Monday, Jan 22nd

Last updateThu, 18 Jan 2018 2pm

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Letter on Proposed Changes to Recycling Program

letter-to-the-editorThis is a Letter to the Editor from Mark Lewis.

My wife and I are senior citizens. I place my recyclables in a garbage can that I keep in my garage. On recycling day I put out my newspapers at the curb but put my garbage can of recyclables just outside of my garage where the garbage men drive to and pick it up. I am currently having problems walking and my wife is unable to take the recyclables can out to the curb. She also cannot take the newspapers out to the curb and would have to leave them in front of the garage to be picked up when I undergo an operation at the end of March and go into rehab in April. This new regulation discriminates against the handicapped and elderly of this community and is a further indication that you want to push elderly residents out of their homes in Scarsdale.

We pay a good bit in taxes and expect commensurate services. Additionally, it is unclear how much the village would save by requiring recyclables to be taken all the way to the curb. If you push this through I would have to go to the the County Office of People With Disabilities, Office of Advocacy and Community Services, and/or the Human Rights Commission and file a complaint against Scarsdale for discrimination against the elderly.

Mark Lewis

98 Brewster Road

Scarsdale, N.Y. 


Bowling for Bears to Benefit White Plains Hospital on January 28

bowlingforbearsOn Sunday night January 28, White Plains Hospital will sponsor their 3rd annual Bowling for Bears charity event at the Bowlmor Lanes in White Plains. Proceeds from this event will go towards providing teddy bears and comfort kits for the Emergency and Pediatric Departments at Whitebowlingteddys Plains Hospital. Charlotte Meyers, junior board executive says, "It's a really fun night where families and kids can come together and bowl for a great cause." The teddy bears are given to the patients who are 4 years old or younger and the comfort kits which contain wiki sticks, a coloring book, crayons, a magnetic bear, and a deck of cards are given to patients between the ages of 5 and 12. The Bowling for Bears event is bound to be a lot of fun and White Plains Hospital is hoping for an even better turn out than in passed years.

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Good Tidings at Village Hall

santa1The good cheer of the holiday season was reflected at this week's BOT meeting, as the trustees discussed a number of positive developments and news in Scarsdale.

Mayor's Comments
Mayor Dan Hochvert began the session with a nod to Scarsdale High School's "City 2.0" students. Working in teams, students meet with community officials and residents to develop relationships, identify local problems, and design solutions. "They are interesting young people who want to find ways to improve our town. They're very admirable and hard-working and I'm delighted to just listen to them."

The mayor also congratulated the volunteers who coordinated last week's "Light the 'Date" event, which was attended by over 500 people, as well as those who worked on a smaller, similar event in Davis Park that was equally successful.

Hochvert went on to discuss topics covered at the recent Scarsdale Neighborhood Associations meeting, including ongoing interest in a Scarsdale dog park and proposed tree code changes. All but one village neighborhood association is in full operation currently, which represents the most activity in a long time. The mayor encouraged residents to become involved in their local association, noting that they, along with other Scarsdale organizations such as the Scarsdale Support Council, help people practically, socially and emotionally. "If you engage socially in your neighborhood, you will help alleviate each other's angst. There's a social aspect to neighborhood associates that is very helpful."

He concluded his remarks by reporting that the village had great progress in keeping leaves out of the street throughout the fall season, and that there were no citations issued to residents for noncompliance with village code.

Manager's Comments
Free Parking: Village Manager Steve Pappalardo announced that the village will provide shoppers with two hours of free holiday parking in Scarsdale Village Center at specific, clearly-marked meter locations from December 18 through December 25. The public is asked to adhere to the two-hour limit so that others may enjoy this benefit.

Prepayment of Taxes: Pappalardo also addressed recent resident inquiries with regard to proposed federal changes to the tax code that will affect homeowners' ability to deduct real property taxes. Scarsdale Village staff are trying to find ways to assist residents in prepaying 2018 taxes in 2017 to offset possible negative affects of this change. However, because of New York State restrictions regarding prepayment of taxes, the only tax that may be paid early is Westchester County tax. Since the county budget has not yet been adopted, the village has not received the 2018 county tax levy/warrant. Should the village receive the warrant in time, staff will prepare and distribute tax bills to residents to allow for prepayment. For more information, read the recent Village of Scarsdale statement on the subject.

Appointments to the Committee for Historic Preservation
Trustee Ross introduced resolutions regarding appointments to the Scarsdale Committee for Historic Preservation.  The entire committee resigned in November. New members will fulfill the unexpired terms of those members who recently resigned and/or relocated from Scarsdale. They include Lucas Meyer (Autenreith Road), who will serve as committee chair, Bana Choura (Church Lane), Adam Lindenbaum (Post Road), David Paul (Fountain Terrace), Robert Scheibe (Walworth Avenue), Bruce Wells (Chase Road), and Barry Meiselman (Post Road), who will serve as alternate member. The board approved all appointments.

Trustee Reports
Trustee Seth Ross reported on recent efforts of the Scarsdale Cable Commission to obtain the best possible terms in upcoming contract negotiations with Verizon and Altice (formerly Cablevision). Resident focus groups were held and yielded a number of interesting ideas to be considered, and the commission now is asking all residents to participate in the online "Cable TV Needs Survey" to gain feedback on current and future cable TV service. The survey may be accessed here.

Ross also noted that the Drake-Edgewood Neighborhood Association has once again become active and that residents in those areas are invited to join the group via email at He concluded his comments by mentioning that, after a request by the Friends of Scarsdale Parks, a "Heritage Tree" application was granted for the American beech tree located in Chase Park.

Deb Pekarek noted that the Scarsdale Police Department will be designated as a "Gold Standard Agency" by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. She thanked and congratulated the village's "highly professional chief, command staff and all officers on the force" and took the opportunity to mention the department's recent Holiday Crime Prevention Press Release that provides useful tips for residents.

Jane Veron reported on Friday's successful public library fundraiser, "Black, White and Read All Over." "It was an extraordinary community building experience; 400 residents came together to support something that will benefit the entire community. " With regard to the library renovation, Veron said that work continues on cost estimates, site engineers are coordinating with the village planning committee and the library loft transition is on schedule.

In addition, Veron discussed recent activity in the village center, including the well-attended "Light The 'Dale" event, stating that "December has been a real show of community spirit." She mentioned that the farmer's market has moved indoors and will continue in the winter months, and urged residents to visit and provide feedback on services.

The board authorized acceptance of a number of financial gifts, including a $729,599 gift for the library renovation project, $5,000 for the fire department and $10,000 for the police department.

Putting "We" Before "Me"

45CushmanRoad(This is the opinion of site founder Joanne Wallenstein) When I think about what brought us all to Scarsdale, it was the chance to join a successful community... a place where things worked and people cared. It was evident in an outstanding school system that was the result of collaboration between educators, administrators and parents ... in our lovely village-run recreational facilities and quality programs enjoyed by residents young and old... at our first class library that not only offered the latest books and movies but innovative programming and educational opportunities for all.

That's why I moved to Scarsdale and why I am proud to live here today. To me, it's a place that is bigger than any one of us. It makes me feel good to know that most of my friends recognize that it's sometimes necessary to make individual sacrifices for the greater good of the village.

But these values have been severely tested this year. We began 2017 with a highly contentious election that threatened Scarsdale's system of governance and the non-partisan system which had previously shielded the community from bitter partisan politics. A fight about the first village-wide revaluation in 44 years dragged on for months, with accusations, FOIL requests and angry voices at Village Hall. Long after the aggrieved received tax adjustments, the dissent continued.

On the school front we had another divisive rift. Even before the school district could openly examine options for the future of Greenacres Elementary School another faction of indignant residents organized a powerful campaign to safeguard the views from their backyards. Though in a minority, they squashed an open discussion about the best course of action for the school, the children and the future, insisting that their own property interests trumped community values.

And sadly these same debates continue on issues such as safeguarding trees, preserving historic homes and recycling.

Community-minded residents are proposing changes to the village code to prevent the destruction of our tree canopy, with others claiming that any tree preservation is a "taking" of their property rights.

In November, the entire Committee for Historic Preservation stepped down, because the few times they ruled against the demolition of a historic home, their decisions were overturned by the Board of Trustees. Why? Because the Village Trustees feared lawsuits from residents and developers. So as it stands now, any home, no matter how lovely or vital to the fabric of the neighborhood, risks destruction by developers who reap handsome profits from tearing down the town.

Even something as positive as a proposal to start weekly curbside pickup of food scraps and recyclables has met opposition from a few residents who object to bringing their empty bottles and cans to the curb. They claim this is a cut in service, ignoring the societal benefit of increasing village-wide recycling and cutting down on waste.

What's the common theme here? It's a lack of compromise and consideration for the good of the community. It's putting "me" first and depriving your neighbors of the opportunity to live in a place that values the "we" before the "me."

Think about it – if we allow our tree canopy to be destroyed, if we permit Scarsdale's historic homes to be razed, if we put "tax neutrality" before educational excellence, what will be left for the Scarsdale of the future? If we build an elementary school with cramped classrooms, poor air quality, environmental hazards and limited access to playgrounds, who will choose to move here? If we allow our schools to deteriorate from first rate to adequate, if we permit the destruction of our trees and historic homes, who loses? You ... that's you and the value of your home too.

What's makes us great is our willingness to work together for the common good. Yes we are faced with a hostile environment in Washington, but let's use that negative example to fuel a resurgence of community in Scarsdale. We have a legacy to continue. It's our responsibility to leave this a better place than we found it -- or at least as good a place as we found it.

Holiday Crime Prevention Awareness

houselitatnightThe Scarsdale Police Department, in partnership with the community, want you to help make the Village a safe place to live, work and visit. The Scarsdale Police Department makes the following recommendations to residents to assist in preventing larcenies from automobiles and home burglaries during the upcoming holiday season:

  • Make your home appear occupied. Leave lights or televisions on timers when you are out.
  • Use motion sensing exterior lighting and keep the perimeter of your home well lighted.
  • Make your home more difficult to enter by increasing exterior security.
  • Don't allow daily deliveries of mail, newspapers or flyers to build up while you are away. Arrange with the Post Office to hold your mail, or arrange for a friend or neighbor to collect them regularly.
  • Always turn your alarm system on when you are away.
  • Keep all exterior doors locked, using deadbolt locks. Keep your garage door
  • closed and locked.
  • Always lock your vehicle whether it is parked on the street or your driveway.
  • Do not leave valuable possessions in view, especially electronic and GPS
  • devices.
  • Be an observant neighbor. Immediately notify the police of any suspicious activity in your neighborhood.