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Riverdale’s ONLY Locally Owned Newspaper!

Volume XVIII • Number 22 • May 5 - 11, 2011 •


Skate rink contract: Is the ‘fix’ in? By BRENDAN McHUGH As the subway lumbered overhead, the long-awaited site meeting for the proposed iceskating rink in Van Cortlandt Park was forced to move into the Stadium to avoid the screeching noise of the train. “I thought it was funny that we couldn’t actually have the meeting where the rink is going to be because of the train. We couldn’t hear each other,” Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz said. The rink will be on unused tennis courts at the corner of Manhattan College Parkway and Broadway, right at the end of the No. 1 subway line. Trains come in and out of the station every few minutes. The courts are unused because they were too noisy for tennis players. But noise aside, new concerns have been raised that the bidding process is a sham, with one contractor having been given advance information, as the other bidders and the community were kept in the dark about the project. Three potential bidders for concessions at the skating rink

were at the April 28 meeting along with Dinowitz, various representatives of elected officials and a handful of Community Board 8 members. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen the community outnumber companies before,” said Ice Rink Events project manager Ron Kraut. Along with Ice Rink Events, the American Skating Entertain Centers, LLC (ASEC) and Rink Management Services Corporation were at the site meeting. All have multiple skating rinks throughout the country and in a handful in other countries. Ice Rink Events was discovered by the Riverdale Review to have been in contact with the Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy in 2010, before the rink was publicly announced. The City Controller’s Office said it probably won’t affect their eligibility but couldn’t say for certain until the bidding process is over on May 16. But the whole episode smacks to many as reflecting a rigged bidding process. ASEC runs the Westchester Skating Academy, among 11 Continued on Page 19

Continued on Page 10

Observers wonder whether Ice Rink Events, whose project manager Ron Kraut, pictured at left in blue jacket, has an unfair advantage in the consideration of proposals for the controversial Van Cortlandt Park skate rink. His company was involved in planning the rink months before the proposal became public.

School for Scandal: Is it education or merely a real estate deal? By MIAWLING LAM A Taiwanese big-money developer will provide a $400,000 loan to the controversial Kingsbridge Innovative Design Charter School so it can occupy their new building – and potentially bring in millions in rent. Corlaton Realty offered to bail out the troubled school following a series of frenetic last-minute negotiations last week. KIDS co-founder and board chair John Torres briefed his fellow trustees on the latest twist during an emergency board meeting on April 28. He said the property developer, whose global headquarters are in Taiwan, will provide the hefty loan so it can avoid having an empty building on its hands. The firm has spent millions of dollars constructing a school on 3120 Corlear Avenue—the space that KIDS is slated to move into this September. “They’re doing this because they have to protect their $1.3 million investment in building the facility across the street,” Torres said. “He’s been building that school now for two years, so the thing is, now he’s built that school, who’s going to move in it?” “It’s only in his best interest to protect the investment he’s made, because there’s no other suitors for that space.” The financial bailout is expected to raise serious

questions about an incestuous relationship between the charter school and real estate interests with no involvement in education. The contract’s terms have not been made public, but Torres said the 15-year loan boasted a favorable interest rate of 6 percent and there were no closing or processing costs. He also emphasized that if the school is placed in receivership or the board is dissolved, the contract is automatically cancelled. Funds will be wired into the school’s bank account in four to six weeks. KIDS has spent the last two months cleaning up its act since the New York State Education Department slapped the school with a probation order on March 24. Authorities threatened to revoke its charter and shut the school down due to financial and educational mismanagement. It was given until April 29 to correct its problems and comply with a 16-point remedial action plan. Torres said all 16 issues have been rectified and that the only remaining task is to secure a $130,000 bridge loan by May 30. With the assistance of Tom Ramunto, an internal finance specialist with New Jersey-based firm M&M Construction, Torres said he was hopeful of securing

an approval before the deadline. Meanwhile, hundreds of anxious parents, teachers and concerned community members packed into the school’s multipurpose room for a public meeting on April 26. The forum, hosted by the New York State Education Department, provided former and current employees and parents with an opportunity to air their opinions and make their voices heard. Among the speakers was former school principal Francesca Weiss, who broke her vow of silence and spoke publicly for the first time. “I submit that the question of whether KIDS should have a future beyond June is not whether these board members can find the money to run it but instead whether they have the character to run it,” Weiss said. Teacher Michelle Lopez said she was disappointed with the way her colleagues were laid off and said the school’s administration failed to take into account the welfare of its students. “I felt that the way the layoffs happened did not take into consideration any of the children and how it would affect them,” she said. “Children weren’t given a chance to say goodbye to their teachers of seven months. They laid off two teachers in more than one classroom, leaving the kids with Continued on Page 12

Thursday, May 5, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Work to begin on LL field in July By BRENDAN McHUGH If it’s fair, it’s done. Long Island contractor Kelco Construction has been chosen by the Department of Parks and Recreation to rebuild the run-down Sid Augarten Field once the season ends, but those affiliated with the North Riverdale Baseball League are skeptical of any progress. “I’ll believe it when I see it,” said league administrator Maureen Kelly. “We’re not getting too excited until we see tractors on the field. We’ve seen this before and it didn’t happen.” Over the past few years, the league has listened to the parks department promise that reconstruction on the VinMont Park field would begin, only to find out that a contractor was disqualified for numerous reasons. The contractor appealed the decision, delaying the process for months. It was only after the contractor dropped the appeal that a new contractor was selected, and by then it was too late to begin work before the 2011 season. “It’s long overdue,” said Leonore Augarten Siegel, widow of Sid Augarten. “When it didn’t happen with the first contractor, we were kind of disgusted, but it’s been corrected. But I’ll believe it when I see it.” Still, Siegel and others remain hopeful that in 2012, the young ball players will have a state-of-the-art facility to play on. “The restoration of the Sid Augarten Field has been a top priority of mine for a long time,” Councilman G. Oliver Koppell said. “Its deteriorated condition has presented serious problems for the North Riverdale Baseball League. I am gratified that the restoration is scheduled to begin shortly and that the league will finally have the field of its dreams.” Koppell has allocated a total of $1 million from his discretionary Council funds for a full restoration of the field. The scope of the project is to reconstruct the ball field and native woodland and to install updated utility infrastructure. The project will include an engineered sandbased natural turf ball field, a new scoreboard, handicapped-accessible entrances with new entry gates, new and reconstructed perimeter fencing, new handicapped-accessible seating, reconstructed woodland areas with additional plantings, reconstructed streetscape, reconstructed dugouts and backstop, new accessible drinking fountains, improved drainage and new water-supply infrastructure. “The North Riverdale Baseball League and thousands in the community made the all-out effort to make this happen,” Siegel said. “That would be just a miracle taking place for the kids of Riverdale to have this happen.” Siegel has been working with Koppell’s office for years to keep the parks department on top of the project. Her late husband, Sid Augarten, actively participated in the league, coaching his children’s teams before becoming league commissioner and

president. After a decade of involvement with the organization, Augarten passed away on May 24, 1971, at the age of 43. On April 4, 1987, City Councilwoman June M. Eisland and other community members participated in a ceremony in which Parks Commissioner Henry Stern named the field for Augarten. “His dream was to give the children of Riverdale a place to play ball,” Siegel said. “And that was my fight with the North Riverdale Baseball League. Children were the victims, and finally it’s happening. I am delighted.” More than 350 Riverdale children play in the league this year.

By BRENDAN McHUGH Broadway is one of the most dangerous roads in The Bronx for pedestrians, according to multiple surveys, and the city isn’t going to let it stay like that. Two proposals came before the traffic and transportation committee of Community Board 8 last week, both with the goal of making Broadway a safer area for pedestrians and vehicles. The first proposal, Safe Routes to Transit, plans to increase sidewalk width by 12 to 14 feet at bus stops at the 230th Street, 238th Street, and Manhattan College Parkway corners of Broadway. Everyone at the meeting was in agreement that these changes, except for the parkway corner, would create a safer Broadway. City Councilman G. Oliver Koppell realized that pushing the sidewalk more than ten feet into the street will also push the buses farther out into the street. Because of this, he said, at the Manhattan College Parkway bus stop there will be restricted access for making a legal righthand turn onto 242nd Street because cars will not be able to squeeze past the support beam of the elevated train into the necessary lane. “I am vehemently opposed,” he said. “There is no problem with the way it is now.” Community Board 8 vice chairman Robert Fanuzzi agreed, saying, “Any more intrusion, it will create a choke point.” The proposal is not final—the departments of Design and Construction like/follow us to get specials

and Department of Transportation came to the community board for opinions and feedback. They said they would re-examine the controversial spot. The point of the project is to give people an easier time crossing streets by extending the sidewalks and to give people more room to enter and exit a bus. The two southern locations already have a small, skinny island at the bus stop, and this project will connect those islands with the sidewalk. DDC hopes to have the project, which will go through a request for proposals, by the end of 2011 so construction can begin in 2012. It is estimated that construction will take two to three months for the entire project. Only three or four parking spaces will be removed, and DDC consultant Weidlinger Associates said they see mostly livery cabs waiting in those spots. 230th Street and Broadway to get a makeover The other project the city presented to the board was a much-anticipated reconfiguration of 230th Street and Broadway. DOT Bronx commissioner Connie Moran explained the area ranks in the 99th percentile of severe injuries and crashes in The Bronx, making it one of the worst intersections in the entire city. Because of long crossing distances, a high volume of buses and an illegal curb cut at the Dunkin Donuts on the corner, this intersec-

tion has gotten worse over the past year. The DOT’s proposal, which received community board support, will build concrete islands where painted lines currently are on the western side of the intersection to decrease pedestrian crossing time from sidewalk to sidewalk—an idea of Koppell’s office. Also, medians separating northbound and southbound Broadway traffic will be extended, and fencing will be added to the medians in an effort to stop mid-block pedestrian crossings. New lines will be drawn on to the road to clarify and organize vehicular traffic. At the stoplight on 230th Street coming from the Major Deegan Expressway, there

have been no lines on the road since they faded over the years. Cars routinely line up three-wide at the intersection. Pedestrian walkways will also be repainted. “It’s ridiculous,” board member Georgia Santiago said. “You don’t even know where to walk or when to walk.” The DOT said they will look into changing crosswalk times to allow for more crossing time, but they haven’t done so yet. They will also look into adding a left-hand turn signal on northbound Broadway to access 230th Street. The department said they hope to have the changes made by the start of the 2011 school year.

3 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, May 5, 2011

Plan to make Broadway safer for pedestrians and vehicular traffic

Thursday, May 5, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Around the schools... Local Scholar

Fred W. Shaykis, a student at the Bronx High School of Science, has been awarded a National Merit Scholarship in the amount of $2,500 to attend any regionally accredited college or university. Shaykis was selected from a pool of more than 15,000 finalists. Winners are judged by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills and potential for success in rigorous college studies. The number of winners named in each state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the nation’s high school graduating seniors. Once all awardees for this year are selected, about 7,800 finalists will have earned the Merit Scholar title, receiving a total of nearly $35 million in college scholarships.

P.S. 81

P.S. 81 families are invited to a crafts workshop in the cafeteria this Saturday, May 7, from noon to 3 p.m. The event will be a great opportunity for the creation of Mother’s Day gifts. There will be drawing workshops where participants can learn to use perspective and to render portraits. Lunch will be provided. During the weekend of May 14, Mr. Ozer, the gym teacher, will lead the Great Outdoor Walk in Van Cortlandt Park. More details to follow. Hold the date—Friday, June 17, is the annual P.S. 81 vs. P.S. 24 softball fundraiser from 3 to 7 p.m. in Seton Park. A $6 ticket entitles the fan to hot dogs, drinks and ice cream.

Saint Gabriel School

The home school association’s annual Spring Fair will take place on Saturday, May 21, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the schoolyard. The rain date is June 4. There will be games, face painting, raffles, crafts and other activities. A variety of vendors will offer photo albums, jewelry, sunglasses and other accessories for sale. Coffee bagels as well as burgers and other foods will be available. Proceeds from the event will benefit the school.

Kinneret Day School

Seventh-graders and their teacher, Rivka Shapiro, prepared a presentation on the Holocaust in the form of artwork, songs, dance, narrative and poetry, including the

poem of a 12-year-old girl who lost her life. The play served as a reminder of the horrific events and as a celebration of the strengths of survivors. Memorial candles were lit for those who perished. This past Friday, Debbie Uriel, mother of Ezekiel, visited the seventh graders. She has done extensive research on Holocaust survivors and the new lives they have led after the war. It was common for the survivors not to discuss their experiences with their families—Uriel did not know that her own parents were survivors until she was in high school. The class was totally engrossed in her talk.

Horace Mann School

Alumnus David Leonhardt, class of ’90, won a Pulitzer Prize, journalism’s highest honor, in the category of commentary for his New York Times column, Econonic Scene. Leonhardt is the fourth editor-in-chief of the school’s newsletter, The Record, to win the prize. The Pulitzer committee praised Leonhardt’s “graceful penetration of America’s complicated economic questions” from the federal budget deficit to health care reform. Other Pulitzer Prize-winning former Record editors were Anthony Lewis, class of ’44; Richard Kluger, class of ’52; and Robert Caro, class of ’53. Horace Mann School alumni have also won Pulitzers in music (Elliot Carter), poetry (Anthony Hecht, ’44) and biography (Justin Kaplan, ’41). When Leonhardt became a finalist for the Pulitzer in 2010, he spoke with 2010 Record editorin-chief Finn Vigeland, recalling the deep impact of his Horace Mann education and the vital experience he gained by working on The Record. He enjoyed “the thrill of realizing that you have the power to publicly say what you think and that readers take you seriously.”

Manhattan College

In a Bloomberg Businessweek/ survey, Manhattan College placed 13th in the Fifty Affordable Colleges and Universities with Best Return on Investment category as one of 50 schools that deliver a 30-year return on investment greater than $1 million. Of the total 693 schools analyzed, Manhattan ranked 30th. This year’s survey, unlike last year’s, considered financial aid grants as part of its cost calculation, bringing Manhattan’s ranking up from 37th of the 554 schools analyzed in 2010.

By PAULETTE SCHNEIDER When you save a single human life, it’s as though you’ve saved the whole world, says the Talmud—when you help someone in trouble, your deed may have a greater impact than you can imagine. Last Sunday, the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale invited the community to thank Army medic John Stone for the impact he made on the world in Yankee Stadium last April when he rescued Toby Weiss, the wife of Rabbi Avi Weiss, from choking to death on a bite of lunch that got stuck in her throat. For the rabbi, Stone was a heavenly presence at that Yankee-Angels game last year. “God works through people,” he said. It was Sergeant Stone’s first time at the new stadium. It was also the first time in his 15 years as a medic that he’d actually employed the Heimlich maneuver to save someone’s life. “Once a year every two years we train

on it, but I’d never used it before that moment,” Stone said. “I just did what I had to do.” Since then, the Weisses have been thinking about how to express their gratitude. “For days and days, we kept thinking, ‘What can we do for John?’” Toby Weiss said. A substantial gift certificate to Modell’s was an option, “but what can you buy in Modell’s for a thousand dollars?” So to commemorate the first anniversary of that nearly tragic episode, the couple, too, just did what they had to do—they held a celebration of thanksgiving to enlist the community in honoring John Stone and to highlight the value of “stepping up to the plate.” Stone, a member of the Connecticut National Guard, may be a modest hero, but local politicians were on hand to publicize his deed and add their voices to the chorus of appreciation. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg sent a note of

thanks, Congressman Eliot Engel wrote a detailed entry for inclusion in the Congressional Record, and Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz came to praise and thank the honoree. Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. presented Stone with a citation of merit. Diaz pointed out that because HIR “improves the fabric of the community” with its good works and because of Toby Weiss’s critical role in the congregation, her rescue affected all 1.4 million people of The Bronx. “You reminded us all that we are all our brother’s keeper,” he told Stone while handing him the citation for his “outstanding contribution to our borough and to our city.” The Weisses’ daughter Dena Levie was there with a unique gift for Stone and

Army medic John Stone was honored at last Sunday’s thanksgiving celebration at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale. Stone saved the life of Toby Weiss last year at a Yankees game by using the Heimlich maneuver to dislodge a blockage from her throat.

Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care

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5 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, May 5, 2011

Honoring the hero who saved the life of the Rabbi’s wife

his wife, Kim. “It’s really an honor for me to be standing here, presenting this paper cutting to you both for saving my mother’s life,” she said. Levie, a master papercut artist, handed them a stunning piece depicting New York Yankee images encircled by an English translation of that inspiring Talmud quote, “Whoever saves a life, it is as if he saved an entire world,” all surrounded by a lacy border full of flowers, leaves and birds. “Your heroic actions that day not only saved my mother but also prevented the destruction of the world as I know it,” Levie said, describing her mother’s role not only in the family but in the larger community. Toby Weiss could not wait to present the Stones with a gift provided by a friend: two American Airlines tickets to any destination in the 48 states, the Caribbean, Continued on Page10

what they accomplish. The club meets every second and fourth Wednesday of the month. For further information visit their website at www.thebronxtoastmasters. com or call 718-796-6671.

Thursday, May 5, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Art lecture from the Metropolitan Museum

The Simon Senior Center invites the entire community to a special lecture ‘THROUGH THE PHOTOGRAPHER’S LENS’ on Friday, May 6th @ 10:30 a.m. led by a trained docent from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This power point presentation will examine the history of photography and explore the aesthetic influences that art and photography share. A kosher chicken lunch will follow this presentation at 12 noon. Suggested lunch donation is $2.25. The Simon Senior Center is located at the Riverdale YM-YWHA @ 5625 Arlington Ave. For further information and registration please call 718-548-8200 x223 or x224.

Marble Hill Senior Center announces activities

The following programs are scheduled at the Marble Hill Senior Center in the upcoming week: On Friday, May 6 at 11 a.m., a special Mother’s Day Program will be held. After lunch, Mike Barry will provide live music beginning at 1 p.m. On Monday, May 9 at 1 p.m., a new program entitled Beethoven: His Life and Music will begin This eight-session series will be held each Monday at the same time. All programs are free and open to NYC

residents aged 60 or older. The Marble Hill Senior Center is located at 5365 Broadway between West 228th and West 230th Streets. A hot lunch is offered at noon Monday through Friday for adults aged 60 and older. For more information, call 718-562-8551.

Church of Mediator to host flea market

On Saturday, May 7, the Church of the Mediator will be hosting a flea market, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The church is located at 260 West 231st Street between Kingsbridge and Corlear Avenues. Refreshments will be sold. Proceeds will help benefit the church. For vendors interested in renting table space, the fee is $20 for one table and $35 for two tables. Vendors can contact Larry Molatto at 347-483-2489. Or by email at The flea market also has a website http://flea-market. For more information, call 718-5498660 or 347-992-4361.

RCS concert to feature works of American composers

The Riverdale Choral Society invites music lovers to their concert entitled ‘American Composers.’ Under the direction of John Lettieri the chorus will perform Leonard Bernstein’s ‘Chichester Psalms’ along with selections by American composers Stephen Foster, William

Billings, Eric Whitacre, Samuel Barber, Irving Fine, local composer Elliot Levine and Riverdalian Judith C. Lane. Accompanying instrumentalists include Eric Sedgwick on piano; Wendy Lucas on harp; David Graf on organ; and Glenn Rhias on percussion instruments. Following the performance, concert attendees are invited to dine on such American-style classics as chili, macaroni and cheese, salads and corn bread. The concert will take place at Christ Church Riverdale on Saturday, May 7 at 4 p.m. Christ Church is located at 5030 Henry Hudson Parkway at West 252nd Street. It is on the east side of Henry Hudson Parkway where parking is available. Admission is $20. With the Bronx Cultural Card, admission is $18. For more information, visit www.riverdalechoral. org or call 718-543-2219.

Rotary Club to sponsor reading hour

Youngsters 3-12 years old are invited to participate in the Reading Program on Saturday, May 7, at the Kingsbridge Library, 280 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) 749-4469.

Toastmasters Club invites new members

The Bronx Toastmasters Club invites new members to join them at their meeting on May 11 at 7:30 PM 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 skills - all in a supportive, non-intimidating environment. Come as a guest and witness for yourself

Flea market at St. John’s Church

St. John’s Church will host a flea market on Saturday May 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 71843-3003.

CB8 supports KRMH’s food pantry

Join Bronx Community Board No. 8 in support of Kingsbridge-RiverdaleMarble Hill (KRMH) Food & Hunger Project’s food pantry. Food donations will be accepted at the May 10 Community board meeting being held at the Riverdale Temple, 4545 Riverdale Avenue, commencing at 7:30 p.. These donations will be provided to the Church of the Mediator Food Pantry, located at 260 West 231st Street. Church of the Mediator Food Panty has a drop in support between the months of May and august because the bulk donations are usually done during the winter holiday seasons. Community Board 8 recognizes the need for food donations year round and invites all attendees at the Board meeting to bring donations of non perishable canned and packaged items such as: meat, fish, fruits and vegetables, pasta, spaghetti, tomato sauce, hot and cold cereals rice, coffee, teas, canned juices, powdered milk, Jell-O, soups, peanut butter, jelly, sugar, baby formula and baby food. The KRMH Food & Hunger Project was established in 1980 and is an interfaith, cooperative nonprofit organization sponsored by participating religious and community institutions. It is entirely staffed by volunteers. The Church of the Mediator Food Pantry is open on Tuesday mornings from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Money donations help supplement the restocking of the pantry or to purchase additional items of need For those who want to help,c ash donations can be sent to KRMH Food & Hunger Project Inc., PO Box 251, Riverdale Station, Bronx, NY 10471.


The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, May 5, 2011

Thursday, May 5, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Thursday, May 5 Spuyten Duyvil

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

Friday, May 6 Riverdale

ART LECTURE 10:30 a.m. Riverdale YM-YWHA 5625 Arlington Avenue This power point presentation will examine the history of photography and explore the aesthetic influences that art and photography share. A kosher chicken lunch will follow this presentation at 12 noon. Suggested lunch donation is $2.25. For further information and registration please call 718-5488200 x223 or x224.

Marble Hill

MOTHER’S DAY PROGRAM 11 a.m. Marble Hill Senior Center 5365 Broadway A special Mother’s Day Program. After lu nch, Mike Barry wi ll provide live music. Admission is free for adults aged 60 and older. For more information, call 718-562-8551.

Spuyten Duyvil

FAR OUT PHYSICS 3:30 p.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 West 235th Street Examine different concave and convex lenses. Participants explore how magnifying glasses, microscopes, telescopes and other tools use lenses and then create their own binoculars. Presented by the Children’s Museum of Manhattan. For ages 6 to 11 years old. Preregistration is required. (Limit to 25 children). For more information, call 718-796-1202.


TEEN ADVISORY GROUP 4 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 280 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 ages 12 to 18. For more information, call 718-548-5656.

Spuyten Duyvil

ARTS & CRAFTS 4 p.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 West 235th Street Hands-on projects using a variety of skills. Make a Mother’s Day Card or Craft. The library will provide all the necessary materials and pre-registration is required to attend. For more information, call 718-796-1202.

Saturday, May 7 Kingsbridge

FLEA MARKET 9 a.m. Church of the Mediator 260 West 231st Street A flea market to raise funds for the church. for more information, or if you are a vendor, call Larry Molatto at 347-992-4361.


LEARNING SERVICE 9:30 a.m. Hebrew Institute of Riverdale 3700 Henry Hudson Parkway Shabbat Emor. Rabba Sara Hurwitz will lead the prayer service which follows a traditional prayer structure while delving deeper into key prayers. For more information, call 718-796-4730.


RCS CONCERT 4 p.m. Christ Church Riverdale 5030 Henry Hudson Parkway The Riverdale Choral Society, directed by John Lettieri, will present a concert entitled “American Composers.” Following the performance, attendees are invited to a reception. Admission is $20; with Bronx Cultural Card, $18. For more information, visit or call 718-543-2219.

Spuyten Duyvil


11 a.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 West 235th Street A get-together for knitters and crocheters at all skill levels to work on a current project, learn new techniques, or even to begin a new craft. A small supply of needles and yarn is available for beginners. All participants are encouraged to bring their own supplies. For more information, call 718-796-1202.

Monday, May 9 Marble Hill

LECTURE ON MUSIC 1 p.m. Marble Hill Senior Center 5365 Broadway A new program entitled “Beethoven: His Life and Music.” Admission is free for adults aged 60 and older. For more information, call 718-562-8551.


ANIME NIGHT 4 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 280 West 231st Street Want to see the hottest new anime? Come check out what’s on screen at the library. Bring your friends, your pocky, and your anime and manga fandom! Please join us in watching Sasami Magical Girls Club. For ages 12 to 18. For more information, call 718-548-5656.


CB8 MEETING 7:30 p.m. Sothebys Realty 3732 Riverdale Avenue Meeting of the Economic Development Committee of Community Board 8. For more information, call 718-884-3959.

Tuesday, May 10 Riverdale

ISRAEL BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION 10:30 a.m. Riverdale YM-YWHA 5625 Arlington Avenue Following an Israeli style luncheon there will be musical entertainment by Sigal Chen who will sing Israeli and Broadway songs accompanied by live music. Suggested donation for the lecture, luncheon and concert is $8.00. For further information and reservations please call 718-548-8200 x223 or 224.

Van Cortlandt

PRESCHOOL STORY TIME 10:30 a.m. Van Cortlandt Branch Library 3874 Sedgwick Avenue Preschoolers from 3 to 5 years old and their parents/caregivers can enjoy new and classic picture books, action songs, meet other preschoolers in the neighborhood and stay after the story time for Arts & Crafts. For more information, call 718-543-5150.


HADASSAH MEETING 1:30 p.m. The Atria Riverdale 3718 Henry Hudson Parkway East Meeting of the Bronx Hadassah Chapter will recognize many Jewish women on the occasion of Mothers Day. Refreshments will be served. All are welcome.


ISRAEL BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION 4 p.m. Seton Park West 235th St. & Independence Ave. borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., in conjunction with the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale will hold fun activities for the whole family in celebration of Israeli Independence Day. For more information, call 718-796-4730.

Wednesday, May 11 Van Cortlandt

MAKE ART 3:30 p.m. Van Cortlandt Branch Library 3874 Sedgwick Avenue Michael Albert is the author of “An Artist’s America” (Henry Holt), a picture book restropective of his art collection. Mr. Albert will talk about his new book, his art and will teach children his trademark style of art, “Cerealism,” a technique of collage work made from cereal boxes. Preregistration is required. For ages 5 to 18. For more information, call 718-543-5150.


TOASTMASTERS CLUB MEETING 7:30 p.m. Riverdale Neighborhood House 5521 Mosholu Avenue Bronx Toastmasters Club of Riverdale invites new members to join at their free meeting. For more infomration, call 718796-6671 or visit


By MIAWLING LAM Four Riverdale students have proven they are light years ahead of their peers after winning national honors in the world’s largest school science competition. The quartet—seventh-graders from Horace Mann School’s Middle Division—beat 6,000 other teams to win first place in the ExploraVision contest. The triumphant team, comprised of twin brothers James and Hugh Savoldelli, James Hayman and Jeffrey Weiner, were told of their win during a surprise ceremony at the school on Monday. Their creation, dubbed the Subway Smart System, attempts to produce clean energy by capturing subway wind power and converting it into electricity. The concept was borne out of work at the school’s science club and it developed over a period of two years. Team coach and chair of the Horace Mann Middle Division science department Jodi Hill said she was extremely proud of her charges. “It’s beyond words,” she told the Riverdale Review. “I’m so proud of them and I feel they deserved it. I’m thrilled for them and I’m just so proud to be able to have our school represent The Bronx.” Hugh Savoldelli, 13, said he was shocked about being part of just one of the eight winning teams. The students earned first place in the Grade 7 to 9 category. “I’m feeling extremely happy,” he said.

“I didn’t think I won because the other ideas were brilliant, but I guess our idea was pretty good.” Each winning team member will now receive a $10,000 savings bond and be whisked away to Washington, D.C. during a weekend next month. During the all-expenses-paid jaunt, students will have the chance to meet congressional representatives and present their idea to industry professionals. Savoldelli said he hoped to meet Bill Nye, the popular science educator and media personality who initially fostered his love for science, during the meetand-greet. “I first met him at the Pluto launch for the Pluto rocket. I actually skipped the day of second grade so I could go see it with my dad,” he said. “We didn’t end up seeing it and I just saw him really quickly, so to meet him in person and to actually be able to talk to him would absolutely be a dream come true.” Fellow team member James Hayman said he would put the prize money to good use. “I think it’s going to go to college,” he said. “It might buy me, I don’t know, half a semester.” Sponsored by the National Science Teacher Association and Toshiba Corporation, the ExploraVision competition challenges K-12 students to design innovative technologies that could exist in 20 years. Since its inception in 1992, more than 287,000 students have participated. �



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9 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, May 5, 2011

Horace Mann wins national science competition

Thursday, May 5, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


More construction set for Henry Hudson Bridge By BRENDAN McHUGH Construction is beginning on the Henry Hudson Bridge, again. A three-year, nearly $33 million construction project at the Henry Hudson Bridge to replace the steel curb stringers that support the upper level roadway on either side of the bridge is set to begin in the second week of May. This comes after the recent completion of repaving and relining on the bridge and after a toll plaza alteration within the past year. Work that will involve roadway closure is being done in two stages. The first lane closure will be the Manhattan-bound right-hand lane from just after the toll plaza across the full-length of the bridge and will last through this year. Two lanes will remain open during peak weekday travel times. Contractor Judlau Inc. of Queens will install a concrete barrier to protect the work area. In the spring of 2012, construction will switch to the Bronx-bound right-hand lane, and the same work will be done on that side of the bridge. The Bronx-bound lane will be closed round-the-clock for the entire length of the project as the curb stringers and bridge bearings are replaced and electrical wiring is updated. With the introduction of the gateless E-Z Pass pilot project at the bridge earlier this year, which has resulted in improved traffic flow, closing one Bronxbound lane is expected to have a minimal impact on traffic, according to the MTA. “The curb stringers are part of the original 1930s structure, and after nearly 73 years, they have suffered much wear and tear and need to be replaced,” Henry Hudson Facility Engineer Walter Hickey said. The lower level of the Henry Hudson

Bridge, which turns 75 this year, opened to traffic December 12, 1936. The bridge proved to be so popular that an upper level was added two years later. In addition to replacing the steel curb stringers and installing 3,600 feet of new bridge decking, new energy-efficient roadway lighting will be added. The new light poles will replicate the original 1938-style light poles, in keeping with the bridge’s Depression-era design. Motorists will also benefit from the removal of an unused maintenance sidewalk on the upper level, which is closed to the public. Once this is eliminated, the lanes will be restriped, resulting in wider traffic lanes of 11 feet, 6 inches. Bridge lanes are currently about 10 feet wide. The lower-level pedestrian walkway will remain open while this work is done. The Henry Hudson Bridge connects the Inwood section of Manhattan to Riverdale. In 2010, an estimated 23 million vehicles crossed the span. Tolls at the bridge are currently $2.20 for E-Z Pass users, $4.00 for cash.

Life saver honored

Continued from Page 5 London or Paris. Via Skype from Israel were the Weisses’ daughter Elana Fischberger and her family, waving from the screen of a laptop perched on the bimah. Stone moved near the computer and waved back to the children on the screen, all smiling at the man who helped their grandma. Stone appeared dazzled by all the attention and gifts. “I appreciate it very much,” he said, “but I’m just glad I could help.”



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The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, May 5, 2011

Thursday, May 5, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Charter school

Continued from Page 1 absolutely no consistency.” First-year teacher Kristina Milosevic also criticized the way the layoffs were handled. “When Francesca [Weiss] was fired, when my co-workers were laid off, I felt like I lost the only support that I have ever had,” she said. “Now we don’t have co-teachers anymore. We can’t plan together. There’s no time to work together. We don’t have support.” Former teacher Phyllis Arcuni, who was allegedly fired for attempting to unionize, used her two-minute allotment to outline her reasons for seeking the UFT’s assistance. “Given the fact that many times our medical benefits and policies weren’t being paid for and also a check was bounced, we felt that we needed a voice,” she said. “We were not looking to be unionized for tenure purposes at all but rather to find a peaceful environment where we can come and do our job.” The majority of presenters, like KIDS parent and Community Council Treasurer Lynette Roberts, were parents pleading with officials to keep the school open. Roberts said communication between the school’s administration and parents couldn’t be any better—she has the personal cellphone numbers of the executive director and of her son’s teacher—and she did not want to send her child to any other school. “It is not only a diamond, it is a rock for us parents who felt and feel that we do not have any other place to turn to as far as education for our children,” she said. Board member and vice president and

controller of Fortress Investment Group Ed Montolio spoke of his financial credentials. He said he oversees around $7 billion for public investment companies and promised that the board’s past mistakes would not be repeated. “Give us a chance, let us do what we’re going to do and I promise you guys, I swear to God, that we are going to make things right,” he said. The NYSED will now review the school’s response and ascertain whether they have resolved their issues. The Board of Regents will convene on May 16 to discuss the school and will make a decision shortly afterwards. If officials are not satisfied with the administration’s changes, the school could have its charter revoked and be forced to shutter its doors.




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MUSIC 1 p.m. Sarah Lawrence College MacCracken Dance Studio SLC’s West African Percussion Ensemble is joined by dancers and singers from Guinea to perform traditional West African music using djembes and balafons. Famoro Doubate, Andy Algire and Jonathan T. King, directors. For more information, call 914-395-2412.

White Plains

DOWNTOWN CONCERT 6 p.m. Grace Church 33 Church Street This concert features Roosevelt André Credit on BassBaritone with James Bassi on Piano. They will be performing a selection of music from the stage and screen. The concert will be followed by a complimentary “Meet the Artist” reception at an elegant local night spot. Admission is free with a suggested $10 donation. For more information, call 914-248-1112.

Friday, May 6 Ossining

PLANT SALE & WORKSHOP 4 p.m. Teatown Lake Reservation 1600 Spring Valley Road This concert features Roosevelt André Credit on BassBaritone with James Bassi on Piano. They will be performing a selection of music from the stage and screen. The concert will be followed by a complimentary “Meet the Artist” reception at an elegant local night spot. Admission is free with a suggested $10 donation. For more information, call 914-762-2912.

White Plains

ANNUAL BENEFIT DINNER 7 p.m. Ritz-Carlton Hotel 3 Renaissance Square The Westchester Children’s Museum (WCM) invites you to raise funds for its Museum Without Walls education program. Event includes silent auction and raffle for Ritz-Carlton Overnight Suite. Event starts at 7PM. After party at 42 to follow. Individual tickets for the benefit are $200 or $1,750 for a party of 10. Sponsorship packages and e-Journal ads are also available. For more information, call 914-421-5050.

Saturday, May 7 Cross River

WARBLER WALK 8 a.m. Trailside Nature Museum Ward Pound Ridge Reservation Hopefully, they will be singing cheerfully to let us know of their presence. For more information, call 914-864-7322.


VOLUNTEER WORK 1 p.m. Marshlands Conservancy Boston Post Road Preparing the Trails for Hiking. Bring work gloves and help spread soft gravel along the trails. For more information, call 914-835-4466.


CHILDREN’S ECOLOGY CLASS 2 p.m. The Weinberg Nature Center 455 Mamaroneck Road Waking Up Hibernators and Newly Returning Migrants: Nature Adventures. Who’s busy in the woods now? Soil sprouts, animal shouts! Waht’s all the buzz about whiile the animals are scurrying and vocalizing, letting us know they’re busy, active and awake. Look for chipmunks, turkeys, groundhogs, red squirrels, grey squirrels and the flying variety. This program is for children ages 9-12 years old. For info, call 914-722-1289.


this music, the spontaneity and collaborative spirit with which this trio performs these works on instruments of the period (including a mid-19th century fortepiano) is revelatory. For more information, call 914-232-1252.

White Plains

CONCERT 8 p.m. Music Conservatory of Westchester 216 Central Avenue Join award-winning singer/songwriter KJ Denhert as she celebrates both her 2011 Independent Music Award and her birthday with a festive concert of urban folk and jazz music. She will be joined by a number of special guests in and around Westchester County. Champagne reception to follow. 8:00 p.m. $15 in advance; $20 at the door. For more information, call 914-761-3900 or visit

Sunday, May 8 Rye

SPRING MIGRATION WALK 7:30 a.m. Marshlands Conservancy Boston Post Road Bring your binoculars and possibly catch a glimpse of birds returning from their southern destinations. For more information, call 914-835-4466.

North White Plains

MOTHER’S DAY TODDLER WALK 11 a.m. Cranberry Lake Preserve Old Orchard Street Dads bring the kids adn give mom a day off. For more information, call 914-428-1005.


MALFA OPEN HOUSE 1 p.m. Croton Point Nature Center Croton Point Avenue Learn about Croton Point, one of the richest archaeological sites in the state. For more information, call 914-862-5297.


FEEDING FUN 2 p.m. Greenburgh Nature Center 99 Dromore Road Gobble, crunch, slurp, chomp. It’s mealtime for our animals. Come see what’s on the menu. Free with Museum admission. For more information, call 914-723-3470.


MUSIC 5 p.m. Sarah Lawrence College Reisinger Concert Hall Sarah Lawrence Chamber Choir, Women’s vocal Ensemble, and SLC Baroque Ensemble, directed by Patrick Romano and Carsten Schmidt, will perform works of Handel for choir and strings. For more information, call 914-395-2412.

Saturday, May 14 Rye

BIRD WALK 7:30 a.m. Marshlands Conservancy Boston Post Road Bird Migratory Observation. Bring your binoculars to see warblers and other active birds. For info, call 914-835-4466.


NATURE WALK 10 a.m. Croton Point Nature Center Croton Point Avenue Biodiversity Blitz on the Former Landfill. Come and map out the species of plants and animals that can be found on the former site. For more information, call 914-862-5297.

Cross River

FAMILY SCAVENGER HUNT 2 p.m. Lenoir Preserve Dudley Street Join a fun-filled scavenger hunt designed for the entire family. For more information, call 914-968-5851.

PRIMITIVE SKILLS WEEKEND 10 a.m. Trailside Nature Museum Ward Pound Ridge Reservation Demonstrations on building natural shelters, camp craft, making fire from friction and more. May 14 and 15. For more information, call 914-864-7322.


North White Plains

CONCERT 8 p.m. Caramoor Center for Music & Arts 149 Girdle Ridge Road Deeply informed period performance practices, the Benvenue Trio (Huggett, Tomkins, Zivian) tackle Schumann and Mendelssohn on their own turf. Opening fresh paths into

NATURE WALK 1 p.m. Cranberry Lake Preserve Old Orchard Street Westchester’s Rocks and Minerals. Quartz, gneiss and feldspar are just some of the rocks and minerals you will find on this quarry hike. For more information, call 914-428-1005.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, May 5, 2011

Thursday, May 5

Thursday, May 5, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, May 5, 2011

Thursday, May 5, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



The Riverdale Neighborhood House will hold an outdoor flea market onsite at 5521 Mosholu Avenue on Saturday, May 21, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Rain date is Sunday, May 22. Tables at the flea market will be run by local residents. Items for sale will include crafts, music, books and house wares. New handmade and gently used items will be available. If you would like additional information or a vendor application about RNH’s flea market, call 718-549-8100 ext. 111 or visit

Israel’s birthday celebrated at Riverdale Y

The Simon Senior Center located in the Riverdale YM-YWHA invites all seniors in the community to a birthday bash in honor of Israel’s 63rd birthday and all members celebrating their May birthdays. This event will be held on Tuesday, May 10th beginning at 10:30 a.m. with a talk on Money Matters in Israel by Mandy Storfer, CPA of Ernst and Young. Following an Israeli style luncheon there will be musical entertainment by Sigal Chen who will sing Israeli and Broadway songs

accompanied by live music. Suggested donation for the lecture, luncheon and concert is $8.00. The Riverdale Y is located at 5625 Arlington Ave. For further information and reservations please call 718-548-8200 x223 or 224.

Riverdale Hadassah to meet at Atria

The Bronx Chapter of Hadassah will meet on Tuesday, May 10, 1:30 p.m., in The Atria Library, 3718 Henry Hudson Parkway. This week is an appropriate time to recognize the good work of many Jewish women. First and foremost, mothers, be they world famous or devoted homemakers. A documentary film will be shown about an incredible women - it tells of her relationship with her mother, and love of mankind. Everyone is invited; refreshments will be served. Cards and certificates will be available for you to purchase.

Bronx Tinnitus Support Group meeting

Tinnitus sufferers are invited to attend a free tinnitus support group which will meet on Thursday May 5, at 6 p.m. The meeting will be held in the confer-

ence room of the Church of the Mediator on 260 West 231st Street in Kingsbridge. All members of the public are welcome. For more information, please call 718548-6832 or 718-410-2301.

Documentary video about abortion

More than two dozen people attended the April meeting of the St. Margaret of Cortona ‘Respect Life Committee’ to view a video outlining the effects of abortion on women. The documentary video, entitled ‘Blood Money,’ is narrated by Dr. Alveda King, a niece of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Anyone interested in getting assistance or information on the subject of abortion may contact Mrs. Barbara Meara, president of the Respect Life Committee, at 718-543-5091. Mrs. Meara says there are copies of the ‘Blood Money’ video available for loan-out.

Irma Kramer’s artwork displayed at Riverdale Y

Gallery 18 located at the Riverdale Y is showcasing Irma Kramer as the ‘Artist of the Month’ for the entire month of May. The community is invited to see her work during regular hours.

Ms Kramer is a sculptor, painter and jeweler. Currently, she is involved in painting on silk. Ms. Kramer studied sculpting and silk painting with prominent artists including Aaron Goodelman and Anita Entes. A member of the Riverdale Art Association, she has exhibited her artwork at the Atria, Eastchester Library, Bronxville Library, Riverfront Library, Mosholu Library, Society of Ethical Culture, College of Mt. St. Vincent, Manhattan College Library, and the Borough President’s Office Hall Gallery. The Riverdale Y is located at 5625 Arlington Ave. For more information call 718-548-8200 ext 200.

Israel Independence Day Festival at Seton Park

Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., in conjunction with the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, invites everyone to attend the Bronx Israel Independence Day Festival on Tuesday, May 10, from 4 to 8 p.m., at Seton Park, 234th Street and Independence Avenue. Dubbed ‘Israel: Gifts of The Land,’ the festival will feature live entertainment by Dafna and the Shir Fun Band. There will also be games, food, rides and fun activities for the whole family. For more information, call 718-7964730.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, May 5, 2011

RNH to hold outdoor flea market

Thursday, May 5, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



Solidarity, Then and Now What Obama didn’t say By SOL STERN Like many other Americans, I’m sure, I found myself choking up during President Obama’s announcement that U.S. forces had killed Osama bin Laden in a firefight, and even more so at the scenes of spontaneous rejoicing at Ground Zero in Manhattan. The news unleashed a cascade of powerful 9/11 memories. My 14-year-old son had watched the second hijacked plane hit the South Tower from the windows of his classroom at Stuyvesant High School, just a few hundred yards from the carnage. With hundreds of his classmates, he evacuated and ran north along the Hudson River. When he got home, he draped American and Israeli flags on the window of his room. That evening, I walked around our Upper West Side neighborhood, surrounded by candlelight vigils, and experienced a sense of solidarity with my fellow New Yorkers. I hoped that this was based on more than shared grief, that it also represented an understanding that whatever our local political differences, we would stand together to defend our democratic civilization. President Obama rightfully summoned up that solidarity last night when he urged us to “think back to the sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11,” and also when he conceded that it “has, at times, frayed.” The president could have contributed to restoring that national unity had he been more generous in acknowledging the role played by President Bush in building the anti-terror defenses and infrastructure that culminated in yesterday’s successful operation. Obama’s lapse became even more conspicuous after administration officials briefing reporters about the military operation acknowledged that the trail that led to the al-Qaida safe house in Pakistan began four years ago, with the identification of one of bin Laden’s trusted couriers. Obama’s only mention of George W. Bush came when he summoned his predecessor’s support for the admonition that “our war is not against Islam.” That’s a truism and quite irrelevant. What Obama still leaves unsaid, as it has been unsaid since 9/11, is whom this war is against. Through two successive administrations, America has feared saying that we’re fighting a worldwide axis of Islamist organizations and states that seek to destroy Western civilization. In a war that has already cost so much in lives and treasure, that’s a self-imposed and unnecessary handicap on the brave men and women doing the fighting. Sol Stern is a contributing editor of City Journal, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

God bless America

Osama is gone; Is Khadafy next?

To The Editor: Terrorism has been given a major setback with the death of Osama Bin Laden. For years, Osama Bin Laden has cheated death by killing thousands of innocent lives and

it was with the very same edged sword that Osama Bin Laden met his demise. It took two Navy Seals to attack Bin Laden and he was dead instantly. These two Navy Seals that killed Bin Laden are heroes in my book. A

No Imitations By Gerald Lebowitz You’re pulling rabbits out of hats? That’s such an easy trick to play. I don’t waste time on copycats On this so early Spring day. I keep my eyes on nature’s sleeves, A feat of magic that is free, As she pulls out astounding leaves From all the bare arms of each tree.

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major force in terrorism is now dead. No longer will Americans fear traveling overseas and be subject to Bin Laden’s brand of evil. It is a red letter day when Osama Bin Laden is assassinated and we came close to killing Moammar Khadafy in one weekend. By the way, Mr. Khadafy, you’re next on the hit list and this time we won’t miss. Watch your back, Khafady, you never know who’s going to kill you. Al Agovino, Jr.

Schervier is a gem To The Editor: I am writing to let you know of a wonderful resource we have in our community. It was due to the Bon Secours New York Health System and the efforts of Dr. Anderson Torres that the quality of life for my handicapped sister improved so dramatically. My wife and I are her caregivers and we encountered the infamous NYC wall of bureaucracy in our efforts to continue caring for my sister. Dr. Torres, Director of Health Initiatives of the Schervier Center, stepped in and saved the day. My sister is now part of the Schervier family and we are so fortunate. The caring staff of this facility has uplifted both our spirits and those of my sister. We are so fortunate to have Schervier and its staff and talented administrative teams in our city. Robert D. Elder

the final vote on this project,” parks chairman Bob Bender said. “If the community supports the skating rink, the skating rink will come back for a second year, and a third year, and so on. But if people don’t like it, people don’t show up and this project ends.” Rosemary Ginty, a Community Board 8 member, said the community should have a chance to air their opinions now—not once the rink is built. “The process is essential to anything they do and we do,” she said of the city and community board. “What do we do to go forward? There has to be some community input.” Her plan is to bring the winning bidder to the community board during the summer recess so the public can have adequate time to comment on the proposal before it goes to the Franchise and Concessions Review Committee.


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Riverdale Y pool gets the green treatment By MIAWLING LAM The humble indoor pool at the Riverdale YM-YWHA will create history when it reopens its doors later this month. The facility is currently undergoing a $325,000 upgrade to replace its old liquid chlorine filtration system with a new salt chlorinator. UV-light water purifiers are also being installed to drastically reduce chloramines and improve the water quality for swimmers. Riverdale Y chief operating officer Jacob Rosenberg said, once completed, the facility will become the first in New York state to employ a dual salt and UV filtration system. He said he was extremely proud of the project, both for its green credentials and use of cutting-edge technology. “We were looking for something that would take us into the future. We wanted to do something special,” he said. “We not only wanted to provide something unique to our community, we also want to help people who cannot swim in a chlorine-based pool. Rosenberg said although chlorine would still be used in special circumstances, the salt chlorinator and UV-light systems would work in conjunction to optimize filtration. As a result, there will be immediate benefits for pool users. “It will be much more comfortable,” he said. “They’re not going to have itchy skin, they’re not going to have red eyes and they’re not going to smell it.” Rosenberg said the project has been partially funded by a generous grant from Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz but more money was needed. To date, no city funds have bankrolled the project. “The rest of the money we hope to raise with capital improvement funds with some philanthropic money from friends and supporters of the Y and the project,” he said. The pool’s aging air conditioning system and two boilers will also be replaced as part of the upgrade. The pool will remain closed until at least May 27.

Committee, it will still be up to Bronxites to patronize the skating rink. “Clearly, the potential bidders aren’t going to bid on this if they don’t think they can make money,” Dinowitz said. The night before, Community Board 8 held its parks committee meeting, where chairman Damian McShane noted the proposed rink is within a mile of 12 schools—a good sign for companies hoping to attract young children. Board member Robert Press saw that as an issue, however, because teenagers may turn it into a local hangout and cause trouble. The concessionaire, not poice, is responsible for security at the facility. Press also noted that although parking is currently free near the golf course, a five-minute walk away, there would be nothing stopping the city from starting to charge money. “In the end, the community will have

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Continued from Page 1 other rinks, including one next to Los Angeles’ Staples Center. “We like to look for places that are more than just a skating rink,” said Shane Coppola, CEO of ASEC. Coppola said the proposed location has the benefit of the subway and buses close by, but not much else. “We’re very interested in it,” he said. “But is it enough of a destination?” There have been rumors of a potential “holiday market” near the location, but so far no plans have been made public. Throughout the meeting, new details emerged of the potential rink, including some that worried a handful of people. The request for proposal that the companies are working on may be amended to allow for chilling equipment to be stored at the Stadium permanently. If that can become permanent, what else could be changed without public input, Dinowitz wondered. “That was not something any of us were aware of, and I am concerned that there may be other additions we don’t know about,” he said. “I hope they can come up with a good plan because it will be very nice to have an ice-skating rink in our community.” All three companies were testing the

boundaries of the layout, asking how far away from the courts they can go to put in seating, storage and excess snow. The parks department officials present stuck to the given drawing of the area but did suggest that if necessary, amendments can be made. None of the companies would give any specifics of their ideas, saying once the RFP is released it all becomes public information. One other controversy that was never clarified is the removal of trees. The concessionaire is allowed to remove trees with parks department approval, and those present did take notice of a handful of trees that hang over the tennis courts. Both Dinowitz and others realize it will be up to the community to decide whether the rink succeeds or fails. If the winning proposal successfully navigates the Franchise and Concessions Review

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19 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, May 5, 2011

Skate rink

Thursday, May 5, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. In conjunction with

The Hebrew Institute of Riverdale Invites you to attend

The Bronx Israeli Independence Day Festival Israel: Gifts of the Land Tuesday, May 10, 2011 4:00 – 8:00 pm Seton Park West 235th Street and Independence Avenue Don’t miss the largest NYC festival of its kind celebrating Yom Ha’atzmaut. Enjoy an evening of games, food, rides, and fun activities for the whole family. 4:00 – 6:00 pm: Program & Concert Featuring Dafna & the Shir Fun Ban 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm Call (718) 796-4730 for more information.

Riverdale Review, May 5, 2011  

Weekly newspaper published in Riverdale, NY 10471