Monday, September 29, 2014

Report From RIRA President Jeff Escobar - NYC Council Participatory Budgeting Roosevelt Island Town Hall Meeting, Upcoming RIRA Elections, Daffodil Project Planting And Fall For Arts Festival

 Image of RIRA President Jeff Escobar From CB 8 Speaks Video

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) President Jeff Escobar sends the following Report To The Community:
On Saturday, October 11, our little Island will again mark the seasonal passing from summer to fall with the annual Fall for the Arts Festival. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., artists of all ages, children to adults, are invited to come together at Southpoint Park and on the lawn south of 531 Main Street to help in the outdoor painting of enormous 6-by-8-foot murals, to participate in interactive art and music workshops, and to watch performance art – all intended to reflect this year’s theme of “A Multicultural Renaissance,” celebrating the cultural, ethnic, racial, and economic diversity of our community while evoking the magic and artistic sensibilities of an age long gone. It's truly gratifying to see neighbors, family, and friends come together, put aside any differences, and roll up their sleeves, pick up a paint brush, engage in friendly chatter, and, even if only briefly, allow their artistic selves to come out. Whether you want to participate, volunteer, or just observe, I strongly encourage you and your family to come and enjoy the festivities sometime during that day.

If art is not your thing but planting is, come help iDig2Learn, in collaboration with the RI Garden Club, RI Youth Program, Gristedes, PS/IS 217, its PTA, and the RI Girl Scouts, from 10:45 a.m. to 12 noon on that same Saturday, October 11, to plant Roosevelt Island’s share of nearly five million daffodil bulbs donated by New Yorkers 4 Parks to the City of New York. Established in 2001 as a living memorial to September 11, The Daffodil Project has grown in the past 13 years to be the largest citywide planting, involving more than 100,000 school kids, parks and gardening groups, civic organizations, corporate volunteers, and other New Yorkers. Now, as one of the kickoff events for our Fall for the Arts Festival, the inaugural Daffodil Project on Roosevelt Island, as hosted by iDig2Learn, will "paint with nature" through the completion of its share of the massive daffodil-bulb planting at the flower bed near Gristedes and the Motorgate Red Bus turnaround.

The planting will be a great family-friendly event and an opportunity to engage in some community pride and beautification, bringing together both new and old Island groups, as we plant bulbs this fall to greet our community next spring with cheerful daffodils and to remember loved ones lost in the September 11 tragedy. Free pre-registration for children, families, and the community begins at 10:45 a.m. at the Motorgate Red Bus turnaround near Gristedes. If you are interested in volunteering for the event, or wish to learn more about either iDig2learn or The Daffodil Project on Roosevelt Island, please reach out to Christina Delfico at To learn more about the citywide Daffodil Project, go to New Yorkers 4 Parks at and/or The Daffodil Project at

In 2011, four New York City Council Members launched a process to let residents of New York City have a chance to advocate for how portions of the City's capital discretionary funds would be allocated and used throughout the City's various communities. This year, twenty-three Council Members, including Council Member Ben Kallos who represents the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island, have been given the opportunity to participate in the process, giving this district an opportunity to advocate for a share of the $25 million in City capital discretionary funds. To facilitate this process, on October 7th, from 6pm to 9pm at the Senior Center located at 545 Main Street, Council Member Kallos will be having a town hall meeting with Roosevelt Island residents to allow our community to come together to brainstorm, discuss, and supply ideas of how this year's capital discretionary funds should/could be allocated in the City's various communities. If you’re passionate about green spaces, Senior Citizen services, etc. this is the place to start, and I encourage all Roosevelt Islanders to attend this event. For more information regarding the NY City Council Participatory Budgeting, point your browser to:

Lastly, nominations for a position on the RIRA Common Council and/or as an Executive Officer will open on Wednesday, October 1, and close on October 24 at 9 p.m. Nomination forms can be obtained by email from Nominations Committee Chair Aaron Hamburger (, or in hard copy at either our Public Library or at Public Safety (where there will also be a lock box to drop off your completed forms). As we have been saying in this column, running for an office to represent either your building or RIRA itself is the ultimate form of community service. If you are interested in running and/or have any questions or concerns, please reach out to Aaron at or 212-758-2623. And come to our October 1 Common Council meeting at 8:00 p.m. at the Good Shepherd Center to see the body in action.
UPDATE 2:45 PM - RIRA Common Council Candidate Nomination Election Flyer.


APS said...

Yay! Finally. Suggestions?... please keep the store clean and looking nice. Also have a diverse assortment of price points and quality. By the end, the old store stopped carrying any top shelf and the wine selection was horrible. Couldn't get a nice bottle of anything.

Mickgirl said...

I will believe it when I see it. Sho-me

"Us and Them" said...

Let's see what the prices will be. They already take advantage of not having any competition with their Wholesome factory store. Their introductory prices were great but they are now changed. It as glad to not have to carry an organic milk carton form trader joes which I buy for 3.49 $ and bought it from their store for the same price. A little while later the milk in their store is over 6$. I've bought apples from them for 2$ per apple at times to come home and find they are totally brown inside. Now by opening a wine store they make sure all money goes into their pocket. I am really disappointed they are the owners of the wine shop. Monopolizing is never a good thing. This being said, I wonder why it's taken so long for the wine shop to open and also wonder why no other "business man" has been willing to open a wine shop For these many years.

CheshireKitty said...

It was predicted long ago that this is what would happen with the advent of H-R's pricing structure - extremely expensive prices on Main St to satisfy H-R's excessive rent. You can thank your representatives on the RIOC Board for allowing the economic rape of Main St by selling the Master Lease contract to H-R.

Westviewer said...

I wouldn't mind so much if I felt that the owners had any expertise in either food or wine or hired managers who did. I don't mind paying for quality, but I do mind being exploited just because I live on an island. What these folks (and Gristede's) don't seem to realize is that if the prices were normal or competitive, more people would shop there other than in an emergency and they would actually make more money with higher volume.

YetAnotherRIer said...

The inside of the store looks really nice and spacious. Here is some hoping that we don't have to go off-island to get our booze. But then, the liquor store on Costco's premises is hard to beat when it comes to prices and quality.