Sunday, Dec 15th

Last updateSat, 14 Dec 2019 9am

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policeblotterAnother serious pedestrian accident occurred in Hartsdale on Friday night. At around 6:00 pm on December 13, a 71 year-old woman was hit by a car as she crossed Hartsdale Avenue near 45 East Hartsdale Avenue. It was a rainy, misty night. Police were called and found the woman lying injured in the eastbound lane of East Hartsdale Avenue. Greenburgh Police EMS were called and transported her to a local hospital. She is listed in critical condition.

The 81 year-old driver stayed at the scene of the accident and is cooperating with the investigation. The Greenburgh Police Accident Investigation Team is asking anyone with information concerning the investigation to contact them at 914-989-1726.

Preliminary facts indicate the pedestrian was crossing in the middle of the block on East Hartsdale Avenue between Wilson Street and Columbia Avenue in a northerly direction towards 45 East Hartsdale Avenue when she was struck near the double yellow line along East Hartsdale Avenue.

This is the third serious pedestrian accident in the area in just three months.

On Friday evening November 22 at 6:10 P.M. a 67 year-old Edgemont woman was hit by a car at the intersection of Fort Hill and Underhill Roads. She was taken to Westchester Medical Center and died later that night from her injuries.

And on October 18, 2019 two children, ages 14 and 11 were struck by a car on Central Avenue near Sacred Heart Church at Lawton Avenue.

Samwick Welcomes the CrowdHere are comments from Mayor Marc Samwick from the December 10, 2019 meeting of the Board of Trustees:
Freightway Community Meeting
There will be a community meeting tomorrow evening at 7pm, here in Rutherford Hall to discuss the potential redevelopment of the Freightway site.  We will hear from the two finalist developer teams, each of which will present their preliminary development concepts.  The community will then have an opportunity to convey its priorities and preferences regarding the potential redevelopment of the Freightway site. 

The Village is in the midst of a lengthy and diligent process to discuss alternatives to the aging Freightway parking garage.  This effort began in earnest with the formation of the Freightway Steering Committee in 2017 – nearly three years ago.  The Committee conducted an extensive community outreach effort that reached over 750 residents and other stakeholders and found widespread interest in pursuing a redevelopment of the parking garage – which is currently in need of about $2.5 million of repair and renovation work with more investment to follow. 

There is every reason for the Village to pursue a process to evaluate the opportunity to redevelop the Freightway site.  The primary objectives of this effort are to: (i) improve commuter parking, (ii) bring vibrancy to the Village Center, and (iii) provide a positive net fiscal impact to the Village and School District.  

The redevelopment of Freightway is not a fait accompli.  To the contrary, the Village is in the midst of a deliberate, lengthy, thoughtful and open process that is designed to engage the community in the discussion of its priorities and preferences for a potential development as well as to determine which course of action is best for the Village at this time.  In fact, the Village Board is not on a singular path to develop the Freightway site – we are on a path to investigate whether development of the site is preferable to investing taxpayer funds into an aging parking structure.  

To put it plainly, this is not a done deal. The Board does not intend to complete a development if the fiscal impacts on the Village and School District are detrimental.  The Board does not intend to complete a development if the schools will be unduly harmed.  The Board is composed of residents and we care about the same things that the community cares about.

We understand the natural inclination to want information today and to make a decision.  A development of this importance will take time to come together and progress will be iterative.  For example, school impacts cannot be evaluated until the number of residential units and the composition of those units is known. 

Tomorrow is the first of many steps of evaluating the preliminary development concepts.  The development concept will evolve and the process will play out over an extended period of time and there will be many opportunities for community input.  We ask that you recognize that we are proceeding forward to see how this process plays out before making a judgment.  That is what the Board is doing.  If a development project is beneficial and we continue to see a productive path forward, we will continue the process.  If we see that the project will yield results that do not achieve our goals, then we will stop the process and repair the garage.

We encourage you to start by attending the community meeting tomorrow and to also stay engaged in the process as the project is refined over time.

We want to hear from you and have established a dedicated email address: freightway@scarsdale.com.  We have also upgraded the Freightway section of the Village website, which can be found on a direct link on the front page of the Village website: www.scarsdale.com or directly at www.scarsdale.com/freightway

We look forward to seeing you tomorrow evening and to hearing from you throughout the Freightway process. 

Coffee with the Mayor/Freightway Selection Committee
The next Coffee with the Mayor will be a Coffee with the Freightway Selection Committee.  I am pleased to announce that Trustees Veron and Arest will join me at Starbucks on East Parkway at the Village Center Train Station on Tuesday, December 17th at 5:30 pm until 7:00pm.  We welcome the community to join us for a less formal discussion of items that matter to you, including the potential redevelopment of the Freightway parking garage.  We look forward to seeing you at Starbucks on Tuesday, December 17th at 5:30pm.

PhoneScamDue to an increase in incidents of telephone scams, where the caller attempts to fraudulently obtain money from victims using several different tactics, the Scarsdale Police Department has issued the following alerts to prevent people from becoming
victimized.

In particular, police warn residents of the following common scams:

First, the “overdue utility bill” scam: In this scam, the caller claims to be a representative of a utility company and states that one’s bill is overdue. The scammer then requires that a money order be sent or that a Green Dot Money Card
or a Money Card be purchased and the card number provided to caller.

Second, the “IRS tax warrant” scam: In this scam, the caller claims to be an agent or police officer from the Internal Revenue Service, claiming to call about a past due tax balance that is owed. The caller then tells the victim that unless the debt is paid immediately, a team will be sent to the victim’s house to immediately arrest the victim. In order to prevent the alleged impending arrest, the scammer instructs the victim to pay the alleged “tax debt” with a Western Union MoneyGram, a Green Dot
Card Money Card or other such money card. Scams can be reported to the IRS here

Third, the “warrant of arrest” scam: In this scam, the caller claims to be a police officer or a warrant officer from Social Security Administration, Westchester County or New York State Police, claiming to have a warrant for the victim’s arrest. The scammer claims that unless a fine is immediately paid, police will be sent to the victim’s house to arrest the victim. The scammer then demands that the fine be paid using money orders, Apple Gift Cards or Green Dot Card Money Cards.

According to police, the public should be aware that all of the above telephone scams have been occurring frequently, and that scammers are very good at frightening victims into compliance. According to detectives, no government agency or official organization will ever ask a person to pay a fine using money orders, Apple Gift cards, a Western Union Money Gram or a Green Dot Money Card. Police advise that anyone receiving such calls should immediately instruct the caller that police are being notified and hang up.

MarcSamwickTo the Editor: The Village Board of Trustees is pleased to invite residents, merchants, and others to a community meeting about the proposed redevelopment of the Freightway parking garage site on Wednesday, December 11th at 7 pm at Rutherford Hall in Village Hall.

The idea for a potential project on this site has been discussed for decades. The recent interest has been rooted in two widespread trends: (i) aging infrastructure and (ii) weakening community retail hubs.

First, the Village owns the Freightway site and, based on an engineering study of the parking structure, the community is facing estimated costs of approximately $2.5 million over the coming three years to repair, maintain and improve the nearly 50 year-old structure. Those repairs are expected to carry the structure for the next 8-10 years, at which time more significant expenditures are expected to be required.

Second, retail trends have not been kind to local merchants as e-commerce giants make it harder and harder for brick and mortar retail to survive. This is occurring throughout the country and unfortunately, our Village Center is not immune.

The fact that the Village owns the Freightway site, well-located by the train station, is a potential asset for Scarsdale. Any development would be expected to upgrade our primary commuter parking facility and enhance our Village Center overall. Transit-oriented developments (TODs) have been used and are being examined by some of our neighbors and countless communities throughout the country to enhance vibrancy, livability, walkability, and sustainability near public transportation hubs. This community discussion of the potential redevelopment of the Freightway site is an important opportunity to defray significant taxpayer costs while upgrading our primary commuter parking facility and enhancing our Village Center.

The Board of Trustees has selected AvalonBay Communities and a team led by LCOR and East End Capital as the two finalist development teams in the competition to be named the preferred developer of the Freightway site. Both development teams are highly qualified, and we are impressed with each team’s commitment to this lengthy process.

The Board remains committed to seeking extensive community input, and we encourage residents and merchants to attend this community meeting. It will be an opportunity for the community to: (i) hear from both finalist teams, (ii) see preliminary design concepts for the project, and (iii) comment on your priorities and preferences for the development plans.

I am proud to be working with a talented and dedicated Board of Trustees who have rolled up their sleeves and committed significant time to this project. We have rigorous criteria for selection that includes the developer’s track record, financial wherewithal, development programming, and the demonstrated ability to successfully partner with municipal governments. We take this responsibility and opportunity very seriously.

The Board remains focused on key issues that matter to the community, such as potential impacts on parking, schools, and traffic, as well as the effect on the Village budget – revenues and expenses. These matters have been discussed at every step and will now take an even more prominent role in our discussions. The Board is also considering the ramifications of the development program on open space and other public amenities, connectivity between the east and west sides of our Village Center, and the context of the development within our Village Center – one of the prize gems of our Village.

 freightwaysite

Scarsdale, we want to hear from you. We are keeping the public comment period open for 45 days following the community meeting. If you are not able to attend the meeting on December 11th, we encourage you to watch the video on TV or online as well as visit Village Hall, where poster boards will be available for viewing throughout this period. There will be comment cards available at Village Hall and residents may also comment via email – at freightway@scarsdale.com – or through a dedicated link found on the Village website – www.scarsdale.com. During this public comment period, the Village will continue its due diligence on the two finalists with visits to comparable properties they have developed, as well as meeting with the two finalists to probe further on financial components of the development plan, among other things.

There is still much work to do to create a reimagined Freightway site, and there will be many more opportunities for the public to give feedback on the development plan as it evolves over the coming year and beyond. Your input has been instrumental to get us to where we are, and we will need your voices to continue to help guide us into the future. We hope you can join us on Wednesday, December 11th.

Sincerely,

Marc Samwick
Mayor
December 2, 2019

BloombergThis letter was sent to Scarsdale10583 by Scarsdale resident David Stafford.
I am a political moderate who leans right on most economic and geopolitical issues, and left on the majority of social ones. I am distraught about the Trump Presidency due to the current inhabitant’s defilement of his office through his constant prevarications, narcissism and intemperance. I have, until recently, been hoping that Joe Biden would emerge as the Democratic Presidential nominee. “Uncle Joe” is a moderate and a fundamentally decent guy who would return dignity and reason to the White House. The other two moderate candidates in the Democratic Presidential field, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar, are impressive and perhaps someday their time will come, but I do not consider either one electable in 2020.

Unfortunately, I have come to believe that we moderates who fall into the category of ABT (Anyone But Trump) have a problem. Biden has faltered during the debates and his apparent inability to finish a sentence coherently can be painful to watch. His financial support is weakening and Elizabeth Warren has emerged as the current favorite to win the Democratic nomination. This leads to a question. Does ABT mean that any sentient human being who opposes Trump in 2020 is worthy of support? The politically moderate New York Times columnist David Brooks answered this question in the affirmative in a column last month, in which he stated that given a choice between Warren and Trump for President, he would vote for Warren. I cannot go that far. Warren is by all accounts brilliant and a good and well-meaning politician. But her policy proposals are too extreme for me. Free Medicare for all would eliminate private health insurance and cost countless trillions of dollars. Free college and forgiveness of student debt would also be prohibitively expensive, as would the wild-eyed Green New Deal which she supports. Her proposed wealth tax is probably unconstitutional and is unlikely to generate anywhere near the kind of revenue that she imagines. Her policies would, in my view, fundamentally alter the US economy by vastly increasing the government’s role in peoples’ lives and undermining many of the incentives that help drive US economic growth.

A recent poll asked a sample of people intending to vote in the Democratic primary how they would react if Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, or Michael Bloomberg entered the race. 50% said they would vote for Obama, 27% said they would vote for Clinton, and 6% said they would vote for Bloomberg. This tells us that a meaningful number of Democrat primary voters aren’t content with the party’s current field of candidates and long for a dignified, moderate candidate – even one (Obama) who has made clear that she has no interest in being President. Hillary Clinton? I don’t think so. Bloomberg, who announced that he plans to enter the race last week, has clear flaws as a candidate. He’ll be 78 by Election Day 2020, which would make him the oldest first term President in US history; he supported “stop and frisk” as Mayor of NYC even though it was shown to be racially discriminatory in its application; he unsuccessfully proposed a city tax on soda as a means to combat obesity; he is less than a dynamic speaker or electric personality; and he’s rumored to have not promoted women on his staff sufficiently during his Mayoral administration.

Notwithstanding these issues, Bloomberg is a classic conservative when it comes to economics, with a strong belief in policies that incentivize capital formation and investment, which in turn leads to business expansion, job creation and wage growth. He believes in a strong US military and doesn’t ascribe to the populist, insular, autocrat-loving approach we’ve seen Trump pursue. Perhaps most important, he is smart, measured, dignified and ethical. And for us Scarsdale residents, it probably wouldn’t be too long after inauguration day when President Bloomberg takes steps to unwind Trump’s punitive and unfair SALT deduction limitation, which adversely affects many of us.

In sum, my fear is that a far left Democratic candidate such as Warren or Bernie Sanders will ensure Trump’s re-election. The US needs two viable parties competing for many of the same voters to make our system of checks and balances a governing reality. These days, an electable Presidential candidate must not be perceived as hostile to free speech, religion and the everyday concerns of working- and middle-class citizens as most voters in “fly over country” perceive the left wing of the Democratic Party. Bloomberg checks the boxes in this regard as well.

Would it be easy for a Jewish, billionaire plutocrat to win over undecided, moderate voters across the United States? No. But Bloomberg may be the best option for us moderates. Plus we can count on our current President to help with his sophomoric Twitter tantrums, self-aggrandizement, self-dealing and unpresidential behavior.

If there’s a better moderate Presidential candidate than Mike Bloomberg who can win the Democratic Presidential nomination, then bring him or her on. In the meantime, I’ll be throwing my support to Mayor Mike for President.

David Stafford

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