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Riverdale’s ONLY Locally Owned Newspaper!

Volume XIX • Number 12 • April 5 - 11, 2012 •


Water rates to continue upward spiral By MIAWLING LAM Homeowners could be hosed by yet another massive water rate hike. City officials have proposed an increase in water rates by 7 percent starting July 1 in order to cover escalating debt service on federally mandated infrastructure projects. If approved, the new rates are set to plunge families into deeper water and could place further strain on their monthly budgets. The increase means a typical singlefamily home that uses 80,000 gallons a year will have to pony up an extra $62 a year, or a little over $5 a month. Similarly, a multi-family home that

uses 50,000 gallons a year will be slugged an extra $39 a year. Water rates have already soared 77 percent since 2005, and the new increas comes hot on the heels of a 7.5 percent hike in 2011 and a 12.9 percent increase in 2010. Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Carter Strickland unveiled the rate during his presentation to the New York City Water Board in downtown Manhattan last Friday. Speaking in front of a modest crowd, Commissioner Strickland downplayed the proposed soaking and said it was lower than the 9.3 percent increase initially projected.

“This is the lowest rate increase in seven years and the second year that we’ve brought the rate increase to singledigits,” he said. “We know in these economic times that any increase in the rate is a burden. However, the primary driver behind recent water increases has been increased annual debt service financed by unfunded federal and state mandates.” Commissioner Strickland said the hike was necessary because debt service payments have skyrocketed by 176 percent since 2002—from $496 million to $1.37 billion—and are forecast to increase by an additional 8 percent in 2012. Infrastructure upgrades to aging sys-

tems, new filtration and UV treatment plants and the Croton Water Filtration Plant also drove up operating costs. However, the rationale didn’t fly with elected officials. During a City Council hearing earlier last week, several members labeled the rate hike as “absurd” and a “backdoor tax.” Councilman G. Oliver Koppell said he strongly opposed the rate increase and signaled that he would testify during a round of public hearings later this month. Public hearings will be held in each borough to garner community feedback. The one in The Bronx is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, April 25, at 7 p.m. Continued on Page 2

Passover preparation a major production at the Hebrew Home By PAULETTE SCHNEIDER Carlos Luna, director of food service for the Hebrew Home at Riverdale for the past 26 years, estimates that nearly 35,000 kitchen items—from forks to fryers to refrigerators--undergo the laborious cleansing procedure required each year before the holiday of Passover. Jews observe the eight-day festival in part by avoiding leavened foods and removing leavened products from their homes. The process of making things kosher, in this case, for Passover, is commonly referred to as “kashering.” It’s Rabbi Joseph Dalezman’s second year overseeing Passover preparations at the Hebrew Home. “During this period, I’m here 12 to 15 hours a day,” the rabbi said, pointing out that not just the kitchen but the entire facility gets kashered. “I have a very strict standard. So does Carlos. I see something and I say ‘We have a problem here.’ He says, ‘It’s not a problem, it’s an issue. We’ll take care of it right now. Boom—it’s done.” They feel this is the most extensive kashering operation of its kind among New York area senior facilities. After all, the Hebrew Home serves 4,000 meals every day in 24 separate dining areas to its 860 residents. In the main kitchen, Luna pointed out a “massive, massive pressure cooker” that turns out 250 pounds of brisket in an hour and a half. Beside it stand several gigantic vats—one ordinarily cooks up 800 servings of soup--now filled with boiling water for kashering whatever pans can fit inside. The biggest pots and pans are submerged in even larger specialized containers filled with boiling water. First, the vessels used for cleansing had to be properly cleansed themselves. “I personally kashered the vats—steamed them, cleaned them out completely, outside, inside. Then we put some cleaning solution in there and cleaned them again, steamed them again, and then put cool water in them. Then, we use them for the other utensils,” Dalezman said. “It’s the same process—you put in some cleaning solution, they stay in and they’re steamed, we drain that

off, steam it again, drain it off, put cold water on it so that it’s sealed. Then, it’s kosher for Passover.” Stands, carts, tables and appliances large and small are all subject to some method of kashering, depending upon the materials they’re made of. Most of the kitchen here is stainless steel. “The whole idea of the steam is that it opens up the metal to let whatever is engrained in the metal to come out,” Dalezman explained. “The cold water seals it in the sense that it now closes the pores.” Passover-ready kitchen items are labeled and tightly

covered with tablecloths or plastic sheets. So why not just keep a separate set of supplies for Passover use, as is done in many households on this holiday? “We used to do that years ago,” Luna said. “But it’s a lot more efficient to do what we’re doing now.” Prime rib with roasted potatoes and broccoli will be served at the “seder” meal on the first night of Passover this Friday, April 6. On the second night, resident will enjoy the ever-popular brisket with potato kugel and green beans.

Hebrew Home director of food services Carlos Luna, far left, and Rabbi Joseph Dalezman, center, are impressed with the work of employees like Isaac Tofa, right, engaged in “kashering” thousands of cookware items.

Thursday, April 5, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Apartment bldg sells for $17M By MIAWLING LAM AN 84-unit apartment building in Riverdale has been sold to an undisclosed New Jersey buyer for a mammoth $17.4 million. The six-story property, located on a 30,000-square-foot parcel of land at 530 West 236th Street, was sold officially by its longtime owners to 78 Realty LLC on Tuesday, March 20. Eastern Consolidated senior director and principal Marcia Rose Yawitz, who represented the purchaser, said the man, who wanted his identity suppressed, is a seasoned property magnate. Yawitz said the buyer currently owns a “good number of buildings” throughout the city, primarily in Manhattan, but was attracted to the Riverdale property. “The building is in excellent condition, having been constructed, owned and managed by the same family since 1954,” she said. “And at a sales price of $17.4 million, it traded for a noteworthy per-unit price of approximately $204,000 or a gross rental multiple of 11.” Yawitz said the buyer was also familiar with the unique character of the neigh-

Water rate hike Continued from Page 1

at the Riverdale YM-YWHA. “I oppose the hike because I still believe they’re not doing a sufficient job on collecting water bills. They should be collecting at 100 percent, and they’re not,” Koppell said on Monday. “In addition, their capital program is winding down and as a result of that, they should not be needing such large increases. Koppell said it was also unfair that residents were being made to pay more for water, especially as they are already hit with higher real estate taxes although their house values don’t increase. “I am hopeful that by taking a vigorous position in opposition, we will get some reduction off this amount, because even though it’s not as big as it was in the past, it’s still much greater than the rate of inflation,” he said. Following the public hearings, the Water Board—whose seven members are appointed by the mayor—will formally adopt the water rate on May 4, 2012. The new rate will then become effective on July 1, 2012. Of the five Water Board members in attendance on Friday, none criticized the hike and instead went around the room and praised Strickland for overseeing an efficient agency. North Riverdale resident Mary Lowe predicted the beefed-up prices wouldn’t affect her as much as others and even said the higher charge could come with a silver lining. “I’d prefer that they not increase the prices, but…it may not be such a bad thing,” she said. “Maybe people will use less water because of it. But of course, that’s not why they’re doing it.” Commissioner Strickland hinted the price pain would hit again next year. “We do not estimate or project at this time a large increase next year,” he said, before adding that officials were proposing a 7.9 percent water rate hike for fiscal year 2013.

borhood, having owned a house in the exclusive enclave of Fieldston “many years ago.” “He would like to purchase other buildings in the area. He’s optimistic and likes Riverdale,” she said, adding that he had a grand vision for the building. “He plans to keep it as a rental and is very conscious with maintaining the building. He plans to upgrade apartments as they become vacant,” Yawitz said. The building boasts 19 garage spaces and two passenger elevators. One of the 84 rent-stabilized apartments on the first floor is used as a doctor’s office. Donald Fleishaker represented the seller and Meyer Jeger acted for the buyer in the transaction.

By MIAWLING LAM State Senator Adriano Espaillat will officially challenge veteran politico Rep. Charlie Rangel for his seat in Congress. Espaillat, who currently represents a large section of Riverdale in the state Senate, formally announced his candidacy at an annual fundraiser for the Barack Obama Democratic Club in upper Manhattan on Sunday night. “After an overwhelming amount of encouragement from community leaders, voters, family and colleagues, I am proud to announce my candidacy for the 13th Congressional District,” he said in a statement issued on Monday. “I believe that the people of the 13th Congressional District are searching for leadership with bold, new ideas in Washington, D.C.” Espaillat, who made history as the first Dominican-American to be elected to the state Legislature in 1996, also said he was ready to tackle the rigors of a Democratic dogfight. “I intend to conduct a vigorous campaign that will allow a full debate on the future of our city and state,” he continued. “Together, we can make history and bring real change that uplifts our communities and builds a stronger New York and a stronger country.” The declaration puts an end to months of speculation over whether Espaillat would launch a daring attempt to unseat Rangel, who has served Upper Manhattan since 1971. Just last month, he formed a sevenmember exploratory committee to mull over his options and confirmed he was circulating petitions two weeks ago. Ibrahim Khan, a spokesman for Espaillat, could not readily disclose how many petitions campaigners have collected to date but said it was a significant number. Khan also predicted swing voters in The Bronx could eventually determine the winner in a battle that has political pundits licking their chops. “It’s a big race, and it’s going to be a high-profile race that’s going to be followed all over the country,” he said. The timely announcement comes a week after Rangel strenuously denied rumors he would run, resign before serving the full term and pass his seat to longtime ally, Assemblyman Keith Wright. Bob Liff, a campaign spokesman for Rangel, declined to respond directly to a request for comment about Espaillat throwing his hat in the ring and instead issued a brief statement. “The congressman is running to serve another full term in Congress because he firmly believes, as he did 21 times before, that he is the best candidate to make a difference in the community,” he said. “It takes true passion and devotion to dedicate more than half of one’s life to public service. He hopes to continue serving his constituents so he can use his experience and influence to improve their lives.” Meanwhile, Riverdale’s elected officials remain unsure of whom to support. Espaillat’s current ally and fellow state Senator Gustavo Rivera and Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz have both remained mum on the issue, and Councilman G. Oliver Koppell has yet to take a position. “I’ve made no commitment to anybody and I haven’t made up my mind,” Koppell said on Monday, just hours after news of the declaration filtered through. As of press time, the offices of state Senator Jeffrey D. Klein and Congressman Eliot Engel had not responded to requests for comment. Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. has already said he would endorse Rangel. It is widely understood that Espaillat

was forced to show his hand and ponder a move to Washington D.C. after redistricting maps were finalized. Under the new political boundaries, the 13th District, which is currently tagged as the 15th District, will cover Washington Heights and Inwood in Manhattan as well as Bedford Park, Norwood, Kingsbridge Heights, and parts of Kingsbridge and University Heights in The Bronx. Census data also shows the newly created district will be 55 percent Hispanic, 27 percent black and 12 percent white, playing right into Espaillat’s hands. Espaillat’s congressional run represents a win-win proposition. Even if he loses his bid to unseat Rangel in the June primary, he could still keep his job and seek re-election for the State Senate in the September primary.

3 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, April 5, 2012

Espaillat announces run for Congress

Thursday, April 5, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Around the schools... S.A.R. High School

Seniors Yonatan Chamudot of Riverdale and Tanna Bogursky of Manhattan were selected as finalist for the National Merit Scholarship. They are among 15,000 semifinalists who have advanced to finalist standing by submitting SAT scores that confirm the former test performance, maintaining their outstanding academic record, and garnering endorsement by a high school official. They will now submit an additional application that includes an essay. Scholarships are underwritten by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation with its own funds and with funding from more than 400 business organizations and higher education institutions that share the goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.

Horace Mann School

The school will host a TEDx conference this Thursday, April 5. Themed “The Big Picture,” the conference will address how people can take action to bring about important change in the world. A livestream of the TEDxChange conference from Berlin will be included. Featured speakers include Jeff Chapin, a mechanical engineer and product designer for IDEO who specializes in sustainable sanitation solutions for developing nations; Sven Giegold, a member of the European Parliament dedicated to green industry issues; Theo Sowa, interim CEO of the African Women’s Development Fund and a specialist in international social development with an emphasis on the rights and protection of children; Baaba Maal, a Senegalese singer and guitarist who promotes of the traditions of the Pulaar-speaking people and the rights of women; and Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, who will discuss family planning and how the power to plan changes the lives of women, their families and entire societies.

Kinneret Day School

First-graders are preparing for Fairytale Day by reading a variety of fairytales and creating stories of their own. They will celebrate this week by presenting dramatizations of the stories they’ve read and sharing some of their own work. Pre-K students took a trip to see “Martha Speaks,” but they commented that “the bus ride to Manhattan was the best part.”

Manhattan College

The fine arts department has added a theater minor to its existing undergraduate major in art history and minors in art history, digital media art and music. The new 15-credit minor features a choice of concentrations in acting, directing, playwriting, stagecraft, dance or musical theater, depending on the student’s interest. Acting Skills and Introduction to Theater are required courses for all. Elective courses offered in conjunction with the music and English departments examine theater in a scholarly context and are designed to take advantage of the college’s proximity to New York City performing arts venues. The fine arts department is one of several depart-

ments that bridge several disciplines, with students in all five of the college’s schools—arts, business, education, engineering and science—participating in its programs. For more information on the fine arts department minors, contact Mark Pottinger at 718- 862-7372 or mark.

Local Scholars

Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut, has announced that Katie Boyle and Santi Vukaj were named to the dean’s list for the fall 2011 semester. To qualify , students must maintain a GPA of at least 3.5. Fairfield University is a comprehensive Jesuit institution that challenges its students to lead inspired lives of leadership and service. Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts, has announced that Michele E. Kaplan and Sushi Subburamu were named to the dean’s list for the fall 2011 semester. BU is the nation’s fourth-largest independent university, with an enrollment of more than 29,000 students in its 17 schools and colleges. It offers exceptional grounding in the liberal arts, a broad range of programs in the arts, sciences, engineering, and professional areas, and state-of-the-art facilities for teaching and research. The College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York, has announced Hazell Imbert, Justine Velez and Elona Mikelaj were among 848 students named to the dean’s list for the fall 2011 semester. To qualify, students must complete a minimum of 12 credit hours and achieve a semester GPA of at least 3.5 with no grades of D, F, Incomplete or Pass/Fail. The College of Saint Rose is an independent liberal arts college located in the heart of New York’s capital city. It offers 67 undergraduate, 45 graduate and 12 continuing education programs and enrolls more than 5,000 students. A Saint Rose education instills students with the passion, knowledge and purpose to accomplish extraordinary things. The following students received academic honors from the Harpur College of Arts and Sciences at Binghamton University: Lauretta A Oseni, Holly J Berkowitz, Nia Terrelonge, Christine M Murray, Natalie C Carabello, Rasheena M Liberte, Danielle R Miranda, Stephanie M Riordan, Dorothy L Mack, Lauretta A Oseni, Matthew J Schwartz, Abdoulaziz Toure, Cherub A Ruiz. Binghamton University is one of the four university centers of the State University of New York. Known for the excellence of its students, faculty, staff and programs, Binghamton enrolls close to 15,000 students in programs leading to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. It’s flourishing NCAA Division I athletics program is a vital part of the campus community, strengthening school spirit and inspiring loyalty and pride.

FAX education news to: The Riverdale Review (718) 543-4206


The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, April 5, 2012

Thursday, April 5, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Brandeis to learn about new West Side Park

The Riverdale Chapter of The Brandeis National Committee cordially invites its members and their friends to its next meeting on Wednesday, April 18, 2012, at 12:30 P.M. in Riverdale Temple, West 246 Street and Independence Avenue. The program will be an exciting power point slide show presented by the noted tour guide and museum docent, Susan BIrnbaum. Her subject will be “The Highline - New York’s Newest Park on The Far West Side”. 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 by April 11th. Subscription at the door will be $15.00. Bagels and light refreshments will be served and a boutique, “Silver Jewelry by Lea Dunner” will be displayed for sale.

JASA announces activities for April

Create your own narrative portrait with Michael Ferris, guest artist-in-residence through the SPARC initiative. No previous artistic training necessary. Mr. Ferris will continue to instruct this class on Monday afternoons from 1:15 - 2:30 PM. Please call the center office 718-549-4700 for further information. This project is made possible by grants from Bronx Council on the Arts

and NYC Dept. of Cultural Affairs. ‘A Taste of Passover’ Model Seder on Wed. Apr. 11th at 11:15 AM 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. Reserve by Fri. Apr. 6th with the center office: 718-549-4700. Holocaust commemoration on Thurs. Apr. 19th featuring an illustrated presentation by Gary Finkler, grandson of artist/author Toby Knobel Fluek based on her memoir Memories of My Life in a Polish Village: 1930 - 49 . Lunch, tuna and health salad, will be served at 12:15 PM followed by the slide presentation. Senior contribution for lunch is $2.00. Fee for non-senior guests is $2.50 for lunch. Kindly reserve by Tues. Apr. 17th. Trips to South Street Seaport on Apr. 17th and to South Ferry on Apr. 20th. Call the center office for further information and registration: 718-549-4700. Line Dancing with Rose and Meir Beer, experienced instructors, resumes on Fri. April 27th at 1:00 PM. Open Sunday, Apr. 22nd featuring NY Troubadors: Nick and Sam Kline performing Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel and other nostalgic favorites at 1:15 PM. Lunch served at 12:15 PM. Senior contribution for lunch is $2.00. Senior contribution for program is $2.00. Non senior guests are welcome: $2.50 for lunch and $3.00 for program. Kindly reserve by Thurs. Apr. 19th. Center Light will offer a Zumba for seniors class on Apr. 25th at 10:30 AM followed by a Medicare Benefits presentation at 11:15 AM. Celebrate March/April birthdays with Igor Sherbakov, dynamic keyboard player/singer on Wed. Apr. 25th at 1:15 PM. Latinos al Frente, a new social club, will enliven this event with authentic dancing to Latin rhythms. A delectable lunch of beef stew and brown rice will be served at 12:15 PM. Senior contribution for lunch is $2.00 and ed/rec contribution for the event is $2.00. On Fri. Apr. 27th, Hudson Pointe at Riverdale will offer blood pressure screening at 10:30 AM followed by a presentation on Cerebral Vascular Accidents: Signs and Symptoms at 11:15 AM. Classes in Fitness, Movement, Tai Chi, Yoga, Tone & Stretch, Painting, Knitting,

Current Events and Short Stories, Indoor Gardening, Line Dancing, Jewelry Making, sing-along, computer lab and more are offered at JASA Van Cortlandt Senior Center. We are located in the Van Cortlandt Jewish Center at 3880 Sedgwick Ave. off of Van Cortlandt Ave. West on the Bronx #1, #2 or #10 bus routes. We are non-sectarian. Seniors age 60+ may register for free. For more information, please call the center office at 718-549-4700. JASA Van Cortlandt Senior Center is funded by NYC Dept. for the Aging, UJAFederation of NY and by special grants from Council Member Oliver Koppell and Bronx Borough President Reuben Diaz Jr.

Free Passover seders @ The Bayit

On Passover, we remember our Exodus from Egypt by conducting a Passover seder. Through the ritual and text read at the seder we guide participants, both young and old, to re-experience our Exodus. Join in to eat, drink, celebrate and relive the story of our Exodus at the free Passover seders which will take place at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale: First Seder on Friday, April 6 at 8:15 p.m. Second Seder on Saturday, April 7 at 8:15 p.m. The seder is free, but registration is required. Call the synagogue office to reserve for one seder at 718-796-4730.

Flea market at St. John’s Church

St. John’s Church will host a flea market on Saturday, April 14, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The sale will be held at the Old St. John’s School located at 3030 Godwin Terrace in the Bronx. Clothes, jewelry, accessories and brica-brac will be sold at bargain prices. Free parking will also be available so get there early and snare yourself a great find. For more information, please call 718543-3003.

Riverdale Temple’s Friday Night Services in April

April 6 No Services; First Night of Passover April 13 Passover and Yizkor service, 10:30am; Kabbalat Shabbat with Junior Choir, Adult Choir (6:15 p.m. rehearsal for Jr. Choir, 6:45 p.m. service for everyone, followed by Passover dairy, nut-free potluck dinner and Matzah Brei-off) April 20 WJR Shabbat Service with Professional Choir (6:45 p.m. musical interlude, 7:00p.m. service) April 27 Regular Shabbat Service (6:45 p.m. congregational singing, 7:00 p.m. service) While Kabbalat Shabbat traditionally refers to the special series of Psalms that usher in Shabbat and precede the evening service, at Riverdale Temple our Kabbalat Shabbat service early in the month means a lively service filled with songs and stories, and directed primarily at families with young children. **April 20th and 27th! Tot Shabbat with Inbal Sharett 5:30 pm in the West

Lounge at Riverdale Temple 4545 Independence Avenue Riverdale, NY 10471 Want to see how your matzah brei recipe stacks up against others? “Bring it on” as they say -- that is, bring it on to the Kabbalat Shabbat Pot Luck Dinner, Friday, April 13th! Riverdale Temple 4545 Independence Avenue Riverdale, NY 10471 Adult Education with Steve Altarescu at Riverdale Temple. Thursday, April 19th from 6:00-7:30pm Riverdale Temple 4545 Independence Avenue Riverdale, NY 10471

Passover observances at Cong. Shaarei Shalom

The preparation for and celebration of the Festival of Passover at Congregation Shaarei Shalom is well underway and the community is warmly invited to Join the Experience! First day Festival morning services will be conducted on Shabbat morning, Saturday, April 7 at 10:00 a.m., and will be infused with the special melodies of the Passover season. Drawing upon the teachings of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik, Nehama Leibowitz, and the Midrash, the Torah study will focus on the use of Torah verses within the Haggadah. Seventh day Festival morning services will be conducted on the following Friday morning, April 13 at 10:00 a.m. and include a Yizkor memorial service. Both services will be held in the congregation’s sanctuary at 5919 Riverdale Avenue. Each will offer participants the opportunity for joyful prayer, wonderful music, and the chance to experience the tradition of celebrating Passover, the second of the Jewish calendar’s three pilgrim festivals, and the commemoration of the exodus from Egypt. Congregation Shaarei Shalom is a Reform Jewish synagogue. It offers a contemporary and participatory worship experience and prides itself on its inclusiveness of all members of the Riverdale community, regardless of marital status, sexual orientation, race, age, or creed. It is dedicated to embracing the diversity within the Reform Jewish movement. For further information about the congregation, these services, membership, it’s Religious School, or any of the many adult program offerings, please contact the congregation at (718) 796-0305, e-mail the congregation at: shaareishalomriverda or visit its website at www.

Holocaust Memorial Seder to be held at HIR

Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Memorial Day is the day set aside to remember the six million Jewish souls who perished in the Holocaust. For the past several years, the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale (HIR) has held a Yom HaShoah seder to mark and give honor to the memory of the Shoah (Holocaust) victims, and the remaining Holocaust survivors. The seder, modeled after a Passover seder, guides participants, both young and old, to experience the traumatic events of the Holocaust. Food from the concentration camps is eaten, testimonies of survivors are read and songs of destruction and hope are sung in Yiddish, Hebrew and English. This year, HIR will hold its annual seder on Wednesday, April 18, at 7 p.m. Said Rabbi Avi Weiss: ‘I believe that the only way that the Holocaust will be remembered is through Jewish ritual; by thinking, speaking and reenacting the suffering of our people seventy years ago as we do for the Exodus from Egypt on Passover.’ For more information, call 718-7964730.


Youngsters 3-12 years old are invited to participate in the Reading Program on Saturday, April 7, at the NEW Kingsbridge Library, 291 West 231st Street, from 1 to 1:45 p.m. Readers will be grouped by skill level and encouraged to read, helped with pronunciation and word understanding, and for those without reading skills, interpret pictures. There is no charge for participation. The Rotary Club of Riverdale is part of Rotary International and sponsors the library reading project as a local community service. Adult volunteers who are interested in participating are asked to contact Karen Pesce, Secretary: (718) 549-4469.

St. Gabriel’s 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.

Manhattan College honored for community service By CNCS

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and the U.S. Department of Education recently honored the nation’s leading colleges and universities, students and faculty members and staff for their commitment to bettering their communities through community service and service learning. Manhattan College was admitted to the 2012 Honor Roll for its ongoing dedication to serving others locally in New York City and globally. The College also focuses on integrating service learning in the classroom and promoting community engagement. ‘Through service, these institutions are creating the next generation of leaders by challenging students to tackle tough issues and create positive impacts in the community,’ said Robert Velasco, acting CEO of CNCS. ‘Preparing students to participate in our democracy and providing them with opportunities to take on local and global issues in their course work are as central to the mission of education as boosting college completion and closing the achievement gap,’ said Eduardo Ochoa, the U.S. Department of Education’s assistant secretary for postsecondary education. The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll recognizes higher education institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities. Inspired by the thousands of college students who traveled across the country to support relief efforts along the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina, the initiative celebrates the transformative power and volunteer spirit that exists within the

higher education community. As part of Manhattan College’s Lasallian Catholic heritage and mission to advocate for those suffering from injustices, the College strives to instill a commitment of service throughout the campus community. The College offers a variety of volunteer opportunities, such as the Lasallian Outreach Volunteer Experience (L.O.V.E.), which allows students to volunteer around the world, build community and experience cultural immersion. In addition, the Methodist Home for Nursing and Rehabilitation (Riverdale, N.Y.) awarded the College the good neighbor award in October 2011 for enriching the lives of its residents through developing various programs in conjunction with academic courses. The Arches, learning and living program this year, also promotes service learning in the classroom from working with community organizers on housing issues to working at a homeless shelter in the South Bronx. Students regularly visit the elderly in nursing homes, feed the hungry at local soup kitchens, tutor underprivileged children, provide free income tax assistance programs, organize blood and toy drives, and build houses with Habitat for Humanity too. On campuses across the country, millions of college students are engaged in innovative projects to meet local needs, often using the skills learned in classrooms. In 2010, 3.1 million college students dedicated more than 312 million hours of service to communities across the country, service valued at more than $6.6 billion. CNCS is a strong partner with the nation’s colleges and universities in supporting community service and service-learning. Last year, it provided more than $200 million in support to institutions of higher education, including grants to operate service programs and the Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards for college tuition and student loan repayment. CNCS oversees the Honor Roll in collaboration with the U.S. Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education. Honorees are chosen based on a series of selection factors, including the scope and innovation of service projects, the extent to which service-learning is embedded in the curriculum, the school’s commitment to long-term campus-community partnerships, and measurable community outcomes as a result of the service. 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. CPR training offered at Schervier Please join us on April 11 for “Friends and Family CPR Anytime”, a free lifesaving training from the FDNY Mobile CPR unit. The team’s monthly business meeting will begin at 8 p.m., after the CPR training concludes. Guests and potential recruits are welcome for both sessions. Save a loved one’s life. Family and Friends

CPR Anytime Training April 11, 7-8 p.m.· FREE training on basic CPR skills.· Conducted by FDNY personnel who are American Heart Association Certified CPR instructors. For anyone who does not need a certification card to meet a job requirement. Hosted by Bx8 NYC OEM CERT at Bon Secours NY Health Systems/ Schervier 2975 Independence Avenue, Community Room Space is limited. RSVP required. For information or to register, contact or 347-389-0844.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, April 5, 2012

Rotary Club to sponsor reading hour

Thursday, April 5, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


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Tuesday, April 10

TODDLER STORY TIME 11:30 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.

HEALTH INFORMATION ONLINE 10 a.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Learn to find consumer health information online using websites such as MedlinePlus. Space is limited, registration is required. For more information, call 718-548-5656.

Spuyten Duyvil


GAME ON 4 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Got the gaming moves? Show off your skills with the controller and challenge your friends to a game in the library. Take part in our tournaments! For ages 13 to 18 years. For more information, call 718-548-5656.


Van Cortlandt

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


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

CHINESE RIBBON DANCE 4 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Come learn the Chinese Ribbon Dance! Margaret Yuen, Director of the Red Silk Dancers, will demonstrate the dance and show you how to wave a long silk ribbon to create rainbows, dragons and waterfalls. No previous training required and all materials will be provided. For ages 4 and older. For more information, call 718-548-5656.

Friday, April 6

Kingsbridge Hts.



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.


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.


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 info, call 718-796-4730.

Saturday, April 7 Kingsbridge

READING ALOUD 1 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Rotary Club of Riverdale reads aloud with children ages 5-12 years old. For more information, call 718-548-5656.


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 info, call 718-796-4730.

Monday, April 9 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.

Kingsbridge Hts.

BOOK DISCUSSION 6 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Get the neighborhood read. Check out what the librarian has recommended, and hear what others think about it. We’ve got the books, now we need you to talk! This month’s discussion will be of the book The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion. For more information, call 718-548-5656.

CB8 MEETING 7:30 p.m. Kingsbridge Hts. Community Center 3101 Kingsbridge Terrace Regular Board Meeting of Community Board 8. For more information, call 718-884-3959.

Wednesday, April 11 Kingsbridge

TODDLER STORY TIME 11 a.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Stories, songs, fingerplays, puppets, and flannelboard illustrations for toddlers 18-36 months for parents/caregivers. For more information, call 718-548-5656.

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.


CB8 MEETING 7:30 p.m. Uptown Sports Complex 170 West 233rd Street Meeting of the Economic Development Committee of Community Board 8. For more information, call 718-884-3959.

Saturday, April 14 Kingsbridge

FLEA MARKET 9 a.m. Old St. John’s School 3030 Godwin Terrace Everyone is invited to the monthly flea market. There will be a variety of merchandise for sale. Free parking. For more information, call 718-543-3003.

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.

Wednesday, April 18 Riverdale

BRANDEIS GROUP MEETING 12:30 p.m. Riverdale Temple West 246th St. & Independence Ave. The next meeting of the Brandeis National Committee will feature an exciting power point slide show presented by the noted tour guide and museum docent, Susan BIrnbaum. Her subject will be “The Highline - New York’s Newest Park on The Far West Side”.

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The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, April 5, 2012

Thursday, April 5, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Plans for Broadway Plaza finalized; city rejects housing gambit By MIAWLING LAM It’s official: City authorities have confirmed a long-awaited two-story shopping mall will be built at the 230th Street Broadway Plaza site.

The Economic Development Corporation announced on Tuesday that experienced national developer Equity One Inc. would invest $54 million in the 80,000 square-foot site located on 230th



Round Trip Bus Fare


Street between Broadway and the Major Deegan Expressway. Under the chosen plan, four national big-box retailers will be recruited to lease the space. There will be no housing. The rejection of a residential component represents a severe blow to the Kingsbridge Riverdale Van Cortlandt Development Corporation, which actively lobbied for mixed-use development right up until the last minute. Some have suggested that KRVCDC would have profited from a lucrative contract to

manage the now-rejected housing plan. Equity One, who purchased the site for the bargain price of $7.5 million, will also provide undercover parking for 130 cars. Officials said construction is expected to commence in early 2013, with the shopping mall poised to throw open its doors to shoppers within two years. EDC estimates the project will create more than 250 new full-time and part-time jobs as well as 500 construction jobs.

It is understood the developer will try to fill as many of these positions as possible with Bronx residents. The Riverdale Review first reported the winning project last month after Ripco Realty prematurely started marketing the four retail spaces. According to a three-page brochure uploaded on Ripco Realty’s website at the time, the retail space was to range from 17,957 square feet to 38,691 square-feet—making it perfect Continued on Page 11

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Broadway Plaza

11 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, April 5, 2012

Continued from Page 10 for big-box retailers. As of press time, neither Ripco Realty nor Equity One had the Broadway Plaza development listed on their websites. EDC president Seth W. Pinsky touted the project’s benefits and predicted it would revitalize the Broadway shopping area. “The redevelopment of this site, which will ultimately provide more than 130,000 square feet of retail, is certain to enhance the already-thriving Broadway commercial corridor,” he said. “[It] will not only bring new amenities to the area, but most importantly, create hundreds of new jobs for The Bronx.” Equity One CEO Jeffrey S. Olson said he was thrilled to bring the project to fruition. He said the development would strive to achieve at least an LEED silver rating. “We have a strong track record of successful development and look forward to leveraging our relationships with national tenants to bring an exciting mix of retail to this site,” he said. Congressman Eliot Engel also chimed in and said the announcement was great news for the Kingsbridge/Riverdale neighborhood. “It is a sign of the continuing resurgence in our economy and will put local people back to work in building the development and then in staffing it.” Meanwhile, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said he was looking forward to bringing the project to life. “This development is a major step forward for the Kingsbridge commercial corridor, and one that The Bronx welcomes,” he said. Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz

was glad to see a retail-only plan and was hopeful it would lead to a snowball effect, in which “middle-box” retailers follow each other into an emerging market. “I think EDC showed tremendous wisdom in picking a plan that was solely commercial development and did not include a residential component,” he said. “We have a tremendous market in the northwest Bronx, and this is clearly a vote of confidence in our community. The developer recognizes what we have recognized for years and that there is room for these stores. We’ve been underserved for so many years.” As the Review reported in January, EDC had been examining five bids, ranging from a single supermarket to a 16-story mixed-use development with 200 units of housing. Two of the five submitted proposals called for housing, but Community Board 8 passed a resolution earlier this year recommending to EDC that housing be rejected due to traffic safety concerns and quality of life issues. The Broadway Plaza project has long been mired in controversy. Authorities first proffered the site in 2005, but the successful bidder, Ceruzzi Holdings, spent years negotiating the sale price while locals waited for construction to start. The two parties finally agreed on a $6 million sale price in February 2011, but Ceruzzi got cold feet and was unable to close on the deal before the June deadline, forfeiting a $1 million deposit. City officials have lauded the site as one of the last significantly sized, primarily vacant and developable sites along the Broadway retail corridor. It is currently a city-owned 75,000 square foot parking lot.

Thursday, April 5, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



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.

White Plains

EPILEPSY SUPPORT GROUP 6:30 p.m. White Plains Hospital Medical Library Davis Avenue & East Post Road Free Epilepsy Support group for adults with epilepsy or their loved ones. Open to all. For more information, contact Dr. Paola Bailey at

Saturday, April 7 Croton-on-Hudson

PEEPS ON THE FARM 10 a.m. Teatown’s Cliffdale Farm 57 Teatown Road It is spring at Cliffdale Farm, the roosters are strutting, hens are laying and chicks may be peeping about. Help us gather eggs and discover the many varieties of eggs and chickens at the farm. For children ages 3 – 5 accompanied by adult. Meets at Cliffdale Farm. Free for members; $5pp for nonmembers. Call 914-762-2912 x110 to make a reservation.

Tuesday, April 10 Bronxville

CONCERT 1:30 p.m. Sarah Lawrence College Reisinger Concert Hall German born violin prodigy Rolfe Schulte together with pianist Judith Olsen perform works of Ravel, Carter, Debussy and Bartok. For more information, call 914-395-2412.


PASSPORT TO ADVENTURE 2 p.m. Riverfront Library One Larkin Center A free series of film presentations is held in the Community Room. Visit Holland on April 10th. For more information, contact Jody Maier, at 914-337-1500, ext. 492.


ITALIAN CINEMA 2 p.m. Westchester Italian Cultural Center One Generoso Pope Place Enjoy a selection of classical and contemporary Italian movies in the comfort of our state-of-the-art lecture hall. A light reception will be offered prior to the movie. An intermission is given for movies over 110 minutes to allow guest to refill their parking meter. Featuring the movie La Nostra Vita (95min.) 2010, Directed by Daniele Lucchetti. In Italian with English subtitles, 97 minutes. For info, visit www.wiccny or call 914-771-8700.

Wednesday, April 11 Mt. Vernon

LUNCHTIME CONCERTS 1 p.m. St. Paul’s Church 897 S. Columbus Avenue Spring Music & History at St. Paul’s. Lunchtime concert and talk features Vento Trio, playing Brazilian jazz selections. For more information, call 914-667-4116.


ITALIAN COOKING 2 p.m. Westchester Italian Cultural Center One Generoso Pope Place This program is a tribute to the region of Puglia, where skilled craftsmen follow traditional recipes of popular tradition to transform the genuine products into exquisite dishes. Discover gastronomical delights while learning to make typical dishes of Puglia. Discover the flavor of the region along with its beauty, history and art. Limited capacity. Must register in advance and prepay. Members $50, Non-Members $60. This program is free for members of the United Pugliesi Federation. For more information, visit or call 914-771-8700.


CELEBRATE PUGLIA! 6:30 p.m. Westchester Italian Cultural Center One Generoso Pope Place Discover the flavor of the region along with its beauty,

history and art. The program is sponsored by the United Pugliesi Federation. Rossana Del Zio will unfold the history of Puglia from the terrain to the table. Join us for lecture and presentation featuring her work from Pane e Pomodoro to Ciambotto: The History and Culture of la Miseria in Apulian Cuisine. A reception featuring testing of typical regional dishes will follow. Must register in advance and prepay. Members $10, Non-Members $20. This program is free for members of the United Pugliesi Federation. For more information, visit www. or call 914-771-8700.


ECO-COMEDY 7:30 p.m. Greenburgh Nature Center 99 Dromore Road How to Boil a Frog: Make Fun, Make Friends, Make Trouble - An ‘eco-comedy’ filled with facts, humor and practical personal solutions to the problem of ‘overshoot’ - too many people using up too little planet. After the film, stay for lively, full-participation discussion and vote on the 5 most effective actions every citizen can take to address climate change and environmental degradation. Bring your best ideas for eco-action! For more information, call 914-723-3470.

Thursday, April 12 Bronxville

FILM SHOWING 5:30 p.m. Sarah Lawrence College Heimbold Visual Arts Center ‘To Have and to Give,’ a twenty-minute documentary about live organ donation, by filmmaker Dave Esposito which tells the story of donating a part of his liver to his terminally ill brother-in-law, Sungrai Sohn, Sarah Lawrence College music faculty. The film combines interviews with family members and medical experts along with images and footage from the time of the transplant, and follows Sungrai Sohn’s medical crisis in 2001, the transplant, and recovery. The film explores the family’s emotional dynamics during this crisis in a realistic, accessible manner. The film’s portrayal of a real family going through the transplant process, and living healthy, productive lives ten years later may help potential donors decide whether living donation is right for them. For more information, call 914-395-2412.


ITALIAN CINEMA 7 p.m. Westchester Italian Cultural Center One Generoso Pope Place Antologia del Cinema Italiano: The Italian Cinema Comes of Age! The 1950s ushered in a period of relative political stability and material progress for Italy. This time, known as Il Boom or Il Miracolo degli Anni ‘50, catapulted the country and its people towards radical and irreversible changes. The films reflected the times, its themes cleary breaking away from the somber ideas of Neorealismo. During this time, Federico Fellini achieved international success with La Strada (1953), establishing his reputation as Italy’s greatest director. Must register in advance and prepay. Memebrs $10, Non-Members $20. For more information, visit or call 914-771-8700.

Friday, April 13 Bronxville

SPRING OPEN CONCERT 7 p.m. Sarah Lawrence College Marshall Field Room 1 Musical showcase open to all students and all musical styles. For more information, call 914-395-2412.

Saturday, April 14 Scarsdale

NATURE FRIENDLY GARDENING 10 a.m. Greenburgh Nature Center 99 Dromore Road The Bird-Friendly Yard: Plant It and They Will Come — Never seen a Cedar Waxwing or a Carolina Wren in your yard? You will attract these and other gorgeous and interesting birds if you follow the tips that expert garden instructor Kim Eierman will share with you. Fantastic bird-friendly plants will be available for sale, too. Members $20, Non-members $25. For more information, call 914-723-3470.

Dobbs Ferry

GENEALOGY 10 a.m. Aldersgate Methodist Church 600 Broadway The Westchester County Genealogical Society welcomes Marian Wood, who will talk on ‘Genealogy Web Message Boards & Blogs.’ There will be refreshments and genealogical networking starting at 9:30 a.m. For more information, call Philomena Dunn at 914-953-9173.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, April 5, 2012

Thursday, April 5

Thursday, April 5, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, April 5, 2012

Thursday, April 5, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Person on the Street:


Compiled by Allison Summers

“I really like Beccofino’s because the food is great and the meals are always steady. You never have a bad meal there.”

- Jim Moriarty

“Wave Hill is a great place to spend an afternoon. It’s like the Botanical Gardens; the flowers are beautiful and the atmosphere is really nice.”

- Dave and Eliane Kolber

“Riverdale Greentree and the Riverdale Steak House are really great places. The food is good and the prices are reasonable.”

“I absolutely love Beccofino’s. The food is excellent and always consistent. The owner really knows what he’s doing!”

- Steven Rubin

- Susan Rotguard

“One of my favorite places is Kelly Ryan’s. They have great prices, great choices, great cheesesteaks and a really nice, low key atmosphere.”

“Van Cortlandt Park seems to be a big secret. There are no kids there anymore. Because of the Internet and video games, kids aren’t playing outside like they used to.” - Al Kurran

- Sean Kiernan

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, April 5, 2012

What is Riverdale’s best-kept secret?

Thursday, April 5, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Communities organizing for poverty If you recall, the defining item on President Obama’s resume was his service as a “community organizer” in Chicago. We have had our innings with community organizers, and experience has taught us that the whole movement is one to be wary of. After nearly a half-century of the efforts of these “do-gooders” here, The Bronx is now the poorest of the state’s 62 counties and one of the most poverty-stricken places in the nation. It has, however, become a veritable paradise for community organizers. In the industrial South Bronx, where once the Hebrew National Company made the hot dogs that answer to a higher authority, where the currency used by many of the world’s nations was once printed by the American Banknote Company, where the Everlast Company made the boxing gloves that were knocking out people all over the world, where pots and pans were made by the Farberware Company, and where Haagen Dazs ice cream first found its way into pint containers, there is a new number-one industry. The aforementioned companies, as well as hundreds of others, have departed the borough, perhaps not directly because of the community organizers, but certainly pushed out the door with a fond farewell and few tears. Having industry and jobs and a path into the mainstream economy, things that most of us perceive as good for the residents of any neighborhood are an anathema to community organizers. President Obama’s tenure as a community organizer took place in the hometown of the ideological guru of the movement, the late Saul Alinsky. While America seems to seek leadership that brings us together, Alinsky promoted the opposite. You can’t organize, he warned, without inter-group “friction.” Following their master’s game plan, community organizers here have made The Bronx the capital of a burgeoning victimization industry by pitting the workers against the “capitalists” and the poor against the middle class. This is why we’re so amused by the “Occupy Wall Street” activists, trying to relive the same strategies that have failed us so miserably for so long here in The Bronx, arguably Ground Zero of the nation’s troubled economy. In the North Bronx stands the imposing Kingsbridge Armory. Until the Houston Astrodome was built in the 1960s, the Armory boasted the largest unsupported roof in the world. Before New York had a convention center, events such as the annual boat show, the dog show and others were held there. Many of us recall watching the motorboats on their trailers improbably making their way under the elevated train on Jerome Avenue some fifty and more years ago. But for decades, the huge building has lain fallow. Plans to develop this unique structure as a retail and sports venue have been thwarted for nearly two decades by the local Alinskyite outpost, the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition. An ill-conceived deal to place a shopping center in the armory was held hostage to wage demands by the radical group, a thinly disguised form of extortion in our mind. Now they are making similar demands as a promising plan by the National Hockey League and sports legend Mark Messier is taking shape. It is time for them to stop butting in. We need the jobs. We recall a heart-rending lead story in the now-defunct New York Press about a striving young mother, unable to afford an apartment, who innocently settles in Hunts Point, the South Bronx’s industrial waterfront. Next stop, of course, is the hospital emergency room where her daughter is diagnosed with asthma. While the article acknowledges that professionals are “struggling” with determining the cause of increased asthma rates, the answer promoted by the community organizers ascribes the increase to “air pollution” due to industry and truck traffic. This is the kind of answer that seems to make sense, until one realizes that while our city’s air is far from pristine, it is much cleaner than it was decades ago. Industry and truck traffic is nothing new to Hunts Point. And if pollution and asthma are linked, shouldn’t the overall decrease in air pollution result in fewer cases, not more? The subject of the New York Press “exposé” came to a typical conContinued on Page 19

Attempted robbery at local Chase Bank

By MIAWLING LAM Police are on the hunt for a man who carried out a daring but ultimately unsuccessful daylight robbery at a local Chase bank. The suspect, described as a white male in his 30s, allegedly walked into the Chase branch at 3775 Riverdale Avenue at West 238th Street at around 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 31, half an hour before the branch was scheduled to close. Commanding officer of the 50th Precinct Captain Kevin Burke said the perpetrator, who wore a black jacket, white shirt and sunglasses, approached a teller and demanded money. “The male enters, he writes out a note and hands the note to the teller with latex gloves on,” he said. “The teller reads it—she’s behind a bulletproof glass—was taken aback by it and immediately presses the panic alarm. He sees it, gets nervous, turns around and walks out so he doesn’t get any money.” According to police, the handwritten note read: “This is a bank robbery. Give me $20s, $50s and $100s from the second drawer. I have a police scanner and a gun.” It is understood the would-

be robber requested cash from the “second drawer” because bait bills with recorded serial numbers or hidden exploding dye packs are usually kept in the tellers’ top drawer. Captain Burke said no weapon was ever displayed during the brief ordeal. However, he said, the bank employee later told police she saw a possible firearm sticking out of his waistband. As of press time, police do not

Second youth market planned By MIAWLING LAM Riverdale residents could get their second youth market by the summer. Friends of Van Cortlandt Park, in conjunction with Inwood Church and Bon Secours, have submitted an application to operate a scaled-down farmers market starting in July. Under the proposal, a stall would be erected on the sidewalk near the entrance to the sprawling park, directly under the stairs of the No. 1 subway station at West 242nd Street. The market would be open

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

know whether the perpetrator is linked to any other attempted bank robberies in the city. Surveillance footage of the man entering the Chase bank has been seized, and the matter has been referred to the NYPD Major Case Squad for further investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-557-TIPS (8477). All calls remain confidential.

CECILIA McNALLY Office Manager MIAWLING LAM Associate Editor

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

every Tuesday between 3 and 7 p.m. during July and August. FoVCP executive director Christina Taylor said the idea was born out of a desire to increase locals’ access to fresh and local produce. “We would buy the produce from one farmer that morning and then set up a table and hire high school students to sell it, so it’s bringing local fresh produce into the community,” she said, adding the market would also complement the group’s existing internship program. However, Taylor said the entire initiative was dependent on securing a $10,000 grant from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets’ Fresh Connect program. State officials are expected to notify successful applicants by the end of this month. Riverdale landed their first youth market three years ago, when the Riverdale Neighborhood House debuted their produce stall.

By MIAWLING LAM Officials from P.S. 81 have earned the highest possible rating on their latest Quality Review report. Results from the school’s annual assessment, released last week, show Tweed authorities awarded P.S. 81 an overall score of “well-developed” during an on-site visit last month. Lead reviewer and Department of Education Director for School Quality Jacqueline Gonzalez praised the school’s teachers for thoughtfully planning lessons, using data to enhance instruction and setting higher-order thinking tasks that foster student independence. P.S. 81 principal Melodie Mashel was also commended for making thoughtful organizational decisions and aligning staff and student time with the school’s goals. “The principal’s actions clearly reflect that student data drives the budget and that she and her staff have a ‘whatever it takes’ attitude in terms of supporting student needs,” the eight-page review document states. Overall, the school was assessed as being “well-developed” in 12 of the 20 assessable areas—a slight dip from their last Quality Review in 2008-09, when they earned the highest rating in 16 of the 20 categories. However, Mashel said she was particularly pleased with the latest results, given that this year’s criteria were much more stringent than in previous rounds. “This was the most rigorous rubric, and it is my understanding that not many schools have received a ‘well-developed,’” she said in a telephone interview last week. “The statements have not changed much over time. I think what has changed is the monitoring of student progress, and I think what they’re looking for at this point is ensuring schools can analyze overall trends.” P.S. 81 has been subject to a total of four Quality Reviews and has earned a score of “well-developed” on each occasion. Created in 1992, the Quality Review process is designed to improve city public schools and help raise student achievement by determining how well teachers and administrators are meeting students’ needs. External reviewers visit classrooms and conduct interviews with school leaders,

Organizers Continued from Page 18 clusion. Despite her firm belief that that air in her community was destroying the health of her children, she won’t leave. “Hunts Point had to become her home – a place where she would stay even if her own fortunes changed.” Now a “community activist,” she is affiliated with a group called Mothers on the Move, an organization concocted by outside community organizers, a leader in spreading the anti-job asthma mythology. This group has a long-standing alliance with the aforementioned Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition. ’Nuff said. Is the future of the borough’s poor to be found in the race-driven socialist vision of the community organizers? Sentencing the poor to a future devoid of individual economic opportunity is just fine to the community organizers. After all, if the poor were achieving prosperity, where would they find more “victims” to organize?

students and parents to evaluate how well the school is organized to educate its charges. Schools are then graded “well-developed,” “proficient,” “developing” or “underdeveloped” on subsets of five major areas: instructional and organizational coherence; gather and analyze data; plan and set goals; align capacity-building; and monitor and revise. Mashel said unlike School Progress Reports, where schools are graded A, B, C, D, or F based on a combination of student progress, student performance and school environment, Quality Review reports were qualitative tools. “I take the Quality Review to heart because I think it’s an opportunity for principals to really examine the practices that are going on in the building, to revamp

whatever that needs to be revamped, and to ensure the building is constantly moving in the right direction,” she said. “Our entire schools puts a lot of weight on the report. This isn’t about one person, this is about us getting together.” Gonzalez identified three areas in need of improvement, suggesting the school refine its process for organizing and sharing interim student performance trends and improve teachers’ understanding of how student progress relates to overall school goals. She said teachers should also be encouraged to track student progress continually and adjust their classroom goals throughout the year, while administrators should provide opportunities for teachers to reflect on the current data analysis tools.

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19 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, April 5, 2012

P.S. 81 earns top marks on Quality Review report

Mashel said efforts were already being made to address these deficiencies. The principal, who has been at the helm of P.S. 81 since 2003, believed the School Progress and Quality Review reports needed to be better aligned. “The Progress Report is so far removed from the Quality Review. I don’t think the alignment is there, and that’s a concern,” she said. “Here we have a school that is above the benchmark in every category for the standardized tests, is above the state average in terms of scores, surpasses the performance index in every category for each subject area that they measure, and here we are with a C in terms of progress,” she said. “There is a tremendous disconnect there.” The DOE has yet to schedule a Quality Review for Riverdale’s two other schools—P.S. 24 and M.S/H.S 141.

Thursday, April 5, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Riverdale Review, April 5, 2012  

Weekly newspaper published in Riverdale, NY 10471

Riverdale Review, April 5, 2012  

Weekly newspaper published in Riverdale, NY 10471