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The Servant of Two Masters: On Stage at SHS this Weekend

Jamie Robelen Matthew Kutzin Lily Foley Adam Regenstreif Sofus Rose Katie Nova Eliot HuhThe Servant of Two Masters is on stage at Scarsdale High School this Friday and Saturday nights, March 31 and April 1 at 7:30 pm. The play is a timeless 17th century Italian comic masterpiece by Carlo Goldoni about a servant so hungry he takes on two jobs to survive. In this updated and modernized text, the performance is different every night. The actors improvise along with the written text in the style of commedia dell'arte.

play2The show, under the direction of Drama Club advisor Barbara Malecki is a physical comedy that depicts a play within a play. With many twists and surprises, it portrays multiple romances, a woman masquerading as a man, and of course, a servant struggling to serve two masters at once

Playful costumes, dancing, audience participation, and improv create a bold, fun, and hilarious show that will be sure to leave you in stitches!

The performances will be in the Scarsdale High School auditorium on March 31st and April 1st at 7:30.

Tickets are available at or at the door.

Fun for all ages!

Photos by Hannah Glickenhaus, Text by Stephen Orlofsky

Eliot Huh Jonathan Silverman

"The Sleeping Beauty" Headlines Westchester Theatre of Dance Annual Concert

beauty1Enchanting ballet with lovely fairies, magic spells and fairy tale characters will perform in "The Sleeping Beauty" with music by Tchaikovsky, choreography/staging by Justin Sherwood (after Petipa), and New York City guest artist Joel Levy, at The Westchester Theatre of Dance annual concert on Saturday, March 25 at 8:15 pm, and on Sunday, March 26 at 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm at the JCC's Bendheim Performing Arts Center, 999 Wilmot Road, in Scarsdale. The Westchester Theatre of Dance is the resident dance company of the JCC of Mid-Westchester Dance School. The concert will feature additional dance selections in Hip Hop, tap, salsa and classical ballet to showcase JCC Dance School students and faculty.

Saturday tickets are $28, or $23 for students and seniors, which includes a dessert reception after the show. Sunday matinee tickets are $23, or $18 for students and seniors.

Buy tickets online here or in person at the JCC Front Desk, 999 Wilmot Road, Scarsdale. For more information, contact: Jayne Santoro, Director, JCC Dance School (914) 472-3300, x320.

Photos by Jon Thaler – see more here:

Letters from Readers

letter-to-the-editorHere are letters from Michael Rubin, Madelaine Eppenstein and Sunil and Geetha Subbakirshan
(From Michael Rubin)

Neither Scarsdale nor our Country is a Disaster

This resident read with disbelief the statement of Mr. Robert Berg, Mayoral candidate in next week's village election and leader of the Voters Choice Party, that "the system is not working...It's a disaster here (Scarsdale)."
The last I looked Scarsdale is still an exceptional community, with likely a thousand families having moved here to raise their families and live their lives as I did 28 years ago. Are mistakes made? Of course. Are things perfect...never have and never will. That's why there are erasers on pencils.

On the revaluation issue, Mr. Berg was quoted in the NY Times as saying "They deserve to be hammered - the lesser valued property owners were subsidizing the rich ones." Hammered? Really? Any resident that disagreed with their revaluation results...and there surely were many...had and did use the grievance system in place to obtain fair adjustments and correction of errors.

Mr. Berg's stated desire to "hammer" any resident for any reason whatsoever is not consistent with the attitude I would expect or want of an elected official in the Village of Scarsdale, or in any government in this country. This is his group's dog whistle issue, tax revaluation. The issue is a red herring.

The basis of our current method of electing officials is best stated by The Scarsdale Citizens' Non-Partisan Party: "to promote the election of non-partisan candidates for village mayor, village trustees and village justice. Our local non-partisan system encourages cooperative, deliberative and open civic government to attract highly qualified individuals to public service."

It is this resident's opinion the primary reason for Scarsdale's incredible success as a community, year in and year out, consistently for over a century, is this very method we use to pick our elected officials. These dedicated men and women, in turn, spend their time and use their honest efforts to make the right decisions for the residents of this village without any political agenda, except to preserve and protect the village. They hire the most competent professionals to manage the village on a day-to-day basis.

The sky is not falling and this village and our country are not disasters. But to be sure, I urge every resident reading this letter to vote next Tuesday, and bring your friends and neighbors, and vote for the CNC candidates, Dan Hochvert for Mayor and Matt Callaghan, Carl Finger and Seth Ross for Village Trustees.

Michael Rubin

(From Madelaine Eppenstein)

Vote for Dan Hochvert as Scardale's next mayor and the Scarsdale Citizen's Non-Partisan Party (SCNP Slate for the candidates who have the experience, temperament and commitment to lead the Village.

You might be asking, who is this guy Dan Hochvert, and why should we vote for him for Mayor? Since Dan doesn't boast or engage in self-promotion, I'd like to share what I know about him from personal experience as a civic volunteer and friend. I've worked with Dan on many civic projects and committees to help maintain the quality of life in Scarsdale. Dan has worked on a study of the Scarsdale Library renovation, on improving traffic safety on Village streets, on fostering a more collaborative relationship between the community and the schools, on revising Village Code policies and procedures, and on the conservation work of Friends of the Scarsdale Parks. Dan has also worked on planning and policy meetings with Village department heads, the Village Manager and staff. These are just a few of the numerous community building civic activities in which Dan participates, often taking a leading role.

The Trustee nominees who share the SCNP slate with Dan, Matt Callaghan and Carl Finger have served with distinction on the Village Board and in other civic capacities, and with Seth Ross's solid business and civic experience they will all complement Dan's leadership and advocacy for good governance at Village Hall. More information about the slate is here:

Integrity and Qualifications Matter
Dan Hochvert is the quintessential Scarsdale civic volunteer who has been continuously active for decades working for local organizations and on Village boards and councils. He is smart, effective and has the respectful manner and strength of character to get things done as a team player. It would be hard to find someone more qualified than Dan to be our next Mayor, with his comprehensive knowledge of our government which he gained while he was a two-term Trustee during 2006-2010, and as chair of the Planning Board more recently. Dan has also been active in other civic activities too numerous to mention, including as a long-time board member of the Teen Center; as former president and now board member of the Scarsdale Forum; as co-chair of the Forum Education Committee, and active in numerous other committees such as Municipal Services, Sustainability and Neighborhood Character-Downtown Revitalization; as a member of the Adult School Advisory Committee; as a long-time member of the League of Women Voters; and as treasurer and lead parks conservation field worker for Friends of the Scarsdale Parks.

Dan isn't someone who just puts his name on lists of committees to impress people, or joins an organization that looks good on a resume. Dan works hard on the committees he joins, whether as a member or chairperson. He's the real deal – honest, resourceful, trustworthy, fiscally prudent on the boards he serves, thoughtful, compassionate to all including neighbors and friends in need – and full of good humor and camaraderie. Dan would rather find a practical solution to a problem than waste time and resources on a fight over issues that would be better served by collaborative problem solving. In that regard, Dan and his slate believe in a fair, predictable and sustainable property tax roll.

Experience, Temperament and Commitment
Dan is also a professional engineer with an impressive background in technology management, communications, national security and emergency preparedness, and has had active duty experience in the Air Force and National Guard. Dan has instructed engineers and officers in economics at Hotel Thayer at West Point. He has developed and delivered testimony before Congressional committees. Dan was also the lead technical negotiator in the sale of Bellcore (in a billion-dollar deal, Bell Communications Research, was formed when AT&T was broken up into regional telephone operating systems). At the request of the Department of Defense, Dan formed a corporation to deal with national security and emergency preparedness, recruited its CEO, and for a time chaired its board of directors. In the groups we serve on together I and others have often relied on Dan's good advice, technical skill and uncanny ability to address and solve problems while he maintains respect for the opinions of others.

These qualities are important because our new Mayor must be someone who has the "right stuff" in ideas, temperament and commitment, the person who will make a positive difference in the lives and security of Scarsdale residents. Dan Hochvert is that person. He is appreciated for all that he does in the Village on issues that affect Scarsdale families, without ever expecting any recognition. Dan is the person who, during his four years as a Village Trustee served as chair of the Board's Municipal Services, Technology, Personnel, and Sustainability committees, leading initiatives that improved services and oversight in the daily operations of Village management. Dan also served as Police and Fire Commissioner.

History of Achievement
While he was a Trustee, Dan served as Village Board liaison to the Advisory Council on Cable TV (during his tenure Dan was instrumental in new equipment procurement for the SPTV operation at Village Hall); the Advisory Council on Senior Citizens (during his tenure Dan took the lead for seniors to have regular bus service and a meeting room schedule); the Scarsdale-Edgemont Family Council, Inc.; and various Neighborhood Associations. As a Trustee and later as the Chair of the Planning Board, Dan made a difference in the way Village governance works to benefit Scarsdalians:

• Dan successfully persuaded the Village Manager at the time to revise the complicated Building Chapter of the Village Code and led the complete re-write of the Stormwater Chapter;

• As the liaison to the Cable Commission, Dan recommended changes to the Cable Chapter to account for the introduction of competition due to Verizon's franchise request approval;

• Dan recommended and saw the implementation of improved accessibility and responsiveness of the Building Department;

• Dan has continued work with the Village to revise the Tree Chapter to help maintain the Village tree canopy and reduce the practice of clearcutting by developers;

• As chair of the Board's Municipal Services committee and with support from the Mayor at the time, Dan requested the Village Manager to assemble all department heads who were affected by the update to the Stormwater Chapter, and worked on amendments that substantially reduced flooding in order to protect residents and their property;

• During the update of the Village Center Comprehensive Plan, when a Village consultant had recommended that the top of the Harwood building above sea level should be the guidance for future building height in the Village Center, Dan researched the height of the CVS building and confirmed that due to the lower ground level in that area, the consultant's recommendation would have permitted the CVS building to be about 15-20 feet higher than was eventually built. The consultant had also recommended three-story buildings along Scarsdale Avenue. By visiting the homes along Overhill, Dan determined the potential negative impact and helped the parties reach consensus that both proposals should be eliminated from the update;

• While on the Planning Board, minimizing the negative impact of development on neighbors was the goal of Dan and the Board.

Commitment to Collaboration
It is widely known that Dan is the person who is unfailingly on the phone or stopping by Village Hall to chat with department heads when something is amiss or broken in your neighborhood, and who pursues solutions to problems until they're resolved. He is the person who has comprehensive knowledge about how the Village operates under the Village Code, having worked on amending the stormwater, building, tree and other chapters. Dan is the mayoral candidate who has been attending and participating in the current budget meetings at Village Hall to ensure that the issues that need to be addressed in your neighborhood are explored and will be addressed in the new administration. He is the person who regularly attends meetings of the Board of Education and co-chairs the Scarsdale Forum Education Committee as an advocate for maintaining the excellence of our schools in a collaborative relationship with the Board of Education, even though his children graduated from Scarsdale High School more than 30 years ago. And Dan is the person who surveyed Village center streets and helped draft the detailed recommendations to the Village in the 24-page traffic safety report of the Forum Municipal Services Committee to ensure public safety on our roads.

Dan, Matt, Carl and Seth love this Village and our community. They have pledged to dedicate the next two years to listening to all of the diverse voices of our residents, to rolling up their sleeves, and to working with anyone willing to help them move our Village forward. They ask for the privilege and responsibility of serving you. This Scarsdale election matters. Please, FOR THE LOVE OF SCARSDALE, next week on March 21 at the Public Library VOTE ROW A for Mayor and Trustees: Dan Hochvert • Matt Callahan • Carl Finger • Seth Ross. They are your neighbors on the Citizens' Non-Partisan slate who are vetted, honest and ready to serve.

Madelaine Eppenstein
Fox Meadow

Submitted in my capacity as an individual, nearly 24-year resident of Scarsdale, and not on behalf of any organization. For full disclosure, I am a proud member of the Citizens Nominating Committee, the Campaign Committee of the Scarsdale Citizens' Non-Partisan Party, the Board of the Scarsdale Forum and Chair of its Municipal Services Committee, and the Board of the Friends of the Scarsdale Parks, Inc.

(From Geetha and Sunil Subbakrishna)

Informed choice is Good for Democracy

Kudos to the LWVS for hosting the Village Trustee debates. We were very encouraged by the turnout, the discussion, and the atmosphere of the event. It was useful to directly hear from the candidates. Hopefully such forums will encourage more voter participation.

While we know and respect both candidates, we support Bob Berg for Mayor. At the debate, Bob demonstrated his excellent grasp of the complexities of Village Government. He is willing to take a stand when needed, but only after thoroughly researching all aspects of an issue. This makes him capable of recognizing and tackling the ineffective parts of our government, while leaving the well-functioning parts alone.

The Village faces complex, contentious issues such as the overall level of taxation, the conduct of tax assessments, and the condition of our infrastructure. The community needs leadership at Village Hall that recognizes these challenges and is open to considering fresh, innovative ideas and solutions. We believe that Bob Berg is best suited to address these challenges as our next Mayor.

Geetha and Sunil Subbakrishna
Lockwood Road

What We Risk Losing

letter(Letter from Madelaine Eppenstein)
Here's something to think about before the Village election for Mayor and Trustees tomorrow, March 21: A free press is one of the foundational cornerstones of our, and indeed of any, democratic society, and it is considered a fundamental human right to be able to promote the dissemination of information and receive it. That freedom extends to the editorial pages of our local press outlets, both print and online, giving us as members of our community access to a variety of opinions, and the opportunity to form our own opinions. Anyone who disagrees might also take note of what the late Senator from New York, Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts."

While we still have a chance before the Village Board and Mayoral election this Tuesday, March 21, let's put aside the distortions of political rhetoric which have been imposed on the heretofore tranquil civil discourse we have enjoyed under the non-partisan democratic system in Scarsdale, and take a look at the relevant facts that may not be widely known but should be important to the electorate in our community. It's not too late for independent, objective fact checking!

Every year, not just some years, due to a system of staggered terms Village Board positions come up for a vote by the entire electorate of our community in Scarsdale's long tradition of non-partisan, democratically representative elections. This year the non-partisan candidates of the Scarsdale Citizens' Non-Partisan party (SCNP) who are seeking your vote on March 21 are Dan Hochvert for Mayor, and Matt Callaghan, Carl Finger and Seth Ross for Trustees. You'll find them at the top of the ballot on ROW A.

These are the candidates who were selected by you and your neighbors earlier this year, in a rigorous vetting procedure to determine the most qualified among them. Dan, Matt, Carl and Seth are the only candidates who have years of hands on, real time Village Board experience in Scarsdale governance, and the demonstrated competence to address the needs of the community through their work on the Board and Board-appointed councils.

Although there is a contested election this year, these long-time Scarsdale residents who seek your vote on the Row A-SCNP slate are the only candidates running who were nominated by your thirty elected representatives – six of them from each of the five school district neighborhoods – on the non-partisan Citizens Nominating Committee (CNC). The CNC consists of a large group of nominators who became members after being elected by neighborhood voters. This is Scarsdale's democratically run tradition of leadership, in which the most qualified Scarsdale residents are vetted, nominated, and ultimately voted by the electorate into Village office without partisan politicking.

There are compelling reasons why you should vote for the Row A-SCNP slate on March 21. This year an opposition group of four self-appointed candidates put themselves in the running for these Board positions, explicitly promising to disrupt Scarsdale's established non-partisan framework. They call themselves the "Voters' Choice Party." This slate's campaign has turned against the non-partisan ideal by targeting the integrity of duly elected Village Board members and the CNC itself as part of their opposition agenda. Although under New York State law they were permitted to run by petition (or could have appeared on the March 21 ballot by write-in), no matter how well-meaning they may be, not one member of this opposition slate has ever held elected office in Scarsdale, nor has any served on the CNC as a nominator.

In this context, it is important to consider the core values and qualities we expect from our community leaders in this election. If you attended the League of Women Voters candidate forum on March 7 at the Scarsdale Library, or have viewed it online here. , you can see for yourself that there is a distinct, objective difference in experience and approach between the Row A-SCNP candidates and the newly formed VCP. Here's a reasonable definition of experience and competence: Dan Hochvert is a recent two-term Village Board Trustee and Planning Board Chair. Matt Callaghan and Carl Finger are Trustees on the current Village Board, and Seth Ross was a recent chairman of both the Planning and Zoning Boards. Both individually and collectively, the SCNP candidates have far more in-depth and practical experience in Village governance than any or all of the self-appointed candidates on the VCP slate. Dan, Matt, Carl and Seth have verifiable track records of maintaining our well-run Village, which in fact is run day to day by the Village Manager. They each have a history of listening to the concerns of the community, and working collaboratively as team members in civic activities or on boards of numerous other organizations. They believe in fact-based problem solving and tackling the challenges of Village governance lawfully, fairly and responsibly, without resorting to personal attacks, false narratives, or unfounded litigation to get their way in Village affairs. You still have time to obtain more information about the SCNP slate here:

Dan, Matt, Carl and Seth have actually engaged faithfully in municipal governance, making nuanced, tough decisions on our municipal budgets, balancing costs with the needs and expectations of residents, communicating with the public and responding to our concerns, and understanding the unique regulations impacting municipalities like Scarsdale that differ markedly from the those governing the private sector. Dan, Matt, Carl and Seth have the requisite qualifications our community can rely on for dedicated and responsible leadership in Scarsdale.
In contrast, you can observe for yourself that most members of the so-called "choice" slate have a demonstrably thin record of sustained, significant civic engagement compared with Dan's, Matt's and Carl's many years of service on the Village Board and their combined record with Seth of decades of profoundly significant civic and volunteer service in Scarsdale. You can judge for yourself whether the VCP candidates support a platform that offers some clearly erroneous and even fiscally unsound ideas about how the Village actually does or should work. They claim to be team players but have unjustifiably attacked the reputation of individual, sitting Board members without any grounds for doing so as part of their campaign. A fact to consider too is that, if elected, these opposition candidates, with their lack of governance experience and qualifications, would comprise a majority of the seven-member Village Board.

We risk disenfranchising the voters of Scarsdale if partisan politics were to supplant Scarsdale's system of elective government. When you come out to vote, you will not only be protecting this system in which voters of Scarsdale participate and devote their time and energy, but you will also be supporting the non-partisan tradition of governance under which Scarsdale has flourished and become one of the most well-run, respected and admired communities in the nation. Scarsdale long ago established a democratically representative system for electing highly qualified residents to run our government without partisan, divisive politics. Voting for Dan, Matt, Carl and Seth on the Row A-SCNP slate helps to ensure support for these principles and traditions into the future. In turn, they are the leadership team that is uniquely qualified by their familiarity with the issues, their experience with municipal governance and budgets, and their willingness to discuss and weigh the Village's options going forward with input from residents, staff and their fellow trustees. Importantly, they believe in fairness for all residents, including those who believe their properties may have been inaccurately assessed in recent property tax valuations.

Our democratic, non-partisan system of governance is worth preserving and protecting. On its website, here's what the League of Women Voters of Scarsdale has to say about Scarsdale's non-partisan system, without endorsing any particular candidate or slate:

"The League of Women Voters of Scarsdale has studied and supports a nonpartisan election system that selects candidates without regard to major political party affiliation for the selection of the village board and mayoral candidates in Scarsdale. As we do every year, the League monitors both the village (CNC) and the school (SBNC) election systems."

Consider that the alternative to this system might inevitably lead to the same endless campaign cycles that erode confidence and instill gridlock in our state and national politics. That unacceptable alternative is where candidates usually focus on one narrow, hot-button issue, even though there are many others of importance to the electorate. It's the alternative where candidates baldly claim – without evidence or verification – that the system is broken and they're the only ones who can fix it, or claim credit for the prudent decisions made by those in actual charge of the complex management of the Village.

The non-partisan system is the framework by which Scarsdale avoids the polarizing upheaval of contested elections and instead produces candidates of experience, competence, integrity and commitment to the welfare of the whole community, not just special issues or interests. Dan, Matt, Carl and Seth, have volunteered to run on the Row A-SCNP principle that they will serve the interests of all of us to the best of their abilities, without the distractions of divisive tactics and rhetoric, lawn signs or robocalls. You've been able to judge for yourself at their open houses and forums during the campaign season that Dan, Matt, Carl and Seth know what they're talking about because they've got years of practical experience serving Village government. They are focused on prudent fiscal management and fact-based solutions to issues important to the community. They believe in changing what doesn't work, and enhancing what does work, through consensus building and just plain bringing the community together.

If this makes compelling sense to you as a Scarsdale citizen, please come out to vote, and get out the vote of your friends and neighbors on March 21 at the Scarsdale Library to help keep Scarsdale's non-partisan system alive, with candidates Dan Hochvert for Mayor, and Matt Callaghan, Carl Finger and Seth Ross for the three open Village Trustee seats on Scarsdale's Village Board. Vote Row A all the way!

Madelaine Eppenstein

Fox Meadow

Submitted in my capacity as an individual, nearly 24-year resident of Scarsdale, and not on behalf of any organization. For full disclosure, I am a proud member of the Citizens Nominating Committee, the Campaign Committee of the Scarsdale Citizens' Non-Partisan Party, the Board of the Scarsdale Forum and Chair of its Municipal Services Committee, and the Board of the Friends of the Scarsdale Parks, Inc.

Firefighters Put Out Dumpster Blaze and Swear In New Recruits

18 Kelwyne Road2On Thursday afternoon March 9,2017 the fire department was called to 18 Kelwynne in response to a dumpster fire. They found a construction dumpster near the home involved in fire. The dumpster was full and the fire was deep seated. The material in the dumpster needed to be emptied to fully extinguish the fire. Firefighters were able to prevent the fire from spreading to the housee.

Probies21Three probationary firefighters were appointed to the Scarsdale Fire Department. From left to right are Andrew Bratton, Matthew DeTone and Bruce Pappas. They were sworn in at a ceremony at Fire Headquarters on Tuesday March 7, 2017. On Monday March 13th they will be detailed to the Career Fire Academy at the Westchester County Fire Training Center in Valhalla for the next 18 weeks.