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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Travel Channel's Off Limits TV Program Visits Unknown Roosevelt Island Guided By RI Historical Society President Judy Berdy


In addition to the fictional TV Pilot for The Rememberer filming on Roosevelt Island earlier this week, Roosevelt Island was also the subject for a TV program shooting here last Friday. Roosevelt Island Historical Society President Judy Berdy was the local guide for Authentic Entertainment's Don Wildman's trip to Roosevelt Island. According to Ms. Berdy:
New TV show for the Travel Channel "Off Limits" shot on Roosevelt Island on Friday. A new production highlighting little know sites will premiere on Travel Channel in May.

Sites visited included the Smallpox Hospital,


Tram ride,


the promenades,


Octagon

and other island sites.
According to Scripps Network:
Off Limits, Don Wildman takes viewers to places they didn’t know existed—and aren’t allowed in.
and Dansville Online:
... Part of the sixth episode of the Travel Channel’s new show, “Off Limits” was filmed in Dansville this week.

The show, scheduled to begin its first season in May, is about exploring places that are off limits to the public, and delves into the history of each place and how the surrounding area, and essentially America, was influenced by it.

Each episode is hosted by Don Wildman, who is accompanied by a local historian....
Bit by bit, the world is learning about Roosevelt Island.

Friday, April 8, 2011

No Roosevelt Island F Train Service From Manhattan This Weekend and Later This Month - RIOC To Provide Weekend Continuous Service from 12 to 7 PM on Both Trams and 24 Hour Tram Service

Received the following advisory from the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC): 
 PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT THERE WILL NOT BE ANY NORTHBOUND (QUEENSBOUND) F TRAIN SERVICE AT THE ROOSEVELT ISLAND STATION FOR THE WEEKENDS OF APRIL 9 - 11 and APRIL 23 - 25

RIOC will be providing 24-hour Tram service these weekends to minimize the inconvenience to Island residents.

There will be 2 Trams running continuously during the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM on Saturday and Sunday.

At all other times both Trams will run at 15 minute intervals.

Thank you for your cooperation....
 Additional weekend F Train subway service disruption information available from the MTA.
...  For service to Roosevelt Island and 21 St-Queensbridge, take the  F to Roosevelt Av

and transfer to a Coney-Island bound F.

For service from 57 St, Lexington Av-63 St, Roosevelt Island and 21 St-Queensbridge,

take a Coney Island-bound  F to 47-50 Sts and transfer to a Jamaica-bound F .
Also, since the F Train will be running on the M line, you can take the F to 53rd and Lexington. Then walk to the Tram on 2 Ave and 60th Street thereby avoiding the longer subway trip into Queens and back to Roosevelt Island.

RIRA Meeting Erupts With Angry Confrontation Over Departure Of Roosevelt Island's Sole Assigned NYPD Officer - Precinct Commander Says RIRA Had Nothing To Do With Reassignment But Some RIRA Members Vehemently Disagree

NYPD Inspector Cirabisi and Colleague Speaking With RIRA's President and Public Safety Chair

The Commander of NYPD's 114th Precinct in Queens (which covers Roosevelt Island) Deputy Inspector Stephen Cirabisi

Inspector Cirabisi At Speaking at April RIRA Meeting

began Wednesday evening's Public Session of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) April meeting with a brief presentation on Roosevelt Island crime. Inspector Cirabisi informed those assembled

 April RIRA Meeting

that for the year so far there were 10 reports of felony index crimes, seven of which involved credit card fraud, 2 assaults and one robbery. (RIOC Public Safety Stats show slightly different numbers).

Tweeting the meeting was riraonline:
Roosevelt island has only had 10 major crimes in 2011, 7 of which were credit card fraud
Inspector Cirabisi reported that there is very little street crime on Roosevelt Island and then addressed the big question of the evening which many attending the meeting were waiting to hear addressed - Why was the only NYPD Officer assigned to Roosevelt Island removed and would the position be replaced?

According to the Precinct Commander, Officer Fernandez was removed for no other reason than another position opened up in the Precinct and that Officer Fernandez was being rewarded with a promotion for a job well done. When asked specifically whether Officer Fernandez was removed because of any phone calls or complaints about him made by Roosevelt Island residents, the Inspector said no.

When asked whether another Officer will be assigned to Roosevelt Island, the Inspector indicated that he will review the situation and that hopefully he would be able to do so if more Police Officers are assigned to the 114th precinct. I did not get the impression that it was likely to occur in the near future.

RIRA Public Safety Chair Erin Feeley-Nahem remarked that she noticed more NYPD patrol car activity up and down Main Street and the Inspector asked if that was a good thing. Ms. Nahem said it was a good thing and the Inspector replied that there will be more of that in the absence of an assigned officer.

More riraonline tweeting:
NYPD patrol cars are more frequently driving through Roosevelt island since the departure of our own Police officer
and:
We might actually have more police presence now than before
Inspector Cirabisi also noted the good work done by the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department and indicated that he did not see a need to arm the Public Safety Officers with guns.

In response to a question from Ms. Nahem asking if he was mad at them, meaning RIRA, Inspector Cirabisi responded "no, not at all".

Inspector Cirabisi and his NYPD colleague left the meeting with the appreciation of those present and the RIRA meeting resumed it's regular business.

But that was not the end of the controversy and hard feelings created by the departure of Roosevelt Island's only assigned NYPD officer.

RIRA Common Council Member Joyce Mincheff did not accept Inspector Cirabisi's statement that Officer Fernandez left his Roosevelt Island assignment on his own accord as conclusive that RIRA Public Safety Committee Chair Erin Feeley-Nahem and others were not responsible for Officer Fernandez leaving Roosevelt Island. Ms. Mincheff believes by contacting his superiors, these RIRA members were the cause of Officer Fernandez departure, that such a belief is not mutually inconsistent with Inspector's Cirabisi's statement and that an apology by these RIRA members to Officer Fernandez is necessary if another NYPD officer is to be assigned to Roosevelt Island.

Ms Mincheff did not get the apology she sought.

Here's what happened between Ms. Mincheff, Ms. Feeley Nahem, other RIRA members and RIRA President Matt Katz trying to keep order.


You Tube Video of April RIRA Meeting Confrontation

For the record, Ms. Mincheff also believes that this blog is at least partially responsible for the Officer's removal by publishing this RIRA Public Safety Committee Report prior to the January RIRA meeting.

Report From RIOC President Leslie Torres - Main Street Master Leaseholder Tentatively Done, New Red Bus Management, Sportspark Pool Membership, Good Shepherd Plaza Renovations & More on Roosevelt Island

Image of RIOC President Leslie Torres

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Lesie Torres sends the following report to Roosevelt Island residents.
It’s been a busy couple of weeks, with good news to report on the Commercial Space Master Lease, the red buses, a new pool membership structure for Sportspark, and the
Good Shepherd Community Center.

Commercial Space Master Lease Moving Forward

I am pleased to announce that we have come to tentative terms on the Commercial Space Master Lease. All the necessary requirements under the Public Authorities Law should be completed in time for the May 23rd Board meeting. We look forward to working with a master lessee to upgrade the island's commercial corridor.

Red Buses Under New Management

I know many of you have expressed concern about the Red Bus schedule and stops. It is an issue we are concerned about too. Getting it right is one of our top priorities.

To that end, I am happy to report that we have hired Cyril “Cy” Opperman, a bus operations expert with over 31 years of experience. Cy comes to us from the New York City Transit Authority, where he worked his way up from bus operator to General Superintendant of the West Farms Depot. I know he’ll be a great asset to the Red Bus operations.

Cy’s priorities are safety and the schedule. He’s a hands-on manager and has been riding the buses for a few weeks prior to his official start. So if you see Cy on the bus, say hello. I know he’s eager to hear from residents about their Red Bus experience.

Sports Park Pool Membership

Beginning in May, RIOC will be offering discounted pool memberships. For more information on the membership program please visit www.RIOC.ny.gov

Renovations at Good Shepherd Community Center

Every day Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation staff is busy making repairs and working on construction projects big and small. One of our current large projects is the renovation of Good Shepherd Community Center.

The community center was built as a church in 1889 to serve the residents of the many almshouses that were constructed on Welfare Island, as Roosevelt Island was then known. The community center was landmarked in 1975.

Over the years, the center continued to serve religious purposes, but also became the site of numerous community meetings, concerts, and other events. You can find more information on the center’s website at www.goodshepherdchapel.net

The Roosevelt Island Operating Committee has been working to make much-needed repairs to the center, and over the next several months we’ll embark on a complete renovation of the center’s plaza. Our overall goal is to maintain or restore the original look and feel of the center and plaza.

As I mentioned in a recent column, we have already begun, and in some cases completed work on the center’s interior. We’ve replaced the floor and doors in the downstairs community room and are now working on replacing the heating, ventilation and cooling system. We’ll also replace the nearly 30-year-old fire alarm and fire suppression system.

The center’s red doors and the wood church floor are also in a state of great disrepair. We believe that the doors and floor are original to the building – making them more than 120 years old. We are looking to replace them and are also exploring replacing the current asphalt roof shingles with slate, which was the material originally used for the roof.

The bigger renovations are the ones we’ll make to the center’s plaza, including fixing the poor drainage, uneven pavement, cracked pavers, and poor lighting in the area.

Here is a brief run-down of the work that will begin shortly. We hope to have repairs completed by July. During the first phase or renovations, visitors will be able to access the community center via the north side. During phase II, access will be available through the West. We will have access for the disabled during all times.

Plaza Floor:

Many of the current pavers are cracked and broken. We will replace all the pavers with ones that are twice as thick, while maintaining the current plaza design. We’ll also put in new trench drains to provide better plaza drainage.

Sidewalk:

The Z-brick sidewalk will be replaced with concrete. We understand residents’ desire to keep the beautiful z-bricks. We’d like to keep them too, but there are no more z-brick manufacturers from whom we can buy the bricks.

Lighting:

The lights will be replaced with the same light poles and fixtures installed on Main Street.

Benches:

We will replace the current benches with ones that better fit with the look of the community center. We are considering adding additional benches and welcome input from the community. If you have suggestions, please email them to GSChapelproject@rioc.com or call us at 212-832-4540 x327.

You can get more information about the community center and plaza reconstruction by viewing the presentation on our website at http://rioc.ny.gov/pdf/GSChapelProject.pdf
Service Disruptions on the F Line.

I wanted to alert you to planned Service Disruptions on the F Line. On the weekends of April 9th-11th and April 23rd-25th, there will be no Northbound (Queens-bound) F train service at the Roosevelt Island Station. RIOC will provide Tram service throughout the service disruption. For more information please refer to www.MTA.info or www.RIOC.ny.gov

Until next time,

Leslie Torres
A version of the RIOC President's column also appears on RIOC's web site and the April 9, 2011 Main Street WIRE.

UPDATE 2:30 PM - Here's Roosevelt Island's new Red Bus Manager Cy Opperman on the job at a bus stop.

Roosevelt Island Adult Pick Up Softball Game Returns Saturday Morning at Firefighters Field - Also, Still Time For Kids To Sign Up For Roosevelt Island Youth Program Little League

Final Game Of 2010 Roosevelt Island Pick Up Softball Season At Firefighters Field

For the young at heart, the Roosevelt Island Adult Softball Pick Up game returns on Saturday mornings at Firefighters Field (when available)

 Image of Firefighters Field Softball Diamond from Roosevelt Island Adult Softball

and elsewhere on Roosevelt Island when Firefighters Field is not available. Check out the Meet Up page of the Roosevelt Island Softball Group for the latest information on game time and place as well as these previous posts from last year.

The Pick Up Softball game is for players of all skill levels. The only requirement is that you want to have some early morning fun playing softball.

For the actual young in body, there's still time for you kids to sign up for the Roosevelt Island Youth Program Little League.

For more information, click on the image to enlarge.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

And Now For Something Completely Different - George & Gracie Bathroom Sighting On The Rememberer Film Set At Roosevelt Island

Image From Roosevelt Island 360

And now for something completely different from RIRA, Public Safety, Main Street Leaseholder, Privatizations and other contentious Roosevelt Island issues.

Roosevelt Island 360 shares this picture of George & Gracie bathrooms being used by the production crew of The Rememberer, currently shooting scenes on Roosevelt Island for their pilot television program. From Roosevelt Island 360:
Bathroom doors on Haddads truck across from 425 Main for film shoot. Cute.
Here's how the real George met Gracie Burns.


You Tube Video of How George Meets Gracie Burns

It's Roosevelt Island Magnolia Blossom Walk Time This Sunday April 10, Cherry Blossom Walk Sunday May 1 - Spring Is In The Air!

Magnolia Tree Image From Roosevelt Island Historical Society

Received the following message from the Roosevelt Island Historical Society:
Spring is in the air -- with all its glory -- on the Magnolia Blossom Walk to be held on Roosevelt Island on Sunday, April 10, at 11:00 a.m.

Take a 75 minute walk of scenic sites on Roosevelt Island and rejoice in the abundant color of the magnolia trees in full bloom.

The tour, led by Judith Berdy, President of the Roosevelt Island Historical Society, offers close-ups on the Island's flowering trees for photographers and flower-lovers alike. This is the first in a series of two walks offering botanical insights about Roosevelt Island.

The Cherry Blossom Walk will be held on Sunday, May 1 at 11:00 a.m.


Save the dates for:
Two Great Spring Time Tours
The Roosevelt Island Historical Society
4th Annual Magnolia Blossom Walk
Sunday, April 10, 2011
11 a.m.
Tour leaves from in front of The Octagon, 888 Main St.



4th Annual Cherry Blossom Walk
Sunday, May 1, 2011
11 a.m.

Tour leaves from the Visitor Center Tram Plaza, Roosevelt Island

Suggested Donation: $5.00

Reservations requested: 212-688-4836 or rooseveltislandhistory@usa.com


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Names Hudson Related as Main Street Master Leaseholder During April Board of Directors Meeting

Hudson Related just named as Roosevelt island Main Street Retail Master Leaseholder at RIOC Board of Directors Meeting.

More details to come.

UPDATE - 11:10 PM - The Wall Street Journal reports that RIOC:

... intends to award a 30-year lease on the state's approximately 100,000 square feet of retail to the team of Hudson Cos. and Related Cos., which would share income with the state agency....
and:
... Hudson-Related would guarantee the state agency the existing revenue it collects from the property—about $900,000—and the developers would split additional income with the state, people involved in the deal said. The team would also put new money in to modernize the retail.

"We're gonna do shock and awe," said David Kramer, principal at Hudson. "The retail space hasn't gotten the time and the attention and investment it needs."...
UPDATE 4/7 8:55 PM -Here's the Press Release from RIOC"
The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) announced today that it has reached an agreement with Hudson Companies Inc. and Related Companies (Hudson/Related) on a joint venture for the master lease of the retail corridor on Roosevelt Island.  RIOC currently controls 34 retail stores on the island containing 100,000 square feet.

“This is a very exciting day for Roosevelt Island,” said RIOC President Leslie Torres. “We are looking forward to working with Hudson/Related to improve the vibrancy and appearance of the Main Street retail corridor and help increase the services and products offered to our community. Along with the construction of the Louis Kahn-designed FDR Memorial on the southern tip of the island, the interest shown in a new science center, and our new Tram, the retail transformation is another example of the exciting improvement happening on Roosevelt Island.”
Roosevelt Island is a community of more than 12,000 residents and workers. Planned development will increase the housing stock by 5,500 units.
“For several decades Roosevelt Island residents suffered without retail options. That is why my colleagues and I worked tirelessly to make this master lease possible. A vibrant Main Street will offer residents competitive prices, better stores, services, and job opportunities. I am proud to witness this turning point for our community and economy,” said Jonathan Kalkin, member of the RIOC Board of Directors.
Hudson/Related has been active on Roosevelt Island since 1997 when it was conditionally designated to develop 2,000 units in a new neighborhood, Riverwalk, surrounding the Roosevelt Island subway station. “Since developing 6 buildings in Riverwalk and 7 retail stores, we have become huge fans of the island,” said Hudson principal David Kramer. “We are very proud of the retail we brought to Riverwalk, a mix of national tenants such as Starbucks and Duane Reade and local stores such as Fuji East, Nonno’s Focacceria and the Riverwalk Bar & Grill. More importantly, we are pleased to have brought retail to the island that truly serves the needs of the residents and we will continue that tradition as we revitalize the Main Street retail corridor. ”
The Hudson/Related developers will start by sitting down with community residents, store owners and other Main Street stakeholders to solicit input about the future changes to the corridor.
“We want to have a dramatic impact on how retail is experienced on Main Street,” said Related Vice President Kimberly Sherman Stamler. “We are going to be looking at upgrading the storefronts, signage, street furniture and displays.  And we plan to hold all of our tenants to a very high standard with their products and displays.”
Hudson/Related is expected to start work on the retail corridor by July 1.  The agreement is subject to a formal approval by the RIOC Board of Directors who will vote to approve the deal at their May Board meeting.
“For far too long, Roosevelt Islanders have been deprived of the vibrancy and convenience that Main Street should offer,” said Assembly Member Micah Kellner. “By implementing a master lease for Main Street’s store fronts, Islanders can finally get the kind of retail services they want and deserve.”
RIOC's press spokesperson confirmed the financial details of the transaction reported in the Wall Street Journal above.

RIOC Director Jonathan Kalkin, chair of RIOC's Real Estate Committee, initiated the Main Street Retail Master Leaseholder proposal way back in 2007 when he was a Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) member.  Mr. Kalkin should be congratulated for his vision, hard work, and perseverance in shepherding the Main Street Master Leaseholder concept through to completion despite many obstacles including the fierce opposition of the previous RIOC administration.

Thank you Mr. Kalkin for your hard work.

Now, hopefully, please, Roosevelt Island's Main Street retail corridor may sometime soon no longer look like East Berlin before the fall of the Wall or a replica of a dreary, depressing street in the former Soviet Union. It's up to you David Kramer and Hudson Related. Don't let us down.

More on the Master Leaseholder process here.

Roosevelt Island's Version of Wikileaks Returns - RIRA Committees Report on Meeting With Public Safety Chief, Future Planning Issues, Skate RI, Internet Fundraising, Island Services, Calendar & More


Roosevelt Island's own version of Wikileaks continues - below are the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Committee Reports for tonight's Monthly April 2011 meeting. These reports had been made available on this blog for a couple of years until  a majority of RIRA members banned the release of these reports to the Roosevelt Island community prior to the Monthly RIRA meeting following the release of what some RIRA members thought were embarrassing Committee Reports.

Despite the ban by RIRA, here are the Committee Reports.

The Public Safety Committee Report:
Meeting with Keith Guerra 3/10/2011

Present: Pete Digilio, E. Feely-Nahem, Howard Polivy, Keith Guerra, Renee Bryant

After introductions, concerns of the committee were raised in the order presented in the agenda.

The purpose of the proposed meeting was reviewed, explained as a quarterly follow up to issues discussed, and the initiatives that had been promised by Chief Guerra in response to the meeting held in December 2010.

Discussion on the limited visibility of the vertical patrols in the WIRE buildings was discussed. Guerra stated that he stressed it in January’s supervisor’s meeting and he will remind them in March. He will also suggest that they return to the front desk to sign out if they are not doing so. He stated that the Supervisor will just show up and that they must call in to report where they are. Statistics were provided for January and February of the buildings as follows:

Building    January    February
Westview    114    111
Island House    80    84
Roosevelt Landing    925    751

The committee expressed concern over traffic control at the bottom of the ramp. Guerra stated it was not the highest priority but that it was happening. Committee members informed him that although there was a presence, they rarely directed traffic. Guerra stated that he would continue to monitor situation.

Motorgate patrols have been more visible it was noted.

Parking enforcement was again visited by committee members due to what committee members felt was a continued lack of enforcement i.e.: the continued presence of certain vehicles that are not legitimately exempt from parking regulations, parked without being ticketed in the North and South Town area. Mention that tours in these areas do not seem to be conducting visual sweeps of the area, or getting out of their vehicles was addressed. Guerra stated that he make sure that the tour moves more slowly through the area on the way to the Tram post.

Clarification was given of areas where vehicles are allowed to park/not allowed to park.

Gated area by Tram: For tram employees

NYS Placards on Dashboard: can park on the street, but not in areas that say no standing or no stopping, not allowed in crosswalks, or in front of fire hydrants. They can park in no standing unloading areas. These vehicles do not have to pay the meter. Handicap parking is available in Motorgate, for those individuals with NYS placards, on the ground floor, for free.

Hang Tag and license plate; Must park in handicap-designated areas without exception. Have to feed the meter anywhere else. Hang Tags have a few spaces designated in Motorgate, as well as in front of the post office.

Vehicles are not allowed to park under the ramp, except the Dry Cleaner’s vans who have a deal with RIOC to use this area during business hours when they are shuttling clothes between stores. School buses are also allowed to idle there, but not park after hours, but the handicap’s vehicles are only given an exception in snowstorms.

We were informed that recently 3 sergeants had relinquished their positions, and 3 others had been promoted. They are seasoned officers and are presently waiting for a spot in the academy.

It was confirmed that the bicycle pump is available 24/7 at the PS Office. They have 2 hand pumps available.

They have been patrolling the sea wall and have arrested two people, one is staying with residents without permission, and the other came here to Tag. Mention of an increase in gang activity in the form of graffiti, and some possible recruitment efforts. Guerra is planning a community educational workshop in the future on this subject.

Discussed suicide incident and the slow response time with traffic control and learned that once NYPD comes on to the scene, Public Safety officers establish the 2nd perimeter and are there to assist the NYPD. Guerra stated that there were 4 calls for service at the time of the incident as well, with a soccer game in the field. He only had 5 working officers at the time, until 3pm when 5 more came on shift. The initial 5 remained and at this time, they did begin to direct traffic at the bottom of the ramp and redirect the flow up the side of the island. He stated that his officer was remiss in informing him that the suicide had landed in the middle of Main Street and he had thought that once NYPD had arrived the situation was in control.
The Planning Committee Report:
Subject: RIRA Planning Committee Report
Date: 2011-04-03
From: Frank Farance

The RIRA Planning Committee did not meeting face-to-face in March, but we continued discussions via E-mail. Our next meeting is Wednesday, April 20, 2011 at 8:30 PM in the Island House Community Room. RIRA members are welcome to attend.

We have had some ongoing discussions on the seven topics in our work programme (below). Note that topic #7 has an item for action on the formation of a new subcommittee within the RIRA Planning Committee.

Matt Katz, Aaron Hamburger, and I have been following the progress of the Red Bus service. We will provide updates at the April RIRA Common Council meeting.
Frank Farance RIRA Planning Committee Chair

Status Report on Topic #1: Blackwell Park Planning

In the 2008-2010 RIRA session, we had collaborated with RIOC on a Master Plan. We need to provide continuity for RIOC so that community involvement is not lost. The Blackwell Park Subcommittee (of the RIRA Planning Committee) was handling this task. We have new/different members this RIRA session, so we need to make sure there is follow-up. Also, Rosina Abramson was our RIOC point of contact, but she left at the end of 2010, so we need to re-establish a connection.

Upcoming Actions: Re-affirm existing RIRA members of the committee. Re-establish connection with RIOC on this planning topic.

Status Report on Topic #2: Long-Term Financial Planning/Budgeting for Roosevelt Island

In the 1990's there was a state subsidy of $1.6 million. As presented at the November meeting, the RIOC CFO has presented a bleak financial picture. We should be investigating the amount of revenue lost by the lack of State and City taxes returning to Roosevelt Island. By saying "lack", it doesn't mean zero, it means that we aren't getting our fair share. The purpose of this activity would be to research and calculate what our fair share might be, and then to make suggestions on how to acquire that kind of funding and/or services.

Upcoming Actions: Need to get financial data. Need to determine a set of comparable communities and criteria for comparison.

Status Report on Topic #3: Amendments to Roosevelt Island's General Development Plan (GDP)

There is an existing GDP, but more will need to be said about the present and near-future configuration of the Island. One might ask: Why worry about the GDP if most of the development (except Southtown 7-9) is complete? Answer: The GDP also identifies open spaces, parks, etc. and if the GDP becomes a weak document (because both sides, City and State, are ignoring it in residential development areas), then it becomes equally invalid on designation of park spaces and such. This activity would look towards providing revised wording (even though we aren't a party to the contract) and advocacy through the Mayor's office.

Note: The GDP explicitly does not cover the use of the Goldwater Hospital space.

Status Report on Topic #4: Island-Wide Evacuation Plan

At present there is no Island-wide evacuation plan, but RIOC has plans for several kinds of emergencies (snow, cold, heat, power failure). Normally, the City's OEM (Office of Emergency Management) coordinates all of this, including ordering evacuations, i.e., the Mayor orders this, not RIOC. The lack of planning for Island-wide evacuations has been a concern of residents for many for years. We plan on working with RIOC, the Roosevelt Island CERT, and the City's OEM.

Upcoming Actions: I have spoken with Howard Polivy, Chief of the Roosevelt Island Community Emergency Response Team (RI CERT). Howard, Matt Katz, and I will meet soon with RIOC staff to review the existing plans. (Note: The three of us have been involved in this for the past several years.)

Status Report on Topic #5: Main Street and Retail Planning

We recognize that the master-lease process is ongoing within RIOC, but there is a need for resident input on planning topics that are long-range, not merely short-term questions of providing specific services. We plan on coordinating and collaborating with the RIRA Island Services Committee to formulate RIRA planning positions.

Denise Shull is our liaison to the RIRA Island Services Committee, who is leading this effort in RIRA.

Status Report on Topic #6: Roosevelt Island Waterfront Planning

This work involves coordination with the NYC Department of Planning and their "Vision 2020" effort (a comprehensive waterfront plan).

Upcoming Actions: Matt Katz has distributed a new version of the plan and it will be discussed at the upcoming RIRA Planning Committee meeting.

Status Report on Topic #7: Goldwater Hospital Replacement

The City has plans to close the Goldwater Hospital (the structure south of the bridge) and possibly replace it with a science park. Recently, we've heard that Stanford University, among others, are interested in this site, see "http://nyc10044.com/wire/3113/StanfordProposal.pdf". We have yet to determine RIRA's involvement in this effort.

Based upon encouragement from RIOC Director Jonathan Kalkin, RIRA President Matt Katz, and RIRA Common Councilmember Denise Shull, RIRA should become involved and establish a community position on the support for this project. Just like the Blackwell Park Committee, we should have a similar framework of participation (not necessarily same people as Blackwell), and a similar approach towards interaction and making recommendations to RIOC and NYC. The Blackwell Park Committee was a good and successful framework for RIRA/RIOC/etc. collaboration.

First, we need to establish a subcommittee. Although the RIRA Planning Committee can create its own subcommittee, it would be better to do it at the RIRA Common Council meeting so it has more visibility. The RIRA Planning Committee requests the following motion for approval at the April RIRA Common Council meeting:
"RIRA establishes a Southern Development Review Committee (SDRC), a subcommittee within the RIRA Planning Committee, with the following terms of reference (1) the SDRC is focused upon the southern part of Roosevelt Island at the present Goldwater Hospital and adjacent areas, and its future development; (2) the SDRC is a forum for the Roosevelt Island residents to provide input, comments, and review; (3) the SDRC may make recommendations for RIRA's review and approval; (4) the SDRC will liaise with RIOC, NYC, and any potential developers."
Once the subcommittee is established a chair should be appointed, which would be done via a separate motion. We ask for volunteers to join the new RIRA subcommittee.
An Applied Science Center Analysis:

There's More


Planning Sub-committee Science Center Analysis-April 2011


The Social, Cultural and Education Committee Report:
SC&E Committee Meeting Notes March 8, 2011

Present: Shinozaki, Katz, Helstien, Darwish, Marcus, Green, Tang, Allen

Skate Roosevelt Island: We discussed next steps and our plan for moving ahead. Shinozaki and Helstien met with RIOC President/ CEO, Leslie Torres and RIOC Vice President of Operations, Fernando Martinez, on February 23rd to discuss this project. We agreed that we would move forward with the Skate RI concept this year incorporating it into RIOC’s Health and Fitness Day, Saturday May 14th.    By trying it on a small level (one day) we can see if it is popular enough to possibly try out for a ten day period during the winter break in 2012. (For follow-up to this meeting-see end of this report.) We brought up several other program ideas, all of which were met with relative enthusiasm.

Teen/Youth Issues – We will continue to meet with Islanders and potential stake holders in these projects as we move forward to create these sub-committees. -    “GarageBand”: We are looking for committee members and professionals in the music industry who will work together reaching out to their colleagues to act as mentors for Island youth. -    “Bounce”: A program organized around late evening youth basketball will be reaching out to pro-basketball players. We are waiting to hear if there is any interest in coming to Roosevelt Island to work with us. In presenting this program to RIOC, we found them willing to work with us, possibly opening Sports Park for this project. We are actively setting up this sub-committee. If you are interested in, and/or have any friends interested in volunteering to work for the Island’s youth, please let us know.

“Networkbreakfast”- The Sub-committee Chair is Robin Rawlings. She will introduce herself at the April Common Council meeting. The committee is full and is setting up its first meeting to define next steps.

Internet Fundraising - We will move forward with a motion for our next RIRA meeting. We are requesting any of our members who work for companies that give matching funds to list us and support our organization through their corporate giving programs. We will be coming up with a plan to recruit other companies to the RIRA website and our SC&E page. We are considering asking Fresh Direct and other businesses serving Roosevelt Islanders to do likewise.

Helstien requested that the committee add to the committee’s projects, specifically for RIRA fundraising purposes, the creation of hats and visors for RIRA members to sell, possibly during Roosevelt Island Day in June and at others of our events. Helstien will look into this project.

We again discussed Roosevelt Island as the “GO TO Place” and have something going on every few weeks on the island. We revisited:
-    A Cherry Blossom Festival Celebrating Roosevelt Island’s Cherry trees and Japanese Culture. We will be working with RIOC other island organizations and charities. We will be dedicating a grove of Cherry Trees to the Japanese People on and off the island as a show of solidarity. This will also be a fundraising event for groups providing relief in Japan. We will include RIRA fundraising in this project.
-    An Asian New Year Parade with Dragon etc. celebrating Asian Culture. Currently on “hold”.
-    The Kite Festival in the spring, celebrating Middle East Culture. We are awaiting feedback from RIOC on the best time to hold this using data from the tram wind conditions. We are also investigating suppliers of kites and kite materials, e.g.: string and spools.
-    The RIOC/ RIRA wine and cheese evening was a great success and we thank all who attended particularly the RIOC Board members.

ACTION ITEMS:
L. Shinozaki, S. Helstien: Prepare a Motion for RIRA to provide up to $300 fund purchase of snack and drink items for RI Skate concessions for April RIRA meeting.

B. Darwish: Prepare a Motion for April meeting, for approval to set up “click-thru” page on the RIRA website.

R. Rawlings: “Networkbreakfast” Introduction at RIRA. Move toward setting up first meeting. L. Shinozaki: Set up Committee for “Bounce” continue to move forward with committee.

L. Shinozaki: Set up Committee for “GarageBand”; we are asking as a favor from our members to reach out to music industry people they may know and Roosevelt Islanders to see if they will donate time to teach groups of children or be available for one on one mentoring.

L. Shinozaki, S Helstien: Moving forward on RIRA hat/visor fundraiser, possibly ready for RI Day, June 11.

POST SC&E MEETING - FOLLOW UP:
Skate RI:

In a second meeting with RIOC, held March 18th, we agreed that for the purposes of Health and Fitness Day it would be better for our project to have a venue closer to where most of their event takes place at Capobianco Field. Therefore, Sports Park was ruled out as too far away; very few attended programs held there in past H&F events. Shinozaki approached Manhattan Park, asking if we would be able to use their Theater Club. Although the MP management was interested and willing to donate their space, it had been booked for another event. Subsequently, Shinozaki reached out to the Child School which has agreed to donate their gymnasium space.

Additionally, this meeting included a conference call with EZglide. The Child School will be faxing a floor plan to EZ-Glide for them to come up with a design plan for the number of panels and “fencing” to accommodate up to 40 skaters at one time on the surface. When we receive their assessment and plan, we’ll also be given a more comprehensive price, which may be quite a bit less than originally estimated. When we know the actual pricing we will then go to all the building managements to request financial support to pay for this event.

We will be organizing logistics of the project in terms of volunteers necessary. We will be setting up a time/work grid for RIRA and others in the community who will volunteer to hand out skates, collecting fees, and man the concessions area. Skating will be free, but skate rentals will cost $10 per pair.

Respectfully submitted,

Lynn Strong Shinozaki

S C & E COMMITTEE MOTIONS
RIRA MEETING: 4/06/2011

Motion #1
The SC&E Committee requests that RIRA Common Council approve our request in the amount of $150, for our first fundraising project, planned for April 30, a Cherry Blossom Festival. This amount will be used for the purchase of fans and parasols (and any incidentals) to be sold at the event. Whatever funds are left over from these purchases, it and all other money made, will be restored to the RIRA treasury.

Motion #2
The SC&E Committee has scheduled its second fundraising event: RIRA’s SkateRoosevelt Island. It will be presented in conjunction with the RIOC Health and Fitness program to be held on Saturday, May 14. We request approval from the RIRA Common Council of up to $300. This amount is for the purchase of beverages and some snacks to be sold at the event. We will endeavor to have Roosevelt Islanders do some baking, and we will be going after our local and area markets for donations of fruit, drinks, and other healthy snack items. We expect not to have to use the entire amount which we are requesting, but want to ensure that we will have adequate funds available, if absolutely necessary. Whatever funds are left over from these purchases, it and all other money made, will be restored to the RIRA treasury.

Motion #3
Attempting to address as many fundraising opportunities as possible, the SC&E Committee asks that the Common Council help us move forward by supporting our request in setting up on the RIRA website, in a joint effort with the Communications Committee, a “Click-through page”. This page will give us the possibility of raising some funds through companies who agree to be represented there. It will allow us and the community to support RIRA by using this site for our personal shopping choices. We hope that this effort, minimally, will generate enough money to support the small costs involved in maintaining the new site over the oncoming years.

The Island Services Committee Report:
RIRA – ISLAND SERVICES COMMITTEE (ISC) REPORT TO THE COMMON COUNCIL MEETING, 4/6/11

Updates on the key issues ISC is working on:

Red Bus Schedule – There continues to be problems with the new Red Bus schedule and with numerous complaints from residents. At the 3/31/11 RIOC Operations Committee meeting, we were introduced to Cy Opperman, new General Manager for bus operations. Cy is an experienced bus operations manager recently retired from the MTA. He begins work 4/4/11. Cy seems to fully understand the problems facing the Red Bus and is committed to making the Red Bus operation safe, efficient and on-time. ISC, Planning Committee and RIRA President plan to meet with Cy after heʼs been on the job for 3 - 4 weeks.

Strollers on Red Bus during rush hour
- We have deferred raising this issue with RIOC until we meet with Cy Opperman.

Pedestrian Safety Barrier on RI Bridge – A letter (attached) was sent to the NYC Dept. of Transportation officials. We are awaiting a response.

Public Library – Weʼve been notified that Senator Serrano may authorize some money for the Library project planned for 504 Main St. We are trying to find out how much money could be granted. The total RI Library project was estimated last year to require about $10 million. Most of the money would have to come from the New York Public Library capital funds. RIOC is expected to provide some money as well as possibly some of the developers.

Programs for Older Youth After 9 PM – The Social Cultural & Educational Committee is taking the lead on this issue with support from ISC.

Main St. Stores – We had expected that the contract for the Main St. Commercial Master Lease would be awarded at the April 6 RIOC Board meeting. However, so far, this meetingʼs agenda doesnʼt include the Master Lease proposal. Also, the RIOC Real Estate Committee is meeting in executive session on April 4 to “discuss Final Terms of the Main St. Commercial Master Lease”. So, it seems likely this issue wonʼt come to the RIOC Board until their May meeting.

Parks - The opening of Southpoint Park has been delayed until July.

Aaron Hamburger, Chair - ISC


To:    Commissioner, NYC Department of Transportation
From: Roosevelt Island Residents Association, Island Services Committee Aaron Hamburger, Chair – Island Services Committee Jim Bates, President, Roosevelt Island Disabled Association
Re: ROOSEVELT ISLAND BRIDGE – PEDESTRIAN SAFETY

The Roosevelt Island Reconstruction project has a serious safety omission. While there is a pedestrian safety barrier on the Manhattan half of the bridge, thereʼs no barrier on the Queens side to protect pedestrians from falling into the line of traffic.

Why does only half of the walkway have protection while the other half has none? We are simply waiting for a child, disabled person in a wheelchair or others to be injured or run over.

An appropriate safety barrier must be installed before the Reconstruction project is completed.

Attached are photos from the Roosevelt Islander Blog illustrating the situation.

CC: Fernando Martinez, Vice-President, RIOC Jessica Lappin, Member, NYC Council Jose Serrano, Senator, New York State Senate Micah Kellner, Assembly Member, New York State Assembly Fred Herschkowitz, Community Relations, DOT Division of Bridges



The Communications Committee Report:
Communications Committee Report - March 2011
Committee met on March 15. In attendance: Ava, Vini, Joe, Lorena, Barbara, Rick, Sherie.

RIRA on Wikipedia
  • Vini tried to create a page, but was rejected. Not enough sources and original content available. Frank showed interest in trying it again. 
  • It was suggested to add information about RIRA to the Roosevelt Island page instead. 
  • Ava will ask Ethel to write a RIRA section on Roosevelt Island's wiki page.
Website Stats
  • Around 50 visits a week 
  • Top traffic sources: Direct (33%), Facebook (21%), Google (16%), Roosevelt Islander(14%), The Wire online (10%) 
  • Top content: home page (42%), calendar (12%), updates (8%), about (5%), get involved
  • (3.7%), SCE (2.9%), Public Safety (2.7%), files (2.5%), election (2.4%) 
  • Public Safety page has no content, and "Election" very little, despite being among thetop visited content.
Public Contact Email
  • Made public contact@riraonline.com - will go to Matt and Joe to field.
File access
  • Will create separate folders under “files” and arrange by date. Will post applicable
  • documents under each date.
Reporting of Roosevelt Island issues
  • Barbara reported that Public Safety Committee gets many emails about unresolvedissues. Suggested that we could post them on the website.  
  • Conclusion was that those issues should be posted on Roosevelt Island's SeeClickFix page, for RIOC notification. 
  • Barbara will try to post the issues to SeeClickFix. May post as "RIRA".
Community Calendar
  • Will be managed by RIRA – to be used by everyone – involved will be Rick, Barbara (add events to calendar), Janet (reach out community organizations), and Vini (technical stuff). 
  • Will speak with RIOC about using single calendar. – Vini & Rick 
  • Sherie proposed to post advertisement of calendar – possibly on Red Bus.  Will reach out to island organizations for content.

Get more publicity for the website
  • Rick can send press release to building email lists. Ava will write press release. 
  • Update community/organization list – discuss with Dick re ownership, SCE working on this as well.
User-managed email groups
  • Available at http://groups.riraonline.com (needs a Google Account for authentication) 
  • Chairs can view and manage members of their groups by themselves. 
  • Members can manage the groups they are in (subscribe/unsubscribe and choose email delivery options)  
  • Also provides an archive and a web interface to read the messages online (accessible by members only)
Training on online tools
  • Vini will provide training on how to edit the website, add calendar events and manage the email groups to committee chairs. Date to be decided, but will likely be on the week of 11-15 April.
and the Constitution and Bylawa Committee Report:
From: Constitution and Bylaws Ad Hoc Committee
Subject: Committee Report for April RIRA-Common Council Meeting
Members Present 7 March 2011: Matthew Katz, Dave Evans
Members Present 22 March 2011: Matthew Katz, Frank Farance, Joyce Mincheff,
Helen Chirivah, Dave Evans)

The Constitution and Bylaws Committee met twice during March to continue its review of the Constitution. This review of the Constitution is effectively fifty percent complete and it is expected the remaining portion will move along much quicker. Once the Constitution is done, any draft changes must be reconciled with the total review of the Bylaws. The next meeting is scheduled for 13 April 2011 at 8pm and 26 April 2011 is tentatively scheduled.

Respectively:

Dave Evans, Chair

NYPD's 114 Precinct Commander Deputy Inspector Cirabisi to Appear at Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Meeting Tonight - Is NYPD Community Policing Over For Roosevelt Island?

The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) will be meeting 8 PM tonight at the Good Shepherd Community Center (543 Main Street). The Agenda for the meeting is below. As always, prior to the start of each meeting there is a public session in which any resident can come and address the Common Council Delegates on any issue of concern.

The RIRA Agenda includes the scheduled appearance of the 114th Precinct Commander Deputy Inspector Stephen Cirabisi during the Public Session.

Image From NYPD

It will be interesting to see how Deputy Inspector Cirabisi addresses the recent departure of the only NYPD officer assigned to Roosevelt Island and the apparent unlikelihood that another NYPD officer will be assigned to Roosevelt Island.

Commenting on the loss of Roosevelt Island's only assigned NYPD officer, Retired NYPD writes:
Since the 1980s the NYPD has seen a dramatic decrease in crime. This is mostly attributed to the attack on quality of life issues, such as the beer drinkers, public urinators, graffiti artists, drug addicts, emotionally disturbed people, etc.

The way NYPD carried out this plan has changed over the years. NYPD Police Commisioner Lee Brown introduced community policing to the NYPD back in 1990 as a form of crime prevention. For years after that you would see more police walking on foot, patrolling on bicycles and interacting more closely with the communities they patrolled. It was considered a good crime fighting tactic, at the time. In the mid 1990s community policing was supplemented with beefed up street crime units. By the early 2000s community policing had already been phased out completely by new police commissioners and replaced with the IMPACT program. Instead of having 'veteran' cops patrolling specific communities on bike or foot, you now had 'rookies' swarm areas of high crime.

I don't know of any other community in New York City besides Roosevelt Island that still had a community police officer still posted to it. I would think it is common sense to not jeopardize a good thing if you have it. I have been retired a couple of years already, but I assume the thinking is still pretty much the same as it was in the early 2000s. Asking the NYPD for a change, such as a reassignment of a community police officer (which should not still exist in current NYPD law enforcement strategies) can be equated to an ending of a specific post.

Sure, Roosevelt Island will still have a police presence, in the form of patrol cars driving through or in response to calls. Roosevelt Island will not have a swarm of rookies patrolling on foot, like for example, Roosevelt Avenue in Queens, because of the low crime rate on the island. The difference will be seen in the NYPD's strategy on Roosevelt Island, crime prevention versus a 'quick' response to crimes. Luckily, the Public Safety Department uses a combination of strategies. That is why you see PSD officers patrolling the buildings, officers patrolling on foot, bike and segways on the street and patrolling everything else in cars. Community policing in such a small town is important. As residents of Roosevelt Island, we should have a better appreciation of the job the Public Safety Department does.
Here is the April RIRA Agenda:
RIRA April Agenda

Just before the start of the April RIRA Meeting, the April RIOC Board of Directors Meeting will take place starting at 5:30 PM at the Manhattan Park Community Center.

Also, State Senator Jose Serrano's staff will be holding their monthly constituent office hours from 4 -7 PM at RIOC HQ, 591 Main Street. These constituent office hours by Senator Serrano's staff are an excellent way to let Senator know what's happening on Roosevelt Island and also a way for them to help you with any assistance that may require the help of your elected representative

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Breaking News On Roosevelt Island Main Street Master Retail Leaseholder - Big Announcement To Come At Tomorrow's RIOC Board of Directors Meeting

Main Street Image From Jones Lang LaSalle

Received this message from Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Director Jonathan Kalkin
I  am excited to report that I will be making a big announcement regarding the Main Street Commercial Master Lease tomorrow at the RIOC board meeting so stay tuned. 
Information on tomorrow's RIOC Board Meeting here and more on the Main Street Retail Master Leaseholder from earlier posts.

Roosevelt Island Board of Directors Meeting Wednesday, April 6 - Public Purpose Funds Expenditures, Alterations in Manhattan Park Bedrooms, Blackwell House Programming & More But Nothing Yet on Main Street Master Leaseholder

 Image Of December 2010 RIOC Board Of Directors Meeting

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp. (RIOC) will be holding it's April 2011 Board of Directors meeting on Wednesday April 6 starting at 5:30 PM. The meeting is being held at the Manhattan Park Community Center instead of the Good Shepherd Community Center.

Prior to the start of the Board meeting there is a period of time for members of the community to comment and ask questions of the Board Members. According to RIOC:
A 30-45 minute public comment period wherein those who sought to address the Board would have pre-registered, with time for any speaker limited to two (2) minutes. Pre-registration would be accomplished by addressing RIOC at its web site or in person at RIOC's office prior to the day of the meeting. Public comment should be for the purpose of receiving comment, not to engage in debate or colloquy with board members. The Chair would control the time and limit for each speaker.

By scheduling the public comment period as above, the town hall style session following alternate Board meetings should be obviated. The RIRA meetings now held the evenings before each Board could function as the equivalent of a town hall meeting, with Board members attending as they wish, but with the expectation that a senior RIOC staff person would also attend to answer questions on Agenda items.
Note that RIOC requires a member of the public to sign up at least a day before the meeting in order to be recognized to speak during the public comment period.  So, if you have any questions or statements regarding anything concerning Roosevelt Island - the Red Bus, Main Street, Public Purpose Funds, Coler Goldwater Plans, Tram Operations, Parks, Dog Poop, anything at all - make sure to sign up here.

Below is the April 6, 2010 RIOC Board of Directors Agenda:
APRIL 6, 2011
MEETING OF THE ROOSEVELT ISLAND OPERATING CORPORATION
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
THE MANHATTAN PARK COMMUNITY CENTER,
8 RIVER ROAD, ROOSEVELT ISLAND, NEW YORK
5:30 P.M.1

  I. Call to Order
  II. Roll Call
  III. Approval of Minutes
           1. January 19, 2011 Board Meeting (Board Action Required)
  IV. Old Business
  V. New Business
           1. President's Report
           2. Authorization of Expenditure of Public Purpose Funds for 2011-12 (Board Action Required - Materials to Follow)
           3. Authorization to Enter into Insurance Binders for 2011-12 (Board Action Required)
           4. Authorization to Enter into a License Agreement with the Roosevelt Island Historical Society for Use and
               Public Programming of the Blackwell House (Board Action Required - Materials to Follow)
           5. Authorization to Enter into a Contract for Island-wide Landscape and Maintenance Professional Services
               (Board Action Required - Materials to Follow)
           6. Authorization to Enter into Amendment of Contract with A1 Works-in-Progress Associates, LLC for Owner's
               Representative Services in Connection with the FDR Four Freedoms Park Project (Board Action Required)
           7. Authorization to Enter into Amendment of Contract with Elite Imaging LLC for Document Scanning Services
               (Board Action Required)
           8. Authorization to Consent to Manhattan Park's Major Sublease and to Approve Plans and Change in the
               Bedroom Mix  (Board Action Required)
           9. Committee Reports
                a.  Audit Committee
                b.  Governance Committee
                c.  Operations Advisory Committee
                d.  Real Estate Development Advisory Committee
          10. Public Safety Report
  VI. Adjournment

1 The RIOC Board Meeting will commence following a public comment period, which is not a part of the RIOC Board Meeting.
The subject of the Main Street Master Leaseholder was addressed at yesterday's RIOC Real Estate Committee meeting in executive session without the public being allowed to attend. As of the time that this is posted no word yet on whether the Master Leaseholder will be added to tomorrow's RIOC Board Meeting Agenda.

Yesterday, I asked RIOC President Leslie Torres for some information regarding Manhattan Park's plan to change the bedroom mix in their buildings. Have not received any response back yet.

UPDATE 3:40 PM - RIOC Director Jonathan Kalkin has more on the status of the Main Street Retail Master Leaseholder.

TV Pilot For The Rememberer Starring Poppy Montgomery and Dylan Walsh Filming On Roosevelt Island This Week

Image of The Rememberer Filming in Queens from Sunnyside Post

Roosevelt Island 360 sends in this picture of production trucks getting ready to film scenes for a new television pilot next to Roosevelt Island's Blackwell House earlier this morning.

Image By Roosevelt Island 360

Broadway Chick Tweets:
 I wonder what theyre filming on roosevelt island
Here's the answer. According to RIOC the TV pilot is for a show:
... called "The Rememberer". Stars Poppy Montgomery and Dylan Walsh. About a detective who has an uncanny ability to remember everything, apparently. They'll be here, shooting in 504 Main Street, through Friday night.
More on Roosevelt Island as a movie or tv location from earlier posts.

Monday, April 4, 2011

4 Hours To Get From Manhattan To Roosevelt Island During Weekend F Train Service Disruptions - Still No Announcement By RIOC On Extended Red Bus and Tram Service During F Train Subway Disruptions

Click To Enlarge Image From RIOC

As reported last Friday, there was no F Train service from Manhattan to Roosevelt Island this past weekend nor will there be any for next weekend and that of April 23 - 25 which is Easter Sunday and the last couple of days of Passover.

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) announced last Friday that during the disruption of F train service from Manhattan to Roosevelt Island,: 
 Please note, RIOC will be extending Red Bus and Tram service during the disruption.
GJV commented on the post:
Did RIOC ever announce the extended red bus and tram service for the past weekend? I happened to take the tram back to RI on Sunday evening around 7:22PM, and was pleasantly surprised to find that RIOC was running both cabins. However, no signs or web updates on the extended service were posted anywhere as far as I can tell.
The answer in no. As of the time of this posting no information has been received from RIOC or posted on their web site regarding how the announced extended Red Bus and Tram service for the previous or future weekends will be implemented when there is no subway service from Manhattan to Roosevelt Island.

How was it getting back to Roosevelt Island this past weekend without F train service from Manhattan? One concerned RI resident reports:
... for most of Saturday there was only one Tram up and running ... RIOC should have known to have BOTH trams running all weekend with the F train out. There were at least over 100 hundred people several time of the day trying to get over to RI before 3:00, they finally started up the North Tram. I wish all of RIOC lived here on the island, they would be more intune with what we need and when....
Another tweeted:
Was not able to get back to Roosevelt Island till 6:30 A.M... 4 HOURS AFTER I TRIED LEAVING MANHATTAN!!! >:-(
I took the Tram over to Manhattan on Sunday afternoon around 1:30 PM. At that time, the North cabin which I was on had just gone into service. As the North Cabin was passing the South Cabin on my trip I noticed that the South Cabin was very crowded as was the Manhattan Tram Station platform when we docked.


If RIOC intends to provide extended Red Bus and Tram service during the upcoming F Train subway disruptions, they should tell us what the plan is.

Hey, if the Roosevelt Island Sling Shot is not available, anyone for a Zip Line over the East River?


You Tube Video of Zip Line Over the Mendoza River

Bye Bye Yellow Gunk - No Longer Oozing Out Of Pipe On Wall of Roosevelt Island Manhattan Tram Station


Last Tuesday I reported on this yellow gunk oozing from a pipe on the wall of the Roosevelt Island Manhattan Tram Station. A reader explained that:
This is expanding foam sealant. It is used to fill cracks and gaps like the one in the wall around that pipe.
Another reader thought it was not worthy to be reported on:
Really? This is what we're focusing on? Some expanding foam insulation that hasn't been trimmed? Is there really nothing more important going on that should be reported on? I have to agree with 9:46 - this really is just being nitpicky for nitpicky's sake, and characterizing it as "yellow gunk oozing" is obviously incorrect - and if someone told you that it's been there several months, did you think to ask what it might be before reporting incorrectly?
This reader thought it was important to get rid of the oozing yellow gunk:
I must agree with the Post as well. It doesn't matter if it is only insulation foam, it does look bad and reflects on the image of the Island itself. It is an easy fix, let's fix it already. It is the "Broken Window" theory. (look it up) pretty soon, people will start tagging or throwing trash around the area, because they will think nobody cares what the area looks like. It starts out that simple. Trim the foam!! :)
and this reader thought the yellow gunk would never go away:
They will NEVER fix it. The only way to fix it is to build another tube next to it and start from scratch on bedrock. Theres only so many patches they can put on the walls.
Well,  it was fixed. On Sunday afternoon the oozing yellow gunk was gone from the pipe on the wall of the Roosevelt Island Manhattan Tram Station.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Roosevelt Islander Blog Readership Statistics, Over Half A Million Visitors Served So Far - Thanks For Your Contribution

Blogger's Dilemma Cartoon From Cox & Forkum

I am often asked how many visitors come to the Roosevelt Islander Blog. Here's the answer. According to Statcounter, for the last 12 months from April 2010 through March 2011 the average number of monthly visitors were 15.836 and page loads were 23,448.

Last week the Roosevelt Islander Blog exceeded more than half a million unique visitors since beginning on July 4, 2007 with a rant against RIOC for charging $18 to view the Fireworks celebration at Southpoint Park. According to Statcounter, since readership statistics started to be kept on September 11, 2007 there have been 501.044 unique visitors to this site thru March 31, 2011. Below are the monthly readership statistics for Roosevelt Islander Blog from September 2007 - March 2011.
Thanks to all the readers, those who comment and lend their expertise on particular subjects as well as those who send in their tips, suggestions and messages. Please continue to do so.

UPDATE 5/9:
 April 2011 - Page Loads 29,383 - Unique Visitiors 18,921

UPDATE 9/1:

May 2011-  Page Loads 24,687 -  Unique Visitors 16,416
June 2011- Page Loads  26,211  -   Unique Visitors 16,581
July 2011 -  Page Loads 23,217   -  Unique Visitors 15,280
August 2011 - Page Loads  39,362  -   Unique Visitors   25,616

Since readership statistics started to be counted in September 2007 total number of unique visitors to Roosevelt Islander Blog is 592.858 and 862,008 page loads through August 2011.

UPDATE 10/10:
September 2011 - Page Loads 27,218 - Unique Visitors - 17,610

UPDATE 11/1:
October 2011 - Page Loads  28,833 - Unique Visitors - 18,220

UPDATE 1/1/12:
November 2011 - Page Loads  22,878  - Unique Visitors - 15,008
December 2011 - Page Loads  30,814  - Unique Visitors - 20,819