According to the MTA Weekender site, there will be Roosevelt Island F train service to and from Manhattan this weekend.
... the sort of political edifice that the Italian fascists loved and Speer perfected for the glory of the Third Reich... The site itself is treated heartlessly. What was a modest, picturesquely rugged shoreline has been disciplined to straight lines and symetrical angles that have no significance beyond the alarming one of man's ability to impose a meaningless geometry on nature. The ultimate irony is that Roosevelt, who fought totalitarians to the death, is commemorated in the harsh style propogated by the dictators.Here's the panoramic view of NYC skyline and East River Waterfront that will be forever ruined if Kahn design is built at Southpoint Park. It is also an enormous waste of public taxpayer money.
Roosevelt Island Day Nursery (RIDN)
Amount Requested: $35,000 Recommendation: $4,000
The RIDN, a recurring applicant, currently has two locations on the Island (405 Main Street and 4 River Road) and continues to serve a number of families. Given affordability concerns, there continues to be an effort to offer scholarships and applicants for such are evaluated by a third-party organization. The $35,000 that RIDN desires for scholarship assistance could conceivably help a number of families but could not be granted due to the aggregate needs of other PPF applicants. The recommended amount the committee puts forward is intended to provide some help in availing financial aid (scholarships) but believes RIDN could make a more concerted effort to aid needy applicants through a more aggressive pursuit of funding from other sources or perhaps from its own resources. As such, in the view of the committee with due consideration of information received, the practical breadth of the program as currently structured on the Island remains limited when compared to benefits derived from other organizations.
PS/IS 217 Parent Teachers Association (PTA)
Amount Requested: $32,000 Recommendation: $15,000
The PTA, a recurring applicant, remains an active supporter of PS-IS/217. The essence of their request is to support a program (Salvadori Centre Globe) that focuses on a project-based approach to learning math and science. Grades 4 – 8 will be targeted as 60% of the students in those grades did not achieve proficiency in their last New York State mathematics exam. The committee believes this enrichment effort could provide medium to high benefit and will contribute to and enhance student performance, especially in math and science. Further, it is hoped to help mitigate losses from PS-IS/217 of the “best and brightest” to other schools due to parents’ concerns about school performance.
Roosevelt Island Visual Arts Association (RIVAA)
Amount Requested: $39,500 Recommendation: $16,000
The reality of higher rents has set in under the Master Lease Program. The RIVAA recurring request targets its increasing rent and utility expenses. Beyond its regular gallery, the RIVAA brought art to the Motorgate area and plans to do even more. While the committee believes that RIVAA does avail a special quality and benefit to the Island, given other competing priorities, it is not possible to fund fully the request. The committee continues to encourage RIVAA to, among other things, expand its fund-raising efforts so to mitigate expenses.
Life Frames, Inc.
Amount Requested: $19,900 Recommendation: $3,000
The Life Frames program is directed by an energetic leadership and supporting staff while continuing to be well received by those who participate in it. Though the gardening site near the Youth Center remains available, the committee found no evidence that the program will be able to use a site for gardening on the grounds of PS-IS/217. However, there could be some classroom interaction at the Public School, the Child Center, Coler Hosital, as well as the Senior and Disabled Associations. Life Frames, as a recurring requestor, continues to be well-funded in California but also continues to face more challenges in its funding effort in New York City. Though Life Frames as a long-time applicant has submitted an application that includes a wide list of possibilities/goals, when paired with information taken from the interview, the committee felt those goals would be hard to attain.
Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS)
Amount Requested: $25,000 Recommendation: $5,000
The Historical Society, a recurring applicant, operates a Visitor’s Center that provides a wealth of information about the Island and probably has the most extensive database of Island history. The application is primarily for funding to: (a) support hiring a summer intern who does extensive archiving and database development, (b) update maps and brochures, (c) support independent contract staff very knowledgeable about the Island, and (d) avail year round support for the Historian. The committee acknowledges these as valid uses of funds but is unable to recommend full or higher funding given competing needs, inclusive of two non-recurring applicants in this year’s pool. The committee projects that going forward, given the pending growth on the Island and the associated increase in the number of visitors, the useful services of the Center will grow exponentially in demand and with some revenue stream. From this, high benefits will accrue to the Island in a broader sense.
Roosevelt Island Senior Association (RISA)
Amount Requested: $15,000 Recommendation: $13,000
The RISA, as a recurring applicant, continues to provide a valuable service to and advocacy for Island senior residents. As such, RISA continues to seek funding for needed upgrades, improvements and replacements that will enhance and highly benefit the quality of life for seniors on the Island. Having corrected errors in its prepared budget and provided to RIOC and the committee for review, the committee recommends that appropriate PPF funds are availed to support the efforts of RISA.
Amount Requested: $15,000 Recommendation: $10,000
The Island Kids program is well-received throughout the Island and has again requested funding to support its scholarship efforts. The scholarship program allows for a wider number of children to attend who otherwise would not be able to given relatively modest family resources. The committee felt the program’s scope merited funding given its high benefit to the Island.
Amount Requested: $11,250 Recommendation: $7,000
R&R Concepts, a recurring applicant, has consistently offered a variety of concerts that are well-received by and easily accessible for Island residents. The funds requested would cover about 50% of the anticipated costs for musicians, supplies and other expenses. The committee suggested that more outside funding be pursued, including from foundations. Further, R&R could investigate use of PS-IS/217 for performances with potential cost-savings and was urged to do more advertising in advance, inclusive of notices in Island buildings. The committee believes the Island continues to receive good benefit from R&R Concerts at relatively low cost.
Roosevelt Island Disabled Association (RIDA)
Amount Requested: $9,000 Recommendation: $9,000
The RIDA request is a little less than last year and is basically aimed at transportation, maintenance/repair and other associated costs. By providing bus transportation, the committee believes RIDA, a recurring applicant, has been extremely successful in providing previously non-existent opportunities with high benefit for the disabled. Though difficult to fully measure the outcome, forty bus trips, each capable of accommodating ten wheelchairs, would seem to enhance quality of life in ways many of us take for granted. The committee felt that similar elaborating language should have been included in the uncompleted Section One of the application that asked for a “successful community initiative” undertaken. The committee asked if it was feasible and advantageous to pursue joining a national disabled organization and if other funding sources were available. The response to the former was that joining a national would not be advantageous and likely a disadvantage. As to other sources of funding, this is becoming an increasing challenge for RIDA.
Main Street Theater and Dance Alliance
Amount Requested: $27,250 Amount Recommended: $15,000
MST&DA, a first time applicant, has a host of needs following the trauma of Hurricane Sandy, i.e., the storm’s impact upon costs, upon the prior location, and upon enrollment. The committee acknowledges the high value to the Island of the long-standing programs offered by the Alliance. Also noted was the breadth of residents who participate. For example, of 81 students who self-reported ethnicity, 25% were Asian, 21% White/Caucasian, 17% African-American, 6% Hispanic, and 30% of mixed heritage. The committee believes strongly that the Alliance should be restored to its former glory. Current projections from other possible funding sources will not do that.
Amount Requested: $3,000 Recommended: $3,000
As a first time applicant for PPF, Island Cats brought a lot of ‘sincerity of purpose’ to the committee. This group of concerned Islanders effectively care for “animals in the wild” (currently estimated at 90 or slightly more cats) that are located on Roosevelt Island and invisible to many residents. Yet, Island Cats with 12 – 20 volunteers, does its best to take care of the animals (feedings, medical care, etc.). There are shelters and/or feeding stations for these outdoor cats near Day Springs Church, the Garden Club and at the south end of the Island. Island Cats works with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and with other animal rescue organizations to stem the over population of stray cats abandoned on our Island. Their plan is to expand their program to reach out more to the disabled and elderly shut-ins, including increased therapeutic visits. This would provide good benefits and include, for example, nail-clipping the animal(s) owned by the visited or availing an animal to “cuddle”. Partnering with Dr. Resnick’s DASH program is under consideration as well as with both the Senior and Disabled Associations. Of course, there are expenses associated with what Island Cats does and with their plans for expansion. The committee was impressed by their enthusiasm and agrees with their need for help.
29 books for $5?! 17 cents a book?! Yes. Yes, indeed. Thank you thrift store on Roosevelt Island! You're the best! pic.twitter.com/BIORjArHOO
— Jacob Seifert (@JacobSeifert) March 2, 2014
@Lynntchambers @Rooseveltisland Thanks for donating them!How long the Roosevelt Island Thrift Shop
— Jacob Seifert (@JacobSeifert) March 2, 2014
... New tenants are being sought for the space currently occupied by the Thrift Store. If possible, the Thrift Store may be able to stay in a much smaller space.At least the Thrift Shop has cleaned up the inside
This Winter, heavy snow and freezing temperatures have kept our staff busy plowing the roads, clearing the sidewalks and maintaining the Island’s facilities during the harsh weather conditions. As the weather begins to warm up, we’re getting ready for work to move forward on new and existing capital projects. Our Grounds Department has already begun preparations for the athletic fields to re-open in early April, a new session of Mommy & Me classes is beginning soon, and other activities on the Island are picking up. We are looking forward to a warm and productive Spring on Roosevelt Island.
Spring Construction Projects
Work resumed last Friday on the West Pier after a wave of cold and snowy weather. Weather permitting, construction on the Pier is projected to be completed by the beginning of April 2014.
At the Good Shepherd Community Center, the ceiling and doors of the northern section of the west entryway are undergoing restoration off-site. Restoration architects and the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission are reviewing samples of the proposed rehabilitation work to ensure its quality. The work, which is projected to be completed before Fall 2014, will also include cleaning and restoration of the entrances’ walls and lighting.
Two meetings regarding the Good Shepherd Streetscape project have been conducted with the community, during which designs for the plantings and positioning of the benches were finalized. An RFP for the work will be issued upon the completion of the final construction drawings. We would like to extend our thanks to the community for their valuable input during this process and are looking forward to the next phase of this project.
April will mark the beginning of several important construction projects. The Octagon Tennis Courts will be resurfaced, work will begin on the Lighthouse Park footbridges, the sidewalks near the Roosevelt Island Tram Station will be repaired, and the Tram stations themselves will be repainted. While all of these developments are scheduled to begin in the first week of April, the work is weather-sensitive and will require warm temperatures to proceed. We will continue to keep the community updated as work progresses.
Eight responses to the Cultural Center’s construction Request for Proposals were received by the submission deadline (February 28). RIOC is currently evaluating the responses and beginning the rating and ranking process. A contractor will be selected and construction will begin within the next few months.
In mid-to-late March, a crane will be transported by barge to the Riverwalk Building 7 construction site. While the crane is being moved onto the Island, the East promenade will be closed for approximately half a day. An advisory will be issued to notify the public of the specific time and date of this closure.
Mommy & Me
Registration for the March-May session of Mommy & Me Water Safety classes is available online at RIOC’s new Parks & Recreation website http://rioc.recdesk.com. With the assistance of a parent or guardian, participants aged six months to three years will learn basic swimming skill sets that include submersions, blowing bubbles underwater and movement in the water. Classes are available on Sunday and Wednesday mornings – check online for times and other details. This 8-week session runs from the week of March 16 to the week of May 4, with makeup classes during the week of May 11. While four time slots are currently available, each time slot must have a minimum of 6 families preregistered in order for that class to take place. There is a maximum of 13 families per class. Online enrollment ends this coming Wednesday, March 12 – any classes that do not meet the minimum amount of participants will be combined with another time slot. If you have any questions or if you prefer to register in person, please email Eddie.Perez@rioc.ny.gov or call (212) 832-4569.
Red Bus Fares
As a reminder, the Red Bus will be free to ride beginning April 1. The decision to eliminate the fare was made in order to encourage the use of mass transit, keep traffic on Main Street moving as a result of faster boarding times, and to reduce operating costs by eliminating the need to collect fares from the buses. If you have a fare change card, please be advised that March is the last month these cards will be accepted on the bus. Once the fare is eliminated, refunds for any unused value remaining on the cards will be available at the RIOC Bus Garage (680 Main Street) until April 30, 2014.
Marena Wisniewski is a student at Columbia's Graduate School Of Architecture. I met her earlier this week at Starbucks and had a brief conversation about Roosevelt Island. Ms Wisniewski reports:
We are currently in the middle of trying to gather responses to a quick poll about the island, similar to the questions I asked you at Starbucks. However, as fun as it would be to ride the tram all day asking people questions(which I did on Monday morning) it's not very effective.Ms. Wisniewski adds:
We are first years in Columbia's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation in the Historic Preservation Program. As part of the curriculum, we are assigned an area in New York City to research and come up with some idea of what preservation means to that specific place.Please click here to take the survey.
For our group, we have decided to craft a preservation plan for the island, and believe that resident input is of critical importance. The responses will be used to help evaluate significance of the buildings on the island, and what perhaps should be pointed out as historically significant, or what kinds of transportation/infrastructure could be employed to make the lives of RI's citizens better. Citizen input is really going to influence how we will proceed with a plan, and what sort of things we will include in it.
We would really love to hear just exactly what islanders want for the future of their island.
From the Roosevelt Island Twitterverse:
A contrast of old and new… September 25, 2004 #tbt #throwbackthursday @ MTA Subway - Roosevelt Island… http://t.co/WsMZhsDeQZ
— Robert M. Marrero (@R36_9346) March 6, 2014