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Celebrate Bicycle Sundays on the BRP on September 28

bikesignThis Sunday, September 28 marks the 40th anniversary of Westchester County's Bicycle Sundays on the Bronx River Parkway. Festivities are planned including rides on the parkway and beyond and a tailgate party with live music in the parking lot of the Westchester County Center.

At 10 am there will be a ceremony at the County Center with former Lt. Governor Al DelBello, Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner and several county officials to mark the four decades since DelBello, then Westchester County Executive, closed the parkway on a pilot basis in 1974.

The music starts at noon with Chris Brown, a Westchester singer/songwriter who plays several nights a week around the county. At 2, Tall County, a Putnam-based string trio, takes the stage.

Celebrate 40 years of riding on the Bronx River Parkway on Sunday September 28.bikers

Food and Wine Festival in Scarsdale this Sunday!

sowejThe big weekend is upon us. The SOWE 2014 festival comes to Mamaroneck on Saturday and Scarsdale this Sunday and will feature celebrity chefs, cooking demonstrations, food and wine tastings and live music from Gary U.S. Bonds.

The SOWE Food & Wine Festival will showcase the talents of renowned restaurants, wineries, pit masters, cheese mongers, breweries, specialty culinary providers, chefs and culinary personalities. Hosted by the Scarsdale Chamber of Commerce the Festival brings community together through food, wine, and beverage sampling, while generating awareness and raising funds to fight hunger, obesity and malnutrition. This fun-filled weekend also includes music concerts, book signings, cooking demos and even activities for kids.

Come to Scarsdale Village from 11 am to 5 pm on Sunday for this one of a kind community event. A large crowd is expected so if you can walk, ride a bike or even take the train to the event you'll avoid having to park. If you do prefer to drive, parking lots all over town will be available and there will be shuttle service from these lots to the Village. Here's a map of where to park.

Though there is no fee to stroll through the event in the Village and observe the demonstrations, you will need to purchase tickets to eat and drink. You can either buy your tickets online before the event here or purchase them at the ticket booth at the corner of Christie Place and Chase Road, in Scarsdale Village, on Sunday, Sept 21, from 11AM – 5 PM. If you buy your tickets online, you will also need to go to the ticket booth to exchange your email confirmation for your food sample tickets, and wine/beer wristband.

Here is the schedule of events for Scarsdale on Sunday September 21:

Wilson and Son Grand Culinary Village, in Scarsdale NY 11am to 5pm
Celebrity Chef Demos:

11:00am – 12:00pm Brian McMenamin, Club Car
12:00pm – 1:00pm Waldy Malouf, Culinary Institute of America
1:00pm – 2:00pm Mauro Castano, Carlo's Bakery
2:00pm – 3:00pm Sam Talbot
3:00pm – 4:00pm Jay Lippin, Crabtree's Kittle House
4:00pm – 5:00pm Nisa Lee

Music Stage:

11:00am – 11:30am Hip Hop Public Health
11:45pm – 12:15pm A Good Time
12:30pm – 2:00pm Gary U.S. Bonds
2:15pm – 3:00pm Charlie Scopoletti
3:15pm – 3:45pm Hip Hop Public Health
4:00pm – 4:30pm Dark Wing
Hip Hop Public Health will feature:

Mrs. Green's Healthy Eating and Living Pavilion

11:00am – 12:00pm Dinner Time Rescue with Jennifer Rossano
12:00pm – 1:00pm Mrs. Green's Kitchen & Nutrition Team
1:00pm – 2:00pm Amie Vapone-Editor-In-Chief & Founder of (
2:00pm – 3:00pm Mrs. Green's Kitchen & Nutrition Team
3:00pm – 4:00pm Keri Glassman
4:00pm – 5:00pm Rhinku Bhattacharya, An Essential Indian Spice Kit, Seven Essential Spices, their health benefits, and how to use them

Kids Zone:

Activities throughout the day provided by Life The Place To Be, Total Entertainment, Funcraft, Yogibo, and more.

Wine and Beer Village 12pm – 5pm: Sponsored by Zachys and Manhattan Beer Distributors

Exclusive Wine Tasting in Wilson & Son Jewelers (18 Chase Road, Scarsdale, NY). Sunday, Sept 21st, 12 – 5 PM featuring the best-of-the-best wines from Tuscany, California and France

• Piper Heidsieck Rare 2002
• Far Niente Estate Bottled Chardonnay 2012
• Silver Oak Cellars Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
• Barolo Pio Cesare 2010
• Camarcanda Ca Marcanda Gaja 2010

Exclusive Wine & Chocolate Pairing, Sunday, September 21, 12-4 PM, in Wilson & Son Jewelers (18 Chase Road, Scarsdale, NY)

  • Sparkling: Brut Toso NV with Belgian Chocolate: Continental Truffle
  • White: Montes Alpha Chardonnay 2012 (91JS) with Belgian Chocolate
  • Red: Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 (90W&S) with Belgian Chocolate: Grand Marnier Truffle

Specialty Cocktails will be served at Zachys on East Parkway from 12 to 4 on Sunday. To celebrate the end of summer Zachys will be sampling specialty cocktails crafted with fresh ingredients and small-batch spirits in the store from 12-4 pm. Stop in after you've tried the wines outside and taste while you shop – and of course the tasting in the store is, as always, complimentary!

Helen Perelman, author of Candy Faries children's book series, will do a reading at the Imagine Candy Shop (22 Harwood Court) on Sunday September 21st, 11 AM – Noon.

A sampling of more than 100 restaurants partaking in SOWE 2014 include: 8 North Broadway, 808 Bistro, Brother Jimmy's BBQ, Emma's Ale House, Madison Kitchen, Inn at Pound Ridge, ABC Cakes, An American Bistro, Artuso Pastry, Benjamin Steakhouse, BLT, Chutney Masala, Crabtree's Kittle House, Pinch, Dolphin, Enrico's Pastry Shop, Ruths Chris Steakhouse, Club Car, Havana Central Ridge Hill, Imagine Candy, Jake's Wayback Burgers, Le Jardin Du Roi, Le Moulin Event Planning & Catering, Longford's Ice Cream, Lu Lu's, Massa, Melting Pot, Palominos, Bistro Latino, Sonora, Parkway, Pete's Saloon, Pizza & Brew, Savona, Serafina, The Sneaky Chef, The Cookery's Dough Nation, Thyme, Chef Johnson, and Dan Rooneys.

As part of its title sponsorship, The Pepe Auto Group is offering a lease give-away contest for the SOWE Food & Wine Festival. People can enter to win a two-year lease on their choice of a 2014 Infiniti Q50 Sedan; 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 Coupe; or a 2014 Cadillac ATS Sedan. The winner will be announced live on September 21st at the SOWE Food & Wine Festival. Enter the contest here.

Katrine Steffensen: Headed to the U.S. Open

KatrineWhile many Scarsdalians have tickets to attend the U.S. Open at Billie Jean King Tennis Center in Flushing Meadow, only one person from Scarsdale will be on the court at the event. Katrine Steffensen, an 18 year-old players from the Dale will be playing both singles and doubles in the juniors on Sunday August 31 and Monday September 1. Currently ranked 51 in the world, Steffensen has already played in the Australian Open, French Open and at Wimbledon this year. We caught up with her pounding balls at Crossway one morning this week and noticed that she was no ordinary player. She strikes the ball with determination and speed.

We asked Steffensen to tell us a bit about herself and here is what she shared:

When did your first pick up a racquet and when did you begin to play tournaments?

I started playing when I was four years old and I have enjoyed it ever since! I would even beg my parents to bring me to tennis. At age six I started to play local 10-and-under tournaments and by the time I was eight, I was #1 in my section. Then I started to play national tournaments (as well as sectionals) in the 12's, 14's, 16's, and eventually international tournaments in the 18's.

When did you start to travel and who went with you?

The last three years, I started to travel more to compete in international tournaments. For example, I've been to several countries in South America, Europe, and Asia. I usually traveled with my mom, but I also traveled with my coach to a few tournaments and with a group with one coach other times. This past year, I went by myself to London to play in Roehampton and junior Wimbledon, and that was a great experience for me!

How often do you train?

I usually play 3 hours a day and do an hour and a half of fitness from Monday to Saturday.

Were you able to complete high school while competing?

I was enrolled in a distance learning program called Laurel Springs School that was based in Ojai, California so I actually didn't attend Scarsdale High School (but I went to SMS all three years). I had more flexibility but it was definitely still difficult to balance tennis and school.

is this your first Grand Slam tournament?

Three years ago, I played in the qualifying of the US Open Juniors, but unfortunately didn't qualify. The first time I was in the main draw of a Grand Slam was this year at the Australian Open Juniors (where I won my first round in both singles and doubles). I also played the main draws of the French Open and Wimbledon this year. All of these tournaments were really great experiences and it felt absolutely amazing to be playing on the same courts as the top pros in the world.

What is your ranking?

My current ranking is approximately 51, but my highest was 33.

What do you like better; singles or doubles?

I really enjoy both singles and doubles! They are so different, but both are so fun and exciting.

Who is your doubles partner?

I don't have a set doubles partner but I usually rotate among a few girls that I met from tournaments and then just contact them via Facebook or text message.

At what age will you move out of the juniors?

I am playing in the juniors at the U.S. Open. I am not really sure what the age limit is for juniors, however I know there is a 15-year-old playing in the main draw this year!

What will you do next year?

I will attend Princeton University where I'll be on the university team so during the year I'll be playing for them, but in the summers I am hoping to play some pro tournaments for myself.

As far as you know, are you the first person from Scarsdale to play in the US Open or have there been others?

Yes, I am the first person in Scarsdale to play (as far as I know)!

League Greets Scarsdale Superintendent Thomas Hagerman

LWVS9-8The League of Women Voters drew an uncommonly large crowd to its meeting on Monday, September 8 when the new school Superintendent Thomas Hagerman as well as Board President Mary Beth Gose and Assistant Schools Superintendent Linda Purvis were invited to discuss priorities and answer questions.

Hagerman addressed the group and explained his process for getting to know Scarsdale and to assess the views of school administrators, students and their parents. He explained that since starting the job in July he has been engaging with the constituents, doing formal data gathering and incorporating feedback into future agendas. He also announced that the format of Board of Education meetings would change. All meetings will be held in rooms 170-172 of the high school so that they can be televised and watched live. In addition, each Board meeting will begin with a study session from 6:30 – 7:30 followed by a reception where the community will be given time to interact with the Board and administration. Upcoming work sessions at future board meetings will include discussion of personnel, insurance, special education, regulatory requirements and the bond issue.

The conversation then turned to the question of the bond issue. Mary Beth Evans asked whether or not the Board had time over the summer to communicate with the building level committees at each school to discuss questions about the project list. Diane Baylor suggested that the public might not realize that even after the bond issue was approved (if it is), construction details and project elements could still be altered depending on unknowns and new information.

Renee Baylor said she hoped that technology alone was not driving the project list saying, "The moguls are imposing their views on public education." Both Superintendent Hagerman and Ms. Gose assured her that human interaction was key to a successful education program. Gose said, "The most important part of education is human interaction. Collaboration is important – people work in teams – office structures are different than they were. We are not forgetting human interaction."

Hagerman agreed, saying, "Liberal arts, math, science, fine arts and technology are all important components of education. It's not about discreet facts – it is how to think deeply about issues, problem solve and use resources to solve problems."

Purvis said that she was hopeful that the Board would make some decisions at the meeting that night with a final decision at the meeting on October 6th. If approved by the Board, the bond referendum would be held in early December.

Nan Berke asked about the upcoming school budget saying that she noticed that pension costs were projected to go up by 7%. Gose said, "We are very concerned with the numbers. The official numbers have not come out yet for ERS (employee retirement system) and TRS (teacher retirement system). I am hopeful that we will have a good sense by December. Referring to Dr. Hagerman, Purvis said, "We have a fresh set of eyes. Everything is up for grabs and we will look carefully at the budget."

Mary Beth Evans asked a question about the health care reserve fund that was dissolved last year when the auditor ruled that the district could not maintain a reserve for the self-insured health plan. The group learned that though the State Senate and State Assembly had both voted to allow Scarsdale to maintain the reserve, the bill has not yet been signed by Governor Cuomo. League President Susie Rush told the group that the Governor's counsel is now looking at the bill and asking questions. It is not known whether or not Cuomo will sign it.

Board member Bill Natbony who was in attendance at the meeting said that a proposed new gift policy is on the Village's website. It does not distinguish between the foundation and other groups that could be formed. Under the new policy, the board would not abdicate its responsibility to decide what programs should run and could decide about disparities between schools.

Susie Rush asked Assistant Superintendent Linda Purvis if she had reconsidered her plans to retire and Purvis said, "No, I plan to retire March 7th though there could be some flexibility. I have a new grandchild and look forward to a new phase of my life."

Boardwalk Empire to be filmed at Scarsdale Pool

boardwalkempireThe diving pool at the Scarsdale Pool Complex will be the setting for the filming of an underwater scene for the popular TV series Boardwalk Empire next week. Bootleg Productions will be in town during the week of August 18th to film a scene in Scarsdale. Stop by the pool to see the production team and actors in action.

Scarsdale has not been the only Westchester venue for the filming of television series. According to the County Executive's office, many television shows filmed in Westchester have received Emmy nominations. The 66th Annual Emmy Awards Show will be aired on August 25, 2014.

Clare Kelly, a communications intern in the County Executive's office shared this information about where some of the Emmy-nominated shows were filmed this year:

Girls: Filmed in Peekskill at the Inn on the Hudson

Orange is the New Black: Filmed in areas of downtown White

Boardwalk Empire: Filmed in Alder Mansion, Yonkers; used Lenoir Preserve as a blue screen backdrop.

Blacklist : Filmed at a private jet provider at Westchester County Airport; along the rocky shores of Glen Island Park

The Americans: Night scene filmed in parking area at Saxon Woods Park

The Good Wife: Filmed at the courthouse in downtown White Plains