Saturday, May 19, 2012

All Shook Up Hits By Elvis Playing At Roosevelt Island's Main Street Theater & Dance Alliance This Weekend - Limited Amount Of Tickets Still Available

Received the following message from Roosevelt Island's Main Street Theater & Dance Alliance last night:
Tonight the cast of

All Shook Up!

played to a very excited audience and totally ROCKED THE HOUSE!

There are two shows Saturday, 2 & 8pm, two shows Sunday 2 & 7pm and Monday at 7pm.
There is a limited amount of tickets available for the remaining shows but they will go very fast.
If you don't have your tickets yet the box office opens tomorrow morning at 10:30am until show time.
The Box office will also be open for one hour before every performance.
Get your tickets early, you won't want to miss this fantastic show!

See you at the Theatre!
The Main Street Theater & Dance Alliance is located at the Red Awning by 548 Main Street.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Report From RIOC President Leslie Torres - Roosevelt Island Becoming Prime NYC Destination, Red Bus Route Extended To Southpoint Park, Volunteer Landscape Friends Of Southpoint Park, Dialogue With RIOC Directors, First Come First Serve Lighthouse Park BBQ, Fitness Class, Tennis Permits & More

You Tube Video Of Roosevelt Island Red Bus

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Lesie Torres sends the following report to Roosevelt Island residents.
Greetings Roosevelt Islanders! Last weekend there were several events on the Island that show why Roosevelt Island is one of New York City’s prime destinations for sports and recreation. And, to make it easier for visitors – and especially our residents – to get to all out hotspots, we're expanding Red Bus service. Read more below.

Also, since the next column won't be out for two more weeks, I want to wish you all a safe and pleasant Memorial Day weekend. The Island is a great place to spend a long weekend. Remember, if you're planning to barbecue at Lighthouse Park, it's first come, first serve, so grab a grill site early.

Red Bus Service to Southpoint Park

RIOC is pleased to announce that on May 24 the Roosevelt Island Red Bus route will begin providing service to Southpoint Park. The route will remain the same north of the tram, but south of the tram it will be extended to Southpoint. The bus will depart the tram stop and proceed southbound on East Drive. The existing route makes a right hand turn and proceeds westbound, south of Sports Park; the extended route will continue southbound and will stop at the south west corner of Goldwater Hospital, adjacent to the Southpoint Park entrance. The bus will then turn right onto West Drive, heading northbound to service stops at Goldwater Hospital and West Tram, then proceeding north to the F-train station.

The Red Bus will stop at Southpoint Park as part of regular local service, seven days a week from the start of service at 5:45 am to the close of service (2:30 am Sun-Thurs, 3:30 am Fri-Sat). Please note, however, that the Octagon Express will not service Southpoint Park.

To connect with the Tram, Red Bus customers will be able to select either the "Tram Station East" stop or the "Tram Station West" stop to board or depart the bus. Two additional stops will be installed with this service change: “Southpoint Park” and “Goldwater Hospital.”

Friends of Southpoint Park

RIOC has formed a volunteer group of residents called Friends of Southpoint Park, which is helping with the landscape maintenance of the new park. We greatly appreciate the service of the nearly 40 volunteers who have already signed up. If you’re interested in joining, please contact Michael Smith Parks & Recreation Manager at

Upcoming Public Meeting

There will be a public meeting after the RIOC Board meeting on May 24. The public meeting will be held at the Manhattan Park Community Center at 8:00 pm. Anyone who would like to dialogue with Board Members is encouraged to attend.

Day of Fitness a Success

Last Saturday’s Day of Fitness event, hosted by RIOC’s Parks & Recreation Department, drew 250 people to Firefighters Field. The weather was picture perfect, as Island residents and visitors enjoyed the free event. Participants sampled many of the classes now offered at Sportspark, including Tango, Zumba, Roosevelt Island Boot Camp and Spinning. But the main attractions were “Bodies in Motion” TV host Gilad Janklowicz and Spinning International Master Instructor Josh Taylor. Ten visitors traveled from more than two hours away to meet these fitness stars!

Due to the high attendance and positive response to the class sessions, Sportspark has extended its hour-long Zumba classes, which will now be offered on Mondays at 6:30 pm, Thursdays at 8:30 pm, and Saturdays at 10:00 am.

Two Events for Great Causes

Saturday was a busy day for outdoor fun on Roosevelt Island. In addition to hosting our own Day of Fitness, we welcomed the Icla da Silva Foundation, which held its 2nd Annual Roosevelt Island 5K Run/Walk. Participants ran and walked on a USA Track & Field certified course that started and finished at Blackwell Park, taking them around the perimeter of the Island where they enjoyed our breathtaking views of Manhattan and Queens. Council Member Jessica Lappin was among the 450 participants. The race benefitted the Icla da Silva Foundation, which recruits bone marrow donors with a focus on minority communities.

As if that wasn’t enough excitement for one day, the New York City Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association held its 2nd Annual Blondes vs. Brunettes Flag Football Game on Octagon Field. The game drew another 200 people to the Island, raising money for the fight against Alzheimer’s disease.

We’re pleased that Roosevelt Island is a hot spot for sports and recreation – especially when we can host events like these that raise money for great causes.

Tennis Permits

Tennis permit became available under our upgraded system on May 9. For more information, please visit

Roosevelt Island Southpoint Park Fire Alarm Box Gets Cleaned Up And A Fresh Coat Of Paint With The Assistance Of FDNY And Roosevelt Island Historical Society President Judy Berdy - Fire Engine Red Color Restored

Image of Old Southpoint Alarm Box From Judy Berdy (RIHS)

Once upon a time there was an emergency alarm box at the entrance to Roosevelt Island's Southpoint Park that was very sad because it was neglected and allowed to become dirty, overrun by weeds and in need of a fresh coat of paint.

Image of Old Southpoint Alarm Box From Judy Berdy (RIHS)

Then, one recent day, Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS) President Judy Berdy, asked the FDNY for assistance cleaning up the Alarm Box. On May 6 Ms. Berdy reported:
I was looking at the old call box near Southpoint Park. With a letter and some photos to the FDNY Commisissioner a miracle happened last night. The 90+ year old box has a new lease on life!

Thanks FDNY!
Ms. Berdy With Freshly Painted and Groomed Emergency Alarm Box

The Roosevelt Island Emergency Alarm Box at Southpoint Park is now very happy.

Here's the letter RIHS President Judy Berdy sent to FDNY Commissioner Salvatore Cassano:
Dear Commissioner Cassano,

For the 34 years I have lived on Roosevelt Island, I have admired the fire alarm box That is located on our island. A beautiful new park, Southpoint Park is now open, just in the area south of the fence where the box is located.

It would be wonderful if the box were painted and restored to its original “fire engine red” color.

I am enclosing a map, since it is difficult to give an exact street address for the box. Looking forward to the restoration of this lovely landmark.

With best wishes, I remain

Sincerely yours,

Judith Berdy President
and another before and after picture of the Alarm Box.

Images from Judy Berdy (RIHS)

More information on the Alarm Box from the NYC Fire Museum via Ms. Berdy:
Your alarm post is called a “V.R.” post and first came into use in 1930. It originally would have had a mechanical box with a crank or pull-handle, and has been retrofit with a modern electronic ERS (Emergency Reporting System) alarm box with direct vocal connections to NYPD and FDNY. Somehow over the years the base of your post has been buried with sand – perhaps the road or sidewalk was raised at some point and the road crew just filled in around the base (not uncommon). Here’s a photo so you can see what the base would look like if it wasn’t buried:
and some general information on the FDNY Alarm Boxes also from the NYC Fire Museum:
The first boxes (and posts) were installed by the FDNY in 1870. Currently there are around 14,000 working alarm boxes in the 5 boroughs. Around 4500 are still of the mechanical "spade handle" pull type and those were installed in the 1940s. Most of the mechanical boxes are left in the fringes of the outer boroughs. The rest are of the modern ERS (Emergency Response System) type; electrical with a microphone/speaker for voice transmission and a connection to both Fire and Police. They were made by Norelco (Phillips) and first retrofit into the existing posts in 1969-1970.

It's important to separate the "post" (base) from the "box" (the mechanism). The big cast iron post with the filial on top is called a "V.F. Post", and weighs about 1200 pounds. Posts are traditionally named in honor of the Bureau Chief in charge at the time and the V.F. is named for Valentine Fendrich, the Chief of the Alarm Telegraph Bureau in the 1930s. These V.F. posts were installed in 1930. The box itself would have been of the spade handle pull type or possibly with a brass turn-handle crank. Inside was a spring-wound auto-telegraph mechanism. There would also have been a manual telegraph key inside for the responding chief to use to notify FDNY Dispatch that the companies had arrived, to call for additional units or to signal that the fire was out and the company was back in service (available).

All Manhattan boxes are ERS. When the new ERS boxes were introduced in 1969-70, the old VF posts were retrofit to accommodate them, so your box (No. 1914, Outside City Hospital, West Road) has a 1930's cast iron post with the modern electronic faceplate.

There is one alarm box on every other street corner in Manhattan, and each has a unique number. As the old VF types break (usually because a truck backs into them or they rot out at the base due to years of NYC weather and salt) the FDNY replaces them with the skinny rectangular posts that are made for the ERS style box (called O.B.'s for Chief O'Bryan, or N.J.R's for Chief Nicholas J. Reinhardt) . They don't last nearly as long but are a lot cheaper and easier to replace.

You will also notice that usually one of the street lamps near a box will have an orange light mounted on top. When the box is "pulled" that light will come on -- this helps the chauffeur of the responding fire company to quickly see from a distance which box has been pulled.

It's unfortunate that many people don't realize that these boxes, which call police as well, are still active. They exist on their own exclusive electric telephone lines and not part of any outside system. This amazing 140 year-old system provides the only secure, redundant and fool-proof form of emergency communication in New York City. However, the days of the alarm box are numbered, due to their high cost of maintenance.
A happy ending.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

No Manhattan Bound F Train From Roosevelt Island This Weekend 11:30 PM Friday - 5 AM Monday

F Train Arriving At Roosevelt Island Subway Station

According to the MTA:
F Coney Island-bound trains run via the M from Roosevelt Av to 47-50 Sts Weekend, 11:30 PM Fri to 5 AM Mon, May 18 - 21

Trains run express from Roosevelt Av to Queens Plaza.

No Coney Island-bound service at 21 St-Queensbridge, Roosevelt Island, Lexington Av/63 St and 57 St.
Plan accordingly.

RIOC Issues RFP For Assistance In Negotiating Ground Lease Extensions For Several Roosevelt Island Buildings - Who's Interested?

Reported previously on Mitchell Lama privatization/affordability plan and ground lease extension issues for Roosevelt Island Rivercross, Island House and Westview buildings.

Last April 25, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Real Estate Committee met in Executive Session to discuss Island House issues as well as ground lease modification for the yet to be built Southtown Buildings 7-9 by Hudson Related.

On May 8, RIOC issued a Request For Proposals (RFP) seeking a real estate consultant to assist in negotiating ground lease agreements for several building. According to the RFP:
The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (“RIOC”), a NYS Public Benefit Corporation, was established to develop and maintain the 147 acre Roosevelt Island located between Manhattan and Queens along the East River. The Island was leased from the City of New York by RIOC under a 99 year lease terminating in 2068. RIOC seeks to engage a real estate consultant to assist in the negotiation of ground lease extensions for several island buildings....

... The contract will be for a one year with an option for RIOC to renew for an additional two years...
The due date for submissions to the RFP for interested real estate firms is May 29. Full RFP is here.

In December 2009, the RIOC Board had previously approved the hiring of Jones Lang LaSalle to advise RIOC on Rivercross, Island House and Westview negotiations. Who will be next, Jones Lang again or someone else?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

New Yorkers Against Cornell Technion Partnership Applied Sciences and Engineering School Hold Public Meeting On Roosevelt Island

 Image of Mayor Bloomberg, Technion President Lavie and Cornell President Skorton via NYC Digital

Last Monday night May 14, an organization named New Yorkers Against The Cornell-Technion Partnership (NYACT) held a public meeting on Roosevelt Island. According to the NYCACT mission statement:
On December 19th 2011 Mayor Bloomberg announced that Cornell University and its partner, The Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, had won a bid for a massive new applied sciences and technology campus to be built on Roosevelt Island.  This was agreed behind closed doors, without consulting staff and faculty at Cornell [1].

What the public was not told is that The Technion is complicit in Israel’s violations of international law and the rights of Palestinians, specifically by designing military weapons and developing technologies that are used to drive Palestinians off their land, repress demonstrations for their rights, and carry out attacks against people in Lebanon, Gaza, and elsewhere [2,3]....
NYCACT is demanding:
  1. ... That the City of New York Administration ends this collaboration, for which $100 million of New Yorker’s tax-payer money has been promised,
  2. That the Cornell University Administration ends its partnership with The Technion, in line with the call by the Palestinian Council for Higher Education’s request for “non-cooperation in the scientific and technical fields between Palestinian and Israeli universities” [6]....
Prior to Monday night's meeting, NYCACT explained the purpose of the meeting as:
We will be explaining what The Technion is, and hearing what the residents of Roosevelt Island really think.
I was not able to attend the meeting but received comments from some who did attend the meeting. Roosevelt Island resident Dave Evans shares these thoughts about the meeting:
There is growing "civic" interest in the future Cornell-Technion campus here on Roosevelt Island. We Islanders do not have a monopoly on that interest nor can we claim that all of us fully agree on the merits of the project. On Monday (14 May) evening a group, "New Yorkers Against Cornell-Technion (NYACT)", held a meeting on the Island. Originally planned at the Westview Lower Community Center, the 7:00pm session was moved to the Trellis restaurant with an overflowing group of around 35-45 folks crowded into the southern side of the facility opposite the Church. We pride ourselves for the diverse population on the Island and that was well reflected in the meeting with different nationalities, faiths, occupations, and views.

An Islander moderated the meeting and tried to enforce rules of decorum but, and in my view unfortunately, was often challenged by several attendees (some shouting), who were very anxious to express their views, even if it meant interrupting other speakers. Therein rests the problem so to speak - - the passion and perhaps fears invoked by this project, envisioned for the site currently occupied by one of the Island's two hospitals that care for and house the disabled. NYACT representatives made it clear that their primary concern with the project is the fact that Cornell is partnering with Technion. They point to Technion as a major Israeli company involved in "making military, surveillance, and security equipment which directly contribute to violations of international humanitarian law" and as "deeply involved in militarism, occupation, and surveillance" against Palestine. NYACT literature also indicates that "Technion has contributed zero dollars while you are providing $100 million in tax breaks" for the venture.

The session was certainly lively and broad as evidenced by the amount of discussion not only about security, transportation and "the fabric of the Island", but also, about an uncertainty and unfairness associated with plans for re-locating and caring for the folks at Goldwater. I suspect some, maybe many (including Islanders), will join the NYACT group in opposition. NYACT has a growing list of actions, including a petition from NYC residents to the Mayor, legislators, etc.; meetings with the same; ads in the WIRE, flyers concurrent with future meetings such as the 22 May scoping session at Manhattan Park; and partnering with those concerned about Goldwater. For supporters, this should serve as a wake-up call so not to pursue interests on a solo basis but to organize and show strength in numbers in the pursuit of transparency, an understanding of impacts, and realistic benefits.

As to the question of whether this future Cornell-Technion project is one of Domestic or Foreign Policy/International Relations. Well, obviously it is both given the reality that each has a long history and will be a component of the debate moving forward. In fact, a lively and heated debate but I hope it not too naive to wish for a respectful debate.
A Roosevelt Island resident summarized the statement of Roosevelt Island Residents Association President (RIRA) Matt Katz during the NYACT meeting as:
Roosevelt Island cannot settle Israel Arab problems,  we don't want to become involved in the politics of the conflict, we are welcoming an educational institution and Cornell has been in close touch with the community
Mr. Katz confirmed that it is an accurate summary of his statement during the meeting and added in a subsequent email message to me:
I felt that the sponsors of the meeting, primarily off-Islanders, had not done the necessary homework to learn of RIRA’s year-long dialogue with Cornell (and before them, Stanford) or to read the extensive coverage of that dialogue by you and by The WIRE.
I received estimates that anywhere from 70 - 90% of the 35-45 people attending the meeting were not Roosevelt Island residents.

Cornell President David Skorton presented his view on the Roosevelt Island Cornell - Technion NYC Tech Partnership in the February 27 Cornell Daily Sun:
... We are fortunate to have the Technion as a partner on our new campus. The Technion is an intellectual powerhouse: Three of Israel’s 10 Nobel Prize winners are graduates of the Technion. Last October, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry went to Dr. Dan Shechtman, a professor of material science at the Technion, who also earned all three of his degrees there. Today, more than 70 percent of Technion graduates are employed in the tech sector and Technion graduates head half of the 121 Israeli companies on the NASDAQ. The Technion brings a level of expertise in technology transfer to existing industry that is unmatched in the world.

Cornell and the Technion will collaborate on research and education through the Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute. Faculty will be hired specifically for the new campus, and there will be opportunities for faculty from the Ithaca campus to do research and teach at the tech campus. There will be a number of degree options: Once the programs are accredited by the State of New York, students at the tech campus will be able to earn graduate degrees from Cornell, the Technion or a dual Cornell/Technion Master of Applied Science degree with a unique emphasis on the application of sciences, entrepreneurship and management. While the tech campus will not offer undergraduate degrees, undergraduates will have opportunities to pursue research projects and internships there.

Our partnership with the Technion in this new venture is based on our complementary academic expertise and strengths and our shared vision for a campus that will help transform New York City into a world hub of innovation and technology commercialization. From its inception nearly 150 years ago, Cornell and its faculty have had many agreements and working relationships with academic institutions around the world. These collaborations are important to our mission of teaching, discovery and engagement, and we encourage them even in countries where some of our faculty, students, staff and alumni may have significant disagreements with the policies of the governments. Time and again, the knowledge-sharing and real-world solutions that spring from these relationships benefit the peoples of many countries, including our own, and in the long run contribute to the betterment of our global community. In this collaboration, as with all our collaborations, we will adhere to our academic values and practices. I am proud to be working with colleagues at the Technion....
Also, the March 2 Cornell Daily Sun reports:
... Provost Kent Fuchs has said that the partnership between Cornell and the Technion is intended not as a political statement, but rather as an opportunity for the University to foster global academic cooperation....
Here's more on the Cornell Technion partnership

You Tube Video of Cornell Technion Partnership

and an interview on NY 1 with Cornell President David Skorton and Technion President Peretz Lavie on NY 1 following announcement of their selection to build the NYC Applied Sciences and Engineering School on Roosevelt Island.

UPDATE 5/27 - WNYC has more on the Technion:
... “There’s more Israeli technology companies listed on the NASDAQ than European technology companies,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg in response to a question about the Technion at a recent press conference. “The more engineering schools there are here, the more other engineering schools want to be here, the more companies that are here, the more people want to come here.”

Bloomberg has aspirations for New York City to replace Silicon Valley as the place to start new digital technology companies. The new campus, he said, will spin off some 600 such companies in the next 30 years.

Cornell is paying for the initial development of the campus, but its central school will be the Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute, directed by Craig Gotsman, a computer science professor from the Technion.

The partnership is the culmination of a months-long courtship, but the Technion’s relationship with New York City is much older....
... But the role of the Technion in innovation may be inflated, some say. It is a part of Israel’s start-up ecosystem, but not necessarily the primary driver.

“It may be that the people who chose the Technion above other institutions in New York thought that because the Technion was in Israel and Israel is extremely entrepreneurial, Technion caused entrepreneurship,” said Dan Isenberg, writer and founder of the Babson Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Project. “It’s an optical illusion.”

The recipe for a successful high-tech cluster is different in each instance, according to Isenberg. In Israel, he points to the military—the mandatory Israeli Defense Forces — as a very important source both of technical education and of technology itself....

After Many Months Of Anticipation, Still No Mobile Food Trucks For Restaurant Starved Roosevelt Island Population - What Is The Problem?

 Image Of Battery Park City Mobile Food Truck Area

So, what's the status of Mobile Food Trucks being allowed to operate on Roosevelt Island?

To recap, remember last December 6 2011 Luke's Lobster Roll Food Truck was parked on the West Promenade Road opposite Starbucks ready to serve the hungry, restaurant starved Roosevelt Island community when the Food Truck Operator was told to leave by the Public Safety Department because they did not have a Roosevelt Island permit, though they did have all necessary New York City permits.

After much debate, on February 16, 2012 the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) staff came up with a food truck killing plan, approved by the RIOC Directors, to allow mobile food trucks at 4 locations but not in the most desirable and convenient location for Roosevelt Island residents - on the West Promenade near the subway.

 Image of West Promenade Road Just North Of Subway Station

After further debate, on March 21, 2012 a plan to allow mobile food trucks by the West Promenade Road just north of the subway station was approved by the RIOC Directors.

Here we are now in the middle of May and there are still no Mobile Food Trucks serving Roosevelt Island. No Luke's Lobsters, No Mexicue, No Rickshaw Dumplings, No Waffles and Dingles, No Van Leeuwen Ice Cream or any of the many wonderful Mobile Food Trucks serving other NYC neighborhoods. Why?

On May 10, I sent the following inquiry to RIOC President Leslie Torres, VP of Operations Fernando Martinez and the RIOC Directors:
I am following up on inquiries below regarding status of Mobile Food Truck vendor permits for West Channel Road and other locations on Roosevelt Island. I believe it has been at least 6 weeks since the permits for the West Channel Road were approved by the RIOC Board and more than 2 months for the other locations.

Are the permits available now and if not, when do you anticipate they will be ready?
Why has the Mr Softee Ice Cream Truck been able to obtain a permit but no other vendors?
Mr. Martinez replied on May 14:
We have been in contact with 2 mobile food vendors, and they are putting together the necessary documentation to vend on Roosevelt Island.  They should be in operation shortly.
I responded on May 15:
Just to clarify your response. During April 30 RIOC Operations Committee meeting, RIOC Director Margie Smith asked when Mobile Food trucks would be available on Roosevelt Island.

You replied that RIOC received two inquiries from possible vendors and that RIOC was still in the process of preparing a permit application form for the food truck vendors. You also indicated that the application form would be available hopefully at the end of that week.

I looked for the mobile food truck permit application on the RIOC web site but did not see one.

Are the RIOC mobile food vending permit documents completed and is RIOC waiting for applications to be submitted by interested vendors before their issuance? Or is RIOC still in the process of preparing the permit application document?

If the permit applications are available, can you please send me the link from RIOC's web site.

Thank you.
Will update when response is received.

During this time RIOC has managed to issue a mobile food truck permit to the Mr. Softee truck and a waterfront food concession for the West Promenade Subway Pier but not to mobile food truck vendors.

Also, no response yet from RIOC as to who was the second bidder for the West Promenade Subway Pier waterfront food concession and reason for selecting the winner. Also, not known is how much of the public pier space will be removed from public use.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Volunteer For Roosevelt Island Outdoor Island Shakespeare At Eastwood Amphitheater - Come Be Part Of The Show and Join The Fun!

Received this message from the folks at Roosevelt Island's new outdoor summer theater company - Island Shakespeare - which will be performing at the Eastwood Amphitheater starting June 14
Volunteer for Island Shakespeare!

Our inaugural production of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing is going to be a wild celebration of this classic work. We want you to join that celebration!

There are many ways for you to become a part of our festivities.

All volunteers, ages 14-90, are welcome! We have numerous volunteer opportunities, whether your time commitment is big or small. Whatever your interest, we would love to have you join our team!

To volunteer or learn more please e-mail :

Learn more about the show at

We love volunteers who:

1. Help publicize our show on the streets! (Includes chalk attacks, hanging posters, spreading the word etc.)

2. Help publicize our show on the web! (Includes social networking, email blasts, targeted e-mails, blogging etc.)

3. Are part of the show! (Includes being a steward during performances to help the audience during the experience. We will train all interested)

4. Help with the show! (Includes front of house responsibilities during performances - including ticketing and vending)

5. Help behind the scenes! (Includes helping with costumes or set)

6. Host a party! (Help us get the word out, host a party. We will bring some actors, musicians and designers. You invite your friends and let’s spark up a conversation about immersive theatre and Island Shakespeare.)

and more! Join us today!
Learn more about Island Shakespeare and buy your tickets ($15 Adults, $10 Students/Seniors) for the summer performances.

More on Island Shakespeare from previous posts.

You Tube Video of Roosevelt Island Shakespeare

It's will be great to have Roosevelt Island's own version of Shakespeare in the Park this summer.

Roosevelt Island Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney Visits American Troops In Afghanistan During Mother's Day

Image of Maloney Lands in Afghanistan from Congresswoman Maloney's Office

Received the following message yesterday from Roosevelt Island Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney's office:
Over Mother’s Day weekend, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney visited members of the United States armed forces serving in Afghanistan,

Image of Maloney & Soldier in Afghanistan from Congresswoman Maloney's Office

joining a bipartisan congressional delegation that also included House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and U.S. Representatives Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Jean Schmidt (R-OH) and Terri Sewell (D-AL).

The lawmakers met with troops in the field and participated in important discussions with American and Afghan government and military officials as well as with Afghan women leaders and organizations. On the trip, they visited Helmand and Kandahar provinces, two of the most war-torn areas in the current conflict in Afghanistan, and yesterday traveled to Kabul, the nation’s capital. It was the first congressional delegation to visit Afghanistan since the historic Strategic Partnership Agreement signed by President Barack Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai on May 1, 2012.

“I was honored to visit our extraordinarily courageous and dedicated servicemembers in Afghanistan – and I was heartened to learn about our efforts to bring them home as safely and as quickly as possible,” said Congresswoman Maloney, who has previously called for an end to active U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan.

Image of Maloney Debriefs w Soldier in Afghanistan from Congresswoman Maloney's Office

The congressional delegation attended a celebration in honor of Mothers' Day at Camp Leatherneck in Helmand province with many mothers serving in the field.

Image of Maloney & Women Soldiers in Afghanistan from Congresswoman Maloney's Office

“I was especially moved this Mother’s Day after meeting so many brave American mothers serving in our troops, and I appreciate their heroism and sacrifice more than ever,” said Representative Maloney.

Yesterday, Congresswoman Maloney and delegation members met with President Karzai in Kabul to discuss the outlook for long-term stability in the region. They also were briefed by General John Allen, Commander of the International Security Assistance Force, Afghanistan and U.S. Forces, and U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker as part of a wide-ranging discussion of different counterinsurgency strategies and operations and about progress in laying the groundwork necessary to hand responsibility for preserving stability in their nation back to the Afghan people.

On Saturday, Congresswoman Maloney and delegation members participated in several briefings at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul on efforts to strengthen the legal and judicial system in Afghanistan, U.S. Agency for International Development initiatives, and women's issues in Afghanistan.

Image of Maloney & Women Soldiers & Afghan Leaders from Congresswoman Maloney's Office

The delegation also participated in the closing session of the International Joint Command's Female Engagement Team conference focused on increasing the role of women in governance, security, business development and education, and which convened Afghan women leaders and parliamentarians with international security force leaders.

Monday, May 14, 2012

MTA's Fast Track Subway Program Returns To Roosevelt Island This Week - No Roosevelt Island F Train Service In Either Direction 10 PM to 5 AM Monday - Friday - Q Line Extended To Roosevelt Island At These Times

MTA's Fast Track program returns to the Roosevelt Island F train line this week. There will be no Roosevelt Island F Train service in either direction from 10 PM - 5 AM Monday May 14 - Friday May 18. During these hours, Roosevelt Island will be served by the Q Train.

More information on the MTA's Fast Track program from previous post and this You Tube Video.

Two Submissions For Roosevelt Island West Promenade Waterfront Food Concession, Riverwalk Bar & Grill Selected - No Submissions For Roosevelt Island Rowing/Kayaking Facility

As previously reported, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) issued Request For Proposals for a West Promenade Subway Pier food concession and a Rowing/Kayaking facility below the Queensboro Bridge on the East Channel. Submissions were due May 1. On May 2, I reported that there was one food concession proposal submitted and no rowing/kayaking submission.

Last Friday, I asked RIOC:
I am following up on earlier inquiry regarding the status of the Rowing/Kayaking facility for Roosevelt Island and the Waterfront Promenade Pier Food Concession. As you know, both were subjects of recent RIOC RFP's.

What is the status of the Rowing/Kayaking and Waterfront Promenade Pier Food Concession proposals?

Thank you.
RIOC Vice President of Operations Fernando Martinez replied this afternoon
No one responded to our Rowing/Kayaking RFP. We received 2 responses to the Waterfront Food Concession RFP. The owners of the Riverwalk Bar and Grill were selected to operate the concessions.
I followed up with:
Thank you for the update.

Who submitted the second proposal for the waterfront food concession and what is the reason for choosing one over the other?
Will update when answer received.

Roosevelt Island Grand Larceny - Cell Phone Grabbed, Suspects Apprehended By Public Safety Department

Image From Android Authority

The 5/9 -10 Roosevelt Island Public Safety Report noted:
Grand Larceny - Two male subjects grabbed cell phone from victim. PSD apprehended subjects and they were placed under arrest.
On May 10, I sent the following inquiry to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC)
Can you please provide additional details as to time of day this occurred, where it occurred, any injuries, how old was victim and suspects, was victim male or female, how long after the incident were the suspects apprehended and any other relevant information.

Thank you.
 Will update if a response is received.

This is how the 5/5 -6 Public Safety Report (on middle sidebar) described the May 5 death of woman falling from Manhattan Park apartment:
Aided- Medical Examiner was on scene, Aided deceased.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day From Roosevelt Island - Here's How Mother's Day Got Started

Happy Mother's Day wishes for all the moms out there.

Give your Mom a Great Big Hug and Kiss today and tell her how much she is loved and appreciated.

Here's a History Of Mother's Day.

UPDATE 8:25 PM - Thanks again Mom(s)!