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Mimi RocahSo how does a very successful lawyer with years of experience in the U.S. Attorneys Office end up as a legal pundit on television? According to Scarsdale resident and MSNBC commentator Mimi Rocah her decision to enter the world of media was accidental.

In fact, she says, when she was an attorney involved in prosecuting high profile cases, the press was frowned upon. Her goal was to keep the press at bay and the specifics of her work under wraps.

But a comment by President Trump caused her to reconsider her plans. In late October 2017 she had made a decision to leave the U.S. Attorneys’ Office and became a criminal justice fellow at Pace University School of Law. Discussing the terrorist attack at the bike path in lower Manhattan that killed eight people, she heard the President call our justice system "a joke” and a "laughing stock."

Rocah said, “I couldn’t believe what I heard. I decided I wanted to go on TV to respond.”

Rocah took a night off from her job at MSNBC to speak to locals at an evening sponsored by the Scarsdale Adult School on May 21 at Scarsdale High School. Attorney Mike Shuster posed questions and the two had a fascinating conversation about the current political scene.

Discussing the difference between her work as a lawyer and her appearances on television, Rocah said, “The law is about nuance and looking at the case from different perspectives. On TV you have to shorten everything into a short sound bite.”

About the Mueller report she said, “There was a huge hiccup in the rollout – it was deceptive and misleading by Attorney General Bill Barr – I was surprised. I am surprised when people are unethical and misleading….Barr could have released the executive summaries or waited and released the whole report. Instead he released a summary that was inaccurate.”

She continued, “The Democrats need to get the information out to the American people. The information is so damning. Hearings are one way to do that. They need live testimony, little summaries and excerpts.”

Should Mueller testify? Rocah said, “Congressman Jerry Nadler tabled the idea of Mueller testifying before Congress. I disagree. He is the first person they should get. It would get the report out. His testimony would be reserved and conservative. It’s important to find out if the investigation wound up due to pressure from Barr. Mueller has come out relatively unscathed. It would be a great service to the public for him to testify.”

Rocah was one of 1,000 former federal prosecutors who signed a letter saying that Trump’s conduct was obstruction of justice. She said, he “He falsified evidence and told people to lie to cover it up. We rely on the integrity of witnesses – and Trump tried to get rid of the process. He engaged in witness intimidation and witness tampering when he told Manafort, Flynn and Cohen to “stay strong.” She continued, “When Cohen turned, Trump threatened him – and Cohen’s father-in-law. When you look at the conduct it so obvious that it is obstruction. These cases should be taken seriously. Mueller essentially said, but for the fact that Trump is the President he would have charged Trump with obstruction.”ShusterandRocah

Asked if she felt that the office of the Southern District is operating correctly, Rocah responded “Yes. The people who are in charge there know of the independence of the office. But I don’t think they are going to indict Trump. They had evidence of campaign finance violations regarding the payoffs of the women – but they are not prosecuting him. They are not bringing charges. This is a proven felony. Congress could have acted on that a long time ago.”

Asked if there were things that are working that give her encouragement Rocah replied, “I have less faith than I used to because of Bill Barr. Trump is enabled by an Attorney General who acts as his defense lawyer. I knew of people who respected him who have been shocked by Barr’s behavior. That is the most frightening and discouraging thing.”

She added, “If Trump is not elected in 2020, I do think he will be indicted possibly for things he did before he was in office or for things that he did while in office.”

And will the Attorney General suffer for his vile behavior?

Rocah predicted, “I think his reputation will suffer. This will be his legacy – as Trump’s Roy Cohn.”



JuniorOlympics1On Tuesday, May 21st, Scarsdale juniors were thrilled, following an assembly on college essay writing, to hear the announcement of Junior Olympics. Every year, juniors wait anxiously for the day they get to miss all afternoon classes to compete passionately for their elementary schools. Although the day of Junior Olympics is a surprise, students were prepared and decked out in beaded necklaces, colorful face paint, and elementary school apparel with personalized nicknames. As soon as the announcement was made over the loudspeakers, students ran to their cars to get ready with their friends. Events include trivia, tug of war, a pie eating contest, capture the flag and more.

Students also elect their captains, who are in charge of ordering shirts and have the honor of representing their schools in the pie eating contest. This year the captains were:
Quaker Ridge: Ariel Stern, Charlotte Kelson, Mark Ifrah, and Rishabh Gharekhan
Edgewood: Sophia Salazar, Maddie Amoriello, Zach Medvinsky, and Fisher Waterhouse
Greenacres: Michelle Singer, Jocelyn Lewis, Ben Kashar, and Teddy Constan
Fox Meadow: Bela George, Jess Solodar, Bohan Ma, and Andy Morin
Heathcote: Coco Dweck, Olivia Silberstein, Michael Callahan, and Sam Friedman

After hours of fierce competition, the winner was announced to be Fox Meadow Elementary School. The day was perfect for a renewed sense of camaraderie among classmates and the nostalgia of elementary school was a good escape from the stress of junior year.

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Mimi RocahI spotted a familiar face at the Scarsdale Library Fundraiser in January and couldn’t place her; did I know her from the neighborhood? Was she a colleague or someone I had met on the tennis court? But when she introduced herself I realized that the reason I knew her was that she was Mimi Rocah, a lawyer and commentator who we often watch on television, where she is a frequent guest on MSNBC.

I later learned that Mimi Rocah would be appearing in Scarsdale on Tuesday May 21 at a class hosted by the Scarsdale Adult School and was eager to find out more about her. According to her bio, Rocah is currently Pace Law's Distinguished Fellow in Criminal Justice and a Legal Analyst for MSNBC and NBC News. Prior to her time at Pace Law, she was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York from February 2001 until October 2017. As an AUSA, Rocah successfully prosecuted and tried numerous cases including several high profile organized crime cases.

She also worked as a litigation associate at the law firm Cravath, Swain and Moore. Rocah graduated from New York University School of Law, magna cum laude and Order of the Coif in 1997, and with a B.A. in American History, magna cum laude, from Harvard University in 1992.

But most interesting to me was the fact that she lives in Scarsdale. She agreed to answer a few questions and here is what we learned:

How did you make the connection Brian Williams and MSNBC?

I made the connection to MSNBC through Pace Law School where I am a Criminal Justice Fellow. I did some appearances on local news shows (Richard French Live), ABC, CNN and MSNBC and ended up signing a contract with MSNBC which I recently renewed (they are yearly contracts).

Did you need to receive any training or coaching before you began your television interviews?

I probably needed it, but they don't give you any -- it's trial by fire and you figure it out!

Did they provide you with the questions they would ask you in advance of the show?

No, I am never provided with questions in advance. Most shows give you general topics that they will cover for each "hit" (that's what they call appearances).

What similarities are there between speaking on television and speaking in court?

The similarities are -- being able to think on your feet, respond quickly to questions that may (or may not!) have seen coming and stay cool under pressure no matter what.

Did you have any tough moments on air -- when you were questioned by the other panelists or the host?

Absolutely -- part of why this is fun is that it's challenging because it's never the same thing. The "toughest" moments on air have been I constantly feel challenged by new law related topics that come up, daily it seems, some of which I know about and some of which I need to educate myself.

Was it challenging as a mother and professor to make these appearances? Are they taped or live?

All the shows are live. It's very challenging to make the schedule work because primetime shows are in the evening or at night when I want to be with my kids. I try to limit the number of nights I do shows per week and I basically have no social life! Everything is a trade off.

How and why did you end up living in Scarsdale?

My husband, David Anders, grew up here and loved it. Once we decided to move out of the city, there was no question we would move here.

Did you attend public school? If so, why did you make that choice for your own children?

I grew up in Chicago and went to private schools. My husband, David Anders, is a product of the Scarsdale public school system and loved it. It was one of the reasons we wanted to move here.

What do you like about living here?

We love the physical aspects of living in a suburb -- having a house, backyard, green everywhere. But, the best part is the sense of community and the fact that so many people here are involved in helping and making their communities a better place in big ways and small. It's a great example for our children and makes me proud.

At various times in your career have you found it difficult to balance your work obligations with your family responsibilities?

Yes -- at every stage of my career I have found it difficult! It has gotten a little easier as my kids get older because I bring them into the conversation about my work and what I am doing and why I think it's important and they seem to understand more. They are both very engaged about politics and current events! There were times as a prosecutor and with TV when I have to let work dictate -- but I try to limit those and know when it's a real "emergency." And, I always let people I work with know that I prioritize my kids. I'm not going to hide that.

Do you think that the US Attorney’s Office will continue to pursue the case against the Presidents when he leaves office?

Whenever they can. They like to make cases. Period.

Sign up to see her live at the Scarsdale Adult School on Tuesday May 21 at 7 pm at Scarsdale High School.

fair1SHS juniors spend their day at the Edgewood fair.The annual elementary school fairs were on Saturday, May 11th. Each school set up games, food, and raffles on the blacktops outside for the neighborhoods to enjoy. The Edgewood fair this year commemorated Edgewood's 100th year. Admission for the fair was free, to celebrate, and there were lots of balloons and banners around. Fox Meadow School was celebrating its 90th year, and at 1 pm there was a birthday celebration with cake for everyone at the fair. There was no shortage of smiling faces at the fairs this year, as kids and parents alike got to enjoy themselves with their communities.

Fair2People can pose with a cut-out of Edgewood's principal or "100" balloons to celebrate.

Fair3Parents sell toys at the Edgewood fair.

Fair4Kids gather on the blacktop for a cakewalk at Edgewood.

Fair5Edgewood has colorful horses decorating the fair.

Fair6Kids line up to play classic carnival games at Edgewood.

Fair7Foxes celebrate Fox Meadow's 90th anniversary.

Fair8Greenacres students help to sell treats at the fair.

Fair9Gaga at Greenacres!

Fair10Fox Meadow kids play games on the blacktop.

 ewoodfair3Kids play with the painted horses at the Edgewood fair.

ewoodfair1Left to Right: Tashia Brown (Incoming Principal), Scott Houseknecht (Retiring Principal), Heedan Chung-Goh (PTA Co-President), Susie Smith (PTA Co-President), William Yang (Assistant Principal)

shredgraphicA sparkling new exercise studio with an original workout plan has opened on Weaver Street in Scarsdale. SHRED Fitness, which employs an exercise routine inspired by skiing, is the brainchild of Caroline Levere who has come up with this novel approach to fitness boot camp and designed and built a studio to facilitate the routine.

We stopped by for an introductory class and were pleasantly surprised by Levere’s routine and the positive aura she emits. We began with a series of warm up exercises, some floor and some standing, moved into a few sets of resistance exercises using weights and the medicine ball, did some aerobics and movement and ended up slaloming downhill on the skier’s edge machine. The time went quickly and we felt that all muscle groups had been worked out. For those with worries about high impact exercise or those suffering from injuries, the plan can be quickly adapted to meet your needs.

Levere, who has an MBA and formerly worked at some top design brands, is pursuing her passion for exercise and is eager to share her novel plan with you. She’s even designed a line of SHRED fitness attire that you can find in the shop, located at Weaver Street. There’s plenty of free parking in the back.

According to Levere, “SHRED Fitness is a ski-inspired full body workout, perfect for people of all fitness abilities. Although we are a ski-shredskiersinspired studio, the workout is loved by skiers and non-skiers alike. Expect to get your heart rate up during cardio drills, improve your balance, stability, and core strength, and SHRED it up on the skier's edge! Classes are 45 minutes long, and we have three showers in the studio in case you need to shower after class.”

Receive a free introductory class when you sign up with this offer code: SDALE10583.

SHRED Fitness
1481C Weaver Street
Scarsdale, NY 10583


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