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Volume XIX • Number 10 • March 15 - 21, 2012 •

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Confusion reigns as legislature, courts battle on redistricting By MIAWLING LAM Redistricting maps for the state Senate, Assembly and congressional districts continue to be unresolved, with the latest plans out of Albany remaining a moving target. Legislators released revised boundaries for Senate and Assembly seats in a 253-page document late last Sunday but failed to heed calls to include significant changes. Under the latest version, Sen. Jeffrey Klein is still slated to snap up Riverdale, which is currently divided among three Senate districts, and another large swath of The Bronx. Klein, who already represents Pelham Bay and Throggs Neck, would also snare Spuyten Duyvil and parts of Belmont, but lose Eastchester in Westchester County. The cosmetic changes have Sen. Gustavo Rivera’s 33rd District swallowing the Bronx Zoo and a small area to the east of it, while Sen. Ruth Hassell-Thompson’s 36th District would become more compact and be cut off at Allerton Road and East Gun Hill Road. Assembly lines in The Bronx remain the same as the original proposal, with Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz adding the only two buildings in Riverdale that weren’t in his district as well as a number of schools along the Jerome Park Reservoir. The updated lines attracted a flurry of criticism after

legislators broke with tradition and failed to immediately provide a map clearly showing the boundaries of each district. Officials instead chose to provide a labored description of the lines in their lengthy document. The maps were unveiled only 24 hours later, after Senate Democrats released the plan and chided the GOP for failing to make it available sooner. Governor Andrew Cuomo has indicated he would veto the revised plan unless lawmakers agreed to create a bipartisan committee to redraw future political lines. According to a bill introduced on Sunday, leaders are demanding a constitutional amendment to reform the redistricting process. The amendment would mandate that a bipartisan commission be created to draw the lines following the 2020 census. The group would consist of appointees from both Assembly and Senate majorities and minorities. At a community forum in Norwood last week, Bronx residents and voters expressed their dismay about the confusing process. Bedford Park resident Lorraine Stewart even accused Albany lawmakers of failing to understand the ramifications of their decisions. “This business is crazy,” she said. “You can’t sit in Albany and know what we need down here.”

The new Legislature district maps came just days after Sen. Adriano Espaillat announced he was mulling a run for Congress. The elected official, who represents a sliver of Riverdale and a large part of upper Manhattan, is said to be eyeing Rep. Charlie Rangel’s seat and on Sunday, revealed he was forming a seven-member exploratory committee. The move would set up a potential Democratic dogfight with Rangel, who is currently the third-longestserving member of the House of Representatives. “This is a historic opportunity for the state of New York to send a clear and unmistakable message that the growth of the Latino community demands that our government reflect our diversity,” Espaillat said in a statement. “We are forming a committee that will explore the possibilities of what a predominantly Latino district would look like and whether there is support for a candidate who represents us. “While it’s premature to target one particular district, given the fact that final district lines have not been settled, launching this exploratory committee is an important step in marking sure we are ready, when the final district lines are established.” Continued on Page 2

Few accidents logged at disputed school crossing By MIAWLING LAM The NYPD has logged just two dozen accidents outside two of Riverdale’s public schools since 2007, new statistics show. Official crash data prepared exclusively for the Riverdale Review reveals police have recorded only 25 accidents along the sixblock stretch of Independence Avenue between West 232nd and West 238th streets in the past six years. In comparison, the intersection of Broadway and West 230th Street has played host to a whopping 324 accidents over the corresponding period. Locals have long argued that traffic-calming measures are desperately needed along the Independence Avenue corridor. The P.S. 24 parents association was even successful at lobbying the 50th Precinct to deploy officers to the area to monitor the situation. But data now shows that while the number of accidents has escalated—there were eight accidents last year, compared with just two in 2008—the stretch clearly isn’t one of the precinct’s worst intersections. Training sergeant at the 50th

Precinct Michael Hennelly said of the 25 cases, six involved pedestrians. Of those, five people—whose ages ranged from 34 to 94—reported only minor injuries. None of the injuries was life-threatening. “Three pedestrian accidents occurred at the intersection of West 235th Street, two in 2010 and one in 2012,” Sergeant Hennelly said in an email. “Two pedestrian accidents occurred at the intersection of West 237th Street in 2007 and one in 2010. One pedestrian accident occurred at West 238th Street in 2009.” The intersection of Independence Avenue and West 235th Street, which has been repeatedly cited by the P.S 24 parents association as being particularly deadly, accounted for more than half of all accidents, with 14 crashes. Of those cases, three involved pedestrians. Meanwhile, the intersection at West 237th Street was the site of nine accidents, while two were recorded at West 238th Street. No crashes were recorded in the remaining cross-streets. Commanding officer of the 50th Precinct Captain Kevin Continued on Page 2

Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. prepares to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the students from the Flynn School for Irish Dance at his annual Bronx Irish Heritage Celebration. The event took place This past week at the Rambling House in Woodlawn, and drew a crowd of more than 150 from all corners of the Bronx.


Thursday, March 15, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW

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Independence Ave. school crossing Continued from Page 1 Burke said the six-block stretch of Independence Avenue simply “doesn’t show up as an accident-prone location.” Late last year, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz stepped up efforts and called on the city to designate the entire 14-block stretch along Independence Avenue between West 232nd and West 246th Streets a Neighborhood Slow Zone. Councilman G. Oliver Koppell, State Senator Adriano Espaillat, the 50th Precinct and the parents associations at P.S. 24, M.S/H.S 141 and Riverdale Temple Nursery also supported the plan. A DOT spokeswoman said the slow zone application was currently being reviewed. If approved, the speed limit along the busy thoroughfare would be lowered from 30 mph to 20 mph. Applications are assessed based on a range of factors, including the number of traffic crashes within the proposed area, but Captain Burke didn’t believe the pending slow zone application would be jeopardized by the minimal number of accidents. “Ultimately, they’re going to decide and take everything into account,” he said. “I think the fact that two schools are in the location and the fact that it’s a wide roadway that is pretty well-traveled benefits the request for a slow zone. “But as far as being an accident-prone location, it doesn’t fit that criteria, but that’s just one of many factors they’re considering.” Captain Burke was also quick to point out

Redistricting Continued from Page 1

Among those on the exploratory committee are heavy-hitters including longtime Washington Heights power broker Maria Luna, president of the consulting firm Global Strategy Group Jefrey Pollock, and lobbyist of consulting firm MirRam Group Kim Ramos. If successful, Espaillat would become the first Dominican-American elected to Congress. Meanwhile, federal magistrate Roanne L. Mann released a tweaked version of her congressional redistricting map on March 12. Under her proposal, which the courts could impose, The Bronx will be carved into four districts instead of the five originally proposed by state lawmakers. Only one of four districts will be wholly contained within The Bronx. Rep. Rangel, who has presided over the historic Harlem-based district since 1971, will move up to The Bronx and represent Bedford Park, Norwood, Kingsbridge Heights and parts of University Heights. Rep. Eliot Engel’s district would still encompass Riverdale but would now also include a larger portion of Westchester, including New Rochelle, Rye and Scarsdale. Meanwhile, Rep. Joseph Crowley’s and Rep. Jose Serrano’s districts remain virtually unchanged, although Crowley loses parts of Co-Op City. A legislative task force (LATFOR) redraws the political boundaries for the state Assembly, Senate and congressional districts every 10 years to reflect the most current census data. But because both Republican and Democratic political leaders control the task force, the plans are usually the result of accommodations that protect incumbents rather than merely reflecting demographics.

that the figures don’t paint an accurate picture as they fail to document near-misses. “What is hard to qualify are the near-misses that the neighborhood and residents regularly complain about on Independence Avenue,” he said. Locals have previously accused motorists of speeding through the area, doubleparking, triple-parking, blocking traffic and recklessly darting in and out of the four-way stop sign outside the two schools. 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 are then designed and presented to community boards before construction begins in the summer.

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By MIAWLING LAM Closing Indian Point would be catastrophic for New York City and result in more brownouts, blackouts and higher utility bills, according to former mayor Rudy Giuliani. The one-time presidential candidate weighed in on the controversial topic during his keynote address at the Bronx Chamber of Commerce Irish Heritage luncheon last Wednesday. Speaking to reporters before addressing a bumper crowd of up to 200 people, Giuliani said the nuclear power plant, located just 24 miles from The Bronx, was critical in sustaining the city’s powerhungry needs. “If we were to close Indian Point, we’d cut off 25 percent of the power to New York City,” he said. “We would risk rolling brownouts for a significant period of time. I think we will really risk blackouts, and for sure, the cost of your electricity will skyrocket. “The idea of closing it would be a catastrophe for New York City.” Giuliani and his firm, Bracewell & Giuliani, have been heavily involved in vouching for the plant’s safety while its owners, Entergy, lobby officials to approve the licenses for two of its reactors. The current operating licenses for two reactors at Indian Point are due to expire in 2013, but Governor Andrew Cuomo has called for the plant to be shut down due to safety concerns. While Giuliani admitted there were risks associated with nuclear power, he said it remains one of the safest forms of energy. “I know nuclear power has risks. Everyone knows that, but the history of nuclear power in this country is that we’ve never lost a single person in a nuclear accident in the United State of America, and that’s over 30 years with over 105 plants,” he said.

“It has its risks, but compared to other forms of energy, it’s one of the safest.” Giuliani, who served as New York City mayor from 1994 to 2001, also blamed the Obama administration’s clean-energy agenda for stifling the economy. He said unlike India and China, who are both pushing ahead with nuclear energy, the U.S. has remained stagnant. “If we don’t start embracing all of the above policies, our economy is never going to be what it used to be,” he said. “In order to have the dominant economy in the world, you have to grow more energy. We should be expanding our nuclear power by 30 or 40 plants. We should be finding ways to deal with coal. We should be drilling for oil. We should be embracing fracking. “To put all our eggs in the basket of wind turbines and solar is irresponsible. It’s just a mistake.” Safety concerns about Indian Point intensified following the Fukushima Daiichi disaster in Japan last year, when a powerful earthquake and tsunami struck, damaging four reactors and sparking global panic. It was the largest nuclear disaster since the Chernobyl tragedy of 1986. Leading member of the Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition Marilyn Elie said she was disgusted by Giuliani’s comments, and she dismissed suggestions that the city needed the energy generated at Indian Point. “What I’d love to say to his face is that you can say this when you’re a paid shield for the industry,” she said. “It’s a lie that we need the electricity from Indian Point. “We use only 570 megawatts. That’s all ConEdison transmits. They just refuse to say where the rest of the electricity production in that plant goes.” Elie, who lives in Westchester, has been lobbying officials to create a 50-mile evacuation zone, to hold routine practice

Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani

drills and to shut the facility down. Currently, Indian Point’s evacuation plan takes into account only 300,000 residents living within a 10-mile ring of the plant. There are no plans for those living outside that radius, including those in Riverdale and surrounding parts of The Bronx, Elie said. “Japan had a terrible tragedy. A triple catastrophe. And they’re now looking at going from 85 percent electricity production by nuclear to going green,” Elie said. “Life goes on. The lights are still on, the subways are still running and they’re conserving. We can do the same.”

3 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, March 15, 2012

Indian Point vital to NYC’s livelihood and growth: Giuliani


Thursday, March 15, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW

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Around the schools... P.S. 81

“P.S. 81 Presents A Bronx Tale” is in the works—more than 100 students are already involved in preparing for the June 9 performance. The revue, produced by parent coordinator Nina Velazquez, will feature music that has some kind of Bronx connection. Songs made famous by Billy Joel, Carly Simon, Dion and the Belmonts, Celia Cruz and others will be represented. Boy Scout Troop 240 utilized last week’s parents association meeting to pitch for new recruits. The group meets at Riverdale Presbyterian Church and is proud of its history—visit troop240ny. org for details.

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

The community is invited to RKA’s annual Health Fair on Thursday, March 22, from 12:20 to 2:40 p.m. in the school gym. The event, linked with Dr. Mehmet Oz’s HealthCorps organization, will offer food samples, fitness demonstrations and wellness booths. Participants can take the U.S. Army fitness challenge, run an obstacle course, talk with a Montefiore Medical Center cardiologist and learn about Sahaja Meditation. Austin Cromartie is coordinating this fair. Last weekend’s Multicultural Show—the school’s 18th—was a big hit. Under the general direction of Velma Allen, talented students entertained a packed house for more than two hours. There were performances of modern interpretive dances, hip-hop, belly dancing and stomp. Vocalists paid tribute to current favorites from Maroon Five to Bruno Mars to Adele. Instrumentalists performed classical and modern pieces on guitar and violin.

Kinneret Day School

Eighth-graders Ben Davar, Michael Dulerain, Michael Goldfeld, Noah Gordon and Yuval Sitton earned third-place status at the 2012 Middle School Math Tournament last Tuesday. Participant spent the day competing against students from twenty-five other schools.

Horace Mann School

The community is invited to the school’s steel drum concert this Thursday, March 15, in Gross Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Senior Ken Zhang, under the guidance of his teacher, Mami Fujisaki, was nominated as a finalist in the Northeast Council of Teachers of Japanese Speech Contest for high school students. Zhang will present his speech at the United Nations International School on Friday, March 30.

College of Mount Saint Vincent

The next Winning Wednesdays series event is on Wednsday, April 4, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Diane Machado, director of career development and internships, will address cover letter and resume writing. The community is welcome to attend. To reserve a seat, contact Christine Leake at 718-405-3269 or christine. leake@mountsaintvincent.edu. The ninth annual “Explore Your Opportunities—The Sky’s the Limit!”

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Conference for seventh-grade girls will be held at the college this Saturday, March 17, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The conference, sponsored by the Westchester branch of the American Association of University Women, aims to provide young women with opportunities to meet and interact with positive female role models in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. Members of AAUW invite girls to choose from 17 different hands-on workshops. To download a registration form, visit aauw-eyoconference.org. The cost of the conference is $12.00 per participant, which includes workshops, breakfast and lunch. For more information, contact Wilma Gitchel at 914- 3321064 or wilmagitchel@optonline.net or Lorrin Johnson at 718-655-5204 or eddlorrin@yahoo.com.

Manhattan College

Civility is the subject of a faculty teachin on Thursday, March 22, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Dante’s Den on the third floor of Thomas Hall. The community is invited. A panel of nine professors will briefly discuss the concept of civility pertaining to their areas of expertise, and a question-and-answer period will follow. After receiving the Good Neighbor Award from the Methodist Home for Nursing and Rehabilitation in October 2011, the college continues to set an example of civility in the Bronx community. The student handbook recently added a good-neighbor policy that mandates a high standard of respectful conduct for students both on and off campus. The Dean of Students Civility Campaign is sponsoring the event.

Local Scholars

Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, has announced that the following students were named to the dean’s list for the fall 2011 semester: Allison Margaret Kahn, a graduate of SAR High School, now enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences; David Aaron Messenger, a graduate of the Horace Mann School, now enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences; and Jesse Bryan Blant, a graduate of the Bronx High School Science, now enrolled in the Olin Business School. To qualify for the dean’s list in the in the College of Arts and Sciences, students must earn a semester GPA of at least 3.5 while carrying at least 14 graded units. The Olin Business School dean’s list requirements are a GPA of at least 3.6 with at least 12 hours of graded course work. Washington University is considered among the world’s leaders in teaching and research. It enrolls more than 13,500 undergraduate, graduate and professional students in its seven colleges. Of 22 Nobel laureates who attended George Washington, nine did the major portion of their pioneering research there. The university offers more than 90 programs and almost 1,500 courses leading to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in a variety of traditional and interdisciplinary fields.

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have been filling up quickly. “People are really using it. Actually, a lot more than I thought,” Wartels said, adding that he has already emptied out the newspaper and glass and aluminum cans on three occasions. “Right now, I’m putting in a new bag every week.” Wartels said he was inspired to bring the recycling program to Riverdale after seeing hundreds of the colorful receptacles in Manhattan. Of the 680 cans littered across the city, only 74 are in The Bronx and until three weeks ago, just six were stationed in Riverdale—all of which were in Van Cortlandt Park. Businesses, nonprofits and local groups adopt the bins on a voluntary basis, empty

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By MIAWLING LAM Locals have embraced the expansion of a popular city-run recycling program. North Riverdale Merchants Association president Gary Wartels said residents and businesses have responded enthusiastically to the Public Space Recycling initiative. Under the program, run by the city’s Department of Sanitation, cerulean blue and emerald green baskets are placed in strategic locations across the five boroughs to encourage people to recycle. Two blue-and-green sets of cans were placed—one set at Skyview Shopping Plaza, located on Riverdale Avenue and West 259th Street, and one set at Riverdale Neighborhood House on Mosholu Avenue, on Friday, February 17. The cans

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them whenever they’re full, and hold the bags in a safe location until DSNY workers can pick them up. The receptacles and liners are provided to participating partners at no cost, and the bags are even collected for free at a time of a business or organization’s choosing. According to DSNY officials, the receptacles have a 90 percent purity rate, which means that garbage is rarely thrown into the bins. However, if the bag looks like it’s mostly full of garbage, workers treat it like rubbish, so merchants can avoid having to sort through the bag to remove trash. Wartels said concerns about cross-contamination and people placing garbage in the receptacles haven’t materialized

yet. But several people have been raiding the blue baskets for deposit bottles and cans that yield cash when returned to a vendor. “They go in and take all the cans out,” he said. “But I don’t see that as a negative because they’re taking it, recycling it and making money off it, so it’s accomplishing the goal.” The city imposes certain requirements about where the recycling baskets can be placed and their proximity to sidewalks and bus stops. The North Riverdale Merchants Association is currently looking for more businesses and organizations to manage other basket locations. Anyone interested in becoming a program partner is encouraged to attend the North Riverdale Merchants Association’s next meeting on Tuesday, March 20, at the Riverdale Neighborhood House.

5 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, March 15, 2012

Merchants hail new recycling program a success


Thursday, March 15, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW

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‘Sacred Space and Time’ at CSAIR

Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale (CSAIR) will welcome Rabbi Shmuel (Richie) Lewis over Shabbat, Friday, March 16 and Saturday, March 17. Rabbi Lewis, the Rosh Yeshiva of the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem, will speak on ‘Sacred Time’ Friday evening between Kabbalat Shabbat and Maariv (services begin at 6:15 p.m.). He will also speak on ‘Sacred Space’ on Saturday evening between Minha and Maariv. CSAIR is located at 475 West 250th Street. For more information, call 7181543-8400 or visit www.csair.org.

Riverdale AARP Chapter to meet

Riverdale Chapter #1546 AARP will meet on Wednesday, March 21, 2012, 12:30 p.m. at the Riverdale Presbyterian Church located at 4765 Henry Hudson Parkway West. Senior issues will be discussed and then they will be entertained by Larry Siegel with his electric banjo, guitar and singing popular songs. He has received much acclaim wherever he has appeared. The community is invited to join in with refreshments. For additional information, call Manfred Segal at l-718549-0088.

Baby Boomer group meets at Riverdale Y

Forever Young, The New Baby Boomer group, at the Riverdale YM-YWHA invites you Sunday March 18th from 1PM-3PM for: THE NEXT CHAPTER featuring Pat Brody who will talk about what you can do to enhance this time of your life, whether it be in your career or social life. This interactive discussion will explore the positive changes in life as you age. Talk about the excitement, potential, and the innate meaning of this time that can lead to new beginnings and discoveries. Pat has been in private practice for 25 years in Riverdale and Manhattan. A light lunch will be served while you mix and mingle before the speaker begins. $8 prepaid and $12 at the door. Forever Young is a new baby boomer group for young seniors that offers weekly classes and one time events. Please call Leora Garritano for more

information at 718-548-8200 ext. 204 or email: lgarritano@riverdaley.org. The Riverdale Y is located at 5625 Arlington Ave Bronx, NY

Brandeis Group holds semi-annual card party

The Riverdale Chapter of the Brandeis National Committee invites its members and their friends to its Semi-Annual Card and Game Party to be held on Wednesday, March 21, 2012 at 11:30 A.M. in the Riverdale Temple, West 246 Street and Indepedence Avenue. Attendees are asked to bring their own equipment for Bridge, Canasta, Scrabble, Mah Jongg or other games of their choice. Bingo will be offered for those who prefer it. Please make advance reservations by sending check for $12.00, payable to B.N.C., to Cecile Horwich, 5800 Arlington Avenue-10W, Riverdale, N.Y. 10471, as soon as possible. Subscription at the door will be $15.00. Bagels and light refreshments will be served and a boutique, “Vintage Jewelry by Granny Franny” will be displayed for sale.

Rabbi Weiss to speak on defending Israel

On Shabbat, Saturday, March 17, Rabbi Avi Weiss, Senior Rabbi of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale - the Bayit, will be speaking on the topic of ‘Defending our

People: Reflection on our grandson Gilad’s enlistment into the IDF.’ Services begin at 8:30 a.m. Sermon at approximately 10:30 a.m. Rabbi Avi will be speaking on the importance of Tzahal, the Israeli Army. He will offer personal reflections from himself and his wife, Toby, on becoming grandparents of a chayal (soldier) as his eldest grandson, Gilad, enters the army. Hebrew Institute of Riverdale is located at 3700 Henry Hudson Parkway. For more information, call 718-796-4730.

Manhattan College to host Civility Event on March 22

As part of Manhattan College’s commitment to increasing civility on campus and throughout the community, the College will host a faculty teach-in on Thursday, March 22 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Dante’s Den. A panel of nine professors will briefly discuss the concept of civility pertaining to their areas of expertise, and the audience will have the opportunity to ask questions and participate in an open dialogue. ‘Civility is an important topic on college campuses,’ said John Bennett, assistant director of student activities at Manhattan College. ‘It’s about how we treat each other, and making sure we’re respectful to one another in this smallknit community.’ After receiving the Good Neighbor Award from the Methodist Home for Nursing and Rehabilitation in October

2011, Manhattan College continues to set an example of civility in the Bronx community. Most recently, the College has also adopted a good neighbor policy in the student handbook, which aims to uphold the standards of respectful conduct for students both on and off campus. The goal of the good neighbor policy is to ensure Manhattan students show civility at all times and accept the responsibilities of good citizenship, which benefits the students and the community at large. The Dean of Students Civility Campaign is sponsoring the event, and the public is invited to attend the event located on the third floor of Thomas Hall. 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. manhattan.edu.

RNH offers Tween Summer Camp 2012

The Riverdale Neighborhood House is offering Tween Summer Camp 2012 (Ages 11 - 13). Their facilities include a swimming pool, outdoor basketball and tennis court, and indoor recreation space. Offsite trips may include museum tours, movies, bowling, and roller skating. Space is very limited and is on a first come first serve basis. Please note that $250 deposit is required as soon as possible to ensure that your child has a spot with the Tween Camp. For registration and info call: Jerome Harris @ (718) 549-8100 ext. 127. Or visit their website @ riverdaleonline.org Riverdale Neighborhood House is located at 5521 Mosholu Avenue.


Dr. Daniel Kabat of Lehman College’s Department of Physics and Astronomy has been selected by the American Physical Society as an Outstanding Referee of both The Physical Review and The Physical Review Letters for 2012. ‘It’s a great honor,’ says Dr. Kabat, who has written more than 40 peer-reviewed papers, including his two most recent publications, ‘Thermal diffractive corrections to Casimir energies’ and ‘Constructing local bulk observables in interacting AdS/CFT’; both were published last year in The Physical Review. Dr. Kabat is a theoretical physicist and cosmologist. His main goal is to develop and understand a theory that accommodates both gravity and quantum mechanics in a single unified framework. He is currently working on a version of string theory known as the AdS/CFT correspondence, with the goal of understanding how the concepts of space and time-which, he points out, are only approximate notionsarise in this framework. He also has worked on understanding the behavior of quantum black holes in string theory and has developed string theory models for the very early universe. He is currently studying modifications to Einstein’s theory of gravity, which could account for the increasingly rapid expansion that is taking place in the present-day universe. Much of his research has received funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation.

Prior to joining Lehman, Dr. Kabat was on the faculty of Columbia University. He also has held post-doctoral appointments at Rutgers University, New York University and the Institute for Advanced Study. Originally from California, Dr. Kabat earned his undergraduate degree in physics and mathematics from California Polytechnic State University and his Ph.D. in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1993.

Koppell honored by JBFCS

On Monday, February 27, 2012, Council Member Oliver Koppell, Chair of the Committee on Mental Health, Mental Retardation, Alcoholism, Drug Abuse and Disability Services, was honored by the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services ( JBFCS) at its Ittleson Center, 5050 Iselin Avenue, an educational and treatment facility for children with severe emotional problems. Koppell was specifically honored for the $1 million in Council funding he obtained to construct a beautiful new gymnasium and classrooms at the Ittleson Center, which Paul Levine, Executive Vice-President and Chief Executive Officer of the JBFCS, said, ‘would not have been built without this funding.’ In his introduction, Mr. Levine lauded Koppell for his leadership as Chair of the Mental Health Committee and, in particular, for his advocacy for geriatric mental health services, as well as services for children under five and those with Autism. Jean Troubh, Chairperson of the JBFCS

Creating memorable characters - A free writing workshop

Presented by the Bronx Council on the Arts’ Bronx Writers Center, Creating Memorable Characters is a free hands-on workshop for all writers (even the secret ones.) Bring a notebook, pen and prepare to create unforgettable characters. The workshop will be held at Barnes & Noble at Bay Plaza on Friday, March 23, 2012, from 6:00-8:00pm. Admission is free and all are welcome. Maria Romano, Director of the Bronx Writers Center, will teach the workshop. Ms. Romano is a writer and teacher with more than 10 years experience in the publishing industry. Creating Memorable Characters is one of a series of free workshops for writers produced by the Bronx Writers Center. Upcoming BWC workshops through September 21, 2012 at Barnes and Noble at Bay Plaza are: • How to Write Short Poetry on April 20th, • World Building for Fantasy and Sci-

ence Fiction Writers on May 18th, • Ask an Editor, Ask an Agent on June 15th, • Getting to the Finish Line: How to Prepare Your Writing for the Next Stage on July 20th, • First Lines: Getting Started on Your Writing Project on August 17th, and • How to Get Your Work Published on September 21st. For additional information on this workshop or other events presented by the Bronx Writers Center, call 718-931-9500 x21, e-mail bronxwriters@bronxarts.org, or visit the Bronx Writers Center’s web pages at www.bronxarts.org. Barnes & Noble at Bay Plaza is located at 290 Baychester Avenue in the Co-op City section of the Bronx. To find out about other literary activities at the store, please call 718-862-3945 or visit www. barnesandnoble.com (click on “Stores and Events”). The Bronx Writers Center supports and develops the appetite for writing and reading in the Bronx. The BWC searches for and promotes new voices and audiences and engages the community in literary and literacy programs.

TI Charter School Open House

On Wednesday, March 14, at 6pm, TI Charter School will have its final Open House for this Spring before the lottery takes place ine month from today! The open house will take place at Kingsbridge Library 291 W231 and will include a tour of the TI Charter building. Tech International Charter School will be a middle school and is located at 3120 Corlear Ave in Kingsbridge. Children are welcome to join, especially 5th graders since they will open in August 2012 with 132 6th graders.

7 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, March 15, 2012

Lehman physicist Kabat named Outstanding Referee of journals

Board of Trustees and Laurie Sprayregen, Chairperson of the Ittleson Committee, who was deeply involved with the new construction, spoke about Council Member Koppell’s support for the mental health community and his contribution to the Ittleson Center. ‘I want to thank the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services for this tremendous honor,’ Koppell said. ‘I am very pleased that the Ittleson Center is part of our Riverdale community and it gives me great satisfaction to have been able to support the services it is providing to troubled children, which enable them to live happy and productive lives.’


Thursday, March 15, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW

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Thursday, March 15 Kingsbridge

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

Riverdale

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.

Van Cortlandt

READ OUT LOUD 10:30 a.m. Van Cortlandt Branch Library 3874 Sedgwick Avenue Pre-schoolers from 3 to 5 years old and their parents/caregivers can enjoy new and classic picture books, action songs and meet other pre-schoolers in the neighborhood. For more information, call 718-543-5150.

Spuyten Duyvil

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

Van Cortlandt

Kingsbridge

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

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.

Riverdale

Tuesday, March 20

ANTI-BULLYING WORKSHOP 6:30 p.m. Riverdale YM-YWHA 5625 Arlington Avenue This workshop is designed for children in grades 3 through 5 with their parents. There will be a panel and discussion about bullying led by Rabbi Gerson, followed by teens reenacting different scenarios about situations that your child may encounter. For more information, call Marilyn Raider at 718-548-8200 ext 203.

Kingsbridge

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.

Friday, March 16 Kingsbridge

Spuyten Duyvil

BABY STORY TIME 11 a.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 West 235th Street Babies from birth to 18 months and their parents/caregivers can enjoy great books, lively songs and rhymes, and meet other babies in the neighborhood. For info, call 718-796-1202.

Riverdale

LECTURE ON BIG BANDS 1 p.m. Riverdale YM-YWHA 5625 Arlington Avenue Simon Senior Center presents composer and pianist, Isaac Ben Ayala, who will be giving a lecture “Big Bands.” For more information please call Vicki at 718-548-8200 ext. 224. The entire community is invited.

Wednesday, March 21

BILINGUAL BIRDIES 10:30 a.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street A foreign language and live music program for children ages newborn to five years old with parent/caregiver. The bilingual musicians teach through live music, movement, puppetry and games. Each session ends with a lively bubble dance party! Children learn basic vocabulary and short phrases while playing with instruments and fun props. For more information, call 718-548-5656.

Riverdale

Riverdale

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.

AARP MEETING 12:30 p.m. Riverdale Presbyterian Church 4765 Henry Hudson Pkwy. West Riverdale Chapter 1546 of AARP will meet. Senior issues will be discussed and then an entertainment by Larry Siegel. For more information, call Manfred Segal at 718-549-0088.

Kingsbridge

Riverdale

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.

Van Cortlandt

ON THE PLATE! 4 p.m. Van Cortlandt Branch Library 3874 Sedgwick Avenue It’s time to snack! Join cooking wizard Jailin Acevedo as she guides you through baking, chopping, grilling, and melting in the quest for delicious treats. See what’s on the menu! All materials will be provided. For ages 12 to 18 years old. For more information, call 718-543-5150.

Monday, March 19 Spuyten Duyvil

KINDLE LIBRARY BOOKS 9:30 a.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 West 235th Street Did you get a snazzy new Kindle over the holidays? Looking for more books to read? Come on in and we’ll show you how to download or reserve Library eBooks for your device. For more information, call 718-796-1202.

BRANDEIS GROUP MEETING 11:30 a.m. Riverdale Temple West 246th St. & Independence Ave. The Riverdale Chapter of the Brandeis National Committee invites its members and their friends to its Semi-Annual Card and Game Party. Subscription at the door will be $15. Bagels and light refreshments will be served and a boutique, “Vintage Jewelry by Granny Franny” will be displayed for sale.

Riverdale

CHAIR YOGA 1 p.m. Riverdale YM-YWHA 5625 Arlington Avenue Simon Senior Center presents Chair Yoga with Sandra Bernstein. For more information please call Vicki at 718548-8200 ext. 224.

Van Cortlandt

MARVELS OF MOTION 3:30 p.m. Van Cortlandt Branch Library 3874 Sedgwick Avenue Isaac Newton would be proud! Come explore his laws of motion with us in this abundantly engaging physics performance. Observe the power of all sorts of forces including gravity, centrifugal force, inertia and much more. Then we’ll harness the power of these forces together to create astonishing jet packs and even a rocket-propelled car! This Mad Science show is sure to please everyone and inspire more imaginative learning in all audience members! For ages 5 and older. For more information, call 718-543-5150.

Riverdale

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.


Charter school on track to fill seats partner schools. Officials have lined up two schools in each Canada and Mexico and one in India to become TI international partners, allowing students to breach barriers and expand their global connections. TI is currently accepting applications and will continue to do so until Friday, April 6. Anyone living in the state of New York can apply for a seat, but pupils who reside within District 10, which encompasses a large swath of the northwest Bronx including Riverdale, Fordham and University Heights, will be given priority. Admissions will be done through a lottery process, with the draw being held at 9 a.m. on April 13.

Riverdale Rising Stars Performing Arts Conservatory

e ses for th Free Clas rch 19-23 Ma Week of dule at .com See sche ingsstars is r le a d r rive

RPAC: DEDICATED TO THE EDUCATION OF THE ARTIST For over a decade, Riverdale Rising Stars Programming has brought Award-Winning theater to the Bronx. Now, with the same high quality, RPAC offers you an educational and training program taught by industry professionals in conjunction with the RRS faculty. RPAC courses include Basic Acting, Design, Stage Combat, Playwrighting and Shakespeare, taught by artists comprised of working industry professionals and Master Teachers. For the beginner, novice, professional, or simple lover of the art that has never had the opportunity to create. Come invent, imagine and rediscover with RPAC!

Ben Becher

Julian Rozzell, Jr.

Maryrose Wood

Ages 5 to adult

Shawn Renfro

Natasha Parry

Come meet RPAC staff, and for schedule, pricing, and registration, visit us at RiverdaleRisingStars.com.

5625 Arlington Avenue, Bronx, NY 10471 718.548.8200 | www.RiverdaleY.org STAY CONNECTED WITH RRS! facebook.com/RiverdaleRisingStars twitter.com/RiverdaleRisingStars

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, March 15, 2012

By MIAWLING LAM The Tech International Charter School, a new middle school slated to open in Kingsbridge this September, appears to be on track to fill each of its 132 sixthgrade seats. Officials touted the community’s strong support of the school during last Tuesday’s board meeting and said interest in TI remains strong. TI co-founder and executive director Steve Bergen declined to discuss specific enrolment numbers but said the school would have no problems filling their six classrooms. “Applications are going really well. Hiring is going really well. In December, I was nervous about both things. I’m no longer nervous about that,” Bergen said. “We’ve had so many people, at both the parent level in CSD 10 and the job market, who have just said to us, ‘this is just so great.’” At their previous board meeting on Tuesday, February 7, authorities said they had received 70 applications from interested families. Despite the strong Bronx interest, it is unclear whether any students from Riverdale have shown an interest in attending the school, sited in a 10-story mixed-use building at 3120 Corlear Avenue. Speaking publicly for the first time on the issue, M.S/H.S 141 principal Lori O’Mara said TI didn’t pose an immediate threat to the future of Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy. Appearing before the Community Board 8 education committee last week, O’Mara said she has already received 243 sixth-grade applications for next year’s cohort, a marked increase from last year’s figures. “A few of my parents association folks went to some of the informational evenings, and their take on it was that some of the ideas behind it were still rather vague,” she said. “They weren’t really formed yet, and they didn’t feel comfortable signing their child up for something that was untested. “Some of the other pieces were that their school day goes to 5 p.m., and there were concerns that people have—children preparing for bar mitzvahs or sports programs and how they didn’t want to not have their child do any of those things because they’re in school until 5 p.m. “The feedback wasn’t panicky from our parents going ‘oh my god, we’re going to lose students.’” O’Mara cited the charter school’s lack of an on-site lunchroom, gym, library or auditorium as being another turn-off for some parents. CB8 member Amy Moore also said the feedback from P.S. 81 has been relatively subdued. “The feedback was sort of, ‘it’s untested and we don’t know,’” she said. “Down the road, if it becomes something that looks good, it’s a different issue, but I don’t think this first year, you’re going to see a tremendous drop in your numbers at 141.” TI will place a strong emphasis on technology—students will be given their own laptop and e-reader—and children will be encouraged to develop international connections by interacting with

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Thursday, March 15, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW

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Hebrew Home offers new light for low-vision residents By PAULETTE SCHNEIDER Thanks to a gift from philanthropist Sonia Jaye, the Hebrew Home at Riverdale has become the first nursing home in the nation to include a special unit for lowvision residents. “When Sonia came to the Hebrew Home, she had a vision about vision. And her vision was to create a place unlike any other place in the country that we know of that would support people with low vision—help them hold onto the vision that they have, and if possible, even to get better,” Hebrew Home President and CEO Daniel Reingold said at a dedication ceremony this month for the Sonia Jaye and Edward Barsukov Low Vision Center, housed on the seventh floor of the home’s Resnick Pavilion. “This was not just a generous benefactor who had a fleeting idea of something,” Reingold continued. “Sonia rolled up her sleeves and got intimately involved with every aspect of the design.” Jaye spoke briefly at a luncheon following a ribbon-cutting and tour of the unit. “I chose the Hebrew Home because of the care and service it provides and the great reputation it has. So I would like to thank Dan Reingold and the Hebrew Home for allowing me to share in this venture, and I pray that our efforts will be blessed with great success.” Jaye brought in lighting expert Patricia Rizzo, the design program manager at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Lighting Research Center. Rizzo was able to apply not only her expertise in lighting for low-vision users but also her knowledge of interior design. She has tackled lighting on submarines, where the absence of natural light disrupts sleepwake cycles and other bodily functions. In her design for the center, she specified fixtures that expose residents to beneficial wavelengths and optimize the impact of light on their circadian rhythms. Another issue is glare, an obstacle for those with vision problems. Rizzo called for anti-glare measures including mattefinish surfaces. “We want to be able to present this at a conference, write up a paper and hopefully make it a model for low-vision centers,” she said. Robin Dessel, director of memory care services at the home, played a leading role in the project. During her tour, she pointed out the molding-enhanced walls, painted in muted, low-contrast hues and outfitted with user-friendly fixtures. “What is beyond masterful is that some of this lighting is motion-sensor operated, so that in the middle of the night when someone gets out of bed, they’re not struggling to search for a light source,” she said. One of the bathroom lights is even amber-colored so that people can find their way without getting “jarred out of a sound sleep but are able to navigate their way safely to utilize the facilities.” “The bottom line is: we’re trying to address both the functional and the emotional needs of any human being. If you think about it, this is something that we would all value and treasure, regardless of age, regardless of life circumstances.” Of the nearly 900 beds in the home’s 20 different floors or “neighborhoods”—each with its own identity and dining area—the new unit’s 28 rooms will accommodate between 45 and 48 residents. Now that a year’s worth of construction is done,

some low-vision residents living elsewhere in the facility will move into the new space. The environment will be therapeutic in a holistic way, including a nutritional component geared toward vision improvement. But residents may also need support for conditions other than visual impairment. “The understanding at this point is that any older adult coming into this setting is going to have compound issues. So there can be other conditions, other physical ailments that are part of who they are. The low-vision piece is the number-one indicator for placement on a floor like that, but we’re also not segregating people with low vision.

“Nobody is defined by a disease,” Dessel stressed. “We’re hoping to establish relationships with organizations in the community who work with adults with low vision in the hope that they understand there is a place to come if you can no longer negotiate community living. And a beautiful place to come, at that.” Residents will be sighted to some extent, so they’ll be able to discern some of that beauty—perhaps even the unobstructed view of the Hudson River outside their windows. Honorary guest speakers at the dedication luncheon were former Governor David Paterson and state Senator Jeffrey D. Klein.


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The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, March 15, 2012


Thursday, March 15, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW

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Merchant evades $18,000 water bill with help of local pol By ALLISON SUMMERS Councilman G. Oliver Koppell’s office saved a Riverdale business owner $18,000 in water bills last week after a staffer recognized the billing period in question coincided with a major water main break. Back in June 2009, Tremont Paint Store owner Mark Lipton began receiving a series of bills for an extraordinarily high amount of water usage. After a series of unsuccessful attempts to contest the bills, which Lipton knew did not reflect his characteristic usage, the Department of Environmental Protection threatened to take his building in a water lien sale if he was unable to prove that he had not used the amount of water billed. “If you look at the businesses on 231st Street, the buildings are very small,” Lipton said. “There was no way I could have possibly used all that water.” Lipton said the amount of water he

Mayor proposes to slash $43 million from NYPL

By MIAWLING LAM Fewer library books could be purchased and staff hours could be slashed if austerity measures outlined in Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s preliminary budget proceed as planned. Under the draft budget released earlier this month, city funds for the New York Public Library could be cut by nearly $43 million in fiscal year 2013. The proposed cutbacks come as the city razor gang searches for billions of dollars in savings to offset a collapse in tax revenues and a slowdown in economic growth. NYPL Network Manager Jane Fisher said the planned cuts represent a 44 percent reduction from what the city funneled into the service in fiscal year 2008. “It’s preliminary, as it always is, but the mayor has proposed a $42.6 million cut to libraries,” she said. “It could impact our book budget, staffing at the branches and all of those things.” Fisher said a $40 million budget reduction was in the cards last year but that thanks to intense lobbying efforts, only $2.5 million was eventually lost. However, the succession of belt-tightening measures was definitely hurting branches, Fisher said. “It’s been hard to have these cuts from 2008 to maintain the level of service that the library wants,” she said. Fisher said the NYPL would embark on a similar campaign to one waged last year, encouraging library patrons to write letters to their elected officials. “We’re gearing up to seek library users to advocate to restore some of this proposed cut.” Community Board 8 Libraries & Cultural Affairs Committee chair Robert Abbott addressed the upcoming battle at last Monday’s meeting and resolved to help the NYPL in any way possible. “I’m surprised that we’re three to four months away from a budget being in place and we’re still talking about cuts,” he said. “It’s distressing that this is happening so late in the game.” Bloomberg’s preliminary budget is traditionally the first step in a lengthy back-and-forth process with the City Council, with both sides negotiating until a budget is finalized in June.

was billed for was enough “to fill a few dozen swimming pools in a three-month period.” Desperate and frustrated, the business owner turned to Koppell’s office, via the Kingsbridge Business Improvement District, for help. A request for the records of the Office of Emergency Management revealed that Lipton had been billed during the period following a water main break on West 231st Street and Broadway. A subsequent request for records from the Department of Buildings showed that the break had caused damage to the cellar walls of Lipton’s building, causing leaks that explained the massive amounts of water that were unaccounted for. Following these findings, the DEP last week dropped all charges and the threat

of a water lien sale, acknowledging that under the circumstances, Lipton was not responsible for the excessive water usage. Koppell credited Andrew Sandler, his director of community affairs, for drawing the connection between the water main break and Lipton’s exorbitant bill. “He actually researched to determine that the bill the city was trying to collect related to the very time when the flood occurred,” he said. “It was wonderful that we were able to help him. That paint business has been there for decades and decades.” Lipton was also extremely grateful for the councilman’s help and his staff’s perseverance. “When I approached your office with a DEP water bill of $18,000, which I had

been fighting for over a year, I had little hope of success, feeling a bit like David vs. Goliath in taking on New York City,” he said in a statement. “I knew that my building did not use all the water for which we were being billed, but could not find a friendly ear. Although it wasn’t easy, your office presevered and ultimately got the bill corrected and left me with a credit balance, all weeks before the city was about to take my building in a lien sale! Bravo and thank you to your staff for their incredible efforts.” The business owner acknowledged that without Koppell’s help, his whole business would have gone under. “There was no way I could have possibly paid those bills,” Lipton stressed. “I would have lost my building and my business.”


13

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.

Tuckahoe

LECTURE 7 p.m. Westchester Italian Cultural Center One Generoso Pope Place Antologia del Cinema Italiano: The Birth of Neorealismo and of a New World Cinema. Second in a series of four lectures presented by Professor Joseph N. Spedaliere MA, Distinguished Professor of Italian Language and Culture at Concordia College. Must register in advance and prepay. Members $10, Non-Members $20. For more information, call (914) 771-8700.

Friday, March 16 Yorktown Hts.

CANCER SUPPORT GROUP 12:30 p.m. Support Connection 40 Triangle Center Open to women with breast, ovarian or gynecological cancer. Join a group of other women who are also living with a recurrent, advanced stage or metastatic cancer. Facilitated by a cancer survivor. Free. Pre-registration required; call 914-962-6402 or 800-532-4290.

Saturday, March 17 Ossining

PANCAKE BRUNCH 8:30 a.m. Teatown Lake Reservation 1600 Spring Valley Road Bring your appetite to Teatown’s tastiest annual tradition – the Pancake Brunch! Start your day off with stacks of hotcakes smothered in maple syrup, hot coffee and sausages, and more. Then visit the sugarhouse to watch a demonstration about how our ‘liquid gold’ is produced. Seatings are at 8:30am, 9:45am, 11:00am & 12:15pm. For more information, call 914-762-2912 x110.

Mamaroneck

– 7:30PM – “Rocking Traditional Culture”. This workshop, led by Timbila’s Nora Balaban and Afropop Worldwide Senior Producer and author, Banning Eyre, explores what they learned in Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Mali, Ghana, and elsewhere. And how Timbila adapts the tradition in a rock context. $10 suggested donation at the door, includes free beer from sponsor, Captain Lawrence Brewing Company. Bring your own mug! For more information, call 914-377-1900 x 13. NEW URBAN JAZZ 8 p.m. Arts Westchester 31 Mamaroneck Avenue John plays with the Wayne Shorter Quartet, which recently performed again at Carnegie Hall as part of the JVC Jazz Festival and released a new recording entitled Beyond the Sound Barrier. This Westchester resident has also begun touring with his new guitar trio featuring guitarist Adam Rogers and a revolving drum chair that can feature the likes of Brian Blade, Clarence Penn and Nasheet Waits. For more information, email Tom VanBuren at tvanburen@artswestchester.org

FREE

6-piece Cutlery Set FREE Cutting Board

White Plains

INDOOR FARMERS MARKET 9 a.m. Westchester County Center 198 Central Park Avenue Fresh produce, baked goods, cheese, maple syrup, honey, meat and more. For more information, call (914) 995-4050.

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.

Wednesday, March 21 Mt. Vernon

JAZZ 1 p.m. St. Paul’s Church 897 S. Columbus Avenue M.J. Territo, jazz vocalist, performs with keyboard and bass. For more information, contact David Osborn at 914-667-4116.

Tuckahoe

LECTURE 2 p.m. Westchester Italian Cultural Center One Generoso Pope Place Intimate Conversations: The Battle of Caporetto. Second in a series of three lectures presented by Gaetano V. Cavallaro R.Ph.,M. D. After fifty years ofresearch, Professor Cavallaro’s three volumes may be the most complete and accurate work on events in Italy prior to, during and immediately after the First World War. The program is offered at no charge. Donations are welcome. Registration is required. For more information, call (914) 771-8700.

Somers

Ossining

URBANH20: TIMBILA 7 p.m. Beczak Environmental Education Center 35 Alexander Street Described as ecstatic African rock with an East village edge, no other band sound like Timbila! The surreal buzzing beauty of timbila (Chopi xylophone, Mozambique) and hypnotic dream melodies of mbira (Shona thumb piano, Zimbabwe) soar with stinging guitar riffs and sassy celestial vocals in grooves that are deeply funky, fierce and danceable. Make sure you join us for a preconcert discussion from 7

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Sunday, March 18

ITALIAN COOKING 6:30 p.m. Westchester Italian Cultural Center One Generoso Pope Place Cucina Regionale: Sicilia. Hands-on classes and demonstration presented by renowned food experts in our state-of-the-art kitchen. Presented by Teresa Ingrasciotta. Limited Capacity. Must register in advance and prepay. Members $50, Non-members $60. For more information, call (914) 771-8700.

Yonkers

Save 65% Family Value Combo

White Plains

FURNITURE DRIVE 9 a.m. Mamaroneck High School 1000 Boston Post Road Students from Mamaroneck High School’s Furniture Sharehouse service club will hold a furniture drive to benefit Furniture Sharehouse, Westchester’s Furniture Bank. They will be collecting gently-used furniture for redistribution, free of charge, to needy families. The Drive will take place in the parking lot at Mamaroneck High School, 1000 W. Boston Post Road, rain or shine. Only basic home furniture in good condition will be accepted, so before you load up your car, go to www.furnituresharehouse.org to make sure your furniture is acceptable for donation. Furniture Sharehouse helps you “recycle with a difference”! For more information, contact Leslie Garwood, lgarwood10@gmail. com or 914-315-1982 PLAY 1 p.m. Somers Library 80 Primrose Street Someone Must Wash the Dishes: A Play. A witty, satiric monologue about the women’s suffragette movement, performed by Michele LaRue. Register online at www. somerslibrary.org or call 914-232-5717. Sponsored by the Friends of Somers Library.

on the

Tuckahoe

NATURAL HISTORY 7:30 p.m. Teatown Lake Reservation 1600 Spring Valley Road Co-sponsored by Saw Mill River Audubon Society, this special presentation by Don Riepe, former naturalist and manager at the National Park Service’s Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge features photos taken over 25 years and a lively discussion on the history and ecology of the Refuge, as well as entertaining stories about his experience as manager of the 9,000 acre urban preserve. For more information, call 914-762-2912 x110 or visit www.teatown.org.

Bedford

CHAMBER CONCERT 8 p.m. St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church 382 Cantitoe Road Bedford Chamber Concerts presents celebrated violinist ChoLiang Lin and renowned keyboardist Anthony Newman performing Beethoven Sonatas for Violin and Piano, Opus 30. To purchase tickets or for more information visit www.bedfordchamberconcerts. org or call 914-522-5150.

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The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thursday, March 15


Thursday, March 15, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW

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The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, March 15, 2012


Thursday, March 15, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW

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The community is invited to join on March 23rd to plant trees at the Canine Court dog run in Van Cortlandt Park, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Enter the park at Broadway and Lakeview Place. Spread the word to your Friends to help. Help rejuvenate the dog run! For info contact Bash Dibra, Fieldston Pets by calling 718-796-4541 or email: bashdibra@earthlink.net.

Community Cooking at the Riverdale Y

Community cooking at Riverdale Y will be held on Sunday, March 25, from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The class is called Gone Fishin’. It is limited to 10 people. Class Price: $25 plus $15 food/supply fee. Want to spend a few hours meeting new people and learning to cook fresh, healthy food? Join Danielle Rehfeld for Community Cooking and be prepared to actively prep, cook and taste!From Soups and Salads to Hors D’oeuvres and Entrees, the possibilities are endless with fish. Students will work in small teams to make simple, flavorful, recipes they can easily replicate at home for themselves, family and friends.

Danielle Rehfeld is a NY based chef and writer. A Riverdale native, Danielle attended the Institute of Culinary Education where she completed her externship at Daniel and went on to work at Eleven Madison Park. The Y is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue. For more information call 718548-8200 ext 0.

of New York City’s largest park, Bartow-Pell is the last of the 19th-centurthroughout the Pelham Bay area. Light refreshments will be available at all clean-ups. Volunteers should wear sturdy shoes or boots and long sleeves and pants and bring work gloves if they have them. Registration is requested; call 718-885-1461 or email info@bpmm.org.

BPMM spring volunteer garden clean-up days

Throggs Neck Litlte League to hold dinner dance

If you appreciate the way beautiful gardens enrich a community, there will be two opportunities this spring to help clean up the elegant gardens at the historic Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum. Volunteers are needed for the two clean-up days-one sponsored by Con Edison. The first clean-up will be on Saturday, March 17 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The second is scheduled for Saturday, April 28, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and Con Edison will supply refreshments and supplies. Volunteers will focus on cleaning, clearing, and beautifying the museum’s extensive gardens and grounds. The gardens will be center stage for Bartow-Pell’s Beauty in the Bronx Open House Weekend on May 4-6 in celebration of National Preservation Month. A National Historic Landmark and part

Throggs Neck Little League presents their Diamond Anniversary Dinner Dance (1952-2012), which will be held at the Marina Del Ray on Saturday, March 31. Cocktail hour will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Full dinner will be served from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. A donation of $90 per person, $180 per couple is greatly appreciated. Call Frank Fisele at 718-409-6484 or email TNLL1952@yahoo.com for reservations. Seating is limited to 250 persons.

Uguaglianza Lodge to hold monthly meeting

The Uguaglianza N.E. Bronx Lodge of the Order Sons of Italy in America will hold a meeting on Tuesday, March 20, at 6 p.m., at The Pine Restaurant, 1913 Bronxdale Avenue.

This month the guest speaker will be David Lerner & Associates, who will sponsor the dinner. Committee chairs will update members, including September’s dinner dance status. RSVP to Lilyanna Pekic at lpekic@kepplertitle.com. Save the date for the annual dinner dance on September 29, 2012 at Lido’s Restaurant.

Lecture on Women in Bronx History

On Wednesday, March 21, at 7:30 p.m., the East Bronx History Forum will present “Anne Hutchinson & Women in Bronx History.” Members Elizabeth Jane Cochran and Elizabeth Gertrude Knight Britton will present their reports. Huntington Free Library is located at 9 Westchester Square. The library is adjacent to the Apple Bank for Savings and across the street from Owen Dolen Park. You may call the librarian, Mrs. Catherine McChesney, at 718 - 829-7770 to obtain further directions or to confirm that there are no cancellations in the event of inclement weather. The lecture is free and open to the public.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, March 15, 2012

Tree planting at Canine Court dog run


Thursday, March 15, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW

18

Why Johnny won’t read There was an interesting study recently completed of New York City schoolchildren, reported on in Monday’s New York Times. Two groups were formed, one was taught the way most children in the city have been for quite some time, using the predominant reading strategy known as “balanced literacy.” This is actually the “whole language” approach, discredited by the non-partisan National Reading Panel more than a decade ago. The other group used a program devised by Dr. E.D. Hirsch, Jr., largely based on non-fiction reading in academic subjects, covering what Dr. Hirsch calls “Core Knowledge.” Not surprisingly, at least to us, the Core Knowledge group ran rings around the other group. To simplify a complex story, traditional education has again won out over the “progressive” model that now predominates in our local schools, and indeed in most American schools. Since everyone agrees that our children are not performing up to expectations, and rivers of ink are being spilled in efforts to assess the blame, maybe it is time to point a finger at the true culprit: What our kids are being taught and the methodology used to teach them. This comes from those in charge, not our classroom teachers. It is curious in that the movement of our young people away from the joy of reading for pleasure appears to coincide exactly with the rise of the balanced literacy method of teaching reading, and the associated content-poor “progressive” teaching model that encourages students to “construct” their own knowledge. This pedagogy, the predominant way American children are taught, is supposed to instill a love of reading and literature. “Libraries” are placed in every classroom, part of an effort to create a “literature rich” environment. Small groups of students are organized into “book clubs.” If your child’s classroom features a rocking chair for the teacher and/or a rug for kids to gather to be read to by the teacher, your child may well be a victim of this failed approach. As attractive as it may be, it simply doesn’t deliver the goods. The role of the teacher as a conduit of knowledge has been hopelessly subverted. Here in New York City, teachers have been directed to arrange classroom desks in clusters, in which groups of children face each other to facilitate the group projects that have replaced direct instruction by teachers. “Authentic literature,” mostly fiction, has supplanted textbooks as the tools of learning subject matter. All this is supposedly done to promote independent learning, made possible by promoting the love of reading. But it has had the opposite effect. This is the ideology promoted by literacy gurus such as Lucy Calkins of Columbia University Teachers College. She quickly weighed in questioning the results of the Core Knowledge study, suggesting the sample was too small. We ask what of the millions educated under Prof. Calkins’ approach, that have fed the past quarter century of failure here in Gotham at the cost of billions? As more American children are taught by these methods, the love of reading is apparently not increasing, but diminishing at an alarming rate as a study by the National Endowment for the Arts nearly a decade ago demonstrated. Can the methods used to teach children in school actually be backfiring and causing our failure? That is what we believe. The idea that children learn to read and develop a love of reading by merely immersing themselves in a “literature rich” environment is akin to teaching the children of Gary, Indiana how to play musical instruments using the “think” system. Prof. Harold Hill and the storyline of “The Music Man” is, alas, fiction. Knowledge is not acquired by osmosis. It is a process of building, one fact upon another. Those children who develop a love of reading don’t do so for its own sake. It is because these children thirst for more knowledge. This is at the heart of Dr. Hirsch’s argument. With the new results in hand, we can say with some comfort that the quest for knowledge is not triggered by being surrounded by books such as the ones in the classroom libraries mandated by the Department of Education. Most of these books are works of fiction, mostly carefully scrubbed and filtered, with content largely designed to build self-esteem rather than impart knowledge. We submit that Continued on Page 19

Sandra Fluke: Freeloader and parasite

To The Editor: Sandra Fluke, the 30-yearold radical feminist activist who Rush Limbaugh wrongly demeaned by calling her “a slut and a prostitute” has, according to the N.Y. Post (3/6), acknowledged that she had enrolled at Georgetown precisely to challenge that Catholic university’s refusal to include contraception in its student health coverage. The demand by President Obama that religious institutions be forced to pay for health procedures and practices that violate their core beliefs — the essence of the Obamacare mandate — is an affront to the First Amendment. And Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the U.S. Conference of Bishops and others who support religious freedom and strongly oppose this Obama mandate, are addressing this issue publicly and through the courts. What I am going to focus upon in this letter is not that issue but Sandra Fluke’s arrogant demand that she and other women are entitled to,

and should be given, free birth control pills because it is a matter of women’s health. How, in heaven’s name, does recreational sex become a matter of “women’s health?” That claim is ridiculous, it’s pure nonsense! If Sandra Fluke doesn’t want to get pregnant, birth control pills and other contraceptive methods aren’t essential, all she has to do (at no cost) is abstain from sex. Or, if what she really wants, is to

Diplomacy is the answer on Iran

To The Editor: I must disagree with the guest editorial, “A Green Light for Israel.” An attack on Iran by either Israel of the United States would trigger a wave of horrible events, likely ending in a thermonuclear exchange between the nuclear powers, the United States against Russia and China and vice versa. In the Cold War era it was obvious that an attack on fundamental interests of the Soviet Union could lead to a nuclear war, in which hundreds

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experience the pleasure of an orgasm — she can masturbate. Who the hell is she to demand that others pay for her pleasure? The next thing you know, Ms. Fluke and other radical feminists will expect free vibrators, free sex toys, and free porno films — all in the name of “women’s health.” What’s happening to this country? We’re becoming a nation of freeloaders and parasites. Alvin Gordon

CECILIA McNALLY Office Manager MIAWLING LAM Associate Editor

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

of millions would die. In fact, if the Nuclear Winter theory is valid, the entire human race could go extinct. This danger still exists today. Now, somehow, it seems OK to defy Russia and China’s open defense of Iran and Syria from attack at the United Nations. This is after U.S. and NATO attacks on Iraq, Aghanistan, and more recently, Libya, including the death of the head of state. In fact, the only safe approach to the threat of possible Iranian nuclear weapons is diplomacy and working closer with Russia and China. We in the United States and Israel need to cooperate with Russia and solve disputes diplomatically. The new leadership in Russia under President-elect Putin is not aggressive, but is now willing to back down. Any alternative could be catastrophic for the United States, Israel and the planet. Howard Giske


By IRA STOLL When I was collecting my annual tax forms to send to my accountant earlier this month, I couldn’t find one — the one called the Form 1099-INT. That’s the form I’ve gotten in past years from banks or mutual fund companies to report interest I’ve received on bank accounts or money market funds. The form didn’t seem to be downloadable from the bank or mutual fund Web sites, either, so I finally called up and asked a call center representative where my form 1099-INT was. Wearily, she explained that the bank doesn’t have to issue the form if an account generates less than $10 in annual interest. Lots of other callers, she said, had been asking the same question, and getting the same response. It’s not that I have less money in the bank than I used to. Okay, maybe a little less. The point, though, is that the Federal Reserve’s zero interest rate policy — “zirp,” for short — means that whatever I do have in the bank isn’t generating much interest. And that’s part of the reason I’ve got less money in those bank accounts. The cost of this, nationwide, isn’t merely a few moments of confusion, even multiplied by many taxpayers, when it comes time to get those tax forms together. In a March 1 letter to clients, economist David Malpass of Encima Global, who served in the Reagan administration

Treasury Department, wrote, “interest income is one of the key contributors to the weakness of personal income and real personal income.” The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, which keeps track of this sort of thing, reports that personal interest income received by Americans in 2011 was $997.5 billion. That’s down 28% from the $1.382 trillion in interest Americans earned in 2008. Part of the story may be that Americans who lost jobs have spent down their savings accounts and so have less in the bank to earn interest on, but part of the story, too, is that the low interest rates mean whatever money is left in the bank is generating less interest — to be precise about it, $384.5 billion less interest in 2011 than 2008. Now, if President Obama or Congress announced that they were going to raise taxes in a way that would take $384.5 billion a year out of American pockets, there would be a huge uproar about it. It would be the lead story on the evening news and there would be 30-second po-

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Why Johnny won’t read Continued from Page 18 this kind of literature is the least likely to encourage children to become voracious readers. Are textbooks obsolete? They are now much-maligned and in danger of becoming extinct. But in the real world, we believe that they often are motivators for further reading. They provide overview and context, and can often lure our children into further study. The United States is not alone in exhibiting a rising concern over the anti-intellectual proclivity of the teaching methodologies that have become so widespread in recent years. In Britain, the same debate is raging, a debate that even the Prince of Wales has weighed in on. In a speech to teachers of English and history in state-run secondary schools in June of 2004, Prince Charles lamented that their “faddish” curriculum is resulting in students who are becoming “culturally disinherited.” The prince suggested that the content-poor British curriculum could be a “potentially expensive and disastrous experiment with people’s lives.” The traditional instruction apparently favored by the prince is more in line with the thinking of Dr. Hirsch, whose Core Knowledge curriculum is based on the idea that learning is like Velcro – its acquisition is facilitated by the basic knowledge already accumulated. This suggests that if we really believe that reading is good for society and we want our education system to really result in a literate and knowledgeable populace, we will not find the answers in whole language, balanced literacy or constructivist ideology. The answers, as we just demonstrated here in New York, are to be found in the “back-to-basics” movement. The kind of instruction that candidate Bloomberg promised us, but Mayor Bloomberg has failed to deliver.

reportedly being hit with significant additional pension funding obligations because the rates are so low. The banks are affected, too — if consumers don’t want to deposit money there, the banks have to turn to other ways of funding their operations, such as borrowing or issuing equity. Higher interest rates would have costs, too. They might be good for savers, but not as good for those who need to borrow money. They might slow economic growth, or further depress housing prices. The person who sets the zirp, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, is appointed by the president and testifies regularly before Congress. But that’s an awfully indirect method of democratic accountability. In the rest of the government, those with the power to shift hundreds of billions of dollars out of the pockets of savers and into the pockets of others through government decisions at least have to stand for election themselves every once in a while. Ira Stoll is editor of FutureOfCapitalism.com and author of Samuel Adams: A Life.

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19 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, March 15, 2012

‘Secret tax’ costing you thousands

litical commercials about it. With zirp, on the other hand, you might see some complaints from Ron Paul, from the Wall Street Journal editorial page, or from a few congenitally cantankerous hedge fund managers, but otherwise, the silence has been deafening. Mr. Obama has even tried to make a virtue of it. At his press conference last week, he said, “Congress should pass my proposal to give every responsible homeowner a chance to save an average of $3,000 a year by refinancing their mortgage at historically low rates. … That would make a huge difference for millions of American families.” Mr. Obama is correct that the low interest rates help Americans with mortgages who want to refinance and who are able to do so. But what about those Americans who sold their homes in 2006 or 2007 and have been renting since then? What about Americans who own their homes free and clear of any mortgage? It’s not only savers with interestbearing accounts who are affected by the zirp. The formulas for businesses to fund their pension funds are based on interest rates, so businesses are


Thursday, March 15, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW

20

SAVE THE DATE! The Rose Dialogue Series at the Riverdale Y Presents

Israel vs. Iran: When Will It Erupt? A conversation with

Dr. Ronen Bergman and Riverdale’s own Rabbi Yitz Greenberg About Ronen Bergman:

“…arguably [Israel’s] best investigative journalist” – David Remnick, New Yorker “…the foremost expert on the Mossad” – Der Spiegel Dr. Ronen Bergman is a senior political and military analyst for Yedioth Aharonoth, Israel’s largest circulated daily newspaper and a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine – writing extensively on Middle Eastern security, military and intelligence affairs.

When: Tuesday, May 1st Time: 6:30 -9:30pm Where: The Riverdale YM-YWHA Ticket and pre-event dinner information available soon on the Riverdale Y website:www.RiverdaleY.org 5625 Arlington Avenue Bronx, NY 10471 718-548-8200 www.RiverdaleY.org

Riverdale Review, March 15, 2012  

Weekly newspaper published in Riverdale, NY 10471