APRIL 20, 2012

Earth Day awards

Last year on Earth Day in this space we listed our top 10 environmental concerns. This year we’re going to take a different approach. In past months our towns have been so forward-thinking that we would like to add our voices in a salute to the energy-saving and conservation efforts in the community.

• Energize Bedford — Homeowners in the Hudson Valley and Westchester County embraced energy-efficiency projects in record numbers in 2011, completing twice as many projects as in 2010 through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s Home Performance with Energy Star program. In part, the growth in the number of homes completing projects last year reflects the activities of Energize Bedford, the local organization launched on Jan. 29, 2011, is a collaborative project of Bedford 2020, NYSERDA and the Northern Westchester Energy Action Consortium to promote energy efficiency in northern Westchester County. The program, led by director Tom Bregman, plans to expand to 14 northern Westchester communities throughout 2012.

• Marian Rose — Dr. Rose, the treasurer of the Croton Watershed Clean Water Coalition, has been a longtime voice to preserve the quality of our water supply. As Bedford residents know from her years on the wetlands control commission, she is a meticulous and vigorous defender of our aquifers, and has now become a leader in the fight against hydrofracturing. Dr. Rose points out that with high-volume fracturing that can extend 5,000 feet deep, up to 80 percent of the injected chemical-laced water may be left underground. The liquid surfacts will be highly contaminated with salts, heavy metals, and in New York State’s Marcellus Shale, dangerously high levels of radium-226 and radon. Hers is a voice to be heeded.

• Rep. Nan Hayworth — The Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE, program is a financing model that enables local governments to raise money through the issuance of bonds or other sources to fund energy-efficiency projects and renewable energy initiatives. Through PACE, homeowners who voluntarily sign up for home audits and energy-efficiency improvements, like the ones now being offered through Energize Bedford, can pay for the upgrades over a period of up to 20 years through assessments on their property tax bills. Two dozen Republicans and two dozen Democrats have joined in sponsoring a bill, H.R. 2599, introduced by Ms. Hayworth in July 2011, that would allow PACE programs but make housing regulators write new underwriting rules to stop them from making risky loans.

• County Legislator Peter Harckham — Understanding MS4 and sewage districts, taking the bull by the horns on such a complicated, unsexy issue as stormwater and septic. A forum at the Katonah Library this week detailed those needs, discussing proposed design standards for intermediate-size wastewater systems. Public comments on the new proposed standards are due to the DEC by April 30.

• Pound Ridge Land Conservancy — The renovation of the solar-powered Armstrong residence and education center, begun in August 2007, is a remarkable achievement. The job was accomplished by volunteers and local gifts. The conservancy also plays a valuable role in inventorying the town’s open space, as well as demonstrating a key role in the town’s efforts at sustainability.

• Bedford Town Board — We applaud the Bedford board for their commitment to open space. Last year there were some tense moments when the open space fund was threatened because of overall budget concerns in the town. The board, rather than eliminate funds for open space completely, acted judiciously in preserving jobs while maintaining the fund, albeit in a reduced capacity for this year. We’re confident that they will support the new referendum to go before voters this fall to preserve the fund, which plays a valuable role in protecting our land and our town’s character.

• The Pound Ridge Deer Management Committee — The Pound Ridge Town Board and Deer Management Committee are way ahead of the curve in Westchester in protecting our flora and fauna. Police Chief Dave Ryan and Deputy Town Supervisor Jon Powers and other local leaders have been active in creating and maintaining a successful plan in Pound Ridge. Deer overpopulation has led to destruction of ground cover and forested areas alike. The town’s new management program should be a model for other towns in the community, improving stormwater quality and restoring forests and woodlands. When the program was threatened with budget cuts from the county, the Pound Ridge Town Board voted unanimously to encourage the county to maintain the deer program and to keep the museum open and allow it to continue to offer educational programs.

• State Assemblyman Bob Castelli — The statewide group EPL/Environmental Advocates released its annual environmental report card of state legislators, and Assemblyman Robert J. Castelli received one of the highest environmental scores in the state Legislature. Mr. Castelli received a score of 101 out of a possible 105, the highest score of any Assembly minority or Senate majority member, in the only scorecard that grades New York State lawmakers according to their votes on bills that could help or harm our air, land and water. In the Assembly, Mr. Castelli cosponsored and passed four of the environmental community’s five “Super Bills” in 2011. The Senate took up two of the priority bills; both were signed into law by Governor Cuomo.

• Bedford Conservation Board and Tree Advisory Committee — Arbor Day is here, and Bedford’s commitment to its trees is exhibited by having been named a “Tree City USA” for 12 consecutive years. The “Tree City USA” honor is bestowed on communities that have met four qualification standards. They include having a tree board or department, a tree care ordinance, a comprehensive forestry program and have an annual Arbor Day observance and official proclamation. Town Supervisor Lee Roberts, the town board, the recreation and parks department, Bedford tree advisory board chairman Michael Serio and members of the tree advisory board invite town residents to join in celebrating Arbor Day 2012 with three tree-planting ceremonies on Saturday, April 21, at 9 a.m., at the Bedford Hills Community House in Bedford Hills, at the end of Dwight Lane in Bedford Hills and at the Katonah Memorial Park (top of the softball field, behind the pool house) in Katonah. Simon Skolnik and the conservation board will be presenting their own environmental honors at a town board meeting in May. We salute them for their efforts.

We are privileged to live in a community where there is such an abundance of honorees, including all of the volunteers and members of our local boards and commissions, civic groups, as well as the hundreds of homeowners who have addressed energy efficiency in their own homes. This award list could easily be multiplied manyfold.

Read more local coverage of your hometown in this week’s issue of the The Record-Review. Newsstand copies are available at several locations listed above, or subscribe today for convenient home delivery.

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The official newspaper of the towns of Bedford and Pound Ridge, New York



Pound Ridge/Scotts Corners

  1. Scotts Corner Market – Trinity Corners Shopping Center;  55 Westchester Avenue

  2. Pound Ridge Sunoco — 66 Westchester Avenue    

  3. Sam Parker Country Market — 257 Westchester Avenue    

Bedford Village

  1. Bedford Rexall Pharmacy — Hunting Ridge Mall; 424 Old Post Road  

  2. Village Green Deli — Village Green; Routes 22 and 172    

  3. Bedford Shell — Routes 22 and 172 (at blinking light); 848 So. Bedford Road

  4. Village Service Center —193 Pound Ridge Road (at Long Ridge Road intersection)    

Bedford Hills

  1. Bedford Hills Deli – 7 Babbitt Road    

  2. Bueti’s Deli – 526 Bedford Road (Route 117)


  1. NoKA Joe’s – 25 Katonah Avenue    

  2. Steger’s Paper Mill – 89 Katonah Avenue    

  3. Katonah Pharmacy – Katonah Shopping Center; 294 Katonah Avenue   

  4. Bagel Shoppe – Katonah Shopping Center; 280 Katonah Avenue    

  5. Katonah Sunoco – 105 Bedford Road

Mount Kisco

  1. Teamo/Mt. Kisco News – 239 Main Street    

Cross River

  1. Bagel Boys Café – Cross River Shopping Center; Routes 121 and 35    

  2. Cross River Shell Station – Route 35    

  3. Cameron’s Deli –  890 Route 35    

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