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Riverdale’s ONLY Locally Owned Newspaper!

Volume XVIII • Number 30 • June 30 - July 6, 2011 •

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Long-delayed new Kingsbridge Library is finally opened By BRENDAN McHUGH Tuesday marked the official opening of the new Kingsbridge Library, a 12,625-square-foot building that New York Public Library President Paul LeClerc called one of the most beautiful new libraries in the county. An all-day celebration Tuesday welcomed hundreds to the new building at 291 West 231st Street. The library holds more than 20,000 collection items and features NYPL’s first green roof. Shelves are already fully stacked with classics like Mark Twain and more contemporary items like the Glee soundtracks. The two-story structure, designed by Pendergast Laurel Architects, holds nearly 40 computers and has free Internet and wi-fi access. It also offers an outdoor garden, large windows for bright natural light, a multipurpose community room with a television and projector, a teen area, a children’s story hour room and the green roof, which will catch and reuse a percentage of rain water that would normally go into the city’s sewer system. “This new building is nearly double the size of the

former Kingsbridge library and contains the most recent and advanced technology and materials, making it better suited to meet the growing needs of the neighborhood,” LeClerc said. “I’ve known this community since I was in grammar school because my great-aunt, Sister Saint George, lived in the convent right near the old library. So seeing the community get the most beautiful new library in the city has deep personal significance for me.” The new $17.7 million building replaces the Kingsbridge branch’s former home, a rented 6,857-square-foot space across the street. The library has operated from that building since 1959. Before that, Kingsbridge—one of the first public library branches built in The Bronx, dating back to 1905—was in a building designed by McKim, Mead & White. The Kingsbridge Library will be open Monday and Tuesday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Wednesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Construction began on the new Kingsbridge Library in July 2009 after years of capital funds collection by

City Councilman G. Oliver Koppell. Koppell credited former Councilwoman June Eisland with beginning the push for a new library, but after the budget crisis that followed September 11, her funds were wiped out. “It is a wonderful addition to our neighborhood and will bring important resources to constituents of all ages,” Koppell said, noting that libraries are like a second school and second home for the children and residents of an area. “This was the most important capital project in my district,” Koppell added. Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, whose office is around the block from the new library, said the new building is a sign of improvement for Kingsbridge. “If you look around in this neighborhood, Kingsbridge, there’s a lot of stuff going on,” he said, referring to new businesses, buildings, schools and now the library. “That’s a vote of confidence in Kingsbridge by the city and private interest groups.” “It’s going to be enjoyed by people for many years Continued on Page 2

Community demands freedom for kidnapped Israeli soldier in Gaza

By PAULETTE SCHNEIDER For the past five years, Israeli Army Corporal Gilad Shalit, now 24, has been imprisoned in an unknown Gaza location, barred by his Hamas-controlled captors from any contact with his family and from visits even by the International Committee of the Red Cross. To commemorate the painful anniversary of Shalit’s abduction, Rabbi Avi Weiss of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale summoned the community to Bell Tower Park, where more than 50 rallied last Sunday to convey their solidarity with the soldier and his family through prayer and spiritual unity. “War is terrible, but there are even rules of war,” Weiss pointed out. “The Red Cross has seen every single prisoner in the Middle East—every single one, and they are in the thousands—except for one,

and that one is Gilad Shalit.” The rabbi called for a worldwide gesture to illuminate the situation in Gaza—he asked that every household light a candle 20 minutes before sunset this Friday evening. He hopes for this dedicated kindling to occur throughout the world—in the homes of those gathered before him, in the homes

of New York City’s borough presidents, the mayor, the members of the Senate and House. He’d like a candle lit for Gilad Shalit in the home of President Obama—to show that “just as there is a [Chanukah menorah] in the White House, so too there will be another light in the White House this Friday on that anniversary.”

He asked the crowd to spread the word through Facebook and Twitter. “Wherever you’re living, from Australia to North America to Europe to South Africa to Asia, we’re asking that a candle be lit…on that day, on that anniversary of the abduction, for the freedom of Gilad Shalit. Continued on Page 11

P.S. 24 Principal Investigated According to informed sources, the Office of the Special Investigator for the New York City Schools has opened an investigation of P.S. 24 principal Donna Connelly. Among the issues being considered is the possible illegal “warehousing” of the position of Assistant Principal for nearly two years, until Connelly’s close associate, Emanuele Verdi completed required coursework so that he could fill the post. There are also said to being other hiring irregularities and misuse of the funds raised by the annual “Laps for Learning” event which has traditionally raised money to buy supplies for the school’s classroom teachers.

At last Sunday’s rally in Bell Tower Park, more than 50 people prayed for the welfare of 24-year-old Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit on the fifth anniversary of his capture by Hamas forces in Gaza. Rabbi Avi Weiss of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale led the gathering. Motorists in passing cars tapped their horns in support as those assembled held aloft their “Free Gilad Shalit” placards.


Thursday, June 30, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW

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Seniors soaked for rings and things

By MIAWLING LAM Seniors at Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy were taken out of class on the day before their Regents exam to hear a sales pitch for $600 class rings. The Riverdale Review has learned that students at M.S/H.S 141 missed out on precious instruction time to listen to a short presentation from specialist graduation firm Herff Jones. A person at the school, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retribution, said students were crowded into the auditorium on June 14 to hear the company’s sales pitch. The source said they were compelled to speak out because children were being pressured into buying expensive items, despite more than half living in poverty. “Don’t you think this was inappropriate and that RKA is letting the kids, many of whom are on the poverty line, be exploited so this company can make money?” the person said. According to the school’s Demographics and Accountability Snapshot, 51.9 percent of students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch—a major determinant of poverty. As of press time, calls to the school for comment had not been returned. The source also expressed concerns about students who are increasingly being forced to cough up nearly a thousand dollars for prom tickets, class rings and senior trips. A breakdown of costs obtained by the Review shows seniors at RKA typically rack up expenses totaling four figures during their final year of school. In addition to their $350 annual dues, students were asked to fork over $165 for their prom ticket, $325 for their senior trip and between $250 and $610 for their class ring. College application and SAT fees would also reduce their bank balances by up to $100. The source said although students were encouraged to cover their expenses by participating in a fundraising candy drive, the school’s “chocolate culture” was detrimental to student learning. “(It) becomes a major distraction for the seniors,” the person said. “Many of the kids become more worried about selling candy so they can be included in senior events, like the ring ceremony, than doing well in their classes. “Some kids will even illegally use the school’s chocolate box and secretly fill it with Hershey’s-brand chocolate. The administration ignores the problem.” The allegations emerged as school of-

Kingsbridge Library Continued from Page 1 to come,” Dinowitiz added. “I am thrilled that, after years of planning and construction, the new Kingsbridge Library is open for business,” Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said. “This new amenity will not only provide a state-of-the-art experience for library patrons, it will also drive traffic to the Kingsbridge business community. This project is a win-win for the Northwest Bronx.” Also on hand were two lions made out of LEGO blocks, created by LEGO artist Nathan Sawaya. The sculptures are LEGO versions of the iconic marble lions, Patience and Fortitude, who flank the entrance to NYPL’s landmark Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

ficially broke out for summer vacation. Meanwhile, a letter from Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott was circulated to parents last week informing them that the 2011-12 school year will begin on Thursday, September 8, one day later than previously announced. “In partnership with the teachers’ union and the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators, the Department of Education is making this change to give teachers more time to plan their instruction,” the letter states. “Using new curriculum resources we’ll be sharing this summer, teachers will align their instruction with a set of higher expectations for student learning that will be put in place over the next few years.”


By BRENDAN McHUGH Representatives of the Kingsbridge Riverdale Van Cortlandt Development Corporation met with south Riverdale merchants last week to promote the creation of a pedestrian plaza on their shopping corridor. “We felt this would be a good option for the neighborhood,” KRVC treasurer Cliff Stanton said at the meeting of the South Riverdale Avenue Merchants Association (SRAMA). But most merchants feel that KRVC is “nuts” to suggest that hard-pressed merchants commit to ongoing maintenance expenditures for a plaza so few seem to want. Also of concern is the feeling that the KRVC is “carrying Bloomberg’s water” in backing the unpopular plan. The pedestrian plaza program is a Bloomberg administration initiative. KRVC’s idea is to put a plaza at the south end of the commercial corridor, where Riverdale Avenue, West 236th Street and Fieldston Road all intersect. Currently, that area is full of metered parking. The plaza would require West 236th Street to be closed permanently to traffic. Stanton said even though the plaza would take away some parking, by closing the street, more parking could be added along Fieldston Road. The plaza would change the area’s traffic flow, calling for an extra traffic light to address the number of options drivers would have along Riverdale Avenue. The Department of Transportation has created 17 plazas so far, with another 25 in the planning stages. A DOT representative said they have gotten so many applications that they are accepting only plazas

that have full community support and are easy to create. That doesn’t appear to be the case here. Merchants are split over the idea of a pedestrian plaza. SRAMA is only in its second year of existence and has no official budget or annual dues. While the creation of the plaza is funded entirely by the city, the cost to maintain it falls squarely on the local nonprofit; in this case, SRAMA. The annual cost of maintaining a plaza ranges anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000. “I am adamantly against it,” SRAMA treasurer and former president Ellen Feld said. Feld believes the plaza program is worthwhile, but not at this location. Feld finds beer bottles some mornings near a small bench outside Sotheby’s, where she is a broker, and she fears that having a larger place to sit down will only lead to more drinking. The proposed plaza is directly across from a bar and within a few blocks of three more. While Feld was the most outspoken, she doesn’t speak for SRAMA. President Ray Norberto said he’s going to have to reach out to other merchants to find out where the organization should stand on the issue. SRAMA represents more than 40 storefronts., yet fewer than 10 merchants attended the meeting. Paul Palombo, owner of Palombo’s Bakery, is ready to offer thousands of dollars for the plaza. It would essentially become an outdoor café for his business, as it would be right in front of the bakery. Other merchants say they haven’t decided which way to lean. Some say they like the idea but have concerns about funding.

It may not matter, however. Plazas are implemented only with the local community board’s support. Community Board 8 approved the site for a greenstreet earlier this year, and many board members said they would be hesitant to vote to put something else in its place. City Councilman G. Oliver Koppell has offered $75,000 to create the greenstreet and has said he does not think the area is appropriate for a plaza. Because of the high volume of traffic—including commercial trucks and city busses—the area would not be the sanctuary of open space that the city is looking to create. Greenstreets are created in small areas,

usually made of nothing but concrete surrounding some bushes, flowers and small trees. A greenstreet at the intersection would not eliminate any parking spaces.

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3 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, June 30, 2011

South Riverdale Avenue merchants have questions about ‘nutty’ plaza


Thursday, June 30, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW

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Around the schools... P.S. 81

The fifth-graders participated in a “moving up” ceremony last Friday, and Tuesday was the last day of school for the semester. Also last Friday was the Spring Classic softball fundraiser—a 3:30 p.m. game for players in grades 4 and 5 and a 5:30 p.m. game for family members, staff and alumni. P.S. 81 students won the 3:30 game and P.S. 24 won the 5:30 game. A great time was had by all, according to parent coordinator Nina Velazquez.

Horace Mann School

This week the school hosted its third College Admissions Summit Conference, a venue for teams of independent school educators to gather and exchange innovative ideas. Workshops included such topics as Counseling the LGBT Student, Intellectual Risk Taking and the College Process, Counseling the Whole Child and How a School Uses Time Informs What a school Values. All participants watched and discussed the film “Race to Nowhere.”

Manhattan College

The college is one of 15 winners of the 2011 Green Infrastructure Grant issued by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection. The award of $420,125 will be used to retrofit two parking lots—one near Leo Hall on Corlear Avenue and the other at West 238th Street and Tibbett Avenue—by removing 35,000 square feet of traditional asphalt and replacing it with pervious concrete in order to reduce the amount of storm water and combined sewer overflow diverting into the Harlem River. Storm water on the lots will pass through the concrete and enter the groundwater, just as it would in nature. Of the 5.7 million gallons annually the 15 project winners will collect, Manhattan College’s share, 1 million gallons, will be the largest. Engineering students will monitor the project. The grant is part of the New York City Green Infrastructure Plan, a program that will invest $1.5 billion during the next 20 years to reduce sewer overflows. A total of $3.8 million was awarded to community organizations, businesses and nonprofits who will help to improve water quality in New York Harbor. The grant program fulfills a 2011 State of the City commitment made by Mayor Bloomberg.

Local Scholars

The City University of New York Baccalaureate for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies in New York City has announced that Tiffany Roma, a theatrical public relations major, is a June 2011 graduate and Tenann Bell, an art history major, will graduate in September 2011 and will attend the Bard Graduate School of Decorative Arts. The CUNY Baccalaureate is an individualized degree program for highly motivated academically strong students who have goals that transcend the confines of traditional college majors, who have well-formulated academic and career goals and who have the vision and drive to design their own areas of concentration in collaboration with faculty mentors. The program, established in 1971, offers students the resources of CUNY’s 17 colleges and Graduate Center. More than three-quarters of its 600 full- and part-time students are over the age of 25. SUNY’s University at Albany has announced that the following students were named to the dean’s list for spring 2011: Samantha Antonacchio, Lori Djivre, Michael Gargy, Thomas Martyn, Marcella Raphael, Stephanie Rynne, Richard Brenner, Christopher Chavez, Christina Menga, Luca Presciutti, Hino Reyes, Juanita Reyes, Gisela Roman, Ashley Steinberg, and Emmie Suarez. UAlbany, an internationally recognized research university, enrolls 13,100 undergraduates in its 57 undergraduate major programs and 4,900 graduate students in more than 120 programs leading to master’s and doctoral degrees. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance ranks the school as one of the nation’s top colleges for excellence in academics and affordability, and Forbes magazine placed it among America’s Best Public Colleges in 2009. U.S. News and World Report ranks the graduate programs in criminal justice, information technology and public administration among the top 10 in the nation, and the College of Nanotechnology Science and Engineering has been ranked number one in the world. SUNY Oneonta in Oneonta, New York, has announced that Araya Henry and Ian Jacobs were named to the dean’s list for spring 2011. To qualify, students must earn a GPA of at least 3.5 while carrying at least 12 semester hours. Oneonta, a liberal arts college focusing on teaching and learning, was a founding member of the state university system in 1948.


By BRENDAN McHUGH Handball players may have their hands full. A group of handball players quickly became concerned when told they’d have two fewer courts to play on come November. Previously unaware of the seasonal skating rink proposed for the site this November, handball players Benyamin and Joseph started asking questions. Once they found out the rink, which will take up the northernmost two of the nine courts for food or restrooms, will be temporary, they calmed down a bit, but were still concerned. “Then why not use the other side of the courts for that [explicative],” Yonkers resident Benyamin, 55, said, referring to a grassy area on the other side of four tennis courts that the rink will be on. Neither wanted to give his last name because they don’t have official permits to use the courts, but they meet each week at the corner of West 242nd Street and Broadway for handball. Other players on the same court expressed similar concern, but they said as long as the rink isn’t around during the summer, it shouldn’t be a problem. “Unless global warming,” one player joked. They said over the winter, even if the courts are cleared of snow—which is almost never—every court doesn’t get played on, so losing two won’t make a difference. Still, they raised concern that the handball courts could wind up with the same fate as the tennis courts. The tennis courts adjacent to the handball courts are not played on. The parks department locked the fence surrounding them once their condition got so bad they couln’t be used. The handball courts aren’t in great shape, but the players said they’re good enough for now. “Better” handball players frequent the courts farther south, off Baily Avenue. What now concerns them is how the facilities will affect the courts, and whether the business using the courts in the winter will repair any damages. While the private company is required to do so, Benyamin said he’s going to wait and see what happens.

“I’m not good enough to play down there (Baily Avenue),” he said with an uneasy laugh. “And we don’t have permits.” The handball players aren’t the only ones with limited knowledge of what will happen come November. Community Board 8 is waiting anxiously for the parks department to release the winning proposal to build and operate the ice-skating rink. Because the project went through the request for proposal process, the board had limited input. They requested certain things, such as hours of operation and fees, but ultimately that information is left up to the winning bidder.

5 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, June 30, 2011

VCP handball players fear ‘being iced’


Thursday, June 30, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW

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Bronx Community Board 8 is Drop Site for Operation Backpack 2011

Bronx Community Board 8 has joined Volunteers of America (VOA) in launching OPERATION BACKPACK 2011, and will be a DROP SITE for backpacks. VOA continues in its 9th annual drive to collect brand-new backpacks and school supplies for the thousands of children living in New York City shelters. The campaign kicks off on Monday, June 27th, and will continue through July 24th. The Bronx Community Board 8 DROP SITE is located at 5676 Riverdale Avenue, Suite 100 by West 259th Street, from 9:30PM to 4:30PM. Additionally, in a continuing partnership with Volunteers of America, every Duane Reade location will be accepting donations of new backpacks and school supplies from the public. Dozens of companies, schools, community groups, and religious institutions will also host collection drives. On July 25th Fed Ex will contribute an entire day of services to collect the donations and deliver them to be sorted and packed, in a commercial space generously provided by a local real estate partner. From there, the grade-specific backpacks will be distributed to children in shelters across the city in time for the start of the school year. Last year Volunteers of America outfitted more than 7,000 homeless children with new, filled, backpacks.

This year, the goal is to help more than 9,000 children. One of the most devastating consequences of homelessness is the impact it has on a child’s education. Nearly 11,000 school-age children are living in New York City homeless shelters on any given day. Most of them would face the start of school in September without basic school supplies if not for Operation Backpack. Relieving their parents of yet another financial burden, the program raises public awareness about the needs of homeless families and the impact homelessness has on a child’s education. Paige Davis, well-known host of TLC’s Trading Spaces and seasoned stage actor (Broadway’s Chicago and Boeing Boeing), is a VOA Board Member and spokesperson for Operation Backpack. ‘Operation Backpack is one of the highlights of my year. It’s joyful to see the effort that our volunteers and corporate sponsors of all ages put into this campaign, sorting and stuffing thousands of backpacks. Knowing that people from all walks of life come together to ensure these kids start the school year off right, with everything from pencils and crayons to protractors and calculators, is simply inspiring.’ Rachel Weinstein, Vice-President/Chief Communications Officer of Volunteers of America-Greater New York, speaks of the importance of the program and the reasons for its success. ‘With family homelessness at record levels, we are expanding

our program this year to insure that no child who needs a backpack will be left out. Operation Backpack works because it gives everyone in the community the opportunity to help these children in need. Anyone can get involved. Individual donors and volunteers provide money and collect supplies and backpacks - companies and other community partners hold drives and provide major in-kind support - so these children will be able to begin school looking and feeling more like their housed classmates.’ The public is urged to drop new backpacks and school supplies at Bronx Community Board 8 located at 5676 Riverdale Avenue, Suite 100, Bronx NY 10471 or at any Duane Reade or CitiHabitats in New York City from June 27 to July 24. For grade-appropriate packing lists and other drop locations visit www.OperationBackpackNYC.org. Volunteers of America is delighted to have the support of Operation Backpack financial sponsors Frank Crystal and Company, Duane Reade, Amherst Securities Group LP and Warnaco. Major in-kind sponsors are News Corp, FedEx, Dickstein Shapiro, HarperCollins, Time Warner, Van Wagner and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. Currently, 72 companies and groups have joined the effort.

Shaarei Shalom Celebrates Its Fifth Anniversary

Founded in March 2006, Congregation Shaarei Shalom celebrated its fifth anniversary serving the Riverdale community this past Saturday, June 25, with a celebratory Shabbat morning service followed by a Gala Luncheon. This year, the congregation also honored its outgoing president, Todd M. Rubinstein, for his dedication, leadership, and devoted service to the congregation. The joyful Shabbat morning service was led by Rabbi Steven D. Burton and Cantor Ronald J. Broden with special musical accompaniment by pianist Walter Winterfeldt. During the service, Rabbi Burton commented on the congregation reaching this milestone anniversary: “You’ve often heard me refer to a Shehecheyanu moment, well surely today merits such a prayer of gratitude and thanks in our life as a kehilat kodesh - a sacred community. How far we have come in the relatively short time of these past five years - from

a group of wandering Jews worshiping in the borrowed homes of others, to this morning of celebration in our own sanctuary. I would also like to offer my own words personal thanks to all of you for having worked so hard to accomplish all that we have, and for giving me the privilege of serving as your rabbi.” The celebratory service was conducted in the synagogue located at 5919 Riverdale Avenue. It was followed by a Gala Luncheon at the Westchester Manor in Hastings-on-Hudson. Congregation Shaarei Shalom is a Reform Jewish synagogue. It offers a contemporary and participatory worship experience and prides itself on its inclusiveness of all members of the Riverdale community, regardless of marital status, sexual orientation, race, age, or creed. It is dedicated to embracing the diversity within the Reform Jewish movement. For further information about the congregation, services, membership, its Religious School, or any of the many adult program offerings, please contact the congregation at (718) 796-0305 or e-mail the congregation at: shaareishalo mriverdale@gmail.com

New traffic pattern at Bronx-Whitestone Bridge

A new traffic pattern on the southbound (to Queens) side of the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge will begin Saturday, June 25th as rehabilitation work on the bridge’s Bronx approach roadway continues. Motorists will notice a slight shift as they travel through the construction zone, which will include two lanes to the far right, the work zone near the center lane, and the reversible lane to the far left. Signs will be in place to direct motorists, and drivers are urged to stay in lane. One of the bridge’s three Queensbound lanes will continue to be closed roundthe-clock through fall. Throughout the project, three traffic lanes to Queens and the Bronx have been maintained during peak morning and afternoon drive times by using a movable barrier. In the morning from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. there are three lanes to the Bronx and two lanes into Queens and from approximately 3 p.m. through 7 p.m., and on weekends there are three lanes to Queens and two lanes to the Bronx. The work, which began in 2008, is part of a four-year, nearly $200 million project to replace all 1,785 feet of original roadway on the 72-year-old bridge’s Bronx approach, construct new foundation and piers beneath the bridge, create wider, 12-foot lanes and add safety shoulders on the bridge for the first time.


7

which of these will not reduce your electricity use? a. replacing light switches with dimmers or motion sensors b. focusing light where it’s needed instead of lighting a whole room c. removing lamp shades

ceiling fans can improve energy efficiency…

d. keeping bulbs and fixtures clean

a. in the summer b. in the winter c. in both summer and winter

answer: c

an efficient way to keep your home cool in the summer is to... a. close shades or drapes to keep out the sun’s heat b. leave your a/c on all the time so it doesn’t have to cool a warm house

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c. leave windows open for a breeze, even when it’s hot out

answer: a

find 100 + energy tips at conEd.com

answer: c

what is the recommended setting for your a/c thermostat? a. 80° b. 78° c. 72° d. 60°

answer: b

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, June 30, 2011

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Thursday, June 30, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW

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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.

Riverdale

Kingsbridge

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.

Thursday, July 7 Kingsbridge

BABY LAPSIT 10:30 a.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 280 West 231st Street Baby Lapsit @Kingsbridge Library on Thursday, July 7, 2011 @10:30 ages birth to 18 months for parents and caregivers. For more information, call 718-548-5656.

SHABBAT DINNER & LECTURE 8 p.m. Chabad of Riverdale 535 W. 246th Street Rabbi Silberstein will lecture on: Excellence In Leadership: Lessons gleaned from Jewish leaders throughout the ages. Space is very limited, kindly R.S.V.P. by: Monday, June 27. Tel: 718-549-1100 ext. 10 or Fax: 718-549-4397 or Email: Library@chabadriverdale.org.

Spuyten Duyvil

Saturday, July 2

Van Cortlandt

Riverdale

SHABBAT LUNCHEON & LECTURE 12 p.m. Chabad of Riverdale 535 W. 246th Street Rabbi Silberstein will speak about Unity Within Torah: The Lubavitcher Rebbe’s unique contribution to the understanding of Torah. Space is very limited, kindly R.S.V.P. by: Monday, June 27. Tel: 718-549-1100 ext. 10 or Fax: 718-549-4397 or Email: Library@chabadriverdale.org.

Monday, July 4 Van Cortlandt

4TH OF JULY CONCERT 2 p.m. Van Cortlandt Park Rockwood Drive Circle The Bronx Arts Ensemble Jazz and Dixieland Band opens the BAE SUMMERMUSIC 2011 Series with A Salute to George M. Cohan, Irving Berlin, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Max Roach, Lionel Hampton and more at a FREE concert in celebration of Independence Day. For more information, visit bronxartsensemble.org or call 718.601.7399.

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.

Kingsbridge

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 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 5 to 10 years old. For more information, call 718796-1202. NINTENDO Wii 3:30 p.m. Van Cortlandt Park 3874 Sedgwick Avenue Join us @ the Library for afternoon of fun and games. For ages 12 to 18. For more information, call 718-543-5150.

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 8 Kingsbridge

GREEK MYTHOLOGY 2 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 280 West 231st Street From their protected perch on Mount Olympus, the Gods of ancient Greece wrap their magic and subterfuge around the humans they choose to meddle with. Their manipulations influence the futures of the mortals who live far below them in a world bound by the realities of life and death. The important question of whether our choices can alter our fate is the eternal riddle of these fascinating and timeless myths. Presented by the Traveling Lantern Theatre Company. For ages 4 and older. For more information, call 718-548-5656.

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 718548-5656.

Saturday, July 9 Kingsbridge

READING HOUR 1 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 280 West 231st Street Youngsters 3-12 years old are invited to participate in the Reading Program sponsored by the Rotary Club of Riverdale. Readers will be grouped by skill level and encouraged to read, helped with pronunciation and word understanding, and for those without reading skills, interpret pictures. For more information, contact Karen Pesce at 718-549-4469.


By BRENDAN McHUGH The parks department won’t give Riverdale another park. A small plot of land sandwiched between two buildings and bounded by Henry Hudson Parkway West has been neglected for months, if not longer, and City Councilman G. Oliver Koppell would like that to change. A month ago, he offered $900,000 to have the land between 4475 and 4499 Henry Hudson Parkway, just south of Manhattan College Parkway, officially turned into a park. But when his office reached out to the parks department, the agency replied, “thanks, but no thanks.” It’s not well maintained,” Koppell said. “It’s something that could make a very nice park. A lot of people pass by there.” The plot of land, about 7,000 square feet in size, is the property of the Department of Transportation and would have to be requested by the parks department before it could become a park. Bronx parks commissioner Hector Aponte told Koppell’s office that while the capital funds were there to create the park, his office did not have the budget to maintain a new park. “He doesn’t feel it’s a priority,” Koppell said. The parks department had no comment, but records from the City Council show it would take only $650,000 to create the park. Plans would include new plantings, benches and pathways. “I’m not going to give up on it,” Koppell said. Currently, there are two benches on the site, but both are overturned and

in poor condition. Koppell’s office said they’ve also tried to request that the site be turned into a greenstreet or a dog run, but those ideas were shut down as well. Greenstreets are typically 1,000 to 2,000 square feet. “It’s not serving any purpose except being an eyesore,” Koppell commented. Two weeks ago, the land was full of overgrown weeds. After inquiries to the DOT and parks department, the weeds were cut. However, both agencies say they’ve never taken care of the land before. Local residents may have started caring for it themselves. The property has a number of very large, mature, healthy trees that provide shade throughout the area. A Department of Sanitation representative said they had no involvement in it either, but if residents call 311 they will respond to dirty lots. “I can see this as a park, absolutely,” nearby resident Zahava Gratz said while the weeds were still there. “I’d love a park with places to sit and read and relax—100 percent.” She isn’t the only one with that thought. “It’s a big plot of land that could be used for a lot of different ways,” Ciara Gedulig said. “It’s really sad, and I think a lot of the residents would appreciate having use of that land. It doesn’t belong to anybody.” Bronx borough historian Lloyd Ultan believes Robert Moses may have designated the land for a park when he built the Henry Hudson Parkway in 1937. Moses was responsible not only for creating many of the major roadways in the city, but he was also the parks commissioner at one point.

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9 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, June 30, 2011

Seek new park in HH Pkwy. empty lot


Thursday, June 30, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW

10

Piano music pops up in VC Park

By AMANDA MACALUSO Van Cortlandt Park is now home to one of the 88 pianos from the Sing for Hope Foundation’s two-week Pop-Up Piano campaign. Sing for Hope is a nonprofit organization that “mobilizes professional artists.” As co-founder of the organization and Bronx native Monica Yunus proudly proclaimed at last Sunday’s concert in the park, “We’re an artistic peace corps. People of the arts donate their time to bring music to New York City, especially to schools and hospitals where music is desperately needed.” Sing for Hope has placed 88 pianos thoughout the five boroughs, encouraging people to make use of the instruments and express themselves via music. No two pianos are the same; each one was designed by a different professional visual artist who volunteers with the Sing for Hope Foundation. The Van Cortlandt Park piano, which resides within the Stadium, was designed by “Law & Order: SVU” star B.D. Wong. “Our pianos have an urban life cycle. They start in a warehouse, they go out onto the streets of New York City, and then they’re donated to New York City schools and hospitals,” Yunus explained to the audience at Van Cortlandt Park. The event was an open-mic night, where those who signed up could perform whatever they wanted using the piano, their voices or other instruments. People came from all parts of the city to take part in the event and to express their love of music. Arielle, Benita and Moriah Trenk came from Scarsdale. “We found out about the pop-up pianos last year when we saw them around the city. We did some investigating, put ourselves on the mailing list, and here we are,” explained the middle Trenk sister, Moriah. Select members from the New York African Chorus Ensemble performed a snippet from the South African national anthem, “Nkosi Sikelel iAfrica,” and the singers encouraged the audience to join them in song. Bronx natives also came out to express their talent and represent their home-

town. Daniel Caro, 19, from 225th Street, sang several songs with guitar accompaniment by his friends Freddy Megia and Guillermo Zarate. Whether it was piano-playing or singing acoustic rock songs, opera ballads, or African melodies, everyone had something to offer at the celebration of art, talent, and community. The Pop-Up Piano campaign will be ending citywide on July 2, and all 88 pianos will be donated to schools and hospitals that Sing for Hope works with. The organization relies on sponsors and donations from people who support their mission. To find out more about Sing for Hope or about the locations of the other 87 pianos throughout the city, visit singforhope.com.

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By BRENDAN McHUGH Riverdale has no need for speed. This year, the 50th Precinct has issued only one speeding ticket as of June 1 and has issued the fourth-lowest number of moving violations in the entire city. The 40th Precinct in the South Bronx has issued zero speeding tickets this year, but it has given out at least 2,000 more moving violations than the five-oh. A spokesman for the 50th said officers simply aren’t trained on the equipment used to catch speeders, but he believes the officers are probably instead issuing summonses for reckless driving. Those statistics were not immediately available. Aside from Queens’ 100th (Rockaway Beach), Brooklyn’s 72nd (Greenwood Cemetery) and Manhattan’s 22nd (Central Park), the 50th Precinct’s count of 2,957 moving violations is the lowest in the city. The next-lowest in moving violations issued in the Bronx is 3,663, by the 45th (East Bronx/City Island). Local NYPD officers say Riverdale’s streets are one thing keeping speeders down, allowing them to focus on other crime. DWIs issued are up 92 percent from last year, as are seat belt violations (626 total in 2011).

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Continued from Page 1 “When one raises a voice of protest, even tyrants bend,” he said. “If in fact we could create a crescendo of light, light that emerges to push away darkness—with all my heart and soul, I believe that it will make a difference.” Amnesty International, not known for partiality toward Israel, has voiced concern regarding the conditions of Shalit’s imprisonment and the denial of access by the International Committee of the Red Cross. “In preventing Gilad Shalit access to the ICRC and regular communication with his family, Hamas is acting contrary to its obligations under international law,” the organization states on its website. “Amnesty International has been calling on Hamas to abide by its obligations under international humanitarian law to treat Gilad Shalit humanely and reiterates that he should be granted access to the ICRC and be allowed to communicate regularly with his family.” In 2009, Hamas released a video of Shalit holding a current Palestinian newspaper, but no sign of him has been made available since. Hamas, Amnesty states, is holding Shalit hostage to leverage its negotiation with Israel for the release of hundreds of prisoners. The organization offers an online petition to Hamas Prime Minister Isma’il Haniyeh. The petition stops short of asking for Shalit’s release and addresses only compliance with international law. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri criticized the ICRC for its concern. “The Red Cross should not get involved in Israeli security games aimed at reaching

Shalit,” he reportedly told Reuters. “It should take a stand that results in ending the suffering of Palestinian prisoners.” “I have decided to change Israel’s treatment of terrorists sitting in prison,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in his closing statement at the Presidential Conference in Jerusalem after Hamas recently denied the ICRC’s request for contact with Shalit. “We will give them all that they deserve according to international law but nothing beyond that,” he said. “We will stop, among other things, the absurd practice in which terrorists who murdered innocent people enroll in academic studies,” he said. “There will be no more ‘doctors of terror’—the celebration is over.” Netanyahu also announced after his weekly Cabinet meeting that to free Shalit, Israel would accept a German-mediated deal. They agreed to the deal “in the belief that it was balanced between our desire to secure Gilad’s release and to prevent possible harm to the lives and security of the Israeli people.” “The State of Israel is ready to go far, more than any other country, in order to secure Gilad’s release,” he continued, “but it is my responsibility...to see to the security and lives of the Israeli people.” On Tuesday, Hamas rejected the German mediator, calling the offer “unjust.” Back at the rally, David Schwartz, H.I.R.’s new congregation president, marveled at Israel’s willingness to compromise. “Israel is being asked to make sacrifices like no other nation,” he said. “Is there another nation in the world that has given up as much land as Israel has given up for peace? Is there another nation that teaches its soldiers as much about how to treat the enemy and the people who are trying to kill them?”

11 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, June 30, 2011

Kidnapped Israeli


Thursday, June 30, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW

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Person on the Street:

Compiled by Amanda Macaluso

What do you want to see come to Riverdale?

“It would be great to see an indoor ice skating rink come to the neighborhood. There are no ice skating rinks in the Bronx and for all the hockey teams in the schools.”

- Otto Thomas

“I’d really like to see a really good Italian restaurant or pastry shop in this community. There are great restaurants, just not those that cater to lovers of Italian food”

- Joan Picciano

“How about an entertainment center? Not necessarily a mall but something with a movie theatre in it and other fun places where teenagers and young adults could go to hang out.”

- Nicole Caso

“I always wind up getting lost, even if I used MapQuest or those programs. I’d like to see accurate street signs and directions to help people get around the neighborhood that are not familiar.”

- Judy Pollack

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“The first thing I always think about that Riverdale doesn’t have is a movie theatre. I have to go all the way to Yonkers or further when I want to go see a movie with my family.”

“Riverdale really needs good parking facilities, I always have a problem parking. Either there’s no spots at all, or everything has a meter and the parking rules are just too strict.”

- Jean Doyle

- Sal Borgia

“I’d love to have more outdoor, summer concerts at Van Cortlandt Park. It’s such a big, beautiful park I’d love to enjoy music and the scenery during the summer.”

“I’d love to have an indoor mall here in Riverdale. With Manhattan College and the College of Mount Saint Vincent both in the neighborhood, an indoor mall would be a great investment.”

- Johanna Volpicelli

- Rhaya Feigel

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13

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.

Katonah

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 muscootfarm.org for a list vendors. Open every Sunday through October. For info, call 914-864-7282.

Featuring the movie “Shrek Forever After.” Gates open at 5 p.m. for picnicking, entertainment starts at 6 p.m. Bring blankets and chairs for seating. For more info, call 914-864-PARK.

Friday, July 8 Somers

LUNCH AT LASDON 12 p.m. Lasdon Park Route 35 Enjoy local live jazz and visit the garden shop. Weather permitting. For more information, call 914-864-7268.

Saturday, July 9 Scarsdale

FAMILY CAMP-OUT 8:30 a.m. Greenburgh Nature Center 99 Dromore Road Enjoy a night of nature on the grounds of the Nature Center as GNC hosts a family camp-out. You supply your tent and sleeping bag. Join in for an informal barbecue, then explore the moonlit trails with a GNC naturalist in search of owls and other night creatures. Camp-out limited to 10 families. Reservations required. Fir come first served. Each tent must include a minimum of one adult. Fee: $20 per person. For more information, call 914-723-3470.

Scarsdale

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.

PUPPET SHOW 10:30 a.m. Greenburgh Nature Center 99 Dromore Road Come giggle, dance and play in the shade with Jill Liflander and her delightful puppets. Come swim in a cool imaginary river with the plucky otter puppets. Feel the breezes from the ocean along with Fish-o, Fish-ie and Fishela. Sing about hugging trees, and all together, let’s all tell the trees how much we love ‘em. Recommended for ages 2-7. For info, call 914-723-3470.

Scarsdale

Somers

Somers

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.

Valhalla

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.

Monday, July 4 Mt. Vernon

INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION 10:30 a.m. St. Paul’s Church 897 S. Columbus Avenue A reading of the full text of the Declaration on Independence highlights the annual commemoration of Independence Day, at St. Paul’s Church National Historic Site, in Mt. Vernon, NY, on Monday, July 4, beginning at 10:30 AM. The event also features ceremonial ringing of the historic 1758 bronze church bell 13 times, in a salute to the original states. The keynote address examines “Historic Preservation as an Expression of Patriotism”. There will also be music, refreshments, and tours of the historic church and burial yard. Exhibitions on topics in American history are on display in the air-conditioned museum. For more information, call 914-667-4116.

Thursday, July 7 Valhalla

SCREENING UNDER THE STARS 6 p.m. Kensico Dam Plaza Bronx River Parkway

SUMMER CONCERT SERIES 6 p.m. Lasdon Park Route 35 The park opens at 5 p.m. for picnicking. Bring lawn chairs and your picnic dinner. Light refreshments for sale. Weather permitting. Net proceeds are dedicated to the Conservatory fund. For more information, call 914-864-7268.

Sunday, July 10 Valhalla

ITALIAN HERITAGE CELEBRATION 11 a.m. Kensico Dam Plaza Bronx River Parkway Ethnic food, music, dance, entertainment and art and crafts. For more information, call 914-864-PARK.

Hartsdale

IRISH HERITAGE CELEBRATION 12 p.m. Ridge Road Park Ridge Road Ethnic food, music, dance, entertainment and arts and crafts. For more information, call 914-864-PARK.

Croton-on-Hudson

MALFA OPEN HOUSE 1 p.m. Croton Point Nature Center Croton Point Avenue Join members of MALFA and learn more about Croton Point’s amazing history and pre-history. We sit on one of the richest pre-history archaeological sites in New York State. Come by with questions and get answers from our local experts. For more information, call 914-862-5297.

Rye

LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY 2 p.m. Marshlands Conservancy Route 1 You don’t need to be a professional. All you need is your own camera and the enthusiasm for the beautiful landscape that Marshlands has to offer. Long pants and shoes highly recommended. For more information, call 914-835-4466.

Somers

LOW MAINTENANCE GARDENING 2 p.m. Lasdon Park Route 35 Join a Lasdon horticulturist in a walking tour of the gardens. Low maintenance perennials will be the feature of the tour. Discover perennials for your garden that will provide colorful interest with minimal care. For info, call 914-864-7282.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thursday, June 30


Thursday, June 30, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW

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The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, June 30, 2011


Thursday, June 30, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW

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Chabad Lubavitch of Riverdale invites the Riverdale Jewish community to a Shabbaton honoring the 17th Yahrtzeit of the Lubavitcher Rebbe-Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, with Rabbi Eli Silberstein, July 1-2, at Chabad of Riverdale, 535 W. 246th St. Riverdale, NY. The life story of the Rebbe parallels the story of our century. Born in the Ukrainian-Russian town of Nikolayev in 1902, he spent his childhood in pogrom-ridden Czarist Russia, the 20’s battling the Stalinist attempt to eradicate Jewish life in the Soviet Empire, and the 30’s in Berlin and Paris. In 1941 he escaped Nazi-occupied Europe and settled in New York, where for the next 50 years he transformed the very fabric of Jewish life in every corner of the globe. For this momentous occasion, Chabad of Riverdale will host Rabbi Eli Silberstein, the Director of Chabad at Cornell University. Rabbi Silberstein is a distinguished scholar of Talmud with a particular interest in the intersection of the legal and mystical dimensions of Jewish law. On Friday, July 1 at 8:00pm Friday Night Shabbat Dinner, Rabbi Silberstein will lecture on: Excellence In Leadership: Lessons gleaned from Jewish leaders

throughout the ages. July 2 at the Shabbat Luncheon, he will speak about Unity Within Torah: The Lubavitcher Rebbe’s unique contribution to the understanding of Torah; and at 6:00pm Shabbat Afternoon, Rabbi Silberstein will discuss: Can A Murderer Inherit? Profound lessons from the Jewish laws of inheritance and their spiritual implications. The Friday Night Shabbat Dinner and Shabbat Luncheon are $25 each, Shabbat Afternoon lecture is free of charge. 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: library@chabadriverdale. org. Space is very limited, kindly R.S.V.P. by: Monday, June 27. Tel: 718-549-1100 ext. 10 or Fax: 718-549-4397 or Email: Library@chabadriverdale.org. Please join us for the following events on July 1: Friday Night Services will be at 7:00pm followed by Shabbat Dinner at 8:00pm. The: Excellence In Leadership Lecture will be at 9:30pm. If one cannot join us for the Friday Night Shabbat Dinner, please join us for the lecture at 9:30pm. Shabbat morning services begin at 9:00am followed by Luncheon at 12:00pm. The: Unity Within Torah Lecture will be at 1:30pm. If one cannot join us for Luncheon, please join us for the lecture at 1:30pm. The Can A Murderer

Inherit Lecture begins at 6:00pm with Mincha at 8:00pm and Havdalah Services at 9:22pm. There will be a supervised children’s program during the lectures.

4th of July concert in Van Cortlandt Park

The Bronx Arts Ensemble Jazz and Dixieland Band opens the BAE SUMMERMUSIC 2011 Series with A Salute to George M. Cohan, Irving Berlin, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Max Roach, Lionel Hampton and more at a FREE concert in Van Cortlandt Park at Rockwood Drive Circle, near Mosholu Avenue and Broadway on Monday, July 4 at 2 pm in celebration of Independence Day. Trombonist and bandleader Jack Gale, who has arranged music for numerous Broadway theatres, commercials and concerts, will arrange all music for the July 4th performance. Seating is provided but the audience is urged to bring folding chairs. In the event of rain, the concert will be moved to Vladeck Hall in the Amalgamated Houses at the corner of Hillman Avenue and Van Cortlandt Park South. Please contact the BAE office after 11 am on the day of the performance. SUMMERMUSIC 2011 schedule includes REVELS WITHOUT A CAUSE on Sunday, July 17, ROMANTIC STRINGS on

Sunday, July 24, HERE COMES THE SUN AND STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER on Sunday, July 31, LET’S TANGO! on Sunday, August 7 and WOODWIND DESSERTS on Sunday, August 14. For more information, visit bronxartsensemble.org or call 718.601.7399.

Gallery 18- July artist, Olive Rosenfield

Olive Rosenfield was a resident artist in Riverdale for over 40 years. She was born in Jamaica, West Indies where she studied dance, music and the arts. She married an American and settled in NY in 1948 with her family. Ms. Rosenfield’s interest in the arts began with her travels with her husband, Dr. Richard Rosenfield. They toured around the world where Olive saw many cultures that influenced her sense of design. Ms. Rosenfield join the Riverdale Art Association in the early 1990’s where her paintings emerged. From her still lifes to her impressionistic water colors, Olive transformed her visions with vibrant colors and illusions. She passed away last June 2010. Her exhibits will be on display from July 5 through July 31. Any of her painting that will be bought will benefit the Riverdale Y general funds. For more information, contact Phyllis Steele at718-548-8200 ext 212. The Riverdale Y is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, June 30, 2011

Chabad to host Rabbi Silberstein of Cornell


Thursday, June 30, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW

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Investigate Adolfo Carrion’s Corruption Like the proverbial bad penny, our old friend former borough president Adolfo Carrion’s name is back in the news. Resurfacing is the story of a highly publicized incident in which a politically connected architect “donated” his services to Mr. Carrion for the design of the renovation of the official’s home on City Island, while at the same time doing business with the city which required Mr. Carrion’s approval. Conflict of interest? As Sarah Palin would say, “You Betcha!” At the time this all came up Carrion was insisting that all this was just an innocent oversight. In this claim, he seemed to be backed by the architect in question. But, according to a Daily News exposé published just this past Sunday, architect Hugo Subotovsky, now admits that he was giving a gift to his former patron. The circumstances suggest he might well have been shaken down. If so, this would certainly fit into the well-known pattern of Carrion, or a campaign staffer acting as bagman, pressuring folks for contributions when they had land use applications or matters before the borough president’s office. It seems that the investigations into this matter were botched. But it is still not too late to make this right. According to the city’s Department of investigations the probe of the incident is still open. And while Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson closed his investigation due to “lack of evidence,” it certainly now appears that there is more than ample evidence that a serious crime may have been committed, and this investigation merits reopening, immediately. According to law, city officials can’t accept gifts from anyone who is or intends to do business with the city. Mr. Subotovsky was involved in a number of building projects that required Carrion’s approval while he was still borough president, a clear conflict of interest. Moreover, the former borough president failed declare the value of Mr. Subotovsky’s architectural work as income in the mandated public declarations he had to make by law as a federal official. This would seem to indicate that a federal investigation of Mr. Carrion is in order as well, perhaps including tax evasion. All of this came out when Mr. Carrion was being considered for a high level post in the Obama administration. He did get the job as the White House Urban Affairs Czar, but the administration quickly learned what we could have told them all along. Adolfo Carrion is an empty suit. He was booted from this first, more prestigious post. He was given a second, face-saving appointment as a regional manager for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the job he holds now. But as the Obama administration heads into the difficult political waters of a reelection campaign, can they afford to have one of their officials under such a serious ethical cloud? As the investigations proceed, they should learn what we now know in The Bronx – cut him loose before the cancer of corruption spreads – and demand his resignation.

Saving Teachers or Saving Face? No one should give Mayor Michael Bloomberg any credit for “saving” the jobs of 4,100 teachers. The truth is they were never in any peril. The mayor, with the connivance of his lapdog City Council Speaker, Christine Quinn, were engaging in an elaborate charade. The real goal was the elimination of the Last Hired, First Fired provisions of state law that guarantees that the most senior – and for the most part most experienced – teachers are not fired simply because the earn too much money. To give the city’s now incredibly under-experienced and therefore under-qualified principals life and death power of teachers who bring many more years of classroom experience to the table is perverse. We see in our own communities the havoc unleashed by the mayor’s Kiddie Korps of “Leadership Academy” principals, who have done so much to destroy professionalism in our public schools. When the mayor failed to have his way, facts took over from ideology, and the necessity to layoff thousands of teachers was exposed as unnecessary, in fact never necessary. There are good guys and bad guys here, and we see the mayor and Ms. Quinn, firmly in the camp of the latter.

The hard truth may be even harder

To The Editor: As a parent who has just seen her younger child graduate from a New York City public high school, as her older brother did three years ago, I am writing to respond to a statement in the Editorial Opinion, “The hard truth,” in the June 23 issue: “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.” My children attended academically enriched programs from kindergarten through high school: P.S. 41’s and P.S. 9’s Gifted and Talented programs for elementary school; the Delta Honors Program at Booker T. Washington Middle School; and Stuyvesant and Eleanor Roosevelt High Schools — all in Manhattan, though we have lived in the Bronx for the past 9 years. Both will be studying at a highly competitive, private

four-year liberal arts college next year. I don’t believe, after spending the past 15 y ears shepherding my children through the NYC public school system, that parents in the Riverdale community would have any reason to expect that the factors cited in the June 23 Opinion piece will come into play anytime soon in the public school system in NYC: high standards, fully competent pedagogues and inspired curricula are rare even at the finest schools in the City. When a fellow parent of a graduating high school senior asked me how my kids had managed to excel so remarkably in their academic experiences thus far, I replied honestly: “We fought a pitched battle 24/7/365 for a decade and a half against the system — that’s how.” My strong personal view is that young people in our community will not be well-served if their parents don’t understand that it is not sufficient to insist upon high standards,

ANDREW WOLF, Editor and Publisher

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fully competent pedagogues and inspired curricula. I believe they will be well-served only if their parents accept the responsibility to duke it out against a system that doesn’t exist to serve the special learning needs of gifted students. The system is oriented to salvaging those who are the poorest performers because there are so many of them relative to the handful of gifted students. Statistics rule the day in our era: elevating the performance of those few already on the upper end of the spectrum will do little to impact the overall distribution of standardized test scores and grade point averages that public education authorities in NYC, Albany and Washington, D.C. care about. Parents need to be realistic in order to help their children navigate through the public schools in NYC. Folks, here’s the deal: you have to expect to spend inordinate amounts of your own time and energy — and your family’s income — supplementing the inadequate instruction of teachers, often using dumbed-down curricula. You have to absorb yourself in their homework on a day-to-day basis. You have to go to every single parent-teacher conference, and interact with your child’s teachers one-on-one every time there’s an indication that things are not on-track. You have to get involved in the PTA and volunteer to serve on school Continued on Page 19


RKA betrays its great promise

No progress in Afghanistan To The Editor: Last night I heard President Obama talk about our war in Afghanistan. He spoke of having the Taliban and Al Qaeda on the run and how we were succeeding in our fight with them. From what I have read and what I understand he seems to be kidding himself and trying to pretend that the view he presented has some relation to reality. It does not. Those we are fighting are seeking to impose a sharia state in Afghanistan and in the world. They are fulfilling the role that has been inbred in t hem by their schools, mosques, and culture. So if we kill 10,000 in our “successful” strategy their society easily replaces that number with 15,000 new recruits. We are on a treadmill with our politicians and military telling us they are making progress. On a treadmill no matter how fast you advance you are still in the same place. If our leaders could describe how our efforts will produce a new generation with values different than those of the current generation we are fighting then I would believe we are making progress. Philip Brieff

The hard truth Continued from Page 18 committees. You have to put yourself in the school’s face — make no mistake about it. You have to supplement their education with discussions about current events, prompting them to read the newspaper, worthwhile magazines and books not on their curricula. You have to take them to plays, intellectually stimulating films and concerts. You have to help them find summer activities that will keep their inquiring minds fed. No doubt the parents in our community feel: wait a second — I’m paying high NYC taxes to support a public education system that should provide what my children need educationally; I have a full-time job already, it’s unreasonable for me to be put in a position of taking on what will essentially constitute a second full-time job, meeting the deficiencies of the public schools in the City. I can understand that feeling very well: I have felt that myself for 15 years. But the reality is that if I hadn’t knocked myself out in service of my children’s best interests and educational needs, they would have had a thoroughly sub-optimal experience. I am exhausted from this process, and I’m angry that it was necessary — but I will never regret having made the commitment to battle the system because my kids will benefit for the rest of their lives from the efforts that I and they have made to push the system to be responsive to their needs. Kim McCann Riverdale

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, June 30, 2011

To the Editor: Wow! As a former student (at that time JHS 141) I am once again shocked reading how my once proud school (that I graduated from in 1976) has only 27% of students prepared to go to college. My family, also proud of my education at the time had me apply and accepted to John F Kennedy High School in 1977, then a wonderful school. I believe as part of my quality education in JHS, I am now, a 20-year financial advisor, a 5-year after school director with the Board of Education and a 30-year local community activist and former Community Board member. All this I truly

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believe- (as well as my mother who put me there at the time) was because of a quality education which started in JHS141. While as a Bedford Park resident, I am proud, according to your article, that some of our high schools are doing well-I never thought I would conceive the day that Riverdale Junior High School students might transfer to Bedford Park-for a quality high school education. All public and elected officials who let this happen should be ashamed and embarrassed for letting this happen to what my mother and I thought in the 70s, was a beautiful, safe, clean place to receive a quality education Anthony Rivieccio Director North Bronx Thinktank

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Thursday, June 30, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW

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Riverdale Review, June 30, 2011  

Weekly newspaper published in Riverdale, NY 10471