Thursday, June 22, 2017

Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 PTA Receives No Fee RIOC Permit To Manage Farmers Market - PTA Seeking Volunteers To Collect Rent From Farmers Market Vendors

The Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 PTA has been the long time manager of the Roosevelt Island Farmers Market.

Last week, a tipster reported the PTA asked for volunteers to help manager the Farmers Market. The tipster asked why the PTA is the Farmers Market manager?

217 PTA Urgently Needs Your Help for Farmer's Market Management & Event Planning for 2017-2018

Farmer's Market Volunteers Needed NOW!

Did you know that PTA Volunteers help manage the Roosevelt Island Farmer's Market?

We are in URGENT need of new community members to help the PTA manage the Roosevelt Island farmer's market. Our volunteers are primarily responsible for visiting the market on Saturdays and collecting rent payments from vendors. Ideally, a team of 2-3 people would help manage the market - taking turns visiting it each week.

Did you know that the rents from the farmer's market make up a sizable percentage of the PTA's annual operating budget?

The future of the RI Farmer's Market could be affected if we do not find new managers. Crucial funding for the PTA could also be put into jeopardy, which would result in cuts to the support and enrichments the PTA can provide 217.

So if you live nearby or regularly shop at the farmer's market, PLEASE HELP your community and school by getting involved today - email the PTA at
I asked Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Susan Rosenthal:
... Does the PTA need a permit from RIOC to manage the Farmers Market and collect rents from the vendors? If yes, does the PTA have a permit to do so?

I don't ever recall any Request For Proposals from RIOC for a manager of the Farmers Market.

Do you think a RFP is required to manage the Farmers Market? If yes, will RIOC issue a RFP for the Farmers Market?
According to RIOC, the PS/IS 217 PTA received a permit dated April 7, 2017:
... for the purpose of operating a Farmers Market including the right to bring vendors, customers, personnel and equipment into the Licensed Premises. This permit is strictly for the following dates and times listed on the attached invoice....

This permit is subject to cancellation or termination at any time without prior notice by an officer of RIOC or an employee thereof so designated to act, who, in his/her sole discretion, determines that a violation has occurred....

... The License Fee Access Control Fee is hereby waived....
RIOC General Counsel Jacqueline Flug adds:
There was no RFP because RIOC was not procuring any services. RFPs are for procurement and done pursuant to State Finance Law and State procurement guidelines. RIOC does not operate the Farmer’s Market, we have simply given permission to the PA to use RIOC land for this. We have no other role in the Farmer’s Market. Accordingly, there are no plans for a future RFP either.
Below is the April 7, 2017 RIOC permit for the PS/IS 217 to manage the Roosevelt Island Farmers Market.

Click full screen icon to better read the permit.

June 23 Roosevelt Island Firefighters Field Outdoor Summer Movie Back To The Future Cancelled Due To Expected Rain Storm - Rain Date June 30

The 2017 Roosevelt Island Outdoor Summer Movie Series was scheduled to start tomorrow with Back To The Future showing at Firefighters Field.

Image From 2016 Firefighters Field Outdoor Movie Showing Of Star Wars: The Force Awakens

But, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) announced this afternoon:
Please be aware that the first movie showing in the Summer Movie Series, Back to the Future, has been postponed from tomorrow, Friday, June 23rd to next Friday, June 30th due to expected rain storms.
Below is the Roosevelt Island Summer Outdoor Movie Schedule .

and a little bit

of Back To The Future.

Roosevelt Island Resident Paul Feinman Confirmed As Associate Judge Of New York State Court Of Appeals Yesterday

Roosevelt Island resident Paul Feinman was confirmed yesterday as an Associate Judge of the NY State Court Of Appreals

The NY Times reports:
... Justice Feinman and his husband, Robert Ostergaard, a web publisher, live on Roosevelt Island. They are avid weekend gardeners and fierce Mets fans.

Justice Feinman is considered thoughtful and methodical, a judge whose decisions show empathy for the parties....
Click here for the full article.

According to this June 15 statement from Governor Cuomo's office:
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo will nominate Justice Paul G. Feinman to serve as an Associate Judge on the New York State Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court. Justice Feinman is currently an Associate Justice on the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court and has served as a judge in New York for more than 20 years.

"Justice Feinman will be an exceptional addition to New York’s highest court," Governor Cuomo said. "He is a talented jurist who has dedicated his career to public service and standing up for a fairer and more just New York. While we continue to mourn the untimely passing of Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam, Justice Feinman will help ensure that the Court of Appeals upholds the highest principles of law and fairness that embody the very best of New York."

"It is a tremendous honor to be nominated to the Court of Appeals," Justice Paul G. Feinman said. "I thank Governor Cuomo for this opportunity to serve on the Court of Appeals and, if confirmed, look forward to working with my distinguished colleagues on the Court to continue to serve New York."

Justice Feinman has been nominated to fill the vacancy created earlier this year by the tragic death of the Honorable Sheila Abdus-Salaam. He is the eighth person that Governor Cuomo has nominated to serve on the New York State Court of Appeals. The Governor previously appointed Chief Judge Janet DiFiore and Associate Judges, Jenny Rivera, Abdus-Salaam, Leslie Stein, Eugene Fahey, Michael Garcia, and Rowan D. Wilson to the Court.

Justice Feinman was elected to the Supreme Court in 2007 and appointed Associate Justice of the Appellate Division by Governor Cuomo in 2012. He previously served as an Acting Supreme Court Justice from 2004 to 2007. Prior to that, he was a Civil Court Judge, first elected in 1996 and re-elected in 2006.

If confirmed, Justice Feinman would be the first openly gay person to serve on the Court of Appeals. He is a member of the Richard C. Failla LGBT Commission, which promotes fair treatment of LGBT issues and LGBT members of the court community. He was the President of the International Association of LGBT Judges between 2008 and 2011, and was President of the Association of Supreme Court Justices of the State of New York in 2015.

He began his legal career at the Legal Aid Society of Nassau County, Criminal Appeals Bureau in 1985. From 1987 to 1989, Justice Feinman was a Senior Staff Attorney for the Legal Aid Society, Criminal Defense Division in Manhattan. From 1989 to 1996, he was a Principal Law Clerk to Hon. Angela M. Mazzarelli. He received a B.A. from Columbia University in 1981 and a J.D. from University of Minnesota Law School in 1985.
Congratulations Judge Feinman.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Reminder, You're Invited To Roosevelt Island Town Hall Meeting Thursday June 22 - Come Ask Questions And Share Concerns With Congresswoman Maloney, Comptroller Stringer, Public Advocate James, Borough President Brewer, Council Member Kallos, State Senator Serrano, State Assembly Member Seawright & RIOC

Roosevelt Island's NYC Council Member Ben Kallos invites the Roosevelt Island community to a Town Hall meeting with elected representatives tomorrow evening, June 22 at the Good Shepherd Community Center (543 Main Street) Mr. Kallos tweets:

More info at this previous post.

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:


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Please email with any questions.

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

Roosevelt Island Resident Seeks Peaceful Contemplation On East River Waterfront Promenade - Receives Village People Invitation To YMCA Instead From Passing Party Boat

Sometimes, you just want a relaxing few moments at night looking at the NYC East River waterfront and skyline from Roosevelt Island promenade when this happens:

Roosevelt Island Blackwell House Renovation, Seawall Railings & New Red Buses On Agenda For June 21 RIOC Board Of Directors Meeting Tonight - Public Comment Session Prior To Start Of Board Meeting Too

The June 21 Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors will take place starting 5:30 pm  tonight at the Cultural Center (548 Main Street).

 Image Of RIOC Board Of Directors Meeting

Prior to the start of the RIOC Board meeting, there will be a public comment period. Sign up here to speak at the meeting.

Among the items on the Agenda are:
Below is the full Agenda:





5:30 P.M.[1]

I. Call to Order

II. Roll Call

III. Approval of Minutes

1. May 25, 2017 Board Meeting (Board Action Required)

IV. Old Business

New Business

1. Presentation of RIOC's Audited Financial Statements for Fiscal Year Ending March 31, 2017

2. Approval of Annual Report for Fiscal Year Ending March 31, 2017 (Board Action Required)

3. Approval of Report on Procurement Contracts for Fiscal Year Ending March 31, 2017 (Board Action Required)

4. Approval of Report on Investments for Fiscal Year Ending March 31, 2017 (Board Action Required)

5. Approval of Property Report for Fiscal Year Ending March 31, 2017 (Board Action Required)

6. Authorization to Enter into Contract with AFL Construction Co. Inc. for Blackwell House Interior and Ramp Way Renovations (Board Action Required)

7. Authorization to Amend the Contract with Elan Engineering, LLC for Seawall Railing Design and Consulting Services (Board Action Required – Materials to Follow)

8. Authorization to Enter into Contract with New Flyer Industries, Inc. for the Purchase of Two Diesel Buses (Board Action Required)

9. Authorization to Enter into Contract with Thomson Reuters for Access to On-Line Westlaw Legal Research Libraries (Board Action Required)

10. Approval of Extension of the FY 2016-17 Public Purpose Grants Period (Board Action Required)

11. President’s Report

12. Committee Reports

a. Audit Committee

b. Governance Committee

c. Operations Advisory Committee

d. Real Estate Development Advisory Committee

13. Public Safety Report

VI. Adjournment

1] The RIOC Board Meeting will commence following a public comment period. The public comment period is not part of the meeting.
According to RIOC memo in support of the Blackwell House renovations Agenda Item:
In 2014, the Board authorized RIOC to extend the contract with consultants, Saratoga Associates (“SA”), to proceed with coordination and re-filing of project documents for the Blackwell House Interior Restoration Project. SA completed its pre-construction services and the construction documents were approved by the NYC DOB for a contractor to obtain the required permits.

This project is partly funded by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) through a grant to the Roosevelt Island Historical Society in the amount of $364,000.00. At the conclusion of negotiations, the DCA/RIOC contract was registered on October 24, 2016, thus paving the way for the construction works to commence.
The scope of work consists of: demolition of the interior of the building; installation of new partitions, ceilings, doors, staircase and repairs to flooring; installation of new mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems; installation of a new ADA access ramp; repairs to the deteriorated porches....

... RIOC hereby recommends that a contract be awarded to AFL
Construction Co. Inc. for the Blackwell House Interior Restoration and Access Ramp Project for the sum of $1,465,200.00, with a 25% contingency of $366,300.00. The total project cost is $1,831,500.00. The duration of this project is 270 calendar days....
According to the RIOC memo in support of Public Purpose Grant period extended:
... Extensions of the FY 16-17 PPF Grants are requested for the following three (3) grantees:

1. Main Street Theatre and Dance Alliance (“MSTDA”) – The grantee has completed its expenditures for scholarships, and some community programs for which PPF funds were requested. The grantee has requested an extension to hold some of the community programming over the summer of 2017, due to the scheduling needs of community organizations that will benefit from the programming. Therefore, an extension is requested to allow for this critical portion of MSTDA’s request to be performed during summer 2017, and for MSTDA to submit the corresponding documentation to RIOC.

2. PS/IS 217 Parent-Teacher Association (“PTA”) – The Salvadori Center has provided the programming for which PPF funds were requested. Some of the services performed by the provider took place during the school’s spring semester and the check to cover these funds was written after March 31, 2017. Therefore, an extension is requested so that the appropriate records may be submitted by PTA and accepted by RIOC.

3. Life Frames – Life Frames has completed the services for which the PPF funds were requested. However, a de minimis portion of the services (and corresponding expenses) were performed after the period of performance end of March 31, 2017. Therefore, an extension is requested so that the appropriate records may be submitted by Life Frames and accepted by RIOC.

The Public Purpose Grants are critical to programming and projects that benefit the community. Based on the foregoing, the extensions are requested through September 30, 2017, which should provide sufficient time for the remaining expenses to be incurred, submitted, and accepted.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

MTA Signal Problems Cause Long Delays For Roosevelt Island F Train Riders This Morning

The Twitterverse reports:

At 9:05 AM, Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) sent the following advisory:
MTA has advised that due to signal problems the F train is experiencing delays. 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
A resident asks:
A mob descended from the tram. Why does the RIOC notice give such uninformative info?

It should say, "Because F subway service to Manhattan is interrupted, the tram will run on an accelerated schedule to accommodate the travelers until F service is restored. "
It was a bad experience but fortunately not as bad as this June 5 F train

lower Manhattan incident.

UPDATE 6:55 - Statement today from Governor Cuomo:
The MTA is in a state of crisis. Historic underfunding leaves it with obsolete equipment going back to the 1940s. The bureaucracy is dysfunctional. The recent Penn emergency track closures on July 8 will be the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back. The July 8 LIRR and New Jersey Transit cancellations will drive more people into the subway system, in the middle of the summer. There is no quick or small fix for the MTA. We are advancing $32 billion for the MTA capital plan – an historic amount – but it must be implemented: new cars purchased, new signals installed, new equipment acquired and new personnel hired. We are conducting an international conference next week for the best vendors.

"The MTA Board structure assumed regional participation in the metropolitan area’s transportation systems but left no one in charge. While New York State has six of the 14 voting seats – that is not control. There is no transformative plan that will require major change and possibly more investment that will be agreed upon by the various separate political bodies with competing needs. Complex projects don’t get effectively managed by unanimous agreement of large political bureaucracies. We don’t have 10 years to do this. The state will dedicate itself to the task and assume responsibility, but the state needs the authority.

"The state has taken a similar approach at the Port Authority. New York State is responsible for LGA and JFK Airports’ reconstruction. The state is responsible for oversight of the Tappan Zee Bridge, the Kosciusko Bridge, and many more. The state does not shy away from challenges, but we need the ability and authority to perform.

"On the Second Avenue Subway project, for example, the MTA was floundering. The state took control of the projects using state personnel. The other members of the MTA Board did not oppose the state’s role as it was either not in their region or because they had no desire to participate in what appeared to be a doomed project. The Second Avenue Subway had been delayed for years and was projected to miss the deadline again. With the state’s intervention, we completed the task on deadline.

"Some people assume the state’s six voting seats are the majority and say the state has control. Obviously, six is not a majority of the 14 voting seats, and many issues generate controversy that can cause the other jurisdictions to defeat the six votes. We have seen it already on questions of increasing local government’s operating expense contributions, but if their position is the state has control than actually providing that control should not be an issue. They can't logically assert state control and oppose it at the same time.

"In sum, let’s fix the fundamental and initial mistake – 'put someone in charge.' The state is the obvious entity to manage a regional network, and the state contributes a multiple of any other jurisdiction’s funding. The simple fact is if no one has the responsibility and the authority, fundamental, rapid change of any culture or system is impossible."

Roosevelt Island Seniors Association General Members Meeting June 21- Public Purpose Funds Distribution, Membership Drive, Upcoming Programs & More

Roosevelt Island Seniors Association (RISA) President Barbara Parker reports:

Roosevelt Island Senior Association General Members Meeting

Wednesday, June 21st 7:00pm to 8:30pm 546 Main Street - Senior Center

Topics of Discussion - Public Purpose Funds Distribution

Membership Drive Updates

Upcoming Programs, Events, Trips, Classes and Workshops

Please join us. Your input and suggestions are valued for your community organization.

For more information contact 917-951-4137


More information about RISA available at their web site and this previous post.