Saturday, October 2, 2021

Roosevelt Island Celebrates Korean Harvest Moon Festival Today At Good Shepherd Plaza With Traditional Music, Dance & Dress - Roosevelt Island Is Not Just A Community, We're A Family That Respects Other Cultures Says Event Host Wendy Hersh President Of RIDA

It was a wonderful afternoon at Good Shepherd Plaza today as the Roosevelt Island community celebrated the Korean Harvest Moon Festival with performers from the Korean Traditional Music and Dance Center of New York

Event host Wendy Hersh, President of the Roosevelt Island Disabled Association (RIDA) introduced the program observing:

Roosevelt Island is not just a community, we are a family that respects other cultures.

Roosevelt Island resident Sonja Yang was the event emcee. She told the audience that the Korean Harvest Moon Festival, known as Chuseok, was a bit like the American Thanksgiving and explained the culture of the Holiday and of the dances.

Here are some scenes from today's Roosevelt Island Korean Harvest Moon Festival

and the Event Program.
Great job by the event organizers!

Friday, October 1, 2021

RIDA Hosts Roosevelt Island Korean Harvest Moon Festival Celebration With Traditional Music & Dance Saturday October 2 At Good Shepherd Plaza, You're Invited

Roosevelt Island Disabled Association (RIDA) President Wendy Hersch reports

This Saturday Oct 2nd. Free event . 

Korea's Harvest Moon Festival, also known as Chuseok or Hangawi, is a major harvest festival and a three-day holiday in both North and South Korea celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar on the full moon. 

It is sometimes called the Korean Thanksgiving. It is one of the biggest traditional holidays. The Roosevelt Island Disabled Association along with Roosevelt Island Operating Cooperation will be honoring Korean Culture by celebrating this holiday with traditional dance and music on October 2nd at Church Plaza.

Roosevelt Island Resident Jax Schott Opening Island Om Wellness & Yoga Studio On Main Street Tomorrow, October 2 - Offering A Range Of Classes For All Ages And Skill Levels

In March 2019, Roosevelt Island Main Street Retail Master leaseholder Hudson Related announced that local resident Jax Schott signed a lease to open Island Om, a 1,975 square foot Yoga Studio and Wellness Center, in the Rivercross building at 521 Main Street. Island Om hoped to open in Fall 2019 but there were delays and then the Coronavirus Pandemic shutdown causing more delays.

Today, the finishing touches on the new Island Om Wellness & Yoga studio were being completed

for tomorrow's opening day.

According to this press release from Hudson Related:

Hudson Related Retail announced today the opening of Island OM, the first wellness studio on Roosevelt Island. Located at 521 Main Street at Shops on Main, Island OM will offer a range of classes for students of all ages and skill levels, including yoga, barre, sculpt workouts and meditation, plus workshops covering childbirth education, therapeutic services and nutrition.

Island OM founder and Roosevelt Island resident, Jax Schott, has extensive experience teaching all demographics a variety of classes rooted in wellness. Island OM will operate with two studios, one dedicated to yoga, meditation and special wellness workshops while the other will be for barre and strength-based classes. 

“Island OM is a wonderful new amenity on Roosevelt Island, providing wellness and healing opportunities for anyone, from beginners to experienced students,” said David Kramer, President of Hudson Companies. “With its diverse selection of retail offerings, Shops on Main has become a lively destination for Roosevelt Islanders and New Yorkers, and Island OM is a perfect addition to that well-curated mix.” 

"Creating Island OM has been a dream and a vision for many years and getting to Opening Day has been long awaited and eagerly anticipated, by not just me and my family, but also the Roosevelt Island Community as shown by the support and enthusiasm from our students and residents,” said Jax Schott, Owner of Island OM. “I'm thrilled to finally be opening our doors and welcoming everyone into our beautiful new space where they can find their hOMe at Island OM! After the past 18+ months when many individuals have been living and working from their homes, my hope is for Island OM to be their Wellness Oasis where they can visit and focus on their own holistic well-being.” 

Island OM embraces a teaching approach that focuses on connecting one-on-one with students to meet their specific needs within a class. Instructors at Island OM have different styles and backgrounds but pay specific attention to alignment to ensure students can grow in their own practice. All classes at Island OM are non-competitive and are designed to inspire students to be supportive of one another.

Island OM will host a 45-minute sunset yoga class at The Sanctuary on Roosevelt Island on Sunday, October 3 at 5:00pm. The class will be followed by signature cocktail drinks, giving students an opportunity to practice their skills while introducing them to the Roosevelt Island yoga community. Ahead of Island OM’s grand opening, Jax Schott hosted a free outdoor class on the Meditation Lawn on September 25 in conjunction with Roosevelt Island’s Fall for Arts Festival.

The opening of Island OM introduces the first-of-its-kind dedicated wellness space to Roosevelt Island, adding to the diverse array of businesses currently operating on Main Street. Eclectic eateries include Nisi, Liukoushui Hot Pot Noodle, Bread + Butter Market, China 1 Kitchen and more. Shops on Main is also home to a variety of service providers, from pet care service Pup Culture to Roosevelt Island Cleaners, Roosevelt Nails and Fusion Salon. Shops on Main has a significant cultural presence as well with Gallery RIVAA and The Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance.

In September 2020, I spoke with Jax Schott after she finished a class on the Rivercross Lawn.  Ms. Schott described her outdoor Yoga classes and plans for new indoor Yoga Studio & Wellness Center which she anticipated opening last winter but is finally opening tomorrow.

Good luck to Ms Schott on her new business.

More info on Island Om at their website.

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Current Roosevelt Island Residency Not A Requirement To Remain On RIOC Board Of Directors Says RIOC And Governor's Appointment Office - 2 Former Residents Remain On RIOC Board Despite Leaving Community

Last September 13, I asked the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):

I'm preparing a story regarding at least one RIOC Board member, Jeffrey Escobar, not being a current Roosevelt Island resident as required by RIOC's governing statute. My understanding is that Mr Escobar moved away from Roosevelt Island more than a year ago yet he remains a member of the RIOC Board.
Is that true? If it is true, why has Mr Escobar remained on the RIOC Board? 

Also, there are allegations that David Kappel no longer lives on Roosevelt Island, or may be a part time resident, not a full time Roosevelt Island resident. Is that true? 

Does having non residents on the RIOC Board in violation of RIOC governing statute invalidate RIOC Board actions or quorum counts that they participated in?

RIOC did not reply.

I submitted a written question to the September 29 RIOC Board of Directors meeting Public Session held before the start of the meeting asking:

How many members of the RIOC Board of Directors, excluding NY State Officials, are required by statute to be residents of Roosevelt Island?

Are any of the RIOC Board Directors, excluding the NY State Officials, not residents of Roosevelt Island and if so, why are they members of the RIOC Board?

Do all members of the RIOC Board of Directors, excluding the NY State Officials, list Roosevelt Island as their primary residence on personal tax forms? If no, who does not?

RIOC Board Members and staff rarely respond to questions during any Public Session though they sometimes address the subject during the actual Board meeting.

I was surprised when RIOC General Counsel Gretchen Robinson answered:

I can briefly answer that question. 

We have two Board Members that currently do not reside on Roosevelt Island. 

I will say that Mr Kappel proactively on his own, when he determined that he was no longer going to reside on the Island, reached out to the Appointments Office to inquire as to whether his service would terminate or be in jeopardy because of that decision. 

After consultation with the Appointments Department, he was told that based on the law as it reads, he is not in violation of any rule or regulation or law and his appointment may continue until such time of his replacement.

Mr. Escobar who also recently moved off the Island has also begun that same process so based on those findings the RIOC Board Members are permitted to serve until such time that they are replaced. 

As the law reads, continued residency is silent to that. So, they were both appointed as residents when they became members of the Board and as far as Appointments is concerned, their continued services is all right

The Appointments Office Ms Robinson references is the Executive Chamber of NY State Governor Kathy Hochul.

Current residency on Roosevelt Island has long been thought to be an essential criteria for members of the RIOC Board to have direct, first hand knowledge of community concerns and be invested in the outcomes of decisions made by the RIOC Board. 

Mr Escobar was a former Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) President who, at that time, was a strong supporter of residency for RIOC Directors as well as direct community election to the RIOC Board. His position appears to have changed as a RIOC Director.

One could ask why a non resident would want to serve on the RIOC Board of Directors which, when done properly, requires a great deal of time and work for no salary.

Here's the current statute (effective 2019) regarding RIOC Board of Directors:

2. The board of directors of the corporation shall be composed of nine members. One member shall be the commissioner, who shall serve as the chair; one member shall be the director of the budget; and seven public members shall be appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate. Of the seven public members, two members, one of whom shall be a resident of Roosevelt Island, shall be appointed upon the recommendation of the mayor of the city; and four additional members shall be residents of Roosevelt Island. Each member shall serve for a term of four years and until his or her successor shall have been appointed and shall have qualified, except that the commissioner and the director of the budget shall serve so long as they continue to hold their respective offices. Any action taken by the directors of the corporation shall be taken by majority vote of the directors then in office. The elected public officials who represent Roosevelt Island shall be representatives to the board of directors of the corporation entitled to receive notice of and attend all meetings of such board but shall not be entitled to vote. Failure to give such notice shall not affect the validity of any action taken at a meeting of such board....
Stay tune for updates.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Upcoming Roosevelt Island Events This Week - You're Invited To Book & Wine Tastings Club Thursday At Gallery RIVVA, 4 Freedoms Democratic Club Thursday At The Sanctuary And RIDA Hosting Korean Harvest Moon Festival Saturday

Several upcoming Roosevel Island events this week you're invited to attend.

As previously reported:

Roosevelt Island resident Adela Sinclaire is a poet, educator, avid reader of great books and enjoys a good glass of wine. Ms Sinclair and her friend Cristina Afodorcei have combined these interests and formed a new book club entitled Books and Wine Tastings.... 

Ms Sinclair reports:

Join us this Thursday at 4 pm at Gallery RIVAA as we will be hosting our first in person free event. We will read poems, discuss our book and announce the next one. Many delights will be revealed. Location is: 527 Main Street, Roosevelt Island. Let us know if you have any questions by sending us a DM

Are you interested in Democratic Party politics and wish to meet like minded folks? If yes, come join the Four Freedoms Democratic Club members Thursday September 30 to meet and greet NY State Senator Jose Serrano at The Sanctuary Cafe & Events space on Roosevelt Island

Roosevelt Island Disabled Association (RIDA) President Wendy Hersch reports

This Saturday Oct 2nd. Free event . 

Korea's Harvest Moon Festival, also known as Chuseok or Hangawi, is a major harvest festival and a three-day holiday in both North and South Korea celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar on the full moon. 

It is sometimes called the Korean Thanksgiving. It is one of the biggest traditional holidays. The Roosevelt Island Disabled Association along with Roosevelt Island Operating Cooperation will be honoring Korean Cultural by celebrating this holiday with traditional dance and music on October 2nd at Church Plaza.

Meet Mark Foley, Republican Party Nominee To Represent Roosevelt Island, Upper East Side And East Harlem In NYC Council District 5 - Foley Discusses Roosevelt Island Constituent Services, Crime, Covid 19 Vaccine Mandates & More

Mark Foley is the Republican Party nominee to represent Roosevelt Island, the Upper East Side and East Harlem in NYC Council District 5, seeking to succeed current City Council Member Ben Kallos who is term limited from running again. 

According to the Mark Foley for City Council website:

Mark Foley is a problem-solver and a forward-thinking New Yorker. Not a career politician, Mark's neighborhood roots, vast and diverse business experience, administrative ability, management skills and financial and economic know-how are what set him apart from all of his potential opponents in every way that matters. Mark has long-standing and significant relationships in the community, he is running a grassroots campaign appealing to all District residents, and he has the support to challenge his tired and out-of-touch establishment opponent....

I spoke with Mr Foley last Saturday during the Roosevelt Island Fall For Arts Festival outside of the Nisi restaurant.

Here's what he had to say. (Sorry about the background noise from people coming out of Good Shepherd at time of interview).

Mr Foley discussed a variety of local issues during this interview with Christopher Wright including crime, bail reform, re-funding the police, helping small businesses and Covid 19 vaccination mandates. I asked Mr Foley:

... My understanding from the interview is that you are against mandatory vaccinations, including for Police Officers, Health workers, Teachers and other city employees.

Also you appear to oppose Mayor deBlasio's policy of requiring proof of vaccination status for entry into NYC indoor restaurants, health clubs, and entertainment venues.

Is that an accurate representation of your position?
Also, is your opposition limited to government ordered mandatory vaccination or does it also include opposition to private employers mandating employees being vaccinated....

Mr Foley replied:

While I’m in favor of the vaccine (and proud passport holder), I do not believe in de facto forced vaccination for all. I personally know some people who have strong religious and medical issues that preclude them from getting vaccinated. Some people have already had Covid and have a stronger acquired immunity than one would receive from the vaccine. Others (young, healthy, pregnant, etc.) have their own personal reasons. I believe that it should be a personal choice between an individual and their health care provider, based on their personal condition(s). 

I also oppose mayor de Blasio’s passport mandate, required now for gyms, restaurants, theatres, movie houses, concerts, sporting events, etc. This was not based on medical indications or advice, but was his personal decision, and indeed puts us as one of only two cities in the country to do so (San Francisco the other). He stated publicly something to the effect that it was “time to remove the carrot and start using the stick,” which sounds deliberately punitive. I have also spoken to business and restaurant owners, many who feel terrible to be put in the position that they may have to turn away the very people who supported them at the height of the pandemic. As is, I understand the city is at roughly 80% who have had at least one jab and/or have acquired immunity via previous Covid infection. This puts us safely above the 75% herd-immunity figure that was originally proposed as a “return to normalcy” number. Medically, there is statistically near-zero risk to those who have been vaccinated, and even during Covid only 1.4% of infections were attributed to restaurants. 

Finally, despite the 80% figure for overall NYC, the minority population is only at roughly 30%. It will have an unusually lopsided impact on these communities and a punitive effect on their ability to participate in society.

Here's the full interview.

More info available at Mr Foley's website. 

Mr Foley's general election opponent to represent Roosevelt Island, the UES and East Harlem in NYC Council Distrct 5 is the Democratic Party nominee Julie Menin.

The General Election is Tuesday, November 2.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Sponsored Post - Peak Atlantic Hurricane Season Is Here, NYC Emergency Management Department Wants You To Know Your Hurricane Zone, Be Ready And Be Prepared - Roosevelt Island Hurricane Zones Have Changed This Year, Check It Out

The NYC Emergency Management Department (NYCEM) reported last June 1:

To mark the beginning of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, the New York City Emergency Management Department today unveiled the City's revised hurricane evacuation zones. New York City Emergency Management also relaunched the Know Your Zone hurricane awareness campaign to encourage New Yorkers to find out whether they live in one of the City's six hurricane evacuation zones, and take steps to be prepared for coastal storms and hurricanes. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30.

The City's six hurricane evacuation zones have been updated to incorporate new and improved data, as well as information from actual events to allow the City to more accurately define areas most at risk of flooding due to storm surge from a hurricane. Residents who live in these zones may be ordered to evacuate depending on a hurricane's forecast strength, track, and storm surge. If the mayor orders an evacuation of your zone, do so as directed. With these hurricane evacuation zone changes, roughly 1 million New Yorkers now live in a different hurricane evacuation zone than last year....


What are hurricane evacuation zones? 

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.  

I noticed that my zone has changed. Why is that? 

Zones are updated to incorporate new, higher resolution storm surge model output from the National Weather Service. These data, combined with improved topographic data, and information from actual events, allow the City to more accurately define areas most at risk of flooding due to storm surge from a hurricane....

Roosevelt Island residents live in both Zones 2 and 3 depending upon the building in which you live.

As shown in the NYC Hurricane Evacuation Zone Finder below, the Roosevelt Island buildings colored in brown are in Zone 2 and those colored in Yellow are in Zone 3. 

The Octagon, Manhattan Park, Westview, Island House, Roosevelt Landings, Cornell Tech, Coler Hospital and Riverwalk 480, 475 and 460 Main Street are in Zone 2.  

Riverwalk 405, 425, 455, 465 and Rivercross buildings are in Zone 3.

Click here to find the Hurricane Evacuation Zone for your Roosevelt Island address.

The Roosevelt Island Hurricane Zones have changed from prior years when only the Octagon and Coler Hospital buildings were in Zone 2.

Here's some scenes of what Roosevelt Island looked like during Hurricane Sandy in October 2012

and report on damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.

Roosevelt Island 2022-23 Proposed Budget And Holiday Lights Among Items On September 29 RIOC Board Of Directors Meeting - You Can Watch Meeting Via Video Conference And Submit Question Or Comment

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors will meet 5:30 PM Wednesday September 29, 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. Submit your written question or comment here.

Among the items on the Agenda are:

 Here is the full agenda for the September 29 RIOC Board Meeting.

Info on the Holiday Lights agenda item at this prior post.

According to the 2022-23 RIOC Proposed Budget
Capitol Projects

The Proposed Budget FY 2022‐23 projects capital improvements in the amount of $7,815,000, a decrease of $4,095,000 over the Approved Budget FY 2021‐22 amount of $11,910,000. The Proposed amount primarily consists of capital projects in the projected amount of $6,300,000, but also includes the capitalized purchase of equipment and vehicles in the amount of $515,000 as well as miscellaneous in the amount of $1,000,000. Categories of projects include sports fields and parks, historic and landmark structures, infrastructure improvements, facilities and offices and the Tramway. 

For sports fields and parks, the Proposed Budget FY 2022‐23 projects expenditures in the amount of $3,596,000, an increase of $996,000 over the Approved Budget FY 2021‐22 of $2,600,000. The increase is mainly due to the Sportspark renovation(Construction) project which is expected to be completed mid‐ year 2022. 

For historic and landmark structures improvement, the Proposed Budget FY 2022‐23 projects expenditures in the amount of $0, a decrease of $1,317,000 from the Approved Budget FY 2020‐21 amount of $1,317,000. The decrease is due to the projected completion of the Blackwell House Exterior and Roof, Lighthouse Restoration (Construction & Design) and Smallpox Hospital (Design) in FY 2020‐21. 

For infrastructure improvements, the Proposed Budget FY 2022‐23 projects expenditures in the amount of $2,704,000, a decrease of $1,306,000 from the Approved Budget FY 2021‐22 of $4,010,000. The decrease is mainly due to the projected completion of the Blackwell Plaza and Sidewalk Renovation. Motorgate Repairs PHASE 1 (Construction), and the Southpoint Open Space Park – Seawall (Construction) projects in FY 2020‐21 

For facilities and office improvements, the Proposed Budget FY 2022‐23 projects expenditures in the amount of $0, a decrease of $60,000 over the Approved Budget FY 2021‐22 amount of $60,000. The decrease is mainly due to the projected completion of AMC Mechanical/Piping. 

For equipment and vehicles, the Proposed Budget FY 2022‐23 projects expenditures in the amount of $515,000, an decrease of $200,000 over the Approved Budget FY 2021‐22 of $715,000. The decrease is mainly due to the projected completion of Dark Fiber in FY 2021‐22. 

For the Tramway, the Proposed Budget FY 2022‐23 projects expenditures in the amount of $0, a decrease of $1.725,000 over the Approved Budget FY 2021‐22 of $1,725,000. The decrease is mainly due to the projected completion of Tram Elevator Manhattan (Construction) project in FY 2021‐22. 

For the miscellaneous, the Proposed Budget FY 2022‐23 projects expenditures in the amount of $1,000,000, an decrease of $1,800,000 from the Approved Budget FY 2021‐22 of $2,800,000. The decrease is mainly due to the engagement of an Owner’s Representative to facilitate the many projects.


RIOC’s Proposed Budget FY 2022‐23 projects revenues of $32,384,000, a decrease of $425,000 or 1.30% over the Approved Budget FY 2021‐22 amount of $32,809,000. RIOC generates most of its revenues from long‐term ground leases to developers of housing projects on the Island. These leases specify the methodology by which the ground lease revenues are derived, including amounts, timing and escalation of ground lease payments, specifically residential fees, ground rents and public safety fees.

In addition, RIOC generates revenues from its Tramway transportation system, Motorgate parking garage, metered street parking, commercial leases and interest income. Other revenues mostly consist of permitting fees collected for activities that take place in the Sportspark sports facility, the Cultural Center, the Sports Fields and third‐party construction on the Island.

Residential fees are projected to increase by $614,000 or 33.81%. This is mainly due to the Tax Equivalency Payment for Southtown Building #5 & 6 (Beg. 13th year after the Temporary Certificate of Occupancy). Ground rents are projected to increase by $597,000 or 3.92% mainly due to the completion of Southtown Building #8 in FY 2020‐21.

Commercial rents are projected to increase by $25,000 or 1.47% due to contractual escalations. Tramway revenues are projected to decrease by $1,734,000 or 27.28% mainly due to the ridership decrease in New York City after the pandemic.

Public Safety revenues are projected to increase by $72,000 or 3.16% due to contractual escalations and Southtown Building 8 construction.

Transport/parking revenues are projected to decrease by $10,000 or 0.31%, mainly due to a decrease in the projected street parking revenue....

.... Personnel Expenses

RIOC’s Proposed Budget FY 2022‐23 projects personnel expenses of $12,396,308, an increase of $478,766 or 4.02% over the Approved Budget FY 2021‐22 of $11,917,541. The projected increase is mainly due to raises to individuals who took on additional responsibility during the pandemic year.

The RIOC Board of Directors Audit Committee discussed the 2022-23 Proposed Budget during September 22 meeting shown below.

Click here to review the RIOC 2022-23 Proposed Budget.

Monday, September 27, 2021

RIOC Proposes Return Of Roosevelt Island Holiday Lights, Displays, Decorations & Tree, Santa Reindeer Sled Too - Three Year Contract For $75 Thousand Annually Up For Approval At September 29 Board Of Directors Meeting

Among the items on Agenda for the September 29, 2021 Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors Meeting is:

... Authorization to Enter into Agreement with Neave Group for Roosevelt Island Holiday Decoration (Board Action Required)...

Image of 2019 Roosevelt Island Reindeer Sled At Good Shepherd Plaza

According to a September 24, 2021 memo from RIOC Procurement Manager Amy Firestein to RIOC President Shelton Haynes: 


Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) is seeking a contractor for design and installation services for holiday decorations. In 2019, RIOC partnered with Hudson Related to share these costs and expand the decoration locations. That partnership ended per the contract term at the conclusion of the Christmas holiday season in 2019. In 2020, RIOC did not have Island decorations due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, however, island residents continue to express the desire to decorate the island for the holiday season. Therefore, RIOC wishes to procure a vendor to achieve this purpose in beautifying the Island for the 2021 winter holiday season....

... Recommendation:

Neave Group provided the lowest bid at $75,000 per year for the winter holiday season starting in 2021. Based on the above, I recommend the three-year agreement with Neave Group for winter holiday decorating for a total cost of $225,000 for Board approval....

Below is the full RIOC Holiday Lights memo.  

As reported in 2017, RIOC and  Main Street Retail Master Leaseholder Hudson Related agreed to:

...  create a joint marketing campaign to draw pedestrian traffic to the Island’s Main Street. The campaign will install holiday decorations for the winter holiday season throughout Roosevelt Island to attract more shoppers to the Island retail establishments. Various proposals were considered, and it was agreed that HRR would hire Neave DΓ©cor (“Neave”), a prominent decoration company, to bring a “winter wonderland” experience to Roosevelt Island, for the holiday season. This experience would include various decorations such as tree lights, snowflake lights, rain deer, stars etc. though out the Main Street retail corridor, the transportation hub and the Good Shepherd plaza, among other areas.

Neave agreed to enter into a three-year contract with HRR at a reduced price of slightly less than $75,000 per year. HRR would be responsible for one-third of the expenses (i.e. $25,000 per year) associated with this project. RIOC would be responsible for the remaining portion and issue HRR a $50,000 credit on the MSA fees for each of the three years. If possible, RIOC will endeavor to solicit contributions towards its share from other stakeholders on the Island....

The agreement expired in 2019. The Roosevelt Island Holiday Lights were cancelled in 2020 due to Covid.

Here are some pictures from the 2019 Roosevelt Island Holiday Lights Display.

Long Time Roosevelt Island Resident And Prominent Educator Arnold Webb Passed Away August 6 At Age Of 94 - Condolences To His Family, Friends And Neighbors

Long time Roosevelt Island resident Arnold Webb died on August 6, 2021.

According to Mr Webb's daughter, Lisa Davis:

He and my mother moved to Rivercross in the fall of 1977 and he lived here for the remainder of his life.  He was a regular weekly patron of the Farmer's Market and served as a member of the Rivercross Board of Directors for more than thirty years, many of those as President or Vice President.

Ms Davis shares Mr Webb's obituary:

Arnold W. Webb, a prominent Black educator in the New York area and beyond, died at the age of 94 at the Mary Manning Walsh Rehabilitation Center in Manhattan on August 6th.

Dr. Webb enjoyed a career of over fifty years at every level of education, from classroom teacher to the upper echelons of the New York City school system. During this period, Dr. Webb also served on the boards of several educational and cultural institutions, such as the Lincoln Center Institute, Young Audiences and the Eliot Feld Ballet Company.

His areas of professional expertise included urban education, language skills development, school restructuring and educational finance. In addition to being a senior author of Language Arts textbooks for Macmillan/McGraw Hill, Dr. Webb served as a consultant and guest lecturer on education throughout the United States.

Arnold Whitfield Webb was born in Brooklyn on July 11th, 1927. His father, Harold Webb, was a salesman from Washington, D.C. His mother, Olive Webb (Dowers), a homemaker, was from St. Vincent in the West Indies. His only sibling, Harold Webb, Jr. predeceased him.

During the Depression the family moved to Sheepshead Bay, where Arnold grew up. After graduating from Abraham Lincoln High School at 16, Arnold matriculated at Brooklyn College. He interrupted his studies to enlist in the Army, serving in the Army of Occupation in post-war Germany. After his discharge from the service, Arnold returned to Brooklyn College, where he became a standout member of the track team, competing in the high jump and hurdles. At this time, Arnold also joined the famous integrated Pioneer Track Club in Harlem.

Thanks to Arnold’s exemplary skills as a runner, the State Department chose him to be part of a globetrotting track team that toured Europe in the aftermath of World War II. 

Upon earning his Masters from Columbia University, Arnold entered the New York City school system as a high school English teacher. Thanks to his extraordinary teaching skills and rapport with students and staff, Arnold rose quickly through the ranks,ultimately joining central headquarters of the NYC Board of Education in 1967.

Dr. Webb was appointed as the Director of Planning, Programming and Budgeting in 1968 and was elevated to Executive Director of the Division of Curriculum and Instruction in 1975, where he was responsible for system wide curriculum development and instruction for grades K-12. In 1976, during his tenure at the Board of Education, Arnold earned his PhD in Educational Finance at New York University.

Dr. Webb became the Dean of the School of Education at the City College of New York in 1979. After serving as dean for four years, Arnold was tapped to join the New Jersey State Department of Education as Assistant Commissioner for Educational Programs. In 1985, after a prestigious career of over 35 years in public education, Arnold entered the private sector, becoming a consultant with a Philadelphia based educational laboratory, Research for Better Schools. In 1994, he became a freelance consultant, only to resume full time work in 2007 with New York based RMC Research Corporation. Arnold finally retired in 2011 at the age of 84.

Arnold balanced a successful and demanding career with many leadership roles in organizations outside of work. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Rivercross co-op building for thirty years, serving as President or Vice President for several of those years. Arnold was also a member of the Brooklyn Guardsmen, Alpha Sigma Boule, and Omega Psi Phi fraternity.

One of the fields in which he took great pleasure was the art of photography. Arnold was a skilled amateur photographer who delighted friends and family with stunning black and white portraits and landscape photos taken on his beloved Martha’s Vineyard or during his numerous foreign trips with his wife Gwen. He was an avid golfer who cherished his time on the links with good buddies Dr. Lamar Miller, Dr. Basil Jones and Dr. Steve Freeman. Arnold was an adept poker player who looked forward to monthly games with a group that started in the 1950’s.

A true renaissance man, Arnold loved poetry and Shakespeare, theater, dance and film. It must be said, though, that he merely tolerated opera out of devotion to Gwen.

Arnold leaves behind his beloved wife of 54 years, the former Gwen Martin, his daughter Lisa Davis (Anthony), son Tony Davis (Celestina), grandchildren Omar, Monique, Davey, Yolanda, Martin, Marcus and Noelle, devoted niece Stephanie (Ali) and nephews, Brian and Erich, and many other family and friends who will treasure his memory. Arnold contributed so much to so many. He was deeply loved and will be sorely missed.

Condolences to Arnold Webb's family, friends and neighbors.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

September 25 Worldwide Global Citizen NYC Concert Opens At Roosevelt Island FDR Four Freedoms Park With New Zealand Singer Lorde - Performance Filmed Week And A Half Ago

Global Citizen Live:

... is a 24-hour global event starting on September 25 to unite the world to defend the planet and defeat poverty. Hailing from 6 continents, the broadcast will feature artists, celebrities and world leaders coming together to create change and impact climate and poverty. 

The event will feature performances from all over the world, including: Lagos, London, Los Angeles, New York City, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Seoul, and Sydney. Additional locations and event-specific details will be announced in the weeks ahead, in accordance with local health and safety restrictions....

The New York City Global Citizen Live opening with New Zealand singer Lorde was filmed at the FDR 4 Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island a week and a half ago..

Here's Lorde performing Solar Power  

and Fallen Fruit


last week at the Roosevelt Island FDR 4 Freedoms Park for the Global Citizen Live event.

And more from around Global Citizen Live around the world.