network and encompasses veterans in Putnam, Orange, Ulster, Westchester, Rockland and Dutchess counties.

“I’ve known Mario for years,” said Odell, “but I didn’t know about the Honor Flight Network. When Andy Komonchak, the Executive Director of the Purple Heart Hall of Honor, told me there might be a seat open for another veteran and guardian on the April 20th flight, I knew I wanted to get one of our few remaining WWII veterans get on that plane.”

The Honor Flight Network program was conceived by Earl Morse, a physician assistant in the Air Force. After completing 27 years in the service, Morse retired in 1998 knowing he wanted to do something more for the veterans he had cared for during his career. In May of 2004, while Morse was working at a small veteran’s clinic in Springfield, Ohio, the World War II Memorial was unveiled in Washington, DC. For many of the veterans in his care, visiting the WWII Memorial was their greatest and, oftentimes, their last wish. Unfortunately, few could afford to make the trip. 

As a result, Morse founded National Honor Flight to raise funds to allow any veteran who wished to make the one-day, all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. to view the monument erected in their honor. Guardians wishing to accompany a veteran pay their own way at a cost of approximately $400.  

Today, the Honor Flight Network has more than 70 chapters throughout the United States and 2013 marks their ninth year transporting more than 81,000 WWII, Korean and Vietnam veterans to the nation’s capitol. It is the second flight that the HV Honor Flight Chapter has sponsored. The April 20 US Airways Charter flight is scheduled to depart Stewart Airport at 10 a.m.  

Antoci, who moved to Brewster from the Bronx in 1965, said he enlisted without his parents’ knowledge in 1944. “My older brother Sandy was already in the service, and I knew I wanted to go in, too. So I pushed the draft board a bit and told them I was 18.”

Antoci served from 1944 until 1946 as a member of the 7th Army’s 63rd Infantry Division. His last five months were spent as a prisoner of war in Germany. Antoci has written a journal for his children and grandchildren about his wartime experiences.

The commotion about his upcoming trip is a bit overwhelming for Antoci who said there were six million other people who served in WWII.

“I’m not the only guy,” he said.

But with approximately 1,000 WWII veterans, most of whom are over the age of 85, passing on each day, time is running out. Antoci acknowledged that point as he described his weekly therapy visits to the VA Medical Center in Montrose with his fellow Carmel resident and WWII veteran, Charlie Johansen. 

“There used to be 14 of us in the group, but we’re down to about six members now,” Antoci said. 

Komonchak said the veterans and guardians will meet early – around 7 a.m. – at the Hawkins Drive Shoprite in Montgomery, NY (see itinerary below) before getting on Stewart-bound buses which will be accompanied by a police escort. At the airport, there will be a presentation held in the baggage claim area before boarding. The group is expected to arrive in Washington, D.C. at 11:15 a.m.

The HV Honor Flight Chapter will sponsor two trips per year.

“The best way to start is to go to your VFW and tell them you are interested in either going or being a guardian,” said Komonchak. “If you go on, there are applications you can download. You have to fill all that out.”

Sometimes, he said, the VFW will sponsor a guardian.  

MEO, Mario Antoci, MSG MIL USA USMA MaryKay Messenger

L-R: Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell, Carmel resident, WWII veteran and former POW Mario Antoci, Master Sgt. MaryKay Messenger, the premier vocalist for the United States Military Academy Band at West Point. Odell and Antoci attended a pre-HV Honor Flight informational meeting in Orange County on Sunday.


HV Honor Flight Itinerary Saturday, April 20th

  • 7:00 AM Rally up at: ShopRite in Montgomery (Exit 5 off Rt. 84) 99 Hawkins Drive Montgomery, NY 12549
  • 7:30 AM Checked-in with bus leaders and on-board busses
  • 7:45 AM Convoy leaves for Stewart International Airport
  • 8:00 AM Arrive Stewart International Airport for reception
  • 9:00 AM Proceed to security check point & board plane
  • 10:00 AM Depart Stewart on US Airways Charter Flight
  • 11:15 AM Arrive Reagan National Airport
  • 12:00 PM Depart for WWII Memorial, have lunch en-route
  • 1:00 PM Arrive in Washington D.C. at the WWII Memorial
  • 2:30 PM Depart for Arlington National Cemetery
  • 3:30 PM Changing of the Guard
  • 4:00 PM Depart for dinner at the Double Tree Crystal City Hotel
  • 5:45 PM Depart for Reagan National Airport
  • 6:00 PM Arrive Reagan National Airport and clear security
  • 7:15 PM Depart Reagan National Airport on US Airways Charter Flight
  • 8:30 PM Arrive at Stewart & board bus back to ShopRite in Montgomery


Take the Community Asset Survey

takesurveyBe a part of developing the Community Health Improvement Plan. Take the short survey and give your thoughts about the community’s strengths, important health related issues and other concerns. Your participation is integral to pinpointing the important issues in Putnam County.
[button link=”” color=”orange” text=”grey”]Click here to take Survey[/button]
This survey should not be taken more than once.

Visit Live Healthy Putnam

[button link=”″ size=”medium” color=”orange” text=”grey”]para tomar la encuesta en español, haga clic aquí[/button]



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Odell Extends Condolences, Prayers to Marathon Attendees, Public Urged to be Vigilant, Share Info

MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
(845) 808-1001

April 16, 2013

Odell Extends Condolences, Prayers to Marathon Attendees
Public Urged to be Vigilant, Share Info

Two terrorist explosions brought an early end to the elite race where more than 23,000 participants were enjoying near perfect running weather on a beautiful spring day. The double bombings that occurred yesterday near the finish line of the Boston Marathon killed three people, wounded more than 100 and will change the lives of many forever.

The temperature on September 11, 2001 was also brisk with a cloudless blue sky stretching over Manhattan as two airplanes struck the World Trade Center and the lives of many New Yorkers were forever changed.

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell noted the similarities of the two events as she sat in her office.

“The impact of this tragedy reaches far beyond Boston’s city limits,” she said. “Many of our children attend colleges in the Boston area. This impacts us as well. I’m sure I speak for all Putnam residents when I say our hearts, thoughts and prayers are in Boston with everyone who was there.”

Today President Obama declared that all flags will be flown at half-staff on all government buildings and military installations until April 20, “ As a mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence” that took place in Boston on April 15.

The safety and security of the public is something federal, state, city and town governments take seriously but it is something they can’t do alone. Sharing of information is vital and a point Putnam’s Commissioner of Emergency Services Adam B. Stiebeling and Director of Emergency Management Thomas Lannon, Jr. often make.

“The tragedy in Boston reminds us that we must be ever vigilant,” said Stiebeling. “Those of us in Emergency Services need the help of the public at times like this. So please, be aware of your surroundings and let us know if anything seems out of the ordinary.”

“Whether it is a cowardly terrorist act or a natural disaster like Super Storm Sandy, we must work together and share information,” Lannon said. “Information is for planning, responding to, recovering from or mitigating an event. “

Security around major cities was increased following the Boston bombings and Putnam has taken precautionary safety steps as well. Currently the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office is at a heightened awareness level and will be increasing patrols in all large public gathering areas including train stations and platforms.

Odell explained the reason for these precautionary steps.

“Many of our residents commute to Manhattan by rail or car on a daily basis. While we have no expectations of experiencing any event, we will be vigilant and I ask that our residents be vigilant as well.”

Residents can help.

“If you see something, say something.  Be observant, if it doesn’t look right, it probably isn’t.  Call the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office at 845-225-4300 to report your concerns or dial 9-1-1,” said Odell.

Lannon suggests New Yorkers sign up to receive emergency notifications at NY-Alert.

“NY-Alert is an emergency alert notification system that will notify you with important information using any combination of email, text messaging, recorded phone message or fax and is available to you at no cost,” he said.

To sign up for notifications go to  Follow the instructions adding any areas of interest in New York State.  You should also go to “Add Routine Notifications” and select specialized areas within Putnam County.

For help signing up, residents can visit the County website at