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Bronxville Government and History

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From The Mayor: New York State To Ban Plastic Bags and Permit Fees For Paper Bags PDF Print Email

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By Mary Marvin, Mayor, Village of Bronxville

Jan.29, 2020:  On March 1, New York State will ban plastic bags distributed by any business required to pay and collect New York State taxes. The bill also allows counties to decide to charge an optional five cent fee for customers who chose paper bags vs. reusable bags.

Bags exempt from the law include those used by pharmacies to carry prescription drugs, produce bags for bulk items such as fruit and vegetables, bags for wrapped deli meat, restaurant take out bags, dry cleaning bags, newspaper bags, and garbage bags.

New York is the second state to impose such a ban following California. Hawaii also effectively has a ban since all counties state-wide ban the use of plastic bags. Over 200 U.S. cities also have legislation that bans tax plastic bags. Among them are Eugene, Oregon, Anchorage, Alaska, Portland, Maine and Boston, and Cambridge, Massachusetts.


Many countries worldwide outpaced us on a ban. By 2018, 127 countries had introduced some plastic bag ban policy, and 27 countries ban plastic plates, cups, straws, and packaging.

Kenya’s law, enacted in 2017, is considered the world’s toughest as producing, selling, or even seen using plastic bags risks imprisonment and fines.

Plastic bag waste in China reached such high levels that citizens coined the term “white pollution” before a full ban was adopted in 2008.

In 2018, only three months after Australia’s two largest supermarket chains stopped using plastic bags, the country reduced its plastic bag use by 80%.

Digging a little deeper and for discussion sake, I researched whether plastic bags are that bad vis a vis paper bags?
Many believe paper bags are more environmentally friendly because they are made from a renewable resource, are biodegradable, and recyclable. However, plastic bags actually outperform paper bags environmentally in manufacturing, reuse, and solid waste volume.

The manufacture of paper bags consumes four times more water and has a mass five to seven times that of plastic bags. As a result, they generate an equal amount more tonnage to the waste system, and this, in turn, results in a five to seven fold increase in greenhouse gas emissions.

Due to their intrinsic mass, it takes seven trucks to transport the same number of paper bags as plastic bags which fit in a single truck, greatly affecting the carbon footprint and increasing emissions that affect climate change. Britain’s counterpart to our EPA conducted a lifecycle assessment of various bag options and concluded you have to reuse a paper bag at least three times before its environmental impact equals that of a plastic bag used only once. Unless you are reusing your paper bags a lot, they look like a poor option from a global warming standpoint.

Paper actually occupies approximately half of landfill volume vs 9 to 12% for plastics. Though plastics do not biodegrade, modern landfills are designed in such a way now that nothing biodegrades because the waste is encapsulated, thus isolated from air and water in order to prevent ground water contamination and pollution.

Though plastic bags don’t do that much harm sitting in a landfill, the bigger problems arise when they are not disposed of properly. American consumers use more than 100 billion plastic bags each year, (500 billion are used worldwide), with only a fraction ever being recycled. As a result, they end up clinging to trees, invading the wild, clogging waterways and impacting marine and wildlife. As an example, San Jose, California, found that plastic bags made up 12% of the litter in their waterways.

After a 2012 ban, they recorded a 60% reduction in plastic bags in water bodies and an 89% reduction in storm drains. Stray plastic bags also clog sewer pipes leading to stagnant standing water and the associated health hazards.

Most importantly, plastic bags pose a major threat to worldwide marine life. Nearly 9,000,000 tons of plastic ends up in the oceans yearly, and the amount is projected to triple in the next decade. The trash filled vortex so named the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is now twice the size of Texas. Marine animals often mistake plastic for food, and if ingested, can cause disease and starvation. A whale recently washing up on the shores of Normandy had over 800 grams of plastic in his stomach.

More than the bag, what we place in it at time of purchase makes a greater impact on the environment. Our global food system is responsible for one fourth of world planet warming greenhouse gas emissions, with meat and dairy having a disproportionately large impact. Put another way, a pound of beef bought at the supermarket will have roughly 25 times the global warming impact as the disposable plastic bag it’s carried in. In essence, to decrease, if desired, your carbon footprint, dietary choices are an even better place to start than plastic bags, though in a very emblematic way, the bags have become a highly visible sign of waste.

Though the ban is clearly laudable, especially as it relates to our marine ecosystem, we can never rest in our quest to change our daily habits that result in an even greater impact on our environment; Bringing reusable bags when shopping is an impactful first step.

 

Photo by A. Warner

 

Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.


 
Local Politics: Mimi Rocah To Run Against Anthony Scarpino in Democratic Primary Race for Westchester District Attorney PDF Print Email

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By Staff

Jan. 29, 2020: On June 23, 2020, there will be a Democratic Party primary race for Westchester District Attorney in which incumbent Westchester District Attorney, Anthony Scarpino, will run against challenger Mimi Rocah.

Below is information about the role of the Westchester District Attorney and the candidates.

What does the Westchester District Attorney Do?

Established in 1818, the District Attorney for Westchester County is responsible for prosecuting criminal cases in the County.

Who is the current Westchester District Attorney?

The current Westchester District Attorney is Anthony Scarpino, who took office in 2017 and is serving a four-year term.  According to westchesterda.net, Scarpino “oversees a staff of one hundred eighteen assistant district attorneys, thirty-four criminal investigators, and eighty-five support staff personnel.”

About Anthony Scarpino

Anthony Scarpino graduated from Mount Vernon High School, the University of Connecticut and Syracuse University School of Law. After law school, he served as Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Mount Vernon and then joined the FBI. He then served as City Court Judge in Mount Vernon, Westchester County Court Judge, and New York State Supreme Court Judge for the Ninth Judicial District. He was then elected as Westchester’s Surrogate Court Judge.  Scarpino became the Westchester District Attorney in 2017.  He and his wife live in North Castle and have three daughters.  Click here to go to Anthony Scarpino's website.

About Mimi Rocah

Mimi Rocah is a graduate of Harvard College and New York University School of Law. She was Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York for 16 years until October 2017. From 2012-2017, she was Chief of the Justice Department’s Westchester Division. Prior to that, she clerked for two judges and worked as a litigation associate at Cravath, Swain, and Moore. She also appears as a Legal Analyst on MSNBC and NBC News. She lives in Scarsdale with her husband, David, and their two children.  Click here to go to Mimi Rocah's website.


Photo by A. Warner

 



 
Bronxville Democratic Committee Endorses Mimi Rocah for District Attorney PDF Print Email
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By Niamh Hartnett Merluccio, Assistant Chair to the Bronxville Democratic Committee

Jan. 29, 2020: The Bronxville Democratic Committee voted overwhelmingly today to endorse Mimi Rocah for District Attorney of Westchester County.

The Committee believes that her prosecutorial experience, clearly articulated vision, and evident energy are what the District Attorney’s Office needs at this time to best represent all of the residents of Westchester County, including Bronxville.

The Bronxville Democratic Committee is comprised of 14 elected individuals representing Bronxville’s seven electoral districts. 


Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff. 

 

 


 
Bronxville Police Blotter: January 15 - January 27, 2020 PDF Print Email
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By Bronxville Police Department

Jan. 29, 2020: The following entries are from the Bronxville police blotter.

January 15, 2020, 9:26 AM, Avon RoadMotor vehicle accident, two cars, no injuries, an information exchange was prepared by the responding Officer.

January 20, 2020, 1:28 PM, Parkway Road: Police assisted the Eastchester Fire Department on a fire alarm activation at the Avalon building. The alarm was false and the cause was undetermined.

January 22, 2020, 4:35 PM, Crows Nest Rd: Police responded to a 911 call from a resident who believed that he heard noises coming from inside his house. Officers interviewed a known employee who was there to plow the driveway.

January 27, 2020, 1:14 pm, Police Headquarters: A male reported that he lost his wallet at a local establishment and that he lost all of his personal papers and credit cards. The male contacted Police later and reported that he found his wallet intact.

 

 
It's Back to Business for the Village of Bronxville Board of Trustees PDF Print Email

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By Staff

Jan. 22, 2020: The Bronxville Village Board of Trustees was back at work on Monday, January 13, with their first board meeting in 2020. 

After wishing everyone a Happy New Year, Mayor Mary Marvin introduced Helen Knapp as the newly appointed board member to fill the unexpired term of Randy Mayer.  Mayer recently stepped down from the Board because he is moving away from Bronxville. 

Knapp has served on the Village's Planning Board since 2018. Mayor Marvin noted that "Helen has a great combination of corporate background, education, and frankly has a real pulse on a lot of different groups in the community." 

The Mayor continued to recognize and thank the many volunteers who sit on the Village's Planning Board, Zoning Board, and Design Review Committee, noting that over 60 individuals give their time to the Village at no compensation.

Also included in the Mayor's report was the announcement that the Governor's office recently awarded over $400,000 to the Village of Bronxville under the auspices of the Environmental Facilities Committee. These funds have been allocated to support the current program of sanitary sewer cleaning and lining. 

It was also announced that the Village's Tax Assessor has reviewed all of the properties in the Village this year and that all residents will be receiving a new valuation of their property in the first week of February. Mindful of the current trends and changes in the real estate market, Mayor Marvin expects most residents' assessments to drop by some percentage. The Mayor reminds residents that if they do not think that the new value in their assessment is correct, they have the option of appearing before the Grievance Board. 

Eastchester Town Councilman, Glenn D. Belitto presented a check to Linda Nagle, Chairwoman of the Senior Citizen Council ("SCC"), in support of the SCC's work with Bronxville and Tuckahoe seniors. Linda announced that the Senior Citizens Council is celebrating its 50th anniversary this Spring with a "Cheers to Fifty Years" celebration at the Bronxville Field Club on April 23, 6:30-9:00 pm. 

Village Administrator, James Palmer, reported that most of the Village's current public works projects are running on schedule due to the winter's mild conditions. 

These projects include the following:

-installation of additional westside lighting and increased lighting at the intersection of Pondfield and Midland

-installation of new parking kiosks in the Kraft Avenue parking lot to replace 185 coin meters

-installation of two electric car charging stations in the Parkway Road lot, and 

-the library HVAC system improvement project.

The trustees approved six resolutions which included the following:

 an amendment of the Rules of Procedure for Village Board of Trustee meetings to ensure a courteous and civil meeting environment

-the authorization for Administrator Palmer to execute a water usage and data sharing security agreement with Suez Water

-the authorization for the establishment of a capital project for the construction of dual-port electric car charging stations in the Villa BXV garage, and

-the designation of Village Administrator Palmer to serve as Budget Officer for the 2020-21 fiscal year responsible for preparing the Village's operating budget.

The next Village of Bronxville Board of Trustees meeting is on Monday, February 10, at 8:00 pm in the trustee's room at Bronxville Village Hall.


Photo by A. Warner

 
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