A Busy Week for Burglars
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Thieves and vandals were at work this past week. Police advice residents to keep doors and windows locked, activate your burglar alarm and lock the cars in your driveway. Vandals broke the glass on a back door at a home on Palmer Road and entered it on March 4. All the bedrooms, dressers and closets were tossed and the contents were strewn about. The suspects took a pillowcase from the master bedroom, presumably to use to hold items they wished to take. Missing were $3,000 in cash, the title to the house, a credit card, a briefcase and a Dell laptop computer. From the footprints, it appeared that the suspects entered and left the residence by the back door.
Police responded to a burglar alarm at a Brookby Road on the night of 3/6 and found a garage window that appeared to have been pried open and an open door from the garage to the house. The interior burglar alarm had been ripped off the wall, and in the second floor master bedroom, closets, dressers, an armoire, nightstands and a jewelry box had been tossed. A drawer from the armoire had been pulled out and left on the bed with cash still inside it. A pillow, with the case removed was lying on the floor. A list of missing items is not available as the owners were away.
Attempted Burglaries: a Springdale Road woman reported that someone had tried to break into her home sometime between 5:50 pm and 7:40 pm on March 2. The screen had been removed from a kitchen window at the rear of the house and the window was broken. In addition, someone had attempted to kick in the front door where a smudged boot print was visible. Fortunately the house was not entered.
On the night of March 3, another Springdale Road man called to report that the side and rear doors of his home had been tampered with though no one appeared to have entered the house.
Larcenies: Hesta Fortgang of White Plains was working as the cashier at a tag sale at a Paddington Road home on 3/6 where she reported that her handbag was stolen. She claimed that her bag contained $10,000 in cash as well as other personal items. The police report did not state whether these funds were the proceeds of the sale, or if the woman just carried a lot of cash!
A Scarsdale woman left her Louis Vuitton purse in a meeting room at the Church of the Latter Day Saints on the afternoon of 3/7. When she returned two hours later her purse and all of its contents were gone. She searched the entire building and outside property but could not find it. Police called her cell phone, which was in the purse, but no one picked up. Missing were the bag, valued at $800 plus her $250 wallet, cell phone, Raybans, credit cards, license and checkbook.
On Elm Road, a G.P.S. device valued at $125 was taken out of a 2008 Honda that was parked in the driveway sometime between 3/3 and 3/6.
Lost: A disoriented man turned up at the door of a Walworth Road home on the afternoon of 3/7 and said he was lost. The Walworth resident called police who determined that the man lived on Colvin Road and drove him home. His wife said that he often gets disoriented but carries an I.D. and asks for help.
Found: A man walking his dog on Parkfield Road on March 1 found a Chase Visa Check Card on the street. A Croton yellow woman’s watch was found at a bank on Chase Road and turned over to police on 3/7.
Grand Larceny: Someone attempted to charge $827.41 in online purchases to the credit card of a Lawrence Road man on or about February 15. Both transactions were denied.
Harassment: A Brookby Road woman received an obscene phone call early in the morning of March 5. She described the caller as a man with a deep voice who spoke in a whisper.
An employee of Sophia’s Nails came to police headquarters on 3/3 to report that her ex-boyfriend, a White Plains man, was harassing her at work. She wanted him to stop calling her.
Assistance: A Carthage Road man called police to help regulate traffic in front of his home. News trucks and the press had gathered there to report on the death of his wife and the man wanted the press to stay off of his property.
Inappropriate: A Carthage Road woman called police to report that a bearded man, wearing headphones and a gray sweatshirt, was seen urinating on Carthage Road. Police searched the area but were unable to locate the man.
Smoking: Police were called to break up a group youths who were smoking in the enclosed pedestrian walkway over the Scarsdale train station and causing it to fill up with smoke.
A Knock at the Door: At noon on 3/6 a Black Birch Road woman called police to say that a man had knocked on her door and claimed to be doing a survey for the Department of Labor on “renters vs. owners”. The resident let him in and he asked her a few questions and then left in a red sedan. The only i.d. he displayed was a business card. The woman asked that police keep an eye on her home.
Suspicious Shopper: The store manager of Sam Lehr Jewelry summoned police around noon on 3/6 to say that a Hispanic male had entered the store several times that day and approached the case that held the diamond rings. The same man was also seen driving his Nissan Maxima slowly by the store while looking into the store windows.
Cars and Traffic: Village sanitation worker Eugene Pomphrey of Bronxville was driving the sanitation pickup vehicle when he ran into a parked car on Fountain Terrace on Monday 3/1. There were no injuries or damage to the car.
Corinne Buckley of Wappinger Falls reported that her 2008 Honda was hit while it was parked at Scarsdale High School on March 4.
Christopher Dean of Carthage Road parked his car on Overlook Road on the morning of 3/5 and returned to find that it had been damaged during the day.
A Gorham Road woman, driving a 2004 BMW ran into a 2009 Nissan parked on Montrose Road on March 5. Her car was damaged and was towed by R and D towing to the Heathcote Gulf Station.
A car backing out of a space in the parking lot at 2 Murray Hill Road hit another car parked in the lot on Sunday afternoon 3/7.
Pothole: the driver of a 2010 Mercedes-Benz called police on 3/6 to say that she drove into a pothole in front of 165 Mamaroneck Road and now had a flat tire. Police notified the highway department about the pothole and placed cones around it to prevent others from driving through it.
Flashing Light: the traffic light at the intersection of Post Road and Crane road was not working properly on March 1 at 4 pm. Electricians were unable to fix it so police monitored the intersection to regulate traffic until the necessary parts could be secured.
Interpreter Needed: Tuckahoe Police stopped a driver for a traffic offence at 1:37 am on 3/3 but were unable to communicate with him due to a language barrier. They called the Scarsdale Police to interpret and translate while the Tuckahoe Police charged Israel Pavo Moran of the Bronx with the violation.
Site Plan for the Five Corners
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Wondering what’s going up at the Five Corners? At the site of the Citgo Station on Palmer Avenue, shown here, developers plan to build a two- story retail building with 5,500 square feet of space on two above ground levels and two below ground levels of parking.
Since the relatively narrow entrance to the below-grade garage cannot accommodate large trucks, the plan includes a loading dock on the shoulder of Heathcote Road. The cut for the loading area is in the public right-of-way next to a fire hydrant. Members of the Heathcote Five Corners Coalition want to alert residents that trucks in the loading zone could block the sight line for cars on Heathcote Road. They are also asking for clarification on how many trucks will be permitted to park there at one time and what the permitted hours for deliveries will be. The site plan for the proposed building is shown below.
The Heathcote Five Corners Coalition wants residents to know that they are not opposed to progress, but do feel strongly that the character of the neighborhood should be preserved and safety should be ensured for the residents of Scarsdale.
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The multiday snowstorm that hit the East Coast last week was challenging for both residents and Con Edison. All told 50,000 households in Westchester had no power on Friday morning February 26th and Con Edison had 300 crews working on the ground to restore it.
According to Con Edison spokesman Bob McGee, Con Edison brought in teams from as far away as Ohio and Pennsylvania to back up the force in Westchester County. As so many of the outages were due to trees that fell on the lines, Con Edison also hired local contractors to cut down trees and remove debris.
By Saturday morning Con Ed had brought power back to 28,000 homes leaving another 22,000 in the dark. The company prioritizes cases by working first on those repairs that will bring power back to the most homes.
As Scarsdale has overhead wiring we were hit much harder than residents of New York City where power lines are below ground. McGee also asserted that if Con Edison had not done their tree trimming program this past year, they estimated that the situation would have been three times as bad.
The heavy snow on the ground made the work difficult as dangerous live wires could be hidden beneath the snow. Crews had to proceed with extreme caution and luckily over the five days of work there were no injuries. As of Tuesday afternoon March 2, only 220 of the 50,000 homes in Westchester were still without power, two of those in Scarsdale.
While some waited out the storm at home, other's took refuge in nearby hotels. According to Hugh Anderson, General Manager of the Crowne Plaza Hotel in White Plains, and estimated 50 guests checked in over the weekend to get warm. The hotel staff welcomed local residents with special group breakfasts and dinners and both the pool and the health club were enjoyed by the crowd.
Police Report - Downed Trees, Wires, Thefts and More
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Snow: A Brambach Road women came to police headquarters on 2/24 to complain that kids at Scarsdale High School threw ice and snow at her 2010 Mercedes while she was at the school on 2/23 and 2/24. The woman and her husband confronted the boys who they believed to be the culprits and the boys in turn came to the police station to claim that they had been harassed.
While clearing snow on Aspen Road on February 26th Highway Department employee Keven Gannon was hit by snowballs thrown by four boys. The snow hit the driver and his truck and since his window was open one of the snowballs struck the driver in the face. After they hit the driver they fled. The boys had been shoveling snow at 20 Aspen Road but the homeowner did not know their names. The driver was not injured.
Also on 2/26 kids sledding at the high school threw snowballs at a passerby who did not wish to identify himself.
On Saturday 2/27, a caller from Sprague Road spotted a Hyundai full of kids who were driving around the neighborhood and stopping to knock down snowmen on resident’s lawns.
Death: Mr. Edmund Newman of Harvest Drive passed away during the nigh on February 22nd. The death was reported by his wife, Dr. Frances Fiorillo when she was unable to wake him in the morning.
Lost Credit Card: On 2/23 a Circle Road woman reported that she lost her debt card on 2/18 and it had been used several times without her permission. She noticed unauthorized charges and came to police to file a report.
Burglary: A Lebanon Road family returned from vacation on 2/23 and found that their home had been entered through the rear basement door, which had been pried open. The only item they noticed missing was a iMac computer valued at $1,200.
A Jefferson Road home was entered and tossed while the owners were out of town. The mother of the victims went by to check the house on 2/22 and found that someone had entered the home through the back door and taken an apple computer valued at $2,500.
A Brite Avenue mom reported that her son’s Breitling Aerospace watch, valued at $1,500 had been taken from their home sometime between February 21st and 24th . No other items were missing from the house.
Ross Road residents reported the theft of antique stone lawn ornaments weighing 25 to 30 pounds each and valued at $800 from their lawn on 2/23 or 2/24.
The Scarsdale Volunteer Ambulance Corps treated a 2-year old with a head injury on Wellhouse Lane on 2/27.
Car Trouble: A Harwood Court resident called police for help early on the morning of 2/24 when she locked her keys in the car with the motor running. The car was in front of Starbucks in Scarsdale Village. Police called the Heathcote Gulf station to assist her with getting back into the car.
At 11 in the morning a 2007 Lexus got stuck on Crane Road and could not get up the hill. The Scarsdale Fire Department called a tow truck to assist the driver and after the car was towed they salted that area of the road.
On the evening of 2/25 a police car going south on the Post Road with the emergency lights on was hit by a car going east on Crane Road approaching the Post Road.
A car slid off the road into the bushes at Fenway Golf Club on Secor Road at 2:20 in the afternoon on 2/26 . The driver called police for help. Not an hour later another car slid into a snow bank at the intersection of Mamaroneck Road and Catherine Road and had to be towed.
A White Plains resident, driving a 1997 Ford on Saxon Woods Road slid off the road and ended up on the front lawn of 177 Saxon Woods Road. Due to the snow it could not be determined if any damage had been done to the property.
David Johnson Tanner of Eastchester was stopped by police on the afternoon of 2/28 and found to be an unlicensed driver who was driving an unregistered car without insurance. The driver received a summons and the rear license plate was removed from the car that was towed to the owner’s home.
Dispute: A Park Road man returned home on the afternoon of 2/27 to find men cutting a tree in his driveway … however these were not contractors he had hired. The family’s 15 year-old daughter was at home waiting for the contractors when two unknown men showed up at the door. Thinking they were the men her father had called she told them to proceed.
When her father returned he asked the men to leave the property and were advised that they would not be paid.
The balance of this past week’s police report was a virtual chronology of the effects of the winter storm on trees, streets and homes. Police responded to over 70 reports of fallen trees and wires.
Details of each incident are too lengthy to list, but here is a recap of the locations where trees and power lines were down:
Thursday February 25th:
2 Barry Road, tree branch down in roadway
3 Olmstead Road, cable wires down in driveway
24 Ogden Road, large tree limb down blocking Ogden Road
980 Post Road at Ferncliff Road, tree branches on wires
9 Stratton Road , wires on fire
157-159 Brite Avenue, low hanging wires blocking driveway
244 Mamaroneck Road, large tree fallen in road
55 Graham Road, Verizon wires down
180 Brewster Road, power line down
54 Secor Road, large tree limb resting on phone wires
18 Rodney Road, large tree and wires down
209 Brewster Road – trees down blocking roadway
50 Claremont Road – neighbors tree fell on car
310 Boulevard – wires down
Spruce Lane - large village owned tree leaning on wires
Friday February 26th
60 Brambach Avenue – car stuck in snow bank
139 Brite Avenue – wires on the road
9 Huntington Avenue – trees leaning on power lines
2 Hickory Lane – possible fire
37 Stonehouse Road – Sparks seen and a loud bang heard
14 Ridgecrest East – low hanging wires
153 Brewster Road – Wires down
16 Taunton Road – tree fell on car
1185 Post Road – tree fallen on wires
201 Brewster Road – large tree fell on roof of house
175 Brewster Road – wires tangled in trees – no power
18 Montrose Road –trees and wires down
8 Donellan Road – trees and wires down
175 White Road – tree and wires down
125 Mamaroneck Road – low hanging wires
Farley Road closed from Brewster to Valley Roads due to fallen tree
29 Lawrence Road – wires down
7 Carman Road – wires down
170 Boulevard – wires down in area
26 Hampton Road – telephone wire down on lawn
29 Ferncliff Road –Pine tree and wires down
5 Corell Road –low hanging wires
127 Brewster Road –large tree blocking road – wires down
118 Brewster Road – cable wire down
42 Claremont – sparking wires
1070 Post Road – wire down
54 Park Road – large tree down – blocking street
31 Marjory Lane, wire down on lawn and car
1201 Post Road, wires down across the street
46 Paddington Road, Cablevision wire down
28 Kent Road, wires leaning
103 Walworth, neighbor’s tree fell and damaged fence
40 Sage Terrace, fallen tree
26 Hampton Road, phone wire down
Heathcote Bypass, low hanging tree branches
203 Fox Meadow Road, low hanging wires
259 Heathcote Road, tree blocking Heathcote Road near the Scarsdale Medical Center
10 Paddington Road, power and cable lines down
226 Cushman Road, power lines on fire
50 Sheldrake Road, tree leaning on wires
91 Brite Avenue, wires down in road
15 Brayton Road, wires down in road
80 Huntington Avenue, wires down
Saturday February 27th:
1201 Post Road, wire on front walkway
111 Garden Road, tree limb blocking road
2 Oakwood Place, large tree limb blocking roadway
8 Tory Lane, wires in roadway
175 Brewster Road, downed power lines in driveway
142 Boulevard, tree blocking street
105 Cushman Road, wires down
Sunday February 28th
83 Cushman Road, sparking wires
10 Overhill Road, large tree branch on wires
35 Sage Terrace, branches on wires
163 Boulevard, downed cable wire
Monday March 1st
28 Huntington Avenue, wires in snow
Mayor Carolyn Stevens Comments on the Comprehensive Village Plan
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Below please find remarks from Mayor Carolyn Stevens given at the Scarsdale Village Board meeting on Tuesday night February 23rd when the Board received comments on the Village Center component of the Comprehensive Plan:
Tonight we have the second Public Hearing on the Update to the Comprehensive Plan for the Village Center. Based on some of the comments we had at the last meeting I would like to provide an overview. The purpose of a comprehensive plan is to provide some guidance to property holders and future Village and Land Use Boards – it provides a policy foundation for future planning, zoning and development action. There are no mandates in the plan – only a menu of possible amenities that might be traded for zoning changes should some property owner wish to change what is on their property. The Plan carefully reiterates the features of the Village center that the residents and other stakeholders wish to preserve – attempts to determine what residents and other users of the Village Center would like to see improved – and tries to lay out what some of the tradeoffs are for those improvements. The purpose is not to make those choices now…but to provide a framework for later discussions.
We heard from several folks at the last meeting who are concerned for our local gas stations – I use one of them and have so for many years – would I like to see it remain…yes. But that is my personal view and preference…that needs to be weighed along with all the other opinions – including that of the property owner; because nothing will change if the owner of the property doesn’t seek a change. Do I personally think whatever is eventually built on the Freightway lot should be built to the maximum considered…probably not. But then I don’t know what the options or how it could be massed (I am not an architect – much less one with vision) but I have learned over the years of being on the Board that sometimes good ideas come along – and we shouldn’t preclude them if they meet the vision and goals laid out in the Plan.
For those concerned about process – this plan took the Planning Board two and a half years of work to produce. To refer to only one of the surveys that was done, as if that was all that the report is based on, is misleading. There were other surveys and numerous public sessions and interviews with SNAP, Friends of the Parks, the Overhill Neighborhood Association, the Fox Meadow Neighborhood Association, Old Scarsdale, the TVCC and other groups were all sought out for input – there were numerous public meetings and long and seemingly endless public work sessions where the Planning Board members (this covered three Boards) discuss, debated and deliberated on the underlying principles and philosophy of this document and whether the items included worked to move those principles forward. I sat in on some of those sessions – some went until 1:00 AM…because the Planning Board wanted to accurately reflect in this document what they had heard – they sought to balance the competing goals from all of the stakeholders and fashion a document that reflects our basic values and vision for the Village Center.
So while I am at this – let me thank the recent Planning Board and all of the past iterations of the Planning Board that have worked on this document – especially the chairs – Bill Miller, Jonathan Drescher, and David Karp for the careful and thoughtful job – and time consuming job - that was done. Please accept my thanks on behalf of the Village Board.
Let me add one thing with respect to the Planning Board --It has recently come to my attention that some individuals have sought to have a private meeting with the Planning Board about a project that is not yet before the Planning Board. Such a meeting would be improper and illegal.
For those who don’t understand the Planning Board’s role let me take a moment to explain. The Planning Board sits as a quasi- judicial body when it is reviewing projects – and just as it would be improper for a party to a lawsuit to ask for a private meeting with a judge so to it is improper for the Bd. to have such a meeting. Any discussions with regard to a project need to be in public, on the record and with the Applicant present. Nor are telephone calls to individual members to discuss the merits of any project or applicant proper.
I would also add that there seems to be some confusion in general on the role of the Planning Board. The Planning Board is required by state law and receives its powers from state law. It is not a creature of Village Law and it does not answer to the Village Board although the members are appointed by the Village Board. The Planning Board duties are codified and they are charged with making sure that a project complies with all environmental laws, zoning laws, and other codes that might apply such as health code, clean water acts, etc. It is their charge under state law to work with a property owner to make sure that any project that is built is in compliance with all applicable laws and codes. It is not their job to determine what should be built – but only to determine if what is being proposed meets all legal requirements and if not, to work with the property owner to bring it into compliance. Yes, it can recommend variances if it believes that the trade-offs are worth it, but these must be granted by the Board of Appeals. They don’t chose the project… it is the landowners choice. I hope this acts as a bit of primer.
Again thanks to the Planning Board for all of its hard work on the Plan and all the other hard work they do.