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halloween graveyardThe ghosts will haunt the graveyard at the Church of St. James the Less on Sunday evening, October 28th, beginning at 6:00pm. However, Mother Astrid Storm, rector of St. James, assures everyone there is no reason to be afraid – these are historic spirits not horrifying ghosts.

Buried in the cemetery at St. James the Less, the only graveyard in the Village of Scarsdale, are a number of historic figures, including Major William Popham, who was a friend of George Washington's, and John “Scarsdale Jack” Van Kuren Newkirk, a Scarsdale High School alumnus, fighter pilot and World War II hero, who was killed in action against the Japanese.

Another somber and historic feature of the graveyard is the burial site of slaves who attempted to find freedom in Canada via the Underground Railroad but died en route. Since it was a crime to assist escaping slaves, the church buried these African Americans without formal headstones instead using a loose grouping of rocks to mark the spot where these brave people were interred.

While tours of the graveyard are ongoing, there will also be a Halloween party for children inside the church, complete with a haunted house run by the Senior Youth Group of St. James the Less. The Halloween party and haunted house are a longstanding and popular tradition at the church.

St. James the Less
10 Curch Lane
Scarsdale, NY 10583

tecc3SVAC along with the Scarsdale Police and other outside agencies are conducting an indoor Active Shooter, Mass Casualty Incident (MCI) drill on Thursday October 18 from 5:30 – 10:00 pm at the Congregational Church on Heathcote Rd, in Scarsdale.

SVAC needs your help and is looking for participants to act as “victims”.

Data recently released by the FBI illustrate a grim new reality of American life: we live in an age of public shootings. The number of "active shooter" incidents is up sharply since the early 2000s. In 2000, there was only one such incident in the U.S.. Last year, there were 20, one active shooting incident every 18 days.

Incidents involving active shooters are unpredictable, evolve rapidly and have substantial consequences. Public expectation is that first responders will immediately respond with a well-developed and exercised plan.

The purpose of this drill is to ensure that our first responders perform a coordinated and effective response during an actual event. The lessons learned from this drill will identify strengths as well as weaknesses in our emergency planning and help us take corrective actions that will improve our response to an actual emergency.

Safety Officers will be on duty to insure the safety of all participants. Make-up artists will be there to create the illusion of serious injuries. Participants should wear comfortable clothes that they don’t mind getting dirty or possibly stained with make-up and close-toed shoes or sneakers. Food and beverages will be served.

If you are interested, please register at to register. Questions call 914-722-2288 or email

skolnikNYMetroParents, the parenting division of Davler Media Group (DMG) encompassing eight print magazines including Big Apple Parent and the recently acquired Staten Island Parent and the digital platforms, Mommybites and MitzvahMarket, announced the promotion of Scarsdale’s Deborah Skolnik.

In her new position as Director of Content of NYMetroParents, Deborah Skolnik will oversee the expansion of Davler’s parenting properties, in the print and digital realm, with an accent of its fast-growing, the newborn and toddler-focused Mommybites and the event planning hub MitzvahMarket. Current Deputy Editor, Katelin Walling, will be stepping up to assume Skolnik’s position as Editorial Director for NYMetroParents’ print and online properties.

Ms. Skolnik joined Davler in October 2017 assuming the position of Editorial Director for NYMetroParents’ then seven magazine titles. Prior to Davler, Skolnik held a variety of important positions in parenting media. These included an eight-year stint as Senior Editor of Parenting Magazine, and five years as Senior Editor of Parents Magazine, as well as serving as Managing Editor of American Baby and as Features Editor for Women’s Day, New York Daily News and McCall’s.

“In less than a year, Deborah has done an incredible job refining an editorial product that both meets the many needs of NYC-area parents and the advertisers who want to connect with them in a high-quality environment,” said David Miller, Chief Executive Officer, Davler Media Group. “As we deepen our digital offerings and reaffirm our commitment to print, Deborah will be a vital asset in insuring a consistent voice and quality, in creating multiple platform content for New York area parents and families that is without peer.”

Established in 2006 with the purchase of four local parenting magazines (Big Apple Parent, Brooklyn Parent, Queens Parent and Westchester Parent), Davler’s NYMetroParents division has steadily expanded to become the largest, multiplatform parenting resource covering NYC’s five boroughs and five surrounding counties. Its fully integrated network now includes eight regional monthly magazines and five popular digital properties including, the newborn and toddler-focused Mommybites and event planning hub Mitzvah Market. NYMP also boasts rich social media, ecommerce, a 100,000-strong email marketing database and 20 live events each year including Long Island and Westchester Parents Day and its Celebrate and Mommybites-branded showcases. All totaled NYMetroParents’ platforms that reach over 1,000,000 tristate area families each month.

emptynestCongratulations – your youngest is off to college! You’ve spent months (really years), planning for this day, anticipating the loss along with the freedom. In many ways, it is a sign of a job well done. So why does it feel so….empty? And how do you get through this period of transition, when your “new normal” doesn’t quite feel normal yet?

It is sometimes said that raising a child is the only job that you eventually get fired from if you do it right. And it can certainly feel like that. It’s so strange after all those years not to think about your child’s schedule or dinner plans, or any of the other things that come with day to day parenting, even if he or she has been fairly independent during the last year or two at home.

So, for starters, be ready for some strong emotions. You may feel absolute happiness one minute (that doesn’t mean you don’t love your children) and bone crushing grief the next. You may feel a quiet sadness, or tremendous anxiety. Is your child going to be ok? Are you? It’s all normal – in fact, you may feel different feelings on different days, or hour by hour. Give yourself the space to be with it all. The answer is most likely yes, you and your child will both be ok, but it is a huge transition, and one to be honored and respected.

Some suggestions:

Plan a few days away after you say good bye at the dorm. This can help ease the transition between school drop-off and your newly quiet house. It can also give you a chance to reconnect with your spouse, with friends, or with yourself, before “life” begins again. If a full trip isn’t in the cards, planning some fun days/evenings in the months to come can help too – concerts, day trips and other things you might not have done easily when there was a teenager still at home.

If you are married, plan projects and activities together. When the two of you are working towards something, not to mention spending the time away from soccer games and college visits, it helps you reconnect as actual human beings and not just parents, which can feel refreshing.

If you truly miss and love the structure of caring for someone/thing on a day to day basis, consider a puppy! There is something genuinely lovely about coming home to a creature that loves you unconditionally and is always up for a cuddle – not to mention that they never roll their eyes, borrow the car, or come home at 2 am. But one word of caution: wait a few months to adopt one – you may relish your newfound freedom more than you expect!

In fact, hesitating a bit before making any big new change is not a bad idea. You may have the urge to dive into a totally new lifestyle – sell the house, travel the world, etc. But wait, settle in. Give yourself time to make thoughtful decisions.

In the meantime, think about ways to spend your time that you enjoy that you may have put on the back burner during all those years of active parenting. Things like hobbies, working late without guilt, meeting friends for a drink after work, taking long weekend hikes, or even going back to school for new certificates or degrees are all possibilities. It can help to make an actual physical list of ideas and start checking them off.

If the idea of spending lots of quality time alone with your spouse fills you more with trepidation than delight – you are NOT alone. After all, it’s been at least 18 years! It may help to know that most couples report that once they settle in, they begin to enjoy each other’s company again, and empty nest marriages often thrive. Of course, there are exceptions, and if you are worried that having kids around helped you avoid some real conflicts, it is ok to meet with a professional to talk things out for a few sessions and see where you are.

And that idea about getting fired…It’s really not true. Parenting doesn’t end once your youngest leaves for college, but it does change. There is still advice and wisdom to be shared, crises big and small to be dealt with, and apartments to be furnished. The challenge now is figuring out how to let go and hold on at the same time, as you transition to parenting a young adult.

stonbergJulie Stonberg is a clinical social worker at Westchester Family Counseling in Hartsdale, She is the mom of two in college and one still in the nest.

LevysAshley, Alex and Ava Mae LevyJanet and Alan Levy of Scarsdale are proud to announce the birth of their granddaughter, Ava Mae Levy, born September 1, 2018 at Greenwich Hospital. Ava, who weighed 8 lbs. 6 oz. at birth, is the daughter of Alexander Levy (SHS’2004) and Ashley Levy. The couple now reside in Larchmont. Congratulations to the Levy family and welcome Ava.
Ava MaeAva Mae Levy

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