Friday, February 19, 2016

NYC Council Now Full Time - Mayor de Blasio Signs Bill Banning Outside Income For Council Members Authored By Roosevelt Island's Council Member Ben Kallos

Roosevelt Island's NYC Council Member Ben Kallos tweets:

and issued this press release today:
The New York City Council is now full time with outside income banned, following the signing of legislation authored by Council Member Ben Kallos by Mayor Bill de Blasio. This new legislation paired with ending the practice of doling out stipends known as "lulus" to certain members, which the Daily News has called "legal bribery" will go a long way in keeping the Council free of corruption.

“City Council Members will be working full time for their residents without the corrupting influence of stipends and outside income,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “New York City continues to lead with reforms the people want to see at all levels of government. Thank you to Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito for bringing reform to the City Council and Mayor Bill de Blasio for signing these bills into law.”

47 Council Members, are offered a stipend of between $5,000 and $25,000 for serving as committee chairs or leadership. 34 council members made a pledge to Citizens Union as council candidates in 2013 to limit stipends to the Speaker and Minority Leader. Despite their pledges only 10 members refused the money in 2014 and for their entire terms with two more joining in 2015:  Brad Lander, Alan Maisel, Carlos Menchaca and Mark Treyger of Brooklyn; Andy Cohen of the Bronx; Dan Garodnick, Ben Kallos, Mark Levine and Helen Rosenthal of Manhattan; Jimmy Van Bramer and Rory Lancman of Queens; and Steve Matteo of Staten Island.

Conflict of Interest Board (“COIB”) outside income disclosure forms will also be available online for elected officials as part of legislation introduced by Council Member Jimmy Vacca for which Kallos is co-prime sponsor also signed into law today. In 2010, then advocate Kallos worked with the New York Public Interest Research Group’s Bill Mahoney to request copies using the Freedom of Information Law (“FOIL”), scan and post outside income disclosure forms for state legislators online. Following this action, outside income forms were put online with income ranges by the Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE).

These reforms have been sought for generations by good government groups, editorial boards, and the public.
Mr. Kallos was interviewed this week by Effective Radio on a variety of issues including affordable housing, ethics and election reform, criminal justice, constituent services and more. Take a listen.

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

According to the MTA Weekender:
F Coney Island-bound trains run via the E from Roosevelt Av to W 4 St Weekend, 11:45 PM Fri to 5 AM Mon, Feb 19 - 22

No Coney Island-bound service at 21 St-Queensbridge, Roosevelt Island, Lexington Av/63 St, 57, 47-50 Sts, 42 St-Bryant Pk, 34 St-Herald Sq, 23 St and 14 St.
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 Spring Potluck Brunch Saturday March 5 - Meet Other Families & Taste Different Foods, Only 10 Spots Left

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

Dear parents!

We are planning a "RI Parents' Network Spring Potluck Brunch" on Saturday, March 5th at 465 Main Street at 11:00 am.

It'll be a great opportunity to taste different food and to meet other families. Although all families are welcome, the party room is limited to forty people so please let us know if you would like to come as soon as possible.

Please save the date and let us know, what dish or drink you want to share.​

Looking forward to hearing back from you.

Please send a short e-mail if you are interested in joining us. Only 10 spots are left.

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

Renate, Wen and Eva

Thursday, February 18, 2016

RIOC Meetings On Permit Requests For Use Of Roosevelt Island Community Space At Good Shepherd And Cultural Center Next Week - Get Your Permit Requests In

The use of Roosevelt Island Community space by various local groups is an important issue for some residents. If you are interested in using Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) community space, plan on attending two upcoming RIOC meetings next week.

According to RIOC:

A meeting for scheduling permit requests for the Good Shepherd Community Center will take place on Monday, February 22nd at 9 AM at the RIOC main office (591 Main Street).

A meeting for scheduling permit requests for the Cultural Center will take place on Thursday, February 25th at 9 AM at the RIOC main office (591 Main Street).

These meetings will address permit requests that fall between the dates of April 1, 2016 and June 30, 2016. For more information, or to reserve a seat and receive a permit application, please contact Donna Masly at 212.891.6540 or email
RIOC has more information on permitting space at the Good Shepherd Community Center

 Image of Good Shepherd Chapel From Frank Farance

 Image Of Good Shepherd Lower Level Space Used For RIRA Monthly Meeting

and Cultural Center.

As reported in April 2015:
... RIOC Director Howard Polivy provided an overview of Roosevelt Island community spaces including at Sportspark, Good Shepherd Community Center and the newly renovated Cultural Center space. Mr. Polivy emphasized that use of the community center spaces will "evolve" over time. RIOC President Charlene Indelicato added that all of the Roosevelt Island groups seeking community space:
... must be treated in a fair and equitable manner...
noting that Public Authorities, like RIOC, are under a great deal of scrutiny from NY State. Ms. Indelicato added that the intent of RIOC is not to make money on the Cultural Center

More on Roosevelt Island community space here.

Roosevelt Island Has It's Own New Song And It's Very Good - Take A Listen To Roosevelt Island By Pieternel Osinga

From the Roosevelt Island Twitterverse:

Love those lyrics.

Check out Pieternel Osinga's web site and Facebook page for more info.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Gotham Soccer League Adult Co-ed Teams Returning To Roosevelt Island's Octagon Field This Spring - Sign Up For Exercise, Fun And Meet New Friends

If you would you like to play in an adult Co-ed Soccer League at the Roosevelt Island Octagon Field

Image Of Octagon Soccer Game From Gotham Soccer League Video

this spring, Gotham Soccer League's

Todd Jasko has good news. According to Mr. Jasko:
Gotham Soccer League's Spring 2016 Coed Soccer League

Who: Adult (18+) soccer players

What: Coed 8v8 soccer league (minimum 2 women on the field)

When: Thursday nights, 8pm kickoffs, from March 3rd through May 26

Where: Octagon Field on Roosevelt Island (first stop on the F train leaving Manhattan)

Why: Have fun, get exercise, and make new friends playing the world's favorite sport!

How much: $1690 for teams, $150 for individuals (10-game season)

Extras: All teams will be professionally photographed and filmed in 4K HD at least once. Trophy and medals for the winners and the leading goalscorers of both genders.
According to the Gotham Soccer League web site:
Gotham Soccer League was formed in the Summer of 2006 out of a strong desire for weeknight games of full-field, 11-a-side, 90-minute footy. We know how important the field conditions are for a game, and concentrate on using only the best fields in New York City. We have since grown to become one of New York City's most competitive leagues....
... We offer coed leagues playing on various fields throughout NYC including Octagon Field on Roosevelt Island and Pier 40 in Manhattan. Games are 48 minutes long, with 24-minute halves. Our coed leagues require a minimum of 2 women on the field (not including the goalkeeper)....
Here's a Gotham Soccer League mashup of plays at Roosevelt Island's Octagon Field from an August game last summer.

Click here for more information or to join the Gotham Co-ed Soccer League at Roosevelt Island's Octagon Field.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Move Over Subway Pizza Rat, Meet The Doritos Eating Roosevelt Island Squirrel

From the Roosevelt Island Twitterverse:

Roosevelt Island squirrels also enjoy a slice of pepperoni pizza
and apple.

More on the subway Pizza rat, Roosevelt Island squirrels eating habits and Stephen Colbert's view at this previous post.

Roosevelt Island Youth Invited To Join Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer's Council Of Young Leaders Of Manhattan - Manhattan State Of Borough Address Too

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer

invites Roosevelt Island youth between the ages of 14 - 18 to apply to and join the Council of Young Leaders Of Manhattan. According to Ms. Brewer:
Hi, I'm Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer.

In Manhattan and all over New York City, young people like you are an extraordinary source of ambitious, creative ideas. In fact, you may have the greatest stake in what government does--one day you will inherit our City.

It is my pleasure to establish the Council of Young Leaders of Manhattan. I want to give you, the borough's young people, tools, knowledge, and a megaphone to speak to your government on the issues that matter to you.

The Young Leaders of Manhattan will be comprised entirely of young people ages 14-18 who live, work, go to school in, or belong to an organization in Manhattan. The YLM will meet periodically to address policy and budget concerns affecting Manhattan’s young people, working closely with local elected officials and city agencies. You will draft and pass resolutions, serve on committees, learn how local government works, prepare and give presentations, and help make real change for you and your friends.

Time commitment is estimated at 5-10 hours a month. The application deadline is Friday, March 4, 2016 at midnight. Thank you for your interest in the Council of Young Leaders of Manhattan!


Gale A. Brewer
Manhattan Borough President
Click here to apply.

Roosevelt Island Community Coalition (RICC) Director and iDig2Learn founder Christina Delfico reported on Ms. Brewer's January 31 State of the Borough Address. According to Ms. Delfico:
RICC Co-chair Judy Buck, and I attended the Manhattan Borough President Gail A. Brewer's State of the Borough event January 31st, which included live tweets and broadcast on MNN.

Deputy Borough Presidents Aldrin Bonilla and Matthew Washington and Chief of Staff Jessica Mates were very welcoming and happy Roosevelt Islanders were in the house.

Many elected officials were in attendance including U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer who introduced BP Brewer. Also in attendance were Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, former Mayor Dave Dinkins, Public Advocate Letitia James and Community Board 8 Chair Jim Clynes.

The event included the BP's update on the State of the Borough with focus on education, the need for affordable housing, protection of small businesses, and the BP's support for green spaces, urban agriculture work to provide fresh food for seniors, and the recent success fighting development at South Street Seaport.

This was followed by a panel discussion about concerns with:
  • police relations with youth, 
  • racial inequality, 
  • food injustice, 
  • dwindling arts programs, 
  • high cost of housing and
  • high cost of higher education.
Also discussed was the lack of career apprenticeships as found in the Food & Finance High School which draws students from throughout the city to its academic courses including a three-year sequence of cooking and baking with paid internships during the senior year. Those students provided the catering for the after event reception.

BP Brewer also mentioned committing one million in funding toward hydroponics and urban agriculture programs.
So if you are a young person interested in these or other issues of public concern, click here to apply for Borough President Brewer's Council Of Young Leaders of Manhattan.

UPDATE 3/3 - Ms. Brewer adds:
I know weekends are an important time for Manhattan's youth to catch up on things they missed during the busy school week. Everything from chores to the latest Netflix show gets more attention on the weekend – that's why I've decided to extend the Young Leaders of Manhattan application deadline to Sunday, March 6 at midnight.

As you may already know, the Young Leaders of Manhattan is a new council is designed to give young people the tools, knowledge, and a megaphone to speak to their government.

The YLM will be comprised entirely of young people ages 14-18 who live, work, go to school in, or belong to an organization in Manhattan. They will work closely with local elected officials and city agencies to address policy and budget concerns affecting Manhattan’s young people. Members will have the opportunity to draft and pass resolutions, serve on committees, prepare and give presentations, learn how local government works, and help make real change.

There are still a few days left, so if you know a Manhattan teen who’s interested in our city please invite them to apply! Applications are available here, and will be accepted throughout the weekend.

Roosevelt Island Free Tax Preparation Assistance For Seniors Hosted By NY State Senator Jose Serrano And Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright Wednesday February 16 - Constituent Office Hours Too

Roosevelt Island's NY State Senator Jose Serrano (212-828-5829) and NY State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright (212-288-4607) are hosting Constituent Office Hours and Free Tax Preparation Assistance for Seniors tomorrow. Ms. Seawright tweets

According to Senator Serrano and Assembly Member Seawright:
Join us for a presentation by the New York State Department of Tax & Finance on the tax preparation process for seniors and retirees, covering topics such as:
  • The kinds of exemptions seniors qualify for
  • Tax scams and consumer alerts for seniors
  • Whether social security benefits are taxable
  • How to have your taxes filed for free
In addition meet with staff from Senator Serrano and Assembly Member Seawright's office abour any problem or situation you are dealing with. We are here to assist.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Roosevelt Island Puppy Loves View Riding The Roosevelt Island Tram

Not only humans love the view from the Roosevelt Island Trams - Dogs do too.