Saturday, July 4, 2015


Image of John Trumbull's Declaration of Independence from US History

Friday, July 3, 2015

Roosevelt Island F Train Service To And From Manhattan This July 4 Weekend - Will There Be Crowds Using F Train To See Fireworks From Roosevelt Island As In Past?

According to the MTA, there will be Roosevelt Island F train service to and from Manhattan this July 4 weekend.

The last time Macy's July 4 Fireworks were visible from Roosevelt Island was in 2008. Former neighborhood blogger Roosevelt Island 360 showed us the crowds

at F train subway station

 leaving Roosevelt Island after 2008 July 4 fireworks. According to RI 360:
... Overall I believe the MTA and NYPD did a good job of ensuring that the flow of riders did not result in one continuous burst of individuals trying to access the escalators, elevators, stairs and platforms all at once which could have lead to accidents at any of those points. The flow of individuals was staggered to allow for easy access down to the platforms and also to ensure the platforms were never overly crowded...
More from RI 360 on July 4 2008 Fireworks F train crowds.

No Tickets Left For Roosevelt Island July 4 Macy's Fireworks Viewing At Roosevelt Island Southpoint And FDR Four Freedoms Park - But, You're Invited To Free July 4 Outdoor Movie Showing of Independence Day

There are no tickets left for viewing the Macy's July 4 Fireworks at Roosevelt Island's Southpoint and FDR Four Freedoms Park. According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):

Please be advised that tickets to the 4th of July Family Fireworks Celebration at Southpoint Park and Four Freedoms Park are no longer available.
If you do have tickets, more info from RIOC here.

But, there is a free July 4 Roosevelt Island outdoor movie screening of Independence Day

Image From RIOC

at Firefighters Field.

Image of Firefighters Field Outdoor Movie

According to RIOC:

Join us this Saturday July 4th, 2015 at Firefighter’s Field at 6PM to watch the Oscar Award winning film Independence Day (1996)!!

... There will be music, games, food and more! It will all begin at 6 PM.

... We encourage attendees to bring a blanket or a lawn chair and join in on the fun with friends and family.

Also, RIOC advises:
Please be advised that on Saturday, July 4, 2015, visitor parking at the Motorgate Garage will be limited to ensure adequate parking for residents and patrons with a monthly permit. Residents without a monthly access card should be prepared to show proof of residency when approaching the 36th Avenue bridge.

As a reminder, fireworks are not permitted in New York State, including on Roosevelt Island, at any time.
Have a fun and safe July 4!

UPDATE 6:25 PM - From RIOC:
Visitors to Lighthouse, Southpoint and Four Freedoms Parks are advised that the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department (PSD) will be conducting security spot checks of containers, backpacks and oversized bags that are brought into the parks and special events on Saturday, July 4, 2015. Visitors are reminded that alcoholic drinks, outside grills, illegal drugs, and other illegal items are strictly prohibited within the parks.

As a reminder, fireworks are not permitted in New York State, including on Roosevelt Island, at any time. Thank you for your anticipated cooperation.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Recap Of Hillary Clinton's June 13 Roosevelt Island Campaign Launch At FDR Four Freedoms Park - A Grand Success Says FDR Park Conservancy President And Thanks RIOC For Its Assistance

FDR Four Freedoms Park Conservancy President Sally Minard sent this June 15 message to Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Charlene Indelicato regarding the June 13 Roosevelt Island Hillary Clinton campaign launch.

Dear Charlene,

I want to report that the Hillary for America campaign launch event at Four Freedoms Park on Saturday was a grand success.

Every one played their part. The Conservancy staff, the Hillary for America Campaign, Roosevelt Island management and Public Safety Department, and N.Y.State Parks, all collaborated to prepare for and implement a complex event. You were particularly helpful on a crucial issue and at a critical moment when arrangements had to be made to insure a sufficient emergency evacuation plan for the anticipated number of guests. We are grateful to you and Frances and Susan, Jack and Lynda, Donna and Erica, Arthur and Robert and Fernando, for working with us to make the event happen, safely and correctly.

As you know, security was under the supervision of the State Department Secret Service. The plan they developed coordinated the NYPD, Roosevelt Island Public Safety and N.Y. State Parks officers to provide the security required for a former President and Secretary of State. The crowd proved to be happy, patient and very excited throughout the proceedings. There were no incidents that we were aware of to mar the event.

It was a wonderful day all around. The responsibility to make it work for the Campaign, the candidate, for Roosevelt Island and for the Park was heavy, when so many things both within our control and out of it, can go awry. But even the dark clouds that threatened before the program started, changed course and moved somewhere else for the rest of the day. Our good fortune with the weather gods continues. I hope some of you saw the event on C-SPAN or subsequent news coverage. It was a remarkable sight.

Secretary Clinton called about 4:00 Saturday afternoon, before flying to Iowa, to express her gratitude for the hard work of all those involved who made this launch so successful for the campaign. She referenced the profound associations and extraordinary beauty of the place. She said the entire day surpassed her expectation. It was generous of her to call and share her appreciation on an historic day for Roosevelt Island and for FDR Four Freedoms State Park.

When the Cornell ground breaking ceremony is over tomorrow, there will be a welcome break in the stream of major events at the Park. Please feel free to call anytime if you have comments or suggestions.

All the best,


Sally Minard

President & CEO

Four Freedoms Park Conservancy
Here are some scenes from the June 13 Hillary Clinton Roosevelt Island campaign event.
Hillary Clinton

 Image Of Hillary Clinton at Roosevelt Island Campaign Event From Olya Turcihin

 gave a shout out to Roosevelt Island in her speech

and made one Roosevelt Island young girl very happy.

Image Of Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton From Olya Turcihin

Ms. Clinton's full Roosevelt Island speech is here.

Muscle Ups And More Exercise At The Roosevelt Island Outdoor Fitness Area - Whew, That's Exhausting

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) installed several pieces of exercise equipment at an outdoor fitness area between the West Promenade and Octagon Soccer Field.

Have you tried it yet? The fitness area can accommodate all exercise skill levels from this man doing

Muscle Ups, a combination of Pull Ups and Dips,

to less strenuous activities on an eliptical machine, balance beam

chest press

and more.

Workin' on my gymnastics routine, how am I doing?

A video posted by Tom Thacker (@dummyado) on

Give it a try.

At one time, RIOC had discussed placing an outdoor exercise equipment area in Soutown as well but that never happened.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Former Roosevelt Island Resident Dominic Sciallo Inducted Into NY State Senate Veterans Hall Of Fame By Senator Jose Serrano

The New York State Senate has a Veterans Hall Of Fame:

... created to honor and recognize outstanding veterans from the Empire State who have distinguished themselves both in military and civilian life. Their meritorious service to our nation deserves the special recognition that only a Hall of Fame can provide, as a fitting expression of our gratitude and admiration.
Former Roosevelt Island resident Dominic Sciallo was recently inducted into the NY State Senate Veterans Hall Of Fame.

Roosevelt Island's NY State Senator Jose Serrano reports:
Senator José M. Serrano recently inducted former Roosevelt Island resident, Dominic Sciallo, into the 2015 New York State Senate Veterans Hall of Fame. Each year, the New York Senate honors a small group of veterans throughout the State for their distinct service to the country.

Dominic Sciallo enlisted in the Army when he was 22, long before the United States entered World War II. He spent almost 3 years in active combat duty participating in three invasions - North Africa, Sicily, and Normandy at Omaha Beach. During his service, he attained the rank of Sergeant in the Canon Company, 18th Infantry, a unit of the “Big Red One.” He was awarded the Bronze Star for valor as well as several service medals and individual badges. In 2005, he received these medals during a ceremony on Roosevelt Island. His accomplishments and bravery earned him entry into the Honor Role of the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Sciallo was born in East Harlem, but spent over 37 years on Roosevelt Island. He was very involved in the community and was an active member in the Roosevelt Island Senior Association (RISA), serving many terms as president.

Sadly, Dominic Sciallo passed away earlier this year. He is survived by his son Jeff and his son's wife Vivian, grandchildren Robert and Kimberly, great grandson Dylan, and many nieces and nephews.

“It was my honor to induct Dominic Sciallo into the New York State Senate Veterans Hall of Fame. Dominic has left behind an amazing legacy of patriotism, bravery and valor. From East Harlem to Roosevelt Island, Dominic Sciallo has not only left a mark on the 29th Senate District and New York State, but the entire country," said Senator José M. Serrano. "It is important that we honor our veterans everyday, but especially on days like Independence Day. The 4th of July is a day we are all reminded of not only how great our country is, but the greatness of the individuals who put their lives on the line to allow us to enjoy our freedom and quality of life.”
More on the

 NY State Senate Veterans Hall Of Fame here.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Sign Up For Up To 4 Free Tickets To Watch Macy's July 4 Fireworks From Roosevelt Island's Southpoint and FDR Four Freedoms Park - Space Is Limited To 3,000

As reported last week, the southern tip of Roosevelt Island at Southpoint and FDR Four Freedoms Park will be open to the public for viewing the Macy's July 4 Fireworks celebration for the first time since 2008.

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC)
Please join us on Saturday, July 4th for two exciting events celebrating Independence Day on Roosevelt Island. The excitement begins at 5 PM!

Southpoint Park and Four Freedoms Park will be venues for a viewing of the iconic Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks show. All attendees must register online to receive a free ticket to the fireworks viewing at these locations. Tickets are limited and WILL NOT BE available at the gate. For more information and to get tickets to this event, please visit

Adding to the excitement will be a screening of Independence Day (1996) at Firefighters Field. There will be music, games, food and more! It will all begin at 6 PM.

Both events are FREE! Food and beverages will be available on-site for purchase at all locations. We encourage attendees to bring a blanket or a lawn chair and join in on the fun with friends and family.

Bags will be checked upon entering either event. For more information and to see a list of prohibited items, please visit or

*Please note that the outdoor movie event is weather sensitive; an advisory will be issued in case of cancellation.

This event is presented by The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC), Four Freedoms Park Conservancy and 20th Century Fox.
Here's more information from RIOC, including link to register for tickets, to the July 4 fireworks viewing at Southpoint and FDR Four Freedoms Park.

The FDR Four Freedoms Park adds:
5PM—10:30PM EDT

NOTE: Park will be closed from 12-5pm for the installation of restrooms and additional lighting to ensure the safety and comfort of all visitors at the family fireworks viewing.


New York's iconic fireworks display returns to the East River this year. Macy's 4th of July fireworks will be set off from the Brooklyn Bridge and from barges in the East River. The light show begins at 9pm. More details about the show are available at

In celebration of the fourth, we invite you to join our family-friendly viewing at SouthPoint Park and Four Freedoms Park from 5pm-10:30pm. Details, including registration information, is provided below.


All attendees must register online to receive a free ticket to the fireworks viewing at SouthPoint Park and Four Freedoms Park. No tickets will be available at the door. Attendees may register for up to 4 tickets. Children ages 4 and under do not need tickets.

Register Here. Space is extremely limited.
Be aware that entrance to Southpoint and FDR Four Freedoms Park for the July 4 fireworks is first-come, first-served with wristbands. The capacity for the event at Southpoint Park is 1,500 &1,500 at Four Freedoms Park, a total of 3000 attendees at both locations.

More info here.

UPDATE 7/2 3PM - Tickets are no longer available. According to RIOC
Please be advised that tickets to the 4th of July Family Fireworks Celebration at Southpoint Park and Four Freedoms Park are no longer available.
UPDATE 6/27/16 - Roosevelt Island 2016 Fireworks viewing information here.

Roosevelt Island's NYC Council Member Ben Kallos Celebrates Supreme Court Decision On Gay Marriage And Reports On Finalized NYC Budget

Roosevelt Island's NYC Council Member Ben Kallos marched in Sunday's NYC Gay Pride Day Parade celebrating the Supreme Court's decision on marriage equality.

and reports:
On Friday, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the right to marriage equality in all fifty states. This was a great and long overdue day for our nation, affirming the rights of LGBTQ Americans to marry who they love anywhere in our country. Our nation was founded on the principle that all are equal under the eyes of the law. With Friday's decision, we are getting closer to that ideal.

As we celebrated marriage equality, the City Council and the Mayor finalized this year's budget. Because the budget affects all of us, I want to keep you informed on the details of the $78.5 billion plan.

This year's budget will make life easier, better and safer for New Yorkers of all backgrounds, now and in the future. 
Right here on the East Side and Roosevelt Island, I have prioritized funding worthy projects, schools and nonprofits that will strengthen our community.

Citywide, here are some great improvements I was proud to support and fight for throughout the budget season:

Better education:

  • $17.9 million for "breakfast after the bell" to fight hunger for 339,000 children at 530 elementary schools. New York City will no longer be among last for major cities when it comes to participation in nutritious school breakfast.
  • $12.7 million for renewal schools that offer city services and support for children that need it most.
  • $1.14 million to hire 80 more crossing guards so students can be safer traveling to and from school.
Public safety:
  • $170 million for the NYPD so that New Yorkers can be safer in our communities and against threats of terror to add more than 1,000 new officers and to move hundreds more officers from behind desks to the streets.
Fiscal responsibility:
  • $500 million for a Capital Stabilization Reserve to save during good times so we are protected in the long run. I advocated for this smart fiscal approach at multiple budget hearings this season.
Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito also invested substantially in our district following my advocacy for key programs:
  • $3 million for the East River Esplanade on the East Side and East Harlem to revitalize our open space and ensure all can walk, run, and play along the Esplanade;
  • $1.5 million for the Roosevelt Island Public Library for needed renovations;
  • $934,000 for the Museum of Jewish Heritage for students to learn the essential lesson of the Holocaust: "Never again";
  • $513,000 to fully fund the Asphalt Green pool filtration system.
Through citywide initiatives, our district will receive:
  • $160,000 in Cultural Afterschool Adventures grants to be distributed to eight schools and $20,000 for senior centers;
  • $62,500 in Cultural Immigrant Initiative grants to teach New York City children about their heritage;
  • $100,000 in NYC Cleanup funds to keep our streets clean;
  • $20,000 for district for digital literacy; and 
  • $343,840 citywide for Student Voter Registration Day in each district, including ours. This program is designed to increase participation among young people and was successfully implemented this year at Eleanor Roosevelt High School. I have been working to help high school seniors get registered for years, and now that we have begun to put it into action, I look forward to helping expand the program to many more schools in the area.
Here are a few highlights from my local funding:
  • More than $2 million in green and open space improvements and rooftop play spaces in schools throughout the district. In our neighborhoods, where we have among the lowest amount of green space in New York City, it is essential that our community have access to the outdoors.
  • $849,000 for East Side public school STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education, including labs, laptops and tech equipment, so students can be prepared for the jobs and knowledge of the future.
  • $885,000 for NYCHA improvements, such as better security and green space, in addition to the $33 million in federal funding already being invested in Stanley Isaacs to rebuild and fortify against future storms.
  • More than $100,000 for worthy senior programs to help New Yorkers age with health and dignity.
Through participatory budgeting, you determined where $1 million of those funds go. Thanks to all who voted and made their voices heard.

You can see the full budget online at the OMB's website in PDF formats. I am committed to transparency in the budget process, so you can also check my discretionary funding in a searchable and downloadable format at

As always, please contact me with any thoughts or questions.


Ben Kallos
UPDATE 7/2 - July newsletter from Mr. Kallos.
Table of Contents
1. Calling on the DEC to the Stop the MTS
2. We Won a Rent Freeze
3. Bike Safety Blitz
4. Fighting Superscrapers
5. Celebrating Marriage Equality
6. A Win for Landmarks
7. Jobs Forum for NYCHA and Low-Income Residents
8. LegislationLab
9. Improving Quality of Life
10. A Budget for all New Yorkers
11. Participatory Budgeting for Roosevelt Island and Lexington Houses

12. Annual Public School Sotheby's Art Show
13. Council Member for a Day
14. Fighting Pesticides with PS 290
15. Meet our Newest Community Board Members
16. Graduation Speeches

17. Safer Sidewalks for Seniors and Disabled New Yorkers
18. Citi Bike Locations and Safety

19. Cornell Tech Groundbreaking
20. Tour of Roosevelt Island with Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul
21. Second Avenue Subway Progress
22. Second Avenue Shopper App
23. 125 Years of Park East and 85 Years of Rabbi Arthur Schneier
24. Roosevelt Island Lamppost Dedication
25. Street Fairs
26. Adopt-A-Planter
27. Cooking with Kallos

Upgrading Government
28. Where's my FiOS?
29. Fighting Corruption at the Board of Elections
30. Intellibins
31. Insourcing IT jobs
32. Getting Laws Online the Right Way
33. Personal Democracy Forum

Office Updates
34. Legislative Corner
35. Summer Reading Challenge
36. In the Neighborhood
37. Summer Interns
38. Here to Help
39. Mobile District Hours
40. Ben in Your Building

Community Resources
41. Free Summer Meals
42. Affordable Housing
43. Bike New York
44. City Council Events
45. Community Events

Monday, June 29, 2015

Very Informative Healthy Good Night Sleep Seminar Presented By Roosevelt Island Women's Health Organization, Cornell Tech And Weill Cornell Center For Sleep Medicine

The Roosevelt Island Women’s Health Organization (RIWHO) has joined with Cornell Tech, Weill Cornell Medical College and New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center to offer a series of health related seminars to the Roosevelt Island community (Men are welcome too).

The fourth seminar in the series took place June 24 and was on the topic of Sleep Health - Learn How To Get A Good Night Sleep. The seminar featured a presentation by Dr Dianne Augelli

Image Of Dr Augelli RIWHO/Cornell Tech Sleep Seminar

a Neurologist at the New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center for Sleep Medicine.
Getting a good night sleep is necessary for optimal health. Learn from a sleep expert the basics about your sleep health and the latest in sleep research. Discover how your mind and body are affected by sleep deprivation, including the most common sleep ailments of sleep apnea, insomnia and restless leg syndrome. 
Doctor Augelli was introduced by Cornell Tech's Jane Swanson.

Doctor Augelli stressed the importance of a good night's sleep for overall health, discussed the most common types of Sleep Disorders.

and offered these twelve simple tips to improve your health.

Here's the RIWHO/ Cornell Tech Healthy Sleep presentation by Dr. Augelli

followed by questions from the audience.

More information, including contact information for Dr. Augelli available at the Weill Cornell Center For Sleep Medicine.

Previous RIWHO/Cornell Tech health seminars were on topics of Back Pain, Nutrition and Stroke Awareness.

Roosevelt Island Tram Becoming Performance Space For Musicians & Artists - Watch Martina Heimann Pop And Lock Breakdancing Moves On Roosevelt Island Tram For New Yorker 5 Borough Freestyle Dance Series

The Roosevelt Island Tram is becoming a performance space for artists. Earlier this year:
Boulder based Bluegrass band Hot Rize performed the song A Cowboy's Life from their new album When I'm Free for some nighttime passengers on the Roosevelt Island Tram...
The Roosevelt Island Tram was the site for hipster rock duo Matt & Kim performing Hey Now last March 27....
 As part of The New Yorker 5 Borough Freestyle dance series,

The New Yorker has more on Popping dance style and the 5 Borough Freestyle Dance Series.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Help Return A Blue Jay Baby Bird To Mother In Blackwell Park Asks Roosevelt Island Wildlife Specialist

Image From Rossana Ceruzzi

Roosevelt Island resident Rossana Ceruzzi is a wildlife specialist with the Wildlife Freedom Foundation and is seeking your help today for a baby Blue Jay bird missing from Blackwell Park. Ms Ceruzzi reports:
A baby Blue Jay has been picked up by someone next to the playground at Blackwell Park. The bird must be returned asap or will succumb.

Image From Rossana Ceruzzi

His mother is looking for him!!!

Image From Rossana Ceruzzi

The baby Blue Jay should be returned to Blackwell Park. I have been monitoring the bird for 3 days since the nest fell from the tree. A second Blue Jay is in rehabilitation and this one was just fine as his mother Blue Jay was taking care of him until he went missing.
Can you help?