Saturday, May 28th

gaslineJust how long will Con Edison be working on Walworth Avenue in Greenacres? That’s what many residents who live and travel along one of Scarsdale’s primary routes want to know. The utility has been working on just one segment of the road, from Fenimore to Greenacres Avenue since the summer. That segment, which many use to access Hartsdale and the train station, was closed on weekdays, causing detours, traffic and aggravation.

Now, the first portion has been completed, the road has been repaved and the utility will install the next portion of a 6 foot wide gas transmission line on Walworth from Greenacres Avenue to Colvin Road.

Residents are hopeful that this portion will be speedier.

Currently there is a moratorium for any new gas service in Westchester. We asked Con Edison if the presence of this new line traversing Scarsdale would change that policy for residents. The answer was “no.” According to the spokesperson, the moratorium will remain in place and no new gas service will be available to Scarsdale residents or businesses, despite the considerable inconvenience caused by the disruption of our streets. How about compensating those who are impacted with a price break on electric and gas? That does not appear to be in the offing either.

State Assemblymember Amy Paulin questioned a Con Edison spokesperson about the timeline for the remainder of the work and here is what she shared with us on December 15, 2021:

"Con Edison and our contractor Network Infrastructure will be installing two new gas lines down Walworth Ave between Greenacres Ave and Brayton Road. This is a continuation of the work completed over the past months from Fenimore Road. The purpose of these mains will be to upgrade and sustain the reliability of our gas service in both Scarsdale and Westchester County. Work on both new installations will take place simultaneously and is planned to be completed by March 31st, 2022. This will also include final site restoration as seen on our first phase of the project between Fenimore Road and Greenacres Avenue.

While we work, we’ll need to store supplies and equipment along the road in some areas. We also may need to excavate on resident sidewalks, driveways or lawn areas. If a customer’s property is affected, we will restore it. During the work, we may need to interrupt gas service temporarily to transfer household services to our new main . We will notify customers in advance if their service will be affected. We will need access our customers’ homes to restore gas service, and we will work with all residents to accommodate their schedule and minimize any interruptions. No interruptions will take place without customer consent and knowledge.

Temporary road closures will also be expected during working hours Monday to Friday 8am – 5pm. We will work closely with all residents in our work zone and ensure residents have complete access in and out of the work site throughout the day. Detours will also be set around our work zone.

We recognize that this important work may cause inconveniences to our customers and the community. We are committed to working closely with our customers to minimize any such inconveniences, and thank them for their patience."

letter to the editor(This is a letter to the editor from Tracy Tang of Harvest Drive)
Good afternoon. My name is Tracy Tang. I’m a resident of Scarsdale.

As you know, our village is going to vote in mid-December on whether to opt out/in of permitting a marijuana dispensary and a marijuana store in Scarsdale.

I have two boys, one in 9th and the other in 7th grade. My older boy spends most of the time hanging around in the high school and the village with his friends. As a mother, I am concerned about the potential impact on teenagers’ attitudes towards and perceptions of marijuana.

A recent survey from high school students showed that most students perceived marijuana as less harmful than tobacco and alcohol. In my view, allowing a marijuana store or lounge in our village really reinforces the acceptance of marijuana as a recreational substance for youth. The Scarsdale Drug and Alcohol Task Force cites the critical correlation between early use of marijuana with later chronic adult use, as well as the drug's negative impact on brain development.

The last hearing for whether to opt out of allowing a marijuana store or lounge was on November 23. A large number of residents showed up to voice their demand for Scarsdale to opt out, including the President, Karen Ceske, and Executive Director, Jay Genova, of the Scarsdale& Edgemont Family Council.
I and two other moms, Nanthini Sriskanthan and Xiaobing Zhang, started this petition to ask our trustees to opt out of allowing a marijuana store or lounge in our village. So far, the petition has been signed by more than 570 residents. The overwhelming message is “Let Scarsdale be Scarsdale: a place focused on families, children, education and community.”

If you agree with this message, please sign this petition on and before December 10th, the deadline for written comments, before the Village Trustees’ meeting to vote on this matter.

Thank you.
Very truly yours,
Tracy Tang
56 Harvest Drive

JamaalBowmanAfter Scarsdale’s Congressman Jamaal Bowman voted NO on President Biden’s Infrastructure Bill on November 5, we received several inquiries from readers as to why he voted against the bill and how that served his constituents.

We made several inquiries to his staff and on Friday November 12 we received this response from Bowman’s Congressional Aide Jesse Lerer:

The Congressman supports the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework, and he has worked with his colleagues and the White House to see to it that it happens. He is still going to fight to ensure that the full Biden agenda passes. Congressman Bowman knew that we had the votes to ensure that the bill passes, and also kept his word that he would only vote on the physical infrastructure bill if it came with the other part of the agenda that supports families, women, and children. This is why he and his colleagues were consistently clear for months that the Build Back Better Act and the physical infrastructure bill together must be voted on at the same time. This was the agreement and the promise he shared. He was asked to vote only on physical infrastructure at the last hour and to delay the needs and ignore the suffering of our constituents with the weakest assurance that the original agreement would be kept. To hold everyone accountable to passing the full agenda, he kept his word and voted no. He intends to keep fighting to ensure that the full agenda passes and working with the Democratic leadership.

The Congressman’s position has always been that passing only the Bipartisan package without the full Biden Agenda would jeopardize the fate of essential investments that our community desperately needs.

Congressman Bowman is unwilling to leave behind the parts of Biden’s agenda that will support our district, as well as women, children, and Black and brown communities across our country.

Both bills contain much-needed funding for physical infrastructure in our communities.

SEWER/WASTEWATER: For example, the Bipartisan bill includes $1.12 Billion for sewage overflow repairs, and Build Back Better actually includes $2.125 billion to invest in sewer overflow and stormwater reuse municipal grants

CLEAN DRINKING WATER: Everyone should have clean drinking water, but we know many communities have lead-contaminated drinking water. The Bipartisan bill included almost $15 billion to address drinking water, but this amount is for loans, not direct funding. Our district was one of the hardest hit by COVID and we are still recovering from its economic impact. Making local governments take out even more loans to provide clean drinking water is better than nothing at all, but the Congressman understands the importance of direct grant funding. That’s why he’s fighting so hard to protect Biden’s Build Back Better Act which includes $9 billion in direct grant funding to address clean drinking water and further - there is no cost-share requirement so states and local governments wouldn’t have to contribute any funding to benefit from this, if the Build Back Better Act passes the House and Senate without even more cuts.

FLOODING/AFFORDABLE FLOOD INSURANCE: The Bipartisan bill includes $3.5 billion for National Flood Insurance, which the Congressman supports, however while speaking with constituents whose homes were destroyed by Ida just a few months ago, he knows many people in our district cannot afford the costly premiums of National Flood Insurance. That’s why he’s fighting to protect the Build Back Better Act, which actually includes $600 million to help people afford flood insurance with discounted coverage.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure bill that Congressman Bowman voted against does NOT include any provisions related to SALT [State and Local Taxes]. The Build Back Better Act, which the House was supposed to vote on last week until conservative Democrats refused to support it, could reform SALT to the benefit of homeowners in our district, and Congressman Bowman is supportive of this, which is why he’s fighting so hard to protect the bill and make sure no further cuts get made. The Bipartisan infrastructure bill that Congress passed will add $256 billion to our deficit. Biden’s Build Back Better Act would not add to the deficit at all. In fact, it would reduce our deficit over time.

Congressman Bowman knew that this bill would pass when he put forth his NO vote. He would never oppose job creation. He wanted to show that the bipartisan bill largely builds back better in job creation for men. Women have been hardest hit in the workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we cannot leave them behind. Many women are forced to give up jobs without affordable child care options. The Bipartisan bill includes $550 million for the Minority Business Development Agency, which is a step in the right direction. Biden’s Build Back Better Act would nearly triple that investment and go further in assisting the formation and growth of minority business enterprises. It would include funding for Minority Serving Institutions, nonprofits that serve minority businesses, and create funding to establish 5 regional offices across the country to better and more directly assist minority business owners. On top of funding for the Minority Business Development Agency, Biden’s Build Back Better Act would invest more than $5 billion for Economic Development Assistance Grants to accelerate economic recovery in our communities. The Bipartisan bill Congress passed doesn’t include any funding for this. The Congressman is determined to protect Build Back Better so our communities can get out of the red and be back on track for strong, sustained growth.

 

District Attorney WestchesterWestchester County District Attorney Miriam E. Rocah announced that Bronx resident Latonia Stewart was sentenced for burglarizing six homes of families she targeted because they were attending funeral services of loved ones between 2017 and 2018.

Stewart, 30, was sentenced on November 22, 2021, to a determinate term of 10 years in state prison on each of the burglary counts, each to run concurrently, and an indeterminate term of one to three years in state prison to run consecutive to the 10-year sentence.

On October 14, 2021, a jury found Stewart guilty of six counts of Burglary in the Second Degree and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fourth Degree, both felonies.

“Latonia Stewart targeted individuals on one of the worst days of their lives knowing they wouldn’t be home, and stole their jewelry, valuables, letters and other keepsakes a spouse would cherish while grieving their loved one,” DA Rocah said. “This coldhearted crime is reprehensible, and I applaud the great work of the District Attorney’s Office, the Greenburgh Police Department, and the other law enforcement partners involved in bringing justice to these victims.”

Between December 2017 and May 2018, Stewart burglarized the homes of six Westchester County residents in Cortlandt, Greenburgh, Ossining, Rye Brook, Scarsdale, and Tarrytown who were out of the house attending their spouse’s wake or funeral service. Jewelry, watches, silverware and other valuables were stolen. Stewart targeted the homes after searching through obituaries online. She would then research the individual online, find the address on Google and locate the homes on Google Street View. Stewart used a sledgehammer to break windows and glass doors to gain entry into certain homes, and would then ransack the victims’ master bedroom in search of valuable items once inside.

On May 1, 2018, Greenburgh Police arrested Stewart after observing her driving away from the home of a deceased person and found jewelry in her vehicle and a website with an obituary pulled up on her cellphone. Following her arrest, police recovered more stolen jewelry from Stewart’s Bronx residence, and additional evidence, including jewelry, a sledgehammer and gloves, from her car.

The Greenburgh Police Department and the District Attorney’s Office investigated the case, with assistance from the New York State Police, Greenwich Police Department, Ossining Police Department, Rye Brook Police Department, Scarsdale Police Department, and Tarrytown Police Department.


The case was before Judge David Zuckerman in Westchester County Court, and was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Stefanie DeNise and Assistant District Attorney Michelle Calvi.

keep calm and carry a gun print poster u L F59KK80New York State has had some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation. In fact a law that dates back to 1911 restricts the right to carry a concealed gun in public places, unless the bearer shows proper cause for carrying a firearm for self defense.

The constitutionality of that law is now before the Supreme Court of the United States, who is hearing a case called “New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen." The petitioners contend that it is their constitutional right to carry the guns, if the owners have permits.

However, Rebecca Fischer, Executive Director of New Yorkers Against Violence says, “This is an NRA-driven lawsuit that really is intended to not only bring more guns in public and sell more guns for-profit for the gun industry, but also to overhaul common sense gun laws across the country ….. Time and time again empirical evidence shows that states with weak right-to-carry laws that allow more concealed carry, more open carry in public, have higher rates of gun violence.”

Scarsdale’s State Assemblymember Amy Paulin has championed gun control legislation in New York and said the following about this challenge to our laws at the Supreme Court.

“Enacting stricter gun laws for New York State has always been one of my top priorities as a legislator,” said Assemblymember Amy Paulin. So having New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen before this Supreme Court is of great concern to me. Unrestricted access to concealable firearms poses a massive threat to public safety. That’s not just common sense, but it’s also supported by data in states which allow concealed guns – all which have higher rates of gun violence.”

“Imagine every time you go to Times Square, a sports event, or a concert, and everyone is legally allowed to carry a gun?” continued Paulin. “Plus these are occasions where alcohol is often consumed. All it would take is one person to cause incredible devastation. It’s terrifying. If New York can no longer restrict who can carry a concealed weapon, we are going to be at a very great risk of gun violence.”

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