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Riverdale’s ONLY Locally Owned Newspaper!

Volume XIX • Number 6 • February 16 - 22, 2012 •


Co-ops fear cost of city heating oil mandate By MIAWLING LAM Thousands of Riverdale landlords and co-op owners could be slugged hundreds of dollars in higher maintenance fees under a controversial heating oil conversion mandate. Under the mandatory phase-out, all residential buildings must switch from No. 6 heating oil to at least No. 4—a cleaner, but more expensive oil—by 2015. By 2030, buildings will be legally required to burn only No. 2 heating oil or natural gas. Mayor Michael Bloomberg and environmental activists trumpeted the landmark change and said it would clean the city’s air, but others are worried about the hefty conversion costs. Nearly every building in Riverdale currently burns No. 6 oil. Community Board 8 housing committee chairman Thomas Durham said because the legislation was unfunded, residents could suffer the financial burden of higher maintenance fees. “The expenses will come directly out of the pocket of shareholders,” he said. “The biggest grumbling is that they put this mandate on landlords and shareholders with no financial incentives upfront.”

He said New York State Energy Research and Development Authority ran out of funding for a program that was meant to help buildings convert, while Con Edison’s rebate scheme fails to cover the entire city by the 2015 deadline. To ensure compliance, buildings not only have to replace or convert their boilers, but also foot any tab relating to street work and the purchase of chimney sleeves and heating pipes. In the case of Durham’s building, which converted from No. 6 to a dual system of natural gas and No. 2 oil last summer, their chimney sleeve cost $90,000. The change is set to have such severe implications that Community Board 8 will hold a public forum to discuss the issues at a special meeting on Monday, February 27. The forum, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at the Manhattanville Health Care Center, will feature a panel of speakers including Steve Caputo from the Mayor’s Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability, Cameron H. Bard from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and Robert Carrano, the co-op board president of 3875 Waldo Avenue. “This impacts Community Board 8 directly, especially

Kingsbridge, South Riverdale, Van Cortlandt Village and Spuyten Duyvil,” Durham said. He added that the mandate couldn’t have come at a worse time, with many buildings still trying to pay fuel costs from last year’s harsh winter. Durham also criticized the city’s decision to pass the law quietly last August—a time when City Council members are on vacation and community boards are not in session. “When this mandate went from a proposal into a written executive order, which is actually mandated now, there was no loud screaming,” he said “It was timed that way so there was no rebuttal because there was nobody here to rebut or to make a lot of noise.” Council of New York Cooperatives and Condominiums Executive Director Mary Ann Rothman said the short turnaround time for compliance was also a major concern. “We protested, we begged and we pleaded with the city, saying 2012 to 2015 is much too soon to force people to stop burning No. 6 oil,” she said. But she added that if several buildings negotiate as Continued on Page 2

Angry drivers protest arbitrary rules for hated Muni-Meters By MIAWLING LAM Predatory parking ticket practices would be eliminated and traffic enforcement would be fairer, under a new proposal introduced by state legislators. The change, sponsored by Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, means parking violations would be dismissed immediately if motorists can produce a valid MuniMeter receipt time-stamped before or at the same time as the ticket was issued. Dinowitz said faults in the system meant overzealous traffic agents were currently issuing bogus tickets and law-abiding motorists were being wrongly fined even when they were purchasing time. In separate letters sent to the New York City Police Department and the Department of Finance last week, Dinowitz pleaded for a return to common sense and discretion. He also said constituents, such as Margot Stern, shouldn’t be forced to navigate the daunting judicial system and burdensome appeals process. Stern, a Riverdale resident, was slapped with a parking ticket on Riverdale Avenue at 2:17 p.m, despite having a Muni-Meter

receipt time-stamped 2:16 p.m. in her hand. Though she produced the original ticket, Dinowitz said, an administrative law judge initially found her guilty, and only on appeal was the violation dismissed. “It’s bad enough that too many traffic agents function as predators by issuing many tickets that are unjustified,” he said in a statement. “It’s even more outrageous that there are some parking violations bureau hearing officers who ratify this outrageous behavior by finding innocent motorists guilty of violations when they in fact complied with the law. “A person should not receive a ticket for failing to feed a Muni-Meter when they, in fact, have.” Senior Associate Broker at Exclusive Properties Sotheby’s International Realty Ellen Feld has also been forced to go through the appeals process. The realtor was ticketed on Riverdale Avenue after she accidentally placed her Muni-Meter receipt face down on her dashboard in May last year. “I pled not guilty and I provided the evidence of a photo of the

ticket, but the judge still decided I was guilty because of insufficient evidence,” she said.

Like Stern, Feld was able to have the violation tossed out after an appeal, but not until more

than four months later. “It was just too much aggravaContinued on Page 9

Riverdale real estate agent Ellen Feld was ticketed after she accidentally placed her Muni-Meter receipt face down. She eventually had her guilty ruling overturned after a four-month legal battle.

Thursday, February 16, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Schools offer help to maintain Van Cortlandt Park Memorial Grove By MIAWLING LAM Students from three Bronx colleges could be recruited to help clean up the Memorial Grove by raking leaves and picking up strewn tree branches. The latest effort to seek out volunteers from the Navy, Army and Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps will ensure that the beleaguered memorial does not fall into disrepair once it is refurbished. President of the Van Cortlandt Park Memorial Grove Restoration Group Herb Barret said ROTC units from Manhattan College, SUNY Maritime College and Fordham University were approached earlier this month. The Korean War veteran, who came up with the idea over the winter, is aiming to schedule each college at a different time to maintain upkeep. “The grove is going to be done, and it had lack of maintenance in the past. So maybe if we can encourage the area’s colleges to do something, it’ll be great,” he said. “We’re essentially looking for some maintenance help to do a little upkeep once the monuments are back on board.” Barret, who has been fighting for the memorial’s renovation with WWII veteran and close friend Don Tannen since 2006,

Heating oil Continued from Page 1 one buying unit, high-pressure natural gas lines could be brought to locations at minimal cost. In fact, she said, the system could pay itself off within five years. “There are considerable expenses involved inside the building and converting it to gas. But right now, gas costs are so much less than any of the oil that it makes a lot of sense,” she said. “Once the gas lines are at the building, it’s probably a payback of three to five years.” As of press time, repeated calls and emails to Association of Riverdale Cooperatives and Condominiums President Stephen Budihas were unreturned. However, in a statement on the ARC website, the group estimates the conversion costs could easily top six figures per building. “Shareholders in all cooperatives will suddenly be faced with the unforeseen costs of conversion, which may include running new gas lines, adding new boiler equipment, re-lining chimneys, etc., and can easily exceed the $100,000 mark regardless of which option they choose,” it states. At meeting organized by ARC last May, nearly 10 co-op building managers voted to explore natural gas heating options and negotiate as a buying unit when dealing with Con Edison. However, it is unclear what has transpired since that unprecedented meeting.

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said the trio of colleges was chosen so military ties are maintained. “If you’re in The Bronx, why not come over and do something in The Bronx and in the middle of a somewhat military area? It’s somewhat connected,” he said. Van Cortlandt Park administrator Margot Perron said any volunteers would be greatly appreciated. “The raking of leaves is constant. We always need help with that,” she said. “It’s a huge park. We can never have enough volunteers, so we’re always welcoming them.” Created in 1949, the Memorial Grove honors 39 local soldiers killed or missing in action in World War II and the Korean War.

However, a bid to restore the oncedilapidated memorial has hit multiple hurdles, with the latest setback involving the current contractor bungling the new plaques and construction of the boundary fence. 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 three benches will be installed to further distinguish the area as a place of reverence. Manhattan College Air Force ROTC Professor Lieutenant Colonel Tim McCaffrey said although he has yet to issue a

call-out for volunteers, he supported the idea in principle. There are roughly 75 students enrolled in the program. “I can’t guarantee that they’ll all be available, but we want to do something,” he said. “I think most of them will be happy to help with anything. It’s in our neighborhood and there’s a military tie, so it’s something they’ll be proud of.” SUNY Maritime College assistant marine officer instructor Gunnery Sergeant Anthony Macias said he, too, was willing to assist in whatever way he could. He suggested creating a weekly rotating schedule when each of the roughly 20 students enrolled in the naval program could help with the cleanup effort.

FreshDirect deal will bring 3,000 jobs to The Bronx munity feel that their concerns are not genuinely being taken into account.” Bettina Damiani of Good Jobs New York, a local advocacy group, also led a rally in lower Manhattan on Tuesday morning to protest the move. “The proposed project would bring more heavy diesel truck traffic to our already high asthma-inflicted communities and, despite representations made to the media, fails to guarantee any new jobs, much less living wage jobs, for South Bronx residents,” she said. “South Bronx residents demand equitable and environmentally sustainable economic development proposals that are developed democratically and that create jobs at a living wage.” For its part, FreshDirect, the Bronx Borough President’s Office and the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation reached a memorandum of understanding on Monday on issues such as hiring and job training, vendor referrals, expanding service areas into additional areas in The Bronx and accepting EBT/Food Stamp benefits. The company currently does not accept food stamps and delivers only to three zip codes in the northern Bronx. According to the hiring protocols set out in the five-page document, Bronx residents will be actively sought to fill any vacant positions. However, they will not be guaranteed any jobs. “The Company agrees work with BOEDC to develop and execute a hiring protocol that seeks out qualified unemployed persons in The Bronx to work at the facility,” the hiring protocol states. “For non-union job titles, the company

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, February 16, 2012

By MIAWLING LAM What began as an innocuous announcement about FreshDirect relocating to The Bronx has become a storm in a teacup. Just last week, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the Queens-based company would build its new 500,000-square-foot headquarters at the Harlem River Yards in the South Bronx. State and city officials, who sealed the deal by offering nearly $130 million in tax incentives and subsidies, said the move would further revitalize The Bronx. They also predicted the move would create nearly 1,000 new jobs—the company already employs 2,000—and lead to the hiring of 684 construction workers. But less than a week later, some Bronx residents and advocacy groups are concerned about the lack of public input and misuse of taxpayer funds. Manhattan City Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito even attempted, albeit unsuccessfully, to postpone an official vote on whether the city should offer FreshDirect about $84 million in tax breaks and subsidies. In a letter to the NYC Industrial Development Agency, Mark-Viverito pleaded for the agency’s vote to be delayed so residents could offer their thoughts on the proposal. “To hold a public hearing after an agreement was already announced in the press, and then schedule a final vote just a few days later, makes the city’s agreement with FreshDirect seem like nothing short of a done deal,” she wrote. “Members of the surrounding com-


will make its best efforts to ensure that a minimum of 30 percent of all new hires reside in The Bronx.” Meanwhile, the Bronx Chamber of Commerce weighed in on Monday and issued a statement supporting the relocation. “FreshDirect’s move will provide additional opportunities for the members of my Chamber to interface with another growing Bronx entity that is in need of their products and services,” he said. “We encourage the City of New York to move forward with their support and welcome FreshDirect to The Bronx.” FreshDirect’s new $112.6 million stateof-the-art facility is scheduled to open in the South Bronx by 2015.

Marble Hill Family Practice

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Around the schools... P.S. 24

In observance of Random Acts of Kindness Week, students, parents and staff members who feel they were treated kindly by someone are writing about their experiences and posting their descriptions on a bulletin board in the main lobby.

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.

Horace Mann School

The Scholastic Art and Writing Contest/Alliance for Young Artists and Writers has awarded “gold keys” to senior Elizabeth Weingold and junior Colin Mark for their original plays. The HM students were among only 375 winners out of 108,000 submissions. Weingold’s one-act play, “Mazel Tov,” was performed last week at Horace Mann’s Black Box Theatre.

Kinneret Day School

At last week’s annual fifth-grade Invention Convention, students displayed their innovative projects and described the challenges of creating them. Tomer Poole-Dayan’s “Laundry Made Easy” contraption is able to transfer laundry from a hamper into a basket, eliminating the need for human handling. “Who wants to touch dirty laundry?” asked the inventor. Deborah Haimowitz’s “Adjustable Spin Art Bowl,” a battery-operated device that spins around, creates unique designs as paint is added. Jessica Gruboy’s “Top Pot” prevents plants from being knocked over. Elinor Poole-Dayan’s “E-Z Brush” includes a cloth placed over the bristles, making it easy to remove any captured hair. Katarina Berezovsky’s “Magical Tubes” comprise a three-in-one container for shampoo, conditioner and body wash.

College of Mt. St. Vincent

The community is invited to attend a free seminar on “Olympic Games: World Impact” next Thursday, February 23, at 4 p.m. in Science Hall, room 101. The event launches the college’s Center for International Studies spring calendar. Visiting Instructor Jonathan Rosenberg of the department of business and economics will present a brief history of the Olympics with an emphasis on how the games affect the world in the areas of sports, business, politics, and society.

States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2010, and he served as chair of Catholic Relief Services from 2009 to 2010. College President Dr. Brennan O’Donnell said, “We are honored and delighted that Cardinal Dolan will be with us to celebrate this great day in the life of the college. He has a deep affection for and appreciation of the work of Catholic education at all levels and has been a wise counselor and pastor to the Colleges and Universities in his diocese. His becoming an honorary alumnus of Manhattan College represents the continuance of a great history of faithful, collaborative work between the college and the Church in New York City.”

Local Scholars

The State University of New York at New Paltz has announced that the following students were named to the dean’s list for the fall 2011 semester: Sabrina Berfas, a communication studies major; Melissa Nolan, a communication media major; Lori-Anne Wallen, a sociology major; Angie Alva, a childhood education major; Daniel Berger, a music major; Justin Blau Edelstein, a possible communication media major; Krystal Lindsay, an early childhood education major; Justin Pando, a communication studies major; Andrew Sanchez, a possible finance major; Tyler Stevens, a communication studies major; and Nicole Whyne, who has not declared a major. To qualify for the dean’s list, students must achieve a GPA of at least 3.3 while taking a full-time course load. SUNY New Paltz, located ninety miles from New York City, enrolls 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students. It offers an extraordinary number of majors in the areas of business, liberal arts and sciences, engineering, fine and performing arts, and education. Sienna College in Loudonville, New York, has announced that Laura Urena, a social work major, was named to the dean’s list for the fall 2011 semester. To achieve this distinction, students must maintain a GPA of at least 3.5. Siena College is a Franciscan Catholic institution that advances the ideals of a liberal arts education. It enrolls 3,000 undergraduates in more than 1,200 program combinations from 27 majors and 47 minor and certificate programs on its 176-acre campus located two miles north of Albany. Students engage in a highly personalized education and are challenged in a way that prepares them for a lifetime of extraordinary achievement.

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Manhattan College

The keynote address at the college’s May commencement will be Cardinal-designate Timothy M. Dolan, archbishop of New York since 2009. Dolan will formally be elevated to cardinal on February 18 by Pope Benedict XVI. He will receive an honorary doctorate during the ceremony. During his tenure as archbishop, Dolan has guided the diocese in the Catholic faith and teachings. His fellow bishops elected him president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2010, and he served as chair of Catholic Relief Services from 2009 to 2010. College During his tenure as archbishop, Dolan has guided the diocese in the Catholic faith and teachings. His fellow bishops elected him to president of the United


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Thursday, February 16, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



By MIAWLING LAM Officers from the 50th Precinct slapped drivers with 10 times more tickets for tinted windows than for speeding last year, new data shows. Official NYPD statistics also reveal the precinct issued the fourth-lowest number of moving violations across the five boroughs and the fewest in The Bronx. Data obtained by the Riverdale Review shows the 5-0, which covers Riverdale, Kingsbridge and Marble Hill, issued 6,116 moving summonses in 2011 at an average of around 118 tickets per week. In comparison, the precinct issued nearly 30 percent more summonses, or 8,690 tickets, in 2010. According to a breakdown, more than 1,250 drivers were nabbed for using a cellphone while behind the wheel—the most common offense—while 1,055 motorists were ticketed for failing to wear a seatbelt. And while 193 motorists were ticketed for driving with tinted windows, just 18 people were booked for speeding last year. Commanding officer of the 50th Precinct Captain Kevin Burke defended the minimal numbers. He said few speeding tickets were doled out in 2011 because only two officers were trained to use the necessary equipment. “We didn’t have a lot of officers trained,” he said. “We recently got some slots available and two [more] officers are getting trained for it, so it’s something we’re going to enforce in the future—especially up on Broadway as you’re heading into Yonkers. “Once you get past 242, it become almost like an open roadway. Speed kills, and

it’s something we need to focus on.” Captain Burke said 10 speeding tickets have already been issued in the past two weeks—more than half of last year’s entire number—and that once the fourth officer, who will be trained by early spring, hits the road, enforcement will be stepped up. Under the Saving Lives Through Better Information Bill, the police department is required to provide monthly data on both traffic crashes and summonses for each of the city’s 76 precincts. Citywide, the 5-0 issued the fourth-

lowest number of moving violations last year, behind only the Central Park precinct (4,574), the 72nd Precinct in Brooklyn (5,898) and the 100th Precinct in Queens (5,959). And unlike other precincts in the city, just three officers from the 5-0 are assigned full-time to the traffic safety program. Explaining how drivers are nabbed, Captain Burke said officers are usually dispatched to a number of key locations within the precinct. “What we do is deploy unmarked cars

that kind of blend in and really just parking on the side of the street,” he said. “People are so distracted talking on a cell phone that if you sat at 231 and Broadway, it’s like fish in a barrel. Even though everybody knows you have all these hands-free devices, people still talk on their cell phone while driving.” Among the other summonses doled out are 373 for failing to signal, 17 for performing an illegal U-turn and two each for following too closely and failing to bear right.

New consumer initiatives to empower elderly

By MIAWLING LAM Seniors will be taught how to protect themselves against fraudulent scams, bogus telemarketers and identity theft following the launch of two new outreach initiatives. State officials announced the Senior Consumer Information Hotline, a 24-hour toll-free recording, and The Informed Consumer, a monthly advice column, at the Hebrew Home at Riverdale on Monday. Both initiatives aim to educate vulnerable New Yorkers, particularly seniors, and help them avoid falling victim to misleading business practices. Speaking in front of more than 50 seniors and caregivers, New York Secretary of State Cesar A. Perales said the program was an unprecedented move by the government. “This is the first time any state has been able to pull this off,” he said, adding that both media will reach at least 10 million New Yorkers.

“To create a vehicle both by telephone and in local newspapers so we can get our message out to protect our consumers, particularly the elderly, is a tremendous opportunity and something we hope to take advantage of in the future.” According to estimates from the Federal Trade Commission, one in five seniors falls victim to fraud each year. Latest census data also reveals that more than 200,000 seniors in New York were hit by fraud in 2008, losing more than $70 million in total. Of that, The Bronx accounted for $10.2 million. Under the new program, seniors will be able to dial the toll-free number and listen to recordings about issues such as scam prevention, estate planning and ways to protect personal information. Recordings will be available in English and Spanish. A monthly news column published in free community newspapers and distributed across the state will supplement

information provided via the hotline. New York state will back the program, but the American Association of Retired Persons, New York State Office for the Aging, the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Center for Elder Abuse at the Hebrew Home and the Free Community Papers of New York will be partners in the initiative. President and CEO of the Hebrew Home Daniel Reingold touted the statewide collaboration and said it would help solve the systemic and epidemic issue of elder abuse. “This is a creative solution to help elderly people reach out and understand what’s going on,” he said. “Until we get to a place where more elders are using computers and getting more information from computers, this is a very good use of the telephone and print media.” The Senior Consumer Information Hotline number is 800-503- 9000, and a full list of newspapers set to publish the column is available at

5 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, February 16, 2012

Seatbelts and cellphones, not speeding, top traffic violations

NY 10471; Call 718-548-3800 or email

now. Channel Productions crisscrosses the globe in search of the true story behind one of the most difficult diplomatic achievements of the 20th Century. For more info., contact Hebrew Institute of Riverdale Lower Level Beit Midrash - 3700 Henry Hudson Parkway, Bronx. Light refreshments, $5 suggested donation. DVDs for sale at a discount.

Mom’s night out at Riverdale Temple

Karl Pillemer to speak for benefit of Riv. Senior Services

Thursday, February 16, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


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

RNH starting a group for boys

The Riverdale Neighborhood House is starting a group for middle school boys. Guy Time is a FREE informal teen mentor group for middle school boys, in collaboration with the high school participants at the teen center. The boys will be able to participate

in a variety of activities, including pool, Foosball, basketball, games, and more. Group Name: Guy Time Time: Every Friday from 3:00 - 7:00, Start Date: Feb. 17th. Place: RNH Teen Center Facilitator and contact person: Jerome Harris, 718-549-8100 ext. 127 Riverdale Neighborhood House is located at 5521 Mosholu Avenue.

Upcoming events at Riverdale Temple

Riverdale Temple Tot Shabbat! Friday, February 17th. Come sing, dance, learn, and do a craft project with Rabbi Lewis and Inbal Sharett. Open to children 6 and under and their families. Tot Shabbat begins at 5:30 pm in the West Lounge of Riverdale Temple, 4545 Independence Avenue Riverdale, NY 10471. Call 718548-3800 ext. 0 for further details. Lunch and Learn with Rabbi Lewis. Tuesday, February 28th, noon-1:30pm at Riverdale Temple, downstairs in the Social Hall. 4545 Independence Ave. Riverdale, NY 10471, 718-548-3800 Adult Education with Steve Altarescu at Riverdale Temple, Thursday, February 23rd, 7:30-9pm 4545 Independence Ave. Riverdale, NY 10471, 718-548-3800. Wine, Cheese, & Karaoke at Riverdale Temple Saturday, February 18th, 2012 @ 7pm in the Social Hall. Come sing and enjoy wine, cheese, friends and lots of fun! Only $10. Riverdale Temple 4545 Independence Avenue Riverdale,

Mom’s night out at Riverdale Temple. ONLY $5!!! Saturday, February 18th! Held on Saturday nights once per month in the downstairs lounge. ONLY $5!!! Come join in the fun at anytime during the event. 7:30-8 is a guided discussion, 8-11 social time (varies per month) Enjoy game nights, book discussions, craft projects, drinks (BYOB) and snacks (pot-luck). This Saturday we will be pampering your hands with a Mary Kay product called Satin Hands! ONLY $5!!! At Riverdale Temple 4545 Independence Avenue Riverdale, NY 10471; Call 718-548-3800 or email for upcoming dates, times, and other details.

Film Night at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale

FILM NIGHT - ‘Back Door Channels: The Price of Peace’ - 7:30pm this Saturday night, February 18. Emmy Award winning Director Harry Hunkele will introduce the film and facilitate a discussion. This is the true story of the 1979 Camp David Peace Accord and Treaty between Egypt and Israel. It is a tale of secret missions, internal power struggles and diplomatic brinkmanship by a cast of characters never before revealed - until

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) 884-5900. Space is limited. Reservations are required. A stimulating evening is guaranteed.

Community cooking at Riverdale Y

On Sunday, February 19th from 10:30 am - 1:30 pm, the Riverdale Y is offering the community different skills to cook fresh, healthy food. Join Chef Danielle Rehfeld and be prepared to actively prep, cook, and taste recipes made from seasonal winter produce. Students will work in small teams preparing simple, flavorful recipes you can easily replicate at home. Danielle Rehfeld is a NY based chef and writer. A Riverdale native, she attended the Institute of Culinary Education, completed her externship at Daniel, and went on to work at Eleven Madison Park. Cost for the event is $25 plus $15 food/supply fee. Class is limited to 10 people. The Riverdale Y is under the supervision of the Vaad of Riverdale. For information, contact Marilyn Raider at To register, call (718) 548-8200, ext. 201. The Riverdale Y is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue.

For the last five years, Manhattan College has worked to expand fair trade to campus as part of the College’s commitment to social responsibility, and as a result, will be the first college in New York City to receive Fair Trade College status. On Thursday, Feb. 16, a steering committee from Fair Trade Colleges and Universities in partnership with Fair Trade USA will honor Manhattan College with a certificate of achievement at a gathering on campus at 3:30 p.m. in Café 1853. ‘Campus ministry and social action, along with the student group JustPeace have been raising awareness about fair trade since 2007,’ said Gwendolyn A. Tedeschi, Ph.D., assistant professor of economics. ‘But this year, working with a great and diverse group of people across campus, including Gourmet Dining and the eFollett Bookstore, we’ve brought our fair trade campaign to a new level.’ The Manhattan College community is dedicated to globally reducing poverty and building sustainable businesses by carrying fair trade products within all campus dining halls, restaurants, cafes and the bookstore. The majority of fair trade-certified products in the United States are monitored by Fair Trade USA, a nonprofit 501(c) 3 organization that manages transactions between U.S. companies and international suppliers. Through

a regimented process, Fair Trade USA ensures farmers and workers receive fair prices and wages, work in safe conditions, and provide tools, training and resources to help a community thrive. ‘Fair trade practices respect human dignity and are committed to social justice, important elements of our mission,’ said Lois Harr, director of campus ministry and social action and adjunct instructor of religious studies. ‘As a Fair Trade College, we can put our values into action everyday in clear and concrete ways.’ In order to educate students and employees further on the importance of fair trade, the College has also made a conscientious effort to schedule lectures, guest speakers, film screenings and tastings of fair trade products throughout campus. For example, the College’s campus ministry and social action department hosted two presentations on fair trade coffee farming in El Salvador and Mexico. In addition, professors have also added the subject of fair trade in the classroom and led discussions on fair trade within international studies, sociology, economics and M.B.A. courses. In particular, one student conducted a research project on marketing fair trade products at the College, and three M.B.A. students won second place in a national competition for a case study on Equal Exchange: Trading Fairly and Making a Profit. Along with making students aware of fair trade, the College hosted a faculty

development session on the topic in October. As a whole, the College has conveyed the message of fair trade through several channels, such as the student-run newspaper, the alumni e-newsletter and social media channels. ‘Catholic Relief Services (CRS) congratulates Manhattan College in its achievement of Fair Trade College status, and we at CRS have been gratified to witness the deepening commitments the College has made to fair trade principles as a demonstration of Lasallian tradition and engagement with CRS programming,’ said Jackie DeCarlo, manger of CRS domestic programs. ‘By involving students, administrators and faculty in a series of awareness-building and learning activities, as well as working steadfastly on procurement policies that focus on farmers, the College has distinguished itself both as a Catholic educational institution and important CRS ally.’ As part of the Feb. 16 Fair Trade Colleges status event, Brennan O’Donnell, Ph.D., president of Manhattan College, will accept the certificate on behalf of the College. He will also make a few remarks on the importance of the College’s longstanding mission to social justice through promoting fair trade all over campus and the local community. Members of the media who would like to cover the event should call Liz Connolly Bauman, assistant director of communications at Manhattan Col-

Open Houses for TI Charter School

Our next TI Charter School open house will be Wednesday, February 22 late afternoon of this week from 5-6 PM at the Kingsbridge Library at 291 W231 Street. We have another in February and have added two more open houses in March. Tech International Charter School is looking for students now in grade 5 to be part of our middle school which opens in August 2012. See our website of http:// for more info! We also have over 10 jobs posted on our website under Career Opportunities. Children welcome at our open houses. Our complete schedule for now is: WED 2/22 6-7 • THURS 3/1 5-6 • WED 3/14 6-7 at Kingsbridge Library 291 W231st Street.

Mommy, Daddy & Me at Riverdale Temple

Riverdale Temple Mommy, Daddy & Me group meets every Thursday and Sunday from 10am to 11am in our new playroom off of the 3rd floor library. Enjoy a snack and socialization with neighborhood moms, dads, and children ages birth to 3! Storytime, music and movement, guest speakers, and more! Only $20 each session. Call 718-548-3800 ext. 0 for details.

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 Tuesday, February 21 Cardiology Associates, 9:00 am – noon 2711 Henry Hudson Parkway Bronx, NY 10463

Upcoming Health Seminar Tuesday, February 28 Heart Month Lecture Series Monroe College, 1:00 pm

Wednesday, February 22 Cardiology Associates, 9:00 am – noon Tuesday, February 28 Monroe College, 8:30 am – 2:30 pm 434 Main Street New Rochelle, NY 10801 For more information about heart month events, please call 1-800-MD-MONTE or visit

7 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, February 16, 2012

Manhattan College to receive Fair Trade College status

lege, at (718) 862-7232 or email 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.

Thursday, February 16, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Thursday, February 16 Kingsbridge

BABY LAPSIT 10:30 a.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Stories, songs, fingerplays, puppets for babies ages birth36 months for parents and caregivers. For more information, call 718-548-5656.


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.


CINEMA THURSDAY 2 p.m. Riverdale Branch Library 5540 Mosholu Avenue Screening of the film, “Inception,” featuring Leonardo DiCaprio. 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.


CB8 MEETING 7 p.m. 50th Police Precinct 3450 Kingsbridge Avenue Meeting of the Public Safety Committee of Community Board 8. For more information, call 718-884-3959.


DOCUMENTARY FILM 7:45 p.m. Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel 475 West 250th Street A free screening of the award-winning documentary, “Ahead of Time.” For more information, call 718-543-8400 or visit

3700 Henry Hudson Parkway Emmy Award winning Director Harry Hunkele will introduce the film, “Back Door Channels: The Price of Peace,” and facilitate a discussion. Light refreshments, $5 suggested donation. DVDs for sale at a discount.

Sunday, February 19 Riverdale

COMMUNITY COOKING 10:30 a.m. Riverdale YM-YWHA 5625 Arlington Avenue Join Chef Danielle Rehfeld and be prepared to actively prep, cook, and taste recipes made from seasonal winter produce. For information, contact Marilyn Raider at mraider@riverdaley. org. To register, call (718) 548-8200, ext. 201.


ARTIST RECEPTION 2 p.m. Ethical Culture Society 4450 Fieldston Road 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. Reception: Feb. 19, 2 p.m. For more information, visit or call718-548-4445.

Tuesday, February 21 Van Cortlandt

AFTERNOON STORYTIME 3 p.m. Van Cortlandt Branch Library 3874 Sedgwick Avenue Children between the ages of 3 and 6 are invited to our branch for Afternoon Storytime. For more info, call 718-543-5150.

Spuyten Duyvil

WINTER VACATION STORYTELLING 4 p.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 West 235th Street Stories for children ages 5 to 12 presented by the children’s librarian. For more information, call 718-796-1202.

Wednesday, February 22 Kingsbridge

TODDLER STORY TIME 11 a.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Stories, songs, fingerplays, puppets for children ages 18-36 months for parents and caregivers. For info, call 718-548-5656.


FUN FRIDAY 3:30 p.m. Riverdale Branch Library 5540 Mosholu Avenue XBOX Kinect, Wii and Board games of all types and all skill levels. For more information, call 718-549-1212.

TODDLER DANCE PARTY 11:30 a.m. Riverdale Branch Library 5540 Mosholu Avenue Toddlers and their caregivers are invited to the Riverdale Branch to get their groove on. We will Hokey Pokey and Have an actively good time. Shakers and dance scarves will be provided. Parents and caregivers are expected to participate. For more information, call 718-549-1212.


Spuyten Duyvil


Van Cortlandt

Saturday, February 18


Friday, February 17 Riverdale

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. TOT SHABBAT 5:30 p.m. Riverdale Temple 4545 Independence Avenue Come sing, dance, learn, and do a craft project with Rabbi Lewis and Inbal Sharett. Open to children 6 and under and their families. Call 718-548-3800 ext. 0 for further details.


MOM’S NIGHT OUT 7:30 p.m. Riverdale Temple 4545 Independence Avenue 7:30-8 is a guided discussion, 8-11 social time (varies per month) Enjoy game nights, book discussions, craft projects, drinks (BYOB) and snacks (pot-luck). Call 718-548-3800 or email for upcoming dates, times, and other details.


FILM NIGHT 7:30 p.m. Hebrew Institute of Riverdale

YU-GI-OH 12 p.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 West 235th Street Bring your best cards to slug it out at the Spuyten Duyvil Library Yu-Gi-Oh tournament. Grand prize is a tin of the newest cards and runners-up receive prizes as well. For more information, call 718-796-1202. ARTS & CRAFTS 3:30 p.m. Van Cortlandt Branch Library 3874 Sedgwick Avenue Come to the Library this Winter and participate in arts & crafts projects. Parental supervision is required for children 5 years and under. For more information, call 718-543-5150. 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.


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

City tries to ‘ramp up’ Fieldston it was just a mix-up on their part.” A DOT spokeswoman refused to answer specific questions relating to the misunderstanding and instead issued a brief statement. “A city contractor in the area surveyed the location for future pedestrian ramps,” she said. “Once it was determined to be a private street, surveying was discontinued.” Pedestrian ramps exist throughout the city to assist individuals with disabilities, particularly those who use wheelchairs, to move around their neighborhoods.


Continued from Page 1 tion and too much time,” she said. “The time that it took up, administratively, was insane.” For her part, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is trying to change laws so that traffic agents would be allowed 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 motorists 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. Councilman G. Oliver Koppell has previously expressed reservations with the plan, saying it could cause disputes and fights.


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The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, February 16, 2012

By MIAWLING LAM Department of Transportation officials tried to build at least two pedestrian ramps in the exclusive enclave of Fieldston. Authorities confirmed planners surveyed intersections at West 250th Street and Fieldston Road and at West 250th Street and Goodridge Avenue earlier this month in an attempt to install the safety measure. However, they were forced to ditch their bid after realizing they were on a private street. Fieldston is privately owned, meaning that streets and common areas are maintained and operated by the Fieldston Property Owners’ Association rather than by New York City. FPOA President Stephen Boatti described the situation as unusual and said it was certainly a first during his six years on the board. He said patrol cars spotted DOT crews canvassing the location roughly two weeks ago and discovered the city’s blueprints called for pedestrian ramps at both corners. According to Boatti, neither location is particularly dangerous or has been the site of any traffic or pedestrian incidents. “I’m not sure why the DOT were looking at that location,” he said. “I suspect they didn’t realize it was a private street and just drove around and said, ‘Oh, here’s a corner that doesn’t have a pedestrian ramp. Let’s put one in.’” “We were very surprised. They generally know they are private streets. I think


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Riverdale Rising Stars Jr. Presents

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Saturday, February 18 at 8:00pm

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 718-5436527. But feel free to stop by on the spur of the moment to help make a difference in your neighborhood.

Dinowitz opposes Indian Point safety exemption

Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz (DBronx) and ten other legislators filed a proposed amicus brief challenging an exemption from fire safety requirements granted to Indian Point’s operator, Entergy. The brief was filed in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Brodsky v. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (‘NRC’). The brief opposes the NRC’s granting the safety exemption without holding a required public hearing on the matter. Indian Point is located in Westchester

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Senior center offers indoor classes

The Riverdale Y is offering some new indoor classes to the community at the Simon Senior Center. On Tuesdays at 10am- there will be a Chess Club. This is a class for anyone who is interested in learning or who wants to participate in a game of chess. On Wednesdays at 10 am the Y has a Walking Club - Indoors. Join us for 20-30 minutes of walking and meeting new friends. On Thursdays at 10:15 Am, the Y has a Beginners Spanish Class. All of these classes are free and are open to seniors 60 years old and older. A warm and nutritious lunch to follow all morning classes. For more information please call Toby at 718-548-8200, ext. 223. The Y is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue.

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By MIAWLING LAM Selling fair trade coffee and chocolate simply didn’t suffice for Manhattan College. Officials from the Lasallian educational institution recently announced the college had become the first in New York City to receive fair trade certification. The school will be officially granted their Fair Trade College status at a ceremony sanctioned by the Fair Trade Colleges and Universities on Thursday, February 16, at 3:30 p.m. Under the designation, Manhattan College will carry a selection of fair trade products within its campus dining halls, restaurants, cafes and bookstore. Manhattan College President Dr. Brennan O’Donnell said he was proud of the designation. “Being the first college in the city and only the fifth in the nation to achieve fair trade status demonstrates that Manhattan College continues to be forward-thinking in the fulfillment of its mission,” he said. “The college has always been a strong advocate for social justice and is constantly asking what it means to act justly as an institution in an increasingly complex global environment.” Assistant professor of economics Dr. Gwendolyn A. Tedeschi said the college has pulled out all stops to expand access to fair trade products for the past five years. She enumerated some of the products already available at various campus establishments: Starbucks Cafe Estima, Ben and Jerry’s vanilla ice cream, Green Mountain coffee, Divine Chocolate, a variety of fruits, and handicrafts.

“Campus ministry and social action, along with the student group JustPeace, have been raising awareness about fair trade since 2007,” she said. “But this year, working with a great and diverse group of people across campus, including Gourmet Dining and the eFollett Bookstore, we’ve brought our fair trade campaign to a new level.” She said as part of the Fair Trade College status, the school must continually expand their offerings, and she predicted that in the next year desserts made with fair trade vanilla, sugar and chocolate would be on the menu. Director of campus ministry and social action Lois Harr said the certification recognizes Manhattan College’s commitment to social responsibility. “Fair trade practices respect human dignity and are committed to social justice—important elements of our mission,” she said. “As a Fair Trade College, we can put our values into action every day in clear and concrete ways.” The fair trade movement, which began in the aftermath of World War II, aims to provide farmers in developing countries with better trading conditions and promotes sustainability. It also ensures farmers and workers receive fair prices and wages for their goods; work in safe conditions; and are given the tools, training and resources to help their community thrive. According to a press release announcing the certification, the college has adopted a school-wide approach in educating students and staff about the importance of fair trade.

11 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, February 16, 2012

M.C. is city’s first Fair Trade College

Holocaust scholar Berenbaum appears at Manhattan College the camps. derful human being, who is also a fine tion, the museum decided to hold off. scholar,” he added, referring to Dr. Afridi Another consideration was how to Political dissidents, he pointed out, and calling the college wise to have hired include non-Jews who were victims of were victimized for what they did, while her “at the beginning of what will surely Nazisim. Berenbaum explained that gas the Jews were victimized for what they be a distinguished career.” chambers were first used on the handi- were. Berenbaum proceeded to “share some capped—who were considered “useless.” “The only way you can express the of the problems that we encounter on a But while public protest eventually halted uniqueness of the Jewish fate is not by daily basis” in the creation of museums. that government practice, the gassing exclusion but by inclusion, and inclusion He pointed out that there are three story- of the Jewish population did not elicit in a way that everybody would regard as fair and open and proper and respectful. telling institutions in the world—novels, such protest. movies and museums—and that a dif“How do you talk about the invol- We succeeded in doing that so much so ference between movies and museums untary nature of persecution without that every other institution since then BL195740 Job No.: is that the first has moving imagery and comparing what happened to the Jews has taken the same route.” NEWARK/E. RUTHERFORD/UNIONDALE Ad Size: City: aEngagement stationary audience while the second to what happened to Jehovah’s WitSo how does an institution present has stationary imagery and a movingAD nesses?” he asked. Jehovah’s Witnesses controversy without itself being controTRADE Section: Media: were victimized for what they refused versial? audience. Different Date(s): elements in the museum to do—swear allegiance to the German “You need a combination of several Insertion must be employed to move the audience state and refrain from proselytizing—but things—you need integrity—you need through—such as sound, light or “the those who did comply were released from courage, balance and fairness.” sheer power of the narrative.” A factor in planning a Holocaust memorial museum was its location. The significance of its site in the nation’s capitol, rather than in the city with the largest Jewish population, is that a location at the “center of American national life” says something profound about “the America of the future.” On an even deeper level, a location adjacent to the National Mall rather than on the mall itself acknowledges “the positive force of government as well as the negative power to use government as a source of oppression,” recognizing its ability to marshal power that can either preserve or destroy human rights and dignity. “The idea is,” he said, “you take what you face as a challenge and you use that power to create in such a way that you magnify the importance” of decisions. Intense discussions dealt with which artifacts to exhibit—in particular, should human hair from Holocaust victims be displayed? Seven tons were collected during the last seven weeks of Auschwitz. The decision was to show it, but when two survivors objected because their own hair could actually be part of that collec-


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By PAULETTE SCHNEIDER Dr. Michael Berenbaum described one not-so-simple goal for museums: to present controversial material without themselves becoming the subject of controversy. The same goal can be claimed by Manhattan College’s Holocaust, Genocide and Interfaith Education Center, an institute that’s drawn some controversy of its own. It has broadened the focus of its former Holocaust Resource Center, now wielding Nazi Holocaust studies as a weapon against contemporary prejudice and a springboard for interfaith dialogue. But the center’s director, Dr. Mehnaz Afridi, has managed during her brief tenure to calm the skeptics, shift the focus toward the message rather than the messenger, engage the community with timely programming, and deflect controversy away from her own appointment—a Muslim heading up a Holocaust-centered institute. She invited Dr. Berenbaum, one of her mentors, to speak last week on “Controversies in Memorializing the Holocaust.” A sought-after Holocaust scholar, educator, author and consultant, Berenbaum was deputy director of the President’s Commission on the Holocaust, a 34member task force comprised of Holocaust survivors, politicians, lay and religious leaders, and historians charged with developing a plan for an appropriate memorial to those who perished. The commission’s report led to the creation of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. “If you want the essence of my speech—and the rest is going to be commentary—it’s that controversy and discomfort is an enormous tool in education,” Berenbaum said. “And one has to go right to the center of it in order to absolutely be creative. And this college is in the midst of doing that with a won-

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Manhattan College Holocaust, Genocide and Interfaith Education Center Director Dr. Mehnaz Afridi presents Holocaust scholar Dr. Michael Berenbaum with a prayer rug following his talk last week on “Controversies in Memorializing the Holocaust.”


Thursday, February 16, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Come one hour early to meet our animals and performers at the �������������������������� with your ticket!

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animals rely to survive and thrive! Members-$4, Non-members-$8. For more information, call 914-723-3470.

LECTURE 7 p.m. Westchester Italian Cultural Center One Generoso Pope Place Antologia del Cinema Italiano: The Nature and Art of Early Italian Cinema. First in a series of four lectures presented by Professor Joseph N. Spedaliere MA, Distinguished Professor of Italian Language and Culture at Concordia College. With an incomparable history of artistic splendor, Italy’s cultural patrimony is further glorified by the contributions of its filmmakers. Tracing the Italian cinema’s early development from silent film through the Fascist years to the arrival of Luchino Visconti’s pivotal and provocative Ossessione (1942), this lecture will focus on the changing and maturing nature of Italian cinema. For more information, call 914-771-8700.




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.

Saturday, February 18 Tuckahoe

LECTURE 10 a.m. Westchester Italian Cultural Center One Generoso Pope Place Genealogy: Letting the City Directories Work for You. Discover and preserve your family’s unique story. Professional genealogist Toni McKeen will share with you her passion and knowledge as well as the tips that you will need to document your family history. City directories are one of the most overlooked sources of historical information on families. You will learn how and where to find city directories, the important clues they hold, and their use in finding missing census and vital records. For more information, call 914-771-8700.

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:


WINTER WALK 2 p.m. Greenburgh Nature Center 99 Dromore Road Finding and Feeding Winter Birds. Join naturalist Dean Fausel on a winter walk to learn what birds wintering in our area like to eat and where they find shelter. The walk will include a visit to the Center’s Birds of Prey exhibit and busy bird feeders, as well as a search for our more elusive feathered friends. Included with Museum admission – FREE for Members! For more information, call 914-723-3470.

Thursday, February 23 Scarsdale

WINTER WILDLIFE WONDERS 2 p.m. Greenburgh Nature Center 99 Dromore Road Join a naturalist in a hands-on approach in exploring how animals survive the winter’s harsh weather. Visit with live animals and discover the adaptations upon which the animals rely to survive and thrive! Members-$4, Non-members-$8. For more information, call 914-723-3470.

Saturday, February 25 Scarsdale

WINTER WILDLIFE WONDERS 2 p.m. Greenburgh Nature Center 99 Dromore Road Join a naturalist in a hands-on approach in exploring how animals survive the winter’s harsh weather. Visit with live animals and discover the adaptations upon which the

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

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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.

Thursday, March 1 Bronxville

LECTURE 6 p.m. Sarah Lawrence College Slonim Living Room A talk by Critic John Simon. Based partly on his book ‘Paradigms Lost,’ and his language column for Esquire Magazine, this talk concerns current abuses of the English language, where they come from, and how they could conceivably be diminished. For more information, please call (914) 395-2412.

Sunday, March 4 Scarsdale

WINTER WALK 2 p.m. Greenburgh Nature Center 99 Dromore Road Nature in winter offers so much to the careful observer! Come celebrate winter with a nature walk with naturalist John Mancuso. Explore what’s happening in the winter world of the Nature Center’s forest. Hot chocolate served afterwards. Included with Museum admission – FREE for Members! For info, call 914-723-3470.

Friday, March 9 Bronxville

MUSICAL 7 p.m. Sarah Lawrence College Reisinger Concert Hall Spring Awakening. A student produced and directed musical set in late-19th century Germany, the story follows Wendla Bergmann, Moritz Stiefel, Melchior Gabor and their peers as they struggle to understand the meaning of sexuality and violence. Join this group of German students on their passage as they navigate teenage selfdiscovery and coming of age anxiety in a powerful celebration of youth and rebellion in the daring, remarkable Spring Awakening. March 9 and 10. Please RSVP at (914)-395-2412.

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The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thursday, February 16

Thursday, February 16, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thursday, February 16, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



For the past four Tuesdays, the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute (JLI) brought to Riverdale by Chabad-Lubavitch of Riverdale, has presented four of six lessons of their brand new course, Money Matters: Jewish Business Ethics. In Lesson 5 we examine how in the recent economic downturn, much fury has arisen from reports that CEOs of Americas biggest companies take grand bonuses and huge salaries. Is it morally wrong to seek extravagance? Are those who criticize their good fortune just jealous, or is their disgust valid? This lesson will discuss some of the moral problems related to CEO compensation, including some conflicts of interest. We have recently seen an explosion of populist rage against the high compensation packages and generous bonuses awarded on Wall Street while so many Americans are struggling in our crumbling economy. Is there something immoral about the high salaries and generous bonuses on Wall Street? At what point are high salaries considered excessive? Lesson Five of Money Matters, titled ‘Fabulously Wealthy or Filthy Rich? The Ethics of CEO Compensation,’ will explore the morality of wealth and high wages in

the context of the most recent financial meltdown. Like all JLI programs, Money Matters is designed to appeal to people at all levels of Jewish knowledge, including those without any prior experience or background in Jewish learning. All JLI courses are open to the public, and attendees need not be affiliated with a particular synagogue, temple, or other house of worship. Chabad of Riverdale has secured a sponsor who will assist in funding anyone who needs a scholarship to attend this course. Please call 718-549-1100 x 10 or visit www. for more information or to register for this exciting course. Rabbi Yitzchok Dubov of Chabad Lubavitch of Riverdale conducts the sessions from 7:30-9:00 pm on Tuesdays, thru February 28 at The Riverdale YMYWHA.

Social Security Assistance at Engel office

Representatives of the Social Security Administration will be at Congressman Eliot Engel’s Bronx office on Wednesday, February 22nd to assist people with questions or problems concerning this program. This service, at 3655 Johnson Avenue, is available by appointment, which may be made by calling Richard Fedderman of the Congressman’s office at 718 796-9700.

Rep. Engel said, ‘Social Security directly affects many people in my district so I have these experts from the Social Security Administration come to my office on a monthly basis to help constituents with the program.’ The Congressman said the Social Security website ( offers a wide array of on-line services including filing for retirement, survivors and disability benefits, change of address, replacing lost Medicare cards, and keeping up to date on Social Security matters.

Laurel Masse to sing at Christ Church

Don’t miss an opportunity to catch Laurel Masse, a founding member of the universally acclaimed vocal group Manhattan Transfer, during a special, one-off performance in Riverdale this weekend. Masse will perform a range of jazz songs at the Christ Church Riverdale, located at 5030 Henry Hudson Parkway, on Saturday, February 18 at 7:30pm. Having toured around US and around the world, Masse has global recognition and recorded four certified gold and platinum albums, as well as the movie soundtrack of Just a Gigolo. She has also appeared in the Mary Tyler Moore extravaganza, Mary’s Incredible Dream. The concert will follow an intimate

cabaret, allowing Masse to demonstrate the full range of her talents. Admission tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for seniors and students. For more information, please contact 718-543-1011.

Riverdale Y offers program for baby boomers

Please join the Riverdale YM-YWHA’s baby boomer program, Forever Young, for Budgeting and Expense Management. The program will be presented by NYLAG and UJA Federation of New York’s Connect-To-Care on Tuesday, February 28th from 7:00PM-8:00PM. Learn the basics of monthly budget preparation, as well as preparing for emergencies and meeting financial goals. The workshop will include tips on money and expense management (e.g. managing credit cards, negotiating with banks and lenders). Topics include setting short and long term financial goals, prioritizing expenses and debt, and measuring expense ratios against suggested guidelines.’ We ask that you kindly respond before February 22. This event is free of charge and will take place at: The Riverdale Y 5625 Arlington Ave Bronx, NY. Please call Leora Garritano for more information at 718-548-8200 ext. 204 or email:

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, February 16, 2012

Course examines ethical business practices

Thursday, February 16, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Jobs come first We’re not going to tell you that the deal that the City of New York cut with FreshDirect, the online grocery vendor, was a good one. It is easy to say that this is just another case of corporate welfare, and perhaps it was. But it was a necessary one in light of the circumstances. It is sad to see the states of New York and New Jersey in the sorry position of competing with each other for precious jobs that need to stay in the region anyway. We should be working in unison with our neighbors to bring new jobs to the metropolitan area, jobs that will promote the total regional economy. But in this case the two states were involved in a destructive bidding war, one in which someone would win and someone would necessarily lose. The legions of Bronx unemployed would have been the biggest losers if we failed to compete. The two states are poaching jobs off of each other, a development that hurts us both and drains the public treasury. But that is the hand we are dealt. If we were to lose FreshDirect, a total of perhaps as many as 3000 jobs would be lost to the city and The Bronx, the most economically challenged county in the state and perhaps in the nation. And as we pointed out in an earlier editorial, these are precisely the type of semiskilled and unskilled jobs that we need here the most. We believe that the FreshDirect deal immeasurably strengthens our effort to retain the borough’s position as the premier food distribution center of the mid-Atlantic states. The businesses that will surround the new facility also stand to win, as will their employees. Those who would cavalierly reject the deal would sooner see these workers collect welfare for not working than to see them get good honest jobs that will begin to integrate them into the economy. If we really want to end this type of unnecessary expenditure, Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg had best sit down with the governors of the surrounding states and negotiate a compact to end this destructive competition. But until that day, our failure to compete, as suggested by the elitists who are critical of this deal, will turn the poorest families in the borough into the real losers of this saga. These armchair socialists are eager to play fast and loose with the jobs of the poorest and most vulnerable among us. They would rather see FreshDirect and its jobs depart, putting the workers at the tender mercies of welfare statism. But those of us who believe that work and jobs are the fastest route out of poverty, know differently. Perhaps if the political class will understand that New York is perhaps the least competitive state in the union, with its high taxes and expensive energy, and understand the nature of the region, the workers of our borough may have a chance to once again be part of a dynamic growing economy.

Setting the record straight We commend the article in a recent number of the New Yorker Magazine (February 6) that discussed the loss of the Stella D’Oro factory from our borough. A careful reading explodes the myth that corporate greed was the reason for Stella’s departure from The Bronx. Rather, it was a failure of political leadership to protect the workers by telling them what they needed to know, not what they wanted to hear. It was easy to blame the “corporate” types who were trying to save a great company that was clearly losing money with no hope of turning things around. The problems stemmed from the neglect of Nabsico and its corporate parent Kraft to nurture the company after they acquired it in 1992. By the time Brynwood Partners bought the firm in 2006, it was on a clear path to failure. The inability of labor to adequately appreciate that getting out of the bind that the company was in required sacrifice was, in the end, what did the company in. Today, Stella D’Oro products are being made in Ohio, not The Bronx. Maybe it didn’t have to be that way.

Some questions for local politicians To The Editor: For many months now, people throughout this country have watched and listened to debates and interviews involving the various Republican candidates for their party’s nomination for President. During that time, these various candidates have been asked many tough, and many times embarrassing questions relating to their positions on many issues. And that is the way it rightfully should be so that Republican voters have a basis upon which to compare candidates when they cast their votes. And that is the way it rightfully should be in all primary elections, at all levels of government. That is the way our democracy was meant to work. Unfortunately, that is not the case in the Democratic Party-controlled “Democratic Peoples’ Republic of the Bronx” where, because of political pressure, primary contests are almost non-existent, and consequently the voters have basically no idea as to how their incumbent legislator stands on various controversial issues.

I am now going to take this opportunity to ask Congressman Eliot Engel and Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz questions relating to some current issues, the answers to which I think their constituents would be interested in: 1. Since the Social Security Trust Fund is by law supposed to be completely funded by the payroll tax which was set at 6.2% (up to a certain maximum amount of earned income), and recently for political purposes was temporarily reduced by 2% to 4.2%, should that 2% (which expires at the end of this month) be extended through the rest of the year? If yes, why? And what should be done next year? 2. The current maximum length of unemployment benefits (which is also expiring) is 99 weeks. Should it also be extended? Should the number remain at 99 weeks? Should it be lowered? Should it be raised? How long do you two legislators believe a person is entitled to unemployment benefits? I have many more questions to ask both Congressman Engel and

ANDREW WOLF, Editor and Publisher

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Assemblyman Dinowitz, but the above two will suffice at this time. Both incumbent politicians are up for reelection this year and in all likelihood will face no primary where questions will be asked of them. I hope their responses (or lack of responses) to the legitimate questions I posed today (and will pose in the future) will in some small measure influence thinking people who just don’t blindly follow the party line as to how to cast their precious votes. Alvin Gordon

Goodbye to Riverdale

To The Editor: After 33 years, it is with great sadness that I have closed the doors on my business, Beauty By Valentina. During that time, children were born, people passed away, newcomers arrived into the neighborhood and others retired—I knew them all. We had good times, good laughs and good memories. I would like to express my appreciation and gratitude to all of my customers. You stood by me, supported me and helped us raise our family. We came to the “land of opportunity” and our hard work and perseverance were richly rewarded. Life goes on and I hope to be of service to you in the near future. I will miss all of you but I look forward to seeing you soon. From the bottom of my heart, thank you again. Valentina Feldstein

To The Editor: First I want to thank the Riverdale Review for having the good sense not to print an email that was inaccurate, contained false statements, and was downright slanderous to me. Unfortunately the Riverdale Press not only chose to print the email as a letter to the editor, but also changed the meaning of it and left in several false and inaccurate statements. I can say that, because the email was given to me as it was originally sent to a third party. The email stated that I “announced that I was a candidate for city council,” whereas the Riverdale Press changed that to say “an announcement of a possible city council candidacy.” The next sentence refers to a story that appeared in the Riverdale Press,

when in fact that story appeared in the Riverdale Review. The email (letter in the Riverdale Press writer than takes credit for my placement on Community Board #8 by influencing Councilman G. Oliver Koppell, which is false. I have given the Riverdale Press a letter from Councilman Koppell stating the he made his decision independently, without influence based on my long history of community involvement. By the way, Councilman Koppell only recommended me, as Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. made the final decision to appoint me to the community board. The email (letter in the Riverdale Press) goes on to say that since my appointment that I have fought with a chairman of the board, Mr. Anthony Cassino. That is false

again as I was appointed to CB8 when Mr. Cassino was not reappointed, and I like to think that I replaced Mr. Cassino on the community board. The email (letter in the Riverdale Press) states that I had no comment on an alleged civil rights violation by the landlord of the building I live in, and refuse to comment the issue. That statement is also false, and the editor of the Riverdale Pressshould have checked their own archive to see the story that they wrote about the management company and my quote that was included in their story. Also just like I would not know what the writer would discuss with his landlord or management company there could be no way that the writer would have any knowledge of what I may discuss with my landlord or management

Health insurance company stocks soar under Obama

By IRA STOLL What got President Obama’s contraceptive compromise into the headlines was the religious angle. What deserves to keep it there is the economic angle. After Catholic organizations complained that the federal government wanted to force them to include free contraceptive coverage in their health insurance plans, the White House announced a compromise. As the White House described it, “if a woman’s employer is a charity, hospital or other religious organization that has a religious objection to providing contraceptive services as part of its health plan, her insurance company – and not the hospital or charity – will be required to reach out and offer her contraceptive care free of charge.” The Wall Street Journal nailed it in an editorial published Saturday: “There is simply no precedent for the government ordering private companies to offer a product for free.” America’s Health Insurance Plans, a trade association for the insurance companies, issued a statement that said, in part, “We are concerned about the precedent this proposed rule would set.” One wit emailed me the quip: “If Reagan was the Great Communicator, Obama is the Great Confiscator.” How else to describe a president who tells a company it has to give away things for free? But before shedding any tears for the insurance companies, check their stock prices. One of the most remarkable moments of the administration came on June 24, 2009, when, during a nationally televised ABC News “town hall” meeting on health care from the White House, Mr. Obama told Aetna’s CEO, “Aetna is a well-managed company and I am con-

fident that your shareholders are going to do well.” If you took that stock tip from President Obama, you would have done pretty well — shares in Aetna, one of the country’s largest publicly traded health insurance companies, are up 89% since then, assuming reinvestment of dividends, far outpacing the 49% return of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index over the same period. Other large, publicly traded health insurance companies have also prospered during since that June 24, 2009 moment when passage of ObamaCare was far from assured. UnitedHealth Group is up an astonishing 120% since then. Humana is up 184%. If you look at other inflection points, it’s a similar story. Since Obama signed the health care bill into law on March 23, 2010, Aetna is up 33%, UnitedHealth is up 65%, and Humana is up 76%, all outpacing the 14% rise in the S&P 500 Index over the same period. Since Obama’s January 20, 2009, inauguration, Aetna is up 80%, UnitedHealth is up 127%, Humana is up 170%, and WellPoint, another large health insurer, is up 79%, all exceeding the 67% increase in the S&P 500 Index over the same period. For all the alarms that were raised during the ObamaCare debate that the regulation of profit and mandates of benefits, such as free birth control pills, would savage the insurance companies, the market seems to have a different opinion. That opinion seems to be that being one of just a few vendors of a product that the government is going to force every American to buy isn’t such a bad business to be in. That’s especially so given the high barriers to entry, both regulatory and capital, facing anyone trying to start a new health

Rising Stars Performing Arts Conservatory A perfect blend of Performance and Training has finally arrived as part of our award-winning Riverdale Rising Stars programming. Riverdale Rising Stars Performing Arts Conservatory (RPAC) has is here! With classes for all ages beginning in early March we have now found a way to provide our community of artists a hub to congregate and work with one another in a safe, professional and freeing environment. Led by our talented, professional Teaching Artists you can explore the world of Shakespeare and Improv. You can find out how to recreate the ‘fights’ you see in movies and plays in our Stage Combat courses. Take a full 12 weeks to find out

what song is best for you in our Musical Theatre Workshop. If you imagine yourself ‘behind the scenes’, join our Behind The Scenes course led by RRS designers and faculty from the Julliard School. If you love to sing, we have two new RRS Choirs. If you are a writer, join our Playwriting course. There is something for everyone. Our RPAC faculty represent Broadway, Off-Broadway, Television, Film and include Actors, Writers, Directors, Teachers, Musical Directors, Musicians, etc. Join us as we launch this exciting new initiative. Information and registration can be found on our website, or contact the Y at 718-548-8200 ext 208.

insurance company. If anything, the share prices are an affirmation not of the Republican criticism that ObamaCare would kill the insurance companies, but of the left-wing Democratic criticism that the bill was a government giveaway that would enrich the insurance companies. The stock market may be underestimating the chance that the Supreme Court will strike down the individual mandate to buy health insurance that is an important feature of ObamaCare, or the chance that a Republican president or Congress will repeal the law. Once the individual mandate kicks in and the subsidies for coverage start increasingly flowing through the federal budget — both conveniently scheduled for after the presidential elec-

tion — maybe the government will go back to the insurers and try to negotiate a better deal for taxpayers that goes beyond a few free birth control pills for employees of religious charities. In the meantime, though, the next time Mr. Obama names a public company in an industry that he’s about to launch a vast regulatory overhaul of, and declares that he’s “confident” that “shareholders are going to do well,” believe him, for once. He’s in a position to make it happen. If only we could all be confident that American taxpayers, insurance purchasers, and medical patients would do as well, too. Ira Stoll is editor of FutureOfCapitalism. com and author of Samuel Adams: A Life.

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19 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, February 16, 2012

Unfairly treated by the Riverdale Press

company, which by the way I did question on the issue. It appears that the Riverdale Press is no longer the fine newspaper it once was many years ago when the Stein family owned the paper. Just like you Mr. Wolf, Buddy Stein would have checked the facts and never printed that, let alone try to fix it up. When I asked several people if they saw this in the Riverdale Press all said no they didn’t, and some even added that they no longer read the Riverdale Pressbecause it has changed. I went to the new owner of the Riverdale Press out in their headquarters in Long Island to ask for an apology or retraction of the false and inaccurate statements that they had printed, and even showed them the original email next to their letter. I was told to write a letter, so I did to the Riverdale Review. Robert Press

Thursday, February 16, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Riverdale Review, February 16, 2012  

Weekly newspaper published in Riverdale, NY 10471