Friday, July 27, 2012

Roosevelt Island Outdoor Public Viewing Of 2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremony Tonight At Riverwalk Commons

Come watch the 2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremony tonight outdoors at the Riverwalk Commons. According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC)
Don’t forget that tonight is the start of the 2012 Summer Olympics! View the live coverage on the Riverwalk Commons lawn, the pre-ceremony coverage will be shown at 8:30PM and the opening ceremony will begin at 9:00PM. Feel free to bring blankets, lawn chairs, and food while you view the games. See you there!


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
Grab a bite to eat from Eddie's Pizza Cart, dessert from La Bella Torte, the Riverwalk Bar & Grill, Fuji East, Nonno's or Starbucks and enjoy being outdoors watching the Olympic Opening Ceremonies. Can you handle all the choices?

Just hope that it doesn't rain.

UPDATE - It didn't rain last night and the Roosevelt Island Public Viewing of the Olympics Opening Ceremony was a wonderful event. The Riverwalk Commons was full of lots of people enjoying the evening. Roosevelt Island resident Jonathan Kalkin shares this photo of the evening.

Image From Jonathan Kalkin

Good job by RIOC Director Margie Smith in suggesting the idea and RIOC Staff in implementing on short notice.

Update On Roosevelt Island Main Street Arcade Prototype - Windows Removed, Ceiling Wood Paneling, Light Fixtures, Signage Installed And Fresh Coat Of Paint - What Do You Think?

An update on Master Leaseholder Hudson Related's proposed mockup of the Roosevelt Island Main Street Arcade.

The ceiling wood paneling, lighting fixtures and signage have been installed as well as a fresh coat of paint applied to the walls and

can be compared to the current look a few feet away.

Here's view from across the street

and inside a store.

More on the Roosevelt Island Main Street arcade from previous post.

Roosevelt Island's Manhattan Park Buildings Begin Elevator Modernization Project - When Will Manhattan Park Begin Modernization and Repair Of Motorgate North Elevator As Agreed With RIOC?

Reported last January on elevator problems at Roosevelt Island's Manhattan Park buildings.
... In light of all the elevator problems happenening in the city, residents in 20 River Road (so called luxury building) are getting no answers from management on why their elevators have been out of service off and on since November, forcing tenants to either use the freight elevator that stops at every floor or have the elevators manually operated. When they are working, they shake or take a long time to open. Management doesn't return phone calls or send updates explaining this. DOB's website shows 2 complaints issued against this building for this reason.
It's a matter of time before someone gets hurt by their lackadaisical attitude....
A Manhattan Park resident reported yesterday:
MP appears to be undergoing a number of repairs and upgrades.  Elevator modernization and now Local Law 11 Facade work.

Positive news for MP residents?
Below is a notice sent from Manhattan Park management to tenants announcing the start of the Elevator Modernization Project.
Dear Manhattan Park Residents:

We are happy to inform you Manhattan Park has started our“Elevator Modernization Project.”

During this project we will have one elevator out of service in each building, while it is being upgraded.

We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause.

If you may have any questions please do not hesitate to call (212) 759-8660.

We thank you in advance for your patience and cooperation
Does this meant that Manhattan Park will now start work to repair the long time broken North elevator in the Motorgate Garage

that they had agreed to do once they start work on repairing their building elevators. We shall see.

More information on Manhattan Park's agreement with Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) to repair the Motorgate North Elevator at this previous post.

Manhattan Park will also be undergoing extensive brick facade repairs as indicated in this notice.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Cosmos Copa Quarterfinals Played At Roosevelt Island's Octagon Soccer Field Last Week, Hear Are Some Highlights, GOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL

The New York Cosmos Copa Soccer League held its quaterfinals tournament at Roosevelt Island's Octagon Soccer Field last week. Here are some highlights:

According to their web site:

... Cosmos Copa is the nation’s preeminent amateur adult soccer tournament that unites New York City’s diverse community. The tournament is a NYC “World Cup-style” event where the best NYC soccer players represent their country of heritage. Local teams representing 28 different countries will compete for the title of “Cosmos Copa City Champion” – in honor of both New York City as well as their country of origin....
... In the Cosmos Copa Quarterfinals at Roosevelt Island, NYC Senegal defeated NYC Colombia, NYC Poland defeated NYC USA, NYC Bolivia defeated NYC Greece and NYC Haiti got past NYC Jamaica.

The final of Cosmos Copa is on Saturday July 28th, at 3:00PM at Macombs Dam Park in the Bronx. Go to for more info.

Car Owner Objects To Receiving Roosevelt Island Parking Ticket Near Southpoint Park - Illegible and Unclear Parking Signage In Area

Car owners parked on Roosevelt Island's West Channel Road near the entrance to Southpoint Park received $60 tickets recently. A car owner who received one of these parking tickets posted this You Tube Video explaining why he objects and will fight the ticket. He and others report being unaware that the area did not permit parking due to unclear and illegible signage.

Roosevelt Island Outdoor Public Viewing Of 2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremony Friday July 27 At Riverwalk Commons

Image From Economics Help

The 2012 Olympics will be starting this Friday in London and though they won't be held in NYC as Mayor Bloomberg advocated, you can watch the opening ceremonies here on Roosevelt Island outdoors at the Riverwalk Commons. According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
RIOC is pleased to announce that we are hosting a public viewing of the Summer Olympics opening ceremony on Friday, July 27 on the Riverwalk Commons lawn. We will start showing the pre-ceremony coverage at sunset – about 8:30 pm – with the ceremony beginning at 9:00 pm. You are welcome to bring blankets, lawn chairs and food. Enjoy!


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group 
The decision of whether to have a Roosevelt Island pubic viewing of the Olympics Opening Ceremonies was discussed during the July 24 RIOC Operations Committee meeting. There was concern that the weather forecast was for rain on Friday night but the decision was made to go forward with the public viewing. Here's the discussion.

Audio web cast of full July 24 RIOC Operations Committee meeting is here.

UPDATE 7/28 - Here what happened at Roosevelt Island Public Viewing of Olympics Opening Ceremony. It was a great event.

Update 9/19 - Brief video of the night.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Roosevelt Island Rooftop Movie Night With The Man Who Would Be King, Hibachi Heaven Vegetables With Yum Yum Sauce, Ginger Beer and NYC Skyline - Can't Beat That

Here's the trailer for John Huston's The Man Who Would Be King starring Sean Connery and Michael Caine. It's a great movie.

The Hibachi Heaven Food Truck's Vegetable with Yum Yum Sauce was very good too.

No Explanation On What Killed Roosevelt Island Squirrels - RIOC Says Testing Found No Toxins At Riverwalk Lawn Area Between 455 - 465 Main Street, So What Happened?

Image of FDNY Testing Unknown Substance Last Sunday Night

Reported last Sunday on the three dead squirrels and unknown substance found at the Roosevelt Island Riverwalk Buildings lawn between 455 and 465 Main Street.

Image Of FDNY Investigating Roosevelt Island Dead Squirrels Last Sunday Night

On Monday, I asked Hudson Related's David Kramer:
Last night several dead squirrels were found on the lawn facing Manhattan between Riverwalk Buildings 455 and 465 Main Street. There was also an unknown grain substance found on the lawn.

FDNY Hazardous Material Squad, NYPD and OEM responded. FDNY conducted tests on the substance and we are waiting for the final results.

Here is more info from last night's post on subject.

Does Hudson Related  maintain the grounds and if so, have any new pesticides, fertilizers or other product been used on the lawn?
Mr. Kramer looked into the matter and replied:
our property management has no knowledge of what the substance is, how it came to be on our lawn, and we haven’t changed anything in terms of maintaining the grounds...
On Monday I also asked the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Leslie Torres and Vice President of Operations Fernando Martinez:
Any comment from RIOC on last night's FDNY and NYPD Hazardous Material Investigation of substance found on lawn between 455 and 465 Main Street.

Several squirrels were found dead on the lawn last night and the FDNY/NYPD were investigating a white grain substance found on the lawn.

Was RIOC using any pesticide in that area recently?
Yesterday, RIOC issued the following advisory:
After a 911 call was made by a resident on Saturday, July 22, 2012 regarding potential toxins near West Drive, FDNY, the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) sent responders to the island. All 3 government agencies tested the site for toxins. None were found. The responding city agencies, consequently, deemed the area safe and reopened the west roadway. The FDNY was the lead agency at the scene, and should be contacted directly for any further questions.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
Roosevelt Island resident Raye Schwartz responds to RIOC's advisory:
This response is nonsense and misleading. Several very dead squirrels suddenly appeared on that lawn and that's why the 911 call was placed, not just to find out if there were toxins!

The call was placed to find out why several dead squirrels were suddenly discovered Sunday afternoon on the lawn behind 465 Main Street, and the search for toxins, particularly rodenticides, was part of that question. That no toxins were found in that location doesn't mean that they were not purposely fed to the animals elsewhere and carried back to the animals' habitats. Telling residents to contact FDNY is 1) passing the buck, and 2) misleading without a contact number for the agency you are telling us to contact with further questions! That's your job, and if you don't want to do it, give us back the tax money we pay for your salaries!

Obviously several squirrels at a time did not suddenly die of natural causes. Once again RIOC is shirking responsibility by failing to educate residents and visitors about why they should not feed stray animals or pigeons, and placing signs all over the island is part of that process. Public Safety officers won't do anything to stop the careless pigeon feeding or dropping trash, claiming it's not their job because they work for the state...or is it that they are just eagerly awaiting their new taser toys!

Perhaps one or more people who were annoyed by these animal pests took matters into their own hands. All the strum und drum of firetrucks and police won't hide the fact that such irresponsibility on the part of RIOC led to the death of a dog last year when it swallowed rat poison. That poison would not have been needed if a prevention program was in place.

Will it take the inadvertent death of a child accidentally ingesting animal poisons placed by uncertified maintenance staff or fed up residents, rather than by licensed animal control specialists, to wake you up to the fact that such chemicals are not "safe for children and pets"? What will it take to get RIOC to implement a program of prevention so that no hazardous chemicals are needed to control the pigeon and rodent population on this island?

The 911 call was placed because of dead squirrels, not because there were toxins, and there is no answer about why these squirrels died. Did any of you bother to ask about whether FDNY had any idea about what happened to those creatures?

Shame, shame on RIOC for such an inane (non)advisory!
More info from last Sunday's post.

Taser Request By Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department Withdrawn But Modified To Arm Only Supervisors At This Time - RIOC Directors Seeking More Answers Before Making Any Decision

During last  night's Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Operations Committee meeting (audio web cast of full meeting is here), RIOC Public Safety Director Keith Guerra withdrew his request for arming Public Safety Officers with Tasers but modified his request seeking only to arm Public Safety Supervisors instead at this time.

RIOC Directors present at the meeting continued to express the strong desire for additional information regarding the need for Public Safety Officers to be armed with Tasers, procedures on the use of Tasers and the safety of Tasers. RIOC Public Safety and staff continue to present only one side of the Taser issue failing to address questions such as these posed in a Gothamist article about a 2011 New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) Study on the use of Tasers:
... according to a new report [pdf] from the NYCLU, "police officers are using Tasers in inappropriate, irresponsible and downright deadly manner." As the saying goes: shoot 50,000 volts of electricity into somebody's chest first, ask questions later.

Studying 851 Taser incidents from eight police department across the state (including the NYPD), 60% of those cases did not meet the expert-recommended standards that restrict the use of a Taser to "situations where officers can document active aggression or a risk of physical injury." 40% of the incidents involved "at-risk subjects" like the elderly, children, the visibly infirm, or those who were seriously intoxicated or mentally ill.

It also appears that Taser's aren't colorblind: 58% of all Taser incidents in the state involved black or Latino suspects. And in 75% of the occurrences, no warning was reported. In half of the surveyed jurisdictions, no verbal warning is required before an officer uses his Taser gun....
The NYCLU study on Police use of Tasers may or may not be correct and the use of Tasers by Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department may or may not be appropriate. However, RIOC should certainly objectively and fairly examine the issues raised in the NYCLU study and others as they consider whether to permit Public Safety Department personnel to be armed with Taser weapons. So far, there is no evidence that this has been done.

Also, it would be beneficial to know if RIOC Directors and Public Safety Director Guerra believe that the recent Florida Taser incident of a man jaywalking and then resisting arrest is an appropriate use of the weapon.

Here's the Taser discussion at July 23 RIOC Operations Committee meeting.

More information on Roosevelt Island Taser issue at previous post.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

La Bella Torte Italian Pastry and Hibachi Heaven Mobile Food Trucks On Roosevelt Island Right Now - Yum, Hope Eddie's Pizza Comes Too

Hibachi Heaven and La Bella Torte On Roosevelt Island

Hibachi Heaven and La Bella Torte Mobile Food Trucks are on Roosevelt Island right now. Right across from Starbucks.

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) discussed the future of Mobile Food Trucks during Real Estate Committee meeting last week. Here's what happened from previous post.

Use Of Tasers By Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department On Agenda For RIOC Operations Committee Meeting Today - Is Jaywalking and Refusing To Provide ID Sufficient Cause To Taser, Florida Police Thing So

Reported previous here and here on the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department's request to be armed with Taser weapons in order to:
... better protect the officers from injuries caused by suspects resisting arrest, for help gaining compliance from suspects as well as preventing disturbed people from injuring themselves.... 
The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Operations Committee will be meeting later today and among the items on the Agenda is:
... 2.    Follow-up Discussion of Taser Presentation...
ABC News reported July 12 on a Florida man who was tasered by Police Officers after jaywalking and refusing to provide identification. According to ABC News:
Florida police said they followed procedure when they Tasered accused jaywalker Zikomo Peurifoy three times when he refused to provide identification after police stopped him for allegedly jaywalking.

A video of the altercation taken by Peurifoy's friend Noelle Price, who was arrested along with him, and which Peurifoy posted to his Youtube account, may now be shown to officers as an example of how to properly handle an uncooperative suspect, said Capt. David Del Rosso, of the Casselberry Florida Police Department....
Here's the video.

ABC News also reports that after Mr. Peurifoy was handcuffed he was found with a concealed firearm though it was later determined he had a permit to carry it and the person taking the video was arrested for not providing her name. Her backpack was searched:
...and found brass knuckles, a firearm, pepper spray and a knife, Del Rosso said. The backpack arsenal resulted in an additional charge of carrying a concealed weapon. Price, unlike Peurifoy, did not have a permit to carry a weapon....
Click here for the entire ABC News article.

More information on Roosevelt Island Taser issue here and here.

Here's the Agenda for RIOC Operations Committee Meeting today:
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a meeting of the Operations Advisory Committee of the RIOC Board of Directors will be held on Tuesday, July 24, 2012 at 5:30 p.m. at the RIOC administrative office, 591 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York.


1. Follow-up Discussion of Small Pox Hospital Stabilization Project
2. Follow-up Discussion of Taser Presentation
3. Follow-up Discussion of Southpoint Park Bus Route
4. Follow-up Discussion of Bike Parking Policy
5. Follow-up Discussion of NextBus
6. Discussion of Architectural and Engineering Services for the Bus Garage and Warehouse Renovation Project
7. Discussion of Steel Boat Sculpture (Prow) Restoration Project
8. Discussion of Motorgate Ramp Drainage Improvements
9. Discussion of Service Contract for Island-wide Pothole Repair
10. Any Other Committee Business that May be Brought Before the Committee

Monday, July 23, 2012

Eddie's Pizza Truck Back On Roosevelt Island Tonight, RIOC Wants To Outsource Food Trucks and NY Times City Room Reports On Great Roosevelt Island Mobile Food Truck Drama

 Image From Olya Turcihin

Good news for those of you who were missing and asking for Eddie's Pizza Food Truck over the weekend.

Image Of Eddie's Food Truck On Roosevelt Island Today

They are back today on Roosevelt Island in front of Starbucks on the West Promenade. I asked earlier today if they would come to Roosevelt Island on weekends but they said they do private events then but are very happy to be here at other times.

Unfortunately, La Bella Torte is not here tonight.

The NY Times City Room Blog reported today on the Great Roosevelt Island Mobile Food Truck drama. According to the NY Times:
... In many New York City neighborhoods, the sight of food on wheels is passé.

... But not so here on Roosevelt Island, the finger-shaped strip of land in the East River straddled by the Queensboro Bridge. It has only recently joined the ranks of communities catered to by upscale food trucks....
... “This refreshes the area,” said Pedro Cano, 46, a resident of the island for about a year, after buying two banana Nutella cakes from La Bella Torte.

“There’s all this new stuff happening,” said Corinne Vope, 55, a Roosevelt Islander for the past six years. “You can just feel it in the air. It’s electric.”...
... And two restaurant owners – Alfonso DiCioccio, who owns Nonno’s Focacceria, and Jonathan Hoo, the owner of Riverwalk Bar & Grill – took particular issue with allowing the trucks to set up shop free only a few feet from their brick-and-mortar establishments.

“You put them smack dab in the middle of us,” Mr. Hoo said. “As a business owner, I’d rather them not be here.”

A number of times Mr. DiCioccio has sent two girls to flank the food trucks and distribute fliers promoting his restaurant to passers-by.

“If you’re asking me,” he said, “would I rather not compete? Sure.” But he added that he thought his restaurant offered better food for lower prices than the pizza truck....
 Click here for the entire NY Times article on Roosevelt Island Mobile Food Trucks.

What's the future of Roosevelt Island Mobile Food Trucks following the experimental July waiver of $345 monthly fee? The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Real Estate Committee (full audio web cast of meeting is here) discussed these issues during July 19 meeting. The result of the meeting was that RIOC will ask the NY Street Food Association to  run a type of "food truck lot" with rotating trucks for different days of the week on the 3 West Promenade spots as well as other designated areas. It's still to be determined if NY Street Food Association wishes to operate a "food truck lot" on Roosevelt Island.

Here's the full Roosevelt Island Food Truck discussion at July 19 Operations Committee meeting. It's a very interesting view as to how decisions get made on Roosevelt Island.

MTA's Fast Track Program Returns To F Train This Week - No F Train Service To Roosevelt Island July 23-27 From 10 PM To 5 AM - Q Train Service Extended To Roosevelt Island At These Times

There will be no F Train Subway Service to Roosevelt Island July 23 -27 from 10 PM to 5 AM due to the MTA's Fast Track Subway Repair program. During these hours the Q train will be extended to Roosevelt Island.

According to the MTA:
... FASTRACK begins on Jul 23 – 27 from 10 PM to 5 AM....

... There will be no service at 6 Av stations: 14 St, 23 St, 34 St-Herald Sq, 42 St-Bryant Pk, 47-50 Sts, and 57 St

D and F trains are rerouted...
The MTA adds:
Take the Q for service to/from Lexington Av/63 St, Roosevelt Island, and 21 St-Queensbridge.
Here's where you can get the Q Train.

More on the Fast Track Subway Repair program from the MTA
MTA New York City Transit's FASTRACK initiative completely suspends train service on segments of subway lines to perform critical maintenance work. On four consecutive weeknights, for seven continuous hours, our workers have uninterrupted access to tracks, signals, cables, lighting, third rail components, and platform edges.

During a FASTRACK service change, MTA New York City Transit employees inspect hundreds of signals and switches, repair and replace track rails and cross ties, clean track floors, perform elevator and escalator repair work, repair water damage, clear drains, clean stations, and paint surfaces. We also clean lighting fixtures, change bulbs, repair platform edges, and perform intense station cleaning. These maintenance activities improve train performance and efficiency while also providing a visible improvement to the station environment.

FASTRACK returns to the on July 23, closing stations on the 59 St-Columbus Circle to W 4 St corridor. Please allow additional travel time.
and previous post.

Roosevelt Island July 17 Afternoon Exposure Arrest At Blackwell Park, Burglary At Roosevelt Landing And June Roosevelt Island Monthly Public Safety Blotter

 On Wednesday, July 18, I sent the following inquiry to Roosevelt Island Public Safety Director Keith Guerra:
The 7/17 -18 daily Public Safety Report indicates:
Exposure of a Person - PSD arrested the subject
Please provide information as to where the incident occurred, what time of day, what were the ages of the subject and victim and any other information that the Roosevelt Island community should be made aware of regarding this incident.

Also, was this incident related to any of the previous Exposure incidents occurring on Roosevelt Island recently.

Thank you.
and followed up with Mr. Guerra on Friday, July 20:
The 7/19 -20 Public Safety report indicates:
Burglary - The victim reported burglary that happened in past. NYPD on scene. PSD detectives notified.
Please provide additional information regarding when and where the incident took place, what was stolen and any other relevant information.

Also, I am following up on the email below requesting information on 7/17 - 18 arrest for exposure.

Thank you.
Here are the details that RIOC's Press Spokesperson said could be provided to the public regarding these incidents:
The burglary took place at 546 Main Street. The victim arrived at PSD on 7/19/12 at 11:40 a.m. to report the incident, but first noticed that there had been a burglary upon returning home the night before (7/18). There were no injuries.

With regard to the exposure of a person, the incident took place on 7/17/12 at 3:17 p.m. at 500 Main Street (Blackwell Park). No injuries there either.
Also, the Roosevelt Island June 2012 Monthly Public Safety blotter is below.

Roosevelt Island 2012 Monthly Public Safety statistics through June are here.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

FDNY and NYPD Roosevelt Island Hazardous Material Investigation This Evening - Dead Squirrels and White Powder Found On Southtown Riverwalk Buildings Lawn

Image of FDNY Hazardous Material Squad Responding to Roosevelt Island Incident This Evening

Earlier this evening a Roosevelt Island resident (UPDATE - who is also a licensed NYS Wildlife animal rehabilitator) spotted a dead squirrel and white powder grain on the lawn between Southtown Riverwalk Buildings at 455 and 465 Main Street

as well as another dead squirrel head down on a tree.

(UPDATE 7/24 - There were 3 dead squirrels in total)

She called 911 and Roosevelt Island Public Safety followed by FDNY and NYPD responded

including the FDNY Hazardous Materials Unit.

Also, the NYC Office Of Emergency Management arrived later in the evening.

There was concern that the white powder grain might be rat poison or some other hazardous substance. Last January, one Roosevelt Island dog was killed and another injured after ingesting rat poison.

The FDNY roped off the area with caution tape,

examined the dead squirrels and lawn area,

took a sample from the lawn and squirrel

and began testing to determine what was the substance on the lawn.

Preliminary results of the tests, which still need to be confirmed, indicated the substance found on the lawn was arabinic acid.

The area was then cordoned off awaiting the appropriate personnel to remove the squirrels.

Will have more on this incident as information becomes available.

Roosevelt Island's Doctor Jack Resnick Finds A Summer Home In Brighton Beach Brooklyn Reports NY Times Habitat Column

Image of Dr. Resnick/Barbara Fischer At Brighton Beach from Robert Stolarik The New York Times

Nice article in today's NY Times Real Estate Habitats Column about Roosevelt Island's Doctor Jack Resnick and his summer house in Brighton Beach Brooklyn. Here's an excerpt:
... Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and you could be on a beach in New England. You can hear the sound of the waves, and breathe in air that is tangy with salt. Even on the sultriest days, a breeze drifts through windows that face directly onto the water. Brightness floods the rooms like whitewash. “You swoon in,” Dr. Resnick said, “and you’re suddenly relaxed.”... 
Click here for the entire NY Time article.

Learn more about Doctor Resnick and some of his Roosevelt Island patients from this video

Link: Independence at Home: The Roosevelt Doctor

and previous posts.