Friday, September 6, 2019

RIOC President Reports To Roosevelt Island Community - Citibike Coming Next Spring, Seawall Improvements To Access Soutpoint Park Waterfront, Capital Projects Tracker, Upcoming Hudson Related Retail Presentation, Soccer Field Opening Soon & More

As reported August 30:

Last Thursday, August 22, RIOC staff together with representatives from NYC Council Member Ben Kallos' staff, met with Citibike to discuss bringing the bike sharing system to Roosevelt Island. During a conversation I had with Ms Rosenthal, she said of the Citibike meeting:
We met with Citi Bike today. They’re doing an analysis and will come back to us in a month or so with possibilities we can present to the public.

During yesterday's September 5 Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors Meeting, RIOC President Susan Rosenthal announced during her President's report that Citibike docks should be available on Roosevelt Island by this spring. Mr. Rosenthal added that discussions are currently underway regarding number and placement of the docks and no decision have been made yet.

Ms Rosenthal's President Report also included:
Here's the full RIOC President's Report from Ms Rosenthal.

A full video web cast of the September 5 RIOC Board meeting should be available on RIOC web site.

Roosevelt Island Weekend Transportation - 4th Weekend In A Row Of No Roosevelt Island F Train Service To Manhattan - Watch Video Of MTA Rep Talking Roosevelt Island Subway Service

There is no Roosevelt Island F Train service to Manhattan again this weekend.

for the 4th weekend in a row.

According to the MTA:
TRACK MAINTENANCE Sep 6 - 9, Fri 9:45 PM to Mon 5 AM Coney Island-bound F trains run via the E from Roosevelt Av, Queens to 5 Av/53 St, 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 Roosevelt Island Tram cabins are operating and here's the NYC Ferry 2019 Ferry Summer Schedule. 

During June 13 Roosevelt Island Town Hall Meeting organized by Council Member Ben Kallos, MTA representative Markus Book spoke about Roosevelt Island F Train subway service. Watch the full MTA Roosevelt Island presentation below. 

And the Roosevelt Island subway station escalator from the street to the mezzanine is still out of service since last April. After many delays, the MTA now says it will be fixed by September 30.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Roosevelt Island Residents Association Kicks Out Press And Public At Monthly Meeting Last Night To Discuss Discovery Of RIRA Bank Account Financial Irregularities - Investigation By Law Enforcement Under Way RIRA President Says Today

At last evening's September 4 monthly meeting of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA),

 Image Of September 2019 RIRA Meeting

I and 3 other members of the community attending the meeting were asked to leave so that the RIRA Common Council could discuss in Executive session, meaning without the public present, the following agenda item:
7. Call for Executive Session - Treasurer's Resignation
This afternoon, RIRA President Lynn Strong-Shinozaki sent out the following statement regarding the subject of the Executive Session:
On August 27, 2019 RIRA President Lynne Strong-Shinozaki discovered irregularities in the RIRA bank account.

Officers of the organization initiated an internal investigation, during which the Treasurer resigned.

An official investigation by law enforcement is underway and RIRA is fully cooperating with the authorities.

At present, there appears to be no loss of funds in the account.

Because an investigation is underway, there are limits to what may be publicly discussed. RIRA will provide updates as permitted.

In the meantime, the RIRA Common Council and its committees look forward to continuing our efforts to improve the quality of life on Roosevelt Island and to represent the interests of residents.

All questions about this matter should be directed to RIRA President Lynne Strong Shinozaki.
I asked Ms. Strong-Shinozaki:
If no funds were lost, what were the irregularities in the RIRA bank account.
Will update when more info available.

New Carter Burden Senior Center And RIDA Tech Pals Program For 40 Roosevelt Island Homebound Seniors And Adults With Disabilities Seeking Applicants - Designed To Improve Access To Services, Independence And Social Connectiveness - Do You Know Someone This Might Help?

The Carter Burden Network (CBN) Roosevelt Island Senior Center and Roosevelt Island Disabled Association (RIDA) are starting a new Technology Program for Roosevelt Island homebound adults and seniors with disabilities.

According to CBN and RIDA:
Tech Pals is designed to improve access to services, independence, and social connectedness for homebound seniors and adults with disabilities through a holistic approach using technology. Funded in part through a generous grant from the New York Community Trust.

Participants will receive:
  • A free Amazon Echo Show smart screen device (valued at $230)
  • One-on-one in-home device setup and training/technology education
  • Ongoing troubleshooting assistance, as needed
  • Access to virtual services through the CBN Roosevelt Island Senior Center (case management, presentations, and socialization)
Eligibility Criteria:
  • Open to Roosevelt Island-based homebound seniors and adults with disabilities who have limited interaction with others due to their disability
  • Participants must have Wi-Fi and a mobile phone with SMS (texting) capability
  • Participants must be willing to participate in program activities including pre and post surveys, a social media group, and in-home device setup and training Participants must keep the devices for themselves for the 2-year project period
Interested candidates should inquire with CBN's Roosevelt Island Senior Center Outreach Coordinator Yulisa Santana, in person by phone or by email.

Roosevelt Island Senior Center
546 Main Street
Roosevelt Island NY 10044
646 - 870-8763
If you or someone you know may be interested in the Tech Pals program, please contact the Carter Burden Network's Roosevelt Island Senior Center.

Roosevelt Island Octagon Soccer Field To Open For Play By End Of September After Being Closed More Than One Year For Replacement Of Unsafe Artificial Turf Surface, Renovations To Continue On Comfort Station, Seating Area, Paths And ADA Accessibility Thru Summer 2020 - Soccer Field Will Be Renamed For Retired PSD Chief Jack McManus Upon Completion Of Renovations

The Roosevelt Island Octagon Soccer Field has been closed since August 17 2018 due to unsafe conditions of its artificial field turf.

After long delay due to difficulty securing a qualified contractor, renovation of Octagon Field and replacement of the artificial turf began in May 2019.

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) announced yesterday that the first phase of Octagon Field renovation will be completed later this month which will allow the Soccer Field to reopen for play by the end of September. Work on Phase 2 of the renovation, which includes Comfort Station improvements began yesterday.

According to RIOC:
Beginning Wednesday, September 4, 2019, the comfort station and adjacent paths of Octagon Park will be closed until Summer 2020. Two temporary toilets, including one ADA accessible unit, will be installed for public use while the comfort station is closed.

This second phase of the Octagon Field and Comfort Station improvements will reconstruct paths and seating areas to meet ADA requirements, reconstruct the bathrooms, provide a new shade pavilion near the bathrooms, install new spectator seating and upgrade the planted areas.

RIOC is coordinating with the Phase 1 team to ensure safe operations throughout the site. Ongoing Phase 1 improvements to the field are expected to be completed on schedule in late September. Once the field reopens, fencing and other temporary measures will be adjusted to allow people to access the field safely.

We appreciate your continued patience and cooperation while we make these improvements. If you see any unsafe activities at the construction site, please contact PSD at 212-832-4545 or report it by using our Occupant Help Center.
During the RIOC March 7,2019 RIOC Board of Directors meeting, Project Manager Prince Shah describes the Octagon Field renovation project.

Once the Octagon Soccer Field opens for play later this month, the next issue will be how much time is available for local community kids and adults to use the field instead of it being permitted to outside groups and corporate leagues.

Upon completion of the renovations, the Octagon Field will be re-named for retired Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department Chief Jack McManus 

 Image From Adib Mansour

who was the soccer coach many local kids.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Hurricane Dorian Not Expected To Affect NYC Metropolitan Area - Roosevelt Island Public Safety Monitoring Progress Of Storm With NYC Emergency Management And NYPD

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC)

Roosevelt Island residents need to be prepared in event of a Hurricane - Know Your Zone info here.

Here's more on Hurricane Dorian.

Get Rid Of Your Sensitive Paper And Empty Your Files At Roosevelt Island End Of Summer Shred-A-Thon Saturday September 14 - Sponsored By Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright, State Senator Serrano And Council Member Ben Kallos

Roosevelt Island resident and iDig2Learn Founder Christina Delfico reports:

FREE End of Summer Roosevelt Island Shred-a-thon! 10 am - 1pm SAT 9/14

It's like a Fall Cleanse for your apartment! Shred those Sensitive Papers for FREE!
Raid the closets, empty the files now because in less than two weeks the Shred Truck is back! 10am to 1pm - Motorgate Turnaround near Gristedes, 688 Main Street.

Start saving those sensitive papers for shredding now! Islanders asked and Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright, Senator Serrano and City Council Member Kallos listened, and are sponsoring another Shred Truck date on September 14th to show their Earth Love and help Roosevelt Island stay clean and green. This is the best way to properly dispose of sensitive papers, you can even watch as it happens. Generous support from the Upper Green Side helps make this possible.

You can also bring your used batteries and your clean plastic bags, which don't go in the recycle bin, for proper disposal!

See you at the Shred.

Proposed RIOC Fiscal Year 2020-21 Budget, Appointment Of New Legal Affairs VP And Executive Session Personnel Matters Among Items On Agenda For Roosevelt Island Operating Corp September 5 Board Of Directors Meeting - Public Comment Session Prior To Start Of Meeting Too

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

 Image From June 2019 RIOC Board Meeting

You're invited to  attend, ask questions and share concerns about Roosevelt Island during the opening Public Session before the start of the meeting. Sign up to speak here.

Among the items on meeting Agenda are:
and an Executive Session (closed to the public):
  • Discussion of personnel matters
According to RIOC:
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a Board of Directors meeting will be held on Thursday, September 5, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. at the Cultural Center Theater, 548 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York 10044






5:30 P.M.1

I. Call to Order

II. Roll Call

III. Approval of Minutes

1. June 25, 2019 Board Meeting (Board Action Required)

IV. Old Business

V. New Business

1. Appointment of Gretchen K. Robinson to the Position of Secretary and Vice President for Legal Affairs of the Corporation (Board Action Required)

2 . Presentation of the Proposed Budget FY 2020-21

3. President’s Report

4. Committee Reports

a. Audit Committee

b. Governance Committee

c. Operations Advisory Committee

d. Real Estate Development Advisory Committee

Public Safety Report

VI. Executive Session

1. Discussion of personnel matters

VII. Adjournment


1 The RIOC Board Meeting will commence following a public comment period. The public comment period is not part of the meeting.
Don't know what the Executive Session regarding "personnel matters" is about but RIOC recently dismissed 2 long time staffers. A RIOC spokesperson explained:
Over the past year, RIOC's executive team has taken on the challenge of strategically planning the future of our organization. Unfortunately, this means we must say goodbye to colleagues who have been part of our RIOC family for quite some time. These decisions are difficult but necessary as RIOC constantly strives to become as efficient and productive as possible for our residents and stakeholders.
Here's the full Proposed RIOC Budget for fiscal year 2020-21.
An excerpt:
The Island is currently experiencing an economic boom in real estate with the construction‐in‐progress for Southtown Building 8 and 9, the completion of phase 1 of the multi‐billion‐dollar Cornell Tech campus site, and the evolution of the original residential complexes. These developments are the main drivers for the increased revenues and expenses mentioned below. This would support the need to increase funding to the Public Safety Department, Community Relations activity, professional support, training, etc. RIOC is contractually and statutorily required to maintain infrastructure and provide adequate service to the Island to accommodate this growth. Accordingly, RIOC is in the midst of significant infrastructure and facilities repairs and improvements as outlined on pages 8 through 10 of the budget. Changes year over year are discussed below:

The Proposed Budget FY 2020‐21 projects capital improvements in the amount of $40,881,000, an increase of $6,217,000 over the Approved Budget FY 2019‐20 amount of $34,664,000. The Proposed amount primarily consists of capital projects in the projected amount of $38,811,000, but also includes the capitalized purchase of equipment and vehicles in the amount of $470,000 as well as capital reserve and contingency in the amount of $1,600,000. Categories of projects include sports fields and parks, historic and landmark structures, infrastructure improvements, facilities and offices, special projects and the Tramway.

For sports fields and parks, the Proposed Budget FY 2020‐21 projects expenditures in the amount of $17,235,000, an increase of $8,609,000 over the Approved Budget FY 2019‐20 amount of $8,609,000. The increase is mainly due to the projected Lighthouse Park Expansion and Partial Reconstruction.

For historic and landmark structures improvement, the Proposed Budget FY 2020‐21 projects expenditures in the amount of $1,327,000, a decrease of $386,000 from the Approved Budget FY 2019‐ 20 amount of $1,703,000. The decrease is mainly due to the completion of the Hope Memorial (Construction/Granite procurement) in FY 2019‐20.
For infrastructure improvements, the Proposed Budget FY 2020‐21 projects expenditures in the amount of $16,831,000, a decrease of $3,357,000 from the Approved Budget FY 2019‐20 amount of $20,188,000. The decrease is mainly due to the projected completion of the Seawall‐Railings Replacement (Construction) in FY 2019‐20 and the phasing of the Southpoint Open Space Park – Seawall (Construction) over three years.

For facilities and office improvements, the Proposed Budget FY 2020‐21 projects expenditures in the amount of $1,043,000, an increase of $1,043,000 over the Approved Budget FY 2019‐20 amount of $0. The increase is mainly due to the projected improvement of the Motorgate Plaza and Atrium, the Youth Center Refurbishment and the Dayspring Church.

For equipment and vehicles, the Proposed Budget FY 2020‐21 project expenditures in the amount of $470,000, a decrease of $30,000 over the Approved Budget FY 2019‐20 amount of $500,000. The decrease is mainly due to the projected purchase of equipment in FY 2019‐20.

For lighting and signage, the Proposed Budget FY 2020‐21 projects expenditures in the amount of $0, a decrease of $280,000 over the Approved Budget FY 2019‐20 amount of $280,000. The decrease is due to the completion of the Signage and Traffic Analysis project in 2019‐20.

For the Tramway, the Proposed Budget FY 2020‐21 projects expenditures in the amount of $2,385,000, an increase of $664,000 over the Approved Budget FY 2019‐20 amount of $1,721,000. The increase is mainly due to the projected overhaul of the Tram Rope, the improvement to the Tram Plaza – Roosevelt Island, and the construction of the Tram Elevator – Manhattan.

For the miscellaneous, the Proposed Budget FY 2020‐21 projects expenditures in the amount of $1,600,000, a decrease of $63,000 from the Approved Budget FY 2019‐20 amount of $1,663,000. The decrease is mainly due to the engagement of an Owner’s Representative to facilitate the many projects offset by a reduction in the contingency....

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Roosevelt Island Subway Escalator Out Of Service Since Last April - MTA Announces Another Month Out Of Service Until September 30, Why Does It Take MTA 6 Months Or More To Fix Roosevelt Island Escalator?

As reported August 6, the Roosevelt Island F Train subway escalator from street to mezzanine has been out of service since last April.

The MTA has repeatedly claimed service will be resumed by May 20, then June 20, followed by July 31 and August 31.

The Roosevelt Island subway escalator has not been repaired as of today, September 3. Last Sunday, a Roosevelt Island Tipster reported:
Although I saw people working on the Roosevelt Island F train escalator earlier today, I also saw this updated sign. I don’t expect the escalator to be operational anytime soon.

According to the MTA Subway Elevator and Escalator web page:

MTA mechanics were seen working on the escalator last week

 and today

but why does it take 6 months or more to fix one Roosevelt Island subway escalator?

The MTA tweeted this explanation August 2:

Another Roosevelt Islander compares NYC subway to London's:

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Boat Crashes Into Roosevelt Island Bridge Early This Morning Snapping Off Mast - That's Why We Have Charts

The Twitterverse reports that a Catamaran crashed into the Roosevelt Island Bridge

this morning completely snapping off its mast.

The Long Island City Boathouse reminds boaters to be aware of the low Roosevelt Island Bridge with hashtag:
That's why we have charts

A recent Boston transplant to Roosevelt Island, and the new Dean at Cornell Tech notes:

A Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) spokesperson reports:
An inspection was conducted and completed by NYC DOT on the Roosevelt island 36th Avenue bridge. According to DOT there is NO structural damage to the bridge. The vessel that struck the bridge did have extensive damage to the mask. There were no injuries or any other damage.
Here's video of a March 2018 incident

of a sailboat hitting the Roosevelt Island Bridge and another incident of boat hitting bridge and capsizing in 2015, another crash in 2014 and
 Image From Rebecca Knell


Tipster Reports Major NYPD Presence On Roosevelt Island"s Main Street Early Saturday Morning - What Happened, Emotionally Disturbed Person Cuts Himself And Threatens Girlfriend

A Roosevelt Island tipster reported observing a large NYPD presence on Main Street Saturday morning August 31. According to the Tipster:

....Major police response ( 5 vehicles ) w. one ambulance around 7 am ( or a little earlier ) in front of or near 560 Main. Some officers walking about w. hands on their holstered weapons.

Dispersed around 7:45 PSD very present.
A Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Spokesperson explains what happened.
PSD responded to an Emotional Disturbed Person (EDP) who had cut himself and was threatening his girlfriend. EMS and NYPD both responded and removed the EDP to Cornell Medical Center for treatment and observation. There were no further injuries.