Saturday, April 12, 2014

Opening Day At Roosevelt Island Youth Program Little League Baseball Season - Interview With RIYP Baseball Commissioner Reports Exciting Games And A Triple Play Too

Today was the opening Day of the Roosevelt Island Youth Program (RIYP) Little League Baseball Season. I spoke with RIYP Baseball Commissioner Andrey Ganeev about the upcoming season and today's games.

Here's Commissioner Ganeev.

Check out the exciting Roosevelt Island Little League baseball action Saturday's at Capobianco Field.

UPDATE 4/13 - Frank Farance shares these photos of Roosevelt Island Public Safety Director Jack McManus

Image From Frank Farance

and Public Safety Officer Laszczych

Image From Frank Farance

coaching their RIYP Little League Baseball team yesterday.

Great job by RIYP and the Public Safety Department working together to help Roosevelt Island kids.

Friday, April 11, 2014

No Manhattan Bound Roosevelt Island F Train This Weekend - Still Time To Get Your RIHS F Train Service Change Fridge Magnet

Image Of Magnets From Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS)

Here we go again.

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

Weekends, 11:15 PM Fri to 5 AM Mon, until Apr 14

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.

Roosevelt Island's FDR Four Freedoms Park Celebrates 69 Anniversary Of FDR's Death With Wreath Laying Ceremony, World War 2 Veterans, Bagpipe Color Guard And New Book Launch Saturday April 12

The FDR Four Freedoms Park tweets:

and adds:
Four Freedoms Park Conservancy will commemorate the 69th anniversary of President Roosevelt’s death with a wreath laying ceremony on Saturday, April 12th from 1:30pm to 2 pm.

Join us in remembering President Roosevelt alongside World War II veterans Rocco Moretto and Bud Blank. The ceremony will include a bagpipe and color guard performance.

Book Launch for Harvey Kaye’s new book: The Fight for the Four Freedoms: What Made FDR and the Greatest Generation Truly Great

2pm – 3:30pm

More information on the event at FDR Park web site.

Roosevelt Island Tram Station Elevator Problems Addressed By RIOC President Indelicato At Board Of Directors Meeting Yesterday - RFP For New Elevator Issued By April 17

Image Of Broken Roosevelt Island Manhattan Tram Station Elevators

Reported April 7 that:
... Roosevelt Island Parents' Network Susy del Campo Perea and Roosevelt Island Disabled Association President Jim Bates sent this April 4 letter to RIOC President Charlene Indelicato expressing frustration and concern over the status of the broken Tram Station elevator. According to Ms. Perea and Mr. Bates:
We reached out to RIOC in January 2013 and have been doing so regularly since. We have provided you with many ideas and suggestions to have an appropriately functioning Tram station for us, the disabled, the seniors and the parents of Roosevelt Island, who rely on elevator service when traveling by the Tram.

This winter, both the primary and back-up elevator (elevator and red lift) were out of service frequently and often simultaneously. The Island’s population of families has swelled in recent years making a working elevator more imperative than ever. When only the red lift is functioning, Tram employees often do not assist ‘mobility reduced’ persons, such as parents with strollers, disabled people, and senior citizens by operating the lift. Moreover, there is no-one opening the gate to get to the pre-loading area. Additionally, there are no heaters outside the gate on the Island side....
The full letter is here.

During April 10 meeting of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board Of Directors (full video web cast here), RIOC President Charlene Indelicato addressed the issue of the Tram Station elevators and responded to the letter from Ms. Perea and Mr. Bates.

Ms. Indelicato acknowledged the "Agita" caused by the problems with the Tram Elevator and reported again that new Tram elevators are on the way with the Design and Build Request For Proposal (RFP) to be issued by April 17. Ms. Indelicato previously said that it would take about a year from the date of the RFP issuance for the elevators to be installed and ready for use.

Ms Indelicato indicated that the new elevators will require permission from NYC for a larger space footprint at the Tram Plaza and expressed the hope that Roosevelt Island's NYC Council Member Ben Kallos can assist in securing the necessary approvals.

Ms. Indelicato also said that:
  • due to union contract with tram workers, public safety officers cannot open Tram Station entrance doorway and
  • RIOC cannot provide car service for those who cannot get down the stairs when Tram elevators are out. It is too expensive.
Here's the full RIOC President's Report from Ms. Indelicato.

RIOC Approves $100 Thousand RIRA Roosevelt Island Public Purpose Fund Allocation Recommendations During Board Meeting Yesterday - And Approves $175 Thousand For Roosevelt Island Youth Program Too

Pile Of Money Image From Passive Income Genius

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) approved the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) recommendations for distribution of 2014 Public Purpose Funds during yesterday's Board Of Directors meeting. A total of $100 Hundred Thousand was allocated to 11 different Roosevelt Island organizations. In addition, $175 Thousand in Public Purpose Funds was allocated to the Roosevelt Island Youth Program.

Below is an excerpt from RIOC staff memorandum to the RIOC Board of Directors supporting approval of RIRA's 2014 Public Purpose Funds recommendations:
Attached please find the Roosevelt Island Resident Association (RIRA) recommended Public Purpose Grant awards for the year 2014-15. This year, RIRA’s internal deliberation and discussion of grant applicant merits was supplemented by evaluation criteria based upon sections of the application (summary sheet attached). Generally, these criteria took into account the purpose of the grant request, whether the project for which funds were being requested could be achieved without a Public Purpose Grant, and overall impact of the project on direct beneficiaries and the community. RIRA used the evaluation worksheets and its own discretion in the determination of each program’s appropriateness.

Twelve applicants requested funds, however RIRA has only recommended awards for 11 organization due to RIOC’s disqualification of one applicant based upon it not being a designated 501(c)(3) designated organization.

On a separate but related note, included in the FY 2014-15 Public Purpose disbursements will be the $175,000 approved for the Roosevelt Island Youth Program. The Youth Program will provide RIOC with appropriate documentation in support of the funds.

I have reviewed the recommendation and concluded that the process followed by RIRA has been fair and the amounts recommended for each grantee to be reasonable. Based upon the foregoing, I recommend the approval of the attached Public Purpose Grants for the 2014-15 fiscal year and disbursement of $175,000 to RIRA for the Roosevelt Island Youth Program.
Click her for the full RIOC memorandum supporting approval of the RIRA 2014 Public Purpose Funds recommendations. The Roosevelt Island Women's Health Organization was the applicant denied funding because it is not a designated 501(c)(3) organization.

Here's the discussion yesterday by RIOC Directors approving the RIRA recommendations for allocation of Public Purpose Funds

and the approved funding allocations to Roosevelt Island organizations.
Roosevelt Island Day Nursery (RIDN)
Amount Requested: $35,000 Recommendation: $4,000

The RIDN, a recurring applicant, currently has two locations on the Island (405 Main Street and 4 River Road) and continues to serve a number of families. Given affordability concerns, there continues to be an effort to offer scholarships and applicants for such are evaluated by a third-party organization. The $35,000 that RIDN desires for scholarship assistance could conceivably help a number of families but could not be granted due to the aggregate needs of other PPF applicants. The recommended amount the committee puts forward is intended to provide some help in availing financial aid (scholarships) but believes RIDN could make a more concerted effort to aid needy applicants through a more aggressive pursuit of funding from other sources or perhaps from its own resources. As such, in the view of the committee with due consideration of information received, the practical breadth of the program as currently structured on the Island remains limited when compared to benefits derived from other organizations.

PS/IS 217 Parent Teachers Association (PTA)
Amount Requested: $32,000 Recommendation: $15,000
The PTA, a recurring applicant, remains an active supporter of PS-IS/217. The essence of their request is to support a program (Salvadori Centre Globe) that focuses on a project-based approach to learning math and science. Grades 4 – 8 will be targeted as 60% of the students in those grades did not achieve proficiency in their last New York State mathematics exam. The committee believes this enrichment effort could provide medium to high benefit and will contribute to and enhance student performance, especially in math and science. Further, it is hoped to help mitigate losses from PS-IS/217 of the “best and brightest” to other schools due to parents’ concerns about school performance.

Roosevelt Island Visual Arts Association (RIVAA)
Amount Requested: $39,500 Recommendation: $16,000
The reality of higher rents has set in under the Master Lease Program. The RIVAA recurring request targets its increasing rent and utility expenses. Beyond its regular gallery, the RIVAA brought art to the Motorgate area and plans to do even more. While the committee believes that RIVAA does avail a special quality and benefit to the Island, given other competing priorities, it is not possible to fund fully the request. The committee continues to encourage RIVAA to, among other things, expand its fund-raising efforts so to mitigate expenses.

Life Frames, Inc.
Amount Requested: $19,900 Recommendation: $3,000
The Life Frames program is directed by an energetic leadership and supporting staff while continuing to be well received by those who participate in it. Though the gardening site near the Youth Center remains available, the committee found no evidence that the program will be able to use a site for gardening on the grounds of PS-IS/217. However, there could be some classroom interaction at the Public School, the Child Center, Coler Hosital, as well as the Senior and Disabled Associations. Life Frames, as a recurring requestor, continues to be well-funded in California but also continues to face more challenges in its funding effort in New York City. Though Life Frames as a long-time applicant has submitted an application that includes a wide list of possibilities/goals, when paired with information taken from the interview, the committee felt those goals would be hard to attain.

Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS)
Amount Requested: $25,000 Recommendation: $5,000
The Historical Society, a recurring applicant, operates a Visitor’s Center that provides a wealth of information about the Island and probably has the most extensive database of Island history. The application is primarily for funding to: (a) support hiring a summer intern who does extensive archiving and database development, (b) update maps and brochures, (c) support independent contract staff very knowledgeable about the Island, and (d) avail year round support for the Historian. The committee acknowledges these as valid uses of funds but is unable to recommend full or higher funding given competing needs, inclusive of two non-recurring applicants in this year’s pool. The committee projects that going forward, given the pending growth on the Island and the associated increase in the number of visitors, the useful services of the Center will grow exponentially in demand and with some revenue stream. From this, high benefits will accrue to the Island in a broader sense.

Roosevelt Island Senior Association (RISA)
Amount Requested: $15,000 Recommendation: $13,000
The RISA, as a recurring applicant, continues to provide a valuable service to and advocacy for Island senior residents. As such, RISA continues to seek funding for needed upgrades, improvements and replacements that will enhance and highly benefit the quality of life for seniors on the Island. Having corrected errors in its prepared budget and provided to RIOC and the committee for review, the committee recommends that appropriate PPF funds are availed to support the efforts of RISA.

Island Kids
Amount Requested: $15,000 Recommendation: $10,000
The Island Kids program is well-received throughout the Island and has again requested funding to support its scholarship efforts. The scholarship program allows for a wider number of children to attend who otherwise would not be able to given relatively modest family resources. The committee felt the program’s scope merited funding given its high benefit to the Island.

R&R Concerts
Amount Requested: $11,250 Recommendation: $7,000
R&R Concepts, a recurring applicant, has consistently offered a variety of concerts that are well-received by and easily accessible for Island residents. The funds requested would cover about 50% of the anticipated costs for musicians, supplies and other expenses. The committee suggested that more outside funding be pursued, including from foundations. Further, R&R could investigate use of PS-IS/217 for performances with potential cost-savings and was urged to do more advertising in advance, inclusive of notices in Island buildings. The committee believes the Island continues to receive good benefit from R&R Concerts at relatively low cost.

Roosevelt Island Disabled Association (RIDA)
Amount Requested: $9,000 Recommendation: $9,000
The RIDA request is a little less than last year and is basically aimed at transportation, maintenance/repair and other associated costs. By providing bus transportation, the committee believes RIDA, a recurring applicant, has been extremely successful in providing previously non-existent opportunities with high benefit for the disabled. Though difficult to fully measure the outcome, forty bus trips, each capable of accommodating ten wheelchairs, would seem to enhance quality of life in ways many of us take for granted. The committee felt that similar elaborating language should have been included in the uncompleted Section One of the application that asked for a “successful community initiative” undertaken. The committee asked if it was feasible and advantageous to pursue joining a national disabled organization and if other funding sources were available. The response to the former was that joining a national would not be advantageous and likely a disadvantage. As to other sources of funding, this is becoming an increasing challenge for RIDA.

Main Street Theater and Dance Alliance
Amount Requested: $27,250 Amount Recommended: $15,000
MST&DA, a first time applicant, has a host of needs following the trauma of Hurricane Sandy, i.e., the storm’s impact upon costs, upon the prior location, and upon enrollment. The committee acknowledges the high value to the Island of the long-standing programs offered by the Alliance. Also noted was the breadth of residents who participate. For example, of 81 students who self-reported ethnicity, 25% were Asian, 21% White/Caucasian, 17% African-American, 6% Hispanic, and 30% of mixed heritage. The committee believes strongly that the Alliance should be restored to its former glory. Current projections from other possible funding sources will not do that.

Island Cats
Amount Requested: $3,000 Recommended: $3,000
As a first time applicant for PPF, Island Cats brought a lot of ‘sincerity of purpose’ to the committee. This group of concerned Islanders effectively care for “animals in the wild” (currently estimated at 90 or slightly more cats) that are located on Roosevelt Island and invisible to many residents. Yet, Island Cats with 12 – 20 volunteers, does its best to take care of the animals (feedings, medical care, etc.). There are shelters and/or feeding stations for these outdoor cats near Day Springs Church, the Garden Club and at the south end of the Island. Island Cats works with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and with other animal rescue organizations to stem the over population of stray cats abandoned on our Island. Their plan is to expand their program to reach out more to the disabled and elderly shut-ins, including increased therapeutic visits. This would provide good benefits and include, for example, nail-clipping the animal(s) owned by the visited or availing an animal to “cuddle”. Partnering with Dr. Resnick’s DASH program is under consideration as well as with both the Senior and Disabled Associations. Of course, there are expenses associated with what Island Cats does and with their plans for expansion. The committee was impressed by their enthusiasm and agrees with their need for help.

Great Spring Time Walks On Roosevelt Island With RI Historical Society Cherry Blossom Walk Tomorrow And April 26 - Maybe Magnolia Blossom Walk Tomorrow

Roosevelt Island Cherry Tree Row By Goldwater Hospital Seen From The Tram in 2012

The 6th annual Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS) Cherry Blossom walks will take place tomorrow April 12 and Saturday April 26. According to the RIHS:
Great Spring Time Tours:

Roosevelt Island Historical Society

6th Annual Cherry Blossom Walks

Saturday, April 12th & Saturday, April 26th

11:00 a.m.

Tours leave from the Visitor Center

Tram Plaza, Roosevelt Island

Suggested Donation: $10.00

Reservations requested:


RIHS President Judy Berdy reports that in the event there are no Cherry Blossoms out tomorrow, the walking tour

Image of Coler Hospital Magnolia Blossoms From Judy Berdy

will feature the

Image of Coler Hospital Magnolia Blossoms From Judy Berdy

Magnolia Blossoms

Image of Coler Hospital Magnolia Blossoms From Judy Berdy

at Roosevelt Island's Coler Hospital.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

RIOC Board Of Directors Meeting Today - Roosevelt Island 2014 Public Purpose Funds, Cultural Center Renovation, Steam Tunnels, Cell Phone Antenna License Among Items On Agenda

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):





5:30 P.M.[1]

I. Call to Order

II. Roll Call

III. Approval of Minutes

1. January 23, 2014 Board Meeting (Board Action Required)

IV. Old Business

V. New Business

1. Presentation of the FY 2013-2014 QTR 4 Procurement Report

2. Authorization to Restrict Funds to Satisfy “Other Post Employment Benefits” (OPEB) Obligations (Board Action Required)

3. Authorization of Expenditure of Public Purpose Funds (Board Action Required)

4. Ratification of Insurance Binders for 2014-15 (Board Action Required – Materials to Follow)

5. Authorization to Enter into Contract with Spacious Living Group, LLC d/b/a SLG Construction for Roosevelt Island Cultural Center Renovation Project (Board Action Required)

6. Authorization to Amend the Contract with Nelson & Pope Engineers & Surveyors for the Cultural Center Renovation Project Construction Documents (Board Action Required)

7. Authorization to Enter into Cell Antenna License Agreement with T-Mobile Northeast LLC (Board Action Required)

8. Authorization to Enter into Contract with Langan Engineering and Environmental Services, Inc. for Assessment of the Steam Tunnels (Board Action Required)

9. Authorization to Enter into Contract with Admit Computer Services, Inc. d/b/a IMPACT for Public Safety Department Records Management System (Board Action Required)

10. President’s Report

11. Committee Reports

a. Audit Committee

b. Governance Committee

c. Operations Advisory Committee

d. Real Estate Development Advisory Committee

12. Public Safety Report

VI. Adjournment

[1] The RIOC Board Meeting will commence following a public comment period. The public comment period is not part of the meeting.

Roosevelt Island Summer Jobs Available With RIYP Beacon Summer Youth Employment Program - Apply Now, Deadline April 25

A message from the Roosevelt Island Youth Program (RIYP). According to RIYP's Adib Mansour:
Summer Jobs at the RIYP Beacon.


Apply online by clicking (or copy and paste) the following url:

This is the Department of Youth & Community Development website. It will allow applicants ages 14 through 24 years old. Please note it is a lottery system and you must enter the specific code/location we supply (see below) in order to get a job on Roosevelt Island Youth Program / Beacon:

1- Click on New, to begin an online application
2- Enter a Login Name and password, your Social Security, First and Last Name, and email address, then click Create Login
3- After you fill in all required information, you will have the option to choose a location, chose Queens, then choose Hellanic American Neighborhood Action Committee.

As this process is lottery based, by entering the aforementioned information you will get a better chance to get into Roosevelt Island Youth Program’s Summer Youth Employment Program.

Should you have any questions or need additional information, do not hesitate to call Kim Massey (RIYP Beacon’s Director) at (212) 527-2505, or email us at
The application deadline is April 25.

Click here to apply.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Law And Order SVU Episode Filmed On Roosevelt Island Airing Tonight 9 PM

Image Of Ice-T At RIHS Visitors Center Kiosk From Judy Berdy

Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS) President Judy Berdy reports that the Law and Order SVU episode filmed on Roosevelt Island last month will be shown tonight at 9 PM on NBC.

More on Law and Order SVU Roosevelt Island filming at previous posts.

Outdoor Eating Returning To Roosevelt Island East River Waterfront Pier This Summer - RIOC Bringing In Food Trucks To Operate At Pier

Another welcome sign of spring and summer approaching with sunny skies, warmer weather and relaxing at the Roosevelt Island East River waterfront.

After completing the renovation of the West/Subway Pier, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) today put out some outdoor tables

and chairs

for staging purposes on the Pier


We're not quite ready for sitting down with a bite to eat at the Pier, but soon it will be ready.

During April 7 meeting of RIOC Operations Committee meeting (full audio web cast of meeting), RIOC President Charlene Indelicato reported that the Riverwalk Bar & Grill owners, who operated Pier NYC at the Subway/West Pier during summer of 2012, declined to operate the venue this summer. (The Pier was closed during 2013 due to damage from Hurricane Sandy).

Instead of Pier NYC, Ms Indelicato said that RIOC intends to bring in Food Trucks to operate in the area this summer and

 2012 Outdoor Restaurant At Pier And Main Street Food Trucks

that RIOC purchased the Pier NYC tables and chairs for $4,500 from the Riverwalk Bar & Grill owners.

Here is the discussion at April 7 RIOC Operations Advisory Committee meeting.

I'm looking forward to the return of the food trucks and eating at the Pier.

UPDATE 4/28 - RIOC has more information here for potential Operators of the Roosevelt Island Waterfront Pier Concession. There is a new RIOC administration in place that emphasizes its desire to work with potential Waterfront Operators to make a success of the Waterfront Pier Concession.

It Must Be Spring - Roosevelt Island Subway Fruit Stand Vendor Back Today

After a long winter hiatus, the Roosevelt Island Subway Fruit Vendor

is back


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Termination Of Main Street Wire Newspaper Door Drop Delivery To Roosevelt Island Apartments And Keeping Member Communications Secret Among Items On Tonight's Roosevelt Island Residents Association Meeting Agenda

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

 Image Of February 2014 RIRA Meeting At Manhattan Theater Club

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.

Among the items on tonight's agenda is a motion asking Roosevelt Island building owners to prohibit the local newspaper, the Main Street Wire,

from distributing the paper at each apartment door. According to the resolution:
Roosevelt Island Residents Association

Motion Demanding Issuance of Letter by RIRA President re Distribution of The Wire.

Movant: Helen Chirivas, Secretary

“Whereas the WIRE publication does not reflect the interests and aspirations of the entire RI community in its reportage;

Whereas the WIRE publication has offended the sector of the RI community whose interests and aspirations it does not reflect;

Whereas the WIRE publication is currently distributed door to door to every household on RI, thereby causing offense to the residents of the RI community its reportage does not reflect;

Therefore, be it resolved that RIRA President J. Escobar, acting in the best interests of the entire RI Community, will arrange for the dispatch of letters (sample attached) via Email and Certified Mail, to each and every management company on RI, requesting, on behalf of the entire RI community, that said management companies henceforth not permit the door- to-door distribution in their properties of the WIRE publication.”
Below is an except from the sample letter described in above motion:
It has come to the attention of the Roosevelt Island Residents’ Association (RIRA) that residents are unhappy with the quality and tenor of the reporting in the WIRE publication, and many no longer wish to be obliged to take delivery of the publication by means of the present door drop distribution method in effect at your property.

I trust that you will agree that the responsible course of action is to therefore terminate the WIRE door-drop distribution policy in your property so as to eliminate the possibility of further offending any tenants/owners residing therein.

To implement the cessation of the door-drop distribution policy in your property, please contact the WIRE via email...
Other RIRA members who object to the reporting in the local newspaper suggest an opt in policy for delivery of the WIRE. They suggest if a building resident wishes to have the paper delivered to their door, they tell building management of their desire and they will receive delivery. Those who don't opt in will not get door delivery. Supporters of the door drop delivery to every apartment claim that an opt in system for delivery will ruin the business advertising model of the Wire.

Also on tonight's RIRA Agenda is a motion to keep secret from the Roosevelt Island public certain communications among RIRA members. According to the resolution:
Roosevelt Island Residents Association

Motion Regarding Transmittal of RIRA Electronic Communications

Movant: Mickey Rindler, as Chair of Ethics Committee

“Be it Resolved

Common Council members shall not publicly disclose, publish, or distribute confidential information, including transmission of:

1. private emails or conversations in which RIRA business is discussed, unless authorized by the author or speaker.

2. communications posted on Common Council-sponsored websites or email reflectors unless authorized by the author or unless otherwise authorized by the Council.

3. Committee work, minutes, or reports not approved for release.”
Here is the rest of tonight's

RIRA Agenda which includes approval of a conflict of interest policy, support of the annual Blood Drive and more.

UPDATE 11:35 PM - Another excellent job by RIRA President Jeff Escobar presiding over tonight's Common Council Meeting. Here's Mr. Escobar's Report to the Common Council which followed the decision by the Common Council to remove the item regarding the Wire distribution door drops from the Agenda.

Also, the motion by the Ethics Committee Chair to prohibit disclosure to the public of internal RIRA communications was tabled and not approved by the Common Council.

RIRA's Aaron Hamburger stood up for Common Council openness and transparency by stating:
I'm strongly opposed to this motion. We are an open organization. We represent our community. There are no secrets. If you write something you stand behind it. I don't care if gets sent to the public. It should in fact....

... In my view it is contrary to the spirit of this organization....
Here's the RIRA Common Council discussion of the issue

and vote to table the issue.

Needless to say that I agree with Mr. Hamburger.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Roosevelt Island Parents And Disabled Looking For Help With Broken Tram Station Elevator - When Will RIOC Start Work On New Elevator?

Reported last January 15:

The frequently broken and out of service Roosevelt Island Tram Manhattan Station elevator

Image Of Broken Roosevelt Island Manhattan Tram Station Elevators

was a subject of discussion during the January 14 Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Real Estate Advisory Committee meeting.

RIOC President Charlene Indelicato began the discussion by apologizing to Roosevelt Island residents for the Tram Elevator and handicap lift being out of service so often and described measures RIOC is taking to fix the current situation. As to a more permanent solution, Ms Indelicato reported that a Request For Proposals for a new tram elevator will be issued by the end of this month and it should take a year from that date for a new Tram Station Elevator to be in service which will be installed where the red handicap lift is currently located....
... Ms. Indelicato reported that when RIOC is informed of the Tram Elevator being out of service, a Public Safety Officer or other RIOC employee will be sent to the Manhattan station. However, the RIOC employee will not lift Wheelchairs or large strollers up the stairs, but at the discretion of the RIOC employee, may be able to help with small strollers....
Earlier today, I asked Ms. Indelicato if the RFP for new Tram elevator was issued yet. I have not yet heard back but according to the RIOC web site, it has not.

Roosevelt Island Parents' Network Susy del Campo Perea and Roosevelt Island Disabled Association President Jim Bates sent this April 4 letter to RIOC President Charlene Indelicato expressing frustration and concern over the status of the broken Tram Station elevator. According to Ms. Perea and Mr. Bates:
We reached out to RIOC in January 2013 and have been doing so regularly since. We have provided you with many ideas and suggestions to have an appropriately functioning Tram station for us, the disabled, the seniors and the parents of Roosevelt Island, who rely on elevator service when traveling by the Tram.

This winter, both the primary and back-up elevator (elevator and red lift) were out of service frequently and often simultaneously. The Island’s population of families has swelled in recent years making a working elevator more imperative than ever. When only the red lift is functioning, Tram employees often do not assist ‘mobility reduced’ persons, such as parents with strollers, disabled people, and senior citizens by operating the lift. Moreover, there is no-one opening the gate to get to the pre-loading area. Additionally, there are no heaters outside the gate on the Island side.

In addition, as the F-Train has been out of service during many weekends the past couple of years, if both Tram elevators are out of service during those (quite regular) subway suspensions, parts of the population are trapped on the island. This is both a quality of life and a safety issue.

On March 16th, the main elevator broke down completely and RIOC acted very quickly. Even though there was no sign on Roosevelt Island’s side that the Main elevator was not working, there was Tram personnel on Manhattan’s side operating the lift. The Parents’ Network acted quickly to inform the more than 300 families about the state of the Tram elevator so everyone with a stroller could plan accordingly: either take the F train or wait for the lift at the Tram station.

Please note that being theoretically able to take the F-Train instead of the Tram is not always an efficient solution, for example when parents need to bring their children to schools or daycares off Island. Parents report that they can not take the F-Train in the morning as the Subway is full and the stroller does not fit in, causing them to miss several trains and to be late for school and their own work by 30-60 minutes. Here residents again rely on the Tram and a functioning elevator on the Manhattan side.

Unfortunately, the efforts made by RIOC, RIRA and the Parents’ Network to make the best of the current situation while we wait for a replacement of the main elevator and lift have not been enough or executed accordingly by the Tram personnel.

For example, from the week of March 16th to March 21st, there have been many warnings from parents that the lift is not being operated and/or that the lift is being operated but that they are not able to ride the Tram because there is no Tram personnel at the gate. Parents have complained of no signage on the Island sign warning of this. Conversely, there have not been many reports in the past week of things running as they should, that lift has been operated accordingly, and they can enter the pre-boarding area of the tram on the Island side.

We understand that the break down of the main elevator is not a planned malfunction. Therefore, the contingency plan must be implemented: operating the Red Lift to assist the seniors, handicaps and parents with strollers.

Below is a table with dates and time stamps illustrating the working condition of the lift as reported to and by the Parents’ Network.

Please note the time stamp, which shows exactly when the lift is not being operated for the parents with strollers that needed to use it.
As previously emailed to Mr. Opperman and Mr. McManus, during the week of March 17-21, there has been trouble accessing the pre-boarding area of the Tram on the Manhattan side, while one Tram employee is operating the lift.

Here is an example of an email sent to the Parents’ Network on this point:
“There is only one person working at the Manhattan side station. So, she is operating the elevator (there were @ 6-7strollers waiting to go down and others coming up) so there was no one at the gate to open the door for us, so bunch of us waited a long time and missed the tram. PSD staffs were just standing "right in front of the gate", and my mom asked them to open the  gate, but they did not want to open thegate for us (they pointed at the lady who was working on the elevator,, wanted us to wait for her..)  until we all missed the tram.

I still do not understand who can open the gate and cannot. PSD staffs are not allowed to open the gate? (they eventually opened it for all of us reluctantly though..)

We hope things will go on little more smoothly,, (since it is so cold to wait out there!!)”
Tue, Mar 18, 2014 at 11:55 AM.
“If we are not allowed to operate it on our own and no one is stationed there to operate it for us, it is just the same thing as it is no working.”Mrs. KE. Fri, 21 Mar 2014  14:20
The report received to the RI Parents Network by Mr. Aaron Hamburger, RIRA Representative:
“Mar 21, 2014 13:55 PM, "Aaron Hamburger"  wrote:
The red elevator is definitely operating. My wife used it at 12 noon and again at 1:30 PM today (Friday). The only problem is that a Tram person needs to be around to run the elevator. You can't operate it by yourself.
- - - - - - - - - Aaron Hamburger
• No signs or incorrect signs displayed. Reported: Thu, 20 Mar 2014
“I thought they were making 2 different signs to avoid confusion,, (I thought that was where we left off before?) but it seems like they did not.”
On Thursday March 20th, around noon I bumped and spoke to a POMA employee at Starbucks and I asked him why the lift is not being consistently used when the main elevator is out. His answer was that unless they have two people working on the Manhattan side, the lift will not be operated unless the operator on the Manhattan side is willing to operate it for all of us who are in need.  Then he looked at my double stroller with my three month old and two year old and exclaimed, “That’s a big production, you shouldn’t carry that stroller up and down the stairs.” Meanwhile many parents have noted seeing two employees on the Manhattan side just working the gate and not assisting with the lift.

I would like to follow up on the suggestions made by Ms Eva Bosbach on behalf of the RI Parents' Network and the RIRA Island Services Committee that:

  1. RIOC expedites the replacement of the elevators.  Incidentally, this is already approved in RIOC's 2014/2015 budget (also see January 13 2014 letter to RIOC by NY State Senator Jose Serrano requesting the elevator to be promptly fixed). The estimated completion date is now February 2015. In the meantime of the beginning of the replacement, a monthly preventive maintenance to the elevator and lift could be employed to have at least one of them always in service.
  2. RIOC provides additional personnel on the Manhattan side of the Tram to assist to residents in going up and down the stairs.  If this is a liability issue then an additional person should be on duty to always have one person operating the lift.  Another suggestion is to allow the stationed Public Safety officer on the Manhattan side to allow the paying parents open the pre-boarding gate while the Tram personnel is operating the lift. (Please read the email of parent with comments about this issue). If there’s only one Tram personnel to operate the lift and to guard the gate, then we are going to continue to have problems with the lift being only operated when the personnel wants to and not when it is needed, like has been happening the whole past week. Please see emails with dates and times above.
  3. RIOC provides Red Bus service to and from Manhattan when both elevators are out of service and the Subway is not running or the Subway elevator to Manhattan is Out of Service.  We fully understand that this might be difficult to do "on call" as this combination usually occurs suddenly and during the weekend, with the exception of the Subway elevator. That is why we ask that a Red Bus service, at least a couple every hour or every other hour, is established for all weekends when the F-Train will be not running until the elevators are replaced, and in the case the Subway elevator to Manhattan is out of service.
  4. Alternatively, a phone number could be provided which residents with needs could call for an on-demand car service run by RIOC in such cases. As a reminder, a car service to Manhattan from Roosevelt Island ranges between $27 to $38 plus gratuity depending on the time of the day. There is no way possible for a parent to ride with 1, 2 or 3 kids (baby, toddler, small child) to Manhattan in a weekday by him/herself in a car service paying those amounts, instead of the $2.75 per ride of the MTA.
  5. Install a security camera which would monitor and record the turnstile and gate area, and, ideally, be watched by the Tram operator in the booth on the Manhattan side or the PSD (like they are watching and recording the current CCTV that exist on the island and inside Roosevelt Landings). In case of an improper use of the gate, either alert the operator inside the Tram to make the person pay on the RI side, or catch the person on the Manhattan side and remind them of paying the fare. This would solve the problem we currently have where the one employee must operate the lift and open the tram door on the Manhattan side, while PSD just watches.
  6. At a bare minimum – accurate and timely signage must be provided on the Island side communicating when both elevators are out of service so residents may change their travel plans accordingly.  We had been successful with this request: After Mrs. Bosbach was in touch with RIOC and Leitner/POMA, two signs (stating one or both elevators are out of service) have been produced and should now be placed at the Tram station accordingly. For this week of March 16th- 21st, no signs were displayed, or were erroneous.
  7. For RIOC to consider using the funds from Cornell and New York State for these solutions - the Tram will be one of the services on the Island which will definitely be used by Cornell staff and students.
  8. Continue to work on a permanent solution to help with opening theTram gate on the Island side (in addition to the morning rush hour personnel).
Best regards,

Susy del Campo Perea
MS, Supply Chain Management and Technology
Cybernetics and Computer Science Engineer
Mother of 2
Member of RI Parents Network


Jim Bates
RIDA President
Here is video from January 14 RIOC Operations Committee meeting discussion of the broken Tram Station elevator.

Autopsy Of Goldwater Hospital In Photos - You're Invited To Roosevelt Island Historical Society Photography Presentation By Charles Giraudet Tuesday April 8

Demolition Fencing Around Roosevelt Island's Goldwater Hospital

An invitation from Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS) President Judy Berdy
Lost and Found in Goldwater: Photography Presentation on Roosevelt Island Showcases Historic Hospital

Goldwater Hospital’s closing gave photographer Charles Giraudet the opportunity to photograph for posterity this 75-year old building.

View Of Goldwater Hospital From Queens Image By Charles Giraudet

Built by the WPA, Goldwater is a showplace of creative and forward-thinking architecture. Giraudet will discuss his photographs in a presentation sponsored by the Roosevelt Island Historical Society on Tuesday, April 8 at 6:30 PM, at the New York Public Library Branch on Roosevelt Island (524 Main Street). Lost and Found in Goldwater will provide attendees with a photographic walk-through of the now silent halls, byways and passages of this architectural masterpiece.

Goldwater Electrical Equipment Room Image From Charles Giraudet

About Charles Giraudet

Charles Giraudet's earliest memory takes place in his father's photo studio in Paris, France. After completing his architecture studies, he moved to New York and worked on projects large and small for over 15 years. Giraudet came back to photography when he started to look at the camera itself as an architectural artifact—a room that captures light and fragments of life. A small camera collection ensued, with which he has taken images around the globe. Lately, his projects have been revolving around concepts familiar to architects (perception, identity, memory, scale, transformation, the body in space, etc.), and the documentation of the human experience as it is manifested in space. He is currently documenting Goldwater Hospital on Roosevelt Island, New York, which is being demolished to make room for the new Cornell Tech campus.

The event is FREE and open to the public. It is the first in a series of spring lectures sponsored by the Roosevelt Island Historical Society.

How To Avoid Falling For A Jerk Or Jerkette - Roosevelt Island Relationship Seminar For Singles Wednesday April 9

You're invited to learn how to avoid falling for a jerk or jerkette - a relationship seminar for singles taught by Roosevelt Island resident Drew Hyun.

From Mr. Hyun:
What: A Relationship Seminar for Singles.

When: Wednesday, April 9th 7:30p - 9:30p

Where: 455 Main St. Rooftop Room

Instructor: Drew Hyun has taught this course numerous times to hundreds of singles across NYC. Drew is a pastor, speaker, and Island resident since 2008.

Admission is FREE but RSVP is required by emailing or calling 347-915-4673 by Tuesday, April 8th.

Light snacks/refreshments will be provided.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Hanging Out At The Roosevelt Island Waterfront Pier On A Beautiful Sunny Sunday - RIOC Looking Into Summer Outdoor Dining Options For Pier

One of the great outdoor community spaces on Roosevelt Island is the West (Subway) Pier. On a lovely, sunny Sunday afternoon today, despite gated barriers still blocking the pathway, the Roosevelt Island public came out to the recently renovated West Pier to enjoy the beautiful weather and East River waterfront.

If you weren't at the Pier today, here's what it was like.

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Charlene Indelicato reports about the Pier:

On March 31, reconstruction work on the West Pier near the Subway Station was completed, and we are looking forward to reopening the Pier to the public shortly. RIOC is pleased to restore this beautiful area to active use and is currently looking into outdoor dining options for this Summer.
Looking forward to learning what RIOC has in mind for outdoor dining at the Pier this summer. In the summer of 2012, the pier was the site of an outdoor restaurant

 2012 Outdoor Restaurant At Pier And Main Street Food Trucks

operating by the owners of the Riverwalk Bar & Grill.