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And Now, Another Day, Another “Stupid” RIOC Advisory


Another “stupid” RIOC Advisory launched the usual spam sequence of multiple, identical email blasts to all the same addresses. This one covers “the ‘Red Bus,’ also known as the ‘Shopper’s Bus’…”


A resident was not kind: “Lazy, thoughtless and totally stupid,” she said.

by David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

The sheer amateurishness takes your breath away. Why would anyone blast the identical email to the same address a half-dozen times over a few days?

This is the well-known RIOC Red Bus, and no, it is not “…also known as the ‘Shopper’s Bus.” But it is a mistake more easily made when you’re rarely to never here and are clueless about Roosevelt Island routines.

Email marketing wisdom recommends sending a follow-up email within 24 hours – to those who did not open the first round, but that’s it. And it’s marketing, not public service.

And then you’ve got the routine stupidity to weed through.

Opening with the Usual Suspect

The boss rates a classic, illiterate run-on sentence, right out of the gate. Try peeling this one off in one breath:

Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) President & CEO Shelton J. Haynes is proud to announce updates to the “Red Bus,” also known as the “Shopper’s Bus,” a FREE service provided by RIOC for seniors and disabled persons every Tuesday and Wednesday to give our most vulnerable communities an opportunity to stock up on the essentials needed to support themselves and their families.

Stupid RIOC Advisory

Why was the boss proud? Really, he wasn’t, or he might’ve ordered an edit after the first shot. This is textbook Public Relations for Dummies stuff, handled by someone stuck on Level One.

RIOC boot-licking at its most obsequious.

And it’s barely a public service because the information is so weird.

The Stupid RIOC Advisory Garbled Details

The Shopper’s Bus leaves from the Senior Center (546 Main Street) at 10:30 AM every Tuesday and Wednesday and stops at two locations an area grocery store located at 3250 Vernon Blvd and pharmacy located at 31-91 21 street to allow seniors and our disabled community to purchase their essential groceries and toiletries.

Presumed Author: Akeem Jamal, ($150K/yearly)

Another run-on sentence consumes an entire paragraph. Was the comma key broken on his computer, or was he just too lazy to use it? Surely RIOC can get their $150K per year wordsmith a decent computer or, maybe, a proofreader.

Because these two sentences would not get anyone out of high school English class.

A Mystifying Failure to Provide Simple Details

Another shortcoming in this stupid RIOC advisory is basic: Why make this “update” at all?”

The Daily knows the reason but not why RIOC’s brain trust won’t tell you. Public Safety was asked to step in because the rush to board got out of hand, too much for the older adult center to manage.

They needed help, but this isn’t necessarily helpful.

For one thing, Haynes’s predecessor, the much more attuned Susan Rosenthal declined grabbing credit for supporting the Shoppers Bus. Concern over whether the RIOC handlers in Albany might object if they knew about it, she asked that we low-key it.

Andrew Cuomo, New York State governor at the time, was not known for his empathy or for recognizing any contribution for which he saw no personal gain.

But it appears that Haynes’s sensitive ego does not allow for similar restraint, and he may have exposed something he shouldn’t have.

But there’s more…

“The bus will make its first stop at a pharmacy where shoppers can purchase their toiletries if needed,” the stupid RIOC Advisory babbles on.

Now, scratch your head and ask yourself why they simply don’t say they stop first at the shopping plaza at Broadway and 21st Street? And it’s not just a Rite Aid pharmacy, there’s a Chase bank, a supermarket and more.

And still more…

“The bus will return to pick up shoppers at 12:30 pm. Then the bus will make its second stop, at an area grocery store where shoppers can purchase groceries.”

But that second stop is not “an area grocery story.” It’s Costco. And yet…

“The bus will return to pick up shoppers from the grocery store at 12:45 pm then return to Roosevelt Island.”

That’s right. According to this stupid RIOC Advisory, the shoppers get less than fifteen minutes at the big box Costco store, which sells far more than groceries.

Anyone who frequents Costco knows, you can sometimes spend that much time in line at the cashiers.


RIOC inept Communications Department mangled the information in a smarmy attempt to suck up to Shelton the Disconnected. While we don’t know for sure who threw together this mess, Akeem Jamal joined Haynes’s protective inner circle in August as – allegedly – Communications Assistant Vice-President.

No noticeable improvement in communications followed, and sometimes – like here – it’s much worse. Jamal’s prior experience apparently falls far short of RIOC published minimum requirements.

Jamal’s annual $150K salary nearly doubles that of previous successful public relations veterans Terrence McCauley and Alonza Robertson at RIOC. The mean salary for that title in New York is $83,460 per year.

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