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Riverdale’s ONLY Locally Owned Newspaper!

Volume XIX • Number 11 • March 29 - April 4, 2012 •


Crumbled cookie factory to yield jobs bonanza By MIAWLING LAM More than 800 full-time jobs will be created when construction begins on Riverdale Crossing, the shopping center to be built at the former Stella D’oro cookie factory site. Officials from Metropolitan Realty Associates estimate the development of the new two-story mall on Broadway between West 236th and West 238th streets will create 326 full-time jobs in addition to 500 construction jobs. Elected officials are strongly encouraging MRA to hire Bronx residents to fill as many of these positions as possible. The much-anticipated retail center is tentatively poised to throw open its doors to shoppers in October next year. Demolition has already begun, with several sources confirming that construction is scheduled to commence this June and continue through the end of September 2013. The specific timeframe and job creation benefits emerged after Joseph Farkas, the president of Long-Island based owners MRA, personally conducted a series of tours last week. The first walk-through on Thursday, March 22, was held for a dozen members of Community Board 8 and the surprising presence of a member of the Kings-

bridge Riverdale Van Cortlandt Development Corporation, a group coming under increasing fire as having a partisan political agenda. A second tour was held the following day for local elected officials. The Review was booted off the site on both occasions, but a spokeswoman for the developer confirmed that a walk-through for media is currently being planned. CB8 Chairman Robert Fanuzzi, who was among those touring the site last week, said he was impressed with the overall vision for the mall. He said apart from the anchor tenant, BJ’S Wholesale Club, who will occupy more than 118,000 square feet of space on West 237th Street, no future tenants were specified. However, considering the project is an as-of-right development—which does not mandate public hearings or review by community boards—Fanuzzi praised Farkas for personally introducing the site to locals. “I think it speaks a lot about his community spirit that he would do that voluntarily. He didn’t have to introduce us to the site and field our questions,” Fanuzzi said. “He’s been extraordinary in reaching out and anticipating

Metropolitan Realty Associates CEO Joseph Farkas (middle), lays out his vision for Riverdale Crossing to (from left) Councilman G. Oliver Koppell, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. and Congressman Eliot Engel during a site visit last week. our concerns and questions.” Fanuzzi said concerns relating to traffic and the effects of heavy car volume on nearby residents were flagged during

the 90-minute meeting but that MRA had already developed a plan to alleviate possible gridlock concerns. “The traffic plan as presented

to us is designed to minimize impact on Broadway and also to provide more than one access point,” he said. Continued on Page 2

New retaining wall will keep Palisade Avenue on terra firma By MIAWLING LAM Dozens of local parking spaces will be relocated and school buses and Metro-North Rail Link buses will be rerouted while workers replace a retaining wall near 2465 Palisade Avenue. Authorities from the New York City Department of Design and Construction said work could begin as early as this week. The capital reconstruction project is scheduled to last for around six months. Under the $3.5 million project, 252 linear feet of the existing dry rubble masonry wall will be dismantled and replaced with a new pre-cast concrete modular wall. Construction workers will also restore more than 3,000 square feet of sidewalks, 300 linear feet of curb and 1,000 square feet of roadway in addition to planting a tree. Announcing the changes at last Tuesday’s Community Board 8 Traffic and Transportation committee meeting, Tectonic Engineering resident engineer Giovanni Castro said the project was necessary so the retaining wall’s foundation could be stabilized and upgraded. In order to facilitate work, he said, traffic patterns

need to be modified. Lower Independence Avenue, currently a one-way street, will allow two-way traffic with parking on only one side, while upper Independence Avenue, currently a two-way street, will allow one-way traffic and two-side parking, Castro said. The changes are set to cause a massive headache for people who reside near the intersections of Palisade Avenue and Independence Avenue and for those who park their cars in the area before jumping on the MetroNorth train at the Spuyten Duyvil station. However, John A. Palik from the DDC assured locals they will be given ample notice. He said hundreds of fliers will be distributed to residents and notices will be placed on the windshields of cars parked in the vicinity at least one week before the traffic pattern changes take effect. Palik also said a temporary five-foot-wide asphalt pathway will be built for pedestrians. “During the wall reconstruction, there will be a pedestrian walkway which we’re building around the

construction zone to get people down onto Palisade Avenue,” he said. The new wall will appear similar to the existing structure. “It’s going to look like stone, and it’s going to be painted. So it’s going to look very much of a similar tone and color of this wall,” he said. Palik said workers would need to excavate down to the bedrock, but he admitted they did not know how deep they would need to dig. Officials have estimated they will need to excavate to a depth of 15 feet, but a 20-foot depth may be required. When several Community Board 8 members expressed concern about the unknown depth, Palik assured the community there was no cause for alarm. “Homeowners don’t need to worry about damage to their homes,” he said. “Unless we go very deep in the bedrock, there won’t be any unusual drilling or any unusual excavation.” Work is scheduled for completion at the end of September.

Thursday, March 29, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Radical group protests potential Armory plan By ALLISON SUMMERS The Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition and their affiliate, the Kingsbridge Armory Redevelopment Alliance rallied last Wednesday evening outside the Armory for a night of prayer, hoping their voices would be heard in their quest for a redevelopment plan that would, at least by their view, benefit the “community.” The event was held on the eve of the city’s deadline for developers to submit their proposals to the Economic Development Corporation. There were musical performances, a candlelight vigil and testimony on how responsible development will bring about economic growth for the community and improve the quality of life. “We want our community to be at the table,” said Father Joseph Girone, a priest at St. Nicholas of Tolentine Church. An initial proposal by The Related Companies to turn the property into a shopping mall was voted down by the City Council because salaries for the jobs created there would be at or a bit above the state’s minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, which the Council considered a below-living wage. In addition, it was argued that retailers would create competition for small businesses that help the community thrive. “Development must meet the needs of our community, and the Related Companies’ plan did not,” said Desiree PilgrimHunter, a Executive Board member of the

Stella D’oro mall

Continued from Page 1 Sources have confirmed that a second entrance point is being proposed for the intersection of West 238th Street and Putnam Avenue. No through traffic currently exists in that location, but it is understood the developer owns the land there so will be able to build the link. There is already an existing entrance and exit point at West 237th Street and Broadway. Although the tour failed to unearth any new facts, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz said, “seeing it and being there, you realize what a big piece of land it is.” Dinowitz said he was concerned about how cars getting on and off the Major Deegan Expressway would be funneled away from Bailey Avenue. The latest developments come a week after the Riverdale Review reported that Petco and Bank of America have filed letters of intent to join BJ’s Wholesale Club at the mall. Both businesses were listed as possible tenants on a three-page brochure posted on Ripco Realty’s website two weeks ago. The document has since been taken down, as was an earlier version of the brochure stating that Trader Joe’s had signed on the dotted line to occupy space. Ripco Realty is currently recruiting retailers to set up shop at the mall and is acting as a leasing agent for Metropolitan Realty Associates. Tenants are being sought to occupy seven spaces ranging in size from 2,800 square feet to 9,998 square feet. Documents show that 500 spaces of street-level and rooftop parking will complement the retail space, up from the 304 parking spaces previously announced. Metropolitan Realty Associates purchased the former biscuit factory for nearly $19 million last August.

NWBCCC in December 2009 when the proposal was rejected. “We look forward to working with our elected officials to see that the armory is developed with a community-benefits agreement that includes living-wage jobs and all the other items included in the Bronx borough president’s proposal that was shot down by the mayor.” The NWBCC hopes to see the implementation of a public school, a plan rejected over and over for more than a decade. Though the applicants have not been disclosed, it was reported by WNYC that World Changers Church, along with several film and TV studios such as Silvercup Studios, have expressed interest in the

space. In addition, various other representatives of supermarkets, banks and architects have visited the armory. Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said city officials were currently filtering through the submissions. “Now that we have reached the city’s deadline for the RFP for the Kingsbridge Armory, I look forward to reviewing those proposals and helping the city to determine the best possible tenant for this historic structure.” Though the armory has been vacant for more than 10 years, film production companies have used the site temporarily. In 2006, Warner Bros. rented the space for six months to produce the Will Smith film, “I Am Legend.”

By ALLISON SUMMERS A recent citywide measure proposing that nonprofit organizations be charged a fee for trash removal has City Council members fighting back. They’re combating the legislation with a bill that would terminate the threat of a fee for organizations that are already strapped for cash in the current economic climate. “This misguided policy amounts to kicking nonprofit organizations while they are down,” said Councilman David G. Greenfield, who introduced the bill in late February. “These groups provide vital services to our community, and many are struggling to make payroll a result of the recession. “Trash and recycling collection is a basic municipal service that the city should provide to these important institutions, which work each and every day to make

New York the great city that it is. They deserve our support and thanks instead of new taxes they simply cannot afford.” The original legislation was proposed as a part of Mayor Bloomberg’s new Waste Reduction Plan, a movement aimed at increasing recycling and doubling “the amount of waste the city diverts from landfills from 15 percent to 30 percent by 2017,” according to a statement. According to the proposed legislation, the fee for trash removal would cost the nonprofits $17 million annually. “This is something that is new, and we’ve never had a special tax on nonprofits,” Laura Spalter, a Community Board 8 environment and sanitation committee member, said at a meeting last Wednesday. “In Community Board 8, it would have a huge impact because every church and synagogue, college, group home, commu-

Dinowitz’s new legislation to protect employees Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz (DBronx) announced today that he has introduced new legislation that would prohibit employers from demanding login information, including usernames and passwords, to popular social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter as part of their hiring process. The legislation would also protect the privacy of current employees. Employers are beginning to use various new tools in decisions concerning the hiring, promotion, and discipline of prospective and current employees. Recently, there have been reports of employers demanding login information, including usernames and passwords, to

popular social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as to email accounts and other extremely personal accounts. This information is being used as a condition of hiring, promotions, and lateral movement within companies, and in matters relating to disciplinary action including firing of individuals. ‘This legislation will address a terrible and growing abuse by certain employers. The right to privacy and protection from coercion and discrimination must be maintained. I urge all of my colleagues in the State Legislature to protect the rights of job seekers and support this bill,’ said Assemblyman Dinowitz.

nity center, library and cultural institution would have this fee for their garbage.... Because of the recession and because there have already been a lot of cutbacks—and yet the non-profits are struggling to do what they do—I feel it is very onerous.” CB8 will send a letter to area nonprofits to notify them of the mayor’s proposal and to enlist their support in blocking it. Daniel Eudene, executive director of the Riverdale Neighborhood House, said the legislation is unfair and that the city unrealistically expects nonprofits to cough up funds that simply do not exist. “There’s been a movement in general with the city thinking that somehow there’s an ability to pay, but we have no way of raising money,” Eudene said.

“We’re strongly against this.” Eudene added that the city already requires nonprofit organizations to pay fees for legally-mandated services. “Recent regulations require that we pay $2,000 a year for state fire inspections,” he said. “We’re also required to pay $25 to ensure employees are cleared on the sex offender registry and $110 to have them fingerprinted. There should be no fee for things that are mandated.” Meanwhile, Andrew Sandler, the director of community services for Councilman G. Oliver Koppell, said Riverdale’s elected official will support City Council legislation that would prohibit the fee on trash collection for nonprofits.

3 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, March 29, 2012

Nonprofits call Bloomberg’s trash plan just more rubbish

Around the schools... Now that the weather is getting warmer, parents are urged to check their children at least weekly for head lice and nits. Lice are sesame seed-sized insects found commonly on or near the scalp in children 3 to 12 years old, and nits are the tiny white egg cases lice deposit on the hair shaft. Treatments include overthe-counter products and special combs. All discoveries should be reported to the school nurse, Patrick Emweronye. The Department of Education has specific attendance policies for children affected with head lice.

P.S. 81

Next Saturday night, March 31, is the Parents Night Out PA fundraiser at Kelly Ryan’s (Mosholu Avenue at Post Road). Parents of P.S. 81 students and alumni are asked to donate $7 at the door. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres will be served—dinner and drinks not included. Proceeds from donations will help support fifth-grade committee activities.

St. Gabriel School

Three Saint Gabriel’s teams were winners at the Bronx Catholic Schools Science Fair held at Mount St. Michael Academy last week. Courtney Manniello won first place in the eighthgrade division for her project, “Are You a Looker or a Listener?” Cheyenne Brooks, Isabelle Hasslund and Tiana Segers won second place in the seventh-grade division for their project, “Mindworks.” Julien Alonso, Grace McGrath and Robert Meo won fourth place in the sixth-grade division for their project, “Finding the pH of substances using red cabbage juice.” Students worked under the direction of their science teacher, James Moran.

Kinneret Day School

First-graders toured the Museum of Natural History last week with Kinneret parent Dr. David Bessler, who created a hands-on workshop involving snakes, fossils and skeleton puzzles. The students explored the various types of animal bones on display and attended a screening of “Born to be Wild.” Fourth- and fifth-graders were treated to a presentation last week by Kinneret parent and Civil War buff Laurence Gluckman, who brought samples from his vast collection of war paraphernalia. The trove includes uniforms, shoes, books, soldiers’ letters, soap, horseback-riding equipment and some weapons. Students asked many questions and volunteered to participate in a re-enactment.

Manhattan College

The Young Scholars Immersion Program, a joint project with the Kingsbridge Heights Community Center, was approved for a $270,000 three-year grant by the Teagle Foundation, a national organization that advocates change in higher education through undergraduate opportunities in the arts and sciences. Teagle is supplying the grant through its College-Community Connections program. The full immersion program provides year-round personal mentoring and enrichment for motivated but disadvantaged students in the community,

encouraging them to work toward college. Now in its fourth year, the program has expanded to include on-campus visits for high school students, writing and study workshops at KHCC and ongoing support via email, social media and Skype from trained student tutors at the college’s Center for Academic Success. Students in tenth grade or higher can earn an invitation to apply for the Summer Literacy Institute, an on-campus clinic where students live in university dorms, attend simulated university-level classes, take exams and learn about university social and learning environments. The new grant will enable 50 students annually to take part in the full program and 30 students to attend the Summer Literacy Institute.

College of Mount Saint Vincent

The college’s Center for International Studies invites the community to a free lecture by Dr. Rosita E. Villagómez on Thursday, April 19, from 4 to 5 p.m. in the Science Building. Dr. Villagómez will speak about the role of the Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry in Cuban cultural life. She will examine movies filmed after the “Special Period,” the most difficult crisis in Cuban history, and the portrayal of women, class and immigration. The Cuban Institute on Cinematographic Arts and Industry, created just after the Cuban Revolution, works toward the development of a more informed and engaged audience.

Local Scholars

Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, has announced that for the fall 2011 semester, Sarah J. Goodman was named to the dean’s list with first honors and Rachel L. Minsky was named to the dean’s list with second honors. To be eligible for first honors, students must achieve a GPA of at least 3.8; for second honors, at least 3.5. Clark University, founded in 1887, enrolls roughly 2,000 undergraduates and 1,000 graduate students in its innovative liberal arts college and research university where a worldclass faculty offers a range of expertise, particularly in the areas of psychology, geography, urban education, Holocaust and genocide studies, environmental studies, and international development and social change. Babson College in Babson Park, Massachusetts, has announced that Natasha Lopez of the class of 2012 was named to the dean’s list for the fall 2011 semester. Babson is an internationally recognized leader in entrepreneurial management education. It grants undergraduate B.S. degrees as well as M.B.A. and custom M.S. and M.B.A. degrees through its F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business. It has been top-ranked for its entrepreneurship education for the past 19 years by U.S. News & World Report, and its executive education programs are ranked among the top worldwide by the Financial Times and Bloomberg Businessweek.


P.S. 24

Thu. APR. 5 � 7:00 PM Fri. APR. 6 � 1:00 & 7:00 PM Sat. APR. 7 � 12 NOON, 3:30 & 7:00 PM Sun. APR. 8 � 1:00 & 5:00 PM Mon. APR. 9 � 12 NOON & 3:30 PM Tue. APR. 10 � 12 NOON & 3:30 PM Thu. APR. 12 � 7:00 PM Fri. APR. 13 � 7:00 PM Sat. APR. 14 � 12 NOON, 3:30 & 7:00 PM Sun. APR. 15 � 1:00 & 5:00 PM Tue. APR. 17 � 7:00 PM Wed. APR. 18 � 7:00 PM Thu. APR. 19 � 7:00 PM Fri. APR. 20 � 7:00 PM Sat. APR. 21 � 3:30 Sun. APR. 22 � 1:00

FAX education news to:

The Riverdale Review (718) 543-4206 201339

Thursday, March 29, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


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7:00 PM 5:00 PM

Buy tickets at, Retail Locations, Arena Box Offices or call 1-800-745-3000

By MIAWLING LAM The auction of a condominium block on Riverdale Avenue has been temporarily postponed after its developer filed a $40 million lawsuit to block the sale. Real estate developer Michael Waldman is suing HSBC Capital for allegedly freezing construction funds for his 3210 Riverdale Avenue development and forcing him to spend more than $7 million of his own money to complete the project. The multinational bank pursued the auction in a bid to recoup funds after Waldman allegedly defaulted on a $9 million mezzanine loan. The auction was originally scheduled for Wednesday, March 21, at the offices of law firm Reimer & Braunstein in midtown Manhattan, but it is understood Waldman successfully obtained a temporary retraining order. As of press time, calls to auctioneer Jonathan Cuticelli and HSBC were not returned, while three calls to Reimer & Braunstein were met with abrupt hangups before a female staffer said attorneys spoke only to potential clients. Several calls and messages left with Manhattan-based attorney Steve Herzberg were also not returned. However, the lawyer, who is representing Waldman, accused the bank of engaging in predatory lending and said they failed to promptly approve construction funds for his client. “If the purpose of the mezzanine loan was to fund the construction, that’s what our expectation was,” he reportedly told The Real Deal. According to the March 15 lawsuit, Waldman purchased the sprawling Riverdale

Koppell saves trees By ALLISON SUMMERS Councilman G. Oliver Koppell was recently successful in stopping the MTA from cutting down a line of trees on the pedestrian walkway along the MTA train yard on West 240th Street after residents of 3975 Waldo Avenue alerted him to the plan. “It is important that we retain as much greenery as possible for aesthetic and environmental reasons,” Koppell said. “I am pleased that my success so far in saving the trees in this area has contributed to this effort, and I will continue to fight for their preservation.” The residents of the building, which overlooks the area, argued that not only would cutting down the trees destroy the natural beauty of the area, but it would also cause the embankment to erode, necessitating an expensive retaining wall. After inspecting the trees and noting that they were healthy and posed no threat of falling and damaging the trains stationed in the yard, Koppell’s office began looking for a way to keep the trees. They soon discovered that the stretch of land belongs to the city, so the MTA would need the city’s permission before destroying any trees there. Koppell contacted the parks department to request that a certified arborist determine that a tree is dead, dying or in danger of falling before it can be destroyed. This is not the first time Koppell has been able to save trees in the area. Last September he managed to save four white oak trees on West 236th Street that were in danger of toppling over as a result of Hurricane Irene. Koppell persuaded the Department of Parks and Recreation to have a contractor bring in soil and mulch and place new poles around the trees.

property, which also has the address of 3217 Irwin Avenue, for $1.85 million in 2005 and secured a $1.7 million mortgage with Rosenthal & Rosenthal that same day. The lawsuit states he refinanced the loan in January 2007, was approved for a new mortgage of $3.7 million, and three months later received a $4 million from HSBC Real Estate Mezzanine Partners. He was also granted a $5 million extension on the mezzanine loan in November 2007. Meanwhile, court documents show HSBC retorted that the allegations were “concocted” and said Waldman has been in default for two years. According to the minutes of a CB8 Land Use Committee meeting on September 16, 2009, the development was supposed to boast spaces ranging in size from 450-square-

foot studios to 1500-square-foot apartments. Plans also show a penthouse totaling 2400 square feet was also to be built. The 46-unit building, which is sandwiched on the Kingsbridge/Riverdale boundary, has had a checkered history with the community. Several years ago, the developer was at loggerheads with Community Board 8 after submitting a proposal to build a 150-space parking garage on the Irwin Avenue side. At the time, the owners said the garage was needed so they could maximize their return on the investment. They claimed a handful of parking spaces in the lot would be allocated to residents, while the rest would be dedicated to commercial vehicles. Community Board 8 rejected the plan out-

right after arguing it would bring too much traffic to a traditionally residential area. But Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz said the Board of Standards and Appeals eventually ruled that the developer was well within his right to open the garage and granted him permission. When contacted earlier this week, Dinowitz said he was unaware of the unraveling lawsuit but did raise objections to the property’s appearance. “On the Riverdale Avenue side, there’s graffiti now on the front,” he said. “They haven’t done anything to remove it, so already these developers are not being such great neighbors.” The unusual elevation of the plot—the Riverdale Avenue side of the property is between 35 and 50 feet higher than the Irwin Avenue side—also meant the developer had to pay up to $2.6 million extra to build the 11-story block.

5 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, March 29, 2012

Riverdale Ave. condo is plagued by lawsuits

Thursday, March 29, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Rising Stars to feature drama

The Award-Winning Riverdale Rising Stars are proud to present their first-ever drama, the provocative ‘Bang, Bang, You’re Dead,’ written by William Mastrosimone. The Riverdale Rising Stars welcome Director Shawn Renfro, who comes to us from the acclaimed Apothecary Theater Company in New York. Bang, Bang You’re Dead was written in 1999 in the wake of three high school shootings and offers a sobering look at school violence and the problems of wellmeaning but ineffective methods used by both parents and administrators to help the growing issue of bullying and the dire consequences that, too often, have tragic results. The Riverdale Rising Stars are proud to be partnering with the United Federation of Teachers for this production in support of their ‘Be Brave Against Bullying’ campaign. There will be valuable talk-backs after each performance. Show dates and times are Saturday, March 31 at 9pm, Sunday, April 1 at 3 pm and Tuesday, April 3 at 7:30pm. Tickets are available at the door. Check our website, for more information. Recommended for children 12 and over. Riverdale YM-YWHA is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue.

St. Gabriel’s alumni group formed

Former students of St. Gabriel’s School are invited to reconnect with classmates, teachers and coaches via the newly formed alumni group. Alums and their families are encouraged to visit to sign up to receive emails and be part of future events. For more information, please call 718548-0444.

Tax lien assistance available

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. is urging borough property owners who may have unpaid property taxes, water, sewer or other charges to take advantage of an upcoming tax lien assistance session hosted by the Department of Finance. The event is co-sponsored by his office and the City’s Department of Environmental Protection. Property owners whose names appear on the Department of Finance’s 90 Day

Notice of Lien Sale list may attend the assistance session, to be held on Monday, April 23, 2012, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The event will take place at the City Department of Finance’s Business Assistance Center, located at 3030 Third Avenue, 2nd Floor, Bronx, NY, 10455. Representatives from the City’s Departments of Finance, Environmental Protection and Housing Preservation will be on hand to offer property owners assistance at the information session. Borough President Diaz will also record a robocall to effected property owners, alerting them to the upcoming session and how they can get assistance. In addition, eligible seniors, veterans or individuals with a disability may be able to be removed from the lien sale. For more information on the event or the lien sale, Bronxites are urged to contact Borough President Diaz’s office at (718) 590-7093. ‘My office wants to make sure that as many Bronxites as possible are able to take advantage of the City’s assistance before their liens are sold and this help is no longer available. Those Bronxites who may be part of this lien sale should take advantage of these opportunities to get help, before it is too late,’ said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. In the Bronx, a total of 2,727 properties are included in the lien sale. By Bronx Community Board, the liens break down as follows: Community Board #1-179 Community Board #2-160

Community Board #3-226 Community Board #4-176 Community Board #5-185 Community Board #6-193 Community Board #7-144 Community Board #8-85 Community Board #9-344 Community Board #10-215 Community Board #11-228 Community Board #12-569

Engel marks 2nd anniversary of Affordable Care Act

Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY-17) issued the following statement on the second anniversary of the landmark Affordable Care Act. ‘This historic reform to our health care system has led to an obsessive focus from the Republicans to overturning it, diverting attention away from job creation and helping grow our economy. If the Affordable Care Act were repealed, it could lead to sick children being denied private health insurance coverage, which would lead to bankrupting hard-working families. Considering the recent ridiculous debate over contraception, and the senseless attack on women’s health by Republican lawmakers and pundits, it should not be surprising to see them on a quest to deny health coverage to over 30 million people,’ said Rep. Engel. The Affordable Care Act has already accomplished the following: • Bars insurance companies from

denying children insurance on the basis of pre-existing conditions. They can no longer rescind coverage for people who become ill; and are prohibited from imposing annual and lifetime limits. In NY-17, an estimated 42,000 children can no longer be denied coverage. • Requires health insurers to permit parents to retain coverage for their children until they reach the age of 26. In NY-17, approximately 5,000 young adults now have insurance. • Provides a 50% discount for prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries who enter the Medicare Part D ‘donut hole’ and lose coverage. In Rep. Engel’s District, some 6,000 seniors have received discounts worth $4.2 million. • Provides all Medicare beneficiaries with access to preventive care and services without any co-pay, coinsurance, or deductible. In NY-17, approximately 62,000 seniors have now received Medicare preventative services. • Requires new private insurance plans to cover preventive care services without any co-pay, coinsurance, or deductible. Locally, approximately 31,000 children and 110,000 adults now have insurance covering preventative services. • Provides new tax credits to small businesses worth 35% or more of the cost of providing health insurance to their employees. Locally, 510 small businesses have received tax credits. ‘I believe these numbers highlight the success of the Affordable Care Act, and over time, the benefits of the law will drown out the naysayers who have fought tooth and nail on behalf of the status quo,’ said Rep. Engel, a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health.

Elaine Eklof Drootin and Carol Frank, members of the Riverdale Art Association will exhibit their paintings during April. Elaine Eklof Drootin’s paintings will include watercolors, acrylics and mixed media. She paints locally at Wave Hill and on Cape Cod. Her plein air landscapes are superbly rendered and working outdoors capture the essence of an immediate impression. Plein air (from the French en plein air) originated in France in 1865 when artists left their studios in search of quality light only found outdoors. Elaine has studied at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum, Castle Hill in Truro, Westchester College of Art and the Art Students’ League. She exhibits locally and on the Cape. She recently had a solo show at the Riverdale Y. Carol Frank paints abstracts and her work includes photography, collage and pastels. She studied at the New York Botanical Garden and School of Visual Arts. She has exhibited locally at Wave Hill, at the Riverfront Library and with her husband at the Grinton I Will Library in Yonkers. The Reception will be Sunday, April 29 from 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. The community is invited to celebrate the art at the Riverdale Yonkers Society for Ethical Culture 4450 Fieldston Road Bronx, NY 10471 718-548-4445. The exhibit is open Monday through Friday from 10 to 5 and Sunday 12 - 1. Telephone 718-548-4445. Please call ahead when planning your visit. The Riverdale Art Association is a group of local artists who also welcome the community and new members at its meetings. They meet the second Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. in the Community Room at the Riverdale Atria, Henry Hudson Parkway East, just south of the Monument. The next meeting of the Riverdale Art Association is Tuesday, April 10th.

Chabad offers Model Matzah Bakery

With Passover approaching very soon, Chabad Lubavitch of Riverdale will offer a one of a kind “Real Model Matzah Bakery”. This Matzah Bakery is an exciting, thrilling and educational experience for all ages of children. With the children actually kneading, rolling and baking their own round, hand-made matzah, it is the best educational tool to enhance the proper observance of the wonderful holiday of Passover. Children will learn, experience and taste the true traditional meaning of this ancient custom of eating hand-made Shmurah matzah on Passover. Participants will also have a chance to take part in pressing grape juice from grapes using an Italian wine press. Free samples of the pressed grape juice will be handed out. Additionally, all children will receive their own grape juice. New for this year, there will be a whole new dimension to the Model Matzah

Bakery. Visitors will be able to grind their own wheat instead of using store bought flour, thus making the program more hand-on and exciting. Located at Chabad Lubavitch of Riverdale, 535 W. 246th St., the bakery will be open for the public on Sunday, April 1, 10:30am - 12:30pm. Tours will be given 30 minutes past the hour, at 10:30am & 11:30am. Admission is $10.00 per person. All children will receive their own handmade Shmurah matzah to take home. Additional matzah will be available (at cost price). This year, Chabad will be able to accommodate large groups. Arrangements can be made to have the program brought to your school, group or synagogue. For more information please call Chabad Lubavitch of Riverdale: (718) 549-1100 Ext. 10

Gallery 18 to exhibit works of Joyce Dutka

The Gallery 18 will be presenting works by Joyce Dutka for the month of April. Ms. Dutka is the president of the Riverdale Art Association which she founded 12 years ago, after the art co-op in City Island closed its doors where she was a member. She has exhibited with the RAA group at the libraries of Bronxville, Eastchester, Yonkers Riverfront, as well as the Atria and Vintage Art Gallery, Society of Ethical Culture and Library on Mosholu Ave. Her art has also been displayed at numerous group shows at the Blue Door Gallery, The Upstream Gallery in Dobbs Ferry, The Mamaroneck Artist’s Gallery in Larchmont, the White Plains Library, The Larchmont Library, The New Rochelle Library and in New York City at the Cork Gallery in Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center. Her exhibit will be watercolors, mixed media, acrylic paintings, collage and color photography pictures. A reception will be on April 15th at the Riverdale Y from 1:30pm to 3:30 pm. The Y is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue. For more information call the Y at 718-548-8200.

Special receptacle for PrePassover cleaning

Bronx Community Board No. 8 is pleased to announce that it has arranged to have a dumpster placed at one location in Riverdale on the morning of Friday, April 6th, to help accommodate the end of the traditional chomezt disposal that precedes the Jewish festival of Passover. The rules of Passover forbid chomezt -- or leavened food -- during the period of the holiday. A dumpster will be near the Riverdale Jewish Center at the corner of West 237th Street and Independence Avenue. It will be installed by 7:00 AM and removed by 2:00 PM on April 6th, 2012. Bronx Community Board 8 will notify local synagogues and Jewish organizations to publicize the arrangements. The Sanitation Department has been extremely cooperative in providing this dumpster. We hope that these arrangements will help make Seder preparations easier for the many local residents celebrating the Passover festival.

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7 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, March 29, 2012

RAA to exhibit works of Drootin and Frank

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Thursday, April 5

Thursday, March 29, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



TINNITUS SUPPORT GROUP 6 p.m. Church of the Mediator 260 West 231st Street Anyone suffering from tinnitus or those interested in learning about it are invited to attend a free support group. For more information, please contact Dr. K. Nabinet on 718-410-2301 or 917-797-9065 or via email

Thursday, March 29

Sunday, April 1

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.

MODEL MATZAH BAKERY 10:30 a.m. Chabad Lubavitch 535 W. 246th Street Children will learn, experience and taste the true traditional meaning of this ancient custom of eating hand-made Shmurah matzah on Passover. For info, call 718- 549-1100 Ext. 10.

Spuyten Duyvil


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


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 more information, call 718-549-1212.


STORYTELLING 11:30 a.m. Riverdale Branch Library 5540 Mosholu Avenue Sing Me a Story, Read Me a Song. Emily Ellison introduces readers to the great world of exciting picture, story, and song books full of music and sound. Children will revel in the joy of reading while singing, dancing, and stomping their feet, and experiment with various rhythm instruments. For children ages 2 to 6 years old with parent/caregiver. For more information, call 718-549-1212.

Van Cortlandt

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


LECTURE 5:30 p.m. Riverdale Branch Library 5540 Mosholu Avenue “New York City Coyotes: A Natural Balance or Conflict in the Concrete Jungle?” Frank Vincenti, Director of the Wild Dog Foundation, discusses the presence of wild coyotes in Riverdale and the New York City area. For more information, call 718-549-1212.

Friday, March 30 Kingsbridge

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.

Spuyten Duyvil

MARVELS OF MOTION 3:30 p.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 West 235th Street 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! Presented by Mad Science of Westchester and Manhattan. For ages 5 and older. For more information, call 718-796-1202.


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.


Monday, April 2 Spuyten Duyvil

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

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.


READING 4:30 p.m. Manhattan College Hayden Hall, Room 100 Emma Straub, author of Other People We Married and the forthcoming Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures, will read at Manhattan College’s Major Author Reading Series. Open to the public. For more information, call 718- 862-7921.


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.

Tuesday, April 3 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.


CB8 MEETING 7:30 p.m. Horace Mann School Cafeteria 4440 Tibbett Avenue Meeting of the Land Use Committee of Community Board 8. For more information, call 718-884-3959.

Wednesday, April 4 Van Cortlandt

ARTS & CRAFTS 3:30 p.m. Van Cortlandt Branch Library 3874 Sedgwick Avenue Come to the Library and participate in our Arts & Crafts projects. Parental supervision is required for children 5 years and under. For more information, call 718-543-5150.


NATURE PRESERVANCY MEETING 7:30 p.m. Riverdale Neighborhood House 5521 Mosholu Avenue Annual meeting and panel discussion on institutional growth, creating community, preserving natural assets. For more information, visit


RCS OPEN REHEARSAL 7:30 p.m. Christ Church Riverdale 252nd St. and Henry Hudson Pkwy. East New singers will have an opportunity to participate in the Riverdale Choral Society’s concert of popular music from 18th century Vienna and 20th century America. If you are an experienced sight-reader or even if you do not sight-read but have a good musical ear you can schedule an informal audition with Music Director John Lettieri by sending an e-mail to, or calling 718-543-2219. For more info, visit ther website at

Friday, April 6 Riverdale

PASSOVER SEDER 8:15 p.m. Hebrew Institute of Riverdale 3700 Henry Hudson Parkway Join in to eat, drink, celebrate and relive the story of Exodus at the free Passover seder. For more information, call 718-796-4730.

Saturday, April 7 Riverdale

PASSOVER SEDER 8:15 p.m. Hebrew Institute of Riverdale

3700 Henry Hudson Parkway Join in to eat, drink, celebrate and relive the story of Exodus at the free Passover seder. For more information, call 718-796-4730.

Wednesday, April 11 Van Cortlandt

MODEL SEDER 11:15 a.m. Van Cortlandt Senior Center 3880 Sedgwick Avenue “A Taste of Passover” Model Seder with Marilyn Kaplan, pianist, and sing-along leaders. A festive lunch of roast chicken and kugel will be served at 12:30 PM. Senior contribution for this event is $3.00. Fee for non-senior guests is $4.00. For more information, call 718-549-4700.

Sunday, April 15 Riverdale

ARTIST RECEPTION 1:30 p.m. Riverdale YM-YWHA 5625 Arlington Avenue The Gallery 18 will be presenting works by Joyce Dutka for the month of April. A reception will be on April 15th. For more information call the Y at 718-548-8200.

By MIAWLING LAM Manhattan College has refinanced more than $26 million in bonds—a move set to save the Lasallian institution up to $350,000 a year. Build NYC Resource Corporation, a local development entity that helps nonprofit institutions obtain tax-exempt bond financing, recently approved the college’s application to refinance their bonds and reduce their interest rate. Under the deal, Manhattan College will be allowed to take advantage of historically low interest rates and refinance $26 million of their previously issued bonds. The new bonds will attract an interest rate of around 2.5 percent, compared to the previous rate of 5.5 percent. Manhattan College vice president for finance Thomas J. Ryan estimates the deal will save the school between $300,000 to $350,000 each year over the next eight years. “We expect that the interest rate on the new bonds will be three percent or less,” he said, “so the cost to the college will be substantially less. It seems to be a better deal for us. “As a nonprofit college, containing costs is very important. This approval provides a cost-effective way to refinance our bonds and reduce our interest expense.” The application, which city officials approved on March 13, represents the first time in more than four years that the city has assisted a nonprofit organization with tax-exempt financing. A portion of the state law allowing

industrial development agencies to financially assist nonprofits expired in early 2008, leaving at least 16 institutions to seek assistance elsewhere. According to an NYCEDC analysis, these organizations were forced to utilize out-of-state and out-of-city bond issuers to bankroll projects totaling more than $489 million. However, Ryan said, unlike other organizations that will use the bonds to finance a new project, no new developments would rise from the ground using the funds. “We’re not building a building or doing some other project or applying for a grant. It’s just that we’re filing for a tax-exempt bond issuance to replace existing bonds at a lower cost,” he said. Manhattan College originally issued $42 million of bonds in 2000 to finance construction of O’Malley Library and Horan Hall as well as renovations to Jasper Hall and the Research and Learning Center. They have repaid all but $26 million of that total. Ryan said the college previously used the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York as its conduit issuer, but Build NYC boasted more competitive rates. The new bonds will be totally exempt from city, state and federal taxes. As a conduit bond issuer, Build NYC’s primary goal is to facilitate access to private activity tax-exempt bond financing for nonprofits. Meanwhile, Fordham University also has an outstanding application to refinance $50 million of its own bonds.

9 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, March 29, 2012

MC refinances $26 million in bonds

Thursday, March 29, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Local jewelry business is family affair By MIAWLING LAM Imagine walking into a store where you’re greeted by name, made to feel like family and don’t need to think twice about leaving your $50,000 diamond ring behind for repairs. Father-and-son duo Chris Carucci Jr. and Chris Carucci Sr. have made it a mission for their store, Marilyn’s Diamond Collection at 3264 Johnson Avenue, to be just that. Their recipe for customer satisfaction has been so successful that the family-owned jewelry store will celebrate their fourth-year anniversary on Saturday, April 7. Carucci Sr., who has more than 30 years of industry experience, said he was proud of the achievement and credited his loyal customer base for helping him succeed. He said regulars come from as far as Crotonon-Hudson and New Rochelle in Westchester and the Upper West Side in Manhattan because they know they will be taken care of. “We have customers come in and they really bring 10 of their friends,” he said. “I tell every customer, ‘I’m not looking for one sale. We want your business repeatedly. We want you to tell your friends.’” The store’s success can also be attributed to its customer service and high trust factor, Carucci Jr. said. All repairs come with a sixmonth warranty and all watch purchases come with a one-year warranty, providing customers with peace of mind. “We stand behind everything,” he said. “When you get something back from us, it looks like it just came off the showroom floor again.” Reflecting on the past four years, Carucci Sr. said he has weathered the global financial crisis—the downturn struck just

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March Madness

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at the Y!

Sign up for membership now and get APRIL FREE* Become a member and take advantage of all the Riverdale Y has to offer: Yoga, Zumba, Fitness Center, Salt Synergy Indoor Pool plus much more. Come take a tour. Call 718-548-8200, ext. 200 for more information. 5625 Arlington Avenue Bronx, NY 10471 718-548-8200 *New members only. Offer valid through April 2, 2012

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11 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, March 29, 2012

Why be one-of-the-crowd when you can now be one-of-a-kind?

Thursday, March 29, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


RKA plays host to HealthCorps event By PAULETTE SCHNEIDER The most wholesome place on earth last Thursday was the Riverdale/Kingsbridge Academy gym, where hundreds of teens learned how to stay fit for life at the school’s annual health fair. The force behind the event is Dr. Mehmet Oz’s HealthCorps, a national organization that provides schools with “coordinators” who team up with teachers to mentor students in health-related classes and activities. RKA coordinator Austin Cromartie serves as assistant coach to the soccer and softball teams. He takes part in a Riverdale Community Center service group, leads a weekly after-school cooking club, motivates whoever needs a push, and stages the health fairs. Students this year sweated through hip-hop routines and jump rope sessions. They worked their biceps at military-style pull-ups. They discovered fruit smoothies, vegan ice cream and gluten-free cookies. They sampled stir-fried broccoli with mussels and a chicken dish, both prepared on the spot by competing teams of student chefs. On the less cheerful side, they wore special goggles that simulate drunkenness as they struggled to place a golf ball into a box and navigate around a line of cones. The sign at that booth said it all: “Intoxication Obstacle Course: You Booze, You Cruise, You Lose.” They examined a table laden with genuine, hospital-supplied human organs. A few diseased specimens, shriveled and malformed, cowered beside their healthy counterparts and taught an implicit lesson. RKA junior Danny McCauley was master of ceremonies. “I’m taking students in and showing them the different booths, the different aspects of health that they didn’t necessarily know about before,” he said. Many didn’t know about Sahaja meditation. “I took a group of athletes that I saw come in. They were sixth-graders,” said McCauley, a pitcher and meditation advocate. “I asked them, ‘What if I told

you this could enhance your focus?’ Two minutes later, we had, like, seven kids all around.” “I’ve done this before my games,” he said. “I almost pitched a no-hitter yesterday.” McCauley lamented the popularity of fast foods among kids. “It tastes great. They hear it’s bad for you, but what do they really know? But there’s this booth right here. I took a look at it, and it really grossed me out.” Sandeep Gurung manned the “What is in That?!” table, breaking the news to those who still eat Hostess twinkies that the cream-filled cakes contain, among other surprising ingredients, beef fat. Bubble gum has “sheep secretions.” Raspberry-flavored foods may harbor castoreum, a sweetener derived from beaver anal glands. No one stayed grossed out for long— healthful treats were just across the room. Chelsea Garcia whipped up a continuous supply of smoothies (bananas, strawberries, 2 percent milk, agave nectar). Citing the ingredients’ nutritional virtues, Garcia predicted that “if you decide to make this smoothie, you’ll be very energized and happy.” Entrepreneur Mark Roth served up his creation, raw ice cream (coconut meat, cashews, agave nectar and water, plus the flavorings). To be considered “raw,” a food must contain nothing heated beyond 120 degrees, preserving phytonutrients and antioxidants. “It’s soy-free, dairy-free and gluten-free,” bragged Roth, who studied biology and oncology. At her own Gluten Free booth was student Lindsey Crowe, diagnosed only five months ago with a rare form of celiac disease. Symptoms included an itchy rash that sprang up immediately when she ate foods containing wheat, barley or rye. She proffered samples from a line of gluten-free baked goods made by Tate’s Bake Shop. Back in the exercise area, Sergeant Nicholas Everidge supervised pull-ups while Staff Sergeant Michelle Grecco

explained the U.S. Army’s involvement in setting standards for fitness training at the school. “There’s a certain way we’re supposed to work out,” Grecco said. “It’s designed to work out your core muscles and prevent you from getting injuries.” Cromartie pointed out that exercise also prevents a loss of mental resilience. “I’ve been lifting with some guys who were previously unmotivated first period,” he said. “Their self-confidence came up, and they started getting better grades. So we started doing that every morning. Start the day off right—fitness in the morning, better grades in the afternoon.” His general advice: “Start your day off right with breakfast and fitness, and the rest of your day goes well.”

Practical. Affordable. Exceptional. SCHOOL OF PROFESSIONAL AND CONTINUING STUDIES Are you searching for the career of your dreams or do you just need a change? Check out our Winning Wednesday series that offers the essential tools to help you land your dream job. All events are free and open to the public. Pre-registration is required. INFORMATION SESSION: Wednesday, April 4 • 7-8:30 p.m. Topic: Writing a Professional Cover Letter and Resume Presenter: Diane Machado, Director of the Office of Career Development and Internships, College of Mount Saint Vincent

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mount saint vincent

RKA student Sandeep Gurung’s display reveals some hidden ingredients in everyday foods at the school’s annual health fair last week.

RSVP: Call Christine Leake (718) 405-3269 or email To register visit:



ITALIAN CINEMA 6:30 p.m. Westchester Italian Cultural Center One Generoso Pope Place Enjoy some of the best Italian cinema. Refreshments are offered prior to the screening. Roma Citta’ Aperta (1945) by Roberto Rossellini. The Allies had barely driven the Nazis out of Rome when Roberto Rosselini went to work on Open City, considered by most to be his greatest work. Shot on bits and short ends of scavenged film, this film helped define Italian neorealism. The story involves members of the Italian underground trying to smuggle badly needed cash out of Nazi-occupied Rome to partisan fighters in the mountains, while the Nazis continue to hunt the underground opposition. In Italian with English subtitles, 100 minutes. Black & White. Registration is required. Members $10, Non-members $20. For info, call 914-771-8700.

Saturday, March 31 Ossining

WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR’S WORKSHOP 10 a.m. Teatown Lake Reservation 1600 Spring Valley Road This workshop will focus on the different aspects of working with wildlife, teach you how to respond appropriately, and detail what’s involved in becoming a wildlife rehabilitator in New York State. Please note this program is for adults only. Participants should bring lunch. The fee is $20 for members and $25 for nonmembers. For more information, call 914762-2912 x110.


GENEALOGY 10 a.m. Westchester Italian Cultural Center One Generoso Pope Place Ancestry vs. Heritage. Discover and preserve your family’s unique story. Professional genealogist Toni McKeen will share with you her passion, knowledge, and the tips you need to know for documenting your family history. There are two powerful web sites with pluses and minuses to both sites. Learn how to make powerful websites work for you by knowing their strengths and weaknesses, use systems to find all of your ancestors... even those who don’t seem to want to be found. Must register in advance and prepay. Members free, Non-members $10. For more information, call 914-771-8700.

White Plains

SCULPTURE EXHIBIT 12 p.m. Arts Westchester 31 Mamaroneck Avenue Whether as a free-standing object or a fixture emerging from the wall, sculpture never fails to captivate the viewer’s imagination. It’s exciting. It’s intrusive. It’s personal. Sculpture: On & Off the Wall is a Directors’ and Curators’ Choice

exhibition featuring pieces from the region’s most established sculptors alongside its talented rising-stars. The 17 exhibiting artists engage a variety of themes through a diverse range of styles and mediums: monumental to miniature, figurative to abstract, steel to porcelain. Exhibit through May 20. For more information, visit

Monday, April 2 Tuckahoe

CUCINA ITALIANA 1 p.m. Westchester Italian Cultural Center One Generoso Pope Place Torta di Grano, an ancient Neapolitan Easter cake, is a cake of puff pastry suffed with a mixtre consisting of ricotta, wheat, eggs, spices and candied fruit. The crust is crispy while the golden yellow filling is soft. Its flavor and aroma varies according to the spices used. Presented by Franca D’Amico. Limited capacity. Must register in advance and prepay. Members $50, Non-Members $60. For more info, call 914-771-8700.


CUCINA ITALIANA 6:30 p.m. Westchester Italian Cultural Center One Generoso Pope Place Learn how to prepare this traditional Easter recipe that holds a celebrated place on the table. Pizza Rustica is often made of a thick crust and a filling of prosciutto, ham, salami, and eggs. Franca D’Amico will teach you how to make you own pizza rustica just in time for Easter. Limited capactiy. Must register in advance and prepay. Members $50, Non-Members $60. For info, call 914-771-8700.

Wednesday, April 4 White Plains

ARTS AWARD 11:30 a.m. Arts Westchester 31 Mamaroneck Avenue Each spring, arts, cultural, and civic leaders come together to salute the winners of ArtsWestchester’s Arts Award. The Arts Award is our most distinguished award, bestowed each year on individuals and organizations that have made extraordinary contributions to the arts and the community. $40- Artist/Member, $65- General. For info, visit

Thursday, April 5 Yorktown Hts.

CANCER SUPPORT GROUP 10 a.m. Support Connection 40 Triangle Center Open to women with breast, ovarian or gynecological cancer. We all know there are many common factors to any cancer diagnosis. Join other women who have also been diagnosed as we discuss all stages of diagnosis, treatment and post-treatment. Facilitated by cancer survivors. Free. Pre-registration required; call 914-962-6402 or 800-532-4290.

Celebrated authors to visit Manhattan College The fourth semester of Manhattan College’s popular Major Author Reading Series (M.A.R.S.) resumes on April 2 with author Emma Straub, and Pulitzer-winning poet Claudia Emerson will follow on April 19. Designed to engage and expose students to modern literature, M.A.R.S. has brought a variety of acclaimed writers to campus for readings and book signings. Straub, author of Other People We Married and the forthcoming Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures, will read on April 2. A New York native, Straub’s fiction and nonfiction have been published by Tin House, The Paris Review Daily, Slate, Cousin Corinne’s Reminder and many other journals. She is currently a staff writer for Rookie magazine, and lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. Lorrie Moore, author of Birds of America and A Gate at the Stairs, says of Straub’s work, ‘In these stories of grief, love, loss and transplantation, Emma Straub demonstrates her brilliance, her humor, her sharp observational powers, as well as her lyrical gifts and affection for the world. She is a terrific new talent.’

On April 19, Claudia Emerson, winner of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for Late Wife, will wrap up the spring semester’s M.A.R.S. series. In addition to Late Wife, Emerson’s poetry collections include Secure the Shadow; Figure Studies; Pharaoh, Pharaoh; and Pinion: An Elegy, all in the Southern Messenger Poets series from LSU Press. Emerson was the Poet Laureate of Virginia from 2008-2010, and is a recipient of a Witter Bynner Fellowship from the Library of Congress. She is currently a professor of English and Arrington Distinguished Chair in poetry at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Va. Both the April 2 and April 19 events start at 4:30 p.m. and will be held on campus in Hayden Hall, room 100, and are open to the public. For more information about the M.A.R.S. series at Manhattan College, contact Adam Koehler, assistant professor of English, by email at or phone (718) 862-7546, or David Eye, visiting assistant professor of creative writing, by email at or phone (718) 862-7921.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thursday, March 29

Thursday, March 29, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thursday, March 29, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW




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Tinnitus is an annoying noise or ringing in the ear that is heard without an external sound. Anyone suffering from this condition or those interested in learning about tinnitus are invited to attend a free support group. The 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. Their next session will be held on Thursday, April 5 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 718410-2301 or 917-797-9065 or via email

12 Bronx parks to be spruced up

New York Cares is seeking 5,000 volunteers to take part in on New York Cares Day Spring on Saturday, April 21, 2012 from 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM. Now in its 18th year, this citywide day of spring greening will revitalize more than 80 parks, gardens, playgrounds and community centers across the five boroughs. This year volunteers will spruce-up 12 green spaces in The Bronx, including Drew Gardens

where New Yorkers will clean-up along the river, work on a wheelchair ramp, paint signs, and beautify the garden beds. Team registration has been extended until April 6, 2012. Individuals can register until April 20. ‘We still need an additional 2,000 volunteers to sign up to be able to tackle all the work that needs to be done on New York Cares Day,’ said Gary Bagley, Executive Director of New York Cares. ‘This year, we have a special focus on the city’s waterfront, in addition to our traditional gardening projects. Volunteers will restore 10 miles of coastline across New York City to make these areas more sustainable for plant and animal life and more accessible for city residents.’ New York Cares Day Spring is an annual day of service run by New York Cares, the city’s largest volunteer organization, and is sponsored by HSBC for the sixth consecutive year. New Yorkers (12 years old and up) can register to volunteer at, with a registration fee of $20 per person. The website provides details including how to participate and how to make a donation in honor of a team or a volunteer. Volunteers under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. New York Cares Day Spring (formerly Hands on New York Day) is a serve-a-thon, similar to a walk-a-thon, where partici-

pants raise money in honor of the time they spend volunteering to support the cost of the event and New York Cares’ yearround volunteer programs. Each year, New York Cares mobilizes 54,000 volunteers to help 400,000 New Yorkers in need. Green spaces in The Bronx slated to be spruced-up on New York Cares Day include: • Van Cortlandt Park • Crotona Park • St. Mary’s Park • Claremont Park • Bissel Garden • Drew Gardens • Palmas Del Caribe Garden • Pelham Bay Park/Orchard Beach • Seton Falls Park Preserve • Jacqueline Denise Davis Garden • Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum • Soundview Park

RCS to hold two more open rehearsals

The Riverdale Choral Society is holding two more open rehearsals for its final concert of the 2011-2012 season on Wednesday, April 4 and April 11, 2012. New singers will have an opportunity to participate in the chorus’s concert of popular music from 18th century Vienna and 20th century America. The concert titled ‘Light Classics from Vienna to Broadway’

will feature selections of popular music by Mozart, Haydn, Gershwin, Bernstein and others. Music Director John Lettieri held the chorus’s first open rehearsal on March 28, 2012 for the concert that will take place on June 2, 2012. Since 1964, the Riverdale Choral Society has been bringing joy to the community through performances of high-quality choral music. Our welcoming, diverse group of men and women rehearses weekly under professional artistic direction, singing both traditional and adventuresome repertoire. Through live concerts and community outreach, the chorus enriches the cultural life of the greater Riverdale area. If you are an experienced sight-reader or even if you do not sight-read but have a good musical ear you can schedule an informal audition with Music Director John Lettieri by sending an e-mail to, or calling 718-543-2219. Or you may sign up for an informal audition at our open rehearsals. Rehearsals will be held every Wednesday from 7:30 to 9:45 PM at Christ Church Riverdale, 252 St. and Henry Hudson Parkway East, where there is street parking available and easy access to public transportation. Additional information can be obtained at the RCS web site:

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, March 29, 2012

Bronx tinnitus support group to meet

Thursday, March 29, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


As Goes France…

The slaying at a Jewish school at Toulouse is a moment not only of horror for France and the world but also of truth. They will remind that before government of the Fifth Republic has any standing to lecture the government in Jerusalem on how to protect Jews in the land of Israel, it will have to show that it can protect the Jews of France. The killings in the southern French city are being attributed by police to the slain Mohammed Merah, a Frenchman of Algerian descent, who shot to death a 30-year-old Hebrew teacher and his two children and another child and wounded a 17-year-old. “The attacker was shooting people outside the school, then pursued children into the school, before fleeing on a heavy motorbike,” the prosecutor at Toulouse, Michel Valet, is quoted by Reuters as having told reporters. It’s too soon to say what police will find about the killings, but it’s not too soon to say that an attack on a Jewish school is cause for the highest possible alarm, particularly in France. No doubt this is why President Sarkozy, along with a raft of other high-ranking French officials, was, at this writing, racing to the scene. “I want to say to all the leaders of the Jewish community, how close we feel to them,” the president said. “All of France is by their side.” No doubt Mr. Sarkozy understands the implications for the credibility of his government, not only at home, where he is locked in an election campaign, but internationally, where he seeks to be a player in, among other theaters, the Middle East. Shortly before he acceded to the presidency, he came to New York, where, at a small lunch, he was asked point blank by the editor of the Sun whether he thought his government would be able to protect the Jews of France. “C’est une question tres grave,” he said, before assuring that it would be able to defend the Jews and asserting that the French people are broadly and deeply opposed to anti-Semitism. His remarks in respect of solidarity with the Jewish community were echoed by the socialist candidate, Francois Hollande, and the right wing candidate, Martine LePen. There’s a reason that the question of anti-Semitism keeps arising in France, and it’s not just because of the nature of the incidents — physical attacks, defiling of graves, and harassing of Jews in religious garb — that occur all too frequently. It’s also because of the foreign policy of France. This point was noted in these columns in 2005, after Commentary magazine issued a special report on Jews, Arabs, and French diplomacy. At the Quai D’Orsay, the writer for Commentary, David Pryce-Jones, reported, “The historical record displays evidence of unremitting hostility to Jews, decade after decade.” The Quai D’Orsay took great umbrage at the piece, but we said at the time that New Yorkers were a hard-headed lot and knew whom to credit. We also made the point in 2004, when Prime Minister Sharon issued a blunt warning for Jews to flee France in the face of escalating anti-Semitic attacks there. In the weeks before Mr. Sharon issued his broadside, vandals had destroyed a mural painted by Jewish schoolchildren, a 17-year-old Jewish student had been stabbed in the neck in a Paris suburb, a town hall in Vichy had been painted in swastikas, the slogan “Jews out” had been painted on graves at Colmar, a Jewish center had been set on fire at Toulon, and a school for Jewish boys had been firebombed. A stain was spreading on the Fifth Republic. Yet, we noted, even that kind of violence wouldn’t, in and of itself, lead a prime minister of Israel to urge the Jews to flee. Most worrisome, we noted, was that the eruption of violence against Jews in France has coincided with the endorsement by the Quai d’Orsay of the Palestinian right to take violent action against Jews in Israel and the embrace of the Palestinian Arab terrorist leadership by the president at the time, Jacques Chirac, and other French officials. Mr. Chirac had recently stood with Egypt’s president at the time, Hosni Mubarak, and endorsed the authority of Yasser Arafat. It turned out that even while the Quai D’Orsay was opposing America’s efforts to remove Saddam Hussein’s regime at Iraq, even while Iraq was funding the families of suicide bombers who’d attacked Israel, even while a diplomat of France was telling the British that Israel was a “s**tty little country,” a number of officials in France were among those receiving oil vouchers from Saddam. Continued on Page 19

Our street surfaces and a direct approach

To The Editor: I applaud Miawling Lam for her articles about the decaying conditions of our street surfaces. Kudus however should also go to Bronx DOT Commissioner Constance Moran for responding to my own direct concerns about the horrible conditions of the Henry Hudson Parkway East Service Road from Kappock Street to Netherland Avenue (a ride on the bus over that section of road had always been an indicator of just how bad things were). I had initially gone to Councilman Koppell’s office, however after getting no positive response from his staff over time, in September, decided to contact DOT directly through their website. I eventually got a letter from Commissioner Moran who advised that these repairs would be made as part of the 2012 Budget. Sure enough, early in march the DOT crews came. CB8 Chair

Moerdler recently suggested in an interview with Associate Editor Lam that we write directly to DOT to express our concerns. I have first hand experience that direct contact with DOT and the Bronx Commissioner does produce results. I also used the occasion to address my concern with the Com-

Support the police on terrorism To The Editor: I strongly support the NYC police surveillance of any group statistically positive to terrorism or anti-social behavior including the recent action relative to Mosques, “politically correct” or not. You will undoubtedly oppose my stand which goes much further that: I am convinced that one bullet is worth a thousand words if rationally justified. Israel’s disregard of what is clearly right and wrong in regard to international law, as witnessed in the kidnapping in

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

missioner, about the filth and general decay of the Parkway embankment to the service road at the same general location. Last December this was at least partially addressed by DOT. DOT does respond! We need only be somewhat compelling in our approach. Irv Weiler

CECILIA McNALLY Office Manager MIAWLING LAM Associate Editor

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

Argentina and the earlier bombing of Iranian nuclear facilities, is at least covertly acceptable in view of the patently rational nature of these actions. It comes to this: legalistic morality is variable in respect to time and geography, but rational conclusions are consistent throughout. Most of us know this but lack the strength to overcome the conflict between their deep knowledge of the truth and what is considered the moral path to take. Indeed, it is the good people who are the most often so afflicted and one has to reluctantly afford these people a measure of applause but nonetheless sorrow at their understandable conflict. Too bad it is often not the best man who wins. So I will not fault you for not publishing this because of presenting a probably distasteful point of view. But try and see it my way even if it hurts. Melvin Jacobs

To The Editor: The world is in dire straits. North Korea and Pakistan are nuclear powers. Iran is about to join their ranks. In the face of this threat the peaceloving nations in the world seem to be impotent and not able to take any action that might prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and preserve peace. As things are proceeding any nation that wants nuclear weapons can get them. The nations which want nuclear weapons are those most likely to use them. At the end of the Second World War the United Nations was created in the hope that it would preserve the peace that had been won at such a great expense in lives

As goes France... Continued from Page 18 We don’t mind saying that President Sarkozy is a lot better than President Chirac was. But no leader of France in our time has emerged as fully on the side of the Jews in the war that is underway against them across a broad swath of the globe. We have noted in the past, and note again, that France isn’t pre-war Germany. We haven’t suggested, and don’t do so now, that the government or its leaders are anti-Semitic. But we do suggest it doesn’t matter. If France is going to defend its Jews, it is going to have to defend, as well, the Jews of other countries, including Israel. That is the real lesson of the long, tragic story of the violence that has erupted against the Jews of France. (A version of this piece first appeared as an editorial of the online New York Sun last week and is reprinted with permission.)

and property. Like the League of Nations, its predecessor, the U.N. is failing its primary function, to keep the peace. It can still serve valuable purposes related to improving world health, inhibiting the spread of diseases, or possibly in the preservation of endangered species. Where peace is concerned it only serves to empower those nations who wish to wreck the peace. What I have stated above will probably be recognized as accurate by 90% of those reading this letter. In the face of this truth it is unconscionable that our government, the world’s leading democracy, does nothing but mouth empty words in speeches that are so predictable they insult our intelligence. Where is a proposal by a statesman to act in the face of these realities? Recognizing that the U.S. is now a place where issues may be debated ad nausea, it would seem appropriate to create an organization that might act to preserve the peace. NATO was such an organization but its focus was military and not political. What is needed now is an organization of western democracies that have shared values. These countries could include the U.S., Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India and others, the others being restricted to non-Islamic democratic countries. Actions could be taken by any group of these nations that found a common purpose. This organization’s primary purpose would be to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and to preserve the peace! To be effective the members of this organization must be willing to bar weapons of mass destruction from states which they believe might use them in a war.

During the years preceding WWII it would have been possible to thwart Nazi plans of conquest. What was lacking was the will of any States to take action to hinder Germany. Instead, pacifism was the darling of the media and academia. Only Churchill and a small group of intellectuals promoted action. Because of this reluctance to stop Germany from rearming, 50-70 million people perished. Must we make the same mistake again? Now I am sure some will say that barring Islamic states is wrong. I say it is realistic. There is now an Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC). This is an organization of 57 Islamic states that “promotes Muslim solidarity in economic, social, and political affairs.” This has existed since 1969; I don’t recall any non-Islamic State complaining. Phil Brieff

19 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, March 29, 2012

Insure peace by preventing proliferation

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Thursday, March 29, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


FREE TREES! MillionTreesNYC Spring 2012 Tree Giveaways


BRONX Saturday, April 7 – Noon to 2:00 pm

Partner: New York Botanic Garden Pick-Up Location: East 180th St & Devoe Ave (River Garden)

Saturday, April 14 – 10:00 am to Noon Partner: Sustainable South Bronx Pick-Up Location: Hunts Point Riverside Park

Saturday, April 28 – Noon to 2:00 pm Partner: Waterbury Lasalle Community Association Pick-Up Location: 3075 Baisley Avenue

Saturday, May 5 – 11:00 am to 1:00 pm

Partner: Phipps Community Development Corp. Pick-Up Location: 1071 East Tremont Ave (Drew Gardens)

Saturday, May 12 – 11:00 am to 1:00 pm Partner: Friends of Van Cortlandt Park Pick-Up Location: Broadway and Mosholu Ave

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Riverdale Review, March 29, 2012  

Weekly newspaper published in Riverdale, NY 10471