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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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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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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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thank youMany residents came to the podium at the Village Board meeting on Tuesday March 28 to thank Mayor Jon Mark and Trustee Bill Stern who both completed their service to the Village. Here are comments from former Village Trustee David Lee, LWVS President Deb Morel and Darlene LeFrancois Haber, Ron Schulhof and Michelle Sterling who have championed many sustainability initiatives in the Village.

David Lee:
Jon, when you left the Board of Trustees back in 2013 after serving two terms as trustee, I told of how even before I became a trustee you showed me the type of person you were. You, Kay Eisenman, and I were the three CNC trustee candidates that year, you two running for your second term and I for my first. The three of us were to participate in a debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters since we had an independent candidate on the ballot running against us.JonMark

In preparation for the debate, you prepared for all three of us what was at least a 10-page outline detailing the major issues of the day.

From that first experience with you, I said back then that I quickly came to see you as:
-Generous with others in sharing your knowledge

-Prolific in turning out relevant materials

-Someone possessing a powerful command and memory for the issues, and
A person of great intellect, capable of understanding and presenting issues in an insightful and organized fashion.

I then added in that 2013 farewell speech that in the two years during which we served together on the board , I had come to see not only how true my first impression of those strengths of yours were, but that I had come to see others as well – especially, my recognition of :

Your exceptional conscientiousness in your preparation for understanding the issues we had to address and your dedication to our goal as board members for doing the very best we can for our Village.

As I look back today on your time as Mayor, I see those same descriptions as applying so fully to you.

But, I now want to add something more.DavidLee2

You and your colleagues on the Board this year came under intense pressure from many sides to try to deal with a very difficult situation. Criticized roundly by some, you all, but especially you, Jon, as Mayor, who were more targeted than anyone else, showed class and dignity as you listened to, and showed respect for, all comers, notwithstanding that the same treatment was not always returned your way.

And in a sense, I suppose that's how it sometimes needs to be - from both sides. If residents are angry and without decision-making power, they need to be able to show the intensity of their feelings, if that's how they feel they will be most effective at persuading the decision-makers.

While from our Mayor, we dearly need the kind of demeanor and character that you displayed, leading by example in having our Village Board accord respect to all our neighbors.

You're a classy guy, Mr. Mayor, and all of us in the Village are indebted to you for, among other things, the dignity that you lent to the office.

To Bill Stern from David Lee:

Trustee Stern – Thank you

Bill, you have been a gift to our Village Board. We saw that in your passion and intellect on display earlier this evening in your comments. Knowledgeable beyond measure and likeable beyond measure, you bring your special brand of expertise to the board and it's terrific. Your passion for sustainability and the environment, Scarsdale Cable-TV and the Library, is un-paralleled on the board - and most timely in our Village. Your engineering and business background brought a hugely valued perspective to Board discussions. Your colleagues on the Board looked forward to hearing what you had to say and learned to rely on your expertise and your wisdom. At Village Board meetings, you comfortably addressed contentious positions taken by some of our residents and did so persuasively, while always showing respect for the other's position. And your lucid, un-scripted liaison reports of meetings you have attended or events you have witnessed were often the most entertaining parts of board meetings.

WilliamSternYou have been a terrific member of the Village Board, bringing integrity and a wealth of experience that helped the Board immensely in its decision-making. Thank you for your devoted service to our Village.

Deb Morel

debmorelGood evening. My name is Deb Morel and I am the President of the League of Women Voters of Scarsdale. On behalf of the League's board, I would like to honor and thank outgoing Scarsdale Mayor, Jon Mark, and Scarsdale Trustee, Bill Stern. Both Jon and Bill are exemplary public servants who approached the task of governing our village with great care, enormous commitment and impressive responsiveness. Through my work with the League, I have had the opportunity to observe and work with Jon and Bill on various civic matters, and I want to acknowledge the tremendous service each has done for Scarsdale over the years.

Bill Stern, a long-time resident of Quaker Ridge, has served two full terms as a Village Trustee, starting in 2013. With a masters degree in electrical engineering and a Ph.D. in physics, Bill brought strong technical knowledge and insight to numerous village board discussions. Among other things, he has been a champion of sustainability initiatives in the Village, most notably his work on drafting and helping to enact sensible and progressive Village laws and regulations for residents' installation and use of solar panels on their homes.

Jon Mark grew up in Scarsdale, and has served in Scarsdale government for many years. From 2010 to 2014, he served two terms as a Trustee and, during those terms he was called upon also to serve for periods of time as the Scarsdale Police Commissioner, Fire Commissioner and Deputy Mayor. A year after the end of his final trustee term he was nominated and won the position of Scarsdale Mayor. With his characteristic blend of candor, practicality and humor, Jon opened every village board of trustees meeting with a clear and comprehensive run-down of the issues and developments residents needed to know about since the last meeting, and was always meticulously conscientious about following up on questions and requests from the community. And I, personally, have admired Jon's seemingly limitless patience, respect and attention for all citizens during the public comment periods. Jon and Bill, we are truly grateful to both of you for your service.

We would also like to welcome and congratulate the Mayor-elect, Dan Hochvert, and Trustee-elect Seth Ross as they begin their first terms. We congratulate Trustees Matthew Callaghan and Carl Finger as they each begin their second terms. Finally, we thank Trustees Pekarek, Samwick and Veron for their continued service. We wish you all the very best.

Michelle Sterling, Ron Schulhof read by Darlene LeFrancois Haber

Mayor Mark:

Thank you for your service as Mayor these past two years. It has been a pleasure working with you. Scarsdale has seen a number of exciting sustainability initiatives launch under your leadership and is a better place for it. From LED Streetlights to supporting the county reusable bag initiative to the updated recycling guide to organic landscape management to initiating the review of solar and most recently the food scrap recycling program.

You have always given time to hear from volunteers, whether it be during public comments, committee meetings on the 3rd floor or just a phone call. You always came to the table with an open mind, listened and advocated for bringing volunteers into the process. You supported the creation of joint resident-village ad-hoc committees on important initiatives. This brought volunteers into the fold which thankfully made us volunteers a part of these programs and the village will continue to be the better for it.

Who would have thought two years ago that you would be giving a food scrap recycling demo, with a kitchen apron on no-less, to the Greenacres neighborhood association? While we are sad to see your time on the board come to a close, we fully expect to see you walking the train platform with food scrap starter kits in hand giving demos! In all seriousness thank you for your service to the community. You will be greatly missed.

Bill Stern:

Thank you for your service as a Trustee for the past 4 years! Your intelligence, thoughtfulness, and unending commitment to doing what is right for the residents of this community has been very apparent, and is tremendously appreciated.

In particular, each of the three of us applaud your unending support in the mission of caring for our environment. You very clearly reflect the knowledge that human-caused climate change, a fact NOT a hoax, is harming not only our earth, but – as a physician-scientist I can unfortunately say - our personal health. You know that "It's not only happening in the Arctic Circle, it's happening here. It's not only a problem for us in 2100, it's a problem now. And it's not only hurting polar bears, it's hurting us." As a result of your vision, and in your capacity as Trustee, you have clearly taken ownership of this issue and consistently expressed to your fellow Board members and our community that we are stewards of our earth – and we need to leave it in as good of a condition if not better for generations to come. That is evident.

Thank you for your leadership, your constant support and advocacy. We have witnessed that you have not accepted the status quo on this issue. In contrast, as a result of your conviction, as Trustee you have sought to prevent more environmental harm by supporting initiatives which reduce heat-trapping pollution through reducing energy waste and by accelerating the transition to clean renewable energy. Energy saving initiatives such as solar promotion and led street lighting, on organic land management promotion, on the food scrap recycling and energy composting initiative - on these and on all environmentally beneficial initiatives you have stood with each of us and advocated. For this - and for everything else you have done for our community - we thank you Bill. We will greatly miss you as Trustee. The three of us have discussed how to clone you...
But while your time on this Board is at its end, we are each wholly confident that you will continue to make your voice heard as an advocate for a better and healthier community, and a better earth.

We look forward to joining arms with you as a cherished member of our community in this mission.

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