Saturday, December 5, 2015

You're Invited To Gallery RIVAA Year End Fundraiser And Jazz Salon With Art & The Impressionists Sunday December 6

According to Gallery RIVAA:

Dear All,

Please join us for our Year End Fund Raiser and First Sunday Jazz Salon this Sunday, December 6th from 2:30-4:00pm at Gallery RIVAA.

When: Sunday, December 6th, 2:30pm
Where: 527 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York

Gallery RIVAA's Tad Sudol described its mission, programs and services offered during October 13 presentation to the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Public Purpose Funds (PPF) Committee.  Here's what Mr Sudol had to say.

Gallery RIVAA was seeking $42,500 from the Public Purpose Funds. The RIRA PPF Committee recommended a grant of $8 thousand to Gallery RIVAA which was approved by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC).

Friday, December 4, 2015

Wonderful Time At Roosevelt Island Holiday/Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony Tonight - Eat Your Heart Out Rockefeller Center

Wow, what a wonderful time for everybody at the Roosevelt Island Holiday Tree Lighting ceremony tonight in front of Blackwell House.

Will have more pictures and video of the festivities, songs and Santa's arrival soon, but here's a taste of the fun times with the Tree Lighting Countdown.

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Safety Department Director Jack McManus was absolutely right when he said what a beautiful night it was and added:
... Rockefeller Center, Eat Your Heart Out.

The FDNY provided Santa Claus his sled to come to Roosevelt Island

A photo posted by Pablo Bartolomé (@pablobartolome) on

UPDATE 10 PM - Roosevelt Island kids dancing with Santa Claus.

UPDATE 12/5 - 9:45 AM - Roosevelt Island Youth Program Beacon Kids

 Image From Irina Hage

gave a great performance of Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

and Rocking Around the Christmas Tree. Check out those flashy dance moves.

Roosevelt Island photographer Irina Hage of Irina Island, shares these photos

Roosevelt Island Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony 2015

of many smiling Roosevelt Island faces at last night's Tree Lighting Ceremony

SPONSORED POST - Check Out Roosevelt Island Gristedes Supermarket Product Specials & Sales For Next 2 Weeks - 10% Seniors Discounts Tuesdays & Wednesdays And Sign Up For Bonus Savings Card Too

 Roosevelt Island Gristedes Supermarket invites you to check out their:
  • Grocery Specials, 
  • Meat, 
  • Deli, 
  • Bakery, 
  • Dairy, 
  • Frozen, 
  • Organic, 
  • Gourmet & 
  • Fresh Fruit and Vegetable 
Department Offerings for December 4 - December 17.

Gristedes representative Bob Capano invites Roosevelt Island residents to check out their various product departments for all of your shopping needs.

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.

More Gristedes Supermarket information available at their web site and Twitter feed.

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.

Roosevelt Island Christmas Trees For Sale By PS/IS 217 PTA At Motorgate Plaza, Senior Center Holiday Bazaar, R&R Holiday Beethoven Concert & Chabad Lubavitch Build A CANorah Menorah This Weekend

A busy Roosevelt Island Holiday weekend coming up.

The Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 PTA reports:
After almost 40 years, Geoff Kerr and the Boy Scouts have been running the Christmas tree sale on the island, but he's ready to pass on the tradition to the 217 PTA. With only two weeks notice the PTA was able to bring in Hoboken Farms to sell trees on the island. They will be donating a percentage of their proceeds to the PTA, so please support them and support our school!

It took a lot of effort and coordination from a few PTA members to get the sale here on such short notice. We apologize for not having information to share with the community sooner, and hope you still plan to get your tree here on Roosevelt Island. Please let your friends and neighbors know trees will be sold each weekend this month until they sell out.
The Roosevelt Island Seniors Association (RISA) reports:
RISA Annual Holiday Bazaar on

Saturday & Sunday
December 5th & 6th
10:00AM- 5:00PM
546 Main St
(senior center)

Holiday Shopping Early
Great food….Raffles….

Tables: $25 for 1 day
$30 for 2 days
(racks $5 each)

Contact RISA Board members at Roosevelt Island Senior Center, 546 Main St. From 10am-12pm,Monday- Friday or email
Check out the new Roosevelt Island Seniors Association Facebook Page.
R&R Concerts report:

Join us for an extraordinary Roosevelt Island event:

Beethoven's Symphony #1

Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun

Benjamin Hochman, conductor
Audrey Abela Caitlin Kelley Casey Tamanaha
Claudia Schaer Colin Jacobsen Efe Baltacigil
Elizabeth Harraman Hsuan-Fong Chen Hyun Ju Jang
James Deitz Jesse MacDonald Jessica Thompson
John Marcus Josh Rubin Karen Dekker
Ken Hamao Laura Lutzke Marta Lambert
Pala Garcia Patricia Wang Patrick Furlo
Peter Arfsten Raman Ramakrishnan Rebekah Heller
Rubin Khodeli Tim Gocklin Wojtek Komsta

7:30 pm this Saturday, December 5, at Good Shepherd Center
Admission is free
And from the Chabad Lubavitch Of Roosevelt Island:

Join us in spreading the light this of Chanukah by helping build a CANorah (a Menorah made entirely from food cans)! All cans will be donated to the needy together with the Roosevelt Island Seniors Association (RISA).

You CAN make a difference!

Sunday, December 6th at 4:00pm at the Tram Lawn, bring along canned food that you would like to donate to the needy. Together, we will build the CANorah. The CANorah will stand proudly on the Tram Lawn for the 8 days of Chanukah and will then be distributed.

For more information or questions, please email us or call us 212-652-5660.
You can also pick up some Roosevelt Island Holiday gifts at the Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS) Visitors Kiosk.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Roosevelt Island, Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens Seen High Above From Airline Seat - NYC Up Close With U2

The Twitterverse shows us Roosevelt Island from an airline seat high above NYC.

A photo posted by Shakthi J. (@shakthij) on

And U2 shows us NYC

up close and in song.

Roosevelt Island Big Reuse Food Scrap Recycling Compost Drop Off Station Debuts Last Week - Bring Your Food Scraps Every Saturday To Roosevelt Island Farmers Market

Image From Frank Farance

The Roosevelt Island Organic Recycling Compost Program hosted by Big Reuse

Image From Frank Farance

debuted last Saturday at the Farmers Market next to the Motorgate Plaza.
As previously reported:
... Instead of sending organics to landfills via AVAC, Island residents will be able to drop off kitchen scraps at an organics collection station at the Saturday Farmer's Market. The scraps will go to a local composting site under the Queensborough Bridge on Vernon Blvd. The compost created will also be used locally for street trees, parks, and urban gardens.

Island leadership, avid RI composters, the PTA of PS 217, the RI Girl Scout troops and the RI Garden Club are all excited to help welcome this program to Roosevelt Island. If you would like to help out as a volunteer, please contact Big Reuse or email
Image From Frank Farance

Roosevelt Island Girl Scout Troop Leader Aiesha Eleusizov dropped off her food scraps at last week's Farmers Market. She shows us how easy it is to drop off your food scraps to be recycled and adds:
... I'm super excited to have a drop off compost on Roosevelt Island....
instead of taking the subway to 23rd street in order to compost her food scraps.

So, help our environment and bring your food scraps every Saturday to the Big Reuse Roosevelt Island Farmers Market Food Compost Drop Off

at Motorgate Plaza.

Great job by the Roosevelt Island Garden Club members in bringing the Big Reuse Food Scrap Composting Program to Roosevelt Island.

East Side Sutton Place 90 Story Skyscraper Will Cast Shadow Over Roosevelt Island And Tram Riders Coming Home From Work Says NYC Council Member Ben Kallos - Also, Info On Senior Citizen Rent Freeze, Free Chanukah Menorahs & More In Latest Kallos Newsletter

Roosevelt Island and Manhattan Upper East Side NYC Council Member Ben Kallos is leading efforts to block construction of a 90 story Sutton Place residential skyscraper.

New York Yimby reported December 1:

The Bauhouse Group’s planned 900-foot-tall residential development near the East Side’s Sutton Place has been in the works for months and now tangible progress is about to happen. The developer has obtained demolition permits for the assemblage at 426-432 East 58th Street, it announced Monday. In addition to the demolition permit announcement, a new rendering of the tower has been made public, and

 Rendering of 426-432 East 58th Street by Foster + Partners Via New York Yimby

can be seen above ....

... Completion of the as-of-right project is expected in the spring of 2019....
DNA Info reported December 2:
... But the demolition of those buildings will not stop efforts to preempt the tower with a height limit rezoning, according to Councilman Ben Kallos, who has worked with neighbors to fight the project....
Mr Kallos says in his December 2015 newsletter:
... We expanded our coalition against superscrapers in residential neighborhoods to groups in other areas faced with the same spectre of tall buildings that will stand out of context and block out light and air. Together we marched to bring more attention to the fight...

... Superscrapers must also be part of the conversation as we consider the Mayor’s proposed city-wide amendments to our zoning code: Zoning for Quality and Affordability (ZQA) and Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH)....
How does the 90 Story Sutton Place skyscraper impact Roosevelt Island? According to Mr. Kallos:
The proposed superscraper at Sutton Place would be so large that it would not only block out light and air in the surrounding residential neighborhood, but it would also cast shadows across the river onto Roosevelt Island. A simulation shows that the building's shadow would arrive at Roosevelt Island just in time to cast tram riders in darkness on their way home.

No one should have the right to buy the sky and cast a residential neighborhood in shadows. Our city needs affordable housing in our residential neighborhoods for all New Yorkers, not 900-foot buildings for billionaires.
Mr. Kallos said:
... A Billionaire should not be able to take light and air from Roosevelt Island...
during a May 21 Roosevelt Island Town Hall Meeting.

Here's Manhattan Neighborhood Network discussion hosted by Mr. Kallos on Superscrapers.

and a petition to stop Supercrapers.

Mr. Kallos also reports in his December 2015 newsletter:
Do You Qualify to Have Your Rent Frozen?

Are you at least 62 years of age? Then you may be eligible to have your rent frozen through the NYC Rent Freeze Program (SCRIE). We are hosting a screening and application session for this program with the Roosevelt Island Senior Association on Monday, December 7, 10am - 2pm, at 546 Main Street #1. If you, a friend, or family member is interested in applying, Community Service Society will be available to assist. Please call my office at 212-860-1950 to learn what documentation you will need and to RSVP.

Check out the December Newsletter from Mr. Kallos:
I hope you had a healthy and happy Thanksgiving, as we did. We celebrated a very special holiday with our NYCHA residents, with Lexington Houses residents receiving new stoves from my office's funding (and an untimely gas outage was fixed ahead of Thanksgiving) and free turkeys from the New York Common Pantry for the residents of Robins Plaza and Stanley Isaacs and Holmes Towers.

As the holiday season continues, we are partnering with Chabad Upper East Side to provide free menorahs that you can pick up from our office. And of course, I invite you to join us at our holiday party on Thursday, December 17, 5pm-7pm, in our District Office at 244 E 93rd Street. I hope you can attend, and please remember to RSVP.

This month we kept up the campaign against superscrapers, including in testimony on the Mayor’s zoning proposals, held a public hearing on legislation to recover $1.6 billion in outstanding debt to the city, and passed a law I introduced.

Here on the East Side, we continued the battle against the East 91st Street Marine Transfer Station with a bill requiring air quality monitoring, announced a master plan for the East River Esplanade from 62nd Street to 78th Street and are giving you a chance to decide how we spend over $1 million in City Council District 5 funding at Carl Schurz Park at a visioning session on December 15.

I hope to see you at my office for First Friday or Policy Night or at our rent freeze screening on Roosevelt Island on Monday, December 7. And as we approach the new year, please save January 10 at 1pm on your calendar for our annual State of the District event.

I am thankful to have this amazing job as your council member. What are you most thankful for this holiday season?


Ben Kallos
  1. Building and Preserving Neighborhoods for All New Yorkers
  2. Recovering $1.6 Billion in Debt to the City
  3. Marine Transfer Station Air Quality
  4. Getting "Dark Money" Out of Our Elections
  5. A Happy Thanksgiving at NYCHA
  1. Do You Qualify to Have Your Rent Frozen?
  2. $2.6 Billion for Supportive Housing
  3. Identifying Affordable Housing Hidden by Bad Landlords
  4. Worst Landlords
  5. Preserving an Historic House at 412 E 85th Street
  1. New Playground for Carl Schurz Park
  2. East River Esplanade Visioning
  3. FDR Renovations Completed
  4. Funding for the Second Avenue Subway
  5. Beyond Coal
  1. Passing a Law to Make Standardize Locations
  2. Fight for $15
  3. Clean Slate
  1. Medicare Update and Enrollment
  2. Cooking with Kallos
  3. American-Italian Cancer Dinner
  4. LGBT Center
  1. 86th Street Business Improvement District
  2. Community Board Applications
  3. Free Menorahs in My District Office
  4. Papal Appeal
  5. Big Apple Circus
  6. Gifford Miller’s Portrait at City Hall
  1. Legislative Corner
  2. In the Neighborhood
  3. Volunteer
  4. Here to Help
  5. Legal Clinics
  6. Mobile District Hours
  7. Ben in Your Building
  8. City Council Events
  1. Free Storage Bins for E-Waste Recycling
  2. Organics Collection
  3. Emergency Snow Laborers Needed
  4. Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, Advance Directives Project
  5. Citizen's Committee Neighborhood Grants
  6. Bike New York
  7. Jewish Association Serving the Aging
  8. Community Events

You're Invited To Roosevelt Island Tree Lighting Ceremony 7 PM Friday December 4 - Music, Gifts Prizes, No Rain & Meet Santa Claus

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC)
On Friday, December 4th at 7 PM, you are cordially invited to attend Roosevelt Island's annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. Join us at Blackwell House (500 Main St.) for a free celebration of our close-knit community, featuring performances by the Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance, the Beacon Program, and the 116th Street Band. Also, don’t miss a visit from a very special guest! Make sure to bring your camera!

For more details visit.

Many thanks to our generous contributors:

Amalgamated Bank | Urban American | The Octagon | The Hudson Companies | The Wholesome Factory | Gristedes | Piccolo Trattoria | Starbucks | Island Wine & Spirits | Main Street Sweets | Bike New York

We hope to see you there!
The last two years have seen pouring rain for the Roosevelt Island Tree Lighting Ceremony. 

Weather forecast for Friday night is no rain.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Italian Heritage, Culture & Cuisine Celebrated With Authentic Pizza Making Demo At Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 Courtesy Of RIRA Youth Initiative And San Mateo Pizza & Espresso Bar

Italian heritage, culture and cuisine were on display last night at Roosevelt Island's PS/IS 217 cafeteria courtesy of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Social, Cultural & Educational Committee (SC&E) together with the owner and chef of San Mateo Pizza & Espresso Bar.

Image of San Matteo's Chef, Owner, RI Resident Fabio Vanorio and Adib Mansour From PS/IS 217 PTA

RIRA's Adib Mansour reports
Brothers Fabio and Ciro Casella entered the restaurant industry at a young age, working at the restaurant their mother owned in Italy. More recently, they had a hand in developing the Italian cheese programs at Dean and Deluca and Grace’s Marketplace. Ciro built San Matteo’s pizza oven himself. From the Anima e Trucco to the Regina Margherita, the pizza at San Matteo are blistered, pliable and chewy in the traditions imported from the area around Salerno. San Matteo Pizza and Espresso Bar is located on 2nd Avenue and 90th Street.

At the Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 Italian Pizza cooking demonstration last evening, chef Ciro Casella brought his own wood oven

to the school and spoke with Middle Schoolers about the Italian culture, its cuisine, and taught the students

how to make authentic Pizza using his special Southern Italian recipe.

Working with RIRA, Fabio Vanorio, the Executive Director - Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy- and Chef Ciro Casella, this event is intended to bring Middle Schoolers together with their parents to this special occasion (Chef Ciro donated his time and all the cost including dough, ingredients, water from Italy, napkins, plates, etc.).

This event is part of RIRA’s Youth Initiative, who’s objective is to expose the youths of the Island to different cultures as well as widening their outlook for future job opportunities.
Here's Mr. Mansour explaining RIRA's Youth Initiative to bring Italian culture and heritage to Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 students with the Pizza Making demonstration and RIRA's SC&E Committee Chair Lynn Strong Shinozaki describing goal to educate residents about different cultures and to connect with each other.

Followed by Roosevelt Island resident Fabio Vanorio introducing San Mateo Pizza Chef Cirro Cassela

and Mr. Cassela.

Looks like the

Image From Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 PTA

kids enjoyed

making and eating the pizza.

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) December 2015 Common Council Monthly Meeting Tonight - Community Polling Initiative On Agenda, You're Invited To Attend And Raise Issues Of Concern

 Image Of September 2015 RIRA Common Council Meeting

The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council will meet this evening, December 2, at 8:00 PM in the Good Shepherd Community Center (543 Main Street).

As always, prior to the start of each monthly meeting there is a Public Session in which residents can come and address the Common Council Delegates on any issue of concern.

Here's the Agenda.

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

Date: Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

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

1. Public Session (please sign-in to be placed on the Public Session Speaking List)
2. Roll Call of Common Council Members
3. Adoption of Agenda
4. President’s Report
5. Committee Reports
     a. Island Services Committee Report
     b. Community Polling Initiative ad hoc Committee Report
        i. Community Polling Initiative Ad Hoc Committee Motion to Fund Promotional Material Expenditures
c. SC&E Committee Report
         i. SC&E Committee Motion to Fund Promotional Materials Expenditures.
6. Old Business
7. New Business

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

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Board Of Directors Meeting December 3 - RIRA Public Purpose Funds Recommendations Not On Agenda, RIOC Proposed 2016 - 17 Budget And RIYP Expenditures Among Items On Agenda

  Image From RIOC

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors will be meeting tomorrow, December 3 (Web cast will be available here). Among the items on the Agenda are:
1. Approval of the Proposed RIOC Budget for Fiscal Year 2016-17 (Board Action Required)
3. Authorization of Expenditure of Funds for Roosevelt Island Youth Center (Board Action Required)
What was expected to be on the December 3 RIOC Board Agenda for discussion and approval was the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) recommendations for allocating $100 Thousand in RIOC Public Purpose Funds (PPF) to local Roosevelt Island organizations. As of 1 PM today, the RIRA PPF recommendations are not yet on the RIOC Board Agenda for tomorrow's meeting.

The RIRA 2015 Public Purpose Funds recommendations are as follows.
  • PS/IS 217 Parent Teachers Association (PTA) - Amount Requested: $32,000 Amount Recommended: $17,000
  • Roosevelt Island Visual Arts Association (RIVAA) - Amount Requested: $42,000 Amount Recommended: $9,300 
  • Life Frames, Inc. - Amount Requested: $19,900 Amount Recommended: $5,000
  • Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS) - Amount Requested: $24,700 Amount Recommended: $8,00
  • Roosevelt Island Senior Association (RISA) - Amount Requested: $20,000 Amount Recommended: $15,000
  • Island Kids - Amount Requested: $20,000 Amount Recommended: $7,000 
  • Roosevelt Island Disabled Association (RIDA) - Amount Requested: $11,400 Amount Recommended: $11,000
  • Youth Center‐IDig2Learn - Amount Requested: $15,000 Amount Recommended: $9,000 
  • Main Street Theater and Dance Alliance - Amount Requested: $35,000 Amount Recommended: $18,700
The Island Kids Board of Directors sent the following letter to the RIOC Board of Directors asking for a larger Public Purpose Funds allocation than was recommended by RIRA:
Dear Members of the RIOC Board of Directors,

We are writing to express our extreme disappointment regarding the Public Purpose Fund application process. We believe that RIRA’s recommended allocation for Island Kids was unfairly reduced, due to misinformation and lack of communication.

We feel the need to point out the following regarding RIOC’s fiscal year and the dissemination of funds. Despite repeated requests for clarification, we never received a definitive answer as to which Fiscal Year we were applying, from either RIOC or RIRA’s PPF Committee. However, at the Special Meeting on Nov. 11th, PPF Committee Chair Dave Evans explained that a determining factor that negatively affected our request was that it was for “reimbursement funds” for our 2015 Summer Camp season. Had the PPF process proceeded as it has in all other years, the allocation would have been made earlier in the year, (and spent over the summer). If we are indeed working within RIOC’s current fiscal year, which runs from April 1st to March 31st, won’t all payments to Public Purpose recipients be retroactive? This would be a contradiction to the concern expressed by the RIRA Public Purpose committee. Similarly, if the $7,000 we did receive is intended for next Summer’s Camp Scholarship Fund, we are precluded from applying for FY2016 - the only applying Organization facing such restriction.

We’d like to share with you specifically how our Public Purpose Fund allocation is put to use, and shed some light on why we requested $20,000.

Island Kids runs a high-quality Summer Camp for children ages 4 - 10. We strive to keep our Camp as affordable as possible ($325 per week, compared to $600 - $800 for comparable “affordable”, non-Government funded camps in Manhattan). 100% of any Public Purpose Funding that we request goes to provide scholarships to families unable to otherwise afford the camp. When, earlier this year, it looked like Public Purpose Funding would be entirely taken away, our Board made the difficult decision to fund $10,000 in scholarships for the Summer Camp from our very scarce Operating reserve – a surplus we had for the first time in our history. This prevented us from taking on other improvement projects and supply purchases, and left us financially vulnerable should an emergency expenditure arise. In the end, we managed to provide scholarships to every qualifying RI family that applied for one.

We hoped that if PP Funding was reinstated, we could offset this expense ($10,000), as well as secure the same amount of funding ($10,000) for next Summer - thus the $20,000 request. The $7,000 Allocation that RIRA recommends not only leaves us at a deficit for this current fiscal year, but severely hampers our ability to offer Scholarships for next summer. Unlike last summer, without more funds, we will surely have to turn down scholarship applicants.

Island Kids has worked hard over the last several years to develop programming to ensure our financial stability. In addition, thanks to an in-kind grant from the Lawyer’s Alliance, we’ve taken measures to ensure that we are fully compliant with all applicable laws governing Non Profit Organizations. It would seem that a grant making organization would recognize these efforts. Instead, this year RIRA is recommended a $3,000 cut in our funds from the last grant cycle, the lowest amount Island Kids has ever received through Public Purpose funds.

Island Kids respectfully asks RIOC to consider our original award application and amount during your final award deliberations.


Island Kids Inc. Board of Directors
During the November 11 RIRA meeting, PPF Chair Dave Evans and committee member Erin Feely-Nahem explained their rationale for the Island Kids recommendations saying that PPF funds could not be used for reimbursement of prior spending requested by Island Kids.

Here's video of Island Kids and all the other Public Purpose Funds applicants to RIRA PPF committee.

The proposed RIOC 2016-17 Budget is on the Agenda. (More on the budget here)

Also on the December 3 RIOC Board Agenda is distribution of funds to the Roosevelt Island Youth Program (RIYP).  According to this November 20 memo from RIOC Staff to RIOC President Charlene Indelicato and the RIOC Directors in support of expenditure of funds for RIYP:
As you are aware, included in the Board approved FY 15-16 (April 1, 2015 – March 31, 2016) Budget is a $175,000 disbursement for the Roosevelt Island Youth Center (“Youth Center”) — currently being operated by the Roosevelt Island Youth Program (“RIYP”). The Youth Center through RIYP offers programs vital to the Island and its youth, consistent with the General Development Plan and RIOC’s Mission Statement.

Programs provided by RIYP include a summer day camp, fitness activities, computer lab access and music instruction. RIYP also manages extensive after school activities, an organized sports curriculum and other recreational programs as part of the PS/IS 217 Beacon Program, for which it receives NYC funding.

At its meeting of April 16, 2015 the Board of Directors approved the authorization to disburse a pro-rated amount of $131,250 of the budgeted $175,000 in order to ensure continuity of the programs while a Request for Proposals (“RFP”) was drafted and advertised. The RFP is now expected to be ready during the winter months, but at issue is the continuity of programming. It is my understanding that RIYP and other similarly situated programs are subject to new City requirements for Beacon Program funding, which has led to delays in the receipt of such funds with concomitant impacts to RIYP’s cash flow. This matter was discussed at the November 17, 2015 meeting of the Real Estate Development Advisory Committee and recommended to go before the Board for action.

Therefore, in order to ensure the continued operations of the Youth Center until the RFP is advertised and an operating agreement is let, we recommend the approval to disburse the remaining $43,750 out of the initial $175,000 budget for the Roosevelt Island Youth Program.
The RIOC Real Estate Advisory Committee discussion of RIYP expenditures discussed here.

Below is the December 3 RIOC Board of Directors meeting Agenda.
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a Board of Directors meeting will be held on Thursday, December 3, 2015 at 5:30 p.m. at the Cultural Center Theater, 548 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York, for the purpose of transacting such business as shall come before the Board.

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.






5:30 P.M.[1]

I. Call to Order

II. Roll Call

III. Approval of Minutes

1. October 22, 2015 Board Meeting (Board Action Required)

IV. Old Business

V. New Business

1. Approval of the Proposed RIOC Budget for Fiscal Year 2016-17 (Board Action Required)

2. Schedule of 2016 Meetings of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation Board of Directors (Board Action Required)

3. Authorization of Expenditure of Funds for Roosevelt Island Youth Center (Board Action Required)

4. Authorization to Enter into Contract with Blackbaud, Inc. for Financial Accounting Software Support & Maintenance Services (Board Action Required)

5. Authorization to Enter into Contract with ENVAC for On-Call AVAC Repair Services (Board Action Required)

6. Authorization to Amend the Contract with United Metro Energy Corp. for the Purchase of #2 Heating Oil (Board Action Required)

7. Authorization to Enter into Contract with Corporate Loss Prevention Association for Cultural Center Security and Building Manager (Board Action Required)

8. Authorization to Amend the License and Operating Agreement with the Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance (MST&DA) (Board Action Required)

9. Authorization to Amend the License Agreement with the Roosevelt Island Garden Club, LTD (RIGC) (Board Action Required)

10. Authorization to Enter into Contract with Sprague Operating Resources LLC for the Purchase of Gasoline (Board Action Required)

11. President’s Report

12. Committee Reports

a. Audit Committee

b. Governance Committee

c. Operations Advisory Committee

[1] The RIOC Board Meeting will commence following a public comment period. The public comment period is not part of the meeting.
UPDATE 10:15 PM - The Roosevelt Island Residents Association Common Council met this evening and discussed issue of Public Purpose Funds not being on the RIOC Board meeting agenda for tomorrow.

UPDATE 12/3 8 PM - The RIRA Public Purpose Funds recommendations was a last minute late afternoon addition to today's RIOC Board Agenda.

The RIRA Public Purpose Funds recommendations were approved with no changes by the RIOC Board today.

It was also announced that Governor Cuomo signed the Roosevelt Island Public Purpose Funds legislation today allowing RIOC to allocate grants to Roosevelt Island non profit organizations.

Stay tuned for more on subject.

UPDATE 12/4 - Here's video of RIOC Board approving the RIRA Public Purpose Funds recommendations.

and RIOC President Charlene Indelicato congratulating RIRA and its Public Purpose Funds Committee Chair Dave Evans for a difficult job well done.

Roosevelt Island's NY State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright said of Governor Cuomo signing the legislation allowing RIOC to distribute Public Purpose Fund grants:
The true beneficiaries of our persistence and dedication are the residents of Roosevelt Island. We thank all of the parties involved in successfully helping to assure that our legislation crossed the goal line.
Roosevelt Island's NY State Senator Jose Serrano added:
I'm happy to learn that Governor Cuomo has signed my Roosevelt Island bill (S5813) into law. This law will authorize the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) to continue providing much-needed grants to not-for-profit organizations that provide vital services to the Roosevelt Island community. It's a pleasure to have worked with my colleague Assemblywoman Rebecca Seawright on this important legislation, and I'd like to thank her for her leadership. I'd also like to express my gratitude to Governor Cuomo for his support on this and many other critical issues.

Insane Asylum Mug, Wooden Red Bus & Tram, Puzzles, Ornaments & More Roosevelt Island Holiday Gifts Available At RIHS Visitors Center Kiosk Every Wednesday Evening Until Christmas

Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS) President Judy Berdy reports:

Image Of Ms Berdy with Wooden Red Bus


 Image of RIHS Visitors Kiosk By Richard Bachman From Friend Of The UES Historic District

This evening and every Wednesday until Christmas. (Dec. 2, 9, 16, 23)

Great Gifts include: Jewelry, Books, Puzzles, Mugs, WIRE Calendars, RI Totes, and Much More!

Image Of Ms. Berdy & RIOC President Charlene Indelicato With Asylum For Insane Mug

The kiosk will be open from 5-9 p.m. for your holiday shopping. Refreshment will be served.

Our brand new tram puzzles, wooden bus and tram models have arrived!

Here's more Roosevelt Island merchandise available at the RIHS Visitors Center Kiosk

RIHS President Judy Berdy described its mission, programs and services offered during presentation to the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Public 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.