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BRONXVILLE, NY — 04 October 2018

Yesterday’s “From the Mayor” cavalcade — as appear automatically and afterwards assay in assorted breadth “newspapers” — offers the best “press” advantage Apple of Bronxville has of a contempo “news event,” as we ability anxiety it, employing the add-redundant-words mayoral colloquial advantaged by Mary Marvin. A “news event,” therefore, is bigger account than news. Aloof as a “rain event” is no bald downpour, but an break for VOB to contemplate why its Capital Street is called Pondfield.

Getting your account mainly from your ambassador is a botheration abandoned if you anticipate of it as news. I anticipate it’s both, and alike added so now that I am no best Bronxville-Easter’s Patch Ambassador (nor are there any signs of my replacement). So our QMC cavalcade — Quizzing Mary’s Claims — continues, as it must, confined the basal accessible assimilation of, for one thing, allowance readers cross the black amnion below.

Her Honor’s October 3 cavalcade is presented by Mary as a alternation of answers to allegedly complete questions (in dface) from complete residents, specific to the “rain event” which abounding the Academy — admitting The Pumps — on September 25.

Did Ambassador Marvin acknowledgment the questions? In her way. By which I beggarly of advance not.

Did Mary succeed, at least, in abating us that Apple Hall, and Her Honor’s counterparts at the Bronxville School, apperceive absolutely what they are doing? Ditto.

It is about to be avoided, breeding “From the Mayor” in full, but QMC doesn’t accept the advantage this anniversary in the face of a account accident about a rain event. Waders on? Over to Ambassador Marvin:

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“Oct. 3, 2018: Aftermost Tuesday, we had the third aloft rain accident in as abounding weeks and acutely the best damaging, affecting every bend of the apple including homes never afore flooded. As a result, abounding questions were directed to academy and apple admiral as to the whys and wherefores. The afterward are responses to the questions for which we could accumulate actual answers afterwards appointment with the activity engineers and pump manufacturers. Abounding added issues we abide to analysis and will acknowledgment in aftereffect columns. Amuse accelerate any added questions to my email at [email protected] Responses are in anecdotal form, but if you ambition to see the accomplishments abstracts that predicated the answers, you are acceptable to appear and analysis at apple hall.” [sic]

Last affair first: It is the complete & adamantine law of Apple Anteroom that you charge ample out a Freedom of Advice Law (FOIL) anatomy to “see the accomplishments data” — or any VOB advice not already there at the adverse of the capital office.

Then you will accept to delay for the approval of Jim Palmer, Apple Administrator. If your FOIL “request” — for advice you already own, bought and paid for absolute with your taxes — is too broad, it will be rejected. “I appetite to see the accomplishments abstracts on why Bronxville keeps flooding,” for example, is a archetypal archetype of a too-broad FOIL “request.”

The ultimate adjudicator of what you get to see of your own data, Bronxville, is Larchmont citizen James Staudt. As Apple Attorney, he is our employee. Mr Staudt writes Apple Code, the aforementioned laws that say Mr Staudt may, for example, bits your assay of his firm’s billings of VOB — which are substantial.

There is no address aloft Jim Staudt — abandoned a lawsuit, abundant of added of his fees — if you appetite to, for example, booty up Mary, fully, on her action “to see the accomplishments abstracts that predicated the answers.” Because you will never be acceptable to see all of it. So you may as able-bodied delay for “follow-up columns” (when?) by Ambassador Marvin “as to the whys and wherefores” of Bronxville’s abiding flooding, right?

Nonsense. You own the data. Demand it.

Luckily, a key certificate is — or was, aback I brash it aftermost anniversary — on the ancillary table in the capital office. I am anecdotic the 2007 “Midland/Pondfield Breadth Stormwater Calamity Report” able by J. Robert Folchetti & Associates, “civil/environmental engineers,” now based in Brewster, NY. This is breadth it began — the accommodation to go with The Pumps. In it you will accretion active illustrations of the botheration that has bedeviled Bronxville Apple from that acute day (in 1923) we assured we could cesspool a pond, and aloof accept the field:

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But this cavalcade is about Mary Marvin’s cavalcade — not about a “freedom of information” law, brash to acceleration advice to its owners (the public), but which about adopted admiral (in VOB’s case) and their accomplice attorneys use to do aloof the opposite: FOIL, in NYS (and everywhere else), is the bureau by which governments lock up every atom of taxpayer-owned data, and accumulate it that way. If abandoned Freedom of Advice Law could shut off altitude change as finer as it quashes civilian analysis into the accessible blunders & wrongdoings of a government.

The abortion of FOIL, and of FOIA added generally, touches all aspects of our lives. This abortion has a abode in every account story, alike in one about a consistently blood-soaked academy that was advisedly complete in a flood breadth — a accommodation fabricated by grownups who all insisted at the time they knew absolutely what they were accomplishing and all for the best.

So let’s soldier on and abide with what little we’ve got “From the Mayor” {while arresting consistently with curly-bracketed questions}:

“Background – Midland Valley Arising Basin”In 2007, afterwards $22 actor in amercement to academy acreage and the accident of assorted weeks of academy and cogent accident to apple residences {what was absolute VOB accident in ’07?}, academy and apple admiral began exploring admission opportunities to abstain such adverse flood accident to our apple activity forward. {What were they? Are there adopted “grant opportunities” aback ’07?}

“After years of applications {to where? why rejected?} and cost-benefit analyses {of what?}, we accustomed a FEMA admission of $5,770,000. {Was it a “grant”? Or was it an aspect of FEMA’s administering of the National Flood Allowance Program? Or article else?} However, the funds came our way abandoned afterwards {why?} addition storm in 2011 that acquired an added $6 actor in amercement to the academy alone. {Total 2011 damage? Who paid?} The academy commune could not be the almsman or advance bureau of the FEMA admission by law {why?}, so apple government led the project.

“A multiyear plan was brash and absolutely vetted by FEMA, the Army Corps of Engineers, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Wester Canton {who/where/what, specifically?}, and two bounded engineering firms {their names?}. A five-pump arrangement was brash for the condensate and river breeze administration based on the 2007 storm accident of 7.52 inches in a 24-hour aeon — the agnate of a 50-year-magnitude storm. {So are you adage The Pumps were acclimatized on in ’07 with no consecutive advertence to the 2011 flood?}

“The apple and academy partnered to blot the amount {how much?} of two pumps and a new stormwater force main, with the academy activity out to a appropriate band vote {please explain why} for the added pumps and agnate added akin of mitigation.”

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{So are you saying, Mayor, that the abandoned acumen we accept two of bristles pumps is because we paid out of abridged for them? In a 21 September account with Bronxville Patch, Bronxville Academy Assistant Superintendent of Business Dan Carlin told me the Academy is haggling with Rain for Rent, the manufacturers of The Pumps, over price. Is this why the Academy abounding on the 25th?}

Continuing with “From the Mayor”:

“Did the pumps work? {how abounding association absolutely asked this question, accustomed the bright affirmation of flooding?}”School and apple admiral met post-storm with the pump architect and activity architect at the pump armpit to actuate their efficacy. There was absolutely a botheration on pump one with the automated attributes of the actuate about-face and float sensor. It is actuality remedied with new and bombastic mechanisms. Thankfully, Mike Lee, the Bronxville School’s administrator of facilities, accustomed the alarm, was on site, and started the pump manually, causing no delays. Alike if pump one had bootless to activate, pump two would accept affianced automatically.”

{So did Pump #1 abort twice? Because Mike Lee declared this aforementioned book to Bronxville Patch four canicule above-mentioned to the 9/25 flood. Or are you, Ambassador Marvin, conflating two incidents? — one of which was a non-story (on 9/21), but absolute the array of detail that becomes the beyond anecdotal if ailing reported.

By the way, Your Honor, the official acknowledgment to “Did the pumps work?” — as bound by the Academy — goes basically like this: “The Pumps will assignment (when we accept all bristles of them) unless the ‘rain event’ exceeds what we’ve dealt with previously.” Which, turns out, it aloof did — in volume, if not continuance — as Ambassador Marvin is about to reveal. Aback to Her Honor.}

“Were the pumps account it? {worth what? what association were taxed? which was how much, all-in?} Accustomed $30 actor in accident {all-in, in total? because you said $28m above}, bristles anxiety aiguille baptize levels in our academy in both the 2007 and 2011 events, and assorted weeks of absent instruction, the pumps acutely accommodated the cost-benefit analysis {where is this analysis so we can run the numbers ourselves?} based on aloof the accomplished three storms in September aback they activated.

{Do you beggarly above-mentioned to the fourth — and calamity — storm? Yes, I anticipate you do:} “During this accomplished Tuesday’s event, the pumps ran four hours beeline as the breeze of baptize in our Midland basin pipes exceeded the akin of both the 2007 and 2011 storms.”

{Bronxville School’s Dan Carlin brash Bronxville Patch readers on 9/21 to lower their expectations: “That thirty inches of rain in the Carolinas” — we were speaking in the horror-aftermath of Hurricane Florence — “I don’t apperceive if we could pump that out in time, alike with all bristles [pumps] running.”}

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“What will the added pumps accomplish?”There were periods during the storm accident on 9/25 aback the baptize was ascent in the pump base alcove with both pumps running. This adumbrated that stormwater runoff was entering the arrangement at a amount greater than the accessible pumping capacity, consistent in balance runoff in parking lots, etc. In essence, two pumps mitigated a abundant accord of accident {how much?}, but added were needed. Added pumps will accommodate added flood acknowledgment for storms agnate to 9/25, as able-bodied as larger-magnitude storm contest that aftereffect in alike college river flows and best periods of rainfall, consistent in potentially greater accident to academy property.

{Your Honor is conceivably absurdly monkeying with Jim Staudt’s legalese here. “Further flood mitigation” is aloof an obscurantist way of adage “still flooding, beneath severe.” But aback you accompany it up, Ambassador Marvin — “larger-magnitude storm events” — we absolutely do charge you to ascertain for us what you beggarly by “mitigation.” If 9/25 could accept been “further mitigated” by all bristles pumps, had there been the bristles and not the two, does “mitigation” in this instance beggarly a dry and accessible Academy on 9/26? (School reopened on 9/27.) What are the allowance claims on 9/25?

Because if “larger-magnitude storm events” will aftereffect in the now-familiar armpit of a pond accomplishment all of its parking spaces at the elementary school, to what admeasurement do we ambition to abide to barter with one another, as neighbors and citizens, in words like “mitigation”? Or of its actuality “furthered?

Dan Carlin and Mike Lee of the Bronxville Academy — the two bodies anon amenable for the accretion and operation of The Pumps — are in the business, see above, of black our expectations of “mitigation” during “larger-magnitude storm events.”

Is now the time to go aback to what survives of the actual almanac and accretion out how The Pumps — which are no beauties, and the bearings in that cage on Midland is about to get 3x uglier — were awash to Bronxville by Bronxville as The Solution? Absolutely. It’s for times like this that Bronxville Patch is a newspaper, right? Uncompromising of basal journalistic standards, putting aboriginal the public’s appropriate to apperceive — arrant by lawyerisms.}

“What affectionate of storm was this accomplished one? 25-year? 50-year?”Data from the National Weather Service gaging systems that are acclimated to assay condensate in the Bronx River Watershed are not yet accessible for the 9/25 event. {And acceptable luck, yourself, negotiating with yet addition Rube Goldberg government website.} As far as intensity, we do apperceive that the best alternate amount change of condensate was about 100% college during the 9/25 storm vs the 2007 Nor’easter, which was the catalyst for the [pumping] system. The 9/25 best alternate and two alternate amount change of condensate was alike added than 100% greater than the 2011 storm. The accident from aftermost week’s storm was from the intensity, not the duration.”

“Why did Meadow Avenue flood with two pumps working?”The two pumps were acutely at accommodation during the rain event, and we accept requested that the acknowledgment furnishings of a third and fourth pump be analyzed by the activity engineers with focus on Meadow Avenue. {Wait a minute! Why? What new advice did 9/25 provide? We’ve already signed-on for bristles pumps, right? Dan Carlin and Mike Lee told Bronxville Patch the final three would be installed in November.}

“In the interim, we are re-clearing the drains on Meadow Avenue as able-bodied as all the drains in the Midland Valley Arising Basin. {At what cost? And what about all the CIPP infrastructure, with its baneful emissions and aerial abortion rate?} In the advancing months, we will apple-pie all 400 arising basins throughout the village. {At what cost? How budgeted?} Lawn and timberline debris, alley alluvium runoff, and roof leaders elimination into the storm sewers are our connected bottleneck culprits. {Who is “our”? What can and should home and business owners do to help?}

“We are additionally reviewing the admeasurement of the conveyance aqueduct on Meadow Avenue with the anticipation that the accommodation may charge to be added and/or dry wells/retention tanks added in that breadth as well. {Wait. Why? Was “The Pumps” activity compromised from the start? Was article added reliable — but pricier — appropriate at the time? What will all of this new basement cost? Aback will it end, the charge for “increased” and “added”? Was “The Pumps” the amiss accommodation from the actual start?}

Continuing with “From the Mayor”:


“Did areas a Park Avenue/Sycamore Street flood added because of the pumping system? The bogus field? The abatement of trees?”Water from these neighborhoods is calm into the Midland Basin storm conveyance pipes, which are 36″ and 72″ in size. The pumping arrangement absolutely helped move the baptize decline to the accumulator accommodation beneath Hayes Acreage and again removed acclivous via a force capital to the Bronx River at the aperture at the circle of Palumbo Abode and Gramatan Avenue, breadth it was discharged. The system, as designed, ‘operates as a bankrupt arrangement with no absolution of calm runoff into adjoining soils and no groundwater entering the system.'” {Quoting someone. Addition authoritative an amazing — and accordingly all the added arguable — affirmation about the absolute activity of annoyed machinery. Who is speaking, please? And when?}

“In short, the new force capital took baptize from the absolute 36- and 72-inch pipes (via the pump), acceptance them to abduction added runoff. As to the permeability of Hayes Field, the academy commune is extensive out to the accommodation acreage designers for assimilation data. {Allow me to adapt the question: Like the car attic liners you install because car floors charge be carpeted, does the above acreage of Pondfield — it is now mostly alleged accommodation — account rainwater to area appear the school, as aback the car attic liner buckles and snags on article and depression all that begrimed meler assimilate your car’s carpeted floor, anyway?}

“Ten copse forth Midland Avenue were removed for the pumping base but were replaced by 20 new ones as able-bodied as added landscaping.” {Did those ten copse allow any accustomed flood mitigation? If they did, is that acknowledgment doubled? When?}

“Why did baptize account accident by seeping up through basements?”Given the rain levels of this summer followed by three aloft storm contest in three weeks in September, the assimilation amount of the clay was compromised. (The canton beatific us abundant advisories during alike baby wind contest because of the abhorrence of copse toppling in the saturated soil.)

{Did Apple Administrator Jim Palmer anytime — alike already — canyon these “numerous advisories” on to Apple association via the Bronxville eAlert Service? [Warning: VOB’s website is HTTP NOT SECURE. Clicking on that or any articulation to villageofbronxvilledotcom could affect your own computer.] If Mr Palmer did not canyon forth these scary-sounding “advisories,” why on apple did he not?}

“When I batten with my colleagues in Tuckahoe and Easter, they relayed incidents of residents’ basements bushing with baptize in some of their accomplished acclivity neighborhoods — a never-before occurrence.”

And so “From the Mayor” for 3 October 2018 ends with that archetypal Mary Marvin nut: Things may be not so abundant in Bronxville this anniversary — but it’s consistently worse elsewhere!

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