Saturday, November 14, 2015

Roosevelt Island Parents' Network RI MoM Walking And Exercise Group Meeting Monday Morning November 16 - Tram Kiosk To Southpoint Park

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

Dear all,

RI Parents' Network's weekly free Roosevelt Island Moms on the Move (RI MoM) walk and exercise event will take place on Monday, November 16, starting at 9:30 am at the Tram kiosk.

If the weather is still nice and everyone is up to it we will walk down to Southpoint park and either exercise there, or walk back and go to one of the playrooms.

The exercise part will be again lead by an Island mom Saskia (thank you!). Please be prepared for some mat/floor exercise. (If you wish to bring a mat/towel/blanket for this part please do).

All moms, moms to-be and parents of children of all ages are welcome. The exercise part is voluntary. Please reach out to us if you are coming later and would like to coordinate.

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

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

Saskia and Eva

Friday, November 13, 2015

Good News - Roosevelt Island F Train Service To And From Manhattan This Weekend Says MTA

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

to and from Manhattan this weekend.

Get Your Roosevelt Island Tram Jigsaw Puzzle At Roosevelt Island Historical Society Visitors Center Kiosk - Learn About RIHS Mission, Program & Services Too

Do you like jigsaw puzzles? Do you like the Roosevelt Island Tram? If you answer yes, combine your likes with the purchase of a Roosevelt Island Tram jigsaw puzzle

for sale at the Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS) Visitors Center Kiosk located next to the Tram Station. Price is $24.

RIHS Visitors Center Kiosk has a variety of merchandise

available too. Stop by, say hello and check it out.

RIHS President Judy Berdy described its mission, programs and services offered during presentation to the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Pubic Purpose Funds (PPF) Committee. Here's what Ms. Berdy had to say.

The RIRA PPF Committee recommended a grant of $8 thousand to the RIHS.

Roosevelt Island Mini Urban Orchard Of 5 Fruit Bearing Apple Trees Planted By iDig2Learn, Girl Scouts, Garden Club and Trees New York - Stay Tuned Next Fall For Tasty Apple Pie And Cider

iDig2Learn founder Christina Delfico reports on the November 11 Roosevelt Island Fruit Tree Planting with Trees New York. According to Ms Delfico:

We had the perfect day for planting our mini urban orchard of five fruit bearing apple trees.

Sam Bishop Cheryl Blaylock of Trees New York With Friends Plant Fruit Trees

Trees New York selected the apple varieties – including Crimson Gold, King David, Pink Pearl, Red Summer Rambo, and Tolman Sweet – for their unusualness and taste. As dwarf and semi-dwarf varieties, they are easier to pick, reported Blaylock.

This was a wonderful partnership involving Trees New York, Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, Roosevelt Island Garden Club, Roosevelt Island Girl Scouts (troops 3244 and 3245 sponsored by RI Beacon Youth Program and Brownie and Junior troop 3001 sponsored by Manhattan Park), and iDig2Learn.

Image Of Roosevelt Island Girl Scouts and Trees New York Team

This spring, Trees New York, will return to work with the scouts, leaders from the Roosevelt Island Garden Club, and iDig2Learn to continue the program with lessons on fruit tree maintenance, pollination, and soil science. The FruiTrees program is funded by the Levitt Foundation.

Image Of iDig2Learn, Girl Scouts & Trees New York Roosevelt Island Fruit Tree Team

Stay tuned for a fall apple pie and cider gathering as we watch our trees grow!

Thanks to all who supported this tree stewardship event and came out to volunteer.
Ms Delfico adds:
The Girl Scouts learned that worms are good for Apple Trees,

Image From Aiesha Eleusizov

about composting

and Anthony Longo shows young men pine mulch.

Here's the iDig2Learn press release about November 11 Roosevelt Island Fruit Tree Planting:
Trees New York today provided several types of apple trees to help iDig2Learn continue to build an urban agricultural movement here on Roosevelt Island. The Girl Scouts of Roosevelt Island, leaders from RIOC, and the Roosevelt Island Garden Club also joined to plant the trees, which will help youth learn about plant science and the benefits of urban fruit trees. In addition, the trees will be available for picking by the entire Roosevelt Island community when mature.

“We are looking at future population estimates of nine billion people,” said Christina Delfico, a top ten finalist of TEDxManhattan Changing the Way We Eat and founder of iDig2Learn, an initiative that provides children with hands-on education using plant life. “Solutions to feeding the planet will be vital. Planting fruit bearing trees provides food locally and is a great step towards food justice for our city. If we provide equal access to healthy food, the community will be served for years to come.”

"Trees New York is pleased to partner with iDig2Learn to bring our FruiTrees program to the Girl Scouts of Roosevelt Island,” said Cheryl Blaylock, Director of Youth Programs for Trees New York. "They were enthusiastic participants of our street tree stewardship event last spring. So when we found a location on Roosevelt Island to plant fruit trees, we knew that iDig2Learn, the Girl Scouts, and the Garden Club would be the ideal partners to adopt and take care of them. We look forward to continuing the program with lessons on fruit tree maintenance, pollination, and soil science." The FruiTrees program is funded by the Levitt Foundation.

Trees New York selected the apple varieties – including Crimson Gold, King David, Pink Pearl, Red Summer Rambo, and Tolman Sweet – for their unusualness and taste. As dwarf and semi-dwarf varieties, they are easier to pick, reported Blaylock.

The trees are located between the Roosevelt Island Garden Club and Octagon soccer field. Dr. Ali Schwayri, president of the Tree Board and Roosevelt Island Garden Club, joined Delfico and Blaylock to tour the island for suitable locations in late August. “We are lucky to have some remaining green areas on Roosevelt Island,” Schwayri said. “Fruit trees provide food for body and mind and are a welcome addition to the necklace of cherry trees on Roosevelt Island. I’m glad we’ll be able to put this space to such good use.”

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) supported this endeavor, including by helping to scout planting locations. Said RIOC President and CEO, Charlene M. Indelicato, “We like to support community-based projects like this, encourage island groups to partner together, and attract expertise that can be shared with our residents. Teaching young people the value our natural world strengthens our island community.”

Last April, RIOC had removed the iron grates in the tree pits from eleven trees along the sidewalk across from the post office to pave the way for a tree stewardship effort. Trees New York worked with the Girl Scouts to loosen soil, add flowers, and mulch those trees. The Girl Scouts expressed excitement at partnering up again with iDig2Learn to plant the apple trees.

Aiesha Eleusizov and Heather Smith, Girl Scout leaders of Brownie and Junior Troop 3001, sponsored by Manhattan Park, said, "We really look forward to building our knowledge of these fruit trees. Even better, next autumn we’ll be able to taste the fruits of our efforts."

Janine Schaefer, leader of local Girl Scout Troops 3244 and 3245, sponsored by the Roosevelt Island Beacon Youth Program, added, "It's so important for us to come together and make our little corner of the planet better. We know that nature offers us so much, and this is a hands-on example of what we do together that can benefit so many."

Groups involved in this project include Trees New York, Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, Roosevelt Island Garden Club, Roosevelt Island Girl Scouts (troops 3244 and 3245 sponsored by RI Beacon Youth Program and Brownie and Junior troop 3001 sponsored by Manhattan Park), and iDig2Learn.

Beautiful Sunrise Seen From Roosevelt Island This Morning - Good Morning And Happy Friday NYC

From the Roosevelt Island Twitterverse.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Roosevelt Island Sportspark Pool Re-Opens Today At 4 PM, Closed Since October 30 With Broken Pump Motor - RIOC Has Ambitious Plans For Sportspark Improvements

Reported October 30 that the Roosevelt Island Sportspark Pool was closed until further notice due to:

... a broken pool pump motor and damaged electrical components....

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) reports today:
Please be advised that, after a previous closure, the Sportspark pool will re-open and resume normal hours today at 4 PM.
RIOC has ambitious plans for big improvements at Sportspark.

Roosevelt Island Residents Association Social, Cultural & Educational Committee Report To November RIRA Common Council - Upcoming Projects, Events And Ideas

Below is Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Social, Culture & Educational (SC&E) Committee

Image From RIRA

report to the RIRA November Common Council: 
Review of projects for the coming year 2016:

Egg hunt: March 19th or 27th: Simplified to egg hunt, prizes and giving books to families.

Cherry Blossom Festival: Tentatively scheduled for April 30th.

Roosevelt Island Day: scheduled by RIOC.

Hands‐Only CPR: on‐island advertising for training sessions in residents’ buildings, RI businesses’ staff members, and any Island organizations and groups. Recruit trainers. Jeff to include this information in his RIRA WIRE column. Amalgamated Bank has requested training for its employees. We discussed the need for RIRA CPR signs for placement at events.

Youth Initiative Subcommittee: Chair: Adib Mansour. Possible projects:
  1. A chef will come teach families how to make pizzas. Chef Ciro Casella will cover all expenses for materials and will bring his own wood oven. Possible venue would be the PS/IS 217, or Nonno’s. It is intended to bring Middle School children and their parents together to learn about Italian culture and make pizza with a special recipe. 
  2. Develop a skate board park on RI. 
  3. Italian famous designer Stefano Imbert will do a book cover project with the youth. Working on the venue.
Other Possible projects:

Community Emergency Readiness Program: To be lead by Ellen Polivy. Program will involve CERT/RI CERT Team members, Hands‐Only CPR training. Ben Kallos' office will provide "Go‐bags" for islanders.

Preschool education seminar: Partner with the RI Parents' Network and schools.
Purpose: To help families navigate getting their children into appropriate schools and programs in the City. RIRA President, Jeff Escobar will lead, and SC&E will co‐sponsor this event.

Public Service Announcement project with the girl scouts. Girl Scouts to create signs for the island encouraging being good neighbors: help keep our community clean, etc.

Bollywood party / RIRA fund raising event: dinner / dance. Possibly January or February 2016.

Amalgamated Bank expressed interest to SC&E Chair, Lynne Shinozaki, in becoming more involved by financially helping with its projects and events.

Possible proposals for support:
  • Co‐sponsoring CPR program by funding the cost (or partial cost?) of CPR banners and supplies: approximately $750 for CPR supplies ($500 for manikins, CPR training kit / 5 pack, CPR banners).
  • Funding for Girl Scouts created PSA posters and, 
  • Funding for youth initiative ($400‐$500).
Amalgamated Bank suggested that they would also like to support RIRA by having their staff personally volunteer at various RIRA events.

Put in a motion to RIRA for updated RIRA logo banners to be placed at events. Or ask Amalgamated Bank for funds?

Need to do an inventory of the RIRA storage space with SC&E event supplies.

Respectfully Submitted, Sharon Williams

HOCPR Subcommittee Chair
RIRA SC&E Chair Lynn Strong-Shinozaki gave this oral report to the November Common Council

reporting that the donated Kraitz Sculpture pictured below

will be installed this spring near Southpoint Park (pending approval by RIOC Board), encouraged RIRA members to reach out to residents in their building for Hands Only CPR Training and a Good Neighbor initiative with the Girl Scouts.

Free Civil Legal Assistance From NYLAG Mobile Legal Help Center During State Senator Jose Serrano's December 2 Roosevelt Island Constituent Service - Schedule An Appointment

Roosevelt Island's NY State Senator Jose Serrano reports that his office:
.... is partnering with The Mobile Legal Help Center to provide a free legal clinic during the Senator's Roosevelt Island constituent services hours! Through a partnership between New York Legal Assistance Group & the New York State Courts' Access to Justice Program, The Mobile Legal Help Center provides FREE legal assistance on civil issues related to: housing (tenant only), foreclosure, public benefits, disability benefits, healthcare benefits,identity theft, debt management, consumer credit,immigration, domestic violence, divorce and custody, Superstorm Sandy and advance planning.

For more information and to schedule your FREE & PRIVATE one-on-one appointment, please contact Senator Serrano's Office at (212) 828-5829. 
The next constituent office hours with Senator Serrano's office on Roosevelt Island is Wednesday December 2 from 1 - 6 PM. The exact location of the Mobile Legal Help Center is still to be determined.

Here's more on the New York Legal Assistance Group

and the Mobile Legal Help Center.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Veterans Day 2015 - Thank You To All Members Of The Military For Your Service

Today is Veteran's Day.

 Image From Video

 According to
On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in the First World War, then known as "the Great War." Commemorated as Armistice Day beginning the following year, November 11th became a legal federal holiday in the United States in 1938. In the aftermath of World War II and the Korean War, Armistice Day became Veterans Day, a holiday dedicated to American veterans of all wars...
If you know a Veteran or see one on the street today, please take a brief moment to thank them for their service to our country. Also, don't just thank them today but do it throughout the year and thank our active duty soldiers as well.

Here's President Barack Obama's Veterans Day Address at the Arlington National Cemetery today

and a remembrance

in song.

Also, the full Veteran's Day Wreath laying Ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery Tomb Of The Unknown Solider today

UPDATE 5:20 PM - A press release from Roosevelt Island's Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney:
Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), the Ranking Democrat on the Congressional Joint Economic Committee, today released a new fact sheet outlining the economic challenges for veterans. The report shows that American veterans who served after September 11, 2001, experienced a 50 percent drop in their unemployment rate over the past four years, but the youngest among them still struggle with high unemployment, poverty and homelessness.

“I’m proud to represent 18,481 veterans,” said Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Ranking Member on the JEC. “These men and women have sacrificed their family lives, their health, and their peace of mind to defend democracy and keep the nation safe. They have experienced pain and horrors that the rest of us could never imagine. We owe it to these courageous men and women to ensure they have good jobs when they return home and to protect them from poverty and homelessness. This Veterans Day, we must honor the service and sacrifice of American heroes by committing to address the economic challenges they continue to face.”

Post-9/11 veterans were unemployed at an average rate of 6.0 percent over the past year compared with 12.1 percent in December 2011. They remain unemployed at slightly higher rates than the entire veteran population (4.7 percent), as well as nonveterans (5.3 percent).

But post-9/11 veterans between the ages of 18 and 24 experienced unemployment at an average rate of 16.2 percent in 2014 – more than twice the rate for older veterans and 3.7 percentage points higher than nonveterans their age. More than one in 10 veterans between the ages of 18 and 34 lives in poverty. And young veterans were more than twice as likely to be homeless as their nonveteran counterparts.

Post-9/11 veterans experience other challenges. Over a quarter of them live with a service-related disability. Post-9/11 female veterans have a higher average unemployment rate than their male counterparts, as well as nonveteran females.

The paper also found that:
  • Post-9/11 veterans earned about 11 percent more than their non-veteran counterparts with similar demographic characteristics.
  • The unemployment rate for post-9/11 African American veterans was lower than the unemployment rate for nonveteran African Americans in 2014.
  • The share of female veterans who served after 9/11 was double the share of females who served before that date.
  • About 1.5 million veterans and their dependents have used GI Bill benefits to further their educations, and 30 percent have a bachelor’s degree or higher. Another 45 percent have attended some college or earned an associate’s degree.
View the fact sheet here.

Latest Information On Plans For New Roosevelt Island NY Public Library Branch At 504 Main Street - More Aggressive Construction Schedule Advances Opening Date To Fall 2017

As previously reported, the Roosevelt Island Branch of New York Public Library, currently at 524 Main Street, will have a brand new space on the first floor of 504 Main Street.

Front Entrance And Aerial View Of New Roosevelt Island Library From Smith-Miller+Hawkinson

On November 9, Smith-Miller + Hawkinson Architects and representatives from the NY Public Library presented their latest plans for the new 5,200 square foot NYPL Roosevelt Island branch

Front Entrance And Aerial View Of New Roosevelt Island Library From Smith-Miller+Hawkinson

to a joint meeting of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Real Estate and Operations Advisory Committee (audio web cast of meeting here).

The new Roosevelt Island NYPL Public Library Branch opening date has been moved up from early 2018 to the fall of 2017. The new library will have about the same number of circulating books, 26 new computers available for the public, expanded community and meeting space for children and adults (with looping technology for the hearing impaired), stroller storage area and an outdoor reading area.

The NYPL is coordinating its construction with the Catholic Archdiocese which has leased the second floor of 504 Main Street for the St Cabrini Church.

Also, in about 60 days the NYPL will have a Roosevelt Island Town Hall meeting to discuss the programs and services to be offered at the new library.

Here's video of a portion of the meeting,

the full meeting discussion

as well as more plans and pictures.

Video of the December 2014 NYPL Roosevelt Island Town Hall Meeting is here.

Some Notes On Roosevelt Island FDR Four Freedoms Park, A Virtual Tour & Remember Beautiful Rough And Wild Southpoint Park Before The Memorial

From the Roosevelt Island Twitterverse:

You can take a virtual tour from Google Maps of FDR Four Freedoms Park

and also remember the beautiful rough and wild Southpoint Park before the Memorial.

More on the 2007 Roosevelt Island Southpoint Park Encampment art installation here.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Roosevelt Island Property Owners Please Leave The Fall Leaves On The Ground, It's Good For The Environment Says Resident

Roosevelt Island resident Rossana Ceruzzi is a NY State and Federal licensed wildlife rehabilitator and President of the Wildlife Freedom Foundation Inc. Ms Ceruzzi is asking the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) and Roosevelt Island property owners to follow the lead of Madison Square Park to not remove

the Fall Leaves from their property.

Image of Southtown Riverwalk and Manhattan Park Lawn Leaves

According to the National Wildlife Federation:
IT'S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN: The air turns crisp, the leaves turn red and gold and homeowners turn to the annual chore known as “fall garden cleanup”—including disposal of those leaves after they fall to the ground.

Traditionally, leaf removal has entailed three steps: Rake leaves (or blast them with a blower) into piles, transfer the piles to bags and place the bags out to be hauled off to a landfill. Yet, increasingly, conservationists say these actions not only harm the environment but rob your garden of nutrients while destroying wildlife habitat. The alternative? “Let fallen leaves stay on your property says National Wildlife Federation Naturalist David Mizejewski.

Leaves in Landfills

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, leaves and other yard debris account for more than 13 percent of the nation’s solid waste—a whopping 33 million tons a year. Without enough oxygen to decompose, this organic matter releases the greenhouse gas methane, says Joe Lamp’l, author of The Green Gardener’s Guide. In fact, solid-waste landfills are the largest U.S. source of man-made methane—and that’s aside from the carbon dioxide generated by gas-powered blowers and trucks used in leaf disposal.

For gardeners, turning leaves into solid waste is wasteful. “Fallen leaves offer a double benefit,” Mizejewski says. “Leaves form a natural mulch that helps suppress weeds and fertilizes the soil as it breaks down.....
Click here for full article.

More on Leave the Leaves from Treehugger.

Roosevelt Island Residents Association Special Meeting November 11 To Review, Debate & Vote on These Public Purpose Funds Committee Recommendations - Final Approval Up To RIOC

Image Of September 2015 RIRA Common Council Meeting

A Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council Special Meeting will take place 8 PM Wednesday November 11 at the Good Shepherd Community Center (543 Main Street) to review, debate and vote on the RIRA Public Purpose Funds (PPF) Committee's report recommending the allocation of up to $100 Thousand in Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Purpose Funds

 Image From RIOC

to Roosevelt Island non profit organizations. The RIRA approved recommendations will then be submitted to RIOC for final approval

As previously reported, the RIRA PPF committee did not submit its report to the November 4 RIRA meeting so a meeting was called for November 11 to discuss the issue. PPF Chair Dave Evans explained:
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. 
All of the presentations made by Roosevelt Island organizations to the RIRA PPF committee can be viewed on video here. Watching them is a very good way to learn about the programs and services they provide and may be available to you.

Here's the recommendations of the RIRA PPF Committee which will be reviewed, debated, voted upon and sent to RIOC for final approval.
Summary of 2015 Public Purpose Fund (PPF) Committee Funding Recommendations

Date Finalized ‐ November 5, 2015

PS/IS 217 Parent Teachers Association (PTA)

Amount Requested: $32,000 Amount Recommended: $17,000

The PTA remains an active supporter of PS‐IS/217. The essence of their request is to support a program (Salvadori Centre Globe) that focuses on a project‐based approach to learning math and science. Grades four through eight will continue to be targeted in an effort to further increase the number of students who achieve proficiency ratings on the NY State exams. The committee believes this enrichment effort could provide medium to high benefit and will contribute to and enhance student performance, especially in math and science. In fact, recent reports of an increase in testing performance might in part be attributed to Salvadori. Further, it is hoped to help mitigate losses from PS‐IS/217 of the “best and brightest” to other schools due to any lingering concerns parents might have about school performance.

Roosevelt Island Visual Arts Association (RIVAA)

Amount Requested: $42,000 Amount Recommended: $9,300

The RIVAA application describes in a broad manner the program activities that PPF could address. Yet, as evidenced by questions answered at the public review session, the high cost of rent at its location is the greatest challenge facing RIVAA. In fact, RIVAA remains concerned about this as indicated by the following statement in its application: “Funding is necessary for us to continue operating. Currently, we pay monthly rent of $3000. This amount is way beyond the amount that we take in monthly from our exhibition sales or funding from other sources.” Several of the key questions asked were about the scope of RIVAA’s fund‐ raising efforts, size of membership and the prospects for dues to help off‐set expenses. Further, a lingering question is whether there are island locations available at lower cost. It is the sense of the Committee that there is value to having this art gallery on the island and there is also the potential for growth. The challenge remains with regards to being able to meet operating costs.

Life Frames, Inc.

Amount Requested: $19,900 Amount Recommended: $5,000

The Life Frames program continues to be directed by an energetic leadership and supporting staff inclusive of parental support. Observations confirm that many children actively participate in the gardening activities. The gardening site near the Youth Center is the primary operating location and, when the children are there, it is a delight to observe the joy and lessons it provides them. As noted in prior years, Life Frames continues to be well‐funded in California but also continues to face more challenges in its funding effort in New York City. This funding challenge, given the breadth of what Life Frames could do, is inimical to its broader goals.

Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS)

Amount Requested: $24,700 Amount Recommended: $8,000

The Historical Society seeks funding support to: (a) maintain a viable number of contract staff at the Visitors Center, (b) compensate other administrative support, and (c) pursue a project to record the oral history of the island. As to the latter, not only could students benefit if availed to them, but also, “the lessons could eventually be captured in a book for the shelves of the center”. Though unable to recommend a higher amount of the PPF, the Committee is of the view that the Visitors Center, given its location, will benefit from the increasing number of residents and visitors to the island and especially the near‐future Cornell presence. Further, it is hoped that the number of operating days and hours of the Visitor Center can eventually be increased.

Roosevelt Island Senior Association (RISA)

Amount Requested: $20,000 Amount Recommended: $15,000

The RISA continues to provide a valuable service to and advocacy for island senior residents. In its application, the association seeks funding primarily to increase offerings to its members and, with an open door policy for visitors consistent with the rules of their governing authority. Apparently, some off‐island seniors also find their way to the Center. Classes in aerobic activity such as various dance styles have proven so effective and popular in demand that the intent is to expand them so to offer on a more regular basis.

Island Kids

Amount Requested: $20,000 Amount Recommended: $7,000

The Island Kids program is well‐received throughout the island and has again requested funding to support its scholarship efforts for the summer camp. The scholarship program allows for a wider number of children to attend who otherwise would not be able to engage in such organized summer activities due to limited family resources. Furthermore, the summer camp is unique to four and five year olds on the island. Thus, the committee felt the program’s scope merited funding given its outreach, inclusiveness, and uniqueness.

Roosevelt Island Disabled Association (RIDA)

Amount Requested: $11,400 Amount Recommended: $11,000

The RIDA program has various needs as highlighted in its application for PPF. The primary need is based upon the fact that the RIDA bus has been out of commission for a lengthy period of time. This has greatly affected the quality of life opportunities for its members. As in the past, the Committee noted that the bus is capable of accommodating ten wheelchairs and with travel, creates opportunities for its occupants that many of us take for granted. It is primarily for this and associated reasons that the Committee concluded the funds would be put to good use with high benefit to those served through the RIDA.

Youth Center‐IDig2Learn

Amount Requested: $15,000 Amount Recommended: $9,000

The IDig2Learn program is well accepted by islanders and is multi‐faced – serving the “PS IS/217 during the day and the Roosevelt Island Youth Program and its Beacon after school”. Under the overall direction of its energetic leader, the approach of this program is aimed at, among other goals, keeping children in touch with nature and growing fresh fruit and vegetables. The possible benefits to participants in this broad program include proper eating, an awareness of ‘mother nature’, and enhanced social and academic achievements. The Committee is optimistic about the prospects of this specific program expanding further and with obvious benefits to island residents.

Main Street Theater and Dance Alliance

Amount Requested: $35,000 Amount Recommended: $18,700

It is obvious that MST&DA has made significant strides since coming forth as a first time applicant to express needs subsequent to the trauma of hurricane Sandy. Their application focused upon the help that PPF could provide in support of their scholarship program and further offers. The scholarship program helps ensure islanders (children through seniors) can participate who otherwise could not. Further, there are a variety of dance and fitness programs offered. The need for supplies and equipment continue as well. PPF can help this resource to the island as it continues to get stronger going forward in terms of self‐sufficiency.
UPDATE 11/11 10:30 PM - The RIRA Common Council approved the Public Purpose Funds Committee recommendations for allocating $100 Thousand to Roosevelt Island non-profit organizations. The recommendations now get sent to RIOC for final approval.

Island Kids Roosevelt Island Baby Group New Season Every Wednesday For New Moms With Babies 0-14 Months Old - Pregnant Moms Too

Roosevelt Island's Island Kids announce:
The Baby Group


Join us every Wednesday 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!

Roosevelt Island East River Waterfront Fog And Rain Seen From Long Island City Today

From the Roosevelt Island Twitterverse.

iDig2Learn Teams With Trees New York, Girl Scouts, Garden Club And RIOC For Roosevelt Island Fruit Trees Initiative

iDig2Learn Founder Christina Delfico describes the Roosevelt Island Fruit Tree initiative during the November 4 Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Public Session.

Ms. Delfico reports that 5 Apple Trees will be planted Wednesday November 11 on Roosevelt Island near the Community Garden and in time will give us delicious apples and apple cider.

Trees New York adds:

The urban agriculture movement is picking up steam and TreesNY is getting into the action! Our new FruiTrees New York program is enabling us to plant urban orchards across the Five Boroughs!

I'm looking forward to tasting the delicious apples and cider.


Roosevelt Island Public Purpose Funds Legislation Going To Governor Cuomo's Desk Next and RIRA Receives $5 Thousand Grant For Programs From Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright

 Image Of Roosevelt Island's NY State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright

Roosevelt Island's NY State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright's representative Cali Madia reported during the November 4 Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Public Session:
  1. Legislation extending Roosevelt Island Public Purpose Funds will be in the next batch of bills sent to Governor Cuomo for his signature. The Governor has 10 days upon receipt of the bill to sign it.
  2. Ms Seawright has secured $5 Thousands for RIRA from the NY State Assembly
RIRA President Jeff Escobar added that the $5 Thousand grant from Ms. Seawright will be used for RIRA programming purposes and pubic events.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Roosevelt Island Parents' Network Free Crafts With Kids Lantern Making Workshop Tuesday November 10 & St Martins Lantern Procession Wednesday November 11 - Please RSVP

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

Dear all,

You are invited to the next event in the free "Crafts with Kids" series by the Roosevelt Island Parents' Network:

"Lantern making workshop" for children will take place this coming Tuesday, November 10, 5:30-6:30pm at the Senior Center, 546 Main Street.

We are planning to make paper lanterns

in the shape of a mushroom or a lamp

that the children can take with them on the St. Martins lantern procession this Wednesday late afternoon November 11.  We will meet 4:30 PM at the Good Shepherd, read the St Martins story and then walk around with the children holding the lit lanterns.

You are also welcome to join just for one of these activities - only for the lantern making or only for the procession.

A special thank you to Saskia and Natalia for organizing this craft event. Also thank you to Dolores Green, Barbara Parker, Wendy Hersh and Marylin Atkins from the Senior Center for letting us use their space for the event.

Please RSVP to

And as always: If you have craft event ideas you would like us to include in the "Craft with Kids" series, or if you have other ideas for activities of the RI Parents' Network, please get in touch with me.


Saskia, Natalia and Eva

"Crafts with Kids" is a free workshop series for children organized by the Roosevelt Island Parents' Network. The monthly events included "Tram art and necklaces", "Matisse for Kids", "Valentines Craft", "St Patricks Craft", "Earth Day Craft", "Easter Craft", "Mothers Day Craft", "Fathers Day Craft", "Summer craft - a lady bug", a "Back to school craft" and a "Halloween craft".
Please RSVP if you would like to attend.

Last Day To Order Your Roosevelt Island Fresh Food For Seniors Tomorrow November 10

As previously reported:
Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer’s 2015 Senior Fresh Food Program lets you order a mixed bag of fresh, locally grown fruit and vegetables from local farmers for only $8! The program is pay-as-you-go, cash-only, on Monday or Tuesday one week ahead of each Wednesday delivery date.

1. Place your order for a pre-packed, $8 bag of fresh food at:
The Roosevelt Island Senior Center from 1pm-3pm

2. Pick up your produce the following Wednesday from 3pm-6pm at the same place, and enjoy the best seasonal fruits and vegetables!
The Roosevelt Island Seniors Center is at 546 Main Street.

Tomorrow, November 10 is the last day to order Fresh Food For Seniors from Manhattan Borough President Brewer's office for this year.

Pick-up of your order is Wednesday, Nov. 18, 3pm-6pm at the Seniors Center.

More information on the Roosevelt Island Fresh Food For Seniors program is here.

For additional information contact:

of the Roosevelt Island Seniors Association.

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Chief Financial Officer Frances Walton Retiring - RIOC Will Soon Be Looking For A New CFO

Learned today that Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Chief Financial Officer Frances Walton

is leaving her position. I asked RIOC President Charlene Indelicato if that is true. Ms Indelicato confirmed and added:
Frances Walton, RIOC’s Vice President and Chief Financial Officer is retiring from State service as of December 4, 2015. Frances’ decision to leave RIOC is a huge loss to the administration of the corporation and also a personal loss. Not only has she been unendingly supportive and instrumental in furthering of the state’s goals of good government by transparent and judicious use of state funds but has involved herself in the many projects of RIOC.

I am saddened by her departure and know that it will be extremely difficult to fill her “marathon” sneakers.
Ms Walton is an avid marathon runner having completed this year's NYC marathon.

The Proposed Fiscal Year 2016 - 2017 RIOC Budget is expected to be approved at the December 3 RIOC Board of Directors meeting.

Ms Walton was named RIOC CFO in January 2014 after a long career as CFO at the NY State Empire Development Corp (NY EDC).

Roosevelt Island Field Of Dreams At Firefighters Field Seen From Queensboro Bridge - Too Bad It's Mostly Used By Zog And Other Outside Groups

During the October 28 Roosevelt Island Community Coalition (RICC) meeting, RICC Director Joyce Short raised the issue of Roosevelt Island recreational fields, including Firefighters Field, being dominated by Zog Sports and other outside groups so that the space is not available for use by Roosevelt Island kids.

This is particularly true on weekends when Firefighters Field seems to be the playground for Zog players and nobody else.

UPDATE 11/10 - From the Twitterverse:

Resiliency Plan For Roosevelt Island Coler Hospital Area And Plans For New Public Library Branch On Agenda For Joint RIOC Real Estate And Operations Advisory Committees Meeting Today

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Operations Advisory and Real Estate Advisory Committees will be holding a joint meeting later today. According to RIOC

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a joint meeting of the Operations Advisory and Real Estate Advisory Committees of the RIOC Board of Directors will be held on Monday, November 9, 2015 at 5:30 p.m. at the Manhattan Park Community Center, 8 River Road, Roosevelt Island, New York.


1. Discussion of New York Public Library Plans for 504 Main Street.

2. Discussion of Resiliency Plan for North Section of Roosevelt Island.

3. Any Other Committee Business That May be Brought Before the Committees.


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.

The October 22 RIOC Board of Directors meeting had a brief review regarding the future of the Coler Parking Lot (video of full meeting here). RIOC Director Margie Smith summarized the October 13 RIOC Operations Advisory Committee meeting (audio web cast here) discussion on Coler Parking lot. Ms Smith reported on jurisdictional issues

Image Of RIOC And Coler Hospital Owned Area

between RIOC and NYC Health & Hospitals Corp regarding the parking lot and possible additional  green park space for portions of the area.

RIOC President Charlene Indelicato added that Coler Hospital would make a presentation to RIOC on a Resiliency Plan for the area.

Here's the RIOC Board meeting discussion on Coler Parking Lot

and full October 13 Operations Advisory Committee meeting  discussion.  RIOC President Charlene Indelicato said near the end of the meeting (at the 19 minute mark) about Coler Parking lot:
... To take something away from people is always hard. Its harder than anything. This they see it as they used it all these years. There's some kind of agreement over the years. No one is quite certain what it was and now we want to use a portion of it and even that is difficult. We have to learn to work with each other and both give a little bit...
RIOC Director Margie Smith added that Coler Hospital:
... has not been a good neighbor as far as keeping it clean and safe. It was a mess....

More on the NYPL new Roosevelt Island Branch scheduled to open in 2018 at this May 2015 post.

UPDATE 2:15 PM - From the Twitterverse:

Both Roosevelt Island Manhattan Tram Station Elevators Out Of Service Again - RIOC To Provide Red Bus Shuttle For Those With Limited Mobility Until Further Notice

The Roosevelt Island Manhattan Tram Station elevator and red lift are out of service as of last evening.

During the time both elevators are out of service, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) will be running a temporary Red Bus shuttle service to and from Manhattan for those with limited mobility from 10 AM to 8:30 PM.

Here's the RIOC advisory on the Tram Station elevators outage issued at 11:10 last night:
Due to an outage of the Elevator and Lift service at the Manhattan Tram Station, the RIOC Red Bus will provide special shuttle service to and from Manhattan for those with limited mobility.

Schedule information is as follows:

ROOSEVELT ISLAND TO MANHATTAN: Departs hourly from the bus stop near 455 Main Street (near Riverwalk Bar and Grill) starting at 10:00 AM with the last Manhattan bound bus leaving at 8:00 PM. Additional stops are located at 546 Main St. (opposite Good Shepherd Plaza) and opposite 645 Main Street (opposite P.S/I.S. 217).

MANHATTAN TO ROOSEVELT ISLAND: Departs hourly from the southwest corner of 58th St. and 2nd Ave starting at 10:30 AM with the last Island bound bus at 8:30 PM. Additional stops are located at 645 Main St. (P.S./I.S. 217), 579 Main St. (M&D Deli), 543 Main St. (Good Shepherd Plaza), 425 Main St. (Riverwalk Bar & Grill), and the Roosevelt Island Tram Plaza

If you have any questions, please call the Public Safety Department at 212-832-4545. Thank you for your patience.
UPDATE 4:55 PM - Received this advisory from RIOC at 4:50 PM:
Shuttle bus service ending. Last Manhattan- bound bus is at 6 PM, last Roosevelt Island- bound bus is at 6:30 PM.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

NYC Mayor's Office Reviews Past Week In 60 Seconds - Roosevelt Island Gristedes Supermaket Owner/Radio Talk Show Host John Catsimatidis Interviews Mayor de Blasio And NYC Press Corp Not Happy With Mayor's Transparency

From the NYC Twitterverse

Roosevelt Island Gristedes Supermarket chain owner, real estate developer, billionaire oilman, former NYC Mayoral candidate and entrepreneur John Catsimatidis is also host of a Sunday morning radio talk show - the Cats Round Table on AM 970.

Mayor Bill de Blasio was among the guests this morning on the Cats Roundtable. Take a listen to Mr. Catsimatidis interview today with Mayor de Blasio.

Mayor de Blasio has been criticized recently by some in the NYC press corps for not taking questions on topics he does not want to discuss. According to CBS New York:
Mayor Bill de Blasio campaigned on a pledge to be the most transparent mayor ever.

But CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported the mayor was aggressively trying to control the message Wednesday – taking reporters’ questions only about once a week on topics he has not pre-approved....

On November 6, Mayor de Blasio took questions from the NYC Press Corp on a variety of issues

including off topic subjects.