Saturday, March 13, 2010

Roosevelt Island On The Web Links

Roosevelt Island on the Web Links as appearing in the March 13 2010 Main Street WIRE.

Roosevelt Islander - Day 1 Subway Commute w/o Tram
Roosevelt Islander - Any Roosevelt Island Gristedes Improvement?
NYC10044 - RIOC President Transcript on Mitchell Lama Privatization
NYC10044 - DHCR Letter On Mitchell Lama Privatization
RIOC - Audit Committee Webcast
RIOC - Real Estate Committee Webcast
Roosevelt Island School G & T Class Blog - 100th Day Reflections
Roosevelt Island Historical Society - Film Series
Judith's Gallery - Tram Moving From Station To Motorgate
NY Post - Tram Shutdown Causing Major RI F Train Problems
Daily News - RI Residents Irate Over Tram Shutdown
NY 1 - Tram Shut Down For Renovations
NY 1 - Last Ride Before Shutdown
CNN - Nighttime Tram Operator Likes Job
Fake MTA Twitpic - Roosevelt Island Tram Bus
NY Times - Coler Goldwater Hospital Wants To Modernize
Crains NY - Coler Goldwater Beds May Be Moved To Harlem Hospital
Curbed - Get Slammed On The Tram
Newyorkology - Tram Shutdown
Spencer McCormick - Roosevelt Island Snow Removal
Politics On Hudson - Former RIOC Counsel Retires From Yonkers
News Times - RI Public Safety Officer Present At Danbury Hospital Shooting
Gregorio Uribe Big Band - Teaches PS/IS 217 Students Colombian Music
Chron Blog - 24's Jack Bauer Arrives On Roosevelt Island
The Literary Exhibitionist - From Seattle to Roosevelt Island
Dans Les Rives - Snowy Roosevelt Island Tram Ride
NYC Freecycle - Free Planters
Flikr - Roosevelt Island Starbucks Mom
Adie Runs - Roosevelt Island
Simon Weaver - RI Nice Place To Visit If You Like Seagulls
Turkrad - Outdoor Photography Lessons On Roosevelt Island
You Tube - PS/IS 217 Kids Colombian Music Concert
You Tube - Roosevelt Island Chief Of Ping Pong -

Friday, March 12, 2010

Opening Reception For Arline Jacoby's Generosity Of Art Exhibit At Roosevelt Island's Octagon Gallery Sunday March 14 From 3-7 PM

Image From Gallery RIVAA
Received this message from Gallery RIVAA:
The date and time of the Reception for Arline Jacoby’s exhibit: Recession The Generosity of Art is at the Octagon Gallery is: Sunday, March 14th from 3 – 7 P.M.
The exhibit will be open from March 6 - April 11 daily 10 AM to 8 PM. Go take a look.

Cheer Up, Baseball Season Starts In Three Weeks - Time For Roosevelt Island Kids To Register For Youth Center Little League and Adults To Volunteer

Despite the dreary day and rain to come this weekend, their is plenty of reason to cheer because the Baseball season is about to begin very soon. Spring training has started and the April 4 opening day with the Yankees playing the Red Sox is only three weeks away. Can you get any better than that?

Well, if you're a kid on Roosevelt Island maybe you can if you sign up soon for the Roosevelt Island Youth Center's Little League Program. The Youth Center's Director, Charlie DeFino sends the following message to Roosevelt Island kids and adults interested in participating in the Little League.

Baseball Season 2010

It’s Time for Baseball and We Want You to join us again. Enclosed you will find a Flyer with Registration Form on the back for youth ages 6 to 15. We are sorry, but due to Insurance Issues and Little League rules your child must be 6 before May 1st, 2010 and cannot turn 16 before May 1st 2010 to be able to play.

We will have 3 Divisions, Tee Ball, Minors, Majors and we hope to at least 1 team in the Juniors Division (14-15) this year, but the number of teams will depend on registration (registration closes Saturday March 27h, 2010) and the Number of Volunteers we have for the Season.

We need Parent and Family members to volunteer to Coach or Manage at every level, we need your help to continue this very successful program (26th Season) for the Roosevelt Islands Youth. It is impossible to continue this program without your help, so please call Mr. Charles DeFino at 1-212-935-3646 between 9AM to 9PM, Monday to Friday and volunteer to help your children.

Remember these are your children, this is your community and its your time to Volunteer.

For More Info Click On Image To Enlarge

As the character Terrence Mann played by James Earl Jones in Field of Dreams says:
The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America is ruled by it like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, is a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was great.

Here's how to contact the Roosevelt Island Youth Center and the registration form is below.

Baseball Registration Form 2010

Play Ball or just go have a catch!

RIRA President On Tram Shutdown F Train Service, Public Purpose Grant Recommendations, Red Bus Rerouting & Upcoming Common Council and RIOC Meetings

You Tube Video Of Roosevelt Island Red Bus Route From Roosevelt Island 360

Roosevelt Island Residents Association President (RIRA) Frank Farance sends the following report to Roosevelt Island residents.
1. Transportation Since the Tram Shutdown. In short, so things seem to be going OK. The MTA has provided some staff on the platforms to help, but it is unclear how long this will last. As I said at the March 3 RIRA Common Council Meeting, we will look at transportation on a weekly basis and reevaluate. Dick Lutz, editor of the WIRE, has agreed to be the common collection point for transportation problems during the tram outage.

2. RIRA Recommendations on Public Purpose Grants. Steve Marcus led the committee to review and make recommendations. The following recommendations have been approved by RIRA for forwarding to RIOC: Island Kids $20,000; LifeFrames $19,000; Marlins $18,000; PTA $25,500; RICLA $9,500; RIHS Kiosk $3,000; Seniors $5,000. Thank you to the community for proposing interesting and worthwhile projects.

3. Rerouting the Red Bus. RIOC has asked LIRO to help with a traffic engineering problem with the tram construction and red bus route. Here's the problem: there are been a couple accidents near the subway station crosswalk. Right now, the red bus has been routed southbound on Main Street and northbound on the West Channel Drive. RIOC staff (VP Operations, Director of Public Safety, Director of Engineering) acknowledge that they have about 3 years each experience on Roosevelt Island. RIRA Planning Committee Chair Matt Katz, RIRA Island Services Committee Chair Aaron Hamburger, and I are helping RIOC to provide experiences of the residents (21 years, 3 years, and 30 years, respectively). The best analogy I can give is to have you read Paul Krugman's column in the New York Times on Monday where he reviews several theories on the cause of the recent financial disaster, e.g., why disaster struck in Ireland, but not in Canada. In short, one looks for commonalities and differences. For example, one might say: don't have the bus stop across the street from the subway station because the accidents occurred when pedestrians cross the street. By this reasoning (and Paul Krugman uses similar analytical reasoning), we would get rid of all the bus stops where people cross the street, such as the northbound stop at 546 where there is similar passenger flow. But there is more to be understood here, clearly passengers crossing the street is not necessarily the primarily problem (or even the main cause). I've seen pictures from a Southtown resident that point to two serious problems: (1) commercial vehicles parked at the subway crossway causing serious congestion problems, and (2) the red buses stop well past the subway crosswalk, which causes people to cross the street and, largely, not use the cross walk. We can fix problem #1 by using the same commercial delivery strategies with merchants as done in the WIRE buildings corridor. We can fix problem #2 by having the bus drivers properly perform the driving/docking maneuver. I've heard one theory that Goldwater employees are so excited about getting off from work (and off of Roosevelt Island) that it causes them to become less safer drivers. If that is the case, we can use the same strategy that we use elsewhere, such as school opening/closing: have Public Safety in the key crosswalks to make sure traffic flows safely during the peak period. I make these points because while RIOC seems to be rationalizing the present bus route changes as a solution to a safety issue (which they definitely aren't) they create new safety issues: when the tram returns, the bus will not pull up to the tram, but stop across the street, including having a higher number of handicapped/impaired passengers cross the street — creating a bigger safety problem. This is a work in progress and my comments here are just a progress report — nothing has been decide yet, we're still gathering information. We (RIOC and RIRA) are in agreement that the understand and decision-making need to follow sound engineering and risk-management principles. This will take several months to solve.

4. Upcoming RIRA meetings. Upcoming RIRA meetings. The next Common Council meeting is April 7 at 8:00 p.m. in the Good Shepherd Community Center. The next RIRA Town Hall Meeting (discussing RIOC Board Agenda) will be on March 24 at 8:00 p.m. in the Good Shepherd Community Center. RIOC President Steve Shane says that RIOC Board meetings will now always be convened at 5:30, with the first portion reserved for public commentary. Shane and I believe that both public access periods are complementary: the RIRA Town Hall meetings will continue to be informal, in-depth interactive discussion of board issues (possibly not all board members in attendance), while the RIOC Public Session will be more formal (advance registration, limited to 2 minute statements) but will have all board members in attendance. I think is good for both organizations (RIOC, RIRA) and for the community.
At approximately the 1 minute 50 second mark of Roosevelt Island 360's video, one can see southbound Red Bus riders walking behind the bus then crossing Main Street on the way to subway with northbound traffic approaching. Any thoughts on how this problem should be solved?

The RIRA President's message is also published as the RIRA column in the 3/13/10 Main Street WIRE.

Report From RIOC's President - Board Agenda & New Meeting Procedures, Tram Shutdown, Red Bus & Other Roosevelt Island Issues Of Concern

You Tube Video of Roosevelt Island Tram Shutdown and it's consequences

RIOC President Steve Shane sends the following report to Roosevelt Island residents. Mr. Shane updates us on:
  • RIOC Board Agenda and Procedures ,
  • Tram Modernization,
  • Red Bus Shuttle schedule during Tram Outage,
  • Southpoint Park, FDR Memorial,
  • Roosevelt Island Bridge Helix Ramp problem,
  • Artificial surface for Octagon Playing Field,
  • RIOC 2010 -11 Budget,
  • Blackwell Park Master Plan,
  • Motorgate Credit Card usage,
  • Mitchell Lama Privatizations,
  • Grog Liquor Shop Tax seizure,
  • upcoming future events and
  • welcomes Spring.
March 10, 2010

1. Board of Directors: Next meeting on March 25 at 9:30 AM. On the agenda will be many compliance items required to be adopted by the Board before forwarding to the various State entities having jurisdiction, the adoption of the Budget for fiscal year 2010/11, RIRA’s report to the Board on Public Purpose awards and a Board action thereon, etc. In response to the suggestion from the community for scheduling change by the Board to all late afternoon meetings preceded by a short public comment period, Brian Lawlor, the Chair of the Board, has recommended the adoption of a resolution establishing such a procedure. Assuming its passage, RIOC will establish a registry on its website where persons interested in speaking before the Board meeting may sign up. Each person will be limited to not more than two minutes.

2. Tram: A. Shutdown on Monday morning, March 1 at 2 AM and scheduled for reopening by September 1, 2010. The plans for crane usage, street closings (including the upper ramp of the Queensboro Bridge), permitted times, traffic control and safety precautions, all as submitted to the Departments of Buildings and Traffic have been reviewed and permits issued. The Department of Traffic representatives, POMA and I met on March 3 with Community Board 8 to review all the plans for street closures, traffic control, hours of operation, etc.
B. Shuttle Red Bus service to Queens Plaza (to accommodate handicapped access) during week day morning rush hours is running from 7:00 AM until 9:30 AM, operating every half hour, departing from the west side of East main Street outside the Riverwalk Bar on the hour and half hour, Senior Center (546 Main) 5 minutes later and across from PS 217 five minutes later. The ridership is very sparse and when there are zero riders by the time the last departure stop is reached, the bus does not go to Queens, but just circles the Island as part of regular service. Shuttle bus service into Manhattan is operating on the hour starting at 10 AM, same pick-ups, returning from Manhattan on the half hour. Passenger drop off will be in front of PS 217, Good Shepherd and Riverwalk Bar. The Manhattan stop is the west side of 2nd Avenue, at the northerly end of the 59-58th Street block. No shuttle into Manhattan during afternoon rush hours 3PM-6 PM EXCEPT there will is one bus into Manhattan departing the Island at 3:30 PM and picking up in Manhattan at 4 PM to accommodate returning school children. Resumption of hourly service into Manhattan at 7 PM and returning until 11:30 PM. Weekends, shuttle service into Manhattan starting at 10 AM, hourly throughout the day until 11:00 PM, same pick-ups, returning on the half-hour with the last at 11:30 PM. See the schedules posted on RIOC’s web site and on in the posters throughout the Island. Note that if the F train is not in service, the frequency into and out of Manhattan will be increased to every half hour. Fares will be $1.00, with Seniors, Disabled and Children (5-16) at $.50. The MTA will continue to operate the Q 102 bus on the Island on its published schedule. Starting in April, there will be a route change to eliminate the alternating loops to Coler and Goldwater for those who would use the Q 102 and its transfer into the Metrocard system. Regular Red Bus service will continue on the Island, but because of the increased construction activity at the Tram site and the elimination of the Tram stop during the outage, all regular Red Bus service will run a continuous loop southbound along the East Drive, stopping at Riverwalk Bar, then looping around to the front of the subway station to resume a northbound run. Those that want to disembark for the subway at Riverwalk Bar may do so; those who want to ride around to the subway may stay on a stop and do so. All southbound buses, including the Octagon Express will make a stop at PS 217 for those wanting to board a bus at the Q102 stop across the street. We are keeping ridership statistics and will make further decisions about keeping these shuttle bus runs, in consultation with the Operations Committee, depending on utilization. It does appear that the F train and the MTA are servicing the needs of the residents so far and hope it will continue. I am aware of the discomfort, but it is temporary.

3. Southpoint-FDR Memorial: Legal work on NYC Funding and Development agreements continues. Construction is likely to start this spring, after execution of final documents by the City, RIOC and the Developer. State Parks has concluded that it will do the maintenance work itself. A $2 million endowment was received by State Parks. The Governor’s proposed Budget contains the re-appropriation of $4 Million of State funds.

4. Projects: A. The contract for engineering study of the status of the helix leading to the Island from the Bridge is let and the study is underway. B. Octagon Soccer Field resurfacing: Approved by the Board on January 14th, contract executed. Final design approval and commencement of work are imminent with the melting of snow.
C. AVAC, Sportspark, fiber optic cabling, Good Shepherd HVAC, Octagon sewer, street lighting, tot lot improvements, etc. all keep engineering very busy.

5. Budget: The proposed 2010/11 Budget has been published and posted on RIOC’s web site for public review and comment before formal presentation to the Board for adoption, as it may be amended, at the March meeting. RIRA and other interested parties have held public discussions on the proposed Budget. We have tried to set forth the detail of the assumptions that are part of the exercise and have made the projections for 15 years, subject to the inevitable infirmities of far off estimates. Both operating and capital budgets have been set forth. By now, all questions should have been asked and responses given.

6. Blackwell Park: Community participation in the planning process continues, with a “less is more” conclusion. Other features desired are set forth in the resolution from RIRA. Planning meetings are continuing led by Matt Katz and Judy Berdy to reach final conclusion as to an acceptable treatment for the handicapped accessible ramp and suitable landscaping. Good job by all.

7. Credit cards use at Motorgate: As soon as the mechanics of establishing a local bank account and entering into a credit card processing agreement are accomplished, transient parkers will be able to use credit cards to pay the parking charges at Motorgate. Soon, we hope.

8. Privatization of Mitchell-Lamas: With the extensive discussion and debate at the Board meeting to express the sense of the Board for ground lease extensions, RIOC has taken a major step forward in preserving the long term affordability of the portion of the housing on the Island represented by Rivercross, Island House and Westview. Much work and many details remain to be resolved with the other governmental agencies who are stakeholders in Roosevelt Island. My commitment to the process was called into question in the last edition of the WIRE. I have had the opportunity to sit with the Editor to reemphasize and clarify my views on the subject. I hope that there is now no question about my support for the process leading to the preservation of housing with long term affordability. Stay tuned for developments.

9. Grog Shop: Sadly, the New York State Department of Taxation & Finance has shuttered the Grog Shop for non payment of franchise and sales taxes. Until the matter is resolved, RIOC has no access to the premises and unless quickly resolved, will have no alternative to commencing legal proceedings to terminate the lease and recover possession, a typically long and expensive litigation process. We are well aware of the loss of an important service establishment and will do everything possible to facilitate a favorable resolution for Island residents. I have spoken to representatives of the estate of Archie Seale. None is in a position to make any commitments. I will continue to do what I can to reopen this facility.

10. Community Events:
A. Black History Month-Saturday February 27: By all accounts, a smashing success. Dancing in the aisles and great food.
B. Women's History Month -A Celebration of Women Composers-Saturday, March 13th at 7:30pm Good Shepherd Community Center. An educational musical program led by the all women chamber ensemble, L'Ensemble highlights women composers both historically and present day. Reception immediately following the show inside the community room, lower level, where you will have the opportunity to meet the artists and performers of the program.
C. Easter Egg Dying-Saturday March 27th, 2pm-4pm on Riverwalk Lawn.
Come out and dye eggs for the upcoming community Easter Egg Hunt. All Ages welcome. In case of rain, we will meet at the Riverwalk Bar and Grill (425 Main Street).
D. Easter Egg Hunt-Sunday, March 28th, At Blackwell Park-Co sponsored by Riverwalk Bar and Grill.
1:30pm- Ages 2-4;
2:30pm- Ages 5-12;

Whatever your interest, come on out and participate.
Spring is here. Daylight savings time. Enjoy the warmth of the sun.
This message also published as the RIOC column in the 3/13/10 Main Street WIRE.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

No Roosevelt Island F Train Service To Manhattan Friday March 12 12:01 AM - 5:00 AM

Image of Blurred, Moving F Train From Venus in Furs

Received the following Roosevelt Island F Train Subway Advisory from RIOC regarding service disruptions tonight:
Please be advised on Friday, March 12th from 12:01 AM - 5:00 AM, there will be no Southbound F service on Roosevelt Island due to emergency switch repairs at West 4th Street. RIOC will extend its Manhattan bound shuttle bus service until 5:00 AM.

We apologize for any inconvenience.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
More from the MTA' s service disruption page.

Plan accordingly.

UPDATE 3/12 - RIOC President Steve Shane reports:
During the F train service disruption on Friday, March 12th, we ran a single bus on the hour from 12AM to 5AM to Manhattan. We had a total of 2 passengers on the 1AM bus from RI to Manhattan.

Roosevelt Island Chamber Music Concert From L'Ensemble To Celebrebrate Women's History Month Saturday March 13 7:30 PM

Women's History Month L'Ensemble Flyer From RIOC

Received the following message from RIOC Community Relations Specialist Erika Wilder:
Please join us on Saturday, March 13 at 7:30 pm at the Good Shepherd Community Center for a Chamber music concert celebrating women composers from 18th through 21st centuries. Chamber music group, L'Ensemble, will present a program of music that will examine the difficulties women composers faced and how their efforts, usually met with resistance, often took the criticism of the male-dominated classical music culture. You will hear music from the likes of Clara Schumann, the wife of composer Robert Schumann, Amy Cheney Beach, the first American woman to achieve international acceptance as a composer as well as other women composers who have achieved great successes in Chamber music.

Immediately following the concert, a reception with the artists and informal discussions will take place in the lower level of the Community Center.

I hope you can make it.
According to the L'Ensemble chamber music group, the Roosevelt Island Women's History Month Concert will be:
...a program of beautiful music by women who did not receive the attention they should have historically. Maria Theresia von Paradis, a pianist who attracted the attention of Mozart who composed a concerto for her. Clara Schumann who supported her seven children as a touring virtuoso pianist after the death of her husband Robert. And Amy Cheney Beach, the first American woman to achieve international respect as a composer...

Roosevelt Island Fracas & Altercation In Front Of Public Safety Department Tuesday Night - Here's What Happened

Image of Roosevelt Island Public Safety Shield From RIOC

A reader asked:
What's the scoop on the fracas in front of PSD tuesday THE 10th @ 7:30?
I asked Roosevelt Island Public Safety Director Keith Guerra. Mr. Guerra replied yesterday:
A Harassment Report had been filed last Friday against several island youths. Apparently, last night the complainants returned to file a similar complaint. At approximately 8:30PM relatives of the complainants, and several Island Youths involved in the original complaint, engaged in a fight on Main Street. PSD and NYPD units responded and three individuals were arrested.

One individual was arrested by NYPD for manacling (he apparently had two bats in his possession).

Another was arrested by PSD for assault (he apparently scratched another person across the chest with a screw driver).

The third individual was arrested by PSD for assault (while apparently being dispersed, he got himself involved by swinging a bat at 2 Officers. Both Officers suffered minor injuries during the arrest and refused medical attention by EMS.

In total, there were approximately 30 people verbally involved. All but 3 were dispersed without incident. It is our belief that the complainants had their relatives come from off-island in order to take matters into their own hands.

The incident was controlled, and the arrested subjects were taken downtown for processing.
UPDATE 11:25 AM - A reader sent in a link to this video of the crowd outside Public Safety Department that night. Balkurrrunes comments on You Tube:
Lots of peace officers surround a few young people. Others have faded into the dark. Bemused residents look on. The universal question? What's Up

You Tube Video Of Roosevelt Island Crowds Outside Public Safety Department

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

New York State Budget Cuts May Eviscerate Senior Citizen Services - Roosevelt Island Elected Officials Jessica Lappin & Micah Kellner Respond

Daily News Image of Speaker Quinn And Aging Committe Chair Lappin Protesting Senior Citizen Budget Cuts

According to the NY Daily News:
Gov. Paterson came under fire yesterday from both officials and senior citizens for proposing to divert $25.2 million in federal funding from the city's 328 senior centers.

The move, they said, would mean closing up to 110 of the centers...
The NY Times adds:
The Bloomberg administration is scrambling to come up with contingency plans to close as many as one-fifth of the city’s 321 senior centers after being caught off guard by an obscure state budget proposal that would slash the centers’ financing by nearly 30 percent.

Describing what the loss of state money would mean for the centers, Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, the city’s commissioner at the Department for the Aging, was blunt. “Catastrophic,” she said. ...
Jessica Lappin, whose New York City Council District includes Roosevelt Island was quoted in the article:
...It was a sneaky cut,” said Jessica Lappin, a City Council member and the chairwoman of the aging committee, who described the proposal as an “evisceration of services to seniors....
I asked Ms. Lappin to elaborate on how these cuts might impact Roosevelt lsland Senior Citizens. She replied yesterday:
Right now, we don’t know which senior centers would be closed if these cuts go through. Each and every senior at each and every center is in danger.

This unconscionable cut would eviscerate senior services as we know them. It would hit the poorest of the poor and it must be stopped. That’s why I organized a rally today to announce our citywide campaign to fight the Governor’s proposal. We have nearly 500 seniors in attendance. Those who live on Roosevelt Island need to join us in this fight and contact Assembly Member Kellner and State Senator Serrano to ask them to make this restoration their top priority.

Roosevelt Island's Assembly Member Micah Kellner had this to say yesterday as well:
The governor attempted to sneak this cut through the state budget, hoping that no one would notice its potentially devastating effect on New York's seniors. While the full implications of the proposed cut are still unclear, I will do everything in my power to oppose it, and to ensure that there is adequate state funding, even in a tough budget year, for our senior centers
Roosevelt Island Seniors, it's time to get organized.

More Roosevelt Island Parking Problems With SouthTown's Riverwalk Area Losing Several Spaces - Should Car Usage Be Discouraged On RI?

Public Safety Officers Ticketing Cars Parked In Front of Riverwalk's 425 Main Street

Due to the limited size of Roosevelt Island, street parking is a constant bone of contention with some residents wishing for more and others less. There is a 1900 space car parking garage at the Motorgate though advocates for more street parking say that the Motorgate garage is just too far from their homes to be convenient.

Southtown's Riverwalk car owners are the furthest from Motorgate - a 15 minute walk or 5 minute Red Bus ride away. As a reader of this post commented:
The distance to Motorgate is a HUGE drawback to living in Southtown. Look at Octagon, Queens West, Jersey City - every modern residential complex built today outside of Manhattan (and face it, folks - we're outside of Manhattan) includes parking. The first few above-ground levels of the unbuilt Southtown ought to contain parking.
Other readers responded:
I agree with anonymous saying that "The distance to Motorgate is HUGE" but it is the same distance as it has been from the beginning.

Conversely R.Island was planned to be virtually car free on Main Street. The second "anonymous" dream was once reality.
Owning a car is a privilege and not a right. If RI wants to make it hard to own a car I am all for it. There are way too many of those on this island where none are actually essential. We have cheap and decent public transit on this island. It is the perfect place to - gasp - walk.

The less parking opportunities on RI the better. Period. That's my opinion.
Reacting to the loss of several Southtown parking spots a reader and Riverwalk resident asks:
Now that the red bus stops on East Drive, Southtown drivers have lost at least two scarce parking spots. When will RIOC persuade Goldwater to permit weekend parking on their East Drive?
Roosevelt Island Red Bus At Riverwalk Stop

I inquired of Roosevelt Island Operating Corp. (RIOC) President Steve Shane:
Now that the Red Bus, Q102 Bus and trucks are using the south bound East Channel Road in Southtown on a temporary basis during the Tram outage, is there any possibility of also experimenting with allowing parking on the West Channel road in Southtown? During the RIRA meeting when Fernando Martinez presented this idea, he mentioned that there might be some additional parking spots available on the West Channel if the Red Bus Route was changed to the East Channel.

Also, is there any update on discussions with Goldwater Hospital to allow weekend parking on the Queens side of their facility - either in the empty street or empty parking lots without the danger of being ticketed.

Empty Weekend Street On Queens Side of Goldwater Hospital
West Channel Road Site For Future Parking?

Mr. Shane replied:
I will inquire about parking on West Channel, but suspect that the existing congestion at the subway makes it unlikely. We have engaged a traffic engineer who will be able to make recommendations.

We are checking back with the hospital about weekends on the east side and will advise.
In the meantime, be careful where you park or you will be ticketed by Public Safety Department as these car owners were last Monday.

Public Safety Officers Ticketing Cars Parked In Front of Riverwalk's 425 Main Street

Roosevelt Island Ping Pong At Sportspark Wednesday Nights 6 - 9 PM

You Tube Video of Roosevelt Island Ping Pong Master

Looking to play some Roosevelt Island Ping Pong. Then head on down to Sportspark (250 Main Street) tonight at 6 PM for Roosevelt Island Wednesday Night Ping Pong.
Roosevelt Island Ping Pong Night
When: Every Wednesday Night 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Where: Sportspark
Kids + Adults are Welcome FREE!
To Sign-Up call Steve Chironis at (212) 832-4540 x350 or e-mail

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 School Tour 8:45 AM March 10 - Come Learn About The School And Colombian Music Kids Show!

Image of Roosevelt Island's PS/IS 217 School Geocities

Are you considering sending your child to Roosevelt Island's PS/IS 217 and interested in learning more about the school? If so, PS/IS 217's PTA is conducting a school tour Wednesday (March 10) morning at 8:45. More information is available at the PTA's web site.

The Kids at the school recently put on a Colombian Music show. According to blogger Gregorio Uribe:
... I worked with Pablo and Anna Mayor from Folklore Urbano on a "colombian music residency" at a school in Roosvelt Island, NYC. It consisted of working with 2nd grade students on a weekly basis and teaching them about colombian rhythms, dances, instruments and more....
Here's how the day went for Mr. Uribe and the kids.

Roosevelt Island Tram Cabins Off The Cable And On The Ground Never To Soar Over The East River Again - Where Will They Go?

Roosevelt Island Historical Society President Judy Berdy sent this urgent message yesterday:

The two cabins are in the Island tram station, next to each other. One is off its hanger arm and #2 is being removed as we speak.....
When I arrived at the Tram Station later in the day, the two Roosevelt Island Tram Cabins were no longer side by side but separated again. Both were on the ground but Cabin 1 was still in the station

and cabin 2 was waiting at the former Tram Red Bus stop

getting a never before up close and personal view of a passing Red Bus.

Ms. Berdy later sends in the following Tram Cabin photos with an idea:
New bus design, we can link the two old cabins and run them as mini-buses!!!
Image By Judy Berdy
Image By Judy Berdy

Image By Judy Berdy

What will happen to the Roosevelt Island Tram Cabins?

A reader of this post asks:
Did anyone consider putting one of the tram cars in the Transit Museum?
I asked Ms. Berdy who replied:
I do not think the Transit Museum has anywhere to put a display that is not on wheels. Wheels on the bottom.
Perhaps NY 1's Roger Clark had the solution when after covering the first day's commute without the Tram he tweeted:
I'm thinking one of the old Roosevelt Island Trams would make a fun coffee stand or snack bar....need clever name for business...
UPDATE 3/10 - Ms. Berdy follows the Tram Cabins as they make their way down Roosevelt Island's Main Street on a flatbed truck

until they are side by side together at last in their temporary Motorgate resting spot

while work is being done on the Tram Towers high above Roosevelt Island and the East River

preparing for the new Roosevelt Island Tram Cabins.

Life goes on.

Unusual Roosevelt Island On Film Tonight at 6:30 PM - See The Last Trolley Over Queensboro Bridge & Bridge's Centennial Celebration

You Tube Video of Last Queensboro Bridge Trolley Ride

The Roosevelt Island Public Library is hosting:
A series of presentations by Judith Berdy of the Roosevelt Island Historical Society, featuring our unusual Island on film!
Tonight at 6:30 PM the films shown will explore the Queensboro Bridge and it's relationship to Roosevelt Island lying right underneath. According to the Roosevelt Island Historical Society, tonight's films will be:

Modern Marvels: New York Bridges © 1999 A &E Television Networks
The story of the Queensboro Bridge and its construction. The bridge celebrated its centennial in 2009.

New York’s Last Trolleys © 2008 Sunday River Productions

Nostalgic Trolley Tour: Queens Trolleys © 1999 Mark I Video

Both videos bring to life the sites, sounds and bumpy rides of the trolleys that rode over the Queensboro Bridge from 1916 to 1957, and show Welfare Island in the 1950’s.

You Tube Video of Queensboro Bridge Centennial From Streetsfilms

More on the Queensboro Bridge Trolley from NYC Roads:
... Two trolley lines were provided on the outer lanes of the lower level. The trolley service, operated by the Queensborough Bridge Railway, went back and forth between stations at each end of the bridge. The trolleys also stopped at two other stops on the bridge: one above Vernon Boulevard in Long Island City, the other above Roosevelt Island. From these stations, trolley riders descended a small staircase to a catwalk underneath the roadway, where they entered an "upside down building" (the entrance was on the roof) in which they took elevators to street level. Trolley service ended with the completion of the Roosevelt Island Bridge in 1955. The old elevator buildings were demolished in 1970...
Image of QB Trolley Cars from Abandoned Stations -, David Pirmann Collection

and Abandoned Stations:
... The very last trolley line in the city, it ran just over a mile and a half from the underground terminal at 2 Ave to a street terminal at Queensborough Plaza. The primary reason it was kept open was the trolley station at the middle of the bridge span over Welfare Island (now Roosevelt Island), which was the only access to the island until a bridge was built from Queens in 1954. The Queensborough Bridge Railway was finally eliminated in 1957. The outboard lanes of the bridge were converted to auto lanes, and the underground terminal was converted to garage space for city vehicles....
Last year's Columbia University Roosevelt Island Transportation Study proposed a Queensboro Bridge Cultural Center with an updated 21st Century version of elevator access to the Bridge from Roosevelt Island.

Image by Columbia University Transportation Study Group

Wouldn't that be cool.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Roosevelt Island Red Bus Grafitti - Report It And RIOC Will Clean It Up

Image of Roosevelt Island Red Bus At Riverwalk Stop

Have you noticed a grafitti problem on the Roosevelt Island Red Bus? A reader of this post has:
On a red bus related note. Does anyone know if public safety is doing anything to catch who is writing graffiti on the buses? Even one of the new buses has now been tagged. All with the same two or three tags meaning it is most likely a Roosevelt Island resident. It looks horrible and given RIOC's operating budget it will no doubt mar the bus for the next decade.
I inquired of Roosevelt Island Public Safety Director Keith Guerra on this subject and he replied quickly:
I contacted Chris Baker from Bus Operations and he stated that, at times, the kids sitting in the back of the buses vandalize the seats or back panels with graffiti. (When seen, the graffiti is removed from the seating areas in the back of the buses.) He will have the buses checked for graffiti today, and have it removed if present.

Gristedes Owner John Catsimatidis Promised Improvement At Roosevelt Island Gristedes Supermarket By March 1- Any Signs Of Progress?

Roosevelt Island Gristedes Image From Roosevelt Island 360

As reported in this February 2 Post, Gristedes owner John Catsimatidis promised to improve the quality of his Roosevelt Island Gristedes supermarket. The promise included this:
... Every item in the store is being removed from the shelves and checked for quality and proper dates. This will be accomplished by the end of February...
We're now in March - has there been any improvement?

Roosevelt Island Toastmasters Meeting Tonight 8 PM - Improve Public Speaking Skills & Meet New Friends

You Tube Video of Richmond Toastmasters Hot Peas & Butter Speech

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 the place for you. They are meeting tonight at the Rivercross Upper Community Room (531 Main Street) at 8 PM and every 2nd and 4th Monday through June. Received this message from the Roosevelt Island Toastmasters:
We have another great Toastmasters meeting planned for Monday (March 8th), and also the 4th Monday in March, the 22nd. There will be engaging speeches and fun table topics (improvised speech).

We have recently added 4 new members to our club! The speeches are great, and 2 of our members will compete in a contest on Tuesday (March 9th).