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leafvacuumDid you know that Scarsdale Village code prohibits leaf piles in the street? Why? Because leaf piles can cause a multitude of problems – blocking walkways and fire hydrants, becoming a slippery hazard to pedestrians and drivers, creating visual obstructions and clogging storm drains and catch basins.

That's why village code requires that leaf piles should be placed on the grass, near the edge of the curb –and not in the street.

However, this has proven to be difficult to enforce. Gardeners often blow leaves onto the street, onto neighboring properties, onto traffic islands and into the public right of way. Should the village get tougher about enforcing the rules?

That was the subject of a meeting of the Municipal Services Committee of the Scarsdale Village government on August 8, 2017. Public Works Superintendent Benny Salanitro explained that during leaf season, which runs from mid-October to late December, staff from the Highway Department vacuums leaves, and on average does seven pick-ups per location per season.

If twigs, branches or grass clippings are mixed into the leaf piles, they cannot be vacuumed and may damage the vacuum equipment. As an alternative leaves can be put into biodegradable bags which will be collected by the Village.

The Village currently takes several measures to inform residents and landscapers about proper leaf disposal, mailing a flyer of "Do's and Don'ts" to the 408 contractors that are known to work in Scarsdale. In addition the flyer is posted in the newspaper, on the village website and on cable television. If police notice leaf piles in the streets they too assist with enforcement of the rules.

To those who don't comply, warning notices are distributed to homes where leaves are present in the roadway, usually about 300 per year. However, no legal summons have been issued.

At the meeting the Trustees discussed the possibility of stepping up enforcement. Should the Public Works department create "door knockers" to be placed at homes that abuse the policy – or should legal summons be issued to residents and landscapers who pile leaves in the streets? At the conclusion of the meeting, Trustees agreed to ask Village Staff to recommend ways to step up enforcement and reduce the dangers of leaves being piled in the street.

And what has come of the many discussions of mulching in place, i.e. mowing over fallen leaves and leaving the remains on the lawn? For now that discussion and the move to eliminate leaf vacuuming by the Village seems to be on hold. The Cornell Waste Management Institute is currently doing a study to assess the effect of mulch mowing on the tick populations on lawns. The initial study showed no increased incidence of ticks on mulch-mowed lawns. The NYS Department of Health advises that lawns be kept mowed to create a "tick-free zone around your home."

How can you help? Rake your leaves to the edge of the lawn and ask your gardener to do the same. If not, you may receive an unpleasant notice from the Highway Department!

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sterlingScarsdale's own Michelle Sterling, Ron Schulhof and Mayor Dan Hochvert were featured on NEWS 12 Westchester last week, discussing the Village's food scrap recycling program which has already recycled 67,000 pounds of food scraps this year. As food scraps make up 30% of residential waste, this new program has also served to lighten the load for trash pick-up.

Participating residents purchase a counter top starter kit that is used to collect food scraps. Usually about once a week, they bring their scraps to the Scarsdale recycling center where it is collected, transported and then turned into compost.

The program has already become a model for other communities: Similar programs have been launched in Bedford and Mamaroneck and Larchmont, Greenburgh and New Castle will start their own programs in the fall.

See how you can get started here

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Bagels4Bagels and More in Hartsdale is closed.... but just for two weeks while they repair the shop. I saw their windows covered in paper and hoards of workmen at the site and feared the worst. But fortunately it looks like they are doing some infrastructure work and promise to re-open on Saturday August 5. They'll be back soon and in the meantime we can all lose a few pounds.

Over on Central Avenue, the former A&P is undergoing a major transformation from supermarket to super fitness center. They are soon to the be site of 24 Hour Fitness, a workout site that will offer fitness classes, individual training and enough equipment to accommodate many customers at one time. The building is 30,000 square feet and has ample parking.fitness

24 Hour Fitness is one of over 400 centers owned by the company that is headquartered in San Ramon, California. They already have locations in Yonkers and Nanuet that open early and close late in the evening to accommodate everyone's schedule. Check them out here:

On a happy note – it turns out that Sprainbrook Nursery, one of a vanishing breed of independent nurseries, never closed. They were exploring a deal to sell the property to become the site of a nursing home, but when that failed to come to fruition, they decided to remain in operation.

Sprainbrook Nursery has been owned by the Krautter family since 1944. Al Krautter, an Edgemont native told me that in his day, the Seely Place School went from K-10 grade and then Edgemont students went on to complete high school at Scarsdale High School. He was in the class of 1954 at SHS, the last graduating class before Edgemont built their own high school.

AlKrautterBack to Sprainbrook Nursery: The upper portion of the property – including the greenhouses survived a fire in September, 2015 and Krauter reports that they used the greenhouses to grow flowers and vegetables organically. They are now holding a sale where if you buy a dozen you get a dozen free.

Here's the deal:

Buy a flat of peat pots and get one flat free
Buy a dozen 4 ½" pots and get a dozen free.
Buy a hanging basket and get one free.

Sprainbrook is open Monday through Saturday from 8 to 5:30 pm and Sunday from 9 to 4:30.

Sprainbrook Nursery
448 Underhill Road
Scarsdale, NY 10583
(914) 723-2382

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party1At Scarsdale Village's July Party in the Park on Friday, July 28th, good music, good weather, and good feelings abounded. With the Jay Prince Band from Hal Prince Music and Entertainment set up in Chase Park, many families with young children came to celebrate summer and enjoy the warm evening. In addition to the Jay Prince Band, a group of clowns with lots of balloons and face paint came, and soon lots of little kids ran around looking like tigers, clowns, and superheroes with lots of balloon swords and animals in hand.

As the band played classic songs from artists like Stevie Wonder as well as more current music, the ice cream truck made an appearance to provide everyone with some delicious ice cream and milkshakes. When twilight started to set in around 7:30, the clowns did a magic show that kept many kids seated and staring for the duration, and then before the evening was over, the Jay Prince Band invited everybody to come to the center of the park and dance for one last song.

While lots of young families did come to the event, one resident said she would like to see more publicity about free events like this one from the Village to really give attendance a boost.

For more information summer events in Scarsdale, go to http://www.scarsdale.com/DocumentCenter/View/409.



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thomascainFormer Scarsdale Fire Chief Thomas Cain, who served as Scarsdale's Fire Chief from 2005-2016 was named the 2017 recipient of its New York State Career Fire Chief of the Year Award. The award was presented during the General Session of the NYSAFC 111th Annual Conference & FIRE 2017 Expo on June 15, 2017, at the Turning Stone Resort in Verona, NY.

NYSAFC's Career Fire Chief of the Year Award honoree is selected for demonstrating exemplary leadership, innovation, professional development, integrity, service to the public, and contributions to the fire service. Cain is recognized for his commitment and service to his department, county, and members of the fire service throughout the state of New York.

Cain began his fire service career as an explorer with the Fairview Fire District in 1979. He served as a volunteer firefighter with Fairview from 1982 to 1984, when he became a professional firefighter with the Scarsdale Fire Department. During his tenure with Scarsdale, Cain served as a firefighter, captain, municipal training officer, tour commander, and chief of the department from 2005-2016.

A member of the New York State Association of Fire Chiefs since 2005, Cain served on the association's Paid Officers Committee before being elected to its board of directors in 2012. He served on the board until his retirement as chief in 2016. Cain was also a member of the Career Fire Chiefs of New York State, where he served as a board member and treasurer, the Westchester County Career Fire Chiefs Association, the National Fire Protection Association, and the International Association of Fire Chiefs, and also served as a nationally certified fire service instructor level II.

Cain successfully completed the Advanced Fire Service Administration Program in 2002, an intensive course for fire service leaders developed by the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) in cooperation with the United States Fire Administration. He earned a degree in fire service administration from the State University of New York/Empire State College.

While chief of the Scarsdale Fire Department, Cain's level of professionalism and dedication to his department and to the fire service of New York state was evident through his staunch advocacy for the advanced education and training of firefighters. This is exemplified through his strong support of efforts to obtain special operations training in Westchester County, as well as his active support of classroom and hands-on training programs delivered by NYSAFC throughout the Empire State for current and future fire service leaders.

To support our nation's fallen firefighters and their families, Cain was instrumental in launching and organizing NYSAFC's annual 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb. Stair climb events are held across the country to benefit the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF). NYSAFC's first stair climb was held in 2015, and the event has continued to grow in the number of participants and funds raised in subsequent years.

For his dedication to the professional development and support of firefighters and fire chiefs on the local, state, and national level, NYSAFC proudly presents this award to Retired Chief Thomas M. Cain

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