Enterprising Teen Launches Fashion Line for Charity
- Written by Joanne Wallenstein
- Hits: 869
An enterprising Scarsdale High School student has launched a fashion business that raises funds for charity. Sofia Feinstein, founder of UNI-T fashion has been taking design courses at Tufts, FIT and Scarsdale High School and designed sweatshirts, t-shirts and totes that are available online here. https://uni-tfashion.com/
All the profits from the sales are donated to three charities – HIAS, Steve’s Camp at Horizon Farms and INROADS. She says she was inspired by Newman's Own Food Company who also donates all the profits from their sales to charity.
Where does she produce her merchandise? Feinstein explained, “All of my designs are produced with Direct to Garment (DTG) Printing. This means that every order gets printed once the order comes in and I don't have to stock any inventory. I have several printers all over the US that print for me. The printer that has the fastest turnaround time gets my orders. They are all very good.”
About price points she says, “I try to price our products at a very reasonable price so people can support us. I have been encouraged to charge higher prices because this is for charity, but I want to be an affordable and comfortable casual clothing brand.”
And how much has she been able to donate? Feinstein said, “Roughly every three months I donate my profits to my charities. I started this for the period ending December 31, 2022 and have been making donations since then. If my ambassador program gains support, and I get some PR, I hope to have profits this year in excess of $15,000.”
This month the company received an added boost when Dreamwear, Inc. a leading fashion brand based in New York donated over 3500 items of new brand name, luxury clothing items to those in need. Sofia and her team of students are sorting these items and creating packages for donation to Steve's Camp and HIAS.
Feinstein explained, “I am building a brand that cares and gives every penny of profit to causes that matter. Dreamwear is already a leader in its category and their generosity is overwhelming and further validates that fashion can truly make a difference in the world. The quality and quantity of their donation will enable UNI-T and my partner charities to help a lot of people.”
Check out UNI-T fashions here https://uni-tfashion.com
The Postcard: A Detective Story That Grows Into An Exploration Of Family
- Written by Harriet Sobol
- Hits: 497
The following was written by Harriet Langsam Sobol, who will lead a class on The Postcard on September 13 at 1 pm at Scarsdale Library.
France, 2003. It was a surprise to twenty-four year old Anne Berest when her mother, Lélia, showed her an anonymous postcard that had arrived in the Christmas mail. On one side was a picture of the Opéra Garnier. On the other were four names. The list included Anne’s maternal great grandparents, Ephraïm, his wife, Emma, and two of their three children, Noémie and Jacques. The third child, Myriam ,was not included. Anne knew her grandmother but, didn’t know anything about her siblings. Myriam and Lilia rarely mentioned them, just as their Jewish heritage was not a topic of conversation in the home.
Anne and Lélia were nervous about who had sent the mysterious postcard and why. Was it some sort of a threat? There was an air of antisemitism in France. The postcard was put away and forgotten.
Ten years passed. On bed rest, because of her pregnancy, Anne was staying at her mother’s home. She became painfully aware that she knew little about her mother’s family. She felt the need to learn about them. Lélia, a retired professor, began to tell Anne the bits and pieces she knew about Anne’s great grandparents, and their children. She called it a “blended” story, made from facts and Lélia’s imagination where there were gaps.
The search for the senders and Anne’s family history begins.
The women work diligently, chasing down information from experts, government officials, legal sources, diaries, and letters. When they encounter unknown moments, they create them.
A story that begins nearly a century ago is contextualized by contemporary life. The mystery of the postcard drives their search but Anne and Leila’s story compels the action into today’s world. When Anne’s young daughter reports anti-Semitic remarks a schoolmate makes, and Anne is shamed at her first seder for her ignorance of Jewish culture, the reader is reminded of the relevancy of Anne’s quest.
Berest skillfully braids fact and fiction, past and present into a page-turner that starts as a detective story but grows into an exploration of family. The reader hurtles toward an inevitable ending compelled by the answers behind the postcard.
Anne and Lélia hire experts, a graphologist to interpret the handwriting on the postcard, a private detective to investigate who could have sent the postcard. When possibilities emerge, Anne and Lélia interview people who might have information about their mother’s aunts and uncle. They travel to Les Forges, the town where Ephraim and Emma were captured in 1942. They discover a letter from the mayor at the time that leads to clues of their fate.
We are deeply satisfied when Anne and Leila finally learn who wrote the postcard. But the excitement of the story is in the telling of it, the process of finding the the men and women who formed Lélia and Anne’s historical links to their ancestors’ past life.
Sobol will lead a discussion of the book at 1 pm on Wednesday September 13 at Westchester Reform Temple and a session with guest speaker Michael Reynolds, Editor-in-Chief of Europa Editions, who will talk about The Postcard and other Europa books on Wednesday, September 20th at one o’clock at Scarsdale Library. Registration is open for the classes on the Scarsdale Adult School’s website https://scarsdale.augusoft.net/.
Paulin and SVAC Hold Press Conference on New Law Expanding Community Paramedicine
- Written by Joanne Wallenstein
- Hits: 630
New York State Assembly Member Amy Paulin and Scarsdale Volunteer Ambulance Corp (SVAC) held a press conference on Monday July 31 celebrating the passage of a new law (Ch. 137) which expands the services community paramedics can provide under New York State law – keeping residents healthy and safe and lessening the burden on local emergency rooms – establishing a successful model for EMTs throughout New York State.
The role of community paramedics greatly expanded during Covid, when there was a dire need to have ample Covid testing, provide vaccines, and keep elderly and immunocompromised residents out of emergency rooms and hospitals. During that time the Governor issued and until now has renewed Executive Order No. 4 which expanded the role of community paramedicine to allow paramedics to provide these additional services.
Under the Executive Order community paramedics were also able to offers flu vaccinations, as well as RSV, strep and flu testing. SVAC partnered with White Plains Hospital starting a formalized program where they provide patient at-home care and follow-ups including drawing blood for labs, giving fluids, and treating patients with pneumonia and diabetes.
The new Community Paramedicine law essentially establishes a pilot program allowing paramedics to continue providing these services for two years.
State, county, and local officials, community paramedics, and doctors from White Plains Hospital were present to speak about the success of the expanded community paramedicine program to date, how it has benefitted residents in our region, and asked that it be continued beyond the 2-year period allocated under the new law.
“I’m proud to have authored and passed this new law which enables SVAC and all New York State paramedics to continue the amazing work they did during the past 3 years under the Governor’s executive order,” said NYS Assembly Member and Assembly Health Committee Chair Amy Paulin. “What SVAC did during Covid was herculean – vaccinating and testing thousands, and providing high-quality at-home care for the elderly and immuno-compromised. I’ve lived in this community for over 40 years and have personally witnessed time and again the incredible work of our Scarsdale volunteer ambulance corp. These are highly trained and skilled paramedics who live and breathe healthcare. They’re our beacons of light in life’s darkest moments. During Covid they served thousands throughout our County. We needed them, and they stepped up. Their partnership with White Plains Hospital to provide at-home care to those in need has and will continue to help and protect our most vulnerable. The new law contains a clause allowing for expanded community paramedicine for 2 years. I’m confident that SVAC and our amazing NYS paramedics will show everyone that the change should be permanent. This new legislation is a victory for SVAC and all New Yorkers, allowing every community to adopt the transformative model pioneered by SVAC.”
“SVAC is the smallest advanced life support agency in Westchester County, but in the last three years has pulled off what most would have deemed impossible,” said SVAC President David Raizen. “During Covid, when everything else was shutting down, SVAC opened their doors widely to the residents of Westchester County. We provided tens of thousands of tests and vaccinations, either at home or at our headquarters. As COVID continued to get worse, we expanded our in-home visits in order to keep at-risk and immuno-compromised patients safe. Since then we’ve continued to provide home visits, and outcomes have been incredible – across the board patients are healthier and safer. I thank Assemblywoman Amy Paulin for her tenaciousness in authoring and fighting for this new law. Our only goal is caring for people, and with this new law we’ll be able to continue to do so.”
Village of Scarsdale Mayor Justin Arest said, “As the Mayor of Scarsdale, I’ve seen firsthand the benefits of allowing an expanded community paramedicine program. Throughout the pandemic SVAC provided testing, vaccinations and vital at-home care for the elderly and immunocompromised. With this new legislation, their innovative healthcare strategy has the ability to revolutionize the way we utilize emergency medical services, focusing not only on immediate response and transport, but also on prevention and ongoing care. It’s a solution for the future that could reshape our healthcare landscape. My hope is that it is made permanent and expanded throughout the State for the benefit of all New Yorkers.”
Scarsdale Village Manager Rob Cole said, “On behalf of the Village of Scarsdale, I extend thanks and appreciation to our NYS elected officials, particularly Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, for recognizing the value and importance of community paramedicine by extending for two years the period during which the related services provided by the Scarsdale Volunteer Ambulance Corp (SVAC) are authorized to continue. At the same time, I recognize the selfless dedication of the SVAC team under the capable leadership of David Raizen for their years of service to the Scarsdale community. Thank you to all having had a role in starting this important program and helping to sustain it on a moving forward basis.”
State Senator Shelley Mayer said, “I am so very pleased that this bill, which allows the Scarsdale Volunteer Ambulance Corp and EMS providers to continue their outstanding work in providing quality health services, has been signed into law. The care they provide has been proven necessary during the pandemic, and community paramedicine is an essential element of care that our neighbors need. I am so proud to represent SVAC, which has pioneered this essential health service, along with the White Plains Hospital and other healthcare institutions. Thank you to Assemblymember Amy Paulin and State Senator Gustavo Rivera for your leadership on this issue. Most importantly, I thank the countless EMS providers who took innovative action when the community needed it.”
NYS Assembly Member Dana Levenberg said, "We saw during the pandemic how effective our EMS teams could be at delivering particular types of care when it was needed most. I was glad to be able to connect OVAC with the resources they needed to gain paramedicine certification when I was Ossining Town Supervisor. I'm proud to have voted for this legislation and pleased it has been passed into law, as it will enable our trusted EMS personnel to continue the efficient delivery of necessary services in our communities."
State Senator Pete Harckham said, “This enacted legislation, which allows our local ambulance corps to continue in their role as community paramedicine providers, is helping to reduce ER visits and 911 emergency calls. Making healthcare services more widely available in our communities as such is leading to improved patient care and an increased quality of life for residents. I thank my legislative colleagues State Senator Rivera and Assemblywoman Paulin for their leadership, and I share the gratitude of the entire community for the service of our first responders. ”
Ossining Town Supervisor Liz Feldman said, “We are very proud of our Ossining Volunteer Ambulance Corps and in particular Chief Nick Franzoso Jr. Their quick response and outside of the box thinking really enhanced the safety and welfare of our entire community during the Covid pandemic. The expanded Community Paramedicine programs have made a real difference in our outreach in particular to our seniors, immigrant communities and homebound individuals. I am very grateful that Governor Hochul has expanded this program for another two years, and I hope to see it made permanent in the future.”
Dr. Farrukh Jafri, Medical Director of WPH Cares at White Plains Hospital said, “Our community paramedics are essential to ensuring that our most vulnerable patients receive the right care, at the right place, at the right time. They are trusted members of our community, and this proactive approach helps to extend our reach beyond the walls of the hospital to care for patients in their home and decrease preventable Emergency Department visits. We are thankful to Assemblywoman Paulin for championing this law and to SVAC and our local paramedics for their commitment to keeping our community healthy.”
County Executive George Latimer said, "The expansion of community paramedicine, signed into law by Governor Hochul, reflects our collective commitment to service and innovation allowing SVAC, OVAC and ambulance services throughout Westchester County to continue to serve communities in an expanded role. Thanks to the leadership of Assembly Member Amy Paulin and the support of our state representatives, we have secured the path to a safer and healthier future for our communities."
“Paramedics are an important part of the health care delivery team and help us in some of our most difficult times of need,” State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said. “I thank Assemblywoman Paulin for acknowledging the exceptional work of paramedics and creating this bill to expand their life-saving roles.”
State Senator Gustavo Rivera said, “Paramedics provide critical services to New Yorkers and this law expands their ability to deliver much needed preventive care and keep more New Yorkers out of emergency rooms, especially in underserved communities. Our healthcare system continues to be challenged and it is essential that our policies leverage our existing workforce to provide accessible, quality care. I am proud to have worked with Assemblymember Paulin in drafting and passing this bill and commend Governor Hochul for expediently signing it into law.”
Traffic Light to Be Installed at Post and Edgewood Road
- Written by Joanne Wallenstein
- Hits: 1799
New York State Assembly Member Amy Paulin and New York State Senator Shelley Mayer have successfully negotiated with the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) the installation of a traffic light at the crosswalk connecting Edgewood Road and Post Road. The intersection has been the subject of safety issues for pedestrians who need to cross the highly trafficked Post Road intersection.
Post Road in Scarsdale is a busy, four-lane, double-yellow road where cars typically travel in excess of the 30 mph speed limit. The Scarsdale section of Post Road cuts through a residential area where pedestrians frequently use the sidewalk along Post Road. In particular, the intersection of Post and Edgewood Roads is used by students walking or biking to and from Edgewood Elementary School.
Several years ago, in response to a request to the DOT by the Village of Scarsdale to address the safety issues at the intersection, the DOT installed a crosswalk warning sign with flashing yellow lights at the intersection.
Despite this installation, safety issues have persisted. It is difficult for cars travelling on Post Road to see the flashing sign, or by the time the sign is seen, it is either too late for a vehicle to stop, jeopardizing the safety of a pedestrian or bicyclist in the crosswalk, or a vehicle may brake abruptly, creating a dangerous situation for a driver following behind.
There were several impediments to the installation of the light, foremost including that Post Road is a New York State Road and therefore under the purview of the DOT. This led to Assemblywoman Paulin spearheading the negotiation with the DOT regarding the light installation.
As part of the DOT approval process, they had required a study of the intersection, which was completed this year. Following completion of the study, the DOT determined that an additional flashing sign would be installed to remedy the situation -- in lieu of a traffic light. As that action would not have been satisfactory to the Village of Scarsdale as it would not have been effective in establishing a safe crossing for the same reasons that the existing flashing lights have failed, Assemblywoman Paulin continued to negotiate with the DOT until it was agreed that the DOT would install the light at the intersection.
Assemblywoman Paulin and State Senator Mayer also secured $1 million of capital funding from NYS for the project – each contributing $500,000 of the $1 million needed.
The timeline for the light installation was initially 2026, however Paulin and Mayer were able to move the timeline up to a 2025 install date and continue to work with the DOT to further expedite the time of install.
“I’m proud to have been able to secure the DOT installation of a traffic light at Edgewood and Post Roads,” said Paulin. “People need to be able to cross at that intersection safely. Children need to be able to walk or ride their bikes to school without the danger of being hit, and their families need to feel secure in letting them go on their own. Getting lights installed on DOT property is never easy, and there are many hurdles to get through, but that’s my job and I’m happy to be getting this done for this amazing community. I also thank State Senator Mayer for her partnership, contribution and commitment to helping Scarsdale.”
State Senator Shelley Mayer said, “I am pleased to have been able to secure $500,000 in funding from New York State to help pay for the installation of a traffic light at the intersection of Edgewood and Post Roads. Thank you to Assemblywoman Paulin for her steadfast leadership on this issue, and together we know the community will be safer with a traffic light at this busy intersection. Walkable communities are terrific- but they must be safe as well.”
For residents who advocated for the light, the news was good but they wish the light could be installed sooner. Christine Weston said, “In May 2022, my son was hit by a car at this intersection, and he still isn’t entirely confident to cross on his own. Since that scary event, a group of community members have been advocating for this light to be installed and are all thrilled by this announcement. We thank the Village government and Assemblywoman Paulin and State Senator Mayer for always being on our side and fighting for this to be approved by the state. Further, this is certainly setting a good example for my son, who has learned that you can affect change if you have a cause worth fighting for.”
“That said, the light still needs to be installed, and it will be some time before that happens. Until then, we implore the community: BE CAREFUL. Drivers, keep your eye out for those lights, and slow down. Pedestrians, cross very carefully; assume cars can’t see you or the lights.”
Glenn McClanan added, “I am cautiously optimistic about the traffic light, though of course I hope it is installed as soon as possible.”
Village of Scarsdale Mayor Justin Arest said, “The intersection at Edgewood and Post Roads has been a focal point for some time, and thanks to Assemblywoman Paulin and Senator Mayer, we're moving towards a safer solution. Their dedication to the project, securing the necessary funding and expediting the installation timeline is truly appreciated. Public safety is always our priority and we are very fortunate to have state representatives that are true partners in getting important initiatives to the finish line.”
Scarsdale Village Manager Rob Cole said, “Assemblywoman Paulin, Senator Mayer, and NYSDOT have displayed exceptional coordination and collaboration in advancing this critical Post Road safety enhancement on an expedited basis. Their efforts in this regard are noted and greatly appreciated; the traffic light at Edgewood Road is a necessary, life-saving intervention.”
Scarsdale Schools Board of Education President Ron Schulhof said, “The installation of a traffic light at the Post and Edgewood Road intersection will be a great benefit to our students and community. Many students cross Post Road as they walk or bike to Edgewood Elementary School. Thank you to our State representatives, Amy Paulin and Shelley Mayer for their advocacy and funding of this important safety initiative.”
Scarsdale Schools Superintendent Drew Patrick said, “On behalf of our school community, and especially our Edgewood families, I would like to express my gratitude to Amy Paulin and Shelley Mayer for their advocacy on this important safety issue. The ability of our students to safely and confidently walk or bike to school provides health and sustainability benefits, and helps to nurture a strong sense of community. The addition of a stop light at this particular location is a gift to our students, and a great step forward for Scarsdale.”
Locals Donate 50 Pints of Blood
- Written by Joanne Wallenstein
- Hits: 368
On Wednesday, July 19th the Scarsdale Public Library hosted a Blood Drive for the New York Blood Center. In total, there were 50 pints of blood donated, exceeding expectations. According to the Red Cross, every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood or platelets, with approximately 29,000 units needed every day. Each blood donation can provide 3 units, and one donation can help save more than one life. There will be another opportunity to donate at the Scarsdale Public Library in October.