Saturday, February 23, 2013

RIOC Board Director Margie Smith's Statement On Roosevelt Island Public Safety Accountability And Brutality Demonstration - Update, Director Howard Polivy Comments Too

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board Director Margie Smith comments on February 16 Public Safety Accountability and Brutality Demonstration:
It’s close to impossible to write anything about this past Saturday’s demonstration in the church plaza that will be acceptable to all parties, but as a Board member I felt I needed to acknowledge it in some way. The thoughts expressed here are mine alone, but I know several other board members share my sentiments. I was away this past weekend so I didn’t attend the demonstration, which was triggered by an incident that occurred a few weeks ago between a resident and the Public Safety Department. Unfortunately, because RIOC has been served with a notice of possible litigation, I can’t comment on that specific incident.

I can, however, say that from what I’ve been told by residents, the reason for the demonstration went beyond that one incident. That tells me that the community is concerned about Public Safety’s role on RI and its actions in the performance of that role.

First, as for the incident that sparked the demonstration - RIOC has referred it to the Inspector General of the State of NY for review. Once we receive the results of that review we’ll take whatever action is deemed appropriate. In the meantime, I can tell you what measures RIOC takes to monitor all departments, including Public Safety, within the corporation.

I want the residents to know that we’re very much aware of, and very concerned about, the relationship between Public Safety and the community. The goal of the Public Safety Department is to make all residents feel safe in their homes and on the street. If, for whatever reason, there are residents who don’t feel that way, then we have to fix that.

We’ve taken some steps toward that goal, but we know there’s lots more to be done. There’s been a longstanding request by the community to establish a Civilian Review Board. This is not something that we can do alone since it must include independent members, not just RIOC staff, and it must have some kind of authority sanctioned by either the City or the State in order to be effective. We’ve been supporting Assemblymember Micah Kellner for over a year in his effort to get a law passed establishing just that kind of board. We’re doing everything possible on our end, and I’m asking all residents to contact Assemblymember Steve Englebright at 518-455-4804 and the Speaker of the Assembly, Assemblymember Sheldon Silver at 518-455-3791 to express support for the bill.

As I write this letter, RIOC is preparing an RFP (Request for Proposal) to hire a firm to do an independent audit of procedures, policies, and overall performance of the Public Safety Department. We’ve done this in the past in other departments, like Transportation, Finance, etc. and the results highlight deficiencies, identify Best Practices, and make recommendations that can be implemented to improve the performance of that specific department. We should have a firm selected shortly and we’ll speed the process along as best we can without sacrificing quality.

In addition, we understand that RIRA may be proposing that we all work together with a facilitator whose expertise is in working with community groups to have better working relationships. We intend to work collaboratively with RIRA in whatever they ask of our organization in this regard.

What I ask of the community is that they use the avenues already in place and available to them to let us know of any issues that we need to focus on, and to keep themselves informed on what’s being done to address their concerns.
  • If there’s an individual complaint about the Public Safety Department, please file a formal complaint. If you don’t want to go to the Public Safety office to do this, use one of the other avenues described below.
  • Write to the RIOC Board of Directors at
  • Speak to the RIOC Board at the public session held before every board meeting. The schedule of board meetings can be found on the web at A notice of every meeting is also sent to the public as a RIOC Advisory. If you’re not signed up to receive the advisories, please sign up at
  • Attend any of the RIOC Operations Committee meetings. All of them are open to the public. Notices of these meetings are posted on the RIOC website and Advisories are also sent to the public.
  • If you can’t attend the Board meetings, or the committee meetings, they can be viewed by webcast on the RIOC website I urge you to watch those videos so you get a firsthand understanding of how and why decisions are made, and so you’ll know what actions are being taken on multiple issues.
  • While you can go to the RIOC office (591 Main Street) any time you want to speak with a representative of the corporation, specific hours are set aside for the public on Mondays between 3 and 5 pm.
As stated on the RIOC website, the mission of the Public Safety Department is “to provide a safe and secure environment for the residents, employees, business owners, community and visitors of Roosevelt Island, and to protect the property and interests of RIOC and the Housing Companies.” RIOC takes this mission very seriously and we want the residents of the Island to know that the board is listening to them and wants to have an effective working relationship between the residents and every department in RIOC. I believe we all have the same objectives, and I’m confident that if we work together we’ll be able to provide the best possible quality of life for all Islanders.
UPDATE 2/24: RIOC Director Howard Polivy adds:
I am writing from out of town. I missed the demonstration on Saturday February 16, but have seen pictures of the crowd assembled outside and inside Good Shepherd and have seen and heard the videos posted on the Rooseveltislander blog.

I am sorry that the accumulated grievances of years could not find better, earlier, resolutions. I was a member of RIRA’s Public Safety Committee before Keith Guerra was hired and have attended most meetings until just recently. I have heard the testimony brought to the committee and I ended many meetings asking that the complaints be made official, using the existing forms in Public Safety, and that I be advised that a complaint had been filed.

I believed that complaints had to be filed using the existing official forms so that they could have the necessary standing to be actionable under the PSD’s union contract if confirmed by investigation. Also, I felt the Directors could make substantive changes quickly when armed with substantial claims. I asked to be made aware of the complaint so I could observe procedures and be able to give assurance that the simple act of filing a complaint did not cause problems for the claimant and also that there would be a thorough investigation. To my surprise not one person followed through on this. I did not appreciate the fear of retribution that must have been felt for people to take so long to stand up for their rights.

There was testimony for incidents that arose during the Shane, Torres, and Lewis administrations but with so few actionable complaints it is hard to discover objective pattens and make corrections. I hope those willing to speak out last Saturday will also use the complaint system already in place, too, with forms that remain available in Public Safety and will soon also be available in the RIOC office, 591 Main Street. I directly receive emails sent to, so tell me that you’ve filed a complaint.

The Public Safety Department’s published statistics show a trend towards fewer incidents. Perhaps this indicates a lighter hand on enforcement and a more responsive department. But these conclusions also need to be examined. For this reason RIOC is moving forward, quickly, on an operational audit of PSD. The investigation will be independent and objective. All those with complaints will be solicited. The result of the investigation will be an accurate picture of the department’s weaknesses and strengths. Most importantly it will provide a blueprint for building am exemplary department, suggesting all necessary changes, with public accountability. I hope that this fast-track engagement is approved at the February 28th Board of Directors meeting.

I am unable to comment on any particular incident, partially because RIOC has been served notice of claim, but also because I don’t have objective details. RIOC has referred recent incidents to the Inspector General of the State of NY for review. Once we receive the results of that review we’ll take such actions as we find necessary. From the Inspector General’s website,

“The Inspector General's Office is entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring that State government, its employees and those who work with the state meet the highest standards of honesty, accountability, and efficiency.

You can file a complaint in any of the following ways:
  • You may call the Inspector General’s 24-hour, toll-free Hot Line at 1-800-DO RIGHT (1- 800-367-4448). This will put you in contact with trained staff who can discuss with you the specifics of your complaint.
  • You can use
  • You also can write to us at:Office of the State Inspector General
    Empire State Plaza, Agency Building 2 16th Floor
    Albany, New York 12223”
The stated mission of the Public Safety Department is to provide a safe and secure environment for the residents, employees, business owners, community and visitors of Roosevelt Island. and to protect the property and interests of RIOC and the Housing Companies. Success in achieving this mission depends on all stakeholder’s satisfaction. I support Micah Kellner’s refiled legislation to create an independent state review board. If that legislation fails to be enacted, I will suggest an ombudsman.

The better public camera system soon to be deployed will provide objective insight into PSD/public interactions. I hope we may balance the need for public autonomy and anonymity with the common need to secure shared community space for everyone in the community.

I regret the pain that has brought us to where we now stand. I am working to support processes that have begun that will refresh the Public Safety Department’s role in the community.

Howard Polivy
Member, Roosevelt Island Board of Directors

Report From Acting RIOC President Don Lewis - Roosevelt Island Public Safety Demonstration, Recreational Hotline, Motorgate Murals & FDR Park Signage

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Acting President Don Lewis sends the following report to Roosevelt Island residents.

I hope everyone and their loved ones made it through snowstorm Nemo safe and sound. All was well here on the Island, which is great news. Let's hope Mother Nature takes it easy on us for the rest of the winter.

PSD and Residents' Demonstration

We are all aware that a number of Island residents have expressed concerns regarding the RIOC Public Safety Department (PSD) and took part in a peaceful demonstration over the weekend at the Good Shepherd Plaza. We are mindful of these concerns and have taken steps to address the same. These steps include: internal review, deciding to hire an outside firm to conduct an operational audit of PSD, and referral of recent incidents to the Office of the New York State Inspector General for review.

Keeping Current on Island Issues

We have a very active and vibrant community here on Roosevelt Island. We encourage residents to use available resources to stay informed of Island issues and what we are doing to address them. A good way to keep current is to attend RIOC Board and Committee meetings, which are open to the public. Notices of these meetings are posted on the RIOC website, the front door at 591 Main Street and are communicated through our RIOC Advisories which are e-mailed to those who have signed up to receive alerts. If you cannot attend the Board or Committee meetings, they can be accessed on the RIOC website at To receive RIOC Advisories, sign up at

Parks and Recreation Hotline

As we look forward to spring, the RIOC Parks and Recreation Department has updated its hotline to be your go-to source for information about the many wonderful indoor and outdoor recreational opportunities on Roosevelt Island. The new and improved hotline contains general information about the following resources: tennis permits, pool memberships, schedules for open swim, ping pong, open basketball, zumba, film permits, park hours and closures. To access the new hotline call 212-832-4514.

Murals at Motorgate

Longtime Island residents may recall the days many years ago when the Motorgate Garage housed art installations. We are pleased to announce that, through some creative repurposing, art will once again adorn the walls of Motorgate's atrium. Murals originally seen during the 2011 and 2012 Fall for Arts Festival, depicting popular images of Roosevelt Island, nature, cultural themes and abstract designs, will be installed at Motorgate early next week. Artists from Roosevelt Island and the Greater New York area painted the beautiful murals, which range in size from 4-by-8 feet to 4-by-16 feet. I would like to thank Tad Sudol, President of the RIVAA Gallery, for coming up with this creative proposal, and Erica-Spencer-EL, RIOC's Community Relations Specialist, for helping to make this a reality.

Four Freedoms Park Signs

The Operations Advisory Committee of the RIOC Board of Directors has approved the installation of signage for Four Freedoms Park at sites throughout the Island. Aimed at helping visitors find their way to the Park, the signs will be posted inside the Tram station, on select lamp posts along Main street and at bus stop shelters. A banner will also be placed on the construction fence directly across from the subway station exit. We look forward to additional advances in general way-finding on the Island in the near future.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Roosevelt Island Westview Task Force Holding Board Election Today And Tomorrow - Candidate Points Out Possible Election Irregularities

The Westview Task Force Board elections are taking place today and tomorrow. Westview resident and Board Candidate Susan Marcus reports on what happened today while voting:
I have just voted in the Westview Task Force election. I am also a candidate. I was appalled to see that incumbents on the Task Force who were running for re-election were sitting at the ballot table or nearby. A civic-minded resident of Rivercross was helping with the election. She immediately pointed out the irregularity of candidates sitting in the election room. It seems like on Friday, February 22, 2013 none of these Task Force members spoke English. Her objections, my objections and those of some other Westview tenants were soundly ignored. It is my understanding that Rivercross and Island House would not permit this at their election. What is wrong with Westview?
The new Board will represent the Westview residents in privatization negotiations and other matters. More on Westview privatization process from previous post.

UPDATE 2/24 - According to a Westview resident:
Following are the results of the election of WvTF Board members held on February 22-23 2013.

Out of 14 candidates, only 13 will be elected to provide a tie breaker in voting. Therefore 13 nominees with highest votes received will serve on the Board till next election. There were 87 votes casted and the final count is:
1. Johan Marfey 60 votes
2. Gene Teytelman 55 votes
3. Steven Kleinberg 55 votes
4. Tad Sudol 53 votes
5. Opher Pail 50 votes
6. Ivens Stanton 48 votes
7. Rosemary Musumba 47 votes
8. Slavica Plecas-Gak 47 votes
9. Michael Sinelnikov 46 votes
10. Eugene Torres 42 votes
11. Susan Marcus 41 votes
12. Thomas Hastings 39 votes
13. Paul Lenner 37 votes
14. Sherrie Helstein 26 votes

Thank you all who made their voice count and participated in the 2013 Election !!!

Problems Continue To Mount For Roosevelt Island's Child School Legacy High School - They Give Back Lease For 504 Main Street Art Center After Executive Director Sal Ferrera Resigns And Large Staff Layoffs

Image of 504 Main Street

Reported earlier this month of large staff layoffs at Roosevelt Island's Child School Legacy High School followed by the resignation of its Executive Director Sal Ferrera.

One of Mr. Ferrera's pet projects was developing a Child School Arts Center and Auditorium on the second floor of 504 Main Street with approximately 7 thousand square feet of space (the first floor of the 504 will be location for new Roosevelt Island NY Public Library). The Child School secured a lease from Main Street Master Leaseholder Hudson Related but I learned today from Hudson Related Principal David Kramer that the Child School gave back the lease for 504 Main Street after Mr. Ferrera's resignation.

Mr. Ferrera also resigned his position as Board Director of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC). His controversial appointment by NY State Governor Andrew Cuomo generated outrage by many Roosevelt Island residents.

At the time of his appointment in June 2011, Mr. Ferrera said:
... his reason for wanting to join the RIOC Board was to better integrate the Child School/Legacy High School with the Roosevelt Island community for the benefit of all. He believes that the projects he hopes to initiate at the Child School, such as an Art Center at 504 Main Street, an equestrian center and a boat house will improve the lives for all Roosevelt Island stakeholders....
At the end of Mr. Ferrera's time as a RIOC Director, no Child School Arts Center, no boat house (conflict of interest charges raised in this instance for which Mr. Ferrera later apologized) and no equestrian center.

What does Mr. Ferrera's appointment to the RIOC Board by Governor Cuomo say about the relative merits of Roosevelt Island residents selection of RIOC Board members as opposed to political cronyism appointments by Mr. Cuomo?

I wonder how Governor Cuomo's powerful Secretary Larry Schwartz would answer that question?

Roosevelt Island Public Safety Body and Facility Cameras On Agenda For RIOC February 25 Operations Committee Meeting - Nothing On Brutality Allegations In Public Session But Executive Session Agenda Item On Pending Litigation

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Operations Committee will be meeting next Monday. The Public Session is devoted to issues relating to the Public Safety Department but does not appear to include any specific reference to the issues brought forth at the February 16 Public Safety Accountability and Brutality Demonstration. An Executive Session (closed to the public) is scheduled for an update on pending litigation which presumably involves the alleged Anthony Jones/Public Safety brutality incident.

According to RIOC:

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a meeting of the Operations Advisory Committee of the RIOC Board of Directors will be held on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 5:30 p.m. at the RIOC administrative office, 591 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York.


1. Discussions of Public Safety Body-mount Cameras
2. Discussion of Facility Cameras in Public Areas of the Public Safety Office
3. Discussion of the Use of Outside Consultant for Public Safety Department Review
4. Chair's Motion for Executive Session for an Update on Pending Litigation
5. 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 Operations Committee Public Session will be made available soon thereafter.

Public Safety security cameras were discussed during the February 13 RIOC Operations Committee meeting (full audio web cast of meeting here). Acting RIOC President Don Lewis said that the security camera project had previously been delayed because of:  
... prior issues ... different thoughts on to how to proceed with people internally...
and that now:
... getting cameras in the Public Safety Lobby was a priority so we have taken that as a priority over many other issues...
No discussion as to what were the "prior issues" and "different thoughts" that delayed the project referred to by Mr. Lewis.

RIOC intends to place security cameras in the Public Safety Office Lobby and across the street facing Public Safety Office.

Image of Public Safety Office From JEFF BACHNER/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

RIOC Director David Kraut asked if there were any internal cameras in the Public Safety Office and was told there were already 2 cameras in the cells. RIOC Director Margie Smith asked if they were "live" and was told the cameras have to be turned on. Ms. Smith asked why there were not always on and was told it was because of the amount of storage space required for the images from the camera feed.

Discussion then ensued regarding integrating the Public Safety Cell Cameras with the new system for the Lobby and facing the Office but in the meantime RIOC Director Michael Shinozaki made it clear that if someone is in the cell;
... I don't ever want to hear we didn't turn the cameras on...
Here's Part 1 of the discussion

and Part 2.

I asked whether the camera feeds in the Public Safety Office lobby, across the street facing the Public Safety Office and at the Roosevelt Island Tram could be made available live to the public. Mr. Shinozaki  and Mr. Kraut expressed interest in the idea but said further investigation would have to be made regarding privacy and technology issues raised by implementing such an idea.

UPDATE 2/25: According to RIOC:
Please be advised that the Operations Advisory Committee of the RIOC Board of Directors Meeting scheduled for Monday, February 25, 2013 at 5:30 p.m., will be held at the Manhattan Park Community Center at 8 River Road, Roosevelt Island, New York.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
Perhaps RIOC anticipates a larger crowd for this Operations Committee meeting than can be accommodated in the 591 Main Street conference room.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Person Of Interest Thanks Good People Of Roosevelt Island For Being Berlin Stand In - Episode Appeared Earlier Tonight

Reported previously that Person Of Interest TV program turned Roosevelt Island into Berlin

one day last month while filming at Good Shepherd Plaza and Motorgate Garage.

Person of Interest tweeted this evening:
Roosevelt Island resident Irina Hage sent in these Good Shepherd Plaza photos from tonight's episode of Person Of Interest and reports:
Now live on CBS Person of Interest Roosevelt Island
Images From Irene Hage

Anyone see the show tonight?

Up Close Look At Yesterday's NYPD Roosevelt Island Tram Rescue Drill

According to CBS New York:

... Fifteen officers took turns on top of the tram, inside it and on one of the towers simulating certain saves.

“So that when they show up on the scene, it’s either that scenario or very close that the officers can perform at a moment’s notice without even thinking,” Lt. Barberio said.

The tram training was something those heading to Roosevelt Island were checking out, along with those on the ground.

“You’ve got to continue practicing for a rescue because you never know when it’s going to happen,” tourist Bob Franklin said.

The last time a passenger rescue happened was in 2005, when the people mover lost power and its backup system also wouldn’t work.

Officers practiced for that scenario by lowering someone down to the ground, and they added a new practice session after rescuing an iron worker from a tram tower two weeks ago....
More on the recent rescue of Tram worker at this earlier post and FDNY rescue drill here.

2013 Roosevelt Island Public Purpose Funds Allocation Process Underway - RIRA Interviewing 13 Applicants With $254 Thousand In Requests And Budget Of $100 Thousand

 Pile Of Money Image From Richwealthpig

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Public Purpose Funds (PPF) Committee Chair Dave Evans provides this report on the 2013 allocation process. According to Mr. Evans:
To date, we have interviewed 9 of the 13 applicants.
We plan to complete the interviews on 26 Feb.
Of the 13 applicants, 3 did not request funds last year.
We plan to submit the PPF Subcommittee recommendations to RIRA-CC during the 6 March meeting.

Total funds requested: $254210. Total funds available: $100000.

RIDA @ $10500
PTA @ $32000
IDig2Learn @ $10500
Historical Society @ $22000
Chamber of Commerce @ $10000
RI Day Nursery @ $35000
RISA @ $20000
Roosevelt Landing Residents Association @ $5000
RI Community Literary Association @ $20000
Life Frames, Inc. @ $25360
R&R Concerts @ $14850
RIVAA @ $30000
Island Kids @ $19000
As previously reported, here's how the Public Purpose Funds process works:
... The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) has been delegated by RIOC to make recommendations to the RIOC Board for the allocation of available Public Purpose Funds. RIRA created a Public Purpose Funds Committee that will interview and evaluate the applicant organizations and then make recommendations as to how the funds get distributed to the full RIRA Common Council. Upon approval by the RIRA Common Council, the recommendations are forwarded to the RIOC Board for approval. The total amount of Public Purpose Funds available is $100 Thousand to be allocated among the recommended Roosevelt Island organizations....
More on the Roosevelt Island Public Purpose Funds from previous posts.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Allegations Of Handcuffed Person Beaten At M&D Deli And RIOC Attorney Trying To Intimidate Store Owner From Showing Video To Public- More From The February 16 Roosevelt Island Public Safety Demonstration

An update to previous post on the February 16 Roosevelt Island Public Safety Accountability and Brutality demonstration. (Video of demonstration is here)

Roosevelt Island resident Frank Farance, who first reported the alleged Anthony Jones brutality incident, was one of the final speakers at last Saturday's demonstration. Mr. Farance charged the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors with failure to exercise proper oversight of the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department. According to Mr. Farance, the RIOC Directors do:

... a lousy job of oversight ... they don't have the information and they're unwilling to get the information...
Mr. Farance continued his presentation showing excerpts from a December 9 2012 M&D Deli security video purportedly showing abusive behavior by the Public Safety Department beating a handcuffed person on the knees with a stick.

Mr. Farance also reported being told by the the owner of M&D Deli that a person claiming to be a RIOC attorney behaved in an intimidating manner towards the owner by visiting the store and saying to the owner:
... you're not giving that video to anyone, right?...
Here's the presentation by Mr. Farance:

It's difficult to see the video on the screen used by Mr. Farance during his presentation. Here's a better view. (Even better if you click on Full Screen view though still not absolutely clear what is going on)

Part 1. According to Mr. Farance:
This is the first person being arrested.  The key points are the employee P and employee Q in the next two videos.

Part 2. According to Mr. Farance:
In this video while person X is being arrested, employee P is trying to keep his friend, person Y, out of the arrest process.  At time 02:14:39, you see Public Safety officer #3 come back, holding a cup of coffee in hand, then put the coffee on the top of the fridge and arrest employee P who was trying to protect Public Safety.  By 02:15:02 employee P is already handcuffed and not resisting arrest, but at 02:15:06 PSO #3 is striking employee P with a baton on his knees.

Part 3 According to Mr. Farance:
As Public Safety officers are walking out with Person X, Person Y, and employee P handcuffed, at 02:16:47 the second employee Q appears to ask (presumably) about why they are taking the other employee.  The last two Public Safety officers then arrest employee Q for asking about his fellow employee.

I asked RIOC today for a comment to explain their side of the story. Will update post if answer is received.

Following Mr. Farance, Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Public Safety Committee Chair Erin Feeley-Nahem had some closing remarks for those present at the demonstraton. Her prepared text is below.
I want to thank you all for coming out today, in the cold, and listening to your neighbors concerns, their stories, and especially thank the "witnesses and survivors" who had the courage to come forward and tell the truth, supporting our demands for change.

Together this community can once again be the safe haven that we all originally moved to. Parents will once again not have to fear when their teenage children leave their homes at night, to meet their friends. We expect RIOC, the State, our elected Officials to hear and meet our demands, so that this vision will become reality.

What can you do to help?

Sign our petition, join our committee, and support your neighbor's cause.

Check out our Face Book page "Roosevelt Island Citizens Blotter", and document your story, or send it to me at:

Get informed: read the February 7th edition of the WIRE, visit their web site and check out the Roosevelt Islander blog. Our Island news media have done a terrific job of keeping our community informed!

Demand that RIOC and the Governor remove the current leadership of the PSD, and Officer Ralph Torrens, the Officer who brutally attacked Mr. Jones.

Demand a Federal investigation into the violation of our Constitution rights, rampant throughout our community under the PSD's patrols.

Write to Speaker Sheldon Silver and ask him to support Kellner's bill. Write to Steven Englebright, the Chair of the State Government Operations Committee, in Albany, where Kellner's bill is sitting, waiting to be voted on and moved forward. Write to the Governor Cuomo demanding that Kellner's bill be passed as well.

What do we want? We want Justice.

What do we want? We want an end to our Constitutional rights being violated.

What do we want?

We want oversight of the PSD, respect from its Officers, and we want to be heard!
Before the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Demonstration ended, New York Civil Rights and Civil Liberties attorney Norman Siegel, who had been sitting in the audience, was invited to speak. Here are Ms. Feeley-Nahem and Mr. Siegel's remarks.

More from the February 16 Roosevelt Island Public Safety Protest Demonstration here.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Roosevelt Island Resident David Santos Greenwich Village Restaurant Louro Reviewed By NY Times

Image of David Santos From Kickstarter

 The NY Times reviewed Roosevelt Island resident David Santos' new Greenwich Village Restaurant Louro today.

An excerpt from the review:
Not until I’d tried sweet potatoes with butterscotch peas and curls of tender sepia; twirled dan-dan noodles in a hot-and-sour vinaigrette; turned velvety spinach and bluefoot shrimp around and around in Mozambican peanut sauce; slashed the yolk of a poached egg so it would spill out over crunchy rice and sour kimchi; and felt my mouth water at the first bite of tart passionfruit curd — not until then did it occur to me that I had been eating a tasting menu...
... Mr. Santos began serving theme dinners like this in November 2011, about a year before he opened Louro. The series began as a private supper club in his apartment, and the freewheeling approach he developed there has been transplanted to the restaurant. His cooking ranges avidly through flavors from around the globe, but what it expresses most clearly is the sheer pleasure of being set loose in the kitchen....

... Rather than accept life as a journeyman, he stepped away from restaurants and started the supper club, cooking for about 16 people at a time in his home kitchen on Roosevelt Island. He called it Um Segredo, Portuguese for a secret. The name was accurate for a few weeks....
Louro received one star from the reviewer.

Click here for the entire NY Times article.

Frites & Fries described a dinner at Louro's with David Santos:
... I’ll always adore his food — maybe it’s the richness of the dishes, the flavors, or maybe it’s the fact that he usually has a lamb dish on the menu (my favorite lamb dishes in the city have always been something he’s made). I’m also always in awe of him: how he seems to never run out of food ideas, and how Louro became a reality rather than just a dream. After having so many Dave dishes for the past three years, he always manages to surprise me....

David Santos was the seafood chef at Roosevelt Island's Pier NYC last summer.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Flying Object Whizzes Past Acting RIOC President Don Lewis Nearly Hitting Him In Face - Not On Roosevelt Island But At Outdoor NYC Charity Hockey Game

According to  Bloomberg News:

Donald Lewis was startled by a flying object coming from the hockey rink.

“I thought a puck was going to hit me in the face,” said Lewis, general counsel and acting president of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp. “A bird flew by.”

Such are the quirks of outdoor hockey in New York, as 16 teams competed to raise money for charity over the last two days at Lasker Rink in Central Park. Teams came from as far away as Canada to help raise money for Ice Hockey in Harlem.

The event, put on for the seventh year by the Canadian Association of New York, raised as much as $30,000 for the non- profit group that gives disadvantaged kids a hockey community in which to grow up

“I’m not feeling great, but I’m hanging in there,” Lewis, 39, said in an interview before his third 40-minute game of the day, playing for a team sponsored by his former law firm, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. “The biggest problem is the time in between games. It’s hard to get the engine going again. I’m tight.”...
Click here for the entire Bloomberg News article and take a look at some of the action on the ice at Lasker Rink.

Looks like good training for RIOC Board Committee meetings.

Complaint Filed With NY State Inspector General's Office Seeking Investigation of Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department Brutality Allegations By NY City Council Candidate Ben Kallos

Ben Kallos, Democratic Party primary candidate for 5th NY City Council District (which includes Roosevelt Island) attended the February 16 Roosevelt Island Public Safety Accountability/Brutality Demonstration. Mr. Kallos reported that he submitted a complaint to the NY State Inspector General's Office asking for an investigation into allegations of a pattern of abuse by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Safety Department. According to Mr. Kallos:

Below is January 30 letter from Mr. Kallos to NY State Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott (full text of letter is here):

Dear Inspector General Scott,

Yesterday, the Daily News in an article titled "So-called 'peace officers' on Roosevelt Island are being sued over savage beating of 20-year-old who claims he was just waiting in front of a building" reported that Roosevelt Island resident Anthony Jones suffered fractured ribs and a pierced lung in an 'unprovoked' attack without being charged with a crime at the hands of state employees and officers of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation's Public Safety Department.

Under New York State Executive Law Article 4-A the Public Safety Department and its employees are a part of Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation which is a State entity under the jurisdiction of your office.

On behalf of Anthony Jones and the residents of Roosevelt Island, I am writing to request that the Office of the Inspector General investigate the incident alleged in this article as well as previous incidents relating to the conduct of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation Public Safety Department.

We respectfully request that any resolution to your investigation include the implementation and ongoing support for a body comprised of residents of Roosevelt Island to oversee and review the conduct of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation Public Safety Department.

Thank you in advance for your assistance in ensuring that State government, its employees and those who work with the state meet the highest standards of honesty, accountability, and efficiency.
As previously reported, RIOC has submitted the pending Anthony Jones litigation matter to the Inspector General for review as well.