RIOC Chopped City, Part 2, provoked by mealy-mouthed excuse-making and evasion, takes an objective look at the careless destruction of inkberry trees. RIOC’s grounds crew decimated a couple of hundred feet of healthy plants and, of course, made it worse. Then worse again.
By David Stone
Between resident appeals about the destruction of roughly 200 feet of healthy bushes and RIOC’s mealy-mouthed response, there’s a gap. One best shown in before and after pictures.
For decades, sprays of inkberry relieved a section of the West Promenade with shade. The area is especially hot because the hard surfaces harshly reflect sun, and for twenty years, strollers took advantage of the shade.
Adding a hearty spark of unintended humor, RIOC said that one strike against the inkberry trees was that they “inhibited…views of the river.” Now, even if you treasure views of one of the most polluted rivers in the Western Hemisphere, you can add this two-hundred feet to the four miles already in place
Not really, though, because the tree row behind it is, was and will be the main obstruction between you and the brown water.
Local with a wider range, 24/7: Roosevelt Island News
But at least as large a piece of this follow up story is what RIOC’s bulk advisory left out.
RIOC Chopped City Made Worse
The advisory rambles along in preachy fashion, but for all its information, it leaves out two critical facts.
- Cuttings this extreme means the promised “rejuvenation” will take around three years, but that may not work at all.
- Since the work was done well after the recommended late winter to early spring period, the mistakes may be fatal. The correct time frame allows for healing prior to the return of cold weather. Tardiness restricts the time available for nature to do its thing, and it’s too late for fixing now.
And there’s more…
RIOC’s wordy rationale, clearly meant to counter our article posted yesterday, skirted misconduct and intimidation by its own staff.
As we showed in a video shared earlier with RIOC acting president/CEO Shelton Haynes, a burly groundskeeper without a face covering shouted at a resident to “stop recording us.”
Yet there’s no mention of the groundskeeper’s violating coronavirus protocols RIOC’s pledged to support, and of course, the resident had every right to record the event.
The so-called advisory skipped the misconduct above, but it also failed mentioning that the Public Safety Department showed up…
And when they arrived, they compounded the bad behavior by demanding IDs.
In Conclusion: RIOC Chopped City, Some Perspective
In the end, the cause for all this may be the inevitable friction between residents long deprived of adequate representation and a governing body with the esthetics of a suburban shopping mall.
No RIOC executive has ever lived on Roosevelt Island, and the resulting disconnect is inevitable. RIOC just doesn’t get it. Never has.
The deed is done, and RIOC shows no remorse, not about any of it, the cutting, the disrespect for rights, the intimidation.
While out and around before Friday’s drenching rain, I did a quick follow up on a related issue.
PSD, which we believe is overstaffed and should be subject to budget cuts, rushed personnel over to the Chopped City site, but the department still neglects other, real responsibilities.
In an earlier report and in a conversation with Haynes, we described parents and children flocking to the Blackwell Park playground… without face masks or any sign of PSD.
The unofficial count today: 18 park visitors, but only 3 face masks in place.
Where’s PSD when we need them?
No groundskeepers around to defend from cellphones today; so, where are they?