Saturday, April 20, 2013

It's Back - Live Roosevelt Island Tram Station Web Cam Shows You What Is Happening Now - Octagon, East River and Upper East Side View Too

Roosevelt Island Tram Station Web Cam is back and operating live. Click on the web cam link and you can see the Red Bus arriving/departing, people coming and going to the Tram, Water Fountain working/not working, Firefighters Field, Steam Plant etc.

Also, click here for a Roosevelt Island Web Cam view looking north towards

the Octagon Building/East River and Upper East Side.

UPDATE 1/26/15 - The Roosevelt Island webcams are no longer working.


Friday, April 19, 2013

Roosevelt Island March And Rally Against Public Safety Department Abuse To Be Held Sunday April 21 - NYC Elected Officials, Civil Rights Activists And Victims In Attendance

Following up on its February 16 demonstration against reported allegations of Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department brutality incidents, the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Public Safety Committee will be holding a march and rally this Sunday April 21 to "Stop Public Safety Dept. Abuse"

According to the RIRA Public Safety Committee:
The Roosevelt Island Residents Associationʼs (RIRA) Public Safety Committee (PSC) is organizing a second major public action on April 21, 2013 endorsed by RIRAʼs Common Council. Our central demand remains the removal of Public Safety Department (PSD) Director Keith Guerra and his top leadership and the ring of PSD Officers who have engaged in unprovoked physical violence and abuse. This focus is based on the overwhelmingly clear pattern of harassment, brutality, petty charges ending up dismissed in court, and cover-ups & lies against Island residents and visitors from boroughs.

Roosevelt Island in Manhattan, New York City is a close knit, diverse community of working- class and middle-class peoples of many nationalities and backgrounds. Our community brings together young people with families, the disabled and physically challenged, seniors living proudly independent lives, and working people and professionals from all over the world. Our island has always enjoyed a peaceful environment, however criminal behavior and violent assault has ironically become centered on the very entity that is supposed to shield us against it: the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department.

The case of Anthony Jones, detained on false charges and beaten to near death by PSD officers, and the vigorous pursuit of justice for him by his mother, backed by the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Public Safety Committee and RIRA as a whole, has, finally, created the atmosphere and conditions whereby other Island residents are coming out with their accounts of PSD abuse and violence.

On 2/16/13, a historic rally of some 300 people jammed into Good Shepherd Community Center in perhaps the largest protest event held on Roosevelt Island. Since then the PSC has expanded its work documenting PSD abuse under the Guerra regime. PSC activists and supporters -- especially direct victims, and their families, of PSD violence, harassment, and bogus detention -- have attended meetings of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) to press our concerns. RIOC has requested and has been receiving numerous signed, documented complaints. Weʼve reached out to elected officials on local and state levels representing Roosevelt Island for their support. Our struggle received signicant media coverage on and off the Island and is projected to exceed it in our next Rally.

So far our demands remain unmet, although there has been some motion toward investigation of PSD abuses by RIOC and submission of complaints to the Inspector General of New York State. We are not discouraged by the slow pace because we understand we are up against entrenched interests and are under no illusions about the bureaucratic labyrinth of obstacles we face. We understand it will take a sustained legal and peaceful campaign of education, mobilization, and intelligently directed pressure to bring about the changes needed. We will stay in the streets and every other arena open to us to expand our campaign, increase our numbers, press our demands until victory is won.

THE MARCH & RALLY: We call on all opponents of police brutality and supporters of justice across NYC to join us April 21 at 1 PM for a legal, peaceful, and determined march down Main Street (at Roosevelt Islandʼs Good Shepherd Church, adjacent to Trellis Diner) to press our demands & concerns. We will gather inside Good Shepherd Church after the march to hear an impressive list of prominent speakers from across New York, island activists and victims of PSD abuse.

The precondition for any “reforms” in the training and methods of PSD personnel must be the IMMEDIATE REMOVAL of Chief Keith Guerra and his top leadership from their posts. We demand that their employer, RIOC, act on this without further delay.

During the Public Session of the April 4 Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board Of Directors meeting, Assembly Member Micah Kellner stated to the the RIOC Directors that the community has:
... lost trust, lost faith in Public Safety and in a democracy a police force can only enforce the law with the consent of the people and right now that is just not going on...

... there clearly needs to be reforms and clearly needs to be a rebuilding of trust between the community and public safety...
Mr. Kellner's full remarks are below.

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Safety Director Keith Guerra is not allowed by RIOC to respond to the charges leveled against him other than this February 15 statement he sent to the community:
I am aware of the community unrest regarding an incident which recently occurred on the island. While I am not at liberty to discuss the details of the particular case, due to pending litigation, I do want you to know that I am listening to you, and I want to reassure you that this office does not tolerate excessive use of force nor constitutional rights violations that put members of the public at risk.

The mission of the Public Safety Department is to reduce crime and fear, promote public safety and improve the quality of life for all those who live, work or visit this wonderful island. Sometimes that vision involves finding the median between serving those who call upon us, and the enforcement on those we encounter from those calls for service. Over the last 5 years, we have been able to decrease crime on the island without a "Zero Tolerance" or "Maximum Enforcement" initiative, as some have purported. This decrease has been confirmed by the Commanding Officer of the 114th Pct., who particularly noted that Index Crimes on Roosevelt Island were down by 7 from the prior year. Please note that this is extremely challenging in an already low crime area. Our Community Outreach initiatives of various informational Summits and Safety Days have enabled us to provide added services. Our Community Basketball Games and the Young Adult Program at Sportspark have provided a better connection between our agency and the young adults in the neighborhood. Additionally, we have been able to have approximately 900 Bicycle helmets and 10 Car Seats donated to the community to provide safety for not only the children but for all residents on the island. I realize that there is still more work to be done.

One of the community’s concerns is the establishment of a Civilian Complaint Review Board. The current procedure has been in place long before I arrived. I am willing to work with you and the RIOC Board concerning this. Assemblyman Micah Kellner and I have spoken in the past about his proposed legislation and I have never been opposed to his suggestion. In fact, I welcomed it. Although this will not be an easy process, I believe that if we work together on this issue, we can make a difference.

As for the particular case in question, all I can do is ask for your patience in allowing the due process to take its course. Please reserve your final judgment until that time. I have, in the past, and will continue to work with the community to form a better understanding and working relationship between PSD and the community it serves.

Keith Guerra, Director

Roosevelt Island

Public Safety Department
For the  good of the Roosevelt Island community, I hope the new RIOC President Charlene Indelicato rejects the policies of her immediate predecessors Leslie Torres and Don Lewis to allow a more open and transparent communications policy as did former RIOC President Steve Shane.

In the meantime, RIOC is considering body cameras for Public Safety Officers and undertaking a Public Safety Department Audit review as well as undergoing an investigation by the NY State Inspector General regarding the brutality allegations.

Report From Acting RIOC President Don Lewis - Roosevelt Island Spring Activities, Main Street Retail Signage, Heightened Tram Security And Visit From The French

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

Any doubt that Spring has arrived on Roosevelt Island was erased last Saturday, when thousands of Island residents and visitors gathered for the Roosevelt Island Residents Association’s 3rd Annual Cherry Blossom Festival. This year’s event was an overwhelming success and attracted the largest crowds yet, spurred by nice weather and increased awareness that this tremendous celebration is not to be missed. Attendees of the festival sampled traditional Japanese food and drink, basked in the beauty of the Island’s cherry blossom trees, listened to world-class Japanese music performances, and generously made charitable contributions.

For more Spring fun on the Island, you’re encouraged to participate in iDig2Learn’s “Love Your Block, Love Your Earth” event on Saturday, April 20, beginning at 10:00 am and continuing throughout the afternoon. To learn more about this Earth Day celebration, which will include flower planting at the plaza in front of Gristedes and Motorgate, please contact

New Main Street Signage

Hudson Related Realty LLC (HRR) has commenced its retail makeover of the arcade, storefronts and signage on Main Street. Based on its mock-up at 568 Main Street, the company is introducing renovations throughout Main Street with modifications at the three other WIRE buildings. The project will include putting a new wood slat ceiling in the arcade areas, new lighting, new signage, refinishing the columns, and refinished storefronts. Retailers will have new custom made signage with their own logos and graphics, as you may have already noticed with the Subway deli and Main Street Sweets. HRR also plans to install new benches and possibly digital touch screen information kiosks, with the majority of the work scheduled to finish later this year.

French Delegation Visits Tram

The Roosevelt Island Tramway continues to be a world-renowned model for inexpensive, efficient and environmentally friendly urban public transportation. Last Friday, RIOC hosted a French delegation of four distinguished guests from the Grenoble-Isère Economic Development Agency, for a long-anticipated tour of our innovative Tram. The group, led by the Mayor of the town of Bourgoin-Jallieu, was extremely impressed by the Tram operation and by the rest of our beautiful Island, which they also toured.

Boston Marathon Bombings – Tram Security

I am deeply saddened by the tragic events that took place earlier this week at the Boston Marathon. It is truly a shame that such evil exists, but we must remember that there were a lot more individuals doing whatever they could to help the victims, than those creating the victims.

Unfortunately, these types of events create heightened security concerns and, as a result, we have taken steps to heighten Tram security. The RIOC Public Safety Department has assigned plain-clothes officers to perform patrols of both platforms of the Tram. PSD will provide periodic uniform presence as well. In addition, PSD will continue to be in contact with New York City Office of Emergency Management to communicate concerning security.

Everyone be safe.
Mr. Lewis is continuing as Acting RIOC President until Charlene Indelicato takes over the permanent position of RIOC President in mid May.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Great Big Sea Playing NYC Kitchen Party Concert At Town Hall Tomorrow Night - O Me O My, It Will Be A Great Time

One of my all time favorite live performance bands, Great Big Sea - from the tropical island of Newfoundland, Canada - is performing in NYC tomorrow night at Town Hall celebrating their 20 anniversary tour.

The first time I ever heard of, or saw, Great Big Sea was at an outdoor concert during the 1999 Summer Festival in Quebec City and I was just blown away by their combination of traditional seafaring folk tunes, Celtic rock songs, audience sing-a-longs and the sheer fun and joy of their live performance. A bunch of friends and I have been attending their New York concerts ever since. If you are looking for something to do Friday night in New York City, I definitely recommend trying to get tickets. Believe me, you will have a Great Time!

Being a fellow Islander, I've always felt a strong kinship toward the lads from Great Big Sea.

President Obama's Speech To City Of Boston And Bombing Victims - Your Country Is With You And You Will Run Again

An excerpt from President Obama's speech:

... Our prayers are with the injured, so many wounded, some gravely. From their beds, some are surely watching us gather here today. And if you are, know this: As you begin this long journey of recovery, your city is with you. Your commonwealth is with you. Your country is with you. We will all be with you as you learn to stand and walk and, yes, run again. Of that I have no doubt. You will run again. You will run again because that's what the people of Boston are made of.
Your resolve is the greatest rebuke to whoever committed this heinous act....
Full text of speech is here.

We're all with Boston - even Yankee fans singing Sweet Caroline.

Roosevelt Island Youth Program Little League Began Exciting 2013 Baseball Season Last Saturday - Here's What Happened, More Games Coming Up On Saturday

The Roosevelt Island Youth Program (RIYP) Little League Baseball Season began it's 2013 season last Saturday at Capobianco Field.

RIYP's Baseball Assistant Director Andrey Ganeev reports:
Last Saturday was the start of another great season of Roosevelt Island baseball at Capobianco field. The day began in left field with Coach Tommy's Tee-Ball showing the island’s young superstars the basics of baseball.

On the the Capobianco diamond we started the day's baseball games with the older players known as the Majors. Scott Bobo’s Purple team versus Ramon Pabon’s Red team opened the season. The game was very competitive going back and forth up until the very end resulting in a victory for reigning champion Red Team by the score of 11 -7.

The second game was the start for me as coach of the Blue Team with the help of my assistant coaches Bryan King and James Suggs. Playing against Commissioner Lloyd Woltz's Orange Team, my Blue team took a commanding lead only to lose it late in another close game 14 -12 ending with the bases load with a full count and 2 outs.

The Majors were followed by the Minors for younger kids who played with great intensity in their games. First off was Coach Johan’s Orange team going against Coach Kristy’s Purple team. Though Johan Orange Team won by a score of 6 - 0, Kristy felt very confident with her team moving forward and may be a force to be reckoned with later in the season.

Last, but not least was the most intense game of the day with Coach Tony's Blue team vs Coach Shirley/Amy's Red team. The game may have ended in a tie 6 - 6, but it had a playoff atmosphere to it already. Day 1 and game 1 now in the Roosevelt Island Youth Program Little League record books and more thrilling games to come.
RIYP Little League Baseball Season Week 2 starts Saturday morning at Capobianco Field. Check it out.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Whole New Way To Experience The Roosevelt Island Tram With Ride Of The Valkyries

Can't help but be reminded of the Helicopter attack scene from Apocalypse Now

Relocation Of Roosevelt Island Goldwater Hospital Patients Discussed At Manhattan Community Board 8 Meeting Last Night - CB 8 Holding Full Board Meeting On Roosevelt Island Today 6:30 PM

Image Of Roosevelt Island Goldwater Hospital Patients From Daniel Tepper via Gothamist

Last night the Manhattan Community Board 8 (CB 8) Health, Seniors and Social Services Committee (HHS) met with representatives from Coler Goldwater Hospital to discuss the closing of Goldwater Hospital and plans to relocate its patients. According to the CB 8 HSS Agenda:
LaRay Brown and executive staff of Goldwater Hospital to discuss the closing of Goldwater Hospital and other issues concerning New York City Health and Hospital Corporation.
Jacqueline Ludorf, Chair
Ms Brown reported that more than 300 patients will be relocated to new facility at North General Hospital in East Harlem at the end of October 2013 and other patients will be transferred to Coler campus on Roosevelt Island at the same time. There will also be 175 mobility impaired affordable apartments for Coler Hospital patients in a new facility being built on 99th street across from Metropolitan Hospital scheduled to open in the spring/summer of 2015.

Ms. Brown added that Goldwater patients will be completely out of Goldwater Hospital by the end of October or early November and the Goldwater campus will be given back to NYC by the end of November at which time it will be transferred to Cornell to begin demolishing the facility and construction of the new Applied Sciences and Technology school.

Will post more information on the meeting soon but here is the video of the discussion with questions from those in attendance and answers by Ms. Brown and Coler Hospital's Deputy Executive Director Floyd Young.

Part 1

Part 2 (a few seconds are missing between the first two parts as I had to change cameras)

More information on the relocation of Roosevelt Island Goldwater Hospital patients from previous posts.

CB 8,

which covers Roosevelt Island and the Upper East Side, will be holding its full Board Meeting on Roosevelt Island later today. What does the Community Board do? According to CB 8's web site:
Community Board 8 reviews and makes recommendations on applications for:

Zoning Text Amendments
Building variances and special permits
Liquor licenses
Sidewalk cafes
Street Fairs
Changes to landmarked buildings or buildings in historic districts

The Community Board also monitors traffic and transportation issues, capital projects in the parks, economic development, public safety issues and the concerns of seniors and youth. The Community Board and the Board office work closely with city, state and federal elected officials; community groups; and other city agencies on these issues. In addition to the work described above, every Community Board plays a role in the Citywide budget process. Each year, the board submits a "District Statement of Needs." Every Fall, the Budget Committee holds a public hearing to determine our priorities for the City's Capital and Expense Budgets. You are encouraged to attend! The District Statement of Needs is available online here and the Budget Priorities are available in the Board 8 Office....
Here's today's Agenda:
Full Board Meeting
Meeting Date:
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - 6:30pm
Meeting Location:
Manhattan Park Theatre Club
8 River Road Roosevelt Island
New York, NY

1. Public Session – Those who wish to speak during the Public Session must register to do so by 6:45 pm
2. Adoption of the Agenda
3. Adoption of the Minutes
4. Manhattan Borough President’s Report
5. Elected Official’s Reports
6. Chair’s Report – Nick Viest
7. Committee Reports and Action Items:
• Parks Committee-Margaret Price and Barbara Rudder, Co-Chairs
• Street Fair Committee-Barbara Chocky and Hedi White, Co-Chairs
• Landmarks Committee-David Helpern and David Liston, Co-Chairs
• Street Life Committee-Domenico Minerva and Cos Spagnoletti, Co-Chairs
• Transportation Committee-A. Scott Falk and Charles Warren, Co-Chairs
8. Old Business
9. New Business

Nicholas D. Viest, Chair

Law And Order: SVU Filming On Roosevelt Island Today At Goldwater Hospital Campus

On Location Vacations tweeted yesterday:

Roosevelt Island resident Irina Hage shares this picture

Image From Irina Hage of Law & Order SVU Filming At Roosevelt Island's Goldwater Hospital Campus

and reports:
Law and order SVU outside of the Coler Goldwater
this morning.

According to Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC)
Please be advised that due to a film shoot on the Island on April 17th, 2013, there will be
"No Parking" from 8:00PM Tuesday, April 16th, 2013 to 11:00PM Wednesday, April 17th, 2013, at the following locations:

"No Parking" on the East Roadway r/o of Goldwater Hospital at 100 Main Street and
No Parking" on the West Roadway from South Point Park at 50 Main Street to the front of Goldwater Hospital at 100 Main Street


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
Ms. Hage adds:
I saw three of the main characters, including Ice T.
UPDATE 4/18 - Ms. Hage shares more photos of Law & Order on Roosevelt Island yesterday including Ice T

Image From Irina Hage

who plays Detective Fin Tutuola

Image From Irina Hage

and crew filming

Image From Irina Hage

while being watched by a Roosevelt Island squirrel.

Image From Irina Hage

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

NYC Summer Youth Job Program Applications Now Available Including Jobs With The Roosevelt Island Youth Program

Roosevelt Island Youth Program Executive Director Charlie Defino reports
Summer Youth Employment Program

The City of New York announced that they are now accepting application for Summer Youth Employment for New York City youth ages 14 – 24, applications can be accessed at the Department of Youth and Community web site.

If you are interested in working at the Roosevelt Island Youth Program you must register on-line at the Roosevelt Island Beacon PS/IS217, 645 Main Street or The Roosevelt Island Youth Program 506 Main Street between the hours of 4PM and 8PM, Monday through Friday.

Workers Begin To Remove Roosevelt Island Main Street Arcade Windows Yesterday - Some Residents Pissed, Hudson Related Says Give It A Chance

Workers for Main Street Master Retail Leaseholder Hudson Related began removing the Roosevelt Landings/Eastwood Window Arcades yesterday. One resident wrote in:

I thought they weren't going to pull the shelter down by Eastwood? Really pissed watching them pull all the glass out on my way to work Monday!
Hudson Related's David Kramer listened to some residents expressing their unhappiness with the removal of the Arcade windows during April 2 Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Real Estate Advisory Committee meeting but maintained that he thought the area would look much nicer without the windows, would not be much of a burden on residents and urged residents to give it a chance.

Here's what the residents and Mr. Kramer had to say on the subject.

More on Mr. Kramer's Main Street retail update from this previous post.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Horrible Bomb Explosions At Boston Marathon Today - Eyewitness Speaks About What He Saw

UPDATE 4/16: Just received this Press Release from NY State Governor Andrew Cuomo's office:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that he has directed state agencies, including the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES), the New York State Police (NYSP), National Guard, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) to be on a heightened state of alert. These measures were taken to ensure the continued safety of New Yorkers after the terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon yesterday.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families, as well as the people of Boston during this tragedy,” said Governor Cuomo. “As we learn more about this incident, New York has taken every step to ensure the safety of all New Yorkers and all those visiting our state. Our law enforcement agencies will remain vigilant in looking for any unusual activity, and I urge all New Yorkers to report any suspicious packages or activity to the authorities. No cowardly act of terrorism will ever match the will and bravery of New Yorkers and Americans, nor will it deter us from carrying on with our daily lives.”

New York State has been in close contact with federal, state and local officials as well as with authorities in Boston. All law enforcement agencies will continue to monitor developments and coordinate with FBI Joint Terrorist Task Force.

Division of Military and Naval Affairs

The New York National Guard’s Joint Task Force Empire Shield has surged forces, sending 230 soldiers and airmen to assist NYPD Counter Terrorism and the MTA and are providing personnel to augment security missions at Port Authority Bus Terminal, PATH station, and Penn Station along with Grand Central Terminal, Amtrak, Queens Midtown Tunnel, Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, JFK International, and LaGuardia International airport.

New York State Police

State Police patrols, with emphasis on K-9 units, have an increased presence and visibility at train stations and platforms in coordination with MTA and Amtrak. Patrols are required to increase presence and patrol operations at mass gathering venues and special events, including transportation hubs.

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

PANYNJ Police have increased their presence at all Port Authority facilities, including the World Trade Center site, the Port Authority Bus Terminal, PATH, its tunnels, bridges, airports and seaports.

In addition, PANYNJ officials are meeting with members of the NYPD to coordinate details and security arrangements for Sunday’s 9/11 Memorial 5K Run/Walk. Security surrounding this event will also be increased to ensure a safe, secure environment.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Deployment of additional MTA Police throughout stations and platforms across 2047 miles of rail track; New York State Police will coordinate with MTA to deploy Troopers at train stations and platforms throughout the lower Hudson Valley area and Long Island.

Special attention to be paid to critical transportation hubs, such as Grand Central Terminal, Penn Station, as well as the high volume Atlantic and Jamaica Terminals.

The New York State Intelligence Center will continue to monitor investigation efforts and share information and request action from the law enforcement community as appropriate to ensure every effort is made to detect and prevent attacks in New York State.

A Statewide Conference Call was convened last night by the New York State Office of Counter Terrorism and New York State Police to brief state and local law enforcement on the Boston Bombing and to request those agencies to increase their presence and awareness of venues involving mass gatherings, special events, graduations and transportation hubs; whether it be train platforms and stations, bus terminals, and bridge crossings.

If any New Yorkers witness activities that seem suspicious or out of place, please report them to local law enforcement.
UPDATE 4/17 - I sent the following inquiry to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) yesterday:
I just received the Press Release below from Governor Cuomo's office regarding heightened NY State security measures being undertaken following the Boston Marathon bombing.

The Press Release indicates various security procedures being taken at named NYC/NY State transportation facilities but does not indicate anything about the Roosevelt Island Tram.

Have any additional security procedures been undertaken at the Roosevelt Island Tram following the Boston bombing?

Also, the Press Release notes that NY State officials have been in contact with local officials. Has RIOC been contacted by NY State officials regarding security concerns as well? If so, what was the nature of the contact?
RIOC issued the following advisory this morning:
Please be advised due to security concerns as a result of the Boston Marathon bombing, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation ("RIOC") has taken certain steps to heighten Tram security.
The RIOC Public Safety Department ("PSD") has assigned plain-clothes officers to perform patrols of both platforms of the Tram. In addition, PSD will provide periodic uniform presence as well. PSD will also continue to be in contact with New York City Office of Emergency Management to communicate concerning security.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
Also, a reader reports:
NYPD at Manhattan platform this morning upon exiting north tram.

Roosevelt Island Is For Lovers - Wedding At Roosevelt Island's Four Freedom Park Yesterday

Congratulations to this young couple on their Roosevelt Island wedding at FDR Four Freedoms Parks yesterday. You can't hear the sound very well but the pictures tell the story.

More Roosevelt Island weddings and proposals at previous posts.