Saturday, May 7, 2022

Roosevelt Island Celebrates I Love My Park Day This Morning At FDR Four Freedoms Park - Volunteers Assembled Colorful Adirondack Chairs To Be Placed On Great Lawn And Were Joined By Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, NY State Parks Commissioner, Park & Trails NY And Woolrich Outdoors Foundation

On a cold and rainy May 7 Saturday morning,  Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney,

Four Freedoms Park Conservancy CEO Howard Axel, NY State Parks Department Commissioner Erik Kulleseid,

Woolrich Outdoors Foundation representative Allesandro Villa and Parks & Trails NY Director of Development Linden Horvath joined with a group volunteers at FDR Four Freedoms Park to celebrate I Love My Park Day by 

assembling 50 Adirondack Chairs 

to be placed on the park's Great Lawn for visitors to enjoy thru May and maybe longer.

According to Parks & Trails NY:

I Love My Park Day, held the first Saturday in May, attracts thousands of volunteers from across the state to participate in cleanup, improvement, and beautification events at New York State parks, historic sites and public lands. Join us to celebrate New York's park system and prepare our public lands for spring by cleaning up park lands and beaches, planting trees and gardens, restoring trail and wildlife habitat, removing invasive species, and working on various site improvement projects

Friday, May 6, 2022

NYC Sanitation Commissioner Jessica Tisch Unveils Brand New Bike Lane Sweeper And Plow To Be Deployed Beggining In July For All Protected Bike Lanes - Take A Look

During a May 3 press briefing, newly named NYC Sanitation Commissioner Jessica Tisch unveiled for the first time a brand new bike lane sweeper and plow.

Take a look.

Roosevelt Island does not have any protected bike lanes so equipment will not be used here.

Ms Tisch did address the status of the Big Reuse Long Island City Compost Facility that serves Roosevelt Island, Western Queens and parts of Brooklyn and is in danger of being closed. her response here.

Are You Looking For A Job Close To Your Roosevelt Island Home? Coler Hospital Subway Sandwich And Gift Shops Looking For Staff

Roosevelt Island resident and Coler Hospital Auxiliary volunteer Judy Berdy reports:

A person is needed to work in the recently opened Coler Subway Sandwich and Gift shops that sells coffee and snacks. The shops needs staffing with persons familiar with restaurant/ sandwich work. 

Stop by Coler, 900 Main Street, weekdays 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. or call 914 924 9024.

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Roosevelt Island, Queens And Brooklyn Food Scrap Composters Will Continue To Be Served By Big Reuse Says NYC Sanitation Commissioner Jessica Tisch - "I Am 100% Committed To Taking Care Of Big Reuse" She Adds

Green Roosevelt Island Neighbors (GRIN) founder and Haki Compost Collective volunteer Anthony Longo is concerned about the continued viability of the Roosevelt Island Food scrap drop off site located every Saturday next to the Farmers Market behind the Good Shepherd Church.

Mr Longo reports:
Roosevelt Island’s organic matter gets turned into compost by the NYC Compost project hosted by BIG Reuse at their site in LIC Under the Queensboro bridge. The facilities have been under threat of being replaced by vehicles from the Parks department. What can be done to ensure that this site can continue to operate on the spot they built? And if they must be relocated what progress has been made in finding them a new site?

During a press briefing yesterday, I asked newly named NYC Sanitation Commissioner Jessica Tisch about efforts to expand the curbside composting program and the status of the Big Reuse Long Island City Compost Facility that serves Roosevelt Island, Western Queens and parts of Brooklyn. According to Ms Tisch:

... We have an alternate site for Big Reuse in Greenpoint. We are not going to let the community that has been served by that location go unserved.

 NYC Sanitation Assistant Commissioner Of Public Affairs Josh Goodman reported:

They have the site in Long Island City now and we have space in Greenpoint where if they lose the Long Island City site they can come to Greenpoint. so this is all sort of in flux but Big Reuse will be taken care of one way or another.

Ms Tisch added:

I am 100% percent committed to taking care of Big Reuse.

As previously reported, come along on a virtual tour of the Big Reuse Long Island City Compost facility taken in May 2021. 

More on the dispute between Big Reuse and NYC Parks Department for the site beneath Queensboro Bridge here.

Here's the entire press briefing by Ms Tisch to NYC ethnic and community media.

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Islamic Society Of Roosevelt Island Celebrates Eid al-Fitr "Festival Of Breaking Fast" May 2 At PS/IS 217 - President Biden Celebrates Eid al-Fitr Too, At The White House

One of the great things about Roosevelt Island is the diversity of nationalities, cultures and religions of residents living in our community. 

The Islamic Society of Roosevelt Island (ISRI) shares these photos and reports:

Here are some pictures of ISRI's celebration of Eid Al-Fitr at PS217 on 5/2/22.

As you may know, Eid Al-Fitr is a Holy day in the Islamic LUNAR Calendar, which marks the end of the Holy month of RAMADAN! Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting, prayer, reflection and community. 

Ramadan begins 10 to 12 days earlier each year. This is because the Islamic calendar is based on the lunar Hijri calendar with months that are 29 to 30 days long. Because the lunar year is shorter than the solar year by 11 days, this means that Ramadan will also be observed twice in the year 2030 – first on January 6 and then again on December 27 – depending on the sighting of the moon. The next time Ramadan will start after April 2 will be about 33 years from now, or the year 2055.

Fasting during the month of Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The month is spent by Muslims fasting during the daylight hours from dawn to sunset. According to Islam, the Holly Quran was sent down to the lowest heaven during this month, thus being prepared for gradual revelation by angel Jibreel (Gabriel) to Muhammad (the LAST Prophet to MANKIND). Therefore, Muhammad told his followers that the gates of Heaven would be open for the entire month and the gates of Hell (Jahannam) would be closed. The first three days of the next month, Shawwal, are spent in celebration and are observed as the "Festival of Breaking Fast" or Eid al-Fitr. 

President Joe Biden and Mrs Biden celebrated Eid al-Fitr in the White House too.

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Filthy Roosevelt Island Motorgate Interior And Exterior Getting A Power Washing Says RIOC

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):

Please be advised, RIOC will begin interior and exterior power washing at the Motorgate Atrium and the Helix area beginning the week of 4/25/22.  All public areas will be cordoned off and protection will be installed at the interior entrances within the garage.  Elevator access to the garage will be maintained at all times.  Directional signs will be posted within the Atrium to guide access to the elevators.  The anticipated duration of this project is two months.

Yesterday, work was being done washing the exterior of the Motorgate Atrium

Roosevelt Island Graduate Hotel Hosting How To Be A Financial Grown Up Wednesday Evening May 4 - Fireside Chat About How To Focus Your Finances In Your 20's Followed By Networking At Panorama Room Rooftop Cocktail Bar

The Roosevelt Island Graduate Hotel on Cornell Tech campus is hosting:

How To Be A Financial Grown Up, The Financial Guide To Your 20's

on Wednesday, May 4. 

According to the organizers Eventbrite page:

NYC College students and recent graduates – Join SoFi and The Financial Diet for a night out on Roosevelt Island!

Hosted at the lively Graduate Hotel, we'll start the night off with networking alongside FREE snacks, swag & beverages. Then, we'll move into the content portion of the night, where Chelsea Fagan, founder and CEO of The Financial Diet, and SoFi’s Brian Walsh will be hosting a financial fireside chat about how to focus on your finances in your 20's. Bring your questions and appetites, and even a friend or two!


6:00-7:00 pm: Check-In + networking with light food and drinks @ The Cherry Blossom Room & The Minnehanonck Ballroom on the 3rd floor.

7:00-7:45 pm: Join Chelsea Fagan, founder and CEO of The Financial Diet, and SoFi’s Brian Walsh for a financial fireside chat.

7:45-8:45 pm: Continued Networking with light food and drinks on the Panorama Room rooftop bar and lounge!

The cost is $20 but the fee is returned after you have attended the event.

Click here to register and for more info.

Here's Chelsea Fagan's personal finance origin story.

Monday, May 2, 2022

Unleashed Dogs Running On Roosevelt Island Ball Fields Results In Complaints From Parents, Other Residents And Tickets From RIOC PSD Enforcing Dog Ban On Fields - Owners Say No Safe Place For Their Dogs And Start Petition For Off Leash Hours And New Dog Run

Roosevelt Island parent Suzy del Campo Perea reported to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Safety Department (PSD):

At at or about 6:10 PM on April 27, 2022 there were 15 children between ages 4 to 11 years old playing baseball in the company of five adults at Pony Field when four residents of the Octagon building arrived at the same Pony Field with four medium to large dogs and unleashed those dogs.

The adults accompanying the young children trying to play baseball complained to the owners of the unleashed dogs with no luck. The dogs started running towards the baseball balls....  this is the second Wednesday in a row dog owners unleashed their dogs in the middle of kids playing baseball.

Photo by Suzy del Campo Perea

Ms Perea adds that by the time PSD officers arrived, the dog owners with their unleashed dogs were gone. 

The subject of unleashed Roosevelt Island dogs was discussed during the April 19 Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Public Safety Committee (PSC) meeting with RIOC PSD Deputy Chief Anthony Amoroso. According to Deputy Chief Amoroso

We have such a 50/50 back and forth when it comes to  dogs on the Island. We get many complaints about the dogs. We get many complaints that we're  not showing the animals compassion, that we're not doing the right thing about the dogs on the island.

For every one we get negative we get a positive one so it goes back and forth. Obviously the rules and the regulations we have currently ... goes without saying. Keeping your dog on a leash is just safe for the dog but I've gotten numerous numerous calls about why the dogs are not allowed to run on the fields 

How cruel is that to dogs, how cruel can we be to the animals to not let them be on the fields whereas I get calls that there's ten dogs on the field what are we doing why aren't we enforcing it... we're enforcing the rules and the rules right now are the dogs are not allowed on the fields, they're not allowed to run, they need to be on leashes. Until that changes I know some people are upset over that but those are the rules... 

Watch the full RIRA PSC meeting discussion about Roosevelt Island dogs.

On April 27, RIRA Island Services Committee Co- Chair Raul Cavazos-Binder sent the following message to RIOC President Shelton Haynes:

I am following up on the below correspondence that RIRA president, Rossana Ceruzzi, addressed with you last year; the status of dog runs. As the co-chair of RIRA's Island Services Committee, I have received countless and increasing concerns when it comes to the state of the dog runs, and dogs running freely off leash in our public green spaces because there is no better alternative.

Many parents are highly concerned that children actively playing around off leash dogs poses a serious safety hazard. Dogs owners are out of control and have taken the sledding hill at South town as well as a portion of Blackwell Park, the Pony field, Southpoint park, Cornell hills and open land. Many children and adults have dog phobias and fear for their physical safety. In the last two months two residents have been bitten and were seeking info about the dogs’ owners and vaccinations on a local dog network since the owners fled the scene in both cases.

It is completely out of control. Dogs off leash should not use any parts of RI public land. The two dog run areas need to be upgraded/recreated as soon as possible. As HR is bringing most of the dogs to the island, RI residents feel they should at the very least “sacrifice” the land for it and maintain it properly. A few years ago, an agreement was reached between RIOC and HR about a new Dog Park to service the community. In that agreement HR promised to build the dog run area near buildings 8-9. Is there any updates on that agreement?

Please let me and Rossana Ceruzzi, cc'd here, know the status of the dog runs as I believe previous discussions indicated that the newly updated/refurbished dog runs would be completed by Q2 of 2022. If you could give me an update by the end of the week, I would greatly appreciate it.

The "HR" referred to by Mr. Cavazos-Binder is Southtown building developer Hudson Related. 

On April 28, I asked Hudson Related developer David Kramer:

There is an increasing problem with Roosevelt Island dogs running unleashed in Southtown at Firefighters Field and elsewhere. Dog owners claim current dog run is inadequate. Other residents, including many dog owners are very upset with those dog owners who keep their dogs unleashed. What is the status of the long planned new dog run in Southtown? Is a new Southtown dog run responsibility of Hudson Related or Rioc? 

Mr Kramer replied:

We’re awaiting RIOC’s determination about where they want to place the new dog run. If it’s going to be in Southtown, it’ll be in the Commons East area between buildings 8 & 9, which we’re planning to build when we build Riverwalk 9 (hope to start later this year). Alternatively, RIOC may have a different location in mind.

This afternoon, RIOC advisory message quoted President Shelton Haynes:

Over the past few weeks, the Roosevelt Island Resident Association (RIRA) President Rosanna Ceruzzi and I have been discussing a variety of items that impact the lives of Roosevelt Island residents. Ms. Ceruzzi has made me aware of growing concerns surrounding dogs that we plan to address immediately. Some of the noted concerns were finding temporary solutions and discussing long term plans for upgraded dog runs, developing a communication plan that would place signs in specific areas known to be problematic, enforcement of policies and stipulating the consequences for dog owners not adhering to clearly defined rules and regulations. We will be working with RIRA’s subcommittees, the Island Services and Public Safety committee and will convey next steps to the Roosevelt Island community soon.

A group called the Roosevelt Island Dog Parents Association has started a:

Petition for New Roosevelt Island South Dog Run + Off-Leash Hours for Firefighters Field 

According to the Petition:

This petition has two aims: 1. To advocate for a new Roosevelt Island (RI) South Dog Run and 2. To advocate for off-leash hours for Firefighter’s Field to ameliorate the current lack of appropriate facilities.

The RI South Dog Run has been poorly maintained for years and has now become a safety hazard for our pets; multiple dogs having sustained injuries due to rocks, holes, or broken glass (for example, a puppy injured his dewclaw on a rock and required surgical intervention, another cut his paw on glass, another sprained an ankle due to a hole). Additionally, the run is now completely composed of dirt and is essentially unusable in the setting of rain, is too small and restrictive to even accommodate all dogs living in this area or to allow for sufficient exercise for larger dogs, and has inadequate shade for our animals during sunnier months. This situation has been long-neglected and overdue for a solution, especially given the recent crackdown by the Public Safety Department on dogs being present in Firefighter’s Field (even leashed), despite this being contrary to official park policy (

Given the inadequate state of our dog facilities, we are also seeking off-leash hours for Firefighter’s Field, before 9am and after 9pm. This is a common policy throughout NYC parks, including Central Park ( and can be subject to change if there are special events/games scheduled.

We realize that one of the major complaints of our pets in grassy areas is that some owners do not follow the law and curb their dogs. We agree that this is completely inappropriate; however, we believe it should be addressed via improved surveillance and stricter enforcement of fines as opposed to punishment of and restrictions placed on all dog owners.

We hope to work with you to continue to make Roosevelt Island a wonderful place to live for dog-owners and non-dog-owners alike. Dog ownership is a reality of our community and our animals need to be accommodated. Both of the above requests come in the face of strikingly inadequate and dangerous facilities for our animals. Please let us know when we can expect a new dog park, and what immediate solution you plan to implement in the meantime.

The petition organizer, Jennifer Heinen adds:

As I have come to appreciate over the last seven years as a Roosevelt Island citizen, some of the most magical things about living here are the amount of plant life and natural beauty as well as the friendly, open, and vibrant community. Based on NYC dog licensing data, there are approximately 782 dogs living on Roosevelt Island as of July 2021 (this number has likely increased). Having only two small dog parks in the face of these numbers seems drastically inadequate; the unmaintained and dangerous state of the South Town Dog Run is unacceptable. The island has a surfeit of green space compared to the rest of NYC that can accommodate us all. We want a safe, adequately-sized area for our beloved pets to play and exercise, just as parents do for their children. I truly believe we are all capable of coming to a shared and reasonable compromise that can allow us to live in harmony.
Roosevelt Island parent Rachel Dowling has a different view from Ms Heinen. According to Ms Dowling:

So a Southtown dog owner has apparently started a petition to get RIOC to let dog owners let their dogs off leash on Firefighter Field. She is claiming that because the dog park is “not safe” the dogs should get use of the field until the new dog park is eventually built.

Let’s be clear. Firefighter field is now destroyed and unsafe for kids and adults to play sports BECAUSE Y’ALL KEEP RUNNING YOUR DOGS on a PERMITTED PLAYING FIELD. I’ve also seen dogs taking a dump on said field after their work out. If this petition was fairly and reasonably addressing the new dog park I would support that. I think we all would. But off leash dogs are destroying our playing fields from the Octagon to Firefighters, creating unsafe confrontations with other dogs and players, not to mention joggers or strollers or anyone else trying to enjoy the island.

We can’t be compared to Central Park where there is a much larger amount of open space to work with. This is not the way folks.

Put your dog on a leash and take them for a run on the promenade. Or petition RIOC to allow off leash hours down at South Point Park or up at the Lighthouse park, where you’re not conflicting with playing fields and a residential/commercial neighborhood.

Roosevelt Island resident Merchu Curutchet-Ziv explains the longstanding problems at the Southtown Dog Run.

When I moved here about 8 years ago, we were a pretty nice group of people that would gather in the dog run to share our love for dogs and watch them play while we talked. It was actually very nice.

However, little by little, people started not taking their dogs into the run because so many dogs got injured. The most horrific injury was one poor dog that while playing with other dogs, got pushed, shoved into a broken fence that pinched a big portion of her skin and as she tried to free herself, it ripped a big chunk of her skin and fur clean from her body. Can you imagine the pain? That dog took a long time to heal and was traumatized. And I have no idea if that fence was ever fixed. This, I witnessed and it was the last time I took my dog in there.

I also remember a few dogs breaking their nails catching it on the splintered not maintained benches. The door into the run was broken so many times - We would report it and were totally ignored. We were always trying to fix it ourselves, with ropes or things that didn’t last too long but you don’t want your dog to get out and run into the street. Once, there was rat poison and a couple of dogs got very sick - not sure if it was accidental or someone that hates dogs.

The ground was at times very wet and muddy, when dogs drink muddy water the bacteria in it makes them very sick - my dog needed antibiotics for two weeks. Humans without dogs would sometimes hang out at night and leave their cigarettes butts and empty beer bottles and gross garbage. Which we would then have to clean up, when we arrived to the run with our dog.

Yeah, some humans behave worse than any dog. Plus, anyone that knows the real needs of a dog realizes that the size of that run is a joke. It is not big enough for dogs to run and exercise. Unless you have a verrrrry mellow toy breed. Overcrowded dog runs are a big problem. If dogs don’t have enough space to run, it could cause them to feel invaded, intimidated, and as a result aggression among them. That isn’t safe for anyone.

I would like someone to please take inventory of all the signs that say “no dogs allowed on grass” in this island. They are all over!!! I would really like to see some signs that say “dogs allowed” they are non existent. Maybe I’m blind.

By the way, I’m a mom too so I can clearly see how my boys in this last 8 years have enjoyed plenty, plenty of space in the island to play freely, skateboard and play many sports, in different parts of the island and in the playgrounds too, without any injuries and I can’t say the same for my dog. And actually, I lived in many neighborhoods in New York city and this one is the one with more space, more trees, air, grass… etc. How come it is so hard to share it and get proper space for our dogs?!

You know the way I deal with it? I take my dog to many, many, other dog runs in different neighborhoods because I’m lucky to have a car. I go to LIC, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and I’m amazed how big and decent those dog runs are in comparison to ours. I don’t see why we can’t have a good dog run. I also take my dog to Central Park during off leash hours. There should be a space in this island to be able to do that too. Just a short off leash hours, not in a sport’s field. If the options that were given to us were at least better, but they are really, really bad.

By the way, it would be great to also get more tolerant non-dog owner neighbors. Also, responsible dog owners that monitor their dogs well and pick up their poop! There are poop bag dispensers everywhere - How hard could that be? And please stop trying to make this about dog people vs kids’ people. I am proud to be both. It is not that hard to share, tolerate, put yourselves in other people’s shoes in a civilized and kind way. And hey, If you are blessed enough to have kids and dogs, ❤️ you are just awesome! We are privileged to live in a neighborhood that has so much space.

The world has real problems. Trust me, this isn’t one that can’t be resolved.

RIRA PSC member Frank Farance add:

At last week's Public Safety Committee meeting, there was a discussion of dogs off their leash.  Here are a couple insights, suggestions, and conclusions:

  • Octagon residents are using the Octagon Pony Field as an illegal "dog run" as a dozen dogs are unleashed and roaming the whole field (presumably, pooping  and peeing on it).  See the two photos, taken 60 seconds apart (time to turn the car around for a better photo), where the dogs are in the Right Field and 60 seconds later they're in the Infield - they're roaming the whole field.
  • RIOC should remind Octagon that their residents need to follow the law, and RIOC should remind Octagon that it can enforce this as a violation of its ground lease (e.g., Article 23 Use and Management of the Premises, Article 34 Quiet Enjoyment) and, I believe, the Master Lease (e.g., Article 18 Quiet Enjoyment).
  • Leashes are required AND required to be six feet or SHORTER - long leashes are NOT permitted.
  • The fines are pretty high: ranging from $200 to $400 per violation of City law, $250 per violation of State law.
  • RIOC/PSD might not have the authority to enforce all the dog-related rules.  While RIOC can enforce the State law (picking up poop), I believe RIOC/PSD needs approval to write tickets for violation of City law - RIOC's legal department should advise,
The City summarize Dog Laws on the DSNY web page:
DSNY->Street and Sidewalk Laws->Dog Laws

Failure to Remove Canine Waste

Each person who owns or controls a dog must remove any feces left by that dog on any sidewalk, gutter, street, or other public area and dispose of it in a legal manner.  The person may remove the feces and carry them away with him/her for disposal in a toilet or their own trash container or trash bag.  The feces may also be placed in a non-leaking sealed bag or container and deposited in a DSNY litter basket.  The provisions of this law do not apply to a guide dog accompanying any blind person.  Related Law: New York State Public Health Law §1310  (Search for Public Health Law (PBH), Article 13, Title 1: General Provisions; Control and Abatement).  Fine: $250

Control of Dogs & Other Animals to Prevent Nuisance

Each person who owns or controls a pet shall not allow the animal to commit a nuisance on any public or private premises used in common by the public, or any area of a building abutting a public place.  Related Law: New York City Health Code §161.03.  Fine: $200–$400

Unleashed Dogs

A person who owns or controls a dog may not allow it to be in any public place or in any open or unfenced field abutting a public place, unless the dog is effectively restrained by a leash or chain no more than six feet long.  Related Law: New York City Health Code §161.05.  Fine: $200–$400

Recent comments to this May 21, 2021 Roosevelt Islander article on topic include:

Some background on Roosevelt Island dog run from 2019.

This evening the RIRA Island Services Committee (ISC) is meeting to discuss the subject of Dog Runs and Off Leash dogs via zoom.

The meeting is open to the public.

Click on the Zoom link to attend.

Stay tuned for more. 

UPDATE 9:05 PM - Watch the interesting and productive ISC meeting held earlier this evening moderated by Committee Co-Chair Raul Cavazos-Binder. The issues were discussed in a very intelligent and civil manner by Roosevelt Island residents holding a variety of viewpoints on the subject of dog runs and off leash running.

Sunday, May 1, 2022

TD 5 Boro Bike Tour Riders Crossing The Queensboro Bridge Seen From Roosevelt Island Tram

Billy Freeland shares view of the the TD 5 Boro Bike Tour Riders crossing the Queensboro Bridge seen from the Roosevelt Island Tram today.

Former Roosevelt Island/Upper East Side NYC Council Member Ben Kallos shows us view of Roosevelt Island and the Cornell Tech campus from the Queensboro Bridge during his 5 Boro Bike ride today. NBC New York Channel 4 reports on today's 5 Boro Bike tour.