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Friday, June 4, 2010

Roosevelt Island On The Web Links

Roosevelt Island on the Web Links as appearing in the June 5, 2010 Main Street WIRE.

Roosevelt Islander - Cornell Landscape Architecture Study on Roosevelt Island Renaissance
Roosevelt Islander - Community Supported Agriculture Comes To Roosevelt Island From Holton Farms
RIOC - Real Estate Committee Master Leaseholder Web Cast
RIOC - Public Safety Commendations
RIOC - March 2010 Board Of Directors Meeting Minutes
RI School Gifted & Talented Blog - PS/IS 217 International Fund Raising Dinner
You Tube - WIRE Editor Talks About Jadwiga's Crossing Book
Roosevelt Island Adult Softball Meetup Group - Saturday Game
Curbed - Paraglider Tries To Fly From Roosevelt Island
RI 360 Twitpic - Tall Bicycle At Subway Rack
NY Times - Young Architect Works On FDR Memorial
Committee For Responsible Dog Ownership - RI Public Safety Enforcing Leash Law With Warning
Rocketboom - Visits Fast Trash and Roosevelt Island
Sustainable Business - Verdant Roosevelt Island East River Tidal Technology Goes To China
Gothamist - New City Map Tracks NYC & RI Cancer Rates
You Tube - PS/IS 217 Student Teacher Basketball Game
Africlassical - RI Resident Roy Eaton Plays Chopin
WNYC - Interviews RI Musician Roy Eaton
Create2Destroy - Roosevelt Island Memorial Day Barbecue
Quirky NYC - Roosevelt Island Lighthouse
NY Post - Daddy Long Legs Carries Refrigerator on RI Tram
NY Times City Room - Kellner Says Livery Car Policy Fails Disabled Riders
Daily Kos - Temple Grandin's Mom Speaks On Autism at RI's Child School
Lighthouse Wrestling - Champion City Wrestler Sateek Palmer From Roosevelt Island
Late Night Cafe - Octagon Spiral One Of The Best
You Tube - Mountain Man Lincoln Center Performance At PS/IS 217
You Tube - Farmers Market
You Tube - Twisted Traceurs Parkour On Roosevelt Island
You Tube - Roosevelt Island Barbecue
You Tube - Beautiful RI Sunday Afternoon

Roosevelt Island Traffic Advisory For Tram Area Caused By Mechanical Problems With Crane

Aerial View of Roosevelt Island Tram Crane

Received the following advisory from RIOC:
Due to mechanical difficulties with the crane at the Tram, the West Channel Drive from Sports Park to the Tram will remain closed until further notice. Public Safety Officers will be stationed at the site in order to direct traffic.

Sincerely,

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
I asked RIOC VP Of Operations Fernando Martinez:
What are the mechanical difficulties with the Crane referenced in RIOC Advisory Below.

Any estimate as to how long the temporary traffic patterns will remain?
Mr. Martinez replied:
The computer on the crane did not allow the boom to completely retract to the folded position.

One Pint, One Hour, 3 Lives - Sign Up To Be A Donor For The Roosevelt Island Blood Drive At The Farmers Market Thru June 19


You Tube Video of Save 3 Lives In 1 Hour As A Blood Donor

The Roosevelt Island Blood Drive is currently underway. RIRA's Matt Katz tell us more:
For the tenth consecutive year, the Roosevelt Island Residents Association is sponsoring a blood drive. Island activists will staff a table at the Saturday Farmers Market from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. through June 19--Roosevelt Island Day. On the nineteenth, the New York Blood Center will take donations at the Senior Center, 546 Main Street, from 10 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Sign up early to reserve a convenient time of day. The first sign-up last Saturday garnered 36 pledges of blood; the best start in the ten-year history of the drive. The New York Blood Center will match their allocation of staff and machines to the number of potential donors we amass so there should be no log waits for service. We have averaged about 60 pledges with 40 actual pints of blood over the last few years, with 67 pints as our community best. With this terrific start, we are on target to beat that number so come out, sign up and bleed for a greater New York!
RIRA President Frank Farance adds:
RIRA Blood Drive on June 19, Roosevelt Island Day. You'll see us at the Saturday market asking you to volunteer. Certainly, donating blood saves and, if that is not enough attraction, there will be apple juice and Oreos afterwards. Up through age 30, I still had been squeamish about donating -- the needle and all that stuff. Then a mentor told me: it's really the right thing to do, think how you can help someone else's life. I got over it. Please consider donating blood. Thanks to Matt Katz for organizing this.
RIOC Director Howard Polivy was staffing the Blood Donation Table at last week's Farmers Market.


Why not drop by, say hello and sign up to be a blood donor? You never know whose life you may be saving

Roosevelt Island Red Bus Shuttle Disabled On Queensboro Bridge Yesterday


Glad I was not on Roosevelt Island Red Bus Shuttle described below and sorry for those who were. According to the 6/3 -6/4 Roosevelt Island Public Safety Report:
Disabled RIOC Bus - Passenger on RIOC bus reported that the bus broke down on the 59th Street Bridge. PSD notified bus garage and another bus was sent to pick up passengers.

Report From RIOC's President - Tram Schedule Delay, Sign Up To Question Board Directors, Street Security Cameras & More Roosevelt Island Issues

Crane Being Assembled For Roosevelt Island Tram Modernization Project

RIOC President Steve Shane sends the following report to Roosevelt Island residents. Mr. Shane updates us on:
June 3, 2010

1. Board of Directors: Next meeting June 24 at 5:30 p.m. with a brief public-comment period before the official start of the meeting. Anyone wishing to speak should sign up in advance at either the RIOC office or on the RIOC website at RIOC.com. The Agenda will be published on the RIOC website.
2. Tram: At this writing, fourteen weeks after shutdown, POMA advises that the schedule for reopening has fallen behind by about a month to October 1. The City’s stricter enforcement of weight restrictions on bridges as applied to crane mobilization is being blamed for the delay. The Contractor is working on alternatives. Station work proceeds apace at both ends. A crane is to be delivered by barge on June 2. Work will proceed to replace the top of the Island tower and then, presumably on to Manhattan. Preliminary architectural design for station improvements continues. There will be a community presentation for reaction, comment and decisions about trade-offs.
3. Bus service:
A. Red Bus Shuttle to Manhattan: Weekdays and Weekends, Same stops and service into and returning from Manhattan -See the schedules posted on RIOC s web site and on the posters throughout the Island. If the F train is not in service, the frequency into and out of Manhattan will be increased to every half-hour weekdays, and, on weekends, hourly on the hour from the Island starting at midnight until 10:00 a.m. and every half-hour thereafter, returning from Manhattan 30 minutes after departure. Fares are $1.00, with seniors, disabled and children (5-16) at 50 cents.
B. Q102: The MTA continues to operate the Q102 bus on the Island on its published schedule, with the route changed eliminating the alternating Coler – Goldwater loops.
C. Red Bus: Service continues on the Island as previously.
4. Southpoint: The Southpoint area remains closed while active construction is under way on both the FDR Memorial and Green Rooms/Wild Gardens projects. We expect to reopen the paths as far south as the Renwick Ruin by the fall, although planting will require restrictions until the growth takes hold.
5. Projects:
A. Octagon Soccer Field resurfacing: Work is ongoing and when complete, new specimen trees will be planted at designated locations. The schedule indicates completion around the end of July.
B. Other: Sportspark, Motorgate joint repair, fiber-optic cabling, Good Shepherd plaza and HVAC, street lighting, etc., all keep Engineering very busy. The pilot test of LED lighting at Motorgate is underway in the new section, levels 3 & 4. Come see.
C. AVAC: New compactor chambers have arrived and are being installed. New paneling is complete. Had a minor fire in a dumpster which was extinguished by FDNY.
D. Security Cameras: The cables are in the process of being pulled to enable establishing a street security camera system. Expect it to be operational by mid summer.
6. Roosevelt Island Day: June 19. Come on out and enjoy. Child ID Protection program. Fun and games.
This message also published as the RIOC column in the 6/5/10 Main Street WIRE.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

RI Bridge Weight Restictions For Cranes Cited By POMA As Reason For One Month Delay In Roosevelt Island Tram's Return To Service


You Tube Video of Nighttime Tram Ride With Charlie Parker & Miles Davis

Roosevelt Island residents and everyone else wishing to ride the Roosevelt Island Tram, with or without Charlie Parker and Miles Davis, will have to wait longer than originally planned and promised for the Tram to return to service.

As reported in yesterday's post, the return of the Roosevelt Island Tram to service, originally scheduled for late August/early September, has been delayed to at least October 1. According to Roosevelt Island Operating Corp. President Steve Shane:
Tram: At this writing, fourteen weeks after shutdown, POMA advises that the schedule for reopening has fallen behind by about a month to October 1. The City’s stricter enforcement of weight restrictions on bridges as applied to crane mobilization is being blamed for the delay. The Contractor is working on alternatives. Station work proceeds apace at both ends. A crane is to be delivered by barge on June 2. Work will proceed to replace the top of the Island tower and then, presumably on to Manhattan. Preliminary architectural design for station improvements continues. There will be a community presentation for reaction, comment and decisions about trade-offs.
Crane Being Assembled Today

Yesterday, I asked Mr. Shane:
If there were problems securing a permit to carry the crane over bridge due to weight restrictions, why did POMA wait until today to bring it on RI by barge?
Mr. Shane replied:
I don't know, but availability of the barge and the crane were very big logistical problems. The problems with the bridges only became an issue within the last month. The barging option is very expensive. You should have been there to see it.
As recently as last May 21 I asked Mr. Shane if the Tram Modernization Project will be able to meet it's September 1 scheduled opening date. Mr. Shane replied:
POMA continues to state that the delay can be overcome. I grow increasingly skeptical. We push every day and are staying on top of the situation, but the work other than on the towers goes on. When it is on the critical path to ultimately delay delivery becomes a matter of judgment as to whether, when and where the effort and resources will be committed to make up the lost time.

POMA is contractually obligated to deliver the system and would be penalized with daily penalties as liquidated damages for late delivery in accordance with the terms of the contract. POMA would likely take a legal position to argue force majeure, but without an official embargo from the City, RIOC would obviously dispute their claim. So it goes in the construction business. We continue to push POMA and at the same time, try to assist with the City agencies having jurisdiction. Much bigger issue Citywide than RIOC"s & POMA's problem at both ends of the Tram. In everyone's best interest to get the project done as quickly as possible.
Last February 25 , Mr. Shane wrote in his RIOC column (Item 2) that all permits were secured before the Tram was taken out of service:
Tram:A. On schedule for shutdown after this Sunday on Monday morning, March 1 at 2 AM (3 Days!!!) and reopening by September 1, 2010. The plans for crane usage, street closings (including the upper ramp of the Queensboro Bridge), permitted times, traffic control and safety precautions, all as submitted to the Departments of Buildings and Traffic have been reviewed and permits were issued this week.
The fear of many Tram users was expressed in this Paul Sahner Tweet:
The Roosevelt Island Tram's estimated date of completion has been pushed back a month. Thus the slippery slope begins.
but no sympathy from Fake MTA's Tweet:
Can't you Roosevelt Island weirdos hang-glide or jet-pack over, or something? Get serious!
Apparently Fake MTA was not aware of RIOC's secret paragliding plan to temporarily replace the Tram.

Roosevelt Island Bridge Advisory For This Saturday, Lane Reversals Between 6 AM - 4:30 PM - Project Scheduled To Be Completed March 2011

Image of Roosevelt Island Bridge From Harris Graber

Received the following advisory from RIOC concerning Roosevelt Island Bridge:
Please be advised on Saturday, June 5, 12, 19, and 26, 2010 (weather permitting), work is scheduled to be done on the Roosevelt Island Bridge. There will be a lane reversal established between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Traffic Enforcement Agents are scheduled to be present at Vernon Boulevard to monitor the flow of traffic.

Sincerely,

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
The Roosevelt Island Bridge Re-Construction Project is being undertaken by the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT). Below is the DOT Roosevelt Island Bridge Spring 2010 Reconstruction Newsletter, which reports that the project is not scheduled to be completed until March 2011.
Roosevelt Island Bridge Spring Newsletter

Have you ever taken a bike ride over the Roosevelt Island Bridge. Roosevelt Island 360 shows us how he did it in 2008.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Update On Roosevelt Island's Blackwell Park Master Plan - More At Tonight's RIRA Meeting

Aerial View Image Of Blackwell Park From Judith's Gallery

During the May 2010 Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Meeting, Roosevelt Island Operating Corp. (RIOC) VP of Planning & Inter-Governmental Affairs Rosina Abramson

and Landscape Architect Lee Weintraub


presented RIOC's updated proposal for a Blackwell Park Master Plan

that they say complies with the features endorsed by a prior RIRA resolution on subject.

Image of Blackwell Park Master Plan Site Map

I asked Ms. Abramson to summarize RIOC's Master Plan for Blackwell Park. Ms. Abramson writes:
The community planning process for creating a new masterplan for 40 year old Blackwell Park began summer 2009 when RIOC convened a meeting with Roosevelt Island community group representatives. The composition of the planning group expanded from 8 or 9 members to a total of 18. In preparation for its work, the community planning group met with RIOC's landscape architect, Lee Weintraub and associates including experts in children's play. The group visited other parks and playgrounds as examples of current design principles and the playground experts held focus groups with children from the Youth Center and PS/IS 217 and their teachers. Masterplanning to update Blackwell Park began for several reasons, including: Blackwell House interior is being renovated and a handicap accessible ramp, running from the East Porch into Blackwell Park is required; the Southtown developers are obligated to re-locate the tot lot, as it sits in the footprint of building 7; the Park - designed 40 years ago doesn't meet modern standards of universal handicap accessibility; pavers on the Kiley Bosque - the cluster of trees between Blackwell House and 504 Main Street, surrounding the children's play fountain - are buckling creating tripping hazards and impacting tree roots.

After a series of meetings, the community planning committee recommended a masterplan design to the RIRA Common Council, which passed a resolution at its Feb. 2, 2010 meeting endorsing a masterplan including the following features: All trees are preserved; Grouping the playground on the north end of the park with the tot lot on the southern end, so that parents can supervise children playing in both areas and releasing the northern lawn for use for picnics and passive recreation and as a sledding hill in winters; Creating a handicap ramp approved by the RI disabled association and seniors, along with a "kitchen" garden featuring herbs and plants contemporaneous with the Blackwell family; re-aligning grades and paths in the Park to meet current universal accessibility standards; Maintaining the two basketball Courts with upgraded seating; removing the pavers in favor of a more tree friendly pavement finish and creating an area for outdoor cafe tables and chairs; outdoor adult fitness equipment will be located at various points along the East Promenade, facing the water.

On May 5th, landscape architect Lee Weintraub presented the master plan for Blackwell Park, incorporating the planning principles of RIRA's resolution.

Plan Description
The Master Plan proposes that the area around the Blackwell House be modified to include ADA and related improvements that include a modest period residential landscape at the east facing porch and a ramped access to the porch. The existing paved area under the "Kiley" bosque will be changed removing the current frost and root heaved pavement, and replacing it with compacted gravel and cafe seating. The Master Plan proposes to preserve and protect the bosque planetrees and existing fountains.The plan also proposes to extend this bosque north to the terrace at 405 Main. Longer term vision includes a location for a food service cafe located within the bosque.

The basketball courts and stepped spectator seating are left in the exact location they currently occupy. These will be updated. Walls and access points are proposed to be modified so an ADA compliant path is achieved. The area just south of Roosevelt Landings, currently occupied by walls and a mix of play equipment will be modified. The play area is proposed to be relocated and the topography modified to allow for a sledding and sunning east facing hill that largely respects the existing planting and appropriately allows for seasonal use. Trees remain in place. The landscape edge is modified to allow for a sequence of areas for outdoor fitness and exercise equipment.

The Master Plan proposes that the southern area of Blackwell be allocated for a children's adventure playground. The playground is planned to take advantage of and respect existing mature trees. It is proposed to be a set of terraced spaces respecting existing site topography and trees. An array of play opportunities and modes are set on the linked terrace, including play for disabled children. The Master Plan proposes that the play area be accessible to children of different ages, different skill sets, and different interests. It also includes discrete areas for caregivers, serving as "eyes" on the entry point to the playground. The play area (and the basketball courts) will be accessed from a path that aligns with the Blackwell House Porch modifying the existing steps and grades to allow for ramped wheel chair access under the existing and preserved gingko allee.
I asked members of RIRA's Blackwell Park Task Force for their thoughts on RIOC's plan
There's More!


but they were not yet ready to comment.

Blackwell House Park Lawn

One person who was ready to comment was Roosevelt Island resident and RIRA Common Council Delegate Steve Marcus. Expressing his personal opinion and not that of RIRA, Mr. Marcus writes:
This plan has not changed appreciably since December, when the expanded committee of interested residents made it clear that they didn't want trees felled and basketball courts moved. In fact, the committee likes the park, pretty much as is, and wants to see minimal changes.

Rosina however, needs to justify her ... (amount deleted by blogger because not confirmed) ... salary on a bloated RIOC payroll by inventing work that requires her involvement. What we have here is a bureaucracy that burns such enormous amounts annually that we will likely be bankrupt in 20 years. Of course, Shane and Abramson will be long gone by then, and we will have little to sell off or pave over in order to cover our expenses.

In the last 10 years, RIOC managed to give mega-developers Hudson and Related the rights to build Southtown 1,2 and 3 for a net of one million dollars - RIOC paid four million for infrastructure and got back five million from H&R. By comparison, Manhattan Park pays RIOC five million dollars each and every year for the foreseeable future. RIOC then sold off Octagon Park for a grand total of $10 million one-time - they will likely make 700 million in profits over the next 50 years - RIOC managed to sell this land in an up market for the merest fraction of what Manhattan Park was sold for in a down market.

Flush with all of this imaginary money from one-time payments, RIOC has seen fit to expand staff, take on at least 8 more Public safety officers, blow 22 million on a tram we didn't need, another 3.9 million on a roof for the Tram station that we don't need, 1 million for astroturf on the Octagon field - a field we can't even use because RIOC usually rents it out. The astoturf needs to be replaced every 9 - 11 years, so we are spending 100,000 a year to get $100,000 year in rentals.

So, lets return to Blackwell Park, where the tot-lot that needs to move whenever Hudson and Related feel like breaking ground on the 28 story monstrosity that will abut the park. A perfect opportunity to blow what Shane estimates to be anywhere from 2 to 11 million dollars.

What I think we need is a return to sanity - lets re-open some stores on Main Street, at affordable rents so that merchants needed by the elderly and island-bound can afford to stay open and serve them. Lets cut back on all the grandiose plans that we don't need and can't afford. Lets cut RIOC's administrative staff that does administer too well, and Public Safety, that doesn't add to our public safety.
And lets put the south tot-lot next to the north tot-lot that RIOC just built last year next to Eastwood and save Shane's "2 to 11 million dollars"
Blackwell House Lawn

Blackwell Park Basketball Courts

Blackwell Park Fountain

We should be learning more about the plans for Blackwell Park later tonight at the RIRA meeting since Landscape Architect Lee Weintraub is scheduled to speak during the public session.

Below is the RIRA Blackwell Park Resolution:
Let it be known that the following Action was taken at a Meeting of the Common Council of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association on February 3, 2010:

RESOLUTION OF THE BLACKWELL PARK SUB-COMMITTEE
Adopted by the RIRA Common Council – February 3, 2010

Whereas the Roosevelt Island community was invited to participate in the conceptual planning for Blackwell Park, and

Whereas a small Task Force, including two RIRA delegates was convened last July for that purpose, and

Whereas that Task Force has expanded to include more Islanders who are stakeholders in the Park and/or experts in various aspects of park planning, and

Whereas that expanded Task Force has coalesced into the Blackwell Park sub-committee of the RIRA Planning Committee with Matthew Katz and Judy Berdy as co-chairs, and

Whereas the sub-committee has been asked to present its findings to Rosina Abramson and RIOC, therefore

We resolve that the following conclusions be factored into the conceptual and design planning for Blackwell Park:

• That changes to Blackwell Park be considered more as renewal and maintenance upgrading rather than rethinking a park that has served the needs of Islanders well for decades. Less is more.
• That the Blackwell Park project be considered in the context of Roosevelt Island park planning as a whole and that budgeting for this project be considered as just one component of the Island’s capital needs.
• That the two basketball courts remain in their current positions and will be accessible and barrier-free. The area between the courts will contain spectator seating.
• That the playgrounds for both older and younger children will be in such proximity to one another that parents can monitor children in both from a single vantage point. This flat area will include seating and stroller storage for those supervising children in the playgrounds.
• That a water fountain for children to play in must be included.
• That the entrance to these playgrounds will be within Blackwell Park rather than at the periphery for safety and within a controlled space.
• That the wholesale moving or removal of mature trees will not be considered but that other landscaping, such as trimming back hedges, will be accomplished.
• That the significant slope of the area will be utilized to provide green space for mixed use and to provide an appropriate sledding hill. Slopes will be wheelchair accessible.
• That, to accommodate surface tree roots, an appropriate surface will be found to replace concrete walking areas.
• That areas adjacent to the East Channel steam vents will be set aside for exercise equipment.
• That no overpass should be considered to the East Channel Promenade.
• That an ADA/Landmarks Commission compliant, barrier-free ramp for disabled access to Blackwell House, similar to “Plan A” (as presented to the sub-committee) but including additional area for plantings and endorsed by RIDA, will be included.
• That the “Kiley Bosk” area just north of Blackwell House will have room for future food service, including tables and chairs.
• That bathroom facilities will be a part of the final plan, either within the Park or adjacent to it at 504 Main Street, if a use for this building that would include public rest rooms can be arrived at prior to the drafting of construction plans.
• That components of the old Tram, to be replaced starting in March, will be use to create an industrial sculpture facility preferably at Motorgate, but in any event, will not be placed in Blackwell Park.

That the committee shall be included in all subsequent planning stages such as design and construction elements.
UPDATE 6/3- The RIRA Planning Committee reported to the June RIRA Common Council Meeting the following in regard to RIOC's proposed Blackwell Park Master Plan:

Planning Committee Report – June 2, 2010

RIOC Vice President, Rosina Abramson, has made available an artist’s rendering by landscape architect, Lee Weintraub, which conforms to the RIRA Resolution vote on last January. We shared it with the Blackwell House sub- committee members for their consideration and comments. There being no substantive objections to the drawing, sub-committee chairs, Judy Berdy and I have sent the following comment to Ms. Abramson:

Blackwell Park Sub-Committee of the RIRA Planning Committee Response to the Recent Artists Rendering June 1, 2010

We have shared the Weintraub drawings with the sub-committee members along with a copy of the RIRA Resolution that codifies our expectations for the conceptual planning phase of Blackwell Park. We received no negative comments or requests for clarification or more information. Based on that, we believe that the rendering conforms to the general preferences of the participating community members. Of course, we understand that the conceptual plan encompasses only broad strokes and that the practical details will be found in the design elements to be considered next. Until we understand what those design elements are, where they will be placed and what they (and the entire project) will cost, our support may be construed only for the overall conceptual plan. We look forward to working with you to develop and cost-out those design elements.
Respectfully submitted, Matthew Katz, Chair

Roosevelt Island Tram Resumption Of Service Pushed Back To At Least October 2010 - Crane Arriving Today, Main Street Traffic Advisory For A Week

Learned today that RIOC has been advised by POMA that work has fallen behind on the Roosevelt Island Tram Modernization Project. The scheduled resumption of service has been pushed back from late August/early September to October 1. Will have more on this later.

Meanwhile, received the following Advisories from RIOC regarding the Roosevelt Island Tram Modernization Program:

Please be advised today, Wednesday June 2, 2010, the crane for Tower 3 will be arriving today by barge between the hours of 1:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. Total delivery and assembly time for the crane will take between 4 to 6 hours.

There will be some delays with regard to the RIOC Red Bus and Q102 buses as well as traffic delays. Please allow for extra travel time.
and:
Please be advised effective 6:00 a.m. Thursday, June 3, 2010, West Drive Road will be closed for South Bound Traffic and vehicles will be re-routed to New Main Street. The loop will become one way for a period of at least one week. Tram Road will be closed from the Fountain turn around to West Drive due to the presence of a crane that will be working on the replacement of the top of the Tram tower. Traffic will be allowed to continue around Sports Park or Goldwater Hospital to West Drive.

A detailed map is attached for your convenience.

Roosevelt Island Residents Association Common Council Meeting Tonight - Come Find Out What's Going On!

Image of October 2009 RIRA Meeting

The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council will be meeting tonight at the Good Shepherd Community Center's Lower Level Room at 8 PM. The RIRA Common Council is composed of residents elected from each of the Roosevelt Island buildings. If you are interested in learning what's happening here on Roosevelt Island with the Tram, Red Bus, Parks, Housing, retail and other issues - Come On Down!

Prior to the start of the meeting there is an opportunity for the public to question and present any issues of concern to the Council.

Have not received the Agenda yet but will post if I do.

During the May 2010 RIRA Meeting, RIOC Director of Engineering Tom Turcic made a presentation on Good Shepherd Plaza renovation,

RIOC VP Of Planning and Inter-Governmental Affairs Rosina Abramson and Landscape architect Lee Weintraub made a presentation on Blackwell Park Master Plan,

a resident expressed displeasure with the Blackwell Park Master Plan

and RIOC President Steve Shane was there to answer questions.

There's always something interesting that comes out at RIRA meetings.

UPDATE 1:50 PM- Received the May 2010 RIRA Agenda:

Click On Agenda Image to Enlarge and View

UPDATE
6/3- The RIRA Planning Committee reported to the June RIRA Common Council Meeting the following in regard to RIOC's proposed Blackwell Park Master Plan:
Planning Committee Report – June 2, 2010

RIOC Vice President, Rosina Abramson, has made available an artist’s rendering by landscape architect, Lee Weintraub, which conforms to the RIRA Resolution vote on last January. We shared it with the Blackwell House sub- committee members for their consideration and comments. There being no substantive objections to the drawing, sub-committee chairs, Judy Berdy and I have sent the following comment to Ms. Abramson:

Blackwell Park Sub-Committee of the RIRA Planning Committee Response to the Recent Artists Rendering June 1, 2010

We have shared the Weintraub drawings with the sub-committee members along with a copy of the RIRA Resolution that codifies our expectations for the conceptual planning phase of Blackwell Park. We received no negative comments or requests for clarification or more information. Based on that, we believe that the rendering conforms to the general preferences of the participating community members. Of course, we understand that the conceptual plan encompasses only broad strokes and that the practical details will be found in the design elements to be considered next. Until we understand what those design elements are, where they will be placed and what they (and the entire project) will cost, our support may be construed only for the overall conceptual plan. We look forward to working with you to develop and cost-out those design elements.
Respectfully submitted, Matthew Katz, Chair

Having Problems Getting On Roosevelt Island Northbound Red Bus At Riverwalk Stop? Should Not Be Happening Says RIOC

Red Bus At Riverwalk Bar & Grill Stop

A reader has been having some problems with the Roosevelt Island Red Bus not picking up North bound riders at the Riverwalk Bar & Grill stop

Riders Waiting For Red Bus At Riverwalk Bar & Grill Stop

and asks:
Is it publicized somewhere that the red bus only drops off on our side and only picks up on the subway side? that seems silly to me. my toddlers and i often get on on our side (to ride bus to RIDN), but on occ the bus drivers tell me they aren't supposed to. i hope it goes back to the old way. i HATE the loss of all those parking spots because of red bus. it is really awful.
I inquired of Roosevelt Island Operating Corp. (RIOC) VP of Operations Fernando Martinez:
Some Riverwalk residents have been told by the Red Bus Drivers on occasion that they can not get on the North Bound Bus at the Riverwalk Bar & Grill but must instead get on at the subway stop. I have been told that this does not always happen but it does happen enough to be of concern.

Is that true?

Thank you.
Mr. Martinez replied:
Thank you for bringing this concern to my attention. I will remind the drivers that passengers can absolutely get on the north-bound Red bus at the bar and grill bus stop.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

No Paragliding On Roosevelt Island Yesterday - Not Enough Wind For Take Off - Perhaps Waiting For The Tram To Return Is A Better Idea

It looks like some Roosevelt Island residents may be missing the Tram Ride soaring over the East River and getting a little sick of the subway so they are taking matters into their own hands by trying to paraglide off of Roosevelt Island.

If you were walking around the Riverwalk Commons area in Southtown yesterday you may have seen this daredevil trying to capture a little bit of wind so that he could take off from Roosevelt Island and fly over the East River to who knows where.


After many attempts at getting the canopy up in the air and then running down the short hill, our intrepid Paraglider got a few feet off the ground but never made it off of Roosevelt Island.


Maybe next time when there is more wind he will succeed! Maybe not.

Here's how paragliding take-off is supposed to work.

Yeah, I'm sure that will work on Roosevelt Island - aren't you?

Fire At Roosevelt Island's AVAC Underground Garbage Disposal Facility - No Damage


Roosevelt Island Operationg Corp. (RIOC) Director Jonathan Kalkin tweets:
Fire at AVAC system on Roosevelt Island. Exactly why we need Ladder 116!
RIOC President Steve Shane adds:
There was smoke issuing from one of the outside containers . FDNY was called, the contents were pulled out, hosed down and all will be returned to tranquillity as soon as the mess is put back into the container. No damage.
Here's a great video showing how Roosevelt Island's underground AVAC garbage system works.

Uncle Joe Catches Monster East River Fish From Roosevelt Island

A really Big East River Fish caught from Roosevelt Island. According to this May 29 tweet:

Last night on roosevelt island ... Uncle Joe caught a monster
Image from Yfrog

More on Roosevelt Island East River Fishing here.

Monday, May 31, 2010

It's Memorial Day - Thank You For Your Service To All Members Of U.S. Military & Welcome Fleet Week 2010 To Roosevelt Island



In addition to enjoying ourselves this Memorial Day weekend, let's also take a moment to remember the men and women of the United States Military who are currently serving our country, those veterans who have done so in the past and those who gave their lives. From History.com:
Memorial Day, which falls on the last Monday of May, commemorates the men and women who died while serving in the American military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, at least, it marks the beginning of summer.
Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day because it was a time set aside to honor the nation's Civil War dead by decorating their graves...
If you know a veteran or someone currently serving tell them you appreciate their service and say Thank You. If you see a Sailor or Marine on the street this weekend, say Thanks to him or her as well.

It's also Fleet Week 2010 in New York City and our Sailors and Marines are enjoying all that NYC has to offer


including our very own Roosevelt Island. Yes, Fleet Week made it to Roosevelt Island and the Riverwalk Bar & Grill last Friday in the persons of FMF Corpsmen of the 2nd Marine Division
  • Nick Sollenberger,
  • Marc Petrine and
  • Andrew Whisner

I spoke with the Corpsmen (from Ohio, California and upstate New York) and asked how they found Roosevelt Island. They said they got lost on the subway trying to to get to Queens when they asked for assistance from another rider who suggested they follow him to Roosevelt Island where they would have a great time - and they did!

Interested in learning more about FMF Corpsmen? Here's some more information:
For seven boot camp-like, rifle-toting, blister-breaking weeks down south at Camp LeJeune, N.C., the Navy and Marine Corps team up at Field Medical Service School (FMSS) East to mold standard Navy-issue corpsmen into Sailors good enough for the Fleet Marine Force (FMF). The good ones will earn the Marines’ respect. The great ones earn the title, “Doc.”
“There are corpsmen and then there are ‘docs,’” said Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Richard Lister, an advisor at FMSS East. “A doc is someone you can count on. He’s someone in your platoon that when something happens to one of our fellow Marines, you can call on him and not have to worry. He’s your buddy, a comrade in arms, a person who you count on to cover your back, to lay down fire, dig fighting holes or do whatever the hell Marines are doing. That’s who a doc is.”...