Friday, December 5, 2008

Roosevelt Island Christmas Trees On Sale Tomorrow at the Motorgate Plaza

Image of Boy Scout Christmas Tree Sale In Motorgate Plaza From Last Year

Commenting on this post, Carly asks an important question:
does anyone know if there are going to be Christmas trees available at the Farmers Market on Saturday?
While walking down Main Street this evening, I spotted some Christmas Trees being unloaded from a truck and asked some questions. (Sorry about the poor quality of the picture).

I learned that Roosevelt Island Boy Scout Troop 59 will be selling Christmas Trees starting tomorrow morning at 10 AM in Motorgate Plaza between the Farmers Market and Gristedes. The Scoutmaster, a relative newcomer, informed me that this will be the 33rd year of the Roosevelt Island Boy Scouts selling Christmas trees of which this is only his 32nd year.

Things To Do This Weekend in New York City and Roosevelt Island - Gizmodo Gadgets, Harley Motorcycles, Gershwin, Subway Tunnel & RI Tour

You Tube Video of Woody Allen's Manhattan Opening Scene with George Gershwin Score

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

For tonight, are you an early adopter? Like to know about all the latest or strangest gadgets and gizmos. The folks at Gizmodo have opened the Gizmodo Gallery on Orchard Street this weekend. According to Gizmodo:
We thought about how so many readers never get a chance to see the things we write about in person. We thought it would be fun to get some space in NYC, gather together our favorite things and put them on display for all who would come to visit.

... So we started collecting the artifacts. One by one, people donated or lent us gear. A month later, we've got a quite a line up, including the biggest and best from this year, strange tech from the far reaches of the world and prototypes from the dawn of the electronic age. We're avoiding stuff you may already own or already see too much of, focusing instead on things you've yearned to touch but have had no chance to. Mark calls it a cross between "Ripley's Believe It or Not and a Smithsonian for gadgets." I'd just say there's going to be a lot of stuff and all of it is great.
On Saturday, Free NYC suggests the Harley-Davidson - Evolution of an Icon Exhibition at the South Street Seaport:
Celebrating 105 Years of Harley-Davidson Motorcycles

Harley Davidson’s 105th Anniversary Gallery Exhibit will come to the Seaport this December. The exhibit will encompass the history, design and production of Harley-Davidson motorcycles and will feature both interactive and multimedia presentations. The exhibit will be located at the @Seaport Event Space on 210 Front Street. It will be open from November 28th through December 31st and will be free and open to the public.
Later Saturday night, go over to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for a George Gershwin:
... historical narrative and special live performances by young musicians from the Juilliard School will celebrate Gershwin’s music and his legacy.
On Sunday explore and tour the hidden Atlantic Avenue Subway Tunnel:
Bob Diamond rediscovered the long forgotten Atlantic Avenue Tunnel in 1980. The Brooklyn Historic Railway Association (BHRA) was formed in 1982 to restore the historic tunnel. BHRA successfully filed and received designation for the tunnel on the National Register of Historic Places.
On Roosevelt Island this weekend, the Farmers Market will be open on Saturday as is Gallery RIVAA, the Roosevelt Island Visual Arts Association which is opening the Winter of Change group show with a reception on Saturday evening. Also, RIOC has produced a great self guided tour map (PDF File) of Roosevelt Island for any visitor or resident looking to stroll the Island and learn something more about it. Access RI is also hosting an Open House at the Good Shepherd Community Center on Saturday morning.

Good weekend transportation news. The MTA is reporting normal Roosevelt Island F Train subway service in both directions and RIOC is not reporting any Tram service advisories either.

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.

Deals To Be Had For New Roosevelt Island Octagon Renters - But Tenants Renewing Lease May Not Be So Lucky!

Please Call Apartment For Rent Sign Image from apartmentcentre

A reader of this post on renting at Roosevelt Island's eco-friendly Octagon Building provides some good news on the state of the rental market for new tenants looking for apartments but warns that existing tenants are not getting the benefit of a declining market.
The building seems to be hurting right now. Doing everything they can to rent the apartments. I have a friend who lives in a 1 bedroom. I stopped by to view an apartment through the leasing office. I saw an apartment idential to hers on a higher floor and they are offering a much lower rate that she is paying!! ABout $400 less!!! And have the nerve to raise her rent even more to renew her lease. Does not make sense at all.
Bloomberg is reporting that:
Manhattan apartment rents fell for a fourth consecutive month in November and vacancy rates reached 2 percent for the first time in almost two years as Wall Street’s financial turmoil took a toll on the housing market.

... Rents are declining as New York City is forecast to lose as many as 165,000 jobs, including 35,000 in the financial industry, as the impact of the credit crisis spreads throughout the economy. Wall Street firms including Merrill Lynch & Co. have produced mortgage-related losses and writedowns of more than $900 billion and are cutting staff as the economy weakens....
Will tenants renewing their lease benefit from falling rents as well or will landlords try to hold steady on rents for existing tenants thinking that the hassle and expense of moving will keep existing tenants from searching for new apartments?

Access RI Open House Meeting On Saturday December 6, 10 AM -2 PM

The Hunter College Access RI Team currently studying Roosevelt Island transportation issues will be holding an Open House on December 6 at the Good Shepherd Community Center. The purpose of the Open House is so:

the Roosevelt Island community can meet and talk with us in a small, casual setting. At the same time, we will give the community an opportunity to take surveys, give an oral history of their Roosevelt Island experience and illustrate their perceptions of the island on maps. There will be activities for children too. Refreshments will be served.

Another Update On Manhattan Park Water Main Shutdown

RIOC President Steve Shane sends the next update on Manhattan Park water main shutdown in front of 40 River Road.

Latest (12/04/08):
Please be advised that RIOC met with DEP, ConEd and Halcyon construction this afternoon. Halcyon will provide all the labor and material necessary to replace the leaking water main sections on Main Street between the AVAC building and 40 River Road under the direction (and on the tab of) of the DEP. Halcyon will also permanently relocate the ConEd 17,000 volt feeder under the direction of ConEd. They will then backfill the entire excavated area to grade.

They expect to complete the site prep by Tuesday December 9th. Because the water shutdown will affect PS 217, they intend to schedule the actual water shutdown and piping replacement for Friday evening December 12th. The relocation of the ConEd feeder and the backfilling to grade should be completed by Tuesday, December 16th.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Court Upholds DHCR's Rent Increase Surcharge For Wealthier Residents of Roosevelt Island's Rivercross Mitchell-Lama Co-op

Roosevelt Island Rivercross Rent Surcharge Decision by DHCR Upheld by NY Supreme Court

As first reported by RI 360, the NY State Supreme Court has upheld the NY State Division of Housing and Community Renewal's (DHCR) decision to increase the annual rent surcharge imposed upon residents of Roosevelt Island's Mitchell-Lama Rivercross Co-op whose income exceeds the maximum allowed for the building.

The Court provides some background history on the dispute.
... At the time the building opened in the middle 1970's, the initial offering plan of Rivercross specified that income based surcharges would not exceed 10% of carrying charges. In 1999, Rivercross increased the surcharge maximum to 20% upon the recommendation of DHCR. Certain dissenting shareholders sued unsuccessfully to prevent imposition of this increase (see Vink v. DHCR, 285 AD2d 203 [1m Dept. 2001]).
In 2007, the Board of Directors of Rivercross ("Board") approved and submitted to DHCR an application seeking to increase the monthly maintenance charge to shareholders by 4% in order to allow Rivercross to meet its expenses. Rivercross did not seek to change the surcharge schedule applicable to residents with incomes exceeding the maximum income allowed for continued occupancy. Despite an absence of any request to alter the surcharge schedule, the DHCR staff examined the impact of an adjustment of the surcharge schedule on the size of the maintenance charge increase required to enable Rivercross to meet all of its projected expenses. The DHCR staff analysis revealed that the maintenance charge increase could be avoided by increasing the surcharge maximum to 40%. PHFL § 31(3) authorizes maximum surcharges of up to 50% of the carrying charges.
Prior to taking action on the application, DHCR recommended that Rivercross give consideration to an increase of the maximum surcharge. Rivercross considered the request but elected to retain the existing surcharge schedule without modification. Thereafter, the DHCR Commissioner signed an order approving a smaller increase of the maintenance charge than was requested and imposing an increase of the maximum surcharge from 20% to 30% ("Order")... (Page 5, Scribd document)
The Rivercross Co-Op Board asserted in their lawsuit that the DHCR's rent surcharge increase was an illegal order and an abuse of government authority. From an earlier post on subject:
It will be interesting to see how the DHCR seeks to justify overruling the business judgement of the Rivercross Board. After all, as the Main Street WIRE reported in a prior 2001 case involving a Rivercross rent surcharge increase agreed to by both DHCR and the Board, the Appellate Division of the NY State Supreme Court ruled:
DHCR rationally construes the PHFL [Public Housing Finance Law] to allow Mitchell-Lama cooperatives to be responsible for creating their own individual surcharge schedules, in recognition of the business and practical factors unique to each..."

Now, on this issue of a rent increase surcharge the DHCR and Rivercross Board disagree and DHCR is seeking to overturn the business judgement of the Rivercross Board.
The NY State Supreme Court answered the claims of the Rivercross Board by declaring:
... However by affording the Board an opportunity to promulgate the surcharge schedule the court did not thereby endorse Rivercross' assertion that the Rivercross Board has sole authority to set it. Rivercross is not entitled to thwart DHCR's supervisory authority by stubbornly refusing to consider and act on DHCR's recommendations.

In this case, DHCR invited the Board to consider and promulgate carrying charge and surcharge increases that would allow Rivercross to cover its expenses, mindful that the Mitchell-Lama Law is "directed mostly at maintaining a stratum of middle rather than high income people" while not excluding higher income people from these buildings that receive substantial government financial support (id at 20). DHCR exercised its supervisory powers only after it engaged the Board and the Board refused to make any change to the surcharge schedule. Rivercross has not shown that DHCR acted outside the scope of its authority in this instance.... (Page 9-11 of scribd document)

In response, the Rivercross Co-Op Board issued the following memorandum.(Click on image to read.

Commenting on this case, Assembly Member Micah Kellner said:
I'm greatly disappointed in the Judge's decision which I believe ignores the facts and previous decision. The precedent set by this decision will have as yet unknown and possibly negative effects on all Mitchell Lama Coops.

Roosevelt Island Riverwalk Commons Area Gets New Street and Holiday Lights - Not Like Dyker Heights Spectacular But It Is A Start!

This morning, I noticed RIOC staff members working on the newly painted, but all too often, out of service street light polls in the Riverwalk common areas. I was told that they were preparing the polls for the placement of Holiday lights in the Commons area and would also be replacing non-working light bulbs with those that worked. Very good news.

Last week I asked Hudson/Related's David Kramer, the developer of the Riverwalk Buildings whether they would be putting some Holiday Lights in the Southtown area. Mr. Kramer responded by saying that I should contact RIOC since the Riverwalk Commons was a public area which I did. Have not heard back from RIOC but actions speak louder than words so whoever is responsible - Thank You.

This is how they do Holiday/Christmas Lights in Dyker Heights Brooklyn. Could something like this ever be done on Roosevelt Island?

You Tube Video of Dyker Heights Brooklyn Video Via Gowanus Lounge

Roosevelt Island Holiday/Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony is scheduled for December 11. This is what it was like last year.

Roosevelt Island Santa Claus Image by Alexis Villafane

Roosevelt Island Blackwell House Christmas Tree Image from Roosevelt Island 360

Electrical Fire at Roosevelt Island Main Street Flower Shop - Nobody Injured

Main Street Flower Shop

There was an electrical fire yesterday afternoon at the Roosevelt Island Main Street Flower Shop in Urban America's Eastwood (Roosevelt Landings) apartment complex. Fortunately, nobody was injured. According to the 12/2-4 Roosevelt Island 24 hour Public Safety Incident Report:
Fire- Smoke Condition- At the R.I. Flower Shop. PSD responded. EMS refused. No injuries. It appeared to be an electrical fire. PSD evacuated nearby areas. PSD with assistance of Urban American were able to contain the fire and prevent it from spreading. FDNY responded and extinguished it.
NYC Fire via RI 360 has the real time unfolding events:
Roosevelt Island, Manhattan, NY, 12/3/08

Address: 560 Main St on Roosevelt Island

12:24 hours
Phone Box 1942 - Report of smoke from the flower shop @ 580 Main St.
Engs. 260, 262, 263
L116, TL117
Battalion 49
Rescue 4 (normally assigned)

10-75-1942 - 12:28 hours
E260: Urgent! 10-75 1942, fire in a flower shop!
TL115 is the FAST Truck
Battalion 45
Squad 288
Division 14

CIDs for 580 Main St
MD 19 story 1000x3000 interconnected on the 4th floor only. Duplex apartments. Handicap occupants throughout. Vent shaft from bathrooms to roof.

12:30 hours
E258 available replacing E312

7-5-1942 - 12:32 hours
Car 11A (DC William Seelig, Chief of Rescue Operations): We're 10-84 at the 10-75, we're going to use All-Hands.

12:35 hours
Apartment 422 at 560 Main St reports smoke.
Report finishes here.

This is the second fire at Eastwood (Roosevelt Landings) in recent months. In October, there was another Eastwood fire which resulted in the death of a resident although the cause of the fire was attributed to the deceased smoking in bed.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Update on Manhattan Park Water Main Shutdown

Construction in front of 40 River Road

RIOC President Steve Shane provides this update concerning the water main shutdown and repair in front of 40 River Road.
DEP has just advised that it is taking over the excavation and repair at the northern end of Manhattan Park in Main Street effective Friday, including relocating the Con Edison cable, as necessary. Depending on what DEP finds on full excavation, the water shutoff may take place during the evening over the weekend. DEP prefers weekend shutoff because of the mandated impact at the school. Will advise as further information is available.

Roosevelt Island Monthly Public Safety Incidents For October 2008 and Daily Incidents for November 19 -December 2

Roosevelt Island Public Safety Statistics for the Month of October 2008

The Roosevelt Island Public Safety Report for the month of October 2008 is now available above. It includes the type and number of incidents occurring in October and prior months this year as well as, in certain instances, the location. Through October 2008, there have been 1457 Public Safety call for services/responses of which the largest number 555, have been for aiding or transporting ill people followed by 188 non-criminal investigations.

Below are the Roosevelt Island Daily Public Safety Reports for November 19 - December 2 2008. Incidents included:
  • Robbery of food delivery person (11/19)
  • Assisted person falling out of wheelchair (11/21)
  • Trespass of Renwick Ruins (11/23)
  • Male Robbed of money and jewelry (11/24)
  • Aggravated harassment by phone (11/25)
  • Pedestrian struck by Red Bus side mirror (11/26
  • Manhattan Park bike stolen (11/28)
  • Store window broken (11/29)
  • Gas odor smelled at Tram Station - nothing found ((12/1)
11/19/08-7:00 AM to 11/20/08-7:00 AM
Family Dispute- Between Grand Mother and Grand Son over money. No injuries. NYPD responded and escorted male out of the building.
Hazardous Condition- A sofa was left in the hallway. UA removed it.
Robbery-2 Males struck a delivery man in the stomach and took the food and fled. NYPD refused. Search for the males yielded negative results.
Cab Fare Dispute- Over the fare. A friend paid the fare.
Aided/Runaway-Child was found by PSD in a restaurant. She was returned to her mother.
Late School Bus- A child was late for pick up which caused 2 other children to be dropped off late. Children brought home safely. The matter is to be referred to PSD Youth Officer
Harassment- 2 teens chasing another and throwing objects. No injuries. NYPD refused. Matter referred to PSD youth officer.

0700 hrs 11/20/08 - 0700 hrs 11/21/08
Domestic dispute - between two cousins. NYPD and PSD responded. NYPD made Domestic Incident report. Reporter refused medical attention.
Unauthorized entry/Investigation - tenant reported to PSD that verizon and super entered apt without authorization. Situation referred to management. Reporter will go to 114 pct on his own to file report.
Aided - hospital patient that was intoxicated transported to hospital.
Graffiti - Marshall responded to apt for eviction and found door open. Graffiti was observed and PSD made report. Tenant left apt before Marshall arrival.

0700 hrs Friday November 21st. 2008 thru 0700 hrs Saturday November 22nd. 2008
Aided - Female reports having abdominal at the Tram plaza.EMS on scene. refused to be transported
Found Property - RIOC Personnel reports 2 DVD tapee recorders left on Red Bus. Owner picked up property at a later time.
Aided - PSD Officer observed male slip and fall on sidewalk. Refused medical attention.
Order of Protection - Male subject was escorted to apartment by PSD for his personal belongings.
Arrest - Two male subjects were observed by PSD officers in hallway with open containers. Both subjects summonsed and released.
Aided - Female called PSD reporting that husband fell off the wheelchair. EMS refused.
Verbal Dispute - PSD Officer responded to 560 hallway for two female engaged in an argument. Condition corrected.

11/22/08-7:00 AM to 11/23/08-7:00 AM
Carbon Monoxide Alarm- In apt. UA notified and corrected the condition.
Criminal Mischief- Lobby glass panel broken. Search foe the subject yielded negative results. UA notified.
Aided-Female injured her finger. EMS refused.
False Alarm- Person accidently set off alarm. FDNY and UA responded. It was reset.
Noise Complaint- Loud Music in another apt. Referred to UA.
Missing Property- Wallet and purse. Bank notified to notify the owner and cancel the Bank card. Search for the property yielded negative results.
Criminal Mischief/Petit larceny- Access gained into vehicle. $7.00 in quarters taken. Search for the subject yielded negative results. NYPD refused.
Aided-Female felt ill. EMS responded but transport was refused.
Investigation- Scratches and dent on a vehicle. NYPD refused.
Trespass Alcohol/Open container/Poss of Alcohol by a minor-PSD arrested 3 subjects.
Missing Person- Juvenile was found in a friends apt on the Island and fine.
Lost /Found Property- it was secured in PSD. Bank notified and eliminated access to the bank card. and will notify the owner.
EDP- EMS notified and responded for a female that took unspecified pills. She was taken to the Hospital by EMS.

11/23/08-7:00 AM to 11/24/08-7:00 AM
Unsecured Vehicle- In the Garage. The owner was notified. PSD conducted periodic checks of the vehicle.
Aided- An ill person was taken to the Hospital by EMS.
Smoke Condition- Tenant burnt food. No injuries and no property damage. Windows opened to air out the hallway. Alarm reset.
Trespass- 2 subjects climbed on to the Resnick Ruins. they were removed by PSD and arrested. No injuries.

11/24/08-7:00 AM to 1125/08-7:00 AM
Smoke Condition- Tenant burnt food. No injuries and no property damage.
Aided- An ill person was taken to the Hospital by EMS.
Investigation- Report of a child being dragged down the street. Mother was taken child home.
Verbal Dispute- Between a store employee and a customer over change of a # 20.00.
PSD responded and matter was resolved. No injuries and NYPD refused.
Escort- Male escorted by PSD to remove clothes and medication. it was done without incident.
Robbery- male robbed by 2 subjects of money and jewelry. Search for the subjects yielded negative results. NYPD and EMS refused.
Aided- An ill person was taken to the Hospital by EMS.
Trespass/Unlawful Poss. of Marijuana- 2 subjects arrested by PSD.

11/25/08-7:00 AM to 11/26/08-7:00 AM
Aggravated Harassment- Via telephone towards Island resident on vacation in the Hamptons. PSD responded and per victim spoke to subject and requested he cease. Victim was referred to Hampton Police Dept to file a report.
Aided- GWH patient felt ill. He refused transport to the Hospital. He was escorted to GWH.
Aggravated Harassment- Via telephone in which numerous phone calls made. Subject unknown. NYPD refused.
Investigation- Subject unsuccessfully attempted to have store owner provide money for an item he allegedly he was returning. But store owner saw through the in house camera that he picked up an item in the store. PSD responded. NYPD was refused. Subject escorted out of the store and tole per store owner not to return.
Aided- Male did not feel well. EMS responded and he refused transport to the Hospital.
Criminal Poss of Stolen Property- A juvenile had taken a video game from a store off island. The item was recovered. Mother to return item and have juvenile apologize.
Unsecured Premise- Apt door left open. PSD and Manhattan Park Super responded. Apt was checked and in order. The apt door was locked and secured.
Aided- Male feel off his bicycle but refused to provide his information and EMS refused.
Aided-While effecting an arrest PSD Officer sustained injury as subject resisted arrest. he will go to his own doctor. EMS refused.
Resisting Arrest- Subject had an open container of beer and was stopped for t. He became violent and lunged on to the Officer and was kicking. Subject was arrested by PSD.

0700 hrs 11/26/08 - 0700 hrs 11/27/08
Found property - person turned in cell phone to PSD. Owner picked up phone.
Criminal Mischief - PSD responded to apt. building for broken glass. Officers made search with negative results. Super was on scene.
Criminal Mischief - PSD officer observed Octagon comfort stations doors damaged and both locks appeared to be loose. No entry was gained.
Found property - RIOC bus driver turned over found cell phone to PSD officer. Owner retrieved cell phone.
Found property - Anon male handed over a wallet at PSD. Wallet belonged to Island resident. Officer checked apt., but owner was not home. Property secured in Sgt. closet.
Aided - RIOC bus driver reported to PSD that female standing at bus stop struck the passenger side mirror with her head. Bus driver offered female medical attention, but declined. There were no visible signs according to bus driver. The unknown female got off at subway. Bus driver also reported on same day that unknown female on bus fell in the rear of the bus. Female declined medical attention. Bus driver states there appeared to be no visible signs of injuries.
Verbal dispute - PSD responded to motorgate for dispute between attendant and motorist. Motorist had outstanding bill. Motorist paid bill and left without further incident.
0700 hrs. Thursday November 27th 2008. thru 0700 hrs. Friday November 28th 2008.
Smoke Alarm - PSD Officers responded to apartment, upon arrival tenant stated burned food on stove. No property Damage, Windows opened.
Family Dispute - PSD Officers responded to apartment, dispute between husband and wife over dinner. Both parties appeared intoxicated both parties agreed to refrain from arguing and seek counseling

0700 hrs. Friday November 28th 2008 thru 0700 hrs. Saturday November 29th 2008.
Gas Leak Investigation - PSD Officer while conducting patrols reported smell of gas. Gas leak located, Superintendent shut off gas line and arrangement made to have it corrected.
Aided/ Domestic Dispute - Husband entered PSD reported his wife drinking and abusing medication at the same time. PSD Officers responded, FDNY on Scene. Aided transported to Hospital.
Fire - PSD Officers responded to the Laundry room extinguished a fire in the recycling bin. Recycling bin melted to the floor no other property damage. Service on scene cleaned up.PSD Conducted a search for subjects with negative results.
Stolen Property - Tenant entered PSD reported his bicycle was stolen from the rear of 20 River Road witch was secured by a lock. PSD Officers conducted a search with negative results.
Criminal Mischief (Follow up) - Female tenant observed via Video surveillance breaking a window in eastwood 560 lobby door with a rock. Arrangements made between tenants father and Urban American Management. Father paid for damages with a check. NYPD PO.Major stated case closed. Cpt.Suarez notified.

11/29/08-7:00 AM to 11/30/08-7:00 AM
Petit larceny-Clothing taken from the laundry Room. NYPD refused. Search for the subject yielded negative results.
Criminal Mischief/Trespass- Broken light bulbs. 2 Subjects arrested by PSD.
Reckless Endangerment- Debris thrown from building. No injuries. Search for the subject yielded negative results.
Graffiti- at the Meditation Steps. Search for the subject yielded negative results.
Graffiti- In building. Search for the subject yielded negative results.
Theft of Services- 4 subjects arrested by PSD.
Criminal Mischief- Window broken in store. 4 subjects fled. Search for the subjects yielded negative results.
Found Property- Window screen. It was secured in PSD.
Theft of Service- Juvenile Slipped underneath turn stile in the subject. He was escorted to PSD and released to his mother.

11/30/08-7:00 AM to 12/1/08-7:00 AM
Criminal Mischief-In building. a hole in the wall. Search for the subject yielded negative results. UA notified.
Investigation- Over violation of a court order pertaining to a child visitation. Referred to Family Court.
Investigation- Inspection of Housing Preservation Development conducting an inspection of alleged violations in apt.
Unsecured Premises- An apt. PSD responded and conducted a search. iT WAS A VACANT APT. UA responded and locked and secured it.
Aided- An ill person was taken to the Hospital by EMS.
Noise Complaint- It was from one tenant against another for loud music. Matter referred to UA.
Criminal Mischief- The exit door push bar was damaged. Search for the subject yielded negative results. UA notified.

0700Hrs December 1st, 2008 thru 0700Hrs December 2nd, 2008
Criminal Mischief - Pushbar on exit door in stairwell damaged. Urban American Service notified.
Aided - Male having difficulty breathing. EMS was on scene and aided transported to hospital.
Criminal Mischief - Hole in wall near lobby window. Search conducted with negative results. Urban American Service notified.
Vehicle Accident - Vehicles exiting parking garage when vehicle in front went into reverse and hit rear vehicle causing damage to front hood, grill, and bumper. NYPD responded for a report. No injuries and EMS refused.
Hazardous Condition - Lights out front of an apartment. Urban American Service notified.
Gas Odor - Report of natural gas smell near Tram area. PSD checked area and spoke with Tram personnel and there was no smell of gas. PSD checked area periodically and there was still no smell of gas.

Here are the 1/19/08 -5/1/08 daily Roosevelt Island Public Safety Reports and the 5/1/08-11/30/08.

Roosevelt Island Communal Memorial Observance In Memory of Mumbai Terrorist Victims on December 4

Video of Mumbai Terrorist Attach from Wall Street Journal

All members of the Roosevelt Island community are invited to a Communal Memorial Observance for the victims of the Mumbai India terrorist attack.
Communal Memorial Observance in memory of the victims of the Mumbai Terrorist Attacks

Hosted by Rabbi Zalman and Nechama Duchman in memory of our dear friends and colleagues Rabbi Gavriel and Rivkah Holtzberg

Thursday, December 4th 2008, 7:30pm

Community Room of 425 Main Street

For more information and RSVP:


Thank you,

Zalman and Nechama Duchman

Just as advanced technology is being used to spread information about this Observance, it was also used as a tool in the attack. From the Washington Post:
The heavily armed attackers who set out for Mumbai by sea last week navigated with Global Positioning System equipment, according to Indian investigators and police. They carried BlackBerrys, CDs holding high-resolution satellite images like those used for Google Earth maps, and multiple cellphones with switchable SIM cards that would be hard to track. They spoke by satellite telephone. And as television channels broadcast live coverage of the young men carrying out the terrorist attack, TV sets were turned on in the hotel rooms occupied by the gunmen, eyewitnesses recalled....

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Manhattan Park Management Prevents RIRA Delegate From Posting Contact Infomation -Google Group Available For Roosevelt Island Buildings

Image of Manhattan Park from Bridge and Tunnel Club

In response to this post concerning electricity complaints at Eastwood (Roosevelt Landings) and Manhattan Park, a newly elected Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Manhattan Park delegate comments that Manhattan Park management denied her permission to place a contact information notice on building property. Ms Perez writes:
We at Manhattan Park will encounter this problem again in the next few days. In my particular case, we try to save energy at home in all means possible because the bills are so high. I have found that residents complain but we do not get in contact with each other. Therefore our complains are not heard. I won a seat to represent Manhattan Park in the last RIRA election and have just been at the M.Park Management Office asking for permission to get my contact information posted. They denied the permit. I want to make my contact info available here:

Please get in contact with me for this and other issues affecting you, Manhattan Park resident.
Another reader suggests that:
... It sounds like Manhattan Park residents are being overcharged for their electric bills, which would explain why the management wishes to prevent the tenants from contacting each other to "compare notes" that is, their bills, as they could then confirm that the injustice is bldg-wide etc. Tenants could then either go thru their elected officials to initially request correction of the submetering overcharges with refunds paid to tenants who have been overcharged. If the request is denied, then the elected officials have additional levers of power at their disposal, up to an including referral to the appropriate judicial authority....
If other Manhattan Park residents wish to communicate with each other on this issue or any other I have just created a google group for Manhattan Park. If there is any interest in participating in this group let me know and we will figure out a way to best use it.

I have also created separate groups for:
Groups for Octagon and Eastwood (Roosevelt Landings) will be done shortly.

If residents of these building wish to participate in their groups please let me know and we will figure out a way to best use it.

Constituent Office Hours With State Senator Jose Serrano Today

State Senator Jose Serrano is holding his regular Roosevelt Island First Tuesday of the Month Constituent Office Hours today and forwards the following information:
Who: Everyone is Welcome: no appt. necessary
When: First Tuesday of Every Month (TODAY!)
Time: 4:00 to 7:00 pm
Where: RIOC Offices, 591 Main Street, Ground Floor

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact our office at (212) 828-5829. We look forward to seeing you there! Note: Please bring a photocopy of any paperwork you may have related to the situation or issue you wish to discuss to allow us to help you more effectively.
The Roosevelt Island Residents Association will also be holding a Town Hall Meeting tonight at the Good Shepherd Community Center (8 PM)

Roosevelt Island Holiday Shopping At The Historical Society Kiosk - December 4 & 18

Roosevelt Island Calendar Image from RI 360

For anyone looking for that special Roosevelt Island Holiday Gift, the Roosevelt Island Historical Society wants you to know that they may have it and are hosting 2 Special Holiday Shopping evenings this month - December 4 & 18.

Special Evening HolidayShopping

At the RIHS Visitor Center Kiosk

Tram Plaza, Roosevelt Island

December 4th

5 to 9 P.M.

Jewelry, Calendars, Toys, Cards & More!


Refreshments Served

The Roosevelt Island calendars are available from both the Historical Society and Main Street WIRE.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Kellner, Serrano, Maloney & Lappin Support Eastwood Tenants Objections to Urban America's Plan For Electricity Submetering

Image of Eastwood (Roosevelt Landings) from Bridge and Tunnel Club

Assembly Member Kellner, State Senator Serrano, Congresswoman Maloney and Council Member Lappin sent the following letter dated November 25, 2008 to Urban America's CEO Phillip Eisenberg expressing concern regarding the electrical submetering at Eastwood (Roosevelt Landings).
As elected officials representing Roosevelt Island, we write to express our strong concern with the plan set forth by Urban American to begin submetering of the electricity at the Eastwood housing complex. While we understand that submetering can promote more efficient use of energy in residential buildings, we believe that given the particular circumstances at Eastwood, going forward with submetering at this time would expose tenants there to an unacceptable degree of risk.

There is currently not sufficient evidence to demonstrate that adequate tenant protections will be in place prior to Urban American’s January 2009 target date for the beginning of individual billing. We are particularly concerned because the building is old, poorly insulated, and its heating system is electric. Many of its residents are seniors and people with disabilities, on fixed incomes, who often spend a great deal of time at home in their apartments. The transition to submetering raises the prospect that these tenants will be unable to afford to heat their own apartments.

Section 8 tenants are entitled to a utility allowance, to be administered by the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR), according to which tenants’ rent will be lowered by an amount meant to be sufficient to offset the cost of a reasonable amount of energy usage. Urban American has pledged to match this allowance for tenants on the Landlord Assistance Program (LAP) and market rate tenants. However, we do not yet know what the allowance will be. At a community forum on October 16, DHCR representatives were unable to suggest what it might be. The allowance is based upon a formula set by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, for the entire portfolio of New York City buildings administered by DHCR. However, Eastwood is the only one of these buildings to be electrically heated. We note that while the building was in Mitchell-Lama program, management repeatedly testified to DHCR during the Budget/Rent Determination process that electricity constituted a particularly significant expense at Eastwood, primarily because of the cost of electric heat.

Not only do we have no estimate of the allowance, we have not seen sample billing or any analysis to permit a reasonable estimate as to what amount would be adequate given Eastwood’s unique circumstances. Additionally, we do not know what price tenants will be paying per kilowatt hour, given that Urban American has shut tenants out of the process of negotiating the bulk electricity rate. Further, Urban American must be specific as to how tenants are to be billed. It is important that submetered electricity not be billed as rent or “additional rent” if doing so would expose tenants to eviction proceedings in the event of unpaid utility costs.

Additionally, at the October forum and in individual comments to our offices, tenants have complained about faulty heaters, a lack of thermostats to properly control the heating level, energy-inefficient appliances, and poor insulation in apartments, including around air conditioner sleeves. Urban American has committed to repairing all of these defects for tenants who ask them to do so. However, until there is convincing evidence that these problems have been fully addressed, it would be inappropriate to go forward with submetering.

For these reasons, it is our position that Urban American must not begin individual billing for tenants’ electricity usage until the following has taken place:

• The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority has undertaken a comprehensive analysis of energy usage and efficiency in the Eastwood complex, so that we can determine the major sources of energy usage in the building and how much of it is accounted for by heating;

• The proposed utility allowance can be judged against the bulk electricity rate;

• At least two winter months of sample billing have been conducted, so that it is clear that the utility allowance is sufficient to offset residents’ actual electricity costs, including the cost of heating; and

• Urban American has completed all the efficiency upgrades and apartment repairs
requested by tenants as per its public commitment.

If it is determined that the utility allowance is sufficient to fully offset the cost to residents of heating and other reasonable electricity usage, we will not object to Urban American’s plan to proceed with submetering at Eastwood. However, if it is projected that costs to tenants will significantly exceed the amount of the utility allowance, the submetering plan would amount to a de-facto rent increase. In that case, Urban American would need to fundamentally re-consider its plan.

As of the date of this letter, it is our understanding from the New York State Public
Service Commission that Urban American has not yet submitted its petition for approval of submetering at Eastwood. For the protection of the building’s tenants, we ask Urban American not to submit the petition until the above steps have been taken. While improving energy efficiency is a laudable goal, no one should be forced to freeze in the winter in order to afford their rent.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. You may direct your response to the Office of Assembly Member Kellner, at 315 East 65th Street, New York, NY, 10065.
Here is link to Roosevelt Landings (formerly Eastwood) web site and apartment listings though it has not been updated since May 19, 2008.

RIRA Town Hall Meeting On Tuesday - RIOC Board of Directors Meeting Followed By Town Hall Meeting On Thursday

Image of RIOC Directors explaining Tram modernization issues to RIRA Delegates

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) President Frank Farance wants to remind all residents of a:

RIRA-Sponsored Town Hall Meeting

When: Tuesday, December 2, 8-9:30 PM
Where: Church of Shepherd (543 Main)

What: Residents' Question / Answer Session
Concerning December 4 RIOC Board Meeting

RIOC Board Members will answer your questions

Come voice your concerns before RIOC makes its decisions
The Agenda for the December 4 RIOC Board of Directors Meeting is below and will be followed by a RIOC Town Hall Meeting.

DECEMBER 4, 2008

I Call to Order
II. Roll Call
III. Approval of Minutes

1. October 23, 2008 Board Meeting (Board Action Required)
2. November 6, 2008 Board Meeting (Board Action Required)

IV. Old Business
V. New Business

1. Southpoint Public Open Space Project: Authorization to Issue a Negative Declaration under the State Environmental Quality Review Act; Approval of the Plan and Project; Authorization to Expend Funds and to Enter into Contracts for Construction (Board Action Required)
2. Authorization to Waive the Notice Period and to Consent to MEPT Octagon LLC's Financing its Leasehold Interest in the Octagon Lease (Board Action Required)
|3. Authorization to Enter into a Contract with the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Officers Benevolent Association (Board Action Required)
4. 2009 Meetings of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation Board of Directors (Board Action Required)
5. Committee Reports
a. Audit Committee
b. Real Estate Development Advisory Committee
c. Operations Committee
d. Governance Advisory Committee
6. Public Safety Report
7. President’s Report

VI. Adjournment


*The Town Hall Meeting is not part of the RIOC Board Meeting.

Community Planning Board 8 Applications Available From Borough President Scott Stringer's Office

Image of New York City Community Planning Board 8 Logo

Received the following information from Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer's office advising that applications are available to serve as members of local community Planning Boards. In the case of Roosevelt Island - that would be Community Planning Board 8. From Mr. Stringer'office:
I am pleased to announce that my office is currently accepting applications to serve on Manhattan’s 12 community boards. Community boards are New York City’s most local level of government and serve a vital role in representing the needs and interests of our diverse neighborhoods. Community board members advise their elected officials on the City budget, land use, service delivery and a host of other issues that impact their neighborhood.

To learn more about the role of our community boards, please visit my website at The application form for membership is attached, as well as a flyer advertising two community board information sessions that I am hosting on the following dates:

Wednesday, December 10th

6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

1 Centre Street, 19th Fl

Thursday, December 18th

6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

163 West 125th Street, Room 8A

For more information, please contact Shaan Khan, Director of Community Affairs and Constituent Services at (212) 669-4416 or, or Shanifah Rieara, Director of my Northern Manhattan Office, at (212) 531-3030 or

I hope to see many of you at the upcoming information sessions.

What does a Community Planning Board do? Among other things Community Board 8 reviews and makes recommendations on applications for:
Zoning Text Amendments
Building variances and special permits
Liquor licenses
Sidewalk cafes
Street Fairs
Changes to landmarked buildings or buildings in historic districts

The Community Board also monitors traffic and transportation issues, capital projects in the parks, economic development, public safety issues and the concerns of seniors and youth. The Community Board and the Board office work closely with city, state and federal elected officials; community groups; and other city agencies on these issues.
In addition to the work described above, every Community Board plays a role in the Citywide budget process. Each year, the board submits a "District Statement of Needs." Every Fall, the Budget Committee holds a public hearing to determine our priorities for the City's Capital and Expense Budgets. You are encouraged to attend! The District Statement of Needs is available online here and the Budget Priorities are available in the Board 8 Office.
Community Planning Board 8 has a Roosevelt Island committee.
The Roosevelt Island Committee addresses issues facing Roosevelt Island such as the protective seawall on the island and land lease that is held by New York State. This committee meets on an as needed basis