Thursday, Mar 23rd

Last updateWed, 22 Mar 2017 12pm

You are here: Home Letters to the Editor

Two New Retailers in Scarsdale Village

Wyatt1Scardsale10583 received word of the following retail developments this week:

Wyatt Lily, the new children's fashion store in Scarsdale Village has opened in the space formerly occupied by Gingerbread Kidz. The store outfits girls and boys ages newborn to 14, and is run by Samantha Benson, the owner and designer of the acclaimed Sammy and Nat baby clothing line, and fellow New Yorker Rachel Uchitel. The store has a large collection of baby and child-cozy clothes, carries lots of well-known brands, and is located at One Chase Road.

Stop by the store for their Sip and See and Shop event on Thursday, March 10, from 5-7 pm and enjoy wine and snacks. Regular store hours are 10am - 6 pm Monday through Saturday, and 10 am - 5 pm on Sundays.

We also noticed that PURE raw juice will open on pureHarwood Court. This is their second location in Westchester, with another on Fisher Avenue in Tuckahoe. The site will offer juice blends with vegetables, raw nut mils, coffees and natural foods and snacks such as burritos and chia pudding.

Protestors Outside Nieman Marcus
The warm weather brought out a large rat and protesting workers in front of Nieman Marcus on Wednesday March 9. We learned that the store is undergoing a major ratrenovation and local unions are angry that the store has brought in lower cost labor from New Jersey to do the job. Local workman were staging a protest outside the Westchester to promote their cause.

Police Searching for Man Who Exposed Himself at Maria Regina High School

suspectGreenburgh Police are searching for a man who entered Maria Regina High School and exposed himself on Thursday February 25. According to police at about 5:00 PM on Thursday, this white, or possibly Hispanic man entered the school at 500 West Hartsdale Avenue in Hartsdale.

He went into the men's bathroom next to the main lobby and got undressed. He then held the bathroom door open and intentionally allowed himself to be observed standing naked just inside the doorway. Then he put his clothes back on and left the school, fleeing the lot in a bright sky blue, late model, subcompact vehicle, possibly a Chevrolet.

The man was described as approximately 5'5" tall wearing a hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans. Anyone with information that might assist with this investigation is asked to contact the Greenburgh Police Department Special Victims unit at 914-989-1735.

Library Debate Continued

LibraryEntrancePlans to renovate and expand the Scarsdale Library are still in discussion and Mayor Jon Mark announced that the Village will hold an additional meeting to review the project on March 7 at 6:00 pm in Village Hall. Residents continued to debate the proposal for a new library at the February 23 meeting of the Scarsdale Board of Trustees with advocates stressing the need for a state of the art library and community space and critics bemoaning the financial implications.

Currently, the project is estimated to cost $19.5 million of which $12 million is to be financed by a bond offering and the remaining $7.5 million from private donations. The campaign committee who is raising the money report that they have $1 million in hand and another $1.5 million committed if the Village agrees to move forward with the financing.

At the February 23 meeting many offered public comments. Max Gruden, the immediate past president of the Overhill Neighborhood Association acknowledged the effort that went into the proposal but said that he asked the 72 homeowners in his association what they thought and only one was for the plan and 32 were against. He said they objected because "the cost was excessive and it's an extravagant use of their pocketbooks." He urged to board to hold a public referendum.

Harvey Barton, a resident of Overhill Road said that he has never "seen the library's resources strained or overcrowded." He said people were using their kindles and Google instead of the library. About the plans he said, "We ought to be given a choice of options rather than be presented with one very costly option." He asked if the financing would be "detrimental to other capital projects," and said, "what will happen if there are cost overruns?"

Speaking in favor of the library, Jeremy Gans said, "I support the library renovation. I like the sense of community. We have many assets but they don't appeal to the community as a whole. Everyone uses the library and it is in need of renovation. It will continue to be a place where people go to learn, study and communicate."

Pam Rubin said, "We need to bring our facilities into the 21st century. We can't just fix it, we need to make 21st century facilities." Speaking of the funds already raised, she said, "$2.5 million is a lot of money and demonstrates a commitment."

Elyse Klayman made the following statement: "In my opinion, an affluent privileged community that values education and civic engagement should have an up-to-date library that serves as an intellectual hub where authors speak, meetings are held, and discussions of the day's issues can take place. By up-to-date, I mean at a minimum, a library that has a sound system that works, reliable wi-fi, accessible bathrooms, places to plug in a laptop, and a roof that doesn't leak.

A quick word here about the price tag for this renovation. It's unfortunate that the $12 million number got traction early on, when estimates were preliminary and many construction details had not yet been worked out. The current $19.5 million number is very much in line with projects of this sort undertaken by other towns in our region. Careful attention has been paid to allow for worst-case scenarios and overruns so that this number is real, and even includes soft costs like new furniture and window shades. Just making necessary repairs on the building, many of which have been postponed because this project was in the offing, will cost some $4 million, give or take. So that means the rest of the renovation comes in at about $15.5 million, $7.5 million of which will be raised privately. The additional work (which, all told, will cost an average Scarsdale household about $167 a year during the ten-year duration of the bond) will allow for opening up the library to bring in the special park-like setting, a revenue-producing coffee bar, flexible program space with state-of-the art technology, a whimsical, fluid children's section with its own program space, and areas designed for collaborative study or for quiet, solitary learning. There are competing budgetary interests, and I realize that others may have different, also valid, plans for spending Village funds. But it seems to me that a vital library goes hand in hand with our excellent school system, which is, after all, Scarsdale's calling card. Bottom line for me: A well-equipped public library is an amenity, yes, but one that represents the embodiment of essential democratic values in a vibrant sophisticated town.

For those who say libraries are dead, that they are outmoded, check out the stats and you'll quickly learn that's simply not true. I recently heard a comedian riffing on the radio: He said, if someone offered to print out the Internet and bring it to you as a book every morning, would you want to read it? No. You wouldn't. We are a town full of thinking people of all ages: Folks who care about knowledge, about public engagement, and about connecting with the world at large. The library embodies and projects our collective respect for human endeavor. It's an acknowledgment of the impulse we all have to tell our stories, relate to one another, and try to make sense of things. It's time we polish this neglected gem in our midst; in fact, many might even say that the attention is...long overdue."

And Felicia Block said, "I've lived on Carman Road for almost 8 years now. In fact, I live in this particular house for several reasons. The first, like many that come to Scarsdale, is because of our wonderful school district. But the next reason is because my house is across the street from Davis Park. I chose my house because of the park. Coming from the city, I was terrified of being alone in a house and isolated. With a park across the street, I knew I would be part of the community. This park was the first community asset that became a part of our family life. And when it came time for the Village to invest in an upgrade to the park equipment, I was honored to be on the Arthur Manor committee that helped with the design. When I presented to the town committee, I explained that this park – one of the only shaded ones in the Village – was more than just a park to the neighbors around it. It is a meeting place for families throughout our Village.

So why do I bring this up now? Because another community asset, so near and dear to the heart of my family is being discussed and is ready for an upgrade and I want to be clear, once again, that this asset, our Library, is more than just a place to take out books, or videos, or DVDs, or touch some trucks, or read to dogs, or listen to guest speakers, or build legos. It is a meeting place for families and people throughout our Village.

For my family, walking into the Children's Room of the Library is like walking into the bar on the set of the TV show Cheers. The Librarians welcome my children by name! Maxwell! Sydney! And in turn, my children HUG them! My children request items for projects, look for suggestions of what to read based on a book they like, or they just talk – making eye contact – about how school is going. In other words, my children have real conversations, with real people, in the real world...and they feel safe.

And now, that my little people – who were 1 ½ and 4 when we moved here – are now in upper elementary school and middle school, the Library needs an upgrade to include more spaces to feel welcomed and for meeting up with friends to work on projects. Two bean bags to the side of the adult room is not a Young Adult area, and I want my children to feel the same affection and comfort in the Library during their tween and teen years as they have as little people.

I speak today in support of the Library plan – but I also speak on behalf of the families throughout the Village that want to make sure there are safe spaces – community spaces – for our families and for our teens and tweens beyond the after school hours in our amazing schools. And for all of our family, I want to make sure we update this special meeting place, especially for those teens and tweens who may be a little too old for a hug from their librarians...but still yearn for it none the less.

Letters: Commuter Parking Suspended on Brook Lane and More

brooklaneHere are some notes we received this week at Scarsdale 10583 involving commuter parking on Brook Lane in Greenacres and the need for a new president for Edgemont's Longview Civic Association:

Attention Metro North Commuters – No All-Day Parking on Brook Lane

Letter from Scarsdale Village Re: Parking on Brook Lane
The Village Traffic Safety Committee (TSC), which includes representatives of the Village Manager's Office, Police Department, and Public Works Department, received complaints from Brook Lane homeowners that weekday parking on the west side of Brook Lane created difficulty traversing the street to get to and from their homes.

The TSC reviewed this situation in coordination with the Greenacres Neighborhood Association and determined that restricting parking along the west side of Brook Lane from 2 Brook Lane to the corner of Brook Lane and Walworth Ave was justified. As such, signs restricting parking to three hours, Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 6 PM, will soon be installed.

This regulation offers relief to Brook Lane homeowners adversely affected by Hartsdale Train Station commuters or other long-term parkers on Brook Lane, while still preserving parking availability for their use.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me by telephone at 722-1109 or via email at

New President Needed for Civic Association

Edgemont's Longview Civic Association is seeking a new president. Any adult resident living (roughly) north of Ardsley Road, west of Fort Hill Road and south of halfway between Sheridan and Moorland Roads, is eligible.

The time commitment is extremely minimal. The LCA is charged with addressing local concerns and informing residents, naming representatives to Edgemont's School Board Nominating Committee, and organizing the annual Wheels Day. Presidents are encouraged but not required to attend monthly ECC meetings and report back to the LCA community.

Anyone interested please contact Tom Blank (by or before May 22) at

Two Historians to Speak at Scarsdale Library

mourninglincolnMartha Hodes, author of Mourning Lincoln will appear at Scarsdale Public Library on Monday March 7 at 7 pm. Hodes is a Professor of History at New York University, and has taught as a Fulbright scholar in Germany and as a Visiting Professor at Princeton University. Her book is a National Book Award Longlist Finalist and Hodes won the Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize, which is awarded annually by Gettysburg College and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. The prize, for "the finest scholarly work in English on Abraham Lincoln, carries a $50,000 cash award.

In her book, published by Yale University Press, Hodes uses the letters, diaries and writings of ordinary citizens from 1865 to chronicle the rage incited by Lincoln's assassination. The news of Abraham Lincoln's death on April 15, 1865, just days after Confederate surrender, astounded the war-weary nation. Massive crowds turned out for services and ceremonies. Countless expressions of grief and dismay were printed in newspapers and preached in sermons. Public responses to the assassination have been documented, but this book is the first to delve into the personal and intimate responses of everyday people.

Jill Lepore called it a "lyrical and important new study . . . deeply disturbing . . ." and Michael Burlingame in the Wall Street Journal said the book is "a stunning piece of research, based on an extraordinary range of materials often overlooked by traditional historians"

In addition to Mourning Lincoln, Hodes is the author of The Sea Captain's Wife: A True Story of Love, Race, and War in the Nineteenth Century, which was a finalist for the Lincoln Book Prize, and White Women, Black Men: Illicit Sex in the Nineteenth- Century South, winner of the Allan Nevins Prize for Literary Distinction in the Writing of History. She is a winner of NYU's Golden Dozen Teaching Award.

Light refreshments will be served. Books will be available for purchase and the author will sign copies.

George Washington's Westchester Gamblewestchestergamble

Westchester's role at a critical moment in the American Revolution will be explored by Dr. Richard Borkow, author of "George Washington's Westchester Gamble: the Encampment on the Hudson and the Trapping of Cornwallis," at the Scarsdale Public Library on Sunday, March 6, at 2 p.m.

Borkow focuses on the summer of 1781 with Washington's army encamped at Dobbs Ferry, Ardsley, Hartsdale, Edgemont and White Plains. The war seemed deadlocked with grim prospects facing the allied American and French troops. Washington recognized that a decisive victory was needed and in August he led the army to Virginia to face the British under General Cornwallis. This risky maneuver required secrecy and deception to convince the British that Manhattan, not Virginia, was the target of the allied armies.

Dr. Borkow is a physician at Blythedale Children's Hospital and the village historian of Dobbs Ferry. Light refreshments will be served.