Friday, March 10, 2017

Do You Want To Serve On RIOC Board Of Directors? Roosevelt Island Election For Nominees To RIOC Board April 17-18 - RIRA Government Relations Chair Joyce Short Explains Importance Of Election And Asks For Your Help

The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) will be conducting an election to provide nominees for selection of Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors.

Image From RIRA

RIRA's Government Relations Committee Chairperson Joyce Short reports:
The RIOC Vote- Why It’s Vital for Our Community

On the surface, Roosevelt Island seems like an idyllic, peaceful community. But a closer look reveals an undemocratic, and probably unconstitutional, under belly that harms our quality of life.

As we look around, we see vacant storefronts and recreational fields where our resident kids can’t play because the fields are rented out to the highest corporate bidder. And while our Public Safety Staff guards the Cornell/Tech Development, on our dime, a mother is attacked by a pot smoker behind our public school.

As if that’s not bad enough, our RIOC President, Susan Rosenthal, says we don’t need more Public Safety Officers, even when confronted by the fact that our Public Safety Chief, Jack McManus, says they lack the manpower to check exterior building doors during his staff’s vertical patrols. Rosenthal also wants to charge off each Island non-profit’s “in-kind use of RIOC space” against our Public Purpose Funds. And she expressed her desire to put out RFPs on all Island services like the Garden Club and the PTA’s market.

What’s wrong with this picture!

Roosevelt Island exemplifies the difference between business and government. Business exists to profit, while government’s role is to govern….. make rules and regulations for a population, and provide for the greater good of the community. The constitution of the United States insures that no resident should ever be governed without representation. That’s what the word “Republic” is about.

Instead, here’s what we have…..

Nowhere in the US Constitution does it make a provision for government by “Public Benefit Corporation.” That mentality died with the Dutch India Company who initially settled New York. In New York such enterprises control and administer the State’s assets. But Roosevelt Island is more than assets, it’s “home” to 14,000 people. And the decisions made by RIOC are more than the management of assets, they are “governance” here. Therefore, every resident should be able to vote for the people who sit on the RIOC board ── but we can’t. Those seats are filled through appointments by the Governor.

Are we holding an election?

Several years ago, the community fought to insure that 5 out of 7 of those RIOC seats go to people who live here in this community. Since then, RIRA has held four votes to create a list for the Governor indicating who the community supports.

(Video of Ms. Short Explaining RIOC Board Election At March 1 RIRA Meeting)

It’s not a perfect system, but it’s our system. Governor Cuomo ignored our last vote. All of the seats have expired and he could fill any one or all of those seats at any time. We need to present him with a new list; one that is open to new people who have arrived, and one that strives to represent the diverse mix of our population.

But will those people be appointed?

If you ask RIOC President Susan Rosenthal, she’ll tell you (in fact she told me,) “This election is ridiculous! I’m not in favor of it. The Governor can select anyone he chooses. He doesn’t need the community’s input. And I work for the Governor!”

(Ms. Short Reporting On Conversation With RIOC President Rosenthal At March 1 RIRA Meeting)

She’s also allegedly told RIOC Board Members that their job is to “rubber stamp” what comes down from Albany. She even convinced the board to look the other way when it came to passing a budget for 2018 which should have, but didn’t, include $23MM the state had promised Roosevelt Island. The board failed to include those funds in spite of both RIRA and the Roosevelt Island Community Coalition (RICC) asking them not to do so through their resolutions.

We need strong forces on that board. We need to set the record straight about government for the people, of the people and by the people. And we must let Albany know we will not be silenced by hand-picked demagogues. The days of Dutch India are over. Roosevelt Island is not just assets, it’s a community, and we, the people, are entitled to a say in our governance.

How can you help?

You can cast your vote! It’s tremendously important to let Albany know that how we are governed, and our right to a voice, is important to us. Your attendance at Candidate’s night, where each candidate will answer questions and speak about their views, is invaluable.

Please volunteer to help with poling. We need lots of people! Poling will take place on April 17th and 18th. You can reach me to volunteer at

And if you have the time and ability, you can throw your hat in the ring to fight the good fight and serve on the RIOC Board.

Here are the important dates to carve on your calendar:
  • Wednesday, March 15- Candidate information session (Q&A) for potential candidates 6:30 PM, 546 Main St, 12th Floor Community Room
  • Tuesday March 21- Nominations Close at 6 PM (Public Safety Office)
  • Friday, March 31- Candidate Bios and photos due for media publication
  • Tuesday April 11- Candidates Night 6:30 PM, 546 Main St, Sr. Center
  • April 17 & 18- Elections held in building lobbies (watch for signs in your building)

Register Now For RIRA's April 1 Roosevelt Island Egg Hunt At Manhattan Park Lawn - Meet The Easter Bunny, Stuffed Animal Prizes, MST&DA Seussical Jr Performance & More

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Egg Hunt Committee Co-Chairperson Irina Skuletic reports:

Dear Roosevelt Island Families,

RIRA’s Annual Easter Egg Hunt will be held on April 1st, from 10 am to 12 pm on the Manhattan Park lawn. Besides the Egg Hunt, there will be a lot of crafts and activities brought to you by our local organizations. Entertainment includes a performance by the Main Street Theatre cast of Seussical Jr, as well as appearance of the Easter Bunny. Prizes (stuffed animals, English and non-English language books) will be awarded.

Please visit our registration site at . Fee is $4 per adult. One paying adult can bring up to three children. Children must have at least one adult chaperone. Deadline for Pre-registration is Friday, March 24. Price at the day of the event is $5, cash only. If you are unable to pay due to financial hardship, please email us at

For more information or if you are interested in volunteering on the day of the event, please contact RIRA organizing committee at
Here's some scenes from the

2016 Roosevelt Island Egg Hunt.
Register for this year's Roosevelt Island Egg Hunt here.

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

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

to and from Manhattan this weekend.

Sponsored Post - Roosevelt Island Gristedes Supermarket Bonus Savings Card Diamond Rewards Loyalty Program March 10 To March 23 - Get Exclusive Offers And Earn Points On Hundreds Of Items To Be Redeemed On Next Order

The Roosevelt Island Gristedes Supermarket

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

Examples of featured items purchased from March 10 - March 23 that earn you big points include
  • Bertolli Olive Oil earn 75 points,
  • Campbell's Well Yes! Soup earn 75 points,
  • Apple & Eve Cranberry Juice earn 50 points,
  • Hefty Slider Bags 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 March 17 - March 23

and these Savings valid March 10 - March 23 including Free Delivery and $5 Off Coupon.

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.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Behind The Scenes At Roosevelt Island Youth Center Beacon After School Program Youth Council Elections - RIYP Broadcast Group Reports

The Roosevelt Island Youth Program (RIYP) Beacon after school program held their Youth Council elections last week. The RIYP elections were reported on by RIYP video journalists in training. According to RIYP Beacon Director Katerina Droughos:

On Friday March 3rd the Beacon held their election for Youth Council. It was a great opportunity for the Broadcasting Group to apply the things they've been learning since last summer in regards to camera work, lights etc. Using a "real Time event" such as this one and under the guidance of their instructor Christos Alexandrou, they managed to capture the behind the scenes, interview the candidates and document the voting, counting of the votes and results. Moreover, everyone involved got a first hand experience in the Voting process, understood better how the electing procedure works and had fun exercising their right to vote!

No Roosevelt Island F Train Service To Manhattan This Morning Due To MTA Mechanical Problems At West 4 Cause Long Lines At Roosevelt Island Tram - Will RI Ferry Service Bring Commuters From Astoria & Bronx To Overcrowded Roosevelt Island F Train Station?

Received reports from residents that there was no Roosevelt Island F Train service to Manhattan this morning creating long lines at the Roosevelt Island Tram.

Image From Farkhod Aliev

Image From Irina Hage

The MTA reports the cause of F line service disruptions as mechanical issues at West 4th Street.
According to the Roosevelt Island Twitterverse, ferry service starting this summer to Roosevelt Island may bring commuters from Astoria and the Bronx to use the already overcrowded Roosevelt Island F Train station.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Roosevelt Island Urgent Care Donates Infant CPR Mannequin To RIRA CPR Committee - 1063 Trained So Far On Adult Hands Only CPR Technique By RIRA

The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Hands Only CPR subcommittee received a Prestan Infant CPR training mannequin donation from the Roosevelt Island Urgent Care medical facility last week. During the March 1 RIRA Common Council Public Session, Roosevelt Island Urgent Care Marketing Director Yaakov Landau presented the Infant CPR mannequin to RIRA Hands Only CPR Subcommittee Chair Sharon Williams.

Mr. Landau also spoke to the RIRA Common Council about the programs and services offered at Roosevelt Island Urgent Care and their commitment to the Roosevelt Island community.

Mr Landau added that long time Roosevelt Island Doctors, Jack Resnick and Kathy Grimm are moving their offices to the Roosevelt Island Urgent Care facility (520 Main Street).

Ms Williams thanked Roosevelt Island Urgent Care for their donation and told the Common Council that the RIRA CPR Committee has trained 1063 people to use the Hands Only technique to date.

Here's Prestan adult

and infant mannequin

Hands Only CPR training videos.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Caring Kind, The Heart Of Alzheimer's Caregiving Presentation March 9 At Roosevelt Island Senior Center Carter Burden Program - Learn About Free Programs & Services, NYC Wanderer's Safety Program, Scholarships For Caregivers & More

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

Join us for a presentation by CaringKind, The Heart of Alzheimer’s Caregiving on Thursday, 3/9 at 12:30pm. (UPDATE 3/8, THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED).The presentation will cover their free programs and services, the MedicAlert NYC Wanderer’s Safety Program, and Scholarships for Caregivers. They will also have samples of their ID bracelets and necklaces.

You can help Alzheimers disease research by participating in an online crowd sourcing game called Stall Catchers developed by Cornell University researchers as explained in this video.

Click here to help Alzheimers research playing Stall Catchers.

UPDATE 3/8 - This event has been cancelled.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Roosevelt Island's NY State Senator Jose Serrano Interviewed On CB 8 Speaks By RI Resident - District Diversity, Education, Immigration, Health Care, Park, Arts & More Discussed

Roosevelt Island resident, Community Board (CB) 8 member and Co-Chair of the Roosevelt Island Community Coalition (RICC) Ellen Polivy interviews our NY State Senator Jose Serrano on CB 8 Speaks.

Senator Serrano discusses the diversity of his 29th State Senate District, education, immigration, health care, parks, arts and  more.

Take a listen.

Update On New Roosevelt Island Nisi Diner, Formerly Trellis, Renovations - Owner Says After Overcoming Many Unforeseen Obstacles, Opening Soon, Hopefully

Roosevelt Island's Trellis diner closed for renovations 

 in September 2014.

In April 2016 the plywood came down in front of the renovated storefront and we were told the opening was very soon.

But Nisi did not open in 2016. The last we heard was that Nisi was to open this winter.

Well, the winter is almost over and residents are still anxiously waiting for the re-opening of the new Nisi restaurant.

Here's the latest update courtesy of resident Frank Farance who spoke with Nisi owner Kai Razaghi last Saturday. According to Mr. Farance:
Some good news about Trellis/Nisi. Heard them working downstairs, came to take a look and saw Mr. Kai and some plumbers. I asked him about a variety of stories/rumors I've heard, and got some clarity. They got their fire/etc. inspections, and then needed to turn the gas on. Well there were two problems: first was their permit was old enough that they had to get a new permit and do some plumbing work, but the second was that the inspection rules changed since the Lower East Side Building Collapse, which was caused by the bogus gas work/pluming and explosion. Since that event, all plumbing has to be inspected by the City/Con Ed, rather than in the past where the plumbers could self-inspect.

He hopes this is the last obstacle. He told me: over the summer he set up the tables and flowers with the expectation that he'd be opening very soon, but there was one unforeseen obstacle after another.

So what about them rumors that he was selling the business? He scoffed: anyone who is in business would understand that wouldn't make sense. He is looking forward to completing, hopefully, the last step and opening soon.

Mr. Kai hasn't lost his infectious smile. I told him: We all wish you well!
Yes, we wish him well and hope to see Nisi open soon.