Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Roosevelt Island Duane Reade Pharmacy Sold Out Of Face Masks, Resupply Unknown - New Yorkers Concerned About Spread Of Novel Coronavirus, No Confirmed NY Cases Says Governor Cuomo, But It's Probably Here Says NYC Mayor de Blasio

An indication of the concern over news reports about the Novel Coronavirus was seen today at the Roosevelt Island Duane Reade pharmacy counter - Face masks are sold out

and the staff does not know when they will be resupplied.

CBS Channel 2 New York reports today on the Novelcorona virus:

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) tweets

and NY State Governor Andrew Cuomo issued this statement today:
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced an update on the status of testing for the novel coronavirus in New York State. As of today, the New York State Department of Health has sent samples for 10 individuals to the CDC for testing with seven found to be negative and three more still pending. So far, there are no confirmed cases in New York State.

"While we continue to closely monitor the spread of this novel coronavirus, I have directed our Department of Health to continue communicating with and providing updates to our local communities, healthcare providers, colleges, universities and New York companies with locations or business interests in China," Governor Cuomo said. "My message to New Yorkers is: take this coronavirus seriously, take proper precautions, stay informed, but also feel confident that our Health Department and this administration are prepared and ready."

The Department of Health continues to provide guidance to New York's colleges and universities, many of which have international students from China, on how to identify the virus, update students and promote prevention measures.

More information about the novel coronavirus is available here.

New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said, "We encourage all New Yorkers to take normal precautions against sickness, such as regular hand washing and avoiding close contact with people who are sick. We will continue to work with our partners at the CDC and around the State as we assist in any way necessary to ensure the health of all New Yorkers."

Symptoms of the novel coronavirus may include:
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
While there is currently no vaccine for this novel coronavirus, everyday preventative actions can help stop the spread of this and other respiratory viruses, including:
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Individuals who are experiencing symptoms and may have traveled to areas of concern, or have been in contact with somebody who has traveled to these areas, should call ahead to their healthcare provider before presenting for treatment.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said yesterday on NY1 Inside City Hall with Errol Lewis:
Well, some of our top public health officials and I got together on Friday to brief the city and let folks know that we have to expect to see this here. What we now know is this virus was underestimated by the Chinese government. It was actually beginning to spread and was not recognized sufficiently and talked about openly. And you know, that has a lot to do with the situation in China and the way things are governed.

But we now have a worldwide phenomenon that we have to take very seriously and it's a new disease in the eyes of medical science. And that's the thing I have to tell you. You know, you get briefed by your team and typically they're like, okay, here's everything we know. And it's pretty exhaustive. I wouldn't – this is the New York City Department of Health, the best public health agency in the country. But this one's new. It's on a spectrum of diseases. If we're lucky, it's more like the common cold. If we're unlucky, it's more like SARS and so far it sure seems more like SARS, obviously a number of people have died but medical science still doesn't fully understand this disease and there is no cure at this moment.

So really emphasizing to New Yorkers, it's probably here already. That's the sad reality. It’s probably here in the form of individuals who in the, you know, existing in individuals who have been to Wuhan or have family members who've been to Wuhan and have had some prolonged exposure and the symptoms, you know, flu-like symptoms, symptoms similar in some ways to what you see with pneumonia. But if anyone matches those criteria, they need to get to a doctor right away. The best chance of protecting them, but also stopping the spread, is quick medical attention...
Asked today, Roosevelt Island Doctor Jack Resnick says he has not seen any indication of the Novel Coronavirus in our community.

The US Centers for Disease Control has more on the Novel Coronavirus.

Sign Up For Free Breast Cancer Screening - American Italian Cancer Foundation Mammogram Bus Will Be On Roosevelt Island Saturday February 8, Appointment Necessary

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RICO):

The Mammogram Bus will be on Roosevelt Island on Saturday, February 8th from 2:00 PM - 4:30 PM at Good Shepherd Plaza (543 Main Street). The service is provided at no cost. No co-pays required. Deductibles are waived. Uninsured patients welcomed.  Note: You must make an appointment ahead of time.

For an appointment please call 1 877 628 9090.

The Mammogram Bus Roosevelt Island service is hosted by NY State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright and NYC Council Member Ben Kallos.

Here's more on the American Italian Cancer Foundation Breast Cancer Screening Mammogram Bus.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Second Roosevelt Island Public Lewdness Incident This Month Reported Yesterday - PSD And NYPD Investigating But RIOC Declines To Give More Info

I asked the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Safety Chief Kevin Brown today:

Any more details on Public Lewdness incident listed in PSD Report below:

01/26/20 – 1820 – 605 Main Street – Public Lewdness – PSD responded – Search made with negative results.

What happened?

Is this related to January 16 incident at 546 Main Street?
RIOC Public Information Officer Terrence McCauley replied:
The incidents are not related as the suspect description in each incident is of two completely different individuals. PSD is working with NYPD on apprehending the suspects in both incidents.
I followed up:
What was the public lewdness behavior.
Mr. McCauley replied:
PSD and NYPD are still in the process of investigating the complaint and determining what may have happened. We will let you know what their investigation uncovers upon its completion.

RIOC Responds To Roosevelt Island Transportation Outreach With Courtesy Signage Encouraging Giving Up Seats For Elderly/Disabled/Pregnant Woman And Will Start Routine PSD Patrols On Red Bus - Watch Video Of Full RI Transportation Issues Discussion

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC)

On Thursday, January 9th, RIOC’s Chief Operating Officer Shelton Haynes, along with the Transportation Department’s Cy Opperman and Joe Marino heard from the community as part of our new outreach initiative: Re-Introducing RIOC.

A number of attendees at the event at the Roosevelt Island Senior Center voiced concerns about courtesy on our transportation network, particularly about our Red Bus service. RIOC encourages everyone to be considerate of their fellow passengers because a little kindness goes a long way. Although we still have some work to do in other areas, we are happy to report that we were able to quickly address two of your chief concerns immediately.


As a result of the community’s request, PSD has already started routine patrols on the Red Buses throughout the day. These patrols will be conducted seven days a week during the Red Bus hours of operation.


RIOC’s new COURTESY COUNTS signs will be posted on each bus within the next two weeks.

These signs feature images that clearly demonstrate which seats on the bus are reserved for those who are pregnant, the elderly and the disabled.

It is our hope that these signs and the increased PSD presence on the buses, will encourage our customers to consider the safety and comfort of all of their fellow passengers. Because a little bit of consideration for your neighbor goes a long way. If you see an incident happen on a bus, please alert the driver or contact PSD immediately at 212-832-4545.
Image From RIOC

Issues discussed during the January 9 Roosevelt Island Transportation meeting at Carter Burden Roosevelt Island Senior Center included:
  • Baby strollers causing unsafe conditions on the Red Bus,
  • Extending seating courtesy to Senior Citizens, disabled and Pregnant woman,
  • Need for periodic Public Safety Officer on Red Bus to enforce rules,
  • Additional Red Bus Stops,
  • More Shoppers Buses to take Seniors off the Island,
  • Blind spots for Next Bus GPS service,
  • Have Tram Operators announce that able body adults and children who ride for free should relinquish their seats for elderly and disabled,
  • What is Red Bus service Schedule,
  • MTA Proposed New Bus Schedule replacing Q102 bus with new route that eliminates NYC Bus service north of Roosevelt Island Bridge and south of Tram
  • Giving Roosevelt Island residents preference on Tram will not be done (RIOC says it is discriminatory),
  • Need to recruit more Red Bus drivers and
  • How to compliment Red Bus Drivers who are doing a good job. (Send email to RIOC with time and Bus #)
Here's video of the full meeting discussion

and the Roosevelt Island Red Bus Schedule.
Red Bus Schedule

Regular & Weekend Service (Non-Rush Hour)

The Red Bus makes all local stops every 15 minutes from 5:30 AM - 2:30 AM every day, except Friday and Saturday, when service is extended to 3:30 AM.
Rush Hour Service

Morning Rush Hours (Monday through Friday): 7 AM - 10 AM, the Red Bus makes all local stops every eight (8) minutes.
Evening Rush Hours (Monday through Friday): 3 PM - 8 PM, the Red Bus makes all local stops every eight (8) minutes.
Octagon Express Service

The Octagon Express Bus operates Weekdays from 7 AM - 10 AM and makes stops every 20 minutes at The Octagon, Subway Station East, Tramway Plaza East, Tramway Plaza West, and Subway Station West bus stops only.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Cold And Rainy Day Does Not Stop Roosevelt Island Girl Scouts From Raising Awareness And Funds For Australia To Stop The Bushfires - We're Trying To Help People And Animals Whose Houses Are Burning Down Says One RI Girl Scout

As reported earlier this week, Roosevelt Island Girl Scout Troop 3233:

... will be having a Fundraiser this Saturday January25th, to support the reconstruction efforts for the Australia Bushfire Crisis.

The crisis is unprecedented and the situation is very alarming. RI is a place where a lot of us come from different countries, and our Girl Scouts have the opportunity to make this World a better place and to help out.

Our troop has an opportunity to send the money directly to the Girl Guides of Australia Bushfire Crisis fund as we have an Australian family in our troop.
The cold and rain today did not stop these Roosevelt Island Girl Scouts

from raising awareness and funds at the Farmers Market to support Australian bushfire relief efforts.

As one of the Girl Scouts told me:
We're trying to raise money to donate to Australia to stop the bushfires and help the animals and families whose houses are burning down...

Great job by the Roosevelt Island Girl Scouts.

Here's more info on the Girl Guides of Australia Bushfire Crisis fund

More info on the Australian bushfires at this prior post.

Friday, January 24, 2020

RIOC Selects Chashama As Roosevelt Island Artist In Residence To Provide Free Studio Space For Selected Visual Artists - Watch For Upcoming ChaShaMa Special Events, Dance Studio, New Camerata Opera Youth Workshops & More

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) announced last October that the non-profit Chashama group

will fill the newly created role of Roosevelt Island Artist-in-Residence.

Image From Chashama

 According to RIOC:
Chashama Comes to Roosevelt Island

At its October board meeting, the RIOC board approved a measure that allows RIOC to work with Chashama in the creation of an art studio that will provide free work space for selected artists who reside on Roosevelt Island. Artists will be able to apply for this Artist-in-Residence program via a free online application process. ChaShaMa is a well-known organization that supports artists by partnering with property owners to transform unused real estate into spaces for artists to create, present, and inspire.

As part of its partnership with RIOC, Chashama will provide feedback and insight to the artists in the Roosevelt Island studio. The program may also include special events to showcase the work by the artists. ChaShaMa is also slated to present up to three (3) special events per year in Good Shepherd Community Center, Motorgate Gallery and the Cultural Center Theater.

The Roosevelt Island Visual Art Association (RIVAA) will continue to work with RIOC on the Island of Art Project, the Fall for Arts Festival, the Motorgate Gallery and many other initiatives. Members of RIVAA will also lead a selection panel to choose semi-finalists for the public art studio....
Chashama Space To Present Manager Alexandria Hodgkins adds:
The main component of the project is a free studio residency for 6 months offered to 5 visual artists. Priority will be given to members of the Roosevelt Island community. More details can be found here

Aside from the studio program Chashama will be coordinating events throughout the year across the island. At Motorgate this month, the New Camerata Opera is shooting a film for their nonprofit. New Camerata plans on returning to the island this spring to offer free youth workshops at the local theater.

We also plan on hosting a dance residency at the Good Shepherd Sanctuary. Details are still being secured so stay tuned for more info.
New Camerata Opera

is currently shooting scenes this week at the Roosevelt Island Motorgate Atrium for:
... a short opera film based on the life of Julie d’Aubigny, from composer Whitney George and librettist Lila Palmer. A swashbuckling, bisexual swordswoman and opera singer alive during the 17th-century, d'Aubigny fought to cultivate a world in which those who misbehaved got what they deserved. The film, entitled "Julie", will tell her incredible story, which emphasizes the importance of courage in the face of adversity and the pursuit of equality for all.

RIOC reported on the filming schedule below:

Chashama Filming at Motorgate Atrium – Thursday, January 23, 2020 to Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Our Artist-in-Residence will be filming in the Motorgate Atrium at the below times and dates. Filming is not anticipated to interfere with parking operations. Although PSD will be on-site throughout filming, please report any unsafe conditions by calling PSD at 212-832-4545.

Thursday, Jan 23, 2020 9:00 AM 4:00 PM

Friday, Jan 24, 2020 9:00 AM 4:00 PM

Saturday, Jan 25, 2020 3:00 PM 11:00 PM

Sunday, Jan 26, 2020 3:00 PM 11:00 PM

Monday, Jan 27, 2020 9:00 AM 5:00 PM

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2020 9:00 AM 5:00 PM

Wednesday, Jan 29, 2020 9:00 AM 5:00 PM
More info on the Chashama Roosevelt Island Space for Artists here.