Monday, April 8, 2013

Report From RIRA President Ellen Polivy - Roosevelt Island Cornell NYC Tech Update From RICC, Cherry Blossom Volunteers Sought, Earth Day Celebration, Public Safety March and Forum, Condolences & More

2/26 RIOC Operations Committee Meeting Discussion With RICC On Cornell NYC Tech Negotiations

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) President Ellen Polivy sends the following Report To The Community:

We were saddened to hear that Public Safety Officer Frensheria D. Michael died this week. The RIRA Public Safety committee issued the following statement: “On behalf of the Residents Association Common Council and all residents of Roosevelt Island, the RIRA Public Safety Committee extends its condolences to the family of Officer Michael and to the Public Safety Department who have lost a colleague and friend. Her untimely death is a tragedy not just for her family but for all of us. She represented the friendly professionalism and integration into the community that we want to have in our Public Safety Department. She will be missed.”

Officer Michael’s death is a sad and grim reminder to make each day a little kinder and our world a little happier; ever keeping in mind that each day counts. The month of April is jammed with events. RIRA members have been dedicating hours to causes that are important to community betterment.

Cherry Blossom Festival needs volunteers

Saturday April 13 from 10am to 7:45 pm., The Festival will take place on the Cherry tree lined promenade in front of Goldwater Hospital and into Four Freedoms Park where we will have our performances. Vendors from Japan Block Fair will sell their products. You will have opportunities to support your Roosevelt Island charities.

We need volunteers to staff the check-in table at 7:45am to 11am at the Tram. More volunteers are needed for shifts helping the musicians navigate with their instruments around the Island, with setting up and breaking down the children’s interactive tents and the calligraphy and origami tents. We will also need help at the Charities tables. To volunteer, email Lynne

Love your block, Love your Earth event needs volunteers

Saturday, April 20. Love Your Block, Love Your Earth will introduce young people and their parents to the joys and beauty of landscaping. They will revitalize the sterile Gristedes plaza into Gorgeous Gristedes plaza. Christina Delfico an award winning television producer, and grant winner for this event sent me this invitation:

“Join this family friendly event as we use flower power to beautify the area outside of Motorgate and celebrate Earth Day. Activities include planting colorful flowers, uncovering the Earth's treasure with an archaeological dig activity, creating sculpture from nature and an art project to celebrate our Earth and more. This will be a fun day outdoors rain or shine and a great way to show some love to our Island, our little patch of Earth.”

Activities for K to third grade begin at 10am.

Activities for for fourth through sixth grade begin at 2pm”

Registration is two ways: find the iDig2Learn table at the Cherry Blossom Festival on April 13, 2013 or
email directly.

Check in, day of will be on the ground floor of the Motorgate Gallery next to Gristedes beginning at 9:45 AM.

Public Safety invites participants to joint the march and attend the Forum

Sunday April 21, - The RIRA Public Safety Committee is planning a march and educational forum to inform the community about the progress they are making. Look for signs and posters.

The committee has reached out to and met with elected officials to present our concerns and to enlist their support.. RIOC is in the process of hiring an auditor to evaluate Public Safety Department. We are getting more details on individual incidents and formalizing our complaints to give to the auditor.

We have reached out to and met with elected officials for their support. The committee urges the community to think about the kind of public safety they would like to see on the Island. We will be reaching out in the near future to plan the elicit your thoughts on the kind of Public Safety that would enhance our lives rather than impede it.

Roosevelt Island Community Coalition - City Council hearing on Cornell NYCTech is on April 30 at 10 am at City Hall. For the last time, RICC will be testifying on the needs of the community. This is the last and most important step of the long haul that is a Uniform Land Use Review Process ( ULURP) process. City Council will determine what requirements are put into the final agreement with Cornell allowing them to build. It is also the most painful because it is the final sprint in a marathon of windsprints. Since last August, we had to run as fast as we could to organize the community, set up a not-for-profit corporation, and plan for each of 5 different all-out massive presentations of various types in front of different governing bodies present the community’s needs. We did this with a team of volunteers and community groups against Cornell, a giant who has large resources to hire the best experts and lobbyists. We volunteers have been keeping up. This is the final sprint. I have to admit that I am tired. We all are. But just like in a marathon, people, dredge up the energy for the final sprint, we need to do just that.

Community Board 8 - I have been reappointed to Community Board 8 for a second two year term. We have lost three Roosevelt Island long standing members on the CB8. Patrick Stewart and Deidre Breslin chose to retire this year and Sharon Pope retired last year. We therefore have lost three seats which are very hard to get back. Generally there is only one open seat each year. This disappointing news is what made me choose to remain on the Community Board for one more term despite my enormous volunteer commitment. There was no one else in the wings to take any of our places. I urge all islanders to consider stepping up to make a difference in the City. Young people are welcome and urged to participate. If you are thinking of a career in government or City Planning, the Community Board is an excellent introduction to City planning and politics. We make real decisions that change the landscape of the City. I will notify you when applications open again in the early winter. Meanwhile, anyone who is interested can join a committee by looking at the website and attending meetings that have interesting topics.

Easter Egg Hunt

The Easter Egg Hunt Committee produced a groundbreaking Easter Egg Hunt and fund raiser. Over 1000 children and parents participated at two age-separated sites. Attendance far exceeded our expectations. In the younger childrens event, we had more adults in the childrens’ area than children. It had become a full family event with parents and grandparents coming out to spend a special day with their children. This is likely to become a tradition.

Easter Egg Hunt Thank yous. A production the size and quality of the Easter Egg Hunt could not have been done without a huge number of person hours. Thanks Charlie Delfino and the Youth Center for all their help with this exciting youth event. A special shout-out goes to more than 50 volunteers for their hard work and combined thousands of hours needed to produce this event. Lynne Shinozaki, Lydia Tang, Eva Bosbach Nikki Leopold and Lynne’s assistant for the day Madison Rodriguez did a smashing job. Lynne wanted me to publicly thank the following people who made the event what it was: Our larger than life dynamic Easter Bunny, Dan Leinweber, The young adults, Janelle Hawkins, Esma Williams and the energetic young volunteers from Eleanor Roosevelt High School, Yun Woon, Jia Ying Mei, Carmen Tan, Angela Zheng, Kayla Tang. Two Middle School gentlemen Max Dorfmann, and Mark Shinozaki also spent the day helping. We had volunteers from the Roosevelt Island Youth Program and a huge group of community members who just showed up and helped. Many of the volunteers are a part of Eva Bosbach's Mothers network which also sold the most raffle tickets ; Nikki Leopold and Island Kids helped with expertise, people power and supplies. Our face painter Liyan Chen created hundreds of beautified happy bunny faces. Connie Tanner from RIVAA Gallery and her assistants Catherine Vithlani and Choe Mansour excelled at helping the children make gorgeous Easter bonnets. Between the bunny faces and the bonnets, the adorable children looked ecstatic. Early Moments Book Company heard of the event and donated 100 books. The under-three crowd who were too young to play with the plastic eggs was thrilled with their lavish illustrated gifts. Lt John Pappas and the Port Authority Canine unit did a show and demonstration and allowed petting of the dogs. For the older children’s event, the cotton candy was donated by the youth program and tee shirts for the older children were from Roosevelt Landing. Ben Kallos's Team stepped up to the plate that day when some volunteers didn't show up and did the registration for us. Starbucks provided the coffee and volunteers and Gristedes provided the food. We hope this exciting event will become an annual tradition.

Reach me for questions or suggestions at


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