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Letters to the Editor

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Letter to the Editor: Gretchen Pingel on Presentation by Bronxville Indivisible on Marbledale Road Quarry Saturday, October 14 PDF Print Email

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To the Editor:


Oct. 11, 2017:  The Marbledale Road Quarry is a mile north of Bronxville--a mere half mile north for some of us. The quarry site was used as a hazardous waste dump for decades. The construction of a hotel on part of the site began last winter. High levels of VOCs and other toxins have been identified in the air at the site, in the soil, and in the groundwater.

This month, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation will begin conducting tests on the remainder of the site (the majority of the quarry) to determine if it qualifies for state Superfund money to pay for a massive clean-up/remediation that could take years to accomplish. 

Our school and our village need to understand the impact of this work on the health of our community.

Please come to a presentation on Saturday, October 14, at 2:30 pm in the Yeager Room of the Bronxville Library hosted by Bronxville Indivisible.

The presentation, titled "What Bronxville Needs to Know about Toxic Waste Sites in Tuckahoe," will be given by Dr. Donald Hughes, PE, PhD. 

Dr. Hughes is an environmental consultant who has been tracking the regulation of toxic waste sites along Marbledale Road in Tuckahoe.

At this meeting, Dr. Hughes will talk about the possible migration of contaminants from the Marbledale Road sites into Bronxville by various paths and what Bronxville residents can do to address this potential problem.

I hope to see you there!

Gretchen Pingel

Editor's note:  MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements in letters to the editor, and the opinions do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff. Its objective in publishing letters to the editor is to give air to diverse thoughts and opinions of residents in the community.

 
Letter to the Editor: Ardis Schmidt Wood on Outdoor Lighting in the Village PDF Print Email

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Dear Leaders and Residents of Bronxville,


Jul. 26, 2017:  It might be helpful for me to share a little history as you examine Bronxville’s exterior lighting.

Some thirty years ago, village leaders did the same thing. The sodium vapor light source had just come on the market, offering more lumens for less money – what could be wrong with that? One astute resident said “plenty” and proceeded to contact lighting consultant firms all around the globe. Each time, the question was: “Who are the top five lighting consultants in the world?” Clearly, the name of Howard Brandston was most often mentioned, and so he was hired to work with a lighting task force headed up by Corky Frost.

Over the course of his career, Howard’s commissions included the Statue of Liberty, the Liberty Bell, Central Park (after the jogger’s attack), Osaka’s Aquarium, the Petronas Towers of Kuala Lumpur, London Bridge, Battery Park, and several thousand other jobs.

As a member of this group and Bronxville’s planning board for seven years, I was skeptical of consultants, but Howard was the exception. You see, while everyone thinks they understand lighting, very few do because many “obvious” features about lighting turn out to be false.

For example, more lumens (light) equal more safety. If that were true, there would be no crime in the daytime. Other important details include the light source, wattage, and the placement, height, style, and distance between fixtures.

I have spent some 40 years studying urban spaces and serve on the board of Scenic America, the only nonprofit that deals solely with the visual environment of our country. (www.scenic.org)

As so many of our cities can’t be distinguished one from the other with cookie-cutter franchise architecture, more than ever, we long for a sense of place and beauty. In the words of longtime Charleston mayor Joe Riley, “I don’t want ANYTHING in my city that is not beautiful. Cities should make our souls sing!” And when I think of such a place, my mind always returns to Bronxville.

Your architecture, topography, and street plan, including the gorgeous four corners (Midland and Pondfield), are breathtaking. But the details are also of great importance in establishing the village character. Look at the two magnificent wrought-iron gate lamps at Avon and Sagamore. The admiral hat lights in the residential sections are absolutely charming. Even the little silhouette of Mr. Bronx pointing the way to Westchester is such a nice touch at the taxi cab building by the railroad station, and the burst of live flowers in the triangles by the train station is glorious.

And the globe lights...like a string of pearls, are so unique, so charming. Some have been replaced with acorn tops, which are everywhere now, and so commonly used across the country that they dilute Bronxville’s uniqueness.

I mentioned to Howard of your present study and he kindly said he would come out of retirement (in Hollowville, NY) to assist your efforts. In any event, he strongly encourages you to consult with a lighting designer before you sign off on changes.

I asked a friend why he chose to live in Bronxville when he could live anywhere. His answer: “Because I’ve never found a place more beautiful.”

May it always be so!

Very truly yours,

Ardis Schmidt Wood

Editor's note:  MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements in letters to the editor, and the opinions do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff. Its objective in publishing letters to the editor is to give air to diverse thoughts and opinions of residents in the community.


 
Letter to the Editor: Barbara Nichuals, 'Why Should I Use a Travel Agent?' PDF Print Email

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To the Editor: 


May 10, 2017:  As a travel professional, that's a question I'm often asked. Today, with the overwhelming number of sources for travel information, it's no wonder the consumer is confused. The Internet has turned into a minefield of SEO gambits and paid-for listings, not to mention all the new tools and apps available that have essentially put the traveler in a bubble of recommendations. In many ways, increased access to travel information online has made the human expert more important than ever.

Earlier this year, USA Today reported that travel agents are more than just agents, they are advocates for the traveler. Travel agents stand up for travelers at a time when they need a voice now more than ever. We're not just ticket bookers; we're versatile travel experts who have your back and add value to our clients by managing their most valuable asset, their time. 

The best thing an agent can do is to match up a traveler with the right vacation. We have access and resources and connections that would take the average traveler a lifetime to build. But our most important relationship is with our clients. We take the time to get to get to know our clients' interests, desires, travel history, and special needs. 

Below is a list of some of the services travel agents provide, some for a fee:

1. Distilling the product information: Through an ongoing and time-consuming process of familiarization, continuing education, and customer feedback, the agent becomes a travel expert.

2. Investigating and supplying competitive information: No single supplier is going to advise a consumer that a better route or a better fare is available on a competing carrier.

3. Staying abreast of the most current and timely promotions: Via daily faxes, agent-only e-mail transmissions, and their relationships with their district sales managers, agents are obtaining the most current promotional information.

4. Analyzing the current promotions: The cheapest is not always the best.

5. Clarifying the fine print, such as cancellation penalties and restrictions: Again, the benefits of a professional's experience can save a traveler money . . . and headaches.

6. Simplifying the research and subsequent transaction: Like a personal shopper, agents can provide one-stop shopping for travelers who require air arrangements, rental cars, cruise accommodations, and hotel stays, with suggestions that are in the best interest of the client, not the supplier.

7. Enhancing the trip with value-added benefits and amenities: Agents can add to the client's experience by sending a bottle of wine or providing a special land package, a specific escort, or other customer amenities.

8. Using their clout to obtain the best possible options in seemingly impossible situations: Whether it's hotel rooms or cruise space, the travel agent has more buying power than the consumer. It's all about our relationships.

9. Getting problems resolved: The agent serves as the consumer's advocate in the event something goes wrong. They can intervene with suppliers on your behalf.

10.  Travel agents are the experts: They save you time and money. The money you spend will be returned to you many times over. Just as you hire a professional to prepare your taxes or handle legal matters, hiring a travel professional to manage your precious vacation time is invaluable.

Barbara Nichuals
President & CEO, Bayside Travel  

Editor's note:  Barbara Nichuals is President & CEO of Bayside Travel in Bronxville, celebrating her 30th year of ownership. Barbara can be reached at 914-833-8880 or  CLOAKING .

Editor's note:  MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements in letters to the editor, and the opinions do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff. Its objective in publishing letters to the editor is to give air to diverse thoughts and opinions of residents in the community.

 
Letter to the Editor: Andrea Bates on Combating Divisiveness PDF Print Email

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To the Editor:


Apr. 5, 2017:  In early November 2016, Michele Ruhm wrote a letter to the editor of MyhometownBronxville.com asking that, in advance of the election, "we recognize the integrity of others' decisions, even when we disagree with them" and that we not "demonize those who have made a choice differing from theirs."

Having read Rene Atayan's letter dated March 29, I can only ask if anyone read Ms. Ruhm's letter, or, more cynically, if anyone cares.

On March 21, the village held an election. The votes were counted and the incumbents won re-election. Congratulations to them all--it is apparent that they have done and will, no doubt, continue to do great work. I find it both troubling and disheartening, however, that in her letter, Ms. Atayan chose to demonize the opposition candidate as a threat to our everyday life and as "going after" the incumbents, as though it were a witch hunt. Is it really necessary to berate the already-defeated candidate? Why not let the vote speak for itself?

I believe that new ideas, proposals, and perspectives are necessary for a healthy, robust debate. In this instance, a contested election is nothing more than the introduction of a fresh and most likely different perspective.

We all have the right to accept or turn down these new ideas and proposals, but I submit that we do not, as a civilized society, have the right to be disrespectful and dismissive of those ideas and opinions that do not match our own. We can agree to disagree and remain civil and respectful in the process.

The negativity and divisiveness that have crippled this country have to stop. I can't be the only one who is tired of the persistent "us vs them" mentality. When are we, as a country and society, going to recognize and embrace the idea that we're all in this together and that we must work together, regardless of our differences, to move the country, and our communities, forward?

I'm truly scared that we'll never get there.

Andrea Bates
Bronxville, New York

Editor's note:  MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements in letters to the editor, and the opinions do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff. Its objective in publishing letters to the editor is to give air to diverse thoughts and opinions of residents in the community.

 
Letter to the Editor: Rene Atayan on Recent Village Election PDF Print Email

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To the Editor:


Mar. 29, 2017:  Last Tuesday, March 21, the Village of Bronxville saw voter turnout almost ten times our average over the last decade. And thank goodness we did. Hundreds of Republicans and Democrats came out to support Mayor Mary Marvin and trustees Bob Underhill and Randy Mayer.

People value their homes and their local community first and foremost. It generally defines the quality of your everyday life. The Democratic candidate clearly was not qualified to steward our village, and when everyday life is threatened, people react. This election clearly threatened Bronxville and its very responsibly run board, one that ensures Bronxville continues to be the village we cherish.

Pick a cliché and run with it. "Change for the sake of change" is foolish and reckless in matters of governance, and "why fix it if it ain't broken?"

These expressions of frustration by many at the outcome of the national election, who we feel made up the bulk of the opposition's vote, is understandable, but seriously misplaced. Bronxville, Eastchester, and Westchester County literally thrive compared to other localities across NY state, and country for that matter.

For the first time since 2006, our sitting board was challenged in a contested election. Not because the opposition should, but because they could. There are far more productive things to focus on rather than going after diligent, highly accomplished and competent stewards of our communities, and we greatly appreciate the hundreds of registered Democrats who supported our slate. 

Finally, I will say on a personal note, I was deeply heartened by the outpouring of support when I reached out to our residents this week. After living here for 20 years, that is a humbling feeling and a true testament to the faith our residents have in our mayor, Mary Marvin, and trustees Randy Mayer and Bob Underhill. We should never take their service for granted and, I unequivocally know, they do not take the residents of Bronxville for granted either.

Thank you.

Rene Atayan
Chair, Bronxville Republican Committee

Editor's note:  MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements in letters to the editor, and the opinions do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff. Its objective in publishing letters to the editor is to give air to diverse thoughts and opinions of residents in the community.

 
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