Wednesday, February 26, 2020

RIOC Operations Committee Reviewing Roosevelt Island Capital Projects And Audit Committee Discussing Hudson Related Retail Profit Sharing Clause At February 27 Meetings

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors Operations Advisory Committee and Audit Committee are meeting tomorrow, February 27.

According to RIOC:

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a meeting of the Operations Advisory Committee of the RIOC Board of Directors will be held on Thursday, February 27, 2020 at 5:00 P.M. at RIOC’s Operations Office, 680 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York.

AGENDA:

Capital Projects Overview
Any Other Committee Business that May be Brought Before the Committee
You can follow the development stages of Roosevelt Island projects

Image From RIOC

Sign Up Now For Cornell Tech Adult 60 Years Old And Over Tech Literacy Course Beginning In March With Information Session February 28 - Prior Class Got Great Review

Cornell Tech will be hosting an 8 week Tech Literacy Course for Roosevelt Island adults 60 years of age and older at the Carter Burden Network Roosevelt Island Senior Center in March and beginning with an Information Session Friday February 28.

Cornell Tech Image From 2018 Roosevelt Island Seniors Tech Literacy Class

According to Cornell Tech Assistant Director of Government and Community Relations Jane Swanson:

Any Roosevelt Island Young Woman In Grades 9-12 Interested In NYC Emergency Management Career, HERricane Program Is For You - Also Graduate Fellowships Available With NYC Emergency Management Department

Are you a young Roosevelt Island woman in grades 9-12 interested in a NYC Emergency Management career?



If you are, the NYC Emergency Management Department (EMD) has a program - HERricane - for you.


Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Roosevelt Island Citibike Service, Motogate Bike Lane/Ramp, Island House/Westview Lease Amendments & MTA Strecker Lab Building Redesign On RIOC Real Estate Committee Meeting Agenda For February 26


Roosevelt Island is surrounded by Citibike sharing stations in Queens and Manhattan


but none on Roosevelt Island.

The answer to the question when Roosevelt Island will get Citibike docking stations may be more clear after tomorrow's Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Real Estate Development Advisory Committee (REDAC) meeting.

You're Invited To Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech Construction & Community Task Force Meeting February 26, Update On Hotel, Conference Center & More - Also Watch Video Introduction Of First Year Cornell Tech Dean Greg Morrisett, A New Roosevelt Island Resident

The Cornell Tech Construction & Community Task Force meets quarterly to keep the Roosevelt Island community informed and maintain an open dialogue with resident Task Force members of the community who are appointed by local elected officials - Congresswoman Maloney, State Senator Serrano, State Assembly Member Seawright, Manhattan Borough President Brewer, NYC Council Member Kallos and Community Board 8.

The Task Force is meeting tomorrow February 26 at the Bloomberg Academic Center from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM and the public is invited to attend as well. Among items on the Agenda are:

  • Updates on Hotel & Verizon Executive Education Center construction and operations;
  • Community Engagement presentation;
  • Q&A; 
  • All welcome; rsvp to Jane.Swanson@cornell.edu (not required but simplifies getting through security)
More info on Graduate Hotel and planned rooftop bar/ground floor restaurant at this prior post.

During the November 12, 2019 Task Force meeting, the new Cornell Tech Dean Greg Morrisett, who started in August 2019,  introduced himself to the community. Dean Morrisett is a Roosevelt Island resident, living on campus with his wife Tania.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Roosevelt Island Student Environmental Heroes Giving Away Free Reusable Bags Wednesday February 26 At Local Foodtown Supermarket - NYC Plastic Bag Ban Starts March 1

The New York City Plastic Bag ban begins Sunday March 1.


Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Children, Youth & Education Ad Hoc Committee Chair Adib Mansour reports:
As you may already know, plastic bags will be banned in New York City as of March 1st. RIRA’s Children, Youth & Education Committee has been teaching the youth at the Child Center of NY about sound environmental practices. They have become Roosevelt Island’s:
“Environmental Heroes.”
 Come join our youth at the new FoodTown and receive a free reusable bag, donated by the generosity of:
Borough President Gale Brewer, Council Member Ben Kallos, RIOC President Susan Rosenthal.
Wednesday, Feb. 26 - 3:30 PM at Roosevelt Island FoodTown

NYC CBS New York reports on the NYC Plastic Bag ban including views from both supporters and opponents of the plastic bag ban



Roosevelt Island Foodtown supermarket owner Nick D'Agostino

Friday, February 21, 2020

Long Time Roosevelt Island Residents Give Very Favorable Reviews To New Foodtown Supermarket - Many Shopping At RI Supermarket For First Time In Years, It's Becoming A Community Gathering Spot

What do you think of the new Roosevelt Island Foodtown Supermarket,


located in the former Gristedes space, that had it Grand Opening on February 7?

So far, every person I've spoken to has had very positive reviews about our new Foodtown Supermarket.

For example,  a 30 year Roosevelt Island resident told me she would never visit the old Gristedes store and would drive off Roosevelt Island to do all her grocery shopping but after visiting the new Foodtown supermarket is:
... grateful that the store has opened up because now I can stay here and enjoy shopping on the Island....  People want to be able to shop and afford to have good food. To be able to work their budget out and include nice food. It's a great start...
A 47 year resident said the recent Foodtown Grand Opening was like a neighborhood:
...reunion seeing so many faces you have not seen in a long time...


Another resident says the new Foodtown Supermarket Cafe is becoming a community gathering spot -  and likes the good cup of coffee for $1.50.

Roosevelt Island Soup Lady Sells Vegetable And Vegan Soup Every Saturday At Farmers Market And Now From Brand New Online Store - Chicken Noodle & Matzo Ball Soup Too

The Roosevelt Island Soup Lady, Margo Reiss, sells her delicious vegetable and vegan soups every Saturday at the Roosevelt Island Farmers Market.


The Roosevelt Island Soup Lady


now has an online shop

Good News, Roosevelt Island F Train Service To And From Manhattan This Weekend, Watch Video Of MTA Presentation On 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 13,2019  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, February 20, 2020

Roosevelt Island Celebrates Black History Month With Art, Poetry Readings, Song & Dance, Watch Video Of Wonderful Performances - More To Come With RI Youth Center Black History Month Program Saturday February 22

Roosevelt Island celebrated Black History Month earlier this month with a February 8 presentation of art, poetry reading, music  and dance at Gallery RIVAA. Among the wonderful performances were poetry readings by:

  • Ebonie J. Williams - What Shall I Tell My Children Who Are Black by Margaret Burroughs and
  • Harold Thomas w/ guest of Lord, Lord Why Did You Make Me Black by RuNett Nia Ebo.
Take a look and listen.



Roosevelt Island Black History Month Celebration continues on Saturday February 22. According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
The R.I. Youth Center will host its 2nd Annual Black History Month Celebration on Saturday, February 22nd at 4 PM inside the multipurpose room located at Sportspark (250 Main Street). The free event will explore pieces from the recent New York Times article: The 1619 Project, and how this event still has an impact on African American culture today. Through live performances, artwork and poetry, participants of the youth center will explore important points of African American history, highlighting their struggle for freedom and equality while also showcasing their many accomplishments. This event is open to the public.

Here are more scenes from the February 8 Roosevelt Island Black History Month Celebration - The 1619 Project: Still Marginalized at Gallery RIVAA - including more music and dance.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Watch Fascinating Video About The Natural World Of Roosevelt Island From 1609 To Present Day By Local Resident & Urban Naturalist Jack Burkhalter At Engage RI Environmental Understanding Meet Up - What Is Your Favorite Roosevelt Island Green Or Outdoor Space And Tree?

Engaged Roosevelt Island hosted a February 12 Meet Up for Environmental Understanding which included several wonderful presentations about Roosevelt Island's natural history, flora and fauna wildlife habitat as well as examples of residents:

... working together to create, restore and maintain natural habitats for all...
Local resident and urban naturalist Jack Burkhalter treated the Engage RI Meet Up audience to a fascinating presentation on the Natural World Of Roosevelt Island from 1609, (then called Minnahanonck Island - meaning Nice Island - by Lenape Native Americans) to the present day.


Watch video of this very informative presentation by Mr. Burkhalter on the Natural World of Roosevelt Island.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Roosevelt Island Homeless Issue Growing Concern Among Frustrated Residents At Lack Of Solutions - Community Member Has Idea For Showers, Bathrooms, Laundry & Social Services At Unused Coler Hospital Space

Reported previously on Roosevelt Island residents increasing concern and frustration with:

... a growing homeless population and no social service to speak of....
A long time member of the Roosevelt Island community puts forward an idea for discussion about the issue of homeless people on Roosevelt Island.
Recently I have been thinking about the growing transient and indigent population on the Roosevelt Island, both from the perspective of humane relief and from the perspective of the new issues imposed on the community -- community outreach and community response. I was entering the subway when the odor was overwhelming. I covered my nose and was reprimanded by a young woman for a lack of compassion. The cause of the odor this particular day was someone, a gentleman, I have often helped. I understand both concerns: the social justice concern, that every human is entitled to adequate shelter, and the pragmatic concern, that people fear the health/hygiene issues and related costs.

In response, I have tried to find a middle path that might address both the humanitarian concerns and the added cost imposed on a community, when there is a growing homeless population (I will refer to the latter in economic terms, as externalities, as such costs are shifted to the public budget, which is already stretched thin).

Recently a suggestion was floated that unused space in the hospital at the north end of the Island could be repurposed for beds. The community responded that this could create greater crime and health/hygiene issues. Too often public shelter facilities do not adequately address the longer term impact on the surrounding community. There are meaningful rights on both sides, and both need to be discussed and respected.

However, this proposal offers the opportunity to craft a modest solution: the unused hospital space could be repurposed to provide two showers, lavs, laundry and lockers. The facility could be open initially two days a week 8:00am to 8:00pm, and supervised with two personnel (a cleaning employee and a manager). Public Safety could be present to prevent potential victimization of the guests. Individually packaged toiletries could conceivably be solicited as "charitables" from corporate manufacturers. Towels would have to be worked out (as these present a hygiene issue). Los Angeles has pioneered a successful shower on wheels program through the work of private individuals. This could offer a model for humane relief throughout the city.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Roosevelt Island Non Profit Organizations Interviewing With RIRA Committee For Slice Of RIOC $150 Thousand Public Purpose Funds Pie February 18 & !9 - Applicant Calls For Changes In Pitting Groups Against Each Other In Selection Process

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC), Public Purpose Funds (PPF) interviews take place Tuesday, February 18 and Wednesday February 19. Below is the  PPF interview schedule.


Interviews will take place over two nights in Good Shepherd Community Center - 543 Main Street. Applicants will have 20 minutes to present the projects for which Public Purpose Funds (PPF) are being requested.

It's True, Roosevelt Island Is A Magical Little Island - Captured By New Resident's Tram Sketch And Nighttime Tram Aerial View Video

Jessica Klein is a recent arrival to Roosevelt Island and a talented sketch artist. I and several other residents noticed and liked her Roosevelt Island Tram  sketch social media post


I asked Ms Klein for info on the sketch. According to Ms Klein:

Friday, February 14, 2020

Happy Valentine's Day - Was That A Heart Shaped Cloud Seen Over Roosevelt Island NYC East River Waterfront?

What a great gift for Valentine's Day - A heart shaped cloud over Roosevelt Island?


It's a wonderful thought, but not really.