Saturday, January 7, 2017

First Snow Of 2017 Comes To Roosevelt Island Today

First snow of 2017 came to Roosevelt Island today

bringing out the kids with their sleds having fun sliding down the Southtown hill

and plows to clear the Riverwalk Commons sidewalk in Southtown.

Rossana Ceruzzi shares these photos of a snow covered Southpoint Park

Images From Rossana Ceruzzi

The Twitterverse shares view of the snow from the Roosevelt Island Tram cabin above the East River

and from the ground at Tram Plaza.
A video posted by Maxim Zakharov (@evreich) on

UPDATE 1/8 -A 34 year long Roosevelt Island Long Time resident adds:
I hope I'm not the only person who says something nice about RIOC et. al. today.

At 7:30 this morning, I went from Rivercross to Bread & Butter Deli & then to Wholesome Foods. As the warden in the Shawshank Redemption said, "It's a Miracle!!"

Main Street & Sidewalks clear & dry to the Z-bricks. Only the crosswalks at Breezeways need some more improvement.

Vast improvement by Island House, Rivercross & RIOC from several Saturdays ago, when even by noon, the main RI corridor was still an unsafe mess.

Ironically, the sheltered sidewalks of Urban American need some serious attention because of the dry, wind-blown snow. Thanks to everyone who did such a good job. All is appreciated.
The Southtown Riverwalk Commons area was cleaned up very well this morning

except for a small area from Starbucks to the street and in the Commons walkway.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Tucker The Young Mute Swan Recovers From Lead Poisoning And Returns To Life On Roosevelt Island With Aid of The Wild Bird Fund - Watch Him Take Off To Visit Long Island City

The Wild Bird Fund reports on the recovery of Roosevelt Island's injured Tucker the Swan:

Tucker is a young mute swan, less than a year old, still dappled brown in his white feathers. When he came to Wild Bird Fund in early November, he was suffering from lead poisoning and had pressure sores on his feet. He was an angry young swan at first, hissing non-stop, but he settled in as soon as he got in the pool. After daily foot baths and medicine to get rid of the lead, Tucker went back to live on Roosevelt Island. We went to visit him on Christmas but Tucker had already taken off to spend the day on the other side of the river. Help us help them.
and shares this video from Wildlife Freedom Foundation (WFF)  President Rossana Ceruzzi of Tucker taking flight from Roosevelt Island's Southpoint Park to visit Long Island City.

The Roosevelt Island based WFF adds:
More info on the Wild Bird Fund available here, the Wildlife Freedom Foundation here and at this previous post.

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

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

service to and from Manhattan this New Year's weekend.

E Trains run via the F in both directions between W 4 St and 21 St-Queensbridge

Thursday, January 5, 2017

NYC Council Today Considering Authorization Granting Franchise To Operate Aerial Tram Over East River To Roosevelt Island - What's That About?

Received a tip yesterday that the NYC Council subcommittee on Zoning and Franchising was considering a resolution:
Authorizing the NYC DOT to grant a franchise for the provision of aerial tramway service over the East River between Manhattan and Roosevelt Island to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation.
Yesterday, I asked Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Susan Rosenthal and Roosevelt Island's NYC Council Member Ben Kallos:
The NYC Council is currently considering a resolution regarding the granting of a franchise to operate a Tram over the East River to RIOC ...

... Doesn't the franchise already exist? What is the reason for this resolution?
Received the following response from Council Member Kallos' office:
There is no franchise agreement currently in place. RIOC’s predecessor, the New York State Urban Development Corporation (“UDC”) was originally granted a 10 year franchise agreement in 1974. In 1990, RIOC was granted interim operating authority of the tram and that’s how it’s been ever since.

The Council did pass an authorizing reso in 2001 to make it official with RIOC, but RIOC rejected it over a disagreement over advertising.

This version settles the previous disagreement and allows advertising in the interiors of the cars, but not the exterior.
Have not received response yet from RIOC but will update when received.

The Twitterverse notes today's zoning hearing on Roosevelt Island Tram franchise.
RIOC is currently negotiating an extension of the Roosevelt Island Tram operating and maintenance agreement with Leitner Poma. According to this December 5, 2016 memo from RIOC President Rosenthal to the RIOC Board of Directors:

Among the items on the upcoming January 24 RIOC Operations Advisory Committee meeting is:
Discussion of Tram Operations.
Hopefully, the discussion of Tram operations will include operating both Tram Cabins at the same time to avoid the constant overcrowding when only one cabin is in service.
Many times, there are more tourists on the Tram than Roosevelt Island residents.

UPDATE 6 PM - RIOC President Susan Rosenthal adds:
Yes, a franchise agreement already exists… We have not been involved in the resolution but understand it updates the relationship.

We will be involved in all negotiations of an agreement between the parties.
According to testimony today before the NYC Council Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises by NYC Department of Transportation Executive Director of Cityscape and Franchises Michell Craven:
 ... the City continues to receive .5% of the Tramway's gross receipts as compensation...

... regarding advertising, RIOC will be permitted to place advertising inside the Tramway cars and stations but not on the exterior of the cars. This will continue the requirements and restrictions currently in place...
Below is Ms. Craven's full testimony.

Can we expect gigantic Pepsi or Coke advertisements at the Manhattan and Roosevelt Island Tram Stations in the future?

UPDATE 1/24 - On January 18, Council Member Kallos reported:
Today, the City Council voted to approve a potential franchise agreement between the City of New York and the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC). After more than 20 years of operating without an agreement, a proposed franchise has been approved for two 25-year terms, granting the City the authority to negotiate with RIOC to continue operating the unique and iconic aerial tramway from Tramway Plaza on Second Avenue between 60th and 59th Streets over the East River to Roosevelt Island...
More here.

Roosevelt Island Job Available - Grant Writer Needed By Roosevelt Island Disabled Association

Are you looking for a job on Roosevelt Island

and have experience as a grant writer? If yes, the Roosevelt Island Disabled Association (RIDA) may have a job for you.

According to RIDA President Jim Bates:
RIDA is seeking a person to help fill out grant forms we receive annually.

We are looking for a person to fill out the paperwork for grants we receive from the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC), New York City Council and New York State Assembly.

This is​ a paid position.

If you are interested, please contact RIDA.
Good luck.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) January 2017 Common Council Meeting Tonight - You're Invited To Attend And Raise Issues Of Concern

The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council will hold its first meeting of 2017 this evening, January 4, at 8:00 PM in the Good Shepherd Community Center (543 Main Street).

Image Of November 30, 2016 RIRA Common Council Meeting

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.

Below is the Agenda for tonight's RIRA Meeting.

At last month's RIRA Common Council Public Session, Main Street Sweets owner Scot Bobo was thanked for his contributions to the Roosevelt Island community on the last day his store was in business and the Wildlife Freedom Foundation gave a presentation about their work protecting Roosevelt Island wildlife.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Roosevelt Island Carter Burden Senior Center Starts Spanish Language And Bollywood Dance Fitness Classes This Week - Check It Out

The Carter Burden Center for the Aging Roosevelt Island Senior Center program starts two new classes Thursday, January 5.

Bollywood Dance Fitness with Mala

and Basic Spanish

with Jesus.

Contact the Carter Burden Center Roosevelt Island program for more info.
Hours of operation: Monday-Friday 9am-5pm.
Location: 546 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, NY 10044.
Tel: 212-980-1888
Fax: 212-838-9791
Contact: Lisa Fernandez

RIOC Announces Meet And Greet Event For Roosevelt Island Veterans Thursday January 12 At Carter Burden Senior Center - Over 300 Veterans Currently Live On Roosevelt Island Says RIOC President Susan Rosenthal

Last October, Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board Director David Kraut began a process of organizing a Roosevelt Island Veterans Association. According to this October 18 report:

...During the October 13 RIOC Real Estate Advisory Committee meeting (full audio web cast here), Mr. Kraut (attending the meeting by phone) reported that he would like to establish the Roosevelt Island Veterans Association of America and requested RIOC's support in securing a storefront space for veterans to gather together, share information, tell war stories and receive information from the Veterans Administration.

Acting RIOC President Susan Rosenthal said she thought it was:

... a great idea...
... let's work together on this...
Roosevelt Island is one step closer to forming a Veterans Association. According to RIOC:

In partnership with the Carter Burden Senior Center, Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation will kick off its first social affair for island veterans on Thursday, January 12th at 3 PM at the Senior Center, located at 546 Main Street. Stop by for fun and refreshments, and socialize with fellow islanders who have or are currently serving in the military. We hope to see you there!

Image From RIOC
RIOC President Susan Rosenthal thanked Mr. Kraut for his efforts in helping Roosevelt Island veterans during her President's Report to the December 8, 2016 RIOC Board of Directors meeting. Ms. Rosenthal added that there are over 300 veterans

currently living on Roosevelt Island and that the aim of this initial meeting will be to determine what are the needs and services requested by Roosevelt Island veterans.

I asked Ms. Rosenthal:
Will there be a Meet & Greet event for Veterans held after working hours so those veterans with daytime jobs who may wish to attend are able to do so?
Ms. Rosenthal replied:
... This is just a first meeting…..nothing is carved in stone. We want to test the waters for the extent of interest and if there is an interest in an evening program, we can make that happen. We may need to survey the vets---but let’s take it one step at a time....
Web cast of full December 16 RIOC Board meeting here.

Good job by RIOC.