Friday, March 13, 2009

Things To Do This Weekend In New York City & Roosevelt Island -Planetarium Party, Facial Hair Contest, Celebrate St. Patrick's Day & Midwife's Tale

You Tube Video of Monkey River Dance

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.

On Friday night, start your weekend with music and dance under the planets and stars at the Rose Center for Earth and Science at the American Museum of Natural History.
Launch your weekend with drinks and dancing at the most explosive party this side of the Milky Way. See and be seen under the stars as live bands, DJs, and VJs present the hottest music and project dynamic visuals at the Rose Center for Earth and Space. Cocktails keep the party going.
For Saturday, show off your Grizzly Addams look at the New York Beard and Moustache Championship. According to Brownstoner:
The NYC Beard & Moustache Championships is coming to Brooklyn this Saturday, March 14. Contestants will be divided into eight categories: Full Beard Natural, Full Beard Freestyle, Patchy Beard, Recession Beard, Goatee, Moustache, Sideburns, and Ladies Artificial. Besides the awesome beards, there will be live music, stand-up comedians, and burlesque dancers. It will be happening at Public Assembly located at 70 North 6th Street in Williamsburg.
On Sunday, start your St. Patrick's day a couple of days early with these suggestions from Free NYC:
The Irish Arts Center Annual St. Patrick’s Open Day is a "free family event, where the Irish Arts Center opens its doors and schedules a day of Irish music, dance, face painting, Irish language workshops for children and adults, a tin whistle workshop, film and much more by way of inviting New York to celebrate St. Patrick's Day with us. It is a great way to share Irish arts and culture to a younger generation (goes a long way towards teaching that there is more to the Irish than green beer)."
St. Patrick's Day isn't all about green beer ya know, there are parades too! The Brooklyn St. Patrick's Day Parade kicks off at 1:00pm at Propsect Park West and 15th Street. It heads down 15th St. to 7th Ave., along 7th Ave to Union St., up Union St to Prospect Park West and along Prospect Park West to 15th St
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. Gallery RIVAA is exhibiting a new group show titled Vernissage 8 and is holding an opening reception on Saturday night from 6 - 9 PM. On Sunday at 2 PM, come celebrate Women's History Month at the Gallery RIVAA with the showing of the movie A Midwife's Tale. According to the NY Times Spare Times:
WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTHwill be celebrated with the screening of “A Midwife’s Tale,” about the life of Martha Ballard, an 18th-century New England midwife, on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Roosevelt Island Visual Art Association Gallery, 527 Main Street, Roosevelt Island; the film will be introduced by Megan Elias, an assistant professor of history at Queensborough Community College. Sponsored by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation and the Roosevelt Island Historical Society.
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 Bunching Perfect Storm - Two Buses Behind Each Other In Both Directions Plus A NYC Bus

I may have witnessed the Roosevelt Island Red Bus Bunching version of The Perfect Storm early Thursday evening around 6:15 as I was walking down Main Street in front of the Trellis Diner. Two Red Buses going north passed two Red Buses going south with a NYC Bus right behind the two northbound buses. Unfortunately, I was not able to get a picture of all 5 buses in the same frame. I missed the front south bound Red Bus. Nuts.

I was not able to see if the two northbound buses were packed with rush hour Roosevelt Islanders returning home from the Tram/Subway Station or not so it may have been proper for these two buses to be bunched together as well as the two bunched southbound buses if the goal is to have all available rush hour buses at the Tram as soon as possible.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Roosevelt Island Subway Station Info - Tram Outage Service, Disabled Access, Ridership Statistics and Fair Use

Image of Blurred, Moving F Train From Venus in Furs

RIOC President Steve Shane met with representatives of the MTA last Tuesday. While at the meeting, Mr. Shane sent the following message to fellow blogger Roosevelt Island 360 and myself.
I am at a meeting at the MTA and they are quite upset about the ad in the March 7 WIRE at p.10 with "Unofficial Service Changes". Use of MTA logo without authorization is a big no-no.

If either of you had anything to do with it, cease and desist.
On Wednesday, I inquired of Mr.Shane:
What happened at your MTA meeting yesterday? Is there any further information regarding Roosevelt Island subway service both before and during the Tram outage as well as any other Roosevelt Island/MTA transportation news?
Mr. Shane replied:
The purpose of the meeting was to explain the Tram project and to allay any concerns about impact on the existing tunnel system. In addition, the following:
At this moment, there are no scheduled service interruptions for the duration of the Tram outage.

The MTA is working on the platforms to eliminate the "gap" for the handicapped. The raised platform area is in the middle of each platform so that the handicapped may be observed by the conductor who controls the doors. The project is not yet finished, but is ongoing to get tile, etc. suitable for the job, plus signage and public notice.
More Subway news. The Center For An Urban Future issued a NY By The Numbers Report providing:
...a station-by-station examination of the growth in subway ridership between 1998 and 2008 and a borough-by-borough analysis of bus ridership changes.
As to Roosevelt Island daily average Subway Station ridership growth, it increased from 3789 in 1998 to 6071 in 2008 for an increase of 60.2% making it #22 of 119 Manhattan subway stations in % ridership growth (Page 9).

The stop immediately preceding Roosevelt Island, Queensbridge, had the highest % ridership growth rate in Queens (Page 12) and 5th (Page 2) in the entire City from 2088 in 1998 to 7374 in 2008 for a 253% increase.

The next stop immediately after Roosevelt Island on the F train heading into Manhattan, Lexington - 63rd Street had the highest ridership growth rate in the entire NYC Subway system from 1538 in 1998 to 13,488 in 2008 for a 777% increase ( Page 2).

RI 360 provides an update on future F train service disruptions thru June 1.

As to the MTA logo, consider this from the Electronic Frontier Foundation in regard to the Fair Use Doctrine:
What is fair use?

There are no hard and fast rules for fair use (and anyone who tells
you that a set number of words or percentage of a work is "fair" is
talking about guidelines, not the law). The Copyright Act sets out
four factors for courts to look at (17 U.S.C. § 107):
  • The purpose and character of the use. Transformative uses are favored over mere copying. Non-commercial uses are also more likely fair.
  • The nature of the copyrighted work. Is the original factual in nature or fiction?
  • Published or unpublished? Creative and unpublished works get more protection under copyright, while using factual material is more often fair use.
  • The amount and substantiality of the portion used. Copying nearly all of a work, or copying its "heart" is less likely to be fair.
  • The effect on the market or potential market. This factor is often held to be the most important in the analysis, and it applies even if the original is given away for free. If you use the copied work in a way that substitutes for the original in the market, it's unlikely to be a fair use; uses that serve a different audience or purpose are more likely fair. Linking to the original may also help to diminish the substitution effect. Note that criticism or parody that has the side effect of reducing a market may be fair because of its transformative character. In other words, if your criticism of a product is so powerful that people stop buying the product, that doesn't count as having an "effect on the market for the work" under copyright law.
When can I borrow someone's images for my blog post?
Images are subject to the same copyright and fair use laws as written materials, so here too you'll want to think about the fair use factors that might apply. Is the image used in a transformative way? Are you taking only what's necessary to convey your point? A thumbnail (reduced-size) image, or a portion of a larger image is more likely to be fair use than taking an entire full-size image. If you want to go beyond fair use, look for Creative Commons licensed images.

May I freely copy from federal government documents?

Yes. Works produced by the US government, or any government agency or person acting in a government capacity, are in the public domain. So are the texts of legal cases and statutes from state or federal government. Private contractors working for the government, however, can transfer copyrights to the US government.
UPDATE - 7 PM - The purported use of the MTA logo from Page 10 of the 3/7/09 Main Street WIRE is here. (PDF File).

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Roosevelt Island Beacon Little League Baseball Season Begins Soon - Register By March 28 To Be Sure Of Space

The Roosevelt Island Youth Center's Beacon Baseball Program is scheduled to start soon but remember you have to be registered by March 28 to be sure of a space. Here's some more information on the Beacon Baseball Little League:

The Baseball season runs April through June. Mandatory Evaluations will be held at Tony Capobianco field for all Minors and Majors only.

... Registration will end on March 28th. After that date, we will only accept late registrations as space is available. Don’t get left out! Avoid the wait list and register today! Registration is free for everyone of age. Leagues and play times are below.

TEE-BALL LEAGUE 6 – 7, (birth date between May 31, 2001 and May 31, 2003):
Saturday morning clinics with Coach Tommy
Session I: 9:30 – 11:00 Session II: 11:15 – 12:45
**You will receive notification of which Session your
child is in prior to April 18.

MINORS 8 – 10, (birth date between May 31, 1998 and May 30, 2001):
Season practices on Weds, Thurs or Fri, according to the Coach.
Games played on Saturday mornings and afternoons.

MAJORS 11 – 13, (birth date between June 20, 1995 and May 30, 1998):
Season practices on Tues, Thurs or Fri, according to the Coach. Games played on Thursday evenings, Friday evenings and Saturday mornings and afternoons.
And a Code of Good Conduct for all to follow including players coaches and parents.

Roosevelt Island Public Safety Reports 2/24 Thru 3/10 - Hallway Running Dog, ATM Keypad Removed, Tailgating, Soccer Assault & Door Vomit

Tailgating Image From SI Live and Is For Illustrative Purposes Only

RIOC is posting the most current Daily and December 2008 Monthly Roosevelt Island Public Safety Incident reports on their web site. Also, available is a breakdown of Roosevelt Island Public Safety incidents by location and category for the month of
January 2009. RIOC Monthly reports have not been updated recently. Below are the Roosevelt Island Daily Public Safety Reports for February 16 - March 10, 2009. Incidents include:
  • Smoke Conditions - Burnt Food (2/24, 27), Trash (2/25) and Hallway (2/28)
  • Excessive Noise (2/26, 3/1)
  • Domestic Dispute (2/25,26)
  • Dog Running Freely in Hallway (2/27)
  • Grand Larceny - RIOC Equipment Stolen (2/28)
  • Trespass in Southpoint Park (2/28, 3/6)
  • Grand Larceny - $1550 Illegal Money Gram Wire Transfer (3/1)
  • RIOC Bus With Engine On and No Driver (3/2)
  • ATM Keypad Removed From NY National Bank (3/3)
  • Car Damaged Inside Motorgate Garage (3/5)
  • Vomit on Front Door (3/5)
  • Soccer Game Assault (3/8)
  • Food Delivery Person Robbed (3/8) and
  • Irate Motorist tailgating (3/9)
2/24-09-7:00 AM to 2/25/09-7:00 AM
Smoke Condition- Tenant burnt food in apt. No injuries or property damage.
Trespass- 7 youths 6 youths warned and admonished. One youth escorted to PSD. Later adult guardian retrieved the youth.

2/25/09-7:00 AM to 2/26/09-7:00 AM
Domestic Dispute- Between Husband and wife over money. NYPD refused. Argument ceased.
Escort- Tenant escorted home by PSD. Prior argument in apt.
Investigation- Tenant reported possible illegal substance (Marijuana) front of apt. PSD responded and it was cigar debris. UA porter cleaned it up.
Aided- An ill person was taken to the Hospital by EMS.
Trespass- In building. 2 Subjects arrested by PSD.
Aided- Female fell in apt. EMS assisted her. Transport to the hospital refused.
Smoke Condition- Trash Can outside. PSD responded and extinguished it. No injuries. Plastic Container melted.

0700 hrs 02/26/09 - 0700 hrs 02/27/09
Excessive Noise - Tenant complained that neighbor makes excessive noise. PSD responded and spoke to both parties. Referred tenant to management.
Possible Water Jumper - Reporter called PSD and stated that she received call from male subject stating he wanted to jump in the water. PSD responded and made check with negative results.
Investigation - Tenant called PSD and stated someone rang her door and ran. PSD responded made search with negative results.
Criminal Mischief - Employee of parking garage reports unknown subject broke into lockers. PSD conducted search with negative results. Undetermined if anything was taken. NYPD notified.
Verbal Dispute/Domestic Dispute - Unknown female called PSD that there was a possible dispute inside apt. PSD responded and mother stated that her son didn't want to get up for school. PSD spoke to son and he left without further incident.
Aided - Elderly female fell stepping onto curb and felt pain in lower back. EMS responded and transported aided to hospital.
Investigation (ACS) - Mother called PSD and stated that her son was pushed to the ground by father. Son stated he has no physical injuries. ACS was called and responded to PSD. ACS spoke to father and son. ACS stated father has custody and will return son to father.

0700 hrs 02/27/09 to 0700 hrs 02/28/09

2/28-09-7:00 AM to 3/1/09-7:00 AM
Smoke Condition- In hallway of building. Odor faint. Search for the exact location yielded negative results.
Grand Larceny- A piece of RIOC equipment was stolen. PSD conducted an extensive search for the subject with negative results. NYPD responded.
Aided- PSD Officer fell on stairs and sustained pain on ankle . EMS refused.
Trespass- In South Point Park. 2 Subjects arrested by PSD.

3/1/09-7:00 AM to 3/2/09-7:00 AM

Grand Larceny- $1,550.00 was wired via Money Gram. Subject in Texas illegally gained access to the funds. Victim going to NYPD on her own.
Unsecured Property- A comforter quilt was left in the laundry. When they went to retrieve the comforter it was missing. Search made with negative results.
Noise Complaint- 4 youths making noise. One was escorted home and guardian notified. The other three were escorted out of the building.
All are residents of the island.
Investigation- Motorgate Customer found the dome light to this vehicle on and the door open. Nothing was taken. NYPD refused.
False Alarm/Investigation- PSD responded to Housing Management Office. All windows and doors were locked and secured. Search made of the office and no one found inside. Custodian reset the alarm.

0700 hrs 03/02/09 - 0700 hrs 03/03/09
Flood - PSD responded to apt for flood. Super on scene and corrected condition.
Unsecured Property - PSD found RIOC Bus with engine on and no bus driver inside. Driver came and turned off bus.
Investigation - Tenant called and stated he has not seen his neighbor and newspapers for past three days still in front of the door. PSD responded and super stated he saw tenant the day before.

3/03/09-7:00 AM to 3/4/09-7:00 AM
Water Leak- In apt. PSD and UA responded. UA made necessary repairs.
Criminal Mischief- At N.Y. National Bank. ATM key pad was removed. NY National Bank Security was notified.
Aided- An ill person was taken to the Hospital by EMS.
Investigation- Motorgate Customer reported GPS missing. PSD responded and no sign of forced entry. NYPD refused.
Disorderly Conduct- Female subject arrested by PSD.
Trespass/ Disorderly Conduct 2 subjects arrested by PSD. Third juvenile subject brought into PSD and issued a Youth Referal. Guardian retrieved youth.
Property Damage- A male told Central Parking Employee that he struck a vehicle and wanted to leave a note then left. Owner of damaged vehicle filed report and refused NYPD.

3/4/09-7:00 AM to 3/5/09-7:00 AM

Aided- Tenant sustained minor injury to nose. Injury due to window installation. Window company made settlement payment to tenant.
Found Property- 5 check books. Property secured in PSD. Owner later retrieved property.
Harassment- Youth was pushed then struck in the face by subject. Subject fled. Parent refused EMS and NYPD. Search for the subject yielded negative results.
Investigation- Tenant reported that unknown subject puts out cigarettes on the wall next to her apt. UA notified. Search made with negative results.
Lost Property- wallet lost on 3/3/09 on RIOC Bus. Mini Bus Supervisor notified and stated it was not turned in.
Aided-/Investigation- 2 Youths fought with another and then fled. School Coordinator contacted parent who refused NYPD and EMS. Search for the subjects made with negative results.
Criminal Mischief- Unknown subject kicked tenants door. Seach made for subjects made with negative results. UA handy man made repairs to the door.

0700 hrs 3/05/09 - 0700 hrs 03/06/09

Aided - Tenant not feeling well. PSD responded with EMS. Aided transported to hospital.
Traffic Obstruction - Oil truck became stuck obstructing traffic. Traffic was redirected. Condition was corrected and traffic resumed to normal.
Property Damage - Motorist received damage to his car inside parking garage. Filed claim with Central Parking. NYPD refused.
Aided - PSD and EMS responded to apt for sick resident. Tenant transported to hospital.
No Seatbelt/Unlicensed Vehicle Operator/Suspended Registration - PSD stopped motorist for no seatbelt. Motorist was issued summonses for no seatbelt and suspended registration.
Disorderly Conduct - Motorist became irate during car stop. Motorist issued summons for Disorderly Conduct and moving violation.
Lost Property - Female lost cell phone in cab on 02/26/09. Will file NYPD report on her own.
Lift (Aided) - NYPD and EMS responded to lift job. Aided was picked up and refused EMS.
Investigation - Tenant called because her front apartment door had vomit on it. PSD responded and Super was notified.

0700 hrs. Friday March 6th 2009 - 0700 hrs. Saturday March 7th 2009.

Traffic Condition - Truck Stuck in ditch after misjudging turn. PSD responded until truck cleared RIOC bus also stuck no damage.
Smoke Alarm - PSD fire panel reporting fire. PSD Officers responded. Super on scene reported hallway heater set off alarm. Super checked area no property damage.
Aided - Tenant having low pulse. EMS on scene transported to hospital. Vising nurse notified.
Investigation - PSD Officers observed two males subjects in area where vehicles have been broken into in the past. Subjects were stopped all in order and released.
Missing Property - Male reported to PSD while using restroom in Motorgate left blackbag with wheel outside. When he returned property was missing. PSD made a search with negative results.
Trespass - PSD Officer observed four male subjects inside south point park. Escorted to PSD Office, summonsed and released.
Criminal Mischief - PSD Officer observed Exit center gate broken off. Search made with negative results.
Arrest - PSD Officer observed two male and one female subjects inside stairwell. Escorted to PSD Office (1)male and female summonsed and released.(2) Male subject taken to 114 pct. for criminal trespass disorderly conduct and possession of Marijuana.

3/7/09-7:00 AM to 3/08/09-7:00 AM
Trespass- 4 Subjects arrested by PSD.
Trespass- 4 Subjects arrested by PSD.
Criminal Mischief- Exit arm to the Motorgate Garage was broken. Search for the subject yielded negative results. Central Parking notified.
Larceny- Contractor Equipment was stolen last week. Search for the subject yielded negative results. NYPD referred case to the Detectives.
Trespass- 7 Subjects arrested by PSD.
Aided- Male was cooking in apt and sustained burns. he was transported to the hospital. Later the Fire Marshall responded with Assistant Super to inspect the apt.

3/8/09-7:00 AM to 3/9/09-7:00 AM
Unsecured Area- In South Point Park. The gate that leads to the Contractor's Trailer. Area and trailer were checked and in order. PSD secured the area with a new lock.
Criminal Mischief- Unknown Subject broke light covers fixtures. Search for the subject yielded negative results. UA notified.
Smoking in Hallway- Subject issued a summons by PSD.
Water Leak- Tenant not home. PSD and UA responded. UA to conduct repairs on 3/9/09.
Assault 3- Subject upset over losing soccer game with opponent. Subject struck victim in the face causing nose bleed and swollen lip as well as pain to the neck. Victim transported to the Hospital by EMS. PSD arrested the subject.
Escort- PSD provided escort for tenant.
Robbery- Food delivery man was surrounded by three male who demanded money. Victim gave them $100.00 and his cell phone. search for the subjects yielded negative results. NYPD refused. No injuries.
Disabled Vehicle- Tow truck notified and towed vehicle from middle of the roadway.
Aided/Stuck Elevator- UA Super removed male. Male refused EMS.

3/9/09-7:00 AM to 3/10/09-7:00 AM
Aided- An ill person was taken to the Hospital by EMS.
Graffiti- At rear of the R.I. Subway building. Token Booth Clerk and NYPD notified. A massage was left for the MTA Superintendent.
Hazardous Condition- A hallway balcony sliding door was found open. UA Super corrected the condition. No injuries.
Hazardous Condition- Male chalking window outside of a building without a harness. PSD corrected the condition.Worker notified that the safety harness is mandatory.
Disabled Vehicle- Tow truck towed the vehicle.
Irate Motorist- A resident reported another vehicle was tailgating his and pushed his vehicle to the curb. No injuries to passengers in resident's vehicle. Other vehicle fled off Island. NYPD notified.
Unsecured Door- To a mail room building. Post Office Supervisor notified and notified Postal Police.
Aided- An ill person was taken to the Hospital by EMS.
Harassment- Female subject was striking tenant's door and shouting threats. PSD conducted a search for the subject with negative results. NYPD refused.
Escort- Tenant sublet apt and attempted to illegally evict the person. PSD responded and referred the matter to Land Lord Tenant Court.
Criminal Mischief- Broken window in building. 2 youths escorted to PSD. Youth Referral reports prepared. Youth released to parent and the other to guardian.

3/10/09-7:00 AM to 3/11/09-7:00 AM
Aided- An ill person was taken to the Hospital by EMS.
Aided- PSD Officer sustained a laceration while working on a door. He was transported to the Hospital by EMS.
Criminal Mischief- Unknown vehicle caused scratches on a parked vehicle. 911 Notified. Owner will file a report with NYPD on his own. + Search made with negative results.
Missing Person- From Gold Water Hospital. He left in the morning for dialysis. But he decided to take the train back to the hospital. But he did not return. NYPD responded and filed a report.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Report From RIRA President - RIOC Budget Questions, Forced RIRA Resignations, Lego Robots and Resident Softball League

Image of March 2009 RIRA Common Council Meeting

RIRA President Frank Farance sends the following report to Roosevelt Island residents. This message was also published as the RIRA column in the 3/7/09 Main Street WIRE. Mr. Farance addresses issues on the RIOC Budget Process (Inadquacies?), the forced resignation of RIRA Members from the RIOC Board by Governor Patterson for no good reason, a Lego Robotic competition and a resident softball league.
1. Serious Questions About RIOC's Finances. Members of RIRA's RIOC Budget Analysis committee has met a couple times. We're delayed because RIOC is not providing the information we requested. We will continue to meet. About two weeks ago, RIOC announced that they overstated their cash position in year 5 (2013-2014): they were off by a factor of two, leaving them with $19 million in the bank and negative cash flow at the end of this 5-year, $72 million spending spree — not to mention, a staff increase of 50% (2001-2008). (This assumes Southtown 7-9 won't be built in the next couple years, which seems likely because the developers are choosing not open Southtown 5-6 for poor market conditions.)

Aside from our information requests, questions remain:

Question #1: When do the NPV (Net Present Value) payments run out for Southtown 5-9 (an answer for each building)?

Question #2: Assuming Southtown 7-9 will not be built and capital expenditures (e.g., maintenance) will continue at its current rate of $8 million per year (as per RIOC President Steve Shane who said we should expect $5-8 million of annual capital expenditures indefinitely), are we able to continue spending indefinitely at this rate? If not, when does the money run out?

Question #3: With the same assumptions as Question #1, except that Southtown 7-9 are built within the next 5 years, are we able to continue spending indefinitely at this rate? If not, when does the money run out?

Question #4: Assuming 0% inflation, unchanging costs, and assuming we have to spend another $72 million 20-25 years from now as the present generation of infrastructure wears out, what will RIOC's finances be at that point? Will we be able to pay for these large capital expenditures? What is the plan for paying these in the generation afterwards in 40-45 years from now?

Question #5: What are the cash flow and cash balance projections for years 6-10?

In short, I'm very concerned that we're going to run out of money — possibly as soon as years 8-10. I think we've gotten here via poor decision-making over the years. First, in the 1990's Governor Pataki said that Roosevelt Island should be "self-sufficient", which means that we pay City, State, and Federal taxes (of which very little comes back to us) and we pay for the Island's upkeep (pot hole repair, AVAC maintenance, etc.) through our rents or our merchant's rents. Second, in the past ten years, RIOC negotiated sweetheart deals giveaways for the Octagon and Southtown developments, which crippled the Island for future income. Third, rather than annual payments (e.g., WIRE and Manhattan Park buildings) RIOC agreed to Net Present Value (lump sum) payments — NPV itself isn't bad if you have the competent financial management and financial discipline (which RIOC hasn't done well on either count).

Really, if DHCR mandates this kind of long-term budgeting and reserve planning for Mitchell-Lama buildings throughout New York State, why does RIOC pretend that this kind of financial management is impossible? Why don't the RIOC ex-officio members from the State Budget Office and DHCR complain about RIOC finances? Doesn't the State have an interest in seeing the long-term viability of RIOC's finances?

2. RIOC and Governor's office force members to resign from RIRA. Jonathan Kalkin said "I have just been informed that Governor Paterson's office, upon a second review of my file and the file of possible new board members, has stated that I must regretfully resign my position as a RIRA Council Member. On the original review I was not told to resign. Since I have been informed, I officially and regretfully resign from my seat on the Roosevelt Island Resident's Association.". I asked Steve Shane for an explanation and he said that RIRA sometimes provides advice to RIOC and, thus, this might affect a board member's fiduciary responsibility. My immediate reaction is: Hogwash! Could you explain how RIOC Board Members' decision-making is affected? Isn't RIOC's argument the same one against John F. Kennedy becoming the US President: because he is Catholic, he might take direction from the Pope and not the public. It also reminds me of the December issue the RIOC employee who was harassed and lost his work because he joined RIRA — RIOC and the State seem to have a punitive approach to people involved in RIRA. But let's get back to the worrisome issue of RIOC Board members and their fiduciary responsibility: why do they show no interest in the long-term budget and long-term financial viability of RIOC? Shouldn't this be their most fundamental concern? Shouldn't they be asking the same questions about RIOC's finances?

3. First Lego League. Through the Roosevelt Island Youth Program, Michael Acevedo and I will helping Island kids build Lego-based robots this spring for a robot competition. I'll have more details soon, see

4. Adult Softball League. I used to run the Roosevelt Island Softball League (slow pitch, 6-12 arc) in the 1990's and I'm thinking about it this year. We need at least 3-4 teams. We'll decide on co-ed or separate men/women teams depending on the turn out.

Monday, March 9, 2009

East River Barge Nearly Hits Roosevelt Island And Manhattan!

Image of East River Barge Heading Towards Roosevelt Island From Populuxe Books

While looking out the window on a pleasant Sunday afternoon, Design and Decor blogger Populuxe Books, a resident of Roosevelt Island's Octagon building, spotted one of the many barges going up and down the East River on a daily basis going in a peculiar direction - right towards Roosevelt Island and then the East Side of Manhattan!

Image of East River Barge Heading Towards Manhattan From Populuxe Books

Via Roosevelt Island 360, Populuxe Books reports:
A huge barge broke away from a tugboat today just north of our apartment building. (The Octagon) The barge began to float down the East River diagonally past our building. The tugboat men hurriedly threw ropes to the men on the barge and back and forth. They were lucky to reconnect the two vessels just before the barge got too close to the sea wall. It was quite a sight to see. Wow!
This is the direction that East River Barges are supposed to travel - Straight.

We were lucky. Had the Barge hit land, it could have caused significant damage to the seawall as happened several years ago near Lighthouse Park.

Roosevelt Island Food Delivery Person Robbed

Delivery Bike image from Workcycles for illustrative purposes only

The RIOC Public Safety Department is reporting that a food delivery man was robbed on Sunday.
3/8/09-7:00 AM to 3/9/09-7:00 AM
Robbery- Food delivery man was surrounded by three male who demanded money. Victim gave them $100.00 and his cell phone. search for the subjects yielded negative results. NYPD refused. No injuries.
There have been similar incidents reported before of food delivery persons being robbed on Roosevelt Island.

Roosevelt Island's City Council Member Jessica Lappin Will Not Seek Public Advocate's Office But Will Run For Re-Election

Image of City Council Member Jessica Lappin From City Hall News

It looks like City Council Member Jessica Lappin, whose district includes Roosevelt Island and much of the east side of Manhattan, has decided not to seek City wide office as the Public Advocate but will instead run for re-election to the 5th Council District seat that she currently holds. According to City Hall News:
Council Member Jessica Lappin will not enter the public advocate race, and instead will be a candidate for re-election to her seat this fall, City Hall has learned. She spent Friday afternoon calling colleagues supporters to tell them the news. A campaign aide confirmed the news.

... Lappin had never formally declared for the race, but began fundraising and staffing up in late November, hoping to capitalize on there being no woman in the race and no elected official from Manhattan in the race.

... As she moved forward with the bid, several candidates had lined up hoping to succeed her in the Council, slowly and carefully beginning their own fundraising and campaigning in the Upper East Side district.

She had been struggling with fundraising, however, amid the recession, which had led many to doubt that she would actually make the race after entering so late in the process....
Politicker NY reports:
“Jessica weighed a number of factors and at the end of the day decided the right decision for her this year was to run for re-election for the city council,” said Mark Guma, the adviser.