Thursday, January 31, 2008

Housing Forum on 2/7 at Good Shepherd Sponsored by State Sen. Jose M. Serano

One week from today State Senator Jose M. Serrano is sponsoring a Housing Forum to be held at the Church of the Good Shephered starting at 6:30 pm. The Church is located at 543 Main Street and is handicapped accessible. DHCR has confirmed that they will have representatives at the event as will Urban American, the Center for Independence of the Disabled. the Citywide Task Force on Housing Court as well as Legal Director Paul Kushner at EIS.

The event is co-sponsored by the Eastwood Residents Association and Eviction Intervention Services.

Greater Security Needed at Collapsing Smallpox Hospital

The below video slide show starts like many videos by teenagers visiting Roosevelt Island and even includes a dozen or more pictures of the kids gaining access to the smallpox hospital (at about 2 minutes into the 4 minute video)and exploring its ruins even climbing among the structure on support beams. If a further collapse happened while they were inside and someone was hurt you can be sure their families will be suing RIOC, NYS, and NYC. Posting danger signs every 15 feet on the fence posts will never stop anyopne who wants to gain access.

We need greater security around this site now and through the upcoming stabilization project. If we don't someone is going to get hurt. I have heard no say "no one has been hurt yet" as I know our officials are good caring people but can we really wait until a tragedy happens. I know other than adding razor wire or posting a PSD officer at the site 24 hours / day there is not really much we can do but someone must be smarter than me in this regard.

Quick Updates: Rivercross Votes to Begin Privatization

According to one unofficial report the tenants of the Rivercross building have voted to initiate the privatization process and exit the NYS Mitchell-Lama program. Supposedly the voting results closely mirrored that of the Dec 2007 vote voided by DHCR. In that vote, according to the Dec 15, 2007 Main Street WIRE, approximately 84% of the voting tenants voted Yes to begin the privatization process. Yesterday's vote would authorize the Rivercross Board of Directors to file the appropriate paperwork with the DHCR of their intention to exit Mitchell-Lama.

It is unclear still what percentage of apartments voted in this process or how many apartments could not vote due to the fact that their owners were out of town and not allowed to vote due to the DHCR rule that “first” votes are not allowed to include votes by proxy. I am guessing the official results will be posted by tomorrow and slipped under each tenant’s door.

UPDATE from the Main Street WIRE:

From: Dick Lutz / The Main Street WIRE
Sent: Wednesday, January 30, 2008 9:41 PM
Subject: Rivercross Votes to Pursue Privatization

"Rivercross shareholders voted today to move ahead on privatization in the first of three required votes. With about 80% of the apartments in the building voting, there were 229 yes votes, and 58 no votes. This first vote in the series of three is a restart of the process, implemented after DHCR disqualified, as the first vote, a vote taken in 1996. The second vote is now expected within a couple of months -- probably in March, according to building Treasurer Steve Kaufman. "

Quick Updates: The Fourth Floor & Roosevelt Island

I still don’t have the answer as to why the opening sequence of “The Fourth Floor” includes video filmed from within the Tram looking out as it docks at Manhattan’s Tramway Plaza but I can say that Andy the main character has traveled to Roosevelt Island.

I’ll let you see yourself how Andy got to Roosevelt Island by inviting you to view Episode 4 below. Unfortunately the method used was a one way experience and Andy had to walk back to Manhattan as he did not have a Metrocard or money for one. I am also not sure why neither he nor his traveling companion thought of taking the Tram back. I will say that if I had the power to travel to Roosevelt Island in this manner at night I’d take it. Beats taking the subway that's for sure.

After you view the episode take a look at the header for each of the Fourth Floor web pages and you'll note a subtitle that relates to the transportation method used in this episode. Kind of makes you wonder if someone in this group lives here on Roosevelt Island.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Island Resident Paul Katz - ReServist Photographer

You see Paul Katz at every Roosevelt Island event clicking away. But did you know that when he is off island he is still using his skills as a photographer. Read Paul's profile over at the ReServe blog.

"ReServe connects New York City’s experienced older adults with stipend-paying jobs that challenge them to use their lifetime skills for the public good."

If NYC Secedes from NY State, Where Does That Leave Roosevelt Island?

For those New Yorkers (State and City) that do not already know Roosevelt Island while geographically part of New York City is not governed by NYC but by a New York State Authority created for that purpose. In fact NYC leased out the island to NYS for 99 years and will not get the land back until 2068.

If NYC secedes from NYS, as proposed by Queens legislator Peter Vallone Jr. and reported in today’s
NY Sun, Roosevelt Island would be an island leased by NYS sitting within another State’s boundaries.

If NYC secedes would Island residents rise up and overtake RIOC and the PSD declaring our loyalty to NYC? Could we count on the NYPD to storm the Island supporting our cause, to be freed from the British, I mean NYS, and reunite us with our City brethren?

If we are left as a colony of NYS sitting alone in the East River would Island residents need to pay interstate tolls upon leaving the Island? Would our children be able to attend NYC schools? Would NYS have to send in NYS Police, replacing the PSD, to patrol our Island if the NYPD would not have any jurisdiction on our shores?

NYS would probably try to create toll booths in the middle of the Queensboro Bridge trying to charge NYC residents a toll for crossing over NYS land.

I guess any chance of getting a second NYC subway station would out of the question.

Rivercross Tenants Re-Take First Vote Today Towards Privatization

Today from 7:00 am through 8:30 pm this evening, Rivercross Tenants are being asked to take the first step towards Privatization of their cooperative building and to leave the Mitchell-Lama program. This vote is now the official first vote in the process after DHCR cancelled the earlier December 2007 “second” vote claiming the 1996 “first” vote was stale . The Coop Board is actively behind this vote and all signage distributed to tenants strongly urges a positive vote authorizing the Board to notify the DHCR that the building is taking the first steps towards investigating “privatization”.

There are tenants on both sides of the issue whether privatization is the right course for the building at this time. I will admit, as a Rivercross resident shareholder, I can see arguments on both sides and I will also admit but for the Mitchell-Lama status of the building I could not afford to buy into the building at FMV prices.

If the vote is positive the Board will begin the process to put together a business plan (the "black book") with all financial data as to how the conversion would be effected and how the building would be supported once it leaves Mitchell-Lama. A second vote is then required on this plan and this is what the Board states is the "real vote" as that vote would be to officially privatize or not. Tenants are fully aware that this process of even getting to the second vote is not a cheap one and the Board will incur substantial fees before such vote takes place. These costs are another issue of contention between the resident factions in the building.

Major issues to be addressed by the "Black Book" include coverage of the FMV tax equivalency bills which would now be imposed fully by the ESDC as well as the negotiation to extend the ground lease on the building which currently only extends out only 20 years.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

NY Times Neediest Cases: A Roosevelt Island Resident Profiled

Ms. Palanco, who has been deaf since birth, lives with her husband, Gustavo Palanco, and their four children in a duplex apartment on Roosevelt Island. She holds a steady job assembling office chairs at the Pibbs Industries factory in Queens and has joined an online deaf community that speaks in sign language via Web cam.”

- The first paragraph in the full article.

Monday, January 28, 2008

CB8 Meeting re FDR Memorial – Presentation of Matt Katz

This evening the Roosevelt Islander blog ran the text of Roosevelt Island Residents Association President Matthew Katz speaking at last week’s January 23rd Community Board Meeting regarding the planned Louis Kahn designed FDR Four Freedoms Memorial intended for Soutpoint Park. It reminded me that I had not uploaded the video of this presentation to this blog. So here it is.

I must apologize as my memory card ran out about 30 seconds or so before Mr. Katz concluded his presentation. As noted above the full text can be found at the Roosevelt Islander blog.

The National Election: Descendant of Roosevelt Island Indentured Servant Supports John Edwards

I have seen little or no campaigning on Roosevelt Island for the national race for the U.S. Presidency. I saw two Hillary bumper stickers attached to a poster kiosk on Main Street but saw that they were quickly removed by the next morning.

Today while home sick and playing on the Internet I found a letter posted on the John Edwards Blog and also to The Daily Kos from a woman who is descended from a man who came to America as an indentured servant back in 1641 and worked the farm land on what is now Roosevelt Island. Interesting article on why she supports John Edwards but I was more interested in her reference to her long dead ancestor.

Obviously that family has kept alive their family history. Perhaps we can track her down and learn if she knows anything more about her ancestor’s time here on this Island.

Red Bus Series – The Riverwalk / Southtown Tram Loop

This set of videos are all of the same subject the Red Bus and provides three different views of the Red Bus, in the evening, as it leaves the Tram station and winds its way around the newly constructed Southtown traffic loop / circle.

The first video is of the Red Bus from the outside. The second is from the inside looking out from the rear seat. The third is from the rear interior exit door looking forward through the bus. Each video is about a minute or less.

Greater Access to the RIOC Board Nominee Candidates? At RIOC Offices Perhaps? presented today, 1/28/2008, three videos which go far to allow voters learn a bit more about the thre candidates profiled: Erin Feely-Nahem, Jonathan Kalkin , and Lynn Strong-Shinozaki. In addition to Mr. Kalkin’s website “VoteKalkin”, Frank Farance’s own website is due to launch today.

So far as noted in an earlier post Mr. Kalkin is the only candidate to visibly advertise on Main Street with his "WHY" posters. So for the average resident they will know nothing more of the candidate’s other than their Main Street WIRE published statements.

This is a shame as I thought the three PressHD videos did a lot for each candidate. Greater visibility would do all of the candidates a lot of good. Where Ms. Strong-Shinozaki tried to find a public venue to sit and perhaps meet with voters but perhaps this attempt did not go far enough.

Granted residents, who are interested, can show up on Saturday night, February 2nd for the second candidate’s night, but perhaps RIOC should make available space each evening in their offices, through Feb. 5th, where Candidates could sit and be available for those residents who want a one on one experience?

Riverwalk Buildings 5 & 6 to Top Out This Week

Construction 2008 Jan 20 - 2

As reported in weekend's Main Street WIRE, construction on the newest Riverwalk buildings is expected to "top out" this week. Pretty wild as it seems like yesterday that these two buildings were even began.

Now I get to see if they start the next buildings (#s 7, 8, and 9)up by Firefighter's Field or down by the Playground and if the playground will survive. If the playgrounds does survive perhaps they can fence off the constuction area with enough space as they did between 425 and the current construction site.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

SubChat: Second Ave Subway – Third Phase to Bring “U Train” to Supplement “F Train”?

Prior to today, I had started two threads on SubChat regarding increasing mass transit access to Roosevelt Island. The first focused on the LIRR East Side Access project and the possibility of gaining entrance to the LIRR track below the existing F Subway Train track below the Roosevelt Island. The second was my post regarding the recent letter sent to NYCTA President Roberts calling for a temporary extension and return of the Q train to Roosevelt Island to supplement the F Train.

In both cases the posts lead to some interesting discussions regarding track capacity and some very interesting subway line reconfigurations among the various Queensbound subway lines by all the transit buffs and TA employees who frequent the SubChat site.

Today I found a new discussion thread where the posting party indicated that the Third Phase of the Second Avenue Subway (SAS) project will include a connection to the Second Avenue Subway at 55th Street and Second Avenue which will allow for a new “U” Train that would link up to the existing 63rd Street Tunnel that the F Train runs through connecting Roosevelt Island.

SAS - 55th Street Turnoff

There is nothing stated on the SAS Project pages about this and the posting party’s basis is a small Easterly track turnoff circled on the above SAS map. The idea being that this new U Train would have its Queens terminus at 179th Street along with the F Train. One response doubting this all mocked up a station sign for 179th Street that would make the MTA rethink alphabetic line listings see below.

SAS - 179th St Terminus FU

This is all just fun / conjecture posted for discussion purposes like many of the posts on SubChat but it does beg the question what the 55th Street turnoff is for.
As Craig stated in the comments the folks over at SubChat may be having fun with me regarding my earlier postings there and it would not be the first time but I actually think the initial posting was again written based on these folks loving puzzles and their desire to truly work through what can and cannot work. But again as some of the responses make clear they do not think the needs of 10,000 "possible" subway riders is worthy of affecting subway lines that serve two hundred thousand.

Blackwell House, Roosevelt Island – Jan 2008

Blackwell House

The above photo of Blackwell House taken from Blackwell Park / Rivercross Lawn across Main Street can be found in its full size on the MDPNY photoblog. The effect of the large trees in front of Blackwell House is great.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The WIRE Posts Candidate Statements Online

In today’s Main Street WIRE, all ten RIOC Board Nominee candidates’ personal statements are available. The WIRE has also placed all 10 statements on line. Link through the photo below, or HERE, to the statement page.

rioc candidates - statement list


Friday, January 25, 2008

Late Nights: No Manhattan Bound Platform Subway Elevator

Double Click to Enlarge

Apparently on the dates noted in the above posters, during late night hours, the elevator to Roosevelt Island's Manhattan subway platform will be out of service. The MTA expects us to take the elevator down to the Queens platform and walk back to the lower mezzanine stairs, go up walk over and then walk down to the Manhattan platform.

I guess wheelchair bound riders and those pushing strollers must take the Queens bound train to 21st Street / Queensbridge and use their elevators to get to the Manhattan platform.

What a mess.

Daily News: Roosevelt I. "A New Look"


The New York Daily News ran today a pretty standard real estate article, today, January 25, 2008, regarding Roosevelt Island hitting all of the basics: buildings, transit, retail, schools, history.

The article, as noted in the image above, is titled "Roosevelt Island: Is this the start of a new look?" This stems from their review of the newer developments of the Octagon and the Riverwalk complex in Southtown.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

EveryBlock Exposes 72 Health Violation Points at Local Restaurant

China 1 Violations - Everyblock

NOTE: Follow Up Visit and Improvements Updated Below

This evening while perusing the EveryBlock web page for Zip Code 10044 I immediately saw that the site had info for one single NYC restaurant inspection on the Island: China One on Dec 27, 2007. Unfortunately for China One and for us is that the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene found nine violations (see above image) for a total of 72 violation points.

China 1 - NYC Health

Following the link provided by EveryBlock to the NYC Health Department web page for China One we learn that the average violation points total is 14 and above 28 requires a follow up visit.

Serendipity III, located on East 60th Street, when it was recently closed down by the DOHMH on November 14th had only 33 violation points but then again they had a mice problem and China One amazingly did not have that.

Kind of makes you think about your food a bit more. When I see their next inspection listed I will post the links here.

UPDATE: Midnight 1/25/08

As noted by the Anonymous commenter the violations and violation points IMPROVED GREATLY upon China One's followup visit by the DOHMH on January 18th. Link HERE. I missed the follow up when I viewed the DOHMH site earlier this evening. The violations dropped down to 2 with a total of 14 violation points. As of today China One is actually doing better than all of the other food establishments on the Island. The link for all Roosevelt Island eateries is HERE.

DOHMH - Points 2008Jan25

Elected Officials Call for Extension of Q Line to Supplement F Line to Roosevelt Island

In a joint letter dated January 20th, 2008, to MTA NYCT President Howard H. Roberts, Jr., it has been requested that the MTA re-evaluate the transit needs of Roosevelt Island and requests that a short term solution be instituted that would include extending the Q Line through 21st Queensbridge until the Second Avenue Subway is operational.

The full text of the letter can be linked to HERE.

The letter is signed by United States Representative Carolyn Maloney, NYS Senator Jose M. Serrano, NYS Assembly Member Micah Kellner, and NYC Council Member Jessica Lappin. The letter is a follow-up to Council Member Lappin's July 2006 letter to the MTA.

The letter opens with the following paragraph:

"As elected officials representing the thousands of New Yorkers who live and work on Roosevelt Island, we urge you to address the developing crisis in the island’s mass transit link to Manhattan and the rest of New York City. Already, Roosevelt Islanders are faced with overcrowding on the island’s sole subway connection, the F line. With thousands more residents projected to join the island’s population in the near future, as well as a prolonged period of downtime planned for the Roosevelt Island tram, immediate action is required to prevent a transportation overload of critical proportions."

The letter closes with the following two paragraphs:

"In your response to Councilmember Lappin you stated that “our recent data continues to show that, on average, the F line operates within passenger loading guidelines.” While this may be true – though it conflicts with the daily experience of Roosevelt Island residents who ride the F line – it strikes us as a somewhat shortsighted view of the problem, in light of the island’s rapid population growth and the impending overhaul of the tram.

Given these realities, it is imperative that NYC Transit seriously consider ways to augment subway service to Roosevelt Island as soon as possible. We urge you to consider extending service on the Q line to 21st St./Queensbridge. If you believe this would not be practicable, we ask that you investigate alternate possibilities for increasing service to the rapidly growing population of Roosevelt Island."

Assembly Member Kellner Confirms ESDC FMV Real Estate Tax Bills Rescinded

In a press release issued today Assembly Member Micah Z. Kellner (65th AD) confirms that ESDC Chairman Patrick Foye has rescinded the FMV real estate tax equivalency bills issued to Island House, Rivercross and Westview.

ESDC's decision puts a greater burden now on the Rivercross Privatization Committee as that buildings anti-privatization tenants will claim that the state no longer has a loaded gun to their heads and other avenues might be worthy of exploration regarding securing financing for capital projects and other issues. Pro-privatization tenants will still argue that the building has a right to leave the Mitchell-Lama program and that they expect that their plan is worthy of exploration which is all the upcoming vote is really for next week. But even such exploration has a price and it is expected to cost a few hundred thousand dollars to go through such a process.

A few excerpts of the Assembly Member's press release are as follows:

"ESDC has decided to rescind the tax bills sent last September to Westview, Island House, and Rivercross and to continue to allow the buildings to receive their tax exemptions as long as they remain in the Mitchell-Lama program. I’m glad to see, after six months of playing keystones cops, that the administration has finally come to its senses and rescinded this unfair tax bill."

“I could never understand how the administration could argue that threatening to raise taxes was an appropriate tactic to bullying struggling tenants and shareholders into remaining in the Mitchell-Lama program. This was a dangerous game of chicken that could have gone horribly wrong, costing thousands of families their homes."

“Let’s not kid ourselves, this issue is far from settled and the devil is always in the details. As we go forward I will continue to monitor the situation to ensure that the ground lease amendments are negotiated in such a way such that retroactive, unfair taxes are never again a possibility that looms over the heads of Islanders.”

EveryBlock News Aggregator - Currently Linking Lenox Hill to Roosevelt Island

There is a new news aggregator on the block. It’s EveryBlock. Until this service debuted the big kid on the block was There is also BlogNetNews but they have not yet debuted a New York City page and only present a New York state-wide page.

What a news aggregator does is pull together content from various sources and present it in one location which can be manipulated based on the parameters set by the tags set up by the original content providers and any additional tags assigned by the aggregator.

Both and EveryBlock provide links by zip code to 10044 (OI, EB) for Roosevelt Island. So far the Roosevelt Island neighborhood name is good only on Outside.In but EveryBlock is working on it (EB, OI).
The amusing grouping so far on EveryBlock is their linking Roosevelt Island to Lenox Hill. I have already emailed them to indicate that this grouping will only confuse readers and mix up content that does not go together. Daniel at EveryBlock agreed this needs to be corrected and is working on it.
What is interesting and new about EveryBlock is that they seem to focus, right now, on the news types noted in the above image including building violations, police reports, permits, licenses etc. Check it out as they add content about our Island and the City around us.

Emergency Declaration Expected by Shane re Collapse at Renwick

Steve Shane is expected to declare an emergency regarding the collapse at the former smallpox hospital allowing RIOC to move forward immediately to stabilize the remaining structure. RIOC received the above letter from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Receipt of the above correspondence was required prior to RIOC's declaration.

Ten out of Ten Roosevelt Island Subway Escalators Out of Service Today

Today is an extemely bad day for the subway escalators at Roosevelt Island. Ten Escalators are out of service. Ten out of Ten. This is absolutely ridiculous and who ever the station manager is should be in big trouble for not demanding repair crews working all night to fix the escaltors that are not even under construction. Link to the MTA website to see the above listing at its full size.
If the elevators go out this morning our wheelchair bound and elderly are essentially trapped without access to the subways.

"Rep the Rock"

Apparently our friend over at the Roosevelt Island "My Space" page and "Adventures of a GoodMan" has gotten himself into the retail business opening up a new website and CafePress store. Now why did I not think about this idea? D'oh!

Watch out I hear Judy Berdy over at the Historical Society has some enforcers if sales of RIHS stuff at the Visitor's Kiosk drop one penny in sales.

Roosevelt Island to "The Fourth Floor"

I discovered a quirky web based comedy, "The Fourth Floor", where the protagonist, Andy, has some connection to Roosevelt Island but I have yet to figure it out. On his first day even before his interview for a job a chip is implanted in his brain binding him to this mystery company. Pretty amusing first few episodes.
Other than the opening sequence where a few of the shots were obviously taken from a Tram about to dock in Manhattan. I have not yet seen the connection. Then again I started watching the series at 2am in the morning and the connection was probably stated in scene one and I missed it.

Direct YouTube Link

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Will Red Tape Bind RIOC From Stabilizing Smallpox Hospital In Time?

According to Steve Shane, President of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, before he can legally declare the recent North wall collapse an emergency he must first be notified by a second State department / authority to notify him that an emergency exists. In this case it is a fact he already knows that without immediate stabilization the entire landmarked ruin could be in danger of collapse.

The agency RIOC is waiting for is the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (SHIPO). A quick check of their website offers no indication or even a news release that this agency is evaluating the current collapse.

Meanwhile plenty of other preservation websites have already sounded the alarm including Preservation Nation the online blog of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Yesterday this blog ran a story regarding the status of the collapse. Within that very article President Shane is quoted as stating ““We can’t do anything without getting a lot of admin approvals because it’s on the [state and National] historic registers.” Now I realize that the National Trust and the National Register of Historic Places are two different organizations but one would think they are one and the same. More red tape.

If the National Register declares an emergency will that trump SHIPO and speed things up? Would a barrage of phone calls to SHIPO help things along?

FDR Memorial Defended and Defined by Ambassador vanden Heuvel

Ambassador William J. vanden Heuvel, representing the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute, spoke at the January 22, 2008 Community Board 8 meeting, in favor of the FDR Memorial and its history. The above video is of his presentation. The below pictures were the only media brought by the Ambassador and the FERI Institute.

rendering_west t o east_at422p

rendering_east to west_420p

CB8 Meeting Focused on Kahn FDR Memorial Design

Despite RIRA President Matthew Katz's own assertions, that the question of whether the Louis Kahn design FDR Memorial is appropriate for this Island at this time and that the issue should be brought to a larger vote by the local populace, the meeting of the Community Board 8 Roosevelt Island committee seemed to focus on the design and the fact that most public memorials are built without consultation or input of the local populace.

Model - Facing UN

The meeting chaired by Patrick Stewart, included a presentation by Ambassador William J. vanden Heuvel, who is spearheading the fundraising project on behalf of the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute. I expect to post a video of his presentation shortly. He indicated at this time only $10 million of the $40 million needed has been raised or pledged and that if the project does not happen these funds woud not be available to another design or park project. They were raised based on the Kahn design and for no other.

Model - Facing North

Ambassador William J. vanden Heuvel was President of the Four Freedoms Foundation from 1984–87 and President of its successor, the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute, from 1987 to 2000. He has served as Deputy U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations and as U.S. Representative to the European Office of the United Nations.

Model - Facing South

The Ambassador indicated upon questioning that no part of the $40 million is for an endowment to upkeep the Memorial after it is built. RIOC President Steve Shane when discussing this issue after the event indicated that an agreement (circa 1970's) exists between NYS and NYC which indicated that the State Parks Department agreed to be responsible for the maintenance but he wondered if this could be upheld as no funding is evident in any state budgets issued to date.

Model - Aerial View of Southern Tip

As noted above the design appeared central to many statements and the members of the CB8 committee were disppointed that the Ambassador and the representatives from FERI had not brought any drawings or materials which would better demonstrate the first person feel of the memorial other than the aerial views which all parties agreed were impersonal and give off a very hard image of the planned memorial. It is expected that before any future planned Town Hall meetings or presentations to CB8 that newly drawn rendering and drawing would be presented.

When given the opportunity the audience members which spoke seemed to be in favor of the memorial by a margin of two to one. My own view given at the event was that I fear the sweeping 360 degree views will be lost to the trees despite my being told and hearing that the foliage would only begiin at above 7 feet in height and as such the views would remain despite my argument that some loss must be acknowledged as 20 foot trees are not invisible and must block views in some manner compared to today. the model photographed above seems to support my concerns.

The photos presented throughout this post were taken from a web site devoted and created in support to a Cooper Union exhibition regarding the memorial I believe in 1998.

ESDC / DHCR: No FMV Tax Bills if Continuation of Mitchell-Lama Status

According to RIOC President Steve Shane, the NYS Division of Housing and Community Renewal and the Empire State Development Corporation have jointly indicated that the Fair Market Value Tax Equivalency Bills issued earlier this Winter (to Westview, Island House, and Rivercross) will be rescinded so long as each building that received them stays within the Mitchell-Lama affordable housing program. Mr. Shane made this announcement informally following his attendance at the Community Board 8 Roosevelt Island Committee meeting held yesterday evening, January 22nd, at the Church of the Good Shepherd.

Once a building exits the Mitchell-Lama program the FMV bills will again be issued. Until that point each building would continue to be responsible for the subsidized tax equivalency bills they have been enjoying all these years. No word when each building is to be formally informed of this development, by either the DHCR or the ESDC, or if they already have been.

It is assumed that the Privatization Committee at Rivercross will continue to push for privatization as they had been prior to the ESDC FMV tax bill debacle claiming that knowing what the FMV tax bills will be gives them one more number for their exit calculations.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

NYU Geography: Roosevelt Island sits in the Hudson River

I know it was just a simple mistake but I am sure the writer would not be thrilled by their grade in geography if their NYU professor saw the caption to the picture that accompanied the linked article. Contrary to that caption Roosevelt Island sits in the East River. I guess the Hudson River is more upscale and would help sell faculty apartments.


The photo caption was eventually corrected to the "East River". I guess my comments posted to the article were noticed. My apologies but I tend to get touchy about where our Island is placed.

NYT: Next Stop Commuter Series - Roosevelt Island

With all the fun last week I forgot to update everyone regarding the NY Times article on the Tram. Link through to the final article HERE.

I was glad to help out and happier that Billie Cohen, the reporter got to speak with Judy Berdy of the RIHS and Greg Paravati one of the Tram operators. So far the article has gotten positive responses and to be honest jumped this blog's hit count on a daily basis.

Rivercross Schedules 2nd Attempt at Privatization Vote

The Rivercross Tenants' Corporation has scheduled a new Privatization Vote for January 30, 2008 after its December 12, 2007 vote was cancelled by the DHCR. The rescheduled vote was announced to the Rivercross residents through a January 15, 2008 internal building memo.

DHCR claimed the Dec. 12th vote, which included votes by proxy, to be invalid. The Rivercross Board of Directors claimed that the proxy vote was valid as this was the second vote in a series that began in October 1996. DHCR invalidated the 2007 vote as reliance on the 1996 initial vote was stale.

The Privatization Committee has indicated that this vote is not the final vote but only one to authorize the committee to begin the paperwork to move forward towards privatization which does as part of the process notify DHCR of the building's intent. Once a "black book" is created which would be the final "plan" the residents would then post an actual vote on that plan. A percentage of Rivercross residents don't want to even begin this process based on their belief that all avenues have not been exhausted to solve the buildings financial needs without going the privatization route. The Main Street WIRE has covered the issues much more in depth than I can here and I encourage any reader to go the WIRE website to read the indepth coverage provided.

What I find interesting is the timing of the vote in light of DHCR Commissioner Van Amerongen's January 17th promise to get back to the Board within the week with information regarding the FMV ESDC tax bill which is in part pushing the Rivercross privatization process along. If the DHCR wants to be taken seriously the Commissioner better get back to Rivercross before the January 30th vote if the news is to have any impact on this rescheduled initial vote.

CB8 Roosevelt Island Meeting Tonight at 7pm at Good Shepherd

CB8 Logo

The agenda for this Community Board 8 meeting includes the following:

1. Coler-Goldwater Hospital
2. Transportation: Tramway-F Train
3. Discussion regarding future development of South Point Park with participation by Roosevelt Island Residents Association Members, Trust for Public Land Representatives, RIOC, and interested citizens. (Joint item with the Parks Committee) Deirdre Breslin and H. Patrick Stewart, Co-Chairs

Meeting Location:
Good Shepherd Church Community Center, 543 Main Street, Roosevelt Island
Meeting Time: 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

This meeting appears to be another opportunity for residents to express their views regarding the Kahn / FDR Memorial as well as concerns regarding transportation issues in light of the planned Tram rehabilitation in 2009.