Saturday, December 6, 2014

Roosevelt Island R&R Holiday Concert Tonight At Good Shepherd - Bach's Cantata 82 With One Baritone, Ten Instruments And A Conductor

Image From R&R Concerts

According to R&R Concerts:
Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Holiday Concert

Good Shepherd Center
543 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, NY

7:30 PM

Conor McDonald, baritone
Nicolas Duchamp, flute
Ralph Allen, violin
Amie Weiss, violin
Anthony Vine, violin
Maxim Moston, violin
Karen Dekker, viola
Katherine Cherbas, cello
Troy Rinker, bass
Bob Wolinsky, harpsichord
Kathy Halvorson, oboe
Gustav Highstein, conductor

Johann Sebastian Bach

Cantata BWV 82: “Ich habe Genug”
Orchestral Suite No.2 in b minor, BWV 1067
Violin Concerto in E Major, BWV 1042

Friday, December 5, 2014

10, 9, 8, 7, Yay, Roosevelt Island Tree Lighting Ceremony On A Very Rainy Night Brings Cheers From Enthusiastic Crowd

Image of 2014 Roosevelt Island Tree Lighting Ceremony

For the second year in a row, the rain came pouring down on the Roosevelt Island Tree Lighting Ceremony but that did not dampen the spirit of the crowd waiting for the lighting of the Tree in front of Blackwell House.

Here's the Tree lights coming on.

Will have video of the full festivities including songs from the Main Street Theater & Dance Alliance as well as the arrival of Santa Claus soon.

Also, Roosevelt Island Christmas Trees go on sale tomorrow.

Good News, Roosevelt Island F Train Service To And From Manhattan This Weekend - But NO Late Night Manhattan Bound Roosevelt Island F Train Service December 8-12 and 15-19

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

to and from Manhattan this weekend.

But, the MTA reports there will be no late night Roosevelt Island F Train service to Manhattan this upcoming week and next.

According to the MTA:
F Coney Island-bound trains run via the M from Roosevelt Av to 47-50 Sts Late Nights, 11:45 PM to 5 AM, Mon to Fri, Dec 8 - 12

Trains run express from Roosevelt Av to Queens Plaza.

No Coney Island-bound F service at 21 St-Queensbridge, Roosevelt Island, Lexington Av/63 St and 57 St.
F Coney Island-bound trains run via the M from Roosevelt Av to 47-50 Sts Late Nights, 11:45 PM to 5 AM, Mon to Fri, Dec 15 - 19

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

Roosevelt Island PTA Approves Renaming PS/IS 217 The Cornell Tech Roosevelt Island School - More Approvals Needed Including From Cornell Tech

As previously reported, the Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 PTA announced an emergency December 4 meeting to discuss:

... What’s in a name?

We have some exciting news to announce! In partnership with Cornell Tech, we are looking to re-name our school and reap the full benefits of an association with the prestigious higher education institution that will soon be our island neighbor. Since this is just the beginning of a two-year process, we wanted to start by giving all our parents up-to-the-minute information about the latest developments. We hope you’ll be as thrilled with the news as the rest of us are!

What is the proposed new name of the school?
The Cornell Tech Roosevelt Island School. The school will retain 217 as its numeric code for the Department of Education....
As part of the 2013 Cornell Tech lease agreement with New York City for the Goldwater campus property, Cornell Tech agreed to:
... Partner with New York City middle schools to create Science, Technology, Education, and Mathematics (STEM) programs, with a special focus on girls. Initial pilot programs will begin at P.S./I.S. 217 on Roosevelt Island, M.S. 406 in East Harlem, and I.S. 204 and P.S. 111 in Long Island City, Queens. Starting this summer, Cornell NYC Tech will sponsor an immersion program for girls in these schools to learn coding, web design, robotics and mobile development under the mentorship of some of the industry’s top engineers and entrepreneurs.

"Adopt" the local school on Roosevelt Island, PS/IS 217, by providing programming such as teacher training and support, after school programming, tech events, career day options, and hardware and software programming development....
but its not clear what precisely being "adopted" means for PS/IS 217.

The advocates for renaming PS/IS 217 the Cornell Tech Roosevelt Island School believe:

The PS/IS 217 PTA approved the school's renaming to Cornell Tech during yesterday's meeting. Here's what happened.

PTA President Olga Shchuchinov provided a brief overview of the meeting and introduced parent Chris Warsing who gave this presentation on the matter

followed by PS/IS 217 Principal Mandana Beckman saying:
... we're looking to create that partnership with Cornell so that this word adoption really does mean something in terms of how they are supporting what's happening in this building...
and answering questions from parents.

Ms Beckman noted that Cornell Tech has not expressed a position on the renaming of PS/IS 217 yet and that discussions have just begun.

The motion to approve the PS/IS 217 renaming to Cornell Tech Roosevelt Island School was approved by the PTA. If Cornell Tech also approves, the renaming process is as follows.

More on Cornell Tech and PS/IS 217 from previous posts.

There is a Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech Town Hall meeting scheduled for Monday December 8.

UPDATE 2:40 PM - Cornell Tech participated in a program to get students ready for the digital age.
Was anybody from Roosevelt Island's PS/IS 217 present?

Roosevelt Island Parents' Network Matisse For Kids Crafts Program On December 11 - Watch How Matisse Did The Cut Outs

Image From Pelican Products

Roosevelt Island Parents' Network Coordinator Eva Bosbach reports:
After our Necklaces-making and Tram Art program last September, we would like to invite you to another event in the "Crafts with Kids" series by the Roosevelt Island Parents' Network.

Join us for "Matisse for Kids" on December 11 2014, 4-6pm, at the 475 Main Street lounge! Bring some glue, crayons and kids scissors and let your children's fantasy take over for some Matisse-inspired cutouts and collages. Any books featuring Henri Matisse, for children and for adults, are also welcome. We are planning to include a story time after the craft.

A related Matisse exhibition is currently on display at MoMA until February 8 2015:

Please RSVP to by Sunday, Dec 7. Depending on the number of children we may create several time slots in the 4-6pm window to have smaller groups of children crafting together.

Looking forward to seeing you!
Here's more on Matisse For Kids

and his Cut Out technique.

Build Your Own Chanukah Menorah Workshop At Home Depot With Chabad Lubavitch Of Roosevelt Island December 7

Come join the Chabad Lubavitch of Roosevelt Island for a Chanukah Menorah Building Workshop Sunday December 7 from 1-3 PM at Home Depot (980 Third Avenue, 59th Street).

The Chanukah Menorah Building workshop is free but space is limited. If interested, please RSVP to

The Chabad Lubavitch Of Roosevelt Island annual Chanukah Menorah Lighting Ceremony at Blackwell House takes place 6:30 PM on December 20. All are invited.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Sponsored Post - Cornell Tech Roosevelt Island Town Hall Meeting Monday December 8

According to Cornell Tech:

Cornell Tech and the Construction and Community Task Force invite you to a presentation and discussion about the Roosevelt Island campus. At this town hall, Cornell Tech will introduce itself and its partners, provide a full briefing on its plans, and answer any questions that you may have. See details below and we hope to see you there.

Cornell Tech Town Hall

Monday, December 8th, 6pm to 8pm

Manhattan Park Theater Club

8 River Road, Roosevelt Island

Roosevelt Island Parents' Network RI MoM Walking And Exercise Group Meeting 10 AM Friday At Tram Kiosk

It's cold out there but that's not stopping the Roosevelt Island Parents´ Networks RI MoM (Roosevelt Island Moms on the Move) walk and exercising group meeting again this Friday 10AM at the Tram kiosk.

Roosevelt Island Parents' Network Coordinator Eva Bosbach reports:

Dear all,

Our next free Roosevelt Island Moms on the Move (RI MoM) walk and exercise will take place this Friday, December 5th, starting at 10AM at the Tram kiosk.

We will walk to the south of the island

on the Manhattan side and back, and end with some exercise. Come, check it out and have some fun with us. All moms, moms to-be and moms of all ages are welcome!

Looking forward to seeing you and your little ones there! :) Feel free to contact me if you are joining later to find out where we are at.

Practicing Yoga Up High On Top Of Roosevelt Island's Motorgate Garage

Diana Zuluaga shares this picture of Mathew David Powell's Yoga Pose at top of Roosevelt Island's Motorgate Garage.

Cool picture.

Roosevelt Island Jobs Available - RIOC Director Of Human Resources, Cornell Tech Chief Administrative Officer, User Interface Developer And Tenured Faculty

Are you looking for a job on Roosevelt Island? If yes, consider these available positions.

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) is looking for a Director of Human Resources and Administration. According to Monster:
... RIOC is currently seeking qualified candidates to fill the position of:

Director Human Resources and Administration.​

Reports to: Chief Financial Officer


A sub-division within the Finance Department, the Human Resources Department ensures the effective utilization, development and maximization of the human capitol of the Corporation.​ The Director Human Resources and Administration directs and manages all functions of the Human Resources and Payroll departments.​ This role encompasses: employee relations, personnel administration, staff development, labor relations, affirmative action, payroll, personnel recruitment, retention and discipline, government reporting and compliance.​ The Human Resource, Administrative Director will review, revise and recommend agency-wide policy and lead in the implementation of same.​ Principal working relationships include executive staff, Authority management and staff at all levels, vendors and consultants....
The job requires ​10 -15 years of experience and pays in the range of $90 - $105 thousand annually.

Click here for more information about the RIOC Director of Human Resources and Administration position and to apply.

Also, Cornell Tech has positions available for its Chief Administrative Officer:
... This position reports to and serves as primary advisor to the Vice Provost/Dean in all areas of administration and has oversight of administrative operations. The CAO is a member of the VP/Dean’s leadership team. This position provides administrative leadership for the Jacobs Institute, which embodies the academic partnership between the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology and Cornell University on the Cornell Tech campus. As a leader of Cornell Tech within the University, the individual in this position has a significant role within the larger Cornell community in shaping university policy in all areas affecting campus business operations....
and a User Interface Developer as well as Faculty Postions

Good luck!

RIOC Invites You To the Roosevelt Island Tree Lighting Ceremony Friday December 5 At Blackwell House - Meet Mrs Claus On Weekends At RIHS Visitors Kiosk Too

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
On Friday, December 5th at 7 PM, you are cordially invited to attend Roosevelt Island's annual holiday season kickoff event, the Roosevelt Island Tree Lighting Ceremony. Join us at Blackwell House (500 Main St.) for a free celebration of our close-knit community, featuring musical performances by local groups and a visit from a very special surprise guest! Come out to see the tree light up and for a chance to catch a performance from your talented neighbors.

Many thanks to our generous contributors:
Urban American  The Octagon  The Hudson Companies  Bike New York  Fuji East |Main Street Sweets  Gristedes Supermarket

Special thanks to volunteers from the following organizations:
The Girl Scouts of America | Cornell Tech

We hope to see you there!
Here are some scenes from last year's Roosevelt Island Tree Lighting Ceremony.
Also, the Roosevelt Island Historical Society invites you to come meet Mrs. Claus at the Visitors Center Kiosk by the Tram and pick up some Holiday Gifts.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Kevin & Jimmy's Guide To NYC Visits Roosevelt Island - Shouting At Manhattan Is Not Going To Help

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) December Common Council Monthly Meeting Tonight, You're Invited To Attend And Raise Issues Of Concern

 Image of 2014 -16 RIRA Common Council

The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council will be meeting 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.

Below is the Agenda for tonight's meeting.

What Color Do You See When You Look At Me Asks Young Roosevelt Island Girl To Her Friend - Guess What The Friend Says?

Roosevelt Island resident Patti Calderone Stueber shares a conversation she overheard on Main Street earlier this week. From Ms. Stueber:
I overheard a very short, beautiful conversation today. I have to share it with you.

Two young girls, they were probably ten or eleven years old, walked down Main St. The girls were of different skin colors. They were talking about their day at school when one of them said that she was hungry. The other girl pulled a candy bar out of her pocket proceeded to unwrap it and broke it in half. She gave her friend one half.

As they smiled at each other, one girl asked the other, "What color do you see when you look at me?" The other girl answered, "You're a color?"

I smiled and thought to myself, Roosevelt Island has gone through many changes over the years. Fortunately, some things remain the same.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Latest Information On New Roosevelt Island New York Public Library Branch Opening - Video Of Community Conversation With NYPL

On November 20, the New York Public Library (NYPL) convened a Roosevelt Island Community Conversation at the Good Shepherd Community Center to talk about the planned $5.7 million new Roosevelt Island branch library at 504 Main Street.

NYPL representatives, together with Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Roosevelt Island's NYC Council Member Ben Kallos, presented current plans for the new Roosevelt Island branch library (which at approximately 5 thousand square feet is double the size of the current branch) and listened to the thoughts and ideas on the programs and services that residents would like to see implemented for the new library.(Picture of Ms Brewer, Mr. Kallos, NYPL's Dawn Chance, Nicole Nelson and George Mihaltses).

Here's what happened at the NYPL Roosevelt Island Community Conversation.

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer began the Community Conversation noting her strong support for the project and the dialogue between the NYPL and Roosevelt Island community.

NYC Council Member Ben Kallos also expressed his support for the new Roosevelt Island library, announced a student summer reading challenge for next summer and described constituent services provided by his office.

George Mihaltses, Vice President of Government and Community Affairs, reported that last year the Roosevelt Island branch library had 89 thousand visits, circulated 115 thousand items and ran 526 programs all within its 25 hundred square feet of space. Mr. Mihaltses described the Roosevelt Island library as:
... being used very much by this community. We are really excited about building another branch that is going to be twice the size of that branch and we are sure that those numbers will continue to go up.

We will be able to do more programming and more exciting things for the community....

Christoper Platt, NYPL Vice President Of Library Services (and a Roosevelt Island resident) provided an overview of NYPL services.

Carolyn Broomhead, NYPL Research Community Manager described historical research materials available about Roosevelt Island located at NYPL including:
  • a volume titled The Heritage of Roosevelt Island by Susan Wade which contains all the public documents relating to the history of Roosevelt Island,
  • the Blackwell Family first mortgage in 1792,
  • the original plantings at Lighthouse Park
  • Meridith Monk Roosevelt Island performance and
  • a fascinating newspaper story from the 1820's about a stolen violin resulting in concert recitals on Welfare Island.

NYPL Vice President for Capital Planning and Construction Joanna Pestka described the architectural plans for the new library. Ms. Pestka said that the library is scheduled to open in the spring 2018. It was previously announced that the library would open in 2017. Ms Petska noted if NYPL can shorten the construction schedule they will do so.

NYPL Library Network Manager Dawn Chance reported on how the current library is used by residents and noted that the library and its staff act like;
... the little engine that could...

Roosevelt Island Branch Manager Nicole Nelson discussed present uses and future plans for the new library.

Following the NYPL presentations, Roosevelt Island residents shared some of their ideas.

Roosevelt Island Community Literary Associates (RICLA) member Lorraine Lasker suggested a research library dedicated to Eleanor Roosevelt and additional branch library space on the second floor

 Future Home Of NYPL Roosevelt Island Branch At 504 Main Street

of 504 Main Street.

Roosevelt Island Parents' Network Coordinator Eva Bosbach reported on suggestions from parents for the new library.

Resident Joan Markey asked the NYPL to digitally scan Roosevelt Island historic materials including our first newspaper, the Island View.

Matt Katz requested performance space at new library and encouraged NYPL to work with Cornell Tech on the future library.

Background information on the new Roosevelt Island NYPL branch at previous post here and here.

Also, don't forget to nominate the Roosevelt Island library for the 2nd annual NYC Neighborhood Library Awards to win $20 thousand. Here's how.

Traffic Safety Issues Raised For Pedestrians, Cars & Bikes At Roosevelt Island Bridge Helix Intersection - Better Street Lighting And Signage Needed Says Resident

Image From Frank Farance

Roosevelt Island resident Frank Farance is concerned about safety issues at the Roosevelt Island Bridge Helix intersection.

According to Mr. Farance:
Ongoing Safety Hazard at Roosevelt Island Helix Intersection: Lack of Street Lights, Crosswalk Lighting, Traffic Control

Image From Frank Farance

I've been documenting the problems around the helix intersection, right where the cyclist was killed recently. I myself was almost hit by a car who didn't seem to see me crossing the intersection.

It's really dark.

Image From Frank Farance

No street lights between PS 217 driveway and 10 River Road crosswalk (where the cyclist was killed).

Northbound cars don't have to stop, until a traffic light is installed, the intersection should be IMMEDIATELY configured as an All-Way stop (stop signs for northbound, southbound, and westbound traffic)

I've suggested for many years that a traffic light be installed, including walk/don't-walk signs.

Motorgate lighting is out in the arcade across from Manhattan Park, which contributes to the darkness of the street scene.

Image From Frank Farance

Watch this video which shows how dark it is. At 0:30 and 1:02, you'll see people crossing the street, they are hard to see. Yes, this is what it actually looks like in the intersection.

I asked Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Charlene Indelicato about the Helix safety issues raised by Mr. Farance. Ms. Indelicato replied:
We are working with Con Ed to fix the problem. We have been trying to address it with some temporary lighting.
Another Roosevelt Island lighting issue was recently reported to RI 311 See Click Fix:
Why is RIOC keeping us in the dark????

Literally!!! After 4/4:30pm it's dark this time of year! Why are SO MANY lights out around the island? Blackwell playground has one light on in the corner, and several others around that don't work. Al Lewis playground is in the dark. A huge stretch of lights between Lighthouse Park/Coker and the Octagon are out. Lights along the road next to the fire station are out. Surely this is a LIABILITY ISSUE??? With winter coming ...
More information on the October 8 nighttime bicycle collision with Roosevelt Island Red Bus at the Helix intersection which led to the death of cyclist Anna Maria Mostrom at this previous post.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Future RIOC Public Purpose Funds Process And 2015-16 Budget Subject Of Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Governance And Audit Committee Meetings December 3

Pile Of Money Image From Passive Income Genius

As reported last October 29:
Since at least 2008, the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) has been tasked by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) to evaluate applications and make recommendations to RIOC for the allocation of approximately $100 Thousand annually in Public Purpose Funds to Roosevelt Island non-profit organizations....
... Question have been raised recently whether RIRA will continue with its role of making Roosevelt Island Public Purpose Funds recommendations to RIOC....
At that time, RIOC President Charlene Indelicato replied to my question about the future role of RIRA in the Public Purpose Funds process noting:
We have not finalized the method of distribution as yet but be assured it will be in accordance with all applicable laws, rules and regulations.
We may learn more about the future process for distribution of Roosevelt Island Public Purpose Fund later this week.

According to RIOC:
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a meeting of the Governance Committee of the RIOC Board of Directors will be held on Wednesday, December 3, 2014 at 5:30 p.m. at the RIOC administrative office, 591 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York.


Discussion of Public Purpose Funds Approval Process

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.
More on Roosevelt Island Public Purpose Funding process from previous post.

During October 22 RIOC Audit Committee meeting (full audio web cast here) Ms. Indelicato and RIOC CFO Frances Walton acknowledged that Public Purpose funding was included in the upcoming 2015-16 RIOC Budget.

Also, the RIOC Board Of Directors Audit Committee will be meeting this week. According to RIOC:
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a meeting of the Audit Committee of the RIOC Board of Directors will be held on Wednesday, December 3, 2014 at 4:00 p.m. at the RIOC administrative office, 591 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York.


Discussion of the Proposed Budget for Fiscal Year 2015 – 2016
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.
As reported last November 6:
According to RIOC's Proposed Budget (Page 1)

RIOC Proposed Budget FY 2015‐16 projects revenues of $25,365,000, an increase of $2,225,000 or 9.62% over the Approved Budget FY 2014‐15 amount of $23,140,000. RIOC generates most of its revenues from long‐term ground leases to developers of housing projects on the Island....
More information on the RIOC Proposed 2015-16 Proposed Budget from previous post and from the full RIOC Draft Budget.

Audio web casts of the Governance and Audit Committee meetings will be available soon thereafter.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Recent News On Roosevelt Island Religious Groups - Catholic/Episcopalian Thanksgiving Prayer Service, Learn About Hope Church, Jewish Congregation Adult Education, Chabad Lubavitch Menorah Lighting Ceremony And Meet Islamic Society Too

Are you interested in learning more about Roosevelt Island religious groups? Here's your chance.

Roosevelt Island resident Frank Farance shares photos from Thanksgiving Day service at Good Shepherd and reports:

Catholic and Episcopalian parishes join for Thanksgiving prayer service.

Image From Frank Farance

Great celebrating with both priests. Photos: Lord's Prayer, post-service gathering.

Image from Frank Farance
Here's more information on Roosevelt Island's Church Of St. Francis Xavier Cabrini and Church Of The Good Shepherd.

Another Roosevelt Island religious group is the Hope Church. Here's a look at some of the people of Roosevelt Island's Hope Church.

Hope Church NYC - 2 Year Anniversary from Hope Church NYC on Vimeo.

Also, the Roosevelt Island Jewish Congregation (RIJC);
... invites you to join Rabbi Moritt for our Fall Adult Education Class:

Exploring the Women of the Bible

Thursdays, December 4, 11, & 18 7:30 pm

At first glance, the women of the Bible appear to take a back seat to the better-known male characters.

Join Rabbi M as we explore both the better- and lesser-known women of the Bible, and how they are key to the history and transmission of Judaism through biblical and Midrashic legend.

Our Shabbat service on 12/12 @ 7:30 pm, and our annual Chanukah Candle Lighting & Party on 12/21 @ 4 pm.
More information available at the RIJC web site.

And the Chabad Lubavitch Of Roosevelt Island have their annual Chanukah Menorah Lighting Ceremony at Blackwell House 6:30 PM on December 20.

There's also the Islamic Society Of Roosevelt Island (Don't have a web site for them). Meet some of their members at this prior post.