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Gary Belsky, Author of “On the Origin of Sports,” to Speak at the Scarsdale Library

originofsportsGary Belsky, co-author of the New York Times bestseller, "On the Origins of Sports: The Early History and Original Rules of Everybody's Favorite Game" will speak at Scarsdale Public Library on Sunday, February 5 at 2 p.m.

Belsky has spent much of his career in the world of sports. He is the former editor-in- chief of ESPN The Magazine and and is a seasoned commentator on sports topics. His writing on both sports and business topics has appeared in publications including The New York Times, Money magazine, Crain's New York Business and Sports Illustrated. He has also been a guest on numerous television programs including Oprah and Inside Edition.

"On the Origins of Sports" is filled with little-known information about the beginnings of numerous sports. By taking an in depth look at 21 of the world's most popular sports, Belsky and his co-author Neil Fine have created a resource for sports enthusiasts everywhere.

"Gary Belsky is respected for his work as a journalist and editor," said Library Director Beth Bermel. "'On the Origins of Sports' is an example of his comprehensive kbelskynowledge and his ability to convey that information to the public."

This program is co-sponsored by the JCC of Mid-Westchester and the Friends of the Scarsdale Library and is free and open to the public. Copies of "On the Origins of Sports" will be available for purchase and signing.

Space is limited and registration is required as the library website,, or by calling the Reference Desk at 914-722-1302.

Sports Are More Than Just a Game

sportspanelYouth sports is no longer about winning the game. In fact, the Scarsdale Recreation Department and the school district are emphasizing everything but the final score in a move to use sports as a means to develop self discipline, confidence, resilience and teamwork.

A panel of experts, sponsored by the Scarsdale PT Council and moderated by SHS Principal Kenneth Bonamo held a "Community Conversation about Youth Sports: Placing Our K-12 Students on the Road to Wellness and Long-term Success," on Tuesday night January 10th at Scarsdale Middle School.

Panelists included Scarsdale High School Athletic Director Ray Pappalardi, SHS Girls Varsity Soccer Coach Mindy Genovese, Scarsdale Recreation Department Supervisor Brian Gray, Youth Sports Development Director Danny Bernstein and local pediatrician Dr. Amy Eisenberg.

Pappalardi who made changes in the coaching staff at SHS at the beginning of the school year, said that it is "important to define the purpose of sport to support development and success, inspire self discipline confidence, hard work, a can do attitude, resilience, leadership and service." He recalled his experiences growing playing self-directed games which included everyone who showed up. The rules were adjusted to accommodate all skill levels and boundaries were naturally set.

As a varsity gymnast, a no-cut sport, he thrived in an "Environment framed on personal development and strong peer leadership." He said, "We need to be careful about how we treat our students and define success and make sure that kids have the right opportunities early on."

Pappalardi shared the results of interviews he had with graduating seniors about their athletic experiences at the school. He found that team dynamics, team chemistry and playing with friends were most important. He said, "Athletics is about the social enterprise – about playing with friends and representing community."

Recreation Department Supervisor Brian Gray also emphasized participation in "Activities that allow children to have fun and develop physically and emotionally."
The recreation department offers programs for hundreds of children where the rules dictate equal playing time in a positive atmosphere.

SHS Soccer Coach Mindy Genovese said her coaching philosophy is "to make kids better players and better people." She teaches her players to "Respect the officials, the opponents and yourselves," and tells that kids that they will make lifelong contacts on the field. She shows her kids how to deal with failure and stress and tells them that mistakes are okay. When she looks for players she evaluates them on their skills, vision, game sense, sportsmanship, leadership, work ethic, determination and willingness to be coached.

Danny Bernstein, who runs youth sports program, including ones for kids with special needs and economically disadvantaged kids shared his outlook. He said, "What do you want for your kids when they graduate?" He answered by saying, "You want them to be compassionate, have friends, navigate for themselves and be passionate about something." He sees sport as a way of learning these life skills.

Dr. Amy Eisenberg who is a pediatrician and school and sport physician for Rye Neck Schools said she was concerned about pressure on kids, overscheduling, and lack of mobility, as kids are on phones and laptops rather than moving around. She said too many are getting physical therapy or seeing orthopedists. She encouraged parents to help their children set goals and to also help those who may be too intimidated to try athletics.

Everyone agreed that sport should be as much about the process of playing as the end result.

Letter to the Editor: Why I am Participating in the Article 78 Proceeding

gavelThis letter was sent to Scarsdale10583 by Phil Maresco of Ferncliff Road:
I'd like to briefly explain why I have chosen to participate the the Article 78.

When we moved to Scarsdale in 2009 we negotiated to purchase our home. Our 'fair-market' accepted offer was just 13,000 above the assessed value set for tax purposes at that time, and the taxes were at a rate we budgeted for when we negotiated our homes purchase price. It was part of the "affordability equation".

We fixed a lot of problems and invested in our home over the next few years, taking our a home equity line of credit with a local bank. When the 2014 revaluation was done, our assessed value increased significantly but it was justified, and our assessment went up about 14% in that first year after the Tyler revaluation. For us it wasn't a budget breaker.

During the last "drive-by" revaluation our assessed value increased by about twice as much as the prior one just 2 years earlier- and i for no good reason, as we had done no more improvements to our home. Aside from the shock of potential double digit percentage increases in our taxes, even more disturbing was the fact that the data used in my reassessment was changed and inaccurate.

So this year I grieved my Assessment and I had to pay an independent appraiser to come through my house just to prove to the Village that the million dollar job that was done 2 years ago was actually more accurate than Mr Ryan's "drive-by".

A Judge in White Plains will soon decide if Mr Ryan's appraisal "model" for my home is correct.

Why my modest approximately 2200 square foot home received such a high percentage increase and several of my neighbors actually received unsolicited decreases became clear to me when I learned about Mr Ryans "formulaic valuation" model. That model has been exposed by many residents and judged by NYState as innaccurate by the fact that our Village is no longer assessed at 100% of market value.

The bottom line for us- our County taxes (which last year were about $4,000 personally) will be increased by 11% due to the equalization rate imposed by NY State -and that's only if IF all other variables remain constant.

The portion of the Scarsdale Village "tax-pie" that my assessed value represents is still to be determined.

At present my Assessment increased by 95 K which at the old mill rate over $22 per thousand represents about $2,100. My slice of the pie is virtually guaranteed to increase - even if my assessment does not increase because of the over 1,000 grievances that were filed. Many of those were already granted some reduction by the Village Board of Assessment Review, and more will be granted some further reductions by the Court in White Plains. All that will effectively shrink the total size of the Scarsdale Village "tax pie" even further -thereby increasing the size of my slice.

I'm not sure all the good trusting people of Scarsdale whose Assessment increased only slightly or perhaps stayed the same even realize that their taxes are probably going to increase more than the budgetary norm because of the effects of the Ryan revaluation.

I'm participating in the Article 78 to invalidate Ryan to restore a sense of stability to my own tax bill and fairness to the village.

It's just not right when the assessment of a retiree living in an older small home on less than a quarter acre is given a double digit percentage increase while his son living in a much larger house on nearly 2 acres across town is given a similar percentage decrease!

Fairness needs to be restored, the only way to do that now is the allow a court to examine the Ryan work.

Our own Village is not satisfied with his work and admit they were not expecting what was delivered. In fact because Mr Ryan has not delivered his work product- namely the actual formula and data that he used to revalue the entire Village, they are NOT paying Mr Ryan the last installment of his contract for not fulfilling the terms.

Any concerns over wasting our own tax money because we are suing ourselves with the Article 78 can be mitigated by this fact- that the Village is not satisfied and should (and probably will) just stipulate to the Article 78 and settle before wasting more of our tax money in defense of the Ryan revaluation.

I encourage anyone with concerns to join the action to "invalidate" the most recent 'Ryan formula' revaluation and return to the last years valuations originally set by TYLER Technologies industry standard market-based valuations which were corrected by the 2 years of grievances that followed.

If Ryan stands unchallenged an injustice will be done in Scarsdale.


Phil Maresco
43 Ferncliff Road

College Scholarship Available For Upperclassmen from Scarsdale

classofficersbThe Scarsdale Foundation 2017 Scholarship Program invites college students entering their sophomore, junior or senior year in 2017 to apply to the Scarsdale Foundation for need-based tuition assistance.

Students must either have graduated from Scarsdale High School or lived in Scarsdale during their high school years.

Scholarship applications will be available online February 15, 2017 and they should be completed online by June 5, 2017 at

Questions? Contact Randy Guggenheimer at or BK Munguia at

Scarsdale Residents Make Humanitarian Trip to Rwanda

moretti4Local realtor Anne Moretti and Scarsdale resident Ruth Kohn have just returned from a trip to Rwanda where they donated school supplies and volunteered as teachers at the Mahama Refugee Camp, working with students in the Mahama English Club. In addition to school supplies, they handed out solar hats imprinted with the Sotheby's International Realty® logo to each of the students.

The Mahama Refugee Camp was established in 2015 in the remote southeastern corner of Rwanda by UNHCR, and the camp has been providing safe shelter for Burundian refugees fleeing the violence in their country. Today, there are over 51,000 Burundian refugees at Mahama Camp, with more refugees arriving daily. For the past year, Moretti has been supporting the Mahama English Club, a group of 103 refugees at the camp moretti2who came together and committed themselves to learning English. Moretti has provided classroom resources for the group, primarily through personal commissions earned from her home sales. This year, she increased her commitment and also enlisted the support of Scarsdale friend Ruth Kohn to join her in teaching at Mahama for a few weeks. The two worked together, along with a Rwandan partner, to create an intensive English language program for the students. It was an incredibly exciting and rewarding experience, Moretti says.

moretti3Moretti has had a lifelong interest in the people and cultures of Africa. She studied African politics at Georgetown, and she has made numerous trips to Africa since her first visit in 1979. Five years ago, she began supporting The Akilah Institute, a college in Rwanda run exclusively for educating women. She actively works on Akilah fund-raising, and she visits Akilah's main campus in Rwanda every year. Last year, Akilah faced a new challenge when it was forced to close its second campus in neighboring Burundi due to that country's deteriorating political situation. The decision was made to bring many of the Burundian students into Akilah's Rwanda campus, and Moretti did a fundraiser to help cover tuition costs for the additional students. After visiting Akilah last year, she scheduled a visit down to the Mahama Refugee Camp for two days. According to Moretti, she wanted to witness first-hand the refugee situation as the Burundian mass exodus was a tragedy unfolding. It was during that trip that she discovered the spirited students of Mahama English Club.

"I was hooked," said Moretti. "The seriousness, dedication and sheer grit that these refugees showed in studying English while at the same time living in the most unimaginably difficult conditions as refugees was something hard to imagine. They needed help, and I decided I should and could do something."

The Mahama English Club currently has over 100 students, and each has his/her own life goals. In addition to the brand-imprinted solar hats, which provide light for students to read in the dark, Moretti and her team brought other supplies on their recent visit. These included English language workbooks, classroom copybooks, personalized leather notebooks, pens, pencils, sharpeners, inspirational posters, Oxford dictionaries, flash cards, books and magazines for a newly created library, and a few electronic devices. Moretti spent a session every day teaching technology, explaining the functionality and innovation behind these vital tools.

"The continuous support and passion Anne has for the Mahama English Club and the Burundian refugees is simply incredible," said Brad Kimmelman, manager of Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty's Scarsdale brokerage. "Her selflessness and devotion to the cause is an inspiration to all."

There are over two hundred more refugees waiting to join the English Club. For additional information, or to learn how to help support the Mahama English Club, please contact Anne Moretti at