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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hurricane Irene Will Reach Roosevelt Island In The Early Morning - Stay Sheltered From The Storm Until The Rain Stops, Goodnight Hurricane Irene

Enough depressing Hurricane Irene threatening Roosevelt Island posts for the night. ( I hope). It's still a Saturday night, most of us have been stuck inside and bored so let's end the evening with some good music but keep in mind that Irene will be here in the morning.

So, I wish you all Shelter From The Storm,


You Tube Video of Bob Dylan's Shelter From The Storm

and hope that the rain stops soon. (Thanks to Mary Kay for the idea)


You Tube Video of Who'll Stop The Rain

Here's a song by a guy named Hurricane


You Tube Video of Hurricane's Smith Oh Babe - What Would You Say

and a goodnight to Irene.


You Tube Video of Willie Nelson's Goodnight Irene

Until tomorrow - Stay Safe.

Hurricane Irene Live Camera Shot Of New York City's Midtown Manhattan


Watch live streaming video from breakinglivenow at livestream.com

Latest Roosevelt Island Hurricane Irene Update - Roosevelt Island Tram Shutting Down At 6 PM, Red Bus Will Operate Until 8 PM - Get Your Car Off The Motorgate Roof Too

Latest Hurricane Irene Update from Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):

Please be advised that beginning at 6 PM tonight, 08/27/2011 we will be shutting down operations of the Tramway until further notice due to the impending weather event. In the event that conditions worsen prior to 6 PM, service will be suspended.

The Roosevelt Island Bus Operation will continue to operate 2 Buses until 6 PM tonight, 8/27/2011 and 1 Bus until 8 PM, tonight, 8/27/2011. At 8 PM Bus Operation will be suspended until further notice.

Also, as a precautionary measure, the Motorgate elevators at will be shutdown at 6 PM.

Advisories will be issued when these services are brought back online.

Sincerely,

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
A reader also reports:
You might want to announce that all parkers on the roof have to move their cars to other levels effective immediately and signs indicating such are on all levels.

Hurricane Irene Approaching New York City - Roosevelt Island Community Comfort Station Set Up At Child School/Legacy HS

Just received this update from Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):

Please be advised that Sal Ferrera, Director of the Child School/Legacy HS, has set up a Community Comfort Station for residents in need of emergency shelter. The Comfort Station opened as of 1 PM today and will remain opened through tomorrow and Monday if necessary. There will be food, water, mats, access to the internet and telephone.

Anyone seeking shelter, please come to Legacy HS, 566 Main Street, and ring the front bell for access. We would like to thank The Child School/Legacy HS for their support to the community in this time of need.

Sincerely,

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
 There was a RI311 See Click Fix report of:
The police department has failed to secure their dog traing equipment with a huricane about to hit New York
I asked RIOC about the K9 Dog Training equipment still in the Southtown lot. Community Relations Specialist Erica Wilder replied:
Keith Guerra has contacted the NYPD K-9 Lieutenant who will be sending a team of officers to attempt to secure the equipment inside the K-9 Training Facility.

Roosevelt Island Hurricane Irene Update - Gristedes, Duane Reade Crowded With Shoppers Picking Up Last Minute Supplies

Roosevelt Island residents were out early this morning shopping in preparation for Hurricane Irene. There were long lines at Gristedes

Duane Reade

 and the Farmer's Market


but everything appeared orderly and supplies were available.

The manager at Duane Reade reported that the store would be closing at 12 PM. The Gristedes Manager said they would stay open as long as their employees could stay but indicated that would probably be about 3 or 4 PM.

Starbucks was closed today. Most of the employees do not live on Roosevelt Island. The Trellis Diner was open and packed. The Riverwalk Bar and Grill will open at 12 PM. The kitchen will be closed but deli sandwiches available.
HURRICANE PARTY!! WE'LL BE OPEN AT NOON TODAY ROOSEVELT ISLAND, HURRICANE COCKTAIL SPECIALS AND BEER PONG. IF YOU STUCK AROUND COME JOIN US!
Here's the latest update from RIOC received at 10:33 AM:
Please be advised that RIOC is monitoring the progress of the storm scheduled to arrive in the New York City area this coming weekend. We are taking precautions to secure the operations of the island. New York City will Shut Down Mass Transit on Saturday, August 27th at 12:00 Noon. The commuter rail lines that serve Long Island, Westchester County and Connecticut will also be shut down. The Tram will run on schedule until winds reach 45 mph. Based on hourly forecasts we will notify the public via an advisory 2 hours in advance of a shutdown. When this occurs, Tram service will be suspended. The Red Buses will continue to run and will only be interrupted if there is excessive flooding and/or decreased visibility that prevents continuous service. Subsequent advisories will follow as needed. Public Safety will be in operation 24 hours a day, with extra staff working this weekend. Please click the following link for additional info http://www.rioc.ny.gov/pdf/IreneAdvisory-082611.pdf

In preparation for the storm, we ask residents who have terraces or an outdoor space to make sure to bring in plants or any items that could be blown away by high winds which could potentially cause injury or property damage. Vehicles are discouraged from parking on Main Street, and we encourage you to utilize the Motorgate Parking Facility. In addition, the tennis courts, Sportspark and all parks will close on Saturday, August 27th at 2:00 PM. For those who live above the 10th floor, the Mayor’s Office asked that you move to a lower level or to another location before the storm arrives.

Please continue to monitor the storm's progress on The Weather Channel, weather.com, your local news or radio broadcast or the following link: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/storm_graphics/AT09/refresh/AL0911W5_NL+gif/145713W5_NL_sm.gif

In addition, the City provides some information about how to prepare for a major storm as well as information on evacuation routes for certain parts of the city that are particularly susceptible to flooding:
Preparation: http://www.nyc.gov/html/oem/downloads/pdf/hurricane_brochure.pdf

Please visit http://nyc.gov/html/oem/html/hazards/storms.shtml for information about hurricane preparedness.

As always feel free to call 3-1-1 for non-emergencies and 9-1-1 or Public Safety 212-832-4545 for emergencies.

Sincerely,

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
You can track Hurricane Irene storm path at this NY Times map.

Latest Hurricane Irene Update From Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) - Be Prepared and Stay Informed

Here's latest Hurricane Irene update from Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Community Relations Specialist Erica Wilder received at 9:21 AM:

Hello Everyone:

As you all know, the latest forecasts have Hurricane Irene hitting our city on Sunday morning. We want to stress how seriously we need to take this threat. As of now, under “the worst case scenario,” Irene could reach New York City and Long Island this weekend with winds surpassing 72 miles an hour, producing a storm surge of 6 to 12 feet.  Under another scenario, we could experience Irene as a strong tropical storm dropping as much as a foot of rain.

We are asking everyone to get prepared and stay informed about this storm. Before the storm hits, the best advice would be to stock up on provisions, if you haven't already, and tune in to your local news and/or radio stations for up to the minute information pertaining to the storm and potential evacuations. We will continue to monitor the storm and keep residents informed with various information outlets which include paper postings and/or door drops at all buildings, our emergency hotline: (212)-308-6608 and by accessing the following link to our website: http://www.rioc.ny.gov/pdf/IreneAdvisory-082611.pdf

Finally, and most importantly, we should all abide by the direction of our local emergency responders this weekend. Below are some useful links that will help you stay informed in the days ahead. Please print and forward this information to your residents, staff, friends and family.

Please stay safe and we wish everyone the very best in weathering this historic storm.

Being prepared:http://www.redcross.org/www-files/Documents/pdf/Preparedness/checklists/Hurricane.pdf

Federal Emergency Management Office http://www.fema.gov/

NYC Office of Emergency Management         http://www.nyc.gov/html/oem/html/home/home.shtml

NYS Emergency Management Office   http://www.dhses.ny.gov/

NationalHurricane Center(including maps, projected paths and storm surge probabilities):
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/ 
Image From Weather.com

Friday, August 26, 2011

Hurricane Irene Getting Closer To New York City/Roosevelt Island - RIOC Engineering Department Say They Are Prepared, Are You? Hang Out Before Hurricane With Friends At Riverwalk Bar & Grill



Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Santo Verta reports:

The Engineering and Facilities Department  along with Grounds Department and myself will be on the Island starting tomorrow Late Morning until the storm has past, will be able to assist in multiple emergencies. We will be stationed at 680 Main Street which is the Bus Garage / Warehouse. We have prepared and Maintenanced for this storm with the following:

 Generators, power tools, plywood (for windows that are damaged on the storefront or any other RIOC owned facilities.  Flashlights  and among of other different types of  equipment such as Backhoes, tractors, chainsaws, wood chippers,  tower lights for Main Street and any other location that are crucial if we get a electricity outage , and amongst of other different types of  equipment such as Backhoes, tractors, chainsaws, etc.

Please feel free to contact me if you see an emergency.


You Tube Video Of Hurricane Irene in NYC From Weather Channel

I went to Gristedes and Duane Reade earlier today to buy some extra batteries, food, water, bic lighter and flashlight. Hope you have too. If you haven't, make sure to go as early as you can tomorrow. A reader of the Daily Dish suggests:
If nobody has told you this, you need to fill your bathtub with water.  It is not for drinking; it is for flushing the toilets if you lose water after the storm.   You don’t want to be without a flush toilet.
and:
Having gone through a few hurricanes myself, a couple things I've been telling people here at work to have on hand, beyond the usual batteries/food/water: A lighter or two. The standard Bic never fails. Get it in the bright orange color and it'll be easier to find wherever you set it down. Bandaids and bacitracin. The actual Band-Aid brand "Tough Strips" - the fabric kind, not the plastic - are miles more durable than any other kind I've used. I keep a box or two at all times because I slash myself in the kitchen on a weekly basis, but where there's broken glass, there's cuts, no matter how careful you are. Tough garbage bags (contractor-grade, if you have a local hardware store) and duct tape. Clean laundry, especially socks, underwear, and t-shirts.
If you want to hang out with some Roosevelt Island friends and neighbors before the Hurricane starts tomorrow night, the Riverwalk Bar & Grill will be open on a limited basis with Hurricane's on the drink menu.
OK WE ARE OPENING THE BAR TOMORROW AT NOON. THE KITCHEN WILL BE CLOSED BUT YOU CAN DRINK AND GET DELI SANDWICHES. $5 HURRICANE COCKTAILS ALL DAY!
Image Of Pat O'Brien Hurricane from Amazon

Hurricane Irene Forces New York City Subways To Shut Down Saturday At Noon - Roosevelt Island Tram Will Operate Until Winds Reach 45 MPH and Red Buses Will Run Unless Excessive Flooding

The NY Times is reporting:

With Hurricane Irene pushing relentlessly toward the East Coast, officials made plans to shut down New York City’s sprawling subway and bus system beginning at noon on Saturday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said....
What about the Roosevelt Island Tram and Red Bus? Received the following message from Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Community Relations Specialist Erica Wilder
The Tram will run on schedule until winds reach 45 mph. When this occurs, Tram service will be suspended. The Red Buses will continue to run and will only be interrupted if there is excessive flooding that prevents continuous service. Public Safety will be in operation 24 hours a day, with extra staff working on the weekend.
Below is flyer distributed yesterday to Rivercross Building residents.


and for Riverwalk Residents

More hurricane information here.

UPDATE 3:20 PM - RIOC Issued this advisory at 2:44 PM:
Please be advised that RIOC will be monitoring the progress of the storm scheduled to arrive in the New York City area this coming weekend.  We are taking precautions to secure the operations of the island.  New York City will Shut Down Mass Transit on Saturday, August 27th at 12:00 Noon. The commuter rail lines that serve Long Island, Westchester County and Connecticut will also be shut down. The Tram will run on schedule until winds reach 45 mph. When this occurs, Tram service will be suspended. The Red Buses will continue to run and will only be interrupted if there is excessive flooding that prevents continuous service.  Subsequent advisories will follow as needed. Public Safety will be in operation 24 hours a day, with extra staff working this weekend.

According to the NYC Office of Emergency Management (OEM), Roosevelt Island is considered Zone "B" for Coastal Flooding Evacuation Purposes.  The likelihood of an evacuation in Zone B is minimal unless we are impacted by a major hurricane and advised by the Mayor's Office.  Please be advised that Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg have declared a State of Emergency for New York in preparation of the arrival of Hurricane Irene this weekend.

In preparation for the storm, we ask residents who have terraces or an outdoor space to make sure to bring in plants or any items that could be blown away by high winds which could potentially cause injury or property damage.  Vehicles are discouraged from parking on Main Street, and we encourage you to utilize the Motorgate Parking Facility. In addition, the tennis courts, Sportspark and all parks will close on Saturday, August 27th at 2:00 p.m. For those who live above the 10th floor, we ask that you move to a lower level or to another location before the storm arrives.

The Weather Channel is, however, predicting that this may be the worst hurricane to hit the East Coast in a decade. Please continue to monitor the storm's progress on The Weather Channel, weather.com, your local news or radio broadcast or the following link:  http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/storm_graphics/AT09/refresh/AL0911W5_NL+gif/145713W5_NL_sm.gif

In addition, the City provides some information about how to prepare for a major storm as well as information on evacuation routes for certain parts of the city that are particularly susceptible to flooding:
Preparation:  http://www.nyc.gov/html/oem/downloads/pdf/hurricane_brochure.pdf

Please visit  http://nyc.gov/html/oem/html/hazards/storms.shtml  for information about hurricane preparedness.

As always feel free to call 3-1-1 for non-emergencies and 9-1-1 or Public Safety 212-832-4545 for emergencies.

FYI:
Designated Shelter Closest to R.I.: 28-01 41st Street (Queens Plaza) Astoria, NY
Directions to shelter here.

UPDATE 5:50 PM:


Map from WNYC.

Update 6:03 - Latest update from RIOC at 5:59:
The National Weather Service has issued a Hurricane Warning for the New York City area in association with Hurricane IRENE. A hurricane warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.

RIOC executives and staff are on duty managing our operations throughout the weather event. We will continue to keep the community informed of any disruptions in service over the weekend through our information systems.

For up to the minute information, please check back on our information hotline at 212-308-6608

You can also visit our website at rioc.ny.gov

Or on our facebook page at facebook.com/RIOCNY

As a reminder, advisories will continue to be distributed throughout the storm.

As always feel free to call 3-1-1 for non-emergencies and 9-1-1 or Public Safety 212-832-4545 for emergencies.

As the storm progresses, current plans in place are subject to change if necessary.
Sincerely,

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
UPDATE 11 PM - Are you leaving NY? WSJ has list of last trains leaving NYC.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hurricane Irene Heading Towards New York City, Emergency Alert Service Needed For Roosevelt Island - Building Lobby, Street Kiosk, Bus Stop Flyers Needed Too


Jonathan Kalkin suggests a simple emergency alert system for
Roosevelt Island residents. According to Mr. Kalkin:
Roosevelt Island needs an emergency alert system that notifies people via text. Most people don't have smartphones or quick access to email so RIOC advisories via email is not a comprehensive solution.

While I was on the RIOC Operations Committee I suggested a free and quick solution. RIOC can create a Twitter account and call it RIALERT or something like that. People without a Twitter account and just a cell phone could (note: this hasn't been created so don't do this yet) just follow @RIALERT by texting follow RIALERT to 40404 to get emergency alerts via text to their cell phones.

You would be able to opt in and opt out as you like. It would be simple and free for RIOC to do and at the minimum all the RIOC staff, PSD, and Tram operators could subscribe to it and be able to get quick instructions in an emergency.

The other day when we had the earthquake, I immediately ran down to the Tram after I couldn't reach anyone there via phone. They didn't know we had an earthquake and I was surprised that they were not aware and had not stopped service. It caught everyone off guard and I'm sure everyone did what they could at the time, but this could be a moment to learn from. In an emergency like this phone calls are hard to make and decisions have to be made quickly, so this may be a good solution moving forward.

HOW TO GET NYC OFFICE OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT ALERTS DURING THIS WEEKEND STORM USING THIS METHOD:

At the minimum all RIOC staff/PSD/Tram Operators should subscribe to @NYCNOTIFY - which is the alert system run by NYC Office of Emergency Management. It is how I knew very quickly what was happening during the earthquake and I recommend that everyone considering the weekend hurricane subscribe even if just for the time being. Please note that normal text message rates apply.

To get text alerts from the New York City’s office of emergency management (@NotifyNYC). Just text ‘follow NotifyNYC’to 40404 in the US.

To stop getting text alerts send 'OFF @NotifyNYC' to 40404 Nothing beats keeping your eyes open and alert so don't rely on this alone, but it is a good tool. Stay safe everyone.

Emergency preparedness communications for Hurricane Irene was the subject of this correspondence between Roosevelt Island resident Eric Schwartzman and Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Leslie Torres. From Mr. Schwartzman:
My name is Eric Schwartzman and I am a resident of the Rivercross building at 531 Main Street. I also used to write a blog on Roosevelt Island but have pulled back from actively blogging but still as a resident am keenly aware of issues affecting the island.

I am writing to say while I appreciate the PSD and other RIOC advisories sent out I wanted to suggest that current Hurricane Preparedness issues and information be posted on (1) the RIOC homepage and perhaps posted in the next day or two at (2) key poster kiosks, (3) every bus stop, Tram station and (4) every building lobby such that all residents, those who have Internet access and those that do not, have real time access to what RIOC is doing to protect our residents.

I appreciate your service to the island but ask that RIOC add to its service during weeks such as this as the residents appreciate all added efforts to reach them.
Ms. Torres replied:
We appreciate your email suggestion and plan to act on it.  I agree that clear communication is key and I will work with RIOC staff to convey information to island residents through signage.

However, since our advisories and web page can provide up to the minute information we will still encourage people to rely on them throughout the storm as electronic media can contain more timely information than any signs we post.
Thank you for your thoughtful email.
Mr. Schwartzman responded:
Thank you for your reply. I appreciate it very much.

Never intended to dissuade anyone from the web or email advisories. My point was the only info on the RIOC webpage, that I can see, is the Emergency Preparedness page way down the Public Safety drop down (labelled "Are you ready?") on the RIOC home page. Something should be posted, directly on point to this hurricane, this event, on the homepage itself giving direct info for those residents that do look to the website. Not just a link to somewhere else.

Thank you again for considering the paper signage suggestion as many residents who don't have email or PCs with internet connections, or even cells that receive text messages, will appreciate the effort and info. 
Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) President Matt Katz added:
Please note that the Roosevelt Island Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), under the leadership of RIOC Board Director, Howard Polivy, is in direct communication with NYC Office of Emergency Management.  If OEM designates Roosevelt Island for any attention, including evacuation, CERT will be activated through our phone tree.  Let’s hope we dodge this bullet,
Here's the latest Hurricane Advisory from RIOC as of 7:04 PM:
 Please be advised that as of this afternoon Governor Cuomo has declared a State of Emergency in New York in preparation for the potential impact of Hurricane Irene.

Please note, in a previous advisory we touched upon information that was provided by the New York City Office of Emergency Management regarding evacuations in New York City.  Roosevelt Island is in Evacuation Zone B, which means the likelihood of an actual evacuation in Zone B is minimal unless we are impacted by a major hurricane and advised by the Mayor's Office.

As previously stated, please continue to monitor the storm's progress on The Weather Channel, weather.com, your local news broadcast or the following link http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/storm_graphics/AT09/refresh/AL0911W5_NL+gif/145713W5_NL_sm.gif.

Please feel free to call 3-1-1 for non-emergencies and 9-1-1 (or 212-832-4545) for emergencies.

Sincerely,

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
and an earlier advisory from 2:40 PM
Please be advised that RIOC will be monitoring the progress of the storm scheduled to arrive in the New York City area this coming weekend. We are taking precautions to secure the operations of the island. Consequently, Transportation Services may be temporarily interrupted at some point. Subsequent advisories will follow as needed.

In preparation for the storm, we ask anyone who has potted plants on their window sills to bring them inside. Those having a terrace or an outdoor space, please make sure to bring in plants or any items that could be blown away by high winds which could potentially cause injury or property damage. Vehicles are discouraged from parking on Main Street, and we encourage you to utilize the Motorgate Parking Facility.

According to the NYC Office of Emergency Management (OEM), Roosevelt Island is not an Evacuation Area for Hurricanes. We are considered Zone B. Please note that RIOC does not declare a State of Emergency. The Governor of the State of New York and the Mayor of the City of New York have that authority. Neither has done so as of yet.

The Weather Channel is, however, predicting that this may be the worst hurricane to hit the East Coast in a decade. Please continue to monitor the storm's progress on The Weather Channel, weather.com, your local news broadcast or the following link http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/storm_graphics/AT09/refresh/AL0911W5_NL+gif/145713W5_NL_sm.gif.

As always feel free to call 3-1-1 for non-emergencies and 9-1-1 (or 212-832-4545) for emergencies.

We thank you for your anticipated cooperation.

Sincerely,

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
Will have more on Hurricane Irene tomorrow.

Roosevelt Island Resident Frank Farance On Selection Process for RIOC Board Members - Disagrees With Direction Taken By RIRA

As reported in this post earlier today, Roosevelt Island's NY State Senator Jose Serrano and RIOC Chair/NY State Commissioner of Housing and Community Renewal (HCR) Darryl Towns met yesterday regarding the appointment of a conflict ridden, non-elected, non-resident to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors. Former Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) President and current RIRA Planning Committee Chair Frank Farance sent the following message to Senator Serrano and Commissioner Towns.

From Mr. Farance:

Commissioner Towns, Senator Serrano:

You will be hearing from other residents soon and I (as an individual) am writing to you to give a different perspective on the RIOC Board situation.

I sent the following letter to the Main Street WIRE for publication this week. I've included my letters in June to the WIRE and the Governor. I plan a couple more letters, including one on the "incompetent" actions of the RIOC Board: their letter to the Governor (published in the WIRE) on legal assertions by the 5 resident/elected members, none of them attorneys, no legal review; and another letter on the dysfunction of RIRA, who should not be involved in any elections process because RIRA chose to NOT have 2010 RIOC elections and RIRA can't even manage its own internal elections, e.g., Bill Long was not legitimately appointed in RIRA.

Feel free to contact me for additional details and supporting documents.

Frank Farance
Below is Mr. Farance's referenced letter.
I believe the Democracy subcommittee of RIRA's Government Relations Committee is heading in the wrong direction. I believe the RIOC director process should be as follows (a process administered by RIOC, not RIRA):

- The expiration of terms should be regularized, with 4-year terms expiring on June 30 in odd years and staggered expirations so only half the board expires at the same time

- To fill board member positions (vacancy, expiration, etc.), there should be a Call For Volunteers (CFV), including a list of desirable qualifications.

- After the CFV, there would be a 30-day public comment period on the candidates. For example, residents could fill out a form (at the RIOC office) that indicated their Approval, Disapproval, and Comments for each of the candidates. The results would be tallied and the comments delivered to the Governor (and Mayor). This would not be an election, but a CFV with an endorsement process.

- The balance of 5 resident members and 2 other members (with no residency requirements) is a good balance for striking a partnership with the Governor's office. Considering that RIOC might be bankrupt in 2021, it does not serve the residents well to Take All The Marbles (all 7 board members) and then have to ask the State for a bailout a decade later when the Governor-then could say "you've refused to allow me to help by limiting my selection of board members". I believe it is important for the Governor to have a freedom to choose who he/she wants for these other 2 positions, which builds a sense of partnership.

- Although I would ultimately like to see direct elections for the 5 resident members, we (the residents) have messed this up ourselves, including our choosing not to have 2010 elections (where candidates would have be ready for the present expired positions), having our own substantial conflicts of interest (via privatization of Mitchell-Lama buildings), and the poor judgment shown by the 5 resident-elected directors' letter to the Governor (published in the WIRE). Direct election should wait until *after* the privatization efforts have completed.

I note that the significant conflicts of interest of Rivercross members of the RIOC Board. For example, Margie Smith (who stands to gain a half million to a million dollars on the sale of her apartment) is herself part of the decision-making process, including Chair of RIOC's Governance Committee, yet she participated in RIRA activities seeking legislation to change the composition of the RIOC Board and appointment of the RIOC President. Ms. Smith presently participates in the RIRA Democracy committee, including reviewing/revising letters to the Governor. All three members of RIOC's Real Estate Advisory Committee are also from Rivercross (not good for Rivercross, not good for Island House or Westview either). Privatization is necessary for the remaining WIRE Mitchell-Lama buildings, which means some profits are made. I don't begrudge the profits made by RIOC board members from Rivercross, I am greatly concerned by the severe conflicts of interest in this financial transaction.

In other words, New Yorkers might believe: this a self-dealing transaction were board members of a public authority get to choose how much money they make (each on the order of a half million to a million dollars); the chair of the public authority's governance committee is conflicted (and submits her own legislation on the public authority, and hosts a fundraiser in her own apartment for that legislator); and all of the committee members of the public authority's real estate committee have the same financial conflict. Something is wrong here.

The problem here on Roosevelt Island is that we can only believe that Residents Do Good and Non-Residents Don't Do Good. For example, Bill Long the "interim" chair of the RIRA Government Relations Committee (note: RIRA has no such process for "interim" chairs) focuses the residents on Dr. Fererra's conflicts but ignores Ms. Smith's even more substantial conflicts with: "No, the situations are not similar. Margie doesn't work for an organization the leases space from RIOC. Margie hasn't stated her intention to lease additional space that is subject to the Master Lease to which RIOC is a party.". So because Ms. Smith is an owner (but not a worker) in Rivercross and because she hasn't asked for *more* space (she would be selling her apartment), her situation is acceptable. Mr. Long wouldn't last a millisecond in a corporate ethics committee. However, his thinking representative of the faulty thinking in this RIRA committee.

In these RIRA committees, the culture is very hostile towards any opinions outside the echo chamber. For example, when asked, because of an upcoming committee vote, "Could you list the members of the Government Relations Committee and the members of its Democracy subcommittee?", RIRA Communications Committee Chair Vini Fortuna responds in rage using an internet Rage Generator for posting the cartoon "Frank is a Troll". Ellen Polivy incoherently supports his rage with "Vinnie, by the way had every right to be pissed at you. You were asking him, in a back handed insulting way, for him to do his job." You can see my exact words, there was no back-handed insult. Ms. Smith, who should NOT be participating at all in the RIRA committee, doesn't like differing opinions "Frank, since you’re not on our side, you don't agree with our approach, and we're all so misguided, for God's sake, have the guts/class to drop out of the group and let us get on with our work." Mr. Long supports this kind of abusive culture because he offers no objection.

Your residents at work.

Frank Farance
Here is Mr. Farance's  June letter to the Governor and the letter by 5 of the 6 RIOC Director's letter to the Governor.

RIRA's Governance Committee Chairperson Bill Long responds to Mr. Farance:
It is obvious that Frank and I disagree on a number of issues related to the election of RIOC board members. I will limit my response to just one example.

Regarding asking the governor to appoint board members from elected candidates, Frank's letter said that residents "have messed this up ourselves, [by] choosing not to have 2010 elections". Frank seems to believe because we didn't hold elections before, we are not entitled to petition the governor to honor elections now. My response is "Who says?" In hindsight, it was a mistake not to hold elections last year. But that mistake doesn't mean that we must forever relinquish our rights to have a voice in our government. That seems obvious to me, but Frank doesn't see it that way.

My position has not changed. RIOC is effectively our municipal government and residents have a right to have a say in who runs RIOC. An election is the most successful "call for volunteers" that any free society has ever tried. Let's stick with it.

Roosevelt Island State Senator Jose Serrano Meets With RIOC Chair To Discuss Appointment Of Conflict Ridden, Non-Elected, Non-Resident To RIOC Board Of Directors - Next Step, Meeting With Governor Cuomo



The controversy over the appointment of non-elected, non-resident, conflict ridden Child School Executive Director Sal Ferrera to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors continues. Yesterday, Roosevelt Island's NY State Senator Jose Serrano met with NY State Commissioner of Housing and Community Renewal and RIOC Chairperson Darryl Towns to discuss the concerns of the Roosevelt Island community over this appointment.

Senator Serrano sent the following report yesterday on his meeting with Commissioner Towns:
Today's meeting with Commissioner Towns was an important step in addressing the concerns shared among Roosevelt Island residents regarding RIOC board appointments and governance. I explained to the Commissioner that many on the island viewed the most recent board appointment as a step back from the relatively recent progress that has been made regarding elected island resident representation on RIOC. I also expressed the need for a moratorium on future RIOC appointments until a discussion is had regarding island elections and RIOC appointments.

While well aware of and completely sympathetic to the concerns raised, Commissioner Towns suggested that I speak with Governor Cuomo directly, as he is the person who would implement any policy regarding all future RIOC board appointments. I have begun the process of requesting a meeting with Governor Cuomo, and I look forward to speaking with him regarding the concerns of island residents, and the need for elected resident membership on the RIOC board. Today’s meeting was neither the beginning nor the end of this process with the goal of codifying elected island resident participation on the RIOC board - a goal that would bring about the best possible representation and governance structure for the people of Roosevelt Island."
Below is a briefing document sent by the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Governance Committee to Senator Serrano and Assembly Member Micah Kellner that provides background on the history of bringing elected representation to the RIOC Board.
ROOSEVELT ISLAND AND DEMOCRACY
Historical Perspective

Roosevelt Island -- a planned community of almost 12,000 residents -- has had a fundamentally flawed administration since the 1984 creation of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC), a New York State Public Benefit Corporation (in effect, an “authority”). Roosevelt Island is a community of people, not a bridge or transportation system. As in other communities, residents want local control of local matters, recognizing that non-resident managers and board members are ill-equipped to grasp and solve local problems and capitalize on local opportunities.

For many years, patronage and conflict-of-interest characterized most appointments to the Board of Directors and the presidency of RIOC -- our Public Authority, and our de facto local government.

Progress Toward Democracy -- and Backsliding

Fourteen years ago, residents rejected this systemic problem and began seeking a democratic solution. In advisory referenda conducted over the years, huge turnouts repeatedly voted, by margins of 80% to 96%, to ask that greater control of the community be placed in the hands of its primary stakeholders, the residents, through the ballot box.

Progress toward such democratic local governance has focused on the ultimate goal of residents directly electing residents to the RIOC Board. Since 2004, thanks to assistance from Governors George Pataki, Eliot Spitzer, and David Paterson, all seven public seats on the RIOC Board have been occupied by residents. In 2002, Governor Pataki signed a law requiring a five-member majority of residents on the nine-member Board. In 2007, Governor Spitzer appointed a DHCR commissioner and a RIOC president who offered the opportunity for community elections to nominate residents to the Board. Following Island-wide elections in 2008 and 2009, Governor Paterson appointed six residents from the two rosters of community nominees, and thus, until June of this year, six of the seven resident public Board members had been elected by Island residents.

The recent appointment to the RIOC Board of Dr. Salvatore Ferrera has broken the chain of progress toward democratic local rule for Roosevelt Island. He is not a resident and was not nominated in a community election.    Moreover, his position as Executive Director of The Child School, RIOCʼs second-largest real-estate customer, and his public expression of interest in acquiring more Island space for the school, raises potential conflict-of-interest issues – reminiscent of the bad old days. Finally, Dr. Ferrera replaced Jonathan Kalkin, a resident nominated by residents, who has made outstanding contributions to the Island as a highly active and valued Board member, and whose major Board projects are at critical stages.

(Attached is a modified version of an 11x17 timeline, detailing relevant events from 1996 to 2011, that appeared on pages 6-7 in the 7/2/2011 issue of The Main Street WIRE, our local newspaper.

Requests

In light of this history of Roosevelt Islanders striving for local democracy, and with knowledge of Governor Cuomoʼs commitment to "strong and vibrant urban communities," we are respectfully seeking serious consideration of the following goals:

Ultimate Goal
Legislation providing that all seven public RIOC Board members be
• Roosevelt Island residents
• elected by the Roosevelt Island community
• seated in order of election results (even if executive appointment and legislative approval must be retained because Board members are State officers)

Immediate Goals
Restoration of our recent electoral precedent
• by having the two incumbents with expired appointments remain in office until weʼve conducted our November 2011 election, for those two seats and for the seat that expires in December 2011
• by having the winners of this Novemberʼs election be appointed to those three seats
• by repeating this election/appointment process in November 2012 for the seats that expire in June-July 2013

A Memorandum of Understanding
• documenting agreement to the Immediate Goals
• agreeing to honor our Ultimate Goals, while the legislation is sought, by continuing this process of November elections preceding term expirations

Regularization of Board term expirations (which are not covered by the legislation governing RIOC)
• so that all seven occur shortly after even-year November elections (in three-four alternation)
• until that revision of all seven expirations is accomplished, a simple adjustment in two terms so that they, like the other five, expire in May-June of odd-numbered years (see attached schedule)
This whole mess began here.

Governor Cuomo Says NY State Reviewing Critical Infrastructure After 5.8 East Coast Earthquake - Does That Include Roosevelt Island Tram?


You Tube Video of Mayor Bloomberg Responding In Aftermath Of 8/23 Earthquake

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued the following statement following the August 23 earthquake.

Updated Statement from Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on Earthquake

The State Office of Emergency Management continues to monitor the effects in New York State from the 5.9 magnitude earthquake that originated near Mineral, Virginia this afternoon.

The state is initiating comprehensive reviews of critical and sensitive infrastructure including the state’s hydroelectric plants, nuclear power plants, key bridges and tunnels, and other assets.
Does that infrastructure review of NY State assets include the Roosevelt Island Tram system including it's towers? I asked Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Vice President of Operations Fernando Martinez:
A reader asked if the Tram Towers or any other piece of Tram equipment need to be re-examined following the earthquake.

Any comment
Mr. Martinez replied:
As a result of a magnitude 5.8 earthquake that occurred on Tuesday, I have received several emails regarding the structural integrity of the Tram.  I have been in constant contact with Leitner-Poma ("Poma"), the operator of the Tram, since the incident occurred. Poma has conducted a thorough inspection of the Tram, and did not find any structural problems.

Unlike railroad or subway tracks which cannot handle any significant movement without buckling, the Tram has a flexible element (the ropes) that allows movement during an earthquake which helps prevent damage to the structures (i.e. towers).

Further, the Tram structure is in compliance with the local building code and its design takes into consideration the seismic values required for New York City.  Essentially, the Tram was well under any seismic level that could damage the system.

Finally, the Emergency Management team of the Operations Department has been monitoring the progress of Hurricane Irene, and is preparing for its impact in the next few days.
How did Roosevelt Island residents experience the Earthquake? An Island House resident had this reaction:
I felt it in Island House, which was definitely rocking. First I thought someone was trying to get in through the door - the door was shaking. Then I thought I was having a stroke - I couldn't understand why the chair I was sitting in (an office-type chair) was starting to roll around by itself. I glanced over at the bird cage, and a hanging bell was rocking back & forth. I really didn't understand it was an earthquake - it really didn't occur to me that it was an earthquake although I could see the room was shaking. I thought some deep explosion or disaster had occurred somewhere - maybe a building collapse somewhere or some horrible disaster in a subway. I thought my building was holding up very well, though, despite the shaking. Then I heard the news that there had been an earthquake - wow - what a weird experience. I've never been through an earthquake before.
Manhattan Park resident Dottie experienced this:
I work at home and felt Manhattan Park shake. I thought I was hallucinating!
Riverwalk residents had this to say about the Earthquake
I felt building swaying at 425 Main. We had one here about 13 years ago, centered in Long Island City of all places. That was freakish!
and:
‎475 swayed
On the other hand, another resident commented:
wow- first Earthquake on RI in my 29 years of living here and I didn't feel anything...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Hurricane Irene Heading Towards New York City - Is Roosevelt Island Prepared?



According to the New York Daily News:

New York City emergency planners are gearing up for a direct hit from Hurricane Irene as the strengthening storm battered the Bahamas with 120 mph winds Wednesday.

The first major Atlantic hurricane of the season was charting a course that will take it up the East Coast and dangerously close to the city as early as Sunday...
Received this Hurricane Advisory from the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
Please be advised that RIOC will be monitoring the progress of the storm scheduled to arrive in the New York City area this coming weekend. We are taking precautions to secure the operations of the island. Consequently, Transportation Services may be temporarily interrupted at some point. Subsequent advisories will follow as needed.

In preparation for the storm, we ask anyone who has potted plants on their window sills to bring them inside. Those having a terrace or an outdoor space, please make sure to bring in plants or any items that could be blown away by high winds which could potentially cause injury or property damage. Vehicles are discouraged from parking on Main Street, and we encourage you to utilize the Motorgate Parking Facility.

As always feel free to call 3-1-1 for non-emergencies and 9-1-1 (or 212-832-4545) for emergencies.

We thank you for your anticipated cooperation.

Sincerely,

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
What would happen if a Hurricane hit New York City. This 2007 You Tube Video provides some possibilities.



Here's video of a Hurricane Emergency Preparedness Presentation for Roosevelt Island sponsored by Community Board 8's Public Safety Committee held in 2006.

More information available here on hurricane and emergency preparedness.


Be prepared, follow the news over the next few days and plan accordingly.

UPDATE 8/26 - Here's Mayor Bloomberg's speaking last night at 6 PM on Hurricane Irene.



Roosevelt Island is in Evacuation Zone B. According to the NYC Office of Emergency Management (OEM) , as of 11 AM:
You are in Zone B.
There is currently NO evacuation order in effect for this zone.
In the event of a hurricane, you may need to evacuate from this address.

Residents in Zone B may experience storm surge flooding from a MODERATE (Category 2 and higher) hurricane.

Interactive hurricane evacuation map available here.

More hurricane information here.

Latest on Electricity Submetering at Roosevelt Island's Roosevelt Landings/Eastwood Buildings - Public Service Commission Recent Decision Requires Landlord Urban American To Demonstrate Thermostat Installation, Energy Efficiency Measures, No Tenant Evictions For Non Payment Of Electric Charges & More Before Subemetering Can Begin Says Assembly Member Kellner

The headline in this article from yesterday's Crains New York Business claimed:

Big landlord wins 1st round of submetering fight

Urban American wins state approval of its plan to install meters and have tenants at 1,800 apartments in Harlem pay for their own electricity, arguing it would save money and power; fate of 1,100 Roosevelt Island units uncertain....
According to the Crains article the NY State Public Service Commission:
... approved the company's plan for 1,800 apartments in three Harlem buildings. Based on unofficial meter readings from individual apartments, Urban American claimed that 70% of tenants would save money under submetering, rather than paying a fixed amount to cover energy. The state agreed....
The Roosevelt Island residents directly impacted by the submetering attempt by Urban American are tenants at Roosevelt Landings, formerly known as Eastwood which was privatized and taken out of the Mitchell Lama program several years ago.

Why do Roosevelt Landings/Eastwood tenants object to electricity submetering for their apartments? Roosevelt Island Assembly Member Micah Kellner answered that question in a June 2010 post.
... The submetering plan at Eastwood presented a host of problems for tenants. The building’s poor insulation and clunky electric heat would have meant that under submetering, tenants would be paying enormous electric bills just to keep warm in the winter. And the electric charges would be deemed as rent in tenants’ leases–meaning that tenants could be taken to housing court and potentially evicted for nonpayment of their electric bills. Tenants faced the prospect of having to choose between paying the rent and heating their homes...
After reading yesterday's Crains article, I asked Assembly Member Kellner for a comment.

 Image of Mr. Kellner Speaking at 2009 Eastwood/Roosevelt Landings Submetering Forum

Mr. Kellner replied:
The Crains’ article was factually inaccurate— All that the PSC has done with their most recent decision is reaffirm what they previously stated. Specifically, in order to submeter, the Landlord must:
  • Submit plans to the PSC demonstrating that tenants as a group are not disadvantaged financially as a result of submetering;
  • Conduct a consultative process in which all interested parties are involved. 
  • Submit documentation showing that individual thermostats have been installed in all apartments with certification from engineer;
  • Provide tenants with information concerning ways to reduce electricity usage;
  • Submit documentation that the buildings in question are participating in the NYSERDA Multifamily Performance Program (MPP) and all energy efficiency measures have been fully implemented;
  • Submit documentation of the installation of Energy Star refrigerators.
  • Clarify that no tenant can be evicted for non-payment of electric charges
We are still a long ways away from submetering in Urban America’s Harlem buildings and even further away in Roosevelt Landing. For all of buildings, the Landlord must return to the PSC to prove these conditions have been met. Until the day comes when thermostats are being installed in individual apartments, we will not know if they are truly serious about energy efficiency.
The Public Service Commission decision is not yet publicly available. Will post it when it is. The bottom line according to Mr. Kellner is that nothing has changed in regard to Urban American's attempt to submeter electricity usage at Roosevelt Landings/Eastwood due to this recent Public Service Commission decision.

Roosevelt Island's Grandpa Al Lewis Playground Fencing Needs Repair Before Kid Gets Hurt - This Issue and Others Reported To RI 311 See Click Fix For Resolution By RIOC - You Can Report Issues Too

 Image of Grandpa Al Lewis Playground From Roosevelt Island 360

Special Playground Correspondent Roosevelt Island 360 reports on a potential safety problem at Grandpa Al Lewis Playground:
The playground equipment at Grandpa Al Lewis Playground is probably the most heavily used on Roosevelt Island due to its location and popularity to all the local kids. That popularity has taken its toll on the equipment.  And an accident is just waiting to happen.

After the removal of the overhead monkey bars RIOC fenced off the remaining platform securing the fences with plastic straps. Straps that have to endure the pressure of hundreds of kids weekly pulling and pushing upon the fences. At one end of one fence four straps secure the fence. The other side only two. The second fence only has one remaining strap.

It is this fence and remaining strap that will probably soon fail and I believe RIOC should be monitoring and fixing before something happens.

On our way home from the playground we stopped in at Public Safety to report the condition. We'll see how long it takes to be truly repaired. Simply replacing straps is not a long term option.
You can vote to have this condition described by Roosevelt Island 360 fixed by visiting Roosevelt Island 311 See Click Fix


on the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) web site. You can also track how RIOC responds to this issue as well as other issues previously submitted to the site including
  • Was in the Tram and only one side of windows was open (no cross ventilation-hot). It was full so I couldn't get to the operators. When the tram got to the Island I told the operator to open them. He did, but this should be part of the procedure on every shift. Also a slide saying "hot, please ask operator to open all tram windows" would help too.
  • Community Gardens has no power
  • Friends, when approaching the roundabout southward on Main St, there is a roundabout sign, AND an ALL TRAFFIC sign. I think this can be confusing!
  • There are a lot of cars at Motorgate that park outside the parking lines and as a result take up more than one space. Some cars park in the small car areas that are very big and this makes it difficult to get around the turns. Most of the parking lot lines are old, not clear or bright so a solution might be to paint these with a bright reflective paint. Also the rules should be enforced or penalty system agreed to make sure people parking follow the rules.
  • In Motorgate the Zipcar signs are on the ground. It would be easier to see if you put them on the wall or both. Also if you painted the parking lines Zipcar green that would help too!
In addition to voting for and monitoring issues already submitted to RIOC, you can report them as well. So, if you see a problem or an issue on Roosevelt Island that needs to be brought to the attention of RIOC and fixed, click on RI 311, report the issue and then monitor RIOC's response to the problem.

More on the See Click Fix reporting system from previous posts.

Summaries of Roosevelt Island 311 See Click Fix reports appear on the Blog's middle sidebar.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

White Collar TV Show Filming This Morning At The Roosevelt Island Historical Society Visitors Kiosk - Star Matt Bomer Leaps Over Bench and Kiosk Railing

A second day of shooting for the White Collar TV program on Roosevelt Island. This morning they were filming scenes in front of the Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS) Visitors Center Kiosk and surrounding areas. RIHS President Judy Berdy was there and shares these comments and pictures.

At 7 a.m. this morning a film crew of over 100 appeared on the island. By 8 a.m. they surrounded the kiosk and the scene from White Collar was ready to be filmed.

Image From Judy Berdy

Star Matt Bomer practiced leaping over our bench and kiosk railing.


After an hour of planning and rehearsing with a double and technical crew he did it in a few takes.


Images From Judy Berdy

Matt came out between shots and made a donation to the RIHS for a Spiderman poster!

Image of RIHS President Judy Berdy with White Collar's Matt Bomer 

The crew was great and considerate.  Enjoy the attached photos.

All photos copyright Judith Berdy and RIHS
More photos of today's Roosevelt Island Visitors Center Kiosk White Collar film shoot here.

The White Collar program will also be shooting scenes today at the Roosevelt Island Bridge and the rooftop at Riverwalk's 405 Main Street.

Wonder if they felt the earthquake while filming on 405 Main Street rooftop?

The New York Post reported today on the upsurge in TV production happening in New York City:
That's precisely what New York is doing to LA in the high-stakes battle for TV productions, city officials boasted yesterday.

Standing on the set of the new ABC show "Pan Am," Mayor Bloomberg reported that a record 23 TV series are now filming here.

"It's pretty incredible when you think about it," he declared. "During a time of financial distress, more TV shows are shooting in our city than ever before. So when you start reading stories about people leaving the city or it being too tough to do business here, nothing perfect, but the evidence is we have to be doing something right."

Indeed, all signs point to the $5 billion TV and film industry as a major bright spot in the city's economy....

Earthquake Hits Roosevelt Island - Did You Feel It?

I was sitting in the outdoor patio of Starbucks this afternoon when I felt the ground shake for a few seconds - maybe 10. At first, I thought I was imagining it or maybe somehow feeling the subway below but then started getting messages that an earthquake has hit the East Coast and it was being felt all over New York City including Roosevelt Island.

I spoke with several other Roosevelt Islanders who noticed their chairs shaking and bottles placed on tables moving around. Another person on the roof of a Riverwalk Building reported feeling the building swaying.

Cartapura tweeted:

whoa. felt the building move here in roosevelt island. effects of the earthquake in va.
Jonathan Kalkin tweeted:
Totally felt the earthquake, thought it was something else
The NY Times reported:
An earthquake sent tremors from the nation’s capital to New York City Tuesday afternoon, the result of what officials said was a 5.8 magnitude earthquake based in Virginia.

There were no immediate reports of damage.

It is not clear how far the earthquake spread, but tremors were felt throughout New York City office buildings and as far north as Concord, N.H....
CBS News is reporting that it was a 5.9 earthquake.

Did you feel it?

Update On Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Chairperson's Arrest For Driving While Intoxicated

The New York 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.

The NY Daily News provides an update in this August 18 article:
State housing commissioner Darryl Towns will have to undergo evaluation by an alcohol abuse treatment program for drunkenly crashing his car over July 4th weekend, a Westchester County court judge ruled.

At a hearing Thursday morning in Mount Vernon City Court, Judge Helen Blackwood asked if Towns applied to TASC, or Treatment Alternatives for Safer Communities.

"That's correct, your honor," Towns' lawyer, Charles Simpson, said.

Blackwood adjourned the case until Sept. 19, when, "for all purposes, there will be a possible disposition."

Towns is expected to plead guilty at his next hearing to driving while intoxicated, sources familiar with the case told the Daily News...
The entire article is here.

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

Monday, August 22, 2011

Roosevelt Island Kite Soaring HIgh Above The Riverwalk Commons - Persistence Pays Off For Kite Flyers


You Tube Video of Roosevelt Island Kite Flying

Roosevelt Island Resident Robbed Saturday Night Near Subway Station - IPhone Snatched, Suspects Arrested By NYPD With Assistance From Public Safety Department

The Roosevelt Island Public Safety Report for 8/20 - 21 indicated:

Robbery - PSD assisted NYPD in the arrest of two subjects.
I inquired of Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Vice President of Operations Fernando Martinez and Public Safety Department Director Keith Guerra for additional information.  Mr. Guerra replied:
On Saturday, August 20th at approximately 11:02 PM, a female island resident was robbed near the Train Station by two male juveniles; also island residents. Said juvenile male subjects assaulted the female victim while stealing her I-Phone. PSD & the NYPD were called. A canvass was performed by Officers from both agencies and subsequently, both subjects were apprehended and placed under arrest for Robbery. They were transported to the 114th precinct by the NYPD for processing. The female victim was treated and released by EMS on scene.
There have been other incidents in the past of cell phone robberies and snatches near the subway station.

It's probably a good idea to have the Public Safety Department Booth stationed near the subway, though not necessarily in front of the entrance where it currently is.


As reported in previous post, the Public Safety Department Booth is temporarily located at the subway entrance until it is moved across the street after completion of construction work by the MTA and RIOC.

The Daily Roosevelt Island Public Safety reports are published and archived on the Blog's middle sidebar.

Roosevelt Island Youth Program Game Night Returns Tonight, Fall Program To Begin In September - Summer Camp Over But Produces A Living Library Garden With Tasty Fruit and Vegetables


According to the Roosevelt Island Youth Program (RIYP):
Youth Center Game Nights Will Reopen
Monday August 22nd, 2011
The Roosevelt Island Youth Program's very successful Game Nights will resume on Monday August 22nd, at 506 Main Street from 6PM to 9PM, new games, more screens, movies and much more as we prepare to launch our Fall schedule. Come join Charlie, Luz, Diego and a whole lot of new characters for some fun and food. The fun never ends at Roosevelt Island's best place to be!!!!
RIYP's Game Night will be available Monday to Thursday August 22nd, to September 1st, then resume again in late October.

RIYP's Summer Youth Camp ended last Friday and their Fall Program begins soon. RIYP reports:
Roosevelt Island Youth Program Camp Over for this Season.

The Roosevelt Island Youth Program Inc. Summer Camp finished on Friday with a pleasant day eating pizza supplied by their counselors and participating in a scavenger hunt and other various activities. This summer we averaged over 200 youth per day for a program that was open from 8AM to 9PM. Participants received breakfast, lunch a snack and if they were in the evening program they got dinner, not bad for free.

The after-school program and evening activities will begin at the Beacon and Youth Center September 12th, 2011 with a full range of activities for youth and adults.  We are in process of adding new programs for the fall and hope you will join us. Remember Soccer starts in September and we are almost filled to capacity so if you want to play sign-up now.



During the summer the RIYP kids also worked with the folks at the Roosevelt Island Living Library planting a garden behind the Youth Center at 506 Main Street and were able to enjoy the fruits and vegetables of their labor.


More Images of the Roosevelt Island Living Library Garden and RIYP Kids available here.

Another Television Film Production Crew Shooting On Roosevelt Island This Week - White Collar Filming on Tram Today, Roosevelt island Tram Station and Surrounding Areas Tomorrow


You Tube Video of White Collar Promo

The Unforgettable TV production crew left Roosevelt Island and the night light controversy last Friday, Starting today, another TV film crew arrives on Roosevelt Island. The USA Television program White Collar will be filming on the Roosevelt Island Tram today and  in the area surrounding the Roosevelt Island Tram station as well as the Roosevelt Island Bridge on Tuesday. According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
Be advised that on Monday, August 22nd, 2011 there will be a movie shoot on the Manhattan side Tram from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm. Tram service will not be interrupted.

Also be advised that on Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011 movie shoot will continue from 06:00 am to 12:00 noon on the East drive from 425 to Tram area, and from front of Sports park to Tram. Tram service will not be interrupted. They will also be filming on the Roosevelt Island Bridge from 08:00 am to 12:00 noon, traffic will be interrupted intermittently.

Sincerely,

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
As reported in this post, RIOC received a film permit fee of $88,000 for the months of July and August (but only 9-12 days of actual shooting) from the Unforgettable Production Company. Will be interested in finding out what RIOC's film permit fee for the White Collar Production will be.

UPDATE 11:40 AM - After getting off the Tram this morning, White Collar actors Matt Bomer and Tim DeKay posed for a picture on the Manhattan Tram platform.

Image of White Collar stars Matt Bomer (left) and Tim DeKay (right)

Mr. Bomer, who plays Neil Caffrey on the show, remarked at how beautiful Roosevelt Island is.

Image of Mr. Bormer on the Tram Platform

RIOC Tram Crews were cleaning the Tram windows for the shoot.


The cast and crew will not be sitting on the Tram benches but have their own chairs


I hope the White Collar cast and crew do not experience the problems with the North Tram Cabin stopping and swinging that some Roosevelt Island residents endured this past Saturday.

UPDATE 5 PM - Roosevelt Island resident Jonathan Kalkin shares this photo of White Collar stars Matt Bomer and Tim DeKay having an ice cream at the Roosevelt Island Tram Station near the Visitors Kiosk.


UPDATE 8/24 - Pictures from yesterday's White Collar filming at the Roosevelt Island Historical Society Visitors Center Kiosk here.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Young Roosevelt Island Resident, Musician and Orator Asher Elbaz Profiled in TV Report - Quite A Young Man

Roosevelt Island resident and TV reporter Kim Lengle profiles young Roosevelt Island resident, musician and orator Asher Elbaz. Below is Ms. Lengle's report from RNN TV.


You Tube Video Profiling Asher Elbaz

Jonathan Kalkin attended Mr. Elbaz's United Nations speech last month

Image of Mr. Elbaz Giving Speech at UN From Jonathan Kalkin

that was referenced at the end of the video report tweeting:
Asher Elbaz Of Roosevelt Island gives a speech about religion & peace @ United Nations
and:
Gives me hope 4 peace today after hearing these Youth Leaders speak @ United Nations
That's quite a young man.

Mr. Elbaz decision not to attend Julliard on the Jewish Sabbath reminds me a little bit of Los Angeles Dodger pitcher Sandy Koufax's decision not to  pitch the first game of the 1965 World Series because it was on Yom Kippur.