According to the MTA Weekender, there will be Roosevelt Island F train service
to and from Manhattan this weekend.
According to the MTA Weekender, there will be Roosevelt Island F train service
The Roosevelt Island Disabled had a great Thanksgiving dinner for its members
RIDA Thanksgiving Dinner From Kari Jensen
who if not for this dinner may have been alone this Thanksgiving.
Here are some pictures taken by a volunteer who saw our request on your blog.
RIDA Thanksgiving Dinner From Kari Jensen
All together we had six people volunteer to help us with Thanksgiving Dinner as a result of the blog.
RIDA Thanksgiving Dinner From Kari Jensen
We had 35 Roosevelt Island disabled residents served by volunteers. Every person was served restaurant style by volunteers who saw the posting on your blog
RIDA Thanksgiving Dinner From Kari Jensen
Volunteers also set up and broke down our Thanksgiving Dinner as well as cleaned up afterwards
In addition to family, great food, the Macy's Parade, Miracle on 34th Street, March of the Wooden Soldiers and football, listening to Arlo Guthrie's rendition of Alice's Restaurant on WNEW-FM was, for me, a wonderful Thanksgiving tradition.Roosevelt Island Historical Society President Judy Berdy shares a Thanksgiving story from Roosevelt Island's past when it was known as Welfare Island and housed a penitentiary. Also, former blogger Roosevelt Island 360 tells us about the first Roosevelt Island Thanksgiving in 1975.
A former station DJ remembers Thanksgiving and Arlo Guthrie this way on the blog All Mixed Up Radio.
Every year a couple of days before Thanksgiving, it starts. It's slow at first, and then turns into a non-stop avalanche of phone calls. And no matter how many times a station runs promo announcements telling people exactly when it will be played, the calls still come.Yes, in the olden days people used to listen to music on the radio. Imagine that!
"What time are you playing 'Alice's Restaurant?'"...
Here's a snippet of Alice's Restaurant with Arlo Guthrie and Johnny Cash
and the full song with scenes from the movie.
More nostalgia. Take a look at some of these Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Floats from 1927 thru 1968 via Buzzfeed.
Image of 1927 Felix the Cat Macy's Thanksgiving Float From BuzzfeedImage of 1935 The Marx Brothers Macy'sThanksgiving Float from Buzzfeed
Image of 1940 The Tin Man Macy's Thanksgiving Float From Buzzfeed
HAPPY THANKSGIVING everybody!
November 21 - December 5 Look Ahead.Also, as reported yesterday, Roosevelt Island's PS/IS 217 PTA announced:
Structural demolition of Building D is nearly complete as the last pieces of structure are being sorted. This work will be complete the week of November 23rd. Once complete, foundation removals will begin on buildings D, F, and H, all of which are still intact.
The crushing operation has mobilized. Concrete block and other building elements are being crushed and recycled. These materials will remain on site and be used to fill in the voids left by the Goldwater buildings’ foundations.
Structural demolition will soon begin on two Phase II buildings. Building G is a small connector building that will be removed, along with Building J, the southernmost building. By removing these buildings, additional internal roadways will open up and congestion will be eased.
Early infrastructure work on in the west roadway will begin, including the installation of a new electrical ductbank and the relocation of a water supply line.
Cornell Tech and the Construction and Community Task Force invite you to a presentation and discussion about the Roosevelt Island campus. At this town hall, Cornell Tech will introduce itself and its partners, provide a full briefing on tis plans, and answer any questions that you may have. See details below and we hope to see you there.
Cornell Tech Town Hall
Monday, December 8th, 6pm to 8pm
Manhattan Park Theater Club
8 River Road, Roosevelt Island
... In partnership with Cornell Tech, we are looking to re-name our school and reap the full benefits of an association with the prestigious higher education institution that will soon be our island neighbor...and:
... What is the proposed new name of the school?More info on the proposed renaming of PS/IS 217 here.
The Cornell Tech Roosevelt Island School. The school will retain 217 as its numeric code for the Department of Education....
Roosevelt Island's Gallery RIVAA will be hosting an opening reception later today, November 26 from 5PM - 8PM for their new exhibition, REVIVAL, Nepalese Costumes Show by Basama Chhetri, at the Octagon Gallery.
You are cordially invited to the opening reception of "REVIVAL" - Basana Chhetri's exhibition of Nepalese Costumes & Buddha Themed Paintings on Wednesday, November 26th from 5-8PM at Octagon Gallery.The exhibition will be open Wednesday, November 26, 2014 - Friday, January 2, 2015
For more information, please click here:
Date: November 26th, 2014
Time: 5 - 8 pm
Venue: The Octagon, 888 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, NYC
I suppose our kids could someday tell people they went to Cornell (then mumble the rest of the name).Who knows, perhaps Roosevelt Island will soon be home to the littlest Ivy Leaguers!!
Thursday, December 4, 4pm - Emergency PTA Meeting - School RenamingAlso, last July 28, Cornell Tech's new Director of K-12 Education Jane Levitt spoke to the Roosevelt Island Cornell Community and Construction Task Force about plans for Cornell working with Roosevelt Island's PS/IS 217 and other NYC schools. Here's what Ms. Levitt had to say.
What’s in a name?
We have some exciting news to announce! In partnership with Cornell Tech, we are looking to re-name our school and reap the full benefits of an association with the prestigious higher education institution that will soon be our island neighbor. Since this is just the beginning of a two-year process, we wanted to start by giving all our parents up-to-the-minute information about the latest developments. We hope you’ll be as thrilled with the news as the rest of us are!
What is the proposed new name of the school?
The Cornell Tech Roosevelt Island School. The school will retain 217 as its numeric code for the Department of Education.
Why are you adding “Cornell Tech” to the name of our school?
In 2013, Cornell Tech and New York City entered into an agreement to build a university campus on Roosevelt Island. New York City residents and taxpayers would provide free land, hundreds of millions of dollars in construction bond financing and tax abatements. As part of the deal negotiation, Cornell pledged to ‘adopt’ 217 as part of its educational mission. Adding “Cornell Tech” to the official name of the school is a formalization of that commitment.
Why is the name of a school important?
In Sept 2014, NYC Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina directed principals to develop marketing and branding for their schools to make them as attractive to families as possible. Farina said, “Part of the problem that we have is, how do you sell the schools? How do we tell the story of what's happening in your schools so that you keep them as attractive as possible? It’s a competition against each other. And many of the schools have the same message. So how do you have a different message so that you’re doing something a little bit different?”
Why is Cornell Tech’s name valuable to our school?
We have a unique opportunity and a strategic advantage with our relationship with Cornell Tech. We are one of the very few NYC public schools that has a commitment from a university to help with funding, resources, and educational development. The ability to utilize Cornell Tech’s name will help with raising our school’s visibility, grant funding opportunities, and student recruitment.
What will Cornell Tech do for our school?
As part of the deal with the New York City Council, Cornell Tech “embraces the opportunity to adopt PS/IS 217 as part of Cornell’s educational mission.” A number of ways have been identified by Principal Beckman where Cornell would be involved in the school including teacher training and support, STEM education, after-school programming courses, teach events, career day options, and hardware/software programming development. All of these elements are items that Cornell is anxious to pursue and commits to include in its educational outreach as the campus develops.
Has the school sold its naming rights?
No. You can not “sell” naming rights to a New York City public school. However, there are several successful examples of universities adopting NYC public schools such as Hunter, Columbia, and Queens College and thereby formally added their names to the school. Additionally, there are examples, and there is a process for, honorific re-naming in recognition of donors/grantors for school buildings and/or ‘specialized areas’ of public schools such as libraries, playgrounds, auditoriums, etc.
Will Cornell Tech determine the curriculum?
No. The curriculum will always be determined by the school’s administration in collaboration with teachers and parents. Cornell Tech will have an advisory role in curriculum development.
Music, art, writing, and foreign languages are important. Will they be de-emphasized if the name changes?
No. Our school, 217, is committed to the development of the whole child. We will continue to have excellent enrichment resources including music, art, writing, foreign languages, physical education, and cultural studies.
What is the process of renaming or adding a name to the school?
The Chancellor shall have ultimate authority over the naming and renaming of all public schools. Schools shall follow the procedures in this regulation and submit a proposed name change for approval by the Chancellor’s designee by March 1st of the year before the name change is to take effect. There is a codified multi-step process which includes a public notification, public hearing, Community Education Council, PTA endorsement, Principal endorsement, Superintendent approval and finally the Chancellor. However, the Chancellor, or her designee, must give final approval to the name change and retains the right to waive any requirements. For more information on this process, visit the NYC Dept of Education website.
Why is the proposal to rename the school going forward now?
It takes approximately 1-2 years to rename a school. We are starting the process now because construction of Cornell Tech on Roosevelt Island recently commenced. Roosevelt Island community leaders have identified Cornell Tech’s contributions towards 217 as one of the positive and productive benefits that the university can give back to the local community. We are pursuing the re-naming now to synchronize the benefit to the school with the burden to the community.
Friends and Neighbors,
At the December 3, 2014 Common Council meeting, the Common Council will be reconstituting its committees, as well as electing and seating each committee’s chairs. The bulk of the work that the new Common Council will do this term will be completed in these committees. As has been reported in the past, any member of RIRA – and by virtue of one’s residency on the Island, every resident is automatically a member of RIRA – can serve on a committee. Here is a quick glimpse of some of what the committees currently have on this term’s agenda:
The Communications Committee is undertaking an overhaul of the website www.RIRAonline.com. The goal is to transform it to a useful resource for residents seeking current information about activities and groups on Roosevelt Island, and to serve as an electronic repository for official documents. The committee will also be undertaking an initiative to use social media and other forms of electronic publication to keep Island Residents apprised in “real-time” of the ongoing activities of the Island. Residents who are skilled in web development and writing are invited to contact the current Communications Committee chair Janet Falk at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
The Planning Committee this near term will be largely focused on infrastructure and transportation safety. With the advent of the Cornell campus coming online to full construction-mode in 2015, coupled with the tragic accident involving one of our neighbors who collided with a Red Bus, infrastructure and transportation safety will be the focus as RIRA works to find real solutions for the Island. Recently, the group reported its thorough discussion of the lighting and roadways where bicycle traffic proceeds; bicycle and pedestrian use of the promenades vs. Main Street; and the role of Public Safety in issuing violations for failure to yield and observe stop signs. During just that short discussion, there was general agreement that a traffic light should be installed at the base of the helix; “sharrows” or shared roadway arrows should be painted in the promenade roads; and lighting must be improved at all crosswalks. Pending further research and study, a resolution(s) prepared by this Committee will be submitted to the Common Council to be recommended to RIOC and all City public agencies.
As Hudson Related finishes work on its seventh tower, with the eight and ninth towers waiting in the wings, in 2015 the Planning Committee, Island Services Committee and the RIRA President will be calling for a number of Town Hall meetings and hearings with Hudson Related, RIOC, the City and Island Residents and Stakeholders to study the impacts – including environmental, social and economic impacts – that the construction of the seventh and remaining towers will have on the Island as it struggles with the construction of the Cornell Campus. Similarly, the Main Street Retail Advisory Committee will be pushing for the planning and completion of the lease-up of the remaining retail spaces on Main Street in 2015, setting forth their recommendations for the currently empty storefronts.
The above is just a glimpse of the work and initiatives that the RIRA Common Council Committees will be undertaking this new term. From Government Relations and Housing, to SC&E (Social, Cultural and Education) and Public Safety, there exists a committee which is calling for you, as an Island Resident, to come and serve. Interested in joining a committee or finding out more information? Attend the next RIRA Common Council meeting on Wednesday, December 3rd at 8:00pm in the Good Shepherd Center, or reach out and contact RIRA President Jeff Escobar at email@example.com.
Turning from service on RIRA Committees to service on the Common Council, an Orientation for New Representatives was held on Thursday, November 20. Topics included procedures of working within committees and bringing motions to the Common Council for discussion, as well as answering questions of new members. In addition, a presentation was made by Mickey Rindler, Chair of the Ethics Committee, on the recent requirements of New York State regarding disclosure of potential conflicts of interest, as well as a presentation by Lynne Shinozaki, a past SC&E Committee Chair, and Sherie Helstien, RIRA Vice-President, on what it means to serve on the Common Council and work being completed by committees.
If you are interested in serving on the RIRA Common Council, which meets monthly, there are still a few seats on the Octagon, Manhattan Park, Southtown and Roosevelt Landings delegations. Take the opportunity to perform direct advocacy by representing your building neighbors on the Common Council. Please reach out to either RIRA President Jeff Escobar at firstname.lastname@example.org or Aaron Hamburger, Chair of the Nominations Committee, at email@example.com for more information.
Lastly, as we approach the Thanksgiving Holiday, the RIRA Common Council wishes to extend a joyous Happy Thanksgiving from our families to yours. Please take a moment to look back and reflect on the blessings of this past year, as well as remember those in our community who are less fortunate and in need. Whether through a donation to a local food pantry, handing out food at our City’s overburdened shelters, or pitching in at the dinner at the Senior Center, hopefully each of us will find a way to help everyone have a Happy Thanksgiving.
Your RIRA Common Council
The NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) and Citi Bike announced earlier this week an expansion of the bike sharing program to more NYC neighborhoods...and:
... Roosevelt Island is not included in the Citi Bike neighborhood expansion for phase 11 or phase 111 Potential Expansion.
... Following the recent announcement of the phase II expansion of Citi Bike into parts of Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan, The Brooklyn Ink analyzed the data collected by the online portal to understand where these requests were coming from and where people said they wanted new Citi Bike stations. From 2012 to November 2014, around 36,000 people have participated in the suggestion process and have created a database of around 8,500 suggested points on the map.
In terms of neighborhoods, the highest demand comes from Roosevelt Island.
Exactly 1,937 requests came from Roosevelt and 189 of those requests actually supported one single location near West Road and the Roosevelt Island F train station. Both figures were the highest of their kind in the analysis. A lot of these requests come from people living in the luxury Octagon Park Apartments. Comments also suggest that the heavy reliance the neighborhood has on the bus system is another factor that drives the demand for Citi Bike.
The City Department of Transportation, in a statement to The Brooklyn Ink, said that at this stage there are no plans to expand Citi Bike into Roosevelt Island....
... the Island's infrastructure is not currently ready to handle a large increase in cyclist traffic. Before bike sharing can come to the Island, a master plan for the implementation of bike paths and traffic infrastructure that can accommodate cyclists, pedestrians and motorists in our community needs to be designed and implemented. We plan to work with private entities such as Cornell Tech in order to create this plan and look forward to putting an innovative, inclusive strategy in place.Roosevelt Island's NYC Council Member Ben Kallos has expressed support for Roosevelt Island Citi Bike stations saying:
When it comes to bike sharing in Queens, RIOC's focus is primarily trained on preparing Roosevelt Island for a possible future station. Therefore, we will not be advocating for a docking station near the entrance of the Roosevelt Island Bridge at 36th Avenue at this time.
1,000 new bikes will come into use next year; 7,000 by 2017. The Council Member hopes to get as many CitiBike stations as possible into our district and to Roosevelt Island in the upcoming years....and tweets:
Standing in support of CitiBike expansion! @bradlander @HelenRosenthal @RitchieTorres pic.twitter.com/MqRzd5c7SRWhen will that support bring Citi Bike to Roosevelt Island?
— Ben Kallos (@BenKallos) November 20, 2014
Sportspark Heating System
This week, the Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) informed us that the Island’s Steam Plant has been decommissioned and that steam heat will no longer be provided by the facility. Last spring, contractors installed a temporary boiler system at Sportspark to service the building in place of steam heat. As this temporary heating system is already in place, no disruption to the facility’s schedule is planned at this time. Going forward, RIOC’s Engineering department will work with contractors on the installation of a permanent solution for Sportspark. Once a work schedule is in place and installation begins, the public will be advised of any effects construction will have on the facility’s schedule.
A HUGE THANK YOU to RIOC for the smooth transition from powering Sportspark via the Steam Plant to the Temporary Boiler. The change was made with virtually no inconvenience to the community. Thank you!!More on Steam Plant closing
Also, the air and water temperatures appear to be back to an average for the entire community! I for one, had a fabulous swim this morning! Also, I am pleased to see improvements in the locker rooms such as the installation of a new bench in the women's locker room and new, more hygienic garbage cans!
... Overall, how is the Gristedes franchise is doing?Here's Mr. Catsimatidis at the March 2013 Grand Re-Opening of the Roosevelt Island Gristedes and 2012 Roosevelt Island Gristedes Town Hall Meeting.
It’s doing okay. It represents less than two or three percent of our company’s sales.
So why still own it?
Some of the people have been with us for 30 years and I’m keeping it for them so they don’t lose their jobs. And if I didn’t have Gristedes, I’d live 10 years longer and I would probably be worth more. Our main businesses are energy and real estate. And we’ve dwindled our businesses in aviation.
What I’m talking about is what’s happening in New York. It’s becoming very competitive. And it’s a big problem. The big problem is we had Whole Foods open up big stores. We had Costco open up. We had Fresh Direct open up. We had Amazon open up. We had Trader Joe’s open up. We had every drugstore in the city [become] a supermarket, just about. So the competition is not like it’s ever been before. And we are fully unionized. And our full-timers get $10 an hour in just benefits. So how do you make that work? And every lease that we have to re-up; it’s a minimum million-dollars-a-year rent. It’s the pressure of the real estate. The pressure of electric rates in New York City. The pressure of paying union charges and union work weeks. And it becomes like, try to win with one hand tied behind your back.
Outgoing Roosevelt Island and Upper East Side NY State Assemblymember Micah Kellner
Capital New York reports today:
The June 10 determination is reversed as to the findings that Member Kellner violated the 2009-2010 Sexual Harassment Policy by his conduct toward two female staff members, and the matter is remitted to the Speaker for reconsideration of the sanctions to be imposed in light of this decision.
A hearing officer has dismissed a second round of sexual harassment charges against outgoing assemblyman Micah Kellner, and has asked Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to review his June order stripping Kellner of his official offices.The New York Daily News Tweets:
Kellner, a Manhattan Democrat, was hit with two complaints by the Assembly's bipartisan ethics committee, both stemming from allegations that he inappropriately touched and communicated with members of his official staff in 2013. Kellner has apologized for his actions, but in December of last year was sanctioned by Silver after a committee report
The committee hit Kellner again in June, after it found he was employing an intern in violation of the December sanctions and in light of additional accusations of harassment. Kellner unsuccessfully appealed his initiation sanction, but the decision on an appeal based on the second round of sanctions was issued on November 10 and released by Kellner to reporters on Monday.....
Ex-Assemblyman Micah Kellner: Ruling shows my sexual harassment case was prosecuted by 'kangaroo court' http://t.co/UDzexxYcBgand adds:
— NYDN Daily Politics (@DNDailyPolitics) November 24, 2014
... Kellner opted not to run for re-election this year in the wake of the allegations against him. He remains an elected district leader.Mr. Kellner lost the Democratic Party nomination for NYC Council District 5 (representing Roosevelt Island and the Upper East Side) and the General Election running as the Working Families Party candidate to Ben Kallos in 2013.
The Manhattan Democrat has been fighting sanctions Silver imposed against him last year after the Assembly Ethics Committee found he violated the chamber's harassment policy and created a hostile work environment for a female staffer in 2009 and a man in 2011...
On November 10th Speaker Sheldon E. Silver's hand picked Appeals Officer, Howard Levine, found the following regarding the Assembly Ethics and Guidance Committee's decision to recommend sanctions in June 2014 against me to the Speaker for violating the Assembly sexual harassment policy:Last June, former Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) President Matthew Katz noted:
Ultimately, Levine dismissed the sexual harassment findings against me, remitting the sanctions back to the Speaker for reconsideration, while illuminating in scathing detail the Assembly Ethics and Guidance Committee and it's investigator Merrick Rossein's inability to follow their own procedures or conduct a fair process. (See Pg. 30)
- That the Assembly Ethics and Guidance Committee and it's investigator, Merrick Rossein violated provisions of the Assembly's revised sexual harassment policy written by Rossein. (See Pg. 20)
- In their rush to judgement, the Assembly Ethics and Guidance Committee and Rossein violated my constitutional right to due process. (See pg. 20-28)
- Levine accuses Merrick Rossein of attempting to mislead him regarding certain facts in the Assembly Ethics and Guidance Committee's flawed investigation. (See Pg. 24, Citation 7)
- Levine questioning the evidence before him, accuses Rossein of misusing confidentiality to obscure facts in an attempt to manufacture evidence where he lacked it. (See Pg. 26, Citation 9)
- Levine accuses Rossein of violating the appeals process Levine set forth by making arguments in secret. (See Pg. 26, Citation 10)
It is Speaker Silver's responsibility to act upon his Appeal Officer's decision; to either accept or reject it and reconsider the sanctions. Speaker Silver had no qualms about releasing previous decisions when it was convenient for him, but when it is not he actively chooses to violate my rights once again by ignoring this damning decision and pretending it does not exist. Instead the Assembly Ethics and Guidance Committee has just last Thursday re-accused me of the identical false allegations that Speaker Silver's own hand picked appeals officer dismissed only days earlier- proving conclusively that the Ethics Committee is nothing more then a kangaroo court doing Speaker Silver's bidding.
Speaker Silver put my appeal in the hands of a lobbying firm, assuming they would also do his bidding because it was in their financial interest, but when they showed a shred of fairness Speaker Silver, making this up as he goes along, decided to ignore his hand picked appeals officer and ham handily invoke double jeopardy.
Much has been made about the cost of these false allegations. It has cost my constituents equal representation and two hard working, honest public servants their jobs. So I say it is time to end this farce. Speaker Silver should accept his hand picked appeals officer's decision, fire Merrick Rossein as outside counsel and demand the resignation of Chuck Lavine as Chair of the Assembly Ethics Committee, but I am not holding my breath.
I am appalled at the vindictiveness of Speaker Silver and, having known and worked with Assembly Member Kellner since he entered State politics, reject the charges mounted against him. Further, I have to wonder why Silver is withholding grants to organizations within the 76th AD, especially Roosevelt Island. Why are we being tarred with the same brush used against Micah?There has been no comment yet from Speaker Silver on this matter.
How long does it take you to to walk from Roosevelt Island's Motorgate Plaza down Main Street to the Tram and then over the East River to Second Avenue?
Kevin Scheller shares this video showing us how it can be done in 30 seconds
though only courtesy of a time lapse video.