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Longtime Scarsdale Resident Betty Orteig Passes Away at 88

BettyinblueElizabeth "Betty" Murphy Orteig, a long-time Scarsdale resident, passed away at home on October 16 after a long illness. She was 88. Betty was born October 31, 1927 in Brooklyn to the late Judge Charles E. and Elizabeth (Sawyer) Murphy.

She attended Marymount College and had a successful career in retail fashion working for Bonwit Teller, Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue. Betty was an active volunteer for the American Cancer Society and was an avid tennis player and golfer. She was an established member of both the Scarsdale Golf Club and Fox Meadow Tennis club where she made lifelong friends.

Betty is survived by her children George E. Orteig Jr. and his wife Kathleen of La Quinta, CA, Elise Hunnicutt and her husband John of New Canaan, CT and Celeste Russell of Cross River, NY and four grandchildren -- Melissa C. Welch, Lauren E. McGuiness and Devin and Kathryn Russell. She is also survived by her brother Thomas Sawyer Murphy of Rye, NY. Betty was predeceased by her loving husband George in 2002 and beloved son Raymond E. in 2014.

Remembering her mother, her daughter Elise said, "While in the end cancer took her away from us, we know she has gotten her wings and is smiling down on all of us who will treasure the great memories of her with friendship and love."

A Memorial Visitation will be held Thursday from 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM at the Edwin L. Bennett Funeral Home in Scarsdale. A Memorial Mass will be conducted on Friday, October 21 at 10:00 AM at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church also in Scarsdale.

Instead of flowers, the family would recommend donations be made in Betty's name to either the American Cancer Society or The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Yoga for the Body, Yoga for the Mind


In places like Scarsdale, the big gym atmosphere seems like it's rapidly becoming replaced with boutique studios for Pilates, biking, barre and yoga. This summer I took a break from my "big gym" due to a recurring injury and ran as my form of exercise. However, I'm not so keen on running and I've had to exercise some serious restraint in order not to purchase the "0.0 I hate running" car magnet so I knew I needed to pair it with some formal class that would fulfill me mentally, spiritually, and physically. And since I was running on the Bronx River Parkway Trail, I easily discovered Here&Now Yoga+Body on Garth Road.

From the moment you enter the Here&Now studio, the vibe, the equipment, the cleanliness, and the ambiance just feel good. The Here&Now mantra is "Strong Body. Present Mind." and both my mind and body felt blissfully satisfied after a Sunday 8 AM yoga class. I felt recharged and ready to enjoy my Sunday. Even my son noticed my yoga-induced contented-state by commenting, "Hey mom, you're so all relaxed." (And I had no glass of wine in hand at 9 AM.) But that didn't mean I didn't get a great body workout; I was definitely sore and stretched.


Owner, instructor, and Scarsdale local Jocelyn Koenig taught my yoga class. Jocelyn is living proof of the many benefits of yoga. She's a runner and she ran to the studio from her Greenacres home. She began practicing yoga more than 15 years ago by adding it to her daily running and fitness regimen in hopes of easing the daily stress she experienced as an Assistant District Attorney in the Bronx. She tried some classes and she was hooked. "I relished the physical challenge and opportunity to quiet the mind while moving on the mat," Jocelyn said. "As an added bonus, my running times improved along with my knee joint issues." As the mother of three young children, yoga for Jocelyn, "...continues to inspire within me a calm and centered presence. Through three pregnancies, yoga helped me to remain conditioned and strong and to rebuild my fitness level post-natally." Still, it takes more than that to actually open your own studio. "I wanted to open Here&Now to make a space for the community to practice, a place for people of all levels and all ages to have the opportunity to enjoy yoga and barre fitness that is creatively thoughtful and nurturing yet also strengthening and challenging for both the body and mind," Jocelyn said.


Here&Now attracts a great mix of people, both men and women, young and old, because of the wide variety of classes that are offered. There are yoga classes of all types and all levels, including stretch, restorative, vinyasa flow, and power. There are also barre fitness classes and fusion classes, which are a mix of barre, yoga and Pilates. No matter whether you have been practicing yoga and barre for years or are brand new, all enjoy the benefits. "Yoga strengthens the body, increases muscle tone and flexibility, helps to prevent injury, improves respiration and circulation and helps with weight reduction," she continued. "Yoga also improves focus, self-awareness and confidence which is why our kids' programs have become so popular. Older practitioners also benefit from better bone health and circulation."


The Here&Now teachers that work with Jocelyn have undergone hundreds of hours of training and ensure that students practice both yoga and barre with proper alignment. During my class on that Sunday morning, I realized that there were several poses that I had been practicing incorrectly at my mega-gym. Jocelyn and her teachers take the time to teach the poses so students get the most out of each class. At the larger gyms and big companies, teachers often have to adhere to a script but at Here&Now, Jocelyn states that it is important for "teachers to be creative, so classes are always engaging, never repetitive."


Here&Now keeps clients coming back by offering more than 30 classes per week. In addition, they offer special workshops taught by prominent instructors, like the Arm Balances&Inversions workshop on October 22nd with Miriam Wolf. Jocelyn also feels strongly about giving back to the community and is hosting a Candlelight Yoga class for all levels on November 19th at 7pm to benefit an orphanage in Haiti. All donations go directly to Project House of Hope.


Here&Now is currently offering a free second class with the purchase of a first class so you can give it a try.
138 Garth Road, Scarsdale NY 10583

Conversation Paused on the Future of Greenacres School

greenacresschoolHas the conversation about the future of the Greenacres School come to a pause or a halt? In a September 29 email to the community, Superintendent of Schools Thomas Hagerman cited cost concerns about already-approved district projects and a polarized community as reasons to take a pause in the discussion about the future of the hundred year-old school. His email outlines some next steps but offers no timeline for a decision.

It was initially thought that the administration would make a recommendation for renovating or rebuilding the school by December 2016 in time for a community-wide vote a bond referendum in May 2017. However, as of now, there is no promise of a concrete proposal from the administration or a date to expect it.

When Dr. Hagerman announced his decision at the September 12, 2016 Board of Education meeting, some board members expressed a desire to have a discussion about the options so that the administration and board could take a leadership position and build community support for their proposal. But for now, the issue is off the board's agenda, precluding any input from Board of Education members and discouraging feedback from the community.

We asked a few community members what they thought about the pause and here is what they shared:

Rona Muntner:

"I hope that this pause allows the board to focus the decision on what is best for the children of Greenacres for the next 100 years."

Jon Kirsbergh:

"While I was initially taken aback by the announcement, I think Dr. Hagerman and the School Board made a responsible decision to take the time to re-focus the debate. Given the heated discussions that have surrounded the issue, I am hopeful the Board and Administration will use the time to explain to the community the goals it hopes to achieve with the project and how the various options under consideration do, or do not, achieve those goals. The Board and Administration are poised to take control of the process and are ready to lead the community toward a solution that provides for a facility that is in the best interests of the students of today and the future."

Xue Su:

"I think Dr. Hagerman and the school administration have made a wise decision to take a "pause" in the discussions about GA. Both the BoE and Dr. Hagerman have repeatedly expressed their commitment to upgrade GA school, but the funding to implement the plan needs to be approved by the whole village and it will set an example for the future upgrading of other school buildings in the district. I applaud the school administration enhancing communication with the community by sharing information through e-newsletter and I hope a well-designed final plan for the coming bond vote will be supported by the whole village."

What do you think? Use the comments section below to share your thoughts.

Where to Worship for the High Holidays

appleshoneyThe High Holidays are upon us with Rosh Hashanah beginning on Sunday night October 1 followed by Yom Kippur, which starts on Tuesday evening October 11. Many local synagogues welcome the public to worship, even if you are not a member. Here are their schedules:

Chabad of Scarsdale will hold services for the High Holidays at The Scarsdale Woman's Club, 37 Drake Road. The schedule is as follows:

Rosh Hashanah: Sunday, October 2: Light Candles at 6:17 pm/Evening Services: 7:00 pm
Monday, October 3; Morning Services: 9:30 am/Children's Program 10:30 am/Shofar sounding 11:00 am
Tuesday, October 4: Morning Services: 9:30 am/Children's Program 10:30 am/Shofar Sounding 11:00 am

Yom Kippur :
Tuesday, October 11: Light Candles/Fast Begins 6:03 pm/Kol Nidrei: 6:00 pm
Wednesday, October 12: Morning Services: 9:30 am/Children's Program: 10: 30 am/Yizkor: 11:30 am/Afternoon Service: 5:30 pm/Fast Ends: 7:00 pm

For more information or to RSVP contact Chabad of Scarsdale at 914.527.2077 or email Walk-ins are welcome and services are free of charge.

High Holy Days at Congregation Kol Ami:
Over 90 years old, Congregation Kol Ami is a White Plains Reform synagogue that welcomes a broad spectrum of backgrounds, ages and lifestyles. Kol Ami worship services integrate both traditional and contemporary practices. Services are led by Rabbi Shira Milgrom, Rabbi Tom Weiner and Cantor David Rosen.

You are invited to join the following services which are open to the public:

Rosh Hashanah Family Service : October 3, 3:15 pm – 4:00 pm, Reception following
Second Day Rosh Hashanah : October 4, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm, Reception following
Yom Kippur Afternoon Service (Schulman Chapel): October 12, 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Yom Kippur Family Service : October 12, 3:15 – 4:00 pm
Yom Kippur Memorial and Concluding Service: October 12, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

A limited number of High Holy Days tickets are available for purchase to other services. For more information call Jess Lorden, Executive Director at 914-949-4717 x 101. Visit, or 252 Soundview Avenue, White Plains, New York 10606.

Scarsdale Synagogue Temples Tremont & Emanu-El is a reform, inclusive temple located in the heart of Scarsdale at 2 Ogden Road. They invite you to visit the synagogue and congregation, join them for a service and learn more by contacting our Executive Director, Roberta Aronovitch at All of these services are open to the public:

Erev Rosh Hashanah: Sunday, October 2: 8:00 p.m. - Evening Service
First Day Rosh Hashanah, Monday, October 3: 2:30 p.m.
High Holy Day Family Experience
Blessing for new babies

Second Day Rosh Hashanah
Tuesday, October 4
10:00 a.m. - Morning Service, Main Sanctuary
10:00 a.m. - Religious School Family Service in Hershaft Lounge

Yom Kippur: Wednesday, October 12
1:30 p.m. - High Holy Day Family Experience
3:00 p.m. - Afternoon Service
4:45 pm - Yizkor followed by Neilah and Break Fast

Looking for holiday foods and tableware from local sources? Here are just a few links to consider:

Balduccis is offering a special Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur menu from September 20 to October 15. See what you can order here

Matt Mill Culinary Productions in Port Chester also has a special holiday menu – learn more on their Facebook Page here: 

Current Home in the Golden Horseshoe has a full selection of holiday items for a sweet new year.

La Dentelliere on East Parkway in Scarsdale will be open on Sunday October 2 from 10 am to 4 pm for table top items and holiday gifts.

Shanah Tovah!

Scarsdale's Hyatt Park: Pay to Pee or Use a Tree

hyattparkaScarsdale's newly renovated Hyatt Park off of Grand Boulevard or Potter Road has become very popular with residents and nearby non-residents alike because of its zip line, it's new and unique playground equipment, it's beautiful basketball courts and ample benches for tired caretakers. For months, park users watched in eager anticipation as the "comfort stations," known to the lay person as bathrooms, were completed. Very few parks have bathrooms in our area although this is the norm in places like southern California, for example.

The bathrooms were finally opened in August but for better or for worse (depending on who you ask), they are only accessible to Scarsdale residents. The reaction to this policy has been mixed. The posted sign reads (verbatim):
To access this bathroom, you will need to PURCHASE a key fob from the Recreation Department...There is a $5.00 fee for each key purchased. Please note that the access key fob can only be purchased by a Scarsdale residents ONLY and residents must be older than 21 years of age and older.

I spoke with Brian Gray, Superintendent of Scarsdale's parks, to get more information about the park itself as well as the bathrooms. "All Scarsdale parks are technically open to the public" he said. "Different parts of the park were funded by different groups. Residents from the local homeowner's association contributed money as did different organizations within Scarsdale," he continued. "Little league funded the bathrooms with $15,000 and Scarsdale softball contributed $2,000."

I mentioned some of the concerns people have written to me about since the sign was posted and the bathrooms were restricted as well as some of the comments people have made in support of the policy. "There were meetings with the neighborhood association and they had concerns about safety and security. Also the little league wanted to protect their investment," he responded.

Another concern several people had was what would be done during baseball or softball games when the village hosts a visiting team. Mr. Gray said, "All coaches are supplied with a key fob to allow for use of the bathrooms by players." That has alleviated some of the kickback that people have voiced about the limited bathroom access.

Many people support the key fob bathroom access for Scarsdale residents only. (These comments from Facebook include names if approved by the commentator.)

They have been doing this for a long time with the tennis court bathrooms at Crossway, the high school, and Brite Ave. There is also a bathroom that works with the key at supply field. The key is a little attachment to a key chain. I am just so happy to have bathrooms at these places, versus many of the other areas where I have to drive kids to a bathroom. –Scarsdale resident Paulina Schwartz

The key also keeps strangers out of the restrooms. Think about all of the safety issues. It's great that they built a bathroom there. A few years ago, the Village didn't even want benches or tables in parks for fear that teenagers would hang out. They've come a long way and I say "hooray!"
This is an example of "direct taxation" where one pays for the specific use. It's just like paying a toll on the thruway. Otherwise, the cost would be spread out amongst all of us; and the last time I checked, people were complaining about taxes... –Scarsdale resident

My husband just picked up a key and was told that it's only good at Hyatt Park -- i.e. wouldn't work at Crossway. I'm okay with the general idea of a resident park bathroom key, but if we have to have a separate key for every park, it's really not workable. –Scarsdale resident

I do think to keep bathrooms orderly there should not be open bathrooms and I like idea of a key fob but perhaps each family should be allowed 2 per household and be required to pay for additional and lost. –Scarsdale resident

I think that people are really too worked up about this issue. It is not in the town's best interest to leave bathrooms open and unsupervised for obvious reasons. It's not about exclusivity as I see it, it's about practicality and safety.
Having lived right up the street from Hyatt for many years (I've since moved), I agree that the bathrooms should be locked. There are a lot safety concerns for the residents who live right near the park when bathrooms are left unattended and open to the general public. I've lived here long enough to hear about all sorts of crime and vandalism to locked private homes and cars. My husband has witnessed people sleeping in Hyatt park overnight in years past. It's not practical for the town to send someone out to lock bathrooms at the end of the day. My understanding is that the bathrooms were installed primarily for sporting events because it is difficult to have long games and no bathroom available. I can understand the town's perspective in keeping its property under control for maintenance and safety purposes. It might not be ultimately convenient for park users but obtaining a key fob is not onerous. –Shari Soloway, Scarsdale residentScarsdale Hyatt Fitness Park

This has been the same rule for years and years. I Iike it. I bought multiple keys which helps. –Scarsdale resident

I think it may be naive to think that these are truly public parks. They are not. They are Scarsdale parks established and maintained with Scarsdale tax dollars. While anyone can come and use them, they are primarily for the use of Scarsdale residents. It's inconvenient to live a couple of blocks away and not have access to the bathroom. Isn't it nice they have access to the park? Plenty of parks in plenty of places don't have bathrooms and people survive. As the saying goes, "membership has its privileges." In this case, membership is bought with our spectacularly high tax dollars. The privilege: bathroom access. –Scarsdale resident Kiki Hoffman

Other people wrote in expressing their displeasure that the bathroom is accessible only to Scarsdale residents who have purchased a key fob.

What kind of message are we sending to our kids whether they live in Scarsdale or live in the town over? I already know it's a privilege to live in Scarsdale. We pay high taxes and housing prices but the perks of that include a top-notch school district and easy access to Manhattan. Do we have to rub it in our neighbor's faces from New Rochelle and Eastchester even more that we are wealthier, more privileged, and have better schools? We have friends in these towns that we meet on occasion at Hyatt park or elsewhere, and frankly, I feel embarrassed by the policy. –Scarsdale resident

I disagree with Scarsdale's approach. If the park is a public place, then the key fobs should be available for purchase to parents of surrounding neighborhoods (Scarsdale PO, Eastchester, etc). The fee should cover any expenses to keep the bathroom maintained.- Gabriella Fleurimond, Eastchester resident

Putting a restriction like that on a public toilet in a public park is ridiculous! Maybe a sign saying to please help keep the facilities clean would make sense but that sign is offensive and ridiculous.
The only thing that I can think of is that there may have been problems (i.e. vandalism) that caused the restriction and sign to occur, but if not, then it seems completely unwarranted. -Robyn Bedil, Scarsdale resident

It feels so exclusive and unfriendly to only allow Scarsdale residents to use the bathrooms. I'm not sure I'm a fan of this. –Nikki Hahn, Scarsdale resident

What were the reasons for this policy? Is it for safety purposes (they want to keep them locked so teens don't use it as a gathering ground), is it to prevent vandalism, is it to protect their children? The park is a public recreation area. Yes, it's located in Scarsdale but it is a park and nowhere does it say that only Scarsdale residents can use it. I can't see what they gain from preventing young children from accessing the bathrooms. Just say you are at the park with your child and he/she desperately needs the bathroom and he/she sees all of the other little boys and girls freely coming and going, you have to then explain that they can't use the toilet because they don't live in Scarsdale. Instead they have to pee in the woods or in the river behind the playground. That doesn't seem safe or fair to me. What next, they lock the swings? Or maybe they should build a wall around the entire playground that only allows Scarsdale residents to enter with their precious key fobs. –Eastchester resident

I was just at that park last week with my girls and of course, my younger one had to go to the bathroom. I was thrilled (at first!) that there were bathrooms right on the premises. Then, I saw the note and we had to scurry home. Part of me can fully understand the horrible clean-up and maintenance of a public bathroom. I have certainly used them in Bryant Park, etc. On the other hand, how can it be fair to public park goers that some get to pee in comfort, and others of us have to scramble?
-Jody Cohen, Eastchester resident

Seems a little silly that they are keeping it solely for Scarsdale residents and charging for the key. It is a public playground, no? The facilities on premises should also be public and accessible to everyone who plays there. -Edgemont resident

We've been to Rye Rec Park. There are restrooms available for anyone to use. -Heedan Chung-Goh

Personally, I think the policy sits in the gray area of public decency. I have friends who grew up here in Scarsdale and they used to drink (as minors) and hang out at Hyatt Park because it was set far back from the road and there were multiple exits for eluding the cops. Teens are still doing that today as evidenced by the broken glass. People have used Hyatt Park as a hangout well before the "comfort stations" were put in place. If the doors could be locked remotely overnight, which it sounds like they can, I think that could alleviate many of the safety and security concerns as well as the vandalism fears. Security cameras could be installed as they are many other places in the village to deter people not just from vandalizing the bathrooms but from illicit or illegal activities in the entire park.

Living in Scarsdale, or any other town that is wealthy or not, is not like purchasing a membership to an exclusive club. There are country clubs and private jets for that and the clubs often have playgrounds (and potties) for members and their guests only. The schools are for taxpayers' children. The parks, however, are open to all including the school playgrounds after school hours. My kids didn't go to preschool with all kids from Scarsdale and more days than not, we meet friends from nearby towns at area playgrounds. Furthermore, if the bathrooms were built primarily for use by athletes during long sporting events and with little league funding the majority of the project, it can be argued that only members of little league and softball should be granted bathroom access.

Many of the Eastchester parks now have serviced port-a-potties (also funded by little league). They're free and can be used by Eastchester tushies or Scarsdale tushies at any time. I feel for the parents and guardians of little kids who are being potty-trained and have to try to run home or have their kids urinate right there in the park. We all know how hard it can be to get kids out of the house and the anxiety that goes along with having to run home for an emergency bathroom run. The "general public" would likely not abuse the bathrooms at Hyatt. The daytime crowd is moms, dads, grandparents and nannies with kids; older kids come and use the basketball courts. The village should at least allow people from the surrounding neighborhoods (Edgemont, Eastchester, and New Rochelle for example) to purchase a key fob if they're willing to do so. Some commentators suggested charging non-residents more to help cover maintenance costs since Mr. Gray mentioned that the $5 key fob fee barely covers the cost of the device. The great thing about the key fob entry system is that it can likely be locked remotely/electronically at night and the village can see who has used their key fob for the bathroom. So security and safety measures are already in place.

Overnight on September 17th, one of the Hyatt Park bathroom doors was forced open and the bathroom was vandalized ($2,000 estimated repair cost). Some playground equipment was also broken. The bathroom door was locked at the time and it was forced open. If there had been security cameras the vandals may have been deterred. The criminals have yet to be caught but it is unlikely that the vandalism was caused by a mom in Eastchester with a toddler that needed to poop.

Our neighbors use the Scarsdale library and drive on Scarsdale roads. They pay the village's meters because they patronize village businesses. They can use the trash bins at our parks; they can use the swings, the see saw, the zip line, and the climbing structures; they can have basketball games with their friends; they can use the water fountain at Hyatt to refill their water bottles. But they can't use the bathroom unless they are playing travel softball. Wouldn't it better to use the toilet instead of a bush?

What do you think? Post your comments below.