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Volume XVIII • Number 32 • July 21 - 27, 2011 •
P.S. 24 educrat ‘won’t leave home’ without credit card
By MIAWLING LAM Fresh allegations of unethical conduct have emerged at P.S. 24, nearly a month after the Department of Education launched a probe into the school’s administration. The latest accusations involve the embattled school’s acting assistant principal, Emanuele Verdi. It is alleged Verdi collected thousands of airline miles after paying for school supplies with his personal American Express credit card. The school then wrote checks to reimburse him. It is not known how long the practice has been taking place but it is understood the extra airline miles supplemented those already in his account and may have allowed him to redeem a free ticket to Italy. At least three independent sources at the school have veriﬁed the allegation, with one saying it shouldn’t come as a surprise. “It’s unbelievable isn’t it?” the person said, “but that’s the thing. They don’t seem to understand that there are rules and procedures to adhere to.” Under department guidelines, principals pay suppliers and service providers with funds from their school bank accounts, or submit vouchers to the Department of Education which then pays the bill. Typically, staff only use their own personal debit or
credit cards in cases of emergency. The Riverdale Review has learned city ofﬁcials uncovered the questionable conduct and conﬂict of interest as they scrutinized the school’s paperwork, and noted several checks made out to Verdi. A Department of Education spokeswoman refused to comment on the latest development and declined to even conﬁrm if the issue formed part of the probe. However, she said the investigation was still ongoing and did not know when inquiries would conclude. The latest claim comes a fortnight after the Riverdale Review exclusively revealed the Department of Education had begun investigating the school’s principal, Dr. Donna Connelly. The probe, which commenced early last month, is believed to be examining alleged hiring improprieties and claims she warehoused a key leadership position for nearly two years, violating personnel procedures. It is thought she has eliminated the position of assistant principal, until Verdi completed his coursework and was eligible to apply. She is expected to restore the post as soon as Verdi receives state certiﬁcation, and give him the job. “Qualiﬁed individuals have been prevented from applying for the post for two years,” fumed one teacher.
Connelly’s alleged mishandling of funds raised in the annual Laps for Learning fund raising event and other hiring irregularities have also raised red ﬂags from ofﬁcials. Proceeds from the fundraiser, which is separate from parents’ association events, have traditionally been forwarded to teachers for the purchase of books and materials to enhance classroom instruction. However, this year, the funds did not ﬁnd their way to the teachers and were spent exclusively under Connelly’s direction. It is not the ﬁrst time Verdi’s name has surfaced since the probe was launched. A person at the school, who contacted the Riverdale Review on June 28, claims Verdi has also been pocketing extra money, to which Connelly has been complicit. The source claimed ﬁve teachers saw Verdi’s timesheets early last month and noticed an anomaly suggesting he was collecting extra money to supervise school bus pickups. According to the whistleblower, Verdi may have usurped the job away from a teacher who obtained the position after it was posted as per union regulations. If there were legal problems, it would ultimately be Connelly’s responsibility because she would have signed off on all documents.
Professional ice rink at Armory advances, making dinky rink at VC Park a joke
By BRENDAN McHUGH Proposals for the Kingsbridge Armory include everything from a giant church to an arts and
crafts market, but a frontrunner for the nine-story building includes a charter school and ice-skating rinks.
Developed by former New York Ranger Mark Messier’s management company, the plan includes year-round indoor rinks
One of the more formidable ideas for the vacant Kingsbridge Armory is a sports arena that includes plans for over a half-dozen rinks in the building, plus another rink outdoors during the winter months. This dwarfs the idea to put a single temporary rink in the northwest Bronx that will only be open ﬁve months a year.
and even an outdoor rink during the winter months. “I think they’re real serious contenders,” Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation president Marlene Cintron said. “Because they’re not asking for a dime, they have to be seriously considered.” The Kingsbridge Armory Task Force, led by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., spent more than a year discussing ideas for the vacant building with various organizations. Last month, they released a 267-page document highlighting some ideas presented to them, and now they have called on the city to release a new request for proposals to ﬁll the armory. According to Cintron, there would be public skating time on a daily basis, but the charter school in the armory would be guaranteed daily time on the ice. “The skating rink would be the most formidable,” she said of all the ideas proposed. “It would utilize the complete site for a number of things, including the charter school.” She added that the skating rinks would also meet another demand—ﬁghting childhood obesity. The report released by the
task force doesn’t have updated information about the rink, but Cintron said Messier’s company recently gave her visuals of what they’d create. They include at least six, possibly nine, separate rinks and a full-size sports arena that could be used to house a minor-league hockey team or a WNBA team. According to the report, the arena would handle 5,000 to 6,000 seats. The space could also be converted to accommodate religious services, graduations, concerts and other major events. The city originally tried to allow Related Companies to build a shopping mall at the armory, but in 2009 Diaz pushed the “living wage” issue with the City Council and eventually the Council blocked the mall. Diaz also cited that any jobs a retail center brought to the area would be countered with the loss of jobs at Fordham Road. The multi-rink skating center plan comes on the heels of a separate plan for a skating rink—only one—two miles north in Van Cortlandt Park. Plans for the Van Cortlandt rink, sited between the Stadium and the elevated subway Continued on Page 13
Thursday, July 21, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW
A million trees that city can’t prune
By BRENDAN McHUGH The city has enough money to plant a million trees, but apparently not enough money to take care of them. It seems to be a recurring theme with the city—they install something (trees, bike lanes, plazas, etc.) that starts out good, but then neglect to listen to residents who have problems with those intended neighborhood improvements. “In more and more cases, agency personnel are simply pulling ﬁles and basing a decision off of when the tree was last pruned,” Queens state Senator Tony Avella said. “It is disgraceful that a dangerous tree report can be handled without an inspection.” The Department of Parks and Recreation’s inability to maintain city trees in a timely matter threatens homeowners who fear they will be sued by pedestrians who either trip on sidewalks broken by overgrown tree roots or get injured by low-hanging tree branches, according to Avella’s ofﬁce. The department has a rotation schedule, which means it is years between pruning for most trees. Avella said that schedule is unacceptable because some trees require maintenance during the intervening time. That problem is evident in The Bronx. The parks department refuses to take responsibility for an area along the Henry Hudson Parkway, saying they don’t have the budget to maintain the land. The area has a number of very large trees whose roots have cracked through the sidewalk, presenting a danger to pedestrians. “If the city inspected the tree and determines it needed to be pruned, and then a limb or branch falls and injures or kills someone, can Parks be sued and can they compensate the victim?” wondered Andrew Sandler, a staffer of City Councilman G. Oliver Koppell. “Parks will inevitably say that they have a limited budget and not enough staff to go around pruning all these trees, but if they have the money to plant a million trees, then they must have money to prune them at the same time.” Community Board 8 parks chairman Bob Bender said he doesn’t think it’s that big of a concern in Riverdale, though he’s conﬁdent that the parks department could most certainly do a better job. “They have a forestry division responsible for every tree in The Bronx,” he said. “But that’s tens of thousands of trees.” Bender said if residents have a problem with a tree, their best bet is to call 311 and notify the community board. But, according to Avella, that may not sufﬁce. Last week, Queens residents rallied with Avella in front of a tree that the parks department has not pruned since 2003. When Avella originally contacted Parks, they refused to include the tree in their 7-year pruning contract. To obtain any action, Avella had to write to Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe to pressure the department into a commitment to prune the tree two years from now, in June 2013. “[The parks department] is handling dangerous and hazardous tree inspections in a very cavalier manner,” Avella said. “They are completely overloaded when it comes to maintaining these trees, and the homeowners are on the line.” Adding to their concern over potential lawsuits from injuries caused by the cityowned trees, homeowners must also be concered about exorbitant ﬁnes if they prune or remove these trees on their own. In one such case, Steven Soorko had contacted the parks department to report that
the limbs from the city tree in front of his home were falling off one by one and should be removed. The city assessed the matter and stated that the tree needed only to be pruned. Shortly afterward, the department believed, the homeowner did not want to take the chance of having another limb falling and further endangering his neighbors, so he began to prune the tree himself. Parks ofﬁcials stated that they observed him pruning the tree and ﬁned him $105,654. Avella stated, “In the case of these ﬁnes, the punishment simply does not ﬁt the crime. While we levy $38,000 ﬁnes on unscrupulous developers that endanger the lives of their workers and entire communities by cutting corners, we are forcing homeowners to take out another mortgage to pay for the cost of a tree.”
By MIAWLING LAM Riverdalian students are being forced onto lengthy waiting lists because children from outside the area are ﬁlling seats in local schools. Ofﬁcial ﬁgures obtained by the Riverdale Review show nearly a quarter of students at P.S. 24 reside outside the school’s catchment area. Department of Education data also reveals that special-needs children comprise a signiﬁcant proportion of the 23 percent of P.S. 24’s out-of-zone population. As of press time, ofﬁcials had yet to provide the ﬁgures for P.S. 81 or M.S/H.S 141 because as a Department of Educa-
tion spokesman said, “[They] don’t keep readily available statistics on zoned/outof-zone enrollment.” Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz said the ﬁgure at P.S. 24 was “shockingly and disturbingly high” and was so concerned he ﬁred off a letter to District 10 Superintendent Sonia Menendez earlier this month. In the letter, dated July 5, Dinowitz called for a swift re-evaluation of the waiting-list process. He believed local students should automatically be granted a seat at their neighborhood school and that those residing outside the area should gain admission
VC Village facing a parking crisis
By BRENDAN McHUGH With the Goulden Avenue closure this summer, parking in Van Cortlandt Village has become even more difﬁcult. But now, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz is hoping to ease some of the pain. He has contacted the Department of Transportation to request additional parking spaces. “Parking in Van Cortlandt Village is at a premium. It is incumbent upon the DOT to make every possible parking spot available, especially given the closing of Goulden Avenue. I hope the DOT will act upon my suggestions quickly,” Dinowitz said. Parking on the east side of Gouverneur Avenue was eliminated during the recent construction of the AmPark School. However, even though the construction is now completed, the “no parking” signs are still posted. Dinowitz requested that the DOT remove these signs and restore normal
parking regulations to the street. He also asked for additional parking on the south side of Sedgwick Avenue, just east of the intersection with Hillman Avenue. According to Dinowitz, there is a seemingly pointless “no parking” sign there, and removing it would open up two parking spots just east of the crosswalk. “Parking is always tough there,” he said. “Now with the Goulden Avenue construction going on, it’s really bad.” Dinowitz thinks the city should be doing thing to make residents’ lives easier, but that hasn’t been the case recently. “The policy under this commissioner is to make life as difﬁcult as possibly for car owners,” he said, mentioning DOT commissioner Janet Sadik-Khan. Local residents are happy to see someone ﬁghting for them. “I’m particularly happy that Assemblyman Continued on Page 11
only if there are empty seats. “While I am concerned for every child who attends our schools, whether or not they’re from the schools’ zones, I do believe the ﬁrst priority must be given to the children zoned for the school,” he said. “It would be outrageous for a child who lives blocks from P.S. 24 to be barred from the school while a large number of kids not from the zone are allowed to attend. “I’m asking that the Department of Education guarantee a seat at P.S. 24 for any child in the school’s zone that wants one before ﬁlling seats with kids from other communities.” Dinowitz also said local students shouldn’t be forced to travel to other communities simply because a large number
3 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, July 21, 2011
23% of P.S. 24 kids don’t live in community
of out-of-zone children were enrolled at their schools. He said that due to overcrowding and the large number of out-of-zone children at P.S. 24, many local students due to start kindergarten this fall are on the school’s waiting list. According to the Department of Education, as of March 3rd,195 incoming kindergarteners were waiting for a seat at their local elementary school. Although ofﬁcials now believe that number is much smaller—many children would have since gained admission into a charter or private school or a district or citywide gifted and talented program—they have conceded some families may end up having to send their kids to a school with seats available some distance away rather than one they’re zoned for.
Thursday, July 21, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW
Around the schools... College of Mount Saint Vincent
John “Jay” Butler has been appointed as the college’s new director of athletics and recreation. Butler most recently served as athletic director and head coach at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland. As part of his responsibility for the academic progress of the school’s 280 student athletes, he created the Students Providing Understanding and Resources program, an initiative that promoted academic success and strengthened the relationship between academic and athletic departments. Butler was also head coach for the women’s basketball program and the men’s and women’s tennis programs at Hood. An NCAA Division III Compliance Certiﬁed Coach for onand off-campus recruiting, he has monitored four assistant coaches, including three for women’s basketball. As a Division I coach, Butler led the women’s program at Columbia University, where he guided the team toward the most wins in the school’s history. He served as the Coaches Ministry Director for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in Ruston, Louisiana, where he established and led a coaches’ ministry in ﬁve local school districts and facilitated fundraising efforts for the ministry’s budget. Butler earned Bachelor of Science in physical education from Castleton State College in Vermont and a Masters in Exercise Physiology from the University of Maryland.
National Merit Scholars
Danna R. Kelmer and Kaitlin M. Vaughan were awarded National Merit Scholarships this month. Kelmer, a Hunter High School graduate, will attend New York University, where she plans to major in a science ﬁeld. Vaughan, a graduate of Dominican Academy, will attend the University of Dallas. These students are among nearly 5,000 winners of National Merit Scholarships ﬁnanced by U.S. colleges and universities. Ofﬁcials of each sponsor college selected their scholarship winners from among ﬁnalists in the 2011 National Merit Scholarship Program who plan to attend their institution. The awards provide between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study at the institution ﬁnancing the scholarship.
Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts, has announced that Katherine Guthrie, daughter of Patricia A. Chiono and a graduate of Horace Mann, was among 482 seniors who earned Bachelor of Arts degrees this spring. Guthrie, a political science major, graduated cum laude. Amherst is a highly selective, coeducational liberal arts college founded in 1821. It enrolls 1,700 students from most of the 50 states and more than 20 foreign countries. Amherst offers 36 major areas of study and is consistently ranked among the nation’s best educational institutions. SUNY Fredonia in Fredonia, New York, has announced that Brian Evan Weitz earned a Bachelor of Arts degree this spring. Weitz majored in philosophy and
was named to the dean’s list. Another student named to the dean’s list this spring was Daniel Astacio. To qualify, students must earn a GPA of at least 3.30 while carrying at least 12 credits. SUNY Fredonia was described by The Princeton Review as “beautiful, friendly, welcoming, and accepting.” The school enrolls more than 5,000 undergraduates and 400 graduate students on its 256-acre campus. Fredonia has its own School of Music and offers strong programs in the visual and performing arts. The Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, Connecticut, has announced that AsiaSol Goring, a junior, and Emelynn Abreu, a sophomore, were named to the honor roll for the spring semester. The school, chartered in 1874, is a coeducational boarding and day school offering classes in grades 9 through 12 as well as post-graduate work. It enrolls 670 students from 29 U.S. states and 32 countries. Loomis Chaffee offers a civil, respectful community, academically challenging and energetic learning opportunities, and close faculty-student bonds to all students, regardless of religious or political beliefs, national origin or ﬁnancial resources. Skidmore College in Sarasota Springs, New York, has announced that Denise Garofalo, class of 2013, earned honors for the spring semester. She is the daughter of Marie Power and Michael Garofalo. Honors are awarded for a GPA of at least 3.40. Skidmore recognizes academic excellence in several ways. In addition to its dean’s list for honors or highest honors, a student may be elected to the Periclean Honor Society, Skidmore’s own academic honor society, or to the Skidmore chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. Skidmore College, founded in 1903, is a coeducational, liberal arts college that enrolls approximately 2,400 students. The college grants both the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Science degree, as well as a master’s degree in liberal studies.
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The Riverdale Review (718) 543-4206
The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, July 21, 2011
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Thursday, July 21, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW
Intermediate computer classes at the Riverdale Y
The Simon Senior Center will be offering Intermediate Computer Classes starting Thursday July 21. Seniors can learn how to use the internet and do e-mails. There will be four sessions and classes will run through August 18th . All classes are scheduled from 10am-11:30am and there is a fee of $30 for the entire program. Space is very limited so early registration is strongly advised. Any one in the community can participate in the classes. For further info please contact Toby or Vicki at the Y at 718-548-8200x223 or 224. The Riverdale Y is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue.
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.
Church of Mediator to host ﬂea market
Church of the Mediator will host a ﬂea market on Saturday, July 23, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The sale will be held on the corner of West 231st Street and Kingsbridge Road in the Bronx. Jewelry, handbags, clothing, books, housewares and toys will be sold at bargain prices. The famous Mr G. from Irvington, NY will also be on hand to serve up his succulent rotisserie chicken and rice. For more information, please call 718548-3312 or 917-846-0182.
BAE concert features romantic strings
The Bronx Arts Ensemble will present its SummerMusic 2011 Romantic Strings concert featuring RHEINBERGER’s String Quinent, Op. 82 and MARTINU’s Quintet on Sunday, July 24. Concerts are scheduled for 2 p.m. at Rockwood Drive Circle, Van Cortlandt Park (enter at Mosholu Avenue and Broadway) and 4 p.m. at Fordham University’s McGinley Center. BAE musicians will include Jorge Ávila and Francisca Mendoza on violins, Joel Rudin and Julie Goodale on violas and Bruce Wang on cello.
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. For more information, call 718.601.7399 or visit www.bronxartsensemble.org. This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, NYC Dept of Parks & Recreation, New York State Ofﬁce of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation, Fordham University Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, Councilman G. Oliver Koppell, Councilman James Vacca, Councilman Joel Rivera, Councilwoman Helen Foster, State Senator Jeffrey D. Klein and Bronx Borough President Rubén Diaz Jr. The Bronx’s premier music performance ensemble serving the borough since 1972, the Bronx Arts Ensemble is a not-for-proﬁt organization enriching the cultural environment of the Bronx with a year-round schedule of concerts, special programs for families and a full music and arts-in-education program for schools.
NY Times reporter to speak at Hebrew Home
Award winning journalist Jane Gross whose new book ‘A Bittersweet Season: Caring for Our Aging Parents-and Ourselves’ is both a personal story of caring for her aging mother and a primer for the growing adult children responsible for aging parents, will be speaking at The Hebrew Home at Riverdale where her mother lived on Sunday, August 7 at 2:30 p.m. The event, which will be held in the Winter Garden is open and free to the public. In telling the warmhearted story of caring for her own aged and ailing mother, New York Ties journalist Jane Gross offers indispensible advice on virtually every aspect of elder care. As baby boomers age, the U.S. population older than 85 has brought Americans to an ‘unprecedented demographic crossroad,’ according to Gross. How will we care for aging parents without robbing them of the dignity that accompanies independence? How will we manage care for them and care for children, marriages, careers? Gross faced many of these questions when her widowed mother, living in retirement in Florida, began to decline in
her eighties. She and her brother moved their mother back to New York and began a three-year negotiation of tasks and responsibilities that consumed their lives. Drawing on her own experience and interviews with experts, Gross details the myriad decisions along the way, from the ﬁrst signs of parents’ declining health to later decisions about extraordinary measures to keep them alive. She explores how the process of watching the long slow deaths of parents should prepare one for making arrangements for one’s own decline and death. Jane Gross was a reporter for Sports Illustrated and Newsday before joining The New York Times in 1978. Her twenty-nine year tenure there included national assignments as well as coverage of aging. In 2008, she launched a blog for the Times called ‘The New Old Age,’ to which she still contributes. She has taught journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, and at Columbia University, and she was the recipient of a John S. Knight Fellowship. She lives in Westchester County, New York. The Hebrew Home at Riverdale is a non-sectarian, not for proﬁt geriatric care center that provides a continuum of care to more than 3,000 older people in the Bronx, Manhattan and Westchester County, New York. Founded in 1917 as a shelter for homeless elderly in Harlem, the Home is located on a beautiful 19 acre campus along the Hudson River and provides residential healthcare, rehabilitation and palliative care facilities, a senior housing community and The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Center for Elder Abuse Prevention. A member of the American Association of Museums, the Hebrew Home is known for its extraordinary collection of contemporary and modern works of art. For more information please visit www.hebrewhome.org.
Lane closures on Bronxbound Henry Hudson Pkwy
Starting Monday, July 18, two lanes on the Bronx-bound Henry Hudson Parkway at Dyckman Street, just a few hundred feet south of the Staff Street Bridge to the Staff Street Bridge itself, will be closed for road construction, leaving one lane open for trafﬁc. This closure will start at 5 a.m. and last until 12 noon, Monday through Friday, for the next month. According to the MTA, trafﬁc impact is expected to be minimal. There will be some jack-hammering beginning at 5 a.m. to avoid construction going late into the evening.
Café Europe meeting for Holocaust survivors
The Simon Senior Center of the Riverdale YM-YWHA will be having our next Café Europa meeting on Monday, July 25th at 1:00pm. This month’s meeting we will explore different relaxation techniques to reduce stress and enhance sleep. These group meetings for survivors, the last Monday of each month, are led by Jacob Weiland, MSW, and are sponsored by the Claims Conference. Refreshments will be served. At 10:30am, Jacob will start his lecture series on spirituality, ‘Climbing Jacob’s Ladder.’The entire community is welcomed to participate. Join us for lunch, before 12 noon, and purchase a ticket at the lunch table. Lunch is $2.25 per person. The next meeting will be Monday, Aug 29th . If you have any questions, please call Jacob at (718) 548-8200 ext. 303. The Riverdale Y is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue.
By PAULETTE SCNHEIDER When Riverdalian Rachel Yehuda stepped back to view her tableau of data on Nazi Holocaust survivors and their children, she discovered a surprising image: Mothers who suffered from posttraumatic stress disorder appeared to transmit to their offspring a biological predisposition toward the condition, but the transmission was “epigenetic”—an environmentally caused change in how genes operate—rather than genetic—a simple expression of the genes themselves. Dr. Yehuda, a professor of psychiatry and neuroscience at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, director of mental health at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center and a renowned PTSD expert, ran the Mount Sinai School of Medicine Specialized Clinic for Holocaust survivors from 1993 to 2005. The clinic was frequented more by sons and daughters than by the survivors themselves. “When we asked offspring what brought them to treatment,” Yehuda recalled, they reported “phobic responses to relatively innocuous things,” among other issues. To test hypotheses on epigenetic transmission, she is now concerned with the population of second-generation survivors who do not consider themselves to have mental health problems and would tend not to seek treatment. “What we believe happens is that, based on very early behaviors in the parents—maybe the mother, maybe the father, maybe even in utero—there is a programming of the stress response system so that the offspring actually responds to their environment differently because
of a change in the way their stress system functions that is a result of something that is transmitted.” Previous studies have shown that fathers with PTSD tend to endow their children with vulnerabilities toward major depression and other anxiety disorders, while mothers with PTSD pass along a vulnerability to that disorder. “So we have to change the way we think about heritability,” Yehuda said. “It isn’t just what gets transmitted by the structure of your DNA and the chromosomes. Heritability also refers to the changes that are made by the environment to affect the way that your genes function in an enduring way.” And because epigenetic changes are reversible, there is serious interest in whether the changes “could or should be modiﬁed.” “We have one of the ﬁrst labs that’s been able to measure an epigenetic mark, and I’m very interested to see if it is in the children of Holocaust survivors,” she said. “You would think that it’s the experience that the offspring has. But what we’re trying to determine is whether there might also be a biology.” One measurable characteristic of stress responses is the hormone cortisol—those who suffer anxiety disorders ordinarily have elevated levels of the hormone, but PTSD sufferers actually have lower cortisol levels. The function of cortisol is to call off the body’s “ﬁght or ﬂight” response once a stressful situation has passed. Those with inappropriately low cortisol levels never receive that biological signal, so they remain hypervigilant—always waiting for Continued on Page 9
RN Open House SCHOOL NURSE Family Friendly Hours Make a difference in the life of a child! Join us for our On-the-Spot / Fast-Track Interviewing & Recruitment Event
Tuesday, July 26th, 2011 9:00am – 4:00pm NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene 42-09 28th Street, 3rd Floor, Queens, NY E, R, M to Queens Plaza or N, Q, 7 to Queensboro Plaza Additional information and pre-registration is required by calling: 347-396-7972 or apply online @ www.nychealthcareers.com in keyword search bar, enter “school nurse”. DOHMH is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer
NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT of HEALTH and MENTAL HYGIENE
Montefiore Announces New Dental Clinic Opening The Department of Dentistry is opening a new clinic on Broadway, providing dental care for both adults and children. The new clinic accepts most dental insurance plans and is conveniently located for patients in the Marble Hill, Riverdale, and Kingsbridge areas of the Bronx. The new clinic provides the very best in patient care with new digital X-ray technology for diagnostics and electronic medical records to simplify insurance filing. To schedule your next appointment, call the clinic at 347-557-4950 or the Montefiore Dental Call Center at 1-888-700-6623.
Montefiore Dental Clinic 5500 Broadway Suite 102 Bronx, New York 10463
Recognized by U.S.News & World Report as a leader in specialty and chronic care, Montefiore is the University Hospital for Albert Einstein College of Medicine. www.montefioredental.com
7 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, July 21, 2011
Riverdalian studies post-traumatic stress disorder
Thursday, July 21, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW
Thursday, July 21
ers can enjoy new and classic picture books story time, action songs and more. For more information, call 718-543-5150.
BABY STORY TIME 11:30 a.m. Riverdale Branch Library 5540 Mosholu Avenue Babies from birth to 18 months old and their parents/caregivers can enjoy great books, lively songs, and rhymes, and meet other babies in the neighborhood. For info, call 718-549-1212.
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 info, call 718-796-1202.
Friday, July 22 Riverdale
FUN FRIDAY 3:30 p.m. Riverdale Branch Library 5540 Mosholu Avenue Wii and Board games of all types and all skill levels. For more information, call 718-549-1212.
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 718-548-5656.
Saturday, July 23 Kingsbridge
FLEA MARKET 9 a.m. Church of the Mediator West 231st St. & Kingsbridge Rd. Jewelry, handbags, clothing, books, housewares and toys will be sold at bargain prices. The famous Mr G. from Irvington, NY will also be on hand to serve up his succulent rotisserie chicken and rice. For more information, please call 718-548-3312 or 917-846-0182.
Sunday, July 24 Van Cortlandt
CONCERT 2 p.m. Van Cortlandt Park Rockwood Drive Circle The Bronx Arts Ensemble will present its SummerMusic 2011 Romantic Strings concert featuring Rheinberg’s String Quinent, Op. 82 and Martinu’s Quintet. For more information, call 718.601.7399 or visit www.bronxartsensemble.org.
Monday, July 25 Spuyten Duyvil
KNITTING & CROCHET 11 a.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 West 235th Street A get together for knitters and crocheters at all skill levels to work on a current project, learn new techniques, or even to begin a new craft. A small supply of needles and yarn is available for beginners. All participants are encouraged to bring their own supplies. For more information, call 718-796-1202.
Tuesday, July 26 Van Cortlandt
HARMONY DAY 10 a.m. Church of the Visitation 160 Van Cortlandt Park South The event, which aims to bridge the gap between the NYPD and the communities they protect and serve, will include a picnic, free entertainment and other fun and games.
PRESCHOOL STORY TIME 10:30 a.m. Van Cortlandt Branch Library 3874 Sedgwick Avenue Preschoolers from 3 to 5 years old and their parents/caregiv-
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.
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.
GAME DAY 4 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Game Day - Wii games for ages 5-12 years old. For more information, call 718-548-5656.
Wednesday, July 27 Kingsbridge
SUMMER READING 2 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street A librarian will share favorite picture books, providing children with the wonder of books and the joy of reading. For ages 5 to 12 years old. For more information, call 718548-5656.
‘SPIRIT EYE’ 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.
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.
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 info, call 718-548-5656.
TOASTMASTERS CLUB MEETING 7:30 p.m. Riverdale Neighborhood House 5521 Mosholu Avenue Bronx Toastmasters Club of Riverdale invites new members to join us at their free meeting. They meet every second and fourth Wednesday of the month. For further information, visit their website www.thebronxtoastmasters.com or 718-796-6671.
Thursday, July 28 Riverdale
ART LECTURE 2:30 p.m. Hebrew Home 5901 Palisade Avenue Artist Michael Poast will present an illustrated lecture entitled, Thresholds of Dimension: Music, Color, Space – The Sculpture of Michael Poast. He will focus on the topic of his large-scale steel sculptures and discuss his working process. This event is free and open to the public. R.S.V.P. email@example.com or (718) 581-1596.
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.
Continued from Page 7 the other shoe to drop. Hypervigilance is ﬁne in situations when survival is at stake, so the biological intention of a PTSD parent passing on a predisposition for low cortisol is to equip the child—albeit inappropriately—for the kind of stress the parent endured. “It’s easy to see how a parent of a Holocaust offspring would want to prepare a child for an environment like Auschwitz,” Yehuda said. “But when there’s a mismatch between the environment and where the child lives—if he lives in Riverdale, New York, and his biology is preparing him for Auschwitz—then there’d be a mismatch.” Low cortisol has been consistently associated with PTSD, but stress hormones are end products in a long chain of biological events and are not the most reliable measure of a condition. So researchers are now looking for a cause, for “some production issue based on a message that’s very, very far up in the process that is governing the stress system’s architecture.” “It may not just be limited to Holocaust offspring,” Yehuda said. “This may be much more universal than that, and it has a lot of implications for stress during pregnancy and early environment and how important it is to the developing child.” The goal is not to eliminate stress responses, but merely to “rein them in” in order to override maladaptive impulse reactions. For example, a person who tends to become immobilized by panic can learn to recognize the physical onset of the response and say to himself, “Let me see whether there’s really danger. No? OK—false alarm.” Or, “Yes—here’s my
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���������������������������������������������������������� �������������������������������������������������������������� ��������������������������������������������� Dr. Rachel Yehuda action plan.” “That can be very empowering,” Yehuda said. “We’re not preventing the panic response, we’re just teaching people what to do next.” “So why we’re so interested in studying second- and third-generation Holocaust survivors is because they’re not in Auschwitz. They’re in the here and now, and because they’re not ﬁghting for survival in the same way that their parents were.” Yehuda is seeking several categories of research subjects for ongoing studies. For information about volunteering, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or rachel.yehuda@ mssn.edu.
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9 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, July 21, 2011
Riverdalian studies post-traumatic stress disorder
Thursday, July 21, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW
By MIAWLING LAM Education ofﬁcials have made a bold attempt to boost communication and repair ties with disgruntled school parents by creating a new $2 million survey. The Family Feedback survey, launched on June 27, aims to engage the city’s parents by allowing them to make their voices heard on a wide range of issues relating to their child’s education. Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott said he hopes the $2 million survey, which has been funded entirely from federal stimulus money, will reveal what moms and dads value most. “The Family Feedback Form will help us understand what information you want about your child/children’s education, and how you want to receive this information,” he said. “This form is the ﬁrst step in our effort to engage with you more consistently around our shared goal—the success of our students.” Department of Education authorities have long been accused of systematically suppressing parent voices ever since Mayor Michael Bloomberg ascended to power. In survey questions, parents are asked to rank the importance of statements such as “receiving an explanation of how grades are earned,” “getting extra academic help for my child” and “talking to and learning from other NYC public school parents.” The survey was launched a couple of months following the recent parent council elections saga. The New York City Parents Union claimed the initial council election process was riddled with a series of problems, including a shortage of candidates and inaccurate candidate information.
In response, the DOE launched a highly publicized fresh round of elections but still managed to get only 2,782 parents to vote—a far cry from the more than 25,000 who cast their ballots in the past. The precipitous decline of parental involvement in public schools is not lost on local community members. The issue has been discussed at length at virtually every Community Board 8 education committee meeting this year, including an extensive exchange at the board’s meeting last March. At the time, committee member Robert Press claimed City Hall was deliberately manipulating policies to quell real parental involvement.
VC Village parking
Continued from Page 3
Dinowitz is looking into this issue,” Amalgamated resident Dan Padernacht said. “It’s a great idea. Van Cortlandt Village is deﬁnitely in dire need of parking. It can use parking.” Padernacht, who serves as trafﬁc and transportation chairman for Community Board 8, blames the lingering parking problem on overdevelopment in the community. “Parking has historically been short,” he said. “Now, with all the development, it just makes it even worse.” Residents have discussed the possibility of a parking garage, but ﬁnding land to build on has been difﬁcult. Padernacht also mentioned that during the school year, P.S. 95 teachers who live outside the area plague the streets with their cars.
11 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, July 21, 2011
City Ed Dept to have a survey about their survey
Thursday, July 21, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW
Person on the Street:
Compiled by Amanda Macaluso
How do you feel about a BJ’s coming to Riverdale?
“That area has been empty for a long time now it’s about time they put something there and I think that store will do very well here because besides Target there’s really not competition”
- Gladys Passerella
“It doesn’t really affect me because I don’t shop there, but stores like that create a lot of jobs and business and jobs are always good for the economy so I guess it’s a good thing.”
- AnnMarie Moran
“I guess it’s good they put something there but I think they could’ve made a better choice, maybe something that we don’t have anywhere around here, like a Walmart.”
- Ruth Torres
“I think that’s awesome. It’s so close now and it saves me a trip to Costco I think it’s awesome they’re gonna do great here”
- Louis Delgado
“Small hardware stores and stores like that are going to lose business. However, it’s going to create jobs and bring business for other surrounding businesses in that area like McDonalds, Loehmanns, and the pizzerias.”
“That’s cool I always shop at BJ’s back home but now its good that there’s one so close to my college, I’ll deﬁnitely be getting a lot of school supplies and things for my dorm there”
- Derelle Berryman
- Gregg Jordan
“That’s good BJ’s is a great store I go to the one in Pelham all the time and I love it they have great deals so yeah I’m really excited they’ll be one within walking distance of my home”
“It’s not very close to where I live, I only work here in Riverdale but I’m deﬁnitely going to be doing a lot more shopping here once it’s open”
- Maria Diaz
- Alice Babb
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By BRENDAN McHUGH The only thing said more than “Is The Bronx in the house?” at the Bronx Democratic County Committee Dinner was “Shhhhhh!” For $500 a plate, the Democratic county leaders wouldn’t let the people in attendance not listen to the same speech by ten different politicians. Nevertheless, the annual dinner at Marina del Rey seemed to be a success, with big names from outside the borough such as former governor David Paterson, state Comptroller Tom Dinapoli, Lt. Gov. Bob Duffy, Manhattan BP Scott Stringer, New York State Democratic Party executive director Charlie King, Public Advocate Bill De Blasio, former city comptroller and mayor hopeful Bill Thompson and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn all attending. Aside from Quinn, they each took the opportunity to address the crowd where they applauded the leadership of the borough and the elected ofﬁcials. “This unity, this alliance, between those of you who are committee members, as a party organization and elected ofﬁcials at every level is typiﬁed by the wonderful partnership you have right at the top,” Dinapoli said. “That strength is what is bringing The Bronx back as a political powerhouse, and that’s going to be good for the people of this borough, the people of the city and the people of the state.” “New York state is on a rebound,” Duffy said. “The Democratic Party has done extraordinary things.” Besides the outside pols, most of the major movers and shakers of the borough were in attendance. “More so than ever, you see that The Bronx is united,” Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said. “We are proud of the leadership our county chairman has provided, bringing more and more of us closer together.” Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz marveled at the success of the borough. “Look at all the progress we’ve made in the last couple of years,” he said. “The Bronx is back. We’re stronger than ever.” During the dinner, the Review asked Paterson about his wife’s upcoming book— which details the couple’s time when he
Advice to President Obama
Continued from Page 19
ment?) would be a far superior system to the present income tax system. It would shield our legislators from the cynical lobbyists, vastly reduce the underground ﬂow of untaxed earnings, and be far more humane, as disposable income, unlike earned income, is a far more accurate measure of what one can afford. 7. Be agile in your reactions and actions with regard to international revolutionary uprisings (such as the “Arab Spring”). As many have already anticipated and predicted they are susceptible to being hijacked by well-organized anti-democratic forces calling for the immediate destruction of Israel, the United States, especially, and ultimately all democratic nations. They, unashamedly, call for and executive ethnic cleansing of those who are religiously, racially, and politically different. I believe that you and your advisers are aware that your chances of reelection will be drastically reduced unless the above points are taken into serious consideration. I take the trouble to share these thoughts with you in the belief that you would want to know the sentiments of a constituent as well, which I will share with the press in my community. Respectfully yours, Theodore Fettman
was governor. According to the New York Post, she writes that he considered killing himself when he found out he would have to replace Eliot Spitzer after the governor resigned amid a call-girl scandal. “She’s gonna let it all hang out,” he said. “It’s gonna be pretty good.” In terms of getting back into politics, he didn’t seem like the itch was there. “Being front and center, there’s only a certain amount of time you can do it,” he said. “A camera always trained on the front door of my apartment...after a while you just don’t want to do that anymore.”
Skating rink Continued from Page 1
tracks at West 242nd Street and Broadway, have been shrouded in mystery and have raised questions from community residents. Community board members have struggled for information about the rink from the parks department ever since the beginning of this year when Mayor Bloomberg—surprisingly—announced the plan in his State of the City speech. Freedom of Information Law requests have come back with no new information, and though the city has set a date for an ofﬁcial hearing on the rink—August 8—the parks department continues to delay the release of the ﬁnal proposal for what the facility will look like. Community Board 8 is meeting to discuss the rink Wednesday, July 27, at the Riverdale Jewish Center. They may vote on a recommendation to forward to the Franchise and Concessions Review Committee, the body that will have the only decisive vote on the plan.
NEWLY CONSTRUCTED AFFORDABLE APARTMENTS FOR RENT Studios, 1BR, 2BR, 3BR Elevator Buildings The Lenniger Residences is currently accepting applications for 92 affordable housing rental apartments at 614 and 623 East 179th Street in the East Tremont section of the Bronx. Upon full completion, features include 24-hour security, gym, computer lab, community room, on-site laundry, backyard gardens, full bathroom w/ tub, kitchen w/ new refrigerator & oven. Convenient to restaurants, groceries, pharmacies, banks, etc. The size, rent, and targeted income distribution for the 92 apartments are as follows. Apartment Size
Total Annual * Income Range Minimum Maximum
Studio (310 sf)
$24,210 - $34,380
1 BR (600 sf)
$26,010 - $39,300
2 BR (639 sf)
2 3 4
$31,470 - $39,300 $31,470 - $44,220 $31,470 - $49,080
3 BR (935 sf)
4 5 6
$36,180 - $49,080 $36,180 - $53,040 $36,180 - $56,940
Pets are not allowed *Income guidelines subject to change **Includes heat Applications will be handled ﬁrst come ﬁrst serve. Qualiﬁed applicants will be required to meet income guidelines and additional selection criteria. Applications may be downloaded at www.cucs.org/housingapplication and www.commonground.org or requested by calling (212) 624-1471 or mailing: Common Ground Community Housing Operations – The Lenniger Residences 505 8th Avenue, 12th Floor, New York, NY 10018 No Broker’s Fee or Application Fee
13 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, July 21, 2011
Bronx Dems celebrate a year of unity
Thursday, July 21, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW
The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, July 21, 2011
Thursday, July 21, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW
Round up the children, slap on some sunscreen and head to Van Cortland Park on Tuesday, July 26 for the annual Harmony Day celebrations in the Bronx. The event, which aims to bridge the gap between the NYPD and the communities they protect and serve, will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Church of the Visitation at 160 Van Cortlandt Park South. This year’s festivities will include a picnic, free entertainment and other fun and games.
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.
Fr. Sebastian to address Serra Club meeting
Fr. Sebastian is Parochial Vicar at the Church of Holy Rosary in The Bronx. Father will be the guest speaker at the July 27th luncheon meeting of the Serra Club of The Bronx and Westchester. His topic will be, ‘What is a Vincentian Priest and what are the differences you ﬁnd between the U.S. and India?’ The Serra Club is an international organization, whose mission is to foster and promote vocations to the ordained priesthood and vowed religious life, and through this ministry, fosters and afﬁrms the members’ common Catholic faith. Luncheon meetings are held at noon at the Eastwood Manor at 3371 Eastchester Road (corner of Boston Post Road) in
the Bronx. The cost of the luncheon is $20. Call 718-654-3601 for additional information and reservations.
Schervier sponsors Atlantic City Bus Trip
Schervier sponsors a Day Trip to Show Boat Casino, Atlantic City on Tuesday, July 26, leaving 8:55 a.m. and returning 8:30 p.m. The bus leaves from the Schervier Apartments, 2995 Independence Avenue, Riverdale, at 8:50 a.m. and returns around 8:30 p.m. There will be drop offs at 230th Street and Kingsbridge Avenue; at Knolls Crescent; 232nd Street and Henry Hudson Parkway; and last at the Schervier Apartments. People can also be picked up at Knolls Crescent at 9:00 a.m. The cost is $28 and you receive $30 back from the casino! To reserve a seat, please call Nellie Kenny at 718-543-0237. Leave your name and phone number and she will get back to you.
Toastmasters Club invites new members
Bronx Toastmasters Club of Riverdale invites new members to join at their free meeting on July 27th at 7:30 p.m. at the Riverdale Neighborhood House,5521 Mosholu Avenue.
Wouldn’t you like to communicate effectively? Now you can! Toastmasters will show you how to listen effectively, think on your feet, and speak conﬁdently. You will learn valuable leadership skills-all in a supportive, non-intimidating environment. Come as a guest and witness for yourself what we accomplish. They meet every second and fourth Wednesday of the month. For further information, visit their website http://www.thebronxtoastmasters.com or 718-796-6671.
Social Security reps at Engel’s ofﬁce
Representatives of the Social Security Administration will be at Congressman Eliot Engel’s Bronx ofﬁce on Wednesday, July 27th to help constituents with any questions and/or issues they may have concerning Social Security. The service, at the Congressman’s 3655 Johnson Avenue ofﬁce, is available by appointment, which may be made by calling the Congressman’s ofﬁce at 718-796-9700. The Congressman also said that the Social Security website (www.ssa.gov) offers an array of on-line services including ﬁling for retirement, survivors and disability beneﬁts, change of address, replacing lost Medicare cards, and keeping up to date on Social Security matters.
The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, July 21, 2011
Harmony Day celebration in Van Cortlandt Park
Thursday, July 21, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW
Sunlight on our Schools
There’s been some bad news coming out of Riverdale’s schools recently, so it’s not surprising that those who don’t want parents and the community at large to know what’s going on are once again beating the drums for censorship. We won’t be silenced. Let us make one thing very clear: if we weren’t here to report the news, the news would still be here and it would still be bad – nothing would change, only that you just might not know about it. The school satisfaction surveys which we reported on last week would still indicate that there is serious trouble between the principals of PS 24, the Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy and their respective staffs. The fact that large percentages of the teaching staffs at these schools express extremely negative opinions of their principals should be a matter of concern to all of us. We’ve been around long enough to see ﬁve principals come and go at PS 24, two at PS 81 and ﬁve at the Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy. Thousands of students have passed through these schools during this time. It’s been the teachers that have deﬁned the good feelings that so many of us have had for these schools over the years. By and large our teaching professionals have been the most consistent positive element for education in our community. Their warnings must be taken seriously. It is not a secret that there is now great tension at PS 24 and also at the Riverdale/Kingsbridge Academy between the principal and the teachers. It must be aired and addressed. A clique of politically-connected parents in a leadership position at the PS 24 Parents Association has aligned themselves with the principal against the teaching staff. These parents openly talk of just a “few” bad apples, teachers “ruining” things at the school by talking to this newspaper. In our view there can never be enough discussion of the goings-on in our schools, and our teachers, far from being “bad apples” have only the welfare of the students and the well-being of the institution of the school at heart. Most of these teachers were here before Donna Connelly and will be here long after she departs. It particularly galls this group that we have been calling out Connelly on her manipulation of the assistant principal’s position at the school that she has disgracefully held vacant for two years. This is so her close friend Emanuele Verdi can ﬁnally ﬁnish the required coursework to be licensed for the job, wrongly held in abeyance for him until that day. This smacks of cronyism of the worst sort, reminiscent of the antics of an earlier group of politicians in the 1980s and 1990s, the group that made our schools a notorious sinkhole of patronage and contributed to their decline. The fact that the school, despite having 800 students spread between two buildings, has been functioning with only one licensed and fully qualiﬁed administrator, the principal. All so Connelly can appoint her friend as her assistant principal when he ﬁnally qualiﬁes. We can’t say whether the understafﬁng at the school was responsible for an incident during which a student “escaped” from P.S. 24, only to be found by the police hours later downing a Big Mac at the McDonald’s on Broadway, but we can say that the children of Riverdale need and deserve a full complement of fully-certiﬁed administrators to ensure their safety and well-being. We once had two assistant principals at P.S. 24 – now there are none. Now there are allegations, some petty to be sure, some serious, about ﬁnancial mismanagement at the school. It has been suggested that Mr. Verdi is possibly proﬁting from routine purchases, in the past billed to the school and paid by check, by putting these charges on his personal credit card, get reimbursed by the school, amassing frequent ﬂyer points that may have helped him take a recent trip to Italy. But beyond this, there are a lot of questions about educational matters that we can raise, not the least of which is the lack of success children in this community have in winning admission to specialized high schools, to our lights not just a failure of the Riverdale/Kingsbridge Academy, but of the feeder elementary schools as well. We’ve got to do better. But that will only happen in the bright light of free and open discussion, not the darkness of censorship.
Bronx or Riverdale?
To The Editor: I couldn’t help but chuckle when I read your “Person on the Street” interviews in the July 14th issue of the Riverdale Review. The question was “Is Riverdale really part of the Bronx?” I have lived in Soundview. I’ve lived in Kingsbridge Heights. I’ve
lived in Kingsbridge. And I live in Riverdale. I’ve always lived in the Bronx. Riverdale is an extraordinary neighborhood. We have lots of green space. We have a tremendous sense of community. In some ways we’re like a small town, but make no mistake:
Obama deliberately lied to terrify gullible seniors To The Editor: Fortunately for our society, most people are good, honest, decent individuals. Unfortunately, these same positive character traits leads many of these good people to believe that everybody has the same attributes, and thus makes them vulnerable to be preyed upon by slick, predatory con artists looking to deprive them of their money and property. That is why each year literally hundreds of thousands of naïve, gullible, trusting Americans become victims of scams such
as inducing them to donate to phony charities, tricking them out of money in the belief they won a prize, or sweet-talking them into buying inappropriate, unsuitable, high risk, high commission, rip-off “investments.” There are also, unfortunately, a great many politicians in this country who are con artists. But these elected ofﬁcials are not looking to con you out of your money. These particular low-lifes are looking to con you out of your votes — which translates into great power and lots and lots of money. President Barack
ANDREW WOLF, Editor and Publisher
Note our New Address: 5752 Fieldston Road Bronx, New York 10471 (718) 543-5200 FAX: (718) 543-4206
Riverdale IS part of the Bronx. If you think you’re not living in the Bronx then you are living in the state of denial. I love living in Riverdale, but I’m proud to be a lifelong Bronxite. Jeffrey Dinowitz Member of Assembly
JOEL PAL Production Manager ROBERT NILVA Marketing Director
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STAFF: Robert Lebowitz, Brendan McHugh, Richard Reay, Paulette Schneider, Lloyd Ultan, Daniel R. Wolf
Obama is the most prominent example of such a conniving, slimy politician. CBS News anchor Scott Pelley recently asked the President if he could guarantee that $20 billion worth of Social Security checks would go out if the debt limit wasn’t raised by August 2, to which Obama responded, “I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on Aug. 3 if we haven’t resolved this issue, because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it.” This above statement was a deliberate lie purposely and cynically made by President Obama in order to terrify gullible and easily frightened senior citizens into pressuring Republican members of Congress to cave in to his demands. This scare tactic was unconscionable and reprehensible. The President of the United States alone has the power to determine the spending priorities for this country. There may Continued on Page 19
To The Editor: Following is a letter I have written to the President of the United States. It is my understanding that he reads but 10 selected from approximately 10,000 letters that is sent to him daily. The prospect of his reading mine are, I suspect, virtually nil. Yet, I wish to share my thoughts with my community, and am eager for feedback. Locally, our government representatives, I believe, are very responsive to the opinions of their constituents and would be at least equally interested in our views. Dear President Obama: As you can see from my return address I do not, literally speaking, live on “Main Street,” unless that proverbial address has become a metaphor for America’s middle class. If true, that is precisely “where I live,” (not too many decades ago having lived “on the wrong side of the tracks” to which I do not wish to be returned). I believe you get my drift. SO, if you wish to retain your residency on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC as a result of the elections of 2012, I am of the opinion that you might consider the following recommendations, not necessarily in the order of priorities: 1. Provide jobs for those willing and able to work. The present unemployment rate is intolerable. Working people stimulate demand, which creates more jobs; not to mention the fact that our national infrastructure is badly in need of repair and needs to be modernized and expanded. This would be an investment in America’s future, not as erroneously described by some as “make work” projects. 2. Be far more forceful in not allowing the radical right to guy Medicare and Social Security. These are “safety nets” not only for individuals, but for all Americans. 3. Preserve Medicaid and other such entitlements for the poor. Their lot in life is sad enough, and by and large, not a situation of their own making. Furthermore, the cost of their elimination will fall largely to an already struggling middle class. 4. Demand that the wealthy pay a fair share of taxes. The forgiveness, evasions, and failure to report their incomes wealthy corporations and individuals (even by some entrusted with ﬁnancial responsibility who are in government) is legendary. 5. Fight for universal health care. It will, in the long run, redound to the beneﬁt of all Americans, and not only in the matter of a healthier nation, but American industry will be more competitive (which translates
Obama deliberately lied
Continued from Page 18 not be enough money for everything but there is no disputing the fact that there is more than enough money coming into the treasury to pay both the interest on the debt (thus preventing default), and for making Social Security payments. Barack Obama most deﬁnitely CAN GUARANTEE that our Social Security checks be issued on Aug. 3. If they aren’t the blame will lie solely upon him. There are now, regrettably, millions of seniors throughout this country (Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike) who are walking around scared out of their wits because of President Obama’s reckless, fear mongering statement. This is not a partisan issue. Barack Obama’s deplorable action should be condemned by everyone — including Democrats. Don’t you agree, Congressman Engel? How about you, Assemblyman Dinowitz? Alvin Gordon
into jobs) with a reduction of the cost of production per item (which can run as high as four digits) due to healthcare costs for employees. Let the health care CEO’s ﬁnd other venues, less damaging to our economy, for earning their billions in proﬁts. 6. Insist on a fair system of taxation. The present tax code has been so corrupted by all the loopholes that a simple ratio of taxes to income which requires just a booklet of a few pages has grown to enough volumes to ﬁll the shelves of a small bookcase. Not too long ago Warren Buffett, a multibillionaire entrepreneur, was honest enough to point out that his personal income tax was no larger than that of a secretary. A national sales tax (if municipalities and states can do it, why not the national governContinued on Page 13
19 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, July 21, 2011
Advice to President Obama
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