Thursday, July 2, 2020

Roosevelt Island Community Activist Frank Farance Gives Testimony To NY State Attorney General Letitia James Hearing Investigating NYPD and Public Interactions During Protests in the Wake of George Floyd’s Death

According NY State Attorney General Letitia James:

The Attorney General’s Office is charged with investigating New York Police Department’s (NYPD’s) response to recent protests, including any allegations of misconduct....

... As part of this investigation into interactions between NYPD officers and civilians during recent protests following the killing of George Floyd, Attorney General James, joined by special advisors to the investigation, former United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch and founding Director of New York University Policing Project Barry Friedman, held a virtual public hearing on June 17 and June 18 to examine the nature and details of these interactions.

Members of the public, government officials, and community leaders were invited to provide written and oral testimony. In total, there were more than 300 submitted pieces of written testimony and 17 hours of oral testimony from individuals present at protests, elected officials, legal groups, and community organizations. There were 52 speakers on the first day of the hearing, including 20 members of the public, 17 government officials, and 15 community organizations. The second day of the hearing saw 48 speakers, with 44 members of the public, two government officials, a community organization, and a law enforcement organization.

Among those giving written testimony to the June 17-18 hearings was Roosevelt Island community activist Frank Farance.

Mr Farance summarizes his testimony below

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Appointment Of Shelton Haynes As Acting RIOC President And Approval Of Annual Report Among Items On July 2 Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Board Of Directors Meeting Video Conference - You're Invited To Watch And Ask Questions During Public Comment Session Prior To Meeting

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors will meet 5:30 PM Thursday, July 2  via video conference. You can watch the Board meeting and ,ask questions or share concerns about Roosevelt Island during the opening Public Session before the start of the meeting. Sign up to speak here.

Among the items on the Agenda are:

Image From RIOC

 Mr Haynes is scheduled to deliver a President's report as well. Will he address any of the issues relating to the June 19 dismissal of former President Susan Rosenthal based upon allegations made by an employee that Ms Rosenthal made inappropriate racial and sexual remarks and that RIOC senior leadership did nothing to stop the behavior? According to the employee's complaint which was found to be substantiated by a 7 day NY State Governor's Office investigation:
... My experience of working at RIOC for the last several years have been toxic as we've experienced offensive racial comments and jokes of a sexual nature by Ms. Susan Rosenthal, RIOC's Chief Executive Officer/President. I've witnessed the lack of regard for employees as senior leadership continues to make excuses and play a blind eye on these troublesome issues....
Here's the July 2 RIOC Board of Directors meeting agenda.

Deadline To Apply For Hudson Related Roosevelt Island Riverwalk Park Affordable Housing Lottery Rapidly Approaching, Get Your Applications In By July 6 - To Date, 71 Thousand Applications Received, 618 From Roosevelt Island For 313 Units

The July 6 deadline to apply for the 313 available units in the soon to open Roosevelt Island Hudson Related Riverwalk Park Affordable Housing Building lottery is rapidly approaching.

Image Of Riverwalk Park

As previously reported:
... Riverwalk Park will be 100% affordable for individuals and families that earn between 40-165% of the Area Median Income. Fifty percent of the units are reserved for current residents of Manhattan Community Board 8....

... Riverwalk Park will have 313 affordable units including apartments ranging in size and price of:
  • Studios $506 - $1,961
  • 1 Bedroom,$648 - $2,468
  • 2 Bedroom &$791 - $2,974
  • 3 Bedroom $909 - $3,432
Roosevelt Island residents are part of the 50% Community Board 8 preference.

According to a Hudson Related representative, to date there have been a total of 71 thousand applications for affordable housing at Riverwalk Park.  618 applications from Roosevelt Island and 1300 from Community Board 8 including Roosevelt Island.

Last night, NYC Council Member Ben Kallos hosted an online Riverwalk Park information session with representatives of Hudson Related describing the application process and answering questions from interested community members.

Watch the video of information session to learn more about Riverwalk Park and how to apply.

Roosevelt Island Girl Scouts Deliver Over 450 Cookies For Courage Boxes To Local Coronavirus Pandemic Essential Workers With Messages Of Thanks And Gratitude From The Community

Roosevelt Island Girl Scout Troop 3001 Leader Aiesha Eleusizov reports:

Now that the city is slowly beginning to open, I thought this might be a good time for the Roosevelt Island Girl Scout troops to express their appreciation

to our community for their support in our cookie season this year and to update everyone on Cookies for Courage.

Thanks to the generosity of Roosevelt Island residents and their friends and family, the Girl Scout troops delivered over 450 packages of Girl Scout cookies with messages of gratitude from the community to our island Essential Workers!

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Roosevelt Island Free Covid-19 Mobile Pop Up Nasal Swab Test Site Is Open This Week Thru Thursday, 133 Residents Got Tested On Monday - TESTING IS A GOOD THING Says NYC Council Member Ben Kallos

Roosevelt Island residents can get a free Covid-19 nasal swab test at the NYC Health & Hospital Corp (NYC HHC) Mobile Van Pop Up Site located under the Motorgate Helix. Roosevelt Island testing began yesterday morning and will continue from 10 AM-4 PM each day thru Thursday July 2. Please arrive before 3 PM to allow enough time to take the test before the 4 PM closing time.

Roosevelt Island's NYC Council Member Ben Kallos advocated for the Roosevelt Island Covid-19 mobile test site.

Council Member Kallos was joined by NYC HHC Executive Director for Mobile Pop Up Testing sites Michelle Clarke, Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Acting President Shelton Haynes, Community Board 8 Chair Alida Camp and resident Judy Berdy to encourage residents to get Covid-19 testing.

Monday, June 29, 2020

You're Invited To Roosevelt Island Riverwalk Park Affordable Housing Building Virtual Information Session Hosted By NYC Council Member Ben Kallos Tuesday June 30 - Lottery Application Deadline July 6

Roosevelt Island's NYC Council Member Ben Kallos is hosting a virtual Riverwalk Park Affordable Housing building information session tomorrow evening. According to Council Member Kallos:

Join me at 6pm on Tuesday, June 30th for an announcement and information session on the 300+ New Affordable Homes on Roosevelt Island.

RSVP by phone to (212) 860-1950 or at
Meeting will be hosted on Zoom and streamed at

More info on the Hudson Related Riverwalk Park Roosevelt Island affordable housing building at their web site and at this prior post.

The deadline to apply for the Riverwalk Park housing lottery is July 6

Here's a very informative article on NYC Housing lotteries from The City.

Good Luck

Macy's Fireworks Will Be Seen Tonight From Roosevelt Island, LIC And Along The East River - Remember To Keep Your Social Distance

UPDATE 10:20 PM - The Fireworks were closer to Roosevelt Island than I've seen them before.

UPDATE 6/30 - Resident Diana Uribe shares these photos and video from last night's Macy's Fireworks seen from Roosevelt Island.

Roosevelt Island Non Perishable Extra Food Giveaway From RIDA And Carter Burden RI Senior Center Tuesday June 30 At Senior Center - Soup, Cereal, Bread, Canned Goods & More

Roosevelt Island Disabled Association (RIDA) President Wendy Hersh reports;

In need of food?? The Roosevelt Island Disabled Association (RIDA) in collaboration with Carter Burden Network (CBN) Roosevelt Island Senior Center will be distributing non perishable food items again

on Tuesday, June 30 at the RI Senior Center (546 Main Street) garden entrance from 9:30AM to 11:30AM for those in need. For access, remember to wear your face mask and gloves, bring your own bag or cart. Please make sure to use the garden entrance.

Learn more about RIDA's food delivery to residents during the Coronavirus Pandemic lockdown.

FDNY And NYPD Marine Units Rescue Stranded Jet Skiers Last Night In East River Between Roosevelt Island And Long Island City

During the summer, jet skiers are seen roaring past Roosevelt Island bouncing up and down on the East River.

Last evening, around 9:30 PM , the Roosevelt Island Twitterverse reported helicopters circling above the East River and FDNY and NYPD Marine Units in the East River near Roosevelt Island and Long Island City.

According to Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Information Officer Terrence McCauley:
It appears a jet ski ran out of gas in the East River and had to be towed.
An FDNY spokesperson added:
FDNY received a call to East River /Ed Koch Queensboro brdg. For a report of jet skiers in the water at 21:38 hrs. We closed it out at 22:37 hrs. With no transports.
The NYPD had no info on incident at this time.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

WOW, Gorgeous Rainbow Over NYC East River Waterfront, LIC And Queesnboro Bridge Seen Tonight From Roosevelt Island

UPDATE 10:45 PM - Resident Diana Uribe share these photos including a Double Rainbow tonight.

Roosevelt Island Boys of Summer Are Back At Capobianco Field Getting Ready For Upcoming Social Distancing Baseball Season - You Wanna Have A Catch

We all could use some baseball right now

You wanna have a catch?

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Roosevelt Island's Got Talent & Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance Present Virtual Variety Show Featuring Our Local Talent Sunday June 28 - Join The Fun & Join The Community On Zoom

Roosevelt Island resident Kaja Meade reports:

Variety show featuring local talent; produced by Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance (MST&DA) and hosted by Roosevelt Island's Got Talent.

Sunday, June 28 from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Roosevelt Island Love

The Roosevelt Island community is where artists, creatives and performers flourish. Whether it's your first time, or you've come to each show - join us to celebrate these talents together. Tune in THIS SUNDAY on ZOOM for this week's talent show.

Click here to view
Roosevelt Island's Got Talent Sunday June 28 5 PM on Zoom

Couple Practicing Skate Dancing At Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech Campus Plaza, Not Quite Central Park Skate Circle, Yet - Onewheelers Rolling Roosevelt Island Too

The Rooevelt Island Cornell Tech campus plaza is a lovely spot to relax and enjoy a bite to eat and a drink at the Cafe in the Bloomberg Academic Building. Did you know it's also a place to practice your Skate Dancing too?

I doubt the Cornell Tech Plaza will ever come close to the popularity of Central Park's Skate Circle, but, hey, you never know.

Not only are Dance Skaters discovering Roosevelt Island, but so are Onewheelers.

What's next?

Friday, June 26, 2020

Roosevelt Island Celebrates Pollinator Week To Protect Bees, Birds, Butterflies, Bats & Beetles - Watch Informative Conversation With RI Residents Kaja Meade And Christina Delfico About Attracting Pollinators And Preserving Our Natural Environment

Happy National Pollinator Week! According to the Pollinator Partnership:

Pollinator Week 2020 (June 22-28) is the thirteenth consecutive year of bringing greater awareness to the critically important issue of pollinator conservation since Pollinator Partnership (P2) founded the initiative in 2007. While this year might not be a typical Pollinator Week due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people across the planet have pledged to continue promoting pollinator health and well-being through socially distant and responsible events.

Through the numerous virtual gatherings, webinars, responsible planting sessions, socially distant garden and farm walks, and monument lightings, Pollinator Week 2020 is geared to be the busiest and best one yet!....

... Pollinator Week shines a spotlight on the vital role of pollinators in our agriculture and ecosystems. Pollinators bring us 1 in 3 bites of food; promote ecosystem health; and lay the foundation for a sustainable future. While we are seeing some signs of the benefits of conservation efforts, many species of pollinators are still in grave peril. As a result of P2’s commitment and coordination of Pollinator Week, people across North America are motivated to help pollinators, and this is represented in the enthusiastic response that Pollinator week evokes....
iDig2Learn is doing it's part to celebrate and raise awareness  on Roosevelt Island of pollinator conservation.

Roosevelt Island resident Kaja Meade spoke with iDig2Learn Founder and Roosevelt Island resident Christina Delfico about Pollinator Week. It's a  great interview and very interesting conversation. Watch for yourself and learn the vital importance of pollinators on Roosevelt Island and all around the world..

No Roosevelt Island F Train Service From Manhattan This Weekend - Tram Operator Has Discretion To Increase 13 Passenger Social Distancing Limit Based On Conditions At Time Says RIOC

According to the MTA:
ELECTRICAL IMPROVEMENTS Jun 26 - 29, Fri 9:45 PM to Mon 1 AM (No subway service overnight between 1 AM and 5 AM) Jamaica-bound F trains are rerouted via the E after 47-50 Sts to Roosevelt Av

No Jamaica-bound F service at 57 St, Lexington Av/63 St, Roosevelt Island and 21 St-Queensbridge.

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) adds:
Tram Passenger Limits

As the region begins to reopen and more people return to work, the tram will have more riders. The tram operator has the discretion to allow an increase in the stated thirteen passenger limit based on conditions at a given time. If you feel a tram car is too crowded, we encourage you to wait for the next one. If you see an unsafe condition, please notify a the tram operator or a Public Safety Officer or call PSD directly at 212-832-4545.

The Roosevelt Island Tramway will be closed from 1:00 AM until 6:00 AM to ensure that disinfecting measures can be performed. Regular tram service will resume at 6:00 AM each day and continue until 1:00 AM the following morning. These early morning closures will continue each day until further notice.

Red Buses will continue to run on a Weekend Schedule until further notice.
Here's the NYC Ferry Roosevelt Island Astoria Route Schedule.