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Riverdale’s ONLY Locally Owned Newspaper!

Volume XVIII • Number 38 • September 15 - 21, 2011 •


Giuliani headlines 9/11 remembrances here

By BRENDAN McHUGH No one has the same experience of September 11 as Manhattan College alumnus and former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, and he shared his story in front of hundreds of wide-eyed college students Friday afternoon. While some lectures at Manhattan College end up with students checking cell phones and whispering to one another within a few minutes, Giuliani held the room for more than 30 minutes, discussing the day’s horrific events and the conclusions he has drawn in the 10 years that have followed. “So much of what I believe, what I know and what I can do was formed here at Manhattan College,” Giuliani, class of 1965, told the crowd in the Chapel of De La Salle and His Brothers. “It is very emotional for me to be back here. This is a very difficult time to relive.” He added that the last time he and Monsignor Alan J. Placa, who was in the audience, were in the chapel at the same time was when they found out Presi-

dent John F. Kennedy had been assassinated. Nothing “America’s Mayor” said was new—he’s told the story hundreds of times on television and in front of crowds over the past 10 years—but for the students, many of whom were in grade school at the time of the attacks, his words were still overwhelming. “His words made me feel like I was at the foot of the World Trade Center when it happened,” Manhattan College freshman Jack Kennedy said. “His words are really powerful and they really just dug right into your soul. It got to a lot of us.” Giuliani spent the first half of his speech talking about what he did that day, how he was trapped in a building for some time, and his interactions with various FDNY and NYPD officers in coordinating a plan. His most inspiring words came in the second half, when he talked about the bravery and courage he saw in the city in the moments and days following. “I couldn’t conceive that

Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani returns to his alma mater to lead the commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attack on New York. the whole building was coming down,” he said, referring to the first tower’s collapse. “We were

trapped in our building for 20 or 30 minutes.” He said the wreckage looked

like what he thought a nuclear bomb would cause. Continued on Page 13

Celebrity chef pledges to make Riverdale a ‘dining destination’

Chef Ricardo Cardona and restaurateur Erick Caceres are pleased with the progress of Oregano Bar & Bistro. The Johnson Avenue restaurant is being touted as “Patsis meets Balthazar with a Latin twist.”

By MIAWLING LAM Creative comfort food, a celebrity chef and a downtown Manhattan vibe will combine to breathe new life into Riverdale’s culinary scene. Oregano Bar & Bistro, due to open in early November, is the highly anticipated French-Latin restaurant that has taken over the former Josepina’s space. In a major coup, celebrated Latin chef and Riverdalian Ricardo Cardona will lead the kitchen in a bid to lift the area’s culinary stocks. The chef already runs his own catering company and has six successful restaurants under his belt, including the popular Inwood eatery Mamajuana Café. He will also star in the upcoming culinary makeover reality series, “Mission Menu,” scheduled to air on TLC on October 15. Although the restaurant is currently undergoing construction, the Riverdale Review last week secured an exclusive glimpse of the space.

According to plans, the interior of the 3,000-square-foot dining space will be simple, rustic and minimalist. Two long communal tables— similar to the picnic-style tables at Fette Sau in Brooklyn’s trendy Williamsburg—will dominate the dining room, while ornate light fixtures and a 20-foot bar will accent the pared-back interiors. A raised indoor light-filled garden at the rear of the restaurant will also double as a casual bar area and provide diners with a cozy, intimate space. Restaurateur Erick Caceres said Oregano will serve comfort, bistro-style food and bring a chic Manhattan ambiance to the area. “The best way to describe it would be sort of like a Balthazar meets Patsis with a Latin twist,” he said, referring to Keith McNally’s upscale Manhattan eateries. Caceres, who has previously Continued on Page 11

Thursday, September 15, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Parents become ‘school suppliers’ By MIAWLING LAM Local families are being asked to supply reams of copy paper, flash cards, Post-it notes, hand sanitizers and baby wipes as cash-strapped schools struggles with shrinking budgets. Crippling spending cuts and budget woes mean parents are spending hundreds of dollars to supply schools with perennial classroom materials as well as janitorial and copy-room supplies. An analysis of supply lists at two of Riverdale’s elementary schools—P.S. 24 and P.S. 81—reveals requests now read more like a household shopping list than a back-to-school one. Supply lists at P.S. 24 have ballooned this year, while requests at P.S. 81 remain much shorter. Fifth-graders at P.S. 24 are asked to provide two boxes of baby wipes, a ream of white copy paper, yellow highlighters, a dozen ballpoint pens and two packets of Post-it notes. Second graders are asked to track down 20 separate items, including two reams of white copy paper, two rolls of paper towels, multiplication and division flash cards and disinfecting wipes. On the list for third graders: a file box of ruled index cards with alphabetical dividers, one ream of white copy paper, a box of facial tissues and a roll of paper towels. The Spuyten Duyvil school’s burgeoning supply list came to light last week following a tip-off from a concerned parent. The P.S. 24 parent, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retribution, understood the school’s fragile financial situation and had no qualms about providing supplies but said it went too far this year. “Ever since my kids have been in public school, I’ve been asked for supplies and that’s fine, but this year, when I saw the list, I was like, you’ve got to be kidding,” the person said. “I had never seen anything like it. It was as long as your arm. Their list was so specific and long.” The person believed the onus should be on the school administration to provide copy-room supplies like paper. “I think that they think the parents in this neighborhood are in a better position to afford these things, but you know what? I can’t, and it’s not happening this year.” The parent also questioned why certain items were always on the supply list when they could seemingly be used over a number of years. “What happens to these scissors every year? Don’t they stay in the classroom? Do they get thrown out? Do they move onto the next year? Where are all these scissors?” As of press time, calls to P.S 24 were not returned. Meanwhile, supply lists at P.S. 81 have remained fairly consistent over the years. According to a list on the school’s website, first-graders have previously been asked to supply washable markers, Ziploc bags, pencil sharpeners and facial tissues. Kindergarteners have previously brought in two packages of assorted colored construction paper, three packs of antibacterial wipes and three boxes of Ziploc bags, while fourth graders have been asked to supply a ream of copy paper, baby wipes and colored pencils. P.S. 81 Parent Coordinator Nina Velazquez said although the online lists weren’t current, the requirements pretty much remained the same this year. Each of Riverdale’s local schools—P.S. 24, P.S 81 and M.S/H.S 141—had their 2011-2012 funding streams slashed by the maximum 3.26 percent this year.

In real terms, RKA lost nearly a quarter of a million dollars, P.S. 24 faced a $159,042 cut and P.S. 81 had their budget shaved by $141,906. The increasing reliance on parents to fund classroom materials and school supplies coincides with this year’s suspension of the city-funded Teacher’s Choice program. Under the program, established in the 1980s by the U.F.T. and the city, educators could purchase supplies for their classrooms and be reimbursed up to $220. However, due to budget constraints, the city was forced to eliminate the program entirely this year. There has also been criticism over the “hijacking” of P.S. 24’s “Laps for Learning” fundraiser by principal Donna Connelly, denying staff another source of funding.

By PAULETTE SCHNEIDER A “teach-in” by a panel of five Manhattan College faculty members offered a stark contrast from the previous day’s presentation by distinguished alumni engineers who were involved in helping out at Ground Zero. Both events were part of the college’s We Remember 10-year anniversary commemoration of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Dr. Thomas Ferguson, associate professor of religious studies, entitled his presentation “It’s Not about US” and began with a quote from a Susan Sontag piece in the New Yorker: “By all means, let us grieve together, but let us not be stupid together.” Unfortunately, he said, she was right on both counts. He cited as jingoism the chanting of “USA, USA at every opportunity.” He complained of a “reckless foreign policy” resulting from “phantasmal patriotism” and disputed the claim that the 9/11 attacks were “an attack on freedom.” “The 9/11 terrorists did not attack freedom,” he said. “They attacked specific targets—financial, military, and governmental.” These targets, he said, had “nothing to do with us.” “The aim of the terrorist is, first and foremost, to spread terror, and they did this in our case.” Dr. Carolyn Predmore, professor of marketing, spoke of comfort and preparedness in her warm and personal talk on “Re-dedication to Service and Community.” A “camp-trained Girl Scout leader,” she shared tips like keeping cell phones charged, parking face-out for an easier getaway and establishing a place to meet in emergencies. “We closed

ranks and folded into our community,” she said in describing how she and her classes handled the tragic day ten years ago. “Community can get us through” was her approach. “My door is open when I’m here. Come on up, take a seat and set awhile.” Her message was, “You have an opportunity every day to decide the person that you’re going to be….Reach out, and we’ll all be here.” Dr. Adam Koehler, assistant professor of English, named his talk “If You’re Not With Us, You’re Against Us: Notes on a Pedagogy of Opposition.” His analysis grappled with “rhetorical identity” and dubbed war an “abstract noun.” Tony Canale, adjunct instructor of civil and environmental engineering, spoke about the “‘Re-Affirmation of Civil Engineer’s Role in Society.” He began with a slide dedicating his presentation to “the memory of those who lost their lives as a result of the attack of September 11.” For Canale, the event was “a very public attack” that affected him “in a very personal way.” He considered the twin towers among “the most inspirational structures even built.” He confided that he had proposed to his wife at Windows on the World and learned about gravity first-hand after a physics professor suggested students ride the elevators in one of the towers and weigh themselves during the ride. He pointed out that “engineering is a constant battle against nature” and that what struck him about 9/11 was that “engineers became leaders.” “This is really what engineering is. This is why we’re here . We’re here to provide guidance and to help out in a

time of crisis.” Dr. Jeff Horn, professor and chair of history, tackled “The Patriot Act and Civil Liberties: Ten Years Later.” Polished and concise, he acknowledged that perhaps we are now safer in the wake of the 9/11 attacks but that our civil liberties are less safe, although the situation is improving. In the course of his presentation, he demonized John Ashcroft and George W. Bush for their roles in history, and he remains “pessimistic about the future of civil liberties.” The concluding slide showed a quote by his “favorite founding father,” Benjamin Franklin: “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

3 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, September 15, 2011

Manhattan College profs take different view of 9/11

Thursday, September 15, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Around the schools... P.S. 24

The current Parent Handbook is available at the school’s website, ps24school. org.


Parents are invited to meet with teachers next week to discuss curriculum and policies for the classroom and for homework. Parents of third- and fifth-graders may visit the school on Wednesday, September 21; parents of second- and fourth-graders may visit on Thursday, September 22; and parents of kindergarteners and first-graders may visit on Tuesday, September 27. All meetings begin at 8:50 a.m.

Saint Gabriel’s School

The school welcomes two new teachers: Deborah Flynn is teaching kindergarten and Christopher Mileo is teaching physical education. Miss Flynn formerly taught at Saint Dominic’s School and Mr. Mileo teaches at two other Catholic schools. Faculty members are eager to utilize the Smart Boards that are now installed in all classrooms. The annual Walkathon fundraiser is scheduled for Thursday, September 22. The event is sponsored by the Home School Association.

Kinneret Day School

A whopping 70 percent of eighth graders who took the exam for entrance to the city’s specialized high schools were accepted into one of the schools. All classrooms are now equipped with Smart Boards, and all students have access to laptop computers. The school is now scheduling appointments and school tours. For an appointment, call 718-548-0900.

Local Scholars

SUNY Cortland has announced that Ruth Melania Bello was awarded a bachelor’s degree. She was among more than 1,500 SUNY Cortland students receiving their degrees in the spring commencement ceremonies. The college enrolls more than 7,300 students in its 61 undergraduate and 33 graduate academic majors. A college of the State University of New York, Cortland was founded in 1868.

Horace Mann School

New computers and new Smart Boards were installed throughout the school. Emergency call boxes have been installed throughout the campus to provide help in emergency situations. Thirty-five new faculty members and administrators joined the Horace Mann family this year. On Tuesday, September 20, the school will host the screening of “One Revolution,” a documentary on the historic summit climb on Mt. Killamanjaro by Chris Waddell, the renowned para-Olympic gold medalist awardee for downhill skiing. After the film, Wadell will be available for a Q and A in Gross Theater. The Riverdale County School and the Ethical Culture Fieldston School communities have been invited to this showing. On Wednesday, September 21, ninthgraders and their parents will attend

the Upper Division Guidance Department’s event, Making the Transition to High School, at 6 p.m. in the Cohen Dining Commons. Through large and small discussion groups, the students, parents, faculty and administration will explore what it means to be starting high school and what it means to be parents of high school students.

Education Opportunities In Ireland

Parents, high school students and educators are invited to attend an Education in Ireland Student Fair to learn more about learning opportunities in Ireland. The fair will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, September 27, at St. Barnabas High School, 425 East 240th Street. The Education in Ireland program is an initiative of the Irish government. Last year, nearly 7,000 American students selected Ireland for their study abroad experience. While in Ireland, students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees from internationally renowned universities at an affordable cost. They also gain access to the extensive European university networks supported by the Erasmus program, the European Union’s student exchange program. Universities represented at the fair include Dublin City University, National University of Ireland Galway, National University of Ireland Maynooth, Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork, University College, Dublin and the University of Limerick. To register for the event, contact or sign up through the Education in Ireland Facebook page.

National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists

Yonatan M. Chamudot of SAR Academy and Luca D. Di Porzio and Dorian S. Kaminski of the Bronx High School of Science are among 16,000 of this year’s National Merit Scholarship semifinalists. They will have an opportunity to continue in the competition one of 8,000 scholarships worth more than $34 million to be offered this spring. About 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and more than half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship. Scholarships are underwritten by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation with its own funds and with funding from more than 400 business organizations and higher education institutions that share the goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.

FAX education news to:

The Riverdale Review (718) 543-4206 or email to 5752 Fieldston Road Bronx • New York,

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Adult fitness and fun

Dance at the Y Monday at 8:00-9:15pm Adult Ballet with Emily SoRelle Adams

of Washington Ballet, Ballet Austin and the Metropolitan Ballet

Tuesday at 8:00-9:15pm Adult Modern with Lauren Harrison Wednesday at 8:00-9:00pm Adult Tap with Pam Lenker

of Sophisticated Sound Tap Co, NYC,& Steps on Broadway

Check our website at for descriptions of classes and our new teachers.For more information call the Y at 718-548-8200 or email 5625 Arlington Avenue Bronx, NY 10471 718-548-8200

By PAULETTE SCHNEIDER Laguerre Payen, the last of the four men convicted of plotting to bomb Riverdale Jewish Center and Riverdale Temple in 2009, was sentenced to 25 years in prison. The three other co-conspirators, James Cromitie, David Williams and Onta Williams, received their sentence in June, but Payen’s was withheld until a psychological evaluation determined that he was fit to be held responsible. Although U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon handed down the minimum mandatory sentence, she had reservations about the case—in a 2008 FBI sting operation, an informant posing as a terrorist befriended the men at the Newburgh mosque they attended and enticed them to engage in the plot. “The government made them terrorists,” she said at last week’s hearing. “I’m not proud of my government after what it did in this case.” Payen himself addressed the court. “Am I terrorist?” he asked McMahon. “Am I what they say, an extremist? Am I guilty?” “I can tell you this,” the judge replied. “You were prepared to do a terrible thing, and you tried to do a terrible thing, and you tried to do it for a terrible reason. Maybe it doesn’t make you a terrorist, but it makes you a criminal.” “I just can’t get past the fact that, when the time came to just say no, you didn’t say no.” Lawyers for the four defendants claimed entrapment, arguing that without the

incitement of Shaheed Hussain, the informant, the four would have been unable to carry out their plot. But the jury was less impressed with the claim of entrapment than with surveillance tapes showing the men eager for the results of the plan—which also included firing missiles at military planes taking off from Stewart Air National Guard Base in the men’s hometown of Newburgh, New York. The men were convicted after eight days of deliberations of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction in the United States, three counts each of attempting to use weapons of mass destruction, conspiring and attempting to use anti-aircraft missiles, and conspiring to kill officers and employees of the United States. Cromitie and David Williams (no relation to Onta Williams) were convicted of attempting to kill U.S. officers and employees. Onta Williams and Payen were acquitted on that count. At the June sentencing, Judge McMahon said, “Only the government could have made a terrorist out of Mr. Cromitie, a man whose buffoonery is positively Shakespearean in its scope.” “The essence of what occurred here was that a government, understandably zealous to protect its citizens, created acts of terrorism out of the fantasies and the bravado and the bigotry of one man in particular and four men generally, and then made these fantasies come true,” she said. Payen, an illegal alien from Haiti, will face deportation upon his release from prison.

The never-ending SAR parking dialogue By BRENDAN McHUGH For nearly a year now, the Salanter Akiba Riverdale Academy and nearby residents have been engaged in discussions over the parking habits of both the school’s faculty and the students’ parents. What started as an effort by SAR to add more parking spaces to the academy’s grounds quickly escalated into a fullfledged fight by residents on and near West 254th Street to force the school to change the “parking culture” of those who drive there. Toward the beginning of 2011, Community Board 8 created a monitoring committee consisting of local residents and board members to keep a close eye on the school and to keep an open dialogue over issues such as parking. Currently, the school is undergoing construction on their parking lot and on the caretaker’s house. The monitoring committee reported Monday night they had found inconsistencies during the summer with both the lot and the house. Monitoring committee member Jennifer Klein, who lives near the school, reported that the school had gone ahead with construction on a wall along West 254th Street without approval from the Board of Standards and Appeals. The caretaker, who lives in the Toscanini cottage on the land, tried to change the façade of the cottage’s new addition, but the committee found the illicit change. SAR attorney Jay Segal said the caretaker was earnest in the change—he was trying to save the school some money. Once SAR was alerted to the change, they immediately switched back to the more expensive, but more elegant, façade. The construction on the small wall along the street, he admitted, was done

without BSA approval. He said the school chose to go ahead without approval because they wanted to complete the process during the summer when school traffic was nonexistent. Members of the school were not able to attend because it was parent night at the school. Committee member and Community Board 8 member Martin Wolpoff said the construction on the wall was seamless—it was raised to better block the school from the neighbors. If BSA does not approve the construction application, SAR would have to dismantle any and all unapproved construction. However, the community board has already approved the plans, and land use chairman Charles Moerdler expects BSA to grant them the approval. In terms of the parking lot, SAR plans to increase the size of their parking lot to accommodate at least an extra 40 cars, with the hope of decreasing the problems local residents have with cars parked in front of their driveways and near fire hydrants. “I’m sure the school wants [the parking lot] done as much as everybody else,” Segal said. Moerdler and the board have asked the 50th Precinct to increase their efforts controlling traffic and parking in the area, and he joked at the meeting, “Traffic and transportation should employ the five-oh to devote their entire quota of parking tickets at SAR.” Moerdler, an MTA board member, also noted that the Metro-North Rail Link buses are in a pilot program aimed at decreasing the amount of traffic and the number of parked cars in the area, both because of the Metro-North Riverdale train station at the bottom of West 254th Street.

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5 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, September 15, 2011

Last would-be synagogue bomber sentenced

program offerings, please contact the congregation at: (718) 798-0305, e-mail the Congregation at: shaareishalomrive or visit its website at:

Thursday, September 15, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


BCA announces call for Bronx artists for SPARC

The Bronx Council on the Arts (BCA) is pleased to announce Seniors Partnering with Artists Citywide (SPARC), a community arts engagement program that places artists-in-residence at senior centers across the five boroughs of New York City. The program provides selected artists with access to workspace in senior centers and a stipend in exchange for the creation and delivery of arts programming for seniors. Participating seniors will be engaged in an art project or series of cultural programs over the course of the residency, which will also include a public program component -- a series of exhibits, open houses and other cultural interactions open to the surrounding community. This initiative seeks to connect artists with seniors in senior centers and positively impact the well-being of seniors through arts-based activities. The Bronx Council on the Arts is the administrating organization for the Bronx. Artists will be selected for SPARC through a competitive application process. A call to artists is available on the BCA website at for all Bronx artists interested in working with a senior center in the borough of Bronx. Artists interested in a SPARC residency with a senior center in another borough are encouraged to visit the website of their local arts council for application materials and guidelines. The submission deadline is September 30th, 2011.

To download the application for a SPARC residency at a Bronx senior center, please visit the Bronx Council on the Arts website at Questions? Call 718-931-9500 x23. SPARC is a collaboration among the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the Department for the Aging and the City’s five local arts councils situated in each borough - Bronx Council on the Arts, Brooklyn Arts Council, Council on the Arts and Humanities of Staten Island, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and Queens Council on the Arts. It was developed as part of Age-Friendly NYC, a citywide effort to make the City more livable for seniors, and previously ran as a successful pilot called Space for Art. The program is supported, in part, by funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Fall Lunch and Learn at Riverdale Y

The Simon Senior Center located in the Riverdale YM-YWHA is pleased to announce that it will be launching its Fall 2011 season of Lunch and Learn Programs on Thursday September 15th from 12 noon-2 p.m. with a dynamic program entitled BEBOP STRUNG TOGETHER with SWING MUSIC. The Riverdale YM-YWHA is proud to welcome Mr. Isaac Ben Ayala who will be the featured speaker at this program. This program will be a musical lecture, demonstration and analysis of a tradition of ‘jazz’ known as ‘bebop’ which

began in New York City in the 1940’s. Some of the work of artists analyzed will include Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, and Thelonius Monk. Historical venues discussed will include Birdland and Minton’s Playhouse. Mr. Ben Ayala was the principal accompanist for the final 3 years of the Boys Choir of Harlem. Each year for the past 2 years he has appeared performing solo piano as part of the prestigious Jazz Piano series at Bryant Park in NYC. He continues to work throughout the world both as a leader and as a side musician for a variety of artists. He has appeared with Quincy Jones, the New York City Ballet, the Sultans of Swing, Ray Charles, Wynton Marsalis and many others. Space is limited so early reservations are strongly advised. The cost is $5 per person which also includes a delicious nutritious lunch of baked fish, vegetables, potatoes and fruit. For further information and to register please contact Toby or Vicki at 718-548-8200x 223 0r x224 respectively. The Y is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue.

Open house at Congregation Shaarei Shalom

Congregation Shaarei Shalom welcomes the Riverdale community to an open house Shabbat service on Friday evening, September 16, 2011 at 7:30P.M. at its sanctuary at 5919 Riverdale Avenue. The service is led by founding Rabbi, Steven D. Burton and Cantor David Pincus. If you are new to the neighborhood, or unaffiliated, this is an excellent opportunity to explore the Shaarei Shalom experience of contemporary and participatory Reform Jewish worship If you are looking to be part of a religious community at this holiday time, look no further than Shaarei Shalom. Find new friends and neighbors in an open, welcoming atmosphere. Congregation Shaarei Shalom is a Reform Jewish synagogue. It offers a contemporary and participatory worship experience and prides itself on its inclusiveness of all members of the Riverdale community, regardless of marital status, sexual orientation, race, age or creed. It is dedicated to embracing the diversity within the Reform Jewish movement. For further information about the congregation, services, membership, its Religious School, or any of the many adult

RCC offers S.A.T. Preparation class

The Riverdale Community Center will be hosting an seven-week intensive S.A.T. Prep class on Saturday Mornings beginning on October 1st from 9 am to 12 noon. This comprehensive course is for 11th and 12th grade students preparing to take the Scholastic Aptitude Test in December 2011 or in May 2012. Riverdale Community Center prides itself that our preparatory classes are taught by experienced, licensed teachers who have been involved for many years in preparing students to take standardized examinations with much success. The fee for this 21-hour course is $290 (all inclusive). In-person registration will be held on Saturday, September 24 from 10 am - 12 noon or Tuesday, September 27 from 7 pm - 8:30 pm. You may also register by phone with MasterCard, Visa, Discover or AMEX. For more information please call 718-796-4724 or visit our website at

Free seniors fitness classes this Fall

City Parks Foundation welcomes all New Yorkers, 60 and over, to participate in CityParks Seniors Fitness. The Fall 2011 season of Seniors Fitness programs will begin the week of September 19, 2011, and will offer free tennis lessons, yoga instruction and fitness walking in 16 parks across the city. All activities in this eight-week fitness program take place twice a week at each location through October 28th. Participants are encouraged to maintain regular attendance to maximize health benefits. CityParks Seniors Fitness has served over 3,400 participants since it began in 2006 and aims to keep neighborhood parks a great place for community activity. The program encourages New Yorkers to maximize the health benefits of staying active at all ages. Even in moderate amounts, exercise can help participants feel better, maintain or lose weight, reduce risk of heart disease and diabetes, and minimize the symptoms of arthritis. For more information about City Parks Foundation’s free Seniors Fitness programs, please call the Sports Department at (718) 760-6999. All equipment and instruction is provided free of charge. Sessions are one hour, twice a week. The following is a detailed schedule for CityParks Seniors Fitness for Fall 2011 in the Bronx: Crotona Park: Tennis - Mondays/ Wednesdays at 9 AM - Tennis Courts E 173rd St & Crotona Avenue. Pelham Bay Park: Yoga - Mondays/ Wednesdays at 9 AM - Middletown Rd & Stadium Avenue. Van Cortlandt Park/Woodlawn: Yoga - Mondays/Wednesdays at 9 AM - Woodlawn Tennis Courts Jerome Ave & E 233rd Street. Walking - Tuesdays/Thursdays at 9 AM -Woodlawn Tennis Courts Jerome Ave & E 233rd Street. Founded in 1989, City Parks Foundation (CPF) is the only independent, nonprofit organization to offer park programs throughout the five boroughs of New York City. For more details, please visit www.

7 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, September 15, 2011

Montefiore Announces New Dental Clinic Opening The Department of Dentistry is opening a new clinic on Broadway, providing dental care for both adults and children. The new clinic accepts most dental insurance plans and is conveniently located for patients in the Marble Hill, Riverdale, and Kingsbridge areas of the Bronx. The new clinic provides the very best in patient care with new digital X-ray technology for diagnostics and electronic medical records to simplify insurance filing. To schedule your next appointment, call the clinic at 347-577-4950 or the Montefiore Dental Call Center at 1-888-700-6623.

Montefiore Dental Clinic 5500 Broadway Suite 102 Bronx, New York 10463

Recognized by U.S.News & World Report as a leader in specialty and chronic care, Montefiore is the University Hospital for Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Thursday, September 15, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Thursday, Sept. 15 Kingsbridge

GOOFY GRAPHICS 4 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Explore how water and oil repel each other. Make marbleized paper using the concept of repulsion to make and then capture a design. Presented by the Children’s Museum of Manhattan. For ages 5 to 12 years old. Limited to 25 participants. For more information, call 718-548-5656.

Friday, Sept. 16 Spuyten Duyvil

SOUTH OF THE BORDER 3:30 p.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 West 235th Street Storytellers weave narration, music and audience interaction into this collection of folktales from Mexico, Central and South America. For ages 6 to 12 years old. For more information, call 718-796-1202.


OPEN HOUSE 7:30 p.m. Congregation Shaarei Shalom 5919 Riverdale Avenue If you are new to the neighborhood, or unaffiliated, this is an excellent opportunity to explore the Shaarei Shalom experience of contemporary and participatory Reform Jewish worship If you are looking to be part of a religious community at this holiday time, look no further than Shaarei Shalom. For more information, call (718) 798-0305, e-mail the Congregation at: or visit its website at:

Saturday, Sept. 17 Kingsbridge

FLEA MARKET 9 a.m. Church of the Mediator 260 West 231st Street Items for sale include jewelry, fashion handbags, linens and things, etc. Mr. G of Irvington will present his rotisserie chicken and rice and 5 kinds of homemade empanadas. For more information, call 718-548-3312.


MEDITATION 2 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street A meditation movement empowering New Yorkers to do more of the things they love by recharging through meditation: a practical way to refresh every day. For more information, call 718-548-5656.

Sunday, Sept. 18 Kingsbridge

JEWISH WAR VETERANS MEETING 10 a.m. Kingsbridge Medical Hospital 130 West Kingsbridge Road Jewish War veterans of Post # 69 Newman-Goldman will hold their monthly meeting. Members of other posts, veterans and any interested parties are welcome. Attendees do not need to be registered at the hospital. For more information, please call Mel Saks on 914-337-0277 or Herb Barret on 718-548-6832.


AUDITIONS 4 p.m. Riverdale Senior Center 2600 Netherland Avenue Riverdale Children’s Theatre will be holding auditions for their winter productions of Annie and You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown. All levels of experience are welcome. For more information about RCT and their programs, log on to www.

Monday, Sept. 19 Van Cortlandt

BEAUTIFUL BANDANAS 4 p.m. Van Cortlandt Branch Library 3874 Sedgwick Avenue Create wearable art! Transfer your sketch onto a bandana and then paint it in! Show it off with pride, or make it a present. All materials will be provided. For ages 12 to 18 years. old. For more information, call 718-543-5150.

Wednesday, Sept. 21 Riverdale

AARP MEETING 12:30 p.m. Riverdale Presbyterian Church

4765 Henry Hudson Pkwy. West Riverdale Chapter 1546 AARP will hold a social meeting, with entertainment by Gary Lovett. For more information, call Manfred Segal at 718-549-0088.


BRANDEIS GROUP MEETING 12:30 p.m. Riverdale Temple West 246th St. & Independence Ave. The Riverdale Chapter of the Brandeis National Committee cordially invites its members and their friends to the opening meeting of its new year. The annual Study Group Sampler will be discussed and its leaders will describe their courses which will be open to all members. Copies of the Sampler with the course listings will be available to all new members.


BOOK DISCUSSION 1 p.m. Riverdale Branch Library 5540 Mosholu Avenue The Riverdale Branch Library meets the third Wednesday of every month @ 1:00 p.m. This month will be discussing Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. Book club participants must reserve copies of each title through the Library’s catalog system. Reserve your copy by placing a hold online at www. or visiting your local branch. For more information, call 718-549-1212.


CB8 MEETING 7 p.m. Community Board 8 5676 Riverdale Avenue Meeting of the Environment & Sanitation Committee of Community Board 8. For more information, call 718-8843959.

Saturday, Sept. 24 Kingsbridge

MEDITATION 2 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street A meditation movement empowering New Yorkers to do more of the things they love by recharging through meditation: a practical way to refresh every day. For more information, call 718-548-5656.


SELICHOT SERVICES 8 p.m. Congregation Shaarei Shalom 5919 Riverdale Avenue Congregation Shaarei Shalom will open the High Holiday season with a Selichot program of study, dessert and a service of penitential prayers. For more information, call (718) 798-0305, e-mail the congregation at: shaareishalomriverdale@gmail. com or visit its website at:

Monday, Sept. 26 Spuyten Duyvil

READING ALOUD 4 p.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 West 235th Street A librarian will share favorite picture books, providing children with the wonder of books and the joy of reading. For ages 5 to 12 years old. For more info, call 718-796-1202.


CB8 MEETING 7:30 p.m. Community Board 8 5676 Riverdale Avenue Meeting of the Housing Committee of Community Board 8. For more information, call 718-884-3959.


ANIME NIGHT 4 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Want to see the hottest new anime? Come check out what’s on screen at the library. Bring your friends, your pocky, and your anime and manga fandom! For ages 12-18. For more information, call 718-548-5656.

Tuesday, Sept. 27 Spuyten Duyvil

BABY LAPSIT 11 a.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 West 235th Street Babies from birth to 18 months old and their parents/caregivers can enjoy great books, lively songs, and rhymes, and meet other babies in the neighborhood. For more information, call 718-796-1202.

By BRENDAN McHUGH For years, residents near Manhattan College have complained of late-night student activity, ranging from loud parties to public urination to vandalism. The NYPD’s 50th Precinct and the college itself have both had difficult times controlling the students, but a new measure by the school and some timely action by the precinct may help turn things around. In an email sent to the student body and school employees last week, Dr. Richard Satterlee, vice president for student life, wrote, “The first two weekends of this semester have seen an unusually high number of complaints regarding the level of noise and the conduct of our students (many of whom are intoxicated) in the neighborhood surrounding our residence hall at Overlook Manor. The complaints point to a disregard for the densely populated residential neighborhood surrounding the College where many young professionals and families live.” The letter goes on to highlight changes to the student handbook’s “Off-Campus Conduct Policy,” which include fines of at least $500 for disruptive behavior, community service and possible expulsion from the school. “Once a dwelling has been designated a ‘Nuisance Residence,’ Manhattan College students will be prohibited from living at that residence for a designated length of time,” the handbook states. Every student is under jurisdiction of the handbook. “I think that’s a little ridiculous,” said one student who lives off campus, who asked not to be named in fear of retaliation by the school. “I don’t know who let that change happen—student government or whatever—but that’s a little too ‘Big Brother’ for me. They shouldn’t be able to restrict where we live and what we do on our own time.

This is college, not my parents’ house.” From the 50th Precinct’s perspective, commanding officer Captain Kevin Burke says it’s difficult to meet local residents’ demands. Many times, people come in complaining of loud noises made late at night by the offcampus students, but if there is no music, there is very little the police can do. Burke added it was hard to monitor the situation because officers have to catch students buying alcohol at the point of sale. They don’t have jurisdiction over what happens on private property, so even if a person over the age of 21 buys the alcohol and gives it to underage friends, the police can’t do anything about it. However, he said, students were not above the law and were being treated like everyone else, so if officers catch them drinking in public, they will be prosecuted. The precinct has sent auxiliary officers into Jasper’s Deli and Fenwick’s Bar in the past to catch them selling alcohol to minors. The same night as the monthly public safety meeting of Community Board 8— where local residents came to complain about students for the second straight month—the precinct put together a sting at Jasper’s Deli. They caught them selling alcohol to minors twice and shut down the bodega. Jasper’s Deli was closed at least until their September 13 court date. The deli is one of the more convenient places students typically purchase alcohol, with one of the larger campus dormitories across the street at West 238th Street and Waldo Avenue. One resident at the board meeting, who lives near Tibbett Avenue and West 238th Street, said students have even urinated in her front yard. She said it had to stop. “If Manhattan College isn’t responding to the issue, then who will?”

At CSAIR, you'll find more than a seat...

...You will find your home. Traditional and Innovative. Spiritual and Intellectual. Conservative and Egalitarian. CSAIR offers spiritually uplifting and intellectually stimulating programs for the High Holidays and year-round for children, 'tweens, teens, and adults. Whether you want a traditional service, or a smaller, more intimate lay-led setting, we invite you to explore our community.

Let CSAIR welcome you! For information call Executive Director Eric Nussbaum at 718-543-8400 or visit our web site at Barry Dov Katz, Rabbi Elizabeth Stevens, Cantor Mason Voit, Director of Education and Jewish Family Life

475 West 250th Street, Bronx, NY 10471

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tension between M.C. students & neighbors 9

Thursday, September 15, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


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The Riverdale Review - our community newspaper

P.S. 24 finally fills 2-yr. old A.P. vacancy

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, September 15, 2011

By MIAWLING LAM It’s official: P.S. 24 will finally appoint an assistant principal. The Riverdale Review can reveal the Department of Education quietly posted the school’s job vacancy on its website earlier this month. Candidates have until at least September 15 to register their interest and complete the necessary forms, but it appears Manuele Verdi may have already been selected as the winning applicant to the post some critics charge was held vacant for him for two years. According to the new 2011/2012 Parent Handbook, Verdi—a close friend of principal Donna Connelly’s—is listed as “IA (Interim Acting) Assistant Principal.” Critics have long suggested that Connelly has left the position unfilled for two years so Verdi could complete the required coursework and fill the vacancy. A search of the New York State Department of Education’s TEACH certification system confirms Verdi was awarded a School Building Leader Initial Certificate sometime between February 1 and September 1 this year. His certification became effective on September 1. All aspiring assistant principals must possess this qualification before they apply for a school leadership position. As of press time, calls to the school and District 10 Superintendent Sonia Menendez were not returned. A person at the school, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said it wasn’t a shock that Verdi’s certification occurred around the same time as the job posting. “Nothing surprises me with those two,” the source said. “It was probably their big plan all along.” Under Chancellor’s Regulation C-30, the school principal has the final say over the selection and appointment of the assistant principal. As a result, the source believed Verdi was a shoo-in for the position and that the application process was merely a formality. “I wouldn’t sit on that committee even if I could,” the person said. “It would just be a waste of time. He’s definitely going to get it.” The Council of Supervisors and Administrators raised objections to Connelly’s manipulation of the system last year and called for a fully qualified assistant principal to be appointed immediately. However, Connelly stood her ground and has left the position vacant. Up to two years ago, the Spuyten Duyvil school had two assistant principals. As part of the application process, eligible candidates must prepare a 400- to 1,000-word response to two questions and demonstrate their commitment to public education. The first question asks candidates to describe an instructional initiative they took to improve student achievement, and the second asks them to describe what inspired them to become an assistant principal. Noting that Connelly will be able to retire little over a year from now as a principal, qualifying for a higher pension, there is speculation that she is trying to manipulate Verdi into position as her successor. Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz welcomed news of the posting and said attention should now be redirected to the selection process. “I hope that the best-possible person


is selected for the job,” he said. “The school has been without an assistant principal for an extended period of time, and they need to fill the vacancy or vacancies. I would think the school is entitled to two assistant principals.” Councilman G. Oliver Koppell was also glad the school was finally getting an assistant principal but denied Connelly had been warehousing the position. “To me, the principal makes a good impression,” he said. “I have a good impression of the school, and in meeting with the parents, I got the sense that they’re happy with the principal, so I can’t really be critical. My impression of the school is a positive one.” The latest developments come as the Department of Education continues their probe of Connelly following claims she falsified financial information and signed off on fraudulent timesheets. The Review understands the probe, which began in June, is also examining her possible illegal warehousing of the assistant principal position and the alleged misuse of school funds.

Celebrity chef

Continued from Page 1 lived in Riverdale and boasts seven years of industry experience, said debuting the new concept in his former neighborhood was an obvious choice. “I’ve had my eyes on it for quite some time and have just been waiting for it to get more diversified and to get more young people,” he said. Caceres also hopes the restaurant’s opening will create a domino effect and lead to an expansion of local dining options. “If you look at the demographics, you see a lot of people who have moved here have come from downtown. They have an expectation, they have certain knowledge of food and what it should be, and they deserve not having to take a train or car down to Manhattan [to eat out],” he said. “Riverdale can be a destination for everyone coming from Manhattan.” Executive chef Cardona told the Review he is still writing the menu but is adamant Oregano will feature fresh, local, seasonal ingredients. He said diners can expect classic French dishes with Latin and Spanish influences such as hearty cassoulets, truffle salt fries, burgers and even tea-poached fish. A raw bar will serve different types of ceviche, smoked oysters, mussels and other seafood. Cardona, who has lived near West 256th Street and Broadway since 1994, said his latest restaurant venture could spearhead the dining scene and rejuvenate the area. “Riverdale has a lot of diners, and I think it’s time for something a little more upgraded and more updated. We need a little update,” he said. “We have a new generation of yuppies up here. They want to spend money and they know what they like.” As for whether Riverdale residents are ready to digest his creative dishes and flair, Cardona said he could only hope. “It’s all a matter of trying and being confident in what we do,” he said. “When Starbucks first came up, not many people were willing to pay $4 for a cappuccino. But once they tried, they liked it. I think Oregano will be one of those places.”



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Thursday, September 15, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Riv. Temple to hold gift and craft sale

Early Bird Holiday Gift and Craft Sale will be held on Sunday, November 13th from 9:00 AM until 3:00 PM at Riverdale Temple, 4545 Independence Avenue, Bronx, NY 10471. There will be a great assortment of all new holiday items in all price ranges just in time for Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas and Kwanzaa. The event is rain or shine, free parking and great refreshments will be available. Vendors and customers are wanted. For vendor information, please contact Debbie at the Temple office at (718) 548-3800 ext 0 or email

Brandeis group starts new season

The Riverdale Chapter of the Brandeis National Committee cordially invites its members and their friends to the opening meeting of its new year on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011, at 12:30P.M. in the Riverdale Temple, West 246 Street and Independence Avenue. The annual Study Group Sampler will be discussed and its leaders will describe their courses which will be open to all members. Copies of the Sampler with the course listings will be available to all new members. The Study Group program is a continuing education experience based on syllabi and briefs prepared by Brandeis

University faculty and by members of the local chaper who research areas of special interest. Also highlighted will be the Book Fund, the Library Work Scholar Fund, the New Fundraising Campaign and Planned Giving, all projects supported by the chapter. Annual dues are $60.00. An additional registration fee of $35.00 entitles paid-up members to attend any or all of the Study Groups without further charge. Members who have received the Sampler by mail are asked to bring it to the meeting. Coffee and cake will be served and a “Boutique by Pearl, Carol and Jessie” will be displayed for sale.

‘Woodlawn Run for a Cause’ to host fifth annual charity run/walk

The Fifth Annual ‘Woodlawn Run for a Cause’ will run through Yonkers and the Bronx on Saturday, September 17. Over the last four years, the event has had more than 575 finishers and more than $12,000 has been donated to four different charities: Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund, Children’s Hospital at Montefiore Medical Center, Compassionate Care Hospice and Part of the Solution (POTS). This year, the goal is to have 200 participants and to raise $5,000 for charity. Proceeds from this year’s race will go to Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), an organization that funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world and

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provides free information and support services. In addition, a donation will be made to Calvary Hospital in memory of Bill Donoghue, a long-time Woodlawn resident and former race participant that passed away earlier this year. The race begins at 10 am at St. Mark’s Church, 7 St. Mark’s Place, Yonkers. The closing ceremonies will take place at 11:15 am at Indian Field, East 233rd Street and Van Cortlandt Park East, Bronx, and will include acknowledgement of the honored charities, awards for the winners, raffles and a special presentation to the first finisher from Woodlawn. For more information, contact Chris Ellis at 914433-0926 .

RCC offers program for academically talented students

The Riverdale Community Center at MS/HS 141, 660 West 237th Street, will be offering an exciting, new program for academically talented students in grades 2 and 3. This program will offer challenging and enriching activities focusing on mathematics, English Language Arts/Reading and music. Each component will be approximately one-hour and children will rotate throughout the three-hour program to each component. Math Component - Explore math problems from some unique perspectives. Hands-on activities will include measurement investigations that include relation-

ships to the arts. Understandings about our base ten system will be enhanced through our work in other bases. Brain teasers, games and physical activities will be incorporated into our work together. The emphasis will be on gaining deeper understandings through fun, engaging activities. ELA Component - Comprehensive ELA/Reading program where the students get the opportunity to explore various books from different genres in its entirety. The students will be analyzing each book’s rich storyline and intricate plot lines and characters by implementing creative activities such as performing plays, creating songs based on the books, writing journal entries, and completing innovative projects based on the stories, etc. Music Component - Introduction to classical music, study of basic music reading and introduction to the violin. Fun hands-on activities. Class size is limited and students should bring a healthy snack to the program. Ten Saturday Mornings (10/1, 15, 22, 29, 11/5, 12, 19, 12/3, 10, 17) 9:00 AM - 12 Noon FEE: $385 + $15 registration fee

Church of Mediator to host flea market

Church of the Mediator will host a flea market on Saturday, Sept. 17, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The sale will be held on the corner of West 231st Street and Kingsbridge Road in the Bronx. Jewelry, handbags, clothing, books, housewares and toys will be sold at bargain prices. The famous Mr G. from Irvington, NY will also be on hand to serve up his succulent rotisserie chicken and rice and 5 kinds of his homemade empanadas. For more information, please call 718548-3312 or 917-846-0182.

Continued from Page 1 “September 11 was the worst day in the life for me,” he said. “But it was also the most inspiring day.” He added that he thinks about it every day. “Horrible things, and unbelievably wonderful things. It’s with me all the time,” he said. “Probably once a week, or once a month, or pretty regularly, I have someone come up to me and tell me ‘I want to thank you because I was in a building and there’s no way I would have gotten outta that building if I didn’t see your firefighters

going into the building when I was going out. It kept us calm, relaxed—we didn’t crush each other and block the exits.’” Dr. Brennan O’Donnell, president of the college, introduced Giuliani and praised his role as an inspiration to the city after the attacks. “The leadership of Mayor Rudolf Giuliani and his role of uniting the city in its recovery efforts is, of course, legendary,” O’Donnell said. “His passionate faith in New Yorkers assured us that we could indeed find our way forward.”

Rabba Sara Hurwitz, Dr. Mehnaz Afridi, Rabbi Avi Weiss, Rabbi Steven Exler, Father John Knapp and Scott Dennis, Dr. Afridi’s husband, reciting Psalm 23 at an interfaith service at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale in commemoration of the 9/11 tenth anniversary.

13 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, September 15, 2011

Giuliani headlines 9/11 remembrances here

Engel joins 4 generations to celebrate Grandparents Day at the Hebrew Home

Thursday, September 15, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


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Congressman Eliot Engel (dark suit) joins four generations of Frieda Wendum’s family at the Hebrew home for the Aged annual grandparents day celebration Sunday. Ms. Wendum is 100 years old. The Congressman addressed the celebrants telling them that his late mother had lived at the Home. He greeted people at individual tables and stopped to have a snack from the buffet with Dan Reingold, President and CEO of the Home.

By BRENDAN McHUGH State officials must draw new district lines that give a growing Bronx Latino population a stronger voice, advocates demanded last week during a public hearing at Bronx Community College. A joint Senate-Assembly body that oversees redistricting has held public sessions throughout New York since July. The first meeting in The Bronx drew well over 70 speakers, including many who wanted to see new state and congressional lines that will represent the population as it is now, not just lines that will please incumbents. “I ask today that in carrying out your duties, you avoid pitfalls of the last redistricting process in 2010 and produce maps that will accurately and fairly reflect the New York population and allow just representation,” said Rafaela Zapata in her testimony Thursday to the New York State Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment (LATFOR). “That at the end of the process, we, the people, don’t come to you and rightly accuse you of having hacked up social communities in favor of political boundaries,” she continued. Zapata, along with a number of other speakers, pled for an additional Latino congressional district to be drawn up, combining parts of northern Manhattan with the West Bronx. Assemblyman Nelson Castro also made that plea in his remarks, saying that many Latinos have been priced out of northern Manhattan and into the West Bronx, so it seems only right that either a new district or a change to a current one is created to properly represent the similar communities. “These are communities of common interest—we want to keep it that way.

We want one congressional representative,” he said. The 2010 census says the Latino population grew by 19.2 percent in New York State and by around 30 percent in the city. Currently, only two of the 29 congressional representatives in the state are Latino. Some of the Bronxites who testified were less concerned with the congressional lines and more concerned with their state representation. Barbara Stronczer, a member of the Bedford Mosholu Community Association, told the board that her neighborhood has been the victim of intense gerrymandering in the past. “One piece of Mosholu Parkway is aligned with a major piece of Riverdale,” she said of the Assembly districts. “Another section of Mosholu Parkway is cast off to a section of Morris Park in the East Bronx. A third section of Mosholu Parkway is jointed to the south with the 78th Assembly district. It has been impossible for the residents of Bedford Park and neighboring Norwood to work together for improvements in our area.” That Riverdale section of Mosholu Parkway is represented by Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, who has a similar situation with the state Senate. His Assembly district has three state senators within it, but he views that as an opportunity to get more done, not as a hindrance. “I get support from three different state senators,” he said, referring to his ability to find a senate co-sponsor for his bills. After these public sessions end in October, the state will draw maps and launch a second round of hearings, though there is not yet a specific timeline. Many who testified asked whether the meetings could be held at night instead of during the day so more people could attend.

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15 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hearing held on political redistricting

Thursday, September 15, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Vacate order for VC Village house By MIAWLING LAM Residents of an illegally chopped-up Bronx flophouse were forced to evacuate after city officials raided and sealed their deadly home. The Department of Buildings slapped a full vacate order on the single-family home at 3835 Bailey Avenue after learning it had been dangerously divided into 10 separate units. The city swooped on the building on August 31, leaving the tenants to scramble and find new homes. Councilman G. Oliver Koppell, who was instrumental in obtaining the vacate order, made no apologies for the drastic action. “Although I understand the problem tenants are facing at being dislocated, I am grateful that another potential tragedy has been averted,” he said. “We are very concerned over these illegal conversions. They create fire hazards and they overburden the building systems, especially if there are other legal tenants.” Neighbors have lodged 14 complaints against the building since January 2010. The Riverdale Review also understands the landlord has seven outstanding illegal conversion violations, owes the city $158,000 in penalties and has a history of chopping up buildings. Andrew Sandler, a representative of Koppell’s office, said it was difficult to determine exactly how many people were living in the dangerous home.

As of press time, only one constituent had contacted his office to seek relocation assistance. “The problem with these types of buildings is that they’re all illegal apartments,” Sandler said. “We don’t really have any records, and the Department of Buildings doesn’t keep a record of who is living there. They simply put the vacate order in, and once someone contacts our office, we are made aware of who they are.” Koppell said he hoped to stamp out illegal residential conversions by introducing legislation that would put more teeth into the city’s arsenal. Under his proposed legislation, the DOB would be able to obtain a court order to enter and inspect suspect buildings. “The bill would require the city to go to court to get an order fighting for access whenever they are unable to get access after several attempts,” he said. Koppell is co-sponsoring another bill that would allow the city to issue a summons or notice of violation for illegal residential conversions if a house has multiple mailboxes, a large number of operational utility meters or multiple doorbells. If passed, the two bills would work in tandem to ensure lives were not being jeopardized, he said. “New York City has seen a proliferation of dangerous illegal residential conversions. These bills will make it easier for the city to reduce the number of these chopped-up units.”

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ITALIAN ETYMOLOGY 6:30 p.m. Westchester Italian Cultural Center One Generoso Pope Place In this delightful introduction to etymology, the study of word origins, Professor Spedaliere will awaken and nurture your curiosity for words and language. You will learn how to improve your vocabulary, recognition and usage in addition to discovering the fascinating origins of such words as animal, assassin, ballot, bedlam, bus, candidate, carnival, ciao, cretin, czar, money, sincere and countless others. Presented by ABC Professor Joseph N. Spedaliere. Members $10, Non-Members $20. For info, call (914) 771-8700 or visit

Friday, Sept. 16 Valhalla

PHOTOGRAPHY COMPETITION 8 p.m. Westchester Community College Tech Bldg., East Gate Westchester Photographic Society presents Members’ Competition. The public is invited for an exciting and inspiring evening of photography. Free. For more information, visit or call 914-271-5542.

Saturday, Sept. 17 White Plains

HEALTH LECTURE 8:45 a.m. White Plains Hospital Center Davis Avenue at East Post Road Dr. Cheng Gonjon, a geriatrician, will be guest speaker. Program also includes a panel from the Latino Alzheimer’s Association from New York City who will discuss their personal experiences as caregivers for people with Alzheimer’s. Early registration is advised as space is limited. To sign up, call Corina DeLeon at (914) 813-6393.


HOOK MOUNTAIN MIGRATION 9:30 a.m. Teatown Lake Reservation 1600 Spring Valley Road Hike with a naturalist to the top of Hook Mountain for a bird’s eye view of Haverstraw Bay , the Tappan Zee and points south. Bring binoculars to spot hawks, ospreys and falcons as they migrate. For more information, contact Mary Haley at 914-762-2912 ext. 110 or visit


IMPROVING AIR QUALITY 10 a.m. Croton Point Nature Center Croton Point Avenue Mold, Paint and Dust: Easy Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality. Join in as they tour the nature center and explore the process for remediating these indoor air pollutants. For more information, call 914-862-5297.


VOLUNTEER WORK 10 a.m. Read Wildlife Sanctuary Playland Parkway Annual International Coastal Clean-Up. Join thousands of volunteers around the world in helping to clean trash and debris from their local waterways and shorelines. Work material provided. For more information, call 914-967-8720.


COASTAL CLEAN-UP 10 a.m. Marshlands Conservancy Route 1 Join in the data collection of litter along the coasts of the world by picking up and documenting tidal debris from one of the islands at Marshlands. All work materials provided. For more information, call 914-835-4466.

North White Plains

LEARNING TREES 10 a.m. Cranberry Lake Preserve Old Orchard Street Learning tricks to recognize trees and you can make a scrapbook to refresh your memory when needed. For more information, call 914-428-1005.

Cross River

NATURALIST’S CHOICE HIKE 1 p.m. Trailside Nature Museum Route 35 Join a museum naturalist as they select a trail and topic to find some exciting ecological events that result from seasonal weather. For more information, call 914-864-7322.


STREAM EXTRAVAGANZA 1 p.m. Marshlands Conservancy Route 1 Bring the family to observe the fantastic biology of streams fed by underground springs. It’s explorative, experimental and educational. Wear clothes that can get wet and dirty. For more information, call 914-835-4466.


BAKING FOCACCIA 2 p.m. Westchester Italian Cultural Center One Generoso Pope Place Focaccia is an oven-baked bread originating in Italy. The most popular variety is covered with olive oil, seasoned with salt and topped with rosemary. However, focaccia can be topped with almost anything and is commonly eaten as a snack food in Italy. Learn how to prepare this delicious and versatile Italian bread. Presented by Cathy Blanco. For children ages 5 to 13 years only. Children: Members $25, Non-Members $35. Parent and one Child: Members $35, Non-Members $45. Capacity is limited. Must register in advance and prepay. For more information, call (914) 771-8700 or visit

Sunday, Sept. 18 Rye

EXPLORE THE SHORE 10 a.m. Marshlands Conservancy Route 1 Get up close with Asian shore crabs and Sand hoppers and enjoy the tidal movement of Milton Harbor. For more information, call 914-835-4466.


UNEARTHING THE BIBLE 10 a.m. Congregation Sons of Israel 155 Elliott Avenue Dr. David Oestreicher, an independent scholar, consultant and curator, will explore how the techniques of deciphering ancient archeological scripts enhances our appreciation of the biblical text in a talk, “Unearthing the Bible.” A light brunch will be served; suggested donation is $10. Free on-site parking is available. To RSVP and for information, email info@ soisrael. org or call 914-751-5246.


HAWK WATCH 10 a.m. Lenoir Preserve Dudley Street Join the Hudson River Audubon Society on the great lawn in front of the mansion to look for migrating hawks. For more information, call 914-968-5851.


FAIRIES & GNOMES 1 p.m. Teatown Lake Reservation 1600 Spring Valley Road Use your imagination and natural materials (no picking please!) to create a home for woodland critters real or imagined! Free for members; $5pp for nonmembers. Call 914-762-2912 ext. 110 to make a reservation.

Monday, Sept. 19 Scarsdale

CHARITY GOLF & TENNIS 8 a.m. Quaker Ridge Golf Club 140 Griffen Avenue Charity Golf and Tennis Outing with Tennis Star James Blake: Westchester Children’s Museum is hosting its annual golf outing at the beautiful and challenging Quaker Ridge Golf Club, counted among the nation’s top 40 golf courses. Not a golfer? Come hit the courts with tennis star James Blake. Proceeds will support the museum’s educational programs. A limited number of VIP tickets are available. Ticket prices begin at $500. Quaker Ridge Golf Club. Scarsdale, N.Y. Call 914-421-5050 or visit for more information.

Thursday, Sept. 22 Mt. Vernon

MEDICARE BASICS 10 a.m. Westchester County Office Building 9 S. First Ave., 8th floor Case workers will provide information about Medicare parts A, B, C and D and how to use Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) for even greater savings. EPIC is a New York State-sponsored plan that helps eligible seniors pay prescription drug costs. They will also discuss Medigap insurance, cost-sharing and preventive benefits. To register, call DSPS’ Medicare Information Line at (914) 813-6100.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thursday, Sept. 15

Thursday, September 15, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thursday, September 15, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



The Riverdale Chapter 1546 AARP will have a social meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 12:30 p.m. at the Riverdale Presbyterian Church at 4765 Henry Hudson Parkway West. At this first meeting of the season, they will be entertained by Gary Lovett with his Las Vegas style act, singing, dancing, stories. He always has a capture audience. The community is invited to attend. Refreshments will be served. For more information call Manfred Segal at 718549-0088.

Jewish War veterans to meet

Jewish War veterans of Post # 69 Newman-Goldman will hold their monthly meeting on Sunday September 18 at 10 a.m. The event will be held in Room 3D22 on the third floor of the Kingsbridge Medical Hospital on 130 West Kingsbridge Road. Guests are instructed to enter via Webb Avenue. The group is the only active JWV post in the Riverdale/Kingsbridge area. Members of other posts, veterans and

any interested parties are welcome. Attendees do not need to be registered at the hospital. For more information, please call Mel Saks on 914-337-0277 or Herb Barret on 718-548-6832.

Riv. Choral Society accepting new members

The Riverdale Choral Society has started rehearsals for their concert entitled ‘HEAVENLY HARMONIES’ which will be presented on November 19, 2011. Singers are still welcome to join the chorus as they rehearse Faure’s Requiem, James Bassi’s Harpsonnets and Elliot Z. Levine’s ‘i thank You God’. The last open rehearsal will be held Wednesday September 21st where Music Director John Lettieri will conduct informal auditions for new members. For forty-seven years the Riverdale Choral Society has performed traditional choral masterworks and other works rarely performed, many of them in a number of different languages. As a community organization, the chorus has sung with other Bronx choruses and orchestras and performed in various Bronx nursing homes. The Riverdale Choral Society is comprised of about 60 congenial singers

of various ages and backgrounds and it welcomes experienced sight-readers as well as those who do not sight-read but have a good musical ear. You may schedule an informal audition with Music Director John Lettieri by sending an e-mail to, or by calling 718-543-2219. Or you may sign up for an informal audition at our last open rehearsal on Wednesday, September 21, at 7:30 PM. Choral rehearsals are held every Wednesday during the Fall semester session from 7:30 to 9:45 PM at Christ Church Riverdale, 252 St. and Henry Hudson Parkway East, where there is street parking available and easy access to public transportation. Additional information can be obtained at the RCS web site:

RCT announces auditions for 2 plays

The Riverdale Children’s Theatre will be holding auditions for their winter productions of two cartoon classics-’Annie’ and ‘You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown’this Thursday, September 15, from 4 to 7 p.m. and on Sunday, September 18, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Riverdale Senior Center in The Century building, 2600 Netherland Avenue. All levels of experience are welcome. If possible, please prepare a short

musical theatre selection and be prepared to learn a simple dance combination. Auditions are open to all children in second to ninth grades. ‘We are kicking off our second season with two beloved Broadway classics,’ says Artistic Director Becky Lillie Woods. ‘We have the honor of being one of the last groups to bring ‘Annie’ to the stage before the Broadway revival in the fall of 2012, and it will be an incredible experience for our kids and our audiences. Adding ‘Charlie Brown’ and the ‘Peanuts’ gang gives our expanding group another opportunity to bring the magic of live theatre to families in The Bronx and Westchester.’ The Riverdale Children’s Theatre brings together children from various religious and cultural backgrounds to learn about themselves, each other and the joy of performing. In their inaugural season, RCT staged ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ ‘The Little Mermaid Jr.,’ ‘101 Dalmatians,’ ‘Cinderella,’ ‘Grease’ and ‘Jungle Book.’ In addition, RCT offered free audition prep for dozens of Bronxites hoping to attend specialized arts schools in NYC, a Broadway Babies workshop and a specialized six-week summer program. The 2011/2012 season is expected to expand even more. For more information, visit

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, September 15, 2011

Riverdale AARP Chapter to meet

Thursday, September 15, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Lessons from The Bronx, 1948

As this is being written, voters in the 9th Congressional District are casting their ballots to replace Rep. Anthony Weiner, forced to resign over sending salacious messages over the Internet. Mr. Weiner, if nothing else, was a notable and strong supporter of Israel. Scandal notwithstanding, he surely would have won reelection, according to most polls. This is a district with a 3 to 1 Democratic edge among registered voters, and a heavy Jewish population that can be counted on to turn out in impressive numbers in most elections. Despite this, one Democrat, former Mayor Ed Koch, saw this as a unique opportunity to “send a message” to President Obama, who many think is shifting American support away from the Jewish state. Mr. Koch endorsed the Republican candidate, Bob Turner, and helped to make him an improbable credible candidate in a district considered impossible for a Republican to win. Should Mr. Turner win, the result will rock Washington, right up to the White House, and could well contribute to a change in American policy. If so, it couldn’t come at a more critical time for Israel, faced with numerous existential threats from its enemies. If so, it won’t be the first time that a special election to fill a vacant New York Congressional seat might have had a major effect on American policy towards Israel. In 1947, Bronx Congressman Benjamin Rabin, resigned his seat, effective December 31st, in order to assume a seat on the New York State Supreme Court. Today, becoming a member of the U.S. House of Representatives is considered by many to be the culmination of a political career. But back then, it was viewed as a stepping stone to other political jobs, even a spot on New York’s lowest court. A special election was called for February 17, 1948. This was just months before the State of Israel declared its independence, and just about two months after the United Nations voted to partition Palestine into a Jewish and Arab state. With war on the horizon, the Jews of Palestine, were suffering under an American arms embargo, and there was concern as to whether President Truman would recognize the Jewish state once independence was declared. Leo Isacson, a former one-term Assemblyman, who ran under the banner of the far left wing American Labor Party (A.L.P.), quickly declared his candidacy for the vacant seat. Isacson was a deeply committed Zionist, consistent with the support of the American left (as well as the Soviet Union) for a Jewish state. The stakes were high. Isacson was backed by former Vice President Henry Wallace, preparing his own run for President with the support of New York’s A.L.P., a real threat to the president’s reelection prospects. Wallace had a particular axe to grind here. The Bronx Democratic leader, the legendary Edward J. Flynn, was a major power in the national party and a confidant of the late President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Flynn lobbied to have Wallace dropped as the Vice Presidential nominee in 1944, which, as things turned out, would have put Wallace in the White House when Roosevelt died suddenly in April, 1945. With Wallace’s strong support, Isacson ran a spirited race as the candidate of “Peace. Prosperity and Palestine,” and won nearly 56 percent of the vote in a four-way race in the working class southeast Bronx’s 24th District. Taking his seat (despite the efforts of at least one Republican to have the House refuse to seat him because his “loyalty was in doubt), he quickly declared in his first speech on the day he took office, “I am a Jew!” Isacson fought the arms embargo against the Jews of Palestine, and the following day introduced his first bill, one which would “recognize the independent Jewish State in Palestine and guarantee its security against attack.” All this could not have escaped the attention of the White House. If Leo Isacson could beat the powerful Bronx Democratic Party over the issue of the Jewish State, this put the normally reliably Democratic Jewish vote in play. Certainly there has been much speculation as to the reasons for Truman’s quick recognition of Israel Continued on Page 23

Time to ‘connect the dots’ on terrorism

To The Editor: While commemorating the tenth anniversary of 9/11, we are facing a threat from terrorists and concerned with a potential attack on NYC or DC. Also, this week, the Israeli embassy in Egypt was attacked with the same hatred that fuelled the 9/11 Islamists. Our politicians talk of how well we responded to this attack, how proud we should be of our first-responders and the spirit of togetherness that swept the country. I agree with all that but where is the meaningful talk of defeating those who perpetuated this abominable assault? There is an unwillingness to connect the dots. I don’t see anyone talking about what caused 9/11, just a reference to al Qaeda, as if they came from outer space and that if we can eliminate them, our troubles are over. In the U.S. and Europe, the mainstream media and most government refer to Islam as a religion of peace. Nothing could be further from the truth. The

Koran is replete with calls to conquer non-Muslims. Mohammed was a military leader and led many military campaigns of conquest. This ‘faith’ calls for political conquest and submission of other societies to sharia, So it was when founded and so it is today. The 9/11 murderers all acted in the name of Islam and the Koran as they were taught. The West is behaving as it did when confronted by Hitler and Tojo. It hoped that the aggression would end with the last attack. It never did nor will the current assaults end with a peaceful satiated Islam. In the global world we live in, we cannot isolate ourselves from rogue behavior in another part of the world. Germany and

The cutting edge

To The Editor: The following is a letter sent to various officials. Do you know what “dragons teeth” are? They are pointed

ANDREW WOLF, Editor and Publisher

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Japan should have taught us that in the 1930s. If we didn’t learn the lesson then we will have the same experience again. Militant fundamental Islam is the problem we face and it will not go away because we appease its demands or ignore its existence. Our military leaders tell us we have incapacitated al Qaeda. Maybe so, but we are still concerned with attacks in the US. They have not the courage to tell us whom we are fighting and lay out a course of victory. All this burying of our heads in the sand will not result in security or peace. We are doing the same thing with existential threats as we have done with our economy; we are passing the problems to the next generation. Philip Brieff

CECILIA McNALLY Office Manager MIAWLING LAM Associate Editor

STAFF: Robert Lebowitz, Brendan McHugh, Richard Reay, Paulette Schneider, Lloyd Ultan, Daniel R. Wolf

concrete pillars embedded in the ground. Used to stop tanks on battlefields, they expose the vulnerable underside of the vehicle to attack. I live on Tyndall Ave. between 259th St. and Mosholu Avenue. If you were to drive down my street you would find your car in danger of a similar attack. I don’t have to give you more of a location than the cross streets. You can easily find the “dragons tooth” by the constant oil slick left behind by its victims. It is a combination of a manhole cover and a sinkhole. Some Continued on Page 23

To The Editor: The best and only way to create a lasting and successful Palestinian state is through negotiations with Israel. There is no way a UN end-run around mutual agreements can bring a better future for the Middle East. The Palestinian move at the U.N. violates many existing agreements and understandings that both sides accepted under which they promised not to take unilateral actions. The Palestinian move cannot deliver them a state but it could set off violence in

The cutting edge Continued from Page 22 years ago during a new home construction, the street was dug up and never refilled properly. Since that time the street subsides around the rim of a manhole in the center of the street. The exposed rim very effectively tears into the underside of passing cars. I’ve seen it work. It’s a real spellbinder. Locals have gotten used to it. That’s right, USED TO IT. It has become a permanent obstacle. There have been a few attempts to cover it but so far the hole is ahead by about 25 cars to every road repair. Last night a car load of new students from Mount Saint Vincent got an introduction to the “tooth.” This was a doozie. Absolutely shattered the oil pan. I can tell you there is no oil shortage on Tyndall Avenue today. Today, the car is still sitting by the curb waiting for a tow. You can pick up small pieces of the undercarriage all over the street. It has been reported to as many city agencies as the residents of Tyndall Ave. can think of. I’m sure there are a few insurance companies and furious auto owners who have tried to get this city’s attention, too. Perversely, we Tyndall residents have come to appreciate the “tooth” as an unintended speed bump which slows down the maniacs who used to like to use the street as their own private Daytona Beach. So, if you really think you can deal with this problem, try dong two things at once. Pull the “tooth” and leave the speed bump minus the can opener. Thomas Kiernan

Lessons from The Bronx, 1948 Continued from Page 22 in May, but certainly the political lesson of the February 17th special election in the Bronx was noted. Isacson became the first (of many) members of Congress to visit Israel, at some personal risk of life and limb during the War of Independence. But back at home, the Jewish vote solidified behind the Democrats, who joined with the Republicans to defeat Isacson in the November election. With Truman solidly behind Israel, Jewish support for Wallace melted away. Leo Isacson served less than a year in Congress, not much less that the winner of Tuesday’s election in Brooklyn and Queens is expected to serve before being reapportioned into oblivion. Isacson never won another office and died in 1996. But the lesson of his brief political career may well be reprised at this very moment.

the territories and threaten the economy of the West Bank. Reference to the Palestinian “right of return” is a recipe for the destruction of Israel, the only homeland of the Jewish people. There needs to be two homelands - one democratic one for the Jewish people and one for Palestinians. It cannot be a twoSTAGE solution where the second step of two states in no Israel. At this time when extremists are fomenting violence throughout the Middle East, this is no time for irresponsible moves that could destabilize the region and destroy the calm that has prevailed between Israel and the Palestinian Authority for the past three years. Donald Liss, M.D.

23 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, September 15, 2011

‘Face to face’ is only road to ‘Palestine’

Thursday, September 15, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Riverdale Review, Sept. 15, 2011  
Riverdale Review, Sept. 15, 2011  

Weekly newspaper published in Riverdale, NY 10471