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LWVS1Scarsdale's chapter of the League of Women Voters held their annual membership coffee on Monday October 2nd and drew a good crowd of civic-minded residents. The league seeks to "empower better communities by informed participation in government." To that end, the league selects issues of interest to the local community, studies them, asks questions and writes recommendations based on their conclusions.

On Monday the group heard updates on three topics affecting the Village, presented by an all –female group of trustees and Village officials including Village Trustee Deb Pekarek, Assistant Village Manager Ingrid Richards, Village Planner Elizabeth Marrinan, Village Trustee Jane Veron as well as former Mayor Jon Mark.

Deb Pekarek explained that changes to the Village code regarding trees are under consideration to safeguard existing trees and require replacement trees or a contribution to a tree fund if replacement trees cannot be planted on the existing property. While the current code calls for replacements for trees larger than 36" (DBH – diameter at breast height), the new code lowers that to 24" DBH and also requires replacements for groups of smaller trees totaling 24" DBH. The new code would expand the list of protected trees that cannot be removed. According to Richards, current Village staff can handle the record keeping and enforcement for the new laws and no additional staff would be required. The proposed law is being studied by the Village Trustees.LWVS2

Former Village Mayor Jon Mark is now chairing the Freightway Steering Committee who is studying the best use for 2.4 acres of land on the west side of the Metro North train tracks in Scarsdale. The site includes the Freightway Parking lot and two open lots. Mark gave a summary of the work of the committee who has retained Planning Consultants to help to define the elements of a mixed use development project to be built in place of the Freightway Garage. Toward that end they have done some surveys, conducted tours and are currently holding a series of public workshops with stakeholders to refine ideas for a transit-oriented development project. Ideally it would include parking, residences, retail and restaurants to increase foot traffic in Scarsdale and help to revitalize the downtown area. They are holding their next workshop on Thursday October 12 at 7 pm, and the public is invited to attend.

Trustee Jane Veron, a former president of the League of Women Voters discussed her work to revitalize downtown Scarsdale. She is working with Village landlords to find tenants for many of the vacant stores downtown and drawing residents to the Village with attractions like the outdoor art exhibit in Chase Park and the farmers market on Thursdays. She announced that progress is being made. Trio Salon has opened on Christie Place, Popojito Mexican will open on metersChristie Place later this month and I Am More, a women's boutique has opened on Spencer Place.

In order to ease parking downtown, the Village is now conducting a test of new parking meters that permit users to pay by credit card. The test is underway with four types of single and multi-space meters. Residents are invited to go downtown and try the meters and give their feedback to the Village at metertest@Scarsdale.com.

Another step to reduce the vacancies downtown is to convert retail and office space to residential. Veron reported that Village property owner Rush Wilson has already converted some of the office space above Zachys Liquor Store to residential and will also convert some of the vacant retail space on Harwood Court into residences as well as there is more demand for living space than stores.

Learn more about the work of the League of Women Voters of Scarsdale at www.LWVS.org or email Janice Staff at Janice.starr@gmail.com to find out how you can get involved.

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volunteerBoth the Scarsdale School Board Nominating Committee and the Scarsdale Citizens Nominating Committee are seeking candidates:

The School Board Nominating Committee (SBNC) is an elected group of 30 members who identify, propose and nominate qualified candidates to run for the Scarsdale Board of Education. The 30 voting members represent each of the five elementary school neighborhoods. Each year, 10 new members are elected (two from each neighborhood) to serve a 3-year term on the SBNC, an additional one year term on the administrative committee and a final one year term on the joint committee.


The SBNC urges all qualified residents to help maintain our excellent Scarsdale schools and serve our community by volunteering to run for the SBNC. To become a candidate, residents should complete a biographical form and submit it with a candidate petition with signatures from 10 residents in their elementary school area by November 20, 2017 to SBNC Administrative Committee Chair Jeannine Palermo (jeannine.palermo.22@gmail.com) or Vice Chair Wendy Gendel (wendykgendel@gmail.com). These forms can be downloaded from www.scarsdalesbnc.com. The forms are also available at the Scarsdale Library and Village Hall.

The election of SBNC members will be held on Tuesday January 9, 2018 in the Scarsdale Middle School auditorium lobby from 7:00am to 10:00 am and from 2:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

Citizens Nominating Committee

There is still time for eligible Scarsdale residents to run for election to the Citizens Nominating Committee (CNC) in all neighborhoods except Heathcote. The extended deadline is Monday, Oct 9. Those who are elected will join 20 current CNC members to choose candidates to run for Village Mayor, Trustee and/or Justice under the banner of the Scarsdale Citizens Non- Partisan Party in the March general election. This year, the CNC will meet 4 or 5 times on Tuesday or Wednesday nights in December and January to select candidates for three Trustee positions.

CNC members are expected to attend all CNC meetings for three years and to serve the following year on the Procedure Committee. The meeting dates for 2017-2018 are: Tuesday, December 5 (organizational meeting); Tuesday December 19; Wednesday, January 10; Wednesday, January 22; and, if necessary, Wednesday, January 24.

A candidate for the CNC must be a qualified voter and a resident of Scarsdale for at least two years. A CNC candidate may not be a member of the Procedure Committee, the School Board Nominating Committee, the School Board Administrative Committee, the Scarsdale School Board or the Village Board. For more details on qualifications, see the Non-Partisan Resolution, which defines the rules for CNC candidacy, on the Procedure Committee website www.scarsdaleprocedurecommittee.org.

Residents in each of the five elementary school districts (Edgewood, Greenacres, Fox Meadow, Heathcote and Quaker Ridge) may run for one of two open positions in their district. Candidates must file with the Procedure Committee a short biographical sketch. After Sept 30, no petition is necessary. Forms and filing instructions for the bio form may be downloaded from the Procedure committee website www.scarsdaleprocedurecommittee.org. Hard copies may be obtained at Village Hall and the Scarsdale Library as well.

The final deadline for filing the bio forms is Monday Oct 9. The CNC election will be held at Village Hall on Wednesday November 15 (Wed).

For help in filing or more information, potential candidates are welcome to contact the Chair of the Procedure Committee Jim Pullman, jpullman@verizon.net, the Vice Chair Robert Schechter, schecter.robert@gmail.com, or one of the current committee members. They are: from Edgewood, Elissa M. Bookner, David Irwin, Eli Mattioli, Ed Morgan, and Elaine Lamb Moreno; from Fox Meadow, Brian Nottage, and Bruce Wells; from Greenacres, John Baer, Mary Blumenthal-Lane, and Neil Kanner; from Heathcote, Leonard Benowich, Lauren Mintzer, B.K. Munguia, and Myra Saul; and from Quaker Ridge, Michael Gorelick, Howard Nadel and Anna Paternoster.

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letter-to-the-editorThis letter was sent to Scarsdale10583 by Susan Levine:
To the Editor: You will not believe what I saw around town during a few very hot days this July:

Four cars were left parked in various places...like the Chase Bank parking lot ..the Library.. and the Post Office...with their Engines Idling, their Doors Locked... and the AC turned on high..

The cars were Empty ... their owners in various places ... leaving their cars to pollute
our air.... and stay cool until they returned. I was in disbelief...

It is obvious that these drivers not know that it is Against Westchester County Law
to Idle your Vehicle while Parked for more than 3 minutes when the Temperature
is above 32 degrees? The sense of entitlement and lack of knowledge of the law shown in this behavior was upsetting to me.

So many of us.. old and new residents alike.. are not aware of various quality of life matters and Village Codes that are meant to make living in Scarsdale more pleasant ... and our Village life more responsible and safe ... I thought I would mention just a few.

Noise from Construction and Landscapers is forbidden before 8AM on Weekdays and 10AM on Weekends.

Bulky Trash should Not be placed at the Curb more than 24 hours before your anticipated Pickup Day.

There is a Village wide Ban on the use of Gas Powered Leaf Blowers from June 1 through September 30. This has been Village Law for many years.

No Cars may Park on our Village Streets Overnight during the Winter months.

Dogs may Not be Walked on School Grounds.

Very Loud Noise from Music or Parties is subject to enforcement by the Police.bulkytrash

Everyone Must Recycle Paper ... and Plastic...Metal Cans and Glass Bottles ... and Place the Containers Outside For Pickup on Scheduled Days ... The Sanitation Department Provides a Calendar With Recycle Dates Indicated for each Neighborhood.

When Constructing a Legal Fence on your Property ... the Good Side of the Fence must Face your Neighbor.

New Residents Should Become Aware of What is Happening in Our Village.. and Remain Interested in Current Village Matters.

Reading the Scarsdale10583 website regularly is one good way of doing this.

From,
Susan Levine

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forumaudience(This article was submitted by Mayra Kirkendall-Rodriguez, Co-Chair of the Scarsdale Forum's Education Committee.)
On September 7, 2017, the Scarsdale Forum's Education Committee hosted a community discussion, Scarsdale Schools: 2017 and Beyond, in Rutherford Hall at Scarsdale Village Hall. 135 people participated throughout the evening, and we were very pleased with the diversity of attendees who engaged actively in this important dialogue about the state of our schools now and where they'll be in the future. Attendees included professionals from the Scarsdale school administration, teachers, members of the Board of Education, Scarsdale Village officials, empty nesters, students, parents of current students and a few alumni." The event was broadcast live and was recorded, and is available for viewing by clicking here.

ForumParticipants

The objective of the evening was to bring different segments of the Scarsdale community together to have a conversation about our schools. Education Committee Co-Chair Carlos Ramírez explained that "It is important to bring all community stakeholders together, whether in one room or via technology, to discuss our schools and their future. We need to know what the different members of the community are thinking."

The event agenda included a number of different elements: a live online social media component managed by Ramírez; an interactive live poll developed and administered by committee member Brice Kirkendall-Rodríguez; and, a question and answer session moderated by committee members Maggie Favretti, who is also a teacher at Scarsdale High School, and Liz Guggenheimer, a former Scarsdale Board of Education President.

Poll questions were derived from responses to the Scarsdale Forum's "School Topics Survey," distributed in May and June of this year. The poll questions touched upon a variety of topics, including the goals of long-term school financial plan, quality of teachers and school facilities, as well as parental involvement and preferences about curriculum, facilities and related topics.

Responses were recorded both from participants attending the event and those viewing it remotely. Highlights include the following:

forumcurriculum

When asked the main reason for the school district to have a financial plan, respondents listed "providing the school district with sufficient funds to prepare kids with skills to live in the next decade," and "insuring fiscal responsibility and sustainability" as their number one and two priorities, respectively.

forumfacilities


When asked for what projects respondents would be willing to have their property taxes increased, they listed, in order of preference, add air conditioning in schools, expand STEM labs, increase room size, build new elementary schools, and build dining commons in elementary schools. Respondents were not willing to have their taxes rise to enlarge sports fields.

Respondents stated that the top two strengths of Scarsdale schools are English and college preparedness.
When asked if there should be parity in facilities planned for all five elementary schools, 62% responded yes, 22% said no, and 16% needed more information in order to respond.

Respondents stated they spend significant amounts annually on after school instruction in music, foreign languages, sports, test prep, and other subjects for their children during the academic year: 78% spend between $1,000 and $20,000, and 13% spend over $20,000 each year.

forumtutoring



When asked what changes they'd like to see in curriculum, facilities and other areas, if possible, 37% respondents listed adding additional STEAM classes to elementary and middle schools as their top priority; and, 27% want financial literary courses added to the district curriculum.

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With regard to facilities, 46% indicated that adding air conditioning would be their top priority. When asked about what else would make them happier with Scarsdale schools, 24% listed lower taxes as their top priority, while 17% listed increased transparency in decision making by the school administration as their top choice.

All live poll slides can be found by clicking here.

Education Committee members Maggie Favretti and Liz Guggenheimer also asked audience members a series of open-ended questions about education: what is the ideal environment for your child, what a world class education might look like, and whether any attendees who had studied at a private school or abroad share would share lessons with Scarsdale residents. Over a dozen participants discussed their perspectives, the consensus of which supported school efforts to teach complex problem-solving, innovation, and important skills such as reiteration, computer science, and thinking through practice and authentic assessment of issues. Engaging students of all levels directly in subject-matter experiences, encouraging them to challenge the status quo, instead of seeking the right answer, supporting them through the college process, and the high school tutorial model were singled out for specific praise.

One participant stated that the term "world class education" did not mean much unless the school district could provide metrics to measure outcomes. That same individual praised what is available at Scarsdale schools in terms of helping students when they apply to college. A female resident, who is a professional in technology, emphasized the need for Scarsdale schools to encourage and teach technology to children, especially to girls.

At the conclusion of the evening, Scarsdale Forum President ML Perlman reminded the audience that, "The Scarsdale Forum is open to all Scarsdale and Mamaroneck strip residents regardless of citizenship, and our committees remain open at all times for additional members to join on a rolling basis. So, please join the Forum and jump right in to the discussions happening right now."

The Forum's Education Committee would like to thank Scarsdale Schools Superintendent Thomas Hagerman, Mayor Dan Hochvert, members of the Scarsdale Boards of Education and Trustees, teachers, students and all Scarsdale residents for participating in Scarsdale Schools: 2017 and Beyond. The committee also extends its gratitude to Assistant Village Manager Robert Cole and Videographer Kelvin Guevara, who were instrumental in coordinating event logistics, and to Scarsdale Forum leadership and numerous Forum members who assisted with developing and marketing this special event.
forumcommittee

The Scarsdale Forum
The Scarsdale Forum is a 501(c)(3) civic organization dedicated to discussion and analysis of all issues relevant to Scarsdale residents. Since 1904, the Forum has contributed meaningfully to Village affairs through its written reports, public speaker events, and committee discussions. Membership is available to all Scarsdale and Mamaroneck Strip residents regardless of citizenship status.

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rubinIt's what brought most of us to Scarsdale to begin with ---- the schools! And this week, Tuesday September 5th, was opening day at Scarsdale's elementary, middle and high schools. It was an exciting day for the kids, their parents, teachers and administrators.

At several schools there were significant changes since June, due to ongoing construction projects funded in the December, 2014 bond. At Edgewood, a new entrance and office have been built and the existing library is undergoing demolition. The new library will be built this year – scheduled for completion in the late spring. Heathcote's multi-purpose room has been repurposed and a large new room is in the works. At the middle school, a new music room is scheduled to open and at the high school the new fitness center should be in business any day. Work on the new learning commons at SHS is underway.

Here are just a few photos of kids finding their way to their new classrooms for the first day of school.

{besps}firstday17{/besps}

If you have a photo from the first day of school that you would like to share, please send it to scarsdalecomments@gmail.com and we'll add it to our gallery.

buses

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