Friday, Mar 01st

SpellingBeeGraphicScarsdale residents are buzzing with excitement about the return of the ever-popular Spelling Bee, hosted by the Friends of the Scarsdale Library. This community event hits the sweet spot for family fun and will be the Friends’ primary fundraiser for 2024, supporting the hive of activity that we all know as the Scarsdale Public Library.

Spectators of all ages will gather at the Scarsdale High School auditorium on Friday, March 1, at 7:30pm, for a night of stellar spelling and trivia, featuring 2006 SHS alumnus Josh Milstein as emcee—or should we say em-Bee. Mayor Justin Arest, Library Director Beth Bermel, and NYS Assemblywoman Amy Paulin will serve as judges. Audience admission is $20 for adults, and $10 for anyone under 18 years old.

Fifteen teams of three adults each will compete in multiple swarms, and there will also be a separate set of teen rounds. Winners will receive prizes, bragging rights, and more! Get your teams together—this event fills up quickly! Team registration is $180 for adults; $75 for high-schoolers, and Spelling Bee tee shirts and water bottles will be provided. Be sure to avoid the sting of disappointment: Sign up before the February 26 deadline!

Interested in becoming an event sponsor? There are opportunities for corporate and individual donors. This is also a perfect time to join the Friends of the Scarsdale Library for the first time or renew your commitment to FOSL. Help us keep the hive of activity that is our Library going: Attend the Friends of the

Scarsdale Library Spelling Bee on Friday, March 1, at 7:30pm. (Snow date: Friday, March 8th.)

For details about sponsorships or any questions, please contact the event co-chairs:
Mary Pat Jones and Lauren Rubino,
foslspellingbee@gmail.com

oldpoolWhat’s the status of the pool renovation project, freightway garage and traffic-caliming proposals? We followed up with Scarsdale Mayor Justin Arest and here is what he shared:

Last we heard that the pool renovation had been assigned to an ad hoc committee. Have they met? Have they come to any conclusions? What is the timeline for this project?

Yes, the pool advisory committee has met once. Two members of this group have aided the village in finalizing the selection of the construction manager. This process was not expected to take as long, but the contract for pre-construction services should be on our next meeting's agenda. We expect to move quickly into schematic design and will keep the public informed. He later added, "We are excited for the 2024 pool and rec camp season!"

Also last year there was a study of traffic calming measures along Popham Road, Fox Meadow Road, and Sprague Road. What is the status of those proposals? Will any be tested or implemented?

A decision was made when FHI was first engaged to use Sprague Road for initial study and to develop and pilot potential solutions to traffic safety concerns. We knew that residents expressed a desire for stop signs but have been repeatedly told by our experts that the legal warrants for installing stop signs could not be met at these locations. FHI made recommendations that were also reviewed and discussed by staff and presented at a special public work session with targeted invitations to impacted residents for their input. Because those who attended expressed strong disagreement with the solutions offered by the consultant, we have tabled this matter for the time being. We do hope we can find neighborhood consensus for solutions for this active traffic corridor.

freightwayIn the ongoing discussion about Freightway, is the Village paying the $3 million to maintain it in 2024-25? Or is there another plan in mind?

There was $250,000 allocated in the FY 23-24 budget. All of that money is expected to be used this fiscal year. We currently have $700,500 in the capital projects section for the Freightway garage in the FY 24-25 first pass budget. I think the $3 million you are referring to has remained about the same but was always expected to be spread out over a few years. We recognize that this important village asset needs continuing maintenance and will thus remain part of budget and planning discussions in the coming years.

PaulinUNAmy Paulin Outside the United NationsIn the time since the October 7th terrorist attacks in Israel, overwhelming evidence has emerged that Hamas attackers perpetrated widespread acts of rape and sexual atrocities against Israeli women.

During November 2023, NYS Assemblywoman and Scarsdale resident Amy Paulin travelled to Israel and met with the families of victims and hostages. “I was shocked that the horrific sexual violence which happened to Israeli women on October 7 was getting virtually no coverage in the media,” said Paulin. “During the attack, women were targeted by Hamas and brutally raped and mutilated before being murdered. It wasn’t enough for Hamas to just murder women. They used rape and sexual violence as a weapon to cause additional pain and suffering to those they killed and the surviving families. The questions the families kept asking me were ‘Where is the international community, the UN, and the International Red Cross? Why isn’t this being depicted in the media? Is this just being ignored because the women are Israeli? Or because they are Jewish?’”

While still in Israel Paulin began work on a statement to bring awareness and attention to what had happened to Israeli women. As soon as she came back to the U.S. from Israel “I immediately reached out to NOW-NYC and other prominent women’s groups to let them know what I had seen,” said Paulin. “[Westchester District Attorney and Scarsdale resident] Mimi Rocah was a great partner in this effort.” Together, Paulin and Rocah attended a UN Conference on this issue on December 4 sponsored by Sheryl Sandberg, where Israelis on the ground post-attack gave eyewitness testimony and evidence of the sexual atrocities which were committed. “It was devastating to listen and see video footage of what happened, but we must make sure history is accurately reflected,” said Paulin. “Rape is a war crime and needs to be prosecuted as such – and without firsthand evidence there will always be deniers. What happened in Israel went beyond rape, and the prosecution of these militants, which must happen, needs to reflect the full scope of their horrific acts.”

There is also testimony from recently released hostages that sexual abuse is still happening to female Israeli hostages, and there is an outcry for the International Rescue Committee to intervene, obtain access and ultimately gain the release of the hostages.

“As a prosecutor who has fought for sex crime victims for decades, I know it is critical to speak out and acknowledge what we can see with our own eyes in the pictures of bloody and mutilated bodies of women,” said Rocah. “Silence, or worse denial, of this violence, causes further pain to victims and women everywhere. We must use our voices and demand the immediate release of all the hostages and real accountability for the perpetrators of these horrific crimes."

Here is the statement spearheaded by Paulin, signed by New York Governor Kathy Hochul, women’s rights leaders, and hundreds of individuals, which calls attention to the rape and other war crimes that occurred on Oct. 7th and demands a full investigation, accountability, and the release of all hostages. This statement has been delivered to António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Paulin, who is a sponsor of many bills protecting women from sexual violence, continues to push for broader UN condemnation of the sexual atrocities committed by Hamas, and for the International Red Cross to respond to the needs of the hostages.

LibraryPlanSince its reopening, the Scarsdale Public Library (SPL) has quickly become a bustling hub of activity, and a vital community center with something for every Scarsdale resident to enjoy. From author talks, film screenings, and exercise classes; to teen study nights, a new Maker’s Space, sensory playtimes, and so much more, the library clearly utilizes all of its beautifully renovated spaces. It may be hard to imagine what could make the new library even better, but in October of 2023, the SPL and The Friends of the Scarsdale Library (FOSL) announced plans to augment the library’s outdoor space by turning the park-like setting around the library, into a true campus which will provide spaces for people to gather and meet outdoors nearly all year-round.

According to the FOSL, “The pandemic helped us appreciate that the Library building itself is just the centerpiece of an entire campus and there is so much more that we can do to make it an incredible asset for our community by maximizing the space outdoors.”

Some of the plan’s upgrades include features like:

▪ Spaces for outdoor programming including a pavilion and performance patio
▪ Increased seating around the property for work and relaxation
▪ A story walk for children
▪ A wall along Olmsted Road to allow families to safely enjoy the expansive library lawn
▪ Revitalized wetlands and woodlands habitats, including native plantings
▪ Other safety features like improved walkways and traffic calming measures

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For more in depth details about the Library in the Park Campaign please visit here:

Of course all of these exciting enhancements rely on the generosity of donors, and to create and maintain this new campus oasis, the FOSL aims to raise between $2 and $3 million dollars. Though, according to FOSL Co-President Stacey Mayer, they have secured “over $1.9M in committed gifts and should be signing the new architect contracts this month,” the FOSL continues to offer naming opportunities to interested community members and businesses. To learn more about exciting naming opportunities, contact the Campaign Committee: foslpresident@gmail.com.

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TrusteesXmasTreeThe streets of the Village were aglow with holiday cheer for the annual tree lighting on December 1. There were Christmas carolers, free hot chocolate and pretzels courtesy of the Scarsdale Police and Fire Departments, gifts and activities from the Recreation Department and SVAC, seed planting from the Weinberg Nature Center and information from the Scarsdale Library.

There were inflatables and characters greeting the guests. Westchester Reform Temple provided a large menorah which is also on display next to the tree.

Boniface Circle and Chase Road were closed to permit everyone to walk the streets without traffic and to clear the way for Santa Claus who arrived in a fire truck. He sat in his sleigh and welcomed children who lined up to give him their holiday gift wish list.

The Mayor had the honor of lighting Scarsdale’s magnificent evergreen in Boniface Circle. Before doing the honors he made the following statement:

I’m Justin Arest, your Mayor and I’m thrilled to be joined this evening by Trustees Brew, Ahuja, and Gruenberg as well as Acting Manager Alex Marshall. First and foremost, I want to thank Brian Gray and Bob Kaczmarek and the entire PRC team for putting together what has to be the best light the dale yet. I’m appreciative of all of you for coming out in impressive numbers despite the inclement weather. Special thanks also go to our DPW, Police, and Fire Departments as well as SVAC, for making this event possible. I also want to thank and mention our Library that is also represented in Boniface Circle where there are some great offerings. Please check all of the tents out.xmastree

In this season of celebration, I'd like to reflect on a profound symbol that unites us all: light.

Light, in every culture, symbolizes hope, guidance, and warmth. As we light candles and adorn our homes with lights, we embrace not just a tradition but a universal message of optimism and resilience.

Therefore, in the spirit of the season, let's pledge to be sources of light and joy throughout the year. May this holiday bring joy to your hearts and homes, and inspire us to continue spreading light and kindness.

Happy holidays to everyone, and may your new year be bright and hopeful.

Sadly the weather did not cooperate and a steady rain deterred many from coming down to see Scarsdale in lights for the holiday season.

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