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Riverdale’s ONLY Locally Owned Newspaper!

Volume XIX • Number 5 • February 9 - 15, 2012 •


Progress on long-stalled apartment tower By MIAWLING LAM It is Riverdale’s answer to Barcelona’s La Sagrada Familia, but Tulfan Terrace is finally set for completion in January 2013. The skeletal building, located at 3620 Oxford Avenue, has remained a construction site since work stalled in 2006. However, a representative from mortgage owner Ox-3620 LLC appeared before a Communit Board 8 land use committee meeting on Monday to say the end is finally near. Developer ER Holdings president Michael Goldberg announced the expected closing date and said that once construction is complete, the 30 units could be sold as condominiums. Providing the first update on the project in several months, Goldberg said construction has moved along steadily, thanks to a warmer-than-usual winter. He revealed plumbing and electrical work is now complete and that windows have been installed. “I don’t want to overestimate or underestimate, but we should be enclosed within six to eight weeks,” he

said, adding that he, like the rest of the community, was eager for the project to finish. “We just want to get it done. That’s the bottom line,” he said. “My money is invested in this, and the longer it takes to finish, the longer it’ll take to get my money back.” During a brief question-and-answer session with board members, Goldberg said he’ll apply to sell the units as condominiums. Once completed, Tulfan Terrace will boast 30 threebedroom, two-bathrooms residential units with on-site parking and recreational facilities. “It depends on the market, but if we can do it with the low rates, I think we can sell it,” he told the Riverdale Review after the meeting. Goldberg, who took ownership of the property in March 2010, said he is finishing the long-awaited project per the original plans with one minor tweak. “There’s a big courtyard off of Tulfan that is a big expansive area,” he said. “I’m having someone draw plans of possibly having a grassy area with trees, so it’s

like a park-like setting.” The high-rise building, which has become an eyesore in Riverdale, has seen its fair share of dramas. In 2006, James Murray, one of the three original owners, was slapped with fraud and embezzlement charges relating to another site. The legal dramas meant his two other partners, Robert Wagner and Michael Bookle, were drained of the funds needed to finish the project, causing construction to stall indefinitely. Neighboring residents, fed up with the ongoing construction, have also complained about the safety hazards around the site. Many expressed concerns about the tower’s unsafe scaffolding and how debris was flying off the building during winter snowstorms. After hearing the latest update, CB8 land use committee chairman and former Department of Buildings commissioner Charles Moerdler was hopeful the developer would finally come through. “I hope you’re the good guy we’ve been waiting for,” he said.

Oregano, eagerly anticipated Johnson Ave. eatery, welcomes new chef By MIAWLING LAM A new chef and a more refined menu are among the changes afoot at Oregano Bar & Bistro, the eagerly awaited FrenchLatin restaurant due to open on Johnson Avenue later this month. The Riverdale Review can reveal Swissborn chef Claude Alain Solliard has been hired as the restaurant’s new executive chef. Solliard brings a depth of experience rarely seen outside Manhattan. Classically French trained, he boasts an impressive resume, with previous posts in the kitchens of some of the city’s most prominent restaurants including Le Cirque, Raoul’s and the now defunct San Domenico and L’Espinasse. Between 2001 and 2010, he was also the chef-owner of Seppi’s, a white-tablecloth French bistro in the Le Parker Meridien Hotel in midtown Manhattan. Solliard replaces celebrity chef and Riverdale resident Ricardo Cardona, who assisted in developing the Latin portion of the menu. In an interview last week, Solliard said although he was still discovering Riverdale, he was excited to work in the area. “When I first saw the restaurant, I thought it was so beautiful and I thought it would be a good chance for me to work out of the city and a good opportunity to do something different,” he said. Solliard added that he was raised on a small family farm and winery near Sion, Switzerland, with “two cows, one pig and one goat” and that he grew up picking chanterelle mushrooms. Restaurateur Erick A. Caceres said he hired Solliard after deciding to shift the menu toward more traditional French dishes.

“He has vast experience and has served as executive chef in many French bistros and restaurants,” Caceres said. “He’s truly a brilliant chef as well as a very nice guy.” Caceres called Solliard a hands-on chef who likes to make appearances in the dining room to greet guests—a practice he will encourage at Oregano. “He may even serve something off the top of his head and personalize the menu for a random table. A lot of owners don’t like their chefs to do that, but I actually do.” Caceres said each dish would now be grounded in traditional French cuisine, with Latin and Spanish influences sprinkled throughout. He said diners could expect to order Civet de Cuisse, braised rabbit legs over soft polenta and pearl onions, or Caldeirada, a Portuguese seafood broth containing squid, mussels and shrimp. Steak tartare, a French onion soup and an Oregano burger served with homemade sliced lamb sausage, onion rings, Gruyere cheese, tomato relish aioli and Parmesan matchstick fries will also be on the menu. Plates will be moderately priced, with the restaurant aiming for a $40-per-person ticket. Asked about the delays that have plagued the restaurant—it was slated to open in the fall—Caceres said Oregano was now working with the New Business Acceleration Team. He said representatives from the citywide program, which speeds up the permit process, were helping him navigate through layers of red tape.

“I want to apologize to the public for the delay,” he said. “At the end of the day, this has to be done right, not only because the neighborhood demands it, but also because I

wouldn’t have it any other way. “It doesn’t matter how long it takes— the end product must be exceptional.” Caceres said if all goes according to plan, Oregano should open its doors by Feb. 28.

Chef Claude Alain Solliard will man the stoves at Oregano Bar & Bistro when it opens this month. He previously worked with Jacques Torres at Le Cirque in Manhattan.

Thursday, February 9, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Board okays controversial skate rink By MIAWLING LAM The Van Cortlandt Park ice-skating rink is expected to be formally approved this week and could be open for business next winter. Following the endorsement of the controversial plan by Community Board 8, the city’s Franchise and Concession Review Committee was scheduled to deliver its vote on Wednesday. The community board’s vote is advisory, while the FCRC’s vote is binding. Only two speakers showed up to support the plan at the hearing sponsored by the FCRC on Monday, Anthony Perez Cassino, the Bloomberg-appointed head of the Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy, and his political ally, Tracy Shelton, head of the Kingsbridge/Riverdale/Van Cortlandt Development Corp. (KRVCDC). In an effort orchestrated by the KRVCDC, nearly 100 persons, including a number of children, packed into Manhattan College’s School of Engineering building last Thursday to express their opinions on the project. Clutching handcrafted posters reading “Let us skate in VCP” and “Skating is fun,” community members sat and listened to a host of testimonies before the board voted 20-4 to support the plan. Six members abstained from voting. Of the 20 people who signed up to speak during the public gallery session, all but one spoke in support of the rink and touted its social and economic benefits. Eamon McShane, son of CB8 member Damian McShane, was one of seven children who spoke. Dressed in his Boy Scout uniform and jittery about speaking in public for the first time, Eamon urged board members to fulfill his wishes to have a local recreational facility. “It’s frustrating that everyone has to just drive on down to Westchester to go ice-skating,” he said. “It would be so much easier if you could just have an ice-skating rink here.” Meanwhile, nine-year-old Andrew Cassino, son of Anthony Perez Cassino, argued the rink would put the dilapidated tennis courts to use. “Nobody uses them, there are no nets, and well, nobody goes there and does anything. So why even put them there in the first place?” he said. “You should’ve just gone with the ice-skating rink and never put the tennis courts there.” The lone critic of the plan speaking against the effort was Kevin Elliot of Manhattan College Parkway, who objected purely on the basis of parking. “I am not against a skating rink…however, my wife and I are held captive to our parking spot,” he said. “If we move our car to go shopping, we’re done. In the summertime, we can’t come back until 9 o’clock at night. The parking is a mess. Not to say it’s going to be different in the wintertime with the rink, but you never know.” CB8 member Robert Press attempted to amend the resolution to put it on record that the board condemned the process and its strict time constraints, but the surprise motion was defeated by just two votes. Community Board 12 voted against the rink because there wasn’t enough transparency in the project. After the meeting, Press said, “I hope the project is a success. I would hate to say ‘I told you so’ if problems arise from questions we never got answered.”

The project has become a political minefield since Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced it in his State of the City address in 2011. The facility was supposed to be up and running in November, but the plan was delayed after the city and the only bidder, Ice Rink Events, a Houston-based company that also runs The Pond at Bryant Park, negotiated over terms of their agreement. A plan for a smaller rink was then shelved after Con Edison said it couldn’t supply enough electricity to power the chillers in time. Perez Cassino was accused of keeping the public in the dark after it was revealed Continued on Page 12

One of the pro-skating rink posters on display at last Thursday’s public hearing

Residents may be charged for parking inconvenience adding the facility was currently closed during school vacations. “If we need to open to the general public, 365 days, 24/7, we incur additional expenses. “We have increased security, increased utilities, increased cleaning, increased service of the elevator, all those kinds of things, and they all cost money. That’s the reason why, potentially, we need to charge.” But Marty O’Neill, vice-president of the tenant’s association at 3875 Waldo Avenue, labeled the plan “unfair” and accused the college of adopting a narrow view. “I think all the inconvenience that we’ll have to go through should be compensated with displaced parkers given free parking for the duration of the construction,” he said. O’Neill said he was currently conducting a study to determine how many residents in the 110-unit complex would be affected. An impartial system would then have to be developed to ascertain how the 20-25 parking spaces in the Manhattan College garage will be allocated, he said. “This is not a conversation just about parking,” O’Neill told board members. “We are losing our comfort in that their construction will impose a lot of noise and also a potential loss in real estate value for anyone who wants to sell their co-op while the construction is going on.” CB8 land use committee chairman Charles Moerdler urged both parties to discuss the plan further and reach an agreement. The college has copped a lot of flak for

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, February 9, 2012

By MIAWLING LAM Not only are they losing 25 parking spots while Manhattan College builds its new student center, but residents along Waldo Avenue may now have to pay to park in the school’s garage. News of the possible fee emerged during Community Board 8’s land use committee meeting on Monday, angering the half-dozen residents who turned up to hear the latest developments. Manhattan College vice-president of facilities Andrew Ryan said the school was currently looking into how it can accommodate residents while the 69,000square-foot Raymond W. Kelly Student Commons is under construction. Architects are still finalizing the designs for the facility, but Ryan said the 16-month construction project could begin as early as October. It is understood up to 25 street parking spots could be lost when the project gets underway. Ryan said, between 20 and 25 cars could be allowed to use the school’s garage on Broadway but that Waldo Avenue residents could be charged. He said fees have not been set. “It really depends on how much interest we get on the general parking,” Ryan said. “If we can cover everything with the general parking, then we don’t really have a problem. If we can’t, we need to look at a fee structure.” Ryan defended the price plan and said fees were necessary to cover costs of running the garage. “The problem is we don’t operate the garage 24/7, 365 days a year,” he said,


denying public access to the garage, citing covenants made with various government agencies. But as the Riverdale Review reported last year, Manhattan College allowed Riverdale Chrysler Jeep to store cars in the garage for much of 2010. According to plans, the new student center will boast a Starbucks, minimart, lounge, food service and campus bookstore. It will be built on the parking lot on the south side of Waldo Avenue, overlooking Gaelic Park. Two of the floors will also be open to be public, with meeting rooms available for student and community use. It is set to open fall 2014.

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Around the schools... P.S. 24

Next week, the school will observe Random Acts of Kindness Week by encouraging students, parents and staff members who feel they were recipients of a kind act to write about their experiences on the heartshaped paper provided. The notes will be posted on a designated bulletin board in the main lobby. The Department of Education is urging teachers to participate in the national event and has provided lesson plans that encourage students to engage in their own acts of kindness while inspiring others to do the same.

P.S. 81

Parents of prospective P.S. 81 kindergarteners are invited to participate in a tour of the school this Thursday, February 9, at 9 a.m. Fourth-grade students wrote much of the dialogue for “Early American History in the First Person,” a play they produced under the guidance of Henry Street Settlement teaching artist Kim Johnson. The work will be performed this Friday, February 10, at 9:30 a.m. in the school auditorium. Every two years, the school leadership team re-examines 81’s mission and vision. In a just-released statement, the team revealed a refreshed mission involving partnering with parents to promote “a culture of civic and personal responsibility, a love of learning, and sense of family within a safe and nurturing environment.” The team’s updated vision is to maintain a “child-centered learning atmosphere” where the focus is on programs that promote “high standards and a love of learning” while contributing to “growth and social development.” It seeks to treat children as individuals and provide a learning environment that is both supportive and “appropriately challenging.” It celebrates cultural diversity and strives to create “an atmosphere of tolerance that will be the foundation of our children’s lives.” It hopes to prepare the children to be “productive, literate members of their community and our democratic society.” The school motto is RISE—respect, independence, scholarship, effort.

M.S./H.S. 141—Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy

The school is now implementing the “shadowing” phase of its well-established transition program for fifth-graders from P.S. 24, P.S. 81 and P.S. 7. Small groups of students are getting a taste of middle school as they visit sixth-grade classrooms during the morning. Before the fall term begins, these incoming sixth-graders and their parents will be invited to a special orientation to meet their teachers and check out their new classrooms. Parents will spend time with the principal and other key staff members for an extended Q and A. During the months prior to shadowing, parents toured the school to see the library, cafeteria, art and dance studios, gym, science labs and classrooms in action. The fifthgraders themselves also got a tour of their own, led by members of the middle school administrative and guidance staff.

American Cancer Society, involves various schools and leagues. Horace Mann will play against Riverdale Country School at 3:20 p.m. According to Coach Ray Barile, the games will be highly competitive and all participants are winners—the only loser is cancer. Donations to the American Cancer Society can be mailed to the coach’s attention at Horace Mann School, 231 West 246th Street, Bronx, NY 10471. As part of African-American History Month, an artist’s reception in the Fisher Hall Art Gallery on Thursday, February 9, from 11 1:30 p.m. will feature children’s book illustrator and author Bryan Collier, whose watercolors and collages will be on display through February 24. The community is invited to HM Music Week events. “Jersey Boys” star Jarrod Spector and “Book of Mormon” musical director Adam Ben-David will appear in the recital hall on Friday, February 10, from 1:35 to 3:10 p.m. The New Republic editor Richard Just will discuss journalistic ethics on Thursday, February 10, at 7:30 p.m. in the Black Box Theatre. Upper-Division One-Act Plays will be performed there at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 9, and at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, February 10, and Saturday, February 11. Tickets are required for Black Box Theatre events because of space constraints.

Ethical Culture Fieldston School

The seventh annual Coaches vs. Cancer Girls’ High School Basketball Classic will be held at the school throughout the day on Sunday, February 12. Sunday’s schedule for Riverdale schools is as follows: Riverdale Country School Riverdale vs. Brearley at 10 a.m; Horace Mann vs. Masters at 4:30 p.m.; and Fieldston vs. Loyola at 7:50 p.m.

Kinneret Day School

Fifth-graders visited the new Islamic Galleries at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where they convened for their second interfaith gathering with students from Solomon Schechter, the Islamic Leadership School and Al Ihsan Academy. The group was addressed by Sheik Musa Drammeh, who explained the Five Pillars of Islam. Students divided into teams to study the gallery’s Islamic artifacts. The Muslim students explained what the objects were for and how they compare to similar objects in use today. The gathering concluded with lunch at Solomon Schechter.

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Horace Mann School

The thirteenth annual Coaches vs. Cancer High School Basketball Classic will be held at Manhattan College throughout the day on Saturday, February 11. The event, sponsored in conjunction with the

*Please Note: VIP Fallout Zone tickets are valid through, phone or Box Office only. 191773

Thursday, February 9, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



By MIAWLING LAM Children as young as five will learn fencing, chess, attend school on Saturdays and be given a rigorous, back-to-basics education at a new elementary charter school proposed for The Bronx. Yes the Bronx chairman and Riverdale Senior Services board member Alec Diacou unveiled plans to open the Rosalyn Yalow Academy Charter School at last week’s Community Board 8 education committee meeting. The school, which has yet to be sited, will open with at least 224 K-2 students in fall 2013 and grow by a grade each year before eventually expanding to a K-6 school serving at least 448 kids. Officials said they ultimately plan to seek approval to add grades seven and eight, thereby making it an elementary and middle school serving District 10 students. Diacou, a former Community Board 8 budget chairman, said the school would institute a gifted model and focus on the traditional and classical subjects of English, math, the arts, foreign language, history and geography. The school will also partner with the Kasparov Chess Foundation to institute a chess program, with Bronx Arts Ensemble to roll out a music curriculum and with former Olympian fencing champions to train students in the combat sport. “The whole purpose of the school is to provide excellence in education, to raise the kids’ standards so that kids

are prepared to go onto specialized high schools and four-year colleges,” Diacou said. “And the key to doing that for any children from here, or anywhere else, is a good early childhood education. And that’s what we are trying to do.” Naming the school in honor of Dr. Yalow, a celebrated medical physicist who was the second female to win a Nobel Prize in medicine, was also deliberate move, Diacou said. “She is a symbol of excellence for all of our children and the next generation, and that’s why we asked her family if we could use her name.” Dr. Yalow lived in Kingsbridge for more than 60 years and died on May 30, 2011, at the age of 89. School officials filed a letter of intent with the New York State Education Department on Tuesday, January 17, and will seek charter authorization from the New York State Board of Regents. Under their proposal, the school day will run from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and each grade will boast at least two classes of 28 students. By the school’s second year, classes will be held even on Saturdays. “A lot of the parenting, the extra-curricular activities…your parents used to take the initiative to do. Since that is part of the problem, we’re going to take over the role of the parent,” Diacou said. “That’s why we have the longer school day and longer school week, so the kids get used to a habit of learning

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and stimulus.” According to the letter of intent obtained by the Riverdale Review, the Core Knowledge curriculum, developed by E.D. Hirsch Jr., will provide the basis for the school’s academic program. Students will also be taught mathematics using the Singapore Math method. The approach, which helps kids develop a deeper understanding of numbers and concepts, is currently being used by the entire Scarsdale school district, Hunter College Elementary School, a public school for gifted children on the Upper East Side and P.S. 132 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Documents also show the school’s

initial board of trustees will have five members: Diacou; Dr. Yalow’s son, Benjamin Yalow; John W. Carr, a Manhattan resident and recently retired partner from the New York law firm Simpson Thatcher & Bartlett; Shirley Saunders, the Bronx County deputy city clerk; and Kyle Bragg, vice-president of 32BJ Service Employees International Union. Per charter school regulations, admissions will be determined by lottery, with preference given to pupils residing within District 10. School officials expect to file their application either during the first-round deadline on February 27 or secondround deadline on July 18.

5 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, February 9, 2012

Community leader offers vision for rigorous new charter school

Thursday, February 9, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Discussion on Controversies in memorializing the Holocaust

On Thursday, Feb. 9, Michael Berenbaum, Ph.D., a leading expert on the Holocaust, will present a discussion on Controversies in Memorializing The Holocaust at 7:30 p.m. in Smith Auditorium. The event is open to the community and sponsored by the Holocaust, Genocide and Interfaith Center. Berenbaum is the current director of the Sigi Ziering Institute: Exploring the Ethical & Religious Implications of the Holocaust at the American Jewish University, and is also a professor of Jewish Studies. In the past, he served as president and chief executive officer of the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, and director of the United States Holocaust Research Institute at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. As a former Weinstein Gold Distinguished Visiting Professor at Chapman University, Berenbaum also had the opportunity to share his expertise as a Podlich Distinguished Visitor at Claremont-McKenna College and the Ida E. King Distinguished Professor of Holocaust Studies at Richard Stockton College from 1999-2000. In addition, he was a Strassler Family Distinguished Visiting Professor of Holocaust Studies at Clark University in 2000. The Controversies in Memorializing The Holocaust discussion is part of the Holocaust, Genocide and Interfaith Center’s continued commitment to educating future generations on the lessons of the Holocaust, which are essential to combat prejudice, genocidal ideologies, apathy and Holocaust denial. For more information on the event or the Holocaust, Genocide and Interfaith Center, please contact Mehnaz Afridi by email at mehnaz.afridi@manhattan. edu. Manhattan College is located at West 242nd Street near Broadway in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, one mile from the Westchester County line and accessible by MTA subway line No. 1. For directions to the campus, visit www.

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.

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.

RAA celebrates artistry of Hans Marum

The Riverdale Art Association celebrates the artistry of Hans Marum in a posthumous exhibition of award-winning paintings and drawings from the artist’s estate. On Display: 2 February - 29 February 2012 at the Riverdale-Yonkers Society for Ethical Culture, 4450 Fieldston Road. Regular Viewing Hours: Monday - Friday, 10 AM - 4 PM. Reception: Sunday, 19 February, 2:00 - 3:30 PM. For more information, visit or call718-548-4445. Hans Marumwas a German Jew who fled Nazi persecution and relocated with his family to the United States in 1936. He became an American citizen in 1943 and enlisted in the army, working as a translator for General Eisenhower and

General Patton. In 1945, assigned to the 4th Armored Division, he participated in the first liberation of a slave labor camp by the Allied advance - at Ohrdruf, a sub-camp of Buchenwald. It is evident from Marum’s late art work and from his documented statements that these experiences never left his consciousness and that he continued to grapple with them, through his art, until the end of his life. After the war, Marum joined his family’s business, a textile manufacturing mill in Lawrence, Massachusetts, and resumed an interest in art making that began when he was still a child in Europe. Marum never received a formal art education, but studied at various schools in New York City and on Cape Cod, as well as with artists for whose work he felt an affinity. During his lifetime, Marum’s paintings appeared in many galleries and art shows on Cape Cod and he was the recipient of several juried awards.

RCT’s Broadway BabiesMusical Theatre Workshop

Registration is now open for RCT’s Broadway Babies Spring 2012 musical theater workshop for performers in kindergarten through second grade. Professional director, actress and singer Shana Mahoney will hold the workshop on Sundays from 1 to 2 p.m. at the Riverdale/ Kingsbridge Academy, 660 West 237th Street at Independence Avenue. Classes

run for 12 weeks starting on March 4. Students will learn basic musical theater dance, acting and vocal techniques with a focus on imagination, ear-training and projection through songs and dances from “The Lion King,” “Annie,” “Peter Pan” and other great Broadway shows. Most important, this workshop is focused on having fun and developing a love of musical theater, singing and dancing. The cost is $265, which covers a music folder and CD. The final class will be an informal presentation for friends and families on the RKA stage. For more information or to register, contact Becky Woods at 646-4363045 or

CSAIR Sisterhood to present film

The Sisterhood of Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale (CSAIR) will present the film, ‘Wondrous Oblivion’ on Sunday, Feb. 11, at 2 p.m. Set in London in 1960, ‘Wondrous Oblivion’ tells the story of 11-year-old David Wiseman. David is passionate about cricket. Unfortunately he’s pretty hopeless at it, so he is delighted that the new next-door neighbors are also cricket lovers - they even put a net up in the garden and are prepared to coach him. but they are Jamaican and David’s parents, Jewish immigrants from wartime Germany who have suffered bigotry in Britain, find themselves under pressure to put an end to their son’s friendship. Admission is $6 for adults and $3 for children (this film is rated PG). Refreshments will be available. CSAIR is located at 475 West 250th Street. For additional information, call the synagogue office at 718-543-8400 or visit

ballet 7

Riverdale Rising Stars, Jr. present the classic tale of gamblers, show girls and mission dolls with the beloved musical Guys and Dolls, Jr. Our cast of 37 performs this joyous show with familiar songs such as, ‘Sit Down, You’re Rocking The Boat’, ‘Bushel and A Peck’, ‘Adelaide’s Lament’ and more! For tickets and more information visit Show dates and times are: Saturdays, February 11 & 18 at 8pm, Sundays, February 12 & 19 at 3pm and Tuesday, February 14 at 7pm. Tickets are $18 online, $20 at the door. Students & Seniors - $12 and our weeknight performance - all seats $10. The Riverdale Y is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue

Summer for kids at Camp Gan Israel

Camp Gan Israel is packed with many fun activities ranging from creative movement, gymnastics, music, swimming, karate, ceramics, and weekly challah baking. The children enjoy a puppet how, a magic show, and Simon Says games. They also participate in trips to the Bronx Zoo, Osceola Beach, Splashdown Water Park, Camp Kochavim, White Post Farm, Adventureland, Liberty Science Center, and the older division will see a Yankee’s game! June 29 - August 2, 2012. Campers enjoy swimming instructions during pool time at the Whitehall Club under the guidance of our professional swimming director and certified lifeguards. They can also participate in various recreational activi-


ties and sports, such as gymnastics, soccer, baseball, basketball, football, and more. Camp Gan Israel guarantees that the children will have the time of their lives, and their parents will be happy knowing their child’s summer is filled with positive Jewish values and a cheerful outlook on life, which will prove to be immeasurably valuable as they grow up. Camp Gan Israel has a positive reputation and is well known for its fun-filled experiences, creative programs and exciting activities. Space is very limited and we usually have a waiting list, so please be sure to sign up early. For more information on Camp Gan Israel, please contact Chabad of Riverdale at 718-549-1100 ext. 10 or download an application from our website

Volunteers needed for Seton Park-area cleanup

In response to community requests, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation has agreed to stage a comprehensive post-Irene cleanup just south of the Seton Park tennis courts along West 232nd Street between Palisade and Independence avenues on Sunday, February 26, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Power tools will be handled by Parks personnel only, but the department will provide volunteers with equipment suitable for clearing away brush, downed branches and trapped debris-trucks will be waiting there to haul away the material. If you know in advance that you might volunteer, please call Sura at 718-543-6527. But feel free to stop by on the spur of the moment to help make a difference in your neighborhood.



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

Montefiore Einstein Center for Heart & Vascular Care

A Healthy Heart Starts with You

Throughout the month of February, the Montefiore Einstein Center for Heart and Vascular Care will offer free educational lectures, heart health counseling and screenings to check your blood pressure. Protect your heart from disease, and learn how to take better care of yourself. Upcoming Blood Pressure Screenings 8:30 am – 2:00 pm Tuesday, February 14 BronxWorks Senior Center 8:30 am – 1:30 pm 200 West Tremont Avenue Bronx, NY 10453 Thursday, February 16 North Campus (Carpenter Rd. Auditorium) 8:30 am – 2:00 pm 600 East 233rd Street Bronx, NY 10466 Upcoming Health Seminars Monday, February 13 Nursing Implications for Heart Failure Weiler Campus - 8th Floor, 7:30 am 1825 Eastchester Road Bronx, NY 10461 Heart Month Lecture Series Pennington Elementary School 20 Fairway Street Mount Vernon, NY 10552

Tuesday, February 14 Cardiology Grand Rounds Moses Campus - Cherkasky Auditorium 7:30 – 8:30 am 111 East 210th Street Bronx, NY 10467 Heart Month Lecture Series Grant Elementary School, 9:00 am 250 East 164th Street (Morris Avenue) Bronx, NY 10456 Exercise and Heart Failure BronxWorks Senior Center, 1:30 pm 200 West Tremont Avenue Bronx, NY 10453 Thursday, February 16 Nutrients for Heart Health North Campus, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm Heart Health Lecture North Campus Noon and 1:30 pm

For more information about heart month events, please call 1-800-MD-MONTE or visit

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, February 9, 2012

‘Guys and Dolls’ at Riverdale Y

Thursday, February 9, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Thursday, February 9 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.


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.


AFRICAN DANCE 4 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Get up and feel the rhythm! Learn the styles and history of African Dance! Caren Calder, master storyteller and dancer, along with a live drummer, will have you out of your seats and shaking a leg. Caren’s dynamic style of teaching promises a good time for everyone involved. All dance levels are welcome; no experiences is necessary. Presented by Urban Stages for children ages 5 and older. For more information, call 718-548-5656.


CERT MEETING 7 p.m. Schervier Apartments 2975 Independence Avenue Join the Bx8 Community Emergency Response Team! To learn more or apply, attend the BX8 CERT meeting or contact Bx8 NYC OEM CERT at or 347.389.0844.


DISCUSSION ON HOLOCAUST 7:30 p.m. Manhattan College Smith Auditorium Michael Berenbaum, Ph.D., a leading expert on the Holocaust, will present a discussion on Controversies in Memorializing The Holocaust. The event is open to the community and sponsored by the Holocaust, Genocide and Interfaith Center. For more information, contact Mehnaz Afridi by email at

Friday, February 10 Kingsbridge

MEDITATION 1 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Stress, anger and conflict are part of life in today’s world, but you don’t have to live with them 24/7. In this interactive program, Jim Rose will engage you through a series of exercises designed to show how meditation is a powerful tool for dealing with stress, anger and conflict. Through several meditation periods, you will have a chance to see how meditation also is the key to a rich inner life. For more information, call 718-548-5656.

Saturday, February 11 Riverdale

FILM SCREENING 2 p.m. Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel 475 West 250th Street The CSAIR Sisterhood will present the film, “Wondrous Oblivion”. Admission is $6 for adults and $3 for children (this film is rated PG). Refreshments will be available. For additional information, call the synagogue office at 718-543-8400 or visit


GUYS & DOLLS 8 p.m. Riverdale YM-YWHA 5625 Arlington Avenue Riverdale Rising Stars, Jr. present the classic tale of gamblers, show girls and mission dolls with the beloved musical Guys and Dolls, Jr. Show dates: Feb. 11, 12, 14, 18, 19. For more information, visit

Sunday, February 12 Riverdale


1:30 p.m. Riverdale YM-YWHA 5625 Arlington Avenue 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. More information on the exhibit is available at or by calling the Y at 718-548-8200.

Monday, February 13 Riverdale

KNITTING CIRCLE 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.

Spuyten Duyvil

BE TOBACCO FREE 3:30 p.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 West 235th Street This highly interactive show includes fascinating science demonstrations and special effects that highlight the health risks of tobacco use. Students see the impact of smoking and witness a simulation of the effects of nicotine on the heart and circulatory system. Presented by Mad Science of Westchester and Manhattan. For ages 4 and older. For more information, call 718-796-1202.

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.

Tuesday, February 14 Riverdale

TODDLER STORY TIME 11:30 a.m. Riverdale Branch Library 5540 Mosholu Avenue 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 718-549-1212.

Wednesday, February 15

BRANDEIS GROUP MEETING 12:30:00 Riverdale Temple West 246th St. & Independence Ave. The Riverdale Chapter of the Brandeis National Committee invites its members and their friends to its next general meeting. The program will be a most memorable musicale presented by the celebrated concert violinist, David Podles.


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

Van Cortlandt

ROOTABAGA STORIES 3:30 p.m. Van Cortlandt Branch Library 3874 Sedgwick Avenue A program of the marvelously silly language of Carl Sandburg’s American fairy tales. Presented by Robin Bady. For ages 4 and older. For more information, call 718-543-5150.

Spuyten Duyvil

SAT TEST SECRETS 4 p.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 West 235th Street Test smart! In this 1 hour session, a Kaplan representative will guide you through test-taking strategies and cover the format of today’s standardized test. Get a study plan for success! For more information, call 718-796-1202.


READING ALOUD 4 p.m. Riverdale Branch Library 5540 Mosholu Avenue A librarian will share favorite picture books, providing children with the wonder of books and the joy of reading. For more information, call 718-549-1212.

9 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, February 9, 2012

Riverdale Rising Stars Jr. Presents

JR Book by Abe Burrows and Jo Swerling Music & Lyrics by Frank Loesser Directed by Gregory Kanter Saturdays, February 11 & 18 at 8:00pm Sundays, February 12 & 19 at 3:00pm Tuesday, February 14 at 7:00pm*

Purchase tickets at or

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Thursday, February 9, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Renewed pleas for neighborhood slow zone on Independence Ave. By MIAWLING LAM A plan to introduce a Neighborhood Slow Zone outside two of Riverdale’s public schools is expected to gather momentum after a pedestrian was struck while crossing the street. Police confirmed that a 54-year-old woman was hit by a vehicle while crossing Independence Avenue at West 235th Street around 8 a.m. last Thursday, It is understood that emergency personnel rushed her to the hospital, where she was treated for leg and head injuries. She was later discharged. Commanding officer of the 50th Precinct Captain Kevin Burke said that according to the driver’s testimony, the pedestrian was not walking in the crosswalk. The incident has shone the spotlight back on safety issues in the P.S. 24 and Riverdale/Kingsbridge Academy area. Locals have long argued that traffic-calming measures are desperately needed along the fiveblock stretch of Independence Avenue between West 232nd and West 237th streets because student lives are at risk. Community members have previously said motorists speed through the area, double-park, triple-park, block traffic and

recklessly dart in and out of the four-way stop sign outside the two schools. Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz said the latest accident was further proof that a Neighborhood Slow Zone was needed for the area. Upon hearing news of the crash, he fired off a letter to DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and urged her to hastily review his application for the zone. Late last year, Dinowitz called on city officials to designate Independence Avenue between West 232nd and West 246th streets as a slow zone, automatically lowering the area’s speed limit to 20 mph from the current 30 mph. “The dangers of this corridor have gone unchecked for far too long,” Dinowitz wrote in a letter dated February 2. “The pleas of our community must not be ignored any longer. The Department of Transportation must approve and implement our application for a Neighborhood Slow Zone as soon as possible, before another accident occurs.” Councilman G. Oliver Koppell, State Senator Adriano Espaillat, the 50th Precinct and the parents associations RKA, P.S 24 and Riverdale Temple Nursery

have also backed the plan. “It’s been on our radar, especially with the schools up there,” Captain Burke said, referring to the safety concerns with the busy thoroughfare. “I think it’s a very good candidate. I think a slow zone would only be sufficient.” In October, the Riverdale Review first reported that the city kicked off a 12-week comprehensive study of roads surrounding the two schools. It is understood that signal timing, signage, road markings and loading zones were being analyzed in the hope of improving traffic flow and children’s safety. Just two weeks ago, city officials reportedly placed wires at the four-way stop sign outside RKA to count the number of cars traveling through the area. Department of Transportation spokeswoman Nicole Garcia declined to say whether the Independence Avenue application was being fast-tracked in light of the latest developments. She said city officials were currently reviewing all requests and will inform successful applicants of their status in the spring. Garcia said designs for each new zone will be unveiled later in the year and that presenta-

tions will be made to local community boards. When asked about why the wires were laid down at the four-way stop sign, Garcia again declined to provide a response

and instead issued a one-sentence statement. “Safety is DOT’s top priority and the agency currently is studying the location for a traffic-control device,” she said.



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The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, February 9, 2012


Plans to posthumously honor educator and community leader Debbie Bowden By MIAWLING LAM Community members have proposed renaming the P.S. 24 library in memory of Debbie Bowden, a passionate education activist and longtime Riverdale resident. Community Board 8 member Marvin Goodman flagged the posthumous honor at last week’s education committee meeting, less than three days after Bowden’s passing. The idea was suggested after committee chair Sylvia Alexander asked for tribute suggestions. “I want to look into finding out if we can sponsor an award maybe by the borough president, or in some larger fashion…to honor her,” she said. Goodman said renaming the P.S. 24 library in Bowden’s memory would be a touching accolade, particularly significant as her grandchildren currently attend the school. Alexander, fellow member Robert Press and CB8 vice-chair Maria Khury all threw their support behind the idea and said the proposal would be further discussed at this month’s board meeting. Bowden, who passed away on Sunday, January 29, was a former speech and language teacher and P.S. 24 parents association president.

She was a long-serving CB8 member person who preferred to remain in the defunct Alexander Burger Junior High School in the South Bronx. and held the position of Girls Head background.” Counselor at Camp Delaware in Winsted, Councilman G. Oliver Koppell said al“A political leader urged that the school Connecticut, for nearly 30 years. though he admired Bowden and her stead- be renamed after a local person who hapWhen told of the latest proposal, CB8 fast dedication to education, he wasn’t pened to be Puerto Rican, but the Burger chair Robert Fanuzzi said he was willing willing to endorse the plan just yet. family raised objections,” he said. to support any initiative that ensured “She certainly was an active com“A lot of other people did as well, so as a Bowden’s legacy remained. munity resident who spent many years compromise, they named the auditorium He said others have suggested creating a on the community board, but we have after Alexander Burger. scholarship fund or tutoring program in her many active residents and I don’t know “DeWitt Clinton also named their name for students living in the community. whether she should be singled out,” he auditorium after Walter J. Degnan, a “We’ll make sure we involve everybody said. “I want to wait and see.” longtime principal of the school, so there BL195740 Job No.: and get as many tributes as possible. But Bronx Borough Historian Lloyd Ultan is a precedent in the naming of facilities NEWARK/E. RUTHERFORD/UNIONDALE Ad Size: Engagement City: we know that the more people hear about is aware of just two instances where Bronx within schools after people.” Debbie Bowden, the more they’ll see she’sAD public school facilities were renamed in Current P.S. 24 parents association TRADE Section: Media: worthy of a great honor,” he said. honor of local residents—and both were co-president Cori Worchel declined to “[We wantDate(s): to do] something that will awarded posthumously. comment on the renaming effort. “I Insertion suit Debbie’s lifelong commitment to He said around 20 years ago, an elected don’t know anything about it,” she said education and to help students who need official led an effort to rename the now- last week. that extra support.” Tributes have flowed in for Bowden since her passing. In a brief statement read out during last week’s education committee meeting, Bowden was described as a woman who participated in many endeavors to enhance the quality of life in Riverdale. “She always had the interests of children in the forefront of her undertakings,” the statement, written by Goodman, read. “She was always a very self-effacing


Controversial skating rink approved cessionaire will pay only 5 percent of gross receipts to the city in their first two years. In year three, the concessionaire will pay the city the higher of $25,000 or 5 percent of gross receipts. Each year, the minimum fee increases until year 15, when it reaches $44,800. Per common practice, all the revenue will go into the city’s general fund. Several board members raised concerns about public safety, the loss of parking spaces once construction starts and skating right next the rumble of the elevated subway. But CB8 parks committee chair Bob Bender said the rink’s fate now rests with Bronx residents. “The community gets the final vote on this rink and gets to vote with its feet and its dollars,” he said. “People can decide they don’t like this rink, they can decide it’s a transportation hazard or it’s a safety issue or it’s too noisy…but the community gets to vote.”

By MIAWLING LAM Authorities arrested two men during an attempted drug-related home invasion in Kingsbridge last week. Police confirmed the would-be robbers targeted an apartment building at 3424 Kingsbridge Avenue at around 3:15 a.m. on Monday, January 30. Ironically, the building is located just a stone’s throw from the local precinct. Commanding officer of the 50th Precinct Captain Kevin Burke said an alert neighbor thwarted the robbery by contacting 911, ensuring a swift police response. “We got the call in of suspicious people lingering inside an apartment building,” he said. “We had a chase in the building, and long story short, we find two gentlemen—one guy had latex gloves on, the other guy had cloth gloves—and we think they were about to commit a home invasion robbery.” Officers located a “very realistic looking” toy gun they believe the men ditched during the chase, and they charged both

suspects with possession of an imitation pistol and criminal trespass. Although both suspects have minor arrest histories, Burke said he suspected the attempted home invasion was drug-related. “What usually happens is that when they get wind of a stash-house where people are selling drugs or have drugs stored, every now and again in the 5-0 we get people taking advantage of that,” he said. “And that’s what we suspect happened here.” A longtime resident of the building, who requested anonymity for fear of retribution, said the latest arrest was just the tip of the iceberg. “This has been an ongoing problem,” the person said, adding that there have been two similar instances in the past three months. Neighbors were now fearful that more would-be criminals will continue to surface, the person said. “Everything is brushed under the rug, nobody does anything about it and it’s just pathetic.”

©2011 Feld Entertainment

Continued from Page 2 his group had begun discussing plans for a rink in July 2010. According to the proposed 15-year license agreement, the rink will operate the entire winter season from October 15 through March 30 and be run by Van Cortlandt Park Ice Rink LLC, a subsidiary of Ice Rink Events. The rink will measure 80 feet by 170 feet—just shy of an NHL regulation field—and be open daily from noon until 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Patrons will be charged a $5 admission fee Monday through Friday before 6 p.m. and $8 on Fridays after 6 p.m. and on weekends and holidays. Skate rental will always be $5. For the first two years, the rink will operate with temporary chillers, equipment that will be fenced off from the public at all times. Due to the high start-up costs, the con-

“MAGICAL” “WONDROUS” Local home invasion robbery foiled “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 9, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


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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.

Acclaimed organist Kathryn Jones performs on the 1830 Erben, accompanied by violin. For more information, contact David Osborn at 914-667-4116.

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.

Sunday, February 19 White Plains

WASHINGTON’S BIRTHDAY 1 p.m. Jacob Purdy House 60 Park Avenue Come one. Come all. Join the White Plains Historical Society in celebrating George Washington’s 280th Birthday. Colonial Music, Flag Raising, Ceremony, Revolutionary War Re-Enactors, Free Refreshments. The Public is Invited-Free Admission. For more information, call 914.328.1776 or Visit:

Saturday, February 25 Yonkers

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

HISTORY LECTURE 7 p.m. Beczak Environmental Education Center 35 Alexander Street Curious about the role the Hudson River played in the Underground Railroad? Learn about this little known aspect of local African American history at “River to Freedom! The Hudson River’s Role in the Underground Railroad”, a presentation with Cordell Reaves, NYS Office of Parks, Recreations and Historic Preservation. Reaves shares pictures and stories of former slaves who used the Hudson River to escape as well as everyday people in the Hudson Valley who assisted others in gaining their freedom. Fugitives from the Hudson Valley, New Jersey, Pennsylvania – as well as from the South – traveled through the lower New York State in big numbers. But how did they do it? Reaves, an expert on the Underground Railroad, has worked for the past 10 years with historic sites across New York State to help them interpret and preserve this part of history. Most recently, he has been working on increasing tourism to New York using the story of the Underground Railroad. For more information, call 914-377-1900 x13

Sunday, February 12

White Plains



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.

Wednesday, February 15 Mt. Vernon

ORGAN AND VIOLIN 1 p.m. St. Paul’s Church 897 S. Columbus Avenue

NEW URBAN JAZZ 8 p.m. Arts Westchester 31 Mamaroneck Avenue Vaneese Thomas is one of the great voices of our time and soul sister of the first rank. Daughter of R&B pioneer Rufus Thomas, Vaneese has brought her virtuoso vocal styling to hundreds of recordings. She will perform with her full band. For more information, contact Tom VanBuren at

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.

Wednesday, February 29 Mt. Vernon

CIVIL WAR LECTURE 1 p.m. St. Paul’s Church 897 S. Columbus Avenue A presentation about the connections of St. Paul’s Church N.H.S. to the Civil War, helping to mark the 150th anniversary of the conflict of 1861-65. For more information, contact David Osborn at 914-667-4116.

FAX letters to:

The Riverdale Review (718) 543-4206

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, February 9, 2012

Thursday, February 9

Thursday, February 9, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, February 9, 2012

Thursday, February 9, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



After last year’s successful pilot production of Little Mermaid Junior, RCT has been chosen to premiere two brandnew productions from Musical Theatre International, “Hairspray Junior” and “Seussical Kids.” Audition dates for spring performances are Thursday, February 16, from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at the Riverdale Jewish Center, 3700 Independence Avenue at 237th Street; Sunday, February 19, from noon to 4 the Riverdale/Kingsbrige Academy, 66 West 237th Street at Independence Avenue; and Thursday, February 23, from 4 to 6:30 p.m. again at the Riverdale Jewish Center. Children in grades 5 through 9 are invited to audition for “Hairspray Junior,” and children in grades 2 through 6, for “Seussical Kids.” All levels of experience are welcome. Prospective cast members should come prepared to perform a musical theater selection no more than one minute in duration and to learn a simple dance combination. “The Riverdale Children’s Theatre has demonstrated artistic excellence, along with a commitment to high educational values for their young artists,” John Prignano of Music Theatre

International said. “On the heels of their exceptional work on the pilot of Disney’s ‘Little Mermaid Junior’ last spring, we are excited that RCT will be one of the first organizations nationally to bring ‘Hairspray’ to middle school performers.” The Riverdale Children’s Theatre brings together children from different religious and cultural backgrounds to learn about themselves, each other, and the joy of performing. For more information about the auditions, rehearsals, show performance dates and other RCT programs, visit

Karl Pillemer to speak to benefit Riv. 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 aging-related 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) 8845900. Space is limited. Reservations are required. A stimulating evening is guaranteed.

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

Documentary film to be shown at CSAIR

The Kern Café Corner at the Riverdale Y seeks an energetic self starter to run our coffee service. We will train you and share the proceeds with you. Interested? Contact Sandy in the Volunteer Office at 718-548-8200 ext. 261. The Riverdale Y is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue. The Riverdale YM YWHA can always use extra hands for special events, street fairs and parties. Come in and become a member of our Volunteer Bank and help us out as needed when and if you can. Call Sandra at 718-548-8200, ext. 210; VOLUNTEER@ or pick up an application at the front desk. Thanks for volunteering at the Riverdale Y! The Y is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue.

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.

Volunteer with benefits at Riverdale Y

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, February 9, 2012

RCT auditions for Hairspray Junior and Seussical KIDS

Thursday, February 9, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Manning’s Law confounds the experts, inviting humility in business, sports, and life By IRA STOLL The victory of the New York Giants in the National Football League’s Super Bowl is the latest in a series of recent news developments that underscore a principle that might be called Manning’s Law, after the Giants quarterback Eli Manning: The predictions of “experts” are often wrong. You can look it up. Sports Illustrated, the venerable, highly profitable jewel of the Time Warner Corporation’s magazine empire, employs a veteran sportswriter named Peter King. The magazine describes him as “one of America’s premier pro football writers.” He’s written at least three books about football, and he’s been covering the sport professionally for more than 30 years. He’s on the board that picks members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Mr. King’s 2011 NFL preview predicted that the Giants wouldn’t even make the playoffs. I don’t mean to pick on Mr. King or on Sports Illustrated. What about ESPN, which is the Walt Disney Corporation’s entry in the sports journalism category? ESPN has not just one NFL expert but 12. Not a single one of the 12 experts in the ESPN NFL season preview picked the Giants to win the Super Bowl. Only one of the 12 even thought the Giants would make the playoffs. Andy Benoit writes about football for the New York Times and CBS Sports. His site bills itself as “the best NFL analysis and commentary on the planet.” His season preview didn’t pick the Giants to win the Super Bowl this year, either. Even on the eve of the game, the Las Vegas oddsmakers favored the New England Patriots to win, not the Giants. We expect a degree of chance and unpredictability in sports, which, after all, are just games. What about really important matters, such as the nation’s economy? On Friday, Politico’s “Morning Money” daily email led with its take on the job statistics that would come out that day from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. The first prediction cited was this: “Moody’s Analytics Mark Zandi emails: ‘The January employment report will be on the soft side. I expect payroll employment to increase by just over 100K and private sector employment to increase by 125k. Unemployment will edge higher to 8.6%.’” Mr. Zandi, who has a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, was an adviser to Senator McCain’s Republican presidential campaign who is also often described as President Obama’s favorite economist. His own web site describes him as “a trusted adviser to policymakers and an influential source of economic analysis for businesses, journalists and the public.” But his prediction for the January employment number was as spectacularly wrong as the NFL season previews by Sports Illustrated and ESPN. When the numbers came out Friday from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, they showed that rather than edging higher to 8.6%, as Mr. Zandi had predicted, the unemployment rate dropped, to 8.3%. And the non-farm payroll number grew 243,000, more than double what Mr. Zandi had predicted. What about the stock market? “Stocks Are Still Expensive” was the headline over a New York Times item posted August 4, 2011 by David Leonhardt, a Yale graduate and winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Commentary for what the Pulitzer Board called “his graceful penetration of America’s complicated economic questions.” Mr. Leonhardt’s “Stocks Are Still Expensive” item began, “The main problem for the stock market is obviously the economy. But it’s not the only problem. Stocks are also under pressure because they are fairly expensive right now relative to earnings.” It went on, “stocks would have to fall another 6 percent from their current level to return to the 50-year average.” The Times at one point that day was linking the item from its home page. Later in August 2011, Mr. Leonhardt was praised by Yale President Richard Levin as “but one of many visible examples of the profound way in which the liberal arts education you are about to experience can help you to develop the capacity to see the big Continued on Page 19

Time to stop the teacher bashing To The Editor: It has been said by many that there is no teacher evaluation program in place. We hear the same thing from our mayor. Well, I’m here to tell you that it is an outright untrue-ism. If we are to debate this issue, we all must know the facts from people in the field of education. As you can probably guess, I have a background in education and have 35 years of experience. I have risen through the ranks and seen every aspect of early childhood education—both public and private. Educating children is the most important job in the world. Every school I have ever worked in has had a system for evaluating teachers and I worked on both sides of that system, both as a teacher being evaluated and as an administrator who evaluated teachers. Teachers are evaluated formally several times a year and informally on a regular basis. The formal evaluations are extensive and include a prepared written lesson plan,

a formal observation of that lesson, a discussion of the lesson between teacher and administrator and a written evaluation of that lesson that is kept on file in the school. Administrators not only observe the lesson but they observe the physical classroom, the dynamics between teacher and students, questioning skills and too many aspects to list here. All of these things are discussed, the administrator makes suggestions for improvements and if needed, the administrator gives the teacher further help. In addition to formal observations, administrators will visit teachers on a drop-in basis. These observations are as important as the formal observations because it is here that an administrator sees what a teacher does during her daily routine. It is at this time that many problems become evident. At intervals throughout the school year, peer-to-peer observations are also scheduled where teachers can formally observe each other and offer recommen-

ANDREW WOLF, Editor and Publisher

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dations. It is an evaluation that encourages teachers to work together, help each other improve skills and share ideas. At the end of every school year, each teacher is evaluated on 23 points under the following categories: personal and professional qualities, pupil guidance and instruction, classroom management and participation in school and community activities. As you can see, there is already a rigorous teacher evaluation system in place. Teacher evaluation is not the reason our students are not learning. Our governor and mayor suggest, or rather demand, that teachers must be evaluated by the progress of their students. To do this would be unfair to teachers and it will not improve student progress because it is not the reason students are failing. For example, if a doctor instructs a diabetic patient to eat healthy foods, exercise and regularly take medicine but the patient does not follow the instructions and their health declines, whose fault is it? The doctor has no control over the will of their patient—they can only motivate and instruct. It is no different with a teacher and their students. In order for students to achieve, we must focus on the reasons why students fail and then offer solutions. Right now, no one, including the United Federation of Teachers, is addressing these problems. Continued on Page 19

By MIAWLING LAM Motorists will be able to use unexpired Muni-Meter time to park anywhere in the city without fear of being ticketed, under a new proposal introduced by city legislators. The City Council is currently debating the merits of a plan permitting drivers to transfer unused time from one parking spot to another after concerns were raised about inconsistent enforcement. Previously, Department of Transportation officials said drivers could use any remaining time on their Muni-Meter receipt at another location, even if it was in another borough. However, because judges and law enforcement agents often disagreed and continued to issue tickets, authorities are now backtracking and are proposing a caveat. “We are in the process of updating the rules to make clearer that Muni-Meter receipts may be used at additional locations, provided those areas have the same parking rates and regulations,” DOT spokesman Seth Solomonow said.

But that’s not enough to satisfy City Council transportation committee chair James Vacca. Last Wednesday, the Bronx elected official introduced legislation that would stamp out any confusion. “A person who purchases time at a Muni-Meter may use the start and end time any motor vehicle and at any parking space...where meter rules are in effect,” the amendment states. Vacca said he was compelled to lead the fight for the change after constituents contacted his office to complain about receiving tickets when they migrated their Muni-Meter receipts. “New York City now raises over $600 million a year from drivers through parking tickets and fines,” he said. “Many view the installation of Muni-Meters as another way for the city to increase revenue even though the city has consistently told us this was not the case. “My legislation makes it clear that we will not be nickel-and- quartering drivers, and they will be allowed to take excess

Manning’s Law confounds the experts Continued from Page 18 picture.” Mr. Leonhardt has since been promoted to Washington bureau chief of the Times. Since Mr. Leonhardt posted the “Stocks Are Still Expensive” item, the stock market, as measured by the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, rather than falling by 6% as the item predicted, has risen 12%. I’m not here to make fun of Messrs. Leonhardt, Zandi, and King, or the other experts. The point is that even smart,

experienced, and accomplished people can be wrong, which is why humility is so important, and elitism is so dangerous. Complex systems are hard to predict. Sure, it’s possible to take skepticism of expert authority too far. But the mistake made more commonly is listening to the experts. Eli Manning didn’t pay much attention to them, and look where it got him. Mr. Stoll, editor of, is author of “Samuel Adams: A Life.“

time with them to their next location.” Councilman G. Oliver Koppell threw his support behind the plan, saying drivers should be given freedom to use any unexpired time as long as they adhere to hourly limits. “I think it’s fine,” he said. A similar bill, sponsored by Brooklyn Assemblyman William Colton, is currently progressing through the ranks in Albany. Parking rates in The Bronx and outer boroughs are $1 an hour, compared to Manhattan, where fees spike to $3 below 96th Street and $1.50 between 96th Street and 110th Street. Meanwhile, Koppell said he disagreed with a plan to permit ticket enforcement agents to cancel parking tickets. Council Speaker Christine Quinn is

currently trying to change laws that would allow traffic agents to void an electronic ticket if a driver can show a Muni-Meter receipt that’s less than five minutes old. Currently, agents cannot cancel a ticket even if drivers can prove they were purchasing parking time, and the drivers must fight the fine afterward. Early signs suggest Mayor Michael Bloomberg will veto the change—he argues it exposes the system to abuse—but Quinn said she has the two-thirds majority necessary to override his rejection. “I don’t agree with meter maids being allowed to cancel a ticket,” Koppell said. “I think it could cause a lot of disputes and fights, and I think it’s a mistake.”

Stop bashing our teachers

Continued from Page 18 So, with my 35 years of experience and firm understanding of the problem, here are some suggestions that will surely make a difference: - Society must develop a deep respect for education, teachers and children. Put education first. - Hire people that are the best in the field and start from the top. Hiring Chancellors who require waivers shows that our politicians do not value education and educators. - Let teachers teach. A teacher’s creativity and motivation is being squelched by too many mandates. - Test preparation is important, but there is too much drilling and too much emphasis on test taking. Let’s teach in a hands-on way that will make children love learning.

- Make parent involvement mandatory. There is no reason why a parent cannot come to parent-teacher conferences twice a year especially when they can make appointments at times convenient for them. - Reduce class size and have a school wide plan of discipline that is clear to both parents and children. We must respect education enough to let teachers teach. Teachers should not be expected to act as parents, psychologists, policemen, dieticians or babysitters. The only way to improve our system is to stop the divisiveness, work together and start to find real solutions to the problems that face us. The future of our country depends on us being able to create a system of education that values excellence and produces lifelong learners. Mary Jane Musano


Early Childhood Center


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Tues.,Feb. 14, 2012 7:00 PM

19 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, February 9, 2012

Bronx politician calls for transferable Muni-Meter time

Thursday, February 9, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Riverdale Review, February 9, 2012  

Weekly newspaper published in Riverdale, NY 10471