Saturday, March 30, 2013

Scenes From Today's Roosevelt Island Easter Egg Hunt - Nice Time For The Whole Family

Roosevelt Island 2013 Easter Egg Hunt

Good job by the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) putting together today's Easter Egg Hunt Extravaganza and a Big Thank You to RIRA's Social, Cultural & Educational Committee Chair Lynn Shinozaki

for organizing the festivities together with all the other volunteers.

Here are some scenes from the morning Roosevelt Island Easter Egg Hunt at Manhattan Park

View of Roosevelt Island Manhattan Park Easter Egg Hunt From Roof Of Motorgate Garage

for younger kids.

Children and parents at the entrance

meeting a little Easter Bunny

and a bigger one,

doing crafts,

having coffee and donuts from Starbucks,

and then lining up for the Easter Egg Hunt

which looked like this.

NY City Council candidate Ben Kallos was on hand to greet

and meet with Roosevelt Island residents while some from his staff volunteered for the Easter Egg Hunt.

In the afternoon, the older kids had their turn with a Firefighters Field Easter Egg Hunt,


had fun with the Easter Bunny

Roosevelt Island Youth Program Director Charlie DeFino and Friend

and picked up prizes.

A nice family fun day on Roosevelt Island.

UPDATE 9:40 PM - Roosevelt Island photo blogger Olya Turchin shares these photos from today's Easter Egg Hunt.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Roosevelt Island Public Purpose Funds, Public Safety Audit, Waterfront Restaurant, Lighthouse Park Repairs, Ongoing Investigations Among Items On Agenda For April 1 RIOC Operations Advisory Committee

 Image of Summer 2012 Pier NYC From RIHS President Judy Berdy

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC)
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a meeting of the Operations Advisory Committee of the RIOC Board of Directors will be held on Monday, April 1, 2013 at 5:30 p.m. at the RIOC administrative office, 591 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York.


Discussion of Public Purpose Funds for 2013-14

Discussion of Insurance Binders for 2013-14

Discussion of Contract with T&M Protection Resources, LLC for the Public Safety Operational Audit

Discussion of Amendment of License Agreement with Roosevelt Island Hospitality Group, LLC

Discussion of Lighthouse Park Repairs

Chair’s Motion for Executive Session for

Discussion of Settlement Agreement with CNA Enterprises, Inc. in Connection with the Good Shepherd Community Center Plaza Restoration Project

Update on Ongoing Investigations

Any Other Committee Business That May be Brought Before the Committee
An audio webcast of the meeting will be available soon thereafter.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Clog Editors Discuss Brutalism Architecture At Roosevelt Island's Gallery RIVAA - Roosevelt Island Is A Unique And Amazing Place They Say

As previously reported, following the opening of the Roosevelt Island Motorgate Art Gallery

Image of Motorgate Art Gallery Mural

the editors of Clog Magazine celebrated the launching of their latest issue with a discussion of Brutalism

at Gallery RIVAA.

John Lee of the Stewardship Report shares this video of Clog Magazine's talk about Brutalism.

Among the topics discussed was the wisdom, or lack thereof, of Main Street Master Leaseholder Hudson Related's plan to remove the glass window partitions from the Main Street Arcade. In response to a question from the architects whether the glass partitions were useful, the audience at Gallery RIVAA said that the windows were useful which, according to the architects, was more important than any opinion they may have.

You can buy Clog's Brutalism issue here.

A Visitor's Love Letter To Roosevelt Island, What A Gem She Says- Hopes To Become A New Resident This Summer

It's interesting to learn how those unfamiliar or new to Roosevelt Island perceive life on our little Island. Here's a message I received yesterday from Haley H:
Hello there!

I have to tell you that over the process of about a week I have become infatuated with Roosevelt Island! I am currently a graduate student living in the East Village of Manhattan, and though I love the city and don't want to leave, I also love being by the water and having space that feels a lot like a community and isn't constantly crowded. Since my lease is up this summer on my apartment I have been looking for a new place and I decided to look into what Roosevelt Island was like because I hadn't heard much about it. It started with an internet search, and then more internet research, and then yesterday after work I just had to take a look and see the island for myself. I traveled by F and I have to tell you as soon as I surfaced on the island I knew it was some place I want to spend my time! I felt like I had time warped into Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. I spent the evening walking the perimeter of the island and walking through to check out what was available. As I read more of your blog over the past week I feel like there is a big community feel that goes along with the feeling of pure joy I felt as I stepped onto the island. I've seen so much about the history of the island and the misconceptions and judgments many still hold against it, but I have to say that I know I was only there for a few hours but I truly haven't felt that happy since my first day in Manhattan. Roosevelt Island is the best of both worlds!

Thank you for all the informative posts :)
Glad Haley has not had the Dark Water experience.

Hope to see you on Roosevelt Island this summer Haley!

Roosevelt Island Baby/Toddler Swim Program Starting April 3 At Sportspark - Nearly 2 Years Of Effort Brings Success To RI Parents Network

 Roosevelt Island 2012 Baby Swim Class

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council Member and head of the RI Parents Network Eva Bosbach reports on the success of a long time group effort to start a toddler swimming program at Sportspark. According to Dr. Bosbach:
I am very happy to finally report success: We are getting Baby/toddler swim classes at Sportspark, after almost 2 years of effort, starting in April! :).

The baby/toddler swim class will start on April 3rd, for 10 weeks, Wednesdays 10.30-11.30 AM. The cost is $5 per family on a drop-in basis for an age group from 6 to 36 months. The class is a Mommy and me water class and will include getting comfortable with the water, songs, dipping, floating, splashing, games and more.

A big thank you to all who helped me to make this happen, namely Gabby who started putting everything together and talking to RIOC Sportspark representatives, to Erin, Susy and all the other moms who went to Sportspark or called, to everyone who provided swim instructor contacts, and to Mitchi for putting everybody's information in the sheet and helping me with the organization.

I am looking forward to seeing you in the water next week! :).

Just drop in at Sportspark for the Roosevelt Island Baby Swim Class.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Watch Video Of FDNY Roosevelt Island Tram Rescue Drill Today - Fireman Strapped To Cable Slides Down From Tower To Cabin

The FDNY continued their Wednesday Roosevelt Island Tram Rescue Drills earlier today. Paul Hodgkinson shares this video he took from today's drill.

Click on full screen icon to get fantastic view of the drill.

More on FDNY Tram rescue drills including cool pictures from previous post.

Here's a report from the NY Daily News on today's Roosevelt Island FDNY Tram Rescue Drill.

When Will The Roosevelt Island Cherry Blossoms Bloom? Hopefully In Time For Roosevelt Island April 13 Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival And April 20 Walking Tour

A reader asked:

When do the cherry trees blossom this year?

I've seen them in the past and it was a very pretty sight.

Roosevelt Island Cherry Tree Row By Goldwater Hospital Seen From The Tram in 2012

I asked Roosevelt Island HIstorical Society (RIHS) President Judy Berdy, who provides the annual Roosevelt Island Magnolia Blossom and Cherry Tree Blossom walking tours, that same question. Ms. Berdy replied:
Usually between April 15 and April 30. Hopefully.
Ms. Berdy adds:
Due to extensive damage to Coler Hospital grounds and Lighthouse Park our annual Magnolia Tour has been canceled this year.

We regret this cancellation. The Cherry Blossom Tour will operate on April 20th.
Take a virtual Roosevelt Island Cherry Tree Walk now.

You Tube Video of Roosevelt Island Cherry Tree Row Walk

Also, don't forget that the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) is sponsoring a Cherry Blossoom Festival on April 13:
Team ABE will be stationed at a table at the 2013 Roosevelt Island Cherry Blossom Festival!

Come enjoy a day of Japanese culture, vendors, and performances, and stop by our table to say hello, pledge, donate, buy tickets to future events, and more!
RIRA President Ellen Polivy adds:
Sat. April 13th Cherry Blossom Festival

Our Third Annual Cherry Blossom Festival is scheduled for under the Cherry Trees in front of Goldwater Hospital. The vendor organization Japan Block Fair will provide food and vendors. From 10:00am-7:30 pm Rain or Shine our promenade leading to Southpoint Park will teem with wonderful Japanese food and fare. Performances will take place at Four Freedoms Park. You will be able to hear the music you have enjoyed with some wonderful new additions. If the weather is bad everything comes inside. If you are interested in working on the committee or volunteering please contact us at
Here are some scenes from the 2012 Roosevelt Island Cherry Blossom Festival.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Painting Of Roosevelt Island Estimated To Be Sold For Up To $20 Million - Christie's To Auction Edward Hopper's Blackwell's Island

According to the NY Post:
An Edward Hopper painting of New York City's Roosevelt Island is coming to auction where it's estimated to sell for up to $20 million.

"Blackwell's Island" will be offered May 23 at Christie's. The large-scale oil has never come to auction before...
Here's more on the paintings of Edward Hopper's New York from the National Gallery of Art.

More Al Fresco Eating For Roosevelt Island Coming Soon - Gristedes Cafe Setting Up Bistro Tables And Chairs Outside Entrance Starting April 1

I heard earlier today that Roosevelt Island's new Gristedes Cafe

 would be setting up outdoor seating.

I asked a Gristedes representative if that was true and received this reply:
Yes, we applied for a permit and it has just been approved. Starting April 1 and continuing through October, Gristedes will set up Bistro tables and chairs outside the entrance door to accommodate customers who may wish to enjoy their cafe purchases outdoors.  It is our intention to provide a comfortable place to relax with a cup of coffee and pastry or eat a quick lunch. We hope that it will be well received.

Gristedes Cafe outdoor seating will be a welcome addition to Roosevelt Island, particularly for those living in Manhattan Park and the Octagon.

It may even encourage Southtown Riverwalk folks to make the trek north more often.

I hope the Gristedes Cafe keeps the soft pretzels replenished, they have been out for the last two days.

More on the Roosevelt Island Gristedes transformation

from previous post.

Roosevelt Island Women's Health Organization Presents Free Exercise/Meditation Seminar March 27 - Fish Fry Fundraiser On April 27

Received the following message from the Roosevelt Island Women's Health Care Organization (RIWHO). According to RIWHO, they are:
... a newly formed organization helping women on Roosevelt Island to be proactive about their health and wellness. We usually have our seminars during the last week of the month and feature various health issues and concerns at each seminar.
More information on the March 27 RIWHO seminar below:




TIME: 6:30 P.M.






RIWHO adds:
In lieu of a RIWHO seminar in April we will be having a RIWHO Fish Fry Fundraiser in The Senior's Center on the 1st Floor on Saturday April 27, 2013 from 11:00 am until sold out

Monday, March 25, 2013

Report From RIRA President Ellen Polivy - Roosevelt Island Easter Egg Hunt, Defends Free Speech From Public Safety Department Director's Intimidation And Island Of Art

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) President Ellen Polivy sends the following Report To The Community:
RIRA President’s Column

In this column I am going to talk first about next weekend’s Easter Egg Hunt, then about Public safety and free speech and finally about the Island of Art campaign. This is a cross section of some of our current situations and it may feel strange in their juxtaposition. Some youths and their parents feel unfairly treated by public safety. Their ongoing experiences with officers darken their daily lives and affect their future job prospects. For them our community is not such a good launching pad. It may seem to some glaringly grotesque to talk about the Easter Bunny when anger and hurt abound. But we still need to nurture our children while we fight to protect them. I personally think it is important to celebrate the happy occasions whenever we can. It helps us ride out the unfortunate patches and gives us renewed energy to fight.

Easter Egg Hunt

The RIRA sponsored Easter Egg Hunt is Next Saturday March 30. It will be a grand time for everyone including parents and volunteers. Parents should preregister their children online at

We need plenty of volunteers. Opportunities to volunteer are available the week before the event and on the day of the event. On Saturday March 23 from 9am to 3pm we will be organizing the eggs and supplies at 2-4 River Road Community Room. On Saturday March 30 volunteers will gather at 9 am and then again at 12 noon at 2-4 River Road for our instructions.

Volunteers, please bring a shopping cart or wagon if you have one and dress warm. If the weather is bad we will move the entire event into the school. You can volunteer for the whole day or part of the day. Please RSVP to Lynne at

You can get your raffle tickets at the farmers market on Saturday.

Thanks to our generous sponsors

We are really pleased that we had such a great outpouring of support from our corporate sponsors. Kudos go to the following vendors for their donations and help:
  • Manhattan Park,
  • Roosevelt Island Youth Program, Inc.
  • Coach Scot’s Main Street Sweets,
  • Suzy Perea of,
  • Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation,
  • Roosevelt Landings,
  • RY Management,
  • Riverwalk Bar and Grill,
  • Trellis,
  • Starbucks,
  • Island Kids,
  • Fuji East,
  • Costco,
  • Rachel Marks Photographer,
  • Eiji’s Salon ,
  • PTA PSIS 217 ,
  • Gristedes,
  • Nonno's Focacceria & Pizzeria,
  • Riverwalk Crossing
RIRA greatly appreciates the generosity of all these organizations.

RIRA also wants to thank Gristedes for its generous grand opening celebration dinner at our last Common Council meeting. Our hungry Council members and visitors enjoyed the wonderful food and drink.

Free speech

I don’t always agree with what people say or how they say it. Some people can be downright vicious , hurtful and bullying in their communications. Much as I wish I could stop them, I cannot. Their speech is protected by the first amendment.

We are fortunate that we live in a country where people don’t get arrested for having opinions and speaking their mind. At least that’s the way it is elsewhere in the country.

On Roosevelt Island we can get arrested for getting verbally upset with a Public Safety Officer, or trying to negotiate a little more time while double-parked or leaving a field, or innocently taking photographs, or speaking up when you see an arrest being made. When Public Safety is involved, it seems speech is called “obstructing government administration” and can leave you psychologically and physically battered.

RIRA’s Careful approach to speech

The RIRA Public Safety Committee (PSC) carefully considers all of its communications and statements to ensure that all official statements are responsible. Official PSC statements have been based on the experiences of committee members and of the survivors of Public Safety abuse. When the committee puts out an official statement, whether in a letter to RIOC, a poster, or a public comment, it has been discussed, composed and voted on by the committee. The Public Safety Committee is a subset of the entire Roosevelt Island Resident’s Association which is made up of representatives of each building.

The Common Council puts out official statements after they have been carefully considered by the larger group of representatives , many of whom are not on the PSC committee. RIRA procedures are put in place to ensure that each decision has careful consideration.

In February, the Common Council voted unanimously to remove the leadership of the Public Safety Department after hearing some very wrenching testimony from the survivors of Public Safety's heavy handed management of situations and bad decisions. We heard situations in which simple traffic stops escalated into arrests and injury. We are in no way saying that all of Public Safety is bad. There are many officers that should be commended, who perform admirably every day providing many services to the community. Nevertheless, we are seriously disturbed by certain patterns of abusive behavior that must stop. And we believe that the condoning of such behavior comes from the top.

The Public Safety Committee statement on Free Speech

The PSC has issued a statement related to the cease and desist letters Public Safety Director Keith Guerra’s attorney sent to the WIRE, the Roosevelt Islander and to one individual who has been speaking out on his own.

The Public Safety Committee of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association resolutely defends our community media, The Main Street WIRE and the Roosevelt Islander Blog, as well as individual Island residents, against frivolous, fraudulent and foolish attempts at "legal" intimidation by the firm of Maloney Law Group, PLLC, at the behest of their client Public Safety Department Chief Keith Guerra.

Mr. Andrew Maloney and Mr. Guerra show as much regard for constitutionally protected press freedom as his department does for the constitutionally protected rights of Island Residents and youth who are harassed or detained and subject to abuse. Guerra's transparent and desperate attempt to suppress open discussion and debate is understandable. Because it is precisely Free Speech, translated into action, that has him and his top leadership isolated amidst rising public opposition.

We vigorously defend the right of all media and individual residents to report in print (on paper and in cyberspace), as well as verbally, the news and facts as they gather them. This type of intimidation will fail to silence us. Free Speech is our constitutional right and the best disinfectant.

Public Safety is Collecting Stories

The PSC needs everyone with stories to speak out now. Email your experiences with Public Safety to

Island of Arts

Jim Luce of the successful Orphans International would like to turn Roosevelt Island into the Island of art. Jim explained to me the concept: his team, which includes many Island volunteers, is working closely with Gallery RIVAA to promote via social media all of the Island’s cultural activities to strengthen our island's visibility and beauty.  He hopes to attract visitors to enjoy the arts and possibly make purchases.

We hope to hear more from Jim now that he is again locating on Roosevelt Island. Welcome back Jim. I hope that your team’s social media publicity efforts raise all our boats.

Insurrection At Roosevelt Island Community Garden Club - Was Newly Elected President Ousted, What's Going On?

Newly elected Roosevelt Island Garden Club (RIGC) President April Ward reported to the December 2012 Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council of upcoming plans

including a composting programing and reducing the RIGC's multi-year waiting list by opening up additional garden plots.

Ms. Ward added that she was:
...  heading discussions to abolish the wait to join the club then let Members choose from several gardening options, according to the time and skill they have.

To that end, over 60 new beds will be designated along the borders in the garden. Applications will be available in January, so watch the WIRE and this blog. The Wait List for the Interior Plots will remain intact, but people will be able to join the Club and start gardening instead of sitting on a wait list for years. The new Board is embarking on implementing exciting new programs and we are seeking committee leaders for composting and vermicomposting, garden design, education and events and many more....
Over the last few weeks, I have been hearing rumors of turmoil at the RIGC and that some members were seeking Ms. Ward's ouster as President.

A few days before a March 17 RIGC meeting, I received this message written by Ron Schuppert who preceeded Ms. Ward as Garden Club President.
Dear RI Garden Club Members:

Due to the fact that April Ward is not a member, but rather is an Associate Member, according to our by-laws (which takes precedence in all matters), we were unable to elect her to the Presidency of our club. We appreciate the hard work and effort she invested over the past few months and hope she will continue to contribute toward the betterment of the garden club.

According to Robert's Rules Revised which our by-laws require us to follow, when an unqualified party is elected, it is treated the same as a main motion that does not carry. Therefore, April Ward's election to the Presidency is null and void. This is not the same as the office having been "vacated" because in fact, the ascension to the office never took place. The President at the time of the election continues in office until a new election provides a replacement.

Although there has been some discussion about revising our by-laws, they cannot be revised retroactively, therefore, the election that took place back in October cannot stand.

A special meeting of full-members and their families will take place on Sunday, March 17th at 5 PM at the Rivercross Community Room. All current members are invited to attend. This is not a meeting that will include Associate Members. The office of Vice President will be "vacated" and in accordance with the by-laws, a replacement will be appointed by the Executive Committee. Anyone who would like to be considered for the Vice Presidency should notify our Secretary, Karen Lee, as soon as possible.
I asked Mr. Schuppert and Ms. Ward to comment on the situation at the Garden Club and status of its President.

Mr. Schuppert replied:
Due to a misinterpretation of the RIGC bylaws, an invalid election for president was held at last October's membership meeting. We are seeking to correct this with the agreement of the members.


Ron Schuppert, President
Roosevelt Island Garden Club
Ms. Ward replied:
Ron Schuppert and several other members of the Roosevelt Island Garden Club (RIGC) have acted in concert to deprive all other members of the RIGC their right to vote and have acted in violation of RIGC bylaws which go to Roberts Rules of Order and direct any question on an announced election result be decided by the members.

These members wish to continue using the RIGC money for their parties which are often visited by NYPD and Public Safety for various violations,continue to pay their friends for "work" in the garden that members think they are doing as volunteers and keep the status quo of the former President as dictator deciding who gets a plot, whether on the wait list or not or whether plots are given out at all and which projects get done, all by himself instead of having committees of members work on projects.

At the October 2012 meeting of the RIGC, then President Ron Schuppert supported a motion from the floor to allow Associates to vote as well as all the other responsibilities they already carried. (pay dues, meet standards, attend 1 meeting per year, do 3 hours of community service per year).

Objections rose from some that this had to be done by an amendment to the bylaws. Mr. Schuppert emphatically stated that an amendment was not necessary because "this is an interpretation of the bylaws". Members voted overwhelmingly to allow Associates to vote and run for office, thus making their rights and responsibilities the same as Plot gardeners.

Karen Lee had rallied members against Mr. Schuppert's presidency for over two years and enrolled me and Alexis Villafane to run for office and to work with her to get Mr. Schuppert out of the Club, follow rules and make the club respectable again.

I was an Associate Member at the time, ran for President and won by several votes.

Karen Lee won secretary, Alexis Villafane and Ron Schuppert ran unopposed for Treasurer and Vice President. Karen Lee cast the one vote necessary to install each of them. The election results were announced at the meeting, in our Club newsletter, in the Wire

Over the course of last December, January and February, Karen, Alexis and I started to work creating and streamlining systems, organizing papers, interviewing contractors and researching supply sources and costs. I created a division of labor, started creating an "identity package" for the Club which included how members would get responses and how the officers would be known - Professional, Service Oriented, Responsive.

Mr. Schuppert did not help "I'm just going to sit back and watch what you do."

Over the course of January and February, I made it clear that the will of the club members would guide the officers.

The members had already voted overwhelmingly that there was to be no cat feeding in the garden, this would be enforced

There is a 6'height limit for plants; this would be enforced to give adjoining gardens more sun.

No officer would have a debit card until an accounting of all funds from previous years was completed

No member would be paid to do work in the garden, I would organize members to do work

All expenditures under $100 must be approved by me until spread sheets from previous years were completed

All expenditures over $100 must be approved by the Executive Board per the bylaws

All members would be invited to every event that the Club sponsored with purchases of food, give-aways, drinks etc.

There would be no fires of any sort in the garden, per RIOC's regulations.

Trespassers in the garden would be ticketed and removed, per RIOC regulations.

People sleeping in the garden overnight would be ticketed and removed.

Indecent exposure would be reported and ticketed.

Threatening, fights, harassment and hostile behavior would not be allowed.

Gardens Mr. Schuppert had been given to his buddies who had never been on the wait list would be taken away as violations of our bylaws and our agreement with RIOC.

The Club meetings would be run following Roberts Rules of Order, per our Bylaws.

We were bringing the club back to the original purpose: gardening, education and socializing among all members.

Following our bylaws, RIOC regulations and laws was an affront to Mr.Schuppert. He had run the club as a dictator: did not follow our bylaws or Roberts Rules as required. During meetings, he routinely dis-allowed nay-sayers the floor, legitimate complaints were shut down and no debate was allowed, motions were ignored when they challenged his dictatorship. He "cleaned" the minutes of meetings so they did not reflect serious safety issues which had been brought up in the meeting - kids getting burned at night by the bonfires in the burn barrel while drunk adults tended it, kids staying in the garden until well after dark while their parents did drugs and got drunk.

The shed in the back had been fixed up with a bed where people spent the night and were seen by members and the public, exiting with partners early in the morning.

Several members reported hearing "sexual noises" coming from the back pond area.

Many families did not feel safe bringing their children to the garden because of erratic, odd goings on.

Several woman reported feeling "unsafe in the garden" because of sexual remarks made to them or alcohol fueled behavior they had witnessed.

The garden was used for people to go on drug and alcohol "benders", spending consecutive days there, while toilets were locked at dusk. The garden became their toilet as they stumbled around drunk in the dark looking for places to pee or more.

All of this was coming to an end when I was elected.

Abiding by Roberts Rules,the members who had a right to vote at the end of the last meeting in October, must debate and vote on the question at a regular meeting of all the members, not just a select group as Ron, Karen and Marjorie have called for March 17.

Roberts Rules of Order is clear under "Contesting the Announced Results of an Election"

"... Because the voting body itself is the ultimate judge of election disputes, only that body has the authority to resolve them in the absence of a bylaw or special rule of order that specifically grants another body that executive board, even one that is given full power and authority...between meetings of the body that conducted the election, may not entertain a point of order challenging, or direct a recount concerning, the announced election result."

I would like to continue serving the club and will continue to stand for the Club's right to make this decision and choose who they want to represent them.
Mr. Schuppert's status of RIGC President was confirmed at the March 17 meeting.

I spoke to Mr. Schuppert last week about Ms. Ward's allegations. Mr. Schuppert denied Ms. Ward's claim that he:
... acted in concert to deprive all other members of the RIGC their right to vote and have acted in violation of RIGC bylaws...
During our conversation Mr. Schuppert:
  • agreed he did initially support an interpretation of RIGC bylaws to allow Ms. Ward to run for President, but subsequently came to the conclusion that he was incorrect in that interpretation. According to Mr. Schuppert, upon learning that Ms.Ward's election was in violation of RIGC bylaws, he had no choice but to agree that her election was null and void;
  • disputed that newly elected Secretary Karen Lee cast the sole vote for him and Ms. Vilafane. Rather, the existing RIGC Secretary during the October meeting cast the vote;
  • agreed that some of the behavior by RIGC members described by Ms. Ward may have occurred but that he was not aware of it at the time and will make sure it does not happen again;
  • acknowldedged that two individuals not on the waiting list were given garden plots but it was because they had previously done a great deal of work at the garden;
  • acknowledged that two members were paid a small amount for work done at the Garden but it was because they had specific skills that other members did not have and were willing to perform the tasks;
  • emphasized that he supported many of the changes sought by Ms. Ward but that she acted in an abusive and dictatorial manner towards other members of RIGC which resulted in the challenge to her election and
  • stated that the RIGC is a volunteer organization and that members must behave in a reasonable and respectful manner towards each other. According to Mr. Schuppert, Ms Ward did not act in such a manner.
Reported yesterday that there was a fire at the RIGC on Friday night. A shed was burned down and the FDNY is investigating.

UPDATE 2:40 PM - Ms. Ward asserts that she is still the RIGC President stating:
I remain the legal president of the Roosevelt Island Garden Club. Ron's violation based meetings cannot and have not ousted me....

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Roosevelt Island Motorgate Gallery Opens - Gallery RIVAA Island Of Art Vision Becoming More Real

The Roosevelt Island Motorgate Art Gallery opened to the public yesterday afternoon with a Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

attended by residents, Gallery RIVAA artists, Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Directors and staff as well as visitors from Clog magazine who were celebrating Brutalism on Roosevelt Island.

Gallery RIVAA President Tad Sudol, who initiated the idea for the Motorgate Gallery, began the ceremony by thanking RIOC Director Margie Smith, Acting President Don Lewis and RIOC staff for the efforts they made to transform the Motorgate Atrium into the Motorgate Art Gallery.

As reported by Mr. Lewis in previous post:
... We are excited about the Project which through creative repurposing will have art adorn the walls of Motorgate’s atrium for the first time in many years. The Gallery is part of RIOC’s continuing efforts to expand the beautification of public spaces on the Island. Selected from works that were originally seen during previous Fall for Arts Festivals, the colorful murals were created by residents, local artists, students from The Child School/Legacy High School and PS/IS 217, and Roosevelt Island Visual Art Association (RIVAA) members. The pieces range in size and portray vivid images of Roosevelt Island, nature, cultural themes and abstract designs. We would like to thank RIVAA and its president Tad Sudol for partnering with us on the project and co-sponsoring the Project....
Here's what happened at yesterday's Roosevelt Island Motorgate Gallery Grand Opening

and some of the Motorgate Murals.

More pictures of Motorgate Gallery art work at this previous post.

Following the Motorgate Gallery opening, Gallery RIVAA hosted a gathering

for Clog Magazine's discussion of Roosevelt Island Brutalism

and some live music.

It was a very nice Roosevelt Island day.

Go check out the Motorgate Gallery.

Fire At Roosevelt Island Community Garden Friday Night - Shed Burns Down But No Injuries

 Area Of Roosevelt Island Garden Club Fire (Picture Taken On Saturday)

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) reported at about 11:30 Friday night:
Due to FDNY activity adjacent to the Garden Club, RIOC bus service is delayed.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
Resident Mark Lyon saw the FDNY vehicles and tweeted:

I received this message from an Octagon resident yesterday:
There was a fire around 11pm last night at the roosevelt garden (11PMish) ; a pretty big fire actually. Eight fire trucks showed up and were able to extinguish the fire in under 10 minutes. I live in the Octagon and saw the entire incident from my bedroom window (I was too busy watching that I forgot to take pictures), I did go down and talk to a fire fighter and asked if they knew what caused it, they said they are still investigating. The area is currently taped off.
Another resident reports that the fire:
... burned one of the sheds to the ground, including many of the tools which have been donated to the garden by ... many ... long-term gardeners.
Nobody was reported injured.

UPDATE 3/25 - More turmoil at the Roosevelt Island Community Garden.

C. Grant shares these photos of the fire aftermath at the Community Garden.

UPDATE 3 PM - RIOC'S Press Spokesperson reports:
FDNY is handling the investigation. We are not aware of any injuries.