Friday, January 28, 2011

Report From RIOC President Leslie Torres - Stunning Roosevelt Island Winter, Efficient Snow Removal, Temporary Tram Service Pause, Projects Underway, In The Pipeline & Upcoming Events

 Image Of RIOC Crews Removing Snow From Street

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

Date: 1/25/2011

Winter has been in full force this year but it has been simply stunning on Roosevelt Island. Our Grounds Crew and transportation workers have done an excellent job keeping the island running smoothly and safely. This season I have seen that when severe weather is well-managed, you have the privilege of enjoying nature, especially amidst beautiful views such as those on Roosevelt Island.

All this month, we have also been managing a trial period for Red Bus-Tram schedule coordination. With thorough communication and cooperation between our drivers, dispatch, residents, and administration we will create a system that serves the public’s needs efficiently and conveniently.

I appreciate all the residents that have presented their input in recent months and would like to thank the RIOC employees that have worked so hard to make this island an example of community responsiveness.

Thank you everyone and stay safe.

Projects Underway:

Good Shepherd Chapel Flooring Repair – In the Chapel’s multipurpose area and the offices, including the back office, removal of existing tile has been completed and an RFP has been published for solicitation of a contractor to install the new flooring finish.

Good Shepherd Chapel HVAC Installation – Work continues on installation of the new HVAC System. The new system is expected to be completed by the end of April 2011.

Motorgate Parking Garage Refurbishing – Parking spots that were closed during construction have been open back up for use. On the 7th floor, the steel fence has been removed and the area is expected to be available for parking approximately 2 weeks from this Saturday, January 29th.

Z-Brick Resetting – Weather permitting, repair of low spots and trip hazards will continue.

Projects in the Pipeline:

Tram Service Pause – The Aerial Tramway temporarily suspended service on January 18th. Tram crew has analyzed the situation to find that the antennae on the Tramway towers that monitor the tension of the track cables had their insulation breached by the built-up ice. This resulted in an interrupted signal which prompted the safety mechanism to shut the system down and return the cabins to their stations. Tram crew has since reinforced the antennae’s insulation and multiple tests have confirmed that the problem will not reoccur. In case of service changes, Tram riders are notified on the digital screens located at both
Tram stations. Service changes are also communicated through the RIOC website,, RIOC's facebook page, RIOCNY, and RIOC email advisories. We encourage everyone to subscribe to RIOC email advisories by following the link on the RIOC homepage, http://

Red Bus Schedule Changes – The trial period for RIOC’s new coordinated Tram and Bus schedules continues through January. Please consult the RIOC website,, for an up-to-date Red Bus schedule as well as a Tram schedule. Also, please send all suggestions and comments to or to help us work together as a community to create the best transportation system possible.

Events, Recreation, & Community:

Field Permits for Spring – Permits for Roosevelt Island field use for the spring season beginning April 1st are now being accepted, so get your applications in early. Roosevelt Island residents receive steep discounts. Relevant forms and information can be found on the RIOC website’s “Doing Business With Us” tab.

Graffiti Removal – On Saturday, January 15, 2011, at 8:39 PM, the Public Safety Department apprehended three individuals in possession of paint and markers who claimed responsibility for 25% of the graffiti in Motorgate parking garage. This result can be attributed to increased Public Safety patrols of the Motorgate area based on resident reports. The individuals were charged with Criminal Mischief, Graffiti, and Possession of Graffiti Instruments. 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.

Grandparents Safety Day – On Tuesday, February 22nd, from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, Public Safety is co-sponsoring Grandparents Safety Day along with Safe Kids NYC. The event will take place at the Senior Center located at 546 Main Street.

Roosevelt Island Film Gallery at Sportspark – The Roosevelt Island Film Gallery is located at the east and west lobbies of Sportspark and it consists of film posters for movies shot on or depicting the island. Approximately 50 posters are currently displayed, including the 1935 movie “Blackwell’s Island,” starring John Garfield. Anyone who can name a movie or television show which should be included in the showcase should please email Michael Smith at

Sportspark Table Tennis Tournament – On Sunday, February 5th, we will have our first table tennis qualifying tournament at Sportspark. There will be beginner, intermediate, and advanced categories and the format is round-robin. The results from this tournament will decide the players who advance and compete in the finals, the tournament at the upcoming Health and Fitness Day for which trophies are awarded.
A version of the RIOC President's column also appears on RIOC's web site and the January 29, 2011 Main Street WIRE.  

Roosevelt Island Public Safety Officers Injured While Suspect Resisting Arrest, Officers OK - Be Alert For Signs Of Graffiti Tagging & December 2010 Public Safety Blotter

The 1/24 - 25 Roosevelt Island Public Safety Report indicated:

Assault on a Peace Officer- PSD arrested the subject
Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department Director Keith Guerra adds:
On Tuesday, January 25th, two of our Public Safety Officers were injured while apprehending two suspects that were high on drugs. One of the subjects resisted arrest and fought with the Officers. Both Officers were treated and released for their injuries. The two subjects were arrested; one released with Criminal Court Summonses and the other went through Manhattan Central Booking.
Also, as previously reported, the Public Safety Department recently arrested:
... three males in connection to a Graffiti spree that had taken place in the Motorgate Parking Garage. The males were found in possession of paint cans and markers and claimed responsibility for 25% of the graffiti in the Motorgate, including fresh graffiti that had been found in stairwell BB. They were subsequently charged with Criminal Mischief: Graffiti, and Possession of Graffiti Instruments....
and provided this graphic for Roosevelt Island parents to be alert for in the event their child is involved in graffiti.

Below is the December 2010 Roosevelt Island Public Safety Blotter. Incidents include:
  • Escort requested for female suffering from Alzheimer's to her residence. Female escorted and secured in apartment without incident. (12/17 - 575 Main Street)
  • Male subject observed at location causing a disturbance and making derogatory statements against PSD. Subject left location. Subject's Mother later made a complaint that her son was being harassed. (12/2 - 579 Main Street)
  •  Reporter advised unknown male subject telephoned for her to send money out of the country to obtain a $4.5 million cash prize. R/O dialed number and spoke with subject who became irate. Number on file. Victim advised not to send money. (12/10 - 525 Main Street)
  • Reporter advised while performing snow removal he struck parked vehicle causing scratches and dents. 911 notified for police report. Note was left on vehicle to contact PSD regarding damages. (12/26 - 400 Main Street)
  • ARREST Male subject observed urinating in public. Male is son of diplomat and was not issued summons due to diplomatic immunity. (12/31 - Front Of 560 Main Street)
  • Victim is driver of taxi cab and reported two males requested pick up. One subject was in a wheel chair and while victim was helping him into the vehicle the other male subject took $500 from his wallet. Both subjects fled the scene, one on foot and one in a vehicle. (12/21 - 20 River Road)
  • ARREST R/O responded to group of disorderly males. Male subject punched male victim in the head. Subject was positively identified by victim and taken into custody. Subject was transported to 114 Precinct for arrest processing. (12/17 - 510 Main Street) and
  • Two male victims were approached by two male subjects, one with a knife, and were asked to give them their jacket and hat valued at approximately $300 for both. Subjects took items and fled. Victims approached adult male for help. Adult male approached subjects and returned items to victims. Incident took place on 12/22/10 but was not reported to PSD until 12/23/10. NYPD notified for report. School Director was notified of incident as well. Students will be escorted to subway in the future. Follow up with regard to robbery on 12/23/10 by PSD Detectives on 12/24/10. Victims and subjects were interviewed at the 114th Precinct and it was determined by NYPD Juvenile Officers that the male youth subjects be released to their parents. (12/13 - Front of 526 Main Street)
December 2010 Public Safety Blotter

Roosevelt Island 2010 Public Safety Calls For Services/Responses statistics are here.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Late Evening Recon Of A Snowy Roosevelt Island Night

Image From Trevre  Andrews

Roosevelt Island resident Trevre Andrews took a recon last evening of a snowy Roosevelt Island night and came back with these pictures.

Image From Trevre Andrews

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Another Snowstorm Coming Tonight - RIOC Issues No Parking Advisory For Roosevelt Island's Main Street Starting 4 PM This Afternoon

Image of Snowplows Getting Ready For Tonight's Snowstorm

We're expecting more snow starting later tonight. RIOC issued the following advisory this afternoon:
Please be advised there will be no parking on Main Street from 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, January 26th to 4:00 p.m. Thursday, January 27th in anticipation of the upcoming snow storm.

All motor vehicle owners should utilize the Motorgate Parking Garage for the parking of their vehicles.

Thank you for your cooperation.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
Make sure you get your cars off the Roosevelt Island streets.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ambulance Takes 20 Minutes To Arrive For Roosevelt Island Child Not Breathing - Dispatched From Long Island - Then Has Difficulty Finding Hospital

 Roosevelt Island Ambulance Image From

How long should it take an ambulance to respond to a Roosevelt Island medical emergency? According to the NY Post, the average response time for a New York City ambulance responding to a life threatening medical emergency last year was 5 minutes and 15 seconds. A recent incident occurred on Roosevelt Island involving a child not breathing and turning blue in which it took an ambulance 20 minutes to arrive. A Roosevelt Island resident sends in this message describing what happened:
A friend of mine, who lives at the Octagon, has a one year old daughter who had a seizure ... around midnight (she is ok now but she was blue, not breathing, unconscious).  It took an ambulance 20 minutes to get there. Before that the firemen came but I guess they are not sufficiently trained to deal with such things and were basically useless. It turns out the ambulance that eventually transported them to NY Presbyterian came all the way from Long Island (not Long Island City!) and it took the driver some time to figure out how to get to NY Presbyterian hospital. I did a little investigating this morning and found out that RI had a dedicated ambulance (since 2008) but doesn't any more (according to public safety). why?
I asked Roosevelt Island Public Safety Director Keith Guerra if the ambulance assigned by the FDNY for Roosevelt Island is still stationed on Roosevelt Island. Mr. Guerra replied:
The Ambulance is still stationed on Roosevelt Island. When it's not around, it's because it is doing a transport to the hospital from here or it needed to go over the bridge for a call close by.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Roosevelt Island Youth Program Martial Arts Gee Presentation Ceremony To Local Kids - Classes Available For You Too!

Image Of Martial Arts Participants From Roosevelt Island Youth Program

Received the following announcement from the Roosevelt Island Youth Program:
Roosevelt Island Youth Program Gee Presentation Ceremony

Sensei Dawn Marie Ely and Beacon Director Hassan Wazani held our Gee presentation ceremony for our 6 to 8 year old Martial Arts group last week. This is the 20th year the Roosevelt Island Youth Program has offered free Martial Arts classes for youth and adults, the Martial Arts Program is a New York City Department of Youth and Development funded component of the Roosevelt Island Youth Program Inc. Pictured below are our 6 to 9 year old class and the three members receiving their gees from Sensei Ely are Anthony Chin, Fazeel Asim and Nicole Wallace. The classes are held at PS/IS 217 Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evening from 6 to 9PM. If you are interested please call Hassan Wazani at 212-527-2505 between 2 and 9PM, Monday to Friday.
Congratulations to the kids for their accomplishment.