Saturday, October 28, 2023

Watch The 2023 Roosevelt Island Halloween Parade Marchers Walk Along Main Street Today

The 2023 Roosevelt Island Halloween Parade March on Main Street took place today from Capobianco Field to Southpoint Park.

Leading the parade marchers were Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Safety Chief Kevin Brown and Acting Chief Operating Officer Mary Cuneen. RIOC President Shelton Haynes, who has been on an extended leave for two months and has purportedly been back at work last week, was not at the parade.

Here's the Halloween Parade as seen from the sidewalk next to Nisi Restaurant. (Click the full screen icon at bottom right of video for a better viewing).

Friday, October 27, 2023

Roosevelt Island Early Voting For NYC Council District 5 Begins Saturday October 28 Thru Sunday November 5 At RIVAA Gallery, Election Day Tuesday November 7 - Incumbent Democratic Party Candidate Julie Menin Versus Republican Challenger Elizabeth Golluscio

Early NYC voting begins tomorrow, Saturday October 28 through Sunday November 5.

RIVAA Gallery is the site for Roosevelt Island early voting. 

Election Day is Tuesday November 7. Roosevelt Island election polling site is PS/IS 217 at 645 Main Street.

The race to represent Roosevelt Island and portions of the Upper East side in NYC Council District 5 is the only candidate election on the ballot for Roosevelt Island.

Incumbent NYC Council Member and Democratic Party candidate Julie Menin

is running against Republican challenger Elizabeth Golluscio.


Ms Menin spoke to a group of Roosevelt Island residents last night about issues of community concern.

Here's the discussion.

Ms Menin is very knowledgeable about Roosevelt Island issues.

Do not know anything about Ms Golluscio. 

Whoever you support, come out and vote. Politicians pay attention to voter turnout and the higher the turnout, the more attention is paid to your concerns.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Come In Your Spookiest And Scariest Costume For The Annual Roosevelt Island Halloween Parade & Extravaganza Saturday Saturday October 28

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):

Dear Roosevelt Island Community:

The spooky season is upon us, and this year RIOC is once again excited to host its annual Halloween Parade & Extravaganza on Saturday, October 28th!

This year’s event will once again kick-off with a parade down Main Street and proceed all the way to Southpoint Park, where we’ll be hosting Halloween fun for the whole family featuring food, music, pumpkin decorating, special amusements and much more!

The parade will step-off at Capobianco Field at 10:45AM and make its way down to Southpoint Park, where our Halloween themed festivities will run from 11AM to 3PM. More event details, including parade logistics, are to come, so make sure to keep a lookout for future RIOC advisories.

We can’t wait to see everyone in their scary best on Saturday, October 28th!

-Team RIOC

Here are scenes from past Roosevelt Island Halloween Parade. 

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Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Roosevelt Island Tram Cabin Swinging Wildly While Suspended In Air Again Today, "Everyone Super Scared" Reports Resident - NYC Council Member Julie Menin Asks RIOC President To Review Incidents, RIOC President Replies "No Imminent Threat To The Health And Safety Of Our Passengers"

As reported September 28:

... A Tipster reported that last night about 8 PM the The Roosevelt Island tram cabin was rocking and shaking back and forth on it's way from Manhattan over the East River as it approached the Roosevelt Island station before safely landing. The Tipster did not know if it had anything to do with the Tram being out of service this morning.... 

Also, on October 20, the Tram cabin was swinging again.

This afternoon, a Roosevelt Island resident sent me this text message. 

The resident adds:

Everyone super scared. It shook for a few minutes, maybe two? But very hard back and forth.
During the October 19, 2023 Community Board 8 Roosevelt Island Committee zoom meeting, Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Communications Director Bryant Daniels addressed the issue of the swaying Tram Cabins. According to Mr Daniels:

... during regular tram operations we can periodically get stops that might occur when the tram safety systems are sort of triggered for whatever reason. They tend to be short in time span and what ends up happening is, I just want to check my notes to make sure I'm getting this correctly, what happens is a trigger could happen. A stop may occur, the tram cabin may sway a bit,  but it's a controlled and safe reaction that's inherent to the Tram system design and it's not indicative of an unsafe situation...

Here's the full statement by Mr Daniels.

Earlier today, Roosevelt Island's NYC Council Member Julie Menin sent a letter to RIOC President Shelton Haynes expressing concern about these recent Tram shaking back and forth incidents. Ms Menin shares the letter. 

Dear President and CEO Haynes,

I am writing to express my concerns about the safety of the Roosevelt Island Tram. On October 20th, a passenger suffered from dizziness and headaches because of the tram cabin shaking back and forth in an excessive manner. On the same day, another passenger shared a video on social media of the tram cabin swinging while suspended in the air.

Roosevelt Island residents heavily rely on the Roosevelt Island Tram to access jobs, services, and entertainment in Manhattan and to access public transportatioN. The tram is even more vital now, as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) conducts work on the 63rd Street Line, which limits subway service to the island. In addition, the tram allows thousands of tourists to visit the island to view the Manhattan skyline, enjoy the expansive green spaces, and make use of the multitude of amenities on the island.

I urge the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation to review these recent incidents and all safety concerns addressed. It is critical that the safety and wellbeing of those visiting and living in Roosevelt Island is ensured by having the tram properly maintained. It should also have built-in redundancies and safeguards to protect against unexpected mechanical breakdowns and external conditions.

Mr Haynes responded today to Ms Menin. According to Mr Haynes:

Dear Honorable New York City Councilmember Menin,

I appreciate your concerns regarding the safety of the Roosevelt Island Tram. Your feedback is invaluable to us, and I want to assure you that we take the safety of our passengers very seriously.

We are aware of a video circulating on social media of the tram cabin swaying while suspended in the air. However, our constituent service department has not received any inquiries. After learning of the incident, we have been meeting with our vendor, Leiner POMA, to clarify this. Allow me to address these concerns and provide some insight into the situation.

The POMA Management team stated, “This tram undergoes very frequent inspections by the state to ensure code compliance, as well as many third-party inspections to ensure the highest of passenger safety. The Roosevelt Island Tramway has an excellent track record with most months reporting a 100% availability record, with overall availability at over 99.93% since the 2010 replacement. No injuries have been reported as a result of a tram malfunction to date. We take pride in this amazing machine and can assure you that the tram responded appropriately.”

Additionally, POMA informed RIOC that the issues you mentioned relate to a communications system message that can appear randomly and requires an employee to confirm the message. When this message appears and awaits acknowledgment from an employee, the Tram will stop, causing it to sway if it is already in operation.

They have emphasized that there is no imminent threat to the health and safety of our passengers. We are actively working with POMA, to address the communication systems messaging issue. Once it is resolved, we will send out an update to the public.

We would like to reemphasize that the Roosevelt Island Tram is a safe and functional mode of transportation. POMA staff are always on board and easily identifiable with RIOC branding. In the event of any issues or concerns, they will communicate in real-time with riders to ensure their comfort and safety.

Please rest assured that we are committed to the safety and well-being of those who rely on the Roosevelt Island Tram, whether for daily commuting, tourism, or any other purpose. We will continue to work diligently to maintain and improve the safety of this vital transportation link to Manhattan.

Thank you for sharing this concern with me, and please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any further questions or suggestions.

Here are the back and forth letters from Ms Menin and Mr Haynes.

UPDATE 11:30 PM - A Roosevelt Island resident reports:

Today (Wednesday Oct 25) traveling from Manhattan on the Tram at approximately 3:30pm the cabin started rocking wildly -- women started screaming, people reported nausea. Thankfully no one vomited. Also thankfully I was seated because that severity of rocking could cause a fall and possible injury.

RIOC advisories say "POMA has assured us that there is no risk to the health and safety of our passengers." -- I don't agree. Although I heard about the recent incidents of Tram uncontrollable rocking, nothing could prepare me for today's shocking experience.

I believe RIOC is minimizing the problem and not doing enough to corect it.

UPDATE 10/26 - Today I asked RIOC President Shelton Haynes:

It appears that the Tram stopping and swinging in mid air is happening much more than in the past.

Why is that?

Does RIOC keep metrics on how often this happens and has there been a recent increase in occurrences?

If you do have metrics, please send them over so I can include them in the story.

If you don't keep metrics, why not?

Will update if there is an answer.

Watch Video Of RIOC Communications Director Report To Community Board 8 Roosevelt Island Committee - Tram Platform Safety, Swinging Tram Cabin, Resident Tram Boarding Preferences Among Issues Discussed

The October 19, 2023 Community Board 8 Roosevelt Island Committee Zoom meeting, chaired by resident Paul Krikler, received an update on current issues from Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Communications Director Bryant Daniels. Mr Daniels also answered questions from residents.

Among the issues discusses were:

  • recent and upcoming events,
  • current transportation problems
  • Roosevelt Island Tram safety (overcrowded platforms, swinging Tram Cabin)
  • Roosevelt Island Tram boarding preference for residents and
  • Roosevelt Island street parking

Watch the full discussion of these issues.

Contact CB8 if you are interested in more information about the Roosevelt Island committee. The next meeting will be in December.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

NYC Health Department Confirms 2 Residents Of Roosevelt Island Rivercross Coop Building With Legionnaires' Disease - Source Of Illness Unknown At This Time And Health Department Conducting Investigation Of Building Water Distribution Systems Says Coop Board Directors/Management

I learned from several Roosevelt Island Rivercross building tipsters this past weekend that the NYC Health Department confirmed 2 cases of Legionnaires Disease among its residents. 

Yesterday, I asked the Rivercross Co-op building Board of Directors/Building Management:

I understand that NYC Health Dept informed Rivercross building management of 2 Legionnaires disease cases among residents.

Is that true?
Today, Rivercross Board Of Directors/Building management replied:
The Management and the Board of Rivercross Tenants’ Corp. (Rivercross) are in receipt of an order from the Commissioner of the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (the Health Department). The order indicates that the Health Department has received reports of two persons with Legionnaires’ disease residing at 531 Main Street who may have been exposed to water containing Legionella in a 12-month period.The source of the residents' illness is unknown.

The health and wellness of our residents and staff is paramount, and we are fully collaborating with the Health Department and our environmental professionals to ensure that we take all necessary steps to comply with this investigation, test our building water distribution systems, and are prepared to implement any required health remediating measures as directed to do so.

This investigation is being driven by the Department of Health and we remain committed in our efforts to expeditiously complete this process and eliminate Rivercross as the possible source for these cases.

Below is the October 20 message from the Rivercross Board/Management to residents and October 19 NYC Health Department notice about the Rivercross Legionnaires diseases cases.

Here's more from NYC Health Department on Legionnaires Disease and building evaluations.

In 2018, CBS New York reported on a NYC Health Department Legionnaires disease investigation in the Bronx at Coop City.


Residents report being told at Zoom informational meeting last night that the Legionnaires' disease building investigation is estimated to take about 2 weeks.

UPDATE 10/25 - According to a Rivercross resident, those attending the Zoom meeting on Monday evening were told:

... the 2 cases were diagnosed in July 2023 AND September 2023 but no exact dates given....

Monday, October 23, 2023

Mayor Eric Adams Reports NYC Is Back With More Jobs Than Ever - Announces NYC Regained Nearly 1 Million Private Sector Jobs Lost During Covid Pandemic

New York City Mayor Eric Adams submitted the op-ed article below to local NYC community media including Roosevelt Islander Online.According to Mayor Eric Adams:

Community Op-Ed: New York City is Back – With More Jobs Than Ever

Less than two years ago, I was sworn in as the 110th mayor of New York City. Our city was still reeling from the devastation of a global pandemic. Commercial neighborhoods and office buildings were deserted. Headlines questioned the future of New York City.

But I knew then what every New Yorker has always known: this city would be back.

And right now, that comeback is official: We have regained the nearly one million private sector jobs that were lost during COVID-19, and New York City has more total jobs than EVER before in our city’s history, totaling 4,709,400 million jobs. Not just private sector jobs. Total jobs. And more than 280,500 of those jobs were created since the beginning of this administration.

This is more than just a recovery, and I am proud to say we got there ahead of schedule. Before we took office, experts were projecting the city wouldn’t regain pre-pandemic job levels until 2025, but this is the “Get Stuff Done” administration. And we got it done in 22 months.

Our plan was straightforward: Protect public safety, invest in public spaces, and support working people, or as we have been calling it, the “Triangle Offense.”

As I have said for so long, public safety is the prerequisite to prosperity.

It is what I campaigned on, what I was elected to do, and what we have delivered for New Yorkers.

That is why we took immediate action and invested $171 million in our Subway Safety Plan; took action on gun violence, car theft, and retail crime; and boosted enforcement of quality of life and criminal offenses alike.

This simple equation — jobs are up, crime is down, and every day we are delivering for working people — is the foundation of everything else we want to accomplish moving forward.

And the results speak for themselves: Riders are back on our transit system heading back to work, and New Yorkers are safer — and feel safer — and it makes all the difference.

We are embarking on the most ambitious housing effort in generations, investing in sustainability and resiliency projects across the five boroughs, and making transformative changes in how we keep our city clean.

We are also delivering billions into the pockets of working people across the city, but when it comes to lifting up working people, we are going to go even further.

Too many people have been left out of this recovery. Black unemployment is too high. Our wealth gap is too wide. Equity remains a serious issue in communities of color across the board.

We must build a fairer, more inclusive economy. And we are going to start with a “Working People’s Tour” of the five boroughs — one that highlights the New Yorkers powering our recovery, introduces new economic solutions, and allows us to hear directly from those who are still lacking access to good jobs. We will create new interventions to help boost growth and build on-ramps to opportunity across the five boroughs because all New Yorkers must share in our city’s prosperity, no matter what line of work they are in or what borough they hail from.

New York City has a history of coming back stronger no matter how tough things get. Going forward, we are going to make sure that every New Yorker can share in our city’s legendary opportunity and prosperity as well.

Here's full October 20, 2023 announcement on NYC jobs recovery.


Channel 7 Eyewitness News has more.


Click here for June 2023 one on one interview with Mayor Adams about Roosevelt Island issues, answering Roosevelt Island question during January 2023 media briefing and August 2022 meeting with Roosevelt Island residents.

Sunday, October 22, 2023

Roosevelt Island Is A Great Place To Meet Critters By The Water's Edge - Meet The Wharf Roaches Of Roosevelt Island Swarming On Seawall Promenade

They're not the cute ducks or geese walking along the Roosevelt Island streets and sidewalks that draw the attention of visitors and residents, but the Wharf Roaches swarming the seawall are also part of the Roosevelt Island wildlife ecosystem.

Take a look.