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Riverdale’s ONLY Locally Owned Newspaper!

Volume XVIII • Number 6 • January 6 - 12, 2011 •


Two years too late: Klein gets reform ‘religion’ By BRENDAN McHUGH Senator Jeffrey Klein’s leadership in the state Senate is going down the drain faster than that Four Loko he poured out after announcing he had stepped down as deputy leader of the Democratic Conference, the second coveted position he’s lost in a month. Klein told the Daily News he is “disgusted” by the Democratic Party’s actions this past year, saying he “can no longer stand by and support Sen. Sampson as conference leader.” Sampson released a statement earlier this week stating the entire conference is undergoing change. “As part of what has been a broad and ongoing restructuring of the Democratic Conference, we have accepted the resignation of Sen. Klein as deputy leader,” he said. “Moving forward with that continued reorganization, we plan to announce final leadership and committee assignments this week.”

Sampson is expected to retain his leadership post, as he is currently unchallenged despite a difficult two years leading the conference while holding the majority in the Senate. Decisions for leadership posts are decided on Wednesday, January 5. Klein said the “final nail in the coffin” was the recent Daily News revelation that the Senate Democrats under Sampson had overspent their $29 million legislative budget by $7 million. Klein’s decision to step down from the deputy leader position will cost him $20,500 and a state car. His office did not responded to a written request for information. Frank Vernuccio Jr., Klein’s Republican opponent in last year’s election, was pleased to hear the news and attributed his race against the Albany incumbent as among the reasons the Democrats are reeling. “The campaign, although I did not win, exposed a number of flaws in the prevailing Democratic philosophy, and

Principals’ union asserts that P.S. 24 should have a ‘properly credentialed’ Assistant Principal By ANDREW WOLF The union representing principals, assistant principals and other school administrators has become involved in the controversy regarding the assistant principal vacancy at P.S. 24. For the first time in memory, there now are no assistant principals at the school, which doesn’t sit well with the Council of Supervisors and Administrators. Chiara Coletti, the spokesperson for the union confirmed the discussions have been taking place and told the Riverdale Review that it is their view that “all schools need at least one properly certified assistant principal,” and for a school as large as P.S. 24, “two certified assistant principals would be appropriate.” In recent years, the school had two intermediate supervisors, an assistant principal and a special education supervisor, given the large special ed population at the school. Last year principal Donna Connelly appointed her former colleague from P.S. 69 in the south Bronx, Emanuele Verdi, a guidance counselor as Assistant Principal. But it turned out that Verdi did not possess the required New York State certification. When questioned about the vacancy earlier in the school year, the school’s official spokesperson, Joseph Zizzo, insisted that Verdi was the assistant principal. He quickly called back to correct himself, stating that Verdi Continued on Page 17

Klein in particular.” Vernuccio attacked all incumbents for wasteful spending and poor ethics. Klein, for example, gave a state-sponsored $50,000 grant to the Westchester Italian Cultural Center for a series of cooking classes in 2010, all while running his campaign on attacking wasteful spending in the government. “Klein is a relic of the old Democratic Party, and I think that is coming to an end,” Vernuccio said. This isn’t the first leadership post Klein has stepped away from. In December, he resigned as head of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee. Klein insists he stepped down, but Albany insiders claim Sampson ousted him after a poor showing in the midterm elections. Sampson criticized Klein for allocating money to some races that were deemed lost causes instead of helping two incumbents, in Buffalo and on Long Island, who ultimately lost, costing the

Democrats their majority. Three other Long Island Democrats lost, as did other key upstate allies. The Republicans took back the state Senate, 32-30. Sampson needs only 16 of 30 votes from the Democrats on Wednesday to retain his position. Sen. Liz Krueger has been mentioned as a possible replace-

ment for Klein. Klein has not said whom he will support for either position, but he did say he does not plan to run for minority leader despite past ambitions of being conference leader. Bronx Sen. Jose M. Serrano told the Daily News he has not heard from any other senator about challenging Sampson.

‘Development’ Corp. passes the hat By MIAWLING LAM Help us help you: That’s the message being projected by a controversial local community organization. The Kingsbridge Riverdale Van Cortlandt Development Corporation sent out an e-mail last Wednesday urging residents to dig deep in their pockets and support its community betterment initiatives. Citing the “success” of last month’s one-day shopping shuttle service, the organization said more funds were needed so it

could continue to promote local mom-and-pop businesses. “We ask that you help KRVC help our community,” the e-mail reads. “We are hard at work day and night serving our community through events, projects and initiatives. “With more resources, KRVC can do more to serve our community. We ask that you make a financial contribution to KRVC in any amount you can in these tough economic times.” Continued on Page 17 Continued on Page 3

SILLY HAT DAY – P.S. 81 student Noa wears a witch’s hat during Silly Hat Day in Ms. Perez’s kindergarten class last month. Kids in all grades donned silly hats as part of a quirky change of pace to liven up the classrooms.

Thursday, January 6, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Jazz great Billy Taylor was 89 By PAULETTE SCHNEIDER Jazz giant Billy Taylor, a Kappock Street resident for more than 40 years, passed away at the age of 89 on December 28, 2010. William Edward Taylor Jr. was born in 1921 in Greenville, North Carolina. As a child, he moved with his family to Washington, D.C., and began to study music with a local teacher at the age of seven. At 15, he enrolled in Virginia State University as a sociology major. At 23, he decided to relocate to New York City. The moment he arrived in town, he headed directly to Minton’s Playhouse in Harlem. He took a turn at the piano and caught the ear of tenor saxophonist Ben Webster. Two days later, Taylor started a gig with Webster’s quartet at the Three Deuces on 52nd Street. Throughout the 1940s, Taylor performed with Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and other jazz icons. After a stint as house pianist at Birdland from 1949 through 1951, he began to perform mainly as leader of his own trios. During that time, he published the first book ever written about bebop piano. In 1958, NBC produced “The Subject is Jazz” and named Taylor as musical director for the series. He became musical director for the “The David Frost Show” in the 1970s and appeared on “CBS Sunday Morning” in 1981, contributing more than 250 features to that program over the next twenty years. In 1964, he worked with Daphne Arnstein, a patron of the arts and founder of the Harlem Cultural Council, to create

Dr. Billy Taylor of Riverdale Jazzmobile, Inc., an educational outreach organization that offers special programs for disadvantaged youths and brings concerts, workshops, clinics and lectures to public schools. One of those public schools was Riverdale’s P.S. 81. Around 1965, Appalachian fiddler and former Riverdalian Bruce Molsky was a fifth-grader there, attending a Jazzmobile concert where Taylor soloed “I Wish I Knew How it Feels to Be Free” on the piano. “I can even remember where I was sitting in the audience,” Molsky recalled. Taylor’s simple gospel tune, considered his most famous, is referred to as an anthem for the civil rights movement, though it was originally a song with no lyrics. According to Molsky, Taylor told the P.S. 81 students that he was giving Continued on Page 3

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his niece piano lessons and composed the piece to help her learn gospel-style chord progressions. Taylor gave each student a signed photo and a 45-rpm of the song. “He had this real desire to get the music across in a way that could get the kids excited,” Molsky said. “I remember I came home from school so excited that I asked my mom if I could have guitar lessons. It never occurred to me to try to play something until I saw him.” In 1975, Taylor earned his doctorate from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he was a faculty member. He’s been granted more than 23 honorary doctorates, two Peabody awards and a Grammy award, among many other accolades. “Bill Taylor was known as a towering force in jazz, as a pianist, composer, arranger, but above all, as an indefatigable educator and champion of the music,” said Adrian Ellis, executive director of Jazz at Lincoln Center. “I met him soon after I came to the States in the 1990s, when he was already what the Japanese would call a national living monument.” Taylor was one of only three jazz musicians appointed to the National Council of the Arts. Since 1994, he was artistic director for jazz at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, where he developed several ongoing concert series. For radio, he hosted the Billy Taylor’s Jazz at the Kennedy Center series—after his own trio accompanied guest per-

formers, Taylor led musical discussions between the artists and the audience. National Public Radio recorded these live sessions and generated eight years of broadcasts. The Taylor family discovered what turned out to be Riverdale while observing the Hudson River shoreline during a family outing on the Circle Line. “My wife looked up and liked what she saw,” Taylor recalled in an interview last year. They decided to check out the area. “All of my family life has been a blessing. If all this were taken away from me tomorrow, at least what I had until this time has been unbelievable,” Taylor said in George Bodarky’s December 12, 2009 Cityscape program on the Fordham University radio station, WFUV. The broadcast, focusing on music and aging, is archived on the station’s website. Taylor is survived by his wife, Theodora, his daughter Kim Taylor-Thompson, his son-in-law, Tony Thomson and his brother, Rudy. His son, Duane, passed away in 1988. “He will be missed by every one of the hundreds of thousands people whose life he touched around the world through the warmth of his playing and personality,” Ellis said. A memorial service is scheduled for Monday, January 10, at 6 p.m. at the Riverside Church, 490 Riverside Drive in Manhattan. The family has requested that well-wishers donate to Jazzmobile in Dr. Taylor’s name instead of sending flowers.

3 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, January 6, 2011

Jazz great Billy Taylor was 89

Thursday, January 6, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Around the Schools... P.S. 81

Preregistration for kindergarten will be held from Monday, January 10, through Friday, March 4, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Anyone who arrives for registration after 10:30 a.m. will be asked to return on another day. Any child zoned for P.S. 81 may register at any point during the designated period, and parents who arrive with the child to be registered and with the required documents will have an opportunity to complete the paperwork. Parents are required to bring the following: The child to be registered; their own photo ID; the child’s original birth certificate or passport; the child’s immunization records; the child’s Individual Education Program and/or 540 Accommodation Plan (if applicable and available); and any TWO of the following proof of residence documents: a Con Edison bill, water bill, or property tax bill dated within the past 60 days; an original lease agreement, deed, or mortgage statement; documentation or letter on letterhead from a federal, state or local government agency including the Internal Revenue Service, City Housing Authority, Human Resources Administration, Administration for Children’s Services or an ACS subcontractor indicating the resident’s name and address, dated within the past 60 days; or official payroll documentation from an employer, such as a form submitted for tax withholding purposes or payroll receipt dated within the past 60 days—a letter on employer’s letterhead will not be accepted. Parents who have any questions are welcome to call the school at 718-7968965.

Horace Mann School

On Friday, January 7, the school will hold its annual student-run Amplefest benefit concert in the Cohen Dining Commons from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Amplefest showcases students’ musical talent in rock, reggae, a cappella and other genres. Faculty and staff members perform along with student bands for this charitable event, from which the proceeds go to KANPE, a Montreal-based charity that focuses on rehabilitating agrarian communities in Haiti. The $5 cover charge will help raise money for this charity. The concert is open to students from the Ethical Culture

Fieldston School and Riverdale Country School. Alex Ma and RobertTuck are in charge of this year’s event. HM’s Bernice Hauser has co-authored a scholarly article entitled “America’s Growing Innovation Gap” in the Fall 2010 issue of the Teachers Clearinghouse for Science and Society Newsletter. Hauser is the newsletter’s primary education correspondent. The article addresses ways to regain our worldwide status as leaders in innovation.

Kinneret Day School

Fourth- and fifthgraders have been studying abstract paintings at the Jewish Museum with their teacher, Leslie Wachtell. After students visited the museum and viewed various paintings, they discussed the differences between abstract and concrete art and learned that abstract paintings have a definite story to tell. Back in class, the students each wrote about a personal episode in their lives and then produced abstract shapes that represented their stories. They were encouraged to avoid shapes like hearts and flowers and instead to think deeply and be original. The resulting pieces will be displayed in the school hallway. The school’s partnership with the museum opened students’ minds and helped them to appreciate the use of different artistic techniques.

College Of Mount Saint Vincent

College faculty, staff and administrators “adopted” some local families for the holidays. The Sisters of Mercy selected the families from two nearby parishes and determined what the families could use in the way of gifts. The Sisters then informed members of the Office of Campus Ministry and Mission, who organized a campaign to provide gifts that are in keeping with the families’ needs. Last year, three families were adopted—this year, there were 13 families. The ministry office also sponsored a toy drive to benefit families of St. Joseph Parish in Yonkers. College athletes delivered the toys last month. The College of Mount Saint Vincent is founded on the spirit and mission of the Sisters of Charity.

By BRENDAN McHUGH With a big smile on her face, Ellen Feld said, “The block is full.” Feld, president of the South Riverdale Avenue Merchants Association, has worked over the past year to organize merchants and bring businesses back to the small stretch of commercial land between West 236th and West 238th streets. Now, with the addition of Popcorn Pawz and new restaurants in construction, that mission is complete. Popcorn Pawz, the latest store to come to Riverdale Avenue, stocks anything a dog or cat would need. From dog purses to scratching posts, lessons on proper nutrition to grooming appointments, Popcorn Pawz is already receiving praise from the community. “I’m so thrilled they have a dog store here,” Paulina Rosenstein said as her dog, Jazzy, was sniffing the dog outfits on the shelf. “The dogs love this place.” Manager Marlene Hungrin said they chose the vacant store because of its location. “It’s right across from the vet,” she said. Popcorn Pawz will be hosting an opening event on January 22 for both “adults and animals.” Wine and cheese will be served, and Hungrin and assistant manager Roberto Negrin will be offering tips to pet owners and treats for the pets. In the future, Hungrin and Negrin will host a number of different events, publicized mostly through their Facebook page. Hungrin said she plans to meet with Feld and get involved with the merchants association.

“The street is more of something that people just drive by,” she said. One of the merchants association’s biggest challenges has been just that. They have plans to beautify the street with benches, flowerpots and Christmas tree lights, which they hope will entice people to get out of their cars and walk down the block. An new street feature expected this spring will be a sidewalk café for Salvatore’s of Soho. Owner Arjan Curanaj has submitted an application for the outdoor seating. He gained unanimous support from the community board, which will offer a recommendation to the Department of Transportation in favor of the application. Curanaj hopes to inspire other businesses to do the same, saying it will make the area look better. It will also draw traffic down West 238th Street to The Page Turner, a children’s bookstore, and Someplace Special, a children’s barbershop. About 40 chairs will be added to Sal’s, from one end of the windowpanes to the other.

FAX education news to:

The Riverdale Review (718) 543-4206 or email to 5752 Fieldston Road Bronx, NY 10471

Deliveries ended

5 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, January 6, 2011

Riverdale Ave. merchant turnaround

Thursday, January 6, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


'Intimate Voices' concert at CSAIR

Intimate Voices Chamber Concerts continues its second season with a concert on Saturday evening, Jan. 8, at 8 p.m., at the Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale (CSAIR), 475 West 250th Street. The Intimate Voices series, presented by CSAIR in collaboration with the Riverdale YM-YWHA, offers an opportunity for audiences to experience the immediacy and intensity of chamber music in a warm and relaxed setting. The participating musicians have performed in venues all over the United States and abroad as soloists as well as in ensembles ranging from major string quartets to the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic. The January 8 concert will feature works by Mendelssohn, Schubert, Bartok, and Tsintsadze. Doors will open at 7:30 for wine, tea and coffee, and an informal reception with the musicians will follow the concert Tickets are $25 each, $22 for seniors, and $15 for students and include the concert, refreshments and a reception with the artists. They are available online at, at the CSAIR office, or at the door the evening of the concert. For more information, call the CSAIR office at 718-543-8400.

Riverdale Y presents the musical '13'

For the first time, the Riverdale Y's Rising Stars theater company is presenting a special musical theater production featuring a combination of older Jr. Rising Stars and younger Rising Stars. A recent hit on Broadway, '13' is sure to please all ages. It tells the story of Evan Goldman, who has six weeks to go before he turns 13. After an idyllic childhood in New York City, he's just been uprooted and brought to Appleton, Indiana with his mother. He has one mission: get all the cool kids in school to come to his Bar Mitzvah, or else spend the rest of his academic career banished to the land of the Geeks. '13' is a show about finding out who you are, finding out what you need, and finding out what's really important. It covers all of the ups and downs that everyone faces at the age of 13! Book is by Dan Elish, music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown. Featuring some brand new faces and some very familiar

'stars' from the Jr. Rising Stars program, '13' will be performed on Saturdays, Jan. 8 and 15, at 8 p.m.; Sundays, Jan. 9 and 16, at 1 and 5 p.m.; Wednesday, Jan. 12, and Thursday, Jan. 13 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for students, $12 for seniors. General admission is $18 if purchased online ( or $20 at the door. Group sales are also available. The Riverdale Y is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue. For more information, call 718-548-8200.

Shaarei Shalom Offers Class on the Prophets

The new year brings a new Adult Education offering at Congregation Shaarei Shalom. The Prophets by Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, is the topic and text that Rabbi Steven Burton's new class will explore. Surely one of the outstanding rabbis, authors, and social activists of the 20th century, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel was also one of its greatest teachers. This book, originally published almost 50 years ago, has become a classic in its own right. An early review from The Westminster Bookman, captured precisely why Rabbi Burton considers it the perfect text for contemporary study of the essential role that the Prophets played both in Jewish history and in our lives today: "The present book stands out in many ways as unique. It seeks not so much to

expound the message of the prophets against the background of their times and to fix their place in the history of Israel's religion, as to explore the phenomenon of prophecy as such, to analyze its fundamental presuppositions and the nature of prophetic inspiration; together with this, it seeks by comparative study to set forth the uniqueness of the prophetic faith...' As always, there are no prerequisites for participation; all are welcome. This newest course in the congregation's adult education programming begins on Wednesday, January 12 at 7:00 p.m., and will be held in the synagogue's conference room at 5919 Riverdale Avenue. Participation is open to the entire community at no charge. The book is available in hardcover and paperback. Either edition can be purchased easily from, Barnes and Noble or Borders via their websites or bookstores or many other book seller outlets. A Tanakh is also needed for the course. Bring your own copy or one can be easily purchased. The paperback pocketbook edition printed by the Jewish Publication Society is recommended. 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. To learn more about the congregation,

this Adult Education course, weekly Shabbat services, membership, its religious school, and many program offerings, please call (718) 796-0305 or e-mail: shaareishalo or visit its website at

Uptown Coffeehouse features Bill Staines

The Uptown Coffeehouse will be presenting singer/songwriter Bill Staines on Sunday, January 9, 5 p.m., at The Uptown Coffeehouse, 4450 Fieldston Road. Admission is $15. Bronx Cultural Cards are accepted. Bringing you the best traditional and contemporary singer songwriters. Bill Staines has become one of the most popular and durable singers on the folk music scene. Singing mostly his own songs Bill weaves a blend of gentle wit and humor into his performances. For more information, call 718-885-2955 or log on to

Flea market at St. John's School

A flea market will be held in at the Old St. John's School, 3030 Godwin Terrace, in Kingsbridge Heights on Saturday, January 8, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Merchandise includes dishes, jewelry, picture frames, paintings, toys for the kids, shirts, handbags, and bric-a-brac. There is plenty of parking, and a great lunch, too. For more information, call 718-543-3003.


Youngsters 3-12 years old are invited to participate in the Reading Program on Saturday, Jan. 8, at the Kingsbridge Library, 280 West 231st Street, from 1 to 1:45 p.m. Readers will be grouped by skill level and encouraged to read, helped with pronunciation and word understanding, and for those without reading skills, interpret pictures. There is no charge for participation. The Rotary Club of Riverdale is part of Rotary International and sponsors the library reading project as a local community service. Adult volunteers who are interested in participating are asked to contact Karen Pesce, Secretary: (718) 749-4469.

Brandeis group to offer musical program

The Riverdale Chapter of The Brandeis National Committee invites its members and their friends to its next meeting to be held on Wednesday, January 19, 2011, at 12:30 p.m. in the Riverdale Temple, West 246 Street and Independence Avenue. The program will be a memorable musicale presented by the celebrated concert violinist, David Podles. Please make advance reservations by sending check for $12.00, payable to BNC, to Cecile Horwich, 5800 Arlington Ave.10W, Riverdale, N,Y, 10471, by January 12th. Subscription at the door will be $15.00. Bagels and light refreshments will be served and a boutique, Handicrafts by Shari, will be displayed for sale.

RCS announces Spring 2011 Concert

Following their fall concert that left many concertgoers breathless, the Riverdale Choral society anticipates that their spring concert entitled 'American Composers' on May 7, 2011 will be just as well received. Singers are invited to join the chorus as they rehearse Leonard Bernstein's 'Chichester Psalms' and selections by Samuel Barber, William Billings, Eric Whitacre and other New York area composers. Under the direction of John Lettieri, rehearsals for the May concert will begin on Wednesday, January 12, 2011. For 46 years, the Riverdale Choral Society has performed standard choral master-

works and other works rarely performed, many of them in a number of different languages. As a community organization, the chorus has sun 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 welcomes experienced singers as well as those who are not so experienced or are new to singing but have a good musical ear. You may schedule an informal audition with Music Director John Lettieri by sending an email to info@riverdalechoral.

org or calling 718-543-2219. Or you may sign up for an informal audition at their open rehearsal on Wednesday, Jan. 12 at 7:30 p.m. Choral rehearsals are held every Wednesday during the Spring semester from 7:30 to 9:45 p.m. at Christ Church Riverdale, 252nd St. and Henry Hudson Parkway East.

Toastmasters Club invites new members

The Bronx Toastmasters Club invites new members to join them at their meeting on January 12 at 7:30 PM at the

Riverdale Neighborhood House, 5521 Mosholu Avenue. Wouldn't you like to communicate effectively? Now you can! Toastmasters will show you how to listen effectively, think on your feet, and speak conďŹ dently. You will learn valuable leadership skills - all in a supportive, non-intimidating environment. Come as a guest and witness for yourself what they accomplish. The club meets every second and fourth Wednesday of the month. For further information visit their website at or call 718-796-6671.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, January 6, 2011

Rotary Club to sponsor reading hour

Thursday, January 6, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Thursday, January 6 Kingsbridge

BABY LAPSIT 10:30 a.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 280 West 231st Street "Baby Lapsit" on Thursday, January 6, 2011 @10:30 @Kingsbridge Library for Babies birth to 18 months for parents/ caregivers. For more information, call 718-548-5656.

Spuyten Duyvil

TODDLER STORY TIME 10:30 a.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 W. 235th Street Toddlers from 18 months to 3 years old and their parents/caregivers can enjoy interactive stories, action songs, and fingerplays, and spend time with other toddlers in the neighborhood. For more information, call 718-796-1202.

Friday, January 7 Riverdale

CAREGIVERS SUPPORT GROUP 10:30 a.m. Riverdale YM-YWHA 5625 Arlington Avenue A new support group for caregivers and home attendants for the elderly will meet. There is no charge to attend but preregistration is mandatory. For more information, call Linda at 718-548-8200 x230.


TEEN ADVISORY GROUP 4 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 280 West 231st Street What's happening in your world? What’s the hottest book, movie, or cd right now? What programs does the library need? Let us know, and you can earn community service credit for your school. For ages 12-18. For more information, call 718-548-5656.

Saturday, January 8 Kingsbridge

READING HOUR 1 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 280 West 231st Street Youngsters 3-12 years old are invited to participate in the Reading Program sponsored by the Rotary Club. Readers will be grouped by skill level and encouraged to read, helped with pronunciation and word understanding, and for those without reading skills, interpret pictures. For info, contact Karen Pesce at 718-549-4469.


THEATER 8 p.m. Riverdale YM-YWHA 5625 Arlington Avenue The Y's Rising Stars theater company is presenting "13," a recent hit on Broadway, featuring a combination of older Jr. Rising Stars and younger Rising Stars. Show dates are Jan. 8 & 15 at 8 p.m.; Jan. 9 & 16 at 1 and 5 p.m.; Jan. 12 & 13 at 7:30 p.m. For info, visit or call 718-548-8200.


CHAMBER CONCERT 8 p.m. Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel 475 West 250th Street Intimate Voices Chamber Concert continues its second season with a concert featuring works of Mendelssohn, Schubert, Bartok and Tsintsadze. Doors will open at 7:30 for wine, tea and coffee and an informal reception with the musicians will follow the concert. For info, visit or call 718-543-8400.

Sunday, January 9 Riverdale

CONCERT 5 p.m. Uptown Coffeehouse 4450 Fieldston Road The Uptown Coffeehouse presents singer/songwriter Bill Staines. Admission is $15. Bronx Cultural Cards are accepted. For more information, call 718-885-2955.

Monday, January 10 Spuyten Duyvil

BOOK CLUB 11 a.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 W. 235th Street For Adult Readers. Each participant briefly describes & shares thoughts about a book recently read. Discussions & recommendations are the happy result of this sharing. For more information, call 718-796-1202.



4 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 280 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.

Spuyten Duyvil

READING ALOUD 4 p.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 W. 235th Street A librarian will share favorite picture books, providing children with the wonder of books and the joy of reading. For more information, call 718-796-1202.

Tuesday, January 11 Spuyten Duyvil

BABY STORY TIME 11 a.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 W. 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.

Spuyten Duyvil

RHYTHM AND SOUND 3:30 p.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 W. 235th Street Do you have what it takes to become a Broadway percussionist? Join veteran Broadway and international percussionist Jon Berger as he shares his love of music and teaches young people how to play various percussion instruments from all over the world. By the end of the workshop, participants will learn how to use music to create moods, add humor, and enhance movement on stage. Presented by Urban Stages. For ages 5 and older. For more information, call 718-796-1202.

Wednesday, January 12 Van Cortlandt

I HAVE A DREAM 3:30 p.m. Van Cortlandt Branch Library 3874 Sedgwick Avenue Write down your dreams! Let your thoughts come to life. Join us in sharing our dreams in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. For more information, call 718-543-5150.


READING ALOUD 4:30 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 280 West 231st Street "Read Aloud" Wednesday, January 12, 2011 @4:30 @Kingsbridge Library. For more information, call 718-5485656.


ADULT EDUCATION 7 p.m. Congregation Shaarei Shalom 5919 Riverdale Avenue The new year brings a new Adult Education offering at Congregation Shaarei Shalom. The Prophets by Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, is the topic and text that Rabbi Steven Burton's new class will explore. For more information, call 718-796-0305.


TOASTMASTERS MEETING 7:30 p.m. Riverdale Neighborhood House 5521 Mosholu Avenue Bronx Toastmasters Club invites new members to join at their free meeting. For more information, call 718-796-6671 or visit

Thursday, January 13 Riverdale

DISCUSSION 10:30 a.m. Congregation Shaarei Shalom 5919 Riverdale Avenue A wide variety of topics are explored from readings of the Psalms, to Jewish liturgy, to current events. Led by Rabbi Burton. For more information, call 718-796-0305.

Saturday, January 15 Riverdale

RITUAL SKILLS WORKSHOP 12:30 p.m. Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel 475 West 250th Street Designed to help participants learn, re-learn or practice a variety of ritual skills, i ncluding: hagbah/gililah (lifting and wrapping the Torah), carrying the Torah, etc. For more information, visit or call 718-543-8400.


The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, January 6, 2011

Thursday, January 6, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


New Chancellor visits The Bronx By MIAWLING LAM Not many people can spend their first day on the job by going back to school, but that’s exactly what new Schools Chancellor Cathleen P. Black did on Monday. The former Hearst magazine executive kicked off her appointment with a tightly orchestrated five-borough tour of schools, including the High School for Violin and Dance in Morrisania. The South Bronx school is one of several in the building that once housed Morris High School, the alma mater of former Secretary of State General Colin Powell. During a 40-minute guided tour of the performing arts school, Black observed a dance rehearsal and violin students playing variations of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” The new appointee casually chatted to Bronx students about their class timetables, spoke to teachers in the hallways and even took questions from teenagers during a roundtable discussion. “What do you plan on bringing to the table?” asked former student and Bronxite D’Andrea Lewin, 19. “I think it’s a reform agenda,” Black said. “We have to prepare students today for a very complex world. “We want standards to be as high as they possibly can be, and so we have to take risks with different approaches, innovation, try things and see what works.” Experimenting with new ideas will, no doubt, be in the cards for Black, who has just inherited the nation’s largest school system. Not only is she now in charge of 1.1 million children, but she is also staring down a $460 million budget deficit, possible further cuts from Albany, the declining performance test scores of nearly 1,700 schools and the public’s perceptions of her. A recent Quinnipiac University poll

revealed that 47 percent of New York City voters did not believe Black was qualified enough to head the city’s sprawling system. Despite not having any professional experience in education—she needed a waiver from the state before she could formally accept the chancellorship—Black said she was ready to tackle the challenges. “I have absolutely no qualms about taking on the job, and of course I know it’s not going to be easy,” she said. “I’m excited about learning what works and keeping the pedal to the metal about teacher accountability, about trying to close the achievement gap and ensuring that our curriculum is very demanding. I’m pumped.” The 66-year-old also spoke of her desire to visit more schools during her tenure and keep an ear to the ground by interacting more with parents. “I expect to continue to do a tour every week that I’m in this position,” she said. “I want to be very much out in the community, hearing what’s on their minds.” A lawsuit challenging the state education commissioner’s decision to issue the waiver was denied last week by Justice Gerald Connolly of the state Supreme Court in Albany. Given the decision, Throggs Neck resident and parent volunteer Patricia Williams said it was now time to cut through the drama and just let Black do her job. “It shouldn’t be about politics,” she said. “I believe that our children should always come first, and I think she’s a strong, educated woman who will do a great job with helping our children achieve. I’m standing behind her 110 percent.”

Engel protests parking tix scam By BRENDAN McHUGH Congressman Eliot Engel is calling out the Traffic Enforcement Agency after a number of “bizarre” parking tickets were handed out right in front of his Riverdale office. More than half a dozen cars on the west side of Johnson Avenue south of West 238th Street were each given $60 parking tickets two weeks ago. This comes after people have been parking in that area for years without penalty, Engel said. “A TEA supervisor called to the scene by my office to investigate complaints defended the tickets by saying a ‘No Parking’ sign with arrows pointing east and west at the intersection of West 238th Street and Henry Hudson Parkway also affected Johnson Avenue and extended south past a driveway to a utility pole four parking spaces along,” Engel said. “I have called the Traffic Enforcement Agency to demand they void these tickets, replace the missing sign and instruct their agents on correct traffic enforcement.” Engel has not heard back from the TEA. His office also called the Department of Transportation to look at the missing sign. DOT has also not responded yet. “This makes no sense,” Engel continued. “I have to ask why the city says it can use a utility pole that has no bearing on parking as a marker for issuing parking tickets. A second sign giving alternate side times on Johnson Avenue indicates parking is allowable.” Engel noted that there was a no parking sign on the south side of the driveway,

where Johnson Avenue begins, indicating where the then allowable but now illegal four parking spaces begin. That sign went down in a wind storm earlier this year and was never replaced. “I know of no tickets ever being written for these spaces,” Engel said. “It flies in the face of common sense. The signs indicate parking is allowable, with alternate side exceptions for Mondays. But now, by some obscure logic, a utility pole is a legal boundary for parking. This is yet another example of arrogant, insensitive and unreasoning enforcement, which has so incensed the people of the city.”


The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, January 6, 2011

Thursday, January 6, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Bronx got short end of the plow

By MIAWLING LAM Elected officials have vowed to scrutinize the city’s blizzard preparations as Bronxites continue to voice their disapproval about the lousy cleanup effort. City Council members will convene to host an oversight hearing next Monday at 1 p.m to examine the city’s response to the snowstorm. The blizzard, which struck the day after Christmas and blanketed the city with almost two feet of snow, was the sixth worst on record. And it showed. The white powder snarled traffic, disrupted holiday plans for thousands of travelers and rendered virtually every street in the city impassible. Even by the fourth day after the storm, some streets had still not been plowed. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn admitted the emergency response was inadequate and said the hearing would seek to identify exactly what went wrong. “New Yorkers have serious questions about the city’s snow emergency policy and response. We in the Council will seek forward-looking answers on behalf of our constituents,” she said. “We will conduct a constructive factfinding effort with the goal of preventing it from happening again.” Councilman James Vacca, who had lunch with Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg at George’s Restaurant in Pelham Bay last Thursday, also believed officials dropped the ball. The Bronx politician and chair of the Council’s transportation committee criticized the city’s response and the extensive delays in clearing Bronx streets. “Something definitely went wrong here,” he said. “This was a terrible, terrible blizzard,

but that is not a reason why we should not have emergency preparedness in place.” Despite widespread discontent with the cleanup effort, Bloomberg was greeted with rousing applause upon entering and exiting the restaurant. Enjoying a bowl of chicken soup during the 40-minute lunch—which Vacca footed the bill for—Bloomberg spoke to diners and high-fived several children. He did not address the media pack. Following the meeting, Vacca told The Bronx Press that the current system where residential streets are classified with the lowest priority was inherently flawed. Under this scheme, major highways, thoroughfares and streets to schools and hospitals are prioritized and are plowed before suburban streets. “Tertiary streets are taxpayer streets,” Vacca said, “and what happened in this snowstorm is that people on the tertiary, taxpaying streets didn’t see a plow for days. That’s something we have to change. “These are people who are paying taxes, and boy, are they paying taxes. Higher tolls, higher MTA fares, parking tickets up the kazoo. And for them not to have safety net services available to them, that’s a little much for a lot of people.” Bronx resident Christina Fuentes said although it took two days for her street to be plowed, she thought the cleanup effort was satisfactory. “The little streets took two days but the big streets were all right. It was better than last year.” Meanwhile, Mayor Bloomberg has launched his own investigation into claims that disgruntled sanitation workers deliberately slacked off during the cleanup.


The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, January 6, 2011

Thursday, January 6, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


By BRENDAN McHUGH At 3:34 p.m. on Monday, January 3, buses began leaving the parking lot at Salanter Akiba Riverdale Academy. By 3:37 p.m., every bus had left the school. It was a good day for Gilad Mor and his traffic crew, who spend every morning and afternoon on the streets around the academy, keeping traffic from the school, the Hebrew Home, the Metro-North station and local residents organized and flowing. Despite Mor’s efforts, the local residents want more: professionals directing traffic, a traffic study of the area and better outreach to parents driving to the school. “No ambulance or fire truck can come down my street,” Sycamore Avenue resident Franz Paasche said regarding the pickup and drop-off times at SAR. “There’s going to be a tragedy.” On Fridays, the academy, SAR high school and the early learning center all dismiss at the same time, creating chaotic situations and gridlock. During special events at night, finding a parking spot after work on a local street is near impossible. Independence Avenue resident Julia Hodgson fears something will happen to her children, who walk to the library around 3 p.m. with their nanny. With a number of blind spots and steep hills, and with no sidewalks along skinny streets, the children walk dangerously close to traffic every time they leave their house. Mor, who came over from Israel three years ago specifically to help with the traffic situation, has recently invited the entire community to come watch him and his team work. Mor said very few people have accepted his invitation, but he keeps it open. “I really want to shake hands,” he said, hoping to work together rather than in opposition. The traffic study the residents want may backfire on their own interests. When the idea of creating one-way streets in the neighborhood was brought up at Community Board 8’s traffic and transportation committee meeting, residents tensed up and rejected the idea. However, some of the streets are barely wide enough for two cars to pass each other, and most of them have no real sidewalks. A traffic study by the city could jumpstart a number of changes that would infuriate residents. Arlington Avenue residents had to build sidewalks after the city noticed the lack thereof. When the residents and SAR met at last month’s traffic and transportation meet-

ing, chairman Dan Padernacht told both sides that, like the recent land use issues with SAR, this will be an ongoing discussion that won’t be solved overnight. A major problem that no traffic study or professional traffic engineer can handle are the schoolchildren’s parents, who may be the biggest obstacle. One traffic guard said there are some parents who defy the rules—and because one person does it, other parents think it’s OK for them to do the same. SAR asks parents to drive through their main parking lot to pick up children instead of parking on the street. Many listen. Some don’t. Debra May, executive director of SAR, said the school has been trying to solve this problem for five years. They brought

in Mor, added more traffic guards and continue to remind parents to follow the rules for picking up and dropping off students. Still, Robert Fanuzzi, vice chair of Community Board 8 and a member of the traffic and transportation committee, said that “this situation has poisoned the community” and that the status quo “sickens him.” SAR said there is nothing more they can do in the immediate short term. The community board passed an application for the school to add more on-campus parking and alleviate some of the traffic problem in the area. Until then, it will be up to the Community Board, SAR and the residents to find a solution that makes everyone feel safe.

15 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, January 6, 2011

SAR parking situation may never satisfy critics

Thursday, January 6, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Friday, January 7 Rye

PARTY NIGHT 8:45 p.m. Playland Ice Casino Playland Park Live DJ, party lights, on-ice contests, giveaways and more. For more information, call 914-813-7059.

Saturday, January 8 Croton-on-Hudson

BIRD WATCH 9 a.m. Croton/Hamon Train Station Croton Point Avenue Winter Birds, Eagles and more. Join Charlie Roberto of Saw Mill River Audubon Society at the boat launch behind the Croton-Harmon train station. For more information, call 914-862-5297.


WINTER WALK 10 a.m. Lenoir Preserve Dudley Street Join in for a walk around the preserve to observe the wonder of winter. For more information, call 914-968-5851.


VOLUNTEER WORK 1 p.m. Marshlands Conservancy Route 1 Clearing stone wall along the meadow. This is a volunteer work project. We will clear the historic stonewalls for public viewing by removing vines and other vegetation growing over them. Please bring work gloves. Hand tools provided. For more information, call 914-835-4466.


OWL EXPLORATION 5 p.m. Marshlands Conservancy Route 1 Marshlands does not stop at 5 p.m. Come witness the sight and sound of the Great Horned Owl. Bring binoculars if you have them. For more information, call 914-835-4466.


SATURDAY NIGHT GROOVES 8:45 p.m. Playland Ice Casino Playland Park Skate to the sounds of '70s, '80s, '90s and today. For more information, call 914-813-7059.

Sunday, January 9 Mt. Kisco

HISTORIC MANSION TOUR 1 p.m. Merestead 455 Byram Lake Road Celebrate our fifth season of Merestead tours. Take a curator-led tour to learn how an elegant Georgian-style mansion influenced decorating and furnishing trends across America and find our how the Sloane-Patterson family, who built Merestead, had local, regional and international impact. 14 participants maximum. By reservation only. For more information, call 914-864-7039.


MILLION DOLLAR BLUNDERS 1 p.m. Muscoot Farm Route 100 Who invented play dough, silly putty, slime and sidewalk chalk? Discover the original uses of these products and learn how to make all of this fun stuff at home. For more information, call 914-864-7282.


FEEDING BIRDS IN WINTER 2 p.m. Lasdon Park & Arboretum Route 35 Come and discover the joys of feeding birds in winter. Plantings to attract birds to your landscape will be discussed as well as seed and feeder selection. For more information, call 914-864-7268.

Wednesday, January 12 Yonkers

NORTHERN SAW-WHETS 7 p.m. Lenoir Preserve Dudley Street

The Little Known Owl. Presenters will be Gertrude Battaly and Drew Panko. Co-sponsored by Hudson River Audubon Society, Inc. For more information, call 914-958-5851.


DOCUMENTARY FILM 7:30 p.m. Greenburgh Nature Center 99 Dromore Road Featuring 'The Tiger Next Door,' a documentary by Camiilla Calamandrei, followed by a discussion with the filmmaker. This is a story of Dennis Hill, who has been breeding and selling tigers from his backyard in Indiana for over 15 years. For more information, call 914-723-3470.

Friday, January 14 Rye

PARTY NIGHT 8:45 p.m. Playland Ice Casino Playland Park Live DJ, party lights, on-ice contests, giveaways and more. For more information, call 914-813-7059.

Saturday, January 15 Croton-on-Hudson

CROSS COUNTRY SKIING 10 a.m. Croton Point Nature Center Croton Point Avenue Snow or no snow you win with this great opportunity to check out the beautiful vistas afforded by our bucolic landscape. For more information, call 914-862-5297.

Cross River

WINTER ECOLOGY WALK 10 a.m. Trailside Nature Museum Ward Pound Ridge Reservation Through a variety of adaptive techniques plants and animals survive the cold winter in the northeast United States. Join us for a hike around the reservation as we discuss winter ecology and the methods of survival for our important biodiversity. For more information, call 914-864-7322.

North White Plains

INDOOR WINTER GAMES 1 p.m. Cranberry Lake Preserve Old Orchard Street Learn about nature while staying warm and cozy and having fun. Try some new games this year: Hive, Eco-flux and Orchard. For more information, call 914-428-1005.


VOLUNTEER WORK 1 p.m. Marshlands Conservancy Route 1 Clearing the m eadow's edge of vines. This is a volunteer work project. Keeping the restoration forest on the "other side of the meadow" free of vines is a top priority. We will cut the vines at the right time before they go to seed. Please bring work gloves. Hand tools provided. For more information, call 914-835-4466.

Cross River

NATURE CRAFTS FOR KIDS 1 p.m. Trailside Nature Museum Ward Pound Ridge Reservation There is plenty to be found in the woods and fields of the reservation that can be used to create crafts of all kinds. Join a park naturalist for a walk to collect all types of natural objects. Dress for the weather. For more information, call 914-864-7322.


COLD BLOODED CREATURES 2 p.m. Greenburgh Nature Center 99 Dromore Road Come in from the cold and join Travis Brady for an Ectothermic Experience that is anything but "warm and fuzzy." Get the cold facts as we see, discuss and if you're brave enough — hold some really cool or should we say "cold" creatures. For more information, visit or call 914-723-3470.


SATURDAY NIGHT GROOVES 8:45 p.m. Playland Ice Casino Playland Park Skate to the sounds of '70s, '80s, '90s and today. For more information, call 914-813-7059.

Continued from Page 1

But some critics suggest that the group has been “hijacked” by political supporters of defeated City Council candidate Anthony Perez Cassino. KRVC Executive Director Tracy Shelton played down the group’s plea for donations when The Riverdale Review contacted her this week. She said the request for contributions, sent out with the group’s quarterly newsletter, was not an unusual practice. “It’s just a part of being a not-forprofit,” she said. “We send them out every three months, and it’s a newsletter just to let people know what we’re doing.” Shelton also said that this year, the KRVC planned to boost citizen contributions by hosting more fundraising events. She said donations helped fund the group’s energy efficiency project as well as its community business guides, a series of handbooks containing local restaurant and bank listings. “We’ve done a couple of community events that were not fundraisers, but we plan to do more and build in some kind of fundraising component because I just think that’s a fun, community-building way to raise funds,” she said. Shelton contributed $250 to Cassino’s failed council bid, while KRVC president Cori Worshel kicked in $500, and KRVC Vice President Cliff Stanton, contributed $100 to Cassino’s losing bid. Founded in 1981, the KRVC aims to stimulate economic development and revitalize local neighborhoods through social, environmental, housing, educational, cultural and business enterprises.

Assistant principal Continued from Page 1

was “Assistant to the Principal,” which he maintained was “the same thing.” Verdi has no title on the school’s organization sheet, provided to us by teachers at the school. There is no job title of “Assistant to the Principal” recognized by the Department of Education. It is widely assumed that the position is being held vacant until such time as Verdi completes his coursework and could apply for official state certification. But such a gambit could expose the city to lawsuits from currently qualified candidates who were thus prevented from applying, suggesting that a “fix was in.” Moreover, it is possible that the elimination of the Assistant Principal budget line to accommodate Verdi may preclude the restoration of the position for as long as two years. The qualifications of administrators has taken on greater significance since the drowning death of Nicole Suriel, a sixth grader at the Columbia Secondary School for Math, Science and Engineering in Manhattan during a class trip last June. No qualified administrator was supervising the trip, which ultimately led to the dismissal of the both the principal and assistant principal. Nicole’s parents are suing the city over the events leading to the tragedy.

17 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, January 6, 2011

Passing the hat

The pleas for support come three months after the KRVC became embroiled in a funding scandal after it unwittingly co-sponsored a campaign event for state Senator Jeffrey D. Klein. The Riverdale Review revealed that the KRVC, along with three other community organizations, hosted a farmers market and festival with Klein just ten days before the November 2nd election.

Thursday, January 6, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, January 6, 2011

Thursday, January 6, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



The Friends of Woodlawn and Lehman College Art Gallery announce the exhibition Photographing Woodlawn. The exhibition, presented at the Lehman College Art Gallery from Sept. 21 through Dec. 15, 2010, has been extended through Jan. 14, 2011. Photographing Woodlawn features the work of 26 artists whose photographs explore the sylvan landscapes and Gilded Age mausoleums of Woodlawn, one of America's most important cemeteries. Located on 400 acres in the northern Bronx, Woodlawn incorporates the work of some of the country's most accomplished architects, landscape designers, and artists. In this exhibition the photographs record the grounds and monuments using a range of techniques and styles - offering panoramic views, documentary images in high definition, sepia-toned landscapes, and performance-based photography. Photographers include: Sol Aramendi & Nicolas Dumit Estevez, David Bady, Sarah Corbin, Michael Falco, Ellen Fisch, Ayokoh Furukawa, David Gillison & Robert Schneider, Ken Goebel, Kathleen Goncharov, Rachel Greene, Adam Karliner, Lawrence Lederman, Romeo Lombardi, Erin Danielle Malone, Jessica Marketta, Eileen McNamee, Ira Merritt, Christine

Osinski, Kathleen Pavlick, Anna Purves, Ray Santiago, Christopher Smith, Richard Svinkin, and Lafiya Watson. For more information, visit www.

New caregivers support group at the Riverdale Y

On Friday, Jan. 7, a new support group for caregivers and home attendants for the elderly is starting at the Riverdale YM-YWHA. The group will meet from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. and will be co-led by Linda Storfer, LMSW and Saran Rosenbaum, a graduate Social Work intern from Yeshiva University. The group will help participants in a supportive and friendly atmosphere share concerns and brainstorm ideas about working with the elderly. There is no charge to attend but preregistration is mandatory. For further information or to register, call Linda at the Y at 718-5488200 x230. The Riverdale Y is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue.

Judaica Museum holds special hours for January

The Derfner Judaica Museum will be open for special Sunday hours this month on January 9, from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Regular weekday hours are MondayThursday, 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Friday

until 3 p.m. The Museum is free and open to the public. It is open weekends and one Sunday each month. Currently on view is the exhibition, 'Tradition and Remembrance: Treasures of the Derfner Judaica Museum,' which explores the stories of objects used in traditional Jewish practice, and the role that memory plays in shaping individual and communal identities. Among the featured objects are a silver filigree vase and Hanukkah lamp from the Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts. Other objects come from near and far, including a set of 18th-century German Torah implements and a 2nd-4th century lamella amulet. The Judaica Museum was founded in 1982 when Ralph Baum, a refugee from Nazi persecution, and his wife, Leuba, gave their collection of Jewish ceremonial art to the Home. In 2008 the Museum was named in honor of the late Helen and Harold Derfner. For more information, call the Curator's Office at 718-518-1596 or visit www.

PS 24 accepting applications for kindergarten

P.S. 24, The Spuyten Duyvil School will be accepting Early Applications for children for Kindergarten for 2011-2012 beginning January 10th through March 4th 2011. Please call 718-796-8845 for an appointment or if you need additional

information. Information and applications can also be obtained at our website www.

Thursday Mornings With Rabbi Burton

This successful discussion group begins another season of lively dialogues beginning on Thursday morning, January 13 at 10:30 a.m. A wide variety of topics are explored from readings of the Psalms, to Jewish liturgy, to current events. Rabbi Burton always provides some text, commentary, an article or editorial as a jumping off point for interesting and lively discussions. This discussion group meets in the conference room at the synagogue at 5919 Riverdale Avenue. All of the congregation's adult education programming is open to participation by the entire community at no charge. Come, Join the Experience! To learn more about the congregation, this and other Adult Education programs, weekly Shabbat services, membership, its religious school, and many program offerings, please call (718) 796-0305 or e-mail: shaareishalomriverdale@gmail. com or visit its website at

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, January 6, 2011

Woodlawn photographs extended through Jan. 14

Thursday, January 6, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Jeff Klein’s Deception

State Senator Jeffrey Klein has suddenly found religion. As the wreckage of the Democratic senate majority lies at his feet, Mr. Klein has suddenly discovered what an awful bunch of creeps his colleagues are. Never mind that he was among the most powerful members of the Democratic caucus, serving as deputy majority leader and chair of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee. Forget that he was part of every key decision made these past two years, the very short period that the Democrats held sway in the upper house. Not a discouraging word was heard from him then. Forget that the caucus of which he was a key leader is mired in scandal, he knows nothing of that, it must be, of course, the other guy’s fault. Never mind that his caucus grossly overspent their budget (your hard-earned tax dollars) as Senator Klein dispensed grants for all sorts of nice, but eminently superfluous and self-serving things like cooking classes and concerts as the state sank into bankruptcy. That the Democrats lost their majority can be largely laid at his feet. Mr. Klein was running the campaign and funneled money into a number of clearly unwinnable races, while two other incumbent colleagues who narrowly lost, twisted slowly in the wind without the resources to hold their seats. Not that we mind. The state is better served with a divided government, rather than the insanity and irresponsibility that the Democrats, under Klein’s leadership, brought us. We will hear in the coming months from Governor Cuomo of the sacrifices New Yorkers will need to make, reductions in health care, education and other critical services. Thank Senator Klein. He was a key leader of the Senate majority, and literally fiddled with his “free” concerts while the state burned through your hard-earned tax dollars. He held “crusading” photo ops, while playing both sides of key issues in order to extract more campaign cash from lobbyists and special interests. The one glimmer of hope is that in redrawing the district lines, perhaps we can lose Senator Klein as one of Riverdale’s senators. Our community was divided in three parts last time out, I a deliberate attempt to dilute our political power. We got two senators who wound up in jail (Guy Velella and Efrain Gonzalez) one who may be on his way (Pedro Espada, Jr.) and the morally bankrupt Mr. Klein. Our mantra must be, “one community, one district,” and then we need to look very carefully at the candidates who represent us. We can no longer afford candidates taking both sides of an issue, as Mr. Klein did on the soda tax, a levy he enthusiastically supported until the lobbyists dangled a $36,000 campaign contribution before him, at which point he flip-flopped. We need to remember his opposition to the filtration plant until he decided his bread could get more butter on the other side of the issue. Flip-flop again. We need to remember this moment when Jeffrey Klein denied responsibility for his actions during the past two years. He is as guilty for the scandals during the two years of Democratic control as Malcolm Smith, John Sampson and Pedro Espada, Jr. were. He was a key part of that leadership team, and didn’t utter a peep of protest. For his loyalty he got a big boost in salary, a huge staff, extra tax dollars to spend to promote himself and a state car. Now he’s found religion? Maybe the question he should be asked is “where were you during the war to reform our state government, Senator?” Fighting on the other side, the wrong side.

CSAIR presents short fiction of Isaac Bashevis Singer

The Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale (CSAIR) will present a three-part series devoted to the short fiction of Isaac Bashevis Singer. Taught by Dr. Wendy Zierler, Associate Professor of Modern Jewish Literature and Feminist Studies at Hebrew Union College, this class will meet on Wednesdays, Jan. 26, Feb. 2, and Feb. 9. Singer (1901-1991) won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1978. A longtime columnist for 'The Forward,' he wrote novels, children's books, memoirs, essays, and articles, but is perhaps best known for his short stories which include supernatural tales, slices of life from the shtetls of Europe, and stories of Jews from the Lower East Side of New York to California. CSAIR presents this program in conjunction with Context, the adult Jewish learning program of the Jewish Theological Seminary.

Tuition for this program is $25 per person. 'The Collected Stories of Isaac Bashevis Singer' is available for purchase from the CSAIR office for $15. This program is open to the entire community. CSAIR is located at 475 West 250th Street at the Henry Hudson Parkway. For more information, call the synagogue office at 718-543-8400 or visit www.

RCT offers musical theatre class

This winter Riverdale Children's Theatre will offer an introduction to musical theater for kids in Kindergarten and 1st grade. The class will be taught by actress/singer Shana Mahoney. The class will be offered on Wednesday afternoons beginning February 9th. The young students will learn basic musical theater dance, acting and musical theater performance techniques. They will learn and perform songs and dances from such Broadway shows as 'The Sound of Music,' 'Annie' and 'Peter Pan'

ANDREW WOLF, Editor and Publisher

Note our New Address: 5752 Fieldston Road Bronx, New York 10471 (718) 543-5200 FAX: (718) 543-4206

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CECILIA McNALLY Office Manager MIAWLING LAM Associate Editor

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

and other great shows. Most importantly, this class is focused on having fun and developing a love of musical theater, singing and dancing. Fees are $275 which includes a music folder and CD. The class runs for 14 weeks. The final class on May 11th will be an informal presentation for friends and families. For more information or to register, contact Becky at or 646-436-3045. Shana Mahoney is a graduate from the Hartt School of Music, University of Hartford, with a bachelor's degree in Music Theater. She has performance in several Broadway musicals both here and abroad including the Broadway 1st National tour of Cabaret, Evita, Beauty and Beast, Dance of the Vampires, Cats, and Forbidden Broadway, among many others. She has performed in Off-Broadway, Summer Stock, Regional theater, Dinner theater, New York opera companies, New York Cabaret clubs, television and commercials. Her private voice studio includes over 20 students. Riverdale Children's Theatre brings together children from various religious and cultural backgrounds too learn about themselves, each other and the joy of performing. By participating in a full scale theatrical production, children learn the basic elements of theater, music and dance, while pushing their own creative and physical boundaries.

“The people of Riverdale are lucky to have a newspaper, The Riverdale Review, which has an editor and staff who have a deep knowledge of education at every level. “There is no issue more important to our neighborhoods here in New York than our schools. “The Riverdale Review covers education in a way other local papers – and some big dailies – can’t match, from the top down and the bottom up.” The Riverdale Review –Dr. Diane Ravitch congratulates our friend Dr. DIANE RAVITCH

on winning the 2011 Daniel Patrick Moynihan Prize from the American Academy of Political and Social Science. The $20,000 prize was created to “recognize social scientists and other leaders in the public arena who champion the use of informed judgment to advance the public good.”

Research Professor of Education, New York University, Author or editor of over 20 books, including the recent New York Times best-seller The Death and Life of the Great American School System

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, January 6, 2011

What the nation’s most respected education expert thinks of school coverage in the Riverdale Review:


Thursday, January 6, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Riverdale Review, January 6, 2011  

Weekly newspaper published in Riverdale, NY 10471