Saturday, February 26, 2011

Roosevelt Island On The Web Links

Roosevelt Island on the Web Links as appearing in the February 26, 2011 Main Street WIRE.

Roosevelt Islander - Call For Pedestrian Safety Barrier On Roosevelt Island Bridge
Roosevelt Islander - Octagon Fuel Cell For Roosevelt Island
Roosevelt Island 360 - Swinging Tram In High Winds Causes Screams
Gcris Tweet - Scary Ride On Roosevelt Island Tram
Roosevelt Island School G&T Program Blog - PS/IS 217 Tour
RIOC - Advertise On The Red Bus
RIOC - Health & Fitness Day Basketball Registration
RIOC - Black History Month Swing Dancing
Roosevelt Island Listings - Take Over 2 Bedroom Apartment Lease
You Tube - NYPD Car Stop On Roosevelt Island
You Tube - Parkour and Free Running Roosevelt Island Jam
You Tube - Roosevelt Island Street Magic Show
You Tube - Tour Of Roosevelt Island 2 Bedroom Apartment
You Tube - Roosevelt Island Apartment Tour For Roommates
Duc Le Photography - Roosevelt Island Winter
The Mother Geek Tweet - Meteor Over Roosevelt Island
Gothamist - Almost Deep Impacted By Meteor
Curbed - Stanford Interested In Roosevelt Island Goldwater Site
San Jose Mercury News - Stanford, MIT Interested In Goldwater site
WSJ - Mumbai University Interested in Goldwater Site
USA Today - Roosevelt Island Wireless Parking App
NY Times - Reviews Roosevelt Island
Eco Politics Daily - Bike Sharing Rendering At Roosevelt Island Subway
Bronx Banter Blog - Subway Help To Roosevelt Island
Susan Runs - Jogging On Roosevelt Island
The Unlikely Boat Builder - Sails Past Roosevelt Island
Philosopher Girl - View Of Manhattan Through Renwick Ruins

Friday, February 25, 2011

High Wind Alert For New York City Tonight - Thrillseekers, Try A Ride On The Swinging Roosevelt Island Tram Over The East River

Are you a New York City thrillseeker looking for something to do tonight? Do you enjoy riding on roller coasters?

Then you might want to consider a ride on the Roosevelt Island Tram later this evening.

As reported earlier, during last weekend's high winds one non-thrillseeking Roosevelt Island Tram rider wrote to Roosevelt Island 360:
Today's ride (02-19-2011) was HORRIBLE. People were screaming inside. Due to high wind the cabin was swinging terribly. I'll never take the tram during windy days. I was scared to death!
Also, gcris tweeted:
Roosevelt Island Tram. Nothing scarier than being suspended on 3 wires on windy day above the East River.
High winds are predicted again for later tonight. According to the Wall Street Journal:
The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning for New York City.

It's in effect from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. EST Friday.

The weather service says there could be sustained winds of 20 to 30 mph, with gusts up to 60 mph.

It says the wind could bring down trees and power lines.
So, if you like being tossed around a cabin high up over the East River, a ride on the Roosevelt Island Tram is the thing to do tonight. The Tram will be swinging, particularly near the towers.

On the other hand, if this does not sound appealing, better consider carefully whether you want to use the Tram tonight during high winds.

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC), the Tram:
Operates in all weather conditions except for lightning and winds over 50 miles per hour.
Good luck to all you thrillseekers!

Graffiti Arrest Made By Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department - Suspect Claimed Responsibility For Over 100 Tags On Roosevelt Island

Received the following message from Roosevelt Island Public Safety Director Keith Guerra:

On February 23, 2011, our Department made a great arrest catching a Graffiti Artist who was defacing property in Roosevelt Landings.

{Name Redacated} (17), who has been residing with his girlfriend in Building 540, was apprehended after a short pursuit and claimed responsibility for more than 100 tags of graffiti on the island. His tag of "ISK8" which means I skate, has been spotted in several places throughout Roosevelt Landings and throughout the island to Coler Hospital.

{Name Redacted} was also wanted by the NYPD and was also subsequently arrested by the NYPD Vandals Unit as well.

He was booked at the 114th Pct and processed to Manhattan Criminal Court. Following his arraignment there, he will be transported to Queens Criminal Court to answer the charges made by the NYPD.

The PSD Officers are to be commended for catching this mischievous individual and for hopefully putting an end to his damaging of property here on Roosevelt Island.
I redacted the name of the suspect.

Report From RIOC President Leslie Torres - Roosevelt Island 2012 Budget, Road Maintenance, Tram Station Improvements, Red Bus Schedule, Public Safety, Parks, Capital Improvements, Smart Parking, Electric Car Charging Stations & More

Image Of Tram Station Canopy From Scribd via RIOC

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Lesie Torres sends the following report to Roosevelt Island residents.
This past December, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) approved its 2012 budget. It's a budget I'm proud of because while it took hard work and sacrifice to get there, the end result is good news for Roosevelt Islanders: we’ve been able to create a budget that maintains services for residents and businesses.

Our entire 2012 approved budget is available online, but I wanted to share with you some basic information as we look at the year ahead.

Roadway Maintenance: RIOC has budgeted sufficient funds to repair and maintain all Island roadways. As soon as the weather is appropriate for road repairs, our crews will be out filling potholes and fixing other roadway problems.

Transportation: This year we plan to make Tram station upgrades including pedestrian enclosures on loading platforms, ADA bathrooms at the R.I. Station, an additional ADA elevator at the Manhattan Station, and new lighting, flooring and painting at both Stations. We will also continue to improve bus operations. We recently upgraded the entire bus fleet to Electric Hybrid, installed GPS tracking service on all buses, and implemented a bus schedule. This year we plan to install ADA benches at all the bus enclosures.

Public Safety: We will continue to supplement NYPD services at the same level as in prior years and finish installing a camera security system to make the Island even safer. Our safety officers, and the level of security they provide on the Island, are in large part responsible for Roosevelt Island being one of the safest neighborhoods in the City, and we intend to keep it that way.

Parks and Recreation: We will manage to make final investments and open up Southpoint Park in the spring, increase activities at Sportspark, including re-opening the fitness room with brand new fitness equipment, and we’ll continue to offer our summer film series. This summer we will be re-aligning our seasonal workers, maintaining the same number as last year but putting more to work in the Grounds and Maintenance departments. We also have a goal of increasing the Youth Center work program from 5 to 10 workers.

Capital Improvements: The development of the remaining 3 Southtown buildings will have a significant impact on future projected cash flow. Until those projects come online, only capital projects deemed necessary will move forward. For 2012, we have budgeted for the following capital improvements:
  • Good Shepherd plaza & roof restoration  
  • Main Street road repair  
  • Seawall railing replacement  
  • Sportspark HV AC replacement
  • Motorgate lighting and interior renovation
There’s always more that can be done, and we at RIOC are constantly looking for ways to make Roosevelt Island a better place to live, work and visit. Roosevelt Island is a great community, and we intend to keep it that way.

Other Improvements for the Year Ahead
On February 17th, the Operations Committee of the RIOC Board of Directors met to discuss some ongoing and future projects. I wanted to share some of the updates with you:

Electric Car Charging Stations: RIOC is publishing an RFP for the installation of Electric Vehicle Charging Stations at Motorgate. This pilot project will test the feasibility of providing charging capability on a small scale; a maximum of six vehicles will be able to be charged at once. The project will make a modest contribution to City pollution reduction goals, enabling green-minded residents and Roosevelt Island visitors to adopt these technologies with a convenient place to refuel.

Red bus Service and Schedule: The schedule for the Red Bus has been extensively reviewed by community members as well as drivers, and this information has been used to adjust the schedule to increase efficiency and sustainability. Moving forward, RIOC will be working with Nextbus to analyze the arrival and departure times of the Red Bus from its scheduled stops along the various routes to ensure that the schedule is maintained.

Streetline Project: RIOC is finalizing a trial agreement for smart parking meters that will be integrated with the parking sensors that are embedded in each parking space. Additional parking meters are expected to be installed in early March. The project will allow for better enforcement of parking rules, enhancing opportunities for finding that perfect spot exactly when it’s needed.

2011 is shaping up to be a busy year, full of improvements to Roosevelt Island roadways, transportation, parks, sports facilities, and more. All of which make the Island a great place to live. More information about many of the above items are available on our website at For information about events and Island news, join our Facebook page.
A version of the RIOC President's column also appears on RIOC's web site and the February 26, 2011 Main Street WIRE. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Roosevelt Island Tram Rider Would Like Immediate Notification Of Service Disruptions - Are You Having Difficulty Obtaining Roosevelt Island Information and Questions Answered From RIOC?

Question & Answer Image From Get Entreprenurial

Have you had difficulty obtaining information and questions answered from the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC)? A new Roosevelt Island resident, Erin, has experienced this problem and asks:
How can I get info regarding the status of tram operation?  Twice I have found only one car operating during rush hour.  Had I known this I would have gone straight to the subway as I depend on timely service to arrive at work promptly.  I've emailed an address found on some RIOC site/document at least three times and have not gotten any response.
I replied:
What email address did you use to contact RIOC? I understand there have been problems with RIOC Directors receiving emails to them at

Here is a link to email addresses for RIOC employees. RIOC VP Of Operations Fernando Martinez is responsible for Tram operations.

This may help. When the Tram is out of service for a period of time, RIOC sends an email to those who have signed up for it's Advisories.

The email address to sign up for RIOC's advisories is

RIOC is attempting to improve it's information technology with systems such as Next Bus that show the current status of the Red Bus so perhaps they can do the same thing with the Tram.

I will ask RIOC about this and hopefully we can get them to improve their communications concerning the Tram....
Erin responded:
I think it must have been the "advisories" ( I've tried to subscribe to but get no response to the email to confirm.  I certainly appreciate notices for such long term events but it would seem there should be something in place to get out information needed immediately, including but not limited to tram service delays.  I became a "fan" on facebook hoping this would be a place to post notices, but the only information posted seems to be be feel good articles about the island and RIOC. 

So, does anything exist to give service updates on the tram? 

We're a new family on the island and appreciate the slower pace.  It's certainly making our transition to big city living easier.  And with that slower pace our expectations are not that things operate like a fine tuned machine or that everything be on the cutting edge of technology but we also see a great deal of wasted potential on the island and in island operations...
I have been told that RIOC will soon be implementing and staffing the See Click Fix Roosevelt Island reporting system. See Click Fix will enable residents to inform RIOC about problems and issues on Roosevelt Island and check back online to see if these problems have been fixed.

See Click Fix is a great improvement but that will not help residents like Erin who would like to know in advance when the Tram is not working or operating with reduced capacity.

Is it reasonable to expect immediate notification when Tram service is disrupted? It would be great if that can be done here on Roosevelt Island but subway riders don't get immediate notification from the MTA when there is a delay in F Train service, should Tram riders expect more?

UPDATE 7 PM - RIOC Director Jonathan Kalkin provides some answers:
I have been looking into a number of ways to notify residents about service interruptions and handle island issues. I will check if there are any issues with our present email notification system. Text messages, Twitter, Facebook are good instant ways of notifying residents in addition to the notification system we currently have in place, but it only works if RIOC assigns staff to be ready to send out the message. We are currently preparing to deploy our Roosevelt Island 311 SeeClickFix system. We were testing the service and it will be in full force with flyers and information on our website and on the island.  We had a problem with the directors email for a bit, but it is working now and I usually answer them daily. A number of solutions are in the pipeline to handle these issues and notification problems so stay tuned. Any suggestions and ideas are welcome.

Anyone can follow me on Twitter as I update on things RIOC is working on and answer questions frequently on there at or email the board at
UPDATE 2/25 - Mr. Kalkin adds:
 I wanted to add that we will be putting out a RFP for information kiosks or screens at the bus stops/subway station that will give real time information about when the next bus is arriving and subway/elevator and tram service advisories and other information. Will also provide this information on the current tram screens and new ones that may be added. We will also be looking into information screens on the buses themselves so people can get real time information. I have been working on this for some time and had a meeting with some of the members of the Communications Committee at RIRA about it last night. Not everyone has smart phones and even if they do they don't always check them. We have to have many ways to notify residents. This RFP will be on next Operations Committee agenda so stay tuned.

Swing Dancing Comes To Roosevelt Island In Celebration Of Black History Month Saturday February 26 At Good Shepherd Community Center - Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing

Image From RIOC

The Roosevelt Island Seniors Association (RISA) together with the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC)  are celebrating Black History Month with A History Of Swing Dance night from 6 - 9 PM this Saturday night at the Good Shepherd Community Center.

According to RIOC:
In Celebration of Black History Month, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation presents in partnership with the Roosevelt Island Senior Association: A History of Swing Dance!

Join us at the Good Shepherd Community Center 543 Main St. and bring your dancing shoes! Light Refreshments will be served immediately afterward at the Senior Center located at 546 Main St.
Wikipedia describes swing dancing as:
...a group of dances that developed concurrently with the swing style of jazz music in the 1920s, '30s and '40s, although the earliest of these dance forms predate swing jazz music. The best known of these dances is the Lindy Hop, a popular partner dance that originated in Harlem and is still danced today. While the majority of swing dances began in African American communities as vernacular African American dances, a number of forms (Balboa, for example) developed within Anglo-American or other ethnic group communities.

Swing jazz features the syncopated timing associated with African American and West African music and dance — a combination of crotchets and quavers (quarter notes and eighth notes) that many swing dancers interpret as 'triple steps' and 'steps' — yet also introduces changes in the way these rhythms were played — a distinct delay or 'relaxed' approach to timing.

Today there are swing dance scenes in many countries throughout the world. Lindy Hop is often the most popular, though each city and country prefers various dances in different degrees. Each local swing dance community has a distinct local culture and defines "swing dance" and the "appropriate" music to accompany it in different ways. ...
and here's a pretty good example of swing dancing from the 1941 movie Hellzapoppin

You Tube Video Of Lindy Hop From Hellzapoppin

Remember, it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing.

You Tube Video Of Duke Ellington's It don't mean a thing...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

We Are New York English As A Second Language Program Being Offered By The Roosevelt Island Youth Program Beacon @ PS/IS 217 - Tell Someone Who May Be Helped By It

Image From Roosevelt Island Youth Program Inc. and We Are New York 

Readers of this blog may not need the services of an English As A Second Language (ESL) Program but you may know someone who does. If so, please let that person know of the following sent by the Roosevelt Island Youth Program:
The Roosevelt Island Youth Program Beacon @ PS/IS 217 and We Are New York TV Program will be offering a nine-episode series developed by the City University of New York and the Mayor's Office of Adult Education. We are using the series as the basis for conversation groups to help adult immigrants practice English while learning more about City services. The conversation groups are not traditional ESL but they do help people gain sorely needed skills. The groups are one way to help the City’s many immigrants who cannot enroll in existing ESL courses—at no cost. The information below is in English, Russian, Chinese, Arabic, Indian and Haitian Creole.
Registration Starts Now!!! Contact information available here.

The Mayor's Office of Adult Education explains more about the We Are New York Adult English as a second language program:
... We Are New York is intended to help people learn English that will be useful to them. Each week, a new story will show people speaking English in important and realistic situations, like going to the doctor or talking with a child's teacher.

The characters speak the English of everyday life. But, they speak a little slower than the average English-language television show. The show also has subtitles in English, helping people to understand and learn the language.

The We Are New York Community Project organizes free conversation groups across the City. Volunteer language leaders are trained and placed at community organizations, and they use the show to help immigrants practice their English. Practice your English or to get involved with We Are New York....

You Tube Video Of We Are New York Language Classes

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Public Purpose Funds Committee Meeting Today/Tomorrow To Discuss Allocation Of $100,000 - RIRA Government Relations Committee Meeting On Wednesday

 Pile Of Money Image From Richwealthpig

The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Public Purpose Funds Committee will be meeting 7:30 PM tonight and tomorrow at the Seniors Center (546 Main Street). Based upon the Public Purpose Funds Committee work, RIRA will make recommendations to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) for the distribution of $100,000 to Roosevelt Island organizations.

Applications for funds and the amounts sought for the 2010-2011 Public Purpose Funds were received by RIOC from the following Roosevelt Island Organizations:
1.) Roosevelt Island Seniors Association - $ 20,000
2.) Roosevelt Island Disabled Association - $ 9,105
3.) R&R Concerts Inc. - $ 9,600
4.) Island Kids Inc. - $ 25,000
5.) RICLA $ 19,500
6.) PS/IS 217 PTA $ 26,558
7.) RI Historical Society $ 20,000
8.) Life Frames Inc. $ 34,610
Total - $164,373
More on Roosevelt Island Public Purpose Fund from earlier posts.

Also, RIRA's Government Relations Committee will be meeting Wednesday, February 23 at 6:30 PM in the Seniors Center too. (546 Main Street).

All residents of Roosevelt Island are members of RIRA and are welcome to attend the Committee meetings.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Swinging Roosevelt Island Tram On Windy Saturday Scares Some Passengers

Very windy day on Saturday. gcris tweeted:
Roosevelt Island Tram. Nothing scarier than being suspended on 3 wires on windy day above the East River.
Roosevelt Island 360 reports on a message he received from a passenger on Saturday's Tram:
Today's ride (02-19-2011) was HORRIBLE. People were screaming inside. Due to high wind the cabin was swinging terribly. I'll never take the tram during windy days. I was scared to death!
I spoke with a Tram Operator on Sunday who was on duty Saturday. The Operator told me that the Tram handled the high winds fine on Saturday. According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC), the Tram:
Operates in all weather conditions except for lightning and winds over 50 miles per hour.
I hope your Tram ride was uneventful and that there was no screaming during the journey over the East River.