Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Prisoner, Guard, Ghost and Lighthouse - A Full Moon Tale of A Roosevelt Island NIght

You Tube Video of A Night At Roosevelt Island

Child Car Safety Seat Inspections Available From Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department - If You Have a Kid and a Car, Please Take Advantage of this Service

Image of Child Car Safety Seat From Roosevelt Island Public Safety Dep't

Received the following message from Roosevelt Island Public Safety Director Keith Guerra:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, motor vehicle crashes are the #1 killer of kids in age groups 1-14.  Safe Kids USA says motor vehicle crashes are the #1 cause of unintentional injury-related death for all children 14 and under.  While some crashes are unsurvivable, over 57% of deaths for children 0-15 were because the child was unrestrained.  Many more were improperly restrained.  Nationally, the misuse rate for child safety seats is over 80% and as high as 95% in some areas.   The good news is that correct use of car seats and boosters does save lives.  Infant seats have been shown to reduce fatal injury by 71%, and toddler seats by 54%.

Just wanted to advise of a new service we will be providing for the Community.
According to RIOC's web site, the new service is:
Please be advised that the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department now has six Officers trained and certified in the proper installation of Car Seats.  They have completed the Car Safety Seat Technician course sponsored by Safe Kids and DOT and will be available to any resident or worker on the island in need of insuring that their car seats are properly installed in their vehicles.

Just come in to the Public Safety Department, from 7:00am to 11:00pm and ask to have your Car Seat inspected, and this service will be provided for you Free of Charge.

Also, during this Saturday's Health & Fitness Day celebration, the PSD will have a Safety Seat Inspection Station set up by the Gristedes turn-around, to provide this service on that day specifically.
Great service offered by the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department.

Here's a You Tube Video showing why child car safety seats are so important.

You Tube Video on importance of child safety car seats

Friday, May 6, 2011

New Vendor at Roosevelt Island Farmers Market - Sam Loves Chocolate, Lives Here and Makes Yummy Chocolate Desserts - Give Sam Loves Chocolate a Taste

 Image of Sam Loves Chocolate at the Roosevelt Island Farmers Market

On Saturday, after you've done the Bladder Cancer Awareness Walk and before you head over to the Roosevelt Island Historical Society Visitors Center Kiosk for complimentary Starbucks refreshments, try out one of the new vendors at the Roosevelt Island Farmers Market - Sam Loves Chocolate. Sam is a Roosevelt Island resident and this is how she got started making Chocolate:
Sam Loves Chocolate was started in 2010 by Samantha Measimer, a classically-trained opera singer living in New York City who has always had a love for baking.  She finally gave in to the constant barrage of requests for more goodies by starting her own bakery business, combining her love of music with her love of chocolate, and naming all of the delicious desserts at Sam Loves Chocolate after her favorite classical music terms.  She has a lot more ideas and creations to come; this is only the beginning!
I tried the Chromatic Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls last week. They were YUMMY. Stop by tomorrow at the Farmers Market, say hello to Sam and buy some of her chocolate. You will not be disappointed!

 Image From Sam Loves Chocolate

Report From RIOC President Leslie Torres - Roosevelt Island Ground Maintenance Crews Busy, Electric Car Charging Stations Coming, Street Parking, Pianos, Summer Youth Jobs (Get Those Applicatations In) & More

Image of Roosevelt Island Grounds Maintenance at Firefighters Field

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Lesie Torres sends the following report to Roosevelt Island residents.
The Island is finally in full bloom, and it looks gorgeous.

RIOC’s ground maintenance crews have been busy at work strengthening and conditioning the soil to promote healthier and greener lawns. They have also been caring for the tree pits island wide, increasing the supply of nutrients to the tree roots. All products used are environmentally friendly.

Following up on my comments about green initiatives in the March 26th column, we are pursuing opportunities to realize these projects. Jonathan Kalkin, a member of the RIOC Board of Directors, has taken an active interest in this development, and played a lead role in exploring a pathway to make electric car charging stations available. We have just received notice from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (“NYSERDA”) that a grant for partial funding of this initiative has been awarded. The installation of charging stations for six vehicles at Motorgate is expected to be complete by this fall.

We are also upgrading street parking. You may have noticed that we have installed new parking meters along West Drive, from the back of the building at 405 Main Street to the back of the building at 475 Main Street. These meters are part of a test pilot to determine the best parking meter technology for the Island. The installation process should be complete shortly. We will have information about fee structure and a user’s guide available on our website and Facebook page.

We are Hiring To help keep this Island beautiful throughout the summer, RIOC is once again recruiting for temporary summer staff positions. These opportunities are perfect for college students and graduating high school seniors. The minimum age requirement is 17 years. The positions will run from May 16th through September 9th, 2011.

We have several positions to be filled in a variety of departments, and are looking for hard working, energetic and upbeat candidates. Some of the work will be manual, and most will require working outdoors for the duration of the summer. Prior experience in gardening, cleaning, construction or manual labor is a plus, but not necessary.

We encourage Roosevelt Island’s student residents to apply. Interested candidates may apply through the Youth Center, by dropping a resume off at RIOC’s administrative office at 591 Main Street during business hours, or by e-mailing a resume to

Cherry Blossom Festival Showcases Island’s Beauty, Community Fun I had the pleasure this past weekend of attending the Roosevelt Island Cherry Blossom Festival. It was a great event for a great cause: all proceeds from the festival, including the food and beverage sales, will be donated to the Japan Society’s Earthquake Relief Fund supporting the March 11th earthquake survivors in Japan. RIOC, the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA), the Japanese Association of Roosevelt Island and the Roosevelt Island Visual Arts Association (RIVAA) also joined together to dedicate a cherry grove to
the people of Japan.

Congratulations to Lynne Shinozaki, Sherie Helstien, and the rest of the RIRA team for putting together such a wonderful event for our community and supporting our Japanese neighbors and their loved ones
in Japan.

Check out come photos on our Facebook page at

Upcoming Events

Health & Fitness Day – Saturday, May 14 10am – 4pm

Join us for RIOC’s 5th annual Health and Fitness Day, which will feature great activities for kids, youth, adults, seniors, and pets.

Kids’ activities include rock climbing, Pee Wee Tennis with Joyce Mincheff, a Kite Flying workshop with Curtis Jones, inflatable games and more!

Youth, adult and senior activities will include free massages, Wii balance training, nutrition education, pilates, yoga, tango, free swimming at Sportpark, and much, much more. There will also be a basketball and Ping Pong Tournaments. In addition, there will be a ceremony unveiling the new outdoor concrete ping pong tables and a dedication of the "George Brathwaite Ping Pong Court".

For pets, the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC Animals will be on site to provide low cost micro-chipping and there will be additional activities and services, including free pet portraits.

For more information, check out the Health and Fitness Day tab on our Facebook page.

Sing For Hope
Sing for Hope, a non-profit organization that mobilizes professional artists to volunteer in service programs, will place 88 pianos on the streets of New York City’s five boroughs from June 18 to July 2. One of these pianos will be placed at the Island’s Blackwell Plaza.

This is the second year for the outdoor piano program, which encourages amateurs and artists alike to create impromptu concerts.

The piano at Blackwell Plaza will be available to the public for anyone to play. We will set a time when the piano will be locked to avoid disturbance to the residents of the surrounding area.
A version of the RIOC President's column also appears on RIOC's web site and the May 7, 2011 Main Street WIRE. 

Complimentary Starbucks Refreshments Available at Roosevelt Island Historical Society Visitors Center Kiosk at Tram Plaza Saturday May 7, 2 -4 PM

 Image of RIHS President Judy Berdy Welcoming Guests to the Roosevelt Island Visitors Center Kiosk

From the Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS):
2 p.m. to 4 p.m. For Complimentary Starbucks Refreshments RIHS ­­Visitor Center Kiosk, Tram Plaza Roosevelt Island
Thanks to Starbucks for their generous community support
More on the RIHS Visitors Kiosk from previous posts.

The Roosevelt Island Starbucks is a great addition to Southtown and the rest of Roosevelt Island. I go there often. The Roosevelt Island Starbucks employees are very friendly and do a great job. You also can't beat the view of the New York City waterfront and skyline from our Starbucks outdoor patio.

Roosevelt Island Cat Adoption Day Saturday May 7 at Good Shepherd Church Plaza 10 AM - 2 PM - Please Give a Nice Kitty a Good Home

Image From Island Cats

Update to previous post on tomorrow's Cat Adoption Day.

The cat adoption day site has been moved to Good Shepherd Plaza (543 Main Street) from 10 AM - 2 PM.

More here.

Roosevelt Island Walk for Bladder Cancer Awareness Day on Saturday, May 7 - Early Detection Is the Key

Image From BCAN

Did you know that this Saturday, May 7, is Bladder Cancer Awareness Day (BCAN)?
BCAN invites you, and everyone affected by bladder cancer, to celebrate Bladder Cancer Awareness Day on Saturday, May 7, 2011. People all across the country will be walking on May 7 to raise money for bladder cancer research and education and raise awareness. Please join us!

It’s easy to Walk for Bladder Cancer. You can walk by yourself, with friends and family, or with others in your community. One person can make a difference. Last year, BCAN volunteer David ran 16 miles by himself and raised over $2,500!...
If you would like to contribute to Bladder Cancer awareness, there will be a BCAN walk on Roosevelt Island this Saturday. According to one of the organizers of the Roosevelt Island BCAN walk:
Hi all. A reminder that this Sat May 7 is Bladder Cancer Awareness Day (BCAN) and there is a Walk on Roosevelt island starting at 10am at the Riverwalk Bar and Grill. For those or you who have not joined Team Family and Friends please do so and donate to the cause. For those who will be attending please assemble by 9.45am. ( I have to get the photo shoot releases signed). After the walk the team can have Brunch or refreshments at Riverwalk (this is optional). 
More information on Bladder Cancer below

You Tube Video of Bladder Cancer Awareness

and the Roosevelt Island BCAN walk available here.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Joint Medical Emergency Notifications For NY Fire Department and Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department Established Following Request By Elected Officials - Hopefully No More 20 Minute Waiting Time For Emergency Medical Responses

 Image Of FDNY Ambulance on Roosevelt Island

A previous post reported on the efforts of Roosevelt Island elected officials to establish a joint medical emergency notification system for the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department and the NYC Fire Department's Emergency Medical Services (EMS). These efforts began after this incident in which an ambulance took more than 20 minutes to reach a one year old baby at the Octagon who was having a seizure.  (Fortunately, the baby is now OK but had stopped breathing and was turning blue).

During last Saturday's Roosevelt Island Cherry Blossom Festival, I spoke with Assembly Member Micah Kellner who informed me that a joint medical emergency notification system was put in place between the Public Safety Department and (EMS). Yesterday, Mr. Kellner's office sent over this press release with additional details.
New York State Assembly Member Micah Z. Kellner (D-Upper East Side, Yorkville, and Roosevelt Island) and the New York City Fire Department (FDNY), announced today that Emergency Medical Services (EMS) will partner with Roosevelt Island’s Public Safety Department to share information regarding medical emergency calls originating from the Island.

In response to a letter organized by Assembly Member Kellner, and signed by Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, Senator Jose Serrano, and Council Member Jessica Lappin, the FDNY will issue automatic notifications to the Public Safety Department when they receive a call through 911 for emergency medical assistance on Roosevelt Island. Effective immediately, the FDNY will call Public Safety directly while the emergency notification system is automated.

Up until this recent change, when Public Safety was called directly about a medical emergency on the Island they informed 911. However the reverse did not apply; Public Safety was not informed when there was a call to 911 for medical assistance. This inequality left residents in limbo during an extremely vulnerable and often frantic time.

“Emergency services shouldn't depend on what phone number you call,” said Assembly Member Micah Z. Kellner. “I am glad that the FDNY has recognized the valuable partner Public Safety can be in providing emergency services on Roosevelt Island.”

Public Safety is comprised of 38 officers, each of whom has been granted New York State Peace Officer Status, as well as New York City Special Patrolman Status. 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 presents unique challenges, particularly with respect to Emergency Services. Response times to Roosevelt Island have been a persistent concern for Island residents.

“Improving interagency communication is central to providing the best possible response for those in need,” Assembly Member Kellner continued. “I applaud their quick action on this common sense request to ensure that all New Yorkers receive the fastest available response in an emergency.”

“It is welcome news that the City’s 911 emergency system will now issue automatic notifications to Roosevelt Island’s Public Safety Department whenever a call for emergency medical assistance is made on the Island,” said Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney. “I salute Assemblyman Kellner for taking the lead on this important issue and helping to ensure that Roosevelt Islanders’ health and safety is served in the most effective and comprehensive manner possible.”

“All New Yorkers deserve a prompt response and quality care when faced with an emergency. This change in procedure will help ensure the safety of Roosevelt Islanders and will ultimately save lives,” said State Senator Jose Serrano. “It is critical that all government agencies communicate effectively and work together to provide the highest quality of service for the people who count on them, and I commend the FDNY for swiftly addressing this issue.”

“The city needs to improve its emergency response time to Roosevelt Island. But until that happens, this measure will ensure that Island residents receive a timely response when they need it most,” Council Member Jessica Lappin said. “I’m glad that Assembly Member Kellner took the lead on this issue and I’m proud to have joined him in helping forge this important interagency collaboration.”
Below is the full letter.
Kellner RI EMS Announcement

Excellent news!!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Meeting Tonight - RIRA Committee Reports on Red Bus Schedule/Stops/Strollers, Housing, Proposed Science Center and More

Image of April 2011 Roosevelt Island Residents Association Meeting

The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) will be meeting 8 PM tonight, May 4,  at the Good Shepherd Community Center (543 Main Street). The Agenda for the meeting is below. As always, prior to the start of each meeting there is a public session in which any resident can come and address the Common Council Delegates on any issue of concern.

Also, remember that Roosevelt Island's NY State Senator Jose Serrano has Roosevelt Island constituent office hours just prior to the RIRA monthly meeting and on the first Wednesday of every month from 4 - 7 PM at RIOC Headquarters 591 Main Street.

If you have any questions to ask Senator Serrano's staff or are in need of any assistance that may require the help of your elected representative stop on by RIOC HQ. Also, bring photocopies of any paperwork related to your situation so that the Serrano staff can effectively and efficiently address the issue.

Below is the Agenda for the May RIRA Common Council:
May 4, RIRA Agenda

and RIRA Committee Reports.

Updates on the key issues ISC is working on:

Red Bus –Schedule, Stops, Strollers – RIRA (President, Planning & Island Services Committees)met with RIOC (Martinez & Cy Opperman)| on 4/25/11 to review Red Bus. We agreed on the following: Schedule – The buses are now operating close to schedule. The main problem causing delays is double parked vehicles on Main St. in Northtown. RIRA suggested that RIC might want to prohibit parking on Main St. at selected locations from 7 am to 9 am on weekday mornings. The key to maintaining a schedule is proper headway between buses. Opperman or another RIOC person will meet or dispatch buses at the Octagon and/or the subway/Tram stops during rush hours.

Stops- The East Tram bus stop will be the principal place to discharge passengers and load passengers. Buses will also dwell here as necessary. The West Tram bus stop, at the kiosk, will probably be retained as a service for Goldwater employees and other passengers from Sportspark and the tennis facility.

Strollers – RIOC agreed to studying and changing the policy of not letting strollers on during rush hours. We expect that the no-strollers policy will be eliminated or substantially modified in the next few months. If the policy is changed, RIO\C will need help from RIRA in explaining to parents and other residents proper protocol for using the buses during rush hours.

Pedestrian Safety Barrier on RI Bridge – We have not received an official response From the NYC DOT to our letter outlining a safety problem at the RI Bridge. However, our “informers” at DOT say that the issue is circulating around the organization.

Public Library – Senator Serrano╩╝s office informed us that the grant for the Public Library is expected to be $300K.

Aaron Hamburger, Chair - ISC

February 2011: RIRA Housing Committee Minutes
By Russell Fields

The Committee met on  2/27/11 and the attendees included Lorraine Williams, Romano Reid , Russell Fields, Ellen Polivy, and Committee Chairwoman Helen Chirivas.

Our Committee met to consider the following:
1.    HEAP – Home Energy Assistance Program‐ for low income utility expense assistance. Ellen and Steve Heller are planning a meeting with a lawyer from the Urban Justice center to assist eligible residents of all buildings with filing problems.

2.    Discussion of Jose Serrano’s submetering legislation securing that all housing allowances will be fair to all affected tenants in NYS; currently in State Senate Committee.

3.    Formation of a Housing Subcommittee called, HOUSING CONCERNS AND CHALLENGES to deal with the following issues (see attached resolution) a) Adequate disclosure of utility status for each building when referring to the building in common usage,    b) Accepting housing related complaints at the RIRA mail box and by email for referral to building committees, state agencies, and designated parties and follow‐up thereon. c) Conducting electronic surveys on housing issues and satisfaction ratings for all buildings and publishing the results.

4.    In addition concerns over the ongoing affordability were discussed including possible solutions.

5.    There is considered to be inadequate disclosure in clear language as to the how the buildings are heated and if their utility bills are submetered. We are concerned that non disclosure might cause a surprise burden to potential tenants. We believe that for a potential tenant to make an informed decision, this information must be available at the time of decision making. Russell is researching which buildings already disclose this information on their websites or in their marketing literature and what they say.

Southern Development Review – a sub-committee of the RIRA Planning Committee April 28, 2011

Last Thursday, we had the first in-person meeting of the SD (Science Center) Sub- committee of the RIRA Planning and Resident's council. We agreed that there are the following broad categories of discussion.
•    Transportation - during construction and once the new facility opens.
•    Integration - this includes ideas about the RFP-winner being able to leverage existing facilities either currently on the island or planned for it, ingress/egress for the new physical plant (i.e. a strong preference not to have a gated community inaccessible to residents) and other items of discussion.
•    Facilities - this dovetails with the above.
•    Logistics - among other things this includes thinking through waste removal via the "avac" system, construction loads over the helix roadway from Queens and the issues around the possibility of simultaneous construction projects if Southtown's planned additional residences are being built at the same time.
•    Youth - how could the science center be of value to our youth? What might be a reasonable partnership with bid winner in terms of local schools and programs?
•    Idealized conceptions - while there are many, one of the most interesting is the suggestion of a bio-medical engineering program to be developed to work in conjunction with Coler hospital at the North end.

Our next steps are to further refine each line item under the above and work with RIOC to arrange a discussion with NYEDC regarding our ideas and suggestions. We will be meeting again within the next few weeks. If any island resident would like to join the committee now is the time. Given the announced schedule, we need to work quickly to assist in optimizing the outcome for Roosevelt Island and the eventual designee."

Denise Shull Chair - SD sub-committee May 1, 2011
If you are interested in learning more about what is happening on Roosevelt Island, come on down to tonight's RIRA meeting. Sometimes, it can get quite exciting, in a Roosevelt Island sort of way.

I am unable to attend tonight's meeting so if anyone wishes to report on what happened please let me know.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

New Roosevelt Island Parking Meters Installed on West Channel Road - No More Free Parking So Make Sure You Feed The Meter

Image of New Roosevelt Island Parking Meter on West Channel Road

Those of you who have been parking your vehicles without charge at the recently created 30 new spots (equipped with Streetline's wireless parking sensors) on Roosevelt Island's West Drive

 Image of West Channel Road Parking Spots Before Meters Installed

be advised that this free ride has now been changed with the installation of meters and you will be charged for parking your car in these spots. According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp. (RIOC):
As a reminder the parking meters are now in full operation on West Drive.  Two hour courtesy parking is no longer available.  A Muni-Meter ticket will need to be displayed on the (driver's side) dashboard.  This area will continue to be enforced.
So, if you want to make sure you don't get a parking ticket from Roosevelt Island Public Safety Officers

make sure you feed the meter.

Image of New Roosevelt Island Parking Meter on West Channel Road

Of course, whether there should be additional parking spots in this location is another question but as long as they are there, they will have to be paid for.

As one reader who does not like the West Channel Parking spots noted:
... Those 30 spots are a very poor use of those areas. A long and beautiful vista is a high price to pay for 30 spots (and the ugly gaps for fire hydrants etc.) and more foot traffic to trample on public lawn and plantings. There are so much more space that can be used north of the steam station (across/south of the Fireman's Field) and all around the back of the hospital facing Queens.
 A contrary view as well:
Actually the spaces are for short term parking. Sensors are being installed to make sure they are used for that. Also I read here that they want to lower the prices in motorgate to encourage parking there as well. The hardest thing for businesses is having no short term parking. Its a death sentence. Try inviting a family with a car for a bite to eat on RI. Try inviting anyone to this oasis for anything and the RI parking tax at the garage or lack of parking anywhere makes it impossible. You can have a family of 5 park somewhere else and pay a cab or take a subway but that adds 20 bucks either way. As a result you have a ghost town for shops in an already bad economy and current businesses threatened. Also lets remember it was changed to one way for safety reasons as the area near the subway was an accident waiting to happen.

Roosevelt Island Bridge Closings Scheduled For Month of May But No Word Yet From DOT On Pedestrian Safety Barrier - Council Member Lappin and Assembly Member Kellner Ask Why?

Click on Image to Enlarge
According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp. (RIOC):
RIOC Advisories

Please be advised the DOT will be performing test openings on the Roosevelt Island Bridge which will begin Tuesday, May 3rd until Friday, May 20th. These openings will be conducted Monday through Friday from the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Each test opening will take anywhere from 8 to 10 minutes to be completed and will be appropriately spaced to prevent the least amount of disturbance to vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
No word yet on whether the Department of Transportation (DOT) will be installing the pedestrian safety barrier on the Queens side of the Roosevelt Island Bridge that was reported on in previous posts as part of the Bridge's $86.5 million rehabilitation project.

Image Of Queens Side Of Roosevelt Island Bridge With No Safety Barrier

Roosevelt Island Disabled Association (RIDA) President Jim Bates explains why he thinks a pedestrian safety barrier is needed for the entire length of the Roosevelt Island Bridge:
As a enabled wheelchair scooter riding person I challenge any of you who feel a barrier is not necessary to hop on a wheelchair or motorized scooter and go on the walkway and see what happens when your wheelchair is about 1 inch from the on coming traffic.
It is nearly impossible for 2 wheelchairs traveling in opposite direction to pass each other on the walkway or a wheelchair and a baby carriage or a wheelchair and a shopping cart.
What about the danger of a slippery surface and children on the walkway or a bicycle coming towards you, (yes I know it's illegal to ride a bike on the walkway, you tell that to the cyclist). I could go on.
Safety first for all Islanders should be what you should be thinking and saying.
Just do it !
Roosevelt Island's NYC Council Member Jessica Lappin and NY State Assembly Member Micah Kellner wrote the following letter to the DOT's Manhattan Borough Commissioner Margaret Forgione urging that a pedestrian safety barrier be installed along the entire Roosevelt Island Bridge and that the Roosevelt Island community be apprised of any progress in the construction of such a safety barrier. From Ms. Lappin and Mr. Kellner:
Dear Commissioner Forgione,

We are writing in regards to the status of a pedestrian barrier on the Roosevelt Island Bridge. Currently, pedestrians on the eastern side of the bridge do not have a physical barrier to protect them from traffic. Such a barrier was unfortunately and incomprehensibly not included in the original design of the bridge.

The absence of a barrier on the eastern side has created hazardous conditions for the large disabled community on Roosevelt Island, pedestrians with children, and the many others who understandably feel unsafe crossing the bridge while unprotected from traffic. As the only thoroughfare to and from Roosevelt Island, the bridge is extremely busy at all hours of the day. Wheelchair users who cross the bridge risk falling off the curb’s edge. On the extremely narrow path, this can easily occur when individuals attempt to pass one another

Members of the community, including the Roosevelt Island Residents Association and the Roosevelt Island Disabled Association, have contacted us for assistance in meeting with the Department of Transportation (DOT) to determine the best way to incorporate a barrier into the existing structure. We understand that this problem has been acknowledged by the DOT, and that you have been examining the issue. However, the community has not been kept apprised of any progress that has been made towards the construction of a barrier.

The absence of this barrier is a tragic accident waiting to happen. We ask that you meet with local community leaders to discuss the future plans for the bridge. Thank you for your attention in this matter.
Below is the full letter from Ms. Lappin and Mr. Kellner:
RI Bridge Letter

The DOT may not be concerned about a pedestrian safety barrier for the Roosevelt Island Bridge pathway but Streetsblog reports that DOT is trying to make crossing 36th Avenue at the Roosevelt Island Bridge safer:
At the foot of the Roosevelt Island Bridge, DOT is showing off how a few simple improvements can turn a dangerous intersection into a safer one. It’s not a flashy redesign — just a pair of pedestrian refuges and improved crosswalks — but it’s a good example of the street safety improvements that are becoming increasingly common.

Right now, pedestrians crossing 36th Avenue where it becomes the entrance to the bridge must walk 107 feet from sidewalk to sidewalk: six lanes of traffic with no safe place for pedestrians to pause...
The DOT plan for making 36th Avenue by the Roosevelt Island Bridge safer is here. Why can't DOT make the Roosevelt Island Bridge pathway safer as well?

Monday, May 2, 2011

RIOC Real Estate Committee Meeting Today to Review Jones Lange LaSalle Analysis of Roosevelt Island's Island House Privatization/Affordability Plan - In Executive (Closed to the Public) Session

Image Of Island House Owner David Hirschorn with RIOC Staff, Director & Island House Representatives

From 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, May 2, 2011 at 5:30 p.m. at the RIOC administrative office, 591 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York.


Chair's Motion for Executive Session to:

1. Review the Revised Jones Lang LaSalle Analysis of the Island House Privatization/Affordability Plan.
More on RIOC Executive Sessions from previous post and what little is know of Island House Privatization from the Island House web site and previous post.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

New York Junior League Free Tennis Program For Roosevelt Island Kids 6-18 at the Octagon Courts Starting Monday May 2 - Correction Program Starts May 19

Image of Octagon Tennis Courts From RIOC

Roosevelt Island City Council Member Jessica Lappin's office reports that the New York Junior Tennis League (NYJTL) is starting up a free tennis program for kids between the ages of 6-18 at the Octagon Tennis Courts beginning Monday May 2.
Octagon Park Youth Tennis Center
Main Street, Roosevelt Island
Opens 5/2/2011 Monday – Friday: 3pm-6pm
Funded By City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn & Council Member Jessica S. Lappin
For more info and a complete list of NYJTL Community Tennis Programs, visit  or call (347) 417-8156
Click on image below for more information including how to register.

More info at the NYJTL Community Tennis program web site.

UPDATE 5/3 - CORRECTION, the Roosevelt Island Tennis program at the Octagon Courts begins on May 19 not May 2. Will have more on this later.

Fantastic Saturday at Roosevelt Island Cherry Blossom Festival Celebration of Hope For Japanese Earthquake Relief Efforts - Here Are Some Scenes

You Tube Video of Roosevelt Island Cherry Blossom Festival

Yesterday's First Annual Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Cherry Blossom Festival was a wonderful event.  In addition to showcasing the beautiful Roosevelt Island Cherry Blossoms that were still blooming

the purpose of the Cherry Blossom Festival as described by RIRA's statement announcing the event was:
... On this occasion we have joined with our Japanese neighbors and their organization, the Japanese Association of Roosevelt Island, to support their fundraising efforts. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to Japan Society designated charities, supporting the Japanese relief effort to help those suffering from the March 11 earthquake/tsunami/nuclear energy plant disruption. Only cash, no checks or credit cards, can be accepted at this time.

RIRA has arranged to present, on behalf of the New York City Council, two Proclamations of support to Ambassador Shigeyuki Hiroki, Consul General of Japan in New York and Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the United States of America. These proclamations are generously provided by our City Councilwoman, Jessica Lappin. Additionally, a grove of cherry trees, just across and north of the subway station, will be dedicated by RIRA and RIOC, with a plaque offering our solidarity with the Japanese people. RIOC has generously supported this effort....
Below are some scenes from yesterday's Roosevelt Island Cherry Blossom Festival.

RIRA’s Social, Cultural & Educational Committee Chairperson, Lynne Shinozaki greeted the crowd at the Subway Pier and explained the purpose of the event.

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Leslie Torres and Vice President of Operations Fernando Martinez presented the Celebration Of Hope dedication plaque

for a row of Cherry Trees that will be planted on Roosevelt Island to demonstrate solidarity with the Japanese people and displayed plans for the new Cherry Tree Row.

Roosevelt Island's Assembly Member Micah Kellner expressed his best wishes

and Japan's Deputy Consul General Yasuhisa Kawamura accepted a Proclamation of Support from New York City

provided by Roosevelt Island's City Council Member Jessica Lappin. Deputy Consul General Kawamura also greeted RIOC President Torres and RIRA President Matt Katz

as well as Mr. Kellner, Ms. Shinozake and a member of Roosevelt Island's Japanese community whom I don't know.

Later in the day  Deputy Consul General Kawamura spoke about current Earthquake, Tsunami and Nuclear recovery efforts in Japan.

A teacher from PS/IS 217 noted that the students from the school raised over $2,000 for the Japanese recovery efforts.

There were also great performances of Japanese music

and fun for kids of all ages

including our four legged friend who found a relaxing way to spend the day under the Cherry Trees.

Additional information on the Japan Society's Earthquake relief fund available at their web site.

Here are some more scenes from the First Annual Roosevelt Island Cherry Blossom Festival.