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MarcSamwickTo the Editor: The Village Board of Trustees is pleased to invite residents, merchants, and others to a community meeting about the proposed redevelopment of the Freightway parking garage site on Wednesday, December 11th at 7 pm at Rutherford Hall in Village Hall.

The idea for a potential project on this site has been discussed for decades. The recent interest has been rooted in two widespread trends: (i) aging infrastructure and (ii) weakening community retail hubs.

First, the Village owns the Freightway site and, based on an engineering study of the parking structure, the community is facing estimated costs of approximately $2.5 million over the coming three years to repair, maintain and improve the nearly 50 year-old structure. Those repairs are expected to carry the structure for the next 8-10 years, at which time more significant expenditures are expected to be required.

Second, retail trends have not been kind to local merchants as e-commerce giants make it harder and harder for brick and mortar retail to survive. This is occurring throughout the country and unfortunately, our Village Center is not immune.

The fact that the Village owns the Freightway site, well-located by the train station, is a potential asset for Scarsdale. Any development would be expected to upgrade our primary commuter parking facility and enhance our Village Center overall. Transit-oriented developments (TODs) have been used and are being examined by some of our neighbors and countless communities throughout the country to enhance vibrancy, livability, walkability, and sustainability near public transportation hubs. This community discussion of the potential redevelopment of the Freightway site is an important opportunity to defray significant taxpayer costs while upgrading our primary commuter parking facility and enhancing our Village Center.

The Board of Trustees has selected AvalonBay Communities and a team led by LCOR and East End Capital as the two finalist development teams in the competition to be named the preferred developer of the Freightway site. Both development teams are highly qualified, and we are impressed with each team’s commitment to this lengthy process.

The Board remains committed to seeking extensive community input, and we encourage residents and merchants to attend this community meeting. It will be an opportunity for the community to: (i) hear from both finalist teams, (ii) see preliminary design concepts for the project, and (iii) comment on your priorities and preferences for the development plans.

I am proud to be working with a talented and dedicated Board of Trustees who have rolled up their sleeves and committed significant time to this project. We have rigorous criteria for selection that includes the developer’s track record, financial wherewithal, development programming, and the demonstrated ability to successfully partner with municipal governments. We take this responsibility and opportunity very seriously.

The Board remains focused on key issues that matter to the community, such as potential impacts on parking, schools, and traffic, as well as the effect on the Village budget – revenues and expenses. These matters have been discussed at every step and will now take an even more prominent role in our discussions. The Board is also considering the ramifications of the development program on open space and other public amenities, connectivity between the east and west sides of our Village Center, and the context of the development within our Village Center – one of the prize gems of our Village.

 freightwaysite

Scarsdale, we want to hear from you. We are keeping the public comment period open for 45 days following the community meeting. If you are not able to attend the meeting on December 11th, we encourage you to watch the video on TV or online as well as visit Village Hall, where poster boards will be available for viewing throughout this period. There will be comment cards available at Village Hall and residents may also comment via email – at freightway@scarsdale.com – or through a dedicated link found on the Village website – www.scarsdale.com. During this public comment period, the Village will continue its due diligence on the two finalists with visits to comparable properties they have developed, as well as meeting with the two finalists to probe further on financial components of the development plan, among other things.

There is still much work to do to create a reimagined Freightway site, and there will be many more opportunities for the public to give feedback on the development plan as it evolves over the coming year and beyond. Your input has been instrumental to get us to where we are, and we will need your voices to continue to help guide us into the future. We hope you can join us on Wednesday, December 11th.

Sincerely,

Marc Samwick
Mayor
December 2, 2019

PhoneScamDue to an increase in incidents of telephone scams, where the caller attempts to fraudulently obtain money from victims using several different tactics, the Scarsdale Police Department has issued the following alerts to prevent people from becoming
victimized.

In particular, police warn residents of the following common scams:

First, the “overdue utility bill” scam: In this scam, the caller claims to be a representative of a utility company and states that one’s bill is overdue. The scammer then requires that a money order be sent or that a Green Dot Money Card
or a Money Card be purchased and the card number provided to caller.

Second, the “IRS tax warrant” scam: In this scam, the caller claims to be an agent or police officer from the Internal Revenue Service, claiming to call about a past due tax balance that is owed. The caller then tells the victim that unless the debt is paid immediately, a team will be sent to the victim’s house to immediately arrest the victim. In order to prevent the alleged impending arrest, the scammer instructs the victim to pay the alleged “tax debt” with a Western Union MoneyGram, a Green Dot
Card Money Card or other such money card. Scams can be reported to the IRS here

Third, the “warrant of arrest” scam: In this scam, the caller claims to be a police officer or a warrant officer from Social Security Administration, Westchester County or New York State Police, claiming to have a warrant for the victim’s arrest. The scammer claims that unless a fine is immediately paid, police will be sent to the victim’s house to arrest the victim. The scammer then demands that the fine be paid using money orders, Apple Gift Cards or Green Dot Card Money Cards.

According to police, the public should be aware that all of the above telephone scams have been occurring frequently, and that scammers are very good at frightening victims into compliance. According to detectives, no government agency or official organization will ever ask a person to pay a fine using money orders, Apple Gift cards, a Western Union Money Gram or a Green Dot Money Card. Police advise that anyone receiving such calls should immediately instruct the caller that police are being notified and hang up.

goodmanLeague President Leah Dembitzer, Professor Ryan Goodman and Cindy DunneThe luncheon topic could not have been more timely. During the same week that House Democrats announced they would hold public hearings on the impeachment of President Donald J. Trump, the League of Women Voters of Scarsdale hosted a luncheon with an expert on the impeachment process. They invited Ryan Goodman, Professor of Law at New York University and a co-editor in chief of the website Just Security.org to discuss, “Ukraine and The Impeachment Process: What are the Strongest Arguments on Either Side? What's Next?”

Perhaps that’s the reason the event was sold out.

Introducing Goodman, League President Leah Dembitzer read the following statement from the national League of Women Voters:

The League of Women Voters of the United States believes that presidential power should be exercised within the constitutional framework of a dynamic balance between the executive and legislative branches. Accountability and responsibility to the people require that unnecessary secrecy between the President and Congress be eliminated.”

“The League of Women Voters of the United States believes that structures and practices of the U.S. Congress must be characterized by openness, accountability, representativeness, decision-making capability, and effective performance.”

Goodman’s talk highlighted what happens when the balance between the legislative and executive branch is off kilter and there is loss of accountability. He provided a timeline and an analysis of what he expects to happen in the coming weeks.

He said, “We’re going to have an impeachment vote in the House by the end of the calendar year and it will be a yea vote. It will be on a single charge – about allegations about Ukraine.”

Why limit the articles to the Ukraine issue? Goodman said, “Congressman who come from purple districts said they would vote yes on impeachment on this issue. This is an issue that the public can easily understand.”

He went on to say, “The President pressured a foreign government to intervene in our elections. The articles of impeachment will be specific to Trumps dealings with Ukraine and will include a number of options. Representatives can decide which ones to vote for.

Goodman believes the articles of impeachment will be drafted based on those brought against Richard Nixon.

The first will be abuse of power. He said, even without a quid pro quo, the mere solicitation to a foreign government to interfere in our elections, constitutes an abuse of power. Add to that the quid pro quo, which was economic aid in exchange for an investigation of Hunter Biden, constitutes a second abuse of power. In other words, Trump used the power of the office, in violation of his oath, and solicited a foreign government to act for his personal gain.

The second article of impeachment will be for contempt of Congress. These charges results from the administration’s interference with Congressional committees and the White House’s refusal to produce witnesses or documents. In fact, the White House Counsel sent a letter to Congress saying they would not engage in any form of accommodation.

The third article will be for obstruction in that the White House engaged in a plan to cover-up and conceal the evidence and to intimidate the witnesses. About the whistle blower who initially made the report about the President’s conduct, Trump said, “I want to know who’s the person who gave the whistle-blower the information because that’s close to a spy,” Mr. Trump said. “You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart with spies and treason, right? We used to handle it a little differently than we do now.”

According to Goodman, “that’s intimidating witnesses.”

Though a vote to impeach needs only a majority vote to pass in the House, in the Senate, a 2/3 majority is required. That means that 20 Republican senators would need to vote in favor of impeachment.

Though it’s unlikely that so many will cross party lines, Goodman predicted that if public opinion continues to move against Trump, there is a “non-trivial” chance that the Senate could also vote to impeach.

Goodman outlined three possible outcomes of the vote in the Senate:

-Conviction

-Acquittal

-A near miss – which could make it nearly impossible for Trump to be re-elected and continue in office. Goodman said, “That’s what happened to Andrew Johnson.”

What factors might determine these outcomes?

The strength of the indictment

Goodman believes the evidence to impeach is “damning” and “has been proven to a great certainty.” He called the transcript of Trump’s phone call to the Ukrainian president, “the smoking gun.” He continued, “The text messages between the ambassadors includes the quid pro quo itself. We are holding military aid.” Furthermore, he said, “90% of the whistle blower complaint has been corroborated.”

The bi-partisan vote

The composition of the vote will also be a factor. How will the house vote? How do people who are up for re-election vote? Do Republican representatives break with their party?

The procedural fairness and irregularities of the proceedings

Goodman explained, “The White House has raised legitimate concerns. The President’s lawyers cannot call or question witnesses. The perception of the fairness is important as well. What is the public’s perception of the fairness of the proceedings?

Goodman explained that in his view, even if Trump is not convicted in the Senate, the nature and perception of the proceedings and the make-up of the vote, could leave Trump unable to govern or get re-nominated by the Republicans to run for a second term.

According to Goodman, there is a “non-trivial” chance that President Trump will be convicted in the Senate. He says, “Public opinion is important. The most recent Fox poll showed that 51% of the public favor impeachment and removal from office. This might climb – to 60% or even higher. If so, the Republicans will have a problem on their hands when they look at the electorate.

Goodman also predicted that Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, could affect the outcome of an impeachment trial. Goodman said, “many think Giuliani has great criminal exposure and is already under criminal investigation. Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman have already been indicted, and presumably the FBI has their phones and transcripts of their communications with Giuliani. Will Giuliani flip in order to arrange a plea deal?

If so, his evidence could be even more damning to his boss.

Goodman gave a concise and insightful analysis of the situation to date. With new developments every day, the only certainty is that the impeachment inquiry will continue to dominate headlines, at least through the end of the year.

Kudos to the League for bringing a scholar and an expert to town. To dig deeper on this issue, visit Goodman’s website at justsecurity.org.

BloombergThis letter was sent to Scarsdale10583 by Scarsdale resident David Stafford.
I am a political moderate who leans right on most economic and geopolitical issues, and left on the majority of social ones. I am distraught about the Trump Presidency due to the current inhabitant’s defilement of his office through his constant prevarications, narcissism and intemperance. I have, until recently, been hoping that Joe Biden would emerge as the Democratic Presidential nominee. “Uncle Joe” is a moderate and a fundamentally decent guy who would return dignity and reason to the White House. The other two moderate candidates in the Democratic Presidential field, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar, are impressive and perhaps someday their time will come, but I do not consider either one electable in 2020.

Unfortunately, I have come to believe that we moderates who fall into the category of ABT (Anyone But Trump) have a problem. Biden has faltered during the debates and his apparent inability to finish a sentence coherently can be painful to watch. His financial support is weakening and Elizabeth Warren has emerged as the current favorite to win the Democratic nomination. This leads to a question. Does ABT mean that any sentient human being who opposes Trump in 2020 is worthy of support? The politically moderate New York Times columnist David Brooks answered this question in the affirmative in a column last month, in which he stated that given a choice between Warren and Trump for President, he would vote for Warren. I cannot go that far. Warren is by all accounts brilliant and a good and well-meaning politician. But her policy proposals are too extreme for me. Free Medicare for all would eliminate private health insurance and cost countless trillions of dollars. Free college and forgiveness of student debt would also be prohibitively expensive, as would the wild-eyed Green New Deal which she supports. Her proposed wealth tax is probably unconstitutional and is unlikely to generate anywhere near the kind of revenue that she imagines. Her policies would, in my view, fundamentally alter the US economy by vastly increasing the government’s role in peoples’ lives and undermining many of the incentives that help drive US economic growth.

A recent poll asked a sample of people intending to vote in the Democratic primary how they would react if Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, or Michael Bloomberg entered the race. 50% said they would vote for Obama, 27% said they would vote for Clinton, and 6% said they would vote for Bloomberg. This tells us that a meaningful number of Democrat primary voters aren’t content with the party’s current field of candidates and long for a dignified, moderate candidate – even one (Obama) who has made clear that she has no interest in being President. Hillary Clinton? I don’t think so. Bloomberg, who announced that he plans to enter the race last week, has clear flaws as a candidate. He’ll be 78 by Election Day 2020, which would make him the oldest first term President in US history; he supported “stop and frisk” as Mayor of NYC even though it was shown to be racially discriminatory in its application; he unsuccessfully proposed a city tax on soda as a means to combat obesity; he is less than a dynamic speaker or electric personality; and he’s rumored to have not promoted women on his staff sufficiently during his Mayoral administration.

Notwithstanding these issues, Bloomberg is a classic conservative when it comes to economics, with a strong belief in policies that incentivize capital formation and investment, which in turn leads to business expansion, job creation and wage growth. He believes in a strong US military and doesn’t ascribe to the populist, insular, autocrat-loving approach we’ve seen Trump pursue. Perhaps most important, he is smart, measured, dignified and ethical. And for us Scarsdale residents, it probably wouldn’t be too long after inauguration day when President Bloomberg takes steps to unwind Trump’s punitive and unfair SALT deduction limitation, which adversely affects many of us.

In sum, my fear is that a far left Democratic candidate such as Warren or Bernie Sanders will ensure Trump’s re-election. The US needs two viable parties competing for many of the same voters to make our system of checks and balances a governing reality. These days, an electable Presidential candidate must not be perceived as hostile to free speech, religion and the everyday concerns of working- and middle-class citizens as most voters in “fly over country” perceive the left wing of the Democratic Party. Bloomberg checks the boxes in this regard as well.

Would it be easy for a Jewish, billionaire plutocrat to win over undecided, moderate voters across the United States? No. But Bloomberg may be the best option for us moderates. Plus we can count on our current President to help with his sophomoric Twitter tantrums, self-aggrandizement, self-dealing and unpresidential behavior.

If there’s a better moderate Presidential candidate than Mike Bloomberg who can win the Democratic Presidential nomination, then bring him or her on. In the meantime, I’ll be throwing my support to Mayor Mike for President.

David Stafford

FrancoSophia Franco takes a hard shot.Over the past decade, the path to the sectional championship for Scarsdale’s field hockey team has almost always run through the Mamaroneck Tigers. The 2019 season proved no different as the third seeded Raiders faced the second seeded Tigers on October 30 in a semifinal standoff. The winner would earn the right to play Horace Greeley in the finals on November 2. On a night that featured a constant drizzle, the Raiders dropped a tough 2-0 decision to the Tigers.FelderFelder, Novenstein and Carrol on the move.

This contest marked the rubber match for the teams this season – with each team defending their home turf successfully with one goal victories. Both teams were coming off of solid victories in the quarter finals – with Scarsdale defeating White Plains 5-1 and Mamaroneck edging Carmel 3-1. The Tigers were riding a six game winning streak – not suffering a loss or tie since their loss to the Raiders. The Raiders appeared to be improving with every game over the final few weeks.

The contest was played under the lights and both teams came out with an abundance of energy and the crowd was certainly the largest and loudest that either team came across during the season – and added to the electric atmosphere.

With three minutes gone, Sophie Carroll stole the ball and made a nice drive down the field. Mamaroneck’s goalie came way out of the crease to kick the ball away. Scarsdale controlled the ball and the tempo for almost the entire half. Carroll and fellow co-captain Liz Scarcella were flying all over the field and kept the Tiger’s big guns in check.

ScarcellaCo-captain Liz Scarcella races down the field with the ball.With a little over eight minutes left in the half, a Mamaroneck midfielder drew a green card – giving the Raiders a one man power play for two minutes. However, Scarsdale couldn’t take advantage of the opportunity. Scarsdale had many long shots and passes go quite long down the field – but just past the Scarsdale forwards – and out of bounds past the Tiger goal.

With just over five minutes left in the half, Mamaroneck began to put pressure on Scarsdale deep in the Scarsdale half of the field. Finally, with 2:49 left the Tigers Sophie Showers scored the lone goal of the half from the right side of the crease – beating Scarsdale goalie Angela Hoey. The half ended with the score 1-0 in favor of the Tigers

Scarsdale came out for the second half particularly charged up – and drove the ball down the field – leading to the first corner of the entire game. After a scrum in front of the Mamaroneck goal, the Tigers had a long drive and had the ball in a great position. With a little over six minutes gone in the half, Hoey made the first of several fabulous saves – plucking a ball out of the air that was heading for cage. Moments later, Hoey came up large again off of a corner - making a diving save across the goal and saving yet another sure goal. The Tigers received a corner off of the play, and converted a nice pass for a goal – making the score 2-0 with a little over 19 minutes left in the contest.

The Raiders kept fighting and nearly scored right after the goal. Co-captain Sophie Franco, who appeared to be playing with a limp in the second half, almost converted a pass into a goal – narrowly missing the cage. With only ten minutes to go, the Tigers goalie made a magnificent save off of an MJ Callahan shot. The final minutes of the game saw Scarsdale drive, and continuing to apply pressure to the Mamaroneck’s defense. Unfortunately for the Raiders, they were not able to convert on their excellent penetration and Scarsdale’s season ended as the final horn ended and the scoreboard showed a 2-0 score in the Tiger’s favor.

Looking back, the Raiders had a fantastic season – finishing with a 13-4-2 record. Senior co-captains Franco, Scarcella, and Carroll along with Andie Novenstein led the team both on and off the field admirably and represented Scarsdale quite well – and continued the legacy of a consistently strong program. Coaches Lauren Barton and Sarah Martinez, in their second season coaching the Raiders, have created a very strong culture which should carry through to the future. The Raiders will field a very strong squad in 2020 – with experienced players such as MJ Callahan, Olivia Franco, Emily Felder, Angela Hoey, Maeve Jacobson, Victoria Wilson, and Haley Matusz.

Coach Lauren Barton said the following: In our last game, the girls played with heart, poise, discipline, love for the game, respect for their teammates, opponents and referees. They left nothing on the field. The hardest part of our last game was recognizing that in fact that was our last game together as a team. Our captains and seniors were incredible role models and united the team in every capacity. As we circled up after the final whistle blew, the girls began sharing their memories of the season....from our preseason trip up to Boston, the ropes course, various games and practices, and countless team bonding events. As a team, we created great memories this season and learned lessons that the girls will hopefully take with them as they move forward.

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