Roosevelt Island on the Web Links as appearing in the March 12, 2011 Main Street WIRE.
Roosevelt Islander - Resident Dies After Jumping Off River Road Balcony
Roosevelt Islander - Eastwood Garbage Being Left On Street
Gothamist - Roosevelt Island Resident Jumps To Death
Daily News - Roosevelt Island 21 Year Old Smokes Salvia - Dies Jumping Off Balcony
Daily Mail - Father Wants To Criminalize Salvia Drug
ABC Local - Video Interview With Sister Of Deceased RI Jumper
Huffington Post - Uncle Jim Bates Roosevelt Island Wheelchair Basketball
WNYC Radio - Video Profile Of Main Street WIRE
NY 1 - New Fuel Cell Provides Electricity To Octagon
Roosevelt Island Historical Society - Visitors Kiosk Wins Preservation Award
Histpress - Internship With Roosevelt Island Historical Society
You Tube - 1980 Youth Center Performance Of West Side Story
Roosevelt Island School G & T Class Blog - March PTA Newsletter
ABC News - Wireless Parking App For Roosevelt Island
Hydro World - Verdant's East River Tidal Energy Project
Cornell Daily Sun - Cornell Considering Tech School At Coler Goldwater
DNA Info - Blondes v Brunettes In Alzheirmer's Roosevelt Island Charity Football Game
DNA Info - Roosevelt Island Historical Society Visitors Kiosk Wins Award
Times Union - Profiles Roosevelt Island Ronnie, Manhattan College Basketball Fan
Glark - Mario Was Here On Roosevelt Island Photo
Planet Eye Traveler - Roams Roosevelt Island
NYC Loves NYC - New Roosevelt Island Tram
Walk In New York - Roosevelt Island Lighthouse Photo
Astoria Bike - Walk To Walk Via Roosevelt Island and Tram
You Tube - From Roosevelt Island Subway To Coler Goldwater
Friday, March 11, 2011
Roosevelt Island on the Web Links as appearing in the March 12, 2011 Main Street WIRE.
Roosevelt Island's Andrew Andrew Two Man Collective Profiled In NY Times - The Andrews Review That Championship Season and High Tech Spy Garbo
Have you ever seen these two guys walking down the street on Roosevelt Island who kind of look alike, but not quite, though they definitely dress as one and ask yourself who are they?
The answer is - they are AndrewAndrew, Roosevelt Island residents, and were profiled in the NY Times earlier this year:
THE girl in the gray cocktail dress eyed the D.J.’s, a pair of men engrossed in their matching iPads.and:
“They’re twins, right?” she asked, looking puzzled.
Well, no. The D.J.’s — a two-man “collective” that calls itself AndrewAndrew — are as twin-like as you can get without sharing DNA...
... AndrewAndrew are sometimes called performance artists, but they see themselves as mere catalysts, provoking onlookers to literally look twice. “Ultimately, it’s a nonperformance,” Andrew said, “because we’re not actually doing anything. We’re passive. The entire action takes place in someone else’s mind, in someone else’s perception.”...That Championship Season
and Spy Garbo.
The Andrews describe Spy Garbo as a high tech and academic version of one of my all time favorite TV program's, Steve Allen's Meeting of Minds, where historical figures would return and chat with each other in a talk show like setting.
I might give it a try.
Report From RIOC President Leslie Torres - Commercial Revitalization, Engineering Projects For Motorgate, AVAC, Blackwell House & Southpoint Park But No Comment On RIOC's Performance Last Sunday
Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Lesie Torres sends the following report to Roosevelt Island residents.
Roosevelt Island is a unique neighborhood not just because of its great location, amazing views, vast park land, and use of an aerial tram for mass transit, but also because of its unique structure of being a State entity in the middle of New York City’s five boroughs.Ms. Torres and RIOC still have not commented publicly on RIOC's handling of events and Roosevelt Island emergency protocols following Sunday's incident.
The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (or RIOC), was created to develop, manage and maintain the Island for its residents, businesses and visitors. We at RIOC work every day to make sure the Island is clean and safe, that the roadways, parks, and sports facilities are well-maintained, and that people can travel easily around and to and from the island.
We also work to ensure that residents have the amenities they need to comfortably live on beautiful Roosevelt Island. To that end, I have been working for the past few months on commercial revitalization plan to bring in new businesses to the island. We are now in the final phases of discussion with the firm selected to help us attract new businesses, and I hope to be able to provide you with more information about our plans in the near future.
I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you about what the RIOC Engineering Department, led by the very capable Alex Snedkov, is responsible for, and give you an update on their projects.
Alex and his Project Management and Maintenance team are responsible for maintenance and repairs of roadways island wide, street lighting, storm drainage, all installations in the parks and sport fields, and upkeep of the building systems in RIOC owned facilities. It’s a lot of work for a small staff to manage, but they have been working hard and doing a great job.
In addition to the ongoing maintenance work, the Engineering Department is also responsible for capital improvement projects on the Island. At the moment, they are working on:
1. Restoration of the Good Shepherd Chapel: The Engineering Department is currently finishing upgrade of the HVAC system (which will provide heating, cooling and ventilation of the chapel), and the restoration of the lower level floor. The installation of the Fire Alarm and overall painting are being planned and should start by the summer of 2011. The exterior improvements of the chapel include the plaza restoration project, starting this Spring, and the chapel roof replacement and exterior wall repairs, which will follow. If you are interested in more information about the Plaza restoration project, RIOC is hosting a community meeting on March 24, at 7pm in the community room of the Chapel to discuss all of the Good Shepherd Chapel projects.
2. Motorgate Garage: The Engineering Department has been working on structural restoration and water proofing, storm drainage replacement, and an upgrade of the stairs, including the replacement of doors and painting. Over the next few months they will start the electrical upgrade project which will include the replacement of all interior lighting at Motorgate.
3. AVAC Building: As you know, Roosevelt Island has one of the few AVAC systems in the country, and the great upshot of using vacuum tubes to remove residential garbage from buildings is that we greatly reduce the number of huge, dirty sanitation trucks rumbling down our quiet streets to remove waste (some still come by to remove commercial and street waste). The Engineering Department is charged with major repairs of the AVAC system, and is now in the process of replacing the second of two compactors so that the system continues to work efficiently.
4. Blackwell House: As you may know, Blackwell House is one of 6 landmarks on the Island (if you’re looking for information about the other five or other interesting things to see, check out our self-guided tour map at http://rioc.ny.gov/pdf/RI-
Map2-10.pdf). Thanks in part to a grant from New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs, the 215-year-old building’s interior will be renovated. The building’s renovation is now being designed under the supervision of the Engineering Department. Construction will begin later this year.
5. Southpoint Park: The 17-acre park, slated for opening in mid-summer, will add to our already vast amount of park land. The Engineering Department is managing this construction and will be responsible for the park upkeep after the park opens.
I can’t wait for the reopening of Blackwell House and the opening of Southpoint Park. Both places are going to provide us with even better space to host events and celebrations for residents, like the Grandparents Day and Black History Month events we held in February. Both of these events were well attended – with Grandparents Day drawing over 150 local community members and the Black History Month party attracting 100 residents - and greatly enjoyed. You can see pictures on our Facebook page at RIOCNY (and please “Like” us to stay connected). Coming up, don’t miss our Spring Egg Hunt and Health and Fitness Day. We’ll have more information about these and other events posted on our Facebook page and website.
Until next time,
A version of the RIOC President's column also appears on RIOC's web site and the March 12, 2011 Main Street WIRE.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Having Problems Getting A New York City Taxi Cab To Take You To Roosevelt Island? Taxi & Limousine Commission Cracking Down With Undercover Investigations
Have you had any problems getting a cab driver to take you to Roosevelt Island? Ever experienced the grumbling and sighs from cab drivers as you tell them you are going to Roosevelt Island and have them refuse to take you or suddenly have some mysterious cab breakdown right before the Queensboro Bridge forcing you to get out of the cab near the Tram? If you have, this article from today's New York Post will sound all too familiar:
College students enlisted by the city to pose as Manhattan taxi passengers heading to another borough got turned down by yellow-cab drivers a shocking 50 percent of the time as part of a city sting, it was disclosed yesterday.Roosevelt Island isn't even another borough, it is officially part of Manhattan, though cabs do have to go through Queens in order to get here. One Roosevelt Island resident, Average Allergy Mom, had a cab driver who would not take her to Roosevelt Island and tweeted yesterday:
Officials said the findings indicate that previous probes by inspectors employed by the Taxi and Limousine Commission may have vastly underestimated how many times cabbies are breaking the law by refusing to leave the gilded streets of Manhattan....
@NYCMayorsOffice yep had a big fight with a cabby one night who wouldn't take us to Roosevelt Island. We reported him!The NYC Mayors Office tweeted in reply:
If you want to hail a cab, NYC taxi drivers are required by law to take you to ANY destination in the city. Period. End of story.Blogger Karothon reports:
...a cab refused to take me to Roosevelt Island (even though cabbies aren’t allowed to refuse a fare within the 5 boroughs) and I fumed about it for DAYS! I even called 311 (the NYC helpline) to complain — it was Christmas Eve and I was carrying heavy stuff! — but found out I had to schedule a hearing to formally complain about a denied fare. I certainly wasn’t upset enough to go downtown for a hearing, but finding out I couldn’t just call and file a complaint gave me something else to be annoyed about. And I was on hold for 10 minutes!...and this Roosevelt Island resident tweeted last summer:
Props to Jade+Di for getting a cabbie to ride to Roosevelt Island, something I've barely been able to do over 4 yrs.What about you? Any problems getting a cab to take you to Roosevelt Island?
Below is March 9, 2011 NYC Press Release describing efforts to prevent cab drivers from illegally refusing service to riders wishing to travel to boroughs outside of Manhattan.
Here's a video of NYC investigation showing cab drivers refusing to take riders to boroughs outside of Manhattan.Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Taxi and Limousine Commissioner David Yassky today updated New Yorkers on the Administration’s efforts to prevent taxi drivers from illegally refusing to serve passengers and unveiled video of recent undercover operations. The videos were taken by Taxi and Limousine Commission “Secret Shoppers,” who are part of the commission’s ongoing efforts to crack down on illegal taxi refusals. New York City cab drivers are required by Local Law to take a passenger to any destination within the five boroughs, or to destinations in Nassau and Westchester Counties, and to Newark Airport. The requirement is also part of the contract that drivers agree to when they are licensed and it’s clearly written in the Taxicab Rider Bill of Rights, which is available through Passenger Information Monitors in the backseat of every cab. Last month, the Administration proposed increasing the penalties for drivers that illegally refuse passengers. Passengers should report illegal refusals by noting the taxi’s medallion number, the time and place of the incident and calling 311 or going to 311Online on nyc.gov. The Mayor was joined at the announcement in the Blue Room of City Hall by City Council Transportation Committee Chair James Vacca, who will introduce a bill later this month to increase penalties for drivers that illegally refuse rides. City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn is supporting the legislation.“We are a city of five boroughs – and it doesn’t matter which borough you are coming from or which borough you’re going to – if you want to hail a cab, drivers are required by law to take you to any destination in the city. Period. End of story,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “We have been stepping up our enforcement efforts to ensure every person who puts a hand in the air to hail a cab is treated the same, charged the same way and taken to where they want to go without argument.”
“A cornerstone of New York taxi service is that the passenger can go anywhere in the five boroughs, not just anywhere in Manhattan,” said Commissioner Yassky.
“With the substantial increase in fines, we hope that cabbies will think twice before they decide to refuse a fare,” said Speaker Quinn. “Incidents like what allegedly happened this weekend that left a young man severely injured would not have occurred if the cabbie had simply done his job. While we recognize the hard work our cab drivers do every day, we also expect them to abide by the law.”
“I’ve had it with drivers who think they can choose which laws to obey and which not to obey,” said Council Member Vacca. “Too many passengers seeking to go outside Manhattan are being told to take a hike, when it is the cabbies who flout the law who should take a hike. Raising fines for refusing service sends a clear message that the era of picking and choosing where to take passengers must come to an end.”
The number of service refusals reported to the Taxi and Limousine Commission have been on the rise this Fiscal Year, increasing from 2,128 reported refusals between July 2009 and February 2010 to 2,887 reported refusals between July 2010 and February 2011 – an increase of more than 36 percent.
The penalties for illegal refusals are set by Local Law, and require City Council authorization to modify. The Administration’s proposed new penalties are:
The current penalty structure is:
- $500 for a first offense;
- $750 and a 30-day suspension for a second offense within 24 months; and
- Mandatory TLC license revocation for a third offense within 36 months.
The Taxi and Limousine Commission also regularly uses “secret shoppers,” who look for various violations, including illegal cell phone use, illegal livery pick-ups, and other customer service violations. The commission recently enhanced its illegal service refusal enforcement efforts by partnering with Baruch College’s School of Public Affairs and deploying students as secret shoppers in the evening and nighttime. The students receive training and are supervised.
- $200-$350 for a first offense;
- $350-$500 and a possible 30-day suspension for a second offense within 24 months; and
- Mandatory TLC license revocation for a third offense within 36 months.
Transcripts of some the videos taken by Taxi and Limousine Commission Officers are below. The attempted street hails took place in Manhattan and the drivers were issued appropriate summonses.
Street hail #1. Destination Brooklyn:
This was the driver’s first summons for an illegal refusal.Driver: I don’t have GPS.Passenger: What was that?
Driver: I don’t have GPS, that’s why.
Passenger: You don’t have a GPS? Well, it’s 3rd Avenue and Union Street in Brooklyn.
Driver: I don’t know…..Brooklyn Bridge….if they show me I would take them, but otherwise…
Passenger: You don’t have a map, or a….
Driver: I don’t have a map.
Passenger: All right, all right. (Driver flees) Yo, Yo, Yo. Yo. Yo. 5p60. 5p60 (The medallion number).
Street hail #2. Destination Queens:
Passenger: I’m going to Liberty and Lefferts in Queens.This driver has two previous violations for illegal refusal. If this summons is upheld, his license will be revoked.
Driver: Liberty and Lefferts.
Passenger: In Queens. In Richmond Hill.
Driver: You know your way? Liberty, because…
Passenger: I know you go over the Brooklyn Bridge.
Driver: You go on the Brooklyn Bridge. When you say Liberty, I don’t know Liberty…
Passenger: Liberty Avenue.
Driver: Liberty, I don’t know.
Passenger: Do you have a map that we could follow?
Driver: No, no. No, take somebody else.
Passenger: Why, what’s the problem?
All licensed taxi drivers in New York City are required to have a five borough map and claiming to not know directions to a location is not a permissible reason to refuse a fare. It is a frequently used tactic by drivers that want to avoid a trip to the boroughs outside of Manhattan.
Dining Al Fresco Returns To Roosevelt Island At The Riverwalk Bar & Grill & Nonno's Focacceria - Spring Is Getting Closer With Outdoor Restaurant Seating
I may have been a bit premature in declaring the arrival of Roosevelt Island spring with last week's return of the Subway Fruit Stand and the weather the last couple of days has been nothing to shout out about with joy but another sign of the upcoming spring has shown itself. Yesterday, the Riveralk Bar & Grill
and Nonno's Focacceria
put out their outdoor tables and chairs.
Roosevelt Island dining al fresco will soon be here.
Guys, how about some heating lamps for eating and drinking outside when the weather is not quite warm enough?
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Roosevelt Island Grocery Shopping Comparison - How Do Gristedes, Duane Reade & Fresh Direct Stack Up Against Each Other
Last Sunday, I did some Roosevelt Island grocery shopping for a few items and compared prices at our local Gristedes and Duane Reade. I did not check out the prices at the Food Emporium by the Tram on Ist Avenue. Later that day, I checked out prices for the same items on Fresh Direct.
Here's what I found. Nescafe Taster's Choice Decaf Coffee was $11.99 at Duane Reade
Fresh Direct did not have the Tasters Choice Decaf Coffee item.
Progresso Soups such as Hearty Chicken & Rotini were $2.99 at Duane Reade
and $3.69 at Gristedes.
The same soup at Fresh Direct was $2.99
Bush''s Baked Beans were $1.99 at Duane Reade
and $2.39 at Gristedes.
The same item cost at Fresh Direct was $1.79
This is not a scientific survey comparing Roosevelt Island Grocery prices but just the result one day for these particular items that I happened to buy.
UPDATE 3/10 - Received a reminder from a reader that a Whole Foods is scheduled to open in 2012 two blocks from the Roosevelt Island Tram on 57th Street and Second Avenue. More from this previous post.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Several readers have asked for a separate discussion thread to comment on Sunday's post.
I would like to ask the moderator of this blog to open a new discussion thread on PSD and RIOC performance during this sad event. To be frank, I don't feel comfortable discussing all these valid points on this thread, as some here are trying to mask RIOC and PSD ineeficiency behind the tragedyand
Moderator, could you please create another thread to discuss RIOC and PSD. I feel so bad that these two things, the tragedy and PSD/RIOC performance get mixed up here. Thank you!For any of you who wish to comment on the response to this incident by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) please use this comment thread. This is a very sensitive subject so please be responsible in your comments or I will delete them.
The tone of some recent comments have been unusually harsh and insulting. Such comments only weaken the argument or point they are trying to make. Please be courteous to other readers no matter how much you disagree and if possible, don't use the anonymous handle but use some sort of consistent identification to your comments - it doesn't have to be your full or even real name. Use your initials, first name, a consistent pseudonym or better still, register through Open ID.
On to substance. I don't know if RIOC's response to Sunday's tragedy was good or not. Were proper emergency protocols followed - don't know and neither does anyone else other than RIOC and NYPD. To find out, yesterday, I sent the following message to RIOC President Leslie Torres and Vice President Of Operations Fernando Martinez seeking a comment:
Does RIOC wish to make any comment regarding the handling of the events following Sunday's tragic death of the 10 River Road Resident who jumped from his balcony and died on Main Street.Have not received any response back.
For instance, was there any communication between RIOC, Public Safety and the Tram/Subway Station to make sure that riders knew that there was no Red Bus service for most of Sunday afternoon and early evening? Was it possible to have an emergency route on the seawall so that vehicles could access the Octagon during this time?
Who was making decisions for RIOC during this incident? Was Senior Staff notified and making decisions or was it a lower level Public Safety Officer on the scene? I was told that there were only 4 Public Safety Officers on duty at the time. Is that true - were more called in after the incident?
Please let me know if you wish to respond to the handling of yesterday's incident. I plan on publishing post about this tomorrow.
Earlier that day, I sent this message to Ms. Torres:
A Roosevelt Island resident of 10 River Road jumped off his apartment balcony and landed on Main Street killing himself yesterday after smoking a hallucinogenic drug. Yet, the Roosevelt Island Daily Public Safety Report for yesterday described the incident asHave not received a response to this back either.
Aided- PSD and NYPD responded to a DOA.
Do you think that is an adequate explanation of the incident? After all, the Daily Public Safety Report is supposed to inform RIOC Senior Staff and the Roosevelt Island community of Public Safety incidents for that day. Merely referring to this incident as responding to a DOA hardly seems like a proper description. While it is true that Chief Guerra provided a written explanation last evening, the Daily Public Safety Report is lacking in description.
Another example of Daily Public Safety reports providing a less than accurate description of events happened on Friday March 4 when there was a large NYFD response to a fire/smoke condition at 2-4 River Road that I posted here.
The Public Safety Report for that day (below) does not appear to include that incident.
0700hrs 03/04/11 - 0700hrs 03/05/11
Disabled Phone- Tenant reports no dial tone, telephone provider will come out.
Aided- Male hurt transported to hospital.
Investigation- Male confused at subway, PSD responded and helped.
Found Property- RIOC bus driver found a credit card, turned it into PSD.
Aided- Male not feeling well, transported to hospital.
Aided- Male not feeling well, transported to hospital.
Aided- male not feeling well, transported to hospital.
Water Leak- Tenant is having pluming problems, UA responded.
Trespass- Male trespassed, PSD issued a summons.
Why would the Daily Public Safety Report fail to describe these incidents clearly and accurately? Can a more complete explanation of Daily Public Safety Events be implemented? The reports can still be brief but provide greater accuracy.
Also, I think it would be helpful in the future for both RIOC Senior Staff and the Roosevelt Island community if the Public Safety reports could include the time and place of incidents.
WNYC Radio Know Your Neighbor Video Profile of Roosevelt Island Main Street WIRE Editor - See How The WIRE Get's To Your Door Knob
WNYC Radio interviews the Main Street WIRE editor and shows how Roosevelt Island's local newspaper gets distributed to building residents.
Monday, March 7, 2011
Roosevelt Island Historical Society Summer Paid Intern Position Available - Help Preserve Roosevelt Island History From 1600 To Present Day
Received the following message of a summer internship position available with the Roosevelt Island Historical Society.
Roosevelt Island Historical SocietyNew York CityPAID SUMMER INTERN POSITIONJuly-August 2011
Do you enjoy local history? Join us on our unique historical island and learn more than you ever imagined about our history from the 1600’s to the present day.
The Roosevelt Island Historical Society has a broad collection of materials regarding those who lived, worked, were hospitalized or imprisoned on the island, located between Manhattan and Queens in the East River.
Work will be on Roosevelt Island, accessible via Tram at 59th Street and 2nd
- Assist with RIHS collection management and registration.
- Assist with recording, cataloguing, organizing, and inventorying records and permanent collection.
- Performing preventative care of items in storage.
- Prefer candidates currently enrolled in an Historic Preservation, Art History, Museum Studies or Local History Program.
- All level students will be considered.
- Work independently and under the supervision of the RIHS historian.
Avenue or F train.
Please visit our website: www.rihs.us before submitting your cover letter and resume as a Word attachment to Rooseveltislandhistory@usa.com
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Roosevelt Island Resident Dies After Jumping Off Apartment Balcony At Manhattan Park's 10 River Road
Sad news to report. Earlier this afternoon, I received this email:
Just outside gristede's there's a dead body in the road and tons of police around (but no one directing traffic...It was reported to me at the scene that at approximately 2 PM a Roosevelt Island resident living at 10 River Road jumped off the apartment balcony onto Main Street in front of Gristedes and the Motorgate ramp. The person died.
Roosevelt Island: River Rd & Main St Jumper down and is DOA on scene. Crime scene units enroute. 2:36:32 PMUPDATE 9 PM - I received several photos of the scene showing the covered dead body on Main Street. I took a photo of the scene this afternoon myself. Since the original post, I have been considering whether or not it would be appropriate to publish such photos. I have decided to publish a photo taken at the scene showing the body underneath a tarp, because it illustrates the stark and horrific reality of today's tragic event without, in my opinion, violating the privacy of the deceased or his/her family.
UPDATE 9:35 PM - Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department Director Keith Guerra reports:
Unfortunately, our island lost a resident this afternoon. A 21 year-old male fell to his death from his balcony at 10 River Road. PSD received the call of a male lying in the street in front of the Gristedes turnaround, and at first it was believed that he may have been hit by a car. Further investigation revealed that he was allegedly smoking Salvia and ran out onto the balcony and jumped. EMS and NYPD were on scene immediately thereafter, and the male was pronounced DOA on the scene. The investigation revealed that it was a suicide, and the body was removed by the NYC Coroner. Bus traffic was suspended for several hours, as the area was cordened off as a Crime Scene. Remaining traffic was diverted via the seawalls.UPDATE 3/8 -The Daily News has more details on this incident.
For those not familiar with Salvia, it's proper name is Savia Divinorum. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has listed Salvia as a “drug of concern.” The DEA states that Salvia is a Mexican herb that can be smoked to “evoke hallucinogenic effects.” Psychic effects include perceptions of bright lights, vivid colors and shapes, as well as body movements and body or object distortions. The DEA also reports that other effects include uncontrolled laughter, overlapping realities, incoordination, dizziness and slurred speech.
I have posted another thread for anyone who wishes to comment on RIOC's performance during this incident. Please use that thread for any additional comments and do not post any additional comments on this thread.
UPDATE 8 PM - WABC TV has a video interview with the deceased's sister and Daily Mail print interview with father.
The Roosevelt Island Seniors Association (RISA) President Dolores Green reports that RISA is presenting a a 3 day 2 night trip to Foxwoods Casino in Mystic Ct from May 16 -18. Click on the image above and contact Ms. Green for more information.