News + Views

Westchester Community College Holds Completion Ceremony for Students in the Black and Hispanic Male Initiative on May 10


Westchester Community College has invited noted speaker and author Lane Cobb to deliver the keynote address for the college’s Black and Male Initiative completion ceremony on May 10 at 11:00 a.m.

Originally from Tarrytown, the certified life and wellness coach teaches techniques for increasing self-awareness, self-advocacy, and positive self-regard. Cobb inspires her audiences to develop a mindset for success and strive to live their “most authentic life.” A published author, Cobb writes to help individuals develop self-esteem, discover their purpose, and reach their potential.

Each year, dozens of Black and Hispanic students are mentored and encouraged to complete their studies through the Black and Male Initiative Program. Through special workshops, college trips, training sessions and educational seminars, the students are supported in a variety of ways.

The college is often recognized for its role in the education of Hispanic students. The institution has often been named by Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education magazine as one of the “Publisher’s Picks” as an institution doing a “commendable job of recruiting, retaining, educating, and graduating Hispanic students.”

The college has received the designation of “Hispanic Serving Institution” because more than thirty percent of its students are Hispanic.


May 4, 2017 |

Westchester Community College’s Sustainability Club Works with Local Company to Make a “Green Connection”


Students in the newly formed Westchester Community College Sustainability Club have been working on a number of levels to improve awareness of issues related to sustainability. Most recently, they worked with a local company in order to form a “green connection” in celebration of Earth Day. The college has been committed to a number of sustainability programs and initiatives in the past, such as the promotion of a new agreement with the 511NY Rideshare Program and the construction of the Gateway Center in 2010. The Gateway Center is a gold-level LEED certified building, the first of its kind owned by Westchester County. The formation of this new student club is the latest effort to improve both sustainability and the awareness of the topic.

Westchester Community College student and Sustainability Club founder Steven Hyland, remarks “It’s impressive to see the college’s commitment to an environmentally-friendly campus come so far. Our club’s mission follows suit, continuing the efforts of our school’s administration and bringing the conversation of mitigating climate change to the student level. I see great things in the future for both Sustainability Club and for the college.”

Steven notes that the club, although new, has been busy. The club hosted a “Family Feud” game on sustainability issues, is planning to present a discussion on the Environmental Protection Agency, and is scheduling a wide variety of additional speakers who will visit the college in the fall. Additionally, the new club and the college’s sustainability program has prompted a collaborative effort with a local industry partner.

Last fall, the college installed an off-grid campus light that is 100% renewably powered by solar and wind. The “Remote Power Unit” (RPU) was donated to the campus by Mount Vernon based Aris Wind LLC ( Aris is a renewable energy firm with advanced and unique wind/solar products for off-grid and grid-tied power applications.    

The RPU has been operating well since its startup, providing renewable and resilient power for lighting and a USB charging station, while self-powering its own internet connection for monitoring and control.

These two extensions of the college’s sustainability work also illustrate the “green connection” between the academic world and the business world. Aris Wind was searching for engineering intern talent to support its growing RPU market launch and hired Steven Hyland from the student club.

Dan Connors, Chief Operating Officer for Aris Wind commented, “Aside from his academic training in mechanical engineering at Westchester Community College, Steven’s founding of the campus Sustainability Club made him a natural fit for the Aris Wind role. Aris Wind, with their sister company DGC Capital Contracting ( will use Steven’s work this summer to help achieve “certified status” as part of our membership in the Westchester Green Business Association.”

The club advisor, Professor Scott Zaluda, says “This new “green connection” starting with the school’s earlier sustainability efforts, with continued support from the county, has helped attract the interest and collaboration of the student body and the business community, contributing towards the overall goal making Westchester County a better place to live and work.”




May 4, 2017 |

County Announces Grand Opening Weekend at Renovated Tilly Foster Farm


County Announces Grand Opening Weekend at Renovated Tilly Foster Farm — Tilly’s Table Opens as County’s First Farm-to-Table Event Venue & Eatery
June 3rd and 4th Marks Celebratory Opening Extravaganza, including Live Broadcast with KICKS 105.5, Music Performances, Farmers Market, Friendly Farm Animals and More



County Executive MaryEllen Odell announced today the grand opening of the renovated Tilly Foster Farm and Tilly’s Table, the county’s first farm-to-table, event-based dining experience. The gates will open to the public for the first time on Saturday, June 3rd, 2017, from 10am – 5pm. Tilly’s Table will host the restaurant’s first public seating at 5pm with a prix fixe menu; subsequent seating options will be available at 7pm and 9pm on this date. On Sunday, June 4th from 11am – 2pm, Tilly’s Table will host the venue’s first “Farmers Sunday Brunch,” which will be a standard offering year round for visitors. Reservations are required. Diners may call 845-808-1840 to reserve.

“We are opening the gates to Tilly Foster Farm on June 3rd and they will never be closed again,” said Odell. “Tilly Foster Farm & Educational Institute offers a shining representation of Putnam’s natural beauty, assets and agricultural heritage. Tilly’s Table highlights and supports a growing wave of excitement and demand for organic locally-grown food and farm-to-table dining. Our educational component through BOCES dovetails with this movement through a culinary arts program that emphasizes these concepts and philosophy,” adds Odell.

“After several years of planning, the vision of Tilly Foster Farm has been realized. Tilly’s Table will enhance and compliment the essence of the Farm’s purpose and principles,” said Ginny Nacerino, Chairwoman, Putnam County Legislature. “The Legislature is not only proud, but honored to support this project, which fosters quality of life here in Putnam County. I am confident Tilly Foster Farm will prosper and become the jewel of the County whereby residents and non-residents alike, will come to learn, enjoy, and evolve for generations to come.”

Grand Opening Weekend Attractions

In celebration of the revitalization of Tilly Foster and in honor of the farm’s agricultural heritage, visitors will enjoy a variety of attractions and entertainment, featuring the latest Country Music from local performers and a live broadcast from KICKS 105.5 radio from 12pm to 2pm. A Farmers Market will be set up on the grounds where visitors may shop for their favorite locally-grown and harvested products from 10am – 3pm. Kids can enjoy fun in a bouncy castle and families can take a self-guided tour of Tilly’s unique collection of farm animals, including two new Nigerian Dwarf goats, Calvin and Hobbes.

Under the operation of Al and Joe Ciuffetelli of Homestyle Catering, Tilly’s Table Restaurant will officially open for dinner at 5pm on Saturday, June 3rd, with a prix fixe menu. There will be additional seating at 7 and 9pm. On Sunday, Tilly’s will hosts its first Sunday Brunch from 11am to 2pm. Diners must call 845-808-1840 to reserve for either event.

“We are honored to have been selected as the event planner and operator at Tilly’s Table,” said Al Ciuffetelli, president, Homestyle Catering. “Similar to our operating model at the Putnam County Golf Course, our plan is to build Tilly’s Table into an event-based destination with the best farm-to-table cuisine in the Hudson Valley. We have several events on the calendar this summer and fall to complement the kick off of our “Guest Chef” program, where local restaurateurs will be invited to prepare their signature dishes for Tilly’s Table patrons. We are excited about this concept because it provides a platform of exposure for the great chefs in our midst and adds some interesting and unexpected cuisine to our repertoire.”

“Growth and vitality occur when the business community and local government work together to chart new courses, think outside the box and invent new channels of opportunity,” said Jennifer Maher, Chairwoman, Putnam County Chamber of Commerce. “The rebirth of Tilly Foster and launch of Tilly’s Table grabs hold of a movement that plays to Putnam’s strengths. We look forward to expanded business opportunities among hospitality, agriculture, and other tourism enterprises.”

Tilly Foster offers a wide array of attractions, activities, and entertainment, including visits with friendly farm animals, a hiking trail, community gardening, culinary arts education, and regularly scheduled entertainment events – and of course, the best farm-to-table dining in the Hudson Valley.

“I am very excited about the re-opening of Tilly Foster Farm,” said Bruce Conklin, director, Putnam Tourism. “It will be a great venue for our local residents and out of town guests to enjoy the hospitality and natural beauty that Putnam has to offer. Between the farm and its animals, the County’s commitment to agricultural and culinary education with the BOCES program, and its event based schedule, Tilly Foster will be more than just a farm, and will serve as a representative of Hudson Valley culture and the farm-to-table movement.”

For more information about Tilly Foster Farm and Tilly’s Table calendar of events, please visit:



May 3, 2017 |

Pleasantville Music Festival Reveals Musical Lineup


The staff of the Pleasantville Music Festival announced the lineup for their July 8th festival at a party at Lucy’s Lounge on Sunday night.
Between sets from festival veteran Megan Talay, the festival’s director, Bruce Figler, announced the lineup for each of the three stages, with more bands to be announced 
in the coming weeks, including the winners of the 2017 Battle of the Bands competition, sponsored by Lagond Music School.
The Chill Tent Stage will include performances from James Maddock, locally-based 
Ghost Millionaires, rising star Hailey Knox, bluegrass from the Shovel Ready String Band and will be anchored by the stage’s headliner, the Pousette-Dart Band.

The Party Stage will feature sets from Stellar Young, Arc & Stones, the Alpaca Gnomes, 
Sir Cadian Rhythm and will conclude with the stage’s headliner, the Boston funk band, Ripe. Performances on the Party Stage are presented by Pamnation.
Performances on the Main Stage will include Hasting-on-Hudson’s young, up & coming Caleb Flood + The Culture, followed by Hollis Brown, Suzanne Vega, and Living Colour. The Festival headliner, Blues Traveler, will conclude the day on the Main Stage.
“This year’s festival has a wide range of talent,” said Bruce Figler, the festival’s director. “I like the to think of it as a little something for everyone… from well-known favorites to quickly rising new talent. The 13th annual Pleasantville Music Festival on July 8th will be an event you won’t want to miss. It truly is New York’s Backyard Jam!”
Tickets to the Pleasantville Music Festival presented by Westchester Medical Center are available through Ticketweb & the Pleasantville Rec Center. More information about the event and links to the artists performing can be found at

May 3, 2017 |

Assemblyman Kevin Byrne Speaks in Favor of Distracted Driving Legislation





Assemblyman Kevin Byrne (R,C,I,Ref-Mahopac) offered remarks in support of legislation aimed to reduce the threat of distracted driving at a press conference in Albany on Monday, April 24.

On Monday, April 24, Assemblyman Kevin Byrne (R,C,I,Ref-Mahopac) participated in a press conference in support of legislation aimed to reduce the increasing threat of injury due to automobile accidents caused by distracted drivers. The proposed bill, named ‘Evan’s Law’ in memory of Evan Lieberman, a young man who lost his life in a car accident with a distracted driver in 2011, would set into motion a number of initiatives to combat distracted driving. Notably, ‘Evan’s Law’ would allow for the use of police technology to detect if a driver was using a cellular phone at the time of an accident without accessing any of the device’s private messages or personal data. Byrne, an EMT and volunteer firefighter who also suffered serious injuries in a car accident with a distracted driver on April 29, 2016, was vocal in both his support of the bill and the need for technology and protocols to police distracted drivers.

“As a first responder and an individual whose life was profoundly affected by a car accident involving a distracted driver, I have seen firsthand the need for additional oversight and support for policing this dangerous and all too prevalent crime,” said Byrne. “Distracted driving is a serious issue that affects us all, and unfortunately, the lack of attention paid to this matter has led to unconscionable scenarios like what we have seen with the Liebermans, where grieving families are forced to seek justice on their own due to the absence of investigation protocols needed for these accidents.

“Statistics show that without the necessary tools and equipment, it is nearly impossible to ensure distracted drivers are held accountable for their actions after an accident,” continued Byrne. “In the face of the digital age’s ever increasing array of hand-held distractions, I call on my colleagues to unite in support of ‘Evan’s Law,’ and reaffirm their commitment to keeping our roads safe.”

April 26, 2017 |

Students from Longview Break Ground on Their Seed to Salad Garden


The garden outside the Studio Around the Corner has begun. With the students of Longview School and the help of master gardeners, Ed Illiano and Anita Conway, we planted early season plants.

Each student was given a 2×2 plot of land in which they planted a mosaic garden Plants included lettuce, spinach, carrots, peas and herbs. The produce will be used for a “Seed to Salad” celebration in late June.

As part of the “Come Grow with Us” project, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Putnam County will be running monthly classes at the studio teaching gardening methods and caring for our larger vegetable garden. The next class on May 24 will be the planting of warmer weather veggies. This program is open to the public and free.

For more information, visit the Cultural Arts Coalition’s Garden Around the Corner’s webpage at, email or call 845-363-8330
The Studio Around the Corner at Old Town Hall
Cultural Arts Coalition
67 Main Street, Suite 101
Brewster, NY 10509
(845) 363-8330
Facebook: Old Town Hall

About The Town of Southeast Cultural Arts Coalition
The Town of Southeast Cultural Arts Coalition is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to creating and sustaining cultural arts within the Town of Southeast and its surrounding region. TOSCAC was established as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation in August 2010 with the purpose, as detailed in the incorporation papers, “… to promote and raise funds for the development and effective management of affordable, accessible performance space that will provide citizens of the Town of Southeast opportunities to participate in and appreciate cultural arts, including lectures, theater, dance, film, music, visual arts, and inclusive community events.” 

Our current focus is the renovation of the Southeast Old Town Hall, a historic landmark within the Village of Brewster and a perfect venue to serve as a cultural hub. The Old Town Hall has been described as a “Jewel in the Center of Brewster” and its renovation will help foster the revitalization of downtown Brewster.

April 26, 2017 |

Pleasantville Music Festival Battle of the Bands Begins


April 20, 2017, Pleasantville, NY–On Sunday, April 30th, Pleasantville Music Festival’s ‘Battle of the Bands’, sponsored by Lagond Music School, will be holding its first of two semi-final rounds from 1pm to 5:30pm at Garcia’s, 145 Westchester Ave, Port Chester. Young musicians from throughout the region will be competing for a chance to open up this year’s July 8th festival in Pleasantville. In addition, scholarships to attend Lagond Music School’s summer program in Elmsford will be awarded to two participating young musicians.

The second phase of the semifinal round of the Battle of the Bands will be held on May 6th at Copper Face Jack’s,166B Mamaroneck Avenue, White Plains. Admission to all of the Battle of the Bands competitions and the Announcement Party is free.

April 26, 2017 |
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