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Riverdale’s ONLY Locally Owned Newspaper!

Volume XVIII • Number 39 • September 22 - 28, 2011 •


Study casts new light on our local schools BY MIAWLING LAM Nearly two in five teachers at P.S. 24 resign within three years, P.S. 81 is grossly overcrowded and the Riverdale/Kingsbridge Academy allocates 72 percent of its budget to classroom instruction. New data released by the New York City Independent Budget Office reveals Riverdale’s three schools spent at least $8,000 educating each child last year. Despite the per-pupil spending, local class sizes exceed the citywide average, and both elementary schools cram nearly 30 students into each of their fifth-grade classrooms. The surprising figures emerged from the first-ever IBO analysis of city school data released last Wednesday and provide a rare glimpse into the inner workings of Riverdale’s three schools. While such details have previously been available in piecemeal fashion, the IBO’s report brings them together in one central location and allows parents to quickly see a school’s academic performance, student attendance rate and the way a school uses its funding streams. P.S. 24 earned the unwelcome distinction of having the largest class sizes in Riverdale, with the school packing an average of 29.8 students into its fifth-grade classrooms last year. In comparison, P.S. 81 had an average of 29 students in its fifth-grade class. Both elementary schools surpassed the citywide average of 25.4 pupils for that grade. The Spuyten Duyvil School also registered a three-year teacher attrition rate of 39 percent—the highest among Riverdale’s three public schools. When it came to classroom instruction spending though, P.S. 24 was unrivaled and allocated up to 77 percent—the largest proportion of all three schools—to student learning. At P.S. 81, overcrowding appears to be the greatest

concern. The school registered a building utilization rate of 130 percent, meaning the school exceeded its 526-student capacity by 159 pupils. In terms of the three-year teacher attrition rates, P.S. 81 recorded a figure of just 14 percent—far below the citywide average of 27 percent—and spent more than $9,500 educating each of its students, the highest of the three schools. Meanwhile, at M.S/H.S 141, nearly half the students are Hispanic, one in five pupils are over-age and daily attendance rates hover between 84 percent for twelfthgraders and 95 percent for sixth-graders. The data also shows RKA’s teachers boast a median of nine years teaching experience versus the citywide average of seven years, and a three-year teacher attrition rate of 33 percent, seven percentage points below the citywide high school average. RKA principal Lori O’Mara said although “a large number” of teachers retired last year, the school has a stable staff roster. “This is a school that tends to have longevity in its staff,” she told the Riverdale Review. “It’s the kind of place that people do want to stay at until they do feel like it’s time to retire.” In its analysis of citywide data, the IBO established a link between students’ economic situation and attendance record with their performance on statewide math and English tests. It concluded that students who are absent five days or fewer passed proficiency tests at a rate more than double of those who missed school 21 days or more. The agency also linked test scores to poverty and found that children from low-income families scored much lower on the English Language Arts and math tests than those who paid full-price for lunch.

IBO Director Ronnie Lowenstein said the findings represented a treasure trove of information. “We are pleased to make these new resources available to parents, policymakers and other New Yorkers concerned about the city’s schools,” she said. “The report provides a statistical description of the students who attend the city’s public schools, the fiscal resources available to support the schools, the principal and teachers who staff the schools, and selected indicators of school performance for key subgroups of students.” The report is the first study of its kind from the IBO after mayoral control of schools was renewed in 2009. Under the terms of the agreement, the budget office is required to “enhance official and public understanding” of the school system.

Daily traffic chaos reigns outside P.S. 24 and RKA

By MIAWLING LAM Student safety is allegedly being compromised after the Riverdale/Kingsbridge Academy changed their arrival and dismissal times. Under the changes, which came into effect two weeks ago, students from M.S/H.S 141 start and finish school within 10 minutes of their younger counterparts at P.S. 24. Concerns about the near-simultaneous arrival and departure of hundreds of students at the two schools were raised at last Wednesday’s Community Board 8 general meeting. CB8 member Robert Press said the timing alignment was causing traffic snarls and gridlock outside Continued on Page 5

Golf staffers at two local courses play for bragging rights

Employees of Van Cortlandt Park and Mosholu golf courses played in the third annual tournament between the two clubs, which wrapped up Monday after 18 holes at each course over a two week span. Van Cortlandt won on the final hole of the last match after K.B. Singh parred the 18th at Mosholu.

By BRENDAN McHUGH In true rubber-match fashion, the third annual “Vanny Lu” golf tournament between the employees of the Van Cortlandt Park and Mosholu golf courses came down to the final hole of the final match. Heading into the par 3 18th hole at Mosholu one up, Van Cortlandt golfer K.B. Singh knocked his tee shot to 15 feet while the two Mosholu golfers missed the green entirely. Singh and his partner made par while the other two finished with a bogey. In the match play, scramble tournament, Van Cortlandt won the hole. Not only were the two clubs tied going into the final hole, but they had been tied at the start of the day after the two teams played 18 holes at Van

Cortlandt Park last week. “It was a close match all the time,” Singh said. “It came down to the final round.” Fellow Van Cortlandt employee agreed, crediting the teamwork in the mostly individual sport. “Overall, we had a lot of guys that picked it up when others weren’t,” Martin Gordon said. “But it was tooth and nail down to the bitter end.” Van Cortlandt had almost put the tournament out of reach in the group before Singh. On the 18th hole, Tony DeSimone, the main organizer of the event, dropped a 36-footer uphill to halve the match. Had he missed the putt, Van Cortlandt would have gone up 4-2 and just needed to halve the final match.

Thursday, September 22, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Proposals sought for K’bridge mall By BRENDAN McHUGH The city’s Economic Development Corporation joined community leaders and building developers on a rainy Tuesday afternoon for a site tour of the future 230th Street shopping center. About a dozen or so developers showed up at what is currently a parking lot to learn more about the site and what the city and community would like to see built on it. When Ceruzzi Holdings failed to close on the 75,000-square-foot lot earlier this year, the city reissued a request for proposals for interested developers to come up with ideas for a new shopping plaza or mixed-use facility. EDC stressed economic development and job creation as major points of interest that developers should focus on when creating their proposals. A number of developers said that while housing was allowed, they see more potential in creating a shopping plaza. During the 45-minute tour, developers snapped pictures and examined the site’s boundaries, but overall asked very few questions. One developer pointed out that many of the people have worked with the city enough times to know what to expect, and the site visit is just one small step in a lengthy process. But in terms of the site itself, many were very excited. “It has unrestrained potential to contribute to the business and retail community,” said local architect Petr Stand, who is considering a bid. He added that since he lives in the neighborhood, he sees himself as a stakeholder who will benefit from a positive development of the site. Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, who first began pushing for the space to become a retail center 10 years ago, said he sees this as the final major piece in his vision for the economic development of the northwest Bronx. “This is the one piece in that corridor not developed, but it has incredible potential,” he said, referring both to the shopping center at West 225th Street that features a Target and to the site of the Stella D’oro factory, which is now in development and will probably be anchored by a BJ’s Wholesale Club. “This is a better site than ever.” Interested developers have until October 24 to submit plans. EDC said they will work with the community board in choosing the winning proposal. Past ideas for the site have included a multiplex and major box stores as anchors, such as Best Buy and Kohl’s. At the time, many thought the site was large enough for two 50,000-squarefoot retailers. Plans for a multipurpose building that included housing have also been floated. The site’s zoning requirements do require the developer to include parking with anything they build. Ceruzzi had agreed to a contract for at least one parking space for every 1,000 square feet of retail. The currently parking lot will remain open at least until the city agrees to a developer, and the city will look favorably upon any proposal that keeps the parking lot open until construction begins. EDC said they expect to close on the

deal by June 2012 and would like to see construction begin six months after. “I have a thousand percent confidence in the commercial potential for this site,” said Robert Fanuzzi, chairman of Community Board 8. He added that the surrounding neighborhoods represent a “desirable demographic for national and local retailers.” Community Board 8 vice chair Maria Khury said she is very pleased to see EDC working hand in hand with the community. The board is open to most any idea, but Khury said they do want “something creative.” As long as EDC remains forthcoming, she said, the end result will enhance the business community greatly.

Fear schedule pressures will thwart skating rink review the skating rink issue to the agenda for discussion was crushingly defeated in a majority vote. The FCRC was supposed to vote on the controversial project during their August—and then September—meeting, but the parks department failed to release the project details, forcing the committee to push the vote back at least another month. CB8 parks committee chair Bob Bender refuted claims the public would miss their chance to have a say. “It is simply not true that we won’t have enough time for discussion,” he said. “There is an opportunity for us to meet. We will have enough time to have a meeting.” Under city guidelines, the FCRC must finalize their agenda at least 15 days prior only 10 days in advance, which would offer enough time to schedule an emergency hearing if needed. The next FCRC meeting is penciled in for October 11, the same day as the next CB8 general meeting. Board Chairman Robert Fanuzzi also was adamant there would be enough time for public consultation. “If we work within 15 days, I repeat, we will match our deadlines under our bylaws of a 10-day notice,” he said. “This board is a well-oiled machine. It knows how to get public notices out. “No law has been broken. No deadline has been passed. Right now, we are simply waiting for confirmation that on October 11, they will have this on the agenda.” The Riverdale Review has also learned the city is currently in negotiations with a bidder. A source close to the parks department

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, September 22, 2011

By MIAWLING LAM and BRENDAN McHUGH Members of Community Board 8 are waiting on thin ice. A public meeting on the proposed Van Cortlandt Park ice-skating rink has now been scheduled for Tuesday, October 4, exactly a week before the next Franchise and Concessions Review Committee gathering. The forum, announced on Tuesday, is the third one that CB8 has called in as many months in anticipation of the project’s inclusion on the FCRC agenda. But because the parks department has yet to choose a winning bid, there is a possibility that CB8 will again be forced to cancel the forum. News of the latest meeting comes a week after board members insisted there would be enough time to garner public input on the project. With time quickly running out, CB8 member Robert Press expressed his concerns over the rushed process at last Wednesday’s general board meeting. Press intended to propose a resolution asking the FCRC to lay the matter over for a month so residents had ample time to discuss it. The FCRC’s vote will be the only formal approval of the rink. Community Board 8 will hold their own vote, but that vote will serve only as a recommendation. “All this [resolution] is, is protection. We’re not giving an opinion. We’re just asking them to delay it so we can get a full opinion,” he said. “We may not have enough time to call a special meeting and have a vote on it by our next Board meeting. The time frame is so tight.” However, Press’ motion even to add


said the city is currently in negotiations with Houston-based skating company Ice Rink Events, the only firm that submitted a bid. However, neither the city nor the company would confirm the discussions. The planned skating rink, first mentioned by Mayor Michael Bloomberg during his State of the City address last January, is scheduled to open in Van Cortlandt Park in two months. It will run on a 15-year contract strictly during the winter season and be located on now-unused tennis courts near the West 242nd Street elevated subway station. Details such as skate rental fees, time limits and food and drink vendors have yet to be revealed because they are left up to each bidding company to decide.

Montefiore Announces New Dental Clinic Opening The Department of Dentistry is opening a new clinic on Broadway, providing dental care for both adults and children. The new clinic accepts most dental insurance plans and is conveniently located for patients in the Marble Hill, Riverdale, and Kingsbridge areas of the Bronx. The new clinic provides the very best in patient care with new digital X-ray technology for diagnostics and electronic medical records to simplify insurance filing. To schedule your next appointment, call the clinic at 347-577-4950 or the Montefiore Dental Call Center at 1-888-700-6623.

Montefiore Dental Clinic 5500 Broadway Suite 102 Bronx, New York 10463

Recognized by U.S.News & World Report as a leader in specialty and chronic care, Montefiore is the University Hospital for Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Thursday, September 22, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Around the schools... DOE Helps With Middle School Admissions

A middle school fair to promote understanding of the admissions process will be held for District 10 on Tuesday, October 11, at the Theodore Roosevelt Educational Campus, 500 East Fordham Road. For more information, visit schools. or call 718-935-2398.

P.S. 24

Information sessions will be held in The Bronx to help parents of students with disabilities understand the individual education plan forms they must complete for their child’s special education program. The state developed a new IEP form to ensure that all students with disabilities get the specific supports and services they need in order to learn and achieve. Information sessions will be held at 1 Fordham Plaza, room 853, on Tuesday morning, October 4, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and on Thursday evening, October 6, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

P.S. 81

Get-acquainted meetings between parents and teachers are continuing this week. Meetings for parents of students in grades 3 and 5 will be held on Wednesday, September 21, and for parents of students in grades 2 and 4 on Thursday, September 22. Parents can visit the classrooms, ask about the curriculum and find out how their child spends the day. The year’s first parents association meeting is scheduled for Wednesday September 21, at 7 p.m. in the lunchroom. All are welcome to attend.

College Of Mount Saint Vincent

The college will hold a series of evening career advice workshops on the first Wednesday of each month starting October 5. Winning Wednesdays are free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required for all sessions. School of Professional and Continuing Studies faculty will discuss resume writing, hiring trends, interviewing skills and getting into position for the ideal job. Workshops run from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The topic for October 5 is hiring trends, presented by HR director the William Bechman. Resume writing will be discussed on November 2 by career

development specialist Diane Machado. Interviewing skills will be addressed on December 7 by assistant admissions director Christine Leake. To reserve a place, email or call 718-405-3269.

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M.S./H.S. 141—RiverdaleKingsbridge Academy

Overcoming Obstacles, a new life-skills program geared for middle school grades, has been launched at the school. The curriculum focuses on communication, decision-making and goal-setting. Parents are invited to meet their child’s teachers and discuss school day activities at Back to School Night on Thursday, September 22, from 7 to 9 p.m. RKA has improved its online presence—visit, or for up-to-theminute updates, follow the school on Twitter at OmaraRKA141.

Manhattan College

The college will begin the first of a three-part Major Authors Reading Series (M.A.R.S.) with distinguished essayist, novelist and film critic Phillip Lopate on Wednesday, September 21, at 4 p.m. in the Alumni Room of the Mary Alice and Tom O’Malley Library. These events are open to the public. The second M.A.R.S. session will feature award-winning poet and photographer Thomas Sayers Ellis, author of “Skin, Inc.” and “The Maverick Room,” on Wednesday, October 12. Claudia Emerson, 2006 Pulitzer Prize winner in poetry for “Late Wife,” will speak at the season’s final M.A.R.S. event on Thursday, November 3. Thomas A. McCarthy, class of ’06, has been named director of alumni relations. A seasoned employee of the college’s advancement office, McCarthy will enhance alumni communication, maintain relationships with young and senior alumni and organize events, among other duties. He most recently served as assistant director for annual giving, assistant director of alumni relations and alumni relations officer. In these roles, McCarthy developed new programs for alumni in arts, culture, athletics and the college’s Lasallian heritage while implementing more technological advances including online registration and the alumni e-newsletter.




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Riverdale Temple Selichot Program, Cookie Swap & Service

Saturday, September 24 th, 2011 at 7 pm Guest Speaker:

Dr. Jonathan Brent, Executive Director of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research

Co o kie S wa p and S e l ich o t S er vi ce t o fo l low t h e ab o ve program

Riverdale Temple and YIVO


are pleased to sponsor a FREE four session lecture series dealing with

Jewish transformation into the modern Jew .

We look forward to sharing this wonderful opportunity with you. R iverda le Temple 4 545 In de pend ence Av e. Ri ver da le, NY 1 0471

718-548-3800 ext. 0

Continued from Page 1 both schools, particularly around Independence Avenue and West 235th Street. “It’s a mess in the mornings and it’s a mess in the afternoons,” he said. “Cars are double-parking, triple-parking and blocking traffic. It’s such a hazard that there will be an accident. There will be children hurt.” According to RKA’s most recent school newsletter, all students from grades 6 through 12 will this year operate on a single bell schedule and attend school from 8:20 a.m. to 2:40 p.m. Meanwhile, school hours at P.S.24 remain unchanged, with all students attending school from 8:10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. In keeping with tradition, kindergarteners are dismissed even earlier—at 2:20 p.m. Last year, middle school RKA students attended school from 8:41 a.m. to 3:31 p.m., while it was 7:50 a.m. to 2:40 p.m. for high school pupils. Press said abolishing staggered arrival and dismissal times was a grave mistake, and student safety was being jeopardized. “You’ve got people who are in a hurry to get their children to school. You’ve got people who are bypassing the Henry Hudson Parkway and the service roads who come down Independence Avenue, and it’s also an emergency route for fire engines and ambulances,” he said. “It’s one big accident waiting to happen.” However, RKA principal Lori O’Mara defended the move and said the changes

would beef up the school’s extended-day program. “One of the reasons we changed the times this year is because we’re trying to develop a more extensive after-school program that would be a little more inclusive of all our students and their needs,” she told the Riverdale Review. O’Mara denied the change was having a negative impact on neighboring roads. “I haven’t noticed any issues with the arrival and dismissal changes at all,” she said. “A 10-minute gap should be enough, quite honestly, to get the students in the building.” Commanding officer of the 50th Precinct Captain Kevin Burke said traffic safety officers would be deployed to the area in coming days to assess whether there were any safety-related breaches. “Going forward, we’re going to make it a priority,” he said. He admitted that policing the matter involved a delicate balance, and officers had to realize that parents were doubleparking all throughout the city. “It’s hard, because people are going to double-park outside schools—it’s just the nature of having too many cars in a small location,” he said. “With that said, they can’t triple-park. It’s a deadly combination. “We’re going to have to monitor and balance it. If we feel like it’s a critical safety issue, then we’ll take appropriate action.” The issue was also raised at Tuesday’s traffic and transportation committee meeting, but discussions concluded after press time.

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

...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

5 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, September 22, 2011

Schedule change snarls traffic near schools

the cookies and service to follow the program. Riverdale Temple is located at 4545 Independence Ave. Riverdale, NY. For more information, call 718-548-3800.

Thursday, September 22, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Upcoming activites at Marble Hill Senior Center

The following programs are scheduled at the Marble Hill Senior Center in the upcoming week: On Friday September 23rd at 1:00 PM singer Carol Freeman accompanied by Haig Manoukian, on the oud, will perform in concert. They will play Greek, Balkan, Sephardic and Middle Eastern songs. On Tuesday September 27th at 11 AM members of the Center’s Creative Writing Group will be reading from their latest collection of stories. Both programs are free and open to NYC residents aged 60 or older. The Marble Hill Senior Center is located at 5365 Broadway between West 228th and West 230th Streets. A hot lunch is offered at noon Monday through Friday for adults aged 60 and older. For more information call 718-562-8551.

Boy Scouts open house at RPC auditorium

Boy Scouts of America Troop 240 in Riverdale, one of the best and oldest scout troops in America since 1920, invites everyone to join them on Friday, Sept. 30 at 7:30 p.m., and learn how Scouts have ‘Fun with a Purpose,’ at The Riverdale Presbyterian Church, 4765 Henry Hudson Parkway. Boys from 11 to 17 years old (10 1/2 and completed 5th grade) can join. They go hiking, fishing, camping, climbing, bowling, swimming, skiing, cycling and canoeing. Scouts learn

Leadership and Communication Skills, Community Service, Emergency Preparedness, Personal Fitness, Cooking, Athletics, Computers and so much more. Parents are invited to bring their son to meet and greet and maybe join their future leaders, the Scouts of Troop 240. Parents or guardian must be present to sign up. Come see why they take pride in Scouting, with its 100+ years of timeless values of Leadership, the Scout Oath and the Scout Law. They welcome all ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds, including boys with disabilities.

Shaarei Shalom to hold Selichot services

Congregation Shaarei Shalom will begin the observance of the High Holiday observance with a Selichot program of study, dessert and a service of penitential prayers on Saturday evening, September 24, 2011, at 8:00 P.M. at the synagogue at 5919 Riverdale Avenue. The interactive study session, led by Rabbi Steven D. Burton, begins at 8:00 P.M. and will focus on the writings of Dr. Louis E. Newman. It will be followed by a dessert collation. At 9:45 P.M. will be a Selichot service of penitential prayers and inspiring music led by Rabbi Burton, Cantor Daniel Pincus and accompanied by pianist, Walter Winterfeld. This program is open to the entire Riverdale community and will surely be

a fitting start to the approaching High Holiday season. 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. For further information about the congregation, services, membership, its Religious School, or any of the many adult program offerings, please contact the congregation at: (718) 798-0305, e-mail the congregation at: shaareishalomrive or visit its website at:

CSAIR to offer poetry, music, spoken word on Selihot

The Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale (CSAIR) will present a program of poetry, music and spoken word on Selihot, Saturday evening, Sept. 24. ‘Taking Account of Our Soul: Poems of Repentance and Memory’ will bring together Judith Baumel and Sarah Stern, poets and CSAIR members, who will read poems from their new books, share some unusual favorites, and encourage a discussion about literary approaches to teshuvah. The program will also include musical performance under the direction of Cantor Elizabeth Stevens with words by Rabbi Katz. Plans will also be introduced for a Beit Midrash Poetry Workshop at CSAIR, coming later this year. A dessert reception sponsored by the CSAIR Sisterhood will precede the program at 8:45 p.m. The program will begin at 9:15 p.m. and will be followed at 10:30 p.m. by Selihot services led by Rabbi Katz and Cantor Stevens. The reception, program, and service are free and open to the entire community. For more information, call the CSAIR office at 718-543-8400 or go to www.

Selichot Program at Riverdale Temple

Selichot Program, Cookies, and Service to be held on September 24th, at 7 p.m. The program will feature Dr. Jonathan Brent from YIVO. Come learn and enjoy

Classic film featured at Christ Church

Christ Church Riverdale presents a special showing of the 1925 classic silent film The Phantom of the Opera starring Lon Chaney, accompanied on the organ by Tim Brumfield. The film showing will be on Saturday, September 24, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets $10; $5 for seniors/students. Bring your friends and neighbors! Don’t miss this unique experience! Christ Church Riverdale is located at 5030 Henry Hudson Parkway. For more information, call 718-543-1011 or visit

Riverdale Repertory to hold auditions

An Beal Bocht’s Poor Mouth Theater Sets Auditions for The Beauty Queen of Leenane at the Y The Riverdale Repertory Company, located at the Riverdale Y, announces a partnership with the widely acclaimed Poor Mouth Theater Company that has been performing at Riverdale’s An Beal Bocht. In this join effort, Poort Mouth Theater will present THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE by Martin McDonoagh in late November. The director, Don Crredon will hold auditions on Sunday, September 25 from 5-9 pm and Monday, September 26 from 6-9 pm at the Riverdale Y. Anyone who is interested in paticipating in this production should contact Laurie Walton at or call her at the Y, (718) 548-8200, ext. 208.

Riverdale Israeli House at the Y (iHouse)

Riverdale Israeli House at the Y (iHouse) is a program for Riverdale’s Israeli families and their friends. From 10:30 - 12:30, enjoy Gym-bo time with a bounce castle and other fun gymnastics equipment, an Israeli-style brunch, and then programming for children and adults. Supported in part with funds from UJA-Federation of New York. All-inclusive fee is $25 per family in advance / $30 at the door. Future dates and tickets available online via our website, September 25th- opening picnic (bring your own picnic food - picnic at Tibbets Park in South Yonkers). For information, contact the program’s coordinator, Talya Leib at


Fr. Carozza to address Serra Club meeting

Fr. Andrew Carozza is the Pastor of St. Ann’s Church in Yonkers and is well known for his classes in the Catechetical Formation Program for the Archdiocese of New York. Father will be the guest speaker at the Sept. 28th luncheon meeting of the Serra Club of The Bronx and Westchester. His topic will be, ‘Does God have a sense of humor?’ The Serra Club is an international organization, whose mission is to foster and promote vocations to the ordained priesthood and vowed religious life, and

Social Security Assistance at Engel office

Representatives of the Social Security Administration will be at Congressman Eliot Engel’s Bronx office on Wednesday, September 28th to assist people with questions or problems concerning this program. This service, at 3655 Johnson Avenue, is available only by appointment, which may be made by calling Richard Fedderman of his office at 718 796-9700. Rep. Engel said, ‘Social Security affects many people in my district. Consequently, I have these experts from the Social Security Administration come to my office every month to help constituents with any problems they may have with the program.’ The Congressman also directed people to the Social Security website (www.ssa. gov) which offers a wide array of on-line services including filing for retirement, survivors and disability benefits, change of address, replacing lost Medicare cards, and keeping up to date on Social Security information.

NYSERDA’S HOME PERFORMANCE WITH ENERGY STAR® PROGRAM IS ONE OF THE NATION’S LEADERS IN MAKING HOMES MORE ENERGY EFFICIENT. Most New Yorkers qualify for a free or reduced-cost comprehensive home assessment, also referred to as an energy audit, and low-interest loans.** Additionally, participants may be eligible for cash-backincentives. All our Home Performance contractors are accredited by the Building Performance Institute.

For complete information, go to home-performance or call 1-877-NY-SMART. RES-HP-adv1-feb11

Bronx Toastmasters Club of Riverdale invites new members to join us at our free meeting on September 28th at 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 skillsall in a supportive, non-intimidating environment. Come as a guest and witness for yourself what they accomplish. They meet every second and fourth Wednesday of the month. For further information, visit their website or call 718-796-6671.

through this ministry, fosters and affirms the members’ common Catholic faith. Luncheon meetings are held at noon at the Eastwood Manor at 3371 Eastchester Road (corner of Boston Post Road) in the Bronx. The cost of the luncheon is $20. Call 718-654-3601 for additional information and reservations.

* Actual savings may vary based upon ef⸀ciency measures selected, age of home, appliances, equipment and other factors. A participating contractor can help evaluate potential savings. ** Financing, energy audits, and workforce development opportunities made available through the Green Jobs-Green NY Act of 2009.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, September 22, 2011

Toastmasters Club invites new members

Join the thousands of homeowners who have saved up to $700 on their annual home energy costs*

Thursday, September 22, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Friday, Sept. 23 Marble Hill

CONCERT 1 p.m. Marble Hill Senior Center 5365 Broadway Singer Carol Freeman accompanied by Haig Manoukian, on the oud, will perform in concert. They will play Greek, Balkan, Sephardic and Middle Eastern songs. A hot lunch is offered at noon Monday through Friday for adults aged 60 and older. For more information call 718-562-8551.

Saturday, Sept. 24 Kingsbridge

MEDITATION 2 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street A meditation movement empowering New Yorkers to do more of the things they love by recharging through meditation: a practical way to refresh every day. For more information, call 718-548-5656.


SELICHOT PROGRAM 7 p.m. Riverdale Temple 4545 Independence Avenue Selichot Program, Cookies, and Service will feature Dr. Jonathan Brent from YIVO. Come learn and enjoy the cookies and service to follow the program. For more information, call 718-548-3800.


CLASSIC FILM PRESENTATION 7:30 p.m. Christ Church Riverdale 5030 Henry Hudson Parkway Christ Church Riverdale presents a special showing of the 1925 classic silent film The Phantom of the Opera starring Lon Chaney, accompanied on the organ by Tim Brumfield. For more information, call 718-543-1011 or visit www.


SELICHOT SERVICES 8 p.m. Congregation Shaarei Shalom 5919 Riverdale Avenue Congregation Shaarei Shalom will open the High Holiday season with a Selichot program of study, dessert and a service of penitential prayers. For more information, call (718) 798-0305, e-mail the congregation at: shaareishalomriverdale@gmail. com or visit its website at:

Sunday, Sept. 25 Riverdale

ARTIST RECEPTION 2 p.m. Society for Ethical Culture 4450 Fieldston Road Riverdale Art Association will hold an artist reception to open the exhibit of paintings by Michael Sharkey. For more information, call 718-548-4450.

Monday, Sept. 26 Spuyten Duyvil

READING ALOUD 4 p.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 West 235th Street A librarian will share favorite picture books, providing children with the wonder of books and the joy of reading. For ages 5 to 12 years old. For more information, call 718796-1202.


ANIME NIGHT 4 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Want to see the hottest new anime? Come check out what’s on screen at the library. Bring your friends, your pocky, and your anime and manga fandom! For ages 12-18. For more information, call 718-548-5656.


CB8 MEETING 7:30 p.m. Community Board 8 5676 Riverdale Avenue Meeting of the Housing Committee of Community Board 8. For more information, call 718-884-3959.

Tuesday, Sept. 27 Spuyten Duyvil

BABY LAPSIT 11 a.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library

650 West 235th Street Babies from birth to 18 months old and their parents/caregivers can enjoy great books, lively songs, and rhymes, and meet other babies in the neighborhood. For more information, call 718-796-1202.

Marble Hill

BOOK READING 11 a.m. Marble Hill Senior Center 5365 Broadway Members of the Center’s Creative Writing Group will be reading from their latest collection of stories. A hot lunch is offered at noon Monday through Friday for adults aged 60 and older. For more information call 718-562-8551.


MANGA DRAWING WORKSHOP 4 p.m. Riverdale Branch Library 5540 Mosholu Avenue Obsessed with the creatures of the night? Bring them to life on the page with horror master Ivan Velez. Zombies, werewolves, vamps, and ghouls achieve afterlife while your create. All materials will be provided. For ages 12 to 18 years. old. For more information, call 718-549-1212.


TURTLE DAY 4 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street TURTLE DAY (Teaming Up Readers Toward Literacy Excellence) with LINC (Literacy Inc.) @Kingsbridge Library on Tuesday Sept.27 @4:00 ages 5-12 years old. For more information, call 718-548-5656.


CB8 MEETING 7:30 p.m. Community Board 8 5676 Riverdale Avenue Meeting of the Education Committee of Community Board 8. For more information, call 718-884-3959.

Wednesday, Sept. 28 Riverdale

TOASTMASTERS CLUB MEETING 7 p.m. Riverdale Neighborhood House 5521 Mosholu Avenue Bronx Toastmasters Club of Riverdale invites new members to at their free meeting. For further information, visit their website or call 718-796-6671.


HIGH HOLIDAY SERVICES 7:30 p.m. P.S. 24 660 West 236th Street Congregation Shaarei Shalom cordially invites unaffiliated members of the Riverdale community to join them for the High Holy Days at P.S. 24 which will be transformed into synagogue space. Tickets will be required for all Rosh Hashana and Kol Nidre-Yom Kippur services. To reserve tickets, please call Congregation Shaarei Shalom at 718 796-0305.

Thursday, Sept. 29 Spuyten Duyvil

TODDLER STORY TIME 10:30:00 Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 West 235th Street Toddlers from 18 months to 3 years old and their parents/caregivers can enjoy interactive stories, action songs, and fingerplays, and spend time with other toddlers in the neighborhood. For more information, call 718-796-1202.


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

Friday, Sept. 30 Kingsbridge

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.

By BRENDAN McHUGH A campaign to prevent the city from paving over Van Cortlandt Park’s Putnam Trail isn’t making much headway, despite some community support. “We’re just going to keep pressing on, showing the parks department what the community feels and letting them know where the community stands,” said Michael Oliva, a leader of the Save the Putnam Trail group. The group is staunchly against the city’s plan to pave over the Putnam Trail’s dirt path with asphalt to make the route more accessible to bicyclists, people with strollers and the handicapped. The Department of Parks and Recreation received federal monies from the Department of Transportation to refurbish the 1.5-mile-long trail. The project also includes restoring historic pylons and railroad remnants and creating better access to the Van Cortlandt Park Pond. But the problem revolves around the path itself. The parks department plans on paving over the dirt trail and widening the path to 16 feet—10 feet of asphalt and three feet of compacted dirt for runoff on each side. The parks department has told the group’s supporters that they can run on the sides of the trail if they would rather not run on the asphalt. The Save the Putnam Trail campaign has gotten trail users to send letters to the city asking them to reconsider paving the trail. Instead of 10 feet of asphalt, the group is willing to compromise with an eight-foot-wide stone dust path.

“Hopefully when they see thousands of letters, and 95 percent of the people don’t want this, they’ll realize they’re making the mistake,” Oliva said. However, he said that while the parks department did send a response to those letters, they have yet to respond to the Save the Putnam Trail group directly. “It feels like they’re trying to pretend the public doesn’t exist,” he said. “They create plans in a vacuum and don’t want to be bothered by taxpayers and the public. It doesn’t make any sense—it reminds me of the Robert Moses days, from what I’ve read.” Furthermore, Oliva and the campaign claim that the parks department continues to make false statements. “The funding requires the Putnam Trail be improved. It does not specify the need for asphalt pavement,” it says on the group’s website, savetheputnamtrail. com. “The Erie Canal Trail utilized the same funding and improved many of their trails with a stone dust surface. Trails with eight-foot width have been built in New York City with the same funding.” Along with that, the group challenges the parks department on their claims that bikers cannot use stone dust trails, that maintenance costs for stone dust trails are higher than for asphalt and that no additional runoff is expected because of asphalt paving. At last week’s Community Board 8 parks committee meeting, it was suggested that the board should get the campaign and the city together to hash out their differences in person.

9 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, September 22, 2011

Attempt to save Putnam Trail hits roadblock

Thursday, September 22, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


New after school programs to enhance RKA BY MIAWLING LAM The Riverdale/Kingsbridge Academy will roll out a series of after-school enrichment clubs in a bid to boost student morale and achievement. Under the new voluntary program, to begin later this term, M.S/H.S 141 students will be encouraged to participate in extended-day programming and sign up for special-interest groups. The clubs will cater to a variety of student needs and interests and include everything from mathematics to pioneering to SAT preparation. RKA principal Lori O’Mara said the clubs were born out of a combination of teacher and student interests. O’Mara was unaware that P.S. 24 rolled out a similar initiative last year—theirs are held during lunch—but she believed it would positively impact students. “I’m very excited about the clubs because I think it will include a few more students who aren’t the top athletes,” she said. “We do tend to do very well in athletics, and we have competed well in our higher academic clubs. But this is a little more inclusive of all students and founded on the notion that if diverse things are offered, then they will get along better in general. It’s human nature.” O’Mara said the enrichment groups were made possible by changes to the school’s arrival and dismissal times. This year, all RKA students will attend school from 8:20 a.m. to 2:40 p.m., with extended-day programming running from 2:40 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Last year, middle school RKA students

attended school from 8:41 a.m. to 3:31 p.m., while high school pupils arrived at 7:50 a.m. and left at 2:40 p.m., rendering any school-wide programming near impossible. The streamlining of school hours has also allowed RKA to implement a series of other extended-day programs. O’Mara said struggling middle school students would be offered English and math support, while others, who are enrolled in Riverdale Community Center, could participate in homework help. Seniors will also be able to take advantage of their teachers’ office hours. “One time a week, [high school teachers] will have an office-hour period so that individual students can come to them,” she said. “There’s always things like ‘I didn’t understand this problem,’ or ‘I’m really not sure what you want on this assignment,’ or ‘can you go over this essay with me?’ “Things that are kind of one-on-one are what high school students need out of communication with their teachers. Again, it’s another thing that will offer a nice package to students after school. “I’m excited because I feel we’re trying to hit everything that students need.”

FAX education news to:

The Riverdale Review (718) 543-4206 or email to

11 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, September 22, 2011



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Thursday, September 22, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Koppell pledges a brighter future for Seton and Ewen Parks By BRENDAN McHUGH Seton Park’s soccer field is getting a makeover, but whether the pitch will be natural or artificial is up to the community. City Councilman G. Oliver Koppell, who has slated $900,000 for the park’s refurbishment, toured Seton Park with a handful of community members last month and found a number of issues with the field. “It’s not in good shape,” he said, noting the puddles that form because of poor drainage. “But in order to do all of Seton Park, it’d be like $2 million dollars.” So Koppell has put forth the largest allocation of funds toward the park to fix the drainage issues and clear out embedded rocks and other debris on the field. “There’s some dispute as to exactly what should be done where, and there is considerable difference of opinion,” he said. “Should it be artificial turf or grass? I don’t want to make those decisions. Let the community board and local residents come together and make the decision.” According to Koppell’s office, a number of different youth sports groups are split over which type of surface to use. But in recent weeks, they’ve received more support for natural grass than artificial. “The infield area is OK,” said Ray Norberto, a coach in the South Riverdale Little League. “But too much turf isn’t good.” He did joke that “the kids will play on concrete,” but the negative issues with artificial turf outweigh the benefits. “As a public space, turf keeps the heat,” he said. “During games in May and June, that turf after 12 o’clock—it’s hot.”

Other concerns that have so far been pointed out to Koppell’s office include latex allergy, chemical exposure and injuries to knees, hips and other joints. Community Board 8 parks committee chairman Bob Bender said he plans to hold a meeting in that area in the hope of generating a consensus. The park runs along Independence Avenue starting at West 232nd Street, across from the back of The Whitehall. There are pros and cons to each type of surface. While natural grass would be cheaper initially, the cost of maintenance over the long run would eventually surpass the cost of maintaining a synthetic field. Also, there is never a guarantee that the new grass and drainage work will suffice, and the park could still face the same problems later on. Over the past few years, Seton Park’s field has had more than $2 million invested in it, yet flooding issues still remain. According to the parks department, park users in the city have been known to overuse artificial turf, leading to wear and literal tear. Since the synthetic material, where the grass is a plastic material and the soil is crunched up rubber, can be used almost immediately after a rain and also during the winter when snow is removed, the field cannot always handle the amount of use it gets. Typically, however, the fields that end up wearing down and tearing are in higher-density neighborhoods than Riverdale, but that is not always the case. Norberto pointed out that Seton Park is one of the biggest parks in the Riverdale/ Kingsbridge area.

Koppell also toured Ewen Park with community members. At the parks committee meeting last week, Adele Finer Rabin laid out of list of recommendations for the park on behalf of shareholders of 511 West 232nd Street. The recommendations include both short-term and long-term actions. Some of the short-term recommendations include solving safety issues, such as fixing sinkholes, removing fallen trees, repaving the sidewalks and building a playground. Koppell is planning to allocate $750,000 toward Ewen park. Rabin said the park was “lush” when she first moved in a decade ago, but since then, erosion from water runoff has destroyed the grass.

She added that neighbors feel as though they have no local playground for their children. The nearest playground is Maclaughlin Park on Greystone Avenue, a half-mile away. According to Rabin, there are 29 children under the age of 10 in 511 West 232nd Street who would use the playground daily. Koppell said he couldn’t fund the playground this year because he has already committed to repairing the basketball courts, but he suggested that Rabin and her community ask for a playground next year. Meanwhile, his office will work with the departments of parks and environmental protection to solve the drainage issues creating sinkholes.


Mt. Vernon

MEDICARE BASICS 10 a.m. Westchester County Office Building 9 S. First Ave., 8th floor Case workers will provide information about Medicare parts A, B, C and D and how to use Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) for even greater savings. EPIC is a New York State-sponsored plan that helps eligible seniors pay prescription drug costs. They will also discuss Medigap insurance, cost-sharing and preventive benefits. Program sponsored by the Westchester County Department of Senior Programs and Services (DSPS). To register, call DSPS’ Medicare Information Line at (914) 813-6100.


SPECIAL PRESENTATION 6:30 p.m. Westchester Italian Cultural Center One Generoso Pope Place Il Terronismo: The Colonization of Southern Italy. Professor-in-Residence Antonio Rutigliano of NYU provides his own historical interpretation of the Italian South following the 150th anniversary of the Italian Unification. He will review the complex nature of Italian ethnic identity as it existed during the italian unification mapKingdom of the Two Sicilies and the rebellions that took place after the Unification of Italy, which led to the colonization of the South by the North and the subsequent creation of the “terronismo” identity of Southern Italians. Members $10, Non-Members $20. Must register in advance and prepay. For info, call (914) 771-8700 or visit

Friday, Sept. 23 Ossining

HAWK MIGRATION 9 a.m. Teatown Lake Reservation 1600 Spring Valley Road The view from Teatown Hill encompasses the Hudson River flyway and a chance to see migrating hawks, vultures and maybe even a falcon or eagle. FREE. Call 914-762-2912 ext. 110 to make a reservation. Please note this program is for adults only. For more information, call 914-762-2912 ext. 110.


FALL FESTIVAL GALA 6:30 p.m. Caramoor Center for Music & Arts 149 Girdle Ridge Road The opening of the 3rd annual Fall Festival will be kicked off with a stellar Gala event - come celebrate the New York Philharmonic’s return to Caramoor! Guests will enjoy seasonal preconcert cocktails and priority seating at the concert in the venetian Theater. Dine and dance the night away, with the artists, after the performance. Event Co-chairs: Patricia and Edward Falkenberg. For info, call (914) 232-1492 or visit


READING 7:30 p.m. Sarah Lawrence College Reisinger Auditorium An Evening With Beau Sia. Come out and enjoy one of the sharpest, funniest, most original spoken word poets on earth, Beau Sia. Featured in the films Slam, Slam Nation, and Rachel’s Getting Married, Beau Sia has won a Tony on Broadway and toured the globe with Russell Simmon’s Def Poetry Jam. Now see him let loose at Sarah Lawrence. Students Bekkah Olson, Kittie Walsh, Arhm Choi, Bettina Harriman, and Kyla Marshell will open up. With a special appearance by literature professor Alwin Jones. Hosted by Jeffrey McDaniel.


PHOTOGRAPHY PRESENTATION 8 p.m. Westchester Community College Tech Bldg., East Gate Westchester Photographic Society presents Larry Becker, “Image Processing. The public is invited for an exciting and inspiring evening of photography. Free. For more information, visit or call 914-271-5542.

Saturday, Sept. 24 Cross River

FALL MIGRATION BIRD WALK 9 a.m. Trailside Nature Museum Route 35 Catch a glimpse of birds, including hawks, as they pause to fuel up on their arduous journey south. For info, call 914-864-7322.


COLLOQUIUM 10 a.m. Sarah Lawrence College Heimbold Visual Arts Center Geography Coalition Presents FOOD SYSTEMS COLLO-

QUIUM. Come find out about the factors affecting world food prices, the implications of global finance systems, mushrooms, where your New York City restaurant food comes from, and even how you can live cheap and eat well! This Colloquium will address what makes our food system tick. From Politics to Soil, the Colloquium will be sure to whet your appetite. Please RSVP to:


MORNING HIKE 10 a.m. Croton Point Nature Center Croton Point Avenue Discover the secrets of Croton Point Park and the beautiful Hudson River. For more information, call 914-862-5297.

North White Plains

AUTUMN CLEAN-UP 10 a.m. Cranberry Lake Preserve Old Orchard Street Jobs include litter pick-up, trail clearing, boardwalk repairs and more. A great way for students to meet their community service requirements. For more information, call 914-428-1005.


HAWK WATCH 10 a.m. Lenoir Preserve Dudley Street Join the Hudson River Audubon Society on the great lawn in front of the mansion to look for migrating hawks. For more information, call 914-968-5851.


GENEALOGY 10 a.m. Westchester Italian Cultural Center One Generoso Pope Place Professional genealogist Toni McKeen will walk you through four possible methods to locating foreign documents. Learn how to italian recordsread them, translation tips, and determine the true meaning of these documents. Members free, Non-Members $10 Must register in advance and prepay. (914) 771-8700 or visit


TEATOWN KITCHAWAN TRAIL 10 a.m. Teatown Lake Reservation 1600 Spring Valley Road Enjoy the first colors of fall as we ramble the TK Trail starting at Kitchawan Preserve. This hike meanders through old farm fields and reclaimed woods, follows a road along the reservoir before climbing a steep hill with open views to the Croton Reservoir. Wear hiking boots, bring water and lunch. This hike is part of the Hudson Valley Ramble. Free for members; $5pp for nonmembers. Call 914-762-2912 ext. 110 to make a reservation. Please note this program is for adults only.


NATURE WALK 11 a.m. Lenoir Preserve Dudley Street Leisurely Walk Along the Aqueduct. Take a walk to Draper Park. Bring a lunch. For more information, call 914968-5851.

Mt. Vernon

INTERGENERATIONAL FESTIVAL 12 p.m. Wartburg Adult Care Community 1 Wartburg Place Families and children of all ages are invited to participate in music, raffles, games and refreshments. Dedicated to the memory of Ms. Elfriede Gross, the woman who helped raise Mr. Fair, CEO and founder of The Future Society, at The Wartburg when it was a children’s home and all those who dedicate themselves to the care of children. For info, call 914-539-2589.


AN EDIBLE EVENING 6:30 p.m. Ivanna Farms 153 Woods Road Join Mount Kisco Child Care Center in honoring Leslie Lampert, Proprietor, Ladle of Love & Café of Love and Marian & Larry Cross, Owners and Farmers, Amawalk Farm for their continuous efforts to bring healthy eating choices and educational opportunities to our community. Featuring tastings from local establishments, music and auctions, all funds raised throughout the evening will enable the Center to continue offering quality, affordable and innovative childcare. Tickets are available for $175. For further information, tickets or donations, please Keri Reitman at 914-241-2135

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thursday, Sept. 22

Thursday, September 22, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thursday, September 22, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



Schervier sponsors a Day Trip to Show Boat Casino, Atlantic City on Tuesday, Sept. 27, leaving 8:55 a.m. and returning 8:30 p.m. The bus leaves from the Schervier Apartments, 2995 Independence Avenue, Riverdale, at 8:50 a.m. and returns around 8:30 p.m. There will be drop offs at 230th Street and Kingsbridge Avenue; at Knolls Crescent; 232nd Street and Henry Hudson Parkway; and last at the Schervier Apartments. People can also be picked up at Knolls Crescent at 9:00 a.m. The cost is $28 and you receive $30 back from the casino! To reserve a seat, please call Nellie Kenny at 718-543-0237. Leave your name and phone number and she will get back to you.

Walton HS Class 1961 to hold 50-year reunion

Walton High School Class of 1961 is planning a 50-year reunion and is looking for missing classmates. Nearly 800 students were in the graduating class and because all were girls, the reunion committee has the formidable task of tracking down their peers. However, through letters, emails, phone calls and perseverance, reunion

coordinator Roberta Seidner said many graduates have been located and many still live in the Bronx/Riverdale area. The cohort’s most famous graduate is Penny Marshall, who starred in the television show ‘Laverne and Shirley.” If you were an alumni of the Class of 1961 or would like more information, please contact Roberta Soloff at or Ilene Steckler Cohen on 914-245-3129.

High Holidays Services at Chabad of Riverdale

‘At the request of many Riverdale residents we will once again conduct High Holiday services on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur’ said Rabbi Levi Y. Shemtov, Executive Director of Chabad Lubavitch of Riverdale. The services will be held at the Chabad Shul and Kinneret Day School. This year’s Cantors will be Rabbi Yitzchok Dubov and Rabbi Dovid Polter, who will inspire the congregants with their sweet melodies. Space is limited and reservations are being accepted on a first come basis. The services will be led by Rabbi Levi Y. Shemtov. The atmosphere promises to be warm and friendly, true to the tradition of Chabad throughout the world.

‘Our services are for all Jews, regardless of background. Chabad’s doors are open to everyone,’ said Rabbi Shemtov. The schedule of services is as follows - Rosh Hashana services will begin on Wednesday evening, September 28th at 7:10 p.m. Thursday and Friday, September 29th and 30th morning services will be at 9:00 a.m. The shofar will be blown on Thursday and Friday at 11:30 a.m. On Thursday, the afternoon service will be at 6:10 p.m. followed by prayers at the river at 6:30 p.m. Yom Kippur will begin with Kol Nidrei services on Friday, October 7th at 6:35 p.m. Shabbat morning services on October 1st will begin at 9:00 a.m. Concluding services will be at 6:23 p.m., followed by the Havdalah service at 7:20 p.m. For more information or reservations, please check the website, www. or call Chabad Lubavitch of Riverdale at (718) 549-1100 ext. 10.

Break Yom Kippur Fast with Shaarei Shalom

There is no need to rush home to an empty house and cooking to break your Yom Kippur fast. Join Congregation Shaarei Shalom in a traditional dairy buffet, complete with luscious desserts

and beverages at the conclusion of the Yom Kippur services on Saturday evening, October 8, 2011 at P.S. 24. All are welcome, but reservations, by September 27, are a must. The cost of a delicious and friendly break fast is $25 for ages 12 and up; $12.50 for children aged 7 to 11 and no charge for children aged 6 and younger. To reserve, please contact Congregation Shaarei Shalom at 718 796-0305 or send a check, stating the number and age of the people attending, made out to the congregation at 5919 Riverdale Avenue, Bronx,NY 10471. 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. For further information about the congregation, services, membership, its Religious School, or any of the many adult program offerings, please contact the congregation at (718) 796-0305, e-mail the congregation at: shaareishalomriverda or visit its website at: www.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, September 22, 2011

Schervier sponsors Atlantic City Bus Trip

Thursday, September 22, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


A Bad Idea they Won’t Let Die

There are stirrings in Albany where it is said that the issue of congestion pricing for auto traffic in New York City may yet again rear its ugly head. This newspaper has not changed its conclusion that congestion pricing is bad public policy for the city. For the vast majority of New Yorkers, those of us in the outer boroughs and upper Manhattan, having an automobile is a defining point of entry into the middle class. Owning a car is a liberating experience — yes, many trips are best made by mass transit, but simply knowing that there is an alternative, one that opens up every corner of the city and beyond, is invigorating. Should we close off to those in poverty today that to which they, too, aspire? It isn’t easy being a driver in Gotham. Many of us have had a car stolen, lost car radios to thieves (and had to clean up the broken glass afterward). You might have been towed for a tiny number of unpaid tickets, after depositing innumerable dimes, and more recently quarters, and even more recently credit cards into parking meters. We have seen the tolls on our bridges and tunnels skyrocket, most recently and ominously the unprecedented huge increase on the George Washington Bridge and other Port Authority facilities. You have undoubtedly spent thousands of dollars on garages, a big chunk of which is taxes, and every time you put a gallon of gasoline into your tank, money flows into the coffers of the city, state, and federal governments. Do we really need to pay more? But we maintain that even when you travel to Manhattan, it is often more efficient to drive, regardless of the cost. Many of us have reluctantly come to the conclusion that the one commodity we all have that is unrelentingly finite is time, and that the mass transit from most areas in the outer boroughs wastes far too much of it. We believe a majority of our neighbors in the outer boroughs feel the same way. We are willing to pay for this privilege, and we already do. Enough is enough. Radical bicyclist and our “anti-transportation commissioner” Janette Sadik-Khan and Mayor Bloomberg are just itching to impose yet an additional tax on top of all of those we already pay. While they will undoubtedly raise the same arguments about how the new tax will lead to a decline in asthma rates (we predict not a single case of asthma will be cured or prevented if this tax is imposed) and talk of providing transit for the million more people the mayor tells us are moving here, their case rings hollow. What she and the mayor really want is a new revenue stream for mass transit projects. We are not buying into either the problem or the solution. The one message we would leave with Ms. Sadik-Khan and the mayor is that even with all the gold they can extract from our pockets, there will be no big transit projects in New York’s future. In 1950, naïve voters approved a bond issue for a Second Avenue subway, a now vastly truncated project that is still perhaps decades away from completion or final abandonment. In an earlier era, a Robert Moses could impose his vision on us. But as the West Side Stadium debacle should have taught the mayor, those days are over. But once his hand is in your pocket, he and the other politicians will find plenty of other things to which to divert this new revenue. Don’t let them.

Pres. Obama does not deserve a second term

To The Editor: In a surprisingly serious interview with Rolling Stone Magazine (as reported in the Daily News, 9/14), comedian Jon Stewart, “The Daily Show” anchor, and an ardent liberal, talked about his disappointment with President Obama, and with the Democratic Party. Here are some of Mr. Stewart’s comments: 1) “Obama’s problem is not his lack of passion. It’s his lack of direction. I still don’t know what he believes in.” 2) “I’m not sure what he truly thinks is the right path, other than that he believes the wealthy should pay a little bit more of their fair share.” — And this, I would add, is after Pres. Obama has been in office for more than 2 1/2 years. Stewart also referred to Obamacare as a “2,000 page clusterf______,” which I would imagine is a made-up pejorative. In regard to the debt-ceiling debate, ardent liberal Jon Stewart had this to say, “You can blame the intransigence of Tea Party Republicans all you want, but Democrats had a chance to pass

a budget before they lost the mid-term election. They didn’t do it because they were afraid that those votes would cost them the House. They had the ability to avoid the entire f---ing thing. And they didn’t, out of cowardice.” Isn’t that the truth, Congressman Engel? Can you deny it? Let me now give you my personal opinion of President Obama. I have been a registered Democrat since I first became eligible to vote, which was a very long time ago. I may be old, but I’m not brain dead. I don’t robotically vote for each and every Democrat candidate for office. I vote for the person who I believe best represents my interests, no matter what party they belong to. And I vote against anyone up for reelection who I might have previously voted for, who either betrayed my interests, or who proved to be incompetent or corrupt. At this particular point in time, President Obama has not yet been proven to be corrupt (we’ll see how the Solyndra Scan-

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dal plays out) but he certainly has proven to be inexperienced, insincere, insolent and above all incompetent. This president, unfortunately for our country, is in over his head. He is not up to the job and is even more of a catastrophe than the inept Jimmy Carter was. Barack Obama, based upon his record, does not deserve a second term. He must be voted out of office! Alvin Gordon

Why won’t the Palestinians recognize Israel?

To The Editor: In your September 1st issue, Mr. David Kornbluh’s letter to the editor makes some interesting observations about Israel and its prospects for peace. A major problem I have is his mistaken belief that Mahmoud Abbas and the PLO, that he heads, have accepted the recognition of the State of Israel. In fact, they have not. The covenant and charter of the PLO clearly states that they view the territory of the entire British Mandate as belonging to the Arabs, and they go on and on, calling for armed struggle, and “liberation” of “Palestine.” Until Mr. Abbas publicly states that Israel, as a Jewish state, has a right to exist, Mr. Kornbluh might want to take off his rose colored glasses. Rhoda Alben-Aronson

To the Editor: I hesitate to respond to Philip Brieff’s latest jeremiad, since the back and forth between us, with neither of us being experts, can get old rather quickly. However, there is a degree of self-righteousness in favor of ones own tradition at the expense of others that is instigative and far from helpful. The idea that the history of Islam is characterized by only intolerance and aggression is counter factual. Moorish Spain in the fifteenth century was the most tolerant society on earth. Jews held positions of power and prestige in government and in the society at large. It was with the expulsion of Islam in 1492 that the murderous Inquisition began. Of course any group that would send its young out to blow themselves up in the public square and kill innocents in the process is sick and evil. As was the Jew who murdered Yitzak Rabin and the Christian who recently killed thirty-nine in Scandanavia for politico-religious reasons. No people should be judged by its fanatics. As an observant Jew, who tries to maintain a relationship to scripture, I have to acknowledge that there is in the Bible instances of divine sanctioned murder and aggression. Do I believe that this is the essence of the Jewish religion? Certainly not, quite the contrary. To take out of context the extreme pronouncements in any tradition and judge the whole on its basis, inevitably leads to distortion. No tradition has a monopoly on sin or virtue. As to the matter of rhetoric, I don’t think it should be ignored, but it must be evaluated in its global context. It is quite

true that it was a grave error for the West to ignore Hitler’s rhetoric in the 1920s. On the other hand in 1964 the Soviet Premier, Nikita Khrushev pointed to thew West and said “We will bury you!”, and Russia had nuclear weapons and delivery systems, yet for twenty-five years, not a shot was fired, a result dictated by the inter-relationships among the nations. In that light the rantings of Ahmadinajad can be seen as just that, rantings. He doesn’t even control his own country, which is a theocracy in the hands of Ayatollas, who are much more interested in controlling their own population, than in foreign adventures. In a way though, all of this is beside the point. The only real question is how much of a risk should be taken for peace in the Middle East. In my opinion, together with President Obama, J Street, and Israel’s Labor and Kadima parties, some risk is warranted. For Philip Brieff, Bibi Netanayhu, Eric Canter and Ed Koch, none is, which I believe is the most dangerous long range position. The issue, however, will not be resolved in the pages of the Riverdale Review, so let me wish Phil a Happy New Year, and leave it at that. David Kornbluh

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19 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, September 22, 2011

Israel needs to make concessions

Thursday, September 22, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Riverdale Review, September 22, 2011  

Weekly newspaper published in Riverdale, NY 10471