Friday, Apr 12th

LatimerConstituentsWestchester County Executive George Latimer is a familiar face around town – showing up at Scarsdale events and supporting the Village in many ways. Now he is vying to move his office from White Plains to Washington D.C. by challenging incumbent Democratic Congressman Jamaal Bowman for representation of New York’s 16th Congressional District. The hotly contested seat is being watched locally, around the state and even nationwide. The election will be held on Tuesday June 25, 2024, and since the district leans Democratic, the winner of the primary will be the front runner in the general election in November.

We asked Latimer why he decided to run and for his views on a wide range of issues and here is what he shared:

Tell us how you will leverage your years of experience to be effective in Congress.

I am a lifelong Westchester resident who has built a career in public service by delivering unparalleled progressive results for local residents. I have a track record in making Westchester the most progressive County government in the state including successfully cutting regressive taxes, fighting for civil rights and racial equality, defending a woman’s right to choose, standing up to the NRA to keep guns off our streets, voting for marriage equality, and smartly investing a Green New Deal style infrastructure projects across the County.

I can deliver in Congress because I know how to build coalitions, find common goals, and win tough fights. That’s how we flipped Westchester, a formerly solid Republican County, into a blue firewall that has withstood multiple red waves in recent years. It’s how we’ve governed, it’s how I kicked the gun shows out of the County center, it’s how we defended reproductive health clinics when they were under attack.

Why did you decide to challenge a Democrat incumbent for his seat in Congress?

My opponent spends too much time on divisive rhetoric, alienating the people he is supposed to serve, and votes against the interests of our district. He voted against President Biden’s infrastructure bill, he voted against the debt ceiling, he even voted this year to shut down the federal government. That’s not governing. And at the same time, he’s been caught in scandal after scandal, and has been forced to walk back comments on 9/11 truther conspiracies, his embrace of known Anti-Semites, and his words falsely accusing rape victims of making up propaganda.

Right now, our democracy is under attack. We need to elect people who are ready to make the tough choices needed to govern, to keep our government functioning, to serve all of their constituents. Through my three decades of public service, my work has been defined by my deep commitment to local community needs, and my ability to deliver real results for the constituents I represent. From my tenure on the Rye City Council to the County Legislature to the State Legislature and my current role of Westchester County Executive, I am a proud progressive champion who fights for the rights of all people while passing smart, effective policies that make a real difference in people’s lives.

On what issues do you and your opponent most disagree?

As I said, he voted against infrastructure funding for Westchester County (although he then took credit for the funds he tried to block), he voted to shut down the government, he voted against the debt ceiling. I would not. He has engaged in promoting baseless conspiracy theories and false narratives about the victims of the 10/7 terrorist attacks. I would not. And he is of course openly hostile to Israel and favors capitulation to terrorists, while I favor a 2-state solution and a return of hostages as a condition of stopping the fighting.

I have been working as a public servant for more than 30 years, improving the quality of life of the people I serve in Westchester County. From securing millions of dollars in infrastructure to supporting abortion rights, reducing gun violence, building more affordable housing, to strengthening our democracy, I am committed to go to Washington to fight for what’s really important – the families of working New Yorkers.

How has redistricting in NYS affected your campaign?

While the Westchester portion of the district remains the same, there are some minor changes to the Bronx portion so it now includes Bronx families in Wakefield, Baychester and Co-op City. I need to introduce myself to those voters and we’ll be organizing aggressively through those regions and across the entire district. I’ve already started meeting with residents, community leaders, faith leaders and others to hear their concerns, I have made it clear that I will re-open the Bronx constituent services office that the incumbent closed down after taking office, and my track record on education funding, tenant’s rights, infrastructure, reproductive rights, transit and common sense gun laws all resonate well with voters there.

Why is the critical election the primary in June rather than the general election in November?

As with many districts in New York, the 16th CD has an overwhelming Democratic enrollment edge and the primary is the only place where an incumbent can be held accountable for his votes and actions as a public official. Many politicians, like my opponent, feel that they are above being challenged and deserve to be returned to office automatically; I believe that elections are an important place for voters to have choices about who represents them.

With these uncertain times, where a woman’s right to choose and plan a family hangs in a balance, hate crimes are rising, guns are far too available to those who should never have them, we need someone who can bring our communities together and vote for the things we need in Washington.

Tell us about the differences between running for County Executive and US Congress? Are you hearing from people all over the country?

As the first Democratic Chair of the County Legislature, I cut property taxes three consecutive years while passing ground-breaking legislation including creating Westchester’s Human Rights Commission, passing Smoke Free Workplace Laws, Waste Haulers reforms, and establishing the first cable TV coverage of Board of Legislators meetings.

As a former tenant organizer, I was a leader on housing in the State Assembly, championed critical environmental issues, and he proudly voted to pass Marriage Equality, defend a woman’s right to choose, and keep dangerous guns off our streets. I also cosponsored the New York Health Act to bring universal health care to all New York residents. After several years in the Assembly, I won a tough battle to win a seat in the State Senate in November 2012, before defeating a MAGA Republican in 2017 to become the current County Executive.

With experience as both an executive and a legislator, I bring a unique set of skills and an understanding of legislative and governmental operations that will position me to deliver the funds and policies our district deserves.

In your mind, what are the key issues for voters in this race?

A. First, we must ensure that the economy is working for all New Yorkers. We need more jobs and more wealth building opportunities for everyone. I am committed to making college and career technical programs more accessible and affordable as well as expand support for solopreneurs and small business owners.

In addition, I am a supporter of a living wage for working Americans, and sensitive to the impacts of inflation on food, gas and other essentials on New York residents. If elected to Congress, I would support increasing the national minimum wage to $17 by 2028 in order to help the most vulnerable working people manage ever increasing costs.

B. Gun Violence. The surge in shootings in America is frightening. The number 1 cause of death in children is death by firearms. Locally, I have stood up to the NRA both in the legislature and as County Executive, passing legislation to ban assault weapons and implement universal background checks here in New York, and banning gun shows from County Property. Now we need national legislation to do the same, keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and other dangerous individuals, shutting down the interstate trade in illegal gun trafficking, and banning ghost guns and bump stocks. I am committed to increasing gun back programs, fund more afterschool programs, and expand mental health services with our community centers. We need to strengthen partnerships with faith leaders and community organizers, and invest in grassroots organizations doing the hard work.

C. Safeguarding our rights and our democracy is vital right now. We live in uncertain times and our democracy and the great American experiment will be on the ballot, which is why we must all vote to re-elect the President and continue to undo the damage of the Trump administration’s stacking of the Supreme Court. We need to defend voting rights and fight all efforts at voter suppression and protect our elections from misinformation and manipulation. We must also restore abortion rights on a national level, comparable to what we have already done here in New York, to protect both those seeking abortion care and the health care professionals who serve them.

D. Climate. Climate change is an existential threat to our planet and our future, and we can no longer allow science denying extremists to control the debate. We need leaders who can pass a real Green New Deal that not only creates jobs, but also directly fights climate change by reducing atmospheric carbon while freeing us from dependency on fossil fuels.

E. Housing. As County Executive, I have been a leader in helping create affordable housing throughout a region with scarce housing options. Under my leadership, between 2018 and 2023, we have created 6,443 units of affordable housing in the County. Our aggressive affordable housing efforts continue with $5.7 million recently awarded for land acquisition to create 168 senior units, and I recently authorized the 2024 County Budget, which contains $100 million for additional new affordable housing. We have also sought innovative options for creating affordable housing for vulnerable members of the community, including the use of County property for future affordable units for LGBTQ+ seniors.

If you are elected, what would you advocate for to help local constituents?

Locally, we need increased school aid, increased housing support and NYCHA funding, further investments in infrastructure funding for our roads, bridges, transit, and anti-flooding systems. We need to invest in jobs and job training programs. And we need to protect Social Security and Medicare from republican attempts to gut these vital programs.

Do you think there is a chance to get back the deduction for state and local taxes for New Yorkers? Yes. Trump’s SALT tax hike on New Yorkers must be repealed, and I believe that our best chance of raising the SALT cap is to elect a Democratic majority to Congress and I would work to make that a reality.

Can the Federal Government help Westchester with environmental issues such as flooding?

Yes, the federal government is a key stakeholder to help Westchester mitigate environmental issues such as flooding. For example, currently, in the Village of Mamaroneck the Army Corps of Engineers is leading a $100M federally funded project to mitigate flooding along the Mamaroneck and Sheldrake Rivers, when severe damage was caused by Hurricane Ida. I would support more federal funding to remedy this and other flood mitigation projects. Federal "Superfund" money under the EPA has also been available for several decades to facilitate the cleanup of contaminated lands, these are the types of programs that I would strengthen and support continuing.

How can those who back you help with your campaign?

Anyone is welcome to join our growing grassroots campaign. Please visit for information.

April2CThe following account and photos were contributed by Sharon Dizenhuz:
(Updated 8 am on April 4, 2024) A raging electrical fire Wednesday afternoon April 3, 2024 brought traffic to a standstill on the corner of Griffen Avenue in Scarsdale at the junction where Mamaroneck Road becomes Old White Plains Road.  The blaze began after 4:30 in the minutes after what appeared to be a tree or a utility pole fell across Mamaroneck road. Cars wisely chose not to drive under the space below the fallen pole, turning around on Mamaroneck Road. We were among them, and just as we were about to call 911, we saw a Scarsdale fire truck with flashing lights heading towards the scene, so we held off. April2B

It is unclear if that truck actually stayed at the scene. In the time it took to get on the Hutchinson Parkway to exit 11 and approach the intersection from Griffen, the toppled tree had become a blazing inferno, with flames reaching 10 feet or so across and 6-8 feet high. The acrid smell of electrical fire filled the air, as did gray clouds of smoke.

Mamaroneck cops held the barrier just before Carriage House Lane on Griffen. A  patrolman on duty said he was not aware of the origin of the blaze, indicating that with the high water table in the area, trees often fall on power lines when there is a lot of rain. There is a transformer at the intersection of Griffen Avenue and Mamaroneck Road, but it is on the opposite side of the street to where the blaze was visible from Griffen. It was not clear if there were two fires or one.  Mamaroneck police secured Griffen because it seemed that the fire was just a few feet into their jurisdiction. The patrolman on duty stated that he was expecting that the Mamaroneck Fire Department would be “rolling in any minute.”  I was unable to see if Scarsdale Police or the Fire Department were on the scene at the Scarsdale side of the blaze. Homes in the area lost power.

Rain and high winds continued throughout the day and night. As of 8 am on April 4, Scarsdale Police reported the following road closures due to downed trees/wires: Mamaroneck Road between Barker Lane and Griffen Ave, Morris Lane between Heathcote Road and Richbell Road, Sprague Road at the Border of New Rochelle, and Oxford Road between Cambridge Road and Park Road.

As of the morning of April 4, many are without power. including residents around Mamaroneck Road near the site of the fire.  See the Con Ed map here to report an outage and to see the estimated restoration time.

GriffenAvenueGriffen Avenue closed later due to flooding.


candidates pic copyMichael Curti, Jeremy Wise and Ken Mazer: Photo by Lisa VanGundyOn Sunday, March 10th the Scarsdale Citizens' Non-Partisan Party (SCNPP) held a “Meet the Candidates” event at the Scarsdale Public Library. The SCNPP candidates for Village Trustee and Village Justice met Scarsdale voters in an informal, “up close and personal” setting.

Approximately 40 Scarsdale voters chatted with the SCNPP slate in anticipation of the upcoming Scarsdale Village election on Tuesday, March 19.

Michael V. Curti, the current Village Justice of the Village of Scarsdale is seeking a full term on the bench. Prior to his appointment as Justice, Curti was Associate Justice for the Village from April 2022-December 2023.  Justice Curti chatted with several voters, who also met the Curti family. When asked about his legal background, Curti shared that his public service includes tenures as Corporation Counsel of the City of Yonkers, Westchester County assistant district attorney and principal law secretary in New York State Supreme Court.

First-time Trustee candidate and 33-year Scarsdale resident Jeremy “Jerry” Wise spoke to a number of attendees about his deep experience in local government. Jerry’s interest in good government began in high school and was honed throughout college at Columbia and law school at Boston College. Wise was appointed and served 23 years as the Chief Legal Officer of the NY State entity created to assist in the financial recovery of Nassau County. His responsibilities included long term financial planning, review of budgets and contracts, and facilitating bond issuances.

Jerry Wise joins current Trustees seeking second terms, Jeremy Gans and Ken Mazer on the SCNPP ticket. Gans and Mazer have served on the Board of Trustees since April 2022.

Trustee Mazer met the voters and discussed his experience on the Village Board. Ken chaired the Village Board committees on Personnel and Parks, Recreation & Conservation. In addition to discussing Village government, Mazer was asked about the Scarsdale Volunteer Fire Department, which he has served for 24 years with Company #2. During this time, Ken was a Lieutenant for 12 years and President for 8 years.

Trustee Gans could not attend the event. Prior to becoming a Trustee, he served on the Zoning Board of Appeals from 2016-2022. Jeremy was President of the Scarsdale Youth Soccer Club 2016-2019. The Gans family includes Jeremy’s wife Lisa, and children Jason, a sophomore at Cornell University, Aaron, a sophomore at Scarsdale High School, and Evan, a seventh grader at Scarsdale Middle School.

Joe Zakierski, Chairperson of the SCNPP Campaign Committee was pleased with the turnout and thanked the many voters in attendance. In closing, Joe reminded everyone to vote on March 19 and that detailed biographies of the candidates are posted on the SCNPP website, (

Zakierski noted that several attendees were new residents interested in knowing more about our Village government and the election process. Since 1930, Scarsdale Village elections have been held under the Non-Partisan System. The Scarsdale Citizens' Non-Partisan Party (SCNPP) is the principal element of the Non-Partisan System. For information about the Non-Partisan System and the SCNPP, visit their website here.

The upcoming Village Election is Tuesday, March 19 from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Polls for all Election Districts are at the Scarsdale Public Library, 54 Olmsted Road. All registered voters who are also Scarsdale residents may vote. Early Voting and Absentee Ballots are also available.

Early Voting Ballots (all voters eligible) and Absentee Ballots (voters must meet eligibility requirement) are available at Village Hall and on the Village website. Visitors to Village Hall may fill out the appropriate application, receive the ballot and submit their vote in one trip.

Tuesday, March 12 was the last day for the Village Clerk to receive applications for Absentee Ballots to be mailed to qualified voters. Voters can still get an Absentee Ballot application (1) online from Village’s website, (2) in-person at the Village Clerk’s Office in Village Hall by Monday, March 18, or visit the SCNPP website “Voter Information” page and scroll down to the links for Voter Registration and Absentee Ballots.

Drop off Early Voting and Absentee Ballots in-person (1) in the drop box at the Scarsdale Public Library any time before polls close at 9 pm, or (2) in the drop box at Village Hall any time before it closes at 5 pm. Completed absentee ballots sent via mail must be received by Village Hall by Election Day before 5 pm.

LeahDembitzerLeah Dembitzer has been nominated for a first term on the Scarsdale School Board(This announcement was sent to us by the Scarsdale School Board Nominating Committee)
The 2024 School Board Nominating Committee (“SBNC” or the “Committee”) has selected Leah Dembitzer and James Dugan for the 2024 non-partisan slate for election to the Scarsdale Board of Education. The Committee chose Leah and Jim from a pool of dedicated candidates after a thorough vetting process. If elected during the school board election on May 21, 2024, Leah will assume her role as a first-term school board member and Jim, who currently serves as a member of the Board of Education, will return for his second term effective July 1, 2024.

The Candidates

The SBNC enthusiastically endorses Leah and Jim for election to the School Board. These two qualified candidates will bring different perspectives and draw on complementary backgrounds and experiences to serve our community. What they have in common is a deep commitment to maintaining the excellence of the Scarsdale schools and serving different constituents.

Leah Dembitzer

Leah has lived in Scarsdale for 15 years. She and her husband, David, have three children- two of whom attend Scarsdale High School and one enrolled at Quaker Ridge School. Leah currently serves as PT Council President for the 2023-24 Scarsdale Council of Parent-Teacher Associations as well as a Board Member for the Westchester-Putnam PTA. These roles cap off a track record of a dozen years of community volunteerism which have heavily emphasized service to our District’s schools (via committee and leadership roles across the elementary, middle, and high schools) as well as membership and committee and leadership work in support of the League of Women Voters of Scarsdale and Westchester (including a two-year tenure as League’s president) and of Westchester Reform Temple (including involvement on the Board of Trustees).

Leah has supported complex initiatives across our community including Budget Study, DEI, literacy (co-chairing the Young Writers’ Workshop), both executing on established programs and innovating and spearheading new initiatives (such as the SMS House Parents pilot program during the 2020-21 year when COVID meaningfully impacted District activities).

Leah was heralded as a hard worker, good listener, well organized, approachable, collaborative, and open-minded based on the feedback the Committee sought out regarding her candidacy. These attributes, paired with the deep and broad knowledge she has of our community and, in particular, the seven Scarsdale schools and District operations borne of her years of volunteering in our community, position her to be a welcome addition to the School Board.

Leah said "I am deeply honored that the SBNC has nominated me to run on its slate for the Scarsdale Board of Education. I thank the members and Chair of the SBNC for their diligence and hard work during this process. If elected, I look forward to serving our incredible community and working collaboratively with the Board members and Administration to support our students and move our schools forward."

James DuganJamesDuganJim Dugan has been nominated for a second term on the Scarsdale School Board

Jim has been a resident of Scarsdale for over 17 years. He and his wife, Shirley, have three children who attend Scarsdale High and Middle Schools. Jim is currently a partner in the Litigation Department at Willkie Farr & Gallagher, LLP focusing on complex commercial litigation. He has more than 28 years of experience representing Fortune 500 companies, hedge funds, private equity firms, C-level executives, and accounting and financial services firms in securities class actions, shareholder derivative litigation, bankruptcy litigation, contract disputes, employment disputes, and restrictive covenant and non-compete litigation. As a member of Willkie’s Pro Bono Committee, Jim has dedicated substantial time to working on cases for the Innocence Project. He served on the Cornell Law School Alumni Board for three years and is currently a member of the New York City Bar Association.

Shortly after moving to Scarsdale, Jim became an active member of the Overhill Neighborhood Association, joining the board and then eventually becoming president of the association and serving for two years in that role. Through this role, he was instrumental in fostering a sense of community for that corner of Scarsdale and keeping neighbors apprised of key issues around the village. He was also a founding member of the Coalition for Scarsdale Schools which was engaged around the issue of elementary school class sizes. This was a natural role for him as he was passionate about maintaining the excellence of our school system. He has also served on the Citizens Nominating Committee, the CNC Procedures Committee, and has served in numerous roles at St. James the Less Episcopal Church. In each of these community roles, Jim has proven a tireless volunteer, giving of his time and expertise to work collaboratively to make Scarsdale a great place to live.

References for Jim uniformly recommended him for reconsideration for the Board of Education based on his primary strengths including being direct, methodical, straightforward, and professional - and, in particular, as someone capable of finding compromise to help reach consensus. This aligns with what the Committee members have observed of his Board service to date. As evidenced by his active and thoughtful participation during board meetings across his first term, Jim will continue to serve the School Board and community well with his valuable skills and perspective.

Jim noted "I’m truly honored to be nominated to serve a second term on the Board of Education. It is my privilege to be a part of supporting Scarsdale’s great and continuing legacy of excellence in public education, and I look forward to continuing to serve the community in this important role. Many thanks to the SNBC for their valuable work in vetting and proposing a slate for the 2024 school board election.”

The Committee

The SBNC is a non-partisan committee comprised of 26 voting members (with representatives from each of the five elementary districts) who serve for a three year term, and is chaired by a non-voting member. Over the course of Sunday meetings from January through March, this year’s committee conducted extensive candidate outreach to encourage interested community members to apply, listened to applicant presentations, questioned them, conducted detailed due diligence on all applicants, and considered potential candidates’ qualifications and characteristics. Pursuant to the SBNC Resolution, committee deliberations concerning candidates are confidential and the SBNC selects candidates “solely on their qualifications to serve the community” and not on their campaigning abilities or positions on specific issues. All discussions, deliberations, and references shared in Committee are kept confidential. Informed and engaged residents willing to serve on the SBNC and the School Board, along with voter participation, help to ensure the highest quality school board leadership.

The SBNC congratulates Jim and Leah on their nomination and thanks all applicants who went through the nominating process. “I am grateful to the Committee members for their dedication, hard work, and thoughtful consideration, to the applicants for their demonstrated commitment to our community which was further evidenced by their courageous willingness to participate in our rigorous selection process, and to the broader Scarsdale community for its support of the SBNC's efforts to help shape the excellence of the Scarsdale schools and ensure student success and wellbeing,” noted Valerie Phillips, Chair of the SBNC for 2023-24.

Voters in the School District are encouraged to vote on Tuesday, May 21, 2024 in the Scarsdale Middle School Gym. In addition to voting for two School Board seats, District voters will also be voting on a proposed School District Budget for the 2024-25 school year.

For more information on the SBNC, please visit our website at or contact the SBNC Chair at

Please Participate

Scarsdale is fortunate to maintain a nonpartisan election process for the Board of Education that selects candidates based solely on their qualifications to serve, not on their campaigning abilities or positions on specific issues. Informed and engaged residents willing to serve on the SBNC and the School Board, along with voter participation, help to ensure the highest quality school board leadership. Please consider serving or suggesting other school district residents to fill future vacancies. You can do so at any time by emailing
In addition, please consider a donation to the SBNC. The SBNC elections and process are financed by your contributions alone. Donations are solely used for running the SBNC elections and not towards any candidate. Any amount would be appreciated. Please click here to donate.


LibrariansA team of librarians called The Killer Bees won the bee.14 swarms of 42 brave spellers took the stage at Scarsdale High School on Friday night March 1 to compete in the Friends of the Scarsdale Library Spelling Bee.

JoshMilsteinEmcee Josh MilsteinBefore the fun began, Library Director Elizabeth Bermel came to the mic and joked, “I can’t believe that it has been four years since I last stood before you to welcome you to the Bee. Good thing not much has happened since then!” She noted all the progress that was made in building and opening the new library and getting through the COVID crisis. She said, “Now, in 2024, I can say that our vision for the Scarsdale Public Library has been realized. The reimagined building is a bustling hub, with programs filling our new spaces, study rooms in constant use, reading areas and work tables occupied at all hours, a thriving cafe, and circulation of physical and electronic materials as strong as ever. It truly is a community destination. Our staff is dedicated, professional, welcoming and helpful, and they are the ones who make the Library “house” a Library “home” for many. I cannot thank them enough for all they do. While we have faced significant challenges these last few years, we have come out the other side stronger and better for it.”

Bermel welecome “esteemed emcee” and SHS Alumni Josh Milstein who read the words to spell from a list supplied by the Friends of the Scarsdale Library. Some of the words were derived from other languages and it was tricky to pronounce them in a way that would give the teams clues to their spelling. As the contest is a single elimination tournament all it took was one wrong letter to knock out a swarm. And as in prior years, the contest went very quickly.

With clever names like “The Bee Gees,” Spellbinder,” and “The Honey Bees,” they took their seats on stage to test their acumen against some of the brightest minds in the burbs. The first round was divided into Swarms A, B, C and D, with the winners of those swarms going on to the final round.

judgesThe Bee was judged by Mayor Justin Arest, Assemblymember Amy Paulin and Library Director Beth BermelThe contest was judged by Scarsdale Mayor Justin Arest, Assemblymember Amy Paulin and Library Director Elizabeth Bermel. In the initial rounds, teams were given dry erasure boards to write their words and hold them up. Above them, the word, correctly spelled, would appear on a screen. From the audience it was easy to spot mistakes in an instant.

In the first swarm (or round), all four teams succeeded at correctly spelling:





However, the next word, “sacrilegious” tripped up three teams, leaving the “Bee Arthur Manor’ team to go to the final round.

The next swarm was similar. All four teams successfully spelled:


ParablefrankPrevious winners Seth Ross, Frank Lichtenberg and Randy Guggenheimer were eliminated by the word P-E-L-L-U-C-I-D



But yet another word derived from French, “Connoisseur” took out “The Bees Knees” and “Don’t Stop Believing.”

The remaining two teams spelled “Curvaceous” correctly. However, the Spellbinders, who had won previous spelling bees, spelled “Pellucid” with one “L’ rather than two, leaving a team of librarians called “The Killer Bees” to go to the finals.

The three teams in Swarm 3 included a group of realtors called “Sellers and Spellers,” along with “Beetlejuice” and library trustees called “Trustbees.”

They all sailed through the spelling of:

HaikuJosephsJodi Josephs of "Spellers and Sellers" wowed the audience when she spelled A-N-N-A-T-T-O







After everyone misspelled Escritoire, a French writing desk, Milstein said the word “Annatto” which knocked out two teams leaving the realtors to go to the final. FYI, what is Annatto? Wikipedia says it’s “an orange-red condiment and food coloring derived from the seeds of the achiote tree.”

The fourth swarm included three teams of high school students. They all spelled Meme and Feign correctly. One team misspelled “Acrylic” and that swarm was over quickly after “The Beests” left the”C” out of “Lacquer,” leaving “To Bee or Not to Bee” to go on to the final round.

Following intermission and refreshments, “Bee Arthur Manor,” “Killer Bees”, “Spellers and Sellers” and “To Bee or Not to Bee” took the stage for the final round. For this phase, the white boards were put away and one representative from each team had to stand up and spell the word their team was given.

Again, the round went quickly.

Spellers and Sellers were knocked out by the word, “Soapwort,” (which is a wildflower.)

Representatives from the remaining teams successfully spelled:






But things came to a quick close when the students misspelled “Hemorrhage” and “Bee Arthur Manor” was knocked out attempting to spell the Italian pasta “Orecchiette.”

That left the team of librarians to spell “Cacophonous,” which high school librarian Liz Waltzman did successfully and her team, which also included Ricki Goe and Nancy Wissman, was declared the winner of the 2024 bee. It was fitting that those who spend their lives with words were able to master the contest.

In between swarms, Trivia Emcee Dara Gruenberg had the crowd stumped with literary questions for both kids and adults.

Gruenberg asked, “What Dr. Seuss character was kind to the environment?” and “Who was Curious George’s friend?” and “What are the names of the two friends in Elena Ferrante’s book, “My Brilliant Friend?” There were answers yelled from the audience and prizes for the ones who got it right.

Leaving the auditorium, you couldn’t help but marvel at the intricacies of the English language, which, despite spellcheck, continues to baffle the best wordsmiths.

Jones Kaplan MayerStacey Mayer, Mary Pat Jones and Nancy KaplanThe event was chaired by Mary Pat Jones and Lauren Rubino along with their committee members: Julie Balsam, Jessica Bandel, Colleen Brown, To-Dao Casey, Allison Block, Janet Han, Lori Harrison, Nancy Kaplan, Elyse Klayman, Wendy Kleiman, Rene Lalwani, Michelle Lichtenberg, Mona Longman, Wendy MacMillan, Stacey Mayer, Margot Milberg, Toby Milstein, Alexandra Vargo, Marin Weinberg.


The Friends of the Scarsdale Library wishes to thank their sponsors:

WORKER BEE ($1,000)
Wilson and Son Jewelers
Jim and Mary Pat Jones

Zachary and Heather Harrison
Ocean First Bank
Scarsdale Foundation
The Laura Miller Team at Houlihan Lawrence
The Law Office of Dana S. Montone

Jessica Bandel
Bronx River Books
Buon Amici
Houlihan Lawrence
Nancy and Zack Kaplan
Wendy and Scott Kleinman
La Dentelliere
Renu Lalwani
Michelle and Frank Lichtenberg
Stacey and Adam Mayer
Margot and Dan Milberg
Once Upon a Lil Cupcake
Sharyl and Gregg Reisman
Lauren and Scott Rubino
Sandbox Theatre
Scoop Shop
The Law Office of Keith Schutzman
Janet and Thomas Youm

Photos by Julie Balsam

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