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Riverdale’s ONLY Locally Owned Newspaper!

Volume XIX • Number 18 • May 17 - 23, 2012 •


Brazen 235th St. bank robber flees with $3200 By MIAWLING LAM Police are on the hunt for a robbery suspect who fled from a local HSBC Bank with more than $3,000 in cash. The suspect, described as a black male in his 30s, allegedly walked into the HSBC Bank at 569 West 235th Street at Arlington Avenue shortly after noon on Monday, May 14. Community Affairs Officer at the 50th Precinct Mindy Ramos said the suspect handed the teller a note outlining his demands and indicated he had a gun. According to police, the note stated: “This is a bank robbery. I have a concealed gun. Give me the money in the drawer.” Officer Ramos said the bank employee complied and the suspect fled the scene with $3,238 in cash. No weapon was ever displayed. It is understood the teller did

not hand over bait bills with recorded serial numbers or hidden exploding dye packs. Police said the suspect, who sported a fake beard and black baseball cap, fled on foot heading northbound on Netherland Avenue but was not apprehended. Surveillance footage of the man, described as being 5 feet 10 inches tall and around 230 pounds, has been seized, and the matter has been referred to the NYPD major case squad for further investigation. When the Riverdale Review attended the scene around 12:30 p.m., confusion reigned as customers were turned away. A note posted at the entrance read: “Sorry for the inconvenience. The bank is currently closed.” As of press time, a request for comment to HSBC Bank was not returned.

The latest heist comes less than two months after another man attempted to rob the Chase Bank branch located at 3775 Riverdale Avenue. Police said the perpetrator in that incident, described as a white male in his 30s, did not get out with any money and fled the scene after the teller pressed the panic alarm. Both incidents follow a rash of eight other attempted bank robberies in The Bronx this year alone. Of those eight, half involved attempted hold-ups of Chase Bank branches at 1308 East Gun Hill Road at Burke Avenue, 3514 White Plains Road at East Gun Hill Road and 1489 Metropolitan Oval. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-557-TIPS (8477). All calls remain confidential.

Do you know this man?

Fieldston mansion ‘built for Jesus’ on market for $15 million

By MIAWLING LAM Who knew Jesus Christ had a soft spot for Riverdale? A palatial 15,000-square-foot mansion built for the second coming of Jesus Christ has just hit the market for a staggering asking price of $14.99 million. The Chapel Hill Mansion built in 1928 by the head of the New York Theological

Society is believed to be the most expensive property currently up for grabs in The Bronx. The sprawling seven-bedroom, sevenbathroom and five half-bathroom palace, located at 360 West 253rd Street, boasts custom high-end finishes including imported French walnut woodwork, limestone walls and ornate chandeliers

Never mind HGTV. This house was designed to meet needs of very important person.

acquired directly from the Plaza Hotel. The ceilings are gilded with gold and silver leaf, the floors are made of marble imported from the Vatican and there are six original hand-carved marble fireplaces. The Plaza Hotel’s band of artists even spent four years hand-painting and gilding the ceilings in each of the bedrooms. If those bells and whistles aren’t enough, the home also features modern conveniences including a gym, sauna, conservatory and terrace with a hot tub. Listing agent Sean McPeak from Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate said the house marries European elegance with American craftsmanship. “The house is very special. It’s like a baby Versailles,” he told The Riverdale Review. “There’s silver and gold all over the ceiling, everything is imported French walnut and there’s not a single nail used in the woodwork. The construction is unbelievable. “The only property I can compare it to would be Marble House in Newport, Rhode Island, which was built by the Vanderbilts.” If the successful buyer wants to make the property even more extravagant, plans for a 12-car garage, heated driveway and pool have already been approved and

finalized. While the house was originally designed for the Christian savior, McPeak said no feature references its religious beginnings. “I only mention it because it gives you an idea of the insane amount of detail—the fanatical amount of detail—that went into the house,” he said. McPeak said while nobody has yet to snap up the property—it was listed only last week—there has been considerable interest from deep-pocketed buyers from Manhattan, from Connecticut and even from foreign investors. “There’s a lot of buzz around it because of its unique characteristics,” he said. “The amount of land that it comes with makes it very rare. Usually houses this big—and there’s a few in Riverdale—cover only about half an acre, and this one is over two acres.” According to the real estate blurb, the mansion is set upon approximately 2.3 acres. “Spectacular views are a main attraction, as the mansion sits on the highest point in all of New York City,” it states. “The serene location makes this a oneof-a-kind home in the history of New York City.” McPeak declined to provide further information about the owner but said she’s Continued on Page 10

Thursday, May 17, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


New Healing Touch is closed—for now By MIAWLING LAM and ALLISON SUMMERS A local massage parlor suspected of serving as a front for prostitution has been temporarily shuttered under the city’s nuisance law. Police officers attached to the NYPD Nuisance Abatement Unit slapped New Healing Touch, located at 4685 Manhattan College Parkway, with the restraining order and padlocked the establishment just after 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 9. But a move to permanently close the rogue parlor hit a snag after police identified the wrong landowner and filed the nuisance abatement order against Manhattan College. The Riverdale Review can reveal that attorneys for the NYPD committed the error after they used, the Automated City Register Information System, to identify the current landowner of the block on which the parlor resides. The website incorrectly lists Manhattan College as owning this property, and the city did not look at other sources of information like property tax records to verify the data. “After obtaining a copy of the deed, we have verified that Manhattan College is not the owner of this property, nor has it ever owned the property,” NYPD attorney Antony M. Anisman said outside Bronx Supreme Court last Friday. “Manhattan College is not in any way affiliated with the massage parlor, and it does not condone any of the activities that took place. We apologize for the mistake and hope that not much harm was done.” Meanwhile, Manhattan College attorney Andrew Galaway said he hopes the reputation of the school won’t be soiled by its wrongful implication in the case. “The city didn’t do this on purpose,” he said. “But it’s like accusing a man’s wife of prostitution. It doesn’t matter if she’s found innocent, people will always associate her with prostitution. They’ll always remember the negative.” As of press time, New Healing Touch was still closed, with a series of fluorescent red and orange signs plastered over its windows spelling out the reasons for its closure. The NYPD said they plan to move forward with the abatement once they identify the true landowner. Authorities have pursued New Healing Touch’s shuttering since December, when undercover officers first nabbed a worker for soliciting money in return for sexual services. Yingji Li, 40, was busted and charged with one count of prostitution during a sting operation on December 22, while Ying Al Li, 43, was busted during a second sting on February 29. She was also arrested and charged with one count of unauthorized practice of a profession and another misdemeanor prostitution count. It is understood both women offered to manually stimulate their client’s penis for $20. Under a nuisance abatement order, a city judge can order a building be boarded up if there is sufficient evidence that two counts of prostitution occurred on the premises. Captain Burke said the massage parlor has been a “chronic source of complaints from the community” and that he was hopeful the court would shut the premises for good. “From what I’m told by the attorneys who are handling the case, judges are not very lenient in these types of situations,” he said. “The burden is going to be on [New Healing Touch] to get it reopened, and if history is any indication, they won’t be.” Representatives of New Healing Touch could not be immediately reached but in a telephone interview on March 20, Jing Li, a man who claimed to be Ying Al Li’s brother,

denied she ever offered sexual services. “She’s never doing this prostitution,” he said. “She has a therapy license. She’s been working no problems. There is something wrong. She is maybe discrimination.” Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, who along with state Sen. Jeffrey Klein has introduced legislation to toughen penalties for such violations, welcomed news of the closure. “I thank the 50th Precinct for taking strong action and closing this blight on our community,” he said in a statement. “It’s important that we always respond quickly and decisively when the quality of life in our neighborhoods is threatened.” Under the proposed legislation, state officials would revoke the operating license of a massage parlor if police rack up three prostitution arrests.

By MIAWLING LAM Manhattan College has ditched plans to sell monthly parking passes and will instead offer the general public 50 free spaces in its Broadway garage. The Riverdale Review can reveal that the Lasallian educational institution is currently finalizing plans to open its fivestory parking lot to the community. Manhattan College spokeswoman Liz Bauman confirmed the news and said the 50 parking spaces would most likely be distributed via a random lottery draw. “We are committed to making spaces available to the public,” she said. “In fact, we are preparing to provide 50 parking spaces to the Riverdale community without charge. The availability of these parking spots will be determined shortly.” Procedures such as determining which spaces to allocate, how best to accommodate the public and how to address additional staffing requirements were also being developed, she said. The college has copped plenty of flak for shirking their commitment to provide public access to their 658-space garage, citing covenants made with various government agencies. Just last week, Community Board 8 land use chair Charles Moerdler blasted college officials for delaying implementation of their parking plans. “Considering the excellence in engineering and other sciences provided by Manhattan College, I have great difficulty understanding why it takes a year for them to come up with a plan,” he said. “I have practiced law for over 50 years and I know how somebody jerks you around, and I have never seen a greater

jerk-around than this one.” Moerdler claimed Manhattan College was in clear breach of the law and was legally required to provide public access, as federal monies were used to fund construction. “They are violating the public access rule,” he said. “There are no ifs, no ands, no buts, no maybes about it, and they know it.” Moerdler warned that if the school fails to unveil plans for implementation at next month’s land use committee meeting, he will notify the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York of their breach. The school currently has a pending bond issue request before the municipal provider for their new 69,000-square-foot Raymond W. Kelly Student Commons facility. However, Bauman refuted claims the school was in violation of any laws. She said the college currently accommodates the general public by making the garage available upon request for various community events, sporting and religious events and activities in Van Cortlandt Park and neighboring institutions. An existing agreement with Riverdale Chrysler Jeep where vehicles are stored in the garage also constitutes public use, Bauman asserted. As the Riverdale Review reported last year, Manhattan College has allowed Riverdale Chrysler Jeep to store around 20 cars in the garage since at least 2010. Vehicles are still parked there. “Riverdale Chrysler Jeep has been a good neighbor of the College for many years, and their use of the College also constitutes public use,” Bauman said in a statement late last week. “We are still allowing their vehicles to be stored in

the garage.” She also hinted that college officials were planning to utilize the long-vacant space that Pathmark was supposed to occupy. “We engaged a real estate agent and have been seeking a retail tenant for about three years. Since our efforts to date have been unsuccessful and the community has requested we consider their use of the facility, we are currently working out the final details,” she said. The 50 free spaces will be offered in addition to the up to 25 parking slots already promised to the so-called displaced Waldo Avenue parkers. As reported last week, residents along Waldo Avenue will be offered a commensurate number of spaces

taken for construction once building on the new student center begins later this year. The latest development comes a month after authorities suggested that motorists would be asked to pony up $180 per month for the privilege of parking in their garage. At the time, Manhattan College vice president of facilities Andrew Ryan said around 75 spaces would be sold to the public and that the monthly charge was needed to cover costs of running the garage 24/7. Currently, the parking garage is strictly open to students and employees at the college and as such is closed during school vacations.

3 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, May 17, 2012

Parking relief on way as college offers more spaces to the public

Thursday, May 17, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Around the schools... P.S. 24

Springfest2012, the annual street fair fundraiser, is on Wednesday, June 6, from 5 to 8 p.m. on West 235th Street off Independence Avenue. There will be food, music, crafts, games and inflatables. Parent volunteers are needed—to participate, contact

P.S. 81

This year’s international dinner, raffle and silent auction will take place this Thursday, May 17, from 6:30 to 8:30 in the school cafeteria. All families are asked to bring a dish their family enjoys—enough of it to serve eight. Foods should be contained in disposable pans. Items to be auctioned include Riverdale Neighborhood House pool passes, an American Girl doll, a New Horizons class and memberships to the North Riverdale Baseball League and the Riverdale Soccer Club. During the event, parents will have an opportunity to view student artwork displayed in the auditorium lobby gallery.

M.S./H.S. 141—Riverdale/ Kingsbridge Academy

The community is invited to share in two upcoming events: The first-ever RKArnival is this Friday, May 18, from 5 to 8 p.m. in the school yard. Admission is free, and tickets will be on sale for contests, games and food. Expect music, dancing, prizes and fun. The annual Spring Arts Festival is on Thursday, May 24, at 7 p.m. Student artwork will be on display, and performances—choral, instrumental and dance—will will feature students from all grades. The suggested contribution is $5.

Horace Mann School

Tenth-grader Rebecca Shaw’s essay, “Understanding the Psychological Impact of Natural Disasters: Grief, Learned Helplessness, Attribution Theory and Positive Psychology,” was among the top four selected in the 2012 American Psychological Association Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools Essay Scholars Competition. Riverdalian Agatha Hillel, a ninthgrader, and senior Rebecca Segall won certificates of merit in the Medusa Mythology Exam, an international standard test for mythology enthusiasts. HM gold medal winners were Lenn Uchima and

Jonathan Slifkin, and the bronze medal winner was Valerie Bodhurta.

Kinneret Day School

School parent Dr. Joshua Gordon, a neuroscientist at Columbia University, gave a hands-on class about the human brain. For comparison, he brought in a preserved human specimen as well as brains from of a variety of animals from mice to monkeys. The fourth- and fifthgraders actually held and inspected the brains.

Manhattan College

Dr. Robert Geraci, associate professor of religious studies, was recently awarded a Fulbright-Nehru Scholar grant to research the social study of artificial intelligence and robotics at the Indian Institute of Science in Banglore, India. His research project will begin December 2012 and end April 2013. In his 2010 book, “Apocalyptic AI: Visions of Heaven in Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality,” Geraci analyzed how the western religious apocalyptic traditions have affected the way people think about robotics and artificial intelligence. Using this concept of how technology and meaning are intertwined, he will interview roboticists, computer scientists and researchers in India to gain further insight and identify any religious connection. Geraci is also preparing to publish his latest book on the association between video games and transhumanism. He is one of approximately 1,100 U.S. faculty members and professionals who will travel abroad through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program in the 2012-2013 academic year. The U.S. government sponsors the Fulbright Program, its flagship international educational exchange program.

Local Scholars

Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York, has announced that Russell Soifer-Gorelick was inducted into the Ithaca College chapter of Alpha Kappa Delta International Sociology Honor Society. The society promotes scholastic excellence in the study of social and intellectual activities that lead to improvement in the human condition. To qualify, students must express a strong interest in sociology, have junior or senior standing, have taken at least four sociology courses and maintain a GPA of at least 3.3.

By MIAWLING LAM Nine new police officers have joined the ranks of the 50th Precinct, providing the command with a much-needed manpower boost. Commanding officer of the 50th Precinct Captain Kevin Burke said the new crop of cops would be tasked with responding to 911 calls and patrolling high-crime areas within the precinct. The group who started work on Monday, May 7, have been assigned to the 3 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. shift and have already started to make inroads in reducing crime. Captain Burke said one of them made an arrest on his second day on the job at the 5-0—busting a man for possession of marijuana at the intersection of West 225th Street and Broadway. “Although they have less than two years on the job, they’re definitely experienced officers,” Captain Burke said. “They seem like an eager bunch and are very happy to be here. It’s good to get new blood. It invigorates everybody.” All of the nine officers came from the NYPD’s Impact Unit and spent the past 22 months working in high-crime areas in the borough. “We were lucky enough to get them,” Captain Burke said. “They were spread all throughout The Bronx, and we got nine. I think they’ll have a positive impact, and it’ll head in the right direction towards crime reduction.” The boost in manpower now brings the total number of cops at the precinct to 127. Although the increase of nine officers is less than the 12 initially projected for the precinct, Captain Burke said three

additional officers are scheduled to join the 5-0 at the end of summer. Johnson Avenue resident Tal Plotkin said one of the areas in need of a more visible police presence is around Ewen Park. The long-time Riverdalian appeared

at last Thursday’s Community Council meeting to urge police to add the park to their evening patrol schedule. The site is near where local aspiring chef Hwang Bum Yang was fatally shot and killed by two robbers looking to steal his iPhone on April 19.

Hateful graffiti removed from West 231st Street mailbox

By ALLISON SUMMERS Hateful graffiti—the words “white power” and a swastika—was removed from a mailbox on the corner of West 231st Street and Kingsbridge Avenue. Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz contacted the 50th Precinct upon seeing the tainted mailbox while Congressman Eliot Engel called the U.S. Postal Service to have the graffiti removed. “The Postal Service and the police showed the urgency we need to fight this kind of bigotry,” Engel said in a statement. “These vandals are a tiny minority, but we cannot allow them to stain our neighborhood with their obscene messages.” Dinowitz said he was grateful that the police department responded so quickly and that USPS dispatched a worker to paint over the graffiti. “I thank the 50th Precinct for promptly investigating this matter,” he said. “This kind of bigotry has no place in our society. We will not tolerate those who blemish our beautiful community with hateful drivel.” This is not the first time the area has been marked by hateful, anti-Semitic vandalism. In April 2011, 45-year-old Brian Siegel

was arrested for defacing the third-floor hallway of 3671 Hudson Manor Terrace by drawing swastikas on the doors and walls, scattering papers over the floor and covering the floor with a fine, white powder. He also placed swastika stickers in

the laundry room and, in a separate instance, provoked a call to the police when he appeared outside the Riverdale Jewish Center on Independence Avenue with swastikas painted on the back of his pants.

Doomed post offices get reprieve By MIAWLING LAM The U.S. Postal Service has halted plans to close more than 3,700 post offices nationwide, including a dozen stations in The Bronx. Officials announced they were putting their controversial shrinkage strategy on hold just days before their self-imposed moratorium was set to expire. Among the 12 Bronx post offices under threat were the Spuyten Duyvil station at 562 Kappock Street, the Botanical Garden station at 2963 Webster Avenue and the Van Cott station at 3102 Decatur Avenue. Congressman Eliot Engel said he was glad the proposed closings were temporarily shelved but that the battle was far from over.

“The better news would be that the proposed closings are permanently off the table,” he said. “It is discouraging that the Postal Service does not seem to realize the importance of local post offices to communities.” USPS authorities announced plans to close more than 3,700 facilities last summer after it posted a $5.1 billion loss in fiscal year 2011. Officials originally revealed they were studying 17 Bronx post offices for closure. However, after raucous rallies and widespread community backlash, USPS took five stations off the list in January, including the Fieldston branch at 446 West 238th Street.

5 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, May 17, 2012

New cops expand police presence on local streets

“We’ve got to keep the presence. If you have the nine guys, if you have the patrol guys, bring them in the cop car and have one of the guys walk down the middle,” Plotkin said. “If they can do it every hour or every two hours, it’s a presence, and we all know the whole ‘broken glass’ syndrome. My fear is that it’s contagious and breeds the other things.”

the east. Dr. Glasser will trace the history of Yiddish from its beginnings in western Europe through its expansion eastward and finally to its reaching the Americas, Asia and Africa with jewish immigration. Please join us for a stimulating and informative afternoon.

Thursday, May 17, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Musical to be presented at the Riverdale Y

The award-winning Riverdale Rising Stars present a limited engagement of their spring musical classic 42nd Street! This Tony Award-winning musical features well known songs including Lullaby of Broadway, We’re In The Money, 42nd Street and more. Boasting a cast of 29, these talented teens will tap their way into your hearts with this old-fashioned musical comedy - perfect for all ages. Show times and dates are Thursday, May 17 at 7:30pm, Saturday, May 19 at 9:00pm and Sunday, May 20 at 3:00pm and 7:00pm. Please visit for tickets and more information. Group sales are available. Contact Lwalton@riverdaley. org. The Riverdale Y is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue.

Free writers workshop at Bay Plaza

Presented by the Bronx Council on the Arts’ Bronx Writers Center, World Building for Fantasy & Science Fiction Writers is a free hands-on workshop for all writers (even the secret ones.) Bring a notebook and a pen and prepare to create a unique world. A brief Q&A will follow The workshop will be held at Barnes & Noble at Bay Plaza on Friday, May 18, 2012, from 6:00-8:00pm. Admission is free and all are welcome. This workshop will be facilitated by

Allison Alberts, a PhD candidate in the English Department at Fordham University where she teaches both writing and literature classes and is the director of Fordham’s Rose Hill Writing Center. She is currently writing her dissertation on medieval and early modern women. Allison lives in the Bronx with her husband and enjoys cooking, wandering around the New York Botanical Garden and watching old movies. World Building for Fantasy and Science Fiction Writers is one of a series of free workshops for writers produced by the Bronx Writers Center. Upcoming BWC workshops through September 21, 2012 at Barnes and Noble at Bay Plaza are: • Ask an Editor, Ask an Agent on June 15th, • Getting to the Finish Line: How to Prepare Your Writing for the Next Stage on July 20th, • First Lines: Getting Started on Your Writing Project on August 17th, and • How to Get Your Work Published on September 21st. For additional information on this workshop or other events presented by the Bronx Writers Center, call 718-931-9500 x21, e-mail, or visit the Bronx Writers Center’s web pages at Barnes & Noble at Bay Plaza is located at 290 Baychester Avenue in the Co-op City section of the Bronx. To find out about other literary activities at the store, please call 718-862-3945 or visit www.barnesandnoble. com (click on “Stores and Events”).

Volunteers needed to survey beaches

Get fit, help protect the city’s beaches and save marine wildlife by enrolling in the annual Volunteer Beach Floatables Program. Under the initiative, run by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, volunteers are mobilized each summer to survey more than 45 beaches across the five boroughs. Participants are asked to walk along the shoreline or on their favorite beach and spot debris such as styrofoam, wood, glass or plastic waste. They do not have to pick up or touch anything and instead simply record any items they see and report it to the agency each week. The program is critical as it provides

authorities with useful data, ensures fewer beach closures and helps save marine wildlife from ingesting the debris. Upon registration, each volunteer will receive all materials necessary for monitoring, including letters of authorization and acknowledgment. For more information, please contact 212-889-4216 or 917-658-2380.

Card party to be held at St. John’s School

St. John’s Card Party will be held on Saturday, May 19, at Old St. John’s School, 3030 Godwin Terrace. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Admission of $5 includes door prizes and refreshments. There is plenty of parking. For more information, call 718-543-3003.

Community Board 8 celebrates It’s My Park Day

On Saturday, May 19, 2012 join Bronx Community Board No. 8, Ft. Independence Park Neighborhood Association, Kingsbridge Heights Neighborhood Improvement Association, Our Lady of Angels Parrish, the High School of American Studies at Lehman College Key Club and NYC Parks Department, between 10:00AM and 3:00PM to help beautify and celebrate IT’S MY PARK DAY at Fort Four Park located at Reservoir Avenue between Sedgwick Avenue and Goulden Avenue. It’s a family and community event! It’s a family and community event! On It’s My Park Day, give a little back to your favorite park: volunteer! Throughout the city, New Yorkers will be chipping in to clean up and help maintain their parks and playgrounds. Volunteering to clean up in New York City parks is a great way for New Yorkers to give back to their communities. You can join us and volunteer to work in Fort Four Park. Paint benches, fencing, comfort stations, park houses, clear litter, rake leaves throughout the park playground and park greenspace. Everyone will meet at the Fort Four Park Playground gates at 10:00 AM. Equipment and tools will be provided by NYC Parks Department. Bring work or gardening gloves if you have them. Celebrate this wonderful park that is a vital center of our neighborhood. Bring your family, bring your neighbors, and bring your friends! Participate in a fun, free event for the whole family!

YIVO Jewish Culture Series at Riverdale Temple

The YIVO Jewish Culture Series in partnership between the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research and Riverdale Temple, will hold its last lecture in the series for this year on Sunday, May 20 at 2PM at the Riverdale Temple. This is the fourth of a series of four lectures for the 2011-2012 year. The response to this lecture series has been very positive and we look forward to the event again next season. The event is FREE. The Riverdale Temple is at 4545 Independence Avenue (at 246th Street). Paul Glasser, the Dean of the Max Weinreich Center of Yivo will speak on the History of the Yiddish Language. At its height, Yiddish was spoken fro the North Sea im the west almost to the Caucasus in

The Great Women of Woodlawn

What do Nelly Bly, Celia Cruz and Elizabeth Cady Stanton have in common? They are all women who were ahead of their time and all are buried at Woodlawn Cemetery Friends of Woodlawn Cemetery is pleased to present a special program with folklorist Elena Martinez who will tell the stories of, and give voice to, many women whose works and actions have opened doors for those of us today. From globe-trotting investigative reporter, Nellie Bly, to feminist leader Elizabeth Cady Stanton; to Carmen Miyares de Mantilla who organized women’s groups to fight Spanish colonialism in Cuba. And to make the program even more interesting we’ll have four amazing poets: the Godmother of Nuyorican poetry, Sandra Maria Esteves, Bronx star Caridad ‘La Bruja’ De La Luz, tour veteran Maegan ‘La Mamita Mala’ Ortíz, and Brooklyn poet and musician, Bekah Dinnerstein. They’ll recite their poems inspired by the likes of trendsetting dancer Irene Castle, the Queen of Magic, Adelaide Herrmann, and the Queen of Salsa, Celia Cruz among others. The program will be held on Sunday, May 20, at 1:00 p.m. at The Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, New York. Meet at the Jerome Ave. entrance (near Bainbridge Ave., across from the last stop on the #4 train). Cost: $15 for adults, $10 for seniors, students, and Friends members. Purchase tickets and make reservations at www. (Upcoming Events) or call 718-920-1469.

Riv. Temple announces upcoming activities

The Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program (AFEP) is being offered at the Riverdale Temple with Stan. For those who are unfamiliar with the program, it offers gentle stretching, balancing, endurance and strengthening components for eight one hour sessions. There will be no cost to participants. Mondays, 10-11 a.m., from May 7th until June 28th. *NOTE: No class on Memorial Day* Held at Riverdale Temple 4545 Independence Ave Riverdale, NY 10471 Please call the office for registration 718-548-3800 ext 0 We will host a YIVO lecture on the history of Yiddish language, given by Paul Glasser, at 2pm Riverdale Temple 4545 Independence Ave Riverdale, NY 10471 To RSVP, please visit or call 212-294-6127. Tot Shabbat, May 18th @ 5:30 pm in the West Lounge at Riverdale Temple 4545 Independence Ave Riverdale, NY 10471 718-548-3800 ext 0 Come enjoy music, dance, and crafts! Open to all children birth to 6 (older siblings welcome, too). Please join us at Sabbath Evening Services May 18 to honor Cantorial Intern, Aviva Kolet for sharing her angelic voice with us for the past two years. Professional quartet and Organist. Special kiddush will follow the service. Riverdale Temple 4545 Independence Ave Riverdale, NY 10471 718-548-3800 ext 0 Shavuot at Riverdale Temple! Shavuot Festival Service with Yizkor 10:30am Sunday, May 27 and Chavurah Shavuot Second Day Observance on Monday, May 28, 10am

In the Riverdale Children’s Theatre’s spring production of “Seussical Junior!” Tony Award winners Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (“Once on This Island”; “Ragtime”) and a cast of 7- to 12-year-olds have lovingly brought to life all of our favorite Dr. Seuss characters, including Horton the Elephant, the Cat in the Hat, Gertrude McFuzz, lazy Mayzie and a little boy with a big imagination—Jojo. “Oh, the Thinks You Can Think” captures the show’s spirit of imagination as the colorful characters transport us from the Jungle of Nool to the Circus McGurkus to the invisible world of the Whos. There are two remaining shows this Sunday, May 20, at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Performances are at the RKA auditorium, 660 West 237th Street off Independence Avenue. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students. Stars of the show are Ava Ulloa, Ali Grossman, Anna Meo, Barak FellnerDublin, Basia Fellner-Dublin, Bianca Urbina, Bridget Quinn, Dafna Horowitz, Emma Kelly, Ethan Homan, Hannah Winter, Haylee Brown, Helena McHugh, Julia Cappell, Juliana Moriera, Kara McCourt, Karen Coughlan, Kiki Manuguerra, Lara Belton, Maya Bradley, Molly Egan, Nadja Diaz, Naveah Diaz, Perla Aquino, Raz Benyamin, Ruthi Wasserman, Ryan Staunton, Samantha Khitrov, Samantha Rosen, Sara Rose Greenburg, Sarah Egan, Sarah Laverty, Sebi Gonzalez, Sophia Moore, Sophie Black, Tristan Rodriguez and Tyler Rodriguez. Tickets are available online at

May 20 park cleanup on West 232nd Street

The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation will devote part of Sunday, May 20, to clearing additional brush and debris from the wooded area along the south side of Seton Park along West 232nd Street between Independence and Palisade avenues. At the initial cleanup event on February 26, volunteers from all parts of Riverdale collaborated with the parks department in an impressive effort toward making the area cleaner and safer. The volunteers have formed an ad hoc group to continue the work, and we welcome others to join in this community project. The parks department will supply rakes and wheelbarrows for clearing light debris and spreading wood chips to create a simple, scenic path. Without the path-and with no sidewalkthose who take West 232nd Street along Seton Park to walk or bike along Riverdale Park must compete with vehicular traffic on a limited-visibility road. The scheduled timeframe for the cleanup is 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Please come dressed for outdoor work and bring sturdy gloves! For more information, call Sura at 718-543-6527.

BAE to present chamber music concert

The Bronx Arts Ensemble’s 3 pm chamber music concert on Sunday, May 20 at the home of George and Katrin Phocas at 5020 Goodridge Avenue in the Bronx features Broadway guitarist Scott Kuney

and BAE clarinetist Mitchell Kriegler. Concert program includes Robert Baksa’s “Nonet”, Luigi Boccherini’s “Quintet for Guitar and Strings in D, G.448 (‘Fandango’)”, and Johannes Brahms’s “Quintet for Clarinet and Strings”. Tickets to the May 20 concert are $25 and include an intermission reception to meet the artists. or 718.601.7399. Broadway musician SCOTT KUNEY is a prolific live and recording performer. His recent Broadway credits include “How to Succeed in Business With-

out Really Trying”, “Bye Bye Birdie”, “Spamalot”, “Assassins”, “42nd Street” and albums credits include “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”, “Strike Up The Band”, “Sing Your Song”, “Sounds of Brazil” and “Passage of Time”.New York City born ROBERT BAKSA is one of America’s most prolific composers. Mr. Baksa grew up in Tucson, Arizona and eventually earned a BA in Composition at the University of Arizona. He returned to live in New York City in the early 60s. He has written more than 500 pieces

7 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, May 17, 2012

Riv. Children’s Theatre to present ‘Seussical Junior’

of music since his first efforts as a teenager. Since his earliest New York reviews critics have noted his melodic gifts, the structural clarity and harmonious nature of his music. His first pieces, short piano pieces written in the early 1950s, which he later arranged for wind trio, are still being performed around the world. His numerous choral pieces have been performed in many countries and his art songs have been featured in two recent studies on the subject of American Art Song. For the past three decades chamber music has been a major focus and he has written over 70 works for a wide variety of combinations as well as sonatas for most of the major instruments. Mr. Baksa serves as New Music Coordinator and Composer in Residence for the Pleshakov Music Center.

Thursday, May 17, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Thursday, May 17 Riverdale

CINEMA THURSDAY 2 p.m. Riverdale Branch Library 5540 Mosholu Avenue Featuring the film: Jailhouse Rock, starring Elvis Presley, Judy Tyler, Dean Jones. Directed by Richard Thorpe. 1957. For more information, call 718-549-1212.


LECTURE 2 p.m. Riverdale Temple 4545 Independence Avenue The YIVO Jewish Culture Series will feature Dr. Paul Glasser, who will speak on the History of the Yiddish Language. The event is free.


GAME ON 4 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Come have some fun playing the latest XBox 360 games with Kinect at the Kingsbridge Library! For ages 12-18. For more information, call 718-548-5656.

ARTIST RECEPTION 4:30 p.m. Riverdale YM-YWHA 5625 Arlington Avenue Seven different artists from the Riverdale Art Association will be displaying their works at the Riverdale Y’s Gallery 18 for the month of May. Opening reception on May 20. For more information, call 718-548-8200.

Van Cortlandt

Monday, May 21

Friday, May 18

BOOK TALK 11 a.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 West 235th Street Come share your reading experiences with other readers! 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.


Wii TIME 4 p.m. Van Cortlandt Branch Library 3874 Sedgwick Avenue Join us @ the Van Cortlandt Library for afternoons of fun and games. (Bowling, Baseball, Tennis). For ages 5 to 12 years. For more information, call 718-543-5150.


Spuyten Duyvil

TAI CHI 10 a.m. Riverdale Branch Library 5540 Mosholu Avenue This tai chi (Sun Style) includes agile steps and exercises that may improve mobility, breathing and relaxation. Tai chi has been show to reduce pain and stiffness, increase flexibility, enhance muscle strength, improve concentration and memory, and help people cope with stress and depression. This is an adult program. Registration is required. Please call the branch at 718-549-1212 or send an e-mail to to reserve your spot.



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

STAY WELL EXERCISE 10 a.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Stay Well volunteers certified by the NYC’s Department for the Aging will lead participants in a well-balanced series of exercises for seniors of all ability levels. Please wear loose comfortable clothing. Exercise equipment will be provided. All participants are required to sign a personal medical waiver at the beginning of the class. Audience: Adults, 50+. For more information, call 718-548-5656.

Spuyten Duyvil

SWORD IN THE STONE 3:30 p.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 West 235th Street Young Wart stumbles upon an unusual friend: a memorable and beloved old sorcerer named Merlin. With Merlin’s guidance, he is astonished to discover that he is the only person in the kingdom who can pull an embedded sword from its massive stone pedestal: the legendary blade, Excalibur. Little does he know that he will grow up to become the just, ethical, and admired King Arthur! Presented by the Traveling Lantern Theatre Company. For ages 4 and older. For info, call 718-796-1202.


TEEN ADVISORY GROUP 4 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Let your voice be heard in the Kingsbridge Library’s Teen Advisory Group! TAG meetings will be held on Friday afternoons from 4-5 pm. If you are a 7th -12th grade student, you are eligible to join. For more information, call 718-548-5656.

Saturday, May 19 Kingsbridge

CARD PARTY 6 p.m. Old St. John’s School 3030 Godwin Terrace Includes door prizes and refreshments. Free parking. For more information, call 718-543-3003..

Sunday, May 20 Kingsbridge Hts.

SPRING FUNDRAISER 11 a.m. Amalgamated Nursery School 120 Gale Place Games for the children and BBQ food will be available at a small fee. Air Castle, Face painting, live entertainment , Ballon animals. A silent auction will be held with donations from local vendors, (restaurants, deli donations) Bronx Zoo, Spa certificates just to name a few. For info, call 718-543-8688.

KNITTING & CROCHET 5 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Gather with other knitters and crocheters and perhaps pickup a few tips and tricks as you work on your own creations! For more information, call 718-548-5656.

Tuesday, May 22 Riverdale


CB8 BOARD MEETING 3:30 p.m. Hudson Pointe 3220 Henry Hudson Parkway Meeting of the Aging Committee of Community Board 8. For more information, call 718-884-3959.


GADGETS & GIZMOS 4 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Did you know that sailors can live underwater for months, or even years, on a submarine? This workshop helps students understand how pressure, density and buoyancy all help to make submarines work. Presented by the Children’s Museum of Manhattan. For ages 6 and older. Limited to 25 participants. For more information, call 718-548-5656.

Wednesday, May 23 Spuyten Duyvil

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


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


CLUB MEETING 7 p.m. Ben Franklin Club 304 West 231st Street Meeting to hear candidates and consider endorsements for the upcoming primary elections. For more information, call 718-796-6177.


The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thursday, May 17, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


A home ‘fit for a Messiah’ is on sale here Continued from Page 1 a retired attorney who has spent the past 25 years renovating the house. City property records show the mansion is owned by SGD Corporation and has a current market value of $3.4 million. The lavish house has been used as a filming location for an episode of Gossip Girl, a BBC documentary and various high-end fashion shoots. McPeak said a blockbuster movie featuring a high-profile celebrity was also filmed at the house. While he would not reveal the name of the production, he

said the movie is penciled in for a May 24 premiere in Manhattan. The mystery owner has been trying to offload the Riverdale mansion for the past three years. According to StreetEasy, a real estate listings information website, the property was listed in 2009 with Sotheby’s International Realty for a sale price of $15 million. After interested buyers failed to come forward, it was given a price chop in May 2010 and was listed with Douglas Elliman for $13.975 million.

The conservatory seems to be the perfect place to meet with your disciples.

11 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, May 17, 2012




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Riverdale high ground placed in low land zone

By MIAWLING LAM The gated community of Fieldston, including the highest point in The Bronx, is at risk of coastal flooding, city officials claim. Authorities made the stunning revelation when they unveiled their proposed revised Waterfront Revitalization Program at last week’s Community Board 8 land use committee meeting. The program is a regulatory review tool designed to help the city make the most of its waterfront while remaining consistent with 10 key policy areas. According to a map of the coastal zone boundaries, Department of City Planning officials claim most of Riverdale is at risk of surging sea level rise from global warming.

Under the proposed borders, all of Fieldston, Independence Avenue, Delafield Avenue and Riverdale Avenue fall within the coastal zone. Fieldston Hill, located at West 250th Street and Grosvenor Avenue—a point officially recognized as the highest point in The Bronx—is even encompassed in the coastal zone. Although officials have not proposed changes to the little-known boundaries—they were first drawn up in 1982— residents and community members are up in arms. CB8 land use chairman Charles Moerdler scoffed at the inclusion of Fieldston—located at least half a mile from



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Thursday, May 17, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


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the Hudson River—and said placing it in the coastal zone was illogical. “The lines that they have proposed to include are somewhat skewed,” he said. “It seems to me, there’s no logical basis to say it’s coastal. You can have drainage that goes from the top of Fieldston that will go into the water. That is what usually happens—stuff runs down hills. Good stuff and bad stuff.” CB8 member Thomas Durham was also perplexed by the coastal zone boundaries. “I don’t see why the line is going any further than Riverdale Avenue,” he said. But DCP waterfront and open space planning director Michael Morella said visual quality and natural resources were also taken into account. “Here in The Bronx and in Riverdale in particular, we recognize that the natural resources of the coastal waterfront extends further inland, which is why it extends further inland,” he said. He also stressed that the Waterfront Revitalization Program was simply a regulatory tool that would kick in only under certain conditions. Discretionary actions such as ULURP applications, city capital projects, programs funded with federal monies or state or federal environmental permits for in-water construction and wetlands would trigger a WRP, Morella said. Asof-right projects would not require a WRP review. Morella denied claims the WRP process was an extra layer of red tape and said it would provide added protection. “The Bloomberg administration is not a fan of additional burdens for the regulatory process,” he said.

“The program is intended to be a way of weighing and comparing and balancing all of these various policies and recognizing that a project has to ultimately seek compromises.” According to the DEC and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, sea levels will rise by up to 23 inches by 2080. However, they warn that if melting of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets accelerates, sea levels could rise by up to 55 inches. If approved, revisions to the Waterfront Revitalization Program could have major implications for the community. Several institutions such as SAR Academy, the College of Mount Saint Vincent and Riverdale Temple could be subject to the WRP review if they propose a new development or project. The creation of a Hudson River Greenway link and plans by the Hebrew Home at Riverdale to construct additional housing on its newly acquired 14-acre waterfront plot would also be affected. The additions and changes are designed to reflect the priorities for waterfronts laid out in the city’s Vision 2020 document, which specifies a 10-year plan to improve all city waterfronts. Feedback is currently being sought from the 48 affected community boards throughout the city, as well as from borough presidents and borough boards. The plan will then be subject to City Planning Commission hearings and a vote, a City Council review, and finally a review by the New York State Department of State and the U.S. Department of Commerce. “City Planning did indicate that they were willing to receive commentary on those lines, and I have very little doubt that they will receive commentary,” Moerdler said.


Concerto Competition will perform with the Yonkers Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of James Sadewhite.

FENG SHUI 6 p.m. Somers Library Route 139 As with Tai Chi, Chi Gong, traditional Chinese medicine, and acupuncture, all have one thing in common - attaining balance. Feng Shui helps us create balance in our lives as we connect to our environment. Join us for a special presentation with Lois Kramer Perez, and learn more about you can incorporate Feng Shui into your life. Register online at www. or call 914-232-5717.

Sunday, May 20


Friday, May 18 White Plains

ARTS BASH 11:30 a.m. Arts Westchester 31 Mamaroneck Avenue Join in to see an exciting new exhibition, Westchester Sculpts…meet the artists…tour artist studios…sample fine wine…and taste signature dishes from some of Westchester’s top restaurants. $75 General Admission. For more information, visit

Saturday, May 19


DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY 1 p.m. Teatown Lake Reservation 1600 Spring Valley Road Bring your digital camera and shoot scenes around Teatown with Elissa Schilmeister during this introductory photography program. We’ll discuss setting the scene, lighting, and composition to take great photos. For more information, call 914-762-2912 x110.

Tuesday, May 22 Yorktown Hts.

BREAST CANCER SUPPORT GROUP 7 p.m. Support Connection 40 Triangle Center Join a group of women who have also heard the words “you have breast cancer” as we discuss issues pertaining to all stages of diagnosis, treatment and post-treatment. Facilitated by cancer survivors. Free. Pre-registration required; call 914962-6402 or 800-532-4290.


Wednesday, May 23


STROKE AWARENESS DAY 10 a.m. Burke Rehabilitation Hospital 785 Mamaroneck Avenue Get information about Stroke Prevention, Stroke Recovery and Stroke Rehabilitation at the exhibit hall, which will feature service providers, support groups and health care professionals! Lunch provided. This event is free and open to the public. However, pre-registration is required. Please contact Lisa Edelstein, OT at (914) 597-2256 for additional information or to register.

BIRDING 101 10 a.m. Teatown Lake Reservation 1600 Spring Valley Road Can’t tell a blue jay from a bluebird? A crow from a blackbird? This program on bird identification is for novice birders trying to find their wings! We’ll supply binoculars, field guides and the basics of birding during a lively walk. Please note this program is for adults only. Free for members, $5pp for nonmembers. For more information, call 914-762-2912 x110. JAMMIN’ DIVAS 7 p.m. Beczak Environmental Education Center 35 Alexander Street Traditional and original! Three stunning voices from Ireland, USA, and Australia perform melodies that take you back to the old country. Kathleen Pemble is the winner of the NY Song Slam and a WFUV favorite. $10 suggested donation at the door includes free beer from Captain Lawrence Brewing Company - bring your own mug! For more information, visit


YONKERS PHILHARMONIC 7:30 p.m. Saunders High School 183 Palmer Road It’s time to celebrate the accomplishments of winners of the 34th Annual Concerto Competition sponsored by the Fine Arts Orchestral Society of Yonkers. The winners of the 34th Annual

White Plains

Mt. Vernon

MUSIC FOR HARP 1 p.m. St. Paul’s Church 897 S. Columbus Avenue Acclaimed performer and teacher Alyssa Reit performs music for Harp. For info, contact David Osborn, 914-667-4116.

Cortlandt Manor

REIKI 6:30 p.m. The Dempsey House 1992 Crompond Road Participants will learn about the history and uses of Reiki as well as basic meditation and breathing techniques, and how to use Reiki independently. Open to people living with breast, ovarian or gynecological cancer. To learn more or to pre-register (preregistration is required) call Support Connection at 914-962-6402 or 800-532-4290.

Manhattan College hosts Institute in Water Pollution Control Decades before World Water Day was established to raise awareness to the water issues around the world, Manhattan College launched a summer institute focused on the study of water pollution control. The College’s environmental engineering program will sponsor its 57th annual Institute in Water Pollution Control from Monday, May 21 to Thursday, May 24. This year’s Institute is offering a fourday course in Treatment Plant Operations and Process Control, and attendees are eligible for up to 28 Professional Development Hours (PDHs) or 28 New York State Wastewater Operator Contact Hours. Directed by Robert Sharp, Ph.D., P.E., professor of civil and environmental engineering, and Jeanette Brown P.E., DEE, adjunct professor in environmental engineering and former national president of the Water Environment Federation, the courses are taught by highly experienced professional engi-

neers and licensed operators. This year’s topics include nutrient removal process control, anaerobic bio-energy production operations, odor control systems, health and safety, instrumentation, side stream nutrient treatment and more. More than 2,500 professionals have attended these courses since the inception of the Institute in 1955, and attendees are often engineers, scientists and plant operators. Past instructors have included William Wesley Eckenfelder ‘46 (deceased), Ph.D., a Manhattan alumnus and pioneering environmental engineer; and National Academy of Engineering members and former professors of civil and environmental engineering, Robert Thomann, Ph.D., Dominic DiToro, Ph.D., and Donald O’Connor (deceased), Ph.D. For more information on the Institute, visit or contact Robert Sharp at or by phone at 718-862-7171.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thursday, May 17

Thursday, May 17, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thursday, May 17, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



Club President Ellen Feld announced that the Benjamin Franklin Reform Democratic Club will hold two meetings to hear from candidates and consider endorsement for upcoming primary elections. Both meetings will take place in the Tibbett Towers community room at 3130 Irwin Avenue, around the corner from the Club headquarters. The first meeting will take place on Wednesday, May 23, at 7pm. The Club will consider endorsements for Assembly (81st Assembly District), State Senators, Democratic Party Positions, Surrogate Judge, and Judge of the Civil Court. The primary for all of these positions is currently scheduled for Tuesday, September 11, but will likely be rescheduled for Thursday, September 13. Candidates wishing to seek the Club’s endorsement should call the Club at 718-796-6177. The Club will hold a second meeting on Tuesday, May 29, at 7pm, to consider endorsement in the 13th Congressional District. The new 13th Congressional District covers northern Manhattan and large parts of the West Bronx, including Kingsbridge, Van Cortlandt Village, and Norwood. Announced candidates include Adriano Espaillat, Joyce Johnson, Charles Rangel, Craig Schley, and Clyde Williams. The club previously endorsed Congressman Eliot Engel for re-election in the 16th Con-

gressional District. The primary for Congress will take place on Tuesday, June 26. Both meetings are open to the public. However, only Club members will be able to participate in voting including the secret ballot votes for endorsement.

Kosher gluten-free baking class offered

Kosher Gluten-free Cookie Class, for women and girls, will be held on Sunday May 20th, at 7:00 p.m.- at 5235 Arlington Avenue in Riverdale. Class will feature sugar, chocolate chip, and peanut butter meringue cookies, as well as chocolate rum balls. To register, please call 718-601-6138 or e-mail The fee is $40 and all supplies are included.

Art display at Riverdale Y’s Gallery 18

Seven different artists from the Riverdale Art Association will be displaying their works at the Riverdale Y’s Gallery 18 for the month of May. Shiela Abbot, Whitney Harris, Bob Robinson, Esther Wallach, Janet Bedney, Bill Stewart and Larry Rosen are the talented artists that are being represented. The entire community is invited to the May reception which will be held on May 20th at 4:30 to 6 PM at the Y .

For more information contact the Riverdale Y a t178-548-8200 ext 0. The Y is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue.

music faculty member at Montclair (NJ) State Teachers College. For further information:

Bronx Science HS violinist wins BAE competition

Art program for people with dementia

Madeleine Manasse, violinist and a sophomore at Bronx Science High School, was awarded First Prize at the Bronx Arts Ensemble’s Young Bronx Artist Contest held on Saturday, April 21 at Vladeck Hall, Amalgamated Houses. As top prizewinner, Madeleine will be awarded $500 and a solo performance with the BAE on one of its subscription concerts for the 2012-2013 season. Runners-Up who received cash awards were violinist Sidarth Jayadev, 9th grade student at Bronx Science High School and Maguette Ndiaye, flutist, a senior at Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music. The BAE competition has been held each year since 1981 and is open to music students between ages 14 and 20 who either live in the Bronx and/or attend school here. Open to instrumentalists and singers, it affords a valuable public performance experience for talented musicians, some of whom have gone on to professional solo and orchestra careers. Judges for the BAE competition were William Scribner, bassoonist and Executive/Artistic Director of the BAE; John W. Freeman, composer and Contributing Editor of Opera News magazine; and oboist Marsha Heller,

On Monday, May 21, from 2 to 3 p.m., the Hebrew Home at Riverdale’s Derfner Judaica Museum invites individuals with dementia and their caregivers to join a private group tour focusing on selected items on display in the museum. The program will be guided by a skilled museum educator who will ensure a welcoming and engaging experience. The event and onsite parking are free, but space is limited. To reserve, contact 718-581-1596 or eoleary@hebrewhome. org. The Derfner Judaica Museum is in the Jacob Reingold Pavilion at the Hebrew Home, 5901 Palisade Avenue.

Social Security Assistance at Engel office

Representatives of the Social Security Administration will be at Congressman Eliot Engel’s Bronx office, at 3655 Johnson Avenue, on Wednesday, May 23 to assist people with questions or problems concerning this program. For more information, call 718 7969700.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, May 17, 2012

Ben Franklin Club to vote on endorsements

Thursday, May 17, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


The growing KRVCDC scandal

A column in a competing newspaper caught our eye last week, one that confirms our worst suspicions about the politically motivated Kingsbridge/Riverdale/Van Cortlandt Development Corporation (KRVCDC). For quite some time now we have watched with alarm as a small clique of troublemakers has insinuated itself at KRVCDC, turning a once-benign group advocating for low- and moderate-income housing into what can only be described as a political club in the worst sense of the word. The column, entitled “Thugary in Woodlawn Elex,” was written by Mary V. Lauro, herself a beloved leader in her native Wakefield, and appeared in the Bronx News of May 10. Lauro is one of the most perceptive observers of The Bronx political and community scene. If she says she smells a rat, you’d best believe it. It was Lauro who revealed, more than a decade ago, how Adolfo Carrion, then a City Council member, carried the water for the “hot sheet” motel industry in the Bronx, as his wife racked up legal fees and he took in thousands in tainted campaign contributions. These charges have dogged Carrion ever since and are sure to come back to haunt him should he attempt to revive his dead political career. In this latest column, Lauro confirms our perception that some among the KRVCDC leadership tried to move in on the Woodlawn Heights Civic Association by attempting to pack the membership of the group at the last minute, before their annual election. She views the failed effort as a “well-organized coup” and noted that “we’ve never witnessed an unfounded uprising of such proportions…. It did not take a brain surgeon to realize that the onslaught was coming from outside the community.” She reports that KRVCDC tried to use Senator Jeff Klein and his office to further their scheme, but she reports that an angry Klein told her that he was “taken in” by KRVCDC, “was betrayed” by the group and its executive director Tracy Shelton, and that it is a “front for the political aspirations of Clifford Stanton, who wants to run for the City Council.” According to Lauro, Senator Klein, upset over the imbroglio, has pledged to help Woodlawn Heights Civic Association president Christine Sheridan solve the problems “believed to have been engendered by the operatives in KRVCDC.” When these charges first surfaced, KRVCDC went out and, at great expense, bought a full-page ad in the Riverdale Press praising Tracy Shelton and the work of the KRVCDC, lest word of the scandal of “Woodlawn-gate” spread to Riverdale. The similarities are striking. In truth, KRVCDC has no business in Woodlawn at all, but seeks influence there for political reasons: Woodlawn is part of the same City Council District as Riverdale (got the Cliffie Stanton connection?), as well as the sharing the same Assembly member, Congressman, and State Senator. It’s all politics. It is the same leadership of KRVCDC that is trying to end your right to read the independent news coverage offered by this newspaper, and the same folks again who have hijacked the Parents Association of P.S. 24, trying to cover up the investigations of the administrative staff and friction between the principal and teachers there. Often we may not like the truth, but it is still the truth despite the best efforts of those who try to cover it up and censor the press. After all, if we weren’t there, who would be there to tell you that Kingsbridge/Riverdale/Van Cortlandt Development Corporation, this venerable old group has now been taken over to do the political work of Cliff Stanton, Cori Worchel, Tracy Shelton, and Anthony Perez Cassino? And that this cabal is infiltrating and stealing the good name of groups in the north Bronx from the edge of Wakefield to the Inwood border? And you don’t have to believe us alone — now you have the word of yet another newspaper, one we have no connection with, and the regrets of a legitimate politician, deceived by the KRVCDC leadership.

Rangel picks up Diaz’s endorsement By ALLISON SUMMERS Charlie Rangel has picked up a re-election endorsement from Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. Surrounded by a crowd of supporters during a press conference on the steps of the Bronx County building, Diaz praised Rangel’s leadership and encouraged Bronxites to vote for him in the upcoming June 26 primary election. “For the future of the borough, we need a lion, we need a champion, we need somebody who’s been an extremely strong voice for the entire city of New York to now be a strong voice for the borough of The Bronx as well,” he said. “If you care about The Bronx, if you care about New York City, the right thing to do is to cast that vote for our old friend, Congressman Charles Rangel.” Diaz also compared the borough to the New York Yankees and said Rangel was the man who would lead The Bronx to victory. “Politically, The Bronx is a very strong team like the New

York Yankees,” he said. “What we’re getting is the Bambino here—we’re getting Babe Ruth. We’re getting the ARod added to that team. We’re getting a giant in Charles Rangel, whose district is now coming to what I call God’s country, the borough of The Bronx.” Meanwhile, Rangel, 81, responded to claims that he wouldn’t serve a full term if reelected, saying he was eager to represent his constituents. “Some people may ask, ‘With all that you’ve done, why would you want to run for another term?’” he said. “When you see people like Ruben start off in a place with so many impediments and see his father knock down and kick in a lot of them to make way for a talented person to see his way through and to see him get over the goal line, not make the 10-yard line, and you were there in the beginning when he joined the team, and then you see this economic express train going through, you want to be on that train.” Rep. Rangel is expected to face

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at least four Democratic challengers—state Senator Adriano Espaillat, former presidential aide Clyde Williams, former local district leader Joyce Johnson and Harlem activist Craig Schley—for a redrawn district that includes part of The Bronx. Former Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer, state Senator Gustavo Rivera, New York City Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association president Norman Seabrook, noted fashion icon Oscar de la Renta, former Rangel aide Vincent Morgan and Manhattan community activist Ruben Dario Vargas have already thrown their support behind Espaillat.

Riv. Y presents ‘Pirates of Penzance’

Riverdale Y’s Riverdale Rising Stars will present The Pirates of Penzance, Directed by Gregory Kanter on Tuesday, May 29 at 7:00pm*, Wednesday, May 30 at 7:00pm*, Thursday, May 31 at 7:00pm, and Sunday, June 3 at 3:30pm & 7:00pm. The Pirates of Penzance spins an hilarious farce of sentimental pirates, bumbling policemen, dim-witted young lovers, dewyeyed daughters and an eccentric Major-General, all morally bound to the often-ridiculous dictates of honor and duty. Tickets for Adults $16 Online, $20 at door; Seniors and Students $12. *Tickets for performances on Tuesday, May 29 at 7:00pm and Wednesday, May 30 at 7:00pm are $10 for all. For tickets and information go to

Author revisits his St. Gabe roots Good Housekeeping summed up the series in its review of “Loukoumi’s Gift”: “This little lamb has the right priorities!” “I have a three-year-old daughter and an eight-year-old son,” the author said. “These are lessons that I want my kids to learn.” Katsoris now lives in Eastchester with his wife and two children—who are likely wise beyond their ages. But his parents still live in Riverdale, not far from St. Gabriel’s, where he spent sixth through eighth grades after attending P.S. 24. He had not been back at the school since his graduation in 1980.

Author Nick Katsoris reads his new children’s book to 80 St. Gabriel students.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, May 17, 2012

By PAULETTE SCHNEIDER Riverdale native Nick Katsoris addressed a rapt audience at St. Gabriel’s this week as he read from his new book, “Loukoumi’s Celebrity Cookbook.” Eighty kindergarteners through third-graders sat cross-legged on the school library floor as the iParenting Media Award-winning author discussed the stories behind the stories in his series of children’s books based on the adventures of a lamb named Loukoumi—after a sweet, white, fluffy Greek candy—and the lamb’s cohort of animal buddies. This fifth book in the series includes favorite childhood recipes submitted by more than 50 celebrities and cooked up by the diverse animal team under the leadership of a cat named after celebrity chef Cat Cora. Each book has a life lesson, and the message here is that the secret ingredient is “never give up.” “I started the story where Cat teaches Loukoumi and the other characters how to cook,” Katsoris said before the kids arrived. The recipe was for Cat’s favorite treat from childhood—her grandmother’s cheesecake. Everything goes wrong—milk spills, eggs break. But the cooks stay on task and end up with a beautiful cake, learning some safety tips as they prepare. The real Cat Cora was actually a fan of the book series and asked to be included as a character. Part of the proceeds from book sales benefit Chefs for Humanity, founded by Cora. Proceeds from the most recent three books also benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. In the first book, “Loukoumi,” the lamb ends up on the wrong plane and finds himself on the wrong continent. Friends help him and everything turns out fine, but Loukoumi learns that it’s not a good idea to wander off by yourself. He also learns some geography along the way. “Growing Up with Loukoumi” teaches children to believe in themselves and in their ability to fulfill their dreams. Katsoris released this second book with the Growing Up with Loukoumi Dream Day contest, offering winners an opportunity to spend the day in their chosen careers. Part of the proceeds go to the Make a Wish Foundation. “Loukolumi’s Good Deeds,” narrated by Jennifer Aniston on an accompanying CD, teaches the importance of doing nice things for others. This and its sequel, “Loukoumi’s Gift,”—teaching that the perfect gift doesn’t need to cost lots of money but instead can come straight from the heart—were linked with a project encouraging kids to volunteer on National Make Difference Day. The cookbook launched with a contest inviting children to submit a favorite recipe with a ten-word statement explaining their choice. Winners got a chance to prepare that recipe with celebrity chef Cat Cora herself.


Thursday, May 17, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW






Riverdale Review, May 17, 2012  

Weekly newspaper published in Riverdale, NY 10471

Riverdale Review, May 17, 2012  

Weekly newspaper published in Riverdale, NY 10471