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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June 14, 2019

A shimmering, larger-than-life unicorn, propelled by a human-powered go-cart escorting a mounted human at a soaring height, with its magnificent, moving head and neck steered around Lighthouse Park. Then there were swings; enormous, moveable beach balls, a big frog with an unfurling tongue and joyous rhythmic music that made you want to dance. There was a costume shop, overflowing with silly and colorful hats and outfits free for the taking, with the...

April 7, 2019

When I was in high school in Brooklyn back in the 1980’s, I remember a joke told by a classmate: How can you tell the difference between New Yorkers and tourists? Answer: The tourists are all looking up at the skyscrapers, and the New Yorkers are all looking down at the dog poop.

Had I been growing up on Roosevelt Island, that joke would not have been so relevant, since, until about ten years ago, Roosevelt Island had a bylaw forbidding dogs from eve...

April 4, 2019

*This article has been updated to reflect the passage of this bill in both houses.

A bill, sponsored by Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright, described as a "good government clean-up bill" by her legislative counsel and serves to update what is known as The RIOC Act of 1984, has been passed in the Senate after being passed in the Assembly in February. It concerns the management and organizational structure of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RI...

February 5, 2019

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) announced on Friday that in addition to Pony Field and Firefighter’s Field, they are reversing their previous mandate not to permit Capobianco Field, and will now be permitting it along with the Island’s other two operating fields.

The community will be able to use the Island’s fields on Fridays, and Saturdays until April 27 when the RIOC soccer program commences. Thereafter, RIOC will have the field Sa...

February 4, 2019

Community policing, a strategy of policing that focuses on building ties and working closely with members of the community, has been the practice of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation’s Public Safety Department for over five years now and has evolved over time, explained Jeff Laszcyzch, at the most recent Roosevelt Island Residents Association Public Safety Committee meeting.

Laszcyzch, a nine-year veteran of the department, started his tenure...

January 8, 2019

The Octagon Soccer Field construction has been postponed, yet again. Now to early fall. 

A request for proposals (RFP) for construction of the new Octagon Soccer field – which RIOC abruptly fenced off mid-August citing safety concerns – was originally expected in mid-September but never happened. In an email update, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation's Director of Parks, Mary Cuneen informed a group of concerned Islanders that the field is now...

January 7, 2019

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) board passed a resolution at their last board meeting overruling the Roosevelt Island Residents Association’s (RIRA) public purpose fund recommendations, agreeing to take 5% of funds from other applicants and giving that sum to the Carter Burden Network Senior Center. It's a move that undoes years of effort by Islanders seeking some decision-making ability in how funds are spent in their own community.


November 9, 2018

After a champagne toast, long-time community activist and Manhattan Park resident Lynne Shinozaki chaired her first Roosevelt Island Residents Association as president last night. Westview resident David Lawson, winning the only contested seat in the election, is the organization’s new vice president.

Lynne Shinozaki

The sole candidate for RIRA President, Shinozaki won 1237 votes. The self-described “activist, organizer, philanthropist, volunteer, wife,...

November 4, 2018

Local faith leaders urge outreach – not guns – following last week's synagogue shooting. Last Saturday we saw the most violent act of anti-Semitism in U.S. history, at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill, Pennsylvania, where during Sabbath services a lone gunman killed eleven members of the congregation and wounded several others, including police officers.  The worst mass shooting since the Parkland High massacre last year, the attack is bein...

May 26, 2018

How can the Roosevelt Island Residents’ Association (RIRA) better serve a changing Island? And are they actively working to attract new members? 

These were some of the questions posed by Southtown representative Dave Evans at the group’s May Common Council meeting. The answers could be critical in shaping the organization’s future and reversing the group’s dwindling roster. Elections for Common Council members, held every two years, will take place in...

March 12, 2018

The termination of the Roosevelt Island Youth Program (RIYP) on March 2 has left many Islanders with questions. Here are some of the answers. 

Did RIOC shut down RIYP?  

Technically, no. The RIOC Board, which manages the Youth Center at 506 Main Street, voted to withhold funds from RIYP, with which it had previously contracted to run the center. Although RIYP had received funds to operate through March 31, the RIYP board of directors decided to cease op...

March 12, 2018

It was a dramatic turn of events for a program that has served generations of Island youth. 

On March 1, sitting before a crowd of emotional Island parents, many of whom had come out to show support for the youth organization they had grown up with and then sent their own kids to, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation Board of Directors voted to withdraw its operator grant for the Island’s Youth Center. 

For several heartbeats, the packed room stoo...

January 21, 2018

Every year, PS/IS 217's middle struggles to fill a single class per grade, despite being part of a thriving elementary school. But with Cornell Tech’s stated commitment to the school and steady interest in the elementary school, many wonder whether there may finally be enough momentum to enact change.  The question is, what might that change look like? And what compromises would the community – and the school – be required to make?

August 26, 2017

The board of the Roosevelt Island Senior Association (RISA) has found itself on the defensive following a guilty plea to larceny charges by its former program director, Rema Townsend, who admitted stealing money from the non-profit’s coffers. One of the most vocal critics has been Michael Shinozaki of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) Board. At the board’s August meeting, he brought a motion to withhold Public Purpose funds previously...

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