RIOC folds, finally inviting residents to the FDR Hope Memorial opening, but you must sit on the grass


After days of public shaming, RIOC folds, telling residents a little about the event, but demanding that they sit on the grass.

By David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

RIOC Folds After Days of Public Shaming

“As always, a failure to understand & articulate how folks with disabilities and other special needs should be accommodated,” wrote one resident. “…able to utilize grass areas…?  

“Shame as always on them.”

From inception, RIOC’s alleged Communications Team planned an elitist event, although few, if any, of the speakers knew their intent.

On Monday, the state agency issued a press release nationwide but skipped locals.

And it wasn’t just RIOC’s hostility to local media. It was everyone because not even an advisory appeared in local email inboxes.

“This is wrong, in any case, not in Jim Bates’s spirit at all,” another resident complained.

The late Jim Bates, as longtime Disabled Association president, first championed the FDR Hope Memorial, but passed away before raising enough funds.

Tone deaf to taxpayers…

According to its annual report, RIOC plunked down more than half-a-million into the memorial in the last fiscal year. The majority of that came from RIOC taxes collected from residents.

But the state initially shut out residents anyway.

I gave a quote but was never advised that she put something together and sent it out. What a mess this is. Why would they exclude the island news?

Anonymous upon request

RIOC folds but without grace

“Nice of them, after public shaming, to invite the rest of us… And, It’s really too bad they couldn’t use the picture of the actual sculpture…”

Bizarrely, the RIOC invite features a strong and healthy photo of FDR without the slightest hint of disability, defying the entire theme.

But here’s the reality.

“Attendees able to utilize grass areas surrounding the memorial will be asked to do so,” RIOC said. “Special accommodations can be made upon request for those who require them.”

But no details describing the “Special accommodations,” nor how anyone might request them. Physically challenged individuals must make a guess or rely on optimism because, in truth, RIOC never made plans for them.

What else is missing…?

In invitations earlier sent to guests RIOC actually wanted at the ribbon-cutting, attendees would be escorted to assigned seating. Otherwise, SRO on the grass.

RIOC folded, but they left out certain details. Like, who will be speaking?

They still fail, not recognizing Roosevelt Islanders’ crucial financial contributions.

And Susan Rosenthal, the former RIOC president and CEO? She’s not on the speaker list, although she’s the leader who committed essential resources for getting it done.

And the agenda was missing, too. Here it is.

The keynote speaker is Shelton Haynes, RIOC’s president and CEO, whose new office is not ADA compliant.

There’s weird lack of symmetry here. Tone deaf and hypocritical, RIOC taps it’s own leader, not the Disabled Association, as opening speaker.

But as previously reported, his new office, on the second floor of Blackwell House, is not ADA compliant.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, were he alive, could not meet with Shelton J. Haynes there.

Withhold your applause.

More from the Roosevelt Island Daily News

  • Stiff Prices, Unfulfilled Orders: How the Private Contractor Running Rikers Commissary Serves Detainees
    Bianca Pallaro and Reuven Blau, The City This article was originally published on Jun 9 5:00am EDT by THE CITY In April 2022, the New York City Department of Correction signed a no-bid contract with a company called the Keefe Group to take over the commissary operations at Rikers Island, and offer a new web-based
  • Haynes at it again. Someone please offer this man a new job
    It looks like a long campaign for a new job. Why else would anyone push this nonsense? “Given a problematic task nearly 50 years ago, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation established and slowly grew a small-town community in the middle of New York City – until Shelton Haynes took over as CEO.” Echoes of “Only
  • Staying Inside Won’t Protect You from Smoke Unless the Air is Clean
    Samantha Maldonado, The City This article was originally published on Jun 8 8:38pm EDT by THE CITY As New York City’s air quality remained unhealthy due to Canadian wildfires, Mayor Eric Adams encouraged New Yorkers to avoid going outside to protect themselves from the pollution. The city made it easier for some New Yorkers to
  • Gap Show – RIVAA’s New Idea Surprises Next Week at the Gallery
    What is a gap show? We’re about to find out on Wednesday June 14th, when RIVAA‘s artists surprise visitors with a themed show. With ten days to run, they will fill the walls with inspiration while sculpted objects surprise from the floor. But, here’s the fun part: the theme is so loose, art lovers can
  • The Tug-of-War for New York City’s Streets: Iconic Avenues with Unbelievable Histories
    Hey there, fellow street wanderers! Ever wondered how the bustling, iconic avenues of New York City came to be? We’re about to take a fast ride through the histories of NYC’s most famous streets. From fun facts to intriguing stories, you’ll never see the Big Apple the same way again. So, ready to dive in

Leave a Reply

Previous Story

The beat goes on (and on), more maskless Red Bus riders ignored by RIOC…

Next Story

How the secret RIOC tax makes Roosevelt Island the highest taxed place in America

Latest from Featured

0 $0.00
%d bloggers like this: