Friday, April 1, 2022

Roosevelt Island 2022 Cherry Blossoms Starting To Bloom - And They Are Magnificent

The Roosevelt Island Cherry Trees first started to blossom two weeks ago on the East Promenade waterfront behind the Capobianco Field Basketball court and now are blossoming in the Riverwalk Commons.
I'm told the Cherry Trees on West Promenade across from the Cornell Tech Campus facing Manhattan have another couple of weeks until they fully blossom. 

Here's what they looked like in 2021.

Take A Very Cool Virtual Roosevelt Island Aerial Tour From The Lighthouse, Travel South Over Building Rooftops And Open Space To The FDR 4 Freedoms Park With Google Earth - Close Up Drone View Of Roosevelt Island Lighthouse And East River Waterfront Too

Take a look at Google Earth view of Roosevelt Island.

Click on full screen icon at bottom right for better view.

Close up drone view of Roosevelt Island Lighthouse under renovation

and East River waterfront too.

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Sponsored Post - Roosevelt Island Farmers Market Returns To Good Shepherd Plaza This Saturday April 2 - Featuring A Wide Variety Of Locally Grown, Healthy And Tasty Fresh Fruits, Vegetables & Much More, See You Saturday At The Roosevelt Island Farmers Market

The Roosevelt Island Farmers Market returns to it's Spring/Summer Fall Home at Good Shepherd Plaza this Saturday April 2

from it's Motorgate Plaza Winter home.

The Roosevelt Island Saturday Farmers Market is a beloved member of our community - a place to purchase locally grown, healthy and deliciously tasting fresh fruits, vegetables and much more. It's also a gathering spot to meet with our neighbors and learn about the latest neighborhood news and gossip.

The Roosevelt Island Saturday Farmers Market at Good Shepherd Plaza is open early morning to mid afternoon on Saturdays in good weather and bad. 

Support your Local Farmers, Eat Healthy! 

See you Saturday at Good Shepherd Plaza for the Roosevelt Island Farmers Market

Sponsored Post - Roosevelt Island Local Hometown Fusion Salon, Exceptional Hair Care Services For Men, Women & Children In A Safe, Modern, Relaxed & Comfortable Atmosphere

Welcome to Roosevelt Island's local, hometown Fusion Salon located at 523 Main Street (212-688-0055).
Our mission has always been to provide exceptional hair care services for men, women and children in a safe, modern, relaxed and comfortable atmosphere. We provide the finest selection of professional hair care products – We are a Certified Concept Salon featuring expert Hair Care, Cuts, Styles, Highlights, Color and Keratin Treatment. Our experienced stylists are dedicated, well trained professionals who provide our clients with a phenomenal salon experience that will allow you to always look your best.

At Fusion Salon We have created a warm and friendly family atmosphere where our aim is to always exceed your expectations and to ensure a safe and superb experience time and time again. 

We check temperature from each client. Our employees regularly take a test for COVID-19. Our employees will wash hands or sanitize after each client, sanitize station and chairs after each client & wear face mask. 
All our Employees have completed Covid-19 training rules regarding precautions and safety for everybody.

At Fusion Salon we are always happy to discuss your hair care needs or styling questions. Ask your stylist which products or treatments are most appropriate for your type of hair. We appreciate how important your hair is and how it affects the way you feel.

Please review our services, pricing and special packages.

Fusion Salon hours are:

  • Tuesday – Saturday 9am – 7pm
  • Sunday 10am – 7pm
  • Monday – Closed
Please stop by our shop at 523 Main Street, call 212-688-0055 or email us.

We look forward to working with you on your individual hair needs.

Sponsored Post - Roosevelt Island Racquet Club Offering Adult Weekday Afternoon Drill And Play Tennis Classes At Variety Of Skill Levels - Learn Singles & Doubles Situational Skills, Have Fun, Exercise And Make New Friends Too

The Roosevelt Island Racquet Club invites you to join their new Adult Tennis Daytime classes.

Pam Glick is the General Manager and Tony Huber is Adult Tennis Director of the Roosevelt Island Racquet Club. They describe some of the programs available at the Roosevelt Island Racquet Club.

According to Ms Glick:

It's great to be here. I'm so happy to be the new general manager of Roosevelt Island Racquet Club. We're spending a lot of time working on getting our programming back up to where we were before Covid. 

We're adding a lot of new adult classes, especially in the daytime.  

We have classes on Monday and Thursday from 11 to 12 30 for 2.5 level to 3.0.

Monday through Thursday we're running 12:30 to 2:30 drill and play classes for 3.0, for 3.5 and above and on Friday we have an hour and a half class at 12 o'clock. 

The new mid-day prices for our off-peak drill and plays are $32 for club members and $45 non-members for 1 1/2 hour classes, and $40 club members and $55 non- members for 2 hours classes. 

Roosevelt Island residents get 50% off the membership fee and court time booked 24 hours in advance. And they get a free clinic on Saturdays.

 Mr Huber reports:

I've been the director now for one year of the adult program and my primary goal was to boost up the amount of adult participation here at the Club.

... we are adding about 30 to 40 percent more classes for adults at all the various levels during the daytime.

For the drill and play programs we try to simulate everything that a player might go through in either singles or doubles when they're playing a match. 

We do a lot of situational training meaning we put you in a situation that you might find yourself in a doubles point or a singles point and then we talk about how to play from that position. 

We talk about all phases of the game. Offense defense, neutral, how to act as an individual. how to act as a teammate and we just coordinate it based on the level that they're playing at.

Ms Glick adds:

One of the good things about these group classes is you get to meet people and make new friends and have some social life which I know a lot of people are craving especially after the pandemic.
Check out the Roosevelt Island Racquet Club 2022 Winter/Spring Adult Tennis Program Schedule

The Roosevelt Island Racquet Club also has adult tennis classes for beginners.

Contact Pam Glick at or Tony Huber at or  call 212.935.0250 ext 811 for more information.

Schedule your free tour and level evaluation.

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Roosevelt Island Starbucks, Jupioca & Granny Annie's Glass Door Windows Smashed In And Premises Broken Into Overnight - $5 Thousand Stolen Says NYPD

Early this morning at approximately 2 AM, the Roosevelt Island Starbucks, 

Jupioca juice bar 

 and Granny Annie's restaurant 

Image From Rachel Dowling
had their doors smashed in and premises broken into.

According to a NYPD spokesperson:

  • 2 unknown suspects attempted burglary at Granny Annie's by breaking the glass door window and removing cash from the register draw which was empty. 
  • There was a burglary at Jupioca where 1 unknown suspect broke the glass door window and removed $5 thousand in cash.
  • No information on the Starbucks break in at this time.

The break-ins are currently under investigation by NYPD.

                                                              Images By Rachel Dowling

There was no response to my inquiry for information from Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) about the incident.

Sponsored Post - It's Time To File Your Taxes, "We Get The Job Done" Says Roosevelt Island Based Accountable Financial Management

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.

We get the job done.

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

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Roosevelt Island's iDig2Learn Celebrating 10 Year Anniversary With Two Exciting Upcoming Webinars, March 31 Designing Your Garden To Attract Pollinators And April 7 Creating Urban Habitats:Roosevelt Island As An Ecosystem - Register Now, Space Limited

Roosevelt Island resident and iDig2Learn founder Christina Delfico reports:

iDig2Learn kicks off spring with a star studded free webinar, Design your Garden to Attract Pollinators, hosted by Ursula Chanse of the New York Botanical Garden and Chrissy Word of the City Parks Foundation. 

20 years ago they teamed up to see if there were enough floral resources in the Bronx for the Monarch butterfly and found out there wasn't. Their answer involved creating the Butterfly Project NYC. Together with neighbors they built out Monarch butterfly corridors by planting to attract pollinators and to date they have given away over 75,000 free native plants to the community. 

iDig2Learn is thrilled to celebrate our 10th anniversary with this special free webinar Thursday, March 31st at noon. RSVP a must, space is limited - email "Pollinators" to to secure your spot and get the Zoom link. Don't miss this one.

Ursula Chanse is the Director of Bronx Green-Up and Community Horticulture at The New York Botanical Garden. Since 2005, she has managed Bronx Green-Up, the community gardening outreach program of The New York Botanical Garden. This program provides horticulture education, training, and technical assistance to Bronx residents, community gardeners, urban farmers, local schools, and community organizations. Ursula’s background includes ecological horticulture, public health, community education, organizing and advocacy work.

Chrissy Word is Director of Education at City Parks Foundation and oversees the development of dynamic STEM programs for youth in the most underserved neighborhoods of NYC: Green Girls, Coastal Classroom, Learning Gardens, Seeds to Trees and Career/College Readiness for high school interns. Chrissy has 20 years of experience and training in student centered pedagogy, child development and experiential learning. She has developed and implemented a number of successful citizen science projects for high school youth on the Bronx River and as co-founder of Butterfly Project NYC, a grassroots conservation organization, she initiated a pollinator curriculum guide for NYC teachers. 

As previously reported, Chrissy Ward visited Roosevelt Island last October and together with Ms Delfico and Emily Fano of the National Wildlife Federation spoke about the mission of the NYC Pollinator Group at the Roosevelt Island Community Garden.

Click here for more information on the NYC Pollinators visit to Roosevelt Island last October. 

Email to get the Zoom link for the Pollinators webinar.

Ms Delfico adds:

Also, we have  a very exciting joint venture - Creating Urban Habitats: Roosevelt Island as an Ecosystem webinar featuring Rebecca McMackin of Brooklyn Bridge Park on April 7 at 6:30pm hosted by RIGC (Community Garden), iDig2Learn, Cornell Tech, and RIOC.

Thu, April 7, 2022 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM EDT 

Did you know Brooklyn Bridge Park was a parking lot before it was transformed into meadows and wetlands for people and pollinators? 

RSVP to the Eventbrite link to tune in on 4/7 evening to find out more from Rebecca McMackin, the director of horticulture at Brooklyn Bridge Park. 

Roosevelt Island Lecture on Creating Urban Habitats 

Creating Urban Landscapes: stunningly beautiful gardens can also contain thriving wildlife habitat in the heart of an urban setting. 

A free virtual lecture sponsored by RI Community Garden in partnership with iDig2Learn, Cornell Tech, and Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation. 

 Rebecca McMackin is an “ecologically obsessed horticulturist and garden designer. ”She has spent the last decade as Director of Horticulture of Brooklyn Bridge Park, where she manages 85 acres of diverse parkland organically and with an eye towards habitat creation for birds, butterflies, and soil microorganisms. Rebecca lectures and writes about landscape management, pollination ecology, and designs amazing gardens. 

Urban residents interested in the green spaces around you and professionals working in parks, landscape, or building management are invited to hear more about how: 

  • Ecologically managed, beautiful urban spaces provide quiet for nesting birds, host plants for butterflies, pollen for bees, and life-restoring moments for humans.  
  • Creating and curating city spaces as ever-changing natural ecosystems aligns well with art, sports, and daily community life.

Watch this video of Ms McMackin speaking on developing a thriving ecosystem at Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Congrats to iDig2Learn on their 10 year anniversary!

Monday, March 28, 2022

Serious Allegations Of Wrongdoing Made Against RIOC President & Executive Staff By Purported Whistleblower Employees, Read The Full Document - Assembly Member Seawright And City Council Member Menin Call For Investigation, Allegations Referred To NY State Inspector General

A document was published on the OPNLTTR web site dated March 26, 2022 purportedly shared by a group of Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) employees raising serious allegations of wrongdoings against RIOC President Shelton Haynes and certain members of the RIOC executive staff. 

According to the document:

Among the allegations are:
  • Misappropriation of state funds
  • Covering up a negligent death
  • Mismanagement of the AVAC System
  • Cronyism
  • Fraud
  • Abuse of power
  • Predatory Behavior/Grooming and Fostering a toxic work environment
  • Disability Discrimination
  • Violating NYS equal employment laws
  • Violating NYS ethics laws: JCOPE (title 19/disclosure of outside activities) 

This morning, I sent an email to RIOC President Shelton Haynes asking for comment regarding the allegations:

... As related specifically to the Swift Emergency Covid Test Site, do you have any comment on the following allegations:
  • Haynes shared internally and publicly that Swift Emergency Care was an OGS vendor and recommended by New York State, which was not the case.
  • It was shared by Haynes that “emergency funds” were approved to use for all activities to operate the site including renovations of the storefront (brokered by Hudson Related), equipment, furniture, signage, and fees to the doctors. These purchases, however, are listed under different line items in the RIOC budget.
  • Swift purchase orders totalled $53K a month and they demanded payment be received in five days rather than RIOC’s Net 30 requirement. When this “unique request” was flagged, Haynes bullied staff into meeting the terms requested.
As related to the Sportspark Pool drowning death, do you have any comment on the following:
Covering Up a Negligent Death at Sportspark Pool

On Sunday, May 16th, a swimmer at RIOC’s Sportspark Pool died due to negligence of RIOC lifeguards and personnel. Upon learning of the death, Haynes quickly and quietly met with RIOC Public Safety Department Chief, Kevin Brown; Deputy Director of RIOC Public Safety Department, Anthony Amoroso; Assistant Vice President of Administration (formerly the Director of HR), Tajuna Sharpe; General Counsel (formerly the Internal Controls Officer), Gretchen Robinson; and the Assistant Vice President of Special Programs & Operations (formerly the Director of Operations), Altheria Jackson.

Video footage of the incident shows that RIOC lifeguards were not at their assigned posts and not paying attention to the pool. For this reason, it was other swimmers in the pool who took notice of the young man, who had been in distress for so long that he had sunk to the bottom of the pool.

Video footage also shows that poolside efforts to revive the young man were chaotic, with members of the public administering CPR before any of the lifeguards. The lifeguards on duty that day were either fired or left due to the traumatizing incident.

In the weeks following the death, staff working closely with Haynes were threatened and verbally told not to email any correspondence related to the incident and that all discussions and communication about it would be done over the phone, only, per advisement from General Counsel (formerly the Internal Controls Officer), Gretchen Robinson.

As related to executives receiving overtime pay:

Historically, executives were not qualified to receive overtime pay. Changes made specifically to the employee handbook to benefit Haynes and other executives to receive overtime pay for board and committee meetings, and community functions held after normal business hours and on the weekends.


Haynes has been known to secretly record conversations with staff, including the former President, Susan Rosenthal. In 2019, Haynes recorded Rosenthal speaking to him with explicit racially charged language, where Rosenthal referred to him by the "N-word". Instead of reporting Rosenthal's behavior and the incident to Albany, Haynes shared the recording with a select group of minority subordinates to gain sympathy...

There has been no response from RIOC at time of publishing.

Prior to the document being posted on the public OPNLETTR website, it was sent to Roosevelt Island elected officials included Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright and NYC Council Member Julie Menin.

Asked to comment of these allegations, a spokesperson for Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright reports:

The office received a document via an anonymous email on March 21. The document has been referred to the New York State Inspector General's office for review.

NYC Council Member Julie Menin replied:
Any and all allegations of wrongdoing must be taken with extreme seriousness and I expect the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation to provide a statement addressing the concerns outlined in this document.  All claims must be expeditiously and thoroughly investigated and the public must be apprised of the results of the investigation.
The Roosevelt Island Daily first reported existence of this letter last Friday.
Stay tuned. 

UPDATE 4/12 - RIOC remains silent on these allegations. 
NYS We Deserve Better has a Twitter feed.

UPDATE 4/15 - It is not known whether any of these allegations were the sole Agenda Item 

during last evening's secret RIOC Board meeting 

held in Executive Session closed to the public via video conference.

Roosevelt Island's New State Senator In 2023 Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris Meets With Residents Last Saturday At Farmers Market - Listens To Community Concerns Including Problems With RIOC, He's "Looking Forward To Working With All The Great People"

As previously reported, following NY State legislative redistricting signed into law earlier this year, Roosevelt Island's long time State Senator Jose Serrano will be replaced by State Senator Michael Gianaris beginning January 1, 2023. 

Last Saturday, Senator Gianaris visited the local Roosevelt Island Farmers market to meet and talk with Roosevelt Island residents. 

According to Senator Gianaris:

... I've crossed this bridge hundreds of times. I've been here for events. I've had friends who've lived here and now I get a chance to be the representative for Roosevelt Island as the Deputy Leader of the Senate. 

I'm looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and getting to work on so many of the issues. I've already heard a bunch this morning about RIOC and the problems of administration here on Roosevelt Island so looking forward to working with all the great people. It's a great community...


In addition to Roosevelt Island, Senator Gianaris' 12 District includes parts of Astoria, Long Island City, Woodside and the Upper East Side including Gracie Mansion, home of NYC Mayor Eric Adams.
More on Senator Michael Gianaris at this prior post and his website.

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Roosevelt Island In Person Food And Nutrition Workshop With Food Bank Of NYC Hosted By RIDA, Just Say Yes To Fruits And Vegetables March 28 - Also Weil Cornell Medicine/Mosaic Church Health Meal Planning And Diabetes Zoom Webinar March 28 Too

Roosevelt Island Disabled Association (RIDA) President Wendy Hersh reports: 

RIDA would like to invite you to join Erica Suarino, a Community Nutritionist and Registered Dietitian with Food Bank For New York City for FREE nutrition classes and cooking demos! Learn about healthy foods, proper portion sizes, how to save money on food, and more.

At every workshop, Erica will demonstrate how to make a delicious and affordable recipe, many using our pantry food. Receive a fun giveaway at every class!  

Please respond with your interest in attending and topics you are interested in. You can leave a message at 212-752-1518 or email

The second RIDA/Food Bank Of NYC Nutrition and Healthy Cooking workshop takes place tomorrow, March 28.
I spoke with Ms Hersh and Ms Suarino before the first RIDA/Food Bank Nutrition and Healthy Cooking workshop on February 28.

Also, according to Mosaic Church Roosevelt Island:

Health Meal Planning and Diabetes- What you need to know 28 March 2022

Health webinar presented by the Weill Cornell medicine Endocrine/Metabolism Racial Justice Team in collaboration with Mosaic Roosevelt Island. Get questions about your health and nutrition answered from local health experts.

 Speaker: Molly Chanzis, Senior Dietitian in the Weill Cornell Kidney & Transplant Center

 Interactive presentation followed by Q&A and with a health expert panel.

 Interested people can go here and also register at this page, and will then receive the zoom link for the presentation.