Friday, June 2, 2023

No Roosevelt Island F Train Service From Manhattan Again This Weekend Says MTA, No Word From RIOC - Expect Long Line Of Tourists At Manhattan Tram Station And Pissed Off Roosevelt Island Residents

Here we go again. There will be no Roosevelt Island F Train service 

from Manhattan this weekend. 

According to the MTA:

As of 4:15 PM, there is no word from the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) if the Red Bus Shuttle 

to Manhattan will operate this weekend or if there will be extra Public Safety Officers at the Tram Stations to manage overcrowding.

During Memorial Day weekend last week, there was no Roosevelt Island F Train service to Roosevelt Island either. RIOC had extra Public Safety

I asked residents on Instagram if there were any problems with crowding at the Tram last weekend.

Among the response were:

  • I tried to get home after a 14 hour work shift and was told by PSD the platform was full so I couldn’t even go up to take the tram home. Ended up having to pay $35 for a cab home.
  • exact same thing happened to me !!
  • ... What irritates me the most is all those tourist running for a seat, to end up standing up and moving around, than pushing and shoving to get a shot from every window and the worst are the ones putting their elbows on your back, shoulders and head and then getting upset cause you do not allow it. Tourist are the worst!
  • Most of them have no manners. Even when there is a senior, a person with a disability or a parent with a stroller trying to board the tram, they show no respect. They just don't care. They are like charging bulls. The only thing they care about is getting a seat or the best view. Not to say that all tourists act like this, some are actually very nice, but I would say the majority for sure.
  • At 6:45pm the line was stretched almost to 59th Street. (Mostly people waiting to buy a ticket) I always carry 4 with me.
  • Line was fine if you metrocard was loaded. Skip the lines. Cars were crowded.
  • nope, Sunday PM they wouldn’t even let you up if you had your metro card ready
  • Never, they will never learn. The complete lack of awareness on public service and poor sense of priorities has resulted in many of us who love(d) RI to move away.
  • Last evening the line at Tramway plaza was scary..that was at 7pm...I went straight to elevator and had money on my Metro card...The platform was jam packed and scary. I had to wait with severe back pain.. fought my way on.. fought for a seat.. tram is also over capacity.. my Sister had to get free shuttle bus @ 7:30pm with a few other residents...RIOC has to do is semi dangerous.. it will be like that all Summer. The shuttle should be earlier in the day....
  • It was awful . a lot of people were in trouble
  • This has to stop. We are paying a lot for this island and we shouldn't wait on stupid lines with the tourists.
  • It was awful, my daughter and her friends (all island residents), we’re told by NYPD officers that because two of them did not have a metro card they had to wait in a very long line that were mostly tourist. There was no Queens bound F trains, so they had to take an alternate route into queens to get home . I do not feel that island residents should have to be inconvenienced by standing in a long line of tourists, to get home.

Be prepared. Have your Metro Cards ready and maybe you can skip any long Tram line. 

As of today, there will be regular Roosevelt Island F train weekend service next week but no Roosevelt Island F Train service from Manhattan the weekend of June 16-19.

Roosevelt Island NY Public Library Branch Hosting Jazz Concert Series With Local Musicians Island Krewe At Outdoor Plaza Area Saturday Afternoon June 3

The Roosevelt Island NY Public Library branch is hosting a Jazz Concert Series

at their outdoor plaza beginning Saturday June 3 with local musicians from the Island Krewe.

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Rash Of Recent Crime On Roosevelt Island Has Residents Worried, Assaults, Hate Crime, Weapons Possession & Arson - You're Invited To Meet NYPD 114 Neighborhood Coordination Officers At Cornell Tech 5 PM Friday June 2 To Discuss Public Safety Concerns - UPDATE, RESCHEDULED TO THURSDAY JUNE 8

UPDATE 6/2 12:15 PM - The NYPD 114 precinct informed me a few minutes ago that the Roosevelt Island Build The Block meeting is being rescheduled for 5 PM Thursday June 8 at Cornell Tech. 

Sorry for any inconvenience.

 In recent weeks on Roosevelt Island there's been an increase in criminal activity including:

and the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) reported on May 30:

On Saturday, May 27, 2023, at approximately 8:24 PM, the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department (PSD) responded to a report of a group of juveniles harassing adults to the rear of 500 Main Street at the Blackwell House Park basketball courts. PSD arrived on the scene at approximately 8:26 PM and spoke to a male victim who stated he was involved in a physical altercation with one of the juveniles following a verbal dispute. The victim sustained minor injuries and was able to identify the perpetrator, who fled the scene of the assault before PSD arrived. On Tuesday, May 30, 2023, at 9:38 AM the perpetrator was arrested by PSD without incident at 550 Main Street. The perpetrator will be processed as a juvenile.

Residents are asking "what's going on" with recent crimes on Roosevelt Island which has previously always been thought of as one of the safest neighborhoods in NYC.

You can discuss these incidents as well as any other Roosevelt Island Public Safety issue with NYPD 114 Precinct Neighborhood Coordination Officers Friday June 2 at Cornell Tech Bloomberg Center.

As reported May 4:

Sparks Fly At May 2 Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department Community Engagement Meeting - Residents Tell RIOC PSD And NYPD 114 Precinct About Assaults, School Bullying, Harassment & Fire Setting By A Group Of Teens

Here's video of the May 2 Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department meeting which had been a typical Roosevelt Island meeting until :

... interrupted by Roosevelt Island father who stood up, said he loves Roosevelt Island and then reported his son had recently been "jumped, beat up, filmed and put on Instagram", and is "scared to death". ...

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Roosevelt Island Resident Lydia Tang Nominated By Mayor Adams For One Of Three Vacant Seats On RIOC Board Of Directors - Must Still Be Appointed By The Governor And Approved By State Senate Finance Committee Before June 8 Close Of Legislative Session

There were rumors last week that at least one, and possibly more, resident(s) were nominated to fill up to three currently vacant Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors seats.

On May 22, I asked Mayor Adams press representative:

I'm following up regarding the list of Roosevelt Island community concerns that were previously addressed to Mayor Adams during his visit to RI and to First Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright during a community/ethnic media roundtable.

Among those community concerns were Mayoral appointments to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors.

I have been told that Mayor Adams has selected a person to be appointed to the RIOC Board Of Directors.

Is that true? Who is that person?

Please provide details about the nominee and reasons for the person's appointment.

Thank you.

Mayor Adams press spokesperson replied: 

 We don’t comment on pending appointments.

I learned of at least one RIOC Board nomination.

On May 25, prior to a RIOC Board of Directors meeting, Roosevelt Island resident Lydia Tang told me that she was a Mayoral nominee to the RIOC Board of Directors. (Ms Tang is pictured below at the May 25 RIOC Board meeting standing next to RIOC Board member Howard Polivy).

I asked Ms Tang:

Do you have any comment to the Roosevelt Island community on your nomination... ?

Why do you wish to be on the RIOC Board and how do you see your role as a RIOC Director?

Ms Tang replied:

Being part of the solution and not part of the problem – that’s the only legitimate reason I have for wishing to be on the RIOC Board of Directors. Complaining about the state of affairs only goes so far, but stepping up to improve the state of affairs can be more effective if there exists the correct qualifications and experience. I believe that I have many of the correct qualifications and experiences.

I’ve been an active member of the Roosevelt Island community, having taken on official positions in my building’s tenant’s association, our public school’s PTA, RIRA, MSTDA, the Living Library (LifeFrames Inc.) and as advocate for our branch of the Public Library. I’ve also helped out in community events orchestrated by RIRA and RIOC, as well as volunteering with the after-school Beacon Program. My professional experience includes 10 years in the financial industry and, most recently, 25 years as a college math professor. My undergraduate and graduate degrees are in Operations Research from Columbia University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science. My limited exposures from my summer college internships include working for the MTA in Staten Island (SIRTOA), Con-Edison, and CE-Lummus, an engineering firm.

Ms Tang's Mayoral nomination to the RIOC Board is subject to appointment by Governor Hochul and confirmation by the NY State Senate Finance committee which is chaired by Roosevelt Island's State Senator Liz Krueger.

Will Ms Tang have smooth sailing through the vetting process, if any, of Governor Hochul and the State Senate Finance committee?

As a Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) member, Ms Tang was co-chair of the RIRA Cherry Blossom Committee. As reported March 28, 2019:

... The preparation, financing and organization of the 2019 Cherry Blossom Festival has not been without the RIRA behind the scenes controversies as have also occurred in past years.

Prior to the March RIRA Common Council meeting to approve a budget for the Cherry Blossom Festival,  four Common Council Members, including the RIRA Treasurer, resigned over concerns related to the large sum requested that RIRA commit to raise ($25 Thousand) and a perceived lack of transparency by RIRA Cherry Blossom Committee organizers.

Following much discussion and email exchanges, the RIRA March Common Council meeting approved a much smaller budget of $9,520 for the Cherry Blossom Festival...

It is unclear precisely what caused the concern and resignations by RIRA members over the Cherry Blossom Festival fundraising. Ms Tang responded to my inquiry at the time saying;

... Prior to RIOC agreeing to assume the Homeland Security requirements for our growing event, the Cherry Blossom Festival subcommittee distributed fundraising appeals for our best estimate of what projected costs would be. After RIOC’s agreement, we revised our estimate.

The Cherry Blossom Festival embarked on fundraising efforts that RIRA unanimously approved, in the following motion:

Motion: “RIRA authorizes the expenditure of up to $9,520 for the Cherry Blossom Festival, based upon the budget of $9,520. RIRA encourages fundraising and in-kind contributions to minimize out-of-pocket expenses.”
A donation incentive, based on recommendations by FFP and in consultation with RIOC, includes a new promotional opportunity. In keeping with prioritizing promised donation incentives, the Cherry Blossom Festival Subcommittee set a policy of an opportunity to share a display table to previously grandfathered organizations. The new promotional opportunities supersede previous fundraising documents that some Council Members viewed as malfeasance.

We are currently collecting donation commitments from Amalgamated Bank, Hornblower and Manhattan Park, among others. Some donors choose to remain anonymous.

The approved budget is up to $9,250. We currently have committed donations of that will cover most of our expenses and are hoping to receive additional commitments.

There are no financial improprieties, as no money has been spent or collected.

There are a total of 9 RIOC Board seats. According to the NY State governing statute regarding RIOC Board members:

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

What does a RIOC Director do? 

In theory, the RIOC Board of Directors sets policy, approve the annual budget, an annual capital spending plan, hires and fires the President/CEO and oversees the operations of the corporation. In practice, many of the important decisions about Roosevelt Island are made by the Governor's office as explained by RIOC Director Fay Christian during a May 8 community meeting with Congressman Jerry Nadler.

RIOC Board members are volunteers and do not get paid.

The NY State Legislature is in session until June 8. The State Senate Finance Committee met May 30 and May 31 to consider various NY State nominations. RIOC board appointment was not on the Agenda. 

More info as it becomes available.

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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

You're Invited To Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech Faculty Conversation About Mitigating Technology Abuse In Intimate Partner Violence With Professor Thomas Ristenpart Thursday June 1

The Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech Faculty Community conversations continue Thursday June 1 with Professor Thomas Ristenpart discussing:

Mitigating Technology Abuse In Intimate Partner Violence

According to Cornell Tech:

Thursday, June 1, 2023

6:30 pm

Bloomberg Center

Cornell Tech, 2 West Loop Road, NY, NY 10044

Light refreshments served


Questions? Contact

Learn how Cornell Tech's Clinic to End Tech Abuse helps survivors navigate technology abuse and empowers their use of technology.

As our lives becomes increasingly reliant on digital technologies such as smartphones, email, and social media, the threat of their being used against us looms large. In this talk, Thomas Ristenpart will discuss a context where weaponization of technology against people is tragically routine: intimate partner violence (IPV).

Ristenpart is part of a research group that has studied the role technology plays in IPV situations. Via interviews with survivors and support professionals, online measurement studies, and investigation of malicious software tools purpose-built for abuse, they have documented how abusers exploit technology to control, harass, stalk, and otherwise harm their current or former partner. To help survivors, they work with technology companies and lawmakers to affect positive changes and, more directly, have put into practice a new interventional approach that they call clinical computer security. 

Their Clinic to End Tech Abuse works in partnership with the New York City Mayor's Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence to help survivors navigate technology abuse and, ultimately, empower their use of technology.This talk will cover joint work with a large number of collaborators and clinic volunteers.

Here's a June 2022 presentation on Mitigating Technology Abuse In Intimate Partner Violence by Professor Ristennpart.

Please RSVP here to attend the June 1 Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech Faculty community conversation.

Monday, May 29, 2023

On Memorial Day, We Honor Men And Woman Of US Military Who Died Protecting Our Freedoms And Serving Our Country

Please take some time today on Memorial Day to honor the men and women of the United States Military who died while serving our country as well as their families.

According to

Memorial Day, which falls on the last Monday of May, commemorates the men and women who died while serving in the American military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, at least, it marks the beginning of summer...

Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day because it was a time set aside to honor the nation's Civil War dead by decorating their graves...

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Sponsored Post - Check Out This Week's Roosevelt Island Café At Cornell Tech Menu For Breakfast, Grab & Go Specials, Daily Dish Hotline Items, Pizza Station, Salads, Sushi, Coffee,Tea, Smoothies Beer, Wine, Wifi & More - Wonderful Outdoor Patio Too

Check out this week's menu at the Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech Café for

Daily Hot Lunch Specials, Breakfast Staples, Make Your Own Salads, Flatbread and Neapolitan Pizza, Grab and Go Sandwiches/Salads, Soup, Coffee/Beverage Station & More.  But, please note the Café is closed Monday for Memorial Day.

The Cornell Tech Café is a great spot on Roosevelt Island for breakfast, lunch.   

Coffee, Tea, Smoothies, 

Beer, Wine

and Thursday Sushi too.

Bring your laptop if you wish. The Cafe has very good wi-fi connection.  

As the weather gets warmer, the Outdoor Patio  

is a great spot to eat, relax and people watch too

The Cafe is open Monday thru Friday 8am to 7 pm. Saturday and Sundays 11am to 5pm.

More info at the Cornell Tech Café website and Instagram Page.

See you soon at the Café.