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covidmap12 7It was another big week for the spread of COVID in Westchester and statewide, according to briefings from both Governor Andrew Cuomo and Westchester County Executive George Latimer.

As of December 7, Latimer reported 7,830 active cases in the county, up from 5,764 a week ago and more than double the count of 3,480 three weeks ago. He said the active case count had not been this high since April 28 when there were 8,000 active cases.

The Governor is keeping his eye on hospitalizations and Latimer estimated that about 300 are in the hospital with COVID at this time. With 3,000 hospital beds in the county, there is currently available capacity. He reported that hospitalizations are growing at 15-20 per day and we are losing about two people per night.

Latimer noted that since all civic activities have stopped but the virus is still spreading it is an indication that it is spreading in private settings. Governor Cuomo said, “We’re closely monitoring hospital capacity and have implemented triggers to ensure hospitals have what they need. The light at the end of the tunnel is the vaccine, and one is coming, but until then we must be disciplined. Public health experts agree households and private gatherings are a major driver of transmission right now, demonstrating once again that it is our actions that determine the infection rate. We know what works: wear a mask, avoid indoor gatherings, and socially distance, and the local governments must do enforcement. We will win this war but it will take vigilance and everyone working together.”

The Governor has directed all hospitals to increase their bed capacity by 25% and called on retired doctors and nurses to return to service.

As of now, Cuomo has not declared any new yellow or orange zones in Westchester. They remain as they were last week with the following areas zoned due to their positivity rates:

Peekskill – yellow – 10.59% rolling average
Ossining – yellow – 8.68%
Tarrytown/Sleepy Hollow – yellow – 5.7%
Yonkers – yellow – 5.76%
New Rochelle – yellow – 5.94%

Port Chester – orange – 11.42%

See more data here

Also note as of December 7, the number of active cases in Scarsdale has climbed to 67, up 24 cases from December 1, 2020.

CovidMap12 1
Unfortunately, predictions about a post-Thanksgiving surge in COVID cases are turning out to be accurate. At a briefing on November 30, 2020, County Executive George Latimer reported that the prior days numbers continue to show a sharp increase in the rate of infection. As of November 30, there were 6,117 active cases in Westchester, up more than 1,300 from the prior week’s count of 4,800 active cases. Two weeks ago, the active case count was 3,515 so the county has seen a 74% increase in active cases in just 14 days.

The number of active cases is alarming as is the infection rate which Latimer reported was 5.6% for the last 24 hours. The infection rate for the two prior days was 4.7% and 5.0%.

Hospitalizations are on the rise as well, but so far the number of cases can be accommodated by Westchester’s hospitals. As of Monday 244 were in the hospital with COVID as compared to 168 a week ago and 121 two weeks ago.

And finally 15 people passed away last week, and in the last two weeks, the county lost a total of 25 people.

Latimer said he had spoken to the Governor whose priorities are to:

-Manage hospitalizations and staffing.

-Make sure we have testing – especially for school students and staff.

-Stop the spread of the virus at fall gatherings.

He commented that the county has already shutdown sports, gatherings, meetings and public events and therefore it is up to individuals to stop the spread. Latimer noted that there was no change in designated yellow and orange zones since last week.

Finally as of December 1, the case count in Scarsdale had risen to 43, an all-time high.

RainThe Girls Varsity A Soccer team celebrates a 4-2 victory against North Rockland in the pouring rain. Girls Varsity Soccer has risen back to the top after last season ended abruptly with a loss against Suffern in the first playoff game. The 2020 team is made up of returning players and rising stars, all of whom have the mentality that losing is not an option.

COVID-19 may have delayed the path to victory, but it was just another obstacle this team has overcome. As Coach Mindy Genovese said, “Playing during a pandemic makes us all appreciate the sport and being able to come together to be a part of a team to focus on something positive. We play like it’s our last game or practice because it very well could and this has elevated our level of intensity during every training session and game.” For safety precautions, cohorts were created and the team was separated into specific groups during practices. However, Coach Genovese said that once the “cohorts were able to join forces, we were able to incorporate more drills that involved closer physical play, but continued to distance during any breaks or while waiting in lines to participate in drills.”

headerSenior Sasha Fischer, #11, goes for a header.

Being a captain of a team is not always easy, but it certainly can be rewarding. During this time, the captains have had to adapt to the circumstances while still being effective leaders. Captain Victoria Von Redden comments “When I was first elected captain, I talked to my previous captain on what I could do to make this year memorable and this team amazing. Unfortunately, a lot of their advice is not usable for me since the pandemic ruined so many of the teams off field traditions. But I must say, even though it’s been challenging, being able to have this season during this time feels like a gift.”
This team has certainly proved that- in these unprecedented times- a united group can face a world of adversity. Coach Mindy Genovese recognizes that despite the minimal time given to prepare for the season, “the dynamic between our upperclassmen and rookies has been amazing.” She notes that the seniors on the team “have stepped up to help lead and guide [the] newest members from the start, especially the captains (Anastasia Stefanou, Victoria Von Redden, and Emily Yacob).”TagTeamThe tag team Alessia Schettino, #20, and Lola Tirabassi, #13.

The team has welcomed 10 newbies, adding to the 14 returning players. This group puts the “team” in “teamwork.” Captain Victoria Von Redden explains that “our team tries to incorporate all players of the team into our plays [because] relying too much on one player and not really connecting with your teammates isn’t an efficient strategy.”
Girls Varsity A Soccer has outperformed any other team in the league. They are the “League Champions” with numbers to prove it. They had six wins, no losses and two ties. Out of these 6 victories are 2 highly significant wins- one against long time rival Mamaroneck and the other against New Rochelle. Scarsdale defeated Mamaroneck in a 3-2 victory that featured 2 goals from second year varsity athlete Alessia Schettino, #20, and one goal by newbie freshman Lola Tirabassi, #13, with assists from Lola Tirabassi and junior Justine Karp, #10.

On November 13th, Scarsdale Raiders proved to be deserving of the title “League Champions” with an intense home game, resulting in a 2-1 victory against New Rochelle. Lola Tirabassi, scoring the first goal and veteran player Jojo Denion, #16, putting the second goal in the back of the net, leading the team to a major win. In addition to winning the league, the team has claimed victory against North Rockland for the first time in 4 years with goals by Alessia Schnettino, Kate Braverman, #6, Lola Tirabassi, and Abigail Talish, #14 and assists by: Alessia Scnettino and Sasha Fischer, #11. Senior Sasha Fischer believes that the team “truly deserved [winning the league because] every girl put her heart out on the field and was determined to represent Scarsdale.” The final score against North Rockland was 4-2, two goals were scored in the last ten minutes of the second half. Thus far the 2020 Girls Varsity A Soccer team showed up and showed out with combined league and non-league games resulting in an 8-0-2 record.

ReddenThe Girls Varsity A Soccer team is now preparing for playoffs. Their first playoff game is Thursday, November 18th. The team had a BYE the first round of playoffs which has allowed them additional time to train hard. Coach Mindy Genovese advised that they are currently “working on drills that focus on possessing the ball through passing patterns, pressing, dropping, changing the point of attack, playing under pressure quickly, and staying organized defensively.” With the title of “League Champions” on their shoulders, according to Victoria Von Redden, the team has made “sure not [to be] overconfident because [they] never want to underestimate [their] opponents'', while still being “happy with how [they’ve] done so far and confident that [they will] continue [their] amazing record.” The team is looking forward to the playoffs; Coach Mindy Genovese “hope[s] to have a deep run in [the] regional playoffs”, and captain Victoria Von Redden is “looking towards the playoffs with an optimistic view.” With the mentality, teamwork, and effort put into this season, the first playoff game will be quite a show.

Text and Photos by Sophia Caione

GrossSenior goalkeeper Dylan Gross, #35.

jojodenionJojo Denion, #16, chest trapping a ball in the air. On Thursday, November 19th, the Girls Varsity A Soccer team was triumphant- once again- claiming victory against Ardsley in round one of the playoffs. The victory was captured through stylistic goals and a strong team presence on the field. Intense pressure was put on Ardsley from the start, as the Raiders presented an urge to win, but beyond winning, to conquer the field a by an overwhelming margin.

The final score was 6-2; The first 4 goals were scored in the first half of the game, leaving Ardsley with a large gap to fill. Ardsley had a difficult time catching up as their play was mostly “kick and chase”. The Raiders defensive line, lead by Captains Victoria Von Redden, #17, and Emily Yacob, #19, proved to be fierce as they stopped breakaways, captured long balls, and maneuvered through Ardsley’s attacking players. Additionally, senior goalkeeper Dylan Gross, #35, was a powerful and leading communicator on the field, commanding the defense and encouraging her teammates.

Season leading scorers, Alessia Schettino, #20, and Riena Parente Ribeiro, #7, were two leading performers during the first playoff game. Both players scored two goals each, in addition to one goal scored by Jojo Denion, #16, and one goal scored by Lizzie Wachs, #23. Lola Tirabassi, #13, showed her skills by providing 4 assists, and Victoria Von Redden demonstrated that a defensive player could do it all by assisting a goal.

BravermanKate Braverman, #6, maneuvers around an Ardsley player.

Schettino put constant pressure on Ardsely’s defense and was highly aggressive in the final third of the field, especially when it came time to shoot and score. Riena Parente Ribeiro, nicknamed “RPR” by her coaches and teammates has been an essential part of the midfield. Parente Riberio acknowledges that “after a strong start, our team started to struggle to connect simple passes and there were a few miscommunications. [However,] we were able to overcome these difficulties and dominated the end of the second half. We ended the game with a confident mindset to lead us to the semifinals.”

AudreyGendelAudrey Gendel, #9, dribbles around Ardsley.

The second playoff game against rivals New Rochelle-on Saturday, November 21st-will be packed with action, competition, and heart. Schettino says, in the next playoff game “We need to capitalize on our opportunities... If we see the net, we have to score.” Parente Riberio comments that “New Rochelle is a tough opponent and we always look forward to playing them because they are our rivals and a competitive team. The stakes are going to be higher than during our previous games and both teams will bring 100%. I’m excited for the energy and the competition.” Girls Varsity A Soccer will put their all into every second of the game, until the desired outcome.

Photos and text by Sophia Caione.

TalishAbigail Talish, #14.

Akai1Akai Lounge Ribbon CuttingThough the dining tent in Scarsdale Village will come down this week, things are looking up for shopping and dining downtown.

This week Scarsdale celebrated the opening of two new businesses. On Thursday, a unique aroma design studio called Scent Fluence opened in the former location of Imagine Candy at 22 Harwood Court and the long-awaited Asian Fusion restaurant Akai Lounge held an opening reception in their location formerly occupied by Lange’s of Scarsdale.

scentfluenceribbonCaroline Fabrigas and Scarsdale Mayor Marc Samwick Open Doors at Scentfluence

On Thursday November 6, Village officials, realtors and business leaders gathered for a ceremonial ribbon cutting at Scent Fluence. The studio is owned by Scarsdale resident and former beauty and fragrance executive Caroline Fabrigas who has formulated custom scents for hotels and luxury retailers and is now offering a wide range of scents and diffusers for home use. The beautifully designed store is a jewel box of aromas. Stop by and take a whiff of what’s in store or ask them to design a custom blend for you.

It’s an intriguing concept and will make for one of a kind holiday gifts for friends and family this season.

scentfluenceinteriorOn Monday evening November 9, James Du and Lillian Pien held a ribbon cutting and reception for trustees, realtors and supporters at their new Asian Fusion restaurant Akai Lounge at 57 Spencer Place in Scarsdale. The space has been fully renovated in bright red, chrome and glass. The weather cooperated and allowed the restaurant to open their glass doors fronting Spencer Place to spill out onto the sidewalk. Guest sipped lychee nut sangria and sampled sushi appetizers including tuna tartar and agedashi tofu. The restaurant is holding their soft opening this week and will be in full swing next week. Attendees were thrilled to have another dining option in the Village.

Owners James Du and Lillian Pien were introduced to Scarsdale by Evelyn Stock. Stock had a delicious dinner at one of their restaurants in New Jersey and met the owners and encouraged them to open here. After they expressed an interest, Stock introduced the two to Rush Wilson and a match was made.

AkaiDiningMarc and Cynthia Samwick sampling fare at the new Akai Lounge.

Sadly, the dining tent will be taken down this week. However the outdoor picnic tables will remain. Upon hearing that the tent was going down, reader Anthony Leone said, “Wish the dining tent at Spencer Place would remain (with heat lamps if legal). It’s been a welcomed addition to town.”

The Scarsdale Business Alliance encourages you to continue to shop and dine downtown and purchase raffle tickets to win prizes from local businesses and support the Village. Purchase raffles here:

diningtentThe dining tent on Spencer Place will come down this week. The picnic tables will remain.

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