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RIOC Demands Signing Up for SPAM If You Want to See the Fireworks in Four Freedoms Park


With only 1,500 tickets available, a scramble to see the Macy’s Fireworks in FDR Four Freedoms State Park is inevitable. RIOC’s exploiting this by demanding you sign up for SPAM to qualify.

by David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

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“What did I sign up for?”/Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

Last year, the state agency that never makes a mistake (RIOC) so badly botched online ticket distribution that families logging in immediately after opening were greeted with a SOLD OUT notice.

RIOC, of course, never apologized, but they also never explained the error. Which leaves us believing they didn’t see it as an error and won’t fix it.

In addition, they pulled out an unknown number of the 1,500 available and handed them out secretly to friends and associates.

Because there is no transparency or accountability at RIOC, the same may happen again. Residents will be forced to battle one another for a scant number of tickets.

The situation worsened when they again denied access to Southpoint Park, an open space once set aside for the community but now ravaged by the state.

The SPAM Thing

Get this…

How do I get resident access to tickets?

  • Residents must sign up for RIOC Advisories.
  • The resident access code will be posted via the Advisory system prior to the ticket registration period.
  • Sign Up for RIOC Advisories!
  • Unable to sign up? Stop into PSD Headquarters, valid island resident I.D. required, to get the resident code.

That’s right. If you want tickets for the 4th of July, you’ll be coerced to sign up for RIOC Advisories.

While these sometimes have worthwhile information at the core, they’re often illiterate, hard to figure out and inaccurate.

Couple that with their reputation for not responding to email or telephone inquiries and you’ve got a broken, unhelpful system.

But the Worst Part Is, You’ll Be Signing Up for SPAM

What is email spam?

Most email users have experienced spam—unsolicited email messages, usually of a commercial nature, sent en masse to an indiscriminate set of recipients.

Spam is generally sent by automated email programs known as “spambots” that are designed to spread spam across the Internet. These spambots harvest email addresses from websites, chat rooms, newsgroups, and viruses that have infected other computers. The spambots then use these email addresses to send spam.

In RIOC’s case, they put many messages on repeat, and your mailbox gets flooded with repetitious emails. That’s partly ameliorated by laziness because, in general, the state agency just doesn’t reach out often.

Plenty of activities never hit the RIOC SPAM operation, but if you sign up, be mindful that they might, someday, hire folks with some energy. And they might start using political messaging.

What’s stopping them? And like the DMV, they may seize the moneymaking opportunity to sell your address to the highest bidder.

Hello, SPAM!

Why is spam a problem?

Spam clogs email servers and can slow down or crash email systems. In addition, because spambots indiscriminately harvest email addresses from the Internet, spam often contains malware—viruses, worms, spyware, and other malicious code—that can infect your computer or mobile device.

How do I stop spam?

The best defense against spam is a combination of technology and education. Some email providers offer tools to help reduce the amount of spam in your inbox. In addition, it is important to be cautious when providing your email address to unknown websites and businesses.

How do I report spam?

If you receive spam, you can report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at You can also report it to your email provider.

Reporting spam helps the FTC and law enforcement agencies track spammers and shut down their operations. But lo and behold, when Congress passed that law, it exempted governments and politicians.

So, to see the fireworks on Roosevelt Island, you’ll be signing up for SPAM. Thanks, RIOC!

Thanks for chipping in to help with our expenses.

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