Saturday, May 21, 2022

Roosevelt Island Youth Read Essays They Wrote Of Thanks And Appreciation To Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department Officers In Front Of Their Families, PSD Chief Brown And Deputy Chief Amoroso

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Children, Youth & Education Chair Adib Mansour hosted a May 12, 2022 event featuring PS/IS 217 Child Center of NY students reading essays they wrote expressing personal appreciation and thanks for the work of Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Safety Department Officers.

Adib Mansour reports:

As the Chair of RIRA’s CYE Committee, I always thrive to get the youth of the island engaged in their community and open their minds to the endless possibilities for a bright future.

It has been my privilege to coach the students of the Child Center of NY a fun and educational program we call: Soccer for Success. They are 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders that attend the after school program. We’ve been learning soccer but at the beginning of each game we would spend 10 to 15 minutes learning about different subjects ranging from identifying healthy habits, learning how to read food labels, global warming solutions, as well as discussing what makes the Roosevelt Island Community so special. 

Recently we’ve been discussing Public Safety and the work they do for our community in an effort to bridge the gap between the youth and PSD. Some of the students volunteered to write essays describing what they love about our beautiful island, and appreciating the role of Public Safety, otherwise known as Peace Officers. The students were touched to hear that 2 officers passed away during the pandemic and I told them countless stories of the late Chief McManus’ involvement in coaching soccer with me in an outreach to the Roosevelt Island youth.

Quite honestly, while I say that I have been teaching these students, I have to admit that I myself have been learning so much more from them. I noticed a common theme in their essays which was the importance of Public Safety's role as Peace Officers. My goal in doing this work has always been to continually create opportunities where kids connect with PSD officers in a positive joyous way as well as with the Seniors. I believe this will make our community stronger. The students worked very hard on developing their essays and practiced numerous hours on their speech deliveries.

The Children, Youth & Education Committee, along with the Child Center of NY hosted an event last Thursday May 12th in the evening to read their essays in front of their families and to PSD represented at the event by Chief Brown, Deputy Director Amoroso and Sergeant Yulisa Santana At the event we all offered our thanks for the hard work of the PSD during the pandemic. We also thanked late Detective Wayne Jones and late Officer Corey Fisher for their sacrifices.  

Orion Ding was the first student to read his essay:

Hello, my name is Orion. 

I will be 9 years old in August. 

Even though I don’t live on Roosevelt Island, I spend most of my days on the island because I go to PS 217. What I like about Roosevelt Island is that the river gives you the feeling of peace and it calms you down when you’re sad. 

I have made a lot of friends on Roosevelt Island. I like that the island is very safe because the Peace Officers are everywhere to keep us safe. Basically what I like about Roosevelt Island is even though the teachers are strict I do like that because that would make us learn a lot. 

A few weeks ago, Public Safety’s Deputy Director came to introduce himself. I learned from him that one of his sons plays baseball and he is very good at it. I appreciate that he keeps us safe even though it takes him two hours to come to work in the morning and two hours to go home. This tells me that he really likes his job and he must love to work here. 

I honor Chief McManus because he was a very kind man. 

I was sad to hear the news that two officers passed away during the pandemic and I really thank them for their sacrifice to keep us safe. 

I will remember this for the rest of my life.

Watch Orion read his essay followed by Deputy Chief Amoroso. Both are priceless.

Here's video of the full event beginning with Mr Mansour, followed by PSD Chief Kevin Brown

and then all of the students reading their essays.


Here are all of the essays.


Very nice event. Wonderful job by the kids, Chief Brown, Deputy Chief Amoroso and Adib Mansour.

Friday, May 20, 2022

You're Invited To Roosevelt Island Gallery RIVAA Opening Reception For Liu Shiming Sculpting The Chinese Spirit Exhibition Saturday May 21 - Get Your Hands In Clay Workshops Too

According to Gallery RIVAA:

We are delighted to announce the exhibition of revered sculptor Liu Shiming (1926-2010), hosted by the Liu Shiming Art Foundation and curated by Fran Kaufman, at Gallery RIVAA, 527 Main St. on Roosevelt Island in New York City.   

Liu Shiming Sculpting the Chinese Spirit: Vitality in Stillness 

Saturday, May 21, 2022 to Thursday, June 16, 2022 

Opening Reception: Saturday, May 21, 2022 from 2 -5 PM

The works are from a museum in China, the Liu Shiming Foundation. 

Also on May 22nd and May 28th there will be clay workshops for children and families. 

Registration is encouraged. The workshops are from 11-5. 

 Learn more about the sculpture of Liu Shiming


and visit the Gallery RIVAA exhibition

featuring his work.

Law Requiring Majority Of RIOC Directors And Chief Executive Officer To Be Roosevelt Island Residents Sponsored By Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright And State Senator Jose Serrano Passes NY State Legislature - Will Governor Hochul Sign It? Is It Good For Roosevelt Island?

The NY State Senate and NY State Assembly passed legislation earlier this month to require the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Chief Executive Officer and a majority of RIOC Board of Directors (5 of 9 members) to be residents of Roosevelt Island. 

Screenshot of Video From April 2022 RIOC Board Meeting Videoconference
The legislation was sponsored by State Senator Jose Serrano and Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright. 

According to this May 11 Press Release from Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright: 

The New York State Legislature this week approved Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright's legislation giving residents a majority vote on the governing board of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation.

The measure is part of a series of reforms to bring greater accountability and transparency to the board, which serves more than 12,000 residents. 

Under the Seawright legislation, five of the nine appointees to the board, and majority, must reside on the island. The governor appoints four resident board members. The mayor appoints one resident board member. 

“The Founding Fathers’ cry of “no taxation without representation” has somehow eluded the Board of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation,” said Seawright. "This long overdue reform will finally give residents a majority on the governing board to fight for a better Roosevelt Island.” 

State Senator José M. Serrano sponsored the companion bill in the Senate. The measure now moves to the desk of Governor Kathy Hochul for her signature. 

Other provisions of the Legislature's act would: 

  • Clarify the residency requirement for certain public appointments to the Board of Directors of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation and stipulate for their immediate resignation from the board upon the termination of such residency; 
  • Provide for the appointment of a successor within 60 days when a board vacancy occurs within an unexpired term; 
  • Require the posting of job vacancies on the corporation's website. 

The Legislature also approved a separate bill sponsored by Seawright and Serrano to require the corporation's Chief Executive Officer to reside on the island. A non-resident CEO would be required to relocate to the island within one year of appointment.

Asked if Governor Hochul will sign the legislation, a spokesperson replied:

Governor Hochul is reviewing the legislation.
I asked several Roosevelt Island residents involved with and knowledgeable about local governance issues their thoughts about the legislation.

Former RIOC Director and Chair of the RIOC Governance Committee Margie Smith said:

I think this new law is good, but there’s some confusion about what the bill actually does. For many years, the law has required that a majority of the board members be residents. That’s not new. The way around it has been that when a resident member quits, the seat stays empty and that can quickly shift the balance of power. So, the part of the bill that requires a replacement member be put in within 60 days is terrific. Also terrific is the part that requires a member who moves off the Island to resign. I love both of those. And, the requirement to post jobs on local sites is great.

However, I don’t agree with the requirement that a CEO must reside on the Island. I don’t think it’s necessary to live here in order to do a good job. We’ve had a couple of good CEOs who lived off Island. The job of CEO is extremely difficult. It requires a very unique skill set; someone with the ability to manage facilities, including grounds and transportation, people, the press, etc. It also requires a knowledge of how to maneuver within a political structure which can be very difficult. Requiring that the CEO reside on Roosevelt Island severely limits our pool of candidates to fill this position. And, a good CEO doesn’t have to live here to understand the community and do a good job. It requires a smart person who has the background to handle the mechanics of the job and the ability to work with the community to understand our needs.

The real issue is, and has always been, the fact that the residents DO NOT ELECT the members of the board. Having fought this fight for years, I recognize it’s next to impossible to get a bill passed that allows this and I applaud Assemblywoman Rebecca Seawright and Senator Jose Serrano’s efforts. This bill is another step forward but we still have lots of work to do on getting ELECTED representation for the Island.

Former Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Governance Committee Chair and current candidate for NY State Democratic Committeewoman Joyce Short said: 

I applaud the efforts Assembly Member Seawright and Senator Serrano are making to put residents on the RIOC Board and insure they are replaced when they no longer serve. But here's the problem even once this bill passes....

Having Roosevelt Islanders on the RIOC Board can only provide the elected government, that the Constitution guarantees, if those directors are elected by our community, not appointed and serving at the pleasure of the Governor- as is currently the case.

An important interest in my running for NY State Democratic Committeewoman is to insure that the flaws in our present "government by appointment" system, are corrected.

Our community is unique in that the state of NY re-inserts itself at the local level here on Roosevelt Island. It's one thing for a Public Benefit Corporation to manage the assets of the state. It's quite another for them to promulgate regulations for our residents...... and make up the laws as they go along.... like recently handcuffing a woman for a parking violation.

The land-leases our rents pay for cover the operating costs of the Island, not revenues from the State or City. RIOC's transparency failure and disregard for community input results from their being appointed, not elected to their positions.

While RIOC officers and Board members may try to do their best, the structure, itself, is a critical flaw that begs correction. 

Former RIRA President Matt Katz said:

I am absolutely blown away! 

I wonder if the recent incendiary letter by RIOC whistle-blowers wasn't the impetus for these monumental changes. 

Given that many of us have been working towards this for over twenty years and with succeeding generations of State representatives, frankly, I didn't expect these necessary and democratic provisions to be discussed, much less passed by the Legislature in Albany in my lifetime.. I am profoundly grateful to Assembly Member Seawright and Senator Serrano who were responsible for this accomplishment. Of course, Gov. Hochel must now sign this into law, but I can see no reason why she wouldn't. 

I hope that the Roosevelt Island Resident Association, which was responsible for seating many Island residents on the RIOC Board in past years, and through Island-wide elections, will take on the task of filling the vacant Board seats and---with Island residents. 

I'm dancing on air!!

RIRA Member Frank Farance said: 

This is just legislative hygiene, in case the law wasn't clear already.

There are existing laws on the books that RIOC doesn't comply with regarding directors, other than a first or second vacancy, I doubt this law will change the behavior of RIOC, the ABO, or the Governor.

Ho hum. What change do you expect in RIOC? RIOC has too many staff, many of them lack qualifications. For example, the PPF process was changed because of accounting and bookkeeping, but we need to outsource PPF - not have qualified people working for RIOC. So why would the posting of job vacancies help? Surely, I believe there should be a common posting, but many of the problems are caused by poor management and executive management at RIOC, not the transparency of job postings.

RIRA already reviewed this a couple years ago when Joyce Short told Seawright that the Island wanted this, but the RIRA Common Council had rejected this idea with many concerns, including: 

  1. the requirement diminishes the pool of viable candidates; 
  2. having an apartment on the Island doesn't mean that the CEO stays here as demonstrated by a prior RIOC President (Indelicato, I think); 
  3. having an apartment in one of the apartment buildings might create a conflict of interest (as demonstrated by a prior RIOC President); 
  4. the residency requirement will NOT require the RIOC President to give up their prior residence (very difficult housing market), nor will there Roosevelt Island residence become their Primary Residence, as it has other important consequences; and 
  5. the cost of the apartment (probably additional $60-80K per year) will be paid by RIOC, categorized as Public Purpose (reducing money spent directly on residents), paid by our ground leases and, thus, paid via our own rents and maintenance payments - surely that $60-80K could be better spent on the Island, such as greater PPF monies each year for Island organizations.

Rather than listen to a couple of out-of-touch Roosevelt-Island-Whisperers, legislators would do better, say, by engaging with elected representatives in RIRA or the community directly in a Town Hall meeting. I suggest dropping the residency requirement for the RIOC President/CEO.

Former RIRA member Sherie Helstien said:

Residents not chosen by the people over whom they make community decisions are no better or different than ones from off-Island. Period.

As previously reported, in 2010 then Governor David Patterson vetoed RIOC governance legislation that would have required all 7 Public Members of the Board to be Roosevelt Island residents. According to Governor Patterson's veto statement: 

... While the interest of Roosevelt Island residents may often coincide with those of the State and the City there may be instances in which they do not. Roosevelt Island represents a large investment by the State of New York and is a complex operation with responsibilities to both New York State and New York City. RIOC's enabling statute makes clear that it is to function in the public interest "for the benefit of the people of the state"...

Below is Governor Patterson's veto statement.

When all the RIOC Board seats are filled there are 9 Directors. Two are NY State Officials, representing the Commissioner of NY State Division of Homes and Community Renewal and the Director of NY State Division of the Budget. 

Seven of the nine are public members. Two of the public members are recommended by the NYC Mayor, one of whom must be a Roosevelt Island resident. 5 are appointed by the NY Governor, 4 of whom must be Roosevelt Island residents.

There are currently 3 vacant RIOC Director seats.

What will Governor Hochul do?

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Sponsored Post - Roosevelt Island In Blue, Adib Mansour Joins The Thrive Real Estate Team/Compass With Mission To Find The Right Home For You

The Thrive Real Estate Team/Compass is thrilled to announce our new multi-talented team member, Adib Mansour. A longtime resident of Roosevelt Island with the mission to find the right home for clients while creating a seamless, successful real estate experience. He's deeply passionate about the local community and works tirelessly as a youth advocate.


What is you dream home? What features should it possess before you call it the house of your dreams? There are so many variables that play in that decision. The first one and most important: it is a personal matter. 

However, one thing is clear, an ideal home satisfies its occupants' needs. It must be functional while being pleasant. It must also complement its residents' lifestyle and, offer a relaxed mood for everyone. 

We can help you find your dream home! In this newsletter, we would like to share our latest market reports and analysis, the beautiful views of Roosevelt Island, and more! 



Watch Manhattan and Brooklyn analysis, see the reports and let us know if you have any questions! 

You can see all our content and profiles HERE.




By making small changes to how we approach spring cleaning, we can transform a lengthy list of chores into an intentional practice that sparks feelings of hope and renewal.

Spring Market Picking Up!

Check out our active listings and the ones coming soon!

Facebook and Instagram.

Contact Roosevelt Island Blue Adib Mansour for your Real Estate needs. (646) 283-4973

Get Your Tickets Now To See Roosevelt Island MST&DA Teen Theatre Perform Musical Comedy Whodunit "Curtains" This Weekend Friday May 20 - Sunday May 22

The Roosevelt Island Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance (MST&DA) Teen Theatre program presents the musical comedy whodunit Curtains this weekend, Friday May 20 - Sunday May 22

According to MST&DA:

Come see MSTDA Teen Theatre’s Whodunit Musical Comedy: “CURTAINS” 

“It’s the brassy, bright, and promising year of 1959. Boston’s Colonial Theatre is host to the opening night performance of a new musical. When the leading lady mysteriously dies on stage the entire cast & crew are suspects. Enter a local detective, who just happens to be a musical theatre fan! Packed with glorious tunes and a witty, charming script filled with delightful characters, CURTAINS is a hilarious journey for both performers and the audience.” – Theatrical Rights Worldwide

Get your tickets now 

to see some very talented Roosevelt Island young people from the MST&DA Teen Theatre perform Curtains this weekend. 

Here's a snippet of a 2019 Theory Of Relativity Performance by MST&DA Teen Theatre.

More info about MST&DA programs and classes available at their website.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Gorgeous Pictures Of Restored Roosevelt Island Lighthouse Lit Up In Red Last Night - Take A Look At Inside Staircase Too

Linda Doyle shares these beautiful photos taken last night of the restored Roosevelt Island Lighthouse and reports: 

Tonight was the first night for testing with the colored light

The plan is to match the lights of the Empire State Building for holidays. They will change when needed. Memorial Day red, white and blue, etc.

I asked if she got to climb the stairs to the top?

Ms Doyle replied: 

No. I thought about asking but was afraid that it might be dusty and filled with cobwebs. But if they are there tonight, I will ask.

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):

Lighthouse Tower Opens

The Lighthouse Tower, designed by architect James Renwick, has been a prominent historic feature of Roosevelt Island since its construction in 1872. The Lighthouse was partially restored in the 1940s, complete with a low pitch 10 - sided lantern and was inducted into the National Register of Historic Places and designated a New York City Landmark in 1972 and 1976 respectively. In 2019, Thomas A. Fenniman Architects was hired to create construction documents to increase the useful life of the structure, eliminate potentially unsafe conditions, and reduce operating and maintenance expenses.

The exterior and interior restoration of the tower, included masonry restoration, concrete bracket and platform repair, railing restoration, replacement of spiral staircase, door and window restoration, as well as electrical and site work. These repairs remediated the many life and safety issues addressed for long-term use and will additionally decrease the operation and maintenance costs associated with the tower. “It is truly an honor to have rehabilitated this historic landmark for the Roosevelt Island community and visitors alike to enjoy. The Lighthouse Tower is a cornerstone and simply one of Roosevelt Islands treasures. I would like to thank our RIOC team, the architect and contractor for their work on this project.”, said Shelton J. Haynes, President and CEO of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC).

The restoration aspects and new lantern design were approved by the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the Landmarks Preservation Commission. “I am thrilled for the community to see the colored up-lighting on the tower and enjoy this space again. The conclusion of this project marks the last phase of our renovations to the northern tip of the Lighthouse Park that began with the renovations of the foot bridges in 2019.”, expressed Prince R. Shah, Assistant Director of Capital Planning and Projects at RIOC.

With the implementation of the required design measures, the Lighthouse Tower becomes a transformative symbol that all of New York will be able to identify as Roosevelt Island. “Our goal in the restoration of this historic lighthouse was to balance two factors: The preservation of the original masonry structure and to pay homage to the long-lost unique lantern designed by Renwick and removed sometime in the 1930’s” said Thomas A. Fenniman, Project Architect. “I am extremely proud of the accomplishments and commitment to quality by the entire team in restoring what I believe will be a true beacon at the northern tip of the island.” The northern end of Lighthouse Park will provide safe outdoor space for all to enjoy for many years to come.

Share Your Roosevelt Island Community Concerns Or Questions At May 19 RIOC Board Of Directors Meeting Public Session Via Zoom - For Example, Will Reasons For Public Purpose Fund Allocations Be Made Public, Will RIOC Comment On Staff Corruption Allegations & Does RIOC Favor New Board And CEO Residency Legislation?

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors will meet 5:30 PM Thursday May 19, 2022, 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. 

I submitted the following comments/questions:

1- The NYC Community Trust refuses to disclose the rationale for choosing Roosevelt Island organizations receiving Roosevelt Public Purpose Fund grants and the amount of funds allocated for each organization. In past years RIRA recommendations to RIOC For Public Purpose Fund awards included detailed reasons for their selections and amounts allocated.

Will The RIOC Board require NYC Community Trust to be transparent and open with the Roosevelt Island community by publicly stating the reason for the selection of each organization receiving a Public Purpose Fund Grant and the reason for the amount of that grant as has been done by RIRA for many years in the past.

Does the RIOC Board think it appropriate that the Carter Burden Roosevelt Island Senior Center received $5 Thousand, Roosevelt Island Historical Society received $5 Thousand, Wildlife Freedom Foundation $1 Thousand and the Piazzollo 100 received $1 Thousand.

All of these organizations received much less than all the other recipients with no explanation from NYC Community Trust. 

 2- The New York State Legislature earlier this week passed legislation awaiting signature of Governor Hochul to require a majority of the RIOC Board of Directors and the RIOC Chief Executive Officer to be residents of Roosevelt Island.

Does the RIOC Board of Directors or CEO favor the Governor signing this legislation?

3- A document was published on the OPNLTTR (Open Letter) web site dated March 26, 2022 purportedly shared by a group of Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) employees raising serious allegations of wrongdoings against the RIOC President and certain members of the RIOC executive staff. The employees sharing the document wish to remain anonymous claiming they fear retaliation.

Among the allegations are:

Misappropriation of state funds
Covering up a negligent death
Mismanagement of the AVAC System
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)

Is the RIOC Board investigating these allegations? Does the RIOC Board have any comment to the Roosevelt Island community about these serious allegations?

But be aware that RIOC Board Members and staff usually do not respond to questions during the Public Session though sometimes they may do so or address the subject during the actual Board meeting.  

If you have a question or concern, give it a try, you may get a response. 

Below is the Meeting Agenda:

It's interesting to note that the RIOC Board will go into Executive Session, closed to the public, for the second consecutive meeting to discuss what is believed to be an employment related issue involving another senior executive departing RIOC.

Click here for the Board Materials, including design services for Blackwell Park improvements project.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

NYPD Emergency Services Talks Queens Woman Down From Jumping Off Roosevelt Island Bridge Yesterday Morning

A Tipster reported being told by the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department yesterday of a person attempting to jump from the Roosevelt Island Bridge into the East River and shares this photo showing the NYPD response.

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Safety Department 24 Hour Blotter reports about the incident:
05/17/22 – 1139 – 36 Ave Bridge - Aided – EMS, NYPD, and PSD Responded – Transported to hospital

A NYPD spokeperson adds that a 31 year old Queens female residing at Vernon B'lvd was talked down from jumping off the Roosevelt Island Bridge by NYPD Emergency Services Unit at approximately 11:30 AM and transported to a hospital.

Monday, May 16, 2022

Residents Ask Why DoorDash No Longer Making Food Deliveries To Roosevelt Island? NYC Council Member Julie Menin Working To Ensure New Food Delivery App Regulations Do Not Exclude RI Residents From Getting Restaurant Deliveries

A Roosevelt Island resident recently asked why DoorDash is no longer making food deliveries to Roosevelt Island:

Roosevelt Island's NYC Council Member Julie Menin is looking into the matter:

It appears Doordash is no longer delivering to Roosevelt Island because of recently enacted NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) third party delivery app regulations.

According to a January 23, 2022 statement from the DCWP: 

Mayor Eric Adams and Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) Commissioner Peter A. Hatch announced that, starting tomorrow, third-party food delivery apps will be required to have a DCWP license to operate in New York City. This law is the first part of a suite of new sweeping legislation regulating online third-party food delivery apps and enforcing brand new labor standards for delivery workers.... 

... Starting April 22, 2022, third-party food delivery apps must: 

  • Allow food delivery workers to set limitations on distances they will travel from restaurants and which bridges or tunnels they are unwilling to use;...

DoorDash submitted this comment to the DCWP on regulation regarding delivery workers traveling over Bridges:

Concern: Section 7-806(c) of the proposed rule requires that a third-party food delivery service or third-party courier service make available a selectable list of 34 NYC bridges and tunnels for purposes of providing workers with ability to set their bridge and tunnel preferences. While DoorDash appreciates the rule clarifying the specific bridges and tunnels that are subject to the preference requirement, we do not believe there is any policy rationale for requiring a third- party food delivery or third-party courier service to list bridges and tunnels that would never be crossed as part of any trip offered by the service and, therefore, never implicate a worker’s bridge or tunnel preference. Listing bridges and tunnels for which crossings would never occur creates additional implementation burdens, implies to workers that certain trips do in fact cross those bridges or tunnels, and negatively impacts worker experience by requiring them to make selections that are superfluous. 

Recommendation: The final rule should make clear that, out of the 34 identified NYC bridges and tunnels, a third-party food delivery or third-party courier service must only make available for selection those bridges and tunnels over which a crossing may actually occur as a result of a trip offered by the service.

UberEats added this comment to the DCWP on the Third Party Delivery App regulation with specific reference to the Roosevelt Island Bridge:

... Delivery Distance and Route (b) and (e): Requires couriers be allowed to set and update their preferred bridges and tunnels and their maximum distance parameter and preferences. This provision as proposed risks cutting off entire communities from accessing reliable food delivery and thus being inconsistent with the intent of the local laws...

... to the extent any rules are proposed on this issue, they should exclude crossings whose inclusion may have the effect of cutting off communities, contrary to the intent and purpose of the local law. To give just a couple of many illustrations of the problem, included in the list of bridges that could be encompassed within the scope of the proposed rule are considering are the Grand Street Bridge, which is less than 200 feet long, the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge which is a two minute walk, and the Roosevelt Island Bridge, which is 0.3 miles long and connects more than 11,000 residents to Queens. By requiring companies to allow workers to opt out of deliveries over these bridges, the proposed rules would create significant operational challenges for the companies and potentially dramatically restrict the ability for consumers to order from within their own communities, while not addressing issues that were behind the intent of the bill. Granting couriers the ability to categorically opt-out of specific access points may adversely impact underserved communities. To name just one example, Roosevelt Island Bridge is the only access point for the residents who live there to get deliveries and there are only a few restaurants on the Island. ...

Ms Menin is asked about any progress getting DoorDash to resume delivering to Roosevelt Island:

Ms.Menin answers:
After hearing from constituents, my office reached out to the Department of Consumer and Worker Protections (DCWP) in order to ensure that food delivery apps would continue to service Roosevelt Island residents under the new delivery app regulations. After speaking with my office, DCWP is now aware of the problem and has promised amendments to the final rules that ameliorate this issue. We emphasized to DCWP that Roosevelt Island is unique due to the limited number of restaurants on the island and that including the Roosevelt Island bridge with other bridges could lead to devastating service reductions for Roosevelt Islanders. This issue affects many island communities and I look forward to partnering with DCWP to ensure that Roosevelt Islanders are not negatively impacted.

Uber Eats and GrubHub delivery workers are still traveling over the Roosevelt Island Bridge delivering food to Roosevelt Island residents.

It is unclear why DoorDash has stopped delivering to Roosevelt Island.

But NYC Council Member Julie Menin is continuing to work on the issue.

Stay tuned for updates.

Celebrate The Life Of Roosevelt Island A Living Library Think Park & Garden Founder Bonnie Ora Sherk Wednesday May 18 At The Garden

The founder of the Roosevelt Island A Living Library Think Park & Garden Bonnie Sherk passed away in August 2021. Ms Sherk's friends and colleagues invite you to:

Celebrate the Life of Bonnie Ora Sherk Wednesday, May 18th, 5:30 PM at Roosevelt Island’s A Living Library Think Park & Garden (in the rear of the garden)

Last November, Roosevelt Island resident Matt Katz reported the sad new of Ms Sherk's death. According to Mr Katz:

Our friend and long-time colleague involved with the beautification of Roosevelt Island, Bonnie Ora Sherk,   

passed away in August at her home in San Francisco. While not a Roosevelt Island resident, Bonnie had a second home in Manhattan and came to us over twenty years ago on a $50,000 Ford Foundation grant. 

Bonnie was a landscape architect with credentials in San Francisco and around the world. Her early focus here was Southpoint Park which was slated for major renovations, and Bonnie's schematics for that task were printed in The Main Street WIRE March 20, 2004 issue at the time. They included plans for a boathouse and launching site for kayaks regrettably never built. The Trust for Public Land conducted its own planning at the time, which would have included a make-over of the Renwick Smallpox Hospital Ruin. RIOC rejected these innovative ideas and produced our current, modest Southpoint Park. 

Bonnie was the founder and director of Life Frames, Inc. the sponsor of A Living Library (ALL) whose mission was, "to transform derelict environments with systemically integrated hands-on learning for all ages resulting in ecological, place-based branch Living Library & Think Parks in diverse parts of the world." Her work has been displayed at the P.S. 1 gallery in Queens as well as at the Biennale in Milan, Italy.   

Bonnie never received the municipal financial support in New York City that supported her projects in San Francisco, but took advantage of the RIOC Public Purpose Fund to continue creating projects, built with the sweat equity from all sectors of our population. She turned her attention to the PS/IS 217 schoolyard where both children and adults labored to haul the soil and manure necessary to transform the area under the hallway windows into a vegetable and flower garden.  

She planted an orchard of fruit trees on the west promenade school property, tragically destroyed during major school renovations. There are still two pin oaks, planted by the school kids, across Main Street from the school entrance. 

Currently, A Living Library is represented by the garden  

located between our new library building and Blackwell Park, now under renovation. The park, under the leadership of ALL Director China Bushell, is maintained with the support of many residents, old and young, and you may have joined the Trick or Treaters at that wonderfully (gruesomely?) decorated crypt over Halloween.

Those of us who worked with Bonnie over the years miss her terribly. We know how much she loved Roosevelt Island and Roosevelt Islanders. A memorial is tentatively planned for next May, Bonnie's birthday with a plaque to be placed on one of the garden's benches and a tree planted in her name. What could be more appropriate?

Here's a 2014 interview with Bonnie Ora Sherk describing her A Living Library life long project. 

EcoArt Space has more on Bonnie Ora Sherk. 

Contact Roosevelt Island Living Library Think Park & Garden manager China Bushell for more information.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Comfy Hammock And Cool East River Breeze Make For A Relaxing Roosevelt Island Sunday Afternoon Today For Human And Pooch

A comfortable hammock

and cool East River breeze make for a relaxing Sunday afternoon today on the

lawn next to Meditation Steps.