Where are the Ramapo, NY Building Inspectors and Code Enforcement Officers? 101 Maple Ave, Monsey

MS. JAMES INVOLVEMENT IN DEVELOPMENT LAWSUITS IS MISGUIDED. THE ISSUE IS THE APPLICATION OF BUILDING CODES, NOT WHETHER OR NOT A POPULATION CAN OR CANNOT LIVE THERE.

The Forward in an article entitled “Is it Anti-Semitism, or NIMBYism? Lawsuits Multiply with Growing Orthodox Population” are quick to excoriate criticism of the law abiding population against over-development. The article is quick to ignore the the lax building code enforcement and building inspections in Monsey, New York, Ramapo, New York, Rockland County, New York, Lakewood, New Jersey, Jackson Township, New Jersey, people are breaking laws. This is not about anti-Semitisim. This is about accountability.

While people like our New York State Attorney General Tish James are jumping on the bandwagon of RLUIPA and claiming that any review of development in the above-referenced areas is actually anti-Semitism, few are out there defending the law abiding citizens of the respective counties.  Ms. James, isn’t defending against lawlessness actually in your job description?

The lawsuits, as noted by the Forward are filed on claims that RLUIPA which one might think exempts developers from following the laws of the land where they are trying to build. Our elected officials seem to be buying into this argument. I wonder if those same elected officials would be taking an equally zealous position if the developers were black, Hispanic or Muslim and trying to build for black tenants, Hispanic tenants or Muslim tenants. We think not.

As quoted by the Forward:

The lawsuit the developers filed last year was among a spate of similar cases in which Orthodox groups claim cities and towns in the New York area are being anti-Semitic in thwarting their plans for housing, schools and synagogues large and small. The suits are based on the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, a law known as RLUIPA that since its enactment in 2000 has helped religious groups including small Buddhist temples and evangelical mega-churches combat opposition to development projects

…..

On Thursday, New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a motion to intervene in a long-running suit in which Hasidic developers have accused a town in Orange County of anti-Semitic intent in blocking their attempts to build hundreds of homes. The developers have filed suits at both a state court and in federal court.

“Blocking the construction of homes to prevent a religious group from living in a community is flat out discriminatory,” James said in a press release.

Housing intended solely for one particular community, while that community builds without obtaining permits and then greases the palms of code enforcers, is accepted as “protected by RLUIPA” but in reality, any building of any structures has certain codes that must be enforced. Law abiding citizens are saying, “The codes are not being enforced, corners are being cut and everyone is in danger and we want no part of it.”

Falling back on religious land use and the anti-Semitism moniker is an excuse to allow lawlessness. Ms. James, your comments above are a tacit approval of the brazen abuse of process that is occurring as those developers are trying to build. This is not about development, it is about planning, enforcement and responsibility. We hope you, Ms. James, will accept responsibility when 15 children are living in an illegal basement, rented by a second family and are killed in a fire because fire codes were not adhered to. Similar tragedies have happened in the past and will undoubtedly happen again, particularly when no planning is in place for fire hydrants, appropriately supplied fire departments and no one is properly inspecting the buildings.

1 Maple Avenue in Monsey, New York is one such example. At that location, a house was converted into a shul (synagogue) with no filing or approval of permits in an area zoned residential. Complaints to the building department went wholly unanswered. Calls to inspectors were not returned. And, when finally a stop order was placed on the location, the stop order was brazenly violated.

Ms. James, do you view this as acceptable?

To Ms. James, to Governor Cuomo, to Governor Phil Murphy we implore upon you to set aside the mantra that every effort at stopping lawless development by any community is anti-Semitism. There should be no one group that is above the law. And, the expectation of law-abiding citizens is that you will protect us all, from whatever the threat to the laws of our land.  

Just One Example Of The Ongoing Lawlessness In Ramapo!

As one commentator to this post observed: “If no one is following rules I’m afraid soon vigilantes will appear in that neighborhood.”

That is the great danger all citizens face in ANY community regardless of race or religion where the government refuses to enforce law and order and one group does not follow accepted norms of legal behavior. Anarchy will follow accompanied by vigilantism.

That is too terrible a danger to be cavalierly ignored!

Image may contain: outdoor
No photo description available.Image may contain: outdoor
Image may contain: outdoor
Image may contain: car and outdoor
+5
Rise Up Ocean County

 

Attention Ramapo Township Building Inspectors/Code Enforcement:

Over the weekend, while you were not working, we were. That STOP WORK ORDER that you put on 101 West Maple Avenue in Monsey was violated both Saturday and Sunday. This is the house turned synagogue, without a change of use or building permits, that was building a mikvah in the basement, without permits…in case you needed a refresher. Kindly take a few minutes and visit again today.

A 2014 Succoth Celebration – A Delightful Event – a Dead Giveaway on Political Alliances

 

http://www.thefriedlandergroup.com/sukkoth-celebration-2014.14-1315.sub.html

NYC’s Top Elected Officials Grace Sukkoth Celebration

What do

NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer

NYC Public Advocate Tish James

Brooklyn DA Ken Thompson

Assemblyman Dov Hikind

City Councilman Brad Lander

Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte

Assemblyman David Weprin
have in common?

They all gathered in the Sukkoh of Ezra Friedlander, CEO of The Friedlander Group to wish prominent members of the Jewish community a “Chag Sameach”.

In attendance was also: Rabbi David Zwiebel, Executive VP Agudath Israel of America

Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, Executive VP, NY Board of Rabbis

Rabbi Steve Burg, East Coast Director, Simon Wiesenthal Center and Rabbi Michael Miller, executive VP of the Jewish Community Relations Council who delivered greetings to the assembled.

Tish James and the GOP…. and then There’s Aron Wieder, Ms. James Have You Ever Spoken to Concerned Rocklanders?

AG James, the video may seem disturbing, but perhaps you have not considered what is REALLY Happening in Rockland County. Allying with Aron Wieder is Almost an Oxymoron, and Supporting his Political Allies in Rockland is Degrading the Views of Those Who Have Legitimate Concerns, Whether GOP or Otherwise…

Just an Opinion

Tish James and GOP Video

It should be noted for the reading public that as far as LM is aware, AG James has NEVER come to Rockland County, New York and sat with the secular and non-Jewish community to get their take on events in Rockland County, which is largely a democratic county many of whom are in agreement with the GOP on these points. She has, however, visited with the ultra-Orthodox, as she was campaigning.

AG James has, most likely, not taken a look at the tax registers in Rockland County to see just how many houses in Rockland County are listed as LLC owned with numerous LLC’s registered to the same addresses, some of which are for-profit and some non-for-profit (church (synagogue) based so reduced reporting requirements and reduced taxes) and how much that situation (reduced taxes paid by those homes) is costing taxpayers in Rockland County.

AG James has NEVER taken a moment to consider the battle between those like Aron Wieder who favor religious education absent secular interference but who still demand funds from the State to pay for that education. To his credit Wieder did allegedly work to get his community vaccinated; but most of that community is still comprised of anti-vaxxers costing County taxpayers thousands if not hundreds of thousands in unnecessary healthcare costs, whether related to the measles outbreak or otherwise.

AG James has oversimplified a problem. If she really wants to benefit the communities of Rockland (everyone, not just the Democrats and more particularly the ultra-Orthodox who funded her campaign), which is a melting pot of many religious (including Jews who are not Hasidic), she should focus on the crime and corruption within Rockland.

The crime, corruption, political scandals and fraud are costing Rocklanders hundreds of thousands in taxpayer dollars. The payoffs of housing code reviewers, the use of Medicaid cards to buy food at Costco, the under-the-table payments to women who work in families in cash while also collecting Medicaid and foodstamps is an open secret in Rockland. Costco checkout people laugh about it amongst themselves.

Weighing in on this subject does nothing but give credence to those who are wholly ambivalent to the concerns of the greater Rockland County Community. That video may seem inappropriate and was both poorly contemplated, lacking in decorum and wholly fear-mongering; but it stems for somewhere. It should not be written-off as a deplorable political tactic. It should be understood for a deeper concern amongst Rocklanders. It comes from a very real concern, albeit largely unspoken. To write-it-off without considering the factual truths is to forsake those not depicted in that video and not responsible for its writing and dissemination, the voice of the “others” who have legitimate concerns, whether they funded AG James’ campaign or not. 

Esformes Convicted – New York’s Versions of Esformes Need to be Prosecuted – Tish James Are you In?

Money, gavel

‘Parasite’ Esformes convicted in $1.3B nursing home fraud, could face remaining years in prison

Florida long-term care business mogul Philip Esformes faces the possibility of decades in prison after being convicted Friday in the largest healthcare fraud scheme ever charged by the U.S. Justice Department.

A 12-person jury deliberated for four days last week before agreeing that the 50-year-old entrepreneur was guilty on 20 out of 26 charges. Those include paying and receiving kickbacks, money laundering and conspiracy to commit federal program bribery. Jurors did not, however, reach a verdict on the main count — that Esformes conspired to defraud Medicare.

Prosecutors blasted Esformes following the conclusion of the eight-week trial for the $1.3 billion scheme to defraud both Medicare and Medicaid, calling him a “despicable,” “vampire” who was fueled by “unbounded greed.”

“Even beyond the vital dollars lost … Esformes exploited and victimized patients by providing inadequate medical care and poor conditions in his nursing homes,” Shimon Richmond, special agent in charge of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s Miami Regional Office, said in a statement. “We will continue the fight against such parasites.”

Sentencing has not been scheduled yet, but according to past reports, if convicted, Esformes could stand to face decades in prison.

He was first arrested in July 2016 and has been held without bond since. He could spend the rest of his life in prison, even without a healthcare fraud conspiracy, the Miami Herald said Friday.

To continue reading, click here.

Real Estate Firms Buying Elections in New York

Can NY politicians fight Big Real Estate?

In the debate between Cynthia Nixon and Andrew Cuomo last month, the discussion briefly turned to the issue of homelessness. Cuomo touted his career-long dedication to housing, beginning with a nonprofit he founded in the 1980s. Meanwhile, Nixon blamed the state’s housing crisis, in part, on the governor’s close ties with the real estate industry.

“I don’t think it’s any coincidence that we have one of the largest housing crises that we’ve ever seen in this state when the number one contributor to Andrew Cuomo is the real estate industry and corporate developers,” Nixon said.

In the lead up to Thursday’s primary, candidates for two crucial state offices — governor and attorney general — have taken aim at the real estate industry’s role in politics. Campaign contributions from the industry have loomed large in both races. For instance, Attorney General candidate Zephyr Teachout has refused donations from corporate developers, and Letitia James refunded a $10,000 campaign contribution from a controversial landlord. In the governor’s race, Nixon has criticized Cuomo’s top donors — which included more than $700,000 from real estate in the first half of 2018 — and called for dramatic housing reform, including universal rent control.

….

 

Money talks

The past three years have thrown the influence of real estate in politics into sharp relief with the conviction of two of the most powerful men in Albany. Earlier this year former State Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver and former Senate majority leader Dean Skelos were both re-convicted on corruption charges. Both cases involved leveraging relationships with landlords and developers who, at the time, were lobbying the officials on issues important to the real estate industry, like the 421a tax break.

John Kaehny, executive director and a founding board member of good-government group Reinvent Albany, said given that the real estate industry was at the center of both scandals, there should be even more interest in how donations from real estate impacts elections. He said state elections are especially vulnerable because limited liability companies are treated as individuals rather than corporations. Until rules are reformed, real estate will continue to wield considerable sway over statewide elections, he said.

“This is really a basic matter of money versus people,” he said. “The LLC loophole and the fact that it essentially allows unlimited contributions, allows real estate executives to flex their muscles in extraordinary ways.”

LLCs have become a preferred vehicle for bypassing state campaign contribution rules, especially for real estate companies which often create LLCs for each new development. Under state law, individuals can donate up to $44,000 to candidates running for statewide office, while corporations are capped at $5,000. The state legislature has tried on at least three occasions to hold LLCs to the same restrictions as corporations.

“We’ve passed it in the assembly several times, and then, it goes nowhere,” said state Assemblyman Tom Abinanti, who has endorsed Nixon for governor. “It dies because it fails in the senate.”

As previously reported by The Real Deal, real estate donated more than $733,000 to Cuomo’s re-election campaign in the first half of 2018. His top donor during this timeframe was the Durst Organization, with $75,000 across four LLCs and James L. Nederlander of the Nederlander Organization with $65,000. Cuomo’s favored attorney general candidate, Public Advocate Letitia James, has raised over $280,000 from 80 real estate donors. But she’s also returned donations from certain landlords, including $10,000 from Joel Landau, whose firm Allure Group was at the center of the Rivington House scandal. Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney raised at least $433,000 in real estate contributions through the end of August. Teachout has touted the fact that she doesn’t take money from corporate developers and on her campaign website calls for a ramp-up in investigations into illegal tenant harassment, tax fraud and money laundering. She has, however, received $21,000 from multifamily landlord Arthur Cornfeld and L+M Development Partners’ Ron Moelis.

“Why has New York City real estate been able to be so dirty and so cruel for so long? The answer is developer money,” Teachout said during a press conference last month, according to Politico.

Her stance did not go unnoticed by the industry. In late August, Related Companies paid $100,000 to a political action committee that quickly spent the funds on a digital campaign that targeted Teachout, according to a report by Politico.

“The real estate industry is not monolithic. Like journalism and politics, it is not all good, or all bad and not the source of all society’s ills, no matter who says so,” said the Durst Organization’s Jordan Barowitz. “Difficult problems are complicated to solve and require thoughtful collaboration, because of this, scapegoating inevitably solves nothing.”

All politics are local

Continue reading

Yaffed Sues State, Cuomo Promises to Leave Education Untouched and Tish James Joins Cuomo Ticket- Education in NY?

Group sues state over yeshivas

GROUP SUES STATE FOR GREATER YESHIVA OVERSIGHT — POLITICO’s Madina TouréAn organization seeking to reform curricula in yeshivas is suing the state over legislation that, in the group’s view, protects the schools from proper oversight. The organization — Young Advocates for Fair Education, also known as Yaffed — filed the suit on Monday morning in Brooklyn federal court. It named Gov. Andrew Cuomo, state Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia and Board of Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa as defendants. Lawyers from the firm of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan are representing Yaffed pro bono.

“Ultra-orthodox yeshivas, by our estimates, receive hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars each year,” said Naftuli Moster, Yaffed’s founder and executive director, at a press conference in Manhattan announcing the lawsuit.”This is clearly a problem and a problem that elected officials in New York have known about for decades and instead of improving the situation, the state allowed one lawmaker, Simcha Felder, who represents the interests of yeshiva leaders, to hijack the state budget process to ensure inclusion of an amendment that exempts ultra-Orthodox yeshivas statewide from having to provide a proper secular education,” Moster continued.

Felder, a Democratic state senator from Brooklyn who has been caucusing with Senate Republicans since he was elected in 2012, was accused of holding up the $168 billion state budget earlier this year until the state acquiesced to his request for yeshivas to be exempt from curriculum requirements. He provides the Senate GOP with a key 32nd vote. The final budget gave the state Education Department the authority to address the issue for bilingual teaching for a greater number of hours, a requirement that yeshivas fulfill.

The group contends that the state’s action flouts the establishment clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which bans the government from making any law “respecting an establishment of religion” or “prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

“The carve-out in the Felder Amendment is actually defined in a way that only those ultra-Orthodox yeshivas are included within that carve-out,” said Eric Huang, lead counsel for Yaffed. “These are defined by the fact that they’re nonprofits, that they have a bilingual program and that their education program is marked by very long days.” Read more here.

Aron Wieder, Harassment, Change.org and… the Company Tish James Keeps…

A group calling itself Freedom Counts and a Member of the Board of Elections of Rockland County, New York started the below petition on Change.Org. The purpose is to obtain the signatures necessary to begin removal proceedings to have Rockland County Legislator Aron Wieder removed from office, in part for his use of social media in a means that is allegedly inconsistent with the Legislature’s Social Media “Best Practices” guide. We note that this is not really a surprise. A search of our site will show that Mr. Wieder’s tactics are not beyond reproach. We further note, for New Yorkers who will be voting tomorrow, that Tish James is a favorite of Mr. Wieder and his community, which community has generously supported her campaign. If you are a Rockland County reader, you may want to do your own research.

New Yorks’ Rockland County Legislator Aron Wieder – it is claimed…

 

Impeach Rockland County District 13 Legislator Aron Wieder

 

Aron Wieder is in clear violation of the legislature’s own Social Media Guide, which states, in the section on “Social Media ‘Best Practices’ for Elected Officials,” that officials should strive, when posting on social media, to be “honest, straightforward, and respectful”. Aron Wieder has done nothing but the opposite, choosing to harass, make false accusations, and publicly humiliate others for any beliefs or opinions that should differ from his own, via Social Media. He is not fit to to be legislator and should be removed immediately from his current reign. It is up to the people of Rockland regardless if they are within his district to stand up use your voice it matters. He might be the legislator for District 13 however all of Rockland is feeling his wrath. It is time to act we can either sit back and allow this man to continue to lead the charge, or we can start by signing this petition, sharing it, and understanding this can no longer go on. We need to remind ourselves and this government that “We the people” are in charge and without us they would not be in their ELECTED position(s).