Saturday, August 31, 2013

RIOC Reports Roosevelt Island Tram Station Elevator Not Working This Morning - Will Notify When Repaired

According to this Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) advisory:

Tram personal reports to P.S.D. At 07:00, Tram elevator manhattan side inoperable. Will notify when repaired.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group

No notification received as of 11:20 AM that the elevator is repaired.

There have been constant problems keeping Tram Station elevator working. It had last been out of service from July 18 thru August 1.

Friday, August 30, 2013

RIOC Chief Financial Officer Steve Chironis Leaving Position Today - Bad News For Roosevelt Island Residents Losing Competent, Professional Public Servant

More Senior level management upheavals at the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC). Chief Financial Officer Steve Chironis

Image of RIOC CFO Discussing RIOC 2011-12 Fiscal Year Budget At December RIRA Meeting

will no longer be working at RIOC after today. Mr. Chironis had been absent from the last three RIOC Board Committee meetings recently and unconfirmed rumors of Mr. Chironis leaving RIOC have been heard since the appointment of new RIOC President Charlene Indelicato.

Today I asked Ms. Indelicato:
I understand that after today, August 30, RIOC Chief Financial Officer Steve Chironis will no longer be working for RIOC.

Is that true?

Does RIOC have any comment on this matter?

Does RIOC have any comment on how the absence of a Chief Financial Officer will impact the ongoing negotiations with Cornell NYC Tech and other important financial matters currently facing RIOC?

When do you anticipate hiring a new CFO?
Ms. Indelicato replied:
We can confirm that after today Steve Chironis will no longer be working for RIOC.
Mr. Chironis was RIOC Chief Financial Officer since 2008. He was a competent professional respected by the Roosevelt Island community but without a political "rabbi" for support at RIOC. He will be missed.

Roosevelt Island 2013 Summer Outdoor Movie Series At Southpoint Park Concludes Tonight With Showing Of The Breakfast Club

The Roosevelt Island 2013 Summer Outdoor Movie Series at Southpoint Park concludes tonight

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

with the showing of The Breakfast Club.

Image From RIOC

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
Come out to Southpoint Park for the last movie screening of the Summer Friday, August 30th at 8:15 PM. The night's featured film is the 80's classic The Breakfast Club, directed by John Hughes. Enjoy a free and family-friendly night of music and movie trivia. Popcorn and ice-cream will be available for purchase.

Thank you for coming out!

This event is sponsored by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
Here's the trailer for The Breakfast Club.

How about a Roosevelt Island Fall and Winter Outdoor Movie Series?

Report From RIOC President Charlene Indelicato - Bike New York Setting Up Shop On Roosevelt Island, Last Outdoor Movie Of The Summer, Fall For Arts, Motorgate Renovations & OEM Hurricane Evacuation Presentation

 Image of RIOC President Charlene Indelicato From RIOC

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Charlene Indelicato sends the following report to the community.
The unofficial end of summer comes this weekend. After Labor Day our Island and the rest of New York City will return to its hustle and bustle after these quiet days of August.

Our kids will be returning to schools, both public and private. Please use additional caution when driving around the Island prior to and after schools are in session. We want to make sure everyone gets to class safely.

We have had a great summer here on Roosevelt Island, and I hope we can continue that through the fall.

Bike New York setting up shop

Bike New York is a not-for-profit organization, with a mission to facilitate and promote cycling in all five boroughs of New York City through education and public events, as well as to collaborate with both community organizations and municipal agencies. Bike New York comes to our Island through a generous grant to establish a bicycle education center. In looking for the ideal neighborhood, Bike New York identified Roosevelt Island as their preferred location and we are glad they saw what we knew already!

We are in the process of finalizing their location on the Island, but once opened, they will conduct workshops and other events that encourage biking as an exercise, as a form of commuting and just away to spend a lovely Saturday afternoon on our waterfront. We will share more details about Bike New York and its services as plans are finalized.

Closing out the summer with The Breakfast Club

The Breakfast Club is the final installment in RIOC’s Outdoor Summer Movie Series. If you are reading this on Friday, come join us for our last summer film. The movie will start at 8:15 p.m., but the fun starts at South Point Park at 7:00 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. This summer has seen hundreds of people come to our movies, and for the most part the weather has cooperated. Next summer, we hope to bring another slate of great films to the Island to enjoy under the stars.

Fall for Arts

We are beginning to look forward to the Fall and our events calendar is filling up. One of our more popular events is Fall for Arts. We always enjoy celebrating art throughout our community and I am looking forward to my first Fall for Arts festival scheduled for Saturday, October 5th. I will be discussing this further in the coming weeks, but I just want give everyone something to look forward to as the leaves begin to fall and the temperature begins to cool.

Motorgate renovations continue

As the renovations keep moving on the Motorgate garage, another section is now complete. Section 5A, both North and South, has been completed. Work will now move to Section 5B. As these improvements and renovations continue, we want to remind everyone who uses Motorgate to follow posted signs and move slowly through the garage. Safety is our number one priority, so we urge you to exercise caution.

OEM comes to Roosevelt Island to talk evacuation routes

This past Tuesday, working with other co-sponsors, we brought the New York City Office of Emergency Management (OEM) to the Island to talk about evacuation routes. As storms get worse year by year, our residents need to know what to do if an evacuation is ordered. OEM graciously came to the Island to give a presentation at the Manhattan Park Theater Club about what to do in an evacuation emergency.

On behalf of everyone at RIOC, I want to wish the entire Roosevelt Island community a Happy Labor Day.
More on Bike New York

at their web site.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

New Roosevelt Island Trellis Exterior Design Renderings - Owner Alex Razaghi Wants To Reach For The Stars To Do Something Unique, Original And Wow You

The exterior facade of Roosevelt Island's Trellis Diner

is going to look quite a bit different following the planned renovation by owners Kaie and Alex Razaghi.

During the August 21 Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Real Estate Advisory Committee meeting (audio web cast of meeting here), Alex Razaghi told the RIOC Directors that he designed the new Trellis exterior facade with the aim to:
... reach for the stars and try to do something unique and original...
and he:
... took it as a personal challenge to wow the residents...
The Trellis owners presented these renderings of the planned new exterior facade to the RIOC Directors
RIOC Director Kathy Grimm asked::
... was there a reason for this sort of space ship design next to historic building...
Alex Razaghi answered he was:
...trying to create something iconic, an attraction on the Island... I wanted to do something new...  it wasn't done in terms about being next to Good Shepherd, its just about creating something unique...
RIOC's permission is needed by Trellis because the facade renovation includes a gradual incline reaching a peak approximately 3 feet over the sidewalk property of RIOC though it does not interfere with pedestrian access to the sidewalk and stays within the footprint of the premises.

RIOC seemed inclined to approve the Trellis request but needed to review the plans before granting permission.

Here's the  full discussion.

GreenHome NYC Spotlight On Sustainable Roosevelt Island At REI SOHO Store Tonight - Cornell Net Zero Building, Verdant East River Tidal Turbine, Octagon Fuel Cell & NYSERDA Discussed

Want to learn more about Roosevelt Island clean energy projects?

Then this program from GreenHome NYC is for you.

According to GreenHome NYC:
August Forum – Spotlight on Roosevelt Island
July 28, 2013

New York is a city made up of islands, so Roosevelt Island, the 2-mile long island in the East River might seem unremarkable, but it features a wealth of unique systems and a rich history that are worth taking a moment to examine! That’s why in August we’ll be doing one of our Spotlight features on it. We’ll hear about the planned Cornell Tech campus which will break ground in 2014 and will be home to NYC’s largest net-zero building, learn about the tidal turbines that are grid-tied to the Island (the first such system in the world!), and hear about some of the sustainable buildings on the Island. It’s going to be a great evening and we hope you’ll join us for it!

Date: August 29, 2013

Time: 6:30pm – 8:00pm

Place: REI Community Room, 303 Lafayette St., New York, NY 10012

Click here to register!

Please plan ahead to arrive promptly. Our spaces are donated to us so we must keep to the schedule we provide.

Our speakers will include:

Ron Smith, President, Verdant Power

Michael Razanousky, Project Manager, NYSERDA

Julie Hiromoto, Associate, Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill

Michelle Lauterwasser, Associate, Becker + Becker
More information on Roosevelt Island green energy projects, including Roosevelt Landings energy savings retrofit of building systems and installation of cogeneration power, at this previous post.

Did you know that:

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Roosevelt Island NYC Council District 5 Candidates Forum - Presentations By Ben Kallos and Ed Hartzog, But Micah Kellner A No Show

Following last evening's NYC Office of Emergency Management Roosevelt Island Hurricane Evacuation Presentation, the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) held a NYC Candidates Forum. Appearing at the forum were Democratic Party candidates:

Here's what NYC Manhattan District 5 (covering Roosevelt Island and the Upper East Side) Council Candidates Ben Kallos and Ed Hartzog had to say in response to questions from RIRA President Ellen Polivy about Roosevelt Island affordable housing, the community's relationship with Cornell NYC Tech and improving Roosevelt Island transportation.

First Mr. Kallos responded to these questions

and answered a question from a resident about the long sought dream of building an elevator from Roosevelt Island to the Queenboro Bridge. Mr. Kallos also spoke about the sexual harassment allegations brought against opponent Micah Kellner saying that:
... it made me sick to my stomach and its harmful to democracy because as I am trying to run a great campaign all people can think about is how rotten politicians are...

Mr. Kallos issued this press release:
Assembly Member Micah Kellner failed to show up to the Roosevelt Island candidate forum last night, making this the second forum he has missed. The forums were the only two opportunities for the Council Candidates in Manhattan's CD5 (Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island) to engage in-person with voters. The other candidates for the seat, Ben Kallos and Ed Hartzog, both attended the Roosevelt Island forum, along with citywide candidates Jessica Lappin for Manhattan Borough President, John Liu for Mayor and Reshma Saujani for Public Advocate. Kellner also missed the Lenox Hill Neighborhood House Forum on August 21, attended by Kallos, Hartzog and Republican David Garland.

"I was disappointed that Micah Kellner didn't show up to either event to discuss the issues that are important to our community. Whether it was because of the seriousness of the investigations into the harassment of his staff or he didn't feel it was important, it's not what the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island deserves," said Kallos.

At the forums, candidates spoke about solutions to increase the amount of affordable housing, promote better transportation solutions, hold developers accountable to communities and more. Though Kellner missed both community forums, candidates for Manhattan's District 5 will debate on NY1 on September 3, airing at 7PM and 10PM.
Earlier today, I asked Mr. Kellner's campaign why he did not appear at last night's Roosevelt Island Candidate's Forum. Have not received a response yet. Mr. Kellner's campaign had previously reported that he was ill with a fever and lost his voice for the August 21 Lenox Hill Forum.

Here's City Council candidate Ed Hartzog's presentation to the Roosevelt Island Candidate's Forum.

Will also post presentations by Mayoral Candidate John Liu, Public Advocate Reshma Saujani and Borough President Jessica Lappin.

Mandatory Evacuation Of Roosevelt Island Community If Another Hurricane Sandy Comes Again Says NYC Office Of Emergency Management During Community Forum Last Night

As reported earlier this week:
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....

As reported last June:
... The new NYC Hurricane Evacuation maps place Roosevelt Island in separate zones.
All of Roosevelt Island had previously been in the same evacuation zone but the updated NYC hurricane evacuation plan has Roosevelt Island in two separate zones. Coler Hospital and the Octagon Building are in Zone 2 and the rest of Roosevelt Island is in Zone 3.

Click here for the NYC Hurricane Evacuation Map.
Image of Hurricane Sandy Flooding Roosevelt Island West Promenade From Brian Dorfmann

Here's what happened during the  NYC Office Of Emergency Management (OEM) Roosevelt Island Hurricane Evacuation presentation. It began with introductory remarks from Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) President Ellen Polivy. Ms. Polivy told the assembled group that RIRA's role:
... is to bring issues to light and get them fixed...

Ms. Polivy then introduced new interim Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Safety Department Director Jack McManus  who spoke about his previous NYPD experience in emergency planning and management

followed by OEM's Deputy Commissioner of External Affairs Christina Farrell and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Rachel Sulaymanov speaking about the new hurricane evacuation zones. Ms Farrell noted that:
...if Sandy comes again ... there would have been a mandatory evacuation of the entire Roosevelt Island community...

OEM's Ms Farrell and Ms.Sulaymanov then took questions from the community.

During the Q and A session, PSD Director Jack McManus said that the current Roosevelt Island evacuation plan is terribly outdated and that it is currently being updated. When the Roosevelt Island evacuation plan is completed, it will be made available to the public promised Mr. McManus.

The current Roosevelt Island evacuation plan had been kept secret.

More information on NYC Hurricane Preparedness and Evacuation available at the OEM web site.

Roosevelt Island Discretionary Spending Subject Of Today's RIOC Audit Committee Meeting - Also Will Discuss Personnel Matters But In Executive Session Closed To The Public

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a meeting of the Audit Committee of the RIOC Board of Directors will be held on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. at the RIOC administrative office, 591 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York.


Discussion of Discretionary Spending Guidelines

Chair's Motion for Executive Session to Discuss Personnel Matters

Any Other Committee Business That May be Brought Before the Committee
Will find out what RIOC considers to be "discretionary spending".

An audio web cast of the meeting will be available soon thereafter.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Roosevelt Island Cornell NYC Tech Position Available As Director of K -12 Programs - Job Is To Help Improve STEM Education For NYC Schoolchildren

Would you like to work at Cornell's new Roosevelt Island Applied Sciences and Engineering School? If so, there is a position currently available as the Director of K -12 Programs for Cornell NYC Tech.

According to Cornell's Division of Human Resources:
Cornell University is not only a great place for learning and innovation, it’s a great place to work. Our open and inclusive culture attracts a talented community of scholars, students and staff from all over the globe. Being a Cornellian is about having a passion for innovation, challenging yourself and contributing in ways that will shape the future.

Cornell Tech is committed to playing a leadership role in furthering tech education for New York City schoolchildren with the intention of attracting a high percentage, including more women and minorities, into related careers. In addition to providing programming support for both students and teachers, Cornell Tech intends to play a central leadership role by coalescing the tech sector, other educational institutions, civic leaders and cultural institutions, educational providers and the New York City Department of Education to work in concert to have the greatest impact.

The K-12 program leader will be a visionary, energetic and experienced professional with significant experience working in K-12 education or related organizations in NYC. The ideal candidate will have specific experience with, and knowledge of STEM educational needs with a specific emphasis on tech education, particularly computer science and software engineering. This leader will be responsible for both shaping and implementing creative programs that will have a measurable and lasting impact by ensuring students’ education includes technology expertise sufficient to succeed in their future careers, and by preparing more of them to pursue tech careers.


Masters degree in tech, education or a related field, or significant teaching experience. 7+ years of experience in program management, teaching, administrative or related experience in New York City educational programming. Experience in educational program development, implementation and curriculum design in tech or other relevant fields. Excellent verbal communication and facilitation skills. Excellent organizational and writing skills and experience with proposal writing. Ability to plan, develop and be flexible in order to successfully manage, prioritize and meet the needs of multiple programs and deadlines. Energetic, take initiative, and able to work independently as well as with a team. Ability to communicate with and work effectively with a wide range of constituencies of highly diverse groups of people....
Click here for more information on this position and to apply. Additional Cornell NYC Tech staff and faculty position information available here.

More on Cornell NYC Tech

from Channel 13's Metro Focus and here is a June 10 discussion of Cornell's commitment to adopt Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 during a Community Board 8 Youth & Education Committee meeting.

Come Meet NYC Candidates For Mayor, Public Advocate, Borough President, Comptroller and City Council At Roosevelt Island Forum Following Tonight's OEM Hurricane Preparedness And Evacuation Presentation

Reported yesterday on NYC Office of Emergency Management (OEM) Roosevelt Island Hurricane Preparedness and Evacuation presentation tonight starting 6:30 PM at the Manhattan Park Community Theater Club (8 River Road).

Following the OEM Presentation, a NYC Candidate's Forum will be held. Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) President Ellen Polivy reports:
It is looking like our Government relations committee pulled this off. Thanks to Joe Strong we have a impressive lineup of candidates either coming definitely or possibly coming if their schedule allows..

Christine Quinn-Mayor -possibly

John Liu-Mayor-definite

Reshma Saujani-Public Advocate-definite

Dan Squadron - Public Advocate-definite

Ed Hartzog- City Council-definite

Ben Kallos- City Council-definite

Micah Kellner-City Council-probably

Jessica Lappin- Borough President-probably

Scott Stringer- Comptroller- definite

The Candidates Forum will begin at 8pm and go till 10pm at Manhattan Park 8 River Road immediately following the OEM presentation. Some of these candidates will be elected and when they are in office, we need to have them remember back that Roosevelt Islanders show up. That is how we get political power.

Regarding the OEM presentation, I have already given OEM a list of questions that have been insufficiently answered in the past about our evacuation plans and they have told me that these questions will be fully addressed this time. This meeting will NOT be just about go-bags.It will have information that we need. I urge everyone to come to both meetings on Tuesday night.

6:30-7:45 OEM presentation
8-10 Candidates Forum
Manhattan Park Community Center- 8 River Road
Here's a NY Times report on 2013 NYC Mayoral debate among the Democratic Party Candidates

and report from RNN Richard French Live on the 2013 Republican Party candidates for NYC Mayor.

Any thoughts on the upcoming elections?

UPDATE 3 PM - Here's some Roosevelt Island issues I hope the NYC candidates address at tonight's forum:
1 - Affordable Housing - the new Roosevelt Island residential developments are all luxury rentals or condos. Even the "affordable housing" component of these buildings are made up of apartments only for hospital personnel at Cornell Weill and Memorial Sloan Kettering and not available to the general public. With Roosevelt Island WIRE buildings planning to leave or already left Mitchell Lama program, what will the candidates due to preserve affordable housing on Roosevelt Island?

2 - Governance - Roosevelt Island is governed by RIOC, a state public benefit corporation. Do any of the candidates support returning Roosevelt Island to the City of NY, to be governed by NYC. If so, how can that be done?

3 - Cornell - What will the candidates do to insure, as best they can, that Cornell barges most of the construction material, works with the Roosevelt Island community organizations and contributes its fair share to the finances of RIOC?

4 - Public Safety - Should Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department be replaced by NYPD. If not, how should the Public Safety Department be reformed?

5 - Transportation - How can public transportation on Roosevelt Island be improved - better subway service, additional bus service to Astoria and LIC, a ferry stop on the East River Ferry service?

Monday, August 26, 2013

What The Heck Was Floating Down The East River On Barge Sunday Afternoon Again - A Space Capsule, Submarine Part, Something Else?

Not only were kayakers paddling down the East River this weekend, but the Roosevelt Island Twitterverse reports:

In February 2012, Roosevelt Island resident Dave Rosenberg saw what looks like the same submarine part on a barge

Image From Dave Rosenberg

passing Roosevelt Island asking:
what the heck is that?
Mike Giroux answered:
I think it's the tail section of a Virginia-class submarine.  Look at the diagonal fin on the bottom, then look at the back of the sub in this picture:

(At first I thought it was the tail of a Seawolf, but they're not building any more of those, apparently - the Virginia's are smaller and cheaper)

Presentation On Roosevelt Island Hurricane Preparedness And Evacuation By NYC Office Of Emergency Management Tuesday August 27 - Roosevelt Island Now In 2 Separate Hurricane Evacuation Zones

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) President Ellen Polivy reports on NYC Office Of Emergency Management (OEM) Roosevelt Island Hurricane Evacuation Zone presentation taking place tomorrow August 27 at the Manhattan Park Community Center (8 River Road).

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....

As reported last June:
... The new NYC Hurricane Evacuation maps place Roosevelt Island in separate zones.
All of Roosevelt Island had previously been in the same evacuation zone but the updated NYC hurricane evacuation plan has Roosevelt Island in two separate zones. Coler Hospital and the Octagon Building are in Zone 2 and the rest of Roosevelt Island is in Zone 3.

Click here for the NYC Hurricane Evacuation Map.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

LIC Community Boathouse Kayakers Paddling Past Roosevelt Island On East River Yesterday Afternoon

Long Island City Community Boathouse Kayakers paddling by Roosevelt Island

on the west channel of East River on a beautiful Saturday afternoon yesterday.