Saturday, December 22, 2012

Roosevelt Island U.S. Flags At Half Mast This Past Week - Respect Shown

Roosevelt Island resident C. Grant shares this photo of US flag at half mast over the Octagon Building on December 21

 Image From C. Grant

and comments:
respect for today's moment.
According to Governor Cuomo's office:
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has directed that flags on state government buildings be flown at half-staff on Friday, December 21, 2012 in honor of a soldier from Baldwin who died Dec. 14 in Logar Province, Afghanistan.

Sgt. 1st Class Kevin E. Lipari, 39 as assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, based in Bamberg, Germany.

"On behalf of all New Yorkers, I send my deepest sympathy to the friends, family, and fellow soldiers of Sgt. 1st Class Lipari," Governor Cuomo said. "We regret his death but we will remember and honor his service to our nation and his dedication to duty."

Governor Cuomo has directed that the flags on all state buildings be lowered to half-staff in honor of and in tribute to our state's service members and those stationed in New York who are killed in action or die in a combat zone.
Roosevelt Island photographer Olya Turcihin shares this December 17 photo of Blackwell House Turnaround Flag at Half Mast.

Image From Olya Turcihin

According to the White House:
As a mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence perpetrated on December 14, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, December 18, 2012. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourteenth day of December, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.


Friday, December 21, 2012

Update On Roosevelt Island Giving Tree To Children Of Rockaways Community And Family Head Start Program - Presents Delivered And Thanks Received

Kai and Alex (Trellis Owners) In Front of Roosevelt Island Giving Tree At Trellis Restaurant via Karine Wong

Received update last Monday from Karine Wong, who organized Roosevelt Island relief donation and deliveries to Rockaways Community and Family Head Start School, on the Roosevelt Island Giving Tree.
Hi everybody,

As you may know we went to the Rockaways this morning to deliver all your wonderful presents. LOTS of them.

Images From Karine Wong

The principal and the staff of the school were just amazed and touched by the amount of bags and could not find words to thank us enough.
Images From Karine Wong

We agreed that they should be the ones distributing the presents to the kids and the teachers (yes we had presents for the teachers too) and they will send us photos to share with you. The principal's husband have been Santa Claus for few years now and will be again this year on our behalf.

We felt it was right not to disrupt their "routine" and thanked them on your behalf for allowing us to be part of their family.

The emotion was very high as we entered the school and walked the hallways where the little guys were sitting, reading and singing.

Hard for us not to think about what happened just few days ago in Newton in a school just like this one.

None of us could explain or put into words the feeling we all had at that particular moment and we decided to simply enjoy the moment and hug each other.

They offered to give us a tour of their first floor totally closed to the kids because of the flood and the growing mold. We can still see on the wall how high the water was. A few tables are sitting there with all the donations or I should say what's left of all your donations.

Images From Karine Wong

Families are still coming on the daily basis to pick up supplies or clothes.

2 classes have been completely closed on that floor meaning 40 kids are not able to come to school still and teachers are going from home to home to teach them.

At present, the school has made a priority of serving kids with special needs first and hopes to be able to rebuild and fix the first floor as soon as possible so all the kids can come back. It will take time effort and money.

We are hoping to share with you very shortly the smiles and the happy faces but also more news about how we intend to keep going with our project and help this school to get back on its feet. Keep in mind that this school MUST reopen fully in order for these kids to come back and for moms and dads to keep their jobs. It's like a domino effect and we are playing a very big part in this "game".
Ms Wong adds:
The school is partially open and running – serving about half of the children in need. There are some significant hurdles to overcome to get the school back into full operation. The school administration is trying to get the mold remediation done as fast as possible so that occupancy of the full building can take place.

Once that happens the long process of rebuilding the infrastructure starts. The school lost all of its infrastructure, phones, computers, office systems, offices, office equipment, desks, chairs…everything. There is partial telephone service (they can call out but others cannot call in), There are 2 classrooms functioning and some level of offices open. All the building supplies were lost, all the classroom supplies were lost, most of the class room infrastructure has been lost.

The school will close for the holidays at the end of this week. They will reopen after the new year.

We are compiling a list with the help of the school and some experts in early childhood development and education of the tools, toys and supplies that will help the school get back into full function.

We will not make another delivery until after the new year. We will make the regular Sunday collection once we get the list published – so please stay tuned and watch out for the notice.

Please have a happy and safe holiday and we look forward to the continuation of your efforts with the goal or re-supplying the school and getting them one step closer to full service and function as soon as possible.
There will be NO collection this coming sunday since the school will be closed for the Holidays. Keep checking our FB page ( and your emails for the next one right after the break.

As for the Giving Tree please keep bringing your presents to Trellis.
More on Roosevelt Island Hurricane Sandy relief efforts to the Rockaways from previous posts.

RIOC Directors Speak On Roosevelt Island Management Upheaval - NY Governor Cuomo In Control, RIOC Directors Do Not Know Why RIOC President And Vice President Resigned

Among the topics discussed at last night's Question and Answer session between Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) resident Directors and members of the community were the recent management upheavals at RIOC with the unexplained departures of former President Leslie Torres and former Vice President of Operations Fernando Martinez.

Residents expressed concern about the lack of management running Roosevelt Island.

RIOC Director David Kraut said that there was an upcoming RIOC Governance Committee meeting that will address executive staff issues.

RIOC Director Margie Smith was more forthcoming expressing frustration because:

... We're in a tough position ... we hear things in Executive Session that we can't say to anybody...
and that Governor Cuomo is:
... very much in control of what's going on, he's now looking at Public Authorities...
... we see Leslie resigning, we see Fernando resigning. We don't know if there was something behind the resignation or they chose to resign. They didn't share that information with us. there's not much we can do about it
... we're trying to get those positions filled ... we're trying to keep this place running to the degree we can...
Here's the discussion on Roosevelt Island management upheaval.

More information on Roosevelt Island management upheavals from previous posts.

Will have full video of RIOC resident Directors Question and Answer session with residents soon. Here's previous Q&A session with resident Directors from May 2012.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Did You See Strange Circling Lights Over Roosevelt Island And New York City East River Waterfront Tonight?

At approximately 9:45 PM tonight, I was walking near the Roosevelt Island subway and Riverwalk Commons when I looked up in the sky and saw two lights rapidly circling each other.

Another person who saw the lights speculated that it might be the Bat Signal, or more ominously, the end of the world.

Did you see the Lights too? What the heck was it?

Roosevelt Island Questions & Answers With RIOC Directors Tonight 8 PM Following RIOC Board Meeting

Do you have any questions or comments regarding how Roosevelt Island is governed? If so, tonight is an opportunity to get answers from some of your neighbors, the resident members of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors, to your concerns. RIOC Board Members will be conducting a question and answer session with residents tonight starting at 8 PM following the RIOC Board meeting.

 According to the Agenda for RIOC Board Meeting tonight:
A question and answer session with general public and certain Board members will commence at 8:00 p.m.
A similar question and answer meeting between RIOC Directors and Roosevelt Island residents took place last May. Here's an excerpt of what happened

and the full meeting is here.

The full Agenda is below:

5:30 P.M.1

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call
III. Approval of Minutes
1. September 20, 2012 Board Meeting (Board Action Required)
2. October 3, 2012 Special Board Meeting (Board Action Required)
3. October 25, 2012 Special Board Meeting (Board Action Required)
IV. Old Business
V. New Business
1. Approval of the Proposed RIOC Budget for Fiscal Year 2013-2014 (Materials to Follow - Board Action Required)
2. 2013 Meetings of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation Board of Directors (Board Action Required)
3. Authorization to Enter into Contract with ENVAC for On-Call AVAC Repair Services (Board Action Required)
4. Authorization to Enter into Contract with Nelson & Pope Engineers & Surveyors, PLLC for Blackwell House Mechanical, Engineering and Plumbing Re-Design (Board Action Required)
5. Authorization to Enter into Contract with Scientific Electric Company, Inc. for Electrical Installation at Motorgate Garage (Board Action Required)
6. Ratification of Change Order to Contract with Shawn Construction, Inc. for Waterproofing of Motorgate Garage
(Board Action Required)
7. Authorization to Enter into Amendment of License Agreement for Octagon Composting Area
(Board Action Required)
8. Authorization to Enter into Side Letter Agreement with New York City Public Library (NYCPL) in Connection with the Lease Agreement between NYCPL and Hudson Related Retail, LLC for 504 Main Street
(Board Action Required)
9. Authorization to Enter into Contract with FDR Four Freedoms Park, LLC for Maintenance Services for the FDR Four Freedoms Park (Board Action Required)
10. Ratification of Change Order to Contract with Quintal Contracting Corp. for Motorgate Ramp Drainage Improvements (Board Action Required)
11. President's Report
12. Committee Reports
a. Audit Committee
b. Governance Committee
c. Operations Advisory Committee
d. Real Estate Development Advisory Committee
13. Public Safety Report
VI. Adjournment

A question and answer session with general public and certain Board members will commence at 8:00 p.m.
Come ask your questions.

Roosevelt Island Cornell NYC Tech Land Use Application Overwhelmingly Approved By Community Board 8 Wednesday Night ... With Conditions - ULURP Land Use Process Continues, Next Step Borough President, City Planning Commission and City Council

The Cornell NYC Tech Roosevelt Island Land Use Application passed its first test of the NYC Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) Wednesday night with the overwhelming approval of Community Board 8 (CB 8). The vote was 32 in support, one opposed, 3 abstaining and 1 not voting though there was an exhaustive list of conditions attached to the approval resolution representing the concerns of Roosevelt Island residents and the Roosevelt Island Community Coalition (RICC)

Here's  Part 1 of what happened beginning with a brief review of the project by Cornell NYC Tech VP Cathy Dove followed by CB 8 members discussing the resolution including conditions

and Part 2 (about 1 minute is missing between Parts 1 and 2)

According to the ULURP process, CB 8's approval has no decision making authority but its recommendations are advisory and establishes a record as part of the ongoing ULURP process.

Cornell's ULURP Land Use Application now goes on for review by the Manhattan Borough President's office, Planning Commission, NYC Council and the Mayor's office.

Will have more later including the CB 8 Approval Resolution, with conditions, and statement form Cornell NYC Tech.

Stay tuned.

Received this statement from RICC Co-Chair, CB 8 member and Roosevelt Island Residents Association President (RIRA) Ellen Polivy:
Congratulations to all the Island organizations who are members of the Roosevelt Island Community Coalition (RICC) for thinking through your needs and expectations,  read the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and spoke at the public hearings. Thanks to the RICC Board who spent hundreds of hours compiling and organizing and fought so hard at all the hearings and meetings to give Cornell an accurate picture of our community and our expectations. And thanks to the Roosevelt Island CB8 members who accurately represented the Community's concerns in writing the report that was voted on tonight. Cathy Dove's speech was a beautiful example of what can happen when a big development and a community works together. Tonight's vote was a win for everyone. We've got a long way to go, but we have a good start.
Ms. Polivy adds:
Here is the draft report that we voted on with a minor friendly amendment that requests that Cornell take the community's requests into account when dealing with parking spaces. The official document will be produced in a few days and you can replace this with that when we get it.

The other is a nice letter from Cathy Dove in response to our last meeting.

Tonight the Community showed its power. Thanks to RICC, Larry Parnes, Jeff Escobar and I were able to write a very good report that passed the Community Board overwhelmingly. It was a very successful document that creates a win-win-win-win. Everyone is happy right now. Us, Cornell, the elected officials....

The RICC Board is continuing our conversations with Cornell and Jessica Lappin and soon will be meeting with Scott Stringer's office for another stage in the process. It will be important for the City Planning hearings to get a huge showing from the Island.
The CB 8 Draft resolution with conditions set forth is here. It was approved with the addition of a "friendly amendment" not yet available in printed form. The "friendly amendment" was a recommendation to Cornell to increase the number of planned parking spaces for the project which Cornell wishes to limit in order not to encourage increased automobile traffic on Roosevelt Island. (Will have more on this subject soon)

Cornell NYC Tech VP Cathy Dove's letter to CB 8 is here. An excerpt:
On behalf of the entire Cornell community, many thanks to the members of the Community Board Task Force and the numerous residents, community groups and civic organizations of Roosevelt Island that we have met with over the past several months. Our meetings with the community began even prior to being named as the university who will build this transformational campus. To date, our Cornell team has participated in dozens of meetings with members of the Community Board, the Roosevelt Island Task Force, and various Roosevelt Island organizations including the Roosevelt Island Community Coalition (RICC). These meetings have been extremely informative, and will help ensure that Cornell is the best neighbor possible to the Roosevelt Island community

As part of this process, Cornell has received a number of questions from Roosevelt Island residents, board members, and organizations, and has responded in detail to those questions in forums, as well as in two separate documents. Those questions ranged from questions on the environmental review, to questions about the land use proposal and campus plans, to questions about Cornell’s role in the broader Roosevelt Island community. While we understand that the Community Board Office has distributed the written questions and our responses, we are also attaching them to this memo.

At the last public hearing, Linda Heimer did a wonderful job of summarizing resident questions and concerns. She appropriately recognized that Cornell cannot “fix everything on the Island,” but wants to make sure that we work closely with the community and “support positive improvements.” We completely agree and are committed to doing so.....
The written responses from Cornell NYC Tech referenced by Ms. Dove are here and Cornell NYC Tech Press release is below.
Manhattan Community Board 8 approved Cornell Tech’s Roosevelt Island Campus plan last night as part of New York City’s public land use review process. The plan now continues through the process with review by the Manhattan Borough President, followed by the City Planning Commission and City Council. The Community Board’s approval came exactly one year after Cornell University, with its academic partner the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, was selected by the City to develop the applied science and engineering campus. The Roosevelt Island campus will sit on a 12-acre site and is slated to open in2017, with full build out in 2037.

“Roosevelt Island has a fantastic history of innovation and civic participation, and we were still gratified by the interest and support of so many Islanders from day 1,” said Cornell Tech Vice President Cathy Dove. “We are appreciative for the support of our new neighbors and assure them that the construction and operation of the campus will be handled in a way that protects, respects and welcomes the rest of the Island. We look forward to continuing the dialogue about this innovative new campus with New Yorkers during the public review process and beyond.”

The Community Board approval caps a first year full of milestones for Cornell Tech, which will welcome its first “beta” class of students in January:

· Leadership Put in Place: In February, Dan Huttenlocher and Cathy Dove were chosen as co-leaders of the campus, and Craig Gotsman was chosen to lead the Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute. Soon after, former Twitter CTO Greg Pass joined Cornell Tech as the founding Entrepreneurial Officer to lead the campus’ collaboration with the tech industry and Deborah Estrin, an applied sciencetech pioneer, became the first full-time faculty member.

· Three of the world’s leading tech entrepreneurs – Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Qualcomm Founder Irwin Jacobs, and Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt – announced in September that they will provide ongoing guidance on the programmatic and physical development to help shape the vision for the campus.

· Temporary Campus Opens: Google allocated space in its Chelsea building free of charge to Cornell Tech while the university completes its campus on Roosevelt Island. The space allowed Cornell to launch its presence in NY in close proximity to tech companies and entrepreneurs with whom it will collaborate.

· Campus Plan Developed: Pritzker Prize-winning architect Thom Mayne of Morphosis was chosen to design the first academic building for the planned campus on Roosevelt Island. The 150,000-square-foot building will serve as the flagship academic structure for the new campus. Other award-winning architects are contributing to the campus - the campus plan is being designed by Skidmore,Owings and Merrill and the landscape architect is James Corner Field Operations.

· Academic Programs Launched: Classes will start in January 2013 at the Chelsea campus for a “beta” class of computer science Masters of Engineering students.

· Partnership Formed with Dept. of Commerce: Cornell Tech announced a partnership with the U.S. Commerce Department to give students and researchers direct access to resources that will help them bring their ideas to market and grow their businesses.

“This is such an exciting time and place to be launching Cornell Tech, with the support of the City, our neighbors and the tech community,” said Cornell Tech Dean Dan Huttenlocher. “When our beta class arrives in January we’ll be debuting a new curriculum built on academic excellence, interdisciplinary focus and entrepreneurial spirit, all with the goal of spurring innovation and supporting economic growth in New York and beyond.”

Cornell Tech’s new campus is offering a distinctive model of graduate tech education that fuses educational excellence with real-world commercial applications and entrepreneurship, rooted in the latest academic research. Students, faculty and industry experts will learn and work together to launch ideas and create new ventures that have global impact. The campus will attract the best and brightest in technology, immerse them in an entrepreneurial culture with deep ties to the local business community, and spur the creation of new companies and new industries in New York City. The campus master plan reflects Cornell Tech’s commitment to innovation not only in the academic program for the campus but also in its physical development. The new campus will include up to 2.1 million square feet of development, housing approximately 2,000 full-time graduate students, by full build-out in 2037. The first phase will include up to 790,000 square feet of development, including the first academic building and reflecting all of the uses that will be in place at full build-out.
As Ms. Polivy stated, there is still lots to be done.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Roosevelt Island Management Upheavals Continue, RIOC Parks and Recreation Manager Out - What's Coming Next?

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) management upheavals continue today although not on the Senior Level staff as has happened twice in the last several months. Today, I sent the following inquiry to Acting RIOC President Don Lewis and the RIOC Board of Directors:
I understand that Parks and Recreation Manager Michael Smith has resigned or been fired from RIOC. Is that true?

Does RIOC have any comment on the departure of Mr Smith and the continuing management upheaval at RIOC?

Also, is Mr Smith's departure related in any way to the departure of former RIOC president Leslie Torres or former Vice President of Operations Fernando Martinez....
RIOC's Press Spokesperson replied:
We can confirm that Michael Smith is no longer with RIOC.
As previously reported:
... There have been rumors flying around Roosevelt Island for awhile about big changes coming to RIOC, particularly since:
Also, departing this month from RIOC was the Vice President of Operations, Fernando Martinez, without an explanation for the reason.

During RIOC Real Estate Committee meeting discussion yesterday on allocation of Roosevelt Island Community Space, I asked whether there were any inquiries by NY State investigatory bodies on dispostion of Roosevelt Island real estate. Acting RIOC President Don Lewis said not that he was aware of but RIOC Director Howard Polivy added that all NY State Public Authorities are now under heightened scrutiny though he did not know the reason for it.

Here's the exchange.

RIOC certainly appears to be under heightened scrutiny.

Also, here's the audio web cast of the full RIOC December 18 Real Estate Committee meeting.

Roosevelt Island's NYC Council Member Jessica Lappin Announces Run For 2013 Manhattan Borough President

Roosevelt Island's NYC Council Member Jessica Lappin announced last Friday that she will be seeking the 2013 Democratic Party nomination for Manhattan Borough President. Here's Ms. Lappin's announcement.

Among the supporters of Ms. Lappin at Friday's announcement were Roosevelt Island residents Howard and Ellen Polivy, Margie Smith and Jonathan Kalkin. Ms. Smith and Mr. Polivy are members of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors, Ms Polivy is the new President of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) and Mr. Kalkin is a former RIOC Director.

According to this Press Release from Ms. Lappin's campaign:

Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney and Assemblymembers Micah Kellner and Dan Quart today endorsed City Councilmember Jessica Lappin to be Manhattan’s next Borough President.

“Jessica Lappin understands that no issue is more important for Manhattan than creating new jobs and spurring economic development,” Maloney said. “And she has a record that shows she knows how to do it. She played a key role in bringing the Cornell-Technion Applied Sciences and Engineering campus to Roosevelt Island, which is expected to create more than 30,000 high-tech jobs over the next three decades.”

Congresswoman Maloney also pointed to the Biotech Tax Credit that Jessica authored, and was just renewed, which has helped keep good, cutting-edge jobs in Manhattan and throughout the City.

“Jessica has led the fight to reduce overcrowding in our schools and reduce class sizes by overseeing the approval of 20,000 new classroom seats across the City,” Maloney said. “And she played a key role in opening three brand new elementary schools on the East Side, including PS 151, which we’re standing in front of today.”

Maloney added: “Jessica has also been a champion of reform and progressive causes—from her landmark law to regulate crisis pregnancy centers to her support for marriage equality to her leadership strengthen- ing New York City’s model campaign finance program which I’m proud to have helped create.”

“I am proud to stand here with Assemblymembers Micah Kellner and Dan Quart and so many other community leaders and endorse Jessica Lappin for Manhattan Borough President.”

Assemblyman Micah Kellner highlighted Councilmember Lappin’s commitment to building and pre- serving affordable housing in Manhattan. “Jessica has worked tirelessly to ensure that buildings on Roos- evelt Island remain permanently affordable,” Kellner said. “And she is a strong voice for tenants and for strengthening New York’s rent protection laws that are so critical for keeping Manhattan affordable for the middle class.”

“Jessica Lappin has taken the lead on so many key environmental issues,” Assemblyman Dan Quart noted. “From securing funding for three new waterfront parks in Manhattan to writing the laws that created textile recycling and street corner recycling in Manhattan, Jessica has moved the city forward and made a real difference in improving our quality of life.”

Jessica Lappin was elected to the City Council (5th District) in 2005 and represents Manhattan’s East Side and Roosevelt Island. She serves as Chair of the City Council’s Committee on Aging and also serves on the Education, Transportation, Cultural Affairs, and Land Use Committees. Jessica has received numerous honors and awards for her leadership on neighborhood preservation and the arts. In addition, last year she was chosen to be a Rodel Fellow by the Aspen Institute, a respected international think-tank focused on helping young leaders forge new solutions to pressing governmental problems.

Jessica is a lifelong New Yorker and a graduate of New York City’s public schools. She received a Regents Diploma from Stuyvesant High School and a B.A. in Government from Georgetown University, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude.

Jessica is married and lives in East Midtown with her husband and two sons.
Here's Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney's enthusiastic endorsement of Ms Lappin for Manhattan Borough President

as well as endorsements from Assembly Member Micah Kellner and Dan Quart.

According to DNA Info:
... Lappin is expected to face a crowded field, including Upper Manhattan City Councilman Robert Jackson, former Community Board 1 Chairwoman Julie Menin and Upper West Side City Councilwoman Gale Brewer, in a contentious battle to replace outgoing Borough President Scott Stringer, who is running for comptroller...

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Roosevelt Island Larceny Reported Yesterday Near Fire Station - RIOC Refuses To Provide Relevant Information, Again

I sent the following inquiry earlier today to Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Acting President Don Lewis and Public Safety Department Director Keith Guerra:

The Roosevelt Island Public Safety report for 12/17 - 18 indicates
12/17 - 1452 - Opp 750 Main St - Larceny - NYPD Filed a report
Where is 750 Main Street - is that opposite Octagon Field, Tennis Court etc?

Also, what was the age and gender of the victim and subject.

What was the item stolen.

Please provide any other relevant information so that the community is aware of what happened.

Thank you.
RIOC's Press Spokesperson replied:
The FDNY firehouse is 750 Main St.
Nothing else.

View Larger Map

According to NY State Penal Law:
S 155.05 Larceny; defined.
1. A person steals property and commits larceny when, with intent to deprive another of property or to appropriate the same to himself or to a third person, he wrongfully takes, obtains or withholds such property from an owner thereof.
Very little info from RIOC, again.

Roosevelt Island Finally Getting An Ice Cream Store - Coach Scot's Main Street Sweets Grand Opening Tomorrow December 19

What's the latest on Roosevelt Island Main Street retail stores? I asked that question of Hudson Related's David Kramer (the Main Street Master Leaseholder) last Thursday who reported:

The wine store got its liquor license recently. I think the ice cream store and market are going to open shortly. We’re working on a bunch of things, but nothing until they’re finalized.
The ice cream store is indeed about to open - tomorrow. According to Roosevelt Island resident Scot Bobo, owner of Coach Scot's Main Street Sweets:
Grand Opening December 19, 7am!

The place is looking great!
and they will be serving
The Best Ice Creams, Yogurt, Hot Drinks, Breakfast Foods, and Delicious Low-Cal Alternatives

As soon as tomorrow, Roosevelt Island will have its very own ice cream store to enjoy like this young man had during a recent training session

 at Coach Scot's

Main Street Sweets.

Good luck with your new business Scot!!!

Le'ts get the other stores open soon as well!!!! Please.

Monday, December 17, 2012

2 Roosevelt Island Arrests For Criminal Weapon Possession This Weekend - RIOC Refuses To Say What Type Of Weapon

I sent the following inquiry to Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Acting President Don Lewis, Public Safety Director Keith Guerra and RIOC Directors this morning

The 12/15/16 Daily Public Safety Report lists 2 incidents regarding arrests for possession of a weapon this past weekend.
12/15 - 0000 - F/O 200 Main St - Criminal Poss of a Weapon - Criminal Poss of Marijuana - PSD arrested two subjects

12/16 - 0503 - 4 Riverroad - Assault - Criminal Poss of a Weapon - Obstructing Governmental Administration - PSD arrested three subjects and 6 issued c summonses and 2 released to their parents.
Please provide information on these incidents including:

1- What weapons were involved in these incidents,

2- was anybody injured,

3 - did the incidents take place in the buildings or on the street,

4- what time of day

5- were Roosevelt Island residents involved

6- were the two incidents related and

any other relevant information.

I will be publishing post on this today so please let me know if you wish to make any further comment.
Later in the day, I sent this inquiry:
As a follow up to earlier weapons possession email inquiry, were these Disorderly Conduct arrests for 12/15 -16 related to the weapons possession arrests?
12/16 - 0300 - 550 Main St - Disorderly Conduct - PSD arrested subject

12/16 - 0330 - 4 Riverroad - Disorderly Conduct - PSD arrested three subjects
Please provide details on these incidents as well.
RIOC's Press Spokesperson replied:
Both of the 4 River Rd. incidents initiated from the same fight. There were two minor injuries. The 550 Main St. incident was related in that the subject who engaged in the disorderly conduct had come from the 4 River Rd. incident on his own. The 200 Main St. incident was unrelated and resulted in no injuries. The time of each incident is provided in the report.
I followed up with:
Will there be any comment on the weapons possession incident I asked about as well?
The answer from RIOC Press Spokesperson:
Both weapons possession incidents are referred to in our response to your previous email. RIOC has no any additional statement about those incidents.
So, RIOC is silent as to whether the criminal weapon possession arrests were for a gun, knife or something else.

I also asked RIOC about this incident:
The 12/16 -17 Public Safety Report indicates
12/16/12 - 2230 - 540 Main St - Forcible Touching - NYPD filed a report.
What is a "forcible touching". Was there an arrest?

Please provide additional details as to what happened.
No reply yet from RIOC.

Hot Food Delivered And Served For Howard Beach Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts By Roosevelt Island Residents Association And NY State Senator Jose Serrano

RIRA and Senator Serrano Hurricane Sandy Hot Food Relief Effort In Howard Beach Last Saturday

Reported previously of efforts by the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) and Roosevelt Island's NY State Senator Jose Serrano to help after Hurricane Sandy by donating and serving hot meals to those in need.

Last Saturday a busload

Image From Romano Reid

of Roosevelt Island residents together with staff from Senator Serrano's office went to Howard Beach in Queens. Senator Serrano's staffer Justin Rush reports on what happened:
Senator Serrano and the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA)

RIRA's Romano Reid And Ellen Polivy with Cordell Reid

sponsored a Hurricane Sandy Relief event today in Howard Beach. The event was sparked by Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, who represents sections of Queens, identifying his district as one hit particularly hard by the storm. In response, a call for volunteers was issued by Senator Serrano and RIRA; the result leading to the donation and distribution of hot meals to those in need at the West Hamilton Beach Firehouse in Howard Beach.

Image From Romano Reid

“It is very important that when New Yorkers are in need, fellow New Yorkers are ready and willing to help,” said Senator Serrano. “Though Hurricane Sandy occurred over a month ago, there are still people suffering and unable to receive hot meals and other resources.

Today we stand with members of the Howard Beach community to help heal and rebuild.

Image From Romano Reid

Many thanks to Ellen Polivy, President of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association, for helping coordinate the event, as well as all other volunteers for your time and efforts,” continued Serrano.

Image From Romano Reid
By the end of the day 68 people received a hot meal from the Roosevelt Island volunteers and some families and volunteer firemen had enough leftovers to last a few days

RIRA's Romano Reid, an organizer of the Roosevelt Island/Howard Beach relief effort, adds:
I would like to acknowledge all the residents of the Island who have taken time out of their schedules to either cook a pan of hot food or contributed countless hours in volunteering for this Hurricane relief effort in Howard Beach. I would like to also personally thank the office of Senator Jose M. Serrano for assisting residents of Roosevelt Island in spearheading this event."We had a ball"...

Thanks To the Staff Of Senator Serrano:

Gregory Meyer
Justin Rush

and Special Thanks to John Catsimatidis (Owner of Roosevelt Island's Gristides Mega Food store)

Also, Extended Thanks to :

Laila Amatullah
Ellen Polivy,
Barbara Allen
Ethel Romm
Julie Polermo
Julina Hooks
Erin Feeley Nahem
Juyana Armstrong
Sharon pope
Lynn Shinozaki
Francesca Whittaker
Maureen Leong

PS: I hope to work with our community Elected officials to coordinate another event at some point in the very near future.

RIOC Real Estate Committee Meeting Tomorrow - Roosevelt Island Community Space and Cultural Center Flooding On Public Agenda, Cornell NYC Tech, Steam Plant, Main Street Retail Progress and Westview Privatization Discussed In Executive Session Without Public Present

 According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC)
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a meeting of the Real Estate Development Advisory Committee of the RIOC Board of Directors will be held on Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 4:30 p.m. at the RIOC administrative office, 591 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York.


1. Discussion Concerning Issues With Provision of Community Space
2. Update on 548 Main Street Cultural Center Rehabilitation
3. Chair's Motion for Executive Session for Update on Pending Negotiations Regarding
a) Cornell NYC
b) Steam Plant
c) Main Street Retail Progress
d) Westview
4. Any Other Committee Business That May be Brought Before the Committee

The Open Meetings Law of the State of New York requires that all public bodies conduct meetings, convened for the purpose of officially conducting public business, in a manner open to attendance by the general public to observe and listen.
An audio web cast of the Public Session will be available a few days after the meeting.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Report From RIOC Acting President Don Lewis - Roosevelt Island Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony, Donations To Hurricane Sandy Victims, Main Street Construction, Meditation Steps Resotoration & Public Purpose Funds

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Acting President Don Lewis sends the following report to Roosevelt Island residents.
Our annual Tree Lighting event last weekend was a festive way to kick off the holiday season. Undeterred by the rainy weather and fueled by the Roosevelt Island positive energy, the event took place as scheduled and turned out to be yet another fun filled and joyous holiday Island occasion. Thank you to both the Main Street Theater and Dance Alliance and the youngsters from the Roosevelt Island Youth Center for their terrific performances, as well as RIOC’s own Erica Spencer-EL whose efforts were integral to making the event such a success. Last but not least, thank you to Santa for making a special appearance and spreading his holiday cheer.

Update on Donations to Sandy Victims

In a previous column, I mentioned the formation of a partnership between RIOC and Team Rubicon USA to help individuals in New York City who are suffering as a result of the storm. By way of update, the response from the Roosevelt Island community continues to be outstanding. With the assistance of Team Rubicon and various Island organizations, we have delivered over 200 bags of food, clothes and other items to heavily affected areas such as the Rockaways. There is still work to be done and if you would like to still contribute to our continuing efforts, please drop off items for donation between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday at our 591 Main Street office. For more information, please call 212-832-4540 ext 349.

Main Street Reconstruction Complete

We are delighted to report that Phase II of our Main Street Reconstruction Project was completed on November 26, more than three months ahead of schedule. During Phase I, which was completed in 2009, we replaced Z-Bricks with asphalt pavement on the roadway from 40 River Road to the Fire House Station. Phase II continued the same work from 40 River Road to the bottom of the Helix ramp. The asphalt surface is better equipped to handle heavy vehicle traffic, as well as unfavorable elements, and also requires less maintenance.

Meditation Steps Restoration Complete

We are also pleased to announce that the Meditation Steps reopened last month. While we hoped the steps would have reopened earlier, the contractors encountered certain unforeseen structural conditions, but overcame the same to deliver a beautiful finished product. The sidewalk above the steps has also been repaired and in the near future, the surrounding lighting will be enhanced. The views of the East River and the Manhattan skyline are as breathtaking as ever, but now the restored steps provide a perfect place for Island residents and visitors to take in the amazing views.

Applications for Public Purpose Funds

The 2013 application for Public Purpose Funds are now available online. Public Purpose Funds are allocated to not-for-profit organizations that provide services that enhance the quality of life of the Roosevelt Island community. To obtain a copy of the application and to review current guidelines, visit The deadline to apply for Public Purpose Funds is Friday, January 11, 2013 at 5:00 pm.