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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.

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.

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.

The School Board Nominating Committee (SBNC) election will take place on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 from 7 – 10 AM and 2 – 9 PM in the Scarsdale Middle School (SMS) Auditorium Lobby at 134 Mamaroneck Road. In the event schools are closed on Election Day, the election will be held on the earlier of (i) Wednesday, January 15, 2020, or (ii) the next day school is in session. Any Snow Date or Run-off election will be held in the SMS Auditorium Lobby at the times given above.

voteA mail-in ballot is available for those who choose not to vote in person. Mail-in ballots are available to the public in hard copy at Scarsdale Village Hall and the Scarsdale Public Library Loft at Supply Field; 244 Heathcote Road and available in electronic form on https://scarsdalesbnc.com/. Completed mail-in ballots must be sent to: SBNC Administrative Chair, PO Box 172H, Scarsdale, NY 10583 and received in the SBNC PO Box no later than 4 PM on Tuesday, January 14, 2020. Any resident of the School District may vote who is (i) a US citizen; (ii) 18 years of age or older; and (iii) a resident of the School District for 30 days prior to the election.
Residents will also vote on several proposed amendments to the SBNC Resolution. The proposed changes can be found here as well as at Village Hall and at the Scarsdale Public Library Loft.

For more information about the SBNC, please click here:

Following are the list of those running from each neighborhood along with biographies of each candidate:

EDGEWOOD
CECILIA ANON-KOWALSKI: 29 Tunstall Road
Years of Residency: 5 years
Occupation: School Psychologist
Education: Cornell University (BA - Biology and Society); Fordham University (MS Ed and Professional Diploma in Bilingual School Psychology)
Child’s age: 10, 8
Civic Activities: Edgewood PTA member and active volunteer at school functions

PREM ITHARAT: 180 Lyons Road
Years of Residency: 8 years
Occupation: Finance Advisor / Wealth Management / Entrepreneur
Education: NYU Stern School of Business (BS, MBA)
Children’s ages: 12, 7, 3
Civic Activities: 2019-Present: Co-President Edgewood PTA; Chair, Red Cross Young Patrons of Metro NY North - Westchester, Lower Hudson Valley, Greenwich; Rotarian, Greenwich Rotary; Executive Leadership Committee Member, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Light The Night - Westchester / Fairfield / Hartford; Ambassador, American Cancer Society Making Strides Fairfield Walk; President, Greenwich Young Professionals Group; Hudson River Museum Contemporaries Council Member; Co-President Elect Edgewood PTA (2018-2019)

FOX MEADOW
SWAPNA KANEKAR: 40 Crane Road
Years of Residency: 9 years
Occupation: Global Head of Tax Education: University of Pune, India (B.Com)
Children’s ages: 14
Civic activities: Treasurer Fox Meadow PTA (2014-2016)

JONATHAN LEMLE: 32 Kent Road
Years of Residency: 2 years
Occupation: Real Estate Investment
Education: Union College (BA), Columbia Business School (MBA)
Children’s ages: 5, 2
Civic Activities: Attended Scarsdale Schools K-12 (Fox Meadow); iMentor - Weekly Mentoring Program

GREENACRES
DEBORAH JEANNE SKOLNIK: 11 Oakstwain Road
Years of Residency: 18 years
Occupation: Writer/Editor Education: Cornell University (BA - English)
Children’s ages: 19, 15
Civic Activities: Advisory Board - Scarsdale Adult School, Member - Junior League

CINDY S. YAU: 29 Kingston Road
Scarsdale Years of Residency: 10 years
Occupation: Attorney
Education: Georgetown University (BS - International Relations); UC Berkeley (Master’s in Journalism), University of San Francisco (JD)
Children’s age: 14, 12
Civic Activities: SHS Volunteer, College and Career Counseling Center (2019-2020); SMS EC Committee Members/Chair of Hospitality (2019-2020); SMS Co-Chair of Multicultural Committee (2018-2019, 2019-2020), Edgewood Book Fair Committee Chair (2016-2017); Co-President and Co-President Elect, Edgewood PTA (2014-2015, 2015-2016); Edgewood Multicultural Fair and Taste Around the World (2011-2017), Edgewood Fair Registration Chair (2011-2014), Classical Café Chair (2012-2013, 2013-2014)

HEATHCOTE
CURTIS PARKER: 23 Cushman Road
Years of Residency: 4 years
Occupation: Senior Vice President, AR Global Investments
Education: University of Tulsa (BS - Finance)
Children’s ages: 9, 7, 1
Civic Activities: Heathcote PTA (2015-2019), Scarsdale District-Wide Facilities Committee (2017), Woodlawn Heights Taxpayers (Treasurer, 2012-2015)

“CLAIRE” YIN YANG: 35 Secor Road
Years of Residency: 3 years
Occupation: M&A Tax Partner at PwC
Education: Mansfield University of Pennsylvania (BS-Accounting/Information System)
Children’s ages: 8
Civic Activities: Heathcote Multicultural Committee Chair (2019-2020); Heathcote Annual Lunar New Year Assembly and Teachers’ Luncheon (2017-2019); Learning-to-Look (2018-2019); various volunteering activities at Heathcote and Scarsdale Chinese Association

QUAKER RIDGE
SUSI D’AMBRA COPLAN: 1 Black Birch Lane
Years of Residency: 8 years
Occupation: Network Distribution/Affiliate Relations - ABC Television Network Education: University of Michigan (B.A - English & Psychology)
Children’s ages: 16, 13
Civic Activities: WRT – Teen Task Force (2019-Present), Disney VoluntEAR – Supporting charitable organizations in the NYC area (2000-Present); Career Closet – Volunteer (2019-Present)

PURNIMA SRIVASTAVA: 4 Myrtledale Road
Years of Residency: 7 years
Occupation: Executive Director, JP Morgan Chase Education: University Of Delhi, Bachelor of Commerce (Hons), Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Children’s ages: 15, 14
Civic Activities: Active volunteer at various activities at QRS, SMS and SHS; India Youth Fund Volunteer; Global Finance People Agenda Volunteer

For additional information, please contact Felicia Block, SBNC Administrative Committee Chair, at f_liss@hotmail.com.

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