Saturday, July 27, 2013

Sailboat Mast Hits Roosevelt Island Bridge On East River This Afternoon - Watch That Height Clearance Sailors

At about 2:30 this afternoon, the NYPD Harbor Patrol and FDNY responded to a sailboat

Image From Rebecca Knell

that struck the Roosevelt Island Bridge on the Queens side of the East River.

Image From Rebecca Knell

Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department John McManus Director explains what happened:
The mast of this sailboat, which was traveling at an extremely slow rate of speed, barely touched the lower part of the bridge. No injuries, no damage to either the boat or the bridge. There was a slight disruption of service.
Offshore Blue describes navigating the East River:
Making the trip on the East River either from Upper New York Bay to Long Island Sound or in the opposite direction, from Long Island Sound to The Battery in New York City, can be an enjoyable experience or it can be one of those things where you wish you were somewhere else... Anywhere Else!

So what’s the problem? In one word "Currents." It can be pretty frustrating watching strollers and power walkers along FDR Drive pass you by while you are motoring along at 7 or 8 knots thru the water...

... A secondary channel to the east of Roosevelt Island has an additional lift bridge with 40’ vertical clearance in the closed position. This bridge is generally not a problem since the preferred channel is to the west of Roosevelt Island. Keep in mind that the main channel can be closed when the United Nations requests it for security purposes requiring the use of the secondary channel....

Here's what it's like sailing on the West Channel past Hell Gate and Roosevelt Island.

Can get pretty bumpy.

Roosevelt Island Summer Outdoor Movie Series Showing Disney's Animation Film Brave Tonight At Southpoint Park

The Roosevelt Island Summer Outdoor Movie Series at Southpoint Park continues tonight

 Image of Roosevelt Island 7/5 Rooftop Films Southpoint Park Outdoor Movie From Olya Turcihin

with the showing of Brave.

Image From RIOC

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
This Saturday’s featured movie is Brave ! Come out to Southpoint Park on July 27th at 7 PM for an unforgettable night of movie trivia, music and more! A variety of great food, popcorn and drinks will be available for purchase.

Stop by, sit back, relax, and enjoy the movie!

** Rain Date: August 3rd**

This event is sponsored by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
Here's the trailer for Brave.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Good News - There Is Roosevelt Island F Train Service To Manhattan And Queens This Weekend

According to the MTA, there is no Roosevelt Island F Train Subway service disruption to Manhattan or Queens this weekend.

Hallelujah, normal Roosevelt Island F Train service on a weekend for a change.

Help Roosevelt Island And New York City During Emergency Situations - Volunteer For Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Training, Now

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) President Ellen Polivy invites you to join the Roosevelt Island CERT Team to be available for helping our neighbors in future emergency situations.

From Ms. Polivy:

I am sending out an invitation to become a CERT team member and take the CERT training. Community Emergency Response Team is part of NYC's Office Of Emergency Management (OEM). We are looking for new and excited volunteers who want to get excellent training and get invited to participate in drills and practices and community work around the City and on Roosevelt Island.

The CERT team helps the Community prepare for emergencies and build resilience as well as stepping in to help their neighbors in emergency situations (when deployed by OEM). You must be over 18 to take the class.

 I must have the applications back by the end of the month so that we can have enough volunteers to hold a 10 week class on the Island. Class will run on Tuesdays from September 24 through December 3 from 6:30-9:30. Among other topics, the training will consist of modules on subway escape, fire safety, fire simulation, disaster simulation. To have this class on Roosevelt Island we must have a good turnout. There is a brief application that needs to be complete.

If interested, please email Howard Polivy at immediately.
If interested, please email now!!

OEM has more information on NYC CERT teams.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Resident Gives Tour Of Disgusting Mold In His Roosevelt Island Mitchell Lama Westview Apartment - Asks For Help

Roosevelt Island Westview resident Vadim Malinsky has mold in his apartment

Image of Westview Ceiling Mold via Vimeo

and tells us what's on his mind:
Please view my video and hear out my story... for third year now I have had a mold problem in my apartment in Westview... this time mold came with full force. Ceiling in my bedroom, living room, bathroom is covered with black fungus. Dr. Resnick connected my continuos cough and clogged throat to mold allergy. During last visit he advised me to move to another apartment. But as we all know, due to privatization or some kind of other interests Westview management has been reluctant to let anyone in number of available apartments in the building. I exercise and taking care of my condition daily. I swim, walk miles every day. I used to play hockey, volleyball. Never had any allergies. Now it is permanent condition. What next? Asthma, cancer.... I love living on the island but some things are very upsetting here.. Some things just do not make sense.. We are one community, one island, why we get so much negligence from people of authority here all the time... Please pardon my emotional writing, it just I feel really bad about it. Please share, comment, advise.
Mr. Malinsky takes us on a tour showing the mold in his apartment.

NYC Department of Health has information on what to do if you have mold in your apartment.

Westview ownership gave notice in May 2012 of its intent to remove Westview from the Mitchell Lama program. Have not heard much of any privatization progress since the May 2012 notice.

Transportation Access To Roosevelt Island Part Of NYC Dep't Of City Planning Western Queens Transportation Study - Improved Transit, Bike and Pedestrian Linkage Between Long Island City, Astoria and Roosevelt Island Sought

The NYC Department Of City Planning (DCP) is conducting a Western Queens Transportation study to improve transportation links between new and existing Long Island City and Astoria developments which will also include transportation links from these neighborhoods to Roosevelt Island.

According to the Tri-State Transportation Campaign (TSTC):
The New York City Department of City Planning (DCP)’s Transportation Division and Queens Office recently held its kickoff meeting for the Western Queens Transportation Study, which sets out to link new and existing development by focusing on bike, pedestrian and transit improvements. Various city agencies, the MTA, local civic associations, members from Community Boards 1 and 2 and the Tri-State Transportation Campaign were invited to participate in the Technical Advisory Committee to help guide the federally-funded study....

... Transportation issues identified by the DCP include:

Access to residential uses
Access to Roosevelt Island...
Filling in the last-mile gap between the waterfront and subway stations is key to the area’s success. Although western Queens is served by subway lines (G/7/E/M/R/N/Q) that connect to Manhattan, Brooklyn and eastern Queens, stations are located on the eastern and southern edges of the area, some of which are as far as 15 blocks from the waterfront. These connectivity issues can be addressed by the expansion of Citi Bike to serve Long Island City and Astoria. And while there are buses that serve the area, they don’t run very frequently.

DCP’s “Toolbox of Recommendations” include:

Bus frequency
Bus routes
Ferry service
Bicycle network improvements
Pedestrian improvements
Intersection improvements
Wayfinding signage
Parking regulations
Signal timing improvements
Click here for the entire TSTC post.

It does not appear that anyone from the Roosevelt Island community including the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) or the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) participated in the kickoff meeting.

Upon learning of the DCP Western Queens Transportation Study, RIRA Planning Committee Chair Frank Farance commented on the TSTC post:
Thank you for the information. On Roosevelt Island we’ve been looking into a variety of transportation opinions, including anticipating the arrival of Cornell.

Purely from a Roosevelt Island perspective … :-)
- Some of the Queens bus routes end suddenly and could be extended (just a little bit) to Vernon Blvd, Roos Isl, and/or Queens West for better commuting connections
- The Q102 is underutilized
- On Roos Isl, you’re probably not aware that we have this Red Bus service (for a quarter) that runs around the Island every 15 minutes (7.5 in rush) and is a main form of intra-Island transportation, with connection to Motorgate, Subway, Tram, FDR Four Freedoms Park, etc.
- Subway planning can be done better, but there are complex constraints
- We have several ferry spots, RIOC (Roosevelt Island Operation Corporation, which administers the Island) has done a study on ferry service (and locations) for RI

I will invite you to our next RIRA (Roosevelt Island Residents Association) Planning Committee meeting. Send me E-mail with your contact info. Thanks.
Better transportation connections from Roosevelt Island to Long Island City and Astoria would be great. Any ideas?

Hope it happens in the not too distant future.

I contacted the DCP for more information. Will update when received.

UPDATE 7/30 - RIOC Transportation manager Cy Opperman attended the meeting.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sexual Harassment Allegations Leveled Against Roosevelt Island's Assembly Member And City Council Candidate Micah Kellner By A Former Staffer - UPDATE - City Council Opponent Ben Kallos Responds To Harassment Allegations Against Kellner And Receives NOW NYC Endorsement, Lappin Withdraws Endorsement Of Kellner

The NY Times reports today that Roosevelt Island's Assembly Member and NYC Council Candidate Micah Kellner was accused of sexual harassment by a junior staff member. According to the NY Times:
... Four years ago, a junior staff member in Assemblyman Micah Z. Kellner’s office complained to her supervisor that she was being harassed by Mr. Kellner, an Upper East Side Democrat. The supervisor, a top aide to Mr. Kellner, reported the matter to Bill Collins, who, as counsel to the majority party, ran the Assembly’s legal staff. The senior Kellner aide presented Mr. Collins with 15 pages of Internet chat transcripts, in which Mr. Kellner made suggestive remarks to the junior staff member, a woman in her early 20s who was new to the job.

Mr. Kellner encouraged the woman to play Scrabble with him on Facebook while conversing through the Google Talk Internet messaging service. In one exchange that took place well after midnight, Mr. Kellner told the woman that he had hired her because “you were cute during the interview.” He asked if she had a boyfriend and told her, “I guess secretly I didn’t want you to have one,” adding, “I like being the only man in your life” and “Don’t cheat on me.”

“I wouldn’t mind falling asleep with you but not remotely,” he wrote. “Did I offend?” ...
... There was no suggestion that the inappropriate behavior in either the 2009 or 2011 episodes was anything other than verbal in nature...
Click here for the entire NY Times article.

I asked Mr. Kellner for a comment on the sexual harassment charge reported today in The NY Times. Mr. Kellner replied:
Over four years ago, for a few weeks while I was still single, I exchanged instant messages with a female member of my staff that were flirtatious. It was inappropriate. I was wrong and it was stupid. When I was told that my staffer felt the messages were unprofessional, I immediately stopped and regretted placing her in that position. I was sorry then and I am sorry now.
UPDATE 1 PM: Mr. Kellner, According to Politicker:
... declined to comment on a second reported complaint from another staffer two years later, saying, “I’m not going to speak to that.”

But what should voters make of the fact that he had been out front, criticizing Mr. Silver for failing to refer complaints for investigation–when that is precisely what is alleged to have happened to the complaints lodged against him?

“Then this should have been handled,” he replied. “I was never informed four years ago of a complaint. So I only learned of this recently.”

Mr. Kellner also declined to speculate about why the complaints had surfaced now–in the midst of a heated election–and sidestepped questions about how he thought voters were reacting to the barrage of political sex scandal, including the latest revelations about mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner....
UPDATE 8:40 PM - Ben Kallos is one of Mr. Kellner's opponents in the Democratic Party Primary for NYC's 5th Council District which covers Roosevelt Island, the Upper East Side and Midtown East.

This afternoon, Mr. Kallos held a press conference in front of Mr. Kellner's 1st Avenue office where he received the endorsement of the National Organization for Women of New York City (NOW NYC)  from its President, Sonia Ossorio.

Mr. Kallos then spoke about the sexual harassment allegations reported today by the NY Times against Mr. Kellner stating:
... I'm not OK with a culture that permits this to go on and say its no big deal...

... in our government there's a culture of powerful people using that power to prey on others. I 'm disappointed today and I call on others to stand up to this culture of fear and harassment...
When asked during the Press Conference:
... would you put Kellner in same vein as Spitzer and Weiner?
Mr. Kallos responded:
... any harassment is unacceptable  and comparing whose worse in the spectrum is not a game we should be playing. Zero tolerance is what it is by the law and that is what it should be for all of us....
NOW -NYC's Ms Ossorio added:
... across the board there's abuses of power and that is the heart of the matter, not to what degree the harassment took place...
Here's video of today's Ben Kallos press conference.

Capital New York reports:
City Councilwoman Jessica Lappin withdrew her endorsement of Assemblyman Micah Kellner this afternoon, citing a New York Times story about inappropriate messages he exchanged with female staffers in years past.

Kellner is running for the Council seat currently held by Lappin, who is running for Manhattan Borough President.

In a statement from her campaign, Lappin said, "Today’s New York Times story about Assemblyman Kellner was deeply troubling. His behavior was clearly wrong and inappropriate, as he himself acknowledged. Because of the seriousness of the issue, I am withdrawing my endorsement of him for the City Council seat I currently hold.”...
Click here for the entire Capital New York article.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Own A Piece Of Roosevelt Island History, Red And White Main StreetRetail Signage Can Be Yours - Hurry Up If You Want Your Piece OfRoosevelt Island Nostalgia

Roosevelt Island's unique red background with white lettering Main Street retail store signage is no more.

Image From Glark

As described by former Roosevelt Island resident and Font Memories Blogger Evan Coyne Maloney:
... one of the more odd aspects of Roosevelt Island still remains: the storefront occupants on Main Street seemed to compete over whose sign would display the most generic and lifeless name:
  • ...and my personal favorite: THE CHILD SCHOOL
The drab brutalist architecture of Main Street, Roosevelt Island and the austerity of Helvetica always made me wonder if that’s what NYC would have “evolved” into had the Bolsheviks taken over here and not in Russia...
You may like and have fond memories of Roosevelt Island's old retail signage. If so, the Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS) is giving you the opportunity to own the signage for yourself. According to RIHS President Judy Berdy:
Remember the red and white signs over the Eastwood stores? They are being replaced by a new look.

The sign can be yours!! Contact us at the RIHS and you can own an 11 foot long metal sign. We ask for a donation to the RIHS to help us continue preserving the island history.

The signs must be removed by 7/31. Call us today to reserve your piece of history!!!
The signs are currently being shown in the window at Rivercross on Main Street.

Developer Hudson Related took over Roosevelt Island's Main Street retail corridor as the Master Leaseholder from the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) and has been in the process of giving Main Street retail a make over. So far, Main Street Retail Signage looks like this.

Hudson Related's David Kramer promises the Roosevelt Island Main Street retail corridor and signage will look very nice once it is completed.

July 23 - 24 Roosevelt Island Bridge Testing By NYC DOT, Intermittent Closings From 9 AM To 2 PM

 Image of Roosevelt Island Bridge

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
Please be advised the New York City Department of Transportation Division of Bridges will resume testing the newly rehabilitated Roosevelt Island Bridge beginning on Tuesday, July 23rd through Wednesday, July 24th, 2013 between the hours of 9:00 A.M. until 2:00 P.M.

As during previous testing periods, the bridge will be closed to all traffic for 8-15 minute intervals. Traffic in the queue must dissipate before another 15 minute closure occurs. During this testing NYPD, NYFD and EMS units will be available to Roosevelt Island residents and visitors by dialing 911. We apologize for any inconvenience created by this testing schedule.

If you require further information, please contact the Division of Bridges/Community Affairs.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group

Monday, July 22, 2013

Everybody Matters - If You Could See Inside Other People's Hearts What Would You See

A change of pace from the usual Roosevelt Island stuff.

According to Everybody Matters:

... The camera wanders and shows the inner lives of people around us as they do their daily tasks. Most of it is set in a hospital, where there is so much worry, sadness, some joy, bad news, good news, no news, anxiety, fear -- as in real life, but perhaps magnified.

We've all BEEN there - experienced at least one of these people's lives. Hence, the tears! It's so TRUE.

This short video is at once quiet, profound, powerful, true, simple -- and so supremely human. It was produced by the Cleveland Clinic, as an example of their regard for empathy.

It's a profound reminder: we ALL have our story. Others have theirs. We NEVER know. And to treat others with the benefit of the doubt, with courtesy, with compassion, with respect.

Everyone Matters...

Hat tip to Presurfer.

Mayor Bloomberg Says Take The Stairs For Your Heath - 88 Year Old Roosevelt Island Resident Ethel Romm Agrees, She Climbs 20 Flights Of Stairs Daily

When presented with the choice, do you climb the stairs or take the elevator/escalator?

Image From NY Times

Gothamist reported last Thursday:
Mayor Bloomberg has taken his mission to whip New Yorkers into shape to a new level, literally. At a press conference yesterday, Bloomberg announced his newest anti-obesity effort, which involves a series of initiatives designed to encourage New Yorkers to just take the damn stairs already. The Mayor himself told reporters that he leads by example, explaining, "I have five floors in my house, and I just take the stairs."...
Click here for the entire Gothamist article.

According to this Press Release from Mayor Bloomberg's office:
...“New York City has been a leader when it comes to promoting healthier eating and now we’re leading when it comes to encouraging physical activity as well,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Physical activity and healthy eating are the two most important factors in reducing obesity and these steps are part of our ongoing commitment to fighting this epidemic.”...

... “We know that regular stair use increases physical activity and active stairways are one of many ways we are creating a healthy environment,” said Deputy Mayor Gibbs. “As a result of these initiatives, hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers may now take the stairs, saving the equivalent of 500,000 pounds of weight among adult New Yorkers annually.”...
88 Year Old Roosevelt Island resident Ethel Romm can attest to the benefits of walking the stairs instead of taking the elevator. Ms. Romm explained during the June 26 meeting of the Roosevelt Island Women's Health Organization (RIWHO) that she climbs 20 flights of stairs daily. Ms. Romm told the RIWHO members that after a little while of climbing the stairs of her apartment building:
amazing things start to happen
to her health.

Listen to Ms. Romm:

Perhaps Ms. Romm should be the spokesperson for Mayor Bloomberg's stair walking initiative.

Some folks over at Fox News did not appreciate Mayor Bloomberg's stair walking proposal.

More on stair climbing for exercise from NY Times.

After Ms. Romm's talk about the benefits of stair climbing, the RIWHO members got into the exercise spirit

with some Zumba.

I'm going to rest for a while.

Good Job By Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department Providing Main Street Water Station For Thirsty Residents During Heat Wave

Good job by the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department providing a water station in front of their Main Street HQ

for thirsty Roosevelt Islanders

to get some relief

during the Heat Wave.

The Blackwell Park Water Fountain also provided

some refreshing relief.

Did you take a dip in the fountain?

Fortunately, the heat wave has subsided and the weather has cooled down a bit.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Roosevelt Island's Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney On Alleged IRS Tea Party Scandal - Tells Treasury Inspector General "You're Audit Was A Smear" During July 18 House Oversight Committee Hearings

During July 18 House Oversight Hearing, Roosevelt Island's Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney told Treasury Inspector General J. Russell George, who conducted the audit regarding allegations of improper IRS monitoring of Tea Party Groups:

... You're Audit Was A Smear...
According to Raw Story:
Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) ripped into Treasury Inspector General J. Russell George on Thursday for releasing an audit on the IRS that focused narrowly on tea party groups.

Holding up documents at a House Oversight Committee hearing, Maloney said a training manual clearly stated IRS screeners should be on the lookout for both liberal and conservative groups.

“So they were training, according to their own training manual, that they were to look for ‘progressive’ when they were looking for this quote political activity,” she continued. “I think it is very clear that in their training manual they were saying look for political activity — Republican, Democrat, conservative, liberal, and tea party and progressive. Did you have this training manual? Did you ever see this training manual?”

George said he only received the document last week. He said he was concerned the IRS had not provided his investigators with other important documents. George refused to say whether the IRS had treated progressive groups the same way they tax agency treated tea party groups, but it was under investigation...
 Click here for entire Raw Story article.

Here's C-Span video of Ms. Maloney questioning Mr. George

and more from Ms. Maloney on the issue during June 6 Cspan interview. More from C-SPAN of the July 18 House Oversight Committee meeting here.