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Riverdale’s ONLY Locally Owned Newspaper!

Volume XIX • Number 4 • February 2 - 8, 2012 •


Adjoining board rejects ‘dinky rink’ plan By BRENDAN McHUGH Community Board 8 is holding a public hearing to discuss the Van Cortlandt Park ice-skating rink and will most likely pass a resolution either to support or not support the proposed rink. After the board’s meeting, the city’s Franchise and Concession Review Committee (FCRC) will have a binding vote on the rink. Community Board 8’s public hearing will be Thursday, February 2, at Manhattan College at 7:30 p.m. Last week, Community Board 12 voted against the rink, saying there wasn’t enough transparency in the project. “The little bit I’ve seen of it, it hasn’t been really good,” said Father Richard Gorman, chairman of Board 12. “There’s been a lot of controversy. The [request for proposals] process was not very transparent or fair.” Gorman compared the situation to the problem in his neighborhood, east of Van Cortlandt Park, where the city sites homeless shelters. The problems with install-

ing homeless shelters—lack of information, notice and community input—are prevalent with the rink. Throughout 2011, information withheld by the city’s parks department and the by the Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy has caused Community Board 8 to criticize the project’s merits and to go as far as saying they “deplore” the parks department’s handling of the rink. Gorman pointed out that his community wouldn’t be able to access the rink easily. “The thing is not accessible by public transportation for the rest of The Bronx,” he said. “You’d need to take multiple buses if you don’t live along the Broadway line.” The FCRC will hold a public meeting February 6 to vote on awarding the skating rink concession to Van Cortlandt Park Ice Rink, LLC, a subsidiary of Ice Rink Events, a Houston-based company that also runs The Pond at Bryant Park. The FCRC meeting will be held at 22 Reade Street in Manhattan at 2:30 p.m. More information has trickled out about the rink in the past week.

The concession will run for 15 years. In the first two years, the concessionaire pays only 5 percent of their gross receipts to the city. At year three, the concessionaire will pay the city the higher of $25,000 or 5 percent of the gross receipts. Each year, the minimum fee increases until year 15, when it reaches $44,800. All the revenue goes into the city’s general fund, a parks department spokesman said. The fees to skate time and rentals are similar to those at some skating rinks throughout the area. Monday through Friday before 6 p.m., admission is $5. After 6 p.m. and on weekends and holidays, the rates rise to $8. Skate rental is always $5. The E.J. Murray Memorial Rink in Yonkers is $7 admission and $4 for skate rentals. Wollman Rink in Central Park is at least $10.75 for adults, but $5.75 for children during the week and $6 on weekends. Skate rental is $6.75. In Queens, World Ice Arena charges $5 during the Continued on Page 2

Taxpayers to foot $8 million bill for new HH Pkwy signage

By MIAWLING LAM Road signs along the Henry Hudson Parkway will be overhauled under an ambitious $8 million traffic program. Under the proposal, several dozen traffic signs will be moved, replaced or removed completely along the parkway, starting from West 125th Street in Manhattan and extending to the Westchester County border. Authorities said the changes would improve safety, upgrade communication effectiveness, boost aesthetics, save money and cut extraneous messages currently bombarding drivers. New York State Department of Transportation officials announced their plans at a joint Community Board 8 traffic and transportation and parks meeting last Thursday. NYSDOT design supervisor Roger Weld said the project represented a shift in how officials would meet their signage requirements. “This project is intended to create a philosophical change on the Henry Hudson Parkway in terms of trying to have a more minimalistic approach,” he said. “We want to get rid of the clutter that’s out there…so we’re trying to basically cut the signing back to what’s absolutely necessary so that you don’t have so many messages barraging people.” Weld said the changes were initially born out of a need to address structural defects in overhead signs and the need to comply with new federal government signage requirements. According to the latest Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices, road

signs must now be displayed in larger text to address the demands of an aging population. One of the more controversial changes,

however, is a plan to eliminate the words “Riverdale Avenue” from the overhead northbound exit signs at West 239th and West 253rd Streets.

The new ground-mounted sign would remove all references to the cross street, be narrower and feature larger text. Continued on Page 12

One of the several dozen signs to be replaced along the Henry Hudson Parkway. New York State Department of Transportation officials have proposed to remove “Riverdale Avenue” from the northbound West 239th and West 253rd Street exits.

Thursday, February 2, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Further setbacks for Memorial Grove restoration By MIAWLING LAM It may be a new year, but the same problems continue to plague the Memorial Grove. Efforts to restore the beleaguered grove in Van Cortlandt Park hit yet another hurdle after the current contractor bungled the new plaques and construction of the boundary fence. The latest snarl, revealed at last Thursday’s Community Board 8 joint parks committee and traffic and transportation committee meeting, means city officials have now placed the contractor in “predefault mode.” Van Cortlandt Parks administrator Margot Perron apologized for the setback and placed the blame squarely on the contractor, VIF Corporation. Perron said the firm not only purchased incorrect fence materials, but also instituted unapproved design changes to the memorial’s 39 plaques—clear breaches of the original contract. “The design is for a curved fence and she bought straight pieces, and so she tried to set up this fence line that was…jagged,” she said. “Similarly with the plaques. They took the plaques, had the new plaques made and they are not the same font at all as to what the originals were…so the whole thing has to go back. We did not accept them.” Perron revealed the contractor, which has yet to be paid for any work, has been placed in “pre-default mode” and that if they are reticent about fixing the issues, a new contract would be issued. It is the first time the city has worked with VIF Corporation. “It’s really important to get the plaques in,” Perron said. “Then we’ll twist arms or do whatever we have to do with them to get the fence done.” Created in 1949, the Memorial Grove honors 39 local soldiers killed or missing in action in World War II and the Korean War. Herb Barret, president of the Van Cortlandt Park Memorial Grove Restoration Group, along with WWII veteran Don Tannen, have been fighting for its refurbishment since 2006. Barret said he was appalled by the latest blunder but stopped short of calling for a new contractor to be chosen. “I think that would only delay things further,” he said.

Skating rink Continued from Page 1 week and $8 on weekends. Rental is $5. In Brooklyn’s Abe Stark rink, it is always $8 to skate and $5 to rent skates. In terms of food and beverages, the city has set up requirements that push healthful food and water over sugary items like soda and cookies. “Pricing models that encourage healthy choices (e.g. by establishing lower prices for healthy beverage choices relative to ‘High Calorie’ beverages are encouraged),” the agreement states. The agreement does not list any subcontractors to be hired. Other parks projects in the area, such as the field reconstruction in VinMont Park and the restoration of Memorial Grove in Van Cortlandt Park, have been delayed in the past due to problems with subcontracting work.

“I’m just taken back by all of it. I mean, how can you screw things up so badly? If you have a contract, aren’t all these things straightened out? “If you have somebody remodel your kitchen, don’t you get all the plans? Don’t you get all the materials? It’s stupid.” Andrew Sandler, director of community affairs for Councilman G. Oliver Koppell, was also keen to continue working with the existing contractor. “I think the Councilman would like to know if we can continue this project as is—with the current contractor, with the current plaques and, if people are willing to accept it, with the current fence,” he said. “Having the process start all over again

is going to delay it far more than what people are willing to accept.” In 2009, Koppell contributed $250,000 from his discretionary funds to fund the refurbishment, but despite some promising developments, there have been few signs of progress. Parks Department officials launched the bidding process in 2010, but a lack of interest meant authorities took 12 months to select a contractor. They eventually tapped VIF Corporation on the shoulder last January. The inexperienced firm then set up a staging ground in April until construction was soon held up again, and the city required more specific requirements to create the plaques.

CB8 parks committee chair Bob Bender said he was concerned about the project’s sluggish pace. “The Memorial Grove, as everybody knows, is nowhere near being complete,” he said. “I don’t want to see the Memorial Grove turn into what’s happened with some of the other projects where they’re delayed not just months, but years. I think everybody in the community has a strong interest in this particular project.” Plans for the restoration include the installation of pipe rail fencing, refurbishment of the existing 24 plaques, creation of the missing 15 plaques and remounting all 39 plaques on new granite foundations. Additional plantings and the installation of three benches will also further distinguish the area as a place of reverence.

By BRENDAN McHUGH Having three state senators in Riverdale has been a mixed blessing—three senators represent the neighborhood in Albany, but no particular senator devotes all his time to the community. In the proposed redrawing of the state legislative lines by the government task force LATFOR, state Senator Jeff Klein would represent the entire neighborhood. Klein’s new district, however, would run from Riverdale to Throggs Neck, essentially diving The Bronx in half, and it would also enter Westchester. His district was named one of the top 20 ugliest districts by the New York Observer—they referred to it as a “Chihuahua with Ebola.” And not everyone is totally pleased with the new lines. “[W]e have seen that a bad process results in a bad product,” state Senator Gustavo Rivera said at a public hearing Monday in Albany. Rivera is one of the senators who would lose a chunk of Riverdale to Klein. Rivera isn’t the only one upset at LATFOR, with good government groups such as Common Cause joining in the chorus of criticism. Rivera blasted the task force for “packing” minorities into districts rather than allowing them to figure significantly in the election of representatives in a much larger number of districts. “I believe this proposal does just that and moreover could lead to a potential violation of the Voting Rights Act,” he said. Rivera also asked for an independent pro-

cess this year, which would ultimately, this late in the game, be in a judicial court. “I am disappointed that there was not an independent redistricting commission established last year, especially given that so many of my colleagues are on the record supporting independent redistricting,” he said. “I continue to believe that voters should pick their representatives, not the other way around. In order to have fair district lines, without partisan gerrymandering, we need to take legislators out of the process.” Governor Andrew Cuomo has threatened to veto any lines not created by an independent redistricting process, though Albany insiders are concerned he may have to back down on his threat for various reasons. And while most of the state Senate, including Republican members, signed a pledge to former Mayor Ed Koch saying they would have an independent redistricting process, they have ignored that pledge. A recent ruling has made the primary June 26 this year, putting more pressure on the legislature to redraw the lines quickly. In the Assembly, every district in The Bronx looks compact and “smooth,” according to Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz. “They’re very reasonably drawn,” he said. “I love my district. This district adds neighborhoods that belong in my district in the first place.” He adds the only two buildings in Riverdale that weren’t in his district, as well as a number of schools along the Jerome Park Reservoir—schools that he went to as a child. “I will have virtually all of Community

Board 8, with the exception of Marble Hill, which is Manhattan, and some of Kingsbridge Heights.” State Senator Adriano Espaillat, who currently represents a small chunk of Riverdale, would lose the neighborhood and represent only part of Manhattan under the proposed lines. “We’re still examining the proposed district lines while continuing to work hard to represent our constituents,” Espaillat spokesman Ibrahim Khan said. But not all Assembly lines keep communities in tact. In the east Bronx, Morris Park has been divided between two districts. “They took a chunk right out of the

middle of our community!” said Al D’Angelo, president of the Morris Park Community Association. His association has collected 1,500 petitions in only two days, asking for Morris Park to be put in one single Assembly district. “They gave it to [Assemblyman] Mike Bennedetto. Now we become 5 percent of his constituency. How much influence are we going to have?” he said, while noting that he has no problem with Bennedetto, but would prefer to be in one single district. D’Angelo said the proposed lines “diminish our effectiveness by diving our community.”

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3 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, February 2, 2012

Redistricting plan puts Riverdale in one State Senate district

Around the schools... P.S. 24

Preliminary applications for kindergarten placement in the 2012/2013 school year are being accepted through Friday, February 3, for children born in 2007 whose last names begin with L through Q. Applications will be accepted throughout next week, February 6 through 10, for last names beginning with R through Z. For information on eligibility documents or other registration matters, call the school at 718-796-8845.

P.S. 81

Preregistration for kindergarten will continue through Friday, March 2, from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. each day. For information regarding which documents to bring, contact the school at 718-796-8965.

Kinneret Day School

Sixth-graders produced some enlightening science fair projects. Joe Adams showed how light affects ants. Nathan Haimowitz observed how planeria behave under various conditions. Ben Hofflich displayed the effect of strobe lights on the cardiovascular system. Gali Davar explained how interruptions affect memory. The students stood before their displays and addressed questions about their research.

Horace Mann School

Sophomores Zoe Fawer and Jessica Heller have started a chapter of Operation PROM, a New York City-based nonprofit dedicated to providing needy students with prom clothes. According to the organization’s website, Operation PROM “primarily assists students who are sick, homeless or live in shelters and do not have family to assist them.” The HM chapter has already collected thirty prom dresses. They will collaborate with other chapters to hold a pre-prom event in early April for students who will be wearing these dresses to a prom.

Manhattan College

The community is invited to hear Holocaust scholar Dr. Michael Berenbaum discuss the topic Controversies in Memorializing the Holocaust on Thursday, February 9, at 7:30 p.m. in Smith Auditorium. The event is sponsored by the Holocaust, Genocide and Interfaith Education Center. Berenbaum is director of the Sigi Ziering Institute. He has served as CEO of the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation and as director of the United States Holocaust Research Institute at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. The program is part of the education center’s commitment to educating future generations on the lessons of the Holocaust in order to help combat prejudice, genocidal ideologies, apathy and Holocaust denial. For more information, contact Dr. Mehnaz Afridi at The community is encouraged to join MC students in supporting Locks of Love, a nonprofit organization that helps victims of medical hair loss who are 21 or younger and are unable to afford hairpieces. Hairdressers from Le Chic will be cutting donors’ hair for free on Sunday, February 12, at 2 p.m. in the student government lounge on the third floor of Thomas Hall. Locks of Love requests that

supporters donate hair that is at least 10 inches long, clean, dry, free of bleach, and either braided or gathered into a ponytail. Permed and colored hair are also welcome. For more information, contact senior class president Megan Papandrea at

Local Scholars

Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts, has announced that Carla Lide has earned a master of education degree in psychology for studies completed in 2011. Founded in 1885, Springfield College is known worldwide as the birthplace of basketball and for the guiding principles of its humanics philosophy—educating students in spirit, mind, and body for leadership in service to others. The college enrolls more than 5,000 students and offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in health sciences, human and social services, sports management and movement studies, education, business, and the arts and sciences. It also offers doctoral programs in physical education, physical therapy, and counseling psychology. It is ranked among U.S. News and World Report’s 2012 Best Colleges in the top tier of Best Regional Universities for the North Region. The State University of New York at Geneseo has announced that Laine Kaasler and Melissa Liriano are included on the dean’s list for the fall 2011 semester. To earn this distinction, students must achieve a 3.5 GPA while registered for at least 12 credit hours. SUNY Geneseo is a public liberal arts college recognized nationally for excellence in undergraduate education and for its professional and master’s-level programs. The school, founded in 1871, is nicknamed “ivy of the SUNYs” and “the Harvard on the hill.” Its study-abroad programs include Mediterranean Roots, offering travel to Greece and Italy for a five-week stay. On campus, student organizations foster active involvement in Greek culture. Geneseo offers more than 60 baccalaureate majors, pre-professional degrees in medical, law and veterinary fields, and cooperative degrees that allow students to earn a master’s or doctoral degree that begins at Geneseo and ends at another SUNY graduate school.

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Thursday, February 2, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



By MIAWLING LAM Tech International Charter School, a new middle school scheduled to open in Kingsbridge this September, has been formally approved to accept 132 sixthgraders in its first year. The SUNY trustees education committee last week rubber-stamped the enrollment expansion, even after parents and elected officials requested just days before that the plan be denied. State education officials made scant reference to TI during their 90-minute meeting on Wednesday, January 25, mentioning it just once while rattling off a slew of other charter revision applications. “A small enrollment increase for the Tech International Charter School, set to open next fall, [is] driven by the size of the facilities. They have a private facility,” a committee member said. The committee then voted to follow the Charter Schools Institute board of trustees’ recommendation and approved its charter revision. In its initial charter application to the State University of New York—one of three agencies authorized to grant charter school permits—TI officials stated they would accept just 88 sixth-graders in their opening year. However, the school, which was slated to open in a smaller facility in Fordham Heights, sought to boost their intake after securing a 10-story, mixed-use building at 3120 Corlear Avenue. At a public hearing on January 19, a small but concerned group of parents, community members and local politicians queried the logic behind allowing an

untested school to expand by 50 percent before even opening. But SUNY not only voted to allow the school population to increase in the first year but also to swell from 267 students to 334 in grades 6 through 8 by 2016-17. And because the state affords all charter schools a 20 percent allowance on either side of the approved enrollment number, TI could end up accepting as many as 158 sixth-graders. Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz has previously criticized the expansion, believing there is already a high density of children in the area. He also took issue with the school’s failure to have an on-site lunchroom, gym, library or auditorium. “Within a three-block radius, there are already 7,000 to 8,000 students attending the various schools of the Kennedy campus, M.S/H.S 368, P.S 37, P.S. 207, P.S. 7 and St. John’s School,” he said. “That’s a lot of kids, and the school would certainly increase congestion in the area.” TI co-founder and executive director Steve Bergen declined to comment, as he had yet be notified of the decision by SUNY officials as of press time. However, while on a three-day trip to Canada he was successful in getting four schools—two in Canada and two in Mexico—to become TI international partners. The Canadian schools are Quinte Mohawk School in Belleville and Loughborough Public School in Sydenham. The Mexican schools are Instituto Internacional Octavio Paz in Ajijic and American School Foundation of Monterrey.

“We knew we had the ‘T’ of TI because we have 300 computers set aside for the families, but we knew we wouldn’t get the ‘I,’” he said. “It’s only in the last week that we have made these international connections with people who have never met us. It is so exciting.” At last month’s TI board meeting, Bergen explained that having international partners would allow students to breach barriers and expand global connections, leading to shared understanding that enhances the lives of school communities. “Each of [our] classrooms, we would like to be associated with one school in one country. So one is the Ghana classroom, one is the Canada classroom and one is the Mexico classroom,” he said.

“But not just the way some schools hang the Mexican flag and say it’s the Mexican classroom. “We want to have a school in Mexico where the sixth-grade teacher is a friend of ours, we’ve Skyped with that person 10 or 20 times, we know their sixth-graders and they know our sixth-graders and we swap YouTube videos. That’s our dream.” TI is currently accepting applications and will continue to do so until Friday, April 6. Admissions will be done through a lottery process, with the draw being held at 9 a.m. on April 13. Pupils who reside within District 10, which encompasses a large swath of the northwest Bronx including Riverdale, Fordham and University Heights, will be given priority.

5 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, February 2, 2012

Charter school expansion given green light despite community opposition

Thursday, February 2, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Court Room Drama at the Riverdale Y

The Simon Senior center Riverdale YM-YWHA is pleased to invite everyone to ‘COURT ROOM DRAMA’ which will be held on Friday, February 3 at 10:30am. Enjoy the excitement as audience members portray a district attorney and stone cold criminals. Following this event a hot kosher lunch will be served @ 11:45am. There is no charge for the program, suggested lunch fee is $2.25. For further information and to register please call Toby or Vicki @ 718-548-8200 x223/224.

Shaarei Shalom celebrates the Sabbath of Song

Join the Experience! This Friday evening, February 3, at 7:30 p.m., Rabbi Steven D. Burton and Cantor Daniel Pincus will lead an especially joyful service filled with special music as the Sabbath of Song is celebrated at Congregation Shaarei Shalom. Shabbat Shira occurs each year when Jews all over the world read the Torah portion Beshalach. The ancient rabbis gave this Sabbath this name because the portion contains the Shirat Hayam, the Song of the Sea, which all Israel sang as they crossed the Red Sea and escaped Pharaoh’s army. In more recent times, this Sabbath has marked the beginning of Jewish Music Month. In celebration, Cantor Pincus will present several masterworks of the Great Song of Israel, the musical outpourings of Jewish musicians and composers from various corners of the Jewish world. Included will be pieces that speak to the gratitude of the Israelites as found in Shirat Hayam. An evening of joyful prayer, wonderful music, and lots of singing! The entire community is warmly invited to participate in this very special Shabbat celebration. The service will be held in the synagogue’s sanctuary located at 5919 Riverdale Avenue. 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 special Shabbat celebration, weekly services, membership, its religious school, and many program offerings, please call (718) 796-0305 or e-mail: shaareishalomr or visit its website at

Flea market at St. John’s Church

St. John’s Church will host a flea market on Saturday, February 4, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The sale will be held at the Old St. John’s School located at 3030 Godwin Terrace in the Bronx. Clothes, jewelry, accessories and brica-brac will be sold at bargain prices. Free parking will also be available so get there early and snare yourself a great find. For more information, please call 718-543-3003.

Brandeis Group to hear concert violinist

The Riverdale Chapter of the Brandeis National Committee invites its members and their friends to its next general meeting to be held on Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at 12:30 P.M. in the Riverdale Temple, West 246 Street and Independence Avenue. The program will be a most memorable musicale presented by the celebrated concert violinist, David Podles. Please make advance reservations by sending check for $12.00, payable to

B.N.C., to Cecile Horwich, 5800 Arlington Avenue-10W, Riverdale, N.Y. 10471, by February 8th. At the door, the fee will be $15.00. Bagels and light refreshments will be served and Jewelry Boutique items will be displayed for sale.

Rotary Club to sponsor reading hour

Youngsters 3-12 years old are invited to participate in the Reading Program on Saturday, February 4, at the NEW Kingsbridge Library, 291 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) 549-4469.

Ted Conover to speak for benefit of Riv. Senior Services

Ted Conover will talk about his travels and studies with reference to the impact of the development of roads in, The Routes of Man. Roads unite people and sunder them. They both bind cultures across continents and highlight our differences.

With his unrivaled passion and his famous eye for detail, Ted Conover explores six of these key byways worldwide: in Peru, East Africa, China, Nigeria, the Himalayas, and the West Bank. En route he introduces readers to intriguing characters and addresses some of the world’s most pressing issues-from the spread of AIDS by truckers in East Africa to smuggling along Peruvian highways. Throughout we see Conover’s remarkable ease with language, his infectious enthusiasm, his intrepid nature, and his deep humanity. Thursday, Feb. 9, at 7 p.m., at a private Riverdale home. Tax deductible tickets for each of these events are $125 per person. All proceeds go to benefit the Riverdale Senior Center. For further information and reservations, call Riverdale Senior Services, (718) 8845900. Space is limited. Reservations are required. A stimulating evening is guaranteed.

Free life-saving training offered

Join the Bx8 Community Emergency Response Team! CERTs are groups of local volunteers trained during a free, 10-week program in disaster preparedness and emergency response conducted by the NYC Office of Emergency Management. CERTs inform, educate, and train their neighbors and assist public safety agencies during events and emergencies. Basic training includes fire safety, light search and rescue, disaster medical operations, and traffic control. To learn more or apply, attend the BX8 CERT meeting on February 9, from 7-8 p.m. in the Community Room at Bon Secours/Schervier at 2975 Independence Avenue or contact Bx8 NYC OEM CERT at or 347.389.0844.

ballet 7

Riverdale Art Association member Brian Skinner will be having an exhibit of his work at the Riverdale Y during the month of February. An artist’s reception will be held on Sunday, February 12th, from 1:30 to 3:30 PM. Skinner worked extensively in publishing as a writer, editor and graphic artist. The publications in which his work has appeared range from the literary (Kirkus Reviews) to the scientific (Scientific American Newsletters). Though he began his career in the fine arts in the traditional media of oil-on-canvas and watercolor, he now works exclusively in digital media. Recent explorations include cliché verre, a technique of etching and painting on glass photographic plates, in which he first dabbled over forty years ago. His work is then rendered on watercolor papers or canvas at a fine arts printing studio. Laura Gabby, the art correspondent for the Manhattan Times, called his work ‘moody and mysterious.’ His artwork can be seen in several venues in and around New York City and in galleries in upstate New York, as well as online at Recently he was employed as a studio assistant and digital technician for a New York still-life photographer and is currently working as the editor and music supervisor on a documentary film about a Cambodian poet who survived the Khmer Rouge genocide due for release later this year. The Riverdale Y is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue. More information on the exhibit is available at or by calling the Y at 718-548-8200.

Mommy, Dadd7 & Me at Riverdale Temple

Riverdale Temple’s Mommy, Daddy & Me Group meets every Thursday and Sunday from 10-11am. Come join us for music, snack, stories, playtime, and more! We are located at 4545 Independence Avenue, Riverdale, NY 10471; the group meets in the playroom off of the library on the third floor. Drop-in for only $20! Pre-pay and save! Call the temple office for details @ 718-548-3800 ext. 0

Riverdale Hadassah to meet at Atria

The Bronx Chapter of Hadassah will meet on Tuesday, February 7, 2 p.m., in The Atria Community Room, 3718 Henry Hudson Parkway. Join us and help us celebrate Tu B’ Shvat by partaking in a lovely Seder. It will be officiated by Rabbi Steven Exler of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale. It is the new year of trees in Israel. Hadassah has been a partner of JNF’s mission in the greening of Israel since 1926. Our efforts helped plant trees, reforestation and create parks that are disabled accessable. Come celebrate this joyous holiday by eating the fruit of the many different trees that grow in Israel. Looking forward to sharing this afternoon with you.

The Circus comes to the Y!

Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Circus has brought their CircusFit program to the Riverdale Y’s after-school children. Circus performers were at the Y in December to train the Y’s after-school counselors


for Get CircusFit with the Riverdale Y. With their newly learned circus skills, the counselors have started to work with the Y’s Kids Space children on the fun and fitness program. It will culminate in March with a circus show put on by the kids and then a free trip to see the pros in action, when The 142nd Edition of Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey is in East Rutherford, NJ. Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Circus will also be participating in the Y’s 5K/10K Run on May 6. They’re bringing their Red Nose Run to be part of the fun.

Open house and luncheon for new members

The Simon Senior Center is pleased to announce that it will be hosting a special OPEN HOUSE AND LUNCHEON for new members on Tuesday, February 7 @ 11:45am. This event is open to all seniors in the Riverdale and surrounding neighborhoods in the Bronx. The SSC is located in the Riverdale YM-YWHA at 5625 Arlington Ave near 256th St. The special event will be an informational session describing the variety of classes, new classes, trips and other activities offered by the SSC. There is no charge for this event and complimentary lunch will be served. Reservations can be made by contacting Toby @ 718-548-8200 x223.

JASA announces upcoming activities

Celebrate Tu Bishvat (Israel Arbor Day) on Friday, Feb. 10th with Ruth Couch, Flute/guitar; Sigal Chen, Soprano; Rose and Meir Beer, piano, drum and vocals. Festive chicken lunch will be served at 12:15 PM followed by program at 1:15 PM. Suggested voluntary contribution is $2.00 for lunch and $2.00 for entertainment. Please call the center office at 718-5494700 to reserve by Feb. 8th. Join us for a Winter Birthday Party on Wednesday, Feb. 22nd with Paul Phillips, keyboard player and singer, at 1:00 PM. A nutritious lunch will be served at 12:15 PM. Suggested voluntary contribution is $2.00 for lunch and $2.00 for entertainment. Please call the center office at 718549-4700 to reserve by Feb. 20th. Lucy Degidon, art historian, will present an art history talk about the life and work of American artist Joseph Cornell who took ordinary objects and created small worlds. The presentation will be held on Fri. Feb. 24th at 1:00 PM. Classes in Fitness, Movement, Tai Chi, Yoga, Tone & Stretch, Painting, Knitting and Crocheting, Current Events and Short Stories, Indoor Gardening, Line Dancing, Jewelry Making, sing-along, computer lab and more are offered at JASA Van Cortlandt Senior Center. We are located in the Van Cortlandt Jewish Center at 3880 Sedgwick Ave. off of Van Cortlandt Ave. West on the Bronx #1 or #10 bus routes. We are non-sectarian. Seniors age 60+ may register for free. A hot nutritious kosher meal is served at 12:15 PM daily. Senior contribution for lunch is $2.00. For more information, please call the center office at 718-549-4700. JASA Van Cortlandt Senior Center is funded by NYC Dept. for the Aging, UJAFederation of NY and by special grants from Council Member Oliver Koppell and other NYS representatives.



Lehman Stages and Emerging Pictures present the best in Opera and Ballet presented in crystal-clear Hi-Definition digital projection on the Big Screen! Il Trittico Three one-act operas from the Royal Opera House - Sunday February 12 at 2 PM � Le Corsaire from the Bolshoi Ballet - Tuesday March 20 at 2 PM � La Bohème from the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona - Tuesday March 27 at 2 PM � Romeo and Juliet from the Royal Ballet - Sunday April 1 at 2 PM � Rigoletto from the Royal Opera House - Wednesday May 2 at 2 PM � The Bright Stream from the Bolshoi Ballet - Wednesday May 16 � La Fille Mal Gardée from the Royal Ballet Monday - May 21 at 2 PM � Raymonda from the Bolshoi Ballet - Sunday July 1 at 2 PM

All opera tickets are $15 · All ballet tickets are $12 · The Lovinger Theatre at Lehman College · · 718.960.8025

  FREE Swim & Red Cross instruction at the Whitehall Club Skill Development in Team Sports Nature/Mad Science Weekly Trips Karate Special Events & Shows Ceramic Arts Gymnastics Tennis Arts & Crafts Hot Delicious Lunches


Call for details today. Don’t miss out! 718-549-1100 ext. 10 Or email us at Applications and DVD requests also available on our website.

Chabad–Lubavitch of Riverdale 535 West 246th Street • Riverdale, New York 10471

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, February 2, 2012

Brian Skinner solo exhibit at the Riverdale Y

Thursday, February 2, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Thursday, February 2 Riverdale

OPEN COMPUTER LAB 11 a.m. Riverdale Branch Library 5540 Mosholu Avenue Do you want to learn how to open a new e-mail account? Do you need help opening or sending attachments? Do you want to practice your typing skills or need assistance in applying to a job online? Come to the Riverdale Library and get assistance on the computers. Practice your new skills at your own pace. Ask questions and learn from doing. For more information, call 718-549-1212.

Spuyten Duyvil

VALENTINE’S DAY CRAFTS 4 p.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 West 235th Street Celebrate winter with fun hands-on projects using a variety of skills. For more information, call 718-796-1202.


GAME ON 4 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Come have some fun playing the latest XBox 360 games with Kinect at the Kingsbridge Library! For ages 12-18. For more information, call 718-548-5656.

Friday, February 3 Riverdale

COURT ROOM DRAMA 10:30 a.m. Riverdale YM-YWHA 5625 Arlington Avenue Enjoy the excitement as audience members portray a district attorney and stone cold criminals. There is no charge for the program, suggested lunch fee is $2.25. For further information and to register please call Toby or Vicki @ 718548-8200 x223/224.


TEEN ADVISORY GROUP 4 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Let your voice be heard in the Kingsbridge Library’s Teen Advisory Group! TAG meetings will be held on Friday afternoons from 4-5 pm. If you are a 7th -12th grade student, you are eligible to join. For more information, call 718-548-5656.


SABBATH OF SONGS 7:30 p.m. Congregation Shaarei Shalom 5919 Riverdale Avenue Cantor Pincus will present several masterworks of the Great Song of Israel, the musical outpourings of Jewish musicians and composers from various corners of the Jewish world. For more information, call 718-796-0305.

Saturday, February 4 Kingsbridge

FLEA MARKET 9 a.m. Old St. John’s School 3030 Godwin Terrace There will be a variety of merchandise for sale: bric-abrac, clothing (new and used), etc. For more information, call 718-543-3003.

Spuyten Duyvil

COLLEGE READINESS 101 2 p.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 West 235th Street Are you ready for college? Find out the ins and outs of the admission process, testing, and studying! See how you can study smarter and read faster while getting the cash you need for school. The program is offered by UndergradAdmit. com and Test Prep New York. Grab a college guide from our shelves or head online and get prepping today! For ages 12 to 18. For more information, call 718-796-1202.

Monday, February 6 Spuyten Duyvil

KNITTING & CROCHET 11 a.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 West 235th Street A get together for knitters & crocheters at all skill levels to work on a current project, learn new techniques, or even to begin a new craft. All skill levels are welcomed. Pre-registration not required. For more information, call 718-796-1202.



2 p.m. Riverdale Branch Library 5540 Mosholu Avenue Gather with other knitters, and perhaps pick up a few tips and tricks as you work on your own creations. For more information, call 718-549-1212.

Van Cortlandt

Wii TIME 4 p.m. Van Cortlandt Branch Library 3874 Sedgwick Avenue Join us @ the Van Cortlandt Library for afternoons of fun and games. (Bowling, Baseball, Tennis). 12yrs and older. For more information, call 718-543-5150.

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 more information, call 718-796-1202.


KNITTING & CROCHET 5 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Gather with other knitters and crocheters and perhaps pickup a few tips and tricks as you work on your own creations! For more information, call 718-548-5656.


CB8 MEETING 7:30 p.m. Manhattan College Sch. of Engineering 3825 Corlear Avenue Meeting of the Land Use Committee of Community Board 8. For more information, call 718-884-3959.

Tuesday, February 7 Spuyten Duyvil

BABY STORY TIME 11 a.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 West 235th Street Babies from birth to 18 months 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.


OPEN HOUSE 11:45 a.m. Riverdale YM-YWHA 5625 Arlington Avenue The Simon Senior Center will be hosting a special Open House and Luncheon for new members. There is no charge for this event and complimentary lunch will be served. Reservations can be made by contacting Toby @ 718-548-8200 x223.


HADASSAH MEETING 2 p.m. Atria Community Room 3718 Henry Hudson Parkway East Join the Bronx Hadassah and help celebrate Tu B’ Shvat by partaking in a lovely Seder. It will be officiated by Rabbi Steven Exler of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale.


INTERFAITH DISCUSSION 7:30 p.m. St. Margaret of Cortona 6000 Riverdale Avenue an interfaith panel discussion entitled “ God of Our Fathers, A Look At Our Roots”. Judaic and Islamic theology will be explored along with its significance to Catholic identity. More information available from Bob Stauf, Chair Adult Education Committee, at 914-476-2284.

Wednesday, February 8 Kingsbridge

TODDLER STORY TIME 11 a.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Stories, songs, fingerplays, puppets, for children ages 1836 months for parents and caregivers. For more information, call 718-548-5656.

Spuyten Duyvil

COLLEGE 101 4 p.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 West 235th Street Learn the ins and outs of getting into college, getting the cash to pay for it, and getting the top test scores. You can also get tips on writing personal statements. This workshop will be lead by staff from Kaplan. For more info, call 718-796-1202.



Riverdale resident and President Barack Obama’s Chief of Staff Jack Lew (3rd from left) briefs Obama during his first senior advisors meeting in the Oval Office on Monday, January 30. White House photo

Community mourns loss of Debbie Bowden

Submitted by the Bowden family It is with heavy heart that we announce the passing of Debbie Bowden on Sunday January 29, 2012. Passionately dedicated to the Riverdale community, its children, and especially the public schools therein, she taught Speech and Language in the New York City school system, was a former Parents Association president at P.S. 24 and a member of Community Board 8, where she chaired the Committee on Education. For close to 30 years, she was the Girls

Head Counselor at Camp Delaware in Winsted, CT. Debbie Bowden is survived by her husband of over 50 years, Don; sons Brett, Bryan and Bradd; daughters-inlaw Cara and Eileen; and grandchildren Miles, Kelly, Max, Samantha, Jessica, and Jordyn. In lieu of flowers, contributions in her name can be made to the Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center of White Plains, NY (914-696-0738) or the National Center for Learning Disabilities in Manhattan (212-575-7373).

Are you searching for the career of your dreams or do you just need a change? Check out our Winning Wednesday series that offers the essential tools to help you land your dream job. All events are free and open to the public. Pre-registration is required. INFORMATION SESSION: Wednesday, February 1st • 7-8:30 p.m. Topic: A Personal Financial Survival Kit: A Better Way to a Better Lifestyle Presenter: Doug Young, Council for Economic Education

college of

mount saint vincent RSVP: Call Christine Leake (718) 405-3269 or email

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, February 2, 2012

Practical. Affordable. Exceptional.

Thursday, February 2, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW

Bronx Arts Ensemble premiers work by local Riverdalian composer By PAULETTE SCHNEIDER The Chopin was tender and tempestuous, the Mozart was fresh and spontaneous, the Strauss was bold and lyrical, the world premier by Oliver Caplan—a Riverdale boy—was dreamy and delightful, and the stately home of Peter Joseph and Elizabeth Scheuer was a perfect setting for last Sunday’s chamber music series concert by Bronx Arts Ensemble performers. World-class flutist Maria Piccinini called the program “unabashedly romantic”—each of the composers was “in some way touched by romance” when composing the works performed. Caplan, a recognized composer, has written orchestral, choral, solo instrumental and vocal, band, and chamber works, including some commissioned by the BAE and by other groups. The romance in “My Elephant Cloud,” a 2011 piece for flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano, is Caplan’s infatuation with nature. A Massachusetts resident since his days at the Boston Conservatory, Caplan is enchanted with the “incredible access to beautiful outdoors areas” that Boston has to offer. “In the summer, getting outside is one of the purest joys. My friends and I love to go swimming in Walden Pond, hiking in the White Mountains, to the beach on Cape Cod—all of that kind of stuff,” he said in an introduction to the piece. “During the summer and during a hot New England fall, I remember coming home and sketching these melodies. That’s where it comes from.” Caplan called the Bronx Arts Ensemble an important presence in the Bronx community. “I think they deserve a round of

applause,” he said. William Scribner, BAE’s founder and artistic director, thought of starting a professional ensemble in 1972, when he lived on Fieldston Road. He’d been playing bassoon in ensembles throughout the metropolitan area, but never in his own borough, he said. He approached a member of the New York State Council on the Arts, a fellow member of the American Symphony Orchestra. What does one have to do, he asked, to start a professional ensemble in The Bronx? Scribner was told that any seed money for such a venture was contingent upon gathering both a quality ensemble and a significant audience and that when he could demonstrate “potential worthy of funding,” the council would “entertain a grant.” He started by staging ten local concerts in a variety of genres. “I went from a string quartet to a jazz quartet to a chorus to an all-Bach concert,” he recalled. At one Friday night Hostos Community College event, 1,200 people came for a performance of zarzuela, a Spanish opera-like form. Having met both funding requirements—great performers and appreciative crowds—Scribner won the grant that launched the organization. BAE’s season now includes holiday specials and series concerts of chamber music, jazz and “Just for Kids” selections. Last year’s Memorial Day concert at Van Cortlandt Park, featuring a work by Caplan, attracted an audience of 4,000. They collaborate with local colleges and work in 50 different public schools.

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“The key is the principal,” Scribner said. “We’re in an era right now where we haven’t had arts in the public schools for 25 years because they wanted to save money. But now, the Philharmonic and the Met are asking, ‘Where are our audiences? They’re not trained.’ They don’t know where the audiences are because they’ve disappeared.” BAE’s Young Bronx Artist competi-

tion is open to youngsters who live in the borough or attend Bronx schools. At Sunday’s concert, pianist Mizuho Yoshimune, a Bronx Science Yale-bound senior, took total command of the keyboard as she opened the program with Chopin’s Scherzo No. 2. To view the season’s concert offerings and purchase tickets, visit

Bronx Arts Ensemble virtuosos following last Sunday’s performance at the home of Peter Joseph and Elizabeth Scheuer. From left: violist Sally Shumway, pianist Rolando Rolim, flutist Marina Piccinini, composer Oliver Caplan, violinist Jorge Avila, cellist Bruce Wang, and clarinetist Mitchell Kriegler.

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By MIAWLING LAM MTA officials will have to interact with local community boards and solicit public feedback prior to rolling out any bus schedule changes. The new guideline was recommended after Riverdale resident and MTA board member Charles Moerdler voiced his objections at this month’s MTA transit committee meeting. Bus planners presented a list of 63 city routes, of which 12 are in The Bronx, where they proposed to change the headway, effectively increasing or decreasing the time between each bus. But Moerdler said they failed to seek public input, so he insisted that the community be consulted in the future. “My concern was that any changes to bus schedules should first be sent to each of the city’s community boards with a request for input as to whether or not it has a positive or negative effect,” he said. “We learned that some of the data on which they base changes—the visual examinations by their personnel—has frequently been months old. And it bothered me because over a period of months, community needs can change in one direction or another.” Under the changes to come into effect April 1, straphangers riding on the Bx1/Bx2, Bx4/Bx4A and Bx33 during the week will face slightly longer waits, while those traveling on the Bx7, Bx10 and Bx18 will see more frequent service. On weekends, there will be fewer Bx1/Bx2, Bx4/Bx4A and Bx31 buses, but

enhanced service on the Bx7 and Bx10. The decrease in headway afforded to the Bx7 service, which runs between Riverdale and Washington Heights, was won after Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz complained about the lengthy wait and crammed conditions during the evening peak hour rush. MTA officials said starting April, a Bx7 bus would arrive every six minutes—down from the current eight minutes—during the PM peak period on weeknights. Documents reveal the enhanced timetable will also bring the route’s “guideline capacity” down from the existing 109 percent to 87 percent. Moerdler said the new feedback requirements would benefit straphangers and give them a chance to voice their thoughts. “What they had done in the past was send a list you couldn’t read without a microscope. It was really confusing,” he said. “They are now going to start sending out informative information well in advance of the actual change occurring,” he said. Bronx Community Board 8 chairman Robert Fanuzzi said he would throw his support behind any initiative that led to improved communications. Meanwhile, Dinowitz welcomed the new community solicitation requirements. “They should always be consulting with the community boards,” he said, “and they did what I wanted, so I’m happy.”

11 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, February 2, 2012

Bx7 buses to run more frequently

Local elected officials lobby city to repair pothole-ridden streets By BRENDAN McHUGH City Councilman G. Oliver Koppell and Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz managed to get the city to solve a variety of problems plaguing Riverdale residents recently. Koppell had the parks department fill in large craters that developed in Ewen

and that they presented a dangerous trip- Avenue, which was posing a danger to peping hazard for the many park users. destrians as the weather got colder, before “I am pleased that, at my insistence, any injuries occurred,” Koppell said. Drivers coming south on Riverdale Avthese large sinkholes in Ewen Park, which were a blight and safety hazard, have now enue near West 236th Street have to deal been filled in, relieving the concerns of with double-parked cars, buses rumbling those who use the park and those who past, and for the longest time, a number of bumps and dips near the intersection. live nearby,” Koppell said. Koppell was also successful in getting At the request of Dinowitz, those bumps the Department of Environmental Protec- have been smoothed out by the Departfrom cars are enough to illuminate those tion to fix a water main break. ment of Transportation, giving drivers BL195740 Job completely.” No.: signs Water runoff emanating from Ruth one less hazard on the road. Of the 24 existing cantilever struc- McLaughlin RUTHERFORD/UNIONDALE Ad Size: Park was causing a dangerous “This is a heavily trafficked location, Engagement City: NEWARK/E. tures—signs resembling an inverted L—14 condition for pedestrians on Greystone and these repairs will make commuting TRADE Section: will become ground-mounted, seven willAD Media: Avenue as the weather became colder and safer for all pedestrians,” Dinowitz said. be replaced, two will be pole-mounted and the water turned to ice. “Driving in the left lane at that location Insertion Date(s): one will be completely removed. “I am grateful that DEP corrected the on Riverdale Avenue can be not only anSimilarly, of the seven existing span problem of the water runoff on Greystone noying but also dangerous.” structures—signs resembling an inverted U—two will be replaced, two will remain and one will be converted into a cantilever structure. Meanwhile, the last two remaining signs will be split into four ground-mounted signs. Weld said a large number of signs were set to be ground-mounted because it was more cost-effective. A ground-mounted sign costs around $10,000 to install, versus a cantilever sign, which is $150,000, or an overhead span sign, which has a $300,000 price tag. Mindful of the environmental impacts of ground-mounted signs, Weld assured the crowd that state officials would work with the New York City Parks Department to minimize impact on trees. The signage design process is set to finish in October, before construction begins in spring 2013. Work is set for completion by fall 2014. Park after a water main break caused massive erosion. The damage was so extensive that part of West 232nd Street was closed off. Local residents complained that the large sinkholes and the fence around them were ugly and destructive of plants

HH Pkwy signage overhaul


©2011 Feld Entertainment

Continued from Page 1 Officials argue if “Riverdale Avenue” were to remain on the new sign, a costly overhead sign would need to be erected, a structure that costs around $150,000 to install and maintain. But that wasn’t enough to satisfy Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, who was joined by at least three others in the crowd and universally panned the idea. “Taking Riverdale Avenue off those signs is a mistake,” he said, after the presentation. “The streets in Riverdale are confusing to many people, and saying there’s not enough room for Riverdale Avenue is a pretty lame reason. “I’m sure they can find a way to include the words ‘Riverdale Avenue’ on those signs.” Proposed changes include making hospital signs more consistent and removing all but two of the 19 signs currently mounted on bridges and migrating them to the ground. In a bid to further reduce visual clutter, spotlights on signs will also be removed. “The new requirements are so reflective that we don’t need lighting on the signs anymore,” Weld said. “The headlights

“MAGICAL” “WONDROUS” “AMAZING” And that’s just the ticket price.


Kids ages 2-12. Limit four (4) kids’ tickets with purchase of one full-priced adult ticket. Valid on select performances only. See for details. Excludes VIP, VIP Gold and ����������������SM seats. No double discounts. Additional fees may apply.

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Thursday, February 2, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


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EAGLEFEST 9 a.m. Croton Point Nature Center Croton Point Avenue Attendees of EagleFest? can enjoy an abundance of activities from guided and independent eagle viewing to storytelling, engaging children’s programs and activities, bird walks and displays from 30 local collaborators. Entertaining and educational shows are taking place all day long in The Eagle Theatre and Eaglet Stage heated tents. Advance sale tickets for Eagle Theatre shows are $5.00 per person. Tickets are $10.00 per person when purchased at the door. Children ages 3 and under are free. Visit for a schedule of shows and events. Travel by charter bus at 9:30am or 2pm with a Teatown educator for an in-depth view of eagles in their natural habitat. Bus tours are intended for guests ages 12 and over. Tickets are $25 per person. Tours frequently sell-out! Call 914-762-2912 x110 to make a reservation.

Tuesday, February 7 Bronxville

READING 4 p.m. Sarah Lawrence College Esther Rauschenbush Library Former Writing Institute student Lucia Greenhouse will read from her acclaimed book fathermothergod: My Journey Out of Christian Science. For more information and reservations for the open house please call (914) 395 2205.

Thursday, February 9 Bronxville

LECTURE 6:30 p.m. Sarah Lawrence College Slonim Living Room Yvonne Thornton, author of the national bestselling family memoir, The Ditchdigger’s Daughters, will talk about her newest memoir, Something to Prove, and her career. Dr. Thornton is the first black woman in the United States to be board-certified in high-risk obstetrics. For more information, call 914-395-2405.


LECTURE 7 p.m. Sarah Lawrence College Reisinger Concert Hall Singer/songwriter/activist. Dar Williams, has brought her passion for the environment to her music and will share her views on the high cost of consumption as well as her songs. Presented by Sarah Lawrence College and the Westchester Land Trust. For tickets please contact www.westchesterlandtrust. org/lectures or call Grace Buck at (914) 241-6346

Saturday, February 11 Mt. Vernon

PRESIDENTS DAY 12 p.m. St. Paul’s Church 897 S. Columbus Avenue Please join us for talks and re-enactments commemorating President’s Day and February as Black History Month, including appearances by Presidents Washington, Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt, and underground railroad icon Harriet Tubman -- historic activities for children. Program includes a special talk by a Yale historian about emancipation during the Civil War, and a consideration of Presidential leadership across the generations by Professor Andrew Robertson of Lehman College. For more information, call David Osborn, 914-667-4116.


I LOVE BOOKS 1 p.m. Beczak Environmental Education Center 35 Alexander Street A book fair for all ages featuring books that explore nature, encourage kids’ curiosity, and are bestselling great reads. Free demonstrations and readings all afternoon including the team behind the PBS series Sid the Science Kid, who help you make your own worm bin. Caldecott winner Jerry Pinkney will do interactive drawing and readings. Hudson Talbott, author of River of Dreams, shares how he gets ideas for children’s books and writes and illustrates them. For more information, call 914-377-1900 x13 or visit

Sunday, February 12 Rye

JAZZ BRUNCH 12 p.m. Wainwright House 260 Stuyvesant Avenue Featuring Bob Mover Trio. Mover has an explosive sound and style on the sax, directly influenced by Charlie Parker, Ira Sullivan, Stan Getz, and Sonny Rollins. His improvisations are melodically based, with lyrical melodies interspersed with complex bebop type lines. His selection of repertoire is wide and varied, with an encyclopedic knowledge of both standard and unconventional Broadway and movie musical tunes. For more information, call 914-967-6080.

Tuesday, February 14 Bronxville

MUSIC 1:30 p.m. Sarah Lawrence College Reisinger Concert Hall Nordic Voices. Norway’s leading six-voice a cappella ensemble. Clear and radiant, sumptuously textured, performances, from performers possessing extraordinary vocal skill.


PASSPORT TO ADVENTURE 2 p.m. Riverfront Library One Larkin Center Passport to Adventure, a free series of film presentations, will feature a visit to India. For more information, call Jody Maier at 914-337-1500 ext. 492.

Thursday, February 16 Bronxville

THEATRE 7 p.m. Sarah Lawrence College Suzanne Werner Wright Theatre Crazyface. Directed by theatre faculty member Ernest Abuba, Crazyface examines the very heartbeat of the human experience – family, religion, national conquests, witchcraft, simple goodness, evil and treachery, all experienced through the journey of a simple boy who longs to fly. Teeters between the miraculous and insanity, between the profound and the profane. Part Alexandre Dumas, part Monty Python.

Tuesday, February 28 Bronxville

MUSIC 1:30 p.m. Sarah Lawrence College Reisinger Concert Hall The Manhattan String Quartet is well known for their interpretation of 20th century classics, and are critically acclaimed as one of America’s leading ensembles; a national treasure possessing thrilling virtuosity.

Karl Pillemer to speak for benefit of Riverdale Senior Services Karl A. Pillemer, Ph.D. is a professor of Human Development at Cornell University and Professor of Gerontology at the Weill Cornell Medical College. An internationally renowned gerontologist, his research examines how people develop and change throughout their lives. He has authored five books and over 100 scientific publications, and speaks throughout the world on agingrelated issues. In a recent set of studies, Dr. Pillemer decided to find out what older people know about life that the rest of us don’t.

This project led to the book: 30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans. He will discuss the advice for living of people age 70 and beyond, and it’s relevance for people of all ages. Hosted in a Fieldston Castle home on Thursday, Feb. 23, at 7 p.m. Tax deductible tickets for each of these events are $125 per person. All proceeds go to benefit the Riverdale Senior Center. For further information and reservations, call Riverdale Senior Services, (718) 884-5900. Space is limited. Reservations are required. A stimulating evening is guaranteed.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, February 2, 2012

Saturday, February 4

Thursday, February 2, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, February 2, 2012

Thursday, February 2, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



Join us for Israeli folkdancing in Riverdale, led by Gabi Gabay, every Tuesday evening, 7:45 - 10 pm at the Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale, on Henry Hudson Parkway East and 250th Street. Dance the oldies and learn many new ones! It’s fun! It’s good exercise! And it’s right here in Riverdale! Only $10 per session.

Interfaith panel at St. Margaret of Cortona

St. Margaret of Cortona’s adult education committee welcomes community members of all faiths to an interfaith panel discussion on Tuesday, February 7, at 7:30 p.m. in the rectory meeting room at 6000 Riverdale Avenue. Coincident with World Interfaith Harmony Week, the event, entitled “God of Our Fathers—A Look at Our Roots,” will explore Judaic and Islamic theology and their significance to Catholic identity. Panel members are Rabbi Stephen Franklin, Rabbi Emeritus of Riverdale Temple and former president of the Interfaith Clergy Council of Riverdale; Dr. Naseer Alomari, a native Jordanian who is a recognized authority on Islamic faith,

culture and history and is now principal at the Andalusia school in Yonkers; and Father Charles Szivos, a weekend associate at St. Margaret of Cortona and a member of the teaching staff at St. Joseph’s Seminary. Coffee, tea, and cookies will be served. Adult education committee chair Bob Stauf predicts a “win-win” event and is “very definitely eager for more ecumenical experiences.” For more information, contact him at 914-476-2284.

Registration opens for RCC spring courses

The Riverdale Community Center at the Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy (David A. Stein M.S./H.S. 141) has announced the opening of its fall Adult and Youth Education semester, which will begin Saturday, March 3rd and Tuesday, March 6th. Courses in everything from the Arts and Computers (Digital Photography, Life Drawing & Painting, Piano, Guitar, Computers - Word and Excel) to Exercise and Health (Yoga, Tai Chi Chuan, Pilates, Zumba) to Languages and Leisure Activities are being offered. Also on the roster are seminars and workshops in a wide range of subjects including financial topics, real estate tips, taking the chill out of your winter utility bills, etc. Courses are open to adults and seniors on Tuesday evenings. Seniors receive a special

20% discount on course fees. On Saturday mornings, classes are held for children, teens and adults. Children’s classes include Cooking, Basketball, Gymnastics, Cheerleading, Tennis, Piano, Guitar, 2D and 3D Art Making and much more. Remedial reading, math skills and test preparation classes are also available for children and teens. Registration is now being accepted. To register over the phone with Visa, MasterCard, Discover or AMEX, or to request a free brochure, call the Center at 718-796-4724 or visit our website at www.

Documentary film to be shown at CSAIR

Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale (CSAIR) will present a free screening of the award-winning documentary, ‘Ahead of Time,’ on Thursday, Feb. 16, at 7:45 p.m. ‘Ahead of Time’ chronicles the remarkable life of Ruth Gruber, who at age 24 became a New York Herald Tribune reporter and photographer and was the first journalist to enter the Soviet Arctic. In addition, she covered the Middle East throughout the turbulent 1940s. The film uses verite footage of Ruth traveling back to Israel, along with interview and archival material.

A discussion following the film will be led by Patti Kennar, the film’s Executive Producer, and Ruth Gruber herself is schedule to attend this screening. This screening, which is presented by CSAIR’s Adult Education Committee, is free and open to the entire community. CSAIR is located at 475 West 250th Street. For more information, call 718543-8400 or visit

Hebrew Home at Riverdale seeks volunteers

The Hebrew Home at Riverdale, located at 5901 Palisade Avenue in Riverdale, is currently seeking volunteers who would like to share their talents and time to help others. Available opportunities include, but are not limited to, reading to residents, administrative office tasks, helping with crafts projects and much more. Volunteers are also needed to assist with programs of the Derfner Judaica Museum, Hebrew Home Art Collection and Archives. Hours are flexible and assignments can be short term or ongoing. The Home provides orientation, training and continuing education for all volunteers. Volunteers who commit to three hours per day will be provided with a free lunch. For further information, please contact the Volunteer Department at (718) 581-1404.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, February 2, 2012

Israeli Folkdancing now at the Conservative Synagogue

Thursday, February 2, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Clubhouse Politics

There is a fiction spreading around that City Council candidate Clifford Stanton is some kind of anti-politician. After all, he claims that he is not seeking the support of Anthony Perez Cassino’s North Bronx Democratic Alliance Club. But there’s a good reason for this. The fact is that there is “no there there.” This is a club that exists perhaps on paper, and in the conniving mind of “the Leader,” Mr. Cassino. They hold no meetings (certainly not in public), haven’t elected so much as even one member of the Democratic County Committee (their opposition, the Benjamin Franklin Reform Democratic Club, has elected hundreds to these positions, the most basic building block of the political structure.) In fact, the Cassino Club has never elected anyone to anything. Political clubs are also defined by their ability to get their candidates on the ballot. New York’s rules are, to be sure, Byzantine. But not so complex that hundreds of candidates still can manage to organize and win spots on the Democratic Party ballot through their efforts and those of their supporters. The Benjamin Franklin Club can usually be counted on for 5,000 valid signatures, an impressive number, many times what is required. When Mr. Cassino ran for City Council against Oliver Koppell in 2009, he was reduced to paying outsiders to circulate his petitions, which should have offered a clue to the lack of depth of his support. Relying on “hired supporters” for manpower, Cassino was crushed at the polls. Which brings us to Mr. Stanton. If there is nothing to the North Bronx Democratic Alliance, where does he see his support coming from? We believe Stanton does have a political organizatioin, but unlike the Benjamin Franklin Reform Democrats, who clearly and proudly identify themselves as a political club, this one operates in the shadows in secret, purporting to be something it isn’t. It is called the Kingsbridge/Riverdale/Van Cortlandt Development Corporation (KRVCDC). It has offices on Broadway, a paid staff, has tax-exempt status and is actively setting itself up as the center of the Stanton/Cassino political effort, while purporting to be an impartial community group. It isn’t. In fact there is no line between the leadership of the KRVCDC, the P.S. 24 Parents Association leadership, the Northwest Bronx Democratic Alliance, the Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy and the efforts to censor this newspaper through a failed “boycott.” The same names pop up in these multiple venues. Names such as Clifford Stanton, Cory Worschel, Anthony Perez Cassino, Tracy Shelton, and Saul Scheinbach. Consider this: the name of the Kingsbridge Riverdale Van Cortlandt Development Corporation is pretty self-descriptive. It tells you what they are supposed to do and where they are supposed to do it. Recently the group expanded itself into Woodlawn. Why? Not because that is part of its mandate or charter, but because Woodlawn is part of the City Council District that Clifford Stanton seeks to represent. That’s why they are giving away turkeys for the holidays, showing movies in the park, subsidizing a campaign to give the illusion of public support for the Cassino-backed “Dinky Rink” land grab in Van Cortlandt Park, and secretly entering into development deals to fill the group’s coffers, while not disclosing their conflict of interest as they advocate for their favored plans. Over the years this newspaper has had differences with the Ben Franklin Club. But they never pretended to be something other than a good old-fashioned political club. Nothing more, nothing less. It is time to turn the microscope on the proto-politcos of the KRVCDC, and for the public to be aware that when “non-profits” start to look, act and sound like politicians, maybe that’s exactly what they are.

Debbie Bowden

We were distressed to hear of the passing of Debbie Bowden, whose long service on Community Board 8, and advocacy in and for the local schools won her the respect and admiration of nearly everyone. We offer condolences to her family for their loss – and ours.

Woodlawn Cemetery to host talk about Harlem Renaissance On February 26 in celebration of Black History Month, author A’Lelia Bundles will speak at Woodlawn Cemetery about her forthcoming book Joy Goddess: A’Lelia Walker and the Harlem Renaissance. A’Lelia Walker, the daughter of the first African American millionaire Madam C.J. Walker, hosted some of the most memorable soirees of the Harlem Renaissance at her salon, The Dark Tower. There she welcomed Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, CVV, Florence Mills, Bert Williams, Paul Poiret and other celebrities, musicians, actors, artists and writers of the era. Bundles’ talk will give fascinating insight into A’Lelia Walkers role in founding the hair care line that made her mother famous and her patronage of the arts, as well as her glamorous lifestyle and renowned parties. Tickets for the 1:00pm talk at Woodlawn’s Memorial Chapel are $15 for the general public and $10 for students and seniors. For more information, please call: 718-920-1470. As you encourage your readers to attend this talk, we hope you will also let them know that Woodlawn is a must-visit

destination during Black History Month. From its founding in 1867, Woodlawn has been the final resting place of a number of prominent African Americans, including: Madame C.J. Walker and A’Lelia Walker; Miles Davis, jazz composer and trumpeter; Ralph Cooper, the originator and master of ceremonies at the Apollo Theater in Harlem; Countee Cullen, famed poet of the Harlem Renaissance; Lionel Hampton, ‘King of the Vibes; Matthew Henson, the only American to accompany Admiral Perry

Edie Lutnik to speak at RSS benefit On September 11th, 658 men and women at Cantor Fitzgerald found themselves trapped together in One World Trade Center. None would make it out alive. Among them was Edith (Edie) Lutnick’s brother Gary, whom she had raised when their parents died at an early age. This is the story of the victims, the families and how they came together bonded by a tragic fate. But the story doesn’t end there. In the aftermath of the attacks, Edie answered the call from her other brother, Cantor Fitzgerald

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on his North Pole expedition; George E. Haynes, the first African American to earn a Ph.D. from Columbia and a charter member of the NAACP; Dr. Leo Cecil Maitland, part of the surgical team that saved Dr. Martin Luther King’s life after he was stabbed at a 1958 Harlem book-signing; Wesley Redding, the NYPD’s first African American detective; as well as many others Woodlawn’s grounds are open 365 days a year from 8:30am-5:00pm and are free to the public.

CECILIA McNALLY Office Manager MIAWLING LAM Associate Editor

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

CEO Howard Lutnick, to create a fund for the firm’s families who had lost loved ones. Over the past decade Edie and Howard have found themselves in a fight to not just give aid and comfort to the larger Cantor family, but also to honor the memory of countless victims. What they weren’t expecting was to find a barrage of issues in their way from political jockeying to class biases. This is the powerful, sometimes infuriating and ultimately heartrending story of the mission to fulfill an important legacy, and give meaning to the lives of the victims of 9/11. Hosted at a private Riverdale home on Thursday, March 1, at 7 p.m. Tax deductible tickets for each of these events are $125 per person. All proceeds go to benefit the Riverdale Senior Center. For further information and reservations, call Riverdale Senior Services, (718) 884-5900. Space is limited. Reservations are required. A stimulating evening is guaranteed.

By Scott M. Stringer Manhattan Borough President At a time when middle class families are working harder than ever to make ends meet, New York City could be taking bold and innovative steps to create thousands of new green collar jobs, generate clean energy and cut our monthly utility bills. All we have to do is look up. The roofs of our public schools are a vast, untapped source of new jobs and energy, and if New York embarks on a campaign to install solar roof panels on them, as I’ve just recommended in a new report, “Rooftop Revolution,” we could transform the life of the City and dramatically boost a new economic sector. Schools and solar power are a perfect match, an idea whose time has come. All it takes is leadership to make this a reality in the Bronx and the four other boroughs. Consider the data: Using the City University of New York’s NYC Solar Map, we estimated new solar installations could generate 169.46 megawatts of clean, renewable energy and eliminate 76,696 tons of carbon from the air each year – the equivalent of planting over 400,000 trees. This would also increase solar capacity in the five boroughs by over 2,500 percent. Just as important, the installation of solar panels on New York City’s public schools could create an estimated 5,423

green collar jobs and give a dramatic economic boost to a new energy sector, according to an analysis by New Energy New York, an advocacy group. This is not rocket science. Solar energy programs are underway in New Jersey and California, plus numerous school districts across the nation. Globally, solar programs have also been launched in Germany and China. New York City should be a world leader, not a follower, in expanding our region’s solar economy. California and New Jersey have installed up to1,000 megawatts of solar electricity—enough to power 1 million homes— while New York currently has only 6.5 megawatts. New Jersey has become the nation’s fastest growing market for solar energy. We cannot afford to

lag so far behind. Here’s what we need to do: I’m calling on City Hall to develop a long-term plan to install solar panels on public school roofs, where feasible. I’m also urging the legislature to pass The Solar Jobs Act, which would establish a system of renewable energy credits, stimulate investment and create new jobs and revenues – all at an estimated cost of nine cents per month to New York ratepayers. That’s not just a good deal. It’s a blueprint for strong economic growth and smart environmental policy. Taken as a whole, there are 2.7 million square feet of usable space for solar panels in our public schools – enough space to cover 57% of Central Park.

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New honor bestowed on local landmark By MIAWLING LAM The iconic Riverdale Memorial Bell Tower has been granted national historic status. The State Board for Historic Preservation approved the landmark’s inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places on Tuesday, January 3. News of the decision was announced at last Thursday’s joint meeting of Community Board 8’s parks committee and traffic and transportation committee. Located at the busy intersection of Riverdale Avenue, West 239th Street and the Henry Hudson Parkway, the 50-foottall stone and limestone tower honors local soldiers who served in WWI. The Gothic structure, officially referred to as the Riverdale, Spuyten Duyvil, Kingsbridge Memorial Bell Tower, was built in the 1930s and designed by local architect Dwight James Baum. CB8 parks committee chair Bob Bender described the designation as a “very nice distinction.” “I hope it will bring some further attention to the monument and, perhaps, even bring some money to the monument to aide in the maintenance,” he said. According to state documents, the tower requires masonry repairs at the crenellated roof and parapet level, and the bell needs to be re-electrified. The monument’s eight lead gargoyle waterspouts also need to be repaired, as do the tower’s window screens, decorative oak door and frame. The latest honor comes just two months after the bell tower was added to the State Register of Historic Places. According to the National Parks Service, the listing means the monument may qualify for a federal historic preservation grant if funds become available.

Here in the Bronx, there are 4,191,636 sq. ft. square feet available, or 20.1% of the City’s total public school roof space. And schools could be just the beginning. If every rooftop in the city were properly fitted with solar energy installations, CUNY experts estimate we could generate half of New York’s peak energy supply. We would also create a powerful new teaching tool for our students, so they could learn about sustainable energy, climate change and other sciences. It’s time to stop talking about solar energy and make it a reality. I urge all New Yorkers to join me in this campaign, so we can harness the sun’s power and generate thousands of new jobs for our City. When it comes to new technology and a bright future, the sky is truly the limit.

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19 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, February 2, 2012

‘Rooftop Revolution’ could surge solar power in Bronx schools

Thursday, February 2, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Riverdale Review, February 2, 2012  

Weekly newspaper published in Riverdale, NY 10471.