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Letter to the Editor: Bill Gaston on Tuckahoe Planning Board’s Decision to Proceed with Marriott Hotel Project PDF Print Email

To the Editor:


Oct. 26, 2016:  Amidst rounds of catcalls and boos from angry village residents, the Tuckahoe Planning Board voted on October 19 to proceed with the highly controversial Marriott Hotel Project on Marbledale Road.

In a bitterly divided 3-2 vote, the board gave its approval to build the hotel atop a confirmed toxic waste dump. Adding insult to injury, the board also rejected pleas from two members of the board who urged a full environmental impact statement be required before digging begins on the site, where, God knows, what ticking poisonous time bombs lie buried below it.    

In moving forward, the board basically told the community, "Trust the developer. Don’t fret your silly heads about clean air and community health, we have your back."  

Is it any wonder after months of being stonewalled on basic facts about the hotel site, the community is angry and is ill disposed to heed these reassurances?  Is it too much to ask that an environmental impact statement, supported by nearly 3,000 members of the surrounding communities, be conducted to allay the well-founded fears of a village whose residents do not want to be the next Flint, Michigan? 

Members of the Marbledale Road Environmental Coalition, who have waged a valiant fight from Day 1 against the obvious environmental risks of this project, are plenty angry and determined. 

Quoted in the Journal News, Rachel Zolottev, the head of the coalition, called the vote a “travesty,” which it most assuredly was. They have promised to continue the fight in the courts, which they most assuredly will.  

They will do so at their own expense, no courtesy of a village board, which displayed its skill last Wednesday burying its collective head in the sand and placing its trust in a developer whose only interest is making a tidy profit at the expense of the wellbeing of its neighbors. Shame on both of them! 

Bill Gaston
9 Bolton Gardens
Bronxville, NY  10708

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: Bill Gaston on Vote on Marriott Hotel Project in Tuckahoe PDF Print Email


To the Editor: 


Oct. 19, 2016:  On Wednesday night [October 19], the Tuckahoe Planning Board will cast its vote on the Marriott Hotel Project.

If approved by the board, the decision to move ahead promises to set in motion wide-ranging and deleterious public health, economic, and environmental impacts for years to come in Tuckahoe, Eastchester, and Bronxville. 

Let us hope the board listens to common sense and the voices of the surrounding communities and delays, or, better yet, kills this ill-considered project.

At its last public meeting in September, planning board members got an earful from angry residents, scores of them approaching the microphone with well-founded fears of contaminated air and exposure to toxins and their likely effect on health and property values.

One after the other, residents demanded a full environmental impact statement before digging begins on the hotel, which will sit atop a hazardous and contaminated industrial dump site on Marbledale Road. Up to now, the contaminated site has not been thoroughly tested, with only a small percentage of the soil samples tested. 

Incredibly, and irresponsibly, the planning board has suggested it may proceed with the project, even as the communities most affected have been left completely in the dark as to the likely health impacts, and even as the developer has failed to address the remediation or construction activities on the contaminated site. What it should do is go back to the drawing board!

Without a more stringent accounting of the multiple risks of this project, which have not been addressed, it would be the height of irresponsibility for the Tuckahoe Planning Board to "take a flier" on the Marriott Project and proceed full-steam ahead. There are simply too many warning signs for the future well-being of our communities.

Bill Gaston
9 Bolton Gardens
Bronxville, NY  10708 

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 Community: Message from Bronxville Board of Education President Regarding Bronxville Superintendent Search PDF Print Email


Dear Members of the Bronxville Community:


Sep. 14, 2016:  The members of the Bronxville Board of Education cordially invite all members of the school community to attend a meeting on Tuesday, September 20, 2016, in the auditorium from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm to assist the board in the selection process for the new superintendent of schools.


At this meeting, you will have an opportunity to meet with the search consultants from School Leadership, LLC, who have been engaged to assist the board in the search. The consultants will describe the process and timetable for conducting the search and devote the majority of the meeting to obtaining your input on the following questions:

  1. What are the attributes of the Bronxville School District that you believe would attract a highly qualified educator to seek the position as our superintendent? 

  2. What do you believe are the major leadership challenges that our new superintendent will face over the next five years? 

  3. What prior experiences and personal and professional qualities do you believe the new superintendent should have to be successful in this role?

Information from this and other meetings with members of the Bronxville School community will be synthesized into a set of search specifications that the board anticipates approving at its meeting on Thursday, October 20, 2016. These specifications will then guide the search consultants and the board of education as we recruit and meet with potential candidates.

Whether or not you are able to attend this meeting, we ask that you complete the brief survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Bronxvilleschool to provide additional input.

Thank you for taking the time to participate in this critically important process.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey Rohr, President 
Bronxville Board of Education

Pictured here:  Jeffrey Rohr.

Photo courtesy Mr. Rohr

 
Letter to the Editor: Vicki Ford on Potentially Toxic Material on Marbledale Road PDF Print Email

To the Editor:  


Sep. 7, 2016:  We care. The two sinkholes on Marbledale Road were filled decades ago with potentially toxic material. Why isn't testing of air and water being done before any construction begins? The over-1,000 residents who signed petitions want to know the answer. Because we do care.

Vicki Ford


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: Bill Gaston on Community Opposition to Marbledale Road Hotel PDF Print Email


To the Editor: 


Aug. 17, 2016:  With ground set to break on the Marbledale Road hotel in Tuckahoe, growing community opposition to the project is forcing local public officials to take a closer look at its significant ecological and public health consequences. 

And not a moment too soon.

Despite clear evidence from the state environmental agency showing the presence of highly toxic chemicals at the site of the old marble quarry, on top of which the hotel would be constructed, Tuckahoe public officials have been dragging their feet and failing to take steps that would address the well-founded concerns of the community. 

Spearheading the opposition has been the Marbledale Road Environmental Coalition, a community-based group that has mobilized its members through rallies, petitions, and grassroots organizing to heighten public awareness and to demand thorough and comprehensive site testing before any digging begins.

As I wrote in this space nearly four months ago, Bronxville residents have a compelling interest in the concerns of our neighbors in Tuckahoe. Our well-founded fears about the likely effects on air, water, and property values from the toxic soil vapors and contaminated dust and groundwater that would result from construction of this hotel have not been adequately addressed, nor have public officials been straightforward or transparent about the consequences should residents be exposed to some of these contaminants. 

Before digging goes forward, we should all insist that the Village of Tuckahoe properly and systematically evaluate the risk to the community of this project, which to date it has failed to do. As I wrote back in April, clean up first and develop later.

Bill Gaston
Bronxville, NY

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. 

Pictured here:  Demonstrators marching against the proposed hotel plans on Marbledale Road.

Photo by N. Bower

 
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