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letter-to-the-editorThis letter was sent to Scarsdale10583 by the Westchester Putnam School Boards Association in advance of the May 16 budget vote and election of school board members.

To the Editor: In recent months, Local Control has become the hot buzzword. There is a renewed sense that local actions matter, and indeed, all politics is local. The board of education exemplifies this, as school board members address two things that are important to most people - their children and their money!

The 2017 data on Westchester/Putnam school board candidates is revealing:

• While the number of districts with contested elections had been trending downward, this year it increased from 40% to 51%.
• A record 141 people are running for 95 seats, and the percentage of non-incumbent candidates on the ballot increased from 46% to 57%.

Before you fill in your ballot, consider that the board of education is a policy-making body whose fiduciary responsibilities include finances and the education of children. Select candidates who will leave their own agenda at the door and focus on the long-term needs of all children through thoughtful consensus building, while considering local taxpayer constraints. A well-functioning board focuses on strategic issues - district vision, standards, goals and policies - and allows the superintendent to be the CEO, setting objectives and plans, managing staff and operations, making recommendations to the board and providing data for decision-making. The right mix will facilitate a culture of continuous improvement, student success and respectful, open, honest communication; the wrong mix, or too many egos in the mix, can tip the balance and thwart district progress. When you go to the polls, remember that every vote matters, particularly in local elections!

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Hello Spud Melanie Kayam at Launch PartyScarsdale has always been a hotbed for innovation and creativity, and the next generation of mothers are no exception. This week we heard from two companies, founded by young mothers, who have launched their own product lines and are offering their merchandise on line and at retail. These women have used the professional knowledge they gained before having kids to become entrepreneurs on their own terms.

Meet Melanie Kayam from Hello Spud and Lara Serebrier Paul and Judith Heimowitz from Joya Swim.

Melanie is a Scarsdale mom who moved here seven years ago from the city with her family. She studied textile design and product development at Parson's School of Design and spent the last 20 years travelling the world with her home décor creations while working for manufacturers. Now she has four "spuds" of her own; 5-year-old Jonah, 3-year-old Luca, 1-year old Ethan, and a brand she designed and launched herself, Hello Spud.

Hello spud Melanie Kayam and boys"It had always been a dream of mine since I was a little girl to one day launch my own brand." Says Kayam, "Inspiration is always all around me. With the birth of our third son Ethan, the stars finally lined up to take this leap in
launching Hello Spud." Spending the first few months of development with Ethan by her side as she worked gave her all of the motivation she needed. Watching her son's interactions with fabrics and colors sparked many ideas for the collection, and really built her design philosophy.

Hello Spud's goal is to inspire new parents as they create their baby's nursery. Melanie explains, "The word inspire means a lot to us at Hello Spud; we use color and texture to nurture and inspire babies, and we aim to evoke whimsy and wonder in all of our prints, from pink pineapples to paper airplanes, to inspire songs, storytelling and, hopefully, smiles." hellospud productMany of Hello Spud's products, such as the bath collection, crib sheets, changing pad cover, and scottie toys are made from organic materials. The items are designed to grow with the baby and work well for toddlers, too.

"A nursery isn't just any room. It's a sacred space where imaginations run wild and sweet dreams are spun, where songs are shared and snuggles reign supreme. Its my favorite room in the house."

You can purchase Hello Spud products at their website and coming soon their items will be in the Scarsdale and Port Chester buy buy BABY stores and on the buy buy BABY site. Hello Spud will also be featured at the Big City Mom's event in NYC on May 24th.

Joya Swim is a swimwear company founded by two Scarsdale moms that offers women fashion-forward yet practical bathing suits and cover-ups, both ready-to-wear and made-to-order. Customers can buy existing styles or customize their own bathing suit to make sure they feel perfect when they are chasing their kids around the town pool or relaxing on an adult-only getaway.

JoaySwim FoundersA savvy shopper might notice that there is a major shift towards direct-to-consumer shopping. Multi-vendor pop-up shop parties are, well, popping up everywhere. Typically aimed at female consumers, these shopping parties invite women to have a fun night out with friends to shop in a "party" environment for a broad range of products. Plus, consumers get price cuts both from side stepping the middle men of retailers and special discounts offered for the pop-up shop events.

Lara and Judith are big fans of this model. "So many joyaswimof the customers we talk to haven't bought a bathing suit in years because it is just way too scary." Joya Swim offers a shopping experience that is comfortable, private, and done with experts who really know fit. Plus, a glass of wine with friends before you go into the dressing room certainly doesn't hurt. "We are two Scarsdale entrepreneurs embracing this important retail trend of direct-to-consumer shopping parties, especially timed with Mother's Day" explain the two.

Joya's next pop-up event is at May 4th at 7-9pm in partnership with Platinum Drive Realty, Stella & Dot, and Beauty Counter. You can shop online at their website,, and email for information on upcoming local events and private fitting appointments.

Also for Mother's Day, Meritage Restaurant at 1505 Weaver Street is hosting a handmade item market on Sunday May 7th from 11 am to 3 pm featuring handcrafted items from a multitude of artists, a craft station for kids, Walter's Hot Dogs, and more. To learn more, click here.

 Mother s Day Market Poster ADDRESS


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DSC09658Students who graduated from Scarsdale High School or lived in Scarsdale during high school and who have complete their first, second, or third years of college are invited to apply to the Scarsdale Foundation for tuition assistance. For the 2016-2017 academic year, the Foundation awarded $118,000 of need-based grants to students attending private and state-supported colleges.

Applications should be submitted online to the Scarsdale Foundation's website, (click on the College Scholarships link). Completed applications must be submitted by Monday, June 5, 2017. Late applications will not be accepted. Please contact Scholarship Committee Chairs Randy Guggenheimer ( and/or BK Munguia ( with any questions. Please note "Scholarship Inquiry" in the subject of your email.

The Foundation welcomes contributions from the community to augment the funds available for distribution each year. Contributions may also be donated to a specially earmarked Scholarship Fund of the Scarsdale Foundation, with monies to be used for 2017-2018 recipients, enabling the Foundation to carry on the tradition of helping our students in need to pursue a college education. Donations may be made online by visiting the Foundation's website or mailed to the Foundation at P.O. Box 542, Scarsdale, NY 10583.

For more information regarding the work of the Foundation, please visit our website.

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Free CompostThanks to everyone that participated in our Earth Day giveaway of free compost and rain barrels! Because the event was such a huge success, it will be back for an encore performance on May 06, 2017.

The Village of Scarsdale is once again making high quality food scrap compost and rain barrels available to all residents for FREE on a first come, first served basis! Simply bring a pail, bucket, or other receptacle to the Scarsdale Recycling Center, 110 Secor Road, from 8:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 06 and take some compost home.

High quality food scrap compost material is being provided pursuant to the successful Village of Scarsdale residential Food Scrap Recycling program, which now has over 550 pioneering participants that have recycled over 26,000 pounds, or roughly 13 tons, of food waste since the beginning of the program in January 2017.

They would like to reach 1,000 participating households during the program's first year, so don't just simply spread your compost, help spread the word! Bring a friend to the event and s/he will not only learn about the program, but can also get a food scrap recycling kit on-the-spot. Additional program information can be accessed here:

The food scrap compost can be used in one's vegetable garden, flower beds, or to enrich turf in place of chemical fertilizers. As noted above, FREE rain barrels will also be available.

The Village of Scarsdale Food Scrap Recycling program was formed through community collaboration, with program implementation guided by the Committee on Food Scrap Recycling, comprised of the following members: Benedict Salanitro, Public Works Superintendent; Ron Schulhof, resident volunteer; Tyler Seifert, Assistant to the Public Works Superintendent; and Michelle Sterling, resident volunteer.

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property-taxesThis press release was sent by the Assessor's Office of the Village of Scarsdale:

The NYS Office of Real Property Tax Services (ORPTS) has confirmed the Village of Scarsdale 2017 Levelof Assessment at 90.5. When the Level of Assessment (LOA) is confirmed by ORPTS,as has occurred for 2017, the number becomes both the Tentative Equalization Rate and the Tentative Residential Assessment Ratio, as well. Therefore, both the Tentative 2017 Equalization Rate and Tentative Residential Assessment Ratio (RAR) are 90.5. By way of comparison, the Final 2016 Equalization Rate was 89.14 and the Final 2016 RAR was 88.48. To review the Scarsdale Equalization Rate history, click here

What is an equalization rate?

At its simplest, an equalization rate is the state's measure of amunicipality's Level of Assessment (LOA). This is the ratio of total Assessed Value (AV) to the municipality's total market value (MV). The municipality determines the AV, while ORPTS estimates the MV.Anequalization rate of less than 100 means that the municipality's total Market Value is greater than its Assessed Value. In other words, one's 2017 property assessment should reflect 90.5% of the established Fair Market Value. The 2017 Tentative Assessment Roll will be filed on June 01, 2017, at which point interested property owners may review their 2017 property assessments. To learn more about property taxes, assessments, and the administrative remedies available to persons seeking to challenge an assessment, visit the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance Property Owner Information webpage: 

2017 Assessment Roll Timing

June 01, 2017: Tentative Assessment Roll is filed.

June 20, 2017 (Third Tuesday in June): The statutory deadline for filing a grievance with the Village of Scarsdale Board of Assessment Review. Grievance Instructions and Applicationsare available in-person and online and shall be accepted for as long as the Board of Assessment Review is in session on June 20, 2017. Should the Board of Assessment Review agree to adjourn the proceedings to another day(s), no grievance applications will be accepted on the adjourned date(s). Please also click here for more 2017 Assessment Roll information.

September 15, 2017: Final Assessment Roll is filed.

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