217's Principals Share Plans

They are two of the Island’s most important people, and they’ve had a very busy year. PS/IS 217 (217) Principal Mandana Beckman and Assistant Principal Jennifer Allen sat in Beckman’s large, bright, first-floor office after school one day last week to discuss the school’s challenges, recent successes, and the guiding principle of inclusiveness driving it all.

Cornell Tech Looks Ahead

Island safety and educational outreach topped the list of community concerns discussed at last week’s Cornell Tech Town Hall Community Update held in the Manhattan Park Theater Club.

Marlins at RIVAA

Marlins team members point to their photos in Gallery RIVAA’s show, Marlins in Action, showing through August 14.



Town Meeting, hosted by Senator Jose Serrano, Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright and Council Member Ben Kallos on June 28, 6:30 pm at Good Shepherd Community Center.

• Pre-registration for Fourth of July tickets is being made available to all Roosevelt Island residents on Sunday, June 26, 5:00 pm until Monday, June 27, 5:00 pm, at . There is a maximum of four tickets per person. Children under four years old do not need a ticket. Tickets will not be available offline or at the event.

• Photographers of all ages and skills are encouraged to enter the 3rd Annual Four Freedoms Park Photo Contest for a chance to win a $500 gift certificate to Adorama. Photographs of the park can be submitted online from June 15 to October 15, 2016. The winner will be chosen by public vote and announced in December. Go to for details.

• The Roosevelt Island Senior Association is seeking interested residents to join its advisory board to produce events for members. Email RISA Secretary Sherie Helstien at for more information.

• The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) recruited 103 blood donors, and collected 47 pints of blood from 43 donors for the New York Blood Center.

• Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer’s Fresh Food for Seniors Program begins on June 27 and 28 for pick-up on July 6 and costs $8 for a mixed bag of fresh, locally grown fruit and vegetables from local farmers. The program is pay-as-you-go, cash-only, on Monday or Tuesday, one week ahead of each Wednesday delivery date. Sponsored by RISA and RIDA. For additional information, contact: RISA President Barbara Parker at , Wendy Hersh at . or RIDA President Jim Bates at .

• There is an ongoing construction show going on just across the East River.

• Numbers are in from a community-wide survey conducted by the Residents Association.

Fast facts: 48% feel we are shortchanging our youth; 80% dislike the lack of retail variety; seniors complained nearly unanimously about 546 Main Street. Results and charts available online at

WIRE Endorses Carolyn Maloney

Although our organizing principle as a community newspaper is to focus exclusively on Island issues, leaving broader national news coverage and analysis to others, there are occasions where national news impacts us all so deeply that we are compelled to comment.

Letters - Cornell

To the Editor:

Full completion of the Cornell Tech project is scheduled for 2043 when I will be 93 years old. This is a privately owned project. Personally I, along with some audience members [see Cornell story, page 1], felt that there should be more of a commitment from Cornell to solve some of the current issues that plague us now, here on Roosevelt Island.

Letters - Public Toilets

To the Editor:

For the past nine years, the staff of the Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS) Visitor Center Kiosk has welcomed thousands of visitors to our wonderful Island community, with great parks, attractions and sites.

We do have a major problem – a lack of public toilets. We are asked many times a day for the location of a toilet. There is only one and it is in the Tram station. It is over-utilized and cannot be properly maintained by the busy Tram staff.

Letters - Water Fountains

To the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation:

Please repair the water fountains at Capobianco Field, the adjacent playground, in Lighthouse Park, and any others on the Island that are not in working order. They have not been working for at least three weeks. Water is essential to the students in outdoor Bike New York classes, among others. I am not sure why these fountains have been in non-working order for so long, but please resolve the situation.

Kent Kurkiewicz

The conversation was alarming, frustrating, and frightening. This was the second time I had called 911 when a friend needed emergency help.

The RIRA Column

Happy Summer, Friends and Neighbors! Summer has finally arrived. The Common Council hopes that this summer season will be a safe and healthy one, full of outdoor fun, family, and memories.

Community Column: Moms on the Move

Roosevelt Island Moms on the Move (RI MoM) is an initiative of the RI Parents’ Network (RIPN), a social network and community organization of over 500 families on Roosevelt Island. Our group is free of charge thanks to the fact that the RI Parents’ Network is 100% volunteer-based.

curated by Sara Maher

The Fourth of July is about recognizing your freedom and independence. Whether you want to celebrate your civil rights, your family, your country, or your love of hot dogs, there’s a way to spend some of your summer time.

Cornell Tech Makes History with 26-Story Green Residence

Arianna Sacks Rosenberg, a senior project manager at Hudson Companies Inc., is making her dream come true; she is leading a green building project. Rosenberg is at the pinnacle of the fastest growing industry in the world, the green building sector. Although led by and practiced more widely in Europe, the demand for energy-efficient, green-standard-driven construction in the United States has been rising, with $287 billion projected for 2017.

RIRA Continues "On Roosevelt Island We ..."

“On Roosevelt Island We see the future,” wrote an Island child as part of the On RI WE campaign, an initiative chaired by Leila Vujosevic on behalf of the Roosevelt Island Residents’ Association (RIRA) Social, Cultural & Education Committee.

Construction Show Across The Way

A 1.5 Million-pound steel structure was lifted over the FDR Drive from a barge on the East River as part of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation–David Rockefeller River Campus initiative that adds two acres and several buildings to the existing 14-acre campus of the University by extending it over the FDR Drive.

Margaret Cristiano

Margaret Cristiano ("Peggy") passed away on June 14, 2016, at age 73. She had been a member of the Roosevelt Island community for 20 years, and truly embraced Roosevelt Island as her home. She was giving, kind, and, always the first to offer help when needed. She was a good neighbor, CCD (Continuing Catholic Development) teacher, and part of the St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Parish Council.

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