Saturday, May 10, 2014

Fire At New Jersey Marine Facility Receiving Cornell NYC Tech Barges From Roosevelt Island Goldwater Demolition Results In Truck Deliveries May 12,13 & 14 Evening - RI Bridge Helix Will Be Closed For Brief Period Says RIOC

View Larger Map

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):

A recent fire destroyed the marine facility in New Jersey that was receiving barges from the Cornell Tech site. The fire was unrelated to the Cornell Tech Activities. Efforts are underway to locate a new facility, but in the interim, a small number of trucks will be required to deliver empty containers to the site next week. On Monday May 12, Tuesday May 13, and Wednesday May 14, at some point between the hours of 8 p.m and 10 p.m, trucks will be escorted over the helix by the RIOC Public Safety Department and led to the construction site, requiring brief closures of the helix. No more than five trucks will arrive on the island on any night. This is expected to be a one-time solution due to these unexpected circumstances. Please note that this advisory only pertains to empty containers. Any containers containing materials from the site will continue to be shipped off the island by barge. Thank you for your understanding.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
Also, here's the Cornell NYC Tech Construction Update:
May 9 - May 23 Look Ahead

Interior demolition is fully complete in all Phase 1 buildings (the northern portion of site). Interior abatement is ongoing, although this work is fully complete in building C. The work zone has expanded into Phase 2 buildings (the southern portion of site), with interior demolition starting in buildings A and B.

The art conservation firms have successfully removed the three WPA murals from Goldwater Hospital. They have fully demobilized and vacated the site. The murals are now going to the firms’ art studios in Manhattan for a more thorough assessment of canvas and paint conditions, to be followed by conservation work.

Data from the Community Air Monitoring Program has been shared on the construction website. Daily average and daily maximum particulate concentrations are included, along with action levels.

Friday, May 9, 2014

No Roosevelt Island F Train Service From Manhattan This Weekend - Expect Crowded Roosevelt Island Tram Coming Home

 Image Of Magnets From RIHS

According to the MTA:
F Jamaica-bound trains run via the E after 47-50 Sts to Roosevelt Av

Weekend, 9:45 PM Fri to 5 AM Mon, May 9 - 12

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

A Moment In Time Art Exhibition By Ioan Popoiu Opening Reception Saturday May 10 At Gallery RIVAA

Roosevelt Island's Gallery RIVAA will be hosting an opening reception tomorrow, May 10 from 6PM - 9PM for their new exhibition, A Moment in Time, by Ioan Popoiu.

Image From Gallery RIVAA

According to Gallery RIVAA:
You are cordially invited to the opening reception of RIVAA's new show "A Moment in Time" by Ioan Popoiu on Saturday, May 10th from 6 - 9 PM at Gallery RIVAA.

Address: Gallery RIVAA, 527 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, NYC
The exhibition runs until June 15.

Report From Cornell NYC Tech Vice President Cathy Dove - Partnership With Technion, K -12 Grade Education Director, Integrating Queens Organizations, Free Health & Nutrition Program, Relay For Life And Demolition/Barging Update

 Image of Cathy Dove From Crains NY Business

Cornell NYC Tech Vice President Cathy Dove sends this report to the Roosevelt Island community.
As the Cornell Tech population continues to grow – we’ll have approximately 100 students on our temporary campus this fall – we are establishing ways to become an active part of the Roosevelt Island community. I hope that Islanders are beginning to see more and more of us around town, doing community service projects, meeting with community organizations and just talking to Islanders about our campus.

I was pleased to be part of a team of Cornell Tech participants in the Relay for Life event at the Octagon on April 26. Relay for Life is the signature fundraising event for the American Cancer Society, and our team of Cornell Tech students, administrators, faculty (and even two Cornell Tech children) walked the track for this worthy cause. Our next community service opportunity will be Roosevelt Island Day on June 21, so please look for all of the people in Cornell Tech t-shirts along with our Cornell family partners, Weill Cornell Medical College and Cornell Cooperative Extension. There will be interesting demonstrations, a raffle and helpful information for you and your family so don’t miss it!

We also continue to keep the Island up to speed on how our academic program and construction projects are evolving. On April 28, the latest quarterly meeting of the Construction and Community Task Force was held. We were joined on the Island by Adam Shwartz, the Director of the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute. The Jacobs Institute is the part of Cornell Tech that is a partnership between the two universities, which will offer dual degrees from Cornell and Technion beginning this fall. Adam joined the Institute from the Technion earlier this year, where he is a professor in the department of electrical engineering.  He shared our vision for the Institute as a place for experimentation and innovation, and answered questions from Islanders in attendance. Diane Levitt, Cornell Tech’s new Director for K12 Education will present at our next task force meeting on July 28.

Under the leadership of Jane Swanson, Cornell Tech's Assistant Director of government and community relations, we are also working closely with Cornell Cooperative Extension's New York City Programs to bring exciting programming to the Island. CUCE-NYC has already been holding free health and nutrition courses at the senior center, complete with food preparation demonstrations. This program has been brought back twice by popular demand.

Looking just beyond the Island, we are also partnering with Queens organizations to ensure that our campus – and Roosevelt Island – will truly become the center of a vibrant citywide tech sector. In April we met with leadership of the Queens Chamber of Commerce, Queens Economic Development Corporation and the Coalition for Queens to discuss how we can work together to encourage more tech companies to locate in Queens, in addition to the industry growth we expect to occur directly on the Cornell Tech campus.  To that end, at the last task force meeting, the group chose to add a representative from the Queens Borough President’s Office to further integrate Queens into the process.

Finally, as many of you may have noticed, the demolition project on the site is well underway. The barging is going very well. Thus far we have removed about 1,000 tons of debris from the site – 100% of which has left by barge! Please continue to sign up for construction updates and visit our website at for the latest information on the project.
Here is the fascinating presentation made by Adam Shwartz,the Director of the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute, to the Roosevelt Island Community and Construction Task Force referenced by Ms. Dove.

Lewdness Investigation At The Roosevelt Island Day Nursery This Week - RIDN Board Of Trustees Says NYPD Determined No Crime Committed

The May 5 Roosevelt Island Public Safety Daily Report indicated an incident involving lewdness at the Roosevelt Island Day Nursery (RIDN):

05/05/14 - 2036 - 4 River Road - Lewdness - PSD responded - Under investigation.
Roosevelt Island Public Safety Director Jack McManus added that the incident was under investigation by the NYPD.

On May 7, I asked representatives from the RIDN:
I am receiving reports of inappropriate conduct by a staffer at the Roosevelt Island Day Nursery which is currently being investigated by NYPD

Is that true?

Does RIDN have any statement regarding the incident.
The RIDN Board Of Trustees responded May 8:
Wednesday afternoon representatives of the Roosevelt Island Board of Trustees spoke with the NYPD regarding the alleged incident and were informed that NYPD has determined that no laws were broken and no crime was been committed. They were further informed that barring unforeseen circumstances the investigation will be closed and no further investigation will be necessary.


Board of Trustees
Roosevelt Island Day Nursery
The RIDN Board Of Trustees added today:
The Board’s current understanding is that the alleged incident occurred well after closing hours and that the staffer was alone at the time. No children, other staff or parents were involved.
UPDATE 5:20 PM - The RIDN Board Of Trustees reported to parents:
... The Board as a precautionary measure Wednesday morning suspended the staffer who was allegedly involved in the incident to protect the school and those affiliated with it. The staffer in question is not permitted on the school premises while suspended, pending the Board's resolution of this situation....

Report From RIOC President Charlene Indelicato - Roosevelt Island Street & Motorgate Parking Rates Going Up, Tram Elevator RFP Issued, Mommy & Me Swim Class Registration, Bike NY Spring Kickoff Party, Octagon Tennis Resurfacing & More

Image of New Roosevelt Island Parking Meter on West Channel Road

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Charlene Indelicato sends the following report to the community.
Now that temperatures are stable, work is moving forward quickly on the Island’s capital projects. RIOC and its partners are also bringing more community events and classes for kids and adults to the Island. Bike New York will be hosting a Spring Kickoff Party next weekend, and registration for the next session of Mommy & Me classes is available now. To stay informed about events, classes, construction and other Island-specific information, you can sign up for RIOC Advisories at

Many thanks are due to the artists who painted murals at the 2013 Fall for Arts Festival, whose work is now on display at the Motorgate Gallery (628 Main St.). Thanks as well to all who came out to celebrate, especially to the RIVAA Gallery for curating the show and hosting attendees after the opening.

Main Street and Motorgate Garage Parking Rates

Drivers are advised that beginning Monday, May 12, new rates will be in effect for existing short-term parking spaces on Main Street as well as on the East and West Roads. All parking meters will be updated with a rate of $0.50 per 15 minutes Monday through Saturday. There will be no charge for parking on Sunday. Signs will be posted on parking meters and near all affected parking to advise drivers of time limits and the fare change.

New parking rates for non-resident and daily parking at the Motorgate Garage will also be going into effect shortly. Beginning June 1, 2014, rates for daily parking will be $6.76 for up to one hour, with a maximum of $20.27 per twenty-four hour period. Rates for cars owned by non-residents will be changed one month later on July 1. These new rates are posted at the Garage to notify patrons of the facility. If you have any questions about parking in Motorgate, you may call 212-832-4585 with any inquiries.

Tram Elevator RFP

The process to design and build two new elevators at the Manhattan Tram Station continues to move forward. A Request for Proposals was issued on April 28, with responses due by May 28. This RFP requires a contractor to design, build and install two entirely new elevators and elevator shafts. The existing elevator will be replaced and the red passenger lift currently located at the station will be replaced by a new ADA-compliant elevator. The replacement of the elevators is a high priority for us right now, and we are determined to deliver a system that will serve both residents and visitors smoothly and efficiently. To that end, we will evaluate all proposals carefully and select the best contractor for the job. We will continue to do all we can to lessen the impact on the community throughout the process.

Octagon Tennis Courts

Last Monday, contractors were pouring concrete at the Octagon Tennis Courts to create new supports for the tennis net posts. The concrete requires two to three weeks to cure properly, during which time no work can be performed on the site. This period of time was planned out in the original construction schedule and will not delay the reopening of the Courts. Contractors will resume work once the concrete has cured completely, keeping the project on schedule to reopen at the end of June.

Bike New York’s Spring Kickoff Party

Next Saturday, May 17, the Bike New York Spring Kickoff Party will take place from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Capobianco basketball court on Roosevelt Island. We hope that you will join in at this family-friendly community celebration of bike month and the start of the bicycling season on Roosevelt Island. Activities will include a Learn to Ride Kids class, pop-up bike shop, free bicycle raffle, face painting, bike decorating, a ride around the island and more. This event is free and open to the public. For more information on this event or to learn more about Bike New York is bringing to Roosevelt Island, please contact

Mommy & Me Registration

Following a successful 8 weeks of Mommy & Me Water Safety classes, we are pleased to open registration for the May – June session of classes. Classes will take place on Sunday and Wednesday mornings from the week of May 18th until the week of July 6th, with makeup classes on the week of July 13th. Classes are $5/class for residents who pre-register, and $7/class for residents who drop-in. Spaces are limited to 13 children per class on a first come, first served basis. Visit our Parks and Recreation website at for more information, to register, or to look at our full calendar of classes and programs. If you have any questions or if you prefer to register in person, please email or call (212) 832-4569.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

A Little Night Music From Roosevelt Island Jazz Singer Allegra Levy And Art & The Impressionists Last Sunday, Upcoming New Voices New Sounds Show From Resident Emily Mure On Sunday May 11 At Gallery RIVAA Too

Singer Allegra Levy joined Art & The Impressionists for several songs during May 4 First Sunday Roosevelt Island Jazz Salon At Gallery RIVAA.

They performed a wonderful version of It Can Happen To You.


Gallery RIVAA will be hosting another musical performance on Sunday May 11 with local resident Emily Mure.

According to Gallery RIVAA:
As part of Gallery RIVAA's amazing series of concerts featuring new talent - NEW VOICES NEW SOUNDS, curated by Island residents Susheel Kurien and Allegra Levy , this next event continues to bring fresh sounds and new voices to Roosevelt Island, and helps support the gallery.

Come and listen to a Roosevelt Island born creative talent ! Sunday May 11th at 4.00pm, singer songwriter Emily Mure will share her songs at a showcase event at Gallery RIVAA - 531 Main Street.

She will feature songs from her new release ODYSSEY
Take a look at Ms. Mure's Roosevelt Island Ice Cream Concert last summer.

We have some very talented Roosevelt Island musical performers.

No Unauthorized Postings Or Advertisements On Roosevelt Island Main Street Bus Shelters Says RIOC

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC)

Notification issued 5/7/2014 at 4:00 PM. As a reminder, unauthorized postings and advertisements are not permitted on Main Street's bus shelters. Posting is allowed on RIOC's Main Street kiosks, which are cleaned on the 1st and 15th of every month. To view RIOC's full Advertising and Posting Standards for the Red Buses, Tram and kiosks, please visit .


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
It is unclear what makes one bus shelter sign authorized

Image Of Riverwalk Bus Shelter With Signage For RIOC and FDR Park

and another not.

Perimeter Of Cornell NYC Tech Roosevelt Island Campus Being Surveyed From East River Boat And On Land Today - Area Looked Like This When It Was Blackwell's Island

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):

Today, May 8, Cornell Tech will be surveying the perimeter of the island to the east and west of the Cornell construction site. Expect to see a small boat near the seawall and surveyors on the southern end of the island.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
The Bowery Boys show us what the future Roosevelt Island home of Cornell NYC Tech looked like

Image From The Bowery Boys

when it was named Blackwells Island and Goldwater Hospital was a brand new hospital.

Here's a current aerial view of the area

and a rendering of the first phase

of the Cornell NYC Tech campus.

Profile Of Roosevelt Island Resident Andrey Ganeev - He Was Helped As A Young Man, Now He Is Helping Others At Roosevelt Island Youth Program

Dan Sadlier profiles Roosevelt Island resident Andrey Ganeev:

Privacy is a privilege in the city.

With how close we are to others, it isn’t unusual to know the nasty details of our neighbors. Sure, we pretend like we don’t hear their fights and don’t know their flaws, but we do, and it’s why we are so susceptible to the game of gossip here on Roosevelt’s little rock.

But if we dig a bit deeper, open up our homes a bit more often, and bump back against an individualistic society that says “that person’s” story is none of my business, we may actually get beyond the negative and instead discover another man, woman, or kid fighting to live a life of meaning.

For example, let me introduce you to the Russian referee.

I wasn’t looking for some way to spin the story, but I got one within the first 5 minutes of asking questions. As Ali Islam, the well-known waiter of Trellis brought us our breakfast, I asked Andrey Ganeev the simple question,

Image Of Andrey Ganeev

“Tell me about your father. Is he around?”

Andrey quickly added "No, and if he was, I would have some words for him".

As a child, Andreys dad left his mom early on. He never knew him, but after years of trying to survive the chaotic cultural waters of high school he found himself embraced, accepted, and even respected by a group of men working for the YMCA.

Without hesitation Andrey was able to list them off to me.

There was Warren J. Danbridge, Alex Linton, and on and on and on the list went.

These men….They stepped in.

When there was no male role model, when there was no father, at a fork in the road moment a few men stepped in.

They stepped in to instill dignity.

The stepped in to replace loneliness with community.

They stepped in to redeem something they knew they didn’t want to see go to waste.

They stepped in during a pivotal season with a belief in the capacity of a young Russian kid being raised by a tenacious UN mother.

Speaking of stepping in, Andrey’s mother like many single mom’s on the island stepped in, carrying the additional responsibilities you must carry as a single parent. And she carried them well.

Again, and again, and again, Andrey spoke of adults like his mother and a slew of men, coaches, mentors, teachers, and neighbors who stepped in.

Let’s face it, we live in a time and place where on a day to day basis the majority step around instead of stepping in.

Kids are often viewed as baggage, barriers, and even a nuisance when navigating the ambitious landscape of NYC. High School students are looked down upon and pushed aside.

But not these adults. They stepped in.

And as a response…now Andrey does as well.

I don’t know if you know Andrey, but I’m guessing you’ve run into him here on Roosevelt Island.

He’s the wiry Russian, setting up bases at 8AM for little league.

He’s the one guy moving goals after everyone else has gone home.

He’s the coach, the ref, the after school counselor, the tutor, the teacher, the man behind the scenes when one is needed, and the guy up front when parents have complaints.

And the guy loves his sports, but I’m starting to wonder how much more he loves the next generation that he has stepped in for.

On an island where many fathers are not around, (whether seasonally or permanently), Andrey is one of the few that has stepped in. And he is no savior, but I’m guessing he has the same ability to change the trajectory of kid's lives in the same way a few helped changed the trajectory of his.

It’s a redemptive story. It's a story of learner; A learner who is fiercely paving a different path for his future and the future of others.

And so here is to the Russian Referee who has stepped in for kids in sports and at school for the past 3 years.

May we show the same resilience as his single mother, the same timeliness as his male mentors, and the same ability to learn from the pain of the past, to pave a legacy leaving future for ourselves and the next generation.
I recently interviewed Mr. Ganeev during Opening Day of the Roosevelt Island Youth Program Little League Season. Here's what the Commissioner had to say.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Farance Charges Local Roosevelt Island Main Street Wire Newspaper With Conflicts Of Interest, Bias, Inaccurate Reporting And Manipulating News For Benefit Of Some Residents

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Island House Common Council Member Frank Farance writes:

In the March 22, 2014 issue of the Main Street WIRE, the Editor Dick Lutz singles out three RIRA Common Council members who are doing their best, which includes making transparent much of the problems to the rest of the organization's members (the residents). In other words: do legitimate and substantiated points deserve expulsion proceedings and a (bogus and erroneous) talking-down from the Editor of the newspaper whose staff is influencing the news, and doing it secretly? (not!)

Dick Lutz had no problem printing complaints about Keith Guerra (including some unsubstantiated complaints about him taking small favors/food, which turned out to be false). But it was all in the name of Openness, Fairness, and Transparency, right? So why are the complaints about Guerra not considered The Politics Of Destruction? Yet, genuine and legitimate complaints concerning Openness, Fairness, and transparency against the RIOC Board, RIRA, etc. are considered The Politics Of Destruction?

Truly, Dick Lutz has poor journalistic standards, he doesn't fact-check his reporting, he and his reporting suffer from racial/ethnic bias, he (along with others) manipulate the news and RIRA committees, and he has his own significant conflicts of interests that can question his ability to report objectively/truthfully on the Island. Rather than take up many pages, you can see the full details on the RI Blog at the page "".

The WIRE's April 26 Editorial, Dick Lutz has doubled down on this double standard with a No Complaints Against Volunteers Or Their Motives policy for its Letters To The Editor. It's a double standard because the WIRE finds it acceptable to write an editorial incorrectly attributing motive (Politics Of Destruction) to three RIRA Common Council members (volunteers), including myself, yet us residents are prohibited by WIRE policy to raise questions about Openness, Fairness, and Transparency of elected members that represent our community, regardless of their volunteer status. Consistently, I have expressed concerns about Openness, Fairness, and Transparency -- resident or not, volunteer or not. Furthermore, the WIRE inoculates itself from criticism by touting (opposite page of its editorial) the WIRE staff are volunteers and, thus, would also be shielded from complaints about the WIRE staff and the WIRE's problematic reporting and journalistic ethics.

Or said differently, as residents read the WIRE they get incomplete or inaccurate reporting where one's scratches his/her head thinking: I Don't Know The Whole Story, clearly there is a story, there are holes in the WIRE's reporting, and I wish someone would tell us what is going on (transparency) since these organizations purport to represent us. Because of the ongoing efforts to quash reporting in many fronts (the WIRE, certain old-timer RIRA Common Council members, etc.), residents reading the WIRE continually get the impression there are key parts that are not being reported.

Here are some highlights:

1. The WIRE manipulates the news, example #1: The discussion in Matt Katz's 2011 redistricting testimony did have a racial/ethnic bias, and four elected officials responded with letters to the WIRE. But it was Dick Lutz who contacted the officials to ask them to withdraw their complaints because the WIRE did not have space to print them. Meanwhile, that same week Dick Lutz was requesting RIRA Common Council members (via E-mail forwarded by Matt Katz) to provide ADDITIONAL letters to the WIRE to counter Helen Chirivas and the RIRA Housing Committee's complaint about racial/ethnic bias in the WIRE and the Katz redistricting testimony, i.e., the WIRE says it has no room for complaints against Katz or the WIRE, but has lots of room to complain about Chirivas. At the RIRA meeting, Sherie Helstien motioned to table the Housing Committee report, which Matt Katz quickly acknowledged, and there was no possibility discussing this. The WIRE and Katz, via a kinda quid-pro-quo where they covered for each other, successfully quashed the community hearing about legitimate concerns concerning racial/ethnic bias. So to those who say Write A Letter To The WIRE, that's a bunch of baloney: you'll get WIRE staff (Lutz, Katz, Helstien, etc.) working against you.

2. The WIRE manipulates the news, example #2: Lutz correctly recalls that I lost to Katz in the RIRA 2010 elections. For Katz and I the election was mainly argued over RIOC 2010 elections: I though they should be held, as scheduled, and I complained about the secret meetings of the Maple Tree Group - MTG (which is now called the RIRA Legislative Subcommittee - LSC); meanwhile Lutz (and other WIRE staff) were voting in these secret meetings, which had the effect of cancelling the RIOC 2010 elections (among other pitfalls). In June 2011, the Governor appointed Sal Ferrera to the RIOC Board, and that whole MTG group went ballistic. Katz's gambit had failed spectacularly: there were no candidates because those MTG people manipulated the elections process. Instead of having candidates to advocate, the Island was left with the idiotic position of explaining why we chose to cancel the RIOC 2010 elections. A huge loss of credibility for the democracy / self-governance efforts because, in fact, thanks to Dick Lutz, Matt Katz, and several other WIRE staffers, the elections were manipulated. And done secretly.

3. The WIRE manipulates the news, example #3: It's like Summer of 2010 all over again. These latest shenanigans of the RIRA LSC include secret meetings where letters to legislators advocating positions on Island legislation:

- the RIRA LSC committee had secret meetings (essentially, facilitated via private E-mail discussions)
- there are no minutes of RIRA LSC meetings
- the RIRA LSC committee is presenting itself as representing the Island in legislative matters yet there was no input from the community, RIRA Common Council, or the Government Relations Committee
- there was no possibility for the community to participate in this RIRA LSC effort
- the letter was signed by the "chair" of the RIRA LSC committee when no such appointment of chair had occurred

On top of that you have Matt Katz (former RIRA President), Ellen Polivy (former RIRA President), Sherie Helstien (current RIRA VP), and Dave Evans (Chair of the Constitution and By-Laws Committee), and none of them know that these meetings, discussions, and decisions need to be made in publicly held meetings? Or said differently, with the exception of Evans/Polivy, the committee (Ashton Barfield (chair), Linda Heimer, Vicki Feinmel, Matt Katz, Sherie Helstien) is comprised of and led by WIRE staff?

Dick Lutz seems to focus on Helen Chirivas, but she has been reporting much of these unpleasant facts. Lutz's response looks like retaliation against Chirivas for exposing the almost-all-WIRE committee secretly meeting and presenting itself as the legislative committee that represents Roosevelt Island.

4. The WIRE has low journalistic standards, example #1: It doesn't fact check. Lutz implied that Joyce Mincheff quit RIRA and as RIRA Secretary because of my E-mails. Not true. This has been the third or fourth time Mincheff has quit RIRA, including the prior term under Matt Katz when she didn't like Katz, and the second time (I believe) she quit as RIRA Secretary. Had the WIRE investigated Mincheff's repetitive quitting, a clearer explanation would have been had that Ms. Mincheff has quit many times.

5. The WIRE has low journalistic standards, example #2: In an on-line complaint against Chirivas, Lutz takes a video sound bite out of context to try to make a point, but the full videos need to be posted so the community can see what had actually occurred, including the shenanigans of the LSC meeting. The WIRE has not provided the videos. Additionally, Lutz's complaints are unsubstantiated in a variety of ways (just like the expulsion proceedings against me). See the link above for more details.

6. The WIRE has significant journalistic conflicts. My understanding of Lutz's explanation is that the WIRE, while a For-Profit business, is operating out of the Rivercross Community Room, and that the WIRE have access to the space for free, but Rivercross rules only allow access to the space for organizations, not to For-Profit businesses.

Based upon his explanation, if someone were to complain to the Rivercross management or the Rivercross Board, he would lose his space. Thus, avoiding complaints is essential to Mr. Lutz having free access to the operating space of the Rivercross community room, right? All it takes is just ONE complaint, right?

So if the WIRE were to report something unpleasant about (say) the Rivercross privatization, in which approximately 360 apartments stand to cash out with hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars in profits, including some Rivercross Board members who stand to gain millions of dollars in profits, and the Editor's own apartment with cash-out benefits -- then it is reasonable to believe the WIRE cannot report objectively/comprehensively or reveal the complete truth because the WIRE's operations might be at stake, and much of the WIRE's main staff are from Rivercross (Dick Lutz, Ashton Barfield, Linda Heimer, Vicki Feinmel, and a handful more) who might suffer financially in less profit-taking in the selling of their apartments.

In other words, the WIRE journalistic conflict of interest arises from multiple interests, such as financial and operational. Which means that reporting on broad swath of RIOC/Island issues (Rivercross/etc. ground leases, board members' conflicts of interest, billion-dollar debt/liability, assessments, etc.) could be both unpleasant and unprofitable for fellow Rivercross residents, including much of the WIRE staff.

Thus, there are serious questions about the objectivity, truthfulness, and completeness about the WIRE's coverage of our community.
Mr. Lutz, Mr. Katz, Ms. Helstien, Ms. Polivy and Mr. Evans were offered an opportunity to respond and rebut the allegations made by Mr. Farance. All declined to do so.

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Monthly Meeting Tonight, You're Invited To Attend

Image Of February 2014 RIRA Meeting

The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) will be meeting tonight, 8 PM, at the Good Shepherd Community Center (543 Main Street).

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.

All residents are encouraged to attend RIRA meetings.

Here's the Agenda.

Roosevelt Island Residents Forming Group To Improve Conditions At Sportspark Pool - Users Invited To Join And Share Your Concerns

Are you a user of the Roosevelt Island Sportspark pool with concerns about how it is operated?

 Sportspark Image From Google Maps

If yes, consider joining the newly organized Sportspark Users Group.

Roberta Kleiman and Fred Gautier are leading the organizing efforts for the Roosevelt Island Sportspark Users Group. Ms. Kleinman and Mr. Gautier report:

In conjuction with the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Island Services Commitee, a group of us brought our concerns about Sportspark to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC). Thus far RIOC has addressed only a handful of these issues fully. The majority of concerns which we conveyed have not been clearly addressed, nor have we received any communication about a plan for remedy. This is particularly disconcerting as the initial list of concerns sent to RIOC are rather straight forward, for the benefit of the entire community, and not a matter of personal preference.

Our goal is to work together with RIOC to help improve conditions at Sportspark pool so that our community can continue to enjoy this facility that we are fortunate enough to have!

If you wish to join the Sportspark User’s group, please email us at:

Issues Awaiting Response from RIOC

Improved Sanitary Conditions in the Locker Rooms

The lockers rooms are consistently filthy and need to be cleaned daily. Many would like to know what the current schedule is.

Opening At Scheduled Time

This is of particular concern during weekday mornings.

Better Regulation of Air and Water Temperature

Do not keep windows and/or door open when it is cold enough for lifeguards to wear sweatpants and Jackets.

Do not backwash (adding a couple of hours worth of approximately 58 degree tap water while the pool is open).

Additional Issues

(These have not been forwarded directly to RIOC)

Pool Closure for Repairs during the Off-Season (sometime during the slowest months of December thru March, with a preference for December to cause the least amount of inconvenience)

Additional Heating Units in the Locker Rooms are needed for the coldest weather.

Rules Should be Enforced (for example coaching, particularly on the weekends leads to unsafe conditions and overcrowding, street shoes on the pool deck leads to water contamination), swim caps for all, etc.

Reconsideration of Pool Schedule (to accommodate increased Island population, particularly families)

Communication regarding whether RIOC plans to close Sportspark during exterior demolition of Goldwater Hospital (the temporary boiler is outside, accross the road from Goldwater)

Topics for Discussion:
  • What repairs are going to be done at the end of the year?
  • Are there any plans for repairing, cleaning (industrial strength) or renovating the locker rooms?
  • What are RIOC’s plans for Sportspark during Cornell construction?
  • Revisting the topic of overnight lockers.
Issues Addressed by RIOC

Let’s Make Sure We Have a Pool to Swim In

Charlene Indelicato explained RIOC’s plan to heat Sportspark in “The RIOC Column” dated April 26th. Erica Spencer, RIOC’s Community Relations specialist, added by email, one piece of important information. Ms. Spencer said, “Please note that the temporary broiler is in place until the permanent system is installed.” Thank you Ms. Indelicato for making this information public and for all your efforts to keep Sportspark in continuous operation!
Contact Sportspark Users Group here.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Wow - Great Aerial Photo Of Roosevelt Island From Tip To Tip, FDR Park To Lighthouse Park - Manhattan And Queens East River Waterfront Too

From the Roosevelt Island Twitterverse:

RIRA Housing Committee Seminar Tips On Keeping Your Roosevelt Island Apartment Clean And Organized - See Dust, Take Off Glasses, Dust Gone Does Not Work

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Housing Committee Chair Susan Marcus reports:

All who attended RIRA’s Housing Committee’s first informational seminar on “Quick Tips for Cleaning and Organizing Your Home” on April 29th in Westview’s community room had good, clean fun.

Image Of RIRA Cleaning Seminar

The panel of Mary Cavanaugh, neighbor and founder of “The Best Home Services, Ltd”, her partner Kim Lutz and Randye Goldstein, head of “Organize with Ease”, gave the capacity crowd many great tips on cleaning products, preparing your home for the cleaning person, maintaining your apartment as efficiently as possible and organizing the clutter – or how to throw out the items you no longer really need but are too attached to get rid of.

In my opinion, the three best tips were as follows:
  1. Using string mops is by far the best way to clean your floors.
  2. “Green” products do not clean well enough – stick with the Chemicals for thorough cleaning and use the Green for maintenance.
  3. If you are too attached to an item that you no longer use, take a picture of it and then eliminate.
Personally, Ms. Goldstein gave me the motivation to rid myself of clothes that were 10-15 years old, even though I felt I was being a bit premature. Ms. Cavanaugh made me realize that my method on cleaning – see the dust, take off my glasses, dust gone, was not all that great. But a seed was planted in most of our heads to rethink our current methods of maintaining our homes and possessions.

In the future, the Housing Committee hopes to bring more of these informational seminars to Roosevelt Island to make your living here more efficient and pleasurable. If you have any topics you would like to see presented or if you are an expert on any topic related to home living, please contact me at Hope to see you next time!
Good idea and good job by Ms. Marcus and RIRA Housing Committee.

Another Roosevelt Island Westview Building Burglary Last Friday - Unlocked Apartment Door Again, $1700 Worth Of Items Stolen

A second burglary at Roosevelt Island's Westview building

within the last week.

Reported last April 29:
04/28/14 - 1812 - 625 Main St. - Burglary - Referred to NYPD.
Commenting on the 4/28 Westview burglary, a reader wrote last Friday, May 2
NYPD just rang my bell and told me there was a burglary in the apartment next door (595, Westview) while the guy was sleeping between 11am - 2pm. They took a lap top and something else (I think it was his wallet) The officer asked if I heard anything, but I wasn't home at the time. The officer asked me to call NYPD, not public safety, if I see anyone who doesn't belong.
The Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department described the incident as:
05/02/14 - 1314 - 595 Main St. - Missing property - Search made with negative results.
A NYPD Spokesperson said that a tenant at 595 Main Street left their apartment door unlocked and items worth more than $1700 were stolen.

Roosevelt Island Public Safety Director Jack McManus adds:
Westview Burglary. Female tenant comes home to find things out of order. Purse, ipad and phone missing. Once again, no sign of forced entry.
It's hard to understand why some Roosevelt Island apartment doors remain unlocked.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Fascinating Presentation By Jacobs Technion Cornell Innovation Institute Director Adam Shwartz To Roosevelt Island Residents - Game Changing Connective Media Curriculum, New Intellectual Licensing Framework & No Military Research

A fascinating presentation was given by the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute Director Adam Shwartz

to members of the Roosevelt Island Cornell Community Construction Task Force last April 28. Professor Shwartz described the history of the Haifa based Technion Israel Institute Of Technology and its plans for the new,game changing Connective Media curriculum planned for Cornell NYC Tech.

Here's the presentation.

Part 1.

Professor Shwartz then answered question from Roosevelt Island residents regarding the Jacobs Institute academic program, a new framework for intellectual property licensing agreements, military and national security research (there will be none), and campus security

Part 2.

Inside Higher Ed has more on the Jacobs Technion - Cornell Innovation Institute's intellectual property licensing framework. According to Inside Higher Ed:
In an attempt to make it easier for researchers to commercialize their work, officials at Cornell University’s New York City campus are reconsidering how they make money off intellectual property.

Instead of going through a laborious revenue-sharing negotiation with researchers who believe they have a valuable idea, an institute at Cornell Tech is going to let a set of postdocs keep exclusive license to their IP and take a fixed dollar amount of equity if the researchers create a spinoff company.

Officials believe this simple deal will cut through red tape that discourages both inventors and investors from working with academic software developers. The institution's experiment comes at a time of much debate about how universities take new technologies from collegiate laboratories to the commercial marketplace....
Click here for the full article.

Update On Roosevelt Island Octagon Tennis Court Resurfacing - Contractors Pouring Concrete Today

 Image of Octagon Tennis Courts

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC)
Notification issued 5/5/2014 at 2:30 PM. Contractors will be pouring concrete at the Octagon Tennis Courts today, Monday, May 5th. In order to allow the concrete to cure properly, workers will not be on-site during the following two to three weeks. This period is accounted for in the original construction schedule and will not delay the reopening of the Tennis Courts.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
More on Roosevelt Island Octagon Tennis Courts resurfacing from previous post.

Proposed License Agreement For Operation And Maintenance of Roosevelt Island's FDR Park With New York State Parks Department, Main Street Retail Update From Hudson Related & More On Agenda For May 6 RIOC Directors Real Estate Development Advisory Committee

 Image of Roosevelt Island FDR Four Freedoms Park From Long Island City Gantry Park

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors Real Estate Advisory Committee is meeting tomorrow. According to RIOC:
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a meeting of the Real Estate Development Advisory Committee of the RIOC Board of Directors will be held on Tuesday, May 6, 2014 at 5:30 p.m. at the RIOC administrative office, 591 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York.


Update from Hudson Related Realty on Retail Space and Current Developments

Discussion of Way-Finding Signage For Four Freedoms Park

Discussion of Proposed License Agreement with NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation for Maintenance and Operation of Four Freedoms State Park

Any Other Committee Business That May be Brought Before the Committee


The Open Meetings Law of the State of New York requires that all public bodies conduct meetings, convened for the purpose of officially conducting public business, in a manner open to attendance by the general public to observe and listen.
Site of New Roosevelt Island Liquor Store And Former Home of the Grog Wine Shop

During January 15, 2014 RIOC Real Estate Committee meeting, Hudson Related's David Kramer provided this Main Street Retail update:
... Mr. Kramer began the update by reporting that he recently met Roosevelt Island resident and Mayor DeBlasio's Transition Chairman Carl Weisbrod. Mr. Weisbrod's first words to Mr. Kramer were:
When are we getting our wine store?
Mr. Kramer expects the Wine Shop to open soon. The Wine Shop is owned by the same owner as the Wholesome Factory organic grocer on Main Street. The Wine Shop lease was signed over two years ago, they are current on their rent, have their liquor license and are in process of getting building permit.

Mr. Kramer added:
... Hudson Related has successfully completed phase 2 of our program. Phase 1 was listening tour, strategy phase...

... Part 2 was the corridor upgrade ...  we're very pleased with how that turned out...

... Part 3  which is now we need some more retailers...
and using a football analogy:
... We're at the 50 yard line. We're not in the red zone yet but we're getting there....
Video of Mr. Kramer's full January 15 update is here.

We'll see how much closer we are to the Roosevelt Island Retail Red Zone tomorrow.

Also, we may learn more about the operations and maintenance of the FDR Four Freedoms Park and what, if any, control RIOC has over the use of the park by Roosevelt Island residents and visitors. In the past, we have been told that the FDR Park Conservancy controls the area, not RIOC. However, if a license agreement with NY State Parks is only now being proposed for control of the property, RIOC may still have some authority to regulate rules and operations of the area.

During February 27 2013 Roosevelt Island FDR Park Town Hall Meeting, I asked FDR Park Conservancy President Sally Minard about who controls the Park, the FDR Conservancy or RIOC. Ms. Minard said that the FDR Conservancy has ultimate control. Here the discussion.

Video of the full Roosevelt Island FDR Park Town Hall Meeting is here.

It will be interesting to see if RIOC tries to establish any control over the Roosevelt Island land occupied by the FDR Park or if, as RIOC Director David Kraut said during a November 2012 meeting on a Land Grab by the FDR Park, the FDR Park's "friends in high places" will control it.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

East River View Of Roosevelt Island FDR Park, Southpoint, Goldwater Hospital And Queensboro Bridge From Long Island City Gantry State Park

Spent a very nice Saturday in Long Island City enjoying the food from the LIC Flea & Food vendors,

walking around the wonderful Gantry Plaza State Park on the East river waterfront

and relaxing in the Gantry Park very comfortable benches.

directly across from Roosevelt Island.

Here's the view of Roosevelt Island from Gantry Plaza Park in Long Island City.