Saturday, September 26, 2015

Roosevelt Island Parents' Network RI MoM Walking And Exercise Group Meeting Monday Morning September 28 - Start At Tram, Walk To Southpoint Park

Roosevelt Island Parents' Network Coordinator (RIPN) Eva Bosbach reports:

Dear all,

RI Parents' Network's next free Roosevelt Island Moms on the Move (RI MoM) walk and exercise event

will take place on Monday, September 28, starting at 9:30 AM at the Tram kiosk.

We are going to walk south to Southpoint park

continue with some exercise there if the weather allows (if not in one of the playrooms), then walk back to the Tram kiosk. The exercise part will be lead by Theodora (thank you!), with greetings and kind advice from Paulina from Washington D.C.

All moms, moms to-be and parents of children

of all ages are welcome. The exercise part is voluntary, you are more then welcome to just join for some relaxed time with other parents and children on the fresh air. Please reach out to us if you are coming later and would like to coordinate.

Looking forward to seeing you and your little ones there! :)

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

Friday, September 25, 2015

No Roosevelt Island F Train Service From Manhattan This Weekend Says MTA -Tram Runs On Rush Hour Schedule 7 AM To 10 PM Says RIOC

According to the MTA:
F Jamaica-bound trains run via the M from 47-50 Sts to Roosevelt Av

Weekend, 9:45 PM Fri to 5 AM Mon, Sep 25 - 28

F trains run express from Queens Plaza to Roosevelt Av.

No Jamaica-bound service at 57 St, Lexington Av/63 St, Roosevelt Island and 21 St-Queensbridge.
The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) adds:
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

Wings & Things Food Truck Serving Roosevelt Island Today - Have Permit Thru October

A new food truck served Roosevelt Island today.

Wings N Things Food Truck was here this afternoon on the West Promenade across from Starbucks and they have a permit for the month of October.

Here's the menu.

Give them a try.

Here We Go Again, Intermittent Roosevelt Island Bridge Closings During Upcoming United Nations General Assembly - Will Emergency Vehicles Be Delayed Worries Roosevelt Island Resident - East River West Channel Closed To Boat Traffic

It's that time of year again for Roosevelt Island.  The opening of the 2015 United Nations General Assembly Session means the diversion of all East River boat traffic to the Roosevelt Island East Channel Queens side for security precautions due to our proximity to the United Nations resulting in the intermittent closings of the Roosevelt Island Bridge.

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
The NYC Department of Transportation Division of Bridges will be opening the Roosevelt Island Bridge on demand from 7 AM- 7 PM for marine traffic from Friday, September 25, 2015 to Friday, October 2, 2015 during the United Nations General Assembly. Each opening should take anywhere from 8-12 minutes to complete. Expect intermittent traffic disruptions and delays on Main Street and along the Roosevelt Island Bridge approach.

For more information, please contact the Division of Bridges/Community Affairs at (212) 839-3740.
The NYC Department of Transportation adds:
Please see the attached Important Notice announcing intermittent daytime full closures of the Roosevelt Island Bridge over the East Channel of the East River during the upcoming session of the United Nations General Assembly. From Friday, September 25, to Friday, October 2, from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., the West Channel of the East River will be closed to marine traffic; vessels will be diverted to the East Channel, between Roosevelt Island and Queens. The Roosevelt Island Bridge will therefore be intermittently closed to all vehicular, pedestrian and bicycle traffic for up to 15 minutes at a time.

Coast Guard News reports:

East River security zone restrictions:

Zone 1: This zone is always in effect. No vessels within 175 yards of Manhattan between East 35th Street and the Queensboro/59th Street Bridge in the west channel of the East River. Commercial vessels must check in with the VTS New York (VTSNY) on VHF-FM Channel 12 prior to entering the west channel.

Zone 2: West Channel closure: Sept. 28 to Oct. 2 (7 a.m.- 7 p.m.). No commercial or recreational traffic in the west channel of the East River between East 35th Street and the Queensboro/59th Street Bridge. NYC DEP sludge vessels will not be allowed to transit without 24-hour advance coordination with the Sector New York Enforcement Division.

Zone 3: Full river closure: Sept. 25 and Sept. 28 (Times vary, see restriction/ closure times below) No commercial or recreational traffic in the East River between Eat 35th Street and the Queensboro/ 59th Street Bridge, except commercial passenger vessels on the east channel with the United States Coast Guard Patrol Commander (PATCOM) approval.

Roosevelt Island Bridge openings

1. Vessels that require opening of the Roosevelt Island Bridge must contact the bridge tender at least 15 minutes in advance by phone at, (718) 545-2092 from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., or via VHF-FM Channel 13....
Roosevelt Island resident Raye Schwartz is concerned for the safety of Roosevelt Island residents due to the intermittent closings of the Roosevelt Island Bridge.

Roosevelt Island Bridge Raised To Let Sailboat Pass During 2010 UN Week Causing Ambulance To Wait

Ms. Schwartz writes:
For those of us on Roosevelt Island, the following transportation issues will impact heavily on over 13,000 people, not only during the Papal visit, but over this coming weekend and the following week for the UN General Assembly meeting.
  1. The bridge from Vernon Boulevard to Roosevelt Island is going to open and close frequently to let boats, including pleasure boats, pass on the east channel of the East River. While the bridge is opened, often for 15 or more minutes at a time, no cars, trucks, or emergency vehicles such as FDNY, police or Ambulances can get on or off the island, thus endangering the lives of everyone who lives or works here.
  2. MTA is suspending the F train one way for the entire weekend because of planned, non-emergency construction.
DOT blames the Coast Guard who blames Homeland Security who blames the FBI who blames...well you get the picture, I hope.

Seriously, this has to stop. For one thing, if you look at the map, you will notice that if someone who wants to do harm comes south in a boat in the east channel and has the right weapons, they could just as easily create havoc for the UN (or our power plants in the east channel and knock out power to the entire city)!

There should be absolutely no boat traffic whatsoever, except perhaps for fuel deliveries by barge to the power plants along Vernon Boulevard south of the Roosevelt Island Bridge, and if so, they should be done at night rather than during the day. Those deliveries should not cause the bridge to open unnecessarily.
  • Two years ago, for example, during the UN general assembly meeting, I was returning home from food shopping and as I approached the bridge, there was an ambulance ahead of me with its siren blasting, but the bridge master chose to ignore the ambulance and instead opened the bridge so the ambulance could not get through. We waited and waited until finally I saw a sailboat travel south down the channel, and that was more than the 15 minutes we anticipated. The person who needed that ambulance could have died because some selfish person decided that it was more fun to use his pleasure boat and nobody stopped him!
  • MTA should not interrupt subway service for construction during this period, since we are told that we must depend on mass transit...and yes, many people must travel for work and/or medical situations. You cannot tell us to use mass transit if it is shut down!
My thinking is that this is all for show while over 13,000 people are being endangered and inconvenienced. Therefore, please put your heads together with the Federal, City and State agencies to find a better solution to protect these dignitaries without endangering the lives or inconveniencing of so many of us.
During 2014 UN General Assembly Week, a sailboat crashed

Image From William S

into the Roosevelt Island Bridge.

UPDATE 8:30 PM - The Coast Guard is patrolling the East River by Roosevelt Island.

Hey Stephen Colbert, You're Right NYC Subway Pizza Rat Is Not That Special - Roosevelt Island Pizza Eating Squirrel Is Really Cute

The NYC rat dragging a slice of pizza down subway stairs video became an internet sensation earlier this week.

Subway Pizza Rat even made it on Late Night With Stephen Colbert. Colbert noted that in NYC, pizza rat is not that special.

That's true.

For example, some Roosevelt Island squirrels enjoy their pizza sitting on a bench outdoors and don't mind anyone watching.

Roosevelt Island Squirrels also enjoy chomping on fresh fruit.

Colbert is familiar with Roosevelt Island. As previously reported, the Roosevelt Island Tram

is featured on the Late Show With Stephen Colbert opening segment.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Make And Fly Your Own Kite At Roosevelt Island FDR Four Freedoms Park Saturday September 26 In Recognition Of United Nations General Assembly And International Peace Day

You're invited to make and fly your own kite Saturday, September 26 at the Roosevelt Island FDR Four Freedoms Park (FDR Park).

Image From FDR Park

According to the FDR Park:
Kite-Making Workshop:

Family Flight Day

Saturday, September 26, 2015

1:00pm 5:00pm

Make your own kite during our drop-in kite-making workshop for all ages in the Park's programming tent; kite flying on lawn. Workshop will be led by our Education Department. We will also be hosting an interactive kite flying demonstration on the park lawn from 1pm-5pm by Archie Stewart, a member of the American Kitefliers Association. (Rain date: Sunday, September 27th)

In recognition of the United Nations General Assembly and International Peace Day, visitors are invited to fly kites at the park all week long. On Wednesday, September 23, Thursday, September 24, and Saturday, September 26, visitors will have the opportunity to design and fly their own special kite, selecting stripes, colors, and symbols that represent their personal ideas about peace and freedom.
FDR Park tweeted today.

Any Thoughts On Improving Roosevelt Islander Online Reader Comments?

Image From Google+

Earlier today, reader Old Rossie noted problems with the type of comments recently made on Roosevelt Islander:
... Oh my! no wonder no one is commenting on this blog anymore... 
I asked Old Rossie:
Any suggestions on ways to improve and encourage comments?

Some have suggested I start requiring real names, like Facebook, instead of allowing the use of pseudonyms.

I have resisted doing that because I know there are good reasons why someone may wish not to use their real name to provide informative and valuable comments.

However, the problems with pseudonyms is that it can be abused with nonsense, personal grudges etc.

Any thoughts or suggestions on improving comments is appreciated.
Roosevelt Islander commenting policy has been consistent throughout the years to allow all comments as long as they are not legally defamatory or accuse a named individual of illegal activities.

Believe me, it has not been easy applying this criteria but I try my best to be fair and objective while reserving sole decision making discretion.

If you have any thoughts or suggestions on improving Roosevelt Islander Online comments, please let me know.

Here's more on the issue of regulating online comments.

Web sites are not liable for reader comments. A 2013 case ruled that web sites could be liable for reader comments

but was reversed on appeal in 2014.

UPDATE 6:30 PM: VG suggests:
Regardless whether or not real names are used, if people want to use the blog to incessantly argue, they will continue to do so. Perhaps the best thing to do is to shutdown the ability to post comments to an article after a week; maybe people will then move onto a different topic.

As a resident of Roosevelt Island for 7 years, it is disheartening to see members of RIRA battling back and forth like this. It's no wonder there are many people like myself who have no interest in RIRA; we don't feel RIRA truly represents the community at large. RIRA seems to be populated with folks who each have their own personal agendas and lack the vision, patience and sophistication to communicate their ideas effectively, and really have no interest in community collaboration.

Fresh Food For Seniors Program Expanding To Roosevelt Island Announces Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer - Starts October 12 To Order

According to Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer's Office:
In 2012, Borough President Brewer partnered with GrowNYC, the Department for the Aging, and more than a dozen senior centers to deliver fresh, locally-grown fruit and vegetables for just $8 a bag. This year, the Fresh Food for Seniors program has expanded to include neighborhoods stretching from the West Village to Northern Manhattan!

Seniors pay $8 for a bag containing five-to-six varieties of fresh fruit and vegetables – a retail value of $18 to $20. Orders are pay-as-you-go, one week ahead of each delivery date. Fresh Food for Seniors allows seniors to sign up for just one order at a time so that they can decide how much food they need, when they need it....
During August 5 Roosevelt Island Town Hall Meeting with NYC Public Advocate Letitia James, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer reported on the Fresh Food For Seniors Program.

At the time of the August 5 Town Hall Meeting, the Fresh Food For Seniors Program was not available for Roosevelt Island but Ms. Brewer encouraged residents to ask for it.

At the conclusion of the Town Hall meeting, Roosevelt Island Seniors Association VP Wendy Hersh requested that Roosevelt Island be included in the Fresh Food For Seniors program.

During September 9 Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council Public Session, Ron Davidson described the Fresh Food For Seniors Program and explained that the program was not yet available on Roosevelt Island but he accessed the program through NYC Council Member Corey Johnson's office.

Well, here's some good news.

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer's office announced yesterday, September 23:
Today, Borough President Gale A. Brewer announced her office’s Fresh Food for Seniors program is expanding to cover Roosevelt Island. The program currently makes pre-packed bags of fresh, locally-sourced produce available to seniors every two weeks in the West Village, Chelsea, Clinton, the Upper West Side, Upper Yorkville, East Harlem, and northern Manhattan for just $8 per bag on a pay-as-you-go basis.

“It’s amazing what we’ve been able to do with this program in just three short years,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer, who started the Fresh Food for Seniors program on the Upper West Side in 2012, when she served as that neighborhood’s Council Member. “For just $8 a bag, this program pays for itself while delivering healthy, fresh produce to seniors right in their neighborhoods at a tremendous value.”

The Roosevelt Island Senior Association will partner with the Borough President’s office, collecting and distributing orders at the Roosevelt Island Senior Center, located at 546 Main Street. The Fall 2015 order and pickup dates for the new Roosevelt Island program are as follows:

Place orders Monday-Tuesday, Oct. 12-13, 1pm-3pm

Pick-up Wednesday, Oct. 21, 3pm-6pm

Place orders Monday-Tuesday, Oct. 26-27, 1pm-3pm

Pick-up Wednesday, Nov. 4, 3pm-6pm

Place orders Monday-Tuesday, Nov. 9-10, 1pm-3pm

Pick-up Wednesday, Nov. 18, 3pm-6pm

The produce for the Roosevelt Island program will be purchased through Greenmarket Co., the wholesale division of GrowNYC, and will be packed by volunteers at the Fulton Senior Center in Chelsea, before being transported to the Roosevelt Island Senior Center.
More info from Ms. Brewer on Fresh Food For Seniors here.






Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Sick Passenger At Roosevelt Island Subway Station Delays F Train Commute Earlier This Morning - Riders Use Tram And Bus As Alternatives

According to the Roosevelt Island Twitterverse:

UPDATE 7:40 PM - Long lines at the Tram this morning due to the sick passenger F train delays.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Roosevelt Island Cultural Center Security & Building Manager Job Request For Proposals Issued By RIOC

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) issued a September 16 Request For Proposals (RFP) seeking a security and building manager for the Roosevelt Island Cultural Center. A pre-bid meeting date is scheduled for 10 AM tomorrow, September 23, at RIOC HQ (591 Main Street).

Image From RIOC RFP

According to the RIOC RFP (Page 1):
The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation ("RIOC" or “Owner”) is seeking a qualified security and building manager with prior, similar experience, for its Pilot Program, who is responsible, customer service oriented, has the ability to interact well with the public, can resolve conflict with diplomacy, and exercises sound judgement, and who will have a working relationship with the Public Safety Department and the Permitting Unit to provide security/building facilitator services for the Cultural Center located at 548 Main Street, on Roosevelt Island....
and (Page 4):
... Scope of Work (included but not limited to):

The Cultural Center is located in the basement of a multi-story building, of which, the Public Safety Department is housed above. The Cultural Center provides community space for the various groups on the Island to assemble. The Cultural Center consists of a Theater, two offices, a kitchen, and seven other rooms available to permitted users. These permitted rooms include three dance studios, three classrooms, and two storage rooms.

RIOC is seeking a qualified security and building manager – with prior, similar experience – who is responsible, customer service oriented, has the ability to interact well with the public, can resolve conflict with diplomacy, and exercises sound judgement, and who will have a working relationship with the Public Safety Department to provide the following services:
  • Promptly and directly report to the Public Safety Department and the Permit Unit, any and all incidents requiring enforcement of Cultural Center Facility Use Guidelines;
  • Ensure that permitted rooms within the Cultural Center are used appropriately, and in accordance with their permitted use;
  • Monitor points of entry of the Cultural Center to ensure that doors are locked and secured;
  • Read and enforce daily schedule of permitted use for permitted rooms inside the Cultural Center;
  • Inspect permitted rooms after use by each permittee and receive filled out Cultural Center Checklist
  • form after termination of each permitted use;
  • Draft Unusual Occurrence Reports and notify PSD of any emergencies and or incidents that occur in the Cultural Center;
  • Draft Unusual Occurrence Reports regarding any incidents or emergencies that occur with the facility
  • and/or permitted users and also provide a copy to the Permitting Office each morning; and
  • Coordinate with, and promptly notify the building Superintendent (and the Permit Unit) regarding any plumbing issues, or malfunctions with building fixtures and/or other equipment.
These services must be provided for a minimum of two eight-hour shifts not to exceed three eight-hour shifts, which will be determined according to necessity solely by RIOC. These services will also be provided for six (6) months, with the possibility of extending the contract another six (6) months. The qualified security and building manager will be expected to look professional and wear a uniform and name tag, displaying the represented firm and the employee’s name. All uniforms and name tags will be the sole responsibility of the successful bidder to provide. Additionally, the security and building manager will have all necessary certifications required by New York State, federal, local law, and regulations.

All interested bidders will be expected to appear for a walkthrough of the target facility, which will occur on September 23, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. ...
Click here for more information on the RFP and here for more information on the Roosevelt Island Cultural Center.

UPDATE 4:25 PM - The pre-bid meeting for September 23 has been cancelled.

Roosevelt Island Jewish Congregation And Chabad Lubavitch Of Roosevelt Island Yom Kippur Services September 22 And September 23 At The Cultural Center

The Jewish Holiday of Yom Kippur begins this evening September 22. According to
According to tradition, the first Yom Kippur took place after the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt and arrival at Mount Sinai, where God gave Moses the Ten Commandments. Descending from the mountain, Moses caught his people worshipping a golden calf and shattered the sacred tablets in anger. Because the Israelites atoned for their idolatry, God forgave their sins and offered Moses a second set of tablets.

... According to tradition, God judges all creatures during the 10 Days of Awe between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, deciding whether they will live or die in the coming year. Jewish law teaches that God inscribes the names of the righteous in the “book of life” and condemns the wicked to death on Rosh Hashanah; people who fall between the two categories have until Yom Kippur to perform “teshuvah,” or repentance. As a result, observant Jews consider Yom Kippur and the days leading up to it a time for prayer, good deeds, reflecting on past mistakes and making amends with others.

Yom Kippur is Judaism’s most sacred day of the year; it is sometimes referred to as the “Sabbath of Sabbaths.” For this reason, even Jews who do not observe other traditions refrain from work, which is forbidden during the holiday, and participate in religious services on Yom Kippur, causing synagogue attendance to soar. Some congregations rent out additional space to accommodate large numbers of worshippers....
Click here for more from on Yom Kippur.

Roosevelt Island Jewish residents can attend Yom Kippur services with either the Roosevelt Island Jewish Congregation (RIJC) or the  Chabad Lubavitch of Roosevelt Island.

The RIJC Yom Kippur schedule is as follows:
Yom Kippur

Tuesday, September 22

6:15 pm Sharp Kol Nidrei Service

6:00 pm Child Care

Wednesday, September 23

9:15 am Morning Service

9:00 am Child Care

10:30 am Children’s Service (in the Theater)

5:00 pm Afternoon Service, with Ne’ilah & Havdalah, followed by Break-the-Fast

5:00 pm Child Care

Note: All 2015 High Holy Day Services and Child Care will be held at the Cultural Center – 548 Main Street.

The entrances to Cultural Center can be accessed thru the Breezeway next to 540 Main Street, at the staircase behind the old Hardware Store @ 548 Main Street, or through the elevator entrance behind the Public Safety Office, located thru the Breezeway @ 556 Main Street & turning right.
The Chabad Lubavitch of Roosevelt Island Yom Kippur schedule is as follows:
Yom Kippur Eve, Tuesday, Sept. 22

6:35pm Candlelighting and Fast begins

6:45pm Kol Nidrei and evening prayers

Yom Kippur Day, Wednesday, Sept. 23

10:00am Shacharis and children’s program

6:00pm Neilah

7:32pm Shofar blowing and break fast buffet

All programs and prayers will be held at The Roosevelt Island Community Cultural Center, Renwick Room & Lighthouse Room - 548 Main Street (unless otherwise noted)
Here's more information on the RIJC and Chabad Lubavitch of Roosevelt Island.

L'Shana Tova. Have an easy fast.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Roosevelt Island Manhattan Park New York City Fire Hydrant Broken For Months - Lying On Side All Summer Says Resident

Image From Dottie Jeffries

Roosevelt Island Manhattan Park resident Dottie Jeffries reports:
This hydrant has been lying on is side

Image From Dottie Jeffries

all summer in front of 30 River Road. Maybe if you post the photos, the appropriate parties will get it fixed.
Fire hydrant complaints can be reported to NYC web site.

UPDATE 4:30 PM - According to a Manhattan Park representative:
The hydrant was knocked over on 8/17/15 sometime between 12:00pm and 1:15pm

I put a call immediately to 311 and we are awaiting repairs.

I have put in several calls since. The city claims they will repair in 5 days.

We are patiently waiting as well as making additional calls.

Roosevelt Island Helix Ramp Bike Ban And Safety On Agenda For RIRA Public Safety Committee Meeting Tonight - You're Invited

Large Group Of Bike Riders On West Promenade 9/20

The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Public Safety Committee (PSC) invites:
... all bikers or interested parties. We will be discussing Bike safety, the Helix, and the resolution on prohibiting bikes on the helix.
The PSC meeting takes place 7 PM tonight, September 21, at the Westview Community Room (625 Main Street).

Bike Riders Coming Down Helix Ramp 9/20

As previously reported, on August 11 the RIRA PSC passed a resolution banning bicycles for safety reasons from using the Roosevelt Island Bridge Helix ramp to and from Main Street. The PSC helix bike banning resolution was to be voted on by the full RIRA Common Council during its September meeting.

On Wednesday, September 9, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Operations Advisory Committee rejected banning bicycles from the Roosevelt Island Bridge Helix. Instead RIOC will seek to improve safety with better signage, road striping and education as well as examining if the broken Motorgate Atrium escalator can be fixed so bicycle riders can use it instead of the helix ramp.

Following RIOC's rejection of banning bicycles on the Roosevelt Island Bridge Helix Ramp:
...The RIRA Common Council did not vote on the helix bike ban resolution but sent it back to the Public Safety Committee for further review....
Here's the September 9 RIRA Common Council discussion on helix bike banning resolution which was tabled.

So, the RIRA Public Safety Committee will be discussing helix bike safety issues again tonight. If you are interested in the subject, please attend tonight's meeting.

More on the helix ramp safety issue here and here.