Monday, May 22, 2017

No Roosevelt Island F Train Subway Service To Manhattan Late Night Monday To Friday May 22-26

According to the MTA:

F Coney Island-bound trains run via the E from Roosevelt Av to 5 Av/53 St Late Nights, 9:45 PM to 5 AM, Mon to Fri, May 22 - 26

Trains resume regular service at 47-50 Sts.

No Coney Island-bound service at 21 St-Queensbridge, Roosevelt Island, Lexington Av/63 St and 57 St.

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) adds:
The MTA has issued a weeknight service advisory, No Manhattan bound F train service from 9:45PM to 5AM, each night from Monday, May 22 through Friday, May 26, 2017.

Please plan your travel accordingly and visit or call 511 for more information. For electronic updates on F Train service, sign up for MTA Alerts at

Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 Courtyard Garbage Creates 5 Star Hotel For Hundreds Of Rats Charges Activist With NYC Rat Academy Training - NYC Department Of Health To Investigate Says Council Member Kallos' Office

According to Roosevelt Island activist Frank Farance, Roosevelt Island's PS/IS 217 courtyard has become a:


Mr Farance's description is from his comment to this April 28 post which included statement from a 4 River Road Tenant Tipster that:
PS/IS 217 doesn't put their garbage in containers and it's a playground for rats...
Responding to my inquiry about the the courtyard garbage and rats, PS/IS 217 Principal Mandana Beckman replied:
... Despite raising concerns with the NY Department of Sanitation, 217 has been advised by the Sanitation Department that 217 is not permitted to use dumpsters and the Sanitation Department from Queens does not always come to remove the school's garbage on the scheduled days.

We look forward to working with the community to improve the situation. We also look forward to working with our PTA, students, parents and members of the community to replant and rebuild this Spring.
Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 PTA President Erin Olavesen adds:
217 is following the protocol of the Department of Sanitation. We have tried without success to have them consider an alternative such as a small dumpster. I know you have looped Ben Kallos in and the PTA and administration are also interested in seeing if he can help.

The DOE has come out to inspect the area and we are waiting to see what solutions are possible in creating a safe, clean egress.
As a mom, I absolutely understand the concerns with the rat situation behind the school. But it is something the school is proactively working to address. The Department of Education was out a few days ago in fact to assess the situation. (It wasn't possible to access all of the burrows until the roots of the removed trees were ground down, which was just recently completed.)

Additionally, the sanitation company that the DOE uses for our school does not permit the school to place its trash in plastic bins or to place a gate around it. The school is required to leave it in bags.

It's frustrating waiting for the wheels of the DOE system to turn. If anyone has specific questions or concerns, or has suggestions for solving these issue more quickly, I welcome you to contact me directly.
On May 18, 4 River Road Tipster Tenant reported:
I just watched a 217 kitchen worker throw 2 bags of food waste right on top of the rat trash pile just a few feet away from their cafeteria- a couple people from the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) came by to look at the alley and the rats...
A few hours later 4 River Road Tipster Tenant followed up:
Rira people were out looking at it, but after they left I saw the worker throw 2 more fresh bags of cafeteria garbage on to the pile.
Interesting- the trash is gone now! THere were at least 6 bags of it around noon...
Today, Mr Farance shares these photos taken yesterday (Sunday May 21) at the PS/IS 217 courtyard and reports:
PS/IS 217, Principal Mandana Beckman, PTA Allow More Vermin: Mosquitoes (Zika/West Nile?), Pigeons, Ants, and Bigger Rat Colonies.

More dumping food garbage, more rats ripping into bags,

very big ant problem,

pigeons found a new home, and rat colony appears to go further back to the plants on the west side of school (promenade).

I think the fly/mosquito problem is yet another health hazard.

The walls are swarming with young flies/mosquitoes. Given the food, moist soil, and standing water/liquids, the school might be a good breeding ground for flies/mosquitoes. (As a CERT member, I did Zika/West-Nile training last year, these are the kinds of conditions they asked us to report.)

- Does PS/IS 217 dump open garbage? Yes.
- Is this something the Principal can do something about? Yes, e.g., don't dump open garbage on top of the rat colonies, but it in the garbage area.
- Is this something the PTA can do something about? Yes, it can report the problem, it can complain to the principal.

Obviously, if these trivial solutions are not being done to reduce the hazard, the Principal/PTA doesn't care, or is ineffectual. Merchants on Roosevelt Island have been more responsible than PS/IS 217.

There's open food garbage left out for two days, that is rat infested, and now we have flies, mosquitoes, ants, and pigeons. Nothing you can do about that? Baloney!

And how do you feel about your neighbors in 2-4 River Road having to live with your garbage? How to you feel about potential Zika virus breeding ground and pregnant mothers?
Mr. Farance adds:
Recently, I did my Rat Academy training (yes, that's what it is called) on waste/rodent management as taught by NYC Department of Health (DoHMH) and Department of Sanitation (DSNY)....
RIRA's Island Services Committee Chair Aaron Hamburger writes today:
We are actively working on the problem. We've notified both the Dept. of Sanitation and the Board of Health and hope they will inspect the site soon. As you know, any trash outside, by New York City regulations, must be put in containers or bins that are tightly closed to prevent rats from getting to the waste food.

We also have a meeting with RIOC's President this Friday and are trying to get a meeting with PS 217's Principal.
NYC Council Member Ben Kallos' staff advises today that the NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene:
...has just informed us that they are in the process of scheduling a walkthrough to see conditions.
Manhattan Community Board 8 program CB 8 Speaks recently interviewed Caroline Bragdon, Director of Neighborhood Intervention - NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene's Bureau of Veterinary & Pest Control on the Rat Academy.

Watch below. At the 24 minute 30 second mark, a discussion of what schools can do to properly remove garbage and control rat infestation.

Some supporters of PS/IS 217 have objected to Mr. Farance publicly reporting on the rat problem in the PS/IS 217 courtyard. For instance, one supporter asks Mr. Farance:
Why do you need to scare new families who intend to have their children there next year?! I have one child there and I will have my other child starting in the next school year....

I simply love the school! My child is very happy there, the teachers are amazing and I had the opportunity to meet other families and make new friends!

Rats?! We live in NYC!!! We see rats everywhere! Subway, streets , everywhere! If you go for a walk on Roosevelt Island you definitely see rats! Do you think they do not exist in other schools?! Yes, they do!

Regarding the PTA, Erin is doing her best and as she mentioned here, they are doing their best to solve the situation!

Please do not put more ashes into the fire....
My view is that without Mr. Farance calling attention to this issue, nothing would get done to solve the problem, or it would take much longer to be addressed.

More at April 28 post comments.

Nathan Franks Hot Dog Vendor Kiosk Sets Up Shop At The Roosevelt Island Tram -Come Get Your Chilli Dogs And Cheesy Fries

The Roosevelt Island Twitterverse reported yesterday:

A Nathans Franks Food Vendor Kiosk showed up

at the Roosevelt Island Tram Plaza yesterday selling a variety of Hot Dogs and Fries with your choice of Chilli, Cheese, Saurerkraut and more. The Nathans Franks Kiosk was very popular with tourists getting off the Tram.

Take a look at the menu below.

The Nathan Franks vendor said he plans to be a regular on Roosevelt Island, returning every day.

I suggested that the Nathan Franks Kiosk move next to the subway across from Starbucks

where the other Food Trucks park on Roosevelt Island

so that residents can enjoy Chilli Dogs at the East River Pier

outdoor tables

and chairs.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Roosevelt Island Bike Caravan On A Beautiful Sunday In May

The Roosevelt Island Twitterverse reports:

Here comes the Bicycle Caravan down Main Street.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Project Main Street And Team Gleason Team Up For 3rd Annual Roosevelt Island Tim Sheehy Softball Tournament To Benefit People With Lou Gehrig's Disease Saturday May 20 - 10 Games, Home Run Derby, Former Major League Players And ESPN Personalities Attending

The Third Annual Project Main Street Tim Sheehy Softball Classic to benefit people with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) will be held at Roosevelt Island's Capobianco and Firefighters Field Saturday, May 20 from 9:45 AM - 5 PM.

This year,  Project Main Street has teamed up with Team Gleason for the May 20 Softball Tournament.

According to the Tim Sheehy Softball Tournament web site:
...The goal of this tournament is to raise money in the fight against ALS as inspired by Tim Sheehy. Tim fought a courageous battle against ALS before his death in 2007; and like Steve Gleason, he saw the need to help those living with ALS by providing care. He created a 501(c)3 - Project Main Street that raised more than $1 million dollars to this mission from 2006-2016. We are fortunate Project Main Street now continues this mission in a partnership with and for Team Gleason....
More information on how you can support a player or team in the Tim Sheehy Softball Tournament here.

Roosevelt Island resident Justin Towey reports:
Help me raise money for Team Gleason and Project Main St...Fight ALS!

Our Founder, Architect & Inspiration: Tim Sheehy

Project Main St, named after Roosevelt Island's Main Street, and its mission were conceived entirely by Tim Sheehy during his own courageous battle with ALS. Tim, who grew up on Roosevelt Island, never stopped working on Project Main St. and his desire to help others grew stronger, even as his illness progressed. On April 23, 2007 Tim Sheehy, 38, succumbed to ALS, but not before seeing his vision of a support system for families struggling with this debilitating neurological disease become a reality.

Tim will forever be loved and missed – it is in his honor that Project Main St. continues through a new strategic partnership with Team Gleason!
Mr. Towey adds:
... On Saturday we have 10 softball teams competing at both Fireman's field and Capobianco field throughout the day. We will have 2 former MLB players on each team and plan to have a home run derby of ex MLB players at approx 12:30....
Click here to help support Mr. Towey's efforts to raise funds for Team Gleason and Project Main Street.

Here's more on Tim Sheehy and Project Main Street from the 2016 Softball Tournament

and Team Gleason.

Sponsored Post - Check Out Roosevelt Island Gristedes Bonus Card Diamond Rewards Items For May 19 - June 1 - Weekly Sales & Specials For May 19- May 25 Too

The Roosevelt Island Gristedes Supermarket

Diamond Rewards customer loyalty program items for May 19 - June 1 are now available .

Examples of featured items purchased from May 19 - June 1 that earn you big points include
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  • Vita Top Muffins earn 75 points,
  • Pepperidge Farm Layer Cake earn 50 points,
  • Eggo Waffles earn 25 points and
  • many more shown in flyer below.

According to Gristedes:
Start Earning Points Today

Join the Diamond Rewards loyalty program today! Get exclusive offers and earn points on hundreds of items! Get $5 Coupons for every 500 points earned, redeemable on next order.

Look for the Diamond Rewards label on the shelf or the product
If you have a Gristedes Bonus Savings Card and provided your email address, you are automatically enrolled in the Diamond Loyalty Program.

You can sign up for a Gristedes Bonus Savings Card online or in store - just make sure you give your email address and whether you are a new or existing Bonus Savings Club member, in order to be eligible for the Diamond Rewards Loyalty program.

Also, Roosevelt Island Gristedes Supermarket invites you to check out their:
  • Groceries, 
  • Organic & Gourmet, 
  • Snacks
  • Meat, 
  • Fresh Produce, 
  • Seafood, 
  • Frozen, 
  • Deli &;
  • Fresh Bakery
Department Offerings for May 19 - May 25

Gristedes representative Bob Capano invites Roosevelt Island residents to check out their various product departments for all of your shopping needs.

Don't forget the 10% Roosevelt Island Seniors Discount on Tuesday and Wednesday and Sign Up for the Gristedes Diamond Loyalty Rewards Program.

More Gristedes Supermarket information available at their web site, Facebook Page and Twitter feed.

Roosevelt Island F Train Service To And From Manhattan This Weekend

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

to and from Manhattan this weekend.

The Atlantic's CityLab created a geographically accurate map of the NYC subway lines and it included Roosevelt Island. In addition to the F train, the E, NR & 7 subway lines run beneath Roosevelt Island but only the F has a Roosevelt Island station.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

You're Invited To Roosevelt Island FDR 4 Freedoms Park Imagination Playground May 20 & 21 - Build Whatever You Imagine With Giant Blocks, Pop Up Reading Room Too

Roosevelt Island's FDR 4 Freedoms Park will host the Imagination Playground this weekend. According to the FDR Four Freedoms Park:

Join us for a fun-filled weekend with these family friendly events! At Imagination Playground, channel Louis Kahn by building whatever you imagine with oversized, architectural blocks on the lawn.

Image From FDR Four Freedoms Park

At the Uni Project, our pop-up reading room, come sit, read, draw, and explore a curated collection of books and hands-on materials.

Image From FDR Four Freedoms Park

Free; no registration required.

Imagination Playground and the Uni Project will visit the Park on:
Saturday, May 20 & Sunday, May 21; Saturday, June 24 & Sunday, June 25; Saturday, September 16 & Sunday, September 17; Saturday, October 14 & Sunday, October 15.


Imagination Playground is an innovative playground equipment system that transforms any space — schools, children's museums, parks and recreation, daycare centers, camps, hospitals, churches — into a play space that encourages learning, social development, movement, and above all fun.


The Uni Project is a nonprofit that brings learning opportunities to public space in New York City. Using custom-designed installations, the Uni Project pop ups in parks, plazas, and other public spaces to offer reading, drawing, and hands-on activities that let New Yorkers embrace the act of learning. The Uni Project partners with community organizations and city agencies, and we prioritize underserved locations.

The Uni Project is generously supported by NYC Council Members Ben Kallos & Mark Levine.

Imagination Playground is made possible by Amalgamated Bank, the bank of Roosevelt Island.
More info on the Uni Project

available at their web site.

Sponsored Post - Register Now For Island Kids Roosevelt Island 2017 Summer Camp - Swimming, Sports, Photography, Science, Arts, Field Trips & More

Island Kids is a not for profit organization providing support to the families of Roosevelt Island by offering affordable, quality enrichment opportunities and support groups including:


Entering our 11th year of providing children with an exciting summer experience right here on Roosevelt Island!!!



In response to demand we are opening a limited number of spots to children who are entering Pre-K in September 2017







JULY 10th - AUGUST 25th


9-4 PM


Children aged 4-6: $350 A WEEK

Children aged 7-10: $325 A WEEK

cost includes all program fees

Early drop off at 8:30 am for no extra charge

Extended day available until 6pm for an additional fee

($50 per week until 5pm, $100 per week until 6pm)

Please email with any questions.

Here's more information regarding Island Kids and our 2017 Summer Camp Program.