Thursday, September 17, 2009

Roosevelt Island Southpoint Park Closed During United Nations General Assembly Meetings - September 14 Thru 27

Closed Southpoint Park Gate w/ United Nations In Background

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) has issued the following advisories during the upcoming United Nations General Assembly Session. From RIOC:
South Point Park Closure

RIOC has been informed that the United States Department of State
will establish a Special Security Detail at South Point Park, in preparation for President Obama's visit to New York and attendance in the upcoming United Nations General Assembly meetings.

The State Department has also requested from RIOC the closure of
South Point Park, to the general public, from September 14th to September 27th.
Given the significance of the event, RIOC will be facilitating the State Department's request.
Thank you for your cooperation.
R.I. Bridge Advisory

NYC DOT Bridge Operations Unit and Koch/Skanska Contractors will be manning the Roosevelt Island Bridge for the United Nations General Assembly. Security Zone closures of the west channel of the East River will be in effect.
The crews will be on the Bridge from September 21, 2009 to September 30, 2009 between the hours of 7:00am - 7:00pm

Another Roosevelt Island Complaint Of Bed Bugs at Eastwood/ Roosevelt Landings - Are You Scratching Yet?

You Tube Video of Bed Bug Attack

Another report of Bed Bugs found at Roosevelt Island's Eastwood/ Roosevelt Landings building complex. From the 9/11 Roosevelt Island Daily Public Safety Report:
Investigation - A complainant reported bedbugs in her mattress, complainant referred to Urban American Management.
Here is a July post on earlier incident of Bed Bugs reported at Eastwood/Roosevelt Landings.
Very few things are as disgusting and creepy as bed bugs. They lurk in your furniture or bed and come out to feed on your blood at night.... once they are in one apartment they can easily get into adjacent ones.
A recent NY Times article described how the presence of bed bugs impacts condo sales:
... Complaints about bedbugs have risen sharply over the last few years in New York, according to city officials, and no neighborhood in the city has been spared. While the pests do not pose a dangerous health risk, they inflict considerable psychological distress on their unwilling hosts. Moreover, the uninvited guests can be excruciatingly difficult and costly to evict.

According to the law, sellers and their brokers must acknowledge a problem if asked. But conflicts of interest aside, neither can be expected to know whether an infestation exists elsewhere in the building.

The problem is so pervasive that some lawyers have begun incorporating sellers’ representations about bedbugs into sales contracts, adding to now-standard ones about leaks, mold and noise issues. And buyers are having to determine if the pests are a deal-breaker or just one more headache on the road to a new home...

But nothing on what redress tenants in a rental building may have or not. However, a 2008 NY Sun article reported: ...

... In New York City, landlords are responsible for getting rid of bed bugs in infested buildings and units and they must pay for extermination.

This was not always the case, but a turning point was a 2004 case, Ludlow Properties, LLC, vs. Young, in which Judge Cyril Bedford sided with a tenant who refused to pay rent for six months because of a persistent bed bug problem.

"Although bedbug are classified as vermin, they are unlike the more common situation of vermin such as mice and roaches, which, although offensive, do not have the effect on one's life as bedbugs do, feeding upon one's blood in hoards nightly turning what is supposed to be bed rest or sleep into a hellish experience," Judge Bedford wrote....

For those not scratching at the moment, more on bed bugs.

How Did Roosevelt Island Vote In NYC Democratic Primary Elections For Manhattan DA, NYC Public Advocate and Comptroller?

Public Advocate Candidate Bill deBlasio together with Jessica Lappin and Micah Kellner at Roosevelt Island gathering
Wonder how Roosevelt Island residents cast their ballots in last Tuesday's Democratic Party Primary Election for Manhattan District Attorney, NYC Public Advocate and NYC Comptroller? Below are unofficial numbers based upon the count of a campaign volunteer after the polls closed at PS/IS 217. Again, this is an unofficial Roosevelt Island count of votes cast in the 95, 96, 97 and 98 Election Districts. They do not include those who voted at the Coler Campus (94th ED) or the Goldwater/Southtown site (99 ED).
Manhattan DA
Crocker-Snyder: 206
Vance: 197
Aborn: 80

Public Advocate
DeBlasio: 166
Green: 134
Gioia: 104
Siegel 62

Liu: 202
Yassky: 154
Katz: 109
Weprin: 38
The total number of votes cast on Roosevelt Island based upon this unofficial count was 526.

NY 1 has the complete City wide primary results. There will a runoff election for NYC Public Advocate and City Comptroller on September 29.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Roosevelt Island Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month With Latin Guitarist Carlos Pavan At Gallery RIVAA On September 19

Image From RIOC

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp. (RIOC) is presenting a Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration at Gallery RIVAA starting this Saturday, September 19 (2PM) showcasing Latin Guitarist Carlos Pavan. There will be authentic Authentic Tango too.

Click on the image above for more events.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Young Roosevelt Island Animal Balloon Maker At Farmers Market

As I was walking by the Farmers Market on Saturday, I met a young Roosevelt Islander making animal balloons and teaching others how to do it as well.

Next Saturday, stop by, say hello and get a balloon. He also sets up shop in front of Blackwell House from 4-6 PM on Saturdays, weather permitting.

September 17 Roosevelt Island Board Of Directors Meeting Followed By Town Hall - Come Ask Your Questions Of RIOC Board

Image of 6/25 RIOC Board Meeting

After taking the summer off, the Roosevelt Island Board of Directors will be holding their next meeting on Thursday, September 17. According to RIOC President Steve Shane, this will be the first meeting in which the Board Books have been done away with and replaced with electronically disseminated information. It will be interesting over the coming months to see if the electronic dissemination of information makes for a more timely and effiecient data flow from RIOC Management to the Board given that Board Members have complained in the past of not receiving relevant information in time to have it evaluated prior to casting a vote during a Board Meeting.

A Town Hall Meeting in which Roosevelt Island residents can ask questions of RIOC Board members follows the Board meeting. Below is the Amended Agenda for the September 17th meeting of the Roosevelt Island Board of Directors

SEPTEMBER 17, 2009

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call
III. Approval of Minutes
1. June 25, 2009 Board Meeting (Board Action Required)
IV. Old Business
V. New Business
1. Authorization to "Override" the New York City Design Commission Permit Regulations in Connection with the Aerial Tramway Modernization Project (Board Action Required - Materials to Follow)
2. Authorization to "Override" the New York City Department of Transportation Permit Requirements in Connection with the Southpoint Open Space Project (Board Action Required)
3. Blackwell House Interior Restoration Project: Authorization to Enter into Matching Fund Grant Agreement and Authorization to Enter into Contract for Construction Drawings (Board Action Required)
4. Ratification of Amendments to the Policies and Procedures Regarding Travel by Personnel (Board Action Required)
5. Presentation of the FY 2009-10 QTR 1 Procurement Report
6. Authorization of Extension of Contract with Doppelmayr CTEC, Inc. for Operation and Management of the Roosevelt Island Aerial Tramway (Board Action Required)
7. Committee Reports

Audit Committee
Governance/Operations Advisory Committee
Real Estate Development Advisory Committee
8. Public Safety Report
9. President’s Report
VI. Adjournment


1The Town Hall Meeting is not part of the RIOC Board Meeting
The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) will be holding a Town Hall Meeting the preceeding night (Wednesday, 8PM Good Shepherd Community Center) to discuss the issues on the RIOC Board's Agenda and the state of Roosevelt Island ball fields. All are invited to attend.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Urban Ninjas, Navy Seals Or Twisted Traceurs On Roosevelt Island?

You Tube Video of Twisted Traceurs Practicing On Roosevelt Island

What the heck is going on in this video?

Doing handstands down stairs, walking on the sides of walls, leaping over obstructions in a single bound! Have some form of Urban Ninjas or Navy Seals established a training camp here on Roosevelt Island? Maybe an audition for latest James Bond movie chase scene?

No, but the relatively new sport of Parkour has come to Roosevelt Island. What is Parkour? According to American Parkour:
... Parkour is an art of movement in which you train the body and mind to overcome obstacles. A parkour practitioner, called a traceur (male) or traceuse (female), uses their surroundings to improve their ability to move in space. By interacting with obstacles, be they urban architecture or the natural environment, the practitioner becomes more comfortable controlling his body and navigating any terrain.

The meat of parkour is the discipline of daily training, physical and technical, to heighten the body’s natural movement elements such as strength, speed, balance, coordination, precision, power, and endurance...
According to the NY Times, Parkour began in France during the early 1990's:
... The idea was to travel across the urban landscape as gracefully, intelligently and dynamically as possible. The practitioners - "traceurs," from the French verb "tracer," meaning to trail - were supposed to adapt to their environment in order to manipulate it in creative ways. Sixteen years on, they can be seen pulling off anything from gutsy leaps from roof tops to sublime balancing acts on metal railings....
and found a home in New York City and Roosevelt Island.

Roosevelt Island Toastmasters Meeting Tonight At 8 PM - Come Meet New Friends and Improve Your Public Speaking Skills

Are you interested in improving your public speaking and leadership skills or just meeting some new Roosevelt Island friends? If so, the Roosevelt Island Toastmasters may be able to help. They are meeting tonight at the Rivercross Upper Community Room (531 Main Street) at 8 PM and every 2nd and 4th Monday from September through June.

More on Roosevelt Island Toastmasters from earlier post.

Another Roosevet Island Bridge Opening Advisory - This Time For Mornings Of September 15 & 16

RIOC has issued another Roosevelt Island Bridge Advisory - this time for the morning of Tuesday, September 15 and Wednesday September 16:

NYC DOT Bridge Operations Unit will be performing openings on the Roosevelt Island Bridge for preventative maintenance. We will be conducting these openings on Tuesday September 15th and Wednesday September 16th, 2009 10:00am to 2:00pm.

Please be advised that each test opening will take anywhere from 8 to 10 minutes to be completed.

The test openings will be appropriately spaced to prevent the least amount of disturbance to the vehicular traffic traversing the bridge.
This has been going on alot recently. Plan accordingly.

UPDATE 9/15 - From RIOC:
Please be advised the maintenance scheduled for the Roosevelt Island Bridge to take place on September 16, 2009 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. has been canceled.