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Riverdale’s ONLY Locally Owned Newspaper!

Volume XVIII • Number 40 • Sept. 29 - Oct. 5, 2011 •


‘Dinky Rink’ appears to be on life support By BRENDAN McHUGH The on-again, off-again public forum on the Van Cortlandt Park skating rink is off, again. This has led many observers to speculate that the controversial project may be on the brink of abandonment. For the third time in two months, Community Board 8 planned a public forum to discuss a recommendation to give the Franchise and Concessions Review Committee, who will have the final vote on the future skating rink. For the third time in two months, Community Board 8 had to cancel the meeting after the parks department once again failed to announce a winning bidder to operate the private skating rink. Earlier this year, the city issued a request for proposals for private companies to build and operate a temporary rink in the park. The deadline was May, and initially estimates to declare a winning bid were only a few weeks from submission. Once the winning bid is announced, the plan goes before the FCRC for a vote. Community Board 8 wants to conduct their own meeting on the plans to offer a recommendation to the committee. Because of schedul-

ing differences and not knowing when parks may make an announcement, the board continues to schedule the public meetings as a safeguard to avoid missing their chance to comment. A source close to the parks department said the city is in negotiations with Houston-based Ice Rink Events, though neither the city nor the company would confirm. The planned skating rink, first mentioned by Mayor Michael Bloomberg during his State of the City address in January, will run on a 15-year contract during the winter season. It will be situated on the defunct tennis courts near the 242nd Street elevated subway station. Details such as skate rental fees, skate time, and food and drink vendors have yet to be revealed because they are left up to the bidding company to decide. Other services, such as restrooms and seating areas, are also up in the air. In the RFP, the parks department says no restrooms will be available on site, and the winning bidder must include at least three portable restrooms. An existing comfort station a few hundred yards north has been undergoing structural, electrical

WHEN YA GOTTA GO skaters at the proposed ‘Rinky Dink’ may find only spartan portable facilities as questions about rest rooms are still unanswered after eight months of controversy. and plumbing repairs for years and will not be ready until late 2012 at the earliest. It is known that permanent ice-chillers will be stationed on

the park, next to the stadium bleachers. Part of the area underneath the stadium will also be used for electrical equipment. Robert Press, a community

board member who has been skeptical about the lack of information presented, would like to see the public meeting held with Continued on Page 12

Red-faced RKA red-flagged in Regents test cheating probe By MIAWLING LAM The Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy allegedly cheated on one its Regents exams, according to the New York State Education Department. Authorities last week confirmed M.S/H.S 141 was red-flagged after an analysis of its June 2010 Regents trigonometry exam showed an unusually high number of erasures. The school is one of 62 statewide that has been flagged for cheating since officials quietly began conducting erasure analysis in 2008. Of the suspect schools, six were referred back to their respective districts for further investigation, including three city public schools—Theatre Art Production Company School and High School for Contemporary Arts, both in The Bronx, and Academy for Social Action in Harlem. In each case, it is believed teachers or administrators performed the erasures on the high-stakes tests by changing a student’s wrong answer and replacing it with the correct response. RKA principal Lori O’Mara, who said she was unaware her school had been identified until the Riverdale Review called, strongly denied the allegations. She said cheating was not tolerated, and although

there have been a “handful” of cases where students have been suspected of cheating, no teachers have ever been involved. “None at all. It’s absolutely beyond reproach,” she said. Generally speaking, O’Mara said she wasn’t surprised erasure analysis was being carried out and that authorities were now moving toward systematizing the whole marking process. “I am not alarmed by the process,” she said. “An erasure is a student erasing an answer. The fact that they’re analyzing erasures doesn’t indicate to me anything that would necessarily be illicit.” The New York Times broke news of the state’s cheating scandal last weekend. It said the state uncovered 64 cases of possible cheating—two schools recorded two instances each—and that the probe was carried out unbeknownst to local school authorities. State Education Commissioner John B. King Jr. told the Times that authorities didn’t formally announce the probe because only a small fraction of tests were being examined. “It didn’t rise to the level of a major finding or report,” he was quoted as saying.

“But even this small body of evidence reinforces our larger message: We need to take strong steps to ensure the integrity of New York state tests.” As part of the state’s probe, hundreds of thousands of student papers from five high school Regents exams were screened. Among the papers vetted were the January 2011 English Regents exam, trigonometry in June 2010, integrated algebra in June 2009 and June 2008 and geometry in June 2009. Erasure analysis was also conducted on a sample of 10 percent of papers administered during the June 2011 trigonometry and English exams, as well as the June 2010 geometry tests. Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz said the cheating allegation leveled against RKA was serious, but he stopped short of passing any judgment. “Any allegation of cheating should be thoroughly investigated,” he said. “I certainly won’t pass judgment until we know the outcome of any kind of investigation. But if it’s true that cheating was taking place, I think very strong action needs to be taken. “There should be zero tolerance. That’s what we try Continued on Page 10

Thursday, September 29, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Local schools address traffic tie-ups

By MIAWLING LAM Amid growing safety concerns, parents from P.S. 24 and M.S/H.S 141 have renewed efforts to resolve the traffic snarls and gridlock outside their schools. The group claims traffic along the fiveblock stretch of Independence Avenue between West 232nd and West 237th streets is worsening and that an accident is bound to occur. In a joint letter sent to a slew of elected officials, city agencies and members of Community Board 8, both schools’ parents associations called for the creation of a Children’s Safety Zone. “Our organizations have lobbied…for corrective action, yet virtually nothing has been done to mitigate this dangerous stretch of roadway,” their letter states. “We ask you to join us in declaring this section of Independence Ave., and even some of its side streets a Children’s Safety Zone. In doing so, we will be committing to re-double our efforts to make the roads inside the Zone safer for our children, and pedestrians of all ages.” Riverdale Temple Nursery School PA president Wendi Leopold also signed the letter. The renewed push comes a week after the Riverdale Review exclusively reported that student safety was being compromised further after RKA changed their arrival and dismissal times. Under the changes, all RKA students start and finish school within 10 minutes of their younger counterparts. This year, RKA students will attend school from 8:20 a.m. to 2:40 p.m., while P.S. 24’s school day runs from 8:10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. In keeping with tradition, kindergarteners are dismissed at 2:20 p.m. Last year, middle school students attended school from 8:41 a.m. to 3:31 p.m., while hours for high school pupils ran from 7:50 a.m. to 2:40 p.m. The changes were designed to beef up RKA’s extended day program, principal Lori O’Mara said. Members of Community Board 8 were informed of the dangers surrounding the nearsimultaneous arrival and dismissal of hundreds of students at this month’s general meeting. CB8 member Robert Press brought up the issue again at last Tuesday’s traffic and transportation committee meeting and said the timing alignment had exacerbated the traffic situation. He said the bulk of the morning problems occurred outside RKA, while the gridlock in the afternoons was attributed to the multiple school buses parked outside P.S. 24. “There are now nine large and seven small buses that come to the school to pick up children to bring them home,” he said. “The bus loading area is only able to accommodate about six large buses maximum…so buses have to double-park and this allows one lane of traffic for a two-way street. “Meanwhile, at the four-way stop sign, cars are darting in and out without stopping. They’re weaving, they’re bobbing and a lot of them don’t stop.” Press suggested that in addition to extending P.S. 24’s bus loading zone by at least 25 feet, West 235th Street should be converted from a two-way to a one-way road. “You would alleviate the problem of cars going back up. You would also alleviate the problem of a blind corner when cars come up to turn by that intersection, and there would be no need for [the existing] stop sign because no traffic would be coming up that way,” Press said. CB8 traffic and transportation committee chair Daniel Padernacht was hesitant

to throw his support behind either proposal and instead stressed the importance of presenting a united front. He said a working committee, comprised of board members, elected officials and parents from both schools, would be formed and given the task of developing a series of recommendations. “I think if we have a unified body working together and creating it with the support of the elected officials, we might be able to get something done within that stretch,” he said. The Department of Transportation conducted a traffic study of the area last year but concluded that traffic-calming measures were not necessary. Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz said the Continued on Page 9

Mixed results for Riverdale on school progress reports O’Mara said new measures such as increased time on task in ELA and a diverse after-school program have been rolled out in a bid to lift results. Meanwhile, P.S. 81 received 36.0 out of a possible 100 points —an overall C grade—based on a B in school environment and C’s in student progress and student performance. Its performance landed the school in the 30th percentile. P.S. 24 Principal Donna Connelly, who prematurely announced her school’s letter grade at last Wednesday’s parents association meeting, said she was pleased with the school’s B grade. She attributed the school’s improved standing to its teaching staff. “We’re getting back on track, and that’s thanks to the wonderful teaching staff that we have here at the school,” she said. In the school environment category, the school earned 3.0 points out of a possible 15, up from 2.5 points in 2010. They received a C in student performance, which reflects students’ proficiency on this year’s state tests, and a B on student progress. Its percentile ranking was 53. School grades have swung wildly over the past few years, prompting many to question the authenticity of the system. This year, however, officials tweaked their scoring formula and decided the grade distribution ahead of time. Authorities doled out twice as many elementary and middle school D’s and F’s this year than they did last year. Under the new breakdown, a quarter of the city’s schools received A’s, 35 percent B’s, 30 percent C’s, seven percent D’s and the bottom three percent F’s.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, September 29, 2011

By MIAWLING LAM Local schools improved on this year’s report cards, but they continue to trail their peers in the rest of the city. The annual evaluations, released by the Department of Education last Friday, reveal Riverdale’s three schools recorded modest gains in student achievement. P.S. 24 emerged as the area’s top performer and earned a B on the city’s latest progress report. Last year, it earned a C. Meanwhile, P.S. 81 and the Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy middle school, M.S. 141, each secured a C, compared with last year’s C and D, respectively. At RKA, student progress—which accounts for 60 percent of a school’s report card grade—rose 6.3 points, the highest jump across the three local schools. However, its score was weakened in the school environment category after it managed to register just 2.9 out of a possible 15 points—a D grade—on the back of parent and teacher surveys. Of greater concern, though, the school was assessed as being in the 27th percentile, meaning its performance is better or equal to that of only 27 percent of the city’s middle schools. RKA principal Lori O’Mara said while she was generally pleased with the results, there was definitely room for improvement, particularly with respect to the percentile rank. “Our percentile rank more than doubled this year—it went from 11 to 27 percentile,” she said. “I would hope the percentile goes up, but I know that in reality, I have to work on the items here within the school and see the percentile as it comes.”


The controversial safety-net rule, which saved schools from falling more than two letter grades, was also eliminated. The cushion was introduced in 2010 after the state recalibrated its test, causing scores to plunge across the board. Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz said while it was pleasing to see P.S. 24’s and RKA’s improved grades, he was skeptical of the city’s report card system. “I think it’s a lot of nonsense and I don’t know it tells us anything,” he said. “They have a quota for what percentage of schools gets an A, what percentage gets a B and so on and so forth. How do you have a quota for grades? “If it’s possible to rate a school, a school Continued on Page 10

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.

Around the schools... M.S./H.S. 141—Riverdale/ Kingsbridge Academy

RKA’s dance program for seventh and eighth graders has been selected to receive a federal Arts Achieve grant over the next four years. The grant comes in the form of consultancies rather than cash. Instruction under the grant will be in keeping with Common Core State Standards and will explore the correlation between arts instruction and student academic achievement on English and math assessments. Teachers will engage in interdisciplinary collaborations and visit other schools throughout the city. “Our dance teacher will work with an experienced dance consultant/coach who will in turn work with our Arts Achieve team to develop meaningful formative and summative assessments for our students,” explained Johanna Tramantano, assistant principal and Arts Achieve coordinator. “Some of the ELA Common Core capacities that will be addressed include demonstrating independence, building strong content knowledge, comprehending as well as critiquing, valuing evidence, using technology and understanding other perspectives and cultures.” The RKA dancers will have performance opportunities throughout the school year. An independent research group will determine the extent of any correlation between arts instruction and academic achievement.

P.S. 24

Parents are encouraged to attend District 10’s middle school fair on Tuesday, October 11, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Theodore Roosevelt Educational Campus, 500 East Fordham Road. To attend an open house, parents may contact the middle schools directly.

P.S. 81

Parents seeking or offering information on career opportunities are invited to attend a networking meeting on Monday, October 3, from 8:50 to 9:40 in the school cafeteria. The next parents association meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, October 5, at 7 p.m. in the school lunchroom. Tours for parents of prospective kindergarteners are scheduled for Wednesday, October 19, Tuesday, December 13, Thursday, February 9 and Friday, April 27. All tours start promptly 9 a.m. in the school lunchroom.

Local Scholars

Winta Zaid, a Horace Mann School senior, is one of more than 1,600 black high school seniors designated as semifinalists in the 48th annual National Achievement Scholarship program, an award issued by the National Merit Scholarship Organization. Zaid will have an opportunity to compete for 800 Achievement Scholarship awards worth more than $2.4 million to be offered in the spring. The National Achievement Scholarship Program is a privately financed academic competition that operates without government assistance. It was initiated in 1964 to recognize academically promising black students throughout the nation and to

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provide scholarships to a substantial number of the most outstanding program participants. Nicholas Fehrman, a senior at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School, is one of this year’s 16,000 National Merit Scholarship semifinalists. Fehrman may compete for one of 8,000 scholarships worth more than $34 million to be offered this spring. Scholarships are underwritten by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation with its own funds and with funding from more than 400 business organizations and higher education institutions.

G&T Update

Information session about gifted and talented programs in city schools will be held on Wednesday, October 12, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Theodore Roosevelt Educational Campus, 500 East Fordham Road, and on Wednesday, October 19, from 6 to 8 p.m. at P.S. 121, 2750 Throop Avenue. For more information, visit gov, select the Parents and Families tab and then the Gifted and Talented Parents Information Sessions link. Select G&T Admissions Calendar for important deadlines like submission dates for testing request forms and applications.

College Of Mount Saint Vincent

The community is invited to attend “Let’s Study Abroad,” a free informational event presented by the college’s Center for International Studies on Thursday, October 27, at 4 p.m. in Smith Hall. Several study abroad opportunities will be available, including January intersession programs in Italy and China. For more information about international education and study abroad opportunities at the Mount, visit mountsaintvincent. edu/1103.htm.

Manhattan College

MC graduates are likely to achieve financial success after graduation, according to a College Salary Report showing that alumni’s median salaries nearly doubled from entry level—up to five years of experience—to mid-career— ten or more years in the field. The report ranks the college as 12 in a list of 20 top schools including ivy-league universities as well as business-oriented and technical institutions in the northeast. More than a thousand schools were included in the survey. Manhattan was also just ranked 15 among U.S. News and World Report’s Best Colleges.

FAX education news to:

The Riverdale Review (718) 543-4206 or email to 5752 Fieldston Road Bronx • New York,

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Thursday, September 29, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


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Problem parking plagues West 256th Street

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, September 29, 2011

By MIAWLING LAM It’s a case of abuse it and lose it. A handful of parking spaces behind the Riverdale Y could be permanently lost because thoughtless drivers continually block emergency vehicle access to the cul-de-sac at West 256th Street. The breach was revealed when local residents turned up at last Tuesday’s CB8 traffic and transportation committee meeting to express their safety concerns. Riverdalian Rhoda Sperling said a couple of years ago, the entire stretch of West 256th Street west of Arlington Avenue was widened to comply with fire department safety regulations. However, she said, as soon as work was completed, it turned into a de-facto car park. “We went from having a 15-foot road to a 24-foot road, but as soon as the road was widened, people started to park along that stretch, making it narrower than it was previously,” she said. “I think this has defeated the purpose of the fire department requirement, and it’s particularly problematic because children are walking and there are no sidewalks along there.” Sperling said the absence of road signs telling motorists where they are permitted and not permitted to park has led to mass confusion. Many drivers, particularly those visiting the Riverdale Y, are also unaware that the cul-de-sac is a two-way street. “The other thing is that there’s no through traffic west to east,” she said. “To get to these parking spaces, people have to do one of many multiple illegal maneuvers. You either have to go backward from Arlington onto 256th Street, go through the Riverdale Y parking lot, make U-turns in people’s driveway or go


through our circle at breakneck speed.” Seeking the Community Board’s help, Sperling said better signage was needed not only to deter motorists from parking in the unmarked spaces but also to inform them that it was a two-way street. “What we want is to have proper signage about where people can park and not park and also have signage coming out of the Riverdale Y so people are aware that there are children walking out of this area,” she said. “Sometimes people come out the back of the Riverdale Y at incredible speeds, and we’ve had a couple of near-misses.” CB8 traffic and transportation committee chair Daniel Padernacht vowed to assist but said he was reluctant to support a measure that would result in a loss of parking spaces. “As far as signs on the street, I know it’s always a community concern to take away parking spots,” he said. “But as far as the two-way sign, I think it’s an important thing to do.” Padernacht said he would form a small working group to examine the situation but was careful to point out that there could be unintended consequences in asking for road signs. “One of my biggest concerns anytime we look at signage is that when the borough engineer goes out to a site, a lot of times they’ll look and say, ‘well, there should be a sidewalk.’ “What happens at that point is that if they decide there should be a sidewalk, they’ll put one in and bill the adjoining homeowner, so your homeowners association might be billed.” When the Riverdale Review toured the site last week, street chalk markings were visible. A child’s bicycle and a number of hula-hoops were also strewn across the street.


Bring back your overdue books, check out a new book, and have your fines waived! THROUGH OCTOBER 31! NYPL.ORG/NEWCHAPTER



wearing comfortable shoes or boots, and packing water and a light snack. For more information please visit www. or call 311 and ask for the Urban Park Rangers.

Thursday, September 29, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


CSAIR presents Hebrew reading ‘crash course’

Learn to read Hebrew from scratch! This new class being offered by Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale (CSAIR) during the High Holidays will introduce the whole Hebrew alphabet as well as the vowels. After each session, during services, you will be able to experience the richness of the Hebrew liturgy firsthand by searching for words that are central to the themes of the Holidays and are found throughout the liturgy. Classes will be held on both days of Rosh Hashanah (Thursday, Sept. 29 and Friday, Sept. 30), from 9 to 10 a.m.; on Sunday, Oct. 1 from 10 a.m. to noon; and on Yom Kippur morning (Saturday, Oct. 8) from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. All are welcome. CSAIR is located at 475 West 250th Street at the Henry Hudson Parkway. For more information, call 718-543-8400.

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.

Storytelling sessions at Woodlawn Cemetery

It’s getting crisp and cool in New York City - the perfect time to join Friends of Woodlawn for beautiful autumn tours and great storytelling. All you need is a hot pumpkin latte and your curiosity. Stories In Stone New York: Author’s Tour With Doug Keister, Saturday, October 1, 1 p.m. Writer/photographer Douglas Keister unveils his latest guidebook, ‘Stories In Stone New York: A Field Guide To New York City Area Cemeteries And Their Residents.’ Participants will tour the cemetery grounds with this expert storyteller as their guide. Mr. Keister’s book will be available for purchase during the book signing. Royals And Imperials: The House Of Woodlawn, Sunday, October 2, 1 p.m.

Tour the final resting places of New York’s princesses, counts, barons and duchesses, and learn how ‘commonplace’ New Yorkers found love and fame by marrying into royal families. The House of Woodlawn was conceived by one of Woodlawn’s Summer Interns, Amber Okin, who will lead the tour, and who has uncovered many ‘Royals’ buried at Woodlawn. Events are $15 per person, $10 for seniors and students, and children under 6 are FREE. Meet at The Woodlawn Cemetery’s Jerome Ave. entrance (near Bainbridge Ave., across from the last stop on the #4 train). Reservations (recommended): Brian Sahd, Executive Director, Friends of The Woodlawn Cemetery, (718) 920-1470, friends@thewoodlawncemet

Yom Kippur Break Fast at Riverdale Temple

As in the past, Riverdale Temple will be offering a Yom Kippur Break Fast on October 8th immediately following services. A traditional dairy meal will be served. Come break the fast with your Temple family and friends. Reservations are a MUST and should be made by the 26th to take advantage of these rates: $20 per adult/teen, $10 for children 5-12, Children ages 4 and younger eat free! This event is open to the entire community! Riverdale Temple is located at 4545 Independence Ave. Riverdale, NY. For more information, call 718-548-3800.

Nature exploration-hike at Van Cortlandt Park

Hiking is the ultimate way to enjoy the outdoors and reduce stress. The Urban Park Ranger hiking guides will introduce you to the hidden gems of Van Cortlandt Park, where you will discover the plants and animals that inhabit the park’s urban forest. Meet at Van Cortlandt Nature Center (Enter the park at W. 246th St. and Broadway) on Saturday, October 1, at 1 p.m. Public transportation: Take the 1 train to the 242ndStreet. Walk north on Broadway. Enter the park at W.246th Street and follow the signs to the center. Take the Bx9 bus to the 242nd Street. Walk north on Broadway. Enter the park at W.246th Street and follow the signs to the center. For all hiking programs we recommend

RSS to sponsor Medicare informational seminars

Riverdale Senior Services, Inc, (RSS) is sponsoring two Medicare informational seminars that will overview Medicare Parts A & B; Medigap plans; Medicare Advantage plans; Medicare Part D; the Medicare Savings Program and EPIC. The seminars will be held at the following locations: The Simon Senior Center @ the Riverdale Y (5625 Arlington Avenue) on Tuesday, October 4th, from 9:30 - 11:30 a.m. and at St. Gabriel’s Church/Walsh Hall (3250 Arlington Avenue) on Sunday, October 23rd from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. The seminars are free of charge. Advanced Registration is required. To register and for more information please call: 718-884-5900.

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 30th at 1:00 PM singer and guitarist Chris Milateri will perform at the Center’s monthly birthday party. On Tuesday October 4th at 12:45 PM Bereavement Counselor Christine Gallagher of the Visiting Nurse Service, will speak about Sibling Loss. All programs are free and open to those aged sixty and 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.

Big Bronx Ride takes place October 23

Bronxites and bicycling enthusiasts from throughout the region are invited to join Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. for the 17th Annual Tour de Bronx, New York State’s Largest Free Bicycling event, on Sunday, October 23, 2011. The ride will begin at the Bronx County Building, located at 851 Grand Concourse at E. 161 Street in the Bronx; check-in is at 9:30 a.m. and the ride departs promptly one hour later. Participants will have the opportunity to see Bronx historic districts, vibrant neighborhoods, beautiful waterfront and great greenways while enjoying a 40 or 25 mile bike ride. Highlights include riding on the Sheridan Expressway, a portion of which is closed to traffic especially for Tour de Bronx riders, the newly-opened extension to the Soundview Park Greenway; and an end-of-ride festival at the world-famous New York Botanical Garden. This greatly anticipated event is cohosted by Transportation Alternatives and generously sponsored by Montefiore Medical Center and St. Barnabas and Bronx-Lebanon Hospitals. It is produced by the Bronx Tourism Council at Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation. The community ride promotes bicycling as a healthy choice for both the body and the environment. Register now at For more information on the Tour de Bronx, contact Jennifer Blatus, Tourism & Administration Coordinator at the Bronx Tourism Council, at (718) 590-3518 or


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The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, September 29, 2011

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Thursday, September 29, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Thursday, Sept. 29

Tuesday, October 4

TODDLER STORY TIME 10:30 a.m. 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.

MEDICARE BASICS 9:30 a.m. Riverdale YM-YWHA 5625 Arlington Avenue Riverdale Senior Services, Inc, (RSS) is sponsoring Medicare informational seminars that will overview Medicare Parts A & B; Medigap plans; Medicare Advantage plans; Medicare Part D; the Medicare Savings Program and EPIC. The seminars are free of charge. Advanced Registration is required. To register and for more information please call: 718-884-5900.

Spuyten Duyvil


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 Marble Hill

BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION 1 p.m. Marble Hill Senior Center 5365 Broadway Singer and guitarist Chris Milateri will perform at the Center’s monthly birthday party. A hot lunch is offered at noon Monday through Friday for adults aged 60 and older. For more information call 718-562-8551.


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.


BOY SCOUTS OPEN HOUSE 7:30 p.m. Riverdale Presbyterian Church 4765 Henry Hudson Pkwy. West Parents/guardians and their sons are invited to join in and learn how Scouts have “Fun with a Purpose.” Boys from 11 to 17 years old (10 1/2 and compelted 5th grade) can join. They welcome all ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds, including boys with disabilities.

Saturday, October 1 Van Cortlandt

NATURE HIKE 1 p.m. Van Cortlandt Park West 246th St. & Broadway The Urban Park Ranger hiking guides will introduce you to the hidden gems of Van Cortlandt Park, where you will discover the plants and animals that inhabit the park’s urban forest. For more information please visit or call 311 and ask for the Urban Park Rangers.

Sunday, October 2 Riverdale

OPENING OF EXHIBIT 1 p.m. Riverdale YM-YWHA 5625 Arlington Avenue Esther Wallach will be showing a varied selection of fifty paintings at “Gallery 18” during the month of October. An opening reception will be held Oct. 2. For info call: (718) 548-8200 Ext. 203

Bedford Park

ORCHESTRA CONCERT 3 p.m. Lehman College Lovinger Theatre The Orchestra of The Bronx will welcome autumn by presenting a concert to be conducted by Michael Spierman. The program includes Vivaldi’s Concerto Grosso in D Minor, Op.3, #11; Dvorak’s String Serenade in E Major, Op 22 and the Oboe d’Amore Concerto in A Major by J. S. Bach. The concert will be presented to the Bronx community without admission charge and no tickets are required. For info, please call (718) 365-4209.

Monday, October 3 Riverdale

FREE FLU SHOTS 10 a.m. Riverdale YM-YWHA 5625 Arlington Avenue Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz and the Visiting Nurse Service of New York will provide members of the community with free seasonal flu shots. Flu shots will be offered to adults who are not allergic to eggs. In order to guarantee a flu shot, residents MUST call Assemblyman Dinowitz’s office at (718) 796-5345 to make a reservation.


Marble Hill

BEREAVEMENT COUNSELOR 12:45 p.m. Marble Hill Senior Center 5365 Broadway Bereavement Counselor Christine Gallagher of the Visiting Nurse Service, will speak about Sibling Loss. All programs are free and open to those aged sixty and older. A hot lunch is offered at noon Monday through Friday for adults aged 60 and older. For more information call 718-562-8551.

Thursday, October 6 Riverdale

FREE FLU SHOTS 10 a.m. St. Gabriel’s Church 3250 Arlington Avenue Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz and the Visiting Nurse Service of New York will provide members of the community with free seasonal flu shots. Flu shots will be offered to adults who are not allergic to eggs. In order to guarantee a flu shot, residents MUST call Assemblyman Dinowitz’s office at (718) 796-5345 to make a reservation.

Spuyten Duyvil

TODDLER STORY TIME 10:30 a.m. 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.


CB8 MEETING 7:30 p.m. Uptown Sports Complex 170 West 233rd Street Meeting of the Economic Development Committee of Community Board 8. For more information, call 718-884-3959.

Friday, October 7 Kingsbridge

TEEN ADVISORY GROUP 4 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street 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.

Sunday, October 9 Riverdale

OPENING OF EXHIBIT 1:15 p.m. Ethical Culture Society 4450 Fieldston Road The Riverdale Art Association presents the art of L.L. Barmack and A. Marum in a special exhibit and art discussion: “For Love of Line: A Visual Vocabulary.” An Artists’ Reception will be held on Sunday, Oct. 9, from 1:15 to 3:15 p.m. A brief dicsussion by L.L. Barmack is scheduled for 2:15 p.m. Proper attire: Halloween costume. For more information, visit www. or call 718-548-4445.

Tuesday, October 11 Van Cortlandt

PRESCHOOL STORY TIME 10:30 a.m. Van Cortlandt Branch Library 3874 Sedgwick Avenue Preschoolers from 3 to 5 years old and their parents/caregivers can enjoy new and classic picture books, action songs, meet other preschoolers in the neighborhood and stay after the story time for Arts & Crafts. For more info, call 718-543-5150.


BABY STORY TIME 11:30 a.m. Riverdale Branch Library 5540 Mosholu Avenue Babies from birth to 18 months old and their parents/caregivers can enjoy great books, lively songs, and rhymes, and meet other babies in the neighborhood. For more information, call 718-549-1212.

By BRENDAN McHUGH The island of Manhattan sold for about $24 in 1626. This year, two-acre Rat Island off the coast of the East Bronx will fetch at least $250,000. It has no electricity, no sewers, no houses—not even a place to dock a boat—and it’s mostly jagged rock, much of it submerged during high tide. But it’s an island in New York City nonetheless, and therefore it has drawn interest from a number of high-end real estate vultures. The Wall Street Journal reported Ivanka Trump might attend next week’s October 2 auction at 718 City Island Avenue. “Trump quickly began laying out a strategy, suggesting the place has potential. “I’d have to change the name first,” she told the Journal. “Rat Island doesn’t lend itself to good publicity. I’m going to look into it!” Real estate broker Orazio Crisalli says the interest in the island ranges from nonprofit groups to individual buyers looking to own their own island. “The thought of renaming it in an honorary fashion is a popular idea too,” he said. The auction will take place at 1 p.m., and a preview of the property for registered buyers begins at 11 a.m. Con Edison said only if the future owner requests electrical service will they do a legal and engineering review to see how much it would cost. A Con Ed representative said the property owner would have to pay for setting up service, so he or she would be better off setting up renewable energy such as solar or wind power. Red Brennen, a retired marine contractor who now owns the island, put his land up for sale in 2009 for $300,000 but decided against selling at that time. The

land, most recently valued by the city’s Finance Department at $426,000, could go to the highest bidder unless Brennen rejects the offer. Brennen expects the bidders to come to the auction ready to win not only an island, but also serious bragging rights. “I know there’s somebody out there who has more money than they know what to do with and would like to have a good conversation piece,” he told the New York Times. “If you’ve got some money and imagination, there’s no telling what you could do.” For more information, contact Crisalli at 315-410-0373.

Traffic tie-ups

Continued from Page 2 city has agreed to conduct another study in the coming months, but because their results wouldn’t be issued immediately, he vowed to continue the fight. “We’re pushing on it,” he said. “Maybe a stop sign is the answer, maybe it’s speed or maybe it’s speed bumps. I don’t know the best answer, but I know there is tremendous concern, and we should be aggressive.” P.S. 24 parents association co-president Cori Worchel said she would continue lobbying the area’s elected officials. “Anyone who has ever dropped off their kid has seen every single intersection is dangerous,” she told parents at last Wednesday’s P.S. 24 general PA meeting. “We want them to do something to make this area safer for our kids. We find that it’s completely unacceptable, and we’re not going to stop until somebody does something.”




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The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, September 29, 2011

Private island off Bronx coast is up for sale

Thursday, September 29, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Progress reports Continued from Page 3

should be rated in absolute terms, not on a quota. “The real test is how well the kids are actually doing, and even those standardized state tests, I don’t have a lot of faith in.” Citywide, 88 percent of schools either received the same grade as last year or moved just one grade up or down. Only three schools leapt three letter grades this year, while 11 schools plunged three grades. Schools that receive a D, an F or three C’s in a row can be put on the chopping block. Chief Academic Officer Shael PolakowSuransky said the city was continuing its efforts to close the achievement gap. He also said the changes were designed to help families decipher the data. “This year’s reports make clear that principals should be focusing their attention on preparing students for success after high school and on helping struggling

RKA cheating

Continued from Page 1 to teach our kids, and that’s certainly what we should be teaching people who we pay to teach our kids.” Of the 62 schools to raise eyebrows, 48 were in New York City, and of those, 14 were parochial. Schools in Albany, Dobbs Ferry, Buffalo and Hastings-on-Hudson were also identified, possibly indicating that cheating is more widespread than originally thought. The Times also reported that 229 Regents exams have been administered since 2008 and that possible cheating was found in 1.3 percent of schools statewide where erasure analysis was performed. As of press time, both the State Education Department and the New York City Department of Education had not returned calls for comment. But NYSED spokesman Dennis Tompkins told the Times that when authorities received red flags from the erasure scans, a small investigative unit first examined the percentage of student answers that were changed from wrong to right and then later, the percentage of erasures per student. Investigators also checked whether students had done significantly better on multiple-choice questions than on essays. Earlier this month, a Board of Regents committee authorized an independent investigator to explore a range of new measures that would prevent test tampering. Among the ideas being considered are marking all tests in one place, mandating that teachers score essays from across the state and that educators be banned from grading their own students’ exams. Cheating scandals have already enveloped schools in Atlanta, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Washington.

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

students beat the odds,” he said. “We have re-designed the reports to give educators and families access to clearer, more useful information about their schools.” Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott also insisted the city’s students were making progress. “Every year these reports have helped drive progress in our schools, so it’s important we set the right goals for success,” he sad. “By acknowledging progress in schools that help struggling students, we can keep more students on track during elementary and middle school.” For the first time this year, the city doled out extra points to schools whose low-performing black and Hispanic male students posted significant test score gains. Schools also received additional credit for making progress with disabled students.

Discrimination charged in apartment rentals By PAULETTE SCHNEIDER In 2009, African-Americans posing as potential renters at 3800 Independence Avenue were allegedly sent away and told that no apartments were available while white “testers” who approached the building not long afterward were shown an apartment and given an application. This disparate treatment earned a federal civil rights lawsuit for building owner Loventhal Silver Riverdale LLC, Goodman Management Company and even Jesus Velasco, the building staffer assigned to receive apartment hunters at the time. According to the suit filed by Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, the pattern of turning away black testers and providing white testers with application forms and apartment tours continued

from April through November of 2009. The defendants are charged with violating the Fair Housing Act. “It is hard to fathom that in this day and age, there are still landlords who engage in race discrimination,” Bharara said. But an unidentified building tenant interviewed by News 12 indicated that the charge may not be a simple black and white matter. She pointed out that she had a number of African-American neighbors and suggested that the testers may have been refused applications for some other reason. Another tenant said that the suit would not hold up in court because there are many black and racially mixed families in the building. Calls to Goodman Management on Riverdale Avenue were met with “No comment” and an abrupt hang-up.

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11 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, September 29, 2011

MANHATTAN COLLEGE’S HOLOCAUST, Genocide, and Interfaith Education Center this week hosted its first event, Hope and Healing Post 9/11: An Interfaith Dialogue from a Woman’s Perspective. Center director and assistant professor of religious studies Dr. Mehnaz Afridi led a discussion by a hand-picked panel of religious leaders. From left: Daisy Khan, executive director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement, a nonprofit dedicated to the development of an American Muslim identity; Rory Picker Neiss, a student at Yeshivat Maharat, an Orthodox Jewish training institute for women; Dr. Afridi; and Dr. Elena Procario-Foley, a professor of Jewish-Catholic studies at Iona College. Dr. Afridi asked the panelists to share their reactions to the 9/11 attack, to describe how they worked within their faith communities to promote healing and to discuss their hopes for the future in this regard. Audience member Miriam Young was impressed with Procario-Foley’s response to the question of whether they were dealing with women’s issues or feminists’ struggles with religion: “We need to move forward with a liberative perspective for all.” “Each speaker recognized that within their own religion, work was needed to dispel prejudices as well as between religions,” listener Beverly Fettman said. One can only admire their effort and the effort of Dr. Afridi to create a platform for greater appreciation of all people.”

Thursday, September 29, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Group seeks to ban smoking — even in your home By BRENDAN McHUGH They forbade you in bars, restaurants, parks and beaches, and now they’d like to see you kick the habit in your own home. The Bronx Smoke-Free Partnership is asking apartment buildings to prohibit smoking, just as workplaces, and recently parks and beaches, have done. Citing statistic after statistic, the partnership’s David Lehmann explained Monday night to Community Board 8’s housing committee why more people would prefer to live in smoke-free housing. “Smokers don’t have any rights to pollute my lungs,” he said. But now, the partnership is asking only for buildings to volunteer for the program. Lehmann said they are “not even close to thinking about” asking for legislation. They’ve received

support from a number of different Bronx City Council members, all supporters of the ban on smoking in parks and beaches. An anti-tobacco advocate for 25 years, Lehmann says smoke-free housing has a number of benefits—in addition to the obvious health factors, money can be saved in building and maintenance costs. According to a study done by Smoke-Free Housing New England, the cost of rehabilitating a residential unit that a heavy smoker lived in is nearly $3,000 more than the cost of fixing a non-smoker’s unit. Housing chair Thomas Durham, who is also superintendent of an apartment building, said those figures make sense. “Between the smell, the paint and everything else that will have to be removed,” he said, accounting for new carpets, a high-

end primer that would have to be used on the walls and the possibility of holes in the floor from fallen cigarettes. Lehmann also cited an FDNY statistic citing smoking as the leading cause of residential fire deaths in the country. In 2009, “careless smoking” was the third-leading cause of fires and led to 13 deaths. Lehmann acknowledged there are 151,000 adult smokers in The Bronx and 3,000 who are high school students, but those numbers are declining with each initiative anti-smoking groups and the city take. Since 2003, when the city and state began raising taxes on cigarettes and a smoke-free workplace went into effect, the amount of smoking in New York City dropped from 19.2 to 14.0 percent. The only year smoking did not decline was when the state cut part of the budget to prevent smoking and consequently fewer free nicotine patches were available. “We have a lot to be proud of,” Lehmann boasted. The Partnership was created in early 2010. According to the New York City Coalition for a Smoke-free City, tobacco smoke can travel through air ducts and cracks, so even if one apartment doesn’t have a smoker, a neighboring unit can spread the same negative consequences. More than 200,000 children in the city are exposed to secondhand smoke. Lehmann assumes that any co-op or building that decided to undertake the initiative would probably grandfather in people who currently smoke in their apartments, but that would ultimately be up to each individual building. The South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation has made some of their buildings smoke-free.

Currently, Lehmann knows of no buildings in Community Board 8 that has volunteered to become smoke-free, but the Bronx Smoke-Free Partnership has organized a November 9 smoke-free housing forum in conjunction with City Councilman G. Oliver Koppell at the Riverdale YM-YWHA. The event will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Koppell is reaching out to the Association of Riverdale Cooperatives to try to get as many buildings interested as possible. The goal, according to the councilman’s office, is to educate and inform building residents, owners and renters so that they might eventually speak to their co-op boards or management companies to discuss the possibility of having smoke-free housing.

Dinky Rink Continued from Page 1 or without a proposal. “Lets have a hearing to see who’s interested or what complaints there might be and take it from there,” he said. “We can always have another public hearing later when we get whatever details we do.” Two weeks ago at the board’s general meeting, Press attempted to introduce a resolution that would have asked the FCRC to hold off on voting on the skating rink until at least November so the board would have enough time to let the proposal go through the parks committee and the general board meeting. The board voted to not discuss the resolution at all. The FCRC holds monthly meetings. The next meetings are October 11 and November 7. The original estimate for the rink to be up and running was November 1. On its website, Ice Rink Events says a winter season is October 25 through April 5.


Esther Wallach will be showing a varied selection of fifty paintings at ‘Gallery 18’ during the month of October. Ms. Wallach’s work has won her numerous honors and awards. Ms. Wallach’s work has been shown at the Vero Beach Museum of Art, Florida where she was a docent and at the Backus Museum of Art in Fort Pierce, Florida (one person juried exhibition). Ms. Wallach’s paintings employ vivid coloration and project vibrancy and spirit. Her subject matter varies from florals and landscapes, to genres and even abstracts. Ms. Wallach has been vice-president and co-president of the ‘Riverdale Art Association’ since 2002. An opening reception will be held Sunday, October 2, 2011 from 1 to 3pm at ‘Gallery 18’ Riverdale Y, 5625 Arlington Ave. For more information call: (718) 548-8200 Ext. 203

RAA presents art of Barmack and Marum

The Riverdale Art Association presents the art of L.L. Barmack and A. Marum in a special exhibit and art discussion: ‘For Love of Line: A Visual Vocabulary.’ The exhibit will be on view from October 2-30 at the Riverdale-Yonkers Society for Ethical Culture, 4450 Fieldston Road. An Artists’ Reception will be held on Sunday, Oct. 9, from 1:15 to 3:15 p.m. A brief dicsussion by L.L. Barmack is scheduled for 2:15 p.m. Proper attire: Halloween costume. For LOVE OF Line: A VISUAL Vocabulary assembles drawings and paintings in mixed media, watercolor, pencil, collage, and pastel that contrast the compressive and explosive potential of line to isolate, puncture, extrude, and expand the picture plane in the work of Riverdale artists LL Barmack and A Marum. Each artist articulates a highly personal and idiosyncratic emotional content in which linear geometries of parabolic arcs, compressive layers of horizontal and vertical linear arrays and stacked constructions figure prominently to warp, bend, flatten, and define pictorial space. The artists would like everyone to try to come in Halloween costume -- or at least to add some element of costumery and fun to their attire. It need not be complete . . . but it is an opportunity for everyone to exercise their creative talents! For more information, visit www.rysec. org or call 718-548-4445.

Be a Gardener or Forester for a day, or a week, or a year!

Van Cortlandt Park has special volunteer opportunities for you to work with professionally trained foresters and gardeners, in English or Spanish, all year long. There’s so many reasons people join in: It could be to move your bones for a cause, work off Weight Watcher points or reduce your carbon footprint for the day. Interested? Contact mary.hynes@parks. To help with painting, leaf raking, fence mending, and other needed park maintenance, contact benjamin.kramer@parks.

For other Riverdale or Kingsbridge parks that need your care and attention, contact gov.

Assemblyman Dinowitz Sponsors Free Flu Shots

Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz and the Visiting Nurse Service of New York will provide members of the community with free seasonal flu shots at three events next month. Congressman Eliot Engel, Council Member Oliver Koppell, State Senator Adriano Espaillat, and State Senator Gustavo Rivera will cosponsor the events, listed below: Monday, October 3, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m., Riverdale Y, 5625 Arlington Ave. Thursday, October 6, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m., St. Gabriel’s Rectory, 3250 Arlington Ave. Tuesday, October 25, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m., Vladeck Hall, 74 Van Cortlandt Park South Flu shots will be offered to adults who are not allergic to eggs. In order to guarantee a flu shot, residents MUST call Assemblyman Dinowitz’s office at (718) 796-5345 to make a reservation.

JASA announces upcoming activities

Upcoming summer educational and recreational events at JASA Van Cortlandt Senior Center in October 2011: Wellcare will present a Medicare Benefits Update on Tues. Oct. 4th at 11:00 AM. Dancersize w/Doryanna will be held on Tues. Oct. 4th and 18th at 5:00 PM. Light supper will be served at 6:00 PM. Senior contribution for class is $3.00 and $2.00 for meal. Guests under 60 yrs. are welcome. Call the office to pre-register: 718-549-4700. DOT will present a Traffic Safety Workshop on Wed. Oct. 5th at 11:15 AM. Cantor Harvey Bien will present a musical program in celebration of Sukkot on Mon. Oct. 17th at 1:00 PM. Harvey Bien is a veteran entertainer who has released 7 CD’s of Jewish music. Refreshments will be served in the Sukkah. VNS Choice will offer a health talk on Tues. Oct. 18th at 11:00 AM. Howard Newman will get you moving and laughing with his Jokexercise on Tues. Oct. 18th at 1:00 PM. Baby Soda Jazz Band will entertain after a delectable lunch on Sun. Oct. 23rd. Lunch of fresh fish, new potatoes, green and wax beans and dessert will be served at 12:15 PM followed by the jazz band. Recommended senior contribution is $3.00 for the meal and $2.00 for the entertainment. Guests under age 60 are welcome. RSVP by Wed. Oct. 19th to 718-549-4700. Classes in Fitness, Movement, Tai Chi, Yoga, Tone & Stretch, Painting, Knitting, Current Events and Short Stories, Indoor Gardening, Meditation, Line Dancing, Jewelry Making, sing-along, computer lab and more are offered at JASA Van Cortlandt Senior Center. We are located in the Van Cortlandt Jewish Center at 3880 Sedgwick Ave. off of Van Cortlandt Ave. West on the Bronx #1 or #10 bus routes. We are non-sectarian. Seniors age 60+ may register for free. For more information, please call the center office at 718-549-4700.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, September 29, 2011

Oil andwatercolor painting exhibit at the Y

Thursday, September 29, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


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The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thursday, September 29, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



The Orchestra of The Bronx will welcome autumn by presenting a concert in the Lovinger Theatre of Lehman College on Sunday afternoon, October 2 at 3 pm. The program, to be conducted by Michael Spierman, includes Vivaldi’s Concerto Grosso in D Minor, Op.3, #11; Dvorak’s String Serenade in E Major, Op 22 and the Oboe d’Amore Concerto in A Major by J. S. Bach. The concert will be presented to the Bronx community without admission charge and no tickets are required. Gerard Reuter, the principal oboist of the Orchestra of The Bronx and The Bronx Opera Orchestra, is a recipient of the prestigious Pro Musicis International Award. He has enjoyed a distinguished solo career, touring the United States, Europe, Asia, India and Africa. He has participated as a featured guest artist at many summer festivals, including Caramoor, Marlboro and The Chamber Music Festival of the Library of Congress. As a soloist he has appeared with orchestras throughout the United States, including the Orchestra of The Bronx, Jupiter Symphony, Philharmonia Virtuosi and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra of which he was a founding member. As a dedicated chamber music performer, he is

a member of the Dorian Wind Ensemble Quintet and was a founding member of the ensemble, An di Musik. He is on the faculty of New York University. The fully professional Orchestra of The Bronx includes some of the finest instrumentalists in the New York City area. Its soloists are chosen for their facility and the depth of their artistry. The unique spirit and level of excellence of The Orchestra of The Bronx make for some of the most exciting concerts presented in the tri-state area. The Lovinger Theatre is located in the Music Building near the Paul Avenue gate of the Lehman College campus. It is accessible by the #4 and D trains (Bedford Park Boulevard stop) and numerous bus routes have stops near the College. For those who drive, abundant free parking is available. For further information, please call (718) 365-4209.

Daniel Hauben to teach drawing course at the Y

The Riverdale Senior Center offers the entire community the opportunity to enjoy a drawing class offered every Thursday at 10-11:30 am at the Riverdale Y. In his twenty-five years of teaching art, Daniel Hauben has developed a step-by-

step approach to drawing that enables students to respond quickly and directly to any subject matter. His teaching method includes demonstrations as well as group and individual instruction with an emphasis not merely on describing the subject, but on evoking a sense of mood and atmosphere, and the conveyance of a personal vision. Whether you have been drawing all your life, or just hoping to, now is you chance to explore your creative potential. Daniel Hauben also teaches in the Architecture department at CCNY, and at the Art Student’s League. He has had over 30 solo exhibitions, and has received several public art commissions including his award winning ‘The EL’ faceted glass work on the Freeman MTA station. Currently, Mr. Hauben is working on a a twenty-two painting commission for a new library being built on the campus of Bronx Community College. His work is in corporate and public collections including • The White House • The Library of Congress • Museum of the City of NY • New York Historical Society • Harvard University: This class is open to adults of any age. The cost is $8 for each class. The Y is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue. For more information please call Toby at 718548-8200 ext.223.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, September 29, 2011

Orchestra of The Bronx free concert

238th Street Steps, a painting by Daniel Hauben

Thursday, September 29, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Dinky Rink on Life Support

For more months than we care to remember, we have been writing about the ill-conceived proposal to build a temporary skating rink in Van Cortlandt Park. Despite being put forward by Mayor Bloomberg as a fait accompli back in January, the “dinky rink,” as we are fond of calling it, is no closer to being built now than it was then. Firstly only one potential bidder had expressed interest, not really a surprise since the well-connected firm clearly had a hand in the creation of the original plan, and clearly the “fix” was in. But that was before they began running the numbers and projecting usage. Talks have apparently broken down, and the project lingers on the brink of death – the reason is economics, pure and simple. At last week’s Parents Association Meeting at P.S. 24, one mother made a plea for parents to come to a public hearing on the skating rink – a hearing now cancelled – to support the rink as “low-cost” entertainment for local families. Trouble is, that was what she thought the case was – it is very clear that the already popular Murray Skating Rink in Yonkers, a far larger and more sophisticated facility not much more than 10 minutes away by car, charges less, much less than was contemplated at the “dinky rink.” Bargain hunters are bound to be disappointed. We have heard from reliable sources that figures like $12 admission and $10 skate rental are being considered. That’s a lot more than the $7 admission and $4 skate rental at Murray’s. Moreover, Murray’s offers free onsite parking. At the “dinky rink,” the choice would be a long trek – nearly a half-mile – to the free parking, or metered parking on the local streets. One forgotten quarter, and your day’s skating becomes an expensive proposition indeed. The same company that is last one standing at Van Cortlandt Park, also is the vendor at Bryant Park. There they charge $14 to rent skates – $10 more than Murray’s. Now admission is free, but only because of a huge corporate donation by Citibank that underwrites the free skating, a donation we don’t expect to be replicated here in The Bronx. Of course there are other reasons that make the “dinky rink” particularly unattractive, reasons that were not lost to the proposed vendor when they, and other possible operators came to the park in an event designed to attract proposals. The “dinky rink” sits right under the Broadway elevated train. As the trains rumble by, you can hardly hear yourself think. When the Parks Department was giving their tour, they had to move away from the actual site and into the nearby bleachers to escape the incessant din. The idea of gliding by on skates to some delightful music somehow is not enhanced by the noise of the train (not to mention the pollution spewing and equally loud buses running alongside). Other skating facilities have appropriate food service – what are we to expect here? Another one of those annoying “Nuts for Nuts” carts? This is an example of what could be a good idea – at some other site, developed in a different way. Because the “dinky rink” was conceived solely as patronage for Mayor Bloomberg’s political ally, Anthony Perez Cassino, every decision that has been made thus far has been wrong. If the city is serious about bringing a skating rink to The Bronx, an idea we have long favored and advocated for, let’s do it right. Let’s find the right location, perhaps in Van Cortlandt Park, but maybe elsewhere. Let’s build at least a semi-enclosed structure, such as the one at Murray’s, to protect skaters from inclement weather. Let’s build real rest rooms, not port-a-potties, ones that can be fully secured and monitored, and won’t expose our children to disease and, worse, physical danger. Let’s get the politics out of the equation. If the Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy, the hand-picked political buddies of the mayor, want to help “their” park (in the mind of Mayor Bloomberg it certainly isn’t “your” park), perhaps they can work on breaking the bottlenecks that are delaying dozens of tiny projects in the park from completion. It is no wonder the political, secretive Conservancy is so wrong again. If they can’t complete a simple project like the Memorial Grove for our deceased veterans, they shouldn’t be trying to force a wrongheaded project like the “dinky rink” down our throats.

NYC motorists — symbol of a besieged middle class

To The Editor: Thank you for your “A Bad Idea they Won’t Let Die” editorial -- September 22. Indeed, as you point out, “It isn’t easy being a driver in Gotham.” Still, as you also write, for many of us “having an automobile is a defining point of entry into the middle class.” I also agree with your comment that “[o]wning a car is a liberating experience.” I would take your comments, in this regard, a step further: owning a car is a defining point on my departure from the middle class. As a middle class dropout, owning a car is my last link to, a reminder of, the days when I was employed and self-sufficient -- when my month was not a four or five week interval between Social Security checks, plus that first day of the month (excluding holidays) when my food benefits card was replenished. And so, notwithstanding a very limited income, the expense of a car is well worth the reminder of better days and the sense of freedom that, notwithstanding poverty, I may still travel as I choose, not restricted to the

schedules of mass transit. I am not confident that our officials understand how important cars are to the morale of us ordinary citizens. This is another way, I guess, of saying, I am not confident that our officials understand how important a thriving middle class is to the spirit of liberty.

Civilizations apart To The Editor: Thank you for printing my letter in response to Mr. David Kornbluh. Alas, I must write again. Mr. Kornbluh, in his letter of September 22, 2011, states that any group that would send its young out to blow themselves up in a public square and kill innocents in the process is “sick and evil” … as was the Jew who killed Yitzchak Rabin, and the Norwegian Christian who killed thirty-nine young people. But that is the crux of the problem that Mr. Kornbluh refuses to accept or face: He equates the two situations. They are civilizations apart.

ANDREW WOLF, Editor and Publisher

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It is generally recognized that an adversary of NYC motorists -- Mayor Bloomberg -- prefers nanny-style government. For me, “nanny” in this context is a euphemism for authoritarian. If live so long, I will have a sense of freedom as soon as Mr. Bloomberg leaves office, no matter Continued on Page 19

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It is the governmental authority of the Palestinian Arabs that is sending out their young. They are not sick and evil individuals, acting on their own intentions. They are being paid and rewarded by their government for killing Israeli civilians. There are dozens of convicted Palestinian Arab men in Israel prisons… as we speak… that are being paid by the PA (with money that comes from the U.S.!). Indeed, one mother who has four such sons in Israeli prisons is part of Abbas’s inner circle. Their stipends are computed on how many Israelis they have killed… the more they’ve killed, the higher their “pay”… incidentally, they receive more than the PA pays its own civil servants. All other thieves and miscreants get nothing. The Palestinian Arabs’ political and civil institutions name schools, streets, and holidays in honor of their “sick and evil” coreligionists, and as they glorify murderers, Israel is asked to take risks. How about asking the Arabs to stop their barbarity? Rhoda Alben-Aronson

To The Editor: To our Leaders: Please ensure that Israel’s sovereignty and security remains sacrosanct. Please see that the US categorically stands with Israel against its growing enemies, which are equally the enemies of the West and the US. There can be no ‘mandated by the UN’ Palestinian state. Peace must be negotiated with the parties involved. There can be ‘no right of return’, when these people left years earlier voluntarily, urged to do so by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, who sided with the Nazis and Hitler during WWII. Ironically, the ‘right of return’ for Jews to return to their former homelands--with their homes/materials goods returned--is never referenced! The small country can not be engulfed and ended through demo-

graphics in this thinly veiled manner. Egypt must be encouraged-- by tying aid/ monies to it-- to keep the peace treaty with Israel intact and stop the border incursions and digging underground, which have already resulted in deaths. Turkey must be called out for its growing Islamic radicalization, not coddled. France, England, appeasers of Hitler, are doing it again with radical Islamists. Being right often entails being courageous and standing with very few. It is far easier to appease, to look the other way and to hate. Future monies to Arab countries should also be tied to their dismantling their propaganda machines and reforming state run media, mosques, schools, which often inculcate hatred in their populace, particularly when GDP’s and per capita incomes are very low, with their people poor and/or illiterate. Israel

us to this current, sad point. When Palestinians want a better future for their children, want peace over hate/war, this will end. Meanwhile, the US must stand with Israel. Ultimately, as goes Israel, so goes the US. Barbara Zimmerman

Continued from Page 18 who follows him as mayor. (How pharoahnic is Mayor Bloomberg? in 2005, my car was towed to a marshal’s pound -- with my dog inside. I had been parked legally at a meter; The car was taken --without notice -- based on a dispute concerning other tickets.) Federalist No. 57 advises our leaders to stay close to the people lest government becomes tyrannical. I am grateful to The Riverdale Review for writing, in the Federalist 57 spirit, on the plight of NYC motorists. It is not often a voice is heard in support of us motorists; indeed, it is not often a voice is heard, in support of the dwindling members of the middle class, and those, like me, who have fallen off the middle class shelf. How can we expect democracy to flourish when so few are those willing to defend liberty against encroachment by a leadership distant from the people -- uninterested in the pains endured by ordinary citizens, indeed, responsible for inflicting much of the pain? I write this as I am about to send $130 (12.2

percent of my monthly Social Security income) to New York State for my very serious violation of the seat-belt law (which originally was not to apply to seat-belt only matters.) Our pharaohs in government would not even permit a poor, old man such as myself to pay this outrageous fine --equal to a cell phone fine -- in installments. That the complaining police officer, at a hearing on this violation, offered some inaccurate testimony, perhaps from a script?, merely compounds the petty injustices approved by our leaders to let us know that the whip is very firmly held in their hands. This is not what our founding legacy is all about. But who, today, in government defends our founding legacy, or, indeed, has a clue what that legacy is all about? And so, I am very grateful to The Riverdale Review for its September 22 editorial that places this weekly alongside an afflicted citizenry. May government of the people, by the people and for the people soon be restored to us. David R. Zukerman

NYC motorists — a besieged middle class

Putnam Trail is for wildlife, not recreation

© Disney

To the Editor: The Putnam Trail, bordered by water, is part of a WILDLIFE HABITAT. Wildlife and wildlife-based activities can NOT coexist with speed-based recreation. Birds and birding are disturbed even by runners on the Trail as it is now. When the trail along the Hudson River above 96th St. was paved, speeding runners and bikers replaced the red-tailed hawks who

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formerly perched there in autumn. Birders and nature groups may not want to acknowledge this basic conflict. They want to be “team players.” But it’s crucial to defend the rights of nature and nature-lovers against those who want to go “wheeeee!” on asphalt. If the supposed majority’s recreational needs must dominate, the next step is to fill the parks with fast-food stands. R. Freed

19 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, September 29, 2011

The U.S. must stand with Israel

and the West have always been good scapegoats for their leaders’ corruption and lack of concern. It’s time for the sham to stop. If the Arabs wanted real peace, they would be living in it. The Palestinians have been offered lasting peace eight or nine times at least and given vast tracts of land already. It has brought

Thursday, September 29, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Riverdale Review, September 29, 2011  

Weekly newspaper published in Riverdale, NY 10471