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 8, 2019

Last week, over a year after its abrupt closure last August, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) re-opened Octagon Field and re-naming it Jack McManus Field in honor of the recently retired Chief of the Island’s Public Safety Department (PSD).

Former chief, Jack McManus, second from left on the field bearing his name, and new chief, Kevin Brown, far right

“We decided to name the field after Jack for two reasons,” explained Susan Rosenthal,...

After a summer hiatus, both the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, and the Roosevelt Island Residents Association held their first meetings last week. RIOC’s was rife with updates on the tram elevator, coming, Blackwell House, opening soon, and the soccer field, scheduled to open later this month.

RIOC welcomed familiar face, Gretchen Robinson, back to RIOC as General Counel and Vice President, a role most recently held by Jacqueline Flug. Robinso...

June 26, 2019

From a long-awaited Blackwell House ribbon cutting to a new comfort station at the Octagon Field, a lot happened at yesterday’s board meeting. The highlight, however, was that three new Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation board members – Southtown’s Conway Ekpo, former Roosevelt Island Residents Association president Jeffrey Escobar, and part-time Islander David Kapell – were confirmed by the State Finance Board late last week and were seated in ti...

April 28, 2019

What is the latest update on the playground updates and repairs? Weren’t there plans to enlarge the playground and redo the sandbox last fall? With summer coming and the kids outside all day, it would be a shame to close them for renovations now. Is there any plans to revise the kids’ sprinklers which could use a major overhaul as well given the rocky sharp surfaces and the poor drainage?

SUSAN: The landscape architecture consultant hired to...

April 16, 2019

RIOC is lowering the proposed fence around the Octagon Field from ten feet to three and a half feet and they have decided to no longer fence the eastern side of the field. As to the permitting piece, well that’s not so simple; “We have very little open space on this Island, unfortunately,” expressed new Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation hire Jonna Carmona-Graf about her effort to accomodate all users of our fields, including for-profit off-Island...

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...

March 11, 2019

The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) passed a resolution opposing removal of 11 of the Island’s big, old, shade trees that will make way for a ten-foot fence encircling the Octagon Field. It also opposes the excessive permitting on all of our fields, that they assert comes at the expense of Islanders.

 The ten-foot fence in red will encircle the new field, image courtesy of RIOC

Rossana Ceruzzi, chair of the Island Services Committee,...

March 8, 2019

Blackwell House

The nine-person board might be four board members down but there was still plenty to get done at last night’s meeting of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation Board of Directors.

A new owner’s representative firm, Long Island based LiRo Group, was selected to replace Gardner & Theobald, Inc. hired in April 2018 to help manage RIOC’s four-year $90 million capital improvement plan currently underway. RIOC President Susan Rosenthal exp...

February 26, 2019

I have written this letter to address you about the problem at the Octagon soccer field. It's going to be closed for a long time and Firefighter's is the only field we can play soccer, but only on Fridays. Octagon Field is used by me and lots of other kids on the Island.

Octagon Field is a public space where you can meet up with your friends and play soccer. It is ridiculous for RIOC to permit the field! I use the field to play because it is the only...

February 8, 2019

On Wednesday night, Scot Bobo, known by Islanders as Coach Scot, stood up in the downstairs meeting room of the Good Shepherd Community Center to testify that, no, permitting the Island’s sports fields does not drive business to the Island.

Last week, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation announced that in addition to Pony Field and Firefighter’s Field, they would also start permitting Capobianco Field, a reversal to RIOC President Susan Rosenthal...

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

If the sold-out shows at this past weekend’s teen theatre performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream send one message regarding community, then RIOC’s recent press release further diminishing the amount of time we have access to our own fields stands in stark contrast.

In what other place do the local residents have to beg for field time like we do here? Where else are you forced to spectate from your windows overlooking those fields while non-resid...

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...

November 26, 2018

The Roosevelt Island Resident Association's (RIRA) Island Services Committee, chaired by Wildlife Freedom Foundation founder Rossana Ceruzzi shares a preliminary agenda for their November 30 meeting to be held on the 425 Main Street rooftop at 5:30. 

 Southtown Dog Run will be moved for construction of buildings 8 and 9

  1. Octagon Soccer field closure

  2. Youth Services: reinstating the music program for kids and adults

  3. Sportspark: Rate...

September 30, 2018

We are writing on behalf of many Roosevelt Island families and football/soccer players who would like to know the plan for the future of the Octagon Field and its restoration. When will the work start? How long will it take? Once it is complete, how will the field be maintained and used? Communication has been insufficient to date, and we feel the community deserves more transparency.

We want to make clear to you and to other decision-makers that the p...

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