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Volume XIX • Number 44 • November 15 - 21, 2012 •


230th St. mall may expand with key corner By MIAWLING LAM The developer of the yet-to-bebuilt $54 million Broadway Plaza shopping mall has purchased the adjoining vacant lot—the defunct Getty gas station. The Riverdale Review can reveal that Equity One last month acquired the 7,500-square-foot parcel at 5510 Broadway from a California-based LLC for a hefty $2 million—more than three times the current market value of $630,000. Documents filed with the New York City Department of Finance show the property deed for the commercial site was transferred on October 15. Equity One currently owns the 80,000-square-foot parcel on the eastern boundary of the gas station. The site, now a city-owned parking lot, will be developed into a two-story multi-tenant shopping mall set to open in mid-2014. The newest acquisition means the national developer now commands two of the three coveted parcels of developable land along the busy intersection of West 230th Street and Broadway—a clear indication that the area is viewed as a worthy spot for major commercial development.

Equity One executive vice president of development Michael Berfield was reluctant to provide details of the transaction but confirmed the recent purchase. “There was an opportunity to get it, and it seemed to make sense given what we own there, and so we were just taking advantage of that,” Berfield said. “We’re happy to have the opportunity, and it just reflects our confidence in the area.” Local residents and elected officials have long considered the two long-vacant lots—the Getty gas station and former Popeye’s store—as keys to commercial development along the corridor. It is unclear who owns the other vacant lot. Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz heralded news of the purchase and likened it to the final piece of the puzzle. “This is very exciting news,” he said. “I hope that whatever is constructed on that site fits in well with the rest of the development and hope they will be able to acquire the adjacent site where Popeye’s used to stand.” However, Equity One officials said they were unlikely to

The abandoned gas station at West 230th St. and Broadway has been acquired by the developer of the soon-to-be built Broadway Plaza shopping mall, potentially solving some traffic problems. consolidate their land holdings and enlarge the footprint of the shopping mall. In fact, Berfield said that the recent acquisition would not

Local pols eye Senate leadership battle By TESS McRAE Election Day is over, but a few state Senate races upstate are still too close to call, which could have an impact on the careers of some local politicos. According to the New York City Board of Elections, the Democrats may have gained a majority in the state Senate. The unofficial results obtained by the Riverdale Review show the Democrats picking up a possible three seats for a total of 33 out of 62 seats. While the absentee and scanner ballots continue to be counted, all eyes are on state Senator Jeff Klein and the Independent Democratic Conference. The IDC, formed in January 2011 after the Democratic Party lost its majority, includes Senator Klein of the Bronx, David Carlucci of Rockland County,

David Valesky of Syracuse and Diane Savino of Staten Island. The IDC votes on both sides of the aisle and could play a vital role in deciding which party will win majority. IDC members have been breasting their cards as they decide which party, if any, they will side with. According to a Daily News report, Klein has yet to meet with Democratic Senate leadership but did meet with Republican Majority Leader Dean Skelos on November 8 to “discuss what it would take to form a coalition government.” Klein could not be reached for comment as of press time. Though no deal has been reached, there is speculation that Klein may be pushing for a significant policy role or even a co-leadership role with Skelos and that the IDC may be seeking

official recognition by the Senate as a third political caucus. Klein has answered questions in the past on supporting a Republican majority leader. Earlier this year, he told the Benjamin Franklin Reform Democratic Club that he would not support a Republican for majority leader and went on to say, “it’s not important you have any old Democrat, but the right Democrat.” State Senator Adriano Espalliat’s name has come up for the “right Democrat” role, which could remove him as a potential successor to Rep. Charles Rangel, who will begin to represents parts of The Bronx in January. This could bring some blacks in the caucus to support Espaillat. Democratic U.S.Congressman Eliot Engel beat Republican chalContinued on Page 5

have a bearing on the existing Broadway Plaza project and that both sites would be treated separately. “At another point in time they could get interconnected, but at this point, both will stand on their own,” he said, adding that both will have separate construction timelines. Berfield also said the purchase would not lead to a change in the mall’s controversial loading and unloading plan. Under the proposed traffic arrangements, 72-foot-long tractor-trailers will make deliveries to the site by backing into the mall’s loading dock on West 230th Street. Given the location of the loading dock, traffic will come to a standstill as trucks reverse into the delivery area and block three lanes of westbound traffic. “It’s not the type of thing that we’d want to change at this stage,” he said. “We have an agreement with EDC and we have to live up to our obligations with the city.” News of the purchase comes as the city-owned parking lot currently operating at the larger site prepares to close its gates on

Sunday, November 18. According to a small sign posted at the entrance, vehicles will no longer be able to utilize the lot once construction crews begin to move in next week. Officials previously estimated the lot closure would impact around 80 motorists who park there on a monthly basis and 50 occasional users. The Broadway Plaza project has long been mired in controversy. The city’s Economic Development Corporation first proffered the site in 2005, but the successful bidder at the time—Ceruzzi Holdings—spent years negotiating the sale price while locals waited for construction to start. The two parties finally agreed on a $6 million sale price in February 2011, but Ceruzzi got cold feet and was unable to close on the deal before in time for the June deadline. Equity One was eventually selected to redevelop the site after a second request for proposals was issued. The developer purchased the site from the city for $7.5 million.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Board rejects plans for new mansion By MIAWLING LAM Community Board 8 has rejected controversial plans to construct a new mansion in the heart of the Riverdale Historic District. Following fervent opposition, board members last week voted unanimously against a proposal to develop the vacant lot at 5241 Independence Avenue into a four-story, single-family house. Under preliminary plans, the house would boast seven bedrooms, eight and a half bathrooms, an indoor swimming pool, two laundries and a maid’s room. The house would occupy around 5,500 square feet of the 16,000-square-foot site. More than 25 residents showed up at last Monday’s CB8 land use committee meeting to lobby against the plan, with many arguing the sheer size of the property would blight the landscape. Neighbors also contend the site degrades the special natural area district and threatens to overload the area’s already fragile private sewer system. Preservation advocate Robert Kornfeld Jr. said the house was being “shoehorned” into the site. “It’s really kind of an over-scaled suburban house,” he said. “This is not a big, majestic site that can handle a house of that scale or height, and it’s not something that belongs in this historic district.” Local resident Katherine Valyi of 5200 Sycamore Avenue stressed that she would like to see development at the sprawling site, but only if it conforms to the standards of the historic district. “Our opposition is toward this specific proposal. Not anything ever,” she said. “Fundamentally, it’s a very large house with four stories and a huge number of bathrooms.” Of the 26 homeowners in the RHD, 24 have signed a petition expressing their opposition to the proposed development, Valyi said. She is in the process of arranging a meeting with the prospective homeowners—a couple with five children—in a bid to reach a compromise and modify plans. “We stand very ready, but we’re not willing to meet with representatives who don’t have the authority to make decisions,” she said, referring to the family’s lawyers and architects. According to a letter circulated by lawyers for the prospective owners, a preliminary evaluation conducted by Brooker Engineering showed the project would not threaten the area’s sewer system. “The development will not alter the overall drainage pattern of the property as the entire property will continue to drain westerly toward the rear lot line,” the letter states. Engineers also said a stormwater management system consisting of drywells would be installed in the rear yard of the property to offset the increase in discharge associated with the project. Despite the assurances, the contingency measures were not enough to satisfy community members, who struck

down the plan. However, all community board votes are advisory only, and the project is ultimately subject to separate votes by three agencies: the City Planning Commission, the Board of Standards and Appeals and the Landmarks Preservation Commission. The City Planning Commission is involved because the proposed development falls in a special natural area district; the Board of Standards and Appeals because the property does not meet the minimum required width for construction; and the Landmarks Preservation Commission because the project lies within the Riverdale Historic District.

By MIAWLING LAM Local straphangers can finally track the real-time location of every local and express bus in Riverdale after the Metropolitan Transportation Authority quietly launched its Bus Time program. MTA officials flicked the switch and activated GPS hardware on all 54 Bronx bus routes, including the Bx7, Bx9 and Bx10, on Saturday, October 27. However, with efforts underway to restore subway service and repair critical signal and switch components in the wake of superstorm Sandy, the launch has received little fanfare. In fact, MTA officials didn’t confirm the program was live or issue a press release about the launch until after the Review

starting making calls last week. Under the Bus Time program, commuters can access accurate bus arrival information and meet their bus, instead of waiting for an undetermined period of time, by using their smartphone or computer. Straphangers can also view a map showing exactly where buses are along a particular route. MTA Chairman Joseph J. Lhota said providing real-time bus arrival information at commuters’ fingertips would transform bus transportation in The Bronx. “Bus Time will completely change the way you use the bus,” he said. “Instead of waiting at a bus stop in a state of uncer-

tainty, now your phone can tell you when to start walking to the bus so you can get there right when the bus does” Straphangers can currently track any Bronx bus route on the MTA’s website, and informational posters have begun appearing aboard buses. The Bronx is the second borough where the Bus Time program has been rolled out. The initiative began as a pilot on the B63 route in Brooklyn in February 2011, before it expanded to the M34 route in Manhattan and to the entire borough of Staten Island in January. Officials aim to have real-time location details for straphangers on all citywide routes by the end of 2013. Officials previously said GPS units and other hardware would be installed on all 1,025 buses that serve The Bronx. Location data transmitted wirelessly to a Bus Time server gets integrated with route and schedule information and map files and is then beamed out to straphangers. Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. applauded the MTA for rolling out the program in time for the cold winter months. “This popular digital system is very convenient and will come in handy all year round, providing bus riders in our borough with up-to-the-minute information to track the real-time location of their bus, so they no longer have to rely on guesswork.” However, some commuters have spotted technological glitches in the program. One user, who posted as “Via Garibaldi 8,” said in the first couple of days, buses

were “disappearing and reappearing all over the place.” “So far, Bus Time in The Bronx has been a bust,” he wrote on “I’m going to cut them some slack because of Hurricane Sandy, but really, if this is what Bus Time is going to be for The Bronx, then there is no point in using this damn thing.” Meanwhile, the Henry Hudson Bridge became entirely cashless last Saturday. Under the all-electronic operation, all tolls will now be levied via E-ZPass, meaning motorists will be able to zip through any open lane on the Bronx-Manhattan bridge without stopping. Those who drive through the toll plaza without an E-ZPass will be identified by license plate images and will receive a statement in the mail. Officials said they will track down outof-state no-E-ZPass drivers by working with motor vehicle departments across the country to match license plates with vehicle registration records. “Cashless tolling is good for all customers because with no stopping, that means there will be better overall traffic flow,” MTA Bridges and Tunnels President Jim Ferrara said. “It’s efficient and it is good for the environment because it reduces auto emissions.” To track any Bronx bus route, commuters have three options: Text an intersection or street address to 511123 to see how close the nearest bus is; scan the QR Code printed on the schedules at bus stops; or log onto from a smartphone or computer.

3 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, November 15, 2012

MTA’s ‘Bus Time’ program will let you track your ride on your phone

Thursday, November 15, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Around the schools... Horace Mann School

The HM community mobilized to help those in distress—students’ families, faculty and staff as well as Riverdale neighbors who were without power and other necessities. Head of School Dr. Tom Kelly arranged for the school’s food service company to offer more than 120 meals each evening in the Cohen Dining Commons from 5 to 7 p.m. from November 5 through November 9. Library head Caroline Bartels kept the library open until 9 p.m. daily for those who needed a place to study. The HM Community offered lodging to those in need, and the school’s bus carriers picked up any HM student, staff or faculty member who appeared at the designated stops along the scheduled route throughout the week. On Tuesday, November 6, Dr. Jeremy Leeds, director of the Center for Community Action and Values, worked with Upper Division students, members of the HM Service Learning Team and the directors of the Kingsbridge Heights Community Center to made more than 300 sandwiches for the Yorkville Common Food Pantry, which distributed the sandwiches to public housing residents who had no utilities. Collection containers are situated in designated areas across the campus for articles of warm clothing, blankets, personal toiletries and other suggested items. On Friday, November 9, HM families, students and administrators and faculty came together at a Hurricane Planning Relief workshop to organize and coordinate relief efforts across the divisions. Saturday, January 12, has been set aside as HM’s Service Learning Day as students and administration mobilize to partner with Bronx agencies to assist those still in distress. The Lower Division’s Caring in Action Day, scheduled for December 1, will focus on the crisis situation, while the Middle Division’s donation drive, “What Do I Do?” requested that students donate balls, books, dolls, and toys for children living in shelters. The Lower Division is soliciting non-perishable packaged food to be sorted and packed by students across all divisions at Caring in Action Day and delivered by students to tri-state food pantries. The Nursery Division has begun a special Baby Buggy drive for hurricane victims and is soliciting blankets, boots, diapers, formula, baby food, thick socks, toiletries and wipes to help families with young children.

College of Mt. St. Vincent

College President Charles L. Flynn has been named for the third time as one of the top 100 Irish Americans in the field of education by the Irish Voice. Dr. Flynn has been at the Mount since 2000. He holds a B.A. in history from Hamilton College, an M.A. and a Ph.D., both in history, from Duke University. He is also a graduate of Harvard University’s Institute on Educational Management. Adjunct professor Roberto Villanueva received the 2012 Outstanding Filipino American in New York in the Arts and Culture category in a ceremony last month at Carnegie Hall’s Weil Recital Hall. Villanueva, a classical arts dancer, is founder and artistic director of the BalaSole Dance Company, now in residence at the college.


He is internationally acclaimed for his technical abilities as a dance artist.

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Manhattan College

The college last Saturday held its 34th annual Athletic Hall of Fame induction, sponsored by the Manhattan College Alumni Society. The honored inductees were Richard Alexander (’81) for track and field, James Amandola (’02) for men’s lacrosse, George Fisher (’74) for golf, Sandy Gordon (’88) for women’s basketball, Bo Kucyna (’81) for men’s soccer, Travis Lyons (’98) for men’s basketball, Tiffanie Poole Gentles (’00) for track and field, and men’s basketball coach Fran Fraschilla. Athletic Hall of Fame inductees are recognized for their dedication and devotion to Manhattan College’s athletic program.

Kinneret Day School

While recovering from superstorm Sandy, the school conducted in-house elections. Kindergarteners voted for the most popular flavor of ice cream. Seventhgrade math students analyzed a bar graph displaying citizens per electoral vote in each state. They learned that while New York has almost 700,000 citizens for each of its electoral votes, in Wyoming, fewer than 200,000 citizens are covered by a single electoral vote. Elections for student council were held in grades six, seven and eight. Yael Kelmer and Nicole Liberman were elected president and advisor. Nathan Haimowitz was elected vice president and Jessica Gruboy was elected secretary.

Riverdale Country School

Riverdale Community Action Day on the Hill Campus is this Saturday, November 17, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Participants are asked to sign up in advance for hair donation (a haircut of 8” by stylist Mark Garrison), decorating “cupcakes for a cause,” blood donation (minimum age: 17), roundtable discussions about microfinance and manning a shift at a craft of drive table. The school invites families to donate clean, gently used household items to its partner charities on Saturday, November 17—tax forms will be provided. For those unable to attend, there will be pre-event collection drives. Recreational activities at the event will include decorating flower pots for residents of the Hebrew Home at Riverdale, writing holiday cards for veterans at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center, making dolls for children around the world who have no toys, decorating gift boxes for the Harlem Children’s Zone, and other charitable creative tasks.

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Continued from Page 1 lenger Joe McLaughin in District 16 in the “closest” of all local races (Engel received 77.5 percent of votes). On election day, Riverdale polling places were full of voters eagerly lined up to cast their votes, but with broken scanners and miscommunication between clerks and voters, wait times were as long as a couple of hours. Many residents weren’t even sure where their polling places were due to recent redistricting as well as road closures and other issues due to superstorm Sandy. To help alleviate this problem, Councilman G. Oliver Koppell arranged to have scores of elderly voters transported to their polling stations by way of taxi. Depot Cab Service, Federal Transit Inc. and First Class Service, all based at West 231st and Broadway, volunteered to drive voters free of charge. The free transportation was of particularly helpful to residents who had their polling place changed from Manhattan College to the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale. “I am pleased to recognize and commend the community spirit displayed by the livery cab drivers and extremely grateful for their help in enabling people to participate in this important election who otherwise would not have gotten to the polls,” Koppell said in a press release. Once they arrived at the polls, many voters struggled with the new scanner system. Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz found the new system of filling in affidavits by hand and feeding them into an electronic

Winner again—Rep. Eliot Engel scanner to be a disaster. “I do not believe turnout was any greater, yet we had massive backups,” Dinowitz said. “At P.S. 81, four out of the five scanners weren’t even working.” Dinowitz went as far as writing to Maria R. Guastella, president of the city’s Board of Elections, to criticize the BOE for trading in the old lever-based voting booths for the electronic scanners. “Our voters should be able to go to the polls and not spend hours waiting to vote,” his letter stated. “The greatest city in the greatest country should be able to conduct a fair and smooth election in the 21st century. Scrap these machines.” A BOE spokeswoman told the Riverdale Review that she would not address the number of residents who complained on election day until all the information for every borough was gathered and analyzed.

5 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, November 15, 2012

No surprises in local election results

Thursday, November 15, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


CSAIR to present program on Chaim Grade

Joseph Berger, a veteran NY Times reporter and columnist, will discuss the complicated legacy of Yiddish writer Chaim Grade at a talk at the Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale (CSAIR) on Thursday, November 15, at 7:45 pm. Grade was a great postwar Yiddish writer who never achieved anything like Isaac Bashevis Singer’s stature even though many scholars consider him the greater novelist. That failing may be due to a widow who battled scholars and publishers; no translator or editor was good enough. Now Jewish institutions are waiting to discover what’s inside the trove of manuscripts and books that were left in his widow’s modest Bronx apartment. For more information on this program - which is free and open to all - as well as other adult education opportunities at CSAIR, call the synagogue office at 718-543-8400. CSAIR is located at 475 West 250th Street at the Henry Hudson Parkway.

BAE concert to feature Kallor and Manasse

The Bronx Arts presents pianist Gregg Kallor and violinist and BAE 2012 Young Bronx Artist winner Madeleine Manasse at the home of Bill and Paul Caplan, 761 West 231st Street on Sunday, November 18 at 3 pm. Music will include Gregg Kallor’s Short Stories (violin and piano) and Found for Piano, Violin, Cello, Oboe and Clarinet as well as Brahms’ Violin Sonata No. 1 in G Major, Saint-Saëns’ Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso and Prokofiev’s Five Melodies for Violin/Piano. Tickets are $25 and include intermission refreshments. For tickets or more information, visit or call 718.601.7399.

In March 2007, the Abby Whiteside Foundation presented Gregg Kallor’s New York concert debut in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall featuring the world premiere of his acclaimed song-cycles “Exhilaration” and “Yeats Songs,” sung by mezzo-soprano Adriana Zabal. His most recent Carnegie Hall concert, in April 2011, featured the world premiere of his nine-movement suite for solo piano, “A Single Noon” - a musical tableau of New York life told through a combination of composed music and improvisation. “A Single Noon” will be featured on Kallor’s upcoming solo album, scheduled for release in 2012. Kallor is the recipient of a 2011 Aaron Copland Award for composition. One of ten composers nationwide selected for this prestigious residency. In May 2011 he conducted the world premiere of “My Coma Dreams,” the jazz theater production by Fred Hersch and Herschel Garfein commissioned by Peak Performances at Montclair State University. Kallor conducted subsequent performances at the Herbst Theater in San Francisco (presented by San Francisco Performances) and for the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine Annual Congress in Berlin; and he will conduct its New York City premiere at Columbia University’s Miller Theatre in March 2013. Kallor’s first album, “There’s A Rhytym,” features his jazz trio with bassist Chris Van Voorst Van Beest and drummer Kendrick Scott. Madeleine Manasse, age 16, began her studies at 5 and by the age of 10 was a featured soloist with the School for Strings Orchestra. Last year she was top prizewinner in the Princeton Competition, and became the youngest violinist to hold a position in the New York Youth Symphony. She is a member of the St. Barth’s Music Festival and has participated in the Eastern, Greenwood and Meadowmount Music Festivals. Madeleine is currently a scholarship student of Ann Setzer in the

Schervier participates in benefit walk for Alzheimer’s

Secours New York Health System, Schervier Nursing Care Center, in the Riverdale section of The Bronx, participated in the 2012 Walk to End Alzheimer’s with a dedicated team of 38 employees, friends and family members. Held on Sunday, October 21, 2012, in Manhattan, the walk which is the nation’s largest event to fight Alzheimer’s disease raised $810,000 to support the Alzheimer’s Association, raising awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care and research. Unified in customized green t-shirts marked ‘Providing Good Help for Lasting Memories,’ the Bon Secours New York team walked the two mile course together and raised more than $800 for the cause.

The Walk to End Alzheimer’s educated participants on the disease and offered information on local support groups. The event also featured several interactive exhibitors, including a Kids Korner with activities for the participating children, and the 2012 Doggie Dugout for the fourlegged walkers. Participants also enjoyed the amenities, playgrounds, and dog runs in Riverside Park. Striving to raise funds for research and to enhance support for individuals affected, Schervier’s team also aimed to create awareness of its Center for Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care, in addition to promoting the importance of good health and exercise.

Pre-College Division of the Juilliard School of Music and is concertmistress of the PreCollege Symphony Orchestra there. The Bronx’s premier music performance ensemble serving the borough since 1972, the Bronx Arts Ensemble is a not-for-profit organization enriching the cultural environment of the Bronx with a year-round schedule of concerts, special programs for families and a full music and arts-in-education program for schools.

New programs for parents, infants and young tots

The Y is welcoming all families with a Tot Shabbat on Friday, November 16 at 10:30am in the Riverdale Y lobby. Greg Shafritz, music specialist to the early childhood program, will lead this session twice a month. Children and families will participate in joyous Shabbat songs and the blessings for lighting of candles, challah and wine. There are many special programming for babies 0-3, their families and their caregivers at the Y now. The entire community (especially families with little children) are welcome to participate. The Y is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue. For more information, contact Wendy Pollock at 718-548-8200 ext 220 or go to our website at

Mobile legal assistance van at the Y

On Monday, November 26, 2012 the New York Legal Assistance Group will host a mobile legal van at the Riverdale YM & YWHA. Two attorneys who specialize in Elder law will provide legal services including Medicare, Medicaid, home care, other public benefits, advance planning, elder abuse, housing, and consumer issues. Appointments need to be made prior to November 17, 2012 through our Social Worker, Leora Garritano, who will determine if you are eligible for this service. Please contact Leora at (718) 548-8200 x204 for more information. The Y is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue.

Riverdale Fall Food Drive

Members of the North Riverdale Merchants Association, in coordination with the Riverdale Neighborhood House, will sponsor the Riverdale Fall Food Drive. They will be collecting all the fixings for Thanksgiving Meals. These items will

provide a holiday meal for families in our area. If you would like to donate any or all the fixings for a meal, feel free to drop your donation off through November 17. Items commonly contained in a Thanksgiving Basket include: turkey or chicken gift certificates, instant mashed potatoes, rice, stuffing mix, cranberry sauce, gravy, canned vegetable and fruit, cake mix or fixings for a pie, apple juice or other juice. Drop off locations: Adeos’ Pizzaria, Browns Jewelers, Cora Hardware, Medina Fitness Studio, new Visions Kitchens & Baths, Skyview Liquors, State Farm Insurance,Vacuum World.

HIR to hold Thanksgiving Dinner and Service

The Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, the Bayit (located at 3700 Henry Hudson Parkway) will host its annual Free Community Thanksgiving Dinner on Thursday, November 22. The day will begin at 12:00pm with a spiritually uplifting Thanksgiving Service followed by our free turkey dinner at 1:00pm. The afternoon will feature a live performance with soprano Sigal Chen and pianist Jonathan Dzik who will be performing popular songs from Broadway and patriotic Americana. This Dinner brings together approx. 150 people from in and around the Riverdale community for a delicious and festive meal. There will be plenty of food and an opportunity to offer up prayers of thanks. For reservations, please contact the Synagogue office at 718-796-4730. Volunteers are needed for setup, serving, and clean up. If you’re interested in volunteering, please contact our Volunteer Coordinators Hal and Ellie Weinstein at

Volunteers wanted as after-school tutors

Riverdale Neighborhood Hosue (RNH), located at 5521 Mosholu Avenue, is seeking tutors for its after-school tutoring program. The program pairs educational volunteers with students during the afterschool hours of 4:30-5:30 p.m. to provide individualized academic support. RNH would like to be able to provide each student in kindergarten through 5th grade with one-on-one tutoring, however, the number of tutors limits the number of students served by the program. RNH seeks tutors to instruct in all elementary subject areas reading, writing, math, and science). Over 60 children attend RNH’s after school program and on average, half of those children seek tutoring. Your commitment of one day a week, Monday through Wednesday, could truly make a difference for our community students. The program begins October 22 and will last until December 19 with plans to reconvene in January. To volunteer or to find out more information, contact RNH Volunteer Coordinators at volunteers@r or call 718-549-8100 ext. 128.

Transit, Inc. and First Class Car Service, all based at 231st Street and Broadway, who contacted his office after Hurricane Sandy, volunteering to help in any way they could. In particular, he would like to thank Cesar LIberata, who organized the effort among the three livery cab companies, and drivers, Sabobio Marcano and Marwan Abedrabbo, who volunteered their services. After receiving numerous calls from elderly and infirm people unable to get to the polls on Election Day, Koppell staffers enlisted the help of the cab drivers who provided rides free of charge. Residents of 6141 and 6231 Broadway were particularly grateful for the transportation because their polling place had been changed from Manhattan College to the Hebrew Institute, entailing a much longer trip. Joe Hall, a resident of the 6231, said, ‘Without the service, it is unlikely that I would have voted that day.’ ‘I am pleased to recognize and commend the community spirit displayed by the livery cab drivers and extremely grateful for their help in enabling people to participate in this important election who otherwise would not have gotten to the polls ‘ Koppell said.

Koppell thanks livery cab drivers for getting people to polls

Rabbinical school lecture series at the Hebrew Institute

Council Member Oliver Koppell expressed his gratitude to drivers from livery cab companies, Depot Cab Service, Federal

Torah is presenting a series of four-session scholarly lectures on Monday evenings from 8 to 9 p.m. The next series, entitled ‘From the Rav’s Desk: The Published and Unpublished Letters of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik,’ will be taught by Rabbi Nati Helfgot, chair of the school’s departments of Bible and Jewish thought. Classes are scheduled for November 19, December 3, December 10 and December 17. The series that began this week, ‘Jew and Non-Jew in Halakha,’ is taught by dean of the yeshiva Rabbi Dov Linzer. Remaining sessions are October 29, November 5 and November 12. The registration fee is $18 per series.

The community is invited to participate in a learning opportunity on Monday evenings. Yeshivat Chovevei

STILL GIVING. Beloved philanthropist Brooke Astor set up a permanent fund with The New York Community Trust. Today, The Trust continues to carry out her philanthropy, and always will. What are your plans?

Brooke Astor 1902-2007

Consider setting up your own permanent fund today. Visit or contact Jane Wilton (212) 686-2563

Riverdale AARP Chapter to meet

The Riverdale Chapter 1546 of AARP will meet on November 21 at the Riverdale Presbyterian Church, 4765 Henry Hudson Parkway West at l2:30 PM Wednesday. We will have Bobby Liggio, a multitalented vocalist/musician, perform a wide variety of music with the full sound of a one man band. He is new to AARP, but has had captive audiences at various local centers. The community is invited. Refreshments will be served. For more information call Manfred Segal at 718-5490088.

7 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, November 15, 2012

Classes meet on the second floor at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, 3700 Henry Hudson Parkway. For more information, contact

Thursday, November 15, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Thursday, November 15 Kingsbridge

FAR OUT PHYSICS 3:30 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Children will explore different themes such as: speed, momentum, forces, reactions, structures and other physical phenomena. Presented by the Children’s Museum of Manhattan. For ages 6 and older. For more information, call 718-548-5656.


CB8 MEETING 7 p.m. 50th Police Precinct 3450 Kingsbridge Avenue Meeting of the Public Safety Committee of Community Board 8. For more information, call 718-884-3959.


LECTURE 7:45 p.m. Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel 475 West 250th Street Joseph Berger, a veteran NY Times reporter and columnist, will discuss the complicated legacy of Yiddish writer Chaim Grade. For more information on this program – which is free and open to all – as well as other adult education opportunities at CSAIR, call the synagogue office at 718-543-8400.

Friday, November 16 Kingsbridge

STAY WELL EXERCISE 10 a.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Stay Well volunteers certified by the NYC’s Department for the Aging will lead participants in a well-balanced series of exercises for seniors of all ability levels. Please wear loose comfortable clothing. Exercise equipment will be provided. Those participating in the exercises must sign an activity release form. For more information, call 718-548-5656.


TOT SHABBAT 10:30 a.m. Riverdale YM-YWHA 5625 Arlington Avenue Children and families will participate in joyous Shabbat songs and the blessings for lighting of candles, challah and wine. For info, contact Wendy Pollock at 718-548-8200 ext 220.


FUN SCIENCE 3:30 p.m. Riverdale Branch Library 5540 Mosholu Avenue Children are welcome to come to the Riverdale Branch and learn more about the scientific process. They will conduct experiments and have fun while learning how the world around them operates. November 16th- Edible Dissections (Part I). For ages 5 to 12 years. For more info, call 718-549-1212.

Sunday, November 18 Van Cortlandt

BAZAAR & CARNIVAL 11 a.m. Van Cortlandt Jewish Center 3880 Sedgwick Avenue 8th annual non-religious Indoor Bazaar and Carnival. Open to the public; admission is free. For more information, call 718-884-6105.

Monday, November 19 Riverdale

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.

Spuyten Duyvil

BOOK TALK 11 a.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 West 235th Street Each participant briefly describes & shares thoughts abut a book recently read. It can be fiction or non-fiction. Discussion & recommendations are the happy results of this sharing. For more information, call 718-792-1202.


BOOK DISCUSSION 6 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street

Get the neighborhood read. Check out what the librarian has recommended, and hear what others think about it. We’ve got the books, now we need you to talk! This month’s discussion will be of the book The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obrecht. For more information, call 718-548-5656.


CB8 MEETING 7:30 p.m. Community Board 8 5676 Riverdale Avenue Meeting of the Health, Hospitals & Social Services Committee of Community Board 8. For info, call 718-884-3959.

Tuesday, November 20 Riverdale

LECTURE 10:30 a.m. Riverdale YM-YWHA 5625 Arlington Avenue A lecture by Mr. Lloyd Ultan on the “History of Jews in the Bronx.” He will discuss the long and rich heritage of the Jewish people in the Bronx and how their contributions were vital to the growth and development of the Bronx. Any senior over 60 is invited to the lecture. For more information contact Toby at 718-548-8200,ext. 223.


e-READER HELP 11 a.m. Riverdale Branch Library 5540 Mosholu Avenue Learn how to download free e-books from the New York Public Library. Get help on using your iPad, Kindle or other e-reader. First come, first served. Call Lynda at 718-549-1212 to make an appointment. For more info, call 718-549-1212.


SCRABBLE 2 p.m. Riverdale Branch Library 5540 Mosholu Avenue If words work you up and crossword puzzles keep you going, come to Riverdale and share your passion with friends every Tuesday afternoon for a lively game of Scrabble. Pre-registration required. For more information, call 718-549-1212.

Spuyten Duyvil

FOOD IN FOLKTALES 3:30 p.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 West 235th Street Every creature in the world needs food to live and thrive. Storyteller LuAnn Adams celebrates food in folktales, stories, and songs that include trips to Africa, Jamaica, and Minnesota. Hear stories such as “Green Eggs and Ham,” “Anansi and the Tiger’s Soup,” and “The Carrot.” For children ages 4 and older. For more information, call 718-796-1202.


AMERICAN TEENAGER PROJECT 3:30 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Tell the story of your life with film and friends. Join awardwinning photojournalist Robin Bowman for 6 sessions and learn how to craft a narrative using photographs, personal insights, and shared experiences. Your work will be featured in a library exhibition, and will be published in a book that is yours to keep and share. For ages 13 to 18 years. For more information, call 718-548-5656.

Van Cortlandt

CB8 MEETING 7:30 p.m. Amalgamated Houses 74 Van Cortlandt Park South Meeting of the Traffic & Transportation Committee of Community Board 8. For more information, call 718-884-3959.

Wednesday, November 21 Riverdale

AARP MEETING 12:30 p.m. Riverdale Presbyterian Church 4765 Henry Hudson Pkwy. West .The Riverdale Chapter 1546 of AARP will meet. Featured entertainer is Bobby Liggio, a multi-talented vocalist/musician. The community is invited. Refreshments will be served. For more information call Manfred Segal at 718-549-0088.


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 the group will be discussing Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community & War by Nathaniel Philbrick. For more info, call 718-549-1212.

By PAULETTE SCHNEIDER Open-mindedness, outreach and independent thinking--along with broadbased textual study—will still be the basics at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah when its presidency transfers from Rabbi Avi Weiss to Rabbi Asher Lopatin this July. The open Orthodox yeshiva has ordained 81 rabbis, all hired as leaders of synagogues, schools, camps, and other organizations worldwide, since its founding in 1999 by Rabbi Weiss of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale. Weiss called the transition a step in institution building. “In leadership, they talk about something called a founders’ syndrome, where an institution that is founded does not continue to exist beyond the founder,” he said.

“From my perspective, the greatest moment of my presidency at Chovevei is this moment, that Rabbi Asher Lopatin is going to be stepping into the presidency. It really indicates that this is an institution whose roots are very, very grounded. It goes well beyond its founding stages.” When asked why students would choose to learn at YCT over other rabbinical schools, Weiss suggested several reasons. One is a community-service orientation. “Everybody who is in the school has made a commitment to serve the Jewish people—and for that matter, to serve the world,” he explained. “Most yeshivot, even those that ordain students, have students who are going to study for the rabbinate even though they will not

be entering the rabbinate. We’re very different.” For some, the attraction may be size— only 35 students are now enrolled. “We graduated between eight and 10 students per year. Now we’re setting the goal at 15 students per year,” he said. “The interest the school takes in every student—I think it’s unique.” Another draw may be a curriculum that features innovative training in pastoral psychology and leadership. “I think Chovevei has really blazed a new path in rabbinic education that is now being emulated by other rabbinical schools,” Weiss said. “Our students come from almost 50 different universities. That should speak for itself. A slight majority actually enter into our rabbinical school after three or four years after college, so they’re making a more proactive decision to come to us.” The students, he said, are both “unapologetically Orthodox” and “unapologetically open and inclusive and nonjudgmental. And that’s what open Orthodoxy is all about.” Rabbi Lopatin distinguished the yeshiva as a place where “any student can put anything on the table and feel confident they’ll be respected.” The Jewish legal system “works in a very traditional way, but everything can be discussed and argued,” he said. Creativity and independence will enable students to find their own paths within the Orthodox world, where some will “stand on the right, some will be innovators on the left, and we’ll be proud of them for thinking sincerely and passionately and independently.”

“If you go to Chovevei Torah, you will struggle with the issues,” Lopatin said. “You can’t dismiss the issue of woman’s feeling ‘I want to read from the Torah.’ At another yeshiva, maybe they don’t talk about it. At Chovevei, you have to discuss. All these issues have to be taken seriously. We want to empower our students to think for themselves.” Empowering students has been central for Rabbi Weiss. “My whole philosophy is that I don’t like when rabbinic authority is centralized,” he said. “I very much believe in rabbis who are ordained having autonomy. (Students) may seek out advice from senior rabbis, but one of the core principles at Chovevei is, we believe in our students, we believe in their ability to navigate very complicated issues.” The idea of decentralization may not always sit well with strictly traditional Orthodox groups like the Rabbinical Council of America and Agudath Israel. “YCT is a new institution,” Lopatin said. “Bodies like the RCA and Yeshiva University and Agudath Israel—these organizations that have been around for many decades—it takes a while for them to adjust to something new.” Even with no adjustment, the yeshiva has experienced “literally no barrier” to placing students in variety of prestigious settings worldwide, according to Rabbi Weiss, who said he doesn’t “pay attention to the RCA stuff.” “I would say that in most rabbinical schools, you walk into the school and you see pictures of rabbis,”he said. “When you walk in to Chovevei, what you see on the wall are pictures of our students. They are the jewel. They are what we’re all about.”

Petting Zoo

Riverdale Holiday Festival Pony Rides

Steve Oates, Guitarist

Sunday, December 2, 2012 12-4pm Riverdale Avenue, 236th-238th Street

Tony Grova, Performer & Singer

Trolley Rides

Clowns, Stilt Walkers, Face Painting, Magic Tricks & more!

9 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, November 15, 2012

New president a kindred spirit at Riverdale rabbinical school

Thursday, November 15, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


iPhone stolen from woman at gunpoint

A Tony Award-Winning Film Noir musical about 1940’s Hollywood

Dates and Showtimes Thursday, Nov. 15 at 7:30pm Saturday, Nov. 17 at 8pm Sunday, Nov. 18 at 3pm

Tickets Adults online.................$20 Adults at door.................$22 Senior/Student online....$12 Senior/Student at door...$14

By MIAWLING LAM The armed serial robbers terrorizing Riverdale have struck again. Police said the two men suspected of carrying out at least five local robberies nabbed yet another iPhone on Sunday. Community affairs officer at the 50th Precinct Mindy Ramos said the most recent incident occurred around 3 p.m. on November 11. Officer Ramos said a 29-year-old woman was walking to a bus stop near the intersection of West 246th Street and Arlington Avenue when a male approached her and demanded her smartphone. “The victim did not comply, at which point, the male pushed her to the ground and stated, ‘Give me your phone. I have a gun,’ and then displayed a black handgun,” Officer Ramos said. Police said the suspect fled the scene with an iPhone 4S, valued at $500. The case remains open. The latest incident comes a week after the Riverdale Review reported that police fear a recent rash of armed robberies in the neighborhood could be part of a wider trend. Detectives believe the same two suspects, both described as black males in their late teens or early 20s, are responsible for at least six local robberies reported between October 18 and November 11. Police said the pair’s modus operandi follows a pattern: They target individuals traveling on foot and demand that victims hand over their smartphones and other valuables. On at least three occasions, the men even flashed a firearm. According to police, the men first struck on October 18, when one of the

suspects robbed a 31- year-old woman of her iPhone as she walked southbound near 4901 Henry Hudson Parkway. The two men surfaced again on October 23, October 27, November 3, November 4 and November 11. The recent wave of robberies comes less than seven months after Riverdale was rocked by the grisly murder of an aspiring chef who was shot and killed during a cold-blooded robbery. Police say Hwang Bum Yang, a Korean national who lived at 3261 Johnson Avenue with his family, was gunned down for his iPhone on West 232nd Street near Cambridge Avenue at 12:30 a.m. on April 19. The two men charged with his murder, Alejandro Campos, 21, and Dominick Davis, 20, are currently making their way through the courts. Anyone with any information on the six more recent robberies is urged to call CrimeStoppers at 800-577-TIPS.

Fundraiser event for Hurricane Sandy victims

The Bronx Ale House, located at 216 West 238th Street in Kingsbridge, is hosting an open bar fundraiser event on Saturday, November 17, in support of Hurricane Sandy victims. They will have a $30 Open Bar from 3pm-6pm, of which $20 will be going to the Mayor’s Fund in support of hurricane victims. They will also be collecting coats for NY Cares all week. For more information visit www.

Great Music at Christ Church Riverdale Presents

TALISE TREVIGNE, Soprano Come experience the sheer beauty of her voice and exquisite stage presence.

Performance with music by Faure, Strauss, Turina and more plus a set of spirituals.

Tickets available online at

5625 Arlington Ave. Bronx, NY 10471 (718)548-8200

Saturday, November 17, 2012 7:30pm Complimentary reception will follow the performance

Stay connected with RRS

$20 adults / $15 students & seniors For tickets and info visit Tickets also available at the door Christ Church Riverdale 5030 Henry Hudson Parkway Bronx, NY 10471 (718)543-1011

By MIAWLING LAM Luxury condominiums at Fieldston Lofts, a boutique apartment building in Riverdale, have been re-listed for a price tag of around $1 million each. The seven-story building, located at 3751 Riverdale Avenue, features 10 threeand four-bedroom units ranging in size from 1,849 to 2,164 square feet. Each condo boasts high-end finishes including bamboo floors, granite countertops, towering ceilings, marble tiles, custom kitchen cabinets and modern appliances. The building also offers onsite parking, private storage facilities, a children’s play area, a virtual doorman and a sprawling roof deck with river views. But it’s the asking price—between $899,000 and $1.059 million—that has

courted controversy among locals. Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz said the units were clearly overpriced, especially when units in the Solaria complex and other luxury condominiums were languishing unsold on the market. “Somebody thinks there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow,” he said. “I believe that the developer is miscalculating the value of their apartments, and I suspect that they are going to be on the market for quite some time if they continue to ask that price.” But listing agent Julia Boland, head of the Boland Group, which is part of Halstead Property Development Marketing, insists the units have garnered plenty of interest. She declined to reveal how many sales

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were in process or under negotiation but was confident all units would be sold. “They’re lovely units and the building offers everything that the Riverdale buyer is looking for,” she said. “There is a shortage of product overall, so I do expect them to be snapped up.” Boland said the developer took the units off the market last year after buyers balked at the additional charges for on-site parking and storage space. Both amenities are now included in the listing price. “People have always reacted well, but now that he made those changes, there is a perceived value,” she said, adding that many prospective buyers were coming from Manhattan. “Talking to local brokers, there is a

new wave of people coming in, and the things that are attracting them to Riverdale is the lovely housing product for a competitive price.” Boland also believed that buyers were ready to fork over $1 million-plus for luxury properties and that signs indicate the local housing market was on the rebound. “We’re getting excellent prices right now, and the market has indicated our pricing is spot on,” she said. “Riverdale offers beautiful houses for similar prices, but there are people who don’t want to take care of a house, and this offers them everything that Riverdale has to offer.” According to the online real estate site Continued on Page 12

11 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, November 15, 2012

New Fieldston Lofts building on Riverdale Avenue: Luxury, but at a steep price

Thursday, November 15, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Fieldston Lofts luxury at a steep price Continued from Page 11 Trulia, the median sales price for Riverdale homes in October 2012 was $1,225,000. The figure represents a 19.1 percent spike compared to the same period in the previous year and an 11.4 percent jump from 2007. Meanwhile, associate broker at Exclusive Properties Sotheby’s International Realty Ellen Feld said there was a “pent-up demand” in the market and buyers were returning to housing stocks. She also believed the listing prices at Fieldston Lofts were fair, considering the finishes and quality of construction, and called them a “bargain” when compared to Manhattan prices. Public records reveal

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Builders New York Holdings IV, a Chicago-based LLC, purchased the site for $9.79 million in November 2009.

The Riverdale Y Sunday Market Every Sunday from 9am to 2 pm

at MS/HS 141 in the arcade Independence Ave. & West 237 St.

Now extended thru December 23

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LECTURE 6:30 p.m. Westchester Italian Cultural Center One Generoso Pope Place In Search of a Saint: Santa Chiara del Sacramento. This lecture will enter the heart of mysticism by analyzing the writings of Saint Theresa of Avila, Saint John of the Cross, and Maria Raffaella DeVito Francesco. Presented in English by Professorin-Residence Anotonio Rutigliano of New York University. Must register in advance and prepay. Members $10, Non-Members $20 For more information, call 914-771-8700.

Friday, November 16 Croton-on-Hudson

1609 Old Orchard Street Dorodangos are beautiful, shiny spheres made out of ordinary dirt. Learn about their origins, about the soil from which they originate and create one for yourself. For more information, call 914-428-1005.


VOLUNTEER WORK PROJECT 1 p.m. Marshlands Conservancy Route 1 Help remove vines and install bird houses along the meadow. Tools provided; bring gloves. For more information, call 914-835-4466.


RIVERLOVERS POTLUCK DINNER 6:30 p.m. Croton Point Nature Center Croton Point Avenue All are welcome to learn about this organization that is dedicated to preserving the Hudson River. For more information, call 914-862-5290.

HISTORY LECTURE 1 p.m. Grinton Will Public Library 1500 Central Park Avenue Humorist and architect Michael Molinelli will speak at the Yonkers Historical Society on ‘Historical Preservation in Westchester County.’ The program is free and open to the public. For more information, call 914-961-8940.

Saturday, November 17



BASKET MAKING WORKSHOP 9 a.m. Muscoot Farm Route 100 Learn how to make this basket with Wendy Jenssen from the Westchester Area Basketmakers Guild. Fee and registration required at For info, call 914-864-7282.


HOLIDAY WREATH MAKING 9:30 a.m. Lasdon Park Route 35 All materials provided. Fee $30; pre-registration required (914) 864-7269.


LOCALVORE 10 a.m. Croton Point Nature Center Croton Point Avenue Discover great ways you can put together your holiday feast through local farms and farmers markets. For info, call 914-862-5290.


BIRDS 10 a.m. Lenoir Preserve 19 Dudley Street Learn which birds live in our area, why some birds are brightly colored, why they sing, what adaptations help them fly and how to identify them. We will also observe birds at the feeders. Bring an empty juice or milk carton and make your own backyard feeder. For more information, call 914-968-5851.


LECTURE 10 a.m. Westchester Italian Cultural Center One Generoso Pope Place Acquiring Italian Records. This lecture will take researchers through four possible methods for locating foreign documents. Learn how to read them and how to determine what the documents really tell you. Presented by Toni McKeen. Must register in advance and prepay. Members free, Non-Members $10. For more information, call 914-771-8700.

Cross River

BIRD FEEDERS 1 p.m. Trailside Nature Museum Ward Pound Ridge Reservation It’s for the Birds: Creating Backyard Feeders. Kids can make several different feeders from every day materials that can be used all year long. For more information, call 914-864-7322.


DOORWAY INTO NATURE 1 p.m. Read Wildlife Sanctuary Playland Parkway Expand your senses and enhance your observation skills with these activities designed to deepen your connection to nature. Bring a bandana if you have one. For more information, call 914-967-8720.

North White Plains

DORODANGO WORKSHOP 1 p.m. Cranberry Lake Preserve

TASTING & PRESENTATION 2 p.m. Westchester Italian Cultural Center One Generoso Pope Place Molise: A Land to Discover. Enjoy a tasting of regional products and enjoy the stunning presentation of Autodafè del Camminante, in English. Autodafè del Camminante is a performance that traces the story of Arturo Giovannitti, a young immigrant from Molise. He was wrongly accused of inciting class hatred, which led to the murder of a young textile worker, killed by the clashes with security forces during the great strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts in 1912. During the process Giovannitti decided to represent himself, in English, against the slanderous accusations. His extraordinary self- defense pronounced in perfect English made history as a hymn of civil and racial integration. Autodafè del Camminante will be accompanied by excerpts of The Walker, the poem that Arturo wrote in prison while awaiting the trial, considered one of the most authoritative expressions of American poetry. A reception with the artists will follow. Must register in advance and prepay. Members $15, Non-Members $25. For info, call 914-771-8700.

Sunday, November 18 Somers

GARDEN SHOP 11 a.m. Lasdon Park Route 35 Shop for Christmas and holiday plants and other unique gift items. Shop open Wednesdays through Sundays. For more information, call 914-864-7268.


FILM FESTIVAL 12 p.m. The Picture House 175 Wolfs Lane The Wildlife Conservation Society is hosting REEL WILD, a single-day film festival showcasing the best in wildlife filmmaking – including the world premiere of Snow Leopard of Afghanistan, a new documentary from Nat Geo WILD. All-day pass is $15 and available at


TREASURE HUNT 1 p.m. Muscoot Farm Route 100 Find clues around the farm and solve the riddles to find some of the lesser-known items in Muscoot’s collection. For more information, call 914-864-7282.


GROWING HERBS INDOORS 2 p.m. Lasdon Park Route 35 Learn how to grow herbs successfully indoors with the Lasdon horticulturist as she discusses which ones are best suited and what type of care they required. For more information, call 914-864-7268.


MILKIN’ THE TURNEY 2 p.m. Marshlands Conservancy Route 1 Discover the beauty of these wild residents at the sanctuary as you follow their pathways and footsteps from the forest to the feeder, without putting them on our dinner plates! For more information, call 914-835-4466

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thursday, November 15

Thursday, November 15, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thursday, November 15, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



Beginning Tuesday, November 20th at 8:30 pm, the Riverdale Community Center is offering a Microsoft Excel class. The class meets five Tuesday evenings from 8:30 pm to 10:00 pm. The fee for the course is $110 plus a $15 registration fee. Learn one of Microsoft’s most widely used applications - Excel 2007. Course will over creation, formatting and management of spreadsheets; formulas, shortcuts, etc. Registration is accepted until the first day of class, as long as there is room in the class. Registration is accepted over the phone with a credit card. For more information or to register by phone, call 718-796-4724. You can also visit us on the web at

The Stanley Lane Basketball League at The Riverdale Y

The Y is offering the Stanley Lane Basketball League again this December. The Stanley Lane Youth Basketball League is first and foremost a developmental basketball league. All children ( girls and boys) have the opportunity to play on organized teams, participate in structured fundamental practices, and are encouraged to participate

in basketball clinics. League fees includes tshirt, trophies and the Youth Sports Awards Night. Practices will be held once per week on either Monday or Thursday evening. League games begin on December 23, 2012 and run through late March 2013. The cost to participate is $195 or if you are a Y member,$150. As a developmental and fundamental youth basketball league our “player assessment” period is a crucial part towards creating teams throughout each division. During the “player assessment” process each young athlete will showcase their abilities as they rotate through four stations, as the coaches walk through each station. This assessment period helps the coaches and staff draft fair teams for fair play! Player Assessment will be held on Sunday, December 2 Junior Division (1st-2nd grade): 1:00pm2:00pm Varsity Division (3rd-4th grade): 4:00pm5:00pm Player Assessment will be held on Sunday, December 9 Pro Division (5th-6th grade): 1:00pm2:00pm Super Pro Division (7th-9th grade): 4:00pm-5:00pm Player Assessment make-up date Sunday,

December 16 All grades 1:00pm-2:00pm For more information and to register your child for the league, please contact Yudi Davis at 718-548-8200, ext. 240 or email The Y is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue.

VC Jewish Center to hold bazaar and carnival

The Van Cortlandt Jewish Center will hold its 8th annual non-religious Indoor Bazaar and Carnival on Sunday, Nov. 18, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event is open to the public; admission is free; fun for all ages; door prizes every half hour. VCJC is located at 3880 Sedgwick Avenue (next to Van Cortlandt Public Library. For more information, call 718-884-6105.

RCC Digital Photography Advanced Class

Beginning Tuesday, November 27th at 7:00 pm, the Riverdale Community Center is offering an Advanced Digital Photography class. The class meets four Tuesday evenings from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. The fee for the course is $85 plus a $15 registration fee. Students who want to improve the

overall quality of their photos are invited to learn and apply the art and science of superior digital images. The class includes an exploration of what makes some images POP off the screen while others fade from memory, how to develop a critical eye for composition, class-based photography assignments, individualized image critiques and lots of lively discussion. Registration is accepted until the first day of class, as long as there is room in the class. Registration is accepted over the phone with a credit card. For more information or to register by phone, call 718-796-4724. You can also visit us on the web at

Senior lecture on history of Jews

The Riverdale Y Senior Center will present on Tuesday, November 20 at 10:30 am, a lecture by Mr. Lloyd Ultan on the ‘ History of Jews in the Bronx ‘ Mr. Lloyd Ultan is a Bronx Borough Historian, and author of ten books about Bronx history. He will discuss the long and rich heritage of the Jewish people in the Bronx and how their contributions were vital to the growth and development of the Bronx. Any senior over 60 is invited to the lecture.The Riverdale Y is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, November 15, 2012

RCC offers class in Microsoft Excel

Thursday, November 15, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Mayor Adolfo? Trick, not treat

Halloween was supposed to be over. But like a vampire rising from the coffin, a discredited figure from the recent political past is attempting to re-emerge from the political graveyard. We’re talking about former Borough President Adolfo Carrion who, according to the New York Times, has left the Democratic Party and will seek the Republican and Independence Party nominations for mayor next year. Democrats can breathe a bit easier now that Adolfo has left the fold. Others shouldn’t be fooled. Here is one politician you can be sure will disappoint you. It is possible for him to enter the race because Carrion, under somewhat false pretenses, raised a bunch of money for a race for comptroller in 2009 that he never made, and many feel he had no intention of making. He raised that money from a variety of influence peddlers and special interests. They were happy to kick in, because when it comes to rewarding his contributors with patronage, Adolfo is a known commodity whose vote and influence seems always for sale. Having over a million dollars in this tainted cash in the bank to kick off a campaign makes it easy to be taken seriously. We suggest that those who don’t know much about Carrion listen, and listen hard. In a borough known for pols who can’t string together ten cogent words in English—or in any other language, for that matter—Adolfo looks very good on the surface. He is good-looking and is a master at regurgitating canned feel-good phraseology. “At the end of the day, we must ensure that our bambinos, blab, blab, blab….” But behind the non-controversial platitudes that spout endlessly from his mouth, Adolfo Carrion is really the ultimate “empty suit.” That’s what folks in Washington, D.C., learned these past few years as the disgraced former borough president quickly burned through two high-level jobs and recently returned to New York with his tail between his legs. If we were only a fly on the wall and witnessed the exchanges that convinced the folks in Washington that here was a high official who knew so little that he couldn’t even be safely hidden away without embarrassing them! So, dear reader, here is the beginning of a primer on “Mayor” Adolfo. In 2000, then-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani introduced new zoning legislation at the behest of Northeast Bronx residents to help eliminate the construction of more “hot-sheet” motels from the area. At the same time, a group of Boston Road “merchants”—actually, property owners—came together to fight the plan, stating that new zoning would hinder their ability to expand their businesses. That’s when Adolfo, then a do-nothing city councilman, first came to our attention. This concocted “group” hired a lawyer, Linda Baldwin, who happened to be the wife of Adolfo Carrion. Or was it the lawyer and the pol who concocted this phony “merchant group”? Baldwin, who worked at the law firm of former Bronx Democratic boss Roberto Ramirez, successfully defeated the zoning plan. Following that, the leaders in the effort have opened their wallets to Carrion and his campaign committee time and time again, leading many to wonder whether Carrion helped sell out the best interests of the community for his own personal gain. We beat the drum on hot-sheet motels for years, and for a time it seemed as though Carrion was actually listening. At one point he even created a task force dedicated to shutting down these establishments. But he soon lost interest, and the northeast Bronx to this day is a safe haven for the hot-sheet motel plague. Carrion was always quick to devise photo ops to scrub walls free of graffiti. But these programs are only cosmetic and had no long-term effect. Carrion could have struck a real blow for improved quality of life by working to eliminate the hot-sheet motels, which contribute to drug sales, drug use and prostitution, and sales of illegal guns. Instead, he worked to kill a middle-class community while he and his wife lined their pockets with campaign contributions and legal fees. Nobody likes living near a hot-sheet motel. It ruins the quality of life. We would think that Carrion might have noticed that by now. He expected to run for mayor next year, and voters would be wise to remember his sellout of the borough’s middle class so many years ago, the lip service he paid to them later on, and the outright refusal to acknowledge his disgraceful and possibly corrupt misdeeds after that. Mayor Adolfo? Give us a break.

Paradise Theater set to become Creflo Dollar megachurch By TESS McRAE The Paradise Theater, an 83-year-old Bronx institution, will soon be home to the World Changers Church of New York. The nondenominational mega-church, founded in October 2004 by Pastors Creflo and Taffi Dollar, has held services all throughout New York City at premiere venues including Radio City Music Hall and Madison Square Garden. The Dollars leased the Paradise Theater on October 20, making it an official residence for the New York branch of the World Changers Church International, also founded by the pastor couple. They currently have satellite churches located in 14 states with a headquarters in Georgia. According the New York Post, Creflo Dollar originally had his eye on the Kingsbridge Armory, but his proposal met with resistance from Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and

other city officials. Dollar has been the subject of controversy for years and has been criticized for being a materialistic “prosperity preacher.” Many of his teachings are based on prosperity theology: The idea that believers in God shall be rewarded with wealth and financial blessing. The Paradise Theater, built in 1929 by renowned architect John Eberson for $4 million, has long been a staple of the Bronx. Eberson specialized in designing atmospheric theaters and pulled out all the stops when constructing the Paradise. “A patron would leave his everyday humdrum life and enter fabulous opulence,” Bronx borough historian Lloyd Ultan said. The theater, known for its elaborate design and extravagant chandeliers, was designed to represent a 16th-century Italian baroque garden with stars twinkling in the ceiling as tufts of clouds sailed by. As television and motion pic-

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tures became more popular, the Paradise stopped showcasing live performances altogether. The theater would be twinned, triplexed and eventually split into four screening rooms. Through the years it was bought and sold a number of times and was closed in 1994, remaining empty for six years. In 1997, the building’s exterior was declared a city landmark, with the interior being declared in 2006. The theater reopened in 2009 as a venue for musical acts including the Killers and Boyz II Men. Because of the building’s landmark status, WCCNY cannot make any major renovations without permission from the Landmarks Preservation Commission. This would preserve the iconic decor that made the Paradise Theater famous. Ultan doubted the commission would permit any major renovations. “I have no objections per se to having the theater used for church purposes, but the building needs to be preserved,” Ultan said. “And maybe they could have tours of the theater in between services.” No grand opening date for the WCCNY church has been announced, and the public relations firm representing the WCC did not return repeated calls for comment as of press time.

By PAULETTE SCHNEIDER There was an upbeat vibe at M.S/H.S 141 as community leaders were treated to snapshots of learning in progress as they took a tour of the school on Tuesday morning. Principal Lori O’Mara, parent coordinator Julie Prince and a team of student ambassadors, “truly our best advertisement about the school,” led the group into various classrooms as teachers posed questions and students vied to answer. “The reason I invited everyone here today is that we’ve put some wonderful new programs in place here at RKA and made some significant changes over the last few years.” One change is the introduction of an individualized program for middle school

students, a very “high schoolish model” that enables students to be placed in a classroom setting on the basis of their past performance in that subject. Before, students who earned above a particular GPA would be part of an honors program. Now, student can take honorslevel courses in particular subjects and general-level courses in others. “This has been something that parents have embraced and appreciated about the school. We have all kinds of children here at RKA, and it’s great for me to be able to offer students an appropriate class where they can excel. I think it has led to students feeling empowered about their academic strengths and abilities and leads to a higher performance in those classes.”

Chelsea Gutierez works on a project deploying negative and positive space in Ms. Kaminski’s AP art studio.

Other new programs include “The RKA Way”—students who display the school’s three tenets, respect, kindness and accountability, are acknowledged with “RKA bucks” that can be turned in for items like logo sweats or activities like school trips—and “Overcoming Obstacles,” a program that teaches middle school students to cope with problems in their lives. “We continue to be the number-one feeder school in The Bronx in terms of getting students into specialized high schools,” O’Mara said. But some students who are accepted in those elite schools choose to remain at RKA. The high school component of RKA

enrolls 600 to 700 students. “I think students do like that small kind of feel of our school,” O’Mara said. “It gives them a chance to excel, maybe in athletics, which they might not be able to do in a huge school. That being said, we have some of the best athletic teams around.” “It’s important for me to keep the reputation of RKA as a good one and a strong one in our community,” O’Mara told the community leaders. “I know it is a draw for people as they’re considering where to live, so I’m enlisting your help. You’re going to walk around and see how great our building is, and you can share that with folks that you meet in your various positions as you go about your day.”

19 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, November 15, 2012

Community leaders get a glimpse of learning at RKA

Thursday, November 15, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Riverdale Review, November 15, 2012  

Weekly newspaper published in Riverdale, NY 10471

Riverdale Review, November 15, 2012  

Weekly newspaper published in Riverdale, NY 10471