The best thing about Brooklyn is it’s people. When we bought our home in Bay Ridge, my new neighbors wasted no time welcoming my family here. Come came over and introduced themselves, offered phone numbers, advice and even invited use over for homemade food when they saw we painted all day. I lived in Sunset Park as a kid and always had a community of great people taking care of everyone on our block. Lee came from Park Slope and few neighbors know each other the same way there. It took him months of getting used to neighbors yelling across the street: “Hey Lee.” Some of those neighbors have -passed on over the last few years. When my car has been stuck in the snow, without hesitation, several of the men on the block jumped behind the car and pushed it out so I could get to work (Yes I do know I am lucky to have such good neighbors)
Recently, I read a lot in the news about the Dyker Heights Civic Association and the illegally converted homes in the area. A community meeting was held about the illegal conversions. Someone in the audience called out at a meeting:
Yes that reads: “I don’t feel comfortable being here with an Asian in the room. I have to admit.” shouted one attendee from the crowd. An embarrassed silence fell on the room and Vella Marrone quickly responded “No Don’t Do That!”
If you are not shocked by that – you should be. Grown adults allowed their neighbor to feel awkward because some idiot wanted to be inappropriate. There isn’t anything funny about that. Mrs. Vella-Marrone didn’t tell the guy to leave the meeting (Do you know any Italian woman who wouldn’t have taken that moment to turn the tide and tell the guy to leave since he wasn’t comfortable?) The Italian men in the room should have spoken up and acted like men. As my Irish father would yell when people acted inappropriate, “WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU!” I saw the pictures from the meeting and there were a lot of men present who could have spoken up to the bigshot of the community. but didn’t.
I checked the officers of the Dyker Heights group and there are no Asian officers. WHY NOT? In an area that has a large Asian population, at least one of the governing members should represent that population. If the president isn’t doing it, why aren’t the other members speaking up and making sure their group represents their community members. Most people who purchased homes in Dyker Heights invested in your community and will be paying a mortgage for many years (yes some are the people who are illegally converting homes, but not all are). When things change, you need to change with it or die off like the dinosaurs.
Last year, the president of the Dyker Heights Civic Association was honored. FOR WHAT? I see a lack of leadership here so I don’t know why Bay Ridge would honor her. ( I questioned the group giving the award and the head of that group chose to remain silent and not respond. I stopped visiting the merchants who were part of that vote as well).. The Dyker Civic Association president went out of her way to embarrass a political opponent of her boss, MIchael Grimm. As someone so closely connected to Grimm, she should have hired a moderator for the debate so everyone could see an impartial party. Recchia never confirmed his attendance at the meeting and he didn’t show up because he knew it wouldn’t be a fair debate. The president of the civic association made a big deal about it and could not see that what she was doing was wrong. Vella Marrone made a Twitter account around that time and followed me. I wrote to her on Twitter that she apologize to Recchia and she didn’t respond.
I’m glad I didn’t buy a home in Dyker Heights.
The residents in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn have complained about the damage being done to their community due to the the homes being used in a different capacity then they were intended. The Brooklyn HPA (Housing Preservation Alliance) was formed for to educate and inform the public about the local housing issues. Recently they held a community meeting that was well attended – some Sunset Park residents attended as well because the problem exists there as we. (More about the meeting here)
Some people will question – who cares what someone does in their home? Everyone cares when it affects them! Illegal home conversions bring many problems starting with overcrowding at school and local children being turned away from their schools because of overcrowding (UPK programs), lack of parking and especially increased noise if the attached home next to you went from being occupied by four people to 15 or 20 residents. There is also a question about safety if supporting beams from been removed from an adjacent home and even fire hazards. The Bensonhurst Bean pointed out a fire at an illegally converted home killed five people because it took three times as long for a fire to be put out be they as the firemen had to break down more walls.
Senator Golden wrote a bill at the beginning of February to fine home owners who illegally convert homes. Some Dyker Heights residents think Senator Golden is helping them, but it’s obvious that he’s just appeasing these residents with a cheap bill. Golden’s bill will only fine those who are illegally converting their homes $1000 – YES JUST A THOUSAND DOLLARS. That’s nothing to the home owner who is collected $24000 – $50000+ a year in rent. Golden also wrote that the penalty could be up to thirty days in jail., Jails are already crowded and few people who commit crimes like this actually go to jail. Most people wouldn’t want these people in jail because that’s more of our tax money being wasted.
Here’s what legislation with real fines in NYC cost:
- The fine for someone cutting their curb illegally is $2500 (and then they need to spend the money to get architect plans and submit the plans)
- In 2007, City Council Member Simcha Felder proposed a $1000 fine be given for people feeding pigeons.
- Riding an electric bike got NY’ers a $1000 fine and their bike taken away too
The fine for illegal conversations should rest on the home owner and should fit the crime – the cost of a seat in one of our local schools. A thousand dollars is a spit in a buck. A home owner who illegally converts and rents his home with little regard for his/her neighbors should be fined appropriately. While the home owner rakes in the money, schools in the area are being overcrowded. The homeowner should be charged enough to deter other home owners in the area from doing the same.
Local newspaper posted the story about Golden’s silly bill and several places shared it without comment including the Brooklyn HPA. How does anyone share that and not write SENATOR GOLDEN STOP SELLING OUT BROOKLYN! IMPOSE A REALISTIC FINE ON THESE PEOPLE WHO ARE TAKING ADVANTAGE OF the NEIGHBORHOOD. Dyker Heights should be calling for Golden to change the law fairly or step down and let someone who cares about the area create legislation.
Not only does a realistic fine need to be imposed, but residents need to know which homes have been reported so a registry is needed. Currently, someone looking for a home in the area is able to use the city records to look up the homes surrounding the home they are looking up. People can’t be paying $700,000 and up for a home in the area and find out that their neighbors have converted their homes to make more money and were only fined $1000. If you are a resident in the area, you should be able to know which homes have been reported and which still need to be reported. Registries like this are used all the time – if someone doesn’t pay their water bill/taxes their names have appeared in the paper (You can see who hasn’t paid here)
I know people think that they are being helpful creating an online petition because they saw Senator Golden and Assemblywoman Malliotakis’ petition for the bridge, but that petition and the Verrazano Bridge toll failed last Spring (yes they even continued to push it the petition this year so it looks like they are doing something), Petitions don’t do anything except give people the feeling that they are doing something. Senator Golden didn’t need a petition to write the bill to give millions of dollars of tax breaks to wealthy developers in Manhattan (see what it sells for sold for $$) – he just did it! Golden obviously doesn’t care that 1700 people in his community signed it or he would have made a bill with harsh penalties for those profiting from your community. Maybe Golden thinks he represents Manhattan because why would a Brooklyn senator write a bill for a building in Manhattan?
If I was a Dyker Heights resident who wanted to get change here, I would contact Leticia James or better yet, I would get an attorney to start a class action suit and sue the owners of the homes who are destroying your neighborhood.
Check out Senator Golden’s current legislation – this one about waiving provisions is interesting and so is the fact that he has several bills for the police department and office of corrections - you will also notice there isn’t much there for Dyker Heights or Bay Ridge
Currently parents in NYS can decline standardized tests for their children.
Assemblyman James Tedisco wants to make it legal for parents to decline the NY tests.
See what I mean – no law is unnecessary.
Yet this assemblyman thinks he is saving the day by proposing a fake bill.
Assemblywoman Malliotakis and Assemblyman Joe Borelli are supporting it claims Tedisco. These Assembly members are playing politics instead of taking care of business.
Assemblywoman Malliotakis continues to fail in the area of education. Malliotakis was one of the few assembly members who ddn’t vote for the Dream Act for NYC students. Marvin Scott has her on the PIX11 and she goes on and on about graduate school.. Malliotakis doesn’t seem understand the Dream Act. the Dream Act is for children of border crossers who have just graduated high school, and want to attend college. Those who are attending graduate school have a job and can afford to pay for graduate school.
I loved that Scott slams her at the end by reminding her that her own party did not choose her as the Republican candidate to replace Grimm! Watch here
The amount of excitement I feel is off the charts crazy!
The amount of gratitude I feel is equal to that.
Lee claims it is all just part of good luck. I know it is much more.
God intervenes in our lives in the most amazing ways.’
Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis unsuccessfully tried to get the Staten Island Republican Party to put her on the ballot for former Congressman Grimm’s seat. She even went to Washington to try to get support because she thought she only had the support of two out of 25+ members of the panel.
I don’t care too much about who takes Grimm’s seat because let’s face it – they aren’t going to do anything for Bay Ridge. Did Grimm?
But I had a good week watching Malliotakis unsuccessfully try to rally support on social media. It looked like an act of desperation. My great grandmother used to describe what Malliotakis did as “running around like a chicken without a head.” This isn’t a fifth grade class election, it’s an election for Congress.
Mary Reilly from the Staten Island GOP says that Malliotakis would have a larger learning curve for the job. Writer, Hunter Walker tweeted this about Malliotakis
The article showed what I have seen about Nicole Malliotakis and it wasn’t pretty.
Malliotakis saw Republicans choose Donovan over her. Even Marty Golden and Assembly pal, Joe Borelli supported Dan Donovan. WOW! Malliotakis had endorsed Steven Matteo in the past, yet he threw his support behind Donovan. The people Malliotakis worked closest with publicly supported Donovan – what a blow! I mean they could have said ‘NO Comment’ but they chose to let their opinions be known!
Malliotakis campaigned for many Republicans in the past who failed to win office. You would think those Republicans would sing praise for Malliotakis. NOPE – some chose to support other candidates or didn’t say anything at all. Former mayoral candidate, John Catsimatides called for Grimm to resign and he threw his support behind Vito Fosella, Wendy Long was endorsed by Malliotakis for Senate and was nowhere to be found or heard from now. David Strobin also claimed support from Malliotakis in the past, but was no where to be found when the Republicans divided up. Finally, Steve Lilikakis and Marty Golden’s aide/former city Council candidate needed Malliotakis’ support in the past, but didn’t mention her on their active social media account. The Republican Party doesn’t believe in Quid Pro Quo! 1/11 Update: Steve Lilikakis, Assembly candidate who Malliotakis backed in 2014 wrote on Facebook
I hope Nicole Malliotakis is shocked and annoyed that Dan Donovan was chosen over her, That’s the exact feeling residents had when they saw Malliotakis voted for Golden’s tax breaks for billionaires bill. Malliotakis hid the vote by failing to mention it on social media. The Staten Island GOP hid their collaboration and made her run around this week when the Donovan deal was already done. Yup that’s a taste of the politics we watched you participate in.
Bay Ridge and Staten Island are all abuzz with who will grab Grimm’s empty seat. For me, this is just politics as usual – two people who don’t do their job well want to be promoted!
First is Dan Donovan, the District Attorney who failed to get an indictment for the Eric Garner case. He wanted to keep favor with the police because he knew he wanted to seek a higher office. I’ve never heard Donovan’s name in anything else as he is a Staten Island DA. I’m not sure why he would think Bay Ridge would be interested in him, but I see Marty Golden has that part covered and all you conservatives out there will vote for him.
Photo: Gage Skidmore – CC License
The other Republican looking to step into Grimm’s seat is Nicole Malliotakis. People always say, “oh yeah she’s good.” When I ask them why, they always say she is a woman or she’s Greek and Hispanic. Okay but what are her accomplishments? When people tell me that she got a bus back, I have to shake my head. Three politicians (Golden, Gentile and Malliotakis got the bus back) and it’s a bus that isn’t widely used. Most people in Bay Ridge don’t use that bus as they use the train or car. When the bus is running, it is less than half full. Malliotakis also takes credit for closing the massage parlors in Bay Ridge. Again, thee politicians worked on it so I am unsure how much she has done. If you drive home on the weekend, you can see there are many late massage parlors open n in Bay Ridge.
I lost all respect for Nicole Malliotakis when I realized she had released press releases crediting herself for the Pet Tattoo Bill. Malliotakis failed to mention Assembly woman , Linda Rosenthal in the press release. Papers and blogs printed what was in the press release without fact checking. On social media, I told Malliotakis the mistake and I requested that she update the stories. She didn’t. I even wrote to Brian Laline of the Staten Island Advance and Ned Berke of the Bensonhurst Bean. I even sent sent LaLine the link from NY Assemby Bill Search - search for Bill A739D-2013 to show him that Rosenthal was the original creator of the bill and he didn’t want to update it. Malliotkis could have apologized and moved on, but she didn’t. Nicole Malliotakis is just out promoting herself and doesn’t see anything wrong with taking credit for someone else’s work. Malliotakis should be promoting other women in politics. I told Linda Rosenthal that Malliotakis was doing this (I’m sure she was aware) and Nicole Malliotakis never apologized to Rosenthal.
Malliotakis has been in the NY State Assembly for years and has no prime sponsored legislation. She has only a few cosponsored bills, yet she wants a promotion – GIVE ME A BREAK! Tell Malliotakis to do some work in Assembly and stop telling us that we should vote for her because she is a woman or that she is Greek and Cuban. If you have to run on y0ur gender or ethnicity, you aren’t qualified in my opinion.
I found qualified Republicans out there, but either they aren’t interested in running or the Staten Island GOP isn’t interested in them.
Grab your bowl of popcorn because politics in Brooklyn and Staten Island has reverted back to fifth grade. Marty Golden has Nicole Malliotakis backing his stupid moves (remember he introduced a bill which gave millions of dollars in tax breaks to billionaires – Malliotakis voted in favor of this bill and forgot to mention her vote anywhere).
Malliotakis and Golden even did yoga together.
But when it came down to choosing between Donovan and Malliotakis – Golden chose Donovan.
I don’t think Malliotakis has learned the lesson yet. We shall see in the upcoming days!
Common sense went out the door in 2014 for most of the world. What we saw:
1. Eric Garner death and all that followed probably was the biggest story of the year. Seeing it on YouTube was shocking as I would have never believed that could have happened that way if I didn’t see it. I watched it many times and looked up similar videos because what I saw was so different from the cops I knew as a kid and growing up. The court case that followed was ridiculous and it shocked me that no Staten Island representatives stood up for the man after seeing that video. And I found most people are either on one side or the other – there are few who see the grey area – but it’s there. This guy should run for office as he gets it. Best advice I’ve seen on the topic came from this minister.
2. This election year that showed people didn’t care to vote shocked me. Keeping politicians in office who have committed crimes and haven’t done the right thing for people shocked me. I think they were even shocked that they stayed in office. But did they really want to stay in office after they embarrassed themselves and their family. I mean, your family sees the truth and it’s just ugly that they have to live in it.
3. I’ve watched a lot of people lie – some people lie about stupid things, but some lied about some real important things too. Eventually everyone sees the lies no matter how people try to cover it.
So I’ve learned that I shouldn’t be shocked by other people’s stupidity……I shouldn’t be, but I am always am. I’m glad that initially it shocks me – it shows that I haven’t become so desensitized to the world like most people become. I wouldn’t be me if I wasn’t shocked by people’s sheer lack of regard for others and stupidity. Finally, some of my best moments in 2014 were spent with people who aren’t part of my life in 2015….sad, but true.
For us, 2014 was pretty amazing even with the small bumps in the road of life. Lee’s crazy infection and time in the hospital showed me so many things – mostly I was shocked at how calm I was. Normally I am a nervous wreck when someone has an operation. I always fear the worst. I felt God was near and I shopped in Park Slope as his operation took place. When the doctor called and said he was okay, I rushed back to the hospital and was glad to see he was awake and feeling well – but I wasn’t surprised. I knew he was going to be fine. In the weeks that followed, I realized how serious this could have been and I realize how fortunate we are.
So anyway, the start of 2015 is going to be real good. We have to finalize some things……and that will change a lot of things and then a big party will follow too! I hope 2015 is filled with happiness, good health and faith for you!
If you stopped by in the last month, you are probably wondering why I didn’t update. Well our life had some twists and turns which life normally does, but this time it was Lee’s health so it was a bit different.
And he’s on the road to recovery and taking good care of his health with a swarm of doctors and nurses too. Yeah it was that serious. (As a side note, if you know me you know I worry when my loved ones aren’t well…..not this time – God held me close and I knew Lee was going to be alright).
On the last Saturday of October, I went with Lee to his doctor because he had a cut on his foot caused by wearing new boots. His doctor told us to go to the hospital and get intravenous medicine because the cut looked bad. Specifically, the doctor referred us to Lutheran Medical Hospital and a specific doctor there. We went to Lutheran Hospital’s emergency room. The doctor we were referred to was not a podiatrist, so she called the hospital’s podiatrist. The podiatrist came and didn’t do a lot for Lee. He was still in a lot of pain. Lee doesn’t complain (ever) and he doesn’t take time off from work for illness (ever) so I knew it was serious. I stayed with Lee until Sunday night and then I went home. When I talked with him on Monday I realized something was wrong. He spoke very low on the phone and told me he was okay, but I knew he wasn’t. I went to Lutheran with pain medication. He was laying on a gurney in the emergency room for three days and they wouldn’t give him a room.
I found the hospital to be awful and knew I had to get Lee better help. It took hours for me to convince him to leave, but I finally got him to go.
We went to a podiatrist in Bay Ridge – Dr. Paul Liswood the following day and he said Lee needed more intravenous medicine and that the would would need to be operated. He sent Lee to the Wound Center at Methodist Hospital. They gave him a room and the doctors and nurses were much more attentive there. His foot was operated on and twenty minutes after the operation he walked on it.
Lee stayed in the hospital that week as they gave him intravenous medicine and monitored him. They told him the first day that he had a staph infection and the doctors operated the following morning. I am so grateful to them! Lee came home in November and had several nurses visit each day.
One of the strangest things about Lutheran Hospital was that when Lee moved to Methodist, I checked my e-mail and there was an update from LinkedIn (Methodist has wireless and let’s all the patients on – there was no wireless in Lutheran – there was a broken television where Lee was for days!).
Linked in is a social network for business – some people friend me on there because of my family, others because they met me at a conference and of course my old students who have grown up friend me. Linked in told me that Nicole M from Lutheran Hospital had viewed my profile. Why would a hospital worker be interested in viewing my profile – it’s kind of creepy! I mean I thought hospital records were private. It’s strange that she would look in Lee’s records to get my name! I don’t understand why this hospital worker would be interested in researching me online, but I definitely think it it’s wrong. I only met her one day Monday, October 27th.
Even if the employee is new – this isn’t normal behavior. This employee was only working one day while we were there- October 27th! Each day I would go to work, the hospital and then home to bed. On November 5th, I saved the file to my computer because something about a hospital employee researching me on the web didn’t sit right with me.
I am so taken back from Lutheran – Lee’s experience at Methodist was entirely different. The staff at Methodist was very knowledgeable and I never felt any need to worry about him! I wrote letters for each of the nurses because their care was amazing!
January update: We received Lee’s bill from Lutheran Hospital and a different doctor is listed than the doctor who “operated” picked at Lee’s wound. Dr. Moez is a resident of Dr. Jeffrey Lucido, but he never identified himself that way. We never even heard of Dr. Lucido’s name when we were at the hospital. And I never would have allowed a resident to touch the most amazing person in the world. Seriously? Why isn’t a resident required to identify himself as such and why aren’t we given a paper to say we understand that he was a resident – people should have the choice of having a doctor if they want one. No wonder why he didn’t know how serious Lee’s infection was. It’s almost two months later and Lee has not returned to work because his foot has not finished healing. Lee had the intravenous line removed and is getting around well. He still has a nurse visit every other day.
I posted the e-mail from Linked to Lutheran Hospital’s Twitter Account and Facebook acct as this isn’t normal – let’s see if their IT department does something.I would think that Lutheran’s IT Department would have referred it to human relations, but we haven’t heard from the hospital. This really annoys me because the hospital makes us sign all of these documents, but the employees do what they want with out personal information. I find it so creepy!!
I didn’t write about our weekend here yet…but I will soon.
Lee was in the emergency room this weekend – all weekend (he’s doing okay now). His friend sent me a text tonight that said: “Thank you for taking such good care of my friend.”
Lee is the most amazing person I have ever met in my life. Taking care of him is my pleasure. He’s never been sick – even a little in all the time we have been together and he’s always taken care of me.
My friend said tonight, “you love Lee so well.” Lee taught me how to love well by loving me so well.
*Family and friends thank you for staying so close this week. It’s all the little things you offered to do that matter so much (feed our pets, move the car, etc). I am a very lucky person.*
I took Lee to see Dr. Paul Liswood, a podiatrist on 72nd and 4th Avenue in Bay Ridge. Dr. Liswood is everything you want a doctor to be. He’s professional, very neat, pleasant and a good listener. He’s been a podiatrist for twenty years and he confidently spoke about Lee’s treatment. Dr. Liswood can be seen on a video here, but he’s actually a lot friendlier than the video implies.
His office staff was super pleasant and professional. You know when a doctor has a great reception/office staff that stinks it can be such a pain to go to the office. The three ladies that were working there were pleasant and awesome.
A patient that went before us was elderly and he walked well so I attribute that to his great podiatrist!
The only thing negative may be that the office is older – but in a good comfy way. It’s clean and pleasant.
I absolutely loved Dr. Liswood and of course I shared him here so you can enjoy him (just don’t take all of the appointments).