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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Andy Wolf Responds to Boycott of Review: UPDATE


So here is Andy Wolf's answer to a community boycott against his rag the Riverdale Review --[UPDATE: As only a true coward would, Wolf made his site password protected once we linked to it] true to form he spews plenty of hate and lies and tries to hide behind the First Amendment. Wolf calls me "corrupt" and a "two-bit politician" -- last I checked I have been elected to no office and enjoy a stellar reputation as a volunteer for the past 15 years. Wolf then goes on to jumble up the idea of freedom of the press and the First Amendment -- of course, he fails to acknowledge or comprehend that those principles only apply to governmental action to limit the press or speech. Boycotts of newspapers and speech by non-governmental entities and communities are as old as our country. There have been boycotts of the Daily News by one of its unions, boycotts of Hearst Newspapers, and there is a major boycott going on right now involving Fox News. More locally, in 2006 right here in Riverdale there were two protests by some prominent religious leaders of speeches to be given by controversial speaker Tony Judt. Mr. Judt cancelled one of those appearances under the threat of further protests. Those religious leaders had every right to express their displeasure with his appearance and speech--that is what is protected by the First Amendment. Andy Wolf supported their efforts in his paper. Why was he not screaming about free speech then? Because he is either a hypocrite or completely ignorant of the basic tenants of the Constitution. If you want to stop the hate Sign this Petition or visit this Facebook Page for more information.

62 comments:

  1. You're a politician. You ran for office, you have a "club." You're neck-deep in city politics. I'd say the definition fits.

    Just because you lost and you're club is a waste of time doesn't mean you're not a politician.

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  2. And just because Wolf owns a newspaper doesn't make him a journalist. Hey Anonymous 7:57am, you want to accuse Cassino of being a politician? Fine. How about all the lies Wolf prints about him? Ever see any evidence? Of course not. How do you ignore the malicious, hate-mongering crap Wolf writes. The blackmail he has perpetrated on institutions. The fact that certain polticians never get criticized? His whole operation stinks, but evidently, you like the smell.

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  3. Wolf is undoubtedly a nasty piece of work and now it's time for him to pay for his years and years of baseless attacks and misguided rants.

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  4. Thanks Mr. Cassino for explaining so succinctly why Mr. Wolf is NOT a free-speech martyr.

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  5. ohmygod, i love this boycott!!! … and very glad that people have joined together to bring down the big bad wolf

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  6. That nasty blather Andrew Wolf incessantly spews in the pages of the Riverdale Review is, for the most part, deliberately false and misleading. He's no journalist!

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  7. Once you see the empty shallowness of Andy Wolf’s arguments, you realize that no proof is ever given for his wild and deceptive claims. But then who needs evidence for pure fantasy?

    His method is to repeat a lie long enough in the hope it will become truth. In his poor excuse for a tabloid, the rule is always guilt before innocence.

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  8. The local politicians who used to support Andy Wolf must be running from him like scalded dogs.

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  9. update: Here is this week's list of people and places who are literally paying Andy Wolf to write mean stuff.

    As always, this recap does not include personal/business/professional ads; they are too numerous to mention. This week's issue also contained a full-page "Happy Hanukkah" ad with entries from a veritable who's-who of 35 local businesses, including Liebman's, Bank of America, Skyview Wine, IHOP, DJ Drugs, etc.

    Anyway, on to the big guns: Bright Home Energy Solutions (1/4 and 1/2 page ads), Chabad of Riverdale (4 ads total), Shear Bliss, Marilyn's Diamond Collection, Seaman Car Service, Taim Falafel Shack, Elite Complete Cleaning Service, Christ Church Riverdale, "Singles in Sync" (hello!), Cappy's Stationery, City Funeral Service, Shalom Jewish Funeral Home, Jewish Memorial Chapel, I&C House Cleaning Serivces, Riverdale Oral Health, Lee's Nail Salon, Riverdale Dental Care, NickyAnn Rivera Realtor, Capital One Bank, Riverdale Homes, Bronx Jewelry & Antiques, Ponce De Leon Federal Bank, Anita Wolfe Realtor, Therapy with a Twist, David Allen Bath Shop, Bon Secours/Schervier, Argo Residential, Skyview Apartments, Goodfellas Pizza, Riverdale Organizer, Sherbee Antiques, and a big full-page, full-color ad on the back from the Riverdale Y.

    That looks pretty similar to the last issue's list. In happier news, Wolf couldn't sell an ad opposite his editorial page, so he had to run a full-page personal testimonial from highly respected education professor/expert and best-selling author Diane Ravitch in which she praised the Review's coverage of the local schools. uh, moving on . . .

    Look, this boycott ain't gonna work if you're going to be stuffing your face with Liebman's deli as you take a comfortable, well-appointed Seaman's SUV down to Garden Gourmet to do your shopping. A reader boycott of ~100 people doesn't register as a blip on the radar screen of Wolf's business model. But boycotting the advertisers / and telling them WHY you are boycotting? This is the only thing that gives you a possibility of achieving your wildest dreams.

    Reading the Review so you don't have to, and wishing you luck until next time.

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  10. With The Riverdale Review in the crosshairs of a major boycott campaign, its editor Andrew Wolf has already been trying play nice for the past three weeks by avoiding any attacks on local schools and institutions. But that tactic won’t work since the boycott shows no signs of going away.

    If anything, the boycott movement seems to be growing in strength and numbers. I’m glad to see that issue No. 2 of the boycott’s publication called “Recycle the Review” is already appearing in buildings throughout the community. I got mine last Thursday. It makes nice reading and presents a damning case against Mr. Wolf and his tiny band of no-talent hacks.

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  11. If those advertisers start to jump ship, the revenue squeeze will cripple the Riverdale Review. Giggle, giggle ... ain’t that a shame?

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  12. Hey Andy Wolf,

    So where are your good friends (and longtime supporters) U.S. Representative Eliot Engel, N.Y. State Assembly Member Jeffrey Dinowitz and N.Y.C. Council Member Oliver Koppell now that you've got a public boycott going against you?

    Talk about fair-weather friends!

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  13. After so many years trafficking malicious lies, unfair exaggerations, unsubstantiated rumors and hurtful stereotypes about people throughout the Bronx, Andy Wolf has accumulated a large group of victims and enemies. Now they are all joining forces against him in this boycott. All I can say is more power to them.

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  14. That boycott could be the end of him.

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  15. Hilarious! I can't believe that dope Wolf made his site password protected. What's he afraid of? Now he can be sure that nobody reads it! Maybe he should rename it "Riverdale.me-and-nobody-but-me"!!!

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  16. Poor Lil' Andy is having to play a lot of defense these days.

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  17. That's a development login. Probably means the site is being worked on. You really think he'd run the op-ed in thousands of papers yet block it from a blog ten people read?

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  18. Keep it going boycotters. Our neighborhood salutes you!

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  19. The lonely, lame and confused response from the publisher of the Review shows that he's got no real arguments of justification and no powerful protectors. In that respect, the boycott is already proving useful and is already having an effect, and it is only just starting. This is great news. Mazel Tov!!!! Yeah!!!!

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  20. Wolf prints a tabloid drenched in lies and half-truths. It is full of baseless but damaging accusations and nonsense. Then he tries to wrap himself in the Constitution by mischaracterizing what it really says. He’s simply attempting to divert attention from boycotters who are justifiably angry and who are exercising their free speech. He’s obviously desperate, desperate, desperate, and he’s weak, weak, weak! It’s time for the sun to finally set on that nasty mess of a publication.

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  21. All this must be weighing heavily on his insane malicious soul.

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  22. Can’t we all just get along? Maybe a neutral party like State Senator Klein could broker a truce here?

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  23. I'm going to get some local Twitter addicts to join the campaign against that awful rag.

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  24. Dear Boycotters,

    Don't listen to anyone trying to sue for peace and offer a truce on behalf of Andy Wolf. Remember in 1991 in the Gulf War when George Bush the Edler didn't "finish the job" by taking out Saddam Hussein. Wolf is sort of like that. He can't be trusted to behave.

    My point is that you have already done the hard part by collecting hundreds of signatures and carefully documenting the abuses committed by Wolf. Now you only need to go in for the kill by going after his advertisers. Finish the job!

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  25. Hey Anonymous “Rodney King” Dec. 7, 9:55 AM … Senator Jeff Klein has been unfairly and incessantly attacked by Andy Wolf for many years. If anything, Senator Klein would stand firmly with the boycotters!

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  26. Oh please don't let Wolf off the hook. The boycott must continue until Wolf is defeated and the Review is truly gone.

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  27. So not only does Mr. Wolf get the news totally wrong, he also fails to grasp a basic principle of American Government 101. As Mr. Cassino correctly notes, the First Amendment restrains the GOVERNMENT.

    That is why, as my political science professor taught me decades ago, civil liberties such as freedom of speech and freedom of the press are known as "negative rights," because they limit the power of government.

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  28. This remarkable campaign against the Riverdale Review will succeed. And then I will be happy to say "Good riddance Andy Wolf, you failed at your chance to publish a real newspaper and you have done nothing but criticize good hardworking people, cherished schools and valuable neighborhood organizations. Your hate-filled rag will not be missed!"

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  29. It is time for the editor of that so-called newspaper to be held accountable for all of the damage he done and attempted to do in Riverdale. Keep up the good work.

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  30. I just saw the latest issue of The Riverdale Press (a real newspaper!). There are a bunch of letters to the editor attacking Andy Wolf and his Riverdale Review. They denounce Mr. Wolf as being …

    (1) a hypocrite in terms of the First Amendment

    (2) a yellow journalist “who feels he has the right to stigmatize our children from his bully pulpit”

    (3) a “mean-spirited, small-minded man who got some political pals to secretly help him buy a printing press”

    One of the letters says that the Riverdale Review was “born in an unholy deal with Rep. Eliot Engel and Councilman Oliver Koppell”.

    Another says that “Having political friends who help you buy a newspaper doesn’t make you a journalist or give you the right to attack the good hardworking parents and educators in this community”. It also says “Andy Wolf’s deliberate distortions, misrepresentations, stereotyping, biased advocacy and the more than occasional conflict of interest, violate the most basic tenants of ethical journalism”.

    It’s nice to see folks expressing their thoughts so eloquently.

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  31. I heard that the Review did another hatchet job (albeit a mild one) on P.S. 24 this week. You boycotters need to intensify your efforts to make sure that the Review is quickly squeezed out of existence … start going after his advertisers!

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  32. That Andy Wolf never even bothers to verify the facts before writing trash in his trashy newspaper. He reveals what a sick mind he has by writing such filth about importamt community groups and influential people in the northern parts of the Bronx. He spews venom and filth. What does he know? Nothing! He is hurting the sentiments of thousands of residents of Kingsbridge and Riverdale by writing such filth. Whatever is instigating him to do this I do not know. But I do know that it has to stop. SHAME ON YOU ANDY WOLF! --- SHAME ON YOU ANDY WOLF! --- SHAME ON YOU ANDY WOLF!

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  33. By actively promoting the boycott, you are playing hardball with that bully Wolf. Good for you!

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  34. Now that the "Recycle the Review" movement has hundreds and hundreds of petition signatures, the next stage of the boycott is impossible for Wolf to stop. It will certainly be a bitter pill for him to swallow. However, the time is coming to lower the curtain on his angry pathetic show.

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  35. This boycott campaign is extraordinary and unprecedented in Riverdale. I am particularly surprised that none of the local elected officials have dared to publicly utter so much as a single word in defense of the Riverdale Review’s beleaguered editor. They all used to be so cozy together, but now they are all in uncharted waters.

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  36. Not only is Andrew Wolf 'a yellow journalist "who feels he has the right to stigmatize our children from his bully pulpit”', he is also an extortionist. In past he has demanded that local institutions, like the Riverdale Y place ads in his rag before he would publish their community events. He is despicable and deserves to be boycotted and put out of business.

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  37. Okay, you all know the drill by now. These are the organizations and people who sponsored the December 9th issue of the Riverdale Review:

    ProFlowers (a full-page, full-color ad), Dave & Beverly Shoes, Marilyn's Diamond Collection, Whole You Spa, Chabad (3 ads), Riverdale Temple, Nativ, I&C House Cleaning (2 ads), Cappy's Stationery, Seaman Car Service, Singles in Sync (oh to be young again!), Shalom Jewish Funeral Home, City Funeral Service, Weinstein Memorial Chapel, Jewish Memorial Chapel, Gotham Driving School, Elite Complete Cleaning Service, Riverdale Oral Health, Lee's Nail Salon, Capital One Bank, Omaha Steaks, Riverdale Homes, The Postal Outlet (insert), Modell's Sporting Goods (a large, full-color eight-page insert), Ponce De Leon Federal Bank, Anita Wolfe Realty, Skyview Apartments (they are practically giving away units there; what gives?), Dish Network (full-page, full-color), Argo Residential Realty, Pasquale's Rigolleto of Arthur Avenue, Goodfella's Pizza, Riverdale Organizer, Sherbee Antiques, and, once again, a full-page, full-color ad on the back page from one of the bedrock institutions of our community, the Riverdale Y.

    This list isn't getting any smaller, and whatever small-time advertisers from last week dropped out seem to have been replaced by big-time companies with a national profile. You know what I'm about to say, don't you?

    You have to boycott his advertisers, and you have to tell his advertisers why you are boycotting. I know, I know -- it's messy and confrontational. Who wants to call or visit the director of the Y or the fantastic guys who run Seaman's and have that conversation? But I presume you don't want this whole thing to have been a waste of everyone's time.

    One more thing. This flyer that you hand out? It doesn't offer a lot of conclusive, indisputable proof that Wolf has done what you accuse him of doing. A few roguish editorial cartoons and some reporting on plummeting test scores and standards at local schools isn't going to give many advertisers pause. He's a liar, a cheat, a phony, etc. -- give some examples of it.

    See you next week.

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  38. about those letters, December 8, 6:52 am anon:

    Can someone please walk me through the theory that Koppell bought the Review for Wolf and manipulates him behind the scenes, reveling in and benefiting from the coverage of sinking local schools, etc.?

    Because Koppell was swept into office and is enjoying a twilight career as a city councilman precisely due to the consequences of public dissatisfaction with the local schools. he is a staunch supporter of mayoral control. He and his wife own a neighborhood real estate firm, for crying out loud!

    This is a person who wants to gin up controversies and sow neighborhood discord and scare people away by calling their attention to the fact that our schools aren't as good as those in similar neighborhoods in Queens and Brooklyn??

    It's either an irrational theory, or G. Ollie is the world's biggest septuagenarian masochist.

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  39. The Riverdale Review is wounded but not dead yet. Now is the time to administer the “coup de grâce” by going to the Review’s advertisers!

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  40. Before throwing out a bunch of Reviews in my building, I saw the silly ad Wolf put on the inside back page. It has some depressing photo of a man who teaches at NYU and a quote about freedom of the press.

    Wolf intentionally or stupidly ignores the fact that the boycotters are doing what the Constitution and the courts say they have the perfect right to do. The boycott is simply private citizens exercising their freedom of speech. Wolf's freedom of speech and freedom of the press is not under assault by the government, and therefore his constitutional rights are not endangered by this boycott.

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  41. Here is an answer for Anon. 12/8, 6:52AM. The "unholy deal" refers to the involvement of Eliot Engel and Oliver Koppell in the purchasing of what became the Riverdale Review 17 years ago. At that time Christopher Hagerdorn, publisher of the Bronx News wanted to buy the paper, which was for sale. Hagerdorn was feuding with Engel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bronx_News#Feud_With_Congressman_Eliot_L._Engel). Fearing that Hagerdorf would have another vehicle to print negative stories about him, Engel needed someone else to buy the paper. So he asked Koppell to find a buyer. A wealthy Riverdalian put up the money and Wolf paid that person back over time. It is rumored that Lorraine Koppell handled the legal work. The Review has never been critical of Engel, and until recently completely supported Oliver Koppell. That changed somewhat after Oliver won re-election in 2009 and is now term-limited. Lorraine withdrew her full page ads from the Review, and Wolf became more critical of Ollie. If you need more evidence, here is a quote from the Riverdale Press, written about Andrew Wolf in 2003 by co-editor Richard Stein: "And speaking of secret deals, when will you disclose the roles that Congressman Engel and Councilman Koppell played in helping to finance your purchase of the Review? When will you reveal the identities of the politically-connected people who loaned you the money? What can you tell us about the ways these obligations influence what you write?" Neither Andrew Wolf nor the politicians have ever commented on these serious charges. The current relationship these three have is unknown, but given the circumstances surrounding the birth of the Review, it is easy to see that Wolf's ability to be an independent news source was compromised from the start by his relationship with two local elected officials.

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  42. ARE THE ALLEGATIONS TRUE?

    For a U.S. Congressman and a New York City Councilman to secretly help finance the purchase of a politically motivated newspaper in their district would seem to be a flagrant conflict of interest as well as an egregious breach of the public’s trust.

    If these allegations are true, then both elected officials would appear to have unfairly benefited from a secret and deceitful relationship.

    It's time for them to be frank and open with us by disclosing whether or not the allegations are true.

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  43. For me, the "unholy deal" destroys the cedibility of both of these long-serving local elected officials.

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  44. Is it reasonable to assume that Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz was in cahoots with them as well?

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  45. My co-workers and I just started an office betting pool to predict how many weeks it will take the Riverdale Review to cease publication.

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  46. Sounds reasonable to me ... especially since Dinowitz started his career in local politics as Koppell's schluby sidekick and has been attached at the hip ever since then.

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  47. I'm pretty sure Lorraine Koppell took her ad out of the paper because she closed her real estate business.

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  48. "For me, the "unholy deal" destroys the cedibility of both of these long-serving local elected officials. "

    Yea, I'm sure the members of the NBDA message board REALLY cared for these guys before this news...

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  49. When Wolf purchased the review, Oliver Koppell handled the closing without charge. Lorance Hockert, who chaired Community Board 8, was among those who loaned Wolf the money, acting at Eliot Engel's request. Hockert was at the time planning to run for City Council. A longtime supporter of the county organization, he was hoping to add the support of Riverdale's so-called reformers.

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  50. I see that the latest edition of the Recycle The Review publication bas been distributed in my building in North Riverdale. My friend who lives in Briar Oaks at 246th St. says that she saw it in her building as well. I also saw it at my synagogue on Thursday. Such a coordinated effort from a loosely organized group of volunteers is impressive.

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  51. Don't eat at Liebman's. I'm glad that Mothers Bakery is not affiliated, right? ***icle***

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  52. Today, I saw boycott people collecting signatures down on Johnson Avenue and then up at the Christmas tree sale near Public School 81. The weather was nice for mid-December and it looks like the "Recycle the Review" effort has got the whole neighborhood covered.

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  53. The anti-Review organizers are doing such an amazing job. Thank you for this. :)

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  54. It’s pretty clear that Wolf has no big guns in his arsenal of defenders, .. just a small collection of cranks, deceived pals, and crotchety zany old-timers. He can’t win this kind of battle with those kind of troops!

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  55. If it’s true that there was a secret deal to back Andy Wolf financially, that would explain why a trio of colorless politicians like Eliot Engel, Oliver Koppell and Jeffrey Dinowitz received such loyal and flattering coverage in Mr. Wolf's Riverdale Review for so many years.

    So are the accusations true? If they are, it’s time for the politicians to fess up. And if they are not true, then it's time for the politicians to issue clear and unequivocal denials.

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  56. Hmmm...so the local politicians played a more sinister role in the Review than most of us realize.

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  57. I applaud the boycotters for taking such strong action against that angry blowhard Andrew Wolf. It’s time to say enough to his destructive tirades. In the last seven years that I have lived in Riverdale, I have been disgusted at the way Andrew Wolf goes too far. He is constantly jumping to hostile conclusions and condemnations on the basis of little or no evidence. The sooner his paper is gone the better.

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  58. Wolf distanced himself from Koppell when Koppell pubicly supported Pretty Young Thang Renee Cloutier, fomer Principal of PS 7. Dita Wolf was Cloutier's predecessor who was forced out and into retirement to make way for Bloombergs Leadership Program pick Renee Cloutier.

    I would imagine Koppells fawning over PYT Cloutier pissed Andy Wolf off and I wouldnt be surprised if Koppell is part of the boycott too.

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  59. I live in Skyview, and I noticed that the boycott material has been distributed in all three buildings (5700, 5800 & 5900 Arlington Ave) --- Good work!

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  60. Since you live at Skyview, you're at worst a five-minute walk from the management office. How about dropping in and asking them to stop taking out a big ad in the Review every week?

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