Saturday, March 21, 2015

You're Invited To Roosevelt Island Gallery RIVAA Opening Reception For Anniversary Exhibition Vernissage XIV Tonight 6 - 9 PM

Roosevelt Island's Gallery RIVAA will be hosting an opening reception tonight starting 6PM for their Anniversary Exhibition Vernissage XIV.

Image From Gallery RIVAA

According to Gallery RIVAA:
Dear all,

You are cordially invited to the opening reception of our anniversary exhibition "Vernissage XIV" on Saturday, March 21st from 6-9PM at Gallery RIVAA.

Date: March 21st, 2015
Time: 6-9pm
Venue: Gallery RIVAA, 527 Main Street, Roosevelt Island

Roosevelt Island Participatory Budgeting Info Expo Sunday March 22 - Help Decide How To Spend $1 Million In NYC Participatory Budget Funds Says Council Member Ben Kallos

Roosevelt Island, Midtown East,Upper East Side and El Barrio NYC Council Member (District 5) Ben Kallos reports:
Dear Roosevelt Island,

This spring, you will be empowered through direct democracy to vote on how $1 million in city funds gets spent in our neighborhood, comment on legislation, and even become a Council Member for a Day (if you are a student).You are empowered to help get items on the ballot, evaluate each proposal, and then vote on where you think the city funds are best spent.

First, please join me at an expo with community volunteers to learn more about the projects on the ballot:

3/21: NYPL E67th Street Branch
328 East 67th Street Saturday, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM. RSVP.

3/22: Roosevelt Landings (formerly Eastwood)
546 Main Street Sunday, 12th Floor community room, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM. RSVP.

3/25: Stanley Isaacs Neighborhood Center
415 East 93rd Street Wednesday, 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM. RSVP.

Then, VOTE!

Voting will take place from Saturday, 4/11 to Sunday, 4/19 at my District Office and locations throughout the neighborhood. If you plan to participate, please pledge to vote.

The process works: Last year, proposals winning funding were Bus Time Clocks at Westbound Crosstown Bus Stops, senior centers, and STEM programs in public schools.

But direct democracy does not stop at the funding process. It also means that you should have a say on city legislation and open channels of communication with your elected officials. That is why I am pleased to be part of the launch of DemocracyOs, a new tool that allows you engage directly with government. I am excited to support this worthy civic engagement tool. If you would like to vote on my proposals, share your opinions and get a response, or read more about my legislation, please visit

Finally, I am now inviting students to enter the "Council Member for a Day" essay contest. The contest is open to students in Grades 5-8, and one winner will join me at an official session of the New York City Council. The prompt is "What I Would Do as a Member of the City Council." Please email your essay to with the subject line "Council Member for a Day." Parents, teachers and neighbors: Please pass this along to any students who may be interested. Submissions are due May 1st.

For more information on how you can vote in participatory budgeting, please visit
The Roosevelt Island projects eligible for District 5 Participatory Budget funding are:
Study of Sight and Sound $35,000

Audio/Visual equipment with audio induction looping for the New York Public Library Roosevelt Island branch.
504 Main Street (Roosevelt Island)
Green Roof for PS/IS 217 $500,000
Build a green roof for environmental education at PS/IS 217.
645 Main Street (Roosevelt Island)
Here's the Ballot for District 5 Participatory Budget Funding projects.

I asked Council Member Kallos:
I understand that the Roosevelt Island Air Quality monitoring proposal was not selected to be voted upon for the Participatory Budgeting Vote process in NYC Council District 5.

Is that true?

If yes, Why? My understanding was that the Roosevelt Island Air Quality Monitoring proposal was ranked number 1 for Roosevelt Island projects.
The Press Spokesperson for Mr. Kallos replied:
Both rank and feasibility are the determining factors of what gets on the ballot -- and, in this case, the agency that would handle the project, DOHMH, was not in the pb process (and DEP was not the right agency to administer this project). We are happy that 2 of 16 proposals this year are from the Roosevelt Island delegates, so RI will be very well represented on the ballot!
DOHMH is the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. DEP is NYC Department of Environmental Protection.

More on the Roosevelt Island Participatory Budgeting Process at this previous post.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Roosevelt Island F Train Service To And From Manhattan Again This Weekend - That's 6 In A Row

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

to and from Manhattan this weekend.

That's 6 weekends in a row.

However, be advised that there will be no Manhattan bound F Train Service to Lexington and 63rd Street this weekend. From the MTA:
F Coney Island-bound trains skip Lexington Av/63 St Weekend, 9:45 PM Fri to 5 AM Mon, Mar 20 - 23

First Day Of Spring And Guess What? More Roosevelt Island Snow

The Roosevelt Island Twitterverse reports:

Kids like the snow too.

The snow does look pretty.

Looking forward to some nice, sunny weather soon. How about you?

UPDATE 3/21:

Roosevelt Island Main Street Retail Update On Vacant Storefront Windows, Pop Up Art, Urgent Care Facility Opening, Newstand Status And Trellis Construction - Also Goodbye Nonno's, Hello New Pizza From Piccolo Trattoria

During last night's March 19 meeting of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors Real Estate Advisory Committee (full audio web cast here and here), RIOC Director Howard Polivy provided this update from Main Street Retail Master Leaseholder Hudson Related.

According to Hudson Related:

  • The new vinyl in vacant windows should be installed by the end of the week and should add to the attractiveness of the corridor experience.
  • The new art work in the old hardware store is getting installed this month and should also add to the attractiveness of the arcade area storefront windows. We are talking with RIVAA about changing the art work monthly, to keep it active and engaging as long as the installation runs.
  • We are looking into potentially getting another pop up art installation in one of the other vacant spaces, something that a resident brought up at the last meeting. This is in very early stages.
  • We should be done with our work at the Urgent Care space by the end of this month and turning over possession to the tenant who will be moving forward with the renovation work. We expect the Urgent Care to open this summer.
  • We are working on a renewal with Island Newsstand. We will know if they are staying or leaving by the end of this month. They are working out business plans before getting back to us.
  • Trellis is in the process of redesigning their bar area so they do not need to remove the structural wall they were previously proposing to remove. We are waiting to hear back from them when they will restart their work.
Also, as reported March 3, Nonno's Pizzeria was sold to long time employee Oscar and a partner. Yesterday the Nonno's Pizzeria sign was removed and up went

the sign for Piccolo  Trattoria.

I spoke with Oscar last night who promises a new menu in the next couple of weeks.

Good Luck to Oscar and Piccolo Trattoria.

Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 PTA Spring Fling & Silent Auction Saturday March 21 - Fundraiser, Puppet Show, Crafts For Kids & More

The Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 PTA is holding a Silent Auction Fundraiser Saturday March 21 from 2-5 PM.

According to the Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 PTA:
... This year's auction will feature over 150 exciting items thanks to the generosity of many businesses, parents, and our teachers and administration, and the creativity of our students!

To see it all in person- BUY TICKETS NOW!

Advance tickets for the auction will be on sale online until midnight on Friday, March 19. Tickets are $20 per family or $5 per individual. You can buy your tickets by clicking HERE.

Please also buy raffle tickets - volunteers will be outside the school tomorrow at drop-off and pick-up for ticket sales, or you can bring your completed tickets to the auction. There will be TWO raffles - a 50/50 Cash Prize Raffle and a raffle for teacher outings. Check out the teacher outings by clicking HERE....
More information on the PS/IS 217 PTA Silent Auction fundraiser and an online catalog for the auction available at their web site.

Here's an interview from 2013 with 217 PTA parents explaining the importance of fundraising events.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

No Roosevelt Island Vehicle Access Through Motorgate Garage During Helix Ramp Repair Closure Says RIOC Director - A Gurney Lift To Top Of Helix Ramp Suggested

As previously reported, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) will soon begin work on repairing the Roosevelt Island Bridge Helix Ramp.

During February 9 RIOC Operations Advisory Committee meeting, RIOC Director of Engineering Jim Mortimer said:
... the repair work on top of the ramp would be done at night from 11 PM to 6 AM requiring the closing of the ramp during those hours. Work beneath the ramp would be done during the day and would not disrupt traffic.

RIOC Director Michael Shinozaki expressed concern regarding emergency vehicle access to Roosevelt Island during the late night closure of the Helix ramp. Mr. Shinozak said that provisions need to be made to insure emergency vehicle access to Roosevelt Island by weaving through the Motorgate Garage.

Mr. Mortimer updated the RIOC March 9 Operations Advisory Committee (full audio web cast of meeting) by phone on the Helix repair.

Also, Mr. Shinozaki pointed out that his further inquiries determined there is no way for emergency vehicles to be able to use the Motorgate garage for access to Roosevelt Island while the Helix is closed. Mr. Shinozaki suggested a gurney may be necessary to lift a person up to the Helix top in the event of an emergency while the Helix ramp is close. Mr. Mortimer added that RIOC needs to work more on this issue.

Here the discussion.

Registration Begins For Roosevelt Island Youth Program 2015 Little League Season - Sign Up Now And Play Ball, Volunteer Coaches Needed Too

According to the Roosevelt Island Youth Program:
The Roosevelt Island Youth Program is thrilled to announce the start of our 2015 Little League Season registration.

The league is open to boys and girls ages 6 to 15 years, in the following Little League Divisions

1- Tee-ball (6 & 7), open

2- Minors (8 to 10): 4 teams, and will play their games at the Copobianco Field

3- Majors (11 &12): 4 teams, and will play their games at the Copobianco Field

4- Seniors (13 to 15 years of age): one team and plays most, if not all, of their games off-island

Volunteer coaches are needed; if interested please e-mail Charles DeFino at or call Romance Barber at 1-646-831-9824.

Please register online here as soon as possible, as availability is limited.
Here's the wonderful scene from Field of Dreams with James Earl Jones explaining the timeless beauty of baseball.

Baseball season is coming. Play ball.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Comedian Buddy Hackett's Roosevelt Island Rivercross Co-Op Apartment For Sale Reports NY Post, Did You Know Him? Watch Hackett On Johnny Carson's Tonight Show

The Rivercross apartment of one of Roosevelt Island's more famous former residents, the late comedian Buddy Hackett, is for sale.

According to the NY Post today:
Roosevelt Island has never been this funny! Buddy Hackett’s one-bedroom, 1½-bathroom co-op at the Rivercross, 531 Main Street, is currently on the market for $690,000.

Buddy, one of Roosevelt Island’s most famous residents, was a beloved actor and comedian...
The Rivercross Co-op

was formerly a subsidized Mitchell Lama Affordable co-op before its privatization in 2013.

In 2007, As Good As News reported:
... I remember comedian Buddy Hackett strolling down Main Street talking a blue streak, a very blue streak....
Here's a 1989 appearance by Buddy Hackett on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show.

Buddy Hackett's son, Sandy Hackett is the current owner of the Rivercross apartment and performs My Buddy.

Buddy Hackett died in 2003.

Do you remember Buddy Hackett on Roosevelt Island?

Roosevelt Island Roosevelt Landings Owner Urban American Seals Elevator Shaft Vents Preventing Heat Loss And Other Energy Efficiencies - Gains Huge Electricity Savings Says NY Times Article

An article in the March 17  New York Times headlined:

Environmental Report Details Heat’s Costly Escape Through Elevator Shafts
illustrates efforts made by our very own Roosevelt Island building complex Roosevelt Landings to prevent heat from leaking through the buildings elevator shafts. The NY Times reports:
... On Roosevelt Island, Urban American Management, an owner of a 1,003-unit rental building called Roosevelt Landings, recently instituted changes to make the structure more energy efficient, including sealing the elevator shaft vents.

Joshua Eisenberg, executive vice president of Urban American, which owns and manages 8,000 apartments in the New York region, said he expected the recent improvements — including better insulation, new boilers and digital thermostats in addition to the elevator fix — to reduce Roosevelt Landings’s annual $3.2 million electricity bill by $700,000.

At the top of Roosevelt Landings on Roosevelt Island, the elevator room now has vent coverings. Credit Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

“This building consists of four towers, each 21 stories high,” Mr. Eisenberg said, adding that the 40-year-old structure used electric heat, the most expensive. “You have nine sets of elevators and, as a result, a lot of air and ventilation issues.”

Urban American also recently formed a separate company to carry out building upgrades.

“Sealing the holes, cracks and vents is critical because the biggest problem is air leakage from buildings,” said David Davenport, principal of Urban Greenfit, which is not related to the nonprofit group Urban Green that wrote the report.

At the top of Roosevelt Landings, with its unobstructed view of the Manhattan skyline, an elevator room now features a glass panel covering a large vent. (A screen covers a smaller vent, which is open to comply with the building code.) In addition, a hole in the ceiling directly above the elevator shaft was covered....
Click here for the full NY Times article.

Urban American tweeted:
Last November, Urban Greenfit's David Davenport described to me energy savings tips and ways to keep Roosevelt Landings apartments warm during the winter.

More on Urban American's plans for Roosevelt Landings from this previous post.

Roosevelt Island Parents' Network RI MoM's On The Move Exercise Group Meeting 10:30 AM Friday - Dads Welcome Too

Roosevelt Island Parents' Network Coordinator Eva Bosbach reports:

Dear all,

Our next free Roosevelt Island Moms on the Move (RI MoM) event will take place this Friday, March 20, starting at 10:30 AM at the Rivercross playroom.

We are looking forward to welcoming the Spring with you with some chat, play and exercise! Please note: The Rivercross playroom has a strict no food and no drink policy that must be followed in order to be able to use the playroom. This includes no snacks for children, as well as no water bottles for adults. Only baby bottles are allowed. If your child needs a snack, please feed them before entering..

All moms, moms to-be and moms of all ages are welcome, and dads as well of course.

Looking forward to seeing you and your little ones on Friday!

Feel free to contact me for more information on the Roosevelt Island Parents' Network.  

Cornell Tech Announces Juliet Weissman As New Chief Administrator Officer

This week, Cornell Tech appointed Juliet R. Weissman as its new Chief Administrative Officer.

According to Cornell Tech Press Release:
A native New Yorker, Juliet is the Chief Administrative Officer. She is responsible for a broad portfolio of business and administrative functions while serving as a key advisor to the Dean.

Prior to joining Cornell Tech, Juliet was the Vice President of Organizational Effectiveness at the College Board, a national not-for-profit membership association best known for its SAT and Advanced Placement programs. She was formerly the Vice President and Chief of Staff to the President. Previously, Juliet was Vice President of Business Development at Primedia (also and Sombasa Media); Manager of Business Development at Tigris Consulting; a high school mathematics teacher; and Executive Director of Far Bound — The Teaching Apprenticeship.

Juliet earned a bachelor’s degree with honors in applied mathematics with economics from Harvard University. She lives on the Upper West Side with her husband and three children, two of whom share her passion for Yankees baseball.

About Cornell Tech

Cornell Tech develops pioneering leaders and technologies for the digital age. Cornell Tech brings together faculty, business leaders, tech entrepreneurs, and students in a catalytic environment to produce visionary results grounded in significant needs that will reinvent the way we live in the digital age. Cornell Tech’s temporary campus has been up and running at Google’s Chelsea building since 2012, with a growing world-class faculty, and over 100 master’s and Ph.D. students who collaborate extensively with tech-oriented companies and organizations and pursue their own start-ups.

Construction is underway on Cornell Tech’s campus on Roosevelt Island, with a first phase due to open in 2017. When fully completed, the campus will include 2 million square feet of state-of- the-art buildings, over 2 acres of open space, and will be home to more than 2,000 graduate students and hundreds of faculty and staff.
I asked:
Will her job function include interacting with the Roosevelt Island community as Cathy Dove performed?
Cornell Tech Press Spokesperson replied:
As the Assistant Director of Government and Community Relations, Jane Swanson will continue to be our lead community liaison on Roosevelt Island. Over the past several months, Jane has become a fixture on the Island and is actively engaged with the community, from her regular office hours at the RIVAA gallery to coordinating the regular Roosevelt Island Task Force meetings. We look forward to introducing Juliet to the Roosevelt Island community and having such an established professional play a key role in helping lead Cornell Tech as we get ready to move to Roosevelt Island in 2017.
Welcome to Roosevelt Island Ms Weissman.

Good News, No Eleanor's Pier But RIOC Seeking Food Trucks For Roosevelt Island East River Waterfront Pier This Summer

Reported previously that Hudson Related declined to bring Eleanor's Pier back this summer to the Roosevelt Island East River waterfront pier.

Image Of Roosevelt Island's Summer 2014 Eleanor's Pier

However, some good news about the Pier was discussed during the March 9 Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Operations Advisory Committee meeting (full audio web cast).

In response to RIOC Board Director Margie Smith's question about use of the Pier during the upcoming summer, RIOC Chief Financial Officer Frances Walton reported that RIOC is seeking to bring food trucks

 2012 Outdoor Restaurant At Pier And Main Street Food Trucks

to serve East River Waterfront Pier with the tables and chairs placed there last summer.

Here's the discussion.

Hope RIOC is successful in attracting the food trucks. The Pier is a great place to relax during the summer with a bite to eat and cool drink.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy Roosevelt Island St Patrick's Day With A Little Bit Of History, The Pogues, Clancy Brothers & Tammy Makem, Dropkick Murphy's And A Cup Of Cheer

Here's a little St Patricks Day history

with great songs from the Pogues and Dubliners,

Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem,

and the Dropkick Murphy's.

The Roosevelt Island Twitterverse adds:

Happy St Patrick's Day!

Have a good time!

Just remember what Great Big Sea says about The Old Black Rum.

Roosevelt Island Community Group Permitting, Main Street Master Retail Sublease And Sculpture Gift On Agenda For March 19 RIOC Real Estate Committee Meeting - Including Discussion Of Main Street Theater Cultural Center Use Agreement And Garden Club Renewal

Image From RIOC

The newly renovated Roosevelt Island Cultural Center space will be the site for March 19 Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Real Estate Advisory Committee meeting. The meeting agenda items represent fundamental issues for residents quality of life and how Roosevelt Island will be  managed by RIOC in the future. It should be a very interesting and well attended meeting, at least by those members of groups directly effected by any RIOC decisions.

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, March 19, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. at the Cultural Center, 548 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York.

Discussion Regarding RIOC Facilities Permitting, Including Process and Rates.
Review of the Proposed Cultural Center MSTDA Use Agreement.
Review of the Proposed Roosevelt Island Garden Club Permit Renewal.
Update on the Master Retail Sublease.
Discussion of the Offered Gustav Kraitz Sculpture.
Any Other Committee Business That May be Brought Before the Committee


The Open Meetings Law of the State of New York requires that all public bodies conduct meetings, convened for the purpose of officially conducting public business, in a manner open to attendance by the general public to observe and listen.
An audio web cast will be available soon after the meeting.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Con Ed Working Inside Roosevelt Island Manholes For Cornell Tech Construction Site Around The Clock Through March 2- No Road Closures Or Traffic Disruptions But They Are Coming Soon For Campus Utility Work And Road Expansion

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC)
Cornell Tech has advised that Con Edison will continue work inside manholes located near the foot of the Queensboro (Ed Koch) Bridge along the West Road through the Cornell construction site to the manholes located near the entrance of Southpoint Park. The work, which was originally scheduled to end on Tuesday, March 17th, will continue around the clock until Friday, March 20th at 7:00 AM. There will be approximately three to four Con Edison trucks on site during this period. This work will not cause any road closures or traffic disruptions.

Additionally, on Wednesday, March 18th from 1 PM until midnight, Con Edison will be working inside a manhole at Southpoint Park to permanently repair damages caused by Hurricane Sandy.
During the March 2 Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech Construction & Community Task Force meeting, Tishman Construction's John DiCapua and Tim Coke, together with Cornell Tech's Director of Capital Planning Andrew Winters, provided an overview of the campus site

 utility work,

road work and Central Utility Plant.

Mr Winters noted:
... that in order to widen the streets and to replace all the utilities underneath them, unfortunately, we do have  to close the roads. We understand there needs to be access to the southern end of the Island for vehicles and we're going to serve the facilities down there. It's going to be a complicated process of figuring out when the right time is to close which piece of road and we're going to be working with RIOC on that over the next two months or so.
Here's the discussion on Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech site utility work.

during March 2 Roosevelt Island Cornell Construction & Community Task Force meeting.

UPDATE 3/21 - From RIOC:
Cornell Tech has advised that work performed by Con Edison near the foot of the Queensboro (Ed Koch) Bridge and south, scheduled to end Friday at 7 AM, will conclude Sunday, March 22nd, at 12 AM.

Con Edison will Begin work on Sunday, March 22nd at 7 AM inside their manholes at the corner of the North Loop and West Roads (near Sportspark, 250 Main Street) through the Cornell construction site to their manholes by the entrance to South Point Park. The work will continue around the clock and will conclude on Friday, March 27th at 12 AM. There may be up to 4 Con Edison trucks on the site during this time. Traffic will not be disrupted and no electrical service outages are anticipated to occur while this work is being performed.

NYC Pre K Application Period Begins Today - Roosevelt Island PS 217 Offering Full Day Program Says DOE Update

Are you a Roosevelt Island parent interested in a Pre-Kindergarten school program for your child? The New York City Department of Education (DOE) reports:

Pre-K Application Period Is Open!

If you live in New York City and your child was born in 2011, he or she is eligible to attend a free, high quality pre-K program in September 2015. The application period runs from Monday, March 16, 2015 to Friday, April 24, 2015.
and Mayor de Blasio tweets:

Roosevelt Island parent Desiree Charles reported March 6:
So the 2015 Pre-K directory just came out today and PS217 isn't one of the many schools that have gone from offering half day programs to full day programs. The question is why? What happened to the $300 million in funds allocated to providing full-day pre-k to all NY City Public School children. Roosevelt Island is definitely a community that is dying for affordable/free full-day pre-k.

The full-day pre-k options are Roosevelt Island Day Nursery at $17K which actually opted out of the universal pre-k system. Or you can use Bright Horizons at about $14K a school year. Besides cost, there are the difficult logistics this presents to parents who already have a child at 217 - how do you handle pick-ups and drop-offs with one kid on the island and another kid (4 years old) off-island all at the same time?

It's pretty disappointing to say the least! Why has the DOE chosen not to move forward with Roosevelt Island? With no other affordable full-day pre-k options, Roosevelt Island should have been among the first schools to transition.
I asked Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 Principal Mandana Beckman:
I understand that Roosevelt Island's PS 217 was not chosen for full day Pre Kindergarten class.

Is that true?

I have received inquires on that subject from Roosevelt Island parents.

Can you provide any information on the subject to the community.
Ms. Beckman replied on March 10:
PS/IS 217 supports the DOE’s expansion of full day Universal PreK. Although we will continue to have 2 half day sections for the 2015-2016 school year, we will be working throughout the year on ways to address accommodating full day PreK in our Pre K to Grade 8 school in the future.
Ms. Charles followed up on March 15:
An update to the Pre-K Directory was just released and lists PS217 as going full day! I can't tell you how excited I am!
The DOE has more information and application for Pre K program here.

Roosevelt Island Day Nursery (RIDN) Executive Director Pamela Stark explains why RIDN declined to participate in the NYC DOE Pre K program:
Roosevelt Island Day Nursery is an independent school that has offered quality early childhood education to Roosevelt Island residents for 40 years. In addition to highly qualified professional teaching staff, RIDN also offers an excellent teacher to child ratio and special activities including Music Together with Owen (of RI Music Together and MST & DA) and Creative Movement and Dance with Debra (of MST & DA).

As a not-for-profit school, RIDN continues to look for ways to help keep our quality early childhood program an option for as many families as possible. We offer financial aid to families who qualify, a sibling discount for families who have more than one child attending RIDN, and we have a partnership with Weill Cornell which provides subsidized tuition for five postdoctoral families each year. We are also open to creating further partnerships with local employers seeking to subsidize school tuition for their employees, and the school is actively engaged in various fundraising efforts to support its program, including events focused at current students, alumni, and the broader community.

Unfortunately the NYC Universal Pre-K funding that the Department of Education provides is not only insufficient to support the program we offer, it currently imposes obligations upon recipient schools that are unworkable at RIDN. As a result, RIDN’s Board of Directors (the majority of whom are current RIDN parents) has decided not to pursue UPK funding at this time. Other independent schools in Manhattan have made similar decisions.
Here's more information (including video) on Roosevelt Island PS 217 Pre Kindergarten, Kindergarten and Gifted & Talented program at this January 12 Community Board 8 meeting.

UPDATE 4:10 PM - The Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 PTA is holding a Silent Auction Fundraiser Saturday March 21 from 2-5 PM.

More information on the PS/IS 217 PTA Silent Auction fundraiser and an online catalog for the auction available at their web site.

UPDATE 6:30 PM - PS 217 Principal Mandana Beckman reports that the Roosevelt Island full day Pre K program will have 1 class with 18 children. The previous half day program had two classes with 18 children each.

Also, the DOE page has changed from 36 seats (listed in Screenshot above) to

 18 seats for 1 class.

Can Hamburg Germany Peeback Wall Solve Roosevelt Island Dog Wall Peeing Problem - Also, RIOC Discusses Dog Poop And Pigeon Dropping Mess During Operations Committee Meeting

The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Island Services Committee (ISC) reported February 4:

Dogs are urinating on the outside walls of Roosevelt Landings under the Main St. canopy. The situation is particularly acute at the north end of the canopy. Walls are being damaged and there are unsightly messes in this area. We discussed a number of ways to attack this problem including getting Public Safety to issue summons, getting RL management to routinely hose down the sidewalk under the canopy, posting signs in the affected areas and experimenting with an anti‐urination spray for dogs.
and updated:
Dog Urination Problem – Roosevelt Landings Management has committed to washing the sidewalks at least once a week except in cold, freezing weather. Cynthia reports the dog repellent spray only lasted for one day. The spray needed to be renewed every day. So spraying is probably not a practical way to solve the problem. We will try to get Management to put signs up in strategic places which state” Curb Your Dog, Violators Subject to a Summons”.
Image Of Dog Urine On Roosevelt Landings Wall and Sidewalk

Hamburg Germany came up with a solution to humans peeing on walls
which may help solve the Roosevelt Island wall peeing Dog problem

On a similar issue, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) discussed the problems of Roosevelt Island dog poop and pigeon droppings during its March 9 Operations Advisory Committee meeting (full audio web cast of meeting here).

RIOC Director Margie Smith urged Public Safety Director Jack McManus to give out alot of expensive tickets for people not cleaning up after their dogs and for those feeding the pigeons.

RIOC Deputy Public Safety Director Linda Marmara reported that a summons can only be given out if an officer witnesses the incident. RIOC Public Safety Director Jack McManus said "I think we have to work a little harder on that".