Saturday, February 8, 2014

Roosevelt Island Resident Roy Eaton Profiled By Fox & Friends For Black History Month - He Was The Jackie Robinson Of The Advertising Industry And Wrote The Beefaroni Commercial Jingle

Roosevelt Island resident Roy Eaton was profiled by Harris Faulkner of Fox News yesterday. Check out this video of one of our very interesting neighbors.

According to Fox News Insider:

Roy Eaton has been called the Jackie Robinson of the advertising industry, breaking down barriers on Madison Avenue and going on to create some iconic jingles that you may remember from decades past.

Does the Beefaroni song ring a bell?...
Click here for the full story.

Mr. Eaton is also a classical pianist

More on Mr. Eaton at his web site.

Roosevelt Island Gallery RIVAA Black History Month Exhibition, The Melanite Visions - Opening Reception Tonight 6 - 9 PM

Image From Gallery RIVAA

According to Gallery RIVAA:
The Melanite Visions

Annual Black History Month Exhibition

Saturday, February 1, 2014 - Sunday, March 2, 2014

Opening reception: Saturday, February 8th, 2014 from 6-9pm.

Gallery RIVAA is holding its second Annual Black History Month exhibition "The Melanite Visions" curated by Lorraine Williams.

The gallery is presenting artists of the African Diaspora creating works with a focus on painting, sculpture, jewelry, photography and textile design.

The exhibition will run from February 1, 2014 until March 2, 2014.

The opening reception is scheduled from 6-9 PM on February 8, 2014.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Moon River Over the East River On The Roosevelt Island Tram With Andy Williams, But No Audrey Hepburn - Enjoy A Breakfast At Tiffany's

Take a trip on the Roosevelt Island Tram with Moon River, the theme song to Breakfast At Tiffany's.

Here's the opening scene from Breakfast At Tiffany's with Audrey Hepburn getting out of a cab

in front of Tiffany's.

Breakfast At Tiffany's is a very good movie and also a very good song

from Deep Blue Something.

No Roosevelt Island F Train Service To Manhattan This Weekend

 According to the MTA:
F Coney Island-bound trains run via the E from Roosevelt Av to 5 Av/53 St

Weekend, 11:15 PM Fri to 5 AM Mon, Feb 7 - 10

Trains resume regular service at 47-50 Sts.

No Coney Island-bound F service at 21 St-Queensbridge, Roosevelt Island, Lexington Av/63 St and 57 St.

Long Time Roosevelt Island Resident Carl Weisbrod Named Chair Of NYC Planning Commission Today By Mayor DeBlasio - Can Mr. Weisbrod Help Get Our Wine Shop Opened Sooner?

Reported previously on long time Roosevelt Island resident Carl Weisbrod being named Mayor DeBlasio's Transition Team Co-Chair as well as Mr. Weisbrod's asking Hudson Related Main Street Retail Master Leaseholder David Kramer when Roosevelt Island's Wine store would finally open.

More news on Mr. Weisbrod. Today, Mayor Deblasio named Roosevelt Island resident Carl Weisbrod as Chair of the NYC Planning Commission.

Image Mayor DeBlasio (left) and Carl Weisbrod (right) From NYC Mayor's Office

According to this Press Release from Mayor DeBlasio's office:
Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced Carl Weisbrod will serve as Chair of the City Planning Commission, pledging a new approach to development that aggressively confronts the city’s inequality crisis. From expanding affordable housing to growing local industry that provides good-paying jobs, Mayor de Blasio charged Weisbrod with using all the tools at the city’s disposal to lift up working New Yorkers, keep neighborhoods affordable, and create stronger, more resilient communities.

Weisbrod brings more than 35 years of public service to the City Planning Commission. From his time in the Lindsay administration as a young anti-poverty lawyer, to his service as president of New York State’s 42nd Street Development Project, to his tenure as the founding president of the nation’s largest Business Improvement District in Lower Manhattan, Weisbrod has a track-record of revitalizing neighborhoods across the city and creating opportunity for New Yorkers in the process.

In announcing Weisbrod, Mayor de Blasio emphasized the administration would increase the city’s capacity for bold, long-term and comprehensive planning. And to achieve that goal, the Mayor pledged to dedicate additional resources to the Department of City Planning that will expedite the evaluation and certification of land-use applications.

“Carl is a quintessential New Yorker. He brings a real passion for our neighborhoods and our diversity across the five boroughs. And he also understands exactly how the city can shape development to stoke the most growth, the strongest affordability, and the best jobs for New Yorkers. He is ready to take these challenges head-on,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“I love this city. I’ve spent my entire career revitalizing its neighborhoods and making sure New Yorkers were the ones who benefited from good growth in their communities. We have such an enormous opportunity to put people to work in good-paying jobs, build affordable homes, and create stronger, more resilient communities—but that demands an approach that doesn’t let a single tool sit idle. We are committed to striking tough bargains and making farsighted decisions that protect New Yorkers and help us build a stronger city,” said Chair of the City Planning Commission Carl Weisbrod.

About Carl Weisbrod

Carl Weisbrod has more than 35 years of experience serving the people of New York. He has left his mark on some of the city’s most dynamic and fastest-growing neighborhoods.

Weisbrod’s service in government extends back to the Lindsay administration, which he joined as a young anti-poverty lawyer at the Department of Relocation. He was appointed by Mayor Koch to spearhead the city’s efforts to transform Times Square, and he also served as the Executive Director of the New York City Department of City Planning, Executive Director of the National Service Program, and Chairman of the New York City Loft Board. As president of New York State’s 42nd Street Development Project, Weisbrod led the effort to revitalize Times Square, transforming it into a global hub for tourism and entertainment.

Under Mayor Dinkins, Weisbrod was the Founding President of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, where he negotiated the United States Tennis Association’s 99-year lease in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park—regarded as one of the most beneficial municipal sports deals in the nation—as well as the transaction that brought Harlem its first major supermarket, the Pathmark on 125th Street.

Mayor Bloomberg appointed him as a Director of the Trust for Governors Island and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, where he helped lead the post-9/11 recovery of downtown neighborhoods. That tenure overlapped with his 10 years as the founding president of the Alliance for Downtown New York, the largest business improvement district in the nation, setting in motion the evolution of the financial district from an area dominated by daytime office workers into a thriving 24-7 neighborhood.

Weisbrod also served as the head of the real estate division of Trinity Church. He is a former Trustee of the Ford Foundation and the Urban Land Institute. He has been a partner at the firm HR&A since 2011, where he managed the successful rezoning of the Hudson Square area in Manhattan into a dynamic hub for creative industries and new housing, including up to 700 affordable units.

Weisbrod grew up in Parkchester and Fresh Meadows, and he is a graduate of Cornell University and New York University’s School of Law. He currently lives on Roosevelt Island with his wife, Jody Adams, a retired family court judge.
Congratulations to Mr. Weisbrod on being named to this very important position for the future of NYC.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Circus At Roosevelt Island Residents Association Meeting Last Night - Expulsion Motion Fails, Attempt To Kick Out Press Fails, RIRA President And Several Others Resign

An update to last night's Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council meeting

 Image Of February RIRA Common Council Meeting

agenda item on expelling member Frank Farance. As reported following the meeting:
... At almost 11 PM tonight, the RIRA Common Council voted to indefinitely postpone the motion to expel Mr. Farance. The vote effectively puts a stop to this draining and unproductive nonsense. Unfortunately, after the vote, several supporters of the motion to expel Mr. Farance, including RIRA President Polivy, said they are resigning from RIRA.

Prior to the expulsion motion being heard, supporters of the motion attempted to have the discussion conducted in Executive Session, meaning it would be in secret, closed to the public and the press. I strenuously objected to having the public and myself kicked out of the meeting as did many RIRA members. A vote was taken that rejected the motion to go into executive session.

The Circus was certainly here on Roosevelt Island tonight...
Here's what happened.

RIRA President Ellen Polivy and Secretary Joyce Short attempted to have the expulsion discussion of Mr. Farance held in Executive Session without a vote of the Common Council. They went as far as to instruct a Public Safety Officer to remove me from the room. However, the majority of RIRA voted to reject having the discussion in secret and I was allowed to remain.

A motion was then made to indefinitely postpone the motion to expel Mr. Farance

which was approved

by the majority of the Common Council.

Following the vote, Ms. Polivy gave her President's report announcing her resignation from RIRA.

and several other RIRA members resigned as well.

Ms. Polivy sent this statement today:
This past month I had a death in the family. My mother was 90 years old. Her funeral lasted over an hour and a half because so many people wanted to speak. It could have gone on far longer but we had to leave the room. I was struck with how many people had been personally and privately touched so deeply by her caring. Each speaker had a different story but common theme. They each felt acknowledged, special and unique because of years of interactions. This is an impact of a life well lived whether by a 90 year old frail woman or a 20 year old young man who freely gave out hugs and a listening ear. Most of us thrive on this kind of humanity.

I want to publicly thank all the people who supported my family and me during the last few weeks. We really appreciated all the love and attention. This is what makes a wonderful community.

For a year and 4 months I have given my all to this community as the President of RIRA. With the help of many on the Council, I have tried to set up the conditions that encourage love and support of the people around us, experiences that makes for a happy living environment. I have forged good working relationships with RIOC and the board and have been able to quietly and without fanfare get things done.

For personal reasons, my available time just got tighter. Regrettably, I am unable to continue in my present role as RIRA President. I am therefore resigning immediately.

I thank you for giving me opportunity to serve the community as RIRA President. I plan to continue my other work in the community. I thank my fellow RIRA members for their commitment and hard work and I will do whatever I can to help in the future.

Respectfully, Ellen Polivy
Mr. Farance sent this statement today:
Last night's outcome was a victory in the ongoing battle for openness, fairness, transparency, and the whole community's interests ... versus the closed, secretive, and unfair tactics advocated by an inner circle. Even to the very end Ms. Polivy was disingenuously asking for Executive Session purportedly for the purpose "we don't want to do to Frank in public what he has done to us".

Ms. Polivy has used her RIRA Column to advocate in public against me, so this was yet another ruse for tactics that they were attempting outside scrutiny of the press and public.

As for the Cherry Blossom Festival and its finances, this could have all be solved had Ms. Strong-Shinozaki and the RIRA SCE committee answered questions forthcomingly and honestly, but it became a cat-and-mouse game of hunting for facts. Even with RIRA Auditor Geof Kerr's interim report, it's clear the original SCE report that caused the hullabaloo is now discredited and was worthy of questioning -- as I did at the time.

Ms. Short and Ms. Strong-Shinozaki complain of "cyberbullying" (which just means someone disagrees with them), but meanwhile Ms. Polivy is threatening to Ruin On This Island member Susan Marcus because she voted opposite Ms. Polivy's liking.

And speaking of double standards, the Ethics Committee was completely reformulated because, as Sharon Pope reported, its original incarnation, with secret meetings done in Executive Session by improperly appointed members, was created to target one or two members of RIRA (me and possibly someone else). Hopefully, RIRA can look forward to getting back to the real business of addressing the needs of the residents.
It's very sad that RIRA has imploded from within because of the inability of some members to work out their differences in a civil, respectful and professional manner.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Roosevelt Island Residents Association Meeting Tonight To Continue Witch Hunt Seeking To Expel RIRA Member - Internal Dissension Threatens To Implode RIRA

The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) will be meeting tonight, 8 PM, at the Manhattan Park Theater Club (8 River Road)

As always, prior to the start of each monthly meeting there is a public session in which residents can come and address the Common Council Delegates on any issue of concern.

Unfortunately, some RIRA members are continuing their pursuit/Witch Hunt

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

 to expel Frank Farance from the Common Council as noted in Item 8 of the Agenda below.
Please note VENUE CHANGE

Please arrive a half hour early to help set up tables and Chairs

Date: Wednesday February 5, 2014

Time: 8:00 pm-Finish

Place: Manhattan Park Theatre Club / 8 RR immediately following Cornell Town Hall meeting

1. Public Session (8:00) Geof Kerr

2. Roll Call

3. President’s report

4. Elect a secretary

5. Approval of the January minutes

6. Approval of the agenda

7. Treasurer’s report

8. Second part of procedure to expel Council Member

9. Committee reports- Unless there is a resolution, Committee Chairs get 3 minutes to summarize their committee work.

Government Relations- Select a new committee chair

Communications- resolution

Ethics committee- Chair not present. Code will be discussed in March RIRA meeting after a public meeting is held on February 20.

SC&E- resolutions

Public purpose fund

Constitution and ByLaws


Public Safety-resolutions

Island Services


Main Street Retail

10. Old business

11. New business
This witch hunt against Mr. Farance has been going on since last November dominating every RIRA Common Council meeting since being introduced and threatens to implode RIRA as a viable Roosevelt Island residents organization. As reported following the January RIRA meeting:
... I did not think it was possible for RIRA to look more foolish than it already has on this issue, but I was wrong. The issue on whether to expel Mr. Farance was postponed to next month after a very long, heated and contentious discussion. There are several RIRA members who hate Mr. Farance so much that they appear willing to have RIRA implode from within unless Mr. Farance is expelled. In my view, the majority of RIRA members do not support expelling Mr. Farance and just want to move on to more important issues facing the community....
Let's see what happens tonight.

Stay tuned.

Update 11:35 PM - At almost 11 PM tonight, the RIRA Common Council voted to indefinitely postpone the motion to expel Mr. Farance. The vote effectively puts a stop to this draining and unproductive nonsense. Unfortunately, after the vote, several supporters of the motion to expel Mr. Farance, including RIRA President Polivy, said they are resigning from RIRA.

Prior to the expulsion motion being heard, supporters of the motion attempted to have the discussion conducted in Executive Session, meaning it would be in secret, closed to the public and the press. I strenuously objected to having the public and myself kicked out of the meeting as did many RIRA members. A vote was taken that rejected the motion to go into executive session.

The Circus was certainly here on Roosevelt Island tonight.

UPDATE 2/6 - Video of expulsion discussion here.

You're Invited To Roosevelt Island Cornell NYC Tech Community Town Hall Meeting Tonight - Come Learn And Join Discussion About Phase 1 Construction

Don't forget today's Town Hall Meeting on the Roosevelt Island Cornell NYC Tech Campus construction. You're invited to attend, learn about the project and ask questions. The Town Hall is at the Manhattan Park Theater Club, 8 River Road from 6-8 PM

More information on the Cornell NYC Tech Roosevelt Island project at this previous post, the Cornell construction web siteand video below.

It's an important meeting to learn what is going on. Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

15 Hundred Dollars Worth Of Advil Stolen From Roosevelt Island's Duane Reade Pharmacy - That's Some Headache

The Roosevelt Island Daily Public Safety Report indicated:

1/31/14 - 0953 - 425 Main St. - Grand-Larceny - NYPD and PSD generates a report
I asked Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Safety Director Jack McManus for more specific information on the incident. Mr. McManus reported that the incident occurred at the Roosevelt Island Duane Reade

on the morning of January 30 and involved the theft of 1500 dollars worth of merchandise. A NYPD spokesperson added:
... an unknown suspect took assorted bottles of Advil...

and confirmed the value of stolen merchandise at $1500.

More Snow Coming Tonight, RIOC Says Get Your Cars Off Both Sides Of Main Street - Enjoy Our Roosevelt Island Winter Wonderland While It Lasts

Cars Parked On Roosevelt Island's Main Street Are To Move For Upcoming Snowstorm

According to this advisory from the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) earlier today:
The National Weather Service is forecasting for snow to begin falling at midnight tonight through 6:00 p.m. tomorrow evening with accumulations of between 4 to 8 inches. Effective at 10:00 p.m. tonight, Tuesday, February 4, 2014 there will be no parking on both sides of Main Street on Roosevelt Island until further notice. Free parking will be available at the Motorgate Parking Garage and underneath the helix ramp until 10:00 p.m., tomorrow, February 5, 2014. This accommodation is for Roosevelt Island residents only.

The roof of the Motorgate Parking Garage will be closed due to anticipated icy conditions. All of Main Street is designated as a "SNOW EMERGENCY STREET." This means that vehicles cannot park or stand on Main Street.

The length of the "SNOW EMERGENCY" period is generally determined by the length of the storm. The main reason for the declaration of "SNOW EMERGENCY" is to allow for snow removal, which ultimately provides for a safe environment for vehicles and pedestrians.

Vehicles that do not abide by these regulations may be summonsed and subject to being towed at owners’ expense.

If you have any questions or problems, please contact Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department at (212) -832-4545 or the Motorgate Parking Garage at (212) -832-4585. You may also visit the Motorgate Parking Garage offices located on the 4th floor of the garage.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
Photoblogger Olya Turcihin shares this pretty picture of Roosevelt Island as a snow covered winter

wonderland taken last night.

2014 Roosevelt Island Public Purpose Funds Applicants Announced Today By RIOC - Applications Forwarded To RIRA For Review And Recommendations To The RIOC Board

Pile Of Money Image From Passive Income Genius

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) just released the list below of the 2014 Public Purpose Funds applicants, amounts requested and total amount requested

RIOC President Charlene Indelicato reports:
... Every year, Public Purpose Funds are allocated for programs that benefit Roosevelt Island residents by providing educational, artistic and cultural enrichment, improved health or a better environment...
According to RIOC:
... Eligible applications will be forwarded to RIRA for its review and recommendations to the RIOC Board...
More information on Roosevelt Island Public Purpose Funds available at RIOC web site and previous posts.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Beautiful Picture Of Roosevelt Island Cherry Trees Under Cover Of Snow As Seen Across The East River From Manhattan - Resident Asks Cornell NYC Tech For Help In Forming A Cherry Tree Necklace Around Roosevelt Island

From the Roosevelt Island Twitterverse:

During the January 29 meeting of the Cornell Roosevelt Island Construction and Community Task Force, resident Lynn Strong-Shinozaki asked Cornell to consider placing cherry trees along the eastern side of their campus to help form a necklace of cherry trees around the perimeter of Roosevelt Island.

The Cornell reps appeared to like the idea.

It's Snowing Again Today - No Parking On Both Sides Of All Roosevelt Island Roadways Says RIOC - Free Parking Available At Motorgate And Underneath Helix Ramp

 According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC)
**Reminder: NO PARKING on both sides of all Roosevelt Island roadways until further notice. **

Free 24 hour parking is available in the Motorgate Garage and underneath the Helix Ramp. If you have any questions or problems, contact Public Safety at (212) 832 4545 or the Motorgate Garage at (212) 832-4585. You may also come to the Motorgate offices on the fourth floor of the Garage. ALL vehicles must be moved off the roads in order for snow removal to take place. We thank you for your cooperation.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group