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meetcandidatesThe Scarsdale Village election will be contested again this year. There are four candidates vying for three positions as Village Trustee. Each position is a two-year term. The Citizens Nominating Committee (CNC) has put forth its slate of candidates for each slot: Jane Veron, who is seeking a second term as Trustee, as well as Justin Arest, and Lena Crandall who are running for their first times. Running as a candidate for Village Trustee under the Voter's Choice Party is Robert Berg. The Village Election is Tuesday March 20th. All Election Districts will be voting at the Scarsdale Library, 54 Olmsted Road. Hours of the election are 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and Noon to 9 p.m. As Village Clerk Donna Conkling has explained, the top three vote getters in the election will each garner a spot as Village Trustee.

The League of Women Voters encourages informed and active participation of citizens in local government and the election processes. Accordingly, the LWVS is hosting a Candidates Forum on Tuesday, March 6, 2018 from 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm in Rutherford Hall at Scarsdale Village Hall. (March 8th has been set as a snow date for the event.) All four candidates running for Trustee in the upcoming Village election will be participating in the Candidates Forum. The Leagues encourages all Scarsdale citizens to come hear from the candidates and provide questions to be asked of them. For those who cannot attend, the event will be recorded for playback on Scarsdale Public Access TV.

If you are not a registered voter, the last day to register to vote in the upcoming Village election is Friday, March 9, 2018. You may pick up a mail-in registration form at Village Hall, or download the registration form from the Westchester County Board of Elections web site here:

In order to register to vote, you must:
• Be a U.S. Citizen
• Be 18 years of age by the date of the election in which you want to vote
• Live at your present address at least 30 days before an election
• Not be in jail or on parole for a felony conviction
• Not claim the right to vote elsewhere.

For registered voters who will be out of Westchester County on Village Election Day, an absentee ballot can be obtained by filling out an absentee ballot application at Village Hall or downloading the form from the Westchester County Board of Elections web site:

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 is the last day for the Village Clerk to receive an application for an absentee ballot to be mailed to a qualified voter; however, applications made in person can be accepted until Monday, March 19, 2018.

For more information, call the Village Clerk's office at (914) 722-1175 or visit the League website. 

SCNPLogoThe SCNP presents the qualifications of its candidates for three Village Trustee positions to be voted on in the Village General Election

The Scarsdale Citizens' Non-Partisan Party (SCNP) presents the qualifications of Justin Arest, Lena Crandall and Jane E. Veron, the SCNP's 2018 candidates for three Village Trustee positions. The Village General Election will be held on Tuesday, March 20, 2018.

The SCNP continues a proud Scarsdale tradition, dating back more than 100 years, supporting candidates who have been endorsed by the Citizens Nominating Committee (CNC). The CNC is comprised of a cross section of volunteers representing each of Scarsdale's elementary school districts. This year's slate is comprised of exceptional candidates whose character, experience, spirit of cooperation, dedication to listening and willingness to keep an open mind on the issues facing our Village distinguish them as well qualified to serve as Village Trustees.

As the campaign moves forward, each of our candidates looks forward to hearing from residents about their views and concerns on any and all Village issues, and sharing what they have learned about our unique community through their combined 40 years of active volunteer service. Our candidates hope to earn your vote in the General Village Election on March 20th.

Justin Arestarest

Justin Arest grew up in New Rochelle and met his wife, Allison, a Scarsdale native, nearly 20 years ago in the Golden Horseshoe. When they moved here five years ago, Justin quickly got involved as a volunteer and has proven to be a dedicated and thoughtful community participant on whom many have come to rely for his analytical skills and thoughtful participation.

Justin was appointed to the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) in 2014, and his involvement has grown to impact a variety of residents' interests. In addition to the ZBA, he is currently serving on the Ad Hoc Committee on Communications, Freightway Steering Committee, Library Building Committee and Capital Campaign Committee. Justin has also taken a leadership role in the Scarsdale Forum as a member of the Executive Committee, Board of Directors, and Chair of its Fiscal Affairs Scarsdale Committee.

Justin's serious undertakings in town exemplify how younger community members can become deeply involved in civic affairs if they are able and willing to make the effort. Justin's participation has given him a broad understanding of town issues but he also brings a fresh perspective that rounds out the SCNP slate.

Justin is an attorney and manages Arest Associates, LLC, a real estate investment company. He has a BS in Finance and International Business from the Stern School of Business at New York University and a JD from the George Washington University Law School. Justin and Allison have two children, ages 6 and 3.

LenaCrandallCNCLena Crandall

Lena Crandall has been serving our community for over 16 years, starting as a member of the PTA and quickly expanding her participation to include other Village volunteer organizations, where she often assumed leadership roles.

As an active member of the Fox Meadow PTA, Lena led an effort in 2005 to design a new playground which is still in use today. She also researched and fostered the restoration of the Fox Meadow School Nature Park and Outdoor Classroom, a two-and-a-half acre protected wetland located on Brite Avenue.

Lena served as Secretary, President and Co-President of Friends of Scarsdale Parks (FOSP) from May 2007-2012. While concurrently serving on the Conservation Advisory Council (CAC), Lena was the lead author of a report on the South Fox Meadow Brook Stormwater mitigation project. Her work with FOSP and the CAC resulted in the preservation of the woodland between Harcourt Road and Scout Field, among other conservation initiatives.

From 2013-2017, Lena served as Director of Grounds at the Scarsdale Woman's Club. In that capacity, she secured the donation of tree care from a commercial tree care firm to protect the specimens on the Drake Road property. She also established a permanent volunteer grounds committee.

Lena joined the Scarsdale Forum in 2004, served as a Director-at-Large in 2008, as Vice President in 2015-2016 and as President in 2016-2017. She was elected in 2014 to represent Fox Meadow for a three-year term on the Citizens Nominating Committee (CNC) and then served as its Chairperson in 2016-2017.

Lena and her husband Jeffrey moved to Scarsdale in 1991. She practiced law until 1995 and then retired to focus on raising two sons, James and Nicky, now ages 23 and 19. She has a B.A. from Brown University and was awarded a Service to the School Award upon graduation from Hofstra Law School in 1987.

Jane E. Veronjaneveron

Jane Veron, completing her first term as a Scarsdale Village Trustee, embraces all aspects of her role. As a Trustee, she is actively engaged as chair, member, or liaison on a multitude of committees and councils including the Library Board, Personnel, Municipal Services, Land Use, Chamber of Commerce, Scarsdale Seniors, Youth Advisory, Drugs and Alcohol Task Force, Scarsdale Edgemont Family Counseling Service, Cable Commission, Parks & Recreation and Conservation. In addition, she initiated and leads the Ad Hoc Committee on Communications.

Jane has also held civic leadership positions as Chair of the Scarsdale Planning Board, President of the League of Women Voters of Scarsdale, Chair of SNAP, President of the Fox Meadow Neighborhood Association, and serves on the Board of the Scarsdale Foundation. In recognition of her sustained and significant impact on the community, she received the Mayor's Award for Exceptional Leadership in 2017.

Jane is CEO and co-Founder of The Acceleration Project (TAP), a nonprofit that provides high-caliber consulting services at an accessible price to small businesses, entrepreneurs, and municipalities. She is also CEO of TAP Growth Advisors, a business consulting and placement firm. Prior to TAP, Jane spent her career in strategy and marketing, working at Bain & Company, American Express, and as an independent consultant. She also has experience in private equity and venture capital as an investor and board member.

Jane earned a BA magna cum laude from Yale University and an MBA with honors from Harvard Business School. She has lived in Scarsdale for 20 years with her husband Andrew and three daughters, two of whom graduated from Scarsdale High School and one attends Scarsdale Middle School.

The General Village Election will take place Tuesday, March 20, 2018. All Election Districts will be voting at the Scarsdale Library, 54 Olmsted Road. Hours of the election are 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and Noon to 9:00 p.m.

Submitted by Jon Mark, Campaign Committee Co-Chair
Email: jmark58@aol.com
Phone: 914-472-4053

Have something to say? Please include your REAL name and street address and we will be happy to post your comment.

respectThis note was sent out in an email to the community by William Natbony, President of the Scarsdale School Board on the eve of the bond referendum on 2-8-17.

Dear Members of the Scarsdale Community:
It is hoped that you have been the beneficiary of our efforts to reach out to our community with accurate and detailed information about the proposed school bond. As tomorrow's vote approaches, I would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that some of the strengths and hallmarks of Scarsdale and its community are respect for differing opinions and respectful, open discussion without personal attacks. We are all part of the same community, and after the vote we look forward to receiving your continued participation and input as we work together for the betterment of our great school system. The most important way to express your view on the bond is by exercising your right to vote tomorrow.

Sincerely,

William J. Natbony
President
Scarsdale Board of Education

FreightwayAerialViewThe Village of Scarsdale Freightway Steering Committee has completed the visioning study to guide potential redevelopment of the Freightway Site, an underutilized area adjacent to the Scarsdale Metro North Railroad Station. The Committee will present its findings to the Land Use Committee of the Board of Trustees on Tuesday, February 13th at 6:00 PM in the Village Hall.
The study provides a community-based vision for the Freightway Site to ensure that future redevelopment enhances the Village Center while meeting local needs. The study adequately considers potential impacts and/or constraints, such as revenue generation, parking, traffic, infrastructure, school enrollment, community facilities and services and potential demographic changes.

The community based vision was achieved through a broad and meaningful public engagement process which was guided by the Freightway Steering Committee, supported by technical planning and market professionals. The process included three public workshops, walking tours, in person and online surveys and focus groups to assist with garnering information from key stakeholders.

The Freightway Steering Committee's Vision states: "Any future development at the Freightway Site should be a signature project that positively contributes to the vibrancy of the Village Center while maintaining its current function as a commuter parking lot." The Vision is supported by seven guiding principles for the future development of an attractive, economically viable project on the site as follows:

Principle 1 - Improve Parking and Circulation
Principle 2 - Ensure that public benefits are achieved by any development
Principle 3 - Ensure contextual development (scale, bulk, height)
Principle 4 - Encourage mixed-use development supportive of the Village Center
Principle 5 - Connect and integrate the Freightway Site with the Village Center
Principle 6 - Include environmentally sustainable development
Principle 7 - Plan for the long term future within a reasonably practicable time horizon

Interested residents, property owners, merchants and other stakeholders are encouraged to attend the meeting to learn more about the study.

The site is a 2.38 acre Village owned property currently used for commuter and merchant parking with approximately 700 spaces in an aging five-story parking garage and two surface parking lots.

For more information, meeting notices and updates, click here. Comments can be sent to freightwaystudy@scarsdale.com.

leadRepresenting tenants of a Bronx apartment owned by the NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA), Greenacres resident and attorney Thomas Giuffra just won a $57 million lawsuit. The suit charged NYCHA with failing to test for the presence of lead paint and maintaining the apartment in a dangerous condition. NYCHA denied the presence of lead in the apartment despite violations being issued by the Department of Health and being ordered to abate the lead.

The child, who grew up in the apartment, had high levels of lead in her blood which her attorney argued caused permanent brain damage. The injured child was diagnosed with a lead level of 45 mcg/dl at a routine checkup. The CDC considers any lead level above 5 mcg/dl to be lead poisoning, but states no safe lead level in children has been identified.  Due to sustaining lead poisoning, the child developed significant permanent cognitive injuries which has impacted her ability to learn and required extensive special education and other services in City Public Schools.

Lead in young children is accepted by science to cause brain damage and being responsible for developmental and cognitive issues. In addition to harming the central nervous system, the long-term effects of lead poisoning include renal damage, cardiovascular disease and damage to the reproductive and immune systems. Lead has a long-term impact because the body recognizes lead as calcium and stores it in the bones. 

What are the implications of this verdict for the proposed renovation of Greenacres Elementary School?

We asked Giuffra and here are his thoughts on the matter:

He said, "The case against NYCHA was a classic example of what happens when authorities minimize or deny the presence of lead and perform inadequate inspections. In the case of Greenacres, the district performed 509 XRF lead tests, a completely insufficient number based on the size of the school. For example, in my case, the Department of Health tested over 150 XRF sites for two small NYCHA apartments. To truly understand the full scope of the lead issue, there should have been thousands of test sites done on a building the size of Greenacres, including all rooms in the school (particularly ceilings and windows). Also no paint chip sampling was done at the school which provides additional useful information."

Giuffra continued, "As somebody who has handled lead cases for over twenty years, I viewed the sparse testing as a transparent attempt to reassure parents and the community by using a completely inadequate sampling. The fact that they found lead by using such a limited survey is clear proof that there likely is lead paint throughout the school... and if known would require abatement under New York law. Assurances that the building can be fully abated over the summer are very misleading, because the full scope of the problem remains unknown. Rather than reassuring the community, the finding of lead should cause greater concerns."

He said, "My view is as it has always been .... if they renovate, the kids should not be in the school during construction. I personally believe that the district should have included trailers on the field to protect the children or made allowances to relocate. The current plan leaves kids in unsafe conditions, demonstrates a complete ignorance of the potential hazards of lead and the risk of permanent injury to the children of Greenacres. The primary pathway for lead intoxication is breathing dust contaminated with lead. To think that children will not be exposed to construction dust during a major renovation of this type, despite safeguards, shows a lack of familiarity with construction sites in the real world. Lead, like asbestos, becomes harmful when it is disturbed either through peeling or demolition. Unlike asbestos which harms older people, lead attacks the developing brains of young children and they never get the chance for a normal life."

Giuffra continued, "To those who argue that work was recently done at the high school with kids in the school, here is the difference; the students in grades K-4 are at an age when school age children are most vulnerable to harm from lead. High school aged children are at a much reduced risk of injury because they are at a far more advanced stage of brain development. To attempt to equate two wholly different situations demonstrates nothing more than a lack of knowledge about lead poisoning."

He concluded with a warning, "My opinion is that the current renovation plan is like driving while wearing a blindfold; you don't know what lies ahead and hope that it all works out. It is a fact that lead paint was used in the United States until 1978, particularly in schools and municipal buildings, as it was an excellent and durable paint. I would not be surprised that if the old pre-1978 bid documents were reviewed, the specifications called for lead paint to be used. The school board and community has no idea of the full scope of the problem and plunging forward in this manner without knowing what is on the walls, ceilings, windows and trim throughout the building is just reckless. My recent verdict should alert parents, teachers, administrators and residents to the very real danger that this project poses to children. Lead is the number one environmental hazard to children. Ultimately, it is the children who pay the price for lead poisoning, and that is a tragedy."

"Younger children get poisoning from eating paint chips primarily, they also get it from breathing it. This is because younger children have pica (a fancy name for putting things in their mouth and eating it). They eat lead paint chips because they taste sweet. In contrast, older children develop lead intoxication from breathing lead contaminated dust which goes into their lungs and their bloodstream."

About environmental laws he said, "As far as regulations being such a great protection, why is it that Scarsdale is home to so many lawyers who earn a very comfortable living because laws are broken every second of the day. If laws and regulations were not broken, I would not have won my case or the other verdicts I have had in lead cases. Though the district claims that all interior work can be done in the summer, they don't know the scope of the lead problem based on the small survey sample. Very likely the entire school would need some form of abatement."

Giuffra added, "I do not care if they renovate or replace. I only care if kids are in the school when they do the former. I can't understand why the people who support the renovation don't fight for trailers or relocation to guarantee the safety of the children with the same passion. If they had trailers they would be able to work 12 months of the year and not be governed by the school calendar. What is more cost effective long term?"

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