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edgewood1Edgewood Elementary School kicked off the commemoration of their Centennial year with a ceremony on Monday, September 24th to celebrate their new library. The ceremony began with the pledge of allegiance, followed by the singing of the national anthem by the 5th grade chorus. The student band accompanied the singing of the Edgewood School Song.

Speakers at the ceremony included the Principal Dr. Houseknecht, Scarsdale Mayor Dan Hochvert, school alum and Village Trustee Carl Finger, former teacher Dorothy Bench and a fifth grade student.

The annual school picnic followed the ceremony in the back of the school. It was a fun evening for all attendees!
(Photos courtesy of the Edgewood PTA)

Leaf Mulch Mowing BeforeLawn Before Leaf Mulch MowingMowing your leaves - also known as mulch mowing - into tiny pieces on your lawn, is healthier for your lawn and soil than piling or bagging them to be removed. As the shredded leaves decompose, their nutrients enhance the soil and provide free organic mulch for your garden beds. The pollutants from leaf blowers and trucks are avoided. Homeowners around Scarsdale have been mulch mowing leaves for many years with great results.

Mulch mowing can be done with any standard lawn mower or commercial lawn mower with a mulching blade. Simply mow over the fallen leaves. All landscapers have the equipment to mulch mow, and it is just as easy (or easier) to mulch mow than it is to blow the leaves to the curb. If you find that you have excess leaves, place the mulched leaves in your garden beds. They look great, are a healthy addition to your yard and will save you the cost of buying wood mulch. Remember, to avoid damaging trees and plants, never place mulch directly against a tree trunk or shrub and never pile mulch more than 2”-3” high in a garden bed.

The following sections provide additional details on what mulch mowing is and how to do it.

What is leaf mulch mowing?
Leaf mulch mowing is the process of using a lawn mower to shred leaves into small pieces that are left on the lawn or spread on Leaf Mulch Mowing AfterLawn After Leaf Mulch Mowinggarden beds and around shrubs. The shredded leaves quickly settle between grass blades and decompose to provide natural nutrients to the soil. Leaf-mulched lawns often need less fertilizer and water. Excess mulch can be blown into garden beds to help prevent weed growth, to conserve moisture and sprinkler usage, and to provide a protective layer in winter.

Why is mulch mowing more beneficial than piling leaves at the curb for the Village to pick up?
Mulching leaves adds organic material to your lawn and plant beds which improves the soil. Mulch mowing also reduces the number of truck trips necessary to pick up and haul leaves away, reduces the use of leaf blowers and gets large piles of leaves off our streets.

How do I mulch mow my leaves? Is special equipment needed?
Leaf mulch mowing can be done with a standard homeowner or commercial lawn mower. To help shred the leaves into smaller pieces, it’s recommended that a mulching blade be used. This type of blade, which has grooves to shred the leaves, is inexpensive and available for any type of mower.

Do landscapers mulch mow leaves?
Yes. If you use a landscaper, ask them to mulch mow your leaves instead of blowing the leaves into a pile at the curb. Many, but not all, landscapers have experience mulch mowing leaves. If your landscaper is new to mulch mowing, the following are key points for them to know:

Equipment: They should use a mulching blade at a minimum, but a mulching kit will provide even better results. Mulching kits, which include additional attachments beyond just a mulching blade, are available at any mower distributor and can be fitted to commercial mowers.

Mulching Technique: Mowing the leaves in a circular pattern, rather than back and forth in lines, will result in smaller pieces of leaves which decompose more quickly and will avoid “striping lines.”

Time: It should take your landscaper no additional time to mulch mow leaves rather than blowing them to the curb. In many cases it actually saves time.

Leaf Mulch Mowing CloseupCan I mulch mow my own lawn?
Yes. If you mow your own lawn, use a mulching blade which you can install yourself or bring to any local mower shop (there is one in downtown Scarsdale) to install. Make sure to have the blade sharpened as needed. Try to mulch leaves once a week so the piles don’t build up too high for your mower, especially during the heavy drop of leaves. For larger amounts of leaves, you may want to raise the height of the mower deck.

Will mulch mowing cost more?
Mulch mowing leaves should not cost more than having leaves blown to the curb or bagged. There are many landscapers in Scarsdale who have been mulch mowing properties for years at no additional cost. If your landscaper claims it will be more time consuming, ask them to try it for a few weeks. They should see it takes no additional time.

Can all types of leaves be mulch mowed?
Yes! All types of leaves can be mulch mowed.

Pine needles, which are acidic, may change the ph balance of your lawn if mulch mowed in large quantities. Consider using pine needles as a mulch around the base of pine trees.

Will the shredded leaves harm my lawn or make it look messy?
The shredded leaves will not harm your lawn. In fact, the shredded leaves are beneficial to your lawn. Decomposing leaves cover the soil between the individual blades of grass where weeds can germinate. Once the small bits of leaves settle in, microbes and worms start breaking them down. It is important that the leaves are shredded because whole leaves left on a lawn can smother the grass. The shredded leaves quickly settle into the lawn and your lawn should not look messy.

What if I have too many leaves?
Shredding piles of leaves reduces the volume of leaves significantly! What looks like a huge leaf pile will shred into tiny pieces and quickly settle into your lawn. Excess shredded leaves can also be used as mulch in your garden beds.

If you are concerned about the quantity of leaves, try mulch mowing for a few weeks when leaves first begin to fall and there is less leaf volume. Even if you need to put some leaves to the curb during the heavy leaf drop, any reduction in leaves put to the curb is a benefit.

Leaf mulch mowing benefits our local landscape, reduces the number of truck trips in our community and gets large piles of leaves off the streets.

Leaf Mulch Mowing Resources
Mulch mowing tutorial: Link

Education panel with landscapers and representatives from Cornell Cooperative Extension: Link

Overview of Mulch Mowing Benefits with Chip Osborne (Organic Landscaping Consultant used by the Village on Parks and Fields): Link

Love ‘Em and Leave ‘Em Mulch Mowing Initiative: Link 

This article is the second in a series of sustainability articles published by the Scarsdale CAC. To read previous articles, please visit the CAC website at CAC Page.

To contact members of the CAC with any questions, email or send a message with the online form.

wreath2The Scarsdale Department of Public Safety and village officials gathered on Tuesday September 11 to remember those who were killed on September 11, 2001 and to honor the sacrifices of the first responders and recovery workers. The ceremony commenced with a moment of silence and four sets of five bell rings, replicating a code used by the FDNY to announce the death of a firefighter. Father Sebastian Bacatan of St. Pius X Church delivered an invocation. Scarsdale Police Chief Andrew Matturro and Fire Chief James Seymour raised and lowered the American flag to half-staff and Police Officer Malcolm Greer sang the national anthem.

Deputy Mayor Carl Finger, Police Commissioner Jane Veron and Fire Commissioner Matthew Sept11MarchCallaghan addressed the group. Scarsdale High School student, Megumi Ozawa, sang a beautiful rendition of Amazing Grace as Scarsdale PBA and UFFA members placed wreaths at the bases of their respective commemorative monuments to honor the fallen.

Members representing both the Scarsdale Volunteer Firefighters and Ambulance Corps placed an additional wreath at the base of the flagpole. Fire Captain Christopher Mytych acknowledged the first responders, recovery workers, and those that lived or worked in lower Manhattan following the attacks, who are now afflicted with 9/11-related illnesses. Reverend Kelly Rogers of Scarsdale Congregational Church delivered a benediction.

Sept11VeronPolice Commissioner Jane VeronTrustee Jane Veron made the following remarks at the ceremony:

I join you today to pay tribute to those whose lives were tragically cut short and to
honor the selfless dedication and bravery of you and your colleagues, our first responders.

It is seventeen years later, and we remember vividly as if it were yesterday. We all knew precisely where we were, what we were doing, the moment we learned of the horrific attack on our great nation, on our beloved city of New York. So incomprehensible, intensely personal, an affront to everything we hold dear.

We carry with us, deep in our hearts, the memories of the loved ones, friends and colleagues we Sept11FingerDeputy Mayor Carl Fingerlost that day. These many years later, we continue to reel from the debilitating health struggles faced by our rescue and recovery workers. So much has been sacrificed; we shall not forget.

On Sept 11, 2001, several of our Scarsdale police officers joined the emergency response effort, and for the ensuing months, each member of our police force assisted the NYPD. Among our current fire department professionals, several of you were at ground zero or covering for the FDNY.

Sept11CallaghanFire Commissioner Matthew CallaghanThose days and months following the attack were grueling for all of us. We were seething with anger, emotionally drained, completely devastated, exhausted, heart broken. But we were also kinder and gentler to one another. We stopped focusing on petty differences. We embraced both friends and strangers. We came together in a way that I had never before experienced in my life. Out of the depths of despair, we emerged stronger and more united.

What I love so much about our country, about New Yorkers specifically, is our resilience and resolve. We do not cave in. We fight to protect what we hold dear.

You, our first responders, live that ethos. You were drawn to a profession that puts others above Sept11OzawaSHS Student Megumi Ozawa sang Amazing Graceself. You keep us safe and secure; help us when we’re in need. You are the reason the rest of us can go about our daily lives.

We are grateful to you, our dedicated public servants, and we will forever cherish the memories of those who have sacrificed for our country.

Photos by Jon Thaler -- See more here.



Fire Chief James Seymour with Fire Captain Christopher Mytych

Matturroand Seymour

Police Chief Andrew Matturro with Fire Chief James Seymour

Sept11SerenadePolice Officer Malcolm Greer sang the national anthem.

JessicaandMarkJessica Kaplan and Mark Fowler of Bronx River BooksLike many of you, we were so excited to find that Scarsdale’s new independent bookstore is open on Spencer Place and pleased to meet Jessica Kaplan and Mark Fowler, a White Plains couple who has opened their first bookstore, Bronx River Books.

What is their story and how did they end up in Scarsdale Village? They graciously agreed to an interview and here is what Jessica shared:

Tell us something about your background, your professional history and familiarity with our area?

My husband, Mark Fowler, has been a lawyer for the past 33 years and has represented publishing companies, newspapers, and magazines, as well as individual authors. Prior to becoming a lawyer, he was a freelance writer and also co-authored several books of purported humor.

I taught middle school English for most of my career at Rye Country Day School in Rye, New York. During the past three years of my retirement, I subbed for a semester as a sixth grade English teacher at Greenwich Academy, as a fourth grade teacher at the French American School of New York in Larchmont, and as a fourth grade teacher at Rye Country Day.

We have lived in White Plains for 37 years where we raised our three sons all of whom attended the White Plains public schools from kindergarten through 12th grade.bookshelf

How did you get the idea to open a bookstore?

Bookstores like Three Lives in Greenwich Village, the venerable Grolier Poetry Bookshop in Boston, the old (alas, now departed) Gotham Book Mart in Midtown, and great little suburban bookish destinations like Books on the Common in Ridgefield Connecticut are among our favorite places in the world. Mark and I have always been omnivorous readers, and Mark is on the board of the Center for Fiction, which is in the process of relocating to a great new space in Brooklyn. At one point in recent history, we were in two book clubs (on of which has been meeting regularly for 26 years) in addition to taking literature classes at the Center for Fiction. We always visit bookstores wherever we happen to travel, and we hope and intend for Bronx River Books to continue to connect us to the Westchester community as we segue from our careers in teaching and the law.

How did you learn how to open and run a store?

Well, it remains to be seen if we have. We are greenhorns in the retail business and have been literally getting on the job training since Thursday, September 13 when we first opened. We have had no prior experience in selling but did take an online course that (we hope) teaches new bookstore owners some of the ins and outs of the book business. Also, as part of our research and preparation for opening Bronx River Books, we visited 62 independent bookstores to observe, gather ideas, and learn from other booksellers who have been incredibly generous in sharing their ideas and insights with us. We also received valuable information and support from the American Booksellers Association, which is headquartered in White Plains.

BooktableWhere did you look for a site and how did you decide on Scarsdale?

We had a hard-working commercial real estate agent who showed us more than a dozen sites in White Plains, Hartsdale, and Scarsdale. We wanted to be in close driving distance of our home in White Plains, and Bronx River Books is just 2.8 miles from where we live. Reading, Writing and Wrapping in Scarsdale had been our local independent bookstore until it closed several years ago, and we fondly recall our youngest son Matthew buying his first Harry Potter book there. There are fine independent bookstores in Bronxville, Larchmont, Rye, Pleasantville, and Chappaqua, but we felt a certain absence in central Westchester since Reading, Writing, and Wrapping closed its doors. And, of course, there are many thousands of smart, highly engaged readers in Scarsdale, White Plains, Edgemont/Greenburgh, Eastchester, and other nearby towns.

Why do you think the community will support the bookstore?

Since we opened (and even while we were still unpacking books to set up) many readers from Scarsdale and the neighboring communities stopped by to say they were happy to have an independent bookstore back in town. They've made us feel very welcome

How did you design and build out the store?

We bought our bookshelves from a company in Tennessee that specializes in shelves for bookstores and libraries, had a local Scarsdale architect design our floor plan, and a local contractor from White booksforkidsPlains execute the design.

How did you stock the store? How did you figure out how to strike the right balance of fiction, history, cookbooks, self help, children’s books and more?

Mark and I read literally hundreds of reviews, countless lists of award winners, and begged for suggestions from all of our reader friends and family members. Mark and I collaborated on the fiction selections. He was largely responsible for the history and biography sections. And I chose all of the younger readers books.

Who supplies the books?

We've ordered books from seven of the major publishers, a few university presses, and from two large wholesalers.

What kind of reception have you received so far?

Everyone has been terrific. We are very grateful.

Do you plan to host author visits, children’s events or other in-store events?

Yes, we do eventually plan to host author visits and story time sessions.

What are your hours?

Initially, we are planning to be open from 10:00 to 6:00 every day except Thursday, when we will be open from 10:00 to 8:00. Since we are the entire staff at the moment, we will probably give ourselves a designated day off one day a week -- but not right away, and we haven't decided which.

Will you accept special orders or bulk order for bookclubs?


How can readers reach you?

bookstoredogThey can come to our store during business hours, call us at 914-420-6396, email us at, or order from our website at We are also on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We are glad to receive book requests by phone or email, and, if we don't already have a book on our shelves, we can usually get a copy in about two days or sometimes (to our amazement) sooner.

And what about your dog?FlushBiography

Virginia Woolf is our English Springer Spaniel, but she was named long before we conceived of the idea of opening a bookstore. She is, of course, named after the British novelist who owned a series of spaniels and who also wrote an imaginative biography entitled Flush from the point of view of the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s spaniel. (Mark will send you a copy of the cover in a separate email.)

Virginia is in the store periodically when she has nothing better to do.

RachelJohnsonRachel Glenn Johnson and Jacob Mills Ramsey were married September 1. Rabbi Tom Weiner of Congregation Kol Ami in White Plains officiated at Second, an event space in New York City.

Mrs. Ramsey, 28, is Administrative Director of Programming at Sala Institute for Child and Family Centered Care and Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone. She is a 2008 graduate of Scarsdale High School and graduated with honors from Cornell University, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Human Ecology in Policy Analysis and Management. She has a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration from The Sloan Program at Cornell.

She is the daughter of Ellen Kurtz of New York City (formerly of Scarsdale) and Dr. Michael Johnson of White Plains N.Y. The bride’s father is a physician specializing in cardiovascular disease and interventional cardiology and is affiliated with Montefiore Medical Center and White Plains Hospital. The bride’s mother is a Registered Nurse and founder of Kurtz Legal Nurse Consulting, a professional medical resource for defense and plaintiff attorneys.Kurtz1

Mr. Ramsey, 35, is Assistant Director of Operations at Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Sociology from Indiana University, Master of Public Health from The University of South Carolina and Master of Health Administration from Cornell University.

He is the son of Holly and James Ramsey of Ann Arbor, Michigan. The groom’s father formally of Ford Motor Company Finance Division and the groom’s mother formally of Integrated Health Associates are enjoying their retirement with their four children and six grandchildren.

The couple met at Cornell in graduate school over a beer pong championship where they reigned undefeated. They will honeymoon in Hawaii and live in New York City.


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