Saturday, September 13, 2014

Variations On A Roosevelt Island Lighthouse Theme - Glowing Like The Northern Lights, At Dawn, Between Your Fingers And A Walk Around

Various perspectives on the Roosevelt Island Lighthouse.

Image From C. Grant

And a walk around the Roosevelt Island Lighthouse shortly after the footbridges, washed away by Hurricane Sandy, were replaced last July.

The Roosevelt Island Historical Society  and The Bowery Boys tell us about the strange history of our Lighthouse.

Roosevelt Island FDR Four Freedoms Park Family Music Concert Sunday September 14 With NikosKids Folk Band

The FDR Four Freedoms Park tweets:

and adds:
Family Music Performance

Sing and dance with NikosKids.

Brooklyn's favorite family folk band comes to Four Freedoms Park!

Nikoskids will get you dancing with their catchy, upbeat songs about being a kid, the four seasons, culinary celebrations, and more.

Performance will be on the lawn — bring a blanket and enjoy.

Sunday, September 14th, 4pm – 4:45pm

Recommended for ages 0-8 and their families


Rain Date: Sunday, September 21st
Here's NikosKids performing Yellow Banana.

Rebecca Seawright Thanks Roosevelt Island Voters For Helping Her Win NY State 76 Assembly District Democratic Party Primary Nomination - Urges Highest Voter Turnout Possible For November General Election

As previously reported, Rebecca Seawright won the NY State Assembly 76 District Democratic Party Primary nomination to represent Roosevelt Island and the Upper East Side last Tuesday. Yesterday, Ms Seawright returned to Roosevelt Island with one of her supporters, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney. Congresswoman Maloney tweets:

Ms Seawright adds:
I am deeply grateful for the extraordinary support of the voters of Roosevelt Island in the September 9th Democratic Primary. I heard the concerns and priorities of our neighbors and am very much inspired by all those who helped with my candidacy. We will continue fighting for the improvements needed from all levels of government that should be a matter of right for our community. From enhanced transportation options to the reform of governance to assistance to our small businesses. We will continue fighting for the needed resources and to assure that development of the new Cornell/Technion complex brings genuine benefits to the residents of Roosevelt Island. And we must ensure the highest voter turnout possible in the November general election so that Roosevelt Island receives the support it so richly deserves.
According to the NYC Board of Elections, the Roosevelt Island voting results for the 76 Assembly District ( Election Districts 82-87) were:
  • Rebecca Seawright - 225
  • Gus Christensen - 136
  • Ed Hartzog -72
  • David Menegon  - 58
Ms. Seawright will face Republican David Garland in the November General Election.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Good News, Roosevelt Island F Train Service To And From Manhattan This Weekend

According to the MTA Weekender, there will be Roosevelt Island F train service

to and from Manhattan this weekend.

Urban American Roosevelt Landings Lease Assignment To Brookfield Joint Venture Approved By Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Yesterday - RIOC To Receive Payment Of $2.7 Million

Reported August 15:

A change in ownership is coming to Roosevelt Island's 1003 unit Roosevelt Landings building complex currently owned by Urban American.

Brookfield Property Partners has acquired an interest in Urban American's Putnam Apartment Portfolio (approximately 4,000 units) which includes Roosevelt Landings on Roosevelt Island in a transaction valued in excess of 1 Billion Dollars.
The change in the ownership structure of Roosevelt Landings was the subject of September 11 meeting of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Real Estate Advisory Committee meeting  (audio web cast of meeting here) yesterday followed by the full RIOC Board Of Directors (video web cast here) voting on the lease assignment later that afternoon.

The consent of the RIOC Board Of Directors was required to change the ownership structure of Roosevelt Landings allowing Urban American to assign the Roosevelt Landings lease to a new joint venture partnership with various Brookfield entities. According to the September RIOC Board Agenda:
... 6. Authorization of Consent to Assignment of Lease by North Town Roosevelt, LLC (the Eastwood Tenant) to BSREP UA Roosevelt Landings LLC (Board Action Required)...
RIOC President Charlene Indelicato and General Counsel Don Lewis explained to the Real Estate Advisory committee the terms of the assignment including:
  • payment of approximately $2.7 million fee to RIOC,
  • the assignment will maintain the status quo as far as the tenants of Roosevelt Landings are concerned and
  • the $2.7 million will be spent on Roosevelt Island capital projects.
RIOC Director Fay Christian expressed concern that the RIOC Directors were not informed about the transaction earlier. The Roosevelt Landings lease assignment item was placed on the RIOC Board agenda the morning of the meeting.

Several other RIOC Board Directors expressed concern over various Roosevelt Landings issues including the possible financial overleveraging of debt placed on the building due to the transaction, affordability, displacement of seniors and electricity submetering.

Urban American's Josh Eisenberg replied that Roosevelt Landings has never been overleveraged, that all of its debt service has been paid out of cash flow and that there will be even less debt on Roosevelt Landings with this transaction. Mr. Eisenberg also described the energy efficiency program being undertaken at Roosevelt Landings and noted future additional capital improvements and affordability efforts. Here's what Mr. Eisenberg had to say.

The RIOC Board of Directors consented to the assignment of Roosevelt Landings/Eastwood ground lease from Urban American to the new joint venture between Urban American and Brookfield Property. Based upon a previously agreed formula in the ground lease, RIOC will receive payment of approximately $2.7 million for its consent.

The vote to approve the assignment was 6 in favor 1 against and 1 recusal. Director Michael Shinozaki was the single no vote. Director David Kraut, who lives in Roosevelt Landings, recused himself from participating in the RIOC Board meeting discussion and vote.

During the RIOC Real Estate Advisory Committee meeting prior to the full RIOC Board vote, Mr. Kraut indicated he would seek to table (postpone) the Urban American lease assignment at the full RIOC Board meeting later in the day in order to obtain additional information about the transaction. Immediately after Mr. Kraut indicated his intent to seek to postpone the vote, RIOC President Indelicato and General Counsel Lewis asked him to step outside the conference room where the public committee meeting was taking place and they had a private conversation with him.

Upon the start of the Roosevelt Landings lease assignment agenda item at the full RIOC Board meeting, Mr. Kraut announced his recusal from participating in the discussion and vote.

Here's the discussion and vote at the full RIOC Board meeting yesterday

and memorandum from RIOC President Indelicato to the RIOC Board describing the transaction in detail (full Board Material Package here)
To: Board of Directors
From: Charlene M. Indelicato
Re: Eastwood Lease Assignment
Date: September 10, 2014

Background – Proposed Transaction

The property located at 510-580 Main Street, Roosevelt Island (commonly known as “Eastwood”) is leased to North Town Roosevelt, LLC (“North Town”) pursuant to an Amended and Restated Lease dated as of September 21, 2006 (the “Eastwood Lease”) between Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (“RIOC”) as landlord, and North Town Roosevelt, LLC, as tenant. North Town entered into a Purchase and Sale Agreement dated as of July 18, 2014 (the “PSA”) by and among North Town, as one of the sellers, and BSREP US Operating LLC, as purchaser, pursuant to which Tenant’s interest as tenant in the Lease is to be assigned to the purchaser, or its designee.(The PSA covers multiple properties owned by multiple sellers.) The aggregate sales price set forth in the PSA for all of the various properties is $1,041,800,000, of which $272,000,000 has been allocated to the assignment of the Eastwood Lease. Pursuant to Article 10 of the Eastwood Lease, North Town has requested RIOC’s consent to the assignment of North Town’s right, title and interest in the Eastwood Lease to BSREP UA Roosevelt Landings LLC (“Assignee”), a designee of BSREP US Operating LLC. The Eastwood Lease provides that Landlord’s consent may not be unreasonably withheld, conditioned or delayed.

In addition to the assignment of North Town’s interest in and to the Eastwood Lease, North Town will assign to Assignee, and Assignee will assume, all of North Town’s right, title and interest in and to the Sublease dated as of September 21, 2006 by and between North Town Roosevelt, LLC, as Sublandlord, and Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, as Subtenant for the ground floor commercial space in Eastwood. North Town has provided RIOC with a proposed Assignment and Assumption Agreement to be delivered at closing, which references this sublease.

RIOC is currently holding a letter of credit in the amount of $750,000 pursuant to the provisions of Article 5 of the Eastwood Lease. Under the Eastwood Lease, North Town was entitled to reduce the face amount of the Letter of Credit to $500,000, but had not yet done so. At closing, Assignee will deliver a replacement Letter of Credit in the sum of $500,000, with RIOC as the beneficiary. The Eastwood Lease obligates the tenant to maintain the Letter of Credit in effect until November 21, 2016.

Under the PSA, Assignee is bound to comply with the HAP (Housing Assistance Payment) Contracts in effect with respect to tenants receiving Section 8 benefits. In addition, pursuant to The North Town Tenant Settlement Agreement, a “Landlord Assistance Program” is being provided to various tenants. North Town’s obligations under this Settlement Agreement and Landlord Assistance Program will be among the obligations assumed by Assignee at closing.

Eastwood Lease Provisions Regarding Assignments

Together with its request for consent to a lease assignment, Tenant is obligated to notify RIOC of names and addresses of all managers and managing members and all other members of the assignee having, directly or indirectly, a five percent (5%) or greater ownership interest in the Assignee. The Assignee delivered to RIOC an affidavit which provided the names and addresses of all managers and managing members of the Assignee, and all other members of the Assignee having, directly or indirectly, a twelve percent (12%) or greater ownership interest in the Assignee, together with an organizational chart showing the direct and indirect ownership of Assignee and a list of all newly formed entities which were formed for the purpose of investing, directly or indirectly, in the Assignee. Assignee is wholly owned by BSREP UA Holdings LLC, which, in turn, is owned 7% by Urban American Holdings II, LLC and 93% by BSREP Putnam Portfolio LLC. (All of these entities were formed for the purpose of this transaction.)As shown on the organizational chart provided by Assignee, BSREP Putman Portfolio LLC is owned indirectly by various Brookfield affiliated entities. Due to certain confidentiality agreements, Assignee is unable to disclose the identity of passive investors owning, directly or indirectly, less than a twelve percent (12%) ownership interests in Assignee. As set forth in Assignee’s affidavit, investors owning less than a twelve percent (12%) interest in the funds directly or indirectly owning Assignee are passive investors, and do not control or otherwise manage Assignee.

Calculation of Transaction Payment

RIOC is entitled to receive a Transaction Payment in connection with an assignment of the Eastwood Lease. The Transaction Payment is the total of (a) three percent (3%) of the initial $8,200,000 of Net Proceeds from the assignment, and (b) ten percent (10%) of the Net Proceeds in excess of $8,200,000. As noted above, the portion of the purchase price allocated in the PSA to the assignment of the Eastwood Lease is $272,000,000. North Town is permitted to deduct certain expenses from the sales price to determine the Net Proceeds of sale. These expenses are (i) actual out-of-pocket standard closing costs paid by Tenant to unaffiliated third parties, (ii) repayment of mortgages, if any, (iii) return of all equity contributed to Tenant as reasonably evidenced by Landlord, with a 6% return on such equity from the time contributed, to the extent not deducted from the calculation of Net Proceeds in a prior transaction, (iv) the unamortized cost of all capital improvements, to the extent not deducted from the calculation of Net Proceeds in a prior transaction, and (v) capital gains tax liability of Tenant. The total deductions set forth in North Town’s calculation are $238,883,425, which includes repayment of the outstanding $199,000,000 mortgage. Based on these numbers, the Transaction Payment payable to RIOC is $2,737,658. RIOC has asked for evidence of the amount of the mortgage being repaid, and clarification of certain of the numbers set forth in this schedule, and the Transaction Payment may be adjusted as necessary if the amount of the Net Proceeds changes.

Letter Agreement Regarding Affordability Agreements

Following the closing of the assignment, Assignee may enter into discussions with the City of New York with respect to any tax abatement and/or rent stabilization programs which would affect the premises during the term of the Eastwood Lease. At the closing, Assignee will deliver a letter to RIOC confirming that any final agreement entered into with the City of New York with respect to such matters will not amend, modify or otherwise alter the terms and conditions of the Eastwood Lease or any other written agreements to which RIOC is a signatory.


I hereby recommend that the RIOC Board of Directors consent to the Assignment of the Eastwood Lease and to North Town’s calculation of the Transaction Payment in connection therewith (subject to possible adjustment as indicated above), in compliance with the Eastwood Lease.
Here's the full video of RIOC Real Estate Advisory Committee discussion of Roosevelt Landings lease assignment. It was a very interesting discussion of many issues facing the building and Roosevelt Island.

Beautiful Pictures Of World Trade Center Tribute In Lights Seen From Roosevelt Island Last Night

Nathaniel Phillips shares these beautiful pictures

Image From Nathaniel Phillips

of the World Trade Center Tribute In Lights

Image From Nathaniel Phillips

seen last night from Roosevelt Island.

More on the Tribute in Lights including history and video from previous post.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Bike New York Invites You To Ride The East River Esplanade From Roosevelt Island Tram To Randalls Island And Back This Saturday - Also Take A Roosevelt Island Cyber Bike Ride With Go Pro Camera

Bike New York's Roosevelt Island Community Outreach Manager Caitlin Goodspeed reports:
East River Esplanade Ride
Saturday, September 13
Approx. 8 miles

Join Bike New York for a ride up the East River Esplanade in Manhattan! We'll take the tram from Roosevelt Island over to Manhattan before heading north on the paved path right next to the river. We'll break at Carl Schurz Park for a few minutes before heading up to a community garden at 96th Street where we'll hear about Friends of the East River Esplanade, a non-profit organization that is working restore and reinvent the esplanade from 60th to 120th Streets. From there we will continue north, taking the bike path over to Randall's Island for an easy loop before heading back to Roosevelt Island via the esplanade. Brunch to follow on Roosevelt Island for those who are interested! All participants must bring their own bikes and helmets. This ride is free and open to the Roosevelt Island community!
Ms. Goodspeed adds:
In order to participate, residents must send me an email with their contact information and the information for an emergency contact. My email address is There are only a few spots left! I will send out a detailed email to all registered participants on Friday.
You can also take a cyber ride from Astoria and around Roosevelt Island

courtesy of a Go Pro Camera.

Remembering The 9/11 Attacks Today

Image Of Tribute In  Light Seen From Roosevelt Island yesterday

Remembering the 9/11 World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks today:
Here's what the World Trade Center attacks looked like from Roosevelt Island on September 11, 2001.

Main Street WIRE Image Of Smoke From World Trade Center Attack by Vicki Feinmel/Linda Heimer

Below is the Roosevelt Island 9/11 Remembrance Garden

Images of Roosevelt Island's Remembrance Garden

and the plaque that honors those Roosevelt Islanders who died in the terrorist attack:
Ed Beyea,
Anthony J. Fallone,
Taimour Khan,
Scott Larsen,
Kevin J. Smith and the firefighters who were based on Roosevelt Island
Deputy Chief Ray Downey,
Deputy Chief Charlie Kasper,
Battalion Chief John Moran, and
Battalion Chief John Paolillo.
Roosevelt Island resident Jonathan Weinberg describes what it was like to be in the World Trade Center on 9/11 (originally appeared in Quora and today's Business Insider):
I arrived for work that morning on the 77th. floor of World Trade Center tower 2 (WTC2) around 8:00AM. It was a bright beautiful morning, and you could see seemingly forever out the floor to ceiling windows of the building. My company had offices on the 77th. and 78th. floors. My office was on 77 facing WTC1 (the north tower).

I was standing in the hallway outside my office talking to a co-worker, when I heard a tremendous explosion at 8:46AM. I looked into my office (office wall was floor-to-ceiling glass) and saw a gaping hole in the South side of WTC1. We had no idea what had happened. No part of the plane was visible (it had hit WTC1 from the North--the opposite side from where my office faced).

Eventually word filtered in from somewhere that it was a plane that hit the building. We didn't know whether it was a commercial jet or a private plane like a Gulfstream. It also didn't occur to me at the time that it was a terrorist attack. I just assumed it was a terrible accident.

At some point I saw people appear at the edge of the gaping hole. Smoke was pouring out, and while I don't recall seeing much in the way of flames, it was clear that there was a raging fire going on inside the building. I saw a number of people jump to their death, desperate to get away from the heat/flames.

It's hard to express what I felt at that point, because I can only describe it as shock. Your mind cannot really comprehend what is happening--almost an overload state. You see it with your eyes, but you are somehow mentally detached from it at the same time.

I called my wife to let her know what was happening. She was just walking out of Penn Station on her way to work. I quickly apprised her of the situation, and told her that within a few minutes there would probably be pandemonium as people learned what had happened. I assured her that I was OK, and my building was not impacted. I told her I'd call her again when I could.

Many of my co-workers began to leave the building immediately after the plane hit. For various reasons, I decided to stay. This was partially because I believed that it was an accident and I was in no immediate danger. I was head of technology for a financial information firm at the time. Based on what I was seeing, I figured it might be days or weeks before we could return to our offices, so there were many things I needed to attend to so that operations could be moved to an off-site location.

At some point, I left my office and took the escalator in our space up to the 78th. floor. We had a large conference room there with a projector and cable TV, so I wanted to get the news on to see what was happening. I turned on CNN. Information looked pretty sketchy, but I decided to return to 77 to inform my remaining co-workers that I had TV coverage on upstairs if they wanted to come up.

I returned to my office and decided to call my mother. A few seconds after hanging up the phone at 9:03AM, I felt a violent jolt, and then a falling sensation. I remember thinking that the building was coming down and it was the end. The impact caused the building to sway heavily. It was actually designed to sway to a certain degree as the towers have to withstand high winds on a regular basis, but this was far beyond anything I'd ever felt before.

Eventually the building stabilized. Much of the ceiling had come down, and I could feel the breeze from blown out windows on the other side of the floor. This felt oddly disconcerting since none of the windows were designed to open in the WTC.

At that point I honestly didn't know what had happened. Strangely enough, my first thought was that WTC1 somehow exploded and what we experiencing was the impact of that.

I found myself outside my office with a number of co-workers. There was tons of dust and debris in the air and the electricity was out. While I was covered in dust and other particles, I was not injured. We (about 10 of us) made our way to the stairwell on the NE side of the building.

Upon arriving at the stairwell, we ran into some people who had apparently just come down from the 78th floor. One woman had a severe laceration on her arm. While the wound was quite serious, it did not appear to be life threatening. There was some brief discussion about going up (I cannot recall why), but the injured woman or someone she was with mentioned that everyone was dead on the 78th. floor.

I later found out that United Airlines flight 75 had slammed into the southwest face of the tower, creating an impact hole that extended from the 78th to 84th floors. Apparently the conference room that I had been standing in just a few minutes before was now obliterated. Had I decided to stay up on 78 instead of returning to my office when I did, I would not be alive today.

Tragically two co-workers who I considered personal friends, took an opposite path that day, making their way from the 77th. floor to their offices on the 78th. floor just before the impact. I never saw them again.

Seemingly insignificant decisions a person made that day determined whether they lived or died. It's still something that's a bit hard to fully come to terms with.

Unbeknownst to me at the time, my wife had arrived at work at the midtown financial firm where she worked, right around the time my building was hit. The WTC towers were clearly visible from the trading floor of her firm. While we'd spoken earlier and she knew I was OK, that was before the second plane hit WTC2. She knew I was still in the building at the time, and she knew what floor I worked on, so at that point, she had no idea whether I was still alive.

Once we got into the 77th floor stairwell, I recall jet fuel pouring down the stairs. I mentioned previously I was definitely in some form of shock at that time and not thinking rationally. Having worked as a baggage handler at JFK airport for a summer (ironically for United Airlines of all companies), I knew what jet fuel smelled like. Still, I could not put one and one together and make the connection that a jetliner had just crashed into the building only a few feet above my head and split open, spilling the contents of its fuel tanks into the building core.

We slowly made our way down the 77 flights of stairs. A woman there who worked for me at the time was about 6 months pregnant, so we went slowly in order to stay with her and help her down.

At some point, I remember passing a number of firefighters heading up the stairs. They had a full set of gear on, and they looked weary and frightened, yet they continued up past us. It's hard to put into words what I feel for the firefighters who sacrificed everything that day in order to try to help others. Reverence is about as close as I can get.

Eventually we exited the stairwell and made our way into the mall connecting the WTC complex. I recall thinking that we were still alive and basically were out of danger. It was then that I saw police officers or firefighters yelling and waving at us frantically to get out of the building, and we quickened our pace.

We exited the mall in the NE corner near the Millennium hotel. We were standing on the street and it was chaos. I was with a colleague and my boss at the time. There was debris falling off the building, and my boss suggested we get out of the area.

We began walking North. We had gotten maybe 5 blocks away when we heard a large rumble and saw a massive dust cloud to the South of us from the direction we came. Word eventually filtered up through the crowd that WTC2 where my office resided, had just fallen. It was a strange and surreal experience. Thoughts flooded through my mind like, how many people just lost their life? Do I still have a job? Even a mental inventory of the things that were in my office that no longer existed.

Words with my co-workers which I cannot recall were exchanged, and I decided to set off on my own to try to get home and reach my family to let them know I was OK. I eventually walked over the Williamsburg Bridge, caught a bus in Brooklyn heading for Queens, and then flagged down a gypsy cab in Queens to take me to my home in Port Washington, Long Island.

I eventually got through to my family via phone to let them know I was safe. I also spoke with the president of the company who was down in Florida at the time. He later told me that I was speaking very quickly and not making much sense. I guess the events of the day had taken their toll on me.

I made it home a number of hours later. My mother-in-law was there with my daughters, but my wife was still trying to make her way home. I walked in and hugged my two daughters like I had never hugged them before.

The rest of the night was mostly a blur. I spent most of it on the phone trying to account for every employee in the company. It was emotionally draining, but necessary work. I think I collapsed for a couple of hours, and then was picked up by one of the guys that worked for me to head to Philadelphia where my company had a smaller office.

I recall driving down the Brooklyn Queens Expressway and passing the downtown area, seeing a massive plume of smoke still rising from the WTC site. I can only describe it as surreal.

At some point during the trip I received a phone call from a relative of an employee who had not yet been heard from. I tried to remember where and when I had last seen the person. It was one of the most difficult and emotional conversations I've ever had in my life.

We arrived in Philadelphia later that morning to ensure that we had accounted for all of our employees to the best of our ability, and then to set about the task of trying to resurrect a business that was basically in tatters.

I still had not had a chance to really process what had happened, but I realized that unless we immediately got to work, hundreds of people were going to lose their jobs.

It wasn't until later that night when I checked into my hotel, about 36 hours after it had all begun, that I had a chance to turn on the TV and watch a full account of the events. Sitting there in front of the TV, it was like a floodgate had opened, and my mind finally had a chance to deal with the tragedy and all the emotions that went with it.

I lost four friends and co-workers that day who will forever be in my heart. I try to live every day to the fullest, to honor their lives, and the lives of others who perished that day.
Some remembrances of 9/11 by Roosevelt Island residents from previous post.

Roosevelt Island's Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney issued this statement:
Today marks the 13th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on America. 9/11 is one of those singular events in our nation’s history – that is seared forever into our collective memory by the shared pain of unbearable sorrow. It is a loss that leaves such an indelible mark – we knew in the instant that it happened that we would all be changed forever.

After 9/11, we said that we would ‘never forget.’ Not someday forget – not eventually forget – we vowed we would never forget.

That vow comes with an obligation on the part of Congress to ensure that we as a country remember, honor and care for those who are now sick from exposure to that vast toxic soup they faced in their rescue and recovery work after September 11th.

We must continue to provide the specialized medical monitoring and care these heroes receive through the World Trade Center Health Program, and continue to provide economic compensation for the terrible cost they have borne through the Victim Compensation Fund.

Soon I will introduce with Congressmen Jerrold Nadler and Peter King the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act to extend these programs for 25 years. I hope that Congress will take up this important legislation and show that the heroes of 9/11 are not forgotten.

Urban American Roosevelt Landings Lease Assignment On Agenda For Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Real Estate Committee Today - License Of Southpoint Park Land For Use By FDR Park On Agenda For Full RIOC Board Today Too

Reported August 15:

A change in ownership is coming to Roosevelt Island's 1003 unit Roosevelt Landings building complex currently owned by Urban American.

Brookfield Property Partners has acquired an interest in Urban American's Putnam Apartment Portfolio (approximately 4,000 units) which includes Roosevelt Landings on Roosevelt Island in a transaction valued in excess of 1 Billion Dollars.

Sources who are familiar with the transaction confirmed that Urban American will continue to own the properties in partnership with Brookfield and will continue to operate and manage the buildings....

... Not known at this time if RIOC's consent is needed for the ownership change at Roosevelt Landings.
We'll find our more about the Roosevelt Landings transaction later today. According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC)
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a meeting of the Real Estate Development Advisory Committee of the RIOC Board of Directors will be held on Thursday, September 11, 2014 at 4:00 p.m. at the RIOC administrative office, 591 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York.


Discussion of Roosevelt Landings/Eastwood Lease Assignment

Any Other Committee Business That May be Brought Before the Committee
An audio web cast will be available soon after the meeting.

The full RIOC Board of Directors will meet following the Real Estate Advisory Committee meeting. According to RIOC:





5:30 P.M.[1]

I. Call to Order

II. Roll Call

III. Approval of Minutes

1. June 26, 2014 Board Meeting (Board Action Required)

IV. Old Business

V. New Business

1. Presentation of the FY 2014-15 QTR 1 Procurement Report

2. Authorization to Enter into License Agreement with New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation for Certain Land Adjoining Four Freedoms State Park (Board Action Required)

3. Ratification of Contract with Singh Landscaping & Lawn Sprinkler Corp. for Good Shepherd Community Center Plaza Landscaping (Board Action Required)

4. Authorization to Enter into Contract with Quintal Contracting Corp. for Pothole Repair (Board Action Required)

5. Authorization to Enter into Contract with Shawn Construction, Inc. for Resetting of Z-Brick Pavers (Board Action Required)

6. President’s Report

7. Committee Reports

a. Audit Committee

b. Governance Committee

c. Operations Advisory Committee

d. Real Estate Development Advisory Committee

8. 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.
A web cast will be available son after the RIOC Board meeting.

More on Agenda Item 2 regarding licensing of Southpoint Park land to NY State Parks for benefit of FDR Four Freedoms Park Conservancy at this post from yesterday.

UPDATE 11 AM - Apparently, the consent of RIOC is required for the Urban American ownership change by assignment of lease.

I just received notice of an amended RIOC Board Agenda for today's meeting which included a new Item 6:
6. Authorization of Consent to Assignment of Lease by North Town Roosevelt, LLC (the Eastwood Tenant) to BSREP UA Roosevelt Landings LLC (Board Action Required)
UPDATE 9/12 - Here's full report including video of the Roosevelt Landings lease assignment meetings.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

FDR Four Freedoms Park Seeking More Of Roosevelt Island's Southpoint Park - Propose License Agreement For Area Adjacent To Renwick Ruins, Is It Permanent Or Temporary?

Among the items on Agenda of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors September 11 meeting is:

... 2. Authorization to Enter into License Agreement with New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation for Certain Land Adjoining Four Freedoms State Park (Board Action Required)...
Images Of Southpoint Park Land Sought By FDR Park

According to the proposed license agreement:
... The license shall be conterminous with the Master Lease, provided however that either party may terminate the license on 30 days’ written notice. Upon such termination and the request of RIOC, State Parks shall remove all improvements and restore the property to a condition equal or better than its pre-existing condition within30 days thereafter....
Yesterday, I asked FDR Four Freedoms Park Conservancy (FDR Park) President Sally Minard:
I am preparing post on September 11 RIOC Board Agenda Item below regarding FDR Four Freedoms Park:
Authorization to Enter into License Agreement with New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation for Certain Land Adjoining Four Freedoms State Park (Board Action Required)
According to the agreement, the license is revocable at any time by RIOC upon 30 days notice.

In the event that the license is revoked by RIOC, where does FDR Four Freedoms Park plan on installing the structures that would have to be removed from the licensed area if and when the license is revoked? If the structures were removed, how would that effect the operations of FDR Four Freedoms Park?

Also, do you have any further comment on the reason FDR Four Freedoms requires the additional land from Southpoint Park.
FDR Park Director Of Visitor Experience Suzy Brown replied:
Thank you for contacting us about this item on the upcoming RIOC Board meeting's agenda. Just to clarify, the property under discussion is not additional land, it is the land currently being used by the Park for minimal facilities required to operate and maintain the Park. This agreement would make the land available under different arrangement; licensed to NY State to support operation and maintenance of a NY State Park so that we may add necessary, temporary structures to the property – such as heated enclosures for our onsite staff – in a more timely manner than the current permitting arrangement allows.

In answer to your question regarding what would happen if the license were to be revoked (or we were to lose the current permits): it would be impossible for the Conservancy to operate and maintain the Park as we do not currently have an alternative permitted location.
Here is portion of proposed licensed land in Southpoint Park adjacent to the east side of Renwick Ruins sought by the NY Parks Department

and memorandum from RIOC President Charlene Indelicato to RIOC Board members in support of the License Agreement to NY State Parks for the use by FDR Park.
To: Board of Directors
From: Charlene M. Indelicato
Re: License Related to the Operation & Maintenance of Four Freedoms State Park on Roosevelt Island
Date: August 27, 2014

This memorandum outlines key terms of the license agreement requested by the Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation (“OPRHP”) from Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (“RIOC”) to use certain RIOC land adjoining the Four Freedoms Park Memorial (“Memorial”) now designated and operated as Four Freedoms State Park (“FFSP”). Full background on the FFSP project and the relevant contractual relationships among the City, RIOC and OPRHP is set forth in the proposed license agreement.

Statement of Need & Purpose:
According to OPRHP, the Memorial was designed and constructed without sufficient spaces and amenities to support its operation as a modern, patron-friendly and efficient State Park. These needs apparently include spaces and facilities for visitor contact, access and egress; park administration and staffing; security; maintenance; staging of materials, etc. Since the opening of FFSP in October, 2012 RIOC land adjoining FFSP (located inside the existing iron fence south of Southpoint Park) has been used to facilitate and support FFSP operations. Such uses have been by permission of RIOC with some granted pursuant to permits granted by RIOC for park-related structures and equipment as depicted in the map of the proposed licensed premises. The proposed license would formalize and consolidate all existing uses and pending permits and the terms of such use of RIOC land by FFSP. RIOC would benefit from a formalized commitment from OPRHP relating to the use, care and maintenance of the property, as well as insurance and indemnification for risks and potential claims.

Summary of Key License Terms:
  • The license is without monetary consideration and is coterminous with the obligation of OPRHP to operate the Memorial; either party may terminate the license on 30 days’ written notice.
  • Use of the licensed premises is for state park purposes at no expense to RIOC. OPRHP will not interfere with RIOC access to the premises for any purpose including relating to the island’s seawalls or the Renwick Ruin.
  • OPRHP accepts the licensed premises “as is” and to the fullest extent of the law assumes liability and responsibility for its care, operation and maintenance. Insurance and indemnity benefiting RIOC will be provided by Four Freedoms Park Conservancy, OPRHP’s operating partner.
  • Placements of new structures not contemplated in the license are subject to RIOC approval: All uses are subject to applicable laws, codes, rules and regulations.
  • The license is subject to all rights heretofore granted, or agreed to be granted, to others for the maintenance of highways and utilities. OPRHP will not interfere with any of these existing facilities.
  • The license is non-assignable. Any assignment, sublicense or other transfer agreement with the Conservancy shall include a prohibition on the Conservancy’s assigning, licensing or otherwise transferring its rights and obligations to a third party.
I hereby recommend that the RIOC Board of Directors approve the license agreement related to operation and maintenance of Four Freedoms State Park on Roosevelt Island based on the terms as set forth above.
Ms. Indelicato's memo and draft proposed licensed agreement is here.

During May 6 discussion by the RIOC Real Estate Advisory Committee, RIOC Director Margie Smith expressed reservations about the proposed license agreement of the Southpoint Park land adjacent to the Renwick Ruins by NY Parks for the benefit of FDR Parks. Ms. Smith was concerned that such a license agreement would preclude any future use and potential RIOC revenue opportunities such as a restaurant at the same location.

Here's what Ms. Smith had to say.

Although the proposed license agreement is structured to be terminated upon 30 days notice, based upon the reply from Ms. Brown that:
... what would happen if the license were to be revoked (or we were to lose the current permits): it would be impossible for the Conservancy to operate and maintain the Park as we do not currently have an alternative permitted location....
it is highly unlikely that the politically powerful FDR Park would ever allow RIOC to terminate the license agreement.

Here's a representative of the NY State Parks Department speaking in favor an earlier version of the license agreement during May 6 RIOC Real Estate Advisory Committee meeting.

The RIOC Real Estate Advisory Committee has not expressed any view on whether or not to approve this license agreement. It is very unusual for the full RIOC Board to vote on a real estate matter like this without the prior approval of the Real Estate Committee.

Also, in matters of changes to Roosevelt Island park land and public spaces, the RIOC Board often seeks the input of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) as they did for the proposed Southpoint Park Korean Pavilion, renovation of Blackwell Park and rehab of Good Shepherd Plaza. The RIOC Board did not seek the input of RIRA in this matter.

Update On Frequently Broken Roosevelt Island Tram Station Elevators - New Service Contract, New RFP Elevator Design Contract And Red Bus Shuttle If Both Elevators Out Of Service Says RIOC - Residents Say Thank You

Reported July 17 that:

The frequently out of service Roosevelt Island Tram Station elevators have been a constant headache for Roosevelt Island parents with strollers, disabled residents and others who need the elevators to use the Manhattan Tram Station.

The Roosevelt Island Parents' Network (RIPN) and Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Island Services Committee have been meeting with the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) to try and alleviate the problems caused by the frequently out of service Manhattan Tram Station elevator.

RIOC Director of Engineering Jim Mortimer provided this update on the Tram Elevator Status to Island Services Committee Chair Aaron Hamburger:
Since the replacement of the elevator door and repair of the red lift in early August, both the elevator and the lift have been functioning well. In the event both units simultaneously go out of service in the future, a RIOC red bus will immediately begin to provide service to and from Manhattan until the units are repaired.

Because our efforts to solicit design/build contractors for the new elevators were unsuccessful, an RFP for the design of two new elevators has been issued. Proposals are due on 10/3/14. After the design is complete in early 2015, we will procure a contractor and construct the new elevators which will be completed in 2015.

In the interim, we have issued a new service contract wherein the elevators will be brought to a state of good repair and the service contractor will be responsible for maintaining them at a set monthly fee from then on.

We believe this will eliminate the emergency situations in relation to the elevator and the lift until the new elevators are completed.
More on the Tram elevator service contract and RFP for new elevator at this previous post.

The Roosevelt Island residents below thanked RIOC for its efforts.
We would like to thank RIOC for offering rapid response by providing Red bus service to and from Manhattan on August 1st and 2nd when both the Tram elevator and the lift have been out of service. We also thank RIOC for the commitment to provide the Red bus shuttle in the future, should both units go out of service simultaneously again. The shuttle is very valuable to certain parts of the island population, i.e. seniors, the Disabled or care givers with children in strollers, in order to be able to leave the island or come home easily, especially now that the elevator at the 63rd St/Lex Ave Subway station is out of service until February 2015. Thank you, RIOC!

Eva Bosbach, Aaron Hamburger, Susana del Campo Perea and Kaja Maede (RI Parents' Network, RIRA Island Services Committee and the Tram Advocacy Group)
More on the Red Bus shuttle to and from Manhattan when both Tram Station elevators are out of service.

The problems with the Tram station elevators have been going on for a long time. Last winter, Eva Bosbach wrote:
This winter, the elevators on the Manhattan side of the Tram kept breaking more and more frequently, often both at the same time. With the weather staying cold and the stairs being slippery, no assistance available to get down the stairs from the Tram platform on the Manhattan side, no help in the afternoons with opening the gate to get to the Tram pre-loading area on the island side and no heaters outside the gate, the whole Tram travel experience often became a nightmare for families, bikers and wheelchair-users. In addition, as the F-Train is not servicing Roosevelt Island on many weekends, except for taking the long commute to Manhattan via the Q102 bus to Queens Plaza (the closest non F-Train subway station on the Q102 route which has a – hopefully working – elevator), if the Tram elevators are out of service during those quite regular subway suspensions, parts of the population cannot leave the island easily. For our community, this is both a quality of life and a safety issue.

On behalf of the RI Parents' Network and the RIRA Island Services Committee, I suggested that RIOC:

1. Expedites the replacement of the elevators approved in RIOC's 2014/2015 budget as much as possible (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.

2. Provides Red Bus service to and from Manhattan in cases when both elevators are out of service AND the subway is not running, so that residents needing assistance are able to leave the island easily. We fully understand that this might be difficult to do "on call" as this combination usually occurs suddenly and during the weekend, but possibly a Red Bus service could be scheduled in advance for the weekends for which it is known in advance that the F-Train will not be running, until the elevators are replaced. Alternatively, a phone number could be provided which those residents with needs could call for an on-demand car service in such cases.

 3. Provides additional personnel on the Manhattan side of the Tram to assist residents with needs to get up and down the stairs when both elevators are out of service. We fully understand that RIOC and POMA employees might not be able to assist residents because of liability coverage for their assignments, but ask that a stationing of a Public Safety officer on the Manhattan side be considered.

4. - At bare minimum – immediately posts signs when both elevators are out of service. This is especially important on the island side of the Tram, so that residents are able to change their travel plans accordingly, i.e., take the subway instead.

5. Considers using the funds from Cornell and the NY 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.

After many interactions with RIOC and POMA/Leitner, we are glad that this topic got on the agenda of RIOC's meetings and is being worked on more intensely. We are also glad that the signs to inform residents about the situation have been produced and that the replacement has been approved, at least as part of RIOC next year's budget. The RI parents’ community is very thankful for any progress made in this matter. Thank you, RIOC!

Eva Bosbach
RI Parents' Network, RIRA Island Services Committee
RIOC President Charlene Indelicato discussed the Tram elevator problem during April 2014 RIOC Board Of Directors meeting.

Rebecca Seawright Wins Democratic Party Nomination For Roosevelt Island And Upper East Side NY State 76 Assembly District

Rebecca Seawright won the Democratic Party nomination for NY State 76 Assembly District last night. According to the NY Times, the final vote tally was:

Ms. Seawright will face Republican David Garland in the November General Election.

UPDATE 9/13 - According to the NYC Board of Elections, the Roosevelt Island voting results for the 76 Assembly District ( Election Districts 82-87) were:
  • Rebecca Seawright - 225
  • Gus Christensen - 136
  • Ed Hartzog -72
  • David Menegon  - 58

After Summer Break, Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council Monthly Meeting Tonight, You're Invited To Attend

Image Of March 2014 RIRA Meeting

After a summer hiatus, the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council returns to meet this evening at 8:00 PM in 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.

RIRA President Jeff Escobar invites residents to attend the Common Council meeting and to consider running for the next RIRA Term:
... Whether you are newbie or a veteran of the Island, young or old, working or retired, the RIRA Common Council needs your fresh and innovative ideas, professional expertise and dedication to preserving our way of life to breathe new life into RIRA. Not sure if it’s really for you? Come to our Fall session this September 10th at 8:00pm at the Good Shepard Community Center, introduce yourselves, ask questions and become engaged. For the only way we, as a community, have a fighting chance of preserving our way of Island life is if each of us have a hand in its future.

Won’t you run for RIRA Common Council?... 
You can make a difference.

UPDATE 4:30 PM - Here's the Agenda:
If at all possible, please arrive a half-hour early to help set up tables and chairs

Date: Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Time & Place: 8:00 pm, Church of Good Shepard
1. Public Session
2. Roll Call of Common Council Members 3. Adoption of Agenda
4. Adoption of the Minutes
5. President’s Report
6. Treasurer’s Report
7. Government Relations Committee Report 8. Planning Committee Report
9. Island Services Committee Report
10. Ethics Committee Report
11. Nomination Committee Report
12. Old Business
13. New Business
  • a. Committee Reports and Resolutions Submitted after deadline of 5PM the Friday preceding present Common Council Session
  • 1. Communications Committee Report
  • 2. Elections Committee Report
b. Motion to Shutdown RIRA Communications Website
c. Motion to Limit Access to RIRA Storage Facility
d. Resolution to Seek Alternate Storage Space for Non-Archival Corporation Records and Materials
e. Resolution that RIOC Postpone Further Land Use Agreements Relating to Southpoint Park and Four Freedoms Park
f. Resolution for Joint RIRA Letter by RIRA President, Housing Committee Chair, Planning Committee Chair and Island Services Committee Chair to Hudson Related Request a Town Hall Meeting

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

You're Invited To Cornell NYC Tech New Roosevelt Island Community Space Open House At Gallery RIVAA September 10 From 10 AM To 4 PM - Innovation And Entrepreneurship Key To New Campus

According to Cornell NYC Tech:
Join us to celebrate Cornell Tech’s new community space at Gallery RIVAA on Roosevelt Island

Cornell Tech Open House

Wednesday, September 10th

Stop by anytime between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

(light refreshments will be served)

Gallery RIVAA - 527 Main Street, Roosevelt Island

Starting September 3rd, Cornell Tech staff will be on site at the gallery every Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m-12 p.m. and 1-4 p.m. Members of the public are encouraged to stop by to learn about the Cornell Tech campus and talk to staff. Members of the public can stay up to date on the hours of operation of the gallery space by signing up for campus updates at
More on the Cornell NYC Tech Gallery RIVAA shared space at previous post and Cornell NYC Tech's plan for fostering entrepreneurship and innovation.

Roosevelt Island Trellis Diner Closed For Renovations, Where Will Customers Go Now? Auction Of Trellis Items Today

As reported August 18:

Roosevelt Island Trellis Diner owner Alex Razaghi reports that the Trellis Diner will begin renovations in early September... We will be closed as of September 8th, 2014.
Yesterday morning, Trellis Diner was closed for business

with a sign in the window announcing an auction of its contents for today (Tuesday September 9) at 12 PM

Mr. Razaghi estimates the renovation will take 4-6 months and then the grand re-opening of a new

 Rendering Of New Trellis Diner From Alex Razaghi

Trellis Diner.

Mr. Razaghi explained his vision to WOW residents and RIOC Board of Directors at this previous post.

With the Trellis Diner temporarily closed for renovations, where will its customers go to eat and socialize?

UPDATE 11;15 AM- Another rendering

  Rendering Of New Trellis Diner From Alex Razaghi

of the new Trellis Diner.

UPDATE 4:40 PM - From the Twitterverse:

Is It The End Of Summer Already? Roosevelt Island Tram Station Heating Lamps Turned On This Morning

According to the Roosevelt Island Twitterverse:

Monday, September 8, 2014

Gorgeous View Of Manhattan East River Waterfront Seen From Roosevelt Island - WOW

From the Roosevelt Island Twitterverse.


UPDATE 9/9 - And another gorgeous view seen from Roosevelt Island.

Mechanical Problems With Roosevelt Island Tram Cause 50% Reduction In North Cabin Load Capacity Today

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
Notification issued 9/8/14 at 5:01 PM. Due to a mechanical problem the North Tram cabin will be operating at 50% load capacity. An advisory will be sent out when service is fully restored. Thank you for your patience during this necessary work.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
I've asked RIOC for additional information. Will update when more is known.

UPDATE 8:55 PM - Roosevelt Island Tram Manager Armando Cordova explains what happened:
We have a problem with the North Tram VFD No. 2

This afternoon one of the VFD precharging resistor burnt out.

The North cabin is currently running with one motor on reduce load. This feature is one of the redundancies we can take advantage of with the new tram system.

Parts are being sent overnight and we are expecting to resume normal service by tomorrow.
UPDATE 9/9 2:40 PM - According to RIOC:
Following a previous disruption in normal service, normal Tram service to and from Roosevelt Island has resumed.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group

Vote Tuesday September 9 For Roosevelt Island/UES Democratic Party NY State 76 Assembly District Candidate, Christensen, Menegon, Seawright Or Hartzog - Governor And Lt. Governor Too

September 9 is primary election day for New York State. On Roosevelt Island, the polling location for all residents is at PS/IS 217 (645 Main Street) except for the Octagon building. Octagon resident vote at Coler Hospital (900 Main Street). Voting takes place from 6 AM - 9 PM.

A sample ballot for the Roosevelt Island Democratic Party Primary is here.

Democratic Party candidates for Governor are:
Zephyr Teachout
Andrew Cuomo and
Randy Credico

Lieutenant Governor:
Kathy Hochul and
Timothy Hu

76 Assembly District:
Gus Christensen,
David Menegon,
Rebecca Seawright and
Ed Hartzog.

According to the NYC Board of Elections, there is no contested Republican Party primary on Roosevelt Island.

Below are statements from the 76 Assembly District Democratic Party primary candidates

 to Roosevelt Island residents in order of their placement on the ballot.

Gus Christensen:
Dear Residents of Roosevelt Island,

My name is Gus Christensen and I would be honored to represent you in Albany. I am a proud progressive with a concrete vision for making New York into a city where middle class families and seniors can live comfortably and securely. I will fight for affordable housing, for good jobs, and for investment in our local public schools and in our mass transit systems. I will also fight to insure that Roosevelt Island gets the representation and respect that it deserves from Albany. I hope that you and your fellow voters will choose me on September 9th.

I am a lifelong New Yorker and a passionate advocate for our community. I serve as President of the Lenox Hill Democratic Club and as a director on several non-profit boards, including the New York Landmarks Conservancy, which has been integrally involved in the preservation of historic structures on Roosevelt Island such as the Chapel of the Good Shepherd.

I have spent two decades working in finance, helping businesses grow and create jobs. I want to put my real world budget and finance experience to work for middle class families and seniors. As an accounting and budgeting expert, I will increase affordable housing and strengthen rent regulations, get our schools their fair share and protect senior services. I will stand up for Roosevelt Island and the Upper East Side and make sure our communities receive the services they need. I am 100% pro-choice and a strong supporter of a woman's right to choose. I will vote to pass Governor Cuomo's Women's Equality Act that protects a woman's right to choose and make her own reproductive health care decisions.

The residents of Roosevelt Island deserve a greater say in their governance. RIOC should not be operating with a board whose terms have expired while the community stands ready to provide democratically elected directors. The island’s elected officials need to work closely with the Governor’s office to make sure that fair-minded, diligent, community-focused and representative members are appointed to full terms on the RIOC Board. Furthermore, if I were elected to represent the island, I would do everything that I could to calm the waters at RIRA, because all islanders are being hurt by the discord there, not just the Common Council members who have to endure it personally.

We need to fight to keep Roosevelt Island an affordable bastion for the middle class. Albany needs to get more actively and productively involved in dealing with the exodus of island buildings from the Mitchell-Lama program, focusing on the interests of residents as well as the preservation of as much affordable housing as possible. Given the island’s small size and limited commercial business community, RIOC needs to be more financially supportive of local community activities, such as the arts and athletics. Roosevelt Island needs better transportation links, such as ferry service and improved bus links with Queens. And we need to work closely with Cornell-Technion to manage the growth of their new campus to benefit the entire community.

I believe my background and my abilities uniquely prepare me to overcome the hurdles we face. Together, we can achieve better jobs for working New Yorkers, we can preserve and create more affordable housing, and we can build a better New York, where seniors, working families and the middle class can all live with dignity, and where all of our children have the same opportunity to succeed.

I hope to have your vote this fall and to earn the honor of representing you in Albany.
Mr. Christensen was endorsed by the NY Times and Daily News. He was also announced as the preferred candidate by the Citizens Union of NYC.

Mr. Christensen intends to vote for Andrew Cuomo as NY State Governor and Kathy Hochul at Lieutenant Governor.

David Menegon
Governance of Roosevelt Island:

The legislation that would address direct election of members of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation has stalled repeatedly in the State Legislature. There is no issue more important to Roosevelt Island residents than having a RIOC board that is responsive to the voters in the community who elected them. The fact that several governors have allowed terms to lapse without appointment and re-appointment is unconscionable; this situation hampers the effective work of the RIOC Board, whose members are unsure when they might be replaced at the whim of the Governor or Mayor. I will do everything in my power to work with my colleague in the State Senate to ensure this legislation is revised, consistent with the input of those Roosevelt Island residents who have fought this battle for so many years, and passed by both chambers of the State legislature and signed by the governor.
Mr. Menegon has been endorsed by the Sierra Club and former NY City Council Member Sal Albanese. Mr. Menegon intends to vote for Andrew Cuomo as Governor and Kathy Hochul at Lieutenant Governor.

 Rebecca Seawright
My name is Rebecca Seawright and I would be proud to represent Roosevelt Island in the New York State Legislature. I am a lifelong Democratic activist and member of Community Board 8. For over two decades, I have lived just across the river on East 81st Street, where my children attended public school.

I believe that the residents of Roosevelt Island must be empowered through home rule to have a greater say over the quality of their lives and the lives of their families. This starts with an elected Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation Board (RIOC) that is appropriately empowered to retain professional management responsive to the needs of the community.

RIOC should be held accountable to fulfill their obligations to be subject to the State’s Open Meetings and Freedom of Information Laws to ensure full transparency and public accountability under a new structure. A residency requirement should be implemented for ALL members of the RIOC Board of Directors. Our nation was founded on the principle, "no taxation without representation.” This reform must be put squarely before the Governor and the New York State Legislature, building on the great work of the dedicated activists that have vigorously fought for needed changes for many years.

The key issues that impact most on Roosevelt Island residents---an accountable public safety program, transportation access and subway improvements, availability of social services, education reforms and increased resource needs, community benefits and employment opportunities to be obtained from the planned Cornell University/ Technion campus, senior and disabled citizen services, infrastructure improvements/innovations and environmental protection needs, expansion of playgrounds for children, new approaches to ferry services and the uses of waterways---will never be fully addressed without a democratic governance structure to enable the 12,000 residents of Roosevelt Island to have a full voice in determining their futures.

As an attorney who serves as Chairperson of the nearby CUNY School of Law in Long Island City---which specializes in public interest law---I will bring a new and fresh perspective to the fight for democratic governance on Roosevelt Island.

As a former Assistant District Attorney, I appreciate the importance of both a safe, secure community and much greater community review and accountability on civilian complaints, which has been an ongoing concern.

Finally, a majority of the residents on Roosevelt Island are women. They and their families are entitled to the protections offered by the highly debated proposed Women's Equality Act. With your help, I could be in Albany, to ensure that legislation such as the Women’s Equality Act passes. Working together, we can achieve a Democratic governance and ensure a higher quality of life for the Roosevelt Island community.

I look forward to working closely with the many elected officials who have endorsed my candidacy, including City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Public Advocate Tish James, Borough President Gale Brewer and City Council Member Dan Garodnick. Additionally, I have been endorsed by New York State Assembly Member Dan Quart who I will work with in the Legislature to win the battle for needed reform for all citizens. Thank you for reading my statement and for your support of my candidacy in this important election.
In addition to the elected officials mentioned in her statement, Ms. Seawright has also been endorsed by Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and many others.

Ms. Seawright did not respond to my question regarding who she supports for NY State Governor and Lt. Governor.

Ed Hartzog:
Roosevelt Island like the Upper East Side and Yorkville is experiencing life and City altering change. Whether it is the Second Avenue subway, the potential East 91st Street Marine Transfer Station, the northward expansion of institutions and congestion on York Avenue or, the Cornell/Tech project on Roosevelt Island – people in the 76th Assembly District have been expressing a feeling that they are losing their community. It is no wonder, given everything that is happening all around.

One way to address this situation is to think comprehensively and responsibly about these changes. That means stopping the East 91st Marine Transfer Station; making sure there are adequate pre-K seats & after-school programs together with reliable funding; stopping the loss of affordable housing (19% in Manhattan in the past ten years – 3,000 units last year alone) and finding a way to build more. It also means creating more open and green space for a district that has the least in the entire City – that also includes finishing the East River Esplanade from 60th to 125th Streets. Finally, there is reform for Albany – complete public financing of campaigns and, making the legislature a full-time, not part-time position (eliminating outside incomes).

For Islanders, the issues involve: transportation, housing, education, Cornell/Tech, and self-governance.

Transportation is critical moving forward. As Cornell/Tech comes on-line there will be an influx of commuters creating an urgent need for alternatives to the subway and tram, which are already at capacity. One alternative must be the re-introduction of ferry service, along with greater subway and bus service.

As to housing, the conversion of the WIRE buildings and the building of Southtown present the question of whether Roosevelt Island will continue to be a diverse socio-economic community as originally envisioned under the general development plan. It seems clear that the answer must be yes, that means addressing the attendant issues of “privatization” such as submetering. Also, finding a way to have market rate, moderate/middle and low income housing. We cannot lose this sanctuary for low and middle income New Yorkers.

As a member of the Youth & Education committee on Community Board 8 I have seen and many parents have told me that adequate after-school programs and reliable funding are a top priority on the island.

For Cornell/Tech, it means ensuring the promises of transparency & inclusion, air monitoring, barging, snow removal, security and the like are kept. It means keeping an eye on the $55 million given to RIOC by the state before the end of 2018 – constituting the state’s entire lease obligation through 2069.

Finally, Albany reform which on Roosevelt Island means self-governance. It has been made abundantly clear that reform of the current system is needed immediately. At a minimum it means going back to the system under Governor Paterson and Spitzer in terms of appointments to the RIOC board – ideally, having all 7 non-ex-officio directors be Islanders with only 4 year terms. Along the way – between the minimum and ideal – I will work to bring RIRA into the big decision-making process that RIOC has to go through on things.

These are some of the issues and ideas that I have been advocating for as a member of Community Board 8 these past few years. I would be honored to represent you and continue to advocate on your behalf in Albany. I hope that we have a chance to speak between now and Election Day, September 9th, and that I can earn your support and vote. Look forward to seeing you soon.
Mr. Hartzog has been endorsed by former Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) President Matt Katz. According to Mr. Katz:
... We need a State Assembly Member who will fight for the rights of Roosevelt Islanders and understands the Byzantine details its politics. I believe Ed Hartzog is that person. Too often the residents of Roosevelt Island are overruled by Albany and we need someone who will change that trend. Ed’s ideas about involving the community more in decisions about development on the island will strengthen and protect our residents. I am happy to support Ed and his candidacy for the 76th District of the New York State Assembly....
Mr. Hartzog intends to vote for Andrew Cuomo as NY State Governor and Kathy Hochul at Lieutenant Governor.

During portion of August 11 Citizens Union debate, the 76 Assembly District candidates discussed the major issues facing Roosevelt Island.

For more discussion on specific Roosevelt Island issues, here's video from the 76 Assembly District Roosevelt Island Town Hall meeting and this debate.

Also on the Roosevelt Island ballot, are candidates for Democratic Party State Committee and Delegates to the 76 Assembly District Judicial Convention.