Friday, November 16, 2012

Report From Acting RIOC President Don Lewis - Roosevelt Island Hurricane Sandy Damage, Team Rubicon Hurricane Relief Efforts, Blackwell Park Cleanup, Cultural Center Flooding Renovation, RICC Cornell Meeeting, Tree Lighting & Happy Thanksgiving

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Acting President Don Lewis sends the following report to Roosevelt Island residents.
The State of New York, including the Roosevelt Island Community, has been through a rough stretch with Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath. Be that as it may, we still have much to be thankful for, including the fact that no one on the Island was injured as a result of the storm. With that in mind, I want to wish you and your families a Happy Thanksgiving from RIOC.

Hurricane Sandy Damage

Over the past three weeks, we have assessed damage to the Island caused by the storm. The lower locations on the Island experienced three to five feet of flooding and approximately 21 Island trees were lost. We are continuing to inspect the trees that withstood the storm to make sure that none are in danger of falling. As I mentioned in my last column, we are eligible for federal assistance from FEMA because we followed the agency’s emergency command procedures.

Team Rubicon Relief Efforts – Donations Needed

RIOC has partnered with Team Rubicon USA to help people in New York City who are suffering as a result of the storm. We are collecting donated canned goods, baby food, baby clothes, diapers, winter coats, batteries, toiletries, cleaning supplies, garbage bags, shovels and more. Team Rubicon USA is transporting the items to areas hardest hit by the storm, including Staten Island and the Rockaways. The Roosevelt Island community has responded with great generosity, and we have received an overwhelming amount of supplies. However, help is still needed and we are continuing to accept donations from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday at our 591 Main Street office. If you are unable to donate during those hours, please bring items to the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department at 550 Main Street anytime after 5:00 p.m. For more information and a complete list of items that are needed, please call 212-832-4540 ext 349.

Blackwell Park Cleanup

RIOC was pleased to team up with the Roosevelt Island Jewish Congregation, the Roosevelt Island Residents Association and the Main Street Theatre and Dance Alliance to clean up Blackwell Park on Sunday morning. About 20 volunteers – children and adults – bagged 80 bags of leaves and branches, and enjoyed the gorgeous fall weather. We appreciate everyone’s efforts.

Cultural Center Renovation

Last week RIOC met with representatives from the Main Street Theater Group and the Roosevelt Island Jewish Congregation to discuss the progress of the renovation of the Cultural Center. The renovation requires two distinct steps to return the Center to a usable condition. First, there is remediation, which encompasses the demolition and removal of all the damaged flooring, walls, ceilings, and the removal of molds from the affected areas, and establishes the extent of the renovation work. The second phase, will involve the renovation of the facility. We will continue to work with both groups to help them find alternative space on the Island while the work is ongoing.

Roosevelt Island Community Coalition

RIOC recently had a productive meeting with the Roosevelt Island Community Coalition (RICC) to discuss community items of interest and concern related to the Cornell-Technion campus. RIOC is also involved in discussions with Cornell concerning infrastructure and additional issues related to the project. We look forward to continued coordination between RICC and RIOC concerning the campus.

Tree Lighting

We invite you to join us for our annual Tree Lighting event on Friday, December 7th at 7:00 p.m. at Blackwell Plaza. The Main Street Theater and Dance Alliance and children from Roosevelt Island Youth Center will provide entertainment. We also expect Santa Claus to stop by and be available to take pictures. We encourage you to attend and celebrate the holiday season with the Roosevelt Island community.


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