Saturday, February 11, 2017

You're Invited To Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer's State of the Borough Event Sunday February 12 - Theme Is Getting Involved In The New Era Of Activism

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer reports:
Just a reminder—

The third “State of the Borough” event is at 2:00 pm this Sunday, February 12, at Manhattan Center, 311 West 34th Street, near 8th Ave., doors open at 1:00 pm. This year's theme is: “Getting involved in the New Era of Activism.” We’ll have my remarks, a panel discussion, light refreshments, and a Manhattan Activist Fair—with over a dozen social action groups that you can join. Please RSVP online at or, if you lack internet access, by phone at (212) 669-8300.

In the coming weeks:
  • The Manhattan Borough Board will hold its annual public hearing on the Mayor's Preliminary Budget. Wednesday, February 15, 2017, 4 - 7 pm, Guttman Community College InfoCommons (located on the main floor next to the atrium), 50 West 40th St.
  • Applications are now open for 11 spots on each of Manhattan’s six Community Education Councils; two of the 11 spots are appointed by the Manhattan Borough President. CECs help set educational policy for their school districts, and for the City at large. Applications are available at (click on "apply") and are due by March 5. Please come to an information session to learn more from current CEC members and representatives from the Department of Education about how you can apply and contribute to New York City’s great public school tradition. Wednesday, February 22, 2017, 6 – 8 pm, 1 Centre Street, 19th Floor South.
Manhattan Borough President Brewer is a strong advocate for Roosevelt Island. Last June, Ms. Brewer visited Southpoint Park to express support for preservation of the Smallpox Hospital.

Friday, February 10, 2017

After Delays, Roosevelt Island Sportspark Facility Will Finally Open No Later Than March 1 Says RIOC

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) announced today:

Please be advised that Sportspark is expected to reopen no later than Wednesday, March 1st. Although scheduled work in the facility is completed, we are still awaiting final approval from the NYC Department of Buildings before the facility can be reopened.

We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience.
 Sportspark Image From Google Maps

RIOC previously announced the Roosevelt Island Sportspark facility would re-open following renovations before Thanksgiving, then mid January and mid February.

Hopefully, Sportspark will open by March 1.

Governor Cuomo Appoints RIOC Board Chair/Commissioner Of Homes & Community Renewal Jamie Rubin New Director Of NY State Operations - Will Roosevelt Island Benefit?

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors is in need of a new Chairperson. As Commissioner of the NY State Division of Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), Jamie Rubin was also the Chair of the RIOC Board Of Directors.

 Image Of RIOC Board Of Directors, Jamie Rubin Seen 3rd From Left

Today, NY State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Mr. Rubin's appointment as Director Of NY State Operations. According to Governor Cuomo's press release:
... Jamie Rubin has been appointed as the Director of State Operations, where he will oversee state agencies. Previously, Jamie was Commissioner of Homes and Community Renewal. Jamie also served as Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery, which was created by Governor Cuomo in August 2013 to oversee New York State’s recovery from storms Sandy, Irene and Lee. He previously served as Senior Advisor to HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan and New York State Director of the President’s Hurricane Sandy Recovery and Rebuilding Task Force. He was also a Non Resident Senior Fellow with the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program, working with cities including Buffalo and Detroit to identify and implement innovative economic development strategies. Jamie spent 14 years as an investment banker and private equity investor. He is a 1993 graduate of Yale Law School and lives with his family in New York City....
Mr. Rubin was appointed HCR Commissioner and RIOC Board Chair in May 2015.

Will Mr. Rubin's familiarity with Roosevelt Island and closeness to Governor Cuomo benefit Roosevelt Island?

Stay tuned.

SPONSORED POST - Roosevelt Island Gristedes Supermarket Specials & Sales, Diamond Rewards Featured Bonus Items For February 10 - February 23, Discount Coupons & More Too

The Roosevelt Island Gristedes Supermarket

Diamond Rewards customer loyalty program items for February 10 - February 23 are now available .

Examples of featured items purchased from February 10 - February 23 that earn you big points include
  • Baileys Coffee Creamer earn 350 points,
  • Persil Liquid Laundry Detergent earn 100 points,
  • Oscar Meyer Bacon earn 50 points,
  • Weight Watchers Entrees earn 25 points and
  • many more shown in flyer below.

According to Gristedes:
Start Earning Points Today

Join the Diamond Rewards loyalty program today! Get exclusive offers and earn points on hundreds of items! Get $5 Coupons for every 500 points earned, redeemable on next order.

Look for the Diamond Rewards label on the shelf or the product
If you have a Gristedes Bonus Savings Card and provided your email address, you are automatically enrolled in the Diamond Loyalty Program.

You can sign up for a Gristedes Bonus Savings Card online or in store - just make sure you give your email address and whether you are a new or existing Bonus Savings Club member, in order to be eligible for the Diamond Rewards Loyalty program.

Also, Roosevelt Island Gristedes Supermarket invites you to check out their:
  • Groceries, 
  • Organic & Gourmet, 
  • Snacks
  • Meat, 
  • Fresh Produce, 
  • Seafood, 
  • Frozen, 
  • Deli &;
  • Fresh Bakery
Department Offerings for February 17 - February 23

and these Specials & Coupons valid February 10 -23.

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

Don't forget the 10% Roosevelt Island Seniors Discount on Tuesday and Wednesday and Sign Up for the Gristedes Diamond Loyalty Rewards Program.

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

Good News, Roosevelt Island F Train Service To And From Manhattan But Runs On Q Line In Manhattan This Weekend

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

 to and from Manhattan this weekend but there will be F line service changes in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

According to the MTA:
No F service at 57 St, 47-50 Sts, 42 St-Bryant Pk, 23 St, 14 St, W 4 St, B'way-Lafayette St, 2 Av, Delancey St/Essex St, East Broadway, and York St.

F service operates between Jamaica-179 St and Lexington Av-63 St, then via Q  the to/from Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr (skipping DeKalb Av, days and evenings), and via the D to/from Stillwell Av.

• Trains run express in Manhattan all weekend.

Report From Roosevelt Island Marlins Swim Team - Training In Exile While Sportspark Pool Remains Closed For Renovations, But Still Competing

The Roosevelt Island Marlins Swim Team reports:

Roosevelt Island Marlins Swim Team Continues Training In Exile While Sportspark Pool Is Closed.

Roosevelt Island Swim Team continues training despite Sportspark pool being closed for renovations for almost six month.

The year has brought more personal bests, club records, Junior Olympics and Zones qualifying times, and a record number (9) of Roosevelt Island swimmers ranking among top 25 in the Metro area. 2016 has also ended with a big change for the team, as it welcomed a new Head Coach - Roman Sloudnov - to the Marlins family.

Image of Coach Roman Sloudnov From Roosevelt Island Marlins

Marlins Board shared their end-of-the-year message thanking the dedicated coaches, hardworking swimmers, and their supportive parents for staying with the team and giving it their 100% this year:
“2016 has brought on the greatest challenges in our team’s almost 12-year history. Marlins’ home pool has been renovated for almost half a year now; in these long months all our staff and families’ patience has been tested again and again, by the concerns about securing another location for training, balancing team budget, hectic carpool commute, and late practice times.

Despite all these setbacks, we have seen Roosevelt Islanders sweep the awards at every swim meet. The swim season is not over, yet we already have 12 Silvers Championship and 6 Junior Olympics qualifiers. THANK YOU for staying strong and sticking with us in the face of all these trials and tribulations.

We are delighted to end 2016 with a four-time Olympian Roman Sloudnov as a new Head Coach for the Roosevelt Island Swim Team. Roman arrived with a wealth of both professional swimming and coaching experience, most recently in the Metro LSC “Match Point” team. He shares our vision and mission, to qualify more Marlins’ swimmers for Silvers and Junior Olympic Championship this season, and then aim for higher goals, reaching the Zones and Junior Nationals.

We see Roman as a strong leader and a good mentor for our swimmers. During this past month on the team, his professional demeanor has clearly proved we are now moving in the right direction. Coach Roman will be instrumental in helping the Board achieve much needed period of stability in 2017, with all of us working together with great persistence towards our common goal – raising athletes who are successful in and outside of the pool.

With Coach Roman on board, we are confident that 2017 will bring us faster times, new victories, more JOs and ZQ cuts, ribbons, medals, but, most importantly, it’ll help our swimmers learn life's most powerful lessons (hopefully through less adversity than this year - wink), gain more self-confidence, develop impeccable character and build stronger friendships.

In swimming and in life, there is a tremendous difference between winning and succeeding. We, the parents, all know too well that while success is not necessarily about the outcome, it is always about the journey.

It has been an absolute joy watching our children grow up together to become the best athletes, friends, and persons they can be. Happy New Year! To be continued in 2017.

Very truly yours,

The Board.”

“I am honored to join the Roosevelt Island Swim Team as the Head Coach.” - Roman Sloudnov reported. - “It is a big responsibility and I am ready to do my best in helping the team reach a new level of the athletic performance. As a coach, I believe that sports help kids take their first steps towards building a lifetime of success. Sense of accomplishment gives young athletes much needed confidence to strive for the best results in anything they do in the future. My goal is to create an atmosphere where all swimmers have a chance to explore their authentic potential.

The past year has been a real challenge for the program, and I want to say thank you to each and everyone who participated in keeping the team united. We broke many records and won numerous medals despite these challenges. In the new year, I wish us to return to our pool and continue the mutual journey towards athletic excellence.”

Junior Group coach Tyrone Hung added:

 Image of Coach Tyrone From Roosevelt Island Marlins

“Our swimmers continue to work hard in exile from Sportspark, and it shows. At the last few meets our swimmers have again swept the awards. The swimming season will continue after Winter Break, and we are looking forward to more medals, age group records and another great year of swimming. I would also like to thank and congratulate the team and parents for enduring through all this EXILE. There have been a lot of changes in a very short time, but we hold it up to the end. We did a great job as a team.” He also shares some inspirational messages with the team,
“1. United we stand as a team, divided we fall.
2. Work hard, train harder, then victory becomes much more easier to accomplish.
3. Hard work, discipline and dedication is the seed we need to plant in order to reap the harvest of success.
4. Best way to accomplish victory is if failure is unthinkable .
5. Put negativity behind you, and strive with confidence to achieve your goals.
6. The hotter the battle, the sweeter the victory.”

2016 has also proved that Marlins’ youngest athletes, our “Future Stars” (8 & Under division) swimmers, are both fierce competitors and loyal friends.

“The carpool to Astoria has really brought our entire team together. We are grateful to our dedicated parents, who have been organizing it for the past 6 months that we’ve been out of our home pool.” – “Future Stars” Coach Andrea shared.

 Image of Coach Andrea From Roosevelt Island Marlins

“It is my pleasure and privilege to work not just with the team’s youngest athletes, but also with their amazing parents and our enthusiastic Board, that truly supports every child’s passion for swimming. While we faced plenty of setbacks this Fall, I sincerely believe Marlins boys and girls will one day look back to this season as a highlight of their childhood.”

In December we celebrated another great year of swimming with food, friends, and black light glow festivities.

Team’s “Learn to Swim” program, available to children as young as 3 years old, has been suspended during Sportspark renovations, which is a great loss for our team. We can’t wait to return to our pool!
As previously reported, after several delays, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) hopes to have the Sportspark pool open in Mid February.

We're almost there.

More information on the Roosevelt Island Marlins available at their web site and Facebook page.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Scenes From Today's Roosevelt Island Snowstorm - Sledding, Snowman, Tram & Beautiful Sunset

From the Roosevelt Island Twitterverse:

The snow and wind did not stop the Roosevelt Island Tram from making it's way to Manhattan.
Roosevelt Island kids sledding

down the hill in Southtown 

and finding a snowman too.

A tree fell in the snowstorm at Roosevelt Landings Courtyard.

Image From Judy Berdy

A beautiful Roosevelt Island sunset after the snowstorm.
A photo posted by ScottyP (@scottpiro) on

More Roosevelt Island scenes from today's snowstorm.
A photo posted by Janelle Myers (@janellemeowers) on

A photo posted by bigb630 (@bigb630) on

A fun day for dogs too.

#Repost #peteypiro with @repostapp ・・・ My ❄️'y walk with Dad at 🌄, part 1 🐾

A video posted by ScottyP (@scottpiro) on

UPDATE 2/10:

Baby's first #sled ride in the #snow! #fatherandson #nyc #baby #citybaby #rooseveltisland #sledding #llbean @llbean

A photo posted by Margaret Ying (@margaret_ying) on

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

8-12 Inches Of Snow Coming Tomorrow - Remove Cars From Roosevelt Island Main Street And East/West Roadway, Free Parking At Motorgate Garage For Residents, Public Schools Closed Too

Crazy weather. Spring like temperatures today followed by heavy snow tomorrow for Roosevelt Island.

 Image From January 2016 RIOC Snow Clean Up

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC)
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for our area beginning Thursday, February 9th, 2017, due to snow, forecasted temperatures, and/or wind chills at or below 32 degrees.

Total snow accumulation is expected to be between 8-12 inches. Residents are encouraged to avoid unnecessary travel. Please drive slowly, use major streets or highways, and keep the name and number of at least one local towing service. Pedestrians should avoid slippery surfaces, dress in layers, and maintain a heightened awareness of cars, especially when crossing intersections

Please be advised that, due to the Snow Emergency, there is “NO PARKING, NO STOPPING OR NO STANDING” on Main St. or the East and West Roadways from, Thursday, February 9th, 2017 at 6:00AM THRU Friday, February 10th, 2017 at 6:00PM, in order for snow preparation and subsequent removal to take place.

Removing cars from the roadways in preparation for salting and plowing is essential for snow removal to take place. We thank you for your cooperation.

As an alternative, free parking will be available at the Motorgate Garage starting at 5AM, Thurs, Feb. 9th, 2017. Please note that free parking is only for residents of the island. Proof of residency and vehicle registration must be presented upon entering. Vehicle must be registered to a Roosevelt Island resident. Vehicles accommodated for snow emergency must be moved by 6PM on Fri, Feb. 10th, 2017 when Main Street reopens for parking. After that time standard Motorgate parking fees will apply. Please contact the Motorgate Garage at (212) 832-4585 or visit the Motorgate offices on the fourth floor if you have any additional questions.

Trucks will be plowing and salting the roadways throughout the day and night in order to avert dangerous travel conditions. RIOC will be working to keep all areas clean for the duration of the storm. Expect delays in Red Bus and Tram service. Thank you for your cooperation while necessary preparations for the storm and subsequent snow removal are taking place.

To report any icy or other hazardous areas or conditions, please call the Public Safety Department at 212-832-4545 as soon as possible.

Roosevelt Island Parents' Network Valentine's Day Crafts Workshop For Kids Collage Making Saturday February 11 - Please Register To Attend

Roosevelt Island Parents' Network Coordinator Eva Bosbach reports:

Dear Parents and caregivers,

Valentine's days is soon approaching. Please join us in celebrating Valentine's Day at this wonderful monthly craft event with our little ones.

We will be using tissue paper to make collages.

We will let the child use their imagination and make the tissue paper into garlands or cards. These can be also be used for decorating your house, window or front door .

All the supplies are provided and you can take home the finished item.

We will also be making a heart garland for our friends at the Seniors Center to celebrate Black History Month.

Come and spend Saturday morning with your child making some lovely art together.

Please fill out this form before Friday for registration

Cecilia, Neha and Eva

Free Roosevelt Island Public Community Space Available At Cultural Center Starting February 13 For Recreational, Cultural & Educational Purposes Says RIOC - Sign Up To Reserve Space

Reported last December:

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Susan Rosenthal announced at the RIOC December 8 Board meeting that free community space for Roosevelt Island groups will be made available at the Cultural Center...

... Details are still to be worked out but one requirement is that the groups themselves not charge for the free community space....
Image Of Cultural Center Entrance

The details have been worked out. RIOC announced today:
Free Public Space Pilot Program Announcement:

Starting Monday, February 13th, RIOC will begin a pilot program offering free public space to island residents in the Roosevelt Island Cultural Center (548 Main St.). These spaces, both a common area and a privately reserved function room, will be made available from 10 AM – 2 PM, Monday – Wednesday and on Friday, for recreational, cultural, and/or educational purposes. The intention is to give the general public, unaffiliated with for-profit or non-profit corporations, the opportunity to utilize community space, which may include group study sessions, exercise activities, and book clubs; as well as quiet space for individuals to relax, read, study or meditate.

We hope this initial pilot program will gauge interest in underutilized community space and RIOC looks forward to working with island residents as the next steps for this project are determined. For more information or to sign up for the Public Space Pilot Program, please call Donna Masly at 212-891-6540 or via email at

For further information, and a downloadable flyer, please visit our website.

Here's Ms. Rosenthal announcing RIOC's plan for the free Roosevelt Island Cultural Center community space

during December 8 RIOC Board meeting.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech Residential Building To Include Housing For Weill Cornell Medical Staff - RIRA Members Claims Violation Of Environmental Impact Statement And NYC Lease For Campus

Cornell Tech announced at the January 31 Roosevelt Island Construction & Community Task Force meeting that 66 of the 352 apartments in the campus residential building

 Image of Cornell Tech Residential Building From Cornell Tech

scheduled to open in August 2017 will be used for housing Weill Cornell Medical personnel.

Images From January 31 Cornell Tech Task Force Presentation

Katarina Matic, chief of staff for Roosevelt Island's Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright, reported about plans for the Weill Cornell apartments in the Cornell Tech residential building to the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) February 1 Common Council meeting.

Following Ms. Matic's report, RIRA Common Council Member Micky Rindler responded saying that use of the Cornell Tech residential building units for housing a non-Cornell Tech entity such as Weill Cornell Medical staff was not included in the Environmental Impact Statement submitted prior to approval of the project.

RIRA President and Community Board 8 member Jeff Escobar noted that the Weill Cornell Medical apartments in the Cornell Tech campus residential building:
... is contrary to the resolution that the Community Board passed and is attached to the lease...

... it's actually a violation of the terms and conditions of the lease.
Here' is the discussion of subject at February 1 RIRA meeting.

Micky Rindler adds;
The recent, unexpected news that Cornell Weill plans to lease 66 apartments in the new Residential building to Cornell Weill Medical Center employees should be of great concern to the residents of Roosevelt Island who commute during the 8-9 am rush hour. While it is true that nurses and some postdoctoral fellows will have schedules that avoid rush hour, it is a safe guess that 30-40 people will travel to their campus during prime time. Spouses will also be commuting to other jobs in Manhattan. Moreover, because it is closer than the subway on R.I. and about the same distance from the subway in Manhattan, no doubt almost all will use the tram, which cannot accommodate that many commuters along with those that will be added in the planned Southtown buildings 8 and 9. Even the F train has become increasingly overcrowded as the economy has improved and more building rise in Queens. The impact of this decision will be profound for Island residents.

Also, we don’t know if some of the Cornell Weill employees will have small children which means more use of our playgrounds, daycare centers and even sports facilities. Cornell Tech did not offer any plans to accommodate their needs.

Moreover, in Chapter 14: Transportation of the Environmental Impact Statement filed before the City’s approval of the Cornell Tech campus, the consultants did not mention any Cornell Weill employees. They envisioned apartments would be occupied by 2 leaders, 77 faculty and visitors, 30 postdoctoral fellows and 463 students (all part of Cornell Tech). Very few of these residents were predicted to commute to Manhattan during rush hour. Therefore the new plan is a clear violation of the terms of the campus approval. Barring filing a new EIS with a plan to minimize rush hour commuting, Cornell Tech should be prohibited by the city and state from accommodating non-Cornell Tech personnel or students in the Residential building.
I asked Cornell Tech for comment. Julie Delay, Senior Director of Human Resources & Campus-Wide Initiatives, replied:
As discussed at the latest Cornell Tech Construction and Community Task Force meeting, it is anticipated that Cornell Tech will not have a population large enough to fill the residential building, The House, for the first 5 years. The lease allows for Cornell-affiliated occupancy as our populations scales. Weill Cornell Medical will have 66 apartments for 5 years. The occupants will be Weill Cornell Medical medical students, postdocs and possibly a small number of visiting academics. Weill Cornell Medical already has members of their population living in 455 and 465 Main Street on Roosevelt Island.

We do not anticipate this will affect rush hour commuting on the island. Commuting patterns for medical students and professionals are atypical and vary widely. Medical students in their 3rd year are typically at the hospital at 6:00 a.m. and return in the afternoon. If a student is doing a residency, their hours are long and never 9:00-5:00. Postdocs would commute during a range of hours with many getting to work later in the morning and working into the evening. They may have 15-18 hour days, and work on weekends.

Anyone with questions can reach out to Cornell Tech's operations and community staff via our website
Here is 2014 Cornell Tech residential building presentation to Roosevelt Island community.

UPDATE 4:30 PM - Statement from Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright:
At their January 31st meeting, Cornell Tech informed the task force members that out of 352 apartments for Cornell affiliated institutions, 66 apartments would be used by Weill Cornell Medical School for five years. My office gave a full update on Cornell Tech’s meeting to the Roosevelt Island Residents Association on February 1st. I am committed to a process that is transparent and responsive to the Roosevelt Island community.

It is my understanding that the lease allows Cornell Tech affiliates to use of the residential building for a limited amount of time. However, I want to invite the community to submit their questions to my office so that we can make sure they are answered at the upcoming Town Hall prior to the opening of the campus this summer.
The Cornell Tech Town Hall meeting is scheduled for March 29.

UPDATE 3/2 - Below is provision of Cornell Tech lease with NYC dealing with Cornell affiliates leasing units in the Roosevelt Island Cornell residential building:
... "Academic Person" means a student, faculty member, administrator, staff member, educator, lecturer, academic researcher or counselor, in each case, who is involved in the University's degree-granting programs or related academic research and education at the Overall Project. In addition, when used with reference to a 'Residential Sublease' and'residences for Academic Persons', for the first 10 years of operation of the Phase I Residential Space only, an Academic Person may also include any of the foregoing University-related persons without restriction on whether or not such person is involved with the Overall Project, provided that in the eighth (8th) year of operation, at least 60% of the apartments shall be restricted to Academic Persons involved in the Overall Project, in the ninth (9th) year of operation, at least 75% of the apartments shall be so restricted, and in the tenth (10th) year of operation, at least 90% of the apartments shall be so restricted....

Monday, February 6, 2017

RIRA Takes A Stand Supporting Celebration Of Roosevelt Island's Diversity, Fairness & Pluralism During Time Of National Political Tumult Says Approved Resolution

The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council approved a resolution in support of celebrating Roosevelt Island's diversity, fairness and pluralism during the February 1 monthly meeting. The resolution was introduced by Common Council Member Andrew Giacalone and approved by a vote of 22 in favor and 2 opposed.

Below is the RIRA Statement:

Statement Affirming RIRA’s Support and Celebration of Roosevelt Island’s Diversity

Amid the widespread debate over bans on migrants and refugees as well as the growing climate of hostility towards people of color and other minorities, the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) reaffirms its solidarity towards all of Roosevelt Island’s residents, particularly those who feel most vulnerable and under attack during these times of national political tumult.

Roosevelt Island is a community built on diversity, fairness and pluralism. Our residents honor our community with the diversity of their national origins, faiths, ethnicities and identities and these form the basis of our community’s strength.

RIRA repudiates any language or action that offends the integrity of our community and the values that our community stands for. We celebrate our diversity and we reiterate our committed support for all our residents during these uncertain times.
The Washington Post tweets:
and has more with varying viewpoints on the Der Spiegel magazine cover.

President Trump tweets: