Friday, November 9, 2018

You're Invited To Join RIOC For Walk And Talk About $14 Million Roosevelt Island Bike Ramp And Lane Project Saturday Morning November 10

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):

Join Us For Saturday’s Walk and Talk about the RI Bike Ramp and Lane Project

You're Invited to Join Us for a Walk and Talk about the RI Bike Ramp and Lane Project this Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Motorgate Atrium, 688 Main Street, on Roosevelt Island.

In June 2018, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) procured Dewberry Engineers and their team including Matthews Nielson Landscape Architects to design the Roosevelt Island Bike Ramp and East Side Bike Lane project.

The goal is to construct a bike ramp that conveniently connects bicyclists from the top of the Roosevelt Island Bridge down to the East Promenade and then provides a safe path for bicyclists along the eastern waterfront of Roosevelt Island away from Main Street vehicular traffic.

The total budget for this project is approximately $14 million with a project schedule of four years.

Throughout the design phase of the project, several public meetings will be held with the first one this Saturday. We look forward to you joining us!

As reported in October 2015, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC), with the assistance of Cornell Tech representatives were exploring the possibility of increasing safety on the Roosevelt Island Bridge Helix:
... the Cornell Tech/AKRF study concluded that fixing the Motorgate Escalator for use by bicycle riders was not an option but there is a possibility of installing a bike/pedestrian only ramp from the Motorgate Helix to the street level at the East Promenade....

In April 2017, NY State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced funding of $2.9 for the construction of Roosevelt Island Bridge Bike Ramp and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney added:
The Roosevelt Island community has long been waiting for a bike-only ramp to allow cyclists an easy and safe connection to the Roosevelt Island Bridge. Thanks to Governor Cuomo, nearly $3 million in federal dollars are being allocated to this ramp so the connection can become a reality. Cyclists will no longer have to carry their bikes up flights of stairs, or risk their safety by sharing the helix ramp with cars. It’s great that the state, federal government and community are working together to make Roosevelt Island a safer, more accessible place.
Roosevelt Island Frank Farance show us bikers riding down the current Roosevelt Island Bridge Helix Ramp.

Below is a 2017 RIOC rendering of proposed Bridge Ramp

and East Promenade.

No word yet on how the balance of $14 million project will be funded.

UPDATE 11/28 -Here's what happened at the Walk & Talk.

Roosevelt Island Weekend Transportation - Good News, After 6 Consecutive Weekends, Roosevelt Island F Train Service To And From Manhattan This Weekend, Both Tram Cabins At Full Capacity And NYC Ferry New Winter RI Service Schedule

The last 6 consecutive weekends have had no Roosevelt Island subway service in one direction to or from Manhattan.

But good news for this weekend.

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

to and from Manhattan this weekend.


... STATION ENHANCEMENTS | Until December 2018 57 St F Station is closed...
Both Tram Cabins operating at full capacity.

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

Sponsored Post - Check Out Roosevelt Island Gristedes November 16 To November 22 Product Offerings, Specials & Sales Items - Complete Thanksgiving Dinner Too

The Roosevelt Island Gristedes Supermarket

invites you to check out their November 16 - November 22 Product Offerings, Specials & Sales items.
And Grab & Go Prepared Items too.

Also, complete Thanksgiving Dinner.

 Don't forget the 10% Roosevelt Island Seniors Discount on Tuesday 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, November 8, 2018

Reindeer And Sled Spotted At Good Shepherd Plaza, Is Santa Far Behind? Roosevelt Island Winter Wonderland Holiday Lights Display Being Installed

Are you getting sick of overcrowded Roosevelt Island Tram Cabins and F Trains and looking for a transportation alternative from Roosevelt Island?

Check out the Reindeer driven Sled waiting for you

at Good Shepherd Plaza

to take you to your destination.

Well not really. The Reindeer and Sled are new additions to the second annual Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Winter Wonderland Of Holiday Lights


which are currently.being installed.

The Roosevelt Island Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony is scheduled for Friday, November 30.

Open Doors Program At Coler Hospital Seeks Roosevelt Island Poetry Submissions For Anthology Of Realness, Resilience And Healing - Deadline November 15 For Submission

The Open Doors program at Roosevelt Island's Coler Hospital:

... supports the creativity and leadership of people who have been harmed by street violence and live in a long-term care facility. Through storytelling, poetry, hip-hop and more, OPEN DOORS members inspire action for safer, more just communities...
Open Doors is seeking submissions from creative Roosevelt Island writers who wish to participate in an upcoming Poetry anthology. According to Open Doors:

Please email your poems to


OPEN DOORS supports the creativity and leadership of people who have been harmed by street violence and live in a long-term care facility. Through storytelling, poetry, hip-hop and more,

OPEN DOORS members inspire action for safer, more just communities.

Here's a sample of work from Open Doors Reality Poet Micah Harris:
and video

from works of Open Doors poets.

Please email your poems to

Here's A Shocker, New Study By National Center For Health Statistics Says Roosevelt Island Residents Life Expectancy Is 59 Years Of Age, But Only For Northern Half Of Roosevelt Island - Or Something Wrong With The Data

Marketplace reports:
The life expectancy for people living in Chinatown, New York: 93.6 years.

Roosevelt Island, New York, which lies about 10 miles away: 59 years.

Two people living in different parts of the same city could have very different life expectancy rates, according to data from the U.S. Small-area Life Expectancy Estimates Project. USLEEP released a comprehensive data set, the first-of-its-kind, tracking these rates at the neighborhood level....

According to the National Center For Heath Statistics (NCHS):
The U.S. Small-area Life Expectancy Estimates Project (USALEEP) is a partnership of NCHS, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), and the National Association for Public Health Statistics and Information Systems (NAPHSIS) to produce a new measure of health for where you live. The USALEEP project produced estimates of life expectancy at birth—the average number of years a person can expect to live—for most of the census tracts in the United States for the period 2010-2015...
A review of the census track information reveals a huge divide between the Roosevelt Island Life expectancy of residents who live in northern section of Roosevelt Island (Manhattan Park, Octagon) and residents who live in the southern and middle portions of Roosevelt Island (Riverwalk and WIRE Building.

Census Track 36061023802 for Manhattan Park and Octagon Buildings reports a Roosevelt Island life expectancy average of 59 years

But Census Track 36061023801 for Riverwalk Building and WIRE Buildings reports a life expectancy average of 81 years.

Coler Hospital at 900 Main Street on the north side of Roosevelt Island should be in the same Census Track as Manhattan Park and Octagon but is listed in this report with Riverwalk and WIRE Buildings (36061023801) with average Life Expectancy of 81 years.

So, either Riverwalk, WIRE Buildings and Coler Hospital patients are much healthier with a longer life expectancy than neighbors a few blocks away in Manhattan Park and the Octagon, or there is something wrong with the data.

New Roosevelt Island Competitive Youth Basketball Program Being Formed For 13-17 Year Olds By Long Time Resident, Importance Of Basketball Fundamentals And Education Stressed - Tri State Travel To Play Other AAU Teams

Roosevelt Island is getting a new competitive basketball program for youth 13- 17 years of age. The basketball program, Greatest Of All Time (GOAT), is being organized by long time Roosevelt Island resident John McNeil. According to Mr. McNeil:

I’ve been living on Roosevelt island for twenty-five years.

Roosevelt island never had an Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball team, until now. What’s special about an AAU Tournament is that college scouts are present at these tournaments. They give athletic scholarships to players, who they’re interested in recruiting.

Our practices are every Saturday from 1-4pm at PS/IS 217 on Roosevelt island.

Basketball players I’m am seeking are ages from 13-17 years old. We do have tryouts, which means there will be cuts. The players will play other AAU teams around the Tri-State area.

It’s heavily competitive and the exposure is like no other. We train our players with the fundamentals of basketball and stress the importance of education – giving the youth in our community a better chance to achieve their goals.

Goat Basketball is a non-profit organization and it has a 501C3, which is the same tax exemption a church will pursue.

Our website is Goat Basketball
For more info about players or volunteer coaches, please contact John McNeil of GOAT.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Roosevelt Island Celebration Honoring Veterans Saturday November 10 - Community Invited To Attend

Veterans Day is Sunday, November 11.

On Saturday, November 10, Roosevelt Island will host its own Veterans Celebration. According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation is producing its first-ever Veterans Celebration this Saturday, November 10 at noon at 544 Main Street on Roosevelt Island in New York City.

Are you a veteran, family member or spouse? Is there a family friend of whom you know is a veteran? Please invite them and or send us their name to be included in our acknowledgments.

Speakers include Joel Evans, deputy commissioner of the NYS Division of Veterans Affairs; Lyn Johnson, USMC Veteran, MSW and Veterans Administration Outreach Specialist; Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) Board member and veteran David Kraut; and performances from the NYPD Honor Guard, the Main Street Theater and Dance Alliance and the Roosevelt Island Girl Scouts.

This free event is open to the public; refreshments – catered by Roosevelt Island’s Nisi restaurant – will be served following the program.

Send your names to RIOC’s Alonza Robertson, and if you have questions or need additional information; or call 212.832.4540.

Roosevelt Island Residents Association Common Council 2018 Election Results - RIRA Meeting Tonight At Good Shepherd, Out With The Old, In With The New Common Council

The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council will hold it's monthly meeting this evening, November 7 at 8:00 PM in the Good Shepherd Community Center (543 Main Street).

As always, prior to the start of each monthly meeting there is a Public Session in which residents can come and address the Common Council Delegates on any issue of concern.

Below is the Agenda for tonight.

Tonight will be the final meeting of the 2016-2018 RIRA Common Council.

It will also be the first meeting of the new 2018-2020 RIRA Common Council following the election last night.

Here are the results of the election.

1237. Lynne Shinozaki

Vice President

823. David Lawson
(469. Frank Farance)

Building Representatives by District:

You're Invited To Roosevelt Island Historical Society Free Fall Lecture Series - Hidden History Of Queens Thursday November 8 At Roosevelt Island NY Public Library

The Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS) is hosting a free lecture tomorrow, November 8, at the Roosevelt Island NY Public Library (524 Main Street) - The Hidden History Of Queens. According to the RIHS:

Beaches. Parks. Battlegrounds. Cemeteries. It’s all in Queens. Take an eclectic tour of the history, geography and citizenry of our neighbor borough and explore the mini-world that awaits you there. Richard Panchyk will share facts and insights from his book, Hidden History of Queens, at a lecture presented by the Roosevelt Island Historical Society at the New York Public Library Branch on Roosevelt Island, on Thursday, November 8, 2018 at 6:30 p.m.

The event is FREE and open to the public. It is the first in the Society’s annual series of fall lectures, which is supported by funds provided by Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation’s Public Purpose Fund and New York City Council Member Ben Kallos, with funding from the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development.

DIRECTIONS: Take the Tram at 59th Street and Second Avenue or the F train to Roosevelt Island. Take the red bus (no charge) or walk eight minutes north to 524 Main Street.

The Roosevelt Island Historical Society promotes awareness of the Island’s unique story and pursues preservation of its landmarks and artifacts. For more information, please visit

Watch Video Of Roosevelt Island Community Conversation With Cornell Tech Prof Serge Belongie, Computer Vision, Machine Learning & Augmented Reality - Identifying Birds And Self Driving Cars Too

Cornell Tech has initiated a series of Roosevelt Island Community Conversations between residents and Cornell Tech Faculty. The first conversation took place September 25 with Professor Serge Belongie.

Professor Belongie spoke about Computer Vision, Machine Learning and Augmented Reality.

Here's the September 25 Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech Community Conversation with Professor Serge Belongie. (Click full screen icon at bottom right of videos for better view)

Part 1 - Cornell Tech Assistant Director of Government and Community Affairs Jane Swanson introduces Professor Belongie.

Part 2 & 3 - Professor Belongie explains what brought him to Cornell Tech and Roosevelt Island and describes his Computer Vision research using as an example identifying birds

with Visipedia tool.

Part 4 - Augmented Reality.

Part 5 & 6 - Question and answers from residents including deep learning methods identifying music, video, disease as well as future of self driving vehicles (Professor Belongie is very skeptical of self driving cars and would not want to get in one).

On October 17, the second Cornell Tech Faculty Roosevelt Island Community Conversation took place with Professor Nicola  Dell. Will post video of Professor's Dell's presentation soon.

The final two Cornell Tech Faculty Roosevelt Island Community Conversations are:
  • Nov. 29th: Prof. Mor Naaman
  • Dec. 11th: Prof. James Grimmelmann
The Cornell Tech Community Conversations are very interesting. Try to attend.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Delayed Closing On Roosevelt Island Hudson Related Riverwalk Building 8 Affordable Housing Development Deal Among Agenda Items For RIOC Real Estate Committee November 7 Meeting

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Real Estate Development Advisory Committee is meeting Wednesday, November 7. According to RIOC:

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a meeting of the Real Estate Development Advisory Committee of the RIOC Board of Directors will be held on Wednesday, November 7, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. at the RIOC Administrative Office, 591 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York.
  • 1. Closing on Southtown Building 8
  • 2. Wayfinding Signage
  • 3. Damage to Cherry Blossom Trees from Cornell Construction
  • 4. Any Other Committee Business that May be Brought Before the Committee
Hudson Related is the developer of Southtown a/k/a Riverwalk building 8

 and 9.

According to RIOC, Buildings 8 & 9 will have:
High Level of Affordability - H/R proposes building the two final buildings of the Southtown
Development in a package that delivers:
  • a greater level of affordability for middle income and low income residents than provided by any of the previous Southtown buildings;
  • affordability sustained over a period of 30 years, and in some cases, longer; and
  • approximately 641 units at a mix of 53% market rate and 47% affordable housing – more than the 40% affordable required in the Southtown Development Agreement.

According to the minutes of the RIOC September 7, 2017 Board Meeting discussion of proposed deal (Page 5-6):
... General Counsel Flug noted that the developer agreed to give priority to Roosevelt Island residents in applying for affordable units in the new building if such priority is deemed to be in accordance with the law...
During the September 7 RIOC Board meeting, several RIOC Directors opposed the deal because they said they did not have sufficient time to review the terms of the agreement. But RIOC's CFO at the time, Kimberly Quinones said, according to the minutes (Page 5):
... in accordance with the provisions of the Public Authorities Accountability Act (PAAA), RIOC is required to take certain proposed measures at least ninety days before the closing, which must occur in late December to qualify for the New York City affordability program in question. As such the vote could not be postponed by more than a week or so. Mr. David Kramer, Principal at Hudson Companies, further elaborated on the timeline....
The agreement was approved but the closing did not occur in December 2017 as scheduled and still has not.

Hopefully, we'll learn more tomorrow.

Roosevelt Island Jobs Currently Available With RIOC - Youth Program Assistant, Groundskeeper, Engineering Manager & Procurement Director

Are you looking for a job, how about a job right here on Roosevelt Island?

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) has several current jobs available.

For example, a full time Youth Program Assistant position is available. According to RIOC:
What we’re looking for:

Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) seeks a Youth Program Assistant with strong customer service to oversee and ensure a safe, fun, and positive environment  for our Youth Center's Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer teen and youth programs.

What you’ll do:
  • Plan seasonal sports curriculum, coordinate and promote the RI Youth Sports Programs
  • Work hands-on in programming these activities
  • Provide quality customer service to members, volunteers and participants
  • Obtain, organize and manage volunteer staff to assist with the operations of the programs
  • Assist with youth development programs
  • Successfully obtain and file registration forms and waivers from participants
  • Suggest and place order requests for equipment pertinent to the program within the operational budget
  • Perform administrative duties which support the Youth Center Program.
  • Assist with the research and implementation and delivery of sport specific training volunteer coaches.
  • Other duties as assigned....
... This is a full-time administrative position with an annual salary of $45,000.00
Click here for more info and to apply. 

A Part Time Youth Program Assistant position is available too.

Also available is a RIOC Groundskeeping job:
What we’re looking for:

Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) seeks a qualified individual with a great personality and a passion to assist with the preservation and maintenance of the island. The island consists of several parks, open spaces, natural sports fields and playgrounds. Under direction of the Grounds Manager, the groundskeeper will play a critical role in the overall maintenance of the island....
Engineering Manager:
Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) seeks a highly organized Engineering Manager with strong time management, customer service and community relations skills who under the Director of Asset Management, leads and manages resources in support of facility infrastructure in a safe, functional, and efficient manner in conjunction with standards and procedures set forth by RIOC.

The Engineering Manager has responsibility for more than one facility and manages the related maintenance staff. Adheres to the policies and procedures set forth by RIOC and has overall responsibility for ensuring the day-to-day operational efficiency and maintenance of all building systems (HVAC, electrical, plumbing, fire/life safety systems, water treatment, pumps, etc.) for all facilities. Will supervise and lead a team of handymen and other skilled trades and coordinate their efforts in the operational support of the facilities....
and Director of Procurement:
Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) seeks a highly motivated, detail oriented, self-starter to serve as Director of Procurement. The Director will oversee all aspects of the procurement process for construction projects, goods and services at RIOC. This includes interpreting and applying RIOC and New York State procurement policies, contracting policies and reporting requirements; ensuring compliance with policies throughout each phase of the procurement process; overseeing, drafting and processing all service and construction RFPs and RFIs; and direct interaction with RIOC departments on a daily basis. This is a full-time administrative position.

The Director of Procurement will supervise a staff consisting of two (2) Procurement Specialists, and a Grant Analyst, responsible for the procurement, purchase orders and payment processes. The Director will be an integral member of RIOC’s operations department, reporting to the Chief Operating Officer....
Check here for more Roosevelt Island RIOC jobs.

Good luck!!!

Monday, November 5, 2018

Election Day Is Tuesday November 6 - Where Do You Vote On Roosevelt Island And What's On The Ballot?

Tuesday November 6 is election day for Federal, NY State and NYC City candidates as well as NY City Charter revision proposals. The Polling Station for Roosevelt Island voters is at PS/IS 217 (645 Main Street)

except for those who live at the Octagon Building who vote at Coler Hospital (900 Main Street)

According to the NYC Board of Elections:
You can vote ONLY at your designated polling place. Make sure you are at the correct polling site and Election District (E.D.) for your address.
Roosevelt Island Election Districts are as follows:
82 ED 11 East Loop Road 405, 415, 425,455, 465, 475,480 MAIN STREET

83 ED - 510, 516, 531 MAIN STREET

84 ED - 536, 540, 546,551, 555, 575 MAIN STREET

85 ED - 556, 560, 576, 580, 595, 625 MAIN STREET

86 ED - 2, 4, 10, 20, 30, 40 RIVER ROAD

87 ED - 888 Main Street
Here's who and what is on the ballot for Roosevelt Island voters and an explanation of the NYC Charter Revision proposals.

During the 2016 election, there were problems with the

Roosevelt Island vote scanning machines.

Let's hope that does not happen again tomorrow.

Tomorrow is a very important election. Come out to vote and encourage everyone you know to vote as well.

Don't forget the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council elections on Tuesday - open to all residents 18 and over, even if not a U.S. citizen.


NY 1 has more on NY elections.

UPDATE 11/6:

UPDATE 11/7 - According to Judy Berdy, who lead the Roosevelt Island polling location workers:
2331 Total scanned ballots

Thanks for our wonderful poll worker team!!!

Thanks for our great neighbors who came out to vote. We are proud of how well we all work to make our elections easy and smooth running!!!

RIRA election results here

Sponsored Post - On Tuesday November 6 Re-Elect Rebecca Seawright Assemblymember 76 District For Roosevelt Island, Upper East Side And Yorkville

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

It is my honor and pleasure to represent the 133,488 people in my district for the past 4 years. If re-elected, I will continue to fight for the Upper East Side, Yorkville and Roosevelt Island in Albany. I am asking for your vote this Tuesday, November 6. Polls are open from 6:00 am until 9:00 pm. You can find information on your poll site and the contents of your ballot at

I am deeply committed to effectively advocating for and assisting our constituents to gain access to the help they need to address their issues and concerns, and to fight on for the progressive ideals that we, as Democrats, and New Yorkers, hold dear to our hearts.

I have been a lifelong advocate for women’s rights, quality public schools, support for seniors, environmental protection, affordable housing and health care, social justice, criminal justice and election reform, and transparency in government. I am the lead sponsor of 27 bills that have passed and co-sponsor of over ten dozen more in coalition with progressive colleagues.

Just this past legislative session, the Assembly passed my Equal Rights Amendment bill, giving women protections in the New York State Constitution from discrimination on the basis of their sex. I led the passage of the Women’s Website Bill, which creates a public database showing female representation in policy-making positions. I sponsored and obtained passage of the bill requiring insurance companies to cover 3-D mammogram costs needed to detect breast cancer in women and men. It is now the law of New York State and a model for states across our nation.

I developed and helped pass legislation requiring the state to implement air quality tests and health studies to protect our community from the negative impact of a waste transfer station at East 91st Street. We fought for increased funding to help prevent asthma throughout Manhattan. And I fought for and obtained passage of health insurance coverage for certain small business employees.

Over the past three and one-half years, I have secured over $7.5 million in funding for infrastructure and critical programs at our libraries, public schools, parks and important non-profits in our district.

At our district office, I have hosted numerous community events, including over fifty forums and clinics on issues from tenants rights, consumer protection to public safety and transportation concerns to raise awareness around issues that are important to constituents in the district. Our events included regular shred-a-thons, workshops for senior citizens, and educational panels and seminars. My office remains deeply engaged in the community. We work closely with the elected officials, Community Board 8 and other organizations that represent and serve our neighborhoods.

There is a lot more to accomplish ahead of us. As we face the threat of a hostile federal government, I am committed to fighting for the passage of strict gun control legislation, ethics reform, greater protection of a woman's right to choose and transgender rights, and needed criminal justice reform, among key priorities. I hope I can count on your vote, so you can count on me to be your voice in our community and in Albany. Thank you!



Sunday, November 4, 2018

Floating East River Electronic Billboard Says NYC Marathoners Run Better Than The Government

East River electronic billboard message seen floating past Roosevelt Island today during the NYC Marathon says:

You Run Better Than The Government

Here's the billboard a little further south on the East River near Williamsburg Bridge.

Vote Tuesday, November 6 For Roosevelt Island Residents Association Common Council - Watch Video Of RIRA President & Vice President Candidates And Statements From Building Representatives Too

The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council is holding its 2018 election for President, Vice President and Building representatives on Tuesday, November 6.

All Roosevelt Island residents 18 years of age and older, regardless of citizenship can vote. Absentee ballots can be picked up at Public Safety Department (550 Main Street).

RIRA is recognized by local public officials and the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) as the elected representatives of Roosevelt Island residents. Though RIRA has no formal decision making power on Roosevelt Island, they do sometimes have persuasive influence on specific issues with those that do have the power.

RIRA hosted a Meet The Candidates Forum on November 1. Many new faces volunteered to represent their respective building residents. All expressed the desire to help make Roosevelt Island a better place to live for their neighbors.

Lynn Strong-Shinozaki is running unopposed as RIRA President. Ms Strong-Shinozaki spoke to the November 1 Meet the Candidates Forum.

Frank Farance and David Lawson are running for RIRA Vice President.

Mr Farance

and Mr. Lawson

also spoke to the November 1 Meet the RIRA Candidates Forum and answered questions.

Below are statements submitted by RIRA Building Candidates.