Saturday, December 27, 2008

New York Cares Winter Coat Drive Drop Off at Roosevelt Island Historical Society Kiosk & Public Safety Office

You Tube Video of New York Care's Coat Drive

Judy Berdy of the Roosevelt Island Historical Society sends the following message advising that the New York Cares Winter Coat program has been extended through January 9.

Dear Friends,

NY Cares desperately needs more coats to give to the homeless this winter. They have extended the deadline. Please donate your old coats at the RIHS kiosk this weekend Dec. 27 & 28 and next weekend January 3&4. The hours are 12 noon to 5 p.m. (If you miss the kiosk, bring your coats to the Public Safety Office).

Thank you,

Judy Berdy and the RIHS












DEC. 27 AND 28, 2008*

JAN. 3 & 4, 2009*

12 NOON TO 5 P.M.

SPECIAL NOTE: Coat Drive Extension Through January 9, 2009
New York Cares will extend this year's Coat Drive through January 9th, 2009 to meet increased coat requests from nonprofit agencies this year. Donations are down due to economic conditions, so we encourage everyone to give a coat if they can.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to All!

Merry Christmas!
Here's the Christmas Song sung by the fabulous Nat King Cole. Enjoy!

You Tube Video of Nat King Cole's The Christmas Song

Have Some Chinese Food On Christmas With A Heaping Portion of Peace, Love & Understanding

Something for those who eat Chinese food on Christmas and go to the movie theater too. A funny satirical video.

You Tube Video of Chinese Food on Christmas

For everybody this Holiday Season, let us remember these immortal words from Elvis Costello:
What's so funny about Peace, Love and Understanding?

You Tube video of Elvis Costello's Peace, Love & Understanding

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town - On The Roosevelt Island Tram!

Santa Claus has been spotted near the 59th Street Bridge by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band.

Have you all been good this year? Well, according to the Big Man Clarence Clemmons as well as the other Big Man Santa:
you've better been good for goodness sakes!!

You Tube video taken from London concert on December 19, 2007.

Here is Classic Bruce Springsteen & E Street Band from 1978 at the Capital Theater in Passaic, New Jersey doing Santa Claus is Coming to Town.

You Tube video is here.

More information on the Roosevelt Island Tram Reindeer card is available here.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Roosevelt Island Public Bathrooms A Catastrophe Says Movie Director - So Teamster Drives Him To Manhattan To Potty

Image of Roosevelt Island Tram Bathroom

How bad are the Roosevelt Island public bathrooms and how far would you go to avoid using them when nature calls? Well, if you are the director of the movie City of Lights which shot scenes on Roosevelt Island last August, the answer is that you will go very far to find an acceptable toilet. The director described his Roosevelt Island bathroom ordeal at his blog Movies 'til Dawn:
...A funny thing happened on the evening of this shoot. I had to go to the bathroom. Now, I wouldn't normally blog an event of this low order but I'll make an exception in this case since this proves the power of the position of the director. I didn't have a trailer, you see. And the public bathrooms at Roosevelt Island were, to put it nicely, a catastrophe. So I waited for an interval when a new lighting set-up would be started -- in this case it was the tram station scene posted below--and asked my DP Vanja Cernjul how long it would take. "Close to an hour" was the answer. "Make it an hour fifteen", I replied. He was surprised. Usually the director is looking to spend less time lighting, not more. Then I found my Teamster--the driver who took me to set every morning and home every night--and told him that I had to be driven to my apartment in Manhattan, that we had just over an hour to get there and get back with a "short wait for something I have to do once we're there" factored into things. He didn't blink. Like the fine Teamster he is, he just said "Let's move".

And so I had the singular experience of commandeering a Teamster to take me to the bathroom in my apartment, which was a hell of a lot nicer than the wretched accommodations at Roosevelt Island....
No word on what Andy Garcia thought of the Roosevelt Island public bathrooms. City of Lights was not the production which is the subject of earlier post regarding RIOC President Shane threatening to arrest former RIRA President Katz for seeking a donation from a film crew for the residents association.

Perhaps RIOC members will not be threatened with arrest if they provide clean bathroom facilities in their apartments for movie crews in exchange for donations to RIRA.

Below is You Tube video clip of Roosevelt Island Tram scene reluctantly deleted from City Of Light starring Andy Garcia.

Roosevelt Island Daily Public Safety Reports For December 12 Thru 22 - Con Ed Transformer Explosion, Food Delivery Robbery & Red Bus Service Delays

Soho Transformer Explosion after snowstorm last winter from Gothamist

RIOC has started to post the most current Daily and Monthly Roosevelt Island Public Safety Incident reports on their web site. Below are the Roosevelt Island Daily Public Safety Reports for December 12 - December 22 2008. Incidents included:
  • Loud explosion and smoke from undergound Con Ed transformers - no injury or damage reported (12/22)
  • Food delivery man robbed (12/12)
  • Gristedes shopolifting (12/13)
  • Reckless driving (12/13)
  • Investigation of missing wedding dress (12/16)
  • Computer and Ipod stolen from apartment (12/16) and
  • Investigation of delay in Red Bus Service (12/18, 19)
12/12/08 0700hrs - 12/13/08 0700hrs

Robbery- Delivery man reports he was robbed and injured by three males in Eastwood. A search was made with negative results. NYPD on scene, EMS transported to hospital.

Aided- Female not feeling well, was transported to Lenox Hill Hospital.

Investigation- Tenant entered PSD to reports a male tried to enter her apartment, PSD check and advised with negative results.

Aided- Female fell on bus, suffered a broken wrist, transported to New York Presbyterian.

12/13/08-7:00 AM to 12/14/08-7:00 AM

Disorderly Conduct- Subject arrested by PSD.

Aided- An ill person was taken to the Hospital by EMS.

Found Property- Brown bag with a cell phone in it. It was secured in PSD.

Vehicle Accident- In the Motorgate garage a vehicle struck the railing. No injuries. EMS refused. NYPD notified.

Shoplifting- Subject took a 6 pack of beer and juice and fled the Grestides Supermarket. PSD responded and conducted a search for the subject with negative results. NYPD refused.

Aided- An ill person was taken to the Hospital by EMS.

Verbal Dispute- Over the cost of dry cleaning rugs. Customer left store. The rugs remain in the premises. NYPD refused.

Property Damage-Damage to rear bumper of vehicle parked in the Motorgate Garage. Another vehicle had a trail of antifreeze that lead from one vehicle to the other. NYPD notified.

Lost property- a cell phone in an apt. NYPD refused.

Reckless Driving/Unlicensed Operator- Subject disregarded 2 stop signs and pulled over by PSD. Motorist had an expired drivers license and vehicle was un registered and uninsured. Summonses issued. Ownership documentation produced. Vehicle was towed.

Unlawful Possession of Marihuana- 2 subjects arrested by PSD.

12/14/08 0700hrs - 12/15/08 0700hrs

Investigation/Possible Fire Hazard-In apt a meter box was warm and tenant was concerned it could be a hazard. PSD and UA Super responded and Super made arrangements for an electrician to check it 12/15/08.

Aided-A male fell and sustained small laceration on shin. He refused EMS.

Domestic Dispute- Between Husband and Wife over a lost key. No injuries. NYPD refused. They will seek counseling with their pastor.

12/15/08-7:00 AM to 12/16/08-7:00 AM

Verbal Dispute- Between a R.I. resident and a porter over work being done in an adjacent apt. Porter was working in bathroom for a water leak which was effecting various tenants. NYPD refused. UA Super responded.

Aided- An ill person was taken to the Hospital by EMS.

Vehicle accident- No injuries. A moving truck backed into a parked vehicle. NYPD refused. Parties involved will handle the matter on their own.

Aided- Male fell and sustained pain to left arm. EMS responded and transport was refused. He will see his own private doctor.

12/16/08-7:00 AM to 12/17/08-7:00 AM

Aided- An ill person was taken to the Hospital by EMS.

Found Property- An IPOD Shuffle. It was secured in PSD.

Unsecured Premise - Circuit panel not working and door was open. PSD and RIOC personnel responded and corrected condition.

Aided- Youth left apt after refusing to go to school. Hours later he returned.

Unattended Property- Female left 2 grocery bags unattended. A male picked up the bags and she told him the bags were hers. He did not keep the bags. He stated he thought that belonged to a friend.

Past Burglary- In a storage room. NYPD responded and PSD.

Investigation- R.I. Resident complained that a RIOC Bus did not lower the ramp with a puddle near by and that the driver stopped and let a passenger off at a non designated area. Bus garage notified.

Grand larceny- Computer and IPOD was taken from a room in an apt. PSD responded and no signs of forced entry. NYPD notified.

Investigation- Female left a black plastic bag with a wedding dress in it. Another woman described the dress and stated it belonged to a friend and took the dress. Search for the subject yielded negative results.

Aided- A female fell in apt sustained a laceration to her arm. EMS transported her to the Hospital.

Trespass/Alcohol/Open Container- 2 subjects arrested by PSD.

Open Container Alcohol- Subject arrested by PSD.

12/18/08-7:00 AM to 12/19/08-7:00 AM

Dispute - Between pedestrian and cab driver. PSD responded and spoke to both parties. Both parties left without further incident.

Aided - Not feeling well called EMS. PSD responded with EMS to apt. Aided refused transport and stated he will go to his doctor on his own.

Petit Larceny - Owner reported to PSD gas credit card missing from his vehicle. No forced entry or damages to vehicle. PSD made search with negative results. Owner will go to 114 pct. on his own.

Criminal Mischief - Owner reported to PSD that unknown subject went through glove compartment, but did not take anything. No forced entry or damages to vehicle. Subject broke two CD's. PSD made search with negative results. Owner refused NYPD report.

Harassment - Resident reported to PSD officer that she was being harassed by youth who lives in her building. Reporter stated this is chronic occurrence. Reporter was also referred to management.

Missing Property - Owner reported to PSD that his car was possibly broken into. Owner reported several items were missing from car. No forced entry or damages to car. Owner will go to 114 pct. on his own. Owner not sure if he locked door.

Criminal Mischief - PSD officer observed a wall broken inside stairwell. Search was made with negative results. Housing management notified.

Fire Alarm - Fire alarm going off in AVAC and sprinkler went off. Super turned off water and cleaned up flood. No damages to property or injuries.

Investigation - Delay in service was reported by residents. Matter was referred to bus garage.

Unsecured Premises - RIOC bus garage gate opened and stuck. Officer responded to monitor area until personnel showed up.

Lost Property - Resident brought property into PSD. Property was returned to owner.

0700 12/19/08- 0700 12/20/08

Criminal Mischief- PSD officer observed damage to wall, super notified. Search made with negative results.

Fire Alarm- PSD officer responded to 7th floor AVAC for sprinkler alarm went off on PSD panel. No Damage to property super turned off water and vacuum floor area.

Unsecured Premises- PSD officer observed gate at bus garage open ad stuck. Garage supervisor notified. PSD monitoring area.

Lost Property- Resident brought check into PSD, PSD officer returned property back to owner

Aided- Home attendant stop PSD officer because tenant has not answer door. Super and Porter notified on scene, drilled locks. Tenant arrived locks replaced.

Trespass- PSD officer observed two male subjects in unauthorized location. Summons issued and released for trespass and appearance in public under the influence.

Trespass- PSD officers responded to 540 rear lobby observed one male subject remained while other have left area. Summons issued and released.

Investigation/ No bus service- Tram manager notify PSD officer that he received complaints by five individuals waiting for the RIOC red bus. PSD Lt. reports bus #4 inside garage lot. Bus supervisor notified

12/20/08-7:00 AM to 12/21/08-7:00 AM

Domestic Dispute- Between Husband and Wife. No injuries and NYPD refused. Husband was escorted out of the apt.

Aided- Male fell and refused EMS. No injuries.

Criminal Mischief- Broken light bulb. Juvenile Subject escorted to PSD and father retrieved son. Juvenile report filed.

Aided- Male stuck in the elevator. Central Parking personnel responded with master key and opened elevator. EMS refused and no injuries.

Investigation- Anonymous caller stated that there was a fire in a building. PSD responded and conducted a search of the building. No fire or smoke condition. All in order.

12/21/08-7:00 AM to 12/22/08-7:00 AM

Aided- An ill person was taken to the Hospital by EMS.

Investigation- PSD responded for unknown condition. PSD responded and it was a faulty alarm. UA notified.

Trespass- Subject in building 19th floor was arrested by PSD.

Lost Property- A bicycle. It was secured it in PSD.

Disorderly Conduct- PSD responded to a building for dispute between 2 females. One became irate and was yelling. Subject was arrested by PSD.

12/22/08-7:AM TO 12/23/08- 7:00 AM

SMOKE CONDITION- PSD responded to a loud explosion and smoke caused by transformers under ground in front of 599 main st. FDNY responded and CON EDISON and RIOC personnel notified. No injuries or property damage reported.

AIDED- AN ill person walked into PSD and stated she was feeling dizzy. Transported to hospital by EMS.

CRIMINAL MISCHIEF- TENANT reports unknown person burned decorations on front door.
PSD and FDNY responded no injuries reported.

CRIMINAL MISCHIEF- TENANT reports unknown persons entered her yard. PSD responded made a search with negative results NYPD refused.

AIDED- PERSON fell on ice causing injury to both legs taken to the hospital by EMS.

PROPERTY DAMAGE- ACCESS a RIDE bus driver hit a sign on main st. no injuries reported.

Monday, December 22, 2008

RIOC President Threatens RIRA Delegate With Arrest For Soliciting Funds From Roosevelt Island Film Shoot

Image of man behind Jail Bars from legal juice

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) officers, on behalf of RIRA, have often asked for small voluntary contributions from film crews shooting movies on Roosevelt Island. Some producers react positively and others don't. Similar donations are sought by neighborhood groups from movie productions throughout New York City. For example, the Greenwich Village Block Association (GVBA) keeps a Movie Crew Scorecard that rates the impact of movie, television and commercial productions in their neighborhood. According to GVBA:
Greenwich Village serves as location for countless movie, television, and commercial film shoots. While these shoots are sometimes annoying (lights, vehicles, noise etc.), many companies are minimally disruptive & contribute to block associations which are primaraily responsible for preserving the ambiance that lures visitors & film makers to our community.
Why is this relevant to Roosevelt Island? The reason is that RIOC President Steve Shane threatened to arrest or summons former RIRA President Matt Katz if Mr. Katz continues to seek contributions for RIRA from movie companies shooting on Roosevelt Island. Below is an email message sent from Mr. Shane threatening to arrest or summons Mr. Katz if he continues to seek such donations to RIRA.
I was dismayed to learn that earlier this week, during a film shoot on
Main Street that had been issued a permit by RIOC, you were reported to have been panhandling from the producers. Even assuming that you were attempting your efforts on behalf of the noble cause of RIRA, such activity is not to be condoned or tolerated. I know that I spoke to you directly on this subject about a year ago when a similar incident occurred.

I quote the applicable section of the administrative code below:

New York City Administrative Code -

§ 21-111 Soliciting of contributions in public.
a. It shall be unlawful for any person, organization, society,
association or corporation or their agents or representatives to solicit
money, donations of money or property, or financial assistance of any
kind upon the streets, in office or business buildings, by house to
house canvass, or in public places in the city, except upon a license
issued by the commissioner and an identification card issued by the
chairperson or district chairperson of any charitable drive and any such
regulations as hereinafter provided.

Please be advised that if there is a further repetition of this odious
behavior, our PSD is instructed to issue summonses and/or make arrests.

I am sure that you would agree that we, collectively, do not want to
discourage commerce, tourism and other such activities on the Island.
The proceeds of permits go into the general fund of RIOC which is used,
in its entirety, subject to public audit, for Roosevelt Island. Public
Purpose funds are the subject of direct application by various community groups. RIRA is directly supported by RIOC because of its role in allocating the Public Purpose funds.
I think this is just an outrageous example of bullying tactics by a non-elected public official under the purported guise of complying with NYC Administrative Code. Threatening to arrest a RIRA official for seeking donations to the Residents Association and equating such behavior with "panhandling" as well as characterizing it as "odious" is beyond ridiculous and comes close to an abuse of discretionary power by a person in the position of President of a NY State Public Benefit Corporation.

Below are examples from GVBA of movie productions during 2008 that made contributions to the local neighborhood block associations as a sign of appreciation to the community in which they shot their movie which is exactly what Mr. Katz was doing for RIRA.
  • The Unorthodox Project - Pretty good shoot. Took up parking on both sides of the street but accommodated at least one resident who asked permission to park. No noise, no complaints that I know of. Staff very efficient & easy to work with. Generous contribution to block association
  • Everybody's Fine - Robert DeNiro Film. Brief filming, no incidents, contribution to GVBA and GO Project
  • Biscuit Commercial - BBC reports— it went smoothly ... made a generous contribution for our ongoing beautification programs.
  • The Rebound - Catherine Zeta Jones flick...generous contribution to GVBA, WB11 Neighbors and Perry St. BAs, St. John's in the Village, Rattlestick Theater, & PS 41 PTA for sports support.St. Luke's BA says " They tied up parking from Sun through Tues because they got rained out on Mon. But when I contacted Matt Flanders, Asst. Locations Director, he was responsive and I now have a check for the BA.
    the report on AF Productions is: good, cooperative & generous."
  • WASP 2008 - New Woody Allen film and as always plot is hush-hush. Contribution to GVBA includes donation for Washington Square Music Festival. BBC reports "An interior shoot on Bedford They were cooperative and took few parking spaces. They made a generous contribution to the block association for our ongoing beautification programs."
  • Duplicity - Julia Roberts & Clive Owen flick. Grove St. BA had no problems with the shoot & received a generous contribution. The word from Bedford, Barrow Commerce BA is different. Residents had complaints about rude crew & failure of locations to communicate.
  • New York, I Love You - 12 filmmakers direct a short film (5 minutes) about encountering love in NYC. Includedom cast: Robin Wright Penn, Natalie Portman, Kevin Bacon, Dustin Hoffman with Village native Scarlett Johansson in her directorial debut. Generous contribution to local block associations.
Should these people from GVBA be arrested as well for doing the same thing that Mr. Katz was doing for Roosevelt Island on behalf of RIRA?

When asked to comment on this matter Mr. Shane replied:
My discussion with Mr. Katz was and is between Mr. Katz and myself. If he chooses to divulge it, that's up to him. I did furnish him with the citation of applicable law. Characterizing it as "a threat" is inappropriate. I presume that all citizens intend to be law abiding. I would hope to encourage all citizens to be aware of the law and to avoid a transgression thereof.

Roosevelt Island Volunteer Opportunities With Angelica Patients Assistance Program During the Holiday Season or Any Other Time Of The Year

Image of AMEX Volunteers creating a Garden at Coler-Goldwater from Angelica Patients Assistance Program

Are you looking for a volunteer opportunity on Roosevelt Island during the Holiday Season or any other time of the year? If so, the Angelica Patients Assistance Program may be for you. I met several of Angelica's representatives last week and learned of the services they provide to the patients at Coler-Goldwater Hospital for which The New York State Therapeutic Recreation Association (NYSTRA) selected Angelica as their Organization of the Year for 2008.

More information is available at Angelica's web site:
Our mission is to enhance the lives of economically disadvantaged patients in need of long-term medical care and to support long-term medical care facilities. We are presently focused on improving the lives of residents at Coler-Goldwater Specialty Hospital and Nursing Facility (CGSHNF) on Roosevelt Island in New York City.

Angelica is focused on improving the overall quality of life of patients/residents and empowering the patients/residents to have more input into their activities. Events have included an annual “Sweetheart Ball” and performing arts provided by local arts groups and high schools. Our Duet Bicycle Program allows the patients to enjoy a bicycle ride, steered and pedaled by a recreational therapist. The Hip Hop Program teaches patients how to compose lyrics and express themselves through music, providing a positive outlet and culminating in the production of a Hip Hop album.

Other programs include a Healthy Starts Cooking Program, Horticultural Therapy and funding for the Coler Art Studio. These activities and programs have led to improvement in cognition, social skills, mood, sense of self, physical functioning and opportunities for creative expression.

Last summer, a group of volunteers from American Express assisted in creating a garden for Coler-Goldwater patients. If you would like to volunteer your services, time or money to Angelica, they and the patients at Coler-Goldwater would be appreciative.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Roosevelt Island Chanukah Menorah Lighting Ceremony Today At 5 PM - Rain or Shine & The Dreidel Song Texas Swing Styly

You Tube Video of Dreidel Song Texas Swing Style

Despite the bad weather today, I am advised that the Chanukah Menorah Lighting Ceremony will still take place at 5 PM in front of Blackwell House.
Sunday, Dec. 21 at 5:00 pm – RAIN OR SHINE – tent available for protection against the elements
Annual Public Menorah Lighting at Blackwell House – Hot Lotkes, Hot Drinks, Dreidel’s and Chanukah Gelt and Gifts for everyone.
For Roosevelt Islanders in Texas or a Texas State of Mind - enjoy the Dreidel song