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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Updates On Roosevelt Island Tramway Plaza, Southtown Building 8, Cat Sanctuary & Mental Health Awareness Initiatives On Agenda For Thursday, July 19 Community Board 8 Roosevelt Island Committee Meeting - You're Invited To Attend

The Manhattan Community Board 8

Image From CB8M

Roosevelt Island Committee will meet tomorrow, July 19. Committee Chair Lynn Strong-Shinozaki invites all Roosevelt Island residents to attend and shares the meeting agenda below:
Roosevelt Island Committee
Thursday, July 19, 2018 - 6:30PM
Good Shepard Community Center
543 Main Street,
Roosevelt Island, NY
Auditorium (Upstairs)


1. Update on Tramway Plaza

2. Update on Southtown Building 8

3. Update on WFF Cat Sanctuary

4. Update on Mental Health Awareness Initiatives

Lynne Strong-Shinozaki, Chair

Roosevelt Island Westview Ground Lease Extension On RIOC Real Estate Committee Meeting Agenda Today - When Will Agreement Be Reached On Exit From Mitchell Lama And Privatization?

During the June 28 Roosevelt Island Town Hall meeting with elected officials (full video of Town Hall here), Roosevelt Island Westview residents were hoping to receive some answers about

the status of the building's exit from Mitchell Lama program

and privatization efforts including extension of building's ground lease from the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC)

as Westview building owner David Hirschorn and RIOC President Susan Rosenthal conferred

in the back of the room at Good Shepherd Community Center.

No answers were given during the Town Hall meeting other than all necessary parties were working diligently to reach an agreement. Westview residents left the meeting very frustrated with the lack of answers.

We may soon have some answers. Later today, the RIOC Real Estate Advisory Committee is meeting to discuss extension of the Westview building ground lease.

However, the meeting is in Executive Session, closed to the public.

According to RIOC:
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a meeting of the Real Estate Development Advisory Committee of the RIOC Board of Directors will be held on Wednesday, July 18, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. at the RIOC Administrative Office, 591 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York.


Chair’s Motion for Executive Session to Discuss the Westview Ground Lease Negotiations

Any Other Committee Business That May be Brought Before the Committee.
Both RIOC and the Westview Building owner declined to comment on status of negotiations. The Westview Task Force, representing building residents, issued this statement yesterday:
From what we know, significant progress has been recently made between New York State agencies and Westview Owners in connection with the revised Westview Affordability Plan. We anticipate receiving a copy of the Plan for review and remain hopeful that our ground lease will be extended and mortgage refinanced before the end of July.
Stay tuned for updates.

UPDATE- 7:35 PM - Following the Executive Session, I spotted RIOC President Susan Rosenthal on Main Street. I asked what happened at the meeting. Ms Rosenthal replied:
Board meeting has been scheduled for Monday...
Translation, a Westview agreement has been reached and will be voted on at Board meeting on Monday.

More details on the Agreement coming soon.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Over 100 GoogleServe Volunteers Together with Citizens Committee For NYC, RI Garden Club & iDig2Learn Spruce Up, Restore and Beautify NYC HHC Coler Hospital Roosevelt Island Campus

On June 20, volunteers from Google joined with Roosevelt Island's iDig2Learn, the Roosevelt Island Garden Club, Citizens Committee for NYC and many other volunteers to help beautify the NYC Health & Hospitals Corp Coler Hospital campus.

Roosevelt Island resident and iDig2Learn Founder Christina Delfico reports:
As iDig2Learn celebrates its sixth year, founder Christina Delfico submits its latest community win.

Recently, iDig2Learn had the chance to organize something really big, think Google big, think major New York City hospital, big.

It was like a giant green snowball, starting with a casual conversation in the garden, building up exponentially, pulling in more and more local talent. Listening and dreaming until we became an unstoppable force.

In 2012, Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on New York City including the northern tip of Roosevelt Island and the hospital. This was the same year I had met the local public school, their PTA, and the youth center to see if there would be interest in my new initiative, the iDig2Learn educational science garden program. Little did I know, six years later, I would get a chance to help undo some of the storm’s damage and work side by side the caring people of NYC Health + Hospitals/Coler and extend the good work of neighborhood green garden groups.

I am so grateful to so many different neighbors who helped out including Dawn Price, Janine Schaefer, Maria Starkova, Judy Berdy, Vaughn Anglesey, the Roosevelt Island Garden Club (RICG) and Green Roosevelt Island Neighbors (GRIN) and for the corporate support for iDig2Learn from Citizens Committee for New York City (CCNYC) and Google. It is as if CCNYC had a magic green wand matching us up with huge corporate friends to make our neighborhood dreams come true.

“Over 100 Googlers joined us and dedicated their time and energy to sprucing up the grounds of NYC Health + Hospitals/Coler here on Roosevelt Island,”

Photo credit: Olya Turcihin

said Peter H. Kostmayer, CEO of Citizens Committee for New York City. “We are so grateful to Google for their participation in our Love Your City volunteer program, which supports impactful projects led by regular New Yorkers through additional funding and volunteer power provided by dedicated corporate citizens. Special thanks to our Neighborhood Grants recipient and local community improvement steward iDig2Learn, an intergenerational volunteer group whose remarkable projects include creating an urban food forest to address food insecurity as well as developing Roosevelt Island’s first and only monarch butterfly corridor.”

It was a great day. There was this wave of over hundred and thirty Google volunteers, or Googlers,

Photo credit: Olya Turcihin

as they referred to themselves, who arrived for garden work wearing Google T-shirts, smiles and can-do attitudes. They came in two shifts, with about seventy Googlers arriving in the morning and then another large group in the afternoon.

The vision was clear, build off the existing beauty of the seven grand Magnolia trees within Coler’s green space, repair or remove what was broken, add a fresh coat of paint and plant hundreds of flowers.

Photo Credit Olya Turcihin

Some Googlers would sand benches then stain the wood and paint the metal legs, others would assemble piece-by-piece raised beds that had arrived in boxes and were built to be wheelchair accessible, still more would dig out large swaths of grassy areas to create meadows of pollinator-friendly wildflowers to attract butterflies.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Young & Very Talented Roosevelt Island Piano Students Perform "Music Is All Inclusive" Concert With Chamber Orchestra - Presented By RIRA & RIDA, Dedicated To Memory Of Former Main Street Wire Editor Dick Lutz

Following the May 19 memorial celebration in honor of former Main Street Wire editor Dick Lutz,  Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Children, Youth & Education (CY&E) Committee Chair Adib Mansour organized a Chamber Music concert performed by Roosevelt Island young people dedicated to Mr. Lutz.

Below is video of the concert courtesy of John Dougherty

and Mr. Mansour reports:

After the passing of my mother, I am back in New York contemplating on the success of RIRA’s Children, Youth & Education Committee’s “Music is All Inclusive” concert last May. The concert was in collaboration with Roosevelt Island Disabled Association's Wendy Hersh and Musicute’s piano instructor Ms. Shuang.

Of course, the heroes of the concert were the young Roosevelt Island piano students: Bijan Navab (13 yrs old), Lou-Ann Sire (12 yrs old), Nina Xining Wang (12 yrs old), Tung Le (12 yrs old), Isra Ghrib (10 yrs old), Amelia Ghrib (9 yrs old), Hemi Te Amo (9 yrs old), James Wilson Bailey (8 years old), and Penelope Louise (5 yrs old).

The idea I had behind the concert was to elevate the expectations of our youth and let them know that with their hard work and their steadfast determination they can achieve their dreams. In this case, one of their dreams was to play with an actual professional Chamber Orchestra. The other thought was to get them to understand that all the residents of the island are equal. The message that I incorporated in my communications with the students and on the program was: “I do not have a disability, I have a gift”.

Lots of heartfelt “thank you” to everyone that helped while I was away. The community came together to coordinate the concert which was dedicated to Dick Lutz and was preceded by his memorial. The concert was set in the Chapel of the Good Shepherd which added a beautiful resonating sound and a dramatic feel.

It was not easy to coordinate the project while attending to my mom’s health from Lebanon. But the support from the community and RIRA/RIDA members was invaluable in making it a resonating success.

I am proud to be part of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association, and this beautiful community.
Watch the Chamber Music concert - some very talented Roosevelt Island young people.

Sponsored Post - TINKERGARTEN: Outdoor Play Based Kid Classes Coming To Roosevelt Island This Fall - Sign Up Now For More Info

Roosevelt Island Mom and Tinkergarten Leader Natalia DiPalma reports

Tinkergarten is a program that brings early childhood education to a park near you. In our classes, kids enjoy the freedom of independent exploration through well-designed play-based activities to promote the development of critical capabilities, including self-reliance, creativity, persistence and problem-solving. Tinkergarten classes are led by a trained, certified community of leaders — often parents — who bring a healthy, social, and engaging learning experience to their community.

I'm a local mom and I recently finished my training as a leader. I have been accepted to offer classes this fall for kids ages 1-8 years old. Classes will be held on Saturdays. I will be offering Trial classes on August 11, 18, and 25. The fall season will start on September 8th. For more information, you can email me at or sign up to my mailing list. Here is the link to my classes: 

To the kids, it’s a chance to get messy, solve mysteries, make friends and have fun. For us, it’s a chance to get together with like-minded parents and learn effective ways to play and learn with their kids.

I also run Bespoke My Heart, a party planning company on the island, and will be offering Tinkergarten Birthday Parties: Wildy Fun and Rooted in Play! These parties can be held in your own home, yard, or a nearby park.


I grew up in Venezuela where dirt, trees, sticks, and nature were our go-to toys. My favorite game was to make arepas, a staple food, out of the mud. Now, as a New Yorker for more than a decade, I found a little haven -and a reminder of these childhood memories - in a little island I call home: Roosevelt Island. I am a mom of two adorable, curious boys, Santiago (3) and Mateo (8m). I enjoy cooking, baking, gardening, playing outdoors, dancing and singing silly songs with my boys, and planning activities and theme parties for them. I'm honored to be part of the Tinkergarten family, I look forward to enjoying all the greenery this island has to offer, and I can't wait to meet you and your little ones soon! - Natalia DiPalma

For more information about Tinkergarten, please visit our website.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Carter Burden Roosevelt Island Senior Center Hosting SUNY Downstate Medical Center For Genomic Psychiatry Research Study - Seeking Participants To Give Family History And Swab Sample Monday July 16 & Wednesday July 18, Will Receive $25 Or $50 Compensation For Your Time

The Carter Burden Roosevelt Island Senior Center is hosting the SUNY Downstate Medical Center Genomic Psychiatry Cohort research study on Monday July 16 and Wednesday July 18.

According to the SUNY Downstate Medical Center Genomic Psychiatry Cohort:
The Genomic Psychiatry Cohort was founded by Drs. Michele and Carlos Pato to enroll a large clinical cohort of patients with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, OCD, and control participants.

The GPC was formed from an initial population of ~10,000 participants from earlier studies. Over the past six years, we have enrolled an additional 23,000 participants. (~9,000 Caucasian, ~5,000 African American, ~8,000 Latino, ~1,000 other). Along with Downstate Medical Center participation we hope to enroll another 15,000 - 20,000 participants....
More info on the study here.