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WoodyCuomoThis letter was sent to Scarsdale10583 by school board candidate Woodrow W. Crouch, PE

I was nominated to the slate for the Board of Education by the School Board Nominating Committee (SBNC) to the seat for Art Rublin. I want to thank the SBNC for honoring me with this nomination, for all their hard work and Sundays sacrificed. If elected I will do them proud!

I recently learned that Fuehrer is going to contest the election and run against me specifically for Art Rublin’s seat. Alison Singer won Pam Fuehrer’s seat for the SBNC nomination.

I thought I should let the community know about me and why I am going to continue through to the election on May 15th. ACTA NON VERBA

My wife and I have lived in Scarsdale for 40 years. Though I am not in my 40s, I am also not in my 80s! As an older empty nester, I am deeply invested in the Scarsdale community. I have a BS from the US Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) and a MSME from Columbia University and am a licensed New York State Professional Engineer. I was honored with the Outstanding Professional Achievement Award from the USMMA for exemplifying the best tradition of the Corps “ACTA NON VERBA” (Deeds Not Words). I work to exemplify this motto in all parts of my life.

I spent the majority of my career at the New York Power Authority (NYPA). At NYPA, I was Vice President of Project Management and led billion dollar engineering and construction projects for gas, oil and hydroelectric power plants, high voltage transmission lines and high voltage underground and underwater cables. I also led a billion dollar modernization of 29 units of the Niagara and St Lawrence hydroelectric facilities.

Early in my career, I was the project manager for a new coal fired plant fraught with contention on Staten Island. I spent 7 years obtaining extensive licenses and permits and meeting with the community to discuss the project and respond to questions. The Congressman from Staten Island strongly opposed the power plant and its impact on the community.

Years later, I undertook an impossible project for NYPA: the installation of ten power plants throughout New York City to prevent summer blackouts. This effort was accomplished in nine month from August 2000 to June 2001! Because of the trust I built early in my career with local politicians and community leaders, I was able to accomplish the impossible. On Staten Island, that congressman from years prior said, “If Woody Crouch is going to do this job, I will support it. I trust Woody.” This is an example of my ability to work with the community on contentious projects through honesty, respect and thoughtfulness. I believe in always telling the truth. I will bring these qualities to the Board.

I have worked with unions on all my projects to ensure that everyone was treated fairly, with respect and that the safety of the personnel was a number one priority. The workers know me from my being on the job sites and taking an interest in their work and they respect me. A respect that is not given easily, but is earned. Since retiring I has served as a Vice President at Skanska and Noble Environmental Power. I am currently founder and Chief Executive Officer of DC Transmission Partners LLC.

As a leader in the utility industry, I was President of the United States Society on Dams and Chairman of the Construction Committee. While on this Board, I expanded the purview to include small dams, not just large dams, which were aging and in need of technical support. I understand and care about aging infrastructure.

I had a grandson who was born with Sturge-Weber syndrome, a rare disease, and lived five months. I am currently serving on the Sturge-Weber Foundation (SWF) Board of Directors. I was on SWF Board for eleven years, with six years as Chairman and was asked to return and am now serving again as a Board member. SWF is dedicated to supporting the families dealing with horrendous rare disease and research to find a cure. My lobbying effort in Congress resulted in the National Institute of Health including SWS in its research.

I have served for decades in various Scarsdale organizations. Currently I serve as a Committee Member of Scarsdale Troop 2 and am a Merit Badge Counselor for Engineering, Energy, Citizenship in the Community, Communication, Family Life and Personal Management. I served on the Drake Edgewood Association as a member of the Board of Governors and as President, on the Scarsdale Neighborhood Association of Presidents as Chairman. I also have chaired the Edgewood Athletic Association and coached girls and boys’ basketball, soccer and softball teams. I served as a member on the IHM Religious Education school Board of Directors and as its Treasurer. My wife and I also co-managed the Edgewood Fair and I volunteered as an Auxiliary Police Officer.

I believe that our teachers are the heart and strength of our school system. While I am an engineer with vast construction experience, I am surrounded by a family of teachers and students. My wife and her two sisters taught in New York City schools. I saw the dedication and teaching skills that they honed through continuing education and their daily preparation for the next day’s class. My two brothers also had careers in education. One was a high school math teacher and later became the Principal and the football coach, and my other brother was a professor. As for myself, I taught as an Adjunct at Manhattan College at night for three years and learned first-hand the preparation that is required for each class. I say hurrah to our teachers who have the privilege to educate these young people. They need and deserve our support.

My two children went through the Scarsdale School system from kindergarten through high school. Until two years ago, when they moved out of state, three of my grandchildren attended Greenacres from kindergarten to fourth grade, with a grandson in the inclusion class. Currently I have five grandchildren in the Scarsdale Schools, two in Edgewood, two in the Middle School and one in the High School. I am at their games, their concerts and everything that I can attend in the schools.

I hope to bring my unique experience in building power plants and laying cables and wires through communities to bear on the capital programs that we are commencing for the Scarsdale Schools. Much of Scarsdale’s infrastructure is turning 100, and I can help the community through this critical period in Scarsdale’s history. My work with unions and my appreciation for education and educators drove my decision to seek nomination to the Board of Education from the School Board Nominating Committee. I earned that nomination. I hope to earn the votes of the citizens of Scarsdale so I can see this endeavor to its fruition. I believe I am the right candidate for the Board right now. To learn more about me, you can visit:

(Pictured at top: Woody Crouch and Governor Mario Cuomo: Woody describes the High Voltage Cable Project underground through Yonkers, Bronxville, Eastchester, New Rochelle; buried under the Long Island Sound and underground through Long Island to Garden City High Voltage Substation.)

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PCF4The Pediatric Cancer Foundation Junior Executive Board which consists of high school students from across Westchester County hosted their inaugural PARTY IN THE USA event at the C.V. Rich Mansion in White Plains on Saturday, April 14th.

The event was a huge success with 300 high schoolers in attendance who came out to support PCF, resulting in $10,000 raised for the Westchester based charity. PCF President, PCF3Bonnie Shyer states: “I’m really excited about the creation of the PCF Junior Executive Board and knowing that all of the money from this event is being used to help cure cancer in children. I can’t thank the newly created PCF Junior Executive Board members enough for joining us in our mission as we are… Coming Together for a Cure.” DJ Joe NYCE who kept the music spinning and the kids dancing added, “Now that was a party!"PCF5

CF1Lending their support to the cause

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turf fieldTurf fields are under debate At the beginning of this year’s school budget process, renovating Butler Field seemed like a relatively routine facilities project. It was a top priority for the district due to its aging synthetic turf and the only question was how much to allocate for the work, based on a number of seemingly straightforward options.

Fast forward to recent budget forums, where board of education members, residents and school administrators discovered that the choice of which turf to install was more complicated than expected.

In fact, last week’s session raised more questions than answers about the renovation, and the board has decided to collect more information about turf materials, and their related costs and benefits before making a decision about how much should be allocated for the project. It will meet again on Tuesday, April 10, at 6:00 pm to further discuss the issue and hear residents’ opinions in an effort to create a plan prior to adopting a final 2018-19 budget on April 16.

The current draft budget includes $1,200,000 to replace the field and track surface; and suggests the use of crumb rubber infill, made from recycled tires, to provide bounce and cushioning. Assistant Superintendent for Business and Facilities Stuart Mattey explained that crumb rubber was used previously and was simply a rollover from past construction. It commonly is installed in many districts and while there are many differing opinions about the environmental impact of such material, but that the “jury is out” on these effects.

Other options include using coated crumb rubber infill (which reduces dust); EPDM infill, made from non-recycled rubber; organic infill, which includes natural cork, coconut shells and cornhusks; or, natural turf. All of these options, save natural grass, would be more costly to install and result in an increased tax levy for residents. The estimated increases range from $125,000 to $465,000 (or 0.09 percent to 0.33 percent in tax levy).

After presenting the various field options, Mattey stated that while administrators had an idea of what material would be used, they wanted to research the issue a bit more, but were sensitive to the budget timeline and wanted direction from the board on how best to proceed. Board of Education President Bill Natbony responded, “I think as a board, we’re going to have questions… we’d also like to hear from the public… recognizing that we’re not going to make a decision tonight. From a budgetary standpoint, there’s only $1.2 million currently in the budget… and we see a $1.2 to a $1.665 potential cost there.”


Hold on a Minute…

When residents were invited to discuss the draft budget, two raised concerns about the plan for Butler Field. Susan Lee Foley (Brown Road), Scarsdale PT Council Budget Study co-chair, said, “The Butler Field… renovation (has) safety implications. In last week’s budget forum… two community members expressed deep concerns about synthetic turf and rubber crumb fields… We hope that the district and the board will make every effort to make the most informed and data-driven decision about the type of materials to be used to replace the existing field.”

Michelle Sterling (Brighton Road) stated, “Bottom line, toxic tire scraps do not belong on our children’s playing fields… It is absolutely antithetical to the health and safety and wellness, which I know you all are concerned with, of our kids to put an artificial turf with ground up tires on our field.” She continued, “We know now that it offgases… it gets ingested; it goes onto abrasions. It’s been particularly bad for soccer players and soccer goalies -- people who slide on the field.” Sterling also mentioned that, “Both the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the US EPA have withdrawn their safety assurances for recycled rubber tire products (and) the EPA has posted new cautions concerning unexplored chemical exposure to more 30 compounds found in synthetic tire turf.”

She acknowledged the desire to install synthetic turf by saying, “It absolutely extends the season… and the playing day. That’s a real, positive benefit. It is up to you guys to really weigh the safety and health and wellness of our kids versus a few extra games in a season and a little extra playing time in a day. “

Sterling then went on to note specific negative environmental impacts of artificial turf and emphasized that it is not maintenance-free, requiring watering and disinfecting, and questioned the district’s cost estimations for installation of a natural turf field, which also has been set at $1.2 million. “No where have I seen that putting down sod is equal to putting down artificial turf. It is always significantly cheaper to put down sod. Those numbers do not make sense, so what we really need to see is a breakout,” she said.

Members of the board continued the Butler Field discussion, with a focus on its implications for this year’s budget process. Board Member Art Rublin addressed the pending April budget deadline and new these new concerns about field materials. “We did talk about the possibility of adding a meeting… between March 19 and April 16. This, to me, is a significant issue and I think… we might continue the discussion,” he said.

Board of Education Vice President Scott Silberfein followed, “I don’t think anyone at this table wants to put crumb rubber infill from tires on the field… (This) means we’re at a minimum of $1.3 million unless we go with natural turf… I probably would be in favor of continuing to use a synthetic turf, but I’d certainly like to hear more and see what the recommendations are. I would be leaning that way, but not (towards) a crumb rubber infill.”

Natbony continued, “I’m very concerned about using rubber products on the field… when I look at the options, I’m looking at it from a budgeting perspective... You’ve got this $400,000 potential difference here… If we decide to go the synthetic route, where do we get that $400,000?”

Board Member Leila Maude explained her view, “… No one’s writing to us saying, ‘Please put down a synthetic turf.’ … All my education (on the issue) is coming from the people who are coming here and speaking… If this is a decision that we have to (make) in the next four weeks… as an individual, I’m going to say please not use artificial turf.”

Board Member Nina Cannon said, “I think this meeting has been eye-opening… In the interest of education, I’m open but, so far, all I’ve heard is everything telling me why I should not put another synthetic turf in that place.” Board Member Pam Fuehrer echoed the sentiment, “ I want to see what we can do with a grass surface… We talk about the toxicity… and the disposal of the existing field, from a sustainability issue, is pretty egregious. Rublin concurred, but wanted to learn more. “My leaning right now, is with (Maude, Cannon and Fuehrer). I would like to hear from… others about the benefits of artificial turf… and, also, the downsides of grass. Right now, my leaning is toward the grass. I really am open to hearing otherwise.”

Scarsdale Schools Superintendent Thomas Hagerman cautioned the board about moving too quickly on the matter, stating, “We have had this artificially surfaced field for more than a decade and have heard, virtually, zero about it until the last two weeks. And, certainly it has come out as a very significant issue… There’s lots of information (and issues)… and people are going to have very passionate views about these issues… I caution that moving too quickly is going to cause this to be a very reactive process that could pit groups with different interests against other groups.” He later continued, “We really need to understand all the interests in this space are and have a plan moving forward… we need to understand the community’s needs and desires, even more so than the research, although that plays into it.”

Board members quickly came to the realization that the process may take longer than the month left before April 16. They debated the merits of postponing the work another year to allow for more review and allocating the maximum estimated cost of renovation to provide for any circumstance. They also discussed concerns about balancing potential increased costs, a need to know more and their commitment to renovate Butler Field as a priority one project. Unable to reach a consensus on how to proceed, the board agreed to leave the existing $1.2 million allocation for renovation in the budget and schedule another meeting to collect community input and additional information about materials options. Interested residents are urged to provide the board with their comments and concerns at the upcoming meeting on April 10 or before then via email.

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LAXBronxvilleSophomore Sophia Franco dodges past a defender en route to goal. The Scarsdale Girls Lacrosse team has been weathering a chaotic storm since the abrupt firing of their 3-year head coach Genette Zhongetti. Since Zhongetti was let go with little time to fill the head coaching position, Athletic Director Ray Pappalardi and assistant coach Megan Matthews courteously stepped in to fill the void. With an 0-4 record, including one loss against a Bronxville team that now carries Zhongetti as an assistant coach, the Raiders have not started the season with the best foot forward. On Thursday (4/5), the team lost to White Plains, a program that the Scarsdale girls lacrosse program has swept every season in recent memory. Other losses were to Rye and Mahopac, both respected lacrosse programs.

Still, the demonstrated issues do not stem solely from the dismissal of the head coach. What some seem to neglect in talking about this team’s losses is the large hole created by the graduation of several impact players from last season. Emma Coleman, a now freshman defender playing lacrosse at St. Michaels, Erin Nicholas, a ruthless midfielder who plays at Middlebury, Angie Burns, a stellar goalie, and Jilly Mehlman, a player with unmatched speed who now runs at Yale, were all main contributors to the team’s success last year.

Additionally, the new Scarsdale team boasts a minuscule roster compared to other programs in the area. While teams like Bronxville and Mamaroneck could fill an entire roster from their bench alone, the Raiders have a mere two subs on the bench at a time, 14 players in total on the Varsity level.

The team has seen progression from their first game to the most recent match against Bronxville. Junior Sam Felder noted that the squad needed to work on playing together as a team, as well as “the basics: ground balls, crisp passes, and communication on defense.” Following the disappointing loss to White Plains, the Raiders entered the Bronxville game with a unique fire and passion which they hope to continue in their upcoming games against Ursuline Wednesday (4/11) and Saturday (4/14). Scarsdale ultimately lost to Bronxville 13-21. When asked about the importance of the Bronxville game, Senior Captain Lily Steckel noted that “to be honest, this game was just like any other game. Of course, we wanted to win. As we learned in our gut-wrenching loss against White Plains, they are all important. I don’t think that as a team it is beneficial to dwell on things that we can’t control. We learned from this game, and that’s all we can ask for.” Still, an inevitable sense of awkwardness radiated from the Scarsdale bench as players lined up to shake hands with Zhongetti, seeing their former leader and mentor for the first time since the suburban-scandal. The handshake line, which usually embodies sportsmanship and respect for the game, was more representative of ill will and division.

LAXBronsville2The Raiders celebrate after a goal.

Going forward, the team is focusing on “more intense practices”, as highlighted by Junior Chessy Greenwald. “We all really want to be good, and we know that we can be, but everything just has to be elevated in the way we play and practice.” With a majority of the season still ahead of them, the squad will try to make the most of it. When asked about the goal for the rest of the season, Steckel emphasized, “Ray always tells us that we should be in control of our season. Being in control means working as hard and as smart as we can, and accepting the result knowing we worked together as a team.”

Photos by Jon Thaler - see more here.

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readinggallery(This letter was sent to Scarsdale10583 by the Co-Chairs of the Scarsdale Library Capital Campaign)To our wonderful community:

We have big news! But first, we would like to thank you, Scarsdale, for your tremendous support of our Library’s improvement project. It is because of your belief in this worthwhile project that we have been able to raise over $7 million in a little over a year.

And now, we are thrilled to announce that thanks to the generosity of three donors, we have a challenge match to offer; every dollar you give is doubled so your gift can get us across the finish line of our $7.5 million goal!

We hope this challenge match will encourage every resident at any level of giving to participate in our campaign, joining over 400 donors who have already contributed. You can maximize new giving or increase your gift and be a part of the family of support for the Scarsdale Library.

We would like to thank the members of the Campaign Committee, Library Board, Building Committee, Friends of the Scarsdale Library, Library Director Elizabeth Bermel, Village Trustees and Village Staff for their hard work, enthusiasm and tireless dedication to seeing this project come to fruition. It truly takes a village!MatchLogo

With the library project on schedule and the construction bidding phase in progress, we are poised to begin our transformation. We ask you to visit our library website here for easy ways to give.

With your help, we make Scarsdale Public Library the place that has something for everyone!

With gratitude,

Dara Gruenberg, Betty Pforzheimer, and Bob Steves
Co-Chairs Scarsdale Public Library Capital Campaign

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