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Riverdale’s ONLY Locally Owned Newspaper!

Volume XVIII • Number 29 • June 23 - 29, 2011 •


State shocker: Only 27% of RKA seniors ready for college By MIAWLING LAM Many students who graduate from the Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy are ill-prepared to tackle the rigors of even a community college or kick-start their careers. New data released by the New York State Education Department reveals just 27 percent of graduates from the Class of 2010 at M.S/H.S 141 were prepared for life after high school. Education officials released the college-readiness data alongside their annual release of graduation rates on June 14. Figures show that while RKA’s graduation rates are on the rise, less than a third of their graduates possess the necessary skills to succeed on campus or in the workforce. A total of 89.6 percent of RKA students who started high school in 2006 graduated on time, up from 78.7 percent in 2001—the fourth highest percentage in the district. Citywide, the graduation rate was 61 percent. Statewide, it was 73 percent. However, the true meaning of graduation requirements can be understood only by examining the NYSED’s Aspirational Performance Measure, or college-readiness figures. Of the 101 high schools in Bronx County whose re-

sults have been published, RKA students were declared the eighth-most college-ready cohort. Within District 10, which includes Riverdale, the school was ranked fourth and was beaten by the specialized Bronx High School of Science and High School of American Studies as well as by the Marble Hill High School of International Studies. RKA’s performance also lags behind schools in similar well-to-do areas of Manhattan. Millennium High School (65 percent) in the Financial District, NYC Lab School for Collaborative Studies (56 percent) in Chelsea and Eleanor Roosevelt High School (81 percent) on the Upper East Side all boast significantly higher numbers of college-ready students. Councilman G. Oliver Koppell said he was concerned about RKA’ college-readiness data. “It’s a citywide issue. It’s clearly an issue, and that’s a very low percentage, certainly,” he said. “One hundred percent [of kids] should be collegeready if they’re graduating from high school.” Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl H. Tisch also expressed disappointment in the city’s numbers. She believed the dismal performance was a reflection

of the job ahead for those in education. “High school graduation should mean more than high-school completion,” she said. “[The] data makes clear that we have tremendous work to do to reduce the dropout rate, close a stubbornly persistent racial achievement gap and ensure that more of our graduates are prepared for college and the workforce. “This data underscores the urgency of our efforts to continue to raise standards, improve assessments and support the highest quality teaching in all of our classrooms.” Tisch conceded that although the figures were confronting, it was important to be honest with both parents and students. “This is talking about useful truths,” she said. ‘We are all aware that this is very challenging, and the tenacity of the achievement gap is undeniable. “But the only way to correct the problem is to find something that allows you to state clearly where you are, and that’s what this is.” According to state officials, students are deemed college- and career-ready if they earn a grade of 80 or above on a math Regents exam and 75 or above on the Continued on Page 19

Waste not, want not: Schervier community garden creates compost By PAULETTE SCHENEIDER On a gorgeous Thursday morning at the Schervier Community Garden, a relaxed but driven group of gardeners sat in folding chairs on either side of a giant flat sieve balanced across two tables. Clumps of uprooted vegetation rested on top of the wire mesh while loose soil and decomposing matter dropped through and landed on a tarp below. With clippers in one hand and fistfuls of wilted greens in the other, they set about their task—to reduce the clump size of the weeds, fallen leaves and stray roots they’d culled from the surrounding garden some time ago and had tossed onto an ever-growing heap of potential compost forming inside a thoughtfully constructed wooden bin. The community garden is funded by a grant from the Bon Secours Mission Fund and is meant to benefit a diverse population from Riverdale and Marble Hill. Around 40 gardeners, mainly seniors, pair up to share the garden’s ten-foot squares. They plant, tend, harvest and discuss the variety of vegetables they grow, some of which they donate to a local food pantry. In keeping with the mission, Schervier community garden

coordinator Barbara Denson has tended the land during the past few years with teen interns from Riverdale Neighborhood House, and she occasionally engages in horticultural therapy with developmentally disabled youngsters from an occupational training center. Denson also runs a garden club for Schervier nursing home residents. She’s arranged for club members to get their hands into the soil in their own backyard on a weekly basis this summer. “I’ve ordered wheelchair-height planters that will allow them to grow flowers and vegetables,” she said. The garden is blessed not only with a 305-gallon rainwater conservation tank and another one on the way, but also with a well-functioning garden-waste composting system and a new food-waste composting system in the making. In fact, the Schervier Community Garden is already designated as one of 26 Bronx communitybased composting sites featured on and is well on its way to achieving demo-site status. “This has been several years in the making,” Denson said, acknowledging the composting setup. “It started out as literally a pile.”

As the gardeners weed their plots, they place the pulled-up material into old-fashioned red wagons, wheel it over to the compost bin and add it to the pile. From time to time, to hasten

the decomposition process, they convene to “chop and sift.” To accomplish this, they each take a wagonload of coarse material from the bin, wheel it over to that improvised sieve table,

cut it into smaller pieces, wheel the more refined product back to the pile and toss it on. It’s all good exercise. On hand to monitor the Continued on Page 19

Neighbors working in the Schervier Community Garden, processing garden waste for composting. Standing from left to right: Erenia Pena, Chong Kong, Mary Lynch, Rita Freed, Sandra Deane. Seated: Cecilia Santos, Idonia Burrell.

Thursday, June 23, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Committee has big ideas for Armory

By BRENDAN McHUGH The Kingsbridge Armory Task Force is looking for a multipurpose facility but doesn’t have a preference as to what kind, said the group’s 267-page report released on Tuesday. The task force, co-chaired by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and City Councilman Fernando Cabrera, spent the last year listening to proposals from everyone from Mark Messier’s management company to New York University students. Now, they are recommending that the Bloomberg administration issue a new request for proposals for the armory. Last year’s RFP, which was eventually stopped in the City Council, called specifically for a retail mall. Diaz noted that the mission of the task force was not to advocate for any particular redevelopment model for the Kingsbridge Armory, but to identify the range of opportunities for constructive and beneficial reuse of the site. While some proposals suggested purely private-sector redevelopment of the armory, none of these achieved the goals that the task force envisioned for the site, which is a multipurpose facility with community space. As a result, the task force concluded that some type of public-private partnership would be required for the successful redevelopment of the facility, as has been the case with other armories across the city. A hockey rink, a mega-church, a film studio and BMX course are some of the ideas stemming from the report. A hockey rink, with lockers and seating included, would take up ony about 75,000 square feet of the 180,000 square-foot drill hall. A number of Bronx colleges also spoke to the task force, including Manhattan College, the College of Mount Saint Vincent, Hostos and Bronx Community Colleges, Fordham University and Lehman College. While the colleges individually could not handle the scope of the work needed to outfit the armory, a collaborative effort to create a research space, science park or athletic facility for all the schools to use was suggested. “This report proves that we can put together a proposal that not only brings development to the site, but does so in a complementary manner that takes into account the needs of the surrounding community and The Bronx as a whole,” Diaz said. Last year, The Related Companies attempted to build a $310 million shopping mall in the armory but was blocked by the City Council. Diaz was a staunch opponent of the mall, saying it would kill the Fordham Road shopping district three blocks south. Elected officials also demanded that businesses in the mall pay a “living wage” of at least $10 an hour plus benefits. The final report includes the completed work of New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service’s Capstone Program, which assisted the task force in identi-

fying models for the redevelopment of the Kingsbridge Armory. The students outlined the history of the task force and presented their assessment of the popular ideas—sports, food and film—for the armory. “Mayor Bloomberg has stated that he is open to every good idea for the Kingsbridge Armory,” Diaz said. “This report illustrates the wealth of ideas and possibilities available for the armory. I am ready to work together with the Bloomberg administration to develop and issue a new RFP for the Kingsbridge Armory, and I hope that they will join us in working for the positive redevelopment of the armory.”

By BRENDAN McHUGH It’s a third attempt to develop the Delafield estate, and the community hopes to make it the last development attempt. As far back as 1980, the 10.5-acre field has been an ongoing construction site as developers fall into bankruptcy, halting any progress. Only 11 of the 33 planned houses have been built, and now Sal LaMonica—a trustee in bankruptcy—is planning a restoration of the site to the 1987 specifics to sell to a future developer. An incoming developer would have to fix any existing foundations and build to an existing plan that creates 22 individual houses surrounding a cul-de-sac. “We made a choice, and that choice was to follow what is in fact an existing plan,” said Lee Weintraub, an architect for LaMonica. “That calls for a series of back-to-back houses spread out around the site.” Any changes to the restoration plan would require that the trustee go through the Uniform Land Use Review Process, which could extend the process by nearly 18 months. LaMonica’s job is to maximize the value of the estate and collect a payment, but the community is looking for more than just a new developer that may fall into bankruptcy again. David Areman, president of the Delafield Estate Homeowners Association, said it is “very good to hear all the parties airing their issues,” and he

hopes to see the property developed as originally planned. The homeowners association wants LaMonica to ensure that the developer who buys the property has enough money not only to complete the restoration but to actually build the homes as well. No building permits can be issued until the restoration plan is complete. The association would also like the incoming developer to be required to fix a gatehouse and take measures to ensure the pond is cared for. Community Board 8 land use chairman Charles Moerdler said at a meeting with LaMonica, his representatives, the land use committee and the community that while LaMonica’s job is to maximize the property’s value, he must consider the needs of the community, too, if he’d like a positive recommendation by the board to the City Planning Commission. “I cannot discharge that view unless I have insurance that whoever gets it has not only committed in writing, but by the almighty dollar—that he or she will build it,” Moerdler said. He continued by saying that any bond issued for the restoration needs to be at least seven figures—or $1 million—to guarantee that the developer will be able to finish the restoration and begin building houses. LaMonica said the highest bid, which will be in the millions, might not be submitted by the best bidder. He said if the former owner of the property who went into bankruptcy, the Zion

family, were to be the highest bidder but another developer were more financially sound and were willing to agree to better terms for the community’s benefit, then the city would choose the lower bidder. With limited funds, LaMonica has cleared out existing mold, fixed a raccoon problem and worked on other small issues to accommodate the existing homeowners in area. While residents would like to see more, it appears any major issues, such as fixing the problems with the pond, will have to be taken care of in the distant future, most likely by the developer or the homeowners association.

According to Bronx Borough Historian Lloyd Ultan, the Delafield family came to The Bronx in the 19th century and created Fieldston to make sure the grid pattern of the Manhattan streets didn’t reach their land.

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3 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, June 23, 2011

Long-delayed Delafield Estates project: Once more with feeling

Thursday, June 23, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Around the schools... P.S. 24

The parents association is again offering an online school supply sale in conjunction with Innisbrook. The program is available only through Friday, July 15. Items purchased through the program will be shipped in August to the home address provided. Each prepackaged grade-level kit contains supplies specified by teachers. To order, visit, choose the “buy school supplies” tab and enter the school code, #120767. The vendor’s customer service number is 800-334-8461.

Horace Mann School

Summercore, a teacher training workshop, will be offered at the school from Monday, July 11, through Friday, July 15. The intensive fiveday workshop trains both administrators and teachers at all levels in the use of technology, including topics in hardware, software and humanware. The format includes lectures, roundtable philosophical discussions and hands-on sessions.

Kinneret Day School

The fifth-graders ended their unit of intercultural study with a real intercultural collaboration. They joined students from the Solomon Schechter School in Manhattan in working with Muslim students from the Al-Ihsan Academy in Ozone Park, Queens, and the Islamic Leadership School in Parkchester to produce an exhibition of artifacts shown at the Jewish Heritage Museum last Monday. A total of 80 students brought family artifacts and described their significance. The area set aside for this Interfaith Living Museum Exhibition was packed with visitors. Plans for the next collaboration are already underway.

Manhattan College

Dr. Pamela Chasek, an associate professor of government and director of the college’s international studies program, was one of 35 representatives who met last month in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to discuss preparation for next year’s United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro on the 20th anniversary of the Earth Summit held there in 1992. The group’s focus for Rio+20 is on reforming international environmental governance (IEG). Chasek was one of five representatives invited from outside the African Union to discuss African

priorities and contribute to the African preparatory process. “It was a great experience to sit in a room with people speaking off the record in a personal capacity,” Chasek said. “All of the diplomatic trappings were gone…The general consensus was that Africa has an important role to play in determining the future of IEG.” Since her return to the college, Chasek has been planning how to integrate the issues and policies she discussed in Addis Ababa into this fall’s courses in international organizations and global issues. Chasek has published works on environmental negotiations and environmental governance issues. She is co-founder and executive editor of Earth Negotiations Bulletin, a United Nations reporting service. Her most recent book, “The Roads From Rio: Lessons Learned from 20 Years of Multilateral Environmental Negotiations,” will be released next January.

Local Scholars

Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, has announced that John Mazzoni, a history major, graduated with a bachelor’s degree. Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition. The college, founded in 1832, enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students. Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate and other distinguished scholars are among its alumni. The 200-acre campus is adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park. Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, has announced that Justin A. Tepper graduated from the university’s School of Liberal Arts with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He was among 2,300 graduates to receive a degree this spring. The keynote speaker at the commencement ceremony was Thomas Friedman, and honorary degree recipients were Cokie Roberts, Stevie Wonder and Nobel laureate Walter Gilbert. Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut, has announced that Michael Powers was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in athletic training. Approximately 1,200 graduates received degrees this spring. The school enrolls more than 6,000 students. The Princeton Review includes the school in its “Best 373 Colleges: 2011,” “Best in the Northeast” and “Best 300 Business Schools: 2011.” U.S. News & World Report ranks SHU among the best master’s universities in the North in its annual “America’s Best Colleges.”

Please Join Us in Honoring


July 1-2


Friday Night Shabbat Dinner 8:00pm

Excellence In Leadership: lessons gleaned from Jewish leaders throughout the ages


Shabbat Luncheon


Shabbat Afternoon


Unity Within Torah: The Lubavitcher Rebbe’s unique contribution to the understanding of Torah Can A Murderer Inherit? Profound lessons from the Jewish laws of inheritance and their spiritual implications

Shabbaton Sponsor $180 single/per couple (includes each event below)

Friday Night Dinner: $30 • Shabbat Luncheon: $30 Shabbat Afternoon: no charge


If you cannot join us for the meals, please join us for the lectures:

Friday Night 9:30 • Shabbat Afternoon 1:30 pm

This Shabbaton welcomes the entire Jewish Community and will take place at

Chabad Lubavitch Of Riverdale 535 West 246th Street, Riverdale, NY 10471 To co-sponsor this event in honor or in memory of a loved one & for more information please call us at 718-549-1100 x10 or email:

By BRENDAN McHUGH Community Board 8 voted last week to elect a slate of candidates for next year’s executive board, but not before a heated debate took place over the ethics and procedure of the nominating committee. The new officers for the board are Robert Fanuzzi, chair; Maria Khury, vice chair; Joyce Pilsner, secretary; and Philip Friedman, treasurer. Khury was one member of the fiveperson nominating committee, causing a debate over the unclear procedure of what to do when a committee member runs for office. According to current chairman Damian McShane, past members of the nominating committee have run for a position, but the lone exception is that no member has run for chair. He said because of the precedent set over the past 30 years, the board should consider it an acceptable move not only for people on the nominating committee to run for office, but also to vote for themselves. The slate passed overwhelmingly, with more than 20 yes votes compared to one no vote and seven abstentions. New board member Ari Spett said that since there is no clear ruling in the by-laws of the board, the precedent should take hold in this situation. But a number of board members said Khury should have either resigned from the nominating committee or not voted for the vice chair position. According to multiple board members, the vote was two votes for and two for another candidate, essentially making her vote the tiebreaking measure in her own race.

Some say her actions do not bode well for the board’s reputation. “In my view, what they have done discredits this board and discredits the individuals involved,” land use chairman Charles Moerdler said. “This is a pure, unequivocal breach of the decency standards and the credibility of this board.” The law, rules and ethics committee said they plan to examine the procedure at the start of next year to clarify the protocol for cases such as this. The issue they will have to discuss is whether or not to restrict people from running for office. “This issue was raised this very year. Irving [Ladimer] raised it; I raised it,” said Sergio Villaverde, next year’s economic development chair. “I hate to be the one to say I told you so, but it’s a bad process. But it’s a process that this board has accepted.” The thought going into the meeting was that someone may nominate Steve Froot from the floor for vice chair and the board would vote on each candidate. However, that never happened. According to multiple board members, there was also talk about nominating Robert Press to run against Khury. After he had narrowly won a mostly ceremonial vote concerning the highly controversial ice-skating rink planned for Van Cortlandt Park, some members thought he might be able to win the vote based on politics alone. Press later said he believed that he could have won the election but that the community board would wind up divided, and he chose not to run in the hope of bringing the board back together—a process which, he added, has already begun.

The 7 Wonders of Van Cortlandt Park By VERONICA VAY Walk across Broadway near the Van Cortlandt Park riding stables and you’re in a different world—thanks in large part to the Friends of Van Cortlandt Park, who unveiled the natural and historic wonders of the area last Wednesday. The Friends of Van Cortlandt Park have been conserving and improving the park for almost twenty years. What started as a small informal group sponsoring park programs is now an organization leading the community toward unity and growth. In order to create a meet-and-greet and update locals on what the Friends have been working on, the Seven Wonders of Van Cortlandt Park event was created. Though the John Muir trail was declared one of the first wonders, six options remained. More than thirty community

members arrived to vote on which of the fifteen natural and historic attractions should be included in the top seven. Members of the community who didn’t attend the event can vote online. Go to to choose the remaining wonders. Among the possibilities are the parade grounds, the museum, both golf courses, and the Memorial Grove. “We were able to introduce a lot of people to the park,” said Tyrone Stevens, an assistant volunteer coordinator with the Friends. Van Cortlandt has undergone many changes throughout the years, but the Friends are making sure the alterations are for the better. After hors d’oeuvres and a brief information session, the whole group set out to take a short hike to view and experience some of the wonders and improvements along the way.

5 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, June 23, 2011

Rancor marks board election chaos

Thursday, June 23, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Beth Abraham to hold senior prom

Beth Abraham Health Services Senior Citizens Task Force invites the community to its free special event, a Senior Prom, to be held on Thursday, June 23, 2-5 p.m., at 612 Allerton Avenue. Deputy Bronx Borough President Aurelia Greene and Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera are expected to attend. Come and join in on a fun afternoon of dancing, giveaways and refreshments. Dress to impress. For more information, contact Carmen Cruz Lee at 718-944-2265 or Jacqueline Kennedy-Saddler at 718-636-1000 x437.’ ‘

Blessing of the fleet at City Island

The Annual Blessing of the Fleet with the cooperation and support of the City Island Power Squadron and the Leonard Hawkins Post #156 of the American Legion will take place on Sunday, June 26, at 1 p.m. Multi-denomination clergy will bless vessels from the Fenton Marine Dock located at 225 Fordham Street, City Island. Boats are to assemble at 12:30 p.m. at the Hart Island Ferry Dock in City Island Harbor. Communication on VHF Channel #71 will begin at that time. For more information, call 718-7922804 or 718-885-3757.

Summer intern programs at the Bronx D.A.’s office

Bronx District Attorney Robert T. Johnson announced that 26 law school and college students have been appointed to his staff as unpaid summer interns. The law interns will help attorneys prepare cases for trial and provide research and other assistance in the General Crimes Division Trial Bureaus, Investigations Division, Narcotics Bureau, Gangs/Major Case Bureau, Domestic Violence Bureau, Child Abuse/Sex Crimes Bureau (CAS), and the Vehicular Crimes Bureau as well as in Community Affairs Unit, DNA Prosecution and the Complaint Room/DAT Unit. The eight-week summer internship program began on Monday, June 6. The students will work under the supervision of Administrative Assistant District Attorney Maria T. Rivero. The summer interns and their schools are: Jacques Beckerich, Brooklyn Law School; Samir Bhadlodkar, Hofstra University School of Law; Nicole Cabezas, Notre Dame Law School; Triciah Claxton, New York Law School; Michael Das, SUNY at Buffalo Law School; Sarande Dedushi, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law; Genevieve Gadeleta, Touro College, Jacob D. Puchsberg Law Center; Morgan Hollister, CUNY School of Law; Conrad Horowitz, Albany Law School; Andrew Kluger, New York Law School; Lee London, Pace University School of Law; Robert B. McFarlane, Vanderbilt University School of Law; Yae-Ji Park, Columbia University School

of Law; Rachel Ramjatan, Pace University School of Law; Catherine Reno, Vanderbilt University School of Law; Kira Rosenfeld, Florida Coastal School of Law; Seth Rutman, New York Law School; Ray Serma, Fordham University School of Law; Ronald Slyvestre Jr., Hofstra University School of Law; Michelle Villaronga, Thomas M. Cooley Law School; Katherine Vogel, St. John’s University School of Law. The college students are: Shannon Cohall, Cornell University; Angela Delatorre, SUNNY at Oneonta; Raeshawn Horry, Delaware State University; James Kachadoorian, University of Notre Dame; Erica Mazurkiewicz, SUNY at Delhi.

Café Europa Meeting for Holocaust Survivors

The Simon Senior Center of the Riverdale YM-YWHA will be having the Café Europa meeting on June 27th at 1:00pm. Refreshments will be served. These group meetings for survivors, the last Monday of each month, are led by Jacob Weiland, MSW, and are sponsored by the Claims Conference. The entire community is welcome to attend. The next meeting will be July 25th. Spend time with friends and future friends, sharing what’s on your mind and learning from each other. If you would like to join them earlier for lunch, please come in before 12 noon and purchase a ticket at the lunch table. Lunch is $2.25 per person. Before lunch, at 10:30am, Jacob will continue his lecture series on spirituality, “Climbing Jacob’s Ladder.” If you have any questions, please call Jacob at (718) 548-8200 ext. 303. The Riverdale Y is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue.

The Ugly Campus War Against Israel at HIR

Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, CUNY trustee, will be speaking at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale on Tuesday, June 28 at 7:15 pm. He will be sharing his perspective on “The Ugly Campus War Against Israel”. 3700 Henry Hudson Parkway, Bronx, NY 10463. Ph: 718-796-4730. Admission is free.

Swim at VC Park

Beat the heat in Van Cortlandt Park this summer! The swimming pool is open for the season from June 29 through

September 5. As always, admission to the pool is free. NYC Parks offers free swimming lessons for young children, age 1 to 5; and for children age 6 to 17. You can find out more and register for lessons by visiting the Citywide Aquatics website or calling 718-760-6969, ext. 0. Lap swimming for adults is offered each weekday morning from 7:00 to 8:30. If you want to participate in lap swimming for fitness or fun, you can register for the program at the Citywide Aquatics website or you can sign up poolside all summer. You can also refresh your knowledge of the pool rules here.

Organist to be Honored at Riverdale Temple

On June 24 at its 6:45 Friday night Sabbath service, Riverdale Temple will honor Arnold Ostlund Jr. upon his completion of twenty years of service as temple organist. He is also the director of music at Riverdale Temple, as well as organist and music director at West Center Church in Bronxville. The son of a Lutheran clergyman, Mr. Ostlund began his piano studies at the age of 7, organ at age 9, played his first religious service when he was 11, and was directing an adult choir by the age of 13. He studied under Frederick Swann on the famed organ at New York’s Riverside Church, earned his undergraduate degree, with a full scholarship, at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, won the prestigious Young Artist Award, and did graduate study under M. Searle Wright at Columbia University. He is active as a recitalist and church musician in the New York City area, having served as assistant organist and choirmaster at St. Thomas Church, summer organist at the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church and the Reformed Church of Bronxville, and interim organist at Christ Church in Bronxville. Mr. Ostlund served two consecutive terms as a member of the executive board of the New York City Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. A little-known fact about him is that he can be heard playing the organ in the film Godfather III. Current and former rabbis and cantors of the congregation will lead and participate in the Riverdale Temple service, and a festive collation will follow. The entire community is welcome to attend.

Senior Center Open House at Y

The Simon Senior Center located at the Riverdale YM-YMHA will be hosting an open house on sunday june 26th starting at 9:30am. The day will begin with card games and bingo and coffee in a relaxed environment in the card room. Following a nutritious kosher chicken lunch there will be a live presentation of “Two Cents Plain”, an original reading and play by Ira Ben Wiseman in the theater on the lobby floor of the Riverdale YMYWHA. Following the play there will be a collation to which all play viewers are invited. Ticket prices for lunch and the show are $12.25 For all seniors and $17.50 For lunch and show for adults under 60. Free admission for children 7-18 years old. The entire community is invited to attend. Seating is limited so early reservations are strongly advised. For further information and tickets please contact toby at the Y at 718-548-8200 X-223. The Riverdale Y is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue.

The Art Students League of New York, one of America’s premier art schools, and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation announce the public opening of the monumental sculpture Mask in Van Cortlandt Park, June 28 at 1:00 p.m. Mask, a 12-foot tall aluminum and steel theatrical mask, is a collaborative work by an international team of seven students in the Model to Monument (M2M) Program, a partnership between the League and the Parks Department. The sculpture site is near the Red Steps south of the Van Cortlandt House Museum, where public theater events are being introduced by Van Cortlandt Park Margot Perron who says, “We want to bring more arts to Van Cortlandt, and Mask is a perfect fit for this area of the park. I’m delighted that it will be here for our children’s theater events on July 21 and 28.” Mask is a collaborative work by Elizabeth Allison, John Balsamo, Allston Chapman, Akihiro Ito, Selva Sanjines, Noa Shay and Matthew White.

Marble Hill Senior Center announces activities

The following programs are scheduled at the Marble Hill Senior Center in the upcoming week: On Friday, June 17 at 12:45 p.m., Dr. Ernece Kelly will present a lecture entitled ‘Paul Robeson: Villain or Hero.’ On Wednesday, June 22, members of the Center’s Painting Class will exhibit their most recent works from 10 a.m. until noon. All programs are free and open to NYC residents aged 60 or older. The Marble Hill Senior Center is located at 5365 Broadway between West 228th and West 230th Streets. A hot lunch is offered at noon Monday through Friday for adults aged 60 and older. For more information, call 718562-8551.

Bronx International Film Festival at Lehman Stages

The Bronx Stage & Film Company presents the 9th Bronx International

Film Festival (BXFF) on July 8-9 at Lehman Stages (CUNY campus of Lehman College) showcasing new narrative and documentary films from the US, Canada, Denmark, Spain, Austria and India. Best narrative and best documentary will each win a $1,000 cash award. Visit http://bronxfilmfestival. com for schedule and developing festival information. You can connect with BXFF via and The reservation and information line is 718.907.0079.

Films to be screened in competition include Below New York (USA), Words (India), Zero Percent (USA), Beatboxing - The Fifth Element Of Hip Hop (USA), Una Calle Sin Salida (USA), Boom Boom (USA), R_tt H_r/ Svart (Spain), Odysseus’ Gambit (Spain), Challenging Impossibility (USA), Escape Of The Gingerbread Man!!! (Denmark), Puppenspiel (Austria), Sweet Sweet Baby (USA), Rumbleseat (Canada), DILLI (India), You Have the Right to an Attorney (USA), Fireworks (USA), Achante (Canada),




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7 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, June 23, 2011

Art Installation at VC Park to open June 28th

Easy Street (USA), The Confession (USA), Positive Buy (USA), Porque Hay Cosas Que Nunca Se Olvidan (Spain), Manual Practico Del Amigo Imaginario (abreviado) (Spain), A Wake (Canada), You Don’t Like the Truth - 4 Days Inside Guantanamo (Canada) and Between Floor (USA). General admission tickets are $5 per night. Lehman Stages is conveniently located on the CUNY campus of Lehman College at 250 Bedford Park Blvd West, Bronx, NY 10468 near the #4 and D lines and just minutes away from Westchester and the GW Bridge. The Bronx International Film Festival is made possible with public funds from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, the support of Lehman Stages and Bronx Council on the Arts.

Thursday, June 23, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Thursday, June 23 Riverdale

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 info, call 718-549-1212.


OPEN HOUSE AND TEA 1:15 p.m. Riverdale YM-YWHA 5625 Arlington Avenue Open house and tea for new members. The special event will be an informational session describing the variety of classes, trips and other activities offered by the SSC. There is no charge for this event and complimentary refreshments will be served. Reservations can be made by contacting Toby @ 718-548-8200x223.

Spuyten Duyvil

STORY TIME 4 p.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 West 235th Street A storytelling program including favorite stories from around the world presented by the Children’s Librarian. For more information, call 718-796-1202.

Tuesday, June 28 Riverdale

TODDLER STORY TIME 11:30 a.m. Riverdale Branch Library 5540 Mosholu Avenue 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 718-549-1212.


CRAFTS 4 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 280 West 231st Street Make Your Own Glass Mosaic Candle Holder with Susan Hale. Brighten up your space with color and light! Take a plain glass votive and make it your own with paper mache, glass beads, and more. All materials will be provided. For ages 12 to 18. For more information, call 718-548-5656.

Thursday, June 30 Kingsbridge

GAME ON 4 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 280 West 231st Street Got the gaming moves? Show off your skills with the controller and challenge your friends to a game in the library. Take part in our tournaments! For ages 12-18. For more information, call 718-548-5656.

Friday, July 1 Kingsbridge

TEEN SUMMER READING 4 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 280 West 231st Street Meet new friends and check out new books at the Kingsbridge Library’s teen summer reading club. Discuss the books you’ve read lately, update your reading logs to get prizes, participate in weekly raffles for a chance to win COOL and FABULOUS stuff, and enjoy some refreshments in our brand-new library! The teen summer reading club is open to all students who are in (or who are about to enter) 7th - 12th grade. For more information, call 718-548-5656.

Tuesday, July 5 Van Cortlandt

PRESCHOOL STORY TIME 10 a.m. Van Cortlandt Branch Library 3874 Sedgwick Avenue Preschoolers from 3 to 5 years old and their parents/caregivers can enjoy hands-on projects using a variety of skills. For more information, call 718-543-5150.

Spuyten Duyvil

SUMMER READING CLUB 2 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 ages 4 to 8 years old. For more information, call 718-796-1202.


GAME DAY 4 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 280 West 231st Street Board games of all types and all skill levels. For ages 5 to 12 years old. For more information, call 718-548-5656.

Wednesday, July 6 Kingsbridge

TODDLER STORY TIME 10:30 a.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 280 West 231st Street Toddler Storytime @Kingsbridge Library, Wednesday @10:30. Books, Songs, Fingerplays, Puppets, rhythm games. For more information, call 718-548-5656.


SUMMER READING CLUB 2 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 280 West 231st Street A librarian will share favorite picture books, providing children with the wonder of books and the joy of reading. For ages 5 to 12 years old. For more information, call 718548-5656.

Van Cortlandt

BEADED JEWELRY 3 p.m. Van Cortlandt Branch Library 3874 Sedgwick Avenue Hands-on projects using a variety of skills. For ages 6 and older. For more information, call 718-543-5150.

By MIAWLING LAM The number of local students qualifying for gifted and talented programs in this area is in freefall and has declined sharply in the past year, according to Department of Education officials. New data reveals just 68 kindergarteners from District 10, which includes Riverdale, qualified for a seat in the coveted program next year. A total of 88 kids snared themselves a highly sought-after spot in 2008-2009. Of more concern, however, is that the number of students eligible for citywide gifted and talented programs has effectively halved. Only 22 local students scored high enough on the screener exams to be eligible for citywide admission next year, compared to 46 kids in the previous year. The 52 percent drop represents the largest percentage decline across the city’s 32 school districts. The worrying figures come despite 362 District 10 children sitting for the test, a 15 percent increase. Kids must score at or above the 90th percentile on the entrance exam to qualify for a district program and in excess of the 97th percentile to be considered for five citywide programs. The test measures verbal, quantitative, cognitive and figural reasoning— skills that are most closely related to

scholastic achievement. The disappointing local results are in stark contrast to District 2, where a staggering 745 students qualified for gifted kindergarten programs. District 2 runs from lower Manhattan through parts of midtown and the Upper East Side. Citywide, 4,027 kids, or 28 percent of all test-takers, qualified for either a district or citywide gifted program next year, up from 3,542 incoming kindergarteners last year. Despite the higher numbers, 14 of the 32 districts recorded a drop in the number of students qualifying for citywide enrichment classes. The results were so damning that five city school districts will not have even a single gifted and talented program next year because too few kids qualified. According to news reports, school districts in the South Bronx, Crotona Park, Bedford-Stuyvesant and East New York in Brooklyn failed to produce enough gifted students to fill a kindergarten class. Kids who qualify for gifted programs but do not have one in their district can travel to neighboring districts for their classes. Department of Education spokesman Matthew Mittenthal said of the 68 students who qualified for gifted programs in District 10 next year, 50 were sent an offer. In 2009, 72 local students were given an offer.

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9 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, June 23, 2011

Gifted classes this year: numbers not promising

Thursday, June 23, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Street vendors threaten legitimate retailers here

By MIAWLING LAM An epic David and Goliath battle is looming in Kingsbridge. Fed up with street vendors siphoning business and clogging the sidewalks along Broadway and West 231st Street, local stores are fighting back. At the heart of the tussle are vendors who set up shop directly outside traditional businesses and hawk the same goods but at a fraction of the cost. The neighborhood’s business improvement district is currently exploring their legal options and will determine whether they can relocate vendors to less densely populated business areas. Kingsbridge BID Executive Director Katherine L. Broihier said it was unfair that local stores were being forced to compete with street vendors for consumers’ dollars. “We’re trying to be fair,” she said. “There is no reason that someone should be selling food in front of a grocery store. “The business people get very upset. The merchant is paying property taxes, BID taxes, he’s giving money to the Little League and doing things for the community. “Some [vendors] just seem to come in and set up shop. Who knows where they come from? They’re there just to make a quick buck.” The issue was raised by a number of merchants during the group’s recent annual meeting. Broihier said merchants were calling for better policing and a crackdown on any vendors who were operating illegally and sans a permit. The BID is currently examining legislation and will develop a framework once they have a better grasp on street vendor laws. “The city has rules and regulations about vendors that is very, very confusing,” she said. “There are places where they are totally legal and yet there are other places where they can’t be. “What we want to do is sit down and really look at where they can legally position themselves. Can they compete directly with a similar merchant? We have to clarify a lot of those rules.” Adding to the complications is the increasing number of street vendors operating in the area. Broihier estimates at least seven stalls are set up each day in the busy Kingsbridge corridor—a far cry from the two or three that operated a decade ago—and that everything from handbags to educational resources to produce to perfume are being sold on the sidewalks. According to the New York City Administrative Code, street vendors are prohibited from peddling wares in areas where there is already heavy pedestrian and vehicular traffic. Police are authorized to force those who do not comply to relocate to another area. However, Detective Luis Rodriguez, the 50th Precinct’s Community Affairs Officer, said police have yet to issue a summons or move-along directive. “You got your license, and as long as you’re not blocking pedestrians’ way, we’re not going to bother them,” he

told the Riverdale Review. “We already fact-checked a lot of the vendors and they’re legal. A lot of them are veterans. We can’t do nothing with veterans —they’re one of the exemptions in the city.” Councilman G. Oliver Koppell said more work was needed to curb the growing number of street vendors. “We’d like to do whatever we can to limit street vendors generally,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of difficulty with the city in getting both enforcement and also clarification of where they’re permitted. “If there are vendors who don’t have a permit, we will call the police and try to get them off the streets.”



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By BRENDAN McHUGH A hockey rink is one idea the Kingsbridge Armory Task Force presented in a report released Tuesday, and if the idea materializes, the borough could end up with two skating rinks after not having any for the past 30 years. The armory location, along East Gun Hill Road three blocks north of Fordham Road, would be suitable for adequate stands and locker rooms and would allow the option of year-round operation. The task force estimated that the facilities and the skating rink would take up 75,000 square feet. Currently, the parks department is assessing proposals submitted in response to an RFP issued earlier this year for a skating rink in Van Cortlandt Park. This rink, slated to begin operating in November, would be open only during the winter because it is located outside. The proposed rink in Van Cortlandt Park drew some interest from skating rink developers with experience in the tri-state area, but some of the bidders felt the area was not enough of a “destination” on its own to succeed. The Pond at Bryant Park, for example, has the benefit of being in midtown, just blocks from Times Square. Ice Rink Events, the company that does the temporary rink at Bryant Park, is the only known bidder for the Van Cortlandt rink. The parks department will not comment on how many bids they received. The rink, proposed to be at the corner of West 242nd Street and Broadway, would be located behind the stadium’s seating and

on top of two broken-down tennis courts. Food stands and restrooms will have to be provided by the concessionaire, although they do have the option of subcontracting the food service to vendors. One skating rink company said they did not bid on the skating rink because it was simply not a good location. They asked not to be named, because they said if a skating rink were to go in at the armory, “it would probably kill a rink in Van Cortlandt Park.” In the armory task force, the management company of Mark Messier—a former New York Ranger—presented an idea for a hockey arena. They said the rink could handle 5,000 to 6,000 seats, which would be enough to host a minor-league hockey team or a professional WNBA team—specifically the New York Liberty, which now plays its games in New Jersey. The space could also be converted to accommodate religious services, graduations, concerts and other major events. “The arena would be located centrally in the drill hall to preserve the vertical expansiveness that one experiences walking from the Head House into the drill hall,” the report said. “A portion of the wing space on the western side of the drill hall would be used for storage and equipment, locker rooms, and as a backstage area for when the venue is converted into a concert space. Space would also be made for concession stands and other retail, either at the top of the arena seating or in the wings of the drill hall.” The arena could employ up to 50 fulltime staff and up to 400 part-time staff.

11 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, June 23, 2011

Tale of 2 Rinks: Real Rink and Dinky Rink

Thursday, June 23, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Person on the Street:

Compiled by Veronica Vay and Amanda Macaluso

What do you think should the Kingsbridge Armory be transformed into?

“I think a neighborhood community center for all locals would be a good addition to the area.” - Chad Chaturvedi

“It should be a center for all kinds of stores so there will be more jobs for people to help the people without jobs.” - Linda Randolph

“A charter school for the area should be the priority, but a mall to help with employment and retail would be a good idea too.” -John Thornton

“A movie theater would be great but the location is wrong. A school would be better for the education of children in that area.” - Grace Williams

“It’s a historic building so I think they should put money into restoring it and make it into a museum. It would generate money for the Bronx, create jobs, and be a great sight to come and see.” - Alexandra Sekzer

“Not a movie theater because they’ll probably shoot it up. They don’t need another school, so a mall would probably be the best option.” -Edie Robert

“Something for children would be great, maybe a school or after school center where children can do some hands on activities with new technologies.” - Yvette Trodel

“I say they should create the mall for retail and construction jobs. The retail competition against Target would be great for the economy.” - Sean Kiernan

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Call 7 days a week 8am - 11pm EST Promo Code: MB0611 Digital Home Advantage plan requires 24-month agreement and credit qualification. Cancellation fee of $17.50/month remaining applies if service is terminated before end of agreement. After 12 months of programming credits, then-current price will apply. $10/mo HD add-on fee waived for life of current account; requires 24-month agreement, continuous enrollment in AutoPay with Paperless Billing. Premium Movie Package offer requires AutoPay with Paperless Billing; after 3 months then-current price applies unless you downgrade. DISH Platinum offer requires qualifying HD programming, AutoPay with Paperless Billing; after 3 months you must opt to continue subscription. Free Standard Professional Installation only. All equipment is leased and must be returned to DISH Network upon cancellation or unreturned equipment fees apply. Limit 6 leased tuners per account; upfront and monthly fees may apply based on type and number of receivers. HD programming requires HD television. Prices, packages and programming subject to change without notice. Offer available for new and qualified former customers, and subject to terms of applicable Promotional and Residential Customer agreements. Additional restrictions may apply. Offer ends 1/31/12. HBO®, Cinemax® andrelated channels and service marks are the property of Home Box Office, Inc. Starz® and related channels and service marks are the property of Starz Entertainment, LLC. All new customers are subject to a one time non-refundable processing fee.



BUTTERFLIES 10 a.m. Teatown Lake Reservation 1600 Spring Valley Road Explore Teatown’s fields and forest with Charlie Roberto in search of butterflies. FREE for members and non-members. For more information, call 914-762-2912.


BUTTERFLY PROGRAM 10 a.m. Lenoir Preserve Dudley Street Join master gardener Mary Harrington on a tour of the Butterfly Garden while learning all about them. For more information, call 914-968-5851.


FISH TALES 10 a.m. Croton Point Nature Center Croton Point Avenue Join us as we walk the river’s edge and search for artifacts that lead us to incredible, improbable and totally audacious stories. For more information, call 914-862-5297.


CARAMOOR OPENING NIGHT 6 p.m. Caramoor Center for Music & Arts 149 Girdle Ridge Road A festive Opening Night to support Caramoor’s mission and to kick-off Caramoor’s 66th season. Enjoy delectable pre-concert hors d’oeuvres, specialty cocktails and an elegant dinner created by Great Performances. Gala attendees will also have priority seating at the performance of H.M.S. Pinafore by Gilbert & Sullivan and dessert and dancing with the Pinafore cast at the After Dark party. For more info, call 914-232-1492.

Sunday, June 26 Somers

BIRD WALK 8 a.m. Muscoot Farm Route 100 Join naturalist Arthur Green on a bird walk through the backfields of the farm. Meet in the farm parking lot at 8 a.m. Bring binoculars and wear sturdy shoes. For info, call 914-864-7282.


AFRICAN HERITAGE CELEBRATION 12 p.m. Kensico Dam Plaza Bronx River Parkway Ethnic food, music, dance, entertainment and arts and crafts. For more information, call 914-864-PARK.


SHOREBIRD EXTRAVAGANZA 2 p.m. Marshlands Conservancy Route 1 The salt marshes of Marshlands are key to the survival of many of our feathered shoreline friends. We will observe them in their natural element. Please bring binoculars. Long pants and shoes are highly recommended. For info, call 914-835-4466.


TOUR OF THE MAIN HOUSE 2 p.m. Lasdon Park Route 35 Learn about the history of Lasdon Park and Arboretum while touring the Main House with a park horticulturist. For more information, call 914-864-7263.


CONCERT 4:30 p.m. Caramoor Center for Music & Arts 149 Girdle Ridge Road Join acclaimed pianist and host Christopher O’Riley and a slew of extraordinary young musicians for a broadcast recording of NPR’s From the Top. For over a decade, From the Top has been nurturing young musical talent, and each show presents thrilling performances by these dynamo-kids as well as interviews, games, and lots of fun for the entire family. Experience the future of classical music live at Caramoor! Location: Venetian Theater. For more information, call 914-232-1252.

Tuesday, June 28 Yonkers

MAGIC SHOW 1 p.m. Grinton Will Public Library 1500 Central Park Avenue

Join Magic Jim and his trusty sidekick puppet Leonardo da stinky for a performance full of magic, humor, puppetry and lots of audience participation. For info, call 914-337-1500 x 306.

Wednesday, June 29 Katonah

DANCING AT DUSK 5 p.m. Caramoor Center for Music & Arts 149 Girdle Ridge Road Come to Caramoor for an evening of fun with the kids! Bring a picnic, spread out a blanket, and enjoy great music together. Cady Finlayson and Vita Tanga blend traditional Celtic fiddle tunes with American folk and world music influences. Jigs, Reels, and much, much more will make for a spirited evening of fun for the whole family! Children of all ages will have the opportunity to dance to live music, interact with the musicians, get to know their instruments, and ask questions. This is a wonderful way to have your child introduced, up close, to music in a relaxed and joyful way. Activities will be designed for toddlers as well as pre-teens. For info, call 914-232-1252.

Thursday, June 30 Yonkers

PAPERMAKING 1 p.m. Lenoir Preserve Dudley Street School’s out! Come to Lenoir Preserve on a warm summer’s day and enjoy making your own paper from natural and recycled objects. This will be an outside program. Pre-registration required. For more information, call 914-968-5851.


BEIJING GUITAR DUO 7:30 p.m. Caramoor Center for Music & Arts 149 Girdle Ridge Road Caramoor’s Sunken Garden has proven to be a perfect setting for the intimate art of the guitar. The young, brilliant Beijing Guitar Duo breathes life into a superbly eclectic program that promises a listening experience of unparalleled beauty and freshness. For more information, call 914-232-1252.

Sunday, July 3 Somers

FARMERS MARKET 10 a.m. Muscoot Farm Route 100 Support local farmers and take your pick of fresh produce food products. Go to for a list vendors. Open every Sunday through October. For more information, call 914-864-7282.


OLD-FASHIONED 4TH OF JULY 1 p.m. Muscoot Farm Route 100 Celebrate the 4th of July with old-fashioned games and icecream making. For more information, call 914-864-7282.


WATER OLYMPICS 2 p.m. Greenburgh Nature Center 99 Dromore Road Cool, refreshing and fun... we all love water in the summer, but how much do we know about it? Join Brittany Burgio, Assistant Curator of Living Collections, in fun, interactive experiments and discover more about water and all the amazing things you can do with it. Then stay with a water balloon toss. Recommended for children 6+. Members $2, non-members $6. For more information, call 914-723-3470.

New Rochelle

SUNSET SERENADES 5 p.m. New Rochelle Public Library 1 Library Plaza Members of the Westchester Chamber Orchestra will perform “Sunset Serenades,” a free Independence Day concert, at the Ossie Davis Theater. The ensemble will perform the music of Elgar, Mozart and Tchaikovsky. Admission is free. For more information, call 914-654-4WCO.


MUSIC FEST 6 p.m. Kensico Dam Plaza Bronx River Parkway Music starts at 6 p.m. Enjoy music and fireworks. Bring blankets and chairs for seating. Free admission and parking. Carpooling suggested.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, June 23, 2011

Saturday, June 25

Thursday, June 23, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thursday, June 23, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



Sing for Hope ( will further its mission of mobilizing professional artists in volunteer service to benefit local communities with Sing for Hope’s Pop-Up Pianos. From June 18 to July 2, Sing for Hope will install 88 pianos throughout the parks and public spaces of New York. Each of the pianos will be painted by professional artists and students from Sing for Hope’s arts outreach programs. The number 88 reflects the 88 keys on the piano keyboard and, as an increase from last year’s 60 pianos in New York City, will be the world’s largest street piano installation to date. Pianos will be ‘popping up’ throughout New York City’s five boroughs. Bronx locations include Arthur Avenue, Casita Maria/Hunts Point, Crotona Park, Fordham Plaza, Joyce Kilmer Park, Owen Dolen Golden Age Center, Roberto Clemente State Park, St. James Recreation Center, St. Mary’s Playground, Van Cortlandt Park, and Williamsbridge Oval. For a full list of locations,visit Opening week concerts will be held in each of the five boroughs. An emerging artists-themed concert will take place in the Bronx on Sunday, June 26 at 4 p.m. at Van Cortlandt Park. Participating musicians will be announced at a later date.

Riverdale Soccer Club accepting registration

The Riverdale Soccer Club is now registering players for the fall 2011 season, for boys and girls born between 1997 and 2005. The season will run from September 10 through November 20. There are three programs, all of which will take place in Seton Park, located at 232 Street and Independence Avenue. The Peewee Instructional Program, for boys and girls born in 2004 and 2005, will meet on Saturday mornings. Older boys and girls will play regular games in the Riverdale Soccer League. The Boys Division will play its games on Saturday afternoons,

and the Girls Division will play on Sunday afternoons. Each division will most likely have three age groups: a younger group for players born in 2002 and 2003, a middle group for players born in 2000 and 2001, and an older group for players born in 1997 through 1999. The registration fee is $75 per player, which includes a uniform of jersey, shorts and socks. Registration is by mail only through June 30, and you can print out a registration form from the Club’s web site,, or by calling 718-601-8639 to request that a form be mailed to you. After June 30, registration is subject to availability and the fee increases to $85.

RCC test prep academy

The Riverdale Community Center at the Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy (M.S./H.S. 141) is pleased to offer a Summer Test Prep Academy of intensive “High School and College Preparatory” courses. Registration is now being accepted. 1. TACHS Prep (Test for Admission to Catholic High Schools - For upcoming 8th grade students. Instructional course for math and English in preparation for the parochial high schools’ entrance exam scheduled for the fall 2011. There is a focus on skill reinforcement in reading, vocabulary, spelling and grammar, etc. Math will focus on strengthening skills in major areas

of the math curriculum. Test-taking techniques and practice tests provided. Two Week Session - 07/11/11 through 07/21/11, Monday through Thursday - 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fee: $250 + $15 Registration Fee 2. SHSAT Prep (Specialized High School Admission Test) - For upcoming 8th grade students. Intensive instruction in math and English in preparation for the New York City Specialized High Schools (Bronx Science, Stuyvesant, Brooklyn Tech, High School of American Studies, etc.) Admission Test given each year to 8th grade students. Test-taking techniques and practice tests provided. Two Week Session - 08/08/11 through 08/18/11 Monday through Thursday - 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fee: $250 + $15 Registration Fee 3. SAT Prep - For upcoming 12th grade students. Instructional course in English and math for SAT Preparation. Comprehensive course is taught by experienced, licensed teachers who have been involved for many years in preparing students to take standardized exams with much success. Two Week Session - 07/25/11 through 08/04/11. Monday through Thursday - 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fee: $250 + $15 Registration Fee Class size is limited. To register or for more information please call the RCC Office at 718-796-4724 or 718-796-4882 daily from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. You can also visit us on the web at: www.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sing for Hope’s pop-up pianos

Additionally, the public will be invited to participate in contests and scavenger hunts, and to post photos and videos of their local ‘Sing for Hope Pop-Up Piano’ at Minute-by-minute updates on contests and concerts will be found on Sing for Hope’s Twitter (@singforhope) and Facebook pages. Inspired by British artist Luke Jerram’s street piano installation in London, this large-scale public art project is made possible by Sing for Hope’s ‘artist peace corps’ - professional artists from New York’s leading companies who volunteer in Sing for Hope’s outreach programs.

Thursday, June 23, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


The hard truth

We won’t lie, this has been a tough school year for us. We have done what we always do, that is tell you the truth about what is going on in our schools, the good, the bad and the ugly. And we get attacked for it. It’s hard sometimes to acknowledge the painful truth, even if it’s right in front of you. It is easier to make excuses for the failures of our schools than it is to actually do something about them. And doing something about them is hard under the current regime of mayoral control and a mayor who simply believes that these are HIS schools and the community has no role in shaping their own public schools. But if anything can help it is the bright light of the truth, allowing the public to see a situation and act on it. After all, it was our revelations about how the former principal of P.S. 24 was using his position to proselytize his faith and possibly advance the careers of members of his Buddhist sect that precipitated his forced resignation. The drumbeat of truth in these pages about the shockingly underqualified principal of P.S. 7 was, we are told, a key factor in the decision to quietly ease her out of her post last year despite the ill-conceived sponsorship of a misguided elected official. With test scores bottoming out, and a scandalous deficit to greet him, the new principal at least offers the hope that the school could regain hard-won momentum after the disastrous four tenure of the “teeny bopper” principal. Nor should our readers forget that we warned of the emptiness of the curriculum and anarchy of the management of the Kingsbridge Innovative Design Charter School. It took only a few months for the State of New York to agree with our assessment and take the unprecedented action of shutting them down in their first year. No school here has come under greater scrutiny than the Riverdale/Kingsbridge Academy. After all, this school only exists because of our activism more than a decade ago. We deeply care about the school and its future, and report with no joy that our hearts are broken over what has become of it. From the day that the current principal, Lori O’Mara, first walked in the door, we predicted disaster. Her lack of significant background as a teacher, we warned at the time, made it impossible for her to adequately fill the position of principal that, after all, comes from the term “principal teacher.” There is no substitute for experience. She didn’t have it. Now the children pay the price for the folly of the adults who brought her here. The news last week that nearly three quarters of RKA seniors are not prepared to do college level work is the shocking confirmation of all that we have warned about. This mirrors the news coming out of City Hall about the citywide graduation rates. While the mayor puffs out his chest and boasts of a graduation rate of 61%, the State Education Department offered a reality check: only 21% are ready to do college level work. When we use the term “college level work,” we are not suggesting that these students need to achieve at the rarefied levels of Harvard, Yale and Princeton. Rather these measures are calibrated at the community college level, a minimal level of competence for those pursuing higher education. So when we report that only 27% of RKA seniors can do work at a level that will get them through, say, Bronx Community College, you can then understand our alarm. Not all of these children are achieving at the level that one would expect from a school in a solidly middle class community such as ours. And 73% of this cohort fails to even achieve at that modest level. This is no accident. A disconnected principal is allowing chaos to reign and has abandoned high academic standards and expectations. Shocked teaching staff report to us that the most valuable commodity our children bring to school, their time, is being squandered on “busy work” such as watching movies and television dramas. Turning around our schools (and make no mistake about it, there are serious deficiencies at every public school in our community) will come from high standards, fully competent pedagogues and an inspired curriculum. Studies indicate that the success of students in completing high school can be accurately predicted by the level of work that they are able to achieve as early as the second grade. So you can participate in this discussion with us, agree or disagree as you wish, or you can “recycle” your children’s future into oblivion by trying to silence us. The choice in a free society is always yours.

Hippocrates: The ethical questions over surgery at age 95 By JOSEPH FELDSCHUH, M.D. Two weeks ago I attended the 100th birthday celebration of my cousin, Lillian Feldshuh. Lily is the mother of the actress, Tovah Feldshuh, and the theatre Professor, Playwright, and Director, David Feldshuh. Five years ago I had attended Lily’s 95th birthday party. That party was held in the White Plains Hospital where Lily had been admitted for treatment for congestive heart failure. The heart failure had developed because the aortic valve, which controls blood flow out of the left ventricle, the main pumping chamber of the heart, had become calcified. This markedly narrowed the flexibility and opening of the valve, resulting in severe back pressure into the lungs. People who are 95 and develop this type of condition are usually considered too fragile to be operated upon and have new mechanical valves to replace their diseased valves. At that time, 5 years ago, the cardiology specialists at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center were testing an experimental procedure in which a folded

up heart valve was threaded through an artery in the leg into the main chamber of the heart. Once in the proper position, the valve opened up, breaking the old constricted aortic valve and, like a butterfly, the new valve was put into place without cutting open the chest. At that time the procedure was done in only a very limited experimental number of hospitals and under tight control by a few physicians. Lillian agreed to undergo the experimental valve replacement at Columbia Presbyterian. The physician who did the procedure was Dr. Martin Leon along with Dr. Jeff Moses, Dr. Susheel Kodali and Dr. Matt Williams. Lily was able to return home and her congestive heart failure cleared. In the past year this experimental treatment has been approved by the FDA for general administration by specially trained specialists. At Lily’s 100th birthday party, among those who attended were those four doctors. After many memorable speeches, Lily, who has a significant hearing problem, got up and delivered a 10

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minute speech. Her speech was dramatic and full of meaning, and electrified her many friends and relatives. The New York Times recently ran an article about whether patients who are in their late 80s who developed acute kidney failure in the hospital should be placed on dialysis which requires treatment 3 times a week or whether they would be better off going to a hospice and not imposing additional healthcare costs on the rest of us. In the hospice they could die peacefully within a few weeks from kidney failure. The Times article was supportive of the concept of not having expensive so-called unnecessary treatment. The Times did publish a letter in response written by an 87 year old man who said he had developed kidney failure and was very happy to be under dialysis treatment and still alive. Is this the type of decision making that we will personally face or, more significantly, will these decisions be made for us in a form of disguised rationing? When kidney dialysis was introduced in Great Britain, only patients under the age of 55 were considered candidates for dialysis. Over 55, you were left to die from kidney failure. Decisions about medical treatments involving one’s life should not be made without the consent or the knowledge of those involved. Lastly, we should all hope to achieve the type of life force and energy that Lily has maintained for 100 years.

Continued from Page 1 English Regents. Teenagers who score below those thresholds often have to take remedial classes before they can commence college work. Last year, students needed at least a 65 on three Regents exams in order to graduate. Despite the troubling numbers, the proportion of RKA students who were college-ready was higher than the average in some cities. In New York City the average was 21 percent; in Yonkers,14.5 percent; in Rochester, a measly 6 percent. The statewide average was 37 percent. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg insisted the city’s graduation rate was improving and said New York has seen historic growth in student achievement. “Getting a high school diploma is a very big deal,” he said. “We have improved the rate at which our kids get up to any arbitrary standard, whether it’s proficiency or college readiness—and we have an awful lot more to do.” Bloomberg also deliberately focused on the city’s more comforting graduation rates

as opposed to the college-readiness data. “There’s no question that we have a long way to go,” he said. “There is no percent under 100 percent that we are satisfied with.” Meanwhile, Koppell provided a frank assessment of RKA and said he had a number of concerns about the beleaguered school. “I am not fully satisfied with the Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy generally,” he said. “I am concerned about the performance of the school. I am concerned about the morale of the teaching staff, I am concerned about the discipline issues at the school and I’m concerned about the low evaluation of the middle school. “The principal is aware of the problems, but whether she can overcome those problems is a question.”

Schervier compost Continued from Page 1

group’s progress was Jodie Colon, master composter and compost educator for the NYC Compost Project in The Bronx—part of the city’s Department of Sanitation Bureau of Waste Prevention, Reuse and Recycling. “She’s overseeing our compost evolution,” Denson said. Colon, surrounded by a crowd of gardeners, leaned toward the four-foothigh tower of compost-in-process, gently nudged a hand trowel into the center and lifted up a small section. “Look—it’s steaming! The microorganisms are doing their work! These are signs that we have the right conditions,” she explained. Over time, the desired worms and other creatures voluntarily take up residence in the pile—build it and they will come, she said—and if the food supply and moisture levels are just so, they blissfully spend their days transforming discarded plant material into compost. Their human hosts are grateful for the woodsy, nutrient-rich result, which they happily mix into their garden soil to improve its quality. Once the Schervier Community Garden folk are expert at working with garden waste, they can hone their composting skills with the totally different ecosystem of kitchen waste compost. In the test system now in place, a few pioneers place the right kinds of food scraps into a special closed container. Under Colon’s guidance, the gardeners will learn how to reduce the fruit fly population in and around that container, how much shredded newspaper they should add to cover their food scraps, and other ways to maintain the proper balance. “Compost is really easy,” Colon said. “Take your dead, dry, carbon-rich brown material and chop and mix it with your fresh, moist, nitrogen-rich green material. When you chop them both and mix them together, it creates the right moisture-air-food-shelter source for all the microorganisms and the macroorganisms that actually do the work.” But it doesn’t happen overnight. “Compost is a process,” Colon observed. “People are so in a rush nowadays—they want instant everything. But this is nature—it takes as long as it takes. We give gardeners options for speeding up the process”—like chopping and sifting.


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19 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, June 23, 2011

RKA gets a shock

Thursday, June 23, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Riverdale Review, June 23, 2011  

Weekly newspaper published in Riverdale, NY 10471q