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Volume XVIII • Number 43 • October 20 - 26, 2011 •


Ravitch rallies crowd at education summit

By MIAWLING LAM Tweed officials treat public school students like stepchildren, mayoral control has been disastrous and parent voices are being silenced. In an honest and at times stinging critique of the city’s schools, education reform advocate Diane Ravitch said children were suffering as a result of a dysfunctional system. Dr. Ravitch unleashed the barrage of criticism in front of a packed crowd at last weekend’s inaugural Bronx education summit at Lehman College. The talkfest, titled “From Cradle to Career,” was the first of its kind dedicated to mapping out a strategy to raise student achievement and lift The Bronx’s educational standing. It was sponsored by Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. In her 24-minute keynote address, Dr. Ravitch rallied the crowd into bursts of cheers and said accountability and de-

mocracy have been the main casualties of mayoral control. “We have no accountability at the top because the mayor stands for re-election once every four years, and if you’re upset by a policy, there’s no way to hold him accountable,” she said. “There is no role for parents or communities in the decision-making process that affect the education of their children either. No one cares what they want or what they think.” More than 1,000 people who packed into the Lehman College Concert Hall (the huge turnout for Dr. Ravitch led to the relocation from the smaller Lovinger Theater) also heard how the Bloomberg Department of Education favors charter schools, even though they educate just 5 percent of the city’s children. “They have very powerful philanthropic supporters in

the financial community, and the DOE treats the regular public schools as the stepchildren,” Dr. Ravitch said. “Ninety-five percent of the city’s public schoolchildren are stepchildren. Who is looking out for [them]? Isn’t that the DOE’s job?” Dr. Ravitch tore Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s vision of educational reform—one based on testing, accountability, choice, sanctions and bonus—to shreds and instead recommended changes based on research, evidence and experience. She said educational outcomes for Bronx children could be improved through a series of holistic reforms. First, she suggested all pregnant women should receive prenatal care to reduce the rate of learning disabilities. Next, officials need to develop high-quality early childhood education for toddlers and hire experienced teachContinued on Page 12

Huge crowd presses forward eager to have their copies of Diane Ravitch’s best-selling book, “The Death and Life of the Great American School System” signed. Photo by Jason Green

Thursday, October 20, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


‘Living’ Wage bill refuses to die By BRENDAN McHUGH With increasing pressure from living wage advocates and a new watered-down bill, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has scheduled a public hearing on the controversial living wage bill. "The living wage bill introduced last year has undergone significant amendments," Quinn said in a statement. "Given all of the responsibilities of the Council, it is appropriate that the new legislation is given a full public hearing." The hearing, scheduled for November 22, yet again breathes new life into the bill, which has undergone significant changes due to staunch opposition from Mayor Michael Bloomberg, real estate giants and businesses. Quinn has yet to take a stance on the bill and thus far has refused to let it come to a vote on the Council floor despite support from at least 30 of the 51 Council members. The living wage bill would force employers at subsidized developments to pay workers $10 an hour plus benefits, or $11.50 without benefits. City Councilman G. Oliver Koppell, one of the bill’s two original sponsors, was delighted to hear the news. "I think it’s an important step forward," he said. "We’ve made major revisions to the proposal to get less opposition. I think the fact that she has scheduled a hearing signals that she has sympathy towards the proposals." Changes that Koppell and Annabel Palmer, the other Council sponsor, have made include raising the subsidy threshold at which the living wage requirement would kick in to $1 million, from $100,000. Koppell said two weeks ago that increasing the subsidy threshold was a major step in pleasing critics. It also eliminates manufacturing businesses, projects that receive as-of-right subsidies and commercial tenants in certain affordable housing developments. The measure reduces the requirement to pay the set wage to 10 years, from the original bill's 30. Koppell considered all of these, plus more, major appeasements. Nonetheless, opposition remains persistent. Last week, the city released the final version of a $1 million study that argues the bill would be a job-killer. The study said the bill would suppress development, particularly in the outer boroughs, and cost thousands of jobs over the coming decades. The hearing will come one day after living wage supporters hold their own event to rally support for the bill. On November 21, Living Wage NYC coalition is holding a gathering at Riverside Church in Manhattan. A representative said they have been very encouraged with the developments over the last few weeks, not only with Koppell’s adjustments to garner more support, but also with things such as Occupy Wall Street, which, they said, show that people aren’t going to settle for wage inequality any longer. "When significant taxpayer funding is used to make private projects a reality, developers must do better by the people they employ. The ‘Fair Wages for New Yorkers’ Act will ensure that happens," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. Koppell introduced the bill on behest of Diaz, who said he plans to testify at the November 22 hearing. In May, a poll by Baruch College Survey Research was released, showing that New Yorkers overwhelmingly support such living wage laws. The survey showed that 78 percent of New Yorkers agree with requiring employers that get taxpayer-funded city subsidies to pay $10 an hour plus benefits, while just 15 percent do not. This includes 83 percent of

all Democrats, 74 percent of independents, and 56 percent of Republicans. Last week, 16 Bronx state legislators signed a letter to Quinn asking for her support on the living wage bill. "Given the millions of dollars in profits developers take home to make these projects work and the heavy subsidies that supplement that profit, we do not think it is too much to ask that the jobs created offer a ‘living wage,’" they wrote. "In fact, it is the very least we can do, especially when these developments are taking so heavily from the taxpayers’ wallet." And while proponents of the bill cheered the announcement of a hearing, it does not necessarily mean Quinn will bring the measure to a vote. She held a hearing on a bill calling for mandatory paid sick days but never brought it to a vote.

Skating rink appears dead more information, but this is just the basis for all of the community." Fellow CB8 member Robert Press, who has previously spoken out against the rushed process, reiterated his concerns and said residents need more than 10 days to read the proposal. “As I always feared, there will not be enough discussion on the issue from the public,” he said. “My feeling is there will not be enough public comment.” However, Bender said it was futile to hold a public meeting when there were still so many unanswered questions. “We can’t have a meaningful discussion unless we have a proposal and we know what we’re talking about,” he said. “Until we see the actual proposal, we’d be debating something that is essentially a black box without knowing what’s inside of it, without knowing how much it’s going to cost, what the hours are and so on. “We’d be discussing the theoretical skating rink in Van Cortlandt Park, whereas if we wait until there’s an actual proposal, we’ll have the details about all the important issues on the skating rink itself.” The FCRC’s vote will be the only formal approval of the rink. Community Board 8 will hold their own vote, but it will only serve as a recommendation to be given to the FCRC. Under city guidelines, the FCRC must finalize their agenda at least 15 days prior to their meetings. Community boards need to announce their meetings only 10 days in advance, which would offer enough time to schedule an emergency hearing if needed. The next FCRC meeting is penciled in for November 7. The planned skating rink, first mentioned by Mayor Michael Bloomberg during his State of the City address in January, was scheduled to open in November, but that date is looking highly unlikely. The rink would run on a 15-year contract strictly during the winter season and be located on the defunct tennis courts near the West 242nd Street elevated subway station. Details such as skate rental fees, time limits and food and drink vendors have yet to be revealed because they were left up to each bidding company to specify.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, October 20, 2011

By MIAWLING LAM Plans to build an ice-skating rink in Van Cortlandt Park may never receive a seal of approval, Community Board 8 concedes. The stunning admission emerged at last Tuesday’s CB8 general board meeting amidst news that yet another public hearing has been cancelled. A meeting on the controversial rink had been set for Tuesday, November 1—a mere six days before the next Franchise and Concessions Review Committee gathering—but CB8 sent out a notification on Tuesday morning alerting members that it had been called off. The hearing is the fourth one that CB8 has cancelled in three months in anticipation of the project’s inclusion on the FCRC agenda. But because the parks department has yet to choose a winning bid, CB8 was again forced to cancel. CB8 parks committee chair Bob Bender said because the proposal has yet to be certified, the project may never see the light of day. “There are several agencies that have to certify the proposal before it moves forward and so far, that hasn’t happened,” he said. “It’s conceivable that it may never happen. That’s one possibility here—that the proposal that has been pushed forward by the one concessionaire that we know about may never get proper approval so it may never come before us.” The FCRC was supposed to vote on the controversial project during their August—then September, then October and then November—meeting, but the parks department failed to release the project details, forcing the committee to push the vote back at least another month. The string of last-minute cancellations and lack of certainty has begun to irk those on the board. CB8 member Julie M. Reyes believes the public meeting should be held even if the matter isn’t on the FCRC agenda so public input can be garnered. “Why can’t we have it regardless so we can get input from the community?” she said. “I would like to know from the whole community if they are for an ice-skating rink. You don’t have to have all the facts just to find out if they even want an iceskating rink. “I understand that we are waiting for


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Thursday, October 20, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Around the schools... P.S. 24

This year’s parents association Boo Bash, considered by some as “the best Halloween party in Riverdale,” is scheduled for Saturday, October 29, from 5 to around 9 p.m. at the school. Costumes are optional but encouraged. Besides the music, dancing, games and crafts, revelers can visit a Spooky Spuyten Duyvil Graveyard, a Mad Science Laboratory and a Tunnel of Terror as well as some less scary inflatable bouncy castles. If possible, families with children in kindergarten through grade 2 are asked to attend between 5 and 7 p.m., but no one will be turned away. Admission fees, which support the school, are $12 per adult, $6 per child or $30 per family. Event tickets are $1 each.

P.S. 81

Fall Fun Day is this Sunday, October 23, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the schoolyard (or in the school cafeteria if it’s raining). There will be free pumpkin decorating for those who buy a pumpkin, arts and crafts, face painting, games and prizes as well as the legendary throw-apie booth and the no-hands eat-a-donutoff-a-string event. A brownie bake-off contest—new this year—will be judged by Senator Jeffrey Klein. The fifth-grade food court will offer fast foods and beverages, and the fifth-grade committee will offer dessert items from their bake sale. A tag sale will feature gently used clothes, books, toys, household items and costumes. Donations for the tag sale are still welcome—contact parent coordinator Nina Velazquez at 718-796-8966, extension 1143, or NVelazquez@schools.

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

Parents of prospective middle school students who reside within the RKA school zone are invited to sign up for a Friday morning school tour. To participate, contact

Riverdale Country School

The topic was The Bronx at this year’s One World Day, and Upper School students were excused from regular classes on Tuesday to participate. After an address by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., students enjoyed performances by Angel Rodriguez and the Abrazos Orchestra, mambo dancers and the hip-hop group Full Circle. There was a tour of the New York Botanical Garden, a trip to City Island, photography at Wave Hill and time with Rocking the Boat, a nonprofit founded by alum Adam Green (’91) that utilizes boats to help socially disadvantaged South Bronx youngsters develop into responsible adults.

Horace Mann School

The school’s diversity office is sponsoring a Fall Diversity Gathering for HM families this Saturday, October 22, from 1 to 4 p.m. In addition to school tours, participants can enjoy catered food, a magician, face painting, and a performance by the Spirit Squad. Homecoming is on Saturday, October 29. There will be reunions for theater and dance alums, behind-the-scenes theater tours, PA homecoming carnival campus

tours, a student clubs fair, a Golden Alumni luncheon for the class of 1960 and earlier, and many athletic events and contests. An admissions open house is scheduled for Sunday, October 30, at 1 p.m. Potential Middle Division families will meet in the Recital Hall and potential Upper Division families will meet at Gross Theatre.

Manhattan College

Prospective engineering and science students are invited to attend Engineering Awareness Day on Friday, November 11, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event provides an opportunity for high school juniors and seniors and their parents to get firsthand tips from current students, faculty members and practicing professionals on job opportunities in the field. Participants can visit the school’s engineering laboratories and attend presentations describing the various engineering disciplines. The college offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical, civil, computer, electrical, environmental and mechanical engineering. Prospective students are encouraged to bring their parents to the event. To register, contact Sheila Halpin, office manager for the School of Engineering, at 718862-7281 or sheila.halpin@manhattan. edu. Registration ends on Monday, October 24.

College Of Mount Saint Vincent

The college hosted 20 students from Harlem’s Frederick Douglass Academy on Tuesday as part of the ninth annual A Day in the Life of the Hudson event. The high schoolers worked with 18 Mount ecology students under the direction of Dr. Patricia Grove to gather samples from the river and examine the physical, chemical, and biological factors that affect the vitality of the Hudson’s ecosystem. Mount and Frederick Douglass students collected data along with 3,000 others at 60 tidal estuary sites from New York to Albany. Findings will be posted online within days. The event was coordinated by the state’s DEC Hudson River Estuary Unit and Columbia University’s Lamont Dougherty Earth Observatory.

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Carrion tries to revive dead career widely believed to be interested in running for mayor in 2013. "2013 is a long way away, but I am certainly exploring all of my options," Garodnick said. Carrión has been putting in public appearances both in The Bronx and around the city. This past Saturday he was the keynote speaker at state Senator Jeff Klein’s brunch honoring Hispanic leaders, and he’s made rounds in other political and business get-togethers. When Carrión left for the White House, he left many of his close allies in the dust, so he may face a rocky campaign if he does decide to run. Also, no Latino candidate has declared his or her intention to run for any of the three citywide races—mayor, comptroller or public advocate. At the beginning of his term, many people believed current Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. might make a run for mayor in 2013. However, after an arduous battle over the Kingsbridge Armory living wage issue and for other reasons, political strategists say he would be better off waiting for a different time. One reason is his age. Diaz is only 38 years old and can afford to sit back and wait for the right time. Also, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has yet to allow a vote on the living wage bill though there is a public hearing scheduled for November, but if the bill eventually passes and is successful, Diaz could ride that success to City Hall.

Memorial Grove finally moves ahead

By BRENDAN McHUGH Months after reconstruction was set to begin at Memorial Grove, considerable work is finally underway on the war memorial in Van Cortlandt Park. It is anticipated that the work will be completed in January 2012, with some of the final tree plantings done in the spring. Several young trees have already been installed. "Work has been started to some degree," said Herb Barret, president of the Van Cortlandt Park Memorial Grove Restoration Group. "They planted some new saplings. The rest of the work, I assume, is behind the scenes, on the plaques—restoring them and making new ones." To Barret's delight last April, VIF Corp., the contractor hired by the city’s parks department, set up a staging ground. But construction was held up when the department demanded more specific requirements for the plaques that honor deceased soldiers. "It’s about time. It’s only what, five months late?" said a disgruntled but ultimately pleased Barret, a member of the Jewish War Veterans. "Our long-anticipated dream is being realized." The restoration project includes the installation of pipe rail fencing, refurbishing of the existing 24 plaques, creation of the missing 15 plaques and mounting all 39 plaques on the new granite foundation. Additional plantings and seating will be part of the design to stabilize soil erosion and to further distinguish the area as a place of reverence. Memorial Grove honors 39 soldiers killed or missing in action in World War II and the Korean War. Motivation for the restoration came

from Barret and Don Tannen, veterans who saw the neglect of the grove as an affront to the memory of those soldiers. Councilman G. Oliver Koppell concurred, and he contributed $250,000 from his discretionary funds to refurbish the area. "I salute Herb Barret and Don Tannen for their persistence in getting this memorial to our brave soldiers restored." Koppell said. "The contractor started to do work. It’s been a long time coming." According to Barret, the parks department says VIF Corp. is on pace to finish by the January deadline, despite the initial delays. The Van Cortlandt Park Memorial Grove Restoration Group, which both Barret and Tannen head, holds a yearly memorial outside the grove on Veteran’s Day. Last year, they spoke about how they hoped they would be standing there on Veteran’s Day 2011 with construction equipment in the background. The November 13 ceremony brings together a handful of Bronx local elected officials, colleges, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. Typically, the scouts place American flags in the grove, but Barret said he has to see how much construction is going on before the parks department can decide whether the youngsters will be allowed inside the fence. "I really get touched seeing the scouts do the ceremony," Barret said. He added that Manhattan College Air Corps, Fordham University Army and SUNY Maritime College will have students participating as well. The ceremony starts at 12:30 p.m. and is open to the public. Barret and Tannen have been working on the restoration of the grove since 2006.

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The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, October 20, 2011

By BRENDAN McHUGH After questionable success as a federal bureaucrat, it is possible that former Bronx Borough president Adolfo Carrión Jr. could try to come back to New York to run for city comptroller, which would make him the first Latino to hold a citywide office in New York City. Carrión has $2.3 million in a campaign account, most of it left over from an abandoned run for comptroller in 2009, according to New York City campaign finance records. Carrión was instead tapped to run the White House Office of Urban Affairs in 2009, and he left a year later to run the regional office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, a move some consider to be a lateral career move at best—current Public Advocate Bill de Blasio had the HUD position under President Bill Clinton before taking citywide office. The funds the former borough president has amassed put him in a good position to run for comptroller, since candidates’ total campaign funds for that post are capped at slightly over $4 million. Other names mentioned for the race, according to, are East Side Councilman Dan Garodnick and City Council Finance Committee Chairman Domenic M. Recchia Jr. Garodnick has raised about $731,000 so far and Recchia has raised $204,000, but neither has declared an intention to run. The current comptroller, John Liu, is


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Thursday, October 20, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


RNH to host annual benefit dinner

Riverdale Neighborhood House (RNH) will host its Annual Benefit Dinner on Sunday, Oct. 23, at Xaviars on the Hudson (X20) restaurant in Yonkers, New York. This year, they will honor three 'pillars of the community,' Judith Mills-Johnson, Alison Pavia and Cathy Weinroth. Event details are available online at For more information, or to RSVP, contact Nancy Alberts at 718-549-8100 x123 or email

Celebrate Shemini Atzeret at Shaarei Shalom

Congregation Shaarei Shalom will celebrate the Festival of Shemini Atzeret on Thursday morning,October 20, 2010 at 10 A.M. in the synagogue at 5919 Riverdale Avenue. The service will conclude with the obsevance of Yizkor, the Memorial Service. The service will be inspiringly lead by Rabbi Steven Burton and Cantor Daniel Pincus. This service is open to the entire Riverdale community. Please join us as we come to the end of the High Holy Day season. Congregation Shaarei Shalom is a Reform Jewish synagogue. It offers a contemporary and participatory worship experience and prides itself on its inclusiveness of all members of the Riverdale

community, regardless of marital status, sexual orientation, race, age or creed. It is dedicated to embracing the diversity within the Reform Jewish movement. For further information about the congregation, services, membership, its Religious School, or any of the many adult program offerings, please contact the congregation at: (718) 798-0305, e-mail the Congregation at: shaareishalomrive or visit its website at:

Classes for baby boomers and young seniors

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.

Jewish Educ. 'Community Garden' at Riverdale Y

The Riverdale Y has created a 'community garden' for Jewish education in Riverdale - synagogues will each tend their own 'garden plot' and nourish the community's intellectual and spiritual growth. Join in some or all of the learning and exploring that will be offered at the Y this coming year by many of our Riverdale synagogues. There is no charge for these programs. Check our website for details and additional programming (Riverdale Jewish Center and Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel are working on their offerings). Here's a taste of what's to come: Riverdale Temple: A Taste of Judaism by Rabbi Judith Lewis. Modern Jewish Responses, Wednesday, October 26, 7:30 pm Coming this spring: Lifecycle Events and Annual Cycle Holidays: Congregation Tehillah, Our Mothers, Ourselves: Seeing Our Foremothers through Modern Eyes taught by Rabbi Linda Shriner-Cahn. Tuesday, October 18, Tuesday, November 15 Book of Judges: Fathers and Sons, taught by Dr. Diane Sharon, Tuesday, November 29, Tuesday, December 6 Riverdale Y is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue. For more information, call 718-548-8200.

Schervier Center sponsors trip to Atlantic City

On Tuesday, October 25, 2011 Schervier Home will sponsor a Day trip to SHOWBOAT CASINO at Atlantic City. Cost is $28.00 per seat, with casino cash back of $30.00. The bus picks up from Schervier Apartments at 2995 Independence Avenue, Riverdale @ 8:55am and Knolls

Toastmasters Club invites new members

Bronx Toastmasters Club of Riverdale invites new members to join us at our free meeting on October 26 at 7:00 pm at the Riverdale Neighborhood House, 5521 Mosholu Avenue. Wouldn't you like to communicate effectively? Now you can! Toastmasters will show you how to listen effectively, think on your feet, and speak confidently. You will learn valuable leadership skillsall in a supportive, non-intimidating environment. Come as a guest and witness for yourself what they accomplish. They meet every second and fourth Wednesday of the month. For further information, visit their website or call Tony DeSimone at 718-796-6671.

Shaarei Shalom to celebrate Simchat Torah

Congregation Shaarei Shalom will celebrate the joyous holiday of Simchat Torah on Thursday evening, October 20, 2011 at 7:30 PM in the synagogue at 5919 Riverdale Avenue. The holiday, which commemorates the end of the yearly Torah reading cycle and the beginning of the cycle, is led by Rabbi Steven Burton and Cantor Daniel Pincus. Simchat Torah, perhaps the most joyous holiday celebration, featuring dancing with the Torahs, is open to the entire community and all are welcome. It is especially fitting for all the family to join in the dancing and singing. The festival also concludes the high holiday season. Congregation Shaarei Shalom is a Reform Jewish synagogue. It offers a contemporary and participatory worship experience and prides itself on its inclusiveness of all members of the Riverdale community, regardless of marital status, sexual orientation, race, age or creed. It is dedicated to embracing the diversity within the Reform Jewish movement. For further information about the congregation, services, membership, its Religious School, or any of the many adult program offerings, please contact the congregation at: (718) 798-0305, e-mail the Congregation at: shaareishalomrive or visit its website at:

MJHS Hospice seeks volunteers

MJHS Hospice and Palliative 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.

Halloween Party at Amalgamated Nursery School

A Halloween Party will be held at the Amalgamated Nursery School on Sunday, October 30, 2011, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The party will be held in Vladeck Hall, 74 Van Cortlandt Park South (corner of Hillman Ave. and Van Cortlandt Park South). Fun for the whole family! This annual party will feature arts and crafts such as decorating pumpkins, photo frames and cookies. Activities include Creepy Crawly Maze, Bone Dig and more. Food and beverages will be for sale. $8 children's activity fee; adults accompanying children are free. For more information, please call 718-543-8688.

Riv. Y presents talk on Jewish American musicians

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.

Local composer and performers at HIR concert

The community is invited to hear the music of Riverdale composer Stephen R. Cohen in a chamber concert at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale on Sunday, October 30, at 7:30 p.m. in the social hall. Light refreshments will follow. The varied program includes solos and duos for clarinet, piano and voice. Clarinetist Harvey Bien will perform three spiritual melodies-'nigunim'in contrasting moods. Pianist Jonathan Dzik will accompany three vocalists-tenor Michael Abelson, soprano Nancy Samotin and soprano Lianne Aharoniperforming Cohen's settings of poems by John Donne, Robert Browning and others. Pieces for solo piano are a passacaglia-a form of variation-performed by pianist Daphne Palka and several works including Homage to Ives performed by pianist Bernard Katzman. Dzik will accompany clarinetist Angela Occhionero in a sonata for clarinet and piano. Bien, Dzik, Katzman, Palka and Samotin hail from Riverdale, and all but Katzman are members of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale Community Choir, led by Maestro Dzik. The suggested donation for admission is some multiple of $18. The artists have donated their talent for this performance, so all proceeds will help defray the cost of an upgraded security system for the synagogue.

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Sr. Sylvia Juarez of the Sisters, Servants of Mary, will be the guest speaker at the October 26th luncheon meeting of the Serra Club of The Bronx and Westchester. Sister Sylvia will discuss 'Who

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Sr. Sylvia Juarez to address Serra Club meeting

they are and what they do.' The Serra Club is an international organization, whose mission is to foster and promote vocations to the ordained priesthood and vowed religious life, and through this ministry, fosters and affirms the members' common Catholic faith. Luncheon meetings are held at noon at the Eastwood Manor at 3371 Eastchester Road (corner of Boston Post Road) in the Bronx. The cost of the luncheon is $20. Call 718-654-3601 for additional information and reservations.

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7 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, October 20, 2011

11:30 a.m. Fee: $35.00 Registration Required. Call 718-884-5900 and bring or mail check made out to Riverdale Senior Services. Validated parking available

Thursday, October 20

Tuesday, October 25

SHEMINI ATZERET 10 a.m. Congregation Shaarei Shalom 5919 Riverdale Avenue Congregation Shaarei Shalom will celebrate the Festival of Shemini Atzeret. The service will conclude with the obsevance of Yizkor, the Memorial Service. For more information, call 718-798-0305.

FREE FLU SHOTS 10 a.m. Vladeck Hall 74 Van Cortlandt Park South 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.


Van Cortlandt

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.




SIMCHAT TORAH 7:30 p.m. Congregation Shaarei Shalom 5919 Riverdale Avenue Congregation Shaarei Shalom will celebrate the joyous holiday of Simchat Torah, which commemorates the end of the yearly Torah reading cycle and the beginning of the cycle. For more information, call 718-798-0305.

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 more information, call 718-548-5656.

Sunday, October 23 Riverdale

ISRAELI HOUSE 10:30 a.m. Riverdale YM-YWHA 5625 Arlington Avenue Enjoy Gym-bo time with a bounce castle and other fun gymnastics equipment, an Israeli-style brunch, and then programming for children and adults. Supported in part with funds from UJA-Federation of New York. All-inclusive fee is $25 per family in advance / $30 at the door. Future dates and tickets available online via our website,


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 Kingsbridge

BOOK DISCUSSION 6 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Get the neighborhood read. Check out what the librarian has recommended, and hear what others think about it. We've got the books, now we need you to talk! This month's discussion will be of the book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. For more information, call 718-548-5656.


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

CB8 MEETING 3:30 p.m. Riverdale YM-YWHA 5625 Arlington Avenue Meeting of the Aging Committee of Community Board 8. For more information, call 718-884-3959. CB8 MEETING 7 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Meeting of the Education and Libraries & Cultural Affairs Committees of Community Board 8. For info, call 718-884-3959.


PANEL DISCUSSION 7:30 p.m. Saint Margaret of Cortona 6000 Riverdale Avenue 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." For info contact Bob Stauf at 914 476-2284.

Wednesday, October 26 Spuyten Duyvil

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, 2011. Registration is required as space is limited. For info, call 718-796-1202.


BRANDEIS GROUP MEETING 12:30 p.m. Riverdale Temple West 246th St. & Independence Ave. The Riverdale Chapter of the Brandeis National Committee invites its members and their friends to its monthly meeting. 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".


LECTURE ON HOLOCAUST 4 p.m. Manhattan College Rodriguez Room (311), Miguel Hall Manhattan College’s newly expanded Holocaust Genocide and Interfaith Education Center will feature Remembering, Page-by-Page; Teaching the Holocaust Through Picture Books, a workshop for administrators, teachers and librarians. For more information, visit

© Disney




ADULT EDUCATION CLASS 7 p.m. Congregation Shaarei Shalom 5919 Riverdale Avenue This year’s topic, “Creating an Ethical Jewish Life,” will use the book of the same name by Dr. Byron I. Sherwin and Dr. Seymour J. Cohen, two of today’s leading scholars in the field. The book can be purchased through leading booksellers. For more information, call 718-798-0305.

Excludes VIP Dining, Rinkside and VIP seats. No double discounts. Additional fees may apply.

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CB8 MEETING 7 p.m. Schervier Apartments 2995 Independence Avenue Meeting of the Parks & Recreation Committee of Community Board 8. For more information, call 718-884-3959.

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TOASTMASTERS MEETING 7:30 p.m. Riverdale Neighborhood House 5521 Mosholu Avenue Bronx Toastmasters Club of Riverdale invites new members to join us at our free meeting. For info, visit their website http://bronx. or call Tony DeSimone at 718-796-6671.

Tue. NOV. 8

Wed. NOV. 9

Thu. NOV. 10 10:30 AM

7:00 PM*

7:00 PM

7:00 PM

Wed. NOV. 16

Thu. NOV. 17

Fri. NOV. 18

7:30 PM*

7:30 PM

7:30 PM

Tue. NOV. 22

Wed. NOV. 23 10:30 AM 3:00 PM 7:30 PM

Thu. NOV. 24 11:00 AM

7:30 PM*

Fri. NOV. 11 3:00 PM 7:00 PM

Sat. NOV. 12 11:00 AM 3:00 PM 7:00 PM

Sat. NOV. 19 11:00 AM 3:00 PM 7:30 PM

Sun. NOV. 20

Fri. NOV. 25 10:30 AM 3:00 PM 7:30 PM

Sat. NOV. 26 10:30 AM 3:00 PM 7:30 PM

Sun. NOV. 13 1:00 PM 5:00 PM

1:00 PM 5:00 PM

Sun. NOV. 27 7:30 PM

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Thursday, October 20, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



By MIAWLING LAM Local schools, senior centers and libraries are hoping to receive a financial windfall after topping Community Board 8’s expenses and capital budget wish lists. Members unanimously approved a total of 44 budget priority requests for fiscal year 2013 at last Tuesday’s CB8 general board meeting. Schools lead next year’s list of 20 capital budget priorities, with members urging the city to allocate funds to repair critical infrastructure. According to the documents, M.S./H.S. 141 would use funds to renovate their locker rooms and expand their gymnasium to accommodate its growing student body. The Riverdale/Kingsbridge Academy would also purchase and install more security cameras, create a math and literacy center to support their struggling students and purchase new textbooks. Monies earmarked for P.S. 81 would be used to build a new library and buy radiator covers, lunchroom tables, blackboards and laptops, while P.S. 7 would upgrade their gym and bathrooms. P.S. 24 was not on the list, as principal Donna Connelly failed to return the forms to the board office. Other items on the capital budget wish list include a full interior renovation of the Spuyten Duyvil library (number 5), the construction of restrooms at Broadway and West 251st Street (number 11) and sinkhole repairs at Ewen Park (number 13). Meanwhile, the first expense budget priority calls for CB8’s budgetary allocation to be increased to $350,000—a figure agreed upon by the city’s 59 district managers—followed by funding for senior centers.

More specifically, the board says senior centers should be maintained in accessible locations to provide communal dining and that the elderly should continue to have access to health, educational social services and other support services. Increased funding for Riverdale Mental Health’s geriatric program (number 3), the acquisition of a pickup truck with a snowplow, salt spreader and water tank (number 13) and the installation of a permanent concrete ping-pong table at Van Cortlandt Park (number 19) were also among the 24 budget requests. Although a location for the neighborhood’s first permanent ping-pong table has yet to be identified, CB8 parks committee chair Bob Bender wasn’t worried. “To be quite honest, the chances that we’re going to get number 19 is so slim,” he said. “If we were fortunate to come up with the funding, we will find a place for it.” Expense items contribute to the general upkeep of the community, while capital requests are long-term infrastructure projects. CB8 budget chair Brendan Contant said the priorities were designed to benefit as many residents as possible and that items in the bottom half of each list were more parochial. “What we did was we basically looked at the makeup of the community, and this is through census work,” he said. “We took a look at demographics and found the largest percentage of our population are older individuals.” The list of recommendations will now be sent to the Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget for approval. Once the city responds and has a better picture of its financial standing, CB8 will hold a hearing where the public can comment.



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The Riverdale Repertory Company Presents

A Musical Comedy WhoDunIt Directed by Laurie Walton Performances are: Saturdays, Oct. 29 and Nov. 5 at 8:00 pm Sundays, Oct. 30 and Nov. 6 at 3:00 pm & 7:00 pm Wednesday, Nov. 2 at 7:30pm Thursday, Nov. 3 at 7:30pm Purchase Tickets online at Tickets at the door: $20 Online: $18 Seniors & Students: $12

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5625 Arlington Avenue Bronx, NY 10471 718-548-8200

9 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, October 20, 2011

Board sets budget priorities

Thursday, October 20, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


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By BRENDAN McHUGH One of the best ways to see the hidden gems of The Bronx is on two wheels, according to Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. On Sunday, Oct. 23, thousands of bicyclists from all over the globe will join Diaz in the 17th annual Tour de Bronx. "The reason why we do the Tour de Bronx is because The Bronx has come back from such a long way in the last two decades that it is worth bragging about and it is worth having people come from beyond our borders and experience the renaissance," Diaz said last week during a press conference at Montefiore Medical Center announcing the race. The race, which can be done in either the 25- or 40-mile routes, weaves through most parts of the borough, highlighting Bronx treasures such as Pelham Bay Park, the Botanical Garden and SUNY Maritime College. According to the race’s website, the 25-mile course is a "leisurely ride that's great for every age and skill level. Enjoy Bronx Greenway bike paths, parklands, shoreline and more." Diaz, who has competed in the 25-mile race, got a knee injury earlier this year and will again compete in the shorter ride. The 40-mile race is built for more seasoned riders, taking them up into the hills of Riverdale in the last leg of the race. The pace is "significantly faster on this ride, which covers a greater distance in the same amount of time," according to the website. "It is recommended for experienced cyclists who are comfortable riding in traffic." Ride marshals and NYPD escorts accompany riders in the 25-mile race but not in the 40-miler.

"Riding a bike around our borough is the healthiest way to see the best of The Bronx, and I invite everyone to join me again this year to tour our wonderful borough," Diaz said, adding that last year, more than 6,000 people participated, coming from as far away as Iceland. Diaz officially launched the event last week at The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, where he was joined by Roxanne Watson, a recent heart transplant patient now embarking on workouts that include walking and bicycling. "For a long time I couldn’t even walk,”said Watson, who received her lifesaving transplant at Montefiore last year and now supports the hospital’s efforts to communicate the importance of a healthy lifestyle. “Now I’m exercising three times a week and willing to try new things like Tour de Bronx." While she won’t be riding the course, Watson hopes to be ready for next year's race. The race also hopes to promote alternatives to driving a car by showcasing the borough’s best institutions from a new transportation perspective.Diaz noted during the announcement that too often, elected officials sponsor reconstruction projects and then the community quickly forgets about the positive changes in the community. Participants can register for the event at "It is a way to promote our institutions, our wonderful landmarks. It is a way to welcome people from all over the planet. It is a way to be healthy. It is a way for us to come together as a borough,” Diaz said.

11 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tour de Bronx set for Sunday

Thursday, October 20, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Education summit

Continued from Page 1 ers and principals to staff schools. Above all, however, Dr. Ravitch said the system needs to go back to its roots. “What The Bronx needs most of all is a good public school in every neighborhood,” she said, prompting rapturous applause. “What The Bronx needs most is equality of educational opportunity so that every child in this borough can get a good education. “They need time for projects and activities, they need singing, they need dancing, they need time to play, they need the same full rich curriculum that the children of the wealthy get as a matter of right. “As the richest nation in the world, we must provide, and you must insist on, the best possible education for the children of this borough.” The summit, conceived of by Borough President Diaz, brought together teachers, parents and community leaders from across the country to propel a strategy for school reform. Among the list of speakers and panelists were New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott, Council of School Supervisors and Administrators President Ernest Logan, New York State Board of Regents representative Dr. Betty Rosa and United Federation of Teachers Secretary Michael Mendel. In his opening remarks, Diaz didn’t attempt to sugarcoat reality and acknowledged there was a great deal of hard work ahead before The Bronx could turn its fortunes around. “Our flagship high school—the Bronx High School of Science—barely has any Bronx students within its walls,” he said. “The average SAT scores in our borough need considerable improvement. These

are problems that must be addressed in order to offer our students a chance at a real future and the capacity to compete in the global economy.” Diaz, who received a standing ovation following his remarks, said the historic event would provide a blueprint and shape the borough’s future educational policies. He said the summit was just the beginning of a long-term dialogue and that a college fair and a series of education workshops will be held in the coming months to sustain the momentum. A white paper outlining steps to improve public education in The Bronx will also be published and unveiled early next year. “Let it be known from here on that The Bronx is dead serious about educating our kids,” he said. “In the future, when we look at just how much education has improved in The Bronx, when we see that our schools have changed for the better, we will be able to look at this summit as the turning point,” he said. Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott, who delivered his speech casually without any notes and exuded an easy-going presence, failed to offer any real solutions and instead spent his time “schmoozing” the crowd. He pledged to work with parents, teachers and community organizations, provide information on a regular basis and better engage all education stakeholders. The ongoing dramas surrounding the discovery of dangerous toxins at P.S. 51, near Lehman Collge, were not raised. “We’re going to have disagreements. We’re going to fuss and fight. You’re going to boo me at times and that’s fine,” he said. “But as we do that, we shouldn’t lose track of what the bottom line is and that is our students and how at the end of the day, we have to keep the emphasis and eyes on the prize and the prize is making sure our students graduate college-ready and career-ready.”

Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. welcomes Diane Ravitch to his education summit. Following the conclusion of the morning program, Elder Cora Taitt from Highbridge Community Church said she was most impressed by Dr. Ravitch’s honesty and raw passion. However, she was disappointed that Walcott left immediately following his speech and didn’t stay to listen to Dr. Ravitch talk. “It would’ve been good for him to hear her speak and also hear the reaction from the people in the audience,” she said. Taitt believed the system was going backwards by forging ahead with new, untested strategies and said city officials should learn from its past successes. “When we talk about language, music and art in schools, these are some of the things that used to take place,” she said. “We are doing new things that aren’t working, so maybe you need to revisit some of the things that did work. Our

kids are failing, and if we’re not doing anything [about it], we’re failing.” Anna Howard, a teacher with 18 years of experience and currently teaching at P.S. 64 in The Bronx, said it was painful to hear the same facts reiterated over and over again. She said she felt a sense of helplessness and wasn’t sure how the system could be fixed. “It just hurts me to the core because we know,” she said. “But what do we do to change it? Do we have to occupy the Board of Ed? I don’t know. It’s just heartbreaking.” When Dr. Ravitch finished, she stayed on to sign copies of her best-selling book, “The Death and Life of the Great American School System,” as a huge throng waited patiently clutching copies of the book. An expanded paperback edition is due to be released on November 1.



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

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.

Saturday, October 22 Croton-on-Hudson

worked devices. As we instant message, e-mail, text, and Twitter, technology redraws the boundaries between intimacy and solitude. Sherry Turkle will speak on 'Alone Together: Cyberspace/Cybersolitudes.'

Friday, October 28 Valhalla

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

Saturday, October 29 North White Plains

NATURE TODDLER WALK 10 a.m. Cranberry Lake Preserve Old Orchard Street Search for fascinating worms, sticks and acorns. Bring a picnic lunch. For more information, call 914-428-1005.

VOLUNTEER WORK 10 a.m. Croton Point Nature Center Croton Point Avenue Vine Pullers Unite! Join the crew of volunteers as they rip through invasive vines and recover Hudson River views. For more information, call 914-862-5397.

Cross River





North White Plains

Sunday, October 30

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 info, call 914-835-4466. CAMOUFLAGING CREATURES 1 p.m. Read Wildlife Sanctuary Playland Parkway Discover why, where and how animals camouflage. See live animals from around the world. Presented by Anthony Cogswell. Cosponsored by the Friends of Read Sanctuary. For more information, call 914-967-8720. GHOST STORIES 6 p.m. Cranberry Lake Preserve Old Orchard Street Ghost Stories and Marshmallows by the Fire. Get in the Halloween spirit with spooky stories. Bring flashlights and, if you like, hot dogs and a story to tell. For info, call 914-428-1005.

Sunday, October 23 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.


SCARECROW & PUMPKINS PARADE 1 p.m. Greenburgh Nature Center 99 Dromore Road A fun Halloween event for young children. Follow friendly scarecrows along our pumpkin trail. Come in costume and enjoy cider and treats, tattoos and more. Fee if pre-registered by Oct 22: Members $4, Non-members $7 (on-line pre-registration only). Fee day of event: Members $6, Non-members $9. Sponsored in part by Houlihan Lawrence, ShopRite and Westchester County Parks. For more information, call 914-723-3470.


SURVIVAL AT THE SANCTUARY 2 p.m. Marshlands Conservancy Route 1 The naturalist will show you some hands-on techniques on what to do if you are 'stuck in the woods.' For info, call 914-835-4466.

Thursday, October 27 Bronxville

LECTURE 5 p.m. Sarah Lawrence College Heimbold Visual Arts Center We live in a world with machine-mediated relationships on net-

FALL FOLIAGE HIKE 10 a.m. Trailside Nature Museum Ward Pound Ridge Reservation Observe the fall colors and visit some of the best scenic views in the park. For more information, call 914-864-7322. NATURE CRAFTS 1 p.m. Lenoir Preserve Dudley Street An afternoon of fun nature crafts that you can take home. Refreshments will be served. Preregistration required. For more information, call 914-968-5851. LIVE BIRDS OF PREY 1 p.m. Read Wildlife Sanctuary Playland Parkway Master falconer James Eyring will display his birds of prey. See hawks and owls in action. Learn about falconry, raptors and their habitats. Cosponsored by the Friends of Read Sanctuary. For more information, call 914-967-8720.


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


DIG-A-TREE WEEKEND 10 a.m. Marshlands Conservancy Route 1 Dig out native tree seedlings and saplings from our meadow and take them home. Bring work gloves and shovels. No power tools. Oct. 29 and 30. For more info, call 914-835-4466.


SURVIVAL AT THE SANCTUARY 2 p.m. Marshlands Conservancy Route 1 The naturalist will show you some hands-on techniques on what to do if you are 'stuck in the woods.' For info, call 914-835-4466.

Friday, November 4 Tarrytown

JAZZ CONCERT 8 p.m. Tarrytown Music Hall 13 Main Street Jazz Forum Arts presents Michael Franks in concert. For more information, call 914-631-1000.

Saturday, November 5 Pelham

FINE ART, FOOD AND WINE 7:30 p.m. Pelham Art Center 155 Fifth Avenue The public is warmly invited to a fun and casual event. Guests will enjoy the food and also the live music and vocals. Bid in live and silent auctions of fine art and other unique and artful items. All proceeds support free and affordable programs for the general public. For more info, calll 914-738-2525 ext 111.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thursday, October 20

Thursday, October 20, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thursday, October 20, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



Army National Guard Pvt. Javier Ramos has graduated from the Basic Field Artillery Cannon Crewmember Advanced Individual Training course at Fort Sill, Lawton, Okla. The course is designed to train servicemembers to maintain, prepare and load ammunition for firing; operate and perform operator maintenance on prime movers, self-propelled Howitzers, and ammunition vehicles; store, maintain, and distribute ammunition to using units as a member of battery or battalion ammunition section; perform crew maintenance and participate in organizational maintenance of weapons and related equipment; and establish and maintain radio and wire communications. Ramos is the son of Rosa Ramos of Arlington Avenue, Bronx. He is a 2011 graduate of Riverdale/Kingsbridge Academy, Bronx.

Adult education classes at Shaarei Shalom

The ever popular Adult Education classes at Congregation Shaarei Shalom, led by Rabbi Steven Burton, will begin on Wednesday evening October 26, 2011 at 7 the synagogue at 5919 Riverdale Avenue. This year's topic, 'Creating an

Ethical Jewish Life,' will use the book of the same name by Dr. Byron I. Sherwin and Dr. Seymour J. Cohen, two of today's leading scholars in the field. The book can be purchased through leading booksellers. Addressing the human moral issue of 'how can I lead the best life God has entrusted into my care,' the class will discuss both classical Jewish texts on ethics as well as contemporary commentary. Rabbi Burton, always an inspiring teacher, will be sure to lead probing questions on a topic of increasing importance today. The class is open to the entire Riverdale community and no prior experience is necessary. Won't you please join us? Congregation Shaarei Shalom is a Reform Jewish synagogue. It offers a contemporary and participatory worship experience and prides itself on its inclusiveness of all members of the Riverdale community, regardless of marital status, sexual orientation, race, age or creed. It is dedicated to embracing the diversity within the Reform Jewish movement. For further information about the congregation, services, membership, its Religious School, or any of the many adult program offerings, please contact the congregation at: (718) 798-0305, e-mail the Congregation at: shaareishalomrive or visit its website at:

Riv. Temple presents Music, Munchies & Mimosas

MUSIC, MUNCHIES, & MIMOSAS!!! Don't miss Glenn Roth's first appearance at Riverdale Temple! Just back from a national tour, Glenn will be entertaining us with his amazing fingerstyle guitar playing, while we eat snacks and drink mimosas. All for JUST $18! ($24 at the door.) Pre-register by calling Debbie/ Temple office at 718-548-3800 ext.1, via email at, send check made out to "Riverdale Temple" to 4545 Independence Ave. Bronx, NY 10471, or online through our website

Dinowitz awarded highest score by EPL/ Environmental Advocates

Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz (DBronx) has been awarded a score of 105, the highest score in the Assembly, by EPL/ Environmental Advocates in their 2011 Voters' Guide. Assemblyman Dinowitz voted for or co-sponsored every bill EPL/ Environmental Advocates supported. Among the bills on which EPL/Envi-

ronmental Advocates agreed with Assemblyman Dinowitz were his votes in favor of a hydraulic fracturing moratorium, closing the fracking waste loophole, the Water Resources Protection Act, a global warming pollution cap, the Solar Industry Development & Jobs Act, wetlands protection, encouraging 'complete street' designs that promote walking, biking, and public transit, and mandating recycling of certain materials. 'I am very gratified to have received the highest score from EPL/Environmental Advocates. I have long been an advocate for protecting our environment, and I will continue to fight for this vital cause,' said Assemblyman Dinowitz.

Adult education course at Riverdale Temple

Adult Education: Year Long Course! Pluralism in Jewish Tradition Through the Eyes of the Torah Free for members/$10 each class for nonmembers. Stop in and fill out a registration form or give us a call to sign up. Classes are held alternate Thursday evenings 7:30-9/6:30-8. Please call for this month's schedule or check it out on our website calendar @ Riverdale Temple is located at 4545 Independence Ave. Bronx, NY 10471. For more information, call 718-548-3800.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, October 20, 2011

Riverdalian graduates from Army training

Thursday, October 20, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Indicting the Risk Averse

At this critical point in our history we need to learn from our history, which in this state is a sad history indeed. New York State is an economic basket case, with a quickly eroding tax base and dynamically diminishing employment opportunities. One person who understands this is Governor Andrew Cuomo. As protestors flood the city’s financial district, demanding higher taxes, the Governor is holding firm. Perhaps he understands the lesson his father, former Governor Mario Cuomo so painfully learned: the cost of high taxes, and New York’s taxes are the among the nation’s highest, if not the highest, is the loss of jobs. Aside from holding the line on the destructively high taxes, which put us at a competitive disadvantage, the governor is also resisting calls for the banning of a promising new technology, extracting natural gas by means of hydraulic fracturing. This discovery is a remarkable stroke of luck since the very areas of the state where this technology can be employed are also the areas in the greatest economic distress, such as the state’s Southern tier along the Pennsylvania border. On the Pennsylvania side, this technology, shown to be safe despite the hysterical rants of opponents, has already injected billions into the sagging economy of the Keystone State. Thousands are employed, and what they are producing is among the cleanest fuels available. Replacing the burning of coal or oil with natural gas is among the most effective ways we can clean the air and combat climate change. What a boon for a region so desperately in need of good economic news, on both sides of the border! We are all familiar with the hardship brought on by the economic downturn of recent years. In upstate New York, the downturn is much more than that. It is a persistent 1930’s style depression, forcing hundreds of thousands to desert their communities. The great cities of Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Albany are the epicenters of this tragedy. When our society becomes so risk-averse that nothing gets done, and reasonable projects that would benefit millions are thwarted, our future becomes very dim indeed. This is also the case with nuclear generation of electric power. If you are concerned about global warming or climate change or whatever the doomsayers call it these days, then certainly you must favor nuclear energy to produce the cleanest electric power. The happy consequence of this technology is the electric power we want, need, and indeed demand can be produced without adding any carbon to the atmosphere. It has been used, safely, for generations. Even the examples of “accidents” invoked with such solemnity as warnings, are hardly the cataclysms they are portrayed as being. Three Mile Island, the nation’s most serious nuclear accident, lead to not a single death among the plant staff or the general public. As opposed to the several deaths each year among those riding bicycles on our streets. The 1986 accident in Chernobyl in the Ukraine, perhaps led to several thousand deaths, resulting mainly from the shockingly primitive technology then in use in the former Soviet Union, well below the standards in place everywhere else in the world. The recent disaster at the Fukushima nuclear complex in Japan, is now used to put pressure on officials here to close the Indian Point Nuclear Plant, which generates a quarter of all the power in the New York metropolitan area, demonstrates how we cannot allow simplistic fear-mongering, unsubstantiated by facts, to dictate policy. The huge Japanese earthquake, far beyond any we have seen in the eastern United States, actually did not damage the Fukushima plant in any dangerous way. It was the resulting Tsunami that did the damage, a circumstance not possible at Indian Point, so far from the ocean. Now to be sure, the location of Indian Point was foolish in retrospect. A more remote location, one that wouldn’t encourage panic and mindless opposition would certainly be preferable. But this plant generates such a huge proportion of the region’s electric capacity is essential. The loss of this plant will presage a huge increase in electricity rates, crippling our already fragile economy. We can foolishly overreact to problems elsewhere, shooting ourselves in the foot, possibly sacrificing our and our children’s future and standard of living. Or we can develop strategies to minimize risk – recognizing that we can never eliminate it entirely – and stride confidently into a better future and perhaps a revitalized economy.

Dissing a local ‘vest pocket park’

To The Editor: The morning of October 15, I walked with my dog through the vest pocket park at West 236th Street back of JHS 141. I noticed, in the northeast corner of this park, some beer bottels and a carrycontainer on the grass behind benches. I picked up about half a dozen bottles and then notices that there were more bottles all over this grassy incline -- perhaps 24. Mentioning this "find" here (I picked up all the bottles I saw) in a see something, say something context. Perhaps the bottles were thrown about, in careless, random fashion, without any respect for this publice use park, the night before by a few people. With all the concern about sanitary conditions at the Occupy Wall Street encampment at the private park between Liberty and Cedar Streets, diagonally across Churst Street from Ground Zero, I did not notice dozens of empty beer bottles strewn about this semi-public. If the vest pocket park beer drinkers are young people, perhaps they will mature and wield their contempt for the common good

in more material ways, ways that have already reduced the economic landscape to a desert, with highlygated oases found here and there, like beer bottles on a grassy slope. By the way --the sizeable remains of one of the trees felled by the August 28 storm lie in and near the path, hard by the beer-swilling site. Will the remains of that once

Leadership needed to save Van Cortlandt Park To The Editor: (This letter is address to Commissioner Adrian Benepe of the NYC Dept. of Parks and Recreation) I write to you concerning the deplorable condition of the area of Van Cortlandt Park south of the Van Cortlandt House Museum. As you know, Van Cortlandt House is a New York City and National Historic Landmark and is listed on The National Register of Historic Places. And yes, George Washington did sleep there. I recently walked the area of the park near the mansion, particularly to the south between the mansion and The Mask. The area

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mighty tree be found at and near the path next August 28? Perhaps those of us motorists hammered by the city's "gotcha" tactics might be given the opportunity to do community service rather than pay onerous fines - service including moving sawed-off fallen tree from the paths they block some six weeks after toppling. David R. Zukerman

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was filthy, including trash that contained used condoms and drug bags. It was also rampant with weeds. That’s easily remedied. Of greater concern to me was the state of disrepair of the area. As you can see from the enclosed photos, significant repair work of the staircase and brickwork is needed. I realize such repair doesn’t come cheap, but this important and historic area should be a priority. This area is not visible from the street or from the more heavily used areas of the park. That does not diminish the importance of restoring this area to its former greatness. In fact, the site is really the gateway to the historic mansion and should be treated as such. I would be happy to walk the area with you so that you can see first-hand that which I have described. I strongly urge the Parks Department to make it a priority to fund restoration of this historic location in our wonderful park. Thank you. Jeffrey Dinowitz Member of Assembly

By PAULETTE SCHNEIDER An eight-foot-high upside-down basket with windows is one of the whimsical outdoor sculptures posed on the sprawling riverfront lawn behind the Hebrew Home at Riverdale. From a distance, the rough cylindrical hut looks cozy and inviting. But when you realize after walking its circumference that the structure has no entrance, you feel a bit rejected. Even the three “windows” defy an attempt to peek inside—they’re mirrors, revealing nothing more than your own disappointment. “Hiding Place,” a study in contradictions, is an expression of what artist Leonard Ursachi calls the bunker concept. Ursachi’s drawings and small-scale models for his series of bunker sculptures are now on exhibition in the Hebrew Home’s Gilbert Pavilion gallery. “Because ‘Hiding Place’ lacks a door and its windows are reflective shields, viewers can only imagine its interior,” Ursachi said at the sculpture’s 2007 debut at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. “It is a receptacle for imagining and the yearning through which its simple iconic form may shift from bunker to refuge to nest-home.” He uses the sculptural medium to help convey the shifting message in his work. Riverdale’s Ursachi bunker, now part of the home’s permanent collection, is made of woven willow branches—material suitable for a “nesthome” but comical for the walls of a fortified space. A similar piece, his white feather-covered “Refuge,” intrigued passers-by in Lower Manhattan’s Duarte Square in 2004. On Ursachi’s mind when he began this series were images of real postwar bunkers built into hillsides and coastal sites throughout Europe. After leaving his native Romania in 1980, he stopped in Paris to study art history and archaeology at the Sorbonne and then moved to Toronto before selecting Brooklyn as his home in 1988. “I grew up in a dictatorship, from which I defected,” he said. “In my art, I often use architectural references as metaphors for systems that enclose and exclude, protect and reject. Every border has its bunkers— physical or psychological—reminding us of where we belong….My bunker projects, with their twin references to war and home, address the complexities inherent in the creation and maintenance of identity.”

The lively group of Hebrew Home residents at last week’s opening reception were curious not only about the artist’s bunker concept but about life in now-democratic Romania. Ursachi’s work, though it mocks the country’s own “bunker mentality,” has been on display in museums there. But while “the logo has changed,” he said, Romania feels in many ways the same as it did before. Ursachi gifted “Hiding Place” to the Hebrew Home following the Prospect Park installation—the artist’s third public art project with the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation. An earlier version of the piece was mounted in Romania beside a 15th century stone fortress in the Carpathian Mountains. His work has appeared in European venues as well as New York City galleries and public spaces. A show last year at the

Leonard Ursachi

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Goodbye Columbus To The Editor: Goodbye Columbus and thanks for the memories. Your feat was indeed historic -- some say equivalent to landing on the moon – but we don’t think you once considered the human toll. You see it’s really not about how you got here. It’s what you did when you arrived. We don’t want to quibble over words, however what you called a voyage of discovery we call cultural genocide. You’ve always had your protectors, some still wearing robes. Today as their credibility diminishes so does your own, so forgive us if we don’t show you to the door. The memories are still too painful even after 519 years. Given your legendary greed it’s a wonder you weren’t installed down in Wall Street instead of on your lonely pedestal high above Central Park. Nevertheless your presence here forces us to ask this question as we create a New World of our own in the 21st century: Do we want to follow you backing to the darkness or, with new values based on dignity and respect for all peoples, move towards the light?

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19 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ursachi exhibit at Hebrew Home

DUMBO Arts Festival included pendulums “that have stopped marking time” and an aquarium containing an acrylic model of Ada Kaleh, a small island in the Danube that was evacuated and submerged for the construction of a hydroelectric plant. Later this month, Ursachi’s “The Well” will be installed in Brooklyn’s Cadman Plaza Park. A mirror is featured in this piece, too—as the bottom surface of the wellhead. Here, the artist explores the idea of the well as “a receptacle for our dreams and desires.” But the bunker theme has prevailed since 1998. “With this sculpture,” he wrote, “I continue my investigation of the world of porous borders, vulnerable shelters, and mutating identities that is the 21st century experience of home.” The current exhibition will be on view through January 12, 2012, in the Elma and Milton A. Gilbert Pavilion Gallery. Viewing hours are daily from 10:30 a.m.

Thursday, October 20, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Riverdale Review, October 20, 2011  

Weekly newspaper published in Riverdale, NY 10471