DMV Now Open in White Plains
- Written by Joanne Wallenstein
- Hits: 630
Good news for Scarsdale drivers. The Department of Motor Vehicles has reopened in White Plains, now located next to Whole Foods and the Cheesecake Factory at 1 Maple Avenue. The DMV closed their location in the White Plains Mall in 2018 and has been sorely missed, with residents forced to travel to Tarrytown or Yonkers for routine matters like renewing drivers licenses and returning license plates.
The new DMV office will be open Monday to Friday, from 7:30 am. to 5 pm and reservations for appointments can be made online.
As of May 7, 2025 the federal government will require you to have a REAL ID for identification for flying domestically. If you would like to convert to an enhanced drivers license (EDL) you can apply to renew your current license early and replace it with an EDL.
Click here to see how the process works:
Two Student Directed Plays on Stage at SHS This Weekend
- Written by Tyler Hughson
- Hits: 303
The SHS Drama Club is in rehearsals for this weekend’s performance of its annual student-directed plays, I Don’t Want to Talk About It and Finding Love in the 21st Century.
The first play, I Don’t Want to Talk About It, is about the difficulty of being a teen dealing with the problems faced when growing up, as well as bullying and suicide, issues many teens today do not want to talk about. The second play is the comedy Finding Love in the 21st Century, which follows two people who hit it off on an online date but vow not to commit to each other until they go through a series of other terrible, funny dates only to find out that maybe they had it right in the beginning.
I Don’t Want to Talk About It is directed by Taylor Levin and Jason Dickstein and Finding Love in the 21st Century is directed by Colin Dunsky and Brooke Suzman.
Both plays have been in development for just over a month; the directors of Finding Love in the 21st Century had this to say about the production: “We definitely had hardships as this was our first time directing. There was so much to navigate with casting choices, lighting cues, and everything in between. But in the end, it has all been incredibly rewarding. We had so much fun making this show, because it's a comedy, we feel it truly brought out the little, comedic kid in each cast member. Never did a day go by without us laughing.”
The directors continued, “We picked Finding Love in the 21st Century because it relates to each and every person. Through its hilarious characters and absurd jokes, we loved how each cast member found something special within the show. At the end of the day, it’s a production about finding yourself while finding love, a message everyone deserves to hear.”
You can see the show in the Scarsdale High School Auditorium on Friday, January 13, and Saturday, January 14, both at 7:30 pm. Tickets can be purchased in person or online here. Both plays showcase the talented SHS Drama Club and tech crew. Enjoy the show!
No Way to Turn
- Written by Joanne Wallenstein
- Hits: 1143
I usually have to drive around town to chase the news, but for the past three weeks, the mountain has come to Mohammad as they say.
I live on a short street in Greenacres that runs between Walworth and Greenacres Avenue. To give you an idea of just how short it is, there are only six houses on each side of the street, all on lots of about 1/3 acre. This bucolic byway, which is usually quiet and empty, has become a major construction site. Every morning a parade of backhoes, pick-up trucks, dump trucks and cars converge. We wake up to the earth shaking vibrations of the back hoes picking up and dropping large steel plates that cover deep open trenches in the roadway.
Though it looks like they are installing the Alaska pipeline, we’re told Con Edison is putting in new gas lines throughout Greenacres. We lived through a similar project that blocked Walworth Avenue for much of the earlier part of 2022 and now they have creeped right up to our door.
When and if I decide to leave home, I need to get out of the car at the top of the driveway, find a Con Ed worker and ask which way it might be possible to exit the block. At the north end, in addition to the work on my street, the same operation is in progress on Greenacres Avenue and a portion of that road is also blocked off. So in order to drive toward Scarsdale Village, I have to do a half mile loop up and around toward White Plains.
Last week, the Con Edison workers struck the street’s water main. That was even more exciting. Emergency vehicles sped to the street in an attempt to stop the flow and our water was turned off for about four hours as the Village worked to repair the pipe.
And if this wasn’t enough fun, in the midst of the chaos, I looked out my back window the other morning to see a police officer speaking to a gardener who was holding a leafblower. Shoot! It was a Monday and the gardener was breaking a new law that says gas leaf blowers can only be used Tuesdays- Fridays. I wondered how the policewoman had traversed the pipes, deep holes and blocked street to find her way into my yard.
Two weeks later I also received a summons in the mail for the same leaf blower violation.
So now, if I can get out of my driveway, I will need to get out of my pajamas for a court appearance in early January to speak to the judge about the summons.
The timing seems rather unfortunate. We’ve lost the use of our street, water service was off and they choose now to issue us a violation for clearing the leaves? I guess no one is above the law … except of course Con Edison.
The Flavors of India on Hartsdale Avenue
- Written by Joanne Wallenstein
- Hits: 1373
Two years of the pandemic were tough for local restauranteurs with more closings than openings, leaving us with diminishing dining options. So it was great to see a sign for a new Indian restaurant in Hartsdale, and then have it open its doors so quickly. We had no idea why it was called NH44 but figured it out once we saw the décor.
The restaurant has been totally redone and is spacious, casual and colorful. A wall size mural is actually a rendition of a sign on the back of a truck that might deliver food in India. The name, NH 44, is for National Highway 44, India’s longest highway spanning 11 states and 2,555 miles from the northernmost to southernmost tips of the country. According to the restaurant’s website, “The flavorful food that we bring to the table represents an eclectic north to south culinary experience.” The restaurant is managed by the same company that runs Vega, the Mexican restaurant a few doors down.
It was only when someone pointed out that we were in the former site of Japanese restaurant Azuma, that we realized the scope of the transformation. With curtains no longer hiding the front window, the sushi bar gone, and the carpet lifted the formal atmosphere or Azuma has given way to a lively, bustling venue for very tasty food.
The restaurant is strictly first come, first served, and does not take any reservations. So we stopped by on a chilly night and took our chances at getting a table. We arrived around 6:30 and found several open tables. But by seven, they were all taken and a crowd was waiting by the door.
We scooted into a roomy booth and assumed we were in for a long wait for our meal, but we were pleasantly surprised by the swift service.
On the drinks menu we found a selection of beers on draft and in bottles, including King Fisher, Taj Mahal and Montauk Wave Chaser. There are several sangria’s and red and white wines by the glass or the bottle, reasonably priced at just $11 a glass.
Though the restaurant features a wide variety of offerings, we cautiously ordered Indian dishes that we knew and all were delicious. We started with vegetable samosas that arrived with two dipping sauces, one mild and the other hot and spicy. We also chose the Baghari Jhinga, which are shrimp in a tangy cream sauce with curry leaves and mustard seeds and Kungfu Gobi, roasted cauliflower with onion in a tangy sauce.
We couldn’t pass on the Indian bread (naan) which arrived hot and was perfect for dipping into all the delicious sauces that came with the meal.
For our main courses we sampled chicken two ways: first tandoori murgh, which is bone-in chicken roasted in house blended spices. The chicken tikka masala did not disappoint either, served in the traditional creamy tomato sauce infused with fenugreek. There are many vegetarian options on the menu, and from those we chose the saag peshkesh, pureed spinach which was a great accompaniment to our entrees.
We’ll have to go back to try their lamb dishes, curries and kebabs along with chicken, lamb or goat biryani.
And we do plan to go back – and to order online for home delivery directly from the restaurant or via Grubhub, Uber Eats or Doordash. Check out their website and menu here:
Assemblymember Amy Paulin Fights Illegal Cannabis Sales with Legislation
- Written by Joanne Wallenstein
- Hits: 471
Assemblymember Amy Paulin announced the filing of legislation she authored which fights the illegal sale of marijuana and marijuana-related products. Her bill would establish that any business selling cannabis without a license would be subject to a civil penalty of not less than $2,500 for the first violation, $5,000 for a second violation, and the potential seizure of the business on a third violation. The current fine for a business is a mere $250.
Paulin’s bill would also add language to New York State penal law to clarify that unlicensed cannabis retailers are subject to current laws relating to the unlawful sale of cannabis. Current ambiguity in the law has in some instances impeded police crackdowns on illegal sales at shops, which has allowed them to continue illicitly selling.
New York State legalized adult-use cannabis over a year ago with the passage of the Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA), and the New York State Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) recently issued the State’s first retail recreational cannabis licenses, however many communities across the State already have businesses selling cannabis. These sellers are unlicensed and the product they sell is untaxed, unregulated, and delegitimizes the legal adult-use cannabis industry that the MRTA established. Further, these unlicensed retailers pose a hazard to public health as the products they sell do not undergo the State’s growing, processing and testing requirements. As a result unknowing consumers run the risk of purchasing contaminated and harmful products.
The adult-use cannabis industry is expected to generate more than 20,000 new jobs and a $4.2 billion market by 2027 in New York State, which may be undermined if the illegal market continues to thrive. “Individuals applying for the appropriate licensure and complying with the law are at an immense disadvantage when other individuals are evading licensing fees, product regulations, and rules set out by the OCM,” said Assemblymember Amy Paulin. “To ensure the legitimacy of the adult-use cannabis industry, we must penalize bad actors in the same manner as we do for other legitimate industries in our state who operate without a required license. We impose escalating penalties for regulated industries in New York State such tobacco retailers and nail salons. The same rules should apply to businesses selling cannabis without a license. Unlicensed retailers who are selling cannabis products should understand that they will be subject to hefty fines and may jeopardize their entire business if they persist in illegal sales of cannabis.”
"The current proliferation of illegal marijuana sales is more than just a nuisance,” said Dylan Pyne, President of the Edgemont Community Council. “It threatens the health, safety and well-being of children in our communities. Under the State law adopted last year, licensed sales of cannabis products are not allowed near schools for obvious reasons - but that’s exactly what is happening right now by unlicensed smoke shops and convenience stores. These unlicensed stores make no secret as to who their target market is, placing merchandise, such as backpacks and cartoon-character themed paraphernalia, which appeal to children in their store windows and then offer ‘under the table’ cannabis products which would be most appealing to children in the form of candies and gummies. I applaud Assemblymember Paulin for taking this step and proposing a bill that will help crack down on this dangerous situation happening in our community and across the state.”
California has struggled with illegal cannabis sales since the state legalized recreational marijuana six years ago. Illegal sales in California have far outpaced the regulated market, and many legal operators have closed as a result. “New York needs to act now to shut down illegal sales before we suffer the same fate as California,” continued Paulin. “We need to support legal marijuana sales before illegal sales take over. If that happens we run the risk of a continuance of what is happening right now where we see illegal sales near schools, marijuana products illegally showcased in window fronts, and products being sold without safety standards.
"Research on risks to young people of using marijuana highlights how important it is for states to carefully balance efforts to liberalize drug laws for economic and social justice purposes with the need to protect minors from being exposed to, accessing, and using the drug,” said Linda Richter PhD, Vice President of Prevention Research and Analysis at Partnership to End Addiction. "The shops in our communities that illegally sell marijuana products are well known to young people. The shops are incentivized to violate the current law knowing that the profits from selling marijuana illegally surpass any fines they might face. We need to protect young people by restricting any sales that are not in accordance with New York State laws and regulations, and I commend Assemblymember Paulin for putting forth a bill that will turn the economic tide against these sellers who are breaking the law.”