Monday, January 26, 2015

NYC Blizzard Coming Today And Tomorrow, Roosevelt Island Update From RIOC - Get Your Cars Off Roads For Snow Removal, Free Parking At Motorgate For Residents. Also RIOC Operations Committee And Cornell Tech Community Task Force Meetings Tonight Cancelled


According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC)
RIOC will periodically issue updates via RIOC Advisories during this storm. In the event of an emergency, please call 911. For local assistance, call Public Safety at 212-832-4545.

Notification issued 1/26/2015 at 11:10 AM. The National Weather Service has issued a "Winter Weather Advisory" for our area, beginning today, Monday January 26th at 1 PM until Wednesday, January 28th. The current forecast calls for 24-36 inches of snow accompanied by strong winds.

Effective immediately, there is NO PARKING on Main Street or the East and West Roadways in order for snow preparation and subsequent removal to take place. Residents should move their cars off the roads as soon as possible.

As an alternative, free parking will be available to residents only in the Motorgate Garage. This accommodation is subject to change based on weather conditions. Residents who do not remove their vehicles from the garage by 4 PM on Thursday, January 29, will be charged for any extra time by Motorgate Management. Residents must present identification upon exiting to qualify. Please contact the Motorgate Garage at (212) 832-4585 or visit the Motorgate offices on the fourth floor if you have any additional questions.

Please be prudent and safe whether driving or walking and take the time to look in on elderly and/or disabled neighbors.
and:
RIOC will periodically issue updates via RIOC Advisories during this storm. In the event of an emergency, please call 911. For local assistance, call Public Safety at 212-832-4545.

Notification issued 1/26/2015 at 11:30 PM. The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for our area beginning at 1 PM today until Thursday, January 28th. Residents are encouraged to avoid unnecessary travel. Please drive slowly, use major streets or highways, and keep the name and number of at least one local towing service on hand. Pedestrians should avoid slippery surfaces, dress in layers, and maintain a heightened awareness of cars, especially when crossing intersections.

Trucks will be plowing and salting the roadways throughout the day and during the night in order to avert dangerous travel conditions. RIOC will be working to keep all areas clean for the duration of the storm. Thank you for your cooperation while necessary preparations for the storm and subsequent snow removal are taking place.

To report any icy or other hazardous areas, please call the Public Safety Department at 212-832-4545 as soon as possible.
Also, today's scheduled meeting of the RIOC Operations Advisory Committee and the Cornell Tech Community Task Force have been cancelled due to the weather.

The National Weather Service reports:
This Afternoon Periods of snow. High near 29. Wind chill values between 10 and 15. Blustery, with a northeast wind 17 to 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Total daytime snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.

Tonight Snow with widespread blowing snow. The snow could be heavy at times. Some thunder is also possible. Low around 22. Wind chill values between 10 and 15. Blustery, with a north wind 21 to 24 mph, with gusts as high as 37 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 8 to 12 inches possible.

Tuesday Snow with widespread blowing snow. The snow could be heavy at times. Some thunder is also possible. High near 26. Wind chill values between 10 and 15. Blustery, with a north wind around 22 mph, with gusts as high as 34 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 7 to 11 inches possible.

Tuesday Night Light snow likely, mainly before 9pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 19. Wind chill values between 5 and 10. Blustery, with a northwest wind 18 to 22 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

Wednesday Mostly sunny, with a high near 28. Northwest wind 11 to 17 mph.
Be careful and stay safe.

UPDATE 1:35 PM - According to the Roosevelt Island Youth Program:
The Youth Center will be open today from 3pm-8pm for Middle and High School Students. However, all Beacon Afterschool Activities are canceled due to inclement weather.

School is canceled for tomorrow. So, the Youth Center will be open from 12pm to 8pm for Middle and High School students.
the Roosevelt Island Public Library,:
The Roosevelt Island Library will close early today, 1/26/15, at 5:00pm today (We usually open until 8pm on Mondays.

There has not been decision about tomorrow's library schedule yet. Please visit http://www.nypl.org for the latest updates.
and FDR Four Freedoms Park:
Following the early closure of SouthPoint Park today (Monday, 1/26), Four Freedoms Park closed at 1:00 p.m. As we are normally closed on Tuesdays, we will remain closed tomorrow. We will notify the group when we are set to re-open and will be posting this information on our website and through social media.
UPDATE 2:55 PM - The Roosevelt Island Seniors Association Health & Wellness seminar scheduled for 4 PM today was cancelled.

From the Roosevelt Island Twitterverse:
Starbucks closed


this afternoon at 2 PM (I am missing my Iced Mocha).

UPDATE 3:40 - No pizza deliveries from Sac's Place in Astoria today.
They have really good pizza.

Roosevelt Island's NYC Council Member Ben Kallos reports:
... Temporary Jobs:

Want to help get our city shoveled out and get paid for doing it? Consider assisting the Department of Sanitation with snow removal. Pay is $10 per hour and increases to $15 per hour after 40 hours. Be advised, the Department of Sanitation will only accept those who arrive between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Tuesday, February 14. Call 311 for garage location information. Please visit the Department of Sanitation website for requirements.

Volunteer:

If you would like to assist homebound seniors in the district or help shovel for a neighbor, please contact my office...
Contact Mr. Kallos here or at 212-860-1950.

UPDATE 5:45 PM - From RIOC:
Notification issued 1/26/2015 at 5:07 PM. At this time, the Tram is running on schedule. The Red Bus is operating with delays. The MTA has not reported any change in F train service to Roosevelt Island but service will be limited after 7 PM tonight (MTA.info). If weather conditions deteriorate, Tram and/or Red Bus service will be suspended until further notice.

Roosevelt Island will follow Governor Cuomo's directive for travel during the storm by limiting vehicular traffic on Main Street to all but emergency vehicle travel at 11 PM Monday night until further notice. Only vehicles related to emergency services, vital city services and delivery of vital supplies will be permitted on Main Street until the order is lifted. Please do not walk or venture outside once the worst of the storm hits this evening.

RIOC will periodically issue updates via RIOC Advisories during this storm. In the event of an emergency, please call 911. For local assistance, call Public Safety at 212-832-4545.
Gristedes hopes to stay open until 9 or 10 PM tonight and will be open tomorrow.

Duane Reade will close 8 PM tonight and be open tomorrow.

Wholesome Factory will be open until 11:30 PM tonight and be open tomorrow. Lines at Wholesome Factory


were long this evening.

Riverwalk Bar & Grill closed at 3 PM this afternoon


and will be closed tomorrow as well.

UPDATE 6 PM - From RIOC:
Notification 1/26/2015 at 6:00pm Due to inclement weather the Roosevelt Island tram will be operating one cabin. Please expect delays.

At 11:00pm the Roosevelt Island Tram will suspend service until further notice.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

One Of The Largest Blizzards In NYC History Coming Tomorrow Says Mayor de Blasio - Stay Safe And Be Prepared Roosevelt Island

The NYC Twitterverse reports:


According to the National Weather Service:
...BLIZZARD WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 1 PM MONDAY TO MIDNIGHT EST TUESDAY NIGHT...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN NEW YORK HAS ISSUED A BLIZZARD WARNING...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 1 PM MONDAY TO MIDNIGHT EST TUESDAY NIGHT. THE BLIZZARD WATCH IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT.

* LOCATIONS...NEW YORK CITY AND SURROUNDING IMMEDIATE SUBURBS...LONG ISLAND...AND MOST OF SOUTHERN CONNECTICUT.

* HAZARD TYPES...HEAVY SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW...WITH BLIZZARD CONDITIONS.

* ACCUMULATIONS...SNOW ACCUMULATION OF 20 TO 30 INCHES...WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS POSSIBLE. SNOWFALL RATES OF 2 TO 4 INCHES PER HOUR EXPECTED LATE MONDAY NIGHT INTO TUESDAY MORNING.

* WINDS...NORTH 30 TO 40 MPH WITH GUSTS 55 TO 65 MPH...STRONGEST ACROSS EASTERN LONG ISLAND.

* VISIBILITIES...ONE QUARTER MILE OR LESS AT TIMES.

* TEMPERATURES...IN THE LOWER 20S.

* TIMING...LIGHT SNOW WILL BEGIN MONDAY MORNING...WITH ACCUMULATIONS OF 1 TO 3 INCHES POSSIBLE BY THE EVENING RUSH. SNOW WILL PICK UP IN INTENSITY MONDAY EVENING...WITH THE HEAVIEST SNOW AND STRONGEST WINDS FROM ABOUT MIDNIGHT MONDAY NIGHT INTO TUESDAY AFTERNOON.

* IMPACTS...LIFE-THREATENING CONDITIONS AND EXTREMELY DANGEROUS TRAVEL DUE TO HEAVY SNOWFALL AND STRONG WINDS...WITH WHITEOUT CONDITIONS. SECONDARY AND TERTIARY ROADS MAY BECOME IMPASSABLE. STRONG WINDS MAY DOWN POWER LINES AND TREE LIMBS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A BLIZZARD WARNING MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. FALLING AND BLOWING SNOW WITH STRONG WINDS AND POOR VISIBILITIES WILL LEAD TO WHITEOUT CONDITIONS...MAKING TRAVEL EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. DO NOT TRAVEL. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL...HAVE A WINTER SURVIVAL KIT WITH YOU. IF YOU GET STRANDED...STAY WITH YOUR VEHICLE.

ALL UNNECESSARY TRAVEL IS DISCOURAGED BEGINNING MONDAY AFTERNOON...TO ALLOW PEOPLE ALREADY ON THE ROAD TO SAFELY REACH THEIR DESTINATIONS BEFORE THE HEAVY SNOW BEGINS...AND TO ALLOW SNOW REMOVAL EQUIPMENT TO BEGIN TO CLEAR ROADS.
News of the impending snowstorm will not stop a new Roosevelt Island resident from trying to move in.
Hopefully, the move will be finished early before the snow starts.

Stay safe everybody and be careful.

Friday, January 23, 2015

No Roosevelt Island F Train Service To Manhattan This Weekend - RIOC Notification Alert System Still Needs Some Tweaking


According to the MTA:
F Coney Island-bound trains run via the M from Roosevelt Av to 47-50 Sts

Weekend, 11:15 PM Fri to 5 AM Mon, Jan 23 - 26

Trains run express from Roosevelt Av to Queens Plaza.

No Coney Island-bound F service at 21 St-Queensbridge, Roosevelt Island, Lexington Av/63 St and 57 St.
The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) issued this advisory regarding the Roosevelt Island weekend F Train subway service disruption:
Notification issued 1/23/15 at 9:45 AM. Please be advised that the MTA has issued a weekend service advisory for the F train, which may affect travel plans. The Tram will run on a rush hour schedule from 7:00 AM until 10:00 PM to accommodate any increase in traffic. Please plan your travel accordingly and visit mta.info/weekender or call 511 for more information.

For electronic updates on F Train service, sign up for MTA Alerts at mymtaalerts.com.
RIOC's new Everbridge notification alert system has come under criticism from some Roosevelt Island residents for providing incomplete information. Roosevelt Island resident Janet Falk reported that recent RIOC alerts notifying residents of MTA F train service disruptions did not include specific information about the change in Roosevelt Island F train subway service. For example, this prior advisory from RIOC about F train service disruption.


 Ms. Falk asks:
... What is the MTA advisory? How does it affect Manhattan-bound or Queens-bound service or both? For today or for several days?

The RIOC advisory creates confusion and prompts questions with no answers in sight, except one: annoyance. The RIOC advisory points me to an external website and asks me to make a phone call, instead of providing a potential solution....
and:
... Why does RIOC decide against sending an informative and resident-friendly, customer-service driven announcement...
also:
... When additional demands for service are placed on the Tram, to compensate for the lack of F subway service, RIOC is responsible for Tram operations and SHOULD ANNOUNCE CHANGES IN TRAM SERVICE, especially when the MTA announces their service changes in advance....
A RIOC spokesperson replied to Ms. Falk:
The RIOC Advisories system is intended to inform the community about island-specific matters that may affect the daily activities of the people who live and work here, particularly those matters relating to services that RIOC oversees or provides. The MTA has a similar advisory system (MTA Alerts) that commuters can sign up for to receive timely updates on MTA disruptions or line service changes. Residents who are already signed up for MTA Alerts find the re-broadcasting and reinterpretations of the agency's announcements are redundant and sometimes confusing.

We are always open to suggestions, but would like to encourage our subscribers to utilize the MTA's resources to stay informed about NYC transit rather than directing island residents to look for MTA-related news through an intermediary. While this step may require a few more clicks, hearing directly from the issuing agency is a surer way to get the most accurate information available. If you would like to receive alerts directly from the source regarding F train disruptions, you can do so by visiting: https://www.mymtaalerts.com
At least today's RIOC alert about the upcoming F train weekend subway service disruption now includes information about the added Tram service.

That's an improvement. Next time, hopefully, RIOC will include specific information about the change in subway service. All they need to do is a little tweaking with a cut and paste from the MTA advisory, like I did above.

Looking For A Mortgage To Buy A Roosevelt Island Apartment? - Island House Residents Listen To Amalgamated Bank Mortgage Presentation Last Night

Image of Island House Entrance

Roosevelt Island's Island House rental building exited the Mitchell Lama program in September 2012.  As reported October 20, 2012 by former Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Acting President and current General Counsel Don Lewis:
... We are very pleased to note that, as result of several years of negotiations, Island House, a 400-unit affordable housing development on Roosevelt Island, will continue to remain affordable to its residents for the next 30 years. The Island House deal is historic in nature and marks the first successful conversion of a State Mitchell-Lama rental to affordable home ownership as a solution to a market-rate exit from Mitchell-Lama. Without the State’s intervention in extending affordability, apartments within Island House, a development at the threshold of leaving the Mitchell-Lama program, would have been allowed to be rented at market rates, severely affecting residents.

Under the Island House Affordability Plan, Island House, constructed in 1975 as one of the first four modern housing developments on Roosevelt Island, will exit the Mitchell-Lama program. The Affordability Plan, however, protects all current tenants by allowing them to remain in their apartments with future rent increases calculated in a manner similar to rent stabilized apartments. Rent protection will remain in effect for 30 years. The owner of Island House will apply to convert the building to Co-Op ownership. If the conversion is approved, current tenants will be offered the option to purchase their apartments at below market prices.

The Affordability Plan was initially drafted and agreed upon by the Island House owner and tenants. The Plan was later approved by a multi-agency working group that included: RIOC, which administers operations on Roosevelt Island; New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), the State’s housing agency, which administers both the Mitchell-Lama program and the State’s rent laws; and Empire State Development (ESD), which in 1969, as the Urban Development Corporation, first leased the land under Island House from the City of New York. The Affordability Plan was the result of several years of negotiations among the agencies, the Island House Tenants Association, and owners’ representatives....
Island House is currently in the process of converting to a Condop (Co-op for residential units and condo for commercial units) under a non-eviction Affordability Plan.

Last night, January 22, Island House residents interested in purchasing their  Roosevelt Island apartment listened to a mortgage presentation by Amalgamated Bank Vice President Eric Ruskiewicz.

Here's what happened.

Part 1. Discussion of
  • 20% down payment in two parts (10% at March 31 contract date and another 10% at closing date which is not yet known - speculation is June/July 2015),
  • Interest Rates,
  • Locking Interest Rates,
  • Closing Costs
  • issue regarding errors in names on apartment lease and 
  • pre-approval letters.


Part 2. Discussion of:
  • Locking Interest Rates,
  • Amalgamated Bank fully committed to mortgage lending at Island House,
  • Island House Ground Lease,
  • Commitment Letters,
  • Documents needed for mortgage application,
  • Credit Scores,
  • Amalgamated Bank keeps their mortgage loans and does not sell to secondary market.


Part 3. Discussion of:
  • Bringing lawyer to closings,
  • No minimum number of units in building need to be purchased in order to close on apartments,
  • What happens when building ground lease expires (Not known),
  • Apartment appraisals.


Part 4. Discussion of:
  • Down payments,
  • Meaning of pre-approval letter,
  • Locked in interest rate,
  • Application information,
  • Home Equity Loan on Island House apartment not allowed and
  • Mortgage discount for opening account at Roosevelt Island branch.


Part 5. Discussion of:
  • No Pre-payment penalty,
  • Allocation of principle and interest payment,
  • Non taxable income counted higher on application and
  • Credit checks.


More information on the Island House exit from Mitchell Lama program and Affordability Plan at this June 2012 post.

Also additional information on mortgages for Roosevelt Island apartments available at prior Amalgamated Band presentation.

Status Of Current Roosevelt Island Projects, Community Programs, Hearing Impaired Remediation At Public Meetings & More On Agenda Of January 26 RIOC Operations Advisory Committee Meeting

Image Of Captioning For Hearing Impaired At 12//14  Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech Town Hall

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the Operations Advisory Committee meeting of the RIOC Board of Directors previously scheduled for Tuesday, January 20, 2015 has been rescheduled and will be held on Monday, January 26, 2015 at 5:30 p.m. at the RIOC administrative office, 591 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York.

AGENDA:
  • Review of Current Projects
  • Discussion of Community Programs
  • Discussion of Handicap Accessibility Issues (Hearing impaired remediation in meeting facilities)
  • Any Other Committee Business That May be Brought Before the Committee
***

The Open Meetings Law of the State of New York requires that all public bodies conduct meetings, convened for the purpose of officially conducting public business, in a manner open to attendance by the general public to observe and listen.
During November 2014 RIOC Board of Directors meeting Public Session, Roosevelt Island resident Sharon Berman discussed making Roosevelt Island public meeting accessible for hearing impaired people



and during the December 2014 Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech Town Hall meeting, Cornell Tech's Jane Swanson thanked Ms. Berman



for her activism and efforts in helping to get captioning for the meeting.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Roosevelt Island Seniors Association Sponsors Health And Wellness The Natural Way With Doctor Jordan Wolf On Nutrition, Exercise, Posture & More

The Roosevelt Island Seniors Association is sponsoring:

Health and Wellness the Natural Way!
With Dr. Jordan Wolff
Monday, January 26, 2014
546 Main St. (Senior Center)
at 4:00pm

Image From Roosevelt Island Seniors Association

You're invited.

UPDATE 1/26 - The Health & Wellness Seminar has been cancelled due to the blizzard.

Roosevelt Island Parents' Network RI MoM Walking And Exercise Group Meeting 10:30 AM Friday At Tram Kiosk - Dads Welcome Too


Roosevelt Island Parents' Network Coordinator Eva Bosbach reports:
Our next free Roosevelt Island Moms on the Move (RI MoM) walk and exercise will take place this Friday, January 23rd, starting at 10:30AM at the Tram kiosk.

We will walk to the south of the island on the Manhattan side and back, and end with some exercise with our fantastic coach and island mom of two Paulina, most likely at the 455 playroom. Come, check it out and have some fun with us.

All moms, moms to-be and moms of all ages are welcome, and dads as well of course.


If you are going to be late, please let us know so we can find each other in case the plan changes for whatever reason.

Looking forward to seeing you and your little ones on Friday,

Feel free to contact me for more information on the Roosevelt Island Parents' Network.