Saturday, April 2, 2011

Socrates Sculpture Park Sunday Afternoon Eco-Friendly Workshop Skills for Resourceful City Living - Composting, Container Gardenening & More Only Minutes From Roosevelt Island

 Image From Socrates Sculpture Park (Click On Image To Enlarge)

Are you looking for eco-friendly activities to do on Sunday afternoons? Here's a suggestion only minutes away from Roosevelt Island in Long Island City.

Take a walk or bike ride over the Roosevelt Island Bridge, make a left on Vernon B'lvd and just past Costco you will find these sustainable skills workshops at Socrates Sculpture Park.
at Socrates Sculpture Park
Sundays, April - June 2011
FREE (Rain or Shine)

Socrates Sculpture Park, Birkenstock and ReadyMade Magazine are pleased to present Socrates Academy: Skills for Resourceful City Living, a series of FREE adult workshops that will be offered every Sunday in April, May and June at Socrates Sculpture Park. Ten DIY workshops, led by local, eco-friendly partners, will impart sustainable skills through fun and creative projects. Space is limited and advance registration is required. The workshops are free, and all supplies will be provided.


4/3/11    Urban Composting with Western Queens Compost Initiative
Sunday, April 3, 2011 / 2PM - 4PM
Learn to transform your food and yard waste into nutrient rich soil

4/10/11    Container Gardening with Eagle Street Rooftop Farms and Jungle Design
Sunday, April 10, 2011 / 2PM - 4PM
Create your own vegetable, herb or ornamental container garden

4/17/11    Candle Making with McKendree Key
Sunday, April 17, 2011 / 2PM - 4PM
Discover the process and techniques for creating beautiful hand-dipped beeswax candles

5/1/11    Pickling Vegetables with Brooklyn Brine Co
Sunday, May 1, 2011 / 2PM - 4PM
Learn creative techniques and tasty tips for pickling your own vegetables.

5/15/11    Soap Making with Meow Meow Tweet
Sunday, May 15, 2011 / 2PM - 4PM
Make your own soap while learning the proper steps for cold process soap making and get helpful hints on techniques and sourcing materials.

5/22/11    Building with Reclaimed Wood with Build It Green!
NYC Sunday, May 22, 2011 / 2PM - 4PM
Using reclaimed wood, build simple and useful furnishings for the home

6/5/11    Cooking with Fire with The Brooklyn Kitchen and The Meat Hook
Sunday, June 5, 2011 / 2PM - 4PM
Get insider tips on how to grill your favorite meats just in time for summer

6/12/11    Fishing and Waterlife with Coastal Classrooms and David Brooks
Sunday, June 12, 2011 / 2PM - 4PM
Capture and identify indigenous marine life found in Hallets Cove and practice effective fishing techniques

6/19/11    Raising Chickens in NYC with Tattfoo Tan
Sunday, June 19, 2011 / 2PM - 4PM
Discover the benefits of raising chickens in the city and learn tips on how to properly care for them

6/26/11    Felt Making with Hope Ginsburg
Sunday, June 26, 2011 / 2PM - 4PM
Explore the creative possibilities of felt making by understanding the material and learning different techniques and helpful hints

Friday, April 1, 2011

No Roosevelt Island F Train Service From Manhattan This Weekend and Later This Month, RIOC To Extend Red Bus and Tram Service But Doesn't Say How - Bring Back the East River Slingshot?

Click To Enlarge Image From RIOC

As reported in post earlier this week, there will be no Queens bound F Train subway service from Manhattan to Roosevelt Island this weekend. The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) issued the following advisory today:
Please note, RIOC will be extending Red Bus and Tram service during the disruption.

Please be advised per an advisory received from the MTA, there will be no Queens bound F train service via 53rd Street at Roosevelt Island from 12:01 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. on the following dates:

Saturday, April 2nd to Monday, April 4th

Saturday, April 9th to Monday, April 11th

Saturday, April 23rd to Monday, April 25th


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
Upon receipt of the advisory, I inquired of RIOC Vice President of Operations Fernando Martinez:
The advisory below does not mention how RIOC will be extending red bus and tram service during this weekend's subway disruption. 

What is the extended service for the tram and red bus?
Will provide an update to this post if and when a response is received.

Perhaps we need to bring back the Roosevelt Island Slingshot and install it on the Manhattan side to help Roosevelt Island residents cross the East River these next few weekends.

You Tube Video of Roosevelt Island Shuttle

Final Roosevelt Island Main Street Master Leaseholder Terms and Island House Privatization/Ground Lease Extension To Be Discussed at RIOC Real Estate Committee Meeting On Monday April 4 - In Closed Executive Session

Main Street Image From Jones Lang LaSalle

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a meeting of the Real Estate Development Advisory Committee of the RIOC Board of Directors will be held on Monday, April 4, 2011 at 5:00 p.m. at the RIOC administrative office, 591 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York.


     1. Review of the Stanford University Proposal for Roosevelt Island and Discussion of the NYCEDC Applied Sciences  Campus RFEI;
     2. Chair's Motion for Executive Session to:
          a.  Discuss the Final Terms of the Main Street Commercial Master Lease; and
          b.  Review of the Privatization/Affordability Plan and Ground Lease Extension for Island House
Discussion of the Stanford proposal will be held in public but the Main Street Master Leaseholder and Island House Privatization/ Ground Lease will not be held in public. An audio webcast of the public portion of the meeting will be made available soon thereafter (usually with 2 business days).

More information on the Roosevelt Island Main Street Master Leaseholder and Stanford University proposal for Roosevelt Island available at previous posts. There is not much information available on Island House privatization except this from the January 8, 2011 Island House newsletter posted on their Tenants Association web site:
 We have good news to report from the last days of Governor Patterson's administration: ESDC has indicated it has approved our affordability plan for conversion of our building. As a recap, Island House tenants voted overwhelmingly for such a plan in September 2009 and DHCR gave their approval afterward. This past year, we spent time nudging ESDC for their approval, along with the help of Assemblymember Micah Kellner. The next step is for the RIOC Board to approve a ground lease. After the ground lease is approved the owner, in coordination with the NYS Attorney General, will provide the red herring and black book offerings.

This is good news for both renters (who will be able to stay at affordable rates) and buyers (who are interested in purchasing their apartments) because this provides long-term preservation. We will convene a tenants informational meeting soon.
UPDATE 4/6 - Audio webcast of public portion of meeting is now available.

RIRA Public Safety Chair Responds To Transfer Of NYPD Officer Assigned To Roosevelt Island

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Public Safety Committee Chairperson Erin Feeley-Nahem answers those who blame her for the transfer of the NYPD officer formerly assigned to Roosevelt Island. Ms. Feeley-Nahem's comment below responds to this post on the Officer's re-assignment:

To those of you who need to blame someone and choose to blame me for Officer Fernandez' departure, GET REAL!

If someone loves his job, even if hundreds of people complain, he stays and fights. If somebody feels misjudged, his actions misunderstood, or he feels misrepresented by the opinion of 2 of the 12,ooo people he serves, is it really logical to think he would throw in the towel and split?
I find your ignorance amazing.

Is it really that difficult for you to believe that a seasoned cop would want to further his career, choosing not to waste any more of his time here? Do you really think that the Commander at the 114th punished PO Fernandez because 2 people, out of 12,000 requested information? Guerra claims he knows everyone there. I can't see him letting that happen.

Fact: I said nothing derogatory to anyone at the 114th about Fernandez. Face it, he just smartened up and realized that staying in this "dead end" job, where there is no chance of moving up, isnt much of a dream for a seasoned cop. Think about it, how exciting can it be to pull in a "thug" for smoking weed, or drinking a beer in the street? Stop fooling yourself. If it deflects your pain at being abandoned, go ahead,blame me. Although many of you report only having had positive contact with Officer Fernandez, there are others in the community who do not feel the same way. Just as you can bring your concerns to the various RIRA committees, or post them on this blog, those individuals did, they brought them to us. It is the job of this committee to look into problems that individuals have with the Law enforcement officers on this Island, and that is what we did. This was not my unilateral decision. I have no vendetta against him. I didn't even know the man. Try and stop being so naive. It makes you too easy to manipulate.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 Art Show and Silent Auction Saturday April 2 - Come Support Local School Kids

Image of 2010 Art Show and Silent Auction From Roosevelt Island School G & T Blog

 Received the following message from Roosevelt Island's PS/IS 217 PTA, Staff and Family:
PS/IS 217 Studio in a School Art Show & Silent Auction this Saturday, April 2nd, from 11:30-2 (auction ends at 1pm)

Come see the work of the children in grades K-8 at PS/IS 217! Work featured is the creation of the students during this years Studio in a School Art Residency. Art will be on display in the hallway of the first and second floor of the school, silent auction/kids crafts/food sale will be in the cafeteria.

Highlighted auction items are the NEW Nintendo 3 DS with starter kit and game donated by Best Buy of LIC, Private Breakfast with Borough President Scott Stringer, TWO Family of Four memberships to Manhattan Park outdoor pool for this summer season, Family membership to Westview Pool for one year, FOUR Family memberships to Octagon Tennis Courts, FOUR Family memberships to Sportspark for one year, MOMA membership for one year, wine and other spirits, women's and girl's assorted jewelry, kids clothing, Island Kids Summer Camp, Main Street Theatre, various classes for adults and children and much, much MORE!!!

Admission and kids crafts are FREE, food/auction items/raffle tickets are on sale until 1pm.
More scenes from last year's art show and silent auction.

Opening Day For New York Yankees and Major League Baseball - You Have Been Missed - Let's Go Yankees!

The weather is cold and dreary today but it does not matter because today is opening day for Major League Baseball. The Yankees are playing the Tigers this afternoon at the Stadium.

Let's Go Yankees!!!

For the future Major League Baseball players and fans, there's still time for you kids to sign up for the Roosevelt Island Youth Program Little League.

For more information, click on the image to enlarge.

UPDATE 4/1 - For the young at heart, the Roosevelt Island Adult Softball Pick Up game is back on Saturday mornings at Firefighters Field (when available) and elsewhere on Roosevelt Island when Firefighters Field is not available. Check out the Meet Up page of the Roosevelt Island Softball Group for the latest information on game time and place as well as these previous posts from last year.

Joint Medical Emergency Notifications For NY Fire Department and Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department Requested By RI Elected Officials - No More 20 Minute Emergency Response Time

 Image Of FDNY Ambulance on Roosevelt Island

A Roosevelt Island resident reported on this incident in a post last January:
... 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...
The Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department was not notified of this emergency at the Octagon. In order to prevent a similar situation from occurring during a future Roosevelt island emergency, Assembly Member Micah Kellner together with other Roosevelt Island elected officials Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, State Senator Jose Serrano, City Council Member Jessica Lappin and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer sent the following letter to NY Fire Department Commissioner Salvatore Cassano the following letter:
We are writing to request that the Emergency Medical Service Division of New York City’s Fire Department establish a joint notification system with Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation’s Public Safety Department (Public Safety).

Roosevelt Island is a unique community located between Manhattan and Queens. The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) was created in 1984 to manage infrastructure, services and development on the Island. Among its many functions, RIOC provides an on-site, neighborhood patrol force, known as Public Safety, which is responsible for the safety of Island residents. Public Safety is comprised of 38 officers, each of whom has been granted New York State Peace Officer Status, in accordance with Section 2 of New York State’s Criminal Procedure Law, as well as New York City Special Patrolman Status in accordance with Title 14 Chapter 1 Section 106 of the New York City Administrative Code. Each officer is certified in CPR, Automated External Deliberator (AED) use, and First Aid with the American Heart Association. Public Safety also has a single officer who is a certified Emergency Medical Technician.

Although Roosevelt Island is part of the Borough of Manhattan, its only ground access point is the Roosevelt Island Bridge that connects the Island with Astoria, Queens. This creates unique challenges, particularly with respect to Emergency Services. Response times to Roosevelt Island have been a persistent concern for Island residents.

Since Public Safety is located on the Island and is thoroughly familiar with each building and location, we believe it would be beneficial for them to be notified when there is a medical incident on the Island. Currently, when Public Safety is called directly about a medical emergency on the island they inform 911. However the reverse does not apply; Public Safety is not informed when there is a call to 911 for medical assistance. Notifying Public Safety would allow them to quickly respond to the scene, evaluate the situation, and possibly perform life saving CPR before an ambulance arrives on the scene. To this end, we propose that the FDNY evaluate the following options:
  1. Public Safety could be included in the Mutual Aid Response System (MARS).
  2. All addresses on Roosevelt Island could be given Premise History Indicators that include a note about the availability of Public Safety for assistance
  3. The dispatch system could be programmed in order to prompt communication specialists to notify Public Safety directly.
We believe whatever system the FDNY chooses to implement to notify Public Safety of emergency medical calls will ultimately better serve the residents of Roosevelt Island. Public Safety is ready and willing to help, and we hope that the FDNY will take advantage of their resources and expertise....
Below is the full text of the letter.
RI Ambluances Dual Response Letter

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

RIOC Operations Committee Meeting Thursday March 31 - Red Bus Operations Update, Tram Bus Stop, Capobianco Retaining Wall, Southpoint Park, ADA Public Meeting Requirements and other Roosevelt Island Issues.

Image Of September 2010 RIOC Operations Committee Meeting

Received the following message from the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC)

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a meeting of the Operations Advisory Committee of the RIOC Board of Directors will be held on Thursday, March 31, 2011 at 12:00 noon at the RIOC administrative office, 591 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York.
The Committee shall:
1. Receive an update on bus operations;
2. Discuss the Tram Bus Stop sidewalk project;
3. Discuss the Capobianco Retaining Wall Project;
4. Receive an update on the South Point Park Project;
5. Discuss the Google GIS Project Proposal;
6. Receive an update on the Document Scanning Project;
7. Discuss the ADA requirements for Public Meetings.
The ADA requirements for Public Meetings agenda item is particularly timely. During the Good Shepherd Renovation meeting held last week, a resident who is hearing impaired was quite angry at what she vigorously insisted was a continuing violation of the Americans With Disability Act by RIOC in not making accommodations for people with hearing disabilities at public meetings. She first tried to have the meeting canceled but then acquiesced when told that RIOC will meet with her to address the issue. By placing the item on their Operations Committee Agenda, hopefully RIOC will find a solution to this issue.

An audio webcast of the Operations Committee Public Session will be available a few days after the meeting.

UPDATE 4/2 - The audio webcast of the Operations Committee meeting is now available.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

No Late Night Queens Bound F Train From Manhattan To Roosevelt Island This Week and Next Weekend - Will Tram Pick Up Slack and Operate All Night?

The MTA is reporting that there will be no Queens bound F trains from Manhattan to Roosevelt Island starting at 11:00 PM - 5 AM beginning Monday March 28 through Friday, April 1 and 12:01 AM - 5 AM Saturday April 2 through Monday April 4 and April 9 - 11. From the MTA:
 F Jamaica-bound trains are rerouted via the  M from 47-50 Sts to Queens Plaza

Nights, 11 PM to 5 AM, Mon to Fri, Mar 28 - Apr 1

Trains run express from Queens Plaza to Roosevelt Av then resume the  F route to 179 St.

...  For service to Roosevelt Island and 21 St-Queensbridge, take the  F to Roosevelt Av

and transfer to a Coney-Island bound F.

For service from 57 St, Lexington Av-63 St, Roosevelt Island and 21 St-Queensbridge,

take a Coney Island-bound  F to 47-50 Sts and transfer to a Jamaica-bound F .
A reader of the Yellow Gunk post on Tram Station wall asks if RIOC will be running the Tram all night during theses F Train subway disruptions:
My comment is about the Tram, but not about that yellow gunk.

You may know that there is no F train to Roosevelt Island this work week (March 28 – April 1) at night (11 pm – 5 am).

My SO works nights and this disruption badly affects his commute home as he can’t get the Tram which stops working at 2 am, so he has to take F train to Queens and then to Roosevelt Island which adds additional 30-60 minutes to the commute because F trains run very infrequently at night. He inquired whether RIOC plans to operate the Tram at night this week and was said, NO.

But a train operator said that last week RIOC did operate the Tram the WHOLE NIGHT on days there was no F train service from Roosevelt Island.

So why does RIOC run the Tram all night if there is no Manhattan-bound F train at nights, but not at nights when there is no Queens-bound F train???

This is very unfair for RI residents returning home at night.
Another reader responds:
 ... It is inconvenient but I don't think it is too much to ask to just work with the longer commute for a week.
I asked Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Vice President Of Operations Fernando Martinez for comment on the Tram's operation during the subway disruptions. Will provide an update when an answer is received.

NYPD Scooter Presence Returns To Roosevelt Island, But Just For The Day - January/ February Monthly Public Safety Incident Blotter Too

We learned last week:
that Roosevelt Island's only assigned NYPD officer would no longer be patrolling our Island and that another NYPD officer would not be assigned as a replacement.
So, I was surprised to see two NYPD scooters parked on Main Street in Southtown today. Did the 114th NYPD Precinct Commander have a change of mind and decide to replace the departing Roosevelt Island officer with new officers?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. The officers were assigned to Roosevelt Island today as part of the security presence due to President Obama'a visit in NYC today.

Below are the Roosevelt Island January and February 2011 Public Safety Blotters which report in greater detail the type of incidents which the Public Safety Department and NYPD, when called upon, respond to.
February Public Safety Blotter

January Public Safety Blotter

It would be helpful for all Roosevelt Island residents to have access to the specific information contained in the Monthly Blotter on a more timely basis than every month or so. Perhaps RIOC and Public Safety can provide this information on a weekly basis. Unfortunately, the Daily Public Safety Reports do not contain any specificity regarding the time, place, or seriousness of any particular incident.

Yellow Gunk Oozing Out of Pipe on Wall of Roosevelt Island Tram Station Staircase - Does RIOC and POMA Think This Is Acceptable?

As the sign says, Roosevelt Island is A Home to All including, apparently, the yellow gunk oozing from this pipe on the wall of the Roosevelt Island Tram Station staircase. After spending at least $25 million on the renovation of the Roosevelt Island Tram does RIOC or POMA care what the Tram Station looks like?

The yellow ooze is a really nasty welcome to the brand new Tram and should be fixed.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Roosevelt Island Day Nursery Open House Saturday April 2 For Pre-School Age Kids

Click To Enlarge Image From Roosevelt Island Day Nursery

Are you a Roosevelt Island parent of a pre-school age child looking for day care? If so, you may want to check out the Roosevelt Island Day Nursery (RIDN) which will be holding an Open House on Saturday April 2 from 11 AM - 1 PM.

More information on RIDN is available at their web site.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Roosevelt Island Music and Memory Guitar Concert With Matt Katz - Plays Folk, Misissippi Blues and a Sing-A-Long Too

Image Of Matt Katz From Dave Evans

As reported in post last Thursday, Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) President Matt Katz performed a Music and Memory Guitar Recital yesterday afternoon at the Gallery RIVAA.  Among those attending was Roosevelt Island resident Dave Evans who shares his thoughts on the concert. From Mr. Evans:

Yes indeed - - on Saturday, 26 March 2011 right here on Roosevelt Island, our man Matthew Katz, blessed with a wonderful memory and many talents beyond being the President of our Roosevelt Island Residents Association, gave a solo performance to the delight of a full house of listeners in the wonderful Gallery RIVAA.  OK, it was not totally solo, but more on that later.

Now, when I think of names like Tom Lehrer, Joan Baez, Peter-Paul-Mary and others, Matt will also come to mind as he "picked" his way through folk music, Mississippi Delta blues, and even led the audience in a sing-along.  My feet showed evidence of his outputs as they tapped along with much of the music.  So, just a few days after the passing of a blues legend, Pinetop Perkins, here was Matt giving his take on the history of the blues.  I must admit that for me, the 'Blues' conjures up memories of reading about a genesis close to 1862 of a special sound influenced by church, folks who 'talked with the guitar', and later, my own experience with Beale Street and good peach cobbler.

Two hours of entertainment was quite impressive and the audience roared its appreciation.  But get this, there was a kind lady there, Sherrie, who is always by Matt's side, who rendered us a classic, operatic sound - - all was absolutely satisfying.  Brava Gallery RIVAA for hosting good folks like Matt and Sherrie." 

Image of Matt & Sherrie Katz From Dave Evans

Another Roosevelt Island resident, Vini Fortuna captured Matt performing Here Comes The Sun and shares it with us via You Tube.

For Mr. Evans and others lovers of the Blues here's some Pinetop Perkins who died last Monday at the age of 97.

You Tube Video of Pinetop Perkins

Roosevelt Island Main Street Vehicle Traffic More Closely Monitored and Regulated With Public Safety Officer at the Motorgate Ramp Helix During Farmers Market and More Stop and Yield Signs on Roadway

It looks like the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) and it's Public Safety Department are paying greater attention to vehicle traffic regulation and pedestrian safety on Roosevelt Island's Main Street recently. Roosevelt Island 360 sends in this picture of a Public Safety Office directing traffic at the Motorgate ramp helix by the Farmers Market Saturday morning around noon and reports.

Can't figure out why but directing traffic at helix. We have no light there that is broken.

Followed up with:
I asked. Lot of recent complaints at the helix. Drivers too fast. Nice officer did not catch name.
There are also these Stop and Yield signs placed all along Main Street to prevent vehicles from speeding and injuring pedestrians.

Good job by RIOC and the Public Safety Department.

According to the Public Safety Department's web page:
Traffic and Public Areas
            In establishing RIOC, the State Legislature gave the agency specific authority to “prescribe rules and regulations governing the operating or stopping of vehicles on Roosevelt Island.”  (Ch.899, Laws of 1984, sec.13)
Roosevelt Island has some of the strictest traffic regulations of any New York community, chiefly due to its physical layout.  The Island’s single roadway must be kept clear at all times for emergency access, particularly to the hospitals at the north and south ends of the Island.   Traffic enforcement on Main Street protects pedestrians, keeps traffic flowing and the street open for emergency vehicles.   Still, RIOC buses, Transit Authority buses, vans for the disabled, and some 5,000 cars manage to share Main Street each day.
Ticketing  Authority 
Public Safety officers have the same authority as the New York City Police Department or the enforcement agents of the Department of Transportation’s Parking Violations Bureau (PVB) to issue summonses for parking violations and moving violations.   
The summonses are issued in accordance with the New York State and City law, and responses should be submitted to the appropriate authority, be it the PVB or the State Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), with fines collectible by those offices.   As in other parts of the City, appeals must be made through the appropriate agency, PVB or DMV, not through RIOC or the Public Safety Department. 
Illegally parked cars that have been ticketed are subject to towing by V.I.P. Towing, a Long Island City - based firm under contract to RIOC.   Once a vehicle is towed, its owner must pay the towing company charges (about $100), plus any storage fees as well as the summons fine.   These charges are collectible by the tow company and the PVB respectively.
I am advised that the fines collected for traffic and parking violations do not go to RIOC or Roosevelt Island but to NYC.

Also, has anyone noticed that the cars parked in the new spaces on the West Channel Road in Southtown on Saturday nights are there all night? I thought those spaces were just for short term parking - not more than 2 hour and not for overnight parking.