Saturday, August 4, 2012

Sailboat Hit Roosevelt Island Bridge This Morning - On Scene Reporting From Residents Via Twitter

A sailboat hit the Roosevelt Island Bridge this morning. Several Roosevelt Island residents were on the scene and tweeted.

From John Paul:

From Bruce Terrell

From Joseph Terranella:

From John Paul:
From Joseph Terranella:

UPDATE 8/6 -Rich Scarpitta was on the scene of Saturday's Roosevelt Island Bridge Sailboat crash. He reports
The Fire Engines raced past me on Vernon Blvd...when I caught up, they were at the bridge and someone coming off the bridge said there was a Shipwreck....I was expecting Jack Sparrow and his crew...!! !My second bridge crash in two months, as I shot the Space Shuttle Enterprise hit the RR Bridge in Jamaica Bay...!!!
and sends these photos:


Roosevelt Island Outdoor Summer Movie Series Showing The Lion King At Southpoint Park Tonight - Hakuna Matata, Enjoy The Movie, Views, Food, Music and Friends

Image From RIOC

 The Roosevelt Island Outdoor Movie Summer Movie Series continues tonight at Southpoint Park with the showing of The Lion King. According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
Re-live the magic at this weekend's Outdoor Summer Movie Series Disney feature of The Lion King! Bring friends and family to the free event taking place at Southpoint Park at 7 PM on Saturday, August 4th. Stop by early and enjoy music & trivia.

See you there!


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
Here's the trailer from The Lion King.

You Tube Video of The Lion King Trailer.

The final movie of the 2012 Roosevelt Island Outdoor Summer Movie Series will be Sherlock Holmes on August 11.

Friday, August 3, 2012

No Manhattan Bound F Train From Roosevelt Island This Weekend 11:00 PM Friday - 5 AM Monday - RIOC Says Both Tram Cabins In Service As Demand Requires

F Train Arriving At Roosevelt Island Subway Station

Received the following advisory from the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
The MTA has advised there will be:

No Manhattan Bound F-Trains from 11:00 PM Friday, August 3rd to 5:00 AM Monday, August 6th

Tram and Red Bus Service will run until 5:00 AM during these service disruptions.

For more information please visit or call 511.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group

According to the MTA Weekender:
F Coney Island-bound trains run via the M from Roosevelt Av to 47-50 Sts

Weekend, 11 PM Fri to 5 AM Mon, Aug 3 - 6

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.
Here's what happened the weekend of July 21 when there was no F Train from Roosevelt Island to Manhattan and only 1 Tram Cabin in service due to repairs being done on the other cabin.

 Roosevelt Island Tram Station Crowding July 21

RIOC advises that both Tram Cabins will be operating this weekend as demand requires.

It's First Friday Of Month At Long Island City's Noguchi Museum Tonight - Take A Quick Walk Over Roosevelt Island Bridge And Enjoy The Sculpture Garden, Exhibitions and Design Films

 Image From Noguch Museum

Looking for something interesting and fun to do this evening. Take a walk over the Roosevelt Island Bridge to the Noguchi Museum

 Image From Noguch Museum

in Long Island City right across from Costco at Vernon B'lvd and 33rd Street. On the First Friday of every month, that's tonight, admission is free.

According to the Noguchi Museum
First Fridays: Summer in the Garden
Friday, August 3, 2012 - 5:30pm - 8:00pm

On the first Friday of each month in the summer, The Noguchi Museum offers extended hours and free admission. Visitors will be able to explore the permanent collection galleries, and enjoy a cash bar with wine and beer from 5:30pm to 8:00pm in the Museum’s celebrated outdoor sculpture garden.

Each evening of this year’s Summer in the Garden series will feature Center of Attention, an extended conversation around a single work in the collection, at 6:00pm followed, at 7:00pm, by two short, design themed films. Films curated in collaboration with the Architecture and Design Film Festival.

This weeks films include:

Louis Le Roy: Endless Work in Time and Space, Directed by Beate Lendt
A portrait of the Dutch artist Louis Le Roy and his work ecokathedraal in a meadow in Mildam, in the north of Holland. Le Roy, who has been working on this project for more than three decades, discusses the philosophy behind his work and his idea of cities, nature, and the endlessness --and need for integration of--time and space.

Monument to the Dream, Directed by Charles Guggenheim
The Gateway Arch, designed by Eero Saarinen, is a beautiful, historic monument dedicated to the early pioneers who developed the West. This film traces the construction of the Arch from an early concept to realization in October of 1965.
Here's more on the Noguchi Museum.

You Tube Video of Daniela on Design's Visit To Noguchi Museum

I've been to the Noguchi Museum several times and have always found it interesting and a great place to spend a few hours.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Nerd Bus Connecting Roosevelt Island Cornell Campus To Long Island City And Brooklyn Technology Corridor Proposed By NY Senator Charles Schumer - Is A Bus The Answer To Roosevelt Island's Transportation Problems?

 Image of Q102 Bus Near Roosevelt Island F Subway Station

A big issue of concern to Roosevelt Island residents has always been the transportation infrastructure to and from Roosevelt Island and those concerns loom larger with the scheduled completion of phase 1 of Cornell NYC Tech Applied Sciences and Engineering School in 2017. Ideas for additional transportation options have ranged with varying degrees of feasibility including ferry service,

increased subway service for existing F train station, building another station above the E/V subway lines traveling under Roosevelt Island near Southpoint Park, elevator access to the Queensboro Bridge, extending the Tramway to Long Island City and a pedestrian bridge over the East River

Another possible option was proposed yesterday by NY Senator Charles Schumer.

The New York Daily News reported:
New York’s senior senator is calling for a “Nerd Bus” that would link up high tech hubs in Brooklyn and Queens with Roosevelt Island — and help some of the city’s brightest bulbs get around town....
Here's the Press Release from Senator Schumer's office:
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today called on the MTA to connect its proposed Brooklyn Tech Triangle and Williamsburg Waterfront bus routes to Cornell’s tech campus hub, first at its temporary location in Google’s NYC headquarters in Manhattan, and then to Roosevelt Island, where Cornell is planning to construct its new major technology campus hub. The proposal, dubbed the ‘Nerd Bus,’ would connect all points of Brooklyn’s fast-emerging tech boom, including the existing tech hub in DUMBO with emerging centers in Downtown Brooklyn and the Navy Yard, north to the neighborhoods of Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Long Island City where many tech employees live and work, and to the new Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island.

“New York is seeing a major tech boom, with Brooklyn and Long Island City leading the way, and now the new Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island is going to be a game changer that further cements New York’s position as a leader in tech,” said Schumer. “You don’t need a PhD to know that connecting these neighborhoods through a ‘Nerd Bus’ is a no-brainer. The only thing separating these neighborhoods in New York City is a lack of transit connections. We need a high-speed rapid transit connection between Roosevelt Island and the Brooklyn Tech Triangle, with stops at new hubs like Long Island City and the Navy Yard, and residential areas in Greenpoint and Williamsburg.”

On July 19, the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) announced that along with service restorations in and around the city, it also proposed the establishment of two new routes: the Brooklyn Tech Triangle route, set to connect DUMBO with Downtown Brooklyn and the Navy Yard, as well as the Williamsburg Waterfront route. The Triangle route intends to service a growing technology hub centered around DUMBO, and is set to grow service for commuters into Downtown Brooklyn and the Navy Yard. This is particularly important because dozens of tech companies are already on the waiting list for new Navy Yard office space, and NYU is proposing a tech campus in the old Jay Street MTA building in Downtown Brooklyn. Cornell is also planning a major tech campus on Roosevelt Island set to open in 2017, and Long Island City in Queens is seen by many as a new tech-hub in the making. As a result, it is vital that MTA create service routes that will meet the increasing demand for transportation from commuters as the tech campus continues to expand into Downtown Brooklyn and the Navy Yard.

Schumer urged the MTA to plan for the transit needs of the Cornell-Technion campus as they consider new routes to cover the Tech Triangle and Williamsburg waterfront. Connecting these two proposed lines, and extending them northwards to Long Island City and Roosevelt Island when construction is completed will create a proposed ‘Nerd Bus’ express route to service key points in the neighborhoods of Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO, Navy Yard, Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Long Island City, as well as Roosevelt Island, creating a tech highway for students, innovators, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and local residents. Schumer noted that until the Cornell Tech campus is built on Roosevelt Island, the MTA should also consider making the campus’ temporary location at Google’s New York City Headquarters in the Meatpacking District part of the route. Schumer argued that connecting these neighborhoods would be a great boon for the tech industry, providing easy transportation between the emerging tech hubs and connecting industry with education and vice-versa.
and Senator Schumer's letter to the MTA:
Dear Mr. Lhota,

I write to you today to ask that you explore an exciting proposal regarding the extension of bus services in Brooklyn in order to create a route connecting Brooklyn and Queens Tech Coast. As you know, on July 19 the MTA announced that along with service restorations in Manhattan and Brooklyn, it is proposing two new routes: the Brooklyn Tech Triangle route and the Williamsburg Waterfront route. I applaud the MTA for these extensions of service, and equally for its thoughtful consideration of future transit needs in the New York City area.

As you also know, these extensions are intended in part to service the growing technology industry in Brooklyn. DUMBO is already home to a major technology hub, which is set to expand into Downtown Brooklyn and the Navy Yard. Dozens of tech companies are already on the waiting list for new Navy Yard office space, and New York University is proposing a tech campus in the old Jay Street MTA building in Downtown Brooklyn. In addition Cornell University is planning a major tech campus on Roosevelt Island, with the school temporarily housed at Google’s Chelsea offices while construction is being completed. The faculty and students there are precisely the innovators needed by the growing tech industry in New York City, and many will surely be ferrying back and forth between the Roosevelt Island campus and the neighborhoods in Brooklyn where young engineers will be living and working. In between these two centers, furthermore, are the residential neighborhoods of Williamsburg and Greenpoint, which the new Williamsburg Waterfront route intends to service, and the Queens neighborhood of Long Island City, which many predict to be the next major location for tech start-ups and offices.

I urge the MTA to consider the feasibility of connecting these two new proposed bus routes, and explore the ridership potential of extending into Long Island City and Roosevelt Island when construction is completed at the Cornell-Technion campus, to make an express route that has been called the ‘Nerd Bus’. Until the Cornell Tech campus is built on Roosevelt Island, their temporary location at Google’s New York City Headquarters should also be considered as part of the route. Such a route would service key points in the neighborhoods of Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO, Navy Yard, Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Long Island City, as well as Roosevelt Island, creating a tech highway for students, innovators, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and local residents. Connecting these neighborhoods would be a great boon for the tech industry, providing easy transportation between the emerging tech hubs and connecting industry with education and vice-versa. I applaud the MTA in its current restoration and expansion of services, and urge it to consider the feasibility of this new proposal.
The NY Post adds:
... The MTA recently announced plans for a new bus from DUMBO to the Navy Yard to accommodate the high-tech corridor.

That bus is not supposed to extend into Queens and Roosevelt Island.

MTA officials said yesterday they had not seen Schumer’s proposal, but added that they are constantly studying ridership patterns.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Update From Cornell NYC Tech On Roosevelt Island Land Use and Rezoning Issues Discussed Last Night At Community Board 8 Task Force Meeting - Here's What Happened

Image  of preliminary Roosevelt Island Cornell NYC Tech Campus From You Tube Video

Community Board 8's (CPB 8) Roosevelt Island Task Force met last night at Roosevelt Island's Seniors Center to hear an update by Cornell University regarding the new Cornell Technion Applied Sciences and Engineering school to be built on Roosevelt Island's Goldwater Hospital campus. Representing Cornell University were Vice President Cathy Dove (a new Roosevelt Island resident) and real estate land use attorney Melanie Myers from the law firm of Fried Frank.

Ms. Dove briefly reviewed the project's history and scope of project. Ms. Dove explained that the first phase of Cornell's Roosevelt Island campus will open in 2017 with a 150,000 square foot academic building and a 150,000 square foot partner R & D building for emerging companies. Ms. Dove also said that Cornell hopes to have completed two additional buildings by 2017 - a residence hall of apartments and an academic conference hotel. Ms Dove then introduced attorney Ms. Myers to discuss rezoning changes and land use issues for the perimeter

of the current Goldwater Hospital campus and the future Cornell Technion NYC Tech Campus. According to Curbed:
... Cornell offered a few unfolding details about the plan, like a desire to widen the island's occasionally narrow loop road to a width of 32 feet and include bike lanes. The school will also be seeking a zoning change that won't affect the density of Cornell's building plans, but will allow research labs to be incorporated into the buildings. Residents had a lot of concerns related to the imminent transformation of the southern half of the island. A blanket answer that could be applied to all questions was that "everything would be looked into; all things were a possibility; and nothing was being ruled out at this time."...
I took video of most of the meeting. Here's how it began with Ms. Dove's introduction and Ms. Meyers explanation of land use issues (Part 1 of 5)

You Tube Video of Cornell NYC Tech Update (Part 2 of 5)

Question from Roosevelt Island residents and Community Board members followed. Will have video of that later today or tomorrow as an update.

I asked Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) President Matt Katz for comment on Cornell's presentation update. Mr. Katz replied:
I was happy to see the large turnout to meet with Cornell and Community Board 8 to discuss the City's land use and environmental requirements.  I thought the questions posed by my neighbors were excellent and addressed many of the concerns Islanders have regarding our expectations for the construction period as well as the relationship between town and gown.  I asked when we might meet with representatives of Technion, Cornell's partner in the graduate facility, and really didn't get an answer. That facet of the relationship may need to wait until the campus is a going
More on Cornell's plans for Roosevelt Island campus available at previous post.

UPDATE 8/2 -  Audience Question and Answers followed regarding on site parking, use of barges and air quality monitors during Goldwater demolition and campus construction, conveyance of RIOC controlled land to Cornell, status of Goldwater patients, what will be done in the research laboratories, waste removal, sustainable energy, open space and access to the campus for the community as well as other issues.

You Tube Video of Cornell NYC Tech Update (Part 3 of 5)

More Q and A from the meeting will be posted soon.

Roosevelt Island Constituent Office Hours With NY State Senator Jose Serrano Today 4 - 7 PM - Discuss Any Concerns Or Suggestions You May Have With His Office Staff

 Image Of State Senator Serrano With Constituent At June 9, 2012 Roosevelt Island Day

Received the following message from the office Roosevelt Island's NY State Senator Jose Serrano:
Constituent Services on Roosevelt Island TODAY!

Serrano Roosevelt Island Constituent Hours*

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

4:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.

591 Main Street

Roosevelt Island, NY 10044

Meet with Senator Serrano's staff to discuss any concerns or suggestions you may have to improve your community.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact our office at (212) 828-5829. We look forward to meeting with you!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Community Board 8 Cornell Technion Roosevelt Island Task Force Public Meeting Tonight - Why Does NYC Refuse To Allow Stanford University To Publicly Release Details Of Its Withdrawn Proposal For Roosevelt Island NYC Applied Sciences & Engineering School?

Later today, Community Board 8's (CB 8) Cornell/Roosevelt Island Task Force will receive an:

Update by Cornell University on the Cornell Technion project on Roosevelt Island

Newsweek's The Daily Beast published an article yesterday on the Cornell NYC Tech Applied Sciences & Engineering School scheduled to open on Roosevelt Island in 2017. It's an excellent article though a bit harsh in its description of Roosevelt Island. According to The Daily Beast:
In a sliver of land in New York City’s East River, where a lunatic asylum and smallpox hospital once stood, banners proclaim with unabashed assurance (or chutzpah): “Roosevelt Island: A Fresh Look at the Big Apple.”

The bleak cityscape on the lower half of the island, accessible by cable car and occupied by a hospital for convalescents with battered bricks and rusting air conditioners, will soon be home to a complex of buildings intended to transform the island from an image of urban decay to a bold statement about 21st-century urban design—and transform New York City into an enduring 21st-century economic powerhouse.

In an unprecedented cooperative venture between City Hall, Cornell University, and the Technion–Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, ground is about to be broken for a top-flight technology campus that Mayor Michael Bloomberg promises will give other hubs of entrepreneurial science around the country, and indeed the world, “a run for their money.”...
The Daily Beast article also describes the competition between Stanford, which had been the presumed favorite to be awarded the right to build the NYC Tech Campus, and Cornell the eventual winner after Stanford dropped out of the competition in December 2011. From the Daily Beast:
... “It took Stanford aback, the way we were treated,” says the university’s communications director, Lisa Lapin. “We got a sense that it was more of an antagonistic relationship than a welcoming one.” Lapin forwarded to Newsweek a blistering statement from Stanford general counsel Debra Zumwalt saying many of the positions taken by the city “were not in good faith.” “In my decades of doing negotiations with both private parties and government agencies, I have never seen anything like it,” said Zumwalt. “It was clear from our negotiations ... that the city would not be working as a partner with Stanford and indeed would be making it more difficult and expensive than necessary to get this project done successfully,” said Zumwalt.

There were specific issues about hefty penalties that Stanford was expected to pay even if the city was responsible for delays or other difficulties. “Stanford wanted to work with New York City to implement the mayor’s bold vision for a transformative technology campus. We reluctantly came to the conclusion that the city could not deliver on that promise and decided to withdraw.”

Out in Palo Alto, Calif., some people feel Stanford was set up for a fall right from the beginning, suckered into giving the project the prestige of the Stanford name. City Hall maintains it was just driving a hard bargain, getting all the contenders to put as much as possible into the project, with as many protections as possible for the New York City taxpayer....
 Click here for the entire Daily Beast article.

I have been asking Stanford to publicly release its Roosevelt Island NYC Tech proposal ever since Cornell won the competition in order to compare the two proposals. Stanford has always indicated that it wanted to release its proposal but could not because NYC refused to allow it do so. Yesterday, I again asked if Stanford would release its NYC Tech Proposal. A Stanford representative responded:
NYC's last piece was supposedly the Columbia deal, so we should be able to release our proposal now. I've inquired.  The city has not been eager for us to share it, as that would reveal their missed opportunity.
The Columbia deal referred to was announcement yesterday by Mayor Bloomberg that NYC will provide $15 million to create an Institute For Date Sciences and Engineering at Columbia University.

According to the NY Times:
Columbia University will receive $15 million in financial help from New York City to significantly expand its engineering school, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced on Monday.

The money — a consolation prize of sorts — is related to a competition in which Cornell University and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology were awarded $100 million from the city to build a new graduate school on Roosevelt Island....
Here's May 24th 2012 statement from Stanford General Counsel Debra Zumwalt regarding New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYEDC) negotiating process with Stanford and NYC's refusal to allow Stanford to publicly release details of its proposal.
NYCEDC still refuses to let Stanford provide the details of its proposal, claiming that it is remains confidential even though NYCEDC gave Cornell the award for Roosevelt Island after Stanford withdrew its proposal for a campus there over five months ago and the City released the details of Cornell's proposal then. Clearly, there is no longer any confidential competition for this project. In addition, there have been misstatements in the press about the process attributed to the City.

There are many examples of unreasonable conduct by NYCEDC during the negotiations, such as adding many millions of dollars in penalties that were not in the original proposal. The City has denied this, but it is true. We did not think it would be fair to penalize Stanford for failure to obtain approvals on a certain schedule if the delays were the fault of the City and not Stanford.

The changes in the important deal terms from what was proposed in the RFP, changes during the negotiations to make the provisions more negative for Stanford than what had previously been proposed and agreed to by the City, and the unreasonableness of a number of the positions taken by NYCEDC were not in good faith. In my decades of doing negotiations with both private parties and government agencies, I have never seen anything like it. The City on many occasions referred to this project as a partnership between the City and the selected university. It was clear from our negotiations that NYCEDC, which was the City agency that would be responsible not only for negotiating this project but for overseeing it, that the City would not be working as a partner with Stanford and indeed would be making it more difficult and expensive than necessary to get this project done successfully. Stanford wanted to work with New York City to implement the Mayor's bold vision for a transformative technology campus. We reluctantly came to the conclusion that the City could not deliver on that promise and decided to withdraw.
A Stanford representative adds that as of earlier this month, NYC still refused  to allow Stanford to release details of its proposal to the public.

Lost in all the excitement over the new Roosevelt Island Hi Tech school is where will the current patients at the soon to be demolished Goldwater Hospital be moved to make way for Cornell. Some will be moved to a new facility being built in East Harlem but that is not going over well with some in that community. According to the NY Daily News:
East Harlem community leaders are furious that Mayor Bloomberg is rushing to spend more than $300 million to develop three parcels of public land in their neighborhood — all part of what they say is a huge hidden subsidy to Cornell University’s new tech campus to be built on Roosevelt Island...
... To meet that deadline — and a possible ground-breaking for the new campus before Bloomberg leaves office — city officials are racing to erect several facilities in East Harlem that will house as many as 700 Coler-Goldwater patients.

They never bothered to ask locals what they wanted done with that land, according Community Board 11, which voted unanimously in mid June to oppose them....

“We’re not against the Cornell school,” said Matthew Washington, chairman of Community Board 11.

“We just believe there has to be more support from the city for our own residents” and a “recognition of the burden” the neighborhood will bear for these projects.”...
Click here for the entire NY Daily News article.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Overnight Testing On Newly Rehabilitated Roosevelt Island Bridge - Intermittent 30 Minute Closings Monday July 30 Thru Wednesday August 1 From 12:01 AM To 5 AM

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) adds:
We have been advised by the Department of Transportation that there will be overnight testing of the Roosevelt Island Bridge scheduled from 12:01 a.m. Monday, July 30, 2012 to 5:00 a.m. Wednesday, August 1, 2012.

Please be advised that each test opening will take approximately 30 minutes to be completed. The test openings will be appropriately spaced to prevent the least amount of disturbance to vehicular and pedestrian traffic traversing the bridge. During this testing NYPD, NYFD and EMS units will be available to Roosevelt Island residents and visitors by dialing 911.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
More on the $86.5 million Roosevelt Island Bridge Rehabilitation project from previous post.

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board Of Directors MeetingToday, Island House Ground Lease Extension Removed From Agenda -Budget, Restoration Of Boat Prow, Bus Garage Among Items Still On Agenda

Image of Roosevelt Island's Island House Entrance

Below is the Agenda for today's Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors Meeting. The Ground Lease Extension for Island House was originally on the Agenda for this meeting. According to this July 26 notice from RIOC:
We note that “Authorization to Enter Into Amendment to Ground Lease with the North Town Phase II Houses, Inc. (Island House)" has been removed as we are working to finalize the necessary agreements.
Not know at this time how the removal of Island House Ground Lease Extension Agenda Item from tonight's RIOC Board Meeting effects the privatization/affordability plan for Island House's exit from Mitchell Lama program.

Here is the Agenda for tonight's RIOC Board Meeting.

5:30 P.M.1

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call
III. Approval of Minutes
1. June 28, 2012 Board Meeting (Board Action Required)
IV. Old Business
V. New Business
1. Presentation of the FY 2011-12 QTR1 Procurement Report
2. Intentionally Omitted
3. Authorization to Enter into a Contract with Nelson & Pope Engineers & Land Surveyors, PLLC for the Bus Garage
and Warehouse Renovation Project (Board Action Required)
4. Authorization to Enter into a Contract with Meli Contracting Co. Inc. for Restoration of the Steel Boat Sculpture
(Board Action Required)
5. Authorization to Enter Into a Contract with Quintal Contracting Corp. for Motorgate Ramp Drainage Improvements
(Board Action Required)
6. Authorization to Enter Into a Contract with Quintal Contracting Corp. for Pothole Repairs (Board Action Required)
7. President�s Report
8. Committee Reports
a. Audit Committee
b. Governance Committee
c. Operations Advisory Committee
d. Real Estate Development Advisory Committee
9. Public Safety Report
VI. Adjournment

The RIOC Board Meeting will commence following a public comment period. The public comment period is not part of the meeting.
 Image of Roosevelt Island Boat Prow

The Roosevelt Island boat prow could certainly use some restoration and graffiti removal.

Roosevelt Island Tram On Steroids Speeding Across East River - How About Extending The Tram To Queens Suggests Silvercup Studio Owner, Ask Cornell During Tomorrow Night's CB 8 Task Force Meeting

Have you ever wished that the Roosevelt Island Tram would speed up a bit on its trip across the East River? Your wish is now granted.

You Tube Video of Time Lapse Roosevelt Island Tram Trip

How about extending the Roosevelt Island Tram to Queens? During a meeting of the Long Island City Partnership, Alan Suna of Silvercup Studios asked that very question to George Fertitta, President of NYC & Company. According to the Queens Gazette:
... At question time, Alan Suna of Silvercup Studios asked Fertitta if he knew how many passengers the Roosevelt Island Tram carried annually. Fertitta said he couldn’t answer the question at the moment but could find out. Suna called the tram “iconic” and said he would like to see it extended from Roosevelt Island to Queens, which would allow traffic back and forth to the Cornell/Technion science campus when it is built at the south end of the island. Fertitta found that idea “cool” and quickly made reference to the ferries that have come into existence fairly recently, using the East River shoreline in Queens as a docking point to and from the other boroughs. He said that venture is “unbelievably successful”. The bike share project that is near launching in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn will, among other things, be a “tremendous tourist opportunity”....
Cornell will be presenting its latest plans for the Roosevelt Island Cornell Technion technology campus tomorrow night during Community Board 8 Task Force meeting to be held at the Seniors Center (546 Main Street). Perhaps one of the transportation items for Cornell to consider is building a Tram extension to Queens.

As reported in this previous post, the answer to Mr. Suna's question on Roosevelt Island Tram ridership statistics for 2011 is: 
... RIOC is excited to announce that a record 2,109,878 people rode our Tram in 2011, the first full year since the Tramway modernization project was completed. That’s over 5,700 riders per day!...
The Roosevelt Island Tram is more than just for transportation - it's also a ride as Jerry Seinfeld explained in 1977.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Report From RIOC President Leslie Torres - Roosevelt Island FDR Hope Memorial Funding, DEP Water Tunnel Meeting, Main Street Construction, Motorgate LED Staircase Lighting, Hazardous Materials Investigation, Asian Long Haired Beetle Tree Investigation & More

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Lesie Torres sends the following report to Roosevelt Island residents.
Greetings Roosevelt Islanders! I hope you are staying cool in the July heat and that all of the children in our community are having fun and staying safe as they enjoy their summer vacations.

Olympics Opening Ceremony Viewing

RIOC is pleased to announce that we are hosting a public viewing of the Summer Olympics opening ceremony on Friday, July 27 on an inflatable screen 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!

Councilwoman Lappin Helps Roosevelt Island

Councilwoman Jessica Lappin came to Roosevelt Island on July 13 to announce that she has successfully secured over $4 million for Island projects and organizations in the new city budget passed by the New York City Council. The funding includes $2 million for the Roosevelt Island Library to move into a new space at 504 Main Street, $1.85 million for the completion of the FDR Four Freedoms Memorial, which is scheduled to open in October 2012, and $150,000 for the FDR Hope Memorial. We are grateful for all of Councilwoman Lappin’s work supporting Roosevelt Island.

Community Meeting about Water Tunnel

On Tuesday, August 7 from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm at the Manhattan Park Community Center, RIOC and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will host a community meeting about the work being done at the third water tunnel shaft site located to the south of the Octagon. DEP representatives will update the community about the project and its future. For more information, call 212-832-4540.

Main Street Reconstruction

We have begun Phase II of our Main Street Reconstruction Project. During Phase I, completed in 2009, we replaced Z-Bricks with asphalt pavement on the roadway from 40 River Road to the Fire House Station. Phase II will continue the same work from 40 River Road to the bottom of the Helix ramp. The asphalt surface is better at handling heavy vehicle traffic and the elements, and it won’t require the frequent and costly repairs involved in maintaining the Z-Bricks.

Motorgate Lighting

Work is also underway to procure and install new LED lighting fixtures on each floor and the stairwells at Motorgate, replacing the current incandescent fixtures. When the project is completed, the garage will be better illuminated, making it safer for users. The LED lights are also environmentally friendly and more cost efficient than the outdated incandescent lights.

West Road Closed Last Sunday

On July 22 a resident called 911 after discovering three dead squirrels in and around a tree near West Drive. FDNY sent a local fire truck, followed by responders from the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), as per standard City procedure. The agencies temporarily closed West Drive while they conducted tests for toxins. All tests came back negative. The responding city agencies, consequently, deemed the area safe and reopened the roadway.

Outdoor Movie Series Continues

The new date for RIOC’s free outdoor screening of Tangled, which was cancelled last week due to rain, is Sunday, July 29. The Summer Outdoor Movie Series continues as scheduled on August 4 with the Disney animated classic The Lion King. Each movie starts at 8:45 pm at Southpoint Park, but people are encouraged to arrive early for food, music and movie trivia.

Bicycle and Car Safety Day

RIOC’s Public Safety Department distributed 384 bicycle helmets to community members during our Annual Bicycle and Car Safety Day on July 19 at the Good Shepherd Plaza. Participants also learned safety tips for automobiles and car seats during the event, which was co-sponsored by PSD and Safe Kids NYC.

Tree Inspection

The United States Department of Agriculture and The Davey Tree Expert Company recently completed its inspection of trees on Roosevelt Island for the presence of Asian Longhorned Beetles, which can potentially infest various tree species we have here. The inspection was part of the overall eradication effort in New York City.
More information on FDR Hope Memorial is available here and previous post.