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Riverdale’s ONLY Locally Owned Newspaper!

Volume XIX • Number 33 • August 30 - September 5, 2012 •


Armory rink could bring world-class skating minutes away

Architect’s rendering of the proposed Kingsbridge National Ice Center to be located at the Kingsbridge Armory. EDC will select a winning proposal at the end of this year. By MIAWLING LAM The historic Kingsbridge Armory should be transformed into a $275 million state-of-the-art ice sports center, according to a slew of Bronx elected officials and union leaders. Flanked by New York Rangers great Mark Messier and Olympic gold medalist Sarah Hughes, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. threw his support behind the Kingsbridge National Ice Center proposal during a news conference last Thursday. Diaz said the plan, which includes nine regulation-size hockey rinks and a 5,000-seat arena, would put The Bronx at the forefront of ice sports for the entire region. “I think this is the best proposal for the neighborhood, the best proposal for The Bronx and the best proposal for New York City,” he said. “This project will also bring thousands of new visitors to The Bronx—visitors that will then patronize all of our local neighborhood businesses as well as restaurants and other tourist attractions, helping them flourish rather than compete with them.”

The much-publicized plan also includes 50,000 square feet of community space and an education program modeled after the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation in Philadelphia. Officials estimate the project will create 1,800 construction jobs and around 200 permanent jobs—each one of them paying a living wage of at least $10 an hour with benefits or $11.50 an hour without benefits. The New York City Economic Development Corporation has received a total of six proposals and has shortlisted two finalists, Diaz said. City officials are expected to announce a winner by the end of the year. The other front-runner is a $100-million Chelsea Market-style retail development featuring a 4D cinema complex and the world’s tallest rock-climbing wall. The plan, dubbed Mercado Mirabo and proposed by Youngwoo & Associates, would also include a Crunch gym, a youth basketball program and two 40,000 square feet of retail space for local businesses and artists. Around 1,200 jobs would be created from the Mercado Mirabo development, prompting some to criticize Diaz

for stifling job creation. However, Diaz remains resolute in his support for KNIC. “I think the (Mercado Mirabo) proposal is good, but this is better,” Diaz said, citing KNIC’s commitment to paying a living wage and to including an academic component as the determining factors in his decision. New York Rangers legend Mark Messier, who is a partner in the KNIC project, said a youth skating initiative would provide Bronx children with free ice-time skates and instruction. “The Kingsbridge National Ice Center will open up a new world of possibilities for future generations of young people in The Bronx,” he said. Olympic gold medal figure skater Sarah Hughes also spoke of the ripple effect that an ice center could have on the immediate community and on the entire New York region. “This is the beginning of something awesome,” she said. “I think it’s about time that this borough has a place for kids who have Olympic dreams on the ice.” Continued on Page 2

Thursday, August 30, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Bronx politicians endorse armory skate rink plan Continued from Page 1 Among the elected officials who attended the news conference to endorse the plan were Councilman G. Oliver Koppell, state Senator Gustavo Rivera and Assemblyman Jose Rivera. Councilman Fernando Cabrera, whose district encompasses the armory, was tellingly absent. President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union Stuart Appelbaum said the proposal would create well-paying jobs and would work in tandem, rather than compete, with existing merchants. “(This) proposal proves that you can have responsible development in The

Bronx which provides living-wage jobs for New Yorkers and builds stronger communities,” he said. “It shows that when we work together there are real solutions, creative solutions, to the challenges of building in this city in a way that benefits everyone.” In contrast, Kingsbridge Heights Neighborhood Improvement Association vice-president Elizabeth Thompson said she was disappointed that elected officials did not consult with local residents. “Nobody approached us. I feel like I’m being pushed out,” she said, believing that a school should be built at the armory instead. “We’re right here, and we want to

KNIC partners Mark Messier and Sarah Hughes with Bronx ice skater Natalia Rodriguez and Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr.

know, hey, how do we fit into this?” Plans to breathe new life into the historic 575,000-square-foot northwest Bronx structure were resurrected when Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a new request for proposals during his State of the City address earlier this year. Redevelopment plans stalled in 2009 after the City Council spectacularly voted down a $310 million proposal by The Related Companies over concerns about wages. Under the Related plan, the imposing redbrick facility would have been transformed into a large shopping mall containing a department store, dozens of shops and a movie theater. Pelham Bay resident Nadine Gonzalez urged the city to select the KNIC proposal

so her daughter, Natalia Rodriguez, could pursue her ice dreams. The Bronx mom said she spends at least six hours each week driving Natalia, 9, to the Westchester Skating Academy in Elmsford to hone her skills. “It’ll be 15 minutes and they’re supposed to have discounts for Bronx residents, and so it’s going to be affordable,” she said. “Really, that’s the biggest challenge—the cost and the expense of having to actually travel.” Gonzalez also said being able to see the armory converted into an ice-skating rink would have a personal significance. “My parents worked at the National Guard, and this is where they met 36 years ago,” she said. “What would be more wonderful than to actually see their granddaughter skate at the place where they met?”

PS 24 music grads among prestigious award winners

At CSAIR, you'll find more than a seat...

“Studying music makes them more open to different things,” she said. Katherine did “perfect in both English and math” and “terrific in the state tests,” all while learning the clarinet. Winners included four pianists, two clarinetists, two violinists, two guitarists, and one each on flute, voice and marimba. In all, 17 teachers nominated 28 students. The scholarship endowment is named in memory of David Froehlich, a music lover who frequented the Riverdale Y. “We were thrilled at the response and at the enthusiasm of the students who applied,” Froehlich’s mother, Liliane Kates, said in a statement. “We can’t thank the teachers enough for taking the time to put their students forward for the scholarships.”

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sensitivity and “charisma.” “You generally get the message in the first three minutes,” he said, so auditionees are asked to prepare a three-minute performance. “The award is to encourage someone to continue music study—it’s a pat on the back,” Sher said. This year’s scholarships ranged from $100 to $300 per student. Eight-year-old Ming-Xing Hawkins, who’s now learning flute as well as piano, impressed the judges with a Bach piano piece. Before she started weekly lessons at the Y’s music school with Beulah Cox, Ming-Xing learned some fundamentals in classes at P.S. 24 and at the Riverdale Community Center. She also developed her singing, dancing and acting skills with the Riverdale Rising Stars Jr. and Riverdale Children’s Theatre. Exposure to the arts was more than just fun, according to her father, Frederick Hawkins. “She learned confidence and discipline, other than just learning music.” Ming-Xing will be a third-grader at St. Gabriel’s this fall. Ten-year-old Katherine Zhou won the judges’ hearts with her rendition of Edward MacDowell’s “To a Wild Rose” arranged for clarinet. She discovered the instrument not even a year ago in a fourth-grade class taught by music teacher Maryellen Shepley at P.S. 24. “The program is wonderful—they introduced all the instruments to the students,” said Jing Gao, Katherine’s mother, who thinks that learning about music in school has far-reaching benefits for students.


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...You will find your home. Traditional and Innovative. Spiritual and Intellectual. Conservative and Egalitarian. CSAIR offers spiritually uplifting and intellectually stimulating programs for the High Holidays and year-round for children, 'tweens, teens, and adults. Whether you want a traditional service, or a smaller, more intimate lay-led setting, we invite you to explore our community.

Let CSAIR welcome you! For information call Executive Director Eric Nussbaum at 718-543-8400 or visit our web site at Barry Dov Katz, Rabbi Elizabeth Stevens, Cantor Mason Voit, Director of Education and Jewish Family Life

475 West 250th Street, Bronx, NY 10471

269 W. 231st St. Bronx, NY 10463

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, August 30, 2012

By PAULETTE SCHNEIDER Natural talent and diligent practice earned 13 local youngsters a David Froehlich Music Scholarship last month. The annual scholarship endowment, managed by the Riverdale YM-YWHA’s Rhoda Grundman Music School, promotes continued study by awarding applicants who show the most potential. Winners are selected on the basis of a brief audition. Eligible students are between eight and 15 years old and either live or attend school in Riverdale. Some winners — four this year — have been students at P.S. 24, where they flourished in a highly-regarded music program that may be cut back or eliminated under a recently announced restructuring by principal Donna Connelly. This year’s gifted Riverdalians are Eve Begelman, Montynal Collings, Amelia Franchin, Ming-Xing Hawkins, Liana Moroshko, Judy Liang, Isabel Rodriguez, Benjamin Saer, Ben Wasserburg, Wendy Yuan Zhang and Katherine Zhou. Winners Vedike Gopal and Nathaniel Uberuaga attend Ethical Culture Fieldston School. Applicants are recommended by their teachers. Some study with a private teacher outside of school, but others rely on school music teachers to find a suitable instrument and get them started on lessons. The Y notifies area schools and private teachers about the spring auditions. According to Grundman Music School director Allen Sher, scholarship winners don’t need to be highly accomplished performers. What they do need is musical


Thursday, August 30, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Around the schools... Manhattan College

The college is set to receive a donation of nearly $800,000 from the Brothers of the Christian Schools, District of Eastern North America. The donation will benefit the Christian Brothers Scholarships for economically disadvantaged students as well as the Brother Thomas J. Scanlan, FSC, Endowment for Lasallian Heritage, a fund used to support faculty and staff professional development and activities. The gift represents half the profit from the sale of two residential properties formerly owned by the Christian Brothers on Tibbett Avenue. “The college is grateful for the generous gift, which will contribute significantly to our core mission as a Lasallian college, providing direct assistance to students in need and strengthening faculty and staff development programs,” college president Dr. Brennan O’Donnell said.

College of Mount Saint Vincent

Undergraduate information sessions and campus tours are scheduled for 11 a.m. to noon on Sunday, September 30; Monday, October 8; Sunday, November 11; and Sunday, December 2. To register for a session, visit

College of New Rochelle

The New York State Higher Education Services Corporation has awarded the college a $250,000 College Access Challenge grant to be used by the School of New Resources as a source of scholarships for qualified adult learners who lack a high school diploma or GED but are seeking access to postsecondary education. The grant will enable the college to select qualified and motivated students from The Bronx for placement in a specially tailored College Access Program. Congress has recently tightened the eligibility criteria for federal financial aid in the form of Pell grants, preventing those without a high school diploma or GED from qualifying for assistance. The College Access Challenge scholarships will enable a limited number of these students to become qualified. The CAC scholarship program is a national initiative funded by the United States Department of Education to enable economically disadvantaged students to gain access to a college education. Grants are awarded to institutions that propose innovative solutions to problems of access for poor,

historically underrepresented populations. The School of New Resources offers a baccalaureate liberal arts degree program for adults on its six campus locations, including Co-op City and the South Bronx as well as Brooklyn, New Rochelle, Harlem and at DC-37 Union Headquarters in Manhattan. Flexible class schedules allow students to take morning, evening and weekend classes. According to U.S. Census Bureau statistics, the average annual salary for those with a bachelor’s degree is $51,206, compared with $27,915 a year for those with only a high school education. Over the course of a lifetime, the difference in earnings could exceed $1 million. “The School of New Resources has been actively exploring innovative ways in which it can keep the door to post-secondary education open for our students,” college president Judith Huntington said. “This important grant allows us to continue our mission of providing access to higher education for those adults who have the ability to gain, but not yet the opportunity to achieve an advanced degree. That is our challenge. This is our mission.” The Co-op City Campus provides convenient access for diverse communities in The Bronx, with a learning environment that emphasizes user-friendly integrated technologies, including computer-assisted classrooms and labs, interactive teleconference and distance learning capabilities, a technology-based learning skills center, a photography studio and lab, and an online reference library.

Local Scholars

Binghamton University in Binghamton, New York, has announced that the following students were recently awarded degrees: Alessandra Innocenza Grumm, Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (traditional); Jason Michael Bruck, Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (traditional) and a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy, politics and law; Munan Zhao, Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (traditional); Shamsi Fani, Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (baccalaureate); Claribel Ramirez, Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology; Hillel E. Sussman, Bachelor of Arts degree in history; Matthew J. Schwartz, Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy, politics and law; Faina Evgenia Leyvi, Bachelor of Science degree in accounting, with honors. Binghamton University is one of the four university centers of the State University of New York.

MARSHA DANE STERN HEBREW SCHOOL Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale 475 West 250 Street, Bronx, New York 10471 Tel: 718.543.8400 � Fax: 718.543.3110 Email: For more information visit

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Call to learn about our Shabbat and holiday youth and family programs!

By MIAWLING LAM A man who stole a cab from a Yonkers gas station and drove it across the city line had his joy ride cut short when he crashed into a parked car in Riverdale. Yonkers police confirmed Steven Rukaj, 28, was arrested and charged with three offenses after he struck a vehicle in North Riverdale just after 11 p.m. on Sunday, August 19. Yonkers Detective Lieutenant Patrick McCormack said the suspect drove off with the Crown Victoria after its 42year-old male driver took a break at the Mobil gas station at 838 Kimball Avenue in Yonkers. The driver had left the keys on the passenger seat. “Units canvassed the area for the vehicle, but it was not located,” Detective Lt. McCormack told the Riverdale Review. “The vehicle’s information was transmitted over the hotline which subsequently notifies area law enforcement agencies that the vehicle was reported stolen.” Authorities allege the suspect then crossed the city line, lost control of the taxi and hit a parked car in The Bronx—alerting Yonkers police of his whereabouts. Community affairs officer at the 50th Precinct Detective Luis Rodriguez said the hapless man was traveling westbound on West 259th Street when he collided into a parked car and an adjacent wall at Netherland Avenue. Detective Rodriguez said the suspect jumped out of the car and fled on foot along Netherland Avenue but denied reports that the man was running naked along the Major Deegan Expressway. Rukaj was eventually arrested while walking along Yonkers Avenue at Central Park Avenue around 1 a.m. on Monday,

August 20. He was later charged with grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property and unauthorized use of a vehicle. Detective Lt. McCormack said no further details could be released because the investigation was ongoing.

Cablevision credit

By MIAWLING LAM Thousands of Cablevision customers will be credited a day’s service following last week’s widespread Internet and phone network outage. The company issued a groveling apology to its Optimum Online and Optimum Voice customers on Wednesday, August 22 and blamed the service disruption on “multiple hardware failures.” “We want to apologize for lost Internet and phone service yesterday. We know you may have been quite frustrated because of the outage, which is the last thing you’d want, so again, we’re very sorry,” the company wrote in an email to its customers. “We have now expanded our hardware redundancy to avoid this type of outage in the future.” Cablevision officials said customers would be issued with a credit for a day’s service—a refund that will be reflected on their upcoming monthly statement. As the Riverdale Review reported last week, thousands of Cablevision customers were left without Internet and phone service for more than 12 hours on Tuesday, August 21. The service interruption reportedly affected customers as far away as Connecticut and Westchester and lasted from around 3 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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5 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, August 30, 2012

Yonkers man crashes cab in Riverdale

Thursday, August 30, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Program on meditation and spirituality

This Labor Day Weekend, His Holiness Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj will be visiting our area, holding public talks, meditation sittings, and teaching a simple, effective method of meditation that leads to profound personal transformation. On Friday, August 31 at 8:00 pm, Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj will present a talk on meditation and spirituality in the Hindi Language entitled: Discover True Treasures through Meditation. On Sunday, September 2, at 3:00 pm he will present a program in English entitled Meditation: Journey to Realms of Light. Both of these programs will be at the Science of Spirituality Meditation Center in Amityville, 79 County Line Road. On Saturday, September 1 at 6:00 pm, Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj will offer a public talk in English with Spanish translation entitled: Key to Spiritual Wealth and Happiness. This talk will take place at The United Palace Theater, 4140 Broadway (at 175th St.) in Washington Heights. All of these programs are free and everyone is welcome. People are expected to travel to the Center from all over the world for the Labor Day weekend. When you ask them why, they all tell the same storyæhow much easier it is to meditate in Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj’s presence and how uplifted and peaceful they feel. The public is invited to join Sant

Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj at the Science of Spirituality Meditation Center, 79 County Line Road, Amityville 11701 on August 31 & September 2; as well as the For more information, call 631.822.7979;

Riverdale Y to hold auditions for ‘Oklahoma’

Auditions for our Riverdale Rising Stars, Jr. production of Oklahoma will be held Wednesday, September 5 from 4:00-6:00pm and Thursday, September 6 from 4:30-6:30pm. Oklahoma is a classic Rodgers & Hammerstein musical, complete with colorful characters, lively music and all styles of dance. Junior Rising Stars is open to children ages 7 to 11. Participation is by audition only. In the event that we have too many children audition, we will offer a second opportunity for a production for the children. It will be a published show that is in more of a revue format (e.g. How To Eat Like A Child or The People Garden, etc.) That show is yet to be determined. Please note that show dates for Oklahoma are: December 8, 9, 13, 15 & 16 Rehearsals are held every Sunday from 12:00-3:00pm. *If there is a second production, this show will also rehearse on Sunday’s from 1:00-3:00pm. Auditions for the Riverdale Rep fall production will be held on Tuesday, September 4 from 7:00-9:30pm and Wednesday,

September 5 from 7:00-9:00pm. The show will be either Sondheim’s award-winning musical, Company or the charming, lesser-known musical My Favorite Year, based on the movie of the same name which starred Peter O’Toole. Please bring a short song of your choice. Please bring accompaniment cd with you (many karaoke songs are available on itunes. com). Riverdale Rep is open to those 18 and older with varied backgrounds who love to perform! Participation is by audition only. Please note that show dates for Riverdale Rep are: November 10, 11, 14, 15, 17 & 18.

JASA announces upcoming activities

JASA Van Cortlandt Senior Center Fall Bazaar will be held on Tues. Sept. 4th through Fri. Sept. 7th from 9:00 AM until 3:00 PM. WellCare will present a Flower Arranging workshop on Thurs. Sept. 6th at 1:00 PM. Narrative Portrait class with Michael Ferris Jr. will resume on Monday, Sept. 10th at 1:00 PM. Participants learn to create a portrait utilizing drawing, ink and collage based on life experience. No previous art experience is necessary. Join us for a delightful program of classical music by Menorah Winston, soprano and Charles Abicasis, tenor on Wed. Sept. 12th at 1:00 PM. Menorah Winston has had a distinguished career in her native Romania with the opera companies of Bucharest, Brasov, Iasi and Constanta. She has performed throughout Israel with shows in Haifa, Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem. In the United States, she has given concerts in Rochester, Philadelphia, Fort Lauderdale, Boston and New York. Inna Leytush will accompany Ms. Winston and Mr. Abicassis. A kosher catered lunch of roasted turkey breast, baked yams and garden salad will be served at 12:15 PM. Please reserve by Thurs. Sept. 6th for lunch on Sept. 12th. Recommended senior donation for lunch is $2.00 and $1.00 for the event. For more information and meal reservations, call the center office at 718-549-4700 one week in advance. On Sunday Sept. 23rd, David Glukh on trumpet and accordionist Ismael Butera, will perform klezmer and pop musical

selections from around the world at 1:00 PM. David Glukh has been leading an active performance schedule since graduating from The Juilliard School in 2000. He was bandleader of Dallas Brass, composer and soloist of David Glukh International Ensemble, Manhattan Soloists and Wholly Brass in addition to solo engagements around the world. A delicious kosher lunch will be served at 1:00 PM. Please reserve for the meal by Thurs. Sept. 20th. Recommended senior donation is $2.00 for lunch and $2.00 for the event. For more information and meal reservations, call the center office at 718-549-4700 one week in advance. 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, UJAFederation of NY and by special grants from Council Member Oliver Koppell and other NYS representatives.

HIR Choir invites new members

The Hebrew Institute of Riverdale Community Choir will begin its second decade of joyous singing this fall. Rehearsals are on Wednesday evenings in the downstairs social hall at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, 3700 Henry Hudson Parkway. Potential new members are invited to the first rehearsal on Wednesday, September 5, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Each semester culminates with a series of local concerts-performances for the Chanukah season are already scheduled for December. Repertoire generally includes works in Hebrew, Yiddish, English and Ladino, with transliteration for all non-English texts. Music-reading ability is helpful, but all singers are provided with recordings of their individual vocal parts. If you love Jewish music and can sing in harmony with an ensemble, please join us. For more information, contact choir director Jonathan Dzik at or 718-549-8520.

Gotham Driving School sponsors paddleball tourney

On August 19th Gotham Driving School sponsored a paddleball tournament at Van Cortlandt Park. It was a great event, 25 teams approximately 50 participants played in the tournament. Before the first match an award ceremony took place and Gotham was presented with a plaque in honor of being the sponsor.

Kingsbridge Center of Israel, located at 3115 Corlear Avenue (near West 231st Street), Bronx, NY 10463, will have Rosh Hashanah services on Sunday evening, Sept. 16; Monday, Sept. 17; and Tuesday, Sept. 18. Yom Kippur services will be on Tuesday evening, Sept. 25; and Wednesday, Sept. 26. Services will be conducted by Rabbi Davidi Jo. High Holiday Cantor is Chaim Dubin. Tickets: members $150; nonmembers $185. For more information, call 718-5481678.

Brandeis group to start new season

The Riverdale Chapter of the Brandeis National Committee cordially invites its members and friends to its first meeting of the new year on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 12:30P.M. in Riverdale Temple, West 246 Street and Independence Avenue. The annual “Study Group Sampler” will be presented during which the Study Group Program will be discussed and its leaders will describe their courses which are open to all members. Previous members are asked bring their copies of the “Sampler” and copies will be available to new members. The Study Group Program is a continu-

ing education experience based on syllabi and briefs prepared by Brandeis University faculty ad by members of the local chapter who research areas of special interest. Also highlighted will be Book Fund, Library Work Scholar Fund, Sustaining the Mind Campaign, and Planned Giving, all projects supported by the chapter. Annual dues are $60.00. An additional registration fee of $35.00 entitles paid up members to participate in any or all of the Study Groups with no further charge. Coffee and cake will be served. A “Boutique by Pearl, Carol and Jessie” will be displayed for sale.

Art auction and lecture at the Riverdale Y

The community is invited to a lecture and presentation by Shani Rozanes, Special Projects Coordinator at the Consulate General of Israel, on Sunday, Sept. 9, from 4 to 8 p.m., at the Riverdale YM-YWHA, 5625 Arlington Avenue. A wine and cheese reception and art auction will follow. Admission: $20*. Tickets available at the door or online. Proceeds will benefit the Riverdale Y. Will apply to any art that is purchased. Art Exhibition, 4-4:30 p.m.; Lecture and Q&A, 4:30-5:30 p.m.; Wine and Cheese Reception, 5:30-6:30 p.m.; Art Auction, 6:30-8 p.m. Local participating artists: Barry Bridgwood, Beverly Cataldo, James Love Corn-

well IV, Luis Fonseca, Julie Gallanty, Elaine Galen, Cynthia Gubish, Daniel Hauben, Ruth Hammer, Paul Hertz, Noelle Knight, Eileen McManus, Julie Ades Richter, Nina Seigenfeld, Gary Stein, Stephanie Stein, Erika Velazquez You can bid on a special commissioned art offer by renowned artist, Peter Max This program is generously funded by the Hertz Family Trust.

Shaarei Shalom’s Selichot Program and Service

On Saturday evening, September 8, beginning at 8:00 p.m., Congregation Shaarei Shalom will celebrate Selichot in its sanctuary located at 5919 Riverdale Avenue. The prayers and melodies of Selichot serve to help prepare worshippers for the spiritual journey that lies ahead with the arrival of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The evening will begin with a thoughtful discussion led by Rabbi Steven D. Burton of Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz’ essay on Sin from his book The Strife of the Spirit. Its service of Selichot prayers and beautiful music will begin at 9:45 pm led by Rabbi Burton and Cantor Ronald J. Broden with musical accompaniment by pianist Walter Winterfeldt. This is a service of introspective and penitential prayers infused with the music of the High Holy Days. The community is warmly invited to join the congregation for this special evening.

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.

7 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, August 30, 2012

High Holiday Services at Kingsbridge Center of Israel

Congregation Shaarei Shalom is a Reform Jewish synagogue. It offers a contemporary and participatory worship experience and prides itself on its inclusiveness of all members of the Riverdale community, regardless of marital status, sexual orientation, race, age, or creed. It is dedicated to embracing the diversity within the Reform Jewish movement. To learn more about the congregation, weekly Shabbat services, membership, its religious school, High Holy Days observances and tickets, and its many program offerings, please call (718) 796-0305 or e-mail: shaareishalomriverdale@gmail. com or visit its website at

Thursday, August 30, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Thursday, August 30 Kingsbridge

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


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


INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING 2 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Presley and Melody. An interactive musical concert for children of all ages. Join us for a celebration for the Summer Reading 2012 program! Participants may come to pick up certificates and surprises! Participants may only attend the celebration at the library location where they are registered. For more information, call 718-548-5656.

Van Cortlandt

Wii TIME 3 p.m. Van Cortlandt Branch Library 3874 Sedgwick Avenue Join us @ the Van Cortlandt Library for afternoons of fun and games. (Bowling, Baseball, Tennis). For ages 5 to 12 years. For more information, call 718-543-5150.

Spuyten Duyvil

BEAUTIFUL WORDS 3 p.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 West 235th Street Swirls and Scrolls come to life as you learn to draw your own calligraphy. Practice your brush strokes and make your words into art. For ages 12 to 18 years old. For more information, call 718-796-1202.

Friday, August 31 Van Cortlandt

FRIDAY MOVIES 1:30 p.m. Van Cortlandt Branch Library 3874 Sedgwick Avenue Friday Afternoon at the Movies at the Van Cortlandt Library: August 31st: Me and Orson Welles. A classic Fleischer Brothers Superman cartoon will be shown before the movie. For more information, call 718-543-5150.


TEEN READING CLUB 4 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Celebrate the grand finale of the teen summer reading club with friends, fun, food, and fabulous prizes! This special program is open to everyone who participated in the 2012 teen summer reading club. For ages 13 to 18 years. For more information, call 718-548-5656.

Tuesday, September 4 Riverdale

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


SCRABBLE 2 p.m. Riverdale Branch Library 5540 Mosholu Avenue If words work you up and crossword puzzles keep you going, come to Riverdale and share your passion with friends every Tuesday afternoon for a lively game of Scrabble. Pre-registration required. For more information, call 718-549-1212.

Wednesday, September 5 Riverdale TAI CHI

10 a.m. Riverdale Branch Library 5540 Mosholu Avenue This tai chi (Sun Style) includes agile steps and exercises that may improve mobility, breathing and relaxation. Tai chi has been show to reduce pain and stiffness, increase flexibility, enhance muscle strength, improve concentration and memory, and help people cope with stress and depression. For more information, call 718-549-1212.


GAME ON 1:30 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Got the gaming moves? Show off your skills with the controller and challenge your friends and neighbors to a game of Wii Bowling in the library. For more information, call 718-548-5656.

Thursday, September 6 Kingsbridge

BABY LAPSIT 10:30 a.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Stories, songs, fingerplays, puppets and flannelboard illustrations for babies birth-18 months for parents/caregivers. For more information, call 718-548-5656.


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


BILINGUAL BIRDIES 11:30 a.m. Riverdale Branch Library 5540 Mosholu Avenue A foreign language (Hebrew) and live music program for children ages newborn to five years old with parent/caregiver. The bilingual musicians teach through live music, movement, puppetry and games. Each session ends with a lively bubble dance party! Children learn basic vocabulary and short phrases while playing with instruments and fun props. For more information, call 718-549-1212.


WRITER’S CIRCLE 1 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Are you an aspiring writer? Join our writer’s group to share your work and get feedback from other members. All types of writing are welcome, whether it’s fiction, memoir, poetry, or other! For more information, call 718-548-5656.

Friday, September 7 Kingsbridge

STAY WELL EXERCISE 10 a.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Stay Well volunteers certified by the NYC’s Department for the Aging will lead participants in a well-balanced series of exercises for seniors of all ability levels. Please wear loose comfortable clothing. Exercise equipment will be provided. Those participating in the exercises must sign an activity release form. Audience: Adults, 50+. For info, call 718-548-5656.


TEEN ADVISORY GROUP 4 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street What’s happening in your world? What’s the hottest book, movie, or cd right now? What programs does the library need? Let us know, and you can earn community service credit for your school. For ages 13 to 18 years. For more information, call 718-548-5656.

Saturday, September 8 Kingsbridge

READING HOUR 1 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Youngsters 3-12 years old are invited. Readers will be grouped by skill level and encouraged to read, helped with pronunciation and word understanding. There is no charge for participation. For info, contact Karen Pesce at 718-549-4469.

Church closes on $2.65M property

Neumann-Goldman Post 69 & Ladies Auxiliary

Jewish War Veterans: All veterans are welcome to participate in the only active Jewish War Veterans post in the Kingsbridge/ Riverdale area. Neumann - Goldman Post 69 & Ladies Auxiliary regularly meets on the third Sunday of each month at the James J. Peters V A Medical Center located at 130 Kingsbridge Road at 10 a.m., in room 3D22, on the third floor of the medical center. The next meeting will be held on Sunday, September 16. Registration is not required and members of other posts are welcome or if your original post no longer exists. With advance notice, transportation can be arranged. Services are held in a 100-year old chapel on the medical center’s grounds. For additional information, call Mel Saks, Post Commander at 914-337-0277, or Herb Barrett at 718-548-6832.

healthy, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they expand into another building,” he said, adding that Kingsbridge was also enjoying a transformation of its own. Thanks to three major multimilliondollar projects—the $80 million development of the former Stella D’oro cookie factory, the $54 million project at the corner of West 230th Street and Broadway and the long-awaited development of the Kingsbridge Armory—buyers were keeping a close eye on the neighborhood, Brumback said. “The northwest Bronx is pretty hot right now,” he said. “There’s a half billion dollars, give or take, coming into a relatively contained area, so knock on wood, you’re going to see commercial development right up and down Broadway.”






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The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, August 30, 2012

By MIAWLING LAM The Words of Life Christian Center in Kingsbridge has finally managed to close on its purchase of a 20,000-squarefoot building, thanks to a little divine intervention. The church officially purchased the two-story property, located at 5905 Broadway between West 240th and West 242nd streets, for $2.65 million in June. However, news of the all-cash transaction surfaced only two weeks ago. Massey Knakel sales director Karl Brumback said both parties entered into a rent-to-own deal in 2008 but were unable to close on the deal until this year. He attributed the delay to the complicated nature of church financing, the need to issue bonds and the challenging economic climate. “It took them a little longer than they hoped,” he told the Riverdale Review on Monday. “It was supposed to take two and a half to three years, but because of the financial crunch, it took four years.” With a coveted Broadway frontage, the sprawling property has witnessed its fair share of makeovers. Brumback said that in the 1930s, the building was a parking garage “back when you couldn’t park on the street on weekends.” It was reincarnated into a bowling alley in the 1950s before its transformation into Fieldston Billiards, one of the nation’s largest pool halls. But when the sport’s popularity dwindled and the city’s smoking ban took hold, owner Gregory Brust closed the business, and the property was converted into its current use as a church. “It’s not every day you sell a building that has had so many different uses,” Brumback said. “We were able to negotiate a lease/purchase agreement that worked for both the owner and the church. Both parties are pleased to complete the transaction.” According to the New York Times, the Words of Life Christian Center is a nondenominational liberal version of Pentecostalism and has a devout following among former Baptists, Catholics and Pentecostals. As of press time, a message left with the church’s pastor, Reverend Ben Paz, was not returned. Brumback said the center boasts a sizeable congregation. “Membership is up and the church is


Thursday, August 30, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


City begins redistricting process By MIAWLING LAM Bronx residents have urged the New York City Districting Commission to preserve the diversity and identity of the borough’s neighborhoods as the city’s electoral lines are redrawn. Around 50 people who showed up at Lehman College last Thursday to oppose gerrymandered City Council district lines called on the commission to create boundaries that accurately reflect changes in the borough’s demographics. Districting Commission chairman Benito Romano kicked off proceedings by remarking upon the modest attendance. Of the 50 attendees, just 11 had signed up to deliver testimony. Romano said while staff conducted extensive outreach across various media, including Facebook and Twitter, it was apparent more work was needed. “From the look of this room, we have more work to do…,” he said. “As we go forward in this process, we will seek other additional ways to maximize community participation.” One of the biggest concerns was the rumored move to split City Council District 16, which encompasses Morrisania, Highbridge and the South Bronx, to accommodate a growing Hispanic community. Executive director of the Black United Leadership of the Bronx Bernel-Arthur Richardson said it would be a tragedy if the district were to be chopped up and divided. “It is in our interests—the AfricanAmerican community—to maintain that district,” he said. “It’s a travesty that for all this time we have struggled to maintain that district. We have worked hard to maintain that district, and now we are concerned that that may not occur.” Bronx resident Cheryl Simmons echoed the sentiment and said it was important to avoid disenfranchising African-Americans. “Though we recognize the growth and the various ethnicities that have relocated to our borough, it is extremely important that the interests of the African-American community within Bronx County be preserved,” she said. “It would be a disservice to all those who have struggled over the course of many years to establish an identity within this borough for this 16th District to be eradicated, broken up and divided in a way that we no longer exist. And that’s what we’re talking about here.” Boundaries for the 51 City Council districts are redrawn every 10 years in order to reflect shifts in population and demographics. According to the last census data, The Bronx gained 75,595 residents in the past decade, with the southern portion of the borough recording the largest population increases. City Council District 16 gained 17,131 people, while City Council District 17, which encompasses Mott Haven and Melrose, recorded a population bump of 20,437 residents. City Council District 14, which covers Kingsbridge Heights and Fordham, was the only Bronx district that recorded a net loss, with 1,066 people relocating elsewhere in the past decade. City Council District 11, which covers Riverdale, Kingsbridge, Woodlawn and Spuyten Duyvil, grew by 2,516 people. Given The Bronx’s growth, Community Board 8 member Robert Press said, the borough should gain at least half of a new Council district.

Meanwhile, Bronx resident and former City Council aide Zellnor Myrie said it was important for the new lines to reflect both the borough’s growing young population and communities of color. “Districting that continues to encourage such representation not only helps engage constitutionally protected communities in this process, but helps increase policy outcomes for them as well.” The NYC Districting Commission is expected to release draft maps for all 51 City Council districts by Wednesday, September 5. The maps will be tweaked and another two rounds of public hearings will be held before the commission submits its final plan to the city clerk and Department of Justice in March 2013.

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By MIAWLING LAM Police have arrested two men in connection with the fatal bashing of a 26year-old man—the 50th Precinct’s second homicide victim this year. Anthony Ramirez, 26, succumbed to injuries and died on Sunday, August 26, five days after he was assaulted in the courtyard of Kingsbridge Gardens, located at 3425 Kingsbridge Avenue. The nine-story apartment building is a stone’s throw from the police station. Community affairs officer at the 50th Precinct Detective Luis Rodriguez said the victim, who lived at 68 West 238th Street, was involved in a dispute with two men around 6 a.m. on Tuesday, August 21. Detective Rodriguez said the victim was conscious but bleeding profusely when EMS personnel arrived at the scene. Ramirez suffered severe brain injuries, lacerations to his back and bruising to his shoulder during the attack. Detectives arrested Adam Reed, 33, at 6:15 p.m. on Thursday, August 23. The second assailant, Vincent Guttilla, 31, was arrested four days later. Reed was initially charged with attempted murder, but that charge has now been upgraded to murder. Guttilla has been charged with murder as well. Commanding officer of the 50th Precinct Captain Kevin Burke said the incident may have been linked with alcohol consumption. “We know they were drinking that night at the bar on 238th and Broadway, and the bar closed a little after 4,” he said. “They all seemed to be fine (when they left), and they started hanging out in the back of the location. They were playing cards, and one of them lost. That’s when they started fighting.”

A makeshift memorial, complete with candles, beer bottles, flowers, photos and sports jerseys, was assembled on the grounds of the apartment complex where Ramirez lived. A friend, who gave his name only as Miguelito, said he was mourning the loss of his “big homie.” “There are not enough words to describe him. Whenever I needed something, he was there for me,” he told the Riverdale Review on Tuesday. “He was a real staple in the community and an all-around athlete. You put a ball in his hand and he knew what to do with it.” Miguelito said friends put together the tribute early Sunday and were quick to add a protective cover once it started to rain. No one in the victim’s home answered a ring from the downstairs buzzer within the apartment building complex this past Tuesday. This latest homicide comes four months after Hwang Bum Yang, a local chef, became the precinct’s first murder victim of 2012—shot and killed for his iPhone. Yang, a Korean national and Johnson Avenue resident, was on his way home after finishing a shift at the exclusive Modern restaurant in Manhattan on April 19 when he was confronted at Cambridge Avenue and West 232nd Street. Police allege Dominick Davis, 20, approached Yang, demanded his iPhone and fired a single shot during the altercation. The bullet struck the victim in the left torso, instantly killing him. Detectives said Davis stole Yang’s iPhone and fled the scene in a getaway car driven by co-accused Alejandro Campos, 21. The two suspects were arrested on April 26 after they tried to sell the stolen phone on Craigslist, a popular classifieds website.

11 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, August 30, 2012

Man dies after vicious bashing

Thursday, August 30, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Person on the Street:

Compiled by Ileini Romero

What would make Riverdale attractive to prospective residents?

“I pretty much think people are attracted to the area. The prices of the houses are very high. I don’t know if it would be possible to lower it down.”

“I would say they need the Bx7 bus service and the express bus for the seniors because you have to get on at 9:45 a.m. or you have to pay full fare.”

“I don’t know which ones, but we need more activities.”

“The neighborhood is very nice, but the price of condos and homes is too high.”

- Mariolys Tamayo

- Cindy

“I guess I want to see more playgrounds. I suppose there aren’t enough.”

“More affordable housing. This immediate area isn’t very diverse. The kids are very privileged and there isn’t much to do.”

“More fun activities and more stores around the area. We only have Johnson Avenue and Riverdale Avenue.”

“More stores on Riverdale Avenue and more stuff for older kids to do.”

- Petrom-ilia

- Felix Holloszyc

- Jerome Oransky

- Caitlin Power

- Jane Witkowski

- Stephanie Patrimonio


White Plains

WALK TO END ALZHEIMER’S 9 a.m. White Plains High School 550 North Street This is one of many walks nationwide sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association to raise funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. The local sponsor is the association’s Hudson Valley/Rockland/Westchester New York Chapter. Day to include music, refreshments and activities for kids. For more information, visit


ITALIAN FILM 7:30 p.m. Westchester Italian Cultural Center One Generoso Pope Place Featuring the film La Traviata, directed by Franco Zeffirelli. La Traviata is a 1982 Italian film written, designed, and directed by Franco Zeffirelli. It is based on the 1853 opera of the same name with music by Giuseppe Verdi and libretto by Francesco Maria Piave. For more information, call 914-771-8700

Saturday, September 1 North White Plains

GEOCACHING 1 p.m. Cranberry Lake Preserve Old Orchard Street The preserve is home to several geocaches -- hidden objects that can be found using geographic coordinates and a pre-loaded application on a mobile phone. Learn all about the process on a collaborative “treasure hunt.”. For more information, call 914-428-1005.

Sunday, September 2 Somers

WALKING TOUR 2 p.m. Lasdon Park Route 35 Join the park horticulturist on a walk through the garden and learn about these colorful plants and what type of care they require. For more information, call 914-864-7268.

Wednesday, September 5 Croton-on-Hudson

STORYTELLING 7:30 p.m. Croton Point Nature Center Croton Point Avenue Jonathan Kruk, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” storyteller reveals the secret sources, and haunted history of the renowned headless horseman at the Ferry Sloop Member Meeting. Potluck dinner at 6:30 p.m. For more information, call 914-862-5297.

Thursday, September 6 Mt. Vernon

JAZZ SAX 7 p.m. St. Paul’s Church 897 S. Columbus Avenue Enjoy a robus performance by Australian-born, New York based bariton and alto sax impresario Lisa Parot, accompanied by keyboard. For more information, call David Osborn, 914-667-4116.

Saturday, September 8 Croton-on-Hudson

NATIVE AMERICAN PINCH POTS WORKSHOP 9 a.m. Croton Point Nature Center Croton Point Avenue Grind clay, wet it, and wedge, roll and shape it into great art. For more information, call 914-862-5297.


VOLUNTEER CORPS WORK DAY 10 a.m. Read Wildlife Sanctuary Playland Parkway Join the corps and help beautify the sanctuary by removing invasive plants, helping with trail maintenance and clearing debris from the salt marsh. Lunch provided courtesy of Friends of Read Wildlife Sanctuary. For more information, call 914-967-8720.


CANOE ON TEATOWN LAKE 10 a.m. Teatown Lake Reservation 1600 Spring Valley Road Enjoy a late summer morning on Teatown Lake looking for

fish, turtles and birds. Please note this program is for adults and children ages 10 and up. Participants must have swimming and paddling skills and children must be accompanied by an adult. Registration limited to 15 people with 2 people per boat. Fee: $10pp for members; $15pp for nonmembers. Programs fill quickly so registration is strongly recommended. Call 914-762-2912 x110 to reserve.

Sunday, September 9 Rye

EARLY FALL MIGRATIONS 7:30:00 Marshlands Conservancy Route 1 Bring binoculars to search for raptors, warblers and shore birds who are stopping over to feed on their way South. For more information, call 914-835-4466.


ARCHAEOLOGY OPEN HOUSE 1 p.m. Croton Point Nature Center Croton Point Avenue Explore the past and view the collections. Come to the New York State Archaeological Association (NYSAA) Lower Hudson Chapter Archaeology Open House. For more information, call 914-862-5297.


GRANDPARENTS DAY 1 p.m. Muscoot Farm Route 100 Grandparents and their grandchildren can enjoy an afternoon of fun and old-fashioned activities on the farm. For more information, call 914-864-PARK.

North White Plains

FOOD AND MEDICINE 2 p.m. Cranberry Lake Preserve Old Orchard Street Learn how to forage for edible foods and helpful drugs on a hike through the woods. No collecting allowed at the preserve. For more information, call 914-428-1005.


LESS IS MORE 2 p.m. Marshlands Conservancy Route 1 Learn about life at the various levels of the forest canopy, from birds and mamals to insects using hand lenses, bug viewers and a tablecloth. For more information, call 914-835-4466.


DANCING 7 p.m. Christ Redeemer Church 1415 Pelhamdale Avenue There will be an open house for you to try out this difference form of exercise (dancing). Children over 10 years accompanied by parents are welcome, as well as singles. Sponsored by the Pelham Promenaders Square Dance Club. For more information, call Dave at 914-738-3093 or Cynthia at 718-652-3714.

Thursday, September 13 Somers

LITTLE FARMERS 10 a.m. Muscoot Farm Route 100 Children ages 3 and 4 can have fun learning about the different residents at the farm through hands-on experience. A different animal will be featured each week. Fee $10; pre-registration required at or call (914) 864-7282.

Saturday, September 15 Yonkers

FALL MIGRATION BIRD WALK 8 a.m. Lenoir Preserve Dudley Street Take a leisurely walk in search of fall migrants, such as warblers and a late hummingbird. For more information, call 914-968-5851.


BLACKSMITHING WORKSHOP 9 a.m. Muscoot Farm Route 100 Blacksmith Bill Fitzgerald will teach this craft; for adults 18 years of age and older. Fee $85; pre-registration required at or call (914) 864-7282.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thursday, August 30

Thursday, August 30, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thursday, August 30, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. and the Supreme Court of Bronx County invite the community to join them and as they pay homage to our families, friends and neighbors who perished on September 11, 2011. The commemoration will be held on Friday, Sept. 14, from 12 to 2 p.m., at the Bronx County Building, 851 Grand Concourse (on the steps of the main entrance). For more information and to confirm your attendance, call 718-590-3522 or email

Rotary Club to sponsor reading hour

Youngsters 3-12 years old are invited to participate in the Reading Program on Saturday, Sept. 8, at the 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) 549-4469.

Dog Bark-BQ held at Riverdale Y

The highly successful Dog Bark-BQ was held at the back patio at the Riverdale Y. More than 135 people and 75 dogs attended this affair. Nail clipping by Popcorn Pawz and lectures by Bash Dibra were highly received. Leila Sesmero met with dog owners on canine citizenship. Dinner for people and dogs were available and of course the dogs loved our pool and sprinklers. Look for our new doggie event, Dog Walkathon coming this Nov. 18. For more information go to the Y’s website at

Riverdale Youth Market at RNH

The Riverdale Neighborhood House (RNH) will host the Riverdale Youth Market every Thursday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

through November 15, 2012. This is a youth-run farm stand offering fresh fruits and vegetables from regional farms. RNH is located at 5521 Mosholu Avenue, across from the Riverdale Library., Since its founding in 1872, RNH has partnered with the residents of the Northwest Bronx to build and sustain a healthy and productive community. RNH delivers first-rate educational and social services to the entire community: children, teens, seniors and families. RNH programs strengthen the social fabric of our community and enhance the quality of life for our neighbors.

Uptown Coffeehouse to feature Danny Kalb

The Uptown Coffeehouse opens its’ 26th season with Danny Kalb on Sunday, September 9, at 6pm., at our new address: The Uptown Coffeehouse, City Island Community Center, 190 Fordham Street, lower level, City Island, NY 10464, (718) 885-2955, Admission is $15.00, children under 12, $5.00. Bronx Cultural Cards are accepted. Danny Kalb founding member of

The Blues Project is considered one of America’s foremost guitarists and blues artists. His playing has been called both mesmerizing and pure magic, and in a few chords Danny has shown why he’s considered by many to be a guitarist in the class of Eric Clapton or Carlos Santana. Kalb’s forthcoming album ‘Moving in Blue’, recorded with Blues Project bandmates Al Kooper and Roy Blumenfeld, is due out this fall. A Mount Vernon, NY native, Danny picked up the guitar at age 13 and never put it down. He later honed his trade jamming with greats John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters and soon became an established player in the Folk and Blues revival scene of Greenwich Village. The Blues Project first album, ‘The Blues Project Live at Café Au Go-Go’ won them their first gold record, and ‘Alberta’ and ‘Down to Louisiana,’ became Danny’s signature tunes establishing him as one of the preeminent blues players of his generation. Whether playing old standards or originals Danny is an authentic bluesman who makes each song his own. Danny Kalb Hello Hannah Blues Danny Kalb LFVraPR35bM&feature=related

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, August 30, 2012

9/11 commemoration at Bronx Borough Hall

Thursday, August 30, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Restoring free speech at PS 24 We are troubled by the elimination or reduction in any way of the music program at P.S. 24– or any other school. We have been down this road before, during the fiscal crisis of the 1970s, and witnessed the grievous harm that similar cuts did to our schools and community. Music and arts programs are often thought of as expendable, as some kind of frill. We do not view it that way. They are, as the education historian Diane Ravitch frequently points out, at the center of what constitutes a good and comprehensive education, the kind that every child deserves. No private school or suburban school district would dispense with these programs so cavalierly. Under the current form of mayoral control, the final responsibility for staffing assignments rests with the principal of the school, Donna Connelly, who is widely expected to retire this year. But what kind of school will be left for the generations to come after she’s long gone? Under the law, parents and members of the community have an absolute right to have all of the information behind those decisions and to freely express their opinions without fear of retribution, to them or their children, from the school administration or from other parents. This is not the case now at P.S. 24, where parent after parent has told us of their fear of the school administration and the clique of politically active parents who now control the Parents Association, one of whom has already declared his candidacy in next year’s City Council election. It is now clear that the plan to eliminate the positions of one or both of the school’s music teachers did NOT result from an actual budget cut. It is apparent that enough funds remain to save BOTH positions. Rather the controversy is a result of the principal’s educational priorities, and frankly she should have the guts to admit it. What this appears to be is a desire to skirt the contractual seniority rules and protect less senior teachers over experienced veterans, an idea so often articulated by the Bloomberg administration. While we recognize that the decision to use education dollars to, say, continue our wonderful music program as is, to maintain class size, or to continue to use precious funds for a “conflict resolution” teacher rests ultimately with the principal, parents must have confidence that these decisions and the reasons behind them are transparent and are open to free discussion. The parent leadership publicly insists that opposition to the cuts and raising these issues is somehow “manufactured” by the press. Both local newspapers, rightly and routinely, withhold the names of persons writing letters at their request and guarantee the confidentiality of their sources. But this doesn’t mean that such opposition doesn’t exist. We suspect that if a secret ballot were taken, most parents would opt for the continuation of the music program as is, particularly if they knew that this was merely a thinly disguised attempt to save the job of a favored “newbie teacher” who might need to be excessed when more senior staffers return from leave next week. It does not have any impact on class size, as interim acting assistant principal Emanuele Verdi insists. It has everything to do with how the principal chooses to deploy the staff. Any “compromise” to “save” one of the two music teachers is bogus when neither has to go if only the truth were told. But truth is a rare commodity at P.S. 24. The school environment survey conducted each year by the city’s Department of Education reflects that there is a real problem of trust between teachers and parents and the administration at P.S. 24. It should be the highest priority of the administration to remedy this, and perhaps a full and open discussion of the music program is the appropriate place to start. Teachers have their union to support them, and we will give them our support to ensure that both the spirit and the letter of the law is maintained and that key programs are retained if at all possible. Parents should know that if they feel that their children are made to suffer in any way because of their parents’ position on these issues, we will stand with them and help them to protect their rights. It is time now for our public officials to step up to the plate and oppose the unnecessary gutting of the music program and, more importantly, support free and unfettered debate over critical educational issues at P.S. 24. We must not permit the culture of fear and intimidation now so apparent at the school to take root as we move forward.

Why the Hall of Fame is failing To The Editor: I was truly surprised by your recent editorial regarding the Hall of Fame for Great Americans and your uninformed perspective that it “lies, crumbling, both physically and spiritually”. In addition to your perspective that “it has not been kept up or promoted, in a real sense it has been abandoned”. I truly have to wonder if you have ever visited the Hall of Fame for Great Americans at Bronx Community College as the thousands of school children, students adult visitors from across the country and bus tours, who come to learn about the great men and women installed in the historic colonnade. In addition to the recent filming by BBC, News 12, photo shoots of the Edgar Allen Poe bust, as well as a visit by the senior staff of NYS Comptroller Office of Thomas P Dinapoli two weeks ago. Bronx Community College recognized the historic and artistic values of the Hall of Hall of

Fame and has made every effort to maintain it. Several renovation campaigns stabilized the colonnade and its surrounding structures; hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent to preserve and restore the Hall of Fame. It is “incredulous” to imagine moving the Hall of Fame elsewhere and separate it from its sister buildings, especially Gould Memorial Library. Belatedly, the national Park Service has added Stanford White’s Hall of Fame, and the original campus build-

That pesky MTA billboard

To The Editor: I was disappointed to read the Lam/Schneider “news” article on the MTA billboard wars, and find a biased view expressed by the writers. I am referring to the paragraph that says: “However the tactics employed by Geller and her organization may do more harm than good in terms of furthering constructive dialogue

ANDREW WOLF, Editor and Publisher

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

JOEL PAL Production Manager ROBERT NILVA Marketing Director

ings, to the National Historic Landmark’s Program. Past Directors of the Hall of Fame all envisioned ambitious plans to maintain the physical plant and reenergize Hall of Fame’s educational potential. These past efforts failed when promised funds were not sufficient or fell short. Unfortunately, you grossly underestimate the cost of undertaking “a new expanded Hall, which could take advantage of 21st century tech-

CECILIA McNALLY Office Manager MIAWLING LAM Associate Editor

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

with Muslim leaders.” That is an editorial, not a news item. It would seem that Lam/Schneider have some problem with saying something that is true but might be embarrassing to Muslim leaders. Our media is unwilling to face reality. Every month since 9/11, 900 people have died and 1600 have been seriously wounded at the hands of followers of Allah and his messenger. Our media does not report it because it happens in Africa and South East Asia. Where is the outcry by Muslim leaders against this? It does not exist because every Muslim knows he is subject to murder if he disagrees with jihadis. There is no issue made by the western

To The Editor: Van Cortlandt’s Tail is the portion of Van Cortlandt Park located on Broadway between 239th Street and Van Cortlandt Park South (= 240th Street) in the Bronx. It would be foolish to deny the great value that Van Cortlandt Park provides to New Yorkers and other visitors. I am a Kingsbridge homeowner and visit the park on a daily basis with my family and friends. I am sure that anyone could identify some irksome issue associated with the parks, but this letter is about

recent developments in the park that are harbingers of unhappy, long-term realities. These days, Van Cortlandt’s Tail has more in common with a vacant lot than it does with a prestigious urban park that is managed by the government of the “Capital of the World” and a nonprofit conservancy dedicated to its maintenance. The planting in this region of the park are not matched in a harmonious combination and go untended by park personal, therefore attracting the garbage that rattles around the paved surface.

Why the Hall of Fame is failing Continued from Page 18 nology to teach our young people, not so much the meaning of fame, a concept that has radically changed in the past century, but the meaning of greatness”. Nowhere in your “good ideas” is there a suggestion where these funds are to be found. The Hall of Fame’s educational and inspirational potential for the young people has always been one of its goals. Your goals echo programs developed by our current team assigned to foster the Hall of Fame, inclusive of; fund drives to solicit support from the original and future contributors to the Hall, as well as a Digital Hall of Fame, where the democratic process, instituted by Chancellor McCracken, would take place on the internet, with nominations and election of contemporary great achievers. The Bronx Press, and its editor and publisher could help the Hall of Fame by telling the truth and to assist in starting a fund drive to make real the goals admi-

rably expressed by your editorial. Since it appears that your editorial staffs are too busy to visit areas of interest that they report on, then I refer you to the CUNY Spring 2012 issue of “Salute to Scholars” magazine article on page 34, dedicated to the Hall of Fame for Great Americans. Wendell Joyner Director Hall of Fame for Great Americans The Editor Replies: With all due respect to Mr. Joyner, his part time directorship of the Hall is a reflection of the low esteem in which the Hall is held by current and past administrations at Bronx Community College. His post is in addition to his “real” jobs as Assistant to the Assistant Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Acting Director of Workforce Development at the College. The Hall of Fame for Great Americans deserves a full time professional Executive Director.

Furthermore, the neglected state of park fuels the destructive abandon of its visitors. Many visitors are respectful of the park and their fellow park goers, but this goodwill is spoiled by casual litterbugs and other thoughtless passersby. The greatest symptom of neglect is the encampment of homeless men and women who lounge by day and bunk down by night. Indeed, at least one inhabitant was chased by the police from other areas of park to VC’s Tail. Among other things, VC’s Tail and adjacent properties, especially 180 Van Cortland Park South, are used as latrines and disposal sites for various kinds of waste. These problems are not limited to the VC’s Tail. The habitual negligence of park management and the 50th precinct

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That pesky MTA billboard Continued from Page 18 democracies of the fact that there is hardly an Islamic country in which religious minorities are not oppressed. The Christian Copts are attacked in Egypt and the media and our State Department hardly notice. But if Israel builds homes in Jerusalem it will rouse Obama and Clinton. Similarly the MTA had no problem placing ads defaming Israel. However they refused to post Geller’s ad until she got a court order. Nobody is questioning the accuracy of her ad. A woman cartoonist in Washington State did something that offended Muslims and the FBI said they could not protect her. They put her in a witness protection program. A pastor in Florida was going to burn the Koran

and got calls from Obama, Clinton, and Petraues, to urge him not to do it. I thought one of the pillars of our culture was freedom of speech. When the Indian leaders told the British Vice-Roy of India that it was their custom to burn the live wife on her dead husband’s funeral pyre he told them that it was his custom to kill those that did that. As for “furthering constructive dialogue with Muslim leaders” it will help if there is some honest thinking on the non-Muslim side and some explanation of why a Muslim army psychiatrist kills in the name of Allah. Who indoctrinated him? Thank the Lord we have a police commissioner who knows where to look. Philip Brieff

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19 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, August 30, 2012

Concern about homeless in Van Cortlandt Park

encourage further degradation of the park experience for its users. Homeless and other vagrants use the playground facilities reserved (by law) to children and their guardians, to such extremes as bathing themselves and their pets in the splash fountains - even in the presence of children. It would be possible to add similar items, but I think the point is made by what has been stated. A concerned family




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Riverdale Review, August 30, 2012  
Riverdale Review, August 30, 2012  

Weekly newspaper published in Riverdale, NY 10471.