Thursday, December 17, 2009

Meeting Update ! Water, Pouch and Winners !

Wow! What a great meeting tonight. There were representatives from Councilman Oddo’s office – Michelle Melamed - and from Assemblywoman Janele Hyer-Spencer’s office – Stanley Mroz.

Mr.Mroz spoke about the threat that upstate drilling could pose to NYC’s water supply. He circulated a petition opposing such drilling.

Greenbelt Conservancy President Kathy Vorwick spoke to us about the urgency of protecting Pouch Camp from development and she urged everyone to call or write to their elected representatives and express their desire to protect all the 140 acres from development. Pouch Camp is a critical piece of the Staten Island Greenbelt.

The membership voted to send letters to our elected officials opposing development of the Pouch Camp property.

The holiday basket was won by Theresa Troiano and the 50/50 was won by Ann Finnerty (not George Vorwick).

Lastly, we collected about 10 bags of goods that we will provide to S.I. Project Homefront for our troops overseas.

Mark your calendars - there will be no meeting in January and we will resume our monthly meetings in February on the 18th.

Look for our newsletter in January and check us out here on the blog regularly.

In the meantime you can share your comments, concerns, information and whatever with us here on the blog or by calling 718-979-6011 or sending an email to

Everyone… Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Happy Holidays!

> Joe Markowski

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Rose, Cedar and Our Meeting

Just a few quick things...

The speed bump requested for Rose Avenue by the residents of that block was approved by Community Board 2 last night. The concern centers around New Dorp Baptist School and the children who enter and leave that facility. The request will now be forwarded to the Department of Transportation who will conduct their study on the feasability and need for that item.

The letter to Commissioner Benepe of the NYC Department of Parks by our elected officials has not yet been responded to.

And we will be having our monthly meeting Thursday night at 8pm in the Kells-Grennie American Legion Post at 2750 Amboy Road. During that meeting we will be celebrating the holidays following our conduct of business.

If I don't see you (and even if I do) have a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Happy Holidays!

> Joe Markowski

Friday, December 11, 2009

Our Electeds Challenge the Commish

The ball now appears to be in the court of the Commissioner of Parks. Our elected officials – Congressman McMahon with Councilmen Jim Oddo, Vin Ignizio and Ken Mitchell – have sent a letter to Commissioner Benepe asking him to delay the eviction order for a minimum of a year.

I wanted to share their request with you. As you can see in the following letter our electeds are in vehement disagreement with this action. Here is their letter:

December 9, 2009

Mr. Adrian Benepe, Commissioner
NYC Parks Department
Central Park – The Arsenal
830 Fifth Avenue
New York , NY 10065

RE: Cedar Grove Beach Club

Dear Commissioner Benepe:
We would like to take this opportunity to address the termination of the license agreements for our constituents in the Cedar Grove Beach Club. As you may or may not remember, we had written you on August 11th requesting a five year extension for the inhabitants. We received your written response on September 18th in which you stated that “once you received a briefing from your legal department you will be able to more fully address this situation”.

Apparently, that briefing has taken place because our constituents received certified letters dated December 1st from Staten Island Parks Borough Commissioner Thomas Paulo informing them that their license agreements have been terminated effective December 31st, 2009. Additionally, New York City Parks is mandating that they remove all of their personal belongings no later than the end of this month.

While we vehemently disagree with your decision to terminate these agreements at this time, it is even more outrageous that the Parks Department is essentially evicting these families with less than one months notice. It is patently unfair to demand that they be expected to remove their personal items during the holiday season. Our constituent Edith Holtermann summed it up perfectly in today’s edition of the Staten Island Advance:
“They are Scrooges to do this at this time of year, when we are so busy and it's so cold there. To go and try and get everything out at this time is so difficult," said Edith Holtermann, who has spent all her 72 summers at Cedar Grove Beach .

As you well know, this community has existed for over 100 years and many of these homes have passed down from generation to generation. You just cannot expect them to pack up all of that history without ample notice. Additionally, we would like to know what exactly NYC Parks has planned for this site. These property owners have maintained these grounds impeccably at their own expense. NYC Parks has been maintaining the adjacent properties ( New Dorp & Oakwood Beach ). We encourage you to go take a look and see who has done a better job. In the same article I referenced above in the Staten Island Advance; a NYC Parks spokesperson stated, “The plans are not ready to release. I do not have the details”.

Therefore, we would like to request that you rescind your termination of these license agreements. The residents should be granted an extension at a minimum of one year with the understanding that NYC Parks is planning to open this property up to the general public in the future. NYC Parks simply needs to communicate with our offices and these residents in a much more open fashion regarding the future of this property. The families that have invested so much to that community deserve a certain level of communication and honesty in return.

We would like to thank you for your re-consideration of this matter and would welcome the opportunity to speak with you regarding the future of this property in greater detail.


Michael E. McMahon Vincent Ignizio
Congressman, NY-13 Councilman, 51st District

James S. Oddo Kenneth C. Mitchell
Councilman, 50th District Councilman, 49th District

CC: SI Borough Commissioner Thomas A. Paulo


How will the commissioner respond?

Share your comments with us.

Comment on this blog, call us at 718-979-6011 and leave a voicemail or email us at

> Joe Markowski

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Bullets and Cedar Grove

It seems that news in New Dorp runs in cycles and we are now amidst one of those cycles.

You could talk about bullets being shot through the front windows of two stores across from Miller Field. During the early morning hours. Sure seems strange. Fortunately no one was hurt. But it still seems strange. And there was no cause? No message being sent? It was motiveless?

And then there was the news about the Cedar Grove Beach property and the city’s intention to oust the current tenants and make changes.

My first question is… to what purpose? And other questions come to mind… Why end the leases now? What is the plan for the property? And was it really necessary to give them only 30 days notice to vacate? What are the plans for the property? If this is something that they have been considering for a while then they must have a number of options in mind. Why the secrecy? Telling me that they want to link Oakwood and Midland Beaches tells me little. That is the view from 30,000 feet. But how does that look at the street level? What exactly will happen? What will we see? And how soon? Was it necessary to evict the tenants to achieve those goals? And where will the money come from? Parks did not have enough money to plant a wide variety of flowers in New Dorp Beach Park as they did the first year and they will now be undertaking this?

Yep… still too many questions.

That’s what I think. What do you think?

> Joe Markowski

Friday, December 4, 2009

Library Offerings

The New Dorp Branch Library at 309 New Dorp Lane offers a host of programs for all ages. Make sure you take advantage of these great offerings right here in our neighborhood. What programs you ask?

1. Children’s Programs
- a pre-school program for ages 2.5 to 5 and caregiver on 12/11 at 9am
-“Science of Toys, Play Time!” ages 6 to 12 explores the science behind classic toys – 12/10 at 4pm
- winter stories and movies for ages 4 and older on 12/17 at 4pm
- toddler rhyme time for ages 13mos to 24mos and caregiver 12/18 at 1030am
- “tween scene” – holiday craft for ages 8 to 12 on 12/22 at 4pm

2. SCORE – Service Corps of Retired Executives on 12/15 from 6 to 8pm
- want to start your own business? Want to expand the business you have? Free and confidential business consultations. Call 718-351-2977 to schedule an appointment.

3. Stay Well Exercise Program for Senior Citizens
- an exercise program geared for all seniors, ranging from the fit to those with disabilities. The curriculum includes aerobic exercises as well as routines designed to enhance balance, build muscle strength and aid in performing daily tasks. Classes last 40-50 minutes.

4. Free Basic Computer Training for Seniors (Pre-registration required)
- “introduction to computers” on 12/10 at 1030am
- “word processing” on 1/14/2010 at 1030am and 1/28 at 1030am
- “internet” on 2/11/2010 at 1030am
- “on-line shopping” at 2/18/2010 at 1030am
- “on-line communication” on 3/4/2010 at 1030am and 3/18 at 1030am

5. Book Discussions
- 12/11/09 - All My Sons – Arthur Miller
- 1/29/10 – Martha Quest – Doris May Lessing
- 2/26/10 – August: Osage County – Tracy Letts
- 3/19/10 – The Road – Cormac McCarthy
- 4/23/10 – The Book of Salt – Monique Truong
- 5/14/10 – The Professor and the Madman – Simon Winchester
- 6/18/10 – The Moneychangers – Upton Sinclair

If you have any questions about any of these programs call the branch at 718-351-2977… and tell them the Civic Association sent you.