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Volume XVIII • Number 41 • October 6 - 12, 2011 •

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Lightning may have struck twice on Fieldston Rd. By MIAWLING LAM The Alter family is certainly counting their lucky stars. The Riverdale family walked away unscathed after a live 13,000-volt electrical wire tumbled down onto the front lawn of their house last Thursday, setting their flowerbed alight. Eerily, a similar incident occurred 16 years ago at the exact same place. The dramatic chain of events began around 1p.m., when torrential rain brought down a large tree near the intersection of Fieldston Road and Faraday Avenue. The tree hit overhead power lines and caused a wire to snap off the utility pole, sparking a transformer fire. Fieldston Road resident Amy Alter said the swinging live wire, which landed on her front lawn, was a case of déjà vu. “It’s kind of scary, because it was the same exact pole where the cable broke 16 years ago,” she said. “So when it happened again, we pretty much knew the drill. We called 911 and ran out of the house. Luckily it was raining and everything was wet because if the cable landed on our house, we would’ve been toast.” Firefighters rushed to the scene and cordoned off Fieldston Road between Faraday Avenue and West 256th Street while they battled the small lawn blaze and the transformer fire. The ensuing drama drew a sizable crowd, with many residents—home for the Rosh Hashanah holidays—congregating in the street to witness the smoke and sparks. Residents, whose lights flickered four times before the pole started crackling, were left without power for around six hours while Con Edison crews work to restore service.

DEJA VU: Torrential rain brought down a 13,000 volt power line, sparking a fire at the Atler house. A similar blaze broke out 16 years ago. Con Edison spokesman Bob McGee said the transformer fire knocked power out for a total of 459 customers. “The Fire Department and our tree crew and overhead service technicians responded immediately, and all customers had been restored by 9:50 p.m. on Thursday,” he said.

Alter praised the firefighters, policemen and Con Edison crews for restoring power and bringing the situation under control. She was also hoping that lightening didn’t strike a third time. “We were very, very lucky that nobody was killed, the house wasn’t destroyed and the neighbors’ houses weren’t destroyed,”

she said. “We had the best outcome possible, but it really could have been a disaster. I think the bigger issue is that something needs to be done here. “I really think the city needs to do something about these overhead wires because it really is disaster in the making.”

Parks Dept. ignores crumbling historic Van Cortlandt House By BRENDAN McHUGH It’s going to be an uphill climb to clean up these stairs. Walking through the park last month, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz noticed the stairs outside the Van Cortlandt House Museum were littered with garbage and were literally crumbling. “George Washington slept there,” he said. “It’s a very important, historic building, but the area of the park coming from the south is in terrible disrepair. In fact, it’s a disgrace.” Dinowitz saw trash throughout the grass, which also needed to be mowed and tended to. Condoms, papers, sandwich bags—which he assumed might have been carrying drugs at one point—and more were strewn

throughout the area. Dinowitz also noted that the stairs themselves were falling apart. “Maybe the parks department doesn’t consider it a priority because it’s not on Broadway and the public doesn’t see it,” he pondered, adding that he plans to send a letter to the city within the week asking them to fix the problems. “Given its proximity to the mansion, its something which should be remedied as quickly as possible.” Unfortunately, the 17-year assemblyman knows the parks department’s typical response in cases like this and isn’t holding his breath for quick repairs. While he hopes his letter will encourage the city to clean the area a bit more often, he doesn’t expect a promising response on the construction aspect.

“Capital money has to be spent,” Dinowitz said the city will tell him, meaning he or another elected official will have to use some of their allotted public money to pay for it. A call to the parks department was not returned, though by earlier this week the grass had been tended to and most of the garbage removed. “They managed to put a mask there,” he said, referring to a large temporary art project near the base of the stairs that looks like a drama/comedy mask. “Those type of things, that’s not as important. Spend less time worrying about that and more time worrying about actual infrastructure. Capital work has to be done. “Putting up an art exhibit, in this case a mask, doesn’t mask the problem,” he said. “It’s been neglected for Continued on Page 5


Thursday, October 6, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW

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Runners vs. cyclists on Putnam Trail

By BRENDAN McHUGH Runners and bikers squared off Monday night over the future of the Putnam Trail, debating the necessity of paving the path that cuts through Van Cortlandt Park. The city received $2.3 million in federal funds for Putnam Trail’s rehabilitation, which would include creating rest areas out of the former train station and restoring the pylons along the trail. But trail runners are infuriated by the idea of paving over the trail with asphalt. More than 40 people crammed into City Councilman G. Oliver Koppell’s office to talk with one another and with representatives of the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation. At times the discussion heated up with back-talking and name-calling, but Koppell threatened to end the meeting early a handful of times if order wasn’t kept. “The only people supporting this plan are cyclists,” said Michael Oliva, leader of the Save the Putnam Trail campaign, adding that he believes an independent poll of park users would find that a majority of the community would not like to see the trail paved with asphalt. “Here we got something, and they’re going to take it away,” said Van Cortlandt Track Club member Kevin SheltonSmith. Though the track clubs and Save the Putnam Trail campaign have a similar goal, they are two separate organizations. Other track clubs and running enthusiasts were at the meeting as well. The campaign contains a number of bicyclists, and their main goal is preservation of the natural aura of the trail more than just preserving a place to run. The current plan, designated in part by federal regulations, is to pave the 1.5mile trail with 10-foot-wide asphalt and leave only three feet of compacted dirt on each side. Runners said not only would this take away their running surface, but it would also create dangerous traffic situations with cyclists. “If we pave 1.5 miles of trail, what’s the problem with using the other trails [in the park]?” asked bike user David Gellman, citing miles of unpaved trails in the rest of Van Cortlandt. As one Van Cortlandt Track Club member pointed out, bicyclists will be able to quietly “sneak up” on runners on asphalt, which could lead to collisions on the path. Because each dirt lane is only three feet wide, people running in opposite directions will have to move out of the way of one another. If one person unexpectedly moves onto the asphalt at the same time a bicycle rides by, “chaos” could ensue, according to track club members. The compacted dirt is also angled at a 2 percent slope to help water run off the asphalt. Dr. Aaron Swanson, a physical therapist for Sports Physical Therapy of New York, said that running on a slant is like “running with one leg longer than the other” and could damage the ankle, hip or spine over time. However, runners said the typical street is slanted worse than 2 percent, and they typically just ignore that situation, adding that there are so many problems a runner can end up with that it’s not worth worrying about in the long run. Save the Putnam Trail would like to see the path improved as much as anyone else, but with a crushed-stone or stone-dust surface, both of which they say are ADA-accessible and bike-friendly. The alternatives are better options for

future maintenance costs and runner safety—both as a surface to run on and to keep bicyclists at safe speeds. The parks department’s Victor Calise, the accessibility coordinator for the department, said Parks likes to go “above and beyond” ADA regulations. Crushed stone can be acceptable, he admitted, but the department stays away from it because “it’s never maintained properly” and wheelchair-bound users would “fall out of” their chairs if they hit a bump. Cyclists tried to dismiss the track clubs and the campaign as minority groups and splinter organizations, but as SheltonSmith pointed out after the meeting, VCTC has more than 250 members, and four of the five board members were at the Continued on Page 19


Class sizes increase at both P.S. 24 and P.S. 81 was now hovering around the 900-pupil mark. City documents show that in 20052006, there were 709 students. “It’s a really big school. We have almost 900 children here,” she said. “And I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t seem like a school that’s that big. It has that small kind of school atmosphere, and that’s something that I and [assistant principal] Manny want to preserve. It’s really important to us.” At P.S. 81, the situation is equally dire. Recent data released by the New York City Independent Budget Office showed the school registered a building utilization rate of 130 percent, meaning the school exceeded its 526-student capacity by 159 pupils. Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz attributed the larger class sizes to recent devastating budget cuts. According to the UFT survey, one in four public school students spend at least part of the day in an overcrowded class. The study, conducted on the sixth day of the current school year, also showed there are 355 overcrowded elementary and junior high school classes in The Bronx. In comparison, Queens topped the list with 802 super-sized classrooms, followed by Brooklyn with 667, Manhattan with 285 and Staten Island with 182. As of press time, calls to the UFT were not returned. However, at a recent press conference, the union blamed the growing student-toteacher ratios on teacher attrition, budget cuts and increased enrollment.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, October 6, 2011

BY MIAWLING LAM More than 30 children are being crammed into classrooms as local schools battle overcrowding and compressed budgets. The Riverdale Review has learned some fifth-grade classrooms at P.S. 24 now house up to 34 students. Class sizes have ballooned across the city this year, with the teachers union claiming that nearly 7,000 city schools are bursting at the seams. New research from the United Federation of Teachers reveals the number of overcrowded classes is at a 10-year high due to budget cuts and staff attrition. At last month’s P.S. 24 parents association meeting, a parent expressed concerns about how her fifth-grade child was in a class with 33 other students. Under the UFT’s contract, kindergarten class sizes are limited to 25 students, 32 in grades one through six and up to 35 in the upper grades. However, P.S. 24 principal Donna Connelly disputed the findings and said the school was still finalizing its class size numbers. She stressed that the school would create an additional class if classrooms exceeded their limits. “We’ll watch it carefully,” she said. “We’ll monitor those three [fifth-grade] classes, and obviously if they somehow zoom up to 35 students, then we’re going to step in and do something. “If we do need to open up another fifth-grade class, we’ll open it up.” Dr. Connelly also revealed enrollments increased further this fall and the school

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UFT President Michael Mulgrew said years of systematic austerity measures were catching up to the city’s public schools. “Tens of thousands of children have started their school year in oversized classes as the system struggles to deal with increased enrollment and a shrinking teacher force,” he said. “While the administration has repeatedly made it clear that small classes are not a management priority, the UFT contract gives us a legal tool to enforce class size limits.” Mulgrew also vowed to consider legal options “in each and every case” if authorities did not make an attempt to reduce class sizes promptly.

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

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Around the schools... P.S. 81

Parents of prospective kindergarteners are invited to participate in school tours 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. Fall Fun Day is Sunday, October 23, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Family activities will include games, prizes, crafts, a bake sale, a tag sale, face painting, tattoos, a bouncy castle, a costume sale, a green market and more.

P.S. 24

Parents are encouraged to attend information sessions on gifted and talented programs in the city schools. Two sessions in The Bronx will be held next Wednesday, October 12, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Theodore Roosevelt Educational Campus, 500 East Fordham Road, and on the following Wednesday, October 19, from 6 to 8 p.m. at P.S. 121, 2750 Throop Avenue. October 28 is the last day to submit request for testing forms. For online submission, visit schools. nyc.gov/ChoicesEnrollment/ApplyOnline. District 10’s middle school fair is next 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.

M.S./H.S. 141—Riverdale/ Kingsbridge Academy

Principal Lori O’Mara will be hosting the monthly “Coffee with the Principal” on Friday, October 14, from 7:30 to 8:15 in the school library. All RKA parents and caregivers are invited. School tours for parents of fifth graders in the RKA zone will begin on Friday, October 14. For more information, contact JPrince4@schools.nyc.gov. Evening grade-level meetings for parents are ongoing. Parents of tenth and eleventh graders meet on Wednesdays at 6 p.m. Parents of eighth graders meet on Thursdays at 6 p.m.

Bronx High School Of Science

The Fight Hunger program has given the title of National School of Distinction to Bronx Science. The status is awarded to schools that demonstrate enthusiasm, creativity or dedication through students’ involvement in helping to eradicate hunger. The twoyear-old program offers effective tools for fighting hunger, celebrates the good work of students and inspires the next generation of leaders by promoting the value of service.

Kinneret Day School

Fifth-graders are employing the scientific method to study the life cycle of the meal worm. They’ve formulated a question and a hypothesis, set up an experiment and are ready to observe and record activities in the daily lives of their experimental subjects—the worms. Along with their teacher, Leslie Wachtel, they will determine whether their experimental results confirm their hypothesis and answer their question.

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College Of Mount Saint Vincent

The college’s School of Professional and Continuing Studies is hosting a series of free career advice workshops held on the first Wednesday of each month. Events are open to the public, but pre-registration is required. Professionals will offer advice on resume writing, hiring trends, interviewing skills and getting into position for the ideal job. The topic of the first event, held this Wednesday, October 5, from 7 to 8:30 p.m., is “Hiring Trends and Positioning Yourself for Your Ideal Job,” presented by human resources director William Bechman. To register, contact Christine Leake at 718-405-3269 or christine.leake@ mountsaintvincent.edu.

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Manhattan College

The college’s Holocaust, Genocide, and Interfaith Education Center will present a workshop for administrators, teachers and librarians called “Remembering, Page by Page: Teaching the Holocaust through Picture Books” on Wednesday, October 26, from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Rodriguez Room in Miguel Hall. Registration begins at 3:30 p.m. The event will include presentations by Dr. Heidi Laudien, assistant professor of English at the college, and Marilyn Honigman, chair of fine arts at Fordham Preparatory School. For more information, contact Barbara Reynolds at 718-325-5887 or reynolds00@verizon.net. The center’s fourth annual Frederick M. Schweitzer Lecture will feature Dr. Peter Black, senior historian at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and Rebecca Erbelding, archivist of the museum, discussing “Kristallnacht: The Diary of Robert Harlan and Preserving Jewish Experiences.” The event is free and open to the public. Black’s experience as chief historian for the Office of Special Investigations, part of the Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice, will be an integral part of the lecture. Erbelding, a nine-year veteran at the museum, has been interviewed on French, British, German, Brazilian and American television and radio, and her work was featured in the March 17, 2008 issue of the The New Yorker. For more information, contact Mehnaz Afridi at mehnaz. afridi@manhattan.edu.

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Thursday, October 6, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW

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Elected officials tackle school traffic crisis

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, October 6, 2011

By BRENDAN McHUGH and MIAWLING LAM Stop signs, a lower speed limit and another change in arrival times are among the proposals suggested to solve the traffic snarls and gridlock outside two of Riverdale’s public schools. Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz joined Councilman G. Oliver Koppell and State Senator Adriano Espaillat and submitted a list of seven traffic-calming measures to the city last Tuesday. The recommendations were drawn up amid growing safety and traffic concerns of the streets surrounding P.S. 24 and M.S/H.S 141, particularly along Independence Avenue. In the joint letter sent to Bronx DOT Commissioner Constance Moran, the trio calls for stop signs to be placed at West 235th Street and Independence Avenue and for new pavement markings aimed at both northbound and southbound traffic. The elected officials also propose the creation of a 20-mile-per-hour zone for the entire corridor from West 232nd Street to West 246th Street. “We believe that these issues need to be resolved now, as the situation appears to have heightened during this school year,” the letter states. “We consider this a priority for our community and we are working closely together on this matter.” The proposals were developed in consultation with the schools’ parent leaders, the 50th Precinct and members of Community Board 8. The issue first reared its head earlier this year at a community board committee meeting when members of the P.S. 24 parents association requested a stop sign at the West 235th intersection. The board instead asked DOT to study the area first and is still waiting on those results. Recently, the traffic and transportation committee of CB8 formed a working group with the schools’ parent leaders to address the problems. They plan on writing their own letter, similar to the letter drafted by the politicians, for the DOT. “I think they’re very good suggestions,” said Dan Padernacht, chair of the traffic and transportation committee. “It brings in everyone involved: local residents, the parents, the schools and the police.” Among the other recommendations include an extension of the school bus loading and unloading area on West 235th Street and the construction of a speed bump on the northbound lane of Independence Avenue between West 232nd Street and West 235th Street. The principals of P.S. 24 and RKA should

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be brought together to coordinate a strategy over school arrival and dismissal times, the coalition of elected officials said. “A recent change in the school start time for M.S/H.S 141 may have had the unintentional effect of increasing the congestion in the area during the a.m. peak period,” the letter states. “The adjustment of school start times by five minutes in each direction may alleviate a part of the problem.” Local residents believe the traffic chaos was exacerbated after Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy changed their arrival and dismissal times at the start of the current school year. Under the changes, all RKA students now 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. The changes were designed to beef up RKA’s extended-day program, principal Lori O’Mara said. The latest development comes a week after parents from P.S. 24 and M.S/H.S 141 wrote their own letter to a slew of local elected officials and lobbied for action.

Van Cortlandt neglect

Continued from Page 1 years, probably decades.” A longtime watchdog of the Croton Water Filtration Plant, Dinowitz also wondered whether any of the funds promised to Van Cortlandt Park should be used to rehabilitate the stairs. Since costs have ballooned on the filtration project, Dinowitz has long said the amount of money given to Van Cortlandt should rise as well. So far, they have not. He also hoped that maybe one of the many parks user groups could use some of their funds to help conserve the area. The Van Cortlandt House Museum, also known as Frederick Van Cortlandt House or Van Cortlandt House, is the oldest building in The Bronx, New York City, according to the museum’s website. Frederick Van Cortlandt built the house in 1748 as a mansion for the Van Cortlandt family. It was built in Yonkers, of fieldstone and in the Georgian style. In 1889 the property was sold to the City of New York and made public parkland. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1967 and became a National Historic Landmark in 1976. The house has been operated as a public museum since 1897.

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Thursday, October 6, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW

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RSS offers Bereavement Support Group

Riverdale Senior Services (RSS) is offering a Bereavement Support Group which will run for 7 consecutive weeks between Thursday, October 6th and Thursday, November 17th. The group will meet from 1:00 - 2:30 and is intended for those, over 60, who have been bereaved at least 3 months. Participants are asked to commit to attending all 7 sessions. A support group offers the opportunity to share feelings and receive support and helpful feedback from participants who are experiencing similar emotions. RSS is located at 2600 Netherland Avenue (the Century Building). Discounted parking is available. Registration is required. To register or for more information, call Pat at 718-884-5900.’

RAA meeting to feature Dimitriy Moshkovich

Dmitriy Moshkovich will be the guest artist presenter at the next meeting of the Riverdale Art Association at 7:00 p.m. October 11th. He will demonstrate his painting style using acrylic paints. This is a course he also teaches locally at the Riverdale Senior Center Monday mornings. His demonstration and talk are sure to be of interest to artists and art lovers alike. The community is invited to join us in welcoming Dmitry at the meeting.

The Riverdale Art Association is thankful to the Riverdale Atria for providing their Community Room for their monthly meetings. The meetings take place the second Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. For further information visit www. riverdaleartassociation.org

Tinnitus Support Group announces monthly meetings

Tinnitus sufferers are invited to attend a free tinnitus support group on Thursday, October 6 at 6 p.m. The meeting will be held in the conference room of the Church of the Mediator on 260 West 231st Street in Kingsbridge. Guests are instructed to enter near the BX7 and BX10 bus stop, All members of the public are welcome. Meetings usually last one hour. For more information, please call Dr. K. Nabinet on 718-410-2301 or 917-7979065.

Toastmasters Club invites new members

Bronx Toastmasters Club of Riverdale invites new members to join us at our free meeting on October 12th 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 skills-

all in a supportive, non-intimidating environment. Come as a guest and witness for yourself what we accomplish. we meet every second and fourth Wednesday of the month. For further information, reach us at our website http://www.thebronxtoastmasters.com or 718-796-6671.

Flea market at St. John’s Church

St. John’s Church will host a flea market on Saturday, October 8, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The sale will be held at the Old St. John’s School located at 3030 Godwin Terrace in the Bronx. Clothes, jewelry, accessories and brica-brac will be sold at bargain prices. Free parking will also be available so get there early and snare yourself a great find. For more information, please call 71843-3003.

Manhattan College’s Interfaith Center to host two Fall events

Manhattan College’s newly expanded Holocaust Genocide and Interfaith Education Center is gearing up for its fall semester of programming with two enlightening events, including: Remembering, Page-byPage; Teaching the Holocaust Through Picture Books on Wednesday, Oct. 26 and Kristallnacht: The Diary of Robert Harlan and Preserving Jewish Experiences, as part of the Frederick M. Schweitzer Lecture on Monday, Nov. 7. Remembering, Page-by-Page; Teaching the Holocaust Through Picture Books is a workshop for administrators, teachers and librarians, and will be held from 4-6 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 26 in the College’s Rodriguez Room (311) in Miguel Hall. All registration begins at 3:30 p.m. with welcoming remarks by Barbara Reynolds, assistant director of the Holocaust, Genocide and Interfaith Education Center, starting at 4 p.m. Heidi Laudien, Ph.D., assistant professor of English at the College, will speak to the audience first, followed by a student panel and conversation with participants, and a presentation by Marilyn Honigman, chairperson of fine arts at Fordham Preparatory School. The fourth annual Frederick M. Sch-

weitzer Lecture will feature honored speakers Peter Black, Ph.D., senior historian at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and Rebecca Erbelding, archivist of the museum, discussing Kristallnacht: The Diary of Robert Harlan and Preserving Jewish Experiences. This event is free and open to the public. Black’s current and past experience as chief historian for the Office of Special Investigations (OSI), Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice, whose mission is to investigate and litigate against persons alleged to have participated in the persecution of individuals on the basis of race, religion, national origin and political opinion under Nazi Germany’s regime, will be an integral part of the lecture. Erbelding, a nine-year veteran archivist at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, has been interviewed on French, British, German, Brazilian and American television and radio, and her work was featured in the March 17, 2008, issue of the New Yorker. ‘Both the Remembering, Page-by-Page; Teaching the Holocaust Through Picture Books and Schweitzer Lecture will inform students and educators further on the Holocaust and genocide,’ said Mehnaz M. Afridi, Ph.D., director of the College’s Holocaust, Genocide and Interfaith Education Center. ‘Along with these two events, the Center is planning further programming to continue expanding its mission of promoting a better understanding among Christians, Jews and Muslims through interfaith dialogue related to the College’s educational mission.’ For more information on the Schweitzer Lecture, please contact Mehnaz Afridi by e-mail at mehnaz.afridi@manhattan.edu or to learn more about the Remembering, Page-by-Page; Teaching the Holocaust Through Picture Books workshop, contact Barbara Reynolds by phone at 718-3255887 or e-mail reynolds00@verizon.net.

Riverdale Hadassah to meet at Atria

The Bronx Chapter of Hadassah will meet on Tuesday,October 11, 1:30 p.m., in The Atria Library, 3718 Henry Hudson Parkway. Guest Speaker will be Rabbi Judith S.Lewis of the Riverdale Temple. Shalom Hadassah Friends, Sukkot harkens back to ancient Israel. It is one of the 3 biblically mandated festivales known as Shalosh Regalim. Rabbi Lewis will give an “Historical Look at How Sukkot Evolved.’ Join us for this most informative and celebratory afternoon. Cards and certificates will be available for you to purchase.


Three months after a pilot program to sell E-ZPass On The Go in cash lanes at the Henry Hudson Bridge began more than 5,000 electronic tags have been sold, proving that customers love the ease of using E-ZPass. ‘We’re pleased that people are embracing the convenience of EZPass, which in the long run is a win-win for everyone,’ said MTA Bridges and Tunnels President Jim Ferrara. ‘It helps motorists save time and money, helps us keep traffic moving, and helps the environment by reducing emissions from idling vehicles.’ Here’s how it works: Motorists can purchase an On The Go tag at the Henry Hudson Bridge for $34, which includes the $4 toll for the current trip. The E-ZPass tag can then be used to pay up to $30 worth of tolls if linked to a credit card or $20 in tolls and a $10 tag deposit if it is not. Once used, customers have 48 hours to register the tag by going to www.ezpassny.com or by calling the toll-free number 1-800-333-TOLL. If the tag is not registered, it is deactivated. MTA On The Go tags, which save drivers $1.70 per trip at most MTA crossings and $1.80 at the Henry Hudson, are also sold at hundreds of retail stores in New York City and Long Island, and at New York City Transit Metrocard vans and buses, which travel to all five boroughs. Since On The Go was introduced in February, 2008 more than 114,000 tags have been sold. E-ZPass use at MTA Bridges and Tunnels continues to grow and is up 3.6 percent to 79 percent in the first seven months of 2011. On an average weekday, more than 682,000 customers use E-ZPass to pay tolls at MTA crossings.

Fitness club waives fee for new members in October

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Curves continues to work to raise awareness in women about the life-saving importance of risk management, early detection and treatment. Throughout the month, Curves fitness clubs in the local community, including the one at 3719 Riverdale Ave., at 718-549-0555, are waiving the joining fee for new members who show proof of a mammogram within the past year or make a $25 donation to breast cancer research. In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, each participating Curves center will focus on three important goals in supporting this annual campaign: 1. Helping women learn the facts about breast cancer and the importance of early detection.

2. Encouraging women to work out three times a week to help reduce their risk of developing breast cancer. 3. Participating in fund-raising efforts to support the research and outreach efforts of the ACS. For more information about activities in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and to learn how to exercise good breast health, please visit www.curves.com.

to provide not only places to engage in healthy physical activity and close to home recreation but also additional tourist dollars to strengthen local economies. It’s amazing how much these groups accomplish with minimal resources and limited or non-existent staff,’ said Robin Dropkin, Parks & Trails New York Executive Director. ‘With this grant

Parks & Trails New York is New York’s leading statewide advocate for parks and trails, dedicated since 1985 to improving the health and quality of life of all New Yorkers by working with community organizations and municipalities to envision, create, promote, and protect a growing network of parks, greenways and trails throughout the state for all to use and enjoy. More information and an application can be found on the Parks & Trails New York website, www.ptny. org or by emailing grants@ptny.org or calling 518-434-1583.

Register now for defensive driving course

A New York State Insurance Reduction course in defensive driving will be held at the Riverdale Community Center on Tuesday, October 11th, and Tuesday, October 18th , from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. The course will focus on techniques to improve driving skills and students must attend both evenings for the entire six hours to be eligible for a discount on their automobile insurance. The fee is $50 plus a $15 registration fee. The Center is located at the David A. Stein Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy (M.S./H.S. 141). To register or for more information, call the Center at 718-796-4724.

Grants for park and trail groups to boost organizational capacity

Parks & Trails New York is launching the next round of its Capacity Building Grants for park and trail groups in New York State. The grants, of up to $3,000, will strengthen not-for-profit organizations that are working to build and protect parks and trails in communities across the state. Through the grant program, made possible by generous donors, Parks & Trails New York aims to help not-for-profits better fulfill their missions; improve their reach, effectiveness, and impact; leverage more resources; and increase community support for and involvement in park and trail planning, development, and stewardship. Funds can be used to assist with activities associated with organizational start-up and development, training, communications, and volunteer recruitment and management. The deadline for submitting applications is November 16, 2011. The program is unique in that supports activities not normally covered by existing grants. While a number of grants are available to not-for-profits, they usually only fund capital projects and specific programs; they don’t help organizations develop and strengthen the skills, processes, and resources that they need to survive and thrive. ‘Hundreds of not-for-profit organizations are working to build, protect, and promote our state’s parks and trails --- helping

For people who can’t wait to get to NYC, there’s a faster way.

Take the Hudson Rail Link and Metro-North to Grand Central Terminal. You’ll save up to 20 minutes each way over other bus services, while relaxing in new, clean and comfortable buses and train cars. And there’s frequent service, with trains every 30 minutes during the morning rush. Hudson Rail Link buses accept both MetroCard and a discounted bus/rail UniTicket. For more information, call 511, or visit mta.info. Ride the Link.

©2011 Metropolitan Transportation Authority

7 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, October 6, 2011

E-ZPass On The Go sales hit 5,000 mark at Henry Hudson Bridge

program, we have been able to propel groups to new levels and expand what they can accomplish so that they have become even stronger park and trail stewards and advocates.’ ‘Twenty-five groups have already used our grants to expand their fundraising and membership campaigns, enhance their public programming, redesign or create new websites, and develop marketing materials. And, these efforts have really paid off for these groups by growing the number of members and volunteers that support them in their work,’ added Dropkin.


Thursday, October 6, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW

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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.

Kingsbridge

TINNITUS SUPPORT GROUP 6 p.m. Church of the Mediator 260 West 231st Street Join the meeting to discuss the problem of working towards a quiet future. For more information, call Dr. K. Nabinet at 718-410-2301.

Kingsbridge

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.

Saturday, October 8 Kingsbridge

FLEA MARKET 9 a.m. Old St. John’s School 3030 Godwin Terrace Clothes, jewelry, accessories and bric-a-brac will be sold at bargain prices. Free parking will also be available so get there early and snare yourself a great find. For more information, please call 718-43-3003.

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. rysec.org 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.

Riverdale

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.

Riverdale

HADASSAH MEETING

1:30 p.m. The Atria Riverdale 3718 Henry Hudson Parkway East Guest Speaker will be Rabbi Judith S.Lewis of the Riverdale Temple, who will give an “Historical Look at How Sukkot Evolved.”

Riverdale

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.

Kingsbridge

COMPUTER BASICS 4:30 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Learn the basic features of Microsoft Word 2003, a word processing program you can use to create documents. Topics include entering and editing text, saving files, and formatting. Basic mouse skills are a pre-requisite. For more information, call 718-548-5656.

Riverdale

RAA MEETING 7 p.m. Riverdale Atria 3718 Henry Hudson Parkway East Dmitriy Moshkovich will be the guest artist presenter at the next meeting of the Riverdale Art Association. He will demonstrate his painting style using acrylic paints. For further information visit www.riverdaleartassociation.org

Riverdale

DEFENSIVE DRIVING COURSE 7 p.m. Riverdale Community Center 660 West 236th Street A New York State Insurance Reduction course in defensive driving will be held on October 11 and 18. To register or for more information, call the Center at 718-796-4724.

Van Cortlandt

CB8 PUBLIC HEARING 7:30 p.m. Amalgamated Houses 74 Van Cortlandt Park South Community Board 8 will hold a public hearing on board budget priorities FY 2013. The Board is seeking input on proposals to be submitted to various City agencies for funding. For more information, call 718-884-3959.

Wednesday, October 12 Spuyten Duyvil

ARTHRITIS EXERCISE PROGRAM 10 a.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 West 235th Street This exercise program based upon the Arthritis Exercise Program previously given at the library uses gentle movements to help increase joint flexibility, range of motion & maintenance of muscle strength. The class meets for eight weeks, one hour per session, Wednesdays from October 5 through November 23, 20ll. Registration is required as space is limited. For more information, call 718-796-1202.

Riverdale

BIG JEFF HALLOWEEN ROUTINE 10:30 a.m. Riverdale Branch Library 5540 Mosholu Avenue A Spooky fun way to celebrate this most playful and imaginative time! Come on out and Boogie with the Boogieman, get turned into a toad by a Mean Old Witch, and sing along with the Jack-O-Lantern Blues. For children of all ages. For more information, call 718-549-1212.

Kingsbridge

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

Riverdale

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


By BRENDAN McHUGH Bronx City Council members G. Oliver Koppell and Annabel Palma have cut back on demands of the dubious “living wage” bill, hoping to quiet critics. The bill has the support of 30 of the 51 members of the Council, but Mayor Michael Bloomberg and high-powered business leaders in the city oppose it. City Council speaker Christine Quinn has thus far refused to take a position and allow for a vote on the bill, which would require employees working in city-subsidized projects to be paid $10 an hour with benefits or $11.50 without. Minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. “We made a whole series of concessions to try and satisfy the objections that we didn’t see going to the heart of the proposal,” Koppell said. “They do narrow the focus of the proposal.” Monday, they introduced an amended version of the bill that would exclude manufacturing businesses and companies with less than $5 million in annual revenue or under $1 million in city subsidies. Originally, a company receiving only $100,000 would have been required to adhere to the living wage. The amended measure would also require companies to pay the living wage for only 10 years, down from 30 in the original proposal. Koppell said the decision to eliminate manufacturing jobs was made because the people in those jobs move up the pay scale “fairly quickly.” “We’re desperate to encourage manufacturing,” he said. “We made it clear that no supportive housing should be affected by this,” he added, because they did not want nonprofit housing developers to oppose

the bill. The ultimate decision may be left up to Quinn, who will have to decide whether she sides with her grassroots followers—who projected her to where she is now—and bring the bill to a vote, or to business leaders—who will play a major role in the 2013 mayoral campaigns—and keep the bill off the Council floor. Koppell has not heard back from Quinn yet, though mayoral and business representatives still vehemently oppose the bill. The city’s Economic Development Corporation has resisted the proposal, citing a $1 million study it commissioned, which found that a wage requirement would hurt employment in the city. Koppell and others criticized the study, saying that because the mayor opposes the bill, the study was slanted and biased. The mayor’s office said while they haven’t seen the new bill, they would not support a bill that will impose new costs on employers trying to create jobs and invest in the city. The Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, with the Five Boro Chamber Alliance, the Real Estate Board of New York, the New York Nightlife Association, and the Council of New York Cooperatives and Condominiums, among others, also oppose the bill, saying wage mandates in the current economic climate are too risky. The groups have formed a coalition and plan on writing to Koppell, though he and the other supporting Council members are certain they have addressed their concerns. “We think that we’ve met the objecContinued on Page 19

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The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, October 6, 2011

Living wage proposal scaled back


Thursday, October 6, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW

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Rosalyn Yalow remembered by friends, family and colleagues By MIAWLING LAM Rosalyn S. Yalow has been remembered as a loving mother, a fierce pioneer for women’s rights and a celebrated medical physicist who was the second female to win a Nobel Prize in medicine. Distinguished doctors, professors, family and eminent personalities from the medical field paid their respect to Dr. Yalow, a longtime Bronx resident, at a memorial service last Sunday. The event, held at Manhattan’s New York Academy of Medicine, drew more than 60 guests including Jeffrey A. Kelman, Medicare’s chief medical officer; Kenneth L. Davis, Mount Sinai Medical Center’s president; and Mildred Dresselhaus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Yalow, who lived in Kingsbridge for more than 60 years, died on May 30 at the age of 89. In the 1950s, she co-discovered radioimmunoassay, a technique that detects extremely small amounts of hormones in the blood. The groundbreaking finding made it easier for doctors to screen blood for diseases and helped practitioners diagnose and treat problems related to growth, thyroid function and fertility. Dr. Kelmam kicked off the two-hour memorial service with glowing remarks before 17 other people shared their anecdotes. Each speaker recalled Dr. Yalow’s dogged determination, passion and commitment as her personal photos flashed on the overhead projector. Dr. Yalow’s son, Benjamin Yalow, held back tears as he recalled how his mother would leave a freezer full of prepackaged meals whenever she went away for work. The 59-year-old, who continues to reside in Kingsbridge, said his mother instilled in him one of life’s most important lessons. “She loved me fiercely and unconditionally, but she also made it clear that I was expected to use what I had to make the world a better place,” he said. “To use what talents and advantages I had for the benefit of my community.” Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center’s radiation safety officer Jean St. Germain remembered first meeting Dr. Yalow in 1971 and said she was struck by her drive to recruit women into science. “She would never have described herself as a feminist, but she certainly was very interested in finding young women interested in science and trying to convince

them that women were indeed capable of abstract thoughts and that they should pursue careers in science,” she said. Meanwhile, William Bauman, from the James J. Peters VA Medical Center in The Bronx, offered one of the more humorous tales of the afternoon. He said that although Dr. Yalow kept a strictly kosher home for her late husband, Aaron Yalow, she was not kosher outside of it. “One of my most vivid memories of Roz was at one of the national meetings of the American Diabetes Association,” he explained. “There was a large bowl of colossal shrimp with what appeared to be an impenetrable horde of hungry physicians gathered around it. Undeterred, Roz made a beeline for the bowl with the national leaders of the field parting as if it were the Red Sea. “She ate the whole shrimp, telling me that the shell was a good source of calcium.” Evan O’Donnell, Dr. Yalow’s first grandchild, also offered a touching tribute. He said although a series of strokes weakened his grandmother and she often forgot his name, she was an extraordinary woman. “Over the years, I’ve done my best to piece together a story, like tiles in a mosaic, and understand bit by bit who she really was beyond her accomplishments,” he said, “The mosaic I’m left with depicts a woman with enough courage to defy an administration, a woman who valued excellence over fame or fortune and a woman who shaped a world through her mind, and to those closest to her, with her heart.” O’Donnell, who was speaking on the eve of his 23rd birthday, also said his grandmother bestowed to him the greatest present. “My grandmother left me with the perfect birthday gift,” he said. “She has left me with her legacy, a compass to help me navigate tomorrow’s challenges and a philosophy I can weave into my own narrative. This is the best gift that I could ask for.” Although neither of her parents completed high school, Dr. Yalow excelled in school and graduated from Hunter College with the school’s first physics major in 1941. She went on to carve an illustrious career in medical research and carried out the bulk of her research from the confines of the Bronx Veterans Hospital—now called

the James J. Peters VA Medical Center. Her crowning achievement came in 1977, when she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. She was just the second woman to win the prestigious title. In her acceptance speech to the students of Stockholm in 1977, Dr. Yalow spoke about equal women’s rights “We cannot expect in the immediate future that all women who seek it will achieve full equality of opportunity,” she said. “But if women are to start moving towards that goal. we must believe in ourselves or no one else will believe in us...” Given Dr. Yalow was a product of New York City schools, one of the 18 speakers even seized the opportunity to express his concerns about government funding cuts. Lawrence Rothenberg from the American Association of Physicists in Medicine said it was crucial that elected officials maintain funding for public educational institutions. “If we look at Roz’s career, of course she was a brilliant scientist and investigator and bright young person. But she was also able to take advantage of a strong public high school in Walton, which was a high school for girls, Hunter College, which was a publicly funded college, and even her graduate work at the University of Illinois, which is a state-funded university,” he said. “We have to keep things in mind. There are…young people now who will need the same kind of support. We have to be careful of where we are cutting.” Dr. Yalow is survived by her son, Benjamin Yalow, and her daughter, Elanna

Rosalyn Yalow, the Nobel Prizewinner, was remembered at a memorial service this past Sunday. She was pictured in front of her residence on Tibbett Avenue in Kingsbridge. Yalow of Larkspur, California, and by two grandchildren, Evan O’Donnell and Danny O’Donnell. Donations to support educational opportunities for girls and young women in science can be made to the Rosalyn S. Yalow Scholarship Foundation at YalowFoundation.org


By MIAWLING LAM Public schools are being set up for failure because Tweed officials are hellbent on privatizing the city’s education system, local residents say. Members of Community Board 8 discussed several wide-ranging issues—including the failures of the public school system—at last Tuesday’s education committee meeting. Comparing the haves and have-nots between charter and traditional schools, members lamented about the inequitable distribution of resources and funding. CB8 education committee chair Sylvia Alexander said although many charter schools are able to introduce a contentrich, varied curriculum, public schools are unable to replicate the model. “They can’t, because the class sizes are just too large, and on top of it, the chancellor is now looking into middle schools,” she said, referring to the city’s plan to open 50 new middle schools over the next two years. Under the policy, unveiled by Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott last month, failing middle schools will be shut down, new ones will be established and teachers and principals will complete rigorous inhouse leadership programs. It is not known how many of the 50 new schools will be charter schools and how many will be traditional schools. Department of Education officials will also replace the principal and at least half the teachers at another 10 struggling middle schools as part of the federal “Turnaround” program. However, Alexander warned the bold proposal, which is designed to strengthen

the city’s middle school system, would irrevocably change the education landscape. “He is going to destroy what we have now, in my opinion,” she said. “It’ll be interesting to see what they do, because I think they’re just making it very difficult for the children.” CB8 member Amy Moore also believed authorities were setting up public schools for failure. “They want to privatize the public schools by doing charters,” she said. “They’ve set up a system now where our public schools cannot succeed.” Retired principal and CB8 member Marvin Goodman said that, contrary to public rhetoric, charter schools receive a disproportionate amount of government funding. “Mike [Bloomberg] has allocated more money per student for charter schools than for public schools, so that gives the charter school more money to do extra things that public schools can’t,” he said. “You need money to have a longer day, to have more services for children and to have schools open until six o’clock. Money does count.” Goodman’s assertions are confirmed in a recent report by the New York City Independent Budget Office, which found that charter schools located in public school buildings receive an average of $649 more per student than their public school counterparts. Concerns about children falling behind before they even start kindergarten was broached as well. Continued on Page 13

11 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, October 6, 2011

Charge schools are being shortchanged


Thursday, October 6, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW

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This storm didn’t last long, but it sure packed a big punch By PAULETTE SCHNEIDER Some Riverdale apartment buildings got their own private microburst last Thursday afternoon. During its brief performance, the scary weather event featured horizontal torrents of rain driven by a powerful debris-filled wind that uprooted a four-story-high maple tree, drove rain right under the bottoms of closed apartment windows facing the river and shattered a 135-by90-inch sheet of glass into the lobby of 2621 Palisade Avenue—fortunately, no one there was injured. Doorman John Alvarado was on duty at around 1 p.m. when he noticed that it was “getting kind of dark” outside. As a preventive measure, he lowered the blinds to cover windows that stretched along the length of the lobby. Then he dashed back to the front where the outside doors were suddenly swinging open. He fought the wind to keep them closed, planning to let go long enough to get a magnet used to keep the doors secured. “But it was just too late, because that’s when everything started to whip up.” A delivery service employee was there at the time. “I saw John struggling with the door, so I gave him a hand,” he said. “We finally got the doors closed. That’s when the funnel started coming. It had leaves, a lot of debris. It came from the Hudson River....It was like a dense grey.” Alvarado described the scene outside as a “wall of grey” that sounded like “baritone voices screaming out.” As the wind continued to rage, the large front window suddenly gave way, leaving “a whole mess of shattered stuff all over the place.” Building staff promptly

swept up the broken glass and debris and covered the gaping opening. Louis Alvarado was on the lower level when he saw a slab of wood slam into a nearby window and heard the service entrance door rattling against the wind. Miguel Gonzalez and Ciaphas Wellington were completing a task on the building’s roof, 18 stories up, when the meteorological drama began. “It was amazing. There was a black cloud, really low, and you saw the water coming into the cloud,” Gonzalez said. “Like it was raining reversed—upside down. That’s how it looked. It was coming towards us and picking up rain at the same time….About ten minutes later, the lobby glass broke. That’s when we found out it was a tornado.” Staff members had turned on the radio and some received weather alerts on their cell phones. The National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the area. The bulletin warned of a thunderstorm “capable of producing quarter-size hail…and damaging winds in excess of 60 miles per hour.” “Doppler radar has indicated some weak rotation within this storm,” the bulletin stated. “While not immediately likely…a tornado may still develop.” “Based on the radar data at that time, the most likely cause of the damage was from straight line winds or a microburst,” the service’s John Murray said. One building away at 2727 Palisade, a neatly landscaped shrub-filled backyard area was devastated, and a felled tree was apparently removed from the road in front of 2521 Palisade.

A microburst that lasted no more than fifteen minutes took its toll on two Palisade Avenue buildings. The backyard of 2727 Palisade suffered extensive damage. No more than fifteen minutes after the windy deluge, the sun came out and

acted as though nothing unusual had happened.


13

Dobbs Ferry

GENEALOGY 10 a.m. Aldersgate Methodist Church 600 Broadway The Westchester County Genealogical Society welcomes back Joe Schiavone with a talk on ‘The Last of the Old Put - New York Central’s Putnam Division.’ There will be refreshments and genealogical networking starting at 9:30 a.m. For more information, call Philomena Dunn at 914-953-9173.

Cross River

NATURALIST’S CHOICE HIKE 10 a.m. Trailside Nature Museum Route 35 Join a naturalist for a hike to observe some exciting ecological events that are happening at this time of year. For more information, call 914-864-7322.

Yonkers

FALL CLEAN-UP 10 a.m. Lenoir Preserve Dudley Street Bring work gloves and lend a helping hand to keep the preserve beautiful. For more information, call 914-968-5851.

Yonkers

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.

North White Plains

SHELTER BUILDING 1 p.m. Cranberry Lake Preserve Old Orchard Street Learn how to make either a backyard clubhouse or an emergency shelter. For more information, call 914-428-1005.

Croton-on-Hudson

MALFA OPEN HOUSE 1 p.m. Croton Point Nature Center Croton Point Avenue Explore one of the richest archaeological sites in Westchester at the park. For more information, call 914-862-5297.

Sunday, October 9 Yonkers

FALL FESTIVAL 10 a.m. Historic Sherwood House 340 Tuckahoe Road Space is still available for a few vendors. The cost is $30 per space, and the number available is limited. For more information, call 914-961-8940.

Rye

OPENING OF EXHIBIT 2 p.m. Marshlands Conservancy Route 1 Opening of the Annual Marshlands Photography Exhibit. Artwork inspired by the conservancy will be on view weekends from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through November. For more information, call 914-835-4466.

Tuesday, October 11 Bronxville

LECTURE 1:30 p.m. Sarah Lawrence College Titsworth Lecture Hall Faculty emeritus William Park returns to Sarah Lawrence College to discuss, “What is Film Noir?”

Bronxville

LECTURE 6 p.m. Sarah Lawrence College Heimbold Visual Arts Center Join Sarah Lawrence College Women’s History Program in celebrating Eleanor Roosevelt’s birthday and commemorating her connection to Sarah Lawrence College with a lecture by Brigid O’Farrell, author of She Was One of Us: Eleanor Roosevelt and the American Worker.

Friday, October 14 White Plains THEATRE

8 p.m. Rochambeau School 228 Fisher Avenue Fort Hill Players presents ‘As Bees in Honey Drown,’ a stinging comedy by Douglas Carter Beane. Performances are on Oct. 14, 15, 21, 22 at 8 p.m., and Oct. 15 at 2 p.m. For more information, call 914-946-5143.

Saturday, October 15 Cross River

FOREST COMMUNITY HIKE 1 p.m. Trailside Nature Museum Ward Pound Ridge Reservation A walk along the trails to learn how to distinguish the various forest communities and see examples of each. For more information, call 914-864-7322.

Mt. Vernon

REVOLUTIONARY WAR COMMEMORATION 10 a.m. St. Paul’s Church 897 S. Columbus Avenue An encampment commemorating the Revolutionary War Battle of Pell’s Point will be held at St. Paul’s Church National Historic Site, in Mt. Vernon, on Saturday, October 15, from 10 AM to 4 PM. The free event includes talks on the American Revolution, musket firing and militia drill, period music and dancing, dramatizations, crafts and cooking, historic children’s games and toys, with dozens of costumed re-enactors, representing the armies that fought in the Revolutionary War. There will also be a candlelight tour of the historic cemetery and a performance of Colonial Folk Music on Friday, Oct. 14, beginning at 7 PM. For info, call 914-667-4116 or visit www.nps.gov/sapa

Yonkers

FALL FOREST WALK 10 a.m. Lenoir Preserve Dudley Street See the changing colors of the leaves and learn why they change color. Look for animals that call the forest their home. For more information, call 914-968-5851.

Croton-on-Hudson

FUNDING SOLAR POWER 10 a.m. Croton Point Nature Center Croton Point Avenue Join Chris Hale of Sun Blue Energy as we explore the great funding opportunities available for installing solar in your home. For more information, call 914-862-5297.

North Salem

ROPES CHALLENGE COURSE 10 a.m. Mountain Lakes Park Hawley Road A fun day of team building skills and personal achievements is ahead on the ropes course. Fee $40 per person age 12 and up. For more information, call 914-864-7313.

Schools shortchanged? Continued from Page 11 Alexander cited research by Melinda Gates, wife of Bill Gates, suggesting that when kindergarten children start school, they are already two years behind their global peers. “If you think about that and you think about what public schools have to infuse into the children, it really is understandable that they’re having a difficult time,” she said. Moore attributed the developmental delays to the rise in early childhood testing. “It’s really not that our kids are behind. It’s that they raised the standards,” she said. “What used to be kindergarten…was playtime. Now, they have to be able to read by January of kindergarten or it starts to look like a problem. “That never used to be the case. Our society has to question why we’re doing it. We’re not making a smarter country out of trying to make three-year-olds read.”

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, October 6, 2011

Saturday, October 8


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With the cold weather of the winter soon upon us, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz is reminding his constituents of the rules and regulations regarding heat and hot water. The heating season began on October 1 and continues until May 31. Between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. heat must register 68 degrees Fahrenheit when the outside temperature falls below 55 degrees. Between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. heat must register 55 degrees when the outside temperature falls below 40 degrees. Hot water must be at least 120 degrees 24 hours a day, every day of the year. If these rules are not being followed, tenants can file a complaint with the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development by calling 311. If they live in a rent stabilized or rent controlled apartment, tenants can also apply for a rent reduction with the NYS Division of Housing and Community Renewal. The application form for a rent reduction is available in Assemblyman Dinowitz’s district office. Tenants should keep good records of each time the required heat service is not maintained. ‘If you are not receiving

proper heat, you should write down the inside and outside temperatures and the date and time of each occurrence. You can then file a complaint using this information,’ said Assemblyman Dinowitz. Assemblyman Dinowitz has prepared an easy to follow card with a chart to help people keep records. Constituents can receive the free card at his district office located at 3107 Kingsbridge Avenue (just off West 231st Street) or by calling 718-796-5345.

Jewish War Veterans to hold monthly meeting

Do you belong to a veterans organization? Jewish War Veterans Post #69 Newman-Goldman can use your membership. If you no longer have a post to attend, or you are an inactive member of the JWV, you are requested to transfer your name to this post. No need to attend meetings. New members are always welcome. All it takes is a very simple form that you can acquire by calling Mel Saks at 914-3370277 or Herb Barret at 718-548-6832. Your name on the rolls will be of great help in keeping Post 69 active. The post meets on the third Sunday of each month at 10 a.m. in room 3D22, third floor in the James J. Peters VA Medical Center (Kingsbridge Veterans

Hospital), 130 West Kingsbridge Road. This is the only active JWV post in the Riverdale/Kingsbridge area. All are welcome to attend. The next meeting will take place on October 16. For more information, please call 718-548-6832.

Bronx District Attorney announces new appointees

Bronx District Attorney Robert T. Johnson announced the hiring of 33 new Assistant District Attorneys. The new ADAs began a two-week training program on October 3 under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Cari E. Ferreiro, Chief of Litigation Training. The intensive program combines courtroom observation with lectures in criminal court practice. The following is a list of the new Assistants and their law schools: Keith L. Abrams, St. John’s University School of Law; Nancy Ahern, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law; Mary C. Arnold, Temple University School of Law; Joanna Beck, St. John’s University School of Law; Kate M. Caruselle, Brooklyn Law School; Peter D’Angelo, Columbia University School of Law; Alexandra L. DiCerbo, Pace University School of Law; Christine Enguino, New York

Law School; Jeannie L. Elie, St. John’s University School of Law; Lauren E. Ellisberg, New York Law School; Kathryn Falasca, Hofstra University School of Law; Dylan H. Gordon, Brooklyn Law School; David Grigoryan, New York Law School; Samuel R. Hodge, Drake University School of Law; Katherine V. Hynes, Fordham University School of Law; Alissa Kempler, George Washington U niversity Law School; Matthew J. Kimasauskas, Albany Law School; Cynthia Leveille, Albany Law School; Joseph Loloi, Touro College, Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center; Brendan P. McArdle, Villanova University School of Law; Gary I. Peng, Cornell L aw School; Meagan Powers, New York University School of Law; Courtney A. Robbins, New York Law School; Jason Ruiz, Fordham University School of Law; Clara S. Salzberg, University of Maryland School of Law; Rebecca P. Sarro, CUNY School of Law; Russell Y. Satin, Brooklyn Law School; Derek Scadden, New York University School of Law; Edward O. Siclari, University of Maryland School of Law; Jennifer A. Smith, St. John’s University School of Law; Stephanie M. Taylor, George Washington University Law School; Rafael Urena, American University, Washington College of Law; Kelly M. Van Develde, Brooklyn Law School.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, October 6, 2011

Assemblyman Dinowitz reminds community of heat regulations


Thursday, October 6, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW

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GUEST EDITORIAL

Let’s Take Back Columbus Day By Thomas A. Bowden More than a century ago, America celebrated the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s voyage of discovery by hosting an enormous world’s fair on the shores of Lake Michigan. This “World’s Columbian Exposition” featured statues of the great explorer, replicas of his three ships, and commemorative stamps and coins. Because Columbus Day was a patriotic holiday--it marked the opening chapter in American history--the newly written Pledge of Allegiance was first recited in schools on October 12, 1892. Nowadays, however, an embarrassed, guilty silence descends on the nation each Columbus Day. We’ve been taught that Columbus opened the way for rapacious European settlers to unleash a stream of horrors on a virgin continent: slavery, racism, warfare, epidemic, and the cruel oppression of Indians. This modern view of Columbus represents an unjust attack upon both our country and the civilization that made it possible. Western civilization did not originate slavery, racism, warfare, or disease--but with America as its exemplar, that civilization created the antidotes. How? By means of a set of core ideas that set Western civilization apart from all others: reason and individualism. Throughout history, prior to the birth of Western civilization in ancient Greece, the world seemed impervious to human understanding. People believed that animistic spirits or capricious deities had supernatural powers to cure diseases, grow crops, and guide the hunter’s arrow toward his prey. To get the attention of these inscrutable spirits, people resorted to prayer, ritual, taboo, and human sacrifice, relying always on the mystic insights of shamans and priests. This pervasive mysticism had practical consequences: festering disease, perpetual poverty, and a desperate quest for survival that made offensive warfare against human beings seem as natural as hunting animals. Such was the plight of America’s Indians before 1492--and such was Europe’s own plight, once the civilizations of Greece and Rome had given way to mysticism and the barbarian tribes. It was Western philosophers, scientists, statesmen, and businessmen who liberated mankind from mysticism’s grip. Once scientists revealed a world of natural laws open to human understanding, medical research soon penetrated the mysteries of disease and epidemic, allowing us to look back with pity upon American Indians and other historical victims of diseases now preventable and curable. On a much wider scale, the Industrial Revolution employed science, technology, and engineering to create material goods in profusion, so that even people of average ability could become affluent by historical standards. By demonstrating how wealth can be created in abundance rather than stolen by armed force, America and the West supplied a moral alternative to the bloody tribal warfare of past eras. Western civilization’s stress on the value of reason led inexorably to its distinctive individualism. Western thinkers were first to declare that every individual, no matter what his skin color or ancestry, is fully human, possessed of reason and free will--a being of self-made character who deserves to be judged accordingly, not as a member of a racial or tribal collective. And thanks to John Locke and the Founding Fathers, individuals were recognized as possessing individual rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness--rights that made slavery indefensible and led to its eradication, at the cost of a civil war. These are the facts we are no longer taught--and the measure of that educational failure is the disdain with which Columbus’s holiday is regarded in the country that owes its existence to his courage. It is time to take back Columbus Day, as an occasion to publicly rejoice, not in the bloodshed that occurred before Columbus’s arrival and after, but in our commitment to the life-serving values of Western civilization: reason and individualism. We do so by honoring the great explorer who opened the way for that civilization to flourish in the New World. Thomas A. Bowden is an analyst at the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights. Mr. Bowden is a former lawyer and law school instructor who practiced for twenty years in Baltimore, Maryland.

‘Palestinians’ honor the murderers in their midst

To The Editor: David Kornbluh’s letter published in 22 Sept. issue of Riverdale Review requires a response. In defense of Islam he instructs us “Moorish Spain was the most tolerant society on earth.” That is not true and if it were does it negate the fact that by the sword Arabs created the largest empire on earth? He equates the murderer of Rabin and the Christian who massacred in Norway with suicide bombers. Let me try to explain some differences. First, in Israel and Norway the murderers were pariahs. They were rejected by their societies. The Palestinian suicide bomber is honored by his society. Public places are named after him and his family is proud of him. He is in heaven with 72 adoring virgins. The media and public officials commend him. His society has prepared him for his mission of hate and destruction. Kornbluh says, “No people should be judged by its fanatics.” Arabs rejoiced on 9-11. These hu-

man bombs are an honored part of their society, part of a group of significant size. Kornbluh then explains, “There is in the bible instances of divine sanctioned murder and aggression… to take out of context the extreme pronouncements in any tradition and judge the whole on its basis, inevitably leads to distortion.” Mr. Kornbluh, since 9-11 there have been over 17,000 individual attacks by the followers of Allah and the Koran on non-believers or those not observant enough. The Koran does contain explicit orders to subdue non-believers and to kill. The facts that a significant number of Moslems do kill today in the name of Allah is what counts. A Pakistani official who suggested softening the laws of blasphemy was murdered. Those that offend Moslems may be sentenced to death by imams, i.e., Rushdie, the cartoon artists, the film marker Van Gogh. In the first two weeks of this past August believers in the “religion of peace” are known to have in 61

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separate instances, in 12 difference countries, to have killed 178 and severely injured 351. These are low figures. All these attacks were done in the name of Allah. These attacks, mostly in Asia and Africa, do not get reported by our mainstream media. Mr. Kornbluh then goes on to lecture about Israel taking risks for peace. He must believe that there is something Israel can offer that will bring peace. It returned the Sinai to Egypt for peace. It got an armistice during which hatred of Israel emanates from every Egyptian voice (mosque, media or political leader). So the new Egypt will probably not agree to follow the terms of that agreement. Unfortunately, our Arab cousins believe that peace is a cessation of a war they will start when they feel capable of wining. Israel tried concessions. It left Gaza, it gave Palestinians control of parts of Judea and Samaria. It offered them a state. None of these concessions resulted in reduced hostility. All resulted in increased conflict. More important than all else is the hatred of Israel taught by their Mosques, schools, media and political leaders. This compounded by the honor bestowed on suicide bombers makes me reluctant to understand what risk should be taken in the blind insane hope that it will bring peace. Philip Brieff


Continued from Page 2 meeting. The fifth board member was on a business trip in Italy. Save the Putnam Trail has collected hundreds of signatures in favor of not paving the trail. Trail user Dart Westphal called the other trails in Van Cortlandt “spectacular” for runners, but not so much for bikes or rollerblades, and he hoped the running groups could concede this path for the other groups. But Westphal went on to call the runners “incredibly difficult,” adding that it looked like some of them weren’t even born when the original plan to pave the trail was created 20 years ago. Some of the runners, however, testified that they have been using the trail since the 1970s. Westphal and the other cyclists say they have no “loop” to bike on and that

this trail is a key element in connecting other paved trails, like along the Mosholu Parkway, to create one for The Bronx. The Putnam Trail connects to a Westchester trail that is paved and runs north for 55 miles—but doesn’t circle back into the kind of “loop” Westphal and others mentioned. When that path was first paved nearly a decade ago, Westchester residents feared that Bronxites would use the path to come up to their town and rob them. The parks department said they will consider some of the changes that the campaign had suggested again—they’ve already made some concessions since a community board meeting in February—but they made no promises. Koppell moderated the discussion and did not offer his opinion, saying he would prefer to wait for the time being.

Living wage

© Disney

Continued from Page 9 tions of most people,” he said. “But not shopping center developers like what was at the Kingsbridge Armory. Retail and commercial activity in such centers is the objective of this bill. If we took them out, we’d have nothing.” The living wage saga rocketed to the spotlight when The Related Companies was ready to put a shopping mall in the armory, but after local elected officials demanded the retail shops pay their employees a living wage—almost $3 more than minimum wage—the developer backed out. Koppell mentioned that with the new changes, the bill now looks even more similar to a living wage law in Los Angeles that has not affected job growth.

19 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, October 6, 2011

Runners vs. cyclists on Putnam Trail

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Thursday, October 6, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW

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Riverdale Review, October 6, 2011