Sloughing off residents’ rights, this year, RIOC again shuts out Roosevelt Islanders from park space they pay for on the 4th of July. On the nation’s most patriotic day, the Hochul/Haynes administration says, “It’s all about us.” And then, it takes advantage by collecting sign ups for their often weird and sometimes dishonest advisories.
by David Stone
RIOC embraced the cliche about making sour lemons into lemonade, but only for themselves. For everyone else, it’s plain old lemons all around. In their chirpy and dishonest Roosevelt Island Fourth of July Family Fireworks Celebration announcement, they grab credit for doing exactly nothing but collect spam registrations.
It’s never made clear that all locations for viewing are limited to non-RIOC sources: FDR Four Freedoms State Park and Cornell Tech. For reasons never clearly explained, Southpoint Park, one of the best viewing locations in the city, paid for by Roosevelt Islanders, is off limits. Governor Hochul and Seldom Seen Shelton Haynes shut out everyone.
But all is not lost for RIOC.
Under the heading, How do I get resident access to tickets?, there are four bullet points. Two of the four, including the first, order you to Sign Up for RIOC Advisories! In other words, you have no shot at tickets unless you give up your email address for year ’round, repetitious advisories with spam-like qualities.
RIOC Shuts Out Southpoint Park, But Why?
Before Shelton J. Haynes settled into Susan Rosenthal’s President/CEO chair at RIOC, Southpoint Park was always open for residents, including the 4th of July. But since, the Haynes/Hochul administration shuts out everyone, residents and visitors alike.
As with so many other things, RIOC never explains why they shut everyone out. At a recent PSD engagement, Chief Kevin Brown mumbled something about NYPD wanting something or other.
But they never wanted it before Haynes, if it’s true at all, and some suspect it’s just laziness. Nobody on the bloated staff wants to do the work.
Instead, they set up a lottery allowing a few Roosevelt Islanders into FDR Four Freedoms State Park. Everyone else gets shunted into the shade-free meadows on the Cornell Tech campus.
Both independent entities are as generous as RIOC is stingy and self-serving.
About the Lottery
It doesn’t take long. Only 1,500 tickets are available, and the lucky few who get through grab as many as four. Those experienced in gaming registration systems win most of them.
In previous years, less than 1,500 tickets have really been available. RIOC withholds an unspecified number, estimated in the hundreds, for privileged distribution.
Once Hochul/Haynes shuts out Southpoint Park, your chances for prime viewing are slim. It’s unnecessary, and the state shows its contempt for residents, keeping them out of their own park.