Saturday, December 24, 2016

It's Christmas Eve, Santa Claus Is Coming To Town Tonight - On The Roosevelt Island Tram?

Reports are coming in of Santa Claus sightings from all around the world. You can even track him with the aid of Google's Santa Tracker and a Santa Tracker from NORAD.

Santa will arrive on Roosevelt Island in a couple of hours. When he does, it may be on his specially designed, Reindeer powered, Roosevelt Island Tram sled using one of the old Tram cabins.

Roosevelt Island Tram Reindeer Cards from Marty Atkins

Santa visited Roosevelt Island earlier this month during the Christmas/Holiday Tree Lighting ceremony.

Hope you've taken Bruce Springsteen's advice and were good this year.

It's not Christmas Eve without the Pogues and Kristy MacColl"s

Fairytale Of New York.

Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 23, 2016

SPONSORED POST - Wengerd Family Farmers Market Wishes A Blessed Christmas Season And A Wonderful 2017 New Year To Roosevelt Island Community, Will Be Open Saturday December 24 & December 31

The Roosevelt Island Farmers Market under the Motorgate Ramp is open early morning to mid afternoon on Saturdays in good weather and bad.

The Wengerd Family,

operators of the Roosevelt Island Farmers Market, wish you a Blessed Christmas season and a wonderful 2017 and want you to know that they will be open Saturday December 24 and December 31.

Good News, Roosevelt Island F Train Service To And From Manhattan This Christmas & Chanukah Weekend And 360 Degree Video Sneak Peak Of 2nd Avenue Subway Scheduled To Open January 1, 2017

According to the MTA, there will be Roosevelt Island F Train 

service to and from Manhattan this weekend.

Also, Cheshire Kitty tips us off to this cool NY Times 360 degree video of new Second Avenue Subway which is scheduled to open January 1, 2017.

Roosevelt Island residents can connect to the Second Avenue subway line one F stop away at 63rd/Lex.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Warning, Possible Electric Condition On Roosevelt Island Sidewalk Next To Riverwalk Building Across From Tram - Con Ed Investigating Contact Voltage Cause Since December 8

Have you noticed the yellow cones with Do Not Enter warning tape attached

on the sidewalk next to Roosevelt Island's 405 Main street Riverwalk building

in Southtown across from the Tram Station

for about the last 2 weeks? The signage says:
Warning, Possible Electrical Condition, Do Not Enter

On December 19, I asked Con Ed:
Do you have any information on Stray Voltage incident at 405 Main Street sidewalk?

For about a week a section of the sidewalk has been cordoned off with yellow tape that says Caution, Possible Electric Condition.
Con Ed Spokesperson Alan Drury replied:
We are investigating the cause of the condition you referenced. Once we find the cause, we will see that the condition is eliminated.

... We generally use the term “contact voltage,” as opposed to “stray voltage.” Our engineers say each term has a specific meaning and they are two different conditions...
I followed up:
Can you provide any details as to how you determined there was a problem and what is being done to remedy it.

What is the difference between "stray voltage" and "contact voltage"?...
Mr. Drury answered:
We have vehicles that scan the service area for contact voltage. We got a hit on this one on Dec. 8. To locate the source, our people are checking underground vaults (such as manholes) for obvious visual inspections. The search also includes the cutting and reconnecting of cables, and examination of the internal electrical equipment of buildings in the area.

... the main difference is that stray voltage is naturally occurring in an electrical delivery system, while contact voltage indicates faults.

As of today, the "possible electric condition" next to 405 Main Street has not been resolved.

More on contact and stray voltage at this Con Ed report.

UPDATE 12/23 -Spotted workers this afternoon

at the site.

Roosevelt Island Youth Program 2016 Christmas Party - Movie, Clown, Magic, Face Painting, Lunch, Dessert & Santa Claus

Roosevelt Island Youth Program Executive Director Charlie Defino reports:

Roosevelt Island Youth Program 2016 Christmas Party

The staff of the Roosevelt Island Youth Program celebrated the holiday season with a party on Saturday from 11am to 3pm.

The children

were treated to a movie, entertainment by Francis the Clown, face painting

and magic show by the one and only Daisey the Magician,

and a lunch

comprised of chicken, meatballs, macaroni and cheese, salad and of course a choice chocolate and vanilla cake. Then of course a visit from Santa Claus,

who had gifts for all the children. This was the 36th Christmas Party for the children hosted by the Roosevelt Island Youth Program since 1978 when the agency was formed.

Happy Holidays from the Roosevelt Island Youth Program inc. to all the families we have served for the past 4 decades.
More pictures at RIYP Beacon After School Facebook page.

You're Invited To Roosevelt Island Family Public Chanukah Menorah Lighting Saturday Evening December 24 - Music Dreidels, Hot Drinks, Donuts & More - Watch A Hamilton Hanukkah Video With The Maccabeats Too

The Chabad Lubavitch of Roosevelt Island invite you to the Chanukah Menorah Lighting Ceremony in front of Blackwell House this Saturday, December 24:

Please join us for the annual Roosevelt Island Family Public Menorah Lighting Saturday Evening, December 24th.

 The 1st Chanukah Light 7:00 PM in front of Blackwell House Music!!


Hot Drinks!!

Hot Latkes!!


A Gift for all!!

Chanukah Gelt!

For more info please contact 212-652-5660 or
Here's the Maccabeats Chanukah song for 2016 - A Hamilton Hanukkah.

Happy Chanukah!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Roosevelt Island F Train Subway Station WiFi Service Finally Arrives At End Of 2016

Reported in October 2015:

Well, wireless service has arrived at the Roosevelt Island F Train Subway station


 According to Roosevelt Island resident Volker Hage this afternoon:
Today I am writing this from somewhat 100 feet below you ...

WiFi is working from the Roosevelt Island Subway station.
More on NYC subway Wi-Fi service

from provider Transit Wireless.

SPONSORED POST - Four Freedoms Park Conservancy Wishes Roosevelt Island Community A Happy And Joyous New Year

Thank you for being a part of our community.

Four Freedoms Park Conservancy Wishing You All A Joyous New Year

Wildlife Freedom Foundation Protects Animals On Roosevelt Island - Educates Children And Adults To Respect And Appreciate RI Wildlife

Wildlife Freedom Foundation President Rossana Ceruzzi shares these Roosevelt Island

wildlife photos of

baby swan cygnets

recently spotted at Southpoint Park

More information on the Wildlife Freedom Foundation available below

and from this presentation to the November 30, 2016 Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council by Wildlife Freedom Foundation Director Kim Smithingham and President Rossana Ceruzzi.

Ms Ceruzzi was also the subject of this

November Chasing News report.

More information on the Wildlife Freedom Foundation available at it's web site.

Roosevelt Island Christmas Carols At MST&DA, Holiday Gifts At RIHS Visitors Kiosk And Christmas Trees From PS/IS 217 PTA At Motorgate Plaza

According to the Main Street Theater & Dance Alliance (MST&DA):


Doors open at 7pm for refreshments, singing begins at 8pm.

Click here to reserve ticket and for more information

Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS) President Judy Berdy reminds us that holiday gifts

from Roosevelt Island's rich history are available at the Visitors Center Kiosk:

Don't forget there's still time to pick up your Roosevelt Island Christmas Tree sponsored by the PS/IS 217 PTA

at Motorgate Plaza on Saturday, December 24 from 9 AM - 3 PM.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016


Cornell Tech Wishing Roosevelt Islanders a Joyous Holiday Season and a Safe and Prosperous New Year.

Volunteers Needed For Roosevelt Island Disabled Association December 25 Christmas Day Dinner

Would you like to volunteer and help out a local Roosevelt Island organization with Christmas dinner for some of your neighbors? If so, Roosevelt Island Disabled Association (RIDA) President Jim Bates can use your help. Mr. Bates sends the following request to the Roosevelt Island community:

Can you ask for help out at the Roosevelt Island Disabled Association Annual Christmas Day dinner Sunday December 25?

We need servers who will assist in helping in the serving of dinner to the 25-30 disabled and seniors who will attend.

Time needed is from 2-5 pm.

We need about 4 volunteers.

They will also help in breaking down and cleaning up before and after the dinner.

No heavy lifting involved.

Contact Jim at or 718 614-4784
Here are some of the volunteers at RIDA's

2015 Thanksgiving Day Dinner.


Roosevelt Landings Sending Best Wishes To All For The New Year.

For Rental Information, Please Call 201-553-9800

Urban American

Roosevelt Island Youth Program Names New Directors And Staff Promotions - Future Of Youth Center Operator Unknown And Subject Of RIOC RFP To Be Awarded In January 2017

Roosevelt Island Youth Program Inc. (RIYP) Executive Director Charlie Defino

reports on the addition of 4 new members to RIYP's Board Of Directors as well as staff promotions and additions.

According to Mr. Defino:
The new members are Maureen Santella, a 25 year resident of the Island and respected educator; David Evans, Southtown's representative to the RIRA Common Council,; John Weaterhead, who has lived on the Island for 40 years and was Vice-President of the Rivercross Board of Directors; and Kwasi Long, a 40 year Island resident and former Vice President of the Garden Club. These new members join Chairperson Jimmie Won, Vice President and Treasurer Steven Kaufman and Secretary Meera Tandon.

Our expanded Board has a total of more then 200 years of residence on Roosevelt Island. Each member brings a record of community leadership and volunteer service.

Staff changes include the promotion Aikaterini Efthymiadou, a 20 year long resident, to Beacon Director and the promotions of Andrey Chicagov and Roy Magasisi to Assistant Beacon Directors. In addition, John Swauger, who directed a multi-service community agency for 30 years, has joined our agency as Assistant to the Executive Director. This team now has a combined 100 years of management experience in not-for-profits.

These changes strengthen the Roosevelt Island Youth Program's already impressive management capability and ensure that the agency is prepared to meet the Island's needs for a fourth decade.
The RIYP has been the operator of the Roosevelt Island Youth Center for almost 40 years.

Will that change? The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) issued a September 21,2016 Request For Proposals (Page 2 of RFP) inviting:
... a not-for-profit organization or public/governmental entity1 with the appropriate experience, qualifications and capacity to submit proposals to operate and manage (“the Operator”) the Roosevelt Island Youth Center, located at 506 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York, 10044.

The Operator of the Roosevelt Island Youth Center will provide year-round leadership, educational, recreational and cultural programs of exceptional quality. These programs will target a diverse group of Island youth across the age spectrum and be provided free of charge. The Operator is expected to provide all personnel, materials and equipment to operate the facility. The successful Operator will also be expected to perform all tasks indicated in the Scope of Work to ensure the long-term stability and viability of the Roosevelt Island Youth Center.

The facility is a two-story, approximate 7,000 square foot building, comprised of several rooms of varying size. While the successful Operator will have the majority of that space to run its youth programs, other parts of the facility will be reserved for other community purposes. The successful Operator will enter into a Lease (for the facility), an Operating Agreement (to run the facility) and a $200,000 dollar Grant Agreement. Each agreement will be for an initial three (3) year period, with two, one-year extensions at RIOC’s option. The value of the Lease Agreement will be considered an in-kind grant from RIOC; and the Grant Agreement will be renewed annually, subject to the availability of RIOC funds.

The Lease, the Operating Agreement, and the Grant Agreement shall all run concurrently, and shall also be contingent upon the Operator’s compliance with ongoing reporting requirements established by RIOC as well as mutually agreed upon performance measures and contract deliverables. RIOC reserves the right to terminate the Lease, the Operating Agreement, and the Grant Agreement in the event these performance measures and other reporting requirements are not met by the Operator, to RIOC’s satisfaction, or for any other reason. Termination of one agreement may result in the termination of all three agreements....
and (Page 5 of RFP):
The Operator will independently manage the Youth Center and will provide youth programs and services, including leadership development programs; sports, fitness and recreation programs; arts and cultural programs; and health/life skills programs. All programs must be offered free of charge. This programming will serve a diverse Roosevelt Island youth population and the entire spectrum of youth age groups.

The selected Youth Center Operator will be responsible for soliciting and managing youth activity by staff or independent organizations to provide high quality programs and services such as multi-media training, dance classes, computer training, art and music classes, science classes, leadership programs, high school/college/job preparation, homework assistance and other educational programs.

Key responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
- Executing a Lease Agreement with RIOC and securing supplemental grants
- Arranging for Youth educators, trainers and activity leaders
- Cooperating and collaborating with other entities (such as Cornell Technion) in
providing youth classes and other activities for all youth groups.
- Developing of a Business Plan that can be marketed for philanthropic purposes
- Developing annual budgets, operational costs, and fundraising strategies
The RIYP is one of several organizations bidding to operate the Roosevelt Island Youth Center. Island Kids has submitted a bid and reportedly the Roosevelt Island Center Of Community Development has as well.

RIOC interviewed the applicants to operate the Roosevelt Island Youth Center last week. According to the RFP, the applicants are to be judged by the following criteria (Page 15-16 of the RFP)

Among the rights RIOC reserves in the selection of the Youth Center Operator (Page 17-18 of the RFP) are:
  • Withdraw the RFP at any time, at the agency’s sole discretion;
  • Make an award under the RFP in whole or in part;
RIOC anticipates awarding the Youth Center Operator RFP to be the subject of a vote during the January 8 RIOC Board meeting.

Stay tuned for more.

UPDATE 2 PM - The RIOC Board meeting is scheduled for January 26.

Monday, December 19, 2016


Best Wishes For A Happy Holiday from Island House & Westview.

Roosevelt Island Parents' Network RI MoM Walking & Exercise Group Meeting Tuesday Morning December 20 At Tram Kiosk - Dads Welcome Too

Roosevelt Island Parents' Network Coordinator Eva Bosbach reports:

Hi all,

The next free Roosevelt Island Parents' Network RI Moms on the Move (RI MoM) walk, exercise, chat and play will take place Tuesday December 20, 2016 starting at 9:30am at the tram kiosk.

We will meet at the tram kiosk at 9:30am

and go for a walk (weather permitting).

Afterwards (around 10:00 am) we will go indoors

and continue with some exercise, chat and play

in one of the playrooms.

Looking forward to seeing you,

Saskia and Eva
Contact the Roosevelt Island Parents' Network for more information.  

Roosevelt Island Seniors Holiday Pop Up Market Vendors Donate $1,000 From Event To Carter Burden Center In Appreciation For Their Contribution To RI Seniors Community

Vendors from the December 10-11 Roosevelt Island Seniors Pop Up Holiday Market showed their appreciation for the contributions made by the Carter Burden Roosevelt Island Senior Center Program to our community by donating the proceeds of the Holiday Market to the Carter Burden Center.

Roosevelt Island Pop Up Market Vendors Donating Proceeds To Carter Burden Center

Last Friday, December 16, Roosevelt Island senior Wendy Hersh and her colleagues handed a check in the amount of $1,000 to Carter Burden Roosevelt Island Senior Center Director Lisa Fernandez. Ms. Hersh noted it's nice to see people:
... come in here and see them smile and spend time in the center where they just used to just come in get their lunch and walk out.....  

and adds:
It is all about working as a team..working with these ladies was great...As seniors, we just want to help in any way that we can to give the seniors on RI what they need and what they deserve. It's not about the credit of who did what, but how working together resulted in a success.
38 vendors attended the 2016 Roosevelt Island Seniors Holiday Pop Up market in what is hoped to become an annual event. Here are some of the vendors

and attendees.