Web based journal created to document environmental and architectural conditions in Scarsdale. Read articles Scarsdale10583.com or the local newspaper The Scarsdale Inquirer will not publish! Come to Scarsdale New York, see what a beautiful town this is. Now, we need your help. Funds or time, whatever you can, whenever you can will be appreciated. See the PayPal icon below or email me at Lika@Save-Scarsdale.org. Thank you.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Catching up with last week, June 17-24th

Dear Readers,

There may be occasions when much to my disappointment I may not be able to attend a meeting at Village Hall for one reason or another. Last week, was one such week when I was away for about a week. As you will see unfortunately there is very little information conveyed if one cannot attend the meeting herself or himself.

Meetings I missed last week:

The BAR:

 I wanted to know the results of the BAR meeting I could not attend on June 17th since I was out of town. I called the Building Department spoke to a nice lady who advised I should leave a voice mail for Mr. Nunzio who was out in the field.

The I talked to Mr. O'Brien and he too said he could not let me know how each item was decided since he did not have the time to do this kind of work. I asked about just one item, the first one about Chase Road landscaping and he said that was approved.

I suggested in my voice-mail to Mr. Nunzio that the decisions of the BAR ought to be available for all residents much like the decisions of the other boards such as Planning and CHP, that are available on the web site.

This was exactly what Farley Baker, Chair of the BAR, brought up at last night's meeting. More on that on a subsequent post.

The CHP:

15 Circle was approved for demolition and 22 Murray Hill denied. I just talked with Lidia from the Building Department and learned that 22 Murray Hill will be on the BAR agenda for July 8th. Hope it does not get the fate of 45 Cushman...

The Bus Trip:

I missed it, but we learned during the Village Hall meeting from the Mayor last night, that the board visited water pumping station, the fire station in need of repair and other areas such as Cooper Green and George Field Park that  are currently in development.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Explanation E-mail from Mayor Steves

Dear Readers, Residents,

I would think you would agree why I was understandably so upset at what I had heard at the Agenda meeting of June 11, 2013.

I wrote an e-mail to Mayor Steves, here is his reply:

On Mon, Jun 17, 2013 at 1:47 PM,  wrote:
Ms. Levi:
The Board and I appreciate open and even heated debate on any and all issues before us and genuinely respect an honest difference of opinion.  You, perhaps more than most, have enjoyed the openness and responsiveness of the Board. That is why I am so very disappointed that you would express such a view of one of its members.    All Board members take our open meetings responsibility extremely seriously; no one more than Trustee Brodsky. To extrapolate from one comment you thought you heard to the rash and unjustified conclusion of her qualifications as a trustee is unfortunate. Your attack on her character is sorely misplaced and woefully uninformed and in the context of our efforts to work with you to better understand the workings of Village government, simply sad. I am particularly disappointed because you have often had the opportunity to witness the good work Trustee Brodsky has accomplished as a trustee.
From time to time, the board is presented with a variety of personnel issues which by their nature may only be dealt with in executive session. The open meetings law permits the convening of executive sessions to discuss matters of this sort given the possible impact they may have on individuals who may be the subject of discussion. We are guided by the advice of the Village Attorney in determining when to invoke such a process.  In the four plus years I have been part of the board of trustees there has not been a single such meeting that was not justified.  Your assertion that there should be only one personnel committee meeting is incorrect. Such meetings are convened as necessary when and if warranted by the circumstances. This procedure has been followed by boards of trustees throughout the history of the Village. 
Robert J Steves, Mayor

I replied to him:
from: Lika L. Levi <lika@save-scarsdale.org>
date: Mon, Jun 24, 2013 at 7:09 PM
subject: Re: Agenda meeting June 11, 2013

Mayor Steves,

I am now back in Scarsdale having been away for a while. Granted I was upset at what I heard. Thank you for your e-mail and explanation.

I trust this incidence is now behind us and I hope we can move forward with the work that needs to get done in this Village that is in every need of service and attention it can get from its volunteer board members as well as concerned residents.


Lika L. Levi

Founder, Save Scarsdale (a non-profit in formation)
21 Lockwood Road
Scarsdale, NY 10583-5301

Office: (914) 722-0004

As I said above, there is too much work that needs to get done to put this unfortunate incidence, in the way. Trustee Brodsky has worked very hard in the generator law that I have witnessed and I hope she will continue to work for a better Scarsdale.

Friday, June 14, 2013

More meetings for week of June 17th, 2013

Here we are finally in the Village Calendar:

Click here for Village Calendar

On June 19th there is a Committee of the Whole meeting at 4:00 p.m. which will take the Board on a bus to various sites in the Village. I am sure they would welcome reporters or other residents.

Later on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. there is one more of those " Personnel Committee " meetings. As Ms. Brodsky volunteered during the agenda meeting on Tuesday the 11th, these are labeled as such, so no resident is encouraged to attend. In fact residents are very much discouraged from attendance...

See my previous entry about this on the Agenda Meeting of June 11th, 2013.

This is not my understanding of the open meeting laws in our Village, is it yours ?

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Meetings for the week of June 17, 2013

We are having some technical issues, we hope to resolve soon. Please bear with us.

Below please find the BAR as well as the CHP agendas, not necessarily in that order. 

Here is the  18  item agenda of the BAR for June 17, 2013:

Seven applications for additions, three new house applications and two new garage applications, among other items:

This is the agenda for the Committee for Historic Preservation meeting on June 18th:

Comments from near and far this morning

I received the following from a reader in the UK:

On Thu, Jun 13, 2013 at 8:10 AM, Jacquie Lipton <jacquielipton@gmail.com> wrote:
We are aware of how beautiful Scarsdale is and, while taking into account progress must be made, buildings which do not have a sympathy with the area are NOT progress.
We would like you to know that we are exceedingly unhappy with the monstrous and crass buildings which are being erected, together with all the associated dirt and machinery used in the process.
Please would you put a stop to this positive destruction rather thank construction. 
Best wishes from
Ian and Jacquie Lipton.

This is from a former resident of Cooper Road, he wrote the following on my petition site:

Dr. Morton Blum, NY
Jun 13, 06:21
# 59
Previous Scarsdale resident, 20 years, @ #1 Cooper Rd, Wholeheartedly agree with petitioners to prevent the damaging changes that are occurring.

Thanks to Mary Ellen and Peter Rogers of  9 Ogden Road in Scarsdale  who have let a few of their friends know about my effort, I  now have a few more signatures on my petition this morning. 

This is my bunny in the yard yesterday:

Had you ever seen this before ? He did lift his other ear a little later... Thank God !

And this the other day, flattening himself, in perfect camouflage for any predator flying up above, ears next to body and freeze stance.

Meeting with the CHP and Agenda Meeting of the VB, June 11 2013

I am still trying to come to terms with the two meetings I attended Tuesday night and that is not even all the meetings at Village Hall on Tuesday evening. I left at about 8 p.m. as the Board of Trustees regular meeting was starting and the Lenox Place neighbors were pouring in, including of course Mr. Soldatenko, the Macklers and all...

Mayor Steves, Trustees and members of the CHP

First the meeting with the CHP: A certain lady, who up until then seemed very nice and sweet had the following words full of compassion about the residents who attend their meetings:

" We listen to their canned speeches... We are the first body they encounter, so we have to listen to them ".... So much tender loving care, my eyes teared up... She followed with her description of what had happened at 45 Cushman, or may be comments about 45 Cushman were fist... I will not print that description here. Unlike the NYTimes, I draw a line where acceptable language is concerned.

She had so much pent up anger, I could not believe it... At one point Trustee Brodsky and her seemed just bursting at one another...So much emotion, so many feelings that obviously were not aired till then.

She thought the home had been "b------'ed".... Not words I would have associated with this lady. Looks can be deceiving...What did she think, a home 103 years old would have survived as is ? Look at the pyramids in Egypt or the library in Ephesus... or a lady of a certain age. We all acquire patina. It is called "aging" or character... Lucky her, maybe she does not know what that means, yet....

Then talk about Grand Central Station versus Penn Station in Manhattan and what one preferred. The trustees ducked that one quickly... This question they did not even want to address. They want more and more building, it seems to me...And other comments... Age cannot be the only criteria... 100 years is too long. There are buildings 30 years old that should not be demolished....

The inadequacy of the CHP criteria, the BAR criteria, the way the CHP's ruling was overriden in the 45 Cushman application...And in the meanwhile more in the pipeline waiting for the guillotine as it were, when all this can and should be stopped... Why wait to administer CPR to this very sick patient ?

Why not stop reviewing more applications until our laws, our criteria for preservation is revised to everyone's satisfaction and in a just and right manner ? Why continue suffering and be frustrated when this can be stopped ? Why aren't they seeing the green light ? We have to stop this. Too many wrong decisions, too many times. Now, we all realize the criteria is " murky ", subjective and unjust.

Time to revise.

Why do residents volunteer on the Committee for Historic Preservation when all they want is new, new and new ? It seems very counter productive and very deceiving...Sit on the preservation committee and vote to demolish week after week... No wonder, they all needed some therapy Tuesday night.

As we were leaving the third floor meeting room, I uttered the following to to Trustee Lee: " You should meet like this every day for the next 6 months "... I felt there was so much back log,  so much communication they had to do... I am glad meetings like this started happening. Once this back log is dealt with, it would be nice if such meetings occurred periodically... They are the ones who have direct contact with the aggrieved resident first hand. They know best what is happening and are best suited to administer the right " medicine " or refer them to the trustees. For a good relationship of any sort communication is key. It seems this has been lacking in our Village for a very long time.

Trustee Brodsky said "We are struggling "... over and over again. "We do not know ", etc., etc.
It was like this was a new and novel topic...It is true I had never seen them listening like this before... But Trustee Brosdsky has been a resident for a long time and a trustee for a long time as well... Reports, e-mails of this nature have been coming their way for decades now... So many reports, so many e-mails, letters... Over and over again I hear residents say "our complaints fall on deaf ears"...Why ? It seems they are choosing to do so. For them to prove I am wrong.

The Saltzman report, and how inadequate it is, saving 68 homes out of 6,000 homes. A predetermined report to justify the end to the means like the Village Center report... Not acceptable, inadequate, incompetent, inconsiderate, insensitive from start to finish.

All this is cruel and unjust I thought as I saw my bunny this afternoon in the backyard. No, I thought further: Arbitrary and capricious...Not acceptable. Hard to believe this is what I am witnessing in America in Scarsdale in 2013. On CNN Istanbul is burning, my heart is aching. I turn off the tv.

Is this humanity ? Where are we going ?... Time to stop, think, take a good look...

Everything is money but money is not every thing. Therein lies the mystery.... What a sorry bunch we would be, if we all thought and acted for monetary gain only.

The Trustee's Agenda Meeting:

Next was the Trustee's agenda meeting. I was the only resident in attendance. Maybe they did not know I was there, I do not know. But this is what I heard:

Trustee Brodsky offered the following:

" Let us put it down on the agenda as a personnel meeting, that way no one will show up...( They are allowed to have closed door personnel discussions...)

Al wants to take us on a three hour bus trip...Trustee Eisenman uttered. It will be June 17th or 18th...Can we have a meeting on the bus ? They were scrambling to find some common time to meet altogether...

I came home wondering what this bus trip was about. Trustee Mark answered. You'll see it below.

Why have this bus trip as a concealed item on the agenda ? Wouldn't it be a good idea to have the public see what the trustees are seeing ? Will they drive on enough of pot holes to realise our roads need repair ? Will they drive through enough new development to see what is going on in our beloved Scarsdale ?   The hollow homes,  bare streets with no character, no trees,  no life to them...Just the developer's greed echoing back through space, the space of the former residents' lives: altered, obliterated forever. You can cover, but you cannot hide, syndrome !

Harvest Drive, Archer Lane, Stratton Road, Spruce Lane, Ardmore Road...  some of the few streets that I was able to spot on  my short study thus far.

As of this writing at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday afternoon, the Village Calendar does not show a personnel meeting on June 17th or 18th...

Later Trustee Brodsky mentioned she wanted to hold a meeting on 2-4 Weaver Street to explore other uses ( I am hearing a park, of course ) for that area... Hurray Trustee Brodsky !!!

Here is my e-mail to Trustee Brodsky and Trustee Mark and Trustee Mark's answer:

-----Original Message-----
From: Lika L. Levi <lika@save-scarsdale.org>
To: staceybrodsky@verizon.net Brodsky <staceybrodsky@verizon.net>
Cc: Jon Mark <jmark58@aol.com>
Sent: Tue, Jun 11, 2013 9:10 pm
Subject: Three hour bus trip...

Trustee Brodsky,

Sorry, I heard it and now I can't stop wandering and that was a public meeting...

Where is Mr. Gatta taking you on a bus trip for three and a half hours, and you do not want the public to know ?...


Lika L. Levi

Founder, Save Scarsdale (a non-profit in formation)
21 Lockwood Road
Scarsdale, NY 10583-5301

Office: (914) 722-0004

On Tue, Jun 11, 2013 at 10:26 PM, Jon Mark ‪<jmark58@aol.com> wrote:

from: Jon Mark <jmark58@aol.com>
to: lika@save-scarsdale.org,
cc: bobsteves@cloud9.net,
date: Tue, Jun 11, 2013 at 10:26 PM

Dear Ms. Levi-- Every year relatively soon after a new Board of Trustees is constituted, the Village Staff takes the Board on a tour of the Village so we can observe first hand the physical plant.  This year I expect we will tour such venues as George Field Park, the Public Safety Building, one or more of the fire stations, the public garage and other such sites.  The trip is for purposes of observation only so that during the year when places and projects in the Village are discussed the Board will have some sense of the places involved.  The tour is helpful to all Board members, but particularly the new members who may not be familar with some parts of the Village.

Best regards, Jon Mark

Jon Mark
58 Brookby Road
Scarsdale, NY 10583


I was sorry I could not attend the meeting Wednesday afternoon of the Law and Land Use Committees of our board. The system, as in my system finally crashed... It is too bad there is no way for us to know what transpired at that meeting until we read about it in the Inquirer. I hope Ilene Nechamkin was there and we'll read her excellent reporting in this Friday's Inquirer and maybe be even next week's.

That's why I wish the Trustees would have a web site and would post updates and kept us abreast of all happening. Wouldn't that be nice ? Maybe, hopefully soon.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Board of Appeals Agenda for June 12, 2013

Here we are, more and more building and more and more pervious surfaces replaced by impervious ones,  forever and ever...Swimming pools, additions, generators, you name it...

When will enough be enough ? When we are covered all in concrete and asphalt ?...Where would Rufous go then ?...Would you want to live in a Scarsdale of asphalt and concrete and no green ? Is this why you moved here ?...Would you stay if this continued on and on and on ?...


that a Public Hearing will be held by the Board of Appeals of the
Village of Scarsdale in Rutherford Hall in Village Hall on Wednesday, June 12, 2013, at 8:00
p.m. at which time and place the Board of Appeals will consider the following:

1. The application of Ann and William Sacher for variances from Chapters 310-7S and 310-22 of
the Village Code to install a generator in the front yard that would exceed the maximum permitted
lot coverage at 10 Kensington Road, identified on the Village tax map as Sec. 4, Blk. 2, Lot 282.

2. The application of Laura and Ehud Gelblum for an interpretation of Chapter 158 of the Village
Code or, in the alternative, a variance to legalize a fence or sports net in the rear yard which
exceeds the maximum permitted height at 45 Brewster Road, identified on the Village tax map as
Sec. 4, Blk. 2, Lot 440.

3. The application of PeggyAnne and Joseph Cooke for a variance from Chapter 310-51 of the
Village Code to construct a second story addition that would intrude into the required side yard
setback at 14 Claremont Road, identified on the Village tax map as Sec. 6, Blk. 9, Lot 9.

4. The application of Diane and Stephan Lang for variance from Chapter 310-43 of the Village
Code, to legalize a deck which, as built, intrudes into the required rear yard setback at 35
Cohawney Road, identified on the Village tax map as Sec. 4, Blk. 2, Lot 109.

5. The application of Kim and Norman Kurlan for a Special Use Permit, pursuant to Chapter 310-
88 of the Village Code, to construct a swimming pool at 14 Cooper Road, identified on the Village
tax map as Sec. 14, Blk. 3, Lot 4.

6. The application of Sabrina Zook and Marc Brotman for a variance from Chapter 310-43 of the
Village Code to construct a two story addition that would intrude into the required rear yard
setback at 53 Secor Road, identified on the Village tax map as Sec. 18, Blk. 3, Lot 194.

7. The application of Arlene and Morris Goldfarb for Special Use Permits, pursuant to Chapter
310-88 of the Village Code, to construct a swimming pool and a tennis court at 96 Morris Lane,
identified on the Village tax map as Sec. 14, Blk. 5, Lot 14.

8. The application of Beatrice Sevcik and Anthony Gibney for a Special Use Permit, pursuant to
Chapter 310-88 of the Village Code, to construct a swimming pool at 6 Broadmoor Road,
identified on the Village tax map as Sec. 24, Blk. 1, Lot 24.

9. The application of Joanne and Rocco D’Agostino for a Special Use Permit, pursuant to Chapter
310-88 of the Village Code and a variance from Chapter 310-47 to install a hot tub which would
intrude into the required side yard setback at 123 Brewster Road, identified on the Village tax map
as Sec. 5, Blk. 3, Lot 69.

Copies of the above applications are on file in the Coordinating Office at Village Hall and may
be viewed by interested parties at any time during usual business hours. Visit
www.scarsdale.com and “Subscribe to News” to receive meeting agendas. By Order of the
Board of Appeals, Scarsdale, New York, dated May 28, 2013.
Elizabeth Marrinan, AICP, Village Planner.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Crane Road 2008 ... Saved ?....

I had to go dig back to May of 2008 to find these pictures.

This home was supposedly saved, look what was there:

Trees cut and going....

Thursday, June 6, 2013

One Palmer... One Disaster...

Yeah, we heard the rumors too: Click here  Heathcote Five Corners for the story from Scarsdale10583.

Isn't it ironic that during the same week that the other corner was being discussed we get this news ?

Of course, we also heard other rumors, as in a resident traitor, playing double agent, who switched sides so he would renovate his house on an island off  Cape Cod among other gainful acts...Why doesn't he and his family move there full time and save us from more such treacherous behavior ? Where there is no smoke, there is no fire, it is said in Turkey...In Scarsdale there is smoke and fire and how...

I do seem to remember another saw: The world would be a much better place if all the lawyers just left us. Amen !

Finally the kosher butcher made the right decision. Nobody likes the building, nobody wants to be seen near this building, so why move from Golden Horse Shoe to here ? Of course not... Not for a bowl of borscht or  gefilte fish...Speaking of Fish...

Maybe Mr. Fish will get the message and scrap his plans for a residential building and warm up to the idea of a park ? Doesn't he want to leave a better world for his children ? 29 and 44 years old ?

Hasn't he been successful enough ? Click the link for more: Frederick S. Fish

It was a pleasure for me to meet Mr. Fish last week. He has been to Istanbul, and parts of Turkey that I have never been to. Smart, considerate, thoughtful man who knew turkish politics and history all the way to Atatürk. Wise enough also to know to forget about the residential building and make a park for all of us to enjoy... I hope.

When will the cupola be seen finally where it should have been since Sandy blew it away ? Isn't this called not acting in good faith ? At least they should show they care enough for the building to take care of the building.... No, so far they have not even been able to take care of the cupola, let alone our historic Heathcote Tavern. But maybe that will change, too. We are waiting and watching...

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Harcourt Woods, river project by the high-school

It was a good meeting !

Ilene Nechamkin of the Inquirer, Lena Crandall, a neighbor Grace Goldstein of Harcourt Road, Mr. Selanitro, David Candell reporting for the Scarsdale10583 site were in attendance as well as the Mayor and all the trustees in full force and Village Manager and his crew with deputy manager and Mr. Goodwin.

The engineer from D & B, Rob DeGiorgio,  explained they would be regrading the river at Harcourt Woods to mitigate flooding. They will start in the fall and hopefully finish up by spring. They will design what is called a gabion wall made of stones as a retention wall and be widening the river. This may alleviate the flooding in the area. We shall see...

Trustee Eisenman read from a prepared statement and gave us the background at the start of the meeting, much like Trustee Mark had done the other night with 2-4 Weaver. What would still be better is if they would hand those in attendance their statement so that later we could read it and have a chance to reflect on it. Of course, I even think it should be available through the village web site. I would have loved to have read it prior to the meeting. It just makes us better informed listeners. All who attend these meetings have a genuine interest, and because all have a different background, we all can contribute and potentially do. There are usually not too many in attendance, so I think it would not be too difficult to print a couple of statements and hand them out.  That would certainly make a better, more transparent government. All in the open, nothing to hide. We are sharing all we know with you sentiment, throughout.

The more you attend these kinds of meetings, the more you begin to understand government is a complex, but interesting and intriguing process. You had to be there !

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

George Field Swamps, Cambridge Road, Meadow Road

This morning I thought I would see what the George Field Basin looked like. Tomorrow night at Village Hall there is a presentation of Dvirka & Bertolucci on the Harcourt Woods basin. They keep getting hired to do the wetlands studies for the Village...

They are also the ones doing the study for Cushman wetlands, trying to draw conclusions on future soil conditions based on an 8 month old study....That is like an ant at the foot of a giant trying to count the hair on the giant's head... Totally futile, unless your objective is to fund D and B and make sure all the partners' kids' college funds are well endowed...I sent an e-mail on this to our Village Manager and copied our Mayor. Hopefully they will find it useful and act upon it. I tried to tell Seth Ross about this also, but he looks like he is getting a heart attack each time I move up to the table to talk. So, I am not sure he can concentrate much...

Another point, why is the Village paying for these studies ? The Village should choose the company to do the study, but the applicant should pay the bill. No, the Village portrayed to everyone but the resident, is a Village rich in cash reserves, hiring right and left... No wonder the economy picked up.

Soon they will hire a consultant on how to walk or how to properly salt your meat and then raise taxes on the resident because the sewage lines need repair...and our Manager does not remember when he had said" If the residents do not want it it does not get done in Scarsdale ". Now, if the residents do not want it, it especially gets done in Scarsdale, gets tried anyway...

Scaresdale as one kid had drawn one year on a Halloween poster.

George Field Swamps thanks to poor planning. 7 Million cubic feet draining into here...

This morning at 10:30 a.m.

Landscape architects at the site this morning observing the invasives that had migrated into the area...

On Cambridge Road, with the architectural  firm below....Sound familiar ? How about the BAR ?

Inside out, is right. How about insider to out ?

I was in the Herkimer area when I noticed these fences and a new home being built, guess the builder:

3 Meadow Road new home or homes to be built..
My backyard bunny flattening his ears, making himself look like a leaf,  a stone...perfect camouflage, the other day.
There was another bunny while I was driving West on Popham this afternoon that ran for his life, as he heard the car approach. What are we doing to these poor animals, did it ever cross your mind Trustee Mark ? Who was here first ? They or us ? How will they defend themselves ? Ever ? Don't you love when a bunny appears suddenly in your yard seemingly out of nowhere ? We are all here in awe of these wonderful creatures. They are so perfect, so wonderful, so wild, so exquisite...

Lady bug ( Harmonia Axyridis as identified by Lost Lady Bug Project )  at George Field

Click here: From Lost Lady Bug Project

Last revised July 16, 2017 10:34 UTC.

Herkimer and Harvest Roads

 The CHP on May 21st, 2013 voted to demolish two homes one on, 24 Herkimer and one on 50 Harvest Drive.

You may recall 15 Herkimer was already on the BAR agenda last month for a new home. Our neighborhoods are changing at a rate, I certainly cannot keep up with !

Here is Herkimer Road:

40 Herkimer Modern home, certainly does not belong there....

15 Herkimer given the demolish order, bulldozer at the ready.

36 Herkimer

 17 Herkimer ( new, looks like )

21 Herkimer Road
24 Herkimer, got the demolish permit built in 1940

Here is more from Herkimer with architectural detail from 24 Herkimer:

24 Herkimer to leave us soon...

21 Herkimer with architectural detail, still standing. Wonder how long ? I feel each of these homes' death sentence is being drawn as we speak... One by one, unless the trustees get the preservation law written.

Now, Harvest Drive:

50 Harvest got the demolish permit:

50 Harvest Drive detail

50 Harvest Drive

Harvest Drive new...

50 Harvest Drive emptying house for curbside pickup 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Land Use Meeting, BAR Meeting June 3rd, 2013

I am sorry I had to witness yet another meeting of the VB where again the resident was not heard, again and again and again...March to the beat, ignore the resident, accommodate the applicant !

Trustee Mark at the end of the meeting read his prepared statement that he had obviously prepared prior to the meeting after all the comments were made, about an hour's ( or more )  worth of comments... Numerous times  residents spoke: Martin Kaufman, Larry Bell, neighbors on Wynmor Road, myself, etc., etc. and yet  "No, we are the trustees, this is what we are doing"  attitude, callous, insensitive, inappropriate ... over and over again...Democracy or autocracy in Scarsdale. Forget about government by the people, for the people, it is government against the people in Puddledale...

Trustee Mark, this is not right. Trustee Eisenman said we were at the end of the process... How can she be so insensitive and yet volunteer to serve on the Village Board I do not understand. I thought you had to have some compassion, some empathy... If she does have it, it certainly is not evident to me.

How can we be at the end of the process, when all the time we were told this is nothing, this is a non-binding agreement, at Planning Board meeting after meeting Liz Marrinan goes: "This is nothing, this is nothing you are only approving the facade, you are not doing any thing important"... Blasphemy,  happening in Scarsdale (Puddledale)  in 2013 and you would think it were the feudal times in Europe.

The non-binding agreement gets changed over and over to their benefit and why not to our benefit ? Were the trustees going to represent the resident ? Good deal they raised the price of village land. You have a long way to go to make it a fair deal, Trustee Mark. Please contact me, you need assistance in.

Later tonight I was at the tail end of the BAR meeting. Farley Baker exhibited the same insensitivity I witnessed earlier at the Trustee meeting. My friend Claudine's property ( 10 Kent Road, last item on the agenda )  cannot be screened properly because the new house was built so very close to her property. An issue Lena Crandall brought up over and over again. And now I see it in action. I suggested they demolish the one third of the house... They cannot put in Japanese maples because they are too expensive... Two trees in a $ 5 Mil. home. I  do not understand this, do you ?...

Maybe there should be a member of the Board attending these meetings. There are liaisons everywhere else... A member to attend the CHP, the BAR and the BOA as well as Planning Board meetings. I do not think they will like what they will see and maybe just knowing a trustee will be at the meeting will cause the meeting to be different. Actually I mentioned this during my long conversation with Trustee Stern tonight, he seemed to agree it would be a good idea.

Thank God, for Trustee Stern, a breath of fresh air on the Board, no one like a physicist to see things clearly, to get to the bottom of the issue in a heart beat !

Ilene Nechamkin of the Scarsdale Inquirer was in person at the Land Use meeting as opposed to watching the meeting at home on tv, of course because this  meeting was not televised. I  want to thank her for her objective and good reporting covering the VB meeting last week. She wrote a bit about me in last week's Inquirer which made the hits to this web site increase astronomically ! Yes, they have a much more loyal and consistent base as an audience. They have been around for a long time and the community relies on their reporting, which has only gotten better and better over the years. Thank you Linda !

That's all for tonight. Be well all !

From June 2009....

I wrote this on June 21, 2009 which was then published in the Scarsdale Inquirer.

Mayor Bob Steves was then Trustee Steves...Carolyn Stevens was Mayor  and our past Mayor Flisser was a Trustee then. 

A long time has passed, but I hope we are getting nearer to an acceptable solution that will involve less building, more preservation and conservation and that will finally consider and uphold the interests of the 17,000 or so residents we should be safeguarding, always !

The residents who cannot attend meetings- the silent majority who just pays the bills, is at the train platform at 6:00 a.m., the two wage earner families who moved to Scarsdale for what it is, for what it has been and not what it has been becoming, recently in the past 10, 20 years as we seem to be accommodating  every developer, every architect, real estate investor and not the conservationist, the preservationist or the nature lover to the long term detriment of this community. For a better Scarsdale, we have to say "No" to development, now !

I am posting parts of that letter that are still relevant today:

Dear Scarsdale Village Board,

Thank you very much trustee Sharon Lindsay for your article in the Scarsdale Inquirer, Friday June 19th issue. It was illuminating for many reasons, among which:

1. We learned for the first time that the strip of land in question, is  a very crucial piece of land, in fact it was acquired by the village through condemnation. This is the only way for ingress or egress out of the property. Without this piece of land, the  land is worth nothing. The village knew what to condemn for sure and the lenders are absolutely right to demand purchase of it prior to financing. It is the only way to get in and out of the property. Any future developer or owner is bound to be as interested if not more interested  in the village's driveway. We should be proud of our village to have condemned  just the right piece...

..... As long as the Village owns the land, who says we cannot get a better deal ? Any other buyer can agree to the same and even a better transaction. What if someone buys the land, agrees to preserve the Tavern building  and buys the land across the corner ( the current gas station )  and for having the Tavern Building and our drive-way agrees to give the village that land as a park ad infinitum ? Why is this not possible ? Finally, the village resident, the lone ranger, that silent majority, would be getting something...

.... Good planning is about thinking what can and cannot happen and about seeing as clearly as possible into the future. 

This deal, as good a deal as it may seem, is not a good deal at all...

Thank you current owners of the Heathcote Tavern, we wish you luck and creative and innovative thinking. Consider the park option ...

Lika L. Levi
Lockwood Road
Bronx River Sound Shore Audubon Board Member

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Land Use or Land Abuse...

I wrote this email to Trustee Mark yesterday, his response follows.

Like a seasoned politician he deflects the question and does not answer it. This is our resident lawyer volunteer who grew up in Scarsdale, not a politician with 50 years' experience...

No further comments your Honor, I rest my case.

Lika L. Levi <lika@save-scarsdale.org>
9:31 AM (21 hours ago)
to Jonstaceybrodsky
Trustee Mark,

I do not quite know how applicants get on the agenda of the Land Use Committee or any other committee of the Scarsdale Village Board.

But it seems anyone from the Soldatenkos wanting to extend a road, so they can build on a previously unbuildable lot, to Mr. Fish and Mr. Oder, to the developers of assisted living get on the agenda swiftly and quickly whereas our internal issues of development and conservation have been getting the back burner treatment and have remained unanswered for decades through many mayors, boards. It is time we dealt with our internal issues first and did a little house keeping this summer through fall.

I hope you agree this is the case. May I then suggest you do not take in any further requests until we have resolved this conservation, preservation issue adequately. The applicant can simply be told, we are back logged, we can not get you on the agenda till September or later. We will get back to you then.... We have to deal with residents' requests that have not been met for quite a while and that is now a major concern.

Same for all the land use boards that review new developments from planning to BOA and to BAR, if they are to decide on a demolition....There are important issues that need to be resolved. We are moving too fast for our good and need to sit back and reflect on what has happened in our town in the last 10, 20 years. What have we done to our environment, how many historic homes have been lost, how much cubic feet of air has been replaced with concrete and sheetrock, forever ?  How much green space have we added to counteract all this assault on our environment ? What is our green plan ? When are we going to stop development ? When are going to respect the environment ? How many creeks are there in Scarsdale, implicit and explicit ? How many sump pumps connected to  our drainage system, illegally ?...What about wildlife in our Village ? How are we protecting them ? Their habitats ?...

When I filed for a FOIL from the building department and wanted the number of building permits issued per year for the last five years, I got a note back from Mr. Goodwin that they could not accommodate my request. 
You know how Mr. Gatta felt about my need for some data from Village Hall a while ago...They do not even  have the time to do any of this...

You call the building department, you get put on hold. They cannot answer the phones. You stand for ten minutes at the counter on the second floor, you see how busy they are, all the time...They are over burdened to an unacceptable degree. We cannot treat our employees this way.

I hope you agree we stopped running and paused for a while.

Let me know your thoughts. You are welcome to call me, if they will make  communication easier.

With best wishes,


Lika L. Levi

Founder, Save Scarsdale (a non-profit in formation)
21 Lockwood Road
Scarsdale, NY 10583-5301

Jon Mark
12:54 PM (18 hours ago)
to bobsteveskay.eisenmandlee.trusteemartintbstern.billagattawesannasonmestaceybrodsky
Dear Ms. Levi--Development and the other matters you mention are big topics to discuss. Many residents share your concerns, but there are a range of views on how to address them (including some views that may differ from your own).  The operation of the Village cannot realistically be brought to a halt simply because you are unhappy.

You say you do not know how applicants get on the agendas of the various Boards and Councils, but as you have recently been attending meetings of those bodies, you should be getting a sense of what the process is.  In terms of the timing of the two cases you mention, I note that the May 29, 2013 meeting regarding the Soldatenko's application was simply one proceeding in a process they began approximately a year ago.  With respect to the meeting scheduled for June 3, 2013 to discuss the latest request by the Developer of 2-4 Weaver Street, the particular request being considered was first made by the Developer by letter dated February 26, 2013--more than three months ago.  Over all, the 2-4 Weaver project the Developer is presently proposing has been before three different Village Boards extending back to 2009.  The meeting on June 3, 2013 will be the seventh Land Use Committee meeting I will have Chaired on the matter (inclusive of five in 2011and one in 2012).  Depending on one's perspective these time frames may seem quick or slow, but they do not strike me as indicative of a rushed timetable.  And of course, all of the meetings were open to, and attended by, the public.

The Village Board, Councils and Staff are required to conduct the business of the Village in accordance with the Village Code, the laws of the State of New York, other applicable laws and applicable court decisions and agency rulings enforcing and interpreting those laws, rules and regulations.  We all do the best we can within that legal framework taking into account and trying to strike a balance in light of the numerous, often contradictory, inputs we receive on the issues that come before us.

While I understand your concerns and the issues you raise, my suggestion to you is that you consider other means of trying to achieve your objectives since simply making repeated demands that Village government take a "time out" is not, in my view, likely to be productive.

Respectfully yours, Jon Mark

Jon Mark
58 Brookby Road
Scarsdale, NY 10583


An afterthought: On Wednesday at the Land Use Committee meeting the Trustees said they were going into executive session to discuss the matter of Farragut Road in private. I thought they could only do that if they were discussing personnel matters and that was not on the agenda...I thought all their discussions had to be in public...

Istanbul, Gezi Park Occupation:

My neighbor thought I was involved with the latest on Gezi Park uprisings through my blog ( ?)  and protests in Istanbul, Turkey... But I was only born and raised and lived full time there till 1977, since then my family and I have been visiting Istanbul regularly. 

No, it is totally coincidental but then again may be not, if you believe in Quantum Physics and know about action-at-a-distance phenomena...Trustee William Stern who has a PhD in Physics and has studied Atomic Physics should be able to elaborate on this. 

Anyway, of course I support the park and I do not think it should become a shopping mall. Same story, 6,000 miles apart. Power does blur some politicians' visions and often steers them off course. You can't push the envelope too far, it backfires. As in the school budget in Scarsdale and Gezi Park in Taksim, Istanbul Turkey for recent examples of this.

In Turkey there has been periodic periods of unrest as the country's democracy matures...Inşallah ( God making it possible, facilitating it, building it  ... inşa is build and Allah is God, the combination means with God's blessing or facilitating in this secular state, yet God is in every other word, almost... From Good-bye-Allahaısmarladık, to Allah aşkına...for God's sake...)

It  is a relatively young democracy in a politically unstable part of the world at a very important strategic area of the world. It has always been so, it looks like it will continue to be so ...Inşallah !

( Blogger does not show the updated post time, and posts only the time of initial posting, sorry...)