Saturday, May 17, 2014

Scenes From Roosevelt Island Bike New York Spring Kickoff Party - Kids Learn To Ride, Slow Race, Decorate Bikes & Scooters, Bike Tune Up & More Today

The Roosevelt Island Twitterverse reports on today's Bike New York Roosevelt Island Spring Kickoff Party.

Making bike decorations

and free Nonno's Pizza Gift Certificates for the best decorations.

Bike New York will be offering free Roosevelt Island programs and services all summer. Check them out.

UPDATE 5/19 - Photographer Olya Turcihin shares these photos from Roosevelt Island Bike NY Spring Kickoff Party.

 Images from Olya Turcihin

More from Olya at Bike NY Spring Kickoff Party here.

Friday, May 16, 2014

No Roosevelt Island F Train Service From Manhattan This Weekend - Plenty Of Roosevelt Island Things To Do, Farmers Market, Bike NY Party, RIVAA Reading, Blondes Versus Brunettes Alzheimers Fundraiser, Roy Eaton Jazz Concert & FDR Park Kite Flying

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 16 - 19

No Jamaica-bound service at 57 St, Lexington Av/63 St, Roosevelt Island and 21 St-Queensbridge.
Plenty of activities on Roosevelt Island this weekend including the Farmers Market,

Bike NY Spring Party,
Gallery RIVAA's:
A New Play by James Barniker, Directed by Nancy Howe
Friday, May 16, 2014 - Saturday, May 17, 2014
May 16th at 7pm and May 17th at 2pm

A Staged Reading of "MIND THE GAP" - A new Play by James Barniker, Directed by Nancy Howe
Blondes Versus Brunettes Alzheimers Fundraiser At Octagon Field,
Roy Eaton Chopin Meets Joplin Jazz concert and

Kite Flying workshop on Sunday

at FDR Park.

You"re Invited To Roosevelt Island Bike NY Family Fun Spring Kickoff Party Saturday May 17 At Capobianco Field - Slow Bike Race, Learn To Ride, Bike Decorating, Bike Registration, Food & More

Bike New York invites all Roosevelt Islanders to a free family fun Spring Kickoff Party tomorrow at Capobianco Field. According to Bike New York:

This Saturday, May 17th, we’re throwing a party to celebrate the launch of our bike education season on Roosevelt Island! There’s be games, raffles, activities, food, classes, and all kinds of fun stuff for the whole family.
Image From Bike New York

Bike New York Roosevelt Island Community Outreach Manager Caitlin Goodspeed adds:
The schedule of events for tomorrow is as follows:

11:20 – Welcome

11: 45 – Slowest Bike Race

12:15 – Performance by the Roosevelt Island Youth Program Drum Corps

12:30 – Bike Decorating Contest

1:00 – Learn to Ride – Kids Class

3:15 – Tour de Roosevelt Island (a scenic 2.9 mile bike ride around RI)

There will also be tents set up around the basketball court with other activities such as a bike raffle, face painting, bike decorating, BikeGuard registration, pop-up bike repair shop, and a bicycle obstacle course - all of which are free! Everyone, bring your bikes.

Also, food from Fauzia's Heavenly Delights and ice cream from Main Street Sweets (MSS is giving part of their profit to Bike New York). Roosevelt Island Youth Program is going to bring their cotton candy and popcorn machine, too!
More on the Smart Sign free Bike Guard registration:
and: will provide a free bicycle registration service for residents of Roosevelt Island. The BikeGuard registry system found success on college campuses, but this is the system's pilot run supplying tags for an entire urban community free of charge. Representatives from will place a small QR sticker on residents’ bicycles. Residents enter bike return contact information privately into the highly secure system in case of bike theft or loss. When the island’s Public Safety Department finds a bicycle, a quick sticker scan can help reunite bike and owner with ease.
Bike New York's plans for Roosevelt Island as well as Smart Sign bike registration program were discussed during April 7 Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Operations Advisory Committee meeting. Here's what happened.

Part 1

Part 2

Happy Biking.

Report From RIOC President Charlene Indelicato - After One Year Anniversary On The Job As RIOC President Finds Trust Relationship Developing On Roosevelt Island

During May 15 meeting of Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board Of Directors (web cast here), RIOC President Charlene Indelicato noted that it has been exactly one year for her on the job as RIOC President. Ms. Indelicato noted in her remarks:
... I find it after a year sometimes very frustrating, sometimes very aggravating, maybe its the Stockholm Syndrome, but I love my work and I find the residents concern helpful sometimes aggravating but always, always, at this point in time open minded and ready to listen why I can't do something or why RIOC can't do it

I think at this point in time, we are developing a trust relationship, not only the residents trusting us but RIOC trusting you and that has alot to do with the Board so I thank you all for that.
Ms. Indelicato reminded us of this past year's endless winter which dropped 57.3 inches of snow on NYC and thanked the RIOC staff for an outstanding job adding that her job is essentially one of:
an air traffic controller.
Here's Ms. Indellicato's remarks followed by comments from some RIOC Directors.

Here's Ms. Indelicato's first appearance at a RIOC Board Meeting upon her appointment as RIOC President.

In my view, Ms. Indelicato has done an excellent job as RIOC President this past year.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

RIOC Board Of Directors Meeting Today - Agenda Includes Giving RIRA $10 Thousand For Roosevelt Island Public Purposes Including Election Machines, Blood Drive, Bollywood Dance Party And Other RIRA Programs

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors is meeting later today. Among the items on the Agenda is:

6. Authorization of Expenditure of Funds to Roosevelt Island Residents Association
Materials to Follow - Board Action Required)
What's that about?

The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) May Common Council meeting passed this motion (by a vote of 18 in favor, 1 against and 2 abstentions) asking RIOC for $10 Thousand in Public Purpose Funds:
Motion to Support Request to RIOC for Funding Movant: Sherie Helstien, Vice-President

“Be it Resolved that the RIRA Common Council hereby approves the attached letter to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation requesting funding be made available to the organization in the amount of $10,000 for services rendered in allocating RIOC Public Purpose Funds in order to continue its work on behalf of the Island and its residents.”

Dear President Indelicato:

The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) was incorporated as a 501(c)(4) non‐profit corporation in 1977.

Over the years, RIRA has represented the residents of Roosevelt Island in interactions with the State of New York and other official entities on quality of life issues that affect the entire Island. Every person residing on Roosevelt Island is a member of RIRA. Its Common Council consists of representatives from every building, elected by the residents of those buildings, every two years. The President and Vice President are elected on an Island‐wide basis. It is therefore recognized as the official representative body of Roosevelt Island.

As part of its activities, RIRA sponsors and/or co‐sponsors multiple free Island‐wide events, i.e., Roosevelt Island Day, insurance fairs for renters, first aid classes, the annual blood drive, and many more events that are vital to the sense of community so treasured by the residents.

RIRA has no source of funds to pay for these functions, other than their own fund‐raising events. Over the last several years it’s been next to impossible to raise funds in the same way RIRA raised them in the past. This is mainly for two reasons. First, the economy is still not back where it was and people are more reluctant to contribute to fund raisers. But the biggest issue is that other Island organizations that received money in the past from local politicians are no longer receiving the same funds. Some aren’t getting any monies at all. Those organizations have now begun doing their own fund raisers and Roosevelt Island is too small a community for non‐profits to be able to compete for funds. RIRA is turning to RIOC to provide funding for their activities.

As a part of their service to the community RIRA agreed several years ago to review applications and make recommendations to RIOC on how Public Purpose Funds should be distributed. Having done so, RIRA has taken itself out of the running to receive PPF for their activities, as that would cause an obvious conflict of interest. This leaves RIRA in the unenviable position of asking for funds from RIOC in order to carry out their mission to the best of their ability.

We believe it’s within RIOC’s charter to allocate these funds to RIRA. Most NYS Public Benefit Corporations manage “things”, e.g., the Power Authority, the Transportation Authority, the NYS Thruway, etc. But RIOC does more than that. RIOC manages a community. As stated in the RIOC enabling legislation, RIOC’s job is to “...create on Roosevelt Island a new community which would retain and heighten the benefits of urban living while preserving a sense of scale and open space for Roosevelt Island residents and New York City as a whole...” Therefore, for all of the reasons stated above, RIRA is requesting $10,000 from RIOC in order to continue its work for the Island.

Respectfully Submitted,

Jeffrey R. Escobar RIRA President
The RIRA May 2014 Common Council Meeting Package included this report about the $10 Thousand funding request.
Introduction to Motion from Sherie Helstien, VP, RIRA:

A week or so ago, I had several face‐to‐face conversations with RIOC staff regarding several topics. I initially asked about the acquisition of available storage space on Roosevelt Island. I mentioned that though RIRA could currently pay for the annual $600 storage rental currently, insurance for the use of the Chapel Community Meeting space, and other possible fees depending on our activities/events, generally RIRA was often cash‐poor and in the future these fees could become onerous. I also inquired about the expected/promised previous funding which we’d received in exchange for our work helping to allocate PPF. This funding enabled RIRA to hold elections using voting machines rather than paper ballots. In the past RIRA was given a hand‐shake promise of a biennial contribution of $5K by Steve Chironis, RIOC’s former CFO, as “payment for services”. As some of you are aware, former RIRA Pres. Matt Katz, had attempted to get a written agreement between RIOC and RIRA for this arrangement but RIOC would not put an agreement in writing.

Following my conversation with RIOC staff, I was invited back, to a meeting with Charlene Indelicato and informed that in exchange for RIRA’s work with PPF allocations this year, RIOC will propose, upon RIRA’s request, to offer the organization $10K. In order for RIRA to receive the funding this year, we must approve the attached request letter. Approval will be done through the Motion provided. The decision for RIOC to proceed will be taken up at their May 15 meeting. So it is incumbent upon RIRA to act POSITIVELY and decisively at this meeting. RIOC must have the letter as soon as possible prior to their meeting next week.

Further, my understanding is that RIOC will propose creating this as an annual payment through their budget process. However, this proposal will not happen until December when budget discussions are under way. There are no guarantees, but there is a presumption that this will pass muster.

When received by RIRA this year, the funds (and any received in the future) will not have to be held separately but may be co‐mingled with RIRA funds. All activities are the organization’s alone, and have nothing to do with RIOC. In other words, these funds are unrestricted. It goes without saying that this money may be used for RIRA’s usual community programs and events and can also be used to support other organization’s programs or needs, as this organization sees fit.

RIOC’s only requirement is that RIRA provide a copy of the audit of its books annually.

This request has been approved, in advance, by RIOC President, Charlene Indelicato with the oversight of Frances Walton, Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and RIOC’s Attorney, Donald Lewis.

I have every confidence our friends on the Board will support this request.

I strongly urge all Common Councilors to attend the RIOC Board meeting: Thursday, May 15, 5:30 p.m. @ #8 River Rd.
The subject of the $10 Thousand grant to RIRA was addressed during May 12 meeting of the RIOC Board Of Directors Operations Advisory Committee meeting. (full audio web cast here).

RIOC President Charlene Indelicato supports the grant and advised the Board members that the $10 Thousand given to RIRA must be for:
... programic uses and public purpose Island wide uses....
RIOC General Counsel Don Lewis added the funds are not without restrictions and:
... the use of funds will be consistent with the mission purpose of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp...
RIRA Vice President Sherrie Helstien told the RIOC Board Members:
... Whatever programs we in the Common Council decide to put on through our committees, we will have the money to do that. We don't have to worry about funding for those things and anything else we can think of....
Ms Helstien also told the Directors that for a  long time she wanted to put on a Bollywood Dance community party which, in the past, RIRA did not have the money to stage. Now, she said, RIRA would have the money for her Bollywood Dance Party and to do events for all the different ethnic groups on Roosevelt Island

RIOC Director David Kraut expressed skepticism about underwriting RIRA's general operations and cited RIRA's mismanagement of the Cherry Blossom Festival. Mr. Kraut also inquired if RIRA was doing a good enough job of raising money itself and wondered if by accepting money from RIOC, would RIOC:
... own a piece of RIRA...
Ms Helstien said no, RIOC would not own RIRA and that she would give the money back to RIOC if that was the case.

Mr. Kraut finally gave his support to RIOC giving RIRA $10 Thousand but warned:
This can be a real slippery slope we better be aware of it. I am willing to take the step.
Here's full video of the disussion

and the full RIOC Agenda for today's meeting.





5:30 P.M.[1]

I. Call to Order

II. Roll Call

III. Approval of Minutes

1. April 10, 2014 Board Meeting (Board Action Required)

IV. Old Business

V. New Business

1. Authorization to Amend the Contract with Saratoga Associates in Connection with Blackwell House Interior Restoration Project (Board Action Required)

2. Authorization to Enter into Contract with Nelson & Pope Engineers & Surveyors for Design and Construction Services in Connection with Permanent Heating System for Sportspark (Board Action Required)

3. Authorization to Enter into Contract with United Metro Energy Corp. for the Purchase of #2 Heating Oil (Board Action Required)

4. Authorization to Amend the Contract with ENVAC for On-Call AVAC Repair Services (Board Action Required)

5. Authorization to Enter into Contract with Rooftop Films, Inc. for Equipment and Technical Support in Connection with Screenings of Summer Movie Series (Board Action Required)

6. Authorization of Expenditure of Funds to Roosevelt Island Residents Association (Materials to Follow - Board Action Required)

7. Ratification of Amendment of Contract with KONE, Inc. for Elevator Maintenance Services (Board Action Required)

8. Authorization to Enter into Contract with KONE, Inc. for Elevator Maintenance Services (Board Action Required)

9. President’s Report

10. Committee Reports

a. Audit Committee

b. Governance Committee

c. Operations Advisory Committee

d. Real Estate Development Advisory Committee

11. 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 Operating Corp Advisories Group
UPDATE 7:05 PM - Item 6, the authorization for RIOC to grant $10 Thousand to RIRA was taken off the Agenda at tonight's RIOC Board meeting. It was not discussed or approved.

Late this afternoon, prior to the start of the RIOC Board Meeting, RIRA Planning Committee Chair and Island House Common Council Member Frank Farance (the only no vote at RIRA Meeting on subject) sent this email to RIOC President Charelene Indelicato and others:
There continue to be several problems with the RIRA proposal, including your mis-understanding about RIRA and Public Purpose Funds, and Ms. Helstein's substantial misrepresentations about RIRA in their letter.

RIRA is NOT prohibited from applying for Public Purpose FUNDS. RIRA is given the courtesy to provide input to the review process for Public Purpose GRANTS (which are a $100K pool of money). There is no conflict in applying for Public Purpose FUNDS because RIRA's request would not compete with or take away from the $100K that RIRA provides guidance on Public Purpose GRANTS. In the past, as RIRA President myself, I have asked RIOC for $5000 for biannual election machines, these funds (which I presume come from Public Purpose FUNDS) do not affect our $100K in Public Purpose GRANTS. Thus, the reasoning for the RIRA proposal is faulted.

Ms. Helstein states: "As part of its activities, RIRA sponsors and/or co‐sponsors multiple free Island‐wide events, i.e., Roosevelt Island Day, insurance fairs for renters, first aid classes, the annual blood drive, and many more events that are vital to the sense of community so treasured by the residents. RIRA has no source of funds to pay for these functions, other than their own fund‐raising events."

The Roosevelt Island Day event is NOT paid for by RIRA. The RIRA Blood Drive is completely funded by the NY Blood Center and the space is provided by the RI Seniors Association. The insurance fair was free to RIRA, and their letter gives the impression this is a regular event, but I believe it occurred only ONCE in the past two decades. To my knowledge, RIRA has not given a first aid class to the community it the past two decades. RIRA provides early morning bagels as part of its community outreach at a cost of approximately $200 (with contributions from merchants). According to RIRA present treasury, we have $7000 and enough money for 35 years of bagels. Roosevelt Island Day is (largely) funded by the managing agents (Urban American, etc.), the Roosevelt Island Youth Program, and RIOC.

I've heard that RIOC is reducing its funding of Roosevelt Island Day, fewer rides for the kids and such, this is the wrong priority: RIOC favoring $10K in improper funding of a RIRA proposal to fund (say) Ms. Helstein's Bollywood Event vs. a loss of children's enjoyment on Roosevelt Island Day. I note that Ms. Helstein's Bollywood proposal did not fail due to lack of funding within RIRA, it failed due to lack of interest among RIRA Common Council members ... she's presented the idea several times and, via democratic process, it did not garner support. But now RIOC will be funding a Bollywood Event that RIRA never wanted. Are we replacing Ms. Strong-Shinozaki's pet project (gigantic Cherry Blossom Festival) for Ms. Helstein's pet project?

The letter states "Over the last several years it’s been next to impossible to raise funds in the same way RIRA raised them in the past. This is mainly for two reasons. First, the economy is still not back where it was and people are more reluctant to contribute to fund raisers. But the biggest issue is that other Island organizations that received money in the past from local politicians are no longer receiving the same funds.".

Again, this is a misrepresentation and misleading. The only funds RIRA received from politicians were Micah Kellner's funding a couple times for election machines, which then transferred to RIOC in 2010 (as mentioned above) because Mr. Kellner was no longer able to get State funds. As for the other organizations on the Island, they are in need of larger funds because they actually provide services. RIRA is NOT in the business of providing services, but an elected/deliberative organization for representing the community's interests -- just like Congress, it doesn't provide services directly.

RIRA's annual spending over the past two decades has been: $100 for Christmas lights, $200 for bagels on Roosevelt Island Day, approx $50 for flowers/cards for residents who are ill. In future years, RIRA might have to pay for insurance to use the Good Shepherd space, but the annual costs are about $200 for insurance. With the exception of biannual election machines, RIRA does not have the kind of funding needs that other organizations have.

As I see it, the problem with the funding is that, in essence, it is buying "hush" money to influence RIRA, as you have attempted to do with personal relationships with other RIRA members in the hopes of quashing complaints about RIOC. RIRA CANNOT COMPETENTLY MANAGE ANY SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF MONEY. The Cherry Blossom Festival last year was a spectacular example of these kinds of conflicts of interests among RIOC Board members and RIRA Common Council members. And what happened? Those people, including Ms. Helstien who participated in that RIRA committee, gave bogus Financial Reports and refused to provide explanation for a half year. And for the person (Yours Truly) who complained about the bogus finances? He was subjected to baseless expulsion procedures in retaliation for reporting the financial mismanagement.

I also point out that your own RIOC Board Member Margie Smith, a former RIRA Common Council member, should be well aware of all of the misrepresentations in Ms. Helstein's presentation and RIRA letter. As I've recommended previously, many of these irregularities in process, scope, procedure, and specification need to be corrected before the RIOC Board approves such an agreement.

Roosevelt Island Mom Asking For Help Retrieving Baby Daughter's Stuffed Reindeer Maple - Last Seen Outside Riverwalk Bar & Grill

Roosevelt Island Mom Susy del Campo Perea asks for your help finding Maple, her

5 month old daughter's stuffed reindeer.

Ms. Perea writes today:
Yesterday my baby girl of 5 months, dropped her little stuffed Reindeer "Maple" between Riverwalk Bar and Grill and Duane Reade around 6:15pm. A person saw it and put it on top of the tables outside Riverwalk. I was informed that "Maple" had appeared and I called Nonno's and Riverwalk to safeguard it while we go down to get it.

Well, we weren't lucky because someone pass by and TOOK IT from the table.

This is a special gift for my baby girl, and we would like to have it back. We will even give a reward to the person that returns it to Nonno's, Riverwalk or Public Safety or just to us (

Roosevelt Island Kite Building And Flying Workshop At FDR Four Freedoms Park Sunday May 18 - Space Limited, First Come First Served

You're invited to a Build and Fly Kites Workshop at Roosevelt Island's Four Freedoms Park.
Please join Four Freedoms Park Conservancy this Sunday, May 18th, 11:00am to 3:00pm to build and fly kites at Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park!

Artist Miguel Luciano will lead free, 90 minute workshops centered on Carribean kite traditions. Participating children and their families will produce handmade kites, personalizing them with text and graphics to form poems and personal statements in the sky as they explore ideas of flying, freedom and community.

Workshop space is limited and participation will be on a first come, first served basis at the following times: 11am-12:30pm / 1pm-2:30pm.

Learn more about this free event here.

Tushevs Aeriels, a specialist in aerial footage capture, will document the kites in flight with one of their home-built remote-control video airplanes.

We hope you will join us on Sunday, May 18th. Bring your own kite for flying too!

Four Freedoms Park Conservancy

P.S. We would like to thank Socrates Sculpture Park for their collaboration on this project.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Up Close Look At Roosevelt Island Cherry Blossoms From Photographer Olya Turcihin

Roosevelt Island photographer Olya Turcihin tweets:

More Roosevelt Island Cherry Blossoms at Olya's photo blog.

NYC Neighborhood Slice Of Roosevelt Island, 1977 Pioneer Resident Sande Elinson Chooses The Rock Over Idaho - A Wonderful Place To Keep Middle Class Families In NYC She Says

Neighborhood Slice profiles Roosevelt Island through the eyes of pioneering resident Sande Elinson

who moved here with her family in January 1977 and were the first to live in their building.

The Neighborhood Slice video below captures very well the spirit of Roosevelt Island. 

Ms. Elinson notes that Roosevelt Island:
... was all affordable. That was the whole reclaiming this and keeping people in the city. Keeping the middle class and then all these families, all these kids, we would sit in the parks and we realize, boy, we could set up a  baby sitting coop, a little league, an artists association a garden...

... Roosevelt Island was paved and developed. The three new complexes have now increased us from 4000 when we came here to close to 15,000 people. Now we have three streets.

What was available to us in 1976 on a teacher's income is not available now but the new buildings have young families in them....

... It's heaven... a beautiful wonderful place still to live.
Enjoy the video. It's very well done.

More information on Neighborhood Slice at their Facebook Page

Roosevelt Island Sportspark Pool Closed Due To Broken Filtration Part, RIOC Hopes Pool Opens By Beginning Of Next Week - Sportspark Users Form Group

Image Of Sportspark Pool From 40 Pools

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) advisory sent out yesterday:
Notification issued 5/13/2014 at 2:28 PM. Due to a mechanical issue, the Sportspark Pool (250 Main St.) will be closed until further notice. An advisory will be issued to update the public on future developments.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
Today, RIOC Community Relations Assistant Anna Rankin reports on the status of the recent closure of the Sportspark Pool:
Yesterday, a part in the pool's filtration system broke down and needs to be replaced before we can reopen. As soon as the part arrives, we can make repairs and are hoping to reopen by the beginning of next week. We will be sending out an advisory as soon as we have a confirmed date that we can reopen.
As previously reported, a Sportspark Users Group has been formed. Click here to contact the Group for more information.

Art Portfolio Found On The Roosevelt Island Manhattan Bound F Train Subway Platform This Morning - Is It Yours?

Roosevelt Island resident Karine Wong reports:
Discovered a portfolio with some art on May 12 - looks like some repros, perhaps some originals - behind one of the subway benches on the Manhattan-bound platform this morning.

It's black, 18" X 24", with a bunch of inserts, some unfilled some with art inside.

Describe the contents to verify it's yours and I'll return it.
That's very good news for the person who lost it. Is it yours?

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Roosevelt Island Assault Near Southtown's Riverwalk Building At 465 Main Street Sunday Morning, Assailant Strikes Man With Bottle - Another Attempted Burglary At Westview

According to the Roosevelt Island Daily Public Safety Report:

5/11/14 - 0740 -455 Main St - Assault - PSD/NYPD/EMS responded - NYPD report filed.
A NYPD Spokesperson said that a 29 year old male walking near 465 Main Street
 Image of Area Between Riverwalk 455 and 465 Main Street

with his girl friend was struck with a bottle early Sunday morning by a male hispanic in 20's. The assailant was not caught.

Also, the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department reported another burglary attempt at Westview.
5/12/14 -1410 - 625 Main St. - Attempted Burglary - PSD/NYPD responded.
Please heed the advice of this Westview resident. Keep your apartment doors locked.

Here's the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Monthly Blotter  and Incident Statistics for April 2014.

Our Favorite Little Rock, Roosevelt Island Is Profiled On NYC TV 25 Neighborhood Slice Program With Resident Sande Elinson

Neighborhood Slice tells:

Stories about your neighborhood from the people who have been there the longest. Tuesday nights at 9:45 on NYCLife and Wednesday mornings!
Tonight, Neighborhood Slice tells a story about Roosevelt Island. The Roosevelt Island Twitterverse reports:
Alexis Neophytides adds:
Tonight Roosevelt Islander Sande Elinson is on Neighborhood Slice! Channel 25 (NYC TV) at 9:40. Online tomorrow on!
More information on Neighborhood Slice at their Facebook Page.

UPDATE 4/14 - Video of the program available here.

Roosevelt Island Women's Movie Group Showing Watermarks May 15 At Gallery RIVAA - Film About Champion Austrian Women Swimmers Lives Changed By Nazi Anschluss

Image From Watermarks

From the Roosevelt Island Women's Movie Group:
Dive into the water with our next film: Watermarks, Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 7:00 pm in Gallery RIVAA at 527 Main Street.

For young, sports-minded Jewish women of Vienna in 1933, participating in swimming competition with the sports club Hakoah was an all-consuming experience. Training and friendships were the fabric of their lives, until the Nazis invaded Austria.

Learn what happened to these teenage athletes and be part of their reunion as 80-year olds.

Suggested minimum donation is $7 to cover our room rental costs.

Please reply and RSVP to and plan to bring healthy snacks or drinks for six guests.

Feel free to invite your friends and neighbors.
According to the Watermarks synopsis:
Watermarks is the story of the champion women swimmers of the legendary Jewish sports club, Hakoah Vienna. Hakoah (“The Strength" in Hebrew) was founded in 1909 in response to the notorious Aryan Paragraph, which forbade Austrian sports clubs from accepting Jewish athletes. Its founders were eager to popularize sport among a community renowned for such great minds as Freud, Mahler and Zweig, but traditionally alien to physical recreation. Hakoah rapidly grew into one of Europe's biggest athletic clubs, while achieving astonishing success in many diverse sports. In the 1930s Hakoah's best-known triumphs came from its women swimmers, who dominated national competitions in Austria. After the Anschluss, the political unification of Nazi Germany and Austria in 1938, the Nazis shut down the club, but the swimmers managed to flee the country before the war broke out, thanks to an escape operation organized by Hakoah’s functionaries.

Sixty-five years later, director Yaron Zilberman meets the members of the women’s swim team in their homes around the world, and arranges for them to have a reunion in their old swimming pool in Vienna, a journey that evokes memories of youth, femininity, and strengthens lifelong bonds. Told by the swimmers, now in their eighties, Watermarks is about a group of young girls with a passion to be the best. It is the saga of seven outstanding athletes who still swim daily as they age with grace....
Here's the trailer for Watermarks.

Monday, May 12, 2014

French Blogger Takes Great Picture Of Cherry Trees Under Queensboro Bridge From Roosevelt Island Tram & More Pictures Too

From the Roosevelt Island Twitteverse

Nicolas is right. Here's a great picture of the Cherry Blossom Trees seen from the Roosevelt Island Tram via New York Curiosities and Futilities.

Click thru for more great Roosevelt Island pictures and from other NYC neighborhoods too.

Roosevelt Island Drop In Constituent Office Hours With NY State Senator Jose M. Serrano Today 4-7 PM - Our State Senate District Is Very Creatively Drawn

Roosevelt Island's NY State Senator Jose Serrano will be offering constituent drop in office hours at the Senior Center today from 4 -7 PM. According to Senator Serrano's office:
Senator José M. Serrano regularly provides community constituent hours in different neighborhoods throughout his 29th Senate District. Senator Serrano's staff will be providing Constituent Services on Roosevelt Island TODAY.

When: Today, May 12
4:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Where: Roosevelt Island Seniors Association
546 Main Street #1
Roosevelt Island, NY 10044

Senator Serrano's staff is available to assist you with a wide variety of issues, including, but not limited to, housing, health insurance, social security, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and much more. Please bring any pertinent paperwork you may have regarding the issue you wish to discuss.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact our office at (212) 828-5829. We look forward to meeting with you.

*Constituent Services are also available Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm, in Senator Serrano's District Office at 1916 Park Avenue.*
The 29 NY State Senate District is very creatively drawn as noted in this tweet

Report From RIRA President Jeff Escobar - Calls For Renewal Of Roosevelt Island Community Fabric, Invites You To Join A Committee, Common Council Elections Approaching In Fall, July 4th Fireworks, Blood Drive & More

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) President Jeff Escobar

 RIRA President Jeff Escobar Presiding At April 2014 Meeting

sends the following Report To The Community:
Flowers are blooming, the sun is rising earlier and setting later, kids abound in our playgrounds and all other available outdoor spaces, neighbors whom we have not seen for months without layers of jackets and scarves are now leisurely strolling around, and a general buzz of excitement and happiness is in the air. It’s finally springtime on our little ship in the East River, and Roosevelt Island is coming alive again.

As we throw off the doldrums of winter and recharge ourselves with the warmth of spring and, eventually, summer, each and every one of us should use this time also to renew the fabric of our community and the ties that bind us to one another and to this Island. Many of you have heeded my call to be more active in RIRA, to lend your talents, passions, and expertise, and to join one or more of RIRA’s many committees. Still interested in joining a committee or otherwise becoming more involved? I invite you to contact me at for information on how best to maximize your talents and involvement in RIRA and its many works. Moreover, this fall, the election for seats to the RIRA Common Council will be held, and the spring and summer are a perfect opportunity for reaching out to past and present Common Council members and officers to explore whether representing your district, your community, is for you. Feel free to contact me or your present RIRA representatives for more information.

Another way to participate in renewing the fabric of our community is to be a donor in the 13th annual RIRA Blood Drive, which benefits the New York Blood Center. RIRA volunteers will be manning a donor sign-up table at the Farmer’s Market for four consecutive Saturdays beginning May 31, to sign up any and all who wish to participate. The Blood Drive will culminate with the actual donations on June 21, during the annual Roosevelt Island Day festivities. If you are able, please sign up to donate. You could save a life. And, as an incentive to those who may need a little persuasion to give, Scott Bobo of our own Main Street Sweets Shop has very kindly offered, with the presentation of your donor pledge card, a “two-scoops for the price of one” offer.

The renewal of our community continues on June 21 when the RIRA Common Council, through its Social, Cultural and Educational Services Committee chaired by Julie Palermo, will be hosting RIRA’s annual breakfast on Roosevelt Island Day. In addition to attending and visiting the many booths and activities of Roosevelt Island Day, be sure to come by the RIRA table, say hello to your neighbors, and have a bagel, juice, and coffee on us!

Speaking of renewal, and investing in our community, many thanks must be given to those in the TV and film industry who come to our Island and, understanding the inconvenience to Island residents that their presence sometimes causes, continue to donate time, services, and funds to the Island and its community organizations, including RIRA.

Lastly, as the bright days of spring will turn to the dog days of summer, we were delighted to hear that the City’s annual Fourth of July celebration will be returning to the East River. For many, many years, watching the fireworks was a tradition here on Roosevelt Island, with the area south of the Queensboro Bridge as prime space for our community to come together and celebrate as one. The news of the return of the show to the East River brings hope that this Roosevelt Island tradition will also return. But the Island south of the Queensboro Bridge is now a much, much different place than it once was when the fireworks were last over the East River, when there were grassy knolls where families and friends could come together on blankets to view the show. RIRA and I can only hope that both RIOC and the foundation that operates the FDR Four Freedoms Park will recognize the significance of the return of the fireworks to the East River, and capitalize on providing an opportunity for this little Island to come together once again during the summer and create the memories for our children that so many on the Island have enjoyed.

Happy Spring!

P.S. To all those who are mothers in our little community, whether a mother, grandmother, aunt, or sister to someone, whether that someone be a pet or son or daughter, grandson or granddaughter, niece or nephew, or brother or sister, a heartfelt and much deserved Happy Mother’s Day from the Common Council to each of you. May this day be one of rest, gentle reflection, and appreciation.

Update On Roosevelt Island General Projects, July 4th Fireworks, Summer Outdoor Movie Contract With Rooftop Films, Money For RIRA, AVAC Garbage System & More On Agenda For RIOC Operations Committee Today

 Image Of Macy's Fireworks Seen From Roosevelt Island's Southpoint Park

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board Of Directors Operations Advisory Committee will be meeting today. Here's the Agenda for the meeting:
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a meeting of the Operations Advisory Committee of the RIOC Board of Directors will be held on Monday, May 12, 2014 at 5:30 p.m. at the RIOC administrative office, 591 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York.


1. Status Updates on the General Projects

2. Discussion of Elevator Service Contract with KONE, Inc.

3. Discussion of Fourth of July Fireworks

4. Departments Review

5. Discussion of the Amendment of Contract with Saratoga Associates

6. Discussion of the Contract with Nelson & Pope Engineers & Surveyors

7. Discussion of the Contract with United Metro Energy Corp.

8. Discussion of the Amendment of Contract with ENVAC

9. Discussion of the Contract with Rooftop Films, Inc.

10.Discussion of Expenditure of Funds to Roosevelt Island Residents Association

11.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.
An audio web cast of the meeting will be available soon thereafter.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day From Roosevelt Island, Say Thank You To Your Mom and Learn How The Day Got Started

Happy Mother's Day wishes for all the moms out there.

Give your Mom a Great Big Hug and Kiss today and tell her how much she is loved and appreciated.

Here's a History Of Mother's Day.

Thanks again Mom(s)!

UPDATE - 8:45 PM - On Mother's Day, Roosevelt Island's NYC Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney announced passage in the House of Representatives of a bill to create a Congressional Commission for a National Women’s History Museum. According to this press release from Congresswoman Maloney's office:
Just in time for Mothers Day, the House of Representatives passed Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney ‘s (D-NY) legislation to create a Congressional Commission for a National Women’s History Museum. Maloney and her partner in the effort, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) are now working to move the legislation through the United States Senate where Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) are leading the charge. All 20 female Senators have signed on to the bill. Several notable New Yorkers are lending their support to the effort as well.

“Today we honor all that our mothers have done for us, and soon we’ll honor all of the contributions of our mothers and foremothers in a National Women’s History Museum in our nation’s capitol,” said Maloney. “The House has moved us one step closer, and I hope the Senate will follow suit. I’m thrilled that so many notable New Yorkers are getting behind the effort as well.”

“I applaud the efforts of U.S Representatives Carolyn Maloney and Marsha Blackburn for their leadership in developing the National Women’s History Museum,” said Emily Rafferty, President of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. “This undertaking will be critically important in telling the stories of countless women whose contributions to our nation’s past have helped develop the cornerstones of our nation.”

'Finally the history of women in the US will be told. Now the next generation will have a more complete knowledge of where they came from and the contributions that woman have made,” said actress Kelly Rutherford. “Thanks to Carolyn Maloney and others who have supported this for your contribution the next generation. What an incredible mothers day gift!"

On Wednesday May 7, the House approved H.R. 863, the Commission to Study the Potential Creation of a National Women's History Museum Act of 2013, by a vote of 383 to 33. The legislation would establish a commission to prepare a report containing recommendations for establishing and maintaining a National Women’s History Museum in Washington, D.C. The eight-member commission would have 18 months to produce the report and submit it to Congress for approval.
Ms. Maloney and Tennessee Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn discuss the museum on MSNBC's Morning Joe

and here's the House of Representatives floor debate on the bill.

More on the National Women's History Museum from NY Daily news article today written by Ms. Maloney and Gristedes owner John Catsimatidis.