Saturday, December 10, 2011

5 Minutes On A Williamsburg Corner At Bedford and North 6 - A Christmas Story From Smoke Too

 Image of Smoke Scene via Google Video

Did you ever see the movie Smoke with William Hurt and Harvey Keitel? It's a very good slice of life film that takes place in a pre-gentrified Park Slope Brooklyn and is one of my favorite movies. Keitel plays a Cigar Store owner who takes a single picture every day from the same spot outside his store for years. Keitel's character recalls a Christmas story to Hurt's character about how he got the camera .

For some reason, I was thinking about that movie this afternoon while sitting on a bench outside a coffee shop in Williamsburg. Though I could not take a photo of this same spot every day, I decided to video 5 minutes in the life of one Brooklyn street corner on Bedford and North 6.

This is what happened - nothing much other than some good music in the background and people going about their day,

Here's an excerpt from Smoke. There's a great Tom Waits song at the end too.

Report From RIOC President Leslie Torres - Tram One Year Anniversary, Unfolded Baby Strollers Allowed On Red Bus, Sportspark Excercise and Motorgate Gargage Improvements

Image of Unfolded Stroller On Red Bus During Thursday's Rush Hour

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Lesie Torres sends the following report to Roosevelt Island residents.
I hope everyone had an enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday, with great food and quality time with family and friends.

Tram Anniversary

November 30th marked the one year anniversary of the Roosevelt Island Tramway, which reopened following a nine-month modernization project. The entirely new Tram system replaced the previous one, which served Island residents for a remarkable 33 years.

Most of you have, I am sure, ridden the new Tram. It is a far superior system, providing a smoother, quicker ride while simultaneously using less electricity. It’s also better in inclement weather and we have to shut down the system far less often due to inclement weather.

The new Tram is also safer and includes several back-up systems to ensure the tram returns safely to the station in case of a power outage. And, just in case of an emergency, the NYPD and FDNY are continuously conducting training exercises on the Tram.

Like the old Tram, this one is the first of its kind. It offers riders an opportunity to experience innovation in mass transit. No wonder it has been written about by engineering magazines from across the world!

All the media coverage has helped fuel interest in riding the tram and visiting the Island and consequently, we saw ridership numbers spike over the summer. Last month alone, we had over 206,000 riders!

Revised Bus Policy

With the colder weather approaching, I am sure ridership for the buses is sure to increase. As such, we took the opportunity to review and amend our policies regarding boarding RIOC buses in order to ensure the safety of the passengers and drivers.

Below is the policy as written:

Hand baggage, instrument cases, bundles and parcels may be carried onto RIOC buses by customers provided that these articles can be carried on without inconveniencing other customers and/or the driver and does not obstruct the bus aisle or doors. Persons with unfolded strollers and/or shopping carts are not permitted to board RIOC buses unless the driver, at his or her sole discretion, determines that it will not cause an inconvenience or safety hazard to other customers or the driver. Orthopedic (wheelchair type) strollers for children with disabilities are permitted on buses just as wheelchairs are and must be secured in the wheelchair area. Bus operators must check strollers carefully to ensure that children with disabilities are not denied accessible service.”

In addition, signage on all buses will include the following language: Strollers and Shopping Carts must be folded upon operator’s request Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

Exercise at Sportspark

The holiday season should hopefully be filled with lots of friends, family and great food. Most of us tend to eat a lot this time of year and promise to work it off as part of our New Year’s resolution. Thankfully, you don’t have to wait for the New Year to get started with a great fitness routine.

You can start working out at Sportpark today.

Sportspark, located right here on the Island, has great amenities and classes. There is a recently refurbished, handicapped accessible, pool that is available for lap-swimming seven days a week, a full-size basketball court with a new laminate floor and six hoops for full court games, and a Ping Pong Room with six Olympic regulation tables with free play. There’s also a weight room with brand new equipment.

Classes are available for adults and children learning to swim at all levels and for general fitness instruction. There’s a new Tango class and zumba too.

For more information on class schedules and instruction, visit

Motorgate Improvements

I am happy to report that we have completed waterproofing, repainting and restriping of the Motorgate Parking Garage.

Workers were able to shotblast the concrete floors to clean away the oils and dirt and then apply a sealant to create a clean waterproof surface. Once the floors were sealed, we decided to repaint straight parking lines (instead of the crisscrossing diagonal lines) to facilitate parking and to make more room for cars.

We will continue to make additional renovations to the garage including adding LED lighting, electric car charging stations, and security cameras throughout the garage and will update you on the progress as we move forward.
If you were not there for the new Roosevelt Island Tram's opening day, here's what it was like.

More information available on the Motorgate Parking Garage improvements from this previous post and unfolded strollers on the Red Bus here and here.

Friday, December 9, 2011

No Roosevelt Island F Train Service To Manhattan From Midnight Tonight Thru 5 AM Saturday

Image of Blurred, Moving F Train From Venus in Furs

Be warned that if you are going out to Manhattan tonight from Roosevelt Island after midnight, there will be no F Train service until 5 AM Saturday. According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
Please be advised there will be no Manhattan Bound F train Service on Saturday, December 10th from 12:01 a.m. to 5:00 a.m.

Tram and Red Bus Service will run until 5:00 a.m. during this time frame.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
More info available at the MTA's Weekender subway service change page.

Luke's Lobster Roll Food Truck Van Comes To Roosevelt Island And Gets Kicked Off By Public Safety Department - Hope They Return Soon For Restaurant Starved Roosevelt Islanders

Last Tuesday, I noticed this intriguing tweet from Luke's Lobster:
1 if by F train, 2 if by tram...Nauti () is on her way to Roosevelt Island for dinner! Grab a roll on your way home!
Followed by:
That is we are in front of Starbucks near the F stop on Roosevelt Island for dinner! Check the map !
and then:
Bad news, Roosevelt Island Police weren't fans of us, but we were fans of you. Heading towards midtown now, hopefully see you again soon.
Luke's Lobster roll is one of New York City's Best Food Truck Offerings. From Luke's Lobster:
New York & DC's freshest, most affordable lobster roll, straight from the docks of Maine. It's the only seafood roll that's traceable from the sea floor to your plate.
What happened? Was Luke's Lobster Rolls, kicked off Roosevelt Island? If so, why? I asked Luke's Lobster:
What happened with your Roosevelt Island Police encounter - they're called the Public Safety Department here?

Also, what brought you to Roosevelt Island. Food trucks don't often make it here but I think it is a great idea. Do you intend to come back to Roosevelt Island? If you wish, happy to post any info about your Roosevelt Island plans.
Luke's Lobster filled me in:
So it dawned on me one day that something like 12k people live on the island and commute home each night via subway or tram, so why not try our hand at offering our food to the population (also we heard food choices were limited). Anyway, we set up and are selling and things are going fine, until the PSO comes around and said that we had to leave, because Roosevelt Island is a private island and that our NYC city wide permit was not valid on R.I. and that we needed to go down to 591 and see Donna and the Island president? and apply for a permit, and then we'd be able to come back.

Not a big confrontation or anything but definitely a let down. Early next week I plan to go back and speak to someone about a permit because it seems like a great place where good food is needed....
On Wednesday, I asked Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Vice President of Operations Fernando Martinez:
Does a Food Vending Truck licensed and operating in NYC need any additional permits or permissions to bring their truck and sell food on Roosevelt Island?
Mr. Martinez responded:
Yes, a food vendor will have to provide RIOC with the appropriate NYC licences and copies of insurance.  We will then issue a RIOC permit.  However, please keep in mind that we are not currently accepting any applications for street food vending.
I replied
Thanks for the response. 

Why is RIOC not currently accepting applications for food truck vending?

When do you anticipate accepting applications. 

Does it have anything to do with Master Retail Lease Agreement?
Have not received a reply back yet.

Last summer I was very happy to see a Waffles and Dingles Food Cart on Roosevelt Island

but quickly disappointed to learn that they were here only for a TV production crew.

I think it would be great to have more high quality food trucks coming to Roosevelt Island expanding our take out food options.

Hope to see Luke's Lobster Food Truck here soon!

More on Luke's Lobster restaurant and food truck from Business Insider.

UPDATE 4:50 PM - From the RIOC Board of Directors:
... the Board has placed the issue of mobile food vendors on the agenda for the next Real Estate committee meeting to develop a procedure for handling them in a uniform, and fair way.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Roosevelt Island Holiday Gifts Available At Historical Society Visitors Kiosk - Expanded Holiday Hours Too

The Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS) Visitors Center Kiosk has expanded Holiday Shopping Hours as shown in flyer below.

Image From RIHS

Holiday gifts available for sale include miniature Tram replicas

 Image from Judy Berdy

T - shirts

  Image from Judy Berdy

and more. Stop by the Kiosk on your way to or from the Tram, say Hi and pick up a Roosevelt Island themed gift.

More unique Roosevelt Island themed jewelry gifts also available from resident Ovidiu Opresco here.


Moon Over The City - Long Island City Citicorp Building At Dusk Tonight

Image of Moon Over Citicorp Building

I was walking along Vernon Bouelvard in Long Island City late this afternoon looked over my shoulder and was struck by what appeared to be the moon hovering over and then passing the Citicorp Building.

 Image of Moon Over Citicorp Building

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Discuss Deafening Noise Coming From Transcanada Ravenswood Power Plant Steam Release Last Monday - Was Steam Release Planned Or Not, Community Liaison Sought To Prevent Future Occurrences

An update to posts earlier this week on the deafening noise that woke up and frightened many Roosevelt Island residents coming from Transcanada's Big Allis Ravenswood Power Plant steam release early Monday morning at around 6 AM.

The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) December 7 meeting included a discussion of this incident. RIRA President Matt Katz reported that the Ravenswood Power Plant's previous owner, Keyspan, had a community liaison who was able to limit the planned steam releases to the daylight hours. At the present time, no similar Transcanada community representative exists. Mr. Katz, along with Roosevelt Island elected officials led by Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer are attempting to contact Transcanada officials to prevent a similar occurrence happening again.

Concern was expressed during the discussion regarding the planned steam release at such an early hour and if it was not a planned steam release, what was the reason for it happening.

Here's the RIRA discussion on incident.

Roosevelt Island Tram Passengers Again Stuck Briefly For 5 Minutes Over Second Avenue Last Night - How's Your Roosevelt Island Commute

Another brief temporary Roosevelt Island Tram outage yesterday with passengers briefly stuck over Second Avenue. Roosevelt Island 360 reports on problems coming home last night on the Roosevelt Island Tram. At 8:48 PM:
We were stuck over Second Ave for tops five minutes then returned into Manhattan platform. David had to open doors manually and we all got out onto platform. Now waiting for North Cabin, not sure, to head over from Island. Platform jam packed.  More later.
At 8:55 PM:
Everyone is looking to see if the North cabin is heading over but as we have not heard the normal bell ringing that proceeds a cabin's liftoff I expect nothing is yet airborne. Should be interesting. Some of the passengers don't feel like waiting in the rain so they have headed to the F train at Lex/63rd. Most have stayed. Only been a few minutes so far.

No announcements of anything yet.
At 8:57 PM:
David just announced closed for next 20 to 30 minutes. Problem on RI side now getting either cabin moving. Heading to subway now. Most people leaving.
At 9:17 PM:
Just exited subway with many who were on same tram. Good thing we have these options. Not to bad as F close by on 63rd. And F came quickly.
At 9:09 PM the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) issued the following advisory:
Please be advised that both tram cabins are temporarily out of service. A follow-up advisory will be sent once service has resumed


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
At 9:45 PM:
Please be advised that both tram cabins are back in service.

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Audit Committee Meeting Today On Proposed RIOC Budget For Fiscal Year 2012 -13

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a meeting of the Audit Committee of the RIOC Board of Directors will be held on Wednesday, December 7, 2011 at 4:00 p.m. at the RIOC administrative office, 591 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York.
Review of the Proposed RIOC Budget for FY 2012-2013.
More on RIOC's budget from previous posts and here is the proposed RIOC fiscal year 2012-13 budget. (You may not be able to access RIOC's proposed budget at the moment since I am told RIOC is experiencing web hosting problems at the time of this posting.)

An audio webcast of RIOC's Audit Committee meeting will be made available a few days after the meeting. That is assuming the web hosting issues do not affect the recording.

UPDATE 12/12 - Audio webcast of Audit Committee meeting is available here.

Roosevelt Island Residents Association Meeting Tonight 8 PM At Good Shepherd Community Center - Come Learn What Is Going On And Add Your Voice To The Process - State Senator Jose Serrano Constituent Office Hours Today Too From 4 - 7 PM

Image of June 2011 RIRA Common Council Meeting

The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) will be meeting later today, 8 PM at the Good Shepherd Community Center (543 Main Street). 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. The Agenda for the meeting is below.
Date: Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Time: 8:00 P.M. - Finish
Place: Chapel of the Good Shepherd, 543 Main Street

(If convenient, would you please arrive 10 minutes in advance to help set up chairs, or stay 10 minutes late to help clean up? We are guests in the building and need to be good neighbors. Thanks in advance!)
1. Public Session (8:00) Lisa Douglass-AVAC feasibility study Julie Palermo-Chamber of Commerce
2. Roll Call (8:15)
X3. Approval of Agenda (8:20)
X 4.Approval of Minutes– November 2, 2011 (8:25)
5. Treasurer’s Report (8:30)
President's Report (8:35)
Committees (8:50)
Constitution Committee
Island Services
Planning/SCRC sub-committee
Public Safety
Social, Cultural and Educational Services
Government Relations/MTG sub-committee
X Committee chair election
8. Old Business (9:50)
9. New Business (9:55)
X Motion to support holiday lights
10 Adjourn
X Agenda items requiring action Next Meeting: Janury 4, 2012 (Mailing Deadline: December 30, 2011)
Below is the Island Services Committee report submitted to the RIRA Common Council.

The ISC did not meet in November. However, there╩╝s been new developments on our Red Bus issues.
At two meetings in November with RIOC (Martinez & Opperman), RIRA resolved the main issues we had with Red Bus operations:

o It was agreed that the main bus stop for the Tram will be at the east side of the Tram station.

o Unfolded (open) strollers and shopping carts will be permitted on the bus at all times unless the bus operator specifically requests that the stroller or cart be folded. Folding will be required when the bus is crowded and the stroller/cart will pose a safety hazard or there is simply no more room on that particular bus. Signs will be posted on each bus stating: “”Strollers and Shopping Carts must be folded at operator╩╝s request”.

Cy Opperman (Bus Manager) will train each bus operator individually in the application of the new policy emphasizing they should request folding only when absolutely needed.

o Bus service to Southpoint Park may begin as early as January by the Q- 102 subject to completion of the installation of the bus stop (opposite the Park entrance) and signage. Red Bus service to Southpoint Park is expected to begin one or two months after the Q-102 service starts....
Roosevelt Island State Senator Jose Serrano's staff will also be holding their monthly constituent office hours today.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011 
4:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.
591 Main Street 
Roosevelt Island, NY 10044 
Meet with Senator Serrano's staff to discuss any concerns or suggestions you may have to improve your community.
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.

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and Other Roosevelt Island Elected Officials Seek Explanation From Transcanada For Deafening Noise Resulting From Release Of Steam Early Monday Morning - Better Communication For Future Incidents Too

 Image Of Transcanada Big Allis Ravenwood Power Plant Across East River From Roosevelt Island

As reported in this post last Monday:
Some Roosevelt Island residents were woken up and startled early this morning at around 6 AM  by the sound of what appeared to be a loud explosion. One resident sent me this message asking:
Any idea what this deafening jet engine sound is coming from the bridge/tram area is at 6 am? Been going on for 30 min.
The NYC Office of Emergency Management discovered the source of the deafening noise:
Source of loud noise near Vernon/40th Ave, QN was pressure relief valve at Ravenswood Power Plant. No public/environmental hazard.
Commenting on the post, Riradu shares sound level measurement of the noise:
Steam is released everyday. Obviously, this morning's venting of hot steam wasn't "business as usual" at all (NY1 even mentioned a transformer might have been involved). It sounded like a jet was taking off from Ravenswood Generating Station. No kidding. The level of that noise reached 94dB SPL (Sound Pressure Level), on the West side of the island. I attached the figure measured at 6:39AM. I live on this island for 25 years and I don't remember another steam release of this intensity, at any time of the day.

In the light of some other recent events concerning the plant (and  lack of subsequent info about actual causes - I understand that too much info is not very healthy), all I can hope is that our safety is being really and seriously taken care of by all responsible factors... 
 Image From Riradu

and Mookie reports:
Those of us who live in the courtyard bldgs are constantly assaulted by noise beginning in the evening and lasting all night. Calls to 311 are useless. This a major health hazard and would definitely be classified as noise pollution. What happened Monday morning was absolutely not "harmless" as RIOC and Trans Canada describe it. It was ear shattering and terrifying. The fact that this was a planned release and they weren't required to make the surrounding communities aware that this was going to happen is insanity. It is lunacy that the OEM didn't measure decibel levels and issue fines and warnings. Think about it - ice cream trucks are under noise restrictions regarding the little tune they play and this plant can emit a noise that can be heard for miles at 5:30am and nothing is done??

I'm hoping that the dangerous noise levels Monday morning may unify RI residents to take action. I've contacted Scott Stringers office and spoken with Jennifer Ashley who seems to comprehend our plight and willing to assist in defining noise guidelines regarding time, decibel levels etc. She requested for RI residents to contact her via email to relay their experiences with noise from the plant. Her email address is Let's take this opportunity to ensure a healthy RI for everyone.
Earlier today, I received this message from Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer's office:
Early Monday morning a deafeningly loud noise rattled Roosevelt Islanders and was audible across the East River in Manhattan - the culprit was a steam release conducted by a Long Island City power plant.

Today Manhattan BP Stringer and other local elected officials penned a letter to Ravenswood Power Plant in Long Island City, Queens, asking that residents and representatives be notified in advance of planned pressure releases, that they be limited to daytime hours, and to strengthen accountability and communication with the community at large.

The letter, co-signed by Congressmember Carolyn Maloney, Councilmember Jessica Lappin, Assemblymember Micah Kellner and State Senator Jose Serrano was addressed to Paul Elliot, Director of Government Relations at TransCanada, the corporate owner of the Ravenswood plant. Staff members from the Borough President's office had difficulty reaching a central point of contact in the New York area for the company, which is based out of Calgary in Canada.

The Ravenswood power plant is a 2,480 megawatt plant that consists of multiple steam turbine units. Roosevelt Island residents called the Borough President's Office with complaints about the noise that they feared had been an explosion.
Below is the December 7 letter referenced above sent to Transcanada's Director of Government Relations, Paul Elliot:
We write to you in response to a recent steam release conducted in the early hours of Monday, December 5th at the Ravenswood Generation Station located in Long Island City, Queens. The release of over-pressurized steam created a deafening and sustained noise heard by residents of Queens, Roosevelt Island and Manhattan, and prompted the New York Fire Department to dispatch seven fire trucks to the facility in an emergency response.

Our offices have heard from constituents on Roosevelt Island who are concerned not only about the disruption caused by this particular incident, but also about the level of noise emanating from the facility on a routine basis. One constituent has likened the noise to the persistent firing of machine gun rounds into the air.

In light of these issues, we strongly urge you to take the following steps to mitigate noise disturbances resulting from your facility operations and to improve communication processes with the surrounding community:

1. Share details of your pressure release schedule with the public so that nearby residents have a better sense of when the associated noise is likely to occur. It is unacceptable for residents in Queens, Roosevelt Island and Manhattan to be awakened in the middle of the night to unrelenting, ear-shattering sounds with no indication of the source of the noise and its public safety implications. This schedule should be shared, at a minimum, with local elected officials, the local Community Boards, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, the Roosevelt Island Residents Association and the Ravenswood Houses Tenants Association.

2. Limit any pressure overload release activity to daytime hours so as to minimize disturbances to the surrounding communities. If possible, activities that produce loud noise should not be conducted late at night when most residents are in their households asleep. If there are legitimate reasons why pressure overload release activity must happen overnight, we ask that local residents be given notification and explanation.

3.    Establish a local point of contact at the Ravenswood Generation Station for residents to call if they have any concerns they would like to address directly with the facility. It is our understanding that a line of communication was made in the past between the Roosevelt Island community and the KeySpan Corporation, the previous operator of the Ravenswood facility, which proved to be a mutually beneficial arrangement for both parties. We respectfully request that such a protocol be adopted and that local elected officials, the local Community Boards, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, the Roosevelt Island Residents Association and the Ravenswood Houses Tenants Association be provided with the appropriate contact information.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter. Please contact Kristen Ellis in Borough President Stringer’s office at (212) 669-7877 if you have any questions about these requests.
Stay tuned for response by Transcanada.

Weekly Computer Classes At The Roosevelt Island Public Library - Word, Internet, Excel and Email Instruction In December Starting Thursday December 8

Image of Roosevelt Island Library From Travis

Do you wish to improve some basic computer skills. If so, the following message from the Roosevelt Island branch of the New York Public Library may be of interest:
Upcoming computer classes at the Roosevelt Island Library
Intorduction to Word- Thursday, December 8th, 10:30 AM.
Introduction to the Internet- Friday, December 9th, 10:30 AM.
Introduction to Excel- Friday, December 16th, 10:30 AM.
Introduction to Email- Thursday December 22nd, 10:30 AM.
Anyone interested in attending a class should sign up in advance at the Library.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Information Learning Session Last Night For Parents Interested In Their Children Attending Roosevelt Island's Neighborhood School, PS/IS 217 - Here's What Happened

Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 Principal Mandana Beckman and Southtown Developer David Kramer spoke to a group of parents last night about our local neighborhood school.

Here's what they had to say.

More information on PS/IS 217 available from previous posts, PS/IS 217 portal and PS/IS 217 PTA.

Curbed 2011 Neighborhood Of The Year Cup In Play Again - Get Your Roosevelt Island Nominations In, But No Ballot Stuffing This Year Please

The 2011 Curbed Cup New York City Neighborhood of the Year contest is scheduled to begin next week and nominations are now being accepted. From Curbed:
Every December since 2004, Curbed readers have chosen the New York City neighborhood of the year, bestowing upon it a little award we like to call the Curbed Cup. (We promise the real fake trophy is nicer than our temporary graphic at right.) Voting will begin next week, but first, we need your input.

The Curbed Cup is a bracket-style, 16-neighborhood tournament, and we're open to your nominations for which neighborhoods to include. Put 'em in the comments of this post or e-mail 'em our way. And tell us why your nabe of choice is where the most happened in terms of development, new restaurants and retail, and general goings-on in 2011....
If you think Roosevelt Island should be the NYC Neighborhood of the Year, click here and tell them why.

Last year, Roosevelt Island made it into the Sweet 16 round but after an apparent victory was defeated in a slim margin by neighborhood powerhouse Park Slope. Ballot stuffing by both sides was involved. Curbed explains what happened:
Folks, a quick word on yesterday's wildly popular and controversial Park Slope vs. Roosevelt Island matchup, and Curbed Cup voting in general: Cheating makes us sad! Our tech team detected ballot stuffing on both sides, including 401 Roosevelt Island votes from the same IP address (an average rate of 1 vote every 5 seconds). After clearing out the obvious fakes, Park Slope is the victor by a slim margin. Better luck next Cup, Roosevelt Island
Get your Roosevelt Island nominations in and then be ready for battle.

You Tube Video of St. Crispins Day Speech In Henry V

Monday, December 5, 2011

What Was That Loud Noise Heard On Roosevelt Island This Morning? Not An Explosion, Jet Engine or Machine Gun Fire But Transcanada's Big Allis Ravenwood Power Plant Pressure Relief Valve Releasing Steam Says NYC OEM And RIOC

 Image Of Transcanada Big Allis Ravenwood Power Plant Across East River From Roosevelt Island

Some Roosevelt Island residents were woken up and startled early this morning at around 6 AM  by the sound of what appeared to be a loud explosion. One resident sent me this message asking:
Any idea what this deafening jet engine sound is coming from the bridge/tram area is at 6 am? Been going on for 30 min.
and Toasty Ramirez tweeted:
does anyone in roosevelt island/astoria/LIC/QueensBridge hear that sound outside? sounds like a bunch of machine guns going off
The NYC Office of Emergency Management was looking into the source of the noise and tweeted at Notify NYC:
Loud noise near 40 Ave and Vernon Blvd, QN, audible in QN and MN. FDNY on scene, no explosion, fire, or impact to utilities occurred
then OEM found out what happened:
Source of loud noise near Vernon/40th Ave, QN was pressure relief valve at Ravenswood Power Plant. No public/environmental hazard.
The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) also reported:
the loud noise that is being heard on Roosevelt Island is the steam being released from the power plant in queens.

It is not a hazardous condition.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
Another Roosevelt Island resident asks:
Could you please find out why Keyspan feels the need to vent steam from their power plant at 6 AM. This started today at 6.04 am and is still going on. It sounds loud enough to wake the dead! Thanks...
The Ravenswood Big Allis Power Plant is no longer owned by Keyspan but by Transcanada. Here is their contact info. Let them know what you think.

Previous posts described sirens going off, water cannons spraying and black billowing smoke blasting from Big Allis.

UPDATE 12:30 PM - Here's a You Tube video of an incident at the power plant from February 2011.

According to the video maker:
The ConED plant just east of Roosevelt Island in Queens just went nuts making this LOUD electrical arc noise... A little scary even the boats left the area...

It's over now, but WTF? did something happen? Accidents? Deaths? Incompetence?
Again, the incident shown in the video did not happen this morning but in February 2011 and it is not a Con Ed power plant but Transcanada.

UPDATE 12/6 - Roosevelt Island elected officials respond here.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Roosevelt Island Emergency Management Preparedness Update/Lessons Learned Discussion At RIOC Operations Committee Meeting - More Community Involvement Planned, Communications Back Up and Seawall Needs To Be Fixed Too

Image of Roosevelt Island Lighthouse Park Flood From Hurricane Irene by Michael Girard

This previous post following Hurricane Irene reported on Roosevelt Island Assembly Member Micah Kellner's letter to Mayor Bloomberg seeking improvements in Roosevelt Island's emergency preparedness management. An excerpt from Mr. Kellner's letter:
... I am concerned about protecting and evacuating the residents of Roosevelt Island, which is located in my district.

Roosevelt Island requires special consideration when it comes to emergency planning; the Island is home to two acute-care hospitals, Coler and Goldwater, and nearly 14,000 residents, many of whom are elderly or disabled. Further, as the Island looks to expand with the possible location of an applied sciences center, with the accompanying residents and staff, it is more important than ever to focus on emergency procedures. Had the City faced a more severe storm that required the evacuation of Zone “B”, there is currently no practical plan in place to safely evacuate Island residents....
The subject of Roosevelt Island Emergency Preparedness was discussed during the September 28 Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Operations Committee meeting (audio webcast of entire meeting is here).

RIOC Vice President of Operations Fernando Martinez provided an update/lessons learned to the RIOC Directors on Roosevelt Island emergency management preparedness and informed them that some staff have received more advanced emergency management training subsequent to Hurricane Irene. Mr. Martinez also reported that RIOC will start planning on improving  community involvement in Roosevelt Island Emergency Preparedness Management by involving the Roosevelt Island Communty Emergency Response Team (CERT), RIRA and other stakeholders in the emergency planning process.

When asked if the Roosevelt Island CERT Team was called into service during Hurricane Irene, Mr. Martinez said that it was not because the CERT Team comes under the jurisdiction of NYC Office Of Emergency Management (OEM) and was not activated by OEM during Hurricane Irene though several members assisted at the Long Island City Newcomers High School evacuation center.

One question that always arises regarding Roosevelt Island emergency preparedness is if there is an emergency evacuation plan and why does the community not know about it? RIOC Director Howard Polivy said that there was a plan, that he and RIRA President Matt Katz have reviewed it but that for security concerns, certain elements of the plan could not be made public. Mr. Polivy asked to the extent possible, the plan should be made more public and disseminated to the community.

RIOC Director Margie Smith wants to make sure that RIOC has a back up emergency communication system in place after the experience of Verizon phone service being down during the Hurricane as reported in this post at the time:
 ...Please be advised that due to the Verizon telephone outage, we are providing the Public Safety Department with temporary phone numbers....
Below is the RIOC Operations Committee meeting discussion on Roosevelt Island Emergency Preparedness Management.

You Tube Video of Roosevelt Island Emergency Preparedness Management Discussion

There was also a discussion on fixing the Roosevelt Island seawall particularly in light of the seawall break across the East River in Long Island City following Hurricane Irene as pictured below.

 Image Of Queensbridge Park Seawall Break From RIHS President Judy Berdy via Waterwire

Image of Queensbridge Park Seawall Break From Katie Ellman via Waterwire

Here's a Hurricane Irene aftermath video interview with Mr. Fernandez and more information on Roosevelt Island Cert Team from member Frank Farance here.