Friday, June 5, 2015

No Roosevelt Island F Train Service To Manhattan This Weekend - Will Roosevelt Island Get F Train Service In Both Directions For Hillary Clinton Visit?

According to the MTA:
F Coney Island-bound trains run via the E from Roosevelt Av to Canal St, then via the A to Jay St-MetroTech

Weekend, 11:45 PM Fri to 5 AM Mon, Jun 5 - 8

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, 57, 47-50 Sts, 42 St-Bryant Pk, 34 St-Herald Sq, 23, 14, B'way-Lafayette Sts, 2 Av, Delancey St, East Broadway and York St.
The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) adds:
Please be advised that the MTA has issued a weekend service advisory for the F train, which may affect travel plans. The Tram will run on a rush hour schedule from 7:00 AM until 10:00 PM to accommodate any increase in traffic. Please plan your travel accordingly and visit or call 511 for more information.

For electronic updates on F Train service, sign up for MTA Alerts at
Will there be disruptions to Roosevelt Island F Train Service during Hillary Clinton's June 13 visit? Roosevelt Island resident Janet Falk asks:
Let's see if Hillary Rodham Clinton can make the MTA run the F train in both directions.
As of today, the MTA advises that there will be Roosevelt Island F train service in both directions on June 13.

Image From MTA

Celeste Katz tweets:
We shall see.

Roosevelt Island Residents Association 14th Annual Blood Drive Sign Up At Farmers Market Tomorrow - Help Save A Life By Donating Blood June 13 At Roosevelt Island Day

The annual Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Blood Drive is under way. During the last two Saturdays, RIRA Common Council Members

RIRA Blood Drive Sign Up At May 30  Farmers Market

have been at their Farmers Market Table recruiting donors to give blood on Roosevelt Island Day - June 13 at the Seniors Center (546 Main Street).

Image From NY Blood Center

RIRA reps will be at their Farmers Market Table again tomorrow seeking blood donors. Last week, I spoke with RIRA Blood Drive Committee Chair Melissa Wade at the Farmers Market who told me the annual Roosevelt Island Blood Drive started after 9/11:

Here's more on NY Blood Center and importance of the Blood Drive

and June 3 RIRA Common Council discussion

of Blood Drive.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Roosevelt Island Residents Help Set World Record For Most People In CPR Relay Today In Times Square - Roosevelt Island Hands Only CPR Training June 5 At Tram Lawn And Subway Station, Help Save A Life

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Social, Cultural and Educational Committee Chair Lynn Strong-Shinozaki reports that residents Sharon Williams and Francesca DeCesare are participating today in the American Heart Association Times Square CPR Training Relay.

Ms. Williams shows how Hands Only CPR is done today at Times Square Relay.
Ms. Williams and Ms DeCesare help set a Guinness World Record for most people in a CPR Relay.

Ms Strong-Shinozaki is receiving an American Heart Saver Award for her efforts in teaching and advocating for Hands Only CPR training. To date, Ms. Shinozaki and her colleagues have trained 454 Roosevelt Island residents in Hands Only CPR.

Here's how to do Hands Only CPR.

Ms. Shinozaki adds:
Friday June 5th from 5-8pm we will be training people in front of the Tram and the Subway. We will be training people on Roosevelt Island Day with the American Heart Association and Cornell Medical Center. Lastly we will be training people before the summer movie series.
Roosevelt Island Hands Only CPR Training

was available at last night's RIRA meeting.

You can do it too. Help save a life.


Roosevelt Island Youth Program/Beacon Drum Corps Perform At Bike New York RI Spring Kickoff Celebration

Co-Director and Program Director of the Roosevelt Island Youth Program Beacon Adib Mansour reports:
Last Saturday May 30th, our Roosevelt Island Youth Program / Beacon Drum Corps opened BIKE NY’s Kick off celebration with unforgettable and energy-lifting percussive sounds!

The Drum Corps executed a fast paced multi-level performance that started with a well-coordinated beat and swiftly transitioned in other members of the group, culminating with a standing ovation from the spectators.

The students have been working hard several hours twice a week through the RIYP Beacon, rehearsing at the Youth Center with Mr. Herman Kamrowski. Mr. Kamrowski studied music, percussion and ethnomusicology at the graduate level at FSU and has been working with Beacon programs for the past several years.

The drum corps members are looking forward to more performances and the staff is always looking to recruit more members/players. Contact Kaitlyn Abdul or Adib Mansour ((212) 527-2505) for more information about getting involved in the RIYP/Beacon Drum Corps.

The Roosevelt Island Youth Center / Beacon Drum Corps is made possible by a generous grant from the NYC Cultural Immigrant Initiative, facilitated by Council Member Ben Kallos’ office.
Image Of Bike NY Roosevelt Island Spring Kickoff From Caitlin Goodspeed

Bike New York's Roosevelt Island Community Outreach Manager Caitlin Goodspeed reports adds:
We were really fortunate to have nice weather for this year's Spring Kickoff Party. We had wonderful volunteers,

Image Of City Council Member Ben Kallos (2nd from Left) Helping Out From Caitlin Goodspeed

a good turnout, delicious food, fun music, and a full program! Highlights included the RIYP Drum Corps performance, the bike decorating contest, the cute mason jars that Daisy Mays BBQ used for their iced tea, the free bike raffle,

Image Of Bike Raffle Winner From Caitlin Goodspeed

 and of course our Learn to Ride - Kids class where most of the children were successful in learning how to ride!

Image From Caitlin Goodspeed

Looking forward to summer on Roosevelt Island. We will have a table at RI Day on June 13th.
There was also the return of the popular

Bike Tune Up shop.

Fun day.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) June 2015 Common Council Monthly Meeting Tonight - You're Invited To Attend And Raise Issues Of Concern

  Image Of December 2014 RIRA Common Council Meeting

The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council

will meet this evening, June 3, 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.

Below is agenda for RIRA meeting tonight

If at all possible, please arrive a half-hour early to help set up tables and chairs

Date: Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

Time & Place: 8:00 pm, Church of Good Shepard

1. Public Session
2. Request by Westview Delegation to Seat David Lawson
3. President’s Call for Sergeant-At-Arms
4. Roll Call of Common Council Members
5. Adoption of Agenda
6. Approval of Minutes
a. May 6, 2015 Council Session Minutes
7. President’s Report & Business
a. President’s Call for Planning Committee Chair
8. Committee Reports
a. SC&E Committee Report
i. Motion to Seek Disbursement of up to $400 in Support of RIRA Sponsored Roosevelt Island Day Breakfast
1. Movant: Lynn Shinozaki, Chair SC&E

b. Island Services Committee Report

9. Old Business
a. RIRA Annual Blood Drive New Business

10. New Business
a. Committee Reports and Resolutions Submitted after deadline of 5PM the Friday preceding present Common Council Session
i. Public Safety Committee Report

Update On Roosevelt Island Riverwalk Local Law 11 Building Facade Work - No Answer When Scaffolding Comes Down For Outdoor Restaurants Seating And Roof Deck Access

Image Of Riverwalk 455 Main Street Facade Work

An update on Roosevelt Island Riverwalk buildings Local 11 facade work.
I asked Hudson Related to:
... clarify the current status of the project.

When are you anticipating work to be completed? Residents were originally told work would be completed in early June. I have been told not until July and others say it could be as long as the entire summer.

Also, there has been conflicting information regarding outdoor seating at the Riverwalk Commons restaurants - The Bar, Fuji East, Pizzeria and Starbucks.

When the work began, outdoor seating was provided by all except for Starbucks.

Later the outdoor seating was stopped.

During May 18 RIOC meeting, Charlene Indelicato reported that Hudson Related said outdoor seating would be allowed after 4 PM on weekdays and on weekends when work was not being done.

The restaurant owners tell me that they were told by Hudson Related that outdoor seating under the scaffolding is not allowed at any time until the Local Law 11 work is completed.

I am told that it is common for outdoor seating to be permitted under scaffolding at Manhattan restaurants. If true, why not here on Roosevelt Island, assuming safety precautions are met.

Also, Riverwalk building residents would like to know when they can access their roof decks, particularly with the July 4 Fireworks on East River approaching, which have been closed for the facade work.

Please clarify what the policy is for Riverwalk Commons outdoor seating, access to Riverwalk buildings roof deck, and when you anticipate completing the facade work.
A Hudson Related representative replied:
Since Hudson/Related is not party to the contract for Local Law 11 work, but rather the respective condominium boards, I cannot provide any reliable information for your inquires below. Also the Site Safety Manager for both jobs is the ultimate decision-maker on where and when outdoor seating can be provided.
As previously reported:
... During yesterday's (May 18) Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Operations Advisory Committee (full audio web cast of meeting), RIOC Director Margie Smith asked about the status of Riverwalk restaurants outdoor seating during the local law 11 facade work.. RIOC President Charlene Indelicato said that she was told by a Hudson Related Representative that for safety reasons outdoor seating would not be available at Riverwalk restaurants under the scaffolding

 Image of Riverwalk Bar & Grill Seating Under Scaffolding From Several Weeks Ago

during the time facade work is being done but can be available after 4:30 on weekdays and on weekends.

Here's the discussion....

Will ask the Site Safety Manager for answer.

Hope to be able to enjoy the roof deck soon.

UPDATE 6/4 - A Riverwalk building representative reports that the Local Law 11 facade work should be completed within 2 weeks. When work approved by NYC Inspectors, outdoor seating and roof access will return.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

2015 Roosevelt Island Summer Outdoor Movie Schedule At Firefighters Field - Singin In The Rain, Mary Poppins, The Wiz, Streetcar Named Desire, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof & Casablanca

The 2015 Roosevelt Island Outdoor Summer Movie Series at Firefighters Field

 Image Of July 12,2014 Showing Of Marvel's The Avengers At Firefighters Field

starts 7 PM Saturday June 27 with Singin In The Rain.

Here's the full 2015 Roosevelt Island Summer Outdoor Movie schedule.

Saturday, June 27 - Singin In The Rain (rain date Friday, July 10),
Saturday, July 11 - Mary Poppins (rain date Saturday, July 18),
Saturday, July 25 - The Wiz (rain date Saturday, August 1),
Friday, August 7 - A Streetcar Named Desire (rain date Friday, August 14),
Saturday, August 8 - Cat On A Hot Tin Roof (rain date Saturday, August 15) and
Saturday, August 22 - Casablanca (rain date Saturday, August 22)
UPDATE 6/27 - Tonight's outdoor movie showing of Singin In The Rain cancelled because of rain forecast.

UPDATE 9/3 - According to RIOC:
This Friday, September 4,2015, bring your family and friends to join us for the last screening of our Outdoor Summer Movie Series! The theme this summer was Hollywood Golden Age and what better way to end our Summer Movie Series event by screening the classic 1952 film Singin’ in the Rain at Firefighter’s Field (across from the Tram) at 7 PM.

Before the movie begins there will be music, trivia, prizes and much more! You are welcomed to bring blankets and lawn chairs. There will be food on-site, available for purchase.

Hope to see you there!

This free event is sponsored by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation.
UPDATE 6/24/16 - Roosevelt Island 2016 Summer movies at Firefighters Field starts today.

Here's the schedule.

Monday, June 1, 2015


According to USA Today On Politics:
Hillary Clinton will officially launch her presidential campaign with a June 13 speech at Roosevelt Island in New York City.

“Her speech will lay out her view of the challenges facing this country and her vision and ideas for moving the country forward,” according to Clinton’s campaign.

It will be hard to escape the symbolism: The island is named after President Franklin D. Roosevelt, a political giant whose New Deal programs launched a revolution in the reach and power of the federal government. FDR’s wife, Eleanor Roosevelt, was also one of history’s most influential first ladies....
Ms. Clinton's Roosevelt Island campaign launch will take place at the FDR Four Freedoms Park.

The event is open to the public and members of the public can register for tickets at

UPDATE 5:30 PM - According to Ms. Clinton's campaign web site:
Hillary’s official campaign launch will be happening Saturday, June 13th in New York City, and we want you to be there! At the first official rally of this campaign, she will lay out her vision for the country, inspired by the stories she’s heard from everyday Americans.

The event will take place in Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island, and everyone is invited, so RSVP today. The event is open to the public, but it is recommended that guests register for a ticket for expedited entry and to receive event updates. This is a family friendly event, and children under the age of 13 do not need a ticket.

***All event and appearance times, including Hillary’s speech, are placeholders and will be confirmed in the coming days. Tickets are not required and do not guarantee admission due to space constraints, but every guest is encouraged to RSVP. All entry to the rally will be first-come, first-served. Further details to come, including confirmation of start times as well as arrival instructions and program information.
The last time a Clinton visited Roosevelt Island was for the October 2012 FDR Four Freedoms Park Dedication. That was Bill Clinton. Next June 13, Roosevelt Island welcomes Hillary Clinton.

The Washington Post's The Fix notes:
There is only one heavily inhabited island in New York City harder to get to than Roosevelt Island, where Hillary Clinton will hold her campaign kickoff later this month. That island is Rikers Island....

... I am not the type to find metaphors in things, as I said. I am just reporting that the Hillary Clinton campaign is launching from one of the least accessible parts of New York City....
That's not correct. Staten Island must be harder to get to than Roosevelt Island. Still, with the F Train not running in one direction or the other many weekends, the crowded Tram Cabins and Roosevelt Island's single vehicle access road, Main Street, Roosevelt Island is not the easiest place to travel to.

I asked Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Charlene Indelicato:
Any comment on how RIOC is going to handle the logistics of so many people wanting to attend the Clinton announcement?
Will post her response when received.

UPDATE 6/2 - Some Roosevelt Island residents have concerns about Ms. Clinton's visit to the FDR Four Freedoms Park.
According to the NY Post: Ms. Clinton's June 13 visit puts:
... at risk of major inconvenience: an annual celebration called Roosevelt Island Day, which features a blood drive, hot dog stands and free rides for kids.

“It’s going to be horrendous logistically,” said Sherie Helstien, vice president of the island’s community association, who noted that her community has just one main road.

“I think the campaign should have reached out to the community representatives of 14,000 people — absolutely,” fumed Matthew Katz, former president of the association, and husband of Helstien....
Click here for full NY Post article.

Also, Politico describes the FDR Four Freedoms Park as solemn:
The solemn memorial park at the southern tip of Roosevelt Island, Four Freedoms Park,...
Katrina vanden Heuvel (daughter of FDR Park advocate Ambassador William vanden Heuvel) disagrees
More Twitter reactions:
UPDATE 8:20 PM - Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) President Jeff Escobar adds:
The unfortunate quotes and comments of RIRA Vice-President Sherie Helstein and Former RIRA President Matt Katz set forth in the New York Post Article of earlier today were not that of RIRA, and were made wholly on their individual volition and not representative of RIRA.

Yesterday, as the current RIRA President, we reached out directly to the Campaign and Clinton Staffers to voice our excitement in joining our colleagues of the Four Freedoms Conservancy in welcoming Secretary Clinton to Roosevelt Island for her formal announcement on June 13th of her campaign for President. In our opinion, there is no other iconic location for such an announcement other than at Four Freedoms Park, and the Island will be out in full support of her candidacy.

We also warmly invited the Campaign to join the Island's 18th Annual Roosevelt Island Day celebration taking place in the heart of the Island later that day, where each Island resident is asked to devote a day of service to beautify the Island, clean-up and attend to Island elements that need attention and to, generally, come together as a community to make our little home floating on the East River a more clean and beautiful place to live, work and play (as well as an afternoon of family fun, games and more after the elbow grease). The coming of the Campaign to the South of the Island will be a great opportunity to introduce both Secretary Clinton and those visiting the heart of the Island to our great community, and those family, friends and neighbors who comprise it.

The Common Council and RIRA are excited that the campaign will literally be bringing the campaign to our doorstep, and we look forward to sharing the excitement of Roosevelt Island Day with the national launch of the Hillary Clinton Campaign and those who will be visiting our Island on that day.
UPDATE 10 PM - Not An Excited Islander writes:
Just read Jeff Escobar's statement on the blog.

The RIRA president is indeed confused when he states that the whole Island is excited or delighted or whatever. Too much Kool-Aid to be sure. I am anything but excited.

Perhaps the Clinton Family Foundation would like to make a donation to the many wonderful organizations working w. children & families on the Island ?

And frankly, what did / does RIOC know, and when did they know it?

It would seem that the only folks w. advance notice are the FDR / Four Freedoms folks -- who are already in Hillary's camp. Are they or HC's folks working w. RIOC / PSD / NYPD / Secret Service ? Can they make the F train run in both directions that day. And, oh ! What a media circus can we expect ? By car ? By Tram ? By boat ? And even by air ? Can hardly wait !!
and from the NY Daily News:
... Matthew Katz, former head of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association, called Team Clinton “tone deaf” for bigfooting the community’s special day. Plus, “We’d like her to come to my side of the island, where the people are. Nobody lives in a park,” Katz said.

Association Vice President Sherie Helstien, who’s Katz’s wife, told the Daily News that months of planning for the local celebration won’t be dumped to accommodate a potential influx of Clinton fans. “It’s their problem to get around us,” she said. “We are the community.”...
Full NY Daily News article here.

UPDATE 6/3 - NY Post story about Hillary Clinton's campaign launch on Roosevelt Island made the Drudge Report this morning.

Not the type of publicity Ms. Clinton was hoping for on Roosevelt Island.

UPDATE 6/5 - Will there be disruptions to Roosevelt Island F Train Service during Hillary Clinton's June 13 visit? Roosevelt Island resident Janet Falk asks:
Let's see if Hillary Rodham Clinton can make the MTA run the F train in both directions.
As of today, the MTA advises that there will be Roosevelt Island F train service in both directions on June 13.

Image From MTA

Celeste Katz tweets:
We shall see.

UPDATE 6/10 - More here.

Roosevelt Island Manhattan Park Management Orders No Ball Playing On Lawn Last Week - Today Policy Is Being Reevaluated

Roosevelt Island's Manhattan Park Management recently banned the long time practice of ball playing on the nice big green lawn in front of the 10-40 River Road buildings. Residents were informed by a new No Ball Playing Sign placed on the lawn. An unhappy Manhattan Park parent reports:

... the ridiculousness of this sign, freshly appeared in the Manhattan park lawn? Just last month management had sent a note to all tenants to remind how "writing with (kids) chalks on the sidewalks is prohibited.

Another Manhattan Park parents adds:
The new sign on the Manhattan Park lawns, adding to the fast-growing "nanny state" reputation.

According to staff it is so people can sunbathe (in the shade?) without being disturbed. Luckily, frisbees, bikes, airplanes and kites are still allowed?

Manhattan Park, Roosevelt Island. The most family friendly place in New York. As long as you don't have any sort of fun".
This morning, I asked Manhattan Park management about the new No Ball Playing on lawn policy. In response, a Manhattan Park representative said the No Ball Playing on lawn policy is being reevaluated.

Maybe you can play ball (volleyball, water polo) at Manhattan Park's Psychedelic swimming pool?