Saturday, November 30, 2013

Roosevelt Island Chanukah Menorah Lit Tonight - Adam Sandler Celebrates Chanukah Too

The Roosevelt Island Chanukah Menorah was lit earlier today in front of Blackwell House.

Always fun to hear Adam Sandler's Chanukah Song. Here it is.

More Chanukah songs from post earlier this week.

Happy Chanukah!

Friday, November 29, 2013

WOW - Do You Believe In Miracles? Roosevelt Island F Train Subway Service To And From Manhattan This Weekend, It's Time For A Celebration

Perhaps not as miraculous as the US Hockey Team beating the Soviet Union Hockey Team in the semi finals of the 1980 Winter Olympics

but, for Roosevelt Island residents, F train service to and from Manhattan this weekend is pretty special.

According to the MTA F Train Weekender page:
No scheduled work affecting service on this line.
It's time to Celebrate

with Kool & The Gang.

It's Black Friday, Did You Do Any After Thanksgiving Shopping Today - How About Some More Turkey?

Do you know why the day after Thanksgiving is called Black Friday? According to Today I Found Out:

... “Big Friday” never caught on, but over the next decade, more and more references can be found in various newspaper archives of this particular Friday being called “Black Friday” for this reason.
In the 1980s as the name’s popularity spread throughout the United States, a new origin theory popped up, often touted by the media, that most retailers operated at a financial loss for the majority of the year and Black Friday was named such because it was the day of the year when the retailers would finally see a profit, moving out of the red and into the black

This simply isn’t true....
Watch the video to find out more.

The Street reports that over 15,000 people lined up for Macy's Herald Square 8 PM opening on Thanksgiving night.

Hope you all had a Great Thanksgiving - do you have room for more Turkey?

Maybe not.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving From Roosevelt Island - Tradition, Family, Food, Football, Parade And Alice's Restaurant

Happy Thanksgiving Day wishes to everyone out there in Roosevelt Island land and elsewhere. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!

In addition to family, great food, the Macy's Parade, Miracle on 34th Street, March of the Wooden Soldiers and football, listening to Arlo Guthrie's rendition of Alice's Restaurant on WNEW-FM was, for me, a wonderful Thanksgiving tradition.

A former station DJ remembers Thanksgiving and Arlo Guthrie this way on the blog All Mixed Up Radio.

Every year a couple of days before Thanksgiving, it starts. It's slow at first, and then turns into a non-stop avalanche of phone calls. And no matter how many times a station runs promo announcements telling people exactly when it will be played, the calls still come.
"What time are you playing 'Alice's Restaurant?'"...
Yes, in the olden days people used to listen to music on the radio. Imagine that!

Here's a snippet of Alice's Restaurant with Arlo Guthrie and Johnny Cash

and the full song with scenes from the movie.

More nostalgia. Take a look at some of these Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Floats from 1927 thru 1968 via Buzzfeed.

 Image of 1927 Felix the Cat Macy's Thanksgiving Float From Buzzfeed
Image of 1935 The Marx Brothers Macy'sThanksgiving Float from Buzzfeed

 Image of 1940 The Tin Man Macy's Thanksgiving Float From Buzzfeed


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Hanukkah From Roosevelt Island and The Maccabeats, Matisyahu,The Shlomones And A Texas Dreidel Song - First Ever Thanksgivukkah Tomorrow Too

Happy Hanukkah from Roosevelt Island. Tonight is the first of eight nights of Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights. The Roosevelt Island Menorah Lighting Ceremony will take place this Saturday November 4 at 6:30 PM in front of Blackwell House.

Enjoy some Hanukkah music with the Maccabeats,


The Shlomones,

and the Dreidel song with a Texas twist.

This year, Hanukkah overlaps with Thanksgiving to

 create Thanksgivukkah:
In 2013, the first day of Hanukkah coincides with Thanksgiving for the first time time in history, and the last time for another 70,000 years. No, that is not a typo. This historic confluence between the Hebrew and Gregorian calendars is an incredible opportunity to celebrate the Jewish-American experience and give thanks for the ways religious freedom makes America great for all of us....

Live Science adds:
... The reason for this year's rare alignment has to do with quirks of two calendars, the Gregorian and Jewish calendars. Much of the world follows the Gregorian calendar, which has a 365-day year based on the Earth's orbit around the sun, with leap years every four years. The Gregorian calendar was implemented by Pope Gregory to keep Easter in line with the season it was originally celebrated in.

But the Jewish calendar, which was created more than 2,000 years ago, follows the waxing and waning of the moon. That calendar has 12 months of roughly 30 days each, which works out to a bit more than 354 days in a year. As a result, the Jewish year creeps earlier and earlier relative to the Gregorian calendar. But many Jewish holidays, such as Passover, are tied to seasons such as spring....
Happy Hanukkah, Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Thanksgivukkah to you.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Roosevelt Island Historical Society Kiosk Mascot Geraldine The Squirrel Pleads "Please Do Not Poison My Friends"

Image From Roosevelt Island Historical Society President Judy Berdy

More on Roosevelt Island squirrels being poisoned at previous posts.

Roosevelt Island Resident Joyce M Short Authors New Book - Carnal Abuse By Deceit

Roosevelt Island resident Joyce M. Short has authored a newly released book on a very serious subject - Carnal Abuse By Deceit.

Ms. Short reports:
Carnal Abuse by Deceit is a heart wrenching tale of rape by fraud, how it happens, why it happens, and what to do if it ever happens to you or someone you care about. It relates the impacts on the author, Joyce M. Short, who lives right here on Roosevelt Island. It's available on Amazon, as a paperback, and will shortly be available for Kindles.
According to Amazon:
... Carnal Abuse by Deceit dispels common theories about victims who remain with betraying or abusive partners. It identifies the status of criminal law on rape by fraud in many states, and explains the disordered moral reasoning that enables offenders to act with blatant disregard for their intended victims. Today's electronic dating and ease of travel greatly increase the specter of falling prey to an emotional or sexual predator. This revealing tale provides clues that can make finding a loving relationship safer for all.
The book can be purchased at Amazon here.

UPDATE 5:20 PM - More information on this subject is available at CAD Alert.

RIOC Issues Advisory Prohibiting Use Of Rat Poison In Public Spaces After Discovery Of Dead Squirrels - Poison Rodent Bait Boxes Found Near Westview Building

Image Of Roosevelt Island Squirrel Atop Westview Building Fence by Budulay Leopoldovich Vadim Malinsky

Reported last Thursday on dead squirrels being found near Roosevelt Island's Westview Building and Good Shepherd Plaza.
... Me and my husband discovered 8 bodies. One of them is still lying

in the corner schoolyard next to Westview....
Yesterday, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) issued the following advisory:
Please be advised that the use of rat poison in public spaces on Roosevelt Island is prohibited. The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation's pest control program utilizes traps rather than poison. Please be aware that placing toxic substances in public areas poses a danger to children, pets and wildlife.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
Roosevelt Island resident Budalay Leopoldovich Vadim Malinsky found these poison Rodent Bait Boxes 

Image From Vadim Malinsky

on the Westview lawn

Image From Vadim Malinsky

and against the

Image From Vadim Malinsky


Image From Vadim Malinsky

Let's see how long these poison boxes remain outside Westview.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Repair Work Starting Tomorrow On Roosevelt Island West Pier Damaged By Hurricane Sandy

 Roosevelt Island West Pier

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
Please be advised that repair work at the West Pier will begin tomorrow, November 26, 2013. Construction on the Pier will be taking place along the West side of the Island, from the Subway station to the second staircase leading toward the street. Signs and notices to redirect pedestrian traffic will be posted.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group

Roosevelt Island Residents Association Witch Hunt To Expel Farance Continues - RIRA Communications Chair Asserts Witch Hunt Characterization Irresponsible and Disrespectful Of The Council

 She's A Witch Image From Monty Python & Holy Grail

The Report From Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) President Elle Polivy is usually published every two weeks on Roosevelt Islander Online as well as in the Main Street WIRE (PDF File). Last Friday I sent a reminder to RIRA President Polivy to send over her column. Ms. Polivy informed me that this week's column was being written by RIRA Communications Chair Jeff Prekopa so I asked Mr. Prekopa to send me the column.

Mr. Prekopa responded by informing me that he did not want the column to appear in the Roosevelt Islander Online because he did not like my coverage of RIRA's attempt to expel Frank Farance from the organization. According to Mr. Prekopa:
... For you to characterize the matter as a witch hunt was irresponsible, disrespectful of the Council, and showed a callous disregard for the lives he’s affected. I can’t, in good conscience, provide the information you are requesting....
I responded:
I typically publish the RIRA President's Report as a Service to the Roosevelt Island community.

If you choose not to have your article published on the Roosevelt Islander that is your decision though I find it particularly revealing that your decision is based upon disagreeing with my opinion on an issue of concern to the Roosevelt Island public.

Rather than having a dialogue on this issue you appear to want to shut down any discussion by those you disagree with.

I will be publishing a story about your refusal to publish the RIRA Presidents Report on Roosevelt Islander.

May I include your statement above in the post. If not, I will summarize it myself.
Mr. Prekopa replied by raising doubts that I would characterize his response fairly and concluded:
... We fulfilled our obligation to the community by publishing our position in a reputable media outlet...
The reputable media outlet Mr. Prekopa references is the Main Street WIRE. (His column is here on Page 2 but cannot be separately linked to other than in PDF format.)

I replied to Mr. Prekopa:
I will characterize your statement to me in the manner you wish.

That would be most accurately accomplished by publishing your statements as written to me.

Do I have your permission to do that?

Without that permission, I will characterize your statement myself in a fair and objective manner as I always strive to do.

The witch hunt characterization of the attempt by some RIRA members to expel Frank Farance is my opinion which I continue to hold particularly in view of you and others refusing to provide specific instances justifying his expulsion.
Mr. Prekopa did not respond. For accuracy purposes, I would have preferred publishing Mr. Prekopa's full correspondence but would not without his approval.

I am not the only one who believes RIRA's attempt to expel Mr. Farance amounts to a witch hunt.

 RIRA Common Council member Trevre Andrews sent this statement about the expulsion attempt:
I was going to apologize for not making it last night as I was traveling for work, but after watching the partial video of the meeting last night, and seeing that RIRA meetings have gone from being pretty tough procedurally to an all out witch hunt I couldn't believe my eyes.

Frank hasn't cause the problems in RIRA and I won't stand for being part of a council that isn't open to hearing anyone's opinion in any forum. That's democracy, "you gotta be able to stand up and acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, whose standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours."

A lot of what Frank has brought up is important, some I would have phrase differently, but it makes it no less true and deserving of the entire island's attention.

Congratulations. It seems you have not only wasted a large portion of another meeting trying to cut off discussion rather than have one but at the very same time, with sweet hypocrisy, done the exact thing to Frank that your "Bill of Particulars" indicates he has done to you.
Perhaps RIRA's Grand Inquisitors will try to expel Mr. Andrews soon as well.

In response to Mr. Andrews statement and my post, RIRA Island Services Committee Chair Aaron Hamburger replied:
You guys don't understand the reasons for the proposed expulsion of Frank. It's not a legal issue; it's an ethical and unacceptable bad behavior issue.

In my opinion, the two major "sins" of Frank were the WIRE letter and the formation of a "Public Safety" group as a rival to RIRA's Public Safety Committee. Both these actions undermine the work and credibility of RIRA with RIOC and the general public. Frank was in disagreement with the actions, policies and leadership of RIRA, but didn't work within the organization to correct things.

The proper action to take by Frank was to resign from RIRA. Outside of RIRA, Frank could say or write whatever he wanted and form any new group(s) in opposition to RIRA. You don't seriously damage RIRA while still a member of the Common Council. That's why it's an ethical issue. He is being expelled for misconduct per the RIRA constitution.
Mr. Andrews replied:
We understand it just fine. I don’t agree with it. I don’t think we should be wasting our precious time getting rid of any non-officer RIRA member for any reason – it’s just not worth the effort. And certainly what Frank has done represents no more than a fart in the wind, rather than some type of organizational atomic bomb which people are making it out to be. Are you going to expel me next because I want to start a committee outside of RIRA and write letters to the editor? Come to think of it this criterion applies to quite a few on the council.
and so did I:
RIRA purports to represent the interests of Roosevelt Island residents. How else will residents know what is going on inside RIRA if RIRA members who disagree with its President are not allowed to state those disagreements publicly?

Also, Frank was encouraged by Erin, the Chair of the PSC committee and other PSC Committee members to form his own separate committee. They did not tell him that if he did so he would have to resign from RIRA.

Since he was encouraged by the RIRA PSC committee to do what he did, how can you characterize that as a "major sin"?
RIRA has created a web page attempting to explain its reason for the expulsion motion. An excerpt:
In response to numerous and ongoing complaints, the Communications Committee began an investigation into various misconducts committed by Frank Farance. We reviewed hundreds of internal and external emails, blogs postings, letters to the press and other documents. In them, Mr. Farance works the same three themes over and over...
  1. He makes repeated attempts to discredit the Chair of the Social, Cultural and Educational Committee most recently over a manufactured issue regarding a preliminary committee report
  2. He attempts to undermine and unseat the President
  3. He refuses to abide by the majority decisions of the Council, most notably the Public Safety Committee
Rather than working discretely within the organization to resolve what he feels are issues, Mr. Farance prefers to create a public spectacle of the organization's internal affairs. He repeatedly circumvents protocol by releasing information to the press and blogs. Mr. Farance uses an astounding assortment of tactics including inuendo, omission, fabrication, supposition, intimidation and threat to advance his agenda, all at the expense of other council members and the orgnization overall.
Bound by its fiduciary duty to protect the orgnization, the Communication Committee concluded that intervention was required. We prepared and presented to the Common Council a Bill of Particulars calling for the expulsion of Frank Farance. The measure passed with an overwhelming majority. This corrective measure is part of a long history of attempts to correct Mr. Farance's behavior. Over the years he has been counselled, asked to resign, rebuked by the Common Council, and formally censured.
More from RIRA here.

Here's video of the RIRA Expulsion Witch Hunt.

This is absurd and a complete waste of time.

Farewell To Roosevelt Island's Goldwater Hospital - Last Remaining Patients Transferred Today Before Demolition And Building Of Cornell NYC Tech Campus On Site

Reported last Saturday:

... The NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC), has announced a planned relocation of patients from Coler-Goldwater Hospital on Roosevelt Island to the new Henry J. Carter Specialty Hospital and Nursing Facility at Park Avenue and East 122nd Street in Manhattan.The transfer will take place on Sunday, November 24, 2013 from 4:00am to 6:00pm, and on Monday, November 25, 2013 from 8:00 am to 7:00pm. During these times, residents can expect increased ambulance traffic on the Island....
Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS) President Judy Berdy was at Goldwater Hospital Sunday during the transfer of the last remaining patients and shares this report. According to Ms. Berdy:
Farewell to Goldwater Hospital

It is almost the end. Today is Sunday, November 24, 2013; tomorrow, the last patients will leave Goldwater Hospital forever. The grand bronze doors will close for a final time. (There is no key to the front door, since it has never been locked since 1939.)

I walk over early in the morning to see ambulances coming and going. Today more than 120 patients will be transferred to the new Henry J. Carter Hospital in Manhattan. Today’s patients are medically fragile and must be handled with extreme TLC. Tomorrow, another 100+ nursing home patients will be transferred to Henry J. Carter.

A tent is set up in the rear of the hospital.

Image From Judy Berdy

It looks like a tent used for VIP’s. It is breaking the freezing windy weather and heaters are on to make the transfer easier. The patients being transferred are from units are in the north end of the building, so it is a quick ride for them to enter the ambulance.

I pass the plinths where the six grand torchieres lit the ramp. They are being preserved and hopefully will be re-installed on the island.

I walk in the main entrance and down the hall.

Image From Judy Berdy

The staff is scanning ID bracelets, bundling up patients on stretchers, checking ID’s again. The patients also wear bright red tags.

Ambulance EMT’s and Paramedics are going to units and staff are accompanying the residents.

All is calm and running in order.

Every need and step in the plan has been worked out to the minute. All possible city, state agencies are here. OEM, NYPS, NYS Health Department. Representatives from every hospital department are present, wearing bright vests labeled with their job assignments. No detail is too small. This transfer has been planned for two years and in hundreds of meetings.

I venture down the hall and meet Rabbi Haim Alcabes, the Jewish Chaplain at Goldwater. We wander down the long hall

Image From Judy Berdy

toward the Chapel area where he has been chaplain for 11 years. The former Jewish Chapel is locked and vacant. All religious articles, décor and commemorative objects have been moved north to the Coler Jewish Chapel. The Catholic and Protestant Chapels are open, and vast in their emptiness.

Image From Judy Berdy

The new hospital will have new chapels and new décor.

We remember the Jewish events and holidays we celebrated at Goldwater. The rabbi tells

Image From Judy Berdy

of the Succah erected each year outside the greenhouse. We remember the high school kids he would bring to meet the residents and learn to do a mitzvah, (good deed).

All the units on the main floor are closed and locked.

 Image From Judy Berdy

 I walk by A-11, where my mom was a resident for two months in 2011. The residents there have been dispersed to Coler or other nursing homes and all that remains is the A11 sign.

Image From Judy Berdy

Staff has been redeployed to other HHC facilities such as Bellevue, Harlem and Metropolitan Hospitals.

A picture has been removed in the hall

Image From Judy Berdy

and a bright green tile stands out through the beige paint. Apparently, the walls were that certain hospital green tile originally. The terrace outside the Subway Sandwich shop is locked and the wind whips leaves around the picnic furniture.

We return to the lobby. A group of nurses is leaving.

Image From Judy Berdy

They are the overnight shift that sent their patients off this morning. Some have worked at Goldwater for more than 20 years; one nurse has been here 31 years. Tonight they will report to work at Henry J. Carter.

I look around the lobby and notice the alarm.

Image From Judy Berdy

My mom had an ID bracelet because she was a wanderer. We would take her out of the hospital on a pass. The alarm would sound and the hospital policeman would silence it, so she could exit. Small memories.

Next to the alarm is a plaque to a pathologist

Image From Judy Berdy

who worked at Goldwater from 1967 to 1996. Will someone take down the plaque or will he be lost to history?

The tropical fish are gone from the giant fish tank.

Image From Judy Berdy

Were they redeployed to another facility?

We walk out the bronze doors

Image From Judy Berdy

and wave goodbye to the shuttle bus.

Image From Judy Berdy

Soon there will be no shuttle bus from Goldwater to Coler.

Goldwater will be a part of Welfare Island and Roosevelt Island history.

The patients are being transferred in anticipation of Goldwater Hospital being demolished for the coming of the Roosevelt Island Cornell NYC Tech campus.

The NY Times has more on the Goldwater Hospital patients being transferred and here is video from last July of Goldwater patients and workers testifying about their fears and concerns on the hospital's closing.

Also, remember the deal to build Cornell NYC Tech on Roosevelt Island is still not done. Cornell and the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) are still in negotiations over the section of proposed Goldwater site that RIOC and not NYC controls.

UPDATE 11/16/18 - Below is from July 2013 post:
...  Here's what happened at tonight's NYC HHC Public Hearing on the transfer of Goldwater Hospital land for the new Cornell NYC Tech campus. Goldwater Hospital residents and supporters testified about their fears and concerns at the closing of the hospital. Needless to say that Mayor Bloomberg was not very popular among the Goldwater patients and workers.

Make sure to watch very moving testimony of a Goldwater resident at 7 minute mark and a worker at 22 minute 45 second mark.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

40 MPH Wind Gusts Felt By Roosevelt Island Tram Passenger Today - How Was Your Trip Over The East River? Take A Time Lapse Tram Ride Too

A Roosevelt Island Tram rider reports a very windy trip today.
Riding the Tram in 40 MPH wind gusts is not a normal experience. Neither is a time lapse view of the Tram and other assorted Roosevelt Island scenes. But, here you go 

courtesy of Ping Wang.

A Turkey Tale From The Roosevelt Island Farmers Market - Size Matters

A Roosevelt Island resident reports:
A true, classic NYC farmers market conversation heard yesterday at the Roosevelt Island market:

customer to organic turkey vendor: "Do you have anything smaller than 13lb turkeys?"

vendor to customer: "anything smaller would be a chicken."

I love NY!
Now this is what I call a

Image of Rockefeller Center Turkey from The Onion

 big turkey.

Sunday News Shows In 90 Seconds From Politico - Kerry And Skeptics On Interim Iran Nuclear Deal

If you are interested in a quick summary of the Sunday News talks shows, Politico has it in 90 seconds.