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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

RIRA Island Services Committee Report On Roosevelt Island Garden Club, Boy Scouts, FDR Park, Tram Elevators/Gate, New Library And Blackwell Park Playground

Below is the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Island Services Committee (ISC) March 2014 Report to the RIRA Common Council.

The ISC didn’t meet in February.

Updates on active issues:

Management of the Garden Club – In a 2/26/14 meeting with the Garden Club (GB) to discuss proposed measures to increase the number of plots to meet the demands of RI residents, the GB indicated they were not interested in using some of the border areas for gardening. They claimed shade from near-by trees and tree roots would make these areas unsuitable for gardening. They also believe that very few people would be interested in border plots as they would be smaller than the standard plots. The GB also not interested in asking RIOC for more gardening land and in giving RI residents priority in awarding plots. The only action they are willing to take is to prune the waiting list and the membership rolls to remove uninterested people and members who are not using their plots as specified in the By-Laws.

Boy Scouts – Frank France is working with Geof Kerr and Fr. Kevin Malick (of the Catholic parish) to restart the Boy Scouts. He expects we may be able to get a troop going before this summer.

4 Freedoms/FDR Park - In an exchange of e-mails between Eva Bosbach and a Park official, we learned that FDR park has provided an eating area with tables and chairs for visitors to use and they will also operate a food stand during the summer. Transportation for disabled people will be provided from the subway station and the Tram to the Memorial site using golf carts. However, visitors will need to call ahead to get this service.

Tram Elevators – The new maintenance procedures seems to be working as there have been no elevator break downs in the last 4 -5 weeks. A RFP to replace the elevators is ready to be issued.

New Public Library – Demolishment of the first floor interior of 504 Main St. is completed. Installation of new windows is underway. Start-up of the new library is still scheduled for 2017.

Blackwell Park Playground – Signs and some new equipment are being installed in the children’s playground to make the space more suitable and safer for toddlers. Some of the old toddlers equipment will be installed this spring in a yet to be selected area.

Tram Gate At RI Station – We are continuing to work with RIOC to provided quick access to the Tram for baby strollers, the disabled and bikes. The problem still remains but we’re hopeful one of our proposed solutions will be implemented by RIOC in the near future.

Aaron Hamburger, Chair – RIRA’s ISC


YetAnotherRIer said...

I am not a fan of bringing bikes into public transportation, especially during peak hours. It's only a 2 1/2 mile ride across the bridges to get into Manhattan.

KTG said...

I agree with you.

APS said...

Unless the Boy Scouts changes its policy regarding gay leaders, they will not get my support and I hope not the support of RI public funds. They should just create a boys club, if they want to get together, but an affiliation with the Boy Scouts organization should be abolished.

YetAnotherRIer said...

Agreed. Especially with the Catholic Church actively involved in getting it restarted? No, freaking, thank you.

OldRossie said...

I dont have a position on who they allow as leaders, but its attitude like that that will result in having nothing on the island.

Michael Girard said...

I would rather have nothing than a group that has discriminatory practices. Equality for all is for the Boy Scouts as well.

OldRossie said...

Totally understandable. Do you think a 12 year old boy should not be able to participate because you don't like the way it's run? He doesn't understand what this is all about. Should he? is that the lesson he should be learning in lieu of teamwork, cooperation, etc...

OldRossie said...

Note: I'm not saying you're wrong, and I'm not siding either way. I just think a lot of good experiences are taken away from kids because people like to say "my way or not at all". If I did decide to agree with you, I just wouldn't send me kid to boy scouts. but I wouldn't say your kid shouldn't be allowed to go either.

YetAnotherRIer said...

No, but Farance and Co could make an effort to attract other organizations that do have discriminatory practices. There is Trail Life USA, for example, that still follows Christian ideals (if that's your thing) but doesn't discriminate against your sexual preference. Plenty more to research can be found here:

Frank Farance said...

YetAnotherRIer: Just to be clear, Fr. Malick might help provide space-storage-support (which were key necessary things that Geof Kerr worried about), i.e., it's just one organization helping another. I don't see any religious component/influence in the same way I saw no "Jewish" component of MSTDA when the RIJC and the MSTDA collaborated. The RI Beacon program (Charlie DeFino) might help, too. There will be some organizational meeting to get started (yet to be announced). If you'd like to help or volunteer, feel free to join. Maybe you'd want to be Scoutmaster. Thanks.

BTW, stop by and introduce yourself to Fr. Malick -- he's a good guy, he also a no-BS kinda guy, too.

Frank Farance said...

APS: The policy has shifted, at least they now allow all boys, regardless of sexual preference, to just be boy scouts. At least the boys will be able to congregate and participate in an organization with recognized accomplishments. I presume that a boy attaining Eagle Scout has a common recognition of achievement, even though some other boys clubs might have identical requirements. (Or said dumbly, I think the Branding makes a difference.)