Column: It’s the season of giving gifts and taking leaves

I hope you all had a peaceful and joyous Hanukkah and Thanksgiving celebration. As we gather this holiday season and reflect on the good tidings of the past year, I encourage you to celebrate the spirit of giving.belmont

State and local organizations will be increasing their efforts to assist food banks and soup kitchens. Donating food, stocking shelves and feeding those in need are wonderful ways to volunteer your time and celebrate the spirit of generosity. For more information on how you can get involved, please call our Community Services Department at 914-670-3025.

The West Harrison Neig-hborhood Association is holding its ninth annual Christmas tree lighting and holiday celebration. This event will be held on Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. and entertainment will be on hand on the Village Green. Hot chocolate and cookies will be served at the West Harrison Senior Center. In the event of inclement weather, entertainment will also be at the center. I encourage all residents to join in this festive occasion.

In Harrison, leaf collection runs from mid-October through the beginning of December. Our Department of Public Works’ entire, full-time highway staff and seasonal temporary employees perform this municipal service. The work detail is divided into several routes. Leaf crews remain on their route for the entire season, giving each resident numerous opportunities to take their leaves to the curb for removal. Crews usually take seven to 10 working days to complete one entire route before beginning again.

Each year, the weather pattern determines when the leaves fall, and some years, like this one, all of the leaves drop at the same time. This means that our crews take longer to remove the piles. Town personnel make every effort to remove the leaf piles as quickly as possible. To expedite the process, we ask that residents refrain from bagging leaves, remove all rocks, bottles, branches and other debris, take leaves to the curb and avoid parking on or around the piles. It is also important that leaves are not placed in the storm drains or catch basins, as this may cause flooding. Our Department of Public Works is not able to indicate exactly when crews will be in a specific neighborhood or on a particular street as those work details are contingent on the day-to-day progress of our Highway Department during the leaf removal season. I appreciate your patience as we continue to clear our roadways.

Recently, I have been contacted by the United Way of We-stchester and Putnam Counties regarding the need for foster parents. Currently, there are hundreds of children in Westchester County who need a temporary and loving home. This month, United Way has stepped up their efforts in promoting the need for foster care. Orientation is held on the first and third Wednesday evenings of each month. Financial support and training is also provided. To learn more about how you can help, please visit www.uwwp.org/foster.shtml or call United Way at
914-997-6700.