Saturday, November 10, 2012

Meet The 2012/2014 Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council - New RIRA President Hopes It Will Be A Model Grass Roots Organization

Image Of 2012 -14 Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council

The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) 2012 -2014 Common Council met for the first time last Wednesday evening following their election the previous day.

Newly elected RIRA President Ellen Polivy explained during Wednesday's meeting that she wants RIRA to represent the views of the entire community and not just those of the few with loud voices. In order to do that Ms. Polivy said it requires RIRA members getting the word out in any way possible, including standing in building lobbies talking to residents and meeting with Roosevelt Island building managements. She hopes that RIRA can start a grass roots movement that will be a model for the rest of the country.

Here's what Ms. Polivy had to say.

Ms. Polivy then asked each of the Common Council Members to introduce themselves and state what they would like to accomplish as RIRA members.

RIRA is a very diverse and interesting group of Roosevelt Island residents living in Southtown, the WIRE Buildings, Manhattan Park and the Octagon. They are young and older, long time residents and new with varying backgrounds including PHD's, Lawyers, Teachers, Social Workers, Academics, Scientists, Software Engineer, Small Business Owner, a former Arms Control Negotiator, retired Fire Marshall, Geophysist, Accountant and more.

Meet Your RIRA Common Council here

and here.

So, let RIRA know what you think about improving our Roosevelt Island community and pitch in to help where you can.

Sunday Jazz With Art & The Impressionists Tomorrow (Sunday) 5-7 PM At Gallery RIVAA

From Roosevelt Island's Gallery RIVAA:
Friends of RIVAA

ART & The IMPRESSIONISTS' will perform another session of sweet Jazz at Gallery RIVAA, 527 Main Street this Sunday, November 11th at 5 - 7 pm.

A suggested donation of $5 covers music, entertainment and raffle for a $25 gift certificate at a Roosevelt Island Restaurant.

Wine, beverages and delectables are also available.

We hope to see you there in your 'dancing shoes'!

Thank you.
Roosevelt Island Visual Art Association
Set list for tomorrow is here and below is performance by Art & The Impressionists of Sonny Rollins Oleo from October Gallery RIVAA Sunday Jazz

Art & The Impressionists are:
Daniel 'Art' Yalisove - Clarinet
Dan 'Art' Schlesinger -Alto Sax
Susheel 'Art' Kurien -Guitar
Sri 'Art' Viswanath - Bass
Matt 'Art' Matysik - Drums

Roosevelt Island Hurricane Sandy Donations To The Rockaways Continue Tomorrow (Sunday) 8-9 AM In Front Of PS/IS 217

 Image of Roosevelt Islanders Collecting Donations For Rockaways last Sunday From Olya Turcihin

Reported previously on efforts by Roosevelt Island residents to donate and deliver necessities to people living in the Rockaways devastated by Hurricane Sandy.

Received word yesterday from Karine Wong, who organized Roosevelt Island Hurricane donations and deliveries, that they are returning to the Rockaways Sunday morning with more essential supplies. From Ms. Wong:
Just so everyone is up to date the result of this week’s email, twitter and blog blast is as follows:

1) Sunday a whole bunch of people brought stuff to the meeting spot in front of PS 217

2) We collected 4 cars full of stuff + a 16 passenger van and trailer full of warm clothes and blankets

3) We delivered 4 cars full of supplies to a food distribution site at Redfern and Beach 12th St in the Rockaways

4) We had a little delay with the van – pending fuel supply – which was rectified when Owen went and waited in line on Tuesday

5) Wednesday, Owen and Kyle took the van and trailer to the Rockaways in search of a location in need

6) After several tries – a location was found…

Community and Family Head Start
41-05 Beach Channel Drive
Far Rockaway, NY 11691
Contact: Cynthia Cummings, Executive Director
Community Parents, Inc.
718.771,4002 x112

7) After a bit of back and forth and some coordination – the entire shipment of jackets, blankets and warm clothes was unloaded at the Head Start School

8) This is a Head Start program in an area hard hit by the storm and the school administration is part of the core of this community…they have reported getting numerous calls and txt messages from their families asking for help and a way to keep the cold at bay during the past few days…everyone in the community there is cold and hungry.

9) There is no doubt that this is a community that has virtually no safety net or ability to respond to an extraordinary event like our recent hurricane. This is an area where there is no insurance, no extra anything in the bank, no margin if things go wrong, no place to go when things go wrong and no one to turn to for help.

The school is in the middle of the Rockaway peninsula. The waterline in the school was at 6 feet high inside the school earlier this week.

See the pictures at the link following;

This school serves 111, 3 – 5 year old children and their families living in the area. There is a single custodian trying (alone) to clean up. Many families are without typical means of communication. Requests for help have even been coming in via txt messages to the school. The Community Parents program is developing a plan to communicate effectively with their constituents.

This is an area that has been very hard hit and has been largely unnoticed. They do not have power. They have very little resources. They need help. It will take a long time to recover, here is an idea to help things along and to keep things going…

1) We need 50 or 60 people to commit to a once a week process and donate a couple of items from a selection of 3 or 4 items most in need on a given week
a. What we mean by small is for example; a package of diapers, a package of batteries, a box of granola bars and so forth… essential items from a list things that we will circulate each week

2) We meet and collect everything on Sunday mornings between 8am and 9am

3) We deliver everything collected on Sunday or Monday (schedule depending) to the Head Start program for them to distribute (the custodian already told us he would come and open the place so we can drop things off…

4) We all commit to doing this weekly for the next several months – after all we can’t just help for a week and then leave them hanging…can we?

One thing is clear, they need help. Another thing that is clear is we are a community that has proven that we can help a little and make this work.

The idea is to make this as simple and direct as we can. Providing people with a chance to pitch in and spreading the responsibility among as many people as possible – everyone doing whatever it is that they can - but doing something. If everyone adds a little something to the pot no one person needs to add a large amount.

Each week a small contribution and maybe even a little time given too (we will need a couple of people and a couple of vehicles to help make the delivery every week).

Seems like we can accomplish this easily and make sure that a community that can help provides help for a community in need…

The suggested items for this week are;

Granola bars or energy bars - we have been told that hunger is a significant issue this week due to the way that the NYC food distribution program is going – food gets out but barely enough and after all it is kids we are talking about – when do they ever have enough to eat…

Baby wipes – not just for babies but everyone – there is no power and therefore no hot water in many of the homes in this area

Diapers – it is all families out there and they come in all ages and sizes

Batteries – without power the battery supply gets used pretty fast…

If you want to contribute financially to help develop communication systems go to

Donations can be made to:
Community Parents, Inc.
90 Chauncey St
Brooklyn, NY 11233
Ms. Wong adds today:
Just a quick reminder that we are meeting again tomorrow morning between 8 - 9 AM Sunday Nov 11 in front of PS 217 if you would like to donate or help delivering with us please come and join the fun.

FYI, tomorrow, we will be accepting:
Diapers/Pull ups
Granola bars and Energy Bars

Below is an update from Cynthia our contact in the Rockaways
Hello Roosevelt Island Family- Just wanted you to know how helpful the clothing distribution was today. See photos attached.

The items that parents told us they need are:

Inflatable air beds/mattress
Sheets to match size
Blankets (not enough)
Towels/ washcloths (new or gently used, please)
Rubber gloves, work gloves
Cleaning supplies/paper goods
Personal hygiene items
Diapers (various sizes, pull ups)

There is a family that lost their home to fire and evacuated in their car. They need to rebuild everything in their home.

The program needs to continue our efforts:
Garbage bags
Batteries (C and D)
Sterno/ food racks
Hand Sanitizer

We are blessed to have you help!- Cynthia
Here are images from the Rockaways provided by Cynthia.

More on Roosevelt Island residents efforts to help Hurricane Sandy Rockaway residents from earlier post.

Volunteers are also needed on Sunday between 10 AM - 1 PM to help clean up Roosevelt Island's Blackwell Park area.

Volunteer With The Roosevelt Island Jewish Congregation To Help Clean Up Blackwell Park Area

Image Of Blackwell House/Park Today

Received the following message from the Roosevelt Island Jewish Congregation:
Roosevelt Island Jewish Congregation

Invites its members, neighbors and friends to join us for

Grounds Clean-Up from Hurricane Sandy

Let’s make our community look great again

Help us clean the area around Blackwell Park.

Meet Sunday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Trash Bags and Rakes will be Provided

Wear work clothes and gloves

Hurricane Sandy Aftermath - RIOC Reports That Roosevelt Island Parks And Fields Are Now Open Except For Lighthouse Park Which Is Closed Until Further Notice

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC)
Please be advised Lighthouse Park is closed until further notice. All other Roosevelt Island parks and fields are now open.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group

Friday, November 9, 2012

July Flooding At Roosevelt Island Main Street Theater & Dance Alliance Still Not Repaired - Support Asked For At RIRA Meeting

Image From Main Street Theater & Dance Alliance

Reported last September that:
... 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)...
 Theater Entrance Image From Main Street Theater & Dance Alliance

During the November 7 Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Meeting Public Session, the Main Street Theater & Dance Alliance (MST&DA) Board of Directors President Nina Wintringham reported that as far as she can tell, no repairs have yet been made to the premises and they are unable to use their damaged space although MST&DA has found temporary space at other Roosevelt Island locations.

A meeting with the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) is scheduled for today to discuss the matter added Ms. Wintringham.

I have asked RIOC for a comment on the situation and will update if answer is received.

Here's what Ms Wintringham had to say during the RIRA Public Session.

More on the flooding at the Theater and Jewish Congregation from earlier post.

UPDATE 11/10 Received this reply from RIOC's Spokesperson yesterday afternoon:
We had a productive meeting today with the Main Street Theater Group and Jewish Congregation. We look forward to working collaboratively with both groups in our continuing efforts to restore the premises.
I replied:
Thank you for the reply.

Can RIOC describe what efforts are being undertaken to restore the premises?
No reply from RIOC yet.

Volunteers Needed For November 22 Roosevelt Island Seniors & Disabled Thanksgiving Dinner

Would you like to help out a local Roosevelt Island organization with Thanksgiving dinner for some of your neighbors? If so, Roosevelt Island Disabled Association (RIDA) President Jim Bates

Jim Bates (on right) and Members of Roosevelt Island Disabled Association

 can use your help. Mr. Bates sends the following request to the Roosevelt Island community:
Can you ask for help out at the Roosevelt Island Disabled Association/Seniors Association Annual Thanksgiving Day dinner Nov. 22.

We need servers who will assist in helping in the serving of dinner to the disabled and seniors who will attend.

They will also help in the setting up and breaking down and cleaning up before and after the dinner.

No heavy lifting involved.

Time commitment is:
  • 1-5 pm
  • 2-6 pm
Location is the senior center located at 546 Main Street ground floor
Email Mr. Bates fdrhopememorial{at}gmail{dot}com for more information on helping out at the RIDA/RISA Thanksgiving Dinner.

Image of Rockefeller Center Turkey from The Onion

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Is There A Roosevelt Island Emergency Preparedness Response Plan? Answer Is Yes But It Is A Secret, Don't Worry Because There Is A Natural Disaster Plan That May Be Made Public We're Told

Roosevelt Island emergency preparedness was the subject of a question asked by Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council Member Ethel Fromm during the November 3, RIRA sponsored Meet The RIOC/RIRA Candidate Forum. The answer we learned from Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board Director Margie Smith is that there is an emergency preparedness plan.

Ms. Smith reported that Roosevelt Island has the resources to evacuate with the Red and NYC Bus to designated areas. If that is not sufficient, Ms. Smith added that there are water transportation evacuation plans using barges, ferries and even the Circle Line.

Former RIRA President Matt Katz noted that he had seen the plan but was bound by a non-disclosure agreement not to reveal the contents of the plan. Ms. Smith explained the reason for the secrecy being that the US Homeland Security Department does not want the Roosevelt Island emergency plan made public due to security concerns but Ms. Smith added that she thinks that the plan dealing with natural disasters, such as Hurricane Sandy, can be released.

Image of Hurricane Sandy Wave Pounding Roosevelt Island Lighthouse Park From Adib Mansour

Image of Hurricane Sandy Flooding Roosevelt Island West Promenade From Brian Dorfmann

New RIRA President Ellen Polivy said that suggestions have been made to Cornell NYC Tech (and Cornell is considering) that the design of their new campus include plans to "Shelter In Place" for the Roosevelt Island community in the event it becomes necessary in a future emergency.

Here's the Candidate's Forum discussion of Roosevelt Island Emergency Preparedness.

More on Roosevelt Island Emergency Preparedness from previous post.

Roosevelt Island Web Cameras Up And Working - Take A Look At Snowy Roosevelt Island North, South And East River New York City Skyline Views

Received a message yesterday from an out of town Roosevelt Islander reader disappointed that the Roosevelt Island web cameras were not running at the time.

Neither of the cameras on the Roosevelt Island site is working. Any plans known to bring them back? For the distant it sure is nice to see those two views occasionally. Thanks. In the scheme of things they are luxuries, so don't want to communicate this in any snarky way. : )
I know that the Roosevelt Island web cameras are very popular for Roosevelt Islanders here and away so I contacted the providers and they kindly made sure the cameras are working again.

Here's the snowy view right now of Roosevelt Island looking north towards the Octagon and East River/NYC skyline

and last night. (Click On Images To Enlarge)

Also, here the view of area surrounding the Tram Station from the RI Tram Station Live Web Camera

Click on the web cam link and you can see the Red Bus arriving/departing, people coming and going to the Tram, Water Fountain working/not working, Firefighters Field, Steam Plant etc.

Thanks to Mr. Lyon and Mr. Andrews for the views.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Did You Hear President Barack Obama Was Reelected Last Night? Here's President Obama's Election Night Victory Speech

 Image From Barack

Hey, did you hear that Barack Obama was reelected last night as President of the United States.

In case you missed it, here's election day 2012 in 100 seconds.

and President Obama's Election night victory speech.

Athena Nor'Easter Brings Cold, Wind And Snow To Roosevelt Island Today, But Firefighters Field Looks Nice From Above

It's cold, windy and really nasty out tonight but this picture from Roosevelt Island resident Eva B of a snowy Firefighters Field makes the unpleasantness almost bearable.

Walk carefully, it's slippery out there.

RIOC Board Nominee And RIRA Common Council Final Election Reports From Roosevelt Island Residents Association Elections Commitee - RIRA Common Council Meeting Tonight 8 PM Good Shepherd Community Center

 Image of RIRA and RIOC Vote Counting Tonight

 Reported last night on the results of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board Nominees and Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council elections. RIRA's Election Committee provides the following reports on the RIOC election:

The election for three RIOC Board Member seats took place at three poll sites on Roosevelt Island—455 Main Street, 888 Main Street and PS/IS 217—from 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM on November 6, 2012. A total of 1,834 ballots were cast.

The three RIOC Board seats in question are (name of incumbent and expiration date of RIOC Board appointment):
- Kathie Grimm June 10, 2013
- Michael Shinozaki June 10, 2013
- Margie Smith July 1, 2013 (seat is a mayoral recommendation)

The results of the election for the three RIOC Board seats are as follows:
Margie Smith        1,252    1st
Larry Parnes            992    2nd
Lydia Tang              984    3rd
Michael Shinozaki  794    4th

Letters describing the RIOC election results were sent today by RIRA outgoing President Matthew Katz to Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Michael Bloomberg and copied to the relevant State and City officials and elected representatives.

Respectfully submitted,

Ann Biddlecom and Mark Lyon Co‐Chairs,
RIRA Elections Committee
7 November 2012
and RIRA Common Council election.
2012 Rira Election Summary

The new RIRA Common Council is scheduled to meet 8 PM tonight at the Good Shepherd Community Center.

More Roosevelt Island Hurricane Sandy Relief Donations On Way To Rockaways Today - Drop Off Locations For Supplies Still Available At 475 Main Street And RIOC Offices

Reported previously on efforts by Roosevelt Island residents to donate and deliver necessities to people living in the Rockaways devastated by Hurricane Sandy.

Unfortunately, another storm is headed towards New York City and although it is not a Hurricane it is a very strong storm - a Nor'Easter. According to NBC New York:
Another intense storm -- this one named Athena -- is approaching the tri-state as residents who were flooded out by Sandy wait with dread amid warnings to evacuate for the second time in two weeks....
Received word this morning from Karine Wong, who organized Roosevelt Island Hurricane donations and deliveries this past weekend, that they are returning to the Rockaways today with more clothes and supplies. From Ms. Wong:
We got fuel, the truck is up

Image From Karine Wong

and running thanks to Owen, Kyle and Tim.

Image From Karine Wong

The coats and supplies are on their way to the Rockaways.

Image From Karine Wong
Hurricane Sandy donations are also being accepted in the lobby of 475 Main Street and at the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) offices. According to RIOC:
Recovery from Hurricane SANDY is moving ahead, but thousands of people, including many of our loved ones and neighbors, are still suffering from the devastation. To lend a hand to those who are in need, we have set up a collection site at our offices located at 591 Main Street. We will take in items at this location from 9 AM - 5 PM, Monday thru Friday. If you are unable to get your donated items to our offices during that time, please bring them to the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department, located at 550 Main Street anytime after 5 PM, Monday- Friday and Saturday and Sunday from 8 AM- 9 PM. Collected items will be transported to neighborhoods in NYC and NJ. Items that are currently in need:

Paper Towels
Feminine products
Canned goods
Juice Boxes
Cleaning supplies
Garbage Bags
Baby food
School Supplies
Batteries: All sizes, especially D and AA
Dog Food
Baby clothing (New or gently used)
Baby blankets (New or gently used)
Winter coats: Infant-adult sizes (New or gently used)
Hats (New or gently used)
Socks (New)
(If you are providing used clothing, please wash items before dropping them off)

We appreciate any support that you can provide. Our hearts and thoughts are with those who have suffered losses.

If you have any additional questions, please call 212-832-4540 ext# 349.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
UPDATE 4:45 PM - From Ms. Wong:
Mission accomplished. Our crew is back.

Everything was delivered into a school for families and neighborhood in urgent need.

More later

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Results Of Roosevelt Island Local Elections - RIOC Board Nominees and RIRA President/Vice President

 Image of RIRA and RIOC Vote Counting Tonight

Results are in for the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board Nominees and the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) President/Vice President. Here they are.

RIOC Board Nominees (Top 3 win)
Margie Smith - 1252 votes
Larry Parnes - 992 votes
Lydia Tang - 984 votes
Michael Shinozaki - 794 votes

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA)
President Ellen Polivy - 1426 votes (unopposed)

Vice President
Jeffrey Escobar - 799 votes
Sharon Pope - 769 votes

Total Ballots Cast 1834 cast.

Will have more including building results later.

Congratulations to the winners and thank you to all who ran.

Crowdsourcing Obama Romney 2012 Presidential Election Via Twitter From Roosevelt Island

One Voice Can Change A Nation, President Barack Obama Asks If You Are Fired Up And Ready To Go - Re-Elect Barack Obama As President Of The United States - Good Turnout At Roosevelt Island So Far Today

At President Barack Obama's final campaign rally last night in Iowa, he explains how one person can make a difference in the fate of a nation.

You Tube Video Of Fired Up And Ready To Go

That person can be you today.

If you are a supporter of President Obama, please make sure you go out and vote for him today. Also, tell your friends in swing states such as Ohio, Colorado, Wisconsin, Virginia, Florida, New Hamphshire, Iowa and North Carolina to do the same. Pennsylvania too, just to be safe.

Don't forget the hanging chads and dimple ballots fiasco from the Florida Presidential election in 2000. Every vote counts.

Voting was heavy this afternoon at Roosevelt Island's PS/IS 217.

Which is very good. There were lines but not more than a 15-20 minute wait. Scanning machines were being used instead of the manual voting booths.

UPDATE 3 PM - Received reports a few minutes ago from some residents having problems with voting scanners at Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 polling location. For example:
Just got back from 217 where 2 scanning machines were not working. The line was getting very long. I hope they can fix the machines.
Also just got back from 217. It seemed very one directing people to the right lines...some ballots weren't being accepted by scanner. I had to get 2! I can see why people get so frustrated. Using a scanner is bothersome enough, but then to have only 1 working is just crazy!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Roosevelt Island Election Polling Locations - Where Do Roosevelt Islanders Go To Vote On Tuesday, November 6

In the Presidential, State and NYC elections tomorrow, Roosevelt Island residents of the
vote at PS/IS 217 (645 Main Street).

Residents of the Octagon Building vote at Coler Hospital (900 Main Street). Residents of Southtown's 405, 415, 425 and 455 Main Street vote at Goldwater Hospital (1 Main Street).

More information on Roosevelt Island polling locations available at the NYC Board of Elections.

In the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board Of Director Nominee and Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) elections:
  • Southtown residents vote at 455 Main St. (lobby)
  • Westview, Island House, Rivercross, Roosevelt Landings and Manhattan Park residents vote at PS/IS 217 (front hallway)
  • Octagon residents vote at the Octagon (art gallery, ground floor)

Roosevelt Island Residents Donate And Deliver Necessities To People Living In Rockaways Devastated By Hurricane Sandy - RI Volunteers Helped And Made A Difference In Some LIves

Image of Roosevelt Islanders Collecting Donations For Rockaways From Karine Wong

A call was put out last Saturday by Roosevelt Island residents Tim & Karine Wong to donate items for distribution to people living in the Rockaways devastated by Hurricane Sandy. The Wong's update us on what happened:
If you ever had any doubt that you could make a difference in the world, just look at the pictures... (many more are coming in the next few days)

Image of Roosevelt Islanders Collecting Donations For Rockaways From Olya Turcihin

Image of Roosevelt Islanders Collecting Donations For Rockaways from Karine Wong

Watching the late local news Friday night and decided to send out an email to see if we could get some people to join the following morning, collect what we could and go and find some people in need…

We went Saturday with a single car of water, food and clothes into a neighborhood in the Rockaways area – part of Queens – that was really hard hit. Everyone flooded. Everyone without power. Everyone wondering why it will take weeks for any changes to occur. A lot of people are out of their homes, without power, trying to figure out what move to make next, all sorts of different situations… Some of these people have some sort of “means",  network, or back up plan. The place that we went to Saturday is different because it is clear that those living in this area do not have the means, network or any back up at all. These are people who cannot go to a local restaurant to eat when the power is out – even if there was one available.

Not a lot of cars in this area – even if there were – there is no fuel. The power is out for a several mile stretch. No stores. No gas stations. No businesses of any kind in operation. The closest area with power is JFK airport. It is several miles to walk to get to the other side of the airport before you even begin to see any areas where there is the hope of finding an open store.

So we pull up to the publicized location of a NYC food distribution center. We walk up to the people at the head of the line (there were about 50 people there at the time) and we asked if this was the spot for food distribution.

They said yes, and that if we needed something we better get in line now cause the distribution center staff arrive around noon and get set up for distributions starting at 1pm. The people there told us that in an hour or so the line would be 4 or 5 blocks long. It was 930am.

Image of Rockaway Food Distribution From Olya Turcihin

We got in our car, pulled up to the front of the line, opened the back and said, can you help us unload what we have to share… everyone joined in, helped out and shared what was there… a couple of teenagers passed on food and asked if we had any blankets… They all said thanks and we drove home.

We went back on Sunday.

Saturday, lots and lots of emails came in. People from all over met on Roosevelt Island and put together 4 very full vans of water, food, and necessities plus an additional 16 passenger van + trailer just full of clothes. We spent about 4 hours helping distribute what we had collected.

The result of word of mouth, emails, Facebook, Twitter, blogging - all connected to the Roosevelt Island community. The people from many Island businesses, plus the 30+ people who came out at 8am to help and the other 30 or so families that sent items - all contributed to make this possible. Not one monumental effort by one person, no Bill Gates or Warren Buffet here... Instead, incremental movement by a community.

Images By Olya Turcihin

The point is that even a small gesture or the smallest effort can make a difference… Nothing is too small. Any constructive activity can make a difference. Not making any attempt defines failure. It makes more sense to make an effort and define humanity.

It started with one note on Friday night. So, spread the word, everyone can find a way to help out and there are lots of different avenues to lend a hand…just find one…

There were a lot of smiles, a lot of thank you’s, and even a couple of people dispensing hugs of thanks to the many volunteers who ended up on this Rockaway corner.

None of this would be possible without the effort and interest of so many people. People who came with items to give away, people who found items in their homes that they could share, people who asked what made the most sense and then went out and got it, the people who drove from Queens with stuff that they wanted to contribute, the people who came on the F train from Manhattan to give what they had…the community around Roosevelt Island

Only about 15 miles from Roosevelt Island it seems like a whole world away.

Images From Karine Wong

Yet, the common ground was that of need, caring and ability to help. Everyone should know that the people helped today genuinely appreciate the fact that someone thought to care enough to come out there…as it is certainly a place on the lower levels of the priority list.

Tim & Karine WONG
Lynn Marfrey shares some scenes from the wreckage in the Rockaways

Images From Lynn Marfrey

and reports:
Thanks to everyone for quickly stepping in and making a difference! In case you are not able to see where the donations are going I have attached a pdf with a glimpse of what the Rockaways look like.

I wish I took more pictures but I think I was too stunned to even click the shutter!

I’m sure Roosevelt Island has already made a difference and our efforts should still continue!

Roosevelt Island Hurricane Sandy Aftermath, Octagon Management Explains Why Fuel Cell Did Not Prevent Power Outage To Building - Should Portions Of Roosevelt Island Be Categorized As NYC Evacuation Zone A Rather Than Current B?

Image Of Powerless Octagon Building During Hurricane Sandy From Olivia Rios

As previously reported, Hurricane Sandy knocked out power at Roosevelt Island's Octagon Building on Monday October 29. Here's a time lapse video showing when the Octagon lights went out at approximately 8 PM.

You Tube Video of Roosevelt Island Hurricane Sandy Time Lapse

Electricity power was restored to the Octagon on Saturday November 3.

Last night, Octagon Building management sent the following message to residents explaining the power outage chronology and why the Octagon state-of-the-art Fuel Cell 

was not able to maintain electricity for the entire building. According to Octagon building management:
Thank you all for your patience during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. This letter is meant to describe the chronology of the power outage specific to the Octagon and the fuel cell’s emergency operation.

First let me describe the normal operation of the fuel cell. The fuel cell supplies the building with 400 KW of electricity and heat around the clock. During peak times this is about enough to supply half of the building with the shortfall picked up by the solar panels and the Con Edison grid. During off-peak times, the fuel cell can supply most of the building without supplemental grid power. The building is at all times connected to the grid for supplemental power so that during normal operations there is never a power shortfall. At times the fuel cell does go out of service, like any piece of mechanical equipment, and requires maintenance. It is estimated that the fuel cell is up and running 98% of the year. When the fuel cell is out of service, the Con Edison grid picks up the full building load.

In the event of a Con Edison grid outage, the fuel cell switches to grid independent mode. This means it is still operational when the grid is down for specific life safety loads as is the emergency diesel generator, but it cannot pick up the entire building load.

During Hurricane Sandy, the Con Edison power went out at the Octagon on Monday night due to its connection to Coler Hospital’s electrical network, which was flooded. The fuel cell switched to grid-independent mode and the emergency generator came on to pick up life-safety loads.

Knowing the fuel cell had the capacity to carry more of the building’s loads, the Octagon management team arranged for the project engineer, fuel cell manufacturer, and electrician to transfer specific loads over to the fuel cell so that the building could have hot and cold water. This work was completed on Wednesday.

On Wednesday evening, Con Edison arrived to assess the power outage at Coler Hospital. It was determined that the flooding at Coler caused the power outage.Con Edison disconnected the Octagon from the Coler network so that the power at the Octagon could be restored independent of the Hospital. Thursday morning, Con Edison informed the Octagon management that an independent electrical testing agency would have to test all of the building’s switchgear, transformers, and vaults for damage prior to re-energizing. The Octagon management was able to have an agency conduct these tests Thursday afternoon with a certificate in Con Edison’s hands Thursday evening.

On Friday, the Octagon Management worked with Con Edison all day to schedule a crew to turn the power back on at the building. Further, we had our electrician onsite to ensure no problems on the building’s end once power was restored. On Friday Con Edison determined that they were sending power to the Octagon’s transformers but the building was not receiving the power, meaning there was a problem with the Con Edison transformers that would require a specific crew with our electrician’s assistance to remediate the damage.

Unfortunately, Con Edison was not able to get to the building until Saturday morning to make the repairs and restore power. Our electricians came back Saturday morning and assisted in the repair and restoration of power early Saturday afternoon. It was ultimately determined that Con Edison had faulty components in their network protectors that had to be replaced to restore the power.

We understand this was a very difficult week for all of the Octagon residents and appreciate your patience with our management team as we made every effort to make living at the building more bearable during the outage.
Here's what the East River looked like by the Octagon on October 29 just before Hurricane Sandy arrived.

One lesson learned from the Hurricane Sandy experience is that perhaps all of Roosevelt Island should not be in the Category B evacuation zone but that portions of Roosevelt island, including the area around the Octagon and Coler Hospital should be Category A.

 Roosevelt Island Lighthouse Park Under Water From Hurricane Sandy Via Kate Williams Tweet

More scenes from Roosevelt Island under water here and here.