Saturday, June 27, 2020

Roosevelt Island's Got Talent & Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance Present Virtual Variety Show Featuring Our Local Talent Sunday June 28 - Join The Fun & Join The Community On Zoom

Roosevelt Island resident Kaja Meade reports:

Variety show featuring local talent; produced by Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance (MST&DA) and hosted by Roosevelt Island's Got Talent.

Sunday, June 28 from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Roosevelt Island Love

The Roosevelt Island community is where artists, creatives and performers flourish. Whether it's your first time, or you've come to each show - join us to celebrate these talents together. Tune in THIS SUNDAY on ZOOM for this week's talent show.

Click here to view
Roosevelt Island's Got Talent Sunday June 28 5 PM on Zoom

Couple Practicing Skate Dancing At Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech Campus Plaza, Not Quite Central Park Skate Circle, Yet - Onewheelers Rolling Roosevelt Island Too

The Rooevelt Island Cornell Tech campus plaza is a lovely spot to relax and enjoy a bite to eat and a drink at the Cafe in the Bloomberg Academic Building. Did you know it's also a place to practice your Skate Dancing too?

I doubt the Cornell Tech Plaza will ever come close to the popularity of Central Park's Skate Circle, but, hey, you never know.

Not only are Dance Skaters discovering Roosevelt Island, but so are Onewheelers.

What's next?

Friday, June 26, 2020

Roosevelt Island Celebrates Pollinator Week To Protect Bees, Birds, Butterflies, Bats & Beetles - Watch Informative Conversation With RI Residents Kaja Meade And Christina Delfico About Attracting Pollinators And Preserving Our Natural Environment

Happy National Pollinator Week! According to the Pollinator Partnership:

Pollinator Week 2020 (June 22-28) is the thirteenth consecutive year of bringing greater awareness to the critically important issue of pollinator conservation since Pollinator Partnership (P2) founded the initiative in 2007. While this year might not be a typical Pollinator Week due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people across the planet have pledged to continue promoting pollinator health and well-being through socially distant and responsible events.

Through the numerous virtual gatherings, webinars, responsible planting sessions, socially distant garden and farm walks, and monument lightings, Pollinator Week 2020 is geared to be the busiest and best one yet!....

... Pollinator Week shines a spotlight on the vital role of pollinators in our agriculture and ecosystems. Pollinators bring us 1 in 3 bites of food; promote ecosystem health; and lay the foundation for a sustainable future. While we are seeing some signs of the benefits of conservation efforts, many species of pollinators are still in grave peril. As a result of P2’s commitment and coordination of Pollinator Week, people across North America are motivated to help pollinators, and this is represented in the enthusiastic response that Pollinator week evokes....
iDig2Learn is doing it's part to celebrate and raise awareness  on Roosevelt Island of pollinator conservation.

Roosevelt Island resident Kaja Meade spoke with iDig2Learn Founder and Roosevelt Island resident Christina Delfico about Pollinator Week. It's a  great interview and very interesting conversation. Watch for yourself and learn the vital importance of pollinators on Roosevelt Island and all around the world..

No Roosevelt Island F Train Service From Manhattan This Weekend - Tram Operator Has Discretion To Increase 13 Passenger Social Distancing Limit Based On Conditions At Time Says RIOC

According to the MTA:
ELECTRICAL IMPROVEMENTS Jun 26 - 29, Fri 9:45 PM to Mon 1 AM (No subway service overnight between 1 AM and 5 AM) Jamaica-bound F trains are rerouted via the E after 47-50 Sts to Roosevelt Av

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

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) adds:
Tram Passenger Limits

As the region begins to reopen and more people return to work, the tram will have more riders. The tram operator has the discretion to allow an increase in the stated thirteen passenger limit based on conditions at a given time. If you feel a tram car is too crowded, we encourage you to wait for the next one. If you see an unsafe condition, please notify a the tram operator or a Public Safety Officer or call PSD directly at 212-832-4545.

The Roosevelt Island Tramway will be closed from 1:00 AM until 6:00 AM to ensure that disinfecting measures can be performed. Regular tram service will resume at 6:00 AM each day and continue until 1:00 AM the following morning. These early morning closures will continue each day until further notice.

Red Buses will continue to run on a Weekend Schedule until further notice.
Here's the NYC Ferry Roosevelt Island Astoria Route Schedule.

Sponsored Post - Check Out Roosevelt Island Foodtown Supermarket June 26 - July 2 Product Offerings, Specials & Sales Items - Blueberry Mojitios, Ribs OnThe Grill, Ice Cream & More - Online Shopping, Delivery Options, Digital Coupons & Social Media Facebook And Instagram Too

The Roosevelt Island Foodtown Supermarket

invites you to check out their June 26 - July 2 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, June 25, 2020

Free NYC Health & Hospitals Mobile Pop Up Covid-19 Nasal Swab Testing Site Coming To Roosevelt Island June 29 - July 3 Says Council Member Ben Kallos - First Come First Served Under The Motorgate Helix

Roosevelt Island's NYC Council Member Ben Kallos announced this evening that a Free Pop Up Mobil Covid-19 testing site under the Motorgate Helix will be available for Roosevelt Island residents starting Monday June 29 thru Friday July 3.

According to this press release excerpt from Council Member Kallos:
NYC Health + Hospitals today announced the first Covid-19 testing pop-up site on Roosevelt Island. The site will be available at Motorgate Helix Field from Monday, June 29 to Friday July 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a capacity to do 80 Covid-19 diagnostic nasal swab tests per day. This is the first testing site on Roosevelt Island, an island in the East River with more than 12,000 residents. The site was made possible with the support and advocacy of Council Member Kallos, Roosevelt Island elected officials, and the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation. All New Yorkers should get a Covid-19 nasal swab test. The test is free and there are no out-of-pocket fees or copays; however, patients with insurance will be asked for their insurance information....

... The NYC Health + Hospitals mobile Covid-19 testing site will come complete with 2 10' by 10’ tents. Residents will be met by a complement of one registration clerk and operations manager, a nurse, a nurse practitioner, and a trained patient navigator. Residents age 65 and over will be provided a separate line to access testing. There is no RSVP: care will be provided on a first come first serve basis.

Here's the full press release from Council Member Ben Kallos.

NYC Health & Hospitals Corp Investigation Finds Covid 19 Traveling Nurses Allegations Of Patient Mistreatment At Roosevelt Island Coler Nursing Facility And Roosevelt Medical Center During Pandemic Unsubstantiated

NY Post reported on May 17:

Out-of-state nurses brought to Manhattan to fight the coronavirus say they found hellish conditions at the city-run adult-care center on Roosevelt Island — from patients with horrific bed sores to feces-smeared walls.

“It was just heartbreaking,” said one of the RNs, a mom of four from Wisconsin who spent about 17 days at the Coler Rehabilitation and Nursing Care Center....
After news reports of patients being mistreated at Coler Skilled Nursing Facility and the Roosevelt Medical Center, Mayor de Blasio announced an investigation into the allegations would be conducted.

Earlier this week, I asked Mayor de Blasio's office:
I'm following up on Mayor deBlasio's May 18 statement about conducting an investigation into the problems reported at Roosevelt Island's Coler Long Term Care and Skilled Nursing Facility.

What is the status of the investigation, has it been completed? If yes, what were the results?
A NYC Health & Hospitals Corp (NYC HHC) spokesperson replied today:
After careful review and interviews with patients and staff, NYC Health + Hospitals found the traveling nurse's allegations unsubstantiated. We take pride in the facility's top-ranked clinical services and the supportive environment it provides all its residents. Our staff care for residents with respect and compassion, treating them more like family than patients, and providing their loved ones with peace of mind. The facility remains committed to the health and safety of the resident population it serves - not just during the COVID-19 pandemic, but always.
I followed up:
Was the investigation only for Traveling Nurses allegations at Roosevelt Medical Center?

Did investigation include conditions at Coler Skilled Nursing Facility too?

Do the conclusions also include any NY State investigation at Coler and Roosevelt Medical Center?

Is there a written report of the investigation that you can send to me?
and the NYC HHC spokesperson answered:
The investigation was comprehensive of the entire Coler campus -- RIMC and NYC Health + Hospitals/Coler. There ins't a sharable version of the report at this moment.
At 6 PM today, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer will be asking Coler and NYC HHC administrators submitted questions about treatment of Coler and Roosevelt Medical Center patients during Coronavirus Pandemic at a Zoom Virtual Coler Hospital Town Hall.
There may still be time to submit questions. Please send in questions to and copy

Click here to register for the Zoom Virtual Coler Town Hall.

Roosevelt Island Citibike Docking Stations Installed Yesterday, NYC Council Member Ben Kallos Announces Start Of Service and Takes First RI Citibike Ride - RIOC PSD Officers Handing Out Safe Biking Rules To Riders On Main Street Last Night

Yesterday, the NYC Citibike sharing program finally arrived on Roosevelt Island.

NYC Council Member Ben Kallos and Roosevelt Island residents

cut the welcoming ribbon for Citibike as the docking stations were being installed at the Roosevelt Island Tram Station, Motogate Plaza next to the Roosevelt Island Bridge/Foodtown Supermarket and Southpoint Park. A fourth docking station will be installed near the Octagon Building.

According to press release excerpt from Council Member Kallos:
Citi Bike is coming to Roosevelt Island with brand new stations. The first stations are being installed today and throughout the week and will be home to 74 bikes as the bike share program expands to Roosevelt Island to serve its residents for the first time. In 2014 there were more requests for CitiBike in Roosevelt Island’s zip code than anywhere else in New York City, with a bikeshare pilot dating back to 2010. This was a campaign promise of Council Member Ben Kallos who has spent years working with Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation and Citi Bike now operated by Lyft to finally get wheels down.

Citi Bike for Roosevelt Island was one of my first campaign promises,” said Council Member Ben Kallos, whose Fifth District includes Roosevelt Island. “Now, the years of work to make this happen are paying off. I am looking forward to riding a Citi Bike on Roosevelt Island after years of working with RIOC, RIRA, and residents, through multiple owners of Citi Bike, in pursuit of this expansion. None of this would have been possible without the power of the press and a commitment to covering this and every issue by the Roosevelt Islander. From Four Freedoms to Lighthouse Park and destinations in between, Citi Bike is going to make getting around Roosevelt Island more convenient and more fun.”...

... RIOC is proud to support this pilot program that gives our residents and visitors a convenient, environmentally responsible way to experience Roosevelt Island,” said Shelton J. Haynes, RIOC’s Acting President and CEO....

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) has emphasized that the Citibike program on Roosevelt Island is as a pilot project subject to change and adjustment as becomes necessary.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Sailboat Hits And Gets Stuck Under Roosevelt Island Bridge Girders This Afternoon, Rescued By FDNY Marine Unit

A sailboat traveling past Roosevelt Island in the East River hit the Roosevelt Island Bridge this afternoon. Joyce Short shares this photo

and reports:
There’s a sailboat stuck under our bridge. The mast was caught by the under carriage.
According to a FDNY spokesperson:
Time: 1239

Call for Sailboat lodged in the girders of the Roosevelt Island Bridge. Low Tide dislodged boat.

FDNY Marine 6 towed sailboat to City Island with one passenger on board FD vessel.

NO injuries.

No patients were transported to area hospitals.

Here's the FDNY rescue:

Good News, Phase 2 Of NYC Coronavirus Restaurant Restart On Roosevelt Island As Nisi Kitchen Begins Outdoor Seating Self Service Last Night - Welcome Back Kai & Alex, See You At Nisi

Roosevelt Island's Nisi Kitchen restaurant began outdoor seating service last evening and residents filled up the social distance table layout.

I sat down and spoke with father and son Nisi owners Kai

and Alex Razaghi who said they were excited to be back to offer sit down service for food and drink

and explained the easy to use current electronic self service instructions.

They plan to offer bar specials later this week or next and have begun offering Coffee & Bagel Takeout Specials

Hours are 10 AM - 11 PM every day.

Welcome back Kai & Alex - See you at Nisi.

Also, I spoke to the owners of the still under construction Grannie Annie's restaurant taking over the former Riverwalk bar space who tell me they plan to open in August.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

UPDATE On RIOC President Firing By NY Governor Cuomo After Complaint By Employee For Use Of Racial And Sexually Inappropriate Language In Workplace - Read What Was Said And Take A Look At Painting

Reported last Friday, that former Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Susan Rosenthal

was fired by NY Governor Andrew Cuomo. According to this statement received June 20 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 firing of Ms Rosenthal was leaked to the NY Post which published the story late Friday night, June 19.

I've been looking into what happened. Yesterday, I asked newly appointed Acting RIOC President/CEO Shelton Haynes and the RIOC Board of Directors:
Was the RIOC Board involved in the 1 week investigation and decision to fire Ms Rosenthal? Did the RIOC Board agree with decision by Governor Cuomo to fire Ms Rosenthal?

Who will be in charge of RIOC until a new President is appointed? Will RIOC Board conduct the search process for new RIOC President or will that be done by the Governor?

Will any current or planned RIOC project or policy be changed due to the firing?

What was the language used that caused the firing? I understand a painting in Ms Rosenthal's office was part of the allegation - is that true? Has the RIOC employee who made complaint made similar complaint against former RIOC President or any other RIOC staffer?

Any other comment from RIOC or the RIOC Board to the Roosevelt Island community?
To date, no answer to these questions other than announcement yesterday that Shelton Haynes has been appointed by the RIOC Board as Acting President/CEO. The RIOC Board met last Friday in Executive Session without prior public notice to approve Mr Haynes, currently Chief Operating Officer, as Acting RIOC President/CEO. At the time of the Friday RIOC Board meeting, Ms Rosenthal was already fired by Governor Cuomo. The RIOC Board had no involvement in firing Ms Rosenthal.

But, I have learned more about the allegations that led to Ms Rosenthal's dismissal as RIOC President.

Below is a June 12 email sent from a RIOC employee to a long list of elected officials, RIOC Board Members, RIOC Staff, Community Board 8 members, Governor's Staff and others describing the alleged speech and conduct by Ms Rosenthal that got her fired by Governor Cuomo.

Here's the email from RIOC employee:

Virtual Zoom Roosevelt Island Coler Hospital Covid Crisis Town Hall Thursday June 25 - Please Join With Friends Of Coler To Support Residents And Staff, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer Will Ask Hospital Administrators Questions You Submit

According to Julia Ferguson, volunteer point person for Friends of Coler:

Friends of Coler is an informal group of neighbors and supporters who have teamed up with the Angelica Patient Assistance Program to support Roosevelt Island’s Coler Rehabilitation and Nursing Care Center residents and staff during this Covid crisis. Working alongside OPEN DOORS, Coler Auxiliary Board members, Cornell Tech MakerLAB, and other groups, we are grateful for the work of elected officials like AM Rebecca Seawright and MBP Gale Brewer.

Join us on Thursday, June 25th, 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. for a Virtual Zoom Town Hall to voice our support and concern for Coler residents and staff.
Click here to register for the Zoom Virtual Coler Town Hall.

This Coler Town Hall is being sponsored by our elected officials. Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer will be asking Coler administrators and Health and Hospitals officials questions submitted by the community.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Ice Cream Truck Altercation With Roosevelt island PSD Yesterday - RIOC Says They Welcome Ice Cream Trucks But Must Have Proper Permit To Sell

A resident reported:

I asked Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Pubic Safety Chief Kevin Brown what happened. RIOC Public Information Officer Terrence McCauley replied:
Last night, PSD officers enforced the permit process of RIOC. The ice cream truck operator was previously advised on more than one occasion that he needs a permit to sell ice cream on the island. The operator refused to stop selling ice cream and PSD called for assistance from the NYPD’s 114th precinct. RIOC welcomes the ice cream trucks as long as they follow the permit process.
According to RIOC:
Roosevelt Island offers several high-traffic locations for food vending. With limited food options on the island, residents always line up to experience any new delicacy. We welcome all kinds of cuisine!

Mobile food vending permits are available in both daily ($30 per day) and monthly ($345 per month) increments. A city-wide vending permit is not valid for Roosevelt Island. Proper city documentation and a certificate of liability must be submitted in order to receive a permit for vending on Roosevelt Island.
Permit applications here.

UPDATE 8:55 PM - A Resident reacts to RIOC's ice cream truck statement:
This is crazy! They chase away the ice cream truck and actually called REAL POLICE on it, but they are deaf and blind to the firecrackers and fireworks being fired a few feet from them
UPDATE 6/23 - Cafe @Cornell Tech manager Chris Lewis adds:
Cornell Tech just replenished our ice cream supply yesterday!

Fireworks Exploding All Over NYC Last Few Days And On Roosevelt Island Too - RIOC Says PSD Is Monitoring Situation And Making Patrols To Stop Unlawful Fireworks Activity

Fireworks have been exploding all over NYC for the last few days including here on Roosevelt Island. A resident reports:
The other night at around 1am, fireworks were going off over near the island bridge. I kept thinking that public safety would come around and put a stop to it. Although I admirably was up and enjoying them, it did give me pause to think it was real gunshots at some point.
Yesterday,I asked Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Safety Chief Kevin Brown:
Residents have been complaining recently about Fireworks going off on Roosevelt Island in recent days.

Any more details or comments about fireworks going off on Roosevelt Islansd?
RIOC sent out this advisory:
RIOC has received complaints about fireworks over the past few days. Remember - fireworks are illegal in NYC. PSD will continue to monitor the island to ensure that everyone remains safe and complies with the law.
Roosevelt Island Twitterverse reports:

NYC Mayor de Blasio Calls For Painting Black Lives Matter Murals In All 5 Boroughs - Roosevelt Island Kids Do Their Part By Drawing Black Lives Matter Sidewalk Chalk Mural On Riverwalk Commons

Last Friday afternoon, Roosevelt Island got it's own Black Lives Matter Mural

Image From Rachel Dowling

with a chalk drawing on the Riverwalk Commons area by local kids

Image From Rachel Dowling

and their parents. Rachel Dowling shares this video walk thru

and reports:
Here are some pics from our community collaboration this afternoon.

Image From Rachel Dowling

The event was organized by local mom, Jaime Lewis O’Laughlin, who provided the chalk.

Image From Rachel Dowling

We left the leftover chalk with a message inviting passers by to join us and add to our message.
Here's a partially obscured aerial view of the

Roosevelt Island Black Lives Matter Chalk Mural

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Good News, Phase 2 Of NYC Coronavirus Restart Begins Tomorrow - Roosevelt Island Nisi Kitchen Hopes To Open With Social Distance Outdoor Seating Barriers On Good Shepherd Plaza Monday June 22

Roosevelt Island Nisi Kitchen restaurant owner Kai Razahgi told me today that he hopes to open tomorrow with social distance outdoor seating barriers

at the Good Shepherd Plaza.

Welcome back Nisi.

Good News, Phase 2 Of NYC Coronavirus Restart Begins Tomorrow - We All Need Haircuts, Roosevelt Island Fusion Salon Opening Monday June 22

The Roosevelt Island Fusion Salon  is open for business starting tomorrow.

Boris, the owner of Fusion Salon, reports:
We will reopen on Monday June 22. Clients must wear a mask and keep social distance of 6 feet apart

My employees will wash hands or sanitize after each client, sanitize station and chairs after each client & wear gloves and mask.

It’s better to make appointment Call (212)688-0055 for an appointment. If you don’t you just have to wait outside for your turn .

All my Employees have completed Covid-19 training rules

regarding precautions and safety for everybody.
It will feel great to get a haircut after all this time.