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Riverdale’s ONLY Locally Owned Newspaper!

Volume XVIII • Number 34 • August 4 - 10, 2011 •


Battery Pk skate rink fails; what’s different here? By BRENDAN McHUGH A downtown Manhattan ice-skating rink closed last year after revenues did not meet expectations, leading critics of the Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy’s rink proposal to wonder if we will see déjà vu all over again. Despite opening to initial fanfare, the rink, in Battery Park City from November 2009 to March 2010, was plagued with nearby construction accidents and a harsh season of winter weather. Now, the Battery Park City Authority is searching for a new contractor to bring an ice rink back to the park, but construction and weather may not have been the only reason the rink failed. “I don’t know if people just don’t know about this rink yet, or if they’d just prefer to travel to Bryant Park for free skating, but we had it pretty much to ourselves except for a few other neighborhood families who were enjoying an after-school skate,” wrote one blogger in 2009 on the site, a website for parents looking for activities to do with their children. “The rink is nice and large and it was great to be able to skate freely without the crowds you find at most other rinks.” According to Manhattan Community Board 1 chair-

person Julie Menin, the community was in favor of the old rink and also the new rink, but no contractors bid on the Request for Proposals issued by the Authority this year. That may mean Battery Park City will go another year without a rink. “From an operational standpoint there are definitely some issues,” Menin said. Rink Management Services Corporation ran the rink for the year and then mutually agreed with the Authority to cut ties with the rink after a poor season. The Corporation expressed some interest in the Van Cortlandt Park skating rink, but ultimately chose not to bid on that project. Another member of the Community Board 1 hinted that if Battery Park City couldn’t support an ice rink, how would a remote Bronx community do so, particularly since so much opposition has developed to the rink? “It was very confusing why no one went (to skate), actually,” said one office employee of Board 1 over the phone. “We’re in downtown Manhattan. You’d think eventually people would want to come.” As opposed to the northwest Bronx, where the parking is away from the rink, the bus routes from the east Bronx are indirect, and the only subway near the rink

runs only four stops before going into Manhattan. So far, only one contractor is known to have put in a proposal to build the Van Cortlandt Park skating rink, which will run for 15 years during the winter season. It would be the Bronx’s only public skating rink. The community first found out about the rink when Mayor Bloomberg announced it in his State of the City address at the beginning of this year. The Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy had been planning the rink in secret months before, but Bronx Community Board 8 did not find out about the plan until Bloomberg’s speech. In Battery Park City, a public task force has been assembled to decide whether or not a rink is a viable option and if it is the community’s first choice on how to use the ball fields in winter. Furthermore, the Authority held a meeting to decide what location in the park would be the best spot for the rink. The VCP rink would be on top of a handful of defunct tennis courts and also a pair of handball courts that are often used when it is warm enough. No public group decided a rink would be the most viable option for the area, which is next to the elevated No. 1 subway and behind a concrete wall that are the back of the bleachers of the park’s stadium.

Local schools will suffer as budgets are cut across the board By MIAWLING LAM Principals will be forced to shave more than three percent from their already stretched school budgets this year as the city’s bean counters attempt to plug a multimillion-dollar budget black hole. Each of Riverdale’s local public schools—P.S. 24, P.S 81 and M.S/H.S 141—has had its 20112012 funding stream slashed by the maximum 3.26 percent, according to finalized budgets. In real terms, it means RKA will lose nearly a quarter of a million dollars, P.S. 24 will face a cut of $159,042 and P.S. 81, a reduction of $141,906. The cut to RKA is roughly the equivalent

of three teaching positions, while P.S. 24 and P.S. 81 could lose two each. The drastic trims, finalized on July 22, are designed to address the Department of Education’s ballooning nondiscretionary costs and the state’s crippling $487 million cut to school aid. Since 2007, schools have had their operating budgets slashed by an average of 12 percent. The deep funding cuts are expected to force principals to make tough choices. After-school programs could be pared back, tutoring schemes could end and fewer extracurricular activities could be offered. Just last month, Ernest A.

Logan, the president of the principals’ union, said there would be challenges in dealing with the cuts. “It’s not going to be easy,” he said. According to a memo dis-

tributed to school leaders, the universal 3.26 percent budget cut was necessary to cover the $178 million reduction in DOE funding streams. The expiration of federal

stimulus funds also caused headaches, but officials said they had funds to compensate the loss. “New City tax levy funds allocated to the DOE in FY12 will Continued on Page 5

Sunday triathlon means highway closures The Henry Hudson Bridge and major thoroughfares in Riverdale will be closed on Sunday for an international triathlon. The 11th annual New York City Triathlon, to be held on August 7, comprises of a 1500m swim in the Hudson River, a 40km bike ride along Manhattan’s West Side highway and the Bronx and a 10k run through Central Park. Motorists are advised there will be extensive road closures. Northbound lanes on the Henry Hudson Bridge will be shut to all traffic from 4:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The Mosholu Parkway Extension will also be closed between Henry Hudson Parkway and Gun Hill Road from 4:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Over 3,000 athletes are expected to participate.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. rallies with dozens of postal workers last week in an effort to block the possible closing of 17 Bronx post offices. Postal workers marched from the closed Oak Point office to the Bronx General Post Office while chanting, “Keep the mail in the Bronx, keep the post office open!” Two Riverdale offices, Spuyten Duyvil and Fieldston, are in danger of closing. See story on page 11.

Thursday, August 4, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


All teachers at P.S. 24 granted tenure

By MIAWLING LAM One in four local teachers will be forced to wait another year for a tenure decision after the city slashed the number of those awarded due process rights to prevent capricious dismissal. New Department of Education data reveals 28 percent of teachers from District 10, which covers the northwest Bronx and includes Riverdale, applying for these protections had their tenure decision delayed or denied this year. Of the 234 local teachers eligible for tenure, six were denied, while 60 had another year tacked onto their probation period. Department of Education spokesman Matthew Mittenthal refused to provide a school-by-school breakdown because it would identify certain teachers. “We will not be providing data by school,” he said. “It would be insensitive to individual teachers.” However, the Riverdale Review has learned that no teacher from P.S. 24 was denied tenure. It is unknown whether any teacher had tenure denied or delayed at P.S. 81 and M.S/H.S 141. Despite the seemingly high number, more local teachers were afforded the job security of tenure than those in other school districts. District 10 recorded the fourth-highest number of tenured teachers and fared the best across all six Bronx school districts. Citywide, 42 percent of the more than 5,700 educators receiving decisions this year had their tenure delayed or denied. Those from District 16 in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant were the worst off— 82 percent were left without tenure. Under tougher evaluation guidelines introduced this year, the number of teachers awarded tenure plunged to record lows. Across the five boroughs, 58 percent were granted tenure this year, compared to 97 percent in 2007. During a joint press conference last week with Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the record low tenure approval numbers proved that principals were weeding out ineffective teachers. Last September, the third-term mayor announced a rigorous overhaul of tenure policies and said teacher advancement would be directly linked to student performance. “The difference is before, tenure was automatic,” he said. “Now you have to deserve it. “Making tenure an earned distinction rather than an automatic right will help our teachers get better and ensure that more of them can develop into not just good, but great teachers.” Of the 39 percent of teachers who had their tenure delayed, Bloomberg said it was the city “telling them that while they have shown progress, they are still developing as teachers and need to improve.” Traditionally, educators were granted tenure after three years on the job and received special protection, guaranteeing them a right to an administrative hearing before being fired. However, Walcott said the former policy had been taken for granted. “As chancellor, my responsibility is to ensure we have the best teaching force in front of our children,” he said. “Tenure was never something that was supposed to be granted automatically. I am confident this system will benefit both our teachers, through regular feedback and opportunities to improve, and our kids, who all deserve a highquality teacher in the classroom.” Under new guidelines, principals make ten-

ure recommendations based on three categories: teacher practice, student learning and teacher contributions to the school community. In order to be awarded tenure, teachers must be rated either “effective” or “highly effective”—the top two highest scores on a four-point scale—in each category for at least two years in a row. However, the United Federation of Teachers expressed concerns over the evaluation process. “The process of granting tenure must be rigorous, but it also must be consistent and transparent,” union secretary Michael Mendel said in a statement. “We have serious questions about how the DOE reached these conclusions and concerns that they failed to base these decisions on pedagogy or job performance.”

By BRENDAN McHUGH Congress voted to approve the debt bill Monday despite the opposition of Bronx representatives. Rep. Eliot Engel blasted the Republican Party for their failure to compromise, saying negotiating with them was like negotiating “with a brick wall.” “If we must have a debt reduction deal attached to the increase, then I urge a more balanced agreement, because this one is far from balanced,” Engel said. The House of Representatives voted 269-161 in favor of the debt-ceiling plan, and the Senate voted after press time Tuesday. If the plan is signed into law, it will raise the debt ceiling by between $2.1 trillion and $2.4 trillion, handling the government’s borrowing needs until 2013. It will also demand about $2.4 trillion in spending cuts, most of which will be decided by a special supercommittee of six Democrats and six Republicans. If the committee fails to find an agreement, or if Congress does not approve the agreement, cuts of $1.2 trillion will automatically be imposed. Engel criticized the plan, saying it has unjustly burdened the lower and middle classes while protecting big business and the wealthy. He added that he believes the special committee will almost definitely be deadlocked in their attempt to find cuts, forcing the automatic cuts that will affect a number of social programs, including Medicare. “I must vote no on this plan because the damage it would do to our recovery and our social safety net is simply too steep,” he said. “Democrats would like to have a

conversation on how to fix programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, but the Tea Party Republicans just want to destroy them. Putting Medicare cuts on the table as a trigger for the supercommittee to decide budget cuts is a terrible precedent to set.” Fellow Bronx congressman Jose E. Serrano agreed with Engel. “I am sadly disappointed that no Republicans would take responsibility for crafting a fair package and forced a ‘my way or the highway’ approach. They have done a disservice to our nation,” Serrano said. “My constituents will not benefit in the slightest from this package—and in fact will suffer from its effects. They work hard and pay their taxes and should not see the social safety net that they rely on slashed solely to preserve low tax rates for billionaires. On their behalf I voted ‘no’ on this senseless package, which will do nothing to create jobs or help the economy grow.” Because of the possible impact default or spending cuts will have on the New York City, Comptroller John Liu has called for the organization of the city’s resources to prepare for worst-case scenarios. “Due to the irresponsibility in our nation’s capital, New York City’s seniors could feel the brunt of the pain if a deal is not reached, putting their much-reliedupon benefits in jeopardy,” he said. “New York City should view this as a financial threat, and I am calling for an immediate mobilization of our resources to discuss our preparedness.” Engel repeatedly called on President

Obama to evoke the 14th Amendment, which would give the president the power to raise or even eliminate the debt ceiling, but Obama chose not to do so. Engel, like many Democrats, has also consistently called on the president to eliminate the Bush tax cuts, a move that would have brought billions of dollars back to the federal government. “We have $3 trillion of spending cuts but no money whatsoever in eliminating Bush tax cuts for wealthy,” he said. “Not everybody is taking the hit fairly. This is a bill that would help to perpetuate tax breaks for the wealthy in this country, while at the same time not giving the middle class guarantees that the programs they need won’t be cut.”

3 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, August 4, 2011

Engel votes ‘no’ on federal deficit compromise

Thursday, August 4, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Around the schools... College Of Mount Saint Vincent

The Irish Voice recently listed three CMSV faculty members on its Irish Education 100, a list of top American educators of Irish ancestry: college president Dr. Charles L. Flynn Jr.; Dr. Joseph Skelly, professor and chair of history; and Dr. Mary Ellen Sullivan, assistant professor and chair of teacher education. The three will be honored at an awards ceremony this fall. This is the second time the list has recognized Flynn and Skelly for their contributions to the field of education.

Manhattan College

Eight Manhattan College education students and four faculty members recently returned from a twoweek service trip to the Bernhard Nordkamp Centre in Windhoek, Namibia. Using skills they learned in their own education courses at MC, the students taught and created age-appropriate lesson plans and games for more than 120 children in an afterschool program. Dr. Karen Nicholson, associate professor of education and one of the faculty members who attended the mission, praised the students’ performance. “I think this experience increased our students’ confidence because their level of knowledge about what to do and how to approach things was tremendous,” she said, “and everyone else was depending on them, asking for advice, watching them and seeing how well they were able to manage a classroom.” MaryBeth Gallagher, co-director of the Namibian center and a New York native, was impressed by the students’ professionalism and was grateful for the lesson plans. The facility also provides athletic, cultural, social and craft activities as part of its commitment to helping children thrive in the classroom as a way to combat the effects of poverty.

Local Scholars

Villanova University in Villanova, Pennsylvania, has announced that Daniel Sidorenko, a frehsman, has been named to the dean’s list for the spring 2011 semester in the School of Business. To qualify for the dean’s list in the business school, students must be a matriculated full-time and earn a semester GPA of at least 3.5, with no missing or non-passing grades. Villanova University is a coeducational Roman Catholic institution founded by the Order of Saint Augustine in 1842. It provides a comprehensive education rooted in the liberal arts, a shared commitment to the Augustinian ideals of truth, unity and love, and a community dedicated to service to others. A wide variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs are offered through the university’s four colleges: the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering and the College of Nursing, as well as the Villanova School of Law. The school enrolls more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students. It is the oldest and largest Catholic university in Pennsylvania. SUNY Oswego in Oswego, New York, has announced that Clayrys M. Tavares, who formerly attended Monroe College

Bronx, has reserved a place as a transfer student. In addition, the following students will be entering freshmen in the fall semester: Allegra G. Rogers, a graduate of The Lowell School; Gladys Acosta, a graduate of the Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy; Nico T. Fernandez, a graduate of DeWitt Clinton High School; Alejandra Hernandez, a graduate of Philip Randolph Campus High School; and Maurice T. Williams, a graduate of the Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy. Oswego, a 150-year-old comprehensive college in the State University of New York system, enrolls more than 8,000 students in its College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; School of Business; School of Communication, Media and the Arts; and School of Education. Admission is competitive—U.S. News named it among the Top Public Regional Universities in the North for 2011, and the Princeton Review includes Oswego in its college guidebook “The Best Northeastern Colleges.” The Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia, has announced that Nelio Naut, a candidate for a Bachelor of Fine Arts in animation, was named to the dean’s list for the spring 2011 quarter. To qualify, students must be enrolled full-time and earn a GPA of at least 3.5 for the quarter. The Savannah College of Art and Design is considered the most comprehensive art and design university in the world, offering more 40 majors and 50 minors at campuses in Savannah and Atlanta, Georgia; in Hong Kong, China; in Lacoste, France; and online through SCAD eLearning. It offers career preparation to a diverse student body, consisting of more than 10,000 students from all 50 states and nearly 100 countries worldwide. A faculty of more than 700 professors with extraordinary academic credentials and professional experience emphasizes learning through individual attention in an inspiring university environment.

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By BRENDAN McHUGH Fees increase; services decrease. That’s been the mantra for critics of the Metropolitan Transit Authority, and the agency is finally beginning to listen. For Bronxites, it’s been a long time coming. “We have the worst subway stops, and we’re not going to tolerate it anymore,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “People think they can dump on The Bronx and we’re going to go away quietly, but it’s a new day.” Charles Moerdler, an MTA board member and Riverdale resident, has had enough of the grimy Bronx stations, which, according to a recent MTA study, are the worst kept in the city. Not only that, but they are also last for on-time performance. “The elected leaders are working collectively, and the communities are coming out,” said Diaz, who released his own report on the poor conditions earlier this year. “Whether you’re the MTA or the postmaster, people are going to start hearing from us and making that consideration.” It no doubt helps Bronxites that Moerdler and former beep Fernando Ferrer—both Riverdale residents—are both on the MTA board. “I have five years remaining on my term,” said Moerdler, who was appointed to the MTA board earlier this year. “I do not intend to spend the five years waiting for them to finish the job that should get done promptly.” He wants to explore an approach to fixing subway stations that was inspired by a popular network television show.

“You watch these extreme makeovers on houses and homes and people,” he said. “I want to explore ideas like that.” Moerdler said the MTA should close a subway station on a Friday night after rush hour and keep the station closed until Monday morning. During that time, “pour into that station whatever needs to be done to give it a cosmetic change.” “In most of the stations, replacing missing tiles, scrubbing the floors and walls, and a paint job will be most of what needs to get done,” he said. For stations that need more work or consistent upkeep, other options will need to be looked at. According to an MTA spokesman, Stations Division employees clean all 468 subway stations on a regular schedule, and station walls, stairs and platforms are cleaned several times a year with high-pressure power washing equipment. “Once you get it basically fixed up, then the job is a regular maintenance job,” he said, adding that the MTA picks up 90 tons of food each day from the platforms alone. And if people can’t clean up after themselves, Moerdler said, a drastic change might need to be made. “Many of the people who ride the trains think they’re the only people on the train. Everyone has a responsibility to one another to keep everything as clean as possible. If people can’t do that, then serious consideration has to be given to banning food on the subways.” The MTA says they hope to save nearly $4 billion over the next four years while

avoiding any toll hikes or fare increases in 2012, but they have one plan on the table that may still go through. Adding a $1 fee to every new MetroCard is a possibility, and while that fee is still just an idea, the MTA says it would be a cost-cutting measure that would save money and save the environment as well. According to Moerdler, the only services within the MTA system that pay for themselves and make money are the bridges and tunnels. The Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North, buses and subways all lose money. The Tri-State Transportation Committee found the budget analysis troubling

and said they definitely expect to see fare increases. “This plan is balanced only with the help of assumption after assumption,” they said in a statement. “It relies on new revenue from the Port Authority and a loan from the federal government. It assumes changes in labor agreements. It relies on an increase in support from New York City. It relies on an increase in the agency’s debt cap by the State, and approval by the State Legislature of new bonds. It assumes that federal transportation funding will remain at existing levels, when many in Congress are calling for drastic cuts.”

Principals facing school budget crisis Continued from Page1 be used to backfill the Federal Stimulus Funding streams which have ended,” documents state. Monies are distributed to schools on the basis of enrollment. Additional funds are also provided for students who receive special education services or for those who are not proficient in English, math or reading. Closer inspection of each school’s base budget reveals a wealth of information, including the fact that P.S. 24 allocates more money to its parent coordinator than its counterparts devote to theirs. The Spuyten Duyvil school spends more than $46,000 on its parent coordinator functions, or $14,000 more than M.S/H.S 141, which devotes $32,338, and P.S. 81, which budgets $44,149. Another interesting revelation is that

P.S. 81 receives nearly 2.5 times more in Title I Targeted Assistance funds than the two other local schools. According to budget documents, P.S. 81 is slated to receive $32,708 in Title I funds this year, versus RKA, which collects $7,269, and P.S. 24 with its $7,269 allocation. The federal government funding stream typically serves low-income students and neighborhoods, aiming to bridge the gap between these students and their peers by helping them lift their academic achievement. Public schools were staring down a deeper funding cut a couple months ago. Preliminary budgets drawn up prior to the approval of both city and state budgets suggested that schools could face a 4.16 percent reduction.

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.

5 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, August 4, 2011

Moerdler, new to MTA board, pledges ‘Extreme Subway Makeover’

Hall, Amalgamated Houses, Hillman Avenue and Van Cortlandt Park South. Please call the office after 11 am at 718 601-7399 if the weather is questionable. For further information/travel directions: 718 601-7399 or

Thursday, August 4, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Schervier eEmployee wins Dept. of Education Award

Bon Secours New York Health System’s Schervier Nursing Care Center’s Director of Volunteers, Grace Bova, was honored with the Partner in Education Award by the New York City Department of Education. Bova received the award for her initiatives that provide career training opportunities for students with disabilities during the 2010-2011 school year. The award is a result of Bova’s outstanding work with Schervier’s volunteering program, where projects range from internships and work study programs to a community garden project. Bova works with a variety of sponsoring organizations to make volunteering at Schervier a positive experience for the community, youth and residents. ‘Grace has distinguished herself as a devoted leader at Schervier by giving students with disabilities the chance to learn and interact with community members. She has provided quality, meaningful work in all of our volunteer programs and positively affected the lives of our residents and volunteers,’ noted Eileen

Malo, Interim CEO of Schervier. ‘The Partner in Education Award is a great representation of the work Grace has done for the community.’ One of the most inspiring programs at Schervier is the partnership between McSweeney Occupational Therapy Center (OTC) and Bon Secours New York Health System (BSNY). The OTC is a vocational high school for developmentally disabled young people between the ages of 14 and 21. The partnership, called Magic Moments, operates at Schervier and pairs students with dementia residents. Students from OTC volunteer in various departments in Schervier, while BSNY provides them with a classroom on site, giving them an opportunity to become fully integrated into the nursing home. This program allows students to develop self-confidence and craft their skills, while the residents benefit from the interaction with the extraordinary young people. Magic Moments has also been honored as an innovative program by the Catholic Health Association and by the New York Association of Homes and Services for the Aging.

The Forward: The Life and Times of a Jewish Newspaper.’ All seniors from the Riverdale and surrounding communities are invited to attend this program which will precede a hot nutritious lunch. Suggested lunch donation is $2.25. For further information and reservations please call the Y @ 718-548-8200x223 or 224. The Riverdale Y is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue. The entire community is invited to this event.

Sam Norich to speak at Simon Senior Center

‘Let’s Tango’ with the Bronx Arts Ensemble

The Simon Senior Center is pleased to announce a special lecture on Friday August 12th @ 10:30 a.m. with Sam Norich, CEO and Publisher of The Forverts. Mr. Norich will speak on ‘The Forverts and

Church of Mediator to host flea market

Church of the Mediator will host a flea market on Saturday, August 6, 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.

“Let’s Tango” with The Bronx Arts Ensemble to the music of Astor Piazzolla, Gardel, Saborido, Matos Rodriguez and others from Latin and South America on Sunday, August 7, 2 pm at Rockwood Drive Circle, Van Cortlandt Park near Broadway and Mosholu Avenue and 4 pm at McGinley Center at Fordham University. Popular tango artists returning to BAE’s free SummerMusic 2011 series include bandoneón player Raul Jaurena, vocalist Marga Mitchell and dancers Carolina and Anton. Raul Jaurena and Marga Mitchell have appeared at numerous Tango festivals including Tango Fest on Broadway, International Tango Festival in Montevideo, Uruguay, Tango & Tango at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center and at New York’s World Financial Center, as well as the Ravinia Festival in Chicago and the International Tango Festival in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Van Cortlandt Park is providing limited seating so be sure to bring a folding chair to guarantee your comfort. In case of rain, the first program will be moved to Vladeck

Rotary Club to sponsor reading hour

Youngsters 3-12 years old are invited to participate in the Reading Program on Saturday, July 9, at the NEW Kingsbridge Library, 291 West 231st Street, from 1 to 1:45 p.m. Readers will be grouped by skill level and encouraged to read, helped with pronunciation and word understanding, and for those without reading skills, interpret pictures. There is no charge for participation. The Rotary Club of Riverdale is part of Rotary International and sponsors the library reading project as a local community service. Adult volunteers who are interested in participating are asked to contact Karen Pesce, Secretary: (718) 749-4469.

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.

Riverdale Y to hold audition

The Riverdale Y will be holding its final audition for a Midsummer Night’s Dream on Sunday, August 7th from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm .They are looking for actors, ages 16- 35 ( or those who could play those ages). They are especially looking for men. Experience preferred but if you like to act or learn to act we encourage you to audition. The Riverdale Y is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue. For more information please email with any questions.

Boating on the Hutch

In celebration of ‘THE ANNE HUTCHINSON YEAR’, two river organizations, ‘HRRP’--The Hutchinson River Restoration Project--& Bronx River Alliance, join together to enjoy her river with you. Limited Reservations: Eleanor Rae, 718885-9653; Damian Griffin, 718-430-4614 - $5 Insurance Fee per person And also join in with your own boats! Contact Eleanor or Damian for websites and/or to make arrangements.

The possible availability of space for a charter school, the result of the revocation of the charter of the KIDS School, has encouraged a number of local residents, educators, public officials, and community leaders to examine the possibility of forming a charter in this community. Civic leader Alec Diacou said today that he is trying to form a group that will explore various creative options for a new school, to begin in the lower grades and add grades annually, one that promises a return to a “back to basics” education based on a classical model. “This is not an effort to counter anyone else’s proposal, but rather a positive, pedagogically driven attempt to provide educational options for parents in the northwest Bronx,” said Mr. Diacou. “The program we are developing will take children in a different direction from that we have seen in too many of our public schools.” The new school, as yet unnamed, will concentrate on math, science, history, geography, art and music. “We will attempt to integrate the various disciplines into a cohesive knowledge-based curriculum that goes even beyond the common core standards now being

adopted. We seek to be a model that parents will want to see replicated in their schools.” Even the physical education and recreational program will get considerable attention. “Activities like fencing and chess will enable children to build academic skills by improving focus and concentration,” noted Mr. Diacou. The school will conform to the rules governing charters, mandating an open lottery of all appropriate-aged children in District 10. “It should be clear that a charter school cannot serve only one community, or be limited to just ‘gifted’ children. We don’t want to create confusion on the part of parents.” Mr. Diacou noted that he has toured possible locations. “We’re fortunate to have a number of new buildings available and we hope to find the best possible site.” “I anticipate that there will shortly be a formal announcement, one that gives specific details and will reveal a remarkable organizing committee of extremely talented educators and civic leaders from within and outside our community,” said Mr. Diacou. “We will continue to invite participation, ideas, and expertise in our effort to build a great school worthy of this great community.”

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7 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, August 4, 2011

Civic leader, others make plans for new charter school in Kingsbridge

Thursday, August 4, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Thursday, August 4 Kingsbridge

BABY LAPSIT 10:30 a.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Baby Lapsit @Kingsbridge Library on Thursday, August 4, 2011 @10:30 for birth to 18 months for parents and caregivers. For more information, call 718-548-5656.

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 5 to 10 years old. For more information, call 718796-1202.

Friday, August 5 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 718-548-5656.

Saturday, August 6 Kingsbridge

FLEA MARKET 9 a.m. Church of the Mediator Kingsbridge Ave. & 231st Street 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.


READING HOUR 1 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Youngsters 3-12 years old are invited to participate in the Reading Program Readers will be grouped by skill level and encouraged to read, helped with pronunciation and word understanding, and for those without reading skills, interpret pictures. There is no charge for participation. For more information, contact Karen Pesce, Secretary: (718) 749-4469.


WINE, CHEESE, KARAOKE 7:30 p.m. Riverdale Temple 4545 Independence Avenue Bring your own wine! Cheese and music/karaoke provided. Only $10 per person. For more information, call 718-548-3800.

Sunday, August 7 Riverdale

OPENING RECEPTION 2 p.m. Riverdale YM-YWHA 5625 Arlington Avenue Mrs. Esther Ibisch, a member of the Riverdale Art Association, will be having a solo exhibition and sale of her abstract and semi-abstract acrylic paintings during the month of August in Gallery 18 of the Riverdale Y. The public is invited to view and partake of the refreshments on August 7th from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. 20 % of sales go to the Riverdale Y. For more information, call: 718-549-1366.


FINAL AUDITION 2 p.m. Riverdale YM-YWHA 5625 Arlington Avenue The Riverdale Y will be holding its final audition for a Midsummer Night’s Dream. They are especially looking for men. Experience preferred but if you like to act or learn to act we encourage you to audition. or more information please email

Van Cortlandt

LET’S TANGO 2 p.m. Van Cortlandt Park Rockwood Drive Circle “Let’s Tango” with The Bronx Arts Ensemble to the music of

Astor Piazzolla, Gardel, Saborido, Matos Rodriguez and others from Latin and South America. For further information/travel directions: 718 601-7399 or


BOOK DISCUSSION 2:30 p.m. Hebrew Home Winter Garden 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, where her mother lived. Free and open to the public. For more information, call

Monday, August 8 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.

Spuyten Duyvil

CINDERELLA PARTY 3:30 p.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 West 235th Street For ages 4 to 10 years old. Preregistration is required. For more information, call 718-796-1202.


CB8 MEETING 7 p.m. 50th Police Precinct 3450 Kingsbridge Avenue Meeting of the Public Safety Committee of Community Board 8. For more information, call 718-884-3959.

Tuesday, August 9 Van Cortlandt

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

Spuyten Duyvil

SUMMER READING 2 p.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 West 235th Street A librarian will share favorite picture books, providing children with the wonder of books and the joy of reading. For ages 4 to 8 years old. For more information, call 718-796-1202.


GAME DAY 4 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Board games of all types and all skill levels. For ages 5 to 12 years old. For more information, call 718-548-5656.

Wednesday, August 10 Kingsbridge

TODDLER STORY TIME 10:30 a.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Ages 18 to 36 months for parents and caregivers. Books, fingerplays, puppets. 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 at their free meeting. For further info, visit their website or 718-796-6671.

Thursday, August 11 Riverdale

LECTURE 10:30 a.m. Riverdale YM-YWHA 5625 Arlington Avenue The Simon Senior Center invites all seniors to a special lecture. David Storfer will share his knowledge about international adoption and his personal journey from a Jewish perspective. For info please call the Y @ 718-548-8200 x223 or 224.


directed by Laurie Walton Thursday, August 11 at 7:30 PM —our gala fundraising night honoring Laurie Walton

$25 per ticket All other times and prices: Saturday, August 13 at 8:45 PM Sunday, August 14 at 3:00 PM Tuesday, August 16 at 7:30 PM Wednesday, August 17 at 7:30 PM Thursday, August 18 at 7:30 PM Saturday, August 20 at 8:45 PM

By Congressman ELIOT L. ENGEL I voted against the debt “compromise” bill because it is inherently unfair in forcing the middle class and the poor to pay for deficit reduction, while letting the wealthy and large corporations off the hook. The tax code is tilted in favor of the wealthy and large corporations, those who pay lobbyists to advocate for special favors. Hedge fund traders, who make millions, pay a lower percentage of taxes than a middle class family – that is totally unfair. The Tea Party wing of the Republican Majority played chicken with the dangers of default, and that has led us to a situation where the President and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid were negotiating with a brick wall. GOP recklessness has taken us to the brink. No wonder the American people are disgusted with their government. Something must be done about our debt, but it cannot simply be achieved through spending cuts. We must close tax loopholes, and make those who can afford to pay more, do just that. New York is facing especial damage from threats to Graduate Medical Education funding which is vital for teaching hospitals and essential Medicaid services in our state. New York hospitals annually generate nearly $108 billion for state and local economies, and more than 686,000 jobs through direct and indirect employment. Cuts to GME funding would force New York’s teaching hospitals to cut back on training doctors and reduce services to patients. We are facing a nationwide physician shortage, expected to reach 130,000

physicians by 2025, so hindering teaching hospitals’ ability to train new doctors is inane. How can we put our citizens’ health at risk while maintaining tax breaks for companies such as BP? How can we make cuts to hospitals and nursing homes through Medicare and not affect beneficiaries due to reduction in quality of care? Even the 9-11 Health Zadroga Bill faces potential cuts – how can we justify denying health care to our suffering first responders while our wealthiest citizens enjoy historically low tax rates? Many economists believe that deep budget cuts now are bad for the economy. They also believe the federal government needs to spend to stimulate recovery. Our recovery is too fragile to risk sending it back into a double dip recession. It is in times of economic hardship that the federal government must step in to prime the economy. What is forgotten in this debate is that our society is based on a sense of humanity and helping. Our republic is supposed to be about our people, but this deal is about ideology and dogma. With their long-held objective of doing away with Medicare in reach, does anyone expect the Tea Party Republicans to show future pragmatism and compromise? Democrats want a conversation on fixing Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, but the Tea Party Republicans are determined to destroy them. I appreciate the efforts of the President, Sen. Reid and Democratic leaders but it is almost impossible to negotiate with the unreasonable. Our government should be more responsible to its citizens. Too many lives and the well-being of our country are at stake to be so reckless.



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Adults: $18; Seniors and Students: $12 Visit our website at www.Riverdale and order online tickets

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9 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, August 4, 2011

The award-winning Riverdale Rising Stars

Engel: Why I voted against deficit compromise

Thursday, August 4, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


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By BRENDAN McHUGH Bronx postal workers are enveloped in anger over the news that 17 post offices in the borough will be studied for possible closure. Last week, dozens of union employees marched through the borough and joined Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. at a rally at the Bronx General Post Office. “They feel they are going to make decisions on the backs of The Bronx, and we’re going to stay quiet,” Diaz said at the rally Wednesday. “We’re not going to stay quiet.” Chanting “Keep the mail in The Bronx, keep the post office open!” union workers marched from the closed Oak Point facility to the main processing center on East 149th Street and the Grand Concourse. “We’re doing everything that we can,” said Clarice Torrence, president of New York Metro Postal Union. “They can’t do this to the working class. They think so little of The Bronx.” The U.S. Postal Service plans to close as many as 3,700 offices nationwide, including up to 34 in the city. “It’s a shame that when you look at the postmaster’s report, they want to close 34 post offices in the city of New York and half of those—17—are in The Bronx,” Diaz said. “We would lose over 320 jobs. Senior citizens would have to travel too far to get their mail, get their packages, and that’s not fair.” Post office employees would be relocated to other offices within the area. “They seem to be bullying The Bronx,” said Wilfredo Figueroa, the secretary treasurer of the postal workers’ union. “This will affect the community badly. Especially the elderly.” In the northwest Bronx, one closure in

particular would leave Bronxites without a post office for a mile in any direction. The possible closure of the Fieldston office on West 238th Street has residents concerned. “This post office is crucial to central Riverdale,” Rebecca Carroll said. “The elderly will have a hard time getting their medicines, and the local businesses will be inconvenienced. This is one post office that needs to stay open.” The closures in The Bronx would direct all mail to the Morgan General Mail Facility in Manhattan, which could require up to 70 trucks a day to deliver letters and packages all the way back to The Bronx. “We are totally confident that our Bronx delegation and New York City delegation are going to fight strong and hard to make sure we can salvage the travesty of the closings that are proposed,” Diaz said. Congressman Eliot Engel has been trying to bring attention to the situation, but with the debt deal taking most of the spotlight, it has been difficult. “I’m trying to generate some noise to make people aware of it,” he said by phone from Washington, D.C. “It’s ludicrous. They’re raising prices but cutting services.” Engel said he’d much rather see the post office raise the price of a stamp by another penny if it would keep a handful of offices open. “And once you begin eroding the quality and quantity of the post office services, it will continue to be eroded,” he said. “I will continue to work in Congress to bolster the USPS and bring it back to financial solvency. I ask they keep their commitment to the people of Bronx, Mount Vernon and Yonkers, and to all of the American people who rely on the valuable and, in many cases, irreplaceable service they provide.”

11 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, August 4, 2011

Postal workers ‘stamping mad’ over closures

Thursday, August 4, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Person on the Street:

Compiled by Amanda Macaluso

How do you feel about bike lanes throughout town?

“They’re good because they allow bikers to be in their own area rather than interfere with pedestrians on the sidewalk. It’s really inconvenient to move over for them if you have a stroller.”

- Christina Perez

“I really don’t like them, instead of a road having space it’s now narrower and the bikers do not really obey the same traffic rules as cars and it can be very dangerous.”

- Brianne Durant

“I like the idea of bike lanes they allow quicker movement for a cyclist as opposed to the congested sidewalks or dangerous traffic lanes.”

- Daniel Rock

“Bike lanes are great they keep both the cyclist and the car drivers safe and provide easy pathways.”

- Marc Baclija

“The bike lanes were a good idea in theory but they didn’t work out in practice very well I don’t think the bikers use them that much and they’re annoying to get around.”

“I never thought Riverdale had that big of a biking community so I see them as a little unnecessary. Bus lanes were a good idea, bike lanes are just a nuisance.”

- Philine Vega

- Maria Caro

“I never use them, I still bike on the sidewalks even on the few roads where they actually have the bike lanes. I don’t know I see them as kind of pointless.”

“I don’t see the point in them because I never see people using them anyway and also sometimes when families go bike riding I don’t think kids should be in the streets riding so close to cars.”

- Katie Lewis

- Christina Lindsay



BIG BAND MUSIC 7:30 p.m. Playland Park Playland Parkway Milt Gerver and his orchestra play music from the Big Band era and up under the stars. Rain date: August 12. For more information, call 914-813-7010.

Saturday, August 6 Ardsley

WHIFFLE BALL TOURNAMENT 9 a.m. V.E. Macy Park Saw Mill River Road Pre-registration required. Call for more information, 914-328-1542.

Sunday, August 7 Rye

MORNING MEADOW MOODS 10 a.m. Marshlands Conservancy Route 1 The meadow of Marshlands seems to have an infinite number of different creatures large and small. All you need is a little enthusiasm. Prepare to be amazed as you venture through the world of meadow life. Hand lenses provided. Long pants and shoes highly recommended. For more information, call 914-835-4466.


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


A presentation exploring the lifestyles and history of the Lenape, the native peoples of the area. The event features a visual program, artifacts and discussion about the Lenape, helping to illuminate a major theme in the site’s feature exhibition, “A Clash of Cultures: Anne Hutchinson’s Brief Life near St. Paul’s Church.” Tours of the historic church, tower and burial yard are offered following the Lenape presentation. For more information, call 914-667-4116 or visit

Sunday, August 14 Croton-on-Hudson

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

Wednesday, August 17 Rye

FIREWORKS! 9:15 p.m. Playland Park Playland Parkway Playland’s renowned fireworks display, accompanied by music. Free admission, parking fees apply. For more information, call 914-813-7010.

Sunday, August 21 Croton-on-Hudson

SOLAR POWER 10 a.m. Croton Point Nature Center Croton Point Avenue Join us as we build our own solar cookers. Take yours home and use it to make amazing treats with the power of the sun. For more information, call 914-862-5297.


INDIAN HERITAGE CELEBRATION 12:30 p.m. Kensico Dam Plaza Bronx River Parkway Ethnic food, music, entertainment, dance and arts and crafts. For more information, call 914-864-PARK.

FAIRY WALK 1 p.m. Muscoot Farm Route 100 Do you believe in fairies? Discover the fairies that live in Muscoot’s forest. Children are encouraged to come dressed as fairies. For more information, call 914-864-7282.

Mt. Kisco


HISTORIC MANSION TOUR 1 p.m. Merestead 455 Byram Lake Road Find out how a Geogian-style 20th century mansion made us want to go shopping and how it influenced the way we decorated and furnished our homes. 14 participants maximum. By reservation only. For more information, call 914-864-7039.


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

Wednesday, August 10 Rye

FIREWORKS! 9:15 p.m. Playland Park Playland Parkway Playland’s renowned fireworks display, accompanied by music. Free admission, parking fees apply. For more information, call 914-813-7010.

Saturday, August 13 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 removig 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 donated by the Friends of Read Wildlife Sanctuary. For more information, call 914-967-8720.

Mt. Vernon

LENAPE INDIANS 1 p.m. St. Paul’s Church 897 S. Columbus Avenue

BACK TO THE STREAMS 2 p.m. Marshlands Conservancy Route 1 If you haven’t had enough of aquatic life in our spring-fed streams, have no fear. We will observe them again and see what life awaits us there. Hand lenses provided. Long pants and socks with shoes are highly recommended. For more information, call 914-835-4466.

Wednesday, August 24 Rye

FIREWORKS! 9:15 p.m. Playland Park Playland Parkway Playland’s renowned fireworks display, accompanied by music. Free admission, parking fees apply. For more information, call 914-813-7010.

Sunday, August 28 Croton-on-Hudson

HUDSON’S HARVEST 9 a.m. Croton Point Nature Center Croton Point Avenue The program starts anywhere between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. Summer scavenger hunt for the Hudson Valley’s best local food. Follow the trail of the farms, farmers markets and community gardens in Westchester. Discover the delicious community in your back yard. Come to the nature center for a map and directions. Hunt for the foods you love. For more information, call 914-862-5297.

Mt. Kisco

HISTORY TOUR 1 p.m. Merestead 455 Byram Lake Road W&J Sloane was one of the most famous retail stores for furniture and home furnshings in the 20th century. Learn the story of the W&J Sloane and how it is intimately connected to Merestead while touring the 1906-1907 Georgian-style Delano and Aldrich designed Main Dwelling. 14 participants maximum. By reservation only. For more info, call 914-864-7039.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, August 4, 2011

Friday, August 5

Thursday, August 4, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thursday, August 4, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



The Department of Dentistry at Montefiore Medical Center has opened a new state-of-the-art, full-service dental office in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. Conveniently located at 5500 Broadway at 230 St. in the Marble Hill section, this 13chair clinic offers a full range of services for general practice and pediatric dentistry. Services include fillings, crowns, root canals, dentures, partials and cosmetic dentistry as well as a full range of preventative care, which includes cleanings and digital x-rays. In addition to the full range

of clinical services for children, behavioral management and a child-friendly waiting room is also available. ‘We are proud to offer this convenient, full-service location for the residents of Riverdale and the Northwest Bronx,’ said Richard Kraut, DDS, Chairman of the Department of Dentistry. ‘Both adults and children in this community will now have full access to the comprehensive Montefiore dentistry services.’ The office is open Monday-Friday from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm. Discounted parking at $7 for the first three hours is available at the adjacent parking lot. Most insurance, including Medicaid, is accepted. For those

without insurance, for more complicated procedures, interest free financing is offered for a 24-month period. For more information or to make an appointment, call 347-577-4950.

Customers snapping up On The Go tags in first month of sales

A pilot program to sell E-ZPass On The Go tags in cash lanes is proving to be popular with customers at the Henry Hudson Bridge with nearly 2,500 tags sold in the first month. The program, which began at the Henry Hudson on June 27th, is an effort to make it easier for customers to open an E-ZPass account and experience the savings ($1.70 at most MTA crossings and $1.80 at the Henry Hudson) and ease of E-ZPass, which is good for customers, good for the environment and the most efficient way for the MTA to collect tolls and keep traffic moving. Here’s how it works: customers can buy an MTA On The Go tag at the Henry Hudson Bridge for $34, which includes $30 for the tag and a $4 toll for the current trip. The E-ZPass tag can then be used to pay up to $30 worth of tolls if linked to a credit card or $20 in tolls and a $10 tag deposit fee if it is not. Once used, customers have 48 hours to register it at: or

by calling the toll-free number 1-800333-TOLL. If the tag is not registered, it is deactivated. E-ZPass On The Go tags can also be purchased at 450 retail locations throughout New York City and Long Island, as well as New York City Transit’s four MetroCard vans. For more information on retail locations go to: onthego/retail-locations.html For location and times of the Metrocard vans, go to:

RCT Summer Lights presents Grease

If Grease is the word, then a Riverdale Children’s Theatre Summer Lights performance is the place to be on Sunday, August 14, when more than 30 talented Kingsbridge, Riverdale and Westchester youngsters aged 10 to 14 star in the popular musical, Grease: The School Version. With its unforgettable music and beloved characters, the well-known story of the Pink Ladies and the Burger Palace Boys will come to life in the auditorium of the Riverdale/Kingsbridge Academy at 660 West 237th Street, off Independence Avenue, on Sunday August 14, at 1p.m. and 5 p.m. All seats are $12.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, August 4, 2011

Montefiore establishes dental office in Riverdale

Thursday, August 4, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Charters and Corruption

The fact that there will be an empty space in Kingsbridge designed to house a charter school should send a message to anyone following the news: there will be a new charter school there. Throughout the Bronx and the city there are dozens of school operators looking to set up charters in any empty space. And you might not like some of the nutty characters in this drama. Some are doing it out of ideology, others, regrettably, have already turned charter schools into a big money enterprise, and others use charters to enhance their political power. An example of this is the political machine of Assemblywoman Carmen Arroyo. When it came to corruption in the old school board system, Arroyo, her family and supporters were right in the middle to pick off the jobs and booty – and the children of District 7 in the south Bronx were the big losers, habitually performing at the lowest academic levels in the city. When mayoral control arrived, the Arroyos didn’t miss a beat. They homed right in on the charter schools, opening two and putting Arroyo grandson Richard Izquierdo in charge. Izquierdo, a scholar in his own right (he’s still working on his associates degree from Hostos Community College), changed his name to Richard Izquierdo Arroyo. But why not? His aunt Maria Aguirre changed her name to Maria Del Carmen Arroyo before winning a city council seat. The three Arroyos may have a name in common, but that’s not all. They also are among the most often investigated politicians in a borough where a sign of political success is staying out of jail. By that measure Richard Izquierdo Arroyo failed that test, and was sent to prison on political corruption charges, charges that involved public monies that were allocated by his aunt and grandma. When the grandson went to jail, he was forced to give up his post as chairman of the board of the family’s new charter schools. But a suitable replacement was found. Irma Zardoya (yes, that Irma Zardoya) was enlisted to step in. And why not? Her sister, Evelyn Hey, is the principal of one of the Arroyo’s schools. Remember that name? She’s the former New York City principal, often written about as the temptress who seduced a school board member into making her a principal. Later on she was implicated in a massive test cheating scandal, but after languishing for years in a “rubber room,” the city was forced to drop the charges when the passage of time erased the reliable memories of student witnesses. How could the Arroyos pass up that prize? It should be noted that there was no Bronx politico that Irma Zardoya was closer to than former borough president Adolfo Carrion. In fact of all the politicians that have paraded past her, she opened her wallet with campaign contributions to Carrion most often, to the tune of $650. But she did more for Carrion, giving his children waivers that allowed them to escape the horrors of their neighborhood school, P.S. 86. And why shouldn’t she help her friend and place his kids in a school miles from their home? That school, if we recall correctly, was P.S. 24 in Riverdale. Presumably, Ms. Zardoya delivered her campaign cash to Carrion’s loyal campaign treasurer, Anthony Perez Cassino, the fellow Carrion hand-picked as chair of Community Board 8 after aggressively packing the board with pliable supporters. We can’t say what magic beside the Carrion connection allowed Cassino to gain influence over the parents association at P.S. 24, since Cassino’s kids enjoy the creature comforts of the ritzy Horace Mann School rather than the more mundane atmosphere of the public schools. Now Cassino’s chief lieutenant, a nut salesman named Clifford Stanton (who besides contributing to Cassino’s failed city council campaign also directed $9,668 to the campaigns of a fellow recently in the news named Anthony Weiner) is actively engaged in starting, of all things, a charter school, bringing our tale full circle. This effort, to create an “alternative” to the troubled Riverdale/Kingsbridge Academy, is based on not just a little fibbing and exaggeration. A true alternative is a school your child has a right to attend. Charter schools by law must choose their students by lottery. And in District 10, the largest in the city, the chance of a local child to Continued on Page 19

Parks Foundation offers free golf lessons Throughout August, young people can still take advantage of City Parks Foundation’s free golf lessons in parks throughout the Bronx. The second session of CityParks Golf presented by René Lacoste Foundation begins on August 1st and runs through August 26th at Pelham Bay Park and Haffen Park in the Bronx. CityParks Golf presented by René Lacoste Foundation makes it fun and easy for boys and girls, ages six to 16, to learn to play golf. The free golf lessons and use of equipment, held in public parks and on citywide courses, makes the sport of golf accessible to kids of all skill levels throughout New York City. The goal of the program is not only to teach the basics of the sport, but also to develop self-esteem, discipline and sportsmanship. The program gives kids a chance to improve their skills and ultimately try out for the CityParks Intermediate Program and Junior Golf Academy-specialized programs for dedicated young

golfers available at the CityParks Junior Golf Center, a facility in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn that also offers programming for new or first-time youth golfers from New York City. For more information and to sign up for CityParks Golf Program, please call (718) 760-6999 or visit CityParks Golf presented by René Lacoste Foundation is a part of City Parks Foundation’s 2011 Summer Sports Program, providing New York City children free tennis, golf, and track and field instruction including free use of equipment in over 45 locations citywide. Founded in 1989, City Parks Foundation (CPF) is the only independent, nonprofit organization to offer park programs throughout the five boroughs of New York City. CPF works in over 750 parks citywide, presenting a broad range of free arts, sports, and education programs, and empowering citizens to support their parks on a local level. CPF’s programs and community building initiatives reach more than 600,000 people each year,

ANDREW WOLF, Editor and Publisher

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contributing to the revitalization of neighborhoods throughout New York City. For more details, please visit Schedule in the Bronx: Pelham Bay Park, Field 4, Bruckner Blvd. & Middleton Rd., Tues & Thurs, 9:30 am-10:30 am (6-8 years), 10:30 am-12:00 pm (9-16 years) Haffen Park, Hammersley Ave. & Gunther Ave., Mon & Wed, 9:30 am-10:30 am (6-8 years), 10:30 am-12:00 pm (9-16 years)

Riv. Y offers ‘Everyone Has an Opinion’

The Simon Senior Center located at the Riverdale YM-YWHA 5625 Arlington Ave is pleased to announce that beginning in August it will be offering a new mini course entitled ‘EVERYONE HAS AN OPINION.’ The world is in a state of flux. This mini course will analyze all the major events and present obstacles of the day as well as their potential solutions. Course will be led by Aytan Adler, Therapeutic Recreation Specialist who has lectured throughout the greater metropolitan NY area. This course will follow lunch which is served at 12 noon before the class which will commence at 1pm. Suggested lunch is donation is $2.25 but there is no charge for the class. All seniors from Riverdale and the surrounding communities are welcome to attend. For further information please contact Vicki @ the Y at 718-5488200x224.

The Simon Senior Center located at the Riverdale YM-YWHA is pleased to announce an Indian summer getaway to Newport, Rhode Island and New Haven from Monday, September 12th- Wednesday, September14th. This trip has something for everyone.-sightseeing, shopping, gambling, relaxation, wine tasting and much more. Enter a world of exceptional elegance and inspiration in architecture, art, interior design and landscapes. Explore 250 years of American history at properties located on lush acres of gardens and parks. Join us for a journey back in time at America’s houses and museums including The Breakers (Vanderbilt), Marble House (Vanderbilt), and Rosecliff in Newport. Also visit the oldest physical synagogue building in the US, The Touro Synagogue. Visit the mansions of Tour of Newport vineyards and wineries and evening fun at the Newport Grand Casino. The trip will also include a stop in New Haven at the New Haven Museum to see the special exhibit ‘The Hill’ New Haven’s first suburban community describing the different ethnic groups who settled in New Haven. The Cost: $495 doubles after August 10th $515 - $560 singles after August 10th $580 which includes accommodations at the Ramada Inn, a deluxe motor coach bus, seven kosher meals and snacks, all sightseeing and gratuities. Bus leaves the Y at 9:15am and 9/12 returns approximately at 6:00pm. For further information please call the Y at 718-548-8200x223 or 230.

mott. A nutritious kosher lunch will be served at 12:15 PM followed by the concert. Refreshments will be served. Voluntary donation is $3.00 for lunch and event. For more information and reservations, call the center office at 718-549-4700. Note: Change from Kittay House Chorus to pop/folk singer/guitarist. In celebration of Labor Day, the Roosevelt Dime Band will perform on Wed. Aug. 31st at 1:00 PM. Roosevelt Dime, a five-piece, Brooklyn -based band blends elements of acoustic jug-band blues, classic Motown soul and modern alt-country to create an original sound best described

Federation of NY and by special grants from Council Member Oliver Koppell and other NYS representatives.

Toastmasters Club invites new members

Bronx Toastmasters Club of Riverdale invites new members to join us at our free meeting on August 10th at 7:30 pm 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. or 718-796-6671.



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JASA announces upcoming activities

Annabella Gonzalez Dance Theater will present a modern dance demonstration on Wed. Aug. 10th at 1:00 PM. Annabella Gonzalez Dance Theater is the leading modern dance company in NYC headed by a Mexican-born American. AGDT has appeared on many stages, including Joseph Papp’s Latin Festival, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors and offered educational demonstrations in the Dominican Republic and South America. A nutritious kosher lunch will be served at 12:15 PM followed by the dance presentation. Voluntary donation for lunch and event is $3.00. For more information and reservations, call the center office at 718-549-4700. Rob McDermott, Pop and Folk Singer/ guitarist will perform at JASA Van Cortlandt Senior Center on Wed. Aug. 24th at 1:00 PM. Insert some bio info re: Rob McDer-

Charters and corruption Continued from Page 18 “win” the lottery will be no better than one in twenty, and probably worse. Not much of an alternative. So what is the real agenda? What are the connections? Where does the road fade and then reappear? And do we want politicos of questionable character influencing the education of children? The promise of charters must not be further compromised by the stench of corruption.

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19 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, August 4, 2011

Simon Senior Center offers Indian summer getaway

as King’s County Steamboat Soul. The band’s nontraditional lineup - consisting of banjo, electric or washtub bass, percussion, trumpet/cornet and woodwinds - and seamless mixture of musical genres has been described as “a perpetual crowd-pleaser” by the New York Times. A festive kosher lunch will be served at 12:15 PM. Voluntary donation is $3.00 for lunch and entertainment. For more information and reservations, call the center office at 718-549-4700. *Note: JASA Van Cortlandt Sr. Center offers an alternative entrée daily. We are located in the Van Cortlandt Jewish Center at 3880 Sedgwick Ave. off of Van Cortlandt Ave. West on the Bronx #1 or #10 bus routes. For more information, please call the center office at 718-549-4700. JASA Van Cortlandt Senior Center is funded by NYC Dept. for the Aging, UJA-

Thursday, August 4, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Riverdale Review, August 4, 2011  

Weekly newspaper published in Riverdale, NY 10471