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Volume XIX • Number 36 • September 20 - 26, 2012 •
Educrats at PS 24 defend 50% cut in music program By MIAWLING LAM Ofﬁcials at P.S. 24 continue to defend their controversial decision to downsize the school’s cherished music program. Despite widespread outcry from local parents, elected ofﬁcials and community members, P.S. 24 interim acting assistant principal Emanuele ‘Manny’ Verdi last week said he stood by a move to excess the school’s vocal music teacher. Verdi acknowledged that music education was important, but said retaining classroom instructors and reducing class sizes were higher priorities. “I stand by my guns,” he said, while addressing the matter at last week’s School Leadership Team meeting. “From our standpoint, these are the cards we were dealt. We had ﬁve days to react to it and this is what we did. “We were told the budget was the same…but when the budget came in, it wasn’t the same. It just wasn’t.
So we had to hustle.” As a result, school administrators said they were forced to excess the entire music department—one instrumental teacher and one vocal teacher—just days before the end of the last school year. At the time, Verdi said ofﬁcials were forced to let go of the teachers because three staffers—with seniority—were returning from leave. Critics say the loss of the music teacher was a ploy to “work around” seniority rules in the United Federation of Teachers contract and save the job of a newly hired regular classroom teacher described as “loyal” to the principal. The school is again at risk of receiving an “F” grade in the school environment portion of the school’s report card, a direct result of a vote of the teachers, a majority of whom “don’t trust the principal” at her word. Others have criticized devoting a full time teacher to work on “conﬂict resolution,” rather than teach an academic subject. “This touchy feely stuff comes at a
cost,” noted one observer. “In this case you are trading off music for conﬂict resolution.” However, after the community bandied together and protested the cuts, administrators last month conﬁrmed that instrumental teacher, Maryellen Shepley, would be rehired. Controversially though, the vocal teacher still remains excessed. Despite the downsizing, P.S. 24 principal Donna Connelly reiterated her commitment to arts instruction and pointed to her introduction of a theater program as evidence of this. “We were the ones that expanded the (music) program. When we came into the school, we made it bigger. We didn’t make it smaller. Everybody forgets that,” she said. The comments come a week after around a dozen parents bemoaned the devastating cuts and called on Continued on Page 9
Skating rink details: Recycled shipping containers; loss of parking
By MIAWLING LAM Around six parking spaces along Broadway could be temporarily lost during the winter months every year so that a designated drop-off zone can be established at the Van Cortlandt Park ice- skating rink. Concessionaire ofﬁcials announced plans to submit an application for a street activity permit during last Wednesday’s Community Board 8 parks committee meeting. The move, which is subject to approval from the Mayor’s Street Activity Permit Ofﬁce, would create a temporary drop-off area for cars and buses visiting the rink. If approved, the permit would allow around six metered parking spaces to be sequestered along the teeming Broadway corridor, just south of West 242nd Street. The zone would also encompass a small area currently designated as a no-parking zone. Van Cortlandt Park ice rink project manager Ronald Kraut said the removal of parking spaces was necessary to ensure guest safety. “It’s a very easy solution to the parking and congestion problem along Broadway,” he said. “It would enable us during the November, December, January and February time period to barricade off an appropriate amount of space for bus and customer drop-offs.”
Kraut vowed to work in tandem with the community to reach an agreement over the number of parking spaces to be taken away, but said six would be an ideal number.
“To me, it looks like six parking spots,” he said, “but I’ll ask the Community Board 8 trafﬁc and transportation committee to get involved and to determine what they think is a safe amount
of space to enable mom and dad to drop their kids off without interfering with trafﬁc. “We just want to do what’s right, so I imagine we’ll get together down at the site after
construction is done (to discuss) how many spaces we want to reserve for customer pick-up and drop-off.” Construction on the $600,000 Continued on Page 9
Thirteen recycled shipping containers will be used to construct ‘temporary’ guest services pavilion at the Van Cortlandt Park skating facility scheduled to open by Thanksgiving. ‘Temporary,’ in this case, can mean as long as 15 years.
Thursday, September 20, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW
Manhattan College hosts education session on Islam on 9/11 anniversary
By PAULETTE SCHNEIDER September 11 this year at Manhattan College’s Holocaust, Genocide and Interfaith Education Center was marked by a panel discussion on the need for Americans to reach an understanding of Islam. “It is urgent for America to comprehend Islam, not only for the sake of its ideals, which include religious tolerance, but also for political needs and strategy,” said Dr. Mehnaz Afridi, the center’s director, after requesting a moment of silence to honor the victims of the 9/11 attack on our nation 11 years ago. The ﬁrst guest speaker, PalestinianAmerican artist and teacher Haifa Bint Kadi, explained that her own strategy toward helping spread a better understanding of Islam is to engage with others on a personal level. “You’re on slippery ground when you speak about people in terms of groups and categories because you begin to enter that zone where you objectify people,” she said. “And Muslims are just as diverse as every other group of people on the earth. So I feel if I tell you a little bit about me, then you’ll understand me a little bit more and you’ll know one Muslim a little bit better.” Her “socially engaged artwork” always involves community input—she takes on public projects only if those who commission it allow her to hold town hall meetings with those who will ultimately “inhabit the space” she creates. It also involves including a team of students in the creative process. “One of the reasons I do this is strictly from my faith tradition—sharing our
knowledge. And it’s not just sharing our self-knowledge, but sharing everything that you have.” When she answered a call to create a 9/11 memorial for the city of Yonkers, she considered whether the likely “brouhaha” would be counterproductive to the healing process. “You can imagine the jaw-dropping when I walked into the boardroom and said, ‘yeah, I’m a Muslim and I want to build a 9/11 memorial,’” she said. “The city really had trust in me and took a leap of faith, which I will forever feel grateful for. But at the same time, I’ll never feel apologetic because I was not responsible for 9/11. I have never done anything in my life that makes me responsible or accountable for 9/11. But what I am accountable and responsible for as a Muslim is to be a healer.” She used her leadership role as a tool at the worksite. “Let me tell you—when you’re working on a site and you’re in a hijab, 50 percent of the questions are about you and 50 percent are about the artwork that you’re doing. “So this was a great opportunity for me to be a Muslim and to engage with people and talk to them about 9/11 and my take on 9/11. For me it was a real gift to engage with the community.” The second speaker, Mansoor Ahmed, is a 2010 Manhattan College grad now earning a masters in Islamic studies at Columbia University. He provided copies of “Would You Like to Know Something about Islam? The Time is Ripe,” a book completed last year by his father, Mohammad M. Ahmed. He cited recent studies indicating that
Mansoor Ahmed addresses the crowd during a panel discussion about Islam.
around 91 percent of Americans still say they know very little about Islam. The author felt compelled to address this lack of knowledge. “This book is my father’s dream come true. If you ask him, he’s been writing it mentally ever since he was a child,” Ahmed said. He dedicated himself for a year, along with his uncle, to editing the book. “For two to three months, my father, my uncle and I sat in front of my computer screen and we debated sentence by sentence, word by word. My uncle pulled a little to the right, I pulled a little to the left, and in the end I believe we truly did produce something that many millions of people can beneﬁt from.”
Ahmed made several journeys to Washington, D.C., to hand-deliver a total of 1,000 autographed gift copies to elected ofﬁcials, Supreme Court justices and members of the current administration. “Since then, we have received personal responses, which have been exciting and rewarding,” he said. “I am conﬁdent that it presents a comprehensive and simple guide to understanding Islam, since it has become clear that an understanding is needed.” Ahmed’s conclusion was incontrovertible. “Knowledge generates action. Action opens the door to understanding. And understanding leads to mutual cooperation and peace.” Continued on Page 9
By MIAWLING LAM Local residents are ﬁnally beginning to catch a break with local parks projects. After years of enduring repeated delays, construction woes and issues with private contractors, parks in the Riverdale/Kingsbridge area are getting spruced up. While some projects near completion, new ones are getting off the ground. Below is a list of current parks projects and their status. Ruth MacLaughlin Playground. After several months without a drinking fountain and permanent sprinkler system, the city has begun repairs at Ruth MacLaughlin Playground. The Department of Parks and Recreation begun excavation work at the local park, located at Greystone Avenue and West 238th Street, last Thursday. As part of the project, workers will replace the broken water pipe and install a permanent sprinkler system. A makeshift sprinkler system—comprised of a hose attached to a ﬁre hydrant—had been mounted to provide children with relief during the summer. Water supplies at the playground were cut off after a nearby water pipe burst last winter. Conrad Grauer Field Thanks to a $270,000 grant from Councilman G. Oliver Koppell, the city will replace parts of the fence at Conrad Grauer Field. Ofﬁcials said repairs are desperately needed because sections of the 20-foot-high fence line along the third base line are starting to lean. Players with the Kingsbridge Little League exclusively use the 1.27-acre baseball ﬁeld, located at Bailey Avenue and West 233rd Street. As part of the improvements, a new 20-foothigh chain-link fence will be installed, new concrete pavements will be laid down and the lawn areas will be reconstructed. However, it isn’t all good news for ball players. According
to a parks department design supervisor, the batting cage will have to be removed. “When we do the fence, the batting cage is going to have to be taken out,” the spokesman said. “We don’t have the funds to reconstruct it to Parks standards, so we will remove this as carefully as possible and turn it over to the League.” Ofﬁcials will select a contractor once the Department of Buildings and the Public Design Commission approve the schematic designs. Both city agencies are expected to give the green light and construction is expected to begin by fall 2013. The project is expected to last three months. Sid Augarten Field To an untrained eye, the baseball ﬁeld in Vinmont Veterans Park in North Riverdale may appear to be ready, but looks can be deceiving. Parks department ofﬁcials said while reconstruction work is now complete and the grounds are perfectly manicured, the Mosholu Avenue ﬁeld wouldn’t be ofﬁcially reopened until spring 2013. “We’re still waiting for the grounds to knit,” a parks department spokeswoman said. “We can’t have an opening if it’s not knit because then what’s the sense of having a ribbon-cutting if we can’t welcome the community after we open it?” Former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion and current Councilman G. Oliver Koppell have allocated a total of nearly $2 million towards the muchdelayed refurbishment of the ﬁeld. Van Cortlandt Park The $15 million reconstruction of the Parade Ground and the six-year battle to renovate the Memorial Grove were completed this summer, but a project to refurbish the Park’s district headquarters and comfort station remains stagnant. Scaffolding, wooden window frames
SAR calls for trafﬁc calming measures By MIAWLING LAM Ofﬁcials at Salanter Akiba Riverdale Academy are urging that speed bumps to installed on streets surrounding the school in order to increase student safety. In a letter sent to Community Board 8 and obtained by the Riverdale Review, SAR High School principal Rabbi Tully Harcsztark said trafﬁc calming measures were desperately needed along West 259th Street. She claimed that drivers coming down the hill from Skyview often drove too fast, creating a series of safety hazards and endangering the lives of pedestrians. “We have requested in the past that a stop sign and crosswalk be installed at what would be the intersection of 259th Street and Netherland Avenue,” she wrote
in the letter dated September 14. “Alternatively, or as an additional measure, installing speed bumps along Arlington Avenue and Riverdale Avenue along 259th Street would slow trafﬁc down and increase the safety of drivers and pedestrians.” Rabbi Harcsztark referred to two accidents logged near the school on Monday, September 10 as evidence that urgent actions were necessary. As of press time, officials at SAR could not be reached due to the Jewish holiday. In response, Community Board 8’s trafﬁc and transportation committee has vowed to address the situation at its October 16 meeting.
and blue tarpaulins have covered the rundown building, located on Broadway near West 242nd Street, since late 2009. When the project was raised at last Wednesday’s Community Board 8 parks committee meeting, Van Cortlandt Park administrator Margot Perron said ofﬁcials were working on it. “We hope it’s done before the (ice-skating) rink opens,” she said. As of press time, and despite being given ﬁve days to respond, the parks department failed to answer questions pertaining to reasons for the delay and did not provide a more speciﬁc projected completion date. Ewen Park City ofﬁcials are in the process of developing schematic plans for the reconstruction of the basketball courts at
Ewen Park. A proposal for the nearly $1 million project, which involves repairs to the basketball court and new fencing, is set to be presented to Community Board 8 by the end of next month. However, it remains to be seen whether locals will be granted their wish of a new playground. A parks department spokesman refused to be drawn out on whether plans will provide residents with a new playground. Last year, Riverdale resident Adele Finer Rabin urged Councilman G. Oliver Koppell to include a playground as part of the upgrades. During a site tour last year, Rabin estimated there were 29 children under the age of 10 in the 511 West 232nd Street complex who would use the playground daily.
3 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, September 20, 2012
Projects in some local parks still lag, as others near completion
Thursday, September 20, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW
Around the schools... National Merit Semiﬁnalists
The following local students who attend the Bronx High School of Science were selected as a National Merit Scholarship semiﬁnalist: Nicholas Power, Karina Schultz, Shai E. Szulanski, Joseph K. Teglasi, and Joseph A. Tharakan. This 58th annual National Merit Scholarship Program selected 16,000 semiﬁnalists, who will compete for 8,300 scholarships worth more than $32 million to be awarded in the spring. To be considered for an award, semiﬁnalists need an outstanding academic record throughout high school, a recommendation from the high school principal and SAT scores that conﬁrm their performance on the qualifying test. In addition, they and a high school ofﬁcial must submit a detailed scholarship application, including an essay and a description of their participation and leadership in school and community activities. Finalists will be selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments and potential for success in rigorous college studies.
Horace Mann School
A paper co-authored by local June graduate Neida Vasques was just published in Zootaxa, a scientiﬁc journal. During her junior and senior years at HM, Vasquez, now a Barnard freshman, served as an intern at the Museum of Natural History under the leadership of Santiago Castro-
viejo-Fisher, an expert on the mating calls of particular species of frog. The paper is entitled “Description of the previously unknown advertisement calls of Hyalinobatrachium fragile, H. pellucidum, and Vitreorana antisthenesi.”
For the sixth consecutive year, the college ranked in the top 20 in U.S. News & World Report’s annual America’s Best Colleges report in the category of Best Regional Universities in the North. The School of Engineering placed 35 in the nation in the Best in Undergraduate Engineering category, advancing from 40th place in the 2011 rankings. This particular category evaluates engineering schools that offer bachelor’s and master’s degrees but not doctoral degrees. “We are proud to be recognized in this publication as consistently among the best of our peer group and are gratiﬁed by this conﬁrmation of the strong national reputation of our School of Engineering,” college president Brennan O’Donnell said. The Major Authors Reading Series (M.A.R.S.) will begin its ﬁfth consecutive semester on Tuesday, September 25, with award-winning author Joshua Ferris. Ferris’s ﬁrst novel, “Then We Came to the End,” was named to The New York Times 10 Best Books of 2007 and was honored as a National Book Award ﬁnalist. Ferris won the 2007 Hemmingway Foundation/PEN
Award and the Barnes and Noble Discover Award. His short ﬁction has appeared in The New Yorker, The Guardian and Tin House, among other publications. His third novel, “The Third Bishop,” will be released in 2013. The M.A.R.S. program aims to expose students to modern literature by bringing celebrated writers to the campus for readings and book signings. Featured authors include Pulitzer Prize winners Junot Diaz, Jennifer Egan and Claudia Emerson; novelist Rick Moody; essayist Phillip Lopate; and the current poet laureate of New York state, Marie Howe. M.A.R.S. will continue on November 27 with Patricia Smith, author of seven acclaimed volumes of poetry. Smith is also a four-time National Poetry Slam champion, the most successful poet/performer in the competition’s history. The September 25 reading begins at 4 p.m. in
Hayden Hall, room 100. All series events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Adam Koehler (718862-7546; adam.koehler@ manhattan. edu) or David Eye (718-862-7921; david. eye@ manhattan.edu).
College of Mount Saint Vincent
The college invites the community to commemorate International Day of Peace on Thursday, September 20, at 4 p.m. Participants will gather outside of Cahill Lounge around the Peace Pole to offer prayers. The ceremony will include prayers from various faith traditions as well as prayer in dance by the college’s Words Dance Company. The event is sponsored by the ofﬁce of campus ministry and the Sisters of Charity of New York.
Mace and Taser used in Kingsbridge melee involved had already dispersed. Ofﬁcers didn’t have a clear understanding of the situation until four hours later, he said, when the patrons showed up at the precinct to report the felony assaults. Amazingly, no one was seriously injured during the brawl. According to the police report, several victims made their own way to New York Presbyterian Hospital and a nearby Westchester hospital for minor injuries. As of press time, no arrests have been made and the investigation is still ongoing. “We have more interviews and more video to look at,” Captain Burke said. “The one guy who has not cooperated with us, and we’re still looking for, is the guy who was caught on video Tasering people—the security guard. “We have to confer with the ADA because it’s becoming now, ‘if you don’t press charges against me, I don’t press charges against you.’” A message left with Silhouette Restaurant & Lounge’s general manager Natasha Collado was not returned.
New roof to be constructed at PS 24
By MIAWLING LAM Students at P.S. 24 will lose a small section of their playground while construction crews perform much-needed repairs to the school’s roofs and parapets. Workers have begun replacing two roofs— a 12-year-old roof and a 48-year-old roof—on the main school building as part of the $5.2 million capital improvement project. P.S. 24 principal Donna Connelly announced news of the work to members of the School Leadership Team last week. She said the repairs were required because some parts of the school, including the library, were prone to ﬂooding during heavy storms. “There is ﬂooding and it does need to be ﬁxed,” she said. “It’s going to mean that we’re going to have all the scaffolds up around the whole building and we will lose part of the play yard. It’s kind of depressing. I really tried to stop it in my feeble way…but it didn’t work.”
P.S. 24 interim acting assistant principal Emanuele “Manny” Verdi said students would lose a small portion of the playground around the gym and cafeteria while crews complete the work. However, the project, which is expected to last at least 12 months, will not disrupt the learning process, Connelly said. “All the work is being done at night. Nothing is happening during the day,” she said. “They have their own trailer and their own porta-potty and their own everything, and so they don’t need to be in the building. They shouldn’t be bothering us.” Department of Education spokesman David Pena said crews began preliminary work over the summer and now start work at 3:30 p.m.—once children are dismissed. Pena said if all goes according to plan, the roof and parapet work should be completed by January 2014.
Man dies in crash on Deegan By MIAWLING LAM A 35-year-old man was killed in an early-morning car crash on the Major Deegan Expressway in North Riverdale last Thursday. Police said Brian Mills was driving his black 2004 Honda Accord northbound on the Major Deegan when he slammed into the back of a construction truck near Exit 12 just after 6 a.m. on September 13. Exit 12 is the intersection where the expressway meets an extension of Mosholu Parkway. Commanding ofﬁcer of the 50th Precinct Captain Kevin Burke said Mills, a state correctional ofﬁcer, was on his way home from work when the freak crash occurred. “He got into a collision with another vehicle, and as a result of that collision, he struck a New York City DOT vehicle that was parked on the side of the highway,” he said. Captain Burke said the crash was so serious that ﬁreﬁghters had to extricate the victim by cutting the roof off the car. Mills suffered extensive head injuries and was pronounced dead on the scene.
His body was transported to the Jacobi Medical Center morgue. No criminality was involved. There was no indication that alcohol or drugs were involved either. “It was just an unfortunate accident,” Captain Burke said. As of press time, calls to the New York State Correctional Ofﬁcers & Police Benevolent Association were not returned.
Cong. Eliot Engel assembles care packages for U.S. troops serving overseas.
The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, September 20, 2012
By MIAWLING LAM A fun-ﬁlled night came to an abrupt end when security guards allegedly Tasered patrons and sprayed mace inside a popular upscale Kingsbridge restaurant. Police said a brawl involving at least six people broke out at Silhouette Restaurant & Lounge, located at 5668 Broadway, around 2:30 a.m. on Sunday, September 9. It is unclear what sparked the ﬁght, but enforcement ofﬁcials said patrons began pushing and shoving one another before bottles were reportedly hurled around. Commanding ofﬁcer of the 50th Precinct Captain Kevin Burke said security guards who attempted to quell the altercation appeared instead to exacerbate the situation. “The bouncer stepped in to break up the ﬁght, and all hell broke loose,” he said. “Next thing you know, bottles were thrown and people were injured. The bouncers took out a mace and a Taser. It was a melee.” Captain Burke said when police responded to the location, many of those
Thursday, September 20, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW
Free writers workshop in Bay Plaza
Presented by the Bronx Council on the Arts’ Bronx Writers Center, Ask an Editor: A Free Event for Writers is one of a series of free workshops at Barnes & Noble Bay Plaza.Wendy Lee, an author and editor from a small publishing house will answer questions and tell her own story. The session will be held at Barnes & Noble at Bay Plaza on Friday, September 21, 2012, from 6:00-8:00pm. Admission is free and all are welcome. Reserve your seat at http://bronxwriters9212012. eventbrite.com/. Wendy Lee is a graduate of Stanford University and New York University’s Creative Writing Program. She has edited ﬁction at HarperCollins Publishers and currently edits nonﬁction at Lantern Books, a small press in Brooklyn which focuses on animal rights and environmentalism. Her ﬁrst novel, Happy Family, was named one of the top ten debut novels of the year by Booklist and was awarded an honorable mention from the Association of Asian American Studies. The recipient of fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Corporation of Yaddo, she lives in Astoria, New York. The Bronx Writers Center’s 20122013 workshop series at Barnes & Noble will be posted shortly on BCA’s website at www.bronxarts.org. For additional information on this workshop or other events presented by the Bronx Writers Center, call 718-931-9500 x21, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Bronx Writers Center’s web pages at www. bronxarts.org. Barnes & Noble Bay Plaza is located at 290 Baychester Avenue in the Co-op City section of the Bronx. To ﬁnd out about other literary activities at the store, please call 718-862-3945 or visit www. barnesandnoble.com (click on “Stores and Events”). The Bronx Writers Center supports and develops the appetite for writing and reading in the Bronx. The BWC searches for and promotes new voices and audiences and engages the community in literary and literacy programs. The Bronx Writers Center, a program of the Bronx Council on the Arts, is supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Robert A. Bowne Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts’ Literature Program, NYC Council Member James Vacca, the Simon Bolivar Foundation, New York City Department of Youth and Community Development, the National Endowment for the Arts, and NYC Department of Small Business Services/Avenue NYC.
New Programs for parents, infants and young tots
Riverdale Y’s new programming for families will begin with a Tot Shabbat on Friday, September 21st at 10:30 am in the Riverdale Y lobby. Our very own Greg Shafritz, music specialist to the early childhood program, will lead this session twice a month. Children and families will participate in joyous Shabbat songs and the blessings for lighting of candles, challah and wine. Don’t forget the date! SEPTEMBER 21, special programming for babies 0-3, their
families and their caregivers. The entire community (especially families with little children) are welcome to participate. The Y is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue. For more information, contact Wendy Pollock at 718-548-8200 ext 220.
Fall Fun Day at St. Margaret’s School
The Riverdale Community is invited to attend St. Margaret’s of Crotona Fall Fun Day on Saturday September 22nd from 12-5pm. Rides, Games, Face Painters, BBQ, Cotton Candy, 50/50 Rafﬂe and much, much more! Wristbands for children are $10 and include all games and inﬂatables. All proceeds beneﬁt the St. Margaret’s Home School Association. St Margaret’s School is located at 452 West 260th St. For more information, email: hsa@stmargaretschoolriverdale. com
Riverdale artists exhibit paintings in October
Irma Kramer, Laraine Pearson, Michael Sharkey and William Stewart will exhibit their paintings during October. They are members of the Riverdale Art Association. The artists have exhibited in group shows with the Riverdale Art Association in Riverdale and the metropolitan area and Irma Kramer, Michael Sharkey have had solo shows at The Riverdale Yonkers Society for Ethical Culture and at the Riverdale Y. Irma Kramer is well known in the area for her art and her many paintings on silk. Bill Stewart and Laraine Pearson are emerging artists and are often participants in the Riverdale Art Association’s frequent exhibits. Michael Sharkey has had an extensive career in advertising and has been painting since he was a youngster. He now works solely in oil. He is also Gallery Director for the organization. The Reception will be Sunday, October 7 from 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. The community is invited to celebrate the art at the Riverdale Yonkers Society for Ethical Culture 4450 Fieldston Road Bronx, NY 10471 718-548-4445. The exhibit is open Monday through Friday from 10 to 5 and Sunday 12 - 1. Telephone 718-548-4445. Please call ahead when planning your visit. The Riverdale Art Association is a group of local artists who also welcome the community and new members at its meetings. They meet the second Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. in the Community Room at the Riverdale Atria, Henry Hudson Parkway East, just south of the Monument. www.riverdaleartassociation.org
Sunday market at the Riverdale Y
The Riverdale Y Sunday Market is opened every Sunday from 9-2pm. The market offers natural organic and local products- kosher and non kosher items. The market includes produce, baked goods, eggs, meats, cheese , ﬂowers, pickles, olives and a new hot sauce vendorsome fair trade and organic, plus some new artisans. Music by David Solomon on September 23rd Plus Zumba lessons at 11 am. The
Market is located at 660 West 237th Street and Independence Avenue in the MS/HS 141 arcade. For more information contact Cynthia Galik at 718-548-8200, ext. 218.
iHouse bringing families together
This program at the Riverdale Y is for the Israeli community in Riverdale and lower Westchester provides an opportunity to come together and celebrate their heritage, ensure their children’s ﬂuency with their parents’ homeland culture and language, and to do so in the context of the New York Jewish community. . iHouse’s ﬁrst event is an outdoor party/carnival on September 23 which is a fundraiser for an Israeli two-year-old who is in NY for medical treatment. The fee for the fundraiser is $25 (all proceeds beneﬁt Tamara, see below) and includes food, games, and fun! About four months ago, the cheerful twenty one-month-old Tamara started having difﬁculties walking, as well as was not her usual happy self. Her parents rushed her to the emergency room. An ultrasound exam revealed the cause, a 9-centimeter tumor in her liver. The tumor was diagnosed as Hepatoblastoma-stage four-a rare and malignant cancer that has already spread into her tiny lungs. Tamara’s doctors had never encountered a case like hers, and started a course of chemotherapy. Tamara underwent surgery to remove the tumor at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center three weeks ago. She is now scheduled to have more rounds of chemotherapy. Tamara has a twin brother and a 5-year old brother. She is a beautiful little girl who desperately needs your help. The estimated costs of the surgery and following treatments are $800,000. For more information, contact the Y at 718-548-8200, ext. 201. The Y is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue.
BCA to present jazz concert at Wave Hill
The Bronx Council on the Arts (BCA) and Wave Hill present a free performance by Robert Silverman Jazz and Blues Trio on Sunday, September 23rd, from 2:003:00pm in the gardens adjacent to Wave Hill’s Glyndor Gallery. The performance is part of a celebratory reception for the opening of a new art exhibition of sculptural installations at Wave Hill’s Glyndor Gallery. It is free with admission
to the grounds. Admission: $8 for adults; $4 for students and seniors 65+; $2 for children 6-18. Free to Wave Hill members and children under 6;. For performance information, visit www.bronxarts.org or call 718-931-9500 x33 or call Wave Hill’s Martha Gellens at 718-549-3200 x232 or email@example.com. Robert Silverman is a pianist, trumpeter, and composer who has been a ﬁxture in the New York Jazz scene since 1985. After a stint in Europe and assorted gigs with Albert King, Jimmy Heath, George Russell, Cecil McBee and the Ron Levy Bluesman band, Robert went on to form his own ensemble featuring original compositions, the blues and standards. Mr. Silverman has been featured in New York on NBC TV, WKCR, WBAI and WNYC Radio’s Around New York. He is the recipient of two “Meet the Composer Grants”. Other members of the trio are Andy Bassford on bass and Scott Hamilton on drums. After the concert, all three artists in Wave Hill’s exhibition, Isidro Blasco, Blane De St. Croix and Paula Winokur, will be on hand at 3:00pm at the gallery to speak about their installations. The exhibition this fall is the ﬁrst in a series of visual and performing arts programs that honor former residents of Wave Hill. Please come and enjoy the festivities! Wave Hill, a 28-acre public garden and cultural center overlooking the Hudson River and Palisades, is open from 9:00am to 5:30pm. It is located at West 249th Street and Independence Avenue in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. Free shuttle service is available to and from Metro-North and the #1 subway. For the shuttle schedule and for additional directions, call 718-549-3200 visit http://wavehill.org/visit/directions.html, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, September 20 Riverdale
MEDICARE BASICS 10:15 a.m. Riverdale YM-YWHA 5625 Arlington Avenue Pat O’Malley, LMSW will talk about Medicare C:-Advantage Plans; Medicare D:-RX Drug Plans, and Medicare A & B and EPIC for 2013 along with Medigap/Supplements. For more information, please contact Toby at 718-548-8200, ext. 223.
WELL VERSED 4 p.m. Riverdale Branch Library 5540 Mosholu Avenue Do you have a journal full of poetry? Want to share? Want to get better? Join us for a poetry writing workshop. Learn how to improve your writing style while also having fun. For ages 12 to 18 years old. For more information, call 718-549-1212.
Friday, September 21 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. For more information, call 718-548-5656.
TOT SHABBAT 10:30 a.m. Riverdale YM-YWHA 5625 Arlington Avenue Children and families will participate in joyous Shabbat songs and the blessings for lighting of candles, challah and wine. For more information, contact Wendy Pollock at 718548-8200 ext 220.
TEEN ADVISORY GROUP 4 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Let your voice be heard in the Kingsbridge Library’s Teen Advisory Group! TAG meetings will be held on Friday afternoons from 4-5 pm. If you are a 7th -12th grade student, you are eligible to join. For more information, call 718-548-5656.
Saturday, September 22 Riverdale
SHAHARIT SERVICE 9 a.m. Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel 475 West 250th Street Shaharit Service (Sanctuary) at 9:00 AM; Havurah (Taub Room) at 9:15 AM; YCFP (0-5 year olds – Youth Lounge) at 10:30 AM; Hanging in the Board Room (Youth Lounge) at 10:30 AM; Pickup Davenning (Ages 6-12) at 10:30 AM; Minha/Maariv Services (Beit Midrash) at 6:36 PM. For other activities this day, call 718-543-8400 or visit www.csair.org.
FALL FUN DAY 12 p.m. St. Margaret of Cortona 452 West 260th Street Rides, Games, Face Painters, BBQ, Cotton Candy, 50/50 Rafﬂe and much, much more! Wristbands for children are $10 and include all games and inﬂatables. All proceeds beneﬁt the St. Margaret’s Home School Association. For more information, email: email@example.com.
Sunday, September 23 Riverdale
RIV. Y SUNDAY MARKET 9 a.m. MS/HS 141 Arcade 660 West 237th Street The market offers natural organic and local products- kosher and non kosher items. Music by David Solomon plus Zumba lessons at 11 am. For more information contact Cynthia Galik at 718-548-8200, ext. 218.
KLEZMER CONCERT 1 p.m. Van Cortlandt Jewish Center 3880 Sedgwick Avenue David Glukh on trumpet and Ismael Butera on accordion will perform klezmer and pop music selections. The program includes a delicious kosher lunch. Please make your lunch reservations as soon as possible by calling Sharon Wolfe or Maritza Silva at 718-549-4700.
JAZZ CONCERT 2 p.m. Wave Hill West 249 St. & Independence Ave. The Bronx Council on the Arts (BCA) and Wave Hill present a free performance by Robert Silverman Jazz and Blues Trio, a celebratory reception for the opening of a new art exhibition of sculptural installations at Wave Hill’s Glyndor Gallery. For performance information, visit www.bronxarts.org or call 718-931-9500 x33 or call Wave Hill’s Martha Gellens at 718549-3200 x232 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, September 24 Kingsbridge
PJ NIGHT 17 a.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Stories, craft and refreshments for children ages 5-12 yrs. old. For more information, call 718-548-5656.
GOOGLE DOCS 17:30 a.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Learn how to create, edit and share online documents using Google’s ever-evolving word processing, spreadsheet, presentation and calendar programs. Students must sign up for a Google Account with an active email address. Space is limited, registration is required. Please sign up by phone or in person. For more information, call 718-548-5656.
Tuesday, September 25 Riverdale
anytime. Yours when you open any People’s United personal checking account. You also get unlimited rebates of other banks’ ATM fees.2 Available at all our Lower Hudson Valley and New York City locations.3
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 e-reader. First come, ﬁrst served. Please call Lynda at 718549-1212 to make an appointment.
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.
YOM KIPPUR 2 p.m. Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel 475 West 250th Street Minha (Beit Midrash) at 2:00 PM; Light Candles at 6:29 PM; Kol Nidre (Sanctuary/Taub Room) at 6:29 PM; Children’s Program (Beit Midrash) at 6:29 PM. For other activities this day, call 718-543-8400 or visit www.csair.org.
Wednesday, September 26 Riverdale
YOM KIPPUR 9 a.m. Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel 475 West 250th Street Shaharit Service (Sanctuary/Taub Room) at 9:00 AM; YCFP (0-5 year olds in the Classrooms) at 10:30 AM; Family Service (Parents with kids 6-12 years-Tent) at 10:30 AM; Teen/College Creative Service (Youth Lounge) at 10:30 AM; Reading of the Torah at 11:00 AM; Sermon at 12:00 PM. For other activities this day, call 718-543-8400 or visit www.csair.org.
Kingsbridge Spuyten Duyvil
MANGA DRAWING WORKSHOP 4 p.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 West 235th Street Do you have the next manga series lurking in your head? Join Ivan Velez and learn how to draw your characters, plot your stories, and more. All materials will be provided. For ages 12 to 18 years old. For more information, call 718796-1202.
OPEN AN ACCOUNT TODAY. 800-772-1090
TOASTMASTERS CLUB MEETING 7 p.m. Riverdale Neighborhood House 5521 Mosholu Avenue Bronx Toastmasters Club of Riverdale invites new members to join us at our free meeting. For further information, visit www. bronxtoastmastersclub.org or call 718-796-6671.
1 We will not charge you a fee for using any ATM. 2People’s United Bank will rebate to you all ATM fees other banks may charge when you use a non-People’s United ATM. Tax reporting may apply. 3Lower Hudson Valley includes Ulster, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester counties. New York City includes the ﬁve boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and Staten Island. ©2012 People’s United Bank | Member FDIC
The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, September 20, 2012
Free ATMs , anywhere, 1
Thursday, September 20, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW
Scandal-scarred assemblywoman crushed in adjoining district By MIAWLING LAM The residents of Tracey Towers propelled Bronx real estate agent and property manager Mark Gjonaj to a historic victory during last week’s four-way Democratic primary. According to unofﬁcial results released by the New York City Board of Elections last Thursday, Gjonaj trounced scandalplagued Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera by 513 votes. Data shows Gjonaj secured 2,407 votes, or 52 percent, to 1,894 votes, or 41 percent, for Rivera. The other two challengers, former reporter Adam Bermudez and community activist Irene Estrada-Rukaj, claimed 5 percent and 3 percent of the total vote respectively. Delivering a spirited speech at his victory party at Maestro’s Caterers on Bronxdale Avenue in Van Nest, Gjonaj said he was thrilled with the win. “This is the most exciting thing to happen to me in my life,” he said. “This is a victory for all the people of the 80th Assembly District. They deserve someone just as hardworking as they are.” A breakdown of polling sites shows the tenants of Tracey Towers proved to be the deciding factor in Gjonaj’s against-theodds victory against Rivera. Residents at the nearly 900-unit complex voted overwhelmingly in favor for the real estate agent—360 to 66—after he spearheaded a lawsuit aimed at blocking a 65 percent rent hike. Gjonaj led a ﬁght against the hefty increase by ﬁling, and ultimately winning, a temporary injunction against the hike. The building complex has traditionally
supported Rivera, but political pundits said Gjonaj’s advocacy in the lead-up to the primary swayed tenants to support the businessman. Gjonaj campaign manager Emmett Hare said Scott Towers and P.S. 105 were other polling sites that recorded large swings to the challenger. Hare said Gjonaj has now turned his attention to the November 6 general election and will focus on key issues including creating high-paying jobs, tackling unemployment and advocating for tenants and seniors. “Nothing has changed,” he told the Bronx-Press Review. “We have to continue the campaign through the general election, so he will continue to work as hard as he’s been working.” Meanwhile, Northwest Bronx Democrats director Anthony Rivieccio attributed Gjonaj’s win to a spike in voter turnout in the Norwood section of The Bronx. “If you look at Norwood, you’ll see a major increase in voting,” he said. “If I go by the estimated number, 25 percent of people in Norwood voted.” Rivera faced an uphill battle to retain her seat after facing bombshell allegations of nepotism and misuse of taxpayer funds. She is currently being investigated by at least ﬁve government agencies following reports she used taxpayer funds as her personal expense account and awarded cushy jobs to two lovers, neither of whom was qualiﬁed for the assigned position. Under the newly drawn boundaries, the 80th Assembly District covers Pelham
Parkway, Allerton, Pelham Gardens, Van Nest, Morris Park, Van Cortlandt Village, Pelham Bay and Norwood. If Gjonaj is successful in November’s election, he will become the ﬁrst Albanian-American elected to public ofﬁce in the borough. Meanwhile, there were few surprises in other primary challenges. Fresh from a defeat to Congressman Charles Rangel in June, Adriano Espaillat
beat Assemblyman Guillermo Linares to retain his seat in the Senate District 31. Incumbent State Senator Gustavo Rivera also comfortably triumphed over challenger Manny Tavarez after capturing 4,364 votes to the challenger’s 1,872. In a battle for a seat in Bronx Civil Court in the Second Municipal District, Eddie McShan prevailed over Juana Valentin 8,828 votes to 5,869, according to the uncertiﬁed results.
This huge tree fell across Fieldston Road and Faraday Avenue at approximately 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Miraculously only one car suffered minimal damage nor did the tree compromise any of the overhead powerlines.
Rink may result in parking loss yet to release a list of participating merchants. Lloyd’s Carrot Cake is the only conﬁrmed business. According to the 15-year license agreement, the rink is permitted to operate during the entire winter season from October 15 through March 30. Van Cortlandt Park Ice Rink LLC, a subsidiary of Ice Rink Events, will run the facility. The rink will measure 80 feet by 170 feet—just shy of an NHL regulation ﬁeld—and be open daily from noon until 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Patrons will be charged a $5 admission fee Monday through Friday before 6 p.m., and $8 on Fridays after 6 p.m., and on weekends and holidays. Around 800 pairs of skates will be available to guests and rental costing $5. Due to the high start-up costs, the concessionaire will pay only 5 percent of their gross receipts to the city in their ﬁrst two years. From 2015—the facility’s third year— the concessionaire will pay the city the higher of $25,000 or 5 percent of the gross receipts. Each year, the minimum fee increases until year 15 when it reaches $44,800. As common practice, all the revenue will go into the city’s general fund for future distribution. “We recognize that this is your community, and we want it to be a visual enhancement to the community, because the rink will hopefully be here for many years,” Kraut said.
Islam education Continued from Page 2 But the message was lost on fanatics in the Middle East, where 9/11 was commemorated with riots that killed U.S. ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens. Dr. Afridi responded to a request for comment on the attacks. ”I’m deeply upset with Muslims and with the ﬁlmmaker, but even more so with these uprisings that go against the tenets of Islam and Mohammed’s life. God only knows.” Bint Kadi commented, “The extremists staging and participating in violent protests throughout the Middle East have a deeply ﬂawed understanding of Islam, resulting from a lack of ‘true’ Islamic education and Islamic literacy due to years of living under authoritarian governments who discouraged education, especially for women…. “Our Prophet and our religion call on us to be people of deep reﬂection, not reaction, people of forgiveness and not vindictiveness, people who are calm in spirit, imparting peace and generosity, even in the most difﬁcult times.”
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PS 24 music program cuts
Continued from Page 1 the school to restore both positions. In a series of random interviews conducted on the ﬁrst day of the new school year, many parents and grandparents warned that the loss of a vocal teacher could negatively impact academic achievement and rob children of a wellrounded education. Under the partial restoration, the school will be eligible to continue par-
The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, September 20, 2012
Continued from Page 1 rink is scheduled to begin on Monday, October 1, Kraut said, and is predicted to last a month. Weather permitting, the rink is then slated to open to the public around Thanksgiving. Given the short timeframe, the matter is expected to come before CB8’s trafﬁc and transportation committee at its October meeting. Historically, locals in Riverdale have fought against the loss of any spaces—regardless of the number and justiﬁcation— because street parking is so scarce. But CB8 trafﬁc and transportation committee chair Daniel Padernacht conceded the proposal was the best solution, considering the circumstances. “Nobody likes giving up parking spaces, but they’re going to have to do something and provide for drop-offs and pick-ups,” he said. “Residents always respond negatively to a loss of spots, however, given the project, they may view safety at the site as more important.” The Mayor’s Street Activity Permit Ofﬁce is the agency that issues permits for street fairs, festivals, block parties and greenmarkets. A SAPO spokeswoman said once an application is received, recommendations are sought from the Community Board and relevant agencies, including the New York City Police Department, Department of Sanitation, Department of Transportation and Department of Buildings. Ultimately, a single person—the SAPO director—decides whether an application is ultimately approved or denied, she said. When asked how long the application process usually takes, the spokeswoman simply said: “Each permit application is different.” Meanwhile, ice rink ofﬁcials unveiled one of the ﬁrst renderings of the site and showed off an impression of their so-called “guest services pavilion.” The 13-container structure will house the skate rental shop, vending machines, a pizza bar, a room that can be rented for future parties and a small viewing deck. “The beneﬁts are signiﬁcant,” Kraut said. “It offers security, safety and comfort. Plus, it won’t collapse under a heavy snow load.” Kraut also revealed further details about the rink’s community partners program and said around a dozen local merchants have already signed up to participate. Under the proposal, which is subject to approval by the Department of Parks, local businesses will be asked to post skating school schedules and details about the rink’s hours of operation at their establishment. In exchange, participating merchants will be given a free billboard at the rink and be mentioned in the facility’s promotional materials. As of press time, skating ofﬁcials had
ticipating in the Music and the Brain program and the VH1 Save The Music Foundation. The MATB program supplies students from Grades K-2 with dozens of keyboards, while VH1 supplies pupils in Grades 3-5 with a range of woodwind instruments. Existing partnerships with the New York Philharmonic and Little Orchestra Society will also continue to supplement the school’s musical instruction.
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Thursday, September 20, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW
The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, September 20, 2012
Thursday, September 20, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW
David Glukh on trumpet and Ismael Butera on accordion will perform klezmer and pop music selections on Sunday, September 23, at 1 p.m. at the Van Cortlandt Jewish Center. The program, offered by the JASA Van Cortlandt Senior Center, includes a delicious kosher lunch. Moscow-born David Glukh, a Juilliard graduate, has made solo appearances with major orchestras throughout the world and has been featured in the David Glukh International Ensemble, Dallas Brass, Manhattan Soloists and Wholly Brass. Ismail Butera, a founding member of Metropolitan Klezmer, has played with the Klezmatics, Andy Statman and Yale Strom’s Hot P’Stromi. Please make your lunch reservations as soon as possible by calling Sharon Wolfe or Maritza Silva at 718-549-4700. The recommended donation for seniors is $2 for lunch and $2 for the musical event. The Van Cortlandt Jewish Center is located at 3880 Sedgwick Avenue off Van Cortlandt Avenue West. The Bx1 and the Bx10 buses stop nearby. The JASA Van Cortlandt Senior Center is funded by NYC Department for the Aging, UJAFederation of NY and special grants from
Councilman G. Oliver Koppell and other New York state representatives.
Toastmasters Club invites new members
Bronx Toastmasters Club of Riverdale invites new members to join us at our free meeting on Wed., Sept. 26, 7:00 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. We meet every second and fourth Wednesday of the month. For further information, reach us at our website http://www.bronxtoastmastersclub.org or call 718-796-6671.
Elvis Agyeman recipient of Schervier award
Bon Secours New York Health System’s Schervier Nursing Care Center is proud to announce Elvis Agyeman as the August 2012 Values in Action award winner. The prestigious award embodies the
core values of Schervier and is awarded to employees who consistently provide excellent service to residents and the community, while making a positive impact on the care center. Values in Action award is given monthly to a staff member who demonstrates superior care and a high level of service towards Schervier residents. A Values in Action award ceremony was held on Tuesday, August 28, 2012, to recognize Agyeman and honor his accomplishments. Stephen Kazanjian, Director of Mission, presented Agyeman with a certiﬁcate of excellence and a VIP parking spot for a month. Information about Schervier and Bon Secours New York may be obtained from the Business Development Department at 2975 Independence Avenue in Riverdale, by calling (718) 548-1700, and at www.scherviercares.org.
Rededication of Riv Y Senior Center
The Riverdale Y Senior Center was rededicated Sept. 9 at an open house attended by more than 230 people. The Senior Center has its own new theater, thanks to New York State funding for Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz. Councilman Oliver Koppell and Jeffrey Klein also
attended. Opera appreciation, creative writing, court room drama and exercise were just a handful of lectures and classes that were attended in the morning for the rededication. Under the new leadership of its new director, Sharon Asherman, and new staff members, including a social worker and program developer and new chef, attendance has increased 30% in just a few months. The center is planning to develop new programs and activities for the senior community. For more information regarding joining the Riverdale Y Senior Center, please contact, Sharon Asherman at 718-548-8200, ext. 230.
Schervier Center sponsors trip to Atlantic City
On Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012 Schervier Home will sponsor a Day trip to SHOWBOAT CASINO at Atlantic City. Cost is $28.00 per seat, with casino cash back of $25.00. The bus picks up from Schervier Apartments at 2995 Independence Avenue, Riverdale @ 8:55am and Knolls Crescent @ 9:00am. Returns at 8:30pm with drop offs at 230thst. & Kingsbridge Ave.; 232ndst. & Henry Hudson Parkway; Knolls Crescent and Schervier Apartments. For reservations please call NELLIE KENNY @ 718-543-0237.
The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, September 20, 2012
Klezmer at Van Cortlandt Jewish Center
Thursday, September 20, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW
Cleaning house Here’s some good news for the body politic here in The Bronx. Another corrupt political dynasty has bitten the dust, now that Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera was decisively defeated in her bid for re-election. You would be hard-pressed to ﬁnd a less productive legislator, and there were already rumblings that she had to go even before our former colleague, Candice M. Giove, wrote a series of stunning exposés in the New York Post last month. Ms. Giove revealed that the assemblywoman appeared to have used her position to provide publicly funded no-show or little-show employment to at least two of her current or former boyfriends (boy-toys, as the Post described them) and to her son as well. Ms. Rivera got her job in an equally disgusting way, having been foisted upon the public by her daddy, then-county Democratic boss Assemblyman Jose Rivera, through the common Bronx Democratic party practice of nepotism. These election results may have had the additional welcome effect of thwarting yet another disgusting ploy, an attempt for term-limited Councilman Joel Rivera to switch jobs with his assemblyman father. Voters have had enough. With an energetic candidate, Mark Gjonaj, opposing her, Naomi Rivera lost by a healthy margin of 11 percent. We were pleased to vigorously support Mr. Gjonaj in this race and look forward to seeing him assume ofﬁce January 1. Ms. Rivera is now the subject of at least ﬁve criminal investigations and could very well be ensnared by the judicial system, be indicted, stand trial and perhaps head to prison. The elimination of Naomi Rivera from the roster of Bronx public ofﬁcials isn’t the only good news to come our way. The recent conviction of City Councilman Larry Seabrook on serious federal charges had the delightful effect of having him instantly removed from his seat on the Council, even before he was be sentenced. This good news came after the Bronx was relieved of state Senator Pedro Espada and his predecessor, Efrain Gonzalez. Espada is headed to prison, where Gonzalez already resides. Sometimes you can catch a break. The remarkable new positive direction in the Bronx economic picture began with the departure of the ethically challenged former borough president Adolfo Carrion. Carrion actually resigned to take a top-level post with the Obama administration. But the ofﬁcials down in Washington quickly saw what we knew all along. Adolfo was an empty suit, short on both ability and integrity. He was quickly demoted to another position. While serving in his diminished D.C. job, he was reprimanded and ﬁned by the city’s Conﬂict of Interest Board for not paying to have a porch renovated at his palatial City Island home--until the scheme was discovered by the press and he was forced to ﬁnally cough up the missing payment. But the timing of the ﬁne may have been the last straw for the Obama administration, which ﬁnally cut him loose shortly thereafter. Efforts to revive his political career have thus far met with the utmost skepticism. Like the prizeﬁghter who speculated that “somebody up there likes me,” it looks like The Bronx must have a guardian angel. We have rid ourselves of Carrion, Espada, Gonzalez, Seabrook and now Naomi Rivera. We’re proud to have played a role in helping to remove the twin curses of corruption and nepotism from our borough’s political landscape. But there is much more to be done. The South Bronx still must contend with the equally disgusting Arroyo clan, and there are always new rumors of nepotism to contend with. And then of course we have no shortage of elected and non-elected ofﬁcials who seem to have cornered the market on incompetence. The watchword should be to elect some new blood, persons committed to cutting taxes and getting government off of our backs. We need more ofﬁcials who will support real economic development, the kind that brings real jobs and favorable attention back to this once “borough of universities,” and show that our best days are ahead of us, not behind us.
NYPD ‘above the law’
To The Editor: NYPD restricted access placards have been abused for numerous years. Ofﬁcers use the placards to park their private vehicles illegally anywhere they want with impunity. Said placards are only issued to ofﬁcers to park their private vehicles in the vicinity of the precinct where they are assigned to. However, they park in front of residential apartment buildings where they live, “No Parking Anytime,” “5 to 10’ from Fire Hydrants,” cross walks, etc. On Wednesday, Sept. 12, NYPD Trafﬁc Enforcement Vehicle Plate #1215 (50th Precinct) was writing a ticket to a motorist who parked in the “No Parking Anytime” zone at West 256th Street and Netherland Avenue. I asked the ofﬁcer why they do not ticket the other vehicles with the restricted access placards. The response of the ofﬁcer: “Yes, the cars are parked illegally,” and said, “We don’t ticket our own. If you don’t like it, ﬁle a complaint.” Typical arrogance!
Residential tenants are on a long list for garage space which cost $150/200 monthly. And in the interim they have to drive around for up to 30 minutes to ﬁnd a parking space. Usually a few blocks away, while police misuse the placards 24/7 in contempt of law. Mayor Bloomberg and the City Council must put a stop to this corrupt illegal activity all over the city, possibly barcoding the placards and the Precinct Commander’s directive to ofﬁcers when receiving same to cease this illegal and misuse of privilege. If such a law is enacted
Obama is weak on attacks on the U.S.
To The Editor: The events this past week, which saw the killing of four Americans in Tripoli and an attack on the embassy in Cairo, must call into question our foreign policy. President Obama has been accused of being too weak in promoting our values in
ANDREW WOLF, Editor and Publisher
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trafﬁc enforcement agents would be subject to ﬁnes, and penalties going forward if they refuse to cooperate with the law if enacted. “No Parking Anytime” applies to NYPD also. NYC residents must be vigilant, and report all infractions to the Civilian Complaint Review Board (311) or go online (CCRB). The City Council has addressed this issue in the past, but nothing gets done and it’s time now for action to stop this blatant abuse of NYPD restricted access dashboard placards. Name withheld upon request
CECILIA McNALLY Office Manager MIAWLING LAM Associate Editor
STAFF: Robert Lebowitz, Richard Reay, Paulette Schneider, Lloyd Ultan, Daniel R. Wolf
Islamic countries. Is this charge valid? I think so. I sensed there was something wrong when Pastor Jones in Florida announced that he was going to burn the Koran. President Obama, Secretary Clinton, and General Petraeus made known their phone calls to the pastor asking him not to desecrate the Koran. They did not explain to our Moslem friends that our culture allows this to happen. It is no reﬂection of our national posture. Similarly, when a Washington newspaper cartoonist irritated moderate Muslims in the U.S., our FBI informed the cartoonist that they could not protect her from the Muslims except to sugContinued on Page 15
Obama is weak on attacks on the U.S.
asked President Obama to prosecute the ﬁlmmakers who made a ﬁlm Egyptian Moslems don’t like. Our president says we will get the killers responsible for the attack in Tripoli as if they were part of a group that landed from the moon or some unafﬁliated group of miscreants. Let me ask: Is there one Imam in a Moslem country who speaks well of the U .S.? Are there thousands of Imams in Moslem and Western countries who speak h ate for the West, Jews, Christians, and what they call inﬁdels? The hate, which was played out in the streets of Cairo and Tripoli, was spawned in those mosques where those Imams preached. It is about time Hillary Clinton and President Obama had the courage to tell us the truths they know but are reluctant to share with us. Today we faced mobs with RPGs. Tomorrow, with our current foreign poligy, they will face us with atomic weapons. Philip Brieff
The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, September 20, 2012
Continued from Page 14 gest she give up her career and enter the witness protection program. The initial statement from our Cairo embassy with regard to the anger of the Moslem mobs was to condemn the source of their irritation, not to explain our values and culture. This initial statement was the most important one because it showcased the thinking of our State Department personnel. It was aimed to placate another culture, not to promote an understanding of our values. In thinking about these attacks it occurs to me that if an angry mob assembled outside any foreign mission in NY, how long would it be before the police would disperse or arrest them? 15 minutes, half, hour, 45 minutes? The attack in Tripoli took three hours. Where were the authorities? Nowhere to be seen or heard. The mob in Cairo was not chastised by Morsi, not dispersed by police, but Morsi
Obama panders to the Muslims
To The Editor: Muslims all over the Middle East are attacking American embassies shouting, “Death to America,” “Death to Israel,” burning the American ﬂag, and causing widespread damage and destruction. So far, and most sorrowfully, in the case of the Libyan attack, they have murdered four Americans including the ambassador. Why all this outrage? Because these supposedly “civilized” people took offense at how their prophet Mohammed was depicted in an American-made video titled, “Innocence of Muslims,” which they considered to be blasphemous. Let me contrast this reaction to the way some similar blasphemous socalled “artistic” works directed against the Catholic religion were responded to here in the United States. In 1987, the artist and photographer, Andres Serrano, took a photograph of a cruciﬁx submerged in a glass of his own urine. This infamous photograph titled, “Piss Christ,” became a world-wide sensation and was throughout the years prominently displayed everywhere, including locally at the Brooklyn Museum. More recently, another so-called “work of art” showing the Virgin Mary smeared with dung was also prominently exhibited everywhere, including locally also at the Brooklyn Museum. In both instances, the Catholic community denounced and protested these offensive and sacrilegious attacks on their church. But unlike the violence
and savagery exhibited by the Muslim protesters, the protests by the Catholics were PEACEFUL. What we basically have here is a clash of two civilizations that have major differences in values. The United States believes in freedom of speech and expression no matter how reprehensible and offensive, and in this Judeo-Christian country, protests are peaceful. In Muslim countries, to the contrary, if you offend their religion, the people resort to violence and even murder. Unfortunately, the Obama administration, because of political considerations and President Obama’s own personal beliefs, panders to the Muslims. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was recently quoted as saying, “This video (“Innocence of Muslims”) is disgusting and reprehensible. If appears to have a deeply cynical purpose to denigrate a great religion and promote outrage…” This same above statement certainly is also applicable to “Piss Christ” and that other piece of “artistic” crap which were meant to denigrate a great religion — Catholicism — and promote outrage. Why then are attacks against the Catholic church condoned under the banner of “freedom of speech” — but condemned when directed against the Muslim religion? The answer is quite obvious. President Obama — and the liberal “elite” — pander to the Muslims. Unfortunately, to our detriment! Alvin Gordon
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Thursday, September 20, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW