Saturday, June 1, 2013

Today On Roosevelt Island - Gallery RIVAA Opening Reception For Looking Back Looking Forward Photography Exhibition and R & R Concerts Presentation Of Igor Stravinski's A Soldiers Tale

From Roosevelt Island's Gallery RIVAA:

Looking Back, Looking Forward
Saturday, June 1, 2013 - Sunday, July 14, 2013
Opening Reception: Saturday, June 1st from 6-9pm

Image From Gallery RIVAA

RIVAA reflects on its past 11 years and future through photography. An exhibition of RIVAA members and guests.
Also, tonight is the free Rosemarie & Robin Russel Family Concert Series presentation of The Soldiers Tale starting 7:30 PM at Good Shepherd Community Center:
Join us for the presentation of Stravinsky's modern masterpiece, a timeless fable of a soldier on leave who is seduced by the Devil into giving up his fiddle in exchange for limitless riches.

In R&R's most ambitious project to date, we are joined by narrator Dov Scheindlin, conductor Gustav Highstein, and a hot band of seven superb musicians.

Here's a sample of A Soldier's Tale.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Here We Go Again, No Queens Bound Roosevelt Island F Train Service From Manhattan This Weekend - RIOC Puts Tram On Rush Hour Schedule 7 AM Saturday thru 10 PM Sunday

 According to the MTA:
F Jamaica-bound trains run via the E after 47-50 Sts to Roosevelt Av

Weekend, 9:45 PM Fri to 5 AM Mon, May 31 - Jun 3

No Jamaica-bound service at 57 St, Lexington Av/63 St, Roosevelt Island and 21 St-Queensbridge.
F No service at Lexington Av/63 St
Late Night, 9:45 PM Sat to 6 AM Sun, Jun 1 - 2
More information on subway service disruptions this weekend from the MTA's Weekender.

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
The MTA has advised that there will be no Queens bound F trains this weekend, May 31st- June 3rd from 9:45 PM Friday to 5 AM Monday. Trains will be rerouted via the M line.

For service to Queens, take the Manhattan-bound F train to 47-50th Sts. and transfer to a Queens- bound F train.

The Tram will operate on a rush hour schedule (every 7.5 minutes) from 7 AM until 10 PM Saturday, June 1st and Sunday, June 2nd.

For up to the minute F train service updates, visit or call 511. To sign up for real time alerts on planned service changes, visit
Prepare for hot, crowded Tram Cabins this weekend.

Report From RIOC President Charlene Indelicato - Responds To Con Ed Power Outage On Roosevelt Island During Second Week As RIOC President

Charlene Indelicato made her first report to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board Of Directors yesterday.

 Image of RIOC President Charlene Indelicato From RIOC

Ms. Indelicato described RIOC's response to the Con Ed power outage last week, the need for better RIOC emergency communications with the public, sewage generator issues as well as meeting with various community groups. Here's what she had to say

Also, Ms. Indelicato sends her first written report to the Roosevelt Island community.
May 24 marked the end of my second week as President of RIOC and the beginning of the Memorial Day weekend. It was also the day that half of Roosevelt Island lost power. It seems that a fire on the 59th Street Bridge (the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge) knocked out Con Edison feeders to Roosevelt Island, leaving a tenuous thread of electricity to the Island.

I know from experience that how organizations, residents and response teams react to emergencies is the true test of a community’s strength. What I observed during the power outage leads me to believe that Roosevelt Island is a very strong community.

Walking down Main Street with RIOC’s Director of Community Relations Erica Spencer-EL, I saw Board Member Faye Christian leading children from the elementary school to the Good Shepherd Community Center for temporary shelter. RIOC employees Fernando Vargas and Santo Verta were already at work determining the needs of the residents, and setting up temporary headquarters at the engineering office. Public Safety Department officers, led by Director Keith Guerra, were making sure that elderly and disabled residents were accounted for and their needs met.

Meanwhile, RIOC employees were working seamlessly with Delores Green, Jim Bates, and numerous City agencies – the Office of Emergency Management, the Department of Environmental Protection, FDNY and NYPD. Doryne Isley of Island House, Council member Jessica Lappin, RIRA officers and all of the Board members were onsite or were calling in, offering to do anything they could to help.

With RIOC’s servers down, Dick Lutz and Rick O'Connor served as our voice in the community, posting our public service announcements, sharing information as soon as it was received, and keeping Islanders posted on the latest developments. The Island’s businesses pitched in too, turning off all non-essential power so that the one feeder available to the Island didn't malfunction. Last but not least, Island residents took everything in stride and worked with PSD to insure the safety of all.

I was very impressed by the dedication of the RIOC employees and the resiliency of Roosevelt Islanders. I applaud all who took part in the emergency response. The experience confirmed how I already felt: honored to be the new President of RIOC and excited to serve this great community.

Over the past eight months leading up to my appointment, Donald Lewis did a terrific job as Acting President, leading RIOC through a transitional period while continuing to serve in his role as General Counsel. He deserves recognition for his work and I am grateful that he will continue to be a part of our leadership team. I am confident that together with my staff, the Board, community groups, residents and businesses, we can tackle the challenges ahead of us, promoting growth while maintaining the small-town feel, natural beauty, and diversity that make our Island so special.

I look forward to a bright future on Roosevelt Island and to getting to know you all.
Welcome aboard the good ship Roosevelt Island, Ms. Indelicato.

High Temperatures Cooking Roosevelt Island Tram Passengers Says Rider - Another Year Goes By And Nothing Is Done By RIOC To Cool Down Hot Tram In High Temps

Image Of Heat Exhaustion From AltaVista For Illustrative Purposes Only

Summer is coming and it's starting to get really hot and muggy in New York City particularly on the Roosevelt Island Tram which has no air conditioning or cooling system of any type. Today temperatures are expected to reach 90 degrees.

Residents of Roosevelt Island have taken to RI 311 See Click Fix to beg, plead and cry for some type of cooling relief when riding on the Tram.

Here are two RI 311 See Click Fix reports from residents yesterday:

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE! When its hot can you PLEASE have the tram operators leave the doors open when docked? We really need the cross ventilation. Some operators do this - and say it's common sense. Others refuse. PLEASE make it a policy! Thank you.

Another winter has gone by and the tram still has no cooling controls, nor do the tram stations, which now with the new imprisoning glass sarcophagus cook waiting passengers in the noon day sun.
This is not a new problem and it is an issue which was discussed last summer by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board Of Directors and Staff. As previously reported last July 12:
... During the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) June 25 Operations Committee meeting (full audio webcast of meeting here), RIOC Director David Kraut asked RIOC VP of Operations Fernando Martinez what can be done to prevent passengers, particularly children and older people, from passing out from heat exhaustion on the Tram.

Mr. Martinez explained that when the Tram was redesigned, it was decided not to include air conditioning in the Cabins because of the added weight which would reduce the number of passengers permitted to ride in the Cabins and the time needed to charge the batteries.

Mr. Kraut said that now that we have a greater experience of the Tram Cabin heat problem, let's look for a solution to the problem. It might be some sort of fan or air conditioning system that RIOC was not aware of but perhaps other people might have the solution.

Mr. Martinez said the matter will be discussed with Tram Operator Poma.

Here's the discussion.

Yesterday, I sent the following question to Mr. Martinez:
...during recent Operations Committee meeting, subject of cooling the Tram Cabins during very hot weather was discussed. Have any plans been made for fans, air conditioning or any other method of cooling down the Tram Cabins during hot weather?
Will update when an answer is received.
An answer was never received. Maybe this year?

More on Roosevelt Island Tram air conditioning from previous posts here and here.

UPDATE 10:40 AM: Readers respond:
  • A-C, pleas!!
  • or fan at least...
  • Anything!
  • I would not ride the tram in this weather it is to dam HOT

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Sing For Hope Public Art Installation Piano Coming To Roosevelt Island's Good Shepherd Plaza June 1 Thru 16 - Enjoy And Play It Says Piano Designer Mark Evans

Cheshire Kitty reported:

Artist-decorated pianos coming to 83 NYC locations - including RI - from June 1 to June 16: Sing for Hope
According to Sing For Hope:
This summer, from June 1st through June 16th, the Sing for Hope Pianos return to our city streets. In one of New York City’s most vibrant public art installations, 88 artist-designed pianos (one for each key on a piano) are placed in parks and public spaces throughout the 5 boroughs for anyone and everyone to enjoy.

Visual artists from Sing for Hope’s roster of over 1,000 Volunteer Artists and local community members were selected through an open application process and donate their time and talent to create this beautiful gift to our city: 88 unique and interactive piano artworks.

Once on the streets, neighborhood associations and community organizations serve as “piano buddies” and supervise each piano throughout the duration of the project, making sure they are protected from inclement weather. The Sing for Hope Pianos unite our city, as artists from all walks of life create daily spontaneous concerts and neighborhoods come together around the shared gift of music and art....
More information on Sing For Hope here.

The Roosevelt Island Sing For Hope Piano will be located at Good Shepherd Plaza - 543 Main Street and was designed by Mark Evans who writes:
All done. Next time I see this guy it will be at Roosevelt Island, hopefully being enjoyed and played by many of you! Be sure to follow @sfhpianos to keep up with all the pop up piano updates these next few weeks!

Mr. Evans named the piano 88 Keys To Consciousness and explains:
... The piano itself becomes a living Rorschach test as each individual viewer reinterprets the glyphs -- creating their own characters, language, and narratives, within the art. The work becomes a collaboration between both artist and viewer, as each actively participates in the process of finishing the art and creating new worlds within their own subconsciousness....

In the summer of 2011 there was another Pop Up Piano Public Art installation on Roosevelt Island in front of Blackwell House. Remember this performance from the Benjamin Rosenblum Jazz Fusion Duo

Looking forward to hearing some talented Roosevelt Island piano players in the next two weeks.

Overriding NYC Zoning Resolution For Roosevelt Island Southtown Building 7 And Amending Resolution Appointing New RIOC President Charlene Indelicato Among Items On Agenda For RIOC Board Of Directors Meeting Today

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors meeting postponed from May 23 will take place today.

Among the items on the Agenda are:

... 6. Amendment of Resolution Appointing Charlene Indelicato to Position of President/Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation (Board Action Required)
7. Authority to 'Override' the New York City Zoning Resolution in Connection with the Development of Southtown Building 7 and Take Related Actions (Board Action Required)...
Prior to the scheduled May 23 RIOC Board meeting, I had asked RIOC about the amendment to resolution approving Ms. Indelelicato

Ms Indelicato (seated on right) with RIOC Board Members and Staff At 5/15 Real Estate Comm Meeting

to the position of President but received no response.

More on Southtown Riverwalk Building 7 

Image of Riverwalk Building 1-6 and future site of 7-9 from Wall Street Journal

negotiations with developer Hudson Related at this previous post. 

Will find out what these issues are about later today.

During the Public Session preceding the RIOC Board Meeting, members of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Public Safety Committee are expected to present their testimony regarding Public Safety Department brutality allegations to Ms. Indelicato who is presiding over her first Board Meeting.

Below is the full Agenda for today's RIOC Board meeting:

5:30 P.M.1

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call
III. Approval of Minutes
1. April 4, 2013 Board Meeting (Board Action Required)
IV. Old Business
V. New Business
1. Authorization to Enter into Contract with Local 32BJ (Board Action Required)
2. Presentation of the FY 2012-2013 QTR 4 Procurement Report
3. Authorization to Enter into Contract with Gandhi Engineering, Inc. for the Engineering Design Services in Connection with the Roosevelt Island Helix Ramp Rehabilitation Project (Board Action Required)
4.Authorization to Enter into Contract with KS Engineers, P.C. for the Structural Evaluation and Feasibility Study of the Sportspark Facility (Board Action Required)
5. Ratification of Contract with Hill International, Inc. for Owner�s Representative Services (Senior Project Manager) (Board Action Required)
6. Amendment of Resolution Appointing Charlene Indelicato to Position of President/Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation (Board Action Required)
7. Authority to 'Override' the New York City Zoning Resolution in Connection with the Development of Southtown Building 7 and Take Related Actions (Board Action Required)
8. President�s Report
9. Committee Reports
a. Audit Committee
b. Governance Committee
c. Operations Advisory Committee
d. Real Estate Development Advisory Committee
10. Public Safety Report
VI. Adjournment

The RIOC Board Meeting will commence following a public comment period. The public comment period is not part of the meeting.
A webcast of the RIOC Board meeting will be available here.

Also, the Manhattan Community Board 8 Roosevelt Island Committee is meeting today at 7 PM.

UPDATE 5/31 - The amendment of resolution approving Ms. Indelicato's appointment as RIOC President was removed from the Agenda at beginning of Board meeting. No explanation given.

The authority to override NYC Zoning Resolution regarding Southtown Building 7 was approved. No explanation was given for the reason this was done either.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Beautiful Manhattanhenge Sunset Tonight As Seen From Roosevelt Island

Reported previously that:

... Resident David Kraut suggested this idea for Roosevelt Island photographers.
"Manhattanhenge" is a reference to the twice-a-year phenomenon when the cross streets of Manhattan line up with the setting sun. Roosevelt Island is an ideal location to view this phenomenon because we can see across the west channel right up the streets....
Here are some Manhattanhenge photos taken tonight from Roosevelt Island's West Channel Road in Southtown

and from the Rivercross Lawn.

More on Manhattanhenge from previous post.

If you wish, please share your Manhattanhenge photos as comments.

Both Manhattan Roosevelt Island Tram Station Elevators Out Of Service -Problem For Strollers and Wheelchairs, RIOC Working On It

Received reports today that:

Both elevators on the Manhattan side of the Tram seem to be broken,

so it is very difficult for parents with strollers, people with bikes or wheel-chair users to get down the stairs.
In response to my inquiry, Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Charlene Indelicato replied that they know about the problem and it is being worked on.

Update 2 pm - According to RIOC:
We were informed earlier today that the main elevator located at the Tram Manhattan Station went down this morning at 7:15 AM due to a door malfunction. Since then, we have been in contact with the vendor who has initiated a service call. We have just been notified that several technicians will be on site within the next half hour to evaluate and resolve the issue. In the interim, passengers requiring the use of an elevator are encouraged to utilize the service lift until service is fully restored to the main elevator. Our Tram staff will continue to provide assistance to any disabled and/or senior citizen requiring the use of the lift. We will keep you informed and will provide an update as soon as the status has improved.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation.
Update 4:40pm - From RIOC:
Please be advised service has been restored to the passenger elevator at the Manhattan Tram station. However, the ADA Wheelchair Elevator Lift is currently out of service. Disabled passengers requiring the use of an elevator are encouraged to utilize the passenger elevator. We will provide an additional update as soon as the ADA Wheelchair Elevator Lift is fully restored.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
UPDATE 5/31 - According to RIOC:
Please be advised the main passenger elevator and the ADA wheelchair elevator lift, located at the Manhattan Tram station, are currently out of service. Maintenance technicians will be on-site shortly to resolve the issue. We will provide an additional update as soon as the status has improved.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group

Roosevelt Island Cornell NYC Tech, Q102 Bus, Bicycle Sharing, Queensboro Bridge Access and Relocation of Goldwater Hospital Patients On Agenda For May 30 Community Board 8 Roosevelt Island Committee Meeting

The Manhattan Community Board 8 (CB 8) Roosevelt Island Committee will be meeting on Roosevelt Island Thursday May 30. According to CB 8:
Meeting Date:
Thursday, May 30, 2013 - 7:00pm
Meeting Location:
Manhattan Park
4 River Road, Community Room
Roosevelt Island, NY

Introduction of co-chairs and committee members.
Discussion of role of Community Board 8 and the formation and role of this committee
Review of recent island issues reviewed by CB 8 and its committees
(a) Cornell-Technion Project/Cornell-Technion Task force
(b) MTA Q102/ Transportation Committee
(c) Queensboro Bridge Bike Access/Transportation Committee
(d) CitiBank Bike Share Program/Transportation Committee
(e) Relocation of Goldwater Residents/Health, Seniors and Social Services Committee
Volunteers to be public member
Public Session – open discussion

Jeffrey Escobar and Laurence Parnes, Co-Chairs 
During May 21 Roosevelt Island Community Coalition (RICC) meeting updating residents on Cornell NYC Tech project (here's video of full meeting at Part 1 and Part 2), Community Board 8 Roosevelt Island Co-Chair Jeff Escobar reported 

on the CB 8 Roosevelt Island Committee goals and objectives.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Be Careful Of Poison Ivy Spotted Near Octagon Park And Other Roosevelt Island Locations

Reader C. Grant shares this photo

Image from C. Grant

and warns us:
Poison Ivy sightings around Octagon Park and other island areas

$10 Thousand Power Ball Ticket Sold At Roosevelt Island Gristedes Last Week - Were You The Lucky Winner?

A Ten Thousand Dollar NY State Lottery Power Ball Ticket was sold at the Roosevelt Island Gristedes for the May 18 drawing.

The winning numbers were 10,13,14,22,52 and Power Ball 11

Congrats to the lucky winner!!!!!.

Monday, May 27, 2013

It's Memorial Day, Thank You For Your Service To All Members Of U.S. Military and Their Families - Roosevelt Island Memorial Day Wreath Laying Ceremony Today With Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and Singer Carole King At FDR Four Freedoms Park

In addition to enjoying ourselves this Memorial Day weekend with a day off from work, friends, family and outdoor barbecues, let's also take a moment to remember the men and women of the United States Military who are currently serving our country, those veterans who have done so in the past and those who gave their lives.


Memorial Day, which falls on the last Monday of May, commemorates the men and women who died while serving in the American military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, at least, it marks the beginning of summer...

Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day because it was a time set aside to honor the nation's Civil War dead by decorating their graves...
More on Memorial Day from and here's President Obama's Memorial Day remarks:

and today at Arlington National Cemetery.

Did you know there was a Memorial Day Wreath Laying Ceremony today at Roosevelt Island's FDR Four Freedoms Park? Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and singer Carole King knew.

UPDATE 5/28 - Here's press release from Congresswoman Maloney's office:
On Monday, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY12) led a Memorial Day wreath-laying ceremony Monday at Roosevelt Island’s Four Freedoms Park.

“I am so thrilled to be here for the very first Memorial Day Celebration and remembrance in this beautiful new park. My father served in World War II. My husband served in peacetime, in the Navy. And my brother was a veteran of the Vietnam War. So I know, firsthand, about the sacrifice that they and their families have made for our country. That is why we gather today, to express the thanks of a grateful nation,” said Congresswoman Maloney.

The wreath-laying ceremony was held to honor the military men and women who have bravely served the country, and to mark the first Memorial Day in Four Freedoms Park. The new park was developed, in part, with a $500,000 federal grant that Congresswoman Maloney secured. Congresswoman Maloney spoke near a large bust of Franklin D. Roosevelt, and praised President Roosevelt’s commitment to veterans.

“President Roosevelt understood how important it is to help the courageous men and women who return from war reintegrate into society, help them recover from the war, and earn a living. Those priorities are just as important today, with thousands of men and women returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan,” she said.

The park, which Congresswoman Maloney helped open in October 2012, is named after Roosevelt’s famous Four Freedoms Speech: The Freedom of Speech, the Freedom of Worship, the Freedom from Want and the Freedom from Fear.

Before giving the keynote address, Congresswoman Maloney was introduced by her close friend, music legend Carole King, who recently became the first woman to receive the Library of Congress’ Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. “If you’re a woman, if you’re a first responder, or a veteran. If you’re a consumer or an investor. If you’re a survivor of Superstorm Sandy, or human-trafficking, or one of the many constituents she helps each and every day, you have a friend in Carolyn Maloney, and I am proud to say that she has a friend in me,” said King, before embracing Congresswoman Maloney.

Before resting a ceremonial wreath near the Roosevelt monument, Congresswoman Maloney thanked Sally Minard, Gina Pollara, and Ambassador Bill vanden Heuvel for all their work to develop and open the park. She also lauded the work of designer Louis Kahn.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sailing East River Past Roosevelt Island Today

Watching sailboats go by Roosevelt Island this afternoon.

Wish we had a dock on Roosevelt Island.

NYCRUNS Roosevelt Island Memorial Day Ice Cream Social 5 and 10 K Race Tomorrow Morning - RIOC Advises To Expect Minor Traffic Delays

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):

A 5K and 10K race will be held on Monday, May 27th beginning at 9 AM. Expect minor traffic delays around the F train station and on the East Roadway up to 405 Main Street.

Thank you for your anticipated cooperation.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
More information on the tomorrow's 5 & 10 K race from NYCRuns:
NYCRUNS Memorial Day Ice Cream Social
NYCRUNS Holiday Series 5K & 10K
May 27, 2013
- Start time: 9:00 a.m. 5K, 9:30 a.m. 10K. Race-day packet pickup begins at 8:00.
Roosevelt Island
Address: Roosevelt Island Roosevelt Island, NY

NYCRUNS kicks off it’s summer holiday series in style with an Ice Cream Social on

Roosevelt Island! Woo- fricking-hoo!

Time & Date: Memorial Day! Monday May 27th. Onsite packet pickup starts at 8:00 AM. 5K Race starts promptly at 9 AM. 10K starts at 9:30 AM...
Here's the 5K route map

Image From NYCRUNS

and click here for more info