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Here is a letter from past committee chairs of the Scarsdale School Board Nominating Committee: To the Editor: As past Chair and Vice Chair of the School Board Nominating Committee (SBNC) we would like to strongly endorse the current slate of candidates for the School Board election on May 18th: Suzanne Seiden, Jill Spieler, Liz Guggenheimer and Lewis Leone, Jr.

Through Scarsdale’s non-partisan election process (the same process the Village of Scarsdale has conducted for almost 100 years) the community elects 30 members, representing the five elementary school neighborhoods, to the SBNC charged with identifying, evaluating and selecting candidates to fill open School Board seats. The process is both rigorous and thorough with the exclusive goal of putting forward the most qualified members of our community to serve on the Board of Education. This year’s slate of candidates strengthens the legacy of the SBNC’s success in putting forward a group of highly qualified and outstanding individuals. We urge everyone to vote on May 18th and to fully support the group of candidates put forward by the SBNC.

Sincerely,
Andrew Simon, past Chair SBNC
Madeleine Feldman: past Vice-Chair SBNC
April 26, 2010

The Scarsdale Board of Education proposed their final budget for the school year 2010-2011 and Board President Barbara Kemp was pleased to announce a 2.87% increase in the school budget, translating to a 2.56% tax increase for Scarsdale residents and a 5.77% tax increase for those in the Mamaroneck Strip. Kemp did express her frustration with the disparity in the tax rates between Scarsdale and the Mamaroneck Strip, but said that was a matter for legislators. The total proposed school budget is $134,743,938.

She credited the community, teachers and administrators for helping the Board reduce the budget increase from the original projection of 8%. Through community education, listening to feedback and re-examining every component of the budget, the Board was able to bring the increase to manageable levels.

The budget does include restored funding for both Scarsdale and Edgemont Family Counseling and the Scarsdale Teen Center, two organizations who faced severe funding cuts. The new budget also includes full-day kindergarten for all, a move that will save the district $50,000 in transportation costs but was met with skepticism from some parents of Pre-K students. The $2 million savings offered up by the Scarsdale Teacher’s Association has allowed the district to maintain the educational program, save district jobs and maintain class sizes. The Board will also retain 4% in undesignated reserves.

To those with “tunnel vision” who called for a 0% budget increase, Kemp warned that the consequences would have been teacher layoffs and severe cuts to the program. In Kemp’s words, the proposed budget provides a desirable education that is fiscally feasible. Though she understands that some have suffered job losses and face economic uncertainty, she asked that residents consider the sacrifices that their parents, grandparents and great grandparents made to assure their children a quality education and asked today’s parents to do the same.

She urged everyone to vote for the school budget on Tuesday May 18 at the Scarsdale Middle School.

Superintendant Michael McGill addressed parents who remained uneasy about the district’s move to all-day kindergarten. Citing days when he was a young parent faced with a son with learning difficulties he assured parents he could empathize with their concerns. However, he has absolute confidence that their children will flourish, regardless of the schedule, due to the committed and supportive staff. He also outlined goals for program evaluation in November, 2010 and March, 2011, when parents, teachers and administrators will be questioned about the program, and feedback will be shared with the community. On the subject of kindergarten, Board member Jeff Blatt added that he had been accused of having blind faith that the new program would work. He answered that charge by saying he had faith, but not blind faith, based on what he has seen as a member of the Board for the past six years.

Burglars continued to prey on Scarsdale residents with two more additional incidents in neighboring homes in Greenacares on Saturday night March 27th.

Vandals entered a Brite Avenue home by cutting a screen to an unlocked living room window. The house was not tossed or ransacked. The intruders went to the master bedroom and took jewelry and watches valued at almost $20,000. Stolen were gold and diamond jewelry and two watches.

Also on Saturday night a neighboring Brite Avenue home was entered through a window to the family room in the back of the house. The residents returned home to find a light on in their bedroom window and jewelry and cash gone.

These two incidents are the latest in a series of home burglaries that have been occuring almost weekly. Police advise residents to lock up, activate alarms and keep jewelry and valuables hidden.

A home under construction at Brittany Close was also vandalized on 3/25, when someone forced open a basement door, breaking the door jam and frame. Suspects stole a Viking six-burner cooktop valued at $5,000.00.

The father of a Scarsdale High School student reported items taken from his son’s locker, which was left unlocked. Missing were a North Face jacket, $20, an iPod, a wallet and a Starbucks gift card.

A Crane Road woman reported that her housekeeper had taken several items of clothing, however when police spoke to the housekeeper she denied taking anything and agreed to fully cooperate with the police.

Drunk driver: Police stopped the driver of a 2006 Chevrolet at 10 pm on March23 after they saw him hit a curb, drive onto the brick sidewalk on Crane Road and finally stop in the middle of the intersection of Crane Road and East Parkway. The driver then pulled into a parking space on East Parkway and got out of the car to check his tires. He found that he had two flats. Police approached him and noticed that the man was unsteady on his feet, his eyes were bloodshot and he smelled of alcohol. When asked to perform sobriety tests the man almost fell over. As he was performing the tests, the driver kept saying, “You got me. You got me.”

The man, who was identified as Robert Daudier of Wappinger Falls, was taken to headquarters and found to have a Blood Alcohol Level of .22. He was arrested for driving while intoxicated and released to a friend on $100 bail.

Accidents: An 81 year-old Yonkers man was driving on Heathcote Road on the morning of 3/29. He swerved to avoid an ambulance coming in the opposite direction and struck a telephone pole at 28 Heathcote Road. No injuries were reported.

A Scarsdale man driving a 2002 Nissan on Chase Road hit a pedestrian crossing Popham Road on Sunday night 3/28. It was a very rainy night and the driver had poor visibility. The pedestrian, Nadine Levell of the Bronx was conscious and alert but complained of pain in her right foot and discomfort in her head area. SVAC arrived and determined that her foot was fractured.

On Wednesday morning 3/24 at 11 am a White Plains woman driving a 2000 Volkswagen hit a Westchester County Bus on the Post Road at Fairview Road. There were no injuries but the passengers were transferred to another bus.

Death: Ann Wallace, age 80 of Tunstall Road died at home around 7 pm on 3/28.
Her husband Philip Wallace called an ambulance earlier, but by the time they arrived she had passed away.

Graffiti – a Brewster Road man found the letter k.k.k. marked in black ink on a telephone pole at the corner of Brewster and Chesterfield Roads. Police checked other poles in the area and did not find similar markings and recorded the incident for future reference.

Dispute – The wife of an Elm Road man called police to say that her husband was having difficulties getting tenants out of the home, in accordance with a written agreement they had to vacate by 3/23. Police arrived on the scene and both parties left the home immediately.

An Edgewood man called police on the afternoon of 3/24 after he got a call from his babysitter to say that his two 10 year-old children were missing. Police searched the Edgewood School grounds and playground and called the babysitter on the phone. She had picked the children up at school and they were now at home. Turns out that one of the children had placed a call to her father, and impersonated the babysitter.

Dog hit by car – a small dog was hit by a car and killed at the corner of Post and Ferncliff Road at 4:30 on 3/26. Police contacted the dog’s owner who asked police to leave the dog inside his garage until he could get home.

A around 5 pm on 3/28 a caller noticed that kids had started a fire at the Westchester Ethical Society on Saxon Woods Road. The fire department was called to extinguish it.

Scarsdale resident Bob Cohen has announced his candidacy for the New York State Senate. Bob will challenge Democrat Suzi Oppenheimer who has held the seat for the 37th District for 26 years. Bob, his wife Barbara and their three children have lived in town since 1989 and he has been a member of the Scarsdale Volunteer Fire Department for 17 years. He is a member of the TVCC Education Forum and served on the Judicial Advisory Committee. His three children attended Scarsdale schools and he is a strong supporter of public education.

Bob owns and operates a real estate and construction company in Manhattan and has achieved notable success. He was born and raised in Long Island, and is a graduate of Syracuse University and Emory Law School.

His campaign promise is to “Bring Real Reform to Albany, Real Change to Westchester” and here is his platform:
Spending:

  • Arrest out-of-control spending in Albany
  • Freeze the growth of all state expenditures
  • 2% cap on annual rate of budget growth
  • Long-term spending targets for big-budget items

Tax Reform:

  • Statewide cap on local property taxes
  • Reinstatement of the STAR property tax rebate
  • Repeal of the MTA Bailout Tax
  • Simplification of the tax code

Accountability:

  • Term limits for state officers
  • Strong ethics
  • An end to gerrymandering

Jobs for New Yorkers:

  • Refundable tax credits for research and development and manufacturing
  • Strengthened funding for university research
  • Improve business environment through regulatory and tax reform
  • Modernization of our infrastructure

Learn more about Bob Cohen’s candidacy at: http://www.bobcohen2010.com/index.shtml

Missing Child: A concerned Greenacres parent came to police headquarters at 3:30 pm on Wednesday 3/17 to report that his 11 year-old son had run away and that he had not seen him for several hours. Police immediately placed a call to an agency called “A Child Is Missing.” The agency puts out calls to all neighbors of a missing child to alert them. Concerned neighbors got into their cars to search for the boy – and almost immediately police got a call that a boy matching the description was seen walking on Greenacres Avenue. Police sped to the scene, spoke to the boy and he agreed to go home. He had apparently walked to Central Avenue to play video games.

Burglaries: Two more Scarsdale homes were burglarized this past Saturday night, and police suspect that these two incidents are related to previous burglaries in town. Scarsdale police are working with the Westchester County Crime Analysis unit and have increased patrols in the area. Police recommend that residents lock their doors, activate alarms and keep jewelry and jewelry boxes hidden away. They caution that burglars look for jewelry in dresser drawers and advise residents to stow jewelry away from the bedroom.

A Brewster Road home was broken into on Saturday night 3/20. The house was tossed and vandals rummaged through the master bedroom, closet, and an office. Drawers were open and contents were strewn about. The point of entry could not be determined. Among the missing items are $300 in cash, a laptop computer, as well as gold, diamond, pearl and opal jewelry all valued at about $30,000.

That same night, a Hampton Road home was also entered. The burglars came in through a screened porch, and kicked in a locked door to the house. The house alarm was not activated. The house was ransacked and silver from the dining room was put into a black duffel bag but left behind. Though the second floor was heavily tossed, only costume jewelry was stolen. Police questioned neighbors but no one had seen anything unusual.

DWI: A Portchester man, Flavio David Patino-Siguenza, age 25 was arrested for driving while intoxicated on Sunday morning at 2 am. Police noticed his 2007 Toyota tailgating another car while driving west on Popham Road. Patrol followed the car and stopped him at Ardsley Road just off Old Army Road and found that the driver had slurred speech, bloodshot eyes and appeared to be drunk. His passenger, Ana Naulaguari, was passed out with an open beer container in her lap. In addition there was another open beer can in the console. Patino-Siguenza admitted to drinking six beers and agreed to take an alco-senser test which showed that he had alcohol on his breath. He was arrested for DWI as his blood alcohol content was .17, as well as for driving with an open container of alcohol in the car and for tailgating. His car was impounded and towed, he was released on $100 bail and his passenger was taken to White Plains Hospital.

Theft: A Circle Road resident’s wallet was stolen from the counter of the 7-11-store on Garth Road on Sunday night 3/22. The boy placed his wallet on the counter and walked to the ATM machine in the store. When he turned around his wallet was gone. He followed two other customers out to the parking lot but they left in a gray Jeep Grand Cherokee. Missing are his wallet, school ID, a house key, $90 in Canadian currency and additional ID cards.

Vandalism: A large rock was thrown the front window of a Cartesan Road home on Monday afternoon March 15, breaking the window and damaging an antique armoire that was in the dining room. The residents were not home when the incident occurred and learned about it via an email from a neighbor.

Tree Problems: Police were called on the afternoon of 3/15 to intervene between a resident and workers for the Green Valley Tree Service. The landscapers had cut down a tree at the Scarsdale Historical Society and an irate Lee Road resident wanted the men to remove the wood, rather than leave it piled up for the village to take away. Since the company was not hired by the woman and neither the wood nor the tree were on her property police told the tree service to continue to do their work.

Damage: A vandal or a tree branch damaged the door handle of a Ridgecrest resident’s BMW on 3/15 causing about $300 in damage to the car.

Noise: Police were called to the Fox Meadow tennis club at 11 pm Monday night on a report of kids playing loud music at the club. Police asked the kids to leave the area and they complied. A few minutes later a similar complaint was made about a group of noisy youths at the corner of Crane and Stonehouse, and police stopped by and asked the kids to go inside.

Deer: Charles Seidenberg of White Plains hit a deer while driving his 2008 Audi on Palmer Avenue at 6 am on Tuesday morning 3/16. The highway department had to be called to remove the deer from the roadway.

Bank Robbers: Scarsdale Police were called Tuesday afternoon at 1:30 to assist in the search for a green SUV occupied by two men that may have been involved in a bank robbery in Carmel. Police monitored the traffic but did not spot the car. Shortly afterwards they received a report that a car matching the description had been stopped on the Saw Mill River Parkway.

Gas Leak: Police had to force their way into a home at 1A Sherbrooke Road at 5 am on Wednesday 3/17 due to a gas leak on the street. The residents were not home and police forced open the front door and the utility door inside the basement. No gas leak was found inside. Police also checked 2 Sherbrooke Road and Scarsdale High School.

Elderly Driver: An 87 year-old man driving a 2010 Toyota Camry lost control of his car on Popham Road on Wednesday at 6 pm and went through a row of bushes and hit another car. The same driver had a similar accident about a year ago.

Identity Theft
: On 3/18 a Griffen Road man reported unauthorized charges in the amount of $6,000.00 on a fraudulent Nordstrom credit card that had been opened in his name. He had no knowledge of who opened the account and charged the merchandise.

Car Trouble:  A man who rented a car and parked it on Johnson Road before the storm came to police to find out where the car had gone. The car was crushed during the storm and when he called Hertz to report it, they asked him to leave the key in the car and said they would tow it away. However, on Wednesday the car was gone and when he called Hertz they claimed that they had no record of towing it. Police called R & D Towing who said that Hertz had called them to remove the car and they had towed it away. In addition, A sanitation truck swiped a car parked on Barry Road on the afternoon of March 18.

Left home: A 16 year-old Black Birch Lane girl ran away on Friday night when she was asked to surrender her cigarettes to her parents. She later got in touch with her parents and said she was in a park nearby. Police found her and brought her home.

Bonfire
: Around 9:30 pm on Saturday night 3/20 a caller reported a bonfire on Park Road. A 16 year-old boy told police that he built the fire to toast marshmallows and hot dogs. However, since open fires are not permitted in Scarsdale he was asked to put it out.

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