Friday, January 9, 2015

8th Consecutive Weekend Of Roosevelt Island F Train Service To And From Manhattan - Also Local F and R Train Service To Astoria, Check Out Butcher Bar For Great BBQ

 Image From Butcher Bar

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

to and from Manhattan this weekend. That's 8 consecutive weekends of Roosevelt Island F train service to and from Manhattan.

According to the MTA:
F Trains run local in both directions between 21 St-Queensbridge and 71 Av

Weekend, 12:01 AM Sat to 5 AM Mon, Jan 10 - 12

Trains stop at 36, Steinway, 46 Sts, Northern Blvd, 65 St, Roosevelt, Elmhurst, Grand Avs, Woodhaven Blvd, 63 Dr and 67 Av
Also, don't be surprised when you see the R train at Roosevelt Island. The MTA reports:
R Trains skip 5 Av/59 St, Lexington Av/59 St and Queens Plaza in both directions

Weekend , Saturday and Sunday, Jan 10 - 11

Trains are rerouted via the F in both directions between 57 St-7 Av, Manhattan and 36 St, Queens, making stops at the Lexington Av/63 St, Roosevelt Island and 21 St-Queensbridge Stations.
With the F and R train providing Roosevelt Island subway service to Astoria, check out the Butcher Bar, a great BBQ restaurant

on 30th Avenue and 37th street. Get off at Steinway Street.

Have a good weekend and Go PACKERS!!!!

New RIOC Everbridge Community Notification System Needs Improvement Says Resident - Better Communications Between Tram And MTA F Train Subway Station Needed Too

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) recently established a new community notification system.

Image From RIOC

RIOC President Charlene Indelicato reported November 22:
 ... This past week, RIOC launched an improvement to the RIOC Advisories electronic alert system, upgrading the former email-only notification system to Everbridge Platform, one of the leaders in critical communications systems in the United States. Everbridge uses the most advanced cloud-based technologies and allows text alerts and voice messaging in addition to traditional email notifications. The new system also allows subscribers to choose the kind of alerts they’d like to receive, such as traffic alerts, special event notifications, RIOC facility updates and more....
Roosevelt Island resident Janet Falk reports today on difficulties with RIOC's new notification system. Ms. Falk, an editor/writer of more than 100 meeting announcements distributed annually to 16,000 members of a global professional association, thinks the RIOC Advisories need improvement, as does communication between the MTA, RIOC and the Tram personnel. Here are her observations:
Like many residents, I subscribe to the RIOC Advisory system to keep informed of news and schedule changes that affect our daily lives on Roosevelt Island. The 12/22/14 announcement that the Sportspark pool was closed saved me a trip and instead I worked out in the gym downstairs.

There have been numerous complaints that RIOC was mangling its prior system of announcements and, although specific and helpful recommendations that were user-centered were made, RIOC made an unusual decision. Instead of implementing the suggestions and making improvements in quality control and supervision of the decentralized announcement system, RIOC apparently pulled the plug and now, upon installing its new advisory system, decided not to provide information in some cases.

In its desire to serve the community, RIOC advises us to look elsewhere for information, so as not to be accused of ineptitude or redundancy, as follows:

At 8:52 am Thursday, the platform of the Tram was packed to the gills. After I passed through the southern turnstile, Greg Paravati, the Tram operator, told me that the subway was not working. "We'll take as many as we can on the Tram and then leave right away," he said.

After the ultra-crowded Tram pulled away towards Manhattan, I checked my email and saw a RIOC advisory dated 9:00 am.

Image From RIOC

It could not have been more vague or unhelpful.

"Please be advised that the MTA has issued a service advisory for the F train, which may affect travel plans. Please plan your travel accordingly and visit or call 511 for more information."

What is the MTA advisory? How does it affect Manhattan-bound or Queens-bound service or both? For today or for several days?

The RIOC advisory creates confusion and prompts questions with no answers in sight, except one: annoyance. The RIOC advisory points me to an external website and asks me to make a phone call, instead of providing a potential solution.

Why did it not say something like this:

"Due to the MTA's service advisory for the F train, the Tram will operate on an accelerated schedule until normal train service is restored."

This proposed advisory references the stated announcement, offers a solution, provides a time limit and is user friendly. There is no question to be asked; the subway is down, use the Tram for the time being to get you to another subway line. The Tram schedule has been modified to accommodate the increased number of passengers for now.

For what it's worth, I already contacted RIOC a few weeks ago about the non-informative communications and was told they have decided on this new approach of referring subscribers to external sources of information.

Obviously, this semi-advisory is less work for the staff, it protects them from making mistakes and it avoids duplication of an existing service from the MTA.

Service to Island residents is not a consideration, as is the case all too often.

Consider in comparison the attitude of the Tram personnel. Upon seeing droves of commuters approaching the Tram station from the west, Paravati asked a resident what was happening. When he learned that there was no subway service, he immediately conferred with his supervisor. The supervisor authorized the suspension of the usual Tram schedule and a shift to Load and Go. Based on unofficial information from riders, the Tram operators followed procedure to respond to a near-emergency situation and provide service to residents.

On Friday, Paravati informally discussed the situation with me. In the past, he has spoken with the MTA personnel at the Roosevelt Island subway station and pointed out the inadequacy of communication when service is interrupted. Often, passengers enter the turnstile and proceed to the platform, only to learn that there is no service. Many times, there is NO SIGN on the door indicating service has been suspended. When these passengers re-trace their steps, they may ask the clerk for a paper transfer slip. Unfortunately, the Tram turnstile does NOT accept the paper transfer slip provided by the subway clerk, only a Metrocard.

Moreover, Paravati told me that although the Tram personnel have requested communication from the subway station managers in the event of service interruptions, like the one on Thursday morning, they do not have a formal and authorized method of communication. Therefore, it is only when commuters spontaneously advise the Tram operators of a problem that the Tram personnel learn of changes to the subway service.

Paravati agreed that a simply walkie-talkie device between the subway clerk and the Tram supervisor would improve this situation. The Tram operators already carry a walkie-talkie to communicate with their co-workers.

At the same time that RIOC distributed the advisory to residents, it might have communicated the MTA announcement of disruption in service to the Tram personnel. There was no such communication on Thursday morning; the Tram personnel accelerated the schedule prior to the 9:00 am advisory.

It is unconscionable that, in the 25 years of operating the Tram and the subway, the MTA and RIOC have not figured out how to communicate effectively between themselves and with the Tram personnel and with residents who rely on uninterrupted subway and Tram service.

I urge my neighbors to join me in making their lack of confidence in RIOC's advisory system known.

I further encourage them to focus attention on RIOC's failure to promote effective communication between the MTA, RIOC and the Tram personnel that would serve the public.

Video Time Travel Back To 1949 Mighty Manhattan And Welfare (Roosevelt) Island Too

Take a trip back in time with this video tour and get a glimpse of Roosevelt (then Welfare) Island

as well as the rest of Mighty Manhattan from 1949. According to Untapped Cities:
In this clip from the 1949 Metro Goldwyn Mayer film Mighty Manhattan – New York’s Wonder City (via Viewing NYC) you get to see some of the iconic sights of New York City in full technicolor. If you can handle the quintessentially mid-century voiceover by James A. Patrick, apparently known then as “The Voice of the Globe,” the cultural generalizations, and the patriotism, you can then revel in New York as it was nearly 70 years ago....

You can see Welfare (Roosevelt) Island starting at about the 7 minute 50 second mark.

Gifted & Talented Program Presentation By NYC DOE And Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 Principal Beckman At CB 8 Youth & Education Committee Meeting Monday January 12

 Manhattan Community Board 8 reports:
Youth and Education Committee

Meeting Date:
Monday, January 12, 2015 - 7:00pm
Meeting Location:
PS/IS 217 Roosevelt Island
645 Main Street, Auditorium,
Roosevelt Island,, NY

Presentation by Principal Beckman, PS/IS 217 Roosevelt Island and Daniel Hildreth, Office of Student Enrollment, NYC DOE:
Discussion of the Gifted and Talented Program such as what the standards for admission are and the timing of applications, programming, etc.
Old/New Business

Future Meeting Dates:
February 9, 2015: PS 158; Update on school construction in CD8 by the School Construction Authority
March 9, 2015:

Hattie Quarnstrom and Judith Schneider, Co-Chairs Youth & Education Committee
Jeffrey Escobar and Larry Parnes, Co-Chairs of the Roosevelt Island Committee
The Roosevelt Island Parents' Network held a Choosing A Kindergarten Workshop for your child last November 2. Among the topics discussed were NYC Gifted & Talented programs. Here's a portion of that discussion.

The video of full workshop is here.

Here's more information on the NYC Gifted & Talented Program and PS/IS 217.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Scenes From Gallery RIVAA Out With The Old In With The Few Opening Reception Curated By Roosevelt Island Resident Paul Calendrillo

 Stephen Hall, American Still Life

Roosevelt Island resident Paul Calendrillo is curating a new art exhibit at Gallery RIVAA - Out with the Old in with the Few, 14 Artists to Follow in 2015.

Image From Gallery RIVAA

I spoke with Mr. Calendrillo at the January 6 opening reception 

and took a tour of the exhibit.

The exhibition is open thru January 18. Stop on by Gallery RIVAA and take a look.

UPDATE 1/12 - According to Gallery RIVAA:
Dear all,
Gallery RIVAA is pleased to invite you to the pre-closing reception of "Out with the Old. In with the Few" show on Friday, January 16th from 6 - 9 PM at Gallery RIVAA.

The show has been extended to January 31st, 2015.

Date: January 16th, 2015
Time: 6-9pm
Venue: Gallery RIVAA, 527 Main Street, Roosevelt Island

TV Show Gotham Filming Today On Roosevelt Island - Director Preparing For Cold Night Of Exterior Shooting

On Location Vacation reports that the Fox TV show Gotham

 Image From Warner Bros

 is filming today on Roosevelt Island. Gotham director Jeffrey Hunt tweets:
It's gonna be cold tonight Jeffrey. Wear layers.

UPDATE 5:05 PM - Looks like it's going to be a long, cold night for Jeffrey.

UPDATE 1/9 - Some scenes from the Gotham TV show film shoot at Southpoint Park last night.

Mayor de Blasio Announced New Cell Phone Policy For NYC Public Schools - Roosevelt Island's Principal Explains PS/IS 217 Cell Phone Policy

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio announced yesterday the lifting of ban on cell phones

Image From RobertLovesPi

 in NYC public schools.

I asked Principal Mandana Beckman how the new cell phone policy will be implemented at Roosevelt Island's PS/IS 217.

 Image Of Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217

Principal Beckman answered:
Our policy is students are not permitted to have a cell phone on their body. All cell phones must be turned off and kept in their lockers for middle school students and in their back packs for elementary school students. Should a student need to contact their parent or a parent needs to contact their child they must do this via the school phones.
According to Mayor di Blasio's office:
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña today announced the City will lift the ban on cell phones at schools, a policy affecting all 1.1 million students. The change will better enable parents to stay in touch with their children, especially before and after school. It will also end the inequity under the current ban, which was enforced mostly at schools with metal detectors in low-income communities.

The existing Chancellor’s Regulation bans cell phones and other electronic devices like iPads from school property. Students are required to leave their cell phones at home or leave them outside the building, often incurring a daily charge for private storage that can cost a family on average $180 each year.

The reform announced today lifts the ban, and, if approved by the Panel for Educational Policy in February, will take effect in all schools on March 2. It allows for each school’s principal to consult with School Leadership Teams in developing a cell phone policy tailored for the unique needs of their students. As part of the change, schools will increase education and training to identify and prevent cyber-bullying, including a “Misuse It, You Lose It” policy.

“Parents should be able to call or text their kids. That’s something Chirlane and I felt ourselves when Chiara took the subway to high school in another borough each day, and we know it’s a sentiment parents across this city share. Lifting the ban respects families, and it will end the unequal enforcement that has penalized students at so many high-needs schools. We are giving educators the tools and the flexibility to make this change responsibly,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“Lifting the cell phone ban is about common sense, while ensuring student safety as well as high-level learning in our classrooms,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “As a parent and a grandmother, I know that families and children feel safer when our students have access to cell phones. I also know that it’s simply not fair that members of school communities without metal detectors are more likely to have that sense of comfort than other families and students. With today’s changes, we are demonstrating our commitment to student safety and community concerns, as well as our respect for principals, as we allow them to develop a cell phone policy that best addresses their individual school’s unique challenges and circumstances.”

The new changes would remove cell phones and electronic communication devices from the list of banned items in schools, and create a new regulation, A-413, that specifically governs their use in school. Under the new regulation, principals will consult with School Leadership Teams in deciding among a range of options for their schools, depending on what they feel best meets the needs of their students, families and educators. In the coming weeks, schools will receive guidance on how to create an appropriate use policy. Among the options are:
  • Store mobile devices in backpacks or a designated location during the school day
  • Allow mobile devices to be used during lunch or in designated areas only
  • Allow mobile devices for instructional purposes in some or all classrooms
For schools that do not develop a written cell phone policy promptly, the default will be a policy that allows students to bring cell phones into the building, but requires that the school or students store the phones out of sight for the duration of the school day. All cell phone policies must prohibit the use of cell phones during examinations, as well as during internal emergency preparedness drills and exercises, and be consistent with the DOE’s Discipline Code. Schools will have a range of options for discipline in cases where cell phones are misused, including confiscation.

... The proposed changes to the Chancellor’s Regulations must be approved by the Panel for Educational Policy. These changes will be voted on at the Panel’s February 25 meeting.
Click here for full statement.

Also, PS/IS 217 will be the location for January 12 Manhattan Community Board 8's Youth & Education Committee meeting  featuring a discussion of the Gifted & Talented Program.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Roosevelt Island Discounted Employee Monthly Parking At Motorgate Garage Relocating To Rooftop Area Says RIOC

According to this Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) notification:
Notification issued 1/7/15 at 12:30 PM. Please be advised that effective February 1st, 2015, all monthly customers at the Motorgate Garage paying the discounted Roosevelt Island employee rate will be relocated to the rooftop parking area.*

Please be aware of the following regulations:

If you choose not to park in the rooftop section, your access card will not function at the garage's exit and an additional fee will apply.

After entering the garage and swiping your access card at the main entrance, you have a twenty minute grace period to enter the roof parking area before additional fees are required.

We encourage you to utilize this rooftop parking space. If you have any questions or concerns, please call the Motorgate Parking Garage at 212-832-4585 for assistance.

*Employees of Roosevelt Island businesses may pay an additional fee to park indoors.
Images Of Motorgate Rooftop Parking Area

Law And Order SVU Filming Around Roosevelt Island's Coler Goldwater Hospital Today

From the Roosevelt Island Twitterverse.

Law and Order SVU filmed on Roosevelt Island last year too. Here's Ice T

Image From Judy Berdy

at the Roosevelt Island Historical Society Visitors Center Kiosk.

More Law and Order SVU filming on Roosevelt Island from previous post.

Resolution Condemning Staten Island Grand Jury For Failure To Issue Indictment In Death Of Eric Garner Among Items On Agenda For Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Meeting Tonight - Public Purpose Funds, Ethics, Community Polling, Liability Insurance, Storage And New Logo Too

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).

 Image Of December 2014 RIRA Common Council Meeting

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.

Among the items on tonight's RIRA Agenda is:
Resolution Condemning Grand Jury Decision In Re: Eric Garner (Movant: Erin Feely-Nahem, PSC Chair).
 Image Of NYPD Attempting To Arrest Eric Garner From ABC News

As reported December 14, 2014:
The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Public Safety Committee (PSC) will discuss and vote on the proposed resolution below drafted by PSC Chair Erin Feely-Nahem::
The RIRA Public Safety Committee condemns the outrageous decision of the Grand Jury, under the direction of Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan, to issue no indictments in the police killing of Eric Garner. It is a complete travesty of justice. Eric Garner was choked to death in a manner formally banned by NYPD after saying "I can't breath" no less than 11 times, all captured on video. At the very least there was criminally negligent homicide by the Officer directly involved and criminal indifference on the part of the other police and EMS personnel present. It is unacceptable to have a state-of-affairs where such conduct is legally validated or tolerated. In New York City and nationwide there have been countless cases like the killing of innocent, unarmed human beings like Eric Garner (usually but not always African-American) with no legal consequences for the police officers that were the perpetrators.

We want to add our small voice to the avalanche of outrage in New York, across the country, and worldwide. We pledge our support to the growing independent movement that will be necessary to turn this situation around, in this city, and in the United States as a whole.
Following the December 15 RIRA PSC Community Meeting with Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Safety Director Jack McManus,  the RIRA PSC:
... approved by a 13 to 0 vote a proposed resolution condemning the decision by the Staten Island Grand Jury not to issue an indictment of the NYPD Officer in the choking death of Eric Garner. The resolution will be sent to the full RIRA Common Council for discussion at the January 2015 monthly meeting.
Below is the full Agenda for tonight's RIRA Common Council meeting.

UPDATE 1/8 - RIRA passed the resolution condemning Staten Island Grand Jury for not issuing an indictment in the Eric Garner case with some revisions to the original language of the resolution. Will have more on this later.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Funeral For Former NY State Governor Mario Cuomo Today - Beautiful Eulogy By His Son, Governor Andrew Cuomo

The funeral of former NY State Governor Mario Cuomo took place earlier today.

NY State Governor Andrew Cuomo delivered a beautiful eulogy for his father. An excerpt (full transcript here):

... he wasn’t really a politician at all. Mario Cuomo’s politics were more a personal belief system then a traditional theory. It was who he was. Not what he did. In his early life, my father was never interested in politics in his early life. In general, he disrespected politicians and the political system. He never studied politics or joined a political club. He never campaigned for anyone and his early life, until his late 30s, was all about becoming a lawyer and practicing law. Once in practice he became quickly bored with the typical corporate practice. My father was a humanist. He had strong feelings of right and wrong based on his religion, philosophy and life experiences. He was very concerned with how people were treated and that was the arena that drew him in. The bridge from law to politics arrived for him when he took on the representation of the homeowners in Corona, Queens, whose homes were being condemned by the City to build a ball field. They were poor, working families and they couldn’t possibly fight City Hall. They were poor, working family ethnics, who literally had no ability to fight City Hall. He took on their cause to right the injustice that he saw. Central to understanding Mario Cuomo is that Mario Cuomo was from Queens.

Mario Cuomo was from Queens. For those not from New York — Queens is an outer borough, like Brooklyn, the Bronx, Staten Island. Interestingly, there is no borough referred to as the “inner borough,” only outer boroughs: and that’s probably the point. There are insiders and outsiders, and one defines the other. There are those from the other side of the tracks, there are those from the other side of town. An outer borough is where the working families lived: the tradesmen, the civil servants, the poor. Mario Cuomo was the son of Italian immigrants who were part of the unwashed masses, who came with great dreams but also came with great needs. Who struggled but ultimately succeeded due to the support they received in this great state of New York.

Mario Cuomo’s birthmark from the outer borough was deep and he wore it with pride. He had a natural connection with the outsider looking in, the person fighting for inclusion, the underdog, the minority, the disenfranchised, the poor. He was always the son of an immigrant. He was always an outsider and that was his edge....

... Mario Cuomo did not fit neatly into any political category. He believed that government had an affirmative obligation to help the excluded join the mainstream. He believed it was the country’s founding premise and that more inclusion made the country a stronger country. Better education, better health care, economic opportunity and mobility, helped the new immigrants progress and made the community stronger. Not to invest in the progress of others was a disservice to the whole. He believed in compassion for the sick and the needy. This was also the essence of Christianity and Jesus’ teachings. But there were no giveaways, responsibility and hard work was expected from all. He was not a spend thrift and came from a culture of fiscal responsibility. He was an executive and as Governor needed to balance a budget. He cut taxes and he cut the workforce. When he took office the top tax rate in New York was 14%. When he left office 12 years later, it was 7%. The state workforce 12 years later was smaller than when he took office.

Mario Cuomo, intellectually, was all about subtlety and nuance. He was called the great liberal. He resisted the label. His philosophy defied a single label, especially an undefined one. An undefined and nebulous one. My father called himself a progressive pragmatist. Progressive values, but a pragmatic approach. He believed he needed to separate the two separate components, the goals and the means. His goal was progressive, but his means were pragmatic. I told him at the time, it was too complicated to communicate and no one would understand what he was saying. Frankly, I still don’t understand what he was saying. But he said he didn’t care and that he wouldn’t be reduced by the shortcomings of others, including mine. My father was skeptical of the people and organizations that profited from government — to whom government was a business, rather than an avocation. And he always focused on the goal of government rather than the means — the product not the process — to help the people, the student, the parent, the citizens....

Governor Mario Cuomo created the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) in 1984.

Roosevelt Island Main Street Emergency Road Work Tonight - Expect Minor Delays Near 543 Main Street

Image Of Roosevelt Island Main Street Emergency Road Repair

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
Notification issued 01/06/2015 at 6:55 PM. Due to emergency road work being conducted in the Area of 543 Main Street the South bound lane will be temporarily obstructed. Expect Minor delays in the area of 543 Main Street.
I don't know the cause of the emergency at this time but will update when more information available.

A Little Bit Of Roosevelt Island Snow Today - Starting To Feel Like Winter

Roosevelt Island Twitterverse pictures from today's light snow.


Roosevelt Island Squirrels Dining On Engine Wires Causing Damage To Vehicles And Costing Residents Money To Repair - Rats Are A Problem Too

For some, our local Roosevelt Island squirrels are cute neighbors

but for others the squirrels are becoming a big problem.

Roosevelt Island Disabled Association (RIDA) President Jim Bates shares this message he sent to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) yesterday:
In the last 3 years squirrels have caused damage to my personal van and to the RIDA Bus. 3 times my personal van has had its engine harness wires eaten by squirrels causing over $5000.00 damage to my van.

I am asking RIOC to see what can be done to prevent this from occurring again. My van is in the repair shop now with $2300.00 in damages. The Van has been parked in 3 different locations when damages occurred - Main Street, River Rd and under the bridge.

I was told that is a regular occurrence with other vehicles parked on Roosevelt Island...
Mr. Bates adds:
RIDA Bus had wires to headlight eaten November 2014. Damage cost $392.00 to repair.

My van was damaged on 12/21/14 and is in the shop now needing a new wire harness costing $2300.00
Also,  I have been hearing complaints about big rats all over Roosevelt Island. According to this January 2 Roosevelt Island 311 See Click Fix report:
There are numerous rats here! Please fix this issues; t's very disturbing, especially at night....

Roosevelt Island 2015 Public Purpose Funds Application Now Available, Deadline For Submitting Letter Of Intent January 16 - $100 Thousand Available For Roosevelt Island Non Profit Organizations

Are you a Roosevelt Island not-for profit organization seeking funds for your organization? If yes, get ready to submit your 2015 application to be considered for a portion of the approximately $100,000 in Roosevelt Island Public Purpose Funds available.

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Charlene Indelicato reported last month:

... Every year, RIOC awards a set amount of Public Purpose Funds to non-profit organizations whose programs benefit Roosevelt Island residents. These funds are provided for the educational, artistic, environmental, and cultural enrichment of the community, with an aim to deliver services to those who need them most. A notification will be issued to the public via our RIOC Advisories alert system with instructions on how to apply for funding. This information will also be posted on our website soon at All Roosevelt Island not-for-profit groups that are looking for additional funding are encouraged to apply....
According to this RIOC advisory:
Notification issued 1/2/2015 at 5:30 PM. On Monday, January 5th, the application process for the 2015 Public Purpose Grant will begin. Information and application materials will be available online at . Local non-profit organizations whose programming benefits Roosevelt Island residents are welcome to apply for funding.

RIOC adds:
2015 Public Purpose Grant Application Guide

Grant Overview

Public Purpose funds first became available after the construction of Manhattan Park in 1989 when New York State allowed the fund to be established in lieu of the developers paying sales tax on construction materials. The RIOC Board of Directors approves the allocation of these funds yearly based upon the recommendation of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA). Not-for-profit community organizations are welcome to apply for a Public Purpose Grant by following the application process below.

RIRA Public Purpose Grant Mission Statement

Public Purpose Funds should be allocated to benefit Roosevelt Island residents, enhancing their quality of life through education, artistic and cultural enrichment, improved health or a better environment.

Applying for a Grant

Prior to submitting a request for funding, we recommend that you click the links below to thoroughly review the Public Purpose Grant Procedures and information on funding limitations, organization qualifications and the overall review process. If you determine that your organization fits within these guidelines, you may apply for a grant by submitting an online inquiry.

Getting Started

Funding Procedures

Grant Timeline

Begin Grant Inquiry

Sample Application
As reported December 10, 2014, RIOC decided to allow the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) to continue it's role vetting Roosevelt Island non profit organizations Public Purpose Fund applications and making recommendations for award allocations to the RIOC Board:
... agreement was reached for RIRA to continue vetting applicant organizations and making recommendations to the RIOC Board for funding allocations as long as RIRA does not participate in receiving Public Purpose Funds. RIOC continues to have the final determination as to the ultimate allocation of Public Purpose Funds....
RIOC staffers Sean Singh and Erica Spencer-El presented the proposed 2015 Public Purpose Funds process to the RIOC Directors during the December 11, 2014 Board of Directors meeting. The Public Purpose Funds process was approved by the RIOC Board following this discussion.

More on the RIOC Public Purpose Funds allocation process and procedures at this prior post.

Remember, the deadline for submitted your organization's Letter Of Intent is January 16 to be eligible for Roosevelt Island Public Purpose Funds.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Trellis Diner Owner Alex Razaghi On Past, Present And Future Of Roosevelt Island - Big Changes Coming For Renovated Trellis And Predicts Roosevelt Island Will Become A Small Manhattan

Image Of Renovated Trellis Rendering From Hezi Jiang Vimeo Video

Roosevelt Island Trellis Diner owner Alex Razaghi

talks about the past, present and future of Roosevelt Island in this video report from Columbia University Journalism School student Hezi Jiang.

According to Mr. Razaghi:
... Main Street has been very desolate for a  long time. There has been absolutely no commercial presence here. We're one of the very few...

... Trellis has been the only diner on Main Street Roosevelt Island for the last 17 years. I started working at Trellis when I was about 15 years old.

When you are the only diner, every family event, every union of the Islanders, comes to the diner. You become a part of their lives. ... You're not just a business any more, You're part of the Island....

...There is no comparison to what we were and what we will be. Different exteriors, different interiors, different managerial tactics, There will be different food. The sky's the limit. There's nothing to hold us back but our imagination.

My prediction of Main Street is we're going to turn into Manhattan. We're going to be a small Manhattan. It won't be anywhere near as busy but there's alot of changes happening to Roosevelt Island. If you haven't been here, you should come.

Roosevelt Island Gambles on a Brighter Future from Columbia University JSchool on Vimeo.
More from Ms. Jiang on Roosevelt Island retail from this October 2014 NY City Lens article.

As previously reported, the Trellis Diner closed for renovations last September 8. The ongoing renovations were scheduled to take 4-6 months.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

First Sunday Jazz Salon At Roosevelt Island's Gallery RIVAA Tonight 5-7 PM - Come Dance, Listen To Music, Look At New Art Exhibit Curated By Paul Calendrillo, Hang Out With Old and New Friends

Image From Gallery RIVAA

Gallery RIVAA will be hosting its monthly First Sunday Jazz Salon with Art & The Impressionists later today from 5-7 PM. According to Gallery RIVAA:
Dear all,

Gallery RIVAA is pleased to invite you to yet another exciting session of First Sunday Jazz Salon this Sunday, January 4th from 5-7pm at Gallery RIVAA. Please join us and enjoy the evening with wine, music and refreshments.

Date: Jan 4th, 2015
Time: 5-7pm
Venue: Gallery RIVAA, 527 Main Street, Roosevelt Island
Stop on by, dance,

enjoy the music and art as well as new and old friends.

Here's a sample of the performances from previous Gallery RIVAA Sunday Jazz Salons.

Gallery RIVAA is currently exhibiting:
Out with the Old. In with the Few.
Curated by Paul Calendrillo

Saturday, January 3, 2015 - Sunday, January 18, 2015
Opening Reception: Tuesday, January 6th from 6-9pm
More on the curator of this exhibit, Roosevelt Island resident Paul Calendrillo at his web site and this previous post.