Wednesday, November 28, 2012

It's Official

Riverdale Report
By Robert Press

While we told you a few weeks ago that Community Board # 8 Aging Committee Chair Andrew Cohen was going to be running for the term-limited city council seat currently occupied by Councilman G. Oliver Koppell, it is now official. 

The announcement came last Tuesday at City Hall as Mr. Cohen was joined by Congressman Eliot Engel, State Senator Jeff Klein, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, Council member James Vacca and Council member Koppell ( whom he hopes to succeed). You can go to my blog at to read more about Mr. Cohen, what the elected officials had to say about Mr. Cohen running for the city council seat of Councilman Koppell, and a photo of Mr. Cohen, Congressman Engel, State Senator Klein, Assemblyman Dinowitz, and Councilman Koppell.
Mr. Cohen now joins Cliff Stanton as official announced candidates for Councilman Koppell's seat to be vacant at the end of 2013. Mr. Ari Hoffnung who ran in 2005, was the front runner in 2009 for Koppell’s seat until the term limit law was overturned by the City Council and Mayor. Mr. Hoffnung has expressed interest in running again, but told me that he would be waiting until the new year to make a decision. An Assistant Comptroller currently, Hoffnung could become Deputy Comptroller at the beginning of the year, as the current Deputy Comptroller Simka Felder was elected to a Brooklyn State Senate seat. Another deciding factor could be the relationship between Mr. Hoffnung and the new leading candidate for comptroller current Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer.

NYC Parks Commissioner Veronica M. White thanked those on hand for attending the ribbon cutting ceremony at the new Van Cortlandt Park Ice Skating Rink. On hand were Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, Councilman G. Oliver Koppel, members of the Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy, Community Board #8 members, and skaters from the Ice Theater of New York who gave several special ice skating performances. You can go to my blog to see photos of the different skaters from The Ice Theater of NY, and the ribbon cutting at center ice. It was interesting to hear BP Diaz, Councilman Koppell, and Assemblyman Dinowitz all compliment the new ice skating rink, as all three put in a plug for the ice skating proposal at the Kingsbridge Armory during their speeches that they have endorsed.

Sunday December 2nd is the Riverdale Avenue Street Festival. Riverdale Ave. from West 236th to West 238th Streets will be closed to traffic from 12 – 4 p.m. to allow for street activities such as pony rides, a petting zoo, live entertainment, and more. We will have photos on my blog, and a recap of the event in next weeks column.

Finally, Saturday was the unveiling of “Frank Durkin Way” at the corner of West 240th Street and Tibbet Avenue right in front of the Gaelic Park field. Mr. Martin Lyons opened the ceremony by telling those assembled the history of Mr. Frank Durkin. On hand to pull the covering of the sign was Monica and Mary Durkin, but they had a little trouble as the rope broke as they started to pull on it. There were some laughs from those assembled, and a few said that it was a sign that Frank is here with us. Mr. Lyons also said that this will be only the third person of Irish Descent with a street sign. He said former TWU head Mike Quill and former City Council Speaker (and relative to Frank Durkin) Paul O'Dwyer were the other two.

State Senator Jeff Klein, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, Ms. Annie O’Connor (chief of staff for Councilman Koppell, who was out of town), Community Board #8 Traffic and Transportation Chairman Dan Padernact, and about 200 other people were on hand for the ceremony. Senator Klein read from a proclamation that November 24th is to be known as Frank Durkin Day. You can see photos of the event on my blog.

Don't forget that you can find the latest listing of weekly events going on at Wave Hill on my blog by checking the archive section on the left.

If you have any comments about this column or would like to have an event listed or covered in this column or on my blog you can e-mail us at or call 718-644-4199 Mr. Robert Press.

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