Monday, Mar 18th

Last updateSun, 17 Mar 2019 11pm

You are here: Home Section Table Shout it Out
first
  
last
 
 
start
stop
first
  
last
 
 
start
stop

ConEdMapClaiming there is insufficient infrastructure for natural gas service for a good swath of Westchester County, Con Edison has announced a moratorium on new residential, commercial and industrial gas service to customers starting March 15, 2019. The moratorium could have far reaching effects on the local economy as it limits the availability of energy resources for new construction.

In addition to new projects, the moratorium also applies to those seeking additional gas service for heat, hot water, stoves and laundry. So anyone seeking to expand their home or commercial property would need to use a secondary energy source to heat and cool the additional square footage.

The announcement comes after years of Con Edison’s push to convert local customers from “dirty fuels” such as oil heat to natural gas.

According to information on the utility’s website, you may still be able to connect to natural gas if you meet the following criteria:

Small business customers in the food/beverage industry may email us to find out if gas is available prior to signing a lease. No new services will be installed, but they may be able to use an existing service for cooking.

Customers in the northernmost sections of Westchester County. These areas are served by a less-constrained gas transmission pipeline.

Customers with planned renovations who already have natural gas. You can reconnect your gas service provided that the renovations do not add a significant amount of gas load.

Claiming there is insufficient infrastructure for natural gas service for a good swath of Westchester County, Con Edison has announced a moratorium on new residential, commercial and industrial gas service to customers starting March 15, 2019. The moratorium could have far reaching effects on the local economy as it limits the availability of energy resources for new construction.

In addition to new projects, the moratorium also applies to those seeking additional gas service for heat, hot water, stoves and laundry. So anyone seeking to expand their home or commercial property would need to use a secondary energy source to heat and cool the additional square footage.

The announcement comes after years of Con Edison’s push to convert local customers from “dirty fuels” such as oil heat to natural gas.

According to information on the utility’s website, you may still be able to connect to natural gas if you meet the following criteria:

-Small business customers in the food/beverage industry may email us to find out if gas is available prior to signing a lease. No new services will be installed, but they may be able to use an existing service for cooking.

-Customers in the northernmost sections of Westchester County. These areas are served by a less-constrained gas transmission pipeline.

-Customers with planned renovations who already have natural gas. You can reconnect your gas service provided that the renovations do not add a significant amount of gas load.

We spoke to Con Edison’s spokesmen Alfonso Quiroz from the media relations office who explained that Con Edison aims to move customers to renewable solutions like geothermal heating by 2040. Why the shortage? Quiroz said there were attempts to build new pipelines to service southern Westchester but no projects were approved.

When asked what alternatives homebuilders would now have Quiroz suggested electric baseboard heat or geothermal. However, electric heat is significantly more expensive than natural gas to run and is dependent on Con Edison’s electric grid whi often fails in Scarsdale. The upfront costs of installing a geothermal heat system are higher than natural gas and require specific ground conditions and land.

Quiroz said the utility would continue to take applications for new or expanded service until March 15.

We asked Scarsdale Deputy Village Manager Rob Cole a few questions and here is what he shared:

Q: Is there really a shortage of natural gas or is Con Edison using the moratorium as a bargaining chip to raise rates or build a pipeline?

A: The regulating authority, the New York State Public Service Commission, would be the best entity to contact concerning the validity of Con Ed’s representation of a capacity constraint in their natural gas delivery infrastructure; we don’t have reliable data at the local level to make an informed statement on the subject at this time.

Q: Does the Village have any leverage to negotiate?

A: The Village of Scarsdale will collaborate with other Westchester communities impacted by the moratorium, working in coordination with County and State officials to address our concerns.

We also asked local home developer Bobby Ben-Simon for his views on the move. He said, “At this point I’m not affected, but it is a very serious issue. Con Edison has become, public enemy # 1. I’m sure many residents still remember the disastrous effect that was created by Con Edison in 2007. NY State should find ways to break up this company. When there is monopoly, the consumer always loses.”

Fearing the effect of the moratorium on billions of dollars of development planned for Westchester County, on Monday February 4, County Executive George Latimer asked the Public Service Commission to delay the implementation of the moratorium to give the county time to adopt an action plan.

On January 31 Con Edison applied to the NYS Public Service Commission for a rate increase on electric and natural gas that would go into effect in 2020. The average monthly bill for a residential gas customer, using on average 100 therms per month, would increase $17.28 to $176.34, according to Con Edison, an increase of 10.9 percent.

phone scam blue red 2 2018 3This in from Greenburgh Police Chief Chris McNerney:
Yesterday, a town resident reported receiving a suspicious phone call that appeared to originate from the Greenburgh Police Department. The caller claimed to be a Greenburgh Police Officer and wanted to discuss her credit report. Fortunately, the resident became suspicious and hung up the phone. We have learned that similar scam phone calls have been received by residents of other communities and appear to originate from municipal phone numbers (Police, Tax Collector, Village Manager’s Office…).

This act, known as “spoofing” phone numbers, is being used by scammers to solicit money and/or sensitive personal information from residents to be used for financial gain.

Residents are reminded that the Town of Greenburgh does not solicit money or personal information over the phone for any reason. If such a call is received, we recommend ending the phone call immediately and contacting the Police Department at 914-989-1700.

Attached please find a list of other known phone scams. Tax season is coming and we have seen a consistent scam the last several years where scammers pose as I.R.S. representatives and demand immediate payment for unpaid taxes. As a general rule, you should never agree to pay anything over the phone when solicited.

Here are a list of common phone scams:

There continues to be ongoing telephone/computer scams that have targeted victims from all walks of life throughout the United States. Residents are asked to beware of the following scams:

IRS Scam

The Scammer will pretend to be an IRS representative.

Scammer claims that certified letters were sent to victim’s address but were returned as undeliverable.

Scammer usually tries to scare and pressure the victim by telling them that they owe the IRS a certain amount of money.

The Scammer tells the victim that payment must be made immediately to avoid arrest.

Victims are usually asked to pay via a pre-paid cash card or credit card over the phone.

The phone number that appears on caller ID fraudulently appears to be that of the IRS.

Warrant and Arrest Threats

The Scammer states that a loved one has been arrested or that the victim is being investigated for certain criminal violations.

Scammer will demand immediate payment over the phone with the threat of prolonged incarceration for a loved one or arrest of the victim.

The Scammer often pretends to be from a Police Department, DEA, FBI or a foreign Police Department where family might be vacationing out of the country.

Victims are asked to pay bail or a fine over the phone by using a pre-paid cash card or a credit card.

The phone number that appears on caller ID fraudulently appears to be that of the law enforcement agency.

Computer Tech Support Scam (occasionally associated with Microsoft)

Scammer pretends to be computer technical support.

Scam also can appear with a pop-up message on a computer indicating that the computer is locked with instructions to call phone number to repair.

Scammer usually tells the victim that their computer is sending error messages and has a virus.

The Scammer usually asks for remote access to victim’s computer to try to fix the problem (this gives the Scammer access to all sensitive data that may be stored on the computer.)

The Scammer may also try to convince the victim to buy software that will fix non-existent computer problem(s).

Victims are usually asked to pay via a pre-paid cash card or credit card over the phone.

The phone number that appears on caller ID fraudulently appears to be that of the Computer Tech Company.

Apple Computer Scam:

Automated call claims to be from Apple Support

Automated call advises the victim that their iCloud Account has been hacked and they need to verify the victim’s account details.

Automated call is then redirected to a live Scammer who is supposed to help take care of the issue

Scammer proceeds to request personal information and credentials to log into victim’s Apple accounts.

Some victims have been asked to pay a fee to have antivirus software installed on their computer or IPad.

It is not antivirus software that they're paying for, it is usually malware.

The phone number that appears on caller ID fraudulently appears to be that of Apple Support.

Free Vacation Scam:

Scammer states that victim was entered into a raffle and was selected as the winner.

Scammer claims the prize is a free vacation to a tropical island for your whole family that’s valued at several thousand dollars.

The Scammer describes the accommodations as a luxury five-star hotel.

Scammer states that in order to receive the prize, the victim must pay a standard tax of “just” a few hundred dollars.

Victims are usually asked to pay via a pre-paid cash card or credit card over the phone.

There is no vacation, no prize and the victim is scammed out of the tax amount charged.

The phone number that appears on caller ID fraudulently appears to be that of the travel promotion company.

Residents are reminded that no government agency will ever demand a fine be paid via Western Union or pre-paid debit card.

CNCGraphicThe Procedure Committee begins a new season administering the non-partisan village office election system next month on February 1. The PC is currently inviting all qualified voters to apply to be part of its 88-year non-partisan tradition of representative democracy in Scarsdale. The PC will be comprised of the soon to be retiring class of Citizens Nominating Committee members and eleven appointees by invitation.

This year’s PC members paved the way forward by amending the Non-Partisan Resolution to ensure a more independent process, the 42nd set of amendments since the non-partisan system was formalized in 1930. They are in the process of creating an operations manual that will provide clear guidelines for the primary task of the PC, which is the recruitment and election of CNC members who nominate non-partisan candidates for village office. Members of the PC perform an important civic function with only a modest time commitment that typically fits well with the busy schedules of Scarsdalians.

The work of the PC this past year, other than an introductory organization meeting and conducting the CNC election in November, was conducted through subcommittees by email, conference call and in-person on an ad hoc basis as needed. The next PC’s term ends around the same time that the work of the CNC concludes at the end of January 2020.

Please consider joining the Procedure Committee, one of Scarsdale’s most important civic organizations. Contact PC Chair Madelaine Eppenstein for more information at meppenstein@eppenstein.com or by phone at 914.262.6656.

LEDLightinNow that the resurfacing of Butler Field and the track is underway, a longtime request to light the field is back on the table. At the Board of Education meeting on Monday, January 14, Athletic Director Ray Pappalardi reported that the resurfacing of Butler Field, D Zones, and the steeplechase, pole vaulting and long jump areas is complete. The track will be re-milled in April and resurfaced and painted in June.

He raised the issue of installing LED lights on the field and said that Maroon and White had already agreed to donate $200,000 to the project and spearhead the fundraising. The total for the lighting is estimated to cost $810,000. Four meetings have been held to examine the proposal. Maroon and White, the Scarsdale Schools Educational Foundation, the administration, the Board of Education, the village and local independent sports organizations all expressed renewed interest in installing permanent LED lighting. He called the lighting a “program enhancement.”

Pappalardi said that these lights are energy efficient and direct light onto the field with very little spillover beyond the field.

For evening games, the school currently uses diesel-powered lights that cause light, noise and air pollution, and the athletic community believes that LED lights would be superior. The cost of the temporary lighting is about $20,000 a year.

He added, “For me, lights were not a priority – but in my first season, other schools refused to come here because they had to leave school early to play during daylight. I was told, 'You guys should get lights.' The assumption is that schools have lights so kids don’t have to get out of school early.”

Pappalardi said that the project would require SEQRA review – or an environmental impact statement – and requested that the school district act as the lead agency.

Ass’t Superintendent Stuart Mattey said that it would cost about $2,500 a month for the lights or $15,000 per year for operation of the lights. He also thought it would be good to budget $20,000 to $25,000 for administrative costs the year that the lights were installed.

Discussing the proposal, Board Member Lee Maude asked, “What about kids practicing at night? How can we assure ourselves that having these lights won’t extend the day for these kids?”

Pappalardi said, “We would have to agree on when the lights would go off – and what will be scheduled.”

Dr. Hagerman added, “I would think participation would reduce stress.”

Chris Morin said, “We already deal with this for swimming, hockey, play practice – where there are no limits.”

Pam Fuerher asked about donor recognition and plaques. Pappalardi said that they would look into this and come up with a proposal, but for now, it seems that the best way would be to have donor recognition plaques on each pole.

At the conclusion of the discussion, Pappalardi asked the district for approval to reach out to the neighbors, neighborhood associations and community groups for more feedback and to visit neighboring districts that have similar lights. Hearing no objections, he was given the go-ahead to move forward.

canadiansWhat were the top stories in Scarsdale in 2018? We looked back at the content posted this past year and sorted stories by the number of hits. The exercise brought back memories of a rather tumultuous year here in town where there were untimely deaths, the passage of a controversial school bond, two contested elections for Village Board and School Board, a paralyzing Nor’Easter that knocked out power to one third of Scarsdale and big turnover at the high school athletic department. Based on the number of hits, these were the most-read stories on the site in 2018.

Here are the top stories of 2018

2018 began with a tragedy when a small plane carrying all five members of the Steinberg family crashed in Costa Rica on 12/31. The community was stunned by the sudden loss of five good souls. Relatives, friends and neighbors struggled to come to grips with the news.

In January residents scrambled to pre-pay local taxes in the hope that they would be able to deduct local real estate taxes from their 2018 returns despite the new tax law that limits local deductions to $10,000. Ultimately it was advised that prepayments would not be deductible and these checks were returned.

In February the community voted on a controversial $65.8 bond offering for the Scarsdale Schools which called for an addition to the Greenacres Elementary School and various infrastructure improvements to other district schools. The bond proposal was opposed by the League of Women Voters of Scarsdale and a tenacious group of Greenacres parents. However, the administration retained a public relations firm to sell the bond to voters and prevailed by a narrow majority of 65% of voters. The placement of large lawn signs urging voters to vote YES or NO on the bond resulted in a lawsuit from Robert Berg who claimed that a local law that prevents political signs in the Village right of way inhibited free speech.

The SHS Athletic Department also had a rocky year. Several coaches were dismissed or resigned and it was determined that the turf field was votingunsafe for play. Kids were suddenly left without seasoned coaches and or a home field. It was a challenging year for the Raiders.

The first half of 2018 marked the opening of the new Learning Commons at SHS where students eat, meet and collaborate. Also opened were the design lab and fitness center financed by the a big donation from the Scarsdale Schools Education Foundation. Controversy erupted about donor nameplates crediting those who gave funds to build these new facilities.

In March the slate of Non-Partisan candidates triumphed at the polls. Trustees Justin Arest, Lena Crandall Jane Veron,were elected with Voter’s Choice Party candidate Robert Berg earning 519 votes.

March brought the Nor’Easter that plunged a large swath of the community into the cold and dark for almost two weeks. Trees fell and snarled power lines while Scarsdale waited for help to come from crews as far away as Canada to restore power.

DSC01896In April, former Scarsdale Mayor Bev Sved was awarded the coveted Scarsdale Bowl for her service to Scarsdale, only to pass away unexpectedly in September.

Scarsdale experienced another shocking loss in May when beloved Jewish leader, rabbi and friend Aaron Panken was also killed in a plane crash. The funeral brought national Jewish leaders and hundreds of mourners to town to honor a bright light in the Jewish community who passed away at the age of 53.

DSC02180In May Scarsdale was focused on another contested election when a school board member ran independently for a second term on the Scarsdale Board of Education. After Pam Feuhrer did not receive the nomination from the School Board Nominating Committee she opted to run against the SBNC nominee Woody Crouch and succeeded in winning a second term. Alison Singer was elected for a first term and the 2018-19 school budget passed.

The community celebrated volunteer Dara Gruenberg at the Scarsdale Family Counseling Service “Evening of Enchantment” on May 10. Though only 36 years old, Gruenberg was instrumental in raising $7.5 million for the renovation and expansion of the Scarsdale Library and has an impressive resume of volunteer activities.

In June Scarsdale10583 published two perennial favorites – our photo gallery from the prom, this year titled “Photos from the Wet Carpet” and our report on the SHS graduation. At Fox Meadow Elementary School both the principal Duncan Wilson and the Assistant Principal Coleen Mangan announced that they would depart for positions in Briarcliff Manor.

In the Democratic Primary on June 26, Scarsdale resident Jonathan Lewis challenged incumbent Eliot Engel to represent the district in the U.S. House of Representatives. Engel was the clear winner but Lewis, a first time candidate. came away with an impressive 16.4% of the vote.

The Scarsdale Library closed to prepare for a major overhaul and expansion in July and the staff and some of the collection moved to the newly constructed Library Loft at Supply Field.

Schools opened in September with a marked decrease in enrollment. The district was down three kindergarten sections – possibly due to the new tax plan which eliminated some of the deduction for local taxes and made buying a home in Scarsdale more expensive. School administrators also conjectured that more parents were “red shirting” or holding kids back for an extra year before beginning school.

A new elementary school lunch program debuted in September with hot lunches prepared at the high school cafeteria and sent by truck to elementary schools without kitchens. Though there were some glitches at the start, parents and students now seem to be getting used to this new service.

HeathcoteCafeteriaIn October, 220 members of the SHS Class of 1968 returned to Scarsdale to celebrate their 50th reunion. They shared stories of the opening of Heathcote Elementary School, protests and the draft lottery for the Vietnam War and female students’ fight to participate in Varsity athletics. Edgewood Elementary School celebrated the opening of a new library and Heathcote a new multipurpose room and cafeteria with ribbon cutting ceremonies.

A heated debate erupted in November about a proposal to build a dog park in Scarsdale. After the Village commissioned a study to consider a dog park at the Weinberg Nature Center, Quaker Ridge residents came out in force to object, followed by those who live near other proposed sites. For now it seems that NIMBY has triumphed, and there will be no place for dogs and their owners to congregate in town.

And Scarsdale experienced another tragic loss when Dr. Jedd Sereysky, the 34 year-old son of Andrew and Joan Sereysky passed away in November.

The annual “Light the Dale” celebration brought Santa, kids, food and fun to Scarsdale Village for the tree lighting and holiday happenings.dogparkca

At Village Hall in December the Board of Trustees considered new laws to regulate the sale of guns and vape gear in Scarsdale, after two SHS students appeared on Good Morning America to warn about the dangers of e-cigarettes.

Late in December we learned that long time Scarsdale resident, unofficial Mayor of the Scarsdale Pool and committed volunteer Howie Nadel also died.

What were some of the other top stories?

Readers were keenly interested in new restaurants, new stores and downtown development. The year marked the opening of Bango Bowls, Bronx River Books, Café Alia, Popojito and Rudy’s Music in Scarsdale. Readers were dismayed to learn that the opening of Season’s Kosher Grocery in the Golden Horseshoe was delayed due to a bankruptcy filing.

The police blotter and court reports stayed top of mind this year. Former resident Julius Reich was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the stabbing of his wife Robin Goldman and a Scarsdale couple was arrested for running a pill mill. Teens posted online threats, a new driver plowed her jeep into the front window of DeCicco’s while the store was open for business and high school students taunted police at an unsupervised party.

Weiss SvendsenArticles on home sales, zoning and preservation were also very popular. Pieces on an appeal to raze a historic home at 6 Fenimore Road, a decision to deny the demolition of a mid-century home on Overlook Road and a 9-lot subdivision on Garden Road were among the site’s best read pieces along with quarterly real estate sales reports.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom. When former Scarsdale resident Jan Svendsen received a marriage proposal live on TV at the Emmy nomination, site traffic surged. Wedding announcements, the Halloween window painting contest results, costume parades and the July 4th celebration at the pool all served to enliven the site.

Keep your news coming our way in 2019. Wishing you all a good year.

Leave a Comment

Share on Myspace
first
  
last
 
 
start
stop