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You are here: Home Content On Our Minds Putting "We" Before "Me"
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Doing Business in Today's China

Doing Business in Today's China

A lot has changed since my first trip to China 31 years ago. Back t...

Police Report: Woman Scammed Out of $2K by Dating Site Contact Posing as Scarsdale Bank Branch Manager

Police Report: Woman Scammed Out of $2K by Dating Site Contact Posing as Scarsdale Bank Branch Manager

On July 14, a 32-year-old New Jersey Avenue woman reported she was ...

Scarsdale Forum Committee Releases Report on 2014 and 2016 Property Tax Revaluations

Scarsdale Forum Committee Releases Report on 2014 and 2016 Property Tax Revaluations

Following years of controversy in Scarsdale about two property tax ...

Wrongfully Convicted Man Freed as a Result of Scarsdale Grad's Work

Wrongfully Convicted Man Freed as a Result of Scarsdale Grad's Work

Sam Hershey SHS'01 A 2001 Scarsdale High School graduate made headlin...

Melissa Feinberg Hired as Assistant Principal at Fox Meadow School

Melissa Feinberg Hired as Assistant Principal at Fox Meadow School

Assistant Superintendent Drew Patrick announced that the district h...

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Putting "We" Before "Me"

45CushmanRoad(This is the opinion of site founder Joanne Wallenstein) When I think about what brought us all to Scarsdale, it was the chance to join a successful community... a place where things worked and people cared. It was evident in an outstanding school system that was the result of collaboration between educators, administrators and parents ... in our lovely village-run recreational facilities and quality programs enjoyed by residents young and old... at our first class library that not only offered the latest books and movies but innovative programming and educational opportunities for all.

That's why I moved to Scarsdale and why I am proud to live here today. To me, it's a place that is bigger than any one of us. It makes me feel good to know that most of my friends recognize that it's sometimes necessary to make individual sacrifices for the greater good of the village.

But these values have been severely tested this year. We began 2017 with a highly contentious election that threatened Scarsdale's system of governance and the non-partisan system which had previously shielded the community from bitter partisan politics. A fight about the first village-wide revaluation in 44 years dragged on for months, with accusations, FOIL requests and angry voices at Village Hall. Long after the aggrieved received tax adjustments, the dissent continued.

On the school front we had another divisive rift. Even before the school district could openly examine options for the future of Greenacres Elementary School another faction of indignant residents organized a powerful campaign to safeguard the views from their backyards. Though in a minority, they squashed an open discussion about the best course of action for the school, the children and the future, insisting that their own property interests trumped community values.

And sadly these same debates continue on issues such as safeguarding trees, preserving historic homes and recycling.

Community-minded residents are proposing changes to the village code to prevent the destruction of our tree canopy, with others claiming that any tree preservation is a "taking" of their property rights.

In November, the entire Committee for Historic Preservation stepped down, because the few times they ruled against the demolition of a historic home, their decisions were overturned by the Board of Trustees. Why? Because the Village Trustees feared lawsuits from residents and developers. So as it stands now, any home, no matter how lovely or vital to the fabric of the neighborhood, risks destruction by developers who reap handsome profits from tearing down the town.

Even something as positive as a proposal to start weekly curbside pickup of food scraps and recyclables has met opposition from a few residents who object to bringing their empty bottles and cans to the curb. They claim this is a cut in service, ignoring the societal benefit of increasing village-wide recycling and cutting down on waste.

What's the common theme here? It's a lack of compromise and consideration for the good of the community. It's putting "me" first and depriving your neighbors of the opportunity to live in a place that values the "we" before the "me."

Think about it – if we allow our tree canopy to be destroyed, if we permit Scarsdale's historic homes to be razed, if we put "tax neutrality" before educational excellence, what will be left for the Scarsdale of the future? If we build an elementary school with cramped classrooms, poor air quality, environmental hazards and limited access to playgrounds, who will choose to move here? If we allow our schools to deteriorate from first rate to adequate, if we permit the destruction of our trees and historic homes, who loses? You ... that's you and the value of your home too.

What's makes us great is our willingness to work together for the common good. Yes we are faced with a hostile environment in Washington, but let's use that negative example to fuel a resurgence of community in Scarsdale. We have a legacy to continue. It's our responsibility to leave this a better place than we found it -- or at least as good a place as we found it.

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Good Work

SETTING

Scarsdale Swimmers to Cross Long Island Sound to Raise Funds for Cancer Research

Scarsdale Swimmers to Cross Long Island Sound to Raise Funds for Cancer Research

Michael Zeller, Amanda Rachlin, Doug Rachlin, Joe Kaufman, Joel Talish, Carol Wolfe, Eldad Blaustein, Josh Glantz, John Needham Next week,...

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Around Town

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Low Income Students to Receive Free Dorm Supplies from Grad Bag on July 20

Low Income Students to Receive Free Dorm Supplies from Grad Bag on July 20

When you are the first in your family to go to college, there is already a lot to worry about financially, so it was a huge relief to Nas...

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Neighborhood News

SETTING

Scarsdale Forum Committee Releases Report on 2014 and 2016 Property Tax Revaluations

Scarsdale Forum Committee Releases Report on 2014 and 2016 Property Tax Revaluations

Following years of controversy in Scarsdale about two property tax revaluations in 2014 and 2016, a committee of the Scarsdale Forum stud...

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On Our Minds

SETTING

Wrongfully Convicted Man Freed as a Result of Scarsdale Grad's Work

Wrongfully Convicted Man Freed as a Result of Scarsdale Grad's Work

Sam Hershey SHS'01 A 2001 Scarsdale High School graduate made headlines this week for his success in freeing a man who had been wrongfully c...

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On Our Radar

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Doing Business in Today's China

Doing Business in Today's China

A lot has changed since my first trip to China 31 years ago. Back then, I was an international banking officer covering Asia. I used a ma...

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Parenting

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Melissa Feinberg Hired as Assistant Principal at Fox Meadow School

Melissa Feinberg Hired as Assistant Principal at Fox Meadow School

Assistant Superintendent Drew Patrick announced that the district has hired an assistant principal for Fox Meadow School. Melissa Feinber...

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Village Voices

SETTING

50th Anniversary Celebration at the Scarsdale Pool this Weekend

50th Anniversary Celebration at the Scarsdale Pool this Weekend

The Scarsdale Pool Complex will celebrate their 50th Season with a variety of festivities this weekend! All Scarsdale residents are invit...

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Shout it Out

SETTING

Police Use Phone Alert System In An Effort To Locate Missing Man

Police Use Phone Alert System In An Effort To Locate Missing Man

On July 11, police Scarsdale Police used “A Child is Missing Alert Program,” in an effort to locate a missing elderly man. The program ge...

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School News

SETTING

Board of Ed Elects New Leaders and Approves Synthetic Turf for Butler Field

Board of Ed Elects New Leaders and Approves Synthetic Turf for Butler Field

The 2018-19 Board of Education: Left to Right: Bill Natbony, Alison Singer, Nina Cannon, Scott Silberfein, Chris Morin, Pam Fuehrer and L...

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Schools

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Where are the Kindergartners? School District Experiencing Enrollment Dip

Where are the Kindergartners? School District Experiencing Enrollment Dip

If current trends hold, the Scarsdale School district may have the lowest enrollment in the last ten years when school opens in September...

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The Goods

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Lulu's Cake Boutique Creates Life-Sized Replica of Marilyn Monroe

Lulu's Cake Boutique Creates Life-Sized Replica of Marilyn Monroe

Lulu¹s of Scarsdale was recently called on to create the centerfold for this year¹s Edible Hudson Valley #Foodporn themed edition. Never ...

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Real Estate

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Real Estate: Home Sales Figures for the First Half of 2018

Real Estate: Home Sales Figures for the First Half of 2018

The number of home sales is off for the first half of the year in both Scarsdale and Edgemont.

Reports show that in the Scarsdale School D...

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Today's News

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Police Report: Woman Scammed Out of $2K by Dating Site Contact Posing as Scarsdale Bank Branch Manager

Police Report: Woman Scammed Out of $2K by Dating Site Contact Posing as Scarsdale Bank Branch Manager

On July 14, a 32-year-old New Jersey Avenue woman reported she was “scammed” out of $2,000 by a man and woman who claimed to work for Cha...

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Arts and Entertainment

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Fall off the Bone BBQ and More at Smokehouse Tailgate Grill

Fall off the Bone BBQ and More at Smokehouse Tailgate Grill

With the warm days of summer upon us, we think of barbecues and grilled treats. Enjoy the taste of bbq without the fuss of preparing it y...

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People

SETTING

Changing of the Guard at Fox Meadow School

Changing of the Guard at Fox Meadow School

The Scarsdale School District is wasting no time filling two unexpected vacancies at Fox Meadow Elementary School.

In June, both Principal...

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Programs for Scarsdale Kids