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Riverdale’s ONLY Locally Owned Newspaper!

Volume XIX • Number 14 • April 19 - 25, 2012 •


Pol denies involvement in Woodlawn coup By MIAWLING LAM Accusations have emerged that State Sen. Jeffrey Klein might have been a key player in the hostile and unsuccessful, takeover bid of the Woodlawn Heights Taxpayers & Community Association. Locals allege Klein worked in cahoots with a Riverdale-based group—Kingsbridge-Riverdale-Van Cortlandt Development Corporation (KRVCDC) — and helped mount the ill-fated campaign to unseat incumbent board members at the 116-year-old activist organization. The latest developments came to light after several challengers contacted the Riverdale Review to explain why they were compelled to run in last week’s ballot elections. Among them was Woodlawn resident Peter Corcoran, who vehemently denied allegations that outsiders were behind his, and the other five challengers’ election bid. He said he ultimately ran because he wanted to make a difference in the community. However, Corcoran, who challenged incumbent Jim Neilis for the position of treasurer, believed Klein played a hand in mobilizing some neighborhood merchants in this effort. When asked what led him to draw this conclusion, he

said: “Senator Klein was helping organize the Merchants Association on Katonah Avenue, with the help of Tracy Shelton (the Executive Director of the KRVCDC).” Denying that he took part in the coup, Klein had nothing but praise for the reelected president. “I’ve worked with Chris Sheridan over the last seven years on numerous projects and I’m glad she was elected president of the Woodlawn Taxpayers Association. I was not involved in any way, shape or form in helping anyone.” In an email communication with the Riverdale Review, Amanda Black, Mr. Corcoran’s wife, berated this reporter for “not knowing Tracy Shelton works for Senator Klein,” a statement that isn’t true, but reflects the perception of many in the Woodlawn community of the close relationship between Klein and KRVCDC. As the Riverdale Review reported last week, the incumbent board of the Woodlawn Heights Taxpayers & Community Association staved off an attempted coup at its recent election. Several sources claimed more than 30 new members were added to the roster of the Woodlawn group in March in a bid to stack the membership in the lead-up to the all-important elections. Although it is not known how many of these new members are members of the merchant’s association, a

one-page newsletter distributed by Klein’s office to guests at last Monday’s ballot elections confirms Corcoran’s suspicions. “We all understand that for a neighborhood to maintain a high quality of life, it must be accompanied by a vibrant merchant organization,” Klein’s newsletter states. “It is with this in mind that I joined forces with the Kingsbridge-Riverdale-Van Cortlandt Development Corporation in building such a group for the Woodlawn community. “This group will not only be a community partner, it will provide a vehicle for small businesses in the Woodlawn region to voice their concerns and band together for joint projects…” Meanwhile, incumbent president Christine Sheridan said she was unaware of the extent of the backroom politics. “This was all news to me. I had no idea,” she said. “We’re a civic group that’s been around forever and we don’t do politics—ever. We like to help everybody and so when (we found out) Senator Klein wanted to set up a merchant’s association, we thought it was great. I personally put fliers out for them, not ever realizing.”

Debate Riverdale Greenway links to rest of Hudson Valley By PAULETTE SCHNEIDER Kappock Street is vying with Independence Avenue as a route for hikers and cyclists heading toward a future riverfront trail from a future dedicated path across the Henry Hudson Bridge. Plans for the bridge and local streets were revealed at last week’s New York Metropolitan Transportation Council technical advisory committee meeting on the Hudson River Valley Greenway Link Study. The study will yield conceptual designs for linking Riverdale roads and trails into a continuous greenway path that will extend one day from Troy to Battery Park. NYMTC director of planning Gerry Bogacz said the greenway should “get as close to the waterfront as possible for as long as possible.” Consultant landscape architect Jackson Wandres presented plans for connecting—via Riverdale—the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway trail at Dykman Street in Inwood to the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail in northern Yonkers. The local segment is part of a phasing plan that itself includes

20 separate greenway links, each a distinct capital project. One such project is a cantilevered path along the Henry Hudson Bridge—a possible $15 million amenity extending over the water beside the southbound traffic lanes. When greenway users cross the bridge and arrive in Riverdale, they’ll likely get to the planned riverfront trail through Kappock Street and a stretch of Palisade Avenue leading toward Riverdale Park, a wildlife-filled forest settled between West 232nd Street and West 254th Street on the slope from Palisade Avenue down to the Hudson River. Another possible route from the Henry Hudson Bridge to a riverfront trail would run from Independence Avenue to West 232nd Street and then to Palisade. This option would be attractive if an unkempt stretch of Seton Park along West 232nd Street were turned into an even wooded path that could eventually become a segment of the greenway. Councilman G. Oliver Koppell has supported the creation of this Seton Park path, but the Continued on Page 3

A Hudson River Valley Greenway link over the Henry Hudson Bridge involves a $15 million cantilevered side path for cyclists and pedestrians, if planners have their way. The composite image was unveiled at last week’s New York Metropolitan Transportation Council technical advisory committee meeting.

Thursday, April 19, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Phase One of P.S. 24 investigation has ended By MIAWLING LAM The long-vacant assistant principal position at P.S. 24 may finally be filled after city authorities wrapped up at least one of their investigations into the school’s administration. Officials determined that there was insufficient evidence to charge the school’s interim acting assistant principal, Emanuele Verdi, with breaches of departmental policy. A spokeswoman for Richard J. Condon, Special Commissioner of Investigation for the New York City Public Schools last week confirmed the case was now closed – at least by Condon’s office. It is unclear as to whether Condon has referred the matter back to the internal investigative unit of the Department of Education. However, the spokeswoman declined to provide any further information and refused to disclose the scope of their investigation. “We were unable to substantiate the allegations,” she said. “No further action will be taken. The case is closed.” As the Riverdale Review first reported in September, Verdi is alleged to have collected thousands of airline miles after paying for school purchases with his personal American Express credit card. The school then wrote checks to reimburse him. Under department guidelines, leaders must pay suppliers and service providers using funds from their school bank accounts and should only use their personal debit or credit cards in case of emergency. It is not known how long the practice has been taking place but it is understood the extra airline miles that Verdi collected supplemented those already in his account and allowed him to redeem a free ticket to Italy last summer. At the time, three independent sources at the school confirmed the allegations. A person at the school, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, was not surprised by the latest result. “They’re like Teflon,” the source said. “That’s what they are. They get away with it a lot but that’s the Department of Education—they protect their higher-ups.” With at least one known investigation now officially closed, the person was hopeful that the school’s administration had turned over a new leaf and was now on their best behavior. It is thought that perhaps the caseclosed status will now permit authorities to kick off the C-30 process and fill the assistant principal vacancy. Department of Education officials quietly posted the job vacancy in September and invited candidates to apply but the hiring process came to a screeching halt following the allegations and students have remained without an assistant principal since. Meanwhile, the status of the city’s own separate investigation of the school, which began in June, is not known. As of press time, multiple calls and messages to the DOE were not returned. The city’s internal probe is understood to have been looking into claims principal Donna Connelly falsified financial

information and signed off on fraudulent timesheets. It is also that believed that investigators were looking into her alleged misuse of school funds and the possible “warehousing” of the assistant principal position to save it for her close friend, Verdi. Critics have long suggested that Connelly left the position unfilled for two years so Verdi could complete the required coursework to fill the vacant post. Three years ago, P.S 24 had as many as two assistant principals. News of the two investigations surfaced after the Review was tipped-off by staff at the school.

By MIAWLING LAM The intoxicating aroma of freshly baked vanilla and anise cookies won’t be returning to Kingsbridge, but there’s a chance some of the former Stella D’oro employees will. Officials have revealed that around 140 bakers and packers will be given priority once hiring begins at Riverdale Crossing, the yet-to-be-built $80 million shopping mall at the former cookie factory. Metropolitan Realty Associates President Joseph A. Farkas said the mall’s anchor tenant, BJ’s Wholesale Club, has pledged to give priority to former Stella D’oro workers when it seeks to fill 225 projected vacancies. “We’re very aware of the history of the Stella D’oro site and the jobs that were displaced when the factory closed,” he said. “BJ’s has committed to take resumes from Stella D’oro employees and the local neighborhood and run them through the vetting process for employment.

“Everybody will be able to submit a resume and there’s absolutely preferential treatment for anybody who came from the Stella D’oro factory.” Farkas said a hiring trailer would be erected near the premises prior to the mall’s anticipated opening in late 2013 and vowed to fill as many retail positions as possible with Bronx residents. The property developer magnate made the surprise announcement at last Wednesday’s Community Board 8 economic development committee meeting. As of press time, multiple calls to BJ’s Wholesale Club’s Massachusetts corporate headquarters were not returned. The Stella D’oro plant closed down in 2009 following a protracted 10-month strike over employee wages and benefits. Around 140 workers, some earning more than $20 an hour, lost their jobs, the company was sold and production

Greenway link to Hudson Valley Continued from Page 1 parks department has continually deemed it unfeasible, according to community affairs director Andrew Sandler. Without the path along West 232nd Street, the Independence Avenue route to the river is less attractive than the Kappock Street alternative. Either way, getting to the water’s edge will be tricky. Riverdale Park is designated by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation as “forever wild” and by the Department of City Planning as a special natural area district, so any alteration of the landscape will be frowned upon. If greenway proponents can prevail, a minimally invasive ramp placed gently through the park will cross above the Metro-North tracks and descend with an attractive spiral structure to a path along the Hudson. The best place to cross Riverdale Park is yet to be determined. Paul Elston, who heads the 350-member Friends of the Hudson River Greenway in the Bronx, has been involved in greenway planning for more than a decade and claims responsibility for convincing Senator Charles Schumer to allocate the million dollars now in use by NYMTC for its planning studies. Elston said NYMTC this autumn will engage in a detailed study of

“blowdown”—areas of fallen trees—at the southern end of Riverdale Park between West 232nd Street and the city DEP’s wastewater pumping station a short distance north. “You need to inventory all the trees and locate your path relative to those trees,” he explained. Other planning issues concern the route of the riverfront trail itself, a spectacular shoreline shared with multiple railroad tracks, overhead power lines and an MTA service road. Elston lamented this “least valuable use of the most valuable land” and declared that “it’s time to reclaim it.” He found that railroad executives were amenable to a greenway on their turf and said that Metro-North had “opened the door much wider” than he thought they would. The Riverdale greenway link will encompass up to around three miles, depending upon the specific route it follows. Bogacz said NYMTC will finalize a conceptual design for that route—and its price tag—by June, in time for this year’s RiverFest event on the College of Mount Saint Vincent’s riverfront campus. Elston will meet with parks department officials about setting up a conservancy to raise funds and tackle day-to-day maintenance concerns like sanitation and safety on the greenway trail.

relocated to a non-union facility in Ashland, Ohio. In addition to the 225 full-time equivalent retail jobs at BJ’s, Riverdale Crossing is expected to generate another 100 retail jobs and 500 union construction jobs. And although there are no rules mandating that locals have to fill a certain number of construction vacancies or be offered apprenticeships, Bronx Overall Economic Development President Marlene Cintron said the community would benefit from the substantial investment. “There are bigger opportunities moving forward but for right now, the best that we can do is get union members to do the work and get the other jobs to be local,” she said. During a comprehensive 80-minute presentation, Farkas also provided another hint about future tenants planned for the mall, located on Broadway between West 236th and West 238th streets. “We’d love to bring in a large-sized theme dining experience to the neighborhood. We’re hopeful that something like that can happen up on the second floor of the building,” he said. “We’re looking for strong operators. We think that gyms and restaurants are retailers that are here to stay. We‘re not looking for the Chinese restaurant, we’re not looking for the nail salons and we’re not looking for the 99-cent stores. “This is an expensive project…so we’re looking for well-heeled, credit-worthy tenants.” Apart from the mall’s anchor tenant, BJ’s Wholesale Club, who will occupy

more than 118,000 square feet of space on West 237th Street, no other tenants have been confirmed. Ripco Realty is currently recruiting retailers to set up shop in the north building, a two-story portion of the mall where seven parcels of land totaling 36,832 square feet are being proffered. Under a comprehensive traffic plan, developed in conjunction with consultants Philip Habib & Associates, a second entrance and exit will be built at the intersection of West 238th Street and Putnam Avenue. No through traffic currently exists in that location—it’s currently home to orange and white concrete ramps, which serve as encasements for utility lines. However, Farkas said the existing curb cut will be reopened and that he was working with Councilman G. Oliver Koppell’s office to convince ConEdison to relocate the utility lines as overhead wires. Although several residents expressed concerns about congestion in the surrounding streets and the impacts on quality of life, Dr. Philip Habib predicted that traffic would be evenly distributed. “A lot of the market for this project is actually east of the Major Deegan and there is a direct connection into this particular location for that particular market,” he said. Dr. Habib also said studies show traffic flow on Broadway will be manageable and that most shoppers will arrive via public transport. Metropolitan Realty Associates purchased the former cookie factory for nearly $19 million in August of last year.

3 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, April 19, 2012

Displaced Stella D’oro workers may find work in new mall on old site

Thursday, April 19, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Around the schools... Horace Mann School

The community is invited to Acappellooza, an a cappella competition and fundraiser, held on Friday, April 20, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the Cohen Dining Commons. The event, sponsored by the Alexander Capelluto Foundation, draws singing groups from all over New York state to raise money for the children at the Kingsbridge Heights Community Center. Each of the seven competing groups must pledge in some way to bring music to the less fortunate members of its community. Tickets are $10 for students and $15 for adults. Hundreds of participants from the Horace Mann community—students in all grades, alumni, parents, and staff—are expected at the school’s fifth annual AllSchool Service-Learning Day on Saturday, April 21, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The multisite event takes place at Marble Hill Community Center, Kingsbridge Heights Community Center, Bronx Center for Science and Mathematics and Van Cortlandt Park as well as on campus. Activities for all ages will include gardening, mural painting, workshops on drama, literacy and magic, trail clearing and tree planting, Lego Robotics, story read-alouds, cooking demonstrations, sports, and performances. Many of the activities are developed and run by students in the Upper Division Service-Learning Team in collaboration with agency staff. Charitable drives will include Soles 4 Souls (shoes), Got E Waste (computers and electronics), and Game Knights (electronic games donated to local hospitals). Service-Learning Day coincides with the Second Annual Kingsbridge Heights Neighborhood Festival.

Manhattan College

Manhattan College Latino Alumni Club will host a panel discussion featuring three local state senators—alumnus José M. Serrano (’95), Gustavo Rivera and Adriano Espaillat—on Thursday, April 19, at 6:30 p.m. The officials will discuss the new dynamics in Albany under Governor Andrew Cuomo. The Latino Alumni Club supports and mentors prospective and current Latino students and alumni. The community is invited to hear Claudia Emerson read her poetry at the final session for the semester of the Major Author Reading Series on Thursday, April 19, at 4:30 p.m. in Hayden Hall, room 100. Emerson received the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for her collection “Late Wife.” She was the Poet Laureate of Virginia from 2008 to 2010 and is a recipient of a Witter Bynner Fellowship from the Library of Congress. She is now a professor of English and Arrington Distinguished Chair in poetry at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia. The M.A.R.S. series aims to engage and expose students to modern literature.

College of Mount Saint Vincent

Dr. Ron Scapp, a professor of humanities and teacher education, is the 2012 recipient of the Charles C. Irby Award, given in recognition of an individual’s contributions to scholarship and service in the field of ethnic studies. Dr. Scapp

was elected president of the National Association for Ethnic Studies during its 40th Anniversary Conference in New Orleans this month. He is founding director of the college’s graduate program in urban and multicultural education. The English department presents “Riddled with Epiphanies: DeLillo, New York,” a two-day literary conference on Friday, April 20, and Saturday, April 21. This will be the second international literary international conference devoted to Bronx native and esteemed American author Don DeLillo. Presenters’ papers will be circulated and summarized during the conference. Organizer Dr. Jacqueline Zubeck says the atmosphere will be one of intellectual play and collaborative inquiry that has long been associated with the sciences. By foregoing the traditional model of 20-minute presentations, organizers aim to foster lively dialogue and inspire further scholarship. Other festivities include a “DeLillo, New York” tour featuring Arthur Avenue and Great Jones Street and a staged reading of “Love-Lies-Bleeding.” The cost is $100 for presenters and $65 for guests and graduate students. To register, contact Dr. Zubeck at 718- 405-3310 or

Local Scholars

Emory College in Atlanta, Georgia, the undergraduate liberal arts college of Emory University, has announced that Aneyn O’Grady, daughter of James O’Grady and Prema O’Grady, and Katherine Joseph, daughter of Peter Joseph and Elizabeth Scheuer, were named to the dean’s list for the fall 2011 semester. Students must earn a GPA of at least 3.81 to qualify. Emory University is known for its demanding academics, outstanding undergraduate experience, highly ranked professional schools and state-of-the-art research facilities. It encompasses nine academic divisions as well as the Carlos Museum, The Carter Center, the Yerkes National Primate Research Center and Emory Healthcare, Georgia’s largest and most comprehensive health care system. Colby College in Waterville, Maine, has announced that Monica L. Albu, the daughter of Peter and Jeanine Albu, a graduate of the Ethical Culture Fieldston School and a member of the Class of 2012, was named to the dean’s list for the fall 2011 semester. Students must earn a GPA of at least 3.61 to qualify. Colby, the 12th-oldest independent liberal arts college in the nation, enrolls more than 1,800 students. Graduates emerge as committed leaders ready to make an impact on their world.

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Espaillat’s campaign gathers momentum will account for 25 percent of eligible voters in the district—and has been regularly touring churches in the area. He is even scheduled to make an appearance on Thursday, April 19 at a Manhattan College Latino Alumni Club event, alongside Sen. Jose M. Serrano and State Senator Gustavo Rivera. Census data shows the newly created 13th 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 26 primary, he could still keep his job and seek reelection in the Senate in the September primary.


Emperor’s New Clothes

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, April 19, 2012

By MIAWLING LAM State Senator Adriano Espaillat, who is challenging veteran politico Charlie Rangel for his seat in Congress, raised $62,000 in campaign contributions in less than two weeks. According to Federal Election Commission documents filed on Sunday night, Espaillat collected nearly as much money in 11 days as Rangel amassed in three months. The latest campaign filings show Espaillat raised $62,055 between March 20 and March 31. In comparison, Rep. Rangel collected $67,301 in the entire first quarter—even though he spent the bulk of that time in hospital recovering from a serious back injury. Despite the initial strong showing, Espaillat faces an uphill battle to unseat the 21-term Rangel, with the incumbent boasting a prodigious war chest totaling more than $225,000. Ibrahim Khan, a spokesman for Espaillat, said momentum was building though, especially after both former Rangel aide Vincent Morgan and Manhattan community activist Ruben Dario Vargas dropped out of the race last week and endorsed the DominicanAmerican. “The campaign is thrilled by the strong show of support we’ve received in just a few short weeks,” he said on Tuesday. “We’ll continue to aggressively reach out to voters from across Manhattan and the Bronx and communicate Sen. Espaillat’s message of bringing bold, new ideas to Congress.” World-renowned fashion designer Oscar de la Renta has also emerged as the latest big-name to endorse Espaillat. According to a press release sent out late Tuesday afternoon, de la Renta said he was proud to throw his weight behind the Congressional hopeful. “Our communities are at a crossroads and we need leadership that can help us meet the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead,” he said. “Senator Adriano Espaillat’s record clearly indicates that he will bring bold, new ideas to move our communities forward.” Meanwhile, it is understood Espaillat’s campaign committee has already collected nearly 10,000 signatures—well above the 1,000 petitions needed to qualify for the ballot. Espaillat, who currently represents a large section of Riverdale in the state Senate, only officially launched his campaign on April 1. If successful, he will become the first Dominican-American to be elected to Congress. It is widely understood that Espaillat was forced to announce his candidacy and ponder a move to Washington D.C. after redistricting maps were finalized. Under the new political boundaries, the 13th District, which is currently known 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. The district’s migration into the Bronx means Congressional hopefuls will make regular appearances in the borough. Sources say Espaillat is already spending more time in the Bronx—the borough


Thursday, April 19, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Celebrated author to visit Manhattan College

Manhattan College’s popular Major Author Reading Series (M.A.R.S.) concludes its semester of readings with a visit from Poet Claudia Emerson on April 19 at 4:30 p.m. Emerson received the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for her collection in Late Wife. 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. Poet Deborah Pope says of Emerson’s work: ‘Like the estranged lover in one of her poems who pitches horseshoes in the dark with preternatural precision, so Emerson sends her words into a different kind of darkness with steely exactness, their arc of perception over and over striking true.’ The M.A.R.S. reading with Emerson will be held on campus in Hayden Hall, room 100, and is open to the public. 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. The writers include Emma Straub, author of Other People We Married; Junot Diaz, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao; Jennifer Egan, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Visit from the Goon Squad; Rick Moody, award-winning novelist; Phillip Lopate, noted essayist; and Tina Chang, the poet laureate of Brooklyn. For more information about the M.A.R.S. series at Manhattan College, contact Adam Koehler, assistant professor of English, by email at adam. or phone (718) 862-7546, or David Eye, visiting assistant professor of creative writing, by email at or phone (718) 862-7921.

Bronx Zoo to premiere ‘Avenue ZOO’

Animal Tales Extravaganza returns to the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo for the third year with special production - Avenue ZOO - featuring a guest appearance by Kate Monster, the beloved puppet star of the Tony Award-winning musical AVENUE Q. Running each weekend on the zoo’s Asia Plaza Stage, Avenue ZOO highlights the importance of wildlife conservation in a fun, entertaining way. It is a musical tale in which Kate Monster meets exotic animals and discovers that though they may seem strange and different, they are not so scary after all. Avenue ZOO performances will be at 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. each weekend from Saturday, April 21 through Sunday, Sept. 9. Each weekend of Animal Tales Extravaganza includes an array of activities for families and children. The zoo’s Dancing Crane Pavilion will be transformed into an intimate story time corner, presented by Plum Organics. Zoo-goers can take a break and read from a wide variety of animal-themed books from Simon & Schuster, Candlewick Press, and Hyperion. Children can then stage their own animal tale with a puppet they create at the Bright Horizons Early Education & Preschools crafts area. The main stage has something for everyone throughout the spring season. Highlights of this season’s main stage entertainment include: • April 28 and 29 - Marvel’s Avengers:

Heroes Saving the Earth featuring Captain America, Iron Man, Thor and HULK • May 5 and 6 - Nickelodeon’s Dora and Diego: We Did It! • May 12 and 13 - Sportacus from Sprout’s Lazytown • May 19 and 20 - Disney’s Choo-Choo Soul with Genevieve • June 2 and 3 - Ferdinand the Bull • June 9 and 10 - Barney(tm) SingAlong • June 16 and 17 - Super Sprowtz(tm) • June 30 - Spider-Man takes over the zoo Children will enjoy meeting some of their favorite personalities at the Dancing Crane Pavilion. Meet-and-greets are scheduled with top children’s entertainment characters including Yo Gabba Gabba; Marvel’s Avengers; Nickelodeon’s Dora and Diego, Sportacus from Sprout’s Lazytown; Mo Willems’ Elephant and Piggie; Buddy the T-Rex from Dinosaur Train; Maisy Mouse; Olivia(tm), and more. Eight-time Academy Award-winning composer Alan Menken will present favorite songs from his collection along with Music Unites Youth Choir of Women’s Academy of Excellence on Saturday, June 2. Actor LeVar Burton, host of the Peabody award-winning series Reading Rainbow will make an appearance on Saturday and Sunday, June 16 and 17 for a special storybook reading. LeVar will share his favorite tips and techniques to encourage young readers and host a special preview of the new Reading Rainbow iPad book discovery and reading application. A full listing of Animal Tales Extravaganza dates and times is available at www. The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. weekdays, 5:30 p.m. weekends from April to October; 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m November to March. Adult admission is $16, children (3-12 years old) $12, children under 3 are free, seniors (65+) are $14. Parking is $13 for cars and $16 for buses. The Bronx Zoo is conveniently located off the Bronx River Parkway at Exit 6; by train via the #2 or #5 or by bus via the #9, #12, #19, #22, MetroNorth, or BxM11 Express Bus service (from Manhattan that stops just outside the gate.) To plan your trip, visit or call 718-367-1010.

Service in remembrance of the Holocaust

Zachor - Remember. On Friday, April 20th at 7:30 p.m. Congregation Shaarei Shalom shall include a commemoration of Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, during its Shabbat evening service. Each participant will have the opportunity to light a memorial candle to remember those who perished during the reign of terror that swept through Europe from 1939-1945. This especially moving service will be led by Rabbi Steven D. Burton and Cantor Daniel Pincus. Special musical accompaniment will be offered by pianist Walter Winterfeldt. Shaarei Shalom congregant Lottie Oster will share her story of survival. Lottie will tell of a wonderful early childhood in Mainz am Rhine, Germany, and how it was literally shattered by the

rise of the Nazi party. We will hear her memories from Kristallnacht to the destruction of her father’s business and his arrest and deportation to Buchenwald, to her family’s harrowing journey across Europe and finally to safety in America. The service will be conducted in the congregation’s sanctuary located at 5919 Riverdale Avenue. The community is cordially invited to attend. 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, this service, membership, its 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.

Free writing workshop at Bay Plaza

Presented by the Bronx Council on the Arts’ Bronx Writers Center, How to Write Short Poetry is a free handson workshop for all writers (even the secret ones.) Bring a notebook, pen and prepare to write and share short poetry. The workshop will be held at Barnes & Noble at Bay Plaza on Friday, April 20, 2012, from 6:00-8:00pm. Admission is free and all are welcome. Poet/Novelist Anna Purves will teach the workshop. Ms. Purves is a 1983 graduate of Smith College. She received an MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College in 1995. Anne grew up outside NYC, lived in Barcelona, Spain, and settled in the Bronx in 1992. She has taught creative writing, Honors English and literature at Lehman College/CUNY since 2002. Elena and the Minotaur, a novel which was submitted to BRIO, is a work of many years, dedicated to the spirit of empowering people to claim a destiny, especially young women. She received a BRIO award in 2004 for poetry. Her poem Twin for the Missing One was published in Earth’s Daughters Literary Journal. Her essay ‘Seen and Not Seen’ was included in the trade anthology The Spirit of Pregnancy. How to Write Short Poetry is one of a series of free workshops for writers produced by the Bronx Writers Center. Upcoming BWC workshops through September 21, 2012 at Barnes and Noble at Bay Plaza are: • World Building for Fantasy and Science Fiction Writers on May 18th, • Ask an Editor, Ask an Agent on June 15th, • Getting to the Finish Line: How to Prepare Your Writing for the Next Stage on July 20th, • First Lines: Getting Started on Your Writing Project on August 17th, and • How to Get Your Work Published on September 21st. For additional information on this workshop or other events presented by the Bronx Writers Center, call 718-931-9500 x21, e-mail, or visit the Bronx Writers Center’s web pages at Barnes & Noble at Bay Plaza is located at 290 Baychester Avenue in the Co-op City section of the Bronx. To find out about other literary activities at the store, please call 718-862-3945 or visit www. (click on “Stores and Events”).

Volunteers are welcome as Riverdale Temple will be holding its fourteenth annual Mitzvah Day on Sunday, April 22, 2012 from 9:30-3:30. Activities will include Earth Day activities with Van Cortlandt Park, the Riverdale Community Association at Endor Garden, Schervier Home, and the Atria Hospice. In addition, at the Temple from 9:3012, children and volunteers will prepare bagged lunches for POTS, a soup kitchen on Webster Avenue, collect clothing for Big Brothers/Big Sisters; make men’s grooming kits for the Midnight Run, and do knitting for Warm Up America. To volunteer, please call 718-5483800. Lunch and Learn: The Worship Service with Rabbi Lewis on Tuesday, April 24, from noon to 1:30 p.m. Adult Education with Steve Altarescu on Thursday, April 26 @ 7 p.m.

BAE gala benefit to to support programs

The Bronx Arts Ensemble will honor businessman and philanthropist, Jarvis Doctorow/Doctorow Foundation, former board member and community leader and arts supporter, Celia Kornfeld and Councilman Joel Rivera at the annual Gala on Saturday, April 21 at the home of Jeffrey and Susan Stone, 4600 Palisade Avenue, Bronx from 5 pm to 7 pm. BAE’s 2012 honorees are recognized for their enthusiastic commitment to public arts education and outstanding community service and support. Gala proceeds will provide crucial funding for the BAE’s arts-in- education programs in 50 Bronx schools - instruction in dance, visual arts and drama as well as music. This June 12th students from various Bronx Arts Ensemble artsin-education programs will showcase their talents at the Lovinger Theatre at Lehman College in our 5th Annual Festival of the Arts. The gala will begin at 5 pm with sommelier Gary Wertels of Skyview Wine & Spirits. Noted Jazz pianist, Valerie Capers, will perform during the festivities. To join us on this festive evening of music, good food and fun and to help support arts-in-education program in Bronx schools, please call 718.601.7399 or email to make your reservation.

BAE to present ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’

Bronx Arts Ensemble presents ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’ at the Whitehall Club Ballroom at 3333 Henry Hudson Parkway (between 232nd and 235 Streets in the Bronx) on Sunday, April 22 at 1 & 3 pm. Appropriate for ages 3 - 10. All tickets $6. ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’ is an hilarious musical version of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale about two weavers who promise a vain Emperor an elegant new suit of clothes, invisible to anyone in the kingdom who is stupid or incompetent...then the fun begins! A new productions by Dante Albertie and the Children’s Theatre Company at Lehman, with music arranged by Bill Scribner. For info and tickets, visit bronxartsen- or call 718 601-7399. Take #1 line to 242nd St-Van Cortlandt Park, walk to 231st St and Broadway, take BX20 to 232nd St and Henry Hudson Pkwy.

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.

Earth Day celebration at Endor Garden

On Sunday, April 22, 2012 join Bronx Community Board No. 8, NYC Department of Parks & Recreation, The Riverdale Temple, Riverdale Country School and the Riverdale Community Association at Endor Community Garden between 9:30 AM and 12:00 noon to help beautify and celebrate Earth Day. Endor Garden is located at West 253rd St. and Fieldston Road in Riverdale. It is also a well known 911 Memorial site. Earth Day began in 1970 to increase an awareness and appreciation for a healthy, sustainable environment. It grew into a global day of recognition to celebrate the Earth’s natural environment. The Board is celebrating Earth Day by chipping in to clean up and help maintain this community garden. Volunteering to clean up a community garden is a great way for New Yorkers to give back to their communities! You can join Bronx Community Board 8, and other volunteers to spruce up Endor Community Garden. Clear litter, rake leaves, plant flowers and pour mulch throughout the greenspace to help beautify the area. Participants will meet at Endor Garden starting at 9:30 AM. Equipment and tools will be provided by NYC Parks Department. Bring work or gardening gloves if you have them. Celebrate this wonderful day by cleaning up this beautiful community garden. Bring your family, bring your neighbors, and bring your friends! Participate in a fun, free event for the whole family!

Riverdale Y’s 5K/10K race set

The Riverdale Y’s 5K/10K race will be held on Sunday, May 6 starting at 8:15am. Riverdale Y’s amazing 5K & 10K is on one of the most challenging, scenic, street courses in New York City. For the first time, we will be electronically timed with some great amenities including a sweet tech tee, post race refreshments goodie bags and much more. Full access to the Y for the day is included. • 10K Start Time: 8:15 AM: Cost $20 • 5K Start Time: 8:30AM: Cost $15. • Red Nose Run - Kids FUN RUN: Cost FREE Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus will have their circus clowns to perform and show all the kids how to juggle, balancing plates and feathers and just have a lot of fun! Feld Brothers Entertainment (the circus) expect to have

up to 7 clowns here, including some on stilts. The Circus Fit kids ( part of our after school program)will be putting on a show with all the circus skills they’ve learned. Feld Brothers is bringing feathers, noses, etc. Feld Brothers: • They will help greet ‘runners’ coming to the Y - giving out noses etc. • They will do a Circus Fit ‘warm up’ at 7:45am • They will be responsible for cheering on the runners (at the finish line) • They will be starting the 5k & 10K & helping with the award ceremony at the end

7 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, April 19, 2012

Riverdale Temple to hold Mitzvah Day

• They will be helping with the kid’s dash & all activities following the kids run; circus fit activities - face painting etc. We are setting up our bouncing castle, gymnastic equipment and mats for the kids to romp and play. There will be staff to help and supervise your children. All participants who are non members or bring family members who are non members to the race, will have access to the Y for the day. Any Y access will require your bib number and you must provide your own towels and locks for lockers. (If you wish to swim, please provide your own swim caps). The entire community can come and enjoy all the festivities even if they do not participate in the run. Contact Race Director Lisa Bruskin, or call (718)5488200 ext. 241 for any further information. The Y is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue.

Thursday, April 19, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Thursday, April 19 Riverdale

SINGING & READING 11:30 a.m. Riverdale Branch Library 5540 Mosholu Avenue 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

HOLOCAUST COMMEMORATION 12:15:00 Van Cortlandt Senior Center 3880 Sedgwick Avenue Holocaust commemoration 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. For more information, call 718-549-4700.


CINEMA THURSDAY 2 p.m. Riverdale Branch Library 5540 Mosholu Avenue Cinema Thursdays at the Riverdale Library presents poetic films in recognition of National Poetry Month: Featuring the movie A Knight’s Tale on April 19th. For more information, call 718-549-1212.


READING 4:30 p.m. Manhattan College Hayden Hall, Room 100 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. Open to the public. For more information, call 718- 862-7921.

Friday, April 20 Riverdale

HOLOCAUST COMMEMORATION 7:30 p.m. Congregation Shaarei Shalom 5919 Riverdale Avenue Congregation Shaarei Shalom shall include a commemoration of Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, during its Shabbat evening service. For more information, call 718-796-0305.

Sunday, April 22 Riverdale

CLOTHING DRIVE 9:30 a.m. Riverdale Temple 246th St. and Independence Ave. Clothing donations for Big Brothers/Big Sisters. Clean, gently used men’s, women’s and children’s clothing for all seasons are welcome. For more information, please call 718-548-3800.


MITZVAH DAY 9:30 a.m. Riverdale Temple 246th St. and Independence Ave. Activities will include Earth Day activities with Van Cortlandt Park, the Riverdale Community Association at Endor Garden, Schervier Home, and the Atria Hospice. To volunteer, please call 718-548-3800.


EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES 1 p.m. Whitehall Club Ballroom 3333 Henry Hudson Parkway Bronx Arts Ensemble presents this hilarious version of the Andersen fairy tale. Appropriate for ages 3-10. All tickets $6. For info, call 718-601-7399 or visit


YOM HASHOAH DIALOGUE 4 p.m. Riverdale YM-YWHA 5625 Arlington Avenue A special dialogue in commemoration of Yom HaShoah called “How do we Remember the Holocaust.” For more information, visit or call 718-548-8200 ext. 0.

Monday, April 23 Riverdale

COFFEE HOUR 10:30 a.m. Riverdale Branch Library

5540 Mosholu Avenue Start off your week with a cup of coffee at the Riverdale Branch. Read newspapers , catch up on current events, or just enjoy a friendly game of Chess. All in our Community Room. For more information, call 718-549-1212.


SHAKESPEARE’S BIRTHDAY 3:30 p.m. Riverdale Branch Library 5540 Mosholu Avenue Come and join for a special treat in recognition of William Shakespeare’s 448th Birthday as we kick off poetry week at the Riverdale Branch. For more information, call 718-549-1212.

Spuyten Duyvil

LECTURE-SLIDES 5:30 p.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 West 235th Street Chagall and the Artists of the Russian Jewish Theatre, 1919-1949. The exhibition brings to light a remarkable period in the early years of the Soviet Union when innovative visual artists, including Marc Chagall, Natan Altman, & Robert Falk joined forces with avant-garde playwrights, actors, theatrical producers to create a theater experience with extraordinary mass appeal. Through slides and a lecture the art & energy of the time can be experienced. For more information, call 718-796-1202.

Tuesday, April 24 Kingsbridge

INTRODUCTION TO FACEBOOK 10 a.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Learn about social networking and sign up for a Facebook account. You must have an active email account. Space is limited, registration is required. For more information, call 718-548-5656.


E-READER HELP 11 a.m. Riverdale Branch Library 5540 Mosholu Avenue Learn how to download free e-books from the New York Public Library. Get help on using your iPad, Kindle or other e-reader. For more information, call 718-549-1212.


POT OF GOLD 4 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Master storyteller Patrick Richwood brings three Irish folktales to life using innovative costumes, props, and music. His interactive storytelling allows audience members to actively participate in the program by engaging with call and response chants and embodying the movements from the characters in the folktales. For ages 5 to 12. For info, call 718-548-5656.

Wednesday, April 25 Spuyten Duyvil

EXERCISE PROGRAM 10 a.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 West 235th Street This recreational program using gentle movements was designed by a group of physicians & arthritis health professionals under the direction of the National Arthritis Foundation’s Patient & Community Services Committee. The goal is to help increase joint flexiblity, range of motion & maintainence of muscle strength. The class meets for eight weeks, one hour per session. For more information, call 718-796-1202.


CB8 MEETING 1 p.m. Community Board 8 5676 Riverdale Avenue Meeting of the Youth Committee of Community Board 8. For more information, call 718-884-3959.


TOASTMASTERS CLUB MEETING 7 p.m. Riverdale Neighborhood House 5521 Mosholu Avenue Bronx Toastmasters Club of Riverdale invites new members to join us at their free meeting. For more information, call 718-796-6671.


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


The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thursday, April 19, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Charter school barely fills seats

By MIAWLING LAM The educational fate of 132 sixth-graders has been sealed after they secured a seat at Tech International Charter School, a new middle school to open in Kingsbridge in September. Nearly two-dozen anxious parents and children from a host of Bronx schools including P.S. 8, P.S. 33 and P.S 344 showed up at the school to witness the public lottery drawing last Friday. One by one, officials pulled names out of a cardboard box with around 160 prospective students vying for 132 spots at the upstart school. Officials received a total of 123 applications from District 10 students, meaning all were accepted, including the son of TI board member and 2013 City Council candidate Cliff Stanton. The remaining nine slots were filled with non-District 10 students, while the rest were placed on an infinite waiting list. TI principal Adjowah Scott said although the school’s inaugural 132 student cohort has been determined, officials would continue to accept applications. “We’re still encouraging people to enter,” she told the audience. “We want to have a healthy waiting list. Things happen, so if there are people that you know who are still looking, let them know that they can still apply and they will automatically be placed on the wait list.” TI co-founder and executive director Steve Bergen said keeping applications open was a deliberate ploy as not all families would accept a placement. “I know that people won’t all accept,”

he said after the drawing. “It just doesn’t happen. It doesn’t matter if it’s three or 30,000 tuitions, you simply won’t get 100 percent.” Bergen said the majority of applicants came from the Bronx, with a handful coming from Upper Manhattan. There was no interest from families in any of the other three boroughs. It is not known how many students will actually come from Riverdale but at least one of the few to land a seat is current P.S 81 student Daliany Gerena. The Riverdalian, whose family migrated to the United States two years ago from Puerto Rico, couldn’t wipe the smile off her face upon learning she gained acceptance into TI. “I like technology and I heard that this is a technology school,” she said. Her father, Edwin Gerena, also expressed relief and happiness when her name was drawn. “We hope that this is a good school for her,” he said. It appeared however that few students from Riverdale and Kingsbridge chose the upstart school over the Riverdale/Kingsbridge Academy. The school will begin with six sixthgrade classes, initially occupy two floors of a 10-story, mixed-use building at 3120 Corlear Avenue, and grow by one grade each year. Officials have previously said they will also look to expand its charter to evolve into a grade 6-12 school so as to streamline education. TI will place a strong emphasis on technology—students will be given their own laptop and e-reader—and children Continued on Page 19

By MIAWLING LAM A MAN was struck and killed by a speeding motorist while skateboarding in North Riverdale last week, authorities have confirmed. Police said Abraham Deidon-Gonzalez, 22 of Classon Point, died from his injuries after being hit at the intersection of Mosholu Avenue and Broadway around 9 p.m. on Tuesday, April 10. Officials said the pedestrian was crossing the street with his skateboard when a Yonkers man driving a 2004 gold-colored Honda Accord struck him. It is understood the motorist had the green light and right-of-way when he hit the man. Commanding officer of the 50th Precinct Captain Kevin Burke said speed was a contributing factor but could not say how fast the driver was traveling. “The car attempted to stop, skidded about 100 feet and struck him, causing pretty substantial injuries,” he said. “Highway marked it and said that that a person traveling at that rate—if they were doing the appropriate speed limit—he probably would’ve avoided striking the pedestrian.” The skateboarder was rushed to St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx suffering brain hemorrhage, multiple broken ribs and deep gashes to his torso. Although doctors rushed to save his life, he was declared brain dead and eventually died on Saturday, April 14. As of last Tuesday, no charges have been laid in relation to the accident.

The driver passed an alcohol and drug test. “There was no immediate arrest,” Captain Burke said, adding that the vehicle is currently undergoing an inspection for mechanical issues. It is understood the car sustained damage to its front bumper and windshield after striking the pedestrian. “Ultimately we’re going to have to decide whether the individual’s actions were criminal in nature or if it was just a speeding issue where he’ll be given a summons.” Officers attached to the Highway Accident investigation unit are continuing their investigations. Captain Burke also said the latest incident was the second fatality at that particular intersection in four months. In December, a 57-year-old livery cab driver was struck and killed by a school bus while crossing the same intersection. “It’s an area we are going to continue to concentrate on,” Captain Burke said. “Looking forward, we’d like to reduce the speed on Mosholu Avenue.” Community Board 8 traffic and transportation committee chair Daniel Padernacht said locals have previously called for the installation of additional traffic lights or speed bumps along the stretch of Broadway between West 242nd Street and Mosholu Avenue. As of press time, Department of Transportation officials had not responded to a request for comment.

11 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, April 19, 2012

Skateboarder struck and killed on B’way

Thursday, April 19, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


City evaluates Armory proposals By MIAWLING LAM City officials are pouring through less than 10 proposals for the redevelopment of the Kingsbridge Armory, the neglected landmark that has sat dormant for more than a decade. The Riverdale Review can reveal that several deep-pocketed developers have expressed interest to breathe new life into the historic 575,000 square-foot northwest Bronx structure. Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation President Marlene Cintron dropped the single-digit figure to the Review after she made a surprise appearance at last Wednesday’s Community Board 8 economic development committee meeting. Cintron said although the “less than 10” submissions may seem small; it is considerable given that no government funding will be on the table for the winning developer. “Understand that this is probably a multi-million dollar project number one, and number two, EDC was very clear on indicating that if you were not self-funded, you really shouldn’t apply,” she said, “so the fact that they received a significant number of proposals means that there are very deep pockets out there. “It’s a huge indication that those people have a considerable amount of money—and have for a long time—and understand that if they are going to use it right now, they will invest it in the Bronx, which is not so bad.” Cintron could not provide a timeline for when officials were expected to announce a winning bidder but said the city was currently reviewing submissions. “Right now, they’re going through all the

proposals to determine whether the (applicants) dotted the I’s and crossed the T’s,” she said. The city has not disclosed how many proposals it has received or who submitted applications. However, it has been widely reported that a retail giant, megachurch, sporting groups and film and TV studios expressed interest in the space. It was rumored World Changers Church International, a Georgia-based megachurch, submitted plans to use the space for daycare, an after-school program and a summer camp, while the Kingsbridge National Ice Center, led by New York Rangers legend Mark Messier and Olympic gold medalist Sarah Hughes, proposed the construction of eight ice rinks and a public school. The New York Cycling Association also reportedly submitted an application to convert the vacant property into an official USA Cycling Center with an Olympicsize 250-meter velodrome complete with spectator seating and concession areas. Meanwhile, other parties suggested transforming the Armory into an art and craft flea market, a virtual reality film and television production facility and a chess center. The flurry of proposals came to the fore after Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a new Request for Proposals during his State of the City address earlier this year. The RFP deadline, which closed less than a month ago, came after a $310 million proposal by the Related Companies was spectacularly voted down in 2009 by the City Council over concerns about wages. Under the Related plan, the imposing red brick facility would have been transformed into a large shopping mall housing a department store, dozens of shops and a movie theater.

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SYMPOSIUM 10 a.m. Sarah Lawrence College Esther Rauschenbush Library The Turn to the Native: A Symposium on Native American Studies in Honor of Professor Arnold Krupat. Dr. Arnold Krupat’s scholarship has been central to the development of Native American Studies for more than two decades; his numerous publications have in particular shaped our understanding of Native American literatures of the United States. This year will see the publication of his latest book, That People Might Live, a study of Native American elegy, as well his retirement from teaching. This symposium will present current research in the field of Native American Studies by a group of international scholars in celebration of Dr. Krupat’s continuing achievement. A reception will follow the 2 p.m. second session. For more information, call 914-395-2412.


SPECIAL PRESENTATION 6:30 p.m. Westchester Italian Cultural Center One Generoso Pope Place The buried buildings of Pompeii designed to last only a few decades, are still standing after two millenia. One of these superb buildings is the Villa of the Mysteries. Prof. Rutigliano will present the history of the Roman women and their rites of passage as portrayed in the frescoes of the Villa of they Mysteries of Pompeii. Presented in English by Professor-in-Residence Antonio Rutigliano of NYU. Must register in advance and prepay. Members $10, Non-Members $20. For more information, call 914-771-8700.


MUSIC 8 p.m. Sarah Lawrence College Marshall Field Room 1 Senior recital by jazz duo Wells Albritton, piano and David Hauss, bass. For more information, call 914-395-2412.

Saturday, April 21 Tuckahoe

GENEALOGY 10 a.m. Westchester Italian Cultural Center One Generoso Pope Place Genealogy: Research Problems that Made My Eyes Cross. Toni McKeen will discuss problems that may arise during research and how to solve them, including how to locate relatives that are more difficult to find. Must register in advance and prepay. Members $10, Non-Members $20. For more information, call 914-771-8700.


CHILDREN’S BOOK DAY 11 a.m. Riverfront Library One Larkin Center The Yonkers Public Library will celebrate El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day). A variety of performers and local organizations will participate in the event. For more information, call 914-337-1500, ext. 427.


CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL 13:30:00 Pelham Art Center 155 Fifth Avenue From 1:30 to 2:30, performer Kaori Ibuki and her fellow dancers will demonstrate Japanese classical dance and lead the audience in fan movements (osensu) and kimono costuming. Then from 2:30 to 3:30, artist Shoko Iwata and her colleagues will teach an introductory lesson in Japanese flower arranging (ikebana), in the Sogetsu School style, using real cherry blossoms. Participants will be able to take home their unique creations! For more information, call 914-738-2525.


BIRDS OF PREY SHOW 2 p.m. Greenburgh Nature Center 99 Dromore Road Join Naturalist Andrew Seery as he presents live birds of prey! Discover what makes these magnificent creatures the hunters of the sky. Come visit our outdoor bird aviary to see the majestic Bald Eagles. Members $5, Non-Members $8 ($25 for family). For more information, call 914-723-3470.

Sunday, April 22 Scarsdale

EARTH DAY CELEBRATION 1 p.m. Greenburgh Nature Center 99 Dromore Road

Calling all lovers of the natural world! Volunteers wanted! Join us for a fun, earth-friendly afternoon as we spruce up our grounds, prepare our garden beds, clear our trails and more. Participate in The Children & Nature Network’s Let’s G.O.! (Get Outside) initiative to get intergenerational groups outside together. SavATree on hand for a planting demonstration and discussion on root collar disorders. Free visit to the Animal Museum for all Earth Day volunteers. Individuals and groups welcome but pre-registration for groups is required. Contact 914-723-3470 to reserve your spot. FREE.


CONCERT 3 p.m. Shaarei Tikvah 46 Fox Meadow Road Featuring the world-renowned Cassatt String Quartet. The concert, which will also be Shaarei Tikvah’s observance of Yom Hashoah—Holocaust Remembrance Day, will include the local premiere of Cantor Gerald Cohen’s new composition for string quartet, Playing for our lives. For more information, call 914-472-2013.


MUSIC 4 p.m. Sarah Lawrence College Reisinger Concert Hall The Sarah Lawrence String Orchestra performs classics ranging from Vivaldi’s “Spring” to Gershwin’s “Lullaby.” Sungrai Sohn conductor. For more information, call 914-395-2412.

Tuesday, April 24 Bronxville

MUSIC 1:30 p.m. Sarah Lawrence College Reisinger Concert Hall Metropolitan opera star, German born Gerhard Siegel, has been applauded around the world singing leading roles in Wagner operas. Siegel recently starred in Siegfried, an HD Live Performance from the Met. Dobner, an international prize winner and recording artist, toured Germany as one of the most sought after collaborative pianists. For info, call 914-395-2412.


DISCOVER ITALY 6:30 p.m. Westchester Italian Cultural Center One Generoso Pope Place Ascoli Piceno is an undiscovered province in the le Marche region of Italy, which the New York Times recently named as “The New Tuscany.” The area boasts mountains as well as beaches, culture, shopping, fabulous food and truly spectacular wines. Join Francine Segan on a virtual tour of the area. The talk ends with a sampling of local delicacies as well as a guided wine tasting of several of Ascoli Piceno’s best white, red, and dessert wines presented by the Piceno Wine Consortium ( Must register in advance and prepay. Members $10, Non-Members $20. For more information, call 914-771-8700.


MUSIC 7:30 p.m. Sarah Lawrence College Reisinger Concert Hall The Sarah Lawrence Orchestra plays Beethoven’s 4th Symphony and more! Jonathan Yates, conductor. For more information, call 914-395-2412.

Wednesday, April 25 Tuckahoe

LECTURE 2 p.m. Westchester Italian Cultural Center One Generoso Pope Place Intimate Conversations with Contemporary Authors: The Conflict Winds Down. Last in a series of three lectures presented by Gaetano V. Cavallaro R. Ph., M.D. Discussed are Vienna’s last failed offensive, the battle of Vittorio Veneto, the effects of airpower, naval battles and the Treaty of Versailles. This program is offered at no charge. Donations are welcome. Registration is required. For more information, call 914-771-8700.

Thursday, April 26 Tuckahoe

ITALIAN CINEMA 6:30 p.m. Westchester Italian Cultural Center One Generoso Pope Place Considered by many to be Frederico Fellini’s most powerful film, La Strada tells the story of the bubbly, waiflike Gelsomina who is sold to the gruff, bullying circus strongman Zampanò as a servant. Treated no better than an animal, Gelsomina nonetheless falls in love with the brute Zampanò. For more information, call 914-771-8700.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, April 19, 2012

Friday, April 20

Thursday, April 19, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thursday, April 19, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



Bronx Toastmasters Club of Riverdale invites new members to join in at their free meeting on April 25 at 7:00 p.m. at the Riverdale Neighborhood House, 5521 Mosholu Avenue. Wouldn’t you like to communicate effectively? Now you can! Toastmasters will show you how to listen effectively, think on your feet, and speak confidently. You will learn valuable leadership skillsall in a supportive, non-intimidating environment. Come as a guest and witness for yourself what they accomplish. They meet every second and fourth Wednesday of the month. For further information, visit their website or call 718-796-6671.

Riverdale Y commemorates Yom HaShoah

The Riverdale Y will hold a special dialogue in commemoration of Yom HaShoah called ‘How do we Remember the Holocaust’ on Sunday, April 22 from 4:00pm- 6:00pm. The entire community is welcome. Special lecturers are Dr. Mehnaz Afridi, Direcotr of Manhattan College Holocaust,

Genocide and Interfaith Education Center and Mark Weizman, Director of Government Affairs for the Simon Weisenthal Center. This conversation will be moderated by Rabbi Linda Shriner-Cahn of Congregation Tehilla. Please join us for a discussion focusing on issues of remembrance: Who can remember; who can be the memory keepers? Who does remember? How do we remember? The Riverdale Y is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue. For more information go to our website at or call 718-548-8200 ext 0.

CSAIR brunch to benefit seminary

Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale (CSAIR) will host its annual Torah Fund Brunch on Sunday, April 22. The Torah Fund Campaign benefits the Jewish Theological Seminary, the training ground for rabbis, cantors, and educators in the Conservative movement. This year’s brunch will honor longtime CSAIR member Shari Friedman. The guest speaker will be CSAIR member Rabbi Dahlia Kronish. The CSAIR Sisterhood offers a full program of events during the year designed to bring women together and to benefit the synagogue community.

CSAIR is located at 475 West 250th Street at the Henry Hudson Parkway. More information is available by calling the synagogue at 718-543-8400 or visiting the synagogue’s website at

(the Century Building). Validated parking ($5) is available. To register and for more information, please contact: Pat O’Malley, 718-884-5900 or

Victims’ Service to be held at St. Gabriel’s Church

Social Security Assistance at Engel office

Saint Gabriel’s Prison Ministry will be sponsoring a Victims’ Service in Walsh Hall on Sunday, April 29, from 1 to 3 p.m. Members of the community are invited to attend. Saint Gabriel Parish is located at 3250 Arlington Avenue. For more information, call 718-548-4470.

RSS offers Bereavement Support Group

Riverdale Senior Services, Inc. (RSS) is sponsoring an 8-week Bereavement Support Group which will run from Thursday, April 26th through Thursday, June 14th from 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. The group is meant for those 60 years of age and older, bereaved at least 3 months who can commit to all 8 sessions (except for unexpected circumstances). Support groups offer the opportunity to share feelings of grief with others who have also experienced a loss. RSS is located at 2600 Netherland Avenue

Representatives of the Social Security Administration will be at Congressman Eliot Engel’s Bronx office on Wednesday, April 25th to assist people with questions or problems concerning this program. This service, at 3655 Johnson Avenue, is available only by appointment, which may be made by calling Richard Fedderman of the Congressman’s office at 718 796-9700. Rep. Engel said, ‘Social Security is an issue directly affecting many people in my district. Consequently, I have these experts from the Social Security Administration come to my office on a monthly basis to help constituents with any problems they may have with the program.’ The Congressman said the Social Security website ( offers a wide array of on-line services including filing for retirement, survivors and disability benefits, change of address, replacing lost Medicare cards, and keeping up to date on Social Security matters.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, April 19, 2012

Toastmasters Club invites new members

Thursday, April 19, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Guest Editorial:

Staking Out the Vampire in Texas By DIANE RAVITCH

As the national debate about school reform continues, new voices, new evidence, and new ideas are emerging to shape the debate. Something wonderful has started in Texas. For 10 long years, the nation’s public schools have been stuck with the unrealistic demands imposed by No Child Left Behind. That odious program was hatched in Texas, so it is fitting that the nation’s most significant rebellion against high-stakes testing is growing in Texas. At last count, more than 200 school boards (out of about 1,000), supported by the Texas Association of School Administrators, had endorsed a strong resolution against the high-stakes testing regime that is now strangling learning in Texas public schools. The revolt in Texas was abetted, perhaps inadvertently, by state Commissioner of Education Robert Scott, who complained in early February that testing had become the “end-all, be-all” of education and “the heart of the vampire,” that the current situation was a “perversion” of what was intended, and that testing had grown into a “military-industrial complex” that was all about making money. The Texas revolt was seeded by the efforts of nearly three dozen district superintendents who began meeting in 2006 and produced a joint statement about their vision for the future of education. The superintendents recognized that the state’s relentless focus on standardized testing was not advancing their vision of the future. Their vision has inspired their colleagues, including Commissioner Scott. This is a summary of the Texas vision: “We envision schools where all children succeed, feel safe and their curiosity is cultivated. We see schools that foster a sense of belonging and community and that inspire collaboration. We see learning standards that challenge, and intentionally designed experiences that delight students, develop their confidence and competence, and cause every child to value tasks that result in learning. Ultimately, we see schools and related venues that prepare all children for many choices and that give them the tools and attitudes to contribute to our democratic way of life and live successfully in a rapidly changing world.” Since that statement was released (and please read the entire document), the Texas educators’ sense of urgency must have been compounded by ongoing and deep budget cuts to public schools in recent years, as much as $13 billion in the past four years. One local school board in New York City has adapted and endorsed the Texas resolution. Currently, there are school leaders and national organizations thinking about passing their own version of the Texas resolution. It’s heartening to realize that many people—not only educators, but parents, and other citizens realize that high-stakes testing has gotten out of control and that we need fresh thinking. It would be some kind of wonderful to see the educators of Texas put a stake right through the heart of this “vampire” (to use Texas Commissioner Scott’s word) right in their own backyard. The whole nation could breathe a sigh of relief. I’ll be speaking to a joint meeting of the Texas Association of School Administrators and the Texas Association of School Boards on Sept. 30 in Austin, and I look forward to thanking them on behalf of the rest of us for their good work. As a graduate of the Houston Independent School District, I feel it is both a privilege and a duty to do so. Diane Ravitch, the educational historian, is author of the best-selling book The Death and Life of the Great American School System.

Senate Democrats disgrace this country To The Editor: One thousand and seventy days and counting since the Democrat-controlled United States Senate led by Senator Harry Reid has passed a budget bill. And I don’t believe the thenDemocrat controlled House of Representatives passed its own budget bill in 2010: a year during which both houses of Congress were controlled by Democrats. On the other hand, Republicans — who gained control of the House of Representatives in the 2010 mid-term elections — have passed budget bills in both 2011 and 2012. These bills have been attacked and savaged by the Democrats. But where is the Senate’s budget bill? It is now almost three years since the United States of America has had a budget bill passed and the fault, dear readers, lies not in our stars or with the Republicans, but with the President Obama-controlled Democratic Party. Although budget bills originate in the House of Representa-

tives, a budget bill (or any bill) becomes law when both houses of congress pass their own bills that then go to a conference committee of both houses. The members then NEGOTIATE

Nicole Stent’s services are not for sale To The Editor: Last week’s editorial contained a comment concerning Community Board 8, to which I respond: at no time did any Bronx Community Board 8 member or the District Manager use or require the services of a third party to develop a dialogue with the owners of Metropolitan Realty, developers of Riverdale Crossing. Over the past several months, District Manager Nicole Stent, Economic Development Committee Chair Sergio Villaverde and I (board chair) have been reaching out to Metropolitan Realty for the single purpose of bringing the developers to an Economic Development committee meeting so that citizens of Com-

ANDREW WOLF, Editor and Publisher

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

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and compromise until they reach agreement on a bill that is satisfactory to all. This new NEGOTIATED bill is then voted upon by each house and if passed Continued on Page 19

CECILIA McNALLY Office Manager MIAWLING LAM Associate Editor

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

munity Board 8 could see the plans for the Riverdale Crossing shopping center before construction commenced and contribute ideas for local economic development. The appearance of Mr. Joseph Farkas, president of Metropolitan Realty, at the April 11 Economic Development committee meeting was a credit to this teamwork as well as to the courtesy and civic mindededness of Mr. Farkas. For the record: access to Community Board 8 has always been open to the public! Our members and our staff take great pride in our outreach and availability to all citizens of our district. Robert Fanuzzi, Chairperson Community Board 8 The editor responds: At no time did we suggest that the Community Board or District Manager Stent did anything wrong. Rather it appears that they were victimized by the perception that the Kingsbridge/Riverdale/Van Cortlandt Development Corporation offered special access to Ms. Stent in exchange for a proposed $1000. payment to KRVCDC.

To The Editor: Most recently the Riverdale Review put out an article with partial truths dealing with the six local residents who tried to run for the board of non-profit, Woodlawn Taxpayers’ Association (WTA). Before, it was the Bronx News, who retracted Ms. Mary Lauro’s two articles, and now here pops up a few more. Now the Bronx Press is claiming the people who ran and lost must have worked for some type of development company—because God forbid people just got sick of these bullying and scare tactics to keep people quiet! These articles aren’t true, and they’re designed to cripple anyone who has their own opinions! Lauro’s articles personally attacked the six local Woodlawn residents, and one of their wives—who had nothing

to do with the election. She even went so far as to insinuate wanting a change in the community and wanting to help out must mean one is somehow racist. These reporters aren’t talking to the former candidates they slander and lie about. They’re hearing a one sided bias story. Lauro, the Wakefield Taxpayers’ President, isn’t a member of the WTA, as stated by the Riverdale Review. However, she is a good friend of Christine Sheridan, the president of the WTA, who delegated more questions to Lauro during the April meeting than any member on the board. Ms. Christine Sheridan was incapable of answering the most basic of questions, and whose solution to everything was, “Call 311!” Instead of spending her time spreading lies and scaring our senior citizens into

Charter school barely fills seats

Conitnued from Page 10 will be encouraged to develop international connections by interacting with partner schools. Officials have lined up two schools in each Canada and Mexico, and one each in India and France to become TI international partners. Authorities said the initiative would allow students to breach physical barriers, expand their global connections and enhance their understanding of cultural differences. At last week’s 50th Precinct Community Council meeting, a nearby resident turned up to express her fears about the addition of more teenagers in the alreadycongested area. She said there is already up to 8,000 students within a three-block

radius of the school. “We’re just a little concerned about the influx of more teenagers into the area,” she said. “They apparently don’t have a lunchroom or a gym and so these kids are going to be crazy by the time they get out. It’s a long day and we’re just really concerned about security.” Commanding officer of the 50th Precinct Captain Kevin Burke said he would closely monitor the traffic situation in the lead-up to the school’s opening. Parents of the first 132 applicants will be notified by mail and email of their child’s acceptance. Families will have until Monday, April 30 to submit signed documentation confirming their intentions to enroll their child at TI.

thinking there’s some coup, she should focus on the issues. My husband was one who ran, and he didn’t know who the KRVCDC was until he read the article in the Bronx Press-Review. The reason so many articles are coming out, slandering these outstanding youngsters trying to help out, is because someone is scared—and it isn’t them. The WTA is historic, and used to have hundreds upon thousands of members in attendance. So what if thirty tried to join in March of 2012? Membership has declined with the current board, because as most locals call it, it’s become a “hen session,” where there’s no order, nothing gets done, and everyone ends up screaming at each other. The fact the people who ran, and lost, got so many votes without most “knowing them” shows how frustrated some have become. Past treasurers, vice presidents, past board members and current members even nominated them! And I’m sure they would’ve got more votes if people weren’t illegally told they couldn’t join (not in the bylaws), there’s only one vote per household, and a few residents’ checks were mysteriously never received or cashed. Ms. Rose most recently quit the taxpayers’ board due to “funny business” going on. Why hasn’t there been an annual financial report like stated in the bylaws? Why even have bylaws if you’re just going to do what you want anyway? Amanda Black Editor’s Note: The stunning win by the incumbent administration of the Woodlawn Taxpayers Association came in an election supervised by local clergy. Our

Senate Democrats

Continued from Page 18

by both houses, sent to the President to be signed into law. Of course, when both houses of Congress are controlled by the same party (as in 2010), the process is very quick. So, I now respectfully ask Rep. Eliot Engel: What the heck happened in 2010 when both houses of Congress and the Presidency were all controlled by the Democrat Party? Why wasn’t a budget passed? You were there, what’s the story? And why have Harry Reid and his Democratic cohorts in the U.S. Senate sat on their collective behinds all these years and done nothing? These bums are a disgrace to this country! They are being paid to do a job, not play politics! Isn’t it about time the Democrat-controlled Senate passed their own budget bill and sat down to NEGOTIATE with the Republicans? This country needs action, not obstinacy. Do you disagree, congressman? I welcome a response from Mr. Engel, Assemblyman Dinowitz or any other Democratic Party politician. Surely these party stalwarts are not going to let my disparaging comments go unanswered? Alvin Gordon

Show Times

Wednesday, April 18 at 3pm Thursday, April 19 at 7:30pm Saturday, April 21 at 9pm Sunday, April 22 at 3pm

Directed by Laurie Walton

Tickets: $20 at the door Seniors & Students: $12 For more info go to 5625 Arlington Avenue Bronx, NY 10471 718-548-8200

19 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, April 19, 2012

Another view of the Woodlawn ‘coup’

concern is not the grievances of members, real or imagined, or the bylaws of the group. Rather our concern is with the apparent interference by the politicallymotivated Riverdale/Kingsbridge/Van Cortlandt Development Corporation (KRVCDC) in a community that lies outside their area, but within the City Council District that one of their top officers, Clifford Stanton, has already announced that he is targeting for election next year.

Thursday, April 19, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


The Riverdale YM-YWHA Presents the Inaugural Event of The Rose Dialogue Series

Israel vs. Iran - Is War Imminent? A one-night only open dialogue event with Dr. Ronen Bergman and Rabbi Irving Greenberg

Dr. Ronen Bergman, renowned political and military analyst for Yedioth Aharonoth

Rabbi Irving Greenberg, seminal author and post-Holocaust scholar

Moderated by Yeshiva University President Richard Joel

Tuesday, May 1st ∙ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm The Riverdale YM-YWHA Dialogue and Dessert Reception tickets now available for $72. Please visit or call (718) 548-8200.

Only at The Riverdale Y. Join the conversation. 5625 Arlington Avenue ∙ Bronx ∙ New York ∙ 10471 ∙

Riverdale Review, April 19, 2012  

Weekly newspaper published in Riverdale, NY 10471