Saturday, April 24, 2021

Clean Up Efforts Today By Local Residents Celebrate Roosevelt Island Earth Love Day, Lets Go Plogging - Book Swap With Local Library, Composting, Yoga & More Too

Roosevelt Island celebrated Earth Love Day on this beautiful spring Saturday at the Rivercross Lawn with a Ploggng clean up, book swap, composting and other sustaninable activities. 

Local resident and iDig2Learn founder Christina Delfico, together with her young friends, describe their Plogging efforts today.

Island Om's Jax Schott led a Yoga Class on the Rivercross Lawn too.

And from the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Communications staff.
Last Thursday, the Today Show host Al Roker celebrated Earth Day with The Science Guy Bill Nye on Roosevelt Island.

Friday, April 23, 2021

You're Invited To The Roosevelt Island Gallery RIVAA Vernissage 20th Anniversary Exhibition Opening Reception Celebration Saturday April 24

Roosevelt Island's Gallery RIVAA (527 Main Street) is hosting an opening reception for Vernissage 20th RIVAA Anniversary Celebration Saturday April 24. You're invited.

According to Gallery RIVAA
20th RIVAA Anniversary Exhibition
Saturday, April 24, 2021 to Sunday, June 6, 2021
Opening Reception: Saturday, April 24, 6-9pm

You are cordially invited to celebrate RIVAA's Annual Anniversary Exhibition Vernissage XX with RIVAA Artist Members and Guests.

The Roosevelt Island Visual Art Assoc. is a non-profit organization comprised of an internationally diverse group of artists. RIVAA opened the first gallery on Roosevelt Island in March 2002 and is dedicated to elevating the quality of life in the community through art, music, poetry, dance, events, and workshops.

Gallery Hours:
Wednesdays and Fridays: 6 – 9 pm
Saturdays and Sundays: 11 am – 5 pm

Congrats on 20 years of Gallery RIVAA on Roosevelt Island.

Are You Interested In Working Close To Home On Roosevelt Island? The Roosevelt Island Graduate Hotel At Cornell Tech Currently Looking To Fill Several Positions, Rooftop Bar And Ground Floor Restaurant Operator Meal Plan Has Jobs Available Too

As previously reported, the Roosevelt Island Graduate Hotel on the Cornell Campus will open June 1. 

According to Highgate Hotels, operator of The Graduate Hotel on Roosevelt Island, they are currently seeking to fill several positions including:

Click on links for job description and to apply.

Meal Plan is the operator of the Graduate Hotel rooftop bar and ground floor restaurant. Although an  opening date for the bar and restaurant has not been announced yet, Meal Plan has begun hiring too.

Click here for Meal Plan Roosevelt Island Graduate Hotel jobs description and to apply.

Here's a presentation about the rooftop bar and restaurant from Marc Rose of Meal Plan 

during February 26, 2020 Roosevelt Island Community  Construction Task Force meeting.

More info on the Roosevelt Island Graduate Hotel at this prior post.   

Good luck for those interested in the jobs.

Roosevelt Island Earth Love Day Saturday April 24 At Rivercross Lawn - You're Invited For Eco Friendly Activities And Education, Plogging, Composting, Pollinator Seeds & Gardening Plus Sustainable Giveaways

 Engaged Roosevelt Island reports:

Hello Engaged Roosevelt Island Neighbors,

Happy Earth Day! We wanted to be sure you are aware of RIOC’s #EarthLove Day this Saturday, April 24th from 10 AM – 1 PM. at the Meditation Lawn adjacent to the Meditation Steps (south of Rivercross/501 Main St.) on Roosevelt Island. 

Our own iDig2Learn will be hosting Plogging from 10am to Noon. Plogging originated in Sweden (Plocka och Jogga) and combines fresh air by getting neighbors outdoors to move either by jogging or walking to pick up litter. Limtied supply of reusable bags and gloves so please bring your own if you have them. (Coach Scot has been a terrific partner – and made the pilot program the success that it was. See the attached "thank you" flyer – what a wonderful event!)

There will also be a free book exchange, used battery drop off and the updated Green Map of free eco-friendly resources on Roosevelt Island.

Hope to see everyone there. Take care.

Here's more on Plogging

Roosevelt Island Transportation This Weekend - F Train Service To And From Manhattan, R Train Too, Tram Social Distancing Limit of 55 Riders, Ferry Service And Citibike Too - But Watch Out For Street Cracks and Potholes

According to the MTA, there will be Roosevelt Island F Train service to and from Manhattan this weekend.

R train service too.

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (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 Monday, March 8th, from 35 to 55 passengers per cabin, and we will continue to assess and gradually increase ridership 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.

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

And Roosevelt Island Ciibike docking stations too.  But watch out for the cracks in street and potholes.

UPDATE 5 PM - According to RIOC:

In anticipation of an increase in visitor and pedestrian traffic to the island this weekend to view the Cherry Blossoms and participate in #EarthLove Day, the following safety controls will be activated, effective Saturday, April 24th at 7 AM through Monday, April 26th:

Overcrowding Safety Controls:

  • NYPD and PSD will enforce social distancing throughout the island as well as at highly frequented locations on the island 
  • Large crowds will be managed by PSD officers with the assistance of the 114th Precinct 
  • Parks will be monitored by PSD throughout the day. Please note that parks will close in the occurrence of overcrowding on the island. 
  • Cornell security have been alerted and will monitor and discourage large gatherings on the Cornell Tech campus 
  • Face coverings will be distributed to anyone in need of a mask by PSD. 

Transportation & Island Services:

Subway: F train service will run on normal weekend hours. Please plan your travel accordingly and visit or call 511 for more information. For electronic updates on F Train service, sign up for MTA Alerts at

Red Bus: Shuttle service will be provided hourly from the R.I. Tramway, making all northbound local stops to Capobianco Field (opposite PS/IS 217). The shuttle will depart on the half hour from the Manhattan Tram station, from the Southwest side of 2nd Avenue, between 58th and 59th Street, and will make all southbound local bus stops (starting with 591 Main St.) to the Tram. The last trip will depart from the Roosevelt Island Tram at 7 PM.

Tram: PSD officers will be present at each station and will enforce social distancing. Passengers should plan accordingly as they may experience long lines.  

Ferry Service: Ferry service will run on normal weekend service hours, however, in the event of large crowds, service will be limited to essential workers only.  For schedule info, visit: 

Vehicular Traffic: In the event of overcrowding, vehicular access to the island will be restricted to island residents and workers only. PSD and NYPD will be stationed at the entryway of the bridge (Vernon and 36th Ave.) to monitor and redirect, if needed. 

Bicycles: Citations will be issued to any cyclist/motorized scooters who do not adhere to NYC bike laws.

Garbage Removal: There will be an increase in waste management this weekend to address any littering caused by overcrowding. 

For more information, please call PSD at 212-832-4545.

Sponsored Post - Check Out Roosevelt Island Foodtown Supermarket April 23 - April 29 Spring Savings, Product Offerings, & Special Items - Online Shopping, Delivery Option, Digital Coupons & 30 Day Health Challenge Too

The Roosevelt Island Foodtown Supermarket 

invites you to check out their April 23 - April 29 Weekly Flyer for Product Offerings, Specials and 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, April 22, 2021

Sponsored Post - Deadline Extended, Still Time To File Your Taxes, Says Roosevelt Island Based Accountable Financial Management Corporation President Seymour Williams - We'll Get The Job Done

Seymour Williams, CFP® (Certified Financial Planner) is a trusted advisor to individuals and business owners who seek to maximize their financial position. For over 30 years he has been a fully licensed expert in the financial fields of investments, insurance, real estate, mortgages and taxation. He is the President of Accountable Financial Management Corp, a minority owned business which has operated here on Main Street for more than 20 years. 

Mr. Williams’ professional experience is extensive and he has consulted with several major international banks and with programs sponsored by both the Small Business Administration and the U.S. Department of Commerce.

He holds a BBA degree from Bernard M. Baruch College and an MBA in Finance from Long Island University, where he served on the faculty as a Professor of Finance and Management. Sy has lived on Roosevelt Island for 35+ years raising his family and serving as a respected member of the community.

501 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, NY 10044
Website: Email:
Phone: 212-644-8231
Fax: 212-644-0292

Happy Earth Day From Roosevelt Island, Watch Today Show Host Al Roker, Science Guy Bill Nye And Local Wildlife Freedom Foundation Clean Up Southpoint Park - Al And Bill Ride A RI Citibike Avoiding Potholes and Return To Manhattan On Empty Tram During Morning Rush Hour

As reported yesterday, the NBC Today Show morning television program broadcast live today from Roosevelt Island's Southpoint Park to celebrate Earth Day.

Roosevelt Island's Wildlife Freedom Foundation (WFF) founder Rossana Ceruzzi and WFF volunteers were invited to participate in the Earth Day celebration and joined in to help clean up Southpoint Park.

Bill Nye, the Science Guy, spoke with Today show host Al Roker about the Earth Day movement from the Roosevelt Island East River promenade.

and then took a Citibike ride at the Tram Plaza - watch out for the cracked street and potholes guys. A resident noted: 

I was watching how Al and Bill turned 180 degrees just before going under the Ed Koch bridge on the East side. They could not make that choice! Both the sidewalk and the road are in horrible shape at that spot.  It was kind of funny to see these bikers violating our invisible road signs and going against traffic.

Al Roker and Bill Nye then departed for mainland Manhattan on an empty Roosevelt Island Tram during the morning rush hour
Happy Earth Day from Roosevelt Island.

More celebrating Earh Day on Roosevelt Island this Saturday.

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Board Of Directors Meeting Tonight April 22 - Agenda Includes Public Purpose Fund Grants For Local Non Profit Organizations, Who Got Approved, Who Didn't, What Amount And Why?

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors will meet 5:30 PM today, April 22, via video conference.  

You can watch the Board meeting here and ask questions or share concerns about Roosevelt Island issues during the opening Public Session before the start of the meeting. Sign up to speak here. 

Among the items on the Agenda are 

... 3. Authorization of Public Purpose Grants Expenditure for FY 2021-22 (Board Action Required)...

According to  the Board Materials for today's RIOC Board Directors meeting, RIOC has not approved the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) recommendations of Public Purpose Funds for Gallery RIVAA and NY Foundation for the Arts.

 Here's the full RIOC April 22 Board Agenda

and memo for RIOC CFO John O'Reilly regarding Public Purpose Fund Grants.
Stay tuned for more.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

RIOC Removes 4 Scarce Roosevelt Island Public Parking Spaces To Be Reserved For Use By RIOC President And Guests, Being A Good Neighbor Says Spokesperson - Example Of RIOC Arrogance Says Resident, Another Says RIOC Treats Residents Like Guests In Their Own Home

During the April 20 Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Public Safety Committee virtual Zoom meeting last evening, RIRA President Rossana Ceruzzi asked Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department Chief Kevin Brown about the newly reserved parking spots across from 475 Main Street and the Rivercross Lawn that had previously been public parking spots.

PSD Chief Kevin Brown answered that the spots will be reserved for Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Shelton Haynes and his guests. As previously reported, Mr Haynes will soon be moving his offices "temporarily" to Blackwell House.  The move to a new office is because RIOC lost the lease for it's long time Westview space at 591 Main Street.

Today I asked RIOC President Shelton Haynes and RIOC Directors:

I understand that 4 current public parking spots on Main Street across from Blackwell House are being removed from public use to be reserved for RIOC President Shelton Haynes and guests when he moves his office to Blackwell House shortly.

As you know, there are very limited parking spaces on Main Street. Why are they being removed from public use and being reserved for the RIOC President and guests? Why special treatment for the RIOC President and guests? Why can't the RIOC President and guests park at a public space or at Motorgate just like every other resident, business owner, worker or visitor?

I am preparing a story this afternoon on the subject and, as always, would like to include any statement from RIOC for accuracy and fairness purposes. 

Please let me know if any comment from RIOC.

RIOC Public Information Officer Amy Smith responds:

RIOC remains committed to being a good neighbor and community partner through thoughtful attention to island life. As to not interfere with the flow of traffic, prevent the possibility of vehicles inadvertently parking illegally, or create unwanted disruptions to surrounding businesses, an area on Main Street has been designated to accommodate visitor, vendor, and Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) vehicles pertinent to RIOC business operations. 
According to comments on the Roosevelt Island Friends Facebook group page:

  • The arrogance of this new RIOC leader is astounding. He can park and so can his visitors... Listen if Tish James or the Governor come, they will park wherever the want. No one else 'merits' a free parking space. This type of behavior defies the very values this community was build on. Does anyone in that office know our history? Parking spaces are just another indication of the much greater problem! 
  • RIOC treats us like we are a guest in our own home. This is just straight up rude.
  • I am curious though, if the spaces are for RIOC employees, why wouldn't they park on the garage roof top like all other employees and business owners who work on Roosevelt Island?
  • That is a shame. Blackwell House always used to be a "community" space for resident gatherings, celebrations, etc. RIOC really knows how to take the "community" feel out of a community. (And now they are taking parking spaces away from residents too).

The RIOC Board of Directors is holding a meeting tomorrow, April 22. If you wish, you can submit written comments on this or any other issue that will be read during the 5:30 PM Public Session, though there is no guarantee that any of the Directors will respond. Here's the link to submit your written comments to the RIOC Board.

RIOC Advisory Says No Traffic South Of Roosevelt Island Tram Station Plaza Tomorrow Morning, Reliable Source Says Reason Is NBC Today TV Show Broadcasting Live From Roosevelt Island - UPDATE, Local Wildlife Freedom Foundation Will Be Featured On Today Show Celebrating Earth Day At Southpoint Park

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) communications team issued a Parking Advisory last night and earlier today of no traffic or parking south of the Roosevelt Island Tram Station tomorrow morning. According to RIOC:

Please be advised that the East and West Roads south of the Tram Plaza turnaround will be closed to traffic and parking on Thursday, April 22nd from 6:30 AM to 9:30 AM. These areas include:

  • N. Loop Rd.
  • W. Loop Rd.
  • S. Loop Rd.
  • E. Loop Rd.
  • Cornell Tech Parking Garage 
We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and cooperation.

Several residents asked about the reason for the advisory and I asked RIOC yesterday. No response.

This morning, I learned from a very reliable source that one of the morning TV shows, believed to be  NBC Today Show, is broadcasting live tomorrow morning from the Roosevelt Island Cherry Tree Blossom Grove next to Cornell Tech.

I asked RIOC for confirmation of the Today Show live broadcast from Roosevelt Island tomorrow but have not received any response yet. Will update when more info becomes available.

UPDATE 8:40 PM - Clarification, the Roosevelt Island Wildlife Freedom Foundation (WFF) will be featured on the Today Show tomorrow morning at Southpoint Park with founder Rossana Ceruzzi and 15 WFF volunteers in celebration of Earth Day.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Roosevelt Island Community Board 8 Committee Discusses RI Bridge Bike Lane Resurfacing, Can WIRE Newspaper Return, Coler Task Force, Search For Community Bank, Helicopter Noise & More

The Community Board 8 Roosevelt Island Committee held an April 15 virtual Zoom meeting. According to the meeting Agenda, subjects discussed included:

Roosevelt Island Bridge Bike Land Resurfacing Update - Joint with Transportation Committee. 

Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation Capital Projects Presentation. 

Resurrect the WIRE initiative to bring back our local paper. 

Status of the Coler Task Force, 

Friends of Coler 

Old Business 

Status of Community Bank 

Status of Helicopter Task force 

Additional Vaccine Pop-Up site 

New Business 

 Lynne Strong-Shinozaki, Chair Roosevelt Island

 Here's the discussion.

Monday, April 19, 2021

Take A Tour Of Newly Renovated Roosevelt Island Youth Center, STEM Lab, Gaming Center, Learning Kitchen, Educational Garden, Music Room, Multimedia Theater & More - Why Did RIOC Try To Block Local Media And RIRA President From The Tour?

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) hosted a tour of the newly renovated Youth Center for a select group of invited RIOC Staff, Board Directors and politicians last Saturday, April 17. 

The new Roosevelt Island Youth Center facility includes a:

  • STEM Lab,
  • Gaming Center,
  • Learning Kitchen,
  • Educational Garden
  • Music Room
  • Activity Room and
  • Multimedia Theatre

Roosevelt Island's NYC Council Member Ben Kallos was very impressed with the new Roosevelt Island Youth Center facility, particularly the Computer Center and state of the art video gaming consoles.

Take a look at the Youth Center Educational Garden
and follow along as RIOC Project Manager Michelle Edwards gives a tour of the new Roosevelt Island Youth Center.

RIOC President Shelton Haynes adds:


The RIOC Communications staff did not invite the local Roosevelt Island media to attend the tour. I happened to be walking back from the Farmers Market when I noticed Mr Kallos talking to an assembled group at the Youth Center and stopped to see what was going on. 

Upon learning that a tour of the new facility was about to begin, I asked to be included in the tour to report on the new facility for the Roosevelt Island community. The RIOC Communications staff refused my request. Mr Kallos intervened and persuaded RIOC President Haynes to allow me to report on the Youth Center tour.

Neither was Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) President Rossana Ceruzzi invited to the renovated Youth Center tour. When she walked by the Youth Center and asked to be included in the tour as a representative of the community, the RIOC Communications staff refused her request.

More information on the Roosevelt Island Youth Center available at RIOC website.

Candidate To Represent Roosevelt Island And UES As Democratic Party 76 Assembly District Part A Leader Rebecca Weintraub Meets And Speaks To RI Residents At Saturday Farmers Market, Watch Video Interview Of What She Has To Say

Rebecca Weintraub is a candidate to represent Roosevelt Island and the Upper East Side as Democratic Party 76 Assembly District Part A Leader. Last Saturday, April 16, Ms Weintraub was at the Roosevelt Island Farmers market meeting and speaking with residents about her campaign and local issues of concern.

Meet Rebecca Weintraub.

Ms Weintraub's website reports:

As your District Leader, Rebecca will work to ensure that the New York County Democratic Party remains transparent, accountable, and responsive to our community’s needs. She will advocate for building a diverse and inclusive county leadership structure that stays true to our Party’s core progressive values. The position of District Leader is especially important in Part A of the 76th Assembly District because Roosevelt Island is controlled by the New York State government through the Roosevelt Island Operating Company (RIOC)....

According to Manhattan Democrats:

A District Leader is an unpaid volunteer elected official. All formal parties in New York State are required to have at least one District Leader (DL) per Assembly District (AD). These positions are subject to primary elections every two years. This ostensibly guarantees that any party with formal status in New York State (e.g. a permanent ballot line) is democratically governed by its members. In essence, the District Leader is the representative of the party members in their district to that political party’s apparatus. 

From part one of Paul Newell’s “What’s a District Leader?“...

More info on Ms Weintraub availablle at her website

Esther Yang is also running for Democratic Party 76 Assembly District Part A Leader. Meet her too.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

The Importance Of Being An Informed Consumer, How Digital Disruption Has Changed Market Dynamics - You're Invited To This Virtual Zoom Roosevelt Island Community Conversation With Cornell Tech Faculty Professor Mukti Khaire Tuesday April 20

You're invited to a virtual zoom Roosevelt Island Community Conversation with Cornell Tech Faculty Professor Mukti Khaire.

Cornell Tech Assistant Director of Government and Community Affairs Jane Swanson reports:

Just a reminder if you haven’t done so already to register here for our next community event: Community Conversations with Cornell Tech Faculty: The Importance of Being an Informed Consumer. This virtual event will be held this coming Tuesday, April 20th at 4:30 pm EST. It promises to be a fascinating and informative talk. See details below and please feel free to forward this email to others who you feel would be interested in attending this event. See you on Tuesday!

Click here to register.