Thursday, Oct 18th

Last updateThu, 18 Oct 2018 9pm

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GreenhouseLinda Greenhouse, the Joseph Goldstein Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School and former Supreme Court correspondent for the New York Times, will be the League’s Keynote Speaker at its annual Food for Thought Luncheon on Thursday November 1 at 11:45 am at Scarsdale Golf Club. Ms. Greenhouse will speak about the Supreme Court, upcoming cases to be heard by the Court and the recent nomination process of Brett Kavanaugh.

Linda Greenhouse is the Joseph Goldstein Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School. She assumed that position in 2009 following a 40-year career at the New York Times. From 1978 until 2008, she was the newspaper’s Supreme Court correspondent and currently writes a biweekly opinion column on law as a contributing columnist.

Ms. Greenhouse received several major journalism awards while covering the Supreme Court, including the Pulitzer Prize (1998) and the Goldsmith Career Award for Excellence in Journalism from Harvard University’s Kennedy School (2004). In 2002, the American Political Science Association gave her its Carey McWilliams Award for “a major journalistic contribution to our understanding of politics.”

She is a former member of the Harvard University Board of Overseers and serves on the governing boards of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Phi Beta Kappa, and the American Constitution Society. She is one of two non-lawyer members of the American Law Institute, which in 2005 awarded her its Henry J. Friendly Medal. In April 2017, she became the first female president of the American Philosophical Society, the nation’s oldest learned society, founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1743.

Her biography of Justice Harry A. Blackmun, Becoming Justice Blackmun, was published in 2005. Her other books include Before Roe v. Wade: Voices That Shaped the Abortion Debate Before the Supreme Court’s Ruling, co-authored with Reva Siegel; The U.S. Supreme Court: A Very Short Introduction; and The Burger Court and he Rise of the Judicial Right (with Michael J. Graetz). Her most recent book is a memoir entitled Just a Journalist, published in 2017 by Harvard University Press.

For further information and to purchase ticket(s) using a credit card or PayPal, please visit the LWVS website at LINK www.lwvs.org and select Event Ticket.

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leafpileIn addition to discussing flooding concerns in Scarsdale, the Scarsdale Board of Trustees meeting covered a variety of other issues and news. Here are some highlights:

Mayor’s Comments
With fall upon us, Mayor Dan Hochvert reminded residents that, during lawn clean ups, leaves should not be placed in village streets. These leaf piles are safety hazards for both motorists and pedestrians, and often clog sewer drains. Residents who do not comply will receive a warning for the first violation and a summons for the second. He urged residents to report any piles of leaves in streets to the Scarsdale Highway Department during business hours (722-1150) and said, “We are serious about keeping people safe.”

Hochvert also mentioned that Metro North is proposing a renovation project at the Scarsdale train station in 2019. The village will schedule a public meeting for residents to review and comment on the proposed work.

He closed by sharing information on “Jackie’s Walk 4 HD,” a fundraiser for Huntington’s Disease research, scheduled for Sunday, October 14, from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, at Glen Island Park.

Village Manager’s Report
Pappalardo reported that Moody’s Investor Services has reviewed Scarsdale’s financial position in conjunction with its upcoming bond issue, and has reaffirmed its AAA rating. As many readers know, the village will be issuing an $11.4 million bond to fund its portion of library renovation project ($9.9 million) and upgrades to the Ardsley Road storage tank ($1.4 million). He then quoted Moody’s report, which stated, “The village’s financial position is strong and stable, with ample reserves relative to sector medians… The village’s strong, wealthy tax base, conservative budgeting practices and ample reserves will continue to support the overall credit profile.”

Trustee Reports
Village Trustee Lena Crandall reported that Scarsdale-Edgemont Family Counseling Service was recently re-accredited by the Council on Accreditation, an international, human service accrediting association that promotes the well being of individuals, families and communities.

She then mentioned the recent Drug and Alcohol Task Force presentation on “Youth Driving While Under the Influence of Marijuana,” which will be broadcast via Scarsdale Public Television shortly. “This is information all residents need to know, regardless of your age.”

Crandall also noted that the annual Scarsdale Halloween window painting event will be held on Sunday, October 21; residents may register online via scarsdale.com through Tuesday, October 16. The village also will host its Halloween costume parade by Chase Park on Wednesday, October 31; line up begins at 3:45 pm and the parade starts at 4:00 pm.

Trustee Carl Finger stated that the Law Committee approved a proposed amendment to the village code with regard to streets, sidewalks and public places. Specifically, a new provision has been added, which gives the village engineer three days to grant or deny a permit to obstruct any public place (e.g., signage). “We’ve had some comments, generally, about the use of the right-of-way… the aesthetics associated with signage and other obstructions in the right-of-way. We’re not addressing those issues in this resolution. It was called to our attention that it would be helpful… to include a… timeframe for when the village engineer would approve some type of obstruction.” Finger said that a public hearing would be held and invited residents to attend and share their thoughts about safety, aesthetics and other concerns about the use of the village right-of-way.

Trustee Jane Veron discussed the Scarsdale Municipal Services Committee meeting held earlier in the evening, which focused on the condition of village roadways. “We, as a board, take the condition of the roads very seriously. We understand that residents have identified roads as a top priority and we are vigilant about understanding what it takes to optimize our roadway conditions.” During the meeting, which has been taped, village staff reviewed the village re-pavement program, general road maintenance procedures and related expenditures. “We encourage residents to educate themselves… it will be an important budget conversation… bringing the roads to a place where we address most of the ‘fair’ and the ‘poor’ roads will impact the budget and we’d like to hear from the public on… how they wish to spend tax dollars.”

Veron then stated that the village will hold a Land Use Committee meeting later in October to review priority land use issues, such as clear cutting. In addition, in talking about activities in downtown Scarsdale, she reported that DeCicco Family Market will be expanding into the space previously occupied by the Chase Private Bank on East Parkway. The retailer plans to offer more produce and prepared foods, and will provide patrons with a dining space. The entire supermarket will be updated and the renovation work already is in progress.

Trustee Matt Callaghan reminded residents about the upcoming Fire Fair to be held on Saturday, October 20 at Crossway Field. The daylong event will feature a variety of family-friendly activities’ 1,300 people attended last year. He also mentioned that as we soon will be turning our clocks back for one hour, it is time to change batteries in our smoke detectors. “To go along with that, regarding your (battery operated) fire detectors, change those out every five years because the radiation piece that makes the sound wears out. The same (goes for) fire extinguishers; get rid of them every five years… A number of our residents have hard-wired systems; those devices should be changed every 10 years… the exception is if you test them every year with (the help of) a qualified service, which is quite expensive.”

Laura Halligan is a local writer, editor and marketing consultant. She is principal of Pinch Hit Prose and provides communications services to entrepreneurs, small businesses and nonprofits.

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parade4The Scarsdale Parks and Recreation Department will be holding their 67th Annual Halloween Window Painting Program on Sunday, October 21st from 9:00am–4:00pm. All adults and children who reside in or attend public or private schools in Scarsdale in are eligible to participate in this event.

The Halloween Window Painting Contest is open to children in Grades 3-10. Judges will determine a winner from each age group and one overall winner. Prizes will be awarded at a special awards ceremony in November.

The Family Window Painting program is an opportunity for young children and their parents, teens above 10th Grade, or adults who want to show off their artistic ability to participate in this annual village tradition. There are no age limits in this group, and any Scarsdale residing individual, team, or family of up to five members may decorate a window. Family Window Painting is NOT a contest. Participation ribbons will be awarded to each entry.

Deadline to register for the Halloween Window Painting programs is Tuesday, October 16th. As windows are limited, registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Please register online at http://www.scarsdale.com/recreation

For questions, call the Recreation Department at 722-1160

On Wednesday, October 31st (Halloween,) there will be a Costume Parade held in the Village streets by Chase Park. The parade line up begins at 3:45 pm in front of Chase Park. The parade will start at 4:00 pm. Special entertainment and refreshments provided by Lange’s Deli will be served after the parade. All Pre-K and Elementary School children are welcome to participate in the costume parade. Please note that the parade this year WILL NOT take place on the day of window painting as in the past.

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SASCoverScarsdale Adult School, founded in 1938, is hosting an 80th Anniversary Academy on Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018 from 2 to 5 p.m. at Hitchcock Presbyterian Church. The keynote (2-3 p.m.) features Laurie Santos, Psychology Professor at Yale University, who will provide SAS students a mini version of her undergraduate course entitled “Psychology and the Good Life,” the most popular class ever offered at Yale. Her lecture will explore scientifically validated strategies for leading a more satisfying life. Attendees will learn the habits and behavioral changes to increase their overall happiness and well-being.

Those who register for the full afternoon may choose between two different one-hour classes offered by veteran SAS instructors Alfred Hunt and Page Knox. Hunt’s Around the World in 80 Days with Mark Twain delves beyond Twain’s humor to explore his prescient opinions and reactions to global warfare, racism, and imperialism. Page Knox’s Alfred Stieglitz and His Circle examines Stieglitz’s vital role in establishing a wholly American brand of modernism and in expanding the public’s acceptance of photography as an art form.

The afternoon concludes with an annotated concert of Benny Goodman’s 1938 hits with contemporary arrangements, performed by SAS instructor Daniel Blake and his jazz ensemble, the Digging. Delicious appetizers will be prepared by SAS’s newest cooking instructor, Jensina Olson, caterer in residence at the church (4-5 p.m.).

Registration is open to all adults, regardless of residency. Students may sign up for the entire afternoon ($80) or just the keynote ($25) and/or jazz concert and closing reception ($25). For more information or to register, visit www.ScarsdaleAdultSchool.org.

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ScarsdaleVillageThis week’s Scarsdale Board of Trustees’ meeting was largely positive and brief, in contrast to the miserable weather that has taken hold in the Village.

Mayor’s Comments:

Mayor Dan Hochvert opened the meeting by providing an update on the village’s efforts to improve communications with Con Edison and make the utility more accountable during power outages. He will be meeting with the Public Service Commission later this month to “encourage the… commission to have a tighter relationship with local municipalities and the crews that come to work here… because that will speed the process of power restoration.”

He also discussed last week’s meeting on sharing services with other municipalities in an effort to save money. “The entire municipality group assembled at the county center… and voted unanimously in favor of a shared services plan that was sent to the governor,” he said. While Scarsdale would not be required to participate in sharing all services that were discussed, there are several areas of interest for the village that will be examined further during next year’s budget process.

Hochvert closed by urging residents to vote in the New York State primary election,
“Please, go out and support your candidates.”

Village Manager:

Scarsdale Village Manager Steve Pappalardo then discussed the continuing infrastructure work in and around the village, including street paving and gas main restoration. Recent rains, and stoppages to due to Rosh Hashanah and school drop off and pickup have caused delays in some projects; work will continue during the coming weeks. Specifically, ConEd is working to install new gas mains in sections of Scarsdale Avenue, Post Road, Hamilton/Richelieu, and Weaver Street. And, the resurfacing of Post Road continues, but is expected to be completed by the end of the month.

Pappalardo also reported that the village has been awarded a grant from the New York State Department of Health to upgrade its water fluoridation system. A recent review of the system indicated “necessary system upgrades to continue the provision of fluoridated water, which is an identified goal of the New York State Department of Health.” The state grant will cover the entire cost of the required changes, estimated at $260,000; work will commence in the coming year at no cost to Scarsdale.

Trustees:

Trustee Justin Arest began the trustee reports portion of the meeting by inviting residents to take a more active role in local government and volunteer on village boards and councils. “Although most board and council appointments are made in April… the village is always collecting applications, and I encourage anyone thinking of volunteering to apply… If you can’t find anything, or are unsure, please feel free to contact me and I will help you find something.” Arest also announced that Scarsdale’s Ad Hoc Committee on Communications is working on revising public information on boards and councils to provide more insight into each group and member responsibilities.

In concluding his comments, Arest noted that the trustees would later vote to transfer of $334,518 in funds from the Scarsdale Cable Television Commission special reserve account to its equipment account to support improvements related to the library renovation. These upgrades will provide television access to library programs and resources.

Trustee Jane Veron followed and began by providing an update on the Freightway development project. “We have issued an RFP for a topographic survey of the site and just this morning… attended a pre-submission meeting with those who are interested in submitting proposals for the RFEI… the goal (of the RFEI) is to understand the qualifications and experiences of interested developers and to provide relevant input that will help us as we develop an RFP.”

She also discussed recent progress in filling vacant storefronts in the village center. “We have seen so much progress… the village center is thriving; I encourage residents to welcome our newest (retailer), the Bronx River Bookstore… The SBA – Scarsdale Business Alliance – is alive and well… there is tremendous energy and interest in cooperating with the village.”

Trustee Matt Callaghan then discussed his work with Scarsdale’s senior community, and an interest in having village government department heads meet with residents to discuss their roles and responsibilities. Callaghan also mentioned the village human resources group’s new mission statement and efforts to improve its collaboration with other village departments. He closed by congratulating the fire department on its program to mark the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. “It was a moving day… we should be reminded that… it celebrates courage and valor, and that’s really the legacy and heritage of our country.”

Trustee Lena Crandall went on to report on her work as a board member of the Coalition on Family Violence and Healthy Relationships. “This group brings together representatives from various local groups to raise awareness of the different types of violence that impact our residents of all ages.” Crandall then announced that Hitchcock Presbyterian Church will host a seminar and community lunch with Nelba and Jim Marquez-Greene, parents who lost their child in the Sandy Hook shooting, on Sunday, September 30. For more information, visit hitchcockpresby.org.

Trustee Carl Finger closed the trustee reports by mentioning that the village sustainability and law committees had just met to discuss additional revisions to the tree code that would address clear cutting. “We anticipate having another committee meeting in the not-too-distant future, and we hope that everyone who is interested will attend and comment, or submit comments.”

Public Comments:

Bob Harrison (Fox Meadow Road) asked about paving specifications for Post Road, specifically the amount of new asphalt to be applied. “The first course looked a little thin…” Hochvert and Pappalardo assured Harrison that a suitable amount of asphalt would be used and Pappalardo would provide specific information later.

Harrison then questioned increases in the estimated construction cost of the library renovation project (from $18.4 million to $20.2 million) and whether the village would need to cover the overage. Pappalardo responded that fund balances in the library fund and a number of charitable trust funds will cover most of the overage. About $180,000 is for cost of preparing the Supply Field facility to house the library’s temporary location, which the village was committed to pay from the outset. Hochvert then assured Harrison that the $9.9 million bond issue will not change.

Nilofer Kreonidis (Carman Road) raised concerns about distributed antenna systems, smart meters, cellphone towers and wifi exposure in schools. With regard to the DAS issue, she said, “I’m aware that Rye has won its lawsuit (against Crown Castle); I’m wondering where Scarsdale stands on this issue... Smart meters are going to be installed soon… there’s an opt-out; you can pay $10 a month to not have a smart meter. Is there an effort to make the public aware of this issue?” She continued, “The third issue I’m concerned about is wifi exposure in schools, which is exploding… In a short period of time, we are really saturating ourselves with wifi… then you can add the cellphone tower issue as well…. Give the enormity of it, is there a commission or committee being formed to discuss wifi in those four areas?”

Hochvert responded, “There are federal requirements that limit what we can do regarding the placement of distributed antenna systems systems. However, we do have a section in our code that limits placement.” He continued, “There’s direction coming from the FCC that is likely to be challenged… they are proposing taking away the power of municipalities to limit distribution… We are relying on our representatives (to block these efforts).” He also advised Kreonidis to discuss her concerns about wifi in schools with the School Board of Education.

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