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figandoliveThe COVID crisis is predicted to be the end for many restaurants and now Scarsdale is seeing one of its first casualties Fig and Olive, with nine restaurants in Scarsdale, New York City, Washington DC and Los Angeles has filed for bankruptcy.

According to Bloomberg News, the reasons for the failure included the pandemic and employee lawsuit related to a Salmonella outbreak in the Washington and Melrose Place restaurants. In 2015, 39 people who ate at the Los Angeles restaurants were sickened with Salmonella which was blamed on the restaurant’s Truffle Mushroom Croquettes. Additional cases were reported at their Washington DC site. The company settled cases with many of the diners for an undisclosed amount.

The restaurants are owned by Luxury Dining Group who filed for bankruptcy protection, blaming employee lawsuits and the pandemic. The Scarsdale Restaurant is located in the Vernon Hills Shopping Center and is spacious and sleekly designed with indoor and outdoor seating. The restaurant opened in 2010 and features a long wine bar and Mediterranean fare as well as their own brand of olive oil.

Some of the companies nine restaurants could reopen depending on their potential. According to the article, 700 people were laid off and only 34 remain on staff.

IMG 5967The Greenacres Elementary School made history with their first graduation car parade on Friday June 19, 2020, The parade was held to honor the fifth grade class of 2020. Since they were not able to attend the traditional moving-up ceremony, these students and their families drove around in cars covered in balloons, streamers, and other decorations. They cheered and honked as they drove through the Greenacres school area, making sure to maintain the celebratory manner of a traditional graduation.

The parade began on Montrose Road, where cars lined up next to a beautiful balloon display on the Greenacres field. The Greenacres faculty lined the sidewalks, clapping and waving pom poms to show their pride for their students. The cars moved in an orderly fashion around the school and throughout the neighborhood, and students maintained their excitement and positive energy throughout the entire twenty minute route. When the cars reached the end of the parade, they were met once again by their overjoyed teachers.

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Although it was certainly not the graduation ceremony Greenacres students were expecting, the parade definitely gave them an opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments. Having all of the students in separate cars allowed them to be honored individually, making the ceremony special and personal. Congratulations to graduates of Greenacres Elementary School and best of luck at Scarsdale Middle School.

Also sending congratulations to the graduates of Heatcote, Quaker Ridge, Edgewood, and Fox Meadow Elementary Schools. Wishing you all the best!

Ryan Smith EdgewoodRyan Smith, EdgewoodLuke KnoppLuke Knopp, EdgewoodAaron Lichtenstein HeathcoteAaron Lichtenstein, Heathcote



FloydA vigil for George Floyd is planned for Chase Park on Friday night June 5, 2020 at 6 pm. The organizers say, “Let us memorialize George Floyd and countless other victims of police brutality, including those in Westchester County. It is time to come together at a social distance and listen in the spirit of justice and solidarity. We encourage you to wear black and bring a sign. Please wear a face mask and stand six feet apart. The date is Friday June 5 at 6 pm at Chase Park and the rain date is Sunday, June 7, from 6-7:30pm.""

We wondered if the event had been sanctioned by the Village and if the protesters had a permit. Will extra police be in the area?

We asked Deputy Village Manager Rob Cole for a comment, and here is his response:

"For the protection of event participants and in the interest of successful events, all special events require a permit. With respect to any upcoming vigil, we are unable to approve any permit due to public gathering restrictions imposed by the State of New York. However, Governor Cuomo has also acknowledged that vigils have been conducted throughout the state, as well as nationally. In his acknowledgment, he emphasized the needs to maintain social distancing and wear a face covering, as COVID-19 remains a significant public health concern. Peaceful vigils have thus been provided for under the NYS guidance.

In view of the foregoing, we recognize that a local vigil may occur. As organizers of such events contact Village officials, we relate that we are unable to issue a permit, educate them on topics that are typically of concern in the permit review process, and let them know that we intend to provide police presence to help promote a safe and successful event. This approach is consistent with how many other Westchester communities are handling requests for vigils.

We are partners in listening to and supporting peaceful voices in opposing instances of excessive police force and are partners in pursuit of substantive progress in establishing Scarsdale as a Westchester community known for its continuous efforts to support diversity and inclusion. As a local government and caring community, we will work together to reaffirm our commitments in this regard and pursue even higher levels of achievement."

scenesfromanewnormalThree SHS sophomores have created a 23-minute documentary that chronicles the Corona outbreak and its effects on our hometown. The short film, titled, "Scenes from a New New Normal," is insightful, poignant and timely and has already received over 4,000 views on YouTube where it is posted online.

In order to create the film, William Reed, Jordan Cascade and Jake Lubin filmed over 36 hours of footage and conducted 26 interviews to show a wide variety of perspectives on how the virus hit the community. They were also able to include stunning aerial photographer of Scarsdale and the area made possible by use of a drone.

Watch the movie here:

They spoke to students, teachers, business owners, SHS Principal Kenneth Bonamo, Scarsdale Mayor Marc Samwick, a CEO, a Rabbi, a physician and a resident who fell ill. All of the interviews and production were done entirely over Zoom, making this one of the first films to be produced totally online.

We spoke to Will Reed about the film and he explained, “As schools closed, the three of us decided that a productive use of our time would be to utilize our common interest in filmmaking and journalism to inspire people and bring insight to our community. Jordan Cascade used his drone to capture aerial shots of a variety of locations around the town and surrounding areas. We used these shots to manifest the desolate nature of the town during this period of isolation. In addition to the drone shots, we compiled clips and footage from students and friends. We used these to reminisce on days at school before the closures. We then asked our peers to send us footage that captured how they were spending their excess of time in creative ways.”

Reed continued, “While conducting interviews over Zoom, we found it best to engage in a casual conversation, rather than a formal interview. Although we did prepare questions, we would let the conversation flow naturally and refrained from sticking to a rigid script, as we felt this allowed our interviewees' most raw feelings and thoughts to surface. One of the most difficult aspects of this collaborative process was that we never actually worked together in person. We collaborated entirely over Zoom and we made suggestions to Jordan as he edited during these calls.”

And what has happened since the film’s release? Reed said, “Since our release, the reaction to the documentary has been incredible and has exceeded our expectations by miles. In less than 8 hours, we received over 2,000 views, and that number is still climbing. We have received so many kind messages with people voicing their support and their feelings about the film. This reaction has been more than what we could have ever asked for, and we feel that we have achieved exactly what we set out to do: uplift our community.”


We asked for some information about the three young filmmakers and here is what they shared: Jake Lubin has been interested in filmmaking and journalism for a number of years. Creating a documentary was the perfect way to combine these passions.

Will Reed has an immense passion for creativity and artistry. The creation of this documentary highlighted his interviewing and collaborative skills.

Jordan Cascade has always been making films, even as a third grader, making a movie about Hurricane Sandy. After the closure of his school, he knew this would be another life-shifting moment and joined Jake Lubin and Will Reed in creating Scenes from a New Normal.

Watch the film here:

drivingrange2The COVID epidemic presented unique challenges to area country clubs who were poised to open just as the shutdown began. What was most frustrating was that suddenly most of the members found themselves at home with time to use the club’s facilities – if only they were allowed.

We wrote to five country clubs in our area to inquire about how they were responding to the crisis and only heard back from Scarsdale Golf Club who had lots to communicate about meeting members’ needs while complying with local laws.

Here is what they shared: First they were permitted to open the golf course in March, and though members had to walk rather than drive golf carts, the club reports that usage was unprecedented. In mid-May the driving range opened and members were again permitted to use golf carts, with restrictions. Golfers have been enjoying the course which looks even more beautiful this spring.

The tennis courts were next. The club was able to observe social distancing rules by allowing the use of alternate courts and requiring members to bring their own balls and wear gloves. At the start, players were only permitted to play with other members of their households. Then singles were permitted and this week doubles were given the okay as well. There are still no benches or tables around the courts, which limits socializing, but members are happy to be back on the courts. The regular team seasons were all cancelled as a result.

What about the kids? The club is happy to report that they still plan to hold their popular day camp if they can get the necessary approvals from the Westchester County Department of Health.

Timing for the balance of the re-opening is dependent on the Governor. With Westchester County opening today, the club anticipates that they will open the dining room and snack bar on June 23, but in the interim they came up with a novel and popular program to feed members during the crisis. Since many members were having difficulty food shopping, and also have a required annual food minimum to eat up at the club, Scarsdale Golf Club is offering their own weekly Pop Up Food Market. Each week members can order meat, fish, steak, dairy and produce from the club. The food is procured from the same providers that supply food for its dining room so members are enjoying quality meats and fish at a time when these can be difficult to procure.

Once a week, members can drive up to the club with their car and their order is dropped into their car trunks at curbside pick-up. The club reports that this program is very popular and has received rave reviews.

The club also offered virtual events for their members to enjoy at home including Happy Hour, Trivia Happy Hour, food and beverage recipes, low and high impact fitness work outs and golf and tennis instruction tips. All the virtual activities were created by their management team and sports professionals.

As the weather gets warmer, the club is hopeful that the pool and fitness center will be permitted to open in the beginning of July – but that remains to be seen. In the meantime, the membership is using and enjoying as much of the facility as possible and members are grateful to have this refuge in difficult days.

The club is welcoming new members to their 14-week Summer Guest Program and has many applicants for new members. Learn more at

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