Continuing Saga of Roosevelt Island Dumb and Dumber, Now Salted with Uncaring


Roosevelt Island Dumb and Dumber is a special case because it’s not funny but plenty worse. Uncaring? Indifferent? Cruel? Take your pick, but it’s one of them.

By David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

Roosevelt Island Dumb and Dumber

©David Stone/The Roosevelt Island Daily

For the record, this is not new. We spotted it first, last summer, when RIOC offered wheelchairs, not just stairs for navigating but alternated with a trip through mud into an active construction site. That makes it six months of stupid or indifferent, and who knows how much longer it will last?

What makes it worse, even egregious, is that these are the steps RIOC President/CEO Shelton J. Haynes bounces up every working day. While it’s true that the $216K per year exec gets an extraordinary amount of time away from the office, he still saw this at least a hundred times since seizing space in Blackwell House.

Behind this lovely preserved building, the state built a ramp for the physically challenged. But nowhere on any sidewalk surrounding Blackwell House is anyone directed there. Instead, a small muted sign faces away from the main sidewalk.

Because it’s been reported repeatedly for months, there is no doubt that Haynes and his crew are aware of this blatant insensitivity. So, in essence, benign cruelty must be part of the game. Thickheadedness pervades RIOC, but here, Roosevelt Island Dumb and Dumber goes beyond our worst expectations.

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  1. In all my years on the island I have never seen so many leaves all over for so long. I’m thinking that in the past RIOC may have scooped them up and disposed of them. My doormen agree they’ve never had to sweep the lobby so often.
    Last week from my window I saw THREE men with leaf blowers cleaning one of the many messy lawns. This one is right behind Blackwell House. Did Haynes not like looking at them?
    The housing projects in Queens have better groomed public spaces than we have.

    • Are you sure you’re being fair? Poor Shelton has to make ends meet on only $216K per year and chief landscaper, Matthew “the invisible” Kibby struggles along on only $109K… How much can you reasonably expect from these suffering public servants?

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