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Volume XIX • Number 26 • July 12 - 18, 2012 •

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State official to probe PS 24 music cuts By MIAWLING LAM and PAULETTE SCHNEIDER Dr. Betty A. Rosa, who represents The Bronx on the New York State Board of Regents, has agreed to look into the actions surrounding the elimination of the music program at P.S. 24. “I was shocked to read that this wonderful program, a program which should be replicated at other schools rather than be eliminated at any school, is at risk. I see no budgetary reason why this should be done, and I intend to ask the staff of the State Education Department to make sure that P.S. 24 remains in compliance with regard to arts education. This is a high priority for me,” said Dr. Rosa. She noted that state spending for the schools increased this year, “so I can’t see why this program should be cut.”

“I am proud that we have programs like this in my own neighborhood, and will do all that I can to ensure that my neighbors here in Riverdale, as well as in the rest of The Bronx, get a complete education and that includes the arts. Where things work, as in P.S. 24, we must insure that there is no backsliding. She said that she is looking into the matter at the behest of Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz. For his part, Dinowitz stated “every child deserves a music education, and every school should have a great music program. This year we in the State Legislature successfully fought to increase state funding for NYC public schools by 4%, so it’s hard to understand why at any of our schools important programs should be eliminated. I strongly urge Department of Education

officials, Dr. Connelly and anyone else who has any influence to revisit the decision to excess PS 24’s two music teachers. I’m sure they want to do what’s right for the children of our community.” Dinowitz said that he hopes that Dr. Rosa can bring her expertise and leadership to the effort to save the music program at P.S. 24. Meanwhile, P.S. 24 School Leadership Team member Eugenia Zakharov said communication was the key to moving forward and that in-depth conversations were necessary to repair morale. She strongly advocated dialogue among parents, P.S. 24 principal Donna Connelly and interim acting assistant principal Emanuele Verdi. Continued on Page 18

Espaillat concedes congressional race to Rangel; plans next move

By MIAWLING LAM The battle for the 13th Congressional District is over, once again, and the Lion of Harlem is heading back to Washington D.C. State Sen. Adriano Espaillat officially dropped his congressional bid and conceded to veteran politico Rep. Charles Rangel during a press conference outside his campaign headquarters in Inwood on Monday. The Dominican-American said he would withdraw a lawsuit

against the city’s Board of Elections that challenged the result, and he admitted that Rangel’s 987-vote lead was virtually insurmountable. “I am here to acknowledge that we came up short by 2 percent,” he said. “My attorneys have advised me that even though there are close to 2,000 invalid affidavit ballots, the math just doesn’t work, and in fact, it is virtually impossible for the results to be different.

“Everybody from Nancy Pelosi on down supported the incumbent, and so I am very proud to have run a very strong race. I think I come out of this process stronger, and I look forward to the future.” What that future entails, however, remains unclear. Espaillat, who currently represents parts of Riverdale in the state Senate, refused to say whether he would mount a new campaign to retain his state Legislature seat. However, he revealed he

State Senator Adriano Espaillat concedes defeat outside his campaign headquarters in Inwood on Monday. He remained mum on whether he would seek reelection for his state Senate seat.

authorized district leaders to circulate petitions on his behalf after the June 26 primary. “I will be considering my personal situation as to whether I am accepting those signatures in 48 hours,” he said on Monday. State Senate candidates who want to be on the ballot in September’s primary have until Thursday, July 12, to file their petitions. Candidates, who were invited to begin filing their petitions on Monday, are required to submit at least 1,000 Democratic signatures. Results for the 13th Congressional District remained unresolved for nearly two weeks, amid claims of voter suppression, irregular tally counts and ballots not being counted. Espaillat, 57, initially conceded to Rangel on election night after preliminary tallies showed the 21term incumbent leading by 1,900 votes in the five-candidate field. But revised numbers released days later showed the race had taken a dramatic turn and that Rangel’s lead had shrunk to a razorthin margin of 802 votes, with more than 3,000 absentee and affidavit ballots still to be counted. As Espaillat asked the courts to intervene, the Board of Elections counted the remaining votes and eventually found that Rangel’s lead had increased to 987. The board was slated to certify the results on Tuesday. In his second concession speech in less than two weeks, Espaillat said his campaign staff ran a historic campaign, and he reiterated his concerns about Board of Elections transparency.

“There needs to be very deep, very deep electoral reform in New York state,” he said. “Is the Board of Elections a reliable entity that thousands of millions of voters across the state of New York, and particularly New York City, should feel is accountable and transparent in its everyday operations? I feel not.” Espaillat cited a lack of funds for dropping his legal challenge but said lawsuits brought forth by several nonprofit organizations, including Latino Justice, would proceed as planned. He also said he would now throw his support behind Rep. Rangel. “I look forward to working with him as we move forward in the 13th Congressional District to ensure that the issues that are pertinent to every resident—from the southern part of the district all the way to the northern part of the district and now parts of The Bronx—are addressed and taken care of.” In a brief statement, Rangel said he planned to maintain a working relationship with Espaillat. “I look forward to working with him to uncovering any possibility of voter suppression or fraud as well as to foster reconciliation and unity across the communities that became divided during the campaign.” Under newly drawn political boundaries, the 13th District will now stretch from Harlem in Manhattan to the northwest Bronx neighborhoods of Bedford Park, Norwood, Kingsbridge Heights, and parts of Kingsbridge and University Heights in The Bronx.


Thursday, July 12, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW

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Koppell pushes budget reform By MIAWLING LAM Major reforms are needed to ensure City Council slush funds are doled out more equitably among the 51 members, according to Councilman G. Oliver Koppell. The local elected official delivered the remarks during a breakfast budget briefing on Monday and said the City Council speaker, Christine Quinn, currently wields too much power. He urged for discretionary monies to be distributed according to a district’s needs rather than to officials with the most clout or the closest political ties. “There is far too much discretion and there is too much disparity,” he said. “It’s not fair to the district, it’s not fair to the members, and it gives the speaker too much power. I think reform is needed.” Currently, the 51 City Council members are allocated monies, commonly referred to as pork or member items, for youth and senior programs. They receive an additional lump sum of funding for nonprofit and civic groups in their districts. The allocations are typically used to bankroll capital projects such as school renovations and to fund smaller neighborhood initiatives like after-school programs. However, because the Council speaker distributes all capital funds and a large portion of the expense funds, the process has long courted controversy. Critics have panned the procedure and said more transparency is needed to ensure fairer distribution of the approximately $500 million in discretionary funds. Koppell proposed a more collaborative system that retained a degree of the speakers’ discretion but also allowed City Council members to chime in. He said favoritism could be eliminated if the relevant City Council committees were charged with determining the local clubs, nonprofit organizations and community groups most deserving of the funds. “I would propose that the idea of youth and senior be expanded and perhaps there be a specific lump sum, let’s say $300,000 or $400,000, of discretion for each member, and then anything above that would be subject to the speakers allocation but it would have to come within a committee’s jurisdiction, and committees would vote on it,” he said. Koppell was allocated $5.4 million for capital projects—slightly less than last year—and just under $500,000 in expenses as part of the city’s $68.5 billion budget. When comparing his discretionary allocation with those of his peers, Koppell admitted he fared “not so great” but said the numbers can often be misleading. His comments come two months after a government watchdog group called for reforms over the discretionary funds allocation process. The report, released by Citizens Union, said objective measures such as socioeconomic elements should be factored into the process to ensure all districts are given their fair share of monies. Overall, Koppell said, he was pleased with the budget and claimed it is the best one that has been approved since 2007. As the Riverdale Review reported last week, Koppell’s pot of money was shared across his district, and area groups benefited from the funding windfall. Nearly $125,000 was designated to improve the safety of two 30-year-old

Italianate pergolas in the aquatic garden at Wave Hill, while $150,000 was earmarked for the installation of six NYPD security cameras to bolster local crime-fighting efforts. Each of Riverdale’s three public schools won a share of the funding pie. P.S. 24 secured a $60,000 grant for the purchase of laptop carts, big computers and large screens, P.S. 81 received $80,000 to pay for 125 laptops, and M.S./H.S.141 got $60,000 for projectors, Smart Boards and security cameras. Meanwhile, $1 million was allocated to build the long-awaited skate park in Van Cortlandt Park. The facility, which will measure 100 by 135 feet, will have ramps to accommodate in-line skates, skateboards and bikes.


By MIAWLING LAM Local co-op and condo owners can breathe a sigh of relief now that Albany lawmakers have agreed to renew the city’s tax abatement scheme for the fifth time. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, along with the state Assembly and Senate, last week struck an accord to retroactively extend the program, which gives apartment owners significant property tax breaks. The new package is expected to be signed into law when elected officials return to Albany later this year, most likely after the November presidential election. Michael Whyland, a spokesman for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, said the deal would benefit the majority of New York apartment owners. “We have reached an agreement on landmark legislation that will cut taxes for the vast majority of condo and co-op owners, who pay a disproportionate share of the city’s property tax burden,” he said in a statement. Although city officials had prematurely factored in the tax abatement in its latest round of tax bills, Whyland said it wouldn’t be an issue once the lawmakers convened. “When the legislation is signed into law as promised by the governor, we anticipate that the new lower rates will be effective retroactive to July 1,” he said. Homeowners feared they would be slugged with higher property taxes if lawmakers failed to extend the Cooperative and Condominium Tax Abatement Program, which ended on June 30. If the Assembly bill proceeds as planned, the property tax abatement will continue for the majority of co-op and condo owners until June 30, 2015.

Under the revised scheme, tax relief will be phased out for owners whose apartments are not their primary residences. That change is one that Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz wholeheartedly supports. “The people who should receive the benefits are those who live in their apartments all the time,” he said. Dinowitz urged the city to do more to fix the disparity between co-ops and single-family homes but said that in the meantime, local homeowners should not be concerned. “This is a major issue in our community, and I believe people shouldn’t press

By MIAWLING LAM The Spuytyen Duyvil library branch will receive $125,000 to replace and repair its sidewalks, while Wave Hill will be given $35,000 for a new audio and visual system. The local organizations are just two of the 67 Bronx schools, community organizations, public parks and housing and economic development projects that will share in nearly $23 million, thanks to a capital funds bonanza. Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. announced last Monday that he secured $22.97 million in capital funding as part of his fiscal year 2013 budget requests. Diaz said the windfall would touch every corner of The Bronx, including Riverdale, and help bring countless projects to completion. “Each year, my office is proud to support dozens of amazing schools, community organizations and development projects across

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property taxes than do owners of one-, two-, and three-family homes. The disparity is widely attributed to the tax class they are assigned to—co-ops and condos are assessed in the same group as apartment buildings. A study conducted in 2011 by the Real Estate Board of New York shows that although one-, two-, and three-family homes account for 50 percent of the market value of properties citywide, their owners pay just 15 percent of the overall tax tab. According to the Independent Budget Office, the abatement program costs New York City taxpayers nearly $450 million each year.

Two Riverdale groups to receive funds from Borough Hall

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the panic button,” he said. “We expect to come back at the end of the year for a special session, and I feel confident that the abatement will be renewed.” The scheme, which has been in effect since 1996, provides eligible homeowners with a generous property tax rebate. Shareholders whose units are valued in excess of $15,000 are currently given a 17.5 percent rebate while owners whose properties are worth less than $15,000 are given a 25 percent rebate. The abatement program was originally designed to reduce the tax burden on coop and condo owners, who pay higher

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The Bronx,” he said in a statement. “This critical funding will help to bring many important projects to completion, helping our borough become an even greater place to live, to work and to raise a family.” Overall, the largest portion of this year’s funds—around a quarter—was allocated to housing developments, including the construction of a 110-unit mixed-use building in West Farms. Economic development projects were also big winners, with the Hunts Point Produce Market set to receive $3 million to fund its refurbishment and the Harlem River Rail Yards allocated $1 million for rehabilitation. Educational institutions that requested funds for building upgrades and technology equipment such as laptops, Smart Boards and printers were also among the lucky recipients. The John F. Kennedy High School will receive $250,000 to pay for a much-needed

library renovation, the Highbridge Middle School’s $280,000 grant will help fund the installation of a green roof and P.S. 91 in University Heights will receive money to upgrade their auditorium. The campus of Bronx Community College was flush with $425,000 in funds, which will go toward the installation of handicapped entrance ramps and a renovation of Ohio Field. Lehman College was also allocated $500,000 for the development of a one-stop student services and transfer center. Meanwhile, parks projects received almost 15 percent of the funding pool. Soundview Park was allocated $250,000 for the creation of a dog run and Bufano Park in Throggs Neck was given $150,000 to resolve its hockey rink ponding issue. “Each of these projects, in its own way, will contribute to the continued revitalization of our borough, and I am thrilled to have played a role in so many exceptional new developments.”

3 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, July 12, 2012

Property tax abatement for co-ops and condos renewed


Thursday, July 12, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW

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Around the schools... Local Scholars

Huntington University in Huntington, Indiana, has announced that Evianna Monroe, an English major, was named to the dean’s list for the 2012 spring semester. Honorees must achieve a GPA of at least 3.5 while enrolled in at least 12 hours of graded coursework. Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian liberal arts college offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. U.S. News & World Report ranks it among the best colleges in the Midwest. Forbes.com has it listed as one of America’s Best Colleges, and Princeton Review includes it in its Best in the Midwest list. Huntington University, founded in 1897 by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. It has a contemporary lakeside campus in northeaster Indiana. St. Bonaventure University in St. Bonaventure, New York, has announced that Michael Murray, a history major, was named to the spring 2012 dean’s list. St. Bonaventure, the flagship Franciscan university, was founded in 1858. With an undergraduate enrollment of 2,000, it offers 42 undergraduate majors—the most popular being elementary education, journalism, psychology, accounting, marketing, finance and management. More than 90 percent of the students receive financial aid. The university is home to the Franciscan Institute, a center for research on the history of a group of men and women who for 800 years have dedicated themselves to peace, justice and social equality. The faculty includes lay people of diverse backgrounds as well as Franciscan friars who live on campus. The State University of New York at Oneonta has announced that David Berger and Nathan Heller were among 1,423 students who earned dean’s list honors for the spring 2012 semester. To qualify, students must achieve a GPA of at least 3.5 while carrying a course load of at least 12 hours. SUNY Oneonta’s 6,000 undergraduates can choose from 69 majors. The college ranks ninth among the Top Public Regional Universities in the North region in U.S. News and World Report’s 2012 rankings and is listed as 58 among Kiplinger’s 100 Best Values in Public Colleges. It was established as a state normal school in 1889 and became a founding member of the state university system in

1948. Oneonta is known for its outstanding faculty, strong academic programs, educational technology, community service activities and scenic campus. The University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware, has announced that Chelsea Petrosino and Rachel Schwartz have been named to the dean’s list for the spring 2012 semester. To qualify, students must be enrolled full-time and earn a semester GPA of at least 3.33. The University of Delaware, founded in 1743, enrolls nearly 17,000 undergraduates, 3,700 graduate students and 850 students in professional and continuing studies. A state-assisted, privately governed institution, it offers four associate programs, 137 bachelor’s programs, 117 master’s programs, 50 doctoral programs and 12 dual graduate programs through our seven colleges and in collaboration with more than 60 research centers. The Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, Connecticut, has announced that for the spring term, Emelynn Abreu, a junior, was listed on the high honor roll and AsiaSol Goring, a senior, was listed on the honor roll. Loomis Chaffee is a boarding and day school for boys and girls in grades 9 through 12 and post-high school. Chartered in 1874, it enrolls 670 students and provides an academically challenging experience in a respectful and civil community with close facultystudent ties. The State University of New York at New Paltz has announced that the following students were among more than a thousand who received undergraduate degrees this spring: Angie Alva received a B.S. in childhood education 1-6; Lisa Escobio received a B.A. in communication media; Justin Pando received a B.A. in communication studies; Tyler Stevens received a B.A. in communication studies; Melissa Nolan received a B.A. in communication media; and Lori-Anne Wallen received a B.A. in sociology. SUNY New Paltz enrolls nearly 8,000 students in its College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and its schools of business, education, fine and performing arts, science and engineering, and graduate division, offering 100 undergraduate and 50 graduate programs. Located on 275 acres in a Hudson River Valley college town, it is half way between New York City and Albany. New Paltz is highly selective and is one of the most well-regarded public colleges in the nation, with NCAA Division III athletics and nationally recognized fine and performing arts programs.


By MIAWLING LAM The lucky residents who snapped up coveted free parking spots in Manhattan College’s Broadway garage have begun filing into the facility. Officials from the Lasallian educational institution said most of the 50 available spaces, which were offered on a first come, first served basis last month, have already been assigned. One space for a handicapped driver is still available, as are a few regular spots. Manhattan College vice president of facilities Andrew Ryan was unable to reveal how many applications have been submitted but said demand has been strong. “We still do have a small number of spots available,” he said. “They have kept the website open in order to build up the inventory of potential parkers.” Ryan said successful residents have started to pick up their parking passes earlier this week and have begun parking in the five-story garage. The pass will be valid for one year. Under the program, the first 50 residents who submitted an online application and registered their interest were granted a parking spot. To qualify, a motorist is required to have a driver’s license with an address in either the 10463 or 10471 ZIP code, and vehicles must be registered for those specific ZIP codes so that spaces cannot be taken by commuters or workers who live elsewhere. Applications will be processed exclusively online at manhattan.edu/communityparking. Paper applications are not being made available. During last month’s Community Board 8 land use meeting, Ryan said successful

applicants would receive a car decal to signify their right to park in the facility. “They will be assigned a numbered spot in the parking facility, so it’ll be one car, one spot. If somebody is parked in a spot that’s not the person assigned to it, they’ll be towed,” he said at the time. The finalizing of parking arrangements comes a year after college officials were accused of shirking their commitment to provide public access to the 658-space garage. Authorities have previously argued that covenants made with various government agencies prevented them from offering public parking spaces on a permanent basis. Meanwhile, Ryan said the long-awaited details regarding the so-called displaced Waldo Avenue parkers would be revealed in October. Residents along Waldo Avenue claim 25 street parking spots will be lost once construction begins on Manhattan College’s new 69,000-square-foot Raymond W. Kelly Student Commons center. Although school officials initially suggested a parking fee was necessary, they have now committed to offering a commensurate number of free spaces in its Broadway garage. “We will provide more detail in October when we award the construction contract to a contractor,” Ryan said. “Shortly thereafter, we will develop the site logistics plan and at that point, we will know if there is any impact.” According to plans, the new student center will boast a Starbucks, minimart, student lounge, food service and campus bookstore. Two of the floors will be open to be public, and meeting rooms will be available for student and community use. The facility is set to open in fall 2014.

5 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, July 12, 2012

Spaces still available at college garage


Thursday, July 12, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW

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Musical revue at RSS

Head to the Riverdale Senior Services, located at 2600 Netherland Avenue, on Friday, July 13, at 11 a.m. to watch a free musical revue by Rhea Linda and Phyllis Shapiro. Everyone is welcome; validated parking available. Call 718-884-5900 for more information.

Bronx Tea Party to meet

Tea Party of the Bronx invites the public to its meeting on Friday, July 13, at 7 p.m., which will be held at 943 Morris Park Avenue. For more information, visit their website at bronxtparty.tripod.com.

Volunteers needed to survey beaches

Get fit, help protect the city’s beaches and save marine wildlife by enrolling in the annual Volunteer Beach Floatables Program. Under the initiative, run by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, volunteers are mobilized each summer to survey more than 45 beaches across the five boroughs. Participants are asked to walk along the shoreline or on their favorite beach and spot debris such as styrofoam, wood, glass or plastic waste. They do not have to pick up or touch anything and instead simply record any items they see and report it to the agency each week. The program is critical as it provides authorities with useful data, ensures fewer beach closures and helps save marine wildlife from ingesting the debris. Upon registration, each volunteer will receive all materials necessary for monitoring, including letters of authorization and acknowledgment. For more information, please contact 212-889-4216 or 917-658-2380.

Bronx International Film Festival 10 for 10

To celebrate 10 years, the Bronx International Film Festival (BXFF) is offering 10 for 10 submissions, $10 for any short or feature film submission postmarked by July 31, 2012 for the 10th Annual Bronx International Film Festival scheduled for November 7 - 9, 2012 at Lehman Stages,

home of the 500-seat Lovinger Theatre, on the beautiful Lehman College campus. We accept short and feature narrative, documentary, animation and experimental films. An urban theme or setting, particularly The Bronx or New York City, is desirable but not necessary for submission. Top film and top documentary each receives a $1,000 cash prize. Submission guidelines and form are available on bronxfilmfestival.com.

Free writers workshop in Bay Plaza

Presented by the Bronx Council on the Arts’ Bronx Writers Center, Getting to the Finish Line: How to Prepare Your Writing for the Next Stage is a free workshop that includes hands-on writing exercises, discussion of structure, story-telling and voice and a Q&A with the instructor. Bring a notebook, a pen and your creative ideas! Maria Romano, Director of the Bronx Writers Center, will facilitate this workshop. The session will be held at Barnes & Noble at Bay Plaza on Friday, July 20, 2012, from 6:00-8:00pm. Admission is free and all are welcome. Reserve your seat at http://bronxwriters7202012. eventbrite.com/. Maria Romano, Director of BCA’s Bronx Writers Center, will facilitate the workshop. Originally hired as a consultant to manage The Big Read in 2008/2009, Maria holds a BA in English from Yale University and an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School. She teaches writing to middle school and high school students for the Fordham University Science and Technology Entry Program and was a Curriculum Advisor for Girls Write Now, a writing and mentoring non-profit organization. She is a Bronx resident and an award-winning writer of short stories. Getting to the Finish Line: How to Prepare Your Writing for the Next Stage is one of a series of free workshops for writers produced by the Bronx Writers Center. Upcoming BWC workshops at Barnes and Noble Bay Plaza are: • First Lines: Getting Started on Your Writing Project on August 17th • Ask and Editor. Ask an Agent on September 21st For additional information on this workshop or other events presented by the Bronx Writers Center, call 718-931-9500 x21, e-mail bronxwriters@bronxarts.org,

or visit the Bronx Writers Center’s web pages at www.bronxarts.org. Barnes & Noble Bay Plaza is located at 290 Baychester Avenue in the Co-op City section of the Bronx. To find out about other literary activities at the store, please call 718-862-3945 or visit www. barnesandnoble.com (click on “Stores and Events”). The Bronx Writers Center supports and develops the appetite for writing and reading in the Bronx. The BWC searches for and promotes new voices and audiences and engages the community in literary and literacy programs. The Bronx Writers Center, a program of the Bronx Council on the Arts, is supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Robert A. Bowne Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts’ Literature Program, NYC Council Member James Vacca, the Simon Bolivar Foundation, New York City Department of Youth and Community Development, the National Endowment for the Arts, and NYC Department of Small Business Services/Avenue NYC.

‘Home of the Brave’ to be shown at the Y

On July 25 at 1:00 p.m. the Riverdale Y Senior Center will perform in the Y theater a show, Home of the Brave: WWII Experiences in the Military and the Homefront.’ Directed by: Yoni Oppenheim. Home of the Brave, a theatrical performance of the senior’s personal stories and interviews, will be done through monologues, scenes, and songs of the period. SPARC is a collaboration among the NY City Dept. of Cultural Affairs, the Dept. of the Aging and the City’s five local arts councils. This program is supported, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts. The entire community is invited to this performance. For more information, contact 718-548-8200, ext 223. The Y is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue.

away as we depart from the Poughkeepsie Port. After we will enjoy a short stop on the Walkway Over the Hudson to get a beautiful glimpse of the river. The bridge deck stands 212 feet above the river’s surface and is 6,678 feet (1.28 miles) long, making it the longest, elevated pedestrian bridge in the world! Participants must be 60 or older. Wednesday August, 8th. Cost: $45, after July 31st $50 Includes boat ride tour, roundtrip bus and picnic lunch. The bus will leave The Riverdale YM-YWHA promptly at 9:15AM and return 5PM For more information contact Leora 718-548-8200 ext 204. Or lgarritano@riverdaley.org. The Riverdale Y is located at 5625 Arlington Ave.

Annual Bronx Urban Farm Tour

All aboard for a narrated group tour of some of the borough’s most amazing working farms - where community farmers tend to their plots of land, micro-entrepreneurs, harvest honey, and chickens roam freely. The annual Bronx Urban Farm Tour will be held on Saturday, July 21. Tours will pick-up at visitor’s Center in Midtown Manhattan. Arrival time: 9:30 a.m. at the New York Visitors and Convention Bureau, located at 810 7th Avenue (and 52nd Street) in Manhattan. 10 a.m. sharp departure from Midtown Manhattan. 3 p.m. return. Experience the birthplace of hip-hop music in a whole new way as you embark on a rhythmic, healthful-food journey with pioneers of this urban music genre as your guides. Tour activities include: a hip-hop poetry slam and music jam; Get Dirty, an interactive gardening session; and a short session on chicken raising and tour of the compost demonstration area. Garden locations: Padre Plaza, East 139th Street and St. Ann’s Avenue; Garden of Happiness, Prospect Avenue (between East 181st and East 182nd Streets); Tremont Community Garden, East 178th St. and LaFontaine Avenue. To register, or for more information, call 718-817-8026 or visit bronxoodsummit@gmail.com.

Merchants Softball Game Boat Cruise On The Hudson in Throggs Neck Throggs Neck Little League will sponRiver and Walkway Bridge

Come aboard the Mystère for a two hour cruise and experience the excitement of cruising under towering bridges spanning the storied Hudson River, glide past Gilded Age mansions and feel the cares and pressures of your hectic world melt

sor the Fourth Annual Merchants Softball Game on Friday, July 27, at 7 p.m., at TNLL Senior field (Throggs Neck Blvd. and Harding Avenue). In addition to the game, the NY Blood Center mobile bus will accept blood donations. Two free tickets to Mets game can be won by blood donors. There will also be live entertainment and food for sale. Proceeds will benefit Throggs Neck Little League. Bring the family and enjoy a game under the stars. For more information, call 718-8228232.

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The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, July 12, 2012


Thursday, July 12, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW

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Thursday, July 12 Kingsbridge

BABY LAPSIT 10:30 a.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Stories. songs, fingerplays, puppets for birth-36 months for parents/caregivers. For more info, call 718-548-5656.

Riverdale

OPEN COMPUTER LAB 11 a.m. Riverdale Branch Library 5540 Mosholu Avenue Attention new computer users: Do you want to learn how to use e-mail? Do you need help in applying for a job online? Would you like to practice going online and exploring the Internet? Come to the Riverdale Library and get assistance on the computers. Practice your new skills at your own pace. Ask questions and learn from doing. Audience: Adults, 50+. For more information, call 718-549-1212.

Riverdale

SINGING & READING 11:30 a.m. Riverdale Branch Library 5540 Mosholu Avenue Emily Ellison introduces readers to the great world of exciting picture, story, and song books full of music and sound. Children will revel in the joy of reading while singing, dancing, and stomping their feet, and experiment with various rhythm instruments. For children ages 2 to 6 years old with parent/caregiver. For more information, call 718-549-1212,

Van Cortlandt

MUSIC @ NYPL 2 p.m. Van Cortlandt Branch Library 3874 Sedgwick Avenue Matthew Fishteyn has been playing piano for 10 years and 2 years ago began to study the classical and flamenco guitar. For more information, call 718-543-5150.

Kingsbridge

GAME ON 4 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 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 13 to 18 years. For more information, call 718-548-5656.

Friday, July 13 Kingsbridge

Riverdale

MUSIC @ NYPL 2:30 p.m. Riverdale Branch Library 5540 Mosholu Avenue Violinist Jeffrey Ellenberger has performed as a classical soloist and orchestral musician in the USA, Europe and Asia. In the field of popular music he has worked with Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Diana Ross. He plays regularly on Broadway, in shows such as Les Miserables and Beauty and the Beast. Mr. Ellenberger also plays the viola. Join us for an afternoon of delightful music. For more information, call 718-548-5656.

Monday, July 16 Spuyten Duyvil

THE MOBILE WEB 9:30 a.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 West 235th Street Get the most out of your tablet or smartphone browsing! We’ll show you tips and tricks for using the Internet on the go. For iPhone, iPad, and Android users. Pre-registration is required. For more information, call 718-796-1202.

Riverdale

COFFEE HOUR 10 a.m. Riverdale Branch Library 5540 Mosholu Avenue Start off your week with a cup of coffee at the Riverdale Branch. Read newspapers , catch up on current events, or just enjoy a friendly game of Chess. All in our Community Room. For more information, call 718-549-1212.

Tuesday, July 17 Kingsbridge

INTERNET BASICS 10 a.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street An introduction to the Internet, including getting connected, using a web browser, and navigating. Space is limited, please register by phone or in person. Audience: Adults, 50+. For more information, call 718-548-5656.

Riverdale

e-READER HELP 11 a.m. Riverdale Branch Library 5540 Mosholu Avenue Learn how to download free e-books from the New York Public Library. Get help on using your iPad, Kindle or other ereader. Audience: Adults, 50+. For info, call 718-549-1212.

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

Kingsbridge

Riverdale

Kingsbridge

MUSICAL REVUE 11 a.m. Riverdale Senior Services 2600 Netherland Avenue A free musical revue by Rhea Linda and Phyllis Shapiro. Everyone is welcome; validated parking available. Call 718884-5900 for more information.

Kingsbridge

COMEDY CLUB 4 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Calling the class comics! Brush up your best jokes for a comedic afternoon. Get the public speaking skills you need to deliver the punchline with comedy master Tara. For ages 12 to 18 years old. For more information, call 718-548-5656.

Wednesday, July 18 TODDLER STORY TIME 11 a.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Stories, songs, fingerplays, puppets and flannelboard stories for 18-36 months for parents/caregivers. For more information, call 718-548-5656.

Riverdale

TEEN READING CLUB 4 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 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, and participate in weekly raffles for a chance to win COOL and FABULOUS stuff!!! The teen summer reading club is open to all students who are in (or who are about to enter) 7th - 12th grade. For ages 13 to 18 years. For more information, call 718-548-5656.

BOOK DISCUSSION 1 p.m. Riverdale Branch Library 5540 Mosholu Avenue The Riverdale Branch Library meets the third Wednesday of every month @ 1:00 p.m. This month the group will be discussing Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. Book club participants must reserve copies of each title through the Library’s catalog system. Reserve your copy by placing a hold online at www.nypl.org or visiting your local branch. For info, call 718-549-1212.

Saturday, July 14

CONCERT 6 p.m. Wave Hill 675 West 252nd Street An evening with the Robert Silverman Jazz and Blues Trio. Part of the Sunset Wednesday Concert Series jointly sponsored by the Bronx Council on the Arts and Wave Hill. Free to Wave Hill members and children under 6; $8 for adults; $4 for students and seniors 65+; $2 for children 6-18. For info, visit www.bronxarts. org or call 718-931-9500 x33 or call Wave Hill’s Martha Gellens at 718-549-3200 x232 or Mary Weltzman at x320.

Spuyten Duyvil

SENIOR CINEMA 2 p.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 West 235th Street Dom Cobb is a skilled thief, stealing valuable secrets from deep within the subconscious during the dream state. with Leonardo DiCaprio Rated PG-13. For more information, call 718-796-1202.

Riverdale


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Thursday, July 12, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW

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Dinowitz obtains ‘Slow Zone’ around school crossings By MIAWLING LAM City officials have agreed to establish a “neighborhood slow zone” outside two of Riverdale’s public schools in a bid to improve pedestrian safety and reduce speeding. Department of Transportation authorities announced DOT would expand its speed-curbing program in 13 new areas, including Riverdale, during a news conference in Corona, Queens, on Tuesday. The designation will encompass the stretch of Independence Avenue between West 232nd Street and West 246th Street and will result in the area’s speed limit being lowered from the current 30 mph to 20 mph. Speed bumps, road markings, stop signs and other traffic calming measures will also be employed to reduce the number of traffic fatalities and fender-benders. Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, who led the fight and submitted the application to the Department of Transportation in November, declared the announcement as a massive win for Riverdale. “This is a really big victory for the community and we got it done,” he said. “The city responded to our request and I’m very pleased. I think that it will make a difference once everything is implemented and make the street safer.” He said the decision was highly appropriate, given that the area is home to several schools including P.S. 24 and M.S./H.S. 141, two houses of worship, a public library and a park. Dinowitz said the city has not provided specific details about what the slow zone will entail but that it will most likely be in effect either later this year or early

next year. Locals have long argued that trafficcalming measures are desperately needed along the busy thoroughfare, particularly along the five-block stretch of Independence Avenue between West 232nd and West 237th streets because student lives were being put at risk. Community members have previously claimed motorists speed through the area, double-park, triple-park, block traffic and recklessly dart in and out of the four-way stop sign outside the two schools. Councilman G. Oliver Koppell, state Senator Adriano Espaillat, the 50th Precinct and the parents associations at M.S./H.S. 141, P.S. 24 and Riverdale Temple Nursery also threw their support behind the application. “It’s been on our radar, especially with the schools up there,” Captain Burke said in February, referring to the safety concerns with the busy thoroughfare. “I think it’s a very good candidate. I think a slow zone would only be sufficient.” P.S. 24 School Leadership Team member Eugenia Zakharov said she welcomed the decision when contacted on Tuesday. “You hope that everybody is acting in good conscience and responsibly but that’s not happening, so I guess this is another step to make things safer,” she said. Coincidentally, Department of Transportation crews were spotted earlier this week paving a stretch of Independence Avenue in the area immediately in front of both schools. However, Dinowitz said it was unlikely the resurfacing project was tied in with

the slow zone application. The successful slow zone designation comes three weeks after P.S. 24 school officials announced they would start and finish school 10 minutes earlier next year. Under the changes, students from P.S. 24 will attend school from 8:00 a.m. to 2:20 p.m. when the new academic year kicks off in September. The scheduling modification is designed to create a 20-minute gap between the arrival and dismissal of students from P.S. 24 and from the neighboring M.S./H.S. 141 and is aimed at alleviating the traf-

fic snarls and gridlock that have plagued area motorists. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the creation of slow zones at the 13 selected sites would make a real difference. “We’ve driven fatalities and injuries down to record lows through innovative traffic engineering, aggressive enforcement and an unwavering commitment to finding new ways to make our streets safer, as even one fatality is too many,” he said. “We are continuing our assault on the number-one traffic killer: speeding. We’ve seen success already where we have installed slow zones, and we expect safety will improve as speeding is reduced in these communities.” The 12 other locations selected for a slow zone are: Mt Eden, Baychester and Eastchester in the Bronx; Boerum Hill in Brooklyn; Inwood in Northern Manhattan; Corona, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights and Auburndale in Queens; and New Brighton, Dongan Hills and Rosebank in Staten Island. The city’s first-ever neighborhood slow zone was installed last November in the Claremont section of The Bronx. Slow zones are marked by a prominent blue gateway at all streets entering the area, with signs noting the 20 mph speed limit. Speed bumps and the stenciling of “20 mph” eight-foot-long letters on the road also make it clear that motorists are in a reduced-speed area. Applications are assessed based on a range of factors, including the number of traffic crashes within the proposed area and the number of local schools, senior centers and daycare centers in the area.


By MIAWLING LAM Like many Riverdale parents, Rachel Williams and Maria Kazmierczak have clocked hundreds of miles driving their children to indoor play spaces in Manhattan and Westchester. They and their husbands have spent countless weekends in cars, ferrying kids from their respective Johnson Avenue homes to enrichment centers outside the neighborhood. But late last year, the two moms had an epiphany and hatched a plan to open Kidaroo, Riverdale’s first and only indoor play space and enrichment center. The facility, which is located at 3603 Fieldston Road, opened two weeks ago and has already attracted nearly 400 clients. Around 75 percent of the families hail from Riverdale and Kingsbridge, with the remainder coming from Yonkers and Washington Heights. Williams, who is a licensed physiotherapist with two children, aged 3 and 1, said Kidaroo caters to children from infancy through age 10 and was born out of a desire to provide local young families with a fun indoor space. “It’s not like Gymboree,” she said. “It’s more of a progressive environment and a place where children can learn through creative play.” The carpeted play area, designed for those six years old and younger, features a range of dress-up clothes and a stage for children to perform on, a dollhouse, a wooden painted school bus, a play loft furnished with a mini-kitchen and hundreds of building blocks and toys. Two on-site classrooms also play host to an enrichment program consisting of art, music and interpretative dance classes for toddlers and older children. Beginning in the fall, Kidaroo will even

offer a supervised after-school program for kids in kindergarten through fifth grade. Williams said she and her business partner, Kazmierczak, polished the Kidaroo concept over the span of nine monthsKazmierczak, who is a special education teacher, has a 3-year-old daughter and is currently seven months pregnant. “We took our girls all over Westchester, Manhattan and New Jersey to indoor play spaces, fun classes and birthday parties,” Williams said. “We wished Riverdale had a similar place of its own, so we decided to create one for our community. “We think we’re bringing a wonderful amenity. Riverdale is such a family-oriented community, but I really felt it missed that sense of community and didn’t have many amenities where families can go and interact.” Kazmierczak’s contractor husband helped with the gut renovations—the space used to be a realtor’s office—while Williams’ attorney husband assisted with the legal paperwork. Both women live in the RiverPointe building on Johnson Avenue, so evening and weekend meetings were even convened as soon as the children were tucked in bed. And the local moms have a lot riding on the venture—both families have ploughed their entire life savings into the project. “That’s how much we believed in it,” Williams said. “We really felt Riverdale deserved a space like this. So many people come to Riverdale and leave within a couple of years. We want to make them stay, and so we’re doing this for ourselves and the community.” Kidaroo is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

11 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, July 12, 2012

New indoor play space opens here


Thursday, July 12, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW

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Please help us save the music at P.S. 24.


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Scarsdale

FAMILY MUSIC SERIES 6:30 p.m. Greenburgh Nature Center 99 Dromore Road AMERICANA NIGHT with Greetings From Anywhere, Roosevelt Dime and Spuyten Duyvil - Spend one, two or three summer evenings at the Nature Center enjoying music that is perfect for the whole family by national, regional and local artists. Each concert offers a unique sound and each evening provides an opportunity to walk the Nature Center’s woodland trails, meet some of the Center’s most popular animals, have a picnic dinner, or just sit back on the Center’s lovely Great Lawn and enjoy the music. Concert produced by Common Ground Community Concerts. For more info, call 914-723-3470.

Scarsdale

MIDSUMMER BARBECUE 6:30 p.m. Shaarei Tikvah 46 Fox Meadow Road Everyone is welcome to enjoy great kosher food, see the beautiful synagogue, and meet and get to know the diverse, inclusive, egalitarian congregation serving many towns in Westchester. Kids get to play outside, run around, and play in the playground. Please call 914-472-2013, ext 300 or 302 to get more information and to make a reservation.

Friday, July 13 Katonah

CONCERT 8 p.m. Caramoor’s Spanish Courtyard 149 Girdle Ridge Road Closing out its Caramoor Residency, the riveting Linden String Quartet delves into an exploration of the mutual influences of music and literature. The Lindens team up with singer-songwriter and polymath Gabriel Kahane for world and East Coast premieres in a program set in relief by Corigliano’s intriguing approach and anchored by Beethoven’s late masterpiece. General Admission: $15, Reserved Seating: $25, $35. For more info, call 914-232-1252 or visit www.caramoor.org.

Saturday, July 14 Rye

CRAFT FAIR 10 a.m. Playland Park Playland Parkway Wade through a grand selection of crafts and fun at Playland’s Craft Fair! Taking place around the boardwalk and fountain. For more information, call 914-813-7000.

Somers

BEADING WORKSHOP 10 a.m. Somers Library Route 139 & Reis Park In this full-day workshop, students will make a weaved beaded bracelet composed of black Swarovski crystals and multi-colored Delica beads. $25 materials fee must be paid in advance. Space is limited, so register early!

Croton-on-Hudson

BUTTERFLY HOUSES 1 p.m. Teatown’s Cliffdale Farm Teatown Road Meet at Cliffdale Farm as we go butterfly hunting! We will use nets to catch and release butterflies found in the fields and end the program by constructing butterfly boxes to take home. Limited to 7 families, one box per family, all materials provided. No children under 6 please. Fee: 15/family for members and $20/family for nonmembers. Call 914-762-2912 x110 to make a reservation.

Katonah

CONCERT 8 p.m. Caramoor’s Spanish Courtyard 149 Girdle Ridge Road Legendary folk-rock guitarist and singer/songwriter Richard Thompson makes his Caramoor debut. The show will take place in the intimate Spanish Courtyard where you are never more than 70 feet from the stage! Thompson was named one of Rolling Stone magazine’s “Top 20 Guitarists of all Time” for his acoustic and electric virtuosity. His shows are exciting displays of both his guitar mastery and influential songwriting. Tickets: $45, $55, $65. For info, call 914-232-1252 or visit www.caramoor.org.

Sunday, July 15 Somers

FARMERS MARKET 10 a.m. Muscoot Farm

Route 100 Shop the bounty of local farmers and enjoy a day at the farm. Fresh produce, meats, cheese, soaps, flowers, baked goods and more. Open every Sunday through October. For more information, call 914-864-7284.

Valhalla

POLISH-AMERICAN HERITAGE FESTIVAL 12 p.m. Kensico Dam Plaza 1 Bronx River Parkway Road Celebrate the Polish-American Heritage Festival at Kensico Dam Plaza! Enjoy live songs, dances, musical performances, art & cultural exhibits, ethnic foods, entertainment, games and much more! Rain or Shine; Event & Parking are FREE. Bring folding chairs or blankets for seating. For more information, call 914-864-PARK.

Scarsdale

STORY WALK 1 p.m. Greenburgh Nature Center 99 Dromore Road Join us for our 4th Annual Story Walk. Naturalist John Mancuso leads you along our woodland trail to enjoy a favorite children’s storybook entitled Box Turtle at Silver Pond Lane by Susan Korman. We have many Box Turtles living on our property and they lay their eggs in our orchard area every year. California Pizza Kitchen will be on hand with favorite foods and drinks to sample, bookmarks good for one free kid’s meal, activity sheets and a raffle for a CPK $20 gift certificate. Recommended for children age 8 and younger. Free. Sponsored by California Pizza Kitchen. For more information, call 914-723-3470.

Hartsdale

IRISH HERITAGE DAY 1 p.m. Ridge Road Park Ridge Road There will be entertainment, games, food, and other activities. Admission is $5 per adult; children under 14 free. Bring your own blankets and chairs. For more information, call 914-424-3515.

Katonah

CONCERT 4:30 p.m. Caramoor’s Venetian Theatre 149 Girdle Ridge Road Pablo Heras-Casdo returns to celebrate his recent appointment as Principal Conductor of the Orchestra of St.Luke’s. His brilliant debut performance with the orchestra last summer raises high expectations for this return engagement, especially with Emanuel Ax and Beethoven on the bill. Program: Ravel: Le tombeau de Couperin (orch. Ravel 1919); Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37; Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92. For more information, call 914-232-1252 or visit www.caramoor.org.

Tuesday, July 17 Yonkers

FAMILY FILM 7 p.m. Tibbetts Brook Park 1 Midland Avenue Come to the outdoor screening of Kung Fu Panda 2 at The Brook at Tibbetts Brook Park in Yonkers. FREE for children under 5. Bring blankets and chairs for seating. Swimming permitted until dark. Buy food from the concessions stand or bring a picnic. Park opens at 7 p.m. Movie begins at sundown. $5 general admission per person. For info, call 914-864-PARK.

Wednesday, July 18 Mt. Vernon

HISTORY TOUR 1 p.m. St. Paul’s Church 897 S. Columbus Avenue Bayonets, Musket Balls and Ship’s Bread. Witness a costumed demonstration about the life of a Revolutionary War soldier. For info, contact David Osborn, 914-667-4116.

Saturday, July 21 Scarsdale

FAMILY CAMPOUT 5:30 p.m. Greenburgh Nature Center 99 Dromore Road Enjoy a night of nature on the grounds of the Nature Center. You supply the tent and sleeping bag, we’ll supply the nature. Join us for an informal barbecue, and then explore our moonlit trails with a naturalist in search of owls and other night creatures. Cap off the evening with S’mores by the fire. Limited to 20 families each night. Reservations required. First come, first served. Each tent must include a minimum of one adult. Fee: $25 per person. For more info, call 914-723-3470.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, July 12, 2012

Thursday, July 12


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The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, July 12, 2012


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Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum (located at 895 Shore Road, Bronx, NY 10464), in partnership with Adventures in Preservation and the Historic House Trust of New York City, will offer a one-week restoration workshop from Monday, July 30 through Friday, August 3, from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. A National Historic Landmark located in New York City’s largest park, Bartow-Pell, an 1840s Greek Revival mansion, is the last of the country estates in the Pelham Bay area. For the second consecutive summer, the Shutter Shop on Shore Road Restoration Workshop will focus on restoring Bartow-Pell’s interior wooden shutters - this year from the mansion bedroom where its prized Charles-Honoré Lannuier bedstead is located. Participants will learn the necessary steps for a historically sensitive restoration of architectural components with attention given to curatorial, preservation, and environmental considerations. Under the guidance of preservation/ restoration specialists from Fifty Three Restorations, an award-winning, New York City firm, Shutter Shop on Shore Road participants will learn how to

safely handle lead paint removal; make appropriate carpentry repairs; prime, and paint. This year’s workshop is funded partly by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which awarded Bartow-Pell $4,500 toward the cost of the workshop. Volunteers from as far away as France, through an exchange program of Brooklyn-based Preservation Volunteers, will participate in the workshop. Foreign volunteers will be hosted by Bartow-Pell members in their homes. ‘This is not only a wonderful way to teach restoration skills to volunteers who are interested in preservation, but also to get needed work done at our site,’ says BPMM’s executive director Ellen Bruzelius. ‘Volunteers play a key role in Bartow-Pell Mansion’s continued preservation,’ says Adventures in Preservation’s program director Judith Broeker, ‘focusing on smallscale projects that make a big difference.’ Dexter Guerrieri, President of Preservation Volunteers, adds that ‘one of our missions is to form transatlantic friendships and understanding. The preservation of the historic Bartow-Pell Mansion provides a perfect working environment for learning and sharing.’ Cost is $295 for the week and includes

snacks, lunch, instruction and materials, and insurance. Guest speakers and mansion tours are scheduled during the lunch break. Participants must be 18 or over. Registration is required. Call 718-8851461 or email info@bpmm.org to register or for more information. For more information about BartowPell, visit www.bpmm.org. For more information about Adventures in Preservation and Preservation Volunteers, visit www.adventuresinpreservation.org and www.preservationvolunteers.org. For more information about the National Trust for Historic Preservation, visit www. preservationnation.org.

Latin jazz concert on July 13 & 15

Latin jazz pianist and vocalist WILLIE RODRIGUEZ & Friends will perform in a concert on: • Friday, July 13 at 6 pm, at Pelham Bay Park (enter at Middletown Road & Stadium Avenue) • Sunday, July 15, 2 pm – Rockwood Drive Circle at Van Cortlandt Park; 4 pm – McGinley Center – Fordham University. The program will include selections from Mr. Rodriguez’s most recent album

“Live at Willie’s Stake House”. Willie Rodriguez has been a fixture in Latin and Latin/Jazz music since the 70�s. He has played and recorded with several Latin and Jazz artists throughout his career. Among his many recordings notably he is on Machito’s Grammy award winning 1982 Salsa Big Band on the Timeless Label, Utrecht, Holland and on Celia Cruz’ Grammy award winning 2002 album on Sony. He has also recorded with Luis “Perico” Ortiz, Johnny Pacheco and Steve Turre. His career continues as an educator where he earned a doctorate in music education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Dr. William (Willie) Rodriguez is the founder and principal of the Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music. In case of rain the Pelham Bay Park concert will be moved to the Knights of Columbus Hall 3243 Ampere Ave. Please call Jonathan at Councilman Vacca’s office after 2 pm at 718.931.1721. The Van Cortlandt program will be moved to Vladeck Hall, Amalgamated Houses, Hillman Avenue and Van Cortlandt Park South. Please call the office after 11 am at 718 601-7399 if the weather is questionable.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, July 12, 2012

BPMM offers restoration workshop


Thursday, July 12, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW

18

Rangel’s victory

Charlie Rangel will be going back to Congress, for the first time representing part of The Bronx. He won by a narrow margin, but contrary to the various conspiracy theories out there, nothing was stolen from anyone. The flap over the “lost” votes is Board of Election incompetence. The bottom line is that insurgent Adriano Espaillat should have trounced Mr. Rangel, but didn’t. After all, Mr. Rangel has been at the center of so many scandals that he is no longer a viable figure on Capitol Hill. As we have noted, his future is behind him. It was sad seeing him drag through this campaign. For his loss, Mr. Espaillat has the New York Times to thank. Digging deeper, he could look at the failure of his own campaign consultants for neglecting to design a strategy that could win both the Times and the Daily News endorsements. Senator Espaillat was widely expected to win these two key endorsements going into the race. Instead, the two papers backed a third candidate, Clyde Williams, who ended up winning a paltry 11%. But since Mr. Espaillat trailed the congressman by just two points, it isn’t hard to see that losing the support of the mainstream media to a third-place kamikaze candidate, who without the newspapers might not have cracked 5 percent, did him in. The conventional wisdom is that this district, with a Hispanic majority in population (but not in voters), has positioned Mr. Espaillat or some other Latino for victory. But there remain substantial black strongholds, and surprising white strongholds, which may account for nearly a quarter of the vote. As we see it, in a race between a black and a Latino, the growing cadre of whites in this gentrifying district may well be the balance of power. Had the whites moved more strongly to Mr. Espaillat, he would now be measuring Mr. Rangel’s office for new draperies. And it was the failure to win the expected Times and Daily News endorsements that ultimately doomed his effort to secure the endorsements most valued in the gentrifying areas. His Hispanic-centric consultants, the same folks who turned Fernando Ferrer from a future mayor to a sad footnote in history, are still plying the same snake oil, and with the same results. In a diversifying city, that means not us versus them, but us AND them, the ability to form coalitions. Mr. Espaillat, on his own, forged such a coalition, which enabled him to easily win his state Senate seat by trouncing a white Jewish candidate in Riverdale. We hope that Mr. Espaillat will run for re-election to the state Senate, and use his office to launch a new effort to win this congressional seat. We suspect that Mr. Rangel may suddenly retire as a way to attempt to preserve this seat for his black political allies. In the short term this may work. But over the long haul, that is not how New York politics will work. The shortest route for Adriano Espaillat to Washington is not through Santo Domingo or San Juan, but rather the streets of Manhattan and The Bronx, making his case to everyone, forming the broad coalition he needs to win in an increasingly diverse district.

Music at P.S. 24

What has become increasingly clear in the past few weeks is the need for systemic control of curriculum and instruction from above, not allowing “empowered” rogue principals to unilaterally jettison an effective and necessary music program even as they preserve feel-good drivel such as “conflict resolution.” This is not just true at P.S. 24 in Riverdale, but in every single public school in the city. All schools must offer children music and the arts in order to create well-rounded and fully educated individual. Using exaggeration and deception to justify removing the music offerings demonstrates why we need new leadership and clear rules. There is no budget cut at P.S. 24. The choice is not music or larger class sizes. This is about three senior teachers returning from leave necessitating the “excessing” of the three most junior teachers from the bottom of the seniority list. The targeting of the music department at P.S. 24 is just an excuse to preserve the jobs of low-paid newbies, dependent fully and in support of the principal to whom they owe their jobs.

Probe set on loss of PS 24 music

Continued from Page 1 She suggested that parents at P.S. 24 need to come out of the woodwork and engage in constructive discussions in response to the school’s controversial decision to excess both of its music teachers and shut down its music department. “I don’t want an army of people with pitchforks,” she said. “But my hope was that maybe the parents could get together and figure it out. “It’s a very resourceful community, and my hope was that somebody would have some ideas, some resources, some connections, and there would be something productive that we could bring to the table.” Zakharov has previously expressed her disappointment that the downsized music program was presented to the community as fact. “I personally don’t know what else I can do. I think communication is a very good and important first step to figuring out what to do next, but I can’t be talking to myself.” As the Riverdale Review reported earlier this month, the future of P.S. 24’s music curricu-

lum is under threat after three staff members, including two music teachers, were excessed on June 15. At the time, Verdi defended the action, which was announced in the final week of the school year, and said officials were forced to let go of the teachers because three staffers—with seniority— were returning from leave. However, as word got out that the music department would be abolished, many in the community protested the decision, particularly since the school has apparently not lost any funds. Outraged parents are concerned the downsizing effort will adversely affect their children and rob students of a rich music education, while others accuse administrators of having misplaced priorities and question the appropriateness of retaining a full-time conflict resolution cluster teacher while two music teachers are excessed. Verdi said attempts would be made to restore at least one of the music instructor positions, but if that fails, existing partnerships with the New York Philharmonic and Little Orchestra Society will serve as providers of the school’s

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musical instruction. “There will still be music here at P.S. 24. It’s not just going to be in the way that it’s been done,” Verdi said two weeks ago. Unlike Assemblyman Dinowitz, Councilman G. Oliver Koppell, during an unrelated breakfast budget briefing on Monday, said while he was concerned about the changes, he was reluctant to question decisions made by the school’s administrators. “I’m not happy about it, but I also find it difficult to secondguess a principal who appears, to me, to be doing a good job,” he said. Koppell said unless errors could be identified in the city’s school budget calculations, it would be virtually impossible to call on education officials to provide more funding. “I don’t know if there’s much I can do,” he said. “It’s difficult for me to go to the Department of Education and say, ‘give more money to this school.’ It’s just not something that I think I would be successful in doing.” But parent advocates insist that the issue has nothing to do with the budget, but rather Connelly’s reluctance to excess junior teachers that she appointed and are loyal to her, as would be customary when teachers on leave return, according to the teachers’ contract. Koppell, whose sister is a professional musician and a passionate advocate for music education in schools, also felt that it was an “embarrassing” situation. “For P.S 24—our local school—to be cutting music programs particularly, is very troublesome to me.”


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The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, July 12, 2012

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Thursday, July 12, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW

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Riverdale Review, July 12, 2012