Unbelievable – RIOC’s Half-A-Million Dollar Writers Strike (Out) Again


Is it Freudian, maybe? Can’t they help themselves? RIOC charges residents for its team of half-a-million dollar writers who can’t tie their own shoelaces – figuratively. In promoting President/CEO Shelton J. Haynes and pickleball, the gang that can’t write straight bungled another one.

by David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

Stick with me here. I’m saving the best for last.

RIOC’s Error-Prone Half-A-Million Dollar Writers

“And Here We Go Again!” one longtime Roosevelt Islander wrote as a headline. “NO proofreading!”

Roosevelt Islanders are charged well over half-a-million in salaries and benefits annually for a Communications Team led by $150K man Akeem Jamal. As a result of hiring decisions by the Hochul/Haynes administration, we get The Gang That Couldn’t Write Straight. Apologies to the late, great Jimmy Breslin.

It Starts With the First Sentence

Observations suggest that RIOC personnel are valued for loyalty over competence. We’ve seen it repeatedly, but the writing miscues are different. And that’s because the central concentration of their press releases is promoting Haynes, not RIOC or Roosevelt Island.


News that all the world was waiting for and only three days late.

The Roosevelt Island Daily is always free to read. But our expenses are not. Publishing has costs beyond the human ones of writing and reporting. We appreciate your generous contribution in support our work. Thank you.

“And ongoing inflation of Shelton….”

No mention of RIOC or the community Haynes allegedly serves. That’s a firmly pitched salute, and it’s immediately followed by blunders. First sentence…

“Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) President Shelton J. Haynes was joined last Friday by Roosevelt Island Board Member Howard Polivy and Fay Christian…” Now, when I went to school, the plural of “Member” was “Members.” First sentence, honestly.

For a high school newsletter, okay, but Roosevelt Islanders are paying over half-a-million for this? For alleged professionals pulling down six-figure salaries…?

There was a time when you wouldn’t see this many errors in a full season of RIOC advisories nor were locals embarrassed in international press releases.

But let’s go on

After spending millions defending ongoing lawsuits and fending off investigations, RIOC needs all the friends it can get. That explains the vigorous name-dropping, but shouting out “…community advocates Vicki Feinmel, Joyce Short and Lorraine Altman…” was over the top… because, except for one, they are not.

The other two are “We want you to spend thousands of public money on us, so we can play pickleball nearby for free.” And the heck with the needs and wishes of the other 11,669 residents.

And don’t take the $100,000 cost claims seriously. Nothing in the world has ever cost exactly $100,000, but a look at the work suggests a weekend project for a handyman.

“The highly anticipated, $100,000 project to bring pickleball to the island included the resurfacing of the courts behind Sportspark, the repair of major sub-surface cracks, repainting and coating of the new surface, and the installation of pickleball netting…” RIOC said.

Historical worst name-dropping: “Additional thanks to Assembly Member Seawright who was also in support of our work.” She has a first name, Shelton. It’s Rebecca, and she did not attend, send a representative nor make any comment.

The worst of the worst…

To the rest of the world, Hochul/Haynes and company close with a completely inappropriate pitch for membership dues for the Senior Association.

But as I promised at the start, I saved the best for last.

Here, Team Hochul/Haynes commits the most mangled sentence of all time. Ready?

“The RISA program is intergenerational, designed for adults of all ages (don’t forget to where sneakers).”

Not a joke or even a typo. And it’s multi-layered. Phenomenal.

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