Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas And Happy Holidays To All On Roosevelt Island and Around The World - Hope You Are Having A Great Day

Roosevelt Island Tram Reindeer Card

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all on Roosevelt Island and around the world.

You Tube Video Of Springsteen's Merry Christmas Baby

Hope you are having a peaceful and enjoyable day.

You Tube Video Of Ramones Merry Christmas (I Don't Want To Fight Tonight)

Here's something for those who eat Chinese food on Christmas and go to the movie theater too. A funny satirical video.

You Tube Video Of Chinese Food On Christmas

I wish you all peace, love and understanding.

You Tube Video of Elvis Costelo's Peace, Love and Understanding

Friday, December 24, 2010

Roosevelt Island Youth Program Annual Christmas Party - Movie, Pizza, Soda, Hot Dogs And Presents From Santa's Helpers

The folks over at the Roosevelt Island Youth Program report on their Annual Christmas Party. From the Roosevelt Island Youth Program:

Santa and his helpers (Roosevelt Island recruits) held their annual Christmas Party for Island youth last Saturday, December 18th.

Over 100 kids and Roosevelt Island Youth Program staff from both the Youth Center and Beacon PS/IS 217 (funded by the New York City Department of Youth Services and the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation) met at the youth center.

Following a short Christmas Parade to the Tram Station we boarded the Tram


for our version of a sled ride to the City. We were treated to the 3D movie Chronicles of Narnia 3 at Clearview Cinemas on 62nd & 1st.


The movie came with all the popcorn and soda our young people could eat and drink and after the movie they returned to the youth center at 506 Main for music, holiday singing and more food -  pizza and hot dogs.


Then, Santa's Roosevelt Island helpers


gave out gifts to the kids in attendance.


The Roosevelt Island Youth Program also sent some gifts to families in need and the Executive Director made sure that additional gifts were given out to deserving youth on the Island who were very good this year.

Roosevelt Island Youth Program has had over 30 annual Christmas parties in its history giving out over 15,000 gifts and taking different themes each year. Roosevelt Island Youth Program would like to thank Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Leslie Torres, Vice-President Fernando Martinez and Donna Masley and the staff at the Tram for our sleigh ride to and from the movies and the City of New York and our good friend Carolyn Maloney for all their support.

Happy Holidays to All from the Roosevelt Island Youth Program!!!!!
All images are from the Roosevelt Island Youth Program. More here.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Still Have Time To Get Some Christmas/Holiday Gifts With That Special Roosevelt Island Flair - Miniature Tram, Tee Shirts, Unique Earrings And Cuff Links

Image of Roosevelt Island Tram Earrings From Shapeways

 Looking to make some last minute gift purchases with a little Roosevelt Island flair? How about a pair of Roosevelt Island Tram earrings pictured above or these Tram cuff links?

 Image of Roosevelt Island Tram Earrings From Shapeways

 The earrings and cuff links were created by Roosevelt Island artist and entrepreneur Ovidiu Opresco to celebrate the inauguration of the new Roosevelt Island Tram and his 70th birthday using an innovative 3D printing process fabrication technology from Shapeways. Mr. Opresco is also one of the artists that created the Crossing the East River On The Roosevelt Island Tram video.

Click here for more information about the Tram earrings and cuff-links.

I am not sure but I believe that they are also available at the Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS) Visitors Kiosk next to the Tram Station. The RIHS Visitors Kiosk will be open today and tomorrow. 

From the RIHS:

THURSDAY 12/23 12-7 P.M.

FRIDAY 12/24 12-4 P.M.





Among the items for sale is this miniature Roosevelt Island Tram

being displayed at the Kiosk's Grand Opening Celebration by RIOC's Michael Smith, Fernando Martinez, and Steve Chironis earlier this month. Mr. Chironis purchased the miniature Tram and planned on using it as a Christmas Tree ornament.

More RIHS Visitors Center Kiosk merchandise pictured here.

Only two more days until Christmas!

Make A Difference And Help Our Roosevelt Island Neighbors At Coler Goldwater Hospital - Donate Warm Clothes Or Just Stop By And Visit This Christmas And Holiday Season - It Would Make Somebody Very Happy

Members of the Coler Patient/Resident Committee at a Planning Meeting/Christmas celebration/ Image From Angelica Program

Would you like to make a big difference this Christmas season in somebody's life right here on Roosevelt Island? If so, here's how you can do it.

I received this great suggestion from a reader in response to a post on the New York Cares Winter Coat Drive sponsored here on Roosevelt Island by the Public Safety Department. Please consider making a direct donation of a warm coat or other winter clothes to our neighbors at Coler Goldwater Hospital. According to the reader:
Coler is located at 900 Main Street. The volunteer office is open from 9-4 M-F and is the first office on the left behind the Security Desk. Donations can be left at the door after hours, or with Security. Coats, scarves, hats, gloves, mittens, and gently used clothing (sweaters, wraps, pajamas) and shoes for adult men and women in all sizes are needed desperately. Many residents, have no family, or are too poor to purchase these items because the Medicaid takes all of their Social Security, and disability income etc. to pay for hospital coverage. Anyone interested in being of service needs to contact Lydia Ortiz, Director Volunteer Services, at 212 848-6011. I know there a lot of people who have lived on the island their entire lives and still have no idea what Coler Specialty Hospital and Nursing Facility is, or what a difference can be made when someone receives a winter coat, or decent clothing., or a visit.

A little help goes a long way there.

Who knows what good things might happen from a post in the RI blog.
I suspect that donating winter clothes to a Coler Goldwater Hospital patient or making a visit during the Holiday/Christmas season will make you feel a little bit warmer too!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Roosevelt Island Water Main For Blackwell House Leaking Into MTA Vent Shaft Reason For Road Work At Turnaround - Leak Now Fixed

Image of Blackwell Turnaround Road Work

Have you noticed the road work being done at the Blackwell Turnaround recently? Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Vice President Of Operations Fernando Martinez tells us why.
On December 8, 2010, NYC DEP gave us " Three - Day Notice to Cure". DEP discovered that the MTA vent shaft was being flooded by one of RIOC's water main lines. The water line feeding Blackwell House was leaking under the electrical wire bank. Water was getting into the wire bank and through the conduits to the vent shaft. We called a contractor to make the repairs. The water main for Blackwell House wasn't indicated on DEP or on our maps. In addition, the water main was difficult to trace because of an interference from other utilities under the pavement. The job was further complicated by the cold weather, heavy traffic, and a very thick layer of concrete. The contractor was also instructed to install shut off valves for the Blackwell House and sprinkle/fountain water lines. None existed previously. As of today, all of the piping is installed, which was inspected and approved by DEP. Today, the contractor will backfill the trench and cover it with the steel plates. The plates will be set even with the pavement. In the Spring, we will completely restore the road.
Image of Blackwell Turnaround Road Work

Public Purpose Fund Grant Application Deadline For Roosevelt Island Organizations Coming Up Soon - Remember To Get Your Papers In By Friday December 31

 Pile Of Money Image From Richwealthpig

Received the following message from Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Community Relations Specialist Erica Wilder:
Hello All:

Please be advised that the deadline to submit the 2011 Public Purpose Grant Applications is Friday, December 31st at 12 PM. Applications can be mailed or dropped off at 591 Main Street with all supporting documents.

If you have any additional questions, please contact me by phone or email.

Good Luck!
Click here if you are a Roosevelt Island organization interested in obtaining Public Purpose funds from RIOC and here for previous posts on subject.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ground Lease Term Extension Sought For Roosevelt Island Mitchell Lama Rivercross Building In Order To Lock In Low Interest Rates For Refinancing - How Does This Impact Any Privatization Plan?

Image of Rivercross Building Entrance

During the December Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board Of Directors Meeting, an item not on the original Agenda having to do with a resolution extending the term of years for the ground lease on the Rivercross Building was proposed. RIOC President Leslie Torres explained to the Directors that in order for Rivercross to lock in currently favorable interest rates for a bank loan refinancing to undertake necessary building wide improvements, an extension of it's current ground lease term (currently through 2028) by RIOC was necessary before any future increase in interest rates.

Below is the Proposed Resolution.
Agenda Item V, 7. December 15, 2010 PROPOSED RESOLUTION
WHEREAS, “Rivercross Tenants Corp.” (“Rivercross”) is the lessee under a Ground Lease from the New York State Urban Development Corporation (“UDC”), as amended and restated November 30, 1977 (the “Ground Lease”); and

WHEREAS, UDC's interest in the Ground Lease has been assigned to RIOC; and

WHEREAS, Rivercross wishes to refinance the mortgage on its property in order to raise funds for necessary capital improvements and to keep the project in the Mitchell-Lama program, and, in order to do so, needs to extend the term of the Ground Lease, which currently expires in 2028;


RESOLVED, that the President of RIOC be, and she hereby is, authorized and directed to cause an extension of the Ground Lease to be prepared reflecting, that so long as Rivercross continues in the Mitchell-Lama program (i) the term of the Ground Lease shall be extended for an additional term of years sufficient to facilitate the proposed refinancing by Rivercross, (ii) the Base Ground Rent payable to RIOC shall continue at the current level of $2,624.48 per month, escalating 3% as of January 1, 2012, and cumulatively thereafter on each anniversary of such date during the term,(iii) the Tax Equivalent Payments to the ESDC shall continue to be determined under the "Shelter Rent" formula in accordance with the letter between Rivercross and ESDC dated February 5, 2008, and (iv) and containing such other terms as are mutually satisfactory to both parties, and in compliance with the terms of the Public Authorities Law; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the President be, and she hereby is, authorized to cause an explanatory statement of the proposed transaction to be prepared and transmitted to those parties entitled to receive such a statement under the Public Authorities Law; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the President/Chief Executive Officer or her designee be, and she hereby is, authorized and directed to take such further actions and execute such further documents as are necessary or desirable to effectuate the foregoing; and be it further

RESOLVED, that these resolutions shall take effect immediately.
During the discussion by the RIOC Board, Director Margie Smith stated that before there are any headlines she wanted to clearly understand that nothing in the proposed resolution precludes the Rivercross Building from being privatized and leaving the Mitchell - Lama Program in the future. I did not hear a direct answer from any of the other Directors or RIOC staff to Ms. Smith's question.

The resolution was passed unanimously by the RIOC Directors.

After the meeting, I asked Ms. Torres if this resolution means that Rivercross has to stay in the Mitchell Lama program in order to receive the ground lease extension. She indicated that was what it meant. I asked Ms. Smith the same question and she said that the resolution has no impact on whether Rivercross is privatized or not.

Being thoroughly confused and in order to understand the impact of this resolution, I sent the following email message to RIOC President Torres yesterday.
Can you please clarify the impact of the RIOC Board's December 15 Resolution concerning an extension of the Rivercross building ground lease?

After reading the Resolution, It appears to me that the Resolution only authorizes a Ground Lease extension if Rivercross stays in the Mitchell Lama program and does not go private as advocated by some.

Is that an accurate reading of the resolution? If not, can you please explain how that is not correct?

If so, what happens if the ground lease extension is granted and Rivercross subsequently decides it wants to go private - is the Ground lease extension rescinded? Is Rivercross permitted to go private if they receive this ground lease extension?

These are important public Roosevelt Island policy questions impacting all of Roosevelt Island.

I want to be accurate in what I post about this topic so would appreciate any thoughts or comments you have on the matter.
I also sent a similar inquiry to Ms. Smith. Have not yet received a response from either Ms. Torres or Ms. Smith. Will post when and if I do.

The webcast of the December RIOC Board of Directors meeting is available online including the discussion concerning the Rivercross ground lease extension (at approximately the 30 minute mark). Watch it yourself to see how decisions are made on Roosevelt Island.

Some interesting highlights of the discussion include RIOC Director David Kraut stating that he understood that due to the possibility of increased interest rates, time may be of the essence to Rivercross in getting a ground lease extension but time may not be of the essence in this case to RIOC and noted that the Real Estate Committee did not approve this resolution before it came to the full Board as is typically the case in real estate matters.

Mr. Kraut also raised the very important issue of the large discrepancies in the amount of ground rents paid to RIOC by the older WIRE buildings as compared to the higher ground rents paid by the  newer buildings at Manhattan Park, Octagon and Riverwalk. Mr. Kraut indicated that he is concerned that Rivercross, Island House, Westview do not contribute their fair share to RIOC and the operations of Roosevelt Island. In the event that privatization of these buildings do occur, Mr. Kraut wants every effort be made to insure that these buildings pay their fair share.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Donate A Warm Winter Coat To The Roosevelt Island New York Care Winter Coat Drive - Drop Coats Off At Public Safety Department

Do you have a warm coat not be using this winter? If so, please consider donating it to the New York Cares Coat Drive being sponsored on Roosevelt Island by the Public Safety Department. According to the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department:

From New York Cares:
90% of homeless adults need a new, warm coat each winter because they have no place to keep one over the summer months. But it's not just homeless people who need our help; thousands of New Yorkers each year are forced to make a choice between buying a winter coat and putting food on the table, or meeting other basic survival needs.

New York Cares collects nearly 70,000 gently used, freshly laundered winter coats each December and distributes them to thousands of men, women, and children who would otherwise be cold....

Sunday, December 19, 2010

It's Coming On Christmas - There's No Skating On The East River But Listen To A Beautiful Irish Fairytale Of New York With The Pogues - What's Your Favorite Holiday Season Song?

It's coming on Christmas, very, very soon. Here are two of my favorite Christmas songs. Sarah McLaughlan's version of River

You Tube Video of Sarah McLaughlan's River

and the beautiful Fairytale of New York from the The Pogues, as only the Irish can do.

You Tube Video Of The Pogues Fairytale Of New York

Just learned that The Pogues will be playing NYC shows from March 15- 17. That's a present!

Here's the story behind The Pogues Fairytale of New York.

What's your favorite Christmas/Holiday Song?