Police Investigate Multiple Bomb Threats; SHS Principal Says School is Safe and Praises Spirit of Cooperation
- Category: Neighborhood News
- Published on 24 March 2015
- Written by Traci Dutton Ludwig
On the day following the bomb threats that caused the evacuation of Scarsdale High School, police revealed that there was not one, but multiple threats found at the school. They are actively investigating, but in the meantime, school is open and SHS Principal Kenneth Bonamo has assured the community that the building is secure.
According to student sources, on Monday morning, after students noticed what appeared to be a threat written on a wall in a girl's bathroom, they told a teacher who alerted administration and officials. According to these student sources, the reported threat stated something like "Scarsdale High School is going down at 10:30."
When asked, police confirmed the general accuracy of this account. But, apparently, that was not the only threatening message left in the school.
Police Captain Thomas Alitizio told Scarsdale10583, "The incident that we originally responded to was for a note written in a stall that was very close to what you've been hearing [i.e "Scarsdale High School is going down at 10:30."] While investigating the initial report and searching the school, some other writings were found in other locations."
Among these other writings was the phrase stating " My bomb is planted ar u ready to kill." This message, in particular, was photographed by a student at the school and shared with Scarsdale10583.com on Monday.
"All of the writings are being investigated," Atizio said. "It is not known at this time when the notes were written, and if they were all written by the same person. Because this is an evolving investigation, new information is being developed as we proceed. We are investigating this incident from several aspects, and the investigation is our primary concern at this stage."
On Monday evening, Principal Kenneth Bonamo sent out the following email to the high community, praising their cooperation but also warning that bomb threats are criminal offenses. He urged parents to discuss the events of the day with their children and to contact their deans if they had concerns. Here is his note:
At the end of a most unusual day that began with a false bomb threat discovered this morning, I am filled with a sense of gratitude for the cooperation displayed by all members of our community today. Our students were most cooperative despite a bit of a wait in the cold for the buses to take them to the middle school, and staff members at both schools were incredibly helpful and proactive in ensuring safe transport to and from the high school and the safety of our students overall. Members of the Scarsdale Police and Fire Departments, as well as the County Bomb Squad, were on site for a good part of the day and did a thorough and swift job in sweeping the building and returning us to safety.
The building is safe for occupancy tomorrow. Police have given us the "all clear" and are continuing their investigation. Making a bomb threat is a criminal offense that causes unease and anxiety and challenges our sense of security and community. Such actions have no place in our school and are unnecessarily unsettling and disruptive. Please discuss today's events with your child as he or she prepares to return to school tomorrow to help process any feelings he or she may be experiencing, and please reach out to your child's dean if you feel further attention is warranted.
In addition, today was the first day of quarterly testing. In most cases, any tests that were not administered today will be administered on Wednesday, April 1. Students should verify testing schedules with their teachers.
Again, I am grateful for the efforts of all involved today, and I ask for your partnership in helping our children process the day and move forward undaunted. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
Students Evacuated from Scarsdale High School Due to Bomb Threat
- Category: Neighborhood News
- Published on 23 March 2015
- Written by Joanne Wallenstein
(Updated at 2:45 pm) Police and the Westchester County Bomb squad, assisted by explosive detecting dogs, completed a search of the school and found nothing today. School officials were notified and students were bussed back to the high school where they will be released. Police will continue to investigate the incident in cooperation with personnel at the school and there will be increased patrols in the area.
(Posted at noon on 3-23) Students were evacuated from Scarsdale High School on Monday morning, March 23rd after a bomb threat was found in a girls' bathroom at the school. Pictured here, the message said, "My bomb is planted ar u ready to kill."
According to a student at the school, the fire alarm went off around 10:20 and everyone went outside and waited for buses to transport them to the middle school. At 10:23 am, a mom asked about the bomb threat on the Scarsdale Moms website. Apparently mothers were hearing from their children long before an email went out or an automated call was made from the school. It is not known whether there was a failure in the notification system or if administrators were too busy protecting the students to notify parents.
However at 11:56 am, this email from Superintendent Hagerman was received by a mother with a child in the school.
"Dear Scarsdale Families, We had a bomb threat at the High School earlier this morning. We do not believe this is a credible threat; however, in an abundance of caution, we evacuated the High School, and students were taken to the Middle School.
At this point, the police are here in the High School with the County Bomb Squad doing a comprehensive sweep of the building. As soon as we get clearance, we will return the students to the High School for a normal release.
We ask for your cooperation in not coming to either the HS or MS until normal release time or further notice."
Dr. Thomas Hagerman
Scarsdale Police Captain Thomas Altizio said this about the incident, "The Scarsdale Police Department has responded to a bomb threat at the Scarsdale High School. As a precaution, students are be relocated to another school. The Scarsdale Police are conducting a search of the High School with the assistance of the Westchester County Police. The incident is being actively investigated by the Scarsdale Police Department's Investigations Section.
A high school student said, "During 3rd period everyone had to go outside, and people were waiting for about an hour when buses came and took everyone to the middle school. Everyone was at the middle school in the gyms and auditorium waiting for further notice. Apparently now they are being bussed back to the high school and dismissed from there. I don't have any pictures, but everyone was really scared!"
Another student gave this account of the events of the day: "After the fire alarm rang, we all went outside. We thought it was a drill or a false alarm. Then, the teachers told us to go to Dean Field and kept saying, "Move back! Move back!" At that point, when they kept pushing us father away from the school, we knew it wasn't a drill.We knew something must really be happening. We stayed with our classes and teachers took attendance. We waited for awhile, and then they told us we were being evacuated. We were hearing talk that there was a bomb scare. Buses pulled up and we began piling in. There was a news helicopter overhead, which made it seem serious. ... The buses were really crowded. We were sitting three and four kids to a seat, and many of the teachers rode the buses with us. In my case, we were sitting four friends in a seat together because we didn't want to be split up. Everyone was supposed to get on the buses, but when they said we were evacuating, some kids with their own cars drove home instead of getting on the bus. Some other kids sneaked through the cut-thorough to get to the library where they called for rides.
At the middle school, we got divided into two groups and went into the gym and the auditorium. We had nothing to do because we left our backpacks, with all of our work, in the classrooms at school. At some point we were all getting really hungry, but then one of the vice principals brought us food. Some people got sandwiches; others got chips or apples or granola bars. We all got something to drink."
At noon, parents did receive a call from Hagerman that said, "The threat is not believed to be credible. We evacuated kids as a precaution. The SPD is working with county bomb squad." He asked parents to "refrain from going to high school or middle school," and said we are "conducting a sweep of the school." They anticipate returning all students to the school after this is finished to conduct a normal school day with dismissal at regular times.
This report was compiled with help from Jeanette Warner Goldstein, Isabel Klein, Caroline Kristof and Traci Ludwig.
Spring Cleaning: Where to Recycle Used Stuff
- Category: Neighborhood News
- Published on 09 March 2015
- Written by Jocelyn Kenner
I've got a fever and the only prescription is.... Spring Cleaning! After this endless cold and snowy winter, the arrival of Spring with its promise of renewal and productivity is reason to celebrate AND clean and organize your home!
Do you have over-crowded closets, storage locations that are bursting at the seams, corners and surfaces that were meant to be temporary holding spots but have turned into precarious piles of who knows what? YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Even the most organized among us need to keep on top of their stuff or it does get out of hand...it's just a normal occurrence.
To start your spring-cleaning, grab a dark marker, post-its, garbage bags and/or boxes to collect your items. Use post-its to label each container: DONATE, TRASH, KEEP.
These are basic label suggestions, but you can write others that relate to your life such as ATTIC, STORAGE UNIT, OFFICE, GARAGE SALE, (insert relative's name), etc.
Look carefully at what you are removing from your home and consider how it can be recycled or repurposed. See the list below with links to my favorite local organizations for donations. In addition, please check with your neighborhood houses of worship as many of them host tag sales this time of year and would be thrilled to receive your cast-offs. In the list below you will also notice a few unique donation sites that are not local. These charities require shipping, but are quite worthwhile and may strike a philanthropic nerve in you.
LOCAL Charities and Websites:
• The Sharing Shelf: donate gently used children's clothing (ages 0-18) that are then distributed to children in need in Westchester County through social service agencies and schools.
• Furniture Sharehouse: donate household furnishings for distributing to families in need in Westchester County.
• The Benefit Shop: donate furniture and furnishings with all sales going to fund local non-profits.
• Golden Shoestring: drop off clothes, jewelry, and housewares to the Larchmont location. Proceeds from sales support community projects and help fund scholarships and community grants.
• Humane Society: Drop off most household items to the new thrift store on Centre Avenue in New Rochelle. Proceeds help provide loving care for lost, abandoned, injured, and mistreated animals. The Humane Society's Animal Shelter on Portman Road in New Rochelle publishes a wish list of common household items they need at the shelter to care for the animals. Here's a link to their most recent WISH LIST
• Habitat for Humanity: Drop off used household goods to ReStore in New Rochelle.
• Best Buy: This retail store accepts large and small electronics and appliances - Best Buy is a proud partner of a voluntary program, begun in 2006 to help protect the ozone layer and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases through responsible appliance disposal.
• Veteran's of America: They will pick up right at your home and take most household items. The donated items generate the majority of the funding to support local, state, and national programs of the Vietnam Veterans of America.
• Good Will: You can drop off most household items to locations throughout Westchester County (Mamaroneck, Eastchester, New Rochelle, Yorktown, Bedford Hills, Croton-on-Hudson, etc.)
• Freecycle: A nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns.
• Donate Bras: Free The Girls
• Donate Shoes: SOLES4SOLES
• Donate Used Greeting Cards: St. Jude's Ranch
• Donate Golf Clubs: The First Tee
Jocelyn is a member of NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers) and ICD (Institute for Challenging Disorganization). Jocelyn has been helping Westchester residents organize their homes for the past seven years. Contact her at Jocelyn@kenner.org or www.seeyourwayclear.com.
Jocelyn will be presenting TWO workshops through the Scarsdale Adult School, "The Ten Commandments for Organizing Your Home", on Tuesday, March 24th at 7:30 PM, and "Heartfelt Organizing for Life's Transitions" on Friday, April 24th at 10:00 AM. Visit the Scarsdale Adult School website to sign up.
Athlete and Activist Dotty Di Cintio Passes Away at 83
- Category: Neighborhood News
- Published on 17 March 2015
- Written by Joanne Wallenstein
Dorothy (Dotty) Lowenstein Di Cintio, a passionate advocate for social justice and talented athlete and teacher, passed away on March 15 2015. She was 83. She is survived by her husband Domenick V Di Cintio, children Terri Di Cintio, Debra Di Cintio, Bruce Di Cintio, and Brian Di Cintio, their spouses and children, and her older brother Lawrence Lowenstein.
Born in New York on Sept 7, 1931 to Gabriel and Florence Lowenstein, Ms. Di Cintio attended The Fieldston School before heading to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She was a gifted tennis player and golfer, and at age 19 was a semi-finalist in the Women's Metropolitan Golf Association Championship in New York. She also competed in numerous regional and national women's golf events through the years. After college, she continued her involvement in sports, coaching and teaching golf, paddle tennis, and tennis through the Scarsdale Department of Recreation, Scarsdale Golf Club and as a volunteer at several Westchester schools and organizations for special needs children. She was often spotted driving her convertible around Scarsdale where she taught hundreds if not thousands of children and adults to play tennis and paddle tennis. She was always patient and encouraging.
Ms. Di Cintio also was a tennis coach at The Horace Mann School for 30 years where she led the boys team to eight Mayors Cup titles. "Dottie had an extraordinary influence on so many boys and girls over the years," said Chris Lacopo, 8th Grade Dean and the current Coach of the Boys Tennis Team at Horace Mann. "She was probably the most distinctive person most of these kids have been around."
While at Horace Mann, Dorothy spearheaded efforts to raise funds for orphan children whose parents died from AIDS. Over a decade, her efforts generated over $80,000 in donations to the Maru-a-Pula School in Botswana, one of Africa's premier academic institutions. She joined the board of directors of the American Friends of Maru-a-Pula (AFMAP) in 2009. "Dottie introduced me to all manner of people who shared a love of action, of change and reform. She was constantly generating ripples of hope among her friends and colleagues and I feel lucky to have been part of one of the many causes that she saw fit to support," said Andrew Taylor, Principal of the Maru-a-Pula.
Outside of sports, Dorothy's other passion was politics. She was extremely active in Democratic politics in Scarsdale and White Plains and was involved in numerous charitable organizations. Her brother, the late Congressman Allard K. Lowenstein, was an internationally known civil rights, human rights, and Democratic activist, and Ms. Di Cintio was actively involved in many of his initiatives in these fields. "Aunt Dot was one of the most selfless individuals I have ever known," said nephew Douglas Lowenstein. "She had a deep wellspring of empathy for those battling to get a leg up in our society, and for those battling to overcome long odds, whether they be social, economic, or physical. I don't think they staged a march in Washington for peace, for justice, for equal rights or for gun control that Aunt Dot didn't join. She just cared about people and our society very deeply."
No funeral is planned. The family asks that donations be made in Dorothy's name to the Lowenstein Human Rights Project at the Yale University School of Law.
Expansion and Upgrade Planned for the Golden Horseshoe
- Category: Neighborhood News
- Published on 25 February 2015
- Written by Joanne Wallenstein
Gristedes is on its way out and a new enlarged Seasons market will open in its place at the Golden Horseshoe Shopping Center on Wilmot Road. This is just one of the changes that will come to the Golden Horseshoe where plans have been approved for an expansion, upgrade, and a redesign of the 50+ year-old shopping plaza that sits in both Scarsdale and New Rochelle.
In the next few weeks Gristedes will close its doors and the store will be cleared. Once the space is turned over to the managers, 12,000 square feet of space, adjacent to the post office will be remodeled into a state of the art market by Seasons. Seasons, who owns stores in Kew Gardens, Lawrence and NYC, will build a market to serve the community. Their selections will include fresh fruit and vegetables, sushi, fresh fish, prepared foods, dairy items and a bakery along with the kosher products and meats for observant shoppers. Prices for staples and other groceries will be competitive and Seasons hopes to serve as the neighborhood market for nearby residents. Pictured above is the Seasons store in Lawrence that will serve as a model for the new location.
Seasons General Manager David Gellman expects that construction on the new site will begin in late spring and will take several months. In the interim, the original Seasons will remain open until the new site is ready.
And that's not all...
Once Seasons moves, the section of the shopping center that includes Seasons and the liquor store Cheers will be demolished and replaced with a new 10,000 square foot store. In order to accommodate this expansion, the driveway to the shopping center will be rerouted closer to Wilmot Road – and the parking spaces in the lot that borders Wilmot Road will be moved to the center of the plaza. Managers hope to attract a new drugstore into this new location, especially since the pharmacy in Gristedes will be gone. The liquor store will move to another storefront in the Golden Horseshoe.
Another new building will be added near the Bank of America ATM in the parking lot. The 4,000 square foot building would be ideal for a coffee shop.
The area that now houses the deli section of Gristedes will be remodeled into two additional storefronts.
As part of the upgrade, the sidewalk along Wilmot Road will be expanded up the hill into New Rochelle. There will be new lighting and improvements to the sidewalks in the shopping center and landscaping to make the center friendly and attractive.
Parking will remain at 400 spots, with some behind the stores for employees and deliveries.
This new phase follows a series of improvements that have occurred since the opening of the original plaza in 1956. According to Property Manager Rob Fine, his grandfather, a New Rochelle resident, built the original store –now home to Seasons -- in the 1950's. A strip extending from that store was added in the 60's with the second wing built in the 1980's. The site has been a good one for decades due to the demographics of the local residents, its location across from the JCC of Mid-Westchester, easy access from the Bronx River and Hutchinson River Parkways and ample parking for shoppers.
With this expansion and improvement of the site, the management hopes to attract new retailers who will meet the needs of the community in the 21st century.