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Riverdale’s ONLY Locally Owned Newspaper!

Volume XVIII • Number 23 • May 12 - 18, 2011 •


State charges chaos at charter school Regents expected to shut the door on ‘wacky’ Kingsbridge charter

By MIAWLING LAM The handwriting is on the wall at the controversial Kingsbridge Innovative Design Charter School. The eight-month-old school, which has been on probation since March 24, is set to become the city’s first charter school to be shut down in its first year. The grim picture emerged after New York State Education Department officials issued a damning assessment of the school following its response to a 16-point remedial action plan. Authorities had given KIDS 35 days to clean up its act but concluded it sufficiently addressed only two of the 16 issues they raised. In a letter to KIDS Executive Director Julio Cotto dated May 4, officials said they would continue to pursue revocation of the school’s charter. “Despite the school’s submission of materials in response to the probationary remedial action plan, the department continues to have serious concerns about the fiscal stability and management of the school,” it said. “The school has not demonstrated sufficient capacity to operate in a fiscally and educational sound and responsible manner to overcome the serious violations of

law, material and substantial violations of its charter and fiscal mismanagement. Therefore we have determined that it is in the best interests of the students and school community that the charter be revoked.” Officials criticized the school board for its failure to prepare a comprehensive and focused reply to the probation order and for emailing documents in “piecemeal fashion. ”They also took aim at the school for focusing too much on the fiscal situation and “patching together short-term financial fixes for cash flow problems.” However, Cotto remains adamant the school satisfied all 16 points. He said at least four school board members would present an oral argument before the Regents next week and stress the lack of precedence for the action. “No first-year school has been shut down, and schools that have had much bigger challenges have been allowed at least a year, if not two,” he said. “We’ve been able to demonstrate our solvency, and we’ve been able to demonstrate the curriculum and academics. There is learning going on, and despite the challenges of the fall. The charter is being restored.”

Just last week, the Riverdale Review revealed a Taiwanese big-money developer was providing the school with a $400,000 loan so they could stave off closure and occupy their new building. However, with the school expected to close at the end of the current school year, the three-story school will now be vacant. Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz met with a group of concerned KIDS parents last Monday and said he felt for the 143 affected students and their families. “I feel really bad for them,” he said.“I particularly feel for the kids, because these kids are five- and six-yearolds, and it’s not their fault that the people running the school are incompetent. “It’s a terrible situation and I place a lot of blame on the misguided polices of the department of education and the incompetence of the people running the school. ”State Department of Education officials will now present their recommendation for revocation before a panel of at least three Board of Regents members on Monday. The full Board of Regents will then vote on the issue on Tuesday.

Borough President slams process for controversial skating rink By BRENDAN McHUGH An amendment to the proposed Van Cortlandt Park ice skating rink from the Department of Parks and Recreation will allow for part of the equipment to be a permanent fixture in the Park. Critics see this as yet another example of the lack of community input in the process. When the parks department and the Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy first came to Community Board 8 in February, the project was set to be entirely temporary, with the skating rink, electrical equipment, ice chillers, and more removed after the winter season ended in February or March. Now, however, in an addendum to the request for proposals for the development of a rink, the parks department will favorably view proposals “that include the installation of permanent chillers” either inside or outside of the Stadium, adjacent to the tennis courts that the rink will supplant. Two weeks ago, three potential bidders came to a site meeting at Van Cortlandt Park to meet with parks representatives and

ask questions about the site. One of the big issues was the electrical output and available space to put cooling towers. “There’s still a lot left unknown,” Assemblyman Jeff Dinowitz said. Dinowitz has been a harsh critic of the parks department recently, saying they should be doing a better job including the community in the conversation about the skating rink. “Once again, the community is not being given all the information the community should be given.” Last week, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. appeared on BronxTalk, where host Gary Axelbank questioned him about the skating rink. “There may be aspects of this that are very disturbing,” Axelbank said. “In Van Cortlandt, I know that there are different personalities that are on either side of the debate,” Diaz said. “And sometimes personalities can cloud a policy issue.” While Diaz said he is very much in favor of an ice skating rink, it’s important to keep in mind the people who have a right

to be involved, he said. “Certainly, when we are doing things in the Bronx from now on, whether it’s the community board, local elected officials, the

borough president, or congress members, we want a direct input,” Diaz said. “We want to be able to have a say-so as to what happens in our borough.”

When Axelbank asked him if the skating rink was a runaway train, Diaz said nothing is ever a done deal, especially with the Continued on Page 19

Sixth-grader Alexander Crowe enjoys the jumping castle during the Israeli Independence Day Fair on Tuesday. Hundreds flocked to Independence Avenue outside Seton Park for entertainment including live music, rides, food and games.

Thursday, May 12, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Riverdale Jewish institutions on the national radar By PAULETTE SCHNEIDER Subjective, unscientific and somewhat mischievous in its conception is how Newsweek and The Daily Beast describe their own list of the 50 Most Influential Rabbis in America—but the list is out there, and it features no fewer than three rabbis from Riverdale institutions. New to the list this year is Rabbi Dov Linzer, dean of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, a rabbinical school founded in 1999 by the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale’s Rabbi Avi Weiss with the goal of training a “new breed” of “non-judgmental” leaders. Listed again is Rabba Sara Hurwitz, a member of the rabbinic staff at HIR and dean of Yeshivat Maharat, a yeshiva for women founded in 2009, also by Rabbi Weiss. And moving ever higher in rank on the list is, not surprisingly, Rabbi Weiss himself, the leader of a vibrant “Open Orthodox” congregation. In deciding whom to include in this fifth annual compendium, media moguls Michael Lynton and Gary Ginsberg enlisted author and Daily Beast contributor Abigail Pogrebin, now that Newsweek has merged with the online publication. “As in previous years at Newsweek, we have assembled this roster to offer an important snapshot of those at the forefront of American Jewish leadership--rabbis who are reimagining ritual, reinventing institutions, mobilizing social activism and energizing scholarship,” Pogrebin explains. “Ideally, the rabbis on this list personify the most important roles in Jewish leaders—as selfless listeners, teachers, connectors, and galvanizers, not self-promoting grandstanders or media strategizers.” “We’re interested in sparking discussion as well as showcasing.” The Riverdale contingent on the list is surely happier with the discussion component than with the showcasing. “On some level, the list makes me really uncomfortable,” Rabbi Weiss said. “I would go as far as to say that it’s not helpful, in the spiritual world, to have this kind of competition.” There are “thousands of invisible rabbis who do such great things,” he said, naming each one of the “extraordinary rabbis in our own community” and citing in particular the merit of HIR’s rising star, Rabbi Steven Exler. “But having said that, I’m appreciative because it shows that the broader community appreciates a Rabbi Dov Linzer and Yeshivat Chovevei Torah or a Rabba Sara Hurwitz and Yeshivat Maharat.” The quietly effective Rabba Sara Hurwitz has indeed sparked discussion of her pioneering role. “I think that the appearance of myself and Rabbi Weiss on the list indicates that the larger community recognizes and supports greater inclusion of Orthodox women as spiritual leaders and sees it as a benefit to the community,” she said. Rabba Hurwitz, as the first officially designated full member of an Orthodox rabbinic staff, continues to blaze a trail for Orthodox women. Yeshivat Maharat (an acronym representing the Hebrew words describing a spiritual leader trained in Jewish law) claims an Open Orthodox philosophy that includes “a religious worldview rejecting the approach of relying on a small group of scholars to decide all social and political matters.” YM has six students this year and will likely accept up to four additional women this coming September. For Rabbi Linzer, as for Rabba Hurwitz and Rabbi Weiss, the glory of recognition is about the institution he leads. “It’s nice, but it’s not a big deal for me personally,” he said. “What I really feel great about is

that it’s an acknowledgement of the amazing work that our guys at the yeshiva are doing in the larger community.” The recognition all at once of Rabbi Weiss and the two yeshivas he founded shows that “it’s not just business as usual” in the Orthodox world, Rabbi Linzer said. Being Open Orthodox involves “thinking about the new challenges and really grappling with them afresh.” The description, coined by Weiss, is gaining broader use by people whose vision is “a real sense of inclusion, trying to connect and to build bridges to be inclusive of all people who have otherwise been ‘othered,’ whether it’s non-Jews or non-Orthodox Jews or women.” “I think that’s what’s happening here,” Linzer said. “That type of leadership is being acknowledged.”

By MIAWLING LAM Who needs a ruby-themed gift when you have the Empire State Building? The iconic skyscraper will, this weekend, be lit up in blue, white and orange— the colors of the Bronx flag—to mark the 40th anniversary celebrations of Bronx Week. The prized salute represents a major coup for organizers and was announced by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. on May 9 during the official kickoff party for Bronx Week. This year’s event will run from May 12 through May 22 and will honor the people, places, history and culture of The Bronx. Diaz described Bronx Week as “the biggest party in the borough” and encouraged everyone to venture uptown to enjoy the festivities. “Our celebration is a salute to The Bronx and a salute to God’s country, as

I call it,” he said. “There are over 120 events taking place across the borough, and we are inviting all residents of The Bronx, New York and beyond to take part in this historic celebration.” For the first time, the event will also be promoted citywide. Diaz said vibrant lamppost posters would be displayed in pedestrian-heavy areas of SoHo, Union Square, South Street Seaport and LaGuardia Airport for the duration of the event. Montefiore Senior Director Robert S. Garcia believed Bronx Week was a perfect opportunity to shine a spotlight on health-related issues. The medical center is the event’s gold sponsor. “The Bronx gets so many negative stereotypes, especially being the unhealthiest borough in the city, that we’re trying to change that disparity,” he said. “For us, it’s about promoting a healthier

CMSV graduation ceremony on May 21

Dr. Robert C. Gallo, who in 1984 codiscovered the human immunodeficiency virus as the cause of AIDS, will receive an honorary doctorate of science degree at the graduation ceremony on Saturday, May 21, on the college’s Great Lawn. Dr. Gallo and his team in the early 1980s also pioneered the development of the HIV blood test, which enabled health care workers for the first time to screen for the AIDS virus. His discovery in 1996 that a natural compound known as chemokines can block the HIV virus and halt the progression of AIDS was hailed by Science magazine. Before the AIDS epidemic, Gallo was the first to identify a human retrovirus and the leukemia virus, HTLV, one of few known

viruses shown to cause a human cancer. His work continues at the Institute of Human Virology, an institute of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, which he helped found in 1996. For more information about commencement, contact the Office of Student Affairs at 718-405-3253 or The college has raised $2,202 in its Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami Victim Support campaign. Some events that helped the cause were an annual talent show, which yielded $871, and a sushi dinner, which added $92. Additional funds were received from a recent CMSV Players performance. The campaign continues working toward its goal of raising $3,000.

environment and working with other elected officials to look at legislation and look at different policies that can really transform the health of The Bronx. “So while Bronx Week is a celebration, at the end of the day, it’s not about partying and music, it’s an opportunity for us to send a message.” Bronx Week had humble beginnings when it was established in 1971 as Bronx Day. Bronx borough historian Professor Lloyd Ultan explained. “In that one day, we had a parade on the Grand Concourse, a fair at the Bronx Zoo, a classical music concert at the Bronx High School of Science and a rock concert at the Paradise Theatre,” he said.

“At the end of the day, [then-Bronx Borough President] Robert Abrams was so exhausted, he said that next year, we have to do it for an entire week. And that’s how Bronx Week began.” This year’s program highlights include an urban farms tour, the inaugural Bronx hip-hop block party, a tour of the Arthur Avenue retail market and the popular Bronx Trolley Tours.The 12-day celebration will culminate with vintage subway trains from circa 1917 running on the Number 4 line along Jerome Avenue, and the annual Bronx Parade. The traditional Bronx Week Food, Art and Music Festival on Mosholu Parkway will then follow. For more information and the full event program, please visit

3 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, May 12, 2011

Celebrating its 40th year, many events are slated for Bronx Week

Thursday, May 12, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Around the schools... Local Scholars

Pace University Law School in White Plains has announced that the following graduates earned a JD degree this month: Anna I. Dokuchayeva, Amit Elhanan, Jeffrey Michael Gorenstein, Kelly Gaines Whiten and Diomarys Escano. Pace Law School offers specializations in the areas of environmental and international law, criminal justice and public interest, with clinics, externships and simulation classes as well as joint degree programs in conjunction with other colleges and universities. Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, has announced that Natasha Lopez and Ifreen Abbasi were named to the dean’s list for the fall semester. Babson is an internationally recognized leader in entrepreneurial management education. It grants undergraduate B.S. degrees as well as M.B.A. and custom M.S. and M.B.A. degrees through its F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business.

P.S. 24

The school is collecting pencils, erasers, notebooks, markers, crayons, paper, glue sticks and books for the children of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, whose elementary schools were destroyed by the recent tornado. Parents are asked to gather these supplies in bags labeled “Disaster Relief” and to place them—by May 16—into collection boxes stationed at the main and annex entrances and in the hot-lunch room. The supplies will be shipped to the Tuscaloosa City Board of Education’s Command Center for distribution.

P.S. 81

On Friday, June 17, P.S. 81 will play against P.S. 24 in the two teams’ annual softball fundraiser from 3 to 7 p.m. in Seton Park. Tickets are $6, which includes food and soft drinks.

Riverdale-Kingsbridge Academy

The school’s first Academic and Arts Fair will take place on Thursday and Friday, May 26 and 27. Exhibition hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on both days and on Thursday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. The fair, to be hosted by student guides, will showcase academic and arts classwork by students in grades 6 through 12. There will also be a performance by the RKA

Dancers and the middle school band at 6 p.m. on Thursday.

Saint Gabriel School

The annual Spring Fair is on Saturday, May 21, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the schoolyard. Activities will include games, face painting, raffles and craft-making. Vendors will offer photo albums, jewelry, sunglasses and other accessories as well as various foods for breakfast and lunch. Proceeds from the event will benefit the school.

Horace Mann School

The artworks of seniors Charlotte Christman-Cohen, Spencer Whitehead and Dilly Francis were displayed in the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts K-12 Exhibition. ChristmanCohen’s piece, “Hitler Mask Series,” received the NCECA Merit Award for Sculptural Work, the event’s top honor. Clarinetist Adela Kim, a junior at HM and a student at the Juilliard school’s pre-college division, created a monthly series of classical music concerts performed by Juilliard students for patients at St. Luke’s –Roosevelt Hospital. The series, called Salut de la Musique, will include a gala fundraising concert this Saturday, May 14, at 8 p.m. in Mary Cary Hall at the DiMenna Center, 450 West 37th Street in Manhattan. The program will feature works by Mozart, Brahms and Mendelssohn. Proceeds will help to fund the 2011-2012 season and will be applied toward the purchase of a piano for the hospital. The Capelluto Foundation, which is funding the event, sponsors an annual public-service competition at Horace Mann, and Kim received the 2010 Alexander Capelluto Award for her initiative in creating this series. A documentary of the 2010-2011 season, filmed and produced by 2010 HM graduate and Columbia University student Nicole Bleuel, will be shown at the gala concert. Tickets are $20. To reserve, contact

FAX education news to:

The Riverdale Review (718) 543-4206

By BRENDAN McHUGH Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and the Department of Transportation like to tout the “success” of the Times Square plaza, saying it has cleaned the air, improved traffic in surrounding streets and increased commercial business. Whether or not that is true, City Councilman Jimmy Vacca has a simple message to the mayor: if a community doesn’t ask for a plaza, don’t put one in. This comes after a City Council hearing between the DOT and Vacca’s transportation committee, where DOT said they hope to have a plaza in every community board district. To Vacca, that meant even if the community doesn’t want one, it won’t matter. A plaza must be at least 2,000 square feet, usually with permanent or removable seats and tables and sometimes grassy areas or small trees. The city has constructed or is in the process of constructing 14 plazas. The DOT is currently accepting applications for plazas, which are built using taxpayer money but are maintained entirely by local nonprofits. One of Vacca’s fears is that nonprofits will be left footing the bill for a plaza they never requested. “Every community is different,” he said. “If communities want pedestrian plazas and they want to work with DOT, that’s one thing. But I would not want the DOT to say we are going ahead with our plan to have all 59 districts to have a plaza.” He also noted the vast difference between Times Square and the outer boroughs. “These plazas are 24 hours a day,” he said. “If you live in Riverdale, you are

surrounded by residential strips. Do we want 24-hour large areas to be open to pedestrians loitering, talking, whatever? The Bronx is not Manhattan. People want peace and quiet.” He went on to explain a problem that affects not many people but is important nonetheless. “There are issues related to the disabled,” he said. “If we reconfigure the roads, what are the blind going to do?” The DOT said they don’t like to close down streets to construct a plaza, but it is not out of the question. Recently, a plaza considered by a Riverdale merchants association would not only have shut down a small stretch of 236th Street that leads to the one-way Fieldston Road, but it would also have eliminated about a dozen parking spaces. Instead of a plaza at the location, City Councilman G. Oliver Koppell is planning to fund a greenstreet, which will give the area a makeover without eliminating roads or parking. Queens Councilman Eric Ulrich, who attended the hearing, saw the entire plaza program as a misuse of taxpayer money. “As I was driving to the hearing today, I couldn’t help but think that we’re living in the Twilight Zone, because as I’m driving on the BQE, and the roads are in horrendous condition, I’m driving to a hearing talking about pedestrian plazas,” he said, referring to potholes. “I just say to myself all the time—this is a constant criticism that I’m always applying to the department—why can’t we just get back to basics and worry more about paving the streets than we are about installing bike lanes and putting in pedestrian plazas even if people don’t want them.”

5 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, May 12, 2011

‘Plazas’ panned at public hearing

Thursday, May 12, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Track & Field games at Van Cortlandt Park

Kids ages 9 to 14 can compete in the Hershey Track & Field Games Local Meet, which will be held on Saturday, May 14 in Van Cortlandt Park. Registration at 9 a.m. The meet begins at 10 a.m., on Broadway and West 242nd Street. The participants with the top three times in each event will advance to the State Final, to be held at Red Hook Park, Brooklyn, on Tuesday, June 7 (rain date June 8). Children can compete in the following events: • Boys & Girls (ages 9-10): 50m, 100m, 200m, 400m, 4x100m relay, softball throw and standing long jump. • Boys & Girls (ages 11-12): 11m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 4x100m, Standing long jump and softball throw. • Boys & Girls (ages 13-14): 100m, 200m, 800m, 1600m, 4x100m, standing long jump and softball throw. For more information, call 212-3601311.

Walking tour along the Old Bronx River Parkway

Bronx River Ramble along the Old Bronx River Parkway will be held on Saturday, May 14 at 10 a.m. (rain date Sunday, May 15). Meet at #2 Train Gun Hill Road Station promptly at 10 a.m. This walking tour will lead you along the Bronx River through Shoelace Park

and following the old Bronx River Parkway from Gun Hill Road to E. 233rd St. at Muskrat Cove (~1.5 miles). As you walk through Wakefield, Williamsbridge and Woodlawn, you will note the collection of 1920s and 1930s apartment buildings along Bronx Boulevard. Tour leaders, Mike Gupta and Hank Stroobants, are volunteers with the Bronx River Alliance and the Wakefield, Williamsbridge & Woodlawn History Project and members of the East Bronx History Forum. Join in for some walking, some talking, some facts, some stories, some amazing old photos, and some handouts. Free and no reservation required. For more information, call 718-430-4665 or visit

Sephardic Jewish History to be discussed at Hebrew Home

In celebration of Jewish American Heritage Month and Bronx Week, the Derfner Judaica Museum at The Hebrew Home at Riverdale is sponsoring an illustrated lecture by Shelomo Alfassá, which will take place on Wednesday, May 18 at 1:30 p.m. in the Museum. Mr. Alfassá will give an overview of the history of Sephardic Jews - from Spain and Portugal to New York City. Alfassá is a writer, author, editor, curator and historian, whose focus has been on Iberian and Ottoman Jewish history, culture and Jewish law. He comes from a family of Ladino-speaking Spanish Jews

from the Ottoman island of Rhodes and Ottoman Edirne, Turkey. This event is free and open to the public. RSVP to eoleary@hebrewhome. org or call 718-581-1596. The lecture is being held in conjunction with the exhibition ‘Micaela Amato: Exile Traces,’ on view at the Derfner Judaica Museum through May 22 and Jewish American Heritage Month held annually in May.

Bronx Week 2011 kick off weekend events

To kick off Bronx Week 2011, the following activities have been scheduled: • Bronx Urban Farms Tour: The Bronx is an award-winning leader in the national phenomenon of urban farms. Hop aboard the trolley for this narrated group tour of some of the borough’s most amazing working farms, where community farmers tend to their plots of land, micro entrepreneurs harvest honey, and chickens roam freely and enjoy lunch with locally-grown produce. We’ll visit ‘casitas,’ small country homes reminiscent of the Puerto Rican countryside which have been featured at the Smithsonian, and where we’ll be treated to a jam session by local musicians who gather there. To join this tour, come to the NYC Visitors Information Bureau, 810 Seventh Avenue, Manhattan, on Saturday, May 14. Departure from Manhattan is 10 a.m., returning at 3 p.m. Admission: $40. RSVP: 718-590-3518. • Fair @ The Square: The Bronx Business Alliance and Bronx Council on the Arts present the 3rd annual multicultural celebration at Westchester Square, featuring an all-day concert, kids’ rides and carnival games, giveaways, vendors, food, and an Art Walk & Artisan Craft Exhibit. This will be held on Saturday, May 14, from 12 to 6 p.m. at Westchester Square (between Westchester Avenue and St. Raymond Avenue). • South Riverdale Avenue Spring Festival of the Arts: Art’s the thing at this spring celebration of various art forms blooming in Riverdale, including ‘A Summer Splash’ from the Elisa Contemporary Art Gallery, ‘Lyrical Abstraction: Works from the Permanent Collection by Natvar Bhavsar and Robert Natkin’ from the Derfner Judaica Museum and Art Collection, and children’s art from P.S. 24. Kids’ activities include a scavenger hunt, story time with

Alison Bartlett O’Reilly of Sesame Street, author events with Maryrose Wood and Daniel Goldfield, whose photography book of the world’s children was shot in NYC, Free Bronx trolley pickups at Kingsbridge and Marble Hill. This will be held on Sunday, May 15, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., on South Riverdale Avenue (West 235th-238th Streets). Admission: Free. • Bronx Veterans Appreciation Day: Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. and his Bronx Veterans Advisory council pay tribute to men and women who have served our country in the armed forces. Sunday, May 14, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. Admission: By invitation; call 718-5903914 for information. Bronx Hip-Hop Block Party: Celebrate the Boogie Down Bronx at this family-friendly event featuring interactive activities to inspire creativity in youth through the power of music. This special event honors hip hop culture, including art, dance, rap, dj mixing and fashion in the place where it all began. There will be face painting, dancing and kid-oriented entertainment, and music by DJ K Swift. This will be held on Sunday, May 15, from 1 to 4 p.m., at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, 1040 Grand Concourse. Admission: Free.

Einstein orchestra to perform in concert

The Albert Einstein Symphony Orchestra, under conductor/music director Stephen Moshman, will present an AllBeethoven Program. The program will consist of Beethoven’s Overture to The Creatures of Prometheus, Op. 42; Paino Concerto no. 3 in C minor, Op. 37; and Symphony No. 8 in F Major, Op. 93. The performance will be held on Sunday, May 15 at 2 p.m. at Robbins Auditorium, Forchheimer Building, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 1300 Morris Park Avenue. Contributions suggested. It will be an All-Beethoven Program. Featured soloist is pianist Ronald Wharton.

Vintage Artists Gallery holds opening reception

The opening reception of the 32nd Annual Vintage Artists Gallery Art Show will take place on Sunday, May 15, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Riverdale Senior Center, located in the Century Building, 2600 Netherland Avenue. Artists from all over the Bronx, all over the age of 60, will display their artwork in the categories oil/acrylic, watercolor, photography, graphics and sculpture. The reception is open to the public. A light lunch and refreshments will be served. The exhibit will be available for viewing until mid-June, Monday-Friday, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, contact Sandy Brass at 718-884-5900.

Student Sponsorship Breakfast at Riv. Temple

Riverdale Temple is inviting the public to join in honoring Rabbi Judith S. Lewis and presenting the Rita & Charles L. Tenenbaum Hebrew Chair Award to Rabbinic Intern, Steven Altarescu. Partake in singing, music, and the joy of community on Sunday, May 22, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. A complimentary breakfast will be provided! Please respond by May 15th, 2011. Call 718.548.3800 or email Contributions may also be made online at: (write ‘Student Sponsorship’ and the number of people attending, in the notes section)

Pianist Irina Morozova, top awardwinner at the New Orleans, Frinna Awerbuch and San Antonio International Piano Competitions, will headline BAE’s Chamber Music Concert on Sunday, May 15 at 3 pm at 4560 Delafield Avenue in the Fieldston Historic District in the Bronx. Concert program includes Bohuslav Martinu - Fantasia for Theremin, Oboe, String Quartet and Piano, Francis Poulenc - Sextet for Piano and Winds and Johannes Brahms - Piano Quintet in F minor, Op. 34. Born into a musical family, pianist Irina Morozova began her musical studies at the Leningrad Special Music School for Gifted Children and graduated with honors from the Rimsky-Korsakov College of Music. She made her New York debut with a solo recital at Carnegie Recital Hall in 1996 after winning the Artists International Auditions. Since then Ms. Morozova has given numerous solo recitals throughout the U.S., Germany, Russia, Latvia, Estonia, Ukraine, Chile, China, and Australia. She has made solo appearances with the South Carolina Symphony, Irving Symphony Orchestra, and the New American Chamber Orchestra, among others. A passionate chamber music player, she has performed in ensembles with members of the New York Philharmonic and Metropolitan Opera orchestras. She is on the faculties of Mannes College of Music and the Special

Music School at Kaufman Center. Tickets for the May 15 concert are $25, which includes an intermission reception to meet the artists. For more information, call 718.601.7399 or visit

CSAIR Sisterhood to hold bazaar

On Sunday, May 15, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Sisterhood of the Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale will hold a bazaar at the synagogue, located at 250th Street and Henry Hudson Parkway. Items for sale include household appliances, jewelry, toys, furniture, lingerie, fabric housewares, boutique items, new and nearly new clothing for children and adults, books, records, and refreshments (food). Admission is free. Rain or shine. The community is welcome. Judaica Gift Shop will be open. No early birds please. 25% discount on selected items over $10 in the Judaica shop.

ies, even your athletic shoes. There will be NYC Green Market local flower, plant and herb growers (just in time for planting your spring garden), and a Swap ‘n Shop (donate clean, working and portable objects you no longer need. Please do not bring furniture or large items that cannot be carried away easily. And take what you want of items others have brought - no charge!) There will be free movies shown in the Y theater, as follows: 10:30 am: Eco Beeps! with Skip & Molly 22 min. Eco Beeps! will help your children make the right decisions on their path to green

Riverdale Y to hold Environmental Fair

The community is invited to the Riverdale Y’s annual Environmental Fair on Sunday, May 15 from 10 am - 2 pm outside on the Y’s back deck. There will be opportunity to recycle items such as textiles (towels, sheets, wearable clothing), small electronics including TVs, CFL light bulbs, rechargeable batter-

Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care

IN THE USA, EACH HOUR, MELANOMA CLAIMS ONE LIFE. Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, but early detection can significantly increase your chance of survival. Dermatologists recommend a total body skin exam at least once a year to best protect yourself against melanoma.

Come for a free total body skin exam

Saturday, May 21, 2011 9:00 am – 2:00 pm Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care ������������������������������������������

��������������������������������������� Call 718-920-2680 or visit for more information. Offered by Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care and the Division of Dermatology at Montefiore Medical Center

7 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, May 12, 2011

BAE concert features Irina Morozova

living. For young children ages 3 to 7. 11:00 am: The Story of Stuff 20 min. Garbage activist Annie Leonard brought her two-hour lecture to Free Range who helped her turn it into a 20-minute animated revolution. For adults (and children). 11:30 am: Curious George Goes Green 108 min. Everyone’s favorite monkey has a brandnew mission: Save the Earth! For all ages. Starbucks coffee will be available for sale (thanks to the Johnson Avenue Starbucks which donated the coffee - all proceeds from the sale will benefit Y programs). There will also be information about upcoming June environmental events - RiverFest on June 12 and the opening of the Riverdale Y Sunday Market on June 19. The Riverdale Y is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue. For more information go to the Y’s website at

Thursday, May 12, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Thursday, May 12 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.


BABY STORY TIME 11:30 a.m. Riverdale Branch Library 5540 Mosholu Avenue Babies from birth to 18 months old and their parents/caregivers can enjoy great books, lively songs, and rhymes, and meet other babies in the neighborhood. For more information, call 718-549-5656.

Friday, May 13


BLOCKBUSTER BOOKS 4 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 280 West 231st Street Make it a blockbuster summer with the library! Create a book trailer using music and more. Write a script, shoot the film, and edit it all together. Materials will be provided. For ages 12 to 18. For more information, call 718-548-5656.

Tuesday, May 17 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.


Spuyten Duyvil

Saturday, May 14

Van Cortlandt

TEEN ADVISORY GROUP 4 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 280 West 231st Street Let your voice be heard in the Kingsbridge Library’s Teen Advisory Group! TAG meetings will be held on Friday afternoons downstairs in the Reading Room. If you are a 7th -12th grade student, you are eligible to join. For info, call 718-548-5656.

Van Cortlandt

TRACK & FIELD 9 a.m. Van Cortlandt Park Broadway and West 242nd Street Kids ages 9 to 14 can compete in the Hershey Track & Field Games Local Meet. Registration at 9 a.m. Meet begins at 10 a.m. For more information, call 212-360-1311.


FLEA MARKET 9 a.m. Old St. John’s School 3030 Godwin Terrace St. John’s Church will hold their monthly flea market. Bric-abrac, clothing (new and used), etc. For info, call 718-543-3003.

Sunday, May 15 Riverdale

BAZAAR 10 a.m. Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel 250th St. & Henry Hudson Parkway The CSAIR Sisterhood will hold a bazaar. Rain or shine. Admission is free. The community is welcome. Judaica Gift Shop will be open.


ENVIRONMENTAL FAIR 10 a.m. Riverdale YM-YWHA 5625 Arlington Avenue An opportunity to recycle items. There will also be free movies on the theme environmental conservation. For more information, visit


OPENING RECEPTION 1:30 p.m. Riverdale Senior Center 2600 Netherland Avenue Opening reception of the 32nd Annual Vintage Artists Gallery Art Show. Artists from all over the Bronx, all over the age of 60, will dispaly their artwork. Reception is open to the public. A light lunch and refreshments will be served. For more information, call Sandy Brass at 718-884-5900.

Monday, May 16 Spuyten Duyvil

BOOK TALK 11 a.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 West 235th Street Adult Reading Club Meeting. Each participant briefly describes & shares thoughts about a book recently read. Discussion & recommendations are the happy result of this sharing. For more information, call 718-796-1202.

Spuyten Duyvil

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

FOUND JEWELRY ART 3:30 p.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 West 235th Street Recycle old favorites into new pieces! Create a bracelet, necklace, or other accessories out of everyday objects. Break it down to bring your fashion to the next level! All material will be provided. For ages 12 to 18. For more information, call 718-796-1202. CB8 MEETING 7:30 p.m. Amalgamated Housing 74 Van Cortlandt Park South Meeting of the Traffic & Transportation Committee of Community Board 8. To be held in Vladek Hall. For more information, call 718-884-3959.

Wednesday, May 18 Riverdale

AARP MEETING 12:30 p.m. Riverdale Presbyterian Church 4765 Henry Hudson Parkway West The Riverdale Chapter 1546 of AARP will meet. Eric Schneider, a retired school teacher, will present a tour of the White House with slides and commentary. For more information, call Manfred Segal at 718-549-0088.


BOOK DISCUSSION 1 p.m. Riverdale Branch Library 5540 Mosholu Avenue The Riverdale Branch Library meets the third Wednesday of every month @ 1:00 p.m. This month will be discussing Agent Zigzag by Ben Macintyre. For more information, call 718-549-1212.


LECTURE 1:30 p.m. Hebrew Home 5901 Palisade Avenue An illustrated lecture by Shelomo Alfassá on the history of Sephardic Jews — from Spain and Portugal to New York City. For more information, call 718-581-1596.

Van Cortlandt

PAPER PLATE MARACAS 3:30 p.m. Van Cortlandt Branch Library 3874 Sedgwick Avenue Come make a maraca. A maraca in a Latin American and Tupi rattle. For more information, call 718-543-5150.

Thursday, May 19 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.


TEEN CAFÉ 4 p.m. Riverdale Branch Library 5540 Mosholu Avenue Come hang out with your friends in a cool, casual environment. Bring snacks to enjoy while you listen to the radio & chat with your friends. Use laptops to do your homework, watch videos, play games, & more! For info, call 718-549-1212.

By MIAWLING LAM The pothole problem is getting crater and crater, it seems. New figures reveal crews have been working round-the-clock to repair thousands of pockmarked pavements but hundreds still remain, and the city needs your help to identify them. Department of Transportation officials issued the plea at the latest Bronx Borough Board meeting on May 4. Authorities revealed that since January 1, crews have filled 3,164 potholes in The Bronx. A breakdown shows Community Board 12 in Woodlawn and Wakefield leads the borough with the highest number of repairs at 369, followed by Community Board 11 at 351 and Community Board 9 at 330. In Community Board 8, which includes Riverdale, 282 craters have been filled.However, because of the way data is recorded, the true figures could be much higher. Bronx Street Maintenance Director Anthony Grillo explained that if a particular street has, for example, 25 potholes, it is recorded as only a single case. “For every defect that we close out, there are usually four to 10 potholes on that block, so this number could be 10 times as much,” he said. Grillo blamed the harsh winter weather and near-record snowfall for the unprecedented number of potholes that have appeared on nearly every street in The Bronx. Potholes form when snow and rain seep into cracks in the road then expand as temperatures drop and water freezes. Chunks of asphalt are then dislodged when vehicles drive over them. “We had a very, very bad winter, of which we had freeze and thaw cycles,” he said.

“What happens is if any water gets into one of the potholes, it pops out all the materials, so as fast as we’ve been filling them, they’ve been popping out.” Since Christmas, six to eight crews had been patrolling the streets each day and repairing sections of torn-up roads. But as the attention now turns to resurfacing, Grillo said only one pothole patching crew was dispatched. More pothole crews are sent out if workers are ahead in their scheduled resurfacing program. The decline in manpower is a shame, and authorities need to do more to address the problem, Councilman James Vacca said. The elected official, who has been a vocal opponent of the city’s repair efforts since the now-infamous December 26 snowstorm, said he has never seen so many potholes. “I can’t remember seeing as many potholes into the month of May than I see now,” he said.“We need to be reaching out to DOT and to make sure that potholes are done because if we don’t, very quickly, they become craters. “And once they become craters, you can lose the front axel of your car, and the city has to spend more time and money filling it. Vacca said now was not the time to drop the ball on repair works and that the job was not over until each and every pothole had been patched. “There has to be an all-hands-on-deck approach to getting rid of these potholes now,” he said. “Even though we’re technically in spring, the winter is not over until all the potholes are filled.” Residents are urged to call 311 with their pothole sighting locations.Department of Transportation crews aim to patch each pothole within 15 days. �

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9 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, May 12, 2011

Bronx remains pothole city despite repairs

Thursday, May 12, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Democratic Club honors local restaurateur

By BRENDAN McHUGH For 35 years, Blue Bay has served the Riverdale community with more than just food, and after a recent scare that almost saw the restaurant shut down last winter, those at the Benjamin Franklin Reform Democratic Club thought it was necessary to honor the eatery with a community service award. “I must say, just walking around the room, everybody has a story about Blue Bay, everybody loves Blue Bay, and it’s an iconic restaurant here in Riverdale,” said club VP Ellen Feld as she introduced Chris and Alex Katechis and Steve Catechis. “A stable, viable commercial presence in the heart of a neighborhood is essential to the health of an entire community.” The three owners of the restaurant received the Timothy Sullivan Community Service Award for their dedication to the neighborhood. Recently, the Blue Bay trio has helped form a merchants association on Johnson Avenue. “Blue bay has been an important and integral part of our community,” Feld said. Chris Katechis wanted to thank his Riverdale neighbors for their faith and commitment to Blue Bay during its time of need. “Without the support of the community, we would not be here,” he said. “We owe the community our gratitude. We’re only here because of the community.” When word got out that landlord Friedland was set to shut down Blue Bay after the restaurant no longer could afford the rent, community leaders and elected officials reached out to Friedland to convince them to negotiate a new lease.

At its 51st annual dinner, held at the Riverdale Temple, the club also honored Bill Samuels, chairman of the New Roosevelt Initiative, and Lilien Christmas, a community activist. The keynote speaker was Congressman Eliot Engel. Notable attendees included city Comptroller John Liu, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, state Senator Adriano Espaillat, state Senator Jeffrey Klein, city Councilman Fernando Cabrera, Democratic State Committee Members Bill Weitz, Helen Morik, and Joe McManus, and District Leaders Bruce Feld, Randi Martos, and Cynthia Cox. “I am thrilled at the outpouring of support we received at our annual dinner. The dedication of our members and our elected officials is reflected in the strength of our club and our commitment to progressive politics and policies,” club President Heidi Schwartz said. Dinowitz, a longtime member, said the Ben Franklin Club is a key organization to fight for schools, health care and other important issues. “If we don’t do it, who’s going to do it?” he said. Keynote speaker Engel applauded the club’s grassroots efforts, saying it is organizations like the Ben Franklin Club that are key to change and reform in America. He explained how the Republican Party is using the budget crisis to get rid of social programs and drastically change Medicare and Medicaid. “Shame on us if we let them do it,” he said. “I know, starting with the grass roots of the Ben Franklin group—we’re going to win tremendous victory.”

Come to the Y's Environmental Fair Sunday, May 15 from 10:00 to 2:00 pm at the Y’s back deck Bring these recyclables to the Fair -- you can recycle SO much, right here in Riverdale. Here's how ... • WearableCollection used textiles (clothing, towels, sheets, etc.) • Electronics (everything except small household appliances such as toasters, microwaves, vacuums, and TV’s • CFL (compact flourescent lightbulbs, unbroken) • Rechargeable batteries • Recycle your used athletic shoes with Nike Reuse-A-Shoe and help us turn them into Nike Grind, a material used in sports surfaces like tracks, playgrounds and gym. Bring your old Crocs! Crocs recycles and donates your used Crocs to impoverished countries via their SolesUnited

Green Market Flowers

Stop 'n Swap

Bring clean, working and portable items you no longer need (including clothing), but this is not required. Please do not bring furniture or other large items that cannot be carried away easily. Take what you want, no charge!

Come fill your garden with locally grown beauty! There will be a planting project in recycled containers for children of all ages.

Movies, Movies, Movies 10:30 am Eco Beeps! with Skip & Molly

22 min.

Eco Beeps! will help your children make the right decisions on their path to green living. Follow puppet characters Skip and Molly to the world of green as they play in their room atop the village recycle center, or when they head off for green adventures in the Toybox Car. For young children ages 3 to 7.

11:00 am The Story of Stuff

20 min.

Garbage activist Annie Leonard enlightens us in a 20-minute animated revolution. The Story of Stuff finally opens the door to a serious cultural dialog about the costs of consumption. For adults (and older children).

11:30 am Curious George Goes Green 108 min. Everyone’s favorite monkey has a new mission: Save the Earth! George knows that it’s easy when everybody lends a hand. For all ages.

Starbucks Coffee will be available as well as Shaklee Products

5625 Arlington Avenue, Bronx, NY 10471



The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, May 12, 2011

Thursday, May 12, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Concern grows over increases in fuel oil, electricity and water fees

By BRENDAN McHUGH Congressman Eliot Engel is a lead sponsor of the Open Fuel Standard Act, which will bring fuel competition to the pump by requiring that half of new cars by 2014, and 95 percent by 2017, can operate on nonpetroleum fuels in addition to or instead of petroleum-based fuels. The bill would allow the full array of existing technologies—including flex fuel, natural gas, hydrogen, biodiesel, plug-in electric drive and fuel cell—and a catchall for new technologies. “Our dependence on oil is fueled by demand from our transportation sector and is by far the biggest reason we transfer $600 billion every year to hostile nations to pay for oil at ever-increasing costs,” Engel said. “By employing the Open Fuel Standard, we can force petroleum to compete on the open market with other types of fuel. We don’t have to wait for the perfect technology. We can turn this around right now, at little to no cost per car, and create a safer and more prosperous America.” Engel, the lead Democrat, was joined by Rep. John Shimkus, an Illinois Republican, as a lead sponsor of the legislation. Rep. Engel was the lead sponsor when the Democrats held the House

majority. The bipartisan bill is co-sponsored New York Democrat Steve Israel and Maryland Republican Roscoe Bartlett. The Big Three automobile companies have stated their willingness to make 50 percent of new vehicles flex fuel by 2012. The cost of doing so is about $100 per vehicle. In Brazil the ratio of flex fuel vehicles went from zero to 70 percent in just three years, freeing that country from the necessity of oil imports. Gas prices have climbed over 30 percent in the past year, but that is only one cost city residents have had to—or will soon—endure. Con Edison recently announced residential rates are expected to climb by about 7.4 percent during peak air-conditioning season this June, July and August. The New York Post reported last week that city Comptroller John Liu plans to audit this year’s property tax rolls to determine why the values of some co-ops and condos suddenly shot up by as much as 147 percent, putting homeowners at risk of huge tax hikes. Another hike to be faced not only by co-op shareholders but also by renters and homeowners is a mandated change in heating oil. As part of Mayor Michael R.

Bloomberg’s PlaNYC, all buildings will be forced to change from No. 6 heating oil to No. 4 by 2015 and then to No. 2 by 2030. This requires a change in boilers and in many cases entire heating pipes in buildings and under roads. Although the mayor said only 1 percent of all buildings use No. 6 oil, the Association of Riverdale Cooperatives president Stephen Budihas is skeptical of that percentage, saying nearly every co-op in Riverdale is using No. 6. Brooklyn City Councilman Albert Vann last week held a City Council hearing to discuss the increase in water rates for city residents. The city proposed hiking water fees by 11 percent, but Vann’s committee of community development has decreased the hike to 7.5 percent, the first time since 2007 the hike won’t be in the double-digits. Vann recently had a bill passed that will give protection to homeowners who are struggling to pay their taxes before the city sells the lien on the property. The bill increases the threshold for the sale of certain liens and provides homeowners a payment plan to avoid having their liens sold. The bill also adds protection for veterans. “This bill will provide many necessary protections for home-

owners—both before and after a lien may be sold—and especially for our senior citizen, disabled, low-income and veteran homeowners,” Vann said in a statement. “We must do all we can to protect the economic health

of New Yorkers when possible, and this bill ensures that our city agencies will take significant steps to protect homeowners, who, like many New Yorkers, are trying to withstand the current economic pressures.”

We Drive. You Win. 30 Round Trip $

Bus Fare


$15 Meal/Retail Credit Two $10 Free Bets & One $5 Free Bet

Why Drive? For Information Call: Enchanted Coach 914.423.9700 or 1.866.423.9700

Bronx & New Rochelle: Day Service (Monday, Wednesday, Saturday & Sunday) Night Service (Friday & Saturday) Riverdale & Yonkers: Day Service (7 Days a Week) New pick-up times – call for details.


Bonus packages are issued to individuals 21 years of age or older. Offer subject to change without notice.



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 more information, call 914-835-4466.


BLACKSMITHING WORKSHOP 9 a.m. Muscoot Farm Route 100 Join blacksmith Bill Fitzgerald to learn the technique of blacksmithing. Space is limited to 5 participants. Pre-registration required. For more information, call 914-864-7286


Enjoy a fun-filled day with musical entertainment provided by a variety of well-known local bands, featuring Lipbone Redding & The Lipbone Orchestra and others. Bring a picnic or purchase refreshments at the Nature Center. Members $8, Non-members $12. Children 2 to 12 years old $4. For more information, call 914-723-3470.


JAZZ BRUNCH 11 a.m. Shenorock Shore Club 475 Stuyvesant Avenue Distinguished Music Conservatory faculty musicians Harold Jones (flute), Irena Portenko (piano), Alfred Renino (bass), and Nick Mangini (drums) will unite the sound of their instruments for their Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio performances. For more information, call 914-761-3900.


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.

GARDEN DAY 1 p.m. Muscoot Farm Route 100 Families are welcome to come join our master gardener prepare our vegetable garden for the summer. Participants will plant seeds and learn how to care for the soil. All our vegetables are donated to the local food bank. Dress to get dirty. For info, call 914-864-7282.

Cross River


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.


MAMAPALOOZA 11 a.m. Kensico Dam Plaza Bronx River Parkway Entertainment by mom and pop bands, crafts and boutiques, information booths, women-owned businesses, “green” vendors and health and wellness information. For more information, call 914-864-PARK.

Mt. Vernon

CHURCH TOWER TOURS 12 p.m. St. Paul’s Church 897 S. Columbus Avenue We’re open for regular tours of the site, including the Church Bell Tower, from noon to 4 PM. For more information, call 914-667-4116.

North White Plains

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.


VOLUNTEER WORK 1 p.m. Marshlands Conservancy Boston Post Road Making Trails Accessible. Bring work gloves and apply a gravel base to trails leading to various habitats. For more information, call 914-835-4466.

Sunday, May 15 White Plains

BICYCLE SUNDAY 10 a.m. Westchester County Center 198 Central Park Avenue The Bronx River Parkway opens to all bicylists, skaters, scooters, walkers and joggers. No motorized vehicles. From the Westchester County Center in white Plains to Scarsdale Road in Yonkers. For more information, call 914-995-4050.


FARMERS MARKET 10 a.m. Muscoot Farm Route 100 Fresh produce, meat, cheese, soap, candles, honey, maple syrup, flowers, fish and delicious baked goods. For more information, call 914-864-7282.


FAMILY MUSIC FEST 11 a.m. Greenburgh Nature Center 99 Dromore Road

NATURE WALK 2 p.m. Marshlands Conservancy Boston Post Road Insect Whatsit. Walk through the forest and meadow to identify insects and what insects are. Hand lenses provided. For more information, call 914-835-4466.


LILAC WALK 2 p.m. Lasdon Park Route 35 Join Dr. Craig Hibben on this informative tour of Lasdon’s beauftiful lilac collection. Dr. Hibben was instrumental in the layout and the selection of plants for the Lilac Walk. For more information, call 914-864-7268.

Mt. Kisco

THE COMPOSER’S HOUR 3 p.m. Merestead 455 Byram Lake Road The Minimalist master, Steve Reich, will be on hand for an audience Q&A exploring his creative process, following a performance by the Borromeo String Quartet of his shattering Different Trains, which extensively used recorded speech to generate melody. For more information, call 914-788-4659.

White Plains

MUSICAL 4 p.m. St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church 3 Carhart Avenue A musical revue of Promises made, kept and broken performance by a group of very talented musicians and singers. Meet & greet reception follows.


CONCERT 4 p.m. Caramoor Center for Music & Arts 149 Girdle Ridge Road Former Caramoor Artistic Director and living legend, Andre Previn makes a triumphant return with the intensely musical and fiery violinist Joan Kwuon. This extraordinary duo explores the lush and scintillating sound worlds of three central works in the Francophone tradition. For more information, call 914232-1252 or visit

Wednesday, May 18 White Plains

DOWNTOWN CONCERT 12:10 p.m. Grace Church 33 Church Street Downtown Music at Grace Church: Accomplished Conservatory jazz vocalist Alma Micic, joined by musical friends, will perform. All ages. Free. For more information, call 914-9492874 or visit

Mt. Vernon

ORGAN CONCERT 1 p.m. St. Paul’s Church 897 S. Columbus Avenue Join us for a performance on the 1830 Erben, one of the nation’s oldest working organs. For more information, contact David Osborn, 914-667-4116.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, May 12, 2011

Saturday, May 14

Thursday, May 12, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, May 12, 2011

Thursday, May 12, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



St. Gabriel’s Parish is sponsoring a trip to the Showboat Casino in Atlantic City on Tuesday, June 7. The bus will leave St. Gabriel’s at 8:30 a.m. and will return at about 8 to 8:30 p.m. Cost is $30; casino rebate $30. On June 25, a trip to the Race Track is sponsored. Cost: $68. On Sept. 15, a trip to the Westchester Dinner Theatre to watch ‘Altar Boyz.’ Cost: $67. You may send in your full or partial payment as soon as possible to reserve your space. For more information, call 718-548-4470. St. Gabriel’s’ Church is located at 3250 Arlington Avenue.

Brandeis Group to hold spring luncheon

The Riverdale Chapter of the Brandeis National Committee will hold its Annual Spring Luncheon and Installation on Wednesday, May 25, 2011, at The Riverview, One Warburton Avenue, Hastings-On-Hudson, N.Y. The installation of officers for the coming year is scheduled for 11A.M. and will be followed by the luncheon at 12 noon. Entertainment will be presented by Gary Lovett, door prizes will be offered

and Granny Franny will display her boutique of antique jewelry. Subscription is $60.00 by advance reservation only. Please send check, payable to B.N.C., to Mrs. Jessie Wallerich, 3333 Henry Hudson Parkway-Apt. 5B, Bronx, N.Y. 10463, by May 19th. The menu includes salmon, chicken or a pasta as the main dish. Guests should indicate their choice on their check. Transportation, if needed, will be provided for $10.00 round trip and must be requested on a separate check. All proceeds will benefit the Brandeis Student Scholarship Fund.

ber 1, 2011. All submissions should be sent via email to Bronxplayfestival@gmail. com. Musical submissions must also include a Demo CD. Playwrights must be 18 years of age or older. Limit of 2 submissions per writer. Please direct questions to For more information, please contact Ben Becher at 718-548-8200 ext 208 or email at The Riverdale Y is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue.

Calling All Bronx Playwrights

New York Yankees executive Ray Negron and tennis great Cliff Richey were the honorees at the RMHA 52nd Anniversary Gala on May 4 at The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers. Richey, through his candid chronicling of his battle against depression, and Negron, through decades of community service, exemplify dedication to expanding public awareness of mental health issues and the importance of treatment. Cliff Richey is a legend of American tennis, author of the book, ‘Acing Depression: A Tennis Champion’s Toughest Match.’ He travels the country to share his story and inspire hope. Bronx native Ray Negron became a Yankee batboy, played minor league

Riverdale’s award-winning theater program, Riverdale Rising Stars, presents the First Annual Bronx Play Festival. Bronx Play Festival (BPF) will produce original short plays or musicals by Bronx writers, finally giving a voice to our home-grown artists. All Playwrights must either live, work, or attend school in our Bronx Borough. BPF will present selected plays in Staged Reading presentations open to the public. Selections will be made by a panel of playwrights, actors and directors. All readings will take place at the Riverdale Y theater, where the audiences will then vote on their favorite play. Submissions must be 5 to 30 minutes long. Deadline for submissions is Septem-

RMHA gala honors sports figures

baseball and went on to become a Yankee executive. He has devoted himself to assisting individuals and communities coping with addiction and other mental and physical challenges. Mark Sturgeon, LCSW, Director of the RMHA Resolve Center for Recovery, spoke of the power of relationships to heal and the work of the Center which serves persons with chemical dependency problems and their families. Riverdale resident, Rosemary Paulino, Administrator Director, was the first recipient of the Helen Meyers Staff Excellence Award established in honor of the late Dr. Helen Meyers, Director of RMHA for 28 years. For further information, see RMHA’s website at

Riverdale AARP Chapter to meet

The Riverdale Chapter 1546 AARP will meet on Wednesday, May 18at 12:30 p.m. at the Riverdale Presbyterian Church at 4765 Henry Hudson Parkway West. At this informative meeting Eric Schneider, a retired school teacher, will present a tour of the White House with slides and commentary. The community is invited to attend. Refreshments will be served. For more information call Manfred Segal at 718-549-0088.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, May 12, 2011

St. Gabriel’s Parish to sponsor trips

Thursday, May 12, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Waiting for Superman? Survey after survey, conducted year after year, consistently proves one important point about public education. While most people are highly critical of schools as a whole, they love their own child’s school, no matter how bad it really is. Such is the case with the Kingsbridge Innovative Design Charter School (KIDCS) whose charter the State Education Department has recommended to be revoked by the State Board of Regents when they meet early next week. The quick demise will set a new record, since the school only opened its doors last September. Since the day classes began in a temporary facility, nothing has gone right for the school. For the nearly 150 kindergarten and first graders, it has been a wasted year, according to state inspectors. An extensive, scathing report summarizing the state’s investigation of the school has been issued, yet it isn’t surprising to learn that the parents they interviewed “expressed strong support of the school,” although the state suggested “it was unclear to the site visit team the means by which parents were selected to participate in interviews with SED staff.” Was the fix in? Probably not. By and large parents will ignore any disaster in their own children’s school, so long as the students were not harmed physically. The confidence of these parents, however, was not shared by the state investigators. They “observed that engagement and discipline were recurring challenges for several teachers. Students in several classes consistently demonstrated inattention to lessons and engaged in distracting behaviors with other students.” Because of the gravity of the situation the school was in, a life-ordeath process to decide the fate of the school – and the jobs of the teachers, what transpired was ominous. In several classes teachers seemed unable to control the children who were “noisily engaged in their own chosen independent activities… were engaged in the horseplay… without redirection from teachers.” That was when they were being watched and rated. Can you imagine what transpired when the heat wasn’t on? Actually the chaos at KIDCS comes as no surprise to us. When they first presented their plans nearly 2 years ago, it was clear that the entire enterprise was built on meaningless jargon centered around the arcane philosophy of social constructivism, one of a dozen such questionable ideas stitched together in a proposal that would’ve been comical had not the futures of scores of children been put at risk. How the state education department failed to pick up on this initially and granted the charter is beyond us. Ordinary people have a technical term for such blather and that is “wacky,” which is exactly how we characterized their plans back in the summer of 2009. The report of the state investigators, which alluded to “the school’s unique educational philosophy,” conceded that there was “limited evidence of these practices during classroom observations.” That’s probably good news. When officials of the school were recruiting children to fill the initial kindergarten and first grade classes, the founding principal (who was summarily fired shortly after the school year began), promised that students would not receive homework, nor wear uniforms since they might “get dirty” and that no classroom would have textbooks. Although it was promised that students would learn multiplication and division in the first grade, rather than in the third and fourth grades as at the conventional public schools, the state investigators found that by March no math curriculum had been put in place at all, and materials to teach part of the mathematics curriculum were just arriving even though the school year was two thirds over. Materials for a social studies program never arrived, and just one grade received the materials for the science program, which appears not to have commenced. A program to teach children a foreign language never got off the ground. The instructional program, as disastrous as it is, looks good when compared to the school’s dismal record in running its own Continued on Page 19

Did Assemblyman Dinowitz have his 1989 speeding ticket fixed? To The Editor: This current, major, police ticket-fixing scandal, which started in the Bronx and has expanded to include all five boroughs, brings to mind an incident that was written about in the Daily News, the N.Y. Post and the N.Y. Times regarding a ticket for speeding on the Henry Hudson Parkway given to (now) Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz on March 28, 1989 that was dismissed because the officer never showed up at Manhattan Traffic Court. Back then, Mr. Dinowitz was not only the local Male Democratic District Leader, his full time job was as an Administrative Law Judge for the Department of Motor Vehicles in the Bronx. At the time, I wrote several letters to the editor questioning the dismissal and asking questions such as: 1) How did the case get before that particular judge? 2) Did the judge and

Mr. Dinowitz know each other? 3) Has the judge dismissed all similar cases where the officer failed to appear for the first time? If not, why was an exception made for Mr. Dinowitz? 4) Mr. Dinowitz said he “lucked out.” Do defendants “luck out” in his court? Naturally, these questions fell on deaf ears. Now, however, current circumstances may possibly bring answers to those questions. In a recent N.Y. Times article, “Police union fights back over inquiry, calling ticket-fixing a courtesy” (April 20). Edward Mullins, the president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, is reported as calling on

Bx1 local bus service restored on Sedgwick Avenue

Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz announced that the MTA has agreed to restore all local Bx1 bus stops west of Sedgwick and Dickinson Avenues, effective immediately. Many of these stops

ANDREW WOLF, Editor and Publisher

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

JOEL PAL Production Manager ROBERT NILVA Marketing Director

current and retired members of the force, across all ranks, to come forward with testimony about the beneficiaries of ticketfixing. He said he expected to find evidence that politicians, prosecutors, business leaders, celebrities, etc. have been among those who have had tickets fixed. One of the ways in which tickets were fixed was to arrange to have the officer who issued the ticket not show up in court. Who knows, maybe if Sgt. Mullins investigates, we can find out if Jeffrey Dinowitz really “lucked out” — or were strings pulled on his behalf. Alvin Gordon

CECILIA McNALLY Office Manager MIAWLING LAM Associate Editor

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

were eliminated when the MTA decided to implement ‘limitedstop’ service on the Bx1 line, cutting off bus service for too many residents. After Dinowitz complained to the MTA, the MTA agreed to restore service to these stops. The restored bus stops, all along Sedgwick Avenue, include two stops at the Amalgamated Houses that Dinowitz asked to be restored (at Dickinson Avenue and Hillman Avenue), and the stop in front of 3835 Sedgwick Avenue (already restored at Dinowitz’s request), plus other stops as well.

 

Special needs children workshop


Continued from Page 18 administrative affairs. The school is deep in debt, the result of wild overspending. As a result, the KIDCS is operating without a principal, and a teaching staff that has been dramatically cut down to the bone. The solution the school suggests, more borrowing, will only exacerbate their problems. Last year we warned parents not to get suckered into this school. We were right. We understand that many parents and children are have formed attachments to this school, but common sense tells us that continued devotion is misplaced. It is time for the Board of Regents to pull the plug and correct the mistake of granting this charter in the first place, before the children lose yet another year of instruction.

Riverdale Y is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue. For more information regarding the seminar, please contact Charlie Schiller at 718-548-8200 ext 229. For more information on our speakers go the website and

Skating rink Continued from Page 1

strong political voice of the Bronx. “I think that the city is starting to realize that we speak in one voice,” Diaz said. “For the first time in a very long time people are seeing the political leadership in our borough speaking in one voice and they’re taking us seriously. The community board keeps calling the parks department back to the table and ultimately there are questions that have to be answered.” The skating rink is set to be opened this November. The request for proposals deadline was postponed one week, to May 23, after the addendum allowing the cooling towers to be permanent was added. Members of the community board have been upset at the limited input the community has had, but some of them are now waiting until the board takes an official stance before voicing further opinions. Meanwhile legal questions have been raised as to whether one potential contractor had foreknowledge of the Request for Proposals, and indeed may have helped draft it to strengthen their chances of getting the contract.




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The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, May 12, 2011

On Wednesday, May 25 at 7:00 pm, the Riverdale Y will host a workshop on ‘ How to protect your child legally and financially’. Andrew Cohen, Esq and Mitch Weisbrot, CLU will present a informative seminar that addresses the legal and financial preparations that are crucial to safeguarding assets and benefits for your special needs child. Both men are fathers of children with disabilities. Their personal experience and professional expertise enables them to help other parents navigate the confusing and emotional aspects of estate planning that best serves the child. The entire community is invited. The


Thursday, May 12, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



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Bronx Week Parade and Food, Art & Music Festival


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Riverdale Review, May 12, 2011  

Weekly newspaper published in Riverdale, NY 10471