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Riverdale’s ONLY Locally Owned Newspaper!

Volume XIX • Number 47 • December 6-12, 2012 •


After Sandy, pols ask: ‘Is it time to go underground?’ By MIAWLING LAM Con Edison has vowed to meet with local residents to discuss the feasibility of running power lines underground—instead of overhead—to prevent future electrical outages. The Riverdale Review can reveal the utility provider has indicated it will hold a series of meetings with area residents in the coming weeks to explore the idea of burying cables. However, it is unlikely the power company will give in to demands, with officials again insisting the move would be too costly. Con Edison officials agreed to meet with residents after Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz renewed his call to abolish overhead lines during a press conference in Spuyten Duyvil last Friday. Joined by more than 40 residents who clutched posters reading “Let there be light, and heat, and hot water too” and “enough with the outages,” Dinowitz said it was time that Con Edison acted. He said thousands of residents in at least seven apartment buildings bordering Independence Avenue, Kappock Street and Palisade Avenue were unfairly subjected to frequent blackouts. “They lose power when it snows. They lose power when it

rains. In fact, they lose power when it’s sunny out. It’s been a chronic problem and it’s been a persistent problem,” Dinowitz said. “Con Ed’s claim that it is cheaper to make frequent repairs—which cannot possibly make sense over the long run—doesn’t take into account the cost of spoiled food and other unreimbursed expenses of neighborhood residents. Con Ed needs to do the right thing and put people ahead of profits.” Community Board 8 aging committee chair and City Council candidate Andrew Cohen said many of those who live in the affected buildings are elderly tenants who depend on power for their medication. “This is a very serious issue, and one that Con Edison has the means to address. And they should address it and they should do it now,” he said. Con Edison spokesman Chris Olert said running overhead power lines underground was simply too expensive. “Not only would it cost millions of dollars a mile, but to dig up the streets and avenues there would be disruptive,” he told the Review after the press conference. “In addition, equipment that’s underground takes longer

Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz has renewed his call to put overhead utility lines underground. to fix because it takes longer to find a problem.” Despite Con Edison’s insistence that area power lines cannot be moved, Olert said officials were willing to listen to the concerns of their customers. “We are going to have a whole series of meetings in The Bronx,” he said. However, as of press time,

Con Edison has failed to provide the date, time and location for a single meeting. Local resident Noelia Alvarez said Con Edison’s justification that high cost precludes the lines from being moved underground doesn’t cut the mustard. The 65-year-old, who lives at 2550 Independence Avenue, esti-

mates she has suffered 10 blackouts this year alone and was left without electricity for eight days following superstorm Sandy. Alvarez said if Con Edison can afford to bury the power lines in Manhattan, there’s no reason they can’t do the same in The Bronx. Continued on Page 14

Ari Hoffnung edges closer to possible City Council run

By MIAWLING LAM Riverdale resident and city deputy comptroller Ari Hoffnung is mulling a run for Councilman G. Oliver Koppell’s seat in the 2013 citywide elections, it can be revealed. Koppell is currently serving his third and final term and must vacate office due to term limit rules. Hoffnung said he remains undecided about whether to jump into the muchanticipated City Council District 11 race but gave the strongest indication yet that his political aspirations were still alive. “I am encouraged and touched by the number of friends and neighbors urging me to run for the City Council in 2013 but have yet to make a final decision,” Hoffnung told the Riverdale Review this week. “In the meantime, I will continue to be laser-focused on serving as New York City deputy comptroller. I feel truly fortunate to be in a position where I have the opportunity to work every single day to help make New York City a better place.” The latest comments are in stark contrast to Hoffnung’s previous remarks

Ari Hoffnung and reflect an evolving position on his potential candidacy.

During an interview with the Review last year coinciding with his promotion to deputy comptroller, Hoffnung indicated he would not mount a run and was instead dedicated to his current position. “I am thankful for this opportunity and am committed to carrying out my duties as deputy comptroller,” he said at the time. Hoffnung, 39, first ran for the City Council seat in 2005, but lost to Koppell by a 3-to-1 margin. He planned to run for a second time in 2009 when Koppell was due to vacate the seat but bowed out before the primary after term limits were extended, allowing Koppell to run one last time. The former Wall Street executive, who remains registered with the city’s Campaign Finance Board, has not raised a single cent in four years but still boasts a healthy war chest totaling more than $72,000. As a result, Hoffnung would have a significant leg up on his opponents if he entered the race. Community Board 8 member Andrew Cohen and Van Cortlandt Village resident

Cliff Stanton have already declared their intentions officially. Cohen, who is a private attorney and adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, has already picked up the endorsement of all four local elected officials—Congressman Eliot Engel, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, state Senator Jeffrey Klein and Koppell. Stanton is treasurer of the KingsbridgeRiverdale-Van Cortlandt Development Corporation and is involved with the parents associations at P.S. 24 and the Bronx High School of Science. He is also the leader of a boycott against the Riverdale Review. According to the latest Campaign Finance Board filing, Stanton raked in $32,830 in the first half of 2012. Cohen is not required to file his first disclosure statement until January 15. Prominent Community Board 8 member Daniel Padernacht said he would make a decision about his candidacy in January. Padernacht paved the way for state Senator Gustavo Rivera to defeat scandalContinued on Page 14

Thursday, December 6, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


George Gilbert, photographer, dies at 90 By PAULETTE SCHNEIDER George Gilbert, a noted photographer and former Fieldston Road resident, died last month at the age of 90. He was living at the Regency Park Assisted Living senior community in Portland, Oregon, near his daughter’s home, when he succumbed to lymphoma. His documentary shots are part of the archives at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New York Public Library, the Brooklyn Museum, the Museum of the City of New York, the Jewish Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Houston Fine Arts Museum. Gilbert was part of the Photo League, a cooperative whose members focused on the lives of ordinary people in their New York neighborhoods. He also founded the American Photographic Historical Society, which is no longer active. He was credited for launching the Pentax and Konica AF-1 brands in the United States and for creating the name “Pentax,” shortened from “Pentaflex,” which he considered “too long.” Gilbert authored hundreds of articles published in photography magazines as well as more than 20 books. At one time he was editor of The Shekel, a publication of the American Israel Numismatic Association. His self-published “The Illustrated Worldwide Who’s Who of Jews in Photography” contains 550 biographies, including one on 17th-century philosopher—and lens-grinder—Baruch Spinoza, the renowned Alfred Stieglitz and Kodachrome inventors Leopold Mannes and Leopold Godowsky Jr. He helped bring to light the story of the “Leica Freedom Train,” a rescue effort on the part of Leica camera company founder Ernst Leitz to smuggle hundreds of Jews out of Germany before the Nazi Holocaust—groups of refugees arrived in New York every few weeks and were employed in jobs in the photographic industry at the Manhattan office of Leitz, Inc. As a commercial studio apprentice during World War II, Gilbert enlisted in the military and was assigned by the Air Force to train military staff in aerial mapping. He was scheduled to be dropped on Omaha Beach just prior to D-Day on June 6, 1944, but the Army Corps of Engineers withdrew its plan to measure the beach. Gilbert, along with his wife, Ruth, was active in the Society for Humanistic Judaism, a movement that celebrates Jewish identity and culture and promotes humanistic philosophy “independent of supernatural authority.” He once founded a Riverdale chapter of the society. Ruth Gilbert, his wife of 69 years, was a dance therapist at Riverdale Mental Health Association from 1996 through 2006. She was a member of the Utah Civic Ballet, now Ballet West, and was an artist who studied with Louise Nevelson. Her husband cared for her during her final years as she struggled with Alzheimer’s disease. Gilbert is survived by his son, Steven Gilbert; daughter-in-law Linda Gilbert and granddaughters Nina and Anna of Charlotte, North Carolina; by his daughter, Pamela Gilbert-Bugbee, sonin-law Bill Bugbee and grandson Myles Gilbert Bugbee of Washington, D.C.; and by his sister, Sylvia Meltzer, and brother-in-law, Dr. Leonard Meltzer, of New York and Florida.


Simón Bolívar Foundation 2013 Grant Cycle Now Open The Simón Bolívar Foundation, the charitable organization of CITGO Petroleum Corporation, is pleased to announce grant funding opportunities for non-profit organizations in the South Bronx. Beginning November 26, 2012, the Foundation will accept inquiries from qualifying organizations that offer services to South Bronx residents in the areas of: Education � Environment � Health � Arts & Culture

Visit our website at to determine your organization’s eligibility and review the application process.

APPLICATIONS MUST BE RECEIVED BY FRIDAY, DECEMBER 21, 2012 The Simón Bolívar Foundation is a Section 501(c)(3) charitable organization founded by CITGO Petroleum Corporation, an indirect subsidiary of Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA), the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, December 6, 2012


South Bronx Non-Profit Organizations

Thursday, December 6, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Around the schools... P.S. 81

At a family art night on Wednesday, parent coordinator/artist Nina Velazquez is scheduled to help kids create crayon drawings that can be used as part of holiday gifts like T-shirts, trivets, coffee mugs and mouse pads. The event, held from 6 to 7 p.m. before the parents association meeting, is part of a PA fundraising effort. Fourth-graders will take a trip to see the ballet “The Nutcracker” this Friday.

Riverdale-Kingsbridge Academy

The community is invited to celebrate the holidays and experience RKA’s talented band, chorus and dancers at this year’s Winterfest, scheduled for Thursday, December 13, at 7 p.m. in the RKA auditorium. Visual art will also be on display, with some items available for purchase. The suggested donation is $5. The school’s guidance department is hosting its annual Financial Aid Night for high school families on Wednesday, December 12, at 6:30 p.m. RKA has received a $2,500 Wellness Council Grant, secured through HealthCorps coordinator Austin Cromartie. Programs introduced through the grant will include “Veggiecation,” a nutrition education component featuring gardening and the construction of a greenhouse, and a physical education component where targeted students will be offered weight training as a way of improving behavior, fitness and self-confidence.

Riverdale Country School

A varied season of student holiday concerts, all held in the Jeslo Harris Theater on the Hill Campus, begins this Thursday, December 6, with choral performances at 7 and 8 p.m. The Upper School Jazz Ensemble will perform next Tuesday, December 11, at 7:30 p.m. The Upper School Orchestra and the Middle School Strings will perform on Thursday, December 13, at 7:30 p.m. The Upper School Wind Ensmble and the Middle School Band will perform on Tuesday, December 18, at 7:30 p.m. A Grade 5 Winter Concert will take place on Wednesday, December 19, at 9:30 a.m. in the Lower School Gym on the River Campus. The school will hold community service events this Saturday, December 8, and next Sunday, December 15. The December 8 event is a partnership with the Bowery Mission that connects the school with a hands-on Hurricane Sandy relief effort. Students will assist with cleanup, distribute non-perishable food and toys, and serve lunch to a community that needs help either on Staten Island or in the Rockaways. Transportation will be provided. As an extension of this effort, we will be holding canned/non-perishable food and toy drives to provide additional support. December 15 is the annual Senior Class Breakfast with Santa, where each senior is paired with a child in need for a day of food and fun at school. There are activities, crafts, games, breakfast, and a gift for each child purchased by the paired senior.

Manhattan College

The groundbreaking ceremony for the new Raymond W. Kelly ’63 Student Commons will take place this Thursday. The 70,000-square-foot building, set to open in 2014, will integrate academics and student life programming and provide space for fitness and wellness programming, dining, study, cultural and community events. Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly will attend the event. “This is an honor beyond measure, which I accept on behalf of the 50,000 uniformed and

civilian members of the New York City Police Department. That the student center will serve as the new ‘front door’ of the campus fits perfectly the Lasallian tradition of opening portals in service to the community,” Kelly said. The $48 million project will create the college’s first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)-certified building, located on Manhattan College Parkway in the existing Waldo parking lot. “The Kelly Commons will be at the heart of the campus, both geographically and figuratively,” college president Dr. Brennan O’Donnell said. “It will house our student clubs, student government offices and bookstore, and will be our front door to the community, providing space for gatherings, meetings and events open to the public.”

College of Mount Saint Vincent

Dr. Michelle Scollo, assistant professor of communication, received the National Communication Association Outstanding Publication Award for Language and Social Interaction Scholarship in Orlando, Florida, last month. The award recognized Dr. Scollo’s article, “Cultural Approaches to Discourse Analysis: A theoretical and methodological conversation with special focus on Donal Carbaugh’s Cultural Discourse Theory,” published last year in the Journal of Multicultural Discourses. The National Communication Association is the largest professional communication organization in the world. Recipients of the Outstanding Publication Award have been established in their respective field for a decade or more. “Dr. Michelle Scollo’s award for her article is well-deserved,” said department chair and communication professor Dr. Vincent Fitzgerald. “This award is extremely prestigious and competitive, and the fact that it went to a faculty member at the College of Mount Saint Vincent is indicative of the outstanding work being done in the communication department by faculty and students alike. Dr. Scollo deserves an enormous amount of credit for this outstanding achievement.” Students will compete in the Christmas at the Mount Challenge to raise funds for improvement projects selected by each class’s Board of Representatives on Student Government Association. The winning class applies all the money raised to forward its selected cause. The class also wins an additional $750 from the Board of Programmers. The class of 2013 chose as its project the renovation of Hayes Auditorium. The class of 2014 seeks renovation of the Seton Library. The class of 2015 would like a color printer for the Seton Library. The class of 2016 is concerned with the college’s safety fund.

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Honest commuter returns found laptop from there,” Charlton said. Bearak put his contacts to use and within hours, Aguayo got a call from his boss telling him the owner had been located. Later that afternoon, the owner returned to the train station, relieved to find the laptop and binder safe. “The owner came to my booth and just kept thanking me over and over,” Aguayo said. “They were so happy to have it back and they even gave me a tip.” Though the owner’s name could not be obtained, Charlton downplayed her efforts and assumed others would do the same. “I was raised on the Golden Rule, so I try to live by that,” Charlton said, “but I don’t want to make this seem like it was my doing. So many people helped out. “Between Victor and Corey and the people with the MTA, this really was a combined effort.” According to the 50th Precinct, 363 cases of grand larceny—theft of property valued in excess of $1,000—have been reported this year to date, a 6.5 percent increase from 2011. But this latest good Samaritan case proves that people can still be trusted, Aguayo said. “I know most of the people who come to the station because they come every day,” he said. “Most of them are very nice and will let me know if they find a cellphone or something, so I wasn’t surprised that someone turned in the computer.” Charlton also said she was simply carrying out her civic duty. “I can’t imagine why someone wouldn’t want to help in this situation,” she said. “Maybe because everyone is rushing, they may be too busy to get it. But something like this is too important to just walk away from.”

Local resident Dana Charlton spotted the lost laptop on top of one of these parking meters at the Riverdale Metro-North station.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, December 6, 2012

By TESS McRAE The spirit of kindness is alive and well in Riverdale. Local resident Dana Charlton, an employee of the law firm Klein Zelman Rothermel, was on her way to work last Friday when she noticed something on top of the parking meter at the Riverdale Metro-North station. “I was in the parking lot and I went to the pay meter, and I saw a laptop and a binder left atop the meter machine, just sitting there,” Charlton said. Area commuters soon mobilized to reunite the laptop with its rightful owner. A fellow passenger phoned the station’s parking lot attendant, Victor Aguayo, to tell him of the abandoned computer, while Charlton asked the conductor to make an on-board announcement. “A customer told me that they found the computer and I said I would hold onto it until the owner came to get it,” said Aguayo, who has been working as a parking attendant at the Metro-North station for 20 years. While most people would have stopped there and felt they did everything they could to get the computer back to its owner, Charlton went one step further. When she got to her office in Manhattan, she decided to send an email to the Gotham City Networking email list to see whether any of its members had a lead. Gotham City Networking is a site designed to bring together service-oriented professionals in complementary fields to share contacts, ideas and resources. There are about 800 email addresses registered with the Gotham City Networking mailing list. “After I sent the message out, member Corey Bearak, who is an attorney in government affairs with contacts at the MTA, reached out to them, and it went


Thursday, December 6, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


CSAIR to host weekend of learning

The Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale (CSAIR) will host scholars from Mechon hadar for a weekend of Beit Midrash Learning, Friday, Dec. 7 and Saturday, Dec. 8. The theme of the weekend will be ‘Inside and Outside: Being a Jewish Citizen of the World.’ The program will begin on Friday, Dec. 7 with Minha/Kabbalat Shabbat services at 4:09 p.m., followed by Shabbat dinner at 5:30 p.m. adn a talk by Rabbi Ethan Tucket on ‘Jews Who Wield Secular Power’ at 7 p.m. Prepaid reservations are required for dinner; the talk is free and open to all. On Saturday, Dec. 8, Dena Weiss will lead ‘In the Presence of Absence: Preparing to be with God in Prayer’ at 8 a.m. before Shabbat morning services which begin at 9 a.m. Rabbi Held will speak at services. Following services and Kiddush lunch, participants may choose between two study sessions: ‘Who Has Set Us Apart from the Nations; Jewish Particularism and Universalism,’ taught by Rabbi Rubenstein, and ‘Responding to History: The Creation of Hanukkah,’ taught by Devorah Zlochower. There will be additional activities through the afternoon, including children’s programs, seudah shlishit (light dinner), singing, and a post-Shabbat ice cream celebration. All members of the Riverdale community are invited to join any one or more parts of the program. Cild care will be available. Learners at all levels are welcome. All programs, other than the dinner, are free and open to all. For more information on this program and other learning opportunities at CSAIR, or to register for dinner on December 7, call the CSAIR office at 718-543-8400 or visit the synagogue webiste, CSAIR is located at 475 West 250th Street at the Henry Hudson Parkway.

Alana Llama Winter Films Series

The Riverdale Y’s Alana Llama Winter Films Series for Children is set to begin. This year, it’s all about winter and snow ... bring the kids to the movies filled with all their favorite cartoon characters. The Riverdale Y Alana Llama film experience is special ... Your young child can enjoy G -rated favorites on the Y’s huge high-def screen in a comfortable, child-friendly environment. Make plans

to meet friends on cold winter Sunday mornings for a movie, free popcorn, and a hug from Alana Llama herself! Opening Day: Sunday, December 16, 10:30 am. Lights: The Miracle of Chanuakkah. This animated movie is 24 minutes long with Paul Glaser and Judd Hirsch. The movie will be followed by lakes and applesauce in the lobby. The Riverdale Y is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue. For more information call 718-548-8200, ext. 200

Holiday bazaar at Christ Church Riverdale

Support your local community artisans and vendors! Come do your holiday shopping at the Christ Church Holiday Bazaar Saturday December 8th. Hours are 10-3 in the Parish Hall at 5030 Henry Hudson Parkway at 252nd Street. Hand crafted pottery, toys, games, jewelry, artwork, photography, handbags, frilly scarves; knitted scarves clay sculpture, books, gifts for pets, ornaments and so much more will be available. Personalized ornaments, Alternative gifts to support Carpenter’s Kids in Tanzania and children’s card making crafts galore. There will also be alternative Gifts of Grace. A special visit with St. Nicholas is sure to delight young and old. It’s a great photo-op! Refreshments, lunch and baked goods will be available. On Sunday, the annual Altar Guild Bake and Plant Sale will take place after the 8:30 and 11:00 a.m. Eucharists. Everyone is welcome. Christ Church Riverdale is an Episcopal Church serving the community since 1866 and is a registered national landmark. Street parking is readily available. For more information, call 718 543 1011, or visit www.christchurchriverdale. org.

Rising Stars to present ‘Oklahoma!’

Riverdale Rising Stars Jr. proudly presents Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic musical OKLAHOMA! for a limited engagement of five performances only, from December 8 through December 16. Featuring a cast of 49 talented young thespians ages 7 to 11 from Riverdale, Yonkers, Upper Manhattan, and beyond, performances will be held at the Riverdale YM-YWHA, located at 5625 Arlington Avenue (just off of Riverdale Avenue and West 256th Street), in Riverdale, Bronx, NY.

Performances will be on Saturday, December 8 at 8pm; Sunday, December 9 at 2pm; Thursday, December 13 at 7pm; Saturday, December 15 at 8pm; Sunday, December 16 at 2pm Tickets are $20 for adults and $12 for seniors and students if purchased online at, and www. or $22 for adults and $14 for seniors and students if purchased at the door prior to showtime. Tickets are also available by calling 718.548.8200. For group sales, please email performing

Penny Social at St. John’s School

St. John’s Church will host a Penny Social on Saturday, December 8, at 1 p.m. It will be held at the Old St. John’s School located at 3030 Godwin Terrace in the Bronx. Donation is $5 which includes refreshments and 50 Penny Tickets. There is free parking available. For more information, call 718-5433003.

RCT Presents 13 the Musical!

Riverdale Children’s Theatre presents 13 The Musical a grown-up story about growing up! When his parents get divorced and he’s forced to move from New York to a small town in Indiana, Evan Goldman just wants to make friends and survive the

school year. Easier said than done. With an unforgettable rock score from Tony Awardwinning composer Jason Robert Brown, book by Dan Elish and Robert Horn, 13 is a hilarious, high-energy musical for all ages about discovering that cool is where you find it, and sometimes where you least expect it. This new musical is sure to speak to and captivate current, former, and soon to be teens! Show Times are Saturdays December 8th and 15th at 8pm and Sundays December 9th and 16th at 2pm and 6pm. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online at or at the door. Performances are the The Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy located at 660 West 237th Street. Starring Ben Rosenn, Caitlin Navarrete, Cesar Aquino, Chelsea Castro, Chris Carter, Claire Mills, Deena Danishevsky, Eden Uriel,Gali Davar, Hannah Davis, Harry Gale ,Jennifer Huvane, Jessyca Silva, Juan Virella, Kaetlyn Conteras, Kaitlyn McCormack, Kaitlyn Sheehan, Margot Mills, Olivia Gonzalez, Priscilla Blanco, Sarah Morgan, Shira Schleifer, Tatiana Rosario and Tim Markbreiter

Holiday music at Spuyten Duyvil Library

Celebrate the Holiday/Winter Season with Salvatore Chiarelli on Saturday, Dec. 8, at 2 p.m., at the Spuyten Duyvil Library, 650 West 235th Street. Tenor Salvatore Chiarelli and soprano Elga Johannes will present a program of splendid music. The repertoire will include holiday songs as well as popular, classical, show and opera selections. On a cold December day, come into the warmth of the library to enjoy an afternoon of glorious music. All library programs are free of charge. For more information, call 718-7961202.

At VC Park, you still have to hold it in has become an eyesore and has caused discomfort among parkgoers. Department of Parks spokesman Zachary Feder refused to detail the architectural issues holding up the project, and instead insisted the project was still on track for completion. “We anticipate the completion of the reconstructed Van Cortlandt Park District Headquarters and Comfort Station project this winter,” he said. Feder said the city initially awarded Warren Johnson Electric with the $1.5 million contract to complete the project, and the firm was supposed to unveil the new building within a year. But the contractor defaulted on the contract for non-performance. “The project was delayed by an electrical subcontractor who failed to complete work in a timely manner,” Feder said. “This subcontractor was defaulted, and a new subcontractor has since been completing the project.”

Renovation of Van Cortlandt Park comfort station is now entering its fourth year.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, December 6, 2012

By MIAWLING LAM The $1 million-plus project to renovate the comfort station and district headquarters in Van Cortlandt Park has been postponed indefinitely. Efforts to refurbish the single-story building, located on Broadway just north of West 242nd Street, were slated for completion this fall. But city officials now say the long-awaited project has been hit with another setback. “There are some issues with the architecture division,” Van Cortlandt Park administrator Margot Perron said at last week’s Community Board 8 parks committee meeting. “There are issues with the Williamsbridge Oval building as well as ours, and so everything has been set back. I have no idea what the issues are, but it’s been problematic.” The unfinished building, which has been covered in scaffolding, plywood slabs and blue tarpaulins since late 2009,



FREE CONCERT 2:30 p.m. St. Margaret of Cortona 6000 Riverdale Avenue Botti Opera Showcase will feature works of Cilea, Bizet, Saint-Saens, Sradella, Handel, Poncelielli, Rossini, and Donizetti.

Thursday, December 6, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



Thursday, December 6 Kingsbridge

WRITER’S CIRCLE 1 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street Are you an aspiring writer? Join our writer’s group to share your work and get feedback from other members. All types of writing are welcome, whether it’s fiction, memoir, poetry, or other! For more information, call 718-548-5656.

Friday, December 7 Van Cortlandt

KLEZMER MUSIC 1:15 p.m. Van Cortlandt Senior Center 3880 Sedgwick Avenue Yale Strom Klezmer Duo will usher in Hanukkah. A holiday meal will be served at 12:15 PM. Suggested contribution for lunch is $2.00 and $2.00 for the entertainment. For more information, call 718-549-4700.


MECHON HADAR LECTURE 4 p.m. Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel 475 West 250th Street The program will begin with Minha/Kabbalat Shabbat services at 4:09 p.m., followed by Shabbat dinner at 5:30 p.m., and a talk by Rabbi Ethan Tucker on ‘Jews Who Wield Secular Power’ at 7 p.m. Prepaid reservations required for dinner; the talk is free and open to all. For info, call 718-543-8400.

Saturday, December 8 Riverdale

MECHON HADAR LECTURE 8 a.m. Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel 475 West 250th Street Dena Weiss will lead ‘In the Presence of Absence: Preparing to be with God in Prayer’ at 8 p.m. before Shabbat morning services which begin at 9 a.m. Rabbi Held will speak at services. For more information, call 718-543-8400.


HOLIDAY BAZAAR 10 a.m. Christ Church Riverdale 5030 Henry Hudson Parkway Support your local community artisans and vendors! Come do your holiday shopping at the Christ Church Holiday Bazaar. A

special visit with St. Nicholas is sure to delight young and old. It’s a great photo-op! Refreshments, lunch and baked goods will be available. For more information, call 718-543-1011.


PENNY SOCIAL 1 p.m. Old St. John’s School 3030 Godwin Terrace Donation is $5 which includes refreshments and 50 Penny Tickets. There is free parking available. For info, call 718-543-3003.

Spuyten Duyvil

HOLIDAY MUSIC 2 p.m. Spuyten Duyvil Branch Library 650 West 235th Street Tenor Salvatore Chiarelli and soprano Elga Johannes will present a program of holiday songs as well as popular, classical, show and opera selections. For info, call 718-796-1202.


BROADWAY SHOW 8 p.m. Riverdale YM-YWHA 5625 Arlington Avenue Riverdale Rising Stars Jr. Presents…Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma. For tickets and information visit

Sunday, December 9 Riverdale

CHANUKAH CONCERT 11 a.m. Riverdale YM-YWHA 5625 Arlington Avenue Featuring entertainer Danna Bananan. Light fare will be available. Tickets are $15 per child per family, $25 for two children per family and $35 for three children per family. All adults are $12. Go online to buy tickets at For more info contact Wendy Pollock at 718-548-8200, ext 220.

Van Cortlandt

ETHNIC MUSIC & DANCE 1:15 p.m. Van Cortlandt Senior Center 3880 Sedgwick Avenue Dancing Crane Georgian Performing Arts ensemble will present a stunning program of ethnic music and dance. A festive lunch will be served at 12:15 PM followed by the performance. For more information, call 718-549-4700.

Get Tested for Hepatitis C! Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the Hepatitis C virus. It is often symptomless but rarely harmless. Anyone who has been exposed to contaminated blood or needles — through drug use, tattoos, body piercing or other contact — can be infected. Hepatitis C can also be acquired through sexual contact.

Think you may be at risk? Get tested. It could save your life. The test is also recommended for anyone born between 1945 and 1965. Montefiore Medical Center offers simple and effective testing. Talk to your primary care physician or contact us at 1-800-MD-MONTE ext. 55 for more information.

To watch our video on Hepatitis C or to learn more about our program, visit

GIANT MENORAH LIGHTING 4 p.m. Bell Tower Monument W. 239th St. & Riverdale Avenue The Giant Menorah will be lit. Celebrations will feature a menorah ice caring, Judah the Maccabee, live msuic, hot latkes, donuts, dreidels, and balloons. For more information, call 718-549-1100.

Monday, December 10 Van Cortlandt

NUTRITION TALK 11 a.m. Van Cortlandt Senior Center 3880 Sedgwick Avenue A nutrition talk will be given by A. Jalandoni, RD. For more information, call the center office at 718-549-4700.


CHANUKAH PARTY 3 p.m. Chabad of Riverdale 535 W. 246th Street Chanukah party for the Bat Mitzvah Club of Kinneret Day School. For more information, call 718-549-1100.

OPEN COMPUTER LAB 11 a.m. Riverdale Branch Library 5540 Mosholu Avenue Attention new computer users: Come to the Riverdale Library and get assistance on using the computers. Do you need to learn how to open a free e-mail account or practice going online and exploring the Internet? How about learning how to save a document or copy and paste text? Come to this open lab and ask questions and learn from doing. First come, first served. For more information, call 718-549-1212.


CHOIR DINNER 6 p.m. Hebrew Institute of Riverdale 3700 Henry Hudson Parkway Join in for the Annual Chanukah Dinner with a performance by the HIR Community Choir. Candle light dinner is at 6:30 p.m. The performance will be held at approximately 7:30 p.m. For more information, call 718-796-4730 or visit www.

Thursday, December 13 Kingsbridge

A CHRISTMAS CAROL 4 p.m. Kingsbridge Branch Library 291 West 231st Street A live theater performance based on Charles Dickens’s classic tale of the old miser Ebenezer Scrooge. Presented by the Traveling Lantern Theatre Company. Recommended for ages 4 to 12 years old. For more information, call 718-548-5656.



CB8 MEETING 7 p.m. Community Board 8 5676 Riverdale Avenue Meeting of the Libraries and Cultural Affairs Committee of Community Board 8. For more information, call 718-8843959.


Friday, December 14

MENORAH LIGHTING 4:30 p.m. Dunkin Donuts West 259th St. & Riverdale Avenue Join HIR at the Kosher Dunkin Donuts for Chanukah songs, candle lighting and free donuts. For info, call 718-796-4730. CHANUKAH PARTY 6 p.m. Riverdale YM-YWHA 5625 Arlington Avenue The party will be held in the multi purpose room. Dinner will be served from 6:00-6:30pm followed by arts and craft projects from 6:30-7:00pm, concluding with a candle lighting of the menorah, stories and song fest. For more information, please call 718-548-8200, ext. 201.

Tuesday, December 11 Riverdale

CB8 BOARD MEETING 7:30 p.m. Riverdale Temple 4545 Independence Avenue Regular Board Meeting of Community Board 8. For more info, call 718-884-3959 or visit

Wednesday, December 12 Riverdale


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 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. For more information, contact Wendy Pollock at 718-548-8200 ext 220.


A free concert will be held at St. Margaret of Cortona, 6000 Riverdale Avenue and 260th Street, on Sunday, Dec. 9, at 2:30 p.m. This Botti Opera showcase will feature Shanon Arias, Dominique Frigo, Margaret Killeen, Anthony Maida, and Daniel Zakarija. Mavis Pan is the accompanist, and Velia Botti is the artistic director. They will feature the works of Cilea, Bizet, Saint-Saens, Sradella, Handel, Poncelielli, Rossini and Donizetti.

Giant Menorah lighting in Riverdale

Join in for the Lighting of the Largest Menorah in the Bronx on Sunday, Dec. 9, at 4 p.m. at the Bell Tower Monument at West 239th Street and Henry Hudson Parkway. Celebrations will feature a menorah ice carving, Judah the Maccabee, live music, hot latkes, donuts, dreidels, and balloons. We will also light the Chanukah Menorah on Saturday, December 8 at 6:30pm, Monday-Thursday, December 10-13 at 4:00pm, Friday, December 14 at 3:00pm, and Saturday, December 15 at 6:30pm. Chanukah, the Festival of Lights, reminds us that illumination begins within oneself and one’s family, by increasing and intensifying the light of Torah and commandments. But though the light begins at home, it does not end there. ‘Chanukah brings light to the entire world,’ shares Rabbi Levi Y. Shemtov, Spiritual Leader of Chabad Lubavitch of Riverdale. ‘The holiday’s powerful message to people of all faiths is that inner strength and determination can overcome the mightiest armies.’

This event is co-sponsored by Chabad Lubavitch of Riverdale and Con Edison.

Brandeis group to host semi-annual card party

The Riverdale Chapter of the Brandeis National Committee cordially invites its members and their friends to a Post- Chanukah Card and Game Party to be held on Wednesday, December 19, 2012, at 11:30 A.M. in the Riverdale Temple, West 246 Street and Independence Avenue. Guests are asked to bring their own supplies for Bridge, Canasta, Scrabble, Mah Jongg or other games of their choice. Bingo will be available for those who prefer it. Please reserve in advance by sending check for $12.00, payable to B.N.C., to Cecile Horwich, 5800 Arlington Ave. - 10W, Riverdale, N.Y. 10471, by December 12th. Subscription at the door will be $15.00. Bagels and light refreshments will be served and a boutique, “Vintage Jewelry by Granny Franny” will be displayed for sale.

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

HIR Choir to sing at Chanukah Dinner

Join in for the Annual Chanukah Dinner with a performance by the HIR Community Choir in the social hall of Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, 3700 Henry Hudson Parkway, on Wednesday, Dec. 12 at 6 p.m. Candle light dinner is at 6:30 p.m. The performance will be held at approximately 7:30 p.m. Dinner cost: $20/adults, $15/ kids (ages 4-12); kids under 4 eat free. Sign up online at chanukah. For more information, call 718796-4730 or visit

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

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, December 6, 2012

Free concert at St. Margaret of Cortona


Thursday, December 6, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Vinmont Park ‘neglect’ hit by board By MIAWLING LAM Local residents are mobilizing to establish a “Friends of Vinmont Park” group in a bid to assist city officials with parks maintenance. Community Board 8 is currently seeking volunteers and aims to have the group up and running by spring 2013. Members would be tasked with basic maintenance, ensuring the popular North Riverdale park remains in tip-top shape. CB8 parks committee chair Bob Bender said the initiative was born out of a desire to address the chronic lack of funding for local parks. “We’ve all learned over the last few years the parks department is doing absolutely barebones maintenance, and that’s the way it is,” he said. “We can either sit around and complain, or we can accept that this is the reality and try to deal with it.” The park, located on West 254th Street between Riverdale and Mosholu avenues, was chosen to be the guinea pig because city officials recently finished the $1.1 million renovation to the adjoining Sid Augarten Field. Of that amount, Councilman G. Oliver Koppell allocated $1.05 million toward the refurbishment effort, while the remaining $50,000 was courtesy of former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion. Several residents, including those who live at 5355 Riverdale Avenue and at 5424 Arlington Avenue, have already expressed interest in joining the efforts, Bender said, as have those from Riverdale Neighborhood House and the P.S. 81 parents association. He said depending on how successful the Friends of Vinmont Park effort turns out, the model could be replicated and volunteer groups established at other area public parks. The latest “Friends of” group will be the second to be established in Riverdale—a Friends of Seton Park group has already been created. NYC Parks Advocates president Geoffrey Croft warned there were pitfalls in adopting a proactive approach.

“Every hour and every dollar spent privately is an hour and dollar that the city is off the hook,” he said. “These groups are made up of generally well-intentioned people, but unfortunately the city winds up taking advantage of so many of these groups.” Croft said residents needed to hold the parks department accountable by ensuring that their local parks were being cared for and by lobbying their local elected officials to increase parks funding. “I can’t tell you how many calls I’ve gotten from smaller groups who start off with good intentions but become really discontent because of the lack of willingness from the city,” he said. “They accept that their park is not going to be maintained, and that’s a big issue.”

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

By TESS McRAE The holidays came to Riverdale a little early this year. Hundreds turned out to the Riverdale Holiday Festival on Riverdale Avenue between West 236th and West 238th streets last Sunday. The festival, sponsored by the South Riverdale Avenue Merchants, featured holiday tunes sung by the M.S. 141 school choir, pony rides, a petting zoo, the Bronx Culture trolley and face painting. Residents showed up in droves to sample local eateries and enjoy what Riverdale businesses have to offer. The event was the brainchild of Mario Curnaj, owner of Salvatores of Soho and Yo-Burger, and Rose Ann Milo, owner of Baby It’s You. Curnaj and Milo worked alongside other merchants as well as Community Board 8 to bring the festival to reality, a task that wasn’t always easy. “The way this festival was, is like a sausage,” said Sergio Villaverde, chair of

the CB8 economic development committee. “You don’t want to know what exactly is put into it, but when it comes out, it’s great.” What Villaverde was referring to exactly was unclear, but it could be a blowup during the October general meeting, when a debate erupted over whether street activity permits were being done in accordance with New York City law. Regardless, residents both young and old seemed to have a great time. Free samples served by local tapas restaurant Tin Marin were swallowed up by a hungry crowd almost immediately. Kidaroo had arts and crafts set up for the little ones. Local musician Steve Oates performed a few numbers, followed by Tony Grova’s Elvis Presley tribute. Both Andrew Cohen and Cliff Stanton—the only two official candidates in the City Council District 11 race—were schmoozing with potential voters and handing out palmcards. State Senator Jeffrey Klein and As-

semblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz were also in attendance. Throughout the festival, stores that lined the closed-off streets were packed. At one point, there were no available tables at Yo-Burger. In addition to fostering pride in local

businesses, Riverdale residents were encouraged to do some good while having holiday fun. Several gift baskets and other products were raffled off to help raise money for the Hope Lodge and Pancreatic Cancer Care Network, organizations that help in the fight against cancer.

Mario Curnaj from Slavatores, Amela Kadric from Sotheby’s, and Rosenna from Baby It’s You, at the Riverdale Holiday Festival on Riverdale Avenue.

11 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, December 6, 2012

Sunday’s South Riverdale street fair deemed a success despite iffy weather

Thursday, December 6, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


Engel gets funding to repair damaged roads By PAULETTE SCHNEIDER New York state has been granted $20 million in federal funding for the emergency repair of roads damaged by superstorm Sandy, Congressman Eliot Engel announced last Friday. “Sandy caused heavy damage in lower New York state, and these funds, from the Federal Highway Administration, are for repairing roads in designated counties, including Rockland, Westchester, and The Bronx,” Engel said in a statement. “When natural disasters such as Sandy hit wide areas, it is up to the federal government to assist individual states in making the necessary repairs and rebuilding. This FHA money will help to restore traffic services and make emergency roadway repairs including removal of debris, repairing sign and signal damages and road washouts on federal-aid highways.” The award will be administered through the state Department of Transportation, which will allocate funding for the repairs. It is not yet know which of Riverdale’s roads will benefit from the funding, Engel spokesman Jeremy Tomasulo said. According to a Federal Highway Administration document, the federal emergency relief program provides funds for emergency repairs and permanent repairs on federal-aid highways—all public roads not functionally classified as either local or rural. Once a state governor or the president declares an official emergency, a state may file a request for the cost of repairing damages to its eligible highways, and funds are allocated on the basis of an assessment following the disaster. Cost estimates must call for at least $700,000 before the highway administra-

of The hitason e every s York! in New

tion will consider the damage eligible for emergency relief funding. Damage is defined as serious if it severely impairs the safety or usefulness of a highway or results in road closures and if repair work is beyond the scope of work ordinarily tackled by highway agencies in response to seasonal conditions. Emergency relief funds can be used both for temporary and permanent repairs. Emergency repairs occur during and immediately following a disaster to restore the flow of essential traffic, to minimize the extent of damage or to protect remaining facilities. Temporary repairs may include establishing emergency detours, removing slides and debris, providing temporary bridges or ferry service, regrading embankments and surfaces and replacing rip-rap to prevent further shoreline scour. Permanent repairs restore a highway’s pre-disaster conditions and involve the restoration of pavement surfaces, reconstruction of damaged bridges or culverts and replacement of signs, guardrails, fences and other highway appurtenances. Emergency repair funding may also be used for the cost of maintaining and operating a transit service that provides a temporary substitute for highway traffic. The state’s application for emergency response funds must include a comprehensive list of all eligible project sites and repair costs within two years after the event. “This is a small amount needed to fix the extraordinary damage inflicted, but it is a necessary first step,” Engel said. “I will continue to fight in Congress to secure the necessary funds for our district, and the other regions, affected by the disaster.”

“Inspir Superbed! it’s har !... to be a d not -The Ne mazed” w York Times

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By PAULETTE SCHNEIDER The City Council is proposing that the state begin to regulate all agencies that provide social adult day services, making Medicaid funding contingent upon compliance with state standards of care. The Bronx Community Board 8 aging committee supports the Council’s proposal and expressed concern at a recent hearing about the proliferation of forprofit facilities that might seek Medicare funding without meeting regulations set forth by the New York State Office for the Aging (SOFA). The need for standards has become a priority for those concerned about the quality of senior services because managed long-term care programs are now receiving Medicaid. “The issue is that there’s a sudden new interest in social adult day programs because all of Medicaid is going to manage long-term care, and it’s being rolled out now,” Julia Schwartz-Leeper, executive director of Riverdale Senior Services, said at the hearing. Medicaid funding has captured the interest of companies like EmblemHealth, Aetna and ElderServe, as well as other for-profit entities, who may be forming “pop-up” social adult day centers that are not properly staffed, she explained. “They may not all be bad, but there is a concern by the City Council that they’re just popping up, especially in immigrant populations. They’re trying to gather large groups of people and say, oh come to our center, and they’re enrolling them in these insurance programs. They’re not really social adult day programs because they really don’t have trained people.” The SOFA guidelines include requirements for staff training levels and for the ratio between professional staff members and the clients they serve.

Many served by social adult day facilities have some level of dementia and require assistance with basic activities of daily living, and working with this population calls for specialized knowledge, Schwartz-Leeper explained. But because senior adult day programs are at this point unregulated, “profit centers are just having catered food brought into a big room, and they’re calling it adult day care. They’re having a bingo game going on, and they’re calling it adult day care. But that’s not what adult day care is. “So that’s why we’re trying to adopt these SOFA regulations on what adult day is for. And that’s what the aging committee of Community Board 8 is trying to support, because these pop-up centers are for-profit—I guess they think , this is the new thing, adult day, and they’re going to get paid to do long-term care and they’ll try to enroll as many people as they can,” Schwartz-Leeper said. “It may be that some of them don’t need that much care and it might be OK. But what happens when there really are clients with dementia and who really have needs, and these centers might not have the supervision that they need for those kinds of clients, who can be wandering risks? So there’s a real concern about that.” There is some flexibility in how Medicaid funds are spent. Qualified recipients may receive approval for some home care as well as some visits to a social adult day program. “It’s less expensive when you take care of people in a group, and it’s also good to socialize,” she said. “But if they’re just warehoused in a group, then that’s not providing the needed care.” After cutting funds to Riverdale Senior Continued on Page 14


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13 The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, December 6, 2012

Senior centers seek standards

Thursday, December 6, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


After hurricane disasters, pols demand: ‘Put power out of harm’s way’

Continued from Page 1 “My worst mistake was to buy here,” she said, adding that residents in The Bronx and in the other outer boroughs were treated like second-class citizens. “I have lived in Manhattan so I know that if anything happens, Manhattan comes first while we’re stuck over here in The Bronx,” she said. “Even though it’s Riverdale, they still consider it The Bronx, so we get the services later, if we get anything at all. As I get older, I don’t want to be living here with this getting worse and worse.” Jerry Yuchtman, who has lived in Riverdale for 16 years, was more critical

of Con Edison and said they were shirking their legal responsibilities. “This is all about corporate greed,” he said. “They’re uncaring, selfish and immoral, and what they’re doing really is inexcusable.” Yuchtman, a former utility worker and resident of 2465 Palisade Avenue, said overhead power lines first appeared in the neighborhood when the Villa Charlotte Bronte co-op building was under construction. He said Con Edison had run out of capacity on their underground power lines and decided to supply electricity to the complex by erecting overhead lines.

Hoffnung eyes Council run

Continued from Page 1 tarred Pedro Espada by bowing out of that race in 2010 and has long been touted as a viable candidate. “I will make a decision in the new year, either on or after the next filing date,” he said. “Right now, I am just reviewing the races that I think will be similar or relevant to next year’s Council race.” Meanwhile, fellow CB8 member Robert Press, who ran for the Assembly in the mid1990s, cryptically said he was “definitely not running” but declined to disclose the reasoning behind his decision. Despite Hoffnung’s absence from the local political scene, he still appears to have a grasp on neighborhood issues. When asked what potential voters in District 11 wanted from their local City Council representative, Hoffnung singled out “safe streets, better schools and a government that could do more with less. “They also want a councilman who can balance being an independent voice and a team player,” he said. “If I run and win, I would work

closely with all of Riverdale’s elected officials—whether or not they supported my candidacy.” Hoffnung, who lives in Riverdale with his wife and two children, holds an MBA in finance from New York University’s Stern School of Business and a bachelor’s degree from Queens College. Prior to joining Comptroller John C. Liu’s administration, Hoffnung served as chief of staff to then-Brooklyn Councilman Simcha Felder and worked for more than a decade as a managing director at Bear Stearns. In 2010, he was named as one of City & State’s rising political stars in its “40 under 40” list. Regardless of his decision, Hoffnung said he was committed to continue serving the public. “There are two things I know for sure,” he said. “One, is that my wife and I love living in Riverdale and want to continue raising our family here, and the second is that I hope to continue my career in public service for many more years.”

“As the years went by and the rest of the buildings were being built, they still had excess capacity on the above-ground cable, and that’s how they decided to provide the electrical service,” he said. Meanwhile, Andrew Sandler of Councilman G. Oliver Koppell’s office said Con Edison is already slated to meet with another group of local residents—the Fieldston Property Owners’ Association—next week. “A meeting will be held at the councilman’s office on December 10 with the Fieldston Property Owners’ Association leadership, as well as representatives from Con Ed,” he wrote in an email. “Subjects for discussion will include burying utility lines underground and

treating Fieldston as a cluster of customers instead of individual customers.” Elected officials on all levels of government have weighed in to the citywide issue of burying power lines following the widespread devastation of superstorm Sandy. Last month, City Council speaker and possible mayoral candidate Christine Quinn said utility companies should be forced to switch overhead lines underground in order to avoid a repeat of another major blackout. However, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the issue of funding was a major hurdle. “I don’t know where the money would come from—buried wires are a very expensive thing,” he said.

Senior centers seek standards Continued from Page 13 Services, the city is now restoring funding “because they want to get back into the game of being connected to social adult day (programs),” Schwartz-Leeper said. “Now, because all of Medicaid is going over to managed care, there’s this sort of scrambling around for all of insurance companies who want to be on the bandwagon.” CB 8 aging committee chair Andy Cohen is also wary about what he called a burgeoning trend. “There’s nothing wrong with the fact that they’re for-profit centers,” he said. “It’s the absence of any kind of standards that’s of concern. No one is trying to stifle competition—we just want to make sure that there is a standard and it’s being complied with.” At the Riverdale Senior Services social adult day program, some clients stay from 7:30 a.m. to 5 because a caretaker works

full time. But most are there from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., generally to relieve a spouse. Some have their own full-time aids with them at the center. “They come in and they may be helped with grooming, they discuss current events, they do puzzles, they do art projects, they do exercise,” SchwartzLeeper said. “It’s a wonderful way to allow people who have frailty and dementia to continue to socialize—people who can’t negotiate the senior center can still benefit from socialization and still have opportunities to participate in life and activities.” “This is a vulnerable population and we want to make sure that they’re not taken advantage of,” Cohen said. Though the CB 8 aging committee was unanimous in adopting the resolution, Cohen said, it must now go to the executive committee and then to the full board for approval.

Open House at the Riverdale Y

Join the week of December 10—December 14 and receive

50% off the initiation fee (a savings of up to $75) plus a Riverdale Y T-shirt (one per family)

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CircusFit® Vacation Week will run December 24, 26, 27 and 28. The Riverdale Y, in partnership with Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus® will not only offer swimming, martial arts, multiple sports, creative arts and movies—we have also added CircusFit Training incorporating acrobatic/ gymnastics skills and juggling all taught by an actual circus performer. Ages 5-12 years

FOUR-DAY FEE: $320/$260 Y MEMBER DAILY FEE: $85/$70 Y MEMBER Vacation days will run from 9am-5pm with early drop off and late stay options available. Keep an eye out for our CircusFit After-School enrichment classes beginning in January culminating with an opportunity to perform on opening night of Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus at the Izod Center. For information, contact Joe Smith at (718) 548-8200, ext. 261 or You can register online at 5625 ARLINGTON AVENUE BRONX, NY 10471 (718)548-8200 WWW.RIVERDALEY.ORG

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, December 6, 2012

Be A Clown... Be A Clown!!

Thursday, December 6, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW


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HOLIDAY OPERA PROGRAM 7 p.m. St. Paul’s Church 897 S. Columbus Avenue The acclaimed Bronx Opera Company performs selections from classic operas and seasonal carols. For more information, contact David Osborn, 914-667-4116.

Musicales begin with a tour of the historic Rosen House, beautifully decorated for the season. The tour is followed by a Holiday Musicale in the majestic Music Room (a live concert including sing-alongs!) and a formal tea, served in the spectacular Summer Dining Room. Enjoy a scrumptious spread of tea sandwiches, freshly baked scones with clotted cream and preserves, mouth-watering holiday desserts, a variety of teas and hot chocolate for children (special discount for children 16 and under). For more information, call 914-232-1252.

Mt. Kisco

White Plains

Mt. Vernon

BREAST CANCER SUPPORT GROUP 7 p.m. Northern Westchester Hospital 400 East Main Street Join a group of women who have also heard the words “you have breast cancer” as we discuss issues pertaining to all stages of diagnosis, treatment and post-treatment. Facilitated by cancer survivors. Preregistration required; call 914-9626402 or 800-532-4290.

Friday, December 7 Yonkers

55PLUS HOLIDAY FORUM 8:30 a.m. Dunwoodie Golf Course 1 Grace Avenue Enjoy a light breakfast , socialize, hear interesting speakers on a variety of topics from health “It’s Only a Little Sugar”, second careers in unlikely places to unique opportunities to get involved. Community resource table, Westchester Diabetes Association information, raffles and more. For info, call 914 943-6368.

White Plains

WHOOPI GOLDBERG 8 p.m. Westchester County Center 198 Central Park Avenue The Pepe Infiniti concert series at the Westchester County Center in White Plains presents Whoopi Goldberg! Tickets are now available at the box office and ticketmaster

Saturday, December 8 Mt. Vernon

HOLIDAY MUSIC 12:10 p.m. St. Paul’s Church 897 S. Columbus Avenue Join us for a 2 PM Holiday performance of Holiday music, featuring Harp, French Horn and voice. Arrive early at 1 PM for a presentation about the historical development of Christmas as a holiday in America. For more information, contact David Osborn, 914-667-4116.


TIME OUT FOR REPTILES 1 p.m. Teatown Lake Reservation 1600 Spring Valley Road Winter’s chill will soon be here, how do native turtles survive those long cold months? Discover the survival strategies of their reptilian cousins, snakes and lizards, and Westchester’s abundant amphibian population. Free for members; $5pp for nonmembers. Registration is strongly recommended as programs fill quickly. To register call 914-762-2912 x110.


ST. NICHOLAS DAY CELEBRATION 1 p.m. Philipse Manor Hall 29 Warburton Avenue A festive holiday program by the BAE Singers and Double Reed Band (oboe, oboe d’amore, English horn and bassoon). The St. Nicholas Celebration 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. Visit www.bronxartsensemble. org for more information on upcoming events.


SKATE WITH SANTA 1:30 p.m. Playland Ice Casino Playland Parkway Skate with Santa, followed by 2nd Annual Holiday Tree Lighting at Playland Ice Casino. For info, call 914-813-7059.


A BAROQUE CHRISTMAS 8 p.m. Caramoor Center for Music & Arts 149 Girdle Ridge Road The Aulos Ensemble and soprano Julianne Baird return to Caramoor to present glorious holiday music in the magnificent Music Room of the Rosen House. For info, call 914-232-1252.

Sunday, December 9 Katonah

HOLIDAY TEA MUSICALE 1:30 p.m. Caramoor Center for Music & Arts 149 Girdle Ridge Road There is always something to look forward to at Caramoor! Autumn and winter bring holiday traditions to mind, and your entire family is welcome to join in the festivities. Holiday Tea

MESSIAH SING 3 p.m. Music Conservatory of Westchester 216 Central Avenue Annual Messiah Sing, hosted by the Westchester Choral Society, for singers to participate in this choral reading conducted by Frank Nemhauser is on Sunday, December 9 at 3 pm, Music Conservatory of Westchester, 216 Central Avenue, White Plains, NY. $10 admission includes use of score, and refreshments. For information go to:

New Rochelle

CHAMBER CONCERT 3 p.m. Iona College Christopher Murphy Auditorium Violinists Alex Abayev and Bracha Malkin will join forces to perform J.S. Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins in D minor, BWV 1043, at the Westchester Chamber Symphony’s all-Baroque concert. Individual concert tickets are $50 for general admission, $35 for seniors and $15 for students. For more information or tickets, call (914) 654-4926, e-mail or log onto www.


CANDLELIGHT TOURS 4 p.m. Historic Sherwood House 340 Tuckahoe Road The Yonkers Historical Society presents Candlelight Tours. Come meet Yonkers’ first doctor, Dr. John Ingersoll. Admission is free. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, call 914-961-8940.

Monday, December 10 Yonkers

READING WITH GEOFF DYER 6 p.m. Sarah Lawrence College Slonim Living Room The English writer Geoff Dyer delights in producing books that are unique, like keys. He combines fiction, autobiography, travel writing, cultural criticism, literary theory and a kind of comic English whining. For more information, call (914) 3952412 or visit

Tuesday, December 11 Yonkers

WEISS-KAPLAN-NEWMAN TRIO 1:30 p.m. Sarah Lawrence College Reisinger Concert Hall The trio brings to each performance its distinctive fusion of authority and experience, energy and passion. These three highly acclaimed musicians comprise an ensemble that embraces the music of the future while offering fresh insights into three centuries of masterworks. For more information, call 914-395-2412 or visit


REI FREE CLASS 7 p.m. REI Yonkers Ridge Hill Shopping Center Whether you ski, snowshoe, snowboard or snowmobile in the backcountry, recognition of avalanche danger is an essential and potentially lifesaving skill. This 2 hour session introduces and explains where and why avalanches occur and provide a basic approach to managing risk in the back country. For more info, call 914-410-9500 or visit


STRING ORCHESTRA CONCERT 7:30 p.m. Sarah Lawrence College Reisinger Concert Hall Sarah Lawrence String Orchestra performs Appalachian Spring, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Tchaikovsky’s Fifth. For more info, call 914-395-2412 or visit

Thursday, December 13 Katonah

HOLIDAY MUSICALE 2:30 p.m. Caramoor Center for Music & Arts 149 Girdle Ridge Road Begin a new holiday tradition at Caramoor! Holiday Musicales are a magnificent way to usher in the holiday season. Each concert, open to the public, includes live performances of holiday favorites and sing-alongs – fun for the entire family! (Children pay half price). Artists: Jonathan Estabrooks, baritone; Joel Harder, piano. For more information, call 914-232-1252.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, December 6, 2012

Thursday, December 6

Thursday, December 6, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW 18


The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, December 6, 2012

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The Riverdale Y will have a Chanukah party on Monday, December 10 from 6:00pm til 7:30pm. The entire community is invited. The party will be held in our multi purpose room. Dinner will be served from 6:00-6:30pm followed by arts and craft projects from 6:30-7:00pm, concluding with a candle lighting of the menorah, stories and song fest from 7:00pm-7:30pm. Pre-registration is $5 for children and $7 for adults; at the door $5 for children and $10 for adults. For more information, please call 718-5488200, ext. 201. The Y is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue.

BAE presents its annual St. Nicholas Celebration

The Bronx Arts Ensemble opens the holiday season with its St. Nicholas Day Celebration on Saturday, December 8 at 1 pm and 3 pm at Philipse Manor Hall at 29 Warburton Avenue at Dock Street, in Yonkers and Saturday, December 15 and Sunday, December 16 at 1 pm and 3 pm at the Bartow-Pell Mansion on Shore Road, Pelham Bay Park, near the Split Rock Golf Course. A festive holiday program by the BAE Singers and Double Reed Band (oboe, oboe d’amore, English horn and bassoon). The St. Nicholas Celebration 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 for the 3 pm performance on December 8 and 1 and 3 pm performances on December 15 and 16 through or by calling 718.601.7399. Orders are limited to 5 tickets per person, as seating is limited. Visit for more information on upcoming events.

Chanukah concert at Riverdale Y

The Riverdale Y will have a Chanukah Concert on December 9 from 11am-12 pm with entertainer Danna Bananan. Danna banana, dubbed ‘best party entertainer’ by New York Magazine, is a singer by training and a kid at heart. He’s done shows in venues big and small all over this land, as well as parties for everyone from Annie Liebovitz to Ernie Anastos to Rosie O’Donnell. He began his career as founder/producer/performer at Gusto House, a late 80’s cabaret/performance space that helped launch the careers of the Blue Man Group, John Leguizamo, Steve Buscemi, and many others. His kids led him back to his cabaret roots, however, and after returning to New York,. ostensibly to further his operatic career, he began writing and performing as danna banana, honing the tunes that

would become his first award-winning album, Bananappeal He’s been entertaining kids and families since his first cd, Bananappeal, won him a Grand Prize in the prestigious John Lennon Songwriting Contest. And he uses all that experience-as a writer, performer, husband, and father- to create his unique, hummable, hilarious songs. The modern pop production and fresh, funny lyrics ‘make parents and kids hoot with laughter’ (New York Magazine) Light fare will be available. Tickets are $15 per child per family, $25 for two children per family and $35 for three children per family. All adults are $12. Go online to buy tickets at For more information contact Wendy Pollock at 718-548-8200, ext 220. The Y is located at 5625 Arlington Avenue.

New activities at the Riverdale Senior Services

Clubs, Computer Classes, special events and parties are just some of the happenings at the Riverdale Senior Services, located at 2600 Netherland Avenue in the Century Building. The center will also be offering the following programs: Wednesdays at 2:45, Yiddish Group, Fridays at 10:00, Scrapbooking. Tuesday, December 11th from 10-2. Holiday Sale Wednesday, December 12th. Holiday Party with music by Linwood Peel at 1:00, register in the main office. $5.00 Suggested Contribution

Wednesday, December 19th at 1:00. 225th Birthday Celebration for the Constitution play, directed by Irving Ladimer. Monday, December 31st at 1:30. New Year’s Eve Party. The Center is currently registering members for a trip to Kohls on Friday, December 14th, Christmas Tree Store on Monday, December 17th, Lunch at Crab Shanty, Tuesday, December 18th, Caroling to the Holiday Pink House in Pelham, Friday, December 21st, Empire City, Monday, December 24th. Please register in the office for all trips. The Riverdale Senior Services is funded in part by the NYC Department for the Aging and is open Monday - Friday from 9 - 5. A wide variety of activities are offered daily as well as a hot lunch. New members are always welcome and for more information you can call 718-884-5900.

Chanukah Celebration at Borough Hall

Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. invites everyone to join him at the Bronx Annual Chanukah Celebration on Wednesday, December 12, at The Bronx County Building, Veterans Memorial Hall, 851 Grand Concourse. The program begins at 1 p.m. Mistress of Ceremony will be Suzyn Waldman, New York Yankees broadcast. Musical performance by Dafna Israel-Kotok, Shir Fun recording artist and educator. Seating is complimentary and limited. To RSVP, call 718-590-6116.

The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, December 6, 2012

Chanukah party at Riverdale Y

Thursday, December 6, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW



Obama Punts on Palestine

Editorial of The New York Sun | December 2, 2012 Reprinted with Permission We love that headline, ‘Obama punts to Congress over repercussions for UN Palestine vote.’ It was linked on the Drudge Report within minutes of going up on the website site of the Hill newspaper, no doubt because it highlights the ironical impact of the vote in the United Nations conferring observer status on the state declared by the Palestinian Arabs. “The White House won’t seek to punish the Palestinian Authority for this week’s statehood vote at the United Nations,” reported the Hill’s Julian Pecquet, “but did not vow to veto pending legislative proposals to cut off U.S. aid in retaliation.” In other words, power over American foreign policy is shifting, in the wake of President Obama’s re-election, to the Congress from an administration that has been lost in the Middle East almost from the day it acceded. It represents a chance to settle one of the most important feuds in the whole Middle East war, that between the legislative branch of the United States on the one hand and the executive branch on the other. With respect to Israel, we’ve had some notably fine presidents— Truman, Reagan, Bush ’43—but on Jerusalem and a few other points, Congress has been the more far-sighted player. The Senate is getting set to vote on what the Hill characterizes as “new restrictions” on the $600 million in annual American aid to the Palestinian Arabs. The aid is supposedly a payoff to the Palestinians to get them to come around to the American side of this whole showdown. In reality, it is an incentive for them to do the opposite, a point that has been thrown into sharp relief by Mahmoud Abbas’s insistence on getting the declaration he’s just gained from the General Assembly. It would be shocking if the Congress lets the thing pass without cutting off the money that underwrites the Palestinian racket. No wonder the spokeswoman for the state department, Victoria Nuland, ducked the matter by saying, according to the Hill, that questions about repercussions of the United Nations action are “better directed at the Congress than at us.” The Hill quoted her as saying Friday that the State Department is “still trying to release $495 million in pending funds for fiscal year 2012 that were held up following the Palestinians’ failed effort last year to become a full member of the U.N.” It quoted her as saying the department would “also continue to try to support” a Palestinian Authority that needs “the international community’s support.” The White House was even more blase. The Hill quotes a spokesman, Josh Earnest, as having “stopped short of issuing a veto threat against congressional efforts to block the aid.” The Hill says the spokesman said the administration “does not have any information to share,” as they put it. It quoted Mr. Earnest as saying, “The reason for that is simply that our aid to the Palestinians is an important part of our relationship. And we believe that we can—the United States can and should play a constructive role in facilitating negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians.” The wishy-washiness of President Obama and Secretary Clinton is no doubt why the Senate is stepping into the breach. It’s not only the Republicans who are alarmed. It’s also Senators Schumer and Menendez. Measures they are looking at in combination with such Republicans as Senators Graham and Barrasso include closing an office of the Palestine Liberation Organization in Washington. Senator Hatch, according to the Hill, is seeking to cut almost all of the aid to the PLO. Meanwhile, the outgoing chairwoman of the House foreign affairs committee, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, has warned against any attempt by the administration “to gut U.S. law” and keep funding any U.N. agencies that admit a Palestinian Arab state. It is shaping up as quite a spectacle, particularly as federal courts wrestle with how much power Congress has over the question of the young American boy who was born in Jerusalem and wants a U.S. passport that lists his birthplace as Israel. Congress says the State Department must grant it. When the matter got to the Supreme Court, the Obama administration, like the Bush administration before it, took the position that it was, essentially, none of Congress’s business. But this kind of tug-of-war between the executive branch is not one any administration is going to want to play over the issue of appropriations for foreign aid. The power of the purse, as opposed to the power of the passport, is just so clear under the Constitution as resting with the Congress. No wonder the White House is punting.

The fateful deadline: Dec. 31, 2012

To The Editor: We are now in the month of December and fast approaching, in only a few short weeks, that fateful deadline of December 31, 2012. And I personally am fervently and anxiously hoping that that momentous deadline will pass with absolutely nothing being done. Don’t get excited! I’m not talking about the so-called “fiscal cliff” for which there actually really is no (this-is-it) deadline. The next Congress can pass legislation retroactively. I’m talking about our corrupt, dysfunctional and overpaid state legislators trying to vote themselves unwarranted raises at a special session, which if not done by Dec. 31 cannot by law be done for another two years. If we didn’t live in such a corrupt world, elected officials would not legally be permitted to raise their salaries after election day. They would have to make a case to the public and pass such legislation into law PRIOR to election day — at which time their constituents would pass judgment. The current system is abominable and an affront to democracy by both the Democratic and Republican parties.

But politicians really don’t give a damn about the public; they’re basically, with few exceptions, in business for their own personal aggrandizement. Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz (81 A.D.) has at various times over the years stated that he felt he deserved a raise. So, I ask him now to respond to this letter and

Why not a Senate Conservative Conference? To The Editor: As you know, I have been as unusually, uncharacteristically, uncustomary, and uncommonly quiet as possible during the latest Albany brouhaha about the future of the New York State Senate. News articles and blogs appear daily about the back and forth bickering and dickering among New York’s State Senators about who will control the Senate and what impact the Senate Independent Democratic Conference will have on the Senate. Like I said, I’ve remained very quiet as my Senate colleagues step in front of cameras and microphones to posture themselves to promote any number of social issues that can or will

ANDREW WOLF, Editor and Publisher

Note our new address: 5752 Fieldston Road Bronx, New York 10471 (718) 543-5200 FAX: (718) 543-4206

JOEL PAL Production Manager ROBERT NILVA Marketing Director

make a case to the people by giving specific reasons why he believes that he and his fellow legislators deserve raises, and why it has to be done in such a sneaky, despicable manner. I’ll be waiting for the assemblyman’s response at which time I’ll have much more to say. Alvin Gordon

CECILIA McNALLY Office Manager MIAWLING LAM Associate Editor

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

be on the Senate floor when Session resumes. You should all know that I have made it crystal clear that I am a Democrat, that I have always been a Democrat, and that I have no intention of being anything other than a Democrat. You should also know that people have been whispering in my ear saying that since the breakaway Independent Democratic Conference is thriving, there are some Senators who may be interested in forming another Senate Conference. According to my count, aside from the already two Conservative Democrats in the State Senate, there must be at least ten Conservative Republicans. And so my advice to my Senate colleagues is to think very carefully about approving any Senate Conference outside of the Democrat Conference and the Republican Conference because you just may be opening Pandora’s Box. Once that Box is opened, what would stop Conservative Members of the State Senate from forming a Conference of their own? State Sen. Rev. Rubén Díaz


The RIVERDALE REVIEW • Thursday, December 6, 2012

Thursday, December 6, 2012 • The RIVERDALE REVIEW 24

Riverdale Review, December 6, 2012  

Weekly newspaper published in Riverdale, NY 10471

Riverdale Review, December 6, 2012  

Weekly newspaper published in Riverdale, NY 10471