Saturday, January 21, 2012

Newt Gingrich Win South Carolina Republican Primary Tonight, President Barack Obama Spoke At Apollo Theater In NYC Thursday Night - You Decide

Don't miss President Obama's brief version of Al Green's Let's Stay Together at 2 minute mark.

For anyone interested, here's Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul speaking after the South Carolina primary.

The Daily Beast has an interesting article on Obama's Long Game:
The right calls him a socialist, the left says he sucks up to Wall Street, and independents think he's a wimp. Andrew Sullivan on how the president may just end up outsmarting them all....
Click here for the entire article.

Scenes From Roosevelt Island's First Snowfall of 2012 - Sledding, Playing, Shoveling and Cleaning Up

First Roosevelt Island snowfall of 2012 today - here are some scenes.

Sledding on Roosevelt Island Southtown hills

playing at Octagon Field

and shoveling show

before getting a hot drink from Starbucks.

The Farmers Market was open

and snow was removed from sidewalks

and streets.

There was even a NYC Sanitation Snow Plow Truck on the streets of Roosevelt Island today. Do not remember seeing that sight during past snow storms.

You can add your own photos and description of your snow day in comments section.

Have fun and stay warm.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Dark Knight Spotted Overlooking Roosevelt Island - Batman's Atop The Queensboro Bridge

Image of Batman On Queensboro Bridge from Marcovalerio Melis

Who was that masked man atop the Queensboro Bridge overlooking Roosevelt Island. Was it the Caped Crusader himself. The answer comes from Roosevelt Island resident Marcovalerio Melis who captured the Dark Knight in this video last November and finally reveals it to the public. (UPDATE 4:45 PM - You have to be logged into Facebook to see the video)

The next Batman movie, The Dark Knight was filming scenes on the Queensboro Bridge last November.

Fortunately, there was no need for Batman to save Roosevelt Island Tram riders as Spiderman had to once do.

11 Roosevelt Island Organizations Seeking More Than A Quarter Million Dollars In Public Purpose Funds - $100,000 Available, RIRA Starts Vetting Process and Will Make Recommendations To RIOC

Below are the organizations requesting Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) 2012 Public Purpose Fund Grants and the amounts sought.

Roosevelt Landings Residents Association - $ 2,800.00
Roosevelt Island Disabled Association, Inc. -  $ 10,500.00
R&R Concerts Inc. -  $ 14,400.00
Island Kids, Inc. - $ 16,000.00
Flannigan Chiropractic Offices -  $ 19,200.00
Roosevelt Island Seniors Association, Inc. - $ 20,000.00
Roosevelt Island Community Literary Associates, Inc. -  $ 20,000.00
Life Frames, Inc. - $ 25,000.00
Roosevelt Island Historical Society - $ 26,000.00
Parent-Teacher Association PS IS 217M, Inc. -  $ 26,558.00
Roosevelt Island Visual Art Association, Inc. - $ 28,800.00
Roosevelt Island Day Nursery, Inc. - $ 35,000.00
Roosevelt Island Swimming, Inc. - $ 53,000.00
Total Amount Requested - $ 297,258.00
After receiving this list, I learned that the requests by Roosevelt Landings Residents Association and Flannigan Chiropractic Offices were disqualified by RIOC because these applicants were not 501 C (3) or (4) organizations as required under the guidelines.

The total amount of funds available is $100 thousand.

The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) has been delegated by RIOC to make recommendations to the RIOC Board for the allocation of available Public Purpose Funds.  RIRA created a Public Purpose Funds Committee that will interview and evaluate the applicant organizations and then make recommendations as to how the funds get distributed to the full RIRA Common Council. Upon approval by the RIRA Common Council, the recommendations are forwarded to the RIOC Board for approval.

Image Of 2011 RIRA Public Purpose Funds Subcommittee Meeting

As reported in this post from last year on the Public Purpose Funds allocation process:
... I attended two of the Public Purpose Funds Sub-Committee meetings. One meeting involved the interviewing of two applicant organizations for funding. The second meeting was the actual discussion by Committee members of their reasons for and final recommendations to RIRA of allocating Public Purpose Funds to the applicant organizations. I must say that I was pleased and impressed with the diligence, thoughtfulness and hard work displayed by the Public Purpose Funds Sub-Committee in reviewing the applications and arriving at their final recommendations....
The RIRA Public Purpose Funds Committee intends to have their recommendations submitted for approval to the April 2012 RIOC Board Meeting.

More from RIOC on Public Purpose Funds and from these previous posts.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

RIOC Board Directors Discuss Roosevelt Island Dogs Poisoned From Rat Trap Bait - Fewer Rats On Island Says RIOC President

Image of Roosevelt Island Rat Bait Trap

Earlier this evening, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors discussed incident reported this week involving two dogs poisoned by a rat bait trap - one dog was killed and another dog badly injured. Here's the discussion.

You Tube Video Of RIOC Discussion On Roosevelt Island Dog Poisoning

During the Public Proceedings prior to the start of the Directors Meeting, Roosevelt Island resident Joyce Mincheff addressed the dog poisoning incident.

More on dog poisoning incident from previous post.

NYC Principal and Roosevelt Island Resident Cheryl Tyler Profiled In NY Times Schoolbook Feature

Image of Ms. Tyler from Maria Newman for SchoolBook NY Times

The NY Times Schoolbook feature profiled New York City school principal Cheryl Tyler, a long time resident of Roosevelt Island. According to the NY Times:
When word got out in the fall that Public School 277 in the Bronx had landed on a list of schools that could be closed by the Department of Education because it had received an F on its progress report, the school’s students, parents and teachers went on a campaign to convince officials that their school had been working hard to raise achievement in the struggling neighborhood. They wrote letters. They crowded into meetings at the school auditorium. They described a school where students are engaged and teachers feel respected for their work.

In December, when they learned that school officials had decided to keep the school open, “you could hear the resounding cheer throughout the school,’’ said Cheryl Tyler, the principal. Deputy Chancellor Marc Sternberg said, “We saw the school has a motivated principal and energized staff with a vision for improving student achievement.”....
Click here to read the entire NY Times article on Ms.Tyler.

Information on Roosevelt Island's local school, PS/IS 217 is available at these previous posts.

Will Roosevelt Island NYC Council Member Jessica Lappin Be A Candidate For Manhattan Borough President? She Announces Campaign Raised Over $600 Thousand So Far - More Than Any Other Prospective Candidate

You Tube Video of NYC Council Member Jessica Lappin Interview

Reported last Sunday on Roosevelt Island NYC Council Member Jessica Lappin's video interview on CUNY's TV program Eldridge & Company and speculated that Ms. Lappin may be a candidate for Manhattan Borough President next year. Ms. Lappin announced yesterday that:
I wanted to share some exciting news. Yesterday, we reported that our campaign has raised over $600,000 to date. This gives us the most cash on hand of any prospective candidate for borough-wide office in Manhattan.

I am thrilled that we have such broad support from so many New Yorkers at such an early stage.

While there is still much work to be done between now and election day 2013, I really wanted to extend my heartfelt thanks and let you know how much your continued support means to me. I greatly appreciate all of your help.

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board Of Directors Meeting Today 5:30 PM At 8 River Road - Motorgate North Elevator and Tram Station Bathroom Renovation Among Items On The Agenda

You Tube Video of Portion of December 2011 RIOC Board Meeting

Below is the Agenda for today's Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors Meeting.
JANUARY 19, 2012
5:30 P.M.1

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call
III. Approval of Minutes
1. December 14, 2011 Board Meeting (Board Action Required)
IV. Old Business
V. New Business
1. Authorization to Enter into Agreement with Roosevelt Island Associates for Motorgate North Elevator Renovation (Board Action Required)
2. Authorization to Enter Into Contract with JFA Insurance Brokerage & Associates, Inc. and Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. for Insurance Brokerage Services (Board Action Required)
3. Ratification of Contract with Shawn Construction, Inc. for Tram Station Restroom Renovation (Board Action Required)
4. Ratification of Contract with New York Plumbing Heating Cooling Corp. for Blackwell Turnaround Construction (Board Action Required)
5. President'sReport
6. Committee Reports
a. Audit Committee
b. Governance Committee
c. Operations Advisory Committee
d. Real Estate Development Advisory Committee
7. Public Safety Report
VI. Adjournment

1 The RIOC Board Meeting will commence following a public comment period, which is not a part of the RIOC Board Meeting.
A live web cast of the RIOC Board meeting is available and an archive within a few days after the meeting.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Roosevelt Island Rat Bait Trap Poison Kills One Dog, Injures Another

I received a message on January 12 from a concerned Roosevelt Island resident:

about the unattended rat bait stations throughout Roosevelt Island
Image of Roosevelt Island Rat Bait Trap
reporting that:
there have been contact by 2 dogs 1 in which died, the other wound up in the emergency @ the animal medical center due to eating the Rat poison this past weekend
despite the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) being informed previously of the Rat Bait Traps not being properly secured.

On January 13 I sent the following message to RIOC's Vice President of Operations Fernando Martinez:
I have heard from residents that a dog was poisoned from RIOC's use of rat traps.

Any comment?
RIOC's Press Spokesperson replied that a response is forthcoming soon. Will publish the response as soon as it is received.

Roosevelt Island resident Joyce Mincheff adds:
A dog has been poisoned

The dog is recovering but has permanent liver damage.

From the results of the dog's blood test, the Vet commented that his level was the highest she had seen in a dog that survived. It takes approximately 3 to 5 days for the poison to produce severe symptoms from the time it's ingested. The dog was bleeding throughout its organs. It had not been off the Island in over 2 weeks.

The dog weighs approximately 17 lbs. It's unlikely that a dog with less weight would have survived. That would include breeds like Chuahuahs, Yorkies, Maltese, Jack Russels, Shitzhuhs, Havanese, Min-Pins, Pomeranians, all toys.

I've spoken to RIOC about their use of rat poison and I understand that the buildings use similar devices.

It's imperative that locations where rat poison is in use should be posted. RIOC tells me that their boxes are virtually tamper-proof and locked down. It seems likely to me, that any authorized, qualified exterminator would be careful in securing the trap. As RIOC has reported doing, I'm wondering whether it's possible for the buildings to use the spring trap that catches the rat rather than poison.

I'm hoping all the building managers will:
  • inspect their bate boxes and make sure they're secure,
  • post notices to alert the public where rat poison is in use,
  • exchange all poison devices for spring traps.
Since we can assume that any effort made by the buildings or by RIOC would have taken place with appropriate caution, it seems more likely that the poison was maliciously put out. I would like to ask you all to pledge to a fund that will provide a reward to anyone leading to the identification and arrest of any individual who spreads poison on the grounds of the Island in an unauthorized way. I'll be making a comment in the upcoming WIRE and on the blog, and would like to include a notice of this reward.

If there is any other suggestion you have concerning this matter, please advise.
The rat bait poison traps are located at Firefighters Field, Capobianco Field and near the Octagon.

UPDATE 1/19 - Just received response from RIOC:
Last week, RIOC was alerted to a potential rat bait poisoning of a dog on the Island, which has not been substantiated. In response, we had the rodent bait stations on Roosevelt Island inspected by Urban Exterminating Services. They found that all stations were covered with locked, tamper-proof bait stations, which are State-approved.

Residents and visitors should note that tamper-proof bait stations are located throughout the Island, but rodenticide (which is included in certain of the more heavily infested stations) is placed away from where people and pets can easily access it.

However, due to lack of rodent activity, many of the stations were removed. We will now use poison-free snap traps except for in heavily infested or garbage dumping areas. All areas will continue to be inspected twice a month.
UPDATE 8:45 - RIOC Board of Directors discussed issue today. Here's what happened.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

White Collar Roosevelt Island TV Episode On USA Network Tonight 10 PM - Watch Matt Bomer Jump From Tram Cabin and Over Visitors Center Kiosk

Image of White Collar stars Matt Bomer (left) and Tim DeKay (right)

Reported last August:
... The USA Television program White Collar will be filming on the Roosevelt Island Tram today and  in the area surrounding the Roosevelt Island Tram station as well as the Roosevelt Island Bridge on Tuesday....
Roosevelt Island 360 sends the following message earlier today:
Tonight starts the new season for White Collar. Their promos are showing the Tram scenes they filmed earlier this year.

No confirm that tonight's episide includes those scenes but maybe The promo makes it seem likely.

You Tube Video of White Collar Sneak Peek

During Roosevelt Island filming, star Matt Bomer practiced leaping over Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS) Visitors Center bench and kiosk railing

and posed for a picture with RIHS President Judy Berdy.

Image of RIHS President Judy Berdy with White Collar's Matt Bomer 

White Collar is on the USA Network starting at 10 PM.

More photos of Roosevelt Island Visitors Center Kiosk White Collar film shoot here.

UPDATE 1/18 - Oops, sorry. The White Collar episode last night did not have the scenes shot on Roosevelt Island. RIHS President Judy Berdy reports:
From what I understand the episode shot on the island will be the last one on in March.

Drug Use On Roosevelt Island's Main Street At Night Reports Resident On RI 311 See Click Fix - December Monthly Public Safety Blotter and 2011 Annual Public Safety Statistics - Still No Answer On Child School Gun Incident

According to a January 12 report to RI 311 See Click Fix:
young men smoking drugs at 7:30 pm near church and library on RI

3 young men walked right past me, handing their drugs they were smoking to each other at 7:30 in the evening with not a care in the world. I am sick of smelling that toxic drug here all the time, shey is there no foot patrol at night on the island?
The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) responded today:
Issue ClosedThe Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department would like to hear about these types of incidents while they are occurring. Please contact us at (212) 832-4545. We are here to protect and serve 24 hours a day.
Thank you
According to the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department Calls for Services/Responses Statistics for January - December 2011 there were 17 incidents involving the category of Possible Illegal Substances on Roosevelt Island. Also, according to the Public Safety Department's Index Crime report, during 2011 there were 6 Incidents of Grand Larceny, 1 Grand Larceny Auto, 15 Assaults, 17 Burglaries and 6 Robberies here. There were no rapes or murders.

Image From RIOC Public Safety Department 2011 Annual Monthly Statistics

Below is the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Safety Monthly Incident Blotter for December 2011. The Monthly Blotter Reports are a bit more detailed than the Daily Public Safety Reports included every day and archived on the middle sidebar column but they report on incidents 4- 8 weeks old. Included in the December Blotter are these incidents:
    12/13/2011 566 Main St NYPD ARREST Male student threatened staff with a gun and fled the scene.  Male was apprehended by NYPD and taken into custody.  Parents notified and on scene,
  • 12/16/2011 R/O 415 Main St Con Edison on scene for an electrical issue.  Upon arrival area was cautioned off while work was taking place,
  • 12/5/2011 Opp 688 Main St Male was observed taking pictures of the bridge at location.  Male is a photography student and working on a project.  Male was granted permission and R/O obtained identification,
  • 12/16/2011 F/O 888 Main St Passenger complained bus did not pull ramp down for wheelchair access. Passenger was advised bus did not have a working ramp and another bus followed to pick up passenge,
  • 12/18/2011 R/O 510 Main St Burning grill left unattended at location.  R/O extinguished the coals and tenant came on scene.  Tenant was advised use of grills are prohibited.  Tenant complied,
    12/6/2011 580 Main St Smell of marijuana observed at location.  Search of area for subjects yielded negative results.
    12/9/2011 546 Main St Smell of marijuana observed at location.  Search of area for subjects yielded negative result,
    12/11/2011 59th St Bridge Boat Dock. Two males observed fishing at location.  Both males were escorted from the location, warned and admonished,
  • 12/28/2011 400 Main St ARREST  Bus driver reported male subject being disorderly while riding the bus yelling and using profanity towards.  Male subject was intoxicated.  NYPD and EMS on scene.  Male issued summons and escorted off island,
  • 12/2/2011 R/O 500 Main St ARREST  Three male subjects observed with open containers.  All subjects were under drinking age and taken into custody.  Parents were notified, summonses issued and subjects released to the custody of their parents.
    12/3/2011 R/O 500 Main St ARREST  Underage male observed at location with an open container.  Subject was taken into custody, issued summons and released.,
  • 12/9/2011 R/O 645 Main St ARREST Two subjects found in possession of illegal substance.  Subjects taken into custody and transported to 114 Pct. For arrest processing.
    12/10/2011 Opp 40 River Rd ARREST Male subject observed in possession of illegal substance.  Subject taken into custody and transported to the 114 Pct. For arrest processing,
  • 12/17/2011 F/O 510 Main St ARREST  Male subject observed in possession of illegal substance.  Subject taken into custody.  Upon search subject possessed a straight razor blade.  Upon investigation subject had an open warrant for his arrest.  Subject taken to 114 Pct for arrest processing,
  • 12/21/2011 686 Main St ARREST Two victims advised they were defrauded by male subject for money.  Subject was positively identified and taken into custody.  Subject confessed and was processed at Manhattan Central Booking for arrest processing and
    12/5/2011 580 Main St Victim advised two unknown males took his Iphone and fled the scene.  Search of area for subjects yielded negative results.  NYPD notified
December 2011 Roosevelt Island Public Safety Blotter
Public Safety December 2011 Blotter

Still no comment from RIOC or the 114th NYPD precinct on whether a gun was present at any time prior to the arrest of Child School student during December 13 incident. Child School denies a gun was present but there have been reports that claim otherwise. The December Monthly Blotter describes the incident as:
    12/13/2011 566 Main St NYPD ARREST Male student threatened staff with a gun and fled the scene.  Male was apprehended by NYPD and taken into custody.  Parents notified and on scene,
It is unclear why the incident is describes as Juvenile Related since the student was 18 years old according to RIOC. Also, if there was no gun present during this incident, why won't RIOC just say so and put the matter to rest? What is different about this Roosevelt Island Public Safety Incident that RIOC will not comment whether a gun was involved?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Rooftop Parking On Roosevelt Island Motorgate Parking Garage Closed For Winter Starting Tomorrow

Received the following advisory from Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) on winter closing of rooftop parking level at Motorgate Garage:

Image of Motorgate Parking Garage Rooftop Level
Winter Closure of Garage

In an effort to maximize safety and reduce wear and tear on the roof of the garage, the roof will be closed again this winter. Your requirement to park on the roof has been eliminated and you may park in any unreserved space elsewhere in the garage from now until April 1, 2012 or as otherwise advised. The roof will be fully closed effective 10AM on Tuesday, January 17th, so we request your cooperation in moving any vehicles before then. Existing rooftop accounts will, of course, continue to be charged the rooftop rate while the roof is closed.

We appreciate your cooperation with this safety measure and your attention to the barriers that will be placed at the entrance gate. Cars found violating this restriction are subject to towing and/or revocation of monthly parking privileges.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
As of this afternoon, some cars were still parked on the roof.

Martin Luther King Jr Day Today - Take A Moment To Remember

The third Monday in January has been designated as a Federal holiday in honor of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who was born January 15, 1929 and was assassinated on April 4, 1968.

He is remembered and honored for many things including his 1963 "Letter from a Birmingham Jail". An excerpt:
...An unjust law is a code that a numerical or power majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself. This is difference made legal. By the same token, a just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow and that it is willing to follow itself. This is sameness made legal.

Let me give another explanation. A law is unjust if it is inflicted on a minority that, as a result of being denied the right to vote, had no part in enacting or devising the law. Who can say that the legislature of Alabama which set up that state's segregation laws was democratically elected? Throughout Alabama all sorts of devious methods are used to prevent Negroes from becoming registered voters, and there are some counties in which, even though Negroes constitute a majority of the population, not a single Negro is registered. Can any law enacted under such circumstances be considered democratically structured?

Sometimes a law is just on its face and unjust in it's application. For instance, I have been arrested on a charge of parading without a permit. Now, there is nothing wrong in having an ordinance which requires a permit for a parade. But such an ordinance becomes unjust when it is used to maintain segregation and to deny citizens the First-Amendment privilege of peaceful assembly and protest....
The full text of Letter From A Birmingham Jail is here and a short excerpt of audio below.

Pride (In The Name of Love) is U2's Tribute to Martin Luther King Jr.
Early morning, April four
Shot rings out in the Memphis sky.
Free at last, they took your life
They could not take your pride.

In the name of love
What more in the name of love.
In the name of love
What more in the name of love.
A You Tube video of U2's Pride interlaced with a slide show of Dr. King's speeches and news clips.

Take a moment today to remember Martin Luther King Jr. and the good work he accomplished to make our country a better place.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Roosevelt Island's NYC Council Member Jessica Lappin TV Interview - Thinks Roosevelt Island Is A Lovely Place

You Tube Video of NYC Council Member Jessica Lappin Interview

Roosevelt Island's NYC Council Member Jessica Lappin was interviewed by CUNY TV's Eldridge & Co recently on issues facing her district which includes not only Roosevelt Island but the Upper East Side. Ms. Lappin discussed issues of ageing, FDR Memorial at Southpoint Park, the Cornell Roosevelt Island Engineering School, Second Avenue Subway, NYC City Council Term Limits plus much more.

Also, Ms. Lappin noted that Cornell will be holding a Town Hall Meeting regarding their new Roosevelt Island campus in the near future.

Capital New York reports that Ms. Lappin may be a candidate for Manhattan Borough President next year:
... Menin is hoping to replace Scott Stringer, who is leaving the borough president's post to run for mayor next year. The rest of the field has yet to take shape, but other possible candidates include City Councilman Robert Jackson of Harlem and City Councilwoman Jessica Lappin, from Manhattan's East Side....
UPDATE 1/19 - Ms. Lappin announces her campaign has raised more than $600,000 for a possible Manhattan Borough President run. More here.