Forum Focus
March 2019

Message to Our Membership
We begin March with great energy, after a busy February and the promise of spring.

Last month, we enjoyed wonderful turnout for our programs -- George Latimer's discussion on the state of the county; the screening of JFK: The Last Speech; and, last night, Dr. Arthur Levine’s presentation on the challenges of teaching the younger generation. 

The Scarsdale Public Library, League of Women Voters Scarsdale, the Scarsdale PT Council, and the Scarsdale High School PTA joined us in sponsoring these events, and, as a result, we were able to reach more of our neighbors. This mutual support among our community-based organizations is well worth continuing and we look forward to using the same approach for our next Sunday Speaker Series presentation, a screening of the Scarsdale Historical Society’s film, A River Returns: A History of the Bronx River. The event will be co-sponsored with the Scarsdale Historical Society, Scarsdale Public Library, and the League of Women Voters Scarsdale (see below for more information). 

Our thanks to Program Committee Co-Chair Dara Gruenberg for suggesting we broaden our reach to the Scarsdale community in this manner.

We also hope to see you at our March 14 membership program, during which our state senator and senate majority leader, Andrea Stewart-Cousins, will review Albany's legislative agenda.

We look forward to continuing our work and seeing many of you during the month ahead

Jon Mark

March Membership Program
Stewart-Cousins to Address Forum Members

We invite you to join us on  Thursday, March 14, to hear New York State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins discuss relevant issues now being considered by state legislators. Representing Scarsdale and neighboring communities since 2006, the senator is New York State's first-ever female majority leader.

The event will be held at   the  Scarsdale Woman's Club , 37 Drake Road. Refreshments will be available at 7:30 pm and the program will begin at 8:00 pm.   The program is open to the public.

Committee Updates
Downtown Revitalization

The Downtown Revitalization Committee released a report summarizing its recent survey of Scarsdale Village merchants, who shared their views on the current and future state of Scarsdale Village Center and provided essential information on business needs and opportunities.

The questionnaire also asked existing downtown Scarsdale business owners about what might help them improve sales and better meet customer needs, and requested recommendations on complementary providers of products and services that might add to the vitality of downtown Scarsdale.

A majority of respondents indicated that they perceive the village center as a generally desirable and attractive location for their business, and most intend to stay in the area for the foreseeable future. On the economic front, a majority of the merchants surveyed reported that the health of their businesses is accelerating rather than declining. Some businesses even are considering expanding their square footage.

On the other hand, business owners cited the lack of adequate and desirable parking as the overwhelming obstacle to doing business downtown. There appears to be competition among village merchants and their employees, and shoppers for limited metered parking spaces.

When asked about customer service, merchants believe that they are generally open when customers seek their services, and would be willing to add staff and increase hours of operation if there were prospects for additional sales. They also wish to expand the number of “complementary” businesses that may drive business, including restaurants and a greater variety of retail stores.

The full report is available here . For more details, contact Downtown Revitalization Committee Chair Susan Douglass ( ).


On Sunday, March 24, at 3:00 pm, we will co-host a screening of the Scarsdale Historical Society's documentary, A River Returns: A History of the Bronx River, with the Scarsdale Historical Society, Scarsdale Public Library, and League of Women Voters Scarsdale. The event will take place in The Little Theater at Scarsdale High School.

The beloved Bronx River has played a significant role in the rise of towns and modern suburbs in Westchester and the Bronx. The film tells the story of its remarkable history, sorrowful decline, and the unique efforts to reclaim it by the communities through which it flows.

The Bronx River runs from Valhalla for 16 miles through towns in Westchester, and another eight miles in the Bronx before it flows into Manhattan's East River. Today, it is maintained by an alliance of private and government groups, and the work of volunteers, students, educators, and environmentalists. These efforts have become a model for the restoration of urban rivers across the nation.

Join us for to learn the inspired story of the return of this waterway, and a Q&A with the filmmakers and historians who participated in the production. This is the third film produced by the Historical Society, via the teamwork of Barbara Shay MacDonald, the society's historian, and Lesley Topping, a New York-based filmmakers who grew up in Scarsdale.

For more information, contact Program Committee Co-Chairs Dara Gruenberg ( and/or David Irwin (

  Community Events
Try Your Luck at Casino Night

The Friends of the Scarsdale Library will host a casino night in support of the Scarsdale Public Library on Friday, March 8 at Fenway Golf Club, beginning at 7:30 pm.

Community members are invited to join other library supporters at the event, which will feature a full open bar, food, dancing and casino games (for fun only). Tickets are priced at $250 per person. To order tickets, click here.

 Scarsdale Forum Inc.

Scarsdale Forum Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to community education through discussion and analysis of issues relevant to Scarsdale residents. Since 1904, it has contributed meaningfully to village affairs through written reports, public speaker events and committee discussions. Membership is available to all Scarsdale and Mamaroneck Strip residents, regardless of citizenship status. 

Forum Focus generally is distributed to Scarsdale Forum members in the first week of each month. Story ideas should be sent to one week prior to be included in the coming issue.

Media Contact/Communications Chair
Tim Foley 

Forum Focus Editor
Laura Halligan