Tuesday, May 26th

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pumpkinsresizeAll those pumpkins and gourds that have been sitting on your front steps or that will decorate your Thanksgiving table can have another valuable use after the holidays--being turned into compost! There are several easy ways Scarsdale residents can recycle pumpkins and gourds:

-Place them in or next to your food scrap recycling bin (Need one? Email composting@scarsdale.com or register here

-Bring them directly to the Food Scrap Drop-off Site at the Recycling Center, 110 Secor Road (Please put them on or in front of the wall behind the food scrap collection bins.)

-Place them with your yard waste or leaf pile

By sending your pumpkins and gourds to be composted, you are helping nature recycle her bounty and returning nutrients to our earth.

CAC2Plastic sorted and ready for recycling.If you ever wonder whether the items that the Village picks up from our residences on recycling days or that are brought by residents to the Scarsdale Recycling Center (110 Secor Road) really get recycled, the answer is a resounding yes, they do indeed get recycled. Described below are the recycling streams provided by the Village and what happens to the items placed in those streams:

Commingled Recycling: Commingled recyclables are plastics marked 1-7, aluminum, glass, tin and cartons (e.g., milk cartons and juice boxes). The Village’s commingled recycling goes to Westchester County’s Material Recovery Facility (MRF) in Yonkers where the plastic, glass, metal and cartons are sorted according to material type, bundled and then sold to be made into new products.

Paper and Cardboard Recycling: Included in this category are regular paper (e.g., white, lined, colored, shredded and printer paper), paper envelopes, phone books, magazines, newspaper and cardboard boxes. As with commingled recycling, our paper and cardboard are brought to the Material Recovery Facility in Yonkers where they are bundled and then sold. This material goes to paper manufacturing plants and is made into new paper products.

One great thing to note: Because Westchester has dual stream recycling--where commingled recycling is picked up separately from paper and cardboard--our County has a clean recycling stream which results in greater marketability of the items in that stream. Due to its dual stream recycling, Westchester County has been able to weather the recycling market downturn. Not only does the County receive millions of dollars (over $4 million in 2018) for its recycling but also it saves millions of dollars (over $5.4 million in 2018) on the fees it would have been charged had these items been disposed of as trash.

Food Scrap Recycling: ALL food is accepted in the Scarsdale food scrap recycling program. Included are meat, dairy, fish, bones, egg shells, spoiled and cooked foods, seafood and nut shells, bread, rice, pasta and oily foods– everything! In addition to food scraps, soft paper products (napkins, paper towels, tissues and wax paper) and products made from natural fibers (e.g., paper coffee filters, tea bags, wood popsicle sticks, wood/bamboo chopsticks and wood toothpicks) can also be included. Click here for a complete list of accepted items. Food scrap recycling is taken to a composting facility where it is turned into compost which is used by landscapers, homeowners and farmers. Compost made from Scarsdale’s food scraps is available to residents during the Village’s annual Giveback Day, usually held in April.

Furniture and Household Items: Most types of furniture in good condition and not over-sized are accepted at the furniture donation shed at the Recycling Center. Some household items such as small mirrors, lamps, mattresses, working appliances and TVs are also accepted. These furnishings are donated to a Westchester County non-profit organization that provides household furnishings free of charge to economically disadvantaged Westchester individuals and families. Please check the list of accepted items here.

Household Items, Toys and Sports Equipment: This category includes any small household item, toy, garden tool, bicycle and sports equipment in usable condition as well as any electronics in working condition. The Take It or Leave It shed at the Recycling Center provides a place where residents can drop off any item in usable condition and take any item that they can use. The shed has proven to be a great success--items left there quickly find new homes. Please drop off your items at the shed, and please take items, too! For more information, click here.

Electronics: Most electronics such as TVs, computers, printers, monitors, cables and wiring can be put in the E-waste bin at the Recycling Center. Not all items with a cord are accepted, so please consult the Village’s list of accepted items here . All electronics are brought to a facility that takes them apart and separates the components, which are then recycled.

Scrap Metal Recycling: Any metal, of any size, makes up this category. Everything from nails and screws to file cabinets and CAC13000 tennis balls ready to be recycled.barbecues. Items that are mostly metal but have a few non-metal components can also be included. All metal is sold to a scrap metal recycling facility where it is recycled into new products. The metal recycling container is at the far right end of the Recycling Center.

Textiles: Included in this category are clothes, shoes (please tie them together if possible), belts, hats, towels, sheets, tote bags and handbags. Textiles are sold to a textile recycling company that sorts them by condition and resells, repurposes or recycles them. Click here for more information.

Tennis Ball Recycling: Tennis balls can be recycled at all of the Village tennis courts as well as at the Recycling Center in the provided tennis ball recycling receptacles. Balls can be in any condition. The Village ships the tennis balls free of charge to a recycling company where they are ground up and used as a subsurface for new tennis courts. This year, the Village already has sent 3,000 tennis balls to be recycled.

The Village has provided ways for our residents to truly recycle most items they use every day. So, please, reduce, reuse, recycle.

If you have any suggestions or questions regarding recycling, email Scarsdale’s Conservation Advisory Council.

freightwaysiteThe Scarsdale Board of Trustees Freightway Selection Subcommittee, which includes Mayor Marc Samwick, Trustee Justin Arest, and Trustee Jane Veron, provided an update on the Freightway project during the board’s last public meeting.

First, Mayor Samwick reiterated the justification to replace the current parking structure, which dates back to 1971. Freightway requires about $2.5 million in repairs and maintenance over the next five years, and that cost is expected to balloon to as much as $25 million over the next 15 to 20 years if Freightway remains as is. Scarsdale views redevelopment as not only necessary, but also as an opportunity to enhance the village center in a “viable and sustainable way.”

Citing the need to address changes in consumer needs, increased retail vacancy rates, and lack of vibrancy in the village center, Trustee Veron reminded the public about the board’s collaboration with village landlords, retailers, and residents to address these issues. Freightway is seen as a lynchpin of this effort. Veron said, “Many like-communities have embarked on mixed-use developments, with a significant amount of new residences built near their transportation hubs. These projects are called transit-oriented developments (TODs), and are often targeted to millennials and empty nesters. These new residents add the vitality and foot traffic needed for a flourishing local ecosystem.”

Samwick then briefly reviewed the village’s approach to the project, beginning with a visioning study conducted over three years ago, followed by requesting feedback and plans from the development community (via a request for expressions of interest, or RFEI), and issuing formal requests for proposals (RFPs).

Last month, Scarsdale received a number of responses to the RFP and currently is in the process of narrowing the proposals to two firms that will be invited to make public presentations to residents. The board, village staff, special counsel, and Scarsdale’s planning consultant (AKRF) are working to clarify specific issues and gain additional information, and expect to host the presentations in December.

Trustee Arest stated that, while the board sees the project’s potential to transform the village center and be welcomed by the community, “Any redevelopment project must provide a net community benefit. Otherwise, doing nothing is an option. It is not really doing nothing and it is not free, as there are already identified short and medium term costs associated with retaining the village’s ownership of the parking garage but, again, it is an option.”

The mayor continued, “The village owns the Freightway property, so we are in the enviable position of controlling our own destiny. As property owners, it is important to maintain our negotiating position relative to potential developers… This is why many of our recent discussions have to be in executive session. We would certainly prefer to engage in a more public dialogue. And there will be many substantial opportunities in the future for everyone to weigh in. But, while we are engaged in executive session discussions, please note that we, as your elected officials, represent the community at large and are very focused on the same things that matter to you, such as potential school, parking, fiscal and village center impacts.”

Bob Harrison (Fox Meadow Road) stated that he was concerned about the “openness” of the Freightway development process thus far. “I’m not sure, if you’re down to two candidates here, why it wasn’t open further for other presenters and other information for the community. I hope you’ll do a good job in evaluating things. It’s a tricky economy and a tricky future with the change in the tax laws.”

Bob Berg (Tisdale Road) said, “I’m very concerned with the complete secrecy with which the board is conducting its review of the three bidders… There should be no confidentiality attached to the identities of these bidders now that they’ve submitted their bids. There should be really no reason (why) their identities should not be disclosed at this time. Certainly, portions of their bids may be exempt from disclosure under FOIL, but the basic outlines of their bids that you’re reviewing are not proprietary. There’s no confidential information in a discussion of what they are proposing in terms of the mix (of) retail and the type of living arrangements – are living units going to be rentals, condos, or co-ops; how many living units does each bidder propose and in what configuration; are they going to be studios, one-bedroom, two-bedrooms, three-bedrooms, and how many of each? None of this is proprietary or sensitive.”

He added that it would be useful for residents to have information prior to the public presentations so they were prepared to ask relevant questions. “At this point, I’m fearful that we’re going to get all this information sprung on us at the last minute,” he concluded.

Mayor Samwick responded, “What we are trying to do is balance providing as much information as we can to the public as well as maintain our negotiating position… We are actually going back to at least some of the (developers), and asking for clarifications and additional information, and other things. At this point… if we’re asking people to come back with anything else, (and) they had their competitors’ information available to them, it could easily impact what we, as a village, end up with.” He later added, “We want to give you disclosure as soon as possible… but we have a fiduciary obligation to try to maintain the value of this property for the benefit of the residents… We will, as soon as possible, disclose as much as possible.”

Harrison then pressed the board on how many firms and/or presentations currently are being considered. Trustee Veron explained why the trustees would not be providing answers to specific questions. “We asked our consultants and counsel… (about) best practices to preserve our negotiating leverage, and doing what’s best for the village, and we were strongly advised that, at this point, disclosure of information would compromise our ability to make better deals for our community. We actually pressed our team, who are experts in this, to ensure that we were fully educated. We 100 percent understand what it’s like to… want information… I wish we could share, but we were guided that it was not in the best interest of the village at this time. I promise you that as soon as we possibly can we will because that’s what we want to do.”

Samwick followed by stating, “This is the most difficult part of the process for all of us. We don’t like not being able to talk about this with you... we’re doing this for our collective best interest. There will be ample opportunity for us to speak together about this. In the meantime, know that the things that matter to the community matter very much to us.”

Esannason Returns… For NowWayneWayne Essanosen
As reported earlier, Wayne Esannason, Scarsdale’s former village attorney, now is serving as acting village attorney, replacing Angela Martin. Martin has returned to her previous position as director of personnel.

Esannason already was working as a legal consultant for the village, assisting Martin during her brief tenure as village attorney, and was a logical choice to fill the position on a temporary basis. His contract runs through December 31, 2019 or until a new lawyer is appointed.

During the meeting’s public comment session, Bob Berg expressed his concerns about how the village attorney staffing issue has impacted village taxpayers. He began, “When Wayne announced his retirement… I urged that the forthcoming village attorney vacancy be advertised widely and publicly, that a thorough public search… be conducted, and that an advisory committee of resident attorneys be appointed to help screen for an appropriate, qualified replacement.”

He continued, “I’m certain the position would have attracted many qualified and experienced candidates. I was shocked, however… that without any public or advance notice, the board was going to vote… to appoint Angela Martin, then the village’s director of HR, to be the next village attorney. Ms. Martin, a recent law school graduate who had only practiced law for two years… simply lacked the relevant qualifications and experience to handle the multifaceted responsibilities of the Scarsdale village attorney job. For our village manager to recommend her as the next village attorney and to increase her salary… without conducting a public search for the most qualified candidate was pure patronage, malfeasance, and a waste of taxpayer funds.”

Berg went on to say that the costs related to Martin’s appointment and the hiring (and subsequent firing) of the individual who took her place as head of personnel were considerable, when taking into account a pay raise for Martin, and legal consulting fees spent to support Martin in the position. “The bottom line is that last year’s decision to replace Mr. Esannason with Ms. Martin… was a patently bad idea that smacked of patronage over qualifications.”

Harrison followed and said, “I’m going to endorse… Bob Berg’s comments (which) concern me as a resident taxpayer. We’re being, maybe, frivolous a bit in salary payments and how we’re handling personnel. I urge you strongly to work on that process.”

spellingbeebannerScarsdale residents are buzzing with excitement about the much-anticipated return of the Spelling Bee hosted by the Friends of the Scarsdale Library. This community event is back and will be the Friends’ primary fundraiser for 2020, supporting the Scarsdale Public Library.

Spectators of all ages will swarm to the Scarsdale High School auditorium on Friday, January 31st at 7:30 pm for a night of stellar spelling and trivia, including local celebrity emcee Ed Coleman, the radio voice of the New York Mets. Teams consisting of three people will compete in multiple rounds, and winners will receive prizes and more. Get your teams together soon because the event fills up quickly.

The registration fee is $180 for adult teams and $75 for high school-age teams. An event T-shirt and water bottle for each participant are included with registration. The deadline to enter is December 31st. Spectator admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children under 18 years old. 15 adult teams and 5 high school-age teams will complete in word-sleuthing fun. Join the fun for this centuries-old activity and prove your intellectual prowess in support of the beloved public library. Click here to register your team.

There are event sponsorship opportunities for corporate or individual donors. Click here to learn more about corporate or individual sponsorships.

This is also a perfect time to become a ‘Friend’ of the Scarsdale Library or renew your commitment to FOSL. Click here for details.

Throughout this transition period during construction of the Olmsted Road building, Friends of the Scarsdale Library continues to play a pivotal role in sponsoring popular programs such as free museum passes, children’s events, book talks, writers’ workshops and so much more. Proceeds from the Spelling Bee will go towards the enhancement of these programs. Your support is appreciated as Scarsdale Library remains a cultural and intellectual hub. Help them to keep this momentum going by joining the Friends of the Scarsdale Library at the Spelling Bee, Friday, January 31st, at 7:30pm. The snow date is scheduled for Friday, February 7th.

All links mentioned above are also available on www.scarsdalelibrary.org.

soccerseniordayThe Scarsdale’s Girls Varsity Soccer team celebrated Senior Day before their game against Mamaroneck on Saturday October 12. About the seniors, junior Ani Stefanuo, who has played on the team since her freshman year, said, “Gonna miss them.” Returning members of the team are used to the continuous change in the team line-up.

The team’s underclassmen made a personal poster for each senior on the team. In addition, the teammates created a T-shirt for each senior using spray paint and stencils. The senior’s last name and number were placed on the back while “ders” was written on the front. Friends, family and a supportive team all gathered to honor senior players: Bela George, Elizabeth Shawn, Ines Hall, Meghan Quirk, Olivia Bryant, Olivia Silberstein, Sophia Caione, Sophia Trujillo, Sophia Verelli, and Sophie Hu.


Photos by Jon Thaler: See more here

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