Friday, April 5, 2019

You Can Vote Now To Fund Restoration Of Roosevelt Island Lighthouse Public Access With NYC Council Member Ben Kallos Participatory Budget Grant - Deadline Sunday April 7, RI Residents 11 Years And Older Eligible To Vote

Roosevelt Island's NYC Council Member Ben Kallos is seeking your help in allocating $1 Million in 2019 Participatory Budget funding of Manhattan Council District 5 capital projects. According to Council Member Kallos:
Participatory budgeting (PB) is a democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. In other words, the people who pay taxes decide how tax dollars get spent. Participatory budgeting is grassroots democracy at its best. It helps make budget decisions clear and accessible. It gives real power to people who have never before been involved in the political process. And it results in better budget decisions - because who better knows the needs of our community than the people who live there?...

... For the time being, PBNYC only deals with CAPITAL money. That means community members can propose projects like improvements to schools, parks, libraries, public housing, and other public or community spaces...
Each year residents in my district ages 11 or at least in the 6th grade may vote on how to spend one million dollars in the community through Participatory Budgeting. You can see the ballot at, which was decided with the process is run by residents just like you who volunteer as Delegates. Learn more at
Among the project on Council District 5's Participatory Budget Ballot.

is the restoration of Public Access to the Roosevelt Island Lighthouse:
Item 5 R.I. Lighthouse Restoration for Public Access
900 Main St.($800,000)
Restore the Roosevelt Island lighthouse to allow for public access
You can vote online here for restoration of public access to the Roosevelt Island Lighthouse. But do it soon because voting ends Sunday, April 7. Vote now for public access to the Roosevelt Island Lighthouse.

Take a look at the gorgeous Roosevelt Island Lighthouse

and currently rare view seen from the Lighthouse Top.

During the March 7 Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors meeting, Project Manager Prince Shah discussed the Lighthouse Renovation Project.

So, if you are a Roosevelt Island resident or live in  Councili District 5, over the age of 11 (or at least in the 6th grade) and would like Participatory Budget funding for public access to the Roosevelt Island Lightouse please vote online here.

In 2016, Roosevelt Island's PS/IS 217 was awarded $500,000 in Participatory Budget funding for a green roof.

Also, a brief history of the Lighthouse from the Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS):
... This small lighthouse stands at the northern tip of Roosevelt Island on a projection of land which was at one time a tine separate island connect connected to the main one by a wooden bridge. Local legend maintains that during the 19th century a patient from the nearby Lunatic Asylum was permitted to build a stone fort on this outcropping since he feared an invasion by the British. When plans were formulated to build the lighthouse, this patient allegedly was persuaded to surrender the fort only AFTER much cajoling and a bribe of bogus money. The tale continues that the patient himself demolished the fort and built the new lighthouse, carving the inscription:

... This is the work Was done by John McCarthy
Who built the Light House from he bottom to the Top
All ye who do pass by may Pray for his soul when he dies....
Click here for more information on the Roosevelt Island Lighthouse from RIHS and here to vote for Participatory Budget funding to restore public access to the Lighthouse.

Roosevelt Island Transportation This Weekend - F Train Service To And From Manhattan This Weekend, E Train Service Too, Only One Tram Cabin Running But New Spring Ferry Schedule For Astoria RI Ferry Route

Good news. There is Roosevelt Island F Train subway service to and from Manhattan this weekend

and E Train service too.
SIGNAL MODERNIZATION Apr 5 - 8, 9:45 PM Fri to 5 AM Mon E Trains run via the F in both directions between 21 St Queensbridge, Queens and 2 Av, Manhattan, the last stop.
Bad news - still only 1 Roosevelt Island Tram Cabin working due to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Tram Overhaul project.

Here's the Schedule for Roosevelt Island ferry Astoria route service.

Roosevelt Island Essential Oils & Wellness Workshop Sunday April 7 - Please RSVP

Roosevelt Island resident Chiara Sharp is hosting an Essential Oils & Wellness workshop Sunday April 7.

According to Ms. Sharp


JOIN US for an event-filled Rally that is a global collective effort by Young Living Members around the world. We come together on the same weekend to host our own event and there will be learning from the A-Z on Essential Oils & other Wellness Products. Discover ‘why’ you need them, how to use them and most of all where to get them at the BEST prices!

This event has something for everyone! Whether you know nothing about essential oils or are a seasoned “Oiler”, you will love the content and experiences.

Come together and join in on the FUN with other passionate people to learn more about the wellness products, Community and opportunity available with Young Living. It’s FREE and RSVP is essential.

Address - 425 Main Street
Date - Sunday April 7th
Time - 1.39pm till 4pm (please arrive 15 mins before)

My name is Chiara Sharp and I’ll be your host. Whether or not we’ve met yet, it’s a great opportunity to connect and come together with others who are passionate about health and well-being, as well as how to create a more chemical free home for you and your family.

Space is limited so be quick to book your place. Look forward to seeing you!

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Keep Roosevelt Island Clean And Beautiful - Don't Be A Pooper-Trator, Pick Up After Your Dog, It's The Law And You Could Get A $250 Summons

Roosevelt Island resident Rossana Ceruzzi is a dog owner and Founder of the Wildlife Freedom Foundation (WFF). The WFF together with the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) and NYC Department of Sanitation has initiated a public service campaign reminding everyone to:

Keep Roosevelt Island Clean and Beautiful. Don't Be a "Pooper-trator. Pick up after Your Dog. It's The Law
Including a $250 Fine for violators.

According to Ms Ceruzzi:
Commonly called the “Pooper-Scooper Law” the regulation cites that all pet owners must remove or clean up all fecal waste deposited by their dogs on the public and private property. The “Pooper Scooper Law” does not apply to guide dogs or service dogs walking with people who have disabilities.

The Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department enforces the Pooper Scooper Law and accepts reports of places where dog walkers regularly fail to pick up after their dogs. These locations include streets, sidewalks, and other areas
Failure of dog owners/walkers to pick up their dog poop has been a long term problem on Roosevelt Island.

In 2016, reported on a resident's complaint of:
I found some dog owners carelessly behave too often in this Island, especially behind of Roosevelt Landings.

... Whatever it takes, this problem has to be corrected.

I pick up some unpleasant dog's waste by myself when it's dropped middle of path, because I am afraid to step on it after dark.
RIOC Public Safety Chief Jack McManus discussed the problem of dog poop and dogs off leashes

during this 2016 Roosevelt Island Residents Association Public Safety Committee meeting.

Free Monthly Organic Gardening Workshop Hosted By Roosevelt Island NY Public Library And Life Frames RI Living Library Starting Saturday April 6 - You're Invited To Learn How To Plan Your Garden And Select Your Seeds

The Roosevelt Island NY Public Library and the Roosevelt Island Living Library are hosting free monthly workshops on organic gardening starting this Saturday April 6. According to the Roosevelt Island Public Library:

Saturday, April 6, 2019, 12 noon

RI Living Library & Think Park and RI Public Library Present

FREE Monthly Workshops on Organic Gardening

Open To All Ages Including Parents & Children!

This workshop will include: How to Plan Your Garden and Select Your Seeds. We will learn how to amend soil, do as needed, pre-season pruning, create compost, and learn about companion plants including which flowers, vegetables, herbs, or native plants are best to use – and why. We will also discuss starting seeds indoors and fruit tree planting.

The program will begin at the Roosevelt Island Library for a presentation and discussion, followed by a quick walk over to the Roosevelt Island Living Library & Think Park Gardens for a hands-on workshop.

This program is presented as a partnership between the Roosevelt Island Living Library & Think Park and the New York Public Library.

Here's the workshop monthly schedule.

You're Invited To Motorgate Gallery Opening Reception For Roosevelt Island 2017 Fall For Arts Festival Murals Exhibit Friday Evening April 5 - Jazz & Light Refreshments Too

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) and Gallery RIVAA will host an opening reception for the new exhibit of Fall For Arts Festival Murals at the Motorgate Gallery Friday evening, April 5 from 6:30 to 8 PM

You’re invited!

According to RIOC:

Join us for the unveiling of the 2018 Fall for Arts Festival murals being added to Roosevelt Island’s Motorgate Gallery, located in the Motorgate Garage Atrium.

Includes, a reception in the Atrium with live music from Roosevelt Island band The Jazz Kats, light refreshments, and a tour of this unique art.

Artists will be on hand to give insight into how they interpreted last year’s theme-Exploring Your Freedom: Uniting a Nation.
RIOC President Susan Rosenthal reported on the Motorgate Gallery opening during the March 7 RIOC Board of Directors Meeting.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Roosevelt Island Main Street Retail Update - Kamin Health Urgent Care Medical Facility Closes Out Of Business Last Monday But Pup Culture Pet Store Opens On Same Day

The Kamin Health Roosevelt Island Urgent Care medical facility opened for business in December 2016 but went out of business this week on Monday, April1. A sign was attached to the store window announcing the closing and also indicating that The Roosevelt Doctors Jack Resnick and Kathy Grimm will continue to see patients at the 520 Main Street location.

I asked Dr Resnick today:
With Urgent Care leaving Roosevelt Island, do you have any comment on future plans for providing medical service to the Roosevelt Island community?

Do you think you will expand your practice to make up for Urgent Care's departure?
Dr Resnick replied:
Yes, I do and have begun work on it...
Stay tuned for more info from Dr Resnick.

Better news is that the new Roosevelt Island pet store - Pup Culture - opened for business on Monday.

Pup Culture has existing locations in Soho and Tribeca. According to Pup Culture:
Established in 2002, Pupculture is one of the original pioneers of New York City's Dog Day care. We pride ourselves on treating your pets with the same kindness and affection that they receive at home. Our pet pampering services include Daycare and Boarding, Grooming and Spa Treatments, Dog Walking, In-Home Pet Feeding, Pick-up and Drop-off. We also carry a selection of fine pet accessories, treats, and health products in our boutique.
Earlier today, this little dog was exercising in the Roosevelt Island Pup Culture playroom

that can be easily seen as you walk on Main Street.

A passerby noted that a bench should be placed on sidewalk facing the window so that the humans can watch the dogs playing.

More Roosevelt Island retail news at prior posts.

You're Invited To An Evening Of Russian Poetry With Gennady Rusakov Tonight At The Roosevelt Island Public Library - Check Out More Roosevelt Island NY Public Library Events In April For Adults And Kids

The Roosevelt Island NY Public Library (524 Main Street) invites you to an evening of Russian Poetry with Gennady Rusakov this evening starting at 6 PM. According to the Roosevelt Island NY Public Library:

Gennady Rusakov is a Russian poet, author of many books of poetry and the winner of the 2014 Russian "Poet" prize. He worked as an interpreter at the UN for many years, witnessing many historical moments. Rusakov will read his work and share stories from his time at the UN.

This reading is organized by the Pushkin Society in America.

More Roosevelt Island NY Public Library events listed here.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Sad News - Long Time Roosevelt Island Resident, RIHS Board Member & Goldwater Memorial Librarian Ursula Beau-Seigneur Passed Away March 27 - Condolences To Family, Friends Neighbors & Colleagues

Sad news from the Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS):

R E M E M B E R I N G   U R S U L A   B E A U - S E I G N E U R

L O N G - T I M E  R I H S   B O A R D   M E M B E R ,

G O L D W A T E R   M E M O R I A L  L I B R A R I A N ,

C O M M U N I T Y  M E M B E R

Our friend and neighbor Ursula Beau-Seigneur passed away March 27th, 2019. Ursula was active in the RIHS for many years. She was a writer and editor for our book, "Images of America-Roosevelt Island" in 2003, and the author of the text for our maps of the Island.

Quietly, Ursula was a perfectionist and great contributor to our efforts. She was our treasurer and an important influence to our programming. She would gladly serve at our table at community events and discuss the Society with visitors.

Ursula worked for over 25 years at Goldwater Memorial Hospital as the Librarian in the Patient's Library. She ran writing, poetry, Arts Below and many programs for the residents. Her knowledge of the patrons of the library was great and she went out of her way to accommodate their needs. As Goldwater closed, she transferred to the Coler Hospital campus at the north end of the Island. There, she reactivated a dormant library into a warm, welcoming place for reading, watching videos, and accessing the assistance devices. Having a great love for her work, Ursula retired many years after she needed to.

Ursula shared dinners and talks of her life, family, and many adventures with friends. Over the last few years, she enjoyed the art classes at the Carter Burden Senior Center and showed her talents in painting. The provided photo is Ursula with a painting she completed in the class.

Ursula is survived by her brother Dennis Kehoe and family in California, (to whom the RIHS will forward condolences). A memorial service will be scheduled after Easter.
Condolences to family, friends, neighbors and colleagues.

30 Year Veteran Of NYC Parks Department Jonna Carmona-Graf Hired As Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Assistant Vice President Of Capital Planning & Projects

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):

Please join us in welcoming Jonna Carmona-Graf.

Ms. Jonna Carmona-Graf is the new Assistant Vice President of Capital Planning and Projects for the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC). She is responsible for the direction and oversight of all engineering, architectural/design, construction, and maintenance activities on Roosevelt Island.

Ms. Carmona-Graf comes to RIOC after a 30-year career with New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. Throughout her tenure at Parks, Jonna gained a thorough understanding of park operations, public programs, capital budgeting, and the delivery of projects on time and within budget. As the Chief of Capital Program Management, she led staff in the successful completion of over 1,100 projects valued over $3B, helping to transform public spaces citywide. In this capacity, she developed implementation strategies for project delivery and execution of all pipeline work funded in the Agency’s four-year and 10-year Capital Plans. She has more than 10 years of experience leading multi-disciplinary teams in the planning, design and construction of over $500 million improvements annually and has ensured timeliness and quality of deliverables for hundreds of projects annually. Working with Agency managers, Jonna also developed standards to ensure projects were durable, maintainable, sustainable, aesthetically pleasing, and affordable. She is a seasoned collaborator who strives to incorporate all stakeholders in the planning and development of community projects.

Ms. Carmona-Graf received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Architecture from Barnard College of Columbia University. Outside of work, the Bronx native is a wife, mother of three, and proud grandmother of one. She loves spending time with her family and friends, enjoys cooking, traveling, and exploring the city's public spaces.
RIOC President Susan Rosenthal reported Ms Carmona-Graf's hiring during the March 7 RIOC Board of Directors meeting.

Welcome to Roosevelt Island Ms Carmona-Graf.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Goodbye Tired Old Roosevelt Island, Hello Rebranded Rosévelt Island Initiative As Party Destination For The Millennial Generation Today - You're Not Going To Believe This

It had to eventually happen. With the growing popularity of Roosevelt Island, changing demographics and more and more tourists visiting, today's April 1 announcement by Three Olives Rosé Vodka of the re-branding of Roosevelt Island to Rosévelt Island for the millennial generation was almost to be expected.

According to the Three Olives Rosé Vodka press release:
To celebrate the arrival of sunny weather and the world-wide obsession with rosé, Three Olives® Vodka announced it has rebranded Roosevelt Island, a 150-acre island in New York City’s East River, into Rosévelt Island. Open to the public starting today, Rosévelt Island is the new home of rosé and welcomes connoisseurs from around the globe with open hearts, an open bar and endless afternoons of fun.

After searching for ways to recover from the recent mega dot com real estate bust, New York City found a colorful solution by directing their attention to the highly anticipated rosé season, a true celebration of warm weather, bottomless brunches and rooftop pool parties. As the makers of the best-selling rosé vodka in the country1, it was a natural fit for Three Olives Rosé Vodka to come on board with the new initiative and brand the first-ever permanent destination for the popular pink drink.

City officials and Three Olives Vodka hosted a public ribbon-cutting ceremony at the pink-tinted Rosévelt Island tourist center to celebrate the occasion. “This is a monumental day for Rosé fans across the country,” said a Three Olives Vodka spokesperson. “Our fans love Three Olives Rosé Vodka because it combines their two favorite drinks into one, so we wanted to create a colorful destination dedicated to the spirit of summer.”

“Place of pilgrimage, floating bacchanal, the brave youthful heart of a cynical old city. Rosévelt Island is many different things to the people of New York, and our city needs this place like never before,” proclaimed April Gaddis, Roosevelt Island Tourism Chief. “It’s an ideal place to book your next social media content shoot or hang with friends in a pink-hued pool of flamingo floaties, while sipping on a refreshing Three Olives Rosé Vodka spritz.”

Millennials and rosé connoisseurs are invited to visit to learn more and plan a getaway, including the best places to get that perfect selfie. Bless your social media feed and watch the likes roll in with skyline photos taken on the newly pink Rosévelt Island Tramway, the pink-hued subway stop and island boardwalk.

You can access Rosévelt Island by land, sea or air. The F-Train is the easiest way to go, but the new ferry stop along the Astoria Ferry Route will also get you there. And the Rosévelt Island Tram is many people’s mode of choice, departing 59th Street and 2nd Avenue in Manhattan every 20 minutes until midnight.

Head to now to plan your visit.
Now if Roosevelt Island only had a bar where we could drink Three Olives Rosé Vodka.

Well, there is the Nisi Restaurant and Cornell Tech Cafe but we do need a real bar.

Roosevelt Island Dads Playing With Kids Kicked Off Closed Octagon Soccer Field Yesterday and Issued Trespassing Summonses By PSD - Sign RIRA Petition To Save Roosevelt Island Playing Fields For Residents - When Will Octagon Field Open?

Yesterday afternoon, 2 Roosevelt Island dads and their kids were playing soccer on the closed and fenced in Octagon Field.

Image From RIOC

They were playing until stopped by eight Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Safety Officers, removed from the field and the 2 dads were issued summonses for trespassing.

I asked RIOC President Susan Rosenthal and Public Safety Deputy Director Kevin Brown:
Any update on why the parents were given summonses for being on The Octagon field yesterday.

Why was a warning not given first and why were 8 PSD officers sent.
Deputy Director Brown replied today:
On Sunday, we had 8 people trespassing on Octagon field. Two adults and six youths were discovered playing soccer on the Octagon field. There was damage to the brackets which are keeping the Octagon field fence closed (PSD did not witness the damage). The two adults were issued summonses for trespassing and escorted off the field. An E- ticket was processed to fix the fence which was damaged. Signs are posted on the fencing that entering will be trespassing.
Roosevelt Island residents, parents, kids and adults have been frustrated for a very long time with the lack of available playing fields

Image From RIRA

caused by the permitting of fields to outside groups such as Zog Sports

Image From RIRA

as well as the long delayed renovation of currently closed Octagon Field.

The same day that the Roosevelt Island parents were being summonsed for Trespass at the Octagon Field, Firefighters Field was being used by what appeared to be an outside permitted group (though not confirmed they were permitted).

The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) has started:
with 1262 signatures so far to date.

According to the RIRA Petition:
RIOC is no longer leaving our playing fields open for the residents of Roosevelt Island. RIOC is now permitting ALL our fields against the interest of our community at the expense of Island children, adults and families.

Image From RIRA

RIOC never included Islanders in the planning and conversations about the Octagon field that includes a 10-foot fence encircling the field requiring the removal of 11 big, old, healthy, shade trees. RIOC's plan completely ignores and disregards Roosevelt Island Arbor Foundation’s designation as a “Tree City USA”.

Action Petitioned For:

OPEN PLAY, PERMIT-FREE hours after school and on the weekends at Octagon field and other playing fields. Keep Octagon field FENCE FREE. RIOC NOT CUT the trees. Reduce permitting to Off Island groups, limiting the hours to late evenings when our children don't use the field.
Click here to sign the RIRA Save Our Playing Fields Petition.

Roosevelt Island elected officials, NY State Senator Jose Serrano, NY State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright and NYC Council Member Ben Kallos have become involved with the playing field issue.

According to Ms Seawright's March 15 newsletter: