Friday, February 3, 2012

No Manhattan Bound F Train Service From Roosevelt Island This Weekend Starting 11 PM Friday Thru 5 AM Monday, Tram and Red Bus Service Extended Hours - At Least F Train Is Better Than The G

Image of Blurred, Moving F Train From Venus in Furs

According to this Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) advisory:
The MTA has advised there will be:

No Manhattan Bound F-Train Service

11:00 p.m. - Friday, February 3rd to 5:00 a.m. - Monday, February 6th

Coney Island-bound F- trains run via the M Line from Roosevelt Avenue to

47-50 Sts

No Coney Island-bound F-Train service at 21 St - Queensbridge, Roosevelt Island, Lexington Ave/63 St and 57 St.

Tram and Red Bus Service will run until 5:00 a.m. during these service disruptions.
The MTA has more info on weekend subway service disruptions.

At least the F Train is not as bad as the G Train.

You Tube Video of The G Train's A Jerk

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Board Of Director Nominee Candidates Discuss Issues At Last Night's Forum - Come Out To Vote and Keep RIOC Accountable With Elected Board Members Says Assembly Member Kellner

As reported in this previous post about the February 7 Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Director Nominees election, last night was an opportunity to hear the candidates discuss issues of concern to the Roosevelt Island community and for residents to ask questions of the candidates. Here's what happened.

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) President Matt Katz, who moderated the evening, presented an overview of the reason for the election (representative democracy), its history and introduced the candidates who then made a brief introductory statement.

You Tube Video Of Meet the RIOC Board Nominee Candidates (part 1)

Roosevelt Island Assembly Member Micah Kellner then spoke about the importance of a large turnout for the election in order for it to have any credibility with Governor Cuomo and urged everyone to tell their friends and neighbors to come out to vote on February 7. Mr. Kellner also noted that when he first got elected he was told that the RIOC Board was unaccountable, RIOC doesn't listen to the residents, the staff runs wild and the Board members don't represent the community but that has changed now with elected residents sitting on the RIOC Board who are accountable. Mr. Kellner indicated that he would again try to get legislation passed to require elected representation of the RIOC Board and not just elections to  recommend Board members.

You Tube Video of Meet The RIOC Board Nominee Candidates (part 2)

A resident question and answer period with the RIOC Board Nominee Candidates followed

You Tube Video of Meet the RIOC Board Nominee Candidates (part 3)

and closing candidate statements.

You Tube Video of Meet the RIOC Board Nominee Candidates (part 4)

More information is available here including statements from some of the candidates. Remember that if you want to have a say in how Roosevelt Island is governed and services provided it is very important that you come out to vote on February 7 for three of the eight candidates and urge your friends and neighbors to do the same.

No matter who you vote for, all of the candidates should be thanked for their willingness to serve Roosevelt Island in a time consuming, non-paying position and trying to improve the community in which we all live.

Early Tuesday Morning Arrest Of 2 Suspects At Roosevelt Landings For Criminal Trespass, Disorderly Conduct, Open Container, Obstructing Governmental Adminsistration - Two Roosevelt Island Public Safety Officers Injured, Treated and Released

Image of Roosevelt Island Public Safety Shield From RIOC

Yesterday, I sent the following inquiry to Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Vice President of Operations Fernando Martinez and Public Safety Department Chief Keith Guerra:
The 2/1 - 2/2 Public Safety Report indicates
Criminal Trespass/Disorderly Conduct/Open Container/Obstructing Governmental Administration - Two subjects arrested.

Can you provide additional details as to what happened. Where, what time, were Roosevelt Island residents involved, anybody injured and any other relevant information.
RIOC's spokesperson responded:
This incident occurred early this morning (2/2/12) at 12:21am at Roosevelt Landings.
Two PSD Officers were injured, and were treated and released.
No other information provided.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Everything and More You Ever Wanted To Know About Groundhog Day - Mixed Messages From Staten Island Chuck and Punxsutawney Phil On Coming Of Spring

You Tube Video Explaining Ground Hog Day Via Daily Dish

According to DNA Info:
... Staten Island Chuck promised an early spring Thursday, even as his Pennsylvania buddy Punxsutawney Phil saw winter stretching another six weeks.

"We've been lucky this year," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who participated in the annual tradition at the Staten Island Zoo. "Very little snow."

The mayor got through the festivities without injury — not like in 2009, when Chuck took a bite of his finger.

If I get bit again," the mayor said before picking up Chuck, "I have actually promised my girlfriend I would bite back."...
Mixed messages from the Ground Hogs so we don't know if spring will arrive soon or winter will remain although based upon the weather to date, we have not had much of a winter.

Happy Ground Hog Day!!!

Scientific American Magazine Explores Roosevelt Island's Past and Future - From World War 2 Medical Experiments On Human Guinea Pigs To 21st Century Cornell - Technion High Tech Science and Engineering School

 Goldwater Hospital Image from Capital New York

Roosevelt Island was the subject of two January 31 Scientific American articles. The first reported on the past history of Goldwater Hospital, the future site of the Cornell/Technion Applied Sciences and Engineering School. According to Scientific American:
Roosevelt Island was once home to the founders of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), not to mention important studies of malaria, frostbite and saltwater consumption

The aging Goldwater Memorial Hospital on Roosevelt Island—soon to be the site of Cornell University's new NYC Tech Campus—holds a significant place in 20th-century medicine.

During World War II, Goldwater researchers participated in a government program that recruited conscientious objectors from the Civilian Public Service (CPS)—set up in 1941 for draftees willing to serve their country but unwilling to engage in military service—to take part in various medical experiments. CPS volunteers became human guinea pigs. In a 100-bed Goldwater research unit, Columbia University and New York University physicians studied the effects of malaria, cold weather, starvation, arthritis, liver disease and other conditions on CPS volunteers, according to Judith Berdy, president of the Roosevelt Island Historical Society and an island resident since 1977....
Also, according to the National Institute of Health:
Goldwater Memorial Hospital in New York was the focus of antimalarial drug research during World War II. Dr. James A. Shannon led the group, which included Drs. Bernard Brodie, Sidney Udenfriend, and Robert Berliner, and future Nobel Prize winner Julius Axelrod. Dr. Robert Bowman came to Goldwater after the war.

Goldwater Memorial Hospital opened in 1939 as the first public hospital in America devoted solely to the treatment of chronic diseases. In 1942 it became the focal point for a national campaign to develop a new treatment for malaria-one of the most significant medical problems for the Allies in World War II. During the war, in the basement of Goldwater's Building D, were assembled what has been called "the workings of elite science", the scientists who would go on to develop many of the great biomedical research advances in the postwar era....
Click here for the entire Scientific American article on Goldwater Hospital research unit.

Scientific American transitions from Roosevelt Island's Goldwater Hospital past to its Cornell/Technion future in second article:
... The purpose of this high-tech venture is to turn the 52-hectare sliver of land in the East River between Manhattan and Queens into a techno island of sorts, an incubator for start-ups akin to what Stanford University has done in Silicon Valley and Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (M.I.T.) role in the Boston area.

By 2027 Cornell and Technion plan to have built more than half of their 18.6-hectare NYC Tech Campus on the site of Roosevelt Island's Goldwater Memorial Hospital, just south of the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge. Coursework aimed at cultivating health care, social media and green energy entrepreneurs could begin on site as early as 2017. Cornell and Technion hope to attract 2,500 students and 280 professors learning, teaching and living on the island within two decades....
Click here for entire Scientific American article on Roosevelt Island's future with Cornell/Technion.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

NYPD Canine Unit Dog Starts Day Exercise Training On Roosevelt Island, Ends Day Tracking Suspect In Brooklyn Subway With Infrared Camera

Image Of NYPD K9 German Shepherd Officer George At Roosevelt Island Subway Station in 2010

Reported previously on the NYPD Canine Unit which trains on Roosevelt Island including at the temporary Southtown K -9 Obstacle Course.

Image of Southtown NYPD K9 Unit Obstacle Course 

The NY Times City Room Blog reported yesterday on a new member of the K9 NYPD who trains on Roosevelt Island:
Apache, a two-year-old German shepherd, tracked the suspect down a pitch-black passageway in the Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall subway station the other day, helped by the oldest of canine technology, his nose, and bearing the newest, an infrared camera harnessed to his back.

The camera transmitted images in real time to one of Apache’s trainers, Officer Richard Geraci, who stood a safe distance away as he followed the dog’s movements on a small monitor strapped to his wrist like an oversize watch.

The suspect was actually another officer and the exercise was part of a recent six-hour training session for Apache and his fellow trainees — Tank, Elvis and Ranger — who are the newest members of the Police Department’s transit bureau K-9 unit.

Officer Geraci and Officer Wayne Rothschild were leading the dogs and their handlers through exercises in criminal apprehension, tracking and agility, starting on Roosevelt Island....
Click here for entire NY Times City Room Blog article.

Still no explanation from Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) regarding this 1/18 - 1/19  Public Safety Incident report involving the NYPD K-9 unit at Lighthouse Park:
Investigation - At Lighthouse Park. Complaint against NYPD K-9 Training.

Roosevelt Island Residents Association Meeting Tonight 8 PM Good Shepherd Community Center - RIOC Election, Main Street Stores & More, Come Learn What Is Going On - State Senator Jose Serrano Constituent Office Hours Today 4 - 7 PM

 Image Of RIOC Board Nominee Poster at Roosevelt Island Tram Station

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 residents can come and address the Common Council Delegates on any issue of concern. Below is the Agenda:
Date:   Wednesday, February 1, 2012
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)
              Miranda Murray – Manager, RI Branch Library
            2.  Roll Call  (8:15)
               X  3. Approval of Agenda  (8:20)
             X 4. Approval of Minutes– January 4, 2012  (8:25)    
                   5. Treasurer’s Report  (8:30)                             
  1. President's Report  (8:35)
  2. Committees (8:50)
                  Island Services
                  X  Motion to establish retail advisory com.
                  Planning/SCRC sub-committee
            Public Safety
            Social, Cultural and Educational Services
            Government Relations/MTG sub-committee
 Constitution Committee            
         8 Old Business  (9:50)
        9. New Business  (9:55)
          10. Adjourn  
X Agenda items requiring action
One issue to be discussed at tonight's meeting is the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors Nominating Election process. The election is scheduled for February 7 and a Meet the Candidates Night is Thursday 8 PM at Good Shepherd Community Center. Click here for more information on the RIOC Board Nominee election process

Below is the RIRA Island Service Committee Report (ISC) and motion to establish Retail Advisory Committee:
The ISC met 1/23/12.

Updates on some of the issues weʼre involved in:

Main St. Retail Stores
From a contact with David Kramer (Hudson–Related) about 4 weeks ago, we learned from Kramer that they were close to signing 5-6 stores and will make an announcement as soon as the leases are completed and signed.

Meanwhile they are working on the streetscapes designs.

The ISC will ask the Common Council on 2/1/12 for approval to transfer and expand our Task Force into a Roosevelt Island Advisory Committee to deal with Main St. Retail Stores issues directly with Hudson-Related. This new group would have representatives from present retail stores & commercial interests and representatives from RI residents. The Advisory Committee would be affiliated with RIRA through the ISC, but operate outside of RIRA.

Red Bus Operations

ISC checked into the 1/3/12 incident when an open stroller was denied boarding a bus. We concluded based on all the facts of this situation that the bus driver made a proper call under the current policy.


Moved that the Island Services Committeeʼs (ISC) Main St. Retail Stores Task Force be transferred and expanded to a Main St. Retail Stores Advisory Committee (AC-MSRS) to deal directly with Hudson-Related on issues. The AC-MSRS should have a maximum of 15 members including representatives from the present retail stores & commercial interests, the RIRA Common Council and from other interested Roosevelt Island residents. The AC-MSRS will be affiliated with RIRA through the ISC, but operate outside of RIRA. The Committee members will be recruited by the ISC who will be charged with obtaining a diverse group representing all segments of Roosevelt Island interests in the Retail Stores developments.
Roosevelt Island State Senator Jose Serrano's staff will also be holding their monthly constituent office hours today.

Senator Serrano's Roosevelt Island Constituent Hours! 
Serrano Roosevelt Island Constituent Hours*
Wednesday, February 1, 2012  
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.

*Constituent Services are also available Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm, in Senator Serrano's District Office at 157 East 104th 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.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Board Of Directors Nominee Election February 7, Meet The RIOC Candidates February 2 and Read The Candidate Statements Now

If you are concerned with how Roosevelt Island is governed and services provided to the residents, here is your opportunity to contribute to the community by voting in the February 7 Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Director Nominee Election. According to the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA):
In February 2012, Roosevelt Islanders will go to the polls in a continuing effort to bring democratic governance to Roosevelt Island. Residents will nominate three of their own, by secret ballot. Those names will then be presented to Governor Andrew Cuomo with the request that he fill term-expired seats on the Board of Directors of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) with the candidates chosen in the election

The polls will be open from 6 AM to 9 PM Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Voting Locations
The Octagon, for Octagon Residents
455 Main, for Southtown residents
Good Shepherd, for all others

ELIGIBLE TO VOTE:All Roosevelt Island residents who are at least 18 years old:
   no duration-of-residency minimum
   no requirement of US citizenship or registration to vote on RI

Photo ID

RI address on photo ID, or
RI address on a bill or other mail, or
RI lease or income certification with the voter’s name
Octagon residents can vote at their building from 6 - 10 AM and from 5 - 9 PM. They can vote from 10 AM - 5 PM at Good Shepherd. Southtown residents can vote at 455 Main Street from 6 - 10 AM and 5-9 PM. They can vote at Good Shepherd from 10 AM - 5 PM.

There will be a Meet the RIOC Nominee Candidate Night Thursday February 2, 8 PM at Good Shepherd Community Center. Come with your questions. RIRA President Matt Katz explains the process:

and here is a video of current resident RIOC Board members discussing what is involved in being a Director.

Below are statements from RIOC Board nominee candidates submitted to Roosevelt Islander for publication in the order they were received.

From Dottie Jeffries:
First and foremost as a RIOC Board member, I will be serving the residents of Roosevelt Island. I’m a staunch supporter of the island’s diversity as well as the legacy of its namesake, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. As a Board member, I intend to further all that the Island stands for.

As a resident of Roosevelt Island for more than three years, I have become an ardent fan of the island’s vibrant community life. As a result, I’m running for a position on the RIOC Board. I’m eager to leverage my experience in public relations, my communications work in the fields of urban planning, my knowledge of the built environment and healthcare; my knowledge of Roosevelt Island and its community affairs to further the quality of life on the island and the island’s amenities My resourcefulness, energy, strategic thinking, analytical skills, and networking will be invaluable assets to the RIOC Board and in turn to the island’s community, New York City, and the State of New York.

I’m particularly interested in serving at this juncture in RIOC’s history. With Hudson Related on board to reinvigorate the retail component of the island as well as the development of the NYC Applied Sciences and Engineering School through the partnership of Cornell University and Technion (Israel Institute of Technology), extraordinary opportunities lie at hand for RIOC and the community of Roosevelt Island. With my first career having been in retailing, I am supportive of RIOC’s endeavors to work with Hudson Related. My understanding of the value of a healthy retail sector in the community will help move forward this project.

The island has long sought democratic representation and I am dedicated to furthering that representation. I intend to support the various communities on the island including seniors, the disabled, parents and families, and the youth of the island. I also believe that the many residents who work at the U.N. are a vital, even though often transient, part of Roosevelt Island. They are advocators of the island, often recommending the island as a residential community to colleagues who are posting from other countries to New York City. The possibility of seeking office tenants among the smaller divisions of the U.N. is one that I will put forward. Considering the number of U.N. employees and dignitaries on the island, the U.N. may well consider locating some of its smaller offices to the Roosevelt Island.

My involvement on Roosevelt Island is broad. I serve on the Southern Development Subcommittee of the Planning Committee of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA). I’m also a member of the Roosevelt Island Historical Society and play in the Roosevelt Island Tennis Association (RITA). I frequent Sportspark and support its offerings wholeheartedly.

I’m an avid supporter of the Island’s Post Office as well as the Roosevelt Island branch of the New York Public Library.

Outside of Roosevelt Island, I serve on the Board of the Science Writers of New York (SWINY) and the Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC). Some of my relevant clients (past and present) include the American Institute of Architects, Alan Wanzenberg Architect (New York), Congress for the New Urbanism, the Ceiling and Interior Systems Construction Association, Bartlett Tree Experts, the New York Center for Children, and Park Avenue Christian Church.
From Howard Polivy:
I am in my eighth year as a Roosevelt Island resident. I am an actuary with the financial expertise of over 30 years’ experience, specializing in long range planning for employee benefits. As a RIOC director, I am running to seek continuing confirmation from my neighbors. Having directors nominated through the communities’ approval means there will be directors deeply invested in attending to ideas and opinions in current circulation.

I serve as chair of the RIOC Audit and Real Estate Advisory Committees, serve on Governance,and attend most RIOC committee meetings but alsoattend virtually all RIRA functions and participate actively in many organizations.

Different issues speak to different residents’ special concerns, which are sometimes at cross-purposes. RIOC Board members must weight these concerns but settle on a course of action. I have supported open community forums and discussions toallow RIOC staff to become sensitized to complex concerns and to build partnerships with the residents to improve our quality of life.

Infrastructure: RIOC’s capital rehabilitation planprojects include Motorgate, Blackwell House Interior, the Lighthouse, and the Island’s railing and seawall. Part of the driving force for these projects has been the need to catch up after years of relative neglect due to budget issues. I now chair the Audit committee, and have served during a time when the statements, reporting, and controls have beenexemplary. As an actuary, I look at the financialplan’s long-term viability.

Technology and Transportation: Roosevelt Island was designed to demonstrate new possibilities in urban design. I am pleased to have been an active member of a Board of Directors, bring useful and interesting technology into play. Most importantly, and with an eye to the changes coming through the Cornell-Technion project, RIOC must create amodernized strategic plan and vision. Our residents must be assured that safe and secure transit to and from the Island and an improved transportation and service infrastructure, ready and in place before beingstressed by the anticipated new arrivals.

Affordable Housing: We have been in a transition as the Mitchell-Lama program sunsets. RIOC’s operations and services, benefitting all residents, arelargely financed by the buildings’ ground rents and related fees. I was appointed to the Real Estate advisory committee after Jonathan Kalkin was dropped from the board. As committee chair, I have strived to represent all the residents’ interests with expenses structured to permit ongoing affordable housing.

Responsiveness to the community has grown during my Board term. For example, meetings are now all scheduled for a 5:30 start time, so that moreworking residents are able to attend. I serve onRIOC’s Governance committee, and we will be creating evening open topic meetings for residents to have an additional venue to begin to resolve their concerns. But, our Island brings a wonderful opportunity for any interested party to do much more than raise complaints. Ways can be found to harness energy and expertise.

I have the vision, desire, and financial expertiseto finish building a firm foundation during this time of transition. I bring an ability to work constructively with all parties - community interests, RIOC staff, and concerned politicians, to accomplish the agenda of developing and operating Roosevelt Island as a model urban community.

Thank you for the opportunity to be of service.
From Grace Bernstein:
To everything there is a season... I am privileged to have been part of the Roosevelt Island Community for 30 years. Now it is my time to give back. I love the Island's diversity, its energy, and its supportive environment. My children and grandchildren grew up here. I welcome the opportunity to serve the residents of Roosevelt Island as a member of the Board of Directors of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation. I embrace the progress and expansion of the Island.I hope my experience as an administrative law judge, attorney, teacher, and mother gives me the wisdom to address the myriad and complex issues facing the Island in an independent and fair minded way.

As the Island grew, its expansion brought individuals with new ideas. I look forward to to the Cornell complex and the influx of about 2500 creative individuals. I look forward to the revitalization of Main Street and the increased revenues that will benefit the people and organizations of the Island. I promise to work towards creating an Island that serves all its people, taking into consideration economic status, age and interests.

I applaud the many organizations of the Island; they are the life of the community and will continue to be so as long as they have the residents' support. It is the committed individuals and the camaraderie that makes this Island such a desirable place to live. I think of this Island as a growing organism, fueled by bold government experiments and by individual start- up groups, like start -up companies, that have a vision. I ask that all residents look to the future and be active and creative in improving our Community (including those who only plan to live on the Island a few years).

I ask for your vote so I can use my ability, time and energy to make this Island a place that I love to call home.
From Jonathan Kalkin:
When I first came to the Island I saw a place with unbelievable potential, but also a place with difficult and complex issues to overcome. There were small problems - from the Red Bus not having a schedule to big problems like Main Street’s vacant stores and long-term affordable housing plans were always out of reach. When I was one of the first members elected to the board in 2008, I made it my goal to fix these problems.

I was the first board member to tackle the problem of Main Street’s vacant storefronts. I designed and completed the Retail Master Lease for Main Street with Hudson/Related. This secures the present revenue stream for RIOC and shares profits above that, benefits the community with a competitive and vibrant retail environment, and takes government (and the long and onerous RFP process that goes with it) out of the business of retail management for the Island. This revenue and multi-million dollar revitalization will create jobs and give RIOC the funds it needs to preserve housing affordability.

I had RIOC meet with technology startups and large companies from Google to Verizon and commissioned studies from Columbia and Cornell Universities to develop solutions to these issues. We developed a bus schedule, hired a transportation manager, commissioned a ferry dock study, and installed a GPS bus tracking system so residents/RIOC could use mobile apps to track bus arrival. We installed a smart parking sensor and meter pilot to track and automate parking enforcement which led to greater availability, enforcement and revenue. This smart parking plan will be deployed Island wide. I had the RI 311 issue tracking system installed that not only allows resident to report, vote up, and comment on non-emergency issues on Island, but for RIOC staff to respond/fix them. All these initiatives gave RIOC the data to monitor and operate the Island in a more efficient way and be more responsive to its residents. As a result of these initiatives, New York State named RIOC the Empire 2.0 Showcase Agency of the Year.

However, the most important work is still yet to be done. Affordable housing must be preserved. I led the effort to protect affordability by approving the Rivercross ground lease, passing the first RIOC resolution in favor of preserving affordability, and arranged meetings at City Hall with all the agencies involved to finally complete the decades long privatization/affordability plans that are now reaching completion. I want to finish this work, but also collaborate with Cornell University on an Island green energy plan to ensure that residents can not only afford their homes, but be able to heat them as well. Nobody should lose their home because of their electric bill.

I believe RIOC, the community, and Cornell University can work together on a community benefit agreement to ensure the University and the Island mutually benefit from the project. I began this effort first by having RIOC and RIRA draft a resolution in favor of the university before the RFP and have begun meetings between the University, political representatives, and community groups to develop this agreement. The City and the University have said they are excited to work with the community and RIOC on this project. Make no mistake, this is our moment. As we transform from Roosevelt Island to Silicon Island we need to continue our record of reform and innovation. I would be honored to help make that possible.
I offered to publish statements from all of the candidates. Will publish statement from other candidates if they wish as updates to this post.

UPDATE 2/3 - Video of RIOC Board Nominee Candidate's Night here.

UPDATE 2/4 - Candidate Statement from Lydia Tang:
My name is Lydia Tang and I've been a Roosevelt Island resident for the last 17 years.

Being part of the solution and not part of the problem – that’s the only legitimate reason I have for running for the RIOC Board of Directors. Complaining about the state of affairs only goes so far, but stepping up to improve the state of affairs can be more effective if there exists the correct qualifications and experience. I believe that I have many of the correct qualifications and experiences.

I’ve been an active member of the Roosevelt Island community, having taken on official positions in my building’s tenant’s association, our public school’s PTA and as advocate for our branch of the Public Library. I’ve also helped out in community events orchestrated by RIRA and RIOC, as well as volunteering with the after-school Beacon Program. My professional experience includes 10 years in the financial industry and, most recently, 14 years as a college math professor. My undergraduate and graduate degrees are in Operations Research from Columbia University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science. My limited exposures from my summer college internships include working for the MTA in Staten Island (SIRTOA), Con-Edison, and CE-Lummus, an engineering firm.

I urge all Roosevelt Island residents to vote in the elections, especially the ex-pat population and new voters. Participate by using your voice to select your community leadership. Then consider how else you can be part of the solution.

Resident Wants Better Communications Between Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board Of Directors and Community - Any Ideas? Meet The RIOC Board Nominee Candidates And Ask Questions This Thursday 8 PM - Vote In Election February 7

Roosevelt Island resident Ashton Barfield would like to see improved communications between the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) resident Board Of Directors and members of the community. Ms. Barfield writes:
To the elected RIOC Board members, the February 7 candidates for the Board, and the rest of the Island residents:

A lot of Roosevelt Islanders feel that the elected members of the RIOC Board need to tell the community what they’re doing and thinking -- that this kind of communication is part of their responsibilities as our representatives.

And a lot of Roosevelt Islanders don’t know how to provide input to the Board members, or are frustrated by the options -- the group email on the RIOC website, private emails if you know members’ addresses, buttonholing them somewhere.

I’m writing to invite Board members, candidates for the Board, and the rest of the community to think hard and creatively about how to improve communication, in both directions, without increasing the sizable amount of time that Board members already devote to this unpaid job.

So, everyone, scratch your heads, talk among yourselves, and share your ideas publicly -- via comments on the Roosevelt Islander blog and letters to The WIRE. (This week, The WIRE expects to debut a revised Website, with provisions for a community dialogue.)

We have a RIOC Board election next week, and another in November. It’s a great time to be asking candidates -- newbies or veterans, running now or running later -- for their ideas about communication, and what they would do to improve it.

(A virtually identical version of this letter appeared in the Letters to the Editor of the January 28 edition of The Main Street WIRE.)
More information on the February 7 RIOC Board Nominee election here.

There will be a Meet the Candidate Night Thursday February 2, 8 PM at Good Shepherd Community Center. Come with your questions.

If you are concerned with how Roosevelt Island is governed and services provided, this is your opportunity to learn more and to help decide the future of Roosevelt Island.

PLEASE VOTE ON FEBRUARY 7. All residents 18 years of age or older can vote and you do not have to be a US citizen. Learn more here.

I will have candidate statements published later today or tomorrow.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Stanford Says It Withdrew Bid For Roosevelt Island Applied Sciences Engineering School Because NYC Could Not Be A Trusted Partner

Proposed Roosevelt Island Campus From Stanford University/Ennead Architects, image by Redsquare, Inc.

Stanford University's withdrawal of it's proposed Roosevelt Island NYC Applied Sciences and Engineering School project was further explained in a Stanford Daily article today. According to the Stanford Daily:
Stanford withdrew its bid for a New York applied sciences and engineering campus because the city repeatedly revised the terms of its offer and could not be trusted as a reliable partner, said Stanford administrators, responding to media reports that Stanford was not adequately prepared for the tough negotiation style of New York officials....

... “There were issues about liability for…the environmental risks involved in the site,” Provost John Etchemendy Ph.D. ’82 told The Daily. “They wanted us to indemnify them for anything they had done, anything that had happened. So for example, if somebody sued about exposure to chemicals 20 years ago, we would have been liable; and that’s an example.”

Hennessy added that the city also backtracked on the amount of land they had promised. Originally, Stanford believed they would be granted land from shore to shore on Roosevelt Island. But New York cut back the land offer, which meant that Stanford would have to pay to buy additional land if they wanted to build the campus for which they originally planned.

Finally, Hennessy said Stanford could not see eye to eye with the city on how quickly the campus could scale up....

...  In New York, Roosevelt Islanders said they were shocked to hear that Stanford was withdrawing.

“Everybody was completely stunned beyond imagination; the news flew through the community like wildfire,” said Denise Shull, a common councilor on Roosevelt Island’s Residents Association Silicon Island Subcommittee.

Schull said she was disappointed that Stanford dropped their bid.

“From my perspective…the island was much more in support of Stanford. They just have a fabulous reputation. There’s just no two ways about it,” she said.

On the other hand, residents have also welcomed Cornell enthusiastically.

“In reflection, now that Cornell is going to be here, New York is going to be able to do its own thing, rather than be a satellite to Silicon Valley,” said Jonathan Kalkin, former director of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation....
Click here for entire Stanford Daily article.

The proposed site for the school at the current Goldwater Hospital is controlled by both New York City and New York State. The city controls the land underneath the Hospital building and the state controls the land five feet from the building's perimeter to the East River.

In response to my inquiry, a Stanford spokesperson added:
... our withdrawal had to do with the trustees and President Hennessy's concerns about the negotiations and level of risk to the university.  There was never at any time any discussion of Cornell's status as a purported leader, nor did we know anything about the Cornell/Technion gift until it was announced about 5 hours after we notified the city of our withdrawal. Stanford's withdrawal had nothing to do with our fundraising capability or concern about financing.
... the city was asking us to assume risk and liability beyond what our attorneys (both here and in NYC) advised was acceptable.  We worked with land use and real estate attorneys in NYC who are very familiar with city property deals (contrary to reports that we weren't prepared to negotiate with the city -- we were receiving very experienced and excellent counsel).  Those attorneys and others advised us that the terms being put forth by the city were unusual and not in Stanford's interest. Our trustees then also would not allow us to enter into those agreements.  They had to do with fines and penalties, such as for construction delays that may not be the university's fault, indemnifying the city in the event future issues arose, and a number of items that were going to substantially increase costs to the university....
The spokesperson's response was made last month.

More on Stanford's proposal and it's withdrawal from these previous posts as well as the December 20, 2011 press conference announcing Cornell/Technion being selected to build the NYC Applied Sciences and Engineering School on Roosevelt Island. Also, here is excerpt from December 20 Press Conference with Mayor Bloomberg and Cornell President David Skorton answering questions about Roosevelt Island.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Over 1 Million Visits As Of Today - Roosevelt Islander Online Blog Statistics

As of today, Roosevelt Islander Online Blog reached 1 million total page loads since starting to measure visitor traffic in September 2007 (The first post was on July 4, 2007). According to Statcounter,  as of earlier today there have been 1,000,383 page loads  and 685,290 unique visitors since September 2007. Here are the yearly readership statistics to date from Statcounter.
Page loads represent the number of times a Roosevelt Islander page has been visited and unique visits represent particular visitors.

Below are the monthly statistics from September 2007 thru December 2011 averaging 18,688 total page loads and 12,798 unique visits.

During 2011 the average monthly page loads were 27,427 and average monthly unique visitors were 17,958. Average daily page loads for 2011 were 902 and average daily unique visitors were 590. 

Blogger's Dilemma Cartoon From Cox & Forkum

Thanks to all the readers, contributors, those who comment and lend their expertise on particular subjects as well as those who send in their tips, suggestions and messages. Please continue to do so.

January 2012 -   Page Views  31,359   Unique Visits  21,627
February 2012 - Page Views  29,808   Unique Visits 20,152

March 2012 - Page Views  32,280    Unique Visits   21,456
April 2012 -   Page Views  30,790    Unique Visits   20,518

May 2012 -     Page Views  30,815    Unique Visits 21,088
June 2012 -     Page Views  31,237     Unique Visits 21,225

July 2012 -      Page Views  37,365    Unique Visits   24,799

UPDATE 9/11:
August 2012 - Page Views  33,657     Unique Visits 23.043

UPDATE 11/10:
September 2012 -        Page Views   28,465      Unique Visits  19,974
October 2012  -           Page Views    58,095      Unique Visits  39,038

UPDATE 1/18:
November 2012 -         Page Views   40,143   Unique Visits  27,777    
December 2012 -         Page Views   26,350    Unique Visits  18,573   

UPDATE 5/16/13:
January 2013 -            Page Views   32,472   Unique Visits  22,245
February 2013 -          Page Views   29,599   Unique Visits  20,488
March 2013 -              Page Views  28,167    Unique Visits  20,763
April 2013 -                Page Views  31,651    Unique Visits  22,156

May 2013 -                 Page Views   29,603    Unique Visits  20,974
June 2013 -                 Page Views    28,340   Unique Visits   20,469

UPDATE 3/11/14:
Jul 2013 -                      Page Views   28,140     Unique Visits   19,733
August 2013 -               Page Views   24,631      Unique Visits   17,936      
September 2013 -         Page Views   25,126       Unique Visits   17,857
October 2013 -             Page Views   24,182       Unique Visits   17,989
November 2013 -         Page Views   24,501       Unique Visits    17,543
December 2013 -         Page Views   22,966       Unique Visits     17,241
January 2014 -             Page Views   24,819       Unique Visits     19,048
February 2014 -           Page Views   21,832       Unique Visits      16,740

UPDATE 6/1:            
March 2014 -               Page Views  24,147         Unique Visits     18,275
April 2014 -                 Page Views  24,498         Unique Visits  18,244   
May 2014 -                  Page Views  27,623         Unique Visits   21,316

UPDATE 8/3 -

June 2014                   Page Views  22,667           Unique Visits  17,139
July 2014                   Page Views  30,575            Unique Visits  22,866

UPDATE 9/1 -

August 2014               Page Views    36,804          Unique Visits    28,561

UPDATE 10/2-

September 2014         Page Views 30,087               Unique Visits 23,663

UPDATE 5/4/15 - Monthly Stats from October 2014 - April 2015.


May 2015            Page Views   26,374         Unique Visits    20,483

UPDATE 7/1:     

June 2015             Page Views   31,829         Unique Visits    24,450

UPDATE 8/12:

July 2015              Page Views   32,537         Unique Visits    25,343