Friday, January 30, 2009

Looking For Things To Do This Weekend In New York City & Roosevelt Island - Needle Park, NY Iditarod, Chinese New Year Parade and RI Tour

You Tube Video of 2008 New York Iditarod in Gowanus and Red Hook Brooklyn

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

For those who worry that the current economic crisis may bring a return of the 1970's to New York City and want to see what parts of the City were like at that time, the Al Pacino starring movie, Panic in Needle Park is playing this week at the Film Forum. From the New York Post:
Al Pacino landed his career-making role in "The Godfather" after Francis Ford Coppola showed Paramount brass his dazzling performance as a heroin addict and petty thief in "The Panic in Needle Park" (1971), a time capsule of Manhattan's Upper West Side at its very worst. "If you see it, it will sear your senses forever," promised the original ads. "Needle Park" begins a one-week run today at Film Forum (209 W. Houston St.; 212-727-8110), with co-star Kitty Winn, director Jerry Schatzberg and co-screenwriter Joan Didion appearing before the 7:40 show tonight.
Saturday is the 6th annual NY Iditarod. According to the NY Times Urban Eye:
You didn’t hear it from us: On Saturday the Idiotarod, a take on the famous Alaskan dog-sled race (note that extra ‘o’) hits New York. Brace yourself: instead of dogs and sleds, this one features humans and shopping carts. Expect to see hordes of outlandishly costumed meta-mushers running, drinking and sweating as they make their way to the finish line whatever way they can....
On Sunday afternoon, Free NYC suggests the Chinatown Chinese Lunar New Year Parade:
The spectacle features elaborate floats, marching bands, lion and dragon dances galore, Asian musicians, magicians, acrobats and procession by local organizations. Over 5,000 people are expected to march in the parade, which will start at Mott Street and promenade through practically every street in of Chinatown, finally dispersing at Worth Street. The parade is expected to conclude at 3:00 pm, at which time an outdoor cultural festival will take place on Bayard Street featuring more performances by musicians, dancers and martial artists.
On Roosevelt Island this weekend, the Farmers Market will be open as usual on Saturday as is Gallery RIVAA, the Roosevelt Island Visual Arts Association which is exhibiting a new show, Emergence by Bogdan Borgovan, and will be holding an opening reception on Saturday night. 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.

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.

Roosevelt Island Red Bus GPS Tracking System In Operation and Working!

Waiting for the Bus image from Amy Kim Ganter

Perhaps the days of Roosevelt Islanders waiting on the street corner in the freezing cold, rain or snow not knowing when the next bus to arrive are over.

I received the following message from Elle Erickson of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Communications Committee:
I am hoping this will come up at the RIRA meeting, but I could not wait until then to pass it on – people NEED to know!

The Octagon apparently sponsored installation of GPS tracking systems on all the red busses. By accessing, people can find out when the next bus is scheduled to arrive at whatever stops they are traveling from. I tested it, waiting for the bus and it actually works! We have identified one glitch, which is that while waiting at the subway for a north bound bus, it will always say the next bus is one minute away because it is sitting at the tram.

Spread the word please- this thing is great!
Here's more on the GPS Tracking system from earlier post.

UPDATE - 2/1 - RIOC Director Jon Kalkin provides some more information on the Roosevelt Island GPS Red Bus Tracking System:
Glad to see that the GPS is getting great support! I am fighting very hard to get this for the whole island. I have seen some people concerned with the fact that you have to check a computer or mobile phone to see when the next bus is coming. My goal is to get LCD screens indicating when the next bus is coming on each of the bus stops. This will not only be convenient for riders, but will help RIOC prevent bunching and keep a more timely schedule. I have forwarded the NEXTBUS map and information to Dr. Lapp and the Columbia University transportation team I got to study these problems. This is a big step in making island travel easier and more reliable.
At the same time that Roosevelt Island is experimenting with a GPS Bus Tracking system, the MTA is canceling a more extensive, multi-million dollar initiative for New York City buses. According to NY 1 (accompanying video of report) via Second Avenue Sagas:
... It's just incredible that in this day and age, we're nowhere closer to being able to know where the buses are at any given point," said Queens Councilman John Liu.

Under a contract awarded in 2005, tracking equipment was installed onboard 185 Manhattan buses. In August of 2007, screens began operating in test mode, but were turned off a few months later because the times were inaccurate. They've been dark ever since.

... The MTA is now in the process of literally pulling the plug on this project. It hopes to disconnect and remove the electronic message boards at the 15 stations in Manhattan where they had been installed, beginning next month.
Perhaps Roosevelt Island can either use the display signs that the MTA is removing from their system or somehow get the benefit of the MTA's contract which is being canceled. If the MTA's options are either losing all the money they paid for the system that they are not using or giving it to Roosevelt Island at a nominal fee might they choose the latter, though I do not know if the MTA's system would work on RI?

Image of London GPS Bus Tracking Signage from Second Avenue Sagas

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Plans For Coler - Goldwater Condo Development as Part of NY State Transform Roosevelt Island Project

Image of Coler-Goldwater Site in Transform Roosevelt Island Plan from Smart Growth

Our friends over at Curbed alerted us to this post from blogger Smart Growth regarding a NY State plan called Transforming Roosevelt Island. According to Smart Growth:
Plans are being drawn up to demolish two long-term care hospitals on Roosevelt Island and replace them with 1500 new residential units south of the Queensboro Bridge and 900 more units on the Coler Hospital site. The Coler site will have a new state of the art healthcare facility with some supportative housing units....
Over the years the fate of Coler-Goldwater Hospital has been the subject of much speculation and worry among the hospital patients, Roosevelt Island residents, local politicians and property developers. From an earlier post:
There has been much speculation and discussion raised in the past few months by residents, journalists, politicians, and bloggers over the fate of Coler-Goldwater Hospital's southern campus on Roosevelt Island and worry that it's residents might be moved to be replaced with more luxury condos. At a recent meeting with Southtown residents, RIOC President Steve Shane indicated that it was his opinion the south Coler-Goldwater Hospital campus was not going to be sold by New York City and developed into luxury condos anytime in the near future. Mr. Shane:
My considered opinion based on conversations with HHC persons and experience with NYC projects of like type. I suggested a minimumm of 10 years before anything could realistically happen.
Asked to comment on the Transform Roosevelt Island plan, RIOC President Steve Shane said today:
Nothing has changed that I know of. My experience tells me that this is a very long way from any reality. I never saw the rendering pictures before, but they make interesting, if fanciful images.

Image of Coler-Goldwater Site in Transform Roosevelt Island Plan from Smart Growth

More information is available here including NY 1 Video story highlighting the issues involved.

Roosevelt Island 360 shows us what the views look like from Coler-Goldwater with a 360 degree video.

UPDATE - 1/30 - RI 360 reports on Smart Growth:
... their source is someone working directly on developing the TRI Project ("Transforming Roosevelt Island") and cannot be revealed at this time as "its still a work in progress".

Roosevelt Island Public Safety Reports - 1/13 thru 1/29 / Red Bus Robbery, Intoxicated Breast Feeding, Harrassment of Senior and 2008 Incident Archive

Image of Red Bus from RIOC

RIOC is posting the most current Daily and November Monthly Roosevelt Island Public Safety Incident reports on their web site. Also, available on the RIOC web site is a breakdown of Roosevelt Island Public Safety incidents by location and category for the month of December 2008. Below are the Roosevelt Island Daily Public Safety Reports for January 13 - January 29, 2008. Incidents included:
  • Assault/Endangering a Child - Attempted breast feeding of a child while intoxicated (1/13)
  • Glue put on apartment door lock (1/17)
  • Report of youth with gun - investigation negative (1/17)
  • Fire started by Octagon Garden personnel to keep warm (1/17)
  • Theft of Service - Boarding Tram without paying (1/20)
  • Home attendant harassing senior citizen (1/20)
  • Assault - Female punched in Face on Main Street (1/22)
  • Aided elderly male on apartment floor (1/22)
  • Theft of Cab service (1/25)
  • report of possible drug sale - search yielded negative results (1/26)
  • Robbery of female's wallet while boarding Red Bus (1/28)
1/13/09-7:00 AM to 1/14-097:00 AM

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

Possible Gas Leak- FDNY and PSD responded checked the stove. It was in order. UA notified.

Found Property- Wallet. It was secured in PSD. Later owner came and retrieved the property.

Criminal Mischief- Broken Glass on hallway door. Search for the subject yielded negative results. m UA notified.

Open Alcohol Container- Subject arrested by PSD.

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

Found Property- A bank card. It was secured at PSD. Doorman notified the owner who retrieved his property.

Assault/ Endangering the welfare of a Child- Intoxicated subject tried to breast feed her son. Father intervened and subject struck Husband. PSD arrested the subject.

1/14/09-7:00 AM to 1/15-097:00 AM

Investigation- Cardboard box had a message of a possible homeless youth. PSD checked with PS 217 and the Island was checked. Negative results for youth.

Criminal Mischief- Hole in the wall. Search for the subject yielded negative Results. UA notified.

1/15/09-7:00 AM to 1/16-097:00 AM

Aided - PSD Officer responded to apt. for ill resident. Aided transported to hospital.

Aided - Intoxicated hospital patient fell to the ground and sustained bloody nose. EMS transported aided to hospital.

Fire - PSD responded to apt. door on fire. PSD extinguished fire. Fire Dept. on scene. Super secured apt. No injuries or damage to the inside of apt.

Aided/EDP - PSD and EMS responded to apt. for possible aided. EMS stated person suffered from depression and anxiety. Aided transported to hospital.

Vehicle Accident/Property Damage - PSD responded to report of vehicle accident between two vehicles. NYPD on scene and took report. No injuries

1/16/09 - 1/17/09

Not Available

1/17/09-7:00 AM to 1/18-097:00 AM

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

Criminal Mischief- Glue put on 2 apt door locks. NYPD and PSD responded. Search for the subject yielded negative results.

Investigation- Report of a possible gun in the hands of a group of youth. The gun make have been a toy gun. PSD attempted to call back reporter with negative results. Search for the youth yielded negative results.

Family Dispute- Between mother and daughter over a lost cell phone. NYPD and PSD responded.

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

Open Fire Controlled- Near the Octagon Baseball field. Octagon Garden Personnel in an attempt to keep warm had wood burning in a 55 Gallion drum. FDNY responded and extinguished it. No injuries or property damage.

1/18/09-7:00 AM to 1/19-097:00 AM

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

Found Property- A check it was secured in PSD.

Hazardous Condition- Excessive garbage in the Avac Room. UA notified.

Smoke Condition- Burnt food in apt. No injuries and no property damage. UA notified.

Verbal Dispute- Male was alone talking loudly. Earlier he had a dispute with another male. He left. NYPD refused.

01/19/09-7:00 AM to 1/20/09-7:00 AM

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

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

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

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

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

Aided- A tenant fell in apt and sustained injury to the head. EMS transported aided to the Hospital.

Aided- Person was inside of an elevator that was stuck. UA Supers responded and opened the elevator door. Male refused EMS and stated he was fine.

1/20/09-7:00 AM to 1/21-097:00 AM
Theft of Service- Female subject boarded tramway without making payment. Subject arrested by PSD.

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

Aided- Male fell and was assisted up. He refused EMS, and stated he was fine.

Harassment- Home Attendant harassing Senior. PSD assisted NYPD in arrest of subject.

Missing property- A GPS and several quarters were missing from vehicle. No signs of forced entry. Vehicle may not have been locked property. (electric lock). NYPD refused.

Investigation- Groceries were delivered to tenant and when inspected by tenant some items were missing. Tenant notified the Store manager who requested a report to rectify the situation. Victim will notify NYPD and UA on her own.

1/21/09-7:00 AM to 1/22/09-7:00 AM

Criminal Mischief- Unknown subject kicked an apt door and left shoe print. Search for the subject yielded negative results. UA notified.

Harassment- Female juvenile subject harassing two other juveniles. NYPD refused. It will be referred to the PSD Youth Officer.

Water leak- In apt and it effected the Card and Gift Shop. The RY Super shut off the water until repairs can be made. Store Employee was notified.

0700 hrs 01/22/09 - 0700 hrs 01/23/09

Criminal Mischief - PSD Officer observed broken window. Search was conducted with negative results.

Water Leak - PSD responded to water leak inside apt. Super on scene and will correct condition in the morning.

Alarm - PSD Officers observed alarm sounding in MTA substation. MTA notified of condition and corrected it. All doors were locked and appeared secured.

Aided - PSD responded with NYPD and EMS to apt for elderly male on floor. EMS transported aided to hospital.

Assault/Resisting Arrest - PSD Officers responded to report of loud screaming on Main St. Female victim reports male subject punched her in face because she refused to talk to him. Male subject was arrested by PSD for assault and resisting arrest. Subject taken to 114 pct. for arrest processing.

0700 hrs 01/23/09 - 0700 hrs 01/24/09

Criminal Mischief- PSD observed shattered window, search made negative results. Urban American notified.

Verbal argument- Passenger non compliant with RIOC bus rules, PSD responded corrected situation.

Aided-Vehicle/Bicycle accident aided male refused NYPD and EMS. Aided Stated did not suffer any injuries PSD responded report on file.

Vehicle accident-Student driver lost control of vehicle hitting two vehicles. PSD on scene gathering all information, no injuries, both parties refused medical attention.

Graffiti- While on patrol PSD observed writing in black lettering, urban American notified.

Aided- Not female not feeling well, transported to hospital. Aided- Male not feeling well, transported to hospital.

0700 hrs 01/24/09 - 0700 hrs 01/25/09

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

Found Property- Black wallet. It was secured in PSD.

Verbal Dispute- Between 2 neighbors over loud music. NYPD refused. No injuries. Both will speck to UA on Monday 1/26/09.

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

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

Verbal Dispute- Between 2 males who had attended a party. NYPD refused. PSD escorted one male out the other left

Unlicenced Driver/Failure to Produce an Insurance card/Disobey Stop Sign- Motorist was observed disregarding a stop sign. Upon inquiry he failed to produced an insurance card and was unlicenced. Motorist issued summonses.

0700 hrs 01/25/09 - 0700 hrs 01/26/09

Theft of Service- female Subject gave a cab driver her handbag to hold until she arrived back with the cab fare. But she did not return. Search for the subject yielded negative results. NYPD refused.

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

Fire Alarm- Garbage bag in the Avac caught on fire. FDNY responded and extinguished it and determined that it was accidental. UA also responded.

Noise Complaint- PSD checked the hallway twice and it was unfounded.

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

Unsecured Door- R.I. Recreation Center door was found open. PSD checked it periodically. RIOC notified.

Aided- Male adult felt ill. When EMS responded he refused transport to the Hospital.

1/26/09-7:00 AM to 1/27/09-7:00 AM

Investigation- Anonymous Report of a possible drug sale between two male subjects. PSD responded and males had left area. Search for the subjects yielded negative results.

Retrieved Property- Tenant lost apt keys in elevator shaft of building. UA Super retrieved the keys.

1/27-09-7:00 AM to 1/28-09-7:00 AM

Hazardous Condition- Resident reports that another stop sign is needed opp 645 Main Street facing North so that a motorist going south bound can see it. RIOC personnel notified.

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

Alcohol/ Open Container- 2 Subjects arrested by PSD.

Suspicious Male- Followed a resident on 1/26/09 and left when a pedestrian approached. Reported 1/27/09.

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

1/28-09-7:00 AM to 1/29-09-7:00 AM

Criminal Mischief - PSD and NYPD responded to apt. for broken window. Search conducted with negative results. Super covered up window. NYPD made report.

Aided/Stuck Elevator - PSD responded to parking garage for person stuck in elevator. PSD opened door and person was let out. Aided refused medical attention. Central Parking put elevator out of service.

Vehicle Accident-off Island - Involving RIOC employee and NYPD vehicle. No injuries. NYPD made report. RIOC vehicle sustained dent.

Investigation - Resident called PSD to report that she left her keys in Duane Reade. Keys were returned, but resident was concerned that someone may have copied keys. NYPD refused.

Aided - PSD responded for elderly female feeling dizzy. EMS transported aided to hospital.

Verbal Dispute - Between RIOC bus driver and passenger. PSD responded and took report. No injuries.

Aided - PSD responded for elderly female not feeling well. EMS responded and transported aided to hospital.

Robbery - RIOC bus driver reported to PSD that three males stole wallet from female hands while trying to board bus. PSD and NYPD responded and conducted search with negative results. No injuries.

Hazardous Condition - Light pole cover hanging. Welbach Electrical contractors were contacted and Dept. of Transportation.

Here are the Roosevelt Island Daily Public Safety Reports for the year 2008 starting from January 19 - April 30 and May 1 through 7 AM on January 1 2009.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

RIRA Island Service Committee Chair Reports on 1/13/09 RIOC Operations Committee Meeting

Image of RIOC provided services of Red Bus, Tram, Blackwell House, Seawall and Good Shepherd Community Center from RIOC

Aaron Hamburger, Chair of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Island Services Committee attended the January 13 Roosevelt Island Operating Corp's Government/Operations Committee meeting and forwards the following summary of the meeting.
Information from RIOC Operations Committee, 1/13/09

Meeting concentrated on capital projects – present & future.

º RIOC looking into the possibility of moving the Public Library to 504 Main St. Original plan was to move Library to Riverwalk Bldg. #7. However, due to current economic conditions, it’s unlikely that #7 will be constructed anytime in the next 8 – 10 years.

º Blackwell playground project will be completed before spring.

º Lighthouse comfort station project is completed.

º Poor lighting at Motorgate will be completely replaced by “green” lighting fixtures. The fixture will have a low light bulb, which will generally be on, and a high light bulb which will be activated by a motion sensor. If there is motion in the area, from a car or pedestrian, the high beam will go on and stay on so long as motion is detected.

º FDR Memorial – They now have $16M in funds; $8M from private/foundation donations, $4M from New York City and $4M from New York State. This is enough to do Phase I of the project, which will involve site preparation, foundations and most, if not all, of the “room”. There will be no park development/landscaping as the NYC and State funds can only be used for capital projects. Landscaping, etc is not considered a capital expense.

Red Bus Morning Rush Hour

ISC is gathering “on-site” information on the number and time of “incidents” primarily at the Manhattan Park bus stop.

Credit Card Theft

We are obtaining specific information on each known credit card theft at the Octagon and elsewhere before going to Post Office officials.

Disabled Accessibility to “F” Train

Regulations covering this issue are being researched.

As this report is being issued 1/18/09, there may be additional items to report on at the RIRA 2/4/09 meeting.

Aaron Hamburger, Chair, ISC
For those that want to watch the web cast of the meeting it is available here

UPDATE - 1/30 - RIOC President Steve Shane sends the following message regarding the Operations Committee report:
You posted Mr. Hamburger's report on the proceedings of the 1/13 Ops Cttee. In his first bullet point, he stated "However, due to current economic conditions, it's unlikely that #7 will be constructed anytime in the next 8-10 years." Nothing of the kind was said. I have just watched the entire 2:15 of the netcast to verify. Please ask Mr. Hamburger to report what was said and to identify his opinion as opinion.
I replied:
I forwarded your comment to Mr. Hamburger and will post your comment as an update to original. I repeat my offer to you to publish your President's column on the blog so that fully accurate information on Roosevelt Island affairs is available to residents and all others concerned.

By the way, during the OPS committee meeting you indicated that the $4 million allocated for the FDR memorial by the City of NY cannot be spent on landscaping but must be spent on the granite, foundation and room because only capital expenses can be funded with the City money. You had also said this to me personally during our trip with Jon kalkin and Fernando Martinez to Southpoint last month.

I inquired of City Council Person Jessica Lappin if this is accurate and received a response from John Moore of her office that the money could be spent in any manner and the phasing of construction could be undertaken in any order that RIOC sees fit including landscaping the park grounds before building the foundation and room. Below is Mr. Moore's message.

Obviously, Council Member Lappin would like to see the entire project completed. As for the phasing of the project, that is dependent upon the agreement reached between FERI and RIOC and what makes sense in terms of engineering and planning. The money is available for the entire project and does not specify in what order the project should be completed.

Any comment on the use of City Council funds for landscaping the park instead of building the room and foundation. As you know a recent RIRA referendum indicated overwhelming preference on the part of the community that should the FDR memorial be built, landscaping for the park grounds occur before the building of the granite room so that Southpoint is not stuck with an incomplete memorial blight should the project supporters run out of money.
Mr. Shane replied:
I spoke to Mr. Moore today and while he repeated that the City has no opinion on the Phasing order, he had not considered the City's legal problem with capital funds and would check back with his source. From our experience with Corp. Counsel and the funding for the Smallpox Hospital stabilization, also by way of Councilmember Lappin's member item, I know that we could not be reimbursed for any "soft-money" items including design, supervision, etc. because of the need to maintain the "capital" nature of the improvements to qualify the City Bond issue under federal tax rules without running into bond cap issues. So while it seems byzantine, not surprising in bond land.
Will continue to follow and pursue the FDR memorial story.

UPDATE - 2/2- Mr. Hamburger acknowledges that Mr. Shane was correct in regard to the construction of Riverwalk building #7. From Mr. Hamburger:
The delay, 8 to 10 years, was my estimate (guess) not something that came from Shane or other Operating Committee members.

Public Purpose Fund Application Deadline For Roosevelt Island Organizations Friday January 30 - Get Your Papers In

Pile of Money Image from KR Connect

RIOC's Erica Wilder reminds all Roosevelt Island organizations that the deadline for applying for Public Purpose Funds is this Friday January 30. From Ms. Wilder:
Please be advised that the deadline to submit Public Purpose Applications is Friday, January 30th at 5pm. Applications can be dropped off at 591 Main Street, mailed or emailed with ALL supporting documents. If you have any additional questions, please contact me by phone or email.

Erica Wilder
Community Relations Specialist
Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation
591 Main Street
Roosevelt Island, NY 10044
(T) 212.832.4540
(F) 212.832.4582

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

No Roosevelt Island Parking on Main Street For Snow Emergency - 6PM 1/27 - 12PM 1/29

RIOC has been posting these Snow Emergency - No Parking signs up and down Main Street so be advised.

RIOC To Schedule Events/Use of Good Shepherd Community Center

Image of Good Shepherd Community Facility from Roosevelt Island 10044

RIOC Community Relations Specialist Erica Wilder sends the following information regarding the use of the Good Shepherd Community Facility which will now be scheduled by RIOC. From Ms. Wilder:
To All Roosevelt Island Community Groups and Organizations:
Attached please find the new procedures for scheduling and use of Good Shepherd Community Center, effective 1/15/09. The permit will appear on the RIOC website shortly. All events already scheduled for 2009 will continue to be honored, however, we do ask that all users enter into a Permit with Donna Masly, as described herein, meeting all appropriate requirements and conditions. Note: access restrictions will be effective the first week of January, as we have immediate security concerns.
Good Shepherd Community Facility

Scheduling and Use Rules, Requirements and Procedures

(eff. 1/15/09)

The Chapel of the Good Shepherd, a New York City Landmarked building, was acquired by the State of New York for use as a Community Facility as part of the master planning for Roosevelt Island. The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) a Public Benefit Corporation of the State of New York, is responsible for the maintenance and administration of the Good Shepherd Community Facility. Procedures for reserving use of the facility follow:

  1. Scheduling – All scheduling for use of Good Shepherd (GS) interior spaces (including chapel, community room, meeting room) must be reserved in advance with Donna Masly, RIOC Program Coordinator, by calling (212) 832-4563 for an appointment, or via the GS Permit form on the RIOC website – Permits will identify any special conditions regarding permitted use. Elected officials and government agencies should contact Erica Wilder, RIOC Director of Community Affairs at (212) 832 -4540 X349.

  1. Security Deposit – All those obtaining permits for the use of GS spaces must pay a security deposit at the time the Permit is issued. Security deposits will be returned after inspection by RIOC and a determination is made that the premises are restored to the condition in which they were delivered.
More information is available from RIOC.

Fire In Eastwood (Roosevelt Landings)Trash Room Leaves 4 Foot Burn Mark On Wall

Image of 4 Foot Burn Mark on Wall in Eastwood (Roosevelt Landings) Trash Room

An Eastwood (Roosevelt Landings) resident sent in the above photo and asks:
Did anyone tell you what happened? I don't know all the details, but when I arrived home yesterday, PS was helping with the flooded hallway after a fire broke out in the trash room.
I am not sure if this is the same incident but the 1/25 -26 Roosevelt Island Daily Public Safety Report advises:
Fire Alarm- Garbage bag in the Avac caught on fire. FDNY responded and extinguished it and determined that it was accidental. UA also responded.
The reader responds:
... that must be what happened. I am not sure how a bag in the AVAC chute caused a 4-foot burn on the wall of the trash room (pic), and caused a 20-foot flood in the hallway. Yes, this was Sunday evening.
Anybody know for sure what happened?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Roosevelt Island Tram Cabin Views of Waterfront and NYC Skyline Safe - Can We Keep Southpoint Park Views Safe From Kahn/FDR Memorial Boondoggle Also?

Image of new Roosevelt Island Tram Cabin Design, the Carvatech, From RIOC (link is no longer active)

Several readers have expressed concern about the tinting of the windows in the new Roosevelt Island Tram Cabins pictured in the drawings (the Carvatech on the left is the winning design) that make it appear as though the windows will be black. These readers are concerned that passengers inside the cabins will not have a clear view looking out of the Tram to see the magnificent New York City Skyline and waterfront views available from the Tram (By day and night).

I inquired of RIOC President Steve Shane about this issue and he replied:
Tram cabin glass will be clear for both sight and safety reasons, although may have some reflective tinting so that the radiant energy from the sun is not fully transmitted to the interior which would make passengers uncomfortable. The depiction of dark glass is an artist's thing.
That's a relief. At least the views from the Tram are safe.

I just hope we can say the same thing about these magnificent 360 degree, panoramic views of the waterfront and NYC skyline from Roosevelt Island's Southpoint Park that are in danger of being destroyed by the Louis Kahn Memorial (some refer to it as the FDR memorial) Boondoggle. There was another puff piece from Sunday's NY Times on the memorial. At least a tiny reference was made in the article to community opposition as expressed by fellow blogger Roosevelt Islander 360 but the article left out much as to why this project is so inappropriate for a 21st century Roosevelt Island.

Image of Kahn/FDR Memorial Sculpture room from Village Voice's Runnin Scared

RI 360 also had a terrific post about the absurdity of spending $8 million in public taxpayer funds on the initial construction phase of this project with the great likelihood of spending much more to complete it. From RI 360:
This weekend when I read RIOC President Steve Shane's column, in the Main Street WIRE, and was reminded that NYC and NYS have jointly committed $8 million in total to the planned FDR Four Freedoms Park to be built at Roosevelt Island's Southpoint Park I could only cry. How in this economy could this make sense? I don't see how either legislative body could allow such appropriations to continue? How can the constituents of any legislator supporting these appropriations not let them know this is wrong? Yet each of our local legislators supports this plan and no one thinks its improper in today's world.

Think how many job training programs this money could fund? How many New Yorkers could be kept in their homes? How many meals can be provided to out of work City residents? Would you close a city shelter to justify a park?...
I will have more on the Kahn/FDR memorial soon.

Heat and Hot Water Information For Apartment Tenants From Assembly Member Micah Kellner

Cold Water Heat Requirements Image from NYC HPD

Assembly Member Micah Kellner provides the following information regarding what apartment tenants should know about their rights to be provided with heat and hot water during the winter. From Mr. Kellner's newsletter:
Heat Season is Here: Know the Laws, Know Your Rights

While the first official day of winter may have been in December, New Yorkers are currently facing some of the coldest days of the year and more are sure to come. It is important that tenants know their rights when it comes to heat and hot water. The City Housing Maintenance Code and Multiple Dwelling Law require building owners to provide heat and hot water to all tenants.

Building owners are required to provide hot water 365 days per year at a constant minimum temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit. But between October 1st and May 31st, a period designated as "Heat Season," building owners are also required to provide tenants with heat under the following conditions: Between the hours of 6:00 AM and 10:00 PM, if the outside temperature falls below 55 degrees Fahrenheit, the inside temperature is required to be at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Between the hours of 10:00 PM and 6:00 AM, if the temperature outside falls below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, the inside temperature is required to be at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you believe that you are not receiving the proper amount of heat or hot water, and attempts to notify your building owner, manager or superintendent have proved unsuccessful please call 311 to lodge a complaint (remember to write down the complaint number the 311 operator gives you). Complaints may be made 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For the hearing impaired, the TTY number is (212) 504-4115.

If problems persist, please do not hesitate to contact my office by calling 212-860-4906, with the 311 complaint number on hand, so that we may assist you. I always recommend that tenants keep a thermometer in their apartment at all times in order to get an accurate reading of the temperature inside their apartment during the winter. This is just one easy step you can take to make sure that your building owners and managers are respecting your rights to enjoy your home in comfort during the winter. More information on Heat and Hot Water Laws in New York City can be found on the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) website.

Assembly Member Kellner has additional information of interest to Roosevelt Islanders available at his web site.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Very Disturbing News!

Gothamist is reporting:

Sexual Assault | Roosevelt Island - F Line Queens, NY | 1/25/2009 12:05 p.m.
No further information is available at this time. I inquired of RIOC President Steve Shane and Public Safety Director Keith Guerra if they had any additional information. Mr. Shane immediately responded:
None. No report from PSafety.
Hopefully this report is wrong but will continue to follow - up.

UPDATE 1/26 -1PM - Public Safety Director Keith Guerra adds:
My sources at NYPD tell me that call was unfounded.