Saturday, September 29, 2012

Roosevelt Island Toastmasters Invite You To A Free Educational Workshop Monday October 1 - Building Your Thinking Power Mental Flexibility

Received the following message from the Roosevelt Island Toastmasters:
As part of a community service and to introduce our club to more people on Roosevelt Island, we want to invite people to a free educational workshop on Monday, October 1. The workshop is free and open to all (18 years old and older). The location is on Roosevelt Island – Seniors Center at 546 Main Street. Timing is 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm.

The workshop is called

Building Your Thinking Power — Mental Flexibility

It was designed by Toastmasters International, the world-famous nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people become better public speakers and leaders.
More information below:
Roosevelt Island Toastmasters are pleased to present

Building Your Thinking Power — Mental Flexibility Workshop
Monday, October 1, 2012, 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM
Roosevelt Island Seniors Center, 1st floor
546 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, NY 10044

Cost: FREE

Mental flexibility is a way of approaching situations to achieve the best outcomes.

By increasing your mental flexibility, you become:
•a better listener
•a better observer
•a more skilled thinker
•a more effective problem-solver

The workshop is free. We are a nonprofit group and our only interest is in helping ourselves and others to become better communicators and leaders.

About Roosevelt Island Toastmasters: We are part of Toastmasters International (, the world-famous nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people become better public speakers and leaders. We meet on 2nd and 4th Monday each month on Roosevelt Island.

The Mental Flexibility Workshop will be led by Anna Doumnova. Anna has been a member of Roosevelt Island Toastmasters since 2005. She has made more than 50 public speeches won a speech contest. Her Toastmasters experience has been enjoyable and educational and allowed her to meet many wonderful people. Anna recommends to everyone to give Toastmasters a try!

Please email for more information and to RSVP.

We look forward to seeing you on Monday, October 1.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Land Use Education Forum In Preparation For Cornell NYC Tech Campus On Roosevelt Island Held By Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer Thursday October 4 - Also Take A Look Inside Cornell NYC Tech

According to Borough President Scott Stringer's office:
The purpose of the meeting is to provide an opportunity for Roosevelt Island and Community Board 8 community members to learn about the ULURP process and discuss best practices in community organizing around large-scale development projects. Residents will also have an opportunity to discuss questions and concerns about the Cornell project in particular.

The meeting will take place next Thursday, October 4th from 6:00-8:00pm at the Manhattan Park Theatre Club.
Here's an inside look at Cornell NYC Tech from Vice President/Roosevelt Island resident Cathy Dove and Dean Dan Huttenlocker. Not much is said about their plans for the Roosevelt Island campus though plenty of views from their temporary Google space, The High Line and Chelsea neighborhood. (Also, here's a video describing the Cornell NYC Tech admission process).

You Tube Video of Inside NYC Tech

As reported in previous post from May 22:
... according to this summary of the project from the Draft Scope of Work to Prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the CornellNYC Tech Project (Page 1-2):
... The first phase of the CornellNYC Tech project, which Cornell University (Cornell)  would undertake in collaboration with Technion – Israel  Institute of Technology, is expected to be constructed and begin operations on Roosevelt Island in Summer 2017; 2018 will be the first full year of operation.

Phase 1 would consist of up to a maximum of 790,000 gross square feet (gsf) of development consisting of approximately 200,000 gsf of academic research space, 300,000 gsf of residential space (442 units), 100,000 gsf of partner research and development space, and 170,000 gsf for an academic-oriented hotel with conference facilities. Up to another 20,000 gsf  would be developed as a central energy plant. Phase 2, expected to be completed by 2037, would add a maximum of 1.34 million gsf consisting  of approximately 420,000 gsf of academic research space, 500,000 gsf of residential space (652 units), 400,000 gsf of partner research and development (R&D) space, and another 20,000 gsf central energy plant. In total, the maximum potential CornellNYC Tech project program is assumed to comprise 2.13 million gsf of development consisting of 620,000 gsf of academic research space, 800,000 gsf of residential space (1,094 units), 500,000 gsf of partner R&D space, 170,000 gsf of an academic-oriented hotel with conference facilities, and 40,000  gsf for the central energy plants. Up to approximately 25,000 gsf of campus-oriented retail would be provided within this program....
and (Page 4):
... parking may be provided for the academic-oriented hotel and conference facilities and for the three partner research and development buildings. It is anticipated that approximately 500 spaces would be provided at the project site, with 250 spaces in Phase 1 and another 250 spaces provided in Phase 2....
and (page 5-6):
... The proposed project would be centered on a new outdoor north-south connection or “spine” that would extend at-grade through the project site. A series of publicly-accessible open spaces would extend from the edge of the site inward to this spine. The proposed buildings would be organized around both the spine and the network of open spaces with the main entries to the buildings located along the north-south spine....
More here and here including video presentation from Cornell representatives.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Bolivian President Evo Morales Plays Soccer Match At Roosevelt Island Octagon Field For Say No, Unite To End Violence Against Women

The President of Bolivia Evo Morales (Pictured above at right) participated in a Soccer game yesterday at Roosevelt Island's Octagon Field. Also present (left background), though not playing and in the picture above is former US Energy Secretary/ UN Ambassador/ Governor of New Mexico Bill Richardson. Pictured with President Morales is UN Under Secretary-General and former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet.

You Tube Video of UNITE Roosevelt Island Soccer Match

According to the United Nations Blog, yesterday:
Top officials (including UN Women’s Michelle Bachelet and UNDP’s Heraldo Muñoz), UN staff members and ambassadors to the UN took part in a friendly football/soccer match against President of Bolivia Evo Morales’ team in support of the Secretary General’s campaign UNite to End Violence Against Women.

What is the UN's campaign to end violence against women about? According to the End Violence web site:
Launched in 2008, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign is a multi-year effort aimed at preventing and eliminating violence against women and girls in all parts of the world.

UNiTE calls on governments, civil society, women’s organizations, young people, the private sector, the media and the entire UN system to join forces in addressing the global pandemic of violence against women and girls.

By 2015, UNiTE aims to achieve the following five goals in all countries:
  • Adopt and enforce national laws to address and punish all forms of violence against women and girls
  • Adopt and implement multi-sectoral national action plans
  • Strengthen data collection on the prevalence of violence against women and girls
  • Increase public awareness and social mobilization
  • Address sexual violence in conflict
More on Say No Unite To End Violence Against Women, including how you can help.

You Tube Video of Say No To Violence

Here's Bolivian President Morales in action on the Roosevelt Island Octagon Soccer field

Image From Elgolgo

and at rest with his teammates following the first half as reported by The Guardian:
Bolivia's President Evo Morales (2nd R) rests with his teammates at the end of the first half of their friendly soccer match between his team and top officials, staff members and ambassadors to the UN for ending Violence Against Women, during the 67th United Nations General Assembly in New York. Photograph: Eduardo Munoz/Reuters
Image From the Guardian

Maybe next time, let's see how the players from the Roosevelt Island Youth Program Soccer League match up against the UN'ers.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Part Time Paid Jobs Available For Knowledgeable Roosevelt Islanders At Historical Society Visitors Kiosk - Are You Interested?

Roosevelt Island Historical Society President (RIHS) Judy Berdy reports:

Knowledgeable islanders needed to work in kiosk.
Part time hours 12- 5p,m.
Must be friendly and outgoing.
This is a paid position.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Roosevelt Island Retail Signage Going Up -Subway Sandwich Shop Signage and Arcade Shops On Main Street Logo In Place

Work is progressing on the interior of the new Roosevelt Island Main Street Subway Sandwich Shop and today I noticed signage placed in the window.

Also, Hudson Related has new signage in the Main Street Arcade

and facing out towards the street.

What do you think?

Franklin D Roosevelt: A Famous Patient Talk At NY Academy of Medicine September 27 - FDR Hope Memorial Committee Seeks To Honor FDR Overcoming Health Disabilities With Sculpture Depicting Him In A Wheelchair

Roosevelt Island Historical Society President Judy Berdy reports that a former Interim Minister at the Good Shepherd Church is giving a free talk at the NY Academy of Medicine on:

Franklin Delano Roosevelt: A Famous Patient
According to the NY Academy of Medicine:
Section on the History of Medicine: Franklin Delano Roosevelt: A Famous Patient

Date: September 27, 2012
Time: 5:30PM - 7:00PM

Light refreshments at 5:30 p.m., Lecture at 6:00 p.m.


Curtis W. Hart, M.Div.

Sponsored by: Section on the History of Medicine and Public Health and the Heberden Society

Location: The New York Academy of Medicine, 1216 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street, New York, NY 10029

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the longest serving (1933-1945) president in United States history. Elected to the presidency four times, he guided the country through the Great Depression and led it to victory in World War II. Roosevelt was afflicted with polio in 191 when he was thirty-nine years old. Recent biographical studies have brought to light the extraordinary partnership between Roosevelt and his physician, George Draper, M.D., who was both a clinician and faculty member at Columbia. Draper's therapeutic partnership with Roosevelt sustained him during the most trying time of his illness. Though Roosevelt was never able to walk again, with the help of Dr. Draper and others he did not lose hope and was able to re-emerge and return to his political career. The relationship between Roosevelt and Draper embodies the character of the healing partnership between doctor and patient. This presentation will describe something of that relationship. It will also show how Roosevelt's struggle with illness contributed to what has been called his "first rate temperament" and his personal designation as "Old Doc Roosevelt," both of which became significant personal components of his presidency.

About the Speaker(s)

Curtis W. Hart is Lecturer in Public Health, Medicine, and Psychiatry, Division of Medical Ethics at Weill Cornell Medical College and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Religion and Health. At Weill Cornell he is active in teaching medical students, serves on the Institutional Review Board and is a participant in the Department of Psychiatry's Section in the History of Psychiatry. An ordained Episcopal priest, he is a graduate of Harvard College, A.B. cum laude and Union Theological Seminary, where he received his Master of Divinity. He is the author of numerous articles, book chapters and book reviews in professional and academic publications including essays on J. Robert Oppenheimer, William James and Paul Tillich. He is a Fellow of both The New York Academy of Medicine and the Society for Values in Higher Education. He lives in Tarrytown, New York.
It is a free event and registration information is here.

Also, the FDR Hope Memorial Committee is seeking to honor and recognize President Franklin D Roosevelt's great achievements despite the challenges he faced due to his health issues. The FDR Hope Committee is working to create a sculpture of FDR sitting in a wheelchair with a girl in braces standing next to him and install it at Southpoint Park on Roosevelt Island. Here's more information on the FDR Hope Memorial.

You Tube Video of FDR Hope Memorial

Monday, September 24, 2012

Is Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Board Of Directors Taking Control Of New RIOC President Selection Process? Maybe, But Still No Word On Why Former RIOC President Resigned

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Governance Committee

 Image of RIOC Directors and Staff Before Governance Committee Meeting Begins

met this evening for over an hour in Executive Session (closed to the public) to discuss the resignation of former RIOC President Leslie Torres, the appointment of an interim President and procedures for selecting a new President.

At the conclusion of the Executive Session, the RIOC Directors announced that General Counsel Donald Lewis will be the Interim RIOC President/CEO until an Emergency RIOC Board of Directors meeting is held which is scheduled for next Wednesday October 3. At that full RIOC Board meeting, an Acting President/CEO will be named by the RIOC Directors and procedures will be announced for conducting a job search for a new RIOC President.

The RIOC Directors also stated that they do not know why Ms. Torres resigned and that they did not learn of her resignation until last Friday.  Ms. Torres resignation was effective the same day it was announced.

Here's some of what happened during the Governance Committee Public Session.

Interestingly, The Tribeca Trib reported on September 12 that the Chairperson President of the Battery Park City Authority resigned effective October 1. The Battery Park City Authority is a NY State Public Benefit Corporation similar to RIOC.

This previous post describes how the RIOC President selection process played out in 2010 following the removal of former President Steve Shane. The Governor, through the DHCR Commissioner, picked Ms. Torres as RIOC President and the RIOC Board's acquiesced to the selection. Perhaps that will not happen this time.

Yom Kippur Service For Roosevelt Island Jewish Congregation Moved To Manhattan Park Community Center Starting Tuesday 6:30 PM - July Flood At Cultural Center The Cause

The Roosevelt Island Jewish Congregation (RIJC) sends the following message and schedule for their upcoming Yom Kippur service starting tomorrow night.
Dear RIJC Members and Friends,

From the bottom of my heart, a warm and enthusiastic THANK YOU for joining us for Rosh Hashanah last Sunday, Monday and Tuesday at the RIJC's temporary home at the Manhattan Park Theatre/Community Center. Rabbi Moritt and Cantor Brian Kalver, assisted by our own Charlie Schwartz, led us in thoughtful prayer and song and sermon. It was a pleasure to see many familiar faces and make some new friends as well.

Please be sure to join us this Tuesday evening promptly at 6:30 pm for our Kol Nidre service, as we begin the most solemn and serious contemplation of the year past and the one yet to come. On Wednesday at 9:15 am we will continue our day of prayer and atonement, and later, celebration of the year to come with Havdalah and a light breaking the fast.

Our updated schedule appears here, as well as information for next Sunday -- Sukkot on the Senior Terrace.

Tuesday, September 25 at Manhattan Park Theatre 8 River Road

6:30pm, SHARP Kol Nidre / Erev Yom Kippur

Wednesday,September 26 at Manhattan Park Theatre

9:15am Yom Kippur - Morning Service

9:30am Child Care @ RI Day Nursery - 4 River Road
10:30am Children's Service @ RI Day Nursery

4:45pm Afternoon Service, followed by Ne'ilah and Havdalah,
7:30 (approximately) Tekiat Shofar / End of Fast


Sunday, September 30

4:00pm Sukkot/ Sukkah Building, Decorating, Services, Pot-Luck Dinner At the Senior Terrace.
Details to follow.
Flooding at the Cultural Center in Roosevelt Landings last July forced the RIJC and Main Street Theater & Dance Alliance to seek out temporary space until the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) and/or Urban American returns the space to a clean and safe condition (Urban American is the the landlord for Roosevelt Landings).

During the September 20 RIOC Board of Directors Meeting Public Session, RIJC President Nina Lubin thanked RIOC for helping provide temporary space during Rosh Hashanna and Yom Kippur. Ms. Lubin urged RIOC and Urban American to repair and make safe the Roosevelt Island Cultural Center damaged by flooding making RIJC and the Main Street Theater and Dance Alliance uninhabitable. Here's what Ms. Lubin had to say.

The flooding at the Cultural Center was discussed during September 13 RIOC Operation Committee meeting (audio web cast of the meeting is here and Cultural Center flooding discussion begins at 32 minute 40 second mark)

Roosevelt Island Youth Program Soccer League Underway, It's A GOOOAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLL - Plans For Live Streaming Of Action, Celebrity Commentator, Snack Bar & More

Image of RIYP 9/15 Soccer Game From Frank Farance

The Roosevelt Island Youth Program (RIYP) Soccer League is under way. RIYP's Adib (Bluebeard) Mansour reports following yesterday's games:
What an exciting day indeed. The cheers were constant all day long!! and that's only a sign of exhilarating and action-packed games. The teams were determined and well balanced and the kids had a great time! Coaches, parents, and kids... all had a fun soccer day!

Next weekend we are planning a big day -details to follow, but here's what we're working on:

A- Live Stream: this was tested again today and it went perfectly. Games will have an island celebrity commentator and will be broadcasted through the island's restaurants, and to grandparents around the world!
B- We're working on opening the snack bar area with food and drinks
C- We're also working on getting coffee from Starbucks and some croissants, etc.
D- Training clinics for everyone.

Just a few more things we're working on.
I stopped by yesterday and watched some exciting action at the Octagon Field by our local Roosevelt Island young soccer players

You Tube Video of RIYP Soccer

and Roosevelt Island resident Frank Farance shares these photos from September 15 RIYP soccer games.

Images From Frank Farance

More pictures of RIYP Soccer from Mr. Farance here.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Roosevelt Island Main Street Road Construction Safety Concerns From Resident and Response From RIOC

You Tube Video of Main Street Reconstruction Project

Roosevelt Island resident Raye Schwartz expresses concern over safety issues surrounding the Main Street Reconstruction Project and shares this message she sent to Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Safety Department Director Keith Guerra and Vice President of Operations Fernando Martinez last Friday.
This morning while I was baby sitting I needed to get something from Gristedes. I walked up Main Street past PS217 and found that I could not cross, so I turned around and walked south. I was going to use the crosswalk near Westview and The Child School, but found that I could not see the southbound traffic unless I actually walked into the street. That's because the line of sight was completely obstructed by huge trucks parked all the way from 217 and double parked at Westview.

I was not about to do that and endanger my grand daughter in her stroller. Further, there was so much traffic coming from the bridge that it was clear to me that even if I got across the street safely I would face another dangerous situation crossing at the bottom of the helix ramp.

I finally walked to the RIOC office and asked Carlina to notify you about this situation. FYI, there were two other people with strollers who were in the same predicament as well as an elderly wheelchair bound woman who was so frustrated that she was nearly in tears.

Further, this coming week is sure to be a nightmare because of bridge closings related to the UN general assembly meeting.

Based on these situations it is clear to me that there must be a public safety presence on foot at that area, not just periodic patrols in cars. That presence must be maintained throughout the repaving project. I am making this known to you because I fear that there can and possibly will be one or more serious accidents in that area without some kind of officer presence. Please do everything possible to make certain that pedestrians as well as school children are protected throughout this construction, that the lines of sight at crosswalks are not blocked, and some signage placed letting people know where they can cross safely.

Thanks in advance.
RIOC Director Margie Smith responded to Ms. Schwartz:
Thanks for the note. I’ll speak with Fernando and be sure there aren’t any unsafe conditions during the project work.
Mr. Guerra responded as well:
Thank you for the email. We at RIOC are trying to do the best we can under the circumstances. Street construction projects always pose issues, but rest assured that four different departments are working collectively to be on top of it. The Construction Company is mandated to have Flag-Personnel assisting with traffic flow during construction hours. Our Engineering and Transportation Departments are out there making sure they conform to the agreement. Our Community Relations Specialist is in constant contact with the administrators of P.S. 217 to remind folks about the traffic condition. The Public Safety Department is in the process of setting up a special detail, beginning Monday, to assist with traffic flow in front of P.S. 217 during morning drop-offs and afternoon pick-ups, as well as on Main Street. Hopefully, it will be better next week.



As an aside, our Officers on Patrol did observe two Delivery Trucks double-parked in front of Westview, and issued them summonses.
More on Main Street Reconstruction project from previous post.