Thursday, January 16, 2020

Meet Long Time Roosevelt Island Resident Nancy Brown, Moved To RI As Goldwater Patient In 1965, Got Own Apartment In 1976 - RIDA Vice President And Living Proof That No Matter Disability, One Can Live A Happy And Fulfilling Life

Nancy Brown is a long time resident of Roosevelt Island and the Vice President of the Roosevelt Island Disabled Association (RIDA).

Ms Brown, born 1941 in Greenwich Village, contracted polio at the age of 7. In 1965, Ms Brown moved to Roosevelt Island's Goldwater Hospital as a patient and to be with her husband Tom, also a Goldwater Patient. In 1976, she and Tom moved to their own Roosevelt Island apartment and Ms Brown has lived on Roosevelt Island  ever since. Ms Brown says of the day they moved into their own Roosevelt Island apartment:

... It was the happiest day of our lives because finally we have full control of our daily lives....
Ms Brown remains very active with RIDA activities and many other Roosevelt Island community events. She says:
... I'm 77 years old now and sometimes my body feels its age. But my mind is still young and I still like to do the things I used to do when I was younger....

... I want to thank RIDA for everything I am able to do with them and through them.  The accomplishments that it gave me, the places I've visited , the events I attended. The wonderful and caring people I've met. I'm living proof that no matter the disability, one can still live a happy and  fulfilling life....
 Take a look at this video about our Roosevelt Island neighbor - Nancy Brown - A Fulfilling Life.

According to RIDA:
The Roosevelt Island Disabled Association’s mission is to improve and enhance the quality of life of our disabled population on Roosevelt Island. The disabilities of our members are quite diverse so we try to provide activities and programs geared to their strengths and abilities., both mental, physical, and emotional. We also provide social services to help broaden their knowledge of organizations and facilities that can assist them in activities of daily living so they can live a ore independent and socially active life.
More info on RIDA available at their web site.

The Nancy Brown - A Fulfilling Life video was directed by Andres "Jay" Molina of the Coler Hospital Open Doors project.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

What Do Residents Think About Roosevelt Island Historic Sites Preservation - Is It Important To You, Please Take The Survey And Give Your Thoughts

A Barnard College student is writing her Senior Thesis about:

Resident Interaction with Historic Preservation: A Case Study of Roosevelt Island, NY
and asks for your help by filling out this survey.
My name is Emma Brody and I am a student at Barnard College writing my senior thesis about historic preservation on Roosevelt Island. The purpose of this survey is to determine how Roosevelt Island residents interact with historically preserved sites on the Island in their everyday life. I greatly appreciate your participation.

Data will be collected anonymously and no identifying information will be collected. Participation is voluntary and you may refuse to participate or stop participating at any time. There are no expected risks to the participant for completing this survey.

This survey is open to adults age 18 and older.

This survey is expected to take approximately 5-10 minutes to complete. If you have any questions about this survey please contact Emma Brody at
Survey questions include:
Take the Survey here.

Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS) President Judy Berdy discusses the history of Roosevelt Island and landmark buildings

in this 2017 interview on CB 8 Speaks. Also, in 2017, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer expressed support for

preserving the Renwick Ruins Smallpox Hospital 

 and not tearing it down.

Tqke the Roosevelt Island Historic Sites Preservation Survey.

You're Invited To Facades & Fashions In Medical Architecture Talk By Bert Hansen Presented By Roosevelt Island Historical Society Lecture Series Thursday January 16 At RI NYPL Branch

According to the Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS):

Roosevelt Island Historical Society Lecture Series at the
NY Public Library
524 Main Street
Thursday, January 16, 2020 6:30 p.m.
Bert Hansen’s “Facades and Fashions in Medical Architecture”

Bert Hansen’s “Facades and Fashions in Medical Architecture” takes a look at buildings that provided medical care in New York City. While much medical history has been lost, New Yorkers are fortunate that our streets still provide visual remnants of the past. This slide talk places such sites into the major medical development of the last 200 years. Hansen taught history at Baruch College of CUNY, and he has published Picturing Medical Progress from Pasteur to Polio: A History of Mass Media Images and Popular Attitudes in America, as well as articles about medicine in art and society, including the medical history seen in political cartoons, New Deal murals, Hollywood films, and children’s comic books.

All programs are free and open to the public. These programs are funded by: Amalgamated Bank, RIOC Public Purpose Funds, NYC Council Member Ben Kallos through the Department of Youth and Community Development.

Meet Momo, Newest Roosevelt Island Resident And Specially Trained Therapy Dog At Coler Hospital, Momo Will Be An Ambassador Of Love To All Residents And Staff - Donated By Angelica Patients Assistant Program And Healing Pause

Meet Momo, the newest resident of Roosevelt Island.

Angelica Patients Assistant Program Founder Trish Duval reports on Momo's welcome to her new home at the Roosevelt Island Coler Rehabilitation and Long Term Care Facility last Friday:
Momo, a specially trained therapy dog, joined the staff of Coler Hospital today. Momo will live onsite and her duties will include spending time with residents in community rooms, making regular bedside visits and attending special events. She will also travel outside the hospital with the OPEN DOORS team when they speak with community groups and young people about the danger of gun violence.

Everyone is thrilled to have Momo living at Coler. She will be an ambassador of love to all the residents and staff.”
Channel 7 Eyewitness News reported on Momo's introduction to Coler on Roosevelt Island too.

Here's January 10 NYC Health & Hospitals Corp release about Momo.
NYC Health + Hospitals/Coler today announced the arrival of Momo

the health care system’s first in-residence therapy dog that will supplement and support the facility’s residents’ treatment and recovery. Residents and staff hosted a “collar ceremony” to welcome the therapy dog, a yellow Labrador Retriever. Momo comes to NYC Health + Hospitals/Coler as a donation from Healing Pause, a charitable organization that places therapy dogs in facilities that serve people in need, and Angelica Patient Assistance Program, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for residents at the facility. Momo will provide therapy support spending time with residents in the dayroom or their rooms, making regular bedside visits and attending the facility’s special events. Animal-assisted therapy has been shown to help promote a patient’s recovery and allow them to better managed their health issues related to trauma. Momo was delivered this past Tuesday by head trainer and handler Beth Robison. Staff members and residents underwent specific training to handle Momo.

“We are happy to welcome Momo to the NYC Health + Hospitals/Coler family. Studies have clearly documented the healing power of animals on patients, and I know that Momo will have the same effect on ours. Momo will help to reduce stress and anxiety, while promoting the health and wellbeing of our residents,” said NYC Health + Hospitals/Coler CEO Robert K. Hughes.

“Healing Pause is honored to partner with Angelica Patient Assistance Program and NYC Health + Hospitals/Coler in bringing this long-time dream of an on-staff therapy dog to fruition,” said Founder and Director of Healing Pause Nathan Davila. “It is our mission to bring the intrinsic healing qualities of dogs to those in need. A moment to pause, a moment to love in our hectic schedules, because there is healing in the pause and a moment can change a lifetime.”

In her role, Momo will also support members of the facility’s Open Doors program in their efforts to encourage youth to become positive change makers and inform on the realities of gun violence in NYC. Open Doors is an arts and justice initiative based at NYC Health + Hospitals/Coler, where members collaborate with established artists, use storytelling, hip-hop and spoken word to challenge audiences to combat the injustice that breeds violence in our cities. The addition of an in-residence therapy dog at NYC Health + Hospitals/Coler builds on its commitment to community healing and engagement. Internally, Momo will serve as a resource for various departments as she becomes integrated into the facility’s daily routine.

The in-residence therapy dog received specialized training from Drachten Performance, a specialized training program for show, service and hunting dogs, which includes advanced certifications for emotional support, dealing with patients with visual impairment and cognitive disabilities and skilled service for mobility impairment. For the past 12 years, Angelica Patient Assistance Program has supported social, cultural and recreational activities that have made a tremendous difference in the lives of NYC Health + Hospitals/Coler’s residents. In 2016, Angelica partnered with residents in Open Doors to support the creativity and leadership of people who have been harmed by gun violence.

“Congratulations to Momo and her new NYC Health + Hospitals family,” said Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried. “Animal-assisted therapy, like art and music therapy, is increasingly recognized as a valuable service for patients dealing with trauma. I look forward to meeting NYC Health + Hospitals’ newest employee!”

“A ray of sunshine and hope, therapy dogs bring comfort and joy those in need,” said Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright. “We welcome Momo and the important support she will provide at NYC Health + Hospitals/Coler for patients who are recovering from violence and trauma.”

NYC Health + Hospitals/Coler provides high quality short-term rehabilitation and long-term skilled nursing services in a warm and comfortable setting on Roosevelt Island. From specialized rehabilitation equipment to expert wound care, they offer a variety of health care services – all designed to deliver excellent care and maximize patient independence to more than 500 patients and residents.

Learn about Healing Pause mission to bring therapy dogs to those in need.

Also, more info on the Angelica Patient Assistant Program and and NYC Health & Hospitals/Coler facility.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Up to $3,000 Neighborhood Grants For Community Improvement Projects Available For Roosevelt Island Groups From Citizens Committee For New York City - Application Deadline January 20

The Citizens Committee For New York City (CCNYC) is inviting Roosevelt Island community groups to apply for up to $3000 in CCNYC Neighborhood Grants. Application deadline is January 20.

The mission of CCNYC is:
... to help New Yorkers —especially those in low-income areas— come together and improve the quality of life in their neighborhoods.

CCNYC reports that they are currently:
... accepting applications from volunteer-led community groups for its Neighborhood Grants program, which provides funding of up to $3,000 and project planning support for initiatives aimed at improving the local quality of life. The application deadline is January 20th and grassroots organizations from across the five boroughs are invited to apply. Organizations do not have to be a registered 501(c)(3) to receive an award from CCNYC. Eligible groups include block and civic associations, schools (PTAs, teachers, student-led groups), gardening groups, and others.

Grants of up to $3,000 will be awarded for neighborhood improvement projects planned and executed by local residents. Examples of eligible projects include turning a vacant lot into a community garden or community composting site; facilitating workshops on healthy cooking and eating; beautifying public spaces; arts and cultural programs; youth fitness initiatives; and much more. Groups working in the city’s most underserved and low-income neighborhoods will be given priority. In addition to funding, groups selected for a 2020 Neighborhood Grant will receive project planning assistance, opportunities to participate in skills-building workshops, and access to CCNYC’s equipment resource library....
More info and application for CCNYC Neighborhood Grant available here.

Previous Roosevelt Island recipients of CCNYC Neighborhood Grants include iDig2Learn and the Roosevelt Island Garden Club. iDig2Learn spruced up and beautified the Coler Hospital Campus and according to CCNYC:
... the Roosevelt Island Garden Club replaced and repaired all of its garden paths to make the infrastructure more accessible to all community members, including those who use wheelchairs, mobility devices, walkers, strollers, carts, and wagons. As Roosevelt Island is a geographically isolated Manhattan neighborhood, it is important for all residents to access the garden.
Don't miss this chance to apply for a CCNYC Neighborhood Grant for your Roosevelt Island project.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Don't Be Alarmed By Law Enforcement Armed Personnel Tomorrow (January 13) Morning At Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech Campus - It's A Training Exercise, Area Closed To Pedestrian And Vehicular Traffic

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):

The Cornell Tech Campus on Roosevelt Island will be hosting law enforcement personnel on Monday, January 13, 2020. The roads and areas south of Sportspark will be closed to pedestrian and vehicular traffic during a police exercise from 9:00 AM until 11:00 AM. Please be aware that armed personnel will be visible in the area throughout this time period. Please do not be alarmed. It is a training exercise. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Image Of Entrance to Cornell Tech

I asked Cornell Tech:
Is the law enforcement exercise specifically about security at Cornell Tech or is it more general and just taking place there?
A Cornell Tech spokesperson replied:
The exercise is for security at Cornell Tech.
UPDATE 1/13:

Friday, January 10, 2020

Assault At Roosevelt Island FDR Four Freedoms Park - Skateboarder Altercation With Park Employee Leads To Employee Being Thrown To Ground, Injuring Ankle And Back Says RIOC PSD Report

The Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department Incident report listed:

01/08/20 – 1603 – Assault – 10 Main Street – PSD/EMS/NYPD responded – Referred to NYPD.
I asked the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) for more details.

According to RIOC Public Information Officer Terrence McCauley:
Three males skateboarding in Four Freedoms State Park were approached by one of the park employees. One of the three skateboarders had a verbal altercation with the employee, which led to the employee being thrown to ground. The employee injured his ankle and hurt his back.

No weapons were used. The suspect fled the scene with other males. The search for subject yielded negative results.

Skateboarding is not allowed at the FDR Four Freedoms Park.

2 Girl Scouts From Roosevelt Island Chosen To Represent Girl Scout USA Movement On Millions Of Girl Scout Cookie Box Packaging, Congrats To Persya Perez & Maya Rodney, Well Done - Cookies Arrive In February But You Can Pre Order Now

Who would have thought that not only 1 but 2 Roosevelt Island Girl Scouts were chosen to represent the Girl Scout USA movement on millions of Girl Scout Cookie package boxes. As reported earlier this week, Maya Rodney from Roosevelt Island Girl Scout Troop 3002 is featured on the 2020 Girl Scout Cookie Boxes.

Shortly after publishing the story I learned from a reader:

And another Islander is on the back of Trefoils!!! Persya Perez!! Yitza Martinez’s daughter!!

Goooo Island Girl Scouts!!!

Proud Roosevelt Island Mom Yitza Martinez reports:
My daughter Persya Perez from Troop 3001

is also featured on one of the cookie boxes, the Trefoils to be exact. The chances of getting on a box are pretty slim because they choose girls from all over the United States. The fact that 2 Girl Scouts from Roosevelt Island were chosen is awesome. Congratulations to Maya!

Persya has been on the top 5 cookie seller list for 3 years now. Hoping to one year make it to #1 spot. Competition is pretty fierce, especially here on Roosevelt Island. Either way she is having a good time taking orders to help raise money for the troop to go camping at the end of the Girl Scout year. It's something the girls look forward to. Cookie sales for delivery by girl scout will end on the 13th. If anyone would still like to order and not mind the shipping fee they can still do so after that date. To support Persya on her journey you can use

Here's a message my daughter Persya wrote:
Thank you so much @girlscouts @girlscoutsnyc for giving me this opportunity, and also thank you @kr8zyfam05 @edfromdaroc for helping me these past 7 years since day 1 of being a Girl Scout💖

And lastly, thank you to all of my loyal customers and supporters because without your crave for the best cookies, I wouldn’t have the amount of confidence I have, the business skills, and all the money management skills that I’ve learned in the past years, which is all apart of Girl Scouts as well!#girls#younglady#supportme#cookieseason#girlscout
I asked Roosevelt Island Girl Scout Troop 3001 Leader Aiesha Eleusizov
How does being featured on the Boxes work - it seems unusual to have 2 girls from same neighborhood featured.

Does every neighborhood get a local girl featured on the box?
Ms. Aiesha Eleusizov explains:
First, you should know that the Girl Scout cookie boxes RARELY change - usually they go about a decade with the same boxes. So, it's a pretty big deal that we have new boxes this year at all. And, these are the cookies boxes that a million Girl Scouts will sell all over the US for probably the next ten years or so (I think there are usually about 200 million boxes sold nationwide per year, so their photos will be everywhere!).

As far as I know, there were two ways that girls were chosen to be on the new boxes. A small group of girls (I believe 6) were chosen through the 2018 Girl Scouts of the USA Cookie Pro contest (I don't think either one of the RI girls were chosen through this route). Those girls submitted applications and talked about their Girl Scout entrepreneurial/ cookie sale experiences. The second way was through a Girl Scouts of the USA casting call in 2018 that was sent to girls by invitation only - I believe they invited high sellers and/or girls that are very involved in Girl Scouting. We had a few girls in our troop that went to the casting call - and Persya was picked for a full photo shoot (she went through several rounds of interviews before she was chosen - it was not an easy process!). I don't know how Maya was selected

In addition, as an FYI, we have a number of RI Girl Scouts that are on Girl Scout web sites and promotional materials nation-wide! Because we have such wonderful diversity in our troops on Roosevelt Island, the RI troops were invited to two professional cookie asset photo shoots in May/June 2017. These professional photos are now used nation-wide. It's been great fun to see the faces of our girls (and the RI leaders as well) on promotional materials and websites all over!! Frequently, I get Girl Scout e-mails or see social media posts outside of our local area featuring our local RI Girl Scouts. We have a pretty special community - and one that has been very generous in supporting our Girl Scout cookies!!

On a side note, you should know that donated cookies make their way back to Roosevelt Island as well. Each year we have hundreds of boxes donated to Coler Hospital (for the residents as well as the very hard working staff) and we donate boxes to the Carter Burden Senior Center (for events and holidays (each senior went home with cookies on Thanksgiving) and to RIDA. We also give donated cookies to a group of homebound seniors identified by DASH on their birthday (along with a homemade card and flowers and a cupcake donated by Wholesome Factory). So, if any Islanders want to purchase cookies to be donated, we welcome that as well!
Congrats to Roosevelt Island Girl Scouts Maya Rodney and Persya Perez.

No Roosevelt Island F Train Service To Manhattan This Weekend - Two Weekends In A Row Of Roosevelt Island Subway Service Disruptions

There is no Roosevelt Island F Train service to Manhattan this weekend.

According to the MTA:
SIGNAL MODERNIZATION Jan 10 - 13, Fri 9:45 PM to Mon 5 AM Brooklyn-bound F trains run via the E from Roosevelt Av, Queens to 5 Av/53 St, Manhattan

Trains resume regular service at 47-50 Sts.

No Brooklyn-bound F service at 21 St-Queensbridge, Roosevelt Island, Lexington Av/63 St and 57 St.
That's second consecutive weekend of Roosevelt Island F Train service disruption after 4 months of normal weekend service.

Both Roosevelt Island Tram cabins are operating and here's the NYC Ferry Roosevelt Island Astoria Route Winter Schedule. 

During June 13 Roosevelt Island Town Hall Meeting organized by Council Member Ben Kallos, MTA representative Markus Book spoke about Roosevelt Island F Train subway service. Watch the full MTA Roosevelt Island presentation below.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Roosevelt Island Hudson Related Riverwalk 8 Affordable Housing Building Web Site Now Live With Info - Housing Lottery For Units Likely To Launch In March

I asked Hudson Related Roosevelt Island Southtown Riverwalk developer David Kramer:

... any update on Riverwalk affordable housing building 8? A web site for the building that will show unit types, area medium income ranges and projected rents. was supposed to be available last summer?
Image of Riverwalk Building 8 Construction Site

A Hudson Related spokesperson replied:
... The Riverwalk 8 (AKA Riverwalk Park) site launched and can be found here
Also, am told that:
Regarding the launch of the lottery, that has not been scheduled, but will likely happen in March
through NYC Housing Connect.

As previously reported, Riverwalk Park is:
... a 21-story building comprised of approximately 240,000 square feet of floor area and 341 rental units, will be constructed. Building 8 will be financed under the Department of Housing Preservation and Development of the City of New York and the New York City Housing Development Corporation’s M2 Mixed Middle Income Program. RIOC seeks to preserve affordable housing, consistent with its mission and statutory purpose.

Under the Building 8 Ground Lease
  • (i) 3% of the 341 units will be reserved as Homeless Units, 
  • (ii) 3% of the units will be reserved for very low-income families with household incomes of 40% of AMI, 
  • (iii) 14% of the units will be reserved for families with household incomes of 50% of AMI, 
  • (iv) 10% of the units will be reserved for families with household incomes of 80% of AMI, 
  • (v) 20% of the units will be reserved for families with household incomes of 100% of AMI, and
  •  (vi) 50% of the units will be reserved for families with household incomes of 130% of AMI. 
This breakdown provides an even greater degree of affordability than was set forth in the Fifth Amendment.
NYC 2019 Area Medium Income (AMI) for a single person is $74,700. For a family of 2, AMI is $85,400 and for a family of 4, AMI is $106,700. 
The Fifth Amendment referenced above provided for the units to be available for families with incomes of  40% - 165% AMI.

... The building contains 81 studios, 158 one-bedrooms, 51 two-bedrooms, and 50 three-bedrooms. The application process will launch in 2020 through Housing Connect – New York City’s housing lottery system. Depending on family and apartment size, income-level based rents will vary from a minimum of $505 a month for a studio to $3,431 for a three-bedroom....
Click here to learn more and sign up to receive information from Hudson Related about Riverwalk Park.

Stay tuned for more info.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Roosevelt Island Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney Speaks On House Floor Today Opposing War In Middle East And Conflict With Iran - What Happens Next?

Roosevelt Island's Congresswoman (NY-12) Carolyn Maloney spoke on the floor of the House Of Representatives today opposing war in the Middle East and conflict with Iran.

This morning, President Trump had this to say about Iran

and the AP fact checked his statement.

Reactions include:

When Will New NY Public Library Roosevelt Island Branch Location Finally Open? Not As Planned For December 2019, Delayed Until Spring 2020 Says NYPL Spokesperson

When will the New York Public Library (NYPL) open it's new Roosevelt Island branch location on the first floor of 504 Main Street

replacing the current overcrowded and dilapidated branch?

Plans for the new Roosevelt Island NYPL branch library were first announced way back in July 2012 but construction did not start until October 2018. At that time, we were told to expect substantial completion of the new library by December 2019. As we know, that has not happened.

In October 2019, Main Street Retail Master Leaseholder Hudson Related representative Alex Kaplan reported:
... the NY Public Library will open in the Summer of 2020, later than the December 2019 that had been scheduled....
Earlier this week, I asked the NYPL:
... Completion of construction and opening of the new Roosevelt Island Library was scheduled for December 2019/January 2020.

When do you expect the library to open?
A NYPL spokesperson answered:
There was a slight delay, but we expect to move in to the new branch in the spring. When we've confirmed the exact date for the opening, we'll be sure to let you know (and will be sending an email to patrons to notify them as well!)
Below is NYPL January 2016 presentation on the new Roosevelt Island branch library

Roosevelt Island Library - FINAL Presentation 1/2016

and video of the presentation.

Roosevelt Island Girl Scout Maya Rodney Chosen To Represent Girl Scout Movement On Millions Of 2020 Girl Scout Cookie Box Packaging Reports Proud Mom - Cookies Arrive In February But You Can Pre Order Now

Proud Roosevelt Island Mom Joan Rodney reports:

Just wanted to share and pass along to you that Roosevelt Island's very own has been chosen to be featured on MILLIONS of Girl Scout cookie boxes nationwide. Maya (our 9 year old daughter) is part of Troop 3002 on Roosevelt Island.

Girl Scouts USA Chief Executive Officer Syliva Acevedo congratulated Maya

and wrote
Dear Maya,

Congratulations on being chosen to represent your Girl Scout sisters and the entire Girl Scout Movement on the new Girl Scout Cookie packaging! Our famous cookie packages have always featured girls like you being true G.I.R.L.s (Go-Getters, Innovators,  Risk takers and Leaders) as you dive into outdoor adventures, take action in your community, explore your passions and make lifelong connections...

According to Girl Scouts USA:
... The Girl Scout Cookie Program® teaches girls about entrepreneurship as they have fun learning essential skills like money management, public speaking, and decision making, which set them up for a lifetime of success. Nine in ten Girl Scouts say the cookie program has built their entrepreneurship skills and their interest in pursuing entrepreneurship as a career path—so every cookie purchase is an investment in the world-changing business leaders of tomorrow. What’s more, each and every purchase stays local to power amazing experiences and leadership opportunities for girls in communities across the United States....
Ms. Rodney adds:
Maya & her younger sister, Madison, are taking cookie orders now for anyone interested!

Dear Family and Friends,

Happy New Year! We're selling Girl Scout Cookies again!

The money we raise from cookie sales this year will go to the ​Ronald McDonald House​ (which provides help for sick children and their families), and to ​St. Jude's Hospital ​(where they treat children who have cancer and other illnesses).

Any amount you purchase is greatly appreciated!

If you do not want to buy cookies, you can still support us by making a $1 or $5 donation - every dollar helps!

Thank you for your support! We are so grateful!


Maya & Madison

You can pre-order your cookies now and we will arrange for delivery when they arrive in mid-February. To order cookies, email our mommy, Joan, at ​​
You can also make a donation or place your order directly on-line by visiting our cookie website links:



As previously reported:
Roosevelt Island is fortunate to have several well run Girl Scout troops for a variety of ages including the:
  • Daisies K & 1st grade
  • Brownies 2nd & 3rd grade
  • Juniors 4th & 5th grade
  • Cadettes 6th to 8th grade
  • Seniors 9th & 10th grade
  • Ambassadors 11th & 12th grade
Here's more info on Roosevelt Island Girl Scouts past activities.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Congrats To Roosevelt Island Home Town Boy Matt Rhule Named Head Coach Of NFL Carolina Panthers Today - His Dad Says It Was Good For Him Growing Up On RI Seeing Different Types Of People

Naming a new head coach of the NFL's Carolina Panthers would not usually be a a topic of interest for Roosevelt Island except today - when Matt Rhule, who grew up on Roosevelt Island in the 1980's, was the person hired to be the coach.

According to this October 7, 2017 Waco Tribune-Herald article:
... With his father taking different jobs around the country as a Nazarene minister, Matt was exposed to a lot different cultures and socioeconomic groups.

The most dramatic move for Denny and Gloria Rhule and children Matt and Dana came in 1980 when they moved from Kansas City to New York City. Denny felt a calling to minister to the homeless in the Times Square area of Manhattan.

“It was good for our kids because they saw different people,” Denny Rhule said. “They saw different races and socioeconomic groups. The church had a big outreach to the homeless and they were part of that. I tried to include them as much as we could. I think it benefited them in the long run being there 11 years.”...
and January 27 CBS Sports adds:
... Matt got an education growing up on Roosevelt Island, a melting pot in the middle of the East River. He mingled with both kids from subsidized housing and the offspring of diplomats.... 

According to
... NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Rhule's contract is for seven years and is worth a whopping $62 million. The deal also includes a $2.5 million signing bonus in addition to incentives for team goals such as winning seasons, playoff wins and Super Bowls. A large sum to lure Rhule from the college ranks to Carolina....
A homecoming to the NY Giants would have been a great story but congratulations to Matt Rhule for being first Roosevelt Islander NFL Head Coach.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Transportation For Roosevelt Island Disabled Just Got A Whole Lot Better - RIDA Announces Purchase Of New Bus To Take Members to Events, Cultural Activities, Shopping & More

The Roosevelt Island Disabled Association (RIDA) has a new bus to transport it's members on trips for shopping, cultural activities and events of all kinds on Roosevelt Island and elsewhere in the NYC area.

RIDA President Wendy Hersh reported last Saturday:
Exciting day today. Long time coming and a lot of hard work...but I am picking up the newer RIDA bus today...newer, cleaner and safe!!!
and later on Saturday:
So HURRAY...we finally got the bus!! We are on our way back to the Island.

Ms Hersh adds today:
The bus is a 2014 with very, very low mileage. It has 10 permanent seats, 3 flip seats and can accommodate up to 3 wheelchairs.

We researched many bus seller companies and this one company on Long Island really worked with me to give us what we needed. And I would be amiss if I did not give a shout out to RIOC (Susan Rosenthal, Cy Opperman and Joe Marino) for all of their assistance in checking out the buses for me and assisting me with finding the most appropriate and cost effective bus.

The old bus had become unsafe and trips and services were severely limited over the holidays. We will continue to use the bus to transport our members for shopping and cultural trips as well as to events. We will also use it to transport disabled members of our community during Island events.

Although our members were a little disappointed over the holidays as our trips were limited due to the poor condition of our old bus, we were still able to provide them with some holiday events on our Island. I promised our members a new bus and as one member said yesterday upon seeing the new bus,"you really kept your promise ". It meant alot to me to be able to make this happen.

Part of our 2019-20 RIOC Public Purpose Funds grant was awarded for this. We also had to redistribute some of our funds that were for other activities in order to be able to afford this since we did not get any other outside assistance. It was a great price for what it is but still more than we expected. We had reached out to some politicians but received no assistance. It may be a little tough getting through until our next grant, but we will continue to provide our members with services.
A RIDA member thanked Ms Hersh for all her hard work to get the new bus.
Thank you Wendy for all you have done to get the van. It's. A beauty and well deserved . May God bless every trip we take.
Here's Ms Hersh describing the programs and services offered by RIDA, including the need for a new bus, to the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Puble Purpose Funds Committee last May seeking recommendation for the RIOC Public Purpose Fund grant.

RIDA received $33 Thousand in 2019 RIOC Public Purpose Funds.

Happy Travels RIDA!!!!!

Friday, January 3, 2020

Update On Changes To Roosevelt Island NYC Bus Route Proposed By MTA Queens Bus Network Redesign - RIOC Says They Don't Want Reduction In Service And Will Discuss With MTA, Resident Blasts MTA For Lack Of Knowledge About RI, LIC And Astoria Q102 Bus Riders

Reported yesterday on the new Roosevelt Island NYC Bus Route to replace the current Q102 proposed by the MTA's Queens Bus Network Redesign:

Roosevelt Island will be served with a new QT78 NYC Bus Route

under the Queens Bus Network Redesign Draft Plan proposed by the MTA replacing the Q102 route currently serving Roosevelt Island.

The proposed Roosevelt Island bus route will travel on 36th avenue to and from Roosevelt Island bringing better access to Astoria but will no longer travel the current circuitous route to Queens Plaza.

It appears that the new Roosevelt Island NYC Bus Service does not cover area north of the Roosevelt Island Bridge including Coler Hospital and the Octagon Building or south of the Tram Station as the current Q102 service does
I asked Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Susan Rosenhtal:
... Is RIOC giving any input to the MTA on proposed new route?

Any statement from RIOC on the proposed new MTA Bus route?...
RIOC Public Information Officer Terrence McCauley replied:
RIOC staff is in contact with the MTA to discuss these proposed changes. We certainly do not want to see any reduction in service. We also encourage our residents to contact the MTA directly to voice their concerns.... The map you got from their website certainly looks like there are changes to the route on the Island, but those maps aren’t always accurate.
The MTA asks for your online comments on the new Roosevelt Island bus route.

Longtime Roosevelt Island resident and retired Public Transit advocate Nina Lublin responded to the MTA's proposed new Roosevelt Island NYC Bus route:
My rage towards the MTA, Mr. Byford & the dopes who came up with this plan is the seemingly total lack of regard -- or knowledge -- of the Roosevelt Island community, and the many LIC & Astoria folks who depend on the Q102 to get to Queens Plaza (or RI) for both Bus & Subway access to Queens, Brooklyn, & especially the 3 buses that go to & from Manhattan.

Coler Hospital  employees without cars? Or the folks who visit them? I'm sure HHC & 1199 are not happy

What about the many folks from who depend on wheelchair-accessible / disability friendly bus service to & from Roosevelt Island -- especially when there is no F Train service?

The folks at the Queensbridge Houses will be impacted severely as for many of them the Q102 gets them to & from shopping, doctor appointments, the F train at 21st street & much more.
You too, can tell the MTA what you think of the proposed plan.

More on the proposed change to Roosevelt Island NYC bus service here.

You're Invited To RIOC Community Workshop January 8 To Help Plan Vision For $11 Million Lighthouse Park Improvements And Nearly Doubling Size To Include Additional 3 1/2 Acres Of Coler Parking Lot For Passive And Active Recreational Space - Also, Take The Online Lighthouse Park Survey

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) is hosting a January 8 community workshop

to help plan improvements to Lighthouse Park and expanding

it's footprint to include portions of the adjacent Coler Hospital parking lot.

According to RIOC:
Let your voice be heard! On Wednesday, January 8, 2020, from 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM, RIOC will be sponsoring a workshop about the planned work for Lighthouse Park. The workshop will take place at the Good Shepherd Community Center (Upper Level) 543 Main Street. Please share this with all of your neighbors. Children are welcome! Please take the survey by clicking here:
and some background about the project from this October 7, 2019 memo excerpt to RIOC President Susan Rosenthal from RIOC Assistant VP Of Capital Planning & Projects Jonna Carmona-Graf:
... Lighthouse Park is a 3.5‐acre passive park that provides panoramic views of New York City. The park offers barbeque grills, a picnic grove and rolling lawns with mature canopy trees. The park also includes the historic light house designed by James Renwick and erected in 1842.

Recent improvements to the park include upgrades to the seawall railings, reconstruction of the foot bridges and general repairs of damage caused by Superstorm Sandy. However, many areas of the park including the adjacent parking areas have deteriorated over time and need repair. We are committed to investing approximately $11M in transformative capital improvements to the park and its’ parking area. As a result, RIOC sought for design services to repurpose the parking lot into useable park space that better serves the community, as well as, complete needed upgrades to the existing park amenities. When complete, the park will expand to nearly 7 acres of passive and active space....
Take the Lighthouse Park Survey - questions include:

Answer the full survey here.

After 4 Consecutive Months Of Full Weekend F Train Service Here We Go Again, No Roosevelt Island F Train Service From Manhattan This Weekend

There is no Roosevelt Island F Train service from Manhattan this weekend.

According to the MTA:
... SIGNAL MODERNIZATION Jan 3 - 6, Fri 9:45 PM to Mon 5 AM Jamaica-bound F trains run via the E after 47-50 Sts, Manhattan to Roosevelt Av, Queens

No Jamaica-bound F service at 57 St, Lexington Av/63 St, Roosevelt Island and 21 St-Queensbridge....
Roosevelt Island has had 4 consecutive months of weekend F Train service to and from Manhattan up to this weekend.

Both Roosevelt Island Tram cabins are operating and here's the NYC Ferry Roosevelt Island Astoria Route Winter Schedule. 

During June 13 Roosevelt Island Town Hall Meeting organized by Council Member Ben Kallos, MTA representative Markus Book spoke about Roosevelt Island F Train subway service. Watch the full MTA Roosevelt Island presentation below.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

New Roosevelt Island Bus Route Proposed By MTA's Queens Bus Network Redesign - Replaces Current Q102 Route For New 36th Ave Route Thru Astoria To Middle Village, New Plan May Not Cover All Of Roosevelt Island

According to the MTA:
For the last few months, we’ve been diligently working to completely redraw the Queens Bus Network to create a faster, more reliable system of interconnected routes. To do this, we wiped the map clean and started from scratch, which means there are a lot of changes proposed in this proposed Draft Plan. Read it carefully, and make sure to review the new routes, see what your commute would be like in the new network, and most importantly, let us know what you think

Read the introduction and next steps, and download the entire Draft Plan here....
And about the new Roosevelt Island bus route:
... Route Statistics

Length: 7.1 miles
Number of turns per mile: 0.6
Priority Corridor: No

Route Summary

We propose the QT78 - Roosevelt Island-Middle Village route, the purpose of which is to link neighborhoods, key transit connections and important destinations. It operates between Middle Village/Fresh Pond Road and Roosevelt Island....
Roosevelt Island will be served with a new QT78 NYC Bus Route

under the Queens Bus Network Redesign Draft Plan proposed by the MTA replacing the Q102 route currently serving Roosevelt Island.

The proposed Roosevelt Island bus route will travel on 36th avenue to and from Roosevelt Island bringing better access to Astoria but will no longer travel the current circuitous route to Queens Plaza.

It appears that the new Roosevelt Island NYC Bus Service does not cover area north of the Roosevelt Island Bridge including Coler Hospital and the Octagon Building or south of the Tram Station as the current Q102 service does and:
... Bus stops on the QT78 - Roosevelt Island-Middle Village are spaced approximately 1,325 feet apart, excluding non-stop portions of the route...
The Draft Plan also eliminates the Q103 Vernon B'lvd route that has a stop at the foot of the Roosevelt Island Bridge on 36th Ave.

You can tell the MTA your thoughts

on the proposed new Roosevelt Island bus route here.