Friday, August 28, 2009

Roosevelt Island On The Web Links

Roosevelt Island on the Web Links as appearing in the August 29, 2009 Main Street WIRE.

Roosevelt Islander - Westview Residents To Receive 14% Rent Hike
Roosevelt Islander - Riverwalk Bar & Grill Opens
Roosevelt Island 360 - Concerned Over Helicopters Flying Over Roosevelt Island
Roosevelt Island 360 - Ever Used Motorgate Bathrooms?
Roosevelt Island Dogs - Reviews RI Apartment Buildings Dog Policies
Lateral Window - Jazzmobile With Lily White On Roosevelt Island
Retro Info - Church of the Retro Chairs
Andrew and Andrew - Roosevelt Island Fashion Report
Select Leaders - Riverwalk Resident Manager Job Available
RIOC - Webcast of Real Estate Committee Meeting on Main Street Retail
RIOC Webcast of Governance Committee Meeting
RIOC - Public Safety July 2009 Blotter
RIOC - Public Safety/Youth Center Community Outreach Basketball Game
RIOC - Call For Artists & Craft Vendors, Deadline August 31
NY Times - Roving Runner Runs Roosevelt Island - Changing Skyline of Roosevelt Island with FDR Memorial
Huffington Post - RI Main Street One Of Most Depressing Places In NYC
Des Moines Register - NYC & Roosevelt Island As A Graduation Gift
NY Times - Pilots Serve As Own Controllers Above East River Corridor
Wall Street Journal - Explores Roosevelt Island
Epoch Times - Ride The Roosevelt Island Tram Before Summer Over
Detroit News - Daimler Hybrid Bus Purchased For Roosevelt Island

More Roosevelt Island links recently on the web though not included in 8/29/09 Main Street WIRE.

Gotham Gazette - Kayaking East River
Soul Storage Company - Opens On Roosevelt Island
Daily News - Soul Stored on Roosevelt Island In New Movie
New Yorker - More Roosevelt Island Soul Storage
Time Out NY - New Roosevelt Island Eatery Opens
Cityroom Blog - Sailing Past Roosevelt Island On East River
Ohmidog - Roosevelt Island Among Best Dog Walking Routes
Hydro Review - Improved Verdant East River Energy Turbines
Scientific Computing - Tidal Energy From Floating Docks
NY Post - You're A NY'er If You Served Time On Roosevelt Island
You Tube - New Roosevelt Island Water Fountain
You Tube - Lightening and Thunder Storm Over Manhattan As Seen From Roosevelt Island
You Tube - Diane Birch Roosevelt Island Outdoor Concert
You Tube - Roosevelt Island Talent Show
You Tube - Roosevelt Live Concert With Chicha Libre
Paranominal - Ghost Hunting On Roosevelt Island -

New Water Fountain By Roosevelt Island Tram Reminds Some of Versailles - Others See It As A Waste Of Money

Image of Roosevelt Island Fountain At Night From Getezra via Yfrog

The new Roosevelt Island Water Fountain greeting passengers on their way to and from the Tram has been operational for about a month now. Getezra took this pretty nighttime photo and Tweeted:
New fountain at roosevelt island tramway circle is up and spouting
D Miller took a video of the Fountain during the daytime and named it the Roosevelt Island Fountain of Versailles - declaring it "lovely".

You Tube Video of Roosevelt Island Fountain of Versailles

Not the first time someone has made a comparison between Paris and Roosevelt Island.

Some Roosevelt Island residents commenting on this earlier post about the Fountain are not so happy with it. For instance:
That is disgusting- we don't need that, total waste of State Money.

The resident of the older part of Main Street are trying to survive here with Rent hikes, etc.

I have been here for 27 years- we had no fountain near the Tram and we did quite well.
What a huge waste of funds when the Island is in such disrepair. It's gross!
There are huge amounts of money being wasted here on RI, that is another example of OUR-the WIRE Building's money, rent, that is going down the drain.

Westview-27 year Resident.

It is All Sickening!! What happened to this Island, we all used to band together and say something and try to triumph!!!!
For the record, the funds for the Roosevelt Island Fountain were paid for by developers of the Riverwalk buildings complex and not by RIOC or with any other public funds. Another reader of earlier post who likes the Water Fountain commented:
Those of you who complain how bad you have it - MOVE! R.I. is a happening place, with a low crime rate (in large part because it has it's own Public Safety). Beautifying the island should be of interest to all, but instead all some people do is complain about stuff. As I said before, if it's so bad - as you say - MOVE!
I like the Water Fountain. It needs some landscaping but it does make the area around the Roosevelt Island Tram Station more attractive. However, I do understand the concerns of some that the more attractive Roosevelt Island becomes, the less likely those with low or moderate incomes will be able to afford to live on Roosevelt Island.

In other New York City Water Fountain news, the NY Times reports on the new Lincoln Center Water Fountain which is controversial to some as well.

RIRA President Reports On Main Street WIRE Editorial, Public Safety/Youth Center Outreach Basketball Game & Upcoming RIRA Council/Town Hall Meetings

Image of RIRA Meeting

RIRA President Frank Farance sends the following report to Roosevelt Island residents.
1. A relatively quiet summer. Not too much to report in the past four weeks. Somehow, that doesn't seem too bad!

2. Editorial in last WIRE issue. I've read the WIRE's last editorial about RIOC's perception of the WIRE's reporting. While Dick Lutz' reporting is true, since then I have perceived from RIOC a strong sense of cooperation and collaboration with the community. This doesn't address the items in the editorial directly, but I'm willing to withhold further criticism if the community sees measurable and sustained progress.

3. Public Safety Outreach partners with RI Youth Program. PSD Director Keith Guerra and RI Youth Program Director Charlie DeFino have collaborated on a brilliant idea: monthly events with Island youth and PSD officers. The first was a basketball game with a close score: 62-60 (Youth Center over PSD). I really think is a great idea for building a closer relationship between PSD and the community.

4. Upcoming RIRA meetings. RIRA will hold its monthly Common Council meetings at 8PM on September 9, October 7, November 4, December 2. RIRA will hold town hall meetings in conjunction with RIOC Board meetings at 8PM on September 16, October 28, and December 9.
The editorial Mr. Farance is referring to was published in the 7/25/09 Main Street Wire.

The RIRA President's message was also published as the RIRA column in the 8/29/09 Main Street WIRE.

Report From RIOC's President - Board Nominees, Southpoint Park Projects, Tram Modernization, Riverwalk Status, Paperless Board & Other RI Issues

Image of Paper Stack From PopSci

RIOC President Steve Shane sends the following report to Roosevelt Island residents. Mr. Shane addresses issues on RIOC Board Nominees, FDR Memorial, Green Rooms/Wild Gardens, Renwick Stabilization, Tram Overhaul, various construction projects, paperless RIOC Board meetings and other issues of concern to Roosevelt Island
August 25, 2009

The WIRE is back from summer vacation and the rain has stopped, so RIOC can report on the following:

1. Board of Directors: No meetings scheduled during the summer. The nominations of Margie Smith and Mike Shinozaki to the Board have been made by the Governor and forwarded to the NY State Senate for confirmation. They would replace Charlee Miller and Patrick Stewart. Dr. Grimm has been re-nominated. Given the state of the Senate, nothing has happened as to their confirmations.
2. Southpoint: As to the projects:
(A) Renwick Ruins: Stabilization completed and building secured. More ornamental fencing to be installed when adjacent projects completed.
(B) Green Rooms/Wild Gardens: The contractor continues rough grading, paths and stone walls. Phase 2 to complete the park, including finish grading, capping, and utilities, fencing and planting to follow.
(C) FDR Memorial: Following Board Project approval in June, RIOC is working with the State’s Parks Department and the City to work out funding mechanics for the $4 million State appropriation, the matching $4 million from the City and at least $8 million from FERI as necessary for Phase I. DEC permitting being integrated with GR/WG. Legal work on finalizing development relationship is in the pipeline.
3. Tram Overhaul: The schedule is for shutdown March 1, 2010 and reopening end of August 2010. See renderings of the proposed Tram stations on our web site. We continue to have regular monthly progress meetings with architects, engineers, POMA, expediters, City and State agencies, etc., all to move to an orderly execution of the project. Meanwhile, to assure continued operations, rope inspections are scheduled for September and brakes and hydraulics for October.
4. Projects: Work is ongoing on many projects and others are being completed. New Public Safety space should be done right after Labor Day. Motorgate lighting trials continue and the resurfacing and waterproofing work has begun. AVAC fencing and enclosure under way. Repair of ramp on the helix finished, but there will be further long term repairs needed. Swimming pool at Sportspark will be closed for repairs after Labor Day to be reopened 6-8 weeks later. Rehabilitation of the gym and installation of a fire safety system also about to begin.
5. Bank: Amalgamated Bank’s takeover of the NYNB space is completed and the branch officially opened as of July 20.
6. Southtown Buildings 5 and 6 have reached “substantial completion” and occupancy has commenced. Developers made a $16 million + payment on reaching this milestone. On a Net Present Value basis over the remaining 59 years of the lease, RIOC will bring about $275,000 per year into income. The balance has been deposited into and will be held in the Capital Reserve. Opening of the Riverwalk Bar & Grill adds another dimension to the commons. Tram turnaround fountain is operational. Landscaping coming.
7. Basketball: The Youth Center and the Public Safety basketball teams met and in a fiercely fought contest, the Youth Center prevailed. A few bruises, much fun and sportsmanship.
8. Bridge: The NYC Department of Transportation has notified us that the reconstruction work requiring complete closure of the bridge to vehicular and pedestrian traffic during July was completed without incident. DOT is now conducting sporadic testing of the bridge resulting in short closures during the late night periods. For those out late needing access, watch for the advisories from DOT. Good to see that the pedestrian access is almost completed.
9. Budget: In keeping with the Governor’s imperatives as to cost cutting and ecological correctness, to reduce paper, printing, postage and storage space, we are doing away with our Board books. After scanning to digital format, we will publish on disc or flash drive. To enable the Directors to review the materials at meetings, we are purchasing a dozen low level laptops which will be capable of displaying the materials. We will use the laptops for training as well.
This message was also published as the RIOC column in the 8/29/09 Main Street WIRE.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Pooping Pigeons Continue To Plauge Roosevelt Island F Subway Station- Keep Your Head Down!

Roosevelt Island F Subway Station Rafters Filled With Pigeon Droppings
Be careful not to look up into the rafters of the Roosevelt Island F Train subway station when entering because you might get a big disgusting surprise plopped right in your face. Pooping pigeons continue to plauge the Roosevelt Island F Train subway station with their droppings.

Yesterday's scene at the F Train entrance was particularly vile. (Click on the images for full impact). Fortunately, the turnstyle droppings were cleaned up later that day.

Roosevelt Island F Subway Station Turnstle Bird Droppings

The MTA keeps performance metrics on such quality issues as on time train performance, crime, passenger overcrowding and escalator maintenance. Perhaps they should add a metric for disgusting pigeon poop? If they do, Roosevelt Island would certainly fail big time in this category!

Pigeon Waiting For F Train At Roosevelt Island Subway Station

F Train Subway Delays Cause Long Lines At Roosevelt Island Tram This Morning

Image by Robstaro from Twitpic

There were delays on the F train this morning causing long lines at the Roosevelt Island Tram as residents were trying to get off Roosevelt Island. One Roosevelt Islander caught in this delay Twittered the resulting lines at the Roosevelt Island Tram:
Roosevelt Island tram stop. F train down, so intense line.
According to this MTA Service Alert, the delay was caused by:
Posted on:8/27/2009 10:59:13 AM

Due to ongoing signal problems at the 47-50th Street-Rockefeller Center Station, Lower East Side-bound trains are running on the line from the 5th Avenue/53rd Street Station to the West 4th Street-Washington Square Station.

Please expect delays in service on the and trains at this time....
Here are other instances of F train delays causing long lines for the Roosevelt Island Tram.

Roosevelt Island Sportspark To Close For 1 Month Undergoing Repairs To Make ADA Accessible & More Beginning September 5 -

Image of Sportspark Pool From RIOC

RIOC is reporting that the Roosevelt Island Sportspark facility will be closing for a month in order to undergo repairs. According to RIOC:
Sportspark Pool Closure Advisory

Starting on Saturday, September 5, the pool will be closed for approximately one month for repairs. Please check back for more information on the grand re-opening ceremony and date.
In addition to making Sportspark more accessible for the disabled community, according to RIOC President Steve Shane, the work will include:
Swimming Pool resurfacing, basketball court floor, fire and smoke alarm system, external structural work.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What Is The Best Way To Remove Junk And Empty Out Contents Of Roosevelt Island Apartment?

Image From NY Times and not apartment in question.

A reader sent in the following question seeking assistance in removing junk and emptying out the contents from a Roosevelt Island apartment.
need to remove contents of family apartment in 546 ...we live out of state..any suggestions for removing contents of apartment?
Thank you.
Craigslist has an ad for a moving company that does junk removal services. There is also the national franchise 1 800 Got Junk but I have had no personal experience with either company.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

Residential Property Manager Job Available At One Of Related Companies Roosevelt Island Riverwalk Building

Are you an experienced residential property manager and looking for a job on Roosevelt island? If so, the Related Companies may be looking for you to manage one of their Riverwalk buildings.

According to Tweet My Job:
We are one of New York Citys largest property management firms and are seeking a proven Resident Manager to provide top-notch management of a high-end luxury residential building located in Roosevelt Island....
Good Luck!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Roosevelt Island's Mitchell Lama Westview Building Rent Hike Update - Some Think It Is Reasonable Others Scared They Will Lose Their Homes

Image of Roosevelt Island's Westview Entrance

In response to this earlier post questioning the need and wisdom of raising the rent of residents in Roosevelt Island's Mitchell Lama Westview building by 14% when the rest of NYC tenants are seeing their rents go down significantly, I received comments by some who think that the rent hikes are justified. For example, one reader wrote:
"Hardship and difficulties"? I know quite a few Westview residents and they all can afford a 14% rent increase easily. The household income requirements for an apartment in Island House or Westview are so lenient and the rents are still on the low side considering the size of the apartments compared to the market rate apartments on Roosevelt Island.

I am on the waiting list to get into one of the buildings and the only motivation is to save money on rent (not because it's the only way I can afford an apartment). Now I will save a little less but will still save some.
And another:
Subsidized housing for middle class families is somehow a funny thing. The rents at Westview and Island House are not really "cheap" and for the same price you can have a decent life a little farther away from Manhattan (most places in the outer boroughs or even all the way uptown in Manhattan). Is having a place close to Manhattan as much a right as affordable housing in general is? Not sure about this.
A) The rents would not have increased so dramatically if earlier rent increases had been larger and more frequent. The efforts of WTI to "fight" tooth and nail any increase whatsoever over the past 30 years has drained the building of money needed for major repairs and maintenance. It is all well and good to earmark funds for capital repairs when a budget is approved, but when electric prices (Westview is an all-electric bldg) shoot up after a rent increase is put into place, where do you think the funds come from to pay for it?

B) WTI was very vocal in the past about submetering to save on electric costs. After Eastwood's publicized experience with it, however, WTI has been curiously quiet on the topic.

C) Do you think for a moment that with all the eyes on this rent increase process that DHCR would impose an arbitrary and capricious increase without basis in fact? And as far as this being the most expensive ML in the program, how many MLs have master-metering that includes building-supplied AC's? Aside from next door, none. So don't compare apples and oranges.

D) As far as gratuitous statements by elected politicians go, they know where their votes come from. So they have no problem commiserating and making public pronouncements against every rent increase ever proposed - they do this all the time, with no exceptions. If their pleas were heeded every time, rents in all MLs would now be free. They do not seem to ever get how ignorant they sound when they say these things. Witness the health care debate...
There are others frightened to death at the possibility of losing their homes.

According to the Westview Task Force:
... A rent adjustment of 14.9% was ordered by DHCR effective Sept 1. Wording of DHCR Order and RY letter are confusing but the bottom line is that a determination was made by DHCR to increase average monthly rent per room from $344.13 to $395.45 (a $51.32 increase or precisely 14.9%). A similar rent increase was implemented at Island House about 6 months ago...

Roosevelt Island Seeking Artists & Craft Vendors For Fall For Arts Festival On October 10

Image From RIOC

Are you an artist or crafts person looking for a great venue to show your work? If so, the Roosevelt Island Fall For Arts Festival may be just the place for you?

RIOC is seeking artists and craft vendors to participate in Roosevelt Island's 2009 Fall For Arts Festival scheduled for Saturday October 10. According to the RIOC announcement, the Roosevelt Island Fall For Arts Festival:
... is an event designed to provide a venue for fine artists and crafters to display, demonstrate and sell original works of art in many mediums...

... booths will be given to selected artists in the following categories: mixed media, clay, digital art, drawing, glass, jewelry, leather, metal, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, wearable art and wood.
Be advised that all vendors are required to provide their own tents. Click on this link or the image below for full details.

Image from RIOC

It may not be the Brooklyn Flea but it is Roosevelt Island!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Roving Runner Runs Roosevelt Island - And Likes It Very Much

Roosevelt Island Running Route Image From USATF

A very nice story in the NY Times Well Blog by The Roving Runner describing his first visit to and run around Roosevelt Island.
Roosevelt Island is sitting right there. A thin, two-mile-long slice of residential life sandwiched between Manhattan and Queens, I had seen it and heard about it, but somehow after 13 years of living in the city, I’d never been there.

What better way to see a tiny island than by running around it?...

... as I completed my lap around the island I saw an oil tanker just to my right floating along slightly faster than I was running. I sped up to stay even with the tanker and kept pace for about a minute, smiling my way through this “race.” The vessel gradually pulled away and I slowed back down, enjoying some more views of Manhattan and grateful that I had made this trip.
More information on running or jogging around Roosevelt Island is available at these earlier posts.

Roosevelt Island's Gallery RIVAA Exhibits Works Of Artists With Cerebal Palsy Thru September 7 - Assembly Member Kellner Hosts Opening Reception

Image From Gallery RIVAA

The latest exhibit from Roosevelt Island's Gallery RIVAA, titled Real People Realizing Potential, is featuring the works of artists with Cerebal Palsy.
Queens Centers for Progress, United Cerebral Palsy of New York City and Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State-Metro Services have joined to produce an exhibit of art work by people with disabilities. The exhibit will run from August 15 to September 7 at the Roosevelt Island Visual Art Association Galley (RIVAA). The show will feature paintings, sculpture, photography and other forms of art work created by people with disabilities supported and served by the three participating organizations...

... Over 80 works of art, produced by dozens of artists will be on display free of charge. Many of the pieces will be offered for sale, with proceeds of the sale going directly to the artist. For more information visit the websites of the participating agencies at QCP UCP or CPA of NYS
Assembly Member Micah Kellner was at the opening reception and reports:
On a beautiful August Thursday, I had the honor of serving as Master of Ceremonies at a ground-breaking art opening at the Roosevelt Island Visual Art Association Gallery (RIVAA), as over 80 stunning works of art created by artists with cerebral palsy went on display. The dozens of artists were joined by family members, friends, and supporters. As someone with cerebral palsy myself, this was an especially proud occasion for me....
Image of Assembly Member Kellner With Artist Octavia Lanford At Gallery RIVAA