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Riverdale’s ONLY Locally Owned Newspaper!

Volume XIX • Number 8 • March 1 - 7, 2012 •


Stella D’oro shopping mall begins to take shape By MIAWLING LAM Specialty grocery supermarket Trader Joe’s and Petco are being wooed to Riverdale Crossing, the new shopping center to be sited at the former Stella D’oro cookie factory. A flyer posted on Ripco Realty’s website last week suggested both businesses were the latest additions to the yet-to-be-built mall at Broadway between West 236th and West 238th Streets. An accompanying picture even had the Trader Joe’s logo superimposed on a mock sign alongside the mall’s anchor tenant, BJ’s Wholesale Club. However, it is now understood neither Trader Joe’s nor Petco has formally committed to joining the ranks of Riverdale Crossing and both are simply on a “wishlist” of desired tenants. Ripco Realty is currently re-

cruiting retailers to set up shop at the mall and is acting as a leasing agent for the Long Island-based owners Metropolitan Realty Associates. According to the three-page Ripco brochure, which has since been pulled down, Trader Joe’s was to occupy a 4,992-squarefoot parcel facing West 238th Street, directly across from Putnam Avenue West. Petco was housed further west on a 9,303 square-foot space. Floor plans showed four other smaller spaces ranging from 2,900 square feet to just over 20,000 square feet are being leased. Up to 514 spaces of street-level and rooftop parking will also be offered. As of press time, repeated calls to Ripco Realty and Metropolitan Realty Associates for comment were not returned.

Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz said Trader Joe’s would be a welcome addition to Kingsbridge, even though there are already a considerable number of supermarkets within a 10block radius. “I think it’ll be great to have Trader Joe’s in the neighborhood,” he said, adding that he lobbied for the grocer to open a store in Continued on Page 9 At right is an artist’s rendering of Riverdale Crossing’s anchor tenant BJ’s Wholesale Club.

Attack on Engel, others in Israel fizzles

Question local teacher ratings

By MIAWLING LAM Seven out of 36 local teachers were rated above average in math and English instruction, new statistics shows. Controversial data reports for more than 18,000 teachers was released by Department of Education officials last Friday. At P.S. 24, just one of the school’s 10 teachers (10 percent) was deemed ahead of the curve in effectively helping students learn the math syllabus. The school fared much better in English, where four instructors (40 percent) were rated “above average” or “high” in their instruction. One fourth-grade teacher even scored in the 95th percentile, meaning he added significant value to student test scores. Further north at P.S. 81, in mathematics, two of the school’s eight teachers (25 percent) and one in English (12 percent) were rated as “above average” or “high.” At the Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy, one math teacher scored in the highest two bands (14 percent). None of the 11 English teachers at M.S/H.S 141 scored a percentile ranking of 75 or above.

In all, seven of 36 teachers (19 percent) at Riverdale’s three schools were judged to add value in student test scores. Under the city’s controversial scoring system, teachers placed in the 75th percentile were deemed to be “above average,” while those in the 95th percentile were rated “high.” Teachers in the 25th to 75th percentiles were ranked “average.” The ratings, known as teacher data reports, are intended to show how much value individual teachers can have on student progress and the extent to which their instruction boosts test scores. The data covers three school years ending in 2010, strictly encompasses students in grades 4 through 8, and is limited exclusively to reading and math. Around 80 percent of teachers aren’t even covered by the data analysis. Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz said he didn’t place much weight on the ratings and believed they were inherently flawed. City officials last week said the margin of error is so wide that the average confidence interval Continued on Page 5

By MIAWLING LAM Vandals hurled a large rock at Congressman Eliot Engel in a dramatic turn of events during his recent visit to a Jewish cemetery in Israel. Engel, fellow Congressman Jerrold Nadler and Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Malcolm Hoenlein escaped unscathed after they dodged a large “baseball-sized” rock at the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives last Friday. In a statement issued after the incident, Engel said he went to visit the site after learning that vandals were desecrating Jewish graves. “As we were about to board the bus at the conclusion of our visit, I heard a rock hit a car not far

from us,” he said. “I don’t know if the rocks were thrown at us or at the police. All I know is we heard a thud and later someone brought over the rock. “We were told that incidents happen like this all the time, but it is disconcerting to actually have been a part of it.” It is understood police are still searching for the assailant who threw the rock. Engel was in Jerusalem to speak at the International Committee for the Preservation of Har Hazeitim’s Emergency Forum on Violence. Engel has since returned to the U.S. and is currently in Washington, D.C. where the House of Representatives is in session.

Thursday, March 1, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Memorial Grove in Van Cortlandt Park set for April completion By MIAWLING LAM An effort to restore the beleaguered Memorial Grove is back on track and could be completed as early as next month. The Riverdale Review can reveal that shop drawings for the curved pipe-rail fence are being prepared and that more than a dozen of the memorial’s 39 plaques are being manufactured. The restorative actions come a month after city officials placed VIF Corporation in “pre-default mode”—the contractor had bungled the plaques by using the wrong font and had purchased incorrect fence materials. Community members expressed skepticism about the projected April 3 completion date. Community Board 8 parks and recreation committee chair Bob Bender said while he was pleased with the signs of progress, he was doubtful of the finish date. “I wouldn’t bet on this project being done by April, but I’m hopeful it might be done by Memorial Day, which is a date that I would be asking for,” he said at last Wednesday’s committee meeting. “There is still work to be done. I’m hopeful we’re still on track to get there.” In an email circulated to Bender late last month, Van Cortlandt Park administrator Margot Perron said officials have directed the contractor to install the plaques by

NYPD moves ahead on school traffic woes

By MIAWLING LAM Police officers have been deployed to monitor traffic outside two of Riverdale’s public schools, amid growing safety concerns that children’s lives are being put at risk. Commanding officer of the 50th Precinct Captain Kevin Burke said that effective immediately, officers will be stationed outside P.S. 24 and M.S/H.S 141 during school arrival and dismissal times. The visible police presence will be in effect from 8 to 8:30 a.m. and from 2:15 to 2:45 p.m. and will remain until the end of the school year. The latest development comes as police reveal that since September, three accidents have been recorded at the intersection of Independence Avenue and West 235th Street. Captain Burke said of the three documented incidents that two were minor fender-benders occurring at 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. respectively, while the third was the highly publicized case where a car struck a 54-year-old woman as she crossed the street. In that case, Captain Burke said, the pedestrian was not walking in the crosswalk and that “the driver was partially at fault because he admitted to taking his eyes off the road.” As for the other two incidents, Captain Burke said there was “no indication of speed—no indication that something engineering-wise would have prevented either accident.” Despite this, locals have long argued that traffic-calming measures are desperately needed along the five-block stretch of Independence Avenue between West 232nd and West 237th streets. Community members have previously said motorists speed through the area, double-park, triple-park, block traffic and Continued on Page 19

the end of March. Local war veteran Herb Barret, who has been fighting for the grove’s refurbishment since 2006, said he, too, was skeptical, having been disappointed on so many occasions. “Am I positive that they’re going to be done by April? No, I don’t have any faith at all,” he said. “I just don’t see how they can progress so fast.” Barret also expressed concerns about the plaque designs. Plans for the restoration include the installation of pipe-rail fencing, repair of the existing 24 plaques, creation of the missing 15 plaques and remounting of all 39 plaques on new granite foundations. Additional plantings and the installa-

tion of three benches will further distinguish the area as a place of reverence. “What we were told back at the beginning is that they were going to reuse the plaques that were reusable and replace the ones that were not,” he said. “I presume there is going to be two different plaques. For uniformity and for a military place, it is terrible, but I will look the other way.” Created in 1949, the Memorial Grove honors 39 local soldiers killed or missing in action in World War II and the Korean War. Restoration efforts have been beset by a series of delays. In 2009, Councilman G. Oliver Koppell contributed $250,000 from his discretionary funds for the project.

Despite promising developments, there have been few signs of progress. Parks Department officials launched the bidding process in 2010, but a lack of interest meant authorities took 12 months to select a contractor. They eventually tapped VIF Corporation last January and awarded the nine-month contract. The inexperienced firm set up a staging ground last April, but construction was held up when the city requested more detailed specifications for the plaques and when the contractor subverted the Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprise requirements. VIF Corporation could not be reached for comment as of press time.

Concern grows over cost of heating oil mandate ings offset the conversion costs. According to official statistics provided by the Bloomberg administration, around 200 buildings in the 10463 ZIP code are currently burning No. 6 oil. In the 10471 ZIP code, an estimated 59 buildings burn the heaviest oil. Association of Riverdale Cooperatives and Condominiums President Stephen Budihas said plans to offer buildings financial assistance was a step in the right direction. However, he urged officials to do more and develop a multi-agency coordinated plan of attack with Con Edison. “My concern is that buildings are going to be billed at this outrageous rate, and it does not appear the city nor the legislature is doing anything to relieve the necessary financial cost of this plan,” he said. To ensure compliance, buildings must not only replace or convert their boilers, but also foot any tab relating to street work and the purchase of chimney sleeves and heating pipes. Con Edison has even told some buildings it will cost up to $500,000 for them to run a gas pipeline to their property, according to Budihas. “Whatever this cost is going to be, and it’s going to be anyplace between tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands per building, it’s going to be borne by the individual shareholder, and I think that’s the one piece that people always forget,” he said. “We have young families moving to Riverdale trying to establish a life, we have senior citizens living on fixed incomes, and if we start billing them the capital costs, the quality of life is going to be diminished.” However, co-op board president of

3875 Waldo Avenue Robert Carrano said the initial financial outlay would pay for itself, as gas is now around 40 percent cheaper than No. 6 heating oil. His 106-unit building spent nearly $210,000 converting from No. 6 heating oil to a dual system of natural gas and No. 2 oil in September. “That payback is going to be in a couple of years in terms of the size of our building. When you add on top of that the energy conservation, you’ll make out well on that,” he said. Authorities will launch a website for their Clean Heat program in the coming weeks: Meanwhile, residents are urged to call 212-656-9202 for more information.

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The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, March 1, 2012

By MIAWLING LAM Landlords and co-op boards could be offered low-interest, unsecured bank loans to help them comply with the city’s controversial heating oil conversion mandate. The financial assistance program, to be announced by city officials later this month, was broached at Community Board 8’s public forum on the heating fuel conversion last Monday. Steve Caputo, a policy advisor in the Mayor’s Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability, said the proposed initiative would provide buildings with greater access to financing. “We’re working with the major banks and the major fuel providers to provide low-interest, hopefully unsecured loans for buildings,” he said. “You’ll hear an announcement about what the banks are going to lend and aggregates and it will be an impressive number.” Under a mandatory phase-out of the dirtiest types of fuel, all residential buildings have to 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 even more expensive 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 fear they will be slugged by hundreds of dollars in higher maintenance fees and rent charges. Nearly 50 anxious residents turned up at Monday night’s forum to hear why the mandate was imposed and the various state tax incentives that can help build-


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Thursday, March 1, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Around the schools... 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.

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

The community is invited to the annual Multicultural Show is this Saturday, March 4, at 2 p.m., when talented musicians and dancers will perform in the RKA auditorium. Admission for this international arts event is $5 at the door.

Horace Mann School

An All School Values and Ethics Meeting is scheduled for this Wednesday, February 29, at 7 p.m. on the Lower Division campus. The office of diversity, the HM administrative council and the parents association office of diversity parent liaisons invite parents of HM students in nursery through twelfth grade for an evening of conversation. A choral concert by Upper and Middle Division singers will take place on Friday, March 2, at 7:30 p.m. at Saint Jean Baptiste Church in Manhattan at 76th Street and Lexington Avenue. The school’s Model U.N. Club was awarded its third “Best Large Delegation” award at a conference held at Georgetown University. Members deliberated over drug trafficking, internet censorship and South Sudan. The faculty advisor is Mitchell Francis.

College of Mount Saint Vincent

The community is invited to a free workshop entitled “Network and Volunteer Your Way to Your Next Job” on Wednesday, March 7, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The presenter will be Christine Leake, assistant director of graduate and School of Professional and Continuing Studies admissions. The event is part of the SPCS Winning Wednesdays series developed by Leake after she researched the latest trends in the economy, adult education and the admissions process. To reserve a seat, contact her at 718-405-3269 or christine. The Center for International Studies invites the community to a free sympo-

sium on “Campus Internationalization” on Tuesday, March 27, from 4 to 6 p.m. in Founders Hall in the president’s reception room. Dr. Andre Pierre Colombat, dean and director of the Office of International Programs at Loyola University, will be the keynote speaker. Colombat has expertise in study abroad and international program management, enforcing policies and procedures, and collaborating with partners in more than 20 countries.

Manhattan College

Forty of the college’s business students are participating in the national IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program at the Refuge House at 2715 Bainbridge Avenue. The program offers free tax preparation assistance to qualified families and individuals who have an annual income of no more than $56,000, enabling them to avoid costly tax preparation fees and interest rates associated with refund anticipation loans. Volunteers complete an IRS certification program and receive software training. In 2011, the VITA program resulted in more than $1.3 million in tax refunds to Bronx residents. A total of 1,942 Bronx residents have received free tax preparation assistance through the Refuge House’s VITA location since Manhattan College became involved in program. For an appointment, call 718-933-2539.

Local Scholars

Sienna College in Loudonville, New York, has announced that Michael Garvey was one of 83 students to graduate in January, 2012. Garvey earned a degree in management. 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. Dominican College in Orangeburg, New York, has announced that Alyssa Price was inducted into Psi Chi, the international honor society in the field of psychology. The society was founded in 1929 to encourage, stimulate, maintain excellence in scholarship and advance the science of psychology. Membership is open to graduate and undergraduate students who are making the study of psychology one of their major interests and who meet the minimum qualifications.

Wednesday March 7th

Children's Program 5:30 pm Masquerade, Megillah Reading and an

Amazing Magic Show by R.J. Lewis ADULT’S SCHEDULE: 6:25 PM Maariv, 6:40 PM Megillah Reading, 7:40 PM Additional Megillah Reading

Don’t miss out! Call for details today. 718-549-1100 ext. 10

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Continued from Page 1 for each rating spanned 35 percentiles in math and 53 in English. Some teachers were even judged on the test performance of just 10 students. “I don’t really think they mean much,” Dinowitz said. “The problem is that first, there’s a huge margin of error; second, in good part, it’s subjective rather than objective; and third, they’re partially based on scores which are also suspect. “And to decide a future of a teacher based on so many questionable factors, to me, doesn’t accomplish much except give people the power to fire teachers who perhaps should not be fired.” NYC DOE Chief Academic Officer and Senior Deputy Chancellor Shael Polakow-

Suransky cautioned the public about drawing conclusions from the raw data. “The purpose of these reports is not to look at any individual score in isolation, ever,” he said. “No principal would ever make a decision on this score alone, and we would never invite anyone—parents, reporters, principals, teachers—to draw a conclusion based on this score alone.” In The Bronx, 26 percent of teachers earned the top two ratings—the second highest percentage across the five boroughs. In comparison, 28 percent of teachers in Manhattan, 24 percent in Brooklyn, 23 percent in Queens and 15 percent in Staten Island were rated as giving effective instruction.

Despite The Bronx’s relative glut of effective teachers, it doesn’t necessarily translate into high student test scores. According to the 2011 state English and math test results, Bronx students lagged behind their city counterparts. Last year, just 30 percent of Bronx students met the bar for ELA proficiency, while 44 percent performed at grade level in math. New York was the second city in the country to release teachers’ names and ratings—Los Angeles published its own set of ratings in 2010. The reports were released after a court ruled that the ratings were public documents and the United Federation of Teachers exhausted all legal options to block their public disclosure.

5 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, March 1, 2012

Teacher ratings lead to questions and criticism

Thursday, March 1, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


RCC classes focus on health and fitness

The Riverdale Community Center at the Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy (M.S./H.S. 141) will focus on fitness on Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings this spring beginning on March 1st and March 5th as part of the Center’s Adult and Youth Education Center. On Tuesday evening, there will be a host of fitness classes such as: Tai Chi Chuan class will be held from 7:00 to 8:30 PM. with Instructor and Tai Chi expert Bernard Rozenberg. Mr. Rozenberg has been teaching Tai Chi Chuan at the Center and at other locations for several years. FEE: $180 + $15 registration fee -10 weeks YO! YOGA FOR OSTEO! - Recent medical studies indicate that as many as 50% of American women over 50 years old will eventually be diagnosed with the potentially dangerous disease osteoporosis, which weakens bones and can lead to fractures. One proven way of combating this disease, as well as its forerunner osteopenia, is Yoga for Osteo. Learn how to minimize the effects of this disease through yoga. Participants will safely learn how to become stronger, while increasing flexibility and balance. This course is held on Tuesday from 7:00 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. or Saturday mornings from 10:45 am to 12 noon. Laura Stevens a certified yoga instructor and personal trainer will guide you. FEE: $160 + $15 registration fee - 10 weeks ZUMBA - Get in shape, boost your cardio fitness and tone your entire body with one of the latest fitness crazes. Zumba fuses hypnotic Latin rhythms and easy to follow moves to create a dynamic workout system. 7:00-8:00 PM. FEE: $140 + $15 registration fee - 10 weeks PILATES/TOTAL BODY TONING - Vigorous routine includes stretching, core strengthening and total body toning utilizing the popular Pilates technique. 7:00-8:00 PM. FEE: $140 + $15 registration fee- 10 weeks For fitness with an exotic flair, a BELLY DANCING class will be offered from 7:00-8:00 PM. This class is taught by Ms. Waleska Tirado (Noora-E-Shams), a professional belly dancer and instructor. FEE: $140 +$15 registration fee - 10 weeks Yoga (gentle) - Hatha Yoga, a practice of simple poses linking breath to movement, is also offered from 8:00 PM - 9:30 PM. Laura Stevens a certified yoga instructor

and personal trainer will guide you. FEE: $180 + $15 registration fee - 10 weeks. On Saturday mornings we host Yoga and Relaxation, instructed by Patty Chang Anker, will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Ms. Anker is certified yoga instructor and reiki practitioner who believes in the power of yoga to uplift and heal. FEE: $180 + $15 registration fee - 10 weeks. To register for any of these adult fitness classes, or for more information, contact the Center at 718-796-4724 or visit our website at .

Sinfonietta to perform theatrical work

For the first time at their concerts, the Sinfonietta of Riverdale will collaborate with actors to present the Faustian play ‘The Soldier’s Tale’ by Igor Stravinsky. The performance will be held on Sunday, March 4, 2:30 p.m., at the Riverdale Temple, 4545 Independence Avenue. Tickets: Standard $35; Senior $25; Riverdale Temple Member $25; Student $15. Purchase tickets at www. For phone inquiries call: 917-689-1211. With raucous and sly jazzy musical numbers (such as Tango, Waltz and Ragtime), it tells the story of a Soldier who engages in a duel of wits with The Devil, loses to him at a game of cards, and battles over the fate of his precious violin. Also on the program by Stravinsky is his Concerto in E-flat ‘Dumbarton Oaks,’ inspired by the Brandenburg Concerti of Bach. In another first for the Sinfonietta, it will

present a world premiere performance of ‘All Jazzed Up!,’ music by California-based composer, Byron Adams, on April 29. Exquisitely well-crafted, the lovely ‘Serenade’ for nine instruments hearkens back to musical traditions from the time of Dvorak, with a fresh and beguilingly personal voice.

Tot Shabbat at Riverdale Temple

Riverdale Temple Tot Shabbat! Friday, March 2nd. 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. Adult Education with Steve Altarescu at Riverdale Temple, Thursday, March 15th, 6pm 4545 Independence Ave. Riverdale, NY 10471 718-548-3800 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. Mom’s night out at Riverdale Temple. ONLY $5!!! Saturday, March 10th in the downstairs lounge. ONLY $5!!! Come join in the fun at anytime during the event. 7:30-8 is a guided discussion centered on a

parenting related topic, 8-10 Game night - bring a game or play one of ours. Challenge your mind with some trivia - prizes will be awarded! BYOB and snacks (some snacks, coffee, tea, and hot chocolate provided) Riverdale Temple 4545 Independence Avenue Riverdale, NY 10471; Call 718-548-3800 or email rivtemple@aol. com to make reservations. Reservations are recommended, but not required.

Petting Zoo at the Riverdale Y

The Riverdale Y’s Alana Llama Winter Film Series for children will conclude on Sunday, April 26th at 10:30 am with the movie ‘Babe’. After the movie (which ends at noon), there will be a petting zoo outside on the Y’s back patio. Expected (in addition to Alana Llama herself) are Earl the pig, a sheep (possibly Barnel, pictured here), and two goats. Admission is free and includes popcorn! The Riverdale Y is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue (off 256th Street).

Tinnitus support group working towards a quiet future

Tinnitus is an annoying noise or ringing in the ear that is heard without an external sound. Anyone suffering from this condition, or just interested in learning about tinnitus is invited to attend our free support group. Our group meets on the first Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. in the Church of the Mediator, located at 260 West 231st Street, off Kingsbridge Avenue. Our next session will be held on Thursday, March 1 and will last about an hour. The church’s entrance is by the Bx1, Bx7, Bx10 and Bx20 bus stop. For more information, please contact Dr. K. Nabinet on 718-410-2301 or 917-797-9065 or via email


Former students of St. Gabriel’s School are invited to take a trip down memory lane and reconnect with classmates, teachers and coaches at the first-ever alumni reunion. The event, which is open to the graduating classes of 1945-2004, will be held at the school’s gymnasium on Saturday March 10 from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. The school is located at 590 West 235th Street in Riverdale. Current students will also conduct tours of the school. Admission is $35 at the door on the night and includes hors d’oeuvres, wine, beer, sangria, soda and live entertainment. For more information, please call 718-548-0444 or contact the school at

Rabbi Lisa Gelber to speak at CSAIR Shabbat

Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale (CSAIR) will welcome Rabbi Lisa Gelber on Shabbat morning, Saturday, March 3. Rabbi Gelber, Associate Dean of the Rabbinical School at the Jewish Theological Seminary, will lead a program on Building Spiritually Healthy Communities. Rabbi Gelber will lead a special service of hope and healing weaving together prayer, story, song and reflection from 10 to 11:30 a.m. At the end of the Sanctuary service, she will also offer a brief d’var Torah. Following services and Kiddush, Rabbi Gelber will speak on ‘Lessons from Penn State - Responding to Abuse, Building Healthy Communities.’ This program is free and open to the entire community. Babysitting will be provided during Rabbi Gelber’s post-kiddush talk. CSAIR is located at 475 West 250th Street. For more information, call the synagogue office at 718-5438-4800 or visit

Fiddler on the Roof Jr. performance

The award-winning Jr. Rising Stars is putting on their production of Fiddler On The Roof, Jr. . Show dates and times are Saturdays, March 3 and 10 at 8pm, Sundays. March 4 & 11 at 3pm and Tuesday, March 6 at 7:30pm. This much loved musical features our 7 to 11year olds For more information go to riverdalerisingstars. com. Tickets are available online. $18, $12 for Seniors and Students. At the door tickets are $20. The Riverdale Y is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue.

Jewish War Veterans announce meetings

Jewish War Veterans: All veterans are welcome to participate in the only active Jewish War Veterans post in the Kingsbridge/Riverdale area. Neumann - Goldman Post 69 & Ladies Auxiliary regularly meets on the third Sunday of each month in the James J. Peters V. A. Medical Center located at 130 Kingsbridge Road at 10 a.m., in room 3D22, on the third floor of the medical center. The next meeting will be held on Sunday, March 17. Registration is not required and mem-

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, March 1, 2012

St. Gabriel’s alumni reunion planned

bers of other posts are welcome or if your original post no longer exists. With advance notice, transportation can be arranged. Services are held in a 100 year old chapel on the medical center’s grounds. For additional information, call Mel Saks, Post Commander at 914-3370277.

Flea market at St. John’s Church

St. John’s Church will host a flea market on Saturday, March 3, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The sale will be held at the Old St. John’s School located at 3030 Godwin Terrace in the Bronx. Clothes, jewelry, accessories and brica-brac will be sold at bargain prices. Free parking will also be available so get there early and snare yourself a great find. For more information, please call 718-543-3003.

Uptown Coffeehouse features Left On Red

The Uptown Coffeehouse presents Pete Fornatale’s Simon and Garfunkel: How Terribly Strange to Be 70” Multimedia Program on Sunday, March 4, at 6pm., at our new address: The Uptown Coffeehouse, City Island Community Center, 190 Fordham Street, lower level, City Island, NY 10464, (718) 885-2955. Admission is $20.00, children under 12, $5.00. Bronx Cultural Cards are accepted. If you grew up in New York as a fan of folk music, or acoustic rock for that matter, Pete Fornatale is probably a huge reason why. From his Campus Caravan on WFUV in 1964 to his debut on WNEW in 1970 to his “Mixed Bag”, which began on WNEW in 1982 and continues today on WFUV, Pete has been “a staple of New York radio for over 40 years.”

At Montefiore, inspiration starts with our patients. And stops at nothing. Montefiore is more than a proud Bronx hospital. Our nationally

4th Annual 5k and Family Fun Run at WCS’s Bronx Zoo

Calling all runners, walkers, and athletic hopefuls - it is time to lace-up your running shoes to prepare for New York City’s wildest race: the fourth annual Wildlife Conservation Society’s Run for the Wild at WCS’s Bronx Zoo. This year’s 5k-run/walk takes place on Saturday, April 28, 2012 and is dedicated to saving lions, their habitat and other wildlife. The Wildlife Conservation Society works across Africa and in the native range of lions in places such as Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda, and Nigeria’s Yankari National Park. WCS’s Run for the Wild registration is now open at Registration for the run is $35 for adults, $25 for children (3-15), and $25 for seniors (65+). Participants are encouraged to seek individual sponsors for their run, and all adult (and senior) participants are required to raise a minimum of at least $30 in order to participate. Participants can choose from two different events. The 5k run for individual runners will begin at 8:00 a.m.; casual runners and walkers can take part in the Family Fun Run/Walk at 8:45 a.m. This event will sell out, so register early. For more information, to register, or to sponsor a runner/team, visit www.wcs.

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Montefiore and its renowned Children’s Hospital are recognized among the top hospitals nationally and regionally by U.S. News & World Report.

There will be a traditional reading of the Megillat Esther followed by merriment and gaiety as the story of Purim is retold as singing and dancing abounds. For more information, call 718-796-0305.

Thursday, March 1, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Thursday, March 8 Spuyten Duyvil

Thursday, March 1

Sunday, March 4

BABY LAPSIT 10:15 a.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Stories, songs, fingerplays, puppets for babies birth -36 months for parents and caregivers. For info, call 718-548-5656.

PJ LIBRARY KICKOFF 10:30 a.m. Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel 475 West 250th Street CSAIR invites all families with children up to 8 to a fun-filled pre-Purim, and learn about PJ Library. For info, call 718-543-8400 ext. 0.

Spuyten Duyvil



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


OPEN COMPUTER LAB 11 a.m. Riverdale Branch Library 5540 Mosholu Avenue Come to the Riverdale Library and get assistance on the computers. Bring your e-readers and we’ll show you how to download ebooks from the Library. Practice your new skills at your own pace. Ask questions and learn from doing. For info, call 718-549-1212.


TINNITUS SUPPORT GROUP 6 p.m. Church of the Mediator 260 West 231st Street Anyone suffering from this condition, or just interested in learning about tinnitus is invited to attend our free support group. For more information, please contact Dr. K. Nabinet on 718-4102301 or 917-797-9065 or via email


CB8 MEETING 7:30 p.m. Riverdale Garden Restaurant 4576 Manhattan College Parkway Meeting of the Economic Development Committee of Community Board 8. For more information, call 718-884-3959.

Friday, March 2 Kingsbridge

TEEN ADVISORY GROUP 4 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street What’s happening in your world? What’s the hottest book, movie, or cd right now? What programs does the library need? Let us know, and you can earn community service credit for your school. For more information, call 718-548-5656.

Saturday, March 3 Kingsbridge

FLEA MARKET 9 a.m. Old St. John’s School 3030 Godwin Terrace Everyone is invited to this monthly flea market. for ore information, call 718-543-3003.


SHABBAT PROGRAM 10 a.m. Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel 475 West 250th Street Rabbi Lisa Gelber will lead a special service of hope and healing weaving together prayer, story, song and reflection. Following services, she will speak on ‘Lessons from Penn State — Responding to Abuse, Building Healthy Communities.’ Free and open to the community. For more information, call 718-543-8400 or visit


READING HOUR 1 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Youngsters 3-12 years old are invited. Readers will be grouped by skill level and encouraged to read, helped with pronunciation and word understanding. Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Riverdale. For info, contact Karen Pesce at 718-549-4469.


MONSTER FILM FEST 2 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street NYPL Monster Film Fest, a trove of classic horror flicks that take their inspiration from Mary Shelley’s famous novel, Frankenstein, and its even more famous “monster.” Featuring The Phantom Of The Opera (1929). A man in a mask abducts the prima donna of the Paris Opera to his lair in the sewers below the city streets. Silent film. For info, call 718-548-5656.


LENTEN LECTURE 1 p.m. St. Gabriel’s Church 3250 Arlington Avenue Kevin McDonnell will speak on the topic, ‘Alzheimer’s Patient & Caretaker.’ For more information, call 718-548-4471.


ARTIST RECEPTION 1:30 p.m. Riverdale YM-YWHA 5625 Arlington Avenue The opening exhibit of paintings by Moshe I. Margalit. A reception will follow the exhibit.


ARTIST RECEPTION 2 p.m. Ethical Culture Society 4450 Fieldston Road The Riverdale Art Association presents an exhibit of five local artists currently painting in Riverdale. Ruth Hurd, Gloria Karlson, Joan Levine, Laraine Pearson and Aija Sears are featured in an exhibit of their recent work. For more information, visit


SINFONIETTA CONCERT 2:30 p.m. Riverdale Temple 4545 Independence Avenue For the first time at their concerts, the Sinfonietta of Riverdale will collaborate with actors to present the Faustian play “The Soldier’s Tale” by Igor Stravinsky. Purchase tickets at www. For phone inquiries call: 917-689-1211.

Monday, March 5 Spuyten Duyvil

KNITTING & CROCHET 11 a.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 West 235th Street A get-together for knitters & crocheters at all skill levels to work on a current project, or learn new techniques. All skill levels are welcomed. Pre-registered not required. 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, proving children with the wonder of books and the joy of reading. For more information, call 718-796-1202.


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

Wednesday, March 7 Kingsbridge

GAME ON 1:30 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Got the gaming moves? Show off your skills with the controller and challenge your friends and neighbors to a game of Wii Bowling in the library. For more info, call 718-548-5656.


PURIM 7 p.m. Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel 475 West 250th Street Purim with a social action twist. Along with traditional noisemakers, Rabbi Katz will hand out boxes of macaroni, which Purim celebrants will shake to make noise. The boxes will be collected and donated to local food pantries. For more information, call 718-543-8400.


PURIM CELEBRATION 7:30 p.m. Congregation Shaarei Shalom 5919 Riverdale Avenue

5540 Mosholu Avenue Come to the Riverdale Library and get assistance on the computers. Bring your e-readers and we’ll show you how to download ebooks from the Library. Practice your new skills at your own pace. Ask questions and learn from doing. For more information, call 718-549-1212.


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

GIRLS ARE HEROES, TOO 4 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Clever girls, brave girls, feisty girls who outwit the ogre and get what they want! Regina Ress tells folktales from around the world that celebrate the strength and smarts of women and girls. Good fun for the boys too! For ages 5 and older. For info, call 718-548-5656.


Friday, March 9

BABY LAPSIT 10:30 a.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Stories, songs, fingerplays, puppets for babies birth-36 months for parent and caregivers. For info, call 718-548-5656.


OPEN COMPUTER LAB 11 a.m. Riverdale Branch Library


OPEN COMPUTER LAB 10 a.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Are you having trouble with your email? Don’t know how to cut and paste? Curious about Facebook? Bring your technology questions and get one on one assistance! Space is limited, registration is required. Please sign up by phone or in person. For more information, call 718-548-5656.

Continued from Page 1 Riverdale several years ago. “It will bring people into the area, bring jobs to the area and services that people want. The fact that they may move here is another indication that the area is ripe for projects and there is a tremendous demand and market out there.” Dinowitz said increased traffic volume was the only foreseeable downside to the redevelopment of the former Stella D’oro factory. However, he believed the project represents a positive development for Kingsbridge and is necessary to spur further growth in the area “I have said for many years that the entire corridor between Broadway and the Major Deegan needs to be developed commercially to the max,” he said. As the Riverdale Review first reported last year, BJ’s Wholesale Club will anchor the 114,598 square-foot mall and lease more than 80,000 square feet on West 237th Street. The BJ’s branch in the Gateway Center, a few miles south in Mott Haven, is the third-most successful wholesale branch in the country, spurring the wholesale club to open another store in The Bronx. Metropolitan Realty Associates purchased the sizeable parcel of land for nearly $19 million in

Proposed site plan for Riverdale Crossing, the yet-to-be-built shopping center at the former Stella D’oro factory. This aerial view was featured in a three-page on-line flyer on Ripco Realty’s website. The brochure has since been taken down. August last year. Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. briefly referred to the project during his State of the

Borough address last week. He said the site proved that economic development dollars were flowing into The Bronx and

predicted the development would bring forth hundreds of jobs. “This project will include several high-level national retailers,

will serve as a major traffic hub for the entire Broadway commercial corridor, and create more than 400 jobs in the process.”

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9 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, March 1, 2012

Mall at cookie factory site may include Trader Joe’s and Petco

Thursday, March 1, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Actor draws upon his Riverdale roots for new Web TV series By ROBERT LEBOWITZ There is no question that the future of TV is radically changing. The traditional model of sitting at home on the couch watching a show by yourself or with close friends or family is giving way to broadcasts streamed over the Internet, able to be seen at any time, and allowing the viewer to then post feedback and engage in discussions online with a virtual community spread out across the nation and beyond. Passive watching is giving way to interactive conversations, thereby creating new opportunities for entertainment to also educate and create change. Among those concentrating their creative energies in this new medium is Joshua Feinman, a professional actor in Los Angeles and a Riverdale native. Feinman is the producer of “Front Seat Chronicles,” a new series streamed through the Internet, with new episodes broadcast each week at The Public Internet Channel (, which hosts other shows dealing with social issues. The premise of “Front Seat Chronicles” is based upon the observation that many serious, heart-to-heart conversations happen in those moments after the time that a car has reached its destination and the ignition is shut off, and a reflective mood sometimes descends upon both driver and passenger before either disembarks. In those brief moments, the characters of “Chronicles” unburden themselves and discuss a wide variety of sensitive subjects, including unemployment, divorce, breaking old destructive habits, and caring for a parent with dementia. After each episode are resources to find out more information about the subject, and a forum for further discussion.

For Feinman, “Chronicles” is the next step in a career increasingly focused upon using drama to engage and foster learning. For the past ten years, in between appearances in Hollywood blockbusters and leading roles in independent films, he has been performing the one-man interactive show, “Voyage of Odysseus,” across the country, primarily for young children. This past November, Feinman brought the show to P.S. 24, his alma mater, where he mesmerized students with the tale of the Greek hero, giving them roles as fellow sailors and leading them into each of his battles. Long after Feinman left the stage, students brought Odysseus’ journey back into their classrooms. “Chronicles” similarly seeks to draw attention to issues of deep concern through its unimposing format of 3-5 minute vignettes, and then lets the conversation continue from there. Eschewing elaborate props and glamorous actors, “Chronicles” instead favors a spartan, naturalistic setting with averagelooking men and women in order to create as realistic and direct dramatic experience as possible. It was this format that immediately drew Feinman to the project. “Front Seat Chronicles makes sense to me on so many different levels,” he said “Incredibly intimate performances, written from an authentic place, directed by amazing story-tellers. As a producer, the containment and simplicity of it all made it a no-brainer. I jumped at the opportunity to give back to society.” For his work in “Chronicles”, Feinman draws from his own experiences and those of friends. In fact, one recent episode, “What Now?”, which Feinman

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directed, focuses upon two brothers struggling with the bureaucracy of placing their father, stricken with dementia, in a nursing home. The brothers discuss their experiences dealing with Schervier Nursing Care Center and the Hebrew Home—revealing the episode’s setting of Riverdale. Of course, this is not surprising, given that the episode was written by Bradd Bowden, a lifelong friend of Feinman and a Riverdale resident with deep roots in the community. Bowden, whose mother, community activist and council member Debbie Bowden, passed away last month, grappled with these issues with his brothers when his father was no longer able to live independently due to Alzheimer’s Disease. Before “What Now?” Bowden had never written for film before. But Feinman’s project is all about engaging real issues in a direct

way, and so he preferred the “authentic voice” of Bowden to anything written on the subject by a polished screenwriter. Feinman already has been contacted by several professors from the University of Rhode Island and Miami Dade College who have evinced interest in the series as a teaching tool. And though the site is not advertised through commercials as are traditional TV shows, sheer word-ofmouth has propelled the series’ popularity. Since it’s on the Web, the Nielsen ratings don’t apply, but interest has been gauged though the number of hits the site receives daily, which have grown exponentially since the series’ November debut. A new episode of “Front Seat Chronicles” is featured each Wednesday at front-seat-chronicles. And of course, there is no need for TiVo, since every episode is always available for viewing.

By PAULETTE SCHNEIDER The Hebrew Institute of Riverdale won a Synagogue Inclusion Award for its work on behalf of the community’s special needs population. The award, created by the United Jewish Appeal, provides a grant for furthering the shul’s efforts “to include, accommodate, and accept those congregants living with disabilities.” Congregants who themselves have family members with special needs form a “tight-knit” community that keeps the congregation in touch with those who are not affiliated, said Rabbi Steven Exler. “Word of mouth” outreach efforts are readily transmitted over a strong and responsive network. Group homes in the immediate area have benefitted from HIR’s decades-old Special Friends program, an initiative that sponsors friendly gatherings for 20 people and lively events for 100. “We usually have music, dancing, maybe a three-minute talk on a holiday that’s coming up,” the rabbi explained. “We do physical activity—clapping, moving our hands. People have severe physical and cognitive impairment and are extremely limited, but even if they can clap or wave their hands or their aides can assist them, it’s a totally upbeat and energizing kind of environment. The music is fast-paced, and it’s an uplifting kind of gathering.” The shul is planning to invite group home members to some of its weekly Friday night community Shabbat dinners. But the inclusion effort transcends religious observance. “We’re certainly looking especially to include Jewish people with special needs,”

Exler said. “But as is always the vision of our “bayit” [home], we want to spread a meaningful message of Judaism and action to anyone. All are welcome.” Teaching tolerance to children is part of the plan. Youth department director Menachem Menchel has enlisted a puppet theater troupe for this Sunday’s Diversity Appreciation and Awareness Day. The “Kids Project” presentation, created by the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities, features puppet characters with challenges of their own—Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism, deafness, blindness, mental retardation, and other conditions that youngsters may encounter in their peers. “The program is designed to help children feel comfortable interacting with kids with developmental disabilities,” states the program description. “At the same time, it teaches students that children with developmental disabilities are just like them: playing games, having dreams and inspirations and living full lives...The “kids” talk openly about their disabilities, often dispelling stereotypes and myths.” Diversity Appreciation and Awareness Day activities will include the preparation of gift packages for distribution to needy families. Rabbi Exler summed up the synagogue’s approach: “Everyone has limitations, and we want to recognize our own and reach out to people who have others and build as broad a community as possible.” Congregants will gather Thursday evening to discuss additional programming for inclusiveness and meeting special needs in the community.

11 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, March 1, 2012

Hebrew Institute wins UJA Inclusion Award

Diaz speech is received warmly Manhattan and Brooklyn also packed into the school’s auditorium in a unified show of support. During his 53-minute speech, Diaz broached key issues of education, health, crime, tourism, transit and the passage of the significantly watered-down “Fair Wages for New Yorkers” Act. He announced that an inaugural Bronx Health Summit will be staged next year, bringing together the best minds on health and wellness from across the country, while a report on the borough’s first-ever education summit held last year will be released later this week. Deputy Bronx Borough President Aurelia Greene said the borough’s dramatic revitalization was clear for all to see. “The Bronx is back,” she said, a comment that elicited loud cheers and wolf whistles. “It’s not coming back. It’s back.” After hearing the speech, Councilman James Vacca boldly declared it as one of the best he’s heard in 35 years. “I think people in the audience understood that we are making significant progress, especially on the economic development front,” he said. “When you look at all the cumulative successes, I think we have a borough president who is having victory after victory, and his victory will benefit all the people in The Bronx.” Vacca, who was given a public shoutout for his role in advancing MetroNorth’s expansion into the east Bronx, also said the borough was finally living up to its potential. He was hopeful that The Bronx would once again recapture its coveted status of being a destination place. “Because of our geographic location, we are the perfect economic engine,” he said. “We were never really fully able to take advantage of our prime position and easy access to Manhattan, Queens, Westchester County and Connecticut, but I do think that with the borough president’s planning initiatives and what’s coming down the pipe, I think this is going to be a hot destination place.” Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz praised Diaz for pursuing an ambitious agenda for bringing businesses and jobs to The Bronx before weighing in on the controversial FreshDirect deal. He said with an unemployment rate of 12.4 percent, The Bronx would have been foolish to reject the proposed move. Critics have taken aim at city and state officials for offering the online grocer a generous $130 million subsidy package with no living wage mandate and for not consulting with nearby neighborhoods. “You can’t always say no to everything,” Dinowitz said. “Here’s an example where thousands of jobs are moving into The Bronx, and there will be an additional thousand jobs. “I think it’s going to be a win for The Bronx, and I hope that people who have questioned it have enough faith in the borough president—given his record—to know that he is going to do right by The Bronx.” In a statement, State Senator Gustavo Rivera also congratulated Diaz on his past successes and said he was looking forward to the new opportunities that lie ahead. “The development of the Kingsbridge Armory will be one of the many exciting opportunities that we see in The Bronx in 2012,” he said. “The future looks bright for The Bronx.”

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By MIAWLING LAM The Bronx is back in business and is set to reclaim its place as a top corporate and tourist destination. Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. made the bold declaration during his third State of the Borough address last Thursday. Speaking before a packed crowd at Harry S. Truman High School in Co-Op City, Diaz touted his administration’s economic development prowess and job creation credentials. Within the past year, The Bronx not only successfully lobbied FreshDirect to build a new 500,000-square-foot, state-ofthe-art building at the Harlem River Yards but also lured Smith Electric, an all-electric truck manufacturer, to relocate its operations from Missouri to Port Morris. Diaz said the two projects, which are set to create thousands of jobs, form part of a bigger conceptual master plan. Other crucial pieces in The Bronx’s master plan include the development of Riverdale Crossing, the yet-to-be-built shopping mall at the site of the former Stella D’oro cookie factory; the $270 million expansion of the Bay Plaza shopping center near Co-op City, including a new Macy’s department store; and the new Kingsbridge Armory proposals. “They work together to move The Bronx in a positive direction,” Diaz said. “We are balancing the needs of individual neighborhoods with the needs of the entire borough, and our development agenda is moving forward because we are attentive to those concerns. “Through comprehensive planning and community collaboration, we are reshaping The Bronx and advancing a strong agenda for its future.” A who’s-who of politics turned out to listen to Diaz, including New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, embattled New York City Comptroller John Liu, City Council Speaker and possible mayoral candidate Christine Quinn and former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion. Diaz’s counterparts from Staten Island,

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Thursday, March 1, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


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13 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, March 1, 2012


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Thursday, March 1 Yonkers

DR. SEUSS BIRTHDAY PARTY 4 p.m. Riverfront Library One Larkin Center Come to play games and hear Dr. Seuss stories in the Community Room on the second floor. The Dr. Seuss Birthday Party is for children ages 3-7. This is a FREE event. Call the Children’s Department at (914) 337-1500 ext. 428 for more information.


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 more information, call 914-723-3470.

Tuesday, March 6 Yonkers

PICTURE BOOK TIME 10:30 a.m. Riverfront Library One Larking Center Come to the Riverfront Library on Tuesdays at 10:30 with your 3_ to 5 year old for stories, songs and finger plays. You can also meet Tog, Jasper, or Golda. Picture Book Time will run each Tuesday at 10:30 am through May 8th. This is a FREE event. Call the Children’s Department at (914) 337-1500 ext. 427 for more information.

Wednesday, March 7 Yonkers

MOTHER GOOSE TIME 10:30 a.m. Riverfront Library One Larkin Center Come to the Yonkers Riverfront Library every Wednesday morning at 10:30 with your 1_ to 3_ year old for stories, songs and finger plays. Mother Goose Time will run each Wednesday at 10:30 am through May 9th. This is a FREE event. Call the Children’s Department at (914) 337-1500 ext. 427 for more information.


SILLY SYMPHONY & MEGILLAH READING 5:45 p.m. Shaarei Tikvah 46 Fox Meadow Road An evening of merriment and satire. There will be a magic show at 5:45 pm and Megillah reading at 6:30. Everyone is encouraged to come in costume and participate in the gala costume parade. The Silly Symphony, conducted by Cantor Gerald Cohen, is a band of talented homegrown musicians of all ages who merrily accompany the traditional reading. For more information, call 914-472-2013, ext. 300.

Thursday, March 8 Yonkers

JOURNAL PARTY 4 p.m. Riverfront Library One Larkin Center Come to the Riverfront Library Community Room (2nd Floor) on Thursday to learn about journaling and to play games based on the books. Each partygoer will receive a free journal! The Wimpy Kid/Big Nate Journal Party is for children ages 8-14 and is limited to twenty children. Registration is required. Call the Children’s Department at (914) 337-1500 ext. 428 for more information and to register.

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 self-discovery 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.


DANCE 7:30 p.m. Sarah Lawrence College Schonberg Dance Studio Open Dance Concert. Sarah Lawrence College Dance student performances. March 9 and 10. For more information, please call (914) 395-2433.

Saturday, March 10 Dobbs Ferry

GENEALOGY 10 a.m. Aldersgate Methodist Church 600 Broadway The Westchester County Genealogical Society welcomes Joe Buggy, who will talk on ‘Researching Irish Ancestors in New York City.’ There will be refreshments and genealogical networking starting at 9:30 a.m. For more information, call Philomena Dunn at 914-953-9173.

Sunday, March 11 Scarsdale

MAPLE SUGARING PARTY 11 a.m. Greenburgh Nature Center 99 Dromore Road Family fun to celebrate the end of winter and the peak of the maple sugaring season, when the warming daytime temperatures encourage the sap to flow. Featured events include depictions of Native American and Colonial style sugaring sites, crafts, candy and ice cream making. For discounted rate, register and pre-pay online by Saturday, March 10. Visit our homepage to purchase your tickets. Early registration rates: Members-$4, Non-members-$8. Day of event rates: Members-$8, Non-members $12. Sponsored in part by WFAS, ShopRite, L.L. Bean, Whole Foods Market and Westchester County Parks. For more information, call 914-723-3470.

Thursday, March 15 Yonkers

DIARY PARTY 4 p.m. Riverfront Library One Larkin Center Yonkers Riverfront Library will host a Dumb and Dorky Diary Party. Come to the 2nd floor Community Room to learn about journaling and play games based on the books Dear Dumb Diary and The Dork Diaries. Each partygoer will receive a free diary to keep. The Dumb and Dorky Diary Party is for children ages 8-14 and is limited to twenty children. Registration is required. This is a free event. Call the Children’s Department at (914) 337-1500 ext. 428 for more information and to register.

Sunday, March 18 Scarsdale

GOAT STROLL 11 a.m. Greenburgh Nature Center 99 Dromore Road Come meet our goats and help take them for a walk around the Nature Center. Join naturalist Greg Wechgelaer and the goats on an informative stroll through our trails. Members-$2, Nonmembers-$6. For more information, call 914-723-3470.

Friday, March 23 Bronxville

BOOK DISCUSSION 4 p.m. Sarah Lawrence College Heimbold Visual Arts Center Sarah Lawrence College alumna, Amanda Foreman, author of A World on Fire, will read and discuss her book on the involvement of Great Britain in the US Civil War. This event is presented by the Friends of the Library, and is free and open to the public. For more information please call (914)-395-2412.

Saturday, March 24 Scarsdale

FEEDING FUN 11 a.m. Greenburgh Nature Center 99 Dromore Road It’s mealtime in our live animal museum. Come see what’s on the menu. Included with Museum admission– FREE for Members! For more information, call 914-723-3470.

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Thursday, March 1, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, March 1, 2012

Thursday, March 1, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



Youngsters 3-12 years old are invited to participate in the Reading Program on Saturday, March 3, at the NEW Kingsbridge Library, 291 West 231st Street, from 1 to 1:45 p.m. Readers will be grouped by skill level and encouraged to read, helped with pronunciation and word understanding, and for those without reading skills, interpret pictures. There is no charge for participation. The Rotary Club of Riverdale is part of Rotary International and sponsors the library reading project as a local community service. Adult volunteers who are interested in participating are asked to contact Karen Pesce, Secretary: (718) 549-4469.

St. Gabriel’s Parish to hold Lenten lectures

St. Gabriel’s Church will be holding a Lenten Lecture series on three Sundays in the March of March. The lectures will be held at 1 p.m. at Walsh Hall, 3250 Arlington Avenue. On March 4, Kevin McDonnell, member of the Board of Directors of Alzheimer’s Association, will speak on the topic ‘Alzheimer’s Patient & Caretaker.’ On March 11, Maurice Timothy Reidy, online editor of America magazine, will speak on the topic, ‘The Church.’

On March 25, Fr. John Knapp will speak on the topic, ‘Fathers of the Church.’ For more information, call 718-5484471.

PJ Library kickoff program at CSAIR

Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale (CSAIR) invites all families with children up to 8 to a fun-filled, prePurim program on Sunday, March 4 at 10:30 a.m. Come and learn about Purim, participate in holiday-related activities, and enjoy delicious Hamentashen. You will also have a chance to learn about PJ Library, an award-winning national program that provides monthly mailings of free, high-quality Jewish books and CDs to families with children 0-8 years old. To RSVP for the March 4 program, call CSAIR at 718-543-8400 ext. 0. For more information about the PJ Library, contact Joshua Kronish, Program Coordinator, at or visit their website:

5 Women’s Exhibit: Art alive in Riverdale

The Riverdale Art Association presents an exhibit of five local artists currently painting in Riverdale.

Ruth Hurd, Gloria Karlson, Joan Levine, Laraine Pearson and Aija Sears are featured in an exhibit of their recent work. The Artists’ Reception is Sunday, March 4th from 2:00 to 3:30 PM at the Riverdale Yonkers Society for Ethical Culture. 4450 Fieldston Road, Riverdale, New York 718 548 4445 The exhibit is open through the month of March, Monday - Friday, 10 AM - 4 PM. The artists are members of the Riverdale Art Association and invite the community to this exciting exhibit and to meetings of the Riverdale Art Association. Meetings are open to the public and are the second Tuesday each month at the Riverdale Atria’s Community Room. The next meeting is scheduled for March 13th at 7:00PM. The presentation will be by Brian Skinner

Moshe Margalit to exhibit paintings at the Y

The opening exhibit of paintings by Moshe I. Margalit will take place on Sunday, March 4, 2012 from 1:30 to 3:30 pm at the Riverdale Y. A reception will follow the exhibit. Mr. Margalit is a resident of Riverdale for over 40 years and his paintings depict mostly scenes of Riverdale and of Jewish topics. Mr. Margalit has painted with various teachers at the 92 Y, with Mr. Jason Allway at Wave Hill and also at the Riverdale Y

with Mr. Hauben. He started painting 6 years ago. His earliest memories of knowing that he would like to paint and draw go back to his time in Jerusalem when as a little boy he drew a famous rabbi of his yeshiva.

Purim Carnival at Riverdale Y

The Riverdale Y will host its Annual Purim Carnival on Sunday, March 4, from 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. The entire community is invited to join in on the fun. Admission: $5 (includes 6 carnival booth tickets) Additional tickets for carnival booths: 12 for $8 . For more information go to The Y is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue.

Auditions for new production of Rising Stars

Auditions for the award-winning Rising Stars teen production of 42nd Street will be held Sunday, March 4 from 4:006:00pm. A song and dance combination will be taught. For character breakdown and links to the music please check our website, Rising Stars is open to teens, ages 12-18. Participation is by audition only. The Y is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue. For more information call 718-548-8200 ext 208.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, March 1, 2012

Rotary Club to sponsor reading hour

Thursday, March 1, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Demeaning the teachers To much fanfare, and an equal amount of hand-wringing, the city has released the results of a pilot teacher evaluation system which reveals, by name, what is purported to be the relative performance of teachers using a value-added assessment. As supporters of the release of the data rejoice, we predict that this may well be the last time such data is collected in this way or released in New York. It is just too unreliable and subject to manipulation at every step along the way. Even supporters of “reform” are queasy over the use of the data this way. A backlash seems to be taking hold. Bill Gates, the Microsoft founder who has turned to philanthropic support of education reform efforts, has criticized the release of this data. Writing in the New York Times last Thursday, Mr. Gates opined, “publicly ranking teachers by name will not help them get better at their jobs or improve student learning. On the contrary, it will make it a lot harder to implement teacher evaluation systems that work.” While most of us would like educators to be evaluated in some reliable objective way, what has been demonstrated in New York City shows how difficult this is. The papers trotted out the high scorers, many of whom debunked the program under which they were being lauded. The tabloids also put the heads of the low scoring educators on spikes, with angry calls for their dismissal. Should we be so quick to accept these scores as accurate, and be willing to demonize individuals by name? This round of tests in particular shows the weaknesses of the system. Included among them are tests that the State Education Department has already acknowledged were grossly inflated. The city has admitted that the margin of error in their calculations is especially high. How can we allow teachers, who arguably do a very tough job under the best of circumstances, to be demonized by faulty data? Now that the pressure is on, things will surely get worse. As long as tests have been given, people have found ways to cheat. But in the past, it has usually been the students who have been doing the cheating. This was usually simple stuff, copying answers from the “smart” kid in the next seat, or a student scribbling formulas onto the palm of his hand for quick reference during the exam. It was the students who did the cheating because they perceived that they had something to gain. As the purpose of testing moves from diagnosing student academic strengths and weaknesses to rating teachers, principals and schools, cheating has taken on a more sinister flavor. It is adults who now derive benefit or sanction and, as predicted by Campbell’s Law, cheating is on the rise. Sociologist Donald T. Campbell wrote in 1976 that “the more any quantitative social indicator is used for social decision-making, the more subject it will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to distort and corrupt the social processes it is intended to monitor.” Campbell specifically applied his principle to testing of students. “When test scores become the goal of the teaching process, they … lose their value as indicators of educational status and distort the educational process in undesirable ways.” This is exactly what has happened in many districts, such as Atlanta, GA, where the highly regarded superintendent resigned in disgrace, and perhaps also in Washington, D.C., where the improved scores under resigned education reform icon Michelle Rhee are now under investigation. We have no reason to believe that New York is immune from the laws of human nature. It can be argued that, perhaps by design, test security here has deteriorated in recent years, providing incentives to educators at every level to try and game the now high stakes system. The old much-maligned Board of Ed mandated a policy that on days standardized tests were administered, a representative from the local district would be dispatched to each and every school to oversee the testing process. This individual would monitor the unpacking of the cartons, breaking of shrink-wrap, and distribution of tests to classrooms. They would make certain that any instructional Continued on Page 19

Muslim surveillance—a matter of life or death

To The Editor: The main section of the N.Y. Times is divided into three main parts: international news, national news and local news. The international news component gives extensive coverage to events going on all over the world, and has for many years exposed the countless instances of savagery, butchery and murder committed by Muslim fanatics in countries throughout half the globe -- with all this violence and brutality being perpetrated solely to promote the expansion of Islam and Sharia law. Not only have these religious zealots maimed, beheaded and slaughtered Christians and Jews, but they have also massacred millions of their fellow Muslims — even murdering those on pilgrimage or praying in mosques. These are indisputable facts! Proponents call Islam “a religion of peace.” Humbug! Try telling that to its many millions of maimed, wounded or dead victims. We all know what happened on 9/11 when almost 3,000 in-

nocent people were murdered in the callous destruction of the World Trade Center buildings. Who were the culprits? Radical Muslims who (in the name of Allah) were even willing to sacrifice their own lives to cause this destruction. Thank G-d, through the vigilance and extraordinary efforts of various law enforcement agencies, including in great part through the efforts of the NYC Police Department, the city has been protected from further harm for the last 10 1/2 years.

The motorists be damned

To The Editor: Yes, the streets throughout NYC -- not just in The Bronx - are in bad shape. But who are we supposed to complain to. City Hall? The mayor doesn’t want to see any cars in NYC. The Public Advocate? What does he advocate for the public, anyway? We motorists need to organize. Right now we don’t have any organization speaking up in our behalf.

ANDREW WOLF, Editor and Publisher

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

JOEL PAL Production Manager ROBERT NILVA Marketing Director

However, at the present time, a big stink is being made by Muslim organizations, the ACLU, and the politically-correct “kumbaya crowd” over NYC Police surveillance activities that was (and is) focused almost entirely (and appropriately so) on the Muslim community. Who else do these fools think the police should target? Should they monitor Christian Science reading rooms, Dominican social clubs, Unitarian churches…? Continued on Page 19

CECILIA McNALLY Office Manager MIAWLING LAM Associate Editor

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

Those “third-world roads” impose added burdens on ordinary New Yorkers. February 19 I had a flat tire while driving in Brooklyn and was told by the repair shop I found on Fourth Avenue that the problem wasn’t the tire; air leaked out due to a cracked rim. The mechanic told me I must have hit a pothole. Of course I had -- a few days earlier on Broadway, near 225th Street. It cost me $80 to have the rim welded. Until motorists organize, our driving costs are going to get higher and higher, and the roads will get more rutted -- the part of the roads not turned over to bicycles, that is. By the way -- anyone look at gas prices at local pumps, lately? I think we are getting government to the people-- not of, by and for the people. David R. Zukerman

Continued from Page 18 materials on display in classrooms were covered or removed. While the exam was being administered, the district representative would tour the building, making sure hallway security was maintained and spot-checking the testing process in individual classrooms. When the exam was concluded, attention was shifted to the rapid collection of test materials and the secure delivery of those materials to the district office. This policy initially continued under mayoral control by the then newly formed regional offices. But as the regional staffs were shrunk and testing took on greater influence, the policy was discontinued. Security surrounding testing serves two purposes. First is to actually “catch” cheating as it occurs. But more importantly, the knowledge that there was an independent monitor watching the process was a powerful weapon in helping to keep teachers and principals from succumbing to temptation. There is a pervasive sense today that scores need to raised, and by any means necessary. In some cases this is being interpreted literally, too literally. The release of these scores and the public humiliations will only encourage more abuse looking forward. After all, who wants their name on the front page of the tabloids? If we are to use the tests to evaluate teachers, they must be universally accepted as true and accurate measures. Ours fall short. And if we’re administering such tests, not only should the old test monitoring procedures be restored here in New York, but the city and state should insist on the analysis of erasures and use of statistical programs that can flag unusual patterns of right and wrong answers within a classroom or a school. It was this methodology that uncovered a cheating scandal some years back in Chicago, courageously applied then by the superintendent there, a fellow named Arne Duncan. Some lost their jobs after hard evidence of cheating was found. We are investing precious billions in the education of our children, and deserve to get true and accurate data, not just screaming headlines in the tabloids. Our teachers and our children deserve better.

Why I’m for Obama To The Editor: As this is a presidential election year, my vote for President of the United States will go to the incumbent, Barack Obama. Why? President Obama has fought a successful battle against terrorists by the assassinations of Osama Bin Laden and his two top lieutenants. These assassinations have proven that Americans and America in particular will NOT be bullied by terrorists. We may have not won the war on terrorism but we have fought successful battles against those who wish to brandish their evil ways upon innocent people. The friendly skies have become more friendly once again. We have bomb-sniffing dogs and anti-terrorist means to prevent disaster from reaching our airplanes and Amtrak trains and other forms of public transit. I’m proud to say that America is my country and I will support its ways against those who wish to do evil against innocent lives. I’m giving my vote to Barack Obama and so should you. Al Agovino, Jr.

LEADERSHIP, TEAMWORK AND A PARKS DEPARTMENT PARTNERSHIP. Josh Landes, Jim Quinn and Jon Trambert joined other neighbors last Sunday in a woodland cleanup project organized by community leader Sura Jeselsohn. Volunteers came out in force to clear fallen branches and debris from the area just south of the Seton Park tennis courts. The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation provided a sizable crew, rakes and a truck that transforms wood into chips. As the volunteers piled tree limbs along West 232nd Street, parks department staff fed the material into the chipper then dumped the fragrant mulch on Palisade Avenue along Riverdale Park. A separate team of neighbors smoothed the mulch on what was until then a deeply rutted path. So industrious were those clearing the land that parks employees faced more than they could chip in one day. “I gathered from [Bronx Deputy Chief of Operations] Michael Grattan that they finally asked you to desist because they could not keep up with the work,” Jeselsohn told volunteer David Osterczy, who brought his own cadre of workers to the site. “They have promised to send a chipper and trucks over the next few weeks to clean up all the debris that you were able to drag out.”

Independence Ave. traffic Continued from Page 2 recklessly dart in and out of the four-way stop sign outside the two schools. Late last year, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz stepped up efforts and called on city officials to designate the entire 14-block stretch along Independence Avenue between West 232nd and West 246th Streets a Neighborhood Slow Zone. Department of Transportation authorities are still reviewing that application, but if approved, speed limits along the busy thoroughfare would be lowered to 20 mph from the current 30 mph. Councilman G. Oliver Koppell, State Senator Adriano Espaillat, the 50th Precinct and the parents associations at M.S/H.S 141, P.S 24 and Riverdale Temple Nursery have also backed the plan. According to a timeline released by the DOT, slow zone applications are reviewed through the winter, and successful applicants are informed of their selection in the spring. The new zones then have to be designed and presented to community boards before construction can begin in the summer. “Unfortunately, it’s a long process,” Dinowitz told the Riverdale Review. “We’re fighting for this, and I believe we’ll get it done.” Community Board 8 traffic and transportation chair Daniel Padernacht strongly defended claims his committee has failed to adequately address the safety issues in the area. Representatives from P.S. 24 did not show up at last Tuesday’s committee meeting, even though they requested that a “civil debate” be held on that night to resolve the traffic situation.

By PAULETTE SCHNEIDER By this summer or fall, drivers who cross the Henry Hudson Bridge will need to use an E-ZPass—cash lanes will be a thing of the past. Drivers who don’t have an E-ZPass will not get a free ride as they glide across the span and take in the view. As they pass the toll plaza, their license plates will be photographed and the cost of the trip will be a $50 fine. The first offense will be waived. To capture data on out-of-state licenses, the MTA will cooperate with motor vehicle departments throughout the country. The MTA’s decision to proceed with plans for the cash-free toll plaza was based on its experience from 2011, when they removed gates in the E-ZPass lanes and dodged a possible loss of revenue by collecting fines from noncompliant drivers who were able to get by unhindered. According to the MTA, 25 percent more traffic now crosses the bridge during rush hours. Cash is still OK when you’re not on the bridge. The authority has already equipped 2,500 area retail stores with a Reload Card that enables drivers to replenish an E-ZPass using money if they prefer to avoid using a credit card or checking account.

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19 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, March 1, 2012

HH Bridge to become cashless

Demeaning the teachers

Thursday, March 1, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Riverdale Review, March 1, 2012  

Weekly newspaper published in Riverdale, NY 10471