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LibraryentryGlassed entry with seating and a cafe.I am sure many of you have noticed that the new Scarsdale Library appears to be open but sadly not open to the public. After years of planning, fundraising and construction, the project, which was almost a decade in the making, is finally a reality. The staff has moved from their temporary quarters at the Loft, books are on the shelves, an appealing café is on site and everything is ready for the day the virus permits the library to open its doors safely.

The opening of the library should be the focus of community pride and celebration. Supporters of the renovation launched nothing short of a Herculean effort to reach this day, overcoming some nay sayers and huge financial obstacles to build the library we, as a community, envisioned for the Scarsdale of the future. Along the way, some argued that libraries and printed materials were becoming obsolete, others said that the Village’s stressed finances could not afford a costly overhaul, some objected to losing Scarsdale’s historic library and others feared that their taxes would go up.

However, a ground swell of community support moved the project forward as many saw the libraries our neighboring communities had built in recent years and wanted the same for Scarsdale. Residents began to imagine what a 21st century library could mean for our community. A committed group of members of the Library Board, the SPL Capital Campaign Committee, Friends of the Library, the Building Committee and the talented and visionary Library Director, Beth Bermel, persisted, and managed to overcome all roadblocks in their path.librarybookcasesBack lit bookcases highlight new titles.

Tasked with raising $7.5 million to supplement funds from the Village, the Library’s Campaign Committee exceeded their goal, raising more than an impressive $8 million, through over 500 individual contributions and fundraising events. Their efforts and determination are visible throughout in a library that surprises and delights at every turn. Even those who did not originally support the plan are bound to be amazed and enjoy Scarsdale’s new jewel.

Anxious to see what’s inside, I asked Beth Bermel for a tour and was lucky to spend my snow day on a walk-through of this dazzling new facility. I was blown away by what I saw. In short, it is stunning. Every vista pleases the eye, the light, bright spaces beckon and wherever you turn it is evident that years of thought and analysis went into creating a most inviting community intellectual and cultural hub.

Since the outer walls of the original library remain, the old stone walls have been integrated into the new spaces. This design gives a sense of the old mixed with the new, honoring the history and tradition housed in the original building while becoming a state-of-the-art facility. Another feature of the design is flexibility. Walls can be opened or closed, and furniture can be moved and rearranged to allow for multi-purpose use of this large indoor space. And it is large. In fact the interior space has grown by 10,000 square feet, resulting in a 27,638 square foot library, one third bigger than the original.

To start at the front door, the library has been expanded in the front with a glass entry gallery where you’ll find the café and spacious seating. From this gallery, you can see right through the Main Reading Room out to the greenery and Library Pond. Unlike the old library, which was dark and cramped, the space is now bright and open. The old mezzanine was removed allowing for light to pour in through the storied windows and one can appreciate the double height ceiling.

Also added to the front portion of the library are two new dividable multi-purpose rooms which can be used for library events and community meetings. These two rooms are in addition to the Scott Room which has been remodeled and can accommodate large groups. A new kitchen has been added to allow food to be served to attendees. These spaces are sure to be in demand and fill a community-wide need for meeting rooms.

readingroomThe main reading room is bathed in natural light.As you enter the Main Reading Room, you’ll find a wall of back-lit bookcases where new books are on display and large tables with wheels for frequently borrowed books. These tables can be moved if the space is needed for an event. Additionally, there is a glass diving wall at the front of the Main Reading Room that can be closed to allow for the front of the library to remain open for events when the library is closed.

Everywhere you look are long tables, each with their own power source, to accommodate users and their devices. The room is flanked by four study rooms for group projects and smaller team meetings. Even the carrels have been upgraded and are modern and sleek.

One of the most alluring spaces is the glass wrapped Reading Gallery that overlooks the pond. Comfy and stylish blue chairs await Scarsdale readers.

Teens have their own space for their collection of young adult books and large cushy chairs which are sure to teenroomInviting chairs in the teen the envy of Scarsdale students. The Children’s Wing is a dream. The space has been expanded. There’s lovely carpeting, lots of light and room to roam. It’s easy to imagine story hour in this child-friendly space. The iconic window seat remains as does the barrel-vaulted ceiling. And as if that weren’t enough, the Children’s Wing also includes a large children’s program room so the Children’s Department can hold many classes a day where kids can participate in crafts, build, learn and create.childrensroomRoom to roam and explore in the expanded Children's Department.

Another “aha” moment came when I entered the new Quiet Reading Room, the old reference room. Though it still includes the fireplace from the original library, you won’t recognize much more. It is a long shelf lined room, with space for reference materials, archives, newspapers and maps, ending in a bay window with four large red wing chairs. There will also be exhibits displaying local history when the library reopens.

QuietRoomRed wing chairs in the quiet reading room.As if all this was not enough, the library also includes a “home office” where there will be copiers and other resources as well as a technology center with several computers where free classes will be offered and open access to anyone needing a computer.

A wonderful new café, run by Apiary of Larchmont awaits anyone looking for a cup of coffee or a delicious meal. The café is already open for curbside pick-up. You can order coffee, snacks, breakfast and lunch. Call them at 914-713-8674 to order wraps, panini, salads and more. You can check out the menu here

Kudos to Daniel Heuberger, who led the team at Dattner Architects, on both the architectural work and the interiors.

Until the library can open, you can reserve books and materials on the library website for curbside pick-up and peek through the windows to see the stunning interior. You can also stroll the grounds to see part of the Friends of the Scarsdale Library-sponsored art exhibit “Hindsight is 2020” displaying art by local Scarsdale artists. The remainder of the exhibit will be installed inside the building in early 2021 and will be available throughout the year for patrons to enjoy when the building opens.

This new library will be a game changer for everyone who is lucky enough to live here. I can’t wait for this crisis to pass so that we can all enjoy this long-awaited community treasure. And looking into a crystal ball for Scarsdale, I hope that the realization of the library will help residents to embrace change and appreciate what the future can hold if we all work together to build a better Village.

SMG1As the virus spreads, it becomes more and more difficult to get a COVID test. People need test results to exit a quarantine, return to work or school or to visit family and it feels like the tests are in short supply. With long lines at many testing centers, you might prefer to try to get an appointment in advance before waiting in the cold.

The White Plains Public Library posted this excellent list of local testing sites with details about what kinds of tests they offer, hours, contact information and instructions on how to schedule your test. Thanks to the library for allowing us to repost this vital information. Visit their website here:

CityMD White Plains Urgent Care
Urgent Care Clinic
222 Mamaroneck Avenue, White Plains
(914) 401-4282
Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday, 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
CityMD is currently offering three forms of COVID-19 testing at all locations:
Rapid testing
PCR testing
Serum Antibody IgG testing
COVID-19 testing is walk-in only.
“Due to increased testing demand, once a location is closed we will not be able to add any new patients to the line, but will attempt to see everyone in line at that point. In some special cases, we may need to cut the line off earlier than closing time, so please plan your visit accordingly.”

CVS Health COVID-19 Drive Thru Testing Site 
By Appointment Only Drive-thru
270 Halstead Avenue #278, Harrison, NY 10528
(866) 389-2727
Monday-Sunday 10:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Non-Rapid Testing Results in 6-10 Days
Appointment Required
Screening Required
Restrictions Apply
Testing Available for Children 12+ Years Old
CVS Health COVID-19 drive thru test locations are by appointment only, patients must register at

Formation Health Rapid Testing
Drive-thru or Walk up
2975 Westchester Avenue, Harrison, NY 10577
(914) 688-1288
Monday-Sunday 8:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
Rapid Testing Results in 15 Minutes
Appointment Required
Screening Required

Forme Medical Center & Urgent Care in White Plains Clinic
7-11 S Broadway, White Plains, NY 10601
(914) 723-4900
Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday, 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Non-Rapid Testing Results in 3 Days
Screening Required
Antibody Testing: Available

GoHealth Urgent Care- Tarrytown
Urgent Care Clinic
650 White Plains Road, Tarrytown, NY 10591
(914) 266-3102
Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
Saturday 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Sunday-closed
Non-Rapid Testing Results in 7-14 Days
Screening Required
Restrictions Apply
Antibody Testing: Available
Schedule a virtual visit or check-in online

Montefiore Medical Center – Tarrytown Outreach Site 1
555 South Broadway, Tarrytown, NY 10591
(800) 636-6683
Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday-Closed
Appointment Required
Screening Required
Restrictions Apply
APPOINTMENT IS REQUIRED. Individuals who would like to be tested must make an appointment by calling NYS COVID-19 Hotline 888-364-3065. NO WALK-INS allowed. All patients must remain in the vehicle.

Scarsdale Medical Group
259 Heathcote Road, Scarsdale, NY 10583
(914) 723-8100
Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday closed
Appointment Required
Physician Order Required
Screening Required
Restrictions Apply
Antibody Testing: Available
In order to prepare in advance for your safety, walk-ins will not be accepted. All appointments must be scheduled by calling (914) 723-8100.

SOMOS: Little Ones Pediatrics
280 Mamaroneck ave Suite 312, White Plains, NY 10605
(914) 934-8415
Wednesday Only, 2:00-5:00 p.m. by appointment only
Pediatrics patients. Antibody testing only. Go to the website for an assessment & appointment. Virtual screening.
Antibody testing

Urgent Care Of Westchester
155 White Plains Road, Suite 210, Tarrytown, NY 10591
(914) 372-7171
Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Rapid Testing Results in 24 Hours
Non-Rapid Testing Results in 2-5 Days
Appointment Required
Screening Required
Antibody Testing: Available
Virtual screening is required with onsite providers. Your appointment will be scheduled, bring photo ID, wear a mask, and stay in vehicle. Call front desk when you arrive. They will come out to collect test.

Armonk Urgent Care
99 Business Park Drive. Armonk, NY 10504
(914) 849-7999
Monday-Friday, 1:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Asymptomatic patients will be tested via a tent outside.

Westchester Medical Center – Drive-Thru
Hospital and Drive-thru
100 Woods Rd, Valhalla, NY 10595
(914) 202-4530
Monday-Sunday 8:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
Non-Rapid Testing Results in 5 Days
Appointment Required
Screening Required
Restrictions Apply
Antibody Testing: Available
APPOINTMENT IS REQUIRED. Individuals who would like to be tested must make an appointment by calling NYS COVID-19 Hotline 888-364-3065. NO WALK-INS allowed. All patients must remain in the vehicle.

Westmed Medical Group
210 Westchester Avenue
White Plains, NY 10604
(914) 682-0700
Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
COVID-19 testing available for symptomatic patients or patients with direct exposure only.

White Plains Hospital-Emergency Department
General Hospital
White Plains, NY
(914) 681-0600
COVID-19 testing center
Opened 24 Hours
Appointment not required
Referral not required
Tests limited to certain patients

White Plains VA Clinic
Medical clinic
23 S Broadway, White Plains, NY 10601
(914) 421-1951
COVID-19 testing center
Appointment required
Referral required
Tests limited to certain patients
Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday closed

In addition to the locations above, you can search for other nearby testing sites on the NYS COVID website.

covidmap11 16In response to rising COVID-19 infection rates in Westchester, County Executive George Latimer announced that he will now hold bi-weekly briefings. He said, “We are facing a second wave.” The number of active cases in Westchester has doubled over the past two weeks with 3,515 cases as of November 16 in Westchester.

He said, the positive rate was now between 3-4% and is “heading straight up.” And more people are becoming seriously ill as well. Latimer said that on November 16 there were 121 people in the hospital with COVID as compare to 47 two weeks ago. 17 people passed away in the past two weeks.

Even in Scarsdale, where the number of active cases fluctuated between 5 and 10 for many months, the map now shows 25 active cases.

According to Scarsdale Schools Superintendent Thomas Hagerman, as of November 16, the district has had 13 active cases this school year and 120 students and 22 staff members are now in quarantine. The school reports that these cases were due to community spread or contact from sports.

Latimer reported that Port Chester which was declared a Yellow Zone by the state last week, has now been declared an Orange Zone, further restricting activity and local business. Though schools remain open, there is a mandate to test sample groups of students and teachers each week to monitor the spread. Gatherings are limited to only 10 people indoors or outdoors and there is no longer indoor dining in restaurants.

The County Executive lost his patience with those who refused to comply with recommendations to wear masks and social distance, saying that these measures are required to save lives. As to those who complain about limitations on attendance at Houses of Worship, Latimer said, “These rules are not intended to limit freedom of religion – but to safeguard the community. Sacrifices are necessary to save lives. These restrictions are required so that we don’t lose any more people.”

In order to share information about the virus with populations that may not be aware of the risks, the county is going door to door with messaging, making robo calls and has produced a public service video. All communications are being produced in Spanish and English so that everyone can be informed.

Latimer also called for parents to understand that hybrid learning is the safest option for students and teachers. He said he has a weekly call with 40 county school superintendents and made the following statement emphasizing his support for hybrid learning models:

“As the identified rate of COVID-19 infection within Westchester County rises, we know that this creates significant challenges in our communities. School districts operating in a hybrid model, with six-foot social distancing protocols in place, are enabling students to engage in in-person learning within the school facility environment. The goal of the schools is to serve as many young people in their facilities, daily, as possible. We are also aware of the desire for some parents to have schools return to full, in person learning and bring all students back to school buildings. Unfortunately, with the rising cases of COVID-19 in our County, this is not possible at this time. Bringing more individuals into school buildings increases the density in schools and presents the possibility of significant risk of COVID-19 spread to students, staff and further risks community spread. Our health/safety protocols are working to reduce spread within our schools. Sacrificing six-foot social distancing seriously reduces the school’s ability to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The County has been working closely with local school superintendents to support the safety and mitigation efforts in our schools and communities and fully supports the hybrid models in our schools.”

Bus at Scarsdale 2(Updated) MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan reported that the MTA is investigating a bus crash at 8:26 am on Monday November 23 at Scarsdale Train Station. A Westchester County Bee-Line bus carrying no passengers struck and became wedged in the weather-protection overhang in the passenger drop-off area at the Scarsdale Metro-North station. The MTA Police are investigating the cause of the collision.

Metro-North Railroad personnel inspected the station and found it was undamaged. They reported no impact to train service. The bus driver sustained only minor injuries.

Later in the afternoon, Scarsdale Fire Chief Jim Seymour reported that the Scarsdale Fire Department was dispatched to 1 Depot Place just after 8:30 am. They found a Bee-Line bus that struck the Scarsdale Training Station building. The bus was unoccupied at the time other than the driver/operator. Crews were able to remove the driver/operator through an emergency window and she was evaluated by Scarsdale Ambulance Corps at the scene. Scarsdale Fire, assisted by the Fairview, Greenville and Hartsdale Fire Departments, installed temporary shoring to ensure structural stability in order for the bus to be removed. Also on location were units from the Scarsdale Police Department, the MTA Police and Fire Departments and members of the MTA Building Structures Division. The bus was removed without further incident or injury following an approximate two-hour operation.

Bus at ScarsdalePhoto Credit: MTATrain Station copyPhoto Credit: Scarsdale Fire Department

LatimerPressConferenceThough the number of active infections in the Scarsdale Schools remains low, there are signs that COVID is on the uptick in Westchester County.

As of November 5, the NYS Department of Health reports 1 positive student at Fox Meadow Elementary School, 1 positive staff member at Edgewood Elementary School, and 4 students and 1 staff member positive at Scarsdale High School for a total of 7 cases district wide. However here were additional reports from the school district since November 5, so that case count may be higher.

According to the district, over 100 students are currently quarantined due to exposure to those who are positive, primarily from contacts outside school.

According to Westchester County, as of November 9 there were a total of 10 active cases in Scarsdale.

But countywide, the numbers are far more concerning. As of Monday November 9, County Executive George Latimer reported rising infections, hospitalizations and fatalities and announced that a “yellow zone” had been declared in Port Chester and parts of Rye Brook. Latimer said, we are “seeing a steady increase in the virus.”

Here are the numbers:

-Year to date there are 42,179 cases in Westchester County.

-There are currently 2,048 active cases of COVID in the county. This is dramatically higher than the summer months when, on August 8, there were only 442 active cases, almost one fifth of the current count.

On November 8, 6,606, people were tested and 225 came back positive – a 3.4% rate of infection, while on August 8 the infection rate was only 1.1%.

Year to date, there were a total of 908,000 tests given in the county, a count that does include multiple tests for some people.

As of November 6, 82 people were hospitalized as compared to 48 on November 1. The number of hospitalizations has doubled in just one week. Latimer said, “The trend line is moving in the wrong direction.”

In terms of deaths, Latimer reported “We have lost 1 person a day for the last 3 days. … But we only lost 7 people in July and only 4 people in August. In the month of October, 20 people passed away.”

Latimer concluded that more people are testing positive at a higher percentage though we have not reached the crisis levels experienced in March and April. He said, “The trend lines are concerning.”COVIDMapNovember9

He urged residents to wear masks and practice social distancing until a vaccine is available. He noted that colder weather would bring more indoor activities and the potential for the virus to spread further.

Latimer also discussed the Governor’s decision to declare a yellow zone in the Village of Port Chester and a portion of the Village of Rye Brook. According to Latimer, “The yellow zone designation is not a shutdown. It is a cautionary note to slow down due to an increase in the infection rate.

Here is what a yellow zone means as defined by Governor Cuomo:

-There is a limit of four people to a table at restaurants.
-Outside events are limited to 25 rather than 50 people.
-There are restrictions on the number of people who can attend services at houses of worship.

Latimer noted that Portchester borders Connecticut where there is also a rise in the infection rate. He said that rapid COVID testing has been ramped up in Port Chester to identify those who are positive before they spread the disease.

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