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sewermapTrustees reviewed an analysis of the Mamaroneck Valley District, shown in green on this map.According to Westchester County and the environmental group Save the Sound, Scarsdale is dumping more than our fair share of untreated sewage into Long Island Sound and compromising public health.

Just how much excess water is flowing out of Scarsdale was the subject of a study presented by H2M Engineers to the Village Trustees on Tuesday June 26. Trustees engaged the consultants to study one portion of Scarsdale’s sewer system, the Mamaroneck Valley District, to identify where excess water was infiltrating and inflowing into the sewer system. Scarsdale has three sanitary sewer districts and only the Mamaroneck Valley system discharges into the county-owned waste treatment plant and was therefore the subject of this first study.

The study was commissioned in response to the County Consent Decree and the lawsuit from Save the Sound, which is ongoing.

Based on census data which shows that Scarsdale has 3.21 people per household, the district’s total estimated average daily waste water should be 1,011,000 gallons per day. However, the study showed that for this portion of Scarsdale, the flow was 1,470,000 gallons per day, or almost 50% more that allowed. The County claims that out of 11 municipalities, Scarsdale had the second highest number of daily flow exceedances, with a 59% exceedance rate.

In order to find out where water was flowing into the system the engineers monitored infiltration during rain storms, cleaned and monitored 156,000 feet of sewer using closed circuit TV, visually inspected 635 manholes to find defects and used smoke testing to see where inflows were occurring. The period of the study was June 7 to July 25, 2017.

The study identified areas where there were gushers, runners and drippers which account for major infiltration of groundwater into the sanitary sewer pipes. Gushers were located in four locations on Innes Road, Saxon Woods Road, Broadmoor Road and Heathcote Road where obstacles had been installed into the pipes. These four gushers alone account for 30,000 gallons of excess water per day. Most of the Village’s sewer lines of constructed of vitrified clay, and the study found that most are in good condition though cracks and fractures do occur. Some of these lines are over 100 years old.

An examination of the 635 manholes was done from August to November 2017 and found that 233 exhibited signs of prior leakage. In order to reduce inflows, the village may need to install watertight covers on leaking manholes or do grouting and lining.

Smoke testing was used to identify discharges through open connections such as storm sewer catch basins, yard drains, driveway drains, roof leaders/gutters, broken or open sanitary sewer clean out caps and defective sewer laterals. Smoke testing involves the blowing of a harmless non-toxic smoke into the system, and then observing where the smoke exits. The presence of smoke indicates a break or fault in the sewer line. 35,000 feet of sewer lines were tested and a long list of homes with excess flows into the sanitary sewer system were identified.

To correct these situations the homeowner would need to disconnect sump pumps and drains from their sewage pipes and redirect storm drainage to a drywell, watercourse or open area rather than into the sanitary sewer system. During rainstorms, the total inflow from a single 1-inch rainfall is estimated to be 183,000 gallons.

In order to address leakages at individual property, the Village may need to enact legislation to add requirements on the inspection, repair, replacement and maintenance of sewer laterals by property owners. Trustees discussed the possibility of making a sewer inspection a requirement at closing for those purchasing a home, though this would do nothing to correct problems in homes that are not for sale.

Since all newly constructed homes are already required to have new sewer line connections, the problems only occur with older homes.

By repairing the gushers, fixing pipes, securing manholes and asking residents to remediate illegal connections to the sanitary sewer system, the Village will reduce the excess flows.

The Village already collects a sewer rent fee on all water bills, and these funds are being used to pay for the studies and to make necessary repairs.

This study accounted for only about 1/3 of Scarsdale’s sewer lines. Village Manager Steve Pappalardo indicated that the work would be on-going and studies of the other districts would follow.

Learn more about the state of Scarsdale’s sewer system here:

Primary 2This letter was sent to Scarsdale10583 by Scarsdale Democratic Town Committee Chair Mark Lewis:

Re-elect Congressman Eliot Engel on June 26, 2018 in the Democratic Party Primary Election.

I am supporting Congressman Eliot Engel for re-election in the June 26, 2018 primary. He has been an effective leader whom President Obama relied on for help in formulating foreign policy. Eliot is the Ranking Member of the House Foreign Relations Committee and when the House of Representatives flips to Democratic Party control in November, Eliot will become its chairman.

"Eliot Engel is a strong, effective and trusted pro-Choice leader in congress.
He is making a real difference in fighting to protect Choice. Vote June 26 for Eliot Engel for Congress."
Catherine Lederer-Plaskett
President of WCLA-Choice Matters

Eliot has a 100% pro choice voting record.Based on the most recent Planned Parenthood and Naral Pro Choice America records.

Gun Control
Eliot has an F rating from the NRA for his gun control actions. Eliot Engel has authored and sponsored legislation to ban the sale of guns to people convicted of hate crimes and domestic violence, and again stop the sale of assault weapons.

Health Care
Eliot worked to make Obamacare law. He has fought to stop the Republicans from destroying it. Eliot has sponsored and authored legislation for Medicare for all.
Eliot Engel believes health care is a right not a privilege.

Eliot Engel is pro union
He has been endorsed by the AFL-CIO, 32 BJ - SEIU, NYSUT. None of his opponents has been endorsed by any union.

Eliot has been endorsed by the Sierra Club for his environmental record. He has a rating of 100%.
Eliot has been endorsed by End Citizens United because of his record of fighting for campaign finance reform. End Citizens United is the leading organization fighting the efforts of Citizens United court decision and for campaign finance reform. There are PACS that have contributed to Eliot. They include Planned Parenthood, the Human Rights Campaign and the International Associatiom of Fire Fighters.

Eliot Engel has a 92.7% voting record. He missed some votes when he traveled with President Obama overseas when the President asked him to do so. He missed a few votes when he was caring for ill parents and when he was sick.

Education – Congressman Engel made sure that Scarsdale and Greenburgh got a fair share of Title 1 funds that the school districts were entitled to get. This brought in millions of dollars to both districts.

Eliot has been endorsed by Westchester County Executive George Latimer, Westchester County Clerk Tim Idoni, State Senators Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Shelley Mayer, Assembly members Amy Paulin and Tom Abinante, Chairman of the Westchester County Board of Legislators Ben Boykin.

Eliot Engel is ranked as the #1 most effective Democrat in Congress by the Center for Effective Lawmaking. He is pro-choice, pro-gun control and has fought for affordable health care.

Remember to vote in the June 26, 2018 Democratic Party Primary for Eliot Engel.

Mark Lewis
Scarsdale Democratic Town Committee Chair

CurryMichael Williams will join the SMS Team as Cooper House CounselorMichael Williams will be the new House Counselor for Cooper House at Scarsdale Middle School. He has big shoes to fill, replacing Marjorie Najac, a beloved counselor, who has been helping students and parents for many years.

We were excited to hear that Williams will be coming to Scarsdale from Garrison and asked him to introduce himself to the community. Here is what he shared:

Please tell us about yourself … your background, your education and previous professional experience.

I am a career changer who graduated SUNY New Paltz with a B.A. in theater back in 1996. I was a professional actor for 15 years and along the way taught acting to kids (still do!). Once my own kids were born I became interested in a career that allowed me to be home more regularly. I initially went back to school to teach ELA but then, remembering how incredibly helpful and supportive my high school guidance counselor was when I was in need, I decided to pursue being a helper. I put myself through school at night at the College of New Rochelle and graduated in 2010 with a masters degree in school counseling. Shortly thereafter, I began working at Lakeland Copper Beech Middle School in Yorktown Heights and am currently finishing my 8th year as a K-8 counselor at The Garrison School in Garrison. I have been very fortunate to be able to support the kids and families in this community and am absolutely thrilled to begin doing so at Scarsdale Middle School next fall.

We heard you were previously an actor – tell us what you did and what you enjoyed about it?

The thing I enjoyed most about being an actor was the collaboration that took place in the theater and on film sets. Relying on others and knowing what you bring to the table is an essential skill in life and I credit my acting background for making me the team player that I am today. Also, it was just a ton of fun! I got to travel to places like Morocco and got to work with many people from all walks of life.

What lead you to make a career change?

My decision was based on family. My kids were young and I was missing out on a lot of milestones while I was off shooting independent films. On top of that, as everyone knows, it is not as stable as other careers. I would have a very successful year followed by a challenging year. I began to feel a bit selfish and wanted to provide a more stable life for my kids. It was a tough decision and one that I made slowly over a number of years. I am grateful every day that I wound up doing what I am doing now. Supporting and nurturing kids is more rewarding than anything I could imagine.

Do you use any of your acting skills in working with preteens and teens?

When I was trained to be an actor the key elements of that training were to actively listen and be present in the moment. I utilize those skills daily. Empathy is also extremely important for a counselor. I believe that my acting background has been crucial when it comes to really seeing how someone is feeling, not judging those feelings, and just putting yourself inside of that person's shoes.

What will be your role at SMS? Which house will you be in?

I will be the Cooper House Counselor at SMS. I will be there to support all students academically, socially, and emotionally. I hope to be a conduit between all stake holders in the students educational lives.

What are some of the similarities and differences between your current position and the new one at SMS?

The similarities are plentiful in that I will still be in a support role to all students, families, and teachers. I will help students navigate their educational careers with the input of everyone that impacts their lives. I will be running team meetings with the Cooper House teachers just as I am running middle school meetings where I am now The biggest difference is the size. SMS is much larger than Garrison. It seems as though my K-8 caseload at my present school is about the same size as my Cooper House caseload. I love the energy of middle school students and am housed in the middle school where I work now. There will just be more of that energy!

What do you find challenging and rewarding about working with preteens?

The rewards far outweigh the challenges. I think that preteens are still really open to ideas and generally lean into life with curiosity. Sometimes that curiosity leads them to bad choices but all of those choices can turn into teachable moments if handled correctly. I think social media is very challenging for them as they are truly the first generation to have to navigate this enormous world that they carry around in their pockets. Hopefully, we can help them figure it all out together.

How do you approach anxious teens and their parents?

I like to think that I handle anxious teens and parents with a calm, listening ear. Generally, I hope to find some concrete tools that may help alleviate some of that anxiety. At times, if the issue is larger than can be handled by the school, I will refer to a professional. Different approaches work for different situations as life is messy. The common approach for any situations is genuinely caring. That goes a long way for kids and families.

What are you most excited or nervous about in your new role?

I am really excited to get to know my new students, families, and school community. It really seems like an incredibly special place and I am so grateful to be invited to be a part of it. As far as nerves go, I recently had the chance to visit SMS and meet the incoming 6th grade who will be my students in Cooper House next fall. They were nervous just as I was. I told them something I heard a long time ago and it has always helped me to navigate nerves and that is that it is okay to be nervous - it's just proof that you care.

What do you do in your free time? What are your interests outside of work?

I enjoy my family time above anything else. My daughter, Mia, just turned 15 and is finishing her freshman year. My son, Dean, is about to be 13 this summer and finishing the seventh grade. My wife, Toni, and I love to be present for all of the fun things that my kids involve themselves in; theater, baseball, softball, singing, etc. On top of that I like to fly fish, play guitar, and I love baseball.

ACSszfGvTHmWm2jepKXgAksHAG5 gA11 p861cYkhQs900 mo c c0xffffffff rj k noVolunteer with Let's Get Ready this summer! As a Coach in our College Access Program, you will be on the frontlines of educational justice as a tutor, role model, and mentor. You will serve as an SAT tutor to a small group of high school students in your community and support them through the college application process. Access Coaches commit to teach 3 hours a week in the evening and dedicate 1 hour a week to prep time for 9 weeks in the summer (mid-June to mid-August).

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Fenimore 1A View of the Rear from 1923Tensions ran high at Scarsdale Village Hall on Tuesday, June 5th at a hearing on the decision to permit demolition of a home at 6 Fenimore Road. The house, built in 1921, was designed by the architect Andrew J. Thomas, who is well known for work for the Rockefellers, for the design of Forest Park in Ohio and of the first garden apartments in New York. Thomas also built the adjacent property at 8 Fenimore Rd, once owned by comedian Al Jolsen.

The house, a cottage and greenhouse were designed by Thomas and built in 1924 for his own use. A rear addition was made in 1947. In 1950, the greenhouse was demolished and replaced with a detached garage. Thomas initially owned and lived on the property, but it was later sold to the Manny family who owned it from 1937 through 2017, when it was sold to TAK developers, who plan to tear down the existing buildings, subdivide the 1.3 acre lot and construct two new houses.

On November 21st, the Committee for Historical Preservation (CHP) ruled that the house should be preserved because there was sufficient evidence to determine historical importance. In order for a building to be considered worthy of preservation it must meet one of the four criteria dictated in the village code. The committee believed it met the third criteria, which states “That the building is the work of a master and embodies the distinctive characteristics of a type, period or method of construction that possess high artistic values”. The owners of the property have chosen to appeal this decision, and a hearing was held to determine if the property met the third or any other criteria.

The property owners hired multiple lawyers to bring forth their case, and the village brought in Architecture Professor Andrew S. Dolkhart of Columbia Universtiy who is an expert in architectural history to study 6 Fenimore Road and offer an opinion on its merits for preservation. In the report he sent to the village, he argued that the property should be saved because it meets both the first and third criteria for preservation in Scarsdale. The first criteria states that “That the building is associated with events that have made a significant contribution to broad patterns of Village, regional, state or national history.” Dolkhart believes the first criteria is met because “the house is an important example of the suburban architecture of the 1920s that is the key development in Scarsdale’s history as a residential community, and it was the home of a very prominent architect”. He also believes the third criteria is met because 6 Fenimore “was designed by Andrew J. Thomas, a well-respected and very talented architect who was definitely a master designer. The building is also an excellent example of French Norman architecture, with high artistic values, including the use of materials, massing, and detail on the main house and outbuilding and in the adjoining landscape”.Fenimore 2The Front of the House Today

The lawyers representing the property owners hired Dr. George Thomas (unrelated to Andrew Thomas), an architectural expert, to dispute the claim that the property met the third or any other criteria for preservation. Dr. Thomas is a partner at Civic Visions LP, a Philadelphia based firm that does drafting, architectural design, and more. He also has taught architecture at the University of Pennsylvania and co-founded the University of Pennsylvania Historical Preservation Program. Dr. Thomas began by attacking the legacy of Andrew Thomas seeking to dispel the notion that Thomas was a master. He noted that Thomas was not traditionally educated, and lacked the necessary design skills to be considered a master. He proceeded to make even more damning assumptions, stating that the graduate students who worked for him probably designed the house anyway, while at the same admitting to having no basis to support that claim. He claimed that Andrew’s architectural specialty was the building of garden apartments, not suburban homes, concluding that this house was not the work of a master. It should be noted, however, that Andrew Thomas also developed residential homes in Forest Hill, Ohio, 81 of which are on the National Registry of Historic Places.

Dr. George Thomas proceeded to attack the second part of the third criteria for becoming a landmark: the embodiment of a distinctive characteristic of a type of construction that possess high artistic value. Dr. Thomas called the house a “impoverished version of Norman Revival” and claimed it lacked necessary details including a rounded or towered entrance or turret. He called the house a hodge podge of styles and asserted it lacked the necessary detail to be considered distinctive. Dr. Thomas also noted that the house was left out of the 2012 Reconnaissance Level Cultural Resource Survey, written in part by Dolkhart, which looked at buildings or areas of cultural/historical significance in Scarsdale. The report can be viewed by clicking here.

Fenimore 4The Original Floor Plan from 1923Dr. Thomas also responded to the claim that the house can be preserved under the first criteria. He noted that the house was merely a reflection of suburbanization, and ruling for preservation under this criteria would set a dangerous precedent of allowing any house built in that era to be deemed a historical place.

After Dr. Thomas spoke, Terry Rice, an attorney retained by the village, noted that the term “master” is not defined by the village, and asserted that it could be interpreted loosely as someone who is skilled in a particular area. Professor Dolkhart then gave a brief rebuttal to the issues raised by Geroge Thomas.

Dolkhart stated that lacking formal education cannot be interpreted as a detriment to becoming a master as many great architects of the time didn’t receive formal training. According to Dolkhart, since Andrew Thomas built the house for himself, it reflected his personal vision of architecture, and contained architectural details from different time periods to add a level of sophistication and nuance to the house. The house also represented his experimentation of multiple suburban design techniques, as its construction took place during a pivotal time period for the development of Scarsdale as a suburb. Dolkhart also noted that the house was likely left out of the Scarsdale 2012 Cultural Reconnaissance Survey, produced by his firm, because it was listed as being located in Hartsdale.

Another attorney representing the owners of the property spoke in an attempt to dispel the notion that Andrew Thomas is a master. He argued that the national historic preservation law, upon which the Scarsdale’s guidelines are based, states that in order to for something to be “the work of a master,” the work must take into account the standard style of the architect. Since Thomas was best known for his garden apartments, this assumption would invalidate the rationale for preservation under the third criteria. But Mayor Hochvert pointed out, the Scarsdale code is not identical to the national code, and that assumption cannot be made. Furthermore, under a general definition, a master must be generally recognized in a field, not in the regard to a specific work, so if an architect who typically worked in one style masterfully crafted a house that embodied a different architectural style, it still merits consideration for historic preservation.Fenimore 3A Detail on the Door

One community member was outraged by the owner’s attempt to destroy the historic house. Lika Levi of urged the village to preserve this houses, stating “You have to institute a moratorium and put an end to this mindless destruction. It is the indigenous Isis and yet, Board after Board nothing is being done. Scarsdale is losing its character, its very identity, heritage, its everything. A town without these character houses, without the leafy trees is not Scarsdale any more. I do not want to hear of any more hearings or CHP meetings. Nothing deserves to be demolished.”.

The Village Trustees gave both sides three weeks to submit any additional information to the board. Their reports must be submitted simultaneously. Two to three weeks after their submission, the board will come to a final decision on the fate of 6 Fenimore Road.

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