Friday, October 4, 2019

Fantastic Performance Of Bob Marley's Get Up,Stand Up By Local Band Flux & The Do Good Family At Roosevelt Island Fall For Arts Festival Last Saturday - See For Yourself, Watch The Video

Enjoy this great performance by local Roosevelt Island band Flux and the Do Good Family at September 28 Roosevelt Island Fall For Arts Festival

Click the full screen icon at bottom right of video for better view.

Hope to see more of Flux and the Do Good Family.

Take a stroll through the Rivercross Lawn to view the Fall For Arts Festival

murals being painted.

Opening Night At The Sanctuary, Roosevelt Island New Event Space A Jam Packed Success For Titan Theater Group Fundraiser - Invited RI Residents Liked It Too

The Sanctuary,

Roosevelt Island's new community event space and restaurant (restaurant starting in Spring) had it's debut opening night Monday, September 30  as a venue for the Queens based Titan Theater Group Gala Fundraiser. The space was jam packed with supporters of Titan Theater as well as invited Roosevelt Island residents.

Meet The Sanctuary owner Frank (Turtle) Raffaele who spoke at the opening and describes his intent to develop The Sanctuary as a "community centric space" as well as his strong interest in helping local non profit organizations.

Among the local Roosevelt Island residents attending The Sanctuary's opening event were Main Street Theater & Dance Alliance Executive Director Kristi Towey, Assistant Executive Director Kimbirdlee Fadner and Director Jacki Lucid-Cusick. Ms Towey describes the opening night:
The event at The Sanctuary was very nice. It is a beautiful building. The space is still bare bones so the only complaint would be there were not chairs for most of the guests but I know that will change.

The event on Monday was quickly put together in that space from what I understand. I love that there is a little stage for musicians/singers to perform. The singers that performed Monday night at the event were great.

We were invited by Titan Theatre Company to attend. The company does amazing work in the Queens area producing classical theatre. We love supporting our theatre family and plan to meet with them soon to discuss future collaborations.

I really enjoyed meeting Frank Rafaelle, the charismatic owner of Glow Group and new manager of the space. He is on the board of Titan Theatre Company and is obviously passionate about the arts. His mission in other areas he has restaurants is to give a portion of the profits to local non-profits. I read a very interesting article about him and his company in Crain’s New York Business.

I look forward to hearing more about his mission and plan here on Roosevelt Island.
Roosevelt Island Historical Society President Judy Berdy was at the event too: Ms Berdy reports:
I was pleasantly surprised the see "The Sanctuary" Monday evening at it's premiere event.

I have known Holy Spirit Chapel since I moved to the island It was built in the 1920's to serve the Protestant patients at Metropolitan Hospital. It was closed as a house of worship many years ago. The minister who was still a chaplain at Metropolitan Hospital Reverend Hemm lived there with his family (and dogs) until the late 1970's or early 1980's/ He was eventually evicted by RIOC.

The building lay empty until the Redeemed Christian Church of God moved in. Later it was renamed Dayspring Church. It had many structural issues and was flooded in Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The congregation has now left and anew chapter will be told. with that this building be used for various activities and that the owners support our community. From my brief meeting it seems that our goals are conforming. When all the start up chores are complete the building may offer a new gathering place.

We look forward to having a venue that the community can use and enjoying the improvements made. Time will tell the outcome.

We will be included a full history of the building in our November 1 issue of "Blackwell's Almanac To subscribe for free e-mail
Roosevelt Island resident and Founder of Wildlife Freedom Foundation Rossana Ceruzzi added:
Congratulations to Frank Raffaele on a wonderful event! It was a pleasure meeting him and Francesca.
I asked Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Susan Rosenthal if there were any issues at The Sanctuary's opening event:
Any Public Safety problems with traffic, parking, noise complaints etc.
A RIOC spokesperson replied:
No issues, no complaints and everything went smooth thanks to the dedicated men and women of the Public Safety Department.
Here are some scenes from inside The Sanctuary's opening night fundraiser for the Titan Theater Company including wonderful performances by Bailey Seeker and Evan Harrington,

an overview of Titan by former NFL player Tony Richardson, currently on Titan's Advisory Board and Titan Artistic Director Lenny Banovez encouraging supporters to donate funds

and NYC Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer showing his support for Titan and the Arts.

This was a great event and am looking forward to more Roosevelt Island events at The Sanctuary as well as opening the restaurant in the Spring.

Nisi Pancake Eating Contest, Island Om Yoga Demo, The Sanctuary Silent Disco & Music+Play Sing-A-Long Among Highlights Of First Ever Roosevelt Island Shops On Main Street Block Party Saturday October 5 - You're Invited

Hudson Related's Roosevelt Island Shops on Main Street is hosting it's first annual Block Party tomorrow, Saturday October 5 from 11 AM - 4 PM, rain or shine.

Presented by Shops on Main, Main Street Block Party is the first festival of its kind on Roosevelt Island’s Main Street. The event brings together neighbors and visitors of all ages to celebrate Shops on Main through food, art, festivities and fun. Each shop opens their doors to showcase their business through one-day only experiences. Main Street Block Party is a living testament to the coexisting uniqueness of Shops on Main.
The Shops On Main Street Block Party event schedule includes:
Rivercross Lawn Events

11AM - Yoga Kick-off with Island OM

12PM - Silent Disco with The Sanctuary
1PM - Sing-a-long with Music + Play Station
3PM - Closing Meditation with Island OM

Good Shepherd Plaza Events1

12PM - Music begins
1PM - Pancake eating contest outside of Nisi Kitchen

Throughout the day you won't want to miss...

Doggie toys and treats at PupCulture / Tastings at Island Wine & Spirits / Mild to hot to sweet tastings at LiuKouShui Hot Pot Noodle / Arts and crafts for all ages at Gallery RIVAA / Make your own mini bouquet at Wholesome Factory / Free Nail decals + manicures with Roosevelt Nails / Free Empanadas + Lemonade at Bread + Butter / Tastings at Subway Sandwich / Musical entertainment / Face painting and much much more…
Am looking forward to the Nisi Pancake eating contest.

On Monday, October 7, Hudson Related's David Kramer will give an update on Main Street retail spaces to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Real Estate Development Advisory Committee. Hopefully there will be more good news of new retail openings in addition to the recent announcements about openings of The Sanctuary event space/restaurant at the former Dayspring Church and Granny Annie's Irish Pub in the former Riverwalk Bar space.

Roosevelt Island F Train Service To And From Manhattan This Weekend, Tram And Ferry Service Too - Watch Video Of MTA Rep Talking Roosevelt Island Subway Service

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

to and from Manhattan this weekend.

Both Roosevelt Island Tram cabins are operating and here's the NYC Ferry Roosevelt Island Astoria Route 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.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

RIRA Members Walk Out Of Roosevelt Island Residents Association Meeting Last Night Protesting Lack Of Info & Transparency Over Financial Irregularities - Is This Beginning Of End For RIRA?

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) President Lynn Strong-Shinozaki reported September 5:

... 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....
On September 30, I asked Ms. Strong-Shinozaki:
.... It's been almost a month since Lynn announced RIRA Bank account irregularities.

To date, no further information has been disclosed to the Roosevelt Island community.

I've received reports that certain members of RIRA are covering up information about what happened.

Is there any statement from RIRA as an organization or individual members to explain to the Roosevelt Island community what happened and what is being done to make sure it does not happen again....
Ms Strong-Shinozaki replied October 1:
Following advice of RIRA’s Tax Accountant and during the course of the police investigation, I am unable to address questions about the former treasurer and the RIRA bank accounts. There were irregularities in the checking account and the funds have been recovered.

The police have been invited to attend the next RIRA meeting to give an update on their investigation, which may take up to 90 days.

The matter of the bank account and the former treasurer was discussed in Executive Session and should have remained among the members of the Common Council. Any allegation of a cover-up suggests that discussion has been inappropriately held with individuals outside the Common Council....
During last evening's (October 2) RIRA meeting, 7 of the 15 Common Council members present for the meeting walked out during the President's report to protest the lack of information made available to them about the allegations involving the community organization's financial irregularities.

RIRA Children, Youth & Education Ad Hoc Committee Chair Adib Mansour explained the group's action:
 ... We're walking out. It's a shame RIRA is now under the control of 5 people from the Cherry Blossom Festival.
 Public Safety Committee Chair Erin Feeley-Nahem added:
It's a matter of transparency.
Here's the walkout during Ms Strong-Shinozaki's President's Report.

After the walkout, Ms Strong Shinozaki noted that she was willing to provide the requested information to RIRA members so long as they sign a non-disclosure agreement.

Following the walkout, there were only 8 RIRA members remaining, not enough present for a quorum to continue the meeting.

The remaining RIRA members continued their conversation about the non-disclosure agreement, though it was not an official meeting.

A short while later I was asked to leave the RIRA conversation so the members could continue their discussion in private. I left as requested.

Once outside in Good Shepherd Plaza, I spoke with the protesting RIRA members who explained the reason for the walkout and expressed concern that RIRA as a community organization may soon cease to exist because of the lack of transparency and internal turmoil.

The police did not attend last night's meeting.

Today, I asked RIRA members:
Any statement from RIRA or individual members regarding last night's walk out by almost half of the membership in what those members say is in response to the lack of information and transparency by RIRA President and other RIRA members regarding the discovery of financial irregularities?

Also, please confirm that RIRA President Lynn Strong-Shinozaki indicated that she would provide information about financial irregularities to those members if they signed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) and the NDA would be in effect for a period of time ending with what is described as a Police investigation.

Also, please confirm that those RIRA members who have previously been informed of the facts regarding the financial irregularities have already signed the same NDA. If not, why not?

Please let me know if there will be any answer provided by RIRA?
Adib Mansour replied:
An embezzlement was committed against the RIRA common council. A majority of common council members have been asking RIRA’s president for financial documents and bank statements that should have been submitted to the board months ago, even prior to the embezzlement. There is neither the need to disclose them in an executive session nor the need for the directors to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) in order to review them. The aforementioned documents must be available to the Common Council members regardless of any investigation.

Adib Mansour, A.F.
RIRA Common Council
Children, Youth & Education Ad Hoc Committee
Ms Strong-Shinozaki forwarded her President's Report statement.
Moving forward, we need to keep in mind what is important to our community as a whole. We have experienced a lot of changes in the last few years.

Many of the things we would like to see happen, like the elevators on the Manhattan side of the Tram and the full completion of Octagon Field, are taking much longer than anticipated, yet there has been progress. We were very happy to hear that Octagon Field will be renamed in honor of Retired PSD Chief Jack McManus. His approach to community policing dramatically changed how Public Safety officers interacted with the residents and how people view our Public Saftey Department.

For our organization to function at its fullest, we need our time and energy to be spent in our committee meetings working toward the betterment of our community. The very keystones of a high functioning organization are trust, collaboration, and a willingness to participate.

Members of the Common Council are the ones who are mandated to focus on the quality of life issues and have a voice in what happens to our buildings and our community. Many are happy we will soon have more affordable housing on Roosevelt Island and there are some who are not. There are those who look forward to the Cornell Hotel and those who foresee traffic issues and dread its opening. Many Islanders are very unhappy that we seem to have a steady influx of tourists, yet this group may be the very vehicle to keep our small Island retail establishments in business. What we can do is listen to our neighbors, respond to them and bring their concerns to our Common Council for discussion and possible action.

How can we support the residents of Roosevelt Landings and Westview as their buildings change ownership? Have we heard the concerns of our neighbors about the bike ramp and east side bike lane? We are hearing about a new venue, “The Sanctuary” in the former Day Spring Church, next to Octagon. What lies ahead in terms of traffic and the quiet ambiance at the northern end if the Island with this new place?

Finally, as you may recall, I asked for your patience and understanding in regard to the irregularities in our checking account that were discovered and reported in executive session last month. Again, as was stated last month, there are outstanding Subpoenas as the police continue their investigation. We need to wait for the investigation to be concluded before relevant materials may be shared, as requested. Moreover, you will probably be required to sign a non-disclosure agreement prior to the review of any materials as a reminder of confidentiality and to remove the potential threat of libel against RIRA as an organization.

I look forward to working with you and very much appreciate your work and ideas.
It's a real shame that RIRA appears to be breaking up. A well functioning community organization is needed to represent the interests of Roosevelt Island residents.

UPDATE 10 PM - RIRA Island Services Committee Chair Rossana Ceruzzi adds:
As a rule, all CC members should have full access to the financial data.

Historically, I am not aware there has ever been a requirement to sign a Non Disclosure Agreement to review any data pertaining to the operations of our 501c4 organization.

Well before the current matter, we have strongly requested to RIRA's President such documentation along with the last two years of bank statements and all data associated with the Cherry Blossom Festival 2019.

In conclusion, we are asking for full transparency.
UPDATE 10/7 - The group of RIRA members who walked out of the meeting jointly send the following statement:
RIRA is neither splitting up nor is it “the beginning of the end.”

The group of CC Members that walked out of the last RIRA Common Council meeting on Wednesday October 2nd is merely asking for transparency from the RIRA leadership and the SC&E/Cherry Blossom Committee.

We have been repetitively requesting bank statements and financial reports/materials at every CC meeting since April 2019.

While we all have been informed that the embezzlement act is undergoing investigation, we want to know why only a small group of five CC members was chosen by the President to act as “advisors” on the matter while the rest of the CC is kept in the dark.

We remain committed to Roosevelt Island, its residents and the projects we are working on.


Adib Mansour, A.F.
Rossana Ceruzzi
Dave Evans
Erin Nahem-Feely
Dimaura Cole
Stephanie Jackson
Enequa Lewis
Shirley Coley
Frank Farance
Cynthia Ahn

Sale Of Roosevelt Landings, Hudson Related Main Street Retail Presentation, Southtown Building 9 Lot & Southpoint Open Space Project On Agenda For Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Real Estate Development Advisory Committee Meeting Monday October 7 - Public Invited To Attend

Several very important local real estate issues will be discussed during the October 7 Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Real Estate Development Advisory Committee (REDAC).

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 Monday, October 7, 2019 at 4:30 p.m. at RIOC’s Operations Office, 680 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York.

Amended Agenda:
  • Discussion of Transfer of Roosevelt Landings
  • Hudson Related Retail Presentation Regarding Main Street Commercial Spaces
  • Discussion of Southtown Building 9 Lot Reapportionment
  • Discussion of “RI” Sign
  • Langan Presentation of Southpoint Open Space Revetment Project

The Open Meetings Law of the State of New York requires that all public bodies conduct meetings, convened for the purpose of officially conducting public business, in a manner open to attendance by the general public to observe and listen.
More info here on:
During the September 5 RIOC Board of Directors Meeting Public Session, Roosevelt Island resident Janet Falk discussed the Giant RI Monument which residents were told was to be temporary and then voted upon by REDAC committee before a final decision to keep it permanently.

According to Ms Falk:
I am a representative of Southtown to the RIRA Common Council.

Believe it or not, I am here at the invitation of Susan Rosenthal.

You probably don’t remember, but we had an email exchange in May and the RIOC Board was copied on the correspondence. The subject was the re-installation of the RI Monument on Tram Plaza. I had believed it was a temporary installation, a three-month trial, starting on October 8, which would have ended on January 8 of this year.

But in fact, it was SEVEN months in May and is about ELEVEN months today.

In May, I asked Susan to report on the impact of the monument.

To my surprise, she could not provide ONE STATISTIC to prove that the monument had attracted
visitors, enticed them to stay longer on the island, spend more money, be more active on social media, or generate more favorable comments by residents.


She could only cite anecdotal reports by tram operators (and herself) that tourists enjoy it and took photos. Then she said, “But feel free to speak to the Board during any public comment period if you wish them to take action.” So here I am.

Susan, I have anecdotal evidence, too. HUNDREDS of people IGNORE the monument, and thousands actively detest it. RIRA voted UNANIMOUSLY AGAINST the monument.

Residents submitted comments AGAINST the monument and copied Judy Berdy of the RIHS, comments that RIOC and the board NEVER saw. Many wonder how those comments were misplaced.

This is background. Now, here are my FIVE QUESTIONS:

​1. On what date did the RIOC Board decide the “temporary” RI Monument would become permanent?

2. What criteria were used to arrive at that decision of permanent installation?

3. RIRA, as you may recall, voted overwhelmingly AGAINST the monument. What input did the residents have in that decision of permanent installation?

4. When and how was this decision communicated to residents?

5. What criteria and what process would reverse that decision?

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

RIOC Names Kevin Brown As New Chief Of Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department, Intends To Continue Community Policing Programs Implemented By Retired Chief McManus - Congrats Chief Brown

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) announced today that former Public Safety Department Deputy Chief, currently Acting Chief Kevin Brown

has been named the permanent Chief succeeding recently retired Chief Jack McManus.

Image of Former Chief McManus (left) and Newly Named Chief Brown from Frank Farance

According to RIOC:
The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) has selected Kevin Brown as Chief of the Public Safety Department (PSD) on Roosevelt Island. Chief Brown had been serving as Acting Chief since previous PSD Chief Jack McManus left earlier this year, and as Deputy Chief of PSD for three years before that.

“I am delighted to have an accomplished law enforcement professional of Chief Brown’s character leading the Public Safety Department,” said Susan Rosenthal, President and CEO of RIOC. “He was the best choice to continue the successful community policing programs first implemented by Chief McManus.”

Before joining PSD, Chief Brown held a variety of leadership positions during a thirty-two-year career in the New York Police Department (NYPD), including serving in the Special Operations Division during the September 11th tragedy. “I am honored to have been selected for such an important position,” said Chief Brown. “I have had the privilege of being here to witness the tradition of cooperation and respect that exists between PSD and the community. I intend on doing everything in my power to give the fine men and women of PSD everything they need to continue to uphold Roosevelt Island’s reputation as one of the safest neighborhoods in New York City.”
Chief Brown spoke about taking over for Chief McManus and his views on community policing during the June 25 Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Public Safety Committee meeting. An excerpt below.

RIOC recently profiled then Acting Chief Brown with a 10 question interview:
Ten Questions with: Acting PSD Chief Kevin Brown

Interviewed by:

Erica Spencer-EL, Director, Community Affairs / Jessica Murray, Supervisor, Community Affairs

Re-Introducing RIOC is a new way for RIOC to inform residents and stakeholders about the many new people who have come to work on the island in the past several years.

In a recent interview, Kevin Brown, the Acting Director of the Public Safety Department (PSD), took some time to answer a few questions about his life and his career.

Erica Spencer-EL: You were working with Jack for almost three years and most people in the community know you as “Deputy Brown”. I understand that you’ve had a very interesting career before arriving to the island. Tell us a little bit more about your background. Where were you born?

Kevin Brown: I was born and raised on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. I attended New York City public schools and in my senior year of high school, NYPD recruiters came with the opportunity and I signed up. At 20 years old I became a police officer and served for 32 years, from 1984-2016. It was a dream job that gave me the opportunity to become a detective, sergeant, and a lieutenant.

Jessica Murray: That means you were with the NYPD during the 9/11 attacks. Could you tell us more about that tragic time?

KB: I was stationed at Ground Zero and had been inside the building only five minutes before they started to collapse. That day changed my life and career forever. I began looking at my job, at people, and at relationships differently.

Erica: In speaking with you, education has played an important role in your life. How so?

KB: A few years after I joined the NYPD, I decided to continue my studies and enrolled in LaGuardia Community College to obtain an Associate’s degree. Soon after, I took my Lieutenant’s test and passed. Years later, I went on to John Jay College to complete the remaining credits needed to obtain my Bachelor’s degree. After graduating from college, I thought about life after the NYPD and knew I wanted to give back to the community. I thought about becoming a high school teacher, but it wasn’t for me. In 2006 I was asked to teach at John Jay College and I loved it. I still teach part time now.

Jessica: What made you decide to work on Roosevelt Island?

In 2016, the Police Department was going through some changes and I decided to look for other opportunities. I got an interview at Roosevelt Island (but already had a good job lined up) and knew of Jack McManus, the Chief of Public Safety because I had served as Commanding Officer of The Operations Division during the 9/11 tragedy. Meeting with Jack was like catching up with an old friend and I started working for RIOC in September 2016.

Erica: What have you learned from working here so far?

KB: Jack and I view Roosevelt Island as a small town that could benefit from the community policing program. The dynamics of this island are unique. This is a passionate and tight-knit community. I admire the passion of Roosevelt Island residents.

Jessica: What do you think is the hardest part about working?

KB: The challenge is realizing that no two people are the same. Some can be more argumentative than others, but everyone deserves to be treated with courtesy, professionalism, and respect. Sometimes that means taking a few extra minutes to explain that PSD can’t do certain things or that residents aren’t allowed to do certain things. Either way, my golden rule is to treat people the way you want to be treated.

Erica: Can you give us an idea about crime on the island and where it stands right now?

KB: Reported crime is consistently low. Major crimes are very low. Quality of life drives perception; perception becomes reality. Low crime levels become a reality when you educate people on the facts. People are not going to travel here to commit a crime and residents on the island mostly know each other, so criminals are more likely to get caught.

Jessica: Do you see a difference in dealing with different people in the island and their perception of the capacities of Public Safety?

KB: The long-term residents come to PSD for service. They know us, they’ve lived here for a long time. New-comers wouldn’t think the PSD provides full service. We are here to improve the quality of life of people on this island. We are often mediators and problem solvers.

Erica: Could you tell us more about partnerships and initiatives to assure the island’s safety?

KB: Emergency preparedness is a hot topic. PSD has a number of resources we can reach out to at NYC Emergency Management (“NYCEM”), FDNY, NYPD, and other agencies outside of our department. We know who to call or reach out to in different situations. The office of Emergency Management is key during an evacuation or in other serious emergencies. All relevant agencies are aware of Roosevelt Island’s Emergency Preparedness Plan.

Jessica: What would you like to accomplish while Acting Director?

KB: The officers here should continue to be highly trained, should be respected, and perform their duties with professionalism. They should be well-trained and earn respect, so they can render good service to the community.
Congrats Roosevelt Island Public Safety Chief Kevin Brown.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Newly Renovated Roosevelt Island Soccer Field To Be Renamed After Retired Public Safety Chief And Youth Soccer Coach Jack McManus Tomorrow Afternoon, You're Invited - A Well Deserved Honor For Chief McManus

Retired Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department Chief and Youth Soccer Coach Jack McManus 

will receive a well deserved honor tomorrow as the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) renames the newly renovated Octagon Soccer Field

as Jack McManus Field. 

According to RIOC:
Octagon Field will be renamed Jack McManus Field this Wednesday, October2nd at 4:00PM. What’s more is that we will not be issuing permits for the field until October 28th, which means residents can use it whenever they’d like between now and then. It’s RIOC’s way of thanking the community for being patient during this process.

More on what Chief McManus means to the Roosevelt Island community at this prior post.

You're Invited To NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer Roosevelt Island And Manhattan Upper East Side Town Hall Wednesday October 2 At Lenox Hill Neighborhood House - Protecting NYC From Rising Sea Levels Should Include Roosevelt Island Too

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer is hosting a Manhattan Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island Town Hall Wednesday October 2. According to Comptroller Stinger's office:

Comptroller Stringer is hosting a public town hall on the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island this Wednesday, October 2nd from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM at Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, 331 East 70th Street, New York, NY 10021.

All are welcome and attendees can ask any questions they would like. We will have community/constituent affairs and policy staff on hand to assist with questions and address concerns.

Here's Comptroller Stringer talking about rising sea levels and protecting NYC Coastal communities

though no mention of Roosevelt Island.

Roosevelt Island Residents Association Common Council Meeting Wednesday October 2, Public Invited To Attend - Will RIRA Give Answers About Financial Irregularities Revealed Last Month And Currently Under Investigation?

The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council will hold it's monthly meeting tomorrow evening, October 2 at 8:00 PM in the Good Shepherd Community Center (543 Main Street).

 Image of September 4, 2019 RIRA Meeting

As reported September 5, during the September 4 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...
...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....
To date,no further information has been disclosed by RIRA to the Roosevelt Island community. Also, many RIRA members, may even be a majority of the Common Council, have expressed frustration and disappointment that they have not been informed about what happened and the extent of the financial irregularities.

Yesterday I asked RIRA President Lynn Strong-Shinozaki and the RIRA Common Council:
It's been almost a month since Lynn announced RIRA Bank account irregularities.

To date, no further information has been disclosed to the Roosevelt Island community.

I've received reports that certain members of RIRA are covering up information about what happened.

Is there any statement from RIRA as an organization or individual members to explain to the Roosevelt Island community what happened and what is being done to make sure it does not happen again.
Ms Strong-Shinozaki replied today:
Following advice of RIRA’s Tax Accountant and during the course of the police investigation, I am unable to address questions about the former treasurer and the RIRA bank accounts. There were irregularities in the checking account and the funds have been recovered.

The police have been invited to attend the next RIRA meeting to give an update on their investigation, which may take up to 90 days.

The matter of the bank account and the former treasurer was discussed in Executive Session and should have remained among the members of the Common Council. Any allegation of a cover-up suggests that discussion has been inappropriately held with individuals outside the Common Council.

As for plans going forward, RIRA now has a Finance Committee Chair that is looking at policies related to processes, expenses and budget. For example, it has always been the policy that RIRA requires two signatures on every check. This is a strong and healthy practice.

In addition, RIRA has prohibited use of a debit card. This practice was violated in the past and will be reviewed with Amalgamated Bank so that no debit card will be issued in the future.

There are other issues and policies on the table that will be reviewed; recommendations will be put forward at future RIRA meetings.
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. All members of the Roosevelt Island community are invited to attend.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Now This Is Disgusting - RIOC Advises Possible Presence Of Bed Bugs In Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department Office

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) reported today:

RIOC is actively responding to concerns it has received about the possible presence of bed bugs in our Public Safety Department facility. This appears to be an isolated and contained matter; however, out of an abundance of caution, RIOC has hired two specialists to conduct a thorough inspection of all of its facilities. Residents, businesses, and stakeholders of Roosevelt Island should know that RIOC remains committed to taking every necessary precaution to address these reports and will work to ensure the continued health and safety of the public and RIOC employees.
Here's more than you'll ever want to know about bed bugs.

UPDATE 10/1 - From RIOC:
The Public Safety Department Office at 550 Main Street is temporarily closed due to an investigation into the presence of bed bugs at the facility. The office is scheduled to re-open this afternoon at approximately 3:00 PM. Anyone who needs PSD assistance can use their regular number - 212-832-4545. If that number is busy, please contact 212-832-4540. If you need to speak to PSD in person, please come to 591 Main Street where officers will be ready to assist you. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Get Your Tickers To Roosevelt Island Halloween Costume Fundraising Gala To Benefit Island Kids Scholarship Program For Children And Families In Need

Roosevelt Island's Island Kids is a:

... non profit organization that exists to provide high quality enrichment programming and social support to the children, young adults and families of Roosevelt Island. Our programs span the continuum of infancy, childhood and early adulthood and take place in a safe and supportive environment. We seek to create a program that is inclusive and that reflects the socioeconomic, cultural and racial diversity of Roosevelt Island. Additionally, we offer full and partial scholarships to children and families in need.
Island Kids is hosting a Halloween Costume Fundraising gala

on Saturday October 26 for their scholarship program. According to Island Kids:
Join us for a Halloween Costume Gala to support the Island Kids Scholarship Program

Saturday, October 26 7-10pm 888 Main Street (Octagon Club Room)

$75 per person

Childcare provided by the Music and Play Station

$20 per child

Limited space: Children must be toilet trained

Click the link to ... purchase tickets

Event is open to those 21 and over
More info on Island Kids available at their web site.