To the Editor:

Regarding the rat problem (The WIRE, April 25): The Southtown businesses are hosted by buildings that are connected to the pneumatic garbage transportation system. Can the stores be hooked up? Or would that violate some rule of separation of residential and commercial trash? Can they get a waiver?

Sheldon Brooks


Offered an opportunity to respond, RIOC President Charlene Indelicato wrote:

"Thank you for offering RIOC the opportunity to respond to this resident’s concern through your publication. In keeping with our normal operating practices, our preference is to communicate directly with the individual resident and/or business on particular matters about which they are concerned."


So... Everybody concerned about rats, ask individually. Indelicato’s email address is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Let The WIRE know if you get an answer.



To the Editor:

It is with great pride and joy that we announce the results of City Council Member Ben Kallos’ 2015 Participatory Budget vote. It is a real testament to the strong Roosevelt Island community voice and their friends living in the Upper East Side and Midtown East, that the PS/IS 217 Green Roof project garnered the highest number of votes across District 5. We wish every project could win, and are thrilled by this special honor.

PS/IS 217 continues to build a strong academic track, including gifted and talented programs, and offer hands-on opportunities for our students. Our efforts to continue that with a green roof are only possible due to our deep and growing ties with the Island community, and the many groups that make up our neighborhood. We appreciate deeply our community relationships, and welcome your ongoing support as we embark on this multi-year project that will enhance our community for generations to come.

The 217 PTA has a talented designer in Nathalie Chetrit, who worked to create eye-catching flyers and bookmarks for the green roof, and even lent her talent to the other Island project, for hearing technology at the Roosevelt Island NYPL branch.

We are deeply moved by so many who actively campaigned, with a special nod to the Brownies Girl Scout Troop 3001 supported by Manhattan Park led by Aiesha Eleusizov, and the Beacon, Youth Program Girl Scout Troop 3244 led by Janine Schaefer. Their full-on social media campaign, which included video interviews and YouTube videos, as well as traditional on-the-street campaigning at the subway and Farmer’s Market, fueled the win. Sharon Bermon and Lydia Tang helped bring awareness of hearing technology while supporting the Green Roof project. The Garden Club, RIRA, NYPL, Historical Society, Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance, our local press The WIRE and the Rooseveltislander, RIOC, the Parents’ Network, and countless parents, businesses, buildings, and residents joined in.

This win could not be possible without Roosevelt Island support, so a big congratulations to all, and thank you to Ben Kallos and his team for this Participatory Budget opportunity.

We will hear the results of Borough President Gale A. Brewer’s capital funding for the Green Roof project in June 2015, so stay tuned as we continue our dream to offer a 21st century learning hub atop our roof.

Please come join us at 6:30-7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 13, in the PS/IS 217 schoolyard at 645 Main Street for a Green Roof Vote Celebration with Council Member Ben Kallos.

Mandana Beckman

Principal, PS/IS 217

Olga Shchuchinov

Natalia Starkova

217 PTA Co-Presidents

To the Editor:

Within the last three weeks, the planters in Good Shepherd Plaza have been filled with flowering shrubs and perennial plantings. Last fall, there was a major overhall of the grassless area under the trees in the plaza, with additional diverse plantings. Seating areas were arranged, as well, for Islanders’ comfort. A committee of neighbors worked hard to help design the plaza and select suitable plants.

We are now ready, with the change in weather, to begin to enjoy the fruits of this labor. I, happily, have an apartment that looks directly down on the plaza, and i receive great enjoyment checking the daily changes in plant growth.

However, it is very discouraging for me to see the number of Islanders who think that the new grass area is a perfect place to allow their dogs to urinate, and then trample through the fragile plantings on their way back to the pavement. The grass is already showing yellow patches, and with the coming warm days, I expect the odor of feces – yes, they are being left, as well – will begin to make this area unattractive, as well as unsafe, to enter. Signs and short border fences are being considered, to discourage these interlopers.

I would hope, however, that if you are among those who are taking a “short route” through our plantings areas, you would rethink the damage that you are doing, and instead stick to the paths provided. This will protect our special places so that we can all enjoy them.

Willa Klein


To the Editor:

If the options are to “join ’em or fight ’em,” perhaps in the case of the State of New York vs The Citizens of Roosevelt Island (The WIRE, April 25), we should join ’em.

Apparently, the Garden Club is being classed (like the Main Street Theatre) as users of space that is being avidly sought by other potential community users, and therefore being required to pay RIOC for being there.

Here’s another brilliant idea – perhaps the next step: As a way of raising money for NYS purposes, I am working on perfecting a meter that every Island resident will be required to wear.

The meter will record the number of times the heel of each resident strikes the public paths and walks here on the Island. The rate to be charged for each heel strike will take some imagination to determine, but we could have our best Albany public minds working on that.

Given the Albany reasoning, this is only fair. Anyone walking on the public walks is taking the place of someone else who might want to walk there.

Or could the State of New York go back to the original idea of having a self-governing community on Roosevelt Island?

David Bauer


To The Editor:

I have been an island resident for 18 years, and for 12 of them, I have had to walk through Island House’s 12th floor corridor involuntarily inhaling the pungent odor of marijuana, and unwillingly accepting the bulk of that odor as I enter my apartment.

We live in Island House (575). Without fail, rush hour as well as 9:00 to 11:00 p.m., the stench of marijuana from residents of the apartment across the corridor fills the hallway, seeping its way into the surrounding apartments. Not everyone enjoys the smell of marijuana. I know neither my family nor I care to inhale it, and I certainly do not want my four-year-old child doing that.

When I pay rent for my apartment, I am not agreeing in any way, shape, or form for my family, especially my child, to take in the smell of cannabis.

Every time we smell it, we immediately alert Public Safety. Other residents on my floor have done the same, and we have passionately pleaded with Public Safety to do something.

Public Safety has been unsuccessful. A knock on the door usually results in (a) no one answering and so the matter is dropped, or (b) a millionth warning – so there’s no follow-up leading to punishment.

As far as I am aware, New York Sate has not legalized marijuana, so why this has been allowed to become uncontrollable is beyond me.

I welcome any assistance in finding a solution to this matter ASAP.

C. Ramcharan


To the Editor:

We’d like to invite all Islanders to join the National Bike Challenge, which runs annually from May 1 through September 30. The Challenge is a friendly competition to get us to ride more often, ride more miles, and burn more calories. It is free, and open to anyone. You don’t need to be an expert cyclist to join and log miles. The National Bike Challenge awards prizes monthly to randomly selected participants at all point levels. We hope that once you join, it will create an automatic incentive for you to ride more often, and to compete for points with yourself and other riders.

How do you join The National Bike Challenge? Go to NationalBikeChallenge.org and create a profile for yourself. Using our local zip code (10044) automatically puts you into the NYS/NYC challenge. Once you’ve created your own account, you can join a team. Go to “My Account” on the National Bike Challenge Home page, and in your personal profile, under “Groups,” you can search for an existing team to join, or create a new one.

A team for our Island, The Roosevelt Islanders, has already been created and we’d like you to join us, but you can create your own workplace, school, or neighborhood team by going to your account, under “Groups,” and selecting “Create.”

How do you log miles? It’s easy. With a smartphone, you can use one of four apps to track your miles: Strava, MapMyRide, Endomondo, or Moves. Whichever app you choose, make sure it’s enabled in your National Bike Challenge account. Each time you ride, start the app, and when your ride is done, make sure you stop it. If you don’t have a smartphone and/or prefer to do so, you can log in to your National Bike Challenge account and log your miles manually. The Challenge awards 20 points each day you ride, and 1 point for each mile.

There is a lot more information available on the National Bike Challenge website.

Thanks, and keep riding for a greener planet!

Kent Kurkiewicz

Tags: Letters

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