Friday, July 13, 2018

Cornell Tech Partners With Technion For Robotics Workshop Yesterday At Roosevelt Island Campus Teaching NYC High School Students Reverse Engineering, 3D Printing, Internet Of Things & More

Professors from the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology and their partners at the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute and  Cornell Tech collaborated yesterday conducting two Robotics workshops for NYC high school students at the Tata Innovation Center on the Cornell Tech Roosevelt Island campus.

The first workshop was on Engineering and 3D Making.

According to the workshop sylabus:
Students will dissect a small machine, analyze how the parts function, then design and 3D print their improved solutions. Students will learn the principals of design thru reverse engineering and develop skills in project analysis, digital design and making.
The students, including several from Roosevelt Island, reversed engineered a computer fan component, redesigned it and 3D printed the new fan in the

Cornell Tech Makers Lab.

The second workshop

was learning about the internet of things by making a smart connected robot:
Students will create an app to control a robot using the internet of things platform ThingWork. The Cloud dashboard they produce will direct the robot to use sensors to weigh and sort objects. Students will learn Internet of Things concepts, smart connected products and robot communications.
Cornell Tech Director of K-12 Education Diane Levitt tweeted
Ms Levitt adds:

Earlier in the week, the Technion robotics instructors, led by Professor Igor Verner, held robotics workshops for NYC High School teachers as well.

The workshop was funded by the Jacobs Institute’s Julia and Joshua Ruch Faculty Exchange Grant.

The Jacobs Institute, Cornell Tech and Technion hope to do more such workshops in the future.

Sponsored Post - Summer Sunset Sundays At Roosevelt Island FDR Four Freedoms Park - Enjoy Twilight Evenings With Unparalleled Views Of Manhattan & Queens

The Roosevelt Island FDR Four Freedoms Park invites you to Summer Sunset Sundays in July.

Enjoy twilight evenings at the Park on Sundays in July as we stay open until 8:30pm. Summer Sunset Sundays will take place on July 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th.

Free; no registration required.

The location of the Park offers unparalleled views of both Manhattan and Queens.

Roosevelt Island Transportation This Weekend - No Roosevelt Island F Train Service From Manhattan, 57th Street F Train Station Closed Thru December, Both Tram Cabins Working & NYC Ferry Service Has More Summer Service

According to the MTA:

STATION ENHANCEMENTS | 9:45 PM Fri, Jul 13 to 5 AM Mon, Jul 16 Jamaica-bound F trains are rerouted via E the after 47-50 Sts, Manhattan to Roosevelt Av, Queens

No Jamaica-bound service at Lexington Av/63 St, Roosevelt Island and 21 St-Queensbridge.
STATION ENHANCEMENTS | Until December 2018 57 St F Station is closed
Both Roosevelt Island Tram Cabins are in operation and the MTA Vending machine at Roosevelt Island Tram station is working.

There is Roosevelt Island ferry service on the Astoria Route. Here's the new summer schedule for Roosevelt Island ferry service.

UPDATE 7/15 - Roosevelt Island has R Train service to and from Manhattan this weekend. Resident Janet Falk reports:
On Saturday 7/14, I waited for the F subway to Manhattan around 5:30 pm. There were at least 60 people on the platform waiting to go to Queens. Suddenly, there was a loudspeaker announcement that there was “No subway service to Queens.” All the passengers left.

A few minutes later, some passengers arrived on the platform. Then an R train arrived, and the newly arrived Queens-bound passengers boarded it.

The MTA signs posted in the subway were WRONG, as was the RIOC advisory. There is no F service, but there is R service running partially on the F route to and from RI.
According to the MTA:
R trains run in both directions between 57 St-7 Av and 21 St-Queensbridge , making stops at Lexington Av/63 St and Roosevelt Island, resuming normal service at 36 St, Queens.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Roosevelt Island Public Safety Officers Complete Training In Use Of Naloxone As Antidote For Opioid Overdose - PSD Officers Will Carry Portable Pocket Size Injection Device

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Information Officer Alonza Robertson reports:
The opioid public health crisis that began years ago in other parts of the country recently surging across New York City, now has an additional opponent to combat: the 39 men and women of the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department.

Roosevelt Island PSD Special Patrol Officer Yeison Gutierrez holding the emergency pouch of Naloxone

This week, half of the department’s officers completed a special training, which allows PSD to carry a portable-pocket size device that injects the opiate antidote, naloxone, at the emergency response scenes of drug overdoses. The second half of officers will complete the training next week.

“Naloxone, also called Narcan, saves lives by immediately reversing the effects of heroin, a citizen could be suffering from,” PSD Chief Jack McManus said Thursday after announcing the move to allow the peace officers to carry and administer the prescription medication

More than 20,000 City of New York Police Department (NYPD) police officers also carry naloxone.

During the past three years, there were an estimated 2,700 overdose deaths in New York City; a toll that’s more than twice the combined numbers of murders and traffic deaths recorded in the city during that same period.

Some of the biggest jumps in overdose incidents and death rates for heroin use in the metro area include youth between the ages of 18-to-34 years old; and of citizens living in the North Bronx, eastern Queens, Westchester County and Long Island, city and federal data show.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than half a million-people died, across the country from drug overdoses between 2000 and 2015. Opioid use specifically is increasing, with heroin deaths tripling nationwide in the same period. Every day, 91 Americans die from an opioid overdose.

In September 2016, the U.S. Office of the Attorney General issued a memorandum calling the opioid epidemic a “public health crisis.” The memorandum called for the use of naloxone to prevent overdose deaths.

Police officers, who increasingly end up serving as first responders in drug overdose situations, have played a significant role in fighting the overdose epidemic in other cities across the county.

“This crisis has become a national public health emergency,” McManus said. “I’m very proud that our department is not only prepared to enforce laws about narcotics, but also potentially save lives of those suffering from narcotics, as well.”

This training was the last chapter in a series of mental health sessions; focusing on family, mental health and senior citizens. RIOC acknowledges the work of Island resident Lynne Shinozaki in producing this series.
NYC Health has more on opiod overdose and use of Naloxone as an antidote.

Fortunately, there have been no reported incidents of opioid overdoses on Roosevelt Island.

6 Roosevelt Island Baby Ducklings Trapped Down Cornell Tech Campus Drain Rescued Yesterday By Wildlife Freedom Foundation And FDNY - Returned To Mom And Last Seen Paddling In East River

Roosevelt Island resident Rossana Ceruzzi is founder and President of the Wildlife Freedom Foundation (WFF). Ms Ceruzzi reports:

The Wildlife Freedom Foundation got a phone call from Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department yesterday afternoon. A good Samaritan whose name is Georgiana, called for help. Six ducklings were stuck down a drain near Cornell Campus. Momma duck was in the river with the seventh one.

WFF went to the rescue!!

We got three out while waiting for the FDNY to come to pull the heavy grate up. And They came quickly!!

Kudos to LADDER 116!!
We wish to express our sincerest gratitude and appreciation to PSD Detective Ramon Potter and PSO Ortiz whose effectiveness and assistance led to the prompt rescue of the six ducklings. Thank you!!

More good news!!

We were able to give back all the babies to mom who was in the river further south resting on a rock.
The Wildlife Freedom Foundation is:
...a non profit organization 501 (c)(3) formed for the purpose of protecting and conserving wildlife and caring for stray animal populations in NYC....
More info on the Wildlife Freedom Foundation available at its web site and Facebook page.

UPDATE 7/13 - Ms Ceruzzi releasing the baby ducklings back into the East River.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

FDNY Respond to Roosevelt Island Tram Station Basement Smoke Condition - No Injuries, Service Temporarily Suspended Until Further Notice

This evening, the Roosevelt Island Twitterverse asked:

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Information Officer Alonza Robertson reported:
FDNY is conducting a smoke investigation at the Tram Station that began about 6:50 p.m. Both cabins are temporarily out of service. No reported injuries.
I was informed that the smoke condition occurred in the Tram Station basement. The FDNY investigated the area

and have left.

Tram staff are currently examining the basement area to determine a cause. As of now, the Tram is temporarily suspended until further notice.

Both cabins returned to their respective stations before service was suspended.

RIOC Advisory adds:
The FDNY has ordered a temporary shutdown of Tram service as it continues its investigation into an earlier smoke incident at the RI Tram Station that began about 6:50 p.m.

Fire inspectors are attempting to determine if the smoke detected from building equipment or operational equipment at the station. There are no reported injuries. Red Bus service is suspended at Tram Station but is picking up at Cornell Tech and at the F Train subway station.
UPDATE 10 PM - RIOC issued this advisory at 9:44 PM:
Due to an earlier smoke condition at the Roosevelt Island Tramway, the Tram is temporarily out of service. To accommodate this disruption, RIOC will be running a shuttle bus between the Roosevelt Island Tramway and the Tram Station at 60th St and 2nd Ave in Manhattan. The first shuttle will depart the Roosevelt Island Tramway at 10pm and every hour at the top of the hour until the final shuttle of the night at 2am. Returning shuttles will depart the Manhattan Tramway from 60th St and 2nd Ave every hour at 30 min after the top of the hour starting at 10:30pm and running until the final shuttle of the evening at 2:30am.
UPDATE 10:35 PM - From RIOC:
A previous advisory mistakenly listed the RIOC Shuttle Bus as leaving from the Manhattan Tramway at 60th St and 2nd Ave. The correct location to pick up the RIOC Shuttle to Roosevelt Island is at 58th St and 2nd A
UPDATE 7/12 5:30 AM - From RIOC:
The Tram and Red Bus will resume regular service and routes today, Thursday, July 12, at 6 a.m. The FDNY had temporarily suspended Tram service during a smoke emergency at the Roosevelt Island Tram Station Wednesday night. No injuries were reported.

Pirate Ship Spotted Sailing East River Passing Roosevelt Island Yesterday - Yo Ho Ho, Is The Pirate Life For You?

Is the Pirate life for you?

Socrates Sculpture Park International Outdoor Film Festival Showing Indian Movie Monsoon Wedding Tonight, Only A Short Walk From Roosevelt Island Bridge Or 1 NYC Ferry Stop Away - A Great Spot To Visit

The Socrates Sculpture Park, only a few blocks walk from the Roosevelt Island Bridge or 1 NYC Ferry stop from Roosevelt Island, is celebrating the 20 anniversary year of its International Outdoor Film Festival.

Tonight, the Socrates Outdoor International Film Festival is showing Monsoon Wedding, from India.

The Socrates Sculpture Park International Outdoor Movie Festival show films every Wednesday evening starting July 11 thru August 29. Check out the schedule here.

More info on Socrates Sculpture Park activities and events available at their web site. Check it out.

It's a great place to visit and so very close to Roosevelt Island.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Community Report From RIOC President Susan Rosenthal - Roosevelt Island Drinking Water Fountain Contaminant Study, Motorgate Garage Repair Plans, Helix Ramp & Tram Platform Additional Work May Cause Travel Delays, Boat Prow Graffiti & More

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Susan Rosenthal reports to the community:


Healthy Building International Inc. has been retained by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) to conduct water sampling and analysis at several drinking water fountain locations in parks and playgrounds across Roosevelt Island, RIOC President and CEO Susan Rosenthal said Tuesday.

The tests are designed to provide a comprehensive analysis of the water and to confirm its acceptability for consumption. The samples will be compared with the relevant federal Department of Environmental Protection (EPA) contaminant levels of microbials, metals and inorganic substances.

A plumbing engineer selected from RIOC’s newly formed A&E (Architectural and Engineering) Services committee (a panel of qualified, multi-disciplined architects and engineers) will help RIOC officials interpret the results, draft and consider potential solutions. The water analysis and a downstream review is focused on each specific point of water line connection to each actual fountain or public use spigot or valve.

RIOC announced last Friday that it was immediately shutting down water fountains after concerns, raised by Roosevelt Island resident Frank Farance about potential water source lines, prompted the agency to schedule the analysis.

“As-built drawings” – the final set of drawings a contractor files to document work, changes, construction processes and the location of all elements of the work completed and maintained - were not archived for work at all the parks and playgrounds built in the early 1970s and maintained thereafter. Those drawings document whether the playground fountains are connected to the irrigation lines or domestic water lines in the area. Without the “as-built” drawings for the other drinking fountains on the Island, RIOC cannot be certain about the connection source of all the other fountains.

RIOC had the “as-builts” for Southpoint Park’s drinking fountain from 2010 and can verify that the water is from its domestic line not the park’s irrigation system.

It was revealed during a recent water use disagreement with Wildlife Freedom Foundation (WFF), which runs cat sanctuaries on the Island, that the WFF water hose was using an irrigation line connection for its Southpoint sanctuary. (WFF has since said it was willing to continue to use “not potable,” irrigation water for their Southpoint sanctuary).

In addition to this project, The A&E services committee is expected to help RIOC manage capital projects, infrastructure maintenance and repairs – including the Sportspark renovations, the FDR Hope Memorial, the Firefighters Field comfort station/bathroom construction, future Lighthouse renovations, elevator consultant and Motorgate repairs - more efficiently and simply put, “get things done more quickly,” Rosenthal said.


At our June board of directors meeting, another group, Architecture and Engineering Group, P.C. (AEG); was awarded a contract to re-inspect the entire Motorgate facility, conduct a parking analysis and prepare documents for the plans to repair the garage. More details will be forthcoming.

WORKLISTS for the Tram Platforms, HELIX ramps and graffiti at the Prow

While major construction on both the Tram platforms and the Helix is complete, you may have noticed workers completing a series of additional tasks which include some additional asphalt and materials finishes.

The additional work – which includes concrete finishing work on the platforms and on the Helix’s upper ramp (the return ramp to Queens from Motorgate), repaving and repair of the Flat Plaza (where the RI flagpoles are located), undersides work, installation of guardrails on the lower ramp; and lane, asphalt and crosswalk striping at both ends of the ramp – also includes fixes to incomplete or incorrect installations or incidental damage to existing finishes, material, and structures; and must be completed by the contractor prior to final payment.

“We have been informed some of this work may cause travel delays on the Helix or at the Tram stations at Roosevelt Island and midtown Manhattan during the next couple weeks. As soon as we have more details, we will advise,” Rosenthal said.

Graffiti removal at The Prow, the metal dingy-like boat structure that juts out into the East River near Octagon Park has begun. RIOC crews are using Prosoco-brand paint remover which is environmental friendly and works well on metal.

After application, the product “cures” for up to an hour, before the surface is brushed and then power-washed with regular water. This step may have to be repeated several times to remove some of the Prow’s toughest graffiti spots.

Once the surface is free of graffiti, RIOC grounds crews will apply a wax-based product as a protective layer to make any new graffiti easier to remove with just a power washer as the layer of wax (and the new graffiti will “melt” away. A new layer of wax is then reapplied.

The work on the Prow and other graffiti-defaced areas around the Island is expected to continue through September.

Fourth of July Activities

RIOC is proud of have hosted more than 8,600 visitors to our Fourth of July Family Fireworks viewing event last week.

Many thanks to our partners at Cornell Tech and FDR Four Freedoms State Park, NYPD, FDNY, RIOC’s grounds, facilities, and other staff members especially our entire cadre of PSD officers, most of whom worked on foot, bike, car and from aerial viewing spots – vetting incoming car traffic at the Roosevelt Island bridge, handling crowd control from Lighthouse to Southpoint parks; and manning designated security posts from 7 a.m. – 11 p.m.

“I’d also like to extend a special shout-out to Erica Spencer-EL and Jessica Murray, the director and manager of our Community Affairs Department for leading the event coordination task group and their diligent contributions to what became a record-breaking, memorable day,” Rosenthal said.

“We’ve scheduled debriefing meetings this week with our teams to review the event’s logistics to see how we can improve for next year,” she said.


Be sure not to miss RIOC’s ongoing slate of outdoor movies in Southpoint Park this summer, next up include:
  • Friday, July 20: Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi; (rain date July 27)
  • Saturday, July 21: The Fifth Element; (rain date July 28)
  • Friday, August 3: Black Panther; (rain date August 10)
  • Friday, August 17: A Wrinkle in Time; (rain date August 24).

Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech Prof Seeking Participants For Chatbot Study Of People Interacting With Voice Agents Such as Amazon's Alexa - Are You Interested?

Cornell Tech Professor Wendy Ju is currently seeking participants for a Chatbot Study of people interacting with voice agents such as Amazon's Alexa.

The study will be conducted on the Cornell Tech Roosevelt Island Campus at the Tata Innovation Center

Participants will earn a $5 Amazon Gift Card.

If you are interested in participating in this study please email Researcher Hannah Lee to schedule an appointment.

Here's a conversation between Amazon's Alexa and Google's Eliza voice agents

and more

on voice agents.

Sponsored Post - Celebrate Manhattanhenge At Roosevelt Island FDR Four Freedoms Park Thursday July 12 - Live Music From Atomic Funk Project, Special Prizes, East Midtown Happy Hour & More, Bring Your Camera Too

You're invited to celebrate Manhattanhenge at the Roosevelt Island FDR Four Freedoms Park Thursday July 12.

According to FDR Four Freedoms Park:

Twice a year, the sun sets perfectly in line with the NYC street grid creating a unique event nicknamed “Manhattanhenge.” In celebration, FDR Four Freedoms Park will stay open late, offering a perfect location with which to observe this fun and beautiful phenomenon. The incredible Atomic Funk Project will flex their freedom of speech and expression muscles to perform a fantastic set of funk and soul classics, Wonder Photo Shop NYC will be onsite with an interactive photo installation, and many more surprises!

As part of the event, Archtober, NYC’s Architecture and Design Month, has invited @field_condition to judge the second annual #ArchtoberSelects photo competition. Share your Manhattanhenge photos with #ArchtoberSelects to win Archtober and NYC Ferry prizes and swag! Archtober will be accepting submissions until 3pm on Friday, July 13 and announcing the winners on Monday, July 16.

So, bring your camera, grab a friend, and capture the NYC skyline as you’ve never seen it before! When you're finished, join East Midtown Partnership for a belated happy hour in East Midtown just a subway or tram stop away! Participating restaurants/bars include:
  • Amali, 115 East 60th Street
  • American Cut, 109 East 56th Street
  • Bloom's Tavern, 208 East 58th Street
  • Copinette, 891 First Avenue
  • Crimson & Rye, 198 East 54th Street
  • The Fitz, at the Fitzpatrick Manhattan Hotel, 687 Lexington Avenue
  • The Jeffery Craft Beer & Bites, 311 East 60th Street
  • Kurant Wine Bar, 1091 Second Avenue
  • La Cava, 939 Second Avenue
  • Paname, 1068 Second Avenue
  • Perrine, at the Pierre Hotel, 2 East 61st Street
  • Pescatore, 955 Second Avenue
Special deals available from 8:00-10:00 pm.

Free; registration required. This event is RAIN or SHINE. The capacity for Manhattanhenge at Four Freedoms Park is 1,750.

There is limited walk-in space available. Walk-ins are not guaranteed; capacity is limited.

As a reminder:
  • To protect the memorial, there is no eating or drinking allowed in the Park with the exception of water. You may bring your own food to enjoy in our designated eating areas.
  • Unfortunately, no pets are allowed in the memorial. The full list of Park rules is available here.
  • No drones are permitted in the Park.
  • There is limited seating at the Park. Please feel free to bring your own lawn chair or blanket.

Register Here.

UPDATE 7/13:

Monday, July 9, 2018

You're Invited To An Evening Of Free Roosevelt Island Classical Music - R&R Concerts Summer Series Presents Performances Of Beethoven & Franck Tuesday July 10 At Good Shepherd Center

According to R&R Concerts

Join us for a great evening of classical music:

Elisabeth Perry, violin
Cenovia Cummins, violin
Richard Wolfe, viola
Matthias Neagele, cello
Iris Jortner, cello
Elaine Hou, piano

Duo for Viola and Cello in Eb Major

Piano Trio Op. 97 in Bb Major “Archduke”

Piano Quintet in F minor


No admission fee

R&R's 2018 Summer Series
Sunday June 24
Tuesday July 10
Saturday July 21
Monday August 20



and many more supporters

Roosevelt Island Free Health Seminar, Let's Talk About Cancer Prevention, Diagnosis & Treatment - Presented By RI Seniors Association, Weill Cornell Medicine & Cornell Tech At Tata Innovation Center Wednesday July 11

The Roosevelt Island Seniors Association (RISA), Weill Cornell Medicine and Cornell Tech are hosting a free health Seminar at the Tata Innovation Center on Wednesday July 11.

Weill Cornell Medicine, Cornell Tech and the Roosevelt Island Senior Association Present: Let's Talk About Cancer.

Presented by: Onyinye D. Balogun, M.D.,Assistant Professor of Clinical Radiation Oncology at Weill Cornell Medicine

What you need to know about cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

This event is free and open to the public.

Wed, July 11, 2018

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM EDT


Cornell Tech, Tata Innovation Center

11 East Loop Road

Roosevelt Island, New York 10044
Please register to attend the seminar here.

More info on Dr. Balogun available

at the Weill Cornell web site.