PTA Votes in New Leadership

The Parent Teacher Association (PTA) of PS/IS 217 (217) is the largest organization on the Island and they are racking up some impressive wins for our kids. Test scores are up. A green roof is coming. Parent involvement is increasing and the feeling of community pride in our school is growing. The Gifted and Talented (G&T) program now boasts a wait-list of over 30 six-year olds for our incoming first grade. The PTA has fought, negotiated, petitioned and politicked tirelessly to win both, among a long list of others.

Legislation Requires Local RIOC Head

“The bill is not about any one individual or candidate for a position. The bill is about the principle of self-governance, which will lead to more reflective decision-making of the priorities most important to my valued Roosevelt Island constituents,” explained Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright about her legislation that passed in the New York State Assembly this week.

Hillary Clinton Wins California

After winning in California on Tuesday, Hillary Clinton has emerged as the Democratic Party’s presumptive nominee. Her campaign kicked off on Roosevelt Island at Four Freedoms Park on June 13, 2015. In her speech that day, Secretary Clinton declared that “President Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms are a testament to our nation’s unmatched aspirations and a reminder of our unfinished work at home and abroad.” Photo by Doug Mills/The New York Times/Redux.

Green Roof Fully Funded

Christina Delfico, Founder of iDig2Learn, Katerina Matic, Chief of Staff for Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Council Member Ben Kallos, and PS/IS 217 Principal Mandana Beckman celebrate, with students, the full funding of the school’s green roof project at the school’s Spring Concert.

Letters - Laundry

To the Editor:

Doing one’s laundry should not be a Herculean task. While I am glad Island House has gotten brand new machines, I do have one small complaint about the Hercules Dryers. The new dryers do not have windows. Maybe that saves money or improves heat retention. I am not sure, but we have an unintended consequence as a result.

Letters - 911

To the Editor:

I was saddened by the recent letter from Kasia Krauze and Mike Leinweber re the death of their friend while awaiting a 911 response.

Letters - The Roosevelt Island Day Nursery (RIDN) Team

To the Editor:

As a mother of four, I believe in recognizing those who work really hard for our community and so I would like to praise Pam Stark and the Roosevelt Island Day Nursery (RIDN) team. They are working to meet the needs of our Island community. They invested considerable time and energy into bringing more UPK seats to Roosevelt Island, and their work is not yet finished.

The RIRA Column

Happy Roosevelt Island Day! Head to Good Shepherd Plaza starting at 9 a.m. for a day of community service, festivities and fun.

The Community Column: Chabad Lubavitch of Roosevelt Island

In the early years of the international growth of Chabad, my late grandfather was questioned by a non-Chabad colleague about Chabad’s popularity around the world. The colleague challenged my grandfather to explain the attraction of Chabad compared to historical Jewishness and wanted to understand how Chabad became such a phenomenon.

Pop-ups Advance Southpoint Planning

“The goal is to figure out what people want,” says Mary Miltimore, Senior Community Planner and Designer for Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc., a planning firm hired by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) to develop an implementable plan that will guide the future of Southpoint Park and the Smallpox Hospital for the next ten years as part of a project called Community Plan for Southpoint Open Space. The genesis for this project is the change on either side of Southpoint Park, now Cornell Tech to the north and Four Freedoms to the south. The project team is seeking an opportunity to enhance Southpoint open space and ensure it continues to be a key resource for the entire Roosevelt Island community.

curated by Sara Maher

It’s concert season! Nothing says summer like the opportunity to squeeze into an arena and brush sweaty shoulders with a bunch of drunks… or you can attend one of these amphitheater escapades instead. Organized by increasing distance from Roosevelt Island. All events ongoing through at least Labor Day.

Islander Addresses Affordable Housing

“People from all over the world feel at home here,” said Islander Carl Weisbrod, City Planning Commission chair, in his keynote address at the City & State event series on urban development at the 3 West Club last week; “it’s a challenge.”


PS/IS 217 was admitted into the New York City Department of Education’s Elementary School Science Pilot. Over 115 schools applied for 10 slots. The purpose is to help schools introduce technology as a tool for creative expression and problem-solving through the use of tablets, computers and robots. This pilot program is the DOE’s first major elementary school program in CS For All, the mayor’s 10-year public/private partnership to integrate computing education at all schools. See

Cornell Tech is hosting a Town Hall Community Update on Monday, June 13, 6:30-8:00 p.m. at Manhattan Park Theatre Club

NYC Housing Authority residents, aged 16 and over, are eligible for an annual CitiBikeNYC membership for only $5 per month. See .

Common Man Musicals is presenting four evenings of Musical Theatre at MST&DA, June 17 – June 20 at 7:00 p.m., See .

Barbara Parker was elected Roosevelt Island Senior Association (RISA) President yesterday, following 14-year veteran Delores Green. Parker had been the Secretary and Outreach Liaison. Donna Chenkin won the only contested seat for Vice-President; Sherie Helstien is the new Secretary; and Patricia Stovall the new Treasurer.

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