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Your Ideal Scarsdale ... Share your Vision

ForumMLLenaWhat is your vision of an ideal Scarsdale? Do you wish that your neighbor would say hello in the morning? Or that builders would stop tearing down all the trees... or that more outdoor cafes would open in the Village? These were just of the few ideas that were proposed at a recent meeting of the Scarsdale Forum when the Scarsdale Community Support Council was invited to hold a workshop on Strengthening Community. Jay Genova and Linda Chayes led participants through an exercise on "Breaking Down Barriers to Create Community Cohesion."

The audience was divided into groups of ten or so to consider the following questions:

What can we do to break out of our bubbles or comfort zones?

Do you see stepping out of your familiar circle or bubble as a benefit?

Are there ways that you could make your life richer by challenging yourself or stepping out of your comfort zone or by doing something unfamiliar?

In what ways could you do that?ForumMark

The groups were given time to share experiences and consider ways to build community involvement and empathy. The discussion at my table centered on what community means to different people and how to reach out to those that may feel isolated or alienated. It was noted that many became engaged in the controversy over the recent revaluation and the Village election –but we questioned whether that served to make the community more polarized or more cohesive?

We explored other ways that residents might come together through programming, recreation or a more vital downtown.

Each person completed a card providing their ideal Scarsdale and these were read aloud. Here are just a few of the wishes that were shared:

Preserve the village in a park

Civil discourse

A more diverse community

Stronger neighborhood ties

Inclusion

An indoor pool

More restaurants with outdoor seatingForumChayesGenova

More collaboration between the Village government and the school administration

A vital, thriving downtown

More housing options for seniors and retirees

Reasonably sized new homes

Better traffic control

What are your ideas? Send them to scarsdalecomments@gmail.com and we'll share them here.

Also at the meeting, the Scarsdale honored former Mayor Jon Mark for his service to Scarsdale, which former Scarsdale Forum President said was "all the better for Jon's leadership."

Crandall completed her term as Scarsdale Forum President and the group approved new leadership for the forum. ML Perlman will serve as President with Jon Mark as Vice President. Here are ML's remarks from the meeting:

Members, Board, and Guests:

It is my pleasure to have the opportunity to acknowledge and thank our outgoing President Lena Crandall. Lena and I have worked closely together the last year and I am therefore uniquely qualified to speak about the outstanding dedication she has shown this organization and our community through her tireless efforts and enthusiasm.

Lena's care and attention to the smallest details – while simultaneously having the broad vision to oversee the implementation of the Forum's new communication strategy shows the depth of both Lena's engagement with – and value to the Forum.

forum1Through our many conversations I learned that Lena is a champion of important values within our community; specifically the inclusiveness of our organization in that we accept all residents as members regardless of citizenship; Lena values respectful – but vigorous - debate that allows all points of view to be expressed and considered; and finally Lena values the simple act of saying "yes" – that when someone has an idea, Lena is there to say "let's go for it!" With Lena as President, we were always talking about what more we could do and what more was possible.

And more we did. This year the Forum as an organization through its public meetings, committee discussions, written reports, and community engagement touched upon just about every important issue within the Village; whether the Library Renovation and Expansion upon which the Municipal Services Committee authored two reports and issued the Forum's first community wide survey, or the Sustainability Committee's incubation of the food scrap recycling pilot program – which has evolved today into Westchester County's first food scrap recycling drop off program. Bravo. – or the Education Committee's reports on the 2017-18 budget, the Greenacres School, and recommended Strategy for Long-Term Fiscal Planning. In addition to committee study and discussion, the Program Committee of the Forum has brought the community together for meaningful engagement such as the experience we all had here tonight – this past year's programs have included distinguished guests such as Mayor Jon Mark, Superintendent Thomas Hagerman, Lee Maude, County Legislator Ben Boykin, Congressman Elliot Engel, Former Scarsdale Inquirer Editor Linda Leavitt, Extreme Weather Scientist and Scarsdale High School graduate Anton Seimon, the Alzheimer's Association Hudson Valley Chapter, and of course our guests tonight from the Scarsdale Community Support Council just to name a few.

While the accomplishments of our organization belong to our members and committees and our Chairs and Co-Chairs, one cannot deny that Lena has for the last year brought our organization together collaboratively and productively. The immense respect Lena has - both from me personally and from our organization - is well earned and deserved.

As I assume the position of President of this organization,ForumEli I am humbled and grateful to have the opportunity to give back to a community from which I have gained so much. When I moved to Scarsdale two years ago, the Forum was a place of engagement, learning, and acquaintances. In such a short time I have forged meaningful friendships and collegial ties to so many wonderful people I have met here. As President, I hope to establish a mentorship process for new members so that as many people as possible can find the support and encouragement I find here and from all of you everyday.

Before closing, I would like to note my sincerest thanks to Jon Mark for volunteering to be Vice President. I will be relying heavily on his knowledge, guidance, and support in the coming year – and I consider it a privilege to have the opportunity to work together. I know that our organization will be all the better for Jon's leadership and involvement.

Finally to our members: Thank you for your involvement. Thank you for your ideas. Thank you for your opinions. We look forward to seeing you at the next meeting.

Thank you all and good evening.

ML Perlman
Scarsdale Forum President

Photos by Lisa VanGundy

Study Names Scarsdale the Richest Town in the Country

31 WhigRoadA new study by a website called 247Wallst.com has determined that Scarsdale residents have the highest median household income in the country, earning 15 times the typical household income in Centreville, IL, which was found to be the poorest town in the U.S. with a median income of $16,553.

The study found that the "typical" U.S. household income rose $2,500 to $53,889 in 2015 from $51,425 in 2009.

The site is based on household income data from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.

The study found that the wealthiest communities are largely suburbs near major U.S. cities like New York, Washington D.C. and Chicago. It says, "In 21 of the 25 small wealthiest towns, more than 80% of the workers commute outside of their place of residence for work."

The study also notes the impact of education on wealth, finding that in 23 of the 25 richest towns 70% of adults have bachelors' degrees while only 15% of adults in 20 of the poorest 25 towns have a four-year degree. On average, those with bachelors' degrees earn $23,000 more than those without a college degree, while graduate degree holders earn $40,000 more than those without a degree.

Read the entire article here.

Enterprising Scarsdale Moms

Hello Spud Melanie Kayam at Launch PartyScarsdale has always been a hotbed for innovation and creativity, and the next generation of mothers are no exception. This week we heard from two companies, founded by young mothers, who have launched their own product lines and are offering their merchandise on line and at retail. These women have used the professional knowledge they gained before having kids to become entrepreneurs on their own terms.

Meet Melanie Kayam from Hello Spud and Lara Serebrier Paul and Judith Heimowitz from Joya Swim.

Melanie is a Scarsdale mom who moved here seven years ago from the city with her family. She studied textile design and product development at Parson's School of Design and spent the last 20 years travelling the world with her home décor creations while working for manufacturers. Now she has four "spuds" of her own; 5-year-old Jonah, 3-year-old Luca, 1-year old Ethan, and a brand she designed and launched herself, Hello Spud.

Hello spud Melanie Kayam and boys"It had always been a dream of mine since I was a little girl to one day launch my own brand." Says Kayam, "Inspiration is always all around me. With the birth of our third son Ethan, the stars finally lined up to take this leap in
launching Hello Spud." Spending the first few months of development with Ethan by her side as she worked gave her all of the motivation she needed. Watching her son's interactions with fabrics and colors sparked many ideas for the collection, and really built her design philosophy.

Hello Spud's goal is to inspire new parents as they create their baby's nursery. Melanie explains, "The word inspire means a lot to us at Hello Spud; we use color and texture to nurture and inspire babies, and we aim to evoke whimsy and wonder in all of our prints, from pink pineapples to paper airplanes, to inspire songs, storytelling and, hopefully, smiles." hellospud productMany of Hello Spud's products, such as the bath collection, crib sheets, changing pad cover, and scottie toys are made from organic materials. The items are designed to grow with the baby and work well for toddlers, too.

"A nursery isn't just any room. It's a sacred space where imaginations run wild and sweet dreams are spun, where songs are shared and snuggles reign supreme. Its my favorite room in the house."

You can purchase Hello Spud products at their website and coming soon their items will be in the Scarsdale and Port Chester buy buy BABY stores and on the buy buy BABY site. Hello Spud will also be featured at the Big City Mom's event in NYC on May 24th.

Joya Swim is a swimwear company founded by two Scarsdale moms that offers women fashion-forward yet practical bathing suits and cover-ups, both ready-to-wear and made-to-order. Customers can buy existing styles or customize their own bathing suit to make sure they feel perfect when they are chasing their kids around the town pool or relaxing on an adult-only getaway.

JoaySwim FoundersA savvy shopper might notice that there is a major shift towards direct-to-consumer shopping. Multi-vendor pop-up shop parties are, well, popping up everywhere. Typically aimed at female consumers, these shopping parties invite women to have a fun night out with friends to shop in a "party" environment for a broad range of products. Plus, consumers get price cuts both from side stepping the middle men of retailers and special discounts offered for the pop-up shop events.

Lara and Judith are big fans of this model. "So many joyaswimof the customers we talk to haven't bought a bathing suit in years because it is just way too scary." Joya Swim offers a shopping experience that is comfortable, private, and done with experts who really know fit. Plus, a glass of wine with friends before you go into the dressing room certainly doesn't hurt. "We are two Scarsdale entrepreneurs embracing this important retail trend of direct-to-consumer shopping parties, especially timed with Mother's Day" explain the two.

Joya's next pop-up event is at May 4th at 7-9pm in partnership with Platinum Drive Realty, Stella & Dot, and Beauty Counter. You can shop online at their website, www.joyaswim.com, and email hello@joyaswim.com for information on upcoming local events and private fitting appointments.

Also for Mother's Day, Meritage Restaurant at 1505 Weaver Street is hosting a handmade item market on Sunday May 7th from 11 am to 3 pm featuring handcrafted items from a multitude of artists, a craft station for kids, Walter's Hot Dogs, and more. To learn more, click here.

 Mother s Day Market Poster ADDRESS

 

Letter to the Editor: When Voting For Members of the School Board, Put the Children First

letter-to-the-editorThis letter was sent to Scarsdale10583 by the Westchester Putnam School Boards Association in advance of the May 16 budget vote and election of school board members.

To the Editor: In recent months, Local Control has become the hot buzzword. There is a renewed sense that local actions matter, and indeed, all politics is local. The board of education exemplifies this, as school board members address two things that are important to most people - their children and their money!

The 2017 data on Westchester/Putnam school board candidates is revealing:

• While the number of districts with contested elections had been trending downward, this year it increased from 40% to 51%.
• A record 141 people are running for 95 seats, and the percentage of non-incumbent candidates on the ballot increased from 46% to 57%.


Before you fill in your ballot, consider that the board of education is a policy-making body whose fiduciary responsibilities include finances and the education of children. Select candidates who will leave their own agenda at the door and focus on the long-term needs of all children through thoughtful consensus building, while considering local taxpayer constraints. A well-functioning board focuses on strategic issues - district vision, standards, goals and policies - and allows the superintendent to be the CEO, setting objectives and plans, managing staff and operations, making recommendations to the board and providing data for decision-making. The right mix will facilitate a culture of continuous improvement, student success and respectful, open, honest communication; the wrong mix, or too many egos in the mix, can tip the balance and thwart district progress. When you go to the polls, remember that every vote matters, particularly in local elections!

Back by Popular Demand: Free Food Scrap Compost and Rain Barrels

Free CompostThanks to everyone that participated in our Earth Day giveaway of free compost and rain barrels! Because the event was such a huge success, it will be back for an encore performance on May 06, 2017.

The Village of Scarsdale is once again making high quality food scrap compost and rain barrels available to all residents for FREE on a first come, first served basis! Simply bring a pail, bucket, or other receptacle to the Scarsdale Recycling Center, 110 Secor Road, from 8:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 06 and take some compost home.

High quality food scrap compost material is being provided pursuant to the successful Village of Scarsdale residential Food Scrap Recycling program, which now has over 550 pioneering participants that have recycled over 26,000 pounds, or roughly 13 tons, of food waste since the beginning of the program in January 2017.

They would like to reach 1,000 participating households during the program's first year, so don't just simply spread your compost, help spread the word! Bring a friend to the event and s/he will not only learn about the program, but can also get a food scrap recycling kit on-the-spot. Additional program information can be accessed here:

The food scrap compost can be used in one's vegetable garden, flower beds, or to enrich turf in place of chemical fertilizers. As noted above, FREE rain barrels will also be available.

The Village of Scarsdale Food Scrap Recycling program was formed through community collaboration, with program implementation guided by the Committee on Food Scrap Recycling, comprised of the following members: Benedict Salanitro, Public Works Superintendent; Ron Schulhof, resident volunteer; Tyler Seifert, Assistant to the Public Works Superintendent; and Michelle Sterling, resident volunteer.

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