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Roosevelt Island Residents Association
Roosevelt Island Residents Association


March and Rally
Sunday, April 21, 2013 - 1 PM
Good Shepherd Plaza

The Roosevelt Island Residents Association’s (RIRA) Public Safety Committee (PSC) is organizing a second major public action on April 21, 2013 endorsed by RIRA’s Common Council. Join us and make your voice heard as we demand reform and accountability from PSD. Help bring an end to the abuse!
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Travel to Japan on Roosevelt Island

You will watch, learn and participate in multiple Japanese cultural, food and shopping activities at The 3rd Annual Cherry Blossom Festival Saturday, April 13, 2013.

Join us at 10:00 am at a Street Fair (open until 7:45 pm), then walk south along the cherry blossom trees on the promenade to world class performances at 11:00 am in FDR Four Freedoms Park till 5:45pm. Please support local charities with a donation.

Highlights include:
- Special activities for children
- Traditional Japanese food
- Folk and classical Japanese music
- Women dressed in kimonos and men wearing traditional Japanese clothing
- Observe a tea ceremony.

At 4:00 pm- 9:45 pm, Gallery RIVAA holds a wine tasting and food pairing, for a suggested donation of $30
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Come learn about the land use review process and how you can be involved in this important project coming to Roosevelt Island

Thursday, October 4th, 2012
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Manhattan Park Theater Club
8 River Road, Roosevelt Island

RSVP 212-669-4385 or

More info at
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From President Matthew Katz:

Dear Colleagues:
          Hard to believe, but the summer is almost over and I hope you had a good one.  We have work to do.  Please provide me with committee reports/minutes and any items for the September 5 agenda by this Friday, August 31.  As always, I will try to distribute the agenda packages by Sunday evening.
          We have a constitutionally mandated responsibility to produce the biennial RIRA election on Election Day, November 6.  In addition, and by virtue of the vote we took (25 yes, 0 no, 2 abstentions) at the October 5 to produce a concurrent RIOC Board election to fill soon-to-expire seats, we will undertake that as well.  We have been working for months now to convince Gov. Cuomo to endorse the Board elections, as his predecessors, Gov. Spitzer and Gov. Paterson did.  So far, we have received second-hand, tepid support for the process, but we’re hoping for something more substantive from the Second Floor.  Regardless, we will elect an Election Committee Chair and a Nominations Committee Chair at our September meeting and we will rely on the participation of every Council member to mount this election.  The good news is that the guaranteed $5,000 from RIOC, promised to provide election machines every two years, is already in our checking account and the machines on order.  This dramatically cuts the scutwork ten-fold.
          As you know, RIRA, through its Planning Committee sub-committee, the Silicon Island sub-committee has played an intrinsic part in devising an organization that could negotiate agreements with Cornell University on behalf of this community and others.  This process began 15 months ago, and resulted in the Silicon City Coalition, that introduced itself to Cornell and to this resident community at the April 5 Town Meeting.  Five months have elapsed since that day, but RIRA has yet to endorse our participation in that process.  I am convinced that enough time has elapsed for the Coalition to define itself and request our support.  Further, I am convinced that we, the RIRA Common Council Class of 2010-2012 should make that determination, as we have been intimately involved with the process for a considerable time.  For me, the question is: Can the Coalition represent the interests of this residential community better than we can ourselves acting unilaterally?  To that end, I’ve asked the Coalition, now calling itself the Roosevelt Island Community Coalition, to make a presentation at our Sept. 5 meeting.  They have elected former RIRA councilor and RIOC Board Director, Jonathan Kalkin, and RIRA Vice President, Ellen Polivy, co-chairs of the Coalition.  While the Common Council the Island elects in 10 weeks may choose to modify our decision in the New Year, based on new information,  I feel that time is wasting and RIRA must fish or cut bait now.
          I intend to include written material from the Coalition with my agenda package this weekend.  Please read it and the sub-committee report from chair, Susan Marcus, carefully.  Jonathan Kalkin will represent the Coalition in a Public Session report.  We will hear reports from Susan Marcus and Ellen Polivy during the committee portion of the agenda.  I will then offer a motion to offer RIRA support at this time, and councilors will have the opportunity to discuss, debate and vote on the motion.
          I’m looking forward to seeing all of you next week, and I hope you’ve all determined to run for another term on RIRA.  These have been exciting years and the next two promise to be even more so!  Regards,
          Matthew Katz
          President, RIRA  
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The Cornell-Technion Roosevelt Island Task Force Committee will meet on Tuesday, July 31, 2012 at the Senior Center, 546 Main Street at 6:30PM.  We're expecting an update from Cornell on the status of the project.
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From The Wire (
Thursday night at 8:00, elected members of the RIOC Board (and perhaps others) will conduct a CONVERSATIONS WITH ISLANDERS session in which they will respond to residents' concerns, comments, and suggestions. The session will take place after a RIOC Board meeting, which will take place at 5:30, but a specific start time has been scheduled for the conversations event to allow residents to avoid waiting through the Board meeting itself. Location -- 8 River Road -- the Manhattan Park Community Center.
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Gristedes Town Hall Meeting

RIOC has sent the following announcement:
Hudson/Related and Gristedes invite the community to a public meeting to get input and feedback in anticipation of Gristedes’ planned renovation and redesign of the Roosevelt Island supermarket.

Monday, March 12 at 7 PM at the Good Shepherd Community Center.

The Roosevelt Islander has a post about it:
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AVAC system update

Lisa Douglass is working on the feasibility study on the AVAC update, and sent us this email:

Dear RIRA representative:

I am writing to thank the members of RIRA who offered feedback for our study about the possibility of collecting recyclables using the AVAC system. This assessment of the possibility of adding new, separate inlets for recyclables is part of a larger feasibility and cost-benefit analysis of how this forty-year-old AVAC system could be made more efficient and cost-effective through the use of currently available technology.

Retrofitting the AVAC system with outdoor inlets to collect recyclables could eliminate truck pick-up of recyclables from sidewalks and building exteriors thus ending unsightly pile-ups and reducing traffic congestion, noise, and air pollution. It could make use of the full potential of the AVAC system, helping Roosevelt Island remain a model for waste handling to the nation and the world.

Although it would reduce building labor requirements if residents deposited recyclables directly into the proposed new outdoor inlets (with porters handling recyclables only for those residents who needed assistance), most residents who gave feedback expressed a preference for the current staff-operated system in which all residents place recyclables in bins next to the trash chute in AVAC rooms on each residential building floor. In either use scenario, many of you suggested that there is a need for clear instructions and ongoing training to ensure that recyclables are correctly sorted and deposited in the appropriate bins or inlets.

The feasibility study will be completed by the end of 2012 and delivered to RIOC for their consideration. It will also be made available to the public.

If you or other residents you represent have any questions or would like to add comments, please email me at the address below or visit

Thank you again for your input and cooperation.


Lisa Douglass
Research Assistant
UTRC/NYSERDA Feasibility Study
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RIOC Board Election Results

The results for the RIOC board election are in!

The 3 winners were:
1) Jonathan Kalkin (497 votes)
2) Howard Polivy (397 votes)
3) Fay Christian (381 votes)

There was a total of 837 ballots cast, which is 10% above the count in the 2009 RIOC Board election.

You can find the break down of the votes at
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