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State of Emergency Declared in Scarsdale

Sustained winds of up to 60 miles per hour hit Scarsdale hard last night and left 70% of residents without power, over 170 trees down, cars and homes with extensive damage and residents in peril. According to Con Edison saturated grounds exacerbated the problem as the wet grounds loosened the soil around tree root systems and caused many to topple over. In the Scarsdale P.O. 5,800 homes are without power. District schools may be closed tomorrow, Monday March 15.

Homes on River Road, Donellan Road, Drake Road and Johnson Road were all hit by trees and residents were forced out. The Village declared a State of Emergency on Saturday night and police have asked people to refrain from driving to keep roads clear for repairmen and prevent additional incidents. As of noon on Sunday Fenimore Roads, Kingston Roads, Huntington Roads were blocked as well as Sherbrooke, Morris Lane, Birchall Drive, Heathcote Road, Weaver Street and Mamaroneck Roads.

Around town, it appeared as if a tornado had blown through. Devastating damage was done in Edgewood on Johnson Road between Sprague and Boulevard where at least five trees feel in a row. A BMW with passengers inside was hit and the car was trapped by trees in front and behind it. Luckily the driver and passenger were able to escape the car uninjured. Another car parked in a driveway on Johnson Road was flattened and a home was smashed by another large tree. The scene is a tangled mass of trunks and branches. I saw some homeowners trying to forge a footpath back to their home amidst the trees, wires and Con Edison trucks.

This is the worst situation Con Edison has seen in decades. Power outages are widespread and hundreds of individual repairs will need to be done. Before Con Ed can restore power, they will need to make work areas safe so that trees can be cleared. Today, Sunday, they will be turning off the power to live wires so that tree crews can remove trees. Once this is done, they can work on restoring the power.

Mayor Carolyn Stevens reported that many Village employees came to work Saturday night to manage the emergency. There were two simultaneous house fires, one on Overhill Road and one on Brewster Road and it was fortunate that the Fire Chief was here to supervise.

Miraculously, there have been no serious injuries reported in Scarsdale. However in Hartsdale a man was killed by a tree that fell on his car. Mayor Stevens said that she saw residents removing police barricades and emergency tape in an effort to maneuver their way around town. This puts others at risk and she asks that you leave barricades and tape in place.

At my own home, a large tree hit our house, shearing off railings and gutters and landing on our car. The thud as the tree shook the frame of our house was terrifying.

Here is a statement from Mayor Carolyn Stevens written on Sunday morning 3/14:

In an attempt to keep folks in their homes we have declared a State of Emergency for the Village We have over 170 trees down that are blocking roads - many of those involve electrical wires. We have had crews out removing trees in the roadways where there are no wires involved - they have been working since yesterday afternoon and we have brought in one private tree removal company to assist with that effort.

Over 70 % of the Village is without power at this point. Con Ed advised that they would have a crew here @ 7:00 AM to begin shutting down power on live wires in the street so that our crews can remove the trees but they have not yet arrived. Last night we also had two active and simultaneous house fires; one due to unattended candles and another caused by an electrical issue. Benny has been working since yesterday afternoon with his crews. Al, of course, has been working as well. Both Chiefs Brogan and Cain came in last night along with Andy Matturo in efforts to help coordinate efforts. We had reports of 3 or 4 cars hit with people inside and one pedestrian.

Check out Scarsdale on the home page of the New York Times website. Please report damage in the comments section below and send photos and comments to

Cheesery Owner Passes Away

This just in from a reader:  Clifford Anthony Hall, of Hartsdale, New York, born May 10, 1956 in the Bronx, New York, died May 4, 2010 at Schnurmacher Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing in White Plains, New York after a long illness. Survived by his wife of 30 years, Patricia (Keary), and beloved father of Christopher Andrew and Michael Clifford. Survived by his parents, Stephen and Teresa (Kerrigan), Linda Carolan, Andrew, Stephen and nephew, Brian Carolan. Cliff is also survived by Kevin and Frances Keary, Susan Keary, Jeanne (Keary) and Patrick Kelly, Frances (Keary), and Timothy Hunt, Kevin and Nancy Keary, John and Nicole Keary and Andrew Keary. Also survived by nieces and nephews, Katie, Tim, Emily, Alex and Samantha, Kevin Michael III, Anne Frances and Caroline.

Cliff was the owner of the Hartsdale Cheesery for 24 years. Family will be receiving visitors at Ballard-Durand Funeral Home, 2 Maple Avenue at South Broadway, White Plains, New York on Thursday, May 6, from 2-4pm and 7-9pm. Mass of Christian Burial will be at Sacred Heart Church in Hartsdale, New York, on Friday, May 7 at 10am with cremation at Ferncliff Crematory, Hartsdale to follow.

(Closing of the Cheesery Early March 11, 2010)

The owners of the Hartsdale Cheesery were evicted for non-payment of rent early Thursday morning, March 11. According to the managing agent, Langsam Property Management Company in the Bronx, the management company went through lengthy court proceedings to evict the owners of the Cheesery and early today a Constable arrived to evict them. Papers were served and the store’s locks were changed.

Though the management company has gotten mixed signals from the Cheesery’s lawyers, a representative from Langsam said that the management company is hopeful that the Cheesery owners will work out a payment schedule for the past due rent and reopen their doors. If not, Langsam will be forced to turn off the power and clean out the store, which still has perishable food in the display cases.

For now the store is locked, windows are dark and food cases are half-filled. It appears that the management left suddenly, without saying goodbye to their neighbors or posting a sign to announce the closing. The possibly fled in anticipation of the eviction.

Employees at the pharmacy next door were shocked as one man had purchased a cup of coffee yesterday and the Cheesery employees did not breathe a word about their plans. Another Greenacres resident went to the store Wednesday morning. The door was locked and they claimed to be having “trouble in the kitchen.”

The Cheesery sold bagels, smoked fish, cheeses, coffee and gourmet foods. They had the corner on the coffee market in town for years but were challenged by the opening of the Starbucks in the Hartsdale Station and the very successful bagel store across the street. However they did have a loyal base of customers, especially at holiday time, when residents ordered large trays of smoked fish, flavored cream cheese, and bagels. With Passover and Easter only weeks away, the management company is hopeful that the owners of the Cheesery will return to provide many more great meals to local residents.

From Greenburgh An Arrest and a Fatality

Two Greenburgh school crossing guards were arrested for falsifying records when they submitted fraudulent receipts for reimbursement to the Town of Greenburgh. The defendants, John DeGrazio of White Plains, and Rahman Krasniqi of Yonkers each received approximately $750 to which they were not entitled. The expenses submitted were allegedly for uniforms. Both men were arraigned, released on $250 bail and suspended without pay from their positions.

The arrest was a result of a joint investigation by the Office of the Westchester County District Attorney’s Public Integrity Unit and the Greenburgh Police Department.

In other news, Greenburgh Police report that a fatal auto accident occurred at 10:15 on the night of March 3rd . Karl W. Wagner, 63, of Yonkers, was driving a Chevrolet pick-up truck on Jackson Avenue when he veered into a snow bank, crossed a double yellow line into the opposite lane, and ran into a tree in a wooded area. When police arrived, Mr. Wagner was unresponsive and he was pronounced dead by the Greeburgh Police Paramedics.

Greenacres Town Hall Meeting Tonight

The Greenacres Association will host their eighth annual Town Hall meeting tonight at the Greenacres School. Join them for refreshments at 7:15 and the Town Meeting at 7:45. All Scarsdale residents are invited to meet the people who run the town and discuss issues of relevance to Greenacres and Scarsdale. Come by to hear updates on the Village and School Budgets, development, traffic, the comprehensive plan, flooding and more. Babysitting will be provided so bring your kids.

Here is a list of the panelists:

  • Vice Mayor Sharon Lindsay
  • Police Chief John Brogan
  • Fire Chief Tom Cain,
  • Superintendent of Schools Michael McGill
  • Village Manager Alfred Gatta
  • Board of Education Vice President Jill Spieler
  • Greenacres Principal Gerry Young
  • Recreation Department Superintendent Suzanne Busby
  • Scarsdale Volunteer Ambulance Corp David Raizen
  • Volunteer Fire Company 2 Jim Buck.

Meet your neighbors, ask questions and learn more about our town.

For information, contact: Greenacres Neighborhood Association President Deb Pekarek at or 723-6171

Thursday March 11, 2010
Greenacres 8th Annual Town Meeting
Greenacres School 7:45 pm Meeting 7:15 pm Refreshments
Babysitting provided

Missing Scarsdale Doctor Found in the Bronx

The body of Dr. Mona Shimshi, a Carthage Road resident was found in the water near Rodmans Neck in the Bronx by a New York Police Department Scuba Team on Wednesday March 3rd. The cause of death has not yet been determined. She had been missing since Sunday February 28 at 6 pm. Her husband, Dr. Mark Greenberg reported that Shimshi, age 55, left the house in her 2008 Gray Honda CRV on Sunday afternoon around 1 pm to do some errands. When she failed to return by six o’clock, and he was unable to reach her, he summoned the police.

Lt. Bryant Clark of the Scarsdale Police, reports that detectives initiated an investigation and completed a missing person report. On Tuesday morning, 3/2, Dr. Shimshi’s car was found in the Bronx in the Pelham Bay section on an access road to the firing range at Rodman’s Neck. A witness told police that the car had been parked there since Monday and her body was found in the shallow bay in close proximity to her car. The car was locked and there were no signs of foul play.

An article in the Daily News reported that she was bipolar and was taking medication. Her Carthage Road home was surrounded by the media on Wednesday.