Saturday, October 2, 2010

Annual Roosevelt Island Blessing Of The Animals At The Church Of The Good Shepherd On October 3, 10:00 A.M.

You Tube Video Of 2007 Animal Blessings At St John The Divine

Do you wish to have a blessing said over your pet? If so, no need to go to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine when you can have it done right here on Roosevelt Island. I received the following message from Roosevelt Island resident Francine Lange:
Church of the Good Shepherd, the Episcopal church, will be holding its annual Blessing of the Animals service this Sunday, October 3.

Pastor Lew Johnson will say a special blessing over your pet(s). You can carry it in your arms, lead it on a leash or in a carrier, or bring a photo.

At 10:00 a.m., 543 Main St., Church of the Good Shepherd, Roosevelt Island.

Image From Francine Lange

Charlie was dumped at birth on the side of the road in the Bronx. A Roosevelt Island resident adopted him and now, some five years later, he reigns in peace over his Island House "kingdom."
I wonder if there are any Roosevelt Island llamas or other unusual animals out there to be blessed with Charlie the Cat.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Author & Roosevelt Island Resident Mary Camper-Titsingh Reads From Her Historical Novel, The Man Who Kow-Towed, At Gallery RIVAA Saturday October 2

Mary Camper-Titsingh is an 86-year old retired librarian and resident of Roosevelt Island. She is the author of The Man Who Kow-Towed, a historical novel about her ancestor, Isaac Titsingh, who opened the doors for the Dutch East Indies Company to trade with Japan, India, Indonesia and China in the late 18th century.

Ms. Camper-Titsingh will read excerpts from The Man Who Kow-Towed on Saturday, October 2 at 6:00 pm at Gallery RIVAA, 527 Main Street on Roosevelt Island. All are welcome to attend this free event and books will be available for purchase for $15.00.

An excerpt from The Man Who Kow-Towed is below.

Come learn about the beginnings of globalization from a Roosevelt Island author.

Roosevelt Island Fall For Arts Festival -Avant-Garde Music & Poetry, Storytelling, Chalk Mural & Magic For Kids Plus Outdoor Oedipus Rex

Roosevelt Island 2010 Fall For Arts Schedule from RIOC - Click Here To Enlarge

Last Sunday, I made my annual visit to Brooklyn's Atlantic Antic Street Festival and had a fantastic time enjoying the local Brooklyn merchants, food and indie bands.

Image of 2010 Atlantic Antic Street Festival

Tomorrow, it's Roosevelt Island's turn to put on our version of a street festival and some of the Brooklyn and New York City Avant-Garde are making their way up and across the East River to perform at the 5th Annual Roosevelt Island Fall For Arts Festival on Saturday October 2.

Among the Avant-Garde performing at the Roosevelt Island Fall For Arts Festival on Saturday are Hank and the Cupcakes

You Tube Video of Hand and the Cupcakes

piano singer Stacy Rock

You Tube Video of Stacy Rock At Spike Hill

and the Ukelele playing Sweet Soubrette.

You Tube Video of Sweet Soubrette

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Community Relations Specialist Erica Wilder fills us in on Saturday's Fall For Arts program:
Roosevelt Island’s 5th Annual Fall Arts Festival features
Brooklyn electro-pop sensation Hank and Cupcakes, Poets Rock RIVAA creative arts, storytelling & magic for kids & an outdoor performance of “Oedipus Rex”

The 5th Annual Fall for Arts Festival, a FREE outdoor and indoor event presented by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, is a one-of-a-kind gallery with a highly acclaimed mix of visual, performing, culinary, and interactive arts. The festival, 11am-5pm, Saturday, October 2nd offers something for children and adults alike.

Hank and Cupcakes performs at 12:45pm at Blackwell Park, 545 Main Street. The raw, edgy, minimalist duo, Hank and Cupcakes has set New York City on fire with their raw edgy, minimalist pop since arriving in Brooklyn from Israel two years ago. “Hank & Cupcakes have consistently been making waves in the Brooklyn/NYC area and their live shows are off the hook. Everyone gets that feeling that they are one second from blowing up and when you catch their act you will understand why.” – Top 10 bands to watch in 2010 – MusicVagabond,

An array of avant-garde New York City poets and singer songwriters perform at Poets Rock RIVAA 3 from 11am-4pm at Gallery RIVAA (Roosevelt Island Visual Arts Association) Gallery, 527 Main Street. The show features Stacy Rock & Sweet Soubrette; Bellow & Rob Gomez; Chris Fuller and poets Jane Ormerod, Eric Fabri, David Lawson, Ocean Vuong, Brant Lyon, Elizabeth Harrington & Mike Marcellino. “Fall for the Arts,” works by gallery artists will also be exhibited.

At the “Imagination Station” young aspiring artists create their own chalk sidewalk mural masterpiece, make fresh butter and apple juice and participate in a variety of arts and crafts projects. The fun also includes storytelling and popular English-Spanish bilingual children’s musician “Louie.” This arts event comes to life with help of the Children’s Museum of the Arts, Materials for the Arts, the Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum, Roosevelt Island and other NYC artists.

The Faux-Real Theatre Company performs “Oedipus Rex” at 2pm, outdoors at Roosevelt Landings Amphitheater, 540 Main Street. This classic tale of man versus destiny will be performed in brightly colored wigs, fantastical costumes, and masks that [act] as megaphones…exactly as Sophocles intended it to be performed when he wrote it 2400 years ago.
Gallery RIVAA provides the schedule for the 5th Annual Roosevelt Island Fall For Arts Festival.
11:15 Sharon Stern
11:30 Helen Roht
11:45 Naomi Imbrogno
12:00 Erica Miriam Fabri
12:15 David Lawton
12:30 Ann Settel
12:45 Jane Ormerod
1:00 Fran Bolinder/Catherine Hogan
1:15 Carol Tanjutco
1:30 Elizabeth Harrington
1:45 Brant Lyon
2:00 Ocean Vuong
2:15 Mike Marcellino
2:30 Bellow – Rob Gomez
3:00 Stacy Rock
3:15 Sweet Soubrette
3:45 Chris Fuller
4:00-7:00 Mary Camper Titsingh Book Signing and Reading
Roosevelt Island Fall For Arts will take place in the area around Blackwell Park, Rivercross Lawn and Gallery RIVAA.

Hope to see you all there. Weather is supposed to be nice and sunny. Should be a fun time.

Here are some scenes from the 2009 Roosevelt Island Fall For Arts Festival.

Free Adult Body Sculpting Classes Presented By Roosevelt Island Youth Program - Get In Shape, Meet Your Neighbors & Have Fun!

Any Roosevelt Island adults out there interested in getting into shape with a body sculpting program? If so, the Roosevelt Island Youth Program@PS/IS 217 may be the place for you to work on those muscles, meet some new people and have some fun this Fall.

The Free Adult Body Sculpting Classes take place on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays at 7 PM. You can sign up for the class at the front desk of PS/IS 217 Beacon (645 Main Street). For more information, use the phone and email contacts listed in above flyer.

Below is an example of an adult Body Sculpting Class though it is not from the Roosevelt Island Youth Program.

You Tube Video of Body Sculpting Class

Start working those body parts!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Burglary At Roosevelt Island's Eastwood/Roosevelt Landings Building - Laptop Computer and Digital Camera Taken

Burglar Image From Apartment Whiz

From the Roosevelt Island 9/29 -9/30 Public Safety Report:
Burglary- In apt. NYPD filed a report.
Roosevelt Island Public Safety Director Keith Guerra adds:
NYPD is investigating the incident which occurred at 546 Main St. Two roommates occupy the apartment. Both had left separately in the morning. There was no forced entry. The door had apparently not been locked properly. A laptop and digital camera were taken.

RIOC Bombarded By Emails From Roosevelt Island Residents On Pesticide Spraying, RIOC Says Synthetic Pesticides Are Safe, Cheaper & Better Than Organic

You Tube Video of Worker Spraying Pesticide (not on Roosevelt Island)

As reported in post earlier this week, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) issued an advisory regarding the planned spraying of pesticides:
... Please be advised on Tuesday, September 28, 2010 Save-A-Lawn will be applying pesticide applications at various common areas island wide. The lawn areas to be treated are Riverwalk Commons, Rivercross, Blackwell Park, Toddler Park, Tennis courts, Firefighter's Field, Capobianco Park, Pony Field and some areas at Lighthouse Park....
During the 9/27 RIOC Operations Committee Meeting, RIOC VP of Operations Fernando Martinez and President Leslie Torres reported being bombarded by emails from Roosevelt Island residents concerned about the safety of these pesticides claiming that the pesticides resulted in kids getting sick. Mr. Martinez and Ms. Torres assured the RIOC Directors that the pesticides and herbicides being used met the stringent safety requirements of New York State. Mr. Martinez also said that the traditional compounds being used were more effective and three times less expensive ($15,000 for organic versus $5,000 for traditional) than organic compounds suggested by some residents. (The audio web cast of the meeting is here. The discussion of pesticides begins around the 1 hour 8 minute and 30 second mark).

Below is an example of email messages sent to RIOC regarding the use of pesticides on Roosevelt Island from a Concerned Island Resident:
I have just learned about this in the last 24 hours...Please take time out of your day to call RIOC to make sure they do the right thing! These chemical will be applied right outside our front doors where our children play and we walk our dogs everyday and night!

I have called them this morning to ask " are they not going to use the Organic Pesticide" ? If not, why not? The Contractor said that there is a organic formula they can use, but RIOC has to ask for it. The water supply as well will be tainted by this not to mention the safety of children, people and animals that live here. We must call RIOC and make sure they are not going the cheap route to save money while endangering our well being here. It is crazy to believe they would do this, but we have to make sure they know we are concerned about what route they are taking in this matter. I hope that the person that makes this decision is aware of all the horrible
things that can happen if they use the toxic formula. I will try to have faith that the powers that be will take care of this matter today.
RIOC Community Relations Specialist Erica Wilder responded to the Concerned Island Resident on 9/28 as follows:
Thank you for contacting us regarding your concerns of the use of pesticides and herbicides on the island. We understand the issues of the use of regulated chemicals and therefore take the necessary precautions to minimize exposure. The decision to use traditional spraying methods over organic was based on the advice from several licensed applicators. They agree that organic pesticides and herbicides are essentially ineffective.

We have contracted a licensed New York State regulated applicator of herbicide and pesticide products to spot treat specific areas around the island for infestations such as West Nile mosquitos, and for poison ivy and other noxious weeds. The applicator must follow protocols mandated by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for the application of chemicals in fields, residential and common areas. We will provide residents with advance notice of the application on Friday, October 1st via the RIOC advisory as well as post signs near the areas which will be spot treated 78 hours in advance. Although we are advised that treated sites are safe to frequent twenty minutes after treatment, it is a state requirement to keep the area clear for 24 hours.

Due to the heavy rainfall today, the application has been postponed to a later date next week. We will send out an advisory 24 hours in advance to notify residents of the application.

If you should have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at 212-832-4540 ext 349.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Roosevelt Island Public Purpose Funds Application Process Begins - Get Those Papers Submitted!

Pile of Money Image from KR Connect

RIOC Community Relations Specialist Erica Wilder reminds Roosevelt Island non - profit organizations to get your Public Purpose Fund Applications submitted before the December 31, 2010 deadline::

Please be advised that the 2010 application for Public Purpose Funding is now available online. To obtain a copy of the application, please visit to review current guidelines and to access the application. If you have bookmarked last years application, please do not use it, as new items have been added to the current application. Please note that applicant organizations must be not-for-profit incorporations as defined by 501(c)3 or 501(c)4 Status

The deadline to apply for Public Purpose Funds is Friday, December 31st, 2010 at 5:00 PM. Applications received after the deadline will be returned.

The 2011 Public Purpose Grant application can be downloaded or completed online at your convenience. Please submit your completed application and necessary attachments to the RIOC office located at 591 Main Street.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding completing the PPG application please contact me via email, or by calling 212-832-4540 EXT# 349.
Best of luck!
RIOC has delegated to the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) the vetting of Public Purpose Funding applications. According to the Guidelines and Criteria For Evaluating Public Purpose Funds promulgated by RIRA and agreed to by RIOC:
... RIRA will evaluate all submitted applications based on merits. Recommended applications from RIRA will be sent to the RIOC board for final approval for funding...
The 2010 Roosevelt Island Public Purpose Funds recipients were:
  • Island Kids $20,000;
  • LifeFrames $19,000;
  • Marlins $18,000;
  • PTA $25,500;
  • RICLA $9,500;
  • RIHS Kiosk $3,000 and
  • Seniors $5,000.
The 2009 Roosevelt Island Public Purpose Funds Recipients were:
  • $0 Child School
  • $36,000 Island Kids
  • $20,000 Life Frames
  • $0 Orphans International
  • $10,000 RICLA
  • $4,000 RI Day Nursery
  • $25,000 RI Disabled Association and
  • 5,000 RI Seniors Association
Perhaps next year, your organization can get some funds.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

RIOC Operations Committee Report On Tram Status, Red Bus Loop, Parking, Motorgate, Bike Sharing, New Technology, Poison Ivy, Dog Poop & More

Image of 9/27 RIOC Board Of Directors Operations Committee Meeting

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board Of Directors Operations Committee met last night discussing a full agenda of issues for over three hours. RIOC Director Jonathan Kalkin summarized the Operations Committee meeting in a Tweet. From Mr. Kalkin:
311@seeclickfix system, Bike sharing and path review/Solar Power & LED lighting RFP's & Smart Parking are moving forward on Roosevelt Island
The meeting began with a report update on the Tram Modernization program including showing this 9/24/10 NY 1 video on the Tram's status.

Image of RIOC Board Opeations Committee and Staff Watching NY 1 Tram Report

RIOC VP of Operations Fernando Martinez advised the Board about the Tram that:
  • The North Cabin will be hoisted by crane and attached to the track ropes on Friday morning weather permitting. The North Tram Cabin will then be able to travel back and forth to Manhattan but awaits further review and safety testing. Final certification will come from the Department of Labor (DOL). RIOC President Leslie Torres, attending her first Ops Committee meeting, added that the DOL will conduct their review quicker than they usually do but within full safety parameters.
  • Opening date for Tram Service is scheduled for early November.
  • Existing Tram Crew were interviewed by POMA and were extended job offers contingent upon them passing certain tests.
  • Tram Supervisors will be getting acquainted with the Tram systems this week.
  • Tram Crew will be receiving training in mid October.
  • NYPD and Office of Emergency Management did a walk through of Tram Cabins yesterday and are reviewing emergency procedures.
  • Any discussion of financial penalties imposed upon Poma for delay in the Tram's return of service will wait until after service resumes.
RIOC Director Margie Smith asked who will be in charge in the event that the Tram gets stuck over the East River again. Ms. Smith, and everyone else on Roosevelt Island does not want a repeat of the same mistakes that happened in April 2006 when interdepartmental rivalry between the NYPD and FDNY kept Roosevelt Island residents stranded unnecessarily through the night over the East River. Mr. Martinez indicated that in the event of a similar incident, RIOC personnel with the expertise on Tram System operations will be in charge not NYPD, OEM or FDNY and that this policy will be acknowledged in writing by all concerned parties.

Other issues discussed included:
  • Keeping the current temporary Southtown Bus Loop on a permanent basis when the Tram returns to service and make the West Channel Road between the Tram and Blackwell House a one way street. By doing so, RIOC will create 29-30 parking spaces on the West Channel Road.
  • Improving Lighting at Motorgate Garage - Discussion as to whether to use Fluorescent Lighting or LED Lighting - Fluorescent is less expensive but suitable for needs - LED Lighting is better but much more expensive - question as to whether fluorescent lights can be installed initially but then switched to LED at later time. The Committee decided to issue a Request For Proposals (RFP) to get some expert advice on Motorgate lighting in the context of a broader, more efficient energy plan that will include solar energy panels as well.
  • Roosevelt Island See Click Fix 311 Reporting System Test Extended.
  • Roosevelt Island Bike Sharing RFP to be issued.
  • Verizon FIOS extended to Southpoint Park - when the parks open up, you can access the internet there.
  • Smart wireless Parking System Trial.
  • Appears to be a problem with Poison Ivy at Capobianco Park - problem sourced at the Community Garden.
  • RIOC's Director of Engineering is retiring - search on for replacement.
  • Expect much greater dog policy enforcement and ticketing of people not picking up their dog crap.
The full web cast of the Operations Committee meeting is available online. If you are interested in how Roosevelt Island is governed and decisions made, this is as good as it gets.

UPDATE 4:18 PM - From RIOC:
Due to projected heavy rains and possible Tornado warnings, the 10/1 event has been postponed until 10/5, subject to weather.

What Kind Of Animals Were Removed From Roosevelt Island Apartments By Public Safety Department - Calling Doctor Doolittle?

Animal removed from apartment. That was the description of two incidents this past week from the Roosevelt Island 24 Hour Public Safety Reports. (Weekly list of current daily Public Safety Reports are posted on blog's middle sidebar)

From the 9/24 - 9/25 Public Safety Report:

Animal in apt- UA removed animal from apt.
and 9/26 -27 Report:
Animal- PSD removed animal from building.
I wondered what kind of animals were removed from Roosevelt Island apartments? Are there giant rabbits making a home in Roosevelt Island apartments?

Is there some secret zoo or menagerie of exotic animals hidden away someplace on Roosevelt Island? Do we have our own Roosevelt Island Doctor Doolittle talking to the animals?

Image of Eddie Murphy as Doctor Doolittle From Horseframe

I asked Roosevelt Island Public Safety Director Keith Guerra about these incidents:
Can you provide any additional details about these incidents? What type of animals. are they dangerous, which building, are there other animals being kept in Roosevelt Island apartments that should not be there, etc?
Mr.Guerra replied:
In the first incident, a small garden snake was removed, and in the second incident a squirrel was removed. Both from Roosevelt Landings.
Oh well, not very exotic. I guess squirrels and snakes belong outdoors like this guy.

You Tube Video of Roosevelt Island Black Squirrel (not the one removed from apt.)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Small Boat On East River Disabled and Outta Gas Between Roosevelt Island And Queens- NY Water Taxi Helps Maneuver Boat To Safety

Image From Jonathan Weinberg

Last week, Jonathan Weinberg noticed a small boat in trouble on the East River between Roosevelt Island and Queens. Mr. Weinberg reports (All images are from Jonathan Weinberg:
On my way back from my evening bike ride, I came across a NYC Water Taxi trying desperately to help a small disabled boat from getting smashed against the rocks.
With super-fast currents, the East River is definitely not the place you want to be dead in the water.
They skirted disaster and got in safe.

Pesticides Being Applied To Roosevelt Island Parks - Riverwalk Commons, Rivercross Lawn, Blackwell Park, Toddler Park & Other Common Areas

Image of Pesticide Spraying From Green Planet did not occur on Roosevelt Island

Received the following advisory from the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
Please be advised on Tuesday, September 28, 2010 Save-A-Lawn will be applying pesticide applications at various common areas island wide. The lawn areas to be treated are Riverwalk Commons, Rivercross, Blackwell Park, Toddler Park, Tennis courts, Firefighter's Field, Capobianco Park, Pony Field and some areas at Lighthouse Park. These areas will have the necessary signs posted that are required by New York State Law.

Please note these areas should not to be utilized for at least 24 hours for your safety.

We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your cooperation.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
The NY Department of Environmental Conservation provides some questions and answers regarding New York State Pesticides Program.

Full Roosevelt Island Agenda At Today's RIOC Operations Committee Meeting - Tram, Bus Route, Bike Sharing, Ferry, WIFI, Green Tech & Other Projects

Looks like the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Operations Committee has a very full agenda on it's plate for this afternoon's meeting. According to RIOC:

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a meeting of the Operations Advisory Committee of the RIOC Board of Directors will be held on Monday, September 27, 2010 at 5:30 p.m. at the RIOC administrative office, 591 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York.

The Committee will meet to discuss:

1. The Aerial Tram Modernization Project progress;

2. Southtown Bus Loop;

3. Motorgate Lighting Project Progress;

4. Bike Sharing RFP;

5. FIOS WIFI Internet Access to Southpoint Park;

6. LCD Nextbus Signage;

7.Motorgate Solar Panel RFP and other Green Initiatives, i.e. LED Lights, Solar power for the Sportspark and the Tram stations;

8. SeeClickFix 311 System Beta Test;

9. Main Street Parking Initiative, and

10. Ferry service.
The RIOC Operations Committee meeting is open to the public and available soon thereafter as an audio web cast.