Friday, December 13, 2019

Wonderful Singing Performances From RI Youth Center Kids And MST&DA Carolers At Roosevelt Island Tree Lighting Ceremony - Pretty Good Rockin Rollin Dancing From RIOC President Susan Rosenthal And NYC Council Member Ben Kallos Too

We've got a bunch of very talented kids at the Roosevelt Island Youth Center and were fortunate to see them perform during the December 5 Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony.

Watch and listen to Trey and Rebecca

perform Last Christmas and then Dakota, Nyla (singers) and Isla (guitarist)

 sing Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer.

Great Job!!!!!!

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Director of Community Relations Erica Spencer-El and President Susan Rosenthal did a pretty good job as Co-Hosts of the event too.

Also, Ms Rosenthal showed off some Rockin Rollin dancing skills to Run Run Rudolph

after she encouraged NYC Council Member Ben Kallos on stage with her.

Equally impressive were the Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance (MST&DA) singers

 performing scenes from A Christmas Carol The Musical.

You can see MST&DA perform A Christmas Carol on:
  • Friday Dec 13 7:30pm *Paid preview performance
  • Saturday Dec 14 2:00pm
  • ​Saturday ​Dec 14 7:30pm
  • Thursday Dec 19 7:30pm
  • Friday Dec 20 7:30pm
Get your tickets here.

Check out Santa Claus counting down Lighting the Roosevelt Island Holiday/Christmas Tree.

Sponsored Post - Roosevelt Island Cat Sitter Available, Longtime Resident Will Feed And Lovingly Care For Your Cat

Are you looking for a Roosevelt Island Cat Sitter?

Longtime resident will feed and lovingly care for your cat while you're away, making sure your pet is safe and happy at home. I will also help with mail, plants etc. References available.

Please call number above or email.

Roosevelt Island F Train Service To And From Manhattan This Weekend, Tram And Ferry Service Too And Watch Video Of MTA Rep Talking Roosevelt Island Subway Service

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

to and from Manhattan 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, December 12, 2019

Find Out How Much Money NYC Parent Teacher Associations Raise For School Students - Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 PTA Fundraising Was $236,000 In 2018-19 School Year

The excellent NYC education web site Chalkbeat reported December 2:
A tiny portion of New York City parent-teacher associations reported raising more than $1,000 per student — amounting, in some cases, to more than $1 million — while hundreds of other such school groups said they raised no money at all.

The data, released for the first time Monday, lays bare the funding disparities between schools in wealthy neighborhoods and those in higher poverty ZIP codes. It does not include data for charter schools, alternative schools, and pre-K centers because these schools are not required to have parent associations, an education department spokesperson said....
NY 1 adds:
... New York City’s Education Department has for the first time compiled and released data on the financial standing of PTAs around the city. City Councilman Mark Treyger, a former teacher who wrote the legislation requiring the report, says it's confirmed his fears about inequity in the city's public schools.

"How many times have we heard the DOE and the chancellor and the mayor talk about, your zip code should not determine the opportunities your families receive,” Treyger said. “Well, look at the data."

According to the report, 46 PTAs raised more than $500 thousand in the most recent school year. Of those 46 PTAs, 24 raised at least a million dollars.”...
Here's how Roosevelt Island's PS/IS 217 school PTA compares to citywide averages. (Credit: Samuel Park/Chalkbeat for Chartbeat)

I asked Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 PTA President Irena Durkovic if the Chalkbeat fundraising amount of $236,000 was accurate. Ms Durkovic replied:
The amount reported is accurate, and it’s taken from our annual report that covers period from July 2018 through June 2019.
Ms Durkovic shares this statement from the whole 217 PTA executive board:
The PTA is grateful to the PS/IS 217 and Roosevelt Island communities for their support, which allows us to provide benefits for all students in our elementary and middle school here on Roosevelt Island.

For instance, we sponsor literacy and enrichment programs such as arts, physical education, and music; professional development and curriculum assistance to teachers; and community events for the school and its neighbors on Roosevelt Island.

We thank the many PS/IS 217 parents who donate to our annual fund and tirelessly volunteer their time, as well as RIOC and the broader Roosevelt Island community, who support the PTA through grants, the Roosevelt Island Farmer's Market, and in many other ways."
Here's Ms Durkovic describing Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 PTA programs to the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Public Purpose Funds committee during May 28,2019 meeting.

The PTA received 13,000 in Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Purpose Funds.

More info on NYC PTA fundraising from Chalkbeat article. 


Get Your Tickets Now For Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance Performances Of A Christmas Carol The Musical Opening December 13 - Watch Video Of MST&DA Perform Scenes From A Christmas Carol The Musical At Roosevelt Island Tree Lighting Ceremony Too

Watch this wonderful performance by the Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance (MST&DA) of scenes from their upcoming A Christmas Carol The Musical

during the December 7 Roosevelt Island Holiday/Christmas Tee Lighting Ceremony.

The MST&DA A Christmas Carol The Musical opens Friday, December 13 and continues with 4 more shows. Performances are:

  • Friday Dec 13 7:30pm *Paid preview performance
  • Saturday Dec 14 2:00pm
  • ​Saturday ​Dec 14 7:30pm
  • Thursday Dec 19 7:30pm
  • Friday Dec 20 7:30pm
According to MST&DA:
Ebenezer Scrooge and his ghostly encounters come to life in this lavish and thrilling Broadway adaptation.

Broadway heavy hitters, Alan Menken (Disney's Beauty and the Beast, Disney's The Little Mermaid, Little Shop of Horrors) and Lynn Ahrens (Ragtime, Seussical, Once on This Island), breathe fantastic new life into the classic tale of A Christmas Carol.

Ebenezer Scrooge is a prosperous curmudgeon who believes that personal wealth is far more valuable than the happiness and comfort of others. With an infuriated "Bah! Humbug!" Scrooge summates his feelings of Christmas tidings and charitable giving, but he's forced to face his selfish ways when three ghosts on Christmas Eve lead him through his Past, Present and Future. Thanks to their guidance, Scrooge recognizes his faults and greets Christmas morning with a cheerful "Happy Christmas" before spending the day reconnecting and sharing love with those that mean the most to him....

At the Howe Theatre in the R.I. Cultural Center 548 Main Street.
Tickets are:
  • General Admission $20
  • Seniors/Students $15 ​
Click here for more info and to purchase tickets.

Roosevelt Island photographer Irina Hage shares these photos from MST&DA A Christmas Carol The Musical.

Scrooge (Louis Ladehoff)

Bob Cratchit (Russ Cusick) and Tiny Tim (Jack Fadner)

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Roosevelt Island Budget, Nellie Bly Memorial & Roosevelt Landings Negotiations Among Items On December 12 RIOC Board Of Directors Meeting Agenda - Roosevelt Island Experiencing An Economic Boom Says RIOC Budget

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors will meet 5:30 PM Thursday, December 12 at the Manhattan Park Theater Club (8 River Road). You're invited to  attend,, ask questions and share concerns about Roosevelt Island during the opening Public Session before the start of the meeting. Sign up to speak here.

Among the Agenda Items are:

According to the proposed Fiscal Year 2020-21 Budget:

The Island is currently experiencing an economic boom in real estate with the construction‐in‐progress for Southtown Building 8 and 9, the completion of phase 1 of the multi‐billion‐dollar Cornell Tech campus site, and the evolution of the original residential complexes. These developments are the main drivers for the increased revenues and expenses mentioned below. This would support the need to increase funding to the Public Safety Department, Community Relations activity, professional support, training, etc. RIOC is contractually and statutorily required to maintain infrastructure and provide adequate service to the Island to accommodate this growth. Accordingly, RIOC is in the midst of significant infrastructure and facilities repairs and improvements as outlined on pages 8 through 10 of the budget....
Also, here's an excerpt from RIOC Assistant VP of Capital Planning and Projects Jonna Carmona-Graf memo to RIOC President Susan Rosenthal in support of the Nellie Bly Memorial:
Background: We wanted to both commemorated accomplishments of important women in history and expand upon the number of art installations on Roosevelt Island. As such, in June 2019 RIOC issued a Call for Artists to create a public monument honoring the achievements of Nellie Bly. She is considered the mother of investigative journalism, largely due to her exposé on the harsh treatment of patients at the Blackwell Island Insane Asylum. Her reports documenting the conditions and treatment at the hospital resulted in reform to the rules governing all hospitals in the City.

A project budget of $500,000.00 was established for the solicitation and includes all fees associated with the proposed memorial. Subsequent to the artist selection, NYC Councilmember Ben Kallos, pledged $70,000.00, to fund the braille plaques, audio app for hearing impaired and secondary walkway within the park.

A selection panel comprised of RIOC staff, RI Historical Society, RI Residents Association and RIVAA met to review proposals and interview the artists.
Concept: The Artist’s concept for the memorial is named “The Girl Puzzle” and creates an interactive experience within Lighthouse Park. It is modeled after a traditional Japanese Zen Garden with stylized landscape features and clean lines.

The proposed installation, within a plaza area of approximately 900 square feet, will have five (5) 7’-0” tall bronze sculptures of female faces set in the park and three mirrored, stainless steel spheres.

As the viewer enters the 60’ long plaza walkway, they encounter two bronze faces on each side of the plaza. The four bronze faces depict women of different ages and ethnicities. A fifth face of Nellie, cast in silver bronze is located at the northern terminus of the plaza. The mirrored spheres are on axis with the center of Nellie’s face and are varied in size. A low seat wall outlines three sides of the plaza to create a contemplative space for the viewer.

The installation will include written quotes representative of her conviction, compassion and accomplishments and will be fully accessible. There will be bronze plaques in braille highlighting the exhibit for the visually impaired and an audio component for the hearing impaired....
and a rendering 

of the proposed Nellie Bly Memorial.

It's not known at this time the reason for the Executive Session Discussion of Roosevelt Landings negotiations. As previously reported, the sale of Roosevelt Landings has been finalized, there is a new building management, C&C Apartment Management LLC, and RIOC was to receive a:
... a Transaction payment for the Roosevelt Landings lease assignment of $1,788,429.73....
Here's the full December 12 RIOC Board Meeting Agenda:





5:30 P.M.

I. Call to Order and Roll Call

II. Chair’s Motion for Executive Session

1. Discussion of Negotiations for Roosevelt Landings

III. Adjournment for Public Comment Period[1]

IV. Approval of Minutes

1. October 17, 2019 Board Meeting (Board Action Required)

2. November 12, 2019 Special Board Meeting (Board Action Required)

New Business

Approval of the Proposed RIOC Budget for Fiscal Year 2020-21 (Board Action Required)

Approval of Schedule of 2020 Meetings of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation Board of Directors (Board Action Required)

Authorization to Amend the Cell Antenna License Agreement with Verizon Wireless (Board Action Required)

Authorization to Enter into Contract with Prometheus Art Bronze Foundry & Metal Fabrication for Design and Construction Services for the Nellie Bly Memorial (Board Action Required)

Any Other New Business that May be Brought Before the Board

President’s Report

Committee Reports

Audit Committee

Governance Committee

Operations Advisory Committee

Real Estate Development Advisory Committee

Public Safety Report


[1] The public comment period will commence after the Executive Session. The public comment period is not part of the meeting.