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Riverdale’s ONLY Locally Owned Newspaper!

Volume XVIII • Number 31 • July 14 - 20, 2011 •

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School surveys: P.S. 81 shines; trouble at RKA and P.S. 24 By MIAWLING LAM Satisfaction ratings at Riverdale/Kingsbridge Academy have plummeted to record lows, scores at P.S. 24 have marginally improved, and P.S. 81 has emerged as the local education darling. Results from the third-ever NYC School Survey, released by the Department of Education last Friday, reveal parents and teachers are divided on their school’s learning environment. While an overwhelming majority of local parents are satisfied with their child’s education, many teachers expressed discontent and said they don’t trust their principal, let alone their own peers. The embattled Riverdale/Kingsbridge Academy fared the worst among Riverdale’s three public schools, with satisfaction ratings plunging in three of the four assessed categories. The school may now be poised for an “F” rating, and possible closure. The survey reveals engagement, safety, and academic conditions have deteriorated in the past year and the

majority of teachers feel marginalized. More than half said RKA principal Lori O’Mara placed other interests ahead of the learning needs of students, while 44 percent said its leader did not communicate a clear vision for the school. Two in five also said they did not receive regular or helpful feedback about their teaching, and a whopping 65 percent said order and discipline were not maintained at the school. A troublesome finding was that 37 percent of teachers said their colleagues don’t even trust each other. The low staff morale at RKA is in stark contrast to P.S. 81, which recorded above-average scores in all areas. They were also among a handful of city schools to record a 100 percent teacher return rate. Teachers praised the administration at P.S. 81 and said its leaders let staff know what is expected of them, communicate a clear vision and have high expectations of its students. And unlike at RKA, only 5 percent of teachers at the

Robert J. Christen School said their principal placed other interests ahead of children’s learning needs. As a result, the school recorded the highest satisfaction ratings among parents, with 94 percent content with the quality of their child’s education. In comparison, 93 percent of parents at P.S 24 were satisfied and 84 percent at RKA. The citywide average was 94 percent. All parents in Riverdale nominated smaller class sizes as their single most important priority for school improvement. After a disastrous showing last year, morale among teachers improved very slightly at P.S. 24. That could be attributed to three new teachers appointed by Connelly, ostensibly loyal to her, replacing veterans. Nearly half the teachers said they still do not trust the principal at her word, a third said she placed other interests ahead of the learning needs of students and 47 percent said she was not an effective manager who Continued on Page 19

Local firefighters put the flame to hamburgers and hot dogs at Schervier picnic By BRENDAN McHUGH Bronx firefighters came together with Schervier residents last week for the annual New York City Firefighters’ Anchor Club Cookout, a celebration of the outdoors and of the Schervier community. Hundreds of nursing home residents had a chance to enjoy the sunshine last Thursday as two dozen Bronx firefighters cooked hamburgers and hotdogs for lunch. “It takes a special type of volunteer to do this,” said longtime Anchor Club member Walt Whitmore. The Anchor Club’s firefighter members play a key role at Schervier during the year, socializing with residents who may not have a chance to converse with anyone outside the facility. “It’s very seldom they get to go outside,” Whitmore said, adding that he spoke to a few residents who said the last time they were outdoors was at last year’s cookout. Whitmore said the Anchor Club has been in existence for about 50 years and has been coming to Schervier for the past 25. The club began as part of the Knights of Columbus, but the group broke off as its membership increased. There are now about 450 members. Qualifications for joining the Anchor Club are being a firefighter and being Catholic. In the Catholic religion, an anchor represents hope. Whitmore is a retired FDNY officer who spent 25 years at Engine 68 at East167th Street and Ogden Avenue—the company that reaches Yankee Stadium first. He says the ones who get the most joy from the cookout aren’t always the residents, but the firefighters themselves. “They’re here on their own time,” he

said. “They chose to be here to make it a happy day for these folks. But they go home a happy person.” Schervier resident Karen Bugliese was very happy during the cookout. “This is wonderful for the firefighters to

do this for us,” she said. “We look forward to it every year. It’s so much fun.” Firehouses across The Bronx were well represented at the cookout, with engines 83, 27, 71 and Riverdale’s 52nd in attendance. About 17 Bronx firefighters are

regular volunteers with the club. Whitmore credited Anchor Club president Bill Greco with the success of the event, saying he’s a “fantastic organizer” who is able to inspire the firefighters to volunteer.


Thursday, July 14, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW

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Resume effort for HH ‘scenic byway’

By BRENDAN McHUGH Hoping to protect the Henry Hudson Parkway, a local group is driving to have the road listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Riverdale Nature Preservancy, fearing the parkway will one day be overrun with commercial traffic and gaudy signs, has been taking steps to preserve Route 9A. “If the city were to widen it, remove trees, cover stone walls with cement, if they were going to put hairnets on the rock outcrops— which they already did—those types of things would come under scrutiny by another agency that cares about the character of the road,” said preservancy member Hilary Kitasei. The State Historic Preservation Office, a branch of the New York State Parks & Recreation Department, has already declared the 11-mile parkway eligible for a spot on the national register. Now, the preservancy must create a series of detailed maps, citing everything that should be considered “historic” and therefore be protected from future development. “At our request, they did the evaluation,” Kitasei said. “What a shame if we didn’t take advantage of this, nominate it and get it designated.” They are still working on raising funds to create the maps. “The city is considering opening all the parkways, including the Henry Hudson, to trucks,” Kitasei said. Parkways throughout the state are off limits to most trucks, while expressways are open to all vehicles. Allowing truck traffic could mean a vast overhaul of the integrity of the road and surrounding features. Rock outcroppings and trees may need to be removed, and bridges may need to be heightened or rebuilt altogether. “The national register means that now all those things become registered and taken into account,” she said. “You can’t paint the Washington Monument pink.” While federal and state laws force signs to be a certain size, there is some flexibility. “Already, the signs cover half the bridges. Good parkway designs wouldn’t let you do that,” Kitasei said. “Bridges are an aesthetic figure.” She added that the preservancy went sign-by-sign to look at alternatives. “The Riverdale bridges, they’re a collection of bridges by landscape architect Gilmore D. Clarke, a preeminent architect of parkways,” Kitasei said. “Here in Riverdale, you have 11 of his bridges.” The Henry Hudson Parkway runs from the Bronx-Westchester border down to West 72nd Street in Manhattan. The parkway would be the first in New York City to receive the designation, though

a number of roads in surrounding counties have received the title of scenic byway. The city’s Department of Transportation quashed the effort to turn the parkway into a scenic byway, something that Kitasei said was a bad move on the city’s part. Scenic byways bring in money for enhancements without calling for enforcement from other agencies on future projects, she said. A listing on the National Register of Historic Places requires any project receiving federal money to be reviewed by the State Historic Preservation Office. The process of turning the parkway into a scenic byway began about eight years ago. In 2005, when a retaining wall collapsed near the George Washington Bridge, the idea that the parkway needed some protection and improvement became even more apparent.


By BRENDAN McHUGH The Van Cortlandt Park ice-skating rink plan as been shrouded in secrecy since Mayor Michael Bloomberg first announced the project in his State of the City address at the beginning of this year. Despite community outcry for a more open process, the city and its Department of Parks and Recreation have continued to hide information. A Freedom of Information Law request for additional documents pertaining to the skating rink was returned with information from the parks department website—nothing more. The parks department told the Review that the winning construction proposal will be announced later this summer, but they did not offer a specific date. However, Community Board 8 has announced they will have a special hearing to discuss the skating rink on Wednesday, July 27. This

will be the first time members of the community have a chance to see the actual plans for the rink—its size, hours of operation, equipment rental costs, etc. The board will vote to recommend either approval or disapproval of the project by the Franchise and Concessions Review Committee. Companies were invited to submit bids in a request for proposal process to create the rink, and it is believed that only one skating rink company submitted a bid. Other companies initially interested in the project backed away, citing a lack of things to do in the area during the winter season. The parks department said that if they did not receive enough interest or if the proposals were not good enough, they had the option of cancelling the entire project or starting over.

BJ’s coming to former cookie factory By BRENDAN McHUGH BJ’s is the wholesale club slated to occupy most of the Stella D’oro building, according to sources. Ripco Real Estate, the company listing the former baked goods factory, will be leasing more than 90,000 square feet of the building to BJ’s. Ripco is acting as a leasing agent for the future owner, Long Islandbased Metropolitan Realty Associates. Metropolitan president Joseph Farkas would not confirm or deny any plans for the site because he has yet to own the property officially. “However, I am a concerned and neighborhood-friendly developer, and please be assured that my plans will greatly enhance the area,” he said in an email. Multiple sources who spoke to the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation—the economic development arm of the Bronx borough president’s office—say that BOEDC is very excited about the development at the corner of West 238th Street and Broadway. After BJ’s takes occupancy, the building will still have about 35,000 square feet of empty space, some of which may be leased by a self-storage company. “If that’s only a small part of it, then OK,” said Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, who was concerned that the building will not provide jobs if the majority of the space is used for storage. “I would prefer to see retail stores on that site, something that will generate economic activity, provide decent-paying jobs and give people a place to buy things in that community.” There are four smaller spaces available in the Stella D’oro building, ranging in

size from 2,900 square feet to just over 20,000 square feet. The storage facility may take one of these spaces. The BJ’s in the Gateway Center a few miles south in Mott Haven is the third most successful BJ’s in the country—a good reason for the wholesale club to open another store in The Bronx. A source close to the borough president’s office said it is presumed that food stamps will be accepted, as they are in the Gateway Center BJ’s, and that parking will be free— the site allows more than 400 spots. BJ’s did not return a request for comment by press time. Robert Fanuzzi, the new chair of Community Board 8, said the board is looking forward to what BJ’s will bring to the area. “What we’re going to do is make sure the newest developers know about the community’s needs and priorities,” he said. With cornerstones on both ends of Broadway—a Target and Marshall’s at West 225th Street and now a BJ’s at 238th—Fanuzzi hopes that the trend to shop outside the area will end. “I’d like to make sure people don’t leave our district with their buying dollars,” he said, adding that he’d like to see people from Westchester actually start to come to The Bronx to spend money. Dinowitz admitted that he does some of his food shopping outside of Riverdale, going to Stew Leonard’s and Costco upstate. “I would prefer to spend my dollars in The Bronx,” he said. “If we have more opportunities to do that, then great.”

Although the chairman of the conservancy, Anthony Perez Cassino, has been Community Board 8 chairman in the past, he decided not to ask for community input before moving forward with the project, in line with Bloomberg administration policies. Conservancy documents show that they had been working with skating rink companies as early as July 2010 but still chose not to involve the public in the discussions. By the time the community board had a chance to critique the project, all they could do was ask for changes—some of which were never implemented. In a letter to the parks department, the community board asked that prices for skate rental and ice time be comparable

3 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, July 14, 2011

Skating rink plan still shrouded in mystery

to rinks in Queens and Westchester as opposed to rinks in Manhattan’s Central and Bryant parks. The RFP issued by the parks department recommends that prices be in keeping with outer-borough rates, but it does not put a cap on fees. Proponents of the skating rink say that the board should allow this project to come to fruition and that if the people of Riverdale and other parts of The Bronx don’t patronize the rink, then that’s how it should fail—not because the board decided to vote it down. The skating rink, if successful, would have a 15-year lease for using a few tennis and handball courts during the winter months. The much-criticized site is sandwiched between the park’s unattractive concrete stadium bleachers and the noisy elevated subway tracks on Broadway and West 242nd Street.


Thursday, July 14, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW

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Around the schools... Manhattan College

Dr. Constantine E. Theodosiou has been named the new dean of the college’s School of Science. Theodosiou arrived from Montclair State University, where as vice provost for research, dean of the graduate school and professor of physics, he supervised all aspects of graduate education as well as the grant proposal process for research projects. Under his leadership there, the graduate school implemented an electronic admission application process and an electronic grant proposal system in the office of research. Before Montclair, Theodosiou spent more than 28 years at the University of Toledo as associate dean for the natural sciences and mathematics in the College of Arts and Sciences, interim director of the Plant Science Research Center, interim director of the Lake Erie Research Center, associate chair of physics and astronomy, director of graduate studies, professor of physics, and interim dean of the college of graduate studies. In 1992, he was a Fulbright research scholar for the National Hellenic Research Foundation in Greece. He has published more than 70 articles about his research on a variety of topics including atomic structure and spectroscopy, electronic and atomic collisions, quantum optics and multi-photon processes, and low-temperature plasma processes. “I am very excited at the opportunity to help Manhattan College excel in the teaching of its students and preparing them for successful careers in a very demanding and challenging new century,” Theodosiou said. “Attracting talented students from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds and involving them in academic research while at Manhattan College will be an important priority for the school of science.”

Local Scholars

Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, has announced that Joel Vargas was among 704 students named to the 2011 spring semester dean’s list. To qualify for this distinction, students must achieve a GPA of at least 3.60. Lafayette, one of America’s oldest colleges, enrolls 2,400 students and offers 47 majors in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering. The campus offers all the benefits of larger schools with the student-centered approach of a small undergraduate college, including 250 student organizations and many residential and recreational facilities. Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, has announced that Andrew Group, son of Bruce and Joyce Group, was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. One of 546 graduates, he was also named to the dean’s list for the spring semester. Students must earn a GPA of at least 3.25 for dean’s list recognition. Group was a graduate of the Riverdale-Kingsbridge Academy. Franklin & Marshall College, benefits from more than $500,000 in research grants each year. The college offers 76 clubs, including 10 Greek organizations whose total membership includes a quarter of the college’s 2,200 students. There are 27 athletic teams—13 for men and 14 for women—which compete in the NCAA Division III Centennial Conference. The school offers courses in 11 foreign languages, and students may study abroad in any of 200 locations

around the world. Pace University, with campuses in New York City and Westchester County, has announced that the following students were among more than 3,600 graduates who earned degrees in one of four spring commencement ceremonies: Georgina Nieves earned an M.S.T. from the School of Education; Daniel Lee earned an M.S.T. from the School of Education; Andres Guzman earned a B.S. from the Dyson College of Arts & Sciences; Belgica De Los Santos earned an M.S. from the Lubin School of Business; and Rick Stern earned an M.B.A. from the Lubin School of Business. Pace enrolls nearly 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in its Lubin School of Business, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, College of Health Professions, School of Education, School of Law, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. For 105 years, the school has educated thinking professionals on a firm base of liberal learning amid the advantages of the New York metropolitan area. Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts, has announced that Michele E. Kaplan, Alexandra I. Halprin and Sushi Subburamu were named to the dean’s list for the spring semester. Boston University is the nation’s fourth-largest independent university, with an enrollment of more than 29,000 students in its 17 schools and colleges. It offers exceptional grounding in the liberal arts, a broad range of programs in the arts, sciences, engineering, and professional areas, and state-of-the-art facilities for teaching and research. SUNY Cortland in Cortland, New York, has announced that Edward O’Connor was named to the president’s list for the spring semester. O’Connor, a junior, majors in business economics. To qualify for the president’s list, students must earn a GPA of at least 3.7 while taking 12 credits, including at least eight for a letter grade, with no incompletes for the semester. The State University of New York at Cortland was ranked for the fifth consecutive year by Kiplinger’s as one of the Top 100 Best Value Colleges and Universities in the United States. The school enrolls more than 7,200 students who pursue degree programs in any of 60 undergraduate and 35 graduate academic majors. SUNY Cortland is home to the largest undergraduate teacher education program in the Northeast.


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a. check the dryer every 10 minutes

b. take the clothes out while still damp

c. use the moisture sensor on your dryer

b. makes it easy to turn them all off to save energy c. uses less energy because it all comes from one outlet

answer: c

what’s the largest energy user for homes in our area?

answer: b

showers use less energy than baths because... a. they require the water to be less hot than a bath does b. the acoustics are better for singing c. they use about half as much hot water

©2011 Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. Ad: Arnell Group

©2011 Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. Ad: Arnell Group

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, July 14, 2011

over-drying can waste a lot of energy and damage clothing. the best way to avoid over-drying is to…

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b. heating

c. electronics

d. toasters answer: b

answer: c

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Thursday, July 14, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW

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BWC presents free fantasy writing workshop

Presented by the Bronx Council on the Arts’ Bronx Writers Center, ‘Vampires, Zombies & Magical Beings’ is a free writing workshop for aspiring Bronx writers who are interested in writing fantasy. The workshop includes hands-on writing exercises and a discussion of structure, plotting, trends and publishing advice. Q & A follows. Bring a notebook, a pen and an idea and get started on your own magical journey. The workshop will be held at Barnes & Noble at Bay Plaza on Friday, July 15, 2011, from 7:00-9:00pm. Admission is free and all are welcome. Maria Romano, Director of the Bronx Writers Center, will host and facilitate the workshop. She will demystify the publishing process and take questions from the audience. Ms. Romano is a writer with more than 10 years experience in the publishing industry. ‘Vampires, Zombies & Magical Beings’ is part of a free workshop series for writers produced by the Bronx Writers Center. The final writing workshop for the summer is ‘First Lines: Free Workshop to Help You Get Started Writing’ on August 19th. Visit www.bronxarts.com for information on BWC’s 2011-2012 writing workshop schedule slated to begin in September. 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 at Bay Plaza is located at 290 Baychester Avenue in the Co-op City section of the Bronx. To find out about other literary activities at the store, please call 718862-3945 or visit www.barnesandnoble. com (click on “Stores and Events”). The Bronx Writers Center promotes and supports the writing community, the development of writers and the audience for literature and reading in the Bronx. Through our reading series and open mics, free creative writing workshops, seminars, fellowships, competitions, and the Bronx WritersCorps program, BWC reaches writers of all ages, backgrounds and disciplines. Over the years, BWC has presented one of the most diverse and exciting reading series in New York City, featuring emerging talents from the Bronx as well as renowned writers from around the country.

BAE presents ‘Revels Without A Cause’

The Bronx Arts Ensemble will present REVELS WITHOUT A CAUSE on Sunday, July 17, featuring the music of Haydn “Trio in D”, W. Milbank - “Moonbeams”, W.H. Krell - “Mississippi Rag”, L. Stasny - “Papageno - Polka”, G. Rosey - “A Ragtime Skedaddle”, K. Cooper - “Bulgariana” and Vivaldi - “Concerto La Pastorella”. Free concerts are scheduled for 2 pm at Rockwood Drive Circle, Van Cortlandt Park, near Broadway and Mosholu Avenue in Riverdale

and repeated at 4 p.m. in Fordham Church at Fordham University, on the Bronx Rose Hill Campus at Southern Boulevard. Revels Without a Cause features harpsichordist Kenneth Cooper and is part of BAE’s SummerMusic 2011 concert series. The Bronx Arts Ensemble musicians include Theresa Norris, flute/piccolo, Mitchell Kriegler, clarinet, Irena Momchilova, viola, Bruce Wang, cello and Kenneth Cooper, harpsichord. In case of rain, the first concert will be moved to Vladeck Hall in the Amalgamated Houses at Hillman Avenue and Van Cortlandt Park South. Seating is provided in Van Cortlandt Park but the audience is urged to bring folding chairs if possible. SummerMusic 2011 continues on SUNDAY, JULY 24 ROMANTIC STRINGS - Music of Rheinberger and Martinu; SUNDAY, JULY 31 HERE COMES THE SUN and STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER - The BAE’s ELECTRONIC MOSHOLU CRASH returns with its unique tribute to music of the 1960s; SUNDAY, AUGUST 7 LET’S TANGO! - Raul Jaurena Trio (bandoneon, violin and piano) with Vocalist Marga Mitchell and Dancers Carolina and Anton and SUNDAY, AUGUST 14 WOODWIND DESSERTS - Music of Beethoven and Gounod. For more information, call 718.601.7399 or visit bronxartsensemble.org

Kingsbrige Hts. Youthmarket: an urban farmstand

On July 15th at 1:00 PM, Bronx Community Board No. 8 (BXCB8) and GrowNYC will host a much anticipated opening of the new Kingsbridge Heights Youthmarket, an innovative program of GrowNYC which brings fresh food into underserved areas. This is the second youthmarket that Bronx Community Board has opened in its district. The Kingsbridge Heights Youthmarket, located on West Kingsbridge Road and Reservoir Avenue at Barnhill Square, will operate on Fridays from 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM through October 28th. Joining Bronx Community Board 8 for the opening day will be State Senator Gustavo Rivera, Councilman Fernando Cabrera, Bronx Community Board 8 Vice Chair Maria Khury, Kingsbridge Heights Community Center CEO Giselle Susca, and Stephen Kazanjian, Bon Secours NY Health System.

Youthmarket is an innovative program of nonprofit GrowNYC, and is part of a network of urban farm stands operated by teen entrepreneurs bringing fresh produce into low-income communities, which are disproportionately affected by diet-related health issues like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. The Youthmarkets bring healthy foods such as fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables, all grown by New York area farms. Easy access to good fresh food can have a positive health benefit for so many in the Bronx Community Board 8 community. Funding for both Kingsbridge Heights and Marble Hill Youthmarket was provided by Bon Secours New York Health System/ Schervier. Bon Secours works closely with community partners Kingsbridge Heights Community Center (KHCC) and Riverdale Neighborhood House (RNH). KHCC and RNH will employ the students that operate the markets with guidance and training from GrowNYC. All students have been recruited from the neighborhoods surrounding the Youthmarkets. Bronx Community Board 8 initiated the two Youthmarkets, organized the community partners and provided logistical support. Opening on July 8 is the Marble Hill Youthmarket at West 225th Street and Broadway in front of the Target Center and will operate on Fridays from 1:00 PM to 7:00 PM through October 28th. This market begins its third successful year in partnership with RNH. RNH also operates a Riverdale Youthmarket located at 5521 Mosholu Avenue, between West 254th Street and Riverdale Avenue. It will operate on Thursdays from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM, July 8th through October 27th. The Kingsbridge and Marble Hill Youthmarkets will also have a registered dietitian, courtesy of Bon Secours New York Health System/Schervier, and feature youth cooking demonstrations and nutritional programs throughout the summer.

Meditation program at Riverdale Y

The Simon Senior Center located at the Riverdale YM-YWHA is pleased to invite all seniors to a special program on VISUALIZATION AND MEDITATION with Morris Friedberg on Friday, July 15th @ 10:30am. Learn how to use your mind to accelerate healing, get rid of bad habits, alleviate stress and lose weight. Mr. Friedberg has studied transcendental meditation, clinical and self-self-hypnosis and Silva Mind enhancement techniques. Following the lecture, a delicious kosher nutritious lunch of baked chicken. The suggested donation is $2.25. For further information about this seminar or any other programs please contact Vicki at 718-548-8200x224. The Riverdale Y is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue.


By MIAWLING LAM Hundreds of Bronx same-sex couples are expected to rush to the altar later this month to celebrate the legalization of gay marriage in New York. The city clerk’s office declined to reveal the number of Bronx couples who have pre-applied for a $35 marriage license but said interest has been high across the city. Wedding fever is predicted to reach such an unprecedented level that the city’s marriage bureau will throw open its doors on Sunday, July 24, to accommodate the flood of matrimonial requests. Mayor Michael Bloomberg last week announced that city clerk offices in all five boroughs would be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the first day samesex couples can legally marry. It is the first time marriage bureaus will be open on a Sunday. “This is a historic moment for New York, a moment many couples have waited years and even decades to see,” Bloomberg said, “and we are not going to make them wait one day longer than they have to.” All city clerk offices will also extend their business day by two hours on July 25 through 29. City Clerk Michael McSweeney assured New Yorkers that city employees would be prepared to handle the crush of impending nuptials. “We are going to be part of history,” he said. “Our staff will be ready for a large number of

people on the first day.” Human Rights Campaign Senior Strategist Brian Ellner said history also points to July 24 as being a busy day for marriages. The LGBT civil rights organization representative said bumper lines were reported in each of the five states that have approved gay marriage, and New York would be no different. “In other states, you saw a lot of people lining up on the first day,” he said. “I would expect there would be a lot of people on day one. There are a lot of people who have been in committed relationships for many, many years who have been waiting for this moment.” Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut are the only other U.S. states that issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The marriage equality bill was passed on June 24 following a dramatic Senate vote. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed it into law that same evening. According to a report from the Independent Democratic Conference, the decision could boost the state’s coffers by an estimated $284 million. The report also predicts more than 21,000 gay and lesbian couples from New York will marry within the first three years and nearly 42,000 will schlep from out of town to the Empire State.

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7 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, July 14, 2011

Gay Bronxites in rush to get hitched


Thursday, July 14, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW

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Thursday, July 14 Spuyten Duyvil

ARTS & CRAFTS 4 p.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 West 235th Street Hands-on projects using a variety of skills. For ages 5 to 10 years old. Preregistration is required. For more information, call 718-796-1202.

Riverdale

BEAUTIFUL BANDANAS 4 p.m. Riverdale Branch Library 5540 Mosholu Avenue Create wearable art! Transfer your sketch onto a bandana and then paint it in! Show it off with pride, or make it a present. All materials will be provided. For ages 12 to 18. For more information, call 718-549-1212.

Kingsbridge

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

Friday, July 15 Kingsbridge

TEEN SUMMER READING 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, 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 16 Riverdale

COOKOUT & MOVIE NIGHT 4:30 p.m. Christ Church Riverdale 5030 Henry Hudson Parkway Cookout at 4:30 p.m. will feature the men of the parish who will grill and offer goodies such as hamburgers, hot dogs, sliders, veggie burgers, turkey burgers and more. All items will be at the recession friendly price of 99 cents. Movie at 6 p.m. For further information contact the office 718-543-1011 or www.christchurchriverdale.org

Sunday, July 17 Van Cortlandt

CONCERT 2 p.m. Van Cortlandt Park Rockwood Drive Circle The Bronx Arts Ensemble features Revels Without A Cause featuring musicians: Theresa Norris, flute/piccolo, Mitchell Kriegler, clarinet, Irena Momchilova, viola, Bruce Wang, cello and Kenneth Cooper, harpsichord. For more information, call 718.601.7399 or visit bronxartsensemble. org

Monday, July 18 Spuyten Duyvil

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

Spuyten Duyvil

FAVORITE PLACES 3:30 p.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 West 235th Street Librarian will post pictures of world renowned attractions around a world map with string leading to each site. Children ages 4 to 10 years old will vote on the place they most want to go. The winning attraction will be announced at the end of the program. Preregistration is required. For more information, call 718-796-1202.

Kingsbridge

KNITTING & CROCHET 5 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street

Gather with other knitters and crocheters and perhaps pickup a few tips and tricks as you work on your own creations! For more information, call 718-548-5656.

Tuesday, July 19 Van Cortlandt

PRESCHOOL STORY TIME 10:30 a.m. Van Cortlandt Branch Library 3874 Sedgwick Avenue Preschoolers from 3 to 5 years old and their parents/caregivers can enjoy new and classic picture books story time, action songs and more. For more information, call 718-543-5150.

Spuyten Duyvil

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 4 to 8 years old. For more information, call 718-796-1202.

Van Cortlandt

SUMMER READING 3 p.m. Van Cortlandt Branch Library 3874 Sedgwick Avenue A librarian will share favorite picture books, providing children with the wonder of books and the joy of reading. For ages 3 to 5 years old. For more information, call 718-543-5150.

Wednesday, July 20 Riverdale

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

Van Cortlandt

VACATION JOURNAL 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.

Riverdale

PRESCHOOL STORY TIME 3 p.m. Riverdale Branch Library 5540 Mosholu Avenue Preschoolers from 3 to 5 years old and their parents/ caregivers can enjoy new and classic picture books, action songs, and related activities, and meet other preschoolers in the neighborhood with Debbie the volunteer. For more information, call 718-549-1212.

Kingsbridge

MANGA DRAWING WORKSHOP 4 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Do you have the next manga series lurking in your head? Join Misako Rocks and learn how to draw your characters, plot your stories, and more. Chibi-riffic! All materials will be provided. For ages 12 to 18. For more information, call 718-548-5656.

Thursday, July 21 Riverdale

BABY STORY TIME 11:30 a.m. Riverdale Branch Library 5540 Mosholu Avenue Babies from birth to 18 months old and their parents/caregivers can enjoy great books, lively songs, and rhymes, and meet other babies in the neighborhood. For more information, call 718-549-1212.

Spuyten Duyvil

BIG TOP SCIENCE 4 p.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 West 235th Street Come one, come all, and behold: the science circus is about to begin! Step into our three rings of fun as we present a series of chemistry and physics demonstrations that explain how a bed of nails can provide a great night’s sleep or how important balance can be to a tight rope walker. You’ll be amazed as we hatch our super secret “Snooberfish” eggs and take an amazing high dive that won’t make a splash! Presented by Mad Science of Westchester and Manhattan. For ages 4 and older. For more information, call 718-796-1202.


By MIAWLING LAM Local senior centers, public schools and parks will share nearly $6 million, thanks to a New York City funding bonanza. Councilman G. Oliver Koppell said his $5.8 million allocation for capital projects—$1 million more than last year—was part of the new $66 billion city budget approved a fortnight ago. Koppell said he also secured $508,000 for expenses, monies that will be distributed to support social service agencies, arts and environmental organizations and youth programs. Among Riverdale’s big winners are the Hebrew Home at Riverdale, which was allocated $1.02 million for a patient care monitoring system, and Seton Park, whose $900,000 grant will pay for resurfacing of the junior soccer field and improved drainage systems. Half a million dollars was also designated for a substantial expansion of facilities at Riverdale Neighborhood House and $75,000 for the creation of a Greenstreet at the empty triangle on the intersection of West 236th Street and Riverdale Avenue. Koppell said he was pleased that despite difficult economic times, the city passed a budget that averted teacher layoffs, firehouse closings and drastic cuts to libraries and daycare services. He also said his significant capital and expense budget allocation puts his office “in a position of being like a small foundation.” “I believe that the discretionary funds I have allocated to projects and programs in the area will enhance our educational offerings and contribute to the enjoyment of life in our community,” he said. “We focused on senior centers and on community centers.” Local schools were also flush with more

than $2 million in funds, with Koppell allocating monies to virtually every school in his district. P.S. 24 and M.S/H.S 141 each received $75,000 to purchase smartboards and fund a technology upgrade. “I’m particularly pleased to be able to give grants to all these different schools,” Koppell said. “People are very grateful, and I think it makes them feel good and feel that they get some extra support.” However, P.S. 81 missed out on the $100,000 they requested to renovate their library. Other projects that were overlooked for a slice of the funding pie included the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services, the Kingsbridge Heights Community Center and the skate park that was proposed near West 238th Street and Bailey Avenue. Of the $507,651 that Koppell secured in expenses money, $108,000 was allocated to seniors, $150,000 to youth and $200,000 in general expenses. Fordham University was given $50,000 to fund research into familial dysautonomia, a debilitating genetic disease, while Riverdale Mental Health Association was designated $40,000 to provide local schools and preschools with on-site mental health consultations. During a briefing session with local reporters, Koppell defended Bloomberg’s tough fiscal stance. He believed the city would be far deeper in the red had Bloomberg not instituted several years of severe spending cuts. “One can’t be really critical of (Bloomberg) because the city has done relatively well in terms of both budget and economic growth.”

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9 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, July 14, 2011

Koppell budget windfall for some


Thursday, July 14, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW

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The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, July 14, 2011


Thursday, July 14, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW

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Person on the Street:

Compiled by Amanda Macaluso

Is Riverdale really part of the borough of The Bronx?

“Riverdale is definitely part of The Bronx. I live in Riverdale, and when people ask me where I live, I always say The Bronx, and then if they ask where, I say Riverdale.”

“I don’t really consider Riverdale part of The Bronx. Because of its location—so far from the rest of The Bronx and so close to Westchester, I think of it not so much as its own city, but as its own town pretty much.”

- Thomas Conte

- Ashleigh McGee

“It is part of The Bronx but I don’t consider it part of The Bronx. It’s not close enough to the rest of The Bronx to be a part of The Bronx.”

“I’ve lived all over The Bronx all my life, and I don’t consider Riverdale part of The Bronx. It’s so far out west I associate it more with Manhattan, if anything.”

- Angela Misciagna

- Rose Scocozza

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“Yes, we’re part of The Bronx. I know a lot people who live in my community don’t like to say they’re from The Bronx, but we do live in The Bronx. We live in a beautiful part of The Bronx. Face the facts.”

“No, I don’t think Riverdale is part of The Bronx. The locale of Riverdale is kept up a lot better appearance-wise than the rest of The Bronx is.”

- Louise Kelleher

- Peter LoCasto

“I do consider it part of The Bronx—it is The Bronx. Even though people don’t always consider themselves Bronxites, they’re Bronxites before they’re Riverdalians.”

“I know it is part of The Bronx, but I know nothing about it whatsoever. I’ve only been there once, and I think it was for a doctor’s appointment.”

- Betty Connolly

- Marie Dalo

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Rye

VOLUNTEER CORPS DAY 10 a.m. Read Wildlife Sanctuary Playland Parkway Join the Read Sanctuary Volunteer corps as we work to improve the sanctuary. Help by removing invasive plants, do trail maintenance, clear debris from the salt marsh and other tasks. Join the team that’s helping keep the sanctuary in good shape. Lunch is donated by the Friends of Read Wildlife Sanctuary. For more information, call 914-967-8720

Katonah

STAR-SPANGLED CLASSICS 1 p.m. Caramoor Center for Music & Arts 149 Girdle Ridge Road Family Concert with Katie Kresek and Kaleidoscope. StarSpangled Classics will lead audiences on a unique musical adventure highlighting American composers and music inspired by America. For more information, call 914-232-1252 or visit www.caramoor.org.

Somers

SUMMER CONCERT 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 Conservancy fund. For more information, call 914-864-7268.

Katonah

ORCHESTRA OF ST. LUKE’S 8 p.m. Caramoor Center for Music & Arts 149 Girdle Ridge Road The dynamic Orchestra of St. Luke’s takes center stage with exciting guest soloist Sarah Chang in a program from the heart of the symphonic repertoire. Chang brings romance and fire to the popular Bruch Violin Concerto. Douglas Boyd, the brilliant young Scots conductor, makes his Caramoor Festival debut leading two orchestral masterpieces by Beethoven. Venetian Theater. For info, call 914-232-1252 or visit www.caramoor.org.

Sunday, July 17 Somers

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

Valhalla

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

Somers

ART OF BEEKEEPING 1 p.m. Muscoot Farm Route 100 Ever wonder how many miles the bees fly to make one pound of honey? Why is 1/3 of our fruit, seed and vegetable supply bee-dependent? Learn the answers to these questions and more with beekeeper Ralph Szur during an exciting and informative tour of the hive. For more info, call 914-864-7282.

Scarsdale

STORYWALK 1 p.m. Greenburgh Nature Center 99 Dromore Road Join in for GNC’s third annual StoryWalk and see how much fun it is to read while you walk. GNC Senior Naturalist John Mancuso wil lead you along the woodland trail, and you’ll have an opportunity to enjoy a favorite children’s storybook along the way. Enjoy free food and drink from California Pizza Kitchen at the kick-off party. Recommended for children aged 8 and younger. For more information, call 914-723-3470.

Rye

LIFE DOWN A STREAM 2 p.m. Marshlands Conservancy Route 1 Let the spring-fed streams of Marshlands invite you into their world of insect larvae, fish and other discoveries. Hand lenses provided. Long pants and shoes recommended. For more information, call 914-835-4466.

Katonah

MAHLER’S VIENNA 4:30 p.m. Caramoor Center for Music & Arts 149 Girdle Ridge Road Erin Morley, soprano; Sasha Cooke, mezzo-soprano; Paul Appleby, tenor; Kelly Markgraf, baritone; Ieva Jokubaviciute, piano; Michael Barrett, piano; David Moody, piano. For more information, call 914-232-1252 or visit www.caramoor.org.

Tuesday, July 19 Yonkers

FAIRY HOUSES 1 p.m. Lenoir Preserve Dudley Street Calling all nature kids! It’s one of our most popular programs that you won’t want to miss. Make fairy houses out of natural materials, and see how magical they can be. Call 914-968-5851 for more details.

Yonkers

FAMILY FILM FRENZY 7 p.m. Tibbetts Brook Park Midland Avenue Featuring the movie Mega Minds. Concessions stand open or bring a picnic. Admission wristbands go on sale the day of the event at each location. For more info, call 914-231-2865.

Wednesday, July 20 Mt. Vernon

GU ZHENG MUSIC 1 p.m. St. Paul’s Church 897 S. Columbus Avenue Chen Yirong, an internationally renowned musician, plays and interprets the traditional Chinese instrument. For more information, contact David Osborn at 914-667-4116.

Thursday, July 21 Yonkers

BOTANICAL IMPRINTING WORKSHOP 1 p.m. Lenoir Preserve Dudley Street Have you ever made a grass stain on your shirt on purpose? Well here is your chance! Bring a white or light colored t-shirt and we will hike in search of different plants to smash onto your soon to be imprinted plant shirt. Pre-registration required. For info, call 914-968-5851.

Katonah

GUITAR IN THE GARDEN 7:30 p.m. Caramoor Center for Music & Arts 149 Girdle Ridge Road Jason Vieux’s extraordinary communicative gifts and his penchant for virtuosic live performance are given new dimensions in the Sunken Garden. Join us for another exquisite Guitar in the Garden experience with one of the “youngest stars of the guitar world” (New York Times, 2010). For more information, call 914-232-1252 or visit www.caramoor.org.

Friday, July 22 Rye

BATTLE OF THE BANDS 6 p.m. Playland Park Playland Parkway Competition featuring some of the best young bands in the metro area. Rain date: Thursday, July 29. For info, call 914-813-7010.

Katonah

MUSIC FROM COPLAND HOUSE 8 p.m. Caramoor Center for Music & Arts 149 Girdle Ridge Road Music from Copland House brings two wonderfully crafted programs of works by composers who won the prize and by overlooked finalists. Featuring Derek Bermel, clarinet; Nicholas Kitchen, violin; Michael Boriskin, piano; Guest Artists: Joshua Roman, cello; Michael Barrett, piano. For more information, call 914-232-1252 or visit www.caramoor.org.

Saturday, July 23 Pelham

BRAZILIAN CAPOEIRA WORKSHOP 1 p.m. Pelham Art Center 155 Fifth Avenue Pelham Art Center is excited to host a FREE Brazilian Capoeira Workshop with Ary Lima, or Mestre Ariranha, master teacher of Capoiera. Part of Pelham Art Center’s free Folk Art Series, Capoiera is an exciting traditional Brazilian art form that combines elements of martial arts, dance and music. In this workshop Mestre Ariranha will be covering basic Capoeira movements and music as well as teaching the fundamentals of Maculele, or stick dance. For more info, call 914-738-2525 or email: info@pelhamartcenter.org

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, July 14, 2011

Saturday, July 16


Thursday, July 14, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW

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The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, July 14, 2011


Thursday, July 14, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW

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The Simon Senior Center located at the Riverdale YM-YWHA 5625 Arlington Ave is pleased to invite all seniors in the community to a special Russian luncheon on Wednesday July 13th @ 11:45am which will include special Russian goulash, baked potato, tossed salad, mixed fruit and Russian coffee cake. Following the luncheon Roman Lanekios, Ukrainian world renowned virtuoso xylophonist performs classical pop and Russian folk music on the unique Four Row xylophone. The entire community is invited to attend a fantastic afternoon of food, friends and great entertainment. Suggested donation is $2.25. For further information please call the Y @ 718-548-8200x223 or 224. The Y is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue.

Cookout and movie night at Christ Church

Christ Church Riverdale will host a special family event the afternoon of Saturday, July 16th. Men Who Cook will feature the men of the parish who will grill and offer goodies such as hamburgers, hot dogs, sliders, veggie burgers, turkey burgers and more. All items will be at the recession friendly price of 99 cents.

Grilling on the lawn will be followed by a free showing of the movie WALL-E in the parish hall. This family event is for all ages. Children are encouraged to bring sleeping bags, pillows or mats. Adults are welcome to bring lawn chairs although folding chairs are available for all. The community is invited. The cookout is at 4:30 p.m. and the movie is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. Christ Church Riverdale (Episcopal) is a landmarked church with stained glass windows dedicated to Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia and an altar rail in memory of Lou Gehrig donated by Babe Ruth. Services are Sundays at 8:30 and 10 a.m. Everyone is welcome. The church is located at 5030 Henry Hudson Parkway East at 252nd Street. Ample street parking is available. For further information contact the office 718 543 1011 or www.christchurchriverdale.org

Freshwater fishing in Van Cortlandt Park

Fishing fosters patience and is a great way to connect with and learn about the natural world. Our fishing programs include discussions with our Rangers about the ethics of fishing and teach participants about the ecology of the city’s

waterways. Whether you chose to grab a simple bamboo pole at a quiet lake, or join more advanced salt water or fly fishing programs, you’ll find a program that fits your skill level. Come to Van Cortlandt Park on Sunday, July 17, 12 p.m. Meet at Van Cortlandt South & Major Deegan Expressway. Public transportation: Take the 1 train to the 238 Street Station. Walk east to meeting location. Families and children ages 8 years and older are welcome to participate in our fishing programs. Participation in a mandatory safety review is required. All equipment is provided. All fishing programs are catch and release, and most fishing programs are first-come, firstserved. FREE. For more information please visit www. nyc.gov/parks/rangers or call 311 and ask for the Urban Park Rangers.

Free capoeira classes this summer

Free capoeira classes will be offered during July-August 31, 2011, with the following schedule: Tuesdays @ 3:30 (kids, ages 6-12), Church of the Mediator, 260 West 231st Street (Kingsbridge Ave.), Bronx NY Wednesdays @ 6:30 p.m, Inwood Hill Park, 218th Street & Indian Road,

Inwood, NY Outdoor classes to be held at a Bronx Park - to be announced mid July as part of the “Bronx CAN” Health Initiative. For more information please contact Jennifer Sanchez-Fagundes at 347.595.7115 or email at franjinha@gmail.com

St. Gabriel Parish sponsors trip to Niagara Falls

Saint Gabriel Parish, located at 3250 Arlington Avenue, is sponsoring a trip to Niagara Falls from Tuesday, Sept. 27 through Friday, Sept. 30 (4 days and 3 nights). The cost of $500 per person occupancy (based on 40 paying passengers), includes 3 nights accommodations, 3 full breakfasts, 3 complete dinners, visit to Rossi Glass for a glassblowing demonstration, guided tour of Niagara Falls, boat ride on the ‘Maid of the Mist,’ visit to the Hydro Floral Clock, visit to the Fallsview Casino, admission to the Niagara Fall Imax Theatre, local winery tour and sampling, baggage handling, taxes, meal gratuities, and round trip motorcoach. A passport or passport card is required. A deposit of $250 is due now with the final payment due by August 19. For more information, call 718-548-4470.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, July 14, 2011

Russian luncheon & entertainment at Riv. Y


Thursday, July 14, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW

18

Democracy on Trial

Over the past few years, we have seen example after example of the Bloomberg administration’s utter contempt for the democratic process. Whether it was the heavy-handed money-drenched attempt to give away some of New York’s most valuable land to the Jets and Giants for a football stadium, in order to pursue the Bloomberg dream of Olympic games here, or the inane and dangerous network of bike paths in the city, or a laundry list of anti-automobile measures designed to fulfill our dictator mayor’s narrow vision of the future. The mayor has decided that the borough’s much beleaguered Williamsbridge and Wakefield communities in the north Bronx should have to host a homeless shelter. This is the area of the Bronx victimized by former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion who facilitated the future construction of “hot sheet motels” in that area, by opposing zoning that would have restricted such projects. Why is this area such an easy mark for the Carrions and Bloombergs? This is an area whose most powerful politician is the now indicted and oft-investigated Councilman Larry Seabrook, a fellow who couldn’t care less what happens to the neighborhoods in his district, unless perhaps some green crosses his palm. Lack of leadership makes the good folks there fair game. Now nobody thinks that Mayor Bloomberg, the richest man in New York City, is going to profit personally from this project or any other. No, money is not the corrupting influence here. It is power that drives Michael Bloomberg. In this case it is rewarding the Doe Fund, which he proposes will run the shelter. The Doe Fund supplies homeless workers to many of the various “Business Improvement Districts” or BIDs throughout the city, fast becoming a key player in the shadow government the mayor has been assembling to continue building the city in his personal vision, once the grim reaper of term limits belatedly comes to call. When the mayor, illegally in our view, overturned term limits for the 2009 election, the Doe Fund was one of those groups, flush with Bloomberg’s personal cash and the city’s largesse, that showed up in force to support that outrage. Now they reap their reward. Wait a second, wasn’t there supposed to be a vote, following a public hearing by the Local Redevelopment Authority? Well, after the hearing was held just a few weeks ago, and it was clear that the community wanted the shelter about as much as they might want to be consumed by flesh-eating bacteria, the Bloomberg administration was forced to resort to a “big lie” strategy. Now claiming that a vote opposing this project was actually held last November, the mayor is desperately trying to, once again, skirt the democratic process. If the military, which controls the site, buys into this, shame on them. This will force Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. to take to the courts, which would also be a shame. Why can’t the mayor simply abide by a fair process and listen to the public? Which brings us to the proposed skating rink project you have been reading about so frequently on these pages. A skating rink for the Bronx might be a good idea, one worthy of discussion and debate. Should it be year-round or just seasonal? Indoor or outdoor? In the noisy and unattractive area under the elevated train near 242nd Street, some other site in Van Cortlandt Park, or maybe elsewhere? The mayor has decided. He favors one particular plan, one that by our lights is decidedly inferior (perhaps to service a borough he considers a step-child anyway). But the last thing the mayor wants is an open discussion, and plans that come from the bottom up and not from His Majesty on down. So he has dispatched another one of his democracy-killing entities, the Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy to do the deed. Operating in secret, the Bloomberg skating rink plan –a poor one at that – sprang forth fully conceived from the monarch’s brow, much as Athena sprang forth fully armed from the forehead of Zeus. But this is not Mount Olympus. It is The Bronx. Community Board 8 is doing a great service by opening up a real discussion. Their commitment to democracy can be fulfilled by a hold put on the project pending a full and open discussion, something they should request from Borough President Diaz and Comptroller John Liu, who have the power to delay or even kill the plan. This is a case where it is not the project, innocuous as it is, but democracy itself that is on trial. No better reason to put the brakes on the speeding train.

New Kingsbridge Library hailed

To The Editor: I was extremely delighted to finally see the new Kingsbridge library open on 231st Street on the lot that was once owned by the Kingsbridge Center of Israel. I worked at that synagogue for 26 years and the vacant lot was always an eye sore. I recall many years ago, sitting in at a meeting when the designers were first planning the design of the library and now it’s thrilling to see the finished product after many years of planning along with years of financial delays. The two story state of the art building has floor to ceiling windows which make it bright and cheerful and has an outdoor bamboo garden on the lower level which is lovely with big rocks to sit on and lots of shade. Also on the lower level is the large children’s library with lots of cute chairs for kids to sit on and many, many children’s books with lots of room to move around. On the main level as you walk in I was amazed to see rows and

rows of computers and many people working on them plus free internet and wi-fi access! There is also a huge variety of new as well as old DVD movies and lots and lots of Cds. Need a summer to to read? Come to this new library, you’ll find one, and

Justice demands that Adolfo Carrion be indicted To The Editor: I am following up your editorial of June 30 titled, “Investigate Adolfo Carrion’s corruption,” by asking you to reprint my below letter of March 19, 2009 titled, “Carrion guilty? D.A. must let a jury decide.” That letter will explain to your readers the details of former Borough President Carrion’s corruption. I will then make some comments directed to D.A. Johnson. To The Editor: Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson must, in all good conscience, let a jury decide whether former Bronx Borough President

ANDREW WOLF, Editor and Publisher

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

JOEL PAL Production Manager ROBERT NILVA Marketing Director

lots more! With so many stores closing in our area, it’s nice to see this brand new library open in our community. My heartfelt thanks to all who were involved and made it happen. Roberta Seidner

CECILIA McNALLY Office Manager MIAWLING LAM Associate Editor

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

Adolfo Carrion is guilty of criminal behavior. To do otherwise through his use of so-called “prosecutorial discretion” would subject D.A. Johnson to a well-founded charge of “whitewashing” and sadly tarnish his reputation. The Daily News of Sunday, March 1, ran a two-page expose on Mr. Carrion who was recently appointed by President Obama to the newly created position of Director of White House Urban Policy. This well-documented article, titled “Buildings Sprang Up as Donations Rained Down on Bronx Prez,” detailed how Mr. Carrion pocketed tens of thousands of dollars in campaign cash from city developers whose projects he approved with taxpayers’ money. This in itself would not have been so damning since “pay to play” is difficult to prove. And consequently is why “pay to play” is all too frequently indulged in by the many morally corrupt, slimy politicians like Mr. Carrion (Democrats and Republicans alike) who unfortunately infest and contaminate all levels of our government throughout Continued on Page 19


Continued from Page 18 this great nation of ours. On March 11, however, the Daily News broke another expose of a much more serious nature that has the potential of putting our new Urban Czar Adolfo Carrion behind bars. This story titled “I didn’t pay architect” subtitled “Conflict-of-interest issues grow for ex-Beep who’s now on Bam Team” had Mr. Carrion admit to the reporter that he had not yet paid an architect named Hugo Subotovsky $3,627.50 for work done to Mr. Carrion’s City Island home more than two years ago in early 2007. Mr. Subotovsky at the very same time in early 2007 was a “key player” in a Bronx development called Boricua Village that needed approval from Borough President Carrion — which Mr. Carrion (surprise, surprise) did approve shortly afterwards. In his response to the Daily News reporter’s questions, Adolfo Carrion came up with some ridiculous, unbelievable explanation for why

he still after two years had yet to pay the architect. An explanation which I’d love to hear him repeat under oath in a court of law, followed by Mr. Subotovsky’s testimony. On March 12, the New York Times published a story titled “Bronx prosecutors checking on work done for ex-Borough President,” which went into detail about this entire Carrion/Subotovsky official and personal relationship and stated that District Attorney Johnson’s office had decided to review the matter. Incidentally, when the Times called Mr. Subotovsky to ask about his billing practices, the reporter was told that the architect was out of the country and couldn’t be reached. Mr. Subotovsky’s partner did not response to a message. D.A. Johnson runs for re-election every four years and needs the help of the Bronx

County Democratic Organization to carry petitions to get his name on the ballot, and to get out the vote. His wife, who is a Supreme Court Justice, needs the support of the County Organization to secure her renomination at a judicial convention when her current term expires. I’m sure there will be an enormous amount of political pressure put on the District Attorney by the Democratic Party to spare President Obama embarrassment by sweeping this matter under a rug. But I think any reasonable and law-abiding person would agree with me that the facts presented in the Daily News and N.Y. Times stories (if true) require, in the interest of justice, that Adolfo Carrion be indicted and a jury decide his guilt or innocence. Alvin Gordon

School survey

Continued from Page 1 could run the school smoothly. Intriguingly, more than one in four teachers also said they felt supported by their assistant principal either to a “great,” “some” or “small” extent, even though the school hasn’t had an official assistant principal for two years. Councilman G. Oliver Koppell said local elementary schools fared well in the survey. “My reaction was extremely positive. It completely agreed with my own assessments. P.S. 24 was good, but P.S. 81 was incredible. They virtually had a 100 percent satisfaction rating.” Koppell denied RKA was in free fall, but reiterated his concerns about the school’s performance. “M.S./H.S. 141 was a more mixed picture. More disturbing was the evaluation of discipline, which had gone down precipitously. Even still, though, I was encouraged to see that over 80 percent of the parents felt that the kids were getting a good education.” Even prior to learning of the survey results on Tuesday, Koppell met with District 10 Superintendent Sonia Menendez to discuss his concerns. Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz said the spread of results for local schools was telling. He attributed P.S 81’s high satisfaction ratings to the policies and procedures introduced by its principal, Melodie Mashel, and said he was worried by RKA’s performance. “I don’t place much clout in unscientific surveys, especially if they’re conducted by the Department of Education,” he said. “However, surveys that show significant dissatisfaction on the part of teachers or drops in parental satisfaction are certainly cause for concern.” RKA’s satisfaction rating freefall was recorded despite the school principal’s attempts to contrive positive results by manipulating teacher and student responses. As exclusively reported in The Riverdale Review in April, Lori O’Mara allegedly pulled high school students out of class to “coach” younger peers into submitting fawning responses. Teachers were also forced to fill out the survey while O’Mara walked in and out of the allocated room, according to a whistleblower at the school. Schools place significant weight on their survey because it comprises 15 percent of their Progress Report letter grade.

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19 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, July 14, 2011

Justice demands that Adolfo Carrion be indicted

Several weeks ago, on June 26, 2011, the N.Y. Daily News reported that Architect Hugo Subotovsky made the following statement to them, “He (Carrion) got from me a gift because I didn’t send him a bill. That’s the way it is.” This contradicts the statement Carrion made when the news first revealed the quid pro quo arrangement in March 2009. At the time, Carrion said he hadn’t paid Subotovsky because the architect had yet to finish a “final survey.” District Attorney Robert Johnson (who incidentally is up for reelection this year) must, based upon Mr. Subotovsky’s statement, now reopen this case and question both Mr. Carrion and Mr. Subotovsky under oath. This felony must not be swept under the rug. Adolfo Carrion is not above the law. Justice demands that he be indicted! Alvin Gordon


Thursday, July 14, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW

20

Riverdale Review, July 14, 2011  

Weekly newspaper published in Riverdale, New York 10471