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Riverdale’s ONLY Locally Owned Newspaper!

Volume XVIII • Number 42 • October 13 - 19, 2011 •


Senior rescued from another apartment fire By MIAWLING LAM An elderly Bronx woman was rushed to the hospital after she became trapped inside her burning Riverdale apartment. Fire officials were called to an all-hands apartment fire on the fifth floor of the Algiers building, located at 3616 Henry Hudson Parkway, around noon last Friday. Firefighters stormed into the building, temporarily evacuated residents and rescued Ruth Wahrsager, 91, from the scene. FDNY Division 7 Deputy Chief James Mulrenan said the woman, who was found in respiratory arrest, was given CPR before being transported to Jacobi Medical Center. “She was removed to [another] apartment on the fire floor,” he said. “We began CPR and as soon as it cleared, we got her to the floor below.” Mulrenan said the fire was confined to the one unit but heavy smoke and water damage

spread throughout the floor. “We cut it off to that one apartment,” he said. “All the damage is confined to that one apartment.” When The Riverdale Review attended the scene last Friday, the apartment’s kitchen window and terrace door were completely smashed and thick soot blanketed the normally sunlit balcony. A child who lives on the second floor said she suspected something was amiss when she detected the distinct burning odor. “It smelled all smoky,” she said. “We thought it was somebody burning food, but then it got all strong.” Another child, who lives on the sixth floor of the south building, said he saw smoke coming out of the elevator shaft. An FDNY spokesman said investigations were continuing and a cause has yet to be established, but the fire is believed to have started in the kitchen.

He said 60 firefighters from 12 units, including Ladders 37, 49 and 52, battled the blaze and got it under control within 49 minutes after the call came in. Surrounding roads were taped off, and the MTA diverted some bus services. A spokeswoman from Jacobi Medical Center refused to disclose the patient’s condition so her health status was unclear. However, Officer Mindy Ramos from the 50th Precinct said the woman suffered only smoke inhalation when she was transported to the hospital. The latest incident follows the deaths of two elderly people from a fire that broke out on 2400 Johnson Avenue on September 22. The two-alarm fire, which started in a 14th floor apartment, claimed the lives of Cornelia Dykshoorn, 87, and Marinus Dykshoorn, 91. The couple had reportedly lived in the building for at least 30 years.

Firefighters from 12 units responded to an all-hands fire that broke out in The Algiers building last Friday. Ruth Wahrsager, 91, was taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation.

Crowds pile into local buses By BRENDAN McHUGH Even Ms. Frizzle’s magic bus can’t solve this problem. As fees for bridges and tunnels skyrocket, more and more people have turned to buses for transportation. Unfortunately, the cash-strapped MTA hasn’t improved service to make room for the new passengers. The issue hasn’t gone unnoticed by Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, who requested that the MTA add extra buses during the evening rush hours of 4 to 9 p.m. running from West 231st Street

and Broadway to the city line. “This will provide additional service at the most crowded location at the busiest time,” Dinowitz wrote in a letter to Thomas Prendergast, president of the MTA. “It would go a long way towards making the commute of many of my constituents more bearable and would encourage more people to use mass transit.” Last week, it took straphangers boarding the Bx7 and Bx10 more than seven minutes just to Continued on Page 19

First-graders Maureen McCormick (left) and Melanie Jimenez (right) from St. Margaret of Cortona use iPads to supplement learning. The school will accelerate its rollout of the devices this month. Read the full story on Page 3.

Thursday, October 13, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


230th Street development debated By BRENDAN McHUGH Commercial development on the parking lot site at West 230th Street and Broadway will be an asset to the community, but what gets developed is still up in the air. Sitting in a room more fit for a dance class than a community meeting, the economic development committee of Community Board 8 discussed the city’s request for proposals for the 230th Street parking lot development at Uptown Sports Complex last week. As teenagers and young adults practiced their gymnastics, kickboxing and baseball swings, the committee discussed their concerns for the RFP. Economic development chairman Sergio Villaverde hopes the community board will have a plan to offer the city’s Economic Development Corporation, whether or not that plan is accepted. Concerns that arose Thursday night included housing, pollution cleanup and possible tenants. The board is involved in a meeting with the EDC on October12, when they hope to get a better sense of where the city is headed with the development. According to Katherine Broihier, district manager for the Kingsbridge Business Improvement District, nearby merchants trust that whatever comes will be a “lynchpin” for the area. Past possibilities have included a movie theater and big box stores such as Best Buy and Kohl’s. “[The merchants] understand that the developer will see the neighborhood’s needs,” Broihier said. She did add, however, that they understand the reality of the situation. This project was first discussed nearly a decade ago, but has floundered ever since. There was debate over whether or not to support housing as part of the development. In the end, the city did not support housing, causing some developers to drop out. Then, after Ceruzzi Holdings was chosen to build a retail plaza two years ago, they held out for a better deal after discovering how much The Related Companies was going to pay for the Kingsbridge Armory. After a year of renegotiating, Ceruzzi ultimately failed to deliver, taking the project back to step one. Housing again has been brought up, but it remains a divider among various groups. Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz has strongly opposed housing, going as far as writing a letter to groups that supported housing in the past. “While there is certainly a need for housing throughout the city, I find it hard to believe that housing located between the Major Deegan Expressway and the Broadway [elevated train] makes any sense at all,” he wrote in his letter to the BID and to the Kingsbridge Riverdale Van Cortlandt Development Corporation. “Any residential development at this location can only detract from the maximum possible use of this land for new stores in our neighborhood.” Both the BID and the development corporation have chosen not to respond to the letter, with both saying they don’t want to set any limitations on the project before designs have even been drawn up. The development corporation submitted a plan when the first RFP was issued years ago, and they included housing in the project. They have not said whether they will submit a proposal again. Another concern brought up by the economic development committee was pollution. When Ceruzzi had tested the soil, they found it was contaminated from a closed gas station on the corner of West

230th Street and Broadway. According to the RFP, the city will supply the means to clean up the site, but the developer will ultimately have to pay for it. An EDC spokesman said the city will examine the proposals before making any decisions. The deadline for RFP submissions is October 24. If all the proposals need subsidies, the EDC will be forced to examine that possibility. But if the majority of them do not request city money, it’s a good chance no money will be offered. As of last year, the economic development committee has been meeting at various businesses around Community Board 8, both to expand involvement in the board and to discuss issues that affect the businesses in that immediate area—in this case, the shopping corridor along Broadway.

By MIAWLING LAM They made a bold decision to fork out nearly $50,000 on iPads, and now it’s paying off in spades. St. Margaret of Cortona School, located at West 260th Street, overhauled classroom instruction by giving some of its students the cutting-edge tablets in April. Under the pilot program—an archdiocese first—teachers and students were equipped with 95 first-generation iPads. Six months on, officials are so pleased with the result and how it has augmented curriculum and instruction, they will now fast-track the rollout and expand access to fourth-graders. Currently, K-2 students and Advanced Math students are the only ones who have been given the tablets. Kindergarteners and first-graders share the iPads while second graders have one each. Principal Hugh M. Keenan said in order to grant access to the additional students, 125 more iPads were needed. He said monies from this month’s annual walk-a-thon will bankroll the purchase—the event is expected to raise $15,000—so students should have the devices in their hands by Thanksgiving. “The plan going forward is to purchase the remainder of the iPads for the remaining classrooms using our walk-a-thon money,” he said. “We will have another fundraiser in the spring, so every year for the next couple of years, we will have two fundraisers specifically geared for the iPads.” The additional purchase will bring

the total number of iPads at the school to 220. Keenan said while it is too early to determine whether the iPads have lifted the school’s standardized test results, the devices have put St. Margaret at the forefront of the educational frontier. More importantly, students are also more engaged in their learning and are benefiting from the one-on-one experience. “Initially there was some trepidation and some concerns,” he said. “Now the response is, ‘When do I get mine?’ “Anecdotally, you can see that the children are far more engaged and far more excited. “We’re seeing that the one-on-one, differentiated instruction is the biggest impact. Children receive that extra help instantaneously. They can practice and practice without delaying the class, and they can all do something at their own level.” Keenan was quick to point out the iPad has not replaced traditional teaching methods. Children are still expected to handwrite essay drafts, read books and do craft projects but can use the tablets to explore content and play educational games at their own pace. To date, St. Margaret has spent $48,000 implementing the technology. However, a private, anonymous donor grant allowed the school to purchase the first round of iPads. The school has paid for its own apps, insurance and software through fundraising efforts and will now look to purchase several carts that can simultaneously

charge and sync multiple tablets. Despite heavy iPad use, Keenan said the devices have not translated into higher power bills. “No significant impact yet,” he said. “We have been very good proactively regarding our computers and projectors and turning them off. “If it does increase our electrical bill, we will be able to offset that somewhere down the line.” Although the school is not alone in its quest to embrace technology—authorities in Auburn, Maine, gave an iPad 2 to each elementary school student and teacher this year—education experts are definitely noticing what’s happening in Riverdale,

3 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, October 13, 2011

iPad experiment at St. Margaret’s appears successful

Keenan said. Half a dozen Catholic school principals in The Bronx have already expressed interest in rolling out a similar program, while the Archdiocese of New York schools district superintendent is eyeing a borough-wide rollout. As of press time, calls to Archdiocese of New York spokeswoman Fran Davies were not returned. However, when St. Margaret commenced their pilot, Davies said officials would stringently evaluate the program before replicating it in other Catholic schools. “Any innovation in the schools, we always like to track exactly how we can improve it and other things we can do before we make it a model for others,” she said at the time.

Thursday, October 13, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Around the schools... P.S. 24

Parents are reminded that an information session on gifted and talented programs in city schools will be held on 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

P.S. 81

Fitness awards are being issued this week to students who have been keeping themselves physically active five days per week for at least a half hour each day. These students, who kept a log of their exercise activities, will receive a certificate and a fitness award. Parents association summer reading awards will be given on Friday, October 14, starting at 9 a.m. All students who turned in a reading log showing that they read at least five books during the summer will be summoned to the auditorium stage to receive a certificate. To emphasize the importance of reading, the PA will present every child with a book a bag and a bookmark.

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

The parents association’s inaugural car wash fundraiser will be held this Saturday, October 15, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Independence Avenue side of the school building. The reasonably priced service will include soaping, rinsing and drying—exterior washes only. The annual college fair is on Wednesday, October 19, at 6:30 p.m. in the RKA gym. More than 75 colleges and universities from the tri-state area will participate. The event is free and open to the community. Friday morning school tours for parents of prospective RKA middle school students will begin this week for those who reside within the school zone. To sign up for a tour, contact

Kinneret Day School

Nursery, pre-K and kindergarten students picked their own apples at Dr. Davies Farm in Rockland County last week. Teachers used the fruits to teach numbers and shapes. Then, a representative from Greenburgh Nature Center visited the school to demonstrate the old way of making apple cider using a wooden press. Of course, the students made some cider and got to taste it.

Horace Mann School

A paper by Bernice Hauser, life skills teacher and director of inter-campus life, has been published in the Fall 2011 issue of the Teachers Clearinghouse for Science and Society Education Newsletter. The paper, entitled “A Successful Outcome,” describes how Hauser assigned her technology-savvy seventh-graders to produce collaborative presentations on drug and alcohol abuse. “This reflective exercise was a way of my redesigning/reinventing the course,” Hauser wrote. “The underlying premise was to provide total support for the students to become the instructors. With the aid of rubrics to assist them, their presentations will utilize the innate

creativity, skills and expertise that each possess individually to collectively work on a product that is fresh, instructive and challenging to the learner. Thus, we permit the student to engage his/her style of learning, his/her particular intelligence, and his/her specific creativity to enrich the finished product. The use of technology enhances and enlarges the learning that evolves.” Hauser offered a list of questions that should be addressed in the presentations and specified that references had to include at least one hard book resource and one website of a recognized source. She enlarged the scope of the project by inviting presenters from Alcoholics Anonymous, the 50th Precinct and a hospital emergency room. She also had the students role-play to practice “communication refusal skills”—ways of saying no to someone who offers an unwanted substance.

College Of Mount Saint Vincent

The School of Professional and Continuing Studies “Winning Wednesdays” career workshop series continues on Wednesday, November 2, and Wednesday, December 7, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. November’s topic is resume writing, presented by Diane Machado, director of career development. December’s topic is interviewing skills, presented by Christine Leake, a business faculty member and assistant director of graduate and professional studies admissions. All workshops are free and open to the community, but registration is required. To reserve a seat, contact or call 718-405-3269.

Manhattan College

A fall open house for college-bound students will be held on Sunday, October 30. A morning Mass ceremony will begin at 9:30 a.m., and college president Dr. Brennan O’Donnell will offer opening remarks in the Chapel of De La Salle and His Brothers. The Alumni Society will sponsor a brunch at 10:30 a.m. at Dante’s Den in Thomas Hall—alumni are invited to accompany high school and transfer student guests to the open house. Prospective students and their families will be offered campus tours. At an afternoon session in Draddy Gymnasium, faculty members from all majors, administrators and current students will discuss Manhattan’s academic and campus life. A light lunch will be served. For information and to register, visit MCdreamsdelivered. com. To attend the alumni brunch, call 718-862-7432.

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

By BRENDAN McHUGH Are they bullying the First Amendment? Bronx/Westchester state Senator Jeff Klein’s Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) has released a new report and an accompanying bill that could restrict freedom of speech in the hope of curbing online bullying, or “bullycide.” The new bill aims at bullying directed at those under 21 years old by adapting current stalking and manslaughter laws to the Internet. “What we’ve found out is that laws aren’t written with Facebook and Twitter in mind, and every teen has a cell phone now,” said Rich Azzopardi, spokesman for the IDC. The bill states that someone who conducts electronic communications about or to someone under 21, whether intentionally harmful or not, that cause emotional harm or suicide can be convicted of stalking in the third degree or, in the case of suicide, manslaughter in the second degree. The penalty for manslaughter in the second degree can be as much as 25 years in prison. For First Amendment advocates, this new bill is extremely troublesome. “The point of free speech is speaking without having our purposes evaluated, without fear of being prosecuted by a judge and jury, even when we know those views are offensive to people,” said Eugene Volokh, a law professor at UCLA. “It’s too bad that these legislators are trying to restrict free speech.” Volokh offers a number of examples that would create serious dilemmas with Klein’s bill. Citing the grey area the bill allows for, he

suggested the situation of a minister trying to talk to the family of a young boy who is gay. If the minister “outs” the boy to his family through an email or Facebook message and the boy finds out about the communication and commits suicide, the priest could be held responsible for the suicide. “A prosecutor could argue that the minister reasonably should have known that this would cause material harm to the emotional health of the child,” Volokh said. “Again, the minister gets convicted unless the jury concludes that his purpose was ‘legitimate.’” Under Klein’s proposed legislation, because the minister’s message was sent online rather than say, through the U.S. mail, there would be sufficient grounds for attempting to prosecute the minister. The American Civil Liberties Union says the bill is misguided in that the focus needs to be on education, not prosecution. “This bill identifies a very serious problem. But instead of criminalizing speech, we need to train teachers and students to recognize and respond to the early signs that a student is being bullied. As we’ve seen, by the time law enforcement gets involved, it’s too late,” said New York Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Donna Lieberman. Message boards and bloggers are quick to note an irony of the report. Most of it is written in all upper-case letters, which, on the Internet, would suggest that a person is yelling. They’ve also pegged this report as nothing more than another one of the IDC’s publicity stunts similar to Klein’s war against the fruity alcoholic drink Four Loko, in which they ride the wave of what’s making the front pages until they

jump onto the next hot topic. They also note that the report identifies “happy slapping,” where people record physical assaults on cell phones or cameras and distribute them to others. The fad existed some years ago and quickly died down when law enforcement’s own adaption to the Internet allowed them to start identifying perpetrators and arresting them for the physical crimes. Azzopardi says the bill does nothing more than adapt old laws to new technology and that it is narrowly drafted to avoid conflicting with the First Amendment. “There is a legal threshold for stalking. That threshold is not changing, just being modernized,” he said. Though in the report, they offer reasoning for restricting the First Amendment. After presenting one paragraph arguing for the amendment, they follow up with: “and yet, proponents of a more refined first amendment argue that this freedoms should be treated not as a right but as a privilege—a special entitlement granted by the state on a conditional bases that can be revoked if it is ever absued or maltreated (sic).” They go on to suggest that in the case of cyberbullying, restrictions on the First Amendment are warranted. “The perceived protections of free speech are exactly what enable harmful speech and cruel behavior on the internet. It is the notion that people can post anything they want, regardless of the harm it might cause another person that has perpetuated, if not created, this cyberbullying culture. But ‘hate speech’ that causes material harm to children should have consequences.” The bill also defines a number of situations that are more than just an extension of current stalking or manslaughter laws.

State Senator Jeff Klein “Flaming,” the process of sending intimidating, hurtful or cruel messages intended to enrage the recipient, is an everyday practice for political pundits. “Exclusion,” the process of intentionally excluding someone from an online group, is the right of every group, Volokh says. “Being in an online group is a basic right of who we want to include in our conversation,” he said, adding that jails wouldn’t be big enough to accommodate all who are prosecuted under the cyberbullying umbrella. Senate Democrat insiders say the bill is well intentioned, but has almost no percent chance of become law without serious debate and reform, as the Democratic controlled Assembly would have to “tear it down and build it back up.” “Nothing’s ever easy in the Senate,” they said.

5 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, October 13, 2011

Civil libertarians express concern over anti-cyber bullying effort

vation Fund grants, visit:

Thursday, October 13, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


BAE concert to open 201112 season

Riverdale AARP Chapter to meet

The Riverdale Chapter 1546 AARP will have a social meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 19, at 12:30 p.m. at the Riverdale Presbyterian Church at 4765 Henry Hudson Parkway West. At this formative meeting we will be entertained by Mitch Kahn with his vast knowledge of movie and theater music. Refreshments will be served. The community is invited. For more additional information. Call Manfred Segal at 718549-0088.

Dinowitz reminds community of heat regulations

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.

FIPNA awarded grant for historic study

Last week, the Fort Independence Park Neighborhood Association was awarded a $2,500 grant by the National Trust for Historic Preservation from the Elizabeth and Robert Jeffe Preservation Fund for New York City. The seed grant funds will be used to complete a historic resources survey leading to a nomination to the National Register of Historic Places. Fort Independence Park Neighborhood Association, working with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), has hired architectural historian, author and Riverdale native Anthony W. Robins (World Trade Center (1987), Heritage Trails New York Guide to Downtown (1995) and Subway Style (2004)) to conduct a historic survey of Fort Independence, an unusual piece of the Bronx that includes remnants of a major Revolutionary War fort, a street plan by Frederick Law Olmsted, and several historically significant coop apartment buildings. “Without organizations like FIPNA, communities and towns all across America would have a diminished sense of place,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “The National Trust for Historic Preservation is honored to provide a grant to FIPNA, which will use the funds to help preserve an important piece of our shared heritage.” The grants are awarded to nonprofit groups, educational institutions and public agencies, and must be matched, at least dollar for dollar, with public or private funds. These grants are often the deciding factor on whether historic buildings or sites can be saved for future generations. For more information on National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Preser-

The Bronx Arts Ensemble opens the 2011/12 season with violinist Kelly Hall-Tompson and pianist Jay Lee, 2011 co-winner of BAE’s Young Bronx Artist Contest on Sunday, October 16 at 3 pm at the home of David Lewis and Anne Ackerley 407 West 246th Stree tin the Bronx. Music will include Beethoven ‘Sonata in D minor, Op. 31 No. 2 - First movement’, Chopin ‘Ballade in G minor, Op. 23’, Ysaÿe ‘Ballade (Sonata No. 3 for solo violin, “George Enescu”), Rachmaninoff ‘Prelude in G minor, Op. 23 No. 5’ and Hofmann ‘Octet’. Tickets are $25 and include intermission refreshments. For more information, call 718.601.7399 or visit One of New York’s most in-demand violinists, Kelly Hall-Tompkins has a dynamic career spanning solo, chamber and orchestral performance. Winner of a 2003 Naumburg International Violin Competition Honorarium Prize as well as a Concert Artists Guild Career Grant in 1996, Ms. Hall-Tompkins was a recent soloist at Carnegie Hall for a Benefit for the Victims of Darfur in 2007. Pianist Jay Lee, a Co-Winner of the BAE 2011 Young Bronx Artist Contest, is a ninth grader at Horace Mann School in Riverdale. The Bronx’s premier music performance ensemble serving the borough since 1972, the Bronx Arts Ensemble is a not-for-profit organization enriching the cultural environment of the Bronx with a year-round schedule of concerts, special programs for families and a full music and arts-in-education program for schools.

Woodlawn Cemetery unveils National Historic Landmark plaque

The Woodlawn Cemetery, one of the nation’s most distinguished historic cemeteries, with public officials State Senator Jeffrey D. Klein and City Council Member Oliver Koppell, will unveil its National Historic Landmark designation on Sunday, October 16, at 1 p.m. After the unveiling, visitors will have a rare opportunity to step inside some of the Cemetery’s most famous mausoleumsincluding the Belmont Mausoleum, a replica of St. Hubert’s Chapel at Chateau Amboise in France, in which Leonardo DaVinci’s remains are interred. On June 30, 2011, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced that the Woodlawn Cemetery has been designated a National Historic Landmark-the highest recognition accorded to the nation’s most historically significant properties. The designation recognizes Woodlawn as one of the nation’s finest examples of a 19th-century garden cemetery, with an outstanding collection of art and architecture. The cemetery, which has the largest and most distinguished collection of historic mausoleums in the nation, is also recognized for its significant role in memorializing and celebrating prominent Americans, who shaped American history and culture. Since Woodlawn’s founding in 1863, 310,000 people-from Gilded Age magnates to pioneers for women’s rights to Harlem Renaissance writers and musicians, as well as artists, athletes, and ordinary citizens- have been interred on the cemetery’s 400 acres.

Auditions for our upcoming Junior productions of GUYS AND DOLLS, JR. and FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, JR. will be held on Sunday, October 16th from 11:00AM-2:00PM & October 17th from 5;00-7:30PM. Auditions are open to children ages 7 to 11. Children should prepare one verse of the following: Girls, ‘Bushel & A Peck’ or ‘Matchmaker’ and Boys, ‘If I Were A Rich Man’ or the song ‘Guys and Dolls’. Lyrics and music for the above song can be found on our website (which will link you to the RRS Facebook page). Participation is by audition only. All information regarding tuition, rehearsal schedules and show dates can be found at the above website/facebook location or questions can be directed to The audition is open to the entire community and nearby communities. The Riverdale Y is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue.

Pro-life panel discussion at St. Margaret Church

The Adult Education Committee of the parish of Saint Margaret of Cortona will sponsor a special Fall panel discussion entitled “From the Womb to the Tomb, Reflections on Catholic Social Action” on Tuesday, October 25 at 7:30 PM in the parish rectory meeting room located at 6000 Riverdale Avenue, Bronx. The panelists will include Barbara Meara (parishioner), New York State Chair of Right to Life, Brother John Blazo MM, Program Coordinator and official greeter of Maryknoll Missions, Dr. Rebecca Buchanan, Director of Campus Ministry at Marymount Manhattan College, Bob Armbruster of the Inter-Religious Fellowship for the Homeless in Bergenfield, New Jersey and Associate Professor of American Catholicism at Saint Peter’s College, New Jersey, Joseph H. Smith (parishioner) 2011 Manhattan College cum laude graduate. Moderated by Saint Margaret of Cortona Adult Education Committee chairperson Bob Stauf who also serves as Spirituality Coordinator of Soul Solutions which is dedicated to initiatives supporting those in the reentry process after incarceration. Light refreshments will be served. For further information contact Bob Stauf at 914 4762284.

Simon Center offers trip to Belmont Racetrack

The Simon Senior Center of the Riverdale Y is going to the famous Belmont Racetrack on

Thursday, Oct 27. The bus will leave the Y at 11am and return around 4 pm. The group plans to enjoy an afternoon of fun and adventure while they watch and play the races. Inclded in this trip is a kosher picnic lunch and admission to the racetrack. Total cost is $21 if you book before Oct 17; after that $28. For more information regarding this event, please contact Vicki at 718-548-8200 ext 223 or Toby at ext 224. The Y is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue. The entire community is invited.

Mode. Without getting too technical, we’ll also cover the fundamental principles of photography - importance of light, aperture, shutter speed, ISO and composition. Fun weekly assignments paired with class discussions will go a long way in improving your photography skills. The class will end with a

ing candid moments as they happen. Her training is a mix of formal training through various schools as well as self taught. She has been teaching photography workshops for children through summer camps and after school programs and is now expanding to workshops for adults. For more information regarding this course, please call Kim at 718548-8200 ext 206 or go to our website at and look under visual arts programs and then register. The Y is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue.

Brandeis presents program on Bronx history

The Riverdale Chapter of the Brandeis National Committee invites its members and their friends to its monthly meeting to be held at Riverdale Temple, West 246 Street and Independence Avenue, at 12:30 P.M. on Wednesday, October 26, 2011. The program will be an informative power point presentation by the Bronx County Historical Society Education Director, Angel Hernandez. The Topic will be “The Bronx - Then and Now”. Please make advance reservations by sending check for $12.00, payable to BNC, to Cecile Horwich, 5800 Arlington Avenue - 10W, Riverdale, N.Y. 10471, by October 19th. Subscription at the door will be $15.00. Bagels and light refreshments will be served and a boutique of “Vintage Jewelry by Granny Franny” will be displayed for sale.

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

RNH Early Childhood Program accepts applications

Applications for Early Childhood Program Registration 20122013 school year will be available at the Riverdale Neighborhood House, 5521 Mosholu Avenue, on November 15th. For more information or to schedule a tour call 718-549-8100 x133 or visit our website at riverdaleonline. org for more details.

Riv. Y offering digital photography for beginners

The Riverdale Y is now offering Digital Photography For Beginners (For Adults) starting in mid October. The course will go for 8 weeks on Thursday from 7pm to 8:30pm. If you are someone that just bought your first Digital SLR camera hoping to take great pictures but have no idea how to use it, or wondering why your photos still don’t look right, this class is designed for you! We’ll explore the different functions on your camera and help you move beyond Auto

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 Ride the Link.

©2011 Metropolitan Transportation Authority

7 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, October 13, 2011

Junior Rising Stars to hit the stage!

Gallery Show with light refreshments where each participant will display three of their favorite photos from the duration of the class. You will need to have three 8 X 10 photos printed by the final class. A Digital SLR camera is required for this class. Stacey Natal will be the instructor for this class. Stacey Natal is the owner of Total City Girl where she blogs & photographs all things creative. She is passionate about natural light photography focusing on lifestyle and children - captur-

Thursday, October 13, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Thursday, October 13

can enjoy great books, lively songs, and rhymes, and meet other babies in the neighborhood. For info, call 718-796-1202.

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.


Spuyten Duyvil

Van Cortlandt

MUSIC @ NYPL 2:30 p.m. Van Cortlandt Branch Library 3874 Sedgwick Avenue Valerie Mize’s music is described as earthy yet educated; simple yet soulful; funky and fun. Her music is immediately appealing to the eclectic in everyone. With influences ranging from Hometown to Motown, this Oklahoma born, NYC based songwriter, singer, and multi-instrumentalist rubs some Red Dirt on her classical upbringing. For info, call 718-543-5150.

Saturday, October 15

TODDLER STORY TIME 11:30 a.m. Riverdale Branch Library 5540 Mosholu Avenue 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 718-549-1212.

Wednesday, October 19 Riverdale

AARP MEETING 12:30 p.m. Riverdale Presbyterian Church 4765 Henry Hudson Pkwy. West The Riverdale Chapter 1546 AARP will have a social meeting. At this formative meeting we will be entertained by Mitch Kahn with his vast knowledge of movie and theater music. Call Manfred Segal at 718-549-0088.


Thursday, October 20

Sunday, October 16

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.

COLLEGE PLANNING 10:30 a.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street College is expensive but with proper planning, it can be affordable. In this workshop you will learn: Ways to pay for college without going broke, among others. For info, call 718-548-5656.


AUDITIONS 11 a.m. Riverdale YM-YWHA 5625 Arlington Avenue Auditions for upcoming Junior productions of GUYS AND DOLLS, JR. and FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, JR. will be held on Sunday, Oct. 16 from 11:00 AM-2:00 PM & Oct. 17 from 5;00-7:30 PM. Auditions are open to children ages 7 to 11. For more information, email

Monday, October 17 Spuyten Duyvil

BOOK TALK 11 a.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 West 235th Street Each participant briefly describes & shares thoughts about a book recently read. Discussions & recommendations are the happy result of this sharing. For info, call 718-796-1202.

Van Cortlandt

MUSICAL PROGRAM 1 p.m. Van Cortlandt Senior Center 3880 Sedgwick Avenue Cantor Harvey Bien will present a musical program in celebration of Sukkot. Refreshments will be served in the Sukkah.

Spuyten Duyvil

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


KNITTING & CROCHET 5 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Gather with other knitters and crocheters and perhaps pickup a few tips and tricks as you work on your own creations! For more information, call 718-548-5656.

Tuesday, October 18 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.

Spuyten Duyvil

BABY LAPSIT 11 a.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 West 235th Street Babies from birth to 18 months old and their parents/caregivers

Spuyten Duyvil


BABY LAPSIT 10:30 a.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Stories, Songs, Fingerplays, Flannelboard Illustrations, for babies birth to 36 months for parents/caregivers. For more information, call 718-548-5656.


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, October 21 Spuyten Duyvil

SPOOKTACULAR SAFARI 3:30 p.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 West 235th Street Which creatures stay awake on Halloween night? Up-close encounters will help us uncover the secrets of animals with lots of legs, slime and whiskers! Presented by The Art Farm in the city. For ages 5 to 10 years old. Limited to 40 participants. For more information, call 718-792-1202.

Saturday, October 22 Kingsbridge

BUDGETING FOR THE HOLIDAYS 2 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Do you dread the holiday season? Never fear, we have some holiday saving tips that may reduce your holiday stress. This program helps participants plan ahead and budget for holiday expenses. Let’s bring the joy back into the holiday season. For info, call 718-548-5656.

Sunday, October 23 Riverdale

MEDICARE BASICS 1 p.m. St. Gabriel’s Church 3250 Walsh 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.

Monday, October 24 Spuyten Duyvil

READING ALOUD 4 p.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 West 235th Street A librarian will share favorite picture books, providing children with the wonder of books and the joy of reading. For ages 5 to 12 years old. For more info, call 718-796-1202.

By MIAWLING LAM Lifting school achievement and ensuring students are prepared for college will be the hot-button issues to be discussed at this weekend’s inaugural Bronx education summit. The event, to be held at Lehman College on Saturday, is expected to be one of the borough’s largest calendar fixtures this year. Preliminary figures reveal more than 1,000 people have already registered to participate. Hundreds of the nation’s best and brightest minds will spend the day mapping out a strategy to raise school achievement and devise strategies to improve The Bronx’s standing. School reform advocate and preeminent education expert Diane Ravitch will headline the event and deliver the eagerly anticipated keynote address. Dr. Ravitch, one of the nations’ most vocal critics of standards-based education reforms, is vehemently opposed to closing schools, replacing public schools with charter schools and firing teachers. She gave a glimpse of her speech, which is expected to center on improving educational outcomes for Bronx children, during a brief interview on CNN last Sunday. Dr. Ravitch criticized federal programs such as Race to the Top and No Child Left Behind and said they have blurred the boundaries between accountability and instruction. She claimed both programs have failed to lift student achievement and said she was worried that teachers were now being put in the firing line. “We’ve had constant testing of the

kids, we have charter schools…no one can claim success [with] any of these programs and yet, we’re going to do more and more testing,” she said. “Now the testing is going to focus not just on the students but on grading teachers based on their student test scores. This is totally wrong. The test tests kids, they’re not measures of teacher quality. “We’ll be firing a lot of teachers, we’ll be closing a lot of schools and education will not be better because education is not a race. Education is not about finding winners and losers. It’s really about giving every child the opportunities to succeed.” Citing her recent trip to Finland, Dr. Ravitch said authorities could learn from their Finnish counterparts by becoming less preoccupied with student testing and more on helping, improving and supporting teachers. She said unlike in Finland where teaching is viewed as a competitive and highly respected profession—there are at least 10 applicants for every vacant teaching post—the industry in America was akin a revolving door. “We’re bringing them in, throwing them out,” she said. “We have a problem just getting teachers, and what we should be doing is cultivating the best and helping the weaker teachers get better.” Dr. Ravitch’s book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System, will be sold at the event. It has been voted the most influential book on education in the past decade. Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said he hoped the event would create Continued on Page 19




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The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, October 13, 2011

Countdown to inaugural Bronx education summit

Thursday, October 13, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Actor alum in triumphant return to PS 24 by ROBERT LEBOWITZ When professional actor Joshua Feinman swooped about the stage at P.S. 24 as Odysseus, captivating his young audience as he dynamically narrated his harrowing adventures of trying to return from the Trojan War back to Ithaca, few in attendance realized that the production was also a homecoming for Feinman: more than 30 years before, the Los Angeles-based Feinman was set upon his present path with the unique arts education he received while himself a P.S. 24 student. Over the past decade, Feinman, 40, has acted in a slew of popular Hollywood movies such as Men of Honor with Cuba Gooding, Jr., Mr. Woodcock with Billy Bob Thornton, and Transformers, had supporting roles in TV series such as Passions and Charmed, and had leads in a number of independent films. But his first film role was in a 1983 documentary called He Makes Me Feel Like Dancin’, which chronicled National Dance Institute founder Jacques D’Amboise’s work teaching dance to students in New York City public schools – one of whom was P.S. 24 fourth grader Josh Feinman. “When I was a kid here at 24, and recess came, all I wanted to do was go out and play touch football in the yard with my friends,” Feinman recalled. “But Jacques told us to come in and learn to dance, that we’d have a better time inside doing that. And he was right!” D’Amboise taught students, who had no previous background in dance, that they could channel their youthful energies into an artistic form. Suddenly, dance

became cool, and D’Amboise’s charges realized that physical prowess could be used to tell stories and express emotions rather than merely scoring a touchdown or home run. Although Feinman, an avid athlete, did not give up playing sports, the seeds of an artistic career were now planted. In college, he minored in drama, and after graduation he joined a traveling theater troupe. He spent time performing in Arizona and Oregon before settling in L.A., where he began landing roles in commercials, TV shows and films. And, at the same time, he was also working on his own educational theater projects with the organization EnrichmentWorks. The mission of EnrichmentWorks, explains Feinman, is to bring plays, musicals and workshops to schools and libraries throughout the US. Incorporating State Content Standards, EnrichmentWorks offers such shows as a musical adaptation of Aesop’s Fables, a talk and musical performance by an actor playing Irving Berlin, a re-enactment of Native American folk tales, and many educational productions meant to engage young people. One of these is “Voyage of Odysseus,” Feinman’s own one-man, interactive retelling of the Iliad and the Odyssey. Feinman’s staging of his “Voyage of Odysseus” on Thursday morning in the P.S. 24 auditorium bore clear hallmarks of his training with Jacques D’Amboise. Inviting several students up to join him in his journey, he gathered them into the Trojan Horse to storm the gates of Troy, run into battle with Polyphemus the Cyclops, sail past the alluring songs of the Sirens, and finally tough out the storm of Posei-

Hollywood actor and P.S. 24 graduate Joshua Feinman makes his own Odyssey to his alma mater with a little help from a current student. Photo credit: Bradd Bowden. don back to Ithaca to regain his rightful place with his wife at home. In the process, students lucky enough to be chosen as Odysseus’s traveling companions, as well as those watching more safely from their seats, squealed with laughter and cheered on the intrepid crew to victory. For Feinman, students’ active participation and visceral enjoyment of the show is not counter to learning, but actually is part and parcel of his educational mission. “The show teaches them how to tell a story, and gives them the confidence that they too can tell stories through dramatic performances and much more,” Feinman said. He’s been performing this show for

the last 10 years throughout the Los Angeles Unified School District, and has many drawings and letters from students that are testament to the powerful imaginative influence of the production. Even in Thursday’s audience, students were quick to point out their favorite parts of the program. Rachel said she liked best of all that the “show had so many funny things.” Her classmate, Joe, added that he “liked when Odysseus stopped the monster.” Their friend, Emma, was particularly impressed the way the hero “shot the bow and arrow.” Despite the fact that Feinman uses Continued on Page 19

Bronx Borough President


ronx-Lebanon Hospital Center



17th Annual





The Bronx County Building at Grand Concourse & 161st St. Check in time: 9:30am 40-mile route departs at 10:30 am.25-mile route departs at 10:40 am.

Bronx neighborhoods, historic districts, parks, waterfront, Greenway paths, the Sheridan Expressway and more, followed by an end-of-ride festival at the New York Botanical Garden. REGISTER TODAY AT TOURDEBRONX.ORG St. Raymond's Cemetery The New York Botanical Garden





By MIAWLING LAM Say goodbye to patchy cellphone coverage and slow download speeds. AT&T has spent millions of dollars upgrading its often-criticized wireless voice and data networks in The Bronx. According to a press release circulated on Monday, crews have been working throughout the summer to improve network coverage throughout the borough. Areas to benefit from the upgrades include City Island, Yankee Stadium and the South Bronx. The enhancements are part of the company’s wider plans to invest more than $20 billion to improve their national wireless and wireline networks this year. Of that figure, $200 million has already been spent in New York State in the first half of this year. The upgrades are designed to support plans to enable 4G speeds over a bigger swath of the country and enable customers to take advantage of lightning download speeds. AT&T New York and New Jersey Vice President Tom DeVito said the upgrades would deliver The Bronx the most-advanced mobile technology. “Our goal is for our customers to have an extraordinary experience,” he said. “As part of the Bronx community, we’re always looking for new opportunities to provide an enhanced customer experience, and our investment in the

local wireless network is just one way we’re accomplishing that.” DeVito said the investment would support the upgrade of thousands of cell sites designed to increase network speed, coverage and reliability for both mobile voice and broadband services. AT&T said they also plan to install additional radio “carriers” at more than 30,000 cell sites nationally this year, enabling new layers of spectrum capacity to carry larger volumes of mobile broadband traffic. Figures cited by AT&T show mobile data traffic volumes have surged by more than 8,000 percent over the past four years.

11 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, October 13, 2011

AT&T sets boro cell service upgrade

Thursday, October 13, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


500 get political flu shots By MIAWLING LAM More than 500 residents turned out for their annual flu jabs last week as part of a rolling vaccination drive sponsored by Riverdale’s elected officials. Lured by the promise of being protected against the influenza virus, locals showed up en masse to receive their free seasonal flu vaccinations at two jab sessions last week. The first event, held at the Riverdale Y last Monday, attracted 250 people, and a similar number showed up at St. Gabriel’s Rectory two days later. Demand was so great that residents actually began lining up at St. Gabriel’s half an hour before the doors opened. The Visiting Nurse Service of New York, who donated nearly 1,000 vaccines, sponsored the event, along with Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, Congressman Eliot Engel, Councilman G. Oliver Koppell and state senators Adriano Espaillat and Gustavo Rivera. Director of Government Affairs at the Visiting Nurse Service of New York Judy A. Farrell said a diverse cross-section of people had taken the free offer. “We’ve had a mix of ages—seniors, young adults and even students whose parents told them to come because they were uninsured,” she said. “It’s great that the elected officials have co-sponsored it because it allows people to get their vaccines.” Farrell said administering the immunization shots well before the flu season begins was a deliberate move to ensure people had enough time to develop protective antibodies. “It’s good for public health and it offers

great community benefits,” she said. The flu season typically begins in December and peaks in January and February. Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz helped screen residents for the vaccine last Wednesday before he rolled up his own sleeve to get his shot. He said he received the vaccine each year so as to stave off illness. The influenza virus, commonly referred to as “the flu,” causes a highly contagious infection that travels through the respiratory system causing severe aching as well as high fevers and other potentially life-threatening symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the vaccine to everyone over six months of age. For those who missed out on the vaccines, a third and final session will be held on Tuesday, October 25, at Vladeck Hall at 74 Van Cortlandt Park South. Qualified nurses will be on hand to administer the shots between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m, with the vaccines available to anyone who is not allergic to eggs. In order to guarantee a shot, residents are encouraged to call Assemblyman Dinowitz’s office at 718-796-5345 to make a reservation.

FAX letters to:

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


Sunday, October 16

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.

400 FAMILY TENT SALE 9 a.m. Woodlands Community Temple 50 Worthington Road One day only. Merchandise for sale include furniture, electronics, clothing, bake sale and bbq. For more information, call 914-588-2700 or 914-592-7070.

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. In the battle, fought about a mile from St. Paul’s on October 18, 1776, a small American brigade disrupted the march of a much larger British army, helping to cover the retreat of the main body of Washington’s forces from northern Manhattan into Westchester County. 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 more information, call 914-667-4116 or visit


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.


FALL FESTIVAL 1 p.m. Greenburgh Nature Center 99 Dromore Road Come join us for cider making, scarecrow-building and pumpkin-carving contests, petting zoo, scavenger hunt, tractor ride, and live music. Fee if pre-registered by Oct. 15: Members $5, Non-members $8 (on-line pre-registration only). Fee day of event: Members $7, Non-members $10. $1 per scarecrow building/pumpkin carving. (Scarecrows and pumpkins are left at the Center and used at our Scarecrows and Pumpkins Parade on Oct. 23.) For more information, call 914-723-3470.

Tuesday, October 18 Bronxville

READING 7 p.m. Sarah Lawrence College Heimbold Visual Arts Center Reading of the book, ‘Two People, Three Hands, Four Eyes...One Voice.’ Meet Neil Selinger through his stunning perceptions of a life course that was unexpected, unwelcome and amazingly transforming. Admission is free and open to the public; however, pre-event registration is required as space is limited. To register, go to Contact Julie Buyon at or 914-637-7010.

Thursday, October 20 Scarsdale

NATURE WALK 2 p.m. Greenburgh Nature Center 99 Dromore Road Creatures that go bump in the night. It’s the day for all things spooky, so join Naturalist Educator Greg Wechgelaer to get a peek at some of the Nature Center’s spookiest animals. Members $2, Non-members $6. For more info, call 914-723-3470.

Friday, October 21 Valhalla


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.

PHOTOGRAPHY COMPETITION 8 p.m. Westchester Community College Tech Bldg., East Gate Westchester Photographic Society presents Members’ Competition. The public is invited for an exciting and inspiring evening of photography. Free. For more information, visit or call 914-271-5542.

North Salem

Saturday, October 22

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.


ANNUAL MEETING 12 p.m. Read Wildlife Sanctuary Playland Parkway Friends of Read Wildlife Sanctuary Annual Meeting. Hear about the year’s accomplishments and share ideas and suggestions for programs and sanctuary improvements. Open to all members. Followed by a luncheon. For more information, call 914-967-8720.

North White Plains

FALL FOLIAGE WALK 1 p.m. Cranberry Lake Preserve Old Orchard Street Get in the spirit of the season with this walk to the lake and cliffs to see the vibrant fall foliage of the Preserve. For more information, call 914-428-1005.


FALL FOLIAGE WALK 1 p.m. Marshlands Conservancy Route 1 A fun-filled program for the young ones to observe the different shapes, sizes and wonderful colors of the leaves. For more information, call 914-835-4466.


STONE WALL STUDY 1 p.m. Marshlands Conservancy Route 1 We will be observing the historic structures up close, as we take a tour of different man-made structures on the property. Hand lenses provided. For more information, call 914-835-4466.

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Remembering Steve Jobs

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Catalog, and then, when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words ‘Stay hungry. Stay foolish’. It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay hungry. Stay foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you. Stay hungry. Stay foolish. “Thank you all very much.”

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The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, October 13, 2011

Friday, October 14


Thursday, October 13, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thursday, October 13, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



The Riverdale YM-YWHA is pleased to announce that it will be launching a new initiative for baby boomers and young seniors on October 31. FOREVER YOUNG is a new program designed to cater to the educational, cultural, recreational and social needs of this group through a series of Sunday brunches, classes, lectures and seminars and day trips within the city and the greater NY metropolitan area. The kickoff event for FOREVER YOUNG is Sunday, October 23rd with classes starting on Monday October 31st. The class instructors will all be on hand at the October 23rd brunch starting at 11:30am to discuss their classes and seminars for anyone interested in registering. Registration is now open for the following Adult classes which include Jewelry Design, Ballroom Dancing, Book Club, Intermediate Computer, Ceramics, Introduction to Action, Introductory Hebrew, Cooking for Couples, Financial Planning, The Jewish Calendar’s Rich Culture, interactive groups and seminars in Aging Well: Making the Most of Life Past 60, and Gaining Insight Into your Relationship with your Spouse and Significant Other. For times and fees for these classes and seminars please contact Toby or Leora at

718-548-8200 x 223 or 204. These classes are opened to the entire community. The Y is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue.

been even lower. I hope to do something about that in the 2012 legislative session,’ said Assemblyman Dinowitz.

Dinowitz celebrates ‘Failing’ grade from Conservative Party

MJHS Hospice seeks Riv. Y presents talk on volunteers Jewish American musicians MJHS Hospice and Palliative

Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz (D-Bronx) is pleased to announce that he received one of the lowest ratings in the New York State Assembly from the New York State Conservative Party. They gave him a 16% rating based upon his vote on 24 bills. Among the bills with which the Conservative Party disagreed with Assemblyman Dinowitz were his votes in favor of extending unemployment benefits, marriage equality, raising the maximum retirement age for judges, microstamping of ammunition for semiautomatic pistols, requiring backseat passengers under 16 to wear seat belts, providing health insurance coverage to domestic partners, extension of a domestic violence prevention law, prohibition of discrimination based on gender identity, prohibition of smoking in playgrounds, and suspension of issuance of new permits for hydrofracking. ‘I believe the Conservative Party is wrong on most issues. Their extremist positions are not shared by most Bronxites. Receiving a 16% rating from them is a badge of honor. I only wish it could have

On Tuesday, October 25, the Simon Senior Center will present a lecture called The Great Jewish American Musicians. This lecture surveys the contributions of the greatest Jewish American musical masters. The lecture is filled with interesting facts about them: Leonard Bernstein’s father was opposed to his musical career. Benny Goodman learned the clarinet through a synagogue program. Jascha Heifetz, widely regarded as the greatest violinist of the 20th century, severely injured his bowing arm during an attack on his bus tour in Israel. White Christmas, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, The Christmas Song, Rudolph the Red- Nosed Reindeer, Silver Bells, and Let it Snow! Let it Snow ! Let it Snow ! were all written by Jewish composers . Includes great photos and musical clips of the classic songs. Also included are the Jewish contributions to Broadway. This lecture is presented by, Doug LeBlang, lecturer, musician, and artist . The program will start at 10:30 am. The entire community is invited to the lecture. The Senior Center is located at the Riverdale Y at 5625 Arlington

Ave. For more information, please contact Toby at 718-548-8200 ext 223.

Care invites Bronx and Riverdale residents to attend volunteer training sessions on Tuesday, October 25, 2011 and Sunday, October 30, 2011. During the free orientation, participants will learn about hospice, palliative care and choose where they would like to help one of the area’s most compassionate hospice and palliative care programs. Session schedule: October 25 and 30, 2011 from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Advanced registration is required. To complete an application or for more information, visit or contact the MJHS Hospice Volunteer Department at (212) 420-2562 or MJHS Hospice and Palliative Care provides comprehensive culturally-sensitive care and effective pain management to patients, as well as their families, throughout the Greater New York area°Xwhether in homes, hospitals, nursing homes or hospice residences. The hospice program has remained at the forefront with innovative inpatient and home-based palliative care services, as well as state-of-the-art pediatric hospice care. For more information, call 1-800-HOSPICE.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, October 13, 2011

Classes for baby boomers and young seniors

Thursday, October 13, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Remembering Steve Jobs Every issue of the Riverdale Review since our first 18 years ago, and for many years, those of our sister paper, the Bronx Press, have been created on Apple computers. We take this moment to remember a great American innovator, Apple founder Steven Jobs, who died last week. Below is part of his brilliant and much quoted commencement speech at Stanford University in 2005. “When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: ‘If you live each day as if it was your last, some day you’ll most certainly be right.’ It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘no’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something. “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. “About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7.30 in the morning and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn’t even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor’s code for ‘prepare to die’. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you’d have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes. “I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I’m fine now. “This was the closest I’ve been to facing death, and I hope it’s the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful, but purely intellectual, concept: “No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It is life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but some day not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true. “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And, most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. “When I was young, there was an amazing publication called the Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960s, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors and Polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions. “Stewart and his team put out several issues of the Whole Earth Continued on Page 13

Democrats, too, oppose Obama jobs bill

To The Editor: “Don’t tax you, don’t tax me, tax-the-man-behind-the-tree.” How absolutely true and accurate that old saying is. So when President Obama in his proposed jobs bill wants to eliminate tax breaks for oil and gas companies, or limit the value of itemized deductions for highincome people, or raise taxes on “millionaires” who under Obama’s moronic and asinine definition means single people with incomes over $200,000, and families with incomes over $250,000 annually; those people who are NOT AFFECTED scream out in support, pump their fists high into the air, and shout, “Right on! Let’s get rid of these inequities! Let those rich bastards pay their ‘fair share’.” After all, it’s not their particular ox that is being gored. So why hasn’t President Obama’s bill been passed? Is it only because “heartless, cruel, evil” Republicans are against it? Well, not exactly. It seems that even Democrats are against it

including, for example, Democratic Senators Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Mark Begich of Alaska, both of which are oil states, and our very own Chuck Schumer, who (rightfully so) doesn’t think a person making $200,000 or a family making $250,000 qualify as “millionaires.” The absolute truth why the jobs bill, still at this late date, hasn’t been brought up for a vote in the Senate is that there simply are not enough Democratic votes to pass this bill as presently constituted. There are also many Democratic legislators (and I believe Congressman Engel is in this group) who do not think charitable contributions should be

Phony school crossing crisis

To The Editor: Re: “Elected officials tackle school traffic crisis.” As a 30-year resident of Independence Avenue whose child walked to P.S. 24 and

ANDREW WOLF, Editor and Publisher

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

JOEL PAL Production Manager ROBERT NILVA Marketing Director

limited to 28% for high-income people because this would have a drastic, negative effect on contributions made to (for example) such worthwhile institutions as the Hebrew Home for the Aged at Riverdale or the Francis Schervier Nursing Home. So, to sum up, when President Obama goes out campaigning for his jobs bill and rails out ONLY against the Republicans, he is being disingenuous. He knows damn well that his bill (as presently proposed) has no chance of ever being passed by Republicans — or Democrats. His jobs bill campaign is just another example showing Barack Obama to be a pompous, posturing, prevaricating phony. Alvin Gordon

CECILIA McNALLY Office Manager MIAWLING LAM Associate Editor

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

MS/HS 141, there was never a need for a stop sign on Independence Avenue at West 235th Street. So why all of a sudden is there a need now? Our elected officials fail to recognize the real problems and come up with real solutions that will remedy each separate problem. A stop sign on Independence Ave. at W. 235th Street will not solve the A.M. traffic bottleneck on Independence Ave. between W. 237th and W. 236th Streets southbound, but only make that area worse now causing a bottleneck from W. 237th to W. 235th Streets. All one has to do is look Continued on Page 19

Phony school crossing crisis

at the corner of Independence Ave. and W. 237th Street to see cars slowing down and many not stopping as they maneuver through the intersection crowded with cars and children. The real answer is to have the 50th Precinct enforce the traffic regulations by giving out a few tickets to those who blatantly make U-turns, triple park, and go through the stop signs. The calls for a stop sign at Independence Ave. and West 235th Street have only come after the Whitehall Annex was given back to PS 24. MS 141, MS 368, The Fun Math School, and PS 24 (as the original lessee many many years ago) have been housed in the Whitehall Annex without the need for a stop sign at that corner to get children to and from the main buildings. Something else the elected officials fail to recognize (and solve) is the problem of a semi-blind corner on southbound Independence Ave. at West 235th Street that was created when the street parking was changed to back in parking. Many drivers have complained that they can not see cars coming down Independence Ave. as they try to turn into it from W. 235th Street. A car has to stop in or beyond the crosswalk to get a clear vision of the intersection, which impedes people and children crossing. At the corners of Independence Ave. and W. 236th and W. 237th Streets the

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, October 13, 2011

Continued from Page 18


city enlarged the safety zone areas after calls for a traffic study when I was the Parents Association President at 141, and the same must be done at the W. 235th Street corner. While there have been two traffic studies, and a comment that there is not enough traffic at Independence Ave. and West 235th Street to warrant a stop sign (by a high ranking DOT person), no one could disagree with the former Parents Association President at PS 24 that the problem is only for about 20 minutes at arrival and dismissal of the schools. A few years ago West 236th Street was made one way eastbound towards Independence Ave. to solve the two way traffic gridlock problem on that street. By making W. 235th Street a one way street away from Independence Ave. would create4 a circle around PS 24 for parents to pick up and drop off their children. Th is would also cut down on the afternoon gridlock on West 235th street in the back of PS 24 (as was done on W. 236th Street in front of PS 24), and eliminating the turning problem from W. 235th Street onto Independence Avenue. The other real problem is how to get fewer children driven to the schools, and that is in the hands of the Department of Education. Good luck elected officials, you have been trying for how many years now? Robert Press

Countdown to Bronx education summit Continued from Page 9

an agenda where all Bronx students were given sufficient opportunities. “This summit represents the first major step towards our stated goal of outlining a comprehensive plan to improve education for all Bronx students at all levels,” he said. “This summit will bring together individuals on all sides of the education debate, and the ideas expressed here will serve as the blueprint for improving our public schools.” Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott and New York University’s Dr. Pedro

P.S. 24 actor alum Continued from Page 10

virtually no props save for his tunic and a sword, students were all quick to follow the action and to imaginatively fill in the missing details. Back home in Los Angeles, Feinman has other educational projects in development. He is producing a number of shows for One Economy called “Front Seat Chronicles,” where characters explore in dialogue such serious issues as domestic violence, divorce, and mental illness. One episode, dealing with Alzheimer’s disease, was written by an old friend of Feinman’s and another PS 24 alumnus, Bradd Bowden, whom Feinman contacted after Bowden’s own struggle with the illness within his family. Feinman has invested heavily in this project, still strong in his belief that the arts can make a difference in the lives of others. The episodes will soon premiere on the Internet at www. But Feinman’s central passion now is to bring his work back to New York and “kick the door open to introduce the city’s schools to the arts” and inspire young people – much the same way he was first inspired at the Spuyten Duyvil school, 33 years ago.

Noguera will round out the morning program by sharing their thoughts on the issue. Attendees will then break out into eight small groups to discuss topics including parental involvement, English as a second language, school safety and higher education. A VIP policy panel will conclude the formal proceedings, in which a series of experts will discuss education issues spanning from birth to higher education and offer recommendations on how to improve the state of education in The Bronx. The summit, entitled “From Cradle to Career,” will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m at the Lovinger Theater. For more information or to register, call 718-590-6116 or visit Interested parties will also be able to register on Saturday morning at the venue.

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get on the bus. Lines crowded the already busy intersection of West 231st and Broadway, at times reaching the Popeye’s on 231st Street, about 15 to 20 yards up the block. Buses rolled up completely empty, only to be filled to the max, leaving some travelers waiting for the next bus. Dinowitz says he’s seen it much worse, with commuters waiting 45 minutes in all as they wait for an available bus. “The present situation on West 231st Street is unacceptable,” he wrote. “For the MTA to force more residents to use mass transit by instituting higher automobile tolls as families struggle to make ends meet but fail to provide adequate public transit service is unconscionable.” “Clearly there’s a need there,” he said. “If public policy is to encourage people to take public transit, then the MTA needs to provide public transit.”


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Thursday, October 13, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Riverdale Review, October 13, 2011  

Weekly newspaper published in Riverdale, NY 10471