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Riverdale’s ONLY Locally Owned Newspaper!

Volume XVIII • Number 46 • November 10 - 16, 2011 •


New SAT scores bring more bad news to RKA By MIAWLING LAM Seniors from Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy scored an overall combined average of 1,367 on the three parts ofthis year’s Scholastic Aptitude Test. New figures released by the College Board and published in the New York Post over the weekend shows RKA’s already anemic composite score took a 57-point drop in 2011. The school’s results—453 on critical reading, 463 on math and 451 on writing—meant it beat just 37 percent of high schools nationwide. However, because of the city’s comparatively poor performance, RKA was ranked 50th among more than 330 city high schools. In The Bronx, RKA placed fourth among 94 high schools, ranking behind only the borough’s two flagship specialized high schools—the Bronx High School of Science and the High School of American Studies—and by the Bronx Center for Science and Mathematics in Morrisania. Due to the election on Tuesday, RKA principal Lori O’Mara could not be reached for comment. According to the College Board’s SAT percentile ranks, RKA is assessed as being roughly in the 32nd percentile for math, the 34th percentile for reading and the 37th percentile for writing.

Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz was alarmed by RKA’s low percentile ranking but sought solace in the fact the school fared better than its city peers. “I’m pleased that RKA is above the city average. That’s the good news. But the bad news is that the average is not very high,” he said. “Clearly, we have a lot of work to do in our local schools and throughout the city and the state.” Citywide, college-bound students scored an overall average of 1,327—436 on critical reading, 460 on math and 431 on writing. Last year, the city’s composite score was 1,329. Although the Class of 2011 recorded marks well below the national average of 1,500 and the state average of 1,460, Tweed officials insisted seniors were recording gains. Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott spun the results and boasted that the city’s college-bound seniors recorded smaller declines in scores than their national peers. Compared with last year, Walcott said, city students held steady in math and dropped just one point each in reading and writing, versus national declines of three points in reading, two points in writing and one point in math. “The more our students are exposed to college-level

tests and courses, the better prepared they will be for life after high school,” he said. “In a year when so many students took these tests for the first time, I’m proud of their…steady performance on the SATs, defying some of the trends we saw nationwide.” Students can score from 200 to 800 on each of the three SAT tests, with 2,400 the highest possible composite score. For the first time ever, the College Board estimated that students needed to score 1,550 on this year’s exams to have a 65 percent of averaging a B-minus in college. Just 19 of more than 330 city high schools met that benchmark, including nine of the city’s specialized high schools. According to the City University of New York, seniors must score at least 790 in their combined critical reading and math SAT exams to gain admission to the least selective of their four-year colleges—Medgar Evers College. To gain admission into Lehman College, students must score at least 1,020 and for Hunter College, it’s 1,197. Officials do not take into account results from the writing component. Continued on Page 2

Bronx resident places second in New York City Marathon

By BRENDAN McHUGH Though Sunday’s 2011 ING New York City Marathon barely touched The Bronx, the mainland was well represented in another way. Bronxite Buzunesh Deba came in second in the worldfamous race, giving the borough the attention it doesn’t receive in the 26.2-mile course itself. Deba, a native Ethiopian, was two seconds off the lead headed into the final mile in the women's race. But she and Kenyan Mary Keitany both fell victim to a late surge by fellow Ethiopian Firehiwot Dado. Deba, who lives on West 195th Street and trains at Van Cortlandt Park, finished second at 2:23:19 after looking positioned to win when the leaders entered Central Park. "I'm so happy when they're cheering me," Deba said in an interview with reporters after the race. "I know the course—I train it two times a week in Central Park." But Dado surged ahead, winning her first major marathon at 2:23:15—only four seconds ahead of Deba. According to reports, when

Deba and Dado reached the Willis Avenue Bridge, they were still 1 minute, 37 seconds behind Keitany—who said fatigue simply took over her legs in the last five kilometers. She fell to third at 2:23:39. Deba said she felt cramps in her sides early, when Keitany had broken away and again later in Central Park. She wasn’t sure how close the course passes where she lives, but she said a more Bronxcentered route could have made a difference in her time. "I felt a lot more confident when I was running in The Bronx, so if more of the race was in The Bronx, I would be very happy," Deba said through an interpreter after the race. The course touches The Bronx for only about one mile. Yankee Stadium can be seen in the distance, but that’s about it for the mainland. Deba’s second-place finish is her first podium finish at a major marathon. It was the second-closest women's finish in the race's history—four seconds behind the winner. She receives $105,000 in second-place and time-bonus prize money. She’s won nine of

the 12 marathons she's entered, but has finished seventh, tenth and now second in the New York City race. Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. was ecstatic about Deba’s finish.

"I know I speak for all 1.4 million residents of The Bronx when I congratulate one of our own, Buzunesh Deba, on her strong performance in the ING New York City Marathon," Diaz said in a statement. "Ms. Deba is

among the best athletes in the world, and her incredible performance today makes that clear to all. She is a great ambassador for our borough, and today she has made myself and all of her fellow Bronxites proud."

Local civic leader Alec Diacou is joined by Congressman Eliot Engel cheering marathoners as they pass through the Bronx. Diacou’s group YES! The Bronx used the event to promote exercise and healthy living choices for local children.

Thursday, November 10, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Pols back permits for local parking By BRENDAN McHUGH For many Bronx residents, vacating a parking spot on their street means one thing: parking is going to be very difficult when they return home. But it's possible that help is on the way. Last week, the City Council approved a Home Rule Resolution, requesting the New York State Legislature to pass a bill authorizing New York City to adopt a residential parking permit system. A public hearing held by the Council Committee on State and Federal Legislation on Wednesday, November 2, generated enormous support for the plan, according to City Councilman G. Oliver Koppell, who supports the bill. Many testified that the lack of parking for residents in certain areas is a serious problem that causes not only great inconvenience but traffic hazards, congestion and pollution as well. "This issue is very relevant to our community because many commuters from Westchester and elsewhere drive in, park their cars in our neighborhood and take MetroNorth, the subway or the express bus to get to midtown, making it very difficult for local residents and local business owners to find a parking space," Koppell said in a statement. "I believe a residential parking permit would alleviate the problems created by this practice by discouraging non-residents from using our community as a free parking lot for hours each day." The problem has been apparent at the Riverdale train station, where commuters park along West 254th Street and the adjacent streets. On top of that, teachers at the SAR Academy park along the streets in front of residents’ driveways and fire hydrants. Police and traffic enforcement has curbed some of the illegal parking, but resident-only parking would clear up the narrow streets for those who live there. If the state enacts the proposed legislation to authorize the city to create residential parking permits, the City Council, together with the Department of Transportation and local community boards, would decide how to introduce the permits, neighborhood by neighborhood. Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz said he has mixed feelings on the bill and will have to think "long and hard" about it before making a decision. "I have mixed feelings about it," he said. "The idea that people should have to pay to park in their own neighborhood really rubs me the wrong way, and I’m not sure how I would vote on that if it came before us." It’s expected to be raised in the 2012 session, which begins in January. "It’s not a huge amount of money, but it’s another one of those things that bothers people," Dinowitz said, adding that he believes the people on his block would not want to have to pay to park

SAT scores drop

Continued from Page 1 Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. commented on the borough’s disappointing SAT scores during his opening remarks at last month’s inaugural education summit. “The average SAT scores in our borough need considerable improvement,” he said. “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.”

in their own neighborhood. "Once they charge a fee, they can keep raising it," he said. "It’s something you really have to give a lot of thought to." Dan Padernacht, who lives in Van Cortlandt Village, a notoriously difficult area for parking, said he saw residential permitting thrive in Chicago, where he earned his law degree. "In those areas [of Chicago] it seems to work very well," said Padernacht, who chairs the traffic and transportation committee of Community Board 8. "I think it’s definitely something to look at in different areas of the community board." Most likely, community boards would have to approve when and where to implement residential parking, or at the very least, give recommendations to the city.

By BRENDAN McHUGH Some of Riverdale’s streets are a disaster, and it's been difficult to pinpoint what can be done to fix the problem. A particularly harsh winter made the problem worse for local residents, as snowplows ravaged streets—some newly paved—and created potholes that made some roads nearly impassible. "Potholes are always a problem in the area," said Community Board 8 traffic and transportation committee chairman Dan Padernacht, who has discussed potholes at multiple meetings. Padernacht said he’s finding out whether putting wheels on the actual plow would help, as is done in other parts of the state. The committee has toyed with the idea of introducing a resolution to

recommend this action, but nothing has been done thus far. Another problem with potholes has been the lack of accountability regarding their maintenance. City Councilman James Vacca, chair of the transportation committee in the Council, has introduced legislation that would broaden the set of statistics reported in the Mayor’s Management Report and require quarterly pothole reports so the Council and the public would be able to evaluate pothole repair season by season. Repair time nearly doubled from 2010 to 2011. In 2010, it took on average 5.6 days to repair a pothole. In 2011, that number jumped to 10.8 days. Currently, the city must release these statistics only once a year, which means

Chain stores flock to the Bronx

By BRENDAN McHUGH The Bronx is slowly gaining a reputation as the last frontier for development, with the West 230th Street lot and the Kingsbridge Armory highlighted as some of the last major plots of land that could be developed for commercial use. A recent study shows national retailers are beginning to expand in The Bronx, more so than in most other boroughs. Bronx chain store locations jumped 3.8 percent from 2010, trailing only Queens at 5.8 percent growth. The number of chain stores in Manhattan decreased by 2.1 percent. The overall rise of national retailers across the five boroughs slowed to a 1.6 percent increase in 2011, the smallest since the Center for an Urban Future be-

gan its retail survey four years ago. In 2010, the city’s chain-store population grew by 4 percent. The report released by the center said the "sluggish economy may be finally catching up with chain stores in New York." That could be a reason why store locations have actually increased in The Bronx—retailers are finding far less expensive sites on the mainland. "The Bronx has been growing in our study for a couple years now, and part of the reason is national retailers see the borough as an untapped opportunity to make some profit," said Jonathan Bowles, director for the Center for an Urban Furture, the organization that conducted Continued on Page 19

a variety of factors could cause a drastic jump. With Vacca’s legislation, the public will be able to gauge how the city does in the winter, the spring, the summer and the fall. Pothole repair times in July and August won’t be influenced by a January snowstorm. "Potholes are very dangerous, not just for motorists, but for cyclists and pedestrians as well. We need to know why it’s taking longer and longer for these to be fixed," Vacca said. He added that the problem is likely a result of the difficult winter but that it could also prevail because the Department of Transportation is strapped for cash. The new legislation would allow for a better

analysis of the situation. The City Council is holding hearings on snowstorm preparation next month. The first will focus specifically on trains, but one will be on roads. Another bill discussed by the City Council last week would obligate the Department of Transportation to publish their resurfacing and other street projects online, block by block. Drivers and bikers would then be able to look up this information before they leave home in order to make route changes instead of getting stuck in traffic when they encounter a street getting resurfaced or a pothole getting filled. The bills now move forward to the full Council.

3 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, November 10, 2011

Local roadways begin to resemble the surface of the moon

Thursday, November 10, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Around the schools... P.S. 24

November’s book of the month is “Say Something” by Peggy Moss, illustrated by Lea Lyon. This story about how a girl acts to combat bullying at her school shows that people who speak up can make a difference.

Tuesday, November 2. After a close race, eighth-grader Yuval Sitton was elected president and eighth-grader Yoni Pecter won as presidential advisor. Seventh-grader Yael Kelmer was elected vice president and sixth-grader Eden Ureil was elected secretary. Working with advisor Sara Kirschner, the new officials have already planned their agendas.

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

Manhattan College

Eighth-graders and their families are invited to attend high school open house events on Tuesday, November 15, Wednesday, November 16, and Wednesday, November 30, all starting at 8:30 a.m. To register, contact parent coordinator Julie Prince at gov. Parents of prospective middle school students who live within the RKA school zone are invited to participate in Friday morning school tours through December 16. Tours begin at 8:30 a.m. To register, contact parent coordinator Julie Prince at

A Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Best Value in Private Colleges survey recently named the college as one of the top 100 private universities. To create the rankings, the survey analyzes factors such as a high four-year graduation rate, low average student debt at graduation, good student-to-faculty ratio, excellent oncampus resources and overall great value. Manhattan College placed first among New York colleges for lowest total cost and lowest average debt for students at graduation. It also ranked in the top 20 nationally in these categories.

Horace Mann School

College of Mt. St. Vincent

The Upper Division’s Model Congress will hold a conference this Saturday, November 12, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. More than 120 students will form committees on health, education, labor, pensions, foreign relations, homeland security, ethics, energy, and natural resources. There will also be a super-committee on the debt and deficit. Model Congress is a debate club that enables members to participate in legislative sessions modeled after the United States Congress and to express their views on the issues currently facing our nation. Students also learn to draft legislation that addresses these issues. Current Model Congress presidents are Jessica Bernheim, Jacob Moscona-Skolnik and Andre Manuel. The club's faculty advisor is Dr. Susan Delanty.

Kinneret Day School

Second graders and their teacher Jessica Schwab-Rezak visited the Museum of the City of New York and participated in a workshop called The Grid: Urban Planning in New York City. They were introduced to the concept of city planning and explored how planning works to serve the needs of a communy. Election Day at the school was on


Party Showcase

The college’s Center for International Studies will host “Glocalization: Community Beyond Borders” on Thursday, November 17, at 4 p.m. in Science Hall, Room 101. The presentation is part of the center’s 2011 Faculty Cultural Seminars. The keynote speaker, Dr. Ron Scapp, is founding director of the college’s graduate program in urban and multicultural education. He is currently a professor of humanities and teacher education while serving as director of program development and as interim president of the National Association for Ethnic Studies. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit

Local Scholars

Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pennsylvania, has announced that Jenine L. Puello joined its freshman class. Lebanon Valley College enrolls 1,600 full-time undergraduate students pursuing any of 30 established majors or a self-designed major. The college also has graduate programs in physical therapy, business administration, music education and science education. It is located 15 minutes east of Hershey and roughly two hours from Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and Baltimore.



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Lights, camera, action, no parking

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, November 10, 2011

By BRENDAN McHUGH A little bit of Hollywood came to Riverdale this past month, with a movie and television series both filming at locations along Independence Avenue. Two weeks ago, "Disconnect," starring Jason Bateman and Alexander Skarsgard, shot in the Solaria apartment building. Last week, the upcoming television series "Smash," starring Christian Borle, Debra Messing and Anjelica Huston, overtook the Riverdale Temple as they shot a Bar Mitzvah. Not everyone was entirely pleased with the action, however. Nearby residents Isaiah Herman and Robert Press both said they had problems with all the parking spots the crews took up. The "Smash" set not only took up two full blocks with trucks and equipment last Wednesday, but the extras took up various spots as well throughout the neighboring streets. "In the end, it wasn’t that bad, because they left early. Parking spots opened up early in the afternoon," Press said. The permit gave the set until 10 p.m. to leave. Herman voiced his complaints about "Disconnect," which narrowed the side streets with trucks.


The benefits may outweigh the temporary inconvenience. As Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz noted, Hollywood provides thousands of jobs to New Yorkers, the city is paid handsomely, and most importantly, the local institutions that the film and television companies use for their sets receive thousands of dollars. In 2008, the last year data is available from the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting website, more than 27,000 days of shooting took place in one year alone. "Disconnect" is a "Crash"-style ensemble piece that explores various characters and how they are affected—and in some cases destroyed—by the Internet and other forms of modern communication. The cast also includes Frank Grillo, Andrea Riseborough and Michael Nyqvist, with Bateman set to play the overprotective father of Colin Ford's character. "Disconnect" plans to open in theaters in 2012. Coming to NBC in February, "Smash" is a musical drama that celebrates the beauty and heartbreak of the Broadway theater as it follows a cross-section of dreamers and schemers who all have one common desire—to be a "Smash."

Trailers and trucks take up parking spaces as film crews shoot television programs and movies in the Riverdale community.

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Thursday, November 10, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Gift & craft sale at Riverdale Temple

Get a head start on your holiday 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 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: or call (718) 548-3800 ext. 1.

Daniel Hauben to teach new drawing course

The Riverdale Y's Simon Senior Center is offering adult drawing classes every Thursday at 10:00am. The class will be taught by Daniel Hauben.

In his twenty-five years of teaching art, Daniel Hauben has developed a step-bystep approach to drawing that enables students to respond quickly and directly to any subject matter. His teaching method includes demonstrations as well as group and individual instruction with an emphasis not merely on describing the subject, but on evoking a sense of mood and atmosphere, and the conveyance of a personal vision. Whether you have been drawing all your life, or just hoping to, now is you chance to explore your creative potential. This class is open to adults of any age. There is an $8 charge for each class which is held on Thursday mornings @ 10am. For further information please call Vicki @ 718-548-8200 x224.

November is ART SMART month at the Riverdale Y

The Simon Senior Center located at the Riverdale YM-YWHA 5625 Arlington Ave near 256th St is pleased to announce a series of art lectures. On Friday, November 11th there will a free lecture to which the entire community is invited on WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN YOU LOOK AT ART presented by Gene Wisniewski, artist and writer who has exhibited his art in galleries nationwide. Mr. Wisniewski has years of experience teaching and lecturing on visual art. Following this lecture a hot nutritious kosher lunch will be served in the

SSC dining room. Suggested donation is $2.25 per person. For further information about these special lectures please contact Toby or Vicki at 718-548-8200x223 or 224.

Kristallnacht commemoration at Shaarei Shalom

On November 9, 1938, a pogrom against the Jews took place throughout Germany, Austria and parts of the German occupied Sudentland in Czechoslovakia. Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, was the beginning of a long and systematic campaign of terror that culminated in the Holocaust. On Friday, November 11, Congregation Shaarei Shalom will devote part of its Shabbat evening service to the remembrance of Kristallnacht. The service will be led by Rabbi Steven D. Burton and Cantor Daniel Pincus with musical accompaniment by pianist Walter Winterfeldt. The entire Riverdale community is invited to join in this most moving remembrance. The service wil be conducted at the synagogue at 5919 Riverdale Avenue at 7:30 P.M. 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 its many program offerings, please contact the congregation at: (718) 7980305, e-mail the Congregation at: shaareisha or visit its website at:

'Intimate Voices' concert at CSAIR

Intimate Voices, a chamber music series, will present the final events of its second season on Saturday evening,November 12, at 8 p.m., at the Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale (CSAIR), 475 West 250th Street at the Henry Hudson Parkway. The opening concert will feature string quartets by Mozart and Debussy and a trio by Dvorak. Doors will open at 7:30 p.m. for wine, coffee and tea and the concert will begin at 8. The Saturday evening concert will be followed

by a Sunday afternoon interactive family program for ages 6 and up on November 13, from 2 to 3 p.m., also at CSAIR. The participating musicians have performed in venues all over the United States and abroad as soloists as well as in ensembles ranging from major string quartets to the Orpheus Chamber orchestra and the New York Philharmonic. Returning for the season are violist Danielle Farina, violinists Renee Jolles and Sheila Reinhold, cellist James Wilson and guest cellist Alberto Parrini. The series allows audiences to experience the immediacy and intensity of chamber music in a relaxed and acoustically excellent setting. Saturday evening concerts include refreshments throughout the evening and an informal reception with the musicians following the concert. Sunday family programs feature selections from the previous night's concert in a lively interactive format that allows the audience to actively explore the music. For tickets and more information, go to or call the CSAIR office at 718-543-8400.

Flea market at St. John's Church

St. John's Church will host a flea market on Saturday, November 12, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The sale will be held at the Old St. John's School located at 3030 Godwin Terrace in the Bronx. Clothes, jewelry, accessories and brica-brac will be sold at bargain prices. Free parking will also be available so get there early and snare yourself a great find. For more information, please call 71843-3003.

Defensive Driving Course offered

The Church of the Mediator will present a Defensive Driving Course sponsored by the National Safety Council on Saturday, Nov. 12, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Participants will receive a mandatory insurance premium reduction and their violation point total will be reduced. The Church is located at 260 West 231st Street. For more information, call 631-360-9720. The cost is $45.

New YIVO Jewish Culture Series at Riverdale Temple

Sunday, November 20 at 2PM at the Riverdale Temple is the first of a four-part lecture series that will launch the new YIVO Jewish Culture Series (YIVO Yidishe Culture-Serye). Headquartered in New York City, the YIVO is the world's premier teaching and research institute devoted to East European Jewish Studies; the Yiddish language, literature, and folklore; and the American Jewish Experience. This Jewish Culture Series is the first community outreach program for the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research as it expands its educational initiatives. The Riverdale Temple worked in partnership with the YIVO to develop and present the initial lecture series and is the first community based host for this innovative program. All events are free of charge and open to the public. The lectures are scheduled for November 20, 2011, and March 11, April 1 and May 20, in 2012. Reservations are recommended. To pre register please visit reservations or call 212-294-6127. Dr. Jonathan Brent, YIVO Executive Director, will speak about 'The Other World of Sholem Aleichem, Isaac Babel, Philip Roth' on Nov. 20 at 2PM at Riverdale Temple on Independence Ave (246th St.).

Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale (CSAIR) will observe Global Hunger Shabbat in conjunction with the American Jewish World Service (AJWS) on Saturday, November 12. Following Shabbat morning services and Kiddush, Stephanie Ives, Director of Education and Community Engagement at AJWS and a CSAIR member, will lead a discussion about the plague of worldwide hunger and steps we can take to address this growing problem. In addition, members of CSAIR's Social Action Committee will unveil plans for the coming year as part of its focus on food and hunger including Midnight Runs, Food Drives, and more. This program is free and open to the entire community. Services begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday morning. The program will begin at approximately 12:30 p.m. Baby-sitting will be provided. CSAIR is located at 475 West 250th Street at the Henry Hudson Parkway East. For more information, call the CSAIR ofďŹ ce at 718-543-8400 or go to

Out Riverdale hosting second area gathering

Out Riverdale is a social dinner for the LGBT community and its allies (moving locations each month - the 3rd Tuesday of the month, 7 p.m.). Each person pays for their own food and gets to meet other LGBT people from the northwest Bronx. Join their email list by emailing Dirk McCall at - or sign-up to receive information from the Facebook group, "Out Riverdale." Invitations are also put up online at the Bronx Community Pride Center Facebook page - This month the event will be held at the Riverdale Garden on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at Riverdale Garden, 7 p.m. - 4576 Manhattan College Parkway.

RAA to feature group exhibit of small works

The Riverdale Art Association will celebrate the season with a group art exhibit during November and December. A wide range of art including paintings, photographs, mixed media, and stoneware ceramic by many artists will be exhibited. The following artists are participating in the show: Sheila Abbott, Amoree Beckman,

Joyce Dutka, Ruth Harriet Grossman, Ruth Hurd, Shirley Janay, Gloria Karlson, Lillian Masters, Nancy Quigley, Bob Robinson, Larry Rosen, Aija Sears, Iris Schwartzbaum,, Michael Sharkey and others. The Reception will be Sunday, November 13th from 3:30 - 5:00 p.m. The community is invited to celebrate the season and the art a the Riverdale Yonkers Society for Ethical Culture 4450 Fieldston Road Bronx, NY 10471 718-548-4445 The exhibit is open Monday through Friday from 10 to 5 and Sunday 12 - 1. The Riverdale Art Association is a group

of local artists who also welcome the community at its meetings. They meet the second Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Riverdale Atria, Henry Hudson Parkway East, just south of the Monument.

Riverdale Y offers soccer clinic

The Riverdale Y is offering a soccer clinic for children grades 3-7th and grade 8 through high school on November 20, 2011. The cost is $25 per Athlete. Grades

7 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, November 10, 2011

Global Hunger Shabbat at CSAIR

3-7 will be training from 5:30pm-6:15pm and Grades 8 and up from6:30pm7:15pm. . This course will be taught by Former Captain of Saint Peter's College Men's Soccer Team, Assaf Shelleg. Assaf Sheleg grew up on a small Kibbutz in Israel and through hard work and determination he become a Division 1 College athlete, Captain for Saint Peter's College. In 2011, he was named Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC), 1st-team (3rd time) and its Defensive Player of the Year. He is currently the 2010 MAAC Defensive Player Of The Year and presently is with the 2010Jersey Express/National Soccer Academy: For more information or to register for this exciting program, contact Yudi Davis at 718-548-8200, ext. 240 or email The Y is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue. Anyone who is interested in this professional training program is welcome to participate.

Thursday, November 10, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Thursday, Nov. 10 Riverdale

CB8 MEETING 7 p.m. Community Board 8 5676 Riverdale Avenue Meeting of the Libraries & Cultural Affairs Committee of Community Board 8. For more information, call 718884-3959.


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.

Friday, Nov. 11 Riverdale

KRISTALLNACHT COMMEMORATION 7:30 p.m. Congregation Shaarei Shalom 5919 Riverdale Avenue Congregation Shaarei Shalom will devote part of its Shabbat evening service to the remembrance of Kristallnacht. The service will be led by Rabbi Steven D. Burton and Cantor Daniel Pincus with musical accompaniment by pianist Walter Winterfeldt. For more information, call 718-798-0305 or visit

Saturday, Nov. 12 Kingsbridge

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


DEFENSIVE DRIVING COURSE 9 a.m. Church of the Mediator 260 West 231st Street A Defensive Driving Course sponsored by the National Safety Council. Participants will receive a mandatory insurance premium reduction and their violation point total will be reduced. For more info, call 631-360-9720. The cost is $45.


LECTURE 9 a..m. Hebrew Institute of Riverdale 3700 Henry Hudson Parkway Raphaella Segal, the Assistant Mayor of Kedumim will be speaking about her life in Kedumim and the other communities in Yehuda and Shomron. Her topic will be “Shaping the Future of the Jewish State”. For more information, call Karen Stahl-Don at 917-549-612.

3718 Henry Hudson Parkway The Riverdale Art Association will celebrate the season with a group art exhibit during November and December. The Reception will be Sunday, November 13th. For more information, call 718-548-4445 or visit

Monday, Nov. 14 Spuyten Duyvil

COMPUTER BASICS FOR SENIORS 9:30:00 Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 West 235th Street This class will consist of mouse and keyboard exercises to familiarize you with the baisc working of computers. For more information, call 718-796-1202.


COFFEE HOUR 10 a.m. Riverdale Branch Library 5540 Mosholu Avenue Start off your week with a cup of coffee at the Riverdale Branch. Read newspapers , catch up on current events, or just enjoy a friendly game of Chess. All in our Community Room. For more information, call 718-549-1212.

Tuesday, Nov. 15 Riverdale

HADASSAH MEETING 1:30 p.m. Atria of Riverdale 3718 Henry Hudson Parkway The Bronx Chapter of Hadassah will meet. David Kronenberg, Esquire agreed to be our guest speaker for this meeting. A question and answer session will follow.

Wednesday, Nov. 16 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.


AARP MEETING 12:30 p.m. Riverdale Presbyterian Church 4765 Henry Hudson Parkway West Riverdale Chapter 1546 AARP will meet. They have a tentative commitment from the New York State Attorney General's representative to provide us with an outreach presentation on how to protect ourselves from the newest scams and frauds against seniors. Refreshments will be served. The community is invited. For more additional information. Call Manfred Segal at 718-549-0088.


CHAMBER MUSIC 8 p.m. Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel 475 West 250th Street Intimate Voices, a chamber music series, will present the final events of its second season, featuring string quartets by Mozart and Debussy and a trio by Dvorak. For tickets and info, go to www. or call the CSAIR office at 718-543-8400.

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

Sunday, Nov. 13




GIFT & CRAFT SALE 9 a.m. Riverdale Temple 4545 Independence Avenue Many vendors will be selling a variety of items for the holidays: Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas and Kwanzaa. For more information, call 718-548-3800 ext. 1, or visit www.

Van Cortlandt

VETERANS DAY CEREMONY 12:30 p.m. Van Cortlandt Park Memorial Grove Broadway and West 246th Street The Van Cortlandt Park Memorial Grove Restoration Group is holding a Veterans Day ceremony, honoring the neighborhood's veterans and the deceased war heroes who are honored in the Grove.


ARTIST'S RECEPTION 3:30 p.m. Riverdale Atria

BOOK DISCUSSION 1 p.m. Riverdale Branch Library 5540 Mosholu Avenue The Riverdale Branch Library meets the third Wednesday of every month @ 1:00 p.m. This month will be discussing Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay. Book club participants must reserve copies of each title through the Library's catalog system. Reserve your copy by placing a hold online at www. or visiting your local branch. For more information, call 718-549-1212.


LEONARDO DA VINCI 4 p.m. Riverdale Branch Library 5540 Mosholu Avenue Leonardo was a scientist, an artist, an engineer...and much, much more. This brilliant, creative man inspires a special fascination in all of us. Besides learning the story of his life, children are exposed to his ideas, discoveries and achievements in the myriad fields he pursued during his lifetime. Presented by the Traveling Lantern Theatre Company. For ages 5 and older. For more information, call 718-549-1212.

By MIAWLING LAM Local children will be able to sign up for cooking classes when Oregano Bar & Bistro opens its doors on Johnson Avenue next month. The Riverdale Review can exclusively reveal the highly anticipated French-Latin restaurant plans to host a series of kidfriendly classes to foster children’s love of food and cooking. Restaurateur Erick A. Caceres said the classes would allow cheflings to learn the tricks of the trade from celebrity chef Ricardo Cardona. “We want to run out of the kitchen some classes or cooking seminars for kids,” he said. “I think that will be huge. There are a lot of kids in the neighborhood, and with a celebrity chef here, he can teach them and give them an interesting culinary experience.” News of the latest offering comes as the restaurant enters its sixth month of construction. White subway tiles, a 20-foot-long bar and ornate lighting fixtures have already been installed in the restaurant’s 3,000square-foot dining room. Antique mirrors and Art Nouveau prints by famed artist Alphonse Mucha will be installed in the coming week. Meanwhile, the raised indoor light-filled garden at the rear, with its bamboo trees and waterfall, is expected to be completed by the end of the month. Caceres said the restaurant was originally slated to open by Thanksgiving. But issues involving its A/C and heating unit—plans for which the prior tenant, Josepina, had not filed with the city—forced the unveiling date to be pushed back. The restaurant is now working toward a December opening and is in the process of hiring its staff, including the general manager.

The unexpected delays, however, have allowed the restaurant to further refine its vision and bring in culinary professionals from abroad. Caceres said executive chef Cardona recently spent two weeks traveling around Spain and France and is now inspired to create dishes that combine traditional French cuisine with Latin Spanish as opposed to Latin American. As a result, diners can expect the menu to be dominated by dishes such as hearty cassoulets, truffle salt fries, burgers and tea-poached fish. Caceres also revealed Oregano’s bold attempt to fuse French and Latin cuisines is already creating a wave of interest in Europe. He said the biggest culinary school in Spain has already committed to sending one of its fresh, top-of-the-class graduates to intern at the restaurant, while another chef from Café de Paris—one of the most famous and oldest cafés in Monte Carlo—will be flown in to help with the debut. “The gentleman is coming here for a week to help open the restaurant,” he said. “It’s a pretty big deal because he’s French trained to the T, so we want to bring him in and work with Ricardo in that first week.” The restaurant will serve bistro-style comfort food, bringing a chic Manhattan ambiance to the area. According to plans, two long communal tables, similar to the picnic-style tables at Fette Sau in trendy Williamsburg, will dominate the dining room, while a separate raw bar will serve different types of ceviche and oysters with champagne. “We brought this up here because we want to give people in the neighborhood a unique experience,” Caceres said. “Hopefully, they’ll like it.”


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9 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, November 10, 2011

New restaurant plans kids’ cooking class

Thursday, November 10, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Fabric art by Jane Trigère at Derfner Museum

By PAULETTE SCHNEIDER With her family background in fashion design, artist Jane Trigère was inspired by the textile items awaiting her arrival at Inwood’s Congregation Ohav Sholaum after the shul had closed for business in 2006. Her four-work installation, Women of the Balcony—an enchanting tribute to the women of that German immigrant congregation—is now on view at the Derfner Judaica Museum at the Hebrew Home. Trigère surveyed the vestiges of synagogue attendance in the building. On the main floor, men’s black-and-white prayer shawls were left casually draped over the seats as though their wearers would soon return. On the balcony—the domain of women in traditional synagogues—the still life was more orderly but also more diverse. The benches were lined with decorative cushions, each one covered by some fabric remnant on hand in the home of the seat’s regular occupant. A textile curator revealed that 1960s upholstery fabric, 1950s kitchen curtains and a 1940s silk dress were among the scraps pressed into service for these cushions. Trigère was struck by the colorful tableau, with its “vanishing perspective” of wooden benches dotted by multi-patterned pillows. “Take whatever you want,” an attendant in charge told her and her husband, Judaica book dealer Ken Schoen, so Trigère photographed the balcony scene and took the cushions home, along with the prayer shawls left behind downstairs by the husbands, boyfriends, fathers and brothers of the cushions’ owners. From these materials, she crafted a meticulously thought-out series of works that represent the creation of sacred space and the relationship between men and women in that Inwood community and in others like it. Each piece points to the “symbiotic interdependence between male and female, between upstairs and downstairs—a community that works like this and takes care of itself.” In “Women of the Balcony 1,” a fourby-five-foot fabric wall hanging, rows of cushion fabric squares are enclosed by black prayer shawl stripes, giving the appearance of railroad tracks receding into the distance. At the center, a seamstress pulls a “blood-red” thread through the final seam in her own cushion-in-progress. At the exhibition opening, one former Ohav Sholaum congregant examined the fabric squares and declared, “I made one of those cushions!” Trigère said she’d been hoping for such a moment. Two other wall hangings also contrast the strong black prayer shawl stripes with the flowing cushion prints. In “Women of the Balcony 2,” she uses the strategic placement of prints against stripes in two separate panels to show that women, in a gentle way, protect the men in their lives just as the men more obviously protect the women. “Together, the two panels represent the intertwined and interdependent male and female worlds—downstairs and upstairs,” she explained. “Movement flows between them that is logical, yet subtle.” The decorative “Women of the Balcony 3” depicts the prayer shawl stripes as stems

topped by the lively cushion fabrics as the flowers in an “organic relationship between a flower and a stem—you really can’t have one without the other. They’re completely interdependent.” “Women of the Balcony 4,” a whimsical sculpture that refers to the partitioned women’s area in a shul without a balcony, displays a varied group of hat-clad heads. On each papier-mâché face are the words of women’s prayers excised from the very books these congregants would have used. “This was not a spurt of intuition,” Trigère said. “I had to think very carefully about what I was going to put on the faces.”

Trigère had a solo exhibition at the Yeshiva University Museum from 2007 to 2008. Her work has been included in New York group shows at Hebrew Union College and the Vered Gallery in East Hampton as well as the Philadelphia Museum of Jewish Art and the National Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Massachusetts. She holds a B.F.A. in theater design from Boston University’s School of Fine Arts and an M.A. in Jewish art and visual culture from the Jewish Theological Seminary. The Derfner exhibition is open through February 5. For more information, contact Emily O’Leary at 718-581-1596 or

Jane Trigère

11 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, November 10, 2011



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Thursday, November 10, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Neighbors raise concerns with SAR H.S. By BRENDAN McHUGH The Salanter Akiba Riverdale (SAR) Academy is again at the receiving end of criticism from the community for allegedly not holding up its end of an agreement from years ago. Nearby residents of SAR high school, near Skyview, say the school didn’t follow through with tree plantings and has unnecessarily cut down other trees that were within or near the Special Natural Area District. Dr. Dorothy McLean said the school has not held up its end of the bargain with the number of trees it promised to plant. SAR officials admit that they may not have planted trees densely enough but deny they had trees cut down unnecessarily, claiming that the cut trees were cleared for a baseball field, which has since been put on the back burner after financial setbacks. "They intend to go forward" as soon as they have the money, said Jay Segal, the attorney for SAR. The trees cut down have also allowed the lights from the Skyview mall parking lot to shine into the neighboring residential buildings. Community Board 8’s land use chairman Charles Moerdler said they will ask the shopping center to restrict the light from shining upward. "We will communicate with Skyview to see if we can get them to ‘see the light,’" he said. City Councilman G. Oliver Koppell recently introduced legislation requiring that SNAD regulations be upgraded. Any tree removed in a district would automatically require a new tree be planted, according to the legislation. Currently,

only if a tree is illegally removed would a new one have to be planted. The argument between SAR and the residents included he-said, shesaid comments claiming support for either side, though it appears that with more discussion an agreement can be reached. Other issues the local residents have are a mix of security and logistical problems. Residents highlighted that local kids were climbing up a retaining wall and tossing rocks off the top. Segal said that was the first he had heard of the problem and vowed to bring the issue to the attention to the school security. Currently, Google Maps and MapQuest take drivers down a dead end street instead of to the school. The school is actively trying to solve this problem by contacting the companies, but also has asked that a sign be posted to inform drivers of the proper way to reach the school. Moerdler asked Segal to tell SAR to come back to the December land use meeting with answers on how the school will solve the issue of children throwing rocks, whether they need to plant more trees on their property and what else can be done about the directional problem. SAR’s lower school, along West 254th Street, has been going back and forth with its neighbors over traffic and parking concerns. Those neighbors also claimed the school went forward with projects that were not in city-approved plans. Since earlier this year, the neighbors of that school formed a watchdog group that regularly meets with the school and the community board.

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This Sunday, Nov. 13, the community is invited to join a handful of veterans, elected officials, Boy and Girl Scouts, and others at Van Cortlandt Park's Memorial Grove for a Veterans Day ceremony. Beginning at 12:30, the ceremony honors the deceased war heroes that are honored in the Grove and the current veterans who reside in the Riverdale-Kingsbridge-Van Cortlandt neighborhoods. The Memorial Grove is on Broadway at W. 246th Street, a two minute walk north of the No. 1 train's 242nd Street station.

Elder Law Seminar at Hebrew Home

Daniel G. Fish, a certified elder law attorney and partner in the law firm of Daniel G. Fish, LLC, will hold a legal information seminar on Thursday, November 17, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at RiverWalk on the Hebrew Home at Riverdale campus, 5901 Palisade Avenue. Fish's topic, 'Brooke Astor lived to be 105 years old. How do I pay for long-term care?'will focus on New York state elder law issues like power of attorney and the authority to make medical decisions for those who are no longer able to. Fish was senior staff attorney of the Institute on Law and Rights of Older Adults of the Brookdale Center on Aging of Hunter College. He has taught as an adjunct professor at Cardozo Law School and at Hunter College School of Social Work. In 1995, he was a delegate to the White House Conference on Aging. The event is free and open to the public. To attend, call ElderServe, the community services division of The Hebrew Home, at 718-581-1593 and leave a message including your full name, the number of people attending and your phone number. Space is limited, so please respond no later than November 15.

Sunday Morning Kollel in Riverdale

Every Sunday morning starting this November, Chabad of Riverdale will be hosting Sunday Morning Kollel Learning for men and women, with five different rabbis. (A kollel is an institute for adults within a community to engage in Jewish learning and explore Judaism's classic texts in depth.) This learning event promises to be filled with interesting topics and relevant classes that will address mystical as well as practical aspects of Judaism. The classes being offered will cater to all levels of learning and are open to the public. The schedule on Sunday mornings will be: 8:45 am Morning Prayer, 9:30 - 9:45 am Coffee/Bagels, 9:45 - 10:30 am Choose from one of five classes, and 10:30 - 11:15 am One-on-One Learning. The five classes to choose from that will be offered from 9:45 - 10:15 am are Kabbalah & the Parsha, Practical Jewish Law, Understanding Prayer, Reading Hebrew, and Talmud for Dummies. The suggested donation for kollel learning is $5. To register or to schedule One-on-One Learning for an additional fee of $18, contact Chabad of Riverdale at 718-549-1100 ext. 10 or email For people

who would like to sponsor a Sunday Morning Kollel Learning in honor of someone or in memory of a loved one, contact Rabbi Levi Y. Shemtov.

Riverdale AARP Chapter to meet

The Riverdale Chapter 1546 AARP will have a social meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 16, at 12:30 p.m. at the Riverdale Presbyterian Church at 4765 Henry Hudson Parkway West. At this formative meeting we have a tentative commitment from the New York State Attorney General's representative to provide us with an outreach presentation on how to protect ourselves from the newest scams and frauds against seniors. Refreshments will be served. The community is invited. For more additional information. Call Manfred Segal at 718-549-0088.

Riverdale Hadassah to meet at Atria

The Bronx Chapter of Hadassah will meet on Tuesday, November 15, 1:30 p.m., in The Atria Library, 3718 Henry Hudson Parkway. David Kronenberg, Esquire agreed to be our guest speaker for this meeting. His firm specializes in health law, trusts, estates and rights of the elderly and diabled. Because of the many changes in the law regarding the rights of the elderly, we thought it most appropriate to invite him to update us on the most recent changes. A question and answer session will follow.

Superior General from Rome to visit Manhattan College

Superior General Brother Álvaro Rodriguez Echeverria, FSC, leader of the largest Roman Catholic religious order of men devoted to the mission of education, will make a pastoral visit to Manhattan College on Nov. 9 as part of a two-week tour to the United States. Br. Álvaro holds the highest office of the Christian Brothers, whose 6,000 Brothers and 100,000 associates teach nearly one million students in schools, colleges and universities in 82 countries worldwide. The day trip to Manhattan College will consist of: a celebration of Mass; meetings with Brennan O'Donnell, Ph.D., president of Manhattan College and senior administration; the Lasallian Education Committee and the education department; a campus tour led by students; and an informational session provided by the campus ministry and social action department (including the Lasallian Collegians and the Lasallian Leaders) on the various service options available at the College. As part of his official pastoral visit, he will encourage Lasallians to live Lasallian values with more authenticity, particularly in this unique time of association with partners in pursuing the Lasallian Mission of educational service to the young, especially the poor. The Brothers of the Christian Schools, founded by John Baptist de La Salle, the Patron Saint of Teachers of Youth, is an international Roman Catholic order of lay Religious Brothers, who - together and in association with their partners in mission - strive to provide a human and Christian education to the young, especially the poor, according to the ministry entrusted to them by the church.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, November 10, 2011

Veterans Day Ceremony at Memorial Grove

Thursday, November 10, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



Corkmaster Wines and Spirits, your one stop source for fine wines in North Riverdale, is moving to 5650 Moshulu Avenue. The new store will feature an expanded selection of superior wines and spirits with many affordable choices. Join in for their grand opening on Saturday, November 19. Taste some delicious wines, sample some cheeses, and make sure to check out the Corkmaster's Picks for new discoveries and great values. Or give them a call if you can't make it: they'll have your order delivered to your door in no time. You can also browse their selection and place your order online at

BAE to present 'Babar' in Pelham Bay

The Bronx Arts Ensemble will present a Just for Kids family concert - 'Babar, The Little Elephant' - on Sunday, November 13 at 1 and 3 pm at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 3243 Ampere Avenue in the Pelham Bay area of the Bronx. The BAE winds and mime/storyteller, WT McRae, will draw the audience into the fun telling the story of Babar, Celeste, Cornelius and Arthur, as Babar grows up from baby to king of the realm. Music of 'Babar' is by Francis Poulenc. Chil-

dren will be introduced to the wind instruments with circus music, such as 'Barnum & Bailey's Favorites' 'Entry of the Gladiators', the Bear's Dance from 'Petrouchka', 'Dance of the Hours' and others. Just for Kids performances are appropriate for children ages 3 - 10. All tickets are $6. Refreshments by International Caterers will be available for sale a half an hour before each show. To purchase tickets or for further information, please visit or call 718.601.7399.

RCS to present a concert of Heavenly Harmonies

This month the Riverdale Choral Society will present the first of three concerts of the 2011-2012 season. The uplifting concert entitled 'HEAVENLY HARMONIES' will feature the Fauré Requiem. Under the direction of John Lettieri the chorus will perform the version of the Requiem that uses Fauré's original instrumentation for chamber orchestra. Additionally the chorus will sing pieces by well-regarded local composers James Bassi and Elliot Z. Levine. The chorus will be accompanied by instrumentalists MunTzung Wong, on organ and guest harpist, Wendy Lucas. Members of the Claremont Chamber Ensemble will also perform in the Fauré. Guest soloists include Wendy Baker, so-

prano and Matthew Burns, Bass. The concert will take place at Christ Church Riverdale on Saturday November 19, 2011 at 8:00 PM. The church's address is 5030 Henry Hudson Parkway at West 252nd Street. The church is located on the east side of the Henry Hudson Parkway where parking is available. To travel by car take the Henry Hudson Parkway to the West 246th Street Exit. To travel by public transportation take the #1 train to West 231st Street, then take bus Bx7 or Bx10 to West 252nd Street or take the BxM1 or BxM2 express bus to West 252nd Street. Admission is $20. With the Bronx Cultural Card, admission is $18. For further information: visit www. or call 718-5432219.

'Participation on local Community Boards can provide Bronx residents with a forum to share with their community their expertise and talents,' said Borough President Diaz. 'It is important that community residents participate in the decision making process in their communities on important budget, land use and service delivery issues.' Applications are available at the Borough President's Community Board office at (718) 590-3914 or at your local community board office. Interested applicants may also get forms on line at The deadline for submission of applications for the next round of appointments is February 3, 2012.

Residents urged to apply to their local Community Board

Raphaella Segal, Assistant Mayor of Kedumim, will be speaking on November 12 at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, 3700 Henry Hudson Parkway, Bronx NY (718-796-4730) on 'Shaping the Future of the Jewish State'. Raphaella will speak at 4:15 pm. At 5:45 pm she will make a powerpoint presentation, demonstrating how ancient and modern converge in shaping the future of Israel. Please call Karen Stahl-Don at 917-5496128 if there are any questions.

Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. today invited Bronx residents to make a difference in their community by joining their local Community Board. The Office of the Bronx Borough President will be accepting applications for all 12 Community Boards from city residents who reside, work or have professional or other significant interests in the Bronx.

HIR presents talk of Raphaella Segal

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, November 10, 2011

Corkmarster Wines & Spirits moves to new location

Thursday, November 10, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


The death of the canary

New York State parents, teachers and students have gotten a couple of wake-up calls about the quality of education here in the Empire State during the past few weeks. The results on two nationally administered tests demonstrated that the hype provided by the State Education Department, the City Department of Education, Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Walcott, et. al. is just that, hype at best, deception at worst. Our children’s education is stagnating, despite the nearly a decade under the mayor’s direct and total control. These “wake-up calls” are serious business. Like canaries in a coalmine, they tell us of danger, but, alas, the canaries themselves lose their lives. Here the children taking the tests live to see another day, but their one chance at an adequate education may be lost forever. These tests are very important because they are administered not by the city or state, but by third parties with nothing to gain or lose by the results. On one of the tests, the very familiar SAT tests given to collegebound students, the results follow a national pattern of stagnation or slight decline. This year the composite score of the verbal, math and writing test for students in the city is 1327, a slight decline from the previous year. This compares to a composite score of 1460 for students throughout the state, and 1500 nationally. Scores declined slightly at all levels, but the city’s performance, so far below the national average, is especially distressing. After so many years of being told of the “miracle” educational advances being achieved under Mayor Bloomberg, we wake up to find that there has been no gain at all. The results in The Bronx are so troubling that it demands that the most aggressive actions be taken. The average composite score of 1160 here puts the borough’s students deep into the bottom quartile, a result unacceptable in what was once known as the “Borough of Universities.” This malaise is not confined to our poorest neighborhoods. Even in middle class Riverdale, the local high school, the Riverdale/Kingsbridge Academy posted an average composite of just 1367, barely keeping the school from falling into the bottom third of all schools nationally. And the SAT scores are not the only problem. This academic underperformance is mirrored on the results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress test administered by the federal government. While we don’t have results for the city disaggregated yet, the total state results were incredibly troubling. Alone among the 50 states and District of Columbia, New York was the only state to suffer an actual decline in math scores for fourth graders. Why is this? It’s hard to draw conclusions about what the truth is, when you have been lied to for so long, but our theory is that the extent of the deception at the city and state levels here was so profound that it left students, parents and their teachers believing the lies, when told that the students were doing so well in math. The results of no tests in New York State were more inflated than the scores in math. In 2009, Dr. Betty Rosa, who represents the Bronx on the state board of regents warned that the math results were inflated, and suggested that the suspect results of the test not be released. But during that election year, the powers-that-be were hardly inclined to inform voters of the extent of Mayor Bloomberg’s failure. Arguably, no subject demands accurate results more than math. Once students fall behind, it becomes increasing difficult to catch up. With tens of thousands falling behind even as they were told all is well, teachers had no reason to offer them the remediation they so clearly needed. So when former State Education Commissioner David M. Steiner finally revealed in July of 2010 the extent of the grade inflation problem in New York’s tests, he was only giving the preface to the sad story that followed. The greatest favor that a school system can give its students is an honest and true assessment of what a child knows, and what he doesn’t. We believe that the bad news of recent days is a direct consequence of deceptive policies orchestrated by politicians and educrats. The canary has died, but who will be held accountable?

Parents upset with removal of uncertified teacher To The Editor: In no way do we want to feed the growing animosity The Riverdale Review appears to have for the P.S. 24 community. We do, however, want to supply something missing from Miawling Lam’s reporting of “P.S. 24 principal forced to replace uncertified special ed teacher,” published Nov. 3: parental perspective. Anne Mokris, or “Ms. Anne” as our children call her, is a wonderful teacher — engaged, knowledgeable and capable. Additionally, Ms. Anne and Ms. Jeanine Boulanger make a fantastic team, which is something at the heart of successful Collaborative Team Teaching (CTT). We are saddened at Ms. Anne’s removal from our children’s second grade class. Her students are even more so. We cannot understand why a newspaper would cry “gotcha” over a certification issue resulting not from ineptitude, but a hurricane that prevented Ms. Anne from finalizing her certification

requirements in time for the 2011-2012 school year. This is not a sandal; this is bureaucracy as we know it. It is not our intent to question the practices of Dr. Donna Connolly, P.S. 24’s principal, or the Board of Education, nor suggest they not be followed. We do believe that there needs to be flexibility with procedures in extreme and unavoidable circumstances. We understand your reasons to report this story, but, respectfully, this is not a scandal. Despite her front page notoriety, we want to stress to our neighbors that Ms. Anne has nothing to be ashamed of. Instead, it’s our hope she feels something to be proud of — students who will feel her loss and a parent body motivated to help her. Please know we also support Manuele Verdi, assistant to Dr. Connolly. He is an invaluable part of the P.S. 24 community. Finally, to the Review source, who as Ms. Lam’s story says, “welcomed Mokris’ dismissal,” we

ANDREW WOLF, Editor and Publisher

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hope that your actions to serve our children and Ms. Boulanger in their time of change this week speak louder than your acrimonious words did last week. They say the wheels of bureaucracy grind slowly. When they start to move, we’d welcome Ms. Anne back to room 2-202 with open arms. We hope we get the chance to do so, too. The Parents of P.S. 24’s Room 2-202 The Editor Replies: A bit of perspective here seems in order. We had not yet run a story about this matter when Ms. Mokris was replaced. It was merely our inquiry, made in response to information provided to us by members of the P.S. 24 community, which forced the removal of Ms. Mokris. The Department of Education simply had no choice. The reason that Ms. Mokris was replaced is that she lacked the legal qualifications to teach in this setting. Her presence in this classroom was illegal and could have resulted in a lawsuit. It was an inexcusable abuse of power by the principal to knowingly attempt to subvert the laws governing teacher certification. These laws exist to protect our children and do not permit the subjective application of “flexibility.” The gravity of this was immediately recognized by the Department of Education, which apparently ordered her to correct her mistake. To our light, this was a particuContinued on Page 19

Continued from Page 3 the study. He said many national chains stayed away from The Bronx because of its negative stereotype of crime and poverty, but recent data has shown Bronxites are willing to spend money in their own borough. "A lot of people, they want the opportunity to buy the same types of things that people in Manhattan and in Westchester have," Bowles said. The Target at West 225th Street is the most successful Target in the nation, and the BJ’s Wholesale Club in the Gateway Center is the third most successful. But Gateway hasn’t been all good news for the area.

Editor’s reply Continued from Page 18 larly egregious infraction in the controversial setting of mixing general education students with special education students and their particular needs in a single classroom. This practice, which those of us with longer memories can recall, had previously been tried and had failed at P.S. 24. All this took place simply because we asked the Department whether the complaints we received from others in the P.S. 24 community were true. No story, no editorial, no crusade. Just an inquiry. The simple truth is that Dr. Connelly, once again, tried to make her own rules and was caught. We sympathize with Ms. Mokris and wish her well. But her situation and the disruption to the class were entirely predictable, entirely the result of the principal’s contempt of the rules meant to protect our children.

"The Gateway Center has had some impact on Third Avenue in that part of The Bronx," Bowles said. "In many cases, the presence of chain stores has pushed up real estate prices that make it harder for independent stores to survive." Using a zip code breakdown, the study found that Parkchester has 74 chain stores, the most in the borough, while Pelham Bay Park/City Island has the fewest—only two. In comparison, every other borough has at least one zip code with at least 143 chain stores. Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, who represents Riverdale (seven chain stores), Woodlawn (eight) and Kingsbridge (46), said he likes chain stores, when appropriate. "It depends on what type of chain store," he said, adding that he sees them as appropriate only when they add to the surrounding commercial strip rather than intruding on a neighboring momand-pop store. Bowles said The Bronx’s mom-andpop establishments aren’t going anywhere. "I think even though there have been real gains in chain stores in The Bronx, The Bronx is very much a borough of independent businesses." Eighty-six retailers added locations in the city. Dunkin’ Donuts didn’t change from last year but held onto its distinction as the company with the most New York City locations: 466 stores. Subway ranked second and inched closer to Dunkin’ Donuts, adding 41 new stores for a total of 430.

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19 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, November 10, 2011

Chain stores favor Bronx locations

Thursday, November 10, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Riverdale Review, November 10, 2011  

Weekly newspaper published in Riverdale, NY 10471