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Mask SignDo you have questions for the Police, Fire Department, Village or School Officials? We received several in the past few weeks and forwarded them on for a response.

This week, a reader inquired about vaccination rates of Scarsdale employees:

The reader asked,

“I was wondering whether you have seen or ever requested data on what % of public-facing Scarsdale village employees are vaccinated? Some new data from NYC shows rates are disappointingly low there (https://twitter.com/NicDawes/status/1419637561857908742), and I wonder whether the same trends hold here.

In particular, the police department, fire department, ambulance corps, and (perhaps most importantly with the school year coming up) the school district, would be critical to know. Even more important given the increasing number of cases we see in Scarsdale and the state overall.”

We forward this question to Acting Village Manager Rob Cole and here is his response:

From Rob Cole:

First, the data reported in NYC may be disproportionately low because vaccination status is HIPAA protected. Thus, reporting the known vaccinated percentage may underrepresent the total actually vaccinated, as vaccinated persons may not have disclosed that fact, causing them to appear in the data as unvaccinated (a proportion that may be better thought of as “potentially unvaccinated”).

Now, to your actual question, we do not report such information. However, we do continue to encourage our staff to protect themselves and the public by getting vaccinated. It should also be noted that we adhere to NYS and CDC guidance in that staff and members of the public who are unvaccinated (meaning they have not received their final vaccination at least two weeks ago) must still maintain social distancing and wear masks.

Have questions? Email us at scarsdalecomments@gmail.com.

 

path2Big news for bikers and walkers. The new Bronx River pathway between Scarsdale and Greenacres Avenue is now open. The path includes bridges, stonewalls, wood railings and benches and offers lovely views of the Bronx River. It is lined with plantings of perennials, ferns and shrubs.

Susan Douglass, Vice President of the Scarsdale Forum sent us these great photos and said, “We’re so happy to have the path opened, and Ben Boykin, our County Legislator, should be given credit for making this happen. The new pathway will bring more people to the village center, including cyclists and pedestrians. It’s great for everyone!”

Commenting on the opening, County Legislator Ben Boykin said, "I'm excited that the time has finally come for us celebrate the opening of the Bronx River Reservation trailway between Scarsdale and Hartsdale. The mile-and-a-half pathway features beautiful plantings, benches and a newly paved surface for residents to enjoy. Thank you to the County Parks Department for making sure this work got completed, so that the path is safe, durable and attractive. People are relying on the County's outdoor recreation facilities more than ever these days, so it's especially wonderful to have this walkway newly opened and accessible. I look forward to seeing you enjoying the trail."

The new pathway bridges the 1.6 mile gap between Scarsdale Village and Greenacres Avenue. It traverses the train tracks and roadway, extending up the west side of the parkway. Users will need to cross Hartsdale Avenue or Fenimore Road to continue up to the northern portion of the path which travels all the way to the Kensico Dam.

After many years of planning, construction of the path began in September 2019, and now almost two years later, the $6.7 million pathway is open for all to enjoy.

Thanks to Susan Douglass for these stunning photos.

 

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EllieBowenSophomore Ellie Bowen qualified for the sectionals.The Scarsdale Girls Varsity Golf team won back-to-back section titles, as the Raiders continue their dominant stretch.

After a 14-2 season with losses to Rye and North Rockland, Scarsdale won the Section 1 Title at Whippoorwill Club. Scarsdale easily defeated Rye, Wappingers, and Suffern shooting 371 compared to 407, 481 and 494 for the latter, respectively.

Scarsdale’s victory was fueled by the elite play of its juniors, including Jacqueline Lu and Skye Bruan. Both qualified for sectionals, as did Sophomore Ellie Bowen. Lu finished second with a score of 79; Bruan finished fourth with a score of 83; Bowen finished 18th with a score of 103. Lu and Bruan would have made states had it not been canceled since they finished top 9 with their individual scores. Lu lost the individual title by three strokes to Ursuline’s Sofia Nogalo and believes she can reach that goal if she can minimize small mistakes. “I was a little disappointed with how I played,” she said. “I really wanted to win the individual title but I made some stupid errors throughout the game and Sofia from Ursuline played well,” she added.

The seniors were able to make their last mark for the club, helping Scarsdale win important matches including victories vs. Edgemont and Byram Hills, which helped keep Scarsdale’s momentum into the postseason. After Covid stopped their season in 2020, the seniors were able to shine one more time before passing the torch to the younger players.

Those younger players, including freshmen Evelyn Black and Anjali Schoetz, also played key roles for the Raiders. Black and Schoetz’s clutch play helped propel Scarsdale to the Section 1 Title. “We couldn’t have done it without [them],” said Lu.

Despite having less experience due to the pandemic, the team was able to pull through and win the title. Seeing as so many of Scarsdale’s key players will be returning, it’s easy to get excited about their potential for next year. With this year’s title under their belt, the returning players can build on this experience and pass along advice to the new varsity players in 2022 and help them continue a winning culture for the Raiders.

Roster:

Emily Aaron
Catherine Drohan
Zoe Kulick
Julie Gross
Lydia Doherty
Ella Schulhof
Jenna Schwartz
Skye Bruan
Jacqueline Lu
Lindsey Adler
Ellie Bowen
Andie Farber
Leila Kerr
Molly Klein
Sydney Rossano
Danielle Scheiner
Audrey Schonfeld
Evelyn Black
Audrey Cheng
Natasha Pereira
Anjali Schoetz
Lana Weiser

floatdecoratingThese remarks were delivered by Scarsdale Village Trustee Randall Whitestone and the Arthur Manor Fourth of July Celebration

What a great parade – it’s wonderful we can all be together again. Thank you to the marchers, the Arthur Manor Neighborhood Association, and the police and fire departments for helping make this celebration happen.

As we gather, we should take a moment to think about what it means to be together on this day. For independence, and INTERdependence, go hand in hand.

This nation, this village, sprang from the beliefs of a group of fierce individualists. But those individualists knew they needed one another – and many others – to accomplish their goal of forming a new country against the opposition of the most powerful empire on earth. Individuals alone couldn’t achieve that.
The Declaration of Independence, transforming “these united colonies” into “the thirteen united States of America” was the expression of that ideal, with its authors’ intellectual passions fired by the likes of Locke, Rousseau, and New Rochelle’s own Thomas Paine.

As Paine famously wrote in his “Common Sense,” published in January 1776, “It is not in numbers, but in unity, that our great strength lies; yet our present numbers are sufficient to repel the force of all the world.”
Our nation, our community, and the world, have had an extraordinarily difficult this past year and a half. This is a period that will be viewed by future historians as a testing time, a time that has frayed communal ties and provoked doubts about our common path forward.

But in uncertain times we need each other more than ever – Scarsdale has demonstrated just that over the decades and centuries, across revolutionary and world wars and past pandemics. Ours is a village rooted in that history, and it only survived that history through the sacrifices of all the generations that came before us. In fact, it could be argued that after the troops of General Washington and British General Lord Howe marched through Scarsdale, the opening shots of the Battle of White Plains, just three months after the Declaration of Independence, were fired in Greenacres.

To be true to those roots, and to the ideals of the Declaration, we need to remain committed to common purpose, to common good, and to each other. We need to reaffirm our commitment to a sense of community.

Sixty years ago today at Boniface Circle, Scarsdale Mayor Alden C. Smith delivered a remarkable Independence Day speech. It was a speech both of its time and somewhat timeless. Six months into John F. Kennedy’s term as president, it viewed America’s role in the world through a Cold War lens, emphasizing the need for the United States to remain a beacon for emerging nations in a global competition with Communism, as expressed through the struggle for Civil Rights in the South and the Space Race.


But Mayor Smith’s words also reach across six decades to remind us why we need each other, and our common ideals, and our commitment to community.

Said the Mayor: “The ways in which we are alike and the courage of the Colonists who wrote the Declaration of Independence are fine things to talk about, but how are these things useful to us today ⎯ how can they be made into tools that will secure our present and reward our future?  … we can cite our differences, but differences have never given men unity or understanding or compassion. But, knowing the ways in which we are alike and building on them, expands our tolerance of one another and our ability to help other men.”
…Every man, woman and child should be taught our goals as a nation. In the free exchange between the electing and elected it is our duty to assure that we have proper leadership. But to do this we must learn to think in terms of greater causes and not just in terms of self and what is good or easy or comfortable.”
Mayor Smith concluded, “…on this day when we celebrate our independence ⎯ our freedom ⎯ and every American should be proud and conscious of his heritage, we should solemnly vow to pursue in our daily lives the paths which will assure that we pass on to coming generations the heritage bequeathed to us.”
Worthy words indeed.

So my appreciation again to everyone who took the time this morning to honor our nation’s independence, and who took a moment to think about how we got here and how we can best go forward together toward a brighter common future.
Thank you.

Hookah2While Trustees ponder how to handle the potential for marijuana sales within the Village of Scarsdale, Hartsdale has recently become home to a new hookah and vape shop, or as we called it in the old days, a head shop.

The new store has opened at 205 East Hartsdale Avenue, smack in the middle of a shopping strip that is frequented by families and children and senior citizens. Along with a refrigerator full of cold drinks and shelves lined with snacks, the store features a large display case of hookah pipes and supplies, cigarettes of every brand, electric cigarettes, vape pens and vape juice. What else? There are CBD gummies, hemp and a full case of cigars. If it is legal to smoke it, you’ll find it here.

The front window is lined with bongs and it is called “Hartsdale Tobacco and Candy,” sending mixed messages to kids. The store is the owner’s second location, with the first located in the Bronx.

In 2019 Scarsdale revised their Village Code to control the location of similar shops. The code prevents the sale of ENDS (e-cigarettes) within 1,000 feet of schools, nursery schools, daycare centers, houses of worship, playgrounds, parks and libraries. However, this code would not prevent the opening of a tobacco, hookah shop or marijuana dispensaries in some retail locations along Scarsdale Avenue, including Garth Road and Wilmot Road.

In the meantime, Fox Meadow and Greenacres residents who frequent Hartsdale reacted to the opening of the new smoke shop. One Greenacres mother pointed out that Hartsdale was the first place she permitted her tweens to walk to alone, and she was concerned that this shop was inappropriate. She worried about the type of clientele it might attract and the fact that it’s open late at night. She feared that ultimately a store like this could “destroy the neighborhood.”

A long time Greenacres resident was equally as critical of the decision to open the shop. She said, “The opposite of charming and inviting. ecigarettesHartsdale, with its limited and uninteresting range of retail shops, has always had trouble attracting foot traffic. This will help perpetuate that status quo and might serve to repel the suburban family set.”

When she saw the shop, Andrea Seiden said “I am shocked. It's so jarring to see alluring hookah pipes next to a pizza shop in a small town that has worked so hard to revitalize itself and offer good restaurant options for families.

Another resident acknowledged the challenges of filling retail sites in our towns. Conincidentally, this week Chase Bank announced that they will close their Hartsdale branch. Pointing at an empty storefront he said, “would you rather have a vacancy or a smoke shop?”

Commenting at a Village Board work session on the sale of cannabis in Scarsdale, Andrew Sereysky said “the cat is out of the bag.” Marijuana will be available in White Plains and New Rochelle, a smoke shop has already opened in Hartsdale and this is really a revenue call. We could be looking at $750,000 a year (from sales tax.)” Wendel Gendel from the Scarsdale Drug and Alcohol Task Force also commented at the work session, highlighting the risks these shops pose for local teens.

What do you think about the presence of this new retailer and how would you feel about a similar shop opening in Scarsdale?

Share your thoughts in the comments section below or email us at scarsdalecomments@gmail.com and we will add your thoughts to this article.

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