Island Kids Is Sandbagged By a State Ruling, Goes Online in

Olya Turcihin
Coding for Change
Cornell Tech Team Brings
Hackathon to PS/IS 217
by Briana Warsing
They came, they saw, they
hacked. Well, they encouraged
hacking – the good kind.
One day last week, bearing
Google-donated Chromebooks and
Verizon-donated MiFi hotspots, 30
Cornell Tech students met with PS/
IS 217 middle schoolers. The purpose – to lead coding workshops
in the Island’s first-ever hackathon.
The project was the creation of
Miwa Takaki, who’s pursuing a
master’s of business administration.
She chose the day’s environmental/
conservation theme because, as she
put it, “It’s near Earth Day, so it
makes sense, and most hack days
have themes.”
In addition to her MBA from
Cornell Tech, 28-year-old Takaki is
also working toward a master’s degree in sustainability management
at Columbia University. (She will
complete that in 2016.) Her graduation from the inaugural Cornell
Tech class is this spring, and she
has accepted a job at eBay starting
in the fall.
Of Takaki, Diane Levitt, Senior
Director of K-12 Curriculum at
Cornell Tech, said, “Miwa is the
one who got all of the [Cornell
Tech] students here. It was her
project. Without her, this doesn’t
happen.” Takaki is a recipient of
the Fried Fellowship, awarded to
five second-year students based
on academic excellence. She explained that one of her fellowship
obligations is to “put on a project
that means something to you.”
In the session, there were two
Cornell students for every three PS/
IS 217 students, and they brought
more than just the computing gear;
there were snacks, and t-shirts featuring Cornell’s twisted-T logo.
(Fashion note: Theirs were black.
The PS/IS 217 students wore grey.)
Attempts by Cornell Tech students to disarm their group were
successful. They started with
openers like, What’s your favorite
class? and Do you like sports? By
the end of the first hour, the PS/IS
217 students were asking the questions. During a bandwidth snafu,
instead of grabbing a snack, Cornell Tech’s Li Guo was interrogated
by his group about his computing
habits. “What kind of computer do
you use?” one PS/IS 217 student
asked. “I have a Dell laptop and a computer I built
myself,” was the response.
He confessed he never uses
a Mac, and they were surprised; that triggered deeper
The interactions were just
what Levitt and Principal
Mandana Beckman were
hoping for. Levitt explained
that, while the Cornell students don’t have education
backgrounds, she had prepared them by explaining,
You are not only ambassadors for Cornell Tech, you
are ambassadors for achievement.
You have no idea what someone will
take away from this day. “I told
them to bring their best selves, and
that’s exactly what they brought,”
she said.
Of the Hackathon, seventhgrader Jadan Luna said, “It makes
the students actually feel like
they’re doing something. It’s more
See Hackathon, page 2
Rat Problem Returns,
But Did It Ever Leave?
Imagine that you’re on your way home, passing Starbucks, and you feel
something brush your feet. When you look down, you are simultaneously
repulsed and stunned – it’s a football-size rat.
That actually happened to Islander Christopher Warsing. Unfortunately,
his is not the only rat story making the rounds.
Riverwalk resident Aaron Hamburger, who chairs the Island Services
Committee (ISC) of the Residents
Association, attributes the increase
in Island rats to the lack of compliance by Island merchants who
use the commercial garbage yard
in Southtown. Hamburger and ISC
member Rossana Ceruzzi report
that the dumpsters in the trash yard
are often uncovered, that garbage
is often left out over long holiday
weekends, and that the gate to the
yard is usually left open. They argue
that garbage should be picked up
more frequently, dumpsters should
not be overflowing, lids should be
closed tightly, and the area should
de disinfected regularly. These are
all fineable offenses but, according
to Ceruzzi, “No one is giving [the merchants] fines.”
Hamburger and Ceruzzi have complained to the merchants, have called
311, and have informed the New York City Department of Health. But,
they say, nothing has changed. Hamburger said that after Ceruzzi complained to the Roosevelt Operating Corporation (RIOC), “They cleaned up
See Rats, page 2
• Four Islanders have been reappointed to Community Board 8: Jeff
Escobar (who also serves as president of the Residents Association), Larry
Parnes, Ellen Polivy, and Sharon Pope.
Saturday, April 25 2015
The Main Street WIRE
The World Goes ’Round – The Songs of Kander & Ebb will be heard all weekend as the Main Street Theatre
& Dance Alliance presents its Adult Musical Theatre Studio: Saturday at 8:00, Sunday at 2:00 and 7:00, plus
Monday at 7:00. (See ComingUp, page 3, and ad, page 5.)
Island Kids Is Sandbagged
By a State Ruling, Goes
Online in Search of Funds
Historical Society and Other Non-Profits Also Hit
reflect the economic and social diversity of the Island’s
By Laura Russo
A sudden decision by the New York State Authorities population.” She added, “being affordable to residents
Budget Office (ABO) is generating dire consequences is part of our mission.”
In 2014, Island Kids had a financial aid budget of
for Roosevelt Island non-profit organizations that pro$25,000. According to Leopold, so far this year Island
vide vital services to residents – especially children.
Kids has received over $15,000 in
In January, the ABO announced
scholarship requests. She said,
a mandate, effective immediately,
Related commentary – page 7
“Scholarship requests grow every
that prohibited the Roosevelt Island
And letter – page 2
year. There is always a waiting
Operating Corporation (RIOC) from
list.” She expects requests to douawarding grants from the Island’s
Public Purpose Fund. (The WIRE, January 17, 2015, ble by the time camp starts in July.
PPF made up $10,000 of the Island Kids camp scholavailable online at
The State first established the Public Purpose Fund arship fund, with the rest coming from private donors
(PPF) in 1989 after the construction of Manhattan Park. and corporate sponsors. Now, not only has Island Kids
Rather than paying sales tax on construction materials, lost $10,000 in PPF, but a corporate sponsor reduced
the State allowed the developers to pay into a fund its grant by $5,000 earlier this year. Suddenly, Island
created specifically to support the community’s social Kids is left with only $10,000 in scholarship funding,
less than half of the normal budget. It is unable to
and service needs.
By 2008, the fund was much reduced, but the RIOC meet current financial aid requests.
Julie Adegite, Director of Program Development at
Board voted to replace the funding with an annual
budget line item of $100,000. (None of the grants Island Kids, has five years of experience working in
come from State tax money. All money spent by non-profit organizations and community development.
RIOC comes from residents – through developers She noted that one of the major strengths of the proas ground rent payments, or in Tram
fares or other facilities charges levied
How Important Are
by RIOC.)
Since 2008, RIOC has worked in
Public Purpose Funds?
tandem with the Roosevelt Island ResThese were the requests in February 2014 –
idents Association (RIRA) to award
well over twice the available allocation of $100,000
funding to Island non-profit organizations like Island Kids and the RooRoosevelt Island Visual Art Association
$ 39,500
sevelt Island Historical Society. A
Roosevelt Island Day Nursery
Parent Teacher Association PS/IS 217, Inc.
RIRA committee reviews applications,
Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance
makes recommendations that are reRoosevelt Island Historical Society
viewed by the RIRA Common Council
Life Frames, Inc.
and then passed on to the RIOC Board.
Island Kids, Inc.
Every year, the funding needs listed
Roosevelt Island Seniors Association
by applicants have far exceeded the
R&R Concerts, Inc.
$100,000 available.
Roosevelt Island Disabled Association Inc.
According to the Public Purpose
Roosevelt Island Women’s Health Organization
Funds Procedures published by RIOC
Island Cats, Inc.
on January 5, 2015, before the ABO
Total Amount Requested . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $239,400
mandate was announced, PPF allowed
RIOC to support programs and projects “that enrich the Roosevelt Island
gram is its diversity, saying, “Fewer scholarships for
For some Island non-profits, PPF was an integral kids who can’t afford the program could really change
part of the organization’s funding. The sudden loss of its dynamics. It helps to be around kids who don’t look
funding could have a catastrophic effect not just on the like you; it’s essential to development.”
organizations, but also for residents.
Leopold lamented that the scholarship deficit will
Island Kids
have a large impact on Island kindergartners in particuIsland Kids has been running a very successful sum- lar. Island Kids is the only summer camp on Roosevelt
mer camp on Roosevelt Island since 2006. Typically, Island that caters to children in this age category.
Historical Society
over 30% of campers receive financial aid in the form
The loss of Public Purpose Funding has shocked
of full or partial scholarships. Nikki Leopold, founder
and Executive Director of Island Kids, said, “An im- and dismayed the non-profit community here. Judy
See ABO Ruling, page 6
portant part of our objective has been for the camp to
2 • The WIRE, April 25, 2015
Hackathon, from page 1
hands-on than a class where you just sit and listen.”
The PS/IS 217 students were given some information about recycling,
and water use around the house. The project, to be completed that day
within their groups, was to make a game by coding in the computer language called Python. At the end of the program, some groups presented
the final games they created. (At, you can see and play
all the games that the students produced.)
Both Beckman and Levitt were very excited about the event and the
possibilities that could emerge from it. Levitt said, “Imagine how great it
will be when we’re right down the street. We could do this all the time.”
She was buzzing with ideas about future tech partnerships between the two
schools and mentioned, off the cuff, a parent night and a parent-and-child
night. In a press release, Levitt was less specific but just as enthusiastic
about the future. “This is just one step in our commitment to bring K-12
technology education to Roosevelt Island and across the city. We look
forward to working with the community to build on this event and create
more tech opportunities over the next few years.”
Later in the day, the Cornell volunteers worked with adults at the Senior
Center on general computer literacy and basic online skills. That program
for seniors was well-attended. Seniors practiced finding recipes, travel
suggestions, health tips, and other vital information, including how to
use Google Maps.
“It was great to see students and senior citizens interacting with technology and learning skills that they will be able to use for many years,”
said Miwa Takaki. “Opportunities to volunteer with the Roosevelt Island
community are part of what makes being a student at Cornell Tech so
special, and one of the reasons that I look forward to staying in the city
after graduation.”
Rats, from page 1
the site to put everything in proper
order. However, Starbucks was
an exception. Their trash bin was
overflowing and not closed.”
Next, Hamburger says, “We
talked to the Starbuck’s manager
and told them they were in violation of New York City Health Department regulations. The manager
told me that a very large covered
bin would be delivered to the site
that Tuesday. This new bin was
to be used by all the businesses in
Southtown, including Starbucks.”
The new bin did get delivered,
but, says Ceruzzi, “They made the
wrong purchase.” She suggests
they either “change the size of the
bins [they buy], or add more bins,”
because “The lid must be tightly
closed,” and it cannot be closed
because it is overflowing.
The protocol is clear. The New
York City Health Code requires
proper receptacles and defines them
as “leak-proof with tightly-fitting
lids” that have the capacity to contain waste generated in a 72-hour
period. Both garbage receptacles
and dumpsters must always be covered with “securely fitting covers/
lids.” The Health Code requires
that the containers must always
be neat, clean, and closed, and the
area around them must also be kept
clean and neat. Users are also obligated to separate their recyclables
from their garbage.
The Health Code requires that the
refuse pick-up schedule be posted
at the site with the name of the private hauler and the dates and times
of pick-ups. Garbage must never
be left out on a holiday or weekend.
Ceruzzi says our local rat is the
Norway rat. They were unintentionally introduced onto United
States soil by 18th-century European settlers. They live where we
live and eat almost anything. Food
items in household garbage offer
them a balanced diet and also keep
them hydrated.
Because of the damage they
can cause, Norway rats are not
protected by law. Ceruzzi says,
“Whatever rats carry, we don’t
even want them breathing on the
Island.” Any type of pesticide or
trap registered by federal or state
agencies for this purpose may be
used on them.
To Governor Andrew Cuomo and Housing Commissioner Darryl Towns:
Your agencies are working against Roosevelt Island’s community-based
This Cultural Center is a site with which I have been associated since
1993. It has been home of The Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance and
the Roosevelt Island Historical Society since Day One. The synagogue
moved in here in May of 1993.
It has been a wonderful site, operated relatively rules-free. Individuals, groups, and organizations have used the space whenever needed. It
was run by good people using common sense, not government-generated
rule books.
The expenses were covered by the users themselves, not by RIOC. We
hired our own contractors and repair people, and paid our own expenses.
Turning the center into a mini-RIOC is shameful. There is no reason
for RIOC to have an office space here. Put out a request for proposals
for space management. Let one organization run and maintain the space.
We do not need overseers here to open, close, and watch over the space.
This is a community space, not a government annex. Taking one large space
for a manager’s office is a loss of a valuable community asset. This is a space
that was designated for the community. Now, it is another RIOC office.
The new rules being perpetrated make everything complicated. Throwing up obstacles to organizations returning to the center, and new ones
wishing to use the space, is the major complication. The center seems to
be turning into one giant Excel spreadsheet.
RIOC should step back. Return control to the organizations who know
how to operate the center.
We, who ran the place, were not consulted in the reconstruction. Knowledgable persons were ignored, and left out of the conversation. The flaws
will soon be evident.
Having made all the Island religious organizations uncomfortable, and
having converted us into “not-for-profits” in the process, has caused unnecessary expense and stress to all involved.
Step back. Go back to your mandate and stay out of the community
space. This community has been here exactly 40 years this April 25, and
we have done well without interference from the State-appointed officers
and agencies.
Judith Berdy
Letters deadline
for May 9 issue: Tuesday, May 5, 5:00 p.m.
The Norway rat is considered the
most successful mammal on the
planet, after humans. They have
acute hearing, a highly developed
sense of smell, and are known to
be very good swimmers, both on
the surface and under water. They
are nocturnal and live in burrows,
which they dig. Female rats can
produce up to five litters per year
with an average litter number of
seven. Females reach sexual maturity in about five weeks, suggesting
that the rat population could grow
by a factor of 10 in 15 weeks, under
the right conditions.
Basic sanitation is a key strategy
in controlling the rat population.
Elimination of food sources is an
important factor, and Ceruzzi sees
that as a failure here – specifically
at Riverwalk. Because lids are
open, the garbage isn’t picked up
regularly, and because the dumpsters are overflowing, the rat population is increasing fast. Ceruzzi
says, “Once they don’t smell the
garbage, they will leave.”
Another strategy is to eliminate
breeding and nesting places. Merchants must keep excess wood and
cardboard at least 18 inches off the
ground. This height would not provide a habitat for rats, which have a
propensity for dark, moist places in
which to burrow. No wood should
be stored directly on the ground.
Removal of debris and weed control can reduce the amount of shelter and cover available to rats.
Following guidelines in housing
trash and garbage receptacles is important. Research and experience
shows that rats can routinely jump
two feet vertically, dig four feet or
more to get under a foundation,
climb rough walls or smooth pipes
up to three inches in diameter, and
routinely travel on electric or telephone wires.
Trapping and killing should also
be a part of the strategy. Ceruzzi
says, “Rats are one of the most
intelligent animals,” and research
bears this out. They don’t roam.
They stay within 100-150 feet of
their burrow, and stay away from
novel food. When they do taste
something new, they eat very little
until they ascertain that it has no
ill effect. That’s why poison is not
always effective.
One way to ensure that a rat will
do more than taste poisoned food is
to limit the amount of food available, so that food in traps is a mandatory meal.
Feral cats are an effective measure
and have been used in many large
cities. They have been known to
be effective because a cat’s mere
To the Editor:
I watch many cement mixers
lined up waiting their turn to dump
tons of cement down the breather
of the subway tunnel. This happens each week. I assume they are
building the lower roadway in the
tunnel for the LIRR East Side Access Project.
Assuming that they are also
dumping cement in Queens and
Manhattan, we probably get one
third of the amount.
This is still a mighty number.
I wonder how it compares to the
cement quantity to be used on the
Cornell project. Can the MTA be
held accountable for damage to the
helix and the roadway?
Sheldon Brooks
Letters Policy
The WIRE welcomes letters of interest to
the Roosevelt Island community, and to/from
officials. Recommended maximum length, 350
words; longer letters will be considered if their
content, in the judgment of the editors, merits the
required space. All letters are subject to acceptance and editing for length and clarity. Letters
submitted anonymously will not be published;
requests for a Name Withheld signature will be
considered, but the writer’s name, address, and
phone number must be provided for verification
and for our records.
Submit letters by email to [email protected] Expect a confirming response and,
if you receive none, resend and call 212-8269056 to alert us. Alternatives: Typed copy left at
531 Main Street, and clearly handwritten letters
will be considered, if brief (allow extra time for
typesetting). We are not able to take telephone
dictation of letters.
presence can be enough to deter rats,
which are repelled by the scent of
cats and their urine. Cats may be
preferable to poisons, since a dog
or a bird that eats a poisoned rat also
gets poisoned.
On the Island, bait stations are
used. RIOC forbade the use of
loose poison after it killed one dog
and poisoned another. Ceruzzi
says, “The loose poison was colorful, emerald green and pink. It
looked like big Lego pieces.” Ceruzzi worries that even the bait stations could be dangerous to birds,
dogs, and children who might unknowingly play with them.
The Main Street WIRE
Published by Unisource2000TM, Inc.
©2015 Unisource2000TM Inc.
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Editor & Publisher – Dick Lutz
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Reporters – Jim Baehler, Andrew Gordon, Francine Lange,
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Website NYC10044 – Jeff Prekopa, Laurence Vaughan
Peter Alpert, Bubu Arya, Marty Atkins, Steve Bessenoff, Barbara Brooks, Shelly Brooks, Carol Chen,
Gloria Cherif-Jamal, Billy Cuozzi, Caroline Cuozzi, Joan Davis, Joan Digilio, John Dougherty, Arlise Ellis,
Justin Evans, Jan Fund, Gloria Gonsalves, Matthew Gonsalves, Tiffany Gonsalves, Aaron Hamburger,
Ellen Jacoby, Todd Jagerson, Michael Kolba, Gad Levanon, Mary Mangle, Vincent McClean, Hezi Mena,
Bakul Mitro, Brett Morrow, Clinton Narine, Kiran Narine, Sandra Narine, Kumar Nathan, Halima Nooradeen,
Essie Owens, Joan Pape, Christina Park, Sue Pirard, Lucas Plaut, Judy Quintana, Brian Reccardi,
Ronnie Rigos, Ilonka Salisbury, Mondira Sarkar, Rick Seefried, Bob Specker, Betty Spensley,
Camilla Stacchetti; and...
Allison Pearlman and students of Legacy High School;
Kim Massey and students from the PS/IS 217 Beacon Program,
Juniors and Cadettes of Girl Scout Troop 3324
The WIRE, April 25, 2015 • 3
– This Weekend –
Subway Diversion – No direct F train service from Manhattan to Roosevelt Island, Fri Apr 24 9:45pm to Mon Apr 27 5am. Same weekend
diversion May 1-4 and May 8-11.
Racquet Club Open House Tour, Sat-Sun Apr 25-26, Racquet Club,
281 Main St. Call Paul Fontana at 646-884-9644 or [email protected] for time. (Ad, page 14.)
Cherry Blossom Festival, Sat Apr 25 11am-6pm, starts with a pre-event
picnic, 11am, Southpoint Park. Bring a blanket and food to share or buy
food-truck lunch on site; tea ceremony demonstrations start at 11am.
From 1-5pm at Four Freedoms Park, performances by the Koto Orchestra, the Shamizen String Ensemble, Japanese blues and drummers, dance
group Ichi Fuji-Kai Dance Association, and karate and Samurai sword
demonstrations. At Gallery RIVAA, calligraphy, musical soloists, and
an ink-painting workshop. Free. For schedule of events, see page 6 or
Cherry Blossom Walk, Sat Apr 25 11am. Meet at Visitor Center Kiosk.
$10. Sponsored by the Historical Society.
Islander Gerald Starlight performs New Works for Japanese Shakuhachi
Flute, Sat Apr 25 4pm, Gallery RIVAA, 527 Main St. Free. Info at
Opening reception for Arline Jacoby’s Color Outside the Line, Sat Apr
25 6-9pm, Gallery RIVAA, 527 Main St. Gallery hours Wed & Fri
6-9pm, Sat-Sun 11am-5pm. (Review, page 12.)
Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance presents Adult Musical Theatre
Studio: The World Goes Round, Sat Apr 25 8pm, Sun Apr 26 2pm &
7pm, Mon Apr 27 7pm, The Cultural Center, 548 Main St (downstairs).
$15; seniors/students $10; advance tickets at (Photo, page
1; ad, page 5.)
– Regularly Scheduled Meetings and Events –
See separate listing, page 10.
– The Next Two Weeks –
Cornell Construction & Task Force quarterly meeting, Mon Apr 27
6-8pm, Gallery RIVAA. Open to the public.
Guided Tour of New-York Historical Society exhibit, Lincoln and the
Jews, 77 Central Park West, Tue Apr 28 11am, sponsored by the Historical Society and the Jewish Congregation. $20. RSVP to [email protected] or 212-688-4836.
Movie Night at the Library, John Wick, Tue Apr 28 6pm. Adults.
Women’s Health Group presents two nutrition experts with Eat Your
Way to a Healthier Life, Wed Apr 29 6:30pm, 546 Main St., 12th flr.
Roosevelt Island Women’s Movie Group screens Makers: Women Who
Make America, Thu Apr 30 7pm, Party Room at 425 Main St. $8 donation + healthy snacks or drinks for six. RSVP to [email protected]
Subway Diversion – No direct F train service from Manhattan to Roosevelt Island, Fri May 1 9:45pm to Mon May 4 5am. Same weekend
diversion May 8-11.
I Love My Park Day at Four Freedoms Park, Sat May 2 9am-12noon.
Ages 13-up. Dress for work; bring water. Info:
Jane’s Walk Tours of Roosevelt House and Four Freedoms Park, Sat May
2 10am or 12noon for Roosevelt House, 47-49 E. 65th St.; 12noon &
2pm for Four Freedoms Park. Registration required via [email protected]
Sci-Fi Book Discussion, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip
K. Dick, Tue May 5 6:30pm, Library. Adults.
CPR Training, Wed May 6, 10:45am, Senior Center, 546 Main St.
RIRA Common Council meets, Wed May 6 8pm, Good Shepherd Center, lower level. Meeting begins with public session, in which residents
and others may address the Council.
Mother’s Day Cards, Thu May 7 3-4pm, Library. Ages 4-up.
Subway Diversion – No direct F train service
from Manhattan to Roosevelt Island, Fri May 8 9:45pm to Mon May
11 5am.
The Main Street WIRE – Sat May 9. Advertising deadlines: Display,
Wed Apr 29 (ads accepted after deadline on a space-available basis); decision date for circulars/inserts, Tue May 5; 6,000 copies due Thu May
7. Future issues: May 23; Jun 6, 20; July issue date to be announced;
Aug 1, 29; Sep 12, 26; Oct 10, 24; Nov 7, 21; Dec 12. News phone
212-826-9056; urgent matters, 917-617-0449. Email press releases and
feature-story suggestions to [email protected] Advertising (display
& classified) 917-587-3278 or [email protected]
Family Folk Band performance featuring NikosKids, Sat May 9 11am,
Four Freedoms Park.
Uni Project Pop-Up Reading Room, Sat-Sun May 9-10 12noon-5pm,
Four Freedoms Park.
Mothers’ Day, Sun May 10.
– Future Weeks –
Movie Night at the Library, Dracula Untold, Tue May 12 6pm (93
CPR Training, Tue May 12, 8pm, 546 Main St., 12th floor conference
Main Street Teen Theatre presents Urinetown, Fri May 15-Sun May
17. (Ad, page 5.)
Poster Screen Printing, Sat May 16 1pm, with book talk about WPA,
2:30pm, Four Freedom Park. Registration encouraged.
Child School/Legacy High School annual Founder’s Dinner, Thu May
21, 6pm, Terrace on the Park, 52-11 111th St., Flushing Meadows Corona Park 11368. $150. For tickets,
Book Discussion, Black, White and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting
Self by Rebecca Walker, Thu May 21 6:30pm, Library.
CPR Training, Sun May 24, 5:45pm, Good Shepherd Center.
Memorial Day, Mon May 25.
Main Street Children’s Theatre presents Little Shop of Horrors, Fri
See ComingUp, page 11
Flowers are blooming, the sun is rising earlier and
setting later, kids abound outdoors, neighbors have
shed many layers of clothing and are strolling around,
and a general buzz of excitement and happiness is in
the air. It’s finally springtime on Roosevelt Island, and
our little ship (toot, toot) in the East River is coming
alive again.
Cherry Blossom Festival
If you’re reading this before Saturday afternoon,
chances are that you’re planning to spend this day
enjoying the performances, food, and fun at the Fourth
Cherry Blossom Festival. A nearly annual event, usually produced by RIRA’s Social, Cultural and Educational Services Committee (SC&E), the Festival was
started in 2011 to
commemorate and
celebrate the communities of Japan
that were devastated
in that March’s tsunami. 2015’s Cherry
Blossom Festival
honors one of the
event’s founders,
Junko Hasegawa,
with the release of
nearly 1,100 origami cranes (hanging in strands from
the promenade’s
railing on the way
to the parks). And
Jeffrey Escobar, President
the Festival shares Roosevelt Island Residents Association
many Japanese [email protected]
periences with the
Roosevelt Island community. At Four Freedoms Park,
from 1:00 p.m. to 5 p.m., there will be karate, samurai
swordsmanship, classical dance, and a variety of musical
performances. At Gallery RIVAA, from 3:00 to 5:00
p.m., there will be a Japanese ink painting workshop
and a Japanese flute concert.
Today’s events begin at 11:00 a.m., with an SC&Esponsored community picnic in Southpoint Park, and
with the Historical Society’s annual Cherry Blossom
Walk beginning at their Tram kiosk. Many thanks, as
always, to SC&E and to its chair, Lynne Shinozaki, for
again putting on this special event. Without Lynne’s
leadership and the work of the committee and its volunteers, such extensive planning and execution wouldn’t
be possible. [There’s a full schedule on page 6.]
Hands-Only CPR
Many thanks are due to another RIRA member,
Sharon Williams, for her tireless efforts to train
our community in how to provide hands-only CPR.
Through close collaboration with New York’s chapter
of the American Heart Association (AHA), more than
435 Roosevelt Islanders have been trained in the lifesaving skill. The efforts of Ms. Williams and the New
York AHA chapter have not gone unnoticed – the
Board of Regents of the New York State Education
Department has recommended that CPR training be a
graduation requirement in New York State. Interested
in joining the movement and getting hands-only CPR
training? It will be available on Wednesday, May
6, at 10:45 a.m. in the Senior Center Lounge at 546
Main Street, on Tuesday, May 12, at 8:00 p.m. in the
12th Floor conference room at 546 Main Street, and
on Sunday, May 24, at 5:45 p.m. in the Good Shepherd Center at 543 Main Street. Use 30 minutes of
your time to learn the technique – you may just save
a life later.
Blood Drive
Another way to help save a life is to participate in
the 14th annual RIRA Blood Drive, which benefits
the New York Blood Center. RIRA volunteers will
once again be manning
a sign-up table at the
Farmer’s Market, for
four consecutive Saturdays beginning in late
May, to register potential donors. The Blood
Drive will culminate
with the pledged blood
being donated during the annual Roosevelt Island Day
festivities on June 13. If you’re able to donate, please
sign up. (Scot Bobo’s Main Street Sweets is offering
an incentive – if you pledge, you can get a second
scoop of ice cream for free!)
RIRA Table
Also during June 13’s Roosevelt Island Day, the
SC&E Committee and the rest of the Common Council
will host RIRA’s annual breakfast table for volunteers.
Come by, say hello to your neighbors, and have a bagel,
juice, and coffee on us! More information about this
year’s festivities in future columns.
RIRA Committees & Seats
As we throw off the doldrums of winter and recharge
ourselves with the warmth of spring and then summer,
each of us should also use this time to renew our ties
to one another and to our Island. I again call on you,
as a member of the community, to be more active in
RIRA – to lend your passion, talents, and expertise,
and to join one or more of RIRA’s many committees.
Interested in joining a committee or otherwise becoming more involved? Contact me at [email protected]
com for more information on how to maximize your
involvement in RIRA and its committees’ many works.
Moreover, Common Council seats have opened for
Manhattan Park, The Octagon, and Roosevelt Landings, and the spring months and the summer hiatus are
perfect times to explore the possibility of representing
these buildings for the remaining year-plus of the
present two-year Common Council term. For more
information, feel free to contact me at [email protected], or Aaron Hamburger, Chair of the Nominations Committee, at [email protected]
Happy Spring!
The WIRE publishes these columns, exclusively, as a service to the community and to the
entities invited to provide them, and does not control or censor their content.
All that is very well, answered Candide, but let us
cultivate our garden. –Candide, Voltaire
In the May Flowers article (The WIRE, April 11)
Roosevelt Island Garden Club Director Ron Musto was
quoted as saying, “The gardens are an active partner in
Island changes: a vibrant participant in a new awareness of our shared space, our ecological concerns in everything from composting to stewardship of trees and
green spaces, and in our outreach on Roosevelt Island
and throughout
the city.” The
Roosevelt Island
Garden Club
(RIGC) has cultivated over 125
member plots
as well as open
common areas,
like the rose
garden and the
landscaped beds, for visitors to enjoy.
The founding members began creating beautiful
gardens and green spaces on the Island in 1979. RIGC
was incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in
1987. Today, it is a volunteer organization for gardening and garden-related community building. We have
been gardening at our current location (north end of
the Island, across from the fire department) for over
20 years.
We are now reaching out more than ever to support
community gardening and promote green spaces on the
Island and beyond. Last spring, we invited one of the
New York Botanical Garden landscape design teachers
to offer a workshop/walk-around with our gardeners.
More recently, we were honored with a workshop by
five Consulting Rosarians from the Manhattan Rose
Society, one of 300 local societies of the American
Rose Society. They taught us the best techniques for
the fine art of pruning. The garden was filled with a
concentrated quiet as they worked alongside members
in the spring sunshine. We love these visits from
specialists, and have many expert gardeners as members. Soon, June
will arrive, and the
roses will be in full
bloom, followed by
the irises, peonies,
and daylilies in
July. We are now
busy preparing the
gardens to open for
visitors in May!
This year, RIGC
started a project to
make our pathways
more accessible to
wheelchairs, strollers, and pushcarts.
Since mid-March,
we have had all
Julia Ferguson, Secretary
ages of gardeners
Roosevelt Island Garden Club
working alongside
[email protected]
young adult volunteers to rake, clear out old gravel, level, and prepare
paths for the 3/8 minus special mix that will soon go
down. Beverly Shutes is heading this project with
panache. RIGC has always had three accessible blacktopped paths that lead to H-plots for gardeners who
need raised beds or who may work from wheelchairs,
but this is one way that we hope to improve accessibility to all corners of the garden. In 2014, we were proud
See Garden Club, page 14
The Community Column features a broadly chosen rotating series of columnists and topics.
4 • The WIRE, April 25, 2015
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The WIRE, April 25, 2015 • 5
May 15–17
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6 • The WIRE, April 25, 2015
ABO Ruling, from page 1
Berdy, President of the Historical
Society (RIHS), said of the mandate, “It seems like Roosevelt Island is being penalized by Albany
for the abuses of other State agencies like the Thruway Authority,
the MTA, and Battery Park City,”
adding, “It’s ridiculous, considering the total expenditure of [Public
Purpose Funds] for all Island organizations was only $100,000.”
PPF comprised about 10% of the
RIHS budget, but this year, along
with the loss of a long-time private
donor, the organization experienced
a “double whammy,” said Berdy.
In order to make up the deficit in
funding, RIHS is soliciting more
corporate donations and asking current members to be more generous.
In addition, the Historical Society
is hoping to receive discretionary
funds from the City Council.
“The City Council has been very
receptive, but there are many constituents with many different needs,”
said Berdy, noting that the Council
already funds five to seven other
organizations. “We just can’t rely
on discretionary funding,” she said.
Timing Problems
Two other factors complicate
the use of discretionary funding to
make up for the deficit in PPF.
First, because the City budget
won’t be officially passed until July,
organizations won’t know what, if
any, funding will be received from
the discretionary budget until more
than half-way through the calendar
year. In addition, because the funds
come in the form of reimbursement
of approved expenditures, another
six months to a year can pass before
the organization receives funds.
“This puts many organizations in
limbo; it is a huge quandary,” said
Leopold echoes Berdy’s concerns about the use of discretionary funds to replace PPF. She said
discretionary funds are not the solution, precisely because of the timing. “[City Council Member] Ben
Kallos and the City Council were
generous last year, but we’re only
getting [last year’s] money now.”
Seeking Solutions
Leopold said that it is paramount
that Island Kids maintain its mission to serve the children of Roosevelt Island, regardless of their
economic circumstances. In order
to make up for the deficit in summer
Edward Baker Hussey
Rivercross resident Ed Hussey, born October 26, 1920, died April 16,
He was Paula’s love, lover, and provider for 69 years, until she died in
2009. She was his reason for being and doing. He touched more people
than one can imagine, has been loved deeply by many, and will be remembered in a myriad of ways. For some, his strong opinions and stronger
will characterize him most. For others, his natural intellect and extraordinary memory will be what they remember. He was an extraordinarily
capable man, whose years as an upholsterer gave him confidence to make
anything that was put before him. Edward’s love of cooking, something
he did uncommonly well, and ability
to bring together people he cared about
and found interesting, fueled his 28
years on Roosevelt Island. As he aged,
his need to stay engaged and active may
have diminished in scale but not scope.
Naturalist by Edward O. Wilson was
half-finished when he died, and the
public library has lost a loyal supporter
and user. For his daughters, to and for
whom he was very different, he will
be held in their hearts and minds for
his love, complexity, and vulnerability.
Edward was the seventh, and last,
child born to Veronica Constance Ebbinghaus and Leslie Ward Hussey in
Nashville, Tennessee, in 1920. He was
greatly influenced by several strong, accomplished women, his mother
among them, to whom he always held a debt of gratitude and love. At 19,
with barely $10 in his pocket, he journeyed to New York City to become
an actor. He landed at the Provincetown Playhouse, in Greenwich Village,
where he became the superintendent in the building that housed the legacy
of Tennessee Williams. There, in his early days, he met Paula, a woman
five years his senior, Jewish, and from Philadelphia. Their love, bond,
and union began then and never faltered, despite their radically different
backgrounds. They married so that they could travel across the country
together without displeasing Paula’s family, who didn’t know that they
were already living together. Late in November 1941, they settled in Long
Beach, California, just prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor. Their dream
of breaking into the movies was overshadowed by the war, and Edward
worked in the shipyards as a welder, having been rejected for military duty.
Two years later, Paula and Edward returned to New York, the city they
loved. They were writing plays together when their first daughter, Laura,
was born. The family lived in Greenwich Village until the birth of their
second daughter, Valerie, in 1950, when they moved to the post-war suburb
of East Meadow. Their move to Roosevelt Island in 1987 was the happiest
of occasions, and a new era in their lives.
Edward is survived by his daughters, his grandson, Andrew GrahamHussey, of Toronto, Canada, and many, many friends. He has gone to be
with Paula again. We will hold him in our hearts forever.
–Laura and Valerie Hussey
camp scholarship funds, she has
started a Go Fund Me account (www. with the goal
of raising $15,000. She said that,
depending on the success of that appeal, she should know within about
four weeks what scholarships can
be funded this summer.
In addition, Leopold is asking
families to write to the City Council, to the State, and to RIOC in
order to illustrate the importance
of PPF and the negative impact that
discontinuation of PPF will have on
Island residents and children.
Leopold said that, as a community, “We have to be proactive. We
have to take care of ourselves. We
were very fortunate to have Public
Purpose Funds, but now it’s time
to act.”
Islander Honored for
Contributions to Tennis
Islander Bob Ingersole was scheduled to be recognized yesterday (Friday, April 24) by the Junior Tennis Foundation. The ceremony was to take
place after WIRE deadlines during the 28th Annual Eastern Tennis Hall of
Fame celebration at the Beach Point Club in Mamaroneck.
Ingersole is director of tennis at The West Side Tennis Club in Forest
Hills. A native of Sydney, Australia, he moved to New York in 1976,
and met his future wife on his first day in the city. He worked at the
Bonnie Briar Tennis Club in Larchmont, N.Y., then he and his wife ran
their own club in Connecticut. He
later served as tennis director at the
Roosevelt Island Racquet Club for
13 years.
He has held a variety of volunteer
positions at the United States Tennis
Association (USTA) Eastern, serving on its board of directors for 16
years as president, vice president,
regional president, treasurer, and
delegate. He was chair of the Junior
Competition Committee and of the
Coaches Commission.
“I am paying back to the game
that I love, and the game that has
been so good to me,” Ingersole
said. Currently, he is president of
the Junior Tennis Foundation (JTF)
and chair of the USTA Pro Circuit Committee. As director of tennis at
The West Side Tennis Club for the past 12 years, he is still providing
both kids and adults with the opportunity to play. He is responsible for
38 courts with four different surfaces, for scheduling, for tournaments,
for summer and winter programs, for leagues – and he still finds time
to teach tennis.
“I always want to be part of the tennis community,” Ingersole said. “I
think I still have a lot to contribute and I am ready and raring for more.”
Today’s Cherry Blossom Festival
11:00am-1:00pm, Cherry Blossom Walk. Meet at the Visitor Center
Kiosk in Tramway Plaza. Suggested donation $10 (Historical Society).
11:00am, Southpoint Park. Community picnic (bring food and blanket;
pushcart food also available).
1:00-5:00pm, Four Freedoms Park. Free.
1:00 – Shamisen Japanese String Ensemble (Kicho Kai)
1:30 – Japanese Classical Dance (IchiFuji-kai Dance Association)
2:00 – Samurai Swordsmanship (Iaikai)
2:25 – Karate (JKA Karate Shiroma)
3:05 – Koto (Masayo Ishigure and Koto Shamisen Ensemble)
3:40 – Japanese Blues (Kayo Yoshioka of Neo Blues Maki)
4:15 – Japanese Taiko Drummers (Soh Daiko)
3:00-5:00pm, Gallery RIVAA, 527 Main St.
3:00 – Japanese Ink Painting Workshop (all ages)
4:25 – Gerald Starlight (Japanese flute)
The Cherry Blossom Festival is produced by the Roosevelt Island
Residents Association.
CPR Team Marks 435 Islanders Trained
Life-Saving Procedure
Set to Be School Mandate
Lynne Shinozaki reports that 435 Islanders have been trained in handsonly CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation). “Our goal is to train this
Island!” she writes, along with Sharon Williams.
The first week in June is National CPR Week, and the Island group
will mount training sessions outside the subway station and in Tramway
Plaza on Friday, June 5, inviting homebound commuters to invest just
five minutes in learning how to save a life. Similar training sessions will
be offered before the outdoor movie nights scheduled on the Island this
summer (see ComingUp, page 3).
While all this has been happening on Roosevelt Island, a State-wide
effort mounted by the New York State chapter of the American Heart
Association has been pushing for mandatory training in schools, and the
State Education Department has made a commitment to develop regulations setting CPR training as a high-school graduation requirement to be
considered by the Board of Regents.
“CPR as a requirement of graduation will teach millions of students a
year this life-saving skill,” Shinozaki says. “The rate of survival from a
heart incident will go up exponentially in New York as these people use
this knowledge.”
Members of the Island’s CPR Training
Team include (back row): Hairong Xu,
Sharon Williams, (front row): Lydia Tang,
Lynne Shinozaki, Francesca DeCesare,
Diva Riquelme, and (taking the photo and
not visible) Christina Park-Hyun.
The WIRE, April 25, 2015 • 7
Has New York State
Become Toxic for Roosevelt Island?
analysis and commentary by Dick Lutz
Roosevelt Island has always had a “special situation” vis-avis New York State, which took over responsibility for turning much of these 147 acres of New York City property into
workable housing. It was no small challenge, but State and
residents working together did a stellar job for many years.
But the “special situation” has now become toxic to the
Roosevelt Island Idea. And it’s New York State that has
turned against its creation here – a diverse neighborhood
ideally situated, being an Island, to create a strong sense of
community among its residents.
What’s gone wrong?
In a nutshell, we have a missing layer of representative
democratic government, and thus, no way for the political
system to rebalance itself through the ballot box. It has
always been this way but, of late, New York State – and the
Cuomo administration – have blindly blundered into destructive actions that are harmful to this community.
New York State – specifically, the executive branch – calls
the shots here. The paid appointees who run the Roosevelt
Island community are visitors – non-resident patronage appointees who don’t live here but make the key decisions about
how the Island is run, often rather oblivious to the resident
point of view. They seem only rarely to ask (or intelligently
answer) the question, How would I want this done if I lived
We do help elect a City Council member, of course. And
we get to vote for the Mayor and State legislators. But none
of these has any real administrative say here. The result: We
get to vote for those who have no power here, and don’t get
to vote for those who hold all the power.
Attempted Fix
Nearly 20 years ago, this state of affairs led concerned
Islanders to seek the power of the ballot box over the RIOC
Board of Directors – those who, by law, are intended to guide
the key decisions.
And it leads us to want that elected board to have the real
operational power to seek and choose a chief community
administrator (the president of RIOC) instead of rubberstamping the governor’s patronage choice. Why? Because
Roosevelt Island’s “community manager” should be beholden
to the RIOC Board and Island voters for the job – not be the
willing captive of a patronage-based career track.
The same should be true for other RIOC administrative
functionaries. Over the years, we have had many duds in
the key positions. To consider only the RIOC Presidents:
Dr. Jerry Blue was allegedly the point man for Senator Al
D’Amato at the federal agency HUD before being appointed
by Governor George Pataki, doing D’Amato’s bidding, to
administer the Island. Blue quickly showed himself to be
massively inept at running a community, but lasted three
years, then was air-lifted out of here overnight when he
proved too embarrassing to the Pataki administration. Blue’s
replacement was Rob Ryan, who had run Pataki’s first campaign for governor. He had an evident alcohol problem, and
melted down one night in a public meeting. His replacement
was Herb Berman, a disillusioned Democrat who became
Pataki’s liaison with the Jewish business community and was
rewarded with the job here. Another was Leslie Torres, who
was pulled out after some credit-card irregularities and her
repeated requests to be given something else to do.
An Upside-Down Power Structure
Ideally, the RIOC Board (appointed by the governor)
should be in overall control. (Don’t most Boards of Directors
have hiring/firing power over the president who serves under
them?) Instead, the Board here is functionally controlled
by the RIOC president. That’s because the seven public
members of the nine-member RIOC Board serve a specificlength term, then continue serving until replaced. At present,
all terms have expired. That means that each member of
the RIOC Board is subject to an immediate thanks-andgoodbye dismissal should s/he displease the governor or
the governor’s appointee as RIOC president. The effect of
this is that the RIOC president can say, “The Second Floor
[the governor’s office] says so,” and RIOC Board members,
shackled to their “fiduciary responsibility” as officers of the
State, lack the wherewithal to act otherwise in consideration
of the community’s best interests. Serving expired terms,
they constantly must weigh this question: Should I displease
the RIOC president (and/or the governor) in this decision, or
should I “live to fight another day?”
Appointments to RIOC Board seats are subject to the worst
of political decision-making. If you doubt that, consider
the sole appointment to the RIOC Board made by Governor
Andrew Cuomo.
The Ferrera Episode
At the apparent behest of Republican Senator Marty
Golden of Brooklyn, who has not a single constituent on
Roosevelt Island, Cuomo appointed Salvatore Ferrera, who,
at the time, was director of The Child School, a major tenant
in properties that RIOC controls. That’s an obvious conflict
– sitting on a board that controls Island turf – but it extended
beyond that, because, by law, the State pays for every child
enrolled at the school. So, Ferrera was serving a gubernatorial appointment while operating a school run with State
money. Ferrera had put the school on an aggressive growth
track, and he wanted square footage that would justify the
expansion of the school. He even sought Island property
near The Octagon for a riding stable, citing the value of a
child-horse relationship in dealing with the problems of some
children (so it may have been about more than just the square
footage). But Ferrera’s expansion plans fell apart when the
State Department of Education vetoed many reimbursements,
citing irregularities. Ferrera terminated 40-some employees
and many students as a result, then resigned from his Child
School post and the RIOC Board.
Cuomo has not appointed a replacement to Ferrera’s RIOC
Board seat – and it’s worth mentioning that Cuomo had removed Jonathan Kalkin to seat Ferrera. Kalkin, considered
highly effective by his fellow Board members, had been
nominated by the community in Island-wide elections, and
appointed by Governor David Paterson. But he was serving
a just-expired term, and Cuomo could toss him out to please
the State Senator from Brooklyn.
It belabors the obvious to say that the presidency of RIOC
and the seats on the RIOC Board are clearly subject to the
whims of a political system more concerned with the flow
of political dollars or favors than with any possible residentoriented operation of the corporation that makes the day-today decisions on how Roosevelt Island is run. It may not
be as bad as the days when governors appointed real-estate
developers, but that’s probably because just about every
RIOC-controlled square inch of the Island has already been
committed for development. Raw politics remain more
important to the choices made for Roosevelt Island than the
considerations that contribute to having a great community.
It will remain that way as long as voters here have no
ballot-box power over RIOC – and as long as the sitting
governor can find the required five Islanders willing to serve
on a board that must operate in the constrained environment
that makes politics more important than people. Implied is
Accept the person I send you to run RIOC, or I’ll replace you
with somebody who will.
That’s Roosevelt Island’s long-term problem #1: No real
resident power over RIOC.
Ham-Handed Legislating
In recent years, there has been a problem #2 that is a perfect illustration of how the State’s heavy hand compounds
problem #1 – an inability to act quickly or appropriately on
important matters because of State over-control.
There are many examples of this State mis-control over
the years. In 2005, in the wake of Pataki’s attempts to sign
away Erie Canal property to a developer chum, and attempts
to lease out New York City’s West Side Hudson Yards at
half their value, the Legislature passed the Public Authorities Accountability Act (PAAA). Accountability sounds
like a good idea, and it was, but the PAAA, by requiring all
State agencies to get top dollar for any property they’d sell
or lease, tied RIOC’s hands in filling Main Street’s retail
stores. Then-RIOC President Steve Shane felt he could not
rent out storefronts in compliance with the best interests of
the community, but instead had to comply with a perfectly
good law that was perfectly awful for bringing mom-andpop businesses to Roosevelt Island. What eager small-shop
operator is going to fill out a huge stack of forms, submit a
bid, and wait several months for a likely “no,” when he can
instead go to Queens, shake hands with a landlord, and open
his store within a few weeks?
Trying to fix a problem elsewhere, the Legislature passed a
law that imposed an excessive control that is totally inappropriate for a small community like Roosevelt Island. For that
matter, the public benefit corporation structure is just wrong
for Roosevelt Island. It’s closely parallel to an “authority,” a
terrific off-budget approach to building a bridge. But we’re
a community, not a bridge. It’s the wrong set of rules for us.
To make matters worse, the Legislature over-corrected
in 2009 with another law applying to State authorities and
public benefit corporations. That expanded the Authorities
Budget Office (ABO).
The RIOC Board decided to work around the handcuffs of
the PAAA by turning Island storefronts over to a developer.
Bids were taken, but there was, functionally, only one bid –
from Hudson/Related (H/R), which already controlled the
retail storefronts in Southtown. This put H/R in the driver’s
seat, and RIOC ended up signing over the Gallery RIVAA
space and the second-floor space above the new library (504
Main Street) – sacrificing what could have been valuable community space that must now, instead, produce income for a
developer and for RIOC. Higher needs were set aside in favor
of the community’s need for a workable retail environment,
the working theory being that, within months, H/R could fill
the retail spaces. H/R got 30-year control, effectively removing RIOC and Island voters from any future say in the matter.
Some would argue, successfully perhaps, that H/R’s ambitions for the retail space have run off the track that once was
thought the right way to go for Roosevelt Island. We have
no hardware store, and we have a chain eatery, Subway, and
a Trellis diner closed some eight months for an imposed redesign that turns out to have been ineptly managed by H/R,
Residents and the State
On three occasions, the Roosevelt Island Residents Association puts advisory referendum questions before
Island voters.
• 1999 – 92% vote yes when asked if residents
should have greater control of Island affairs.
• 2000 – 80% vote yes to a demand for resident
• 2006 – 95.5% vote yes to a call for election of
the public members of the RIOC Board of Directors.
2007 – Governor Eliot Spitzer gives unspoken assent to
a nominating election for the Board’s seven public
2008 – A record turnout nominates resident candidates.
Four are appointed by Governor David Paterson.
2009 – A second election is held. Paterson appoints two
more resident nominees.
2010 – Paterson vetoes a bill that includes a mandate for
interviews with three candidates for RIOC president.
2011 – Governor Andrew Cuomo appoints non-resident
Salvatore Ferrera to the Board.
2012 – Two more nominating elections are held.
2015 – Cuomo continues to ignore 2012 resident nominations, though all Board appointments have expired.
the owner of Island House, RIOC, the City, and (perhaps)
the unfortunate owner. Admittedly, there have been some
gains – notably Wholesome Factory, Island Wine, and the
Sweet Shop – each a no-brainer that would have been in place
had not State over-control kept potential entrepreneurs from
coming long before H/R took over.
Have all these decisions been made for the benefit of the
community? The party line is that market forces make good
decisions, and whether that’s truth or fiction here, the impetus
for all that’s happened was a well-intentioned State law that imposed controls severely inappropriate for a small community.
But the most recent example of State over-control has been
a ruling from the ABO that has tied up the distribution of the
Island’s Public Purpose Funds – under which $100,000 a year
has been allocated, effectively by the Residents Association,
to Island non-profits in need of support. Running scared and
running stupid (to borrow a phrase from a longtime Islander),
and with its Board driven by “fiduciary responsibility” over
community responsibility, RIOC tied its own hands, suddenly
depriving needed funds to non-profit entities of funds and
looking to charge rent for the space they’d used for years,
challenging their ability to provide scholarships and services.
The result has been a chaotic impact on Island non-profits
– a game-changing new set of rules that represent a departure
from the Island’s past practices of nurturing non-profits rather
than milking them for meager nickels and dimes to pay for
rental of Island facilities. When your budget is close to zero,
coming up with those coins can be far more painful than any
compensating comfort they might give to RIOC.
State over-control was also evident in the 2½-year response
to Hurricane Sandy. Almost anywhere else, the Cultural Center
facilities in the basement of Roosevelt Landings would have
been fixed within weeks. But New York State imposes procedures that, with RIOC blundering, did a miserably bad job and
took 30 months to do it. The result is a badly chopped-up set
of rooms, a new rental structure that will require administration
by some RIOC functionary, with costs and procedures only
peripherally appropriate to a small community.
Because of its inability to defy this over-control by the
State, RIOC has been forced into a position that is likely to
inhibit, rather than enhance, community activities that need
access to community space. Doubt that? We’ll see.
The ABO ruling, and RIOC’s fumbling compliance, becomes the current first-choice example of State over-control
totally inappropriate for a small community. There is some
indication that the ABO may allow an exception for the Island’s Public Purpose Funds, but late, after damage done and
time wasted by many people as they sought workarounds and
worried over how they’d replace the missing funds.
The Question
This raises the question: Has New York State’s involvement
in Roosevelt Island become toxic?
To be fair, we must give history its due. Roosevelt Island as
a residential community might not have come to exist without
the actions of a more benign State government in the different
times of a half-century ago. Kickstarting a community here
would not have happened without creative thinking in State
government, but those were times when government valued
creative thinking over conflict and all-out political war.
Repairing this community’s relationship with New York
State is likely to depend on that kind of creative thinking,
and a dedication to the concept of democratic government
at all levels – to depend on our politicians to find some way
to address this peculiar problem – and sooner rather than
later, before the essence of the Roosevelt Island Idea is
permanently lost.
8 • The WIRE, April 25, 2015
Scenes from the Island Scrapbook
iDig2Learn’s Earth Day 2015
Photos: Olya Turcihin
and Akylbai Eleusizov
The WIRE, April 25, 2015 • 9
10 • The WIRE, April 25, 2015
Adventures O
curated by Sara Maher
It was 60 degrees for two days. In. A. Row. Get up! Get
out! Get moving!
Moving Images
While digging through its archives, MoMA discovered
still frames and excerpts from 35mm camera negatives. This
footage, abandoned in post-production, showed a remarkable slice of cinema history – an unreleased film featuring
an all-black cast and shot by an all-white crew. Starring
Caribbean-American recording artist Bert Williams and other
Harlem-based entertainers, the footage offers a unique look
at moviemakers working to “achieve increased visibility in
a time of segregation.”
F downtown to 57th St and walk southeast to MoMA
at 11 W 53rd. 100 Years in Post-Production: Resurrecting a
Lost Landmark of Black Film History runs through May 3.
This exhibit is located on the first floor, and is free and open
to the public during museum hours.
Moving Around NYC
Radio City Music Hall presents its New York Spring Spectacular, “a whirlwind adventure across New York City” that
tells “an inspiring and hopeful narrative about New Yorkers.” The brand-new production stars Laura Benanti, Derek
Hough, and, of course, the Rockettes. It also includes cameos
from Whoopi Goldberg, Tina Fey, and Amy Poehler as the
voices of New York landmarks and, apparently, an appearance by Donald Trump.
F downtown to 47-50th Streets and walk north to
1260 Sixth Av. Through May 7; times vary by date. Tickets
Moving on the Streets
On the first Sunday in May, 32,000 cyclists come from all
over the world for a chance to ride through all five NYC boroughs. Organized by Bike New York, the TD Five Boro Bike
Tour is the world’s largest charitable bike ride. Registration
to ride in the event is closed, but you can watch thousands
of bikes charge down streets that are normally open to motor
traffic. Note: There’s live entertainment all along the route,
but tour-related events and activities are closed to the public.
F downtown to W 4th, 14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd, 4750th, 57th, or 63rd Streets in Manhattan and uptown to 21st
Street in Queens, or just ride the Tram and watch riders cross
the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge. Sun May 3. First wave
leaves Franklin and Church Streets at 7:30 a.m. Route runs
north on Fifth Av., then crosses the East River via the Queensboro Bridge before heading south to Brooklyn and finishing
in Staten Island.
Moving Through Time
The Morgan Library holds some of the world’s greatest
(and oldest) collections of medieval and literary manuscripts,
private letters, and original music, not to mention the architectural and decorative splendor of the building itself.
Exhibitions closing in the next month include drawings by
the great Italian draftsman Giovanni Battista, on loan from
Sir John Soane’s Museum in London, and on display in the
United States for the first time; illuminated illustrations of
passages from Hebrew Psalm 104 by contemporary artist
Barbara Wolff; and a special exhibition celebrating the museum’s 10th anniversary of deciding to collect and exhibit
modern drawings, featuring more than one hundred drawings
by contemporaries like Matisse, Pollock, Warhol, Twombly,
and Dumas.
F downtown to 34th St and walk northeast to the
Morgan Library and Museum, 225 Madison Av. Hebrew
Illumination for Our Time: The Art of Barbara Wolff runs
through May 3; Piranesi and the Temples of Paestum: Drawings from Sir John Soane’s Museum through May 17; Embracing Modernism: Ten Years of Drawings Acquisitions
through May 24. Tue-Thu 10:30-9; Fri 10-9; Sat 10-6; Sun
11-6. $18 for adults and $12 for children, seniors, and students; admission free on Friday nights 7-9pm.
Continuing Events & Activities
A listing of repeating or regularly held meetings & events (a listing of other events scheduled for this weekend and in coming weeks appears on page 3).
Art Exhibits
Color Outside the Line, exhibit of the works of Arline Jacoby, Gallery RIVAA, Wed & Fri
6-9pm, Sat-Sun 11am-5pm. Through May 17.
Vernissage XIV continues, Octagon Gallery, daily 9am-8pm. Through June 14.
Southpoint Park open daily 6am-10pm.
Lighthouse Park open daily 7am-9pm.
Four Freedoms Park daily 9am-7pm. Closed Tue. Free guided tours Sat 11am, 3pm;
Sun 11am.
Board Games (5-12 yrs), Tue 4pm, Library. Free.
Teen Game Night, Wed 6pm, Main Street Sweets, 559 Main St.
Anime Club (teens), Thu 4-5pm, Library.
Kids & Family Yoga (ages 4-7 & caregivers), Thu 4:14 (May 6-Aug 29), Four Freedoms
Park. Members free; others, donation suggested.
Reading Aloud (children), Fri 3:30pm, Library.
Girl Scouts (6-13 yrs), Fri 6-8pm, PS/IS 217. Info: 212-527-2505.
Lunch, Mon-Fri noon, Senior Center, 546 Main St. $1.50. Menus outside social worker’s
office. Also see additional listings, this page.
Toastmasters (public speaking), 2nd & 4th Mon 7:30pm. Info: 212-751-9577.
Sci-Fi Discussion Group, 1st Tue 6:30pm, Library.
114th Precinct Community Meeting, 4th Tue 7pm, Riccardo’s, 2101 24th Av., Astoria.
RIRA Common Council meeting 1st Wed (except Jul-Aug) 8pm, Good Shepherd Center.
Women’s Health Organization, last Wed 6:30pm, 546 Main St, 12th floor conference room.
Book Discussion, 3rd Thu 6:30-8pm, Library.
Art, taught by members of the RI Visual Art Association, Sat 11am-2pm, Sportspark. Free.
Hands-Only CPR Training, 1st Wed 10:45am, Senior Center, 546 Main St.; 2nd Tue 8pm,
546 Main St 12th-floor conference room; 3rd Thu 5pm, Child School, 587 Main St.; 4th
Sun 5:45pm, Good Shepherd Center, 543 Main.
We Are New York English conversation groups, Fri 10:30am-12:30pm, through June 26, Library.
(No class Fri May 1.)
First Sunday Jazz Salon, 1st Sun (resumes May 4) 5-7pm, Gallery RIVAA, 527 Main St.
$10 donation.
Exercise & Sports
Basketball (all ages), Sat 2-5pm, Sportspark. Free.
Basketball (adults), Mon-Thu 7:30-9:30pm, PS/IS 217. Free.
Bike New York classes continue; schedule at
Pilates with Karen, Wed 8:30am. Info 212-750-6223. (Ad, page 12.)
Ping Pong (all ages), Tue Wed Fri 6-9pm, Sportspark. Free.
RI Moms on the Move walk and exercise program, Fri 11am, Visitor Kiosk in Tramway
Plaza. Free. To confirm time: [email protected]
Sportspark extended hours (ages 16-25), Fri-Sat 9pm-midnight. Weight-lifting and basketball. Free. Note: ID and proof of Island residency required.
Swimming* (all ages; no instructor) – Sat-Sun 12-3pm, Mon-Fri 6-10am, Mon Wed Thu
Fri 7:30-10:30pm, Sportspark.
Swimming* (18 yrs+) – Sat-Sun 4-7pm, Tue 7:30-10:30pm, Sportspark.
Swimming* – Water Aerobics, Sun 12-1pm, Wed & Fri 9-10am, Sportspark.
Swimming* – Master class, Mon Wed Fri 7:30-8:30pm, Sportspark.
(*$5; free for disabled, seniors 60+, and ages 0-3.)
Tai Chi (all ages & levels), Mon 10:15am. Members, free; others, donation suggested, Four
Freedoms Park, Apr 6-May 11 & Aug 31-Sep 28.
Yoga (open-level), Mon & Thu 6:15-7:15pm, Sat 11:15am-12:15pm, Sportspark. $5. Mats available.
Yoga (Vinyassa-flow) with Keren Messer, Mon 7:45pm, Fri 10am, Good Shepherd Center.
Info: [email protected]
Yoga (Hatha) with Keren Messer, Tue 6:30pm, Good Shepherd Center.
Yoga with Jax Schott, Wed 7:30-8:40pm, Island Kids, 536 Main St. $15.
Yoga (open-level) with Lauren Blankstein, Thu 7:30-8:30pm, PS/IS 217 Beacon. Free.
Yoga at Four Freedoms Park, 1-hour classes, May 6-Aug 29. Info:
Adult Vinyassa, Wed 10:15am; Adult Hatha, Fri 6pm; Adult All Levels, Sat 10am.
Members free; others, donation suggested.
Zumba, Mon 6:30-7:30pm, Thu 6:30-7:30pm, Sat 10-11am, Sportspark. $5.
Birth through Toddler
Baby Story Time (0-18 mo), Mon 10:30am, Library. Advance registration required.
Baby Playtime (0-18 mo), Mon 11am, Library.
Mommy & Me Swim Classes for children 6 mo. to 3 yrs. Spots available for drop-ins Wed
10:30 and Sun 1:30 or 2:00. Info at
Toddler Story Time (18-36 mo), Wed 11am, Library. Registration required. Free.
Toddler Play Time (18-36 mo), Wed 11:30am, Library.
Island Kids Baby Group (0-14 mo.), Thu 10:30-11:30am, 536 Main St. Info: [email protected]
Older Kids
(listed Sat-Fri)
Tennis – New York Junior Tennis League (ages 5-18), Sat-Sun 6-8am, Racquet Club. Free.
Swimming classes (age 3-up), Sat 3-4pm, Sportspark. $15 or $100/10 weeks. Questions/
registration, [email protected] or 917-261-2771.
Little Dragon Tang Soo Do (Korean martial art), ages 12 & under & caregiver, Mon 4:15pm
(Jun 8-Jul 13, Aug 10-31), Four Freedoms Park. Members free; others, donation suggested.
Tennis – Junior Tennis, Sat & Mon-Fri after school, Racquet Club. Info 212-935-0250.
Teen Time (ages 13-18), Mon-Fri 3pm, Library.
Beacon After-School Program for grades 1-8, Mon-Fri 3-6pm, PS/IS 217. Free. Info: 212527-2505.
Open Gym for high school students, Mon & Wed 6-8pm, PS/IS 217.
Regular Meetings
(listed Sat-Fri)
Office Hours
RIOC’s Community Office Hours, Mon 3-5pm, 591 Main St. Info: 212-832-4540.
Conversations with Cornell Tech Staff at Gallery RIVAA, Wed & Fri 10am-12noon &
1-4pm, 527 Main St.
Constituent Service Hours:
Assemblymember Rebecca Seawright, 1st Wed 4-7pm, Library.
City Councilmember Ben Kallos, 4th Wed 2-5pm, Senior Center, 546 Main St.
State Senator Jose Serrano, Wed 4-7pm, Senior Center or 3-6pm, Library. Info: 212828-5829.
Clinic on Housing Law, 1st & 3rd Mon 3-6pm, district office of City Councilmember Ben
Kallos, 244 E. 93rd St. Reservations and questions: 212-860-1950 or [email protected]
Free Legal Clinic, 1st Mon, sponsored by Assemblymember Rebecca Seawright. For appointment call 212-288-4607.
Policy Night, 2nd Tue 6:30pm, Kallos office (see above), 244 E. 93rd St.; help formulate policy.
Knitting & Crocheting Circle (adults), Thu 11:30am, Library. Info:
First Fridays with Kallos, 8-10am, district office (see above); questions and issues.
Food Box Orders from Helping Families Help Themselves, ordering 1st-11th of month.
Menu online at Info 347-985-7540; pickup at 546 Main St. 15th of month.
Senior Center
10:00 Zumba
11:00 Computers
5:00 Brain & Body Stretch
10:20 Shoppers’ Bus
10:30 Building Strength
11:00 Blood Pressure
1:00 Paint & Sculpt
9:30 Yoga Stretch
10:20 Shoppers’ Bus
10:30 Salsa with Luis
10:45 Spanish
11:00 Social Media for Seniors:
Facebook, Instagram, Photos, more
1:00 Bridge
1:30 Scrabble
Special Events
9:25 Chair Pilates
10:30 Zumba
10:45 Ping Pong
12:30 Movie
1:00-2:30 Theatre tickets at discount
prices; see Rema or Annie
3:00 Computer Basics (Library)
9:00 Building Strength
10:30 Computers
10:30 Tai Chi
12:00 Korean Exercise
2:00 Art with John
2:00 Pokeno
To join RISA,
stop by at 546 Main Street.
RISA’s Annual Membership Drive, through Apr 30. $15/year. Join at the Center.
General Meeting, Tue May 5, 7pm, 546 Main St.
Outdoor Flea Market, Sat Jun 6. Details to come.
The WIRE, April 25, 2015 • 11
GIRLS Soccer Team Gets a Taste of the Law
Members of the GIRLS soccer
team visited the offices of the Legal
Aid Society (LAS) in Queens two
weeks ago. (GIRLS stands for
“Great Inspirational Role Model’s Leadership through Soccer.)
GIRLS soccer coach Quincy Auger
is a lawyer who works for LAS.
“Our mission is to foster the
team’s playing skills, but also to
expand their minds to become effective leaders in our community
and around the world,” says Charlie
DeFino, head of the Youth Program.
Adib Mansour, who is active in
the program, said he is thrilled “to
see how this team is improving not
only their soccer skills, but, more
importantly, their self-confidence
and their rejuvenated outlook for a
purposeful future.”
After being treated to lunch, the
team visited the Queens Criminal
Courthouse, met a judge, viewed
an armed robbery trial, and visited
a stenographer who explained her
stenotype machine.
The GIRLS team players are
aged 10 to 13. They’ll play their
first game against another Beacon
program on May 6. They are (in
alphabetical order) Lina Bangaroo,
Kristophina Iyaloo Jashoongo, Lynette M. Jeem, Gillian Katoanga,
Anyah Lamb, Saryah Lamb, Kristen Leopold, Jaden Luna, Madison
Luna, Haajar Mohammad, Kyla
Pilgrim, and Tia Young.
Sturdy white canvas...
Holds 5 two-liter bottles!
(19L x 6W x 15H). white
canvas, red Tram, black
A few
The W
ComingUp, from page 3
May 29-Mon June 1. (Ad, page 5.)
Bike New York Spring Kickoff Party, Sat
May 30, time & Island location to be announced.
Kidz Theater presents an afternoon showcase of musical theater, Sun May 31 1pm,
The Child School. Fundraiser for a performance trip to Disney/Florida to present the
showcase there. Adults $15, children $10.
Info: 212-371-2434.
Sunset Garden Party, Wed Jun 3 5-8pm,
Four Freedoms Park. Info:
RIRA Common Council meets, Wed Jun 3
8pm, Good Shepherd Center, lower level.
Meeting begins with public session, in
which residents and others may address
the Council
R&R Concerts presents Music on the Cutting Edge, piano performance by Islander
Roy Eaton, featuring Hajime Sakita, Japanese musical saw virtuoso, Sat Jun 6 7pm,
Good Shepherd Center.
MST&DA Dance Concert, Sun Jun 7 (Ad,
page 5.)
Roosevelt Island Day, Sat Jun 13.
RIRA Blood Drive, Sat Jun 13.
Imagination Playground, play with oversize architectural blocks, Sat-Sun Jun
13-14, Four Freedoms Park, on the lawn.
Flag Day, Sun Jun 14.
Book Discussion, Half a Life by V.S. Naipaul,
Thu Jun 18 6:30pm, Library.
Outdoor Movie, Sat Jun 27.
Independence Day, Sat Jul 4.
Outdoor Movie, Sun Jul 11.
Outdoor Movie, Sun July 25.
Cornell Construction & Community
Task Force quarterly meeting, Mon Jul
27 6-8pm, Gallery RIVAA. Open to the
Outdoor Movie, Fri Aug 7.
Outdoor Movie, Sat Aug 8.
Outdoor Movie, Sat Aug 22.
Outdoor Movie, Sat Aug 29.
Fall for Arts Festival, Sat Oct 3.
Columbus Day, Mon Oct 12.
Halloween Parade, Sat Oct 24.
Cornell Construction & Community Task
Force quarterly meeting, Mon Oct 26
6-8pm, 546 Main St. 12th floor.
Open to the public.
I’ll take one! (Or more.)
I’ll take one (or ____)! I enclose
$20.00 for each one. If my order is to be
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tote going to that same address. Check
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will deliver to Island addresses with doorkeepers. If your building has no doorkeeper, we’ll notify you when ready for
pickup (provide phone number and email
address for notification).
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The Main Street WIRE.
Send order to The WIRE, 531 Main Street #413,
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not have stock available to sell. They will accept
an order in an envelope, but cannot accept cash.)
12 • The WIRE, April 25, 2015
Opening Reception Saturday 6-9pm
At Gallery RIVAA: Arline Jacoby – Color Outside the Line
review by David Stone
Anyone who spent this past six months in New York
can appreciate the serendipity of the moment when
Arline Jacoby, one of Roosevelt Island’s pioneering
artists, got a call from a friend inviting her to Laguna
Woods in Southern California for the winter.
Even better, studio space was available nearby where
she could work every day.
The results, reflecting one high point in a career
artist’s life, can be seen at Gallery RIVAA, 527 Main
Street, beginning with an opening reception today, Saturday, April 25, 6:00-9:00 p.m. It’s coordinated with
the day’s Cherry Blossom Festival, and preceded by a
concert of traditional Japanese music from 4:25 to 5:00
p.m. in the gallery.
After spending Thanksgiving with her daughters,
Annice, also an artist, and Isa, a master chef, in San
Francisco, Jacoby traveled south to Orange County, not
returning to the East Coast until she had no choice. On
March 29, she celebrated her sister’s 100th birthday in
their hometown of Philadelphia.
From Thanksgiving until spring, Jacoby devoted
herself to creating “multimedia pieces that explore
chromatic harmony and clashes.
“For me,” she continues in a formal statement for the
show, “the spinning of the color wheel reveals unlimited
In the relaxed atmosphere of her Rivercross apartment, Jacoby turned more passionate. “I got very
excited about color – what color can do. I wasn’t as interested in pictures. I want visitors to see the color first.
“Red is my favorite color,” she adds unnecessarily.
Red fires several of the paintings still in her apartment, waiting to join others already taken downstairs
to the gallery. What pieces will make it into the show
and where each will hang is still uncertain.
“I may have too much,” Jacoby reflects on the output
of a fertile creative season away from the cold in New
The economic struggles of the Roosevelt Island Visual Art Association make this exhibition more poignant. Over 15 years ago, Jacoby led the founding
of this artists’ community on Roosevelt Island. Her
vision was an “Island of Art,” connecting galleries and
museums between Manhattan and Queens. Now, she
feels that, because of RIVAA’s financial challenges,
this show of mainly new works may be her last at the
gallery that she and her pioneering partners raised from
the wreckage of an abandoned pharmacy.
She cites, as her theme, “Colors do not sing in isolation. They resonate in a chorus and court illusions,
shifting in relation with neighboring hues.”
But as an educator and administrator as well as an
artist, Jacoby has broader aims – to inspire: “I hate to
be so pedantic, but I want people to realize that they all
have art in them. The idea that you can’t draw a straight
line has nothing to do with it. Just do it for yourself.”
The interplay is not just between colors, but as much
between artist and viewer.
Here is some of what you will see at Color Outside
the Line:
• The Pink Nun evolved after the studio offered a
model in familiar black-and-white garb. Jacoby recalled nuns dressed in pink from her childhood, memorable because of their code of silence. The memory
merged with others of Dominican sisters who practiced
healing, and the pink of breast cancer awareness. The
result is a sympathetic, mystical image that draws you
toward the canvas.
• A Confederate Soldier stares straight ahead in reflective sorrow. “The impression I got was, Why are we
fighting? I don’t want to fight this war.”
• Serenity, another painting inspired by a studio
model, presents an ethereal, lighter-than-air figure with
a reassuring smile in a field of early-morning blue.
• Drip paintings Visitor Red and Living with Red
extend Jacoby’s versatility into nonfigurative art dependent on color and spontaneous composition. Visitor
Red takes its intuitive cue from Austrian mystic and
“spiritual scientist” Rudolph Steiner.
• Blue Water Beach Rock Meeting the Light of Day
is a study in light and color as their interactions change
over time.
• In an op art meditation, Contemplation on Circles,
Jacoby’s colors modulate from her favored red as different lights penetrate a field saturated with black.
• Sticking with optical statements about contrast, Secondary Color with Structure is a lesson plan in balance
among minor players on the color wheel.
For this show, Jacoby’s family insisted that she include one from the archive, a traditional portrait in oil,
Enjoying My Family, from 1959, also about balance.
Having been born into a family with “an artistic strain
in us,” she made history balance by passing that strain
into succeeding generations.
Gallery hours are Wednesday and Friday from 6:00
to 9:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 a.m.
to 5:00 p.m.
The WIRE, April 25, 2015 • 13
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14 • The WIRE, April 25, 2015
Advantage All-City Camps
Last Open Houses of the season
Come see what makes Advantage
camps the best around!
Junior Tennis for kids 6-17
• 3 to 6 hours of tennis a day
• New York’s oldest junior tennis program
• Optional swimming, field sports and arts
NEW Sports & Arts for kids 5-14
• 1 hour of tennis a day
• Basketball, soccer & swimming
& arts
• Daily art program with artist Bonnie Lane
Open House April 25 & 26, May 2!
Roosevelt Island Racquet Club - 281 Main St.
718-706-WINE (9463)
Set up your Open House tour with Paul Fontana –
646.884.9644 or [email protected]
Garden Club, from page 3
to host the annual picnic of the International
Association of Gay and Lesbian Judges in
the garden. Another member brought in a
Cyanotype/Sun Print Workshop for all ages
and all artistic levels.
We look forward to what 2015 will bring.
Watch for our booth on Roosevelt Island Day
(June 13), and join us as we support the RIRA
team in Relay for Life. We also plan to gather
a group to volunteer with Trees Count 2015!
In 2012, Karen Lee began leading the club
back to composting, which had been standard
in earlier years. We started offering regular classes on composting to all gardeners.
In 2014, the club banned all black plastic
bags and reduced our landfill waste by 90%.
Karen believes that we all have an obligation
to take care of the earth for future generations. This year, we will expand the classes to
include other interested Islanders. Anthony
Longo, our Compost Committee Chair, is
helping the Octagon Garden group with their
composting program. He has taught us his
simple motto: “What comes from the earth,
returns to the earth.” We have initiated a new
dialogue and working relationship with the
experts at NYC Compost/Build It Green in
Astoria. Are you a composting aficionado?
We’d love to have you join us.
The garden is also available to host children’s groups and class visits. Last year,
we had PS/IS 217 students visit with
iDig2Learn’s Christina Delfico, as well as
Island Kids and Day Nursery campers for
summer workshops. The children spent time
touching and smelling herb cuttings, learning
about worms and snails, and planting seeds.
They enjoyed an exploration walk through
varied sections of the garden, saw vegetables
growing in the dirt, sorted organic materials,
and observed the cycle that turns apple cores
into compost. When the children brought
their parents back into the garden during open
Be the first to finish all five.
Roosevelt Island puzzles!
See ad, page 13.
weekend hours, we heard them explaining to
the adults, “Look, Mom. That’s a tomato!
Use your eyes. Don’t pick or touch.”
Last summer, we hosted a teen volunteer
from the Lab School for 20 hours of high
school community-service learning. We
want to offer this program again for two high
school students this summer. Currently, we
have teens helping us on a pathways project.
They will receive community service credit
hours at their schools, Cardinal Spellman
High School and the United Nations International School. Several of the teens have
left the work days saying things like, “I can
come back tomorrow if you want.” It sounds
simple, but it takes time and work. It is so
important for our city kids to touch a plant,
feel some dirt, learn to rake, and understand
how our food is grown.
“Our garden” can represent the changes
that happen whenever we work together as
a community with the earth. Roosevelt Island is a green space in this great city, and
our community of green spaces is growing.
RIGC welcomes this with open arms. We
are ready to advise or help out as volunteers.
We live or work daily here on this “Island
Garden,” where daffodils are planted by Girl
Scouts, cherry trees are about to bloom, and
a native plant meadow lies waiting to grow
at Southpoint. How can we work together
to provide a spot of green here, a welcoming
smile there, or add some bright colors to that
small corner in the shade? “Let us cultivate
our garden.”
The RIGC gardens are open to the public
to visit every weekend from May through
September. Please stay on the main paths
and enjoy viewing the beautiful collection of
garden spaces that we work hard to prepare
and sustain. All member gardeners and associates are volunteers who work carefully to
tend the gardens, each in their own special
way. For more information or to fill out a
membership application, visit
If you would like to arrange a group visit
or know a high school student interested in
outdoor volunteer work, email [email protected]
50¢ a word • 212‑751‑8214
Deadline for May 9 issue: Tuesday, May 5
Deadline for May 23 issue: Tuesday, May 19
Please see ComingUp, page 3, for other advertising deadlines
ARROJO trained stylist for at‑home
cuts, blowouts, event/prom styling, and
color services. www.carolinekessler.
com/style [email protected]
CHESS INSTRUCTOR – Island resident,
10 years experience. Children &
adults, beginners & intermediate. Free
consultation. Moderate rates: 2‑hour
session $30. 212-750-9087.
CLASSICAL PIANO with Irene. Read
music. It’s logical fun! 917-655-0028. – Successful
test-taking – $425 includes MP3.
Mention ad for $50 off. Call 917-923-6772.
FREECYCLE.ORG/RooseveltIsland –
Give your unneeded stuff a better home
through Freecycle. It’s free to give/
receive; just post needs & wants. Get
everything for free.
Experienced in pain management,
chronic conditions, depression. Please
call Anne Kanninen L.Ac. 917-282-7328.
NOTARY – 212-317-0736 Tami.
Certified Reflexologist – Island resident
Diana Brill. Gift certificates available.
212-751-8214. RI resident. Will also
check mail, etc.
NOTARY PUBLIC – 212-935-7534.
TENNIS LESSONS and play. Private,
semi-private, and small groups for adults.
Get back in the swing with morning and
lunchtime sessions. Highly qualified
instructor, Joyce Short – 917-517-8572.
SCAN PHOTOS – Will teach a student
how to scan & retouch properly. $10 per
hour. Flexible hours. Contact John at
212-593-7610 or [email protected]
CATCH YOUR CAT – Efficient help
with your feline escape artist. Vet‑
recommended, Island references.
917-355-1867 / [email protected]
ALLIANCE – Ongoing registration
for dance and theatre classes.
212-371-4449. Unique or period clothing
& furniture gladly accepted.
ERRANDS: Organizing, special
projects, personal assistance. You run
your life, I’ll run your errands. Call Vicki
Feinmel, 212-223-1108.
GRAND PIANO with MIDI & silent
practice switch. Like new. $6,250. Call
Dick at 212-826-9056.
It’s all online
The WIRE, April 25, 2015 • 15
Dental Love LLC
501 Main Street, Suite A
Office Hours:
Monday‑Thursday, 9:00am‑6:00pm
Friday‑Saturday, 9:00am‑3:00pm
Come experience the Convenience, Comfort,
and Confidence our dental office has to offer.
Your entire Family is welcome!
Eco-Friendly Drycleaning
Exceptional Quality Dry Cleaning
• Expert
European Tailoring
Long-Term Care in Your Future?
Learn the Medicaid Option.
Convenient Monthly Billing
Cleaners & Tailors
Established 1969
Proudly Serving Roosevelt Island
For Over 20 Years
Free Daily Pickup & Delivery
29-09 Broadway / Astoria, New York 11106 Tel / Fax: 718.726.2336
455 Main Street
7 days, 11am-11pm
Free delivery
for orders $15 and
All major credit
cards accepted ($15
Call 212-752-8722 NOW or
Book appointments online at
Insurance Accepted – CareCredit Financing
All that is good begins with a SMILE.
Shirts Laundered
Services offered:
General Dentistry
Cosmetic Dentistry
Specialists on staff:
Periodontist (Gum Disease)
Endodontist (Root Canal)
Orthodontist (Braces/Invisalign)
609 Main Street
11am-11pm Sun-Thur
11am-midnight Fri-Sat
Free delivery $6 & over
Form and
We build websites that are easy to use and easy to look at
Contact Douglas J. Chu, Esq.
[email protected]
475 Park Avenue South, 26th floor
Your Will • Your Health Care Proxy • Your Power of Attorney
Trusts • Estates • Probate • Questions of Medicaid and Long Term Care
Jack Resnick, MD
Specialist in Adult Medicine
501 Main Street – 212-832-2310
office practice and housecalls for the homebound
Visit our Website
check lab results
make appointments
take a survey
internet health resources
get help finding insurance
read opinions
Disabled Association
Support for the Homebound
• Help with shopping
• Medications to be picked up
• Someone to talk to
Call DASH and one of our volun‑
teers will come to your apartment.
Board-Certified Psychiatrist
Call to schedule an appointment
Or email [email protected]
Complete confidentiality is assured.
16 • The WIRE, April 25, 2015
roosEVELt isLaNd
1 Plain
1 Topping
Pizza Slice Pizza Slice
$ 49
Pizza Combo
Bacon, Egg &
Bagel, Roll
Cheese OnoraCroissant
& Coffee
Dietz & Watson
Combo Special
1/2 lb. Carving Turkey
& 1/2 lb. American Cheese
Dietz & Watson
Combo Special
• (2) 16” Pizza Pies
With 1 Topping
• 12 Piece Chicken Wings
1/2 lb. Maple Ham
& 1/2 lb. Provolone Cheese
2 Pieces Each of Wings, Thighs, Legs, Breast
Pizza Combo
Store Baked
4 Pack
Sandwich NEW itEm!
Includes Bag of Chips and Bottle of Water
• (2) 12” Pizza Pies
With 1 Topping
• 6 Piece Chicken Wings
Boxed Lunches!
Ham & Cheese or
$ 99
Turkey & Cheese
8 Piece
$ 99
Your Choice of 1 lb. of Potato, Macaroni or Cole Slaw Salad
— Custom Cakes For Any Occasion —
Choose Your Cake, Filling & Topping
Store Made
7 or 8” Cakes
Choose From: Strawberry Shortcake, Oreo, Carrot,
Chocolate Mousse, Red Velvet or NY Style Cheesecake
$ 99
$ 99
Dietz & Watson
Combo Special
1/2 lb. Bologna
& 1/2 lb. American Cheese
Dietz & Watson
Combo Special
1/2 lb. Buffalo Chicken
& 1/2 lb. Swiss Cheese
$ 99
$ 99
storE hours: moNday–saturday 7am–12 midNight; suNday 7am–11pm
pick up our iN-storE circuLar for morE saViNgs • pricEs EffEctiVE to 5/7/15