Saturday, April 14, 2012

Be Careful While Texting On Roosevelt Island - You Never Know What Is Around The Corner

Do you read e mail or text messages on your phone as you are walking on Roosevelt Island? I certainly do, sometimes not paying attention to what's going on around. On Roosevelt Island, that may lead to an encounter with some aggressive geese. In other places, bigger animals.

You Tube Video of Bear Chasing Man Who's Texting

I'm glad there are no bears on Roosevelt Island.

Larceny At Roosevelt Island Motorgate Parking Garage, Tires Removed From Vehicle - Monthly Public Safety Blotter For February 2012 Too

 Image of Stolen Tires From Legal Juice

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Safety Report for 4/12 -13:
Larceny - At the motorgate. PSD responded. Tires were removed from vehicle. NYPD filed a report.
I asked RIOC for additional information about this incident and will update if received.

Here's the Monthly Roosevelt Island Public Safety Blotter for Ferbruary 2012.

UPDATE 4/15 - RIOC'S Spokesperson adds:
This happened overnight. Only one vehicle was involved. Only tires were reported stolen.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Roosevelt Island Cherry Tree Row Walk - Enjoy The Beautiful Weather and Don't Forget Next Week's Cherry Blossom Walk and Festival

Roosevelt Island Cherry Tree Row By Goldwater Hospital Seen From The Tram

The weather was very nice today and is expected to be even better this weekend. Go out for a walk and enjoy the Roosevelt Island Cherry Trees as I did on this walk yesterday.

You Tube Video of Roosevelt Island Cherry Tree Row Walk

Don't forget the Roosevelt Island Historical Society's 5th Annual Cherry Blossom Walk next Saturday, April 21. Also, RIOC Director and Child School Executive Director Sal Ferrera reports that he is organizing the Cherry Blossom Festival this year for April 21 as well. Here's what happened at last year's inaugural Cherry Blossom Festival.

Roosevelt Island 311 See Click Fix Reports - Island House Courtyard Skateboard Noise, Dogs and Kids Going Wild At Farmers Market, & Filthy Women's Sportspark Locker Room

Do you have a Roosevelt Island issue or problem that can be fixed by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC)? If you see a problem or an issue on Roosevelt Island that needs to be brought to the attention of RIOC and fixed, click on RI 311 See Click Fix, report the issue and then monitor RIOC's response to the problem.

Here are some recent reports to RI 311 See Click Fix
skateboard noise

Every single day, the Island Hose courtyard becomes a meeting place for skateboarders who exercise their skills.

The noise made by those skateboarders jumping every possible steps inside the Island House courtyard, is amplified by sound reflections from the surrounding walls.
Is there a way Public Safety can provide a quitter environment for tenants of Island House, by enforcing a NO SKATEBOARD ZONE inside Island House courtyard?
and RIOC's response:
Issue Closed
The courtyard is operated by your building management company, RY Management. Please inform them of the situation as it is there responsibility. We will also ask our Public Safety Officers to observe the specified area.

Another issue raised on RI 311 See Click Fix:
Green market protocol

Parents & dog owners! A little sensitivity and some rules needed! dogs going wild, barking, raring their teeth, and jumping up on the food have no place at the green market. Dogs of shouldn't be that close to food sales. And kids on Razor scooters, bikes, skates, etc. are a danger and a nuisance. Please take some responsibility.
RIOC, would u kindly institute some rules:
- no pets allowed in vicinity of food
- no scooters, bicycles, rollerblades, etc. beyond this point?
Thank you!
and RIOC's response:
Issue Closed This is certainly a sensitive matter. The PTA manages the green market as it assists them with meeting their fundrasing goals. We will reach out to them for further discussions and work with the PSD to see that these matters are handled accordingly.
The fruit stand needs lights at night. Currently he uses a generator, which creates unnecessary pollution. Could RIOC make an electrical outlet available at the fruit stand location?
No response yet from RIOC on the fruit stand issue.

One final example:
I guess it will take Cornell moving over here for RIOC to try to put on a good face.. Filthy, nasty women's locker rooms at Sports Park Pool

Bet you 100 bucks by the time Cornell moves in here RIOC will jump to cleaning up the dark, old and pitiful dressing rooms at the pool. l would like to see Ms. Torres' face if she wanted to go for a swim at the Sports park Pool and went into the dressing rooms with her family to change, and shower. I bet she would be heading over to Home Depot stat to purchase some Clorox, a few Mr. Shower heads and she might even grab a gallon or two of yellow or sage green paint and some new clean and slip proof tiles for the floors, not to mention some new light fixtures.

What do people think that come over and use the pool and use the showers before and after the pool? My god, clean the place up if not for us for the kids that frequent the place!

maybe we should go in and take pictures of the showers and the dressing areas to show what we are talking about...last time I went, my flip flops were sticking to the dressing room floor! I wanted to sterilize my hands after touching everything in there. All of that then gets transferd into the pool.

A complete make over is in order, plain and simple.
No RI 311 response yet from RIOC on this issue though RIOC VP of Operations Fernando Martinez did respond to complaints about condition of Sportspark locker rooms in post earlier this week:
The Sports Park locker rooms are cleaned daily, and they were painted about 2 years ago.  We are having preliminary internal discussions on an overall Sports Park rehabilitation project.
One problem with the RI 311 reporting system is that RIOC lists an issue as "Closed" when they respond to the listing, not necessarily when the issue is resolved. Perhaps RIOC should acknowledge an issue is received, then wait until the issue is resolved before indicating it is closed.

More on Roosevelt Island 311 See Click Fix from previous post. 

Remember, if you see a Roosevelt Island problem, say something and report it.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Roosevelt Island Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney Debates Tax Policy, Buffet Rule And Ryan Budget With Staten Island Congressman Michael Grimm On NY 1 Last Night

Roosevelt Island's Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney debated Staten Island Congressman Michael Grimm on NY 1 yesterday. Click here for video of the debate.

Cornell Names Bloomberg Planning Veteran Andrew Winters To Lead Development of Roosevelt Island NYC Tech Campus - F Train Technology Corridor Pierces Starting To Fall In Place

Excerpt of Interview With Cornell President David Skorton and VP Cathy Dove

According to Cornell University Press Release:
Cornell University today announced that Andrew C. Winters, the founding director of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Office of Capital Project Development, will lead the development of Cornell’s new tech campus on Roosevelt Island in New York City.

As director of capital projects and planning for CornellNYC Tech, Winters will oversee the planning and construction of a campus that is expected to grow to more than two million square feet by 2037, with more than 700,000 square feet of building space that achieves at least a silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating for energy conservation and sustainable construction materials and practices. He will take on the new position in May. Campus construction is scheduled to commence in 2014, with the first campus building expected to open in 2017.

In his current role, Winters oversees the Bloomberg administration’s most ambitious and complex development projects, including the internationally renowned High Line, the establishment of the BAM Cultural District, the revitalization of Coney Island and the creation of Brooklyn Bridge Park and the Hunters Point South neighborhood. These projects represent nearly $2 billion in public investment and have won numerous awards for design and innovation.

Winters also directs the City’s involvement in major projects like the World Trade Center and the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan, following his previous position as Vice President for Planning, Design and Development at the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation.

“Andrew’s record of leading complex projects in New York City is unparalleled, and his ability to deliver projects on budget and on schedule will serve Cornell well as we grow our footprint in New York City and help train the next generation of tech leaders,” said Cathy Dove, Vice President of CornellNYC Tech.

Winters praised the Cornell campus as a visionary project for New York: “The CornellNYC Tech campus has captured the imagination of New Yorkers as a way to elevate our position in the world of technology and to provide a promising new direction for the city’s economy,” he said. “It will be very exciting to work on such an important project in the service of a world-class institution like Cornell.”

“Andrew Winters led the planning and execution of many of Mayor Bloomberg’s most important and lasting economic development projects, and we are thrilled that Cornell has chosen him to help lead the implementation of one of the most ambitious economic development initiatives anywhere in the world,” New York City Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel said. “It has been a privilege to work with Andrew, and I am confident that Andrew will bring the same vision, talent and energy that he brought to the Bloomberg administration to Cornell and Roosevelt Island.”...
The full video interview with Cornell President David Skorton and Vice President Cathy Dove as well as Roosevelt Island Cornell Town Hall meeting is here.

RIOC Board Member/Child School Director Apologizes For Mistakes Not Disclosing Relationship With NY Rowing Association and For Fundraising Letter During RIOC Governance Committee Meeting Yesterday - Also Reports Lease For Theater/Auditorium At 504 Main Street To Be Signed In Next Few Days

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Governance Committee met yesterday (audio webcast of full meeting here). Among the items discussed were conflict of interest and disclosure requirements for RIOC Board Directors.

As previously reported, this issue was raised by the RIOC Governance Committee because of RIOC Director and Child School Executive Director Sal Ferrera's recent failure to disclose his relationship with the NY Rowing Association which was seeking a permit to operate a boating facility on Roosevelt Island and the distribution of a fundraising letter by the Child School to Roosevelt Island residents and organizations.

The discussion began with RIOC Director Margie Smith asking:

What exactly is considered a conflict of interest, what are disclosure requirements, who decides and where do we go from here
RIOC General Counsel Donald Lewis summarized the requirements stating:
 ... bottom line is it is a case by case examination...
... each director officer and employee of the corporation must endeavor to pursue a course of conduct which will not  raise suspicion among the public that he or she is likely to engage in acts of violating his or her public trust...
During the Governance Committee meeting, RIOC Director Sal Ferrera apologized and acknowledged his mistake in not disclosing his relationship with the NY Rowing Association. Mr. Ferrera explained that he did not think he needed to explain his relationship with the NY Rowing Association during the March 21 Operations Committee meeting because the intent of the proposal was for a pilot project and that no vote or Board Action was to be taken on the issue.

A question was then raised whether the NY Rowing Association had to be disqualified from the RIOC Request For Proposal for a rowing and kayaking facility because Mr. Ferrera spoke in their favor during a RIOC Real Estate Committee meeting. It was decided that RIOC would submit that question to the NY State Authorities Budget Office for resolution.

Mr. Ferrera also said that the Child School fundraising letter sent to Roosevelt Island residents and organizations was an error made by an employee. Mr. Fererra apologized for the fundraising solicitation letter and said it would not happen again. He noted that when he read the letter he was upset by it as well.

Here's the discussion.

Mr. Ferrera also reported that the Child School will sign a lease with Hudson/Related this coming Friday or the following Monday for the second floor of 504 Main Street to be used as an auditorium/theater with seating for 150. Mr. Ferrera indicated that the auditorium would have sufficient soundproofing so that it would not disturb the NY Public Library branch that may be located on the first floor of 504 Main Street some time in the future.

More on the future use of 504 Main Street from previous posts here and here.

UPDATE 6:25 PM - Mr. Ferrera writes:
I am writing in response to various individuals who have objected to a letter sent out from the Child School soliciting donations for the development of a performing arts center 504 Main. As some of your readers may know, 504 is building which has been never been tenanted since its construction in the 1970s . Unfortunately the letter erroneously referred to an amphitheater at 504 Main. The building will instead contain a small auditorium which will double as a theatre for our drama performances. Its seating capacity will be approximately 150. The space will also contain 3 classrooms that will focus on music ,dance and art. This new facility will be available to our community after school hours, the only cost will be for security (IF NECESSARY). Our construction plan includes sound proofing which should eliminate any disruption for the planned library on the first floor.

These individuals, have used the above letter as a pretext to question my ethics and raise the issue of conflicts of interest as a result of my serving on the RIOC board. As far as conflict of interests and the Child School is concerned, I do not as a matter of policy raise or propose any projects that will be solely beneficial to The Child School. A good example is the request made by the rowing group to build a temporary 80 foot floating dock under the Koch Bridge on RI. Yes, it will be accessible to the students of The Child School as well to all the interested residents that live on the Island. Yes, I also serve on the rowing groups not for profit board and that can be interpreted as a conflict which is why I have stood aside as the rowing group presented its proposal independently and in compliance with RIOCs stated policies and procedures. This project, along with 504 main, will benefit our community and in particular the children living on this island yet both projects are being used as a basis for various individuals to personally and wrongly attack my participation on the RIOC board.

My hope is that the vast majority of the residents on this island can see benefits of just these two projects and separate them from the real objectives of this small but very vocal group of individuals who refuse to accept my presence on the RIOC board as a result of my assignment by the Governor.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Residents Ask When Will Roosevelt Island Fountains Be Fixed and Sportspark Locker Rooms Cleaned Up? RIOC Replies

Image of Tram Fountain Closed For Repairs

Readers of Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Leslie Torres recent Report To The Community commented on these issues. From Cheshire Kitty:
Is there ... timeframe as to when the Blackwell House fountains will be restored?  It's pleasant to enjoy these fountains during the summer. 
Westview Girl:
I would like to see RIOC invest in cleaning up the locker rooms and dressing rooms and lift the swim cap rule, women should have to put their hair in pony tail if below the shoulders, but the swim cap rule is so wrong, to enforce it is wrong ... if Ms Torres would go and use the showers and have to walk in the dressing rooms she herself would suggest things be bleached ... cleaned and updates.  Would not cost that much to freshen up the locker rooms and showers and put some bright paint and color there.

the memberships would go up if it was cleaner and brigher and more, when will that happen? 
and Yet Another RIer:
I agree with the state of the locker rooms. They are disgusting. They have been disgusting ever since the pool opened to the public. About swim caps: it's also men who are required to wear a cap if their hair is below shoulders. It's a very outdated thing to require (especially if you look at the history of swim caps it's outright sexist) but pretty much all indoor pools have the same requirement.
I asked RIOC Vice President of Operations Fernando Martinez:
Readers of this post asked when the fountains at the Tram Plaza and Blackwell House will be fixed. Also, is there any plan to clean and repair the locker rooms at Sportspark.

Do you have any comment?

Thank you.
Mr. Martinez replied:
The parts and materials for the fountains are on back order. We do have a delivery date from the supplier.

The Sports Park locker rooms are cleaned daily, and they were painted about 2 years ago.  We are having preliminary internal discussions on an overall Sports Park rehabilitation project.

Roosevelt Island 2011 F Train Subway Ridership Statistics Down 18% Since 2010 to 2,114,468 Riders - Weekday and Weekend Roosevelt Island F Train Stats Too

Roosevelt Island Rush Hour Subway Platform During Tram Outage First Day

The MTA released subway station ridership statistics for 2011. According to the MTA:
... Subway ridership consists of all passengers (other than NYC Transit employees) who enter the subway system, including passengers who transfer from buses. Ridership does not include passengers who exit the subway or passengers who transfer from other subway lines, with the exception of out-of-system transfers; e.g., between the Lexington Av/63 St F station and the Lexington Avenue N Q R/4 5 6 59 St station, where customers use their MetroCard to make the transfer...
How did Roosevelt Island's F Train Subway Station ridership fare compared with the 420 other New York City subway stations surveyed by the MTA? Gothamist reports:
... It Is Nice To Have The Tram Back: Though it'll be busy again soon enough, thanks to Cornell, the Roosevelt Island F stop got a nice respite this year after a big bump in 2010, when the Tram was out of service. Last year ridership dropped 18 percent (the biggest drop in the system) to 2,114,468, from 2,580,003 in 2010....
Below are the annual Roosevelt Island subway station ridership statistics since 2007:
  • Year 2007 - 1,874,023
  • Year 2008 - 1,929,468
  • Year 2009 - 1,875,228
  • Year 2010 - 2,580,003
  • Year 2011 - 2,114,468
the average annual weekday Roosevelt Island subway ridership statistics since 2007:
  • Year 2007 - 5,871    
  • Year 2008 - 6,071    
  • Year 2009 - 5,816    
  • Year 2010 - 7,870    
  • Year - 2011 - 6,576
and the average annual Roosevelt Island weekend  subway ridership statistics since 2007:
  • Year 2007 - 6,861   
  • Year 2008 -  6,811    
  • Year 2009 - 7,210    
  • Year 2010 - 10,621    
  • Year 2011 - 7,992
Have you ever wondered how subway service came to Roosevelt Island in the first place? Here's a fascinating video via Second Avenue Sagas showing how the F Train came to Roosevelt Island by way of the 63rd Street Tunnel.

You Tube Video on Making of East River Subway Tunnel via 2nd Ave Sagas

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Conflict of Interest And Disclosure Requirements For RIOC Directors Among Items On Agenda For April 11 Roosevelt Island Operationg Corp Governance Committee Meeting

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a meeting of the Governance Committee of the RIOC Board of Directors will be held on Wednesday, April 11, 2012 at 5:30 p.m. at the RIOC administrative office, 591 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York.

The Committee will meet to discuss:

1. Update on CFO Position Objectives;
2. Review of President/CEO Position Objectives and Performance Evaluation Approach;
3. Update on Long Range Plan;
4. General Discussion of Conflict of Interest and Disclosure Requirements; and
5. Update on Corporate Compliance Issues. 
As reported in previous post, the RIOC Board conflict of interest and disclosure requirement issue recently arose again following a presentation by the NY Rowing Association to the March 21 RIOC Operations Committee. During this meeting, the NY Rowing Association proposed to establish a rowing and kayaking facility on Roosevelt Island.

However, RIOC Board Member and Child School Executive Director Sal Ferrera, who was present for the meeting, but not a member of the Operations Committee, did not disclose to his fellow Board members that he was also a member of the NY Rowing Association Board of Trustees and that the NY Rowing Association official making the presentation to the RIOC Board was a member of the Child School Board of Directors.

Mr. Ferrera also did not disclose to his fellow RIOC Board members that there was a legal dispute between the NY Rowing Association and its former site at the Peter Sharp Boathouse on the Harlem River.

Mr. Ferrera was silent during the presentation and discussion.

RIOC staff have not responded to repeated inquiries asking if Mr. Ferrera disclosed to them his relationship with the NY Rowing Association or the organization's legal dispute with Peter Sharp Boathouse.

At a follow up Real Estate Committee meeting on April 2, despite Mr. Ferrera's support for the NY Rowing Association proposal, the RIOC Directors decided not to approve the NY Rowing Association proposal but to issue a Request for Proposals for any qualified organization, including the NY Rowing Association, to establish a rowing and kayaking facility on Roosevelt Island.

Additional allegations concerning conflict of interest appearances directed at Mr. Ferrera's dual role as RIOC Board Director and Child School Executive Director continued this week.  I sent the following inquiry to RIOC President Leslie Torres and RIOC Directors earlier today:
I understand that RIOC Board Director and Child School Executive Director Sal Ferrera has been sending out donation solicitation fundraising letters for the Child School to Roosevelt Island residents who, in some cases, are officials/members of Roosevelt Island organizations that work in one way or another with RIOC. Is that true?

Several recipients of the Child School fundraising letters have expressed concern regarding the appropriateness/legality of a RIOC Director soliciting funds from them and that these fundraising letters further demonstrate an inherent conflict of interest between Mr. Ferrera's dual position as a RIOC Director and Child School Executive Director.

I am preparing a post on this issue for Roosevelt Islander Online and am happy to include a statement from any of you.

Thank you.
Have not received a response yet but if received will include it as an update.

Roosevelt Island Historical Society President Judy Berdy received one of those fundraising solicitations and sent the following message to RIOC President Torres and RIOC Directors:
Last week I received a solicitation from The Child School for a donation. It included the letter attached and the quote for a "275 seat amphitheater."  Yesterday, I received an invitation to the event and also included the Arts Center and a 280 seat amphitheater."

I have checked with Doryne Isley, manager of Roosevelt Landings who knows nothing of this "amphitheater." (There is an out-of-door amphitherater in back of 540 Main St.)

Along with the riding academy, rowing center, this arts center and now amphitheatre are direct conflicts with being a board member of RIOC.  I suggest that RIOC Governance Committee refer this matter to the NYS Attorney General since Mr. Ferrera is using his position as a board member to acquire use of Island property.
Below is an April 4, 2012 Child School fundraising letter and event invitation.

So, will the RIOC Governance Committee discuss the specific issue of Mr. Ferrera possible conflict of interest as RIOC Director and Child School Executive Director or will it be only a general discussion of the issue as listed in the Agenda?

Perhaps the NY State Authorities Budget Office (ABO) Model Code of Ethics provides some guidance on this issue?

Stay tuned.

UPDATE 6:40 PM - RIOC Press Spokesperson responds:
We have confirmed with Dr. Ferrera that fundraising letters for the Child School were sent to certain Roosevelt Island residents who are members of Roosevelt Island organizations that do business with RIOC. According to Dr. Ferrera, the letters to those individuals were inadvertently sent out and he has apologized for the mistake. Dr. Ferrera has also confirmed that the Child School will not accept donations from any such individuals. Furthermore, Dr. Ferrera has confirmed that the Child School has not previously, nor does it intend to in the future, solicit donations for the Child School from any Roosevelt Island residents.

While this appears to have been an error, we have emphasized to Dr. Ferrera that as a member of the RIOC Board, it is inappropriate to engage in actions that may result in the appearance of impropriety or undue influence. Dr. Ferrera has informed us that he fully understands his ethical responsibilities and again apologized for the mistake.

Island Kids Forming Roosevelt Island Digital Photography Workshop - Classes Start On May 5

Received the following announcement from Island Kids:
Island Kids will be running it's first Digital Photography Workshop for Teens ages 13-17.

The goal of the course will be developing the student's artistic vision through personal expression. Techniques will be discussed to enhance the student's ability to express themselves photographically.

The workshop will run Saturdays from 12-3pm starting May 5th.

There will be 8 classes with shooting field trips and practical demos. Students will shoot weekly, display their work and discuss it among the group. The course will culminate in a group show for friends and family.

The fee for the workshop is $425.00 (includes $25.00 lab fee)

The course is limited to 12 participants on a first come basis.

Participants must supply their own cameras (any digital camera or smart phone is acceptable) and memory cards.

To register or ask questions, please contact Olya at;
Phone - 646-812-3121
Email -

Monday, April 9, 2012

Ride The Roosevelt Island Tram In An Empire State Of Mind With Jay-Z and Alicia Keys

NYC Roosevelt Island from Xavier Rey on Vimeo.

Roosevelt Island Business Networking Group Third Meeting Tuesday April 10 at 7:30 AM Riverwalk Bar & Grill - Local Entrepreneurs Come Meet, Share Ideas and Potential Opportunities

The Roosevelt Island Business Networking Group will be holding their third meeting on Tuesday, April 10 at 7:30 AM:

Next Meeting Tuesday, 4/10 at 7:30 am Meet at RiverWalk Bar & Grill - BYOB

The R I Business Networking Group continues to grow. About 25 people attended the meeting on 3/27, participated in a business card exchange and heard three members speak about their businesses.

Our next event is Tuesday, April 10 at 7:30 am; bring your own breakfast. Please RSVP to Tom Wood at
More information on the Roosevelt Island Business Networking Group available at their Linked In site and this previous post.

Here's a brief explanation from Mr. Wood on the culture of the Roosevelt Island Business Networking Group from its inaugural meeting.

Report From RIOC President Leslie Torres - Roosevelt Island Water Fountains Broken, Congratulates Sportspark Employee, Tennis Permits & More

Image of Tram Fountain Closed For Repairs

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Lesie Torres sends the following report to Roosevelt Island residents.
I hope everyone has had a great start to the month of April. I want to continue periodically using this column to acknowledge the great work that RIOC employees are doing.

With participation in leagues and classes at Sportspark is at an all-time high, it’s a perfect time to recognize Eddie Perez, a RIOC employee who is integral to making our wonderful athletics facility run smoothly. As Sportspark’s Certified Pool Operator and Operations Assistant, Perez is responsible first and foremost for managing the swimming pool and ensuring that it meets Board of Health standards. However, he does so much more than that, from general maintenance and administrative duties to assisting RIOC’s Parks & Recreation Manager Michael Smith in supervising staff.

With Perez’s 15 years of experience at Sportspark, his coworkers like to joke that he “came with the building,” and they have nicknamed him “The President.” When someone – whether it’s a colleague or resident – has a question, they know they can ask Perez, because he’ll invariably have the answer.

“Eddie is vital to the day-to-day management of Sportspark. Nobody knows the place better than he does,” Smith says. “He does everything flawlessly and with a smile on his face.”

One of the reasons that Roosevelt Island is so important to Perez is that it has been his home for 25 years. “I love this community,” he says. “I like living and working in a place where everyone knows my name and people are friendly.”

Perez’s deep commitment to public service extends from his coworkers, to his neighbors throughout the Island and to the greater New York City community. On 9/11, for example, Perez was among a group of RIOC employees who went immediately to Ground Zero, volunteering their time and energy to assist rescue workers however they could.

Perez has seen a lot of change over the years, but he is excited about the momentum that Sportspark has built. “In the early days, things were a little crazy here, but it’s a lot more structured now,” he says. “We’re seeing a lot more people come in these days. The new classes we offer, like Zumba and Boot Camp, are really popular, and residents always love our daily open swim.”

Indeed, Sportspark is clicking on all cylinders, and Eddie Perez is a big reason why.

Fountain Maintenance

The fountain near the Tram station is closed for repairs due to cracks in the tiles. Replacement parts are on back order. Once they are received, we will commence with the repairs. We have also turned off both of the fountains by Blackwell House, because of safety concerns due to rusting and deterioration. The fountains will remain turned off until further notice.

Tennis Permits

RIOC is currently upgrading the process concerning outdoor tennis permits. We expect the upgraded permits to be available soon, but if you would like to sign up to receive an email notice of exactly when permits will be available, please visit

RIOC on Twitter and Facebook

For the latest information about news and events on Roosevelt Island, follow RIOC on Twitter @RIOCny and visit our Facebook page at

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter From Roosevelt Island, President Obama and Fred Astaire

Happy Easter To You

and Passover too.