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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Snowy, Foggy October Day On Roosevelt Island

Crazy weather today - who would have thought that Roosevelt Island would get snow before Halloween? Fortunately, the snow did not stop the Roosevelt Island Halloween Parade and there was a great turnout. Will have more on that later today.

Here's what it looked like walking from the Riverwalk Commons along the waterfront promenade to the Parade (Check out the Thriller Flashmob Dancers on Main Street near the end of the video),


You Tube Video Of Snowy October 29 On Roosevelt Island

and from Westview (I think)

Image From Tatiana Muzica

Roosevelt Landings,

Image From Ovidiu Opresco

a near accident at Main Street Roosevelt Island Bridge ramp intersection

Image From Trevre Andrews

and the Riverwalk Commons

Friday, October 28, 2011

Roosevelt Island Youth Program Boot Camp Prepares Local 8th Graders For Specialized New York City High School Admission Test - Good Luck With Test Tomorrow

Image of RIYP Students Test Preparation Boot Camp

 The Roosevelt Island Youth Program reports:
The Roosevelt Island Youth Program with College Math Professor and long-time resident volunteer Lydia Tang offered 8th graders a 6 week Boot Camp for their Specialized High School Admission Test taking place this weekend. The eight students who took advantage of this program were schooled four days each week, 2 hours twice a week in Math and 2 hours twice a week in English verbal skills, logical reasoning and reading comprehension by a licensed Board of Education teacher.

The boot camp was the result of a conversation between the Roosevelt Island Youth Programs Executive Director Charlie De Fino and Ms. Lydia Tang last June concerning how we could help our young people get into the "City's Elite High Schools". Ms. Tang offered her services as a volunteer Math Instructor and RIYP hired a English teacher and 6 weeks later Ms.Tang will escort these 8 Roosevelt Island students to the test Saturday October 29th, 2011.

Lets hope they do well. A more expanded version will be offered in January to both 6th and 7th graders to start preparing them for the test as well as working with students who want to study music and art.
Good Luck with the Test!!!!

Roosevelt Island Main Street Halloween Parade Saturday October 29 Starts At Noon In Front Of Blackwell House Rain Or Shine - Halloween Safety Day Today 5 PM At Public Library


The Roosevelt Island Main Street Halloween Parade takes place tomorrow, rain or shine, starting at noon in front of Blackwell House and will continue up to Capobianco Field. In addition to the creative costumes, there will be fun activities for all including free food, games and rides. There will also be a live performance by Shine and the Moonbeams.

In the event of rain, post parade activities will take place in PS/IS 217.

The Parade is always a fun time. Come on out in your costumes, take a walk down Main Street and you will have a good time.

Here's what the 2010 Roosevelt Island Halloween Parade looked like


You Tube Video of 2010 Roosevelt Island Halloween Parade

and more pictures from last year's parade here.

The Parade is sponsored by the Roosevelt Island Youth Program, NYC Development of Youth and Community Development, Urban American, RIOC, Island House, Rivercross, Westview and the Roosevelt Island Seniors Association.

Later today, Friday, October 28, the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department is conducting a Halloween Safety Day at the Public Library from 5 - 6 PM.

UPDATE 10/29 11:35 - Despite the weather today, the Halloween Festivities will still go on. The Parade may take place on the sidewalk and the rest of the action will take place inside PS/IS 217.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

More Restaurants Needed For Roosevelt Island's 14,000 Residents Says New Main Street Landlord Hudson Related - Indian, Mexican Asian, Maybe Even A White Cloth Restaurant - Standing Ovation For Trellis Diner At Retail Town Hall Meeting

Can Roosevelt Island support more restaurants than currently exist? We have the Riverwalk Bar & Grill (Sports Bar), Fuji East (Japanese), Nonno's Focacceria (Italian, and they have recently added a Mexican menu as well), Trellis Diner and China 1 Take Out. Starbucks, though not a restaurant almost counts as one in the context of Roosevelt Island options.

During the Roosevelt Island Main Street Retail Town Hall Meeting, a resident spoke in opposition to the notion of a "white table cloth restaurant" being opened on Roosevelt Island. (Video of remark is here at the 43 minute 55 second mark of the third video in post).

In response, David Kramer of the Hudson/Related Main Street Retail Master Leaseholder partnership indicated that the new landord is open for business and it is up to the free market to determine if a white table cloth restaurant, Mexican, Indian or any other type of restaurant opens on Roosevelt Island. Mr. Kramer added that it is up to the free marketplace to decide, not him, whether any particular restaurant can pay the $35 -50 per square foot in rent that Hudson will be seeking for new Main Street retail tenants and that 14,000 people can support more than the existing restaurants.

Mr. Kramer also indicated he believes that Roosevelt Island Main Street rents have been too low which created an environment in which retailers did not have to be on their "A game" and that with market rents better retailers will be providing service to Roosevelt Island residents.

Here's Mr. Kramer's remarks on this issue.


You Tube Video of Roosevelt Island Restaurant Discussion

Video of the entire Main Street Retail Town Hall Meeting is here.

During the Town Hall Meeting, Trellis Diner owner Kaie Razaghi was given a standing ovation by many of those attending when he got up to speak including shouts of Go Trellis followed by more applause. His son Alex thanked the crowd for their support and said that he was proud to have grown up on Roosevelt Island, keeping their prices low and doors opened despite blackouts and other emergencies. Alex said that they would like to stay in the community and secure a new lease.


You Tube Video of Trellis Owner Addressing Retail Town Hall Meeting

Whatever you think of the Trellis Diner, it was a very touching moment. Roosevelt Island Residents Association President (RIRA) President Matt Katz added that if you are what you eat he is at least 2/3 Trellis parts.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Stanford Submits Plan For NYC Applied Sciences & Engineering School and Reveals Plans For Roosevelt Island Campus - Compare Competing Stanford and Cornell Visions

On Tuesday, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin announced their support for Stanford University's proposed NYC Applied Sciences & Engineering School. Today, Stanford released this image of their proposed Roosevelt Island campus (Enlarged Picture Here)

Proposed Roosevelt Island Campus From Stanford University/Ennead Architects, image by Redsquare, Inc.

and released the following statement:
Stanford University today submitted its proposal to partner with New York City to build StanfordNYC, a world-class applied sciences and engineering campus that is expected to serve as an economic catalyst for new companies and jobs, and to become a new hub of technological innovation and entrepreneurship in the United States.

Stanford's response to the New York City Economic Development Corp.'s request for proposals calls for the 30-year development of a $2.5 billion, 1.9-million-square-foot campus on Roosevelt Island focusing on graduate-level teaching and research in engineering, technology and entrepreneurship, with an emphasis on transferring discoveries to the marketplace.

"StanfordNYC will bring Stanford's unparalleled track record in research, innovation and entrepreneurship to New York City, the world's capital of finance, arts and culture," Stanford President John Hennessy wrote in the submission letter to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. "StanfordNYC has the potential to help catapult New York City into a leadership position in technology, to enhance its entrepreneurial endeavors and outcomes, diversify its economic base, enhance its talent pool and help our nation maintain its global lead in science and technology."

The campus is expected to house more than 200 faculty members and more than 2,000 students when it is completed. The StanfordNYC academic program is designed to replicate the innovation-inspiring, job-creating, entrepreneurial culture that has been the hallmark of Stanford's foundational relationship with Silicon Valley and has spawned thousands of companies including Google, Cisco, Sun Microsystems and Hewlett-Packard.

Stanford is committing an initial $200 million toward StanfordNYC that will include a combination of startup costs and an initial endowment to support research on the campus. If Stanford is selected by New York City, the university will launch a $1.5 billion, 10-year fundraising campaign to finance the new campus and build the endowment.

An accelerated launch of the campus is planned for 2012 in partnership with City College of New York, where Stanford would locate its academic program while the new campus is built. In addition, joint programs will be developed by CCNY and Stanford in undergraduate entrepreneurship education and to allow undergraduate students at CCNY to pursue graduate degrees at StanfordNYC. Stanford is also anticipating additional partnerships with New York-area institutions and outreach to local K-12 schools as part of a robust community engagement program.

A faculty committee has designed an academic program for StanfordNYC that draws from Stanford's top-ranked programs in engineering, computer science, entrepreneurship, graduate business and technology management. An initial emphasis will be placed on research and education related to New York's dominant industries of finance and media. Stanford's School of Engineering and Graduate School of Business, as well as its Hasso Plattner Institute of Design and Stanford Technology Ventures Program, will be located at StanfordNYC and be seamlessly integrated with the California campus through the use of tele-presence technology and online education.

"We can create a community of scholars in an entirely new environment, generating the next wave of ideas and breakthroughs," said Jim Plummer, dean of Stanford's School of Engineering. "Innovation happens when you are challenged by new problems and look at solutions from new perspectives. Our faculty is very excited about the possibilities of New York City."

StanfordNYC is designed to replicate Stanford's history of translating ideas and research discoveries directly into economic activity. If StanfordNYC compiles a track record of startups equal to even 50 percent of Stanford's historical record in Silicon Valley, over 100,000 new jobs could be created in the first 20 to 30 years of the new campus. Silicon Valley venture capitalists have indicated that they would follow Stanford to New York City.

"It is no accident – U.S. venture capital plus Stanford tech/business entrepreneurship has helped transform the world economy," said John Doerr and Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, who sent a letter in support of the StanfordNYC proposal. "If NYC selects Stanford as its partner for the next great tech/business innovation center, it should help turbocharge an already growing center of innovation which is helping extend our country's leadership in technology."

StanfordNYC would occupy an iconic, state-of-the-art, environmentally sustainable campus on 10 acres on Roosevelt Island, expected to open in 2016. Of four possible locations put forth by the city, Stanford has selected Roosevelt Island, on the East River, for its proximity to Manhattan and Queens, easy public transportation access and its existing, diverse residential community. Space for teaching, research and faculty and student housing, as well as startup company incubator space, would be constructed and integrated into a natural, park-like setting with open space. Plans call for all buildings to achieve LEED Platinum status for energy efficiency, low carbon emissions and minimal use of water and other resources. More than 7,000 construction jobs are expected to be generated over the lifetime of the project.

The proposal is in response to Mayor Bloomberg's call in July for specific plans for an applied sciences facility in New York City. The city is putting forward up to $100 million to the successful institution as well as access to city-owned land. Stanford was one of 27 institutions that responded with an expression of interest last March, and has spent the past three months since the city issued the RFP developing its detailed plans. Stanford's 600-page submission includes detailed academic, financial, design and legal documents. The proposal was approved by the Stanford University Board of Trustees in early October.

After the proposals are submitted to the New York City Economic Development Corp. on Friday, the city has requested a quiet period for review and evaluation. Stanford administrators expect to travel to New York City after Thanksgiving to discuss their proposals with city officials. The city has announced that it expects to make a decision by the end of the year.
Here's a view from Manhattan of the proposed Stanford Roosevelt Island campus at night. (Enlarged Picture Here)

Proposed Roosevelt Island Campus From Stanford University/Ennead Architects, image by Redsquare, Inc.

Below is a rendering of Cornell's proposed Roosevelt Island NYC Applied Sciences & Engineering School campus


and more images of Cornell's renderings at Curbed.

Additional information on NYC Applied Science & Engineering School from previous posts and Cornell's energy sustainability plan for Roosevelt Island campus here. 

UPDATE 11/4 - October 31 Press Release from NYC.gov:
City Received 7 Responses from 17 of World’s Top Institutions, Will Announce Selection in January

Selection Will Be Based On Proposal That Will Generate the Greatest Benefit to the City for Lowest Commitment of City Resources 
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced that the City has received seven qualifying responses to Applied Sciences NYC, the City’s groundbreaking initiative to build or expand a state-of-the-art engineering and applied sciences campus in New York City. Seventeen world-class institutions from around the globe, in some cases together with technology industry leaders, responded to the Request for Proposals, which seeks a university, institution or consortium to develop and operate a new or expanded campus in the City in exchange for access to City-owned land and up to $100 million in City capital. The proposals will be evaluated by the City as well as an Advisory Committee over the course of the next several weeks, with selection expected in January. After selection and a period of negotiation, the project could break ground as early as next year. Mayor Bloomberg made the announcement at the headquarters of NextJump, a New York City-based company that develops technology for corporate loyalty and rewards program and has about 120 employees, the majority of whom are engineers, and was joined by Deputy Mayor Robert K. Steel, New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky and NextJump CEO Charlie Kim....

...  The responses to the Applied Science NYC Request for Proposals were from the following institutions and for the following sites:
  • Amity University (Governor’s Island)
  • Carnegie Mellon University/Steiner Studios (Brooklyn Navy Yard)
  • Columbia University (Manhattanville)
  • Cornell University/Technion-Israel Institute of Technology (Roosevelt Island)
  • New York University/University of Toronto/University of Warwick (UK)/The Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay/City University of New York and Carnegie Mellon (Downtown Brooklyn)
  • New York Genome Center/Mount Sinai School of Medicine/Rockefeller University/SUNY Stony Brook (Midtown Manhattan)
  • Stanford University/City College of New York (Roosevelt Island)...

NYPD Performing Roosevelt Island Tram Drill Today Until 2 PM - Nothing To Be Alarmed About And Tram Service Not Interrupted

Image Of NYPD Tram Rescue Drill From Earlier Post

Received this advisory from Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
Please be advised the NYPD will be practicing on one Tram cabin on Wednesday, October 26th, from the hours of 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Please note regular Tram service will not be interrupted during this time frame.
Riverwalk Bar & Grill owner Jonathan Hoo calms any fears of people seeing NYPD vehicles near the Tram by tweeting:
Just some Emergency services training on Roosevelt Island again today. Nothing to be alarmed about, islanders.
Image From Jonathan Hoo via twitpic

More on Roosevelt Island Tram rescue drills from previous posts.

Each Passing Day Appears More Likely That The Next Google May Be Developed On Roosevelt Island - Larry Page and Sergey Brin Support Stanford's Bid To Build NYC Applied Sciences & Engineering School

Image Of Google's Sergey Brin & Larry Page From Red Herring

Way back in February of 2011, I asked almost in disbelief:
Will Roosevelt Island follow in the footsteps of San Francisco's Bay area Silicon Valley to become New York City's Silicon Island? How about the next Sergey Brin and Larry Page starting the new Google from right here on Roosevelt Island? Is that possible? Well, hold on to your hats because it may very well happen sometime in the not too distant future....
Each passing day it appears more likely that Roosevelt Island will be home to the proposed New York City Applied Sciences & Engineering School and that Stanford and Cornell Universities are the two top contenders to be selected by NY City to build the school. Earlier this week, Cornell unveiled plans for a state of the art sustainable energy campus. Yesterday, Stanford brought out their Ultimate Weapon - Google Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin lending their support for Stanford's bid to build the NYC Applied Sciences & Engineering School. In the video below, Mr. Page and Mr. Brin explain Stanford's unique culture of innovation and entrepreneurship that created so many great businesses and jobs. Stanford Daily reports:
... The video, titled “Stanford’s Tradition of Innovation,” lasts three and a half minutes, and does not mention the NYC campus until the last 30 seconds. During the rest of video, Page and Brin discuss starting Google at Stanford and the University’s reputation for being a launching ground for major technology companies.

“I think Stanford is a really unique place,” Page said in the video. “Looking at Hewlett-Packard, Sun-Microsystems, Cisco, Yahoo, Excite, it’s really bred an enormous number of very important companies in the technology world. And I don’t think it’s an accident. I think there’s a culture of entrepreneurship at Stanford on a scale I haven’t seen elsewhere.”

Brin then said while he “love[s] New York,” he feels “one of the things that it is missing is this top-notch university-industry symbiosis.”

“I don’t think I’ve seen this same kind of scale in research and commercialization, pretty much anywhere outside of Stanford,” he continued....

Google Founders on Stanford's Culture of Entrepreneurship via Stanford NYC

According to the Press Release announcing NYC plan seeking an Applied Sciences & Engineering School:
... “Adding a new, world-class applied sciences facility to New York City’s already impressive science and technology community is critical to staying globally competitive,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President Pinsky. “Such a facility would not only enrich our research capabilities, but it would also lead to commercialization, expanding our City’s dynamic economy. Investing in innovation is the key to keeping our economy robust, diverse and growing, and this initiative is a strong demonstration of the City’s commitment to making these kinds of investments.”...
No academic institution knows how to commercialize research projects better than Stanford. Ask Google.

Hope to see you here on Roosevelt Island soon Larry and Sergey!!!!!!!

More on the proposed Roosevelt Island NYC Applied Sciences & Engineering School from earlier post.

UPDATE 11 PM - Images of Stanford's proposed Roosevelt Island NYC Applied Sciences & Engineering School Campus here.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

No Late Night/Early Morning Queens Bound Service From Manhattan To Roosevelt Island Tuesday - Friday Or Next Two Weekends

Image of Blurred, Moving F Train From Venus in Furs

Received the following advisory from the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
Please be advised that there will be no Queens bound F trains departing from the Roosevelt Island station from Tuesday, October, 25th to Friday, October 28 12:01 AM to 5 AM

There will be no Queens bound F train service on the following weekends:

Saturday, October 29th- Monday, October 31st &

Saturday, November 5th- Monday, November 7th
From 12:01 AM Saturday to 5 AM Monday

Please allow for additional travel time.
Additional information available from the MTA.
F Jamaica-bound trains are rerouted via the M from 47-50 Sts to Queens Plaza
Nights, 12:01 AM to 5 AM, Tue to Fri, Oct 25 - 28 

Suction Cup Travelling Pillow Idea Submitted To Quirky By Roosevelt Island's Riverwalk Bar & Grill Owner - A New Infomercial Star Is Born?

Entrepreneurs never stop having ideas and are always on the prowl for the next great product or solution to a problem. Jonathan Hoo is an entrepreneur and owner of Roosevelt Island's Riverwalk Bar & Grill. He has an idea to help travelers on a plane, train or bus fall asleep more easily and submitted the idea to Quirky. Mr. Hoo explains his product:

... The Suction Pillow sticks to the wall of a plane, the window of a bus or car and doesn't fall on the floor or slip out from under your head. The problem with pillows on planes these days is that they don't stay stationary. They slip out from your head, typically into the seat behind you or onto the floor. The suction pillow, on the other hand, like faithful dog, will always be there for you...

You Tube Video of Jonathan Hoo on Quirky

Here's more on Quirky.


You Tube Video Explaining Quirky

Keep those ideas flowing Mr. Hoo.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) President Critical of Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Failing To Provide Promised Assistance For Main Street Retail Town Hall Meeting

The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) did a great job organizing the October 20 Main Street Retail Town Hall Meeting. Here's a video of the Town Hall Meeting.

However, RIRA President Matt Katz was critical of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) for failing to provide the assistance they promised for the event.

Below is a message Mr. Katz sent to RIOC President Leslie Torres and other RIOC Staff explaining why.

I am very disappointed that the arrangements we discussed and agreed upon (see below) were not accomplished.  Erica, I’ve tried to contact you all day today, by phone, email and in person, but without success, to confirm these arrangements.  Finally, at 5:00 p.m., I asked Public Safety to let me into Good Shepherd to check on the set-up.  Nothing had been set up.  We carried out our meeting with microphones provided by Island organizations and with two hours notice.  We moved our own furniture, which is usually no problem, but is when I am recuperating from abdominal surgery.

Erica, had you told us that you would not provide the meeting props we required, we would have made our own arrangements, but with two weeks notice instead of two hours.  You are Community Liaison; I am the elected representative of the community.  I expect to have my phone calls returned, especially as I don’t abuse the privilege.  I don’t’ expect my wife, who is an officer of RIRA, to be told she doesn’t have an appointment when she drops in at 591 Main Street to ask if you have a spare moment on the day of an important event.

We had a standing room only crowd this evening, with well over 300 residents in attendance.  My comments to them about the lack of cooperation from RIOC were not the only barbs thrown your way this evening.  RIOC has been painted as incompetent, given the inability to maintain a commercial sector on Main Street.  This evening’s failure has not enhanced your reputation.

Matthew M. Katz

President, RIRA
The email referenced in Mr. Katz's message was a RIOC staff person agreeing to provide the necessary equipment for the Town Hall Meeting.

I asked RIOC to comment but have received no reply yet. Will update if RIOC chooses to reply.

Here's what Mr. Katz said at the Town Hall Meeting on this subject.


You Tube Video of Main Street Retail Town Hall Meeting

UPDATE 10/26 - Mr. Katz adds:
I wanted to follow up my email sent post-Town Meeting last Thursday. Today, I met with Leslie, Fernando and Erica to air my issues regarding the set-up for the meeting. We compared email communications, and it was clear that the cause of our difficulties was a series of miscommunications, incorrect assumptions and unclear language on the part of all the participants, including Hudson/Related, during the days leading up to the event. I believe we are on the same page now and that we can use our mistakes as a learning experience to prevent similar glitches in the future. We shall all strive to be more specific when discussing the elements, including tech support, of future programs. RIRA and RIOC have been producing excellent programs together (the 9/11 Memorial being the most recent) for many years now, and we agreed that it is essential that our efficient working relationship be maintained. Regards,

Matthew Katz

President, RIRA
Mr. Katz met with RIOC staff yesterday.

Cornell and Stanford Reveal Energy Sustainability Plans For Proposed NYC Applied Sciences & Engineering School Roosevelt Island Campus - Rendering Of Proposed Cornell Campus Too, But Where Is The Open Public Space?

According to this October 24 NY Times article:

If Cornell University were to win the city’s competition to build a new science graduate school, it would install on Roosevelt Island almost four acres of solar panels, 500 geothermal wells, and buildings with the rare distinction of generating as much power as they use

Stanford University’s proposal for the island calls for minimizing energy use, creating a marsh to filter water, and recycling water from storm runoff and sinks, and possibly from toilets as well....

... Both plans would also provide ample open space to the public and gardens for cultivation....
Below is an artist's rendering of proposed Cornell Roosevelt Island campus.


Click here for the entire NY Times article. Based upon this rendering of the Cornell proposal, it is difficult to see where the "ample open space to the public" would be located.

Stanford's President John Hennessey discussed some of his University's plans for a sustainable and environmentally friendly Roosevelt Island campus in this interview (video of sustainability remarks at 6 minute 10 second mark) I conducted with him last week. More information on the proposed NYC Applied Sciences & Engineering School available at these previous posts.

UPDATE 6 PM - Curbed has more renderings of Cornell's proposed Roosevelt Island campus via Skidmore, Owings, Merrill architecture firm.

New Roosevelt Island NYPD Community Officer Meets And Greets Residents At Farmers Market This Past Weekend

Image of Roosevelt Island's NYPD Officer Sitaris At Farmers Market

Reported previously that a new NYPD officer has been assigned to Roosevelt Island:
Dino Sitaras, an NYPD officer from the 114th Pct. met with the RIRA Public Safety Committee last night to introduce himself. A native of western Queens, he is very familiar with Roosevelt Island and is looking forward to his shift here, and especially to working with Island kids....
I met Officer Sitaris this past weekend at the Roosevelt Island Farmers Market. Officer Sitaris spent several hours meeting, greeting and talking with Roosevelt Island residents. I found him to be very approachable, friendly and a good listener. During my conversation with him, he expressed a strong desire to work with the Roosevelt Island community and praised the work of the Public Safety Department.

Welcome Officer Sitaris!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Report From RIOC President Leslie Torres - Roosevelt Island Fall For Arts Festival, Halloween Parade/Safety Event, Dancing At Sportspark and Cornell Horticulture Training Program


You Tube Video Of 2010 Roosevelt Island Halloween Parade

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Lesie Torres sends the following report to Roosevelt Island residents.
From festivals to parades to plantings, fall is always a busy time on the Island. Here’s the latest fall news:

6th Annual Fall for Arts Festival

I was really happy to see so many residents and their families come out for the Fall for Arts Festival this past Saturday. Though it was windy, the weather cooperated for the most part.

Everyone got a chance to enjoy the wonderful outdoor activities including interactive arts, crafts and free dance classes for adults, while children enjoyed storytelling and music by Louie.

And two of our elected officials, Jessica Lappin and José Serrano, stopped by to enjoy the festivities. It was great to see so many friends and neighbors at the Festival and look forward to seeing you all again on Halloween weekend.

Halloween Safety Event

Speaking of Halloween, while you and your families take care of the fun stuff – costumes, candy, parties, and tick-or-treating – we’re making sure you stay safe.

Our Public Safety Department will host its 4th Annual Halloween Safety Day at the Roosevelt Island Public Library on Friday, October 28th from 5:00pm-6:00pm. The event is co-sponsored by Safe Kids NYC, a coalition of public and private organizations working together to prevent injuries to children. Representatives from both agencies will provide important safety tips and goodie bags will be distributed to the children. We hope you can join us.

Dancing at Sportspark

We are excited to begin offering Argentine Tango classes at Sportspark beginning on Thursday, November 3rd from 6:30pm to 7:30pm. The classes are $3 per class and are taught each week by Leonardo and Olga Suarez Paz – visit their website for more info about them - www.suarezpazdance.com.

Residents who are interested in signing up for classes can call 917-767-6714 or email info@suarezpazdance.com.

This class is part of our ongoing effort to expand programming at Sportspark. Other classes are available, as is open swim at our new pool. Individuals and families can also apply for pool memberships. For more information, visit http://www.rioc.com/Sportspark.htm

Horticulture Training Program

Fall is also a time for planting, and this season our grounds and maintenance staff worked with the Cornell University Cooperative Extension-NYC Urban Environment Program to complete their second year of landscape horticultural training. The workshops included lessons on botany, plant and weed identification, soil and plant nutrition, turf management, and tree and shrub planting and pruning techniques.

Several members of our staff told me how much they enjoyed the training, and they’re looking forward to another season of Island beautification and maintenance. Thanks from all of us at RIOC for their hard work and dedication.

Open House NY

Last weekend, visitors and Island residents had a chance to visit the AVAC System on Roosevelt Island through Open House New York, which engages the public in the built environment by offering free access to hundreds of sites that exemplify New York City's diverse architectural, design, engineering and cultural heritage.

More than 100 people showed up Saturday for a tour that included a system overview, along with stops in the control room, silo separators and turbines.

Roosevelt Island’s AVAC System is one of the only such systems in the country and it helps keep our Island green by keeping residential garbage trucks off our roads. It’s just one of the ways we at RIOC help protect our environment.

For those of you who missed it, Jerry Sorgente, Chief Engineer of AVAC, recently gave a tour to WNYC, which you can read about here (link)- http://culture.wnyc.org/articles/features/2011/oct/ 13/open-house-weekend-features-garbage-collection-vacuum-roosevelt-island/.

Upcoming Events
We have several events coming up:
• Halloween Day Parade, Saturday, October 29th, 12pm Main Street
• Tree Lighting Thursday, December 1st at 7pm Blackwell Plaza
Click here for scenes from Roosevelt Island 2011 Fall For Arts Festival referenced by Ms. Torres and Roosevelt Island Halloween Parades from past years.