Friday, May 24th

paulinredAssemblywoman Amy Paulin (D-88) reports that the 2011 legislative session was for her, one of the most successful. Working in a bipartisan manner, Paulin was able to get many of her bill’s passed and she ranked fourth out of 150 in the number of her bills that passed both the State Assembly and State Senate. To date, Governor Cuomo has signed thirteen of her bills into law.

As a result, Paulin was named Chair of the Assembly’s Committee on Children and Families. Paulin’s 2011 bills reflect her new leadership role and her advocacy for students, seniors, and vulnerable populations. Some of Paulin’s bills that were signed into law this session include:

Adult Protective Services Record Sharing

The death earlier this year of 23-year old Laura Cummings, a mentally disabled woman who was held captive, tortured and brutalized by her own mother and half-brother, brought to light the tragic consequences that can occur when one state agency lacks access to critical information possessed by another state agency. Paulin’s law (Ch. 440 of 2011) will give adult protective services access to child protective services records to better enable them to determine whether a person is in need of adult protective services.

SUNY Purchase

Legislation was passed to allow SUNY Purchase to lease unused land on its campus to create a senior learning community. As many as 385 units may be constructed and 20% of the units will be designated affordable housing. Westchester County residents will be given priority for half of those units. 75% of the revenues generated by the lease will fund financial aid to qualified students while the remaining 25% will support the addition of full-time faculty positions at the university.

Early Intervention

Paulin’s bill gives counties a measure of critically needed mandate relief. Although state law requires commercial health insurers to contribute to the cost of early intervention services provided to children covered under their policies, private insurers pay only 2% of costs of the $654 million early intervention program. The failure by insurers to pay their share of the costs of early intervention services has placed an increasingly undue burden on municipalities. With this new law, municipalities will be better equipped to improve efficiencies in seeking reimbursement from insurers.

Immunizations

Paulin wrote a new law (Ch. 316 of 2011) that extends the law she authored that allows licensed pharmacists to administer flu and pneumonia shots to adults. Without this extension, adults would not be able to obtain flu and pneumonia shots in pharmacies or at other community facilities. Prior to the law, between 5,000 and 7,500 New Yorkers died annually from these diseases, and more than 75,000 treated in hospitals for flu-like symptoms. With the law, more than one million shots were administered in the past year. By allowing pharmacists to administer these vaccinations, the State will make healthcare more accessible to all New Yorkers and be better able to respond to a future flu pandemic.

Constituents can keep up with news and announcements on Paulin’s official Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/assemblywomanpaulin and follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/amypaulin .

 

 

 

talesfromthesausage_copyDr. Gerald Benjamin and Daniel L. Feldman will discuss “Tapping the Potential of the New York State Legislature” at the League of Women Voters of Scarsdale’s Food for Thought Luncheon at Scarsdale Golf Club on Friday, October 21. Members of the community are invited to attend. Dr. Benjamin and Mr. Feldman are the co-authors of Tales from the Sausage Factory: Making Laws in New York State, which has been hailed as a must-read for anyone interested in the workings of state government. Dr. Gerald Benjamin, SUNY Distinguished Professor of Political Science, has written extensively on state and local government and been involved in numerous efforts to reform both. He also served as an elected official in Ulster County for a dozen years. Daniel L. Feldman is Associate Professor of Public Management at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. As a member of the New York State Legislature from 1981 through 1998, Feldman wrote more than 140 laws including New York’s Megan’s Law

The luncheon will begin at 11:45 am. To RSVP, call Anne Lyons at 725-9810. The cost is $40 per person ($45 after October 10) and is payable in advance or at the door. To pay in advance, make your check payable to League of Women Voters of Scarsdale and mail to Anne Lyons, 82 Greenacres Avenue, Scarsdale 10583.

On Wednesday October 19th at 7:30 pm, the LWV of Scarsdale will sponsor a Candidate Forum in the Scott Room at the Scarsdale Public Library. Participants will be the candidates for the 5th District of the Westchester County Board of Legislators, Dr. Iris Pagan and William J. Ryan.

Ryan, who is a Democrat is the past President of the County Board of Legislators. He is now serving his seventh term and is running for ryanre-election in November. Republican candidate, Dr. Iris Pagan is challenging Ryan for his seat. She is a White Plains resident and a teacher and served as the treasurer and president of the Westchester County Women’s Republican Club. She is a graduate of Columbia Teacher’s College and Pace University.

The public is invited and encouraged to attend. After the candidates speak there will be a question and answer period. For more information, contact Deb Morel at 723-7364 or DEBMOREL1@aol.com.

pagan

 

questionmarkSpeculation continues about who will be the next principal at Edgemont High School when Dr. Barry Friedman steps down next summer. Superintendent Nancy Taddiken will present her recommendations at the next Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, October 11th but many were eager to share their ideas on how to select the next principal.

One parent I spoke to expressed his strong feelings that the school should not solely look internally at possible candidates but should conduct a nationwide search. Given the poor economy and nationwide district layoffs he felt there may be many qualified candidates available to run the school next year. When asked about the possibility of promoting from within he agreed that there could also be qualified internal candidates but believed that should not stop a nationwide search. He felt that both internal and outside candidates' resumes should be screened by a committee of administrators, teachers, and parents, and the top candidates should be interviewed. "Perhaps an internal candidate will be chosen in the end or perhaps a candidate from the outside will be chosen, the important thing is to do a proper search for the best person to fill Dr. Friedman's position."

Other parents felt that it would be better to promote from within to maintain the school district culture that they know and love. Selecting an internal candidate also promotes good feelings among the staff. One parent said "Students feel more comfortable with the administrators that they already know." Years ago, when popular Social Studies teacher, Mr. Tim Hoss was promoted to assistant principal of the junior high, students felt very comfortable going to speak to him since he was well known and respected among the student population. (Mr. Hoss has since left the school district and is now principal at a school close to his home in Long Island.) It is a great benefit to the district that Dr. Friedman has announced his retirement nearly a year in advance so that the school district has plenty of time to choose the best candidate and perhaps even bring someone in during Dr. Friedman's last few months at EHS to learn the ropes from him.

Some of these questions will be answered when Ms. Taddiken presents her recommendations on October 11th. Attendance at Board of Ed meetings has been low and important decisions are made without much feedback from parents and the community.

Now that the New York State property tax cap has been enacted and administrative changes are under consideration at the high school, community input is more important than ever. In order to comply with the cap, budget cuts will likely be necessary, as the unfunded mandates alone will consume most of the two percent increase. At their November 8th meeting, the Board of Education plans to discuss possible structural changes to the schools as well as the property tax cap. The budget planning calendar will be discussed at the November 22nd meeting. The full BOE meeting calendar and Superintendent Report Topics can be found here:

Parents and community members can also attend the PTSA Parent Forum on Wednesday, October 19th at 9 am in the Edgemont High School library. The Forum will give everyone another opportunity to hear the succession plan discussed by Ms. Taddiken and Dr. Friedman and meet new Guidance Counselor Lauren Moore.

 

emptynestScarsdale Edgemont Family Counseling Service is pleased to announce the formation of a six session discussion group called When the Empty Nest Empties (Well Almost), for parents of teens who are in college. Groups will be offered in the evenings and will meet at the Harwood Building.

Topics will include:

  • Tips for a smooth transition
  • How to prepare your young adult child for the challenges ahead
  • Changing family dynamics
  • The first time home as a college student
  • How to remain involved, but not become a “helicopter parent”

Groups are led by youth outreach and SFCS staff members and the fee will be $275 for the series. Please call SFCS at 723-3281 or email Lauren Pomerantz at lpomerantz@scarsdaleschools.org if you are interested.

brokenwindowThere was a burglary at a Windmill Road home sometime between September 24 at 6:45 pm and 9/25 at 1 pm. The homeowners were away and their 13 year-old daughter was staying with neighbors. When the daughter went to the house the following day she found that someone had gotten into the house through a rear window. The suspects went upstairs to the master bedroom forced open a locked closet door and removed an unknown quantity of jewelry. A second locked closet was also forced open and more jewelry was stolen. A dresser was rummaged through and jewelry was taken from there as well. On the first floor the vandals broken into a china cabinet and left an open cigar box on the floor. They left through a sliding glass door in the dining room.

An employee of La Rennaissance Bakery in Scarsdale said his wallet was stolen while he was at work on September 19. The wallet was in a book bag in the office basement of the bakery and contained $200 and three credit cards.

Arrest: Police stopped a White Plains driver on Walworth Avenue at 5:45 pm on September 19 because they noticed that the Honda Accord he was driving only had a rear license pate. When they checked the plate number, they found it was registered for a 1988 Mazda. The registration sticker on the car was also expired.

The driver of the car identified himself as Mikeel D. Miller age 22 of White Plains, but had no identification on him. He claimed he had just purchased the car and had a title but no other paperwork. In addition, police found that Miller’s driver’s license was suspended for failure to answer a summons from White Plains police.

Police had the man’s car towed and impounded. Miller and his passenger were taken to police headquarters where Miller was charged with driving without a license, driving an uninspected and unregistered vehicle, operating a car without insurance and driving with unregistered plates.

Accident: A Crossway man hit a small deer that ran in front of his car when he was driving on Heathcote Road around 7 pm on 9/23.

Media Alert: The Scarsdale Fire Department called police on the afternoon of 9/23 when a news crew from Channel 5 was interfering with the fire department’s work at the house. The news crew was inside the house and had disregarded a fire department order to stay outside. Water had flooded the basement of a Forest Lane home and Con Edison was working in the area to shut off the power. Whe police arrived, the news crew was packing up.

Fraud: A 26 year-old Crest Lane man was the victim of fraud when he applied for a teaching job in the U.K. He received a contract for a teaching job in Manchester England around September 1 and was instructed to place 800 pounds in a Western Union account. He was told that he needed to forward the funds so that he would not be a liability when he arrived for the job. He later learned that the funds had been removed from his account in Liverpool by an unknown party and advised Western Union of the fraud.

Unwanted Phone Calls: On 9/22 a Popham Road woman reported that she had received two prank calls claiming that she was under investigation for fraud and other offences and requesting that she sign an affadavit. The second caller said she would be arrested. The callers had heavy foreign accents.

On 9/21, a 42 year-old Secor Road woman reported that she is receiving repeated unwanted phone calls from an ex-boyfriend who wants to get back together with her. She said that they broke up in June, he continued to call her in July and August and continues to bother her.

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