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Riverdale’s ONLY Locally Owned Newspaper!

Volume XVIII • Number 45 • November 3 - 9, 2011 •


Is it time to move power lines underground? By BRENDAN McHUGH Storm after storm has ravaged Riverdale residents, killing tree after tree, some of which inevitably land on a power line or two. Or more. Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz is fed up with the situation. "This problem has continued for far too long and must be fixed," he wrote in a letter to Consolidated Edison. "I strongly urge you to move the electrical wires in these areas underground, thereby eliminating the risk of interference by felled trees." As of Monday, more than 1,000 Bronxites were still without power, and Con Edison said they hoped to have solved the rest of the outages by Wednesday evening. Dinowitz says that if the electric and gas company would start putting wires in the ground, they could avoid the problem completely. "I surmise these power outages are related to the abundance of

trees in these areas, and hence the increased likelihood of trees falling down and knocking down electrical wires," he wrote. "We are in the 21st century, and there is no reason we should continue to rely on an unreliable and antiquated system of delivering power to the affected areas." Dinowitz focused on Riverdale, though the problem is just as dire on the opposite side of the borough as well. "I think it’s a great idea," City Councilman James Vacca said. "The people on City Island have asked for that for years, but Con Ed says it’s too expensive." Vacca did applaud Con Edison for doing a good job responding to residents’ complaints, and he pointed out that part of the reason so many trees are falling down is not only the severity of recent storms but also the lack of attention the city gives to existing trees. Continued on Page 18

A tree is held up by a power line on West 249th Street after the October snow storm. Fallen trees and branches throughout the neighborhood led to blackouts for many residents.

P.S. 24 principal forced to replace uncertified special ed teacher By MIAWLING LAM The principal at P.S. 24 has been forced to replace an uncertified teacher assigned to a class with special education students. Sources at the NYC Department of Education confirmed Anne Mokris lacked the certification required by the state for teachers of high-needs kids. Principal Donna Connelly will replace Mokris on Monday, November 7, with a certified special education teacher. The sudden about-face came after the Riverdale Review last week contacted authorities and began to raise questions surrounding Mokris’ credentials. A number of teachers at the school contacted the Review with the information that led to the inquiry. Mokris was one of two teachers in charge of the second-grade Collaborative Team Teaching inclusion class at the school. Mokris was initially hired as a substitute last year and filled in for another teacher on maternity leave. She was then promoted to a full-time role in September but has been teaching without the mandatory credentials. A high official with knowledge of the situation confirmed that it was “illegal” for Mokris to teach this class, and could have exposed the school to potential lawsuits. The Review learned that Mokris was on track for certification, but a class cancellation caused by Hurricane Irene prevented her from completing the certification requirements in time for the current school year. Department of Education officials, who were given eight working days to furnish a comment, did not take the necessary action until November 1. The illegal appointment came to light on October 18 after the

Riverdale Review received a tip from teachers at the school. A person at P.S 24, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retribution, said Mokris’ hiring flouted the law and that children’s education was being jeopardized. When told of the latest developments, the source welcomed Mokris’ dismissal and hoped Tweed officials would correct Connelly's approach. “She’s playing too many games that aren’t always going to work,” the person said. “They think they’re above the law, and they try to get away with as much as they can. But hopefully they put her in her place.” There is a current investigation of Connelly’s “warehousing” of an assistant principal position, not filling it for nearly two years as her friend Manuele Verdi, hustled to finish the necessary coursework to obtain his certification as an administrator. The whistleblower also said Mokris’ appointment raised a potential conflict of interest because two of her children are currently enrolled at the school. A search of the New York State Department of Education’s TEACH certification system confirms Mokris does not currently hold a teaching certificate, with her entry showing “no data found.” However, New York State Education Department spokeswoman Jane Briggs said Mokris was in the process of attaining her qualifications. “We have an application in the works for a person of that name, but at this point, she hasn’t been issued certification,” she said in an email. Briggs did not disclose which certificate Mokris was working toward, the date that she commenced studying for the qualification or an expected completion date.

According to state law, CTT classes must include a special education teacher and a general education teacher. In New York City, the special education teacher must be certified and licensed and appointed in special education. Similarly, the general education teacher must be certified and licensed and appointed under a general education or content-area license. The class’s second CTT teacher, Jeanine Boulanger, is fully qualified to teach general education students. As of press time, calls to the school, its UFT chapter leader and the Bronx District 10 UFT representative were not returned. Intriguingly, a search of the staff directory on P.S. 24’s website shows Mokris is simply referred to as “Ms. Anne,” while all of her fellow teachers are referred to by their last names. As of Tuesday, “Ms. Anne” was still listed as a teacher of the CTT class. The saga is the latest in a series of controversial decisions made by Connelly, the most recent of which was her insistence on leaving the school’s assistant principal position unfilled for two years. Critics had long suggested that Connelly kept the leadership position open so her close friend, Verdi, could complete the required coursework and fill the vacancy. Verdi appears to have been appointed to the position in September upon finally acquiring the necessary certificate. The Council of Supervisors and Administrators last year raised objections to Connelly’s manipulation of the system and called for a fully qualified assistant principal to be appointed, but Connelly stood her ground and left the post unfilled. Two years ago, the Spuyten Duyvil school had two assistant principals.

Thursday, November 3, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Anger over proposed P.O. closing By MIAWLING LAM Hell hath no fury like a scorned post office customer. Local elected officials and residents gave their stamp of disapproval over plans to close the Fieldston post office during a public hearing at St. Gabriel’s School last Wednesday. Many, enveloped in anger, said seniors would be cut off from postal services and that residents without cars would be forced to rely on unpredictable public transport to mail bulky packages. The Fieldston station, located on West 238th Street, along with the Spuyten Duyvil branch at Kappock Street, are two of up to 3,700 branches nationwide that the United States Postal Service has flagged for closure. Officials project the Fieldston unit’s closure would save the cash-strapped agency just $208,565 each year. Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz questioned the savings projections and said the cost-saving plans would have major ramifications in the community. “This proposal, combined with the proposal to close the post office on Kappock Street, really means cutting off a huge chunk of Riverdalians from easy access to a post office, and I don’t think that’s right,” he said. Dinowitz also blasted officials for identifying three alternate access points, including the much-maligned Kingsbridge branch, without taking into account other factors. “You can’t look at a map and talk about alternative points,” he said. “A lot of people in our community don’t drive, and we have a lot of elderly people. “Frankly, [the Kingsbridge branch] is a nightmare. It’s very hard to escape there without waiting in a line for a very long time. They don’t have enough windows open, and they’re understaffed.” As exclusively reported in last week’s Riverdale Review, USPS provided the community with just four days' notice before the scheduled hearing was held. As a result, only around 20 residents turned up. “I really resent the fact that the turnout had been suppressed because not enough people knew about it,” Community Board 8 Chair Robert Fanuzzi said as he blasted authorities at the meeting. “If you are interested in a true public review and this is not just a show before you do what you want to do, then you would build in extra time.” According to documents distributed at the meeting, the Fieldston station generated more than $560,000 in revenue last year, slightly down from $603,000 in 2007. Bronx Postmaster Howard Sample said that since 2006, national mail volumes have declined by 20 percent on the back of accelerating digital communications. As a result, the USPS lost $8.5 billion last fiscal year and expects to lose nearly $10 billion more this year. “When you’re losing this much money, you have to look at ways to cut the costs, and that’s all we’re doing right now,” Sample said. “We’re taking a look at ways to cut the cost. The study of the Fieldston station is being conducted to realign and optimize our workforce and reduce our physical footprint.” However, Councilman G. Oliver Koppell said financial decisions were being made without regard for the elderly. “This post office serves a dense, urban area heavily populated particularly by seniors, who still disproportionately use the services that the local facility deliv-

ers,” he said. “It seems to me that post offices are taking their constituents, who are, after all, the people you are supposed to be serving, for granted in making these decisions.” USPS consolidation coordinator LaTrayer Sumter-Moreau assured residents they would be given an opportunity to voice their concerns. She said questionnaires would be delivered to all customers in the 10463 zip code in the coming days and that every completed form would become part of the public record. Before a station can be closed, officials must first collect extensive data concerning office workload, customer demand, Continued on Page 19

By BRENDAN McHUGH A ‘For Sale’ sign has been affixed to the facade of the Riverdale Press building. “The Stein’s are selling the building,” Riverdale Press associate publisher Mekea Fishlin said. Nole Caban, a broker for Manhattanbased CBRE, said the office building at 6155 Broadway and the adjacent house are for sale. When asked what would happen to the Riverdale Press, Fishlin replied, “We’ll just move, relocate to another office space in Riverdale.” Most of the operation, including production, subscriptions, etc. have already been moved to the corporate headquarters

in Garden City, Long Island. Richard and Bernard Stein, the former owners and publishers of the Riverdale Press, still own the land, which includes a house, but not the newspaper. In 2008, the Stein’s sold the newspaper to Long Island-based Richner Communications. The land itself transferred companies in July 2010 for an amount of $10, presumably from one Stein brother to the other, according to Department of Finance records. The area is currently zoned for two story commercial buildings, though with the surrounding area mostly residential apartments, the area could be rezoned as an R-6, which would allow for about

The former owners of the Riverdale Press have put the building up for sale.

a seven-story residential building. The purchasing company could also make an attempt to buy the former gas station area and adjacent Koo Koo’s building to create a shopping strip for north Riverdale. It has been specualted that the land assembled from adjoining parcels could either be developed as a smaller urban version of a “big box” store, similar to Wal-Mart in White Plains, or as a seven story “section eight” subsidized apartment tower. A source with real estate ties said it could be because the Steins do see this opportunity and are attempting to cash in on the recent economic developments in the area, with the Stella D’oro building and W. 230th Street lot making advances

in the past two months. But the source did add that the block still has contamination that leaked from an old gas station. While the gas station area was cleaned up, some toxins may have spread to the Koo Koo’s building. According to the CBRE listing, the Riverdale Press property features 18,000 square feet of developable rights, a 2,848square-foot Riverdale Press Building, and 1,800 square feet of residential/commercial townhouse on a 10,000-square-foot lot. Some thought it curious that the property was listed with an outside broker rather than one of the many local brokers who have spent so much money in the Riverdale Press for so many years.

3 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, November 3, 2011

Riverdale Press building on Broadway is for sale by former owners

Thursday, November 3, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Around the schools... P.S. 24

Horace Mann School

P.S. 81

Manhattan College

The student organization announces the school’s participation in New York City Penny Harvest. Families have until Thursday, November 10, to donate not only pennies but nickels, dimes, quarters and even dollars to be used for the implementation of a service learning project. Students will donate the money to an organization of their choice. The Riverdale Y is starting Glee Club, a new afterschool class on Thursdays from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. P.S. 24 former music teacher Joan Schwartz will teach show tunes and folk songs, and students will give a performance at the end of the session. For more information, call the Y and ask for Jacob at 718-548-8200.

Photographer Marty Hyman will be at work this Friday, November 4, for picture day. The school gym will be the venue for both individual and class photos. The event is a fundraiser to benefit the parents association. A parent networking meeting is scheduled for Monday, February 7, at 9 a.m. in the school lunchroom. This is a venue where parents can connect and share ideas and information on possible business opportunities.

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

Friday morning tours are available through December 16 for parents of prospective middle school students who live within the RKA school zone. The starting time is 8:30 a.m. To register, contact parent coordinator Julie Prince at High school open house events for eighth-graders and their families are scheduled for Tuesday, November 15, and Wednesday, November 16, at 8:30 a.m. To register, contact parent coordinator Julie Prince at gov starting the first week of November.

Kinneret Day School

Eighth-graders in Lynne Freid-Whyne’s class did more than just talk about the weather. They completed their study of weather and climate by constructing biomes representing six climate zones: Arctic, Coniferous, Deciduous, Grasslands, Desert and Rainforest. The students used a variety of household materials to depict each zone’s characteristics.

SAR High School

The community is invited to participate in the online SAR Super Auction Rally. The event, a fundraiser for the school, will run from Sunday, November 6, through Monday, November 14, with previews and registration starting on Wednesday, November 2. More than 500 items, from sports equipment to travel packages, will be up for bid. Those who donate one or more items or services directly online can get a link from the school’s website to their own. Contributions are welcome—visit

Riverdale Country School

The Middle School exchange program is underway—French students in grades 6 through 9 have been sitting in on classes and will attend a performance of “Wicked” this week.

Alumni, faculty and staff veterans are invited to a cocktail and hors d’oeuvres reception in honor of Veterans Day on Friday, November 11, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the 69th Regiment Armory on Lexington Avenue between East 25th and East 26th streets. The school will take the opportunity to recognize alumni, faculty and staff who have served our nation in the armed forces. The event will include a tour of the armory, home of the legendary “Fighting 69th” Infantry Regiment. To attend or for more information, contact Greg Zuroski, Director of Alumni Relations, at 718-4323458 or greg_zuroski@

The college will host a performance of “To Whom I May Concern,” a play performed by volunteers from the community in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, on Thursday, November 3, from 12:20 to 2 p.m. in Smith Auditorium. Through monologues based on letters, this play describes the social, emotional and medical experiences that 5.4 million Americans with Alzheimer’s encounter every day, from their own perspectives. Retired professor of American and comparative literature Dr. Lydia Panaro is one of the four cast members. The play was originally performed in Manhattan and Queens in 2006, and it moved to Rockland and Ardsley in 2008. From there, Panaro encouraged founder Dr. Maureen Matthews to take the show on the road again to help others understand the experience of living with Alzheimer’s disease. This performance is sponsored by the Manhattan College Diversity Committee and is free and open to the public.

College of Mt. St. Vincent

The New York Classic Players and violist Kim Kashkashian will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday, November 12, in the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception in Founders Hall. The New York Classic Players is a professional chamber orchestra of young instrumentalists committed to bringing free classical repertoire to the public. Comprised of seven different nationalities, the NYCP strives to reach out to diverse audiences in order to connect the world of music and culture. This event is free and open to the public.

By MIAWLING LAM Want to know the secret to racking up 15 years in government office? Just bathe in pickle juice. Bronx Borough Historian Lloyd Ultan jokingly offered the advice after marking the career milestone last Wednesday. The proud and witty Bronx resident, who celebrated his crystal anniversary by working, is currently the longest-serving of the five borough historians in New York City. Ultan, 73, was initially appointed by Fernando Ferrer in 1996, reappointed by Adolfo Carrion Jr. and reappointed again by incumbent borough president Ruben Diaz Jr. New York State law requires that each municipality in the state, including each borough of New York City, must have a government-appointed local historian. The positions are unpaid, but borough

historians offer a wealth of information and cultivate a sense of community by promoting local history through lectures, conferences and walking tours. They are also tasked with identifying important milestones in borough history, and they encourage businesses and organizations to preserve their records so they can be used as source material. Reflecting on his tenure, Ultan told the Riverdale Review he was proud to share The Bronx’s storied history with its residents and took great joy in seeing their surprised faces. “I enjoy telling people about all of these great things that have happened in The Bronx,” he said. “To me, it’s a heritage that is shared by all of the people who live in The Bronx, no matter what their origin is. I always Continued on Page 19

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5 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, November 3, 2011

Boro historian’s 15th anniversary

Thursday, November 3, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Riv. Community Center celebrates its 40th year The Riverdale Community Center, Inc. (RCC) will be celebrating its 40th Anniversary with a cocktail reception hosted by Horace Mann School on Thursday, November 3, 2011, 6-9 p.m. At the celebration we will be honoring New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman who was extremely supportive of RCC while serving as our local State Senator. We are also extremely pleased to be honoring some of our founders whose vision and tenacity made it work: Ferne LaDue, a Founder and first Executive Director; Norman Kaufman, a Founder and long time principal of JHS 141; Carole and Bert Feinberg, longest serving board members. From its founding in 1972, the Riverdale Community Center (RCC), housed in the Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy, has been an active, caring and vital community based organization responding to the needs of our neighbors. Our founding members wanted to provide a safe, secure and fun environment for our local youth - a home away from home. That mission and tradition continue today and have been expanded as we provide self-sustaining adult education classes as well as free after school programs such as the Teen Theatre, Academic Centers in core subject areas, cultural opportunities and sports/fitness activities. Each year over 1,000 people of all ages participate in one

or more of our programs. Won't you please join us in celebrating our milestone - 40 years of providing quality programming for the community of Community Board 8, Bronx. Tickets for the event are $125. Proceeds from the event will support our free After School Program and our selfsustaining Adult and Youth Center. For more information or to purchase tickets, please call the RCC office at 718796-4724 or email us at info@riverdalec

performing at the event. The play was originally performed in Manhattan and Queens in 2006, and moved to Rockland and Ardsley, N.Y., in 2008. From there, Panaro encouraged founder Maureen Matthews, Ph.D., to take the show on the road again to help others understand the experience of living with Alzheimer's disease. This performance is sponsored by the Manhattan College Diversity Committee and is free and open to the public.

A performance supporting Alzheimer's Research

Free census workshop for businesses

Manhattan College is hosting a performance of To Whom I May Concern, a play performed by volunteers from the community in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease on Thursday, Nov. 3 from 12:20 to 2 p.m. in Smith Auditorium. This is a unique play that aims to give voice to the experience of living with Alzheimer's, fashioned from the words of those in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. Through monologues based on letters, this play describes the social, emotional and medical experiences that 5.4 million Americans with Alzheimer's encounter every day from their perspectives. Manhattan College also welcomes back Lydia Panaro, Ph.D., a resident of Mamaroneck, N.Y., retired English professor in American and comparative literature, who returns as one of the four cast members

Bronx Community Board No. 8 is pleased to announce that it will offer a free Census Workshop for Businesses in the district. The workshops will be lead by a certified Census Information Services Specialist from the US Census Bureau, New York Region. The Business Census Workshop will take place on Tuesday, November 3, 2011, 7:00PM to 8:30PM at the Economic Development Committee meeting to be held at Kingsbridge Library, 291 West 231st Street. For more information, call 718-8843959, Email:, or visit: ;

Kristallnacht program at CSAIR

Author Mimi Schwartz will be the guest speaker at Kristallnacht observance at Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale (CSAIR), Wednesday, November 9, 2011. Ms. Schwartz will speak on her recent prize-winning memoir, Good Neighbors, Bad Times: Echoes of My Father's German Village. Through the memories of Jews and Christians from one Black Forest village where 'everyone got along before Hitler,' Schwartz explores how good neighbors, neither brave nor evil, negotiated decency during the Nazi times and afterwards. Schwartz's other recent books include Thoughts from a Queen-sized Bed, voted a 2002 book club favorite by JCC book clubs, and Writing True, the Art and Craft of Creative Nonfiction (with Sondra Perl), used in writing programs nationwide. A veteran teacher and lecturer, Schwartz is Professor Emerita at Richard Stockton College and lives in Princeton, New Jersey. Kristallnacht commemorates the

'night of broken glass,' a massive anti-Jewish pogrom which took place in Germany and Austria on November 9 and 10, 1939, which is viewed by many historians as the starting point of Hitler's 'Final Solution.' The program will begin with a service at 7:30 pm, followed by Ms. Schwartz's talk at 7:45 pm. This event, which is free and open to the entire community, is sponsored by the CSAIR Adult Education Committee. CSAIR is located at 475 West 250th Street. For additional information, call the synagogue office at 718-543-8400.

November is ART SMART month at the Riverdale YM-YWHA

The Simon Senior Center located at the Riverdale YM-YWHA at 5625 Arlington Ave., is pleased to announce a series of art lectures and one field trip to the Highline and Chelsea galleries. The first lecture on “Judaic Art from Around the World” will be presented by Beryl Brenner, a nationally renowned glass artist and art therapist on Friday November 4th. The second lecture, “How to Analyze a Piece of Art Work,” presented by Gene Wisnjewski, artist and writer who studied at the New York Academy of Art and the author of The Art Collection. The final lecture in the series will be held on Friday November 18th with Drs. Joan and Reuben Baron who will be discussing Highlights of the Contemporary Art Scene in the US and around the world. All lectures are free and will begin at 10:30 a.m. preceding a hot nutritious kosher lunch. Suggested donation for lunch is $2.25. The entire public is welcome to attend. For further information please call Toby or Vicki at the Riverdale YM-YWHA @ 718-548-8200 x 223 or 224.

Rotary Club to sponsor reading hour

Youngsters 3-12 years old are invited to participate in the Reading Program on Saturday, November 5, at the NEW Kingsbridge Library, 291 West 231st Street, from 1 to 1:45 p.m. Readers will be grouped by skill level and encouraged to read, helped with pronunciation and word understanding, and for those without reading skills, interpret pictures. There is no charge for participation. The Rotary Club of Riverdale is part of Rotary International and sponsors the library reading project as a local community service. Adult volunteers who are interested in participating are asked to contact Karen Pesce, Secretary: (718) 549-4469.

The Riverdale Senior Center will hold its Annual Bazaar and Sale on Sunday, November 6, 2011 from 10 - 3:30. The Center is located at 2600 Netherland Avenue in the Century Building. Discounted parking is available in the garage. The sale will feature jewelry, perfume, collectibles, bric-a-brac, hats, accessories, books, knitted handcrafts, baked goods and a snack bar. There will be a special book signing by children's Book Author Nathan Kravetz. Raffle tickets will be sold and the raffle drawing will take place on Monday, November 7th at 1:15 at the Center. Raffle winners need not be present for the drawing. For more information contact the Center at 718-884-5900. Donations of new and gently used (no clothing) items are welcomed by November 4th.

An evening of music at Christ Church

Indulge in an evening of music by catching a special, one-off performance by internationally renowned artists, Theresa Thomason and Timothy Brimfield. The pair - members of the eight-time Grammy Award winning Paul Winter Consort - will perform a variety of pieces ranging from classic new age to gospel at Christ Church Riverdale. The show will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 5 at the church, located at 5030 Henry Hudson Parkway East in Riverdale. Thomason has written, produced and headlined a theatrical concert which has been presented in approximately 170 European venues, while Brimfield has previously performed before His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. Tickets are priced at $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and students, and $10 for children and can be purchased at the door. For more information, please contact Gunther Kilsch at 718543-1011.

Brandeis Group to host art lecturer

The Riverdale Chapter of The Brandeis National Committee invites its members and their friends to its next monthly meeting to be held on November 16, 2011 at 12:30 p.m. in Riverdale Temple, West 246 Street and Independence Avenue. The program will be a delightful slide show presented by the outstanding Metropolitan Museum of Art lecturer, Ruth Henderson, whose topic will be "The Art of Dress - You Are What You Wear". Please make advance reservations by sending check for $12.00, payable to B.N.C., to Cecile Horwich, 5800 Arlington Avenue - 10W, Riverdale, N.Y. 10471

before November 9th. Subscription at the door will be $15.00. Bagels and light refreshments will be served and a boutique, Silver Jewelry by Lea Dunner, will be displayed for sale.

of Private Jacob Weaver, Pennsylvania Militia, captured at Fort Washington November 16, 1776. Refreshments will be served. Please call the Riverdale Temple office to RSVP. 718-548-3800 extension 1.

Tinnitus Support Group monthly meetings

Gift & craft sale at Riverdale Temple

Tinnitus sufferers are invited to attend a free tinnitus support group on Thursday, November 3 at 6 p.m. An audiologist from the Kingsbridge Veterans Hospital will address the problem of tinnitus and how the many forms of tinnitus affect our daily life. The meeting will be held in the conference room of the Church of the Mediator on 260 West 231st Street in Kingsbridge. Guests are instructed to enter near the BX7 and BX10 bus stop. All members of the public are welcome. Meetings usually last one hour. For more information, please call Dr. K. Nabinet on 718-4102301 or 917-797-9065.

Riverdale Temple features opera singers in concert

Join in at Riverdale Temple for an affordable "Night of Singing" on Saturday, Nov. 5, 7:30 p.m., with opera singers Erica Rubin Choi, and Maariana Vikse and pianist Beata Navratil. They will be performing a musical concert of some of the most beloved opera and art songs. Adults and children over 13: $20; Children 6-13: $10; Children 5 and under are free. Preregister by this Friday, November 4th to save $2 per admission. All proceeds are to benefit the Riverdale Temple Nursery School. To pre-register, please contact the Temple office at 718-548-3800 ext. 1 or pay online at (click the red "PAY NOW" link on the home page. Be sure to fill in "Night of Singing" in the notes section. Bring a printout of your receipt for entry.) Payments by cash or check can be made at the door on Saturday night prior to the concert.

Lecture on Revolutionary War in Riverdale

On Sunday, November 6th at 10:30 A.M. in the downstairs social hall, Richard McGuiness will present on "American Revolutionary War Activity in the Riverdale - Kingsbridge area in the Summer and Fall of 1776." sponsored by the Riverdale Temple Men's Club. He will speak and provide a slide presentation as well, followed by questions and answers. Richard is an Amateur Historian of the American Revolution and the War of 1812, Revolutionary War Re-enactor with the 5th New York Regiment. and descendant

Get a head start on your holi-

and adult clothing, accessories, toys, handbags, needlecraft kits, pottery, 'upscale' works of art and exclusive craft items as well as great gifts suitable for birthdays, anniversaries, new baby, etc. There is ample free parking and easy access by public transportation. Refreshments will be sold. For further information or to become a vendor, please contact: or Visit their website at: www.riverdaletemple. org or call (718) 548-3800 ext. 1.

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

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

©2011 Metropolitan Transportation Authority

7 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, November 3, 2011

RSS to hold annual bazaar

day shopping at the Riverdale Temple "Early Bird" Holiday Gift and Craft Sale which will be held at: Riverdale Temple, 4545 Independence Avenue (corner of West 246th St), on Sunday, November 13th from 9:00 AM until 3:00 PM. Free Admission, Free parking, all ages welcome, fun activities for the kids! Many vendors will be selling a variety of items for the holidays: Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas and Kwanzaa. These items will include jewelry (costume, gold, silver, beaded, antique, hand-crafted), children's

Thursday, Nov. 3 Riverdale

RCC 40TH ANNIVERSARY 6 p.m. Horace Mann School 231 West 246th Street The Riverdale Community Center, Inc. (RCC) will be celebrating its 40th Anniversary with a cocktail reception hosted by Horace Mann School. For more information or to purchase tickets, please call the RCC office at 718-796-4724 or email at


TINNITUS SUPPORT GROUP 6 p.m. Church of the Mediator 260 West 231st Street An audiologist from the Kingsbridge Veterans Hospital will address the problem of tinnitus and how the many forms of tinnitus affect our daily life. For more information, call Dr. K. Nabinet at 718-410-2301.


BUSINESS CENSUS WORKSHOP 7 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Community Board No. 8 will offer a free Census Workshop for Businesses in the district. For more information, call 718-884-3959, Email:, or visit: www. ;


STAGE PLAY 12:30 p.m. Manhattan College Smith Auditorium Manhattan College is hosting a performance of To Whom I May Concern, a play performed by volunteers from the community in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Admission is free; open to the public.

Friday, Nov. 4 Riverdale

ART LECTURE 10:30 a.m. Riverdale YM-YWHA 5625 Arlington Avenue Beryl Brenner, glass artist and art therapist, will speak on the topic 'Judaic Art from Around the World.' Admission is free and lecture will precede a hot nutritious kosher lunch. Suggested donation for lunch is $2.25. The entire public is welcome to attend. For further information please call Toby or Vicki at the Riverdale YM-YWHA @ 718-548-8200 x 223 or 224.

4545 Independence Avenue A "Night of Singing" with opera singers Erica Rubin Choi, and Maariana Vikse and pianist Beata Navratil. They will be performing a musical concert of some of the most beloved opera and art songs. For more information, call 718-5483800. ext. 1.

Sunday, Nov. 6 Riverdale

BAZAAR 10 a.m. Riverdale Senior Center 2600 Netherland Avenue The sale will feature jewelry, perfume, collectibles, brica-brac, hats, accessories, books, knitted handcrafts, baked goods and a snack bar. There will be a special book signing by children’s Book Author Nathan Kravetz. For more information contact the Center at 718-884-5900.


ARTIST'S RECEPTION 1 p.m. Riverdale YM-YWHA 5625 Arlington Avenue Rochelle Aruti is exhibiting sculpture at the Riverdale Y! during November. The community is invited to the Artist’s Reception on Sunday.

Monday, Nov. 7 Riverdale

LECTURE ON HOLOCAUST 7:30 p.m. Manhattan College Rodriguez Room (311), Miguel Hall The fourth annual Frederick M. Schweitzer Lecture will feature honored speakers Peter Black, Ph.D., senior historian at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and Rebecca Erbelding, archivist of the museum, discussing Kristallnacht: The Diary of Robert Harlan and Preserving Jewish Experiences. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Mehnaz Afridi by e-mail at mehnaz.

Tuesday, Nov. 8 RAA MEETING 7 p.m. Riverdale Atria 3718 Henry Hudson Parkway Artist Michael Poast will present an illustrated lecture entitled, Thresholds of Dimension: Music, Color, Space-The Sculpture of Michael Poast. For more information, call 718432-2448 or visit

Saturday, Nov. 5

Wednesday, Nov. 9

READING PROGRAM 1 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Youngsters 3-12 years old are invited to participate in the Reading Program, sponsored by the Rotary Club. For more information, call Karen Pesce at 718-549-4469.

LECTURE 10:30 a.m. Atria of Riverdale 3718 Henry Hudson Parkway Topics for the month of November Discussion regarding Veterans Day, and Elections Day past and present with Marilyn Kaufman - a retired Librarian and a motivational speaker who has been engaging seniors in various topics for over 40 years. Please RSVP to Jane Kennedy 718 432 2448



GRAND OPENING 4 p.m. Generico's Pizzeria & Cafe 3535 Riverdale Avenue The Riverdale community is invited to the official ribbon cutting. There will be a night of nostalgic songs and laughs featuring acclaimed performer Pat Farenga, in his fabulous musical tribute to Frank Sinatra. For more information, call 718-601-9000.

Spuyten Duyvil

CONCERT 2 p.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 West 235th Street Michael Dale, a Riverdale resident and a French teacher at the Horace Mann School, will sing original compositions to his own mountain dulcimer and guitar accompaniment. For more information, call 718-796-1202.


CONCERT 7:30 p.m. Christ Church Riverdale 5030 Henry Hudson Parkway Indulge in an evening of music by catching a special, oneoff performance by internationally renowned artists, Theresa Thomason and Timothy Brimfield. For more information, please contact Gunther Kilsch at 718-543-1011.


CONCERT 7:30 p.m. Riverdale Temple

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KRISTALLNACHT PROGRAM 7:30 p.m. Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel 475 West 250th Street Author Mimi Schwartz will be the guest speaker at Kristallnacht observance at CSAIR. She will speak on her recent prize-winning memoir, Good Neighbors, Bad Times: Echoes of My Father’s German Village. For more information, call 718-543-8400.

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

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 more information, call 718-796-1202.

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Thursday, Nov. 10 Riverdale

ONE-MAN SHOW 7 p.m. Atria of Riverdale 3718 Henry Hudson Parkway "My Name is Vincent," a 45-minute one-man show dramatizing the turmultuos life of Vincent Gogh (free). RSVP Jane Kennedy 718 432 2448.


Thursday, November 3, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


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By MIAWLING LAM Prepare to loosen your belt buckles and prime your palates: It’s time to eat. The inaugural Bronx restaurant week, which kicked off on Tuesday and runs through November 13, will showcase the borough’s rich cultural diversity and dining scene. Under the initiative, more than 30 restaurants will offer a range of special discounts and promotions, including prixfixe three-course meals, complimentary coffee and dessert or 20 percent off the entire tab. Among the participants are old-school Italian joint Mike’s Deli on Arthur Avenue, classical French restaurant Bistro SK on City Island, and Riverdale Steak House, Liebman's deli and Santa Fe Grill and Bar in Riverdale. Three local Applebee’s branches are even getting involved. Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said the event would provide diners a chance to sample some of the borough’s finest food. “I invite everyone to visit and savor The Bronx,” he said. “Our inaugural Savor the Bronx! Restaurant Week is the ideal time to try a new restaurant or return to a favorite. The Bronx is your oyster.” Organizers hope the landmark event will draw large crowds and finally put The Bronx on the culinary map. Although traditionally overlooked by foodies, The Bronx is finally starting to gain traction. Hip downtown Manhattan eatery Torrisi unveiled their Parm sandwich stand to Bronx residents in July—a full four months before their bricks-and-mortar

shop at Mulberry Street opened—when they debuted the stand at Yankee Stadium. Thirty Bronx restaurants were also included in the current edition of Zagat’s dining guide, up from 24 in the previous year. Furthermore, Michelin Guide inspectors even acknowledged The Bronx for the first time on this year’s Bib Gourmand list, awarding two restaurants in the borough with the highly coveted status. Popular Italian restaurants Zero Otto Nove and Tra Di Noi, both located in the Arthur Avenue area in Belmont, were among the 114 eateries in the city to be bestowed the title this year. The designation, otherwise known as the inspectors’ favorites for good value, is awarded to restaurants that serve two courses and a glass of wine or dessert for $40 or less. Management at Zero Otto Nove seized on the opportunity to participate in restaurant week and will offer a three-course lunch for $24 during the promotional period. Assistant manager Nicole Mancini said it was time to shine the spotlight on the borough. “The Bronx is a best-kept secret. Not everybody knows about it. I feel like it’s the borough that gets the least amount of press, so I think it’s time to promote it,” she said. “I’m sure that within maybe 10 years, we’ll be the next Brooklyn, but I don’t think we’re there yet.” Before The Bronx could succeed, however, Mancini said it was vital to tackle Continued on Page 12

9 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, November 3, 2011

Savor the Bronx during Restaurant Week

Thursday, November 3, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


$1 million slated to fix Seton Park

By BRENDAN McHUGH City Councilman G. Oliver Koppell is set to allocate nearly $1 million to the restoration of Seton Park, and based on a recent community meeting, that money will go toward repairing the natural grass, the ball fields and the tennis courts. "[T]he consensus was to do various repairs to the ball field, tennis courts, etc., rather than use the money for artificial turf," Community Board 8 parks committee chairman Bob Bender said. "We are sending our minutes to Councilman Koppell so he can learn what happened." Ultimately, park users decided on renovating the worst areas of the ball fields—including restoration of a field that has essentially disappeared to the naked eye, resurfacing the tennis courts and brining in new infrastructure such as benches, backstops and dugouts. Koppell spoke briefly at the October 27 meeting, held in the Schervier Apartments, to a group of Seton Park users that included tennis players, a Riverdale-Kingsbridge Academy representative, Little League parents and other concerned residents before he had to run off to another meeting. He explained that he has $900,000 that he would like to use on the park, but first he needed to hear what the community wants. Earlier this year, he went on a tour of the park with local residents, but they were split on whether or not the fields at the park should be converted to an artificial surface or remain natural. Converting the entire park to artificial turf had too much downside, the park users said. It would cost millions extra, and the current available funds would barely cover half the field.

The city’s parks department has recently been encouraging artificial turf because it has meant less money to maintain it in the long term, though the turf in Van Cortlandt Park’s stadium has needed repairs multiple times recently. Another concern voiced was the condition of the natural grass. With Van Cortlandt Park’s parade ground re-sodding years behind schedule, the fear is that Seton Park’s field would encounter the same situation. And with so many different groups using the field, a newly resurfaced field would remain in good condition only for a few years. After typical wear and tear, the field would regress to its current state. "Don’t take this $900,000 and throw it away," pleaded Michael Holoszyc, a Riverdale Soccer Club board member. Another board member, Ken Katzman, said the best plan would be to keep any construction on the fields as brief as possible. "We should minimize interruptions so the kids don’t lose a few years," said Katzman, who is also involved in the Riverdale Little League. A hospital once stood on the Seton Park site. Community board members and local residents fear that if they dig too deep, they could find problems that would require field reconstruction for years to come. A handful of tennis players came to voice concerns about their corner of the park, saying the courts haven’t been resurfaced since June Eisland was a City Council member. Daniel Poinson, who has been using the courts since 1973, said playing there now is like "playing on ice." Also, the nets aren’t typically held up at the regulation height of 36 inches.

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11 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, November 3, 2011

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Thursday, November 3, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Savor the Bronx during Restaurant Week Continued from Page 9 people’s perceptions. Contrary to what many believe, she said, the Bronx was not only safe but also centrally located—on the Metro-North Harlem Line, Belmont is just 15 minutes from midtown Manhattan. Bronx Brewery will also host a special event at the Bronx Ale House on Tuesday, November 8. Head brewer Damian Brown will lead diners through a beer tasting before the brand’s signature Pale Ale will be paired with a charcuterie platter, cheese and a range of unique dishes. Bronx Brewery General Manager Chris Gallant said he was thrilled to participate in the event. “The Bronx has more great restaurants coming to the fore, so it’s nice to be part of that up-and-coming crop,” he said. “I think there is a lot of opportunity here. It’s a massive borough, and there are tons of people here. One of the greatest things that exists here is the diversity, and that I think is what’s partially driving the resurgence of food.” The Bronx Tourism Council, the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation, the Bronx Chamber of Commerce and the New York State Restaurant Association have also thrown their weight behind the event. New York State Restaurant Association Executive Vice President Andrew Rigie said the event was a win-win for the community and local restaurant owners. “This is an amazing opportunity for local Bronx restaurants to showcase their cuisine and hospitality,” he said. “This is sure to offer a boost in business while affording locals and out-of-town-

ers the perfect opportunity to taste all the flavors that Bronx restaurants have to offer.” For more information, visit

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Crisis in schools Continued from Page 18

dent to pursue another strategy. Just as a “Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation” was created to guide the development of business, he needs to establish a “Bronx Emergency Educational Initiative,” to develop and guide new strategies to leverage our most precious asset: the minds of our children. Such an initiative is too important to be left to others. We suggest that it be led by Mr. Diaz himself, along with the Bronx representative on the state Board of Regents, Dr. Betty A. Rosa, helped along by a small “kitchen cabinet” of the borough’s best, and most creative minds. Meanwhile, the borough president and elected officials can begin to secure modest funding, public and private, to staff the new entity and start creating new strategies, both short term and long term, to undo the educational damage of the Bloomberg years.






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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, Nov. 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 information, calll 914-738-2525 ext 111.



VOLUNTEER WORK 1 p.m. Marshlands Conservancy Route 1 This is the beginning of our regular volunteer work projects to do ground maintenance along stone walls, drives and buildings as well as habitat management when appropriate. Great for community service hours and school credit. Please bring work gloves and see if you like it. Hand tools provided. Meet at the visitor center. For more information, call 914-835-4466 .


BLACKSMITH WORKSHOP 9 a.m. Muscoot Farm Route 100 Blacksmith Bill Fitzgerald will teach the technique of blacksmithing. Space is limited to only 5 participants. Pre-registration required. Call for a registration form at 914-864-7282 or go to


POWER HIKE THE HUDSON 10 a.m. Croton Point Nature Center Croton Point Avenue Join us for a fast-paced hike along the amazing Croton Point roads and trails. Reward? Hudson River views, raised heart rate and good fun. For more information, call 914862-5297.

CANDLE MAKING WORKSHOP 10 a.m. Muscoot Farm Route 100 Looking for holiday gift ideas? What's more personal than something you make? Join Mia Comancho-Fitzgerald from Clean Ridge Soap Company as she teaches you how to make candles and/or soap. Pre-registration required. Visit muscoot or call for a registration form at 914-864-7282.



MOVIE DAY 1 p.m. Lenoir Preserve Dudley Street Join the staff for an environmental movie and then a hike around the preserve. Refreshments will be served. Pre-registration required. For more information, call 914-968-5851.

North White Plains

MUSHROOM MORNING 9:30 a.m. Cranberry Lake Preserve Old Orchard Street Come and learn to recognize the most common mushrooms of our area. Bring a picnic lunch and socialize afterwards with your fellow fungophiles. Co-sponsored by the ConnecticutWestchester Mycological Association. For more information, call 914-428-1005.


VOLUNTEER WORK 10 a.m. Read Wildlife Sanctuary Playland Parkway You are invited to come out to the sanctuary and lend a hand clearing trails, moving brush piles, spreading wood chips, removing invasive plants, removing decades of old junk and tires from the woods, and collecting trash from our shoreline. We supply the necessary tools. Come for all or part of the day. A simple lunch is provided courtesy of the Friends of Read Wildlife Sanctuary. For more information, call 914-967-8720.

HALLOWEEN TRAIN SHOW 11 a.m. Lasdon Park & Arboretum Route 35 Special seasonal Halloween program featuring a large and unique Lionel train display within a "Nightmare Before Christmas" theme with tributes to Harry Potter and Polar Express. All this set in Halloween decorated Main House. Call for more details. Nov. 5 and 6. For more information, call 914-864-7268.

Cross River

HIKE TO LEATHERMAN'S CAVE 2 p.m. Trailside Nature Museum Ward Pound Ridge Reservation Come and hear the lore of the Old Leather Man. Join us on this annual 2.5-mile hike with renowned storyteller Jonathan Kruk. Meet at the Michigan Road parking area. Co-sponsored by the Friends of Trailside Museum. For more information, call 914-864-7322.

Sunday, Nov. 6 Rye

DEER HIKE EXTRAVAGANZA 2 p.m. Marshlands Conservancy Route 1 We will see how the deer have changed from summer to winter, as we venture into the "bare woods". Please bring binoculars and dress for the weather. For more information, call 914-835-4466.

Generico’s Pizzeria and Cafe to open Generico’s Pizzeria and Café, the former Jasper’s, announces their official grand opening and ribbon cutting for November 5, 2011. According to owner Luigi Marcoccia, “This is a day we have waited for with great expectation. Ribbon cutting ceremonies are slated for 4:00 p.m. followed by music and menu specials to commemorate the event.” A special performance will include acclaimed entertainer Pat Farenga, known for his Frank Sinatra renditions. Farenga’s musical tribute, “Old Green Eyes Pays Tribute to Old Blue Eyes,” will highlight a planned ‘Evening of Nostalgic Songs and Laughs.’ Generico’s which opened mid-May, took over the legendary Jaspers. As owner Luigi Marcoccia stresses, “The sign on the door may have changed but the legendary Jasper’s pizza hasn’t changed! We invite our neighbors in the Riverdale community to join us on this special day.” Marcoccia and co-owner Alex Shkreli,

both have roots in the neighborhood. Shkreli, is the former owner of Aria Hair and Beauty Spa on 235th Street and Johnson Avenue. Marcoccia spent four years at Manhattan College, graduating with a degree in finance. “For both of us,” says Shkreli, “It is great to be back in Riverdale. Once you have a connection to this neighborhood, even if you leave for some time, when you return you feel connected again. The reception to Generico’s has been very positive. Our patrons tell us they feel right at home. We stress excellent food and excellent value for the dollar. Local mortgage broker Sean O’Sullivan has been in to dine a few times and brings his teenagers. “The food is excellent, well served and good value for the money. My kids feel the same, and of course they love the pizza.” Generico’s is located at 3535 Riverdale Avenue. For more information on the special ceremonies contact Alex at 914-621-6290 .

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, November 3, 2011

Friday, Nov. 4

Thursday, November 3, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thursday, November 3, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



This November, The Rohr Jewish Learning Institute (JLI) brought to you by Chabad Lubavitch of Riverdale, will present Fascinating Facts: Exploring the Myths and Mysteries of Judaism. This is a six-session course held on Tuesdays from 8:00 - 9:30 pm, November 8 - December 13, 2011 and will be taught by Rabbi Levi Y. Shemtov, spiritual leader of Chabad Lubavitch of Riverdale and Director of the JLI Riverdale chapter. Spanning a wide range of intriguing subjects, Fascinating Facts will address issues such as the Jewish view on Satan and the evil eye, whether angels have wings, and why pork is considered the quintessential non-kosher food. "We've designed this course as a fun and insightful overview of Jewish heritage to promote a Jewish cultural literacy within the community," says Rabbi Shemtov, "We aim to enlighten even the most seasoned trivia buffs with a treasure trove of 'Who knew?' Jewish factoids." Like all JLI programs, Fascinating Facts is designed to appeal to people at all levels of Jewish knowledge, including those without any prior experience or background in Jewish learning. All JLI courses are open to the public, and attendees need not be affiliated with a particular synagogue, temple, or

other house of worship. Chabad of Riverdale has secured a sponsor who will assist in funding anyone who needs a scholarship to attend this event. Please call 718-549-1100 x 10 or visit www. for more information or to register for this exciting event.

nacht and its uniqueness in the history of Genocides. To present both historical and personal narratives is very important for students and non-Jews to hear, narrative description adds a certain testimony that has humanitarian and historic merit.'

RAA meeting to feature Holocaust Center to sculptor Michael Poast commemorate Kristallnacht Artist Michael Poast will present Manhattan College's newly expanded The Holocaust, Genocide & Interfaith Education Center stays focused on the Holocaust. The Center will commemorate Kristallnacht on November 7th at 7:30 p.m. in Smith Auditorium. Dr. Mehnaz Afridi, new director has invited two very dynamic speakers from the United States Memorial Museum to share a historical and firsthand account of a traveller Robert Harlan during Kristallnacht; he was in Marburg, Germany, at Philipps-Universitat, in November of 1938 when Kristallnacht took place on November 10th. Dr. Peter Black, senior historian at the museum and Rebecca Erbelding, a nine-year veteran archivist will present a historical and personal narrative of the event with accompanying images. Dr. Afridi believes that 'Students and communities should understand the history of the Holocaust beginning with Kristall-

an illustrated lecture entitled, Thresholds of Dimension: Music, Color, Space-The Sculpture of Michael Poast. He will focus on the topic of his large steel sculptures and discuss his working process. Poast will discuss his recent explorations of thresholds, by which he means the carving out of spatial areas and volumetric forms, even using linear forms to imply volume. A composer as well as a visual artist, Poast uses color as a notation system for musical expression, which he calls Color Music. He has sometimes performed using his sculptures, relating the painted steel color to the sound it produces when struck with hammers and timpani mallets. This lecture is an on-going series of lectures Mr. Poast has given on his sculpture and music, the most recent one presented at The Hebrew Home in Riverdale, that acquired one of Poast's large steel sculptures, Windy Voyage, in 2010,for the permanent collection.

The community is invited to Michael Poast's presentation at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, November 8th in the Community Room of the Riverdale Atria 3718-3726 Henry Hudson Parkway, telephone (718) 432-2448. The Riverdale Art Association welcomes new members and visitors to all meetings.

Sculpture exhibit at Riverdale YM-YWHA

Rochelle Aruti is exhibiting sculpture at the Riverdale Y! during November. The community is invited to the Artist's Reception Sunday, November 6 from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. 5625 Arlington Avenue Bronx NY 10471 718 548 8200. Rochelle Aruti has been an artist all her life. A prolific dreamer, Rochelle's images are inspired by primitive iconography and the shapes of the natural world. She works in many different media, creating large and small clay sculptures as well as jewelry in wire, clay, and found objects. Rochelle's award winning work is deeply spiritual and attuned to rhythms and energy connecting body and soul. She is mentored by acclaimed Riverdale artist and sculptor, Harriett Belag. A long time massage therapist, Rochelle finds the same principles of releasing the energy held within the body to apply to the release of inner potential held within clay.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, November 3, 2011

Exploring the myths and mysteries of Judaism

Thursday, November 3, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Crisis in the Schools

Several weeks ago, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. sponsored a conference on the state of education in our borough. Other than a rousing keynote speech by educational historian and best-selling author Diane Ravitch, little came out of this noble effort. Too much time was wasted hearing the excuses and empty promises of the mayor’s education team. It is simply too late for that. In the ensuing weeks, the depth of the educational crisis facing the borough has become increasingly apparent. Despite the deceptive rants of schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott, and Deputy Chancellor Shael Polokow-Suransky, it is now clear that nearly ten years into total dictatorial mayoral control, Mayor Bloomberg has failed. And nowhere has the failure been more profound than right here in The Bronx. We are failing the struggling students, and we are failing our best and brightest. In fact, the mayor has failed students in every corner of the city. No longer is that failure limited to the poor and ill-prepared, but to the middle class as well, putting every healthy neighborhood in the city at risk. Mr. Bloomberg, despite nearly doubling expenditures on education since taking charge, has, nonetheless, presided over test scores that are stagnant. The graduation rate, despite deceptive boasts of increases, doesn’t reflect the fact that our high school graduates are, according to the New York State Education Department, ill-prepared for college or career. The mayor has also failed our communities, having dismantled most of our historic comprehensive high schools, and is plotting to quickly finish the job by closing the last such school in The Bronx, DeWitt Clinton High School. These large high schools, troubled to be sure, were still able to provide the necessary critical mass for advanced course offerings, needed remediation for struggling students, teams, clubs and all the other things that make the high school experience so important in a child’s life. Replacing these schools are hundreds of small, themed high schools, created at the urging of rich dilettantes (most of whom never saw the inside of a public school). Now these “new” schools are quickly being added to the lists of failing schools. We noted that not all that long ago, Bill Gates, the former CEO of Microsoft and the prime mover behind the small schools admitted that this strategy had failed nationwide, and his foundation has abandoned it. But Mayor Bloomberg, never one to admit failure, presses on into what has become his “Big Muddy,” insuring that his legacy in the most important initiative of his mayoralty will be remembered as an unmitigated disaster. Not only have we killed off our historic high schools, but the same failed strategy is now routinely being employed with our middle schools as well. But that is not all. We are told, on good authority, that the mayor will maneuver to end all zoned schools – even neighborhood elementary schools – instead opting for universal lotteries and “choice,” in the process destroying our neighborhoods. Under this scheme, space in many local schools will be commandeered for co-located charter schools, pitting neighbor against neighbor in a fight over what has been up until now a New York child’s birthright – a local neighborhood school close to home. Already the Bloomberg strategy has manifested itself in a number of unforeseen ways. Unable to deliver a program for better academic results, we have seen an unprecedented increase in good, old-fashioned cheating, as reported by all four of Gotham’s daily newspapers. The editor of this paper, along with the Manhattan Institute’s Sol Stern, blew the whistle on probable cheating right here in the Bronx’s P.S. 33, six full years ago, only now to be recognized as the unappreciated canaries in the testing coal mine. We can no longer wait for this administration to change course. That is not in the character of either the mayor or his chancellor. Nor can the children of The Bronx wait nearly two years for a new mayor to take charge. New strategies need to be developed now. The answers cannot come from a large conference such as the one President Diaz held recently. Rather we urge the borough presiContinued on Page 12

Risk aversion and conventional thinking To The Editor: The October 20th editorial, "Indicting the Risk Averse" exhibited conventional thinking at its absolute worst. It defends Cuomo's position to end the "millionaire's tax"; its expiration would eliminate $5 billion in revenue that could be used to offset cuts in education, Medicare and a host of

other services. Even worse was the advocation of fracking and nuclear power, saying that with the two we can "stride confidently into a better future." Fracking produces wastewater laced with 750 chemicals, including the carcinogens lead and benzene. The isotopes in spent nuclear fuel have a halflife of 5,000 years. Anyone truly

Time to move power lines underground?

Continued from Page 1 "So much of the damage we had would not have happened if we had a tree-pruning program," he said. "Deferring maintenance on our trees has caused a variety of problems." Vacca said it takes an average of 10 years for the city to prune a tree. The city, instead, has spent their money and resources on the MillionTreesNYC program, where they’re trying to plant a million new trees by 2017. They’ve already planted

500,000. Jackie Kyle Kall, an 86-yearold real estate agent on City Island, has been imploring Con Edison to put the wires underground for years. "I’ve been through about how many presidential elections and local elections?" she asked rhetorically, then referencing a timeframe around Mayor Ed Koch’s tenure. "The poles are like a hundred years old, and they keep falling down," she said. "If they’d fix it, we’d be very happy. But when

ANDREW WOLF, Editor and Publisher

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thinking of our future advocates green, renewable technologies like solar, wind and tidal. They create 0% emissions, but have high initial costs; they require subsidies to be cost competitive. A small tax on dirty fuels like petroleum could pay for a clean future for our children. Charles Sabatino

JOEL PAL Production Manager ROBERT NILVA Marketing Director

CECILIA McNALLY Office Manager MIAWLING LAM Associate Editor

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

will that happen? Not today." A Con Edison representative said the cost to a standard residential customer would be $7,000 to $10,000, because not only would the homeowners pay to put the wires underground, but each building would then need to hook up to the new system. Apartment buildings would cost more overall, but presumably less per unit. Dinowitz said this would be a cost-cutting maneuver over time. "In the long run, surely the expense of implementing this change will be offset by the decreased reliance on emergency and overtime workers to repair outages," he wrote, implying Con Edison rates should ultimately go down when they don’t have to cover the extra costs of maintenance. The State Public Service Commission sets Con Edison’s rates.

Continued from Page 5 say that the city has five boroughs. Each borough has its own distinct history, and they all deserve to be recognized.” Ultan said he hopes to remain in the role for at least another five years but acknowledges that his fate rests solely with elected officials. “The office itself is in the hands of the borough president. I serve at their pleasure, so if there’s a new borough president, it’s possible that I can be replaced,” he said. “I can be replaced by the current one, too, but so far, I’ve been told I’m doing a good job.” Ultan is currently publishing his latest book, "Blacks in the Colonial Bronx," his tenth overall and the third since his appointment. Ultan was born in 1938 in The Bronx, where he remains to this day. He was educated in local Bronx schools and graduated from Hunter College and Columbia University. Since 1964, Ultan has taught history at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey, and since 2004, he has also taught Bronx history to students at Lehman College. From 1971 to 1976, he served as president of The Bronx County Historical Society and helped mold it into one of the state’s most active local historical societies. He established the annual boroughwide Bronx Week event in 1971 and took an active role in preserving the Edgar Allan Poe cottage, which recently reopened after a nearly $500,000 renovation.


P.O. closing Continued from Page 2

total operating expenses, availability of alternative access points and public input. The evidence is then reviewed, and if a business case for closure is deemed feasible, a formal proposal is sent to postal service headquarters. A panel including the Postmaster General then makes a final determination. All decisions are subject to review by the Postal Regulatory Commission. Riverdale resident Robert S. Gratz threatened to occupy the post office in protest and said he would be organizing a rally later this week. “I suspect there are hundreds of seniors in Riverdale, and when I start contacting them, they’re going to have their two cents to say, he said. “I suspect there is room for 500 to 600 wheelchairs on that sidewalk and if this keeps up, they will be there and I will be there with them.” In order to avoid mass post office closures, Congressman Eliot L. Engel has co-sponsored a bill that would allow USPS to use its $6.9 billion pension surplus to stave off the closures. However, Richard Fedderman of Engel’s office said partisan politics was preventing the legislation from being passed. “We are working to not only keep these 17 post offices in The Bronx open—we’re looking at all 3,700 of them because nobody should have to go without the ability to get to a postal facility for the services that we’ve become used to,” he said. A second public hearing on the Spuyten Duyvil branch closing will be held at St. Gabriel’s School on Tuesday, November 10, at 6 p.m.

Peter Black, Ph.D., senior historian at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and Rebecca Erbelding, archivist of the museum Black’s current and past experience as chief historian for the Office of Special Investigations (OSI), Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice, whose mission is to investigate and litigate against persons alleged to have participated in the persecution of individuals on the basis of race, religion, national origin and political opinion under Nazi Germany’s regime. Erbelding, a nine-year veteran archivist at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, has been interviewed on French, British, German, Brazilian and American television and radio, and her work was featured in the March 17, 2008, issue of the New Yorker. The Event is Free and Open to the Public


19 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, November 3, 2011

Historian’s 15th

In 1998, Ultan was named a Centennial Historian, a distinguished title given to those who advised on the New York City 100: Great New York Centennial Celebrations event in 1998. Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. presented Ultan with a Citation of Merit last week and said he had nothing but praise for the historian. “For 15 years, Lloyd Ultan has served The Bronx and the rest of the world with his ultimate knowledge of our borough by serving as our historian, as a lecturer, author and by appearing as a guest on radio and television talk shows,” he said. “He provides us with the rich history of our borough so that Bronxites can be proud of where they are from. “Lloyd Ultan, born and educated in The Bronx, is a true Bronxite and the perfect person to serve as our official historian.”

Thursday, November 3, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Riverdale Review, November 3, 2011  

Weekly newspaper published in Riverdale, NY 10471