Halloween Fundraisers: Don a Costume for a Cause

Local Parents Band Together to Protest New Dog Park Site

Main Street Block Party a Fall Hit

Octagon Field Renamed McManus, Tensions Remain

Islanders Enjoy Fall for the Arts Festival

RIOC and RIRA Meet on Back to Back Evenings Last Week

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October 19, 2019

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation board voted unanimously at their last meeting to place a dog run in the northeast corner of Blackwell Park, squeezing it into an already congested area abutting the big kids playground, the basketball courts, and the pending bike path.

In November of 2017, David Kramer, president of The Hudson Companies, announced that the Southtown dog run would need to move make way for construction of two new residential to...

Looking at the latest Hey Susan column, I noticed a renovation of Southpoint Park was mentioned.  Planning firm Fitzgerald and Halliday presented the draft proposal for its final recommendations at the February 2017 RIOC meeting. That project was community-driven, and multiple meetings and surveys were held over a year period to gather input from Islanders. Since then, RIOC has not shown the community any plans for reworking Southpoint Park.

It is time...

December 30, 2018

In mid-December, I was one of several Cookie Collection elves packaging boxes of cookies at Hope Church to deliver to neighbors around the Island. Attached to each box of cookies was an invitation to the Hope Church Christmas service. Baking is extra special when you know the love and good cheer is going to be spread far and wide in your community. And I never knew so much pleasure and joy could be derived from tying bows of twine around pastry boxes.


December 17, 2018

Roosevelt Island just got its own wall. A dark green wall complete with electronic security turnstiles has been erected around the Island’s beloved sledding hill, which is now slated for the construction of the long awaited Building 8, a new residential building being erected by Hudson Related.

On the other side of the wall is the construction site for Southtown building 8

I peered through the turnstiles in the rain this morning, wondering what could wa...

December 16, 2018

Everybody has at least one. They may be just a little bit off kilter, particular, or unique, astray from the “norm.” Their uniqueness is not right or wrong, not good or bad…they are just different.

I have one of those friends. I’ll refer to him as Chris…because that’s his name.

I can use his name freely. It helps me exemplify one of his unique characteristics. It’s not confidence. Confidence has strength, but it also includes bragging and boasting. Conf...

December 10, 2018

Some Roosevelt Islanders, including parents, are legitimately concerned about the increasing number of cyclists on the Island, often speeding up and down our beautiful promenades. Concerns about bikes and public safety are important, understandable and should be taken seriously.

So, prior to petitioning and demonstrating against RIOC’s $14 million project to establish a safe bike ramp from the Roosevelt Island bridge onto a new east promenade bike lane...

September 19, 2018

Fall is approaching and waves of migrating birds pass through this region soon after sunset. Although some fast fliers, such as finches, swallows, birds of prey, are considered diurnal, or daytime migrants, most of the smaller bird species migrate at night, using the moon, the stars and natural landmarks to navigate. The fall marks the peak of the warbler migration that typically occurs between September 7 and September 22, depending on weat...

September 16, 2018

In the early morning, when the weather is nice, I frequently find myself on our balcony

watching the river flow, the birds fly, boats "boating," and people walking by. Over time I

start to notice, like clockwork, just before 8 am, a man on a bicycle with his tiny

helmeted baby strapped to a seat straddling the frame in front of him. He zips by

at fairly high speed, turns the corner, and then heads north on the path by the East River.

The baby always l...

September 15, 2018

Do you enjoy all the nature on our beloved island? Are you interested in the amazing local plants and flowers? Well, let us tell you why we are lucky to have some native plants on Roosevelt Island.

Pollinators are essential to our ecosystem. Many pollinators, like beautiful butterflies and lovely ladybugs, can only rely on native plants for food and nectar. Because of this, the butterflies and other pollinators may become endangered on our island and...

June 13, 2018

In the May 26 issue of The WIRE, Janet Falk proposed a new way to constitute the Roosevelt Island Residents’ Association (RIRA) Common Council: by enlisting the delegates from Island organizations. This is not a new idea, and I strongly advise against it. 

Years ago, the RIRA constitution included several organizations with the power to appoint a number of members to the Common Council. These delegates were elected by no one and represented a small num...

May 2, 2018

Dick Lutz’s passing has given me pause. I’ve looked back at the past to see where our community was, where we wanted to go, and where we’ve actually arrived.

When he and I began to edit The WIRE over 20 years ago, it was because the Roosevelt Island Residents’ Association (RIRA) was falling apart under its leadership and I recognized that the only way to bring it back was to hold an election supported by press information. Without that, no one would ha...

April 28, 2018

A Rivercross ground lease increase? What’s that? Perhaps I can help.

Forty years ago, as a specialist in the workings of municipal government, I came to New York City to assist the New York Public Library. Here was Roosevelt Island – recently developed to attract lower middle-income families, folks who were fleeing the New York City turmoil. Governor Nelson Rockefeller made certain the physical community was well planned. The people put in charge origi...

April 18, 2018

There are many hidden disabilities that people are not aware of. Sometimes even the individual suffering is not aware of it. Most hidden disabilities, such as depression, are considered, in some way, shameful or devaluing. It is for that reason that many people with these conditions keep them a secret. But living every day pretending that you feel like you are alright when you are not can be very debilitating, diminishing your self-confidence. 

When a...

March 9, 2018

Next week is the #Enough walkout. On March 14 at 10:00 a.m., across the country, students and parents and, where possible, teachers and administrators will walk out for 17 minutes – one for each Parkland victim – of silent protest. We will be protesting lax gun laws, protesting a system that privileges a right to bear arms over a child’s right to live, a system that privileges money over the common good. Children and youth and adults alike are invited...

February 8, 2018

Over the last four and half years that I have been back on Roosevelt Island with my children, there have been a few dust-ups that have seemed, to some of us, to be grounded in those most entrenched American societal evils of racism, prejudice, and classism. The marijuana controversy, for one, and the most recent issue around the funding of the Youth Center. And yet, it has seemed to me that issues of race and gentrification rarely, if ever, are addres...

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