Friday, January 18, 2013

No Roosevelt Island F Train Service From Manhattan This Weekend And Next - How About A Trampoline Bridge Crossing East River Instead?

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
The MTA has advised there will be No weekend Queens - bound F-trains on the following dates:

9:45 PM Friday, January 18th to 5:00 AM Monday, January 21st


9:45 PM Friday, January 25th to 5:00 AM Monday, 28th

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

For more information please visit or call 511.
More subway service disruption information available from the MTA's Weekender. 

Perhaps some day there will be a bridge connecting Roosevelt Island to Manhattan and/or Queens making these subway service disruptions less inconvenient.

For example, here's a design proposal for a bridge over the Seine River in Paris - an inflatable, trampoline bridge.

Looks like a fun way to get across the East River from Roosevelt Island to Manhattan too.

Roosevelt Island Mom Gets Quick Action From RIOC To Fix Broken Swing At Tot Lot

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council Member and Mom Eva Bosbach shares this request she sent two days ago to Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Acting President Don Lewis:

I would like to inform you about a broken swing at the tot lot (the play ground for children of 2-5 years of age close to the Blackwell house) and kindly ask that you let it repair by RIOC as soon as possible.

I am writing to you on behalf of the Roosevelt Island Parents Network (currently 110 families here on the island), of the moms of the Island Kids baby group, as a RIRA Common Council representative for Southtown and a member of the RIRA Island Services committee....

... This swing has been broken for more than a year now. I am attaching a picture. Please let me know if you need any other information.

Thank you very much,
Here's the broken swing

What happened? Well the swing got fixed the next day

 and Ms. Bosbach sent a note of appreciation to Mr. Lewis:
I am getting reports from moms that the swing has just been fixed. I thank you on behalf of all Roosevelt Island parents for this quick and helpful reaction!....
If only all Roosevelt Island issues could be solved so quickly.

Corruption, Dissent, Public and Private Morality - Come Visit Vienna of Early 1960's With Island Shakespeare Immersive Presentation Of Measure For Measure At Good Shepherd Chapel Starting Tomorrow Night And Next 3 Weekends

Island Shakespeare's production of Measure For Measure opens tomorrow night at the Good Shepherd Chapel and will continue for the next 3 weekends. According to Island Shakespeare:

Showtimes for Measure for Measure

Saturday January 19th 8:00 PM
Sunday January 20th 8:00 PM

Saturday January 26th 8:00 PM
Sunday January 27th 8:00 PM

Saturday February 2nd 8:00 PM
Sunday February 3rd 8:00 PM

Saturday February 9th 8:00 PM
Sunday February 10th 8:00 PM

Tickets Are Available Now!

Click here to purchase tickets!
As reported in this previous post:

Last summer, Roosevelt Island's local resident theater company Island Shakespeare took us on a trip to Garibaldi's Italy of 1860 with their wonderful outdoor production of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing at the Eastwood Amphitheater. Director Thomas Kee explained the setting.

Starting this coming January 19, Island Shakespeare will again whisk us off to another time and place, this time Vienna in the 1960's, with their immersive presentation of Shakespeare's Measure for Measure at Roosevelt Island's historic Good Shepherd Chapel.

Island Shakespeare describes the performance as:

Island Shakespeare presents an immersion exploration of "Measure for Measure" by William Shakespeare.

Vienna in the early 60's is the "IT" city of Europe, the intersection of elegant classicism and blossoming counter culture. You're a stranger, an outsider, and you are about to witness the facade crumble. Whether you follow the music, follow the story or simply explore the beautiful 19th century stone chapel, everywhere you encounter Shakespeare's tale of corruption and comic dissent.

Kristi Artinian directs a veteran cast of company members and new aspirants to Island Shakespeare's unique brand of story driven environmental theatre. Audiences familiar with their previous production of "Much Ado" will recognize their signature approach of delivering a crystal clear, utterly accessible version of the play while immersing the audience in a thoroughly  dimensional world that transports them the minute they enter the space.

"The quartet leads you into this beautiful sanctuary (the historic Chapel of the Good Shepherd on Roosevelt Island) but if you wander off you'll find yourself in a jail cell, or an illegal bar or brothel. It's full of counterpoints." says Kristi Artinian, artistic director of Island Shakespeare and graduate of RADA. The acting company features performances by Brian Keith MacDonald (The Merchant of Venice with Al Pacino) as Angelo, Carl Danielsen (Stratford Festival) as the Duke and Patrick Toon (NJ Shakes) as Barnadine.

"Measure for Measure" performs Saturdays and Sundays at 8pm beginning January 19 and closing February 10 at the Chapel of the Good Shepherd an unmissable historic site in the middle of Roosevelt Island. Just one stop out on the F train from 63d & Lex. Or take the Tram like Spiderman. Directions available

Only a limited number of people are admitted to each performance. Booking is recommended online or (866) 811-4111

These actors are appearing courtesy of Actor's Equity Association.

Equity approved showcase.
Ticket information is here and scenes from Island Shakespeare's summer performance of Much Ado About Nothing here.

Chicago's Goodman Theatre Artistic Director and director Robert Falls talks about why he thinks MEASURE FOR MEASURE is one of Shakespeare's greatest plays.

I am very much looking forward to seeing Island Shakespeare's version of Measure for Measure at the Good Shepherd Chapel here on Roosevelt Island.
Hope to see you at Island Shakespeare's Measure For Measure.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Don't Be Alarmed By Sound Of Weapons Being Fired - Person Of Interest Television Show Filming Friday and Tuesday At Roosevelt Island's Good Shepherd Plaza and Motorgate Garage

According the the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):

Please be advised the CBS television action drama series Person of Interest will be filming at the Good Shepherd Plaza AND at the Motorgate Parking Garage on Friday January 18th from 7 AM to 4 PM. Filming will also take place on Tuesday, January 22nd.

Good Shepherd Plaza- Main street traffic will only be interrupted during actual filming, typically lasting 1 - 2 minutes per "take", which will occur intermittently throughout the day. Public Safety will be on-site and will direct traffic as needed.

Motorgate Parking Garage- filming will take place on the ground level of the garage from 7 AM to 3 PM and will include scenes involving actors using blank-fire adapted weapons. There will be several FDNY and NYPD vehicles as well as safety personnel on site monitoring the entire perimeter.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
More on Roosevelt Island TV and film shooting from previous posts including the very friendly Matt Bomer

and the White Collar crew in 2011.

Has Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Board Been Lax In Duty Of Monitoring And Oversight Of RIOC - Directors Discuss Issue, What's Going On? Full RIOC Board Meeting Later Tonight

During January 9 Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Operations Committee meeting discussion (full audio webcast of meeting is here)  on awarding a contract for the Steel Boat Restoration Project, RIOC Director Michael Shinozaki asked a question that made me and others in attendance think "WHAT IS THAT ALL ABOUT"? Mr. Shinozaki asked:

... all things considered given recent events are we 100% confident this contractor and their employees in no way shape or form have any form of relationship with anyone currently working on the Island or employee of RIOC in any way shape or form whatsoever....
RIOC Director of Engineering Alex Snedkov replied that in his department nobody has any relationship with this contractor or any contractor.

RIOC Director David Kraut said there is no reason in the world to assume there is any relationship.

Here's the exchange.

A few minutes later Acting RIOC President Donald Lewis responded to Mr. Shinozaki's question saying:
we have considered those issues... we are being mindful of that... that stuff has been looked into...

Later, Mr. Shinozaki added that:
... the Board has not been providing correct oversight of the Corporation...
which Mr. Kraut agreed with but RIOC Director Margie Smith did not.

Given the recent management upheavals at RIOC, I asked what the recent events alluded to during the discussion was all about but received no comment from Mr. Shinozaki, other Board members and RIOC staff present.

My question incorrectly referenced the RIOC board. I should have asked about RIOC employees and anyone working on the Island.

The full audio web cast of January 9 RIOC Operations Committee meeting is here.

The RIOC Board of Directors will be meeting later today. Here's the Agenda:

5:30 P.M.

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call
III. Approval of Minutes
1. December 20, 2012 Board Meeting (Board Action Required)
IV. Old Business
V. New Business
1. Presentation of the FY 2012-2013 QTR 3 Procurement Report
2. Authorization of Modification of the Schedule of the 2013 Meetings of the Roosevelt Island Operating
Corporation Board of Directors (Board Action Required)
3. Authorization to Enter into the Fourth Amendment of the Southtown Development Agreement
(Board Action Required)
4. Approval of Change Order to Contract with Scientific Electric Company, Inc. for Lighthouse Park Electric &
Lighting Restoration Project (Board Action Required)
5. Approval of Change Order to Contract with Meli Contracting Co. Inc. for Restoration of the Steel Boat
Sculpture (Board Action Required)
6. Ratification of Contract with Quintal Contracting Corp. for the AVAC Piping Repairs
(Materials to Follow - Board Action Required)
7. Authorization to Enter into Contract with Steve Di Sisto General Contractors, Inc. for Resetting of Z-Brick
Pavers (Board Action Required)
8. Authorization to Enter into Contract with Shawn Construction, Inc. for the 504 Main Street Interior Demolition
Project (Board Action Required)
9. President's Report
10. Committee Reports
a. Audit Committee
b. Governance Committee
c. Operations Advisory Committee
d. Real Estate Development Advisory Committee
11. Public Safety Report
VI. Adjournment

The RIOC Board Meeting will commence following a public comment period. The public comment period is not part of the meeting.
A web cast of the RIOC Board meeting will be available soon thereafter.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Position Available For NYPL Roosevelt Island Branch Librarian

The Roosevelt Island branch of the New York Public Library (NYPL) is losing its current Branch Manager who is moving on to a bigger branch.

The NYPL is seeking a new Roosevelt Island Library Branch Manager.

More job details and application information here.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Roosevelt Island Tram Station Canopy Installations Set To Begin Next Week - No Tram Service During Off Peak Hours 10 AM To 3 PM Starting Tuesday January 22 For 2 Weeks- Red Bus Service To And From Manhattan Will Be Provided

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
Please be advised work will commence on the Canopy Installation of the Tram Enclosure Project on Tuesday January 22, 2013.

The work will be conducted during Tram service off-peak hours from 10 AM to 3 PM Monday- Friday, January 22nd- February 6th.

Please note Tram service will be suspended during off-peak hours only. During that time, Red Bus service will be provided from Roosevelt Island to Manhattan (Please see attached schedules). The Tram will resume normal service during the weekend.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group

Below is discussion of Tram Canopy Enclosure project during January 9 RIOC Operations Committee meeting.

Audio web cast of the full January 9 Operations Committee meeting here.

Roosevelt Island Still Without President and VP Of Operations - RIOC Govenance Committee Meeting Today To Discuss

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Governance Committee is meeting today. According to RIOC:
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a meeting of the Governance Committee of the RIOC Board of Directors will be held on Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 5:30 p.m. at the RIOC administrative office, 591 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York.


Discussion of Procedures for Board Ratifications and Board Meetings;

Discussion of Open RIOC Staff Positions; and

Any Other Committee Business That May be Brought Before the Committee.
As reported in this December 21 post:
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...
Video of the discussion about RIOC management is available here.

Will we learn anything new about the future of Roosevelt Island management tonight?

Stay tuned.

An audio web cast of the meeting will be made available by RIOC soon thereafter.

UPDATE 11:15 PM - Nothing new was learned at tonight's Governance Committee meeting about the selection of new RIOC President and Vice President of Operations except it is more clear than ever that the Governor's office wants to make the decision and the RIOC Directors are unsure of how to proceed.

The RIOC Directors are caught between their independent fiduciary obligations under the Public Authorities Act to the Corporation which gives them the right to hire/fire the President and Vice President and NY State political power considerations which may force them to defer to the patronage wishes of Governor Cuomo.

At the conclusion of tonight's discussion, the RIOC Governance Committee Directors decided to draft a letter, subject to approval by the full RIOC Board, to the NY State Authorities Budget Office seeking direction on how to proceed with selecting a new President and Vice President.

Here's what happened. Watch the whole video to see how decisions, or, lack of decisions, get made on who picks the top executives governing Roosevelt Island.

Will have more on this soon.

Roosevelt Island Women's Health Organization, Gallery RIVAA Jazz Programming and New Amalgamated Bank Manager Presentations At January RIRA Public Session

Prior to the start of every monthly meeting of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council there is a Public Session where community members can address the Council on issues of concern, upcoming events or any other relevant topic.

During the January 2013 Common Council the Public Session included:

  • an introduction by the new Amalgamated Bank Manager
  • an invitation to join Roosevelt Island's Woman's Health organization and
  • Gallery RIVAA report on Sunday Jazz and future music programming with resident and world known musicians.
Here's what happened.

Also, discussed at the January RIRA meeting were:
If you have something to say to the RIRA Public Session, the next RIRA meeting is Wednesday February 6.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Roosevelt Island Residents Upset Over Snail Pace And Conditions Of Gristedes Renovation - What About Hygenic Standards Asks A Shopper?

Inside Roosevelt Island Gristedes Undergoing Renovations

As previously reported, the long awaited Roosevelt Island Gristedes renovations began in mid November 2012. We're in the middle of January 2013 and renovations have still not been finished,

some shelves are empty, products are difficult to find, ceilings are exposed and the only Roosevelt Island supermarket is a mess.

A Roosevelt Island resident recently wrote in about the Gristedes renovation:
... Is it time for you to do a follow up post on the delays and deplorable conditions over there as the work continues at slower than a snails pace and shoppers are more inconvenienced and tortured than ever ?????

And the prices are higher than ever ?????...
Also, the Roosevelt Island Twitterverse expressed concern yesterday with Roosevelt Island Gristedes hygienic standards at the vegetable aisle
During the Gristedes March 12 Town Hall meeting, Gristedes owner John Catsimatidis promised the new renovated Roosevelt Island supermarket will be:
... Supplying Organic Foods To The Community At Supermarket Prices Not Whole Paycheck Prices...
Let's hope the renovations are finished soon and the wait is worth it.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Roosevelt Island Holiday Lights Rorschach Test - Do You See The Reindeer?

Roosevelt Island Residents Association President (RIRA) Ellen Polivy shares this photo of the Roosevelt Island Holiday Lights in front of Blackwell House taken from above:

random lights? Think again. Looks like reindeer to me. Who would have guessed that our holiday lights are really the work of  a large scale artist?
Do you see the reindeer?