RIOC Gets The First Governor Kathy Hochul Official Cruelty Award

RIOC Gets The First Governor Kathy Hochul Official Cruelty Award

The new Official Cruelty Award, named after Governor Kathy Hochul, goes to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC). Special Mention: President/CEO Shelton J. Haynes.

by David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

Winner of the first ever Governor Kathy Hochul Official Cruelty Award.
RIOC challenges people in wheelchairs or with other physical limitations, directing them to suck it up and use the stairs.

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The Governor Kathy Hochul Official Cruelty Award

Official cruelty, directed at the public, comes in many varieties. Sometimes, it’s blatant – like setting up benefit programs for people in trouble and, then, creating a perfectly impossible website for accessing benefits. New York State is especially good at that one. Other times, it’s like the recent experience of getting people to stand in line in the cold for hours for COVID tests, then returning results so late they are useless.

But for our first Governor Kathy Hochul award, we picked something more immediate and raw. And we named it after New York’s first female governor because her name is at the top of the letterhead for RIOC, the first winner. This, in other words, is her baby.

Why RIOC wins…

Placing a sign directing wheelchairs to “use the stairs” takes real gall, but leaving it up for six months is extraordinary. But the achievement goes beyond that. The stairs to which wheelchair bound visitors are directed are those used by RIOC President/CEO Shelton J. Haynes when entering his office. Every day he comes to work. Admittedly, that’s not a lot, but there’s special merit. His office, on the second floor inside Blackwell House, is also not ADA compliant.

Note on the Governor Kathy Hochul Official Cruelty Award…

Our decision to name this award after Governor Hochul was guided by her outspoken commitment to accountability. We knew she would not mind being held accountable for this one. She might even be proud.

More from the Roosevelt Island Daily

  • After a Lost Election, A Better Idea for Roosevelt Island
    “Neither Marc nor I won,” Joyce Short answered our inquiry. She meant the contest for two seats on the Democratic State Committee. She and fellow Roosevelt Islander Marc Block ran in partnership. Entering late with a focused Roosevelt Island theme, the results were better than many expected. Block and Short were both competitive, not embarrassed.
  • OMNY for the Tram: Frustrations Prompt a Petition Drive
    An OMNY for the Roosevelt Island Tram petition states it simply: “We are asking the MTA and RIOC between them to remedy this.” The solution is simple. Install OMNY Card readers in two Tram locations, but the two bureaucratic behemoths can’t figure it out. It’s all in the background and political posturing. by David Stone The
  • Interesting Fact #9 – The First Product Sold Online Was a Sting album
    The first product ever sold online was a Sting album. On August 11, 1994, the album was sold on Netscape’s website for $12.48. This was significant because it marked the beginning of eCommerce and showed that selling products online was a viable business model. by David Stone Assorted Ideas, Large & Small Which Sting Album
  • Poisonous, Invasive Weeds Where RIOC Hacked Inkberry Trees
    As we reported two years ago, RIOC’s hacking of the inkberry tree row shading the East Promenade was a mistake. But the sheer brutality and neglectfulness turned out much worse than we feared. Easy to say, “RIOC did it again,” but hard understanding why. by David Stone The Roosevelt Island Daily News The Inkberry Chopping
  • Democracy Is Dead in New York and Probably Elsewhere
    Democracy is dead, voting results prove. It was a slow death, a cancer of alienation that waved warning flags all the way down the tracks. The warnings made no difference, and no cure was attempted. by David Stone The Roosevelt Island Daily News Is Local Democracy Breathing Its Last? Posters still visible all around the

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