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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Take A Tour Of A 3 Bedroom Apartment At Roosevelt Island's Manhattan Park - A Mere $5150 Per Month - Construction Of Roosevelt Island 340 Affordable Rental Units Starting This Spring

More info at Manhattan Park's web site.

$5150 per month for a Roosevelt Island 3 bedroom apartment would not be considered affordable housing for most New Yorkers.

Mayor Bill de Blasio says NYC has a plan for affordable housing.

Roosevelt Island's Southtown Building 8 is scheduled to start construction this spring and will contain 340 middle and low income affordable rental housing units.

Roosevelt Island Cafe At Cornell Tech New Menu And Hours - It's Italian Food Week, Saturday & Sunday Brunch Too, Check It Out

The Cafe At Cornell Tech winter recess is over and they have come back with a new menu:
We are back to our normally scheduled hours. Please see below for some details on this weeks menu.

Monday – Friday 8am – 5pm

Saturday – Sunday 8am to 3pm with brunch as the main feature.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Only 1 Roosevelt Island Question Asked At NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio & Council Member Ben Kallos District Town Hall, But It's An Important One - Resident Asks What Is Future Of Coler Hospital And Will It Be Closing?

On January 17, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio attended a Town Hall Meeting hosted by NYC Council Member Ben Kallos to answer questions from residents of Roosevelt Island, Yorkville, Lenox Hill, Carnegie Hill, Sutton Place, and El Barrio in East Harlem.

Resident Lynn Strong-Shinozaki asked the only Roosevelt Island question during the 1 1/2 hour Town Hall meeting. Ms Strong Shinozaki asked about the future of

  Image From NYC HHC November 9, 2015 Roosevelt Island Coler Hospital Flood Management Presentation

 NYC Health & Hospital Corp's Coler Hospital, the patients and:
.... it looks like they are moving towards closing that Hospital and where will those people go ....
Mayor de Blasio did not answer the specific question of whether or not Color Hospital is closing. Mayor de Blasio told Ms. Shinozaki:
... We have to figure out what we are going to do with the future of our public health system. Some of our premier facilities, we are going to in many cases re-purpose, but we have alot of different uses for them....

.... Whatever we do in any case, we do protect the interests of the patient. That's the whole reason it's there....

I asked Council Member Kallos today:
During the January 17 Town Hall meeting, Lynn Strong-Shinozaki asked Mayor de Blasio if there were any plans to shut down Coler Hospital on Roosevelt Island.

The Mayor did not give any specific answer to that question.

Are there any plans to shut down Coler Hospital or make any changes to it's current service?
Council Member Kallos replied:
I have ongoing concerns that under utilization of space, a failure to invest in maintaining key infrastructure, laying off of doctors and key staff, and empty wings, is setting Coler Hospital up for failure and a self imposed financial crisis that will result in its closure and sale.
I also asked Mayor de Blasio's office for comment. Have not heard back yet but will update with more info.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech Payday - Governor Cuomo's 2019 NY State Executive Budget Includes $25 Million For Roosevelt Island Capital Projects As Payment For Cornell Tech Land Swap Agreement

Roosevelt Island's NY State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright announced today:
Assembly Member Rebecca A. Seawright is pleased to announce that the Executive Budget includes a $25 million capital appropriation for Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC).

This money would fund a multi-year capital improvement program on Roosevelt Island as agreed to by the State in relation to the Cornell Tech development.

“I am happy to report this development for my Roosevelt Island constituents. I will continue to monitor and push for much needed funding in the State budget as negotiations are forthcoming,” said Seawright.

The final budget is anticipated to pass on April 1, 2018.
Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Information Officer Alonza Robertson added:
When Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled the details of his robust $168 billion FY 2019 Executive Budget last Tuesday, it served as a reminder of his familiar refrain “to deliver progressive government to all New Yorkers”.

From fighting the federal tax assault to ending the state’s burgeoning opioid epidemic by holding pharmaceutical companies accountable to investing record amounts in education, supporters and foes lauded the proposal. After a careful review of the 368-page fiscal plan, Roosevelt Island residents and businesses can also celebrate.

Subject to approval by the State Legislature currently in session in Albany, the budget includes a $25 million payment to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) to support capital infrastructure improvements. The payment is the tangible result of a unique land-swap agreement - regarding 2.62-acre parcel to help facilitate the Cornell-Tech campus development - between the State and RIOC.

According to the Dec. 16, 2013 document, executed by Empire State Development, the appropriation was to occur no later than Dec. 31, 2018 and be subject to the annual appropriation process and State budgetary procedure. The final budget is anticipated to pass April 1.

RIOC currently has a five-year $65-million major improvements schedule to immediately address aging infrastructure and public facilities that have had neither improvements nor repairs since their original construction 40 years ago.

“We’re thrilled that we will likely have additional resources,” said RIOC President and CEO Susan Rosenthal,” to build, repair, improve and break ground on new projects to the benefit of all Roosevelt Island residents.”
Some Roosevelt Islanders were concerned the State might not keep it's agreement to pay RIOC for the Cornell Tech/Goldwater Hospital land swap agreement. The Governor kept his promise. Now it's up to the State Legislature to approve.

Here's the December 12, 2013 RIOC Board meeting approving the Cornell Tech land transfer and memorandum of agreement confirming the funding agreement.

Roosevelt Island Bubble Cool Cafe Grand Re-Opening Saturday, January 20, Free Bubble Tea Tomorrow - Also, Free Coffee Every Morning And Pastries Coming Soon Too

The Roosevelt Island Bubble Cool Bubble Tea Cafe reports:

Grand Opening

Great news. After a long winter, we finally are going to have our grand opening tomorrow. Y’all are very welcome to step in tomorrow. We will have free bubble tea drink all day!!!

Also, from 1/20 - 1/26 will be our grand opening promotion week. For the whole week, the first 50 customers will enjoy our free bubble tea drink.

More good news, starting 1/20, we provide free coffee every morning starting at 7:30 a.m. First come first serve. Pastries also coming soon!

Bubble Cool has been open at 558 Main Street since last September.

Roosevelt Island Youth Center Independent Review Panel Evaluation Scores For Applicants Revealed - RIYP Selected Over Island Kids, Final Decision Up To RIOC Board Of Directors

 As reported January 16:
The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) confirmed last week it will recommend to the RIOC Board of Directors that the Roosevelt Island Youth Program (RIYP) continue to be the Operator of the Roosevelt Island Youth Center.
and according to Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Susan Rosenthal:
... Based on RIYP’s grant application– which received the highest rating from an independent panel of reviewers from the NYS Office of Children and Family Services and the Roosevelt Island Day Nursery – we will be recommending that the Board, at its upcoming January 25 meeting, award the $200,000 annual grant to RIYP....
The January 25 RIOC Board Of Directors meeting will vote on the following resolution:
RESOLVED by the Board of Directors of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation of the State of New York (“RIOC”), as follows:

Section 1. that RIOC is hereby authorized to enter into a contract with the Roosevelt Island Youth Program, Inc. for the operation of the Roosevelt Island Youth Center, upon such terms and conditions substantially similar to those outlined in the Memorandum from Sean Singh to RIOC Board of Directors/Susan G. Rosenthal dated January 9, 2018, attached hereto;

Section 2. that the President/Chief Executive Officer or her designee is hereby authorized to take such actions and execute such instruments as she deems necessary to effectuate the foregoing; and

Section 3. that this resolution shall take effect immediately.
Below is the referenced RIOC memorandum supporting the resolution:
On August 15, 2017 RIOC made available a competitive grant opportunity for an Operator for the Roosevelt Island Youth Center. The grant was advertised in the New York State Contract Reporter, as well as through RIOC’s web site and direct outreach to potentially interested non-profit entities with experience running the solicited services.

Applications were submitted on November 15, 2017 and two entities responded: The Roosevelt Island Youth Program, Inc. and Island Kids, Inc. The applications were independently reviewed by two members of the New York State Office of Children and Family Services as well as the Executive Director of Roosevelt Island Day Nursery. The applications were evaluated based upon the 100-point rating scale detailed in the grant application.

The independent scores submitted by the evaluators were tallied and the averages of those scores are listed below for each category:

Upon receipt of the independently rated applications and all due diligence, it is my recommendation that the RIOC Board authorize an award to the Roosevelt Island Youth Program for a term of three (3) years, with an option for RIOC to extend the grant for up to two (2) additional 1-year periods, along the terms and conditions outlined in the Request for Applications and the submitted application.
and the Evaluation Scoring Summary submitted by each member of the independent review panel (Click Image To Enlarge)
Will the recommendation made by the independent review panel and RIOC staff to award contract for operation of the Youth Center to the Roosevelt Island Youth Program (RIYP) be approved by the RIOC Board at the January 25 meeting? Usually, that happens.

But, some members of the Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 PTA are trying to stop the RIOC Board from approving RIYP as the Youth Center operator. 

More info at this January 16 post and from the Roosevelt Island Daily.

Stay tuned.

UPDATE 1/23 - Main Street Wire has more here and here.

According to the RIOC Request for Applications for an Operator for the Roosevelt Island Youth Center (Page 4):

a. Description Of Services – Youth Oriented Service Planning & Design

The Operator will independently manage RIYC and will provide youth programs and services, including leadership development programs; sports, fitness and recreation programs; arts and cultural programs; and health/life skills programs. All programs must be offered free of charge. This programming will serve the Roosevelt Island’s diverse population of children, youth, and young adults ages 5 to 20. RIOC envisions a drop-in program with a menu of diverse program offerings that participants can pick and choose at will, without committing to regular program attendance. As such, the Operator will not need to be registered as a school aged child care provider in accordance with NYS Office of Children and Family Service regulations when serving children ages 5 through 12.

The Operator will be required to maintain non-profit status and demonstrate compliance with annual State and Federal reporting requirements for non-profit organizations, including but not limited to the New York Non-Profit Revitalization Act of 2013, and certified as “tax exempt” under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) section 501(c)(3). Please note that organizations will be prohibited from using the in-kind donation and/or supplemental grant for any political or lobbying activities. Annual reporting of grant money expenditures will also be required, to the satisfaction of RIOC.

The Operator will be responsible for soliciting and managing youth activity by staff or independent organizations to provide high quality programs and services such as multi-media training, dance classes, computer training, art and music classes, science classes, leadership programs, high school/college/job preparation, homework assistance and other educational programs.
UPDATE 1/23 10:30 PM- The Main Street Wire reports:
... RIOC does not want their program to compete with the Beacon, but to provide an additional resource for Island youth. Flug clarified that the contract was only to run the Youth Center; recreational sports are not included. “If they want to run activities like a little league or soccer league, that won’t be with RIOC money going forward. What was done in the past was problematic,” she says....
Ms Flug's statement, as reported by the Wire, appears contrary to the RIOC Youth Center Application Request.