Wednesday, May 29th

The Westchester County Board of Legislators Committees on Environment and Energy will have a joint meeting discussing Consolidated Edison’s recent tree cutting along electric transmission line corridors.  Both committees will, also, address legislation calling for a moratorium on Con Edison’s tree cutting program and a revision of the State’s Public Service Commission requirements. Representatives from Con Edison have been invited to attend.

Recent tree cutting and clearing along electric transmission line corridors has raised many questions and concerns among homeowners and municipalities that border these lines.  Con Edison operates and manages the transmission lines, which span from Yonkers to Yorktown. Without notification, Con Edison clear cut thousands of trees along the Sprain Brook Parkway, causing a loss of privacy and an increase in traffic noise for residents whose properties bordered the Sprain Brook Parkway in Greenburgh.

Though it is too late to save the trees, legislators can hopefully prevent further clear-cutting of trees.

The meeting will be held on Monday February 22nd at 3 pm in the Westchester County Board of Legislators Committee Room at 148 Martine Avenue, 8th floor, in White Plains.

The federal monitor assigned by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to oversee Westchester County’s compliance with a mandate to construct 750 units of affordable housing has turned down the implementation plan submitted by the County on January 31st. James E. Johnson, the monitor, cited many issues with the County plan and returned it to County Executive Robert Astorino for revision.

In a letter that was received by Astorino on 2/10, Johnson ordered the County to meet with representatives of HUD from 2/16 to 3/2 and gave a deadline to resubmit the plan of 3/12/10.

Among the shortcomings in the plan listed by the monitor are:

  • Concrete strategies to develop 750 affordable unit
  • An allocation plan for the $51.6 million that the County is required to spend on land acquisition, infrastructure improvement, construction, acquisition and other development costs
  • Benchmarks for the first six months – (since the County asked for extra time to submit the implementation plan, the Monitor wants the first six month benchmark to begin six months after October, 2009 when the original plan was due)
  • A concrete timeframe for identifying and assessing potential properties for the development of the 750 units
  • Definition of whom within the County government will be responsible for various tasks
  • General information provided about sites under active consideration, including the estimated number of potential units, location category and the process used for identification and assessment. (The County had claimed that identifying properties could potentially drive up prices.)
  • A clear strategy for how the County will employ carrots and sticks to encourage compliance by municipal governments
  • A plan for ongoing reporting to the monitor about the development of affordable units
  • A detailed plan about marketing, outreach and education efforts.

In Johnson’s letter he also states that he received comments on the implementation plan from the Anti-Discrimination Center, the group that initiated the lawsuit that charged the county with failing to use HUD grants to build affordable housing. Johnson cautioned that upon review of the ADC letter he could come back to the County with additional requests.

In response to the rejection of the plan, Ken Jenkins, the Westchester County Board Chairman said, “We have received notification regarding the implementation plan.  The federal monitor found some discrepancies in the submitted plan. The monitor identified some items that must be resolved.

What does the New York Times have to say about the plan? Read their opinion here.

Fire at the Heathcote School: A fire alarm went off shortly after 5 PM on Thursday 1/28 at the school and the custodian informed the Fire Department that there was a stove fire. The custodian turned off the power to the electric stove and firemen extinguished the burning item that turned out to be a large black plastic container that had been left on top of the stove. The stove was ruined and sections of the kitchen walls and ceiling were blackened with soot.

Downed Trees and Wires: Due to high winds on the afternoon of Monday 1/25 a large tree branch fell on Greenacres Avenue, a tree fell at the Post Road and Farley Road, taking down wires and causing a road closure. A large evergreen snapped in half on Olmstead Road. Wires were down at Gorham and Post Roads and a cable service line fell on Richelieu Road. On Continental Road, the Fire Department was called when the primary Con Edison line fell and caused a fire. A tree branch fell from 202 Brewster Road onto a car parked at 204 Brewster Road.

A Death: Ramona Igual was found dead at the home of her daughter Zaida Jacoby on Gorham Road on the evening of January 28th. The 93 year-old woman had been in good health and when her daughter returned from work she found her mother unresponsive.

Missing Violins: An Old Lyme Road resident reported the theft of two violins from the Quaker Ridge School, each valued at $400 and owned by Ardsley Instrument Music Service. One was stolen from his daughter’s classroom cubby on 1/13 and the other was taken from the music room on 1/20,

Missing Woman and Children: Scarsdale Police assisted Dobbs Ferry Police with a search for a missing woman with two children ages 11 and 7 on 1/31. The Dobbs Ferry woman has a history of psychiatric problems and was missing with the children for two days. As she sometimes visits Quaker House on Popham Road Scarsdale Police were asked to look for her. They determined that she had been at Post Road and Murray Hill Roads on 1/27 and reported that she was last seen in Scarsdale on 1/28.

Missing Property Marker: A Richbell Road woman called police to report that a steel pipe used to mark her property line was missing and that it might be buried underneath some curbing installed at a new home next door. Police advised her to contact the Village Building Department and her attorney.

Ice Skating: A woman reported skaters on the Duck Pond on the afternoon of 1/31, as she was concerned for their safety. Police found two adults skating with a child. Since the pond is shallow and was frozen solid on one side they felt they were safe.

Suspicious Shoppers at LF: An employee at LF on Boniface Circle called police to report three women had been in the store with open shopping bags. They left quickly without making any purchases and drove away in a white BMW SUV. The store employee felt that the shoppers looked suspicious and in light of this incident and shoplifting in prior weeks Police agreed to give extra attention to the store.

Identity Theft: A Walworth Avenue woman reported $4,400 in charges made on her Bloomindales account at the Garden City store. She has not used the account since March 2009. The Fraud Department at the store told her that someone had given her name and asked a store employee to look up the account number and charge the goods.

A Hampton Road woman reported that someone opened a Best Buy credit card in her name and charged $1,557.32 on the account.

Accidents: Due to ice on the road on the morning of 1/28, a Cartesan Road woman, driving on Butler Road, slid off the road into the landscaping at 6-8 Hickory Lane. The car had to be towed off the property. That same morning two cars driving in opposite directions on Kent Road sideswiped one another due to snow and ice.

Also that morning, a car on the Hutchinson River Parkway near Weaver Street slid off the parkway into an embankment and a small pond. A passer-by helped the uninjured driver out of the car and SVAC, the County Police and the Scarsdale Fire Department arrived. The Fire Department used a chain saw to clear the area behind the car so that a tow truck could pull the car out of the pond and up the embankment.

Traffic Violation: An erratic driver was stopped by police on the Post Road on1/27 when his car drifted to the left, barely missing another car, drove north on the Post Road on the yellow line and then crossed the line into southbound traffic. The driver was issued a summons.

Locked Out:
A Tompkins Road woman was locked out of her house on the morning of 1/28. A firefighter cut his hand while trying to open her garage with knife and was unable to get in. He suggested that the woman call a locksmith.

Lee Wha at the New Star Market at 760 South Central Avenue called police at 1 am on 1/26 to report a possible break-in. A screen had pried away from a rear window and portion of the window was broken. A small chair had been placed beneath the window and may have been used by someone attempting to get access to the window to break-in. However the owner did not notice anything missing from the store.

Road rage on Central Avenue: On Wednesday morning 1/27 two drivers got into a dispute when Albert Marku of the Bronx noticed that he was being tailgated by a black Honda, driven by Mark Rasulo of Yonkers. Marku tried braking but the Honda continued to pursue him so Marku threw coffee out the window and eventually stopped, got out of his car and approached Rasulo. Marku also called 911 to report that an aggressive driver was following him. Greenburgh Police directed him to call Yonkers Police to mediate.

Navigation devices were stolen out of two cars parked at a Roxbury Road home sometime between 1/7 and 1/28. The owner reports that the cars were left unlocked in the driveway.

Found: On the afternoon of 1/30 a black Toyota Camry was found parked in front of 196 East Hartsdale Avenue with the keys in the ignition and the radio on. Police were unable to contact the owner so they took the keys back to Police Headquarters.

John A. Bisesto, age 37, of 82 Gordon Street, Yonkers was identified as the victim in a fatal car accident that occurred at the intersection of Jackson Avenue and South Sprain Road on Wednesday afternoon (2/3/10) at 4:05 pm. Bisesto was driving a 1997 BMW 328 convertible when he struck an electric utility pole. Emergency workers arrived at the scene and pronounced him dead. Police are looking for witnesses and urge anyone who saw the accident to call the Greenburgh Police at 682-5325. The accident is being investigated and all calls will be kept confidential.

The CNC announced their selection of candidates for Village Trustee on 1/27/10. Three nominees were chosen; two to replace Trustees Dan Hochvert and Sharon Lindsay who will complete their second terms this year. Current Village Trustee Richard Toder was considered to serve a second two-year term.

The committee re-nominated Mr. Toder and selected Kay Eisenman and Jonathan Mark as their nominees to fill Hochvert’s and Lindsay’s seats.

Kay Eisenman, is currently serving her second term as Chair of the Board of Architectural Review and was previously the Chair of the Conservation Advisory Council. Ms. Eisenman has worked for the Westchester County Department of Planning as an environmental planner since 1989 and has given years of service to the Village of Scarsdale. She began her volunteer activities on the Greenacres and Middle School PTA’s, served on the Board of the Scarsdale Adult School for twenty years and then moved onto ten years on the Conservation Advisory Council.

She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from New York University, has a masters from Columbia University Teachers College and a Masters in Public Administration from the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. In her professional life she has been the Executive Director of the Westchester Municipal Planning Federation for the past eight years, working on county land use issues. She conducts environmental reviews for municipal projects funded by HUD and runs the Envirothon program for high school students. She has lived in Scarsdale for 40 years.

Commenting on her nomination, Ms. Eisenman said, "I am of course pleased and honored to have been chosen by the Nominating Committee to serve as a Trustee on the Board.  It was not something I ever imagined happening, so was surprised and not quite sure that I was up to the task, however the confidence others showed made me feel that I should give it my best shot.  I think the Village is run in a way that should make all of us proud to live in it, and I intend to do my best to contribute to that effort."

Jonathan I. Mark, a corporate lawyer and partner at Cahill Gordon and Reindel is another Scarsdale veteran. He has lived in town for 34 years and grew up here, attending the Griffin Avenue School, Quaker Ridge and Scarsdale High School. He attended college at Dartmouth and holds a law degree from Columbia. He has worked at Cahill Gordon and Reindel for 34 years, and as a partner there for 28 years.

He is a member of many community organizations and was a founding member of the committee to build the Scarsdale Community Center, member of the Heathcote Five Corners Coalition, as well as the Scarsdale Alumni Association, the Scarsdale Baseball Club and Westchester Reform Temple.

Richard Toder has been nominated to serve a second two-year term as Village Trustee. He is also an attorney and has served on many Village Boards and Committees including the Scarsdale Foundation, Village Board of Ethics, President and Member of the Scarsdale Board of Education and the Board of Appeals.

He has an undergraduate degree from Columbia College and a JD from Harvard Law School.

Congratulations to the candidates and a thank you to the members of the Citizen's Nominating Committee for your commitment to Scarsdale.

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