Saturday, October 9, 2010

Gallery RIVAA Fall For The Arts Exhibit Opening Reception Saturday October 9 From 6 - 9 PM

Click on Image to Enlarge

Roosevelt Island's Gallery RIVAA will be hosting an opening reception later today, October 9 from 6PM - 9PM for their new Fall For The Arts exhibition. The exhibition will continue thru October 30.

Come meet your Roosevelt Island neighbors and enjoy the art.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Roosevelt Island On The Web Links

Roosevelt Island on the Web Links as appearing in the October 9, 2010 Main Street WIRE.

Roosevelt Islander - Tram Cabin In Station, Begins Testing
Roosevelt Islander - New Roosevelt Island Initiatives
Roosevelt Islander - Scenes From Fall For Arts Festival
RIOC - Operations Committee Audio Webcas
RIOC - 2011 Public Purpose Fund Application Available
NY1 - Tram Modernization Nearly Done
Roosevelt Island G&T Program Blog - PS/IS 217 Report Card
Judith's Gallery - Historical Society Kiosk Renovation Slideshow
Jonathan Kalkin Tweet - Green Hybrid Solar Ferry Meeting
Lucindacv Tweet - Tram Cabin on Way to Station
Roosevelt Islander - Rivercross Status Report
NY Times - 1987 Deadly Salmonella Outbreak at Coler-Goldwater Hospital
CBS4 Denver - Cable Splicer Works New Roosevelt Island Tram
Chronicle - Children Singer Elizabeth Mitchell Began At RI Day Nursery
NY City Biz List - Verdant Energy's Plan For East River Turbines
Treehugger - New Trash Collection Includes RI Pneumatic Tubes
You Tube - FDR Memorial Interview with William vanden Heuvel
You Tube - Zog Sports Volunteers Paint Mural At PS/IS 217 Schoolyard
You Tube - Time Lapse Video of Manhattan View From Roosevelt Island
You Tube - Oedipus Rex @ Fall For Arts Festival

RIRA President On Encouraging Candidates For 2010 -12 Common Council, Election Process Difficulties, Openness & Telling The Truth To Roosevelt Island Residents & More

 Image Of October 2010 RIRA Meeting

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) President Frank Farance sends the following report to Roosevelt Island residents. Mr. Farance addresses:
1. My penultimate column for the 2008-2010 term. The next one will be the last column and I plan on cataloging our accomplishments of the past 24 months, with contributions from Common Council members.

2. Reader Suggestion from Last Issue of the WIRE. So that people don't "game" the WIRE publication schedule, I've asked editor Dick Lutz if he will permit short candidates' rebuttals for any letter to editor in the next issue, the last one before RIRA elections.

3. RIRA Elections. Please consider running. The 2008-2010 term has been one of the most productive in RIRA history and we need your help for the next term. Good news! Joyce Mincheff has returned to Elections Committee Chair. However, the nominations process is not perfect and there are still irregularities. At this Wednesday's RIRA meeting, there was much complaining about the poor distribution of nomination forms (the WIRE is helping with an insert in this issue, thanks Dick! ). Ellen Polivy, RIRA Vice President, expressed her dissatifaction in comments at the meeting. I've been expressing my frustration in E-mail, here is an excerpt of my E-mail to the Common Council (yes, making these kinds of things public seems to be the only way to get cooperation):
Date: September 24, 2010 Subject: My very clear instructions on RIRA nominations and elections To: RIRA Common Council Members
Last week we elected a Nominations Committee Chair (Aaron) and an Elections Committee Chair (Joyce). Since then, there have been serious problems with cooperation and communications. It is my executive style to let each manager (committee chairs) handle their own portfolio of work. It is also my style not to shout, but now I will:
THE PUBLIC HAS A RIGHT TO INSPECT OUR ELECTIONS!!! [...] Here is what our constitution says:
[Vice President:] The Vice President shall supervise: all RIRA elections; all communications, both internal and external, of RIRA; secretarial services that are not the responsibility of the Secretary; legal representation (in coordination with the Chairperson of the Legal Action Committee, should it exist); auditing of the finances of RIRA; membership participation and fund-raising. To perform the responsibilities of office, the Vice President shall supervise the Nominations Committee, the Election Committee, the Auditor, and, should it exist, the Communication Committee.
Thus, Ellen (RIRA Vice President) is in charge of nominations and elections.
[Nominations Committee:] There shall be a Nominations Committee to recruit candidates for the Common Council and the offices of President and First Vice President. The Committee shall ensure that at least one candidate is recruited for each position to be filled in each regular RIRA election. The Common Council shall approve by Majority vote of the Council Members a Chair to the Nominations Committee who will coordinate such activities.
Aaron is Chair.
[Election Committee:] There shall be an Election Committee to administer all elections in accordance with the provisions of Article VII. The Election Committee shall include representatives from at least five election Districts. No candidate for President or Vice President may serve on the Election Committee. Candidates for the Common Council may serve on the Election Committee but may not participate in the elections for their own election Districts. No member of the Election Committee may participate in the election campaign of any candidate other than himself/herself or give support to any other candidate. The Common Council shall approve by Majority vote of the Council Members a Chair to the Elections Committee who will coordinate such activities
Joyce is Chair.
I make the following requests:
1. For those of you who are participating in the Nominations Committee, please let Aaron know. Aaron, could you promptly send the officers the membership list? If there are updates to the list over the next couple weeks, could you promptly let us know?

2. Ditto for the Elections Committee. Joyce, I know you work is mostly at the end, but promptly let us know who is working on your committee.

3. The officers (Ellen, Elizabeth, Russ, myself) should be CCd on all communications so "we are in the loop".

4. All meeting announcements for the nominations committee and the elections committee should be CCd to the Common Council using the E-mail reflector.

5. Consider that residents outside the Common Council might wish to participate in the Nominations Committee and the Elections Committee.

6. Ellen, as supervisor of the Nominations Committee and the Elections Committee, could you forward information to all declared candidates (right now, Matt has declared he is a candidate for RIRA President, you have declared you are a candidate for RIRA Vice President; I don't know of other candidates).

7. Meetings shall be open to all those who want to participate.

IF THERE ARE ANY FURTHER PROBLEMS, GLITCHES, ETC., I WANT TO KNOW ABOUT THEM IMMEDIATELY!!! Call me immediately on my cell phone or send me a text message on the cell phone. Thank you for your anticipated cooperation and service to the residents.
The same day Matt Katz responded
September 24, 2010 Dear Frank:
I share your frustration with the infighting between two essential committee chairs, and I hope it has now bee resolved. However, I see no benefit to airing our dirty laundry in public when presenting an amicable, flawless and impeccable election can only enhance RIRA's reputation. I hope we can keep it in the family through Election Day.
(Full disclosure on two items: (1) Mr. Katz was involved in the purchase of election machines (not permitted by the Constitution), but I agree with Mincheff that his help is valuable and will not negatively affect the quality of the elections. (2) As reviewed by Mincheff and by request of the WIRE, I have provided photocopying of the nominations forms for distribution.)

Let me be clear, I very much want to have elections that hold up to public scrutiny and making this right is an ongoing effort. However, I strongly disagree that we should "keep this in the family". When the public hears about these irregularities via word of mouth, they wonder what is going on. My approach is: acknowledge the truth and work towards mitigating these problems. As president of the corporation, I have a legal responsibility to make sure these rules are followed, but I accomplish that via delegation to officers and committees. As mandated by the RIRA Constitution, Polivy (RIRA Vice President), Hamburger (RIRA Nominations Chair), and Mincheff (RIRA Elections Chair) each have specific roles. By attempting to hide problems, especially in an elections process, we implicitly permit a slippery slope of what infractions are acceptable. By disclosing this to you, the public, you can know the full truth and can see for yourself. So far, I believe these irregularities are minor and are being addressed — this is no different than other elections processes.

4. Robots to continue 6-8 PM on Thursdays and (new!) Fridays at RIYP at 506 Main Street. We have at least a dozen new participants. Brian Dorfmann, Peter Blumen, and I are looking to transform this into a long term afterschool activity in the sciences. Pizza is served for children. For more info, call +1 917 751 2900.

5. Upcoming RIRA meetings. The first meeting of the 2010-2012 RIRA Common Council is on November 3 at 8:00 p.m. in the Good Shepherd Community Center.
A version of the RIRA President's message is also published as the RIRA column in the 10/9/10 Main Street WIRE.

Roosevelt Island Rivercross Mitchell Lama Cooperative Residents Meet Again To Discuss Issues Of Common Concern & Solve Problems

Image of Rivercross from Adventures of a Goodman

Are you a resident of Roosevelt Island's Rivercross Mitchell Lama Cooperative and interested in learning more about what is going on in your building? If so, consider joining with some of your neighbors as they meet to discuss common interests of concern and find solutions to existing problems.

Rivercross resident David Bauer sends the following report from the October 7 meeting. Mr. Bauer writes:
Folks --

In response to the notice and agenda for the October 7 meeting I received one comment that suggested that I be "... less provocative in my reaction to the Board's responses to your queries."

I am sorry if I have been provocative. I have tried to report what observers at Board Conversations have said they heard. The reports have also included what the Board itself had distributed to all shareholders about its actions and its apparent leanings. Much of this has come from the Conversations held by the Board. I have tried for factual reporting. I have no intention to slant the matters. I would welcome anyone who might volunteer to prepare these summaries of what the Board is saying/doing.

Until someone steps forward with pen and paper in hand, I offer the following.

At the meeting Tuesday evening there was discussion about --

A1) Events that seem positive
a) the start of the Board open conversation sessions with shareholders
b) establishment of a window screen maintenance policy
c) raising the temperature setting for the common spaces
d) the active search for a window washer
e) starting the creation of a book exchange center
f) clarifying the process for reporting/correcting the transmission of odors between apartment
g) upon request, building staff will install u-shaped handles to facilitate window opening
h) request RIOC to install bench at bus stop.
A2) Events that seem negative
a) Board unwillingness to give reasonable answers to failing to increase the surcharge
b) opposition of two Board members to the bench in front of building
c) apparent significant Board opposition to ramp
d) stand that green roof is not feasible or affordable without presenting data to justify
e) apparent belief that additions to facilitate window washing would likely be prohibitive in cost without providing data
f) the Board's unwillingness to have its meetings open to interested Shareholders

2) In particular, there was a lengthy discussion about the apparent hurt feelings on the part of some Board members when they took special note on two occasions that one Shareholder had approached RIOC about the factors involved in substituting a ramp in place of the six step drop to the entrance plaza. Related to this was the recognition that putting a bench at the bus stop for the elderly/ailing waiting for specific transportation pickups does not meet the need.

3) Similarly, there was further discussion about the Building Staff, apparently supported by implicit Board feelings, that a Shareholder request for certain architectural details about the structure of the building were not to be divulged to the Shareholder.

4) These two discussions, covering different points of Shareholder concern led to a third discussion as to what limits exist, and what reasons there might be for believing there were such limits, to the kind of information about our Cooperative Housing Corporation that would be open to individual shareholders.

5) In the general discussion of Rivercross matters suggestions were made that Shareholders should have access to the 'slop sinks' located on each floor.

The meeting adjourned at 8:30 to enjoy refreshments provided by Ekaterina. The Forum will reconvene in three weeks on Tuesday October 26 at 7:30.
There is also an online Rivercross Google Group for residents to communicate with each other as well.

Roosevelt Island Historical Society Kiosk Reopens For Open House New York - Come See the Restoration And New Landscaping Next To Tram Station

Roosevelt Island Historical Society Visitor Kiosk Image From RIHS President Judith Berdy

Received the following invitation from Judy Berdy of the Roosevelt Island Historical Society:
The RIHS Visitor Center Kiosk Reopens for Open House New York This Weekend Sat. & Sun 10./9 and 10/10 12 noon to 5 p.m.

Our workers are rushing to finish the restoration of the kiosk for this weekend.

Also, Come and take a preview look at our new tram cabin. Service resumes in November!!!

The kiosk will open with regular hours when the Tram reopens.

To Reach Roosevelt Island take the F train and walk south from the Subway Station
Below are some of the workers who have been getting the Kiosk in such fine shape

and Ms. Berdy helping out with some raking.

More pictures of the Visitor Center Kiosk landscaping are here.

As reported in this earlier post: 
The Visitor's Kiosk opened in July 2007 (One of this blog's first posts - remember the caps?). The Main Street WIRE reported at the time:
... Originally, the kiosk was one of five visible entrances to the trolley car system, which transported New Yorkers over the Queensboro Bridge and back. Before the tram, F train, and the Roosevelt Island Bridge existed, trolley passengers would disembark on the Queensboro Bridge and access the Island, then known as Welfare Island, via a set of elevators from the lower level of the bridge. When the workers began digging the foundation for the kiosk, the first thing they hit was a thick stone elevator wall. They also found 1,000-pound elevator wheels, cables, pulleys and other debris. In all, it took seven full dumpster loads to excavate the site....
  Image From RIHS President Judy Berdy ( Queensboro Bridge Kiosk Now Roosevelt Island Visitors Center)

Pictures of the RIHS Visitors Center Kiosk renovation process are here.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Roosevelt Island Tram Operational Tests Up And Running Across East River To Manhattan - Pictures From Every Conceivable Angle

Roosevelt Island Tram Above East River Image From Duc Le

While walking by the Roosevelt Island Tram Station today, I looked into the Station but did not see the Tram Cabin. Then I looked up but still did not see the Cabin on the ropes. I started to be concerned there might be some problem. Fortunately, I learned that the Tram was on the Manhattan side of the East River as it was undergoing operational tests. Great News on that!

Since the Tram has started running operational tests yesterday, readers have been sending in some great photos covering almost every conceivable angle.

Here's the Roosevelt Island Tram viewed from below,

from above,

looking towards Manhattan from Roosevelt Island,
and from the Queensboro Bridge.

Image From Jonathan Weinberg
Image From Jonathan Weinberg
Image From Jonathan Weinberg
Image From Jonathan Weinberg

Jonathan Weinberg writes:
I just happened to be biking over the bridge when I saw it going by and I stopped to snap some photos. I don't think they've put any guinea pigs on it yet. :)
The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) issued the following press release:
The first of the two cabins on the Roosevelt Island Aerial Tramway was attached on the north track ropes on Tuesday, October 5th and system testing on that side can now begin. The Tram, undergoing modernization since March 2010, is projected as being in full operation in November 2010. The second cabin is expected to be attached in about two (2) weeks. According to RIOC President Leslie Torres, “Various milestones must be achieved before the Tram is commissioned for full operation by the New York State Department of Labor. The launch of the first cabin is a major milestone in this process.”

The Tram modernization contractor is POMA, SA of France, one of two companies world wide equipped to perform the “state of the art”overhaul. The cabin was attached to a double hanger arm on Tuesday. The double armed hanger is one of the important innovations of the new Tram system, providing for a more stable ride. The cabins of the previous system were suspended from a single armed hanger. The cabins can be operated independently on the north and south track ropes, another significant improvement over the old system. Each cabin has the capacity to carry 109 passengers and a cabin attendant. Cabin dimensions are 22 ft. 11.6 in. X 12 ft. 9.6 in. and each weighs 22,125 lbs empty and up to 41,525 lbs when fully loaded.

Originally opened in 1976, the Roosevelt Island Aerial Tramway System was in its 34th year of operation when it was closed in March for renovation. Its useful life expectancy had been predicted as17 years when originally installed. Having served ably for twice the expected time, it was well overdue for modernization. The Tram carries more than 2 million passengers a year and has been integrated into the MTA’s Metrocard system, so that Tram riders can transfer from and to City buses and subways.

The entire modernization project is expected to cost up to $25 million, $15 million of which was funded by the State of New York and $10 million with Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) funds. RIOC is the New York State Public Benefit Corporation which operates and develops Roosevelt Island, a community of about 12 thousand residents, developed pursuant to a 1968 General Development Plan between New York City and State, as part of the “new communities” initiative originating with federal Great Society programs. Three more high rise buildings and 2 new parks are expected to open in the next several years, completing the development plan. “The Tram modernization project anticipates increased capacity needs as the Island continues to grow,” according to Leslie Torres.
The first (North) Tram Cabin is expected to resume service in early November with the second (South) one a week to ten days later. Then, work will begin on Tram Station Improvements.

Recap Of Roosevelt Island Youth Program Soccer League's First 2 Weeks With Current Standings And Game Summaries

 Image of Octagon Soccer Field Re-Opening (not of RI Youth Soccer League)

Here's a recap for the first 2 weeks of the Roosevelt Island Youth Program Soccer League.
 The Roosevelt Island Youth Program Soccer League started with some amazing soccer in all three divisions and best of all a great new turf soccer field.

Minor Division (7-8 yr olds)
In the Minor division, the Red team (C) has jumped out ahead of the pack with a 2-0 record behind strong performances from Simon Rickman, Galen Bennie and Madeline Chenn. The Light Blue(B) and Grey (A) teams are tied with a 1-1 record and Royal Blue(D) is 0-2. Grey, who opened the season with a strong 4-2 win over Royal fell short in game #2, losing to Red 1-0. Justin Evans made an outstanding attempt to save Simon Rickman’s free kick, but the ball bounced in. Lt Blue lost to Red in week one 4-2, but redeemed themselves in week 2 vs Grey. Goals by Luke Chavez and Manuel Correa of the Red team bested Max Thomle’s (Royal) awesome PK. Royal Blue also had strong play from Avanya Ganguly, Eric Leon and Charlotte Sakmar.

Junior Division (9-10 yr olds)
In the Junior Divison, the Royal Team has had dominating wins over both Grey and Lt. Blue. They are led by Karina Loureiro, Regis Enama, Ahmed Elshakshuki and Sam Merrick. They seem to be the team to beat. Meanwhile, the Red Team has quietly posted a 2-0 record also. They are led by twin brother Blaise Enama, Yousef Afif and Aammar Bennani. The Grey team has had strong performances by DJ Smith, Aaron Pazmino and Mateo Coullare. Lt Blue’s strong performers are Auki Elkaslasy, Mark Shinozaki, Ariel Navarro and Andrew Herlihy.

Senior Division (11-14yr olds)
In the Senior Division we have had balanced play all around. In Week one, the Red and Lt Blue teams played to a 3-3 tie, while Royal ousted Grey 5-3. In Week 2 Red (1-0-1) defeated Grey 4-1 behind strong offensive performances by Roman Bogolomny(2 goals), Mohammed Dia, Stefanos Kalogrias and Kerwin Barrera. John King played great goalie while sister Laura King and Sam Chun played tough defense. The Lt Blue(1-0-1)team is lead by offensive powers Kevin Leon, Luis Vilegas and Andrew Enock, tied Red in week one and beat Royal in week 2. Solid defensive play has been turned in by Natalie Ferdinand, Jordan Chambers. The Royal Blue Team opened the season strong posting a 5-3 win over Grey. In week two, Royal fought a tough game but lost to Lt Blue 6-4. Bill Fitzgerald played outstanding goal stepping in for Ahmed Elsamanoudy, who was unable to attend. Fitzgerald made a few ESPN high light saves to keep them in the game. Other great performances were turned in by Jean Marti, Tshering Penjor and Tristan Todorovic. The Grey team (0-2) has been in each game they have played. They have had strong play from Luca Deluka, Nick Loveless, Gabby Beola and Xena Ticona. In week 2, Grey had their chances with Deluka hit the crossbar twice but came up short. Gabby Beola and Xena Ticona have proved they can play with the boys, turned in solid consistent play both weeks.

Come on out and watch a game or two. Our League plays on Thursday and Friday evenings 6pm and most of the day on Saturday(9:30 am to 3pm)
Stay tuned for more reports from the Roosevelt Island Youth Program Soccer League. The current standings for the Roosevelt Island Youth Program Soccer League are posted on the blog's middle sidebar across from the comment sections together with results from most recent games.

Report From RIOC President Leslie Torres To Roosevelt Island Residents - Tram Test Runs To Begin, New AVAC Compactors, OHNY Visits & More Project Updates

Image of RIOC President Leslie Torres

RIOC President Lesie Torres sends the following report to Roosevelt Island residents.
Date: October 6th, 2010
Despite the continuing inclement weather the first Tram cabin was attached to its carriage and hoisted on to the north side track ropes this past Tuesday. This is an important milestone in the steps to commissioning operation by the New York State Department of Labor, expected now in November. You may see the cabin being moved back and forth as painstaking testing of all the Tram’s component operating parts on the north track can now begin. The south track cabin is expected to be attached and hoisted in about two weeks and then testing on that side can begin. RIOC appreciates the community’s patience as the overhaul of this “state of the art” Tram system is nearing completion. Once finished, this kind of necessary disruption to our Aerial Tramway system should not happen again for another thirty years. The skies lifted and the sun shone just long enough for our Annual Fall for Arts weekend celebration last week. Much thanks to Erica Wilder and her events team and to RIOC’s maintenance and field crews for their hard work in producing this and the so many other great annual community events on Roosevelt Island. Can’t wait for the Halloween parade on Saturday, October 30th. Get your costumes ready!

Projects Underway - In addition to the milestone reached in the Tram modernization project :

FDR Memorial - Phase I construction is on schedule, and construction of phase II is starting ahead of expectations. Thank you to our City and State legislators and to the Mayor and the Governor for increased funding for this exciting and long awaited project.

Southpoint Open Space (Green Rooms Wild Gardens) - The comfort station has been installed. Paving of the east drive near Strecker Lab has begun. Fall planting is underway and opening date is scheduled for spring 2011. We are working closely with the FDR Memorial developers to create a smooth transition between the two areas.

AVAC - Installation of the first of two new compacters has been completed. Delivery of the second compactor is expected shortly. The NYC Department of Sanitation is sprucing up the interior of the AVAC building in time for Open House New York (OHNY). RIOC's AVAC facility (along with other Island venues) has been chosen as a venue for New Yorkers to visit as part of the OHNY October 8 & 9, city-wide program. See below - Upcoming Events - for additional information.

Motorgate Roof Waterproofing & Stairwells - The stairwell work has been completed. Waterproofing of the rooftop and the exterior of the stairwell bulkheads is 60% finished with estimated completion at the end of November.

Good Shepherd HVAC – Demolition has been completed and the installation of new equipment has begun. The project to completely replace Good Shepherd’s HVAC system is on track and expected to be completed by end of November. RIOC regrets the continuing inconvenience to residents using this Community facility and looks forward to a long and healthy useful life for our new HVAC system, once installation is finished.

Green Cleaning Program – RIOC maintenance and field crews have completed courses in “green cleaning” best practices. More to come as RIOC continues efforts to reduce its carbon footprint.

Projects in the Pipeline:

Good Shepherd Plaza – Plaza restoration work is expected this spring. The trench in front of Good Shepherd was opened to accommodate the utility lines for the HVAC restoration project.

Octagon Field Border Landscaping – Bid proposals to replace the trees along the west side of the field have been received and are being evaluated. Arborists urge that planting not begin until spring to enhance the viability of newly planted trees.

Good Shepherd Roof Replacement - Responses to a Request for Proposals from qualified architects to provide plans and specifications for the roofing replacement were received and are being evaluated. The replacement work will be scheduled to start in spring 2011.

Blackwell House Interior Renovation and Disabled Accessible Ramp - Proposals are being reviewed and we are pursuing some value engineering opportunities to keep costs down. Because some funding is being provided by New York City, a VENDEX check (City system to verify contractors' bona fides) is required. Once the lengthy City approval process is completed, the project is expected to require six (6) months to complete.

Events and Recreation:

Sportspark Activities - Sportspark Activities have been expanded again. As of October 2nd, Wheelchair Basketball was introduced from 10am to 1pm every Saturday at Sportspark. Please see the RIOC website for last minute changes to expanded pool, ping-pong and basketball hours.

Run For Congo - The annual 5K run on Roosevelt Island was held on September 25 at 9am. More than 300 participants came out to support the cause.

Fall for Arts Festival – Hundreds of children and adults gathered at Blackwell Park and the lawn south of Rivercross to take part in the many arts and crafts workshops. Festivities included an outdoor performance of Oedipus Rex, live music, food and puppet shows. If you missed the festival you can catch some of the great works of art created as murals by the Child School, the Beacon Program RIVAA and others located on the lawns near Blackwell House. To view pictures of the event, please visit

Upcoming Events:

Open House New York- On October 8th& 9th, Roosevelt Island will be a host site for the annual city-wide Open House New York celebration, where our fair City shows off its best features. From 9-4 New Yorkers can have escorted tours of AVAC, the Octagon lobby, Sportspark and the Roosevelt Island Historical Society information kiosk.

From the RIOC Archives – An exhibit curated by the Roosevelt Island Historical Society of selected RIOC archival materials is on display in Sportspark’s central corridor. Please visit and take a brief tour through Roosevelt Island’s history. A panel discussion co-sponsored with the Roosevelt Island Historical Society will be held at Sportspark this fall, exploring some of the materials from the RIOC Archives. Date to be announced.

Halloween Safety Day – The Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department is co- sponsoring a Halloween Safety Day with Safe Kids NYC on Wednesday October 27th from 5:30 -6:30 at the Public Library on Main St. Safety tips, reading to the children and treats will be available.

Roosevelt Island's Annual Halloween Parade - On Saturday, October 30th, in partnership with Urban America, managers of Roosevelt Landings, the parade of ghosts and goblins begins at Blackwell House at 12 P.M. and continues on to Capobianco Field. Everyone is encouraged to come dressed in a Halloween costume. More fun and festivities are planned for immediately after the parade at Capobianco Field. In the event of rain, festivities will be held inside PS 217.
A version of the RIOC President's column will also appears on RIOC's web site and the October 9 Main Street WIRE.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Monthly October Meeting Tonight - Come Learn What Is Happening On Roosevelt Island

 Image of September 2010 RIRA Meeting

The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) will be holding its October Monthly meeting tonight at the Good Shepherd Community Center Lower Level Room (8 PM). As always, prior to the start of each meeting there is a public session in which any resident can come and address the Common Council Delegates on any issue of concern.

Below is the Draft Agenda for tonight's meeting and reports from the RIRA Nominations and Island Services Committee.
If you are concerned about issues impacting Roosevelt Island - this is the place to be tonight.
Date: Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Time: 8:00 P.M. - Finish
Place: Good Shepherd Community Center, 543 Main Street

1. Public Session (8:00)
- RIRA Informational Meeting on October 12 RIOC Board Meeting (45 minutes, ends at 8:45)
[Excerpts of RIOC Agenda]
V. New Business
1. Authorization to Amend the Engineering Consulting Contract with Shea Carr Jewell, Inc. in Connection with the Aerial Tramway Modernization Project (Board Action Required)
2. Authorization to Enter into Amendment of Cell Antenna License Agreement with Verizon (Board Action Required)
3. Authorization to Enter into Amendment of Cell Antenna License Agreement with Sprint (Board Action Required)
4. Authorization to Take Certain Actions to Comply with Chapters 174 and 175 of the 2010 Laws of the State of New York (Board Action Required)
5. Presentation of the Proposed RIOC Budget for FY 2011-2012 (Materials to Follow)
6. Presentation of the FY 2010-2011 QTR 1 Procurement Report
7. Committee Reports
a. Audit Committee
b. Governance Committee
c. Operations Advisory Committee
d. Real Estate Development Advisory Committee
8. Public Safety Report
9. President's Report

2. Roll Call (8:45)
X 3. Approval of Agenda (8:50)
X 4. Approval of Minutes (8:55)
- May minutes
- September minutes
5. Treasurer’s Report (9:00)
- Report

6. President's Report (9:05)
7. Committee Reports (9:10)
Housing - J. Mincheff
Social, Cultural and Educational Services - N. Leopold
Island Services - A. Hamburger
- Report
Planning - M. Katz
Communications - E. Erickson
Nominations - A. Hamburger
- Report
Elections - J. Mincheff
Government Relations - A. Barfield
Public Safety - E. Feely-Nahem
8. Old Business (9:45)
9. New Business (10:00)
10. Adjourn

X Agenda items requiring action

Next Meeting of 2010-2012 Common Council: Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Here is the Nominations Committee Report
The nominations process for the Nov. 2 RIRA elections is well underway.

An article in the 9/25/10 WIRE covered the nominations process for residents of RI. Nomination Forms are available for pick-up at the Public Safety office, the Public Library, a number of residential buildings and, by request to the Nominations Chair, thru e-mail (so far 8 people have gotten their Form by e-mail). Flyers promoting nominations are being posted on all the kiosksʼ and in many residential buildings.

On Oct. 1, we had 4 completed Forms deposited in the Collection Box at Public Safety. Deadline for Nomination Forms is Sunday, Oct. 24, 8 PM.

The Nominations Committee has members from 6 residential areas – Rivercross, Westwood, Manhattan Park, 2/4 River Rd., Southtown & Octagon. We expect to add 1 or 2 members from Roosevelt Landings by 10/6/10.

The Committee is now engaged in actively recruiting candidates for the open RIRA positions – President, Vice-President and the 42 Representatives to the Common Council.

Aaron Hamburger, Chair – Nominations Committee
and the Island Services Committee Report.

Red Bus Route Thru Southtown After Tram Is Operating. 
As far as we can determine, RIOC doesnʼt have a firm plan for the Red Bus route thru Southtown. RIRAʼs President, Planning Committee & Island Services Committee will meet with Fernando Martinez and his staff on Oct. 4 to discuss and review any plans for the Red bus route after the Tram is back in service. The ISC will report about this meeting at the 10/6/10 meeting of Common Council.

RIOCʼs Operations Committee
Information obtained at the 9/27/10 meeting of the Operations Committee includes:
o Tram – One cabin will be installed, weather permitting, on Oct. 1 and the second cabin about a week later. Cars will be operated throughout October to check on the equipment and train operators. Approvals must now be obtained from many government agencies (Police Dept., Fire Dept. OEM, etc.). This may take until the end of October. Whenever, the last agency signs-off on the Tram installation, passenger service can immediately begin.
o Motorgate Lighting – RIOC is now deciding between LED or fluorescent lighting for the parking building. o Bike Lanes – RIOC is commissioning a study of a bicycle lane along the entire perimeter of RI.
o Tom Turcic, Director of Engineering, will retire on 12/31/10.
Aaron Hamburger, Chair - ISC

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Roosevelt Island Tram Cabin Docked In Station, Attached To Carriage Track And Taking Test Rides Over East River - Service Resumes Early November

Image of North Cabin Docked In Roosevelt Island Tram Station

Dont' be surprised if you see a sight today, and the during the next few weeks, all Roosevelt Island residents have been waiting for - the Roosevelt Island Tram soaring over the East River

Image of North Cabin Docked In Roosevelt Island Tram Station

One of the Roosevelt Island Tram cabins is now docked in the Roosevelt Island station attached to it's carriage track and will be taking test rides over the East River today and thereafter until the resumption of regular service scheduled for early November.

 Image of North Cabin Docked In Roosevelt Island Tram Station


Earlier this morning Lucindacv followed the progress of the Tram Cabin to the station with a series of Tweets about this auspicious day for Roosevelt Island. First:
roosevelt island big day -- flat bed truck, fotogs, crane, many hand signals - looks like tram may be moving
Roosevelt Island - we have liftoff and precision landing on flatbed - still underway
gotta leave. probably have to live on Roosevelt Island to understand why this is worth watching.
Hope to have pictures and video of Tram in operation later.

It will be great to have the Tram back in service providing a needed option for getting off Roosevelt Island. Earlier this afternoon, I, along with many other Roosevelt Island residents was stuck waiting at our F Train subway platform for more than 35 minutes before the arrival of a Manhattan Bound F Train. Of course, there was no word or announcement from the MTA concerning this delay which I later found out from the Train conductor was caused by police activity in Queens.

UPDATE 10/6 - The Roosevelt Island Tram has taken off from the station and is flying.

Above Image From Jonathan Kalkin

Here's an image of the Roosevelt Island Tram over the East River from flaviofachel via Twitpic

UPDATE 10/6 - More pictures from today's Tram excursion.

Image From DJ

NYC Wheelchair Basketball Played At Roosevelt Island's Sportspark Gym Saturday's 10 A.M. to 1 P.M.

You Tube Video of 2008 Mayor's Cup Wheelchair Basketball Tournament

Good news for wheelchair basketball players from Roosevelt Island or elsewhere. According to Roosevelt Island Disabled Association (RIDA) President Jim Bates:
Every Saturday from 10AM to 1PM Sportspark Gym at 250 Main St will be open to all Wheelchair Basketball players.

For more information contact unclejim at 212 731-4527
The Columbia Journalist reported on the positive benefits wheelchair basketball had on the life of a young man undergoing rehab at Coler-Goldwater Hospital over 20 years ago and continues to do so.

The 2010 NYC Mayor's Cup Wheelchair Basketball Tournament will be held from October 8 - 10 at Manhattan College. More information on wheelchair basketball is available at the National Wheelchair Basketball Association.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Scenes From 2010 Roosevelt Island Fall For Arts Festival - Fun Time For Kids And Adults Of All Ages, Can't Wait For The 2011 Version!


It was a beautiful day last Saturday for the 2010 Roosevelt Island Fall For Arts Festival. There were fun things for children and adults of all ages to see and do.

You could paint on a big canvas while standing up,

on a small canvas with your friends while sitting down or


have your face painted by a clown.


There were Arts and Crafts to make,

funny clowns

balloon artists,

and Giants walking among us.

You could learn how to make fresh butter,

watch a puppet show,

play hacky sack,

learn about a new clean energy electricity program,

talk issues or just say hello to Assembly Member Micah Kellner,

have some Heavenly Delights to eat,

listen to music,

and take a look at the big butterfly sculpture on the Rivercross Lawn.

There were also poetry readings at the Gallery RIVAA. Despite some initial difficulties getting started, blogger/poet Ocean Vuong

describes what it was like to read at the 2010 Roosevelt Island Fall For Arts Festival:
... Despite the loss of time, the gallery filled up and became standing room-only. The readers who did get to read were well received by a diverse and attentive crowd. It turned out quite well. I just hope curators and program directors do their homework before making impulsive decisions. There are so few people listening to poetry as it is, the least we can have is a decent place to read and be heard. However, to be fair with the director, she tried really hard to produce the program and clearly had the best intentions, in which, regardless of the outcome, I truly appreciate.

All in all, it was a great day: I got to see a wonderful little island which I never would have known without the invitation to read, I got to spend intimate and quality time with wonderful people and friends, and alas, I'd take muted poetry over no poetry at all any day.
Not to mention the Oedipus Rex performance staged by Faux-Real Theater Company.

You Tube Video of Oedipus Rex at 2010 Roosevelt Island Fall For Arts Festival

All in all a great Roosevelt Island day during the 2010 Fall For Arts Festival.

Can't wait for the 2011 version.