Friday, August 2, 2013

No Queens Bound Roosevelt Island F Trains This Weekend - Service In Both Directions Last Weekend Was Too Good To Last

Last weekend's Roosevelt Island F Train service to Manhattan and Queens was too good to last. This weekend there will be no Queens bound Roosevelt Island F train service.

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, Aug 2 - 5

No Jamaica-bound service at 57 St, Lexington Av/63 St, Roosevelt Island and 21 St-Queensbridge.
The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) adds:
The MTA has advised that there will be no Queens bound F trains this weekend, August 2nd -5th beginning at 9:45 PM Friday to 5 AM Monday. Trains will be rerouted via the M line to Queens Plaza.

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) Saturday and Sunday from 7 AM until 10 PM during the F train service disruption.

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


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group

Report From RIOC President Charlene Indelicato - Roosevelt Island Heat Wave Cooling Center, Recent Burglaries, Outdoor Movies, Motorgate Renovation, Mommy & Me Swim Classes, Tot Lot, Southtown Building Update, Rebuilding After Hurricane Sandy With FEMA Help and Cultural Center Renovation

 Image of RIOC President Charlene Indelicato From RIOC

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Charlene Indelicato sends the following report to the community.
Heat Waves and Roosevelt Island Cooling Center

As beautiful as Roosevelt Island is during the summer, I think we have all been doing our best to deal with some pretty oppressive heat waves. Our Public Safety Department set up a water station right on Main Street. The Blackwell Park Water Fountain has been pumping cold water for people of all ages to cool down.

Also, our cooling center has been open as well from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Roosevelt Island Senior Center, 546 Main Street. During the two recent heat waves, we received a lot of calls about our cooling center and we can assure our residents that the center will be open when the heat index is predicted to be dangerously high. Individuals who have no ready access to a cool environment, and particularly those at risk for heat related illness, should use it during a heat wave. The status of the cooling center is also posted on our Facebook page.

As I write this, the weather has cooled a bit back to normal summer temperatures and we’re back to enjoying our outdoor spaces and activities.

On the Public Safety Front

It has been a busy few months at the Public Safety Department. Unfortunately, earlier last month, we had a series of burglaries at Manhattan Park. Any personal intrusion, such as a burglary, is treated very seriously by the PSD, who handle the initial response. Follow-up is then made by the NYPD’s 114th Precinct. PSD and the NYPD increased patrols in the area, and Crime Prevention Tips focused on home and personal security, which has proven to be an effective means of addressing crime, were distributed. The Crime Prevention Tips are available on the RIOC website, in the PSD section. The PSD Director dialogues with senior staff from the 114th Precinct regularly through the sharing of information and tactical plans to prevent and/or follow up on a crime.

Gonna Fly Now to the Outdoor Summer Movie Series

With over 600 people attending RIOC’s Outdoor Summer Movie Series each week, we are thrilled to see our community and visitors come together to enjoy our movies. The next film will be on August 10 and it’s a good one: Rocky. The movie will start at 8:45 p.m., but the fun starts at South Point Park at 6:00 p.m. with family friendly trivia with fun prizes. The park is ADA-accessible, and the Red Bus will stop at the nearby bus stop every 15 minutes.

In the event of inclement weather, we will announce postponements via RIOC advisories – email to sign up – and on our Facebook and Twitter pages. The rain date for Rocky will be August 17.

Remember, admission is free - so bring a blanket or a chair and enjoy the show!

Motorgate Renovation Project Update

On Thursday, the Motorgate Renovation Project moved from Sections 4A South and 4A North to Sections 4B South and 4D. The completed sections were opened to parking again. The renovation to the Motorgate Parking Facility includes new energy efficient LED lighting and refreshed striping.

Disabled parking currently located in Section 4D will be temporarily relocated to Sections 5D and 6D until this work is completed, as expected, by August 15.

The next sections undergoing renovations will be Sections 5A North and 5A South. Work in these sections will begin on or about August 15.

Mommy and Me adds another class

We are delighted by the demand for our Mommy and Me swim classes at the Sportspark Facility, 250 Main Street. Classes were initially offered at 11:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. on Sundays. We added another class at 10:30 a.m. This class is limited to 13 parents. Participants are encouraged to sign-up early for each class.

As a result of the popularity of these classes, RIOC is designing a new registration system to help with the process. This improved registration system will include pre-registration and varied rates for residents and non-residents.

Blackwell Park Tot Lot and Southtown Building Update

We are very happy to announce the new tot lot located at Blackwell Park is expected to be completed by mid-August, end of the month at the latest. After the new tot lot is open, Hudson/Related will begin the construction of Riverwalk Building 7. This 200,000 square foot residential building, featuring 260 rental apartments, will take approximately 2 years to complete, according to Hudson/Related.

The Southtown Dog Run will remain open through construction.

Rebuilding After Hurricane Sandy & FEMA Funds at Work

Working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), RIOC has engaged in important post-Sandy rehabilitation projects. As work on these projects progresses, FEMA is notified to ensure that RIOC can tap into Federal funds that have been made available for disaster response. Contractors have completed repairs to various sinkholes on the Island’s promenades, preventing potential injuries. A Request for Proposals (RFP) has been issued for qualified contractors to make necessary repairs to the West Pier, which has been closed to the public since the storm. Bids have been received and are being evaluated for the necessary repairs to the footbridges in Lighthouse Park. Lastly, an RFP is currently out for architectural and engineering documents necessary for construction work to begin on the beloved Cultural Center. Work on these three projects is expected to begin in the fall.

A final note about the Cultural Center: I would like to thank all who contributed their time and input to ensure that the multi-use space will provide room for all Roosevelt Island activities and not-for-profit groups at minimal cost.

Report From RIRA President Ellen Polivy - Roosevelt Island Evacuation Zone, CERT Training, Cornell NYC Tech EDC Lease Agreement And Common Council Resumes Next Month

Click here for the new NYC Hurricane Evacuation Map.

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) President Ellen Polivy sends the following Report To The Community:
OEM to speak about Roosevelt Island's new evacuation zones:

Thanks to the efforts of City Council member, Jessica Lappin, On Tuesday August 27, Office of Emergency Management will be holding a meeting on Roosevelt Island to tell us about our new evacuation zone. It appears that Roosevelt Island is now split between two evacuation zones. The new zones have more refinement in determining which zones to evacuate during any given emergency. On August 27, we will learn more about this. Meeting will take place from 6:30 to 7:45 at the Manhattan Park Theater Club. Our Government Relations Committee is considering inviting candidates to talk to the community after the OEM presentation. Taking advantage of an existing crowd for a relatively short but important meeting, anyone who would like to remain will have the chance to hear the candidates who choose to come. If we can pull it off, we will let you know.

CERT class forming now:

Hurricane season is soon upon us. Super Storm Sandy occurred last October. In anticipation for any possible emergencies on the Island, the Roosevelt Island CERT team is attempting to increase its membership. CERT, the acronym for Community Emergency Response Team reaches out to neighbors and teaches people to prepare for emergencies, builds community resilience by helping people respond appropriately during the emergency and helps in recovery. CERT has proved to be effective at helping first responders in emergency situations providing triage and backup assistance to allow the first responders to be more effective.

I am happy to report that RIRA's efforts to request a CERT class on Roosevelt Island has paid off. The Office of Emergency Management (OEM) has generously agreed to hold its ten week training class on the Island providing we have a large enough enrollment. The Roosevelt Islander Blog call-out for CERT class applicants has been very effective. The Roosevelt Island class is almost filled. OEM has assured me that they will find a place for anyone who wants to take the class this fall. We need all interested people to get involved.

The volunteers on CERT are an elite group, having been trained in 10 weekly sessions on everything from fire safety to subway evacuation to protocols for mass disaster response. Please sign up to be a CERT trainee. When the course is completed you will have the status of being able to represent CERT in helping your community and the city prepare and respond to emergencies. The main expectation of CERT members is to help their immediate community. However, members are also offered opportunities to take additional courses, take part in FDNY disaster drills, are deployed to help in real disasters around the City and assist in many Citywide events. The work CERT does is respected and needed. One year we were invited to Gracie Mansion for a thank you cocktail party and photos with Mayor Mike.

The CERT Class will be held on Tuesdays from Sept 24 to Dec 3 from 6:30-9:30 on Roosevelt Island. To get an application, stop by Public Safety or email our CERT Chief at

Busy summer:

We still have another month, so please don't feel like I am rushing the summer when I say that the RIRA Common Council starts up again on Wednesday, September 11 at 8pm. I too, relish the last four weeks of summer even though my workload does not seem to have let up like I had hoped. Among my summer community volunteer activities were RIRA committees, RICC itemizing the gains and losses from our year long discussion with Cornell, the Community Board vote on the final lease for Cornell and back to organizing a CERT team training on the Island and an OEM presentation on our new evacuation status.

RIRA Common Council resumes:

At our next RIRA council meeting, We hope to have our new RIOC President Charlene Indelicato meet the Common Council. We will have also have presentations by Korean Association about their proposed gazebo in Southpoint Park and Island Shakespeare Theater Company about their ideas for space. Both groups are asking for RIRA support.

Importance of RIRA:

This brings me to the question; how does RIRA's support for the important work of Island groups help each organization and the community as a whole?

First, RIRA acts like a think tank- A group may be very insular because they are composed of people with similar interests and inclinations. By exposing their proposal to a wider breath of thoughts and relatively disinterested parties throughout the community, the group is forced to accurately assess their appeal and perhaps amend their plan to achieve broader acceptance.

Second, RIRA acts as a vetting organization. Since we discuss and evaluate proposals brought before us, we are providing the community's seal of approval. A group's proposal may be tempered by broader public discussion and then accepted. This deliberative quality is why RIRA has gained the respect of RIOC, elected officials, governmental organizations and funding sources as the voice of the community. A group vetted by RIRA is thought to understand the broader community needs and wants and is serving a real need.

Committee membership:

In the Fall, there will be lots of room on committees for all who want to join. Remember, all Island residents are RIRA members and all can join committees. Check out our new website which is in its formative stages as the committee chairs learn how to post onto it .

Roosevelt Island Community Coalition

We want to thank Cornell and Jessica Lappin during the Land use process. With the help of Cornell’s connections and collaborative work with Jessica Lappin, we were able to get access to many organizations to discuss Island issues.

RICC is an example of how the community has pulled together- Not just residents but also other stakeholders, the business, organizations, schools, not for profits as well as the residents to make our needs known to Cornell and the elected officials and governmental organizations during the land use review of Cornell. We hope to continue to ensure our Island is treated fairly and respectfully during construction.

Here is the RICC official statement about Cornell’s land lease approval.

The lease between Cornell NYC Tech and the City of New York was, unsurprisingly, adopted by New York City's Borough Board on July 18th.

The cup is half full; the cup is half empty.

RICC was pleased at certain inclusions in the lease -- notably Cornell's agreement to barge some construction materials in order to reduce the number of trucks on Main Street. RICC believes, however, that the barging agreement, lacking the element of an onsite cement plant, is at best a partial solution and will still bring too many trucks to Main Street, especially cement trucks. Moreover, the agreement --as are most agreements throughout the lease -- is worded in a vague, nonspecific manner that defies accountability. This will be a constant concern in near and distant future.

On the positive side, RICC and its community members were responsible for identifying and urging the inclusion of many of the community commitments that appear in the lease. (Actually, they are appended to the lease.) These commitments include "adopting" PS/IS217 by providing a variety of programs and services; mentoring for post high school young adults; computer training for seniors and adaptive computer technology for disabled residents; an environmental learning center for children (in the lease it became worded as outdoor space for children); meeting space for community groups; and the creation of a construction committee (to include RICC) for communication and oversight during the development process. RICC will do its utmost to help see to it that these and other Cornell commitments are ultimately fulfilled. Cornell is in the process of “operationalizing” the commitments to the community. RICC member organizations will be giving advice to Cornell in their goal of bringing their agreements to life.

Another positive note is that RIOC, led by Board President Charlene Indelicato, is involved in private discussions with Cornell and the City and will remain involved.

Now that the lease has been adopted, and the handshakes are over, RICC hopes that City agencies and officials will seriously consider providing financial assistance to Roosevelt Island as our community confronts the crucial years ahead.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Last Chance To Own A Piece Of Roosevelt Island Signage History - Some Are Taken But A Few Red And White Roosevelt Island Eastwood Main Street Signs Still Available Until August 5

Reported last week that the Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS) is giving you the opportunity to own the old Red and White Roosevelt Island signs
... 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....
RIHS President Judy Berdy reports that a few of the signs are still available but you need to act fast if you want one:

Last call for the following signs:

blank 11 foot long sign
552 Urban American
Roman Catholic
570 Nail Salon (2 pieces)


Call RIHS ASAP to reserve your sign. All signs must be removed by Monday, 8/5.
Some of the Eastwood signs were taken by the Riverwalk Bar & Grill

as well as a 35 year Rivercross resident

taking the signs for 510 and 560 Main Street

 for safe keeping

by his children.

Here's a sign for 552 still available.

Contact the RIHS now for your piece of Roosevelt Island history.

Roosevelt Island Tram Station Elevator Back In Service Says RIOC - When Will It Break Down Next?

The Roosevelt Island Tram Station elevator has been out of service since July 18.

No longer. The Tram elevator is now working according to this Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) advisory sent last evening:
Please be advised that the Manhattan Tram elevator is back in service.
The Tram and station were recently modernized. The station elevator needs to be modernized as well.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Roosevelt Island Grand Larceny, Assault and Robery Incidents Reported In Last Few Days - RIOC Discusses Whether Safety Considerations Should Close Lighthouse Park Before Midnight and Put Up Entrance Gates

Roosevelt Island Public Safety incidents reported in the last few days include;

07/28/13 - 2137 - 580 Main St. - Robbery - PSD/NYPD responded. Report taken.

07/28/13 - 2245 - Assault - 686 Main St. -PSD/NYPD responded. Report taken.

07/29/13 - 0630 - Petit Larceny - PSD report taken. NYPD refused.

07/29/13 - 1000 - 688 Main St - Grand Larceny - PSD & NYPD responded - Report filed.

07/30/13 - 0420 - R/O 500 Main St - Assault/ Aided - PSD & NYPD responded - Refused Ems - Report filed.

07/30/13 - 0430 - 625 Main St - Attempted Grand Larceny - PSD responded - Refused NYPD - Report filed
I asked Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Interim Public Safety Department (PSD) Director Jack McManus for additional information regarding these incidents. Will update when more is known.

The Daily Roosevelt Island PSD incident reports are posted and archived on the sidebar of this page.

During the July 16 RIOC Real Estate Advisory Committee (audio webcast here) meeting, RIOC President Charlene Indelicato, Mr. McManus and RIOC Directors discussed the idea of instituting consistent closing hours for Roosevelt Island parks so that late night crowds do not congregate at Lighthouse Park

which currently stays open to midnight.

Also, discussed was the idea of placing gates at the entrances

Queens Side Entrance To Lighthouse Park

to Lighthouse Park

 Manhattan Side Entrance To Lighthouse Park

so that closing times can be enforced.

No decisions were made.

Here's the RIOC Real Estate Advisory Committee discussion of Roosevelt Island park hours of operation and the possible gating of Lighthouse Park.

What do you think? Should Lighthouse Park be closed earlier than midnight and gates placed at entrance?

Roosevelt Island Main Street Arcade Construction Scaffolding At Roosevelt Landings To Be Removed By Monday August 5, Renovation Of Westview Storefronts Then Begins

Roosevelt Landings Scaffolding For Arcade Renovation

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
Please be advised on Thursday, August 1, 2013, removal of the construction scaffolding at Roosevelt Landings between 580 Main St and 504 Main St will begin and is expected to be completed by Monday, August 5, 2013.

In addition, on Monday, August 5, 2013 renovation work will commence on the storefronts of the Westview Building. Parking in this area will be limited due to the installation of scaffolding and demolition work that is required for the project. No Parking signs will be posted and will be in effect from Monday, August 5th to Wednesday, August 14th.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Roosevelt Island Jobs Available - Cornell NYC Tech Marketing Associate, Faculty Members And Part Time Cashier For Organic Grocer Wholesome Factory Market

Are you looking for a job on Roosevelt Island? Maybe one of these positions are suitable for you. Cornell NYC Tech is seeking:
Cornell University is seeking an experienced marketing associate to develop and implement the marketing strategy for the educational, research and other programs of the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute (JTCII). The successful candidate has previous marketing experience, thrives in a high-paced team environment and is excited about the opportunity to work in a start-up culture. This individual will work collaboratively with the Cornell Tech External Relations team and focus primarily on the marketing initiatives of the JTCII....
Click here for more information on this job.

Cornell NYC Tech is hiring faculty members as well.

There is also a part time cashier position available at Wholesome Factory Direct, Roosevelt Island's new organic grocer. Hours are 2 PM to 12 AM Friday, Saturday and until 10 PM on Sunday.

Cashier Job Notice on Wholesome Factory Market Window

Good Luck

Roosevelt Island F Train Service Interruption To Manhattan Earlier This Morning But Restored Quickly

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):

Please be advised that as of 0735 hrs there are no manhattan bound F trains from Roosevelt Island. Reason unknown.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
RIOC announced at 8:10 AM that F train service had been restored.
Please be advised that Manhattan bound F train services have been restored.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
UPDATE 1:50 PM - Mary Kay Gisel was one of the F train riders delayed this morning. Ms. Gisel reports:
Someone pulled the E brake at 57th. We finally moved to 63rd, where most passengers transferred. It wasn't fun. The disruption lasted for 40+ minutes.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Roosevelt Island's Cornell NYC Tech Will Transform NYC From Burgeoning To THE TECH HUB Says AppNexus CEO Brian Kelley During Interview With School's Dean Dan Huttenlocher - Will NYC Become Ellis Island For International Start Ups?

Here's an informative video in which:
Daniel P. Huttenlocher, Dean & Vice Provost, Cornell Tech and Brian O'Kelley, CEO & Co-Founder, AppNexus discuss plans for the city's new technology graduate campus and its commitment to nurturing entrepreneurial technologists.

Forbes describes NYC as becoming the Ellis Island for international technology start ups with the help of Cornell NYC Tech:
... Let’s make NYC the Ellis Island of innovation

NYC has long been known as the cultural hub of the United States. It’s on its way to becoming a technological hub as well. Mayor Bloomberg is pushing for immigration reform with the March for Innovation. Israel’s Technion has teamed up with Cornell University to create a new tech campus in Roosevelt Island....
If you are looking for a job with Cornell NYC Tech and being part of NYC's technology transformation, click here for staff positions and here for faculty postitions.

Peek In At The New Roosevelt Island Southtown Tot Lot Under Construction, Almost Ready With New Equipment, Benches And Shade - Hudson Related Riverwalk Building 7 Begins Construction In Less Than 30 Days

The new Roosevelt Island Southtown Tot Lot in Blackwell Park is progressing steadily and hopefully will be open soon. Some of the play equipment and benches

are already in place.

Reported previously that the existing Southtown Tot Lot is being moved to make way for the construction of Hudson Related's Southtown Riverwalk Building 7

Green Fenced In Section Is Site Of Riverwalk Building 7 Construction

which begins in less than 30 days and take about 24 months to complete according to the Developer's representatives.

Hudson's Sarah Willard said that she hopes the new Tot Lot will be open by the second week of August.