Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Local Youth Speak On Racial Injustice, Black Lives Matter And Roosevelt Island Community In Conversaton With RIRA Public Safety And CY&E Committees - Well Worth Your Time To Watch Virtual Dialogue Among Activists Of Young And Older Generations

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Children, Youth & Education Committee Chair Adib Mansour reports:

Two RIRA committees came together and organized a June 23 Zoom meeting in response to the racial injustice we have been witnessing recently. RIRA’s Public Safety committee chaired by Erin Feely-Nahem, as well as RIRA’s Children, Youth & Education Committee were very touched by our island’s youths who initiated the March For Justice and Black Lives Matter.

We decided to invite two of the organizers,Zoe Lopez and Thalia St. Hubert, and other youths to speak with us, an opportunity to start a dialog for change in our community, our city, and this country.

The Zoom meeting guest speakers in addition to Zoe Lopez and Thalia St. Hubert were Jordan Chambers, Luca GoldMansour, and Dleanna.

Other invitees included two RIRA Committees members: Laura Hussey and Frank Farance, as well as community members: RISA President Barbara Parker, and Ike Nahem.
According to RIRA Public Safety Committee Chair Erin Feely-Nahem:
I wanted to thank everyone, including Adib, (who orchestrated this collaboration), who took the time to attend our June 23 meeting. I learned a lot. I was duly impressed by the well thought out vision offered, and the honesty of the presenter's appraisal of the community. I look forward to working with all of you, which now includes our Community's new generation of activists, in our mutual desire and efforts to monitor the community's healthy relationship with the PSD, while encouraging positive changes moving forward. It is clear now that we share a common vision for our Island, one which offers and protects the ideas and principles of equality, and justice for all.
Mr Mansour adds:
I was very touched to see the youth of the island react to the racial injustice in our country; I was brought to tears to see the youth and the community taking the knee for 9 minutes on June 3rd during the March they organized.

I was born in Lebanon during the civil war there and I know what it feels to fear being in the wrong place at the wrong time, to feel fear in my bones when leaving the safety of my house. The March reminded me of a pledge I took long ago… to fight for freedom, peace and love. I see a lot of parallels in current times, where black people are targeted and killed, even by the authorities that are supposed to protect them. I took the pledge again after the June 3rd March, and that this committee I chair will always be learning on how to bring change and increasing racial equity in our community and our city. As the chair of RIRA’s Children, Youth & Education Committee I am making the commitment that we will be engaging in activities and actions that support our black youth and make sure that we are addressing systematic racial injustices."

We learned a lot from this hour long zoom meeting

and we will address all of the fantastic ideas we heard from the youths.

Thalia St. Hubert is a Roosevelt Island resident who studies at Lee University, in Cleveland majoring in Vocal & Voice Performance.  Her statement:

Opportunity For Roosevelt Island Youth 14-21 Years Old To Earn Money, Learn New Skills And Explore Potential Careers With NYC Department Of Youth & Community Development Virtual Summer Bridge Program - Deadline To Apply July 15

According to the NYC Department Of Youth & Community Development:
What is SYEP Summer Bridge 2020?

As you may know in April, we had to suspend the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP). We have spent this time creating an engaging virtual program that will offer opportunities to learn new skills, explore potential careers and earn money this summer and are happy to announce the launch of SYEP Summer Bridge 2020.

What Does the Program Offer?

SYEP Bridge will give youth a unique opportunity to explore their interest and discover new ones through:
  • Career Exploration: Flex your research skills and discover new career possibilities.
  • Skill-Building Activities: Receive help with your resume, cover letters, and interview skills. Learn essential job readiness skills and workplace etiquette.
  • Connections to Professionals: Build your network through mentoring, career panels, social media workshops, and more.
  • Community Building: Our democracy needs your voice. Learn valuable skills to become an active citizen at work and in your community.
  • Earn Money: Get paid to participate! Youth between the ages of 14-15 and 16-24 will receive stipend of $700 and $1,000 respectively for their participation.
Who is Eligible?
  • Young people age 14 to 21 may apply online
  • Youth aged 22-24 may qualify for specialized programming through SYEP Summer Bridge 2020. Please contact Youth Connect at 800.246.4646 for additional information
  • Must be a resident of one of the five NYC
  • Legally allowed to work in the US
How can I Apply to SYEP Summer Bridge 2020?

https://application.nycsyep.com/Apply Now for SYEP Summer Bridge 2020
The application deadline is July 15th, 2020.
More info from Pix 11 News.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Wildlife Freedom Foundation March And Protest Roosevelt Island Shoreline Restoration Project Last Saturday - Learn Why And About Other Roosevelt Island Issues At July 14 Virtual Town Hall Community Forum Hosted By Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright With Acting RIOC President Shelton Haynes

NY State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright is hosting a Roosevelt Island Virtual Town Hall Community Forum with Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Acting President Shelton Haynes on Tuesday, July 14 at 7 PM

You're invited to watch and participate. Click here for info and to join the Facebook Live event. You can submit questions before the Town Hall at SEAWRIGHTR@NYASSEMBLY.GOV or in the Facebook Live Chat during the Town Hall.

Among the various Roosevelt Island issues to be addressed is the Southpoint Park Seawall and Shoreline Restoration Project which some residents, led by Wildlife Freedom Foundation (WFF) President Rossana Ceruzzi, claim will destroy 325 Trees and decimate the wildlife living in the area.

The Southpoint Park Shoreline project was scheduled to begin today but was temporarily paused by RIOC for the upcoming Town Hall to provide the community with more info.

 Last Saturday, July 11, the WFF organized a demonstration

and march

protesting RIOC's Southpoint Park Seawall and Shoreline restoration at the site of the planned work to begin shortly. Ms Ceruzzi spoke passionately to supporters about need to protect the trees and natural habitat on Roosevelt Island..

But, according to Acting RIOC President Shelton Haynes:
The goal of the Roosevelt Island Southpoint Park project is to repair the erosion of the east and west seawalls and is critical to ensure the health and safety of the public while visiting Southpoint Park. The proposed plan was reviewed and approved by several federal, state, and local agencies charged with protecting the environment, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI)– Fish and Wildlife Services, the National Marine Fisheries Services (NOAA), and the New York State Departmental of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). The RIOC Board of Directors unanimously approved the plan earlier this year.

Over the course of the project timeline, RIOC has welcomed feedback from the community and will ensure that the Southpoint Park project preserves the natural habit and wildlife that currently exist, while also enhancing the surrounding greenspace paths. The required work involves the removal of toxic soil that has been inundated with overgrown landfills, choked with invasive vegetation, that must be removed before the seawall can be repaired. Roughly 99 small trees (ten inches in diameter) will be removed and replaced with 79 trees. The tree removal is necessary to access the area to be remediated. In addition, 870 shrubs, 645 other indigenous plantings, and approximately 14,500 sq. ft. of new grass that will encourage more wildlife to visit the shoreline. This project must be completed in order to prevent further deterioration of the seawall due to the ever-increasing impacts of climate change.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Good News, Roosevelt Island Do Not Enter Yellow Tape Coming Down - Phase 3 Of Cornavirus Restart On Roosevelt Island Begins Tomorrow As Sports Fields, Basketball Courts And Dog Runs Reopen With Social Distancing Rules

Roosevelt Island ball fields, basketball courts and dog runs closed due to the Coronavirus Pandemic shutdown will reopen Monday July 13.

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
Please be advised that RIOC will reopen all outdoor basketball courts, dog runs, and sports fields on Monday, July 13th.

Residents and visitors are asked to avoid participating in high-contact games, such as football and basketball, to continue wearing face coverings, and to maintain proper social distancing practices at all times.

As of Monday, July 13th

Open areas will include:
  • Comfort Stations at Lighthouse Park and Southpoint Park
  • Outdoor Tennis Courts (7:30 AM- 8:30 PM)– reservation system here
  • All public playgrounds
  • Pony Field and Capobianco Field (7 AM- 9 PM) – for exercise only
  • McManus and Firefighters Fields (7 AM- 9 PM) – socially distanced games only
  • All basketball courts- (7 AM- 9 PM) No games. Socially distanced shoot-around only
  • All dog runs
Closed areas will include:
  • Sportspark
  • All public cooking areas
Please note that summer day camp programs have priority on all fields and courts Mon. - Fri., 9 AM - 4 PM, through Aug. 28, 2020

For more information on NYS Department of Health sports and recreation guidance, please click here.

For details on complete New York Forward guidance, please click here.

We appreciate your patience with this matter.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Too Many Bicycle Riders On Roosevelt Island Sidewalks, Not Safe For Pedestrians - Citibike Rider On Sidewalk Today Passing Farmers Market In Front Of Watching Public Safety Officers

As reported June 18:
The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) addressed bike safety issue in their June 17 Advisory:
Bike Safety On Roosevelt Island

As we look forward to having Citi Bike on Roosevelt Island in July, we must also take steps to improve bike safety. In addition to stepping up enforcement, the Public Safety Department is also in the process of ordering new signage that will remind bike riders to obey speed limits, be mindful of crosswalks and to be careful of those around them. We will share these signs with you once they arrive....

... During June 4 RIOC Board of Directors Meeting, bike safety was discussed by RIOC President Susan Rosenthal, RIOC Board Director David Kraut and Public Safety Chief Kevin Brown. RIOC Director David Kraut suggested a broader discussion within the Roosevelt Island community about bike policy may be needed.

PSD Chief Kevin Brown noted an increase in bike riders during the last few months of the Pandemic. Chief Brown has instructed PSD officers to be more visible on the street and to advise bike riders of the rules and regulations for safe and slow bike riding. Chief Brown added there will be greater enforcement of bike rules and regulations. Also, Chief Brown said that signage will be placed in certain areas that will instruct bike riders to dismount and walk with their bicycles.
Not any enforcement for the Citibike rider on sidewalk passing Farmers Market today.

Updated Covid Social Distancing Guidelines For Roosevelt Island Octagon Tennis Court Play From RIOC - Still No Doubles Play Allowed

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
Since the re-opening, guidelines for the outdoor tennis courts have been updated and can be found here

As a reminder, courts remain open for singles play only until further notice. Players should continue to follow social distancing protocols and wear face masks/coverings when approaching the courts.

Hours of operation are 7:30 AM - 8:30 PM, 7 days a week.

There are six courts in total available for permitting. To reserve a court, log onto our reservation system here...
A Roosevelt Island tennis player asked earlier this week:
Is octagon open for doubles yet? RSD @96, RIRC, randalls, and 119 RSD all are.
According to the RIOC Guidelines, Doubles play is still not allowed.

Here's some pretty good Doubles play

at Wimbledon.

With some practice and teamwork, maybe you too can ... never mind, just have fun

Roosevelt Island's Got Talent & Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance Present Virtual Variety Show Featuring Our Local Talent Sunday July 12 - 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, July 12 from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Roosevelt Island Love

Please click here to join us for a special show featuring Roosevelt Island Talent!

Friday, July 10, 2020

Why Were Roosevelt Island Trees On Promenade Cut Down Earlier This Week Ask Residents - RIOC Says It Was For Necessary Rejuvenation Pruning

Roosevelt Island residents care passionately about our trees so when any are spotted being removed alarm bells ring. Last Wednesday was such a day when residents spotted trees and bushes being cut on the waterfront promenade near Eleanor's Pier.

The  Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) explains what was going on:
RIOC Working for You: Rejuvenation Pruning

On Wednesday, July 8th, led by our Director of Landscaping and Horticulture, Matthew Kibby, the RIOC Grounds Department performed rejuvenation pruning of overgrown Ilex glabra (Inkberry) plants in the vicinity of Eleanor’s Pier.

The overgrowth in the area was infringing upon benches and the walkway along the promenade. Inkberry were also shading out other area plantings and inhibiting visibility, including views of the river. RIOC began this process by cutting back half of these Inkberry plants in March 2020. This work was scheduled to be completed Thursday, July 9th.

In addition, tree pruning was also completed from the Ferry Landing north, to the south dog run, which was needed due to minimal visibility in that location.

Pruning is a horticultural and silvicultural practice involving the selective removal of certain parts of a plant, such as branches, buds, or roots. Pruning is an invaluable tool for developing and maintaining woody plants.

Sponsored Post - Check Out Roosevelt Island Foodtown Supermarket July 10 - July 16 Product Offerings, Specials & Sales Items, Organic Salads, Shrimp, Healthy Snacks & Ice Cream - Online Shopping, Delivery Options, Digital Coupons & Social Media Facebook And Instagram Too

The Roosevelt Island Foodtown Supermarket

invites you to check out their July 3 - July 9 Weekly Flyer for  Product Offerings, Specials & Sales items.

Click here to visit the Roosevelt Island Foodtown Supermarket web site for online shopping, delivery options, digital coupons, weekly flyer and more.

Follow Roosevelt Island Foodtown Supermarket on Facebook

and Instagram too.

Roosevelt Island Transportation This Weekend - F Train Service To And From Manhattan, Tram Passenger Limits At Discretion Of Operator, Ferry Service And Citibike Too - Wear Your Masks To Travel Safely For You And Others

According to the MTA, there is Roosevelt Island F Train Service to and from Manhattan this weekend.

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...
Here's the NYC Ferry Roosevelt Island Astoria Route Schedule.

Also, Roosevelt Island has a new transportation option with the recent addition of Citbike docking stations

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Roosevelt Island Non Perishable Extra Food Giveaway From RIDA And Carter Burden RI Senior Center Friday July 10 - All Those In Need Of Food Are Welcome, Fruit, Vegetables, Soup, Cereal, Bread, Canned Goods & More

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

RIDA will open up the food pantry again on Friday July 10th from 4pm to 6pm at RI Senior Center (546 Main Street).

Lots of fresh produce, milk and non-perishables.

You MUST wear a MASK and GLOVES. Please bring your own bags or shopping cart. Entrance is through the garden off of the 540 Main St alley way. All those in need of food is welcome.
UPDATE 7/10 - Ms Hersh adds:
If it is raining, the food pantry line will start at Front Lobby of 546 Main Street.

One Week After Taking Covid 19 Nasal Swab Test At Roosevelt Island Mobile Pop Up Test Site, Some Residents Have Not Received Results - Here's What You Can Do To Maybe Get Results

Last week, from June 29 - July 2, 660 Roosevelt Island residents lined up to get a free Covid-19 nasal swab test at the NYC Health & Hospital Corp (NYC H&HC) Mobile Pop Up site under the Motorgate Helix.

 The overwhelming consensus of those who took the test was that the NYC H&HC team managing the Roosevelt Island Covid-19 Mobile Test Site did a great job from waiting on line, to registering and receiving the nasal swab.

Residents were told that the results will:
... be received by text, email, phone and mail within 3-5 days but could be as soon as 48 hours....

But at least a dozen Roosevelt Island residents have still not received their Covid-19 test results.

I asked:
Anyone still waiting to get test results back from last week's Roosevelt Island Mobile Covid Pop Up Test Site? How soon did you get your results?
Residents replied:

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Don't Risk Your Life, Don't Risk Someone's Else's Life, Wear A Mask Says Governor Cuomo - RIOC Mask Guidelines For Roosevelt Island

This is why it's important to wear a mask/face covering in public when you can't keep your social distance away from others.

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
RIOC Advisory: Mask Guidelines - July 7th, 2020

As New York City enters Phase 3 of New York Forward, it is important for all of us to take time to learn about the various aspects of the face mask/covering policy, as per the law.

What is a face mask/covering?

A face covering is anything that covers the nose and mouth including cloth masks, surgical masks, scarves, and any other covering that serves as a barrier to prevent breathing in airborne particles.

Who must wear a face mask/covering?

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

RIOC Announces Temporary Pause Of Roosevelt Island Southpoint Park Shoreline Restoration Project To Provide Community With More Info - Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright To Host July 14 Virtual Town Hall With Acting RIOC President For Community To Ask Questions On Project

A Roosevelt Island resident asked yesterday:

I'm trying to better understand the posters around talking about 320 trees being cut down in Southpoint Park to make way for more walking paths. There seems to be plenty paths down there already. Do you have more information on this plan?

Today, I asked Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Acting President Shelton Haynes and the RIOC Board of Directors:
Any statement from RIOC regarding status of Southpoint Park shoreline project and petition from Wildlife Freedom Foundation opposing it?

Assembly member Seawright signed the petition.

Any comment on charge that 325 trees will be destroyed

Will the project be delayed or is it still on schedule. When will work begin?

Acting RIOC President Shelton Haynes replied this evening:
The goal of the Roosevelt Island Southpoint Park project is to repair the erosion of the east and west seawalls and is critical to ensure the health and safety of the public while visiting Southpoint Park. The proposed plan was reviewed and approved by several federal, state, and local agencies charged with protecting the environment, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI)– Fish and Wildlife Services, the National Marine Fisheries Services (NOAA), and the New York State Departmental of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). The RIOC Board of Directors unanimously approved the plan earlier this year.

New York Public Library Starting Limited Service At Several Locations - But When Will The New Roosevelt Island NY Public Library Branch Finally Open, Entrance Signage Is In Place

According to the New York Public Library:

NYPL Updates: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

June 25, 2020 Update: Limited Reopening Starting July 13
As part of New York City’s reopening, The New York Public Library is beginning the careful, phased process of returning limited service to its physical locations. Starting on Monday, July 13, we will begin by offering grab-and-go service at eight library locations. At each of these locations, patrons will be able to access a limited area for returns and to pick up materials that they’ve reserved....
But residents are asking the same question about the long planned new Roosevelt Island Public Library as was asked in January 2020:
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....
Today, I asked the NYPL:
I’ve noticed a lot of activity going on inside the construction of new Roosevelt Island library.

Any update on plans for the opening of Roosevelt Island NYPL?

A NYPL spokesperson replied:
... As a result of COVID, all capital projects in New York City were paused in March, including the work at Roosevelt Island Library. However, we are in conversation with our government partners about which projects can resume and happy to report that work has restarted at the branch. We expect the project to be completed in the next couple of months. The Library will notify patrons when the branch is scheduled to reopen.
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.