Friday, May 18, 2018

Roosevelt Island Seniors Association (RISA) Board Nominations Open Thru Monday May 21

Nominations are open for Roosevelt Island Seniors Association (RISA) Board Members.

For more info, please email RISA.

Report From RIOC President Susan Rosenthal - 2018 Macy's July 4 Fireworks Celebration On East River, Meeting With Citibke On Coming To Roosevelt Island, Summer Youth Center Plans & More

During May 17 Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors meeting, RIOC President Susan Rosenthal reported:

1- 2018 Macy's July 4 Fireworks will be on East River this year giving Roosevelt Island fantastic views of the celebration,

2- Meeting next week to discuss bringing Citibke docking stations to Roosevelt Island. Talks will include possible locations.

3- Says receiving wonderful reports of RIOC Youth Center doing well.

Future plans for Roosevelt Island Youth Center. Planning summer basketball league, gardening program and Saturday teen nights. Beacon Summer Camp.

RIOC Closing Youth Center during summer for renovations of building. 2nd floor of Sportspark to be used by older youth when Youth Center building is closed during summer.

4 - Here's the complete RIOC President's Report from Ms Rosenthal including info on June 16 Roosevelt Island Day, which RIOC will be producing by themselves for first time, Tram Platform Repair work, Motorgate painting and repair and more.

You're Invited To Chabad Of Roosevelt Island Shavuot Dairy & Ice Cream Celebration Of 10 Commandments Sunday May 20

The Chabad of Roosevelt Island invite you to The Ten Commandments & Shavuot Celebration 10 AM Sunday, May 20 at the Roosevelt Island Cultural Center ( 548 Main Street). According to the Chabad of Roosevelt Island, the Celebration features:

Dairy Lunch & Ice Cream Party. Reading of the Ten Commandments followed by a scrumptious Dairy Buffet. Bring your kids for an incredible program and ice cream bash.

To RSVP or more information please contact

More info available at Chabad Of Roosevelt Island web site.

Stay Up All Night - a Shavuot song.

Roosevelt Island Transportation This Weekend - F Train Service To And From Manhattan, Only 1 Tram Cabin Working & NYC Ferry Service Available

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

to and from Manhattan this weekend.


SIGNAL IMPROVEMENTS | 9:30 PM Fri, May 18 to 5 AM Mon, May 21 F Service is rerouted in Manhattan and Brooklyn...

... 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, and via the Q express to/from
Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr...

Image From MTA
Remember there will be only 1 Roosevelt Island Tram Cabin operating this weekend. As previously reported:
... Construction work on the Tram Station platforms, at both Roosevelt Island and Midtown Manhattan, will resume this Wednesday, May 16; and continue for up to 30 days reducing commuter service to one cabin. The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) will operate a free, weekday roundtrip Red Bus service from 3 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. to help alleviate evening rush-hour waiting and congestion...
Plan for long lines at the Tram Station.

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Susan Rosenthal reported to May 17 RIOC Board meeting on Tram Platform repair work resulting in only 1 Tram Cabin in operation for up to next 30 Days.

You can take the very pleasant Astoria Route NYC Ferry to and from Roosevelt Island.

UPDATE - New NYC Ferry Summer Schedule starting May 21.

Here's the Astoria Route schedule for Roosevelt Island.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Roosevelt Island Helix Repairs & Octagon Sports Field Renovations Among Items On RIOC Board Of Directors Meeting Today - Current Octagon Field Lights Still Need Fixing

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors will meet 5:30 PM today at the Cultural Center Theater, 548 Main Street.

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

According to RIOC:






5:30 P.M.[1]

I. Call to Order

II. Roll Call

III. Approval of Minutes

1. April 18, 2018 Board Meeting (Board Action Required)

IV. Old Business

New Business
Presentation/Update by Assistant VP of Capital Planning and Projects on the Helix Repairs.

Authorization to Enter into Contracts for Architectural and Engineering Services (Board Action Required)

Authorization to Enter into Contract with Abel Bainnson Butz, LLP for Design Services in Connection with the Octagon Sports Field Project (Board Action Required)

President’s report

Committee Reports

a. Audit Committee

b. Governance Committee

c. Operations Advisory Committee

d. Real Estate Development Advisory Committee

Public Safety Report

[1] The RIOC Board Meeting will commence following a public comment period. The public comment period is not part of the meeting.
Current Octagon Field Lights still need to be fixed reports Twitter.
May 17 RIOC Board meeting Agenda and Board materials here.

You're Invited To A Celebration Of The Life Of Dick Lutz Saturday May 19 At Good Shepherd Community Center - Main Street WIRE Newspaperman Of Roosevelt Island From 1996 To 2016 Passed Away Last March 18

As reported March 20, Dick Lutz, the Newspaperman of Roosevelt Island, passed away Sunday March 18. Mr. Lutz was the longtime editor and publisher, 1996-2016, of Roosevelt Island's Main Street WIRE newspaper.

This Saturday, May 19, Mr Lutz's friends, neighbors and colleagues are holding A Celebration of the Life Of Dick Lutz at the Good Shepherd Community Center (543 Main Street) from 1-3 PM.

You're invited to attend.

In 2011, WNYC profiled Dick Lutz, The Newspaperman of Roosevelt Island.

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Children, Youth & Education Committee Chair Adib Mansour adds:
RIRA’s Children, Youth & Education Committee and the Roosevelt Island Disabled Association are thrilled to invite you to our “Music Is All Inclusive Concert” on May 19th, at 5PM.

The concert is dedicated to Dick Lutz and will follow the memorial on that same day, at the Chapel of the Good Shepherd.

As part of our initiative to bridge our island’s youth with the community, and following a few events with the seniors, we are pleased to bring this concert emphasizing the equality in our community. We summarize the event with the following quote: “I do not have a disability, I have a gift”!

We will be honored if you joined us. Please note that the Good Shepherd Church will be filled with people honoring our Dick Lutz. Please come as early as possible.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

$6.1 Million Roosevelt Island Tram Manhattan Station ADA Compliant Glass Elevators Upgrade Starting This Week - Completion Scheduled For Next Spring

The long delayed project to replace the outdated and dilapidated Roosevelt Island Tram Manhattan Station elevators

with brand new glass box elevators

Image of GC Eng Eng & Associates Tram Station Elevator Rendering From April 12, 2016 CB 8 Preeentation

starts this week after originally scheduled to be completed in 2016.

According to Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Information Officer Alonza Robertson:
A $6.1 million construction project to upgrade the Manhattan Tram Station elevator started this week and the two building phases will be finished by next Spring, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) announced Wednesday.

The elevator project, at 59th Street and Second Avenue, is part of a series on-going transportation upgrades to the Roosevelt Island Tram. The design calls for an iconic, two-bank, ADA-compliant glass elevator which replaces the existing elevator that has outlasted its expected mechanical life.

During a two-year period, RIOC solicited public input, met with New York City Department of Parks and Recreation officials and community members to shape and finalize the project design which will require custom manufacturing.

The construction contract was awarded in December 2017 to Sea Crest Construction Corporation, a subsidiary of Scalamandre Construction, Inc., both based in Long Island, New York. Both companies have decades of public works project experience building transit plazas, industrial plants, roads, bridges and airport terminals across the New York metropolitan area.

The project will be completed in two phases; the first of the two glass elevator banks will be built and the existing old elevator will be dismantled. Then the second glass elevator bank will be constructed so that there will always be a working elevator.

“We have begun doing some isolated exploration and boring work on the site this week,” said RIOC Public Information Officer Alonza Robertson. “We will continue that and then set up the site construction fencing by the end of the month.”

The fencing will not encroach or restrict access to the surrounding sidewalks or station entryway. During the steel erection work, an overhead sidewalk shed will be installed. The park area around the Tram station will be closed and several planter beds will be temporarily relocated.
Below is the Roosevelt Island Tram Station elevator plan presented to April 12, 2016 meeting of CB 8's Roosevelt Island Committee by GC Eng & Associates. According to the presentation. the new Roosevelt Island Tram Station will have:
  • Two New Glass Elevators
  • Increased User Capacity
  • ADA Compliant Elevators
  • Enhanced Destination Visibility
  • Greater Reliability & Maintainability  
  • Increased Lighting and Security
  • Improved Circulation

Beautiful Pics Of Storm Clouds Over Roosevelt Island Yesterday Followed By Stunning Rainbow

From the Roosevelt Island Twitterverse yesterday.

Followed by a fabulous rainbow.

Roosevelt Island Parents & Students Invited To Learn About Health Impacts Of E-Cigarette Vaping From Medical Experts On May 17 - Sponsored By Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright & Community Board 8

Roosevelt Island and Manhattan Upper East Side NY State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright reports:

I hope you will join me tomorrow evening for a panel I am cosponsoring with Community Board 8 Health, Seniors and Social Services Committee, "Vaping: Impacts on Students and Our Health."

As featured in the New York Times, we are seeing a growing trend of vaping in our schools across our city and state. That is why we are holding a forum with a panel of experts to educate and receive community feedback on vaping in our community.

We will be joined by Associate Professor at NYU School of Medicine Dr. Donna Shelley, New York City Department of Health Bureau of Chronic Disease Preventions and Tobacco Control's Kevin R.J. Schroth and Achala Talati, and parents of local middle school students.

We look forward to seeing you tomorrow night!
CNN has more on the student vaping epidemic.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

When Will Citibike Docking Stations Come To Roosevelt Island - Who Knows, But Cornell Tech Students Developing Pilot Roosevelt Island Dockless Bike Sharing Project

A frequent Roosevelt Island question asked is:

Last weekend, I asked this group of Citibike riders visiting Roosevelt Island

where they got their Citibikes. They said from one of the many bike docking stations near their home in Long Island City and they asked why there was no docking station on Roosevelt Island, which they added, would be a perfect location.

Last month, I asked Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Information Officer Alonza Robertson:
Any info on Roosevelt Island getting Citibike stations?
Mr Robertson replied;
RIOC staff is holding off pursuing any bike share companies until all the Helix road construction, both lanes ..
are completed.

A group of Cornell Tech students are working on a pilot project to bring dockless bike sharing to Roosevelt Island and beyond.

The Wall Street Journal explains dockless bike sharing.

The Cornell Tech students developing a Roosevelt Island dockless bike sharing program are
  • Harrison Zhao
  • Owen Wang
  • Hanfu Liao
  • Jim Zhu
and report:
We have built our minimum variable product, which includes an emailing unlocking system and two bikes. The tasks we are working on right now is to build a Bluetooth distance sensor that will guide users to park the bikes at specific areas so that the bikes won't affect others. For our next step, we will do more user research and refine our product. We plan to buy more bikes and launch our product..... The product will be first open to Cornell Tech students, and then open to the public.

In term of our mission, we hope our product could benefit people on the island and other daily commuters and make short trips more convenient and affordable. Moreover, we wish, through our product, Cornell Tech and Cornell Tech students can better fit into the Roosevelt Island community.
This is how the dockless bike sharing would work on Roosevelt Island

and Long Island City.

The Roosevelt Island dockless bike sharing pilot project began as a student project for the Cornell Tech Remaking The City Class. Here is December 2017 presentation by the student team

to a group of Roosevelt Island residents and Cornell Tech faculty.

Currently, the closest Citibike docking stations to Roosevelt Island are in Long Island City and Astoria.

Image From Citibike

More on Roosevelt Island bike sharing efforts, which have been going on since 2010

  Former RIOC President Leslie Torres & Nonno's Pizza Owner Alphonse At 2010  Bike Sharing Demo

at this prior post.

Stay tuned for upcoming Roosevelt Island bike sharing news.

Roosevelt Island Bubble Cool Bubble Tea Cafe Jobs Available, Apply Now - Also, Bubble Cool Serving Ice Cream And It's Delicious

The Roosevelt Island Bubble Cool Bubble Tea Cafe

is hiring.

If you're interested, please send resume to

Also, Bubble Cool is serving ice cream now as well. Try it. I had the Mango ice cream and it was delicious.

Monday, May 14, 2018

UPDATE - Roosevelt Island Tram Station Platform Repairs Delayed One Day - Only 1 Tram Cabin Operating Starts Wednesday May 16 For Up To 30 Days Says RIOC - Plan For Long Tram Lines & Hope For Best

An update to  May 8 story that:

The Roosevelt Island Tram platform renovations began last July and temporarily halted in December 

due to the cold weather.

The Tram Platform renovation project resumes next Tuesday, May 15. Expect the return of long lines waiting for the single Tram cabin in operation.

According to Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Information Officer Alonza Robertson:
Construction work on the Tram Station platforms, at both Roosevelt Island and Midtown Manhattan, will resume this Wednesday, May 16; and continue for up to 30 days reducing commuter service to one cabin. The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) will operate a free, weekday roundtrip Red Bus service from 3 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. to help alleviate evening rush-hour waiting and congestion. (The work was previously slated to begin tomorrow, May 15).

This new construction completes work that began last July when RIOC contracted with Specialty Construction System, Inc. to address corrosion and water damage to both stations’ platforms at a cost of $2.15 million. The project included the installation and repair of station roofing, removal and repair of the structural slabs and metal column and building a new ADA-compliant access ramp on the north ramp of the Roosevelt Island Tram Station.

New concrete slabs, which are the top surfaces of the platforms at both stations, will be waterproofed and receive new traffic coating during the next month. The project went on hiatus in December 2017 until New York City area’s daily temperatures were forecast to be above those required for the installation.

“Although uncracked concrete will typically keep out liquid water, water vapor can still penetrate quite easily,” said Stephen Noone, RIOC’s assistant vice president of Capital Planning and Projects. “Keeping water drained away from the concrete foundations and preventing it from moving through the platforms is essential to having a successful structure,” he said.

Once that work is complete, the city’s Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) will re-install turnstiles, ticket machine kiosks and re-program electronic emergency exit doors.

Much of the platform project construction is being done around the North Tram’s boarding and deboarding ramps on both platforms, and thus “we will be limited to only the South Tram servicing the public and because of this, waiting times will unfortunately increase,” said Armando Cordova, operations and maintenance manager for Leitner-Pomo of America, the engineering sub-contractor that operates the Tram for RIOC.

RIOC’s Director of Transportation Cyril Opperman said the Red Bus shuttle service will begin at 3 p.m., each weekday during the construction period, operating roundtrip from Midtown Manhattan to Roosevelt Island every half hour leaving from the southwest side of Second Avenue between 58th and 59th streets.

“The service is not being offered during the morning commute because the average weekday traffic congestion to Midtown Manhattan is so great, the roundtrip shuttle is not time efficient,” Opperman said.

The MTA’s F-Train and the Q-102 bus will be in operation during the 30-day platform construction period. For more information about MTA service, visit or call 511. The NYC Ferry,, will also continue their service between Roosevelt Island, Astoria, Queens; Midtown and Lower Manhattan.

Roosevelt Island Residents Honored For Volunteer Service By NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray At Gracie Mansion - Congrats

According to the NYC Mayor's Office, on April 30:
First Lady Chirlane McCray and NYC Chief Service Officer Paula Gavin held a ceremony at Gracie Mansion to recognize over 400 New Yorkers who volunteered 500 hours or more of their time to serve their communities. They also honored over two dozen businesses that engaged at least 20 percent of their New York City based employees as volunteers in 2017 through the Mayoral Service Recognition Program.

The Mayoral Service Recognition Program recognizes New Yorkers who engage in at least 100 hours of volunteer service a year and businesses that engage at least 20 percent of their NYC-based employees in volunteerism. In 2017, nearly 5,000 residents each contributed over 100 hours of volunteer service.

“Volunteers play a critical role in making New York City the fairest big city in the world,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “I want to thank all the New Yorkers who take the time to get involved in their communities and help their neighbors.”

“This is a City government that believes in the power of service to others, and I am honored to celebrate these outstanding New Yorkers,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray. “In immeasurable ways, volunteers help us build stronger communities —by helping young people discover the magic of the arts, serving a meal to a family in need, cleaning up our parks, or encouraging their employees in volunteerism — and their service makes a difference for thousands of New Yorkers. I am always inspired by their acts of kindness and extraordinary commitment.”...
Roosevelt Island residents Frank Farance and Ron Davidson

were among those honored at Gracie Mansion for their volunteer service.

Mr. Farance reports:
... volunteer work is really important, and it's something that many people should make time for ... even a couple hours a week. There are many places to volunteer, not just CERT (myself) or the Senior Center (Ron), for example one can volunteer at any of the City's parks, helping the homeless, volunteering at the VA or a hospital (e.g., Coler Hospital on the Island), and a zillion other places. See NYC Service at
Mr Farance was recognized for his volunteer work with the NYC Office Of Emergency Management Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

and Mr. Davidson for his work on the Senior Center outdoor terrace garden.

Mr. Davidson adds:
... Taking a cue from the speakers we heard at Gracie Mansion ..., I'm ​only beginning to ​understand​ why we​ need to acknowledge how our​ experiences​ may encourage others.

In our small island context, it's a mistake not to let everyone know ​about Roosevelt Islanders who ​were among the 400+ New Yorkers who ​clocked more than 500 ​volunteer ​hours in 2017.

​Here are a few links which explain about the broader context of the event which honored ordinary New Yorkers. -- see​ ​ "NYC Volunteers Count 2017"; and see​ ​Priorities -- NYC Service Reports" ; and see​ also re​ volunteering 1000+ hours: "Marking the End of National Volunteer Month, de Blasio Administration Celebrates New York City Volunteers," April 28, 2017....

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer
Congrats to all!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Happy Mother's Day From Roosevelt Island, Say Thank You To Your Mom, Learn How The Day Got Started & Flowers From Sir Didi Too

Happy Mother's Day wishes for all the moms out there.

Give your Mom a Great Big Hug and Kiss today and tell her how much she is loved and appreciated.

Here's a History Of Mother's Day.

Some celebrated this morning with a Roosevelt Island Mother's Day run.
NY Yankee shortstop Sir Didi Gregorious wishes all the Moms a Happy Mother's Day too.
Thanks Moms.