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Monday, November 12, 2018

Concerned Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 Parents Seek Answers About Alleged Student Gun Threat - School Principal Silent For 2 Weeks, RIOC Public Safety Chief Tells Parent What Happened

Last October 24, I received reports of a large NYPD presence earlier in the morning at Roosevelt Island's PS/IS 217

and that a threat with a gun was made by a student.

I asked PS/IS 217 Principal Mandana Beckman:
There was a large Nypd presence at Ps/is 217 this morning.

I’m told a student claimed to have a gun.

Is that true? Was the school shut down?

Do you have any statement on incident?
Principal Beckman never replied.

In response to my inquiry, a NYPD spokesperson replied there was a dispute between a student and teacher but that no gun was involved.

The issue was raised again last Thursday, November 8, when a concerned PS/IS 217 parent sent this message to the Roosevelt Island Parents Network:
Possibly someone can clarify me a doubt. Could somebody explain to me why no one is doing anything (PSD, RIOC, PS/IS217, DOE, NYPD, etc.) or why are some parents more concerned about the Library Fair than the threat of gunfire at the Island’s school?

As many of you know, a student at PS/IS 217 has threatened his classmates to bring a gun to school and shoot them, he also claimed to have access to the gun, as a reference he has friendship with the shooter of Manhattan Park, whose gun was not found per NYPD information....

... Last night happened a new mass shooting (number 307 so far this year).

Hopefully somebody can answer my questions.
On Friday, November 9, I again asked PS/IS 217 Principal Beckman about the alleged gun incident at the school.
... Do you have any comment on this important safety issue for Roosevelt Island and PS/IS 217 parents....
No response from Ms Beckman to my second inquiry but she did send this message to 217 Parents on Friday:
Dear Parents/Guardians,

The safety and well being of all students and staff members at PS/IS 217 remain our highest priority. Towards that end, we understand that there have been questions in the community regarding an alleged threat that took place two weeks ago. Though we are not at liberty to share information about particular students or specific follow-up related to any student, we assure you that every precaution was taken to ensure the safety of all students and staff.

We look forward to your continued partnership as we work together to ensure PS/IS 217 continues to provide the best and safest learning environment possible for all of its students. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 212-980-0294.

Sincerely yours,

Mandana Beckman

Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 parent Sangeeta Joseph reports on her conversation Friday, November 9 with Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Safety Chief Jack McManus about the school incident. According to Ms. Joseph:
Chief Jack McManus ... called me back to give out the facts of what really happened at PS 217 a couple of weeks ago.

The facts are as follows:
  1. An 11 year old child had his/her phone taken away at school and responded by verbally threatening to return and shoot. (It has been confirmed that the child does not have access to a gun.)
  2. Both PSD and NYPD got involved immediately and the parents of this child were contacted and spoken to. There is no legal requirement on what action the parents have to take and so there is no additional news on what follow up they have done personally with their child.
It appears that the main issue with this incident is the lack of communication from PS 217 about the incident taking place and having to hear it from a random email. Although we should not scrutinize every single flippant thing kids say on the playground, in today's day and age with gun violence at school's being so common place this is a particularly sensitive topic that we cannot take lightly. Schools should be advising students on things that are unacceptable to do/say and advising parents on topics that they must talk to/re-iterate with their kids at home.

At the same time we should keep a little bit of perspective - this is an 11 year old child who said something incredibly stupid in a fit of frustration. Even us as adults can admit to being guilty of saying things we don't really mean. As a community we should be concerned but equally empathetic to this childs emotional state as well as his/her parents state.

Lastly, Chief McManus has also asked whether the parents would like to have a town hall to discuss some of these issues? If you prefer we could also work on holding a video conference call so that more parents can dial in and submit questions.
Rumors spread when information is hidden from the public. Best to communicate quickly and honestly with the Roosevelt Island community.

Holiday Lights Come Early To Roosevelt Island This Year, Reindeer Sled, Giant Ornament Balls And More To See - RIOC Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony Friday November 30

The Roosevelt Island Holiday lights were being put up last week by the vendor Neave Group.

Take a look at a few of the displays all lit up, the Reindeer Sled at Good Shepherd Plaza, Giant Ornament Balls at Tram Plaza Fountain, Colorful trees and Star at Riverwalk Commons and Holiday/Christmas Tree at Riverwalk Lawn.

The Roosevelt Island Reindeer Sled is becoming a very popular attraction for picture taking. Lines have formed to take pictures in the Reindeer Sled.

 It's going to look even better when the snow comes.

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) adds;

The winter holidays at Roosevelt Island are special. Decorations are up, and the Island is looking festive.

The season offers us time for reflection and perspective. It lets the light of our good deeds shine. We look forward to warm reunions with old family and new friends. The true spirit of the season can best be seen in our children’s faces who reflect the wonder and excitement of anticipation. A special guest is coming to Roosevelt Island again this year and what’s he going to bring?

The Island’s Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony is set for Friday, November 30 at 7 p.m. at the lawn south of Rivercross. Island residents are invited to join us for a night of holiday music and caroling - featuring a variety of community organizations - a live band, hot beverages, warm cookies, raffle prizes and goodie bags.

Each year, are spirits our heartened and delighted by the generous contributions our local businesses and organizations make toward this event. Can we count on you again this year?

Please see the attached form to learn how you can contribute. The deadline to participate is Wednesday, November 21.

... Examples: coffee, hot chocolate, cider, cookies, restaurant or other voucher certificates and cards, gift baskets, or other suggested items to be used in event raffle.

If you have any questions regarding the event or what contributions are needed, please contact Jessica Murray at 212-832-4540 or via email at

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Roosevelt Island Honors Local Residents At Veterans Day Ceremony Yesterday - NYPD Honor Guard, Distinguished Speakers, Girl Scouts Recite Pledge Of Allegiance, Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance Children Sing Medley Of Patriotic Songs & More

Today, November 11 is Veterans Day.

 According to

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in the First World War, then known as "the Great War." Commemorated as Armistice Day beginning the following year, November 11th became a legal federal holiday in the United States in 1938. In the aftermath of World War II and the Korean War, Armistice Day became Veterans Day, a holiday dedicated to American veterans of all wars...
Roosevelt Island celebrated Veterans Day yesterday

with a ceremony honoring local veterans

organized by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) and attended by a standing room only crowd of residents of all ages.

The Roosevelt Island Veterans Day celebration speakers included RIOC President Susan Rosenthal, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Joel Evans, deputy commissioner of the NYS Division of Veterans Affairs; Lyn Johnson, USMC Veteran, MSW and Veterans Administration Outreach Specialist and RIOC) Board member and veteran David Kraut.

According to Mr. Kraut:
... I'm proud of my service. I'm proud of the service of all my brothers and sisters in arms over the years. As so you heard or figured out, we have served in every corner of the world defending the rights and freedoms that many Americans take for granted. ... I'm pleased and proud to be a resident and Board member of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp....

There were performances from the NYPD Honor Guard, the Main Street Theater and Dance Alliance and the Roosevelt Island Girl Scouts as well as food and refreshments catered by Nisi Restaurant.

The NYPD Honor Guard began the Roosevelt Island Veterans Day Ceremony with the presentation of Colors and singing the National Anthem followed by the Roosevelt Island Girl Scouts reciting the Pledge of Allegiance,


Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance children, led by Director Kimbirdlee Fadner, honoring Roosevelt Island veterans with a medley of patriotic songs

and audience members recited names of Veterans they remember today.

The Roosevelt Island Veterans Day celebration began as an initiative from RIOC Director David Kraut, inspired by a suggestion several years ago by decorated World War 2 Veteran and Roosevelt Island resident Dominic Sciallo,

to establish a Veterans Center on Roosevelt Island.

Mr Sciallo passed away in 2015, but his suggestion of a Roosevelt Island Veterans Center may come to pass. RIOC is actively exploring ways to establish a Roosevelt Island Veterans Center.

The Twitterverse reports on the Roosevelt Island Veterans Day Celebration.

More on the history

of Veterans Day.

Thank you all for your service.

Kudos the RIOC for organizing Roosevelt Island Veterans Day Celebration.

Friday, November 9, 2018

You're Invited To Join RIOC For Walk And Talk About $14 Million Roosevelt Island Bike Ramp And Lane Project Saturday Morning November 10

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):

Join Us For Saturday’s Walk and Talk about the RI Bike Ramp and Lane Project

You're Invited to Join Us for a Walk and Talk about the RI Bike Ramp and Lane Project this Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Motorgate Atrium, 688 Main Street, on Roosevelt Island.

In June 2018, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) procured Dewberry Engineers and their team including Matthews Nielson Landscape Architects to design the Roosevelt Island Bike Ramp and East Side Bike Lane project.

The goal is to construct a bike ramp that conveniently connects bicyclists from the top of the Roosevelt Island Bridge down to the East Promenade and then provides a safe path for bicyclists along the eastern waterfront of Roosevelt Island away from Main Street vehicular traffic.

The total budget for this project is approximately $14 million with a project schedule of four years.

Throughout the design phase of the project, several public meetings will be held with the first one this Saturday. We look forward to you joining us!

As reported in October 2015, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC), with the assistance of Cornell Tech representatives were exploring the possibility of increasing safety on the Roosevelt Island Bridge Helix:
... the Cornell Tech/AKRF study concluded that fixing the Motorgate Escalator for use by bicycle riders was not an option but there is a possibility of installing a bike/pedestrian only ramp from the Motorgate Helix to the street level at the East Promenade....

In April 2017, NY State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced funding of $2.9 for the construction of Roosevelt Island Bridge Bike Ramp and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney added:
The Roosevelt Island community has long been waiting for a bike-only ramp to allow cyclists an easy and safe connection to the Roosevelt Island Bridge. Thanks to Governor Cuomo, nearly $3 million in federal dollars are being allocated to this ramp so the connection can become a reality. Cyclists will no longer have to carry their bikes up flights of stairs, or risk their safety by sharing the helix ramp with cars. It’s great that the state, federal government and community are working together to make Roosevelt Island a safer, more accessible place.
Roosevelt Island Frank Farance show us bikers riding down the current Roosevelt Island Bridge Helix Ramp.

Below is a 2017 RIOC rendering of proposed Bridge Ramp

and East Promenade.

No word yet on how the balance of $14 million project will be funded.

Roosevelt Island Weekend Transportation - Good News, After 6 Consecutive Weekends, Roosevelt Island F Train Service To And From Manhattan This Weekend, Both Tram Cabins At Full Capacity And NYC Ferry New Winter RI Service Schedule

The last 6 consecutive weekends have had no Roosevelt Island subway service in one direction to or from Manhattan.

But good news for this weekend.

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

to and from Manhattan this weekend.


... STATION ENHANCEMENTS | Until December 2018 57 St F Station is closed...
Both Tram Cabins operating at full capacity.

There is Roosevelt Island ferry service on the Astoria Route. Here's the new Winter Schedule for Roosevelt Island ferry service.

Sponsored Post - Check Out Roosevelt Island Gristedes November 9 To November 15 Product Offerings, Specials & Sales Items - Complete Thanksgiving Dinner Too

The Roosevelt Island Gristedes Supermarket

invites you to check out their November 9 - November 15 Product Offerings, Specials & Sales items.

And Grab & Go Prepared Items too.

Don't forget the 10% Roosevelt Island Seniors Discount on Tuesday and Sign Up for the Gristedes Diamond Loyalty Rewards Program.

Complete Thanksgiving Dinner.

More Gristedes Supermarket information available at their web site, Facebook Page and Twitter feed