Friday, November 7, 2008

Things To Do This Weekend in New York City and Roosevelt Island - Chocolate Week, Night At The Museum, Radio City Christmas Show and Farmers Market

You Tube Video of I Love Lucy Chocolate Dipping scene

Looking for fun things to do on Roosevelt Island or in some other part of New York City this weekend? Here are some suggestions.

It's the 11th annual New York Chocolate Week starting today. The NY Post reports:
This weekend, New York is becoming a chocolate city - with the 10th annual Chocolate Show. It's like a giant kiss to the city, with chocolate art, fashion, competitions and, of course, eating! It's today and tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Entry for adults is $28, children under 12 get in for free. Pier 94, 711 12th Ave., at 55th Street.
Gothamist has more on Chocolate week:
This week in New York life is like a box of chocolates – on steroids. (Mmmm, chocolate steroids.) The wicked masterminds behind the 10th annual International Chocolate Show decided that this year the usual three day, 40,000 square foot cocoa orgy just wasn’t going to cut it. So they’ve gotten a number of area restaurants to collectively boost the city’s blood sugar levels by declaring the next six days Chocolate Week.
After gorging out on all that delicious Chocolate, have a sleepover at the American Museum of Natural History:
A Night at the Museum, the American Museum of Natural History's wildly popular nocturnal adventure experience, has new and exciting updates for the current season. Imagine yourself traveling as a paleontologist on an expedition while watching Dinosaurs Alive! in the LeFrak IMAX Theater, exploring our live-animal exhibitions with knowledgeable Museum explainers, and challenging yourself with one of our fun Museum Quests. End your night by falling asleep in the darkened halls of one of the world's most famous museums.
The Radio City Christmas Show starts this weekend as well.
The Radio City Christmas Spectacular, starring the world famous Radio City Rockettes is an unparalleled show featuring the Rockettes signature eye high kicks, and precision choreography in multiple show stopping numbers including; the legendary "Parade of the Wooden Soldiers", and "New York at Christmas," a dynamic holiday celebration.
The Roosevelt Island Farmers Market will be open on Saturday but no other events are scheduled for Roosevelt Island this weekend. At least the MTA is reporting normal Roosevelt Island F Train subway service in both directions and RIOC is not reporting any Tram advisories.

Check out some other ideas on what to do in New York City this weekend from the NY Times Urban Eye, NY Post Weekend Calendar and Newyorkology.

Another Grocery Shopping Option For Roosevelt Island - 60th Street/Ist Avenue Bridgemarket Food Emporium and They Deliver!

I noticed a Food Emporium van parked outside the Riverwalk buildings yesterday and learned from the driver that the Bridgemarket Food Emporium at First and 60th street delivers to Roosevelt Island.

Food Emporium Bridgemarket image by Kramchang

Food Emporium also has online grocery shopping. I have been using Fresh Direct since they began delivering to Roosevelt Island but Food Emporium provides another grocery shopping option for Roosevelt Island.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

New Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council Meet - First Accomplishment, Main Street Holiday Lights

The above picture is of the new Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council, class of 2008, conducting their first meeting last night in the basement of the Good Shepherd Church. RIRA wrapped up old business from the prior Council, then seated, photographed and began an orientation for the many new members.

Of particular benefit was a presentation given by two resident RIOC Board members, Mr. Kalkin and Mr. Shinozaki, to the new RIRA Board on issues involving the Roosevelt Island Tram modernization project. Though it is unfortunate that this occurred so late in the process, I think both Mr. Kalkin and Shinozaki explained the situation very well.

I think it is a great idea of new RIRA President Frank Farance to have RIOC Directors and perhaps even RIOC staff participate in Town Hall meeting with Roosevelt Islanders during RIRA Common Council meetings. In a message to RIOC President Steve Shane, Mr Farance explained:

... The RIOC Board will be able to participate in a Q&A session from residents, similar in format to the recent candidate's nights: each Director will have a seat at the dais at the head of the room. The Q&A session will be structured around the agenda for the RIOC Board meeting and RIOC Directors will have an opportunity to discuss and explain their positions on agenda items. Considering that many RIOC Board members have expressed an interest in feedback from the community, RIRA is happy to support this kind of dialogue among residents and RIOC Directors....
I hope that this can get done.

The impact of the new RIRA members became evident during a discussion regarding a request by the Chamber of Commerce to allocate $250 (it may have been $275) from RIRA for renting Holiday (Christmas?) lights to be displayed on Main Street. Some of the longer serving members wanted to reject the request citing previous objections to renting the equipment rather than buying it. One of the newer RIRA members spoke passionately that arguing over these prior disagreements was ridiculous. She urged the lights be rented now for this season and the issue of buying lights for following winters be discussed at a later meeting. The RIRA Board approved her suggestion.

Good Job!

Uh-Oh, What Do Barack Obama Supporters Do Now? At Least We Know Africa Is A Continent Unlike Governor Palin

From the Onion via Instapundit - Obama Win Causes Obsessive Supporters To Realize How Empty Their Lives Are.

Very funny piece of satire. I am glad to see that political humor will survive the end of the Bush era.

Some Obama supporters may have been overly obsessive but they contributed to keeping Sarah Palin out of the White House. This interview by Fox's Bill O"Reilly of Fox correspondent Carl Cameron demonstrates how spectacularly unqualified Governor Sarah Palin was to be Vice President and more importantly, how irresponsible Senator McCain was to select her in the first place.

You Tube Video of Bill O'Reilly Interview

Andrew Sullivan asks what is the responsibility of the press to find a way to reveal important information to the public despite it being acquired "off the record". Sullivan writes of the press covering the McCain/Palin campaign:
... They kept taking Palin seriously as a veep candidate when she didn't come close to even minimal standards for passing a citizenship test. I'm sorry but I think this is a terrible failing, and it is a reason the mainstream media are imploding. They let the rules of the game over-rule their duty to tell the American people the truth as they began to discover it. The truth is that Sarah Palin had no business whatever being on a national ticket. It was an insanely reckless choice. She could never adequately perform the job of president at a moment's notice, and the McCain campaign and their media enablers were putting this country and the world at serious risk by perpetuating this farce.

It was a farce. And it was a potential threat to national security if anything happened to McCain in office. But they couldn't admit a mistake because it would have killed their campaign, destroying our impression of McCain's judgment and management skills. So they kept this farce alive for two months, putting the country at potentially great risk to massage their own careers. Now they are doing all they can to dump on her. But the dumpage goes both ways. The McCain camp picked Palin and stuck with her far longer than any people who put country first would have. Every reason why she should not have been picked is a reason why McCain should never have been president.
From The Corner at National Review:
The trashing of her is unseemly, and some of the particulars—the bathrobe bit for example—don't seem all that important. But if it is true that Gov. Palin did not know that South Africa was a country on the continent of Africa, it is the type of information that voters should know before her career progresses. And I don't think, by the way, that most people on the Left fear her.
And South Park's view on Barack Obama defeating John McCain via Sullivan.

Roosevelt Island Tram Modernization Project Awarded to POMAgalski

Roosevelt Island Tram image from J Blough

RIOC President Steve Shane informs us the RIOC Board of Directors has awarded the Roosevelt Island Tram Modernization Project to POMAgalski this morning.

More details to follow.

UPDATE: 11/10 - The Main Street WIRE (PDF File) has more on the RIOC Board approving the POMAgalski bid to modernize the Roosevelt Island Tram and the web cast of the meeting is available from RIOC.

According to the WIRE (page 1):
... But the vote was not unanimous. Dr. Kathie Grimm abstained after expressing concerns about receiving new information only the night before the meeting. Those materials included a letter from the competing bidder, Doppelmayr (who built and runs the Island’s current tramway) questioning aspects of the Poma bid. Fay Christian also abstained after arriving late, having missed much of the discussion. Those voting for the contract were Jonathan Kalkin, David Kraut, Charlee Miller, Patrick Stewart, and the state’s representative, who chaired the meeting in the absence of Deborah VanAmerongen, Commissioner of the state Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR).

Michael Shinozaki voted against accepting the bid after raising a series of questions that sought greater detail both on Poma’s history and on the dual-haul system as Poma has proposed it...
What should be the role of the RIOC Board in deciding important issues such as the Roosevelt Island Tram modernization? In the same WIRE article (page 8), RIOC President Steve Shane explains his view of issue:
... he considers it inappropriate for the RIOC Board to “micromanage” the tramway upgrade or the process of getting it done.
And RIOC Director David Kraut says:
... that non-expert RIOC Board members should trust RIOC’s consultants, and should trust RIOC staff to protect the community with a solid contract....

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

President-Elect Barack Obama's Acceptance Speech - Change Is Coming To America

You Tube Video of President-Elect Barack Obama's Acceptance Speech

I almost could not believe it last night when the networks called the election for Barack Obama. I waited about a half hour to let the reality of his election seep in, still worried it was not quite real and would somehow be taken away. After Senator McCain's gracious concession speech, I realized that Barack Obama will be the next President of the United States. Just Amazing!

Here are excerpts from Barack Obama's 2008 Presidential Victory Speech:
If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.
...Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long. Let us remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House - a party founded on the values of self-reliance, individual liberty, and national unity. Those are values we all share, and while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress. As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, “We are not enemies, but friends…though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.” And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn - I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too.

And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of our world - our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand. To those who would tear this world down - we will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security - we support you. And to all those who have wondered if America’s beacon still burns as bright - tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope....
I am glad the election is over and the country can start addressing many of the serious issues facing us. However, the Wall Street Journal profiles some people who will miss the excitement, tension and entertainment aspect of the campaign:
... The end of the most-followed presidential campaign in recent years will leave many Americans feeling lost, even if their candidate won. The 2008 race provided drama and suspense to a nation hooked on reality television, mystery novels and Hollywood epics....

New RIRA President Starts Term With A Great Idea - Town Hall Meetings Prior to RIOC Director Meetings

Incoming Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) President Frank Farance shares with the community the following message he sent today to RIOC President Steve Shane and RIOC Board Members:

RIOC Board members are invited to tonight's RIRA Common Council Meeting to participate in the discussion concerning tomorrow's RIOC Board agenda item on the Roosevelt Island Tram upgrade.

For tonight's meeting, RIOC Directors should arrive at 8:30 PM at the Church of the Good Shepherd.

RIRA will be sponsoring a regular Town Hall meeting on the Tuesday or Wednesday night before RIOC Board meetings. The RIOC Board will be able to participate in a Q&A session from residents, similar in format to the recent candidate's nights: each Director will have a seat at the dais at the head of the room. The Q&A session will be structured around the agenda for the RIOC Board meeting and RIOC Directors will have an opportunity to discuss and explain their positions on agenda items. Considering that many RIOC Board members have expressed an interest in feedback from the community, RIRA is happy to support this kind of dialogue among residents and RIOC Directors.

We look forward to productive, informing discussions.
The RIRA sponsored Town Hall meetings prior to RIOC Board meetings is a great idea. The problem with some RIOC sponsored Town Hall Meetings is that they occur after RIOC Board Meetings when decisions on particular items have already been made. At that point, any dialogue with the community on issues already voted on is pointless. Be interesting to see if RIOC Board members will participate.

Presidential Election Results From Roosevelt Island - Increased Voter Turnout But Where Did They Come From?

Obama/Biden Thank You Image

There was a significant increase in the number of Roosevelt Island voters who participated in the 2008 Presidential election as compared to 2004. This year 2,873 Roosevelt Islanders voted, 2418 for President- Elect (that sounds good) Barack Obama, 424 for Senator John McCain and 31 for others. Don't know if that number includes absentee and provisional ballots.

In the 2004 Presidential election, 2373 Roosevelt Islanders voted, Kerry received 1973 votes, Bush 380 and Nader 20.

So that means 500 more Roosevelt Islanders voted in the 2008 Presidential Election than 2004. Did the additional voters come from the new residents at Southtown and Octagon or increased turnout from the other buildings? Probably some combination of the two. We do know from the Main Street WIRE's building by building election compilation that approximately 70 Southtown and 120 Octagon residents cast ballots for the RIRA elections. Presuming that these residents also voted in the Presidential election than at least 190 of the additional 500 votes came from the new buildings.

The 2008 Roosevelt Island general election results below are from the Main Street WIRE.

President & VP







La Riva-Puryear















State Senator





Member of Assembly





Congratulations to President- Elect Obama, Vice- President Elect Biden, Congress women Maloney, State Senator Serrano and Assembly Member Kellner on your victories.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Election Results

The Main Street WIRE has the results for the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Election:




Vice President



Referendum Questions

FDR sequencing



Public Safety Citizens Review



Queensboro Bridge Access



Store Leasing


Congratulations to Mr. Farance and Ms. Polivy and thanks to Mr. Buckley and Mr. Berg for participating in the process.

Barack Obama - We Have A Lot of Work To Do - So Go Do It and Get Out The Vote

You Tube Video of Barack Obama - We have a lot of work to do

I have never been more proud to cast a ballot for the President of the United States as I was this morning when I voted for Senator Barack Obama. Neither have I seen so many others joyfully doing the same.

But it is not over yet. There is no guarantee of victory. Do not believe Obama has already won and become complacent because of the polling data. Imagine how you will feel if tomorrow morning, or as after Gore was judged to have lost the 2000 election, sometime in December you discover that Obama lost by a very tiny margin. Now let that chilling moment pass.

Take some action. If you have not yet voted do so. Do not be discouraged by long lines. If you know someone in your family, a friend, neighbor or acquaintance here in NYC or anywhere in the United States who may not yet have voted, talk to them, give them a phone call or email message and respectfully encourage them to vote for Senator Obama.

For the last time during the 2008 Presidential Election - YES WE CAN!

Roosevelt Island Election Polling Screw Up - One Building, One Apartment 2 Different Elections Districts and Voting Locations

Image from Vote NY


Image from Geocities


Coler Goldwater Hospital image from Bridge and Tunnel Club

How stupid is this? In previous elections, residents of Southtown's Riverwalk Place at 455 Main Street voted at PS/IS 217. Today, when attempting to vote some residents will learn that they are in the wrong location if they show up at PS/IS 217 because for some reason the NYC Board of Elections has split this single building into two separate election districts. Some residents will continue to vote at the school but others will be voting at Goldwater Hospital just south of the 59th Street Bridge.

The NYC Board of Elections explained to the Main Street WIRE:


ED 99
... voters were informed of their polling place by mail.
There does not appear to be any reason why some residents are assigned to vote at PS/IS 217 and others at Goldwater. However, a reader advises that:
Micah Kellner has confirmed that some at 455 MS (older residents) are in the 97th ED and will vote at PS/IS 217, others (newer residents) are in the 99th ED and will vote at Goldwater Hospital. Brilliant.
It does not appear that length of time living in the building is a criteria for determining election district or polling locations for 455 Main Street. I spoke with a resident earlier this morning who told me that not only is the building divided into separate ED's but a married couple living in the same apartment have two different ED's and polling locations. Incredible. This resident also said that at 8:30 AM the Goldwater poll workers did not appear to know that 455 Main Street residents would be voting there and that there was great confusion. It took this resident and a friend over 45 minutes to vote despite there being nobody else at the poll location.

For some good news, I spoke with poll workers this morning who reported much heavier than usual voter turnout at PS/IS 217.

After voting, get yourself a free coffee at Starbucks - just tell the barista that you voted - though it may not be legal.

UPDATE - 3:25 PM - A Roosevelt Island resident writes this on WNYC election blog:
I’m a first time voter. Became a citizen last year. I found the voting experience archaic and chaotic. The NY Board of Elections could learn a lot from the NGOs helping out in countries with serious threat of voter fraud, on how to run clear and well run elections.

This Time We Win - Springsteen At Obama Rally Performs Thunder Road - Obama Wins Dixville Notch New Hampshire

You Tube video of Bruce Springsteen performing Thunder Road at Obama Rally

Today's the day. Barack Obama only wins if you get out and vote.

Breaking News - I'm watching CNN's Larry King show right now and heard that Dixville Notch New Hamphire, site of the nation's first election results, cast 15 votes for Barack Obama and 6 for John McCain. Since 1960, Dixville Notch has only voted once for a Democratic Presidential Candidate, Hubert Humphrey in 1968.


Monday, November 3, 2008

Roosevelt Island Tram Modernization - Questions Still Need To Be Asked and Answered!

Roosevelt Island Tram image from J Blough

There will be a RIOC Board of Directors meeting this Thursday, November 6. The only Agenda Item is the following:
Aerial Tramway Modernization Project: Authorization to Enter Design/Build and Operating & Management Contracts (Board Action Required)
A decision on the Roosevelt Island Tram modernization project was scheduled to be made at the October 23 RIOC Board meeting but was postponed for two weeks because several RIOC Board members did not believe RIOC management provided sufficient information or time to review the information given before the meeting.

Presumably, the Board members have been able to ask and receive answers to their questions during the past two weeks and will be able to vote up or down on whether to approve RIOC management's decision to award the Tram Modernization contract to POMAgalski instead of Doppelmayr. At least one RIOC Board member expressed concerns over Poma's prior safety record particularly since he had to discover this information himself and that it was not provided by RIOC staff.

Will this new RIOC Board also revisit the decision of a prior RIOC Board to select the Tram Modernization design that is most expensive and keeps the Tram out of service the longest time. Can the current Board do so even if they want to or are they bound by earlier decision?

Below is a memo from RIOC President Steve Shane together with supplementary material from RIOC consultants. Parametrix, LiRo Engineers and Professor Rene B. Testa in support of the RIOC Authorization Resolution.

Roosevelt Island Tram Modernization Recommendation and Supplemental Material
RIRA Common Council Member, and current candidate for RIRA President, Frank Farance has some questions that might be helpful to RIOC Board members in making a decision on whether to approve or not the designation of POMA to undertake the Tram Modernization Project. He writes to the RIOC Board and President:
There are still substantial questions that remain unanswered regarding the tram upgrade. Could you provide answers to the following questions? I've heard that the RIOC board will be revisiting the tabled issue in about a weeks. Some of my questions will require significant analysis and, possibly, follow up. Considering that some of the questions will require 3-4 days of review (e.g., raw data on maintenance incidents), could you provide this information as soon as possible so that we all have answers prior to next Thursday's RIOC Board meeting?

1. On October 4, 2007, Parametrix presented "Tramway Modernization Cost Benefit Analysis" that provided a matrix comparing the four options, including cost, uptime, lifetime, etc., which was used as a basis for RIOC's choice of the dual tram approach a year ago. I and two RIOC Board members (Shinozaki and Ponton) have pointed to the flaws in that spreadsheet, including the numbers and the comparison methods (not an apples to apples comparison). At a meeting several weeks ago, we (Mike, Vik, Prof. Testa, myself) all acknowledged the flaws with those numbers. Has Parametrix provided any update to that spreadsheet?

2. What is the raw data and the analytic methods that Parametrix used to provide its calculation of uptime in its presentation to the RIOC Board a year ago in recommending among the four options. I need the data for the current tram, the data for option #2 (replace tram system, as is), and the data for option #4 (dual tram system). This request was made several weeks ago, but I still have not received the data.

3. What is the raw data and incident classification system (e.g., trivial, minor, major, severe, whatever) for the current tram system and for the POMA systems, including raw data for calculating mean time before failure (MTBF) and mean time to repair (MTTR). At a meeting several weeks ago, Mike told us that these numbers rationalize 44 hours of MTBF for the present tram, and that was the basis for the RFP. This request for data was made several weeks ago, but I still have not received the data. Considering that POMA is "ISO 9000" certified, it should take less than 24 hours to provide this data for POMA's systems. Regarding the data for the present tram's, I will accept figures/data in whatever raw form is available.

4. If the MTBF for the present tram was 44 hours and the industry average, according to Mike (several weeks ago), was approximately 80 hours, then why did RIOC use a lower reliability factor than the industry average? Note: Please do not respond with "it's the uptime that only counts" because, as agreed by Mike, Vik, and Prof. Testa, that "uptime" isn't the only point of analysis and it can me misleading -- causing one to have a perception there is more uptime that there actually is.

5. What is the cost of ownership for the proposed tram? Please present this in a form that an accountant could understand, and please provide the details that an engineer could understand. This information was requested several weeks ago, you promised this by close of business Friday two weeks ago, and the information has still not arrived.

6. The Chair of the RIOC Board stated about a month ago that the RIOC Board could not change its vote on a prior decision. Could you identify which laws, statutes, regulation, etc. prohibit the RIOC Board from changing its position on a decision?

7. If the RIOC Board were to change its vote from being in favor of option #4 (dual tram system) to option #2 (replace the current tram), what monies would be lost? Please identify the type of cost and amount.

8. If the RIOC Board were to change its vote from being in favor of option #4 (approximately $25M) to being in favor of option #2 (approximately $15M), which would save money for Roosevelt Island (saving approximately $10M minus the costs in question #x), what restrictions, if any, would there be in using the monies saved? If there are any restrictions, please cite the nature and origin of the restriction?

9. Considering that RIOC, in this context, is a transportation operator, what training has been provided to the RIOC Board and to RIOC staff regarding the governance aspects (not just the technical or operational aspects) of decision-making for the RIOC Board? Provide a list of training classes on governance aspects of transportation operators, who attended, and who taught the class.

10. Considering that, as a transportation operator, safety is an important issue, what training has been provided to the RIOC Board and to RIOC staff regarding the governance aspects of safety for the RIOC Board? In a teleconference that included Director Michael Shinozaki, Mr. Shinozaki gave a clear understanding of how safety is understood and how it interacts with decision-making. Unfortunately, both POMA and RIOC staff have a misguided understanding of safety and decision-making. Provide a list of training classes on governance aspects of safety, who attended, and who taught the class.

11. Last week, I recommended that you keep track of an Issues List because tracking the status of questions, issues, etc. is important to the methodology supporting (1) institutional knowledge, and (2) informing RIOC staff and the RIOC Board. Furthermore, having minutes of your meetings (not just board meetings) would help the goal of informing the board. It puzzles me that you still refuse to track and keep track of your issues -- how will you know you have answered/resolved all the questions/issues without something to check off? You said this is a function of the engineering consultants. I disagree: this is the normal function of executive management in any corporation. For example, there was a long discussion (via telecon) on safety and maintenance issues with Mike Shinozaki and the POMA representative, yet no one took notes of that discussion. Likewise, my requests "fell through the cracks" due to this same lack of basic corporate methodology. What purpose does is serve the corporation not to record and share information and insight? Will RIOC do appropriate recordkeeping to support its function as a transportation operator?

12. The questions about the track brake and safety have not been answered. The POMA representative chose to answer other questions, just as he was non-responsive to Mr. Shinozaki's questions (Mr. Shinozaki asked the same question about maintenance costs five time and the same POMA representative chose to avoid the question), and just as the same POMA representative was non-responsive to the questions from the Main Street WIRE's report. In particular, the POMA representative stated that the track brakes are less safe and that no one used them, yet I pointed out that ANSI B77.1:2006 permits track brakes. If track brakes were obsolete technology, then wouldn't be a standard option in the ANSI standard; and if track brakes were an inappropriate technology, as suggested by the POMA representative, then the ANSI standard would be certain to *prohibit* them (quite the opposite). In fact, the POMA representative's statements contradict the fact that the current tram uses its emergency track brakes on a regular basis during maintenance and testing operations. My question on the safety issue regarding the track brakes was never answered because the POMA representative questioned chose to shift the focus on why I wanted to understand this feature of the tram? For Mr. Shinozaki, the POMA representative asked if Mr. Shinozaki ever took a ski lift (only a single rope) and, thus concluded that Mr. Shinozaki's questions on safety did not have any merit (nor any answer) because Mr. Shinozaki had once ridden a ski lift, which has fewer safety features than the tram. I recommend that RIOC insist that POMA take the questions seriously and that POMA answer the questions. In addition, I have several questions about the emergency rescue system, which still remain unanswered.

13. There seems to be ongoing confusion about code vs. standards in the engineering process. Both POMA and Parametrix incorrectly referred to the ANSI standard as code (involuntary compliance), which it is not. This ANSI standard is *voluntary* compliance and, as such, is a *low bar* of requirements. We've heard from POMA and Doppelmayr about other systems that have higher requirements. Why didn't Parametrix include these additional safety requirements in the RFP? What are we missing that other safety systems include?

14. Considering the lack of institutional knowledge within RIOC and the continuing lack of recording such knowledge, will RIOC management (Shane, Fernandez, Turcic) remain employed at RIOC in their present positions during the installation of the tram? Are there any planned departures or retirements?

15. Considering that the permitting process for option #4 (but none of the other options) requires shedding and closures along the FDR, York Avenue, the Queensboro Bridge plaza, Second Avenue, and 60 Street, why is there little information on how these significant logistical details will be accomplished? Presumably, these are the kinds of details that could greatly delay the project, including overruns, which are *RIOC's* responsibility, not POMA (as reported by Vik from LIRO). Considering that the DOT's Roosevelt Island Bridge rehabilitation project's traffic permitting has not yet arrived -- a year still pending a DOT study that involved only one intersection (36 Ave and Vernon Blvd) and a minor traffic pattern change (prohibiting left turns for northbound Vernon Blvd traffic) -- what assurance does RIOC have that the complex traffic study and permit process will be completed in less the six months?

16. Considering that the tram upgrade will be the largest project ever undertaken directly by RIOC, involving $25 million, major transportation and safety issues, and significant engineering complexity, why did RIOC schedule only three weeks between receipt of bids, involving thousands of pages of documentation, and a board meeting to approve the project? Why did board members have less than 24 hours to review the documentation?

17. According to some RIOC Board members, RIOC has not been properly accounting for its one-time payments on ground leases (net present value vs. annual payments for 68 years). I've heard that we have spent 43 years' worth of payments in the past five years. Have the present board members reviewed the budget, accounting, and payments so that we have the confidence that we can build any tram upgrades and *maintain* the tram for the next 30 years? What happens if the remaining 25-ish years' of funding are spent sooner than 25 years?

18. Considering that the Governor announced today that the State budget will suffer a $47 billion deficit and that both State and City spending will certainly diminish for many years, why should Roosevelt Island spend $25 million on a tram upgrade (with all its logistic, safety, and operational concerns), when it can get a new tram for $15 million and save the $10 million for worthy Roosevelt Island projects (parks, extra Red Buses, Public Purpose Funds, events, etc.)? Why good is having a luxurious air-conditioned dual tram system yet no money for playgrounds, Island organizations, street repair, youth activities, and basic community necessities?
Below is the Parametrix Cost Benefit data and analysis for the 4 Tram Modernization alternatives.
Tram Cost-Benefit Data

Tram CB Analysis Tech Report
The web cast of 10/23 RIOC Board of Directors meeting is here.

Roosevelt Island Election Polling Locations - Where Do Roosevelt Islanders Go To Vote On Tuesday, November 4

In the general election, residents of the WIRE Buildings (Westview, Island House, Rivercross and Eastwood (now known as Roosevelt Landings), Manhattan Park as well as Southtown's 465 and 475 Main Street vote at PS/IS 217 (645 Main Street).

Image from NYC Board of Elections Polling Locator

Octagon residents vote at the adjacent Coler Hospital.

Image from NYC Board of Elections Polling Locator

Residents of Southtown's 425 Main Street vote at Goldwater Hospital just south of the 59th Street Bridge.

Image from NYC Board of Elections Polling Locator

There is some confusion where residents of Southtown's 455 Main Street will vote. The Board of elections polling locator indicates that 455 residents vote at Goldwater Hospital but upon inquiry to the NYC Board of Elections by the Main Street WIRE we learn:
Residents of 455 Main Street are assigned to one of two different voting locations, depending on their election district, according to the New York City Board of Elections. Some vote at Goldwater Hospital, while others vote at PS 217. The Board of Elections told The Main Street WIRE in an e-mail that voters were informed of their polling place by mail.
For more information, visit the New York City Board of Elections poll site locator or call 1 866 VOTE NYC. Polls wil be open from 6 AM - 9PM.

For the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council Election, the Main Street WIRE bulletin provides the following information.
All Roosevelt Island residents 18 and over are permitted and encouraged to vote in the RIRA election, regardless of national citizenship or their registration status for the general election.

Most Islanders will vote, in the RIRA election, at Public School 217, where election machines will be set up in the lobby area. Residents of The Octagon, 888 Main Street, are the exception. For them, a voting machine will be set up across from the retail store in the lobby area. While RIRA voters must be 18 or over, the only other requirement for voting in the RIRA election is Roosevelt Island residency, with a simple residency proof requirement such as presentation of a utility bill, driver's license, or other documentation of an Island address.

Islanders voting in the RIRA election need not be citizens of the United States. Furthermore, U.S. citizens who are not registered to vote in the general election may still vote in the RIRA election.

Polls will be open from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.