One Film at a Time

Qots_fbpollinator“Bringing our community together one film at a time…”  That’s the opening line of the website for The Ossining Documentary & Discussion Series that launches tonight.  The first film up is Queen of the Sun, the award winning documentary that takes us on a journey through the disappearance of bees, the mysterious world of beehives and the heartfelt struggles of beekeepers, scientists and philosophers where they reveal both the problems and solutions in renewing a culture in balance with nature.  Tonight’s program starts at 6:00 with a demonstration; the screening begins at 6:30, and is followed by a discussion with area beekeepers.  Please join us this evening in the Budarz Theater at the Ossining Public Library as we watch, learn, and engage.

I pushed for Queen of the Sun to be the first one we screened not just because it’s a great film, but because it may very directly help me do a better job as a village trustee.  I am a member of the subcommittee considering legislation that would permit beekeeping in the village.  While most people I’ve spoken with about the prospect of beekeeping in Ossining respond positively to the idea, some are concerned.  This screening is a forum where we can voice our concerns and ask questions of the beekeepers participating in our panel.

Engaging the community on issues that matter to Ossining is at the core of why I ran for Village Trustee.  I am so excited to be part of The Ossining Documentary & Discussion Series which furthers that concept as well as promotes awareness and action on issues I hold dear like community, equality and stewardship of the earth.   July 31 we’ll explore a very timely topic regarding our food sources, our health, and the role of corporations with GMO OMG.  August 29 we will will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington with Brother Outsider, a film about Bayard Rustin, the greatest civil rights leader most people have never heard of.  Then September 25 we will explore contentious issue of fracking in NY through the lens of protest music with Dear Governor Cuomo, including a discussion with Riverkeeper president Paul Gallagy and the film’s director/producer/writer Jon Bowermaster.

The steering committee for this series has come together very quickly.  There is great enthusiasm for the series—fortunately by really smart and talented people who have contributed  incredible skills, generosity, and time to making The Ossining Documentary & Discussion Series a success.  Now all we need is for our fellow community members to join us.  Looking forward to seeing many of you this evening at 6:00 at the Ossining Public Library.

Wondrous Wet Wednesday

PM PreK means Levon spends his mornings with Mama.  Today was a great one.
PM PreK means Levon spends his mornings with Mama. Today was a great one.

Our morning outing started with disappointment.  The plan was to pick up DVDs at the Ossining Public Library that Levon would watch while I met with someone at Quimbaya.  I’d forgotten that on Wednesdays the library doesn’t open until 1:00.  So, my 5-year-old was just going to have to be polite and patient during my meeting.  (That’s what little boys are known for, right?) By the time we got to Quimbaya the rain was torrential and our parking spot was on Church Street—all the way across the Sassinoro triangle and up half a block.  We waited in the car a few minutes for the rain to let up.  Then I scolded myself for being so ridiculous as to think walking that distance from my car to Quimbaya was an inconvenience.  Heck, when I lived in Manhattan and Queens as a young adult, I would have considered this distance from a subway exit to my destination to be unbelievably close.  Something about living in a home that frequently requires getting in a car and driving someplace, a place that often provides a parking lot, shifts ones expectations of “convenience”. Walking down Main after an inspiring conversation with a fantastic woman in our community, during most of which Levon quietly and slowly ate a bowl of ice cream, I gave him a choice.  If we turn left, we get in the car and go to Stop n Shop.  If we turn right, we walk to the Joseph G. Caputo Center and see an exhibit.

Levon tells me the story of his favorite painting, the Magical Parrot.
Levon tells me the story of his favorite painting, the Magical Parrot.
Help!  I can't get out!
Help! I can’t get out!

Yippee!  We turned right.  Perhaps it was the spring blooms and brilliant greens glistening from rain that had thankfully taken a break that prompted my greater than usual appreciation of the beauty of the aqueduct path—this tucked away little patch of nature that meets history and ingenuity, right in the heart of our village.  Upon arriving at the Caputo Community Center, we were treated to two exhibits.  The first was paintings  by senior citizens who study art every Thursday at the community center.  The second was the Sing-Sing Prison exhibit.  I was relieved that Levon passed right by Old Sparky, and instead we spent some time discussing the Croton Aqueduct and looking at the model which helped him make sense of this landmark in engineering.

On Sunday Eric and I visited the Firehouse Gallery.
On Sunday Eric and I visited the Firehouse Gallery.

On this gloomiest of days, my heart sings with gratitude that I live in Ossining.  Right now our village is bursting with art:  the remarkable Bicentennial Sculpture Exhibit; the rotating Ossining Art Council exhibits at The Firehouse Gallery at 117 Main Street; the Ossining School District Art Exhibit at the library illuminating the talents of our youngest community members; and the exhibit at the Caputo center showcasing the talents and passions of Ossining’s senior community members.

Paxton's Self Portrait on display now is his first public showing.
Paxton’s Self Portrait on display now is his first public showing.

Sometimes I write because I want to let others know about an upcoming event.  Sometimes I write because I want to be on the record with my position.  Sometimes I write to try and convince others to see things my way.  Today I write for me.  Today I write because I sometimes hear myself starting to sound like a bureaucrat, a small thinker, a pessimist.  Today I write to wash away the negativity and nay-saying that I hear so often from folks who feel disappointed in their village and tell me their concerns in hopes that I’ll fix them.  Today I write to nourish my determination with the optimism and joy that was shared with me by the woman I met with this morning at Quimbaya.  Today I write.

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