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Riverdale’s ONLY Locally Owned Newspaper!

Volume XVIII • Number 49 • December 1 - 7, 2011 •


Will new heating oil rules bankrupt co-ops? By BRENDAN McHUGH It started as an environmental issue, and it’s now become an affordable housing problem. A new city-mandated rule requires all residential buildings to switch from No. 6 heating oil to at least No. 4—a cleaner, more expensive oil—by 2015, but then to No. 2 or natural gas by 2030. Environmental activists across the city celebrated the mandate, but for Riverdale, the mandate will end up costing many thousands. “You hear about a boiler conversion, but for the rest of the building, it’s a big expense,” said Community Board 8 housing committee chairman Thomas Durham. His building, at the corner of Waldo Avenue and Manhattan College Parkway, is one of hundreds in Riverdale that burned No. 6. At least it did until this summer, when the building underwent a conversion from No. 6 to a duel system of natural gas and No. 2 oil. If Con Edison shuts down the gas line, Durham’s building still wanted to have a heat source, hence the backup No. 2. Durham said the cost of the boiler is only the tip of the iceberg. Other expenses such as street work, pipes, a chimney sleeve and more can lead to a higher cost—all of which is taken on by landlords, building occupants or co-op shareholders. The cost of Durham’s building’s chimney sleeve was

$90,000. The chimney did not pass an integrity test, which determines the structure’s soundness to withhold gas. The chimney was still able to hold smoke. Stephen Budihas, president of the Association of Riverdale Cooperatives and Condominiums, is trying to do whatever he can to ease the costs. He’s pleaded with elected officials and city agencies, asking them to offer tax incentives and abatements for switching to the cleaner, more expensive oil or gas. ARC has more than 130 buildings in the 10463 and 10471 zip codes. Budihas said more than 70 percent of buildings in the area are co-ops, most of which are burning No. 6 heating oil. One idea he has been working on is convincing Con Edison to treat buildings on the same block as one entity during conversions. That means that when Con Edison has to dig up the street to replace the pipes, they will work on multiple buildings at once, significantly cutting costs. “Those costs are going to be hitting us forever,” Budihas said, noting that the amount of No. 4 oil it takes to heat a building is much more than what it takes for No. 6 to heat the same building. The current cost per gallon for No. 4 heating oil is about 55 cents more than for No. 6. Budihas said the long-term costs stemming from this

are “giant, absolutely giant,” and that the people of New York “have to have a plan for that, now.” Unfortunately, he’s been ignored left and right. State government officials told him to talk to the city. City officials told him to speak with the state. New York State Energy Research and Development Authority ran out of funding that was meant to help buildings convert. Con Edison has a small rebate program, but not enough to convert the entire city by 2015. City Councilman G. Oliver Koppell is open to extending the 2015 deadline and discussing possible tax incentives, according to a member of his staff, though the plan is still in the discussion phases. One City Council insider said buildings may just be able to ignore the deadline altogether, saying the penalties for not converting in time haven’t been clearly laid out yet. However, Durham touched upon that as a risky move, saying when someone is in charge of a 100-family building, taking the chance that the government won’t come in and shut down the heat in the dead of winter is too dangerous. Community Board 8 is working with Budihas, elected officials and housing experts to put together a forum— tentatively scheduled for the middle of December—to discuss the heating oil conversion and the hidden costs it will have on buildings and residents.

Delayed again, ‘dinky’ rink plan appears to be melting away By BRENDAN McHUGH A much-anticipated public forum on the proposed Van Cortlandt Park skating rink has been cancelled again, the fifth

time since the summer. The skating rink, originally scheduled to be up and running by November 1, hit a delay during the request for proposal

process, and the project has since been shrouded in mystery as the parks department continues to negotiate with a private contractor to bring The Bronx its first

KEEP ON TRUCKIN’ - Recently, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. joined state and city officials, as well as representatives of the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation, to announce that electric truck manufacturer Smith Electric Vehicles will soon open a new state of the art electric truck manufacturing facility at the former Port Morris lamp warehouse at 275 Locust Avenue. Smith Electric Vehicles hopes to create more than 100 local “green” jobs.

public rink in decades. Members of Community Board 8 have had a difficult time discussing the project, as many of the details can be known only after the Department of Parks and Recreation announces the winning proposal. Until then, only certain details—from the RFP requirements—are known. Some members of the community board expressed their disapproval over this roundabout process at last month’s general board meeting, and others said they’d like to see the public forum happen with or without the details, at the very least to see what kind of public opinion there is about the rink. The community board is holding the public forum so they will be able to offer a recommendation to the Franchise and Concessions Review Committee, which has the only official vote on the project’s survival. The FCRC holds monthly meetings but doesn’t promise much foresight into their agenda, so the community board has worked to plan meetings ahead of time to ensure their voice is heard at the FCRC. When the FCRC doesn’t put the skating rink on

its agenda, the community board then cancels the meeting. The FCRC is comprised of officials from city and mayoral agencies and from the borough president’s office. Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, who has been supportive of a skating rink in the borough but has been troubled by the lack of communication from the city about the project, was bothered to hear that the parks department still has yet to move forward. “We’re almost into December. How is it possible that we’re going to have it this season?” he asked. He did manage to find some humor in the situation, saying if they did try and have a skating rink up and running by November 1, it would have turned into a swimming pool with the recent unseasonably warm weather. In terms of the cancelled forum, he said it might be time to hold a meeting just to get public input and use the RFP as a guideline. The planned skating rink, first introduced by Mayor Michael Bloomberg during his State of the City address in January, will run Continued on Page 9

Thursday, December 1, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Hoffnung named to key post By BRENDAN McHUGH Riverdale resident Ari Hoffnung was promoted to deputy comptroller this week. City Comptroller John C. Liu appointed Hoffnung, 38, to deputy comptroller for public affairs. Hoffnung, who most recently served as assistant comptroller of budget and chief policy officer, will assume his new role on December 19. He replaces Alan van Capelle, who is departing the comptroller’s office. “Ari has been a consistent and constant driving force on some of our office’s highest priority initiatives over the past two years, and he’s proven to execute with precision,” Liu said in a statement. “Ari also shares my deep commitment to public service and improving city government. I’ve no doubt he will excel even more as part of my leadership team.” Hoffnung will oversee all operations pertaining to the Public Affairs Bureau of the New York City comptroller’s office, which includes the community action center, public affairs, and communications departments. “I am hopeful that my professional experience in the nonprofit, business and government sectors will help me build upon the work of my predecessor, Deputy Comptroller Alan van Capelle,” Hoffnung said. He added that he was proud of the work he’s done with the comptroller’s online transparency initiatives, including Checkbook NYC, which gives the public online access to information on the city’s $66 billion in annual expenditures, and Pension NYC, which provides unparalleled access to information pertaining to the $109 billion New York City pension funds. In addition, he spearheaded the comptroller’s Retirement Security NYC, a major initiative to protect the retirement security of public employees while ensuring the city’s financial health. “New York City taxpayers—from Riverdale to the Rockaways—deserve to know exactly how their hard-earned money is being spent,” he told the Review. “I am very proud to be associated with the comptroller’s online transparency initiatives and believe that the work the comptroller has done to make the city’s finances more transparent will ultimately become an important part of his legacy.” Hoffnung grew up in Riverdale and now lives in the community with his wife and two children. He was named one of City Hall News’ rising political stars last year in ‘40 under 40,’ which honors 40 people who are not yet 40 years old. “My wife and I are so happy to be raising our family in Riverdale,” he said. “We really love the community here. Being

Ari Hoffnung

a husband and dad while working 24/6 for the comptroller’s office means that I cannot be as involved as I’d like to on local issues. With that said, the issues we deal with at the comptroller’s office—like eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse from the city’s budget—are of concern to all New Yorkers, including Riverdalians.” Prior to joining Liu’s administration, Hoffnung served as chief of staff to then-City Councilman Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn) and was a managing director at Bear Stearns, where he worked for more than a decade. He was also a member of Bronx Community Board 8. Hoffnung ran unsuccessfully for City Council in 2005 against G. Oliver Koppell in the 11th District. He had planned to run Continued on Page 3

Locals oppose renewal of bar license

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, December 1, 2011

By MIAWLING LAM Community members are up in arms against the proprietors of a popular Riverdale drinking hole, accusing them of violating their operating license by serving alcohol irresponsibly. Members of Community Board 8 have joined the 50th Precinct and the College of Mount Saint Vincent to object to the renewal of Winners Sports Bar’s liquor license. Director of College Relations Erin Walsh said that in response to complaints from the community regarding student conduct, the head of college security is drafting a letter of complaint to the SLA. Officials claim staff at the licensed premises, located at 6697 Broadway, engage in irresponsible conduct by regularly serving patrons to intoxication. CB8 public safety chair Arlene GarbettFeldmeier said the situation has become so severe that authorities at the College of Mount Saint Vincent have called for the facility to be shut down. “What they find particularly egregious about this facility is that they’ve been serving young people to the point that they’re quite intoxicated,” she said. “They’ve had problems with these kids walking back through the neighborhood and causing vandalism.” According to the New York State Liquor Authority, Winners Sports Bar’s liquor license expires this week. Documents reveal the facility was originally approved for a two-year license on December 29, 2009, and that it was granted to Mohamed Hussain of TLMP. Garbett-Feldmeier said she was inclined to recommend that their liquor license renewal be denied due to the community’s complaints of its drunk and vulgar patrons. However, due to the impending deadline, she said she would prepare a draft resolution and ask CB8 chair Robert Fanuzzi to formally approve the recommendation before sending it to the State Liquor Authority. “We don’t want to have the situation that we had with The Lounge,” she said, referring to the Riverdale bar whose license was renewed despite complaints of loud music and public urination. The Lounge’s liquor license came up for renewal last June, but due to a cancelled CB8 public safety committee meeting, the board ran out of time to raise their objections with the SLA. The license was eventually renewed after its owners cut a deal with the authorities and paid a $1,000 fine.


Given the volume of complaints against Winners Bar, commanding officer of the 50th Precinct Kevin Burke said he had no option but to support CB8’s decision. “We’ve gotten a lot of complaints from the community about the fact that they’re not being good neighbors in that they’re serving these kids to the point of severe intoxication,” he said. “It’s a constant problem. They cater to a certain population, which leads to community complaints.” The facility has also previously been slapped with six summonses, mainly for signage violations and for failing to have licensed security guards, Burke said. The community’s concerns about Winners comes a couple of weeks after the SLA shut down the bar for not being insured. It is understood the SLA closed the premises while the proprietors arranged for adequate insurance coverage. It reopened two days later.

Hoffnung Continued from Page 2 again in 2009 when Koppell vacated the seat, though he withdrew before the primary when extended term limits allowed the incumbent to run one last time. Asked whether he would be running again for the Council seat in 2013—he is registered with the city’s Campaign Finance Board—Hoffnung responded that he was dedicated to working at his current position. “I am thankful for this opportunity and am committed to carrying out my duties as deputy comptroller,” he said. Hoffnung holds an MBA in finance from New York University’s Stern School of Business and a bachelor’s degree from Queens College. As deputy comptroller for public affairs, Hoffnung will serve as a chief advisor to Comptroller Liu on all matters involving public policy and intergovernmental, media and community relations. He will also retain his oversight of the comptroller’s policy bureau. Hoffnung now serves as Comptroller Liu’s representative at the office of payroll administration and the financial information services agency, where he played an integral role in ending the runaway spending associated with the CityTime project. In addition to working with OPA and FISA, Hoffnung also serves as Liu’s representative on the New York City banking commission.

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Thursday, December 1, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Around the schools... P.S. 24

The parents association’s Holiday Bazaar is scheduled for Saturday, December 10. Vendors will sell jewelry, clothing, holiday gifts and more. While grownups shop, kids can attend workshops like Dinosaur Dig, Fashion Academy, Cupcake Camp, Pirate Party and Science Fair Mystery. Local restaurants will be on hand to sell refreshments. New this year are student entrepreneurs selling their own handiworks. Admission is free, but there are fees for the workshops.

P.S. 81

The next parents association meeting—on Wednesday, December 7, at 7 p.m. in the school cafeteria—will feature a presentation by Licenders, a professional service that screens and treats children and adults for head lice. The company, founded by Adele Horowitz, has 15 years of success in using natural products to help schools and camps as well as individual doctors and families deal with head lice. They offer “house calls and salon services designed to get your child back in school the same day.” Third-graders this week got their first taste of lessons with violinist Katie Kresek, a teaching artist from the New York Philharmonic’s School Partnership Program. Students will get 18 lessons on the fundamentals of music and the basics of the symphony orchestra, supplemented with two performances at the school. According to arts liaison Diane Pribek-Barnes, the lessons also relate to non-musical elements in the curriculum—in the first lesson, Kresek analyzed the numerical component of rhythmic patterns, which students can relate to math. “The class went beautifully,” Pribek-Barnes said. “She had the children eating out of the palm of her hand.” At some point in the program, students will be given instruction on the recorder. The parents association’s annual holiday tree and wreath sale is on Saturday, December 10, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Sunday, December 11, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the corner of Riverdale Avenue and West 256th Street. Douglas, Fraser and balsam fir trees will be available in sizes ranging from 5 to 8 feet tall. Decorated and undecorated balsam wreaths will be available in sizes ranging from 10 to 16 inches. Saturday’s event will include sales of baked goods and hot drinks. All proceeds directly benefit P.S. 81 students.

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

The community is invited to take in “The Front Page,” the Riverdale Community Center’s Teen Theater’s fall drama, in the RKA auditorium on Friday, December 2, and Saturday, December 3, at 7:30 p.m. The suggested contribution is $5.00. Winterfest is Wednesday, December 15, at 7 p.m. The holiday-themed presentation will include performances by RKA’s middle school band, dancers and vocalists. Tickets are $5.00 and will be available at the door. Friday morning school tours for parents of prospective middle school students who live within the RKA school zone are scheduled through December 16. Tours begin at 8:30 a.m. To register, contact parent coordinator Julie Prince at

Horace Mann School

The Women’s Issues Club is hosting a TEDxWomen conference at the school on Thursday, December 1. Speakers will be scheduled throughout the day, and classes are invited to attend. TED—Technology, Entertainment, Design—holds two annual conferences, one in California and the other in the UK, devoted to “ideas worth spreading.” To complement its own programs, video site, fellowship and annual prize, the organization launched “TEDx,” a system of events planned and coordinated at the community level, where live presenters and TEDTalks videos inspire conversations and connections. Presentations at HM will include an appearance by the former executive director of My Sister’s Place and a student talk on body image. The Department of Theatre, Dance and Film Studies production of “Once Upon a Mattress” will open on Thursday, December 8, in Gross Theatre. Middle Division students will perform the Mary Rodgers and Marshall Barer musical under the direction of department chair Woody Howard with choreography by dance teacher Alison Kolinski and musical direction by Bob Walton. This is the department’s 9th season. The Alfred P. Gross Theatre is at 231 West 246th Street. Performances are on Thursday, December 8, at 3:30 p.m.; Saturday, December 10, at 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, December 11, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 or $5 for students and seniors. To reserve, call 718-432-4150 or hmtcboxoffice

Manhattan College

The community is invited to A Festival of Lessons and Carols, an annual holiday program hosted by the Manhattan College Singers and the Manhattan College Orchestra, this Sunday, December 4, at 4:30 p.m. in the Chapel of De La Salle and His Brothers. Preludes will begin at 4:15 p.m. The hour-long program will feature traditional Christmas carols and hymns, sacred readings and contemporary arrangements, including three selections from Benjamin Britten’s “A Ceremony of Carols” and a jazz arrangement of “Carol of the Bells.” In keeping with tradition, the ensembles will also lead hymns, including a “Silent Night” sing-along. After the concert, the performers will walk by candlelight to the quadrangle and light the college’s Christmas tree. The evening will conclude with a reception in Smith Auditorium. For more information, contact William Mulligan at 718-862-7254 or

College of Mt. St. Vincent

An information session for transfer students will be held on Tuesday, December 6, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the college’s Midtown Manhattan Campus, 1233 Second Avenue, between 64th and 65th streets. Participants will learn about the admission process and requirements, explore the college’s more than 22 undergraduate majors and 23 minors, tour the midtown campus site, view nursing labs, get information on merit scholarships and financial aid, and meet with the coordinator for transfer admissions. To pre-register, visit For more information, contact Donniece Davis, coordinator for transfer admission, at 718-405-3428, or donniece.

Committee questions parent involvement

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, December 1, 2011

By MIAWLING LAM A lack of parental involvement and Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s radical overhaul of the education system has created a network of broken schools, locals claim. Members of Community Board 8 lamented dwindling parent participation rates at last Tuesday’s education committee meeting and attributed the lackadaisical involvement to a series of social, cultural and policy changes. CB8 member Robert Press singled out the creation of parent coordinators and believed the Tweed policy was introduced to deliberately quash participation. In 2002, Bloomberg and then-Schools Chancellor Joel Klein pioneered the role as a way to ensure there was someone in each school directly responsible for supporting families. But Press said the position has had unintended consequences in a majority of the city’s schools. “The parent coordinator was put in as a block to the principal,” he said. “Parents no longer have easy access to the principal. Parent coordinators have just gone off on their own way and replaced PA presidents at many meetings. Parents are no longer required, or need to, attend anything because they’ll get the information from the parent coordinator.” Fellow CB8 member Amy Moore has witnessed first-hand the shift in city policies. The Riverdale parent has been a PA president twice—once in 2004 and again this year—and said the changes were stark. Above all, she believed the inactive community was affecting children’s behavior. “I look at the seven-year difference,


and parents were just more involved,” she said. “I don’t know if everyone has to work now or what’s going on, but you have a completely different parent body, different parental involvement. And you see it in the behavior of the children.” Moore said parents who were involved in their children’s education were more likely to keep tabs on their kids and check their homework, enriching their school experience. Meanwhile, CB8 member Karen Pesce laid blame on officials’ microscopic focus on standardized testing and said it has resulted in curriculum compression. “They’re teaching to the test, so the kids are learning testing skills and they’re not engaged in something that is joyful and interesting,” she said, adding that schools should redirect their focus. “Respect and civics need to be taught from day one in the classroom. If it’s not taught and it’s not done in the proper way, those kids are going to grow up without respect.” However, education committee chair Sylvia Alexander placed the blame for changes in children’s behavior squarely on the modern parenting approach. “I think the problem stems from the home, with the parents being too easy,” she said. “One of the reasons why the situation is so different is that many of the parents…have a different way of bringing up children than when we did when our children were small. “It’s now more about being a friend to your child rather than a person to respect…and I think that is a problem.”

Great Music at Christ Church G. F. HANDEL’S

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Choir of Christ Church Riverdale Joined by members of the Riverdale Choral Society Choir of Riverdale Presbyterian Church

Timothy Brumfield, ����������������� Andrew Yeargin, �������� 7:30 PM $20 Adults; $15 Students/Seniors

� CHRIST CHURCH RIVERD ALE Join us as we present our Christmas Concert featuring Part I of George Frederick Handel’s � � � � � � � , followed by the sounds of Christmas including music by John Rutter, James Bassi, and Timothy Brumfield.

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Thursday, December 1, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Brandeis Women to play cards and games

The Riverdale Chapter of The Brandeis National Committee cordially invites its members and their friends to its Pre-Chanukah Card and Game Party to be held at 11:30 A.M. on Wednesday, December 14, 2011, in the Riverdale Temple, West 246 Street and Independence Avenue. The guests are asked to bring their own equipment to enjoy Bridge, Canasta, Scrabble, Mah Jongg or other games of their choice. Bingo will be offered for those who prefer it. Please make advance reservations by sending check for $12.00, payable to B.N.C., to Cecile Horwich, 5800 Arlington Avenue10W, Riverdale, N.Y. 10471, by December 7th. Subscription at the door will be $15.00. Bagels and light refreshments will be served and a boutique of “Vintage Jewelry by Granny Franny” will be displayed for sale.

Rotary Club to sponsor reading hour

Youngsters 3-12 years old are invited to participate in the Reading Program on Saturday, December 3, at the NEW Kingsbridge Library, 291 West 231st Street, from 1 to 1:45 p.m. Readers will be grouped by skill level and encouraged to read, helped with pronunciation and word understanding, and for those without reading skills, interpret pictures. There is no charge for participation. The Rotary Club of Riverdale is part

of Rotary International and sponsors the library reading project as a local community service. Adult volunteers who are interested in participating are asked to contact Karen Pesce, Secretary: (718) 549-4469.

RCC Teen Theater presents ‘The Front Page’

The Riverdale Community Center is proud to present its 2011 Teen Theater fall production, ‘The Front Page’. Community performances will be held Friday, December 2, and Saturday, December 3, at 7:30 p.m. in the David A. Stein/Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy (M.S./H.S. 141) Auditorium. Suggested Donation for tickets are $5.00 and can be obtained at the RCC Office (Room 102-D) at RKA or at the door on performance evenings. An irresistible comedy with thrills set in the news room. Hildy (played by Elizabeth Levy) wants to break away from journalism and go on a belated honeymoon. The play’s single set is the dingy Press Room of Chicago’s Criminal Courts Building, overlooking the gallows behind the Cook County Jail. Reporters (played by Shannon Doran, Claire Dahlem, Michael Carrion, Dominque Atkins, Priscilla Blanco, Max Sprinzeles and Daneli Lara) from most of the city’s newspapers are passing the time with poker and pungent wisecracks about the news of the day. There is a jailbreak and into Hildy’s hands falls the escapee. Hildy realizes this bewildered, harmless little man was railroaded - just to help the crooked mayor (played by Tyttus Douglas) and sheriff (Justin Peguero) pick

up enough black votes to win re-election. It’s the story of a lifetime The RCC Teen Theater program is celebrating its 30th Anniversary and is unique because it offers free theater training to students grades 6 through 12. In addition, all sets, scenic design and backdrops were created by program participants and technical assistance (lighting and sound) for the show is also provided by students. Please join us!!! For more information or tickets please contact the RCC Office at (718) 796-4724.

Party with Forever Young for the Holidays

Forever Young cordially invites you to our Holiday Party with brunch and entertainment by Corey on December 18 at 11:30am to 1:30pm. You can relax and schmooze while you enjoy brunch with light Jazz by Corey. Performing for over 30 years, Corey covers the big hits of Jazz, R&R, Blues and popular music. He has performed all over New York, from Pier 11 to Tavern on the Green. The price is $8 for prepaid tickets and $12 at t he door. Forever Young is a new program at the Riverdale Y created for the baby boomer generation. Once a month there are special events and ongoing courses that include Introduction to Hebrew, The Jewish Calendar’s Rich Culture, Everyone Has an Opinion and more. Please call Leora Garritano for more information at 718-548-8200 ext. 204 email This program is sponsored by the Riverdale Y, located at 5625 Arlington Avenue. The entire community is welcome to participate.

Gallery 18 to exhibit works of two artists

Gallery 18, at the Y, will be exhibiting two artists for the month of December. Maria Formoso is a native of Cuba who resides in the New York area for many years. Maria expresses her love of nature using various mediums. She has a certificate in Botanical Art and Illustration from the New York Botanical Garden. She has also studied watercolor painting at various schools in New York City such as: School of Visual Arts, The Arts Students League, Parsons, etc. She is a member of The Riverdale Art Association and Women in the Arts. She has exhibited widely in the New York area, also in Connecticut and Vermont.

Joan O’Brien is a New York native who grew up in Brooklyn and is a retired teacher and school psychologist. She has photographed different flowers in Vermont, a place that she shares the peace and beauty that her subject has given her. She is a passionate photographer, who has traveled widely and has enjoyed sharing her passion with others. The exhibit is open to the public. The Y is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue.

Wheelchair basketball games to be held this weekend

New York City Mayor’s Cup Wheelchair Basketball Tournaments will be held this Saturday, December 3, at Manhattan College’s Draddy Gymnasium from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday, December 4, at Horace Mann High School from 9 a.m. through 1:30 p.m. The games are free and open to the public. This is the 11th year of the Mayor’s Cup competition. Teams from all over the world travel to New York to compete in these events, considered among the premier tournaments on the National Wheelchair Basketball Association’s calendar. Following Sunday’s quarterfinal, semifinal and championship games at Horace Mann, an awards ceremony will take place on the main court at 1:30 p.m. Draddy Gymnasium is at Tibbett Avenue and West 244th Street. The Horace Mann High School Gymnasium is at Tibbett Avenue near West 246th Street.

BAE celebrates holidays with St. Nicholas performances

Bronx Arts Ensemble opens the holiday season with St. Nicholas Celebration concerts on Saturday, December 3 at 1 pm and 3 pm at Philipse Manor Hall at 29 Warburton Avenue at Dock Street, in Yonkers and Saturday, December 10 and Sunday, December 11 at 1 noon and 3 pm at the Bartow-Pell Mansion on Shore Road, Pelham Bay Park, near the Split Rock Golf Course. The St. Nicholas Celebration by the BAE Singers and Double Reed Band (oboe, oboe d’amore, English horn and bassoon) describes in song and storytelling the arrival of the Dutch sinterklass, who brings candies and fruits to good children of colonial New Amsterdam, and lumps of coal to those who have misbehaved. Following the program, which includes many old Dutch carols, the audience will join with the group in singing holiday songs. Fun for the whole family! Free tickets are available by calling the BAE at 718.601.7399. Orders are limited to 5 tickets per person, as seating is limited. Visit for more information on upcoming events.


The Riverdale Presbyterian Church, located at 4765 Henry Hudson Parkway, is presenting its annual Holiday Bazaar on Saturday, Dec. 3, in the church auditorium from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. The annual Christmas Tea will commence in the Duff House, just south of the church building, at noon, featuring handmade sandwiches, salads, baked goods, coffee and tea. The charge is $6 per person (add 50 cents if you want hot cider). More than a dozen vendors, many returning from past years, will be selling jewelry, household and gift items, and handmade African baskets, bracelets and necklaces. A table of genuine collectibles such as old milk bottles, vintage advertising tins, neon brewery signs, 1960s Superman comics, and old glass milk bottles will make its first appearance. Home cooked foods and homebaked goods, as well as coffee and tea will be available to take home or eat on site. There will be live holiday piano music starting at 11 a.m., and bring your camera starting at noon to take your own picture of Santa on stage. There is ample off-street parking. There are six vendor tables left at $30 each. To reserve one, call Marc Feldman at 212-665-5064, 7-10 p.m.

Community civic classes at Kingsbridge Library

State Senator Gustavo Rivera will be teaching his second series of community civic classes. This series will be in Community Board 8 at the Kingsbridge Library--291 West 231st Street--starting Wednesday, Nov. 30 at 6:00 pm. This course is free to the public and is open to Bronxites of all ages. The course focuses on learning about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the rights and rewards of citizenship and how voting and elections work. Senator Rivera’s civics course will start on November 30 and will continue for three weeks with classes every Wednesday at 6:00 pm at the same location. On December 7, the course will be taught by a guest speaker, Irving Ladimer, chair of the Ethics Committee of Community Board 8. The classes will end on December 14 with a graduation ceremony to celebrate the completion of the course. Rivera encourages attendance at all three classes, but it is not necessary in order to participate. Register for the course by calling their office at 718-933-2034 and asking for Josiris Urena. You can also email her at

‘Starry Night Gala’ at the Horace Mann

On Saturday, December 3, Riverdale Children’s Theatre will be holding its second annual Starry Night Gala. This will be an elegant evening of cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and entertainment to kick off RCT’s winter season and raise funds for their Performing Arts Educational Outreach programs and the RCT Scholarship Fund.Join friends of RCT for this unique event with performances by Broadway artists and our own RCT family, in an elegant, intimate setting, Horace Mann School Dining Commons located at 231 West 246th StreetBronx, NY 10471 Performers include: Show schedule permitting Michael X Martin( Les Miserable, Curtains), Shauna Hicks (Blood Brothers, Meet me in St. Louis) Shana Mahoney (Cabaret) Jeff

Harnar (2 Time MAC Award winner) Also performing will be RCT faculty and friends; Becky Lillie Woods, Liz Kollas, Antonia Barba, Sean Ruane, Tiffany Lutz, Derek Woods and members of the casts of The Little Mermaid Jr., You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown and Annie. Tickets are $40 and include an open bar and hors d’oeuvres (Kosher selections will be available). The evening will also feature a silent auction. to support our Performing Arts Educational Outreach programs and the RCT Scholarship Fund. To make a reservation or for more information go to the RCT website www.riverdaletheatre. org. The evening begins at 7pm.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, December 1, 2011

Presbyterian Church to sponsor holiday bazaar

Thursday, December 1, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Thursday, December 1

to help capture the Wolf! For more information and tickets, visit or call 718.601.7399.

TODDLER STORY TIME 10:30 a.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 West 235th Street Toddlers from 18 months to 3 years old and their parents/caregivers can enjoy interactive stories, action songs, and fingerplays, and spend time with other toddlers in the neighborhood. For more information, call 718-796-1202.


Spuyten Duyvil


GAME ON 4 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Come have some fun playing the latest XBox 360 games with Kinect at the Kingsbridge Library! For ages 12-18. For more information, call 718-548-5656.

Friday, December 2 Kingsbridge

TEEN ADVISORY GROUP 4 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Let your voice be heard in the Kingsbridge Library’s Teen Advisory Group! TAG meetings will be held on Friday afternoons from 4-5 pm. If you are a 7th -12th grade student, you are eligible to join. For more information, call 718-548-5656.


THEATER 7:30 p.m. Riverdale Community Center RKA MS/HS 141 Auditorium The Riverdale Community Center is proud to present its 2011 Teen Theater fall production, “The Front Page”. Dec. 2 and 3. For more information or tickets contact the RCC Office at (718) 796-4724.

Saturday, December 3 Riverdale

HOLIDAY BAZAAR 10 a.m. Riverdale Presbyterian Church 4765 Henry Hudson Pkwy. West More than a dozen vendors will be selling jewelry, household and gift items, and more. For more information, call Marc Feldman at 212-665-5064.


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


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

Sunday, December 4 Van Cortlandt

HOLIDAY BAZAAR 9 a.m. Visitation School’s Stanford Auditorium 171 West 239th Street Visitation School’s Parent Association will hold their Annual Holiday Bazaar. Admission and onsite parking is free. For more information, call 718-543-2250.


WORKSHOP 10 a.m. Hebrew Institute of Riverdale 3700 Henry Hudson Parkway A workshop entitled, “Caring for Our Aging Loved Ones,” will focus on caring for those with severe memory impairment. For more information, contact the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale at 718-796-4730 ext. 101 or


PETER AND THE WOLF 1 p.m. Whitehall Club Ballroom 3333 Henry Hudson Parkway The BAE winds will portray Grandfather, the Bird, the Cat, the Duck, the Hunters, the Wolf and more. The audience will be introduced to each instrument and join in the madcap adventure

WINTER WARMER EVENT 1 p.m. Riverdale YM-YWHA 5625 Arlington Avenue Forever Young is proud to present our first Wonderful Winter Warmer event. Glaze your own mug while enjoying pastries and coffee with great company! Call Leora Garritano for more information at 718-548-8200 ext. 204


BODY, MIND, SPIRIT 1 p.m. Sisters of Charity Center 6301 Riverdale Avenue Carol DeAngelo, SC, and Maureen Jerkowski, SSSF will offer Capacitar wellness practices for self-care as well as for use with individuals and in community settings. Please RSVP to (718) 543- 5166 or (915) 526-2874.

Bedford Park

CHORAL CONCERT 2:30 p.m. Lehman College Concert Hall Bedford Park Blvd. & Goulden Ave. The Lehman College and Community Chorus will present its annual free Winter Concert. The major work on the program will be Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass. For reservations, call the Music Department at 718-960-8247 or e-mail music.

Monday, December 5 Riverdale

CB8 MEETING 7:30 p.m. Manhattan College Fishbach Room Meeting of the Land Use Committee of Community Board 8. For more information, call 718-884-3959.

Tuesday, December 6 Riverdale

MUSICAL PROGRAM 10:30 a.m. Riverdale YM-YWHA 5625 Arlington Avenue The Simon Senior Center invites all seniors in the neighborhoods to a special lecture with Scott Brannon, who will present a program of Broadway music and anecdotes about the popular composer. For more info, call Vicki @ 718-548-8200 x224.

Spuyten Duyvil

AESOP FABLE 4 p.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 West 235th Street The Tortoise and the Hare. An adaptation of the classic Aesop fable about a great race between a loveable tortoise and an arrogant hare. Presented by Puppets to Go for children ages 3 and older. For more information, call 718-796-1202.

Wednesday, December 7 Riverdale

LECTURE 7:45 p.m. Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel 475 West 250th Street Dr. Mehnaz Afridi will speak on the topic “Muslim Perspectives on the Holocaust, Jews, and Judaism.” It is free and open to the entire community. For more information, call 718-543-8400 or visit

Thursday, December 8 Bedford Park

CONCERT 7 p.m. Lehman College Lovinger Theatre Two of the Metropolitan Opera’s most promising young stars, mezzo-soprano Renée Tatum and bass-baritone Keith Miller, will be appearing at Lehman College. The free concert will be followed by a Q&A with the artists. For more information about this performance or to reserve tickets, please call the Office of Alumni Relations at 718-960-2416 or email

Sunday, December 11 Riverdale

PIANO RECITAL 2 p.m. Riverdale Temple 4545 Independence Avenue Piano recital with commentary, featuring Mas Ikemiya. Music from Classics to Ragtime. For more information, call 718-548-3800, ext. 1 or visit

By BRENDAN McHUGH Prosecutors expect to wrap up their case this week in the public corruption trial of Bronx City Councilman Larry Seabrook. Seabrook, whose trial in Manhattan federal court is entering its fourth week, is facing 12 counts of accepting corrupt payments, money laundering and fraud, including infamously doctoring up a receipt for a bagel and drink from $7 to $177. But the prosecution hit some surprises along the way, notably when a second witness gave unexpected testimony that did not match up with what prosecutors originally claimed in their indictment. Seabrook’s former mistress, Gloria Jones-Grant—who admitted to having an “intimate relationship” with the married pol between 2004 and 2007—rejected suggestions that he shook her down for kickbacks after he lined up lucrative consulting work for her. Jones-Grant served as executive director of three nonprofits that have alleged ties to Seabrook. She denied ever saying that she gave Seabrook kickbacks to federal investigators last month, visibly surprising prosecutor Brent Wible. She repeatedly said “I don’t recall” in response to prosecutors’ questions and never clarified further. The groups that Seabrook allegedly controlled—the Northeast Bronx Redevelopment Corporation, the African-American Legal Civic Hall of Fame and the Mercy Foundation—received more than $2.5 million dollars from City Council discretionary funds, according to prosecutors. She did tell the court that the councilman himself drafted the actual operating budget for one of the nonprofits that got funding through the City Council. Prosecutors accuse Seabrook of controlling these groups and transferring hundreds of thousands of dollars in consulting fees to Jones-Grant and to his brother, two sisters and a nephew. Jones-Grant appeared in court after being subpoenaed and granted immunity to avoid incriminating herself in Seabrook’s alleged crimes. While she didn’t admit to everything prosecutors wanted, she did admit to forging signatures on sublease agreements that prosecutors say Seabrook used to soak cash from council “slush” funds by secretly boosting the rent on space adjacent to his district office in The Bronx. This marks the second time a prosecution witness veered off script after being called to testify against Seabrook. Early on in the trial, Bronx-based boilercompany owner Leon Eastmond denied any quid pro quo involving about $50,000 he gave Seabrook’s political club after he helped him land a contract for the new Yankee Stadium. Eastmond said that he had given Seabrook money because he “believed in the man.” Seabrook, a former assemblyman and state senator, made a run for Congress in 2000 against incumbent Rep. Eliot Engel

Skating rink

Continued from Page 1 on a 15-year contract during the winter season. It will be situated on the defunct tennis courts near the West 242nd Street elevated subway station. Details such as skate rental fees, skate time, and food and drink vendors are unknown through the RFP because the winning contractor is able to decide on those. Other services, such as restrooms and seating areas, are also up in the air.

in what was described as a ruthless race. Despite backing from the Bronx Democratic Party and then-BDP chair Roberto Ramirez, Seabrook lost. Current State Senator Jeff Klein served as Seabrook’s nominal campaign manager. In the court papers filed last month, prosecutors said Jones-Grant was expected to testify that she paid Seabrook “cash kickbacks” after he helped her get a host of consulting jobs between 2002 and 2004. But this week, Jones-Grant she said the money she gave Seabrook was to repay a loan and money that he gave her. She said she owed Seabrook $18,000, but didn’t explain why. Seabrook has adamantly denied the charges against him. He faces up to 20 years in prison on each of the top charges.

9 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, December 1, 2011

On trial pol was Engel opponent in 2000

Thursday, December 1, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Officials face an epic budget battle By BRENDAN McHUGH The budget battle may come back, and it could affect The Bronx. Governor Andrew Cuomo has not ruled out calling a special session of the legislature in December to deal with a growing state budget deficit. Cuomo, who is facing a $350 million dollar budget deficit this year and a $3.5 billion dollar hole in next year’s spending plan, admits there is a need for a special session. He’s worried, however, that it will become a “theater” where politicians will drag out the process and possibly muddle it with other agendas. Instead, he will first try to agree on a deficit reduction plan with legislative leaders. “There’s no doubt that the numbers are collapsing,” Cuomo told Albany reporters. “And collapsing quickly.” Local officials say the budget battle will be similar to what they’ve already done. “We’re probably going to be going through a lot of the same fights,” Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz admitted. Dinowitz will be attending a preemptive press conference in Manhattan this week to voice the importance of senior services and Title XX money. He said that for the past two years, legislators tried to cut senior services in initial budgets. This time they’ve decided to be proactive about saving their money. About 100 senior centers were slated for closure in the initial budget last year. Dinowitz says he hasn’t heard anything official about the possibility of a special session, but he and most other legislators aren’t ruling it out. “We may—may—have to go back to Albany next month to adjust the budget and make more cuts,” he said, noting the

budget deficits over this year and next. “We’re sort of campaigning for a true millionaire’s tax,” he said. “That would bring in a few billion dollars.” The campaigning, however, is the theater that Cuomo would like to avoid. One legislator’s staff member said that if Cuomo starts a special session, talk of the millionaire’s tax and the Occupy movement, which in Albany is focused heavily on the tax, would no doubt bog down the budget discussion. The governor says there are budget reductions that he can do on his own, without the legislature, or he could simply ask the legislature for authority to cut the budget, without requiring lawmakers to agree on a specific plan. “What’s going to happen for next year and this year are cuts,” Dinowitz said. “Health care and schools—I don’t think anybody thinks we should be cutting money from the schools, but those are possibilities.” He pointed to the lack of tax revenue coming in, specifically from Wall Street. While many lament about the 1 percent, Dinowitz said, their success is a big factor when collecting revenue for the state. But on the federal level, Congress has until 2013 before budget cuts start wreaking havoc on local services. When the congressional deficit-reduction supercommittee failed to find trillions in spending cuts, it set off automatic cuts to the budget that will affect social services unless Congress finds other ways to reduce the budget deficit. “Rep. Engel would have fought—and will fight—tooth and nail for the seniors and the safety net provisions to be kept in the budget,” Engel spokesman Joe O’Brien said.

Make time for


this holiday season Join the Y* this December and get your first month FREE! �Fully equipped fitness facility �Group fitness classes including FREE yoga �Massage therapy �New synergy salt pool with UV light �T’ai Chi & Martial Arts �Full basketball court �Babysitting It’s your community, it’s your Y! 5625 Arlington Avenue Bronx, NY 10471 718-548-8200 *applies to new memberships only. Not to be combined with any other offers.Offer expires Dec. 31,2011


The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thursday, December 1, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Next for the ‘nanny’ state: No smoking in your own house

By MIAWLING LAM Property values will rise, residents will fork over less for insurance and children will be protected from noxious fumes if smoking is banned inside homes, health advocacy groups argue. The Bronx Smoke-Free Partnership extolled the wide-ranging benefits of making apartment buildings smoke-free at a public forum at the Riverdale Y on November 16. The hearing, entitled Laying the Foundation for Healthy Living, aimed to educate landlords, realtors and tenants about the economic and health benefits of smoke-free housing. According to a 2009 survey, two-thirds of New Yorkers said they were interested in living in an apartment that prohibits smoking entirely. However, despite the overwhelming support, the partnership is simply asking that buildings volunteer to sign up. “We’re not going after legislation on smoke-free housing because we realize it is something that is ambitious,” said Bronx Smoke-Free Partnership Borough Coordinator Deidre Sully. In proceedings that resembled an intimate gathering more than an open hearing—it seemed there were more pizzas than guests—residents heard that banning smoking makes not only health sense, but economic sense as well. Community Board 8 housing committee chair Thomas Durham brought along two incandescent light bulbs—one from a smoker’s apartment and the other from a non-smoker’s—to illustrate how tar and nicotine cling to building fixtures. He said carpets and appliances usually had to be replaced and that an expensive

primer had to be applied on walls to rid units of cigarette smells. “Costs to rehabilitate an apartment where a resident has smoked increase dramatically over the apartment of a non-smoker,” he said. Smoke-Free Housing New England estimates it costs nearly $3,000 more to rehabilitate a residential unit of a heavy smoker than a unit a non-smoker lived in. While Durham was unaware of any Riverdale buildings becoming smoke-free, he said the reality was actually closer than most people realize. “It’s already illegal to smoke in public spaces you’re only a doorway away from accomplishing your mission because all your other areas are smoke-free.” But Councilman G. Oliver Koppell said a blanket smoking ban was fraught with peril. “I don’t think that I would favor, at this point, legislation that would require buildings to become smoke-free because I think while smoking remains a legal activity, it’s difficult to ban people from participating in a legal activity in their own dwelling.” Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz advocated for a softer approach. “I believe co-op boards should have the right to limit smoking in terms of who they let into their buildings, just as co-op boards have the right to limit dogs,” he said. “Legally it can be done, but I think it’s very difficult.” The South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation has made some of their buildings smoke-free, as have a couple of co-op boards in Queens. If buildings vote to become smoke-free, existing tenants are usually grandfathered in, but the policing is ultimately up to each individual building.

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The Lehman College and Community Chorus will present its annual free Winter Concert on Sunday, December 4, at 2:30 p.m. in the Lehman Concert Hall. Complimentary tickets will be available at the Box Office beginning at 1 p.m. on the day of the performance. The major work on the program will be Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass. Directed by Lehman Professor Diana Mittler-Battipaglia and accompanied by the Lehman Symphony Orchestra, the 140-member chorus will also perform shorter works by Mendelssohn, Bruckner, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Handel and multicultural selections. In addition, the program will feature Telemann’s Concerto in G major for Two Violas, a polka by Johann Strauss and a sing-along for the audience. Members of the chorus and soloists include Lehman students, alumni, faculty, staff and a broad selection of residents from many communities in the Bronx and the greater New York area. A senior college of the City University of New York, Lehman is located at Goulden Avenue and Bedford Park Boulevard in the northwest Bronx and is accessible by bus as well as the 4 and ‘D’ subway lines. Free attended parking is available. For reservations, call the Music Department at 718-960-8247 or e-mail music.

Tot Shabbat at Riverdale Temple

Riverdale Temple Tot Shabbat with Inbal Sharett - held the first Friday of each month at 5:30 pm. Come join us for music, dance, crafts and more! Followed by Kabbalat Shabbat service at 6:45 pm. Riverdale Temple 4545 Independence Avenue, Riverdale, NY 10471; 718-5483800

A free two-part Intellectual Property Workshop at the Dwyer Cultural Center

The Bronx Council on the Arts (BCA), the Community Development Project of the Legal Aid Society and the Harlem Arts Alliance present a FREE two-part Intellectual Property Workshop for artists, arts organizations & small businesses on Tuesday, December 6 & 13, 6:00-8:00pm, at the Dwyer Cultural Center located at 258 Saint Nicholas Avenue #2 at West 123rd Street in NYC. Doors open at 5:45pm. Program begins promptly at 6:00pm. Light refreshments will be served. Admission is free and all are welcome. December 6th’s session: You Made It Now Protect It: Trademarks and Copyright for Artists, Arts-Related Nonprofits and Small Businesses is geared for artists and cultural organizations, creating or commissioning a work of fine or practical art is just the beginning. To protect the ownership of the finished work, it is essential to learn about trademarks, copyrights, design patents, and work-for-hire agreements. An expert panel of intellectual property attorneys will explain these concepts using examples that will be familiar to artists and arts organizations. The concepts learned in this workshop will also be useful to nonprofits and small businesses that are not arts-related.

December 13th’s session: The Website Audit: Best Legal Practices on the Internet for Artists, Arts-Related Nonprofits and Small Businesses is for any individual, organization or small business that has a website or is thinking about starting one. Learn the essentials of website management, including: Protecting your trademarks and copyrights, terms of use, implementing a privacy policy, linking, and ownership of the website. Both workshops will be facilitated by attorneys from Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper and Scinto and the Community Development Project of the Legal Aid Society. RSVP at http://twopartworkshop-eorg. The Dwyer Cultural Center is located at 258 St. Nicholas Avenue. Entrance is on West 123rd Street. Directions by Public Transit: Train: A, B, C or D to West 125th Street; Bus: M3, M10, M101, BX15, M60 to West 125th Street and Frederick Douglas Blvd. For additional directions, call 212222-3060 or visit For additional information on this workshop or other events presented by the Bronx Council on the Arts, call 718-9319500, e-mail, or visit BCA’s web pages at

Riverdale Israeli House at the Y (iHouse)

Riverdale Israeli House at the Y (iHouse) is a program for Riverdale’s Israeli families and their friends. At 10:30 am, enjoy Gym-bo time for children ages 1-8 with a bounce castle and other fun gymnastics equipment, followed by a special activity to welcome the winter. At 11:30, enjoy an Israeli-style brunch. Supported in part with funds from UJA-Federation of New York. All-inclusive fee is $20 per family with one child, $5 per additional child, max of $30 per family. Future dates and tickets available online via our website, www.RiverdaleY. org For information, contact the program’s coordinator, Talya Leib at Hold the dates for iHouse’s Chaukkah celebrations: For Adults -- Saturday, December 17 at 8:00 pm Israeli Style Dance Party with DJ Jerry Lasken Sunday, December 18, activities for families (10:30 am - 12:30 pm) including brunch and sufganiot

Visitation School to hold Holiday Bazaar

Visitation School’s Parent Association is holding their Annual Holiday Bazaar on Sunday, Dec. 4, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Msgr. Stanford Auditorium. Proceeds will benefit the Visitation School (kindergarten through grade eight). Visit with Santa from noon until 1:30 p.m. Photos will be available for purchase. Items featured are jewelry, gift baskets, cosmetics, handmade crafts, toys, and other new gift items. There are a few vendor spots still available. Call 718-543-2250 for more information. New merchandise only. Admission and onsite parking is free for all patrons. Hot and cold food and refreshments will be sold all day. Plan to stop by to browse and get an early start on your Holiday Shopping.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, December 1, 2011

Lehman Chorus to present winter concert, Dec. 4

Thursday, December 1, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thursday, December 1, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



MUSIC, MUNCHIES, & MIMOSAS!!! Saturday, December 3rd - Don’t miss Glenn Roth’s first appearance at Riverdale Temple! Just back from a national tour, Glenn will be entertaining us with his amazing fingerstyle guitar playing, while we eat snacks and drink mimosas. All for JUST $18! ($24 at the door.) Pre-register by calling Debbie/Temple office at 718-5483800 ext.1, via email at rivtemple@aol. com, send check made out to “Riverdale Temple” to 4545 Independence Ave. Bronx, NY 10471, or online through our website You will be glad you didn’t miss this one!

Winter event for baby boomers and young seniors

Forever Young is proud to introduce our first Wonderful Winter Warmer event. This will take place at The Riverdale Y located at: 5625 Arlington Avenue. On December 4th from 1:00pm-2:30pm, glaze your own mug ( perfect for a holiday gift) while enjoying pastries and coffee with great company. Price: Early Bird Special: $20 after November 28: $25. Forever Young is a new program at the Riverdale Y created for the baby boomer generation. Once a month there are special events and along with ongoing courses

that include: Introduction to Hebrew, The Jewish Calendar’s Rich Culture, Everyone Has an Opinion and more. Please call Leora Garritano for more information at 718-548-8200 ext. 204 or email

BAE to perform Peter and the Wolf, December 4

Bronx Arts Ensemble presents ‘Peter and the Wolf’, Serge Prokofiev’s popular musical fairy tale at 1 and 3 pm at the Whitehall Club Ballroom. The BAE winds will portray Grandfather, the Bird, the Cat, the Duck, the Hunters, the Wolf and more. The audience will be introduced to each instrument and join in the madcap adventure to help capture the Wolf! The Whitehall Club Ballroom is located at 3333 Henry Hudson Parkway in the Bronx. Tickets are $6. For more information and tickets, visit bronxartsensemble. org or call 718.601.7399.

CSAIR presents ‘Muslim Perspectives on Judaism’

Dr. Mehnaz Afridi, director of the Manhattan College Holocaust Center, will speak at the Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale on Wednesday, December 7, at 7:45 p.m. Her topic will be ‘Muslim Perspectives on the Holocaust, Jews and Judaism.’

Dr. Afridi will discuss the lack of education in the Muslim world of the Holocaust and Judaism and why the Holocaust is not as significant - and at times denied - in the Muslim world. She will also explore the history of modern Jewish-Muslim relations, the new anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, and will present next steps and hope for Jewish-Muslim relations. This program is presented by the CSAIR Adult Education Committee. It is free and open to the entire community. CSAIR is located at 475 West 250th Street. For more information, call the synagogue office at 718-543-8400 or visit

Workshop on caring for aging loved ones

On Sunday, Dec. 4, from 10 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale (3700 Henry Hudson Parkway) will host a workshop entitled, ‘Caring for Our Aging Loved Ones.’ Keynote speaker Anna Kirshblum of the Jewish board of Family Services will give a presentation entitled, ‘Letting Go, Holding On: Caring for People with Memory Impairment.’ Special guest speaker Debra Drelich of the New York Elder Care Consultants will give a presentation entitled,, ‘Caring for Aging Loved Ones: What Help is Available and How to Pay For It.’

Rabbi Steven Exler of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale will be giving an introduction. The presentation will focus on caring for those with severe memory impairment. The speakers will be followed by a vendor fair featuring organizations and individuals who specialize in the area of aging/elderly care. Richard Langer, executive director of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, said: ‘The Hebrew Institute is excited to serve as a community resource and to bring this vital information to our members and the entire Bronx community.’ For more information, contact the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale at 718-7964730 ext. 101 or

Scruples opens store in Riverdale

The Dembovsky family has opened the area’s first chic clothing store, Scruples. Scruples is a one of a kind store, offering elegant, yet affordable, garb on Johnson Avenue. There is women’s clothing for all ages that is both fashionable and suitable for all occasions from a day in the office to night at a party. Scruples is located in one of the Friedland properties at 3526 Johnson Avenue, between 235th and 236th Streets. For more information, call 347-843-8960.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, December 1, 2011

Guitar concert at Riv.Temple

Thursday, December 1, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Free Speech and Public Policy An important bonus that comes out of the free and open exchange of ideas, the kind of thing encouraged by a free and fearless press, is that sometimes learning the truth gets you to look into things much more intensively. So it is with the fallout from the discovery that a teacher at P.S. 24 was discovered to be illegally teaching special education children without the mandated state certification. To some this is no big deal, but it was a big enough deal that the Department of Education removed the teacher from the classroom, immediately. Understand that not a word was written of this in our newspaper. We simply asked if it was true. As soon as the officials in charge knew that this situation existed they did what they had to do, what the law (both state and federal) required. But this leads us to another question. The teacher in question was teaching what is called an inclusion class, composed of both regular and special education students. Two teachers cover this type of class, one special education and the other general education. The purpose of this type of class is to provide, for special education students, their education in what federal law calls “the least restrictive environment.” Typically this means in their home-zoned schools. This model is used in schools where the number of special education students is not sufficient to form a critical mass for a “self-contained” class, or the school leadership prefers this model for all of its zoned students. But the vast majority of special education students at P.S. 24 come from out-of-zone, including, we are told, a significant majority of the special needs students in this P.S. 24 inclusion class. In essence, students who could be receiving special education services in an inclusion class in their home-zoned schools, one that conforms to the requirements of “least restrictive environment,” are being bused from their neighborhoods to P.S. 24. This is of no small import. According to the advocacy group, the city spends $7000 per year for each child it buses to school. In this instance, enough is being spent just on busing these children from their home-zoned schools elsewhere to pay for an additional teacher at P.S. 24! While we might question the concept of inclusion classes here since it has had a troubled history here in Riverdale, we certainly would be less concerned if those students were actually from our own neighborhood. Remember this in the context of the annual game of chicken where the city threatens to put local incoming kindergartners on a “wait list” for a place at their home-zoned school. Remember this also in the context of neighborhood gifted and talented kids being excluded from their local school. Why do we even have an inclusion class for out-of-zone students better served in their home-zoned schools? In a climate where schools are forced to cut back on necessities to meet increasingly stringent budgetary restrictions, maybe its time to take a closer look at some of these very significant expenditures. A few months ago, some parents at P.S. 24 were complaining that their children were each being asked to bring in two reams of duplicating paper (1000 sheets). Eliminating the busing of just ten children would generate enough money to buy 25 reams of paper for every student in the school! Frankly, we’d like to see the money spent on another teacher, but you see just how much we’re talking about. Certainly, these are questions that demand answers. But by pretending that they don’t exist, no one is served. Maybe even better ideas will come of a free and open discussion – but only if the forces of darkness and censorship are defeated.

Time to talk about the tax code

To The Editor: As a corrective to our present discredited income tax code, candidate Herman Cain (a contender for the Republican nomination for President) has announced a “9-9-9” tax plan. Resonating with many voters, clearly it will become an issue in the race for the presidency. Yet, a better proposal would be “10-10-0”: - “10%” as a flat tax on income would be symbolically similar to the biblical tithe. If it had God’s stamp of approval, it seems it should be good enough for the government of America. And, there exists an ethical issue as well as a spiritual one. Workers whose incomes are low receive reimbursements on taxes they hadn’t even paid. A taxation system should not be confused with entitlements, the latter being a better and more honest way to deal with the vicissitudes of the impoverished. Furthermore, if it is considered a moral imperative

for even those who receive charity to give charity, that applies as well to sharing in one’s nation’s financial burden. - “10%” as a national sales tax (as with an income tax) makes it simple to calculate one’s financial obligations. Furthermore, a sales tax is not the regressive tax its opponents would have us believe. It would not (should not) be applied to necessities which accounts for most, if not all expenditures by the poor, and much of that of the middle class. But, high-priced luxury items bought by the rich would provide hefty tax revenues. - “0%” taxes and zero subsidies (aka “corporate welfare,” which are substantial and discriminatory) to businesses. Our products would be far more competitive (i.e. cheaper) at home and abroad if business income were not taxed because the cost of production would then be far less. It would also improve our international image because, as noted above,

ANDREW WOLF, Editor and Publisher

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our partners in international trade view subsidies to our producers as violations of fair trade principles. Increased exports as well as of domestic sales would create jobs. (A similar argument would apply to a universal health care system, as it would relieve companies of the heavy costs of providing employees’ health care insurance.) Better than both these mixed measures of revenue raisers, I would argue for completely eliminating the present income tax in favor of a national consumer (sales or a value added) tax. The current system wrongly assumes that income is the basis of ability to pay. In fact, consumer purchases are a more realistic measure of what taxpayers can actually afford. Some among other considerations of why our system of income taxes is unfair to the point of being predatory are: - Cumbersome, complex, time-consuming and expensive to prepare and administer. - The mind-boggling number of loopholes extorted from Congressional representatives through hundreds of millions of dollars in campaign contributions by special interest lobbyists. That is to say, the income tax, progressive in concept, has been manipulated into being seriously regressive. - The cost of discriminatory Continued on page 19

By MIAWLING LAM More than 50 of the country’s best athletes will converge on The Bronx this weekend for the annual New York City Mayor’s Cup Wheelchair Baskeball Tournament. The competition, billed as the largest of its kind in the northeast, will see 16 teams battle it out for the coveted title at two of Riverdale’s premier sporting venues. On Saturday, Manhattan College’s Draddy Gymnasium will host a series of round-robin games before the competition migrates to Horace Mann High School on Sunday for the quarterfinal, semifinal and championship fixtures. An awards ceremony will take place following the proceedings on the main court at 1:30 p.m.

The tournament, currently in its 11th year, will feature three separate draws for teams in the championship division, division three and women’s division. Teams from all over the country travel to New York to compete in the event, considered to be one of the most competitive on the National Wheelchair Basketball Association’s calendar. The games are free and open to the public. Games will kick off at Manhattan College on Saturday, December 3, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Sunday, December 4, Horace Mann High School will play host from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Draddy Gymnasium is at Tibbett Avenue and West 244th Street. The Horace Mann High School Gymnasium is at Tibbett Avenue near West 246th Street.

Time to talk about the tax code

Continued from Page 18 selective corporate subsidies in the hundreds of billions of dollars, the burden of which is passed on to the middle class. Also, they are often vexing to our partners in world trade as they border on violations of fair trade agreements and therefore complicate negotiations. - Outside tax evasion by individuals and businesses including persons at the highest level of government. - Non-payment of income taxes by those engaged in criminal enterprises. - The coercive nature of attaining compliance. (On the contrary, if one can’t afford a consumer product – and its sales tax, one need “just say no!”) The above analysis may not provide a panacea for a perfectly equitable national

revenue system. Even the progressive income tax was admirably intended to be based on ability to pay — as income increased so would the rate of taxation. But, the original intent has been interred within the code as it has exploded from our hundred pages in 1913 to almost 72,000 pages in 2010 (an 18,000% increase). As a good friend perceptively put it the other day, even the initial number was “probably too many” (implying that the original law possessed within itself the seeds of its self-destruction) When we learn to accept the principle that our self-interest derives from what is best for our nation (rather than personal greed), then we might experience “real change.” Until then, I’m not holding my breath! Theodore Fettman

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19 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, December 1, 2011

Wheelchair basketball tourney at Manhattan College

Thursday, December 1, 2011 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


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Riverdale Review, December 1, 2011  

Weekly newspaper published in Riverdale, NY 10471