Articles Tagged ‘RIOC’

RIOC Announcements: The Tram Elevator

RIOC Announcements:

The Tram Elevator is Down.

The Tram Elevator is Working.

The Tram Elevator is Down.

The Tram Elevator is Working.

The Tram Elevator is Down.

(Rinse and Repeat.)

by Briana Warsing

If comedy equals tragedy plus time, then the elevator situation at the Manhattan Tram station is now officially laughable.

Blackwell House Approved for Renovations

Roosevelt Island is under development. In the midst of all this change, one thing has remained the same – an unassuming farmhouse sitting empty at the roundabout that directs traffic to Main Street.

Campus Apts Will House Medical Staff

At a January 31 Cornell Task Force meeting, Cornell Tech announced that it planned to set aside 66 of the 352 apartments in the Passive House, the campus residential building set to open this summer, for Weill Cornell Medical personnel.

Date Set for RIOC Board Nominations

RIRA is hosting an election, scheduled for April, to create a list of Island nominees to be considered by Governor Cuomo, and by Mayor de Blasio who is tasked with suggesting two appointments to the governor.

Democracy Dead on RI in Long Wait for a Voice in Governance

It’s no secret that the lack of democratic process at the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) has been at the forefront of concern for many long-time Island residents, and a matter of chronic reconsideration for the Roosevelt Island Resident Association (RIRA).



New York State’s sleazy patronage system has never done any favors for Roosevelt Island.

The one non-patronage appointment, made in the early days of a briefly righteous Eliot Spitzer administration, was the best in two decades: Steve Shane as RIOC President. He arrived with the mission of democratizing governance of the Island, delivered on that, saw himself as a servant of the residents of this very special community – and then, unfortunately, was done in by a flawed decision of the democratic structure he had fostered.

Leaving aside any evaluation of the present management team at the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, we can observe that the Andrew Cuomo administration has jettisoned democracy as though it carries Ebola. In his political horse-trading, he put a non-resident on the RIOC Board of Directors, only to have that individual – the Child School boss – fail miserably at both jobs, and leave the Island and the school essentially overnight. Since then, Cuomo has allowed that seat to remain vacant and all the other RIOC Board appointments to expire, and has failed to act despite having resident candidates, nominated by election, for the seats.

Apart from Shane (and, again, leaving aside Charlene Indelicato), every RIOC President that the patronage system has given us has been – from the viewpoint of residents – a failure. It’s not that each has produced an unmitigated disaster. It’s just that none has been a creative, top-flight community manager. None has accomplished any major step forward.

Indeed, the best step forward – Cornell Tech – is being imposed by the City. And that has myriad devil-in-the-details twists that, all along, RIOC could have managed far more competently in its new relationship with the university.

Now, Larry Schwartz, the governor’s aide who made promises to the Island that he never kept, has left the Cuomo administration. That raises the likelihood of somebody else’s protégé being appointed to the RIOC presidency. (Who needs continuity, after all?) At $150,000 a year, it’s a plum payoff for somebody’s loyalty or fund-raising prowess. It’s also adequate money for a professional community manager who understands the needs of the community s/he serves. But the governor is likely to send us someone who qualifies better as a Klingon than as a community-oriented administrator.

Last time, the RIOC Board (with one exception) accepted the first name put before them.

That must not happen again.

This time, the RIOC Board must require an executive search and conduct multiple interviews to find a genuinely competent and creative administrator – someone as good as or better than Shane – but, at a minimum, someone with his stature, dedication, community orientation, and capabilities.


Alert! (Nonsense)

Typically deficient “alert” from RIOC (Tuesday and Wednesday, for example): Please be advised that the MTA has issued a temporary service disruption advisory for the F train, which may affect travel plans. Please plan your travel accordingly and visit or call 511 for more information.

This “alert” would make more sense if RIOC would simply pass along an exact copy of the MTA’s notice, rather than telling us to “plan accordingly” with reference to absolutely no informational content. Is anybody there (excuse the suggestion) actually thinking?


Editorial: Outrage


New York State, under Governor Andrew Cuomo, is subsidizing a commercial real estate operation. The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, under Cuomo’s appointee Charlene Indelicato, is complicit. Perhaps unwittingly, the RIOC Board of Directors is also complicit.

Envisioning a New Plan for Southpoint

Is there room for a performance venue in Southpoint Park? Should dogs be given a dedicated area to frolic off-leash in the park? How do we transform the Island’s southern public space from a thoroughfare to Four Freedoms Memorial Park into a destination in its own right – and should we even try?

Final Recommendations Previewed for Southpoint Park Plans

Finally, someone has a plan for the old Tram cars! The original cabins, which currently sit gathering dust behind Motorgate, were included as part of the Community Plan for Southpoint Open Space, a project outlying future development goals for the park just south of the Cornell Tech campus.

Four Freedoms Spearheading Smallpox Hospital Stabilization

What’s the future for the Smallpox Hospital at Southpoint Park? With the help of consultants Fitzgerald & Halliday, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) is considering it for a local market, a cafe, or a museum. But the Four Freedoms Conservancy is focused on making sure it doesn’t crumble. The Conservancy has commissioned a structural review.

Free Space Available for Islanders

Book clubs, parent groups, and other Islanders looking for a quiet place to meet now have a new option. The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) announced on February 8 that it would offer free community space to Roosevelt Island groups at the Cultural Center, located at 548 Main Street.

Gristedes Says State to Blame for WIC Snafu

“I love people. I love the press. I have nothing to hide,” says New York’s mercurial supermarket magnate John Catsimatidis, sitting at the head of a long table in a conference room at Red Apple Group Headquarters, flanked by Larry Sachs, his senior executive, and Emily Pankow, assistant general counsel.

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