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Last updateThu, 19 Oct 2017 3pm

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SVAC Performs Emergency Drill

tecc2Tragedy from gun violence is making headlines daily. Members of the Scarsdale Volunteer Ambulance Corps (SVAC) sought to make sure that should Scarsdale ever be in danger, they were best equipped to handle it. From Friday, June 2nd to Sunday, June 4th, SVAC ran a Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TACC) exercise using a training program from the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT). The program was designed to teach volunteers how to minimize casualties and protect others in an "Active Shooter" situation. Participants in the drill included SVAC volunteers,  volunteer "victims" who had been made-up with moulage to simulate injury, a military policeman, and Sergeant Tim Behrmann. David Raizen, an expert on emergency response said that the event gave him a greater knowledge on how to protect himself in these situations, as well as a different respect for police going into these difficult situations. Below are photographs of the simulation taken by Jon Thaler. You can see more photos here. 
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Recycle Your Obsolete Electronics

robotHere's your chance to recycle your obsolete electronics, phones, ipads, ink cartridges, chargers and more. The Robotic Raiders, a club at Scarsdale Middle School dedicated to constucting robots, have started an e-recycling fundraiser. Please consider donating old and/or broken electronics to the SMS robotics team. Donators can drop items off in the clear bin outside the main office of Scarsdale Middle School.

The team is collecting empty ink cartridges and old/broken cell phones, tablets, ebooks, GPS, cameras and video cameras, calculators, video game consoles, games and accessories.

For more info on what is accepted please check out this website. You can also purchase discounted eco-friendly ink cartridges through the site. The club recieves a portion of the proceeds from purchased ink cartridges bought. A portion of all recycled materials and eco-friendly ink cartridges goes to the team to purchase new robot supplies and helps them fund trips to competitions.

Email roboticraiders@scarsdaleschools.org with any questions.

The Robotic Raiders thank you in advance!

PTA Honors Retirees

retireescakeOn Wednesday May 10th, the Scarsdale PTA hosted their annual luncheon to honor the 13 retiring teachers at Scarsdale High School. The lunch began with some PTA business. The PTA budget was approved and so was the executive committee slate for next year. PTA President Amy Song announced that the PTA had been given an award for most members in a Westchester PTA unit, and had gained an impressive 1,056 new members over just the last year. The PTA will be lead next year by President Beth Zadek; President-Elect Karen Ceske; Vice President of Membership Melissa Berridge; Vice President of Volunteers and Programming, Eileen Donovan; Treasurer Nancy Brady; Corresponding Secretary Aileen Burke; and Recording Secretary Kathleen Campbell.

olivier presentsDean Oren Iosepovici and teacher George Olivier presented their findings from a recent study about homework and stress and detailed the steps the school is taking to improve wellness. The high school has implemented some changes over the past year with a focus on decreasing homework load, namely by not allowing homework to be given over breaks. They said that this particular initiative had been very successful and popular among students, some who said this was the first time in a long time they had experienced a "real" break. Statistics from the surveys showed that while homework time seems to have been reduced from last year and the school is making real progress, there is still quite a bit of change that needs to occur. In upcoming years the wellness committee is looking into differentiation of homework distribution based on class level and qualitative changes in the homework being assigned.

minglingA representative from STEP, or Student Transfer Education Plan, explained their program to the attendees. It is a two-year college preparatory initiative for promising students of color. STEP students attend SHS in their junior and senior years while staying with a Scarsdale host family, and the program gives them access to an incredible education and an incredible experience. A current STEP student then spoke about the positive influence STEP has been on her life. The initiative is currently looking for a host family for the upcoming years. You can learn more about them on their website. 

The grand finale was, of course, the farewell to the retirees. Principal Bonamo gave a heartfelt speech about the wisdom that each of the teachers had given to the school. Stories were then read about every one of the retirees, one by one. The stories were submitted to the PTA by a mixture of current and former students, as well as peers, parents, and administrators.

Each story spoke to the unique kindness displayed by their teachers and the guidance they provided to their students.Now doubt they will continue teaching in new ways, and we wish them all the best. Best wishes to the retirees:

Robert Arrigo
Hannah Beals
Steven Boyar
Louise Ciffone
Ernest Collabolletta
Ann-Marie Donohue
Michael Gibbs
Gwendolyn Johnson
Susan LaSalle
Elise Levine
Anita Occhiuto
Howard Rodstein
Rashid Silvera

League of Women Voters Examines Fake News at Annual Luncheon

grueskinOn Friday, May 19th, the Scarsdale League of Women Voters hosted their annual luncheon at Scarsdale Golf Club with guest speaker William Grueskin. Grueskin, a professor at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and a career journalist spoke on a topic that affected all voters in the recent Presidential election; fake news. He showed some alarming statistics about the rise of news and news sources that were not only biased but entirely fabricated. This news has become difficult to contain as it quickly goes viral on social media. The people who create these sites and these articles are paid advertising revenue based on the number of clicks they receive on their page. As a result, they have learned how to maximize the spread of their false messages and fake news is becoming a real problem.

Grueskin emphasized the importance of teaching people how to separate fake news from actual news. He believes that the obligation to stop the dispersion of false new lies with not only with the distributors of the false content, but with those who read it and inadvertently support it. He emphasized the importance of learning how to distinguish between real and fake news and encouraged educators to help students read critically and recognize the signs of fabricated news stories.

leaguelunchHe showed examples of fake news stories that claimed to be from news sources that don't exist such as the "Denver Guardian" or the "Weekly World News." He also showed how to spot fake URL's such as abcnews.com.co that at first glance look like verifiable news sources but are actually impostors.

The Scarsdale Teachers Institute is educating the school faculty about the issue by offering upcoming courses on this very topic; "Finding the Truth When All News is Fake: Developing Critical and Media Literacies through Digital Writing and Media Production."

The luncheon was the final meeting of the year for LWVS President Deb Morel. Janice Starr, who will serve as a Co-President next year with Linda Doucette Ashman, thanked Morel for a job well done. "Deb was the perfect person to embody the League's consensus driven decision-making as she listened to everyone's point of view, left no stone unturned, and was able to encourage the group to come to a consensus but never forced the issue" said Starr, "We need to continue in our mission and continue Deb's legacy to bring people together to make the best decision."

Gun Control: Paulin's Bill Passes in the Assembly and a Letter to the Editor

PaulinHeadshotAssemblywoman Amy Paulin (D-88) announced that legislation she authored regarding gun control, was passed by the New York State Assembly.

The bill requires individuals to surrender any firearms, rifles, shotguns, black powder rifles, black powder shotguns, muzzle-loading firearms and antique firearms he or she owns when he or she is convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence crime.

"The law right now has a big hole," Paulin said. "When a person is convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, he or she cannot buy or possess a firearm under federal law. But if he already owns a gun and he's convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, there's nothing in the law that says he has to give up his guns. That makes no sense at all."

Current law provides that when a person is convicted of a felony or serious offense or an order of protection is issued for victims of family offenses, the court must revoke that person's firearms license and all firearms possessed by the person must be immediately surrendered. Misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence are not included.

"We need to close this loophole so we can better protect those who are most in danger of being hurt, victims of domestic violence," Paulin said. "The risk of leaving a weapon in the hands of an abuser is simply too great."

Statewide polls indicate that 78 percent of New York voters and 67 percent of gun owners in New York support the surrender of guns by those convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. Intimate partner homicide is the most frequent type of domestic homicide. Nearly one-quarter of the victims in all homicides in the state had a domestic relationship with their offenders in 2013.

Letter to the Editor:

The letter below was sent to Scarsdale10583 by Jeff Roderstrong in response to "Village Trustees Consider Laws to Regulate Gun Dealerships and Gun Storage". 

To the Editor:

As parents, the most important thing to us is our children's safety. We applaud the Scarsdale Village Trustees for considering how to make sure our community is safe from the epidemic of gun violence that kills 93 Americans a day. We've seen what happens when guns aren't kept in the hands of responsible adults: the US has some of the least restrictive gun laws in the world—and Americans are 25 times more likely to be murdered by a gun than people in other developed nations.0SfLK4PQ

Unfortunately, the Scarsdale Trustees will be powerless to set their own community safeguards if the gun lobby succeeds in pushing Congress to enact a "Concealed Carry Reciprocity" bill, as they are currently trying to do. Such a bill would force New York, with our strong gun violence prevention laws, to accept concealed carry permits from other states that have lower standards. In fact, at least 12 states don’t require any permit or background check at all to carry a loaded hidden gun in public. People would be free to carry concealed firearms into our neighborhoods with zero credentials or oversight. In addition, this bill could eliminate "gun free zones" in schools, which President Trump has repeatedly promised to do.

Scarsdale residents should urge the Trustees to determine the best ways for the Village to ensure guns stay in the hands of safe responsible adults. We also encourage them to call their representatives in Congress and speak out against the dangerous Concealed Carry Reciprocity policy--because if that passes, it won't matter what the village does.

-Jeff Raderstrong, on behalf of Moms Demand Action Westchester volunteers.
 
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America was created to advocate for stronger laws and policies that will reduce gun violence and save lives. They are a non-partisan grassroots movement of American mothers demanding solutions to address our country's dangerous culture of gun violence, which jeopardizes the safety of our children and families.

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