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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...

March 9, 2018

When Steve Kaufman, treasurer of the Roosevelt Island Youth Program, notified RIOC on the afternoon of Friday, March 2, that they would breach their contract, lock their doors, and walk away from the Youth Center at the close of business – weeks ahead of the conclusion of their contract – RIOC was faced with the task of formulating a plan and presenting it to the community within 48 hours. To their credit, and with the assistance of Public Safety and...

March 3, 2018

[This story was last updated Tuesday, March 6] 

In a late Friday press release, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation announced that it would assume operation of the Island's Youth Center as of Monday, March 5. 

“We wanted to make sure that the center is open for the children while RIOC decides the future plans for the Youth Center,” said RIOC President Susan Rosenthal.

The announcement comes one day after the Corporation's Board of Direct...

February 8, 2018

With all the complaints about the Roosevelt Island Youth Program, where is the focus on our new Beacon provider and the problem it's having?

February 3, 2018

I grew up on a different Roosevelt Island. There was no market-rate housing and no subway. There were only four buildings: Westview, Island House, Roosevelt Landings (then known as Eastwood), and Rivercross. Manhattan Park didn’t welcome its first tenants until 1989.

Perhaps because there were fewer people, there seemed to be less division. Just being one of that small group of people who chose to live on Roosevelt Island was enough to bind us together...

February 2, 2018

On Friday, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) announced plans to hire an outside counsel, Bond, Shoeneck & King, to investigate allegations made against the longtime operator of the Roosevelt Island Youth Program (RIYP), Charles DeFino. 

The announcement came one day after the corporation’s January

Board of Directors meeting, during which they had been expected to vote on whether to enter into a contract with RIYP to run the Island’s Yout...

February 1, 2018

It’s been a rollercoaster of a month for Roy Magsisi, director of the Roosevelt Island Youth Program (RIYP) and one of the program’s music teachers. 

Days after learning that his program had earned the top score and thus the recommendation from an outside panel to continue running free youth services on the Island, Magsisi got more good news: the organization had finally received a School-Age Child Care (SACC) license from the New York Office of Childr...

February 1, 2018

A contentious meeting of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation’s Board of Directors ended abruptly last week when the Board voted to adjourn prematurely, leaving unresolved the question of whether the corporation would enter into contract negotiations with the Roosevelt Island Youth Program (RIYP) for a three-year commitment to run the Island’s Youth Center. 

The meeting, which was alternately punctuated with jeers and applause from a standing-roo...

January 22, 2018

A group of 45 parents asks RIOC to reconsider its approval of the Youth Center contract until oversight can be assured and community concerns addressed.

January 22, 2018

The Youth Center space usually looks empty, programming is a mystery, and they don’t have a website to provide any information to residents. Why are we giving them money again?

January 22, 2018

The question of who will operate the 7,000-square-foot Youth Center at 506 Main Street for the next three to five years appears to be nearing an answer. 

Last week, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, which is in charge of the Youth Center, confirmed that a proposal by the Roosevelt Island Youth Program (RIYP) had received the highest score by an outside committee. The contract requires approval by RIOC’s Board of Directors, and is expected to...

January 22, 2018

Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation President Susan Rosenthal has put forth a motion for a Board vote to award the Roosevelt Island Youth Program a contract valued at up to $1.14 million over a three year period to operate the Youth Center at 506 Main Street for three years. The editorial team of The WIRE joins with the large number of Island parents, new and old, in urging the Board to vote no.

The most glaring flaw in the process has been the excl...

December 5, 2017

The Roosevelt Island Youth Program soccer program held its championship games Saturday, November 18, at the Octagon soccer field. Both the Minors and Sophomore Divisions started with six teams each. The Juniors and Seniors had four teams each. 

The Juniors Division champions were Los Angeles, who beat New York 7-6.

Three of the volunteer coaches for the four winning teams reflect on their season, their team, and their win. 


The New England Revoluti...

October 18, 2017

Will there be any consequences for RIYP operating an afterschool program without the proper license? Or do they not have to play by the same rules as everyone else?

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