Friday, April 22, 2022

You're Invited To Opening Reception For Roosevelt Island Resident and Artist Tony Vita's Solo Exhibition "Emporium" Saturday April 23 At Gallery RIVAA

You're invited to the Saturday April 23 opening reception for Roosevelt Island resident and artist Tony Vita's solo exhibition Emporium

at Gallery RIVAA.  

According to Gallery RIVAA:

Dear all, 

You are cordially invited to the opening reception of RIVAA artist Tony Vita's solo exhibition - EMPORIUM, on Saturday, April 23rd, from 6-9 pm at Gallery RIVAA.

Opening Reception: Saturday, April 23, 6-9 pm 
Exhibition Dates: April 16, 2022 - May 15, 2022 
Location: 527 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York, NY 10044 
Hope to see you there! 
Regards, RIVAA

Take a virtual tour of the exhibit with Tony Vita (click on full screen icon at bottom right of video for better viewing)

but make sure to see it in person.

For more info about Mr Vita's work, check out his website

Roosevelt Island Saturday Food Scrap Drop Off Site New Location Behind Church At Good Shepherd Plaza Farmers Market Starting Tomorrow - Sign Up To Volunteer For The Roosevelt Island Food Scrap Site With Haki Compost Collective

Roosevelt Island resident and iDig2Learn founder Christina Delfico reports:

Happy Earth Day! 

Starting 4/23/22, this Saturday the Haki Compost Collective volunteers 

will be collecting your food scraps for compost in a new cozy location behind the church within Good Shepherd Plaza near the cherry tree.

Please swing by to learn more and join the conversation. One third of NYC's waste stream is organic material like food scraps and since 2015, when Big Reuse began processing our scraps, Roosevelt Island has diverted over 230,000 pounds of scraps from landfill! Every Saturday from 9am to 2pm stop by and if you wish to volunteer write to join the next training. 

Watch Ms Delfico describe the Roosevelt Island Haki Compost Collective Food Scrap Drop Off to a visiting group from a Big Reuse Compost Bike tour last June.

Long Time Roosevelt Island Resident, FDNY Captain & Korean War Veteran John Connolly Died April 9 At Age Of 89 - Celebrate His Life Sunday April 24 At Chapel Of The Good Shepherd Memorial Service

Daniel Jordan reports:

My stepfather, John Connolly was a Korean War Vet, and retired FDNY captain that passed away on April 9th. He was a long time resident of Rivercross. We are holding a memorial service on Sunday the 24th in the chapel of the Good Shepherd at 2pm. Please join us in celebrating the life of John Connolly.
Condolences to the family and friends of Mr Connolly.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney And Governor Kathy Hochul Unveil Astoria Houses Repurposed Shipping Containers Covid Testing And Vaccination Medical Unit Designed By NJIT & Tuchman Foundation - Can Roosevelt Island Get One Too?

Last Thursday April 14, a mere eight minute East River Ferry ride from Roosevelt Island, NY State Governor Kathy HochulCongresswoman Carolyn Maloney and businessman/philanthropist Martin Tuchman announced the opening of a new temporary medical care unit at Astoria Houses to provide free COVID-19 vaccines and tests.

The temporary medical care unit is made from 40-foot-long repurposed shipping containers and was designed by a research and development consortium composed of the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) and The Tuchman Foundation. Congresswoman Maloney worked with the NJIT, the City and State of New York, New York City Housing Authority, the Tuchman Foundation, and The Floating Hospital to secure the unit for placement at Astoria Houses. 

The unit will be operated by the Floating Hospital, a NYC-based charity hospital that provides healthcare services to anyone in need. The site will be open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 am to 5 pm.

Congresswoman Maloney said at the opening of the new Astoria Houses Covid Testing and Vaccination facility:
Quality healthcare should be a fundamental human right. 

Of all the inequities in life, not having access to life-saving health care may be the greatest. We all need to commit ourselves fully to ending that as we are doing today with this very innovative health unit.  

I, we've worked so hard to get this medical care unit here in Astoria. It will be providing tests,  vaccinations and boosters to all residents in the area. Before today, there was only one permanent vaccination site within half a mile of Astoria houses and just two permanent ones in our zip code. It was just too hard for the residents.  You'd have to walk literally a mile to go to the testing site or the vaccination site...
According to Governor Hochul:
... I just had a chance to tour this. You think about shipping containers that have gone around the world, have seen everything. And now, this is their home. Three of them put together. It's ingenious, to be able to bring this facility right here because you open those doors. It's not just to a place, it's a place of opportunity, and a healthier living. And so, we're going to do tests here. We're going to do vaccinations here. We're going to get the job done....

And I want to thank Mr. Tuchman for his generosity and bringing this to us.
Martin Tuchman added:
....I'm proud of  the way our various teams working together to make this a successful installation. 

It  took every bit of our engineering training, mechanical, electrical, civil and school of architecture to make this happen.  At NJIT, the school of management proved once again,  that one can have all the technical know-how to create something but you need an efficient management team to pull it all together. That's a perfect example.

In closing, I want to dedicate this facility in memory of my good friend and business colleague Cliff Maloney who founded this company with me over 40 years ago where we were pioneers in the international shipping industry.

There are currently 25 million of these containers throughout the world. I very much appreciate you allowing me to install a few of them on your property.

I asked Congresswoman Maloney how to get a similar Covid testing/vaccination facility for Roosevelt Island. Ms Maloney answered that the community has to ask for it, find a suitable location and then fight with her to get it done.

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) President Rossana Ceruzzi, who was able to obtain a Covid Test Site for several weeks earlier this year, said she thinks the shipping container Covid test/vaccination unit is a very good idea and RIRA will explore trying to secure a similar facility for Roosevelt Island with the help of Congresswoman Maloney.

Watch the full presentation at Astoria Houses including remarks from residents and representatives of the Floating Hospital

Unfortunately, on April 19 after taking a home test and confirmed by a lab PCR Test, Ms Maloney tested positive for Covid 19.  According to Ms Maloney:

I am in good spirits, just feeling a bit like I have a bad cold. But I'm also feeling grateful that testing is now easily and widely available, so I won't unknowingly spread the virus to friends and family. And I am especially grateful that I have had my COVID vaccine shots and my Boosters. I hate to contemplate what I might be facing were that not the case. We're all in a much better place than we were 2 years ago at this time. Per CDC guidance and the advice of the Attending Physician of the Capitol, I am quarantining at home in New York City. Maybe I'll use the time to read some banned books.
  Here's more on the NJIT shipping container medical units.  

Hopefully, Congresswoman Maloney 

and Governor Hochul 

can help residents bring a shipping container Covid Testing/Vaccination medical unit to Roosevelt Island. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Roosevelt Island AVAC Underground Garbage Collection System Getting New Manhole Behind Rivercross Building To Remove Obstructing Materials - Watch Video Showing How AVAC Works And The Crazy Items People Shove Down AVAC Chutes Jamming The System

A Roosevelt Island resident asked this afternoon about the fencing going up behind Rivercross building today.
The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) announced the answer yesterday via Twitter advisory:
Please be advised that, on Tuesday, April 19th, RIOC will be adding a new AVAC manhole in the west line, behind Building 505 in Rivercross. This is required in order to access and remove materials (garbage) that are obstructing the discharge line that conveys into the main west side line. This will take approximately 2 weeks to be completed. ENVAC, the company that makes the repairs to our AVAC system will service the system in the following weeks.

I asked RIOC yesterday:

Does this mean that the AVAC system is down for all of Roosevelt Island for next 2 weeks. Or just some buildings?

But no answer.

Here's how the Roosevelt Island AVAC system works

and doesn't work when it gets jammed.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Roosevelt Island Public Library Selected To Share $250 Thousand In Participatory Budget Funding From NYC Council Member Julie Menin - NYPL RI Branch Manager Carlos Chavez Says Money To Be Used For Tech Upgrades Including New Computers, Laptops, Printers, Fax Systems And WiFi Access

Roosevelt Island and Upper East Side NYC Council Member Julie Menin announced yesterday that the Roosevelt Island Public Library was among the winners in the District 5 Participatory Budgeting voting and will share $250 Thousand with the Webster and 67th Street New York Public Library branches to fund technology upgrades.  

Roosevelt Island NYPL Branch Manager Carlos Chavez 


The Roosevelt Island Library is honored to be selected by the community to receive this funding along with our fellow libraries that will be put towards upgrading and refreshing branch technology, which includes desktop computers, laptops, printers, fax systems and WiFi access. Many thanks to Council Member Menin and Roosevelt Islanders for showing their appreciation of the library and we look forward to seeing you at the branch!

According to April 18 press release from Ms Menin:

Council Member Julie Menin is proud to announce the results of her first annual participatory budgeting process within New York City Council District 5, which garnered a total of 1,838 votes and a tie for first between the top two projects. Council Member Menin had previously announced that projects with the most votes up until $1 million has been accounted for will be funded. As a result of this year's success, Council Member Menin will be allocating additional capital funding in order to fully fund the top six voted projects totaling $1,380,000.

The winning projects are as follows:


Schoolyard Resurfacing for M.S. 114 and P.S. 138  - 798 votes; This $380,000 project will replace the slippery, degraded mats of the schoolyard that date back to the building's construction over a decade ago. This will improve the overall safety and sanitary conditions for the students


Technology Upgrades at New York Public Libraries - 798 votes; This $250,000 project will provide technology enhancements at Roosevelt Island, Webster, and 67th Street Libraries.


Pathway Repavings- 747 votes; This $300,000 project will repave 10,000 square feet of paths in Carl Schurz Park. 

“I am thrilled that our Office’s first annual participatory budgeting process was an unqualified success with robust community engagement,” said Council Member Julie Menin. “Not only is my office providing the one million dollars to fund the three winning projects, but in response to the enormous success of this year's cycle and the critical need for capital improvements, I am proud to raise my commitment to $1,380,000 to fund an additional 3. Hundreds of constituents have reached out to our office about these projects so it is great to foster civic engagement in the entire community and help these projects come to fruition. I look forward to growing participatory budgeting in future years!”


All of us are delighted to have this funding to begin the renovation of our school yard. We are eager to revive our yard with new matting that will keep our students happy, safe and clean," said David Getz, the Principal of M.S. 114 and P.S. 138. 


“The New York Public Library is grateful to the community for selecting our branches -- Roosevelt Island, Webster, and 67th Street libraries -- to be the recipients of $250,000 for technology improvements," said Sumie Ota, The New York Public Library's Associate Director for the East Manhattan Neighborhood Library Network. "It is an honor to be chosen by those we serve to receive this important funding, which supports the vital resources and services available at our branches. Thank you to Council Member Menin and the residents of the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island for this wonderful recognition.” 


"We are heartened and inspired by the outpouring of support from the community. It is wonderful to see that Carl Schurz Park means so much to so many,” said Judy Howard, Board Chair of the Carl Schurz Park Conservancy. 


Additional Projects to be funded:


Four NYPD Cameras- 668 votes; This $160,000 project will fund 4 NYPD cameras in Council District 5. These security cameras would enhance crime prevention, provide a sense of security in public areas, and establish surveillance in underserved areas.


M.S. 177 Bathroom Renovations- 665 votes; This $225,000 project will renovate one faculty and one student bathroom, both of which are in a general state of disrepair. It would upgrade the sinks, faucets, toilets, soap dispensers, mirrors, tile floors, stalls, paper towel dispensers, and urinals.


P.S. 151 Water Bottle Filling Stations- 652 votes; This $64,000 project will install 8 water bottle filling stations to cover each of the five floors of the school.

"We are thrilled to have been granted the funding for new bathrooms at Yorkville East Middle School. This was driven by our students and their families, and we're so happy their voices were heard. The process of participatory budgeting brought an important and meaningful civics lesson to our entire student body. Thank you, CM Menin, for bringing this opportunity to our school," said Christina Riggio, the Principal of M.S. 177


Participatory Budgeting (PB) is a democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. Over 40 project proposals were submitted and vetted by City agencies to ensure compliance and feasibility. Ballot items must be a physical infrastructure project that benefits the public and on City-owned property, have an estimated cost of at least $50,000 but not more than $550,000, and have a lifespan of at least 5 years. Council Member Menin had announced that projects with the most votes up until $1 million has been accounted for will be funded. 


In this year’s cycle, residents aged 11 and over of City Council District 5 (Upper East Side's Yorkville, Lenox Hill, Carnegie Hill, Roosevelt Island, Midtown East, Sutton Place, El Barrio in East Harlem) had the opportunity to vote for up to five projects from a range of nine different projects.

 The vote tally was as follows.

Monday, April 18, 2022

Scenes From Last Saturday's Roosevelt Island Little League Opening Day, Watch Kids Play Ball, Interview With Coach Danny & Arya And City Council Member Julie Menin Throws Out Ceremonial First Ball

The Roosevelt Island Beacon Program Little League (RILL) 10 game baseball season began last Saturday morning at Capobianco Field starting with T-Ball players (5-6 year olds), followed by the Minors Division (7-10 years old) and then the Majors Division (11-15 years old).

It was a beautiful spring day for baseball. Here's a look at some of the action from a Minors game.

Meet RILL organizers Danny Brasco and Arya Shirazi who tell us and NYC Council Member Julie Menin about the League.

According to Coach Danny:

Arya and  I have been running it for five years now. It's a non-profit league, it's totally free.

200 plus kids some years on the Island and off island come to play in this league and it's really been a gem of the community.

I grew up here, played in the league myself and it had a very profound impact on me as a kid and now it's a privilege to run it as well with Arya who comes from Queens and brings his kids and has made an amazing impact on the island too... ... Baseball is a fantastic metaphor for life and that's the fabric and culture that we build in our league...

Roosevelt Island's NYC Council Member Julie Menin attended opening day and said:

I'm so happy to be here. We were thrilled to be a sponsor of this. It's so important to have the kids out here having fun, playing sports and learning great life lessons so we're thrilled to be a small part of this.

Coach Arya added: 

It's just a great. What better way to spend a beautiful spring day than out here with kids of all ages playing baseball. It's a real treat.

Ms Menin threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the start of the first Majors game and also congratulated the players in the Minors Division after their game with a traditional good game handshake.

The 2022 Roosevelt Island Little League opening day was not the first time Ms Menin threw out the first pitch at a baseball game. In 2019, she did it at a NY Mets game.

Come out to Capobianco Field on Saturdays thru June 18 to cheer for our Roosevelt Island Little League players.

More info, including game schedule, on the Roosevelt Island Little League website.