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clarkatBandnCulinary rock star Melissa Clark visited the Barnes and Noble in Eastchester on Tuesday April 4 to promote her new book "Dinner, Changing the Game" and to share her innovative recipes and love of cooking. She doesn't look old enough to have authored 38 cookbooks, write a weekly column and star in cooking videos for the NY Times and appear frequently on television and National Public Radio.. Though her resume is impressive, she's without pretense and is frank, approachable and down to earth. She must be juggling many plates but she regularly finds the time to shop and cook for her own family.

She explained that putting dinner on the table every night is more than just feeding the family. She elevated food prep to a higher calling, saying that home cooked meals and the rituals around them are good for your family and the community. By purchasing fresh ingredients you support local food producers, practice sustainability, eat healthier meals and demonstrate your love for those at the table. She encouraged everyone to set a goal to cook a bit more – saying, "If you cook one meal a week at home – make it two; or one meal a month, add one!"

And that should be easy with her new cookbook that features colorful spreads of savory meals made with ingredients you can find in our neighborhood. What are some of her current favorites? ... pomegranate molasses, kim chi and anchovies to name a few.

According to Clark's website, "This book is all about options; inventive, unfussy food with unexpected flavor: a sheetpan chicken laced with spicy harissa; burgers amped with chorizo; and curried lentils with poached eggs, to name a few. It's also about adding easy flourishes that make dinner exceptional—stirring charred lemon into pasta, tossing a Caesar-like dressing on a grain bowl, adding fresh ricotta and demerara sugar to stovetop mac and cheese, and lavishing a dollop of chili paste just about anywhere."clarkandbook

With Passover and Easter the following week, her fans were eager for new ideas and many left with the new "Dinner" cookbook that Clark offered to sign.

She also agreed to share a recipe: So I picked this one from the many mouth-watering offerings in her new book:

Harissa Chicken: - as published on
Serves 3

1 1/2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and drumsticks
1 1/4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 by 1/2-inch chunks
3 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons harissa
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
4 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed

2 leeks, white and light green parts, halved lengthwise, rinsed, and thinly sliced into half-moons
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/3 cup plain yogurt, preferably whole-milk (if using Greek, thin it down with a little milk to make it drizzle-able
1 small garlic clover
1 cup mixed soft fresh herbs such as dill, parsley, mint, and/or cilantro leaves
Fresh lemon juice, as needed

harissachickenCombine the chicken and potatoes in a large bowl. Season them with 2½ teaspoons of the salt and ½ teaspoon of the pepper. In a small bowl, whisk together the harissa, cumin, and 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Pour this mixture over the chicken and potatoes, and toss to combine. Let it stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the leeks, lemon zest, ¼ teaspoon of the salt, and the remaining 1½ tablespoons olive oil.

Heat the oven to 425°F.

Arrange the chicken and potatoes in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet, and roast for 20 minutes. Then toss the potatoes lightly, and scatter the leeks over the baking sheet. Roast until the chicken is cooked through and everything is golden and slightly crisped, 20 to 25 minutes longer.

While the chicken cooks, place the yogurt in a small bowl. Grate the garlic clove over the yogurt, and season with the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.

Spoon the yogurt over the chicken and vegetables in the baking sheet (or you can transfer everything to a platter if you want to be fancy about it). Scatter the herbs over the yogurt, drizzle some olive oil and lemon juice over the top, and serve.

Get your own copy of this stunning cookbook here.

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RobertCruzScarsdale was on the run on Sunday April 2 when 177 adults and 86 children turned out to participate in a day of races and fun runs. This was the 47th annual 15K/4-mile run, sponsored by the Scarsdale Parks and Recreation Department.

Adults ran either 15K (9.3 miles) or 4 miles in a course that wove through Fox Meadow and Greenacres. Prizes were awarded by age category and the results show that in both the men and women's divisions there was a runner over 80 years old!

The overall winners of the 15K race were Robert Cruz rachelrilanderfrom Scarsdale who ran the 15K in 56.11 minutes and Rachel Levine Rilander who completed the 15K course in 1:08. In the 4-mile race, Julian Scheinbaum was the first male winner, at 23.38 minutes and Jilly Mehlman was first in among the women at 27:33.

86 children between Pre-K & 4th Grade participated in the Fun Run with the youngest kids doing one lap around the high school track while the older kids ran four laps, which is a full mile.

Fortunately, the sun came out for the race, making it pleasant for the runners and all their supporters.

Nearly 30 members from Team WeRun participated in the race and many finished with their personal best times. Here are results from the team:werun1

15K M30-39 4th Place: Meiliang Wu (01:04:50)
15K M40-49 5th Place: Andy Zhang (01:03:44)
15K F30-39 1st Place: Xiaojuan Hu (01:09:56)
15K F30-39 3rd Place: Yunchun Xu (01:14:22)
15K F40-49 2nd Place: Chen Zou (01:17:10)
15K F40-49 5th Place: Xiaoshan Zhu (01:19:38)
4M M1-14: 5th Place: Matthew Zhao (00:34:56)
4M M15-19: 4th Place: Maxwell Zhao (00:26:18)
4M F1-14 3rd Place: Joanna Wang (00:38:50)
4M F40-49 1st Place: Hongwei Zhou (00:32:00)

Four top team members plan to run the Boston Marathon in just two weeks. All runners seasoned or novice are welcome to join. For more information, please email Lisa Tan at

della CavakidsrunRace1Race2Race3Race4race6


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slateScarsdale's Non-Partisan Party slate scored a resounding victory in a hotly contested race for Village Mayor and Trustees on Tuesday March 21. In an election that usually draws only 300 voters, 2,854 Scarsdale residents came to the polls and selected the Non-Partisan Party slate by a 2:1 margin. Total votes cast, including absentee ballots were 3,030.

votingThe race put Scarsdale's Non-Partisan system of governance to the test and the results showed that voters, young and old value the Village's unique system. For many it was the first time they had voted in a Village election, but when they realized what was at stake, they stood on long lines to cast their ballots.

Running for the Scarsdale Non-Partisan Party were a slate of candidates with many years of volunteer service to the Village. Dan Hochvert, a former Village Trustee was elected Mayor, Carl Finger and Matt Callaghan were re-elected to serve second terms as Village Trustee and Seth Ross was elected as a new Trustee.

The opposition party was formed in the wake of a marnieVillage-wide tax revaluation that critics charged was poorly executed and yielded skewed results. In fact, two of the candidates on the Scarsdale Voters' Choice Party slate had participated in an Article 78 lawsuit against the Village, charging that the 2016 tax roll should be voided.

The campaigns for both parties were led by younger women who brought leadership, new tactics and a new generation into the fight . ML Perlman, the next President of the Scarsdale Forum served as campaign chair for the Non-Partisan Party, while Mayra Kirkendall-Rodriguez chaired the Scarsdale Voters' Choice Party.

During the course of the long day of voting, no one seemed at all sure which way the vote would go. As more and more voters surged to the polls, it was difficult to discern what the outcome would be.

However, at 11 pm, after the votes were counted, it appeared that the Scarsdale Voters'  Choice Party's calls for increased transparency, lower taxes and new roads failed to draw enough voters to overturn the status quo.

Here are the vote counts: (including absentee ballots)


What motivated voters? Though there was no exit polling, here are a few reasons voters gave for their decisions. The Scarsdale Voters' Party attracted 1,000 voters, triple the number of voters in a regular election. They promised minimal tax increases and better roads. This was an appealing message to those who feel their taxes are too high.  However, Berg had many opponents as well. Some remembered that he had objected to the construction of a fitness center at the high school and led a campaign to defeat a school budget. Fearing that he would pressure the schools to cut their budget, they came out to vote for his opponent. Residents at Christie Place objected to Berg's pleas to enact the Homestead Act which would have doubled real estate taxes on condominium owners. Others came out to support non-partisan politics and Scarsdale's non partisan system of governance.

The campaign was noisy and visible. The Village was covered in campaign signs, candidate for Mayor Robert Berg made robo calls to Scarsdale households, there were meetings, mailings and heavy use of social media. In a town where candidates for Village Board and School Board are usually selected by nominating committees, the change was notable. Some voters said they objected to the divisive nature of partisan politics and were inspired to vote to ensure that Scarsdale did not go the way of national politics.

Speaking at the Scarsdale Woman's Club after the results were announced, Dan Hochvert vowed to mend fences and get to work for the Village of Scarsdale. Matt Callaghan called the team "the stewards of the public good," and Seth Ross said, "though we don't always agree, we are all members of a community." Carl Finger promised to be "the best trustee I can be," and Mayor Jon Mark praised the widespread participation and called on residents to volunteer and work for the community they love.

The candidates from the Scarsdale Voters' Party did not attend the post-election celebration and missed the invitation from the Non-Partisan Party to mend fences and put partisan politics behind them.

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freighwayaerialviewAt their final meeting as a Village Board on Tuesday 3-28, which extended after midnight, the board passed some important resolutions, retaining auditors, consultants, and engineers and appointing a resident steering committee to set goals for the Freightway Development Project.

Auditors: After much discussion, the Board voted to retain PKF O'Connor Davies Accountants and Advisors to conduct an independent audit of the Village of Scarsdale. The firm bid $67,900 a year for three years.

Trustee Callaghan raised concerns about the firm after they were sanctioned by the SEC in connection with an audit of the City of Ramapo. He said, "I am queasy about the reval and I don't want to get in that kind of situation again." Mayor Mark explained that officials of the City of Ramapo engaged in a scheme to defraud their auditors and lied to them.

The remaining board members said that extensive due diligence had been done and that the situation in Ramapo was an isolated one. They all voted yes without reservation, as did the Mayor.

Freightway Site Development: The Board also voted to retain BFJ Planning to provide planning and community engagement services for the Freightway Site redevelopment study. BFJ Planning will study redevelopment at the Freightway Site and engage the community in the decision-making process. Trustee Veron explained that the process is likely to take several years and involve changes in the zoning of the property that is a 2.38 acre site along the Metro North tracks. To select the planning firm, the Village did an RFP for a planning firm with transit experience and received three proposals. A committee reviewed the proposals and determined that BFJ Planning best met the bill, as they have expertise in traffic and parking, urban design and development economics. The proposed fee is $78,000 and the projected time frame for the work is 11 months.

When the voting began, Trustee Callaghan opened by saying he was voting "NO." He objected to using consultants and recommended that informed residents run the project and invite developers to bid on the project. He objected to BJF saying they were the "Tiffany's" of site planners.

As with the vote on the auditors, the rest of the board voted aye, as they believe it is very important to hire site planners to explore the best use for the property. This is the last remaining piece of Village-owned property to be developed and it will ultimately be a revenue-producer for the Village. The Board and Mayor felt the consultants would bring a level of expertise to the project that citizens cannot match. It will be a big, expensive project which the Mayor said will need a "well thought out plan with community input."

As part of the process a Freightway Site Steering Committee was appointed to look into creating a vibrant site to enhance the Village Center. In concert with hiring the Planning Consultants, the Village Board passed a resolution to develop the Freightway Steering Committee to develop goals and objectives for the site Appointed to the committee were: Justin Arest, Farley Baker, Jim Blum, Kirsten Friedman, Heather Harrison, Barbara Jaffe, Matthew Martin and Andrew McMurray.

Communications Antenna: The Board then passed a licensing agreement with Crown Communications to place a VHS radio antenna on the cell tower at 395 Mamaroneck Road adjacent to the entrance to the Hutchinson River Parkway. This will improve emergency communications in the eastern part of Scarsdale.

Sanitary Sewers: The Board also voted to retain engineers to complete a Sanitary Sewer Evaluation Study analyzing inflow infiltration into the sewer system. Scarsdale is already in excess of their flow allowances. The Village needs to find the locations where excess flows of groundwater are going into the sewer system. H2M Engineers and Architects of White Plains were retained at a cost of $738,000. Village Manager Pappalardo explained that sanitary sewer rent fees would be used to fund this work. The Mamaroneck Valley Area that will be studied represents 40% of the sewer system in Scarsdale. The Village will later have to do a similar study the Bronx Valley Area. Ultimately the Village will have to undertake repairs that are projected to cost millions of dollars.

Village Center: Nearing the end of the meeting, Trustee Jane Veron offered the final update on efforts to revitalize the Village Center: Here are her comments:

"As you know I have been performing the liaison function between the Village Board, Village staff, and representatives of the Village Center community. We have made great progress in our plans to bring vitality back to the Village Center. Since the summer, we have been working in earnest, holding monthly strategy meetings with landlords, prominent merchants, and Village staff. I have also met personally with landlords and leasing agents and have been repeatedly assured that they will make fair deals, offering reasonable rent and incentives, to attract the right tenants to our Village. I am also meeting with Village staff and police enforcement to review data and devise plans to address merchant parking. In addition, the Village board has directed the staff to pilot mobile parking apps on a test basis. The Village staff, landlords, and I have participated in conversations and reviewed proposals from retail specialists. I regularly attend the Scarsdale Forum's downtown revitalization meetings and serve as a connector and information source for the committee. At present, we are working together to develop a public art and events plan to create more vibrancy in the Village Center. The Village board anticipates staffing up the Scarsdale Arts Council to assist in that effort. At the same time, we are looking forward to kicking off the Freightway project as foot traffic is an essential ingredient for a vibrant Village Center."

"As you are aware, in 2014 The Acceleration Project (TAP), the local nonprofit that I run, conducted extensive quantitative and qualitative market research and produced the Shop the 'Dale/Dine the 'Dale awareness campaign. TAP continues to work on a pro bono basis to validate the findings and to track evolving consumer needs. We have just completed consumer focus groups and will share the results with landlords, leasing agents, and prospective tenants. We have also monitored the trends, studied other markets, and emphasized the importance of eateries, value-added service, and experience. We are convening the Village merchant community on Monday, April 3, to share the results of our efforts with updates from TAP, leasing agents, Village staff, and the Forum arts and events group. I am energized by the positive spirit of collaboration and look forward to moving ahead with plans to revitalize the Village Center."

Village Budget: A public hearing on the Village Budget for 2017-18 will be held on Wednesday April 12 at 8 pm. The proposed budget is now available for review on the Village website here.

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(Updated at 8 pm:) The Village election has brought out an unprecedented number of voters. As of 6 pm it was estimated that 1,700 votes had been cast. Campaigners were standing at the train station to encourage residents who were getting off the train to go to the polls.

The polls will close at 9 pm. When the count is complete, the results will be announced at the post-election celebration at the Scarsdale Woman's Club on Drake Road.

Though so many people voted, the wait to vote was not long. Village Clerk Donna Conkling was well prepared for big numbers at the polls. This year, there are six electronic scanners for ballots – and voters do not need to sign in by election district, something that has slowed the process in the past. Instead, the voter rolls are in alphabetical order to make it easy to find your name.

Voting is taking place in the Scott Room of Scarsdale Public Library.

Here are the names of the candidates for Mayor and Village Trustees you will find on the ballot. You can vote for one candidate for Mayor and three candidates for Village Trustee. You are not required to vote for all candidates in one party line; you can select those you want from Rows A and B.

Scarsdale Citizens' Non-Partisan Party: (Row A)

For Mayor: Dan Hochvert

For Village Trustee:
Matt Callaghan
Carl Finger
Seth Ross

Scarsdale Voters' Choice Party (Row B)

For Mayor: Robert Berg

For Village Trustee:
Carlos Ramirez
Brice Kirkendall-Rodriguez
Robert Selvaggio

The results of the election will be announced tonight – March 21, 2017, at the Scarsdale Woman's Club on Drake Road – after the polls close at 9 pm. The public is invited to this post-election celebration.

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