Wednesday, Feb 26th

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MarciaMarcia Horowitz, a star in the field of public relations, a mother, grandmother and Greenacres resident was remembered at Bet Am Shalom on Wednesday February 12, 2020. Horowitz passed away at the age of 68 on Monday February 10 after a brief but valiant battle with pancreatic cancer.

The ceremony opened with Eric Clapton’s “Tears from Heaven,” a song that sustained her in her final days. Family, colleagues and friends eulogized Marcia in a thoughtful, well-scripted ceremony that would have made Horowitz proud. Several people who spoke said that the first person they would have asked to review their speeches was Marcia.

A master wordsmith and situation analyst, Horowitz was valued by industry titans, lawyers, media moguls and clients of Howard Rubinstein Public Relations who found themselves facing a crisis. In the words of her colleagues she had a gift for distilling the most complex problems and crafting straightforward, understandable strategies to save reputations.

Steve Rubinstein, son of Howard Rubinstein, said that when Marcia came to the firm she first learned the business from Howard Rubinstein, but ultimately ended up helping to run the firm and advising her boss. Steve shared a few comic shop stories. He said that every time he was introduced to a new client with Marcia she would tell them, “I was at Steve’s Bar Mitzvah.” Another time the two found themselves attending an unexpected meeting at the ASPCA. Caught by surprise, Marcia was wearing a big fur coat that she struggled to conceal in the conference room. When they got back to the office she remarked, “It’s really only raccoon!”

Many noted that her modesty and sense humor about herself disguised the talents and abilities that made her an icon in her field.

Her cousin Ellen Marcia was a kindred spirit, sharing Marcia Ellen’s two first names, in a different order. She shared memories of growing up with Marcia in Manhattan Beach and noted Marcia’s ability to make everyone laugh, calling her, “our own Joan Rivers.”

Marcia’s friends remarked on her brilliant smile, quick wit and infectious sense of humor. A commuter for 41 years, friends shared memories of walking to and from Hartsdale station, in every kind of weather.

Though her life was too short, it was evident that she accomplished much and lived fully during the years she was given. In words she wrote shortly before her death she told her family and friends that she loved them, asked for forgiveness and in turn forgave all and wanted to be remembered the way she was, before she fell ill.

She is survived by her husband Richard S. Cohen, their son Jared, his wife Antonia and grandson Jayce and their son Adam.

The family has already donated benches in her name at two of her favorite places to walk; the pond near Hitchcock Church and on a hill on the Tarrytown River Walk, overlooking the Hudson River. Contributions in her name can be made to The Museum of Jewish Heritage, A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, Marcia Horowitz Education Fund for Cross-Cultural Awareness; the Lustgarten Foundation, Pancreatic Cancer Research and Let's Win! Pancreatic Cancer. See more at marciahorowitz.net.

PappalardoSteve Pappalardo and Samuel AmoaOn Tuesday February 5th, Scarsdale Edgemont Family Counseling Services held a luncheon to honor this year’s recipients of the Thomas Sobol awards. The heart-warming celebration, held in the Harwood Building (in a space generously donated by President of the Scarsdale Improvement Corporation, Rush Wilson), began with a ceremony where both Samuel Amoa and Luis Marino were presented with awards and honored for their valuable contributions to the Scarsdale community.

First to welcome the crowd was SFCS Board President, David Lee. Mr. Lee started by reminding the audience of what an incredible man Dr. Thomas Sobol was and the contributions he made to the community. Lee detailed Sobol’s accomplished resume including his tenure as Scarsdale’s Superintendent of Schools, New York State Commissioner of Education, and his time as a professor of Education at Columbia’s Teachers’ College. Just as important as the positions he held, were Sobol’s values, passion and his ardent belief in the collaboration between communities and schools to work toward a common goal. Dr. Sobol believed that if we work together, “through education we can close the achievement gap and create a more equitable society.”

Next, Bill Miller, a Scarsdalian also once recognized for his own contributions to our community, expounded upon Dr. Sobol’s legacy of service. Mr. Miller recounted how Sobol believed “that a school day doesn’t end at 3pm when the bell rings. Instead he believed that community matters, families matter, and neighbors matter.” Mr. Miller explained that it was with these tenets in mind that Dr. Sobol worked collaboratively with the Scarsdale Schools and the village to create the Youth Service Project a program administered by SFCS to provide services to middle and high school students. Mr. Miller ended by claiming that this “service award” where one person is recognized from the village and another is recognized from the school district, is a wonderful way to “honor Dr. Sobol and what he wanted to achieve”.

Scarsdale Village Manager Stephen Pappalardo rose to present the first honoree of the day, Samuel “Sammy” Amoa. When Mr. Hagerman MarinoThomas Hagerman and Luis MarinoPappalardo began his introduction, he couldn’t hide his admiration for, and sense of camaraderie with village center caretaker, Amoa. Mr. Pappalardo waxed poetic about how the two first met some 25 years ago and how every day since Mr. Amoa has shown up to work with a smile on his face and a positive attitude. Mr. Pappalardo also expressed how hard Sammy Amoa worked and outlined a list of exhausting jobs that Amoa readily tackled with diligence. What’s more, “Sammy was always available when we needed him, weekends, evenings...from Bicycle Sundays to village hall meetings.” Mr. Pappalardo further described how Sammy Amoa also served as a volunteer firefighter for the Greenville Volunteer Fire Department and once helped “avert a disaster on Garth Road with his quick actions”. Before turning to shake Amoa’s hand, Mr. Pappalardo finished with, “There is no better ambassador for our village than Sammy Amoa.”

In a touching moment, Mr. Amoa choked back tears, and thanked Mr. Pappalardo, saying “Thank you so much for the opportunity to work here.”

There to present the award from the school district to Luis Marino was Dr. Thomas Hagerman, Scarsdale Superintendent of Schools. Dr. Hagerman began by quoting a passage that was written about Sobol and his many admirable traits; “Everyone who worked with Tom, bonded with him.” Dr. Hagerman went on to say, “Luis Marino will no doubt be described in the same way.” Truly living the American dream, Mr. Marino made his way from Lima, Peru to Port Chester in 1981 and in 1994 joined the Scarsdale Schools’ custodial team where each day he brought his “professional attitude, dedication, and high energy.” Hagerman continued his praise of Mr. Marino by detailing how much he cares about the “health, happiness, and wellness of others.” In addition to all he has done for the Scarsdale community, Mr. Marino is also a very productive citizen in his hometown of Port Chester where he is a volunteer firefighter, a village trustee, and currently acting as deputy mayor. Still more, Mr. Marino is an active volunteer for the American Red Cross as well as other international organizations providing aid and relief to those in need. As Dr. Hagerman says, “We should all seek to emulate Luis Marino. Imagine what the world could be, if we were all a little more like Luis.”

In another heartfelt moment, Mr. Marino thanked everyone saying, “It is an honor to be here, thank you. The people I’ve worked with are like family...they become family”.

KrisberghGenovaRachel Krisbergh and Jay GenovaBefore SFCS Executive Director James Genova presented the awards, Mrs. Harriet Sobol spoke briefly about her late husband. “Tom loved this community and these people. He valued the most the people we don’t often ‘see’” Mrs. Sobol remarked. Genova then gave a thoughtful and moving speech saying, “The world needs more good right now and today is a day to celebrate the goodness of members of our community...today is a day to restore faith in people...not to focus on what’s wrong, but what we can do better.” Genova then granted Luis Marino and Samuel Amoa, a plaque and a copy of Dr. Sobol’s book while the audience gave both a standing ovation.

This wonderful luncheon (the kind of event that gives heart to our great community) could not have happened without the tremendous efforts of The Friends of Dr. Sobol and the SFCS planning committee: Racheal Krisberg, Susan Greenberg, Deb Pekarek, and Janice Starr.

Boniface1The Scarsdale Forum Downtown Revitalization Committee has released its latest report, which proposes improvements to Boniface Circle as an important step in enhancing both the appearance and utilization of Scarsdale’s open spaces.  

The report focuses on the area as the nexus for open space connectivity within Scarsdale Village Center, and the committee suggests a variety of landscape modifications, safety enhancements, and additional amenities in redesigning Boniface Circle to encourage greater public use.

Noting that Boniface Circle's landscape and hardscape are overgrown and crowded, the committee asserts that the current plantings and stone wall block access and obscure vistas to Chase Park, the Harwood Building, and surrounding merchant establishments. In addition, its report highlights security vulnerabilities and other hazards, such as the possibility of vehicle intrusion, inherent in the Boniface Circle design. To address these issues, it suggests that Scarsdale Village staff

1) replace, remove, and/or prune existing shrubbery and trees;
2) upgrade and relocate the current utility infrastructure;
3) provide café-style tables and chairs that can be rearranged to accommodate all-year outdoor use; and
4) install enhanced lighting.

The Downtown Revitalization Committee also proposed other items that may require additional funds, and fabrication and/or installation by outside vendors --the installation of impact-resistant security barriers to protect users from vehicle traffic and the relocation of the World War II memorial to Memorial Garden on Mamaroneck Road.

According to Susan Douglass, the committee chair, "Scarsdale residents need a reason to visit the village center to shop, dine, and gather with others, and a vibrant public space closer to the retail center. Boniface Circle is an intimate component of this concept, and residents would be well served if it is transformed into the usable, open green space it once was, instead of a dreary, closed-off and underutilized zone, used just as a walk-through." She continued, "Our goal is to create a public gathering, entertainment, and art space, similar to the many charming, small plazas in New York City, with the potential to provide a year-round environment for outdoor community engagement."

The full report may be accessed by clicking here.

chilenoahFirst place winner Noah Chappell, holding the cutting board he was awarded.Hitchcock Church held its annual chili cook-off on Sunday January 25. This year the younger set ruled, though members of the community of all ages benefited from the chili tasting after service.

chilechefThere was no shortage of competitors at this year’s cook-off. There were 14 entrants.

chiletroop4Troop 4 Scarsdale came in second, represented by Matthew Kolb, Danny Hwang, Scoutmaster Kevin McCarthy, and Justin Gao. Jason and Steven Ren, not pictured, were also part of this winning team.

 ChileBeverlyCrowd Favorite Award was presented to Dr. Beverly Thornhlll (center, with glasses).

 chilebenitezYoung chef Lillian Benitez (third from left) took home third plaAll photos courtesy of Hyun Hwang.

voteNew York State recently passed a series of new voting reforms that makes it easier for residents of New York State to vote.   Adding to these reforms, Governor Cuomo and the NYS Legislature recently enacted a new law that allows voters to elect or change their political party enrollment in a more timely manner.  Enrollment in a political party allows a voter to participate in that party’s primary elections.  Voters in New York State may now choose to enroll in a political party, or change their political party enrollment, at any time up until February 14th, 2020.  The change will be effective immediately.   Previously, voters could make this change up until October 11 and the enrollment change went into effect the following year.  

New York’s presidential primary will take place on April 28, 2020, and the congressional and state primary will take place on June 23, 2020.  If you would like to vote in any of the party’s primaries you must be enrolled in that political party and you have until February 14th, 2020 to enroll or change your designation.

Currently, there is no separate form to be filled out to change a voter’s political party enrollment.  Rather, a voter must use the current voter registration form to do so.  The registration form has a section where the voter may choose to enroll in a political party.  To find out if you are registered to a political party, that information is available here. Voter registration forms, including online forms, can be found on the New York State Board of Elections website. This website also has other important information about voter registration. There will also be copies of the voter registration forms at the Library Loft and the rack in the lobby of Village Hall.  You may also visit the Westchester County Board of Elections (25 Quarropas Street, White Plains) and fill out a voter registration form to add or change your political party affiliation.

If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact the League of Women Voters, Voter Service Representatives at LWVSVoterService@gmail.com.

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