The Wholesale Takeover of Rockland County, New York – With the Assistance of Aggressive Real Estate Brokers

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From the Rockland Times: http://www.rocklandtimes.com/2017/02/15/real-estate-firm-accused-of-blockbusting-targets-stony-pt/

REAL ESTATE FIRM ACCUSED OF BLOCKBUSTING TARGETS STONY PT

Naomi Streicher of Realty Teams Pomona has bombarded the Stony Point market the past few weeks with her trademark aggressive campaign encouraging homeowners to sell their properties.

Among her strategies is sending letters to local homeowners listing all properties recently sold in the town. Streicher plays the role of matchmaker of sorts, linking potential buyers with potential sellers.

While Streicher has defended her marketing methods and says Realty Teams “does things right,” critics have accused her team of using high pressure tactics similar to “blockbusting.” The term blockbusting refers to efforts to cause a flight of homeowners from an area, often leading to a drop in property value. A new group scoops up the cheaper real estate and establishes dominance in the area.

The term has come into use in Rockland County due to the success Orthodox and Hasidic Jewish communities have had in buying up and dominating entire neighborhoods. A prelude to such demographic changes typically include aggressive real estate practices, such as random persons knocking on doors and offering cash to homeowners. 

While such cash offers and strategic targeting of communities have long been commonplace in Rockland, in 2016 Chestnut Ridge residents reported the offers were so persistent and the proprietors so aggressive that it had become more than a nuisance. Residents felt their quality of life deeply impacted by the tactics.

As a result laws were passed in some Rockland localities limiting the methods real estate propietors may use. No knock laws were passed and overall awareness raised.

As Streicher has made her presence felt in Stony Point the past few weeks, some residents have taken to social media to warn fellow town residents of possible blockbusting efforts commencing in Rockland’s smallest and northernmost town.

Streicher maintains her work is innocent, merely connecting buyers and sellers. Her critics say she is one of the most notorious blockbusters around.

She has maintained in the past that those who do not want to be contacted by her can simply reach out and let her know. Streicher’s office phone is 845-364-0007.

If you encounter Streicher tell the Rockland County Times how you feel about the experience. We can be reached at editor@rocklandcountytimes.com

Note– Following the publication of this article in the RCT print edition, two residents from Garnerville reported the agency in question had launched an aggressive sales push in their neighborhood.

Chareidi Extremism – No Smartphones

 

http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/headlines-breaking-stories/1332765/watch-chareidi-extremists-protest-monsey-store-sells-smartphones.html

Chareidi Extremists Protest Monsey Store That Sells Smartphones

No. This isn’t Meah Shearim. This is Monsey, NY on Erev Shabbos Nachamu.

These Chareidi extremists staged a protest outside the “Ping Cellular Store” which is a Verizon Wireless Dealer, located on Route 59, at the “Town Square Mall”, right next to the Evergreen Supermarket.

The group is upset that the establishment is selling smartphones.

A few dozen extremists were part of the protest, as a few dozens counter protesters grabbed their signs and yelled back.

Police were on the scene keeping the two groups apart.

It is not known who this group of extremists belong to.

Lakewood Vaad on Welfare-Fraud, Never an Excuse for Dishonesty?

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http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/featured/1306906/just-statement-lakewood-vaad-welfare-fraud-related-arrests.html

JUST IN: Statement From The Lakewood Vaad On Welfare-Fraud Related Arrests

The following is a statement from the Lakewood Vaad:

We are saddened beyond words by the arrests of seven couples in our town. As firm believers in the principle of ‘innocent until proven guilty,’ we suspend judgment until the disposition of these charges, and are comforted knowing that our judicial system is an able arbiter of justice.

Regardless of the outcomes of these cases, we have, in our view, a valuable teaching moment that cannot be wasted.

There is no such a thing as “justified” theft. Federal and State social safety-net programs are meant for those in need, even those in need have rules and criteria that must be strictly followed. To deliberately bend a safety-net eligibility rule is stealing, no different than stealing from your friend or neighbor.

We would all do well to redouble and triple our efforts in our communities, reminding each and every one of us that there is never any excuse for dishonesty in any form. Let us take this moment to speak openly of these matters, from the pulpit, in the classroom, and by parents at the dinner table, so that this tragic but necessary learning moment is not lost.

In the days ahead we will help launch a set of intensive educational programs that can ensure that such does not happen again, and will invite the public to participate in these timely programs.

Rabbi Moshe Zev Weisberg on behalf of The Lakewood Vaad

 

What if All non-Hasidic Moved out of New York State? Who Would Pay for Services? Where would the Taxes Come From?

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http://www.nbcnewyork.com/investigations/Religious-Schools-Homes-Ramapo-New-York-Rockland-County–402288745.html

http://www.nbcnewyork.com/investigations/Religious-Schools-Homes-Ramapo-New-York-Rockland-County–402288745.html

I-Team: Homes in NY Town Taken Over for Religious Schooling, Residents Say

Residents in the Rockland County town of Ramapo claim town officials are allowing single-family homes on small residential lots to be turned into religious schools with little or no public notice.

Suffern resident Annette Doerr said she has been battling the conversion of a home next door into an ultra-Orthodox school for several years. Doerr told the I-Team she believes there are more than 200 students in the four-bedroom house but has been unable to get specific information.

“It’s six days a week,” she said. “Whenever they’re on recess, we can’t be outside.”

“It’s too dangerous, it’s too dense,” she added. “The home was meant for a family.”

The property manager declined to tell the I-Team how many students attend the school.

Minna Greenbaum, another Suffern resident, said there are areas where almost every property on a block is a school or religious institution.

“The town turns a blind eye,” she said. “Everything is allowed.”

Residents said they are not opposed to schools if there is sufficient property to accommodate the students and buses safely.

Resident Peter Katz recently filed a lawsuit over a school that’s being developed on a nearby lot.

“A friend of mine owned this house, sold it to someone, and the very next thing, I discovered by accident it’s being converted to a school,” Katz said. “There was no public notice.”

Members of the Spring Valley Fire Department, which responds to emergency calls in the town of Ramapo, said they are especially concerned about modular trailers being moved onto residential lots as classrooms to accommodate students.

“We don’t even get the fire plans, and that’s the biggest thing,” said Captain Justin Schwartz. “It gets approved without us saying so. It’s a crime.”

The town of Ramapo passed a law limiting the use of “temporary” trailers to a maximum of two years. Democratic Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski said town officials have allowed the proliferation of “permanent” trailers to be used without proper enforcement.

He said he believes the New York Department of State should take over Ramapo’s building department.

“This is a willful, systemic ignoring of the law by those that are in charge, and when you have that, the State needs to step in,” he said.

Michael Klein, attorney for the town of Ramapo, told the I-Team that schools with permits are safe.

“The town of Ramapo will not issue a permission of occupancy permitting property to be used as a school unless it meets all fire and building codes,” he said.

“Whether people like the growing size of the community and the need to address the growing population, that’s a quality of life issue and people have different views of that,” he added.

Census figures for 2015 to 2016 showed there are 24,000 non-public school students in the East Ramapo school district and 8,500 public school students.

East Ramapo and Elia- Public Meeting to Determine Fate of $3M

A School District Whose Children Have Been Raped of an Education and $3M in State Aid

It does not matter in East Ramapo whether you are Orthodox, ultra-Orthodox, secular, Hispanic, Black, White, or Green because all of East Ramapo’s children have been deprived of an education.

In the public schools in East Ramapo despite the best efforts of teachers, parents and activists the resources have been scarce and the schools in disrepair, leaving the public school children to study without proper textbooks,  in classrooms known to leak during rainstorms. The schools of that district barely offer core classes. There are few art classes, if any and music is a luxury.

The public schools in East Ramapo, once the best in the State, lack the resources necessary to provide an education consistent with New York State mandates. Funding is grossly inadequate and the Board of Education, comprised in disproportionate part of ultra-Orthodox men blames the State.

There is no acknowledgement on the part of the Trustees of the East Ramapo Board of Education and their spokespeople that money has been siphoned off for years for the ultra-Orthodox and Orthodox religious education. The premise has been that there are more private school, Yeshiva educated children and more resources should be provided for their edcuation. Separation of Church and State be damned.

In contrast the private Yeshivas, funded with public taxpayer money, have the resources but the children are deprived an education by an establishment which actively chains them to functional illiteracy, mathematical ignorance and a non-science based religious education… in Yiddish. Separation of Church and State, an unknown concept.

 

Presently there is a public meeting at Rockland Community College, located in East Ramapo intended to explain how $3M in New York State aid will be allocated. Perhaps Church and State can walk on separate sides of the road….

Lohud reported on September 27, 2016

Full-day kindergarten and other programs will start Oct. 6

The state education commissioner has approved the East Ramapo school district’s plan for using $3 million in state aid to create universal full-day kindergarten and restore arts programs in grades K-6, among other initiatives.

Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said Monday that she had given her blessing to the plan, and also said she would join state-appointed monitors Charles Szuberla and John Sipple at a public meeting to discuss the initiatives at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Rockland Community College’s Cultural Arts Center, 145 College Road, Ramapo.

Full-day kindergarten and other programs will start Oct. 6, according to a district spokesperson.

The district conducted its own public hearing to receive community input on the expenditure plan on Sept. 7. The school board approved the plan on Sept. 13 and it was submitted to Elia on Sept. 20.

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“These plans represent the district’s path forward to ensure progress continues and to ensure the educational rights of every East Ramapo student are met,” Commissioner Elia said in a statement. “Chuck Szuberla, John Sipple and Superintendent Wortham have worked as quickly as possible to put a long-term strategic academic and fiscal improvement plan in place that is both thorough and thoughtful. It continues the work already done to repair the trust of the East Ramapo community, while recognizing there is still work to do.”

The $3 million in supplemental funding was approved under a state oversight law that required the development of the strategic academic plan, as well as a comprehensive expenditure plan, in consultation with Szuberla.

In 2012, East Ramapo went from full-day to half-day kindergarten amid $14 million worth of budget cuts. Last year, two sections were added. Four new full-day kindergarten classes were included in the district’s $224 million budget approved by voters in May.

Here’s what’s being proposed for the $3 million:

  • $1.2 million to hire six monolingual kindergarten teachers and four bilingual kindergarten teachers.
  • Up to 11 sections of full-day kindergarten would be created, depending upon the number of children who enroll.
  • The bulk of kindergarten funding, $670,000, would go towards salaries, while the remainder would cover classroom materials, instructional technology and building adjustments to accommodate new classes.
  • Restoring art, music, dance and theater classes for students in grades K-6 will cost around $1.7 million.
  • The district aims to hire 12 teachers for arts instruction, the majority of whom were previously laid off and are on the preferred eligibility list (PELL).

The strategic plans can be found on the East Ramapo Central School District website.

To read the article in its entirety click here.