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A Team to Watch: Raiders Field Hockey

hockey1After beating back-to-back Class A State champions Mamaroneck in their season opener last Wednesday, it became obvious that Scarsdale Girl's Field Hockey is a team to watch this year. The Raiders shut out Mamaroneck 4-0, turning the tables from last year's 5-0 loss. Sophomore starter Julia Jamesley was excited about Wednesday's win, and believes that the momentum from their victory will propel the team forward through the rest of the season. "After finally beating Mamaroneck, I think we are all very determined to play our hardest and push ourselves to win most of our games."

The team lost nine seniors after last year's season, providing an opportunity for underclassmen to step up and play bigger roles. Team Captain and All State player Erin Nicholas noted that this year's team is younger and much less experienced than last year's, but what they are lacking in experience, they are making up in athleticism. "We have a lot more speed this year which helps us quickly transition the ball from defense to offense," Nicholas said. She also mentioned that there are advantages to having a younger team. " A lot more kids on this year's team are determined to do well and work hard both in games and during practice". Jamesley also recognized the way that the underclassmen are handling the loss of experienced from last season. " Even though we lost a lot of key players, we are definitely creating a strong dynamic, the underclassmen are trying to step up, and we are beginning to work better as a team."


Coming off their win on Wednesday, the Raiders played their most formidable opponent, Lakeland, on Friday. The Lakeland team has dominated New York State Girl's Field Hockey for the past decade, winning seven straight Class B State Championships with their most recent state win in 2015. Although many teams would be wary about playing such a strong team, the Raiders embraced this challenge and used it as a way to hone their skills. "The benefits of playing a strong team like Lakeland is that we can learn from the way they played against us" Nicholas said. "When playing such a great team, our weaknesses are exposed. This helps us learn more about our team and the things we can work on both individually and as a group." This mentality helped the Raiders, leading them to fight until the last whistle, ultimately losing 3-1. The Raiders looked strong throughout the entire game, with Lakeland capitalizing on only minor lapses in the team's play. Nicholas is excited to treat this game as a learning experience to help the team for the rest of the season. "We can now watch film on how they played to see what worked well for them that we could maybe implement into our play."

Looking forward to the rest of the season, the Raiders hope to continue improving and bonding as a team. Spectators should be excited to see how much this young ambitious team can accomplish this season.

Revaluation Update

propertytaxThe Scarsdale Board of Trustees met in executive session on Tuesday at 3 pm to discuss "Various Legal Matter Relatives to the 2016 Revaluation Project." We questioned both Village Attorney Wayne Essanason and Deputy Village Manager Robert Cole on what those legal matters might be, but neither provided additional information.

We later heard that the Trustees were discussing, among other matters, the contract with J.F. Ryan, the man who conducted the 2016 revaluation. The Village has withheld $43,000 from his original contract. In addition, Ryan asked for an additional $6,000 for the time he spent preparing for and attending the August 17th meeting and he has not been paid for that time. On Tuesday, Trustees were consulting with an attorney on what actions they might take and also planning how revaluations could be conducted in the future. At a recent meeting, Ryan failed to provide documentation for the assumptions behind the model or validate the results.

We also wrote to the NYS Office of Taxation and Finance to find out if there was a possibility that the state could invalidate the revaluation, as many readers have suggested. We were referred to Geoffrey Gloak, the GloakDirector of Public Information at the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance. He said, "It isn't the New York State Tax Department's role to validate or invalidate the reassessment. Our role is to determine a tentative equalization rate, which we expect to do later this month. For more on equalization rates, click here:" 

So to those who were looking to the state to void the revaluation, it is clear that they will take no such action.

If you care to comment on these and other issues, please include your name and street address.

Road Resurfacing Underway in Scarsdale

repavingAn ambitious road repaving program is now underway in Scarsdale. The resurfacing will temporarily close some of the Village's main thoroughfares to allow for smooth new roadways for residents. The total estimated cost for the fall paving work is $625,000 and the work will be done from now through mid-September. According to Scarsdale's Deputy Village Manager Robert Cole, scheduled dates are dependent on the weather, contractor progress, equipment and other factors.

Here is the current resurfacing plan:

Thursday – 8/25: mill Crane Road
Friday – 8/26: mill Garth Road and move to Freightway after 10 AM

Monday – 8/29 through Friday 9/2: pave Freightway, Garth, Stonehouse, Autenrieth, Oakwood, Woodland, Church, Crane, Ogden

Monday – 9/5: Labor Day – no work

Tuesday – 9/6 through Friday 9/10: pave Saxon Woods, Black Birch, Mamaroneck Road, Copper Beach, and Normandy.

If you see road closures and detours, remember that all this work will result in improved roads for Scarsdale.

Con Edison Repairs: Deputy Village Manager Robert Cole also shared the following information about two emergency repairs on Village streets.

On Fox Meadow Road Con Edison is making an emergency repair to a transmission line joint (which is very sensitive).

At the interection of Oakstwain and Brewster Road, two repairs are in process: A gas main/valve is being replaced on Brewster Road while on Oakstwain they are doing, "a direct-bury service that was also an emergency and had to cross the whole width of the road. Con Edison will have restoration responsibilities, as well."


How to Handle a Dog Attack

dogbiteRecent reports of dog attacks on this site (full disclosure: I was a victim) made me realize how little most of us, dog owners and civilians, know about this topic. In my case, I was carrying my sleeping shih tzu in my arms when a wheaten terrier burst out of a house through an unsecured door, ran across the street and jumped on me in an attempt to get to my dog. I dropped my dog when I realized that my arm was covered with blood; the wheaten's owner and other neighbors ran over as I scrambled to grab my dog away from the attacker, getting a few more bites in the process. After my visit to the ER and the ensuing court date, I wondered if it would be helpful for others to understand what happens in the unfortunate case that you or your dog is attacked, or if your dog is the aggressor.

As you might expect the Scarsdale Village Code, has a section on animals (Chapter #141, and I was very interested to find that "no person shall keep any swine within 300 feet of any dwelling). And the Village has a brochure on the Rules and Regulations for Dog Owners. Most of this deals with pet waste, leash laws and licensing (yes, Fido, you are supposed to renew your license annually).

But what happens if you are attacked (and I don't mean a little nip or bared teeth)?

In Westchester County, most dog bites are handled by the municipality where the dog resides. After an incident, the police department is required to file a form with the county health department, which most importantly will contain the dog's rabies vaccination record. The report will also go to the animal control officer, who in Scarsdale is a 15-year veteran of the force. He is then charged with determining if a summons will be issued (i.e. it's a violation if the dog was off-leash) or if a "dangerous dog" report should be filed, which would lead to a court date for the offending dog's owners. Depending on the severity of the case and any prior history, the court's decision can include requirements such as the installation of an electric fence or a mandate that the dog not be walked by a child. Although it would seem obvious that no dog should be walked by a person unable to control it, sometimes the obvious must be stated.

If a dog is deemed "dangerous", his name is added to the county registry. Any future incidents could lead to criminal charges against the owner. Dogs are rarely (if ever) euthanized in this county.

If you are attacked by a dog, you should do the following:

  • Seek medical attention. Dog bites are considered "dirty" wounds, and Steri -strips are used instead of sutures.
  • Take pictures of any injuries, get contact information for the owner and names of any witnesses.
  • Notify animal control (through your police department). And dog attacks need to be reported in order for the community to be protected. In my case, a prior attack on a pug who required 5 stitches to his ear went unreported. The pug's owner, unaware that the other dog had already had been taken to court, did not report the incident because the attacking dog's owner paid the veterinarian bill.
  • Do not sign anything, meaning a settlement from the other party's insurance company until you are sure who will pay your medical bills. Most insurers say they will pay your medical bills, but they usually mean the copay plus an amount for "pain and suffering". Check with your health insurance company to be sure that they won't expect you to pay the rest if you accept a settlement (mine would have).

If it is your dog (off Fido):

  • Be prepared to show your dog's vaccination records.
  • Contact your insurance company; most homeowner's policy cover dog bites.
  • Contact a dog trainer to ensure that this behavior never happens again.

Jordan Hall: An Italian Steakhouse and Piano Bar in Pelham

jordanhallThere's a new reason to visit Pelham, with the opening of Jordan Hall, an Italian steakhouse with a Mediterranean flair. It's easy to spot on busy Fifth Avenue with its colorful flower filled pots surrounding the outdoor dining area. These decorous arrangements are clearly nourished with care. Upon dining at Jordan Hall, you will be treated with care, as well, and nourished with food of the finest quality, creatively prepared.

Owned by Florio Rugova and partners Christopher Fink and Guy Sansone, Rugova attends to the dining room. He is a familiar face in Pelham and managed La Fontanella, for many years. He honed his skills at many Manhattan restaurants, as well. "Jordan Hall is not just another Italian restaurant. We are a high end establishment. During the process of working my way up in the culinary field, I became passionate about my work. Opening in Pelham is like coming home. I love talking to our guests and getting their feedback."
Jordan Hall is at the location that housed Bistro Rollin. Their talented chef Eric Mauro, is now leading the kitchen at Jordan Hall. Chef Mauro attended culinary school in his native Brazil." My family dined in restaurants often and I developed an interest in the culinary field. "He worked in corporate dining room, a 3 star Michelin restaurant in Spain and in Bistro Rollin for five years. The combination of his talent and creativity, along with the quality of his ingredients, brings a fine new addition to the dining scene in Pelham.

A grand piano in the renovated bar area is the focal point of the sophisticated dining room. Mellow live music adds to the pleasure of your dining experience on several evenings. The restaurant seats 85 guests indoors and another 20 outside, with 10 seats at the lovely bar. A welcoming elegance permeates the dining room. Crystal chandeliers, dark wood floors, many framed mirrors, French multi paned doors and large windows overlooking Fifth Avenue set the mood. The botanical theme continues at each table set with white linens and modern glass containers filled with hydrangeas and white roses.

Chef Mauro created a tasting menu for me of several small plates, each beautifully designed, enabling me to enjoy a variety of their many offerings. Warm bread and olive rolls graced our table in napkin lined baskets with crocks of. olive oil and butter. Our parade of dishes appeared. The Italian proverb, "Our eyes must have their share" certainly applied to the presentations. From the appetizers we loved our New Orleans style crab cake garnished with mixed greens. A ceramic spoon was filled with a fresh ginger emulsion provided a lively sauce. Panko crumbs added a crisp crust to these crab filled delights. Jordan Hall meatballs combined several meats for a flavorful result. They were light, rather than dense. Simmered in a delicate marinara sauce, they were each pierced with a toothpick and seasoned with freshly grated parmesan and micro basil. Grilled diver sea scallops, saffron and parmesan arrancini, zucchini carpaccio and grilled Raisin River bacon au poivre are yet to be tried... Of the several salads offered, we chose the roasted beet salad. The fresh beets were topped with mixed greens, lobsterrollgoat cheese, pecans and cranberries, and lightly dressed for a refreshing taste. The beefsteak tomato and burrata salad is highly recommended, as well. The addition of a raw bar includes shrimp and lobster cocktails, tuna tartare and a variety of oysters. We enjoyed a single Goose Island Oyster, succulent and delicious. Served in a cocktail glass, filled with ice and some mignonette sauce I was reminded of the words of Frank Lloyd Wright," Dining is and always was a great artistic opportunity." From the pasta selections, would it be spaghetti carbonara, lobster ravioli, or pasta caprese? We chose pappardelle with a beautifully seasoned lamb Bolognese. The al dente pasta was bathed in an incredible sauce seasoned with a hint of cinnamon stick and shaved parmesan: very unique indeed, in fact divine.

Among the entrees, we opted for pan roasted wild caught salmon. Chef Mauro indicated that he loves preparing fish. "Timing is most important for perfectly cooked fish." Our delicate salmon was an indication of Mauro's expertise in cooking fish. A bit of butter and thyme added a crisp crust to our medium rare fish, accompanied by a light caper sauce. Roasted carrots, broccoli rabe and mashed potatoes topped with fragrant popcorn shoots completed this simply wonderful dish. Since this is a steakhouse, it offers, New York strip, t bone, filet mignon, bone in rib eye, porterhouse and rack of lamb, all of prime quality. We savored a tender New York strip steak with classic creamed spinach and ratatouille. The accompanied truffle looked good, but for me the steak stood on its own. Return visits, and I do hope there will be many, may include risotto with sweet sausage, veal scallopine with saffron cream, or shrimp scampi with creamy polenta.jordanhalldessert

Desserts include lemon ricotta cheesecake, orange zested vanilla crème brulee and flourless chocolate cake. We completed our feast with simply delicious house made espresso ice cream. It was intensely flavored and pure tasting with a dollop of freshly whipped cream on top. A fresh orchid decorated the plate for a very nice touch.

Lunch offers many salads, appetizers, sandwiches, pastas, and entrée selection from the dinner menu. Sunday brunch includes appetizers, salads, a variety of eggs Benedict, omelettes and entrees of waffles, pancakes, French toast, slider platters and lobster rolls, each with Chef Mauro's special touch.

A visit to Jordan Hall will bring pleasure to your day, with a fine meal in a warm and lovely atmosphere. Welcome to Westchester.

Jordan Hall
142 Fifth Avenue
(914) 222 5494

Recipe: Roasted Beet and Goat cheese Salad (Serves 1 or 2)

2 red beets
A handful of mixed greens
2 Tbsps. crumbled goat cheese
1 Tbsp. walnuts or pecans
1 Tbsp. dried cranberries

Wrap whole beets in foil and roast in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes or until fork tender. Cool them and peel them Slice them and set aside.

For the dressing:

2 Tbsps. red wine vinegar
½ tsp. Dijon mustard
½ tsp. honey
Salt, to taste
Blend together all of the dressing ingredients.


Arrange sliced beets at the bottom of one or two plates in a circle to act as a base of the greens. Place greens in a bowl and toss with the dressing. Arrange greens on top of the beets. Sprinkle with cheese, nuts and berries and serve.

JudieJudie Dweck has been writing about restaurants and food for many publications. She teaches creative cooking to children at Scarsdale elementary schools. Through the years, her articles have appeared in Jack and Jill Magazine, Spotlight, The Pleasure of Cooking and The Scarsdale Inquirer. She balances her restaurant tastings with daily ballet classes.