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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Unforgettable Television Production Crew Causes Discomfort and Sleepless Nights For Roosevelt Island Residents With Intense Beams Of Light Shining Into Their Apartments

 Unforgettable TV Production Crew Light Scaffolding at 504 Main Street

Reported last Thursday that two television programs were filming this past week on Roosevelt Island. One of them, the new CBS program Unforgettable was shooting scenes at night near 504 Main Street and causing problems for Roosevelt Island residents living across the street. A resident sent in this report earlier today:
The movie shoot in 504 lasted all night including bright lights into the apts in 510 and 531 until after 2 a.m. on Thus/Fri and Fri/Sat.
Another resident, Raye Schwartz sent this message today to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Directors, President Leslie Torres and others:
On Thursday night July 28 and Friday Night July 29 a film crew was working in, next to and behind 504 Main Street. Let me begin this message by stating I’ve lived here for 30 years and I’ve seen many film and photo shoots on this island. I never experienced anything as horrendous as this.

On Thursday night, the crew set up enormous lights which were aimed into apartments at 510 Main Street and into apartments at the South wing of 531 Main Street. The lights were so intense that their beams penetrated tightly shut venetian blinds, bounced off the walls in apartments, and caused extreme discomfort to the residents all through the night. Calls to Public Safety were useless, as the people on phone duty had no idea this was going on, nor did they seem interested or able to help.

After several hours of this horror I came outside to try to find someone to lower or shield the lights and found Donna Masly, the RIOC program coordinator, on Thursday Night who insisted that the crew shield the lights so they would not continue to cause such havoc. It seems that the permit applications did not specify what they were doing with the lighting, and my understanding is that there is no provision or caveat to protect residents in their homes against such intrusions. Donna’s hands were pretty much tied because of the limitations of the permits, which I found on the RIOC website:

http://rioc.com/permitterms.htm
http://rioc.com/permittermsfilm.htm
http://rioc.com/pdf/SpecialEvenFilmingCostSheet.pdf

The same thing occurred again last night, only this time the crew refused to adjust the lights, claiming they did not have enough staff to do so and didn’t want to interrupt the scene they were shooting. The crew members said they would be working through the night until 7AM. Again, the lights penetrated my apartment such that I couldn’t watch tv or fall asleep.

The only thing one of their crew members offered was to come to my home and install black cloths across my windows. That’s absurd…in other words I should have strangers traipsing through my apartment with dirty shoes, move my furniture away from the windows, put tape or tacks into the walls, possibly knock over lamps or tables or break fine antiques and not be there in the morning to restore my apartment from a cave??? Wrong answer!!!

The evening doorman in my building, Rivercross, claimed he had numerous complaints about this situation from the residents in our building.

In view of this, it is imperative that the RIOC officers and directors immediately revisit the permitting process and revise the language of the permits to ensure that residents are not caused any discomfort or harm in their homes during such events, specifically including clauses about lights, water and noise. (Anyone remember the damage caused to Eastwood during the filming of “Dark Shadows”)? Indeed, if any Roosevelt Island resident or visitor were to play loud music, set off firecrackers, or shine lights into apartments we would be arrested, yet RIOC allowed this film company to cause a similar disturbance!

One other thing: There was not one advisory or notice about this film shoot from RIOC. The only protection offered by Public Safety was to station our officers at the filming location to protect them and their property, but not to protect the residents. It is shameful, despicable and insulting that the officers of RIOC have no regard or consideration for the residents of this community who are voting taxpayers who pay their salaries not only from NY State taxes, but also from our monthly apartment maintenance or rent.
UPDATE 8/1 - The name of the film referenced above was Dark Water, not Dark Shadows. From Ms Schwartz:
In NY City, in addition to detailed permits, there is also an accompanying “code of conduct” requirement for filming production on location!
Roosevelt Island Historical Society President Judy Berdy adds:
One thing not mentioned by Ms. Schwartz is the destruction to Blackwell Park. The tractor trailer trucks break up the paving and cause damage to the walkways. these trucks are too heavy to be put on a not roadway surface.

Also the entire west side of the park was used as a parking lot for the weekend. This precludes the use of the sitting area by residents.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Roosevelt Island Southpoint Park Grand Opening August 2, Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Starts At 9 AM and All Are Invited - Latest Pictures From FDR Memorial Boondoggle Too


Received the following message from the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
On Tuesday, August 2, 2011, ALL Roosevelt Islanders are welcome to join the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation in the highly anticipated GRAND OPENING of Southpoint Park. The ribbon cutting ceremony will commence at 9:00 AM. There will be Red Bus service available to the park. We hope you join us for this memorable occasion and become Southpoint Park’s first guests.
The entrance to this new 7 acre East River waterfront park is a few feet south of the Goldwater Hospital campus and extends to the Renwick Ruins Smallpox Hospital. Soon the Ghost Hunters may return to get up close and personal with the Ruins again in search of Roosevelt Island spirits.

Wild Gardens Green Rooms had been the previous name for this project but it is now being called just Southpoint Park. Here's what Southpoint Park looked like last week from outside the construction fencing.


You Tube Video of Southpoint Park Behind Construction Fencing

Looking forward to having this portion of Southpoint Park open again.

The rest of the area of Southpoint Park south of the Renwick Ruins Smallpox Hospital is where the 3 acre Louis Kahn Memorial Boondoggle is being constructed - oops, it's official name is the FDR Four Freedoms Park Memorial. This area is still closed and will not open for several more years.

Here's the latest picture of the recently constructed Louis Kahn Death Box (or sculpture room) at the FDR Four Freedoms Memorial on Roosevelt Island's most southern tip.



Such a pity that this monstrosity has ruined what had been the beautiful southern tip of Roosevelt Island.

Southern Tip of Roosevelt Island Southpoint Park in 2008 from Walking off the Big Apple

UPDATE 8/1 - The FDR Hope Memorial depicting:
President Franklin D. Roosevelt seated in his wheelchair at his desk greeting a young disabled girl wearing braces on her leg...


will be located in a part of the new Southpoint Park.

Here's a wonderful profile of Roosevelt Island resident Nancy Brown, one of the FDR Hope Memorial organizers, explaining why it is so important to have such a representation of President Roosevelt, particularly on the New York City Island named after him.


You Tube Video on Power Of One Enabled Not Disabled From mntv

For purposes of clarity, the FDR Hope Memorial depicting President Roosevelt sitting in a wheelchair and the Louis Kahn designed so-called FDR Memorial are two different and separate projects. More information on the FDR Hope Memorial from previous posts.

If you wish to help or contribute to developing the FDR Hope Memorial, please visit their web site to learn more and for contact information.

UPDATE 8/2 - Here's what happened at the Grand Opening Celebration of the new Southpoint Park earlier today.

UPDATE 8/12 - Here's some more images from the Kahn/FDR Memorial Boondoggle.



Unfortunately, it looks more like a cemetery to me than a waterfront park. What a pity that TPL's Master Plan for all of Southpoint Park, (including the area of what is now the location for the Kahn/FDR Boondoggle) was not accomplished.

A positive review of the Kahn FDR Memorial was published by Bloomberg today.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Roosevelt Island Security Camera System, Zip Car Parking, Oil Dock Ferry Study, RIOC Staffing and Other Issues To Be Addressed At This Week's RIOC Governance and Operations Committee Meetings Followed By Full Board Meeting Next Week

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors Governance Committee will be meeting later today. According to RIOC:

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a meeting of the Governance Committee of the RIOC Board of Directors will be held on Thursday, July 28, 2011 at 5:30 p.m. at the RIOC administrative office, 591 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York. The Committee will meet to discuss:
               1. current governance practices; and
               2. RIOC staffing plan.
RIOC's Operations Committee will be meeting the following day:
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a meeting of the Operations Advisory Committee of the RIOC Board of Directors will be held on Friday, July 29, 2011 at 5 PM at the RIOC administrative office, 591 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York.
The agenda is:
1. Camera and Wireless Infrastructure Project
2. Discussion on Oil Dock Engineering Study
3. Good Shepherd Community Center Roof Renovation
4. Southtown Zipcar Parking
and the full RIOC Board of Directors will be meeting on August 3.
AGENDA

AUGUST 3, 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. June 29, 2011 Board Meeting (Board Action Required)
IV. Old Business
V. New Business
     1.          Presentation of the FY 2011-2012 QTR 1 Procurement Report;
     2.          Authorization to Enter into Contract with Sea Breeze General Construction Inc. for Roof Repair at Good Shepherd Community Center (Board Action Required - Materials to Follow);
     3.          Authorization to Enter into Contract with Derive Technologies for Phase Two of the Island-Wide Security Camera System Project (Board Action Required);
     4.          Authorization to Amend License Agreement with Riverwalk Landing LLC for Zipcar
                   Parking at Southtown (Board Action Required);
     5.           President's Report
     6.          Committee Reports
                   a.  Audit Committee
                   b.  Governance Committee
                   c.  Operations Advisory Committee
                   d.  Real Estate Development Advisory Committee
     7.           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.
UPDATE 8/2 - Audio Web Casts of the Operations Committee Meeing and the Governance Committee meeting are now available.

Two Television Programs Filming On Roosevelt Island This Week - Unforgettable Today and Tomorrow, and Royal Pains Yesterday


You Tube Video of Unforgettable Preview

A couple of Television programs have been filming on Roosevelt Island this week. According to RIOC, the new CBS program Unforgettable starring Poppy Montgomery and Dylan Walsh is shooting today and tomorrow at 504 Main Street. The show's pilot had been filmed on Roosevelt Island last April when it was named The Rememberer.

Also, The USA network program  Royal Pains was filming at Goldwater Hospital yesterday.


You Tube Video of Royal Pains Preview

Don't know if any of the series stars were present.

Recent Heat Wave Strains Roosevelt Island Tram Motors - Cabins Operated At Reduced Capacity Due To Extremely Hot Temperatures In Mechanical Room

 Image of Extreme Heat From Houston Style

On July 19 the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) issued this Tram advisory:
Please be advised the South Tram Cabin is running at a reduced capacity until further notice.
On July 22 RIOC issued this advisory:
Please be advised the South Tram Cabin is running at a reduced capacity until further notice.
On July 26 RIOC issued this advisory
The South Cabin is temporary out of service. The north Cabin is unaffected .
I inquired of Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Vice President of Operations Fernando Martinez:
The South Tram Cabin has been experiencing difficulty recently with several service advisories issues regarding disruption in service.

What is the problem?
Mr. Martinez replied:
During the recent heat wave, the mechanical rooms became extremely hot.  We ran the Tram at reduced capacity in order not to over work the motors.  The disruption of service on the South Tram was due to a part failure.  The part was immediately replaced and tested, and the Tram was returned to service.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Roosevelt Island Elected Officials and Community Leaders Urge Engineering Schools To Apply Here - We Will Welcome You, We Will Work With You and We Want You, World Class Engineering School

 Image from Today's Press Conference

Earlier today, Roosevelt Island's city (NYC Council Member Jessica Lappin), state (Assembly Member Micah Kellner and Senator Jose Serrano) and federal elected officials (representative from Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney's office)  joined with Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Leslie Torres and community leaders at the Manhattan Tram Station Plaza to urge that Roosevelt Island be selected as the site for New York City's state-of-the-art- Applied Sciences and Engineering School proposed by Mayor Bloomberg and the subject of this Applied Sciences NYC Request For Proposals.

During the press conference held at a noisy Manhattan Tramway Plaza next to the Queensboro Bridge, Ms Lappin presented some of the benefits for a University selecting Roosevelt Island as the site for it's facility - easy public transportation access with the F Train and Tramway, wonderful parks, revitalized Main Street Retail, including a Starbucks for coffee drinking students, an excellent public school with a gifted/talented program and noted  that Governors Island and the Brooklyn Navy Yard just can't compete with Roosevelt Island.

Ms Lappin acknowledged that development in New York City can sometimes be contentious but in the case of a world class engineering school located on Roosevelt Island she promised:
We will welcome you, we will work with you and we want you. We did not want a hotel when that was proposed, we didn't want a big box store or luxury condos, but a world class engineering school- We Want You
Here's the video from the entire press conference


You Tube Video Of Roosevelt Island as Silicon Island Part 1


You Tube Video Of Roosevelt Island as Silicon Island Part 2

Sorry about the background noise from the traffic.

More information on the possibility of a world class engineering school being located on Roosevelt Island available from previous posts, including proposals by Stanford University and Cornell University.

Below is press release from Ms. Lappin's office:
Council Member Jessica Lappin, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, Assembly Member Micah Kellner, and State Senator Jose M. Serrano are officially supporting the city’s efforts to bring a world class engineering school to New York City - and want it to be located on Roosevelt Island.  They have formed a coalition in support of an engineering and applied sciences campus where Goldwater Hospital currently sits and were joined at a press conference today by Roosevelt Island Operating Corp President Leslie Torres, Roosevelt Island Resident Association President Matthew Katz, and other community leaders.

Last week, when Mayor Bloomberg issued a Request for Proposals and invited universities to submit bids, he offered the option of a privately owned site or one of three city-owned parcels: Goldwater Hospital on the southern tip of Roosevelt Island, part of Governor’s Island, or a portion of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. He has also pledged up to $100 million in infrastructure upgrades for the project.

“Roosevelt Island wants to become Silicon Island,” Councilwoman Lappin said. “It’s a perfect fit for a top-tier engineering school. It’s accessible, has great amenities, and already has partnerships with world-class scientific institutions. And while development in New York City can be fraught with contention, we want interested universities to know that we welcome you.”

"Roosevelt Island is an ideal setting for a top-flight institution of higher education,” said Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney. “With its geographical proximity to the many world-class scientific research institutions on Manhattan’s East Side, the current site of Goldwater Hospital would provide an excellent home for a campus dedicated to engineering and the applied sciences.  I am proud to join with Councilwoman Lappin and other local civic and government leaders in pledging our whole-hearted support to welcome such a facility to Roosevelt Island.”

“This applied sciences campus is a fantastic way of letting the high-tech world know that New York City is open for business,” said Assembly Member Kellner. “Roosevelt Island is such a wonderful and diverse community with so much to offer – I could not think of a better place for a New York school to locate its technology hub. Even more exciting is that thousands of new jobs will be just a tram ride away.”

“The Roosevelt Island community has been extremely receptive to the idea of bringing a competitive engineering school to the island,” said Senator José M. Serrano. “Its access to mass transit, proximity to midtown Manhattan, and welcoming residents will ensure a smooth adjustment for any school coming into the area. Roosevelt Island is truly looking forward to helping to strengthen the fields of science and health in New York City." 

“Roosevelt Island residents have been concerned about the use of the Goldwater Hospital site since we learned that it would close by 2014,” said Matthew Katz, President of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA). “A research facility has the potential to be a good fit for that ten-acre site and to enhance the quality of life within this planned community. To that end, the Roosevelt Island Residents Association has created a committee to liaise with the prospective academic institutions and with the City Economic Development Corporation and we look forward to a productive process.”
               
            "We are excited at the prospect of a world class research university on Roosevelt Island," said Leslie Torres, President of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation. "The Island's location and reputation for innovation make it an ideal spot for any institution."

“Hudson & Related have been developing and investing in Roosevelt Island since 1997, including six new residential buildings and subleasing the retail corridor on Main Street,” said David Kramer of The Hudson Companies, Inc. “We couldn’t think of a better neighbor to the south than an applied sciences campus. Such a campus would have a tremendous economic impact on the City as a whole and Roosevelt Island in particular.”

            “Roosevelt Island is the perfect environment for a world-class institution of higher education,” said Peter Gray of Manhattan Park Associates. “A facility of that caliber would bring increased economic vitality and prestige to the island and would be a wonderful addition to the rich diversity of people who live and work here.”

A representative of Community Board 8, members of the RIOC Board and Roosevelt Island Disabilities Association President Jim Bates also lent their support for bringing an engineering school to Roosevelt Island. 

Before issuing this RFP, the city received 18 less formal “expressions of interest” from 27 schools around the globe. The NYC Economic Development Corporation estimates the project will generate $6 billion in economic activity, hundreds of new companies, and more than 22,000 permanent jobs for New Yorkers over the next 35 years.  Proposals are due by October 28th and the city is expected to select a bidder before the end of the year.

Roosevelt Island Good Shepherd Plaza Restoration Project Scheduled To Start Thursday, July 28 - Existing Pavers, Light Poles and Drains To Be Removed, New Ones Installed


The Roosevelt Island Good Shepherd Plaza Restoration Project is scheduled to begin on Thursday, July 28. According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
  • Phase 1 covering the Southern portion of the Plaza will take place from July 28- September 6
  • Phase 2 covering the  Northern portion of the Plaza will take place from September 6 - 23
  • Phase 3 covering the Eastern sidewalk will take place from September 26- October3
I asked RIOC Vice President of Operations Fernando Martinez what work will be done during these various phases but have not received a response yet. According to RIOC's Request For Proposals for the Good Shepherd Plaza Renovation Project, the scope of work for the project includes:
  • Removal and disposal of existing concrete and brick pavers, light poles and trench drains. 
  • Excavation and disposal for installation of new pavement sub-base. 
  • Installation of new precast concrete unit pavers and concrete curbs and sidewalks 
  • Installation of new trench drains with connection to existing storm drainage system 
  • Relocation of existing planters, benches and signs 
  • Installation of new light poles and extension of existing electrical service

View Larger Map of Good Shepherd Plaza

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Roosevelt Island Resident and TV Reporter Kim Lengle Interviews Possible New MTA Chairperson Richard Brodsky - He's Sure Governor Cuomo Will Pick The Right Person For The Job

Roosevelt Island residents have interesting jobs. For example,  Kim Lengle is a television reporter and panelist on the Richard French Live program.  Ms. Lengle recently interviewed former Assembly Member Richard Brodsky asking him to comment on speculation that he may be replacing Jay Walder as the new Chairperson of the MTA. The speculation may have started with this Tweet from Assembly Member Micah Kellner:

With the resignation of , should ask to serve as the next chair of the . He would be amazing!
Here's the You Tube Video of Ms. Lengle's interview of Richard Brodsky.



The Richard French Live program is available on Verizon FIOS Channel 6 in New York City at 6 PM and RNN Channel 91 on Time Warner Cable, also at 6 PM

Roosevelt Island Post Office Among Those Being Considered For Closing

Image of Roosevelt Island Post Office

Roosevelt Island 360 share this link to a Bloomberg article reporting:
The U.S. Postal Service, which projects it will reach its $15 billion borrowing cap by the end of September, wants to make it easier to close some of its 31,871 post offices for economic reasons.

A change proposed by the agency, which has lost money for five consecutive quarters, would allow post offices to be considered for closing for reasons including “insufficient customer demand” demonstrated by declining mail volume, revenue or local population trends, according to a notice published today in the Federal Register....
According to the US Postal Service:
As more customers choose to conduct their postal business online, on their smart phones and at their favorite shopping destinations, the need for the U.S. Postal Service to maintain its nearly 32,000 retail offices — the largest retail network in the country — diminishes. To that end, the U.S. Postal Service announced today that it will be taking the next step in right-sizing its expansive retail network by conducting studies of approximately 3,700 retail offices to determine customer needs. As part of this effort, the Postal Service also introduced a retail-replacement option for affected communities around the nation.

“Today, more than 35 percent of the Postal Service’s retail revenue comes from expanded access locations such as grocery stores, drug stores, office supply stores, retail chains, self-service kiosks, ATMs and usps.com, open 24/7,” said Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe. “Our customer’s habits have made it clear that they no longer require a physical post office to conduct most of their postal business.”

For communities currently without a postal retail office and for communities affected by these retail optimization efforts, the Postal Service introduced the Village Post Office as a potential replacement option. Village Post Offices would be operated by local businesses, such as pharmacies, grocery stores and other appropriate retailers, and would offer popular postal products and services such as stamps and flat-rate packaging....
The Roosevelt Island Post Office is listed as one of those being considered for closing.

CNN adds:
The list released Tuesday has 3,653 facilities named:
-- Some 3,061 post offices with less than $27,500 in annual revenue, or 2 hours of workload daily
-- 385 post offices with less than $600,000 in annual revenue, and 5 or more postal service locations, such as stamp kiosks, within two miles.
-- 188 post offices with less than $1 million in annual revenue, and 5 or more postal service locations within 0.5 mile.
-- 19 offices currently suspended.
If the Roosevelt Island Post Office closes, I believe the closest Post Offices will be at Broadway/ 21st Street in Astoria or Third Avenue and 55th Street in Manhattan.

UPDATE 3 PM - According to the Associated Press:
... Most of the offices that face review are in rural areas and have low volumes of business. As many as 3,000 post offices have only two hours of business a day even though they are open longer, said postal vice president Dean Granholm.

Coming under review doesn't necessarily mean an office will close. The post office announced in January it was reviewing 1,400 offices for closing. So far 280 have been closed and 200 have finished the review process and will remain open.

Once an office is selected for a review, people served by that office will have 60 days to file their comments. If an office is to be closed, they will be able to appeal to the independent Postal Regulatory Commission....
Assembly Member Micah Kellner adds:
This is a very discouraging rumor. Obviously, Roosevelt Islanders need their own Post Office -- going to Queens or Manhattan is just not feasible. I will work with the community and other elected officials to ensure the Post Office remains open.
UPDATE 6:15 PM - Received the following statement from Roosevelt Island's Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney:
Roosevelt Island is a unique place in our great city that has many magical qualities -- but since Islanders can’t walk on water, it is imperative that the USPS maintain services at Roosevelt Island Station. It’s an important part of the Roosevelt Island community; without it, Islanders would not have access to the full array of postal services without traveling long distances across the swift-loving body of water that is the East River.  Closure of Roosevelt Island Station is particularly ill-conceived given the high numbers of persons with disabilities and of seniors living on the Island, who depend upon the Island postal facility day in and day out.

That said, it is critical that Roosevelt Island residents make sure their voices are heard by the United States Postal Service on this important question.  In the coming months, I will be joining with other government and civic leaders to alert Islanders about the potential threat to their post office, and to encourage them to respond to surveys by the USPS and others measuring the degree of support the local community is providing to Roosevelt Island Station.
Ms. Maloney's office also sent the following background information
Congresswoman Maloney helped lead the successful efforts in 2009 to prevent the closure of two other post offices in New York’s 14th Congressional District that had been placed on a list of USPS facilities to be considered for closure: Pitt Station on the Lower East Side, and Cherokee Station in Yorkville.  At that time, the USPS had suggested that Upper East Siders using Cherokee Station might substitute Roosevelt Island Station for their everyday postal needs – a suggestion that made so little sense to anyone that it was deemed laughable.  Asking Roosevelt Islanders to substitute post offices in Manhattan or Queens for Roosevelt Island Station is an equally ill-conceived scheme, and Congresswoman Maloney intends to join with other elected officials in fighting any proposed closure of Roosevelt Island Station to the hilt.
State Senator Jose Serrano issued this statement:
If the Roosevelt Island Post Office is, indeed, being considered for closure, it is a truly disheartening prospect. For many Roosevelt Island residents, traveling  to Astoria or Manhattan to go to the Post Office is simply not an option. I look forward to working with my colleagues to make sure the Roosevelt Island Post Office remains open for business, and that the residents of the Island are not deeply inconvenienced by its closure.
 And NYC Council Member Jessica Lappin adds:
Roosevelt Island is just that – an island.  As such, it needs its own Post Office on Main Street.  I will work with Congresswoman Maloney to keep this critical branch open.
UPDATE 8/17 - Here is an online petition to save the Roosevelt Island Post Office. There are paper petitions available at some Roosevelt Island building lobbies. Ask your concierge.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Cornell University Selects Roosevelt Island As Site For Proposed New York City Applied Sciences And Engineering School - Joins Stanford University As Preferring Roosevelt Island In Response To Mayor Bloomberg's Applied Sciences NYC Request For Proposals


Cornell University has joined Stanford University in selecting Roosevelt Island as it's preferred site for a New York City high tech Science and Engineering University in response to Mayor Bloomberg's Applied Sciences NYC Request For Proposals. According to the Cornell Daily Sun:
... Cornell will propose developing the land on Roosevelt Island, which lies between Manhattan and Queens on the East River — across the water from the University’s medical school, Weill Cornell Medical College, Fuchs said.

Stanford is also focusing on the Roosevelt Island location and has outlined plans for 200,000 square foot residential towers and academic buildings centered around an open green space, with cafes, retail shops, an auditorium and gym on the edge of the East River, according to Crain's New York Business...

...  Fuchs said that Cornell will differentiate its proposal with an unusual academic organizational structure centered around research hubs, instead of traditional departments like those found on the Ithaca campus. The hubs will focus on areas such as global media, technology for a healthier life, trustworthy computing and built environment, he said.

The focused research hubs would adapt as time goes on and the campus grows, Fuchs said. The city is requiring that the campus contain 200 faculty and several hundred graduate students....
What was the deciding factor for Cornell to choose Roosevelt Island over the other proposed sites at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and Governor's Island? DNA Info reports:
... Cornell would build its proposed campus on Roosevelt Island rather than the other sites the city offered — Governors Island and the Brooklyn Navy Yard — because Roosevelt Island is the only one easily accessible by subway, Fuchs said.

The island is just across the East River from Weill Cornell Medical College  — which recently broke ground on a state-of-the-art, $1 billion medical research complex on East 69th Street — and is already home to many employees who work there.

"We think it's important for the location to be easily reachable by train," said Dan Huttenlocher, Cornell's dean of computing and information science. "This is not the taxi or limo crowd. These are grad students. Mass transit is key to making it part of the fabric of the city."...
Cornell University is very familiar with Roosevelt Island having faculty and graduate student housing in Southtown's Riverwalk development. Cornell occupies the entire 465 Main Street Building and 88 of the 230 Riverwalk Place condo units at 455 Main Street.

Below is video of Cornell President David Skorton speaking on Cornell's intent to bring it's version of a state-of-the-art engineering school to New York City


You Tube Video of Cornell President On NYC Tech Campus

as well as more information on Stanford University's proposal for a Roosevelt Island Applied Sciences and Engineering School campus.

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Chairperson Darryl Towns Arrested For Driving While Intoxicated

The NY Times reported on July 22:

The New York State housing commissioner, Darryl C. Towns, was arrested over the Fourth of July weekend on a charge of driving while intoxicated after he crashed his car in Westchester County, the police said....
The entire article is here.

Mr. Towns is also the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Chairperson.

RIOC Board Chair Darryl Towns, (on left)  RIOC President Torres & CEO Chirois on Roosevelt Island Tram

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Tarantino Style Shootout At Roosevelt Island's Subway Pier - Pop, Pop, Pop, Fingers Can Be Lethal Too


You Tube Video of Lethal Fingers (Hat Tip Jason Eng)

Here's my favorite movie shootout scene from the end of Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs.

Is That A Roosevelt Island Ghost Serenading Riverwalk Residents With It's Cries In The Early Morning? Maybe Not This Time...

Residents of Roosevelt Island Riverwalk Buildings in Southtown have been asking for a while what is that early morning wailing or crying sound heard coming from outside their windows? Could it be one of the ghosts or spirits

  Image From Tatiana Muzica

from Roosevelt Island's haunted past as reported in previous posts?
...the island was also the site of a Smallbox Hospital, which housed small pox patients from 1856 until 1886. The intense suffering that went on in this building added to it's ruined state have built numerous rumors about it's ghostly activity. The ruined hospital is now known as the Renwick Ruin and is brightly lit at night giving it a ghostly glow that only adds to stories....
The Wall Street Journal investigated and found out that the sound came not from a ghost or spirit but from  Opera Singer Sue Hassel's daily vocal practice as she walked to work each morning over Roosevelt Island on the Queensboro Bridge.

 Image From Rob Bennett for The Wall Street Journal

According to the Wall Street Journal:
..."The beauty of the bridge is there is no expectation of quietude because of the traffic noise, and I am out in the open air," she said. "Every 20 minutes on my way to work, I would vocalize very carefully. And it just slowly started coming back."

Her voice—usually singing in the baroque coloratur a style—carries at least as far as Roosevelt Island, where building concierge Mary Middleton said tenants at first wondered if they were hearing a ghost from a historic island home.

"At first, the sound was kind of scary," Ms. Middleton said. "Everyone thought the sound was coming from Blackwell House before learning it was actually the bridge."

She said she and the building's tenants soon grew accustomed to the morning serenade.

Tenant Chris Vail first heard Ms. Hassel while eating breakfast in his dining room. "It's interesting how quickly you develop a relationship with the sound," he said. "I look forward to it and it becomes part of your daily routine."

He said the singing "is an early-morning reminder of why [the city is] special."...
Here's the whole Wall Street Journal article and listen to the Ms. Hassel's singing on the Queensboro Bridge.

More on Roosevelt Island's ghosts and spirits here.

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