Saturday, February 18, 2017

Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 Students Gather Together To Form Valentine's Day Heart In Schoolyard - Cool Rooftop Photo

Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 PTA representative Erin Olavesen shares this great photo and reports:

Students at Roosevelt Island's PS/IS 217 were all in red for Valentine's Day and went to the schoolyard

for a very quick photo at the end of the day while I stood on the rooftop.
Here's a larger version of the picture from the PS 217 PTA web site.

You're Invited To Opening Reception For Gallery RIVAA's An African Winter Exhibit By Owen 'Miracle' Maseli Sunday February 19 At Octagon Building Gallery

Roosevelt Island's Gallery RIVAA invites you to the opening reception of their new exhibit at the Octagon Gallery tomorrow. According to Gallery RIVAA:

Octagon Gallery
Hosted by RIVAA
Special Reception
Solo show by Owen "Miracle" Maseli "African Winter"
Sunday, February 19th, 2017 from 4-6 pm

Exhibition continues through February 26th, 2017
888 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, NY 10044

Friday, February 17, 2017

RuthAnne Visnauskas Replaces Jamie Rubin As Commissioner Of Homes & Community Renewal And Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Board Of Directors Chairperson

Reported last Friday that NY State Commissioner of Homes & Community Renewal & Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Chair Jamie Rubin was appointed Director of NY State Operations by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

At last evening's RIOC Board of Directors meeting, Acting RIOC Board Chair Alex Valella announced that Mr. Rubin's resignation was effective today and he would be replaced by RuthAnne Visnauskas as DHCR Commissioner and RIOC Board Chair.

 Image of Mr Rubin And Ms Visnauskas From The Real Deal

Here's Mr. Valella's reporting to the RIOC Board on new Chair.

According to Ms.Visnauskas DHCR biography:
RuthAnne Visnauskas, Executive Deputy Commissioner for Housing Development, is responsible for strategic leadership and oversight of all housing and finance programs for NY State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR).

Prior to joining HCR, RuthAnne was Managing Director of the Housing Advisory Board for the Robin Hood Foundation. Robin Hood is New York's largest poverty-fighting organization. The Housing Advisory Board was established to fund initiatives to advance the quantity and quality of affordable housing for low-income New Yorkers.

Previously RuthAnne held several key positions at the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), including the role of Commissioner from September 2014 to February 2015. HPD is the nation’s largest municipal housing agency, in charge of the development and preservation of affordable housing and the enforcement of the City’s Housing Maintenance Code....

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 the Q to/from Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr (skipping DeKalb Av, days and evenings), and via theD to/from Stillwell Av.
• Trains run express in Manhattan all weekend.

Roosevelt Island Community Report From RIOC President Susan Rosenthal - Free Community Space, When Will Sportspark Open, Blackwell House Renovation, New Tram Elevators RFP, Tram Platform Repairs, PR Campaign For Contractors & Veterans Services

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Susan Rosenthal reported to the February 16 RIOC Board of Directors meeting on:

  • free public community space temporarily located at the Cultural Center,
  • plans for free community space to be permanently located at renovated 2nd floor of Sportspark facility,
  • intent to hire Director of Parks & Recreation,
  • determining what type of future programming to be undertaken at Sportspark,
  • Sportspark ready to open since January but is being held up by problems at NYC Department of Building, not known for sure when Sportspark will open,
  • Blackwell House renovation construction to start this spring,
  • marketing campaign to persuade contractors to work on Roosevelt Island projects,
  • new Tram Station Elevator RFP to be issued next month with public relations campaign to persuade contractors to bid on project,
  • Tram Platform renovations on Manhattan and Roosevelt Island stations - want it completed before Cornell Tech ribbon cutting in September so Governor and Mayor won't be on platform under construction,
  • Veterans Program moving forward with upcoming evening meeting March 21
Here's the full RIOC President's report from Ms. Rosenthal.

RIOC video web cast of meeting is here.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Roosevelt Island's NY State Senator Jose Serrano Introduces Bill To Make New York First Sanctuary State - Designed To Protect Refugees, Immigrants & Foreign Students From Trump Administration

On February 14, Roosevelt Island's NY State Senator Jose Serrano 

introduced a bill to make New York State a sanctuary state. According to this press release from Senator Serrano:
... in response to nationwide raids carried out by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), State Senators José M. Serrano (D-Manhattan/Bronx) and Brad Hoylman (D, WF-Manhattan) announced they have introduced two pieces of legislation that would protect refugees, immigrants, and foreign students from the Trump Administration’s ongoing discriminatory attacks against members of the immigrant community.

The New York State Liberty Act bill (S4075A) would make New York the first sanctuary state in the nation and protect immigrants from being victimized by unjust deportation procedures and racial profiling. The legislation would ensure that anyone in need of vital government services would not be unnecessarily questioned about their immigration status. The Liberty Act also prohibits local law enforcement agencies from stopping or arresting a person based on perceived immigration status or a suspected violation of federal immigration law, prevents them inquiring about the immigration status of persons contacting such agencies – including victims and witnesses – and provides the right to legal representation for all people facing deportation proceedings.

In addition, Senate Bill 4234 would prevent the State local governments from participating in any federal registry or database based upon race, color, creed, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or national or ethnic origin. Specifically, in order to ensure individuals and families remain willing to interact with state and local agencies without fear of potential entrapment, the legislation would prohibit state and local agencies from expending any resources to assist the federal government in the creation of a database with the purpose of tracking these particular groups.

"Our nation was built by generations of hardworking immigrants who came to America seeking new opportunities. New York State has always been the gateway to our nation and a leader in welcoming new Americans to our shores," said State Senator José M. Serrano. "Immigrants are the lifeblood of my district- and of this country and I will continue working to make New York a safe place for all who seek the American dream. Today, I urge leadership, and my colleagues in the New York State Senate to join myself and Senator Hoylman in fighting to protect the rights of all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status."...
Click here for the full press release.

Governor Andrew Cuomo tweets:
On February 7, Gothamist reported:
In the face of President Donald Trump's threat to withhold funding from so-called "sanctuary cities"—cities including New York that limit communication between police, prisons, and federal immigration officials—Assembly Democrats on Monday passed legislation that would create similar protections for non-citizens across the state....
More on sanctuary city/illegal immigration issue in videos below.

Roosevelt Island Youth Program Celebrates Valentine's Day With Dinner, Art, Music, Cake & Chocolate Hearts

The Roosevelt Island Youth Program (RIYP) reports and shares photos from their Valentine's Day Party: According to RIYP:

The Roosevelt Island Youth Program held it's annual Valentine's Day Party at the Youth Center earlier this week. Over 140 kids celebrated Valentine's Day and February Birthdays

with dinner


and Valentine Hearts filled with chocolate.

We also created Valentine's Day art and listened to music.  It was a very successful event and we all shared the feeling of respect, appreciation, kindness, and tolerance.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

You're Invited To Roosevelt Island's Paul Calendrillo New York Gallery Opening Reception For Andre Eamiello's Exhibit Windows And Wall Tonight, February 15

You're invited to the opening reception tonight for Andre Eamiello exhibit Windows and Walls at the Paul Calendrillo New York Gallery.

According to Mr. Calendrillo:

Andre Eamiello
Windows and Walls
Opening Reception February 15th
6pm to 8pm
February 14th 2017 to March 11th 2017
Paul Calendrillo New York Gallery
507 Main St. New York, NY 10011 are the window through which you must see the world.
--Bernard Shaw

Life is for each man a solitary cell whose walls are mirrors.
--Eugene O’Neill

We all hide behind walls. We erect them to protect us from the unforeseen, and in a very different sense, protect us from ourselves. They are structured, closed and sometimes made of stone. They satisfy our need for safety. But as an analogy for human experience, they are incomplete. We also need to explore, look outward into the expansiveness of existence, create, search for beauty and meaning and gaze through a window risking the unknown. No walls can ever be constructed without windows.

In Windows and Walls, artist, André Eamiello, visually explores the struggle between nature and artifice the personal and the universal, insular and expansive. Mounds of monochromatic compositions on panel and canvas are arranged alongside colorful oversized watercolors on paper. The installation evokes man made monuments amongst nature’s sublime.

Eamiello’s process is a fusion of dream state imagination and action painting. He utilizes earth ephemera with liquid watercolor techniques, and rubs charcoal on layers of textures to create an aesthetic that is both abstract and representational.
Paul Callendrillo New York Gallery hours at 507 Main Street, Roosevelt Island are:
Sunday Closed
Monday Closed
Tuesday 11:30am to 6:30pm
Wednesday 11:30am to 6:30pm
Thursday ​11:30am to 6:30pm
Friday 11:30am to 5:00pm
Saturday 11:30am to 5:00pm

Come to tonight's reception or just stop by anytime, check out the art and meet Roosevelt Island art gallery owner Paul Calendrillo.

Southpoint Park Open Space Presentation, Approval Of Contract To Operate Roosevelt Island Tram & Expenditure Of Funds To RI Youth Program Among Items On RIOC February 16 Board Of Directors Meeting Agenda

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors will meet tomorrow evening, February 16 at the Cultural Center.

Image Of RIOC Board Of Directors Meeting

Among the items on the Agenda are:
  • presentation of Southpoint Park Open Space development project,
  • contract with Leitner Poma for operation of the Roosevelt Island Tram and
  • authorization of expenditure of funds to the Roosevelt Island Youth Program.

Prior to the start of the RIOC Board meeting, there will be a public comment period. Sign up here to speak at the meeting.

Below is the full agenda for tomorrow's RIOC Board meeting:
5:30 P.M.1
I. Call to Order

II. Roll Call

III. Approval of Minutes

1. December 8, 2017 Board Meeting (Board Action Required)

IV. Old Business

V. New Business

1. Presentation by Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc. on the Southpoint Open Space Development Project

2. Ratification of Amendment of Contract with Leitner-Poma of America O&M, Inc. for Operation and Maintenance of the Roosevelt Island Aerial Tramway (Board Action Required)

3. Authorization to Enter into Contract with Leitner-Poma of America, Inc. for Operation and Maintenance of the Roosevelt Island Aerial Tramway (Board Action Required)

4. Authorization to Amend Contract with RJ Green Construction Corporation for the Sportspark Roof and Façade Repairs (Board Action Required)

5. Authorization to Amend Contract with Hawkins Webb Jaeger, PLLC for Engineering Consulting Services (Board Action Required)

6. Authorization of Expenditure of Funds to Roosevelt Island Youth Program, Inc. (Board Action Required)

7. President’s Report

8. Committee Reports

a. Audit Committee

b. Governance Committee

c. Operations Advisory Committee

d. Real Estate Development Advisory Committee

9. Public Safety Report

VI. Adjournment

1 The RIOC Board Meeting will commence following a public comment period. The public comment period is not part of the meeting.

Learn How To Protect Older Adults From Health Care Fraud & Consumer Scams At Roosevelt Island Carter Burden Program Senior Center Thursday February 16

Roosevelt Island Senior Center Carter Burden Program Outreach Director Hallie Shapiro reports:

LiveOn NY will speak on Healthcare Fraud Prevention Presentation on Thursday, February 16th at 1pm.

CBS New York reports on the subject of Senior fraud scams and legislation introduced by NY Senator Kirsten Gillibrand to protect seniors from fraudsters.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day - It's Not Easy To Get A Date If You Live On Roosevelt Island According To The Younger TV Show Tram Slam Episode

A question to consider for Valentine's Day - What's it like being single on Roosevelt Island? Does it hurt your your dating life? Do friends and potential significant others shame you because you live on Roosevelt Island?

If an episode of the TV Land television program Younger aired last October 27 is accurate, Roosevelt Island is definitely not the place to live if you wish to impress a date.

The Twitterverse reacted to the Younger Roosevelt Island episode:

According to the Younger characters shaming Roosevelt Island:
... No reason to go to Roosevelt Island... some of the ugliest building...  no charm to it whatsoever... used to be a leper colony... I have nothing against people who live on Roosevelt Island. I'm sure they're very nice. They have alot of space....
Here's portion of the Younger episode about Roosevelt Island (starts at the 45 second mark) including the "Tram Slaming" sex scene:

After watching the episode, a Roosevelt Island resident wrote:
OMG I just watched the latest episode of Younger "P is for Pancake" -- btw a show I adore-- but they totally MASSIVELY diss RI. Please help advertise this so we RIers can try to counter their annoying millennial claims that the island is for losers. Watch the show and you'll be as horrified by what they have to say. What to do?! So embarrassing now to say we live here. UGH!!
Happy Valentine's Day to everyone on Roosevelt Island.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Roosevelt Island Kids Make Valentine's Day Hearts For Families And Senior Citizens At RI Parents' Network Craft Event This Past Saturday

Roosevelt Island Parents' Network Coordinator Eva Bosbach reports:

Dear All,

Thank you to all who participated in our Valentine's craft on Saturday. The children and family made beautiful heart-shaped cards

for their own family as well as for the Senior Center, which were then hung on heart-shaped chains

to make special decorations for their Valentine's Day and the celebration of Black History Month.

Thanks to Neha and Cecilia for designing and leading the craft, and thanks to Barbara for proposing the project of connecting children and seniors in our community.

There will be two Black History Month Celebrations, Monday Feb. 20th 1-4pm, and Tuesday, Feb. 21st 6:30pm-8:30pm, in the Senior Center. Anyone in the community is welcome to join!

- Cecilia, Neha, and Eva