Saturday, June 4, 2016

First Sunday Of The Month Jazz Salon At Roosevelt Island's Gallery RIVAA Tomorrow June 5 With Metrocard Unlimited Jazz Society

Gallery RIVAA's First Sunday of the Month Jazz Salon

 May 1 First Sunday Roosevelt Island Jazz Salon At Gallery RIVAA

is back tomorrow, June 5, starting at 4 PM. According to Gallery RIVAA:
Dear all,

Gallery RIVAA is pleased to invite you to yet another exciting session of First Sunday Jazz Salon this Sunday, June 5th at 4:00 pm at Gallery RIVAA. Please join us and enjoy the evening with some really nice jazz music.

Date: June 5th, 2016
Time: 4:00 pm
Venue: Gallery RIVAA, 5
27 Main Street, Roosevelt Island

The Metrocard Unlimited Jazz Society performs tomorrow at Gallery RIVAA.

Metrocard Unlimited Jazz Society's Susheel Kurien describes the importance of Gallery RIVAA in supporting music on Roosevelt Island during May 1, 2016 First Sunday Of The Month Jazz Salon.

Take a listen to Metrocard Unlimited Jazz Society with singer Allegra Levy perform What Is This Thing Called Love at May 1 Gallery RIVAA First Sunday Jazz Salon

and more cool Roosevelt Island Jazz here.

Friday, June 3, 2016

SPONSORED POST - Check Out Roosevelt Island Gristedes Supermarket Product Specials & Sales For June 3 To June 16 - 10% Seniors Discounts Tuesdays & Wednesdays And Sign Up For Bonus Savings Card Too

Roosevelt Island Gristedes Supermarket invites you to check out their:
  • Groceries, 
  • Organic & Gourmet, 
  • Snacks
  • Meat, 
  • Fresh Produce, 
  • Deli &;
  • Fresh Bakery
Department Offerings for June 3 - June 16 (Pages 1-4)  and Perishable Items June 10 - 16 (Pages 5-6)

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, Facebook Page and Twitter feed.

Roosevelt Island Swim Team & Gallery RIVAA Present Marlins In Action Art Exhibit Opening Reception June 4 - Update On Marlins June 2 Annual Championship Meet Too

The Roosevelt Island Marlins swim team report:

“Marlins in Action” exhibition opens at the RIVAA gallery (527 Main Street) this weekend, don't miss out! The Opening Reception is 6-9PM tomorrow, Saturday, June 4th.

"Marlins In Action" will be on display June 4-August 14.

Gallery Hours:

Wednesday & Friday: 6pm-9pm

Saturday & Sunday: 11am-5pm

As part of this collaboration, RIVAA gallery will also display art work pieces created by Roosevelt Island Swim Team's swimmers.

Help us keep our program affordable - purchase framed photos for just $10.

We are excited to showcase our amazing athletes! Hope to see you at the gallery.

R.I. Marlins Board
The Roosevelt Island Marlins add:
At least 100 island children, aged 2 to 22,

and their families participated in Roosevelt Island Swim Team Annual Championship on Thursday, June 2nd. This informal Mock Meet concluded the very first year of training for many of the youngest Marlins’ members. It was a great way for children and their parents to get a preview of the competitive swimming world, years before they are ready to partake in a real swim meet.

25 yards long races for Learn-to-Swim program swimmers included:
  • noodle race with instructor’s assist,
  • kick,
  • freestyle,
  • breaststroke,
  • backstroke.

Marlins Future Stars, Juniors and Seniors, competed in series of 50 yards events, including fun relays. Young swimmers were especially delighted to see their instructors – Roosevelt Island Swim Team’s alumni! – race each other.

Spectators cheered for every race

 – from Beginners to Swim Team graduates visiting Roosevelt Island during their college Summer Break, and important life lessons were learned as some of the youngsters had to fight their fear of jumping in or cope with losing their goggles during the dives. The meet was “pretend” but the effort that children put in was quite real. All participants were excited to receive Championship ribbons.

Congratulations to all of the swimmers! Parents and grandparents, thank you for joining in the fun. A big thank you to Marlins’ coaches and instructors “timing” events, to RIOC staff for keeping the deck in order, and to Swim Team Board Members, who organized this fantastic opportunity for island families to have a great time at the Sportspark pool.
More info on the Roosevelt Island Marlins available at their web site.

UPDATE 6/5 - The Roosevelt Island Marlins share some photos from last night's Gallery RIVAA exhibit opening reception.

Where The Heck Is Matt, He's In NYC Dancing At Roosevelt Island's FDR Four Freedoms Park Saturday June 4 - You're Invited To Join Him

Traveler Matt Harding is dancing his way around the world. On Saturday June 4, Matt will be dancing in New York City at Roosevelt Island's FDR Four Freedoms Park

and Flushing Meadows Park.

You're invited to join Matt and dance with him at Roosevelt Island's FDR Four Freedoms Park 2 pm Saturday, June 4.

Here's more about Where The Heck Is Matt.

Good News, Roosevelt Island F Train Service To And From Roosevelt Island This Weekend - Also Roosevelt Island E Train Service To And From Manhattan This Weekend Too

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

to and from Manhattan this weekend.

And the MTA Weekender reports:
F Trains run local in both directions between 71 Av and 21 St-Queensbridge

Weekend, 12:01 AM Sat to 5 AM Mon, Jun 4 - 6

Trains stop at 67 Av, 63 Dr, Woodhaven Blvd, Grand, Elmhurst, Roosevelt Avs, 65 St, Northern Blvd, 46, Steinway and 36 Sts.
E Trains run via the F in both directions between W 4 St and 21 St-Queensbridge

Weekend, 11:45 PM Fri to 5 AM Mon, Jun 3 - 6

RIOC Board Operations Advisory Committee Meeting Today - Roosevelt Island Open Projects, Bicycle Rack Clearing Policy, Tram Usage Report & More On Agenda

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors Operations Advisory Committee is meeting today. According to RIOC:

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a meeting of the Operations Advisory Committee Meeting of the RIOC Board of Directors will be held on Friday, June 3, 2016 at 3:30 P.M. at the RIOC Administrative Office, 591 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York.


1. Open Project Report

2. Bicycle Rack clearing policy discussion

3. Tram usage report

4. New business


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.

You're Invited To Roosevelt Island's Gallery RIVAA Opening Reception For Shades Of Blue Summer Exhibit Saturday June 4

Roosevelt Island's Gallery RIVAA will be hosting an opening reception Saturday evening June 4 for an exhibition titled Shades Of Blue. You're invited. According to Gallery RIVAA:

Dear all,

You are cordially invited to the opening reception of our summer show "Shades of Blue" on Saturday, June 4th from 6-9pm at Gallery RIVAA.

Opening Reception: Saturday, June 4th, 6-9pm
Exhibition Dates: June 4, 2016 - August 14, 2016
Location: 527 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York

Gallery Hours:
Wednesday & Friday: 6pm-9pm
Saturday & Sunday: 11am-5pm

UPDATE 6:20 PM - The Roosevelt Island Marlins In Action Art Exhibit opening reception at Gallery RIVAA will also take place Saturday June 4 from 6 -9 PM.

More info here.

RIRA Island Services Committee Reports On Roosevelt Island Tram Station Elevators, Sportspark, Southtown Commercial Trash, New Public Library & Enhanced Seniors Center Services

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

report to the RIRA June 1  Common Council:  

ISC met 5/17/16 with 9 members present from a membership of 12.

Tram Elevator – RIOC is now estimating that the new elevators will be in operation in the fall, 2017 (previous estimate was winter, 2017). RIOC has not yet begun negotiating with the NYC Dept. of Parks for the extra land needed for the elevators’ installation. Meanwhile, John Bost, Director of Engineering and ISC’s principal contact with RIOC on the elevators and other projects, has left RIOC. This may further delay the elevators’ installation.

Sportspark – ISC is dividing this issue into two parts – the major capital projects that have a total cost of over $20 million in the next 3 years, and, the “small” needed improvements in the facilities and programs. If RIOC completes all the planned major projects (roof, HVAC, pool, etc,) in a reasonable time, we should be satisfied with the substantial improvement in the facility. Meanwhile, ISC will work to achieve the ”small” improvements. We plan to meet with RIOC’s new VP for Operations.

Commercial Trash in Southtown – The condition of the yard has improved so that in every week on 4‐5 days the yard is in an acceptable condition, but on 2‐3 days (chiefly on weekends) the yard doesn’t meet regulations. Related promises to redouble their efforts with the restaurants to achieve required standards on every day.

New Public Library – The project remains on schedule with construction expected to start fall, 2016 and be completed at the end of 2017 or 1st quarter, 2018.

Enhanced Programs and Services at Senior Center – ISC has decided to not make this an active issue at present. Instead, we will monitor activities to learn what changes and improvement might be made by the new leadership, which takes over in July.

Control of Rats in Northtown – ISC agreed to make this an active issue. Community Use of Good Shepherd & Cultural Center – We are still fact finding.

Respectfully Submitted Aaron Hamburger, Chair ‐ ISC
Here is the June 1 RIRA Common Council discussion of the RIRA ISC Committee Report presented by ISC member Mickey Rindler.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Project Renewal Scan Van Free Roosevelt Island Mammogram Screenings Hosted By Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright Friday June 3, Appointment Necessary

Roosevelt Island's NY State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright tweets:

More information at this previous post.

Do You Wanna Be A Lifeguard? Roosevelt Island Youth Program Announces Lifeguard Certification Program Classes Starting June 5 - Job Placement Too

The Roosevelt Island Youth Program (RIYP) reports:
The Roosevelt Island Youth Program and the Department of Youth and Community Development in conjunction with the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, is pleased to announce our Teen Action Funding a Lifeguard Certification Program for Youth 15 and older. The classes are on June 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th, from 2 PM to 7 PM at the Sportspark facility, a late lunch will be served and job placement is part of the program.

Please register on line at:

If you have any questions, please call Katerina: 212 935 3645
Do you wanna be a lifeguard?

Report From RIRA Planning Committee - Long Term Impact Of Cornell Tech On Roosevelt Island Facilities, Air Quality Monitoring, Bike/Pedestrian Signage, Southpoint Park Initiative, Water Quality And Meeting With RIOC President

Below is Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Planning  Committee report

Image From RIRA

to the June 1 Common Council meeting submitted by Committee Chair Dennis Lawson:
RIRA – PLANNING COMMITTEE Summary Meeting Minutes Notes, May 25, 2016

... The Committee had six items on its agenda: 1) Update on long term impact of Cornell Tech on RI facilities; 2) Update on follow‐up to Air quality monitoring initiative; 3) Update on RIOC immediate/future plans for bike/pedestrians signage; 4) Follow‐up to Southpoint Park planning meeting of 28 April; 5) Water quality on the Island; 6) Any other business.

1) Update on long term impact of Cornell Tech on RI facilities

The RIRA Planning committee Chair met with Andrew Winters, Senior Director of Capital Projects, Cornell Tech, and Jane Swanson, Assistant Director of Government & Community Relations, Cornell Tech on 19 May 2016 at Cornell Tech offices. He outlined that the RIRA Planning committee is trying to assess how Cornell Tech might affect existing RI facilities, including vehicle traffic and parking, sport facilities, biking routes, children playground.

Andrew Winters confirmed that Cornell had conceived their project on the island with a view to become an integral part of the RI community, rather than establishing a separate self‐contained campus. Accordingly, he stated that there should be 1600 students and staff at Cornell Tech by 2018. 50% of these are expected to reside on RI. Most Cornell Tech students however will be one‐year students in their 20s, including 40% foreigners sponsored by their tech companies to complete a masters’ degree. There will be 500 studio type residences for students and 16 apartments for faculty members on campus. Therefore, there will be only few families and children on campus and no pressure on RI existing playgrounds.

They will have a fitness room on campus and outside gym equipment for Cornell Tech affiliates also available to the RI community. They expect to have access to Sportspark and would be ready to contribute to the renovation of the structure, while avoiding to put too much pressure on the current residents use of facility. Their discussions on this matter are on‐going with RIOC.

They will have 40 parking spots underground for Cornell staff and students. There will be another 86 RIOC‐managed paying public parking spots along the road around the campus. They limited their own parking facilities on purpose to dissuade their affiliates to drive to RI. On the contrary, they will favor and encourage public transportation, including biking. They are a primary sponsor of the upcoming ferry service and committed $500,000 a year for 5 years from 2017 for that purpose. Lastly, given their schedule, students will commute at different times of the day not necessarily at rush hours.

2) Update on follow‐up to Air quality monitoring initiative

The RIRA Planning committee Chair updated the committee on his discussions with Cornell on this matter. He outlined the status of the RIRA‐led AQM initiative to Andrew Winters and Jane Swanson and difficulty to find funding to implement it. He congratulated Cornell for the manner in which they handle air quality at the construction site. He informed Cornell representatives of RIRA interest in possibly retaining Cornell existing AQM system once the construction is concluded to monitor air quality on the southern end of the island where pollution is more likely as a result of the Queensborough bridge traffic and FDR. Without committing, Andrew Winters stated that Cornell would certainly be amicable to considering the request by RI community to retain their AQM system post‐2018. He also indicated that the system requires daily expert management. The RIRA Planning committee Chair expressed appreciation for the Cornell’s consideration and suggested some arrangements might be found between RIRA and RIOC for third party support to manage the AQM system, as RIOC is interest in environment protection.

3) Update on RIOC immediate/future plans for bike/pedestrian signage

The RIRA Planning committee Chair informed the committee that he met Susan Rosenthal, RIOC Acting CEO & President on 2 May 2016 and presented her a series of issues on the planning committee agenda (see annex 1). The RIOC President approved the suggestion that marking and signs on the promenades for bike/pedestrian traffic safety would improve safety and could be implemented immediately. The RIRA Planning committee Chair, RIOC President and RIOC Transportation General Manager Cyril Opperman had a subsequent field visit on the West promenade. The RIOC President promised that bike/pedestrian lanes, yield markings, and slow down signs would be put in place as soon as possible. The Planning committee Chair informed the committee that he would attend a meeting with RIOC on 27 May 2016 to discuss bike lane markings on the promenades.

With regard to longer term bike paths development on the island, the RIOC President confirmed that an overall island bike plan had already been designed with Bike New York and would be implemented once construction on the island would be completed by 2018.

Taking note of the lack of information available to bikers on the island, the committee agreed that Frank Farance would draft a Tips for Bikers on RI for review by the committee.

4) Follow‐up to Southpoint Park planning Community Advisory meeting of 28 April 2016;

The Planning committee Chair updated the committee on the outcome of RIOC‐led 28 April 2016 on Southpoint Park planning initiative meeting. The Fitzgerald & Haliday Inc (FHI) a well‐established landscaping design company has been hired by RIOC to redesign Southpoint Park and hospital ruins, as per RI residents’ views. An iterative process of design is led by FHI through interactive and outreach meetings/events with RI residents on 14 and 26 May and 11 June, on‐line survey and public Community Advisory meetings. The Advisory Community committee composed of RI associations serves as liaison with the community. The process should be completed and a project designed by January 2017. During the 28 April meeting a very wide range of ideas were raised. The RIRA Planning committee discussed the consultation process and decided to dedicate specific time during its next meeting to narrow down the number of proposals that could be proposed by RIRA to the Community Advisory committee.

5) Water quality on the Island

Some concerns have been raised by RI residents about the quality of tap water and threat of lead in the plumbing. Concerns were also expressed about potential terrorist threats on water sources. The committee recommended agreed that residents concerned by the quality of their tap water should use rapid individual water quality tests easily available. The Planning committee Chair will reach out to DEP to request a broader assessment of the RI water.

6) Any other business

The committee agreed to discuss parking‐related issues (metered parking duration and location, reserved parking spots, resident vs non‐residents use of public parking spots, etc...), as well as the new ramp for bikes to be connected to the helix by RIOC and rearrangement of the existing helix RI exit circulation rearrangements.
And annex to RIRA Planning Committee Report:
David Lawson, RIRA Planning Committee Chair meeting with Susan Rosenthal, Acting RIOC President & CEO Summary notes – 2 May 2016

The RIRA Chair of the Planning committee, David Lawson, met with Susan Rosenthal, Acting RIOC President &CEO, on 2 May 2016 and discussed the following:

1) Governance/communication
The RIRA Planning committee Chair and the RIOC President agreed that RIOC and RIRA had only to benefit from each other and should entertain a constructive dialogue. The RIOC President’s agenda is solely designed to make the island a better place for its residents.

They agreed that the RIOC website could be more interactive to allow residents to provide feedback and ideas.

The RIOC President proposed to the RIRA Planning Committee Chair to meet monthly to discuss RIOC plans and for RIRA to provide advice, share concerns and constructive recommendations/ideas.

They agreed that such on‐going dialogue should only be constructive and problem solving.

2) RIOC’s agenda

The RIOC President informed the RIRA Planning committee Chair of the immediate priorities on her agenda for the island:
  • Patchwork on the helix
  • Tram fixing
  • Motorgate repair
  • Sportspark, roof, pool and boiler fixing
  • Ferry MoU
  • Bike helix ramp/signs
  • Seawall benchmarks
  • Island small parks management
  • Repairs at the cultural center
  • Kiosks at tram and subway stations
 3) RIRA Planning committee agenda

The RIRA Planning committee Chair presented the issues for consideration by RIOC
  • The RIOC President approved the suggestion that markings and signs on the promenades for bike/pedestrian traffic would enhance safety and could be implemented immediately;
  • The RIOC President confirmed that an island emergency plan existed and approved the idea that it be shared with residents;
  • The RIOC President and RIRA Planning committee Chair agreed that Cornell was acting very respectfully with regard to the community and expressed appreciation for Cornell’s management of community relations. They also agreed that Cornell could be involved in future developments on the island as an active contributor the community. With regard to environment protection, the RIOC President confirmed that she was ensuring that the new ferry service would not increase pollution levels. She agreed to the RIRA Planning committee Chair’s suggestion to request Cornell to maintain their air quality monitoring system in place to monitor air quality on the Southern part of the island even after the site construction is completed.
  • The RIOC President confirmed that she would check on compatibility between the recycling program and existing AVAC system.
  • The RIRA Planning committee Chair informed the RIOC President that some concerns had been expressed about the water quality on the island, and that further reflection would needed within the committee before he could get back to her with more details.
  • With regard to long term planning and protection of the green areas on the island, the RIRA Planning committee Chair congratulated the RIOC President for the initiative on South Point park and enquired about potential plans for the /lighthouse Park. The RIOC President explained that no planning could take place until NY City Hall had shared their plans for the NY City managed‐Coler Hospital.
The Acting RIOC President & CEO confirmed that she would get back to the RIRA Planning committee Chair on the issues discussed.
Here is the June 1 RIRA Common Council discussion of the RIRA Planning Committee Report.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The Verge Celebrates 40th Anniversary Of The Roosevelt Island Tram - Encourages Ride On The Tram Because It's Helluva Fun

The Roosevelt Island Tram has been receiving alot of favorable publicity recently encouraging more and more people to take a ride.

For example:

According to the The Verge:
... To celebrate the tram's birthday, The Verge's social media maven Kirsten Frisina and myself took it for a spin and recorded the whole thing on Facebook Live. We talked about the tram's unique place in the city's transportation hierarchy, as well as what happens when a power surge knocked it out of commission a decade ago, trapping over a dozen commuters hundreds of feet above the East River for up to 12 hours. (Spoiler alert: there was peeing into bottles.)...

Very well done video.

According to The Verge video, approximately 70% of Tram Riders are residents and 30% are visitors.

Here's more on the Roosevelt Island Tram 40th Anniversary Celebration.

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) June 2016 Common Council Meeting Tonight - 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, June 1, 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:
 Date: Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

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. Approval of Minutes
     a. May 4, 2016 Common Council Session

5.  Treasurer’s Report

6.  President’s Report

      a. Call for Elections Committee Chair
      b. Update re RIRA Annual Blood Drive

7. Committee Reports
         a. Planning Committee Report
          b. SC&E Committee Report
             i. Motion to allocate up to $200 for RIRA-Sponsored Breakfast, Hands-Only CPR Training and Children’s Book Drive during the 2016 Roosevelt Island Day festivities of June 11, 2016.

            ii. Motion to allocate up to $230 for purchase of Storage Shelving in RIRA storage area.

        c. Hands-Only CPR Subcommittee Report

        d. Youth Initiative Subcommittee Report

               i. Motion to allocate up to $150 for sponsorship of purchase of food and drink as part of the Make It Count: A Leadership Project

       e. The Survey Ad Hoc Committee Report

      f. Island Services Committee Report

     g. Public Safety Committee Report

8. Old Business

9. New Business

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

Great News - Roosevelt Island Southpoint And FDR Four Freedoms Park Open To Public For Viewing 2016 Macy's July 4 East River Fireworks Celebration

 Image From Macy's

The 2016 Macy's July 4 Fireworks celebration will take place on the East River for the second straight year after being on the Hudson River from 2009 -2014. NYC Go reports:
It wouldn't be the Fourth of July in New York City without the annual Macy's fireworks show, which made its debut in 1976 to commemorate the nation's bicentennial. In 2016, the iconic display, now located on the East River, will celebrate its 40th anniversary; fireworks will be set off from barges located between the Brooklyn Bridge and Queensboro Bridge....
According to Macy's:

Join us as we light up the sky above Manhattan’s East River. Details are on the way!
Roosevelt Island will have great views of the East River Macy's July 4 Fireworks celebration. Here's the view from FDR Four Freedoms Park last year.
I asked Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Acting President Susan Rosenthal yesterday:
Will RIOC allow 2016 Macy's July 4 fireworks viewing at Southpoint Park and FDR Park this year as was done last year?

According to NYC Go, the fireworks will be done in the East River again this year.

If yes, what will the process be for viewing the fireworks.
Ms Rosenthal replied today:
Yes, we will be celebrating our Independence here again! We are coordinating efforts with FDR Four Freedoms Park and Cornell. The process will be similar to last year’s ---with additional “surprises” in the works. 
Last year's process for viewing the fireworks was described at this prior post.

Here a snippet of what the 2015 Macy's July 4 Fireworks looked like from FDR Four Freedoms Park.

More of 2015 Macy's July 4 fireworks seen from Roosevelt Island here.

Stay tuned for further information.

UPDATE 6/10 - RIOC announced:

All attendees must register online to receive a free ticket to the fireworks viewing at Southpoint Park and Four Freedoms Park. No tickets will be available at the door. Attendees may register for up to 4 tickets. Children ages 4 and under do not need tickets.

Registration will open on Monday, June 27, 2016...
More registration information to come. Stay tuned.

UPDATE 6/16 - Click here for online ticket registration information on Roosevelt Island viewing of Macy's July 4 Fireworks at FDR And Southtown Park.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Possum Seen Wandering Around Roosevelt Island - Was It The OctoPossum Mom From Astoria?

We have all seen the increased interest and growing popularity of Roosevelt Island recently with many more people visiting our little island in the East River.

Apparently, Roosevelt Island may also become a destination for animals from the Wild Kingdom. Late Sunday night, Monday morning, a Riverwalk concierge reports seeing a possum coming from Firefighters Field, crossing Main Street and trying to enter the building's revolving doors. Unable to enter the building, the possum scooted quickly towards the Tram.

Perhaps the Possum visiting Roosevelt Island was the same one seen in Astoria as reported recently by ABC7 News, Gothamist and in this video.

According to ABC 7 News:

A couple from Queens captured video of a remarkable sight -- something they're calling "OctoPossum." And it's not something you'd expect to see in New York City....
... The couple looked a little closer and realized it was an opossum, carrying eight young joeys - the name for baby opossums....
Have you seen the Roosevelt Island Possum? Take a picture next time and send it in.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Roosevelt Island Southtown Commercial Trash Yard Piling Up With Garbage This Memorial Day Weekend - Bins Overflowing With Southtown Restaurants Garbage Says RIRA Island Services Committee Member

The April 2016 Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Island Services Committee (ISC) Report stated:

... Commercial Trash in Southtown – Last month the daily condition of the trash yard substantially deteriorated. We are working with Related’s new manager for commercial property to bring the yard back to meeting Dept. of Sanitation regulations. Just last week, there has been evidence of improvements. ISC will continue to monitor the situation until the yard routinely meets standards....
The conditions in the Southtown Commercial Trash yard were bad this Memorial Day Weekend. On Sunday, RIRA ISC Southtown Common Council Member Mickey Rindler shared these photos and reported:
Bins in Southtown overflowing again.

It has been going on since at least Friday. Usually they pick up Friday or Saturday nights.

People should think twice about eating in the Southtown establishments if they have no respect for sanitary conditions.

There is nothing the maintenance man from 425 can do when it is like this.

Mr. Rindler reported today:
The bins have been cleaned up since yesterday with extra bags on the ground. Some tops are closed,

some not completely. So it is somewhat better although rats could clearly gnaw through the bags. I spoke to the building maintenance man yesterday afternoon, so maybe he did it yesterday or this morning.

Still garbage was not picked up and that is the point.
RIRA ISC Member Frank Farance cites NYC Department of Sanitation regulations and adds:
While I agree with Mickey 100% on this, this is a general problem for the Island and its merchants, which are in Southtown and the WIRE buildings, not Manhattan Park nor Octagon.

I believe the issue would get better and CONSISTENT treatment if they were dealt with together. Why? Because the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) needs to know about this and Southtown Developer/Main Street Retail Master Leaseholder Hudson Related (H-R) needs to know about this, and the standards be the same for both WIRE and Southtown retail spaces.

Here is the reading from the ground leases for Southtown 3-4 (i.e., the buildings with commercial tenants). In the ground lease, it requires the Tenant (H-R) to enforce the provisions of the ground lease upon the Subtenants (Section 10.4), which include "maintain the appearance of the subleased premises in keeping with the general standard maintained for the Building" and "comply with such other commercially reasonable rules, regulations and operating covenants as Landlord shall require which are generally applicable to commercial space on Roosevelt Island".

That last provision is important because other commercial space on Roosevelt Island is defined by the Main Street Retail Master Lease. The Retail Master Lease is weak in that H-R can have Low Standards on what is acceptable, but they are required to comply with the City's Administrative Code, which includes the following:

- DSNY Code §16—120(c): "Commercial Premises—Placement of Containers: If refuse is scheduled to be picked up after closing, the merchant may place refuse out for private collection within one hour of closing. If the collection service is performed during the day, the commercial waste may not be placed out for collection unless it is within two hours of actual collection time. In the event the commercial establishment has metal containers (dumpsters), the establishment must remove these containers immediately after collection. If the collection service occurs either at night or in the early morning hours and a responsible party is not present to remove the containers, the DSNY will allow a reasonable amount of time (usually one hour from the time a responsible party is on the premises) for removal before issuing a Notice of Violation. Containers (dumpsters) are to be removed from the sidewalks/streets and placed inside or in the rear of the premises. Containers must at all times be maintained in a neat, clean, and closed condition, and the area around them must also remain neat and clean. Garbage may never be left out on a holiday or weekend."

- DSNY Code 16 RCNY §1-08(h)(1)(2): "Bundle Cardboard: Flattened corrugated cardboard must be tied together with sturdy twine into bundles no more than 18 inches high and shall not be placed in recycling containers or bags unless it is broken into small pieces (no larger than 9 inches x 11 inches). In buildings with mechanized collection, corrugated cardboard must be collapsed and placed into designated dumpsters."

- DSNY Code 16 RCNY §1-09: "Those institutions that receive containerized collection service must place recyclable material out in dumpster-like containers that are acceptable to the DSNY. Clearly label the containers with the words 'RECYCLING - BOTTLES AND CANS' or 'RECYCLING - MIXED PAPER.'"

- DSNY Code §16-120(a): "Covered Receptacles: Garbage receptacles (including dumpsters) must be covered at all times with securely fitting covers/lids."

Clearly the dumpsters in use at Southtown and WIRE retail violate those provisions. Not only can the City enforce it, H-R is OBLIGATED to enforce it (which they don't).
UPDATE 5/31 - Mr. Rindler reports this morning:
Garbage was picked up.

Boxes not yet (a different carter). However, two bins are outside the enclosure, one open with bags in it.
UPDATE 6/2 - RIRA'S Eva Bosbach reports that the overflowing garbage has been cleaned up

Images From Eva Bosbach

and the temporary Con Ed presence gone.

It's Memorial Day, Thank You For Your Service To All Members Of U.S. Military and Their Families From Roosevelt Island

In addition to enjoying ourselves this Memorial Day weekend with a day off from work, spending time with friends and family and outdoor barbecues, let's remember the men and women of the United States Military who are currently serving our country, those veterans who have done so in the past, those who gave their lives and their families.

Memorial Day, which falls on the last Monday of May, commemorates the men and women who died while serving in the American military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, at least, it marks the beginning of summer...

Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day because it was a time set aside to honor the nation's Civil War dead by decorating their graves...
More on Memorial Day from,

Earlier today, President Obama laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery

and had these remarks in tribute.
On Roosevelt Island, a welcome sign was out for Fleet Week NYC at the Tram

and Subway Station and Gristedes Supermarket displayed

the American Flag.

Roosevelt Island Welcomes United States Navy, Marines And Coast GuardTo Fleet Week New York

Signage next to the Roosevelt Island F Train Subway

and Tram Station

welcomes the US Navy, Marines and Coast Guard to Roosevelt Island for the 2016 Fleet Week NYC.

I have not seen any of the Fleet around Roosevelt Island this week - have you?

Thank you to all the men and women serving in the US Military.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

You're Invited To The Long Island City Community Boathouse Memorial Day Walk Up Public Kayak Paddling At Hallets Cove May 30 - Just A Short Walk Over The Roosevelt Island Bridge

Would you like to get out on the East River and learn to kayak?

You can with the Long Island City (LIC) Community Boathouse tomorrow for their first 2016 East River public paddling at Hallets Cove
Hallets Cove is a short walk over the Roosevelt Island Bridge at Vernon B'lvd and 31st Ave.

Image of Hallets Cove Beaach From Harbor Lab
The LIC Boathouse adds:
LIC Community Boathouse is excited to announce our first walk-up event at Hallets Cove plus two short and easy river trips on the Memorial Day holiday, May 30th. To request seats for one or both trips, click the “Request-a-Trip” link to your left. If you wish to go on a river trip, you must be an adult (at least 18 years of age) and be able to swim.

Registration is not required for any of our walk-up paddles. Just show up at the beach at 31st Ave and Vernon Blvd. between 1:00pm and 4:00pm. Kids of all ages are welcome to enjoy a short paddle around Hallets Cove as long as they are accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Volunteers are always needed and welcome at our walk-up events. New volunteers will be paired with experienced volunteers and can start right away. Volunteering with us is the first step towards a lot more summer fun on the water. Registering in advance as a volunteer is very helpful but not required. You could just show up at Hallets Cove between 1:00pm and 4:00pm, and let us know you’re here to help.
I've spoken with LIC Boathouse representatives and they welcome Roosevelt Island residents to become members and kayak on the East River.

Visit the LIC Boathouse web site for more information.

UPDATE 5/30:
LIC Boathouse adds:
Based on overnight rainfall rates and totals, as well as the early-morning NWS Flood Advisory for more, the potential wider impact on local water quality beyond the current CSO advisory for Newtown Creek warranted a decision earlier this morning to err on the side of caution and cancel our northbound trip to bring boats and equipment to the beach.

So, despite the fact that it may not be raining for the 1-4pm window for Hallet’s Cove, we will not be able to run our walkup program there, today.

Health and safety of our guests and volunteers is top priority. With increased awareness of the health risks posed by poor water quality, we aim to be extra conscientious about activities undertaken by LICCB. We regret any inconvenience.

Roosevelt Island Parents' Network RI MoM Walking, Exercise & Yoga Group Meeting Memorial Day Monday Morning May 30 At Tram Kiosk - Dads Welcome Too

Roosevelt Island Parents' Network Coordinator Eva Bosbach reports:

Dear all,

The next RI Parents' Network's free RI Moms on the Move (RI MoM) walk, exercise, chat and play will take place Monday, May 30 (Memorial day)

Meet us at 9:30am at the Tram Kiosk and join us for a walk down to Four Freedoms Park (FFP),

lead by Renate, and for Yoga exercise and play time for the children there.

Maiko Akiba, a Japanese Yoga teacher and an Island mom will be leading our exercise with basic Hatha Yoga,

starting at 10am at the FFP, suitable for moms with children of all ages.

Since we will be exercising on the grass, please bring a mat or blanket for yourself and some toys to share to keep the little ones busy.

We hope to see you on Monday! :)

Please send me a short e-mail if you are interested in joining us.