Friday, January 11, 2019

You're Invited To Roosevelt Island NYC Council Member Ben Kallos State Of The District Address Sunday January 13 - Kallos At RI Tram Today Petitioning For Public Advocate Candidate Jumaane Williams And Speaks To The To Code And Beyond Conference At Cornell Tech

Roosevelt Island's NYC Council Member Ben Kallos invites you to his annual State of the District address on Sunday January 13, 1 PM, at Memorial Sloan Kettering Auditorium (430 East 67th Street).

Click here to reserve a free reusable bag with your RSVP or call (212) 860 -1950.

Earlier today, Council Member Kallos was on Roosevelt Island petitioning for  NYC Public Advocate candidate Jummane Williams
and speaking to the To Code and Beyond Conference at Cornell Tech.

Legendary Ape King Kong Confronts Roosevelt Island Tram Riders - Yikes!!!

Some riders of the Roosevelt Island Tram find soaring high above the East River a bit scary particularly in high winds rocking and rolling the cabin.

But heights and wind are nothing compared to confronting

Screenshot From Dacs Dacs You Tube Video

the legendary Ape, King Kong.

According to Dacs Dacs:
Board the Roosevelt Island Aerial tram to escape the giant ape who is wreaking havoc in New York. Soon you´re about to smell the legendary banana breath...

This recreation was done with Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 and custom-made models (created with SketchUp and Blender). Kudos to the designers and cast members of the original attraction at Universal Studios Orlando.
More King Kong terrorizing Roosevelt Island Tram Riders.

Where's Spiderman when you need him to save Roosevelt Island Tram riders?

Roosevelt Island Transportation This Weekend - No Roosevelt Island F Train Service To Manhattan This Weekend And Every Weekend Thru End Of January

No Roosevelt Island F Train service  to Manhattan this weekend and every weekend thru end of January.

According to the MTA:
TRACK MAINTENANCE Weekends until Jan 28 From 11:45 PM Friday to 5 AM Monday Coney Island-bound F trains run via the E from Roosevelt Av in Queens to 5 Av/53 St in Manhattan

Trains resume regular service at 47-50 Sts.

No Coney Island-bound F service at 21 St-Queensbridge, Roosevelt Island, Lexington Av/63 St and 57 St.

Travel Alternatives:
For service to these stations, take the F to 47-50 Sts and transfer to a Jamaica-bound F.

For service from 21 St-Queensbridge and Roosevelt Island, take the F to Roosevelt Av and transfer to a Coney Island-bound F.
 Both Tram Cabins operating at full capacity.

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

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Roosevelt Island Resident And Author of Carnal Abuse By Deceit Joyce Short Appears On ABC News Nightline Segment On Rape By Fraud

Roosevelt Island resident and author of Carnal Abuse By Deceit Joyce Short

Image From ABC News Nightline

appeared on January 8 ABC News Nightline Segment about rape by fraud.
Ms Short adds:
Rape by fraud or impersonation could easily happen in any NY school, college or university - with the identical, despicable results as the Indiana case! NY's Penal Code has no definition for consent, and there is no law against sexual assault by fraud, deception or impersonation.

Back in July, I introduced Rep Sally Siegrist (IN) to Asm. Rebecca Seawright, our Assembly Member here on Roosevelt Island and the Upper Eastside.

As you can see, they're sharing a PDF of my soon to be released booklet, "Your consent - The Key to conquering Sexual Assault." Every Roosevelt Islander should watch my TEDx Talk, "like" it, and share it with everyone they know. And they should contact Asm. Seawright's office at 212-288-4607 to encourage her efforts to introduce a sexual assault by fraud law, and a law defining consent for NY State.
Here's the full Rape By Fraud Nightline segment

and Ms Short's TED talk - When Yes Means No, the Truth About Consent.

Visit Ms. Short's website, Consent Awareness for more info.

RIOC Seeking Your Ideas For New Roosevelt Island Public Library Outdoor Reading Space - Come Join Them At 504 Main Street On Saturday, January 12 To Share Your Thoughts

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RICO):

RIOC is seeking public comments and usage ideas for the Roosevelt Island Library's outdoor reading space. Join us at 10 a.m. this Saturday, Jan. 12 at 504 Main Street.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

RIOC Reports North Roosevelt Island Tram Cabin Currently Out Of Service - Red Shuttle Bus Making Trips To And From Manhattan

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):

Here's the Red Bus Shuttle crossing Queensboro Bridge to Roosevelt Island in September 2015

and approaching Quennsboro Bridge LIC entrance in 2017.

Will update when more info available on how long the Tram Cabin will be out of service.

UPDATE 1/10 - RIOC reports today that the North Tram Cabin was back in service yesterday afternoon at 4:47 PM. The cause was:
... a safety card and base had failed that pertains to the station cabin stabilization arm....
No advisory was sent out stating that the cabin was back in service until I asked this morning.

You're Invited To Roosevelt Island Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance Open House Saturday January 26 - Reserve Spot For A Free Ballet, Tap, Musical Theater, Capoeira, Hip Hop & Breakdancing Open House Class

Roosevelt Island Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance (MST&DA) Executive Director Kristi Towey reports:

 We will be hosting our free Open House on January 26th for the upcoming Spring semester. Classes are free but require a reservation.
According to MST&DA:
​Join us for a FREE class on January 26th at our Spring Open House.

New to MST&DA? Come meet teachers and staff to learn more about our programming and classes we offer for the whole family.

Currently a student? Try something new! We are so excited to have the whole family!

To reserve a spot in our Open House Demo Classes listed below, email with the class name, time, student name, date of birth, and contact for parent. Space is limited so reservations are necessary for entry to class. Limit two reservations per student.

Please note age requirements for the classes below.

9:30-10am Playmakers for ages 18 mos - 3yrs Renwick Room
10:30-11am Creative Pre-Ballet ages 3-4.5 Renwick Room
9:30-10:15am Ballet I & II ages 6+ Large Dance Studio
10:30-11am Mini Musical Theatre ages 6 & 7 Large Dance Studio
11-11:30am Pre-Ballet ages 4.5 yrs up to age 6 Renwick Room
10:30-11am Tap ages 4+ Renwick Room
11-11:30am Family Capoeira ages 2+ Large Dance Studio
11:30-12pm Open Level Capoeira - all ages 5+ Large Dance Studio
11:30-12pm Teen Hip Hop & Choreography Ages 13+ Renwick Room
12:00-1pm Introduction to Breakdancing Ages 10+ Large Dance Studio

You can also check our website schedule here -
More info on MST&DA available at its web site or send them an email.

Learn More About The Single Payer NY State Health Act At Carter Burden Roosevelt Island Senior Center Thursday January 10 - Mayor de Blasio Announces Public Option Health Plan For All New York City Residents

The Carter Burden Roosevelt Island Senior Center is hosting a presentation on the proposed NY State Health Act on Thursday, January 10.

Roosevelt Island Senior Center Open to the Public Presents New York Health Act Discussion

Learn about the latest health care legislation

Thursday, January 10, 2018 Time: 1:00 PM-2:00 PM 546 Main Street

Roosevelt Island, NY 10044


Henry Moss, PhD
Board Member
Physicians for a National Health Program

The New York State Health Act A. Gottfried 4738/S. Rivera 4840 was proposed as a universal, single-payer health care plan that will provide comprehensive health care coverage for
all New Yorkers.

The New York State Health Act is pending NYS Senate approval and therefore will need you to call your state senator.

All residents, regardless of immigration status, will be covered for primary, preventive, and specialty care; hospitalization; mental health; dental, vision, and hearing; and prescription drugs and
medical supplies.

The New York Health Act is the Cure for PIISD from Campaign for New York Health on Vimeo.

Yesterday, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a public option plan to guarantee health care for all New York City residents.

Transcript of Mayor de Blasio's press conference announcing the NYC Health Plan here.

Also, below is an October 2018 presentation, including tomorrow's speaker Henry Moss,  about the NY State Health Act.

On the other hand, the Albany Times Union reports:
A relatively new coalition aiming to raise awareness of the pitfalls for a single-payer, universal healthcare system for New York has acquired at least a dozen new organizations in the last few weeks.

Members of the Realities of Single Payer say they do not oppose universal health coverage, but take issue with Assemblyman Dick Gottfried’s proposal, which is one Senate vote shy of passage in the state Legislature....

Click here for more info from the Realities Of Single Payer group.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

NYPD 114th Precinct Recovers Loaded Gun And Other Contraband From Roosevelt Island

NYPD 114th precinct tweets this afternoon:

I asked the NYPD:
Can you provide more details regarding the recovery of loaded gun and contraband?
What were the circumstances involved in the recovery?
Were there any arrests,
Where was the gun found,
Was it used in any crime?
Any other info?
An NYPD spokesperson replied:
All of these questions that you have asked are still pending and under investigation....
Will update when more info received from NYPD or Roosevelt Island Operating Corp.

During the September 20 Roosevelt Island Emergency Preparedness Town Hall Meeting, NYPD 114 Precinct Officer Keith Matthes described working with the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department.

NYPD 114 Precinct Commander Deputy Inspector Osvaldo Nunes spoke to the Roosevelt Island community following the waterfront promenade gunshot incident this summer. Here's what he had to say.

UPDATE 6:30 PM - The NYPD Spokesperson adds:
In regards to the 2 search warrants executed early this morning, they were executed at 540 Main Street and 625 Main Street. Although still under investigation and pending ballistic analysis, we recovered a firearm that is believed to have been used in the shots fired over the East River, which struck a high rise building on the Upper East Side back in August. At least 10 rounds of ammunition, marijuana and narcotics paraphernalia were also recovered.

The search warrants are a result of new intelligence recently obtained.

We arrested Farris Karoma on new gun charges. His charges for the reckless endangerment/shots fired case is still open.

Hey Susan, RIOC President Susan Rosenthal Answers Questions From Roosevelt Island Residents On Octagon BBQ Area Fencing, Unsafe Seawall Netting, Basketball Clinic, Sprinkler Fountains, Youth Center Building Renovation, Google Maps, Lighthouse Foot Bridges & Pedestrian Access To 59th Street Bridge

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) has a recent new communication feature for residents, - Hey Susan - in which RIOC President Susan Rosenthal will answer questions you ask her.

Here's the fourth installment of Hey Susan.

HEY SUSAN! Please consider, fix and do something about (fill in the blank)
An occasional column of questions and answers to and from RIOC President and CEO Susan Rosenthal

A drawing of a face

Description generated with high confidenceHEY SUSAN! – I was wondering if the fences that were installed by the Octagon in April (and originally expected to be down by June) are now a permanent fixture?  One of the “curmudgeon bloggers” on the Island spoke with a worker at the end of October who said it would be gone in two weeks, yet here we are almost in December and the eyesore is still there. Additionally, is the fence preventing working from removing the large limbs that cracked during the early snowstorm and are now precariously hanging over picnic tables? Given how seriously RIOC has taken tree removal lately, this seems like it would be a priority.

SUSAN: You may have noticed, since last month, that the green tarps along the fence line of the project have been removed. As you may know the City’s Department of Environmental Protection built an access road along the path from Main Street to the Promenade. RIOC had no control of the timing and or pace toward completion of the construction. When we inquired and met with the DEP staff in December, we were informed the fencing will be removed once the sod has an opportunity to knit i.e. become firmly rooted along the road. The tarps’ removal was a compromise to provide better street lighting and visibility in the area. And rest assured, we’ll have any hanging or downed tree limbs removed before the fencing is removed and the area is open again to the public.

HEY SUSAN! When will the orange netting finally be replaced by the new metal railings along the river, between the subway and Island House? That stretch of the railings surely has more foot traffic, especially of children, than the stretch that has already been completed by Cornell, for example.
I cannot be the only parent who finds the planning and pace of the replacement of the railings unacceptably dangerous. In several places the orange netting is torn, leaving large gaps through which any young child could fall or hurt themselves. A more minor consideration is the toys, scooters etc. that could roll through those gaps and pollute the environment. 

With winter weather ahead, I am concerned that progress on finishing the replacement of the railings along that stretch appears to have stalled completely. I would be grateful for an update, not to mention some explanation behind the poor planning of removing existing railings many months before the replacement railings could be installed. 

Clearly the old railings would have been safer and more cost-effective and environmentally- friendly than plastic netting that rips. Many thanks in advance for your attention to these matters. 

SUSAN: I had my staff do a walk through and we found only one section of orange netting, near the Meditation Steps, that was ripped. We’ve asked the contractor to get that fixed today.

As you know, the long deteriorating Roosevelt Island seawall railings that run along the majority of the Island’s shoreline, about 3.5 miles in length, are being replaced with new anti-corrosive steel railings. The $8.7 million project is being completed by Elit Green Builders Corporation which so far has completed about half of the project. The work is on-going – removals and installations on the eastside and westside of the Island – depending on the weather (the concrete pours can only occur in dry weather at 40 degrees or higher) and when railings arrive from the foundry where they are being custom made. The work is expected to continue through the spring.

HEY SUSAN! Will there be a basketball clinic on Saturdays for kids over the winter?

SUSAN: Yes, we are finalizing the program schedule now. An announcement will be made shortly, and information can be found on our website at

HEY SUSAN! I’ve asked this question before and you haven’t responded. What about better sprinkler systems for the children in summer heat? In such a nice neighborhood, there should be better sprinkler system for the kids to use in the summer time. Will improvements be made to the one by the baby park? Or, will one be added to the park across from the school? 

SUSAN: The spray fountain at Blackwell Park was turned off temporarily for a couple weeks during the summer for water testing and turned back on in August. It will be turned back on in the Spring once we begin using the irrigation system again. We haven’t received any complaints about its quality. What would you like to see improved? Also, there is no plan to add a spray fountain at Capobianco Field across from PS/IS 217.

We have installed new padded ground surfaces at both Blackwell and Al Lewis parks this summer. There will be additional improvements at Blackwell – more play equipment, improved seating at the courts etc. coming this year as well as new swings installed at Octagon Park.  As you can see, we are continuing to upgrade our parks for the greater enjoyment of all our families and children. Please continue to share your ideas as we move forward.

HEY SUSAN! Is there a new ETA on when the Youth Center will be moved back to 506 Main Street?
The last date I was told was November 6. I was then told it was pushed to the first week of December.
Is there a new time frame now? Moving the program back to Main Street doesn’t seem to be a priority the way it once seemed to be.

SUSAN: First, our existing program, temporarily located on the second floor of Sportspark, is doing great. Our original plan for 506 Main was just to complete a facelift. Once we got into and fully examined the building we realized more was needed to properly renovate the venue: cosmetically, structurally, ADA and code compliance. While there is no rush, the job should be completed by the end of 2019.

HEY SUSAN! Google Maps doesn’t provide efficient transit directions for Roosevelt Island when F train service is disrupted. It seems like Google doesn’t recognize the Tram or any trains that run on the F line (for example, the R train stopped in both directions on the F line this weekend when the F did not). 
There are over 11,000 residents of Roosevelt Island, we should be able to know how to get home from Manhattan or Queens during the weekend. Are you working with Google and MTA to fix this issue?

SUSAN: The MTA posts notices about the transportation alternatives for weekend travel to and from Roosevelt Island at the subway station and via their website at We have no jurisdiction as to what they choose to do with Google. RIOC is now working with Google Transit to add Roosevelt Island Tram information of which we do have jurisdiction. Stay tuned for our announcement of its debut. Also have you tried using other transportation apps like Moovit? They seem to have accurate and useful up-to-date updates on all public transit outlets.

HEY SUSAN! Any projected completion date for the renovation of the two wooden footbridges near the lighthouse at the northern tip of the island? I haven't seen much progress. We love walking in Lighthouse Park. We sorely miss walking around the Lighthouse itself, which is inaccessible now and has been so for several months. What's up?

SUSAN: RIOC is working with Cameron Engineering for the renovation design drawing package of the two-foot bridges. These bridges have been fixed several times previously only to be washed out again by flooding. We hope to incorporate some long term structural and landscape solutions this time to prevent this from happening in the future. Currently, the project is in the design and permitting phase. The construction of the project is expected to finish by late spring of 2019.

HEY SUSAN! Has RIOC ever investigated the possibility of reinstating access for Roosevelt Island residents to the Queensboro bridge?  I recently came across some old news articles and found that RIRA made a presentation to Community Board 8 back in 2007 to try and convince them that – for multiple reasons, including safety, the growing Island population and strain on public transit and general connectivity – it was important to reinstate pedestrian access to the Queensboro bridge from Roosevelt Island. 

See  CB8 unanimously approved RIRA’s proposal for conducting a feasibility study to physically connect Roosevelt Island to the Queensboro Bridge pedestrian and bike path, but the trail seems to end there.  A few online articles reflect that DOT did not seem to take the request seriously.

I understand that the bridge is under the City’s control.  That said: Would RIOC support residents in a push to raise this issue again at Community Board 8 and/or with the Department of Transport? 

The importance and utility of creating this link has only grown since 2007.  The Island population continues to grow.  Two new Riverwalk buildings are planned right next to the bridge.  We now have Cornell Tech.  A hotel is being constructed, and an Executive Education Center.  Amazon will be building its new HQ2 directly south of the bridge in Long Island City.  The ferry and Tram are great, but a walking link to Manhattan and LIC would be transformative for the Island (and frankly, they seem like a good idea from a safety/evacuation plan point of view). 

There are so many people and entities on the Island (including RIOC) that would benefit from this increased connectivity.  What can we as Roosevelt Island residents do to push this issue?  If RIRA were to raise this again, could it count on RIOC’s support?  Would RIOC be willing to play a role in bringing together representatives from Hudson Related and Cornell Tech to urge them to support this proposal? 

SUSAN: Yes, having such an elevator or stair connection to the 59th Street Bridge does seem to be a good idea in theory, but several feasibility studies have shown we don’t have the land area on the Island to build it. We would suggest that you contact City Council Member Ben Kallos’ office directly to inquire more about other current plans being discussed.

SUSAN: Thanks to you all for submitting your questions to HEY SUSAN! We look forward to more in the coming months. Wishing everyone a happy and healthy 2019!

Have a question for HEY SUSAN!? Submit it to Ms. Rosenthal at

Monday, January 7, 2019

NYC First Roosevelt Island STEM Center Makers Lab At Cornell Tech Tata Innvovation Center - NYC High School Students Receive Tools And Assistance To Become Future Engineers & Scientists, Maybe Next Elon Musk In Training

On Sunday January 6, the NYC First STEM Center hosted a group of NYC High School students at its Roosevelt Island Makers Lab in the Cornell Tech Tata Innovation Center.

According to NYC First:
NYC FIRST STEM Centers bring hands-on, sustained STEM education and FIRST robotics programs to schools and communities that do not typically get access to the advanced equipment and expert teaching resources that they need and deserve.

We have two STEM Centers -- one at the new Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island, and the other in partnership with New York Public Library at the Washington Heights Branch. Both STEM Centers offer a range of credit-bearing and less formal courses, programs, and workshops that integrate a range of disciplines, including computer science, digital and non-digital fabrication, mechanical engineering, electronics and sensors.

Our STEM Centers are outfitted with a range of digital and non-digital fabrication equipment and tools, including 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC routers, miter saws, drill presses, metals saws, and a host of other tools....
The NYC First Roosevelt Island STEM Center opened a temporary space in January 2018 on Main Street before moving into it permanent home at the Cornell Tech Tata Innovation Center several months ago.
We are located at the beautiful Cornell Tech campus, located at 11 E. Loop Rd, New York, NY 10044, on Roosevelt Island.

This site is a resource to get involved with programs being held at the NYC FIRST STEM Center @ Cornell Tech.

You will be able to:

Sign up for time on our Laser Cutter (coming soon)

Sign up for open hours if you have a FIRST Tech Challenge Team

We will very shortly offer workshops for the community, so please check back soon....

... We are seeking Mentors to offer guidance to our students during open hours at the Roosevelt Island location. We are specifically looking volunteers who can offer 1-3 hours of their time each week and are regularly available one day a week (Tuesday - Friday) between 4pm and 7pm.

Responsibilities would include helping to monitor the space while offering your skills to help students with personal projects.
Roosevelt Island resident Peter Blumen

 is a NYC First Instructor/Mentor.

Yesterday, Mr Blumen described Sunday's workshop and the assistance provided by NYC First for students building robots for upcoming competition.

Mr. Blumen is beginning a project to build software that will help launch a NASA satellite into space. If you're interested in working on the project, send him an email

Also, University Heights High School English teacher Paul Woods described bringing the language of technology into the classroom. The First NYC Roosevelt Island Stem Center is a huge benefit to his students - a game changer, said Mr. Woods.

Meet these three very impressive students from Queens Metropolitan High School

who describe the tools and equipment they learned to use yesterday at First NYC Makers lab including 3D and laser printing for upcoming Rover Ruckus

space design Robotics competition.

Another highly impressive High School student at Roosevelt Island's First NYC STEM Center is senior Ronald Borda. Ronald wants to transition transportation from gas power vehicles to electric power. He describes building a motorized electric scooter that travels up to 25 mph and is currently working on a motorized electric bike.

Could be a future Elon Musk learning at the Roosevelt Island NYC First STEM Center.

Sponsored Post - You're Invited To Roosevelt Island & UES NYC Council Member Ben Kallos State Of The District Address Sunday January 13

Roosevelt Island's NYC Council Member Ben Kallos invites you to his annual State of the District address on Sunday January 13, 1 PM, at Memorial Sloan Kettering Auditorium (430 East 67th Street)

Click here to reserve a free reusable bag with your RSVP or call (212) 860 -1950.

Also, check out the January 2019 newsletter from Council Member Kallos which includes fighting for a fire engine for Roosevelt Island:
You Are Invited! State of the District 2019

  1. $92 Million for East Side School Seats  
  2. Cleaning Up the Neighborhood with Wildcat Services
  3. Millions in Security Upgrades for Religious Institutions   
  1. New Campaign Finance Laws to Apply to Public Advocate Special Election
  2. Ethics Reform to be Adopted by State Legislature
  3. Public Information to Hold Government Accountable
  4. Serve in City Government
  5. Apply to Join Community Board
  6. Read this Newsletter, It Could Save Your Life!
  1. Fighting for a Fire Engine for Roosevelt Island
  2. No Mother Should Have Her Child Ripped From Her Arms
  1. Hanukkah, Tree Lightings, Caroling and a Nutcracker
  2. Thanks for Coming to the Holiday Party
  3. Homeless Day of Remembrance
  4. Tree-cycling in NYC
  1. 5-Year Wedding Anniversary
  2. East River Fifties Alliance Court Battle Continues
  3. Pushing for Second Avenue Subway Phase 2
  4. NYC Foam Ban In Effect
  5. Church of the Epiphany Rector Elected Bishop of Arizona
  6. StreetsGiving Ride with Transportation Alternatives
  7. Call for Art Figment! NYC 2019
  1. Adult Education Program By Make The Road NY
  2. SNAP Clinics 2019 Lenox Hill Neighborhood House
  3. Cayuga Centers
  1. Legislative Corner
  2. Free Legal Clinics    
  3. Here to Help
  4. Mobile District Hours
  5. Ben in Your Building
  6. Community Boards
  7. NYPD Events
  8. Neighborhood and Tenant Associations
  9. Events for Adults
  10. Events for Kids
More info on NYC Council Member Kallos available at his web site.