Saturday, November 7, 2015

Hawk Spotted Hanging Out At Roosevelt Island Al Lewis Playground Yesterday - Flew Away Holding Dead Rat In Claws

Roosevelt Island resident Irena Skuletic shares this photo and reports:

We just saw a hawk sitting near the tennis wall at Al Lewis playground,

he looked beautiful, we were all taking pictures, and then he flew away, and he was holding a dead rat in his claws!

That's probably one of the reason there are dead and dismembered animals on the island.
More Roosevelt Island Hawk spottings here.

Friday, November 6, 2015

SPONSORED POST - Roosevelt Island Gristedes Rotisserie Chicken, Baked Ham, Southern Yams, Idaho Potatoes, Seedless Grapes & More Weekend Sale - Check It Out & Try The New Craft Russian Beer

Roosevelt Island Gristedes Supermarket invites you to it's Weekend Sale Friday November 6 to Sunday November 8. Sale items include:

Rotisserie Chickens $7.99ea. and get a free 8oz container of your choice Potato, Macaroni or Cole Slaw Salad,

Store Baked Ham $4.99lb,

Southern Yams 88 cents per lb,

Loose Idaho Potatoes 88 cents per lb,

and Seedless Red and Green Grapes $2.99lb.

Gristedes representative Bob Capano invites Roosevelt Island residents to try their wide variety of Craft Beer Selections. Try the new Russian Beer.

Also, don't forget the 10% Roosevelt Island Seniors Discount on Tuesday and Wednesday and Sign Up For Gristedes Bonus Cards online or in person at the store.
Check out the Roosevelt Island Gristedes Deals For November 6 - November 19.

and  more Roosevelt Island Gristedes Supermarket Products and Offerings including the Deli, Bakery, Fresh Produce, Organic, International Foods & Pharmacy Sections as well as the Gristedes Supermarket web site.

Good Times Had To End - No Roosevelt Island F Train Service To Manhattan This Weekend

 According to the MTA:
F Coney Island-bound trains run via the E from Roosevelt Av to 5 Av/53 St

Weekend, 10:15 PM Fri to 5 AM Mon, Nov 6 - 9

Trains resume regular service at 47-50 Sts.

No Coney Island-bound F service at 21 St-Queensbridge, Roosevelt Island, Lexington Av/63 St and 57 St.
We had 5 consecutive weekends of Roosevelt Island F Train service to and from Manhattan but, alas, not a 6th.

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

Roosevelt Island Parents' Network Workshop Shares Information And Experience On Choosing A Kindergarten For Your Child

The Roosevelt Island Parents' Network (RIPN) hosted it's 3rd annual Choosing A Kindergarten Workshop on Sunday November 1.

Workshop panelists were parents who have recent experience with the process of choosing a Kindergarten for their child in NYC.  According to RIPN Coordinator Eva Bosbach:
Our panelists investigated different options, successfully placed their children in a variety of schools and programs including G&T and Charters, are active in parent advocacy and happy to share their knowledge....
Topics covered during the Kindergarten workshop included:
  • public, charter and private schools, 
  • Gifted & Talented Programs,
  • prepping and testing, 
  • special needs resources,
  • commuting, 
  • costs &
  • more.
PS/IS 217 is the local Roosevelt Island elementary school. Roosevelt Island is located in the NYC Department Of Education's District 2. According to Inside Schools:
.... District 2 has some of the highest-performing and most popular schools in the city. The district covers the wealthiest neighborhoods in the city—the East Side south of 97th Street and the West Side south of 59th street (but not the Lower East Side).

Several new elementary schools have opened in recent years, easing overcrowding. Most parents are satisfied with their zoned neighborhood schools and look no further.

There are a number of schools that admit children according to the results of an entrance exam, including Hunter College Elementary School (open to children who live anywhere in Manhattan) and Lower Lab School (open only to children who live in District 2). Several neighborhood schools also have gifted programs that accept children from outside their attendance zone.

Other options: Ella Baker School is open to children citywide. Midtown West and PS 150 accept children from across District 2....
Inside Schools review of Roosevelt Island's PS/IS 217 is here.

Below is video of the RIPN Choosing A Kindergarten Workshop.

Part 1 - RIPN Coordinator Eva Bosbach introduces the panel and subject.

Part 2 - Success Academy NYC Charter School

Part 3 - Ella Baker NYC Progressive Public School.

Part 4 - NYC Gifted & Talented Programs (Application deadline to request testing is November 9)

Part 5 - Local Roosevelt Island NYC PS/IS 217 ("Mommy, I don't want to commute any more")

Part 6 - Private Schools

Part 7 -Special Needs & recommended Kindergarten Resources Information.

Ms Bosbach adds:
Thank you to all parents who participated in our annual Choosing a Kindergarten workshop. Thank you to the attendees and especially to all speakers for volunteering their time and for their willingness to share their knowledge and experience with the exciting but sometimes also overwhelming process of searching for a Kindergarten that is a good match for your child. Another thank you goes to our co-hosts: the Roosevelt Island Jewish Congregation and Main Street Sweets. Last but not least special thanks to Jen Reyes for designing our flyer again this year. Good luck to all in the process!
The 2016 NYC Department of Education Manhattan  Kindergarten Directory is here.

More info available at NYC DOE Kindergarten and Gifted & Talented web sites as well as Inside Schools.

You can contact the Roosevelt Island Parents' Network for more kindergarten info too as well as a general resource for Roosevelt Island parents.

RIRA Island Services Committee Reports Roosevelt Island Tram Station Elevators Still A Problem, Happy Southtown Riverwalk Rats, Sportspark Inspection, Boy Scouts Re-Activation & Post Office Bike Rack Installed

 New Bike Rack At Roosevelt Island Post Office

Below is Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Island Services Committee (ISC)

report to the RIRA November Common Council:


ISC did not meet in October. Next meeting will be in mid‐November.

Tram Elevators – The old elevator was out‐of‐service a number of times in October (this seems to be never ending!). Fortunately, the back‐up Red Lift was operating, so passengers still had a way to get up and down the platform. ISC is very concerned about when and if the elevator will operate during this winter.

Work on the new elevators is still stalled until the bankruptcy issues are fully settled. It is expected that design work on this project will be able to resume sometime in November. RIOC has not issued an update on when the new elevators will be in operation. ISC’s estimate is winter, 2017.

Sportspark – Several ISC members have re‐inspected Sportspark to assess how RIOC is coming with the work needed to bring this facility up to an acceptable condition. ISC plans to meet with the appropriate RIOC officials in November to review our findings and find out the timing on all remaining upgrade projects.

Control of Rats – Commercial Trash Yard – ISC declared victory prematurely on this issue. It seems that the trash yard has returned to its previously unacceptable condition. On 2 or 3 days each week the yard is not up to Depart. Of Sanitation standards. We will meet with Related one last time before we call in the Depart. Of Sanitation and the Board of Health for help in resolving this bad situation. Meanwhile, the rats in Southtown seem happy with all the food they can get at the trash yard.

Boy Scouts – ISC is meeting with the Youth Center to see if we can develop a joint program to reactivate the Scouts on RI.

Post Office Customer Service – ISC was able to get RIOC to install a bike rack in front of the Post Office. Now bikers can protect their bikes while they conduct their business at the Post Office. Bikes are not permitted inside the facility.

Respectfully Submitted,

Aaron Hamburger, ISC Chair
UPDATE 1:45 PM - RI Long Times adds:
Ha, Ha !

This "Bike rack" is actually one of those stanchions used at parades & at police activity. I was there the day it was placed and painted AND, it is not even in front of the Post Office, but rather next to the bench at Gristedes, where bike owners cannot even see their bikes. I'm glad to see the "improvement", but as usual, RIOC's geography is a bit confused.

You're Invited To Opening Reception For New Gallery RIVAA Exhibit Saturday November 7 - Time Semantics Of A Korean Wedding By Eunkyoung Park At Octagon Gallery

Gallery RIVAA reports:

Dear all,

You are cordially invited to the opening reception of our new exhibition by gallery artist Eunkyoung Park on Saturday, November 7th from 5-7pm at Octagon Gallery.

Opening Reception: Saturday, November 7th, 5-7pm
Exhibition Dates: November 7th - December 6th, 2015
Location: The Octagon, 888 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, NYC

We hope to see you there!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

No Fresh Prince Of Roosevelt Island But There Was Grandpa Munster Al Lewis

An article in the LA Times today compares Los Angeles neighborhood housing sales prices with comparable NYC housing sales prices. What is the comparable LA sales price neighborhood to Roosevelt Island? According to the LA Times:

...At $941 per square foot, Bel-Air is similar to Roosevelt Island ($940) or East Harlem ($963), both emerging neighborhoods without anywhere near the same cachet as Bel-Air. There has never been, and probably never will be, a Fresh Prince of Roosevelt Island....

What do you think - has there been, or will there be, a Fresh Prince Of Roosevelt Island?

Well, we did have Grandpa Munster Al Lewis as a long time resident.

Roosevelt Island Ferry Service Really Coming In 2017 Says NYC Economic Development Corporation At RIRA Meeting Last Night - Sorry, But No Wine Bar Included

The NYC Economic Development Corp (NYC EDC) presented its plan for the upcoming City Wide Ferry Service to the Roosevelt Island community at last night's joint meeting of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) and Community Board 8's Roosevelt Island committee.

Image From November 4 NYC EDC Roosevelt Island Presentation

According to the NYC EDC:
The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) is working with the Office of Mayor de Blasio to launch the Citywide Ferry Service. The service will consist of five new ferry routes in addition to the existing East River Ferry service, charging a fare of $2.75. The service will further the Mayor's goals of:
  • providing affordable and convenient transit for communities with limited transportation options;
  • supporting growing neighborhoods;
  • and increasing the resiliency and redundancy of our city's transportation network.
When the Citywide Ferry Service is fully operational in 2018, the six routes will carry an estimated 4.6 million trips per year. Building on several years of ferry planning and operations experience, NYCEDC is leading the project by building ten new ferry landings, renovating six others, and selecting operator(s) to run the service....
The NYC EDC plan includes ferry service to Roosevelt Island on a route from Astoria - Roosevelt Island - Long Island City - East 34th Street to Wall Street starting in 2017. The fare will be $2.75 with free transfer to other ferry routes but Metro Cards will not be accepted nor will there be free transfer between the ferry and MTA subway or bus system.

The route and length of trip is pictured below.

Image From Jeanmarie Evelly

The City Wide Ferry Service August 12 NYC EDC Draft Scope Of Work (Page 7) reports:
... The proposed Roosevelt Island landing would be located on the eastern side of the island immediately to the north of the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge (see Figure 6). The proposed landing site is a dock that was formerly used primarily for delivery of oil shipments to the island controlled by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC). Access to the site is provided by East Main Street, which runs adjacent to the dock and includes a sidewalk on the eastern side of the roadway. Access is also available from the waterfront esplanade that runs to the north and south of the dock, which connects to the East Main Street sidewalk. The landing would be located in a residential (R7-2) zoning district. Transit service is provided by the Q102 bus and an intra-island bus service, which both run along East Main Street. This dock would be improved or partially removed as a result of the proposed project, and a new barge and gangway would be constructed to establish the ferry landing. No upland circulation improvements are anticipated at the site, although improvements to the dock would likely be necessary to facilitate pedestrian flow between the gangway and East Main Street....
Image From November 4 NYC EDC Roosevelt Island Presentation

Roosevelt Island Oil Dock Potential Location For New Ferry Dock

Image From November 4 NYC EDC Roosevelt Island Presentation

Here's the November 4 NYC EDC Citywide Roosevelt Island Ferry Presentation.

Part 1- NYC EDC's Justine Johnson and James Wong provide an overview of the NYC Ferry Service system and plan for Roosevelt Island route.

Part 2 - NYC EDC representatives answer questions from the public including:
  • types of ferry vessels to be used given the strong East River currents,
  • traffic impact analysis on Ferry Service for Roosevelt Island (no parking lot or structure contemplated for ferry landing),
  • reduced pricing for Seniors (not yet determined)
  • access for wheelchairs, strollers and bicycles (yes),
  • ferry schedule (2 to 3 vessels per hour, each vessel holds 149 passengers).

Part 3 - NYC EDC representatives answer questions from RIRA and Community Board 8 members including:
  • Any impediments to bringing ferry service to Roosevelt Island, (not at moment, moving full speed ahead, currently preparing environmental review statements and permits),
  • shelter for people waiting outside for ferry - (canopies and wind screens,no heat lamps),
  • safety of oil dock itself (divers were in water yesterday evaluating oil dock. Gangway will be used over oil dock to get passengers to the ferry barge, no plan to rehab oil dock at this point),
  • will a wine bar be included during the afternoon and evening run ( at 4 minute 20 second mark, good idea but no, much laughter),
  • will a Red Bus stop at ferry landing,
  • will Cornell Tech $500 Thousand annual five year operating subsidy be in addition to or included in NYC operating ferry subsidies (not prepared to answer yet),
  • why doesn't Roosevelt Island route include stop at Hunters Point South to make travel to Brooklyn easier (Hunters Point ferry stop cannot accommodate additional ferry landings than currently being used),
  • free ferry transfer to other ferry routes but no Metro Cards or free transfer to MTA subway and bus and
  • Can the Roosevelt Island route Ferry be named Minnehanock (original name for Roosevelt Island)?

The NYC EDC has more info the Citywide Ferry Service including the August 2015 Draft Scope of Work for a Draft Environmental Impact Statement and the 2013 Citywide Ferry Study which projected 405 daily Roosevelt Island F train subway station boarding diversions

Image From 2013 Citywide Ferry Study (Page 21)

assuming Roosevelt Island ferry service at a $2.75 ferry fare.

Here comes the Roosevelt Island Ferry in 2017.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

NYC EDC Roosevelt Island Ferry Presentation And Public Purpose Funds Recommendations On Agenda For Tonight's Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Meeting - Come Learn What Is Going On

The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council

Image Of September 2015 RIRA Common Council Meeting

will meet this evening, November 4, at 7:30 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.

The New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) will be conducting a Citywide Ferry Service outreach presentation to the Roosevelt Island community during the RIRA Public Session starting at 7:30. The EDC Roosevelt Island ferry presentation is jointly sponsored by Community Board 8's (CB 8) Roosevelt Island Committee and RIRA.  You're invited to attend and learn about the upcoming Roosevelt Island Ferry service scheduled to start in 2017..

Following the Public Session, which will also include statements from representatives of Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and NY State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright, RIRA will hold it's November Common Council meeting.

Among the items on the RIRA Agenda for tonight is the report and recommendations from RIRA's Public Purpose Funds (PPF) Committee on distributions of Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) PPF Funds to local Roosevelt Island organizations. Here's video of presentations made by Roosevelt Island organizations to the RIRA PPF committee seeking a portion of the $100 Thousand available from RIOC and the full RIRA Agenda for tonight.

You're invited to come to tonight's RIRA meeting and learn what's happening on Roosevelt Island.

UPDATE 12/5 - The RIRA PPF Committee did not submit its recommendations to the the RIRA Common Council during last evening's meeting. PPF Committee Chair reports:
It is with regret that the PPF Committee report did not arrive in time for proper distribution to the Common Council for its review. For that, I take full responsibility. I am also fully aware of the fact that the applicants are anxious to know, and for valid reasons, the extent of funds that could possibly be availed them. I sought confirmation of when the decision of the Council would be acted upon at RIOC, the answer effectively being as early as a Board Meeting in December though there would be staff work required in advance of that. As evidenced during the November meeting, the Council will find a proper way to make this happen.
No explanation for the delay was given.

RIOC Has Ambitious Plans For Improvements At Roosevelt Island Sportspark Facility Says Board Director At Audit Committee Meeting Yesterday

Reported yesterday that:

... contractors are currently working to replace a broken pool pump motor and damaged electrical components at the Sportspark pool. The pool will remain closed until further notice.
At yesterday's November 3 Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Audit Committee meeting discussion (audio web cast of meeting here) of the proposed RIOC 2016-17 Fiscal Year Budget, RIOC Director Howard Polivy noted that the budget included funds for:
.... an ambitious plan for Sportspark ....
  Sportspark Image From Google Maps

I asked Mr. Polivy what were those ambitious plans for Sportspark. Mr. Polivy replied the ambitious plans listed in the proposed budget include::
  • HVAC
  • Electric
  • Roof
  • Pool
  • Concrete Restoration and Reconstruction
  • Replace Windows and Doors
  • New Flooring Squash/Ping Pong/Gym
  • Upgrade Locker Rooms/Bathrooms/Ceilings Sportspark -
  • Façade Repointing/Repair
  • Outdoor Basketball Courts
Mr. Polivy added:
... Basically,  It's a project that will go through the space and rebuild it...
RIOC President Charlene Indelicato reported that due to the Cornell Tech campus project work previously being done on the North Road adjacent to the Sportspark, interior work could not be done at the Sportspark. Now that the Cornell Tech North Road work is completed, Sportspark interior work can start but not before a new Sportspark boiler is installed.

Here's the discussion

and Sportspark items (Page 8, budget item amounts are per thousand)

Image From RIOC Proposed 2016-17 Proposed Budget Page 8

in the RIOC Proposed Fiscal Year 2016-17 Budget.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

NYPD 114 Precinct Explorers Seeking Young Roosevelt Island Men & Woman 14-20 Years Old To Join NYPD Explorers Program - Learn Discipline, Perform Community Service And Begin Possible Career In Law Enforcement

NYPD 114th precinct Explorers and Police Officer Jurwicz were recruiting Roosevelt Island young men and women between the ages of 14 -20 today to join the NYPD Explorers. The NYPD 114 precinct tweets:

The NYPD has more information on the Explorers program:
Law Enforcement Explorers


Law Enforcement Exploring is a community service, career-oriented program designed to educate young men and women, ages 14-20, about Law Enforcement.

Exploring reaches out to New York City's young adults in every community to help build up relations between the community and New York City Police Department. Explorers are taught the importance of higher education, self discipline, and respect for authority while they actively participate in community service projects and other Exploring events.

Contact: 718-834-8824

You can also contact the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Safety Department (550 Main Street, 212-832-4545) or the NYPD 114th Precinct for more information.

SPONSORED POST - Check Out Roosevelt Island Gristedes Supermarket Hardware Items - Deli, Bakery, Fresh Produce, Organic, International Foods, Pharmacy Sections & More Too

Roosevelt Island Gristedes Supermarket representative Bob Capano invites you to try out Gristedes non-food products including an assortment of Hardware items.

Check out more Roosevelt Island Gristedes Supermarket Products and Offerings including the Deli, Bakery, Fresh Produce, Organic, International Foods & Pharmacy Sections and at the Gristedes Supermarket web site.

You're Invited To Roosevelt Island Ferry Service Community Presentation By NYC Economic Development Corp Wednesday November 4 - Roosevelt Island Ferry Service Coming In 2017, Cornell Tech To Provide $500 Thousand Ferry Operating Subsidies Annually For 5 Years

Image From NYC EDC

The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYC EDC) will be conducting a Citywide Ferry Service outreach presentation to the Roosevelt Island community Wednesday, November 4 at 7:30 PM in the Good Shepherd Community Center (543 Main Street).

The NYC EDC Roosevelt Island ferry presentation is jointly sponsored by Community Board 8's (CB 8) Roosevelt Island Committee and the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA). (The presentation was originally scheduled for last month but was postponed due to an illness on the presentation team). Following the NYC EDC Ferry Presentation, RIRA will hold it's November Common Council meeting.

Come learn about plans for the Roosevelt Island, Astoria, LIC, 34th Street and Wall Street Ferry route,

Image From Jeanmarie Evelly

location for Roosevelt Island dock

Roosevelt Island Oil Dock Potential Location For New Ferry Dock

and ask your ferry questions to the NYC EDC representatives.

More information on Roosevelt Island ferry service at previous post and the NYC EDC.

Roosevelt Island Ferry service was discussed during the October 26 Roosevelt Island Cornell Construction & Community Task Force meeting. CB8 member Larry Parnes told the Task Force about the November 4 NYC EDC Roosevelt Island ferry meeting and

Cornell Tech's Jane Swanson reminded the Task Force that Cornell has agreed to contribute $500 Thousand annually for 5 years to Roosevelt Island Ferry service operations in addition to the NYC ferry subsidies.(The video also includes brief discussion of Roosevelt Island pedestrian access to Queensboro Bridge Cornell Tech feasibility study)

Here's a very informative discussion of NYC Ferry Service held during May 2015 Waterfront Alliance


Roosevelt Island Sportspark Pool Closed For Mechanical Problems Until Further Notice - RIOC Working To Fix Recirculation Pump ASAP

I asked Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Charlene Indelicato this morning:

A resident sent the attached photo of sign posted at Sportspark reporting that the Sportspark Pool is closed until further notice due to mechanical problems.

Any statement on what the mechanical problems are, the cause and a an approximate date when the pool will re-open?
Ms Indelicato replied:
The pool is closed due to a malfunctioning water recirculation pump. We will have it up and running asap.
UPDATE 8:30 PM - According to RIOC:
Please be advised that contractors are currently working to replace a broken pool pump motor and damaged electrical components at the Sportspark pool. The pool will remain closed until further notice.

Monday, November 2, 2015

RIOC Audit Committee To Discuss Proposed Fiscal Year 2016-17 Budget Tuesday November 3 - Plans Spending Over $30 Million On Roosevelt Island Capital Infrastructure Improvements And Repairs

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Audit Committee is meeting tomorrow. According to RIOC:
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a meeting of the Audit Committee of the RIOC Board of Directors will be held on Tuesday, November 3, 2015 at 5:30 p.m. at the RIOC administrative office, 591 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York.


Discussion of the Proposed Budget for Fiscal Year 2016 – 2017
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 of the meeting will be available soon thereafter.

A copy of the Proposed RIOC Budget for Fiscal Year 2016-17 is here.

According to Pages 1-2 of the Proposed 2016-17 RIOC Budget:
RIOC’s Proposed Budget FY 2016‐17 projects revenues of $25,983,000, an increase of $618,000 or 2.44% over the Approved Budget FY 2015‐16 amount of $25,365,000. RIOC generates most of its revenues from long‐term ground leases to developers of housing projects on the Island. These leases specify the manner in which the ground lease revenues are derived, including amounts, timing, and escalation of ground lease payments, specifically ground rents, residential fees, and public safety fees. In addition, RIOC generates revenues from its Tramway transportation system, Motorgate parking garage, metered street parking, commercial leases, interest income, and additional revenues ("Other Revenues"). Other Revenues mostly consist of FEMA reimbursements and permitting fees collected for activities that take place in the Sportspark sports facility, as well as permitting fees collected for outdoor field activities.

There is an aggregate increase of $336,000 in ground rent primarily due to escalations as specified in relevant ground leases. In addition, RIOC projects that the construction of Southtown Building 8, which is expected to commence not later than 2017, will result in ground rent of $598,000, which is budgeted for FY 2017‐18 in the 10‐year revenue forecast. Furthermore, projections for Rivercross and Westview are based on current level, however both projected ground rents are expected to increase.

Residential fees are projected to decrease by $96,000. This is mainly due to a projected decrease in transactions fees from Southtown Buildings condo sales as a result of reduced turnover.

Tramway revenues are projected to increase at approximately 3% or by $183,000, due to increased activities on the Island, primarily as a result of the Southtown 7 and Cornell developments; and increased visitorship to the Four Freedom State Park (“FFSP”).

Motorgate and metered parking revenues are projected to increase because of an increase in parking rates. And, commercial rents are projected to increase because of escalations in the terms of the commercial leases.

Other Revenues is projected to decrease by $36,000. Most of the decrease is due to $175,000 in FEMA reimbursements, projected to be paid in FY 2015‐16. Except for the decrease of FEMA reimbursements, other components of Other Revenues, which consist of Sportspark and field permit fees, commission on cellular telephone equipment, and miscellaneous fees, are projected to increase by $139,000.


Personal Expenses

RIOC’s Proposed Budget FY 2016‐17 projects personal expenses of $11,105,628, an increase of $481,916 or 4.54% over the Approved Budget FY 2015‐16 amount of $10,623,712. The projected increase is due to proposed additional staffing to support elevated capital and operating activity, as well as salary increases in accordance with New York State’s Division of Budget allowance. The projected increase in personal expense is necessary for RIOC to fulfill its statutory mission to “plan, design, develop, operate, maintain and manage” Roosevelt Island.

The Island is currently experiencing an economic boom in real estate with the development of Southtown Building 7, as well as the development of the multi‐billion dollar Cornell campus site. These developments are the main drivers for the increased revenues and expenses mentioned above. RIOC is contractually and statutorily required to maintain infrastructure and provide adequate service to the Island to accommodate this growth. Accordingly, RIOC is in the midst of significant infrastructure and facilities repairs and improvements and projects to spend $30,186,000 on capital projects in the FY 16‐ 17...
Click here for the full RIOC 2016-17 Proposed Budget.

2015 Roosevelt Island Public Purpose Funds Presentations By Community Organizations - Watch And Learn About iDig2Learn, Disabled Association, A Living Library, PS/IS 217 PTA, Gallery RIVAA, Island Kids, Main Street Theater & Dance Alliance, Historical Society & Seniors Center

Image From RIOC

The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Public Purpose Funds (PPF) Committee Chair Dave Evans reports the following Roosevelt Island organizations applied for Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) 2015 Public Purpose Funds and the amounts they are seeking out of a total of approximately $100 thousand (amount distributed in prior years) available from RIOC. According to Mr. Evans:
Island Kids - $20,000

Life Frames A Living Library - - $19,990

Main Street Theater & Dance Alliance (MST&DA) - $35,000

Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 PTA - $32000

Roosevelt Island Disabled Association (RIDA)- $11,400

Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS) - $24,700

Roosevelt Island Seniors Association (RISA) - $20,000

IDIG2LEARN - $15, 000

Roosevelt Island Visual Arts Association (RIVAA)- $42,500

The Committee has completed the community presentations and is now evaluating the candidates. Our target is to complete our report so to give it to the Common Council for approval in November en route to RIOC.
The RIRA PPF Committee (in addition to Mr. Evans, PPF Committee members are Eva Bosbach and Erin Feeley-Nahem) will submit its recommendations to the November 4 RIRA Common Council meeting for approval. According to the RIRA PPF Committee:
This Ad Hoc Committee was established as part of a RIRA Common Council community service effort to assist the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) in the review of grant applications submitted by Island-based nonprofits for Public Purpose Funds (PPF). The activities of this Committee have evolved over time. The Committee makes a recommendation to RIOC and the RIOC Board of Directors is the final decision-maker regarding the distribution of funds that support qualified Island nonprofit organizations. The Committee recommends funds that would benefit Roosevelt Island residents, enhancing their quality of life through, for example, education, artistic and cultural enrichment, improved health and activity and a better environment.

Public Purpose Funds first became available after the construction of Manhattan Park in 1989, when New York State (NYS) allowed the fund to be established in lieu of the commercial developers paying sales tax on construction materials.

The PPF program was placed on hold in February 2015 pending RIOC clarification of a ruling by the NYS Authorities Budgeting Office. Given the dynamics of various circumstances surrounding the matter of the these funds and the recent outcome, the PPF Committee was allowed to re-start its efforts. As of October 2015 , the Committee is evaluating applications from nine Island nonprofits. Once the Committee completes the evaluation phase, the RIRA Common Council will review their findings and recommendations. Subsequently, an approved PPF Committee report will be submitted to RIOC and its Board for a final decision.

To learn more about the Public Purpose Funds, please see
According to the RIOC PPF Guidelines:
.... Final recommendations provided by RIRA will be presented by RIOC staff to the RIOC Board for its approval....
... RIOC does not guarantee that any or all PPF approved by the Board will be awarded in the full amount originally requested by the applicant. Given budget constraints, RIOC strives to leverage limited resources while providing the best possible mix of support to approved organizations....
The 2015 RIOC Public Purpose Funds distribution has been the subject of great controversy. As reported last February:
.... the 2015 RIOC Public Purpose Funds distribution is in jeopardy due to this January 13 NY State Authorities Budget Office Policy Guidance stating:

... All state and local authorities which, as a matter of practice or policy, grant or loan their monies to such entities without specific legislative authorization are directed to immediately end such practice or policy so as to comply with applicable state law and the opinions of the State Attorney General and State Comptroller...
Apparently, there is no specific legislative authorization for RIOC to  grant Public Purpose Funds.
A spokesperson for Roosevelt Island Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright reported October 7:
... The Governor has released Roosevelt Island’s Public Purpose Funds for this year. Assembly Member Seawright’s legislation clarifying RIOC’s ability to distribute Public Purpose Funds in the future has been packaged and sent to Albany for the Governor’s signature...
Ms Seawright told the crowd at the October 31 Roosevelt Island Halloween Extravaganza that the 2015 Public Purpose Funds have been released and that a bill she passed (with State Senator Jose Serrano) providing for future Roosevelt Island Public Purpose Funds is waiting for signature by Governor Cuomo.

More on the 2015 Roosevelt Island Public Purpose Funds controversy at this prior post.

Below are the presentations by Roosevelt Island organizations to the RIRA PPF Committee seeking PPF funds. Watch the videos. You can learn what programs and services these organization are providing to the Roosevelt Island community.

October 9 Presentation by iDig2Learn Founder Christina Delfico on behalf of Roosevelt Island Youth Program (Seeking $15,000).

October 9 Presentation by Jim Bates, President of the Roosevelt Island Disabled Association (Seeking $11,400).

Part 1 - RIDA Presentation.

Part 2 - RIDA Questions and Answers

October 13 Presentation by Life Frames A Living Library with Roosevelt Island Branch of NY Public Library (Seeking $19,990)

Presentation by PS/IS 217 PTA (Seeking $32,000)

October 13 Presentation by Gallery RIVAA's Tad Sudol (Seeking $42,500)

October 14 Presentation by Island Kids. (Seeking  $20,000 For Summer Camp Scholarships)

October 14 Presentation by John Dougherty, Main Street Theater & Dance Alliance (Seeking $35,000)

October 14 Presentation by Judy Berdy, President of the Roosevelt Island Historical Society (Seeking $24,700)

October 14 Presentation by Rema Townsend Director of Roosevelt Island Seniors Center (Seeking $20,000)

The RIRA PPF committee recommendations will be discussed at the November 4 RIRA Common Council meeting held 8 PM at the Good Shepherd Community Center (543 Main Street). If approved, they will be forwarded to RIOC for final approval.

Island Kids Roosevelt Island Baby Group New Season Starts Wednesday November 4 For New Moms With Babies 0-14 Months Old

Roosevelt Island's Island Kids announce:
The Baby Group


Join us for our new 2015/16 season on Wednesday, November 4th from 10:30-11:30

This group is for new moms with babies aged 0-14 months and is free of charge. Pregnant mothers are welcome too! Our goal is to provide a friendly atmosphere for new parents to receive support, share advice and build friendships.

Island Kids is located at 536 Main Street (Roosevelt Landings) in the courtyard behind the Wholesome Factory Market (under the ramp.)

Contact with any questions Hope to see you the there!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Always A Great View Of NYC Marathon Runners On First Avenue Seen From The Roosevelt Island Tram

The Roosevelt Island Twitterverse reports:

Congrats to all the #nymarathon2015 runners! Snagged this photo while on the #rooseveltisland Tram! #26miles

A photo posted by BUC Walking Tours Inc. (@buctourguidetim) on