News + Views

Byrne Announces Passage of Bill Re-designating ‘Major Clayton Carpenter Memorial Highway’


Name reflects local hero’s posthumous promotion

On Tuesday, May 9th, the State Assembly successfully passed Assemblyman Kevin Byrne’s first piece of legislation (A02998), amending the highway law to re-designate the ‘Army Captain Clayton Carpenter Memorial Highway’ as the “Major Clayton Carpenter Memorial Highway.’ This is also the first Republican bill to pass the Assembly this year. The legislation updates the highway law to reflect Clayton Carpenter’s true rank.

Following Carpenter’s tragic and untimely death during a training exercise in 2014, legislation was passed designating this particular stretch of road as the ‘Army Captain Clayton Carpenter Memorial Highway.’ However, Carpenter was posthumously promoted to the rank of Major in the time subsequent to the original designation. This most recent bill, which received overwhelming bi-partisan approval in the Assembly, certifies that the highway named in this local hero’s honor will bear not only his name, but his true military rank.

“Major Clayton Carpenter was an American hero, and an exemplary citizen of Westchester County who bravely and selflessly served his country and community,” said Byrne. “His service and sacrifice will never be forgotten, and I am honored to have played a role in ensuring that the official name of the ‘Major Clayton Carpenter Memorial Highway’ will reflect his true rank.

“When we hear and see so many negative things about our state government, it’s refreshing to see people unite behind good pieces of legislation like this. I’d like to personally thank all my Assembly and Senate colleagues who supported this measure.” Byrne continued. “For this worthy piece of legislation to be not only our conference’s first passed bill of this legislative session, but also my first bill passed as a state legislator, gives me great pride.”

Born in 1983, Clayton Carpenter, a Cortlandt Manor resident and graduate of Lakeland High School and West Point, served multiple tours of duty in both Iraq and Afghanistan as a platoon leader of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, an elite Army helicopter unit. In addition to his military service, Carpenter was an active member of his community, volunteering his time with multiple organizations, including the Yorktown Volunteer Ambulance Corps.

The bill was previously passed earlier this year by the State Senate sponsored by Senator Terrence Murphy, and is currently awaiting final approval from Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Once signed, the act will take effect immediately.

May 11, 2017 |

Westchester Community College Commencement Features Local Resident (May 18)






Lowell F. Hawthorne

Westchester Community College’s commencement ceremony will take place on Thursday, May 18 at 6:00 p.m. in the County Center Building in White Plains. Approximately 2,000 students will be granted degrees, making it one of the largest graduating classes in the history of the college. The commencement speech will be given by Westchester resident Lowell F. Hawthorne, President and Chief Executive Officer of Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery and Grill, the nation’s largest Caribbean franchise chain.

Westchester Community College President Belinda S. Miles will also address those gathered at commencement. “I am pleased that this notable entrepreneur will be inspiring our graduating students at commencement,” says Dr. Miles. “As an immigrant from Jamaica, his success story will be of interest to the thousands who will be on hand for this event, especially our many students from other countries including our English as a Second Language students, in addition to our Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management majors, our Entrepreneurship majors, and our English as a Second Language students.”

“As an entrepreneur educated in New York State, and a notable philanthropist who has ensured the education of hundreds of students through generous scholarships, he truly exemplifies the college’s motto: Building Minds, Building Futures,” says Dr. Miles.

Hawthorne migrated to the United States in 1981 along with his family, finding employment as an accountant and then later opening a Bronx bakery. Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery and Grill grew to more than 120 stores in nine states and now provides employment for over 1,500 individuals. Hawthorne, who holds an Associate degree from Bronx Community College and a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Lehman College, received the prestigious Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and Jamaica’s highest honor for service to commerce and community development: The Order of Distinction, Commander Rank.

A sought after motivational speaker, his organization ranks in the Black Enterprise top 100 and among the Entrepreneur Magazine top 500. The Mavis and Ephraim Hawthorne Golden Krust Foundation, named in honor of his late parents, has awarded more than 300 scholarships to aspiring students in the United Sates and Jamaica.

Among the graduates at the May 18 ceremony will be student leaders and winners of the SUNY Chancellors Award for Excellence.

The college’s picturesque 218-acre main campus in Valhalla is the former estate of John Hartford of A&P fame. Since opening in 1946, more than 250,000 students have enrolled in classes held at the largest college in the county. The college offers more than 60 associate degree and certificate programs.


May 11, 2017 |

Internship Opportunities Available With Assemblyman Kevin Byrne


High school and college students encouraged to apply

New York State Assemblyman Kevin Byrne is accepting summer intern applications from high school and college students for his district office in Mahopac.

Intern responsibilities include bill research, responding to emails, monitoring news, and filing information. This opportunity promises to serve as a chance to both build your professional resume and achieve hands-on experience learning about the legislative process.

To apply, interns can contact Assemblyman Byrne’s office at 845-628-3781 or email

May 10, 2017 |

Byrne Announces DEC Grants for Putnam Land Trusts


Funding provided through NYS DEC in partnership with the Land Trust Alliance


Assemblyman Kevin Byrne (R, C, I, Ref-Mahopac) meets with representatives of the Hudson Highlands Land Trust. (From left to right) Executive Director Michelle Smith, Assemblyman Kevin Byrne, and Director of Development and Outreach MJ Martin


Two Putnam County land trusts will be among 58 recipients of statewide funding as part of the department’s 14th annual grant program, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced last month. The Hudson Highlands Land Trust, based in Garisson, NY, and the Putnam County Land Trust will receive an excess of $70,000 in total funding through the program, offered in partnership with the Land Trust Alliance. This financial support will spearhead a number of upgrades and planning initiatives which promise to both promote outdoor recreation in Putnam County, and position the two organizations for continued future success.

The Hudson Highlands Land Trust will utilize its $40,000 dollar grant to implement a management plan and perform significant public access improvements to the recently purchased Granite Mountain Preserve in Putnam Valley. The Putnam County Land Trust, an operation fully staffed by volunteers, will receive a total of $30,100 through two grants, and will purpose this funding toward trail improvements and the development of a multi-year strategic plan.

“Putnam County’s beautiful nature preserves are among its most precious assets, and we all owe our gratitude to both the Hudson Highlands and Putnam County Land Trusts for the work they do to protect them,” said Assemblyman Kevin Byrne (R, C, I, Ref-Mahopac). “I am thrilled to see these two worthy organizations included amongst the recipients of this year’s DEC grants, and look forward to continuing to serve as an advocate for them in the State Assembly.”

For more information on this year’s grant recipients, and the services performed through the DEC, please visit the department’s website.

May 10, 2017 |

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 |
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