Monday, Feb 18th

Last updateSun, 17 Feb 2019 4pm

You are here: Home Section Table Good Work

godzilla1With last week's Nor'easter fresh in their minds, Scarsdale High School City 2.0 classes had a chance to take on a category three superstorm of their own during a simulation of "Superstorm Godzilla" on Tuesday, March 13.

Preparing for Storm Godzilla to hit NYC with wind speeds ranging from 111-130 mph, students broke into five groups to put plans in place to reduce risk before the storm, plans to stay safe and prevent damage while the storm is underway, and work to recover after the storm. To divide and conquer, and narrow their focus, students were assigned specific agencies to study, such as FDNY, ConEd, NYPD, City Hall, Department of Education, and the Department of Health, to name a few. From there, students formed larger groups with broader categories to educate each other on their specific agency, such as transportation, shelter, utilities, and security.

Members of the Westchester Office of Emergency Management, Port Authority, FEMA, Urban Assembly School for Emergency Management, U.S. Coast Guard, police and two fire chiefs assisted students during the simulation. Students were told to focus on specific obstacles, process how to distribute resources, prioritize and empathize with people and their families, and consider how people would be effected without transportation systems. There were several questions students had to consider. Students in all different groups tried to process how people in these situations would seek help. How would people be able to evacuate if we close down the transportation systems? How will we be able to communicate without power or cell service? How would people feel if their pets weren't welcomed at shelters? Would this be a mandatory evacuation? How would the disabled be able to evacuate?godzilla2

SHS Social Studies Department Chair John Harris represented the mayor's position within the simulation. After discussing with team representatives he led a press conference which provided the public with crucial information about Superstorm Godzilla. He asked students questions on the spot in regard to evacuation routes, FDNY's role, when electricity would be back on, and how people would receive aid with NYC's detrimental flooding. It was a great experience for Scarsdale students to be able to learn about ongoing issues within the world that may not specifically affect them. Students were able to get a better understanding of what it's like to be severelimpacted by a superstorm and how Favrettithey can prepare, respond, and recovery from one similar. Teachers Fallon Plunkett, Margaret Favretti, and Emily Block, as well as the professionals immensely helped SHS students benefit from a great hands-on experience.

Margaret Favretti said, "Although I will be retiring in the spring, I certainly hope to be able to help out next year in another amazing "Superstorm Godzilla" simulation.

enoughThe tragic shooting at the Parkland High School has empowered thousands of students across the country to march against gun violence and remember the victims of the tragedy. Many Scarsdale High School students have expressed interest in marching to show solidarity in their support against gun violence. Currently, a student government-sponsored "walk-out" is scheduled to take place in the middle of the school day at 10:00 AM on March 14th. During this time, students can opt to leave their classrooms and walk-out for a total of 17 minutes to honor the 17 deaths in the Parkland shooting. Teachers who have classes during the walk-out will remain in their classrooms.

Sneha Day a senior at SHS who is an organizer of the march, says "The walkout will both show our solidarity with students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and protest Congress's lack of action in passing gun reform and/or mental health laws since the Sandy Hook shooting. Walking out demands change from Congress to keep us safe in the place we learn everyday"

Many students believe the march is critical to solving the nationwide epidemic of gun violence. Young Democrat member Jack Greenspan has praised the march, stating "The march will bring attention to the issue of gun violence, a problem that plagues schools and communities from all over the country. We need to find a solution, whether it be gun control, mental health reform, or anything in between. However, the first step to creating a solution is by opening up a discussion on the issue, and this is what we hope to do by marching".

While the majority of students have voiced support for the cause and the march, some SHS students have voiced concern due to its political nature. The national march has been marketed as a march for gun control, a belief held by many, but not all SHS students. The President of the Young Republicans club Luka Masic has voiced concerns about what marching might mean as a conservative. "The National Walkout is an explicitly anti-gun and partisan demonstration....a walkout that coincides with the national one and is sanctioned by the administration is one that is incredibly divisive. It forces students to pick a side and likely face judgement from their peers based on their decisions".

Principal Bonamo has acknowledged this issue, stating in an email to students and parents "We must be careful not to support any specific political messages as an institution", however conservatives are still wary of the underlying political tone.

Sarina Fard, a sophomore at SHS, supports the walk-out but cautioned that students ought to be open minded on the issue. "To make a difference in this upcoming walk-out for gun violence and to win people's hearts and minds, it is critical that we don't judge them and be hostile toward them".
At the minimum, the march does allow a platform for dialogue between the two sides on how to address the issue of gun violence. Hopefully, common ground can be found to find the best solution to end the needless violence.

On January 16, 2018, at its weekly Tuesday luncheon at Muscato Restaurant in Scarsdale, the Scarsdale Rotary Club honored the local charities awarded discretionary grants through an application process. These grants are funded through the Club's annual Winetasting Fundraiser held each Spring. The charities which received discretionary grants are:

• Children's Aid Wagon Road Camp
• Girls Inc of Westchester
• Haiti MaryCare
• Hospice of Westchester
• The Luke Moretti iPad Program at Burke Rehabilitation Hospital
• Make A Wish of the Hudson Valley
• My Sister's Place
• Pace Women's Justice Center, and
• Scarsdale Task Force on Drugs and Alcohol

The Rotary Club's Ninth Annual Wine Tasting Fundraiser, which will take place on Thursday April 19, 2018 at the Scarsdale Golf Club from 6-8:30 PM. There will be a live auction and raffle, wines by Vintology and food will be provided by local restaurants, including Muscato, Chat, Meritage, Lange's Deli, Scarsdale Golf Club, Ruffled Feathers, Martines and others. This annual event funds grants to the Club's five annual charity partners (The Greenburgh Nature Center; Lakota Children's Enrichment; Scarsdale & Edgemont Family Counseling Services; The Scarsdale Foundation; and Scarsdale Volunteer Ambulance Corps), the discretionary grants like those made at the January luncheon and other charitable works supported by the Rotary Club throughout the year.

To learn more about the Scarsdale Rotary Club, or to purchase a sponsorship and/or tickets to the April 19, 2018 event, please visit the Club's website. The Scarsdale Rotary Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and contributions are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.

SaundersBestselling author and winner of the Man Booker Prize George Saunders drew a sold-out crowd to the Scarsdale Library on February 8 for an interview and reading from his latest book, Lincoln in the Bardo. Also on stage was Andy Ward, Editor in Chief of Random House who has edited Saunders' work since 2005. The evening was hosted by the Scarsdale Adult School.

Saunders will be sixty this year but looks far younger and has a terrific sense of humor and a warm, engaging way about him. Former Scarsdale Adult School Board member Nancy Alderman introduced Saunders and explained his long road to becoming an author. Saunders was born in Amarillo, Texas and attended the Colorado School of Mines where he studied engineering. He eventually found his way to the MFA program at Syracuse but struggled for years, working as a technical writer by day and writing fiction at night. He now teaches writing at Syracuse.

Lincoln in the Bardo, is set in a graveyard during the Civil War and is narrated by a chorus of ghosts. President Lincoln has just lost his beloved 11 year-old son Willy, and reflects on his loss and the loss of thousands of soldiers in the war. Saunders' characters are drawn from historical texts and the book reads like a play, with a cast of unfortunates who are caught in purgatory.Lincoln

SAS Director Jill Serling served as narrator while a group of volunteers read from a section of the book. On stage were Ann Sacher, Sue Silver, John Seider, Alexa Trujillo, and Steven Orlofsky with Saunders playing the role of Lincoln, because as he explained, "It's my book."

Following the reading, editor Andy Ward came to the stage and Saunders explained that he was inspired to write the book when he saw Lincoln's crypt in Washington twenty years ago. He said that before writing this book he had written and abandoned another book set in a graveyard in upstate New York. When a student suggested he write a book of monologues from ghosts he went back to the idea about Lincoln and eventually created his bestselling work.

saudnerslibrarySaunders said he became obsessed with Lincoln and has a shelf full of books about him. He said that he "inhabited him" for several years. He explained that like Lincoln, he values kindness. This thought was reflected in a now famous graduation speech delivered at Syracuse by Saunders in 2013, when he said the following: 

"So here's something I know to be true, although it's a little corny, and I don't quite know what to do with it:
What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness.
Those moments when another human being was there, in front of me, suffering, and I responded . . . sensibly. Reservedly. Mildly.
Or, to look at it from the other end of the telescope: Who, in your life, do you remember most fondly, with the most undeniable feelings of warmth?
Those who were kindest to you, I bet.
It's a little facile, maybe, and certainly hard to implement, but I'd say, as a goal in life, you could do worse than: Try to be kinder."

Lincoln in the Bardo is now available in paperback and Scarsdale was Saunders second stop on his book tour.

It was a night to remember in Scarsdale. Scarsdale Adult School Director Jill Serling wishes to thank Nancy Alderman, Esther Newberg, Andy Ward, Sue Silver, the SHS students, the custodial staff at the library and the entire staff of the Scarsdale Adult School.

HandsUpThe Personnel Committee of the Village Board is asking residents interested in volunteering to serve on Village Boards, Councils, and Committees to submit their names for consideration. New terms will begin April 02, 2018. Candidates interested in serving on any Board, Council, or Committee should apply using the application form available on the Village website or in-person at Village Hall. It is also helpful for Scarsdale residents to provide written suggestions of individuals who should be considered for appointment. Please submit contact information including email addresses.

The information may be submitted on or before March 01, 2018, in one of two ways:

Online: Just click HERE to apply. One may also visit, scroll down to the Village Highlights section, and click on the Highlight story, "Volunteers Needed for Citizen Boards, Councils, and Committees." From there, simply click "APPLY today."

In-Person or by Mail: An application may be picked-up from the Village Clerk's Office at Village Hall and either submitted in-person or by mail to Trustee Seth Ross, Scarsdale Village Hall, 1001 Post Road, Scarsdale NY 10583.

Residents are welcome to contact the Personnel Committee Chair, Trustee Seth Ross, by e-mail at with any questions about these opportunities to serve the community. The Village Clerk, Donna Conkling, is also available to assist by phone at 914-722-1175, or by e-mail using

Pursuant to the general policy adopted by the Village Board, guidelines for membership on Scarsdale's appointed Boards, Councils, and Committees cover four areas:

1. Residency

Boards, Committees and Advisory Councils are comprised of residents of the Village. While comments from outside the community can be sought as needed, actions recommended or taken by Boards, Committees and Advisory Councils should ultimately reflect the views of Village residents.

2. Professional or Business Affiliation

Various professional skills and training are required by Village law or deemed desirable by the Village Board of Trustees for the successful fulfillment of some Board, Council or Committee charters.

3. Civic Interest and Involvement

The majority of the members of Village Boards and Councils are appointed by reason of demonstrated interest in Village affairs, through volunteer involvement. Scarsdale is the beneficiary of a long history of voluntary civic endeavors. Since the overriding purpose of Boards, Committees and Councils is to assure the continuation of high community standards, it is appropriate that members on Boards, Committees and Councils be those residents who have demonstrated willingness and initiative to work in support of this objective.

4. Specialized Knowledge

Certain Boards, Committees and Councils benefit by having one or more members with specialized knowledge. For example, the Cable Television Commission benefits by having people with knowledge of the communications industry; the Advisory Council on People with Disabilities would benefit from the experience of residents with disabilities; the Advisory Council on Youth would benefit from people who have worked with young people.

The following are the terms of office and responsibilities for members appointed to the Boards, Councils, and Committees:

BOARD OF APPEALS - (5 years - one term). Rules on appeals from zoning requirements, including setbacks; on permits for construction of swimming pools and tennis courts, and on non-conforming uses.

BOARD OF ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW - (3 years - two terms). Its basic purpose is to preserve the character and appearance of the Village. Review of all applications involving construction of buildings, or additions to, or reconstruction of existing buildings affecting the exterior appearance.

PLANNING BOARD - (5 years - one term). Advises Village Board on master planning; rules on applications for sub-division of lots, street designations, construction in wetland areas and non-residential buildings.

BOARD OF ETHICS - (5 years - one term). Possible conflicts of interest or other issues of ethics affecting Village personnel are referred to this Board by the Board of Trustees.

CABLE TELEVISION COMMISSION - (5 years - open-ended terms). Administers and monitors the Cable Franchise Agreements with the Village and encourages use of the cable access channels.

CONSERVATION ADVISORY COUNCIL - (2 years - open-ended terms). Advises the Village Board on such matters as programs, areas, facilities, public relations and other matters pertaining to conservation of the environment.

COMMITTEE FOR HISTORIC PRESERVATION - (3 years - two terms). Determines if a structure located in the Village for which a permit for demolition has been requested is a structure of historical importance.

LIBRARY BOARD - (5 years - one term). Responsible for the administrative and operating policies of the Scarsdale Public Library. Operates independently of the Village Board and selects its own President.

ADVISORY COUNCIL ON PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES - (2 years - open-ended terms). Advises and assists the Village Board in matters of concern to residents with disabilities. Assists with programs and activities, increases public awareness of the needs of the disabled, acts as liaison with other Advisory Councils, and promotes participation in community affairs by disabled persons.

ADVISORY COUNCIL ON HUMAN RELATIONS - (2 years - open-ended terms). Considers and recommends actions at the request of the Village Board to foster mutual respect and understanding among all members of the community.

ADVISORY COUNCIL ON PARKS AND RECREATION - (2 years - open-ended terms). Promotes the recreation program in the Village and advises the Village Board on the use of Village parks for recreation and passive uses, recommends the use or non-use of all open space, and acts as a liaison between the Village Board and the community on all matters relating to recreation and parks.

ADVISORY COUNCIL ON SCARSDALE SENIOR CITIZENS - (2 years - open-ended terms). Advises and assists the Board of Trustees in all matters concerning the senior citizens of the Village of Scarsdale.

TOWN BOARD OF ASSESSMENT REVIEW - (5 years – open-ended terms). This Board reviews property tax grievances filed with respect to property tax assessments.

ADVISORY COUNCIL ON TECHNOLOGY - (2 years - open-ended terms). This Council has a broad mandate in advising the Village Board and staff on technological matters. It provides advice, explores strategic options, and develops recommendations on how the Village Board can best utilize technology, including the Internet to improve efficiencies.

ADVISORY COUNCIL ON YOUTH - (2 years - open-ended terms). Advises and assists the
Board of Trustees in responding to the needs of Scarsdale's young people and works to generate a favorable climate for growth and development of youth in the community.

JUDICIAL QUALIFICATIONS ADVISORY COMMITTEE - (5 years - two terms). The Committee's function is to assist the Citizens' Nominating Committee and the Mayor, respectively, with the selection of individuals who are qualified for the offices of Village Justice and Acting Village Justice.

REPRESENTATIVE TO SCARSDALE ARTS COUNCIL - (2 years - open-ended terms). At-large representative (total of 4 appointed by the Village Board) to the Scarsdale Arts Council Board. The Council's mission is to encourage the arts to flourish in Scarsdale by, among other methods, improving communication among arts programs and by attracting grant support and to raise public awareness and participation in the arts.

Leave a Comment

Share on Myspace