Friday, January 14, 2011

Report From RIOC President Leslie Torres - Winter Snowstorms, New Tram Schedule, Tram Station Heating, New Red Bus Stops, Dedication Of Ping Pong Court, Organic Fertilizers, Grafitti Removal & More

Image of Ms Torres & Roosevelt Island Tram Cake from RIOC's Facebook Page

RIOC President Lesie Torres sends the following report to Roosevelt Island residents.
RIOC President's Column

Date: 1/12/2011

Happy New Year to all residents and friends of Roosevelt Island! Our recent winter storms resulted in difficulties for many New York City commuters but the streets of Roosevelt Island were quickly cleared for our buses and resident vehicles. I am extremely pleased by our Grounds and Maintenance crew’s impressive work. I sincerely thank our employees who work through all sorts of strong weather and show great dedication to the Roosevelt Island community.

On a related note, the Tram remained in service during the entire time of the December 26th blizzard, including high winds exceeding 50 miles per hour. Operation of the Tram only stopped briefly because of lightning during the storm. Almost six weeks into operation of the modernized Tram, I am proud to report that the system is performing very well.

Also, the New Year marks a changing of the guard in the Governor’s office. So, I would like to congratulate our new Governor, Andrew Cuomo, on his election. I am positive that this New Year will see great prosperity and infrastructure and service development on Roosevelt Island and in all of New York State.


Projects Underway:

Good Shepherd Chapel Flooring Repair – In the Chapel’s multipurpose area and the offices, including the back office, removal of existing tile is in progress and installation of the floor finish will follow. The flooring is anticipated to be complete by the end of April 2011.

Good Shepherd Chapel HVAC Installation – Work continues on installation of the new HVAC System. Temporary heaters have been placed in the Multi Purpose Room to accommodate event usage until the new system’s expected completion by the end of April 2011.

Motorgate Parking Garage Refurbishing – The 7th floor and roof of Motorgate Parking Garage are now available for parking except for 60 spots still being renovated.

Tram Heating – Radiant Heater installation in both the Roosevelt Island and Manhattan station platforms is now complete.

Z-Brick Resetting – Board approval has been received for additional funds to continue eliminating pot holes and low spots in the early spring.

Projects in the Pipeline:

AVAC Underground Piping – During inspection of the AVAC system piping, seriously worn areas in the 20” diameter piping under Gristedes and in the east-west run between Roosevelt Landings and Capobianco Field were discovered. The RIOC Board has approved a proposal to repair the worn areas.

Tram Departure Times – A New Tram departure schedule is planned for the week of January 17th. It will then be posted on island kiosks, Tram cabin monitors, the RIOC facebook page,, and the RIOC website, Paper schedules will be available at the RIOC offices at 591 Main Street and an advisory will be sent out to all those subscribing to the RIOC advisories. To sign up please visit the RIOC website and follow the link on the left side of the home page.

Tram Station Bus Stops – RIOC will implement two Red Bus stops near the Tram station. The first bus stop will be located on the East side of the Tram entrance, opposite Firefighter’s Field. The second bus stop will be located across the street from the Roosevelt Island Historical Society kiosk. The bus stops will also be serviced by the Q102 and will have bus shelters. The effective start- date of the bus stops will be January 18th. For a map of the new bus stops and routes, please see the RIOC website,

Events, Recreation, & Community:

Dedication of “George Braithwaite Ping-Pong Court” – The Roosevelt Island Table Tennis Program, which provides free lessons to residents every Wednesday night and has over 70 registrants, was created by George Braithwaite. George, who is a 35 year resident of the island and was inducted into the USA Table Tennis Hall of Fame in 1989, played on the US team that visited China in 1971, bridging what was then a political gap with an historic gesture of “Ping-Pong Diplomacy.” This April marks the 40th anniversary of this historic event and in recognition (3) outdoor cement ping-pong tables will be installed in the area adjacent the handball courts in Capobianco Park. The court will be dedicated to George during this year’s “Health & Fitness Day” in May.
In addition, Henge, Inc. (the manufacturer of the tables) and the USATT will be promoting the event. Mark your calendars because as part of their promotion, free ping-pong paddles and balls will be distributed to the island youth.

Graffiti Removal – With the help of the Public Safety Department, the Grounds Crew will continue to remove all graffiti island-wide. We encourage everyone to report any incidents of graffiti directly to Public Safety at (212) 832-4545 to ensure immediate removal.

Island-wide use of Organic Fertilizer and Pesticides – We will implement an "Organic Only" policy regarding fertilizer, herbicides, pesticides and pest control starting this spring. As a result, lawns may not be as green and weed control may not be as comprehensive but, based on research and public opinion, we believe that the benefits of using non-toxic chemicals and fertilizer will be well worth it. This is one of several major "Green Initiatives" being undertaken by the Corporation which also include purchasing Hybrid buses and other electric vehicles, purchasing 20% of electric usage from biomass sources, using recycled print paper only, converting to "Green" cleaning supplies, and installing energy- efficient Xcelerator bathroom hand dryers. Other major "Green" initiatives in the planning stages are Solar Panels, Electric Car Charging Stations and LED Lighting.

Public Safety Department Coat Drive – The New York Cares Coat Drive, sponsored by the Public Safety Department, collected 320 coats this year. The coats have been donated to the program for distribution.

Roosevelt Island Film Locations Promotional Video – A promotional video and brochure to be targeted toward film production companies is currently in development. The video will promote the island’s unique photographic locations such as the Tram, Octagon Field, Lighthouse Park, Southpoint Openspace (opening Spring 2011), FDR Memorial (opening Fall 2012), Sportspark and the Promenades to name a few. Through the efforts of Erica Wilder, Community Relations Specialist, RIOC will work in conjunction with several film schools whereby students will develop the video and brochure as a school project with a scholarship given to the winner
A version of the RIOC President's column also appears on RIOC's web site and the January 15, 2011 Main Street WIRE.  


Anonymous said...

I am glad at least the RIOC still lets Rooseveltislander publish its column. Maybe Katz and Co will have a change of heart at some point.

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