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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Report From RIOC President Charlene Indelicato - Roosevelt Island Tree Lighting Ceremony, New Advisory System, Congratulates New RIRA Common Council, Credit Card Parking Meters & RIOC Budget Capital Spending


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Charlene Indelicato sends the following report to the community.
I would like to give my wholehearted thanks to everyone who came out for the annual Roosevelt Island Halloween Parade & Extravaganza, residents and Island organizations alike. Thank you as well to our co-sponsors, Urban American and the Roosevelt Island Youth Program, and to our contributors: Cornell Tech, Island House, Westview, Rivercross, the Roosevelt Island Seniors Association and The Octagon. It was wonderful to see the creative costumes of so many children and adults from our community and to march in the parade down Main Street. We hope to see you all again next year!

Tree Lighting Ceremony

One of Roosevelt Island's most beloved events is the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at Blackwell Park. This year, the event will take place on Friday, December 5th at 7 p.m. in front of Blackwell House (500 Main Street). We hope you'll join us on the plaza, where the Island's menorah and tree will be lit, for food, musical performances by our talented community members, and a chance to take a photo with a very special holiday guest! If you would like to volunteer your time or otherwise be involved with this event, please contact Anna Rankin at anna.rankin@rioc.ny.gov. We’d love to hear from you.

New RIOC Advisories System

A new face and new features are coming to RIOC Advisories, Roosevelt Island's local community and emergency alert system. We are upgrading our current email-only service to the new and more fully-featured Everbridge system which offers the option to receive alerts by phone, email and text message. In addition, subscribers will be able to choose which type of notifications they'd like to receive, such as Traffic and Public Transit updates, in addition to emergency alerts. On Monday, November 17th, our new and improved system will go live. Until then, we encourage you to visit our new RIOC Advisories member portal to sign up and preview the new features. You can visit our website at rioc.ny.gov and click on the “RIOC Advisories” button to be taken to the signup and information pages.

Our legacy email system will be used until December 1st. All current subscribers will receive email reminders to sign up for the new system if they wish to continue receiving community alerts. We look forward to implementing this valuable service to the community and hope that you will tell us what you think - we welcome your feedback as we move forward with the new system.

Sportspark Classes & Programming

As the weather grows colder, we invite all residents to come to Sportspark’s indoor gymnasium and pool facilities (250 Main Street) to take advantage of the low-cost and free fitness classes RIOC currently offers. Swim classes available at the pool include a popular “Mommy & Me” water safety class, which teaches children aged six months to three years old basic swimming skills and introduces them to moving around in the water. Twice-weekly “Master Swim” classes focus on more advanced swimming skills, including a variety of strokes and techniques. The pool is also open for “Open Swim” twice a day, seven days a week. Zumba and Yoga classes, as well as ping pong play, are available throughout the week in the gymnasium. For more information on these classes or to see a calendar of what Sportspark offers, visit our website at rioc.recdesk.com or email Eddie Perez, Sportspark Supervisor, at Eddie.Perez@rioc.ny.gov.

Do you have an idea for a new class you’d like to see at Sportspark? Please drop us a line and let us know what kind of programming you’d be interested in seeing. We’re always looking for new ways to improve what we offer to the community, and your input as a resident is vital to that goal. Please email us at Information@rioc.ny.gov with any suggestions – we look forward to hearing from you.
Also, Ms. Indelicato reported to the November 6 RIOC Board of Directors meeting on new capital spending projects in proposed 2015-16 RIOC budget, installation of credit card accepting parking meters, congratulates new RIRA Common Council & more.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Good News - Roosevelt Island F Train Service To And From Manhattan This Weekend

According to the MTA Weekender, there will be Roosevelt Island F train service


to and from Manhattan this weekend.

Cornell Tech Roosevelt Island Community Update - December 8 Town Hall Meeting, New President Elizabeth Garrett Visits, Barging, Saving Trees, Goldwater Murals Restoration & More

New Cornell President Elizabeth Garrett With Cornell Tech's Dan Huttenlocher and Andrew Winters Visits Roosevelt Island Oct 13

With the departure of former Cornell Tech Vice President Cathy Dove to a new position as President of the Paul Smith's College, the Roosevelt Island Community Report Ms. Dove wrote will now be an update provided by Cornell Tech.
Updates from Cornell Tech

As many of you already know, Cornell Tech opened a community space at Gallery RIVAA at 527 Main Street in September. Jane Swanson, Assistant Director of Government and Community Relations at Cornell Tech, is on site every Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1-4 p.m. Cornell Tech plans to bring its vision and its interplay of technology and creativity to the wider community through the space, and to host programming from the larger Cornell University community. Cornell Tech encourages everyone to stop by Gallery RIVAA to learn about the campus and see the amazing works of art on view at the gallery.

Other recent and upcoming Cornell Tech news:

Community: Cornell Tech volunteers participated in last month’s “Fall for Arts” Festival and Halloween parade.

Updates from the Cornell Tech Community and Construction Task force meeting:
  • Cornell Tech has avoided 3,350 truck trips through our use of barging, and that number is growing every week.
  • Cornell Tech continued the community conversation about tree conservation, which Cornell Tech is committed to. Cornell Tech and its engineer presented some modified designs and walked the task force through each configuration as they relate to pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicular traffic. Cornell Tech will continue to keep the task force updated as we work together to strike a balance between tree conservation, safety and the need to provide robust infrastructure to support the site.
  • Cornell Tech showed images of the historic murals uncovered at Goldwater hospital that are currently being restored at two conservation studios. The murals will eventually be displayed on Cornell Tech’s campus.
  • Cornell Tech continues to work with PS/IS 217, including after school programs on computational literacy.
Town Hall: Join Cornell Tech for a town hall meeting on December 8, 6 p.m. at Manhattan Park Community Center, 8 River Road.

Updates from Cornell Tech’s temporary campus at Google:
  • More than 100 students are enrolled in three masters and PhD programs.
  • Four new faculty members have joined the campus.
  • The incoming new President of Cornell University, Elizabeth Garrett, has already visited Cornell Tech and Roosevelt Island. Ms. Garrett assumes the presidency on July 1, 2015. Cornell’s current President, David Skorton, will become the new Secretary of the Smithsonian Institute.
For more information, visit construction.tech.cornell.edu.

Roosevelt Island Steam Plant Closing This Month, Sportspark Facility Extends Temporary Heating And Sportspark Pool Water Temperatures May Need To Be Raised

Roberta Kleinman of the Roosevelt Island Sportspark Users Group is concerned that the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) is not serving the needs of most Sportspark Pool

 Image Of Sportspark Pool From RIOC

users in setting the water temperature for the Sportspark pool. Ms. Kleinman writes:
What is the primary mission of RIOC? Is it not to serve the needs of the Roosevelt Island community?

Accordingly, the recent lowering of the average water temperature from 83/84 to 81/82 does not serve the needs of the average Roosevelt Island user, and not outside groups. Over the past few years there has been a dramatic rise in the number of Roosevelt Island families, babies, children, young Marlins, seniors and casual swimmers at Sportspark pool.

In fairness to all, including the faster lap swimmer’s and older RI Marlins, for years the water temperature was kept at an average of 83/84 degrees. This seemed to service the average user, throwing out the extremes (such as a woman who requested 70 degrees,, which is below the Olympic average of 75-82 degrees). In order to serve the needs of the majority of the community, we have no choice but to disregard extremes on both the hot and cold ends.

Recently I asked RIOC to verify the numbers, supporting the sentiment of the community members that I have spoken with, and restore the average water temperature to 83/84 degrees. Thus far, they have not commented on what comprises the majority of Roosevelt Island Sportspark pool users. I ask you to please fulfill your mission, and serve the needs of the majority of Roosevelt Island Sportspark Pool users, and restore the average to 83/84 degrees.
According to the United States Water Fitness Association:
Suggested Swimming Pool Temperatures

This is a debatable subject! The suggested pool temperature is usually dependant on the person’s activity in the pool. Below are some ideas regarding water temperatures for various activities.


Special Note: Because of varying water temperatures, and for the safety of participants, classes should vary depending on the water temperature. High aerobic activity in high temperature water can be dangerous.

It’s important to remember that you can never keep everybody happy regarding water temperature. If a pool is used for just one of the above-mentioned programs, you do not have a problem. However, if your pool is used for a variety of aquatic programs, you have what we call a “multi-purpose” pool. The water temperature at the average indoor multi-purpose pool in the USA is 84 to 86 degrees.
The subject of heating the Sportspark Facility was on the Agenda at the November 5 RIOC Board Of Directors meeting. RIOC Director of Engineering Jim Mortimer reported to the Board that the NYC Health & Hospitals Corp (HHC) has advised that the Roosevelt Island Steam Plant
 
  Image Of Roosevelt Island Steam Plant

which supplies electricity to the Sportspark will shut down this month and RIOC wishes to extend the temporary boiler contract until the permanent new boiler is ready for installation (the Steam Plant used to provide electricity to Goldwater Hospital, now being demolished for Cornell Tech). According to this excerpt from RIOC memo:
HHC informed us sometime late 2013 that the steam plant providing heat to Sportspark was to close either late 2013 or early 2014. In order to ensure Sportspark's viability as a recreational facility, a permanent heating system was needed. The Engineering Department estimated that it would take approximately two years to bid out the design, have it approved by the Department of Buildings (DOB) and then bid out the construction of permanent heating system.

Having no assurance as to when the plant was to close, an RFP for a temporary system was issued and a contract was awarded to Boilermatic Welding Industries, Inc. for a 6 month period ending November 20, 2014, with a six month option to extend until May 2015.

Although the permanent system has been designed and is being reviewed by the DOB, it will take an additional 6 months for construction to be completed. Therefore, we are requesting that Boilermatic Welding Industries' contract for temporary heating be extended for an additional 6 months....
Click here for full RIOC memo including pricing information.

Here's Mr. Mortimer reporting to the RIOC Board at yesterday's meeting on Sportspark heating system.



No word yet from RIOC what they plan on doing with the Steam Plant

Image Inside The Steam Plant

though RIOC did issue a 2013 Request For Expressions Of Interest:
... to learn the types of reuse and redevelopment plans that are both economically feasible and beneficial to the Roosevelt Island community and to assess the interest of qualified developers...
No word on if, or, what types of interest for the Steam Plant was received by RIOC.

UPDATE 4:20 PM - According to RIOC:
Since our meeting with Ms. Kleiman, we have adjusted the Sportspark Pool temperature to remain at 83 degrees Farenheit. While the ideal temperature for swimming pools varies based on programming, this temperature is suitable for a wide range of activities and users (according to USA Swimming's guidelines for various aquatic activities). This temperature adjustment has been in effect for some time already and is frequently monitored for consistency.

Although no stable temperature will suit every user's needs perfectly, we will continue in our efforts to accommodate the widest range of swimmers and activities possible. As always, we appreciate the community's feedback regarding the pool and entire Sportspark facility.

For reference - here's a picture of the pool's digital readout. This is how our staff keeps an eye on the water temperature and make sure it stays where it needs to be.

Image Of Sportspark Pool Temperature Reader From RIOC

Awesome Aerial View From Airplane Of Roosevelt Island, Empire State Building, 1 World Trade Center And NYC Waterfront Skyline Seen From Plane

From the Twitterverse:

Here's previous posts showing aerial view of NYC skyline from a small plane



and from a 1924 Air Mail Service plane



flying over the southern tip of Roosevelt Island (then Blackwell's Island) before crossing East River over the rest of NYC on its way to California.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Roosevelt Island Parents' Network RI MoM Walking And Exercise Group Meeting 11 AM Friday At Tram Kiosk

The weather is starting to get a bit chilly but that's not stopping the Roosevelt Island Parents´ Networks initiative RI MoM (Roosevelt Island Moms on the Move)

 Image of Roosevelt Island Moms Walking and Exercise Group

 walk and exercising group meeting again this Friday 11AM at the Tram kiosk.

Roosevelt Island Parents' Network Coordinator Eva Bosbach reports:
Our next free Roosevelt Island Moms on the Move (RI MoM) walk and exercise will take place this Friday, November 7, starting at 11 AM at the Tram kiosk.

Pregnant moms and moms with children of all ages are welcome.

Usually we walk all the way to the south of the island on the Manhattan side and back. After that, we continue with some exercise, following our fitness coach and island mom of two Paulina :-). During the summer we were exercising on the grassy area above the Meditation steps, in front of Dr. Grimm's office. This Friday, unless it will be very warm, we will go to the 455 playroom or rooftop community room for the exercise part. Last time this indoor option worked out well as the kids were occupied and content, babies in strollers or on blankets. Feel free to contact me if you are joining later to find out where we are at.

See you on Friday!

Huge Spending Increases For Roosevelt Island Infrastructure Improvements To Seawall, Helix Bridge Ramp, Lighthouse Park, Blackwell House & Sportspark Included In RIOC's Proposed 2015 -16 Budget Among Items To Be Presented At Board Of Directors Meeting Today


The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board Of Directors meet today. Among the items on the Agenda is the presentation of the Proposed Budget for Fiscal Year 2015 -16 (Proposed Budget).

According to RIOC's Proposed Budget (Page 1)
Revenues

RIOC Proposed Budget FY 2015‐16 projects revenues of $25,365,000, an increase of $2,225,000 or 9.62% over the Approved Budget FY 2014‐15 amount of $23,140,000. RIOC generates most of its revenues from long‐term ground leases to developers of housing projects on the Island. These leases specify the manner in which the ground lease revenues are derived, including amounts, timing, and escalation of ground lease payments, specifically ground rents, residential fees and public safety fees. In addition, RIOC generates revenues from its Tramway transportation system, Motorgate parking garage, metered street parking, commercial leases, interest income, and additional revenues ("Other Revenues") comprised mostly of fees collected in connection with permitting for activities in the Sportspark sports facility, as well as field permitting and FEMA reimbursement.

There is an aggregate increase of $652,000 in ground rent primarily comprised of three components. First, there is a $400,000 ground rent payment (escalating 2% every 10 years) for the surrender of a 2.62 acre parcel of land to the City of New York (“City”) in connection with the Cornell Technion Applied Sciences Graduate School (“Cornell”). As part of this transaction, and in conformance with State budgetary procedure, RIOC projects to receive a 55‐year $1,000,000 annual payment (escalating 2.5% every 10 years) beginning in the 16‐17 FY with the net present value fully made by December 31, 2018. Secondly, RIOC projects that the construction of Southtown Building 7, which is currently in progress, will be completed in June 2015 resulting in additional ground rent of $241,000. Thirdly, there is an aggregate of $11,000 in ground rent escalations as specified in relevant ground leases.

Furthermore, RIOC expects to receive a lump‐sum net present value (“NPV”) of $10,080,000 for part of the future ground rents due from the completion of Southtown Building 7. This amount will be amortized over the term of the lease and the revenues recognized accordingly. Most of the projected increase of $291,000 in residential fees is due to the recognition of this revenue.

Tramway revenues are projected to increase by $840,000 due to increased activities on the Island primarily as a result of the Southtown 7 and Cornell developments; and increased visitorship to the Four Freedom State Park (“FFSP”).

Motorgate and metered parking revenues are projected to increase due to increase in parking rates. And commercial rents are projected to increase due to escalations in the terms of the commercial leases.

Most of the projected increase of $356,000 in Other Revenues is attributed to the projected increase of $325,000 in FEMA reimbursement for damages stemming from Hurricane Irene as well as increases in Sportspark and field permit fees.

Interest income is projected to decline due to a smaller corpus as a result of the substantial increase in expenditures for capital projects as discussed below in the section titled Capital Projects....
and Page 5 -6:
Capital Projects

The Proposed Budget FY 15‐16 projects capital improvements in the amount of $37,646,000, an increase of $18,673,000 over the Approved Budget FY 14‐15 amount of $18,973,000. The proposed amount primarily consists of capital projects in the projected amount of $32,970,000, but also includes the capitalized purchase of equipment and vehicles in the amount of $1,321,000, as well as capital reserve and contingency in the amount of $3,355,000. Categories of projects include sports fields and parks, historic and landmark structures, infrastructure improvements, facilities and offices, special projects, and the Tram.

For sports fields and parks, the Proposed Budget FY 15‐16 projects improvements in the amount of $2,117,000, an increase of $1,016,000 over the Approved Budget FY 14‐15 amount of $1,101,000. The increase is primarily for improvements to the parking lot, entrance, and landscaping of Lighthouse Park. These projects will significantly improve or increase public access to the sites.

For historic and landmark structures, the Proposed Budget FY 15‐16 projects improvements in the amount of $1,806,000, an increase of $1,596,000 over the Approved Budget FY 14‐15 amount of $210,000. The two projects in this category include rehabilitation of the Blackwell House at an estimated cost of $885,000 and the Roosevelt Island Lighthouse at a projected cost of $700,000.

For infrastructure improvements, the Proposed Budget FY 15‐16 projected amount is $22,147,000, an increase of $10,827,000 over the Approved Budget FY 14‐15 amount of $11,320,000. This significant increase is primarily due to the proposed improvement of the seawall at Southpoint Park ("SPP"). The capital plan as proposed includes a scheduled corresponding expenditure for seawall and railing work at SPP in FY 16‐17. The critical shoring of this infrastructure will stem further deterioration of the affected seawall sections and increase the longevity of RIOC's capital investments in the area. In addition, the capital plan includes improvements to the Roosevelt Island Helix Bridge Ramp at an estimated cost of $1,900,000 that are needed to withstand the burden of increased traffic the Island will experience as a direct result of ongoing and future development.

Facilities and office improvements in the projected amount of $7,283,000 are included in the the Proposed Budget FY 15‐16, an increase of $3,723,000 from the Approved Budget FY 14‐15 amount of $3,561,000. At an aggregate estimated cost of $5,840,000, the various projects to rehabilitate the 36‐year old Sportspark facility comprise the majority of the proposed increase. The capital plan as proposed includes a corresponding expenditure of $4,145,000 in FY 16‐17. The extent of the proposed rehabilitative work is significant, including but not limited to complete replacement of the upper and lower roofs, as well as the skylights. Moreover, it will stem further deterioration to the facility, including masonry units that will worsen if not addressed.

For equipment and vehicles, the Proposed Budget FY 15‐16 projects expenditures of $1,321,000 an increase of $892,000 from the Approved Budget FY 14‐15 amount of $429,000. The primary reason for the proposed increase is the purchase of a replacement hybrid bus for RIOC's Red Bus service. Over the next six fiscal years, the proposed capital plan includes a purchase of one additional bus each year at a 5% inflation rate. As noted above under OTPS, fleet maintenance costs for those vehicles currently in service are rising. Purchase of new buses will decrease costs associated with maintaining a state of good repair and offer better fuel economy.

For special projects, the Proposed Budget FY 15‐16 projects expenditures of $355,000, an increase of $302,000 over the Approved Budget FY 14‐15 amount of $53,000. The increase is primarily due to the proposed improvements to the ongoing wireless security camera system installation, including purchase and installation of cameras for areas currently without coverage and system maintenance. The proposed improvements will supplement the security provided by the RIOC Public Safety Department.

For the Tram, the Proposed Budget FY 15‐16 projects expenditures of $1,775,000, an increase of $275,000 over the Approved Budget FY 14‐15 amount of $1,500,000. The proposed increase is for the installation of an additional ADA‐compliant elevator and replacement of the roof of the Manhattan Station. The proposed improvement will reduce downtime and ensures continuous access for the handicapped.
Click here for the full RIOC Proposed Budget.

Here's the Agenda for RIOC Board meeting today.
AGENDA

NOVEMBER 6, 2014 MEETING OF

THE ROOSEVELT ISLAND OPERATING CORPORATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS

THE MANHATTAN PARK COMMUNITY CENTER,

8 RIVER ROAD, ROOSEVELT ISLAND, NEW YORK

5:30 P.M.[1]

I. Call to Order

II. Roll Call

III. Approval of Minutes

1. September 11, 2014 Board Meeting (Board Action Required)

IV. Old Business

V. New Business

1. Presentation of the Proposed Budget FY 2015-2016

2. Approval of Procedures for Implementing Reasonable Accommodation for: (1) Applicants and Employees with Disabilities; (2) Religious Observance or Practices for Applicants and Employees; and (3) Programs and Services for Individuals with Disabilities (Board Action Required)

3. Authorization to Amend Contract with Boilermatic Welding Industries, Inc. for Temporary Heating at Sportspark (Board Action Required)

4. Authorization to Amend Contract with Shawn Construction, Inc. for Roosevelt Island Cultural Center Renovation Project (Board Action Required)

5. Authorization to Create the Inspector General Report Review Advisory Committee (Board Action Required)

6. President’s Report

7. Committee Reports

a. Audit Committee

b. Governance Committee

c. Operations Advisory Committee

d. Real Estate Development Advisory Committee

8. Public Safety Report

VI. Adjournment

[1] The RIOC Board Meeting will commence following a public comment period. The public comment period is not part of the meeting.
A web cast of the RIOC Board meeting will be available soon thereafter.

Roosevelt Island's Coler Hospital Getting $181 Million For Hurricane Sandy Repairs And Future Protection From Storms As Part Of $1.6 Billion Commitment From FEMA For NYC Hospitals


As reported November 2, 2012:
Roosevelt Island's Coler Hospital was flooded by Hurricane Sandy and without power causing the evacuation

Image of Patients Evacuated From Coler Hospital  By Judy Berdy

of over a hundred fragile patients to Goldwater Hospital....
This excerpt from NYC Health & Hospitals Corp (HHC) video The River In The Basement shows what it was like at Roosevelt Island's Coler Hospital during the 2012 Hurricane Sandy.



Today, NYC Mayor Bill deBlasio and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced:
including $181 million for Roosevelt Island's Coler Hospital repairs and future protection. According to this Press Release from Roosevelt Island's Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney's office:
Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney today lauded an announcement that the City has secured a commitment of $181 million in funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to repair and protect Coler Specialty Hospital on Roosevelt Island, which was damaged during Hurricane Sandy. The funds will be used for the replacement of a generator that was destroyed, reimbursement for repairs already completed to the electrical system, and a flood wall that will protect critical parts of the campus to the 500-year flood level.

“These federal funds will help ensure that Coler Specialty Hospital can continue operating without interruption when the next big storm hits,” said Maloney. “The entire New York Congressional Delegation came together to fight for these funds, and wisely sought resources not just for repairs, but also for mitigation. Coler Specialty Hospital is an important facility and it sustained substantial damage and had to be evacuated during Hurricane Sandy. We are taking the necessary steps to be sure that doesn’t happen again.”

The funds were included in a $1.6 billion package to fund resiliency and mitigation projects that will protect four New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation facilities: Coney Island Hospital in Brooklyn, Bellevue Hospital Center in Manhattan, Metropolitan Hospital Center in Manhattan, and Coler Specialty Hospital on Roosevelt Island.
Roosevelt Island's NYC Council Member Ben Kallos adds:
Rebuilding and resiliency for HHC hospitals are essential investments for a City prepared to take on the next Sandy. Senator Schumer and Mayor de Blasio merit recognition for their leadership in securing FEMA federal funding and investing it in our public hospitals.
Here's excerpt from Mayor deBlasio's Press Release announcing the FEMA/HHC funding.
Today, Mayor Bill de Blasio and U.S. Senator Charles Schumer announced that the City has secured a commitment of at least $1.6 billion in funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to repair and protect the City’s public hospitals damaged during Hurricane Sandy.

The allocation—the second largest FEMA award ever and the largest award under FEMA’s 428 program—will advance the City’s comprehensive, five-borough resiliency plan and fund improvements at four New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) facilities: Coney Island Hospital in Brooklyn, Bellevue Hospital Center in Manhattan, Metropolitan Hospital Center in Manhattan, and Coler Specialty Hospital on Roosevelt Island.

The at least $1.6 billion package will include reimbursement for repairs to HHC facilities for damage incurred during Hurricane Sandy, and funds for mitigation projects that will protect the hospitals from the impact of future extreme weather. It is in addition to the $142 million HHC already received from FEMA for emergency stabilization measures, partial repairs, and temporary flood barriers.

“Few services are as critical as our hospitals during extreme weather. This unprecedented investment will make four key public hospitals much more resilient next time they need to be,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Thanks to FEMA’s $1.6 billion commitment, we’re taking a major step forward in advancing our comprehensive resiliency plan and ensuring that doctors, nurses, and health care workers will be able to do what they do best—serve their patients. We’re grateful for Senator Schumer’s continued partnership in securing these—and so many other—funds as we build a stronger and more resilient New York City.”

“This historic, over $1.6 billion federal investment will provide a massive shot of adrenaline for New York City’s public hospitals, and their physical and financial recovery from Superstorm Sandy,” said Senator Charles Schumer. “The largest of its kind, this FEMA Public Assistance award will help ensure that our public hospitals have the necessary safeguards in place to operate continuously during a storm, mitigate damage and power loss, and, if evacuation is necessary, quickly return to normalcy. Smart recovery and resiliency work at New York’s great public hospitals, which serve millions each day, is exactly what we had in mind when crafting the Sandy relief bill, and I’m thrilled to have helped deliver this federal funding.”

“Superstorm Sandy brought tremendous damage down on New York City’s hospitals—but today, we’re building them back better and stronger than ever before,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “By getting these four hospitals the resources they need to recover and become more resilient, we’re laying the groundwork for a safer and more prepared health network in the future. This is another step forward in our work to build a stronger New York State, and I want to thank all of our federal, local and community partners for helping to make this progress a reality.”

“New York City’s public hospitals serve a very vulnerable patient population and must not be allowed to remain susceptible to future storms,” said HHC President Dr. Ram Raju. “The local communities look to HHC hospitals for more than just health care, and the cost of shutting them down is human suffering. HHC hospitals returned to service quickly after Sandy thanks to the extraordinary efforts of their dedicated staffs, but they remain at risk. I’d like to thank FEMA for an aid package that recognizes the need for public hospital resiliency. And, of course, Mayor de Blasio and Senator Charles Schumer, for their efforts in helping the City’s public hospital system.”...
Click here for the full Press Release from the Mayor's office and here for more on what it was like at Roosevelt Island's Coler Hospital during Hurricane Sandy.

Life On Roosevelt Island Profiled Yesterday In NY Times And Brick Underground Articles - A Quiet Affordable Oasis With Big Changes Coming But Not Much Shopping Or Restaurants They Say

 Image From NY Times Ruth Fremson

Check out November 5 NY Times article on Roosevelt Island headlined:
Quiet Island, With Change Coming
The Quiet Manhattan: Roosevelt Island
According to the NY Times:
... “It’s like a suburb in the city,” said Corinne Volpe, an agent with Sotheby’s International Realty who has lived on the island since 2006. Formerly an Upper East Side resident, she said, she was attracted by the “knock-your-socks-off views” from nearly every spot on the island, which is 800 feet across at its widest and two miles long. She and her husband were also impressed by the lack of city sounds. “It’s so quiet, it’s eerie,” she said.

But change is coming to this island, which is technically part of Manhattan (though leased by the state through 2068) and parallels its shoreline from around East 46th to East 85th Streets....
Click here for the entire NY Times article on Roosevelt Island.

NYC real estate web site Brick Underground reported on Roosevelt Island living November 5 too with the headline:
Roosevelt Island: an affordable oasis—and Uber deadzone—in the East River
noting:
Brooklyn and Queens are go-to options for apartment hunters priced out of Manhattan (and even they don't offer much in the way of savings). But one subway stop or a tram ride from Midtown is another oft-overlooked option: Roosevelt Island, the two-mile strip of land in the East River.

Though it’s a sleepy part of the city, several new rental towers have come to the island in recent years, including the Octagon conversion and Riverwalk Crossing, joining apartments previously earmarked for middle-income residents. Unfortunately, restaurants and shopping have not yet caught up, which residents say is one of the biggest downsides. But does cheap(er) rent and access to green space make it worthwhile? We talked to Roosevelt Islanders to find out the best and worst parts of living there....
Click here for the entire Brick Underground article.

Both articles, the NY Times and Brick Underground, have some interesting quotes and thoughts from residents.

More Roosevelt Island photos from NY Times photographer Ruth Fremson here.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

You're Invited To Opening Meeting Of New Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council Tonight - Seating Of New Members, Community Information Policy And Public Purpose Funds Role On Agenda

 Image Of November 4, 2014 RIRA Election Voting

The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council will be meeting this evening at 8:00 PM in the Good Shepherd Community Center (543 Main Street).

As always, prior to the start of each monthly meeting there is a public session in which residents can come and address the Common Council Delegates on any issue of concern.

All residents are encouraged to attend RIRA meetings.

Tonight's Common Council meeting will be the first of the 2014 -2016 term following yesterday's election.

Here's tonight's RIRA Agenda:
Date: Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Time & Place: 8:00 pm, Church of Good Shepard

1. Public Session

2. President’s Thank You to Past Common Council Members

3. Seating of New Common Council Members

4. Request by Manhattan Park Delegation to Seat Todd Caplan

5. President’s Call for Secretary

6. President’s Call for Treasurer

7. Roll Call of New Common Council Members

8. Adoption of Agenda

9. Approval of Prior Common Council Session Minutes
a. October 1, 2014 Common Council Session
b. February 5, 2014 Common Council Session
c. January 8, 2014 Common Council Session

10. President’s Report
a. Committees & Chairmanships
b. Orientation & Robert’s Rules

11. Committee Reports
Communication Committee
i. Resolution re Distribution of Informative and Promotional Documents by Common Council Members and Officers, Movant: Janet Falk on behalf of Communications Committee

12. Old Business

13. New Business
a. Resolution re Continuation of Role of Common Council in Public Purpose Fund Allocations Movant: Dave Evan, Chair Constitution & Bylaws Committee
b. Motion re Seeking Transmittal of Letter to RIOC re Public Purpose Funds Allocation Movant: Aaron Hamburger, Chair Island Services Committee
Update 10/6 - The new RIRA Common Council.

Roosevelt Island Community Coalition Membership Meeting And Board Election Thursday November 13 - All Residents Invited For Update On Cornell Tech Roosevelt Island Issues

11/3 Image Of Roosevelt Island Goldwater Hospital Demolition

You're invited to the:
Roosevelt Island Community Coalition (RICC) Membership Meeting and Board Election, Thursday, Nov 13, 7pm, Senior Center, 546 Main Street, 12th Floor. Update on Cornell issues followed by elections. Open to all residents.
Here's the most recent Cornell Tech Roosevelt Island construction update:
October 24 - November 7 Look Ahead

Demolition by mechanical means is underway on Building F. The operation is slated for completion by Friday, October 31st. The roof abatement work on Building E is also continuing as scheduled. Like Building F demolition, this work is scheduled to be complete by Friday, October 31st.

Building H, the small connector building between Buildings C and D has been removed. This was necessary prior to the start of Building D demolition so as to allow large equipment to get closer to the structure. Mechanical fa├žade demolition will begin the week of November 3rd.

The barge will be returning to the construction site on October 24th. Due to the large unloading/loading operation, it will remain on site into the week of October 27th.

2014 Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council Election Results

 Image Of November 4 RIRA Election Voting At PS/IS 217

Here are the results of the 2014 Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) election.

There were a total of 998 ballots cast yesterday and 7 absentee ballots for a total of 1005 votes cast.

Jeff Escobar was elected RIRA President with 908 votes cast. He was unopposed.

Sherie Helstien was elected Vice President with a total of 545 votes.

The vote count for the other Vice President Candidates is:
  • Helen Chirivas received 199 votes,
  • Sharon Pope received 181 votes and 
  • M. Pathak received 86 votes.
The Island House winners are:
  • Adib Mansour - 137 votes
  • John Dougherty -118 votes
  • Rossana Ceruzzi - 114 Votes
Island House Alternate Delegates are:
  • Frank Farance - 72 votes
  • Andrew Giacalone - 70 votes
  • Mihaela Preradovice - 42  votes
  • Helen Chirivas - 26  votes and
  • Russell Fields - 23 votes
The Westview winners are:
  • Erin Feeley-Nahem -82 votes
  • Sherie Helstien - 71 votes
  • Julie Palermo - 52 votes
Westivew Alternate Delegates are
  • Susan Marcus - 42 votes (Ms. Marcus becomes the 3rd Westview Delegate with Ms Helstien becoming Vice President)
  • David Lawson - 33 votes
  • MK Pathak -26  votes
The Rivercross winners are:
  • Ellen Polivy - 160 votes
  • Ashton Barfield - 156 votes
  • Anne Kanninen - 86 votes
Rivercross Alternate Delegates are:
  • Ethel Romm - 78 votes
  • Sharon Pope - 67 votes 
The Roosevelt Landings winners are:
  • Joyce Short - 75 votes
  • Cynthia Ahn - 67 votes
  • Lynda Maynard- Hall - 58 votes
  • Shirley Coley - 52  votes
  • Maria Newkirk - 44 votes
546 Roosevelt Landings winner is:
  • Susana del Campo-Perea - 13 votes
Manhattan Park 10 - 40 River Road winners are:
  • Lynn Shinozaki - 93 votes
  • Stevie White - 77 votes
  • Ilonka Salisbury - 74 votes
  • Todd Caplan (1 write in vote)
Manhattan Park 2 River Road:
  • No Candidate
Manhattan Park 4 River Road winner is:
  • Jim Bates - 10 votes   
Octagon winners are:
  • Anthony Longo - 29 Votes
  • Isaac Humphrie - 28 Votes
  • Andrea Jones - 27 Votes
Southtown winners are:
  • Eva Bosbach - 83 Votes
  • Aaron Hamburger - 80 Votes
  • Dave Evans - 73 Votes
  • Susan Pirard - 70 Votes
  • Melissa Wade - 69 Votes
  • Mickey Rindler - 67 Votes
  • Janet Falk - 66 Votes
Turnout
  • Total Counted votes - 1005
  • Island House - 218
  • Manhattan Park - 126
  • Manhattan Park 2RR - 7
  • Manhattan Park 4RR - 12
  • Octagon - 36
  • Rivercross - 223
  • Roosevelt Landing - 119
  • Roosevelt Landing #546 - 15
  • Southtown - 122
  • Westview - 127
The new RIRA Common Council Members will be seated at the November RIRA meeting 8 PM tonight at the Good Shepherd Community Center (543 Main Street).

UPDATE 11/5 - The agenda for tonight's Common Council meeting is here.

How did the 2014 RIRA election vote count of 1005 compare to previous years?

In 2012 the RIRA vote count was 1834.

In 2010 the RIRA vote count was 1470.

In 2008 the RIRA vote count was 1457.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Roosevelt Island Election Day For Federal And NY State Representatives - Roosevelt Island Residents Association Common Council Too

Today is election day so make sure you get out to vote for your Federal and State representatives. The polling location for all Roosevelt Island eligible voters  is at PS/IS 217 (645 Main Street) except for Octagon residents who vote at Coler Hospital (900 Main Street). Polls are open from 6 AM - 9 PM.

Today is also election day for the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council. All residents vote at PS/IS 217 except for Octagon residents who vote in their building lobby.


According to RIRA:
The purposes of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) are: 1) to represent the interests of its members to all governmental, quasi-governmental and private institutions that develop policy affecting Roosevelt Island and its residents; that supervise or manage our housing and that supervise or manage other Island operations; and 2) to ensure that the health, safety and welfare of its members and the quality of life in our community are maintained and improved....
All Roosevelt Island residents, whether US citizens or not, 18 years and older are eligible to vote for RIRA President and Vice President as well as for Common Council members for the buildings in which they live. Polls are open from 6 AM to 9 PM. To vote in the RIRA election make sure you have photo identification and evidence that you live on Roosevelt Island.

The candidates running for the 2014 RIRA Common Council are listed below.

The candidates to represent Roosevelt Island residents in Congress are (Ballot Images from Poll Site Locator):


NY State Governor and Lt Governor,


NY State Assembly,


NY State Senate,


NY State Attorney General and


NY State Comptroller


A long time Roosevelt Island resident describes the voter experience early this morning:
Went to vote this morning at 6 am.
All went well voting in general election @ 6:10

All was not well at RIRA tables -- Ballots not available. Matt Katz told me they were waiting for the ballots which were locked in the safe @ RI Public Safety and no one had combination / key.

No substitutions were offered - such as that one-page list with every candidate name on it -- which could have been used to accommodate the handful of us who came early.

For us early birds who will not be back on the Island before 9 pm tonight, that means we could not vote.

Not a good thing for RIRA.
Will have results later tonight.

UPDATE 11/5 12:20 PM - 2014 RIRA election results here.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Roosevelt Island Resident Yawa Rides The Most Miles For Bike NY Learn To Ride Team, Wins A Free Mongoose Bike - Is Ridge Riding Next?

Bike NY Learn To Ride Team Winner Yawa Image From Caitlin Goodspeed

Bike New York's Roosevelt Island Community Outreach Manager Caitlin Goodspeed reports:
Every year the League of American Bicyclists organizes the National Bike Challenge,

a nationwide event that encourages people to get on their bikes and RIDE! People compete on local, state, and national levels to see who can bike the most miles from the beginning May (Bike Month) through the end of September.

This year Bike New York


created a team for new cyclists in the city called the 'Learn to Ride Team'. As an incentive to join the team, we decided to giveaway a free bicycle to the person who brought in the most miles over the course of the summer. Participants were required to log in all of their miles on the National Bike Challenge website. You could even down an app that logged everything in for you!

This year the winner was a Roosevelt Island resident! Her name is Yawa

Image Of Yawa Riding Her New Bike From Caitlin Goodspeed

and she's been very involved with our program here on the island. After taking our free education classes in the spring and throughout the summer, she continued to ride around the island using her husband's old folding bike. She racked up the miles and earned the top spot on Bike New York's Learn to Ride Team.

She received her new hybrid bike last Thursday!

Image Of Yawa's New Bike From Caitlin Goodspeed

I am very proud of Yawa. She's come a long way and is completely deserving of a new bike. I know that she'll continue to ride throughout the year!

The National Bike Challenge happens every year so we'll be doing another giveaway next season!
With a little bit more practice, maybe Yawa can try some mountain biking


HT To Erika

but maybe not so extreme.

Statements From Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council Vice President Candidates - RIRA Election Tuesday November 4



On November 4, the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) will be holding elections for its new Common Council building representatives, Vice President and President.

Current RIRA Vice President Sherie Helstien is running against 3 other candidates for Vice President of the new Common Council- Helen Chirivas,  M. Pathak and Sharon Pope. As previously reported, concern has been expressed by some RIRA members that the RIRA Constitution prohibits Ms. Helstien being a candidate for Vice President because she served on the RIRA Election Committee during this election cycle. Ms Helstien replies that these concerns are not valid because she resigned from the Elections Committee and is permitted to run for Vice President.

Below are statements (in alphabetical order) from the the RIRA Vice President Candidates in support of their candidacies.

From Helen Chirivas - RIRA VP Candidate:
Thank you for extending consideration to me in connection with the vote for Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Vice President. I hereby wish to relay some information regarding my accomplishments, and what I would hope to accomplish, should I become RIRA Vice President, as well as what I hope to accomplish for the community.

I am a native of Brooklyn, having been born in the leafy Fort Greene section of that beautiful borough, on Lafayette Avenue near the Brooklyn Academy of Music. When I was a toddler, my family moved to Midwood, Brooklyn, and there I was educated at area public schools until, at the age of 13, I applied and was accepted to the High School of Music and Art (M&A), which was at that time located at 135th Street and Convent Avenue in Manhattan. I was admitted to M&A based on my fine arts portfolio, as well as grades and an interview. Following high school graduation, I graduated from Brooklyn College with a BA in English. While in college, I began working full-time during the day while taking classes at Brooklyn College at night. I followed a progressively responsible career path as an executive secretary, accumulating skills and becoming increasingly technologically adept. My focus was in non-profits, such as at institutions of higher education and at health care settings, areas that I identified as affording the greatest opportunity to help others, although I also gained valuable experience and skills while working for some years at the fast-paced Brooklyn-Long Island-Staten Island (BLISI) Mortgage Operations area of Citibank until the functions of that unit were transferred to St. Louis. My career then led me to a position for many years at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) as the executive secretary in the office of a physician-scientist, assisting him in the scholarly aspects of his career, such as preparation of textbook chapters, manuscripts and protocols, and development, as well as being the assistant often responsible for relaying his wishes to patients and the many different stake-holders in that large organization, while also ensuring that all aspects of his practice functioned together effectively on an ongoing basis. One measure of his success, to which I may have contributed to some small degree, is the fact that he never suffered a malpractice law suit in the 20+ years we were together. When he left MSKCC to accept a leadership opportunity at another fine hospital in Philadelphia, my MSKCC career also ended. After approximately 22 years on the job at MSKCC, I now devote much of my time to community, voluntary activities.

My involvement with community affairs on RI began in 2008, with the sub metering controversy at Roosevelt Landings (RL). I helped the RL Residents Association (RLRA) coordinate a campaign voicing opposition to the way sub metering was planned by the building owner, Urban American. In an effort to garner more community support, I ran for a position as district delegate on the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) and was elected from RL. The tenants association, with the help of RIRA and elected officials, managed to forestall what would have been the punitively expensive implementation of sub metering. The subsequent developments at RL include improvements by the owner with regard to installing modern thermostats, the replacement of windows, and many other efforts undertaken to minimize the financial impact of sub metering at RL.

My husband and I then moved to another development on Roosevelt Island, called Island House (IH). IH, currently in the process of privatizing since exiting the Mitchell-Lama program and converting to cooperative ownership, also has an active tenants association, called the Island House Tenants Association (IHTA). Because of the complexity and crucial importance of this coop conversion, I began to attend IHTA meetings. A key component of the IH conversion is the implementation of sub metering at IH. Sub metering at IH has been negotiated by IHTA with the owner in the context of the conversion agreement and will only be implemented after significant upgrades are put in place at the building, such as window and insulation replacement. There is a question as to whether the owner will upgrade the baseboard electrical heating units in the apartments, which are original to the building and as such are by now technologically out-of-date. The IH cooperative conversion process has been ongoing for many years, and was the culmination of complex multi-party negotiations, between the owner, RIOC, IHTA, and Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC). I will continue to be involved in this ongoing process, bringing forward the concerns of the many tenants like myself and my husband who may prefer to continue to rent instead of purchase their apartments.

In January of 2013, the Roosevelt Island community was horrified to learn of the Anthony Jones beating case. A young Roosevelt Islander named Anthony Jones who, in fact, was not charged with any crime, had been the victim of public safety over-enforcement in an unfortunate, nearly tragic, encounter with Peace Officers, also termed Public Safety Officers (PSOs) of the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department (PSD). The beating led to a public outcry on Roosevelt Island, including an educational campaign, culminating in two well-attended community demonstrations, organized by the RIRA Public Safety Committee (PSC). The emotion and energy released by the community effort was critical in leading, in June 2013, to the replacement of the Director of PSD, who was thought to have condoned the beating of Jones. Although prior to January 2013, my focus was primarily on housing issues as they related to the privatization process of island developments, in January 2013, I, like many others, became involved in the effort to reform and develop a more community-oriented PSD. Thankfully, the new Director of PSD, Jack McManus, is more community-oriented and PSD over-enforcement problems have largely disappeared since June 2013. RIRA PSC is continuing to pursue a campaign of education in connection with the overall reform of PSD as suggested in a 2013 independent audit of PSD.

I have participated in the activities of a number of RIRA Committees since my election as district delegate, initially from RL and later from IH, such as the Housing Committee (also Housing Committee Chair 2010-2012), the Island Services Committee (ISC), the Planning Committee, and the Constitution and Bylaws (C/B) Committee, participating in all aspects of the work of these committees, including many times, offering my notes to committee chairs for their use in Minutes, contacting officials at RIOC, developing positions on issues, and in the case of the C/B Committee, working collaboratively with the committee co-members to overhaul the RIRA C/B. I coordinated the February 20, 2014 visit of a delegation from Roosevelt Island which included the RIRA Treasurer and the Planning Committee Chair, Frank Farance, to the Ravenswood Generating Station in Long Island City, Queens. I am a member of the Planning Committee work-group focusing on air quality (AQ) issues on RI, a long-standing community concern that became more acute with the community’s concerns regarding the Cornell-Technion project’s impact on AQ on Roosevelt Island. In this capacity, I contacted the scientists at Queens College (QC) who conduct the New York City Community Air Survey (NYCCAS) about our community’s AQ concerns and put Mr. Farance in touch with them so that information could be exchanged as to the best way to conduct AQ monitoring on Roosevelt Island. Thanks to the efforts of Mr. Farance, working collaboratively with the QC scientists, an AQ monitoring program within the NYCCAS system was proposed to RIOC, which would include the installation of several AQ monitoring devices on Roosevelt Island. I intend to continue to extend my assistance to Mr. Farance and the RIRA Planning Committee on the AQ issue and other matters of community concern, including land use and emergency preparedness issues, on an ongoing basis, as well as continue my efforts with regard to housing and public safety issues, within the context of the respective RIRA committees. In addition to my IH district delegate status, at the RIRA Common Council (CC) Meeting, on March 5, 2014, I was elected by a vote of unanimous approval to the position of RIRA Secretary.

My interest in the RIRA Vice Presidency stems from my involvement in community issues on Roosevelt Island. I am deeply concerned about the ongoing success and viability of the Roosevelt Island community, conceived as a visionary experiment in the 1969, in a joint partnership between the City and State of New York, under the leadership of then Mayor Lindsay and Governor Rockefeller. I strongly believe in the concept espoused in Roosevelt Island’s General Development Plan (GDP) which called for the founding of a mixed-income community based on the development of both affordable and middle-class housing for residents of modest means including the elderly and disabled, as well as the provision of market rate housing for more well-off residents.

I see myself as an advocate for the Roosevelt Island community, as described above, and if elected to the RIRA Vice Presidency, I would continue my involvement in community affairs so as to bring residents’ concerns to the table at RIRA. If elected, I am ready to accept the honor and responsibility of the RIRA Vice Presidency at this critical juncture in the development of Roosevelt Island, a time of great change for our community resulting from the ongoing construction at Southtown and at the Cornell-Technion campus. Together, we can work to meet the upcoming challenges and improve the lives of everyone on Roosevelt Island.

Thank you for your time and attention to my Statement.
From Sherie Helstien-RIRA VP Candidate
Having taken a year and a-half off from serving on RIRA, I returned this past March and was able to take an empty seat on the Common Council representing Westview. I was nominated and voted into the position of Vice President serving under Jeff Escobar who had taken over the position of president of the organization upon the resignation of RIRA President Polivy.

Over the past 17 years, I have served on RIRA, first as a delegate from Manhattan Park and later from Westview. I have been very active in the organization:

- Helping create the Legal Action Fund Committee whose sole purpose was to fight the way development was taking place in what we all knew was coming in Southtown. The residents failed to win the legal fights in the courts as we were deemed as “without standing”.

- Becoming Housing Chair and created a Renters’ Insurance Fair which emanated from an apartment fire in what was then known as Eastwood. The residents of that apartment thought, mistakenly, that the management would replace their lost belongings. I saw a need to educate the community about their rights and responsibilities as renters. It was a successful two-day event to which I was able to bring in to speak to the audience, among many others, the State Insurance Commissioner.

- Fundraising for RIRA (many of you have bought two iterations of hats and visors that I and the SC&E Committee members sold you!), as well as,

- Working the with the PTA to create the “Roosevelt Island International Cookbook” which grew out of wonderful international dishes created and served by mothers of PS/IS217 students at their International Dinners! I think the PTA still has many of these books left, but I and RIRA members sold all of RIRA’s! It was an interesting learning experience in publishing a book.

- Supporting my RIRA colleagues who have put on some marvelous and fun theme parties to bring our community together, as well as our summer evening dances on the Pier, and, as well outdoor movies (before RIOC ever did this);

- I supported RIRA colleagues who created our 9/11 Memorial Garden on the Church Plaza, and worked with them organizing, for several years, the memorial programs we held annually for ten years after that tragic event. We always had a wonderful turnout, and our Special Ops Firefighters on the Island nearly always showed up to participate.

- I’m proud to have worked with the Lynne Shinozaki, our past RIRA Chair of the SC&E Committee on the wonderful Cherry Blossom Festivals she’s produced, and which began the year of the tragic Japanese tsunami and nuclear plant debacle (2011-12?). The first CBF was supposed to be a fundraiser for RIRA, but this community raised nearly $10,000 and RIRA sent every penny, through the Japanese Consulate, to aid agencies in Japan.

- I’m proud to have been part of that period when we’ve had a more positive relationship with RIOC. I hope that we can reclaim that relationship again, soon. I am also proud to have been the person who headed the Public Relations (PR) for our four RIOC Board “elections” (as offered to us by Governor Spitzer) to put on a community plebiscite, putting up candidates as RIOC Board nominees, whose names, in order of votes received, were sent to the Governor’s office for appointment. It’s the closest we’ve been able to come to having a local democratic “process” of direct representation in this bedeviled community.

- I have been active on the Legislative sub-Committee of the Government Relations Committee of RIRA, whose sole purpose has been to try to change the legislation that created RIOC into something that would give back to this community what every other community has: a “say” on how and by whom we are governed, as opposed to being ruled by New York State’s Governor, or as we sometimes refer to it: “the Second Floor”. I am sad to say that we have met with nothing but frustration and deafness from Albany.

I believe that RIRA’s members have done more positive things in the community than some few would recognize. RIRA is an organization of volunteers, of people who have full time jobs, families, sick spouses or kids and other familial responsibilities as well. Newer members who are just “learning the ropes” of how this organization functions, what its limitations are, and what they can do to have a positive impact, have a learning curve that some have tried to use negatively. It takes a clear head and positive attitude to learn who the people are who work with others positively and get things done.

I believe I am the more qualified candidate for Vice President having served on RIRA for 17 years with an understanding of RIRA’s possibilities and its limits.
Have not received statement from RIRA VP candidates Sharon Pope or M. Pathak. Will update with their statements if received.

Here is the list of RIRA Candidates running for Common Council President, Vice President and building representatives.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

NYC Marathon Runners On Queensboro Bridge And First Avenue Seen From Roosevelt Island Tram

From the Roosevelt Island Twitterverse:

A photo posted by @elizabethcrowley28 on

A photo posted by Tiffany Clay (@tiff112584) on


Any Roosevelt Islanders run in Marathon today?

UPDATE 10 PM - Judith McGee shares this picture of the Marathon runners on First Avenue


taken from the Roosevelt Island Tram about 2 PM this afternoon.