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Letter From A Soccer Fan

shsectionalaIn Grand Central Station this morning, I was sharing, with a proud father of one of the Scarsdale High School Varsity Soccer team players, how fabulous it was for me to watch the team play at SUNY Purchase last Saturday night. That night was cold and raw and the conditions were only made worse by the consistent wind that seems to inhabit that particular field. While all of the spectators shivered, the kids on the field shined. It was my first time seeing this team play. I grew up playing soccer and my three children are all graduates of the Scarsdale Youth Soccer programs but what I saw on that field was not your “fathers” brand of soccer. Terrific ball skills, poise under physical and emotional pressure and a great sixth sense about their fellow players collectively blew me away.

After my conversation with the dad ended, I was struck by a thought that I was not too happy to be struck by. The thought goes like this…if Scarsdale had not developed the youth soccer program that it has today, it is likely that these high school kids would not have achieved the high level of play and accompanying competitive success that I had witnessed.

To this point, I have been mostly critical of youth soccer in Scarsdale. After all, what parent wants to see their young child told that he or she is “cut” from the first tryout of their young lives. Was it really necessary that youth soccer players play outdoors in fall and spring and indoors in the winter as well? I was and continue to be a believer that kids should be playing lots of different sports and that sports specialization at the youth level should be left for the truly gifted few. I witnessed a Scarsdale Youth Soccer League (“SYSL”) organization that proceeded with a Prussian sense of its own hegemony. It was my experience that coaches and parents who dissented were brushed aside or edged out. I coached teams and participated in many of these meetings while my kids wanted to play on those teams and was happy to wash my hands of it the moment their interest faded.

Despite my own take on the Scarsdale youth soccer experience, I cannot help but acknowledge that the players on the 2010 Varsity team are getting the experience of their lives because the “soccer generals” did what they did. To be clear, I am not suggesting that this particular “end justifies the means” and it is also not my judgment to make. I am not suggesting that the clearly terrific experience of the few overwhelms the more mixed experience of the many. But at the same time, Scarsdale Youth Soccer had a vision of what it wanted to accomplish when it was formed twenty-ish years ago and it is only fair to acknowledge that I saw some it “played out” at SUNY last Saturday.

Eric Karp
November 11, 2010

 

 

Important Letter from our Fire Chief

energizerbatteryAs the time change approaches on Sunday, November 7, the Scarsdale Fire Department wants to remind residents to make another change that could save their lives: changing the batteries in their smoke detectors.

Communities nationwide witness tragic home fire deaths each year. An average of three children per day die in home fires and 80 percent of those occur in homes without working smoke detectors. Non-working smoke detectors rob residents of the protective benefits home fire safety devices were designed to provide. The most commonly cited cause of non-working smoke detectors is worn or missing batteries.

Changing smoke detector batteries at least once a year is one of the simplest, most effective ways to reduce these tragic deaths and injuries. In fact, working smoke detectors nearly cut in half the risk of dying in a home fire. Additionally, the International Association of Fire Chiefs recommends replacing your smoke detectors every 10 years.

To save lives and prevent needless injuries in Scarsdale, the Scarsdale Fire Department has joined forces with Energizer and the International Association of Fire Chiefs for the 22nd year of the Change Your Clock Change Your Battery® campaign. The program urges all Americans to adopt a simple, lifesaving habit: changing smoke detector batteries when changing clocks back to standard time each fall, this year on November 7.

“The peak time for home fire fatalities is between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. when most families are sleeping,” says Fire Chief Thomas Cain. “Smoke detector maintenance is a simple, effective way to reduce home fire deaths. Children and senior citizens are most at risk, and a working smoke detector can give them the extra seconds they need to get out safely.”

In addition, Chief Cain recommends residents use the “extra” hour they save from the time change to test smoke detectors by pushing the test button, planning two ways out of their home, and practicing escape routes with the entire family. Families should also prepare a fire safety kit that includes working flashlights and fresh batteries.

Thomas M. Cain Chief of Department
50 Tompkins Road Scarsdale, NY 10583
Tel 914-722-1215 Fax 914-722-1214

 

 

Please Move the Truck

womensexchangeLetter To The Editor: Please note that the Scarsdale Woman's Exchange has been at the same location for the past 79 years. Our business is being hurt by the fact that UPS and FEDEX and all delivery trucks ALWAYS park in front of our shop. We really feel that these vehicles should park in front of other retail shops and not always in front of our shop! It just is not fair for our customers to have our store blocked by these trucks and we really feel our parking spot should be available for our customers. Our business is really being hurt by this unfair practice.

Renee Hock
Scarsdale Women’s Exchange
Harwood Court
Scarsdale

 

 

Letters in Support of Amy Paulin

paulinredTo the Editor: We are members of the Democratic and Republican parties. We each work to do what we think is best for Scarsdale. We don't always agree on how to get the job done, but we do agree that mere partisanship will not get the job done. That is why we are both supporting Amy Paulin’s reelection to the Assembly. When Amy sees a problem that needs to be fixed, she does not stop to consider the party membership of those who can help her accomplish her goal – be it on matters of reform, education or protection of our communities. Nor is she afraid to take a position that does not sit well with the party leadership. Just this term Amy voted against a leadership proposal to borrow billions of dollars to close the budget shortfall. She also refused to take member items during this economic crisis. Although Amy has used member items in the past to help to fund the restoration of Wayside Cottage, the new SVAC headquarters, and the renovation of the train station among other things, she is one of the few legislators who recognize that we are living in different times and that the system is sorely in need of reform to make it fair, transparent and free from conflicts of interest.

We understand that people are fed up with government in general. But we hope that Scarsdale residents can distinguish between the politicians who are in it for themselves and Amy who is in it for us. Do not assume that your neighbor will take care of sending Amy back to Albany. Please make sure you get out and vote on November 2nd.

Alan Goldston, Democrat, 164 White Road, Scarsdale 914-472-5193
Mark Hershey, Republican, 11 Brayton Road, Scarsdale 914-725-1725

Dear Scarsdale10583: Having held elected positions in Scarsdale's non-partisan system, and as a former President of the League of Women Voters, I came to know and respect Assemblywoman Amy Paulin. She is the quintessential grass-roots politician, and she is our neighbor. Thus, she has first hand knowledge of the needs of our pristine hamlet, and represents our interests with vigorous advocacy . She and I both performed community service in the League of Women Voters and, therefore, were schooled in the art of achieving consensus. She is an effective legislator, and is in the top 3% for passing bills and sponsoring legislation. During her tenure in public office, Paulin increased State aid for education in the District to $30 million. I endorse Assemblywoman Paulin's support of much needed reform measures, such as the creation of an independent ethics oversight agency, for both the legislative and executive branches of government. Paulin protects every woman's right to choose. I can not think of anyone else who could better represent Scarsdale, than Assemblywoman Paulin, and I urge all of you to support her and get out the vote this Election Day.

Marcia Kusnetz

 

 

In Support of Rene Atayan

lwvatayanIt is time to get rid of Amy Paulin and to replace her in the State Assembly with Rene Atayan. Paulin is a five-term incumbent who has voted 99.1% of the time with Speaker Sheldon Silver on decisions that have thrown our state into virtual insolvency. A vote for Paulin, an entrenched incumbent, will only ensure that the problem will get worse; a vote on November 2 for Atayan, a true reformer, will allow the State of New York to begin to restore fiscal solvency.

Paulin's fiscal incompetency should come as no surprise. Her previous work for a non-profit organization may qualify her to take warm and fuzzy social legislation to the floor. However, the (admittedly moving) anecdotal stories about her obscure the critical issue: Paulin is doing a horrible job representing most of her constituency. And let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that her record on social causes is unblemished. Paulin voted for budget item A00156B, which allows criminals to have their records sealed, creating a serious potential threat to children, the elderly, and the institutions that care for them.

Paulin has no experience working in private industry, which her work in the legislature has made painfully evident. For example, she has turned a blind eye to the New York State pension crisis, as the vote for article 19 swelled from a liability of $245 million to $1.7 billion. The populations of New York State and of Westchester Country have shrunk while Paulin has been in office, yet spending has increased 70%. Thanks to measures taken by Paulin, Westchester County is overburdened with state mandates for pension plans, Medicaid, and other entitlement programs. We are now the highest-taxed county in the country, with rates 80% above the norm. Not only is Paulin totally unqualified to help solve our fiscal crisis, she is a clear and present danger to our future!

Rene Atayan is a far better choice for State Assembly. Atayan has spent 30 years in the private sector. Her experience includes work as an engineer in Detroit, in sales and marketing development with prominent media firms, and as an independent business owner. Rene has served the people of New York as an auxiliary police officer and a board member of the volunteer ambulance corps. She has fought, as a citizen and a volunteer, to cut wasteful spending, reduce taxes, and improve our schools, gladly taking on such issues as housing, zoning, and traffic. Her husband sits on the Bronxville Board of Education, and was influential last year in helping the Board to lower taxes without adversely affecting academics. Boy, do we need that kind of action at the state level!

Rene Atayan has the experience and values that will enable her to be the reformer that New York State needs.

Andrea O'Halloran
Bronxville, NY

 

 

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