Friday, June 11, 2010

Old Roosevelt Island Tram Tower Top Replaced With New - Work To Start On Manhattan Towers - Traffic Advisory For Queensboro Bridge & Surrounding Areas

How is this 2003 Wired New York picture of the Roosevelt Island Tram Tower different

from this picture taken yesterday?
Besides the fact that there are no Riverwalk buildings in the 2003 picture, the one taken yesterday had a topless Tram Tower. The Tram Top was removed by Crane workers the day before.

and the parts placed on the ground

waiting to be disassembled.

Earlier today, the Tram Tower Arms were

were hoisted up by crane to the Tower
waiting for the Tops to join them later this afternoon, weather permitting.

During the June 9 RIOC Operations Committee meeting (audio webcast here) , RIOC President Steve Shane said that the work on the Roosevelt Island Tram Tower requiring the crane should be completed by today, weather permitting, and that the crane will then be barged over to Manhattan to start work on those Tram Towers next week. A barge is being used instead of truck due to the previous reported problems involving the enforcement of weight restrictions on the Roosevelt Island Bridge by the NYC Department of Transportation.

Mr. Shane also reported that he had been told by the Tram Project's vendor, POMA, that their previous estimate of a 4 week delay in the Tram resuming service (now scheduled for October 1 instead of September 1) has been shortened by a couple of days and that they hope to reduce the delay even further in the coming weeks. As Mr. Shane said about the schedule:
We Shall See.
More on earlier work at the Roosevelt Island Tram Tower and the original construction schedule for the Tram Modernization Project including shutting down traffic near the Manhattan Tram Station

Manhattan Tram Station at 2nd Avenue 60th Street

and surrounding areas as well as the Queensboro Bridge Upper Level Roadway.

Image Of Queensboro Bridge Upper Level

Just as I was about to publish this post, received this Traffic Advisory from RIOC:
Please be advised due to work being done on Tower 1 in Manhattan, the Queensboro Bridge upper Roadway will be closed from 5:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday June 12, 2010. In addition, East 60th street will be closed on Saturday from 5:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. between the lower ramp exit and 1st Avenue.

Please review the attached notices for complete detailed information.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group

Important Work Notice for June 12th

No Stopping Anytime Notice for June 12th

Opening Reception For New Island Of Art Exhibit At Roosevelt Island's Gallery RIVAA, Saturday June 12, 6 - 9 PM

Gallery RIVAA will be having an opening reception this Saturday at 6PM for their new exhibition titled Island Of Art. The exhibition will continue thru August 22.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

FIDO, A New Roosevelt Island Dog Owners Group Being Formed - If An Organgutan Can Keep A Dog Leashed Why Can't You?

Click On Image To Enlarge

There's a new group being formed for Roosevelt Island Dog owners by resident and dog owner Joyce Mincheff. Ms. Mincheff reports:
I’m putting together a new organization on the Island to deal with dog issues. It’ll be called FIDO….Federation of Independent Dog Owners of RI.

I’ve put together the attached flyer and hope to have a meeting on 6/26 to get it off the ground.

I’m going to place a plastic folder in the dog runs at the north and south sides of the Island (probably on Saturday) to distribute and collect the completed flyers. Might be a good idea if you can make them available on the blog as well.
Fido plans to meet on Saturday June 26, 11:30 AM at the Meditation Steps.

Earlier this week, there was another incident of an unleashed Roosevelt Island dog resulting in it's owner receiving a summons. According to the 6/6 - 6/7 Roosevelt Island Public Safety report:
Dog Off Leash In Public - PSD officer observed owner with dog off the leash. Officer issued owner a summons.
I asked Roosevelt Island Public Safety Director Keith Guerra:
Can you provide any additional details such as where and when this occurred, time of day etc. Was the officer in uniform or plain clothes? Also, is there a fine or some other penalty that goes along with the summons.
Mr. Guerra replied:
The Dog Owner received the summons at 8:20pm in front of 888 Main St. for "Dog off leash in public", after she had been previously warned to leash her dog.

The violation carries a fine between $100-$1000, depending on how many times the offender has been summonsed for the offense.
Take a look at this video. If an orangutan can keep a dog on a leash, so can Roosevelt Island dog owners.

Roosevelt Island Family Reads 2000 Books A Year - Summer Reading Kickoff Celebration Begins Today At The Library

Nice article in today New York Daily News about a home schooled Roosevelt Island Family that reads alot of books at our local Roosevelt Island Library. From the Daily News:
Parents trying to raise young readers should take a page out of this family's book.

The Doyle kids from Roosevelt Island devour some 2,000 books a year, making them one of the New York Public Library's most bookish broods.

"I just find reading fun," said Erin Doyle, 12. "And I like all types of books...
Today, the Roosevelt Island Library is having it's Summer Reading Kickoff Celebration:
Come to the Roosevelt Island Branch library to register for Summer Reading 2010 - and join us for a day of celebration!
Throughout the day, come in to register for the Summer Reading Club - sign up online, create your Summer Reading Avatar, and start earning your badges!
There will be door prizes and raffles throughout the day, as well as prizes for signing up.
Scheduled Events:
10:30 a.m. - Wii Gaming
1:00 p.m. - Wiffle Ball
2:00 p.m. - Cake and Juice
3:00 p.m. - New York City Story Time for ages 5 to 12
3:30 p.m. - NYC Book Bingo!
The NY Daily News also reports that top readers in the NY Public Library's Summer Program will be honored on the field at Yankee Stadium later this year.

As to the future of the Roosevelt Island Library, Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Island Services Committee Chair Aaron Hamburger previously reported:
RI Public Library improvements
ISC met with representative of RICLA (Janet Falk & Lorraine Lasker) to discuss what and how to improve the services of our RI branch New York Public Library (NYPL). We developed a priority list of needs. The highest priority need is to relocate the Library to a substantially larger and more suitable space. Other high priority needs are to provide a bathroom, make the Library more accessible to the disabled (including automatic opening doors), more outlets for computers and other electronic equipment, and a meeting room for public gatherings, lectures, book group events, and showing of films. We will continue to expand the “needs” list.

We are encouraged by a report from RIOC (at the Real Estate Committee meeting) that NYPL is very interested in 504 Main as a future site for the Library. Personnel from the NYPL Capital Fund group inspected 504 Main last week. Also, relocating the Library to Southtown Bldg. #7 may be back in play if Bldg. #7 construction begins by early 2011.

Roosevelt Island Historical Society To Receive Dial & Control Panel From Welfare (Roosevelt) Island Bridge

Received the following message from the Roosevelt Island Historical Society:
On Friday, June 11th, at 12 noon Judith Berdy, President of the Roosevelt Island Historical Society will accept a panel containing historic dials and controls from the former Welfare Island Bridge now the Roosevelt Island Bridge. The RIHS will preserve this important piece of island history in their archives.

The controls were recently replaced with new technology having been in services since 1957.

The Bridge is being completely restored, painted and a new lift system is being placed. This work is being performed by the New York City Department of Transportation.

Please join us for this historic presentation. The event will take place at the construction trailer at the Roosevelt Island side of the bridge.

Immediately following the presentation the control panel will be placed on public display at the window of 531 Main Street.

NYC Roads has more on the history of the Welfare (Roosevelt) Island Bridge and NYC Department of Transportation reports on current rehabilitation project.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

NYC Department Of Education Plans To Discontinue Roosevelt Island's PS/IS 217 Gifted & Talented Program For Next School Year - Meeting On Friday

PS/IS 217 G & T Class Singing The Turkey Song At Thanksgiving Celebration

It began in the spring of 2008 with a Parent's Plea for a Roosevelt Island Gifted & Talented (G & T) class program to be established at our local PS/IS 217.
There is an effort underway here on Roosevelt Island to garner support for a Gifted and Talented program here at PS 217...
In 2009 the Parent's Plea was answered with the start of a Roosevelt Island G & T Kindergarten program.

Unfortunately, I've recently learned that the NYC Department of Education is planning on discontinuing the PS/IS 217 Gifted & Talented Program, at least for the upcoming school year. I asked NYC Council Member Jessica Lappin, who was instrumental in getting the program initiated, if this was true and received this response from her office:
We’ve been on the phone with various DOE representatives throughout the morning getting the definitive word on what’s happening. ...only 12 students ranked the Roosevelt Island program as a choice on their G&T applications – 10 from the Island and 2 from Jackson Heights in Queens. Of that group, 8 ranked the program among their top three choices. However, 5 students received placement at a program that they ranked higher than the Roosevelt Island program (such as Anderson and Lower Lab) and so likely wouldn’t be attending. That left seven students (2 of whom would need to arrange their own transportation from Queens twice a day) for the program. The DOE decided that was not enough to offer the class for this year. However, they have promised us that they remain committed to the program and will include it among the choices next year. They will also work to devise strategies to increase enrollment at the program. This year’s kindergarten class will be able to continue in the G&T program in first grade next year (and, in fact, is expected to grow by three students). There just won’t be a class immediately below them.
Ms Lappin added:
I am disappointed that the DOE will not be offering a kindergarten section for the gifted and talented program at PS/IS 217 this year. Given that the DOE did not listen to my repeated requests to provide transportation for off-Island students to get to the school, I’m not entirely surprised. I wish that they had listened to me months ago and set up a plan for busing. The DOE has assured me that they remain committed to this program, that the first grade class will continue, and that they will be working on ways to boost enrollment in this program in future years. I’m going to continue to work with parents and the school’s principal to make sure that the DOE stays true to their word.
PS/IS 217 PTA President Nikki Leopold commented:
Unfortunately, the DOE has decided, without any prior notice to PS/IS 217, to discontinue expansion of the G&T program at 217 based on "lack of enrollment". This is a disturbing development, given that the G&T program has been an overwhelming success and a welcome part of our school community. While the creation of a G&T program was visionary, in many ways, the obstacles were not taken into consideration. Despite the good intention in providing a G&T program to Roosevelt Island families, the reality is that the success of the program relies heavily on the commitment of Manhattan's District 2 families, where transportation remains a major deterrent. In addition, the enthusiastic participation of families in Jackson Heights, Queens, who have been such an integral part of the success of the program this school year, was hampered by the DOE's decision NOT to list 217 as a G&T option for those families this year.

As Council Member Lappin was instrumental in the implementation of this program, we are counting on her help to rectify the situation. To that end we are encouraging all parents interested in seeing the program remain in the school to contact both her & Micah Kellner to tell them as much. We would also hope that those Roosevelt Island parents, who were forceful advocates for the placement of the G&T program in our community, will view their advocacy as a commitment beyond their fight to simply get the program in the school. We hope we can count on them to partner with us, with an enthusiasm equal to their prior interests, as we fight to keep this much needed resource in place. The role of parent advocacy cannot be overstated, as these decisions are completely beyond the control of the school's Administration. Only vocal protest to both the DOE and our local elected politicians can reverse this decision.
and added:
To clarify, the current Kindergarten will move on to a first grade G&T and so forth. As of now, there will be no additional Kindergarten G&T programs implemented.
The Roosevelt Island School Gifted & Talented Class Blog reports:
G&T Program Emergency Meeting this Friday, June 11th @9:00 am in the Roosevelt Island School (P.S./I.S. 217) Auditorium (2nd Floor). Everyone, interested in the future of the G&T Program on the island, is invited. Offices of Council Member Lappin and Assembly Member Kellner confirmed they will be there. Please make every effort to attend!
More on the Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 G & T program here.

Below is Ms. Lappin's request to the DOE to provide transportation for off Island G & T students to PS/IS 217 and the DOE's response.
Lappin G&T Roosevelt Island Letter

DOE G&T Roosevelt Island Response

UPDATE 6/10 - The Wall Street Journal reports on the discontinuance of Roosevelt Island's PS/IS 217 G & T Program:
A Roosevelt Island public school won't offer its gifted-and-talented program for incoming kindergartners, prompting parental gripes and threats to move to the suburbs.

Families point to the Department of Education's discontinuation of the class at P.S./I.S. 217 as ironic amid overcrowding and a scramble for kindergarten seats.

"I'm devastated," said Cari Bak, a mother of two who moved to Roosevelt Island recently...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

RIRA President On Roosevelt Island Blood Drive. Lego Robots, Handrails, 311 System, Elections & Future Meetings

Image of Tram Pole From Frank Farance

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) President Frank Farance sends the following report to Roosevelt Island residents.
1. RIRA Blood Drive on June 19, Roosevelt Island Day. Don't forget to donate blood. Thanks to Matt Katz for organizing this.

2. RI Trambots? The RI Youth Program will be sending a team of 6-13 year olds to the NYC DYCD competition on Lego Robots. We've taken the Tram as our mascot. Wish us well!

3. A better handrail for buses, a better pool for kids. File this in the category of New Ideas From Other Places. I've had to travel recently and I discovered a 3-way handrail pole in a Swiss tram (see photo). Also from Geneva, here's a nice way to arrange a splash pond for kids in the summertime (see photo), the pool is deceptively shallow.

4. RI-311 reloaded. Aaron Hamburger, chair of RIRA's Island Services Committee, RIRA Common Counselor Joe Terranella, RIOC Board Member Jonathan Kalkin, and I will be relaunching the RI-311 system to allow you to report issues about island services. Thank you to Aaron and Jonathan for leading this effort, and thanks to Joe for helping on the web implementation. I'll have more on this in my next column.

5. RIRA elections this November. We reach out to the community to become more involved. You can volunteer to be a RIRA Common Council member. We have building-wide representatives (several for each of the housing complexes) and Island-wide representatives (President, Vice President) -- all are directly elected positions. If you'd like to see what this is like, please come to one of our meetings. It's rewarding, you get to know your neighbors and community, and you can have a positive effect on things around you.

6. Upcoming RIRA meetings. The next Common Council meeting is ... well it's summer vacation. The next meeting is on September 15 at 8:00 p.m. in the Good Shepherd Community Center; future meeting is October 6. Upcoming RIRA Town Hall meeting (in preparation for RIOC Board meetings) is on June 23 (note the new date). I am trying to arrange for a Town Hall meeting to discuss the storefronts at the June 23 meeting. The WIRE will announce this if I can get all parties at the meeting.

Splash Pond Image From Frank Farance

The RIRA President's message is also published as the RIRA column in the 6/5/10 Main Street WIRE.

RIOC Operations Committee Meeting On Wednesday - Reviewing Tram, Motorgate, FIOS/Internet, Cornell Landscape, 311 And Other Roosevelt Island Projects

You Tube Video of See Click Fix 311 system

The Roosevelt Island Board Of Directors Operations Committee will be meeting on Wednesday afternoon. They will be reviewing alot of stuff. According to RIOC:
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a meeting of the Operations Advisory Committee of the RIOC Board of Directors will be held on Wednesday, June 9, 2010 at 5:30 p.m. at the RIOC administrative office, 591 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York.
The Committee shall:
1. Review the Aerial Tram Modernization Project and Progress (including the Permitting Process);
2. Review the Motorgate Lighting Project, Management and Broken Elevator;
3. Review the LED Lighting Installation and other Green Initiatives;
4. Receive an Update on Island Wide FIOS/Internet Project;
5. Review the Cornell University Landscape and Park Design Study;
6. Review the Process of RIRA funds for the GPS Time Clocks for Red Bus;
7. Review the Island 311 Initiative with RIRA; and
8. Review the Progress with Southpoint Park, FDR Four Freedoms Memorial, and FDR Hope Memorial.
An audio webcast of the meeting will be available soon thereafter.

During the June RIRA meeting, I suggested to RIOC Director Jonathan Kalkin that RIOC consider using the existing See Click Fix tool for a Roosevelt Island 311 system. A link to the Roosevelt Island See Click Fix page is on this blog's left sidebar below the Softball MeetUp Group and above the Public Safety Reports. Give it a try.

Watch the video above for more information on See Click Fix.

Security Cameras For Roosevelt Island's Streets - They'll Be Watching You!

You Tube Video of Police's I'll Be Watching You

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp. (RIOC) President Steve Shane's June 3 report included the following (Item 5d):
Security Cameras: The cables are in the process of being pulled to enable establishing a street security camera system. Expect it to be operational by mid summer.
I inquired of Mr. Shane:
Your last RIOC column indicated that a street security camera system was to be in place for Roosevelt Island by mid-summer.

Can you provide any additional details as to why RIOC finds this necessary to do and what, if any precautions are being undertaken to insure that privacy rights of citizens are being respected.

For instance, who will be monitoring the cameras, what type of training do they have and how long will the security footage be stored. Are the same protocols and training as established by NYPD being followed

Also, if security cameras are being installed, why not post the live feed on the RIOC web site?
Mr. Shane replied:
The subject of street cameras for security purposes was discussed at a RIOC Board meeting. The privacy rights of individuals on the public thoroughfares of RI should not be an issue. The necessity is one of public security in an era of increasing density, pressure on budget and the recommendations of those who are trained in these matters. The cameras will be monitored in Public Safety.

I refer you to Chief Guerra for answers to training and storage. This is not an entertainment medium, so live feeds on the RIOC website do not seem to be appropriate. At a later stage, perhaps for a view of the tennis courts or basketball courts to see whether there is availability, for instance, maybe.
Interesting article in NY Times on street security cameras that asks the question if the Big Apple has become the Big Eyeball.
... Cities — New York in particular, and Times Square most of all — used to be places to lose yourself in the thrilling anonymity of a crowd, to find yourself reflected in the eyes of strangers. Of course, no one really disappears now; we all leave a trace. But as urban legends go it remains a powerful one. It’s hard to adjust to the idea that cities — New York in particular, and Times Square most of all — are now places where unseen watchers can monitor your every move...
and WPIX reports that everyone coming into NYC will be photographed by some sort of surveillance video.

Not all video surveillance systems work properly. Gothamist reports on the MTA's problems with security cameras:
The MTA has admitted that only 46% of the city's 4,100 subway cameras are hooked up to working recording devices, and that installing 910 more will end up costing them over $21 million—exactly the amount they saved by firing all those station agents! The four-year project faced problems because of tech glitches and software failure from TAP Electrical, who were hired to build a network to store the information from all 910 new cameras. That combined with different types of cameras with different hookups installed under different branches of the MTA has lead to an expensive and possibly dangerous security failure...

As reported in earlier post, here's one use of the Roosevelt Island security cameras:
The Manhattan Tram Station booth attendant will be eliminated and replaced with Public Safety Officers at both stations during rush hours as well as 24 hour seven day security cameras.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) June Committee Reports For Island Services, Planning, Government Relations & Mosque Seeking Space

Image of June 2010 RIRA Meeting

Below are the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Committee Reports For Island Services, Planning and Government Affairs presented at the June RIRA meeting by their respective chairs. Subjects included
  • Public Library Improvements
  • Main Street Stores
  • Roosevelt Island 311 System
  • Main Street Parking
  • Blackwell Park Master Plan and
  • Future RIOC Board Appointments as well as others

RI Public Library improvements
ISC met with representative of RICLA (Janet Falk & Lorraine Lasker) to discuss what and how to improve the services of our RI branch New York Public Library (NYPL). We developed a priority list of needs. The highest priority need is to relocate the Library to a substantially larger and more suitable space. Other high priority needs are to provide a bathroom, make the Library more accessible to the disabled (including automatic opening doors), more outlets for computers and other electronic equipment, and a meeting room for public gatherings, lectures, book group events, and showing of films. We will continue to expand the “needs” list.

We are encouraged by a report from RIOC (at the Real Estate Committee meeting) that NYPL is very interested in 504 Main as a future site for the Library. Personnel from the NYPL Capital Fund group inspected 504 Main last week. Also, relocating the Library to Southtown Bldg. #7 may be back in play if Bldg. #7 construction begins by early 2011.

Main Street Stores
The RIOC Real Estate Committee is still working on the Master Lease Agreement. However, itʼs expected that the document will be completed and approved by mid-June. If so, the Real Estate Committee will then initiate the bidding process before the end of June.

ISC has committed to RIRA President Frank and RIOC Board Member Jonathan Kalkin that we will work to reinstall the RI-311 system on Roosevelt Island. RI-311 is a computer reporting system for residents where various service problems (needed road repairs, safety incidents, bus problems, lighting outages, etc.) can be relayed to the appropriate RIOC department and follow-up reports made.

Joe Terranella has accepted the assignment of making RI-311 happen. He will work with Kalkin and Farance (both are knowledgeable about the “guts”, software and such, of the system). When completed, the system will be presented to RIOCʼs Operating Committee for implementation.

Main St. Parking
Members of ISC are spot checking vehicles parked on Main St. Over the last 3 weeks, we observed that the more aggressive enforcement of parking regulations by Public Safety seems to be working as evidenced by the number of parking tickets issued and the low number of illegally parked vehicles. However, on one day, 5/25/10 afternoon, there were an unacceptable number of illegally parked vehicles – 3 in Southtown and 2 in Northtown. Weʼll continue to monitor the situation thru June.

Aaron Hamburger, ISC Chair

Planning Committee Report – June 2, 2010

RIOC Vice President, Rosina Abramson, has made available an artist’s rendering by landscape architect, Lee Weintraub, which conforms to the RIRA Resolution vote on last January. We shared it with the Blackwell House sub- committee members for their consideration and comments. There being no substantive objections to the drawing, sub-committee chairs, Judy Berdy and I have sent the following comment to Ms. Abramson:

Blackwell Park Sub-Committee of the RIRA Planning Committee Response to the Recent Artists Rendering June 1, 2010

We have shared the Weintraub drawings with the sub-committee members along with a copy of the RIRA Resolution that codifies our expectations for the conceptual planning phase of Blackwell Park. We received no negative comments or requests for clarification or more information. Based on that, we believe that the rendering conforms to the general preferences of the participating community members. Of course, we understand that the conceptual plan encompasses only broad strokes and that the practical details will be found in the design elements to be considered next. Until we understand what those design elements are, where they will be placed and what they (and the entire project) will cost, our support may be construed only for the overall conceptual plan. We look forward to working with you to develop and cost-out those design elements.
Respectfully submitted, Matthew Katz, Chair


Government Relations Committee (GRC)

Ashton Barfield (Chair)
Erin Feely-Nahem
Russell Fields
Sherie Helstien
Matthew Katz
Ellen Polivy

Maple Tree Group (MTG) subcommittee

Ashton Barfield
David Bauer
Linda Heimer
Sherie Helstien
Matthew Katz
Dick Lutz
Nurit Marcus
Joyce Mincheff
Margie Smith

There hasn’t been much GRC or MTG activity in the past month.

We’re still waiting for additional information from Assemblymember Micah Kellner’s office about the term expirations for the RIOC Board seats and the appointment dates for the current resident occupants, to determine when elections will be needed for each Board member, and to evaluate how to coordinate RIOC Board elections with the even-year-November Common Council elections.

There hasn’t been any need to meet.

From now on, I'm going to include the non-MTG members of GRC (Russell Fields, Erin Feely-Nahem, Ellen Polivy) in MTG news, in the hope that they’ll find themselves so interested in its activities that they’ll become involved with it.

Margie has passed along a few updates to the elected-officials contact list, but I haven't yet had time to input them, or to contact the offices (other than Micah’s) to notify them that I'm now the chair.

The only other GRC-related matter is that both Margie and Matt have forwarded to me the East Side Democratic Club endorsements of various candidates. I'm distributing the list to both MTG and all Common Council members via this report (on the second page).

East Side Democratic Club endorsements
May 27, 2010

Chuck Schumer
Kirsten Gillibrand

Andrew Cuomo

Lieutenant Governor
Robert J. Duffy

Attorney General
Eric Schneiderman

Tom DiNapoli

65th Congressional District
Carolyn Maloney

State Senate, 26th District
Liz Krueger

State Senate, 28th District
Jose Serrano

Assembly, 65th District
Micah Kellner

State Committee, 65th Assembly District
Jim Clynes
Ruth Halberg
It was pointed out during the meeting that RIRA does not endorse political candidates but will provide a forum for any candidate wishing to inform the Roosevelt Island community of his or her views.

At the June meeting, RIRA also passed a resolution supporting a request made by members of Roosevelt Island's Islamic community (approximately 200 families they say) seeking premises for the location of a Mosque although the resolution did not state where that might be. (Will post the resolution when I receive a copy of it). The residents seeking space for a Mosque expressed frustration at the slowness of the process with RIOC in trying trying to secure space but were repeatedly assured by RIRA members as well as RIOC Directors present that this was typical with all seeking space from RIOC. 503 Main Street in the Rivercross Building was mentioned as a site being considered for a Mosque.

It will be interesting how any future private sector Master Leaseholder for the Main Street Retail premises accounts for the Roosevelt Island non-profits, (Gallery RIVAA, Thrift Store) including religious institutions, as the Master Leaseholder attempts to bring new retailers to Roosevelt Island.

Opportunities Available With New York City Civic Corps - Help The City & Develop Your Professional Skills!

You Tube Video of Mayor Bloomberg Swearing In 2009 NYC Civic Corps

Received the following message from Paul Berg, Mayor Bloomberg's co0rdinator for the NYC Civic Corps:
The NYC Civic Corps – the nation’s first municipal service corps – is now accepting applications for the 2010-11 service year. Please help us by informing Roosevelt Islander readers about this exciting opportunity to help New York City while developing professional skills.

An initiative of NYC Service and the Mayor’s Office, the NYC Civic Corps is a diverse group of individuals - from recent graduates to experienced professionals - who dedicate one year of service to New York City. Corps members are dispatched in small teams to local non-profit organizations and City agencies with the charge of developing sustainable volunteer programs and expanding organizational capacity.

In return for their service, members of the NYC Civic Corps earn a monthly living stipend, health and commuting benefits, and an end-of-service education award. Corps members also receive monthly professional development and support from NYC Service.

Applications are available at Only online applications will be accepted, and the application deadline is June 30, 2010. To be eligible to join the NYC Civic Corps, individuals must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents with a Bachelor’s degree, and they must be willing to commit to a full-time (40 hours per week) position starting in late August, 2010.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said it best: “You can be a recent college graduate, a mother who’s looking to get back into the workforce, or someone who was recently laid off. It doesn’t matter. If you’re passionate about New York City and have a willingness and ability to serve your city for a year, then we want you.”

You can read more about the NYC Civic Corps in our press coverage from the past year:

New York Times City Room Blog (7/30/09)

Huffington Post (7/30/09)

New York Daily News (8/9/09)

New York Times (1/17/10)

Thank you for helping us spread the word in Roosevelt Island about the NYC Civic Corps!
Sounds like a good program. Why not give it a try?