Editor’s note: Both items below are published as provided.

[Email to RIOC President Charlene Indelicato:]

I wrote a letter to the WIRE about the problem with commercial dumpsters overflowing and exacerbating the rat problem. I suggested connecting the stores to the pneumatic garbage transportation system used by the host buildings. If required by law to separate the garbage streams of residential and commercial waste can a waver be obtained?

It is a puzzle to have a state of the art system for residential garbage along side of a primitive one for commercial.

You suggested that you would provide an answer to an individual inquiry so here it is.

Thank you,

Sheldon Brooks


Mr, Brooks

Granted it is an excellent idea , there are a number of issues that need to be explored most importantly capacity.

Additionally our state of the arts system as you put is in need of improvements many improvements

As you know it is a city must also be consulted and I am not sure that at this time they are willing to burden the system

Obviously there would have to be a charge for the use as with all commercial waste management

Lastly is the owners willingness to allow such use

We are exploring

Sent from my iPhone

To the Editor:

I recently moved to Roosevelt Island (January 2015) after hearing about how wonderful a place it is to live with small children. In the four months we have lived here, I am astonished at how horrible the elevator service is on the Manhattan side of the Tram. There are too many people who use this elevator on a daily basis for it not to be a high-priority item to fix. In the winter months, I was told that the reason it wasn’t working was because it was unusually cold and, being an outdoor elevator, it couldn’t handle the temperature. At the time I accepted this. Apparently I was being way too naive! I have since experienced problems with the call button at the base of the Manhattan Tram and, again, more out-of-service notices.

One day last week, when I arrived at the elevator, the repair man was “working,” and while I waited for the red elevator, I overheard him say, “This is stupid,” close the door, and walk away without even replacing the “out of service” note or the traffic cone. This is unacceptable behavior from an elevator repair company. There must be more than one elevator repair company who could fix this!

At a minimum, since the overall replacement of the elevators is now predicted to be completed in 2016 at the earliest, we need a plan for a faster response to the next break-down. If another company is not better, it might help to order all of the replacement parts now and store them so that any servicing company can use them right away next time. Also, if both units go out of service again, we need the Red bus shuttle immediately, with proper signs on both sides of the river, with informed drivers, on a reliable schedule, and at all times when the Tram is running, including nights and weekends.

Sara V. Tran

To the Editor:

I am eight years old, and I don’t want to move to Manhattan. These are things I like about Roosevelt Island: grass, space, free buses, low rent, parks, playgrounds, and it’s not crowded! In conclusion, I love Roosevelt Island because it is beautiful.

Annelisa Grout

To the Editor:

I’m coming around to the belated acceptance that I was wrong about farming out RIOC’s responsibility for Northtown to Hudson/Related (H/R), but that just means it takes me as long as anyone else to acknowledge my errors.

It’s true that H/R did come out of the chute with lots of fanfare, but what did we get? A ceiling that looks like a redwood pool deck, and the costly removal of some architectural structures that resulted in the accelerated weathering of the outside of the storefronts on the east side of the street. Is that all we get in what – three years? Oh, they did replace some old doors, and that’s a good thing.

It was my opinion that RIOC’s poor performance was a result of bureaucratic incompetence, but not malice. However, they surely would have replaced the window at the flower shop immediately upon its being broken. When the South Bronx had its blight, at least people painted the boarded-up windows to look like windows. Not so under the new management.

We have a menu of reasons to choose from: incompetence, negligence, or malice. Let’s consider the possibilities.

H/R is a large and successful firm, so I’m hard-pressed to choose incompetence. I can’t really think of what malice could do for anyone involved. Does that leave us with negligence? Maybe. We’ve all heard H/R telling us about all the deals they’ve been working on, but who tries to bring a tenant into a neighborhood with windows boarded up so long ago that that the little bit of tape used to keep out the weather is fraying and flapping in the breeze? That surely implies that we were, um, how shall we say this with civility? – dealt a falsehood? Alas, that still gives us no motive. If people must go to work every day, they might as well sell their wares.

Yes, for reasons beyond my understanding (except wild speculation unsuitable for publication), H/R clearly has no intention of ever doing anything with Northtown. I’m disappointed, even a little angry. We did the calculations, overcame the inertia, set out to do what we had to, and we got GOK.

Well, I rent, I don’t own. At my home in The Octagon, I don’t have to look at failure out my window, and I can live more or less anywhere I want to. Many towns are lots cheaper anyway. But Roosevelt Island really does have great, naturally occurring potential (hence my choice to come here nine years ago), and to see it continue on its way to becoming a dungheap bookended by a lighthouse and a quarry is a great disappointment. I don’t want us to beat ourselves up about this, though. As Damon Runyon so aptly pointed out, “The race may not always be to the swift nor the victory to the strong, but that’s how you bet.” We bet as wisely as we knew how, but we lost.

Oh, if anyone wants to give us pie-in-the-sky based on Cornell’s arrival, I’ll have to cough up a big one and send it within an inch of his shoes.

Cantankerously yours,

Alan Siegal


To the Editor:

We’ve had too many elevator outages at the Manhattan side of the Tram. Each time, it takes days and days to get it fixed, such as last week when it was out for four days. Prior to that, several people, including me, experienced electric shocks when ringing for the elevator because the plastic cap on the elevator button had come off. That happened on a Sunday, and there was no way to report it, because RIOC did not have a message capability on their phone, nor was I able to get any response from Public Safety (PSD).

Last week, while at a doctor’s appointment, I wanted to know whether to return via the Tram as there was no advisory about whether it was working, three days after the outage, so I called RIOC, only to find that they were gone for the day at 4:53 p.m. So much for our tax dollars and rent/maintenance charges to pay their salaries. (Wow... I wish I had that kind of job before I retired.) So I then called PSD and they claimed, since they had no notification about a Tram elevator outage, that it was working. Of course, when I got there, the elevator was out of service and nobody responded when I rang for the lift, and, since the elevator and some escalators were out at the 63rd and Lex subway station, I ended up taking a taxi home. I’ve yet to get a response from either RIOC or PSD, and I may take my taxi receipt to Small Claims Court.

The problem now is the lousy communication between RIOC, PSD, and our community. Further, they do not seem to have a decent contract with an elevator repair company. It seems to me that it is pure baloney that the parts are not available – maybe with the current contractor? RIOC needs to get a better contractor with an immediate response time.

And, most of all, RIOC needs to establish procedures for contacting RIOC/PSD after hours and getting straight answers. Their RIOC Advisories about subway outages, which tell you to go to the MTA website instead of simply stating which hours and in which direction the F train is not running, are exemplary of their incompetence and irresponsibility.

And off-hours should not start until after 5:00 p.m.

By the way, where is RIRA on these issues? Oh...wait, they’re busy planning the next Cherry Blossom Festival instead of organizing to make RIOC do the job they are getting paid to do!

I urge as many residents as possible to keep the emails and phone calls going to RIOC and our public officials until these issues are resolved.

Maybe RIOC officers should go without pay for each day the Tram elevator is not working! Then let’s see how long it takes to get it fixed.

Raye Schwartz


Tags: Letters

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