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Storms, Schools Among Scarsdale's Top 2011 Stories

SCARSDALE, N.Y. – Don't look now, but 2011 is just about over and 2012 is knocking at the door. It has, by any account, been a year of highs and lows nationally and internationally. From the Arab Spring to Occupy Wall Street, from U.S. government paralysis to the beginning of an economic recovery, and the deaths of Osama Bin Laden, Muammar Gaddafi and Kim Jung Il, 2011 has been anything but boring.

Locally, extreme weather dominated conversation from August to November, and the state's new 2 percent tax levy cap sent a chill through county and local governments. Scarsdale launched a search for a new high school principal and laid the groundwork for a foundation to help support education in the village.

A couple of construction issues were in the news: The revamped public safety building opened a year late and residents found out the Popham Road Bridge work would take another year.

There was tragedy as well. A young Edgemont woman disappeared in Bloomington, Ind., while walking home from a college friend's home, and former Scarsdale High athlete Andrew Zayac was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.

Scarsdale also joined the rest of the nation in remembering the terror attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

Here are our choices, in no particular order, for the Top 10 stories in Scarsdale in 2011:

  • The Oct. 29 snowstorm knocks out power to thousands of residents, threatens to scrap Halloween activities and stretches an already-stressed village budget to the breaking point.
  • Tropical Storm Irene dumps several inches of rain on the area, causing major street and highway flooding, knocking down tree limbs and causing power outages around the village.
  • Edgemont High graduate Lauren Spierer, attending Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind., disappears while walking home from a friend's home.
  • Scarsdale High graduate Andrew Zayac is convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison after a drug deal gone bad.
  • New York State passes a 2 percent tax levy cap that threatens to force schools and municipal governments to make tough budget choices.
  • Scarsdale High School Principal John Klemme resigned after 18 years on the job, sending the school district off on a nationwide search for a permanent replacement while appointing interim co-principals.
  • The Scarsdale School Board responded to the economic time and the new state tax levy cap by forming a committee to explore starting an education foundation to raise money for the system.
  • Scarsdale's renovated and expanded public safety building finally opened after a year's delay. The building came in about $2 million over budget.
  • Scarsdale residents – especially those who drive in the village - got some bad news when it was announced that the Popham Road bridge replacement, due to be completed in November, would not be done until November 2012.
  • Villagers came together on Sept. 11 to remember the horrific events of Sept. 11, 2001, when hijackers flew two commercial passenger jets into New York City's World Trade Center towers and another into the Pentagon, while a fourth  crashed into the ground in Pennsylvania as passengers fought the terrorists who were reportedly headed for Washington, D.C.

Over the next week, The Daily Scarsdale will take a another look at the Top 10 stories of 2011. Tomorrow: The Daily Scarsdale looks at Tropical Storm Irene and the Oct. 29 snowstorm.

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