Friday, October 30, 2020

Roosevelt Island And Upper East Side Get Additional Early Voting Location For This Saturday And Sunday At Marymount College To Alleviate Very Long Lines And Waiting Time At Robert Wagner School Thanks To Efforts Of NY State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright

After today, there are 2 more days of NY State early voting, Saturday October 31 and Sunday November 1. Hours are 7 AM to 5 PM on Saturday and 7 AM to 4 PM on Sunday.

There is no early voting polling station on Roosevelt Island. This week the Robert Wagner Middle School at 225 East 75th Street was the only early voting period polling location for Roosevelt Island.

 Voters reported long lines and waiting times at Robert Wagner School


But good news for Roosevelt Island early voters. Roosevelt Island and Upper East Side NY State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright got an additional early voting site for this weekend at Marymount College (221 East 71 Street).
According to press release from Ms Seawright:

... Marymount Manhattan College will be available as an alternate early voting pollsite for Saturday, October 31 and Sunday, November 1, according to an agreement she successfully obtained from the New York City Board of Elections. 

Seawright had previously contacted Marymount Manhattan College President Dr. Kerry Walk in order to help relieve the persistently long lines at Robert F. Wagner Middle School on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Assembly Member Seawright had previously announced her intention to pursue legal action in the event that the New York City Board of Elections did not address what she described as “the horrendous treatment of the disabled, senior citizens, and working men and women-- voters who have stood in line for several hours to cast their ballots, including in the rain. The voters of the Upper East Side, Yorkville, and Roosevelt Island are grateful to Marymount Manhattan College for stepping up in this time of crisis. We simply cannot tolerate voter suppression of any kind and this action is exactly what is needed.

Roosevelt Island needs an early voting site here for our many elderly and disabled residents. 

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Acting President Shelton Haynes responding to an inquiry by a resident asking for an early voting site on Roosevelt Island answered: 

As an update, Judy Berdy introduced me to the Manhattan Deputy Chief Clerk from the Borough Administration’s  office in mid-September. We then arranged for their staff to tour Sportspark as a potential early voting location from October 23rd to November 3rd. Sportspark met all of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)requirements and was a large enough space but unfortunately they elected to not use this facility.

Next election, let's get an early voting location on Roosevelt Island.

Roosevelt Island Dog Almost Dies Ingesting Rat Poison On Ground - Birds, Squirrels And Rats Found Lying Dead Left For Days Without Being Picked Up, Not Our Job To Pick Up Dead Animals RIOC Staffer Tells Resident

Earlier this week, a Roosevelt Island dog owner told me her dog becoming very sick requiring expensive treatment from a vet after ingesting poison while walking in back of Roosevelt Landings.

Yesterday, Roosevelt Island resident Natasa de Luca reports:

Today, while walking my dog on the walkway looking at Manhattan, I came across 3 dead squirrels grouped together next to a tree on the patch of green area along pool next to the Jack McManus soccer field.

This was a rather alarming and concerning sight since residents use this area for relaxation, kids play nearby. 

It was also especially worrisome to someone like myself who is a dog owner. There was no “black box” near the carcasses that could indicate that squirrels may have eaten the rat poison and it seems to me that if poisoned, whatever they ate, was dropped on the grounds. 

Roosevelt Island Transportation This Weekend - Subway, Tram, Ferry & Citibike - Keep Your Social Distance And Wear Face Covering - MTA Has New Real Time Subway Data Map Too

According to the MTA

TUNNEL REHABILITATION 

Oct 30 - Nov 2, Fri 9:45 PM to Mon 1 AM F Trains are replaced by the E between 21 St-Queensbridge and Delancey St/Essex St

There is a Roosevelt Island Tram Cabin 20 passenger Covid-19 Social Distancing limit.

 The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) was recently asked by a resident: 

There has been a lot of complaints again about terrible tram congestion and waiting times at weekends, with one resident saying that she waited an hour to get back from Manhattan in the tram queue. 

Can you look into the issue again and consider solutions such as a red bus service on weekends for tourists and retaining the tram for residents during this period ? 

The Red Bus Shuttle to Manhattan is hardly used during the week but really necessary at the weekend when limits on numbers inside each tram, alongside visitors, makes using it impossible 

RIOC spokesperson Jessica Cerrone replied:

Thank you for your feedback. We have notified the Transportation Director about this issue, however, we are not considering priority access to the Tram for residents.

Here's the NYC Ferry Roosevelt Island Astoria Route Schedule which now extends to East 90th street on the Upper East Side.  


Also, Roosevelt Island has a new transportation option with the recent addition of Citbike docking stations.  

UPDATE 7:15 - RIOC adds: 

While we continue to follow social distancing and align our operations with New York Forward guidance, we also continue to incrementally increase the number of passengers permitted on the Tram. Tram capacity will increase on Sunday, November 1st, from 20 to 35 passengers per cabin, and we will continue to assess and gradually increase in phases. 

We understand the need for this mode of transportation, however, the health and safety of our riders and operators are our priority. We appreciate your cooperation.

Sponsored Post - Check Out Roosevelt Island Foodtown Supermarket Halloween And October 30 - November 5 Product Offerings, Specials & Sales Items - Online Shopping, Delivery Options, Digital Coupons, Nutritional Tips & Social Media Facebook And Instagram Too

The Roosevelt Island Foodtown Supermarket 


invites you to check out their October 30 - November 5 Weekly Flyer for Product Offerings, Specials & Sales Items

 Click here to visit the Roosevelt Island Foodtown Supermarket web site for online shopping, delivery options, digital coupons, weekly flyer and more.  

Follow Roosevelt Island Foodtown Supermarket on Facebook


Thursday, October 29, 2020

Verdant Power Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy Project Deploys Latest Generation Of Water Turbine Technology To Generate Electricity From East River Currents Off The Banks Of Roosevelt Island

Since 2002, Verdant Power's Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy Project (RITE) has been developing water turbine technology to generate electric power from the currents of the East River next to the Roosevelt Island Foodtown (formerly Gristedes) supermarket on the Queens side of the East River.

Last Thursday, October 22, Verdant Power continued development of the technology by deploying their 5th Generation Water Turbine

 

in the East River.

This Verdant Power video show the 3 water turbines being installed in the East River after arriving on a a barge traveling from New Jersey.

 I spoke with Verdant Power CEO John Bannigan and Founder/Chief Marketing Officer Trey Taylor about the year long test project prior to the deployment of the 5th generation Water Turbines.

 

 Here's how the water turbine technology works. According to Verdant Power:

The East River is a tidal strait with strong water currents that change direction between flood and ebb tides approximately four times each day (with periods of little or noflow between tides, called “slack tide”). As shown in the figure below,
when the water velocity exceeds approximately 1.0 m/s (3.3 ft/s or 2 knots), the turbine blades begin to rotate and the units generate electricity for approximately 4.5 hours (red areas in figure). As the tide shifts direction, the turbines yaw (turn approximately 170 degrees) to generate power from the current flowing in the opposite direction. This cycle repeats in a very predictable manner approximately every 6 hours. The regular nature of tidal currents provides a significant advantage for tidal power as compared to other, less predictable resources like wind and solar power.
More info on Verdant Power and Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy Project.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Sponsored Post - Atlantic Hurricane Season Is Here, NYC Emergency Management Department Wants You To Know Your Hurricane Zone, Be Ready And Be Prepared - Roosevelt Island Is Zone 2 & 3

The Atlantic Hurricane Season began June 1 and lasts thru Novmeber 30.

The New York City Emergency Management Department (NYCEM) wants you to be prepared for Hurricane Season



and Know Your Zone.



According to NYCEM:
There are six hurricane evacuation zones, ranked by the risk of storm surge impact, with zone 1 being the most likely to flood. In the event of a hurricane or tropical storm, residents in these zones may be ordered to evacuate.
Roosevelt Island is located in two zones - Zones 2 and 3.

Trader Joe's Opening 59th Street Queensboro Bridge Store At End Of 2021 Only 1 Block From Roosevelt Island Tram Says NYC Council Member Ben Kallos

Roosevelt Island residents have been asking when the new Trader Joe's planned for the Bridgemarket space underneath the Queensboro Bridge on 59th Street only one block from the Roosevelt Island Tram would open? Last month I asked Roosevelt Island NYC Council Member Ben Kallos:

I was wondering if you knew anything about status of plans for new Trader Joe’s under Queensboro Bridge? 

A lot of Roosevelt island residents have been asking me about it?

I spoke to Mr. Kallos today who said the Trader Joe's lease for the space is signed and Trader Joe's plans to open by the end of next year, 2021. 

Mr Kallos reported that the Bridgemarket space has been empty since 2015 after the former occupant, Food Emporium supermarket, closed and he has been working since that time with community groups and the Empire State Development Corp to find a new tenant for the landmarked space. Potential tenants included Whole Foods, Fairway Supermarket and a public food hall similar to the Chelsea Market. But, according to Mr Kallos, the clear community favorite for the Bridgemarket space was Trader Joe's.

Mr Kallos added that Roosevelt Island residents will soon be able to grocery shop at Trader Joe's by the Tram, as well as at our neighborhood Foodtown supermarket and Costco in Long Island City.

Below are Trader Joe's Bridgemarket renderings from a February 26, 2020 presentation to the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission

 and the full presentation to the Landmarks Preservation Commission

More on Trader Joe's.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Meet Roosevelt Island Fall For Arts Festival Artist Vanessa From Staten Island, Describes Her Mural Representing Blind Justice And Statue Of Liberty - First Time Visitor And She Loves Roosevelt Island

Artist Vanessa Kreytak from Staten Island describes her Roosevelt Island Fall For Arts Festival mural representing Blind Justice and Statue of Liberty. This was her first time visiting Roosevelt Island and says she loves Roosevelt Island

More interviews with Roosevelt Island Fall For Arts Festival artists here.

Roosevelt Island Is Invited To NYPL Branching Out Presents Pandemic Stories Discussion Wednesday October 28 - Writers And Experts Explore Past, Present And Future Of Quarantine Writing

Roosevelt Island NY Public Library Branch manager Carlos Chavez reports on an upcoming event of interest to Roosevelt Island residents: 

The library is going to host an author talk on pandemic stories/writing. 

According to NYPL:

Wednesday, October 28, 2020, 6:30 p.m...

What draws us to pandemic stories? Writers and experts explore the past, present, and future of quarantine writing. What draws us to pandemic stories? Writers and experts explore the past, present, and future of quarantine writing. 

 FEATURING 

  • Moderator Richard Preston, author of Crisis in the Red Zone 
  • Peng Shepherd, author of The Book of M 
  • Laura van den Berg, author of Find Me 
  • Mike Chen, author of A Beginning at the End 

The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked overwhelming interest in books and films depicting pandemics, contagion, and other biological threats. From The Decameron to The Stand, pandemics have a long history in literature. Why are we drawn to these stories? What can they tell us about the moment we're experiencing? 

A panel of authors and editors convene (socially distanced!) to discuss the genre’s power and relevance. Bestselling author Richard Preston, whose book The Hot Zone chronicles the emergence of the Ebola virus, leads the conversation. This online program is presented by Inwood Library. 

 Ready to tell your story? Visit Pandemic Diaries to learn more about the Library's mission to capture stories and experiences related to COVID-19. Anyone 18 years or older can submit an audio Diary to be added to the Library's collections. ...

... CLICK HERE TO REGISTER 

This program will be streamed live on Zoom. You must register with your email address in order to receive the link to participate. Please check your email shortly before the discussion to receive the link. Captions for this event will be provided.

Watch this fascinating and alarming report from The Washington Post:

In a three-part documentary, The Washington Post explores a failed response to the coronavirus pandemic that’s left 225,000 Americans dead, despite decades of preparation in Washington.

and click here to register for tomorrow's NYPL Pandemic Stories Discussion.

Tell Your Pandemic Story in comments below or at the NYPL Pandemic Diaries Project.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Roosevelt Island Bike Safety Virtual Town Hall Thursday October 29, You Must Sign Up To Attend - Roosevelt Island Street Safety Advocates Start A Conversation For Pedestrian And Cyclist Safety

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) is hosting a Bike Safety Virtual Town Hall Thursday October 29:

RIOC, along with local elected officials and guests from Citi Bike/Lyft, Bike New York, and 511NY Rideshare, will be hosting a Bike Safety Virtual Townhall to discuss questions and concerns, as well as provide needed information to cyclists riding on Roosevelt Island. Join us on Thursday, October 29th at 6:30 PM, via Zoom. Registration is required for this event. To register or submit questions, email: RIBikeSafety@rioc.ny.gov

With the increasing number of bicyclists on Roosevelt Island, safety has been a growing concern on the part of pedestrians, be they elderly, children or anybody walking on the sidewalk, waterfront promenade perimeter, park pathways or crossing the street. Green Roosevelt Island Neighbors (GRIN) founder Anthony Longo reported an incident this weekend which is, unfortunately, all too common. According to Mr Longo:

As I’m sure you have seen, issues with bike riders have increased on the island lately. RIOC’s signs seem to have only made it worse. I can’t even count the amount of near misses I’ve seen on the sidewalk behind 480. People live tweeting their Citi bike adventures while they ride between small children and pets. Or just dinging their bell without slowing down, expecting people to move out of their way. I had a guy the other day holler at me, as he rode past, that it was no longer a sidewalk. 

I witnessed an incident yesterday that I cannot ignore. It happened just passed the RIOC offices on the east promenade before the RI bridge. Ironically where the path is at its widest. I was speaking to an elderly friend of mine, and her caretaker. A south bound, unmasked, biker (not a Citi bike) approached. Instead of yielding to the pedestrians he chose to make a derogatory comment to the caretaker as he tried to blow right between them. I stepped in front of him so he had to stop. I asked him if he seriously thought that it was their responsibility to move out of his way. Apparently he did. He made another comment to that end and rode on....

... There is not enough time in the day for me to call PSD every time I see something like this. I filled out a RIOC tikkit just to have it on record. I do not expect much to come with that though. It’s only a matter of time before someone gets seriously hurt.

A parent recently wrote:

The CITIBIKES freely operate wherever they want including the riverwalks/sidewalks even in presence of public safety. I called public safety and I was told to call RIOC and I did. I was told that it will be referred to management and look into the contract they had with CITIBIKE. 

There has always been posted rules and signs in the island to protect us all. There should be designated bike lanes only.

A group of Roosevelt Island resident bike riders recently got together to form "Roosevelt Island Street Safety Advocates (RISSA). The aim of RISSA is to start a conversation and develop a program for Roosevelt Island Pedestrian and Cyclist Safety. Take a look at their suggestions and let's start a conversation for the benefit of bike riders and pedestrians.

 

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 School PTA Holding Elections October 29 For Executive Board and School Leadership Council - Nominations Accepted Until Election

The Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 PTA is holding elections for their Executive Board and School Leadership Team (SLT) on October 29. 

Nominations for the positions are accepted thru the October 29 election date.
Current PS/IS 217 PTA President Irena Durkovic is not running for the upcoming term. Ms Durkovic reports:

I never had aspirations to be a PTA president, but was asked to do it since nobody else wanted to. I could see how 217 was improving and knew that the work PTA did had directly influenced that. I thought that instead of just enjoying the benefits of someone else's work, it was my civic duty to volunteer. 

Once on a board I continued to work alongside my fellow board members on organizing and simplifying the structure. There were a lot of small victories along the way, but the highlight has definitely been the PTA’s ability to support the school and help them safely re-open this fall. The most challenging part of being on a PTA board was facilitating effective communication between school, families and Roosevelt Island community. I consider it a great personal success being able to volunteer and help my community for the past two years, and I am looking forward to seeing new parents take the lead.

More info on Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 PTA elections here.

NYC Department of Education PS/IS 217 School Quality report here.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Sponsored Post - NY State Early Voting Starts Today Thru November 1, Roosevelt Island Early Voting Location 225 East 75th Street Robert Wagner Middle School - Last Day To Request Absentee Ballot October 27

There is no early voting polling station on Roosevelt Island. The Robert Wagner Middle School at 225 East 75th Street is the early voting period polling location for Roosevelt Island.

Early voting days and hours are:

The last day to request an Absentee Ballot is October 27.
Click here for Early Voting information.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Former Roosevelt Island Operating Corp President Susan Rosenthal Files Lawsuit Against RIOC For Wrongful Termination - Says Allegations Of Racism And Sexist Language Are Malicious, False And Baseless Made By Member Of Long Time Cabal Of RIOC Employees

Reported last June 20 of former Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Susan Rosenthal's 

firing at the direction of NY State Governor Andrew Cuomo carried out by the RIOC Board of Directors based upon certain allegations against Ms Rosenthal made by an employee.

According to this June 20 statement from Rich Azzopardi, Senior advisor to NY Governor Andrew Cuomo:

A complaint was made to the Governor’s office and others on June 12th by an employee of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation that alleged that the President of the organization had u‎sed inappropriate language and engaged in inappropriate conduct in the workplace.

This complaint was immediately referred to the New York State Governor’s Office of Employee Relations for investigation. This investigation substantiated that the President had used racially and sexually offensive language, in clear violation of State policy and the strict standards set by this Administration. The President was Immediately terminated.

The specific allegations made by the employee are contained in an email shown at this prior post)

Ms Rosenthal has remained silent until now. On October 19 Mr Rosenthal filed a lawsuit in NY State Supreme Court alleging wrongful termination. According to the lawsuit (Page 1-2):

... Rosenthal, until her abrupt and improper termination on June 19, 2020, was the President of the Roosevelt  Island Operating Corporation ("RIOC", or "Respondent"). A long time, fierce advocate for civil rights and, more recently, a supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement Rosenthal, a white female, brought an increased level of racial diversity to RIOC over her more than five year tenure as President. It is thus both ironic and tragic that Respondents blindly accepted the malicious, false and baseless allegations of racism and using sexist language from a known malcontent employee (the "Employee"). 

Rushing to announce their decision to terminate Petitioner on Juneteenth, Respondents conducted a brief, sham investigation which ignored irrefutable evidence that the allegations were nonsense. Had the Respondents conducted a good faith investigation, they would have quickly come to that conclusion. Instead, not only did Respondents terminate Rosenthal in violation of their own internal policies, but they did so with a public announcement which had the anticipated effect of besmirching a more than 45 year long exemplary career. 

In short, in order to obtain some cheap publicity on Juneteenth, they arbitrarily, maliciously and in violation of law threw Rosenthal under the proverbial bus. By this special proceeding, Rosenthal seeks reinstatement, back pay, attorneys' fees and damages. 

Also (Page 9):

... When she was hired in 2015, Rosenthal was warned by RIOC management of a 'cabal,' which included Employee, which targeted management and sought to oust them from RIOC. Roosenthal was told to be careful because of their propensity. Again further proving the axiom that no good deed goes unpunished, Rosenthal even supported the promotion and increased pay Employee enjoyed....
Here's a copy of the lawsuit.

and Ms Rosenthal speaking during the 2020 Roosevelt Island Black History Month Celebration at Gallery RIVAA.

Stay tuned. This is a developing story.   

Assorted Ideas, Large And Small from David Stone published a report on the Rosenthal lawsuit earlier today.

Roosevelt Island Transportation This Weekend, Subway, Tram, Ferry & Citibike - Keep Your Social Distance And Wear Face Covering - MTA Has New Real Time Subway Data Map Too

According to the MTA, there is Roosevelt Island F Train Service to and from Manhattan this weekend. Also, Roosevelt Island E Train service to and from Manhattan.  

And there's a new live Subway Map.



There is a Roosevelt Island Tram Cabin 20 passenger Covid-19 Social Distancing limit.

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) was recently asked by a resident: 

There has been a lot of complaints again about terrible tram congestion and waiting times at weekends, with one resident saying that she waited an hour to get back from Manhattan in the tram queue. 

Can you look into the issue again and consider solutions such as a red bus service on weekends for tourists and retaining the tram for residents during this period ? 

The Red Bus Shuttle to Manhattan is hardly used during the week but really necessary at the weekend when limits on numbers inside each tram, alongside visitors, makes using it impossible 

RIOC spokesperson Jessica Cerrone replied:

Thank you for your feedback. We have notified the Transportation Director about this issue, however, we are not considering priority access to the Tram for residents.

Here's the NYC Ferry Roosevelt Island Astoria Route Schedule which now extends to East 90th street on the Upper East Side.  


Also, Roosevelt Island has a new transportation option with the recent addition of Citbike docking stations

Sponsored Post - Check Out Roosevelt Island Foodtown Supermarket October 23 - October 29 Product Offerings, Specials & Sales Items - Online Shopping, Delivery Options, Digital Coupons, Nutritional Tips & Social Media Facebook And Instagram Too

The Roosevelt Island Foodtown Supermarket  

invites you to check out their October 23 - October 29 Weekly Flyer for Product Offerings, Specials & Sales Items

Click here to visit the Roosevelt Island Foodtown Supermarket web site for online shopping, delivery options, digital coupons, weekly flyer and more.  

Follow Roosevelt Island Foodtown Supermarket on Facebook


and Instagram too.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Teenager Climbs Above Queensboro Bridge Pedestrian Path to Sit On Girder Perched High Above Roosevelt Island And East River This Afternoon Until Removed By NYPD Emergency Services Unit

At about 4:30 this afternoon, a 17 year old male walking on the Queensboro Bridge pedestrian path started to climb up the bridge and sat down on a girder
before being 
brought down by the NYPD Emergency Services Unit.

One witness said: 

Watched this unfold with NYPD ESU on bridge talking this young man in crisis down. It won't make big news but you have to admire the patience and dedication here. Seeing it on a telescope you could observe the Police Officer and his compassion and care. 

CBS New York video has up close view.

 

According to an NYPD spokesperson, the teenager was taken to the 19th precinct. 

The 17 year old live streamed the incident on You Tube. While perched on the Bridge he told the police he "just wanted to get a better view".


UPDATE 10/23:


According to the LIC Post, the teenager::

... was arrested and charged with reckless endangerment, criminal trespassing and unlawful possession of noxious matter. He had pepper spray on him which he handed over to officers, police said....
 

... He was taken to Cornell Hospital for psychiatric evaluation before being discharged and arrested, police said.

Man Shot At Roosevelt Island Octagon Building Parking Lot Just After Midnight This Morning - Victim In Stable Condition, NYPD Investigating

I received a tip this morning and asked Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Acting President Shelton Haynes and Public Safety Chief Kevin Brown: 

I understand there was a shooting last night near the Octagon Can you confirm that Any more details

RIOC issued this advisory:

On Thursday, October 22nd, at 12:48 AM, there was a shooting incident on the north end of Roosevelt Island, located in The Octagon parking lot (888 Main St.). The victim, a 23-year-old male, is in stable condition and is not a resident of the island. Public Safety was called to the scene and is working in collaboration with the NYPD’s 114th Precinct to investigate. Public Safety will continue to be vigilant, with regular patrols and visible presence throughout the island.

According to a NYPD Spokesperson, a 23 year old male victim approached 2 males sitting in a car and heard 2 gunshots. The victim was shot in the upper arm and taken to hospital. Injuries were not life threatening.

No arrests have been made. Incident is under NYPD investigation.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Roosevelt Island Fall For Arts Festival Black Lives Matter 3D Mural Damaged - Was It Deliberate Hate Crime Or Weather Related Accident?

This morning, a tipster out for a walk noticed that the Roosevelt Island Fall For Arts Festival Black Lives Matter 3D Mural at the Rivercross Lawn was damaged. The letter V panel was removed leaving Black Lies Matter instead. The Tipster added:

This should be investigated by NYPD as a hate crime.

I asked the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Acting President Shelton Haynes and Public Safety Chief Kevin Brown:

 Is Rioc investigating what happened? 

RIOC spokesperson Jessica Cerrone reported: 

I have the letter and it will be re-attached. 

The Tipster added: 

Public safety called me after my report, saying Jessica had found the letter on the lawn, and that they think it’s weather related (again).

The Tipster says "again" because several weeks ago the Black Lives Matter 3D mural was knocked over and damaged, as were several other murals. At the time, RIOC attributed the incident to an overnight wind storm. 

Reacting to today's incident, the Black Lives Matter 3D Mural artist Savior Elmundo said:

I don't know what happened. Hope it was not a negative thing that someone did on purpose
. I spoke with Mr Elmundo about his mural last month.
Will update when more info received.

Are You Interested In Becoming Active In Roosevelt Island Community? Roosevelt Island Residents Association Is Seeking New Members To Represent Your Building, Nomination Deadline October 25 - RIRA Postponing 2020 Election Until 2022 Due To Coronavirus Pandemic

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA)  Interim President David Lawson and Nominations Committee Chair Adib Mansour report:

Dear Roosevelt Island residents,

I hope you are keeping well in these difficult times.
 
We are a few days away from the US general election! Traditionally, this is also the time for the election to the Common Council of the Roosevelt Island Resident Association (RIRA). The purpose of the RIRA, is to represent the interests of the island residents to all governmental, governmental-related and private institutions:

  • that develop policy affecting Roosevelt Island and its residents; 
  • that supervise or manage our housing and that supervise or manage other Island operations; 
  • as well as to ensure that the health, safety and welfare of its members and the quality of life in our community are maintained and improved. 

This is an important entity, as it is the only elected body on the Island formally entrusted by the community to defend its interests.
 
Earlier this month, the RIRA Common Council unanimously decided that RIRA 2020 election be rescheduled to 2022, as a result of COVID-19 and exceptional and unprecedented circumstances, presenting life-threatening risks and complex logistical constraints that do not allow for a fair and transparent RIRA election to proceed.
 
Consequently, the outgoing Common Council members will remain seated through the upcoming term Nov. 2020 - Nov. 2022. Nevertheless, a RIRA nomination campaign has been launched to invite and encourage Roosevelt Island residents to join RIRA, as a majority of RIRA Common Council seats (34) are currently vacant. Interested residents will be voted in by the current Common Council members on November 4th. In the absence of the usual RIRA election, once new Common Council members are voted-in and seated with the current ones, the President and Vice-President will exceptionally be elected among and by Common Council members, like the other officers (Secretary and Treasurer).

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Free Flu Shot Tomorrow, Wednesday October 21 At Carter Burden Roosevelt Island Senior Center, All Are Welcome, First Come, First Serve - This Could Be The Most Important Flu Shot You Ever Get This Year Says NYC Health Department

The Carter Burden Network Roosevelt Island Senior Center (546 Main Street) is offering free flu shots tomorrow. You don't have to be a Senior to get the Flu Shot. It's available to all. Come on by to the Senior Center at 546 Main Street from 10 AM to 12;30 PM for your flu shot.. First come, first serve. Please bring your insurance info.(The Flyer says Seniors Only but I'm told the Flu Shot is available for all)

It's important to get your flu shot this year because of the Coronavirus Pandemic says NYC Health Department Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi.

Wow - Never Before Seen Incredible View From Roosevelt Island Of Rainbow Floating Just Above East River Waterfront And Under East Side Apartment Building Tops This Afternoon

Diana Uribe shares an incredible view seen this afternoon from Roosevelt Island of a rainbow

seemingly floating just above the East River and under the tops of East Side apartment buildings.

  

Wow!

Monday, October 19, 2020

No Good Shepherd Plaza Reindeer Sled This Year - RIOC Cancels 2020 Roosevelt Island Holiday Lights Display Due To Revenue Shortfalls Says Acting President Shelton Haynes - Not Known Yet What Other Events Will Be Cancelled Too

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Acting President Shelton Haynes announced during the October 15 Operations Advisory Committee meeting that the annual Roosevelt Island Holiday Lights display will be cancelled this year due to revenue shortfalls. 

No Reindeer sled,


no Roosevelt Landings Arcade Lights,


no Tram Plaza animal lights


or any other Holiday Lights.

Mr Haynes explained that RIOC is currently experiencing a $2.7 million revenue loss this year and reducing it's community events budget from $150 Thousand annually to $50 Thousand.



Last Friday,I asked Mr Haynes what other upcoming Roosevelt Island events will be cancelled. Will update when answer received.
 
UPDATE 5:35 PM

Learn What Really Happened Inside Roosevelt Island Coler Nursing Facility From Those Who Lived It During Early Stages Of Coronavirus Pandemic - You're Invited To October 21 Virtual Zoom Special Sneak Preview And Conversation Of New Documentary, Fire Through Dry Grass, From Local Filmmakers

 As previously reported:

The Friends Of Coler are a group of Roosevelt Island residents organizing to help the patients and staff of NYC Health & Hospitals Corp (HHC) Coler Facility during the Coronavirus pandemic

The Friends of Coler helped establish a Coler Task Force and according to this June 25 letter from Roosevelt Island NY State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright and other elected officials to HHC President Mitch Katz:

... we are constituting a community-based Coler Task Force under the auspices of Community Board 8, chaired by Alida Camp, CB8’s Chair and a professional mediator to be called upon when necessary. The Task Force will be composed of Coler residents and families, local stakeholders and elected officials. The Task Force will identify issues of concern and obtain timely responses from Health + Hospitals senior management, facilitate tours of Coler for members of the committee and elected officials, and ensure healthcare workers or residents who speak out are shielded from any retribution...
Julia Feguson is a Friends Of Coler volunteer and reports today:

COVID has dissipated at Coler as it has all over NYC and the Roosevelt Island Medical Center established within Coler has gone, but when individual cases arise due to staff Covid infections, then lockdown of patients ensues. 

Recent reports from Coler Rehab Nursing Care Center indicate we need to be very concerned for a pattern of actions that severely limit patient movement and keep them away from family and friends and advocates. As we all know from recent months, mental health and physical health are closely intertwined. 

The Friends Of Coler invite you to learn more about what really happened at the Roosevelt Island Coler nursing facility during the early stages this year of the Coronavirus Pandemic at a Virtual Sneak Preview and Conversation on Wednesday October 21 of a new documentary currently in the works - Fire Through Dry Grass.

This Wednesday evening, October 21, the Roosevelt Island NYPL branch and Friends of Coler are co-hosting a storytelling/fundraising event to support a forthcoming documentary about life inside Coler during the pandemic.

 Please join the Open Doors Reality Poets alongside filmmakers Andres "Jay" Molina (a Coler resdient) and Alexis Neophytides for the trailer release of their forthcoming documentary, FIRE THROUGH DRY GRASS, and a conversation about #ownvoices pandemic storytelling. 

 Fire Through Dry Grass - 2 min teaser from The Big Chair on Vimeo.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disproportionately affect people of color, poor people, currently and formerly incarcerated Americans, and nursing home residents, Molina and Neophytides will discuss the critical impact of documenting from the inside and uplifting narratives from the communities most at risk. 

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Beautiful Aerial Drone View Of Roosevelt Island Southern Tip, NYC East River Waterfront, Renwick Smallpox Hospital And FDR 4 Freedoms Park


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

More Roosevelt Island Wildlife - Hawk Spotted Perched In Tree Then Soaring Over Over Roosevelt Island


 

The Roosevelt Island Twitterverse reports:

Friday, October 16, 2020

Assemblymember Seawright And Congresswoman Maloney Visit And Show Support For Roosevelt Island Wildlife Freedom Foundation Cat Sanctuaries - RIOC Says It Will Not Displace The Cats And Will Work Out Agreement

Last Wednesday, October 14, Roosevelt Island's NY State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright visited with Wildlife Freedom Foundation (WFF) Founder Rosanna Ceruzzi at the Octagon Cat Sanctuary,

The WFF operates 4 Roosevelt Island Cat Sanctuaries, including this one at Southpoint Park.

As previously reported,  the WFF Cat Sanctuaries had been threatened with eviction later this month by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) but the threat was later rescinded by Acting RIOC President Shelton Haynes following protests by WFF supporters and intervention by Assemblymember Seawright.

During Ms Seawright's visit to the Octagon Cat Sanctuary on Wednesday, I asked her and Ms Ceruzzi about the current status of negotiations with RIOC. Ms Seawright said that she was successful in getting RIOC to halt it's attempt to charge WFF $400 in rent during the Covid Pandemic.

 

Ms Ceruzzi noted that there were not Feral Cats at the Roosevelt Island Sanctuaries but rather former house cats abandoned when owners moved away.  

Following the interview, I asked Ms Ceruzzi if the $400 rental fee sought by RIOC was for each of the sanctuaries or for the 4 in total. She declined to answer that question. 

During yesterday's RIOC Operations Advisory Commmittee meeting, Acting RIOC President Shelton Haynes was asked by RIOC Director David Kraut about the Cat Sanctuary controversy. According to Mr Haynes:

... Negotiations broke down and then it became public...We're not going to displace Rossana or the Cats. We're going to work with them as best as possible and that's what we're doing....

... We've been having discussions with them as early as June.  we want to make sure we finalize them as early as possible....

Mr. Kraut added:

... As long as the cats are in the shelter by the time cold weather comes, I'm happy and the cats are happy....

 

More on the background of this story at prior post.

Roosevelt Island Transportation This Weekend, F & E Train Service To And From Manhattan - 20 Tram Passenger Social Distancing Limit Enforced And No Resident Priority Access Says RIOC, Ferry Route Extended To UES And Citibike Too

According to the MTA, there is Roosevelt Island F Train Service to and from Manhattan this weekend. Also, Roosevelt Island E Train service to and from Manhattan.


There is a Roosevelt Island Tram Cabin 20 passenger Covid-19 Social Distancing limit.

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) was asked by a resident: 

There has been a lot of complaints again about terrible tram congestion and waiting times at weekends, with one resident saying that she waited an hour to get back from Manhattan in the tram queue. 

Can you look into the issue again and consider solutions such as a red bus service on weekends for tourists and retaining the tram for residents during this period ? 

The Red Bus Shuttle to Manhattan is hardly used during the week but really necessary at the weekend when limits on numbers inside each tram, alongside visitors, makes using it impossible 

RIOC spokesperson Jessica Cerrone replied:

Thank you for your feedback. We have notified the Transportation Director about this issue, however, we are not considering priority access to the Tram for residents.

Here's the NYC Ferry Roosevelt Island Astoria Route Schedule which now extends to East 90th street on the Upper East Side.  


Also, Roosevelt Island has a new transportation option with the recent addition of Citbike docking stations