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Apologies: Denied White Island Coverage

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GerritsenBeach.net is issuing an apology to our readers who were expecting to get an update on what is currently going on and going to be happening with White Island.

Less than 24 hours after our post “White Island Meeting Thursday at Cort Club” I received a call by our Assemblyman Alan Maisel and was told that I have been dis-invited to this meeting between DEC, Maisel and GBCares.

Apparently Alan has gone back on the “everyone is welcome” premise of this meeting.

I was told that if I show up there will be no meeting. People will walk out.

I apologize to anyone who get local news from GerritsenBeach.net I will be getting this information anyway through alternate, and more direct means.

55 comments to Apologies: Denied White Island Coverage

  • Anonymous

    you derelict idiot

  • Patrick Minze

    Everyone should go to Assemblyman Alan Maisel contact link (http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/?ad=59&sh=con) and ask him what happen to our right to Freedom of the press. Even if you disagree with GB.net that no reason to bar anyone from a public meeting. This country was built on people having there right to there opinion.

    • poppajoe

      Pat, just curious if you have heard from the good Assembly/Counsil man, or for that matter if anyone who wrote got a reply?? I didn’t

      Joe

      • Patrick Minze

        @poppajoe,
        Here is the Message I got from the Assemblyman:

        Statement

        The meeting scheduled for July 16, 2009 at the Cort Club to discuss plans for White Island was not a public meeting. This meeting is the forth in a series of working meetings held by my office, The New York City Department of Parks, New York State Department of Environmental Protection and The Leadership of leading organizations in the Gerritsen Beach Community. No one had the authority to invite the public to attend this meeting. When it is appropriate we will have an open public meeting to discuss plans for White Island. Members of the community who have expressed interest in being involved with the White Island committee have been invited to attend this meeting as well as others.

        My response:
        It not about it being public or Private. Everything is perception, to tell one person if they show up that the meeting would be canceled and everyone would walk out. It makes it look like you are hiding something and it is just rude. You should have explained that to GB.net. I think he deserves an apology and phone call to clear the air.

        • poppajoe

          @Patrick Minze,
          I couldm’t agree more Pat, I wasn’t expecting a reply since I stated in my letter that I was no longer living in the BEACH….I did remind him that I still have LOTS of family there still. It would be a shame for him to take a Political hit over all this, but thats the nature of the Beast….

        • Daniel Cavanagh of GB.net

          @Patrick Minze, Where did you get that statement? Email? Voicemail?

          Right off the bat I take issue with “No one had the authority to invite the public to attend this meeting.” I am floored by that statement. Am I a crazy person when I say that he was the one who invited the “public”. I even linked a video him saying everyone welcome.

          Amazing. I am more floored that you and other called/emailed on this websites behalf. I appreaciate it.

          There will be a next meeting next month about what was discussed at this meeting.

  • Daniel Cavanagh of GB.net

    Hello everyone. Im taking off my GerritsenBeach.net hat for a moment if feels kinda weird doing this but I feel like I have to seperate and comments as myself.

    Some people say what I did with woodchips may have been wrong. Some have even coined it woodchip gate (hysterical). It’s old hat, get over it. Do what you have to do to get parks approval and be done with it. As the parks commissioner told me “no group can just do what they want on parkland”.

    However since I started this website I have covered many different things to keep the community informed, and maybe throwing in a little op-ed and graphics. Ive covered events, news stories like Paintball, ATVs, Wrestling, ALL Meetings, Lundys, Local changes, White Island.

    I’ve shared all of those stories and raw meetings with people that want to know whats going on in THEIR community. Will this be a community where the same select crew controls information?

    My question now is: whos next to be excluded?

    If one group or someone starts to disagree or do something they may not like take for instance commenting on this site, should they be denied to participate in THEIR community? What is this? How old are we behaving?

    White Island is also an issue that affects not just gerritsen beach. Marine Park, National Parks Service, Jamica Bay Taskforce, Boat Owners, Marinas. How will the information disseminate?

    Remember not just Gerritsen Beach reads this site other groups and neighborhoods do as well.

    I’ve never done anything to Alan, and its very obvious where is this is coming from and its fun to watch it all play out and to see people squirm.

    Check out this beautiful quote “Information is power. The secreting or hoarding of knowledge or information may be an act of tyranny camouflaged as humility.”

    This is something the community should not stand for.

  • Anonymous

    I am an outsider, but follow the blog because of interest in parklands.

    It seems like the author went to the Parks Dept with a question because it’s Parks Dept property. Typically, volunteer groups post signs about what they are doing in public areas because, well, because they’re public areas. No signs, no way of knowing who to ask other than…the Parks Dept. If the woodchips and work are all for the benefit of the natural area, approvals will be forthcoming. No biggie.

    To exclude a citizen from a public meeting for any reason is despicable. To exclude this citizen from this meeting is to confirm that the volunteer organization in question is operating as though it has private rights to public property. The action of your councilmember on the behalf of one group is problematic, to say the least. A councilmember should work to reconcile warring parties, not take sides and take away rights. If he was any kind of decent public servant, he would work to heal the wounds. Barring an observer on the basis of his beliefs is an absolute disgrace.

    You guys have a fabulous, unique neighborhood. It is truly an enviable place. You should work to iron out problems so both the volunteer group and the blog can continue to serve the community. But, hey, it’s your neighborhood, not mine. If you’d rather carry on like little brats and polarize your community, go right ahead. But man, this garbage is worse than any litter you can throw behind the school.

    Free speech is not free, but it is worth the price. Live and learn and keep reporting. And good luck.

  • Anonymous

    Oops…Assemblyman, not council member. Sorry, but the same principles apply.

  • poppajoe

    Dan, I am sorry to see that once again good old fashion Gerrittsen Beach polotics has reared its ugly head. I no longer live in the Beach but do keep up on current events thru your site. What happened with ” Woodchip Gate” was unfortumate, but the truth is that the only ones to blame are those that “KEPT this agreement in the dark” having said that……My GREATEST CONCERN is that a member of the public was uninvited to a public meeting. Be it GB Cares, The Property owners, the Vollies ….name the “not for profit “in the neighborhood and EXCEPT for “EXECUTIVE SESSION” barring a member of the public is ILLEGAL…..POINT BLANK they can ask you not to film but they cannot bar the public. Please tell me you are persuing this issue with the necessary offices to rectify the matter. BEST WISHES, GOOD LUCK and KEEP UP THE FIGHT

  • ray schaefer

    Reguarding the Mau Mau/White Island meeting…… these meetings were never open to the public, only representatives of our local organizations, purposely kept compact to keep to relevant issues. As the plot unfolded the information was spread by GBPOA, GBC and others.

    • Anonymous

      @ray schaefer, BUT a public invitation WAS issued to this meeting, then rescinded for one person and one person only. That is just icky. And, it tarnishes the reputation of the parties holding the meeting to bar a reporter for asking questions. It makes them look very guilty even if they have done nothing wrong. Like it says in the bible, and on Xaverian, the truth shall set you free.

  • Anonymous

    was the Army Corps of Engineers in on this . If not any structure over the water is illegal.

    • jonathan harris

      yes the army corp of engineers was. there is information available online about this mitigation project.

  • anonymous

    special interest groups have had copes of the toxicology report for sometime now but have chosen not to share it with the rest of us . Now they’re using it for damage control . How does it feel knowing that the health of your children and grand children are no more then damage control

  • Jim Donovan

    Everyone please stay calm, the meetings that have been taking place are in the best interest of the community. This is not just a GB Cares meeting although the meetings began at the request of GBC because of their concern. The attendees of these meetings are not just members of GBC; we have representatives from the Property Owners, The Cort Club, the VFW, The Vollies, K of C and so on. This is a community effort lead by our leaders to protect the residents from what might happen during the reconstruction of the island, not to hide anything from you. This is why, in an effort to control the meetings only organizational heads were invited and not the masses. It is in our best interest that we get the facts straight before informing the community. This will happen via this web blog and/or community newsletters when in fact we do receive all the information that we have requested from the Parks, Army Corps, and the DEC concerning the contents of the island and the reconstruction procedures. To release incomplete information now will only cause rumors, mis-information and anxiety. Danny, I believe that what you do has value, but at this point I believe that until we get all the facts straight your involvement would not be beneficial. This has nothing to do with you and the wood chips, when the time is right and all the correct information is in place, we will contact you, I promise you.

    The plan proposed by the Parks Department is to stabilize the deteriorating edges of the island and to place approximately 3 to 6 feet of sand on top, then replant indigenous marsh grass’s to stabilize the sand. The temporary bridge being built is to allow trucks coming thru the Golf course to do their work, and when the work is completed, the bridge will be removed. We are also trying to get some of the old components (Large Piping) left on top of the old bridge removed that do cause safety concerns. To date we have not seen the 100% completed plans and will again request this from the Parks this evening. Although we do not have the completed plans, the Parks Department has secured enough sand to complete the project, which is why they have begun the first phase of the reconstruction.

    As we all know, the island was a dumping site for many years starting in the 50’s, and there is of course a concern regarding the contents of the fill that was used. Yes, we did receive toxicology reports, but what the poster above fails to mention, is that the 1994 reports that were given to us a few months back were in fact, in our assessment of the reports incomplete. Therefore, we asked the Parks Department and the DEC to re-test certain areas of the island to get a more complete picture of the issues. The testing included testing of the water at the edges. These new reports were received only a couple of weeks ago, and will be addressed at tonight’s meeting.

    I know everyone is anxious to find out what is going on on the island, but to put out an incomplete information package will only cause problems, not solve them. I believe that we are very close to producing the information about what is going on and will have it for you shortly, please be patient.

    Jim Donovan

    • Patrick Minze

      @Jim Donovan,

      Jim if what you state is the case, then that is what should have been told to GB.net, not if you show up everyone is walking out. All that does piss people off.
      There is such animosity from different groups. People need to take care about what and how they say things so that they are not misconstrued or take out of context.
      This is a Great neighborhood with a lot a Great people and organizations, but when people think they are the top dog and they do not want others to have a piece of there pie they just start mud slinging.
      I think GB.net deserves and apology from the Assemblyman and a call from who is ever running this meeting to better explain things and clear the air.

      • Jim Donovan

        @Patrick Minze, I’m not sure where that came from, but it seems that the little things get more attention that the real issues. I do believe that the different community groups have been working good together and will continue to do so in the future. It is true that some things said should not be said but some need to grow up and look at the larger picture.

    • Jim Donovan

      @Jim Donovan, Correction, there will be no bridge to the golf couse, they will bring the materials in by Barge.

    • FF/EMT

      Sorry to inform you but the Vollies were NOT invited.

  • Michael P. Judge

    I have two words for Assemblyman Alan Maisel:
    Recall Election.
    Assemblyman Alan Maisel needs to start worrying about the long memory of the people he’s supposed to be serving.
    I know I won’t soon forget.

  • Gene B.

    I too live outside of Gerritsen Beach, and I read GerritsenBeach.net frequently. I have found it to be a fantastic community resource for the entire area. The site has covered many events in Sheepshead Bay and brought attention to a lot of our neighborhood’s issues.

    I also read it because the site takes on all comers. There are no sacred cows on this site – everything is fair game, as it should be.

    It pains me personally to speak out negatively about the Assemblyman’s position in dis-inviting Dan from a meeting that he openly invited all to attend – Alan has been a family friend for well over a decade. He not only advisor to me at a young age, but he was my sister’s AP at Shell Bank and someone my mother has worked closely with over time starting in the PA and now in the SB community.

    As I’ve gotten to know Alan, I’ve always thought him to be a champion for individual rights.
    I guess that’s why I find this latest move so disconcerting. Frankly, I’m disappointed.

    Community meetings should be open to all – even from outside the community. I’m sure that many people have their eyes trained on White Island, many of whom Dan already mentioned. To dis-invite one person is simply shameful – and for an elected official to pick and choose who may attend meetings supposedly open to the public is particularly distasteful.

    It shows that there are still people who think that anyone at any time for any reason could be stifled from listening, learning and expressing their opinion.

    Do you want to live in a world like that?

    But more to the point, this action perpetuates a problem of perception (say that fast 5 times!) for this project and its members. People hear this and start to think “what do they have to hide? What aren’t they telling me?”, and the like. Already, people on this site are wondering about dangers to their families with toxins and contaminants – that could be avoided by simply acting transparently.

    And they’re right to ask these questions because of how people have acted. The reputations of everyone involved in this meeting have been tarnished – and for no legitimate reason.

    If what Mr. Schaefer and Mr. Donovan say is correct, then why only tell one person not to attend? Don’t exclude one person from attending when all information regarding who may attend is to the contrary – and was on tape.

    I believe they are sincere in their comments and not doing “damage control” – but that’s another problem of perception caused by all of this, isn’t it?

    I think we all should ask all parties involved to re-consider this rash action. No one is saying that you have to LIKE this site, its author, its content or even anyone commenting. But have some respect for the rights of the individual that are the foundation of community and country.

    • Jim Donovan

      Very well written, but please let me assure you that if the meeting were public, Dan would of course be invited. I believe that the invite comments made during another meeting in the community were made in an attempt to be forthright to the community, and the invite was a mis-step. Dan C. was not the only one dis-invited; all were dis-invited in an attempt to keep this meeting from becoming a free-for-all. Again, we have been meeting on this subject for some time now and all info that has been received to date has been to some extent relayed to our collective organizations membership. If we were to allow this to become a public meeting at this point, it would almost be like starting from the beginning because of ill-informed individuals who want their say when we are so close to the end. This meeting was not intended to be a community/public meeting until all the facts were accumulated and packaged correctly for the entire community to view and comment on in an informed fashion. Again, please be patient.

      Thank you,

      Jim Donovan

      • Daniel Cavanagh of GB.net

        @Jim Donovan, Who else was dis-invited?

        I am on the same page and close ranks with you in regards to there should not be a public meeting yet. Although I think GerritsenBeach.net should be invited.

        I expect a full report of this meeting! :) in my e-mailbox tomorrow!

      • anonymous

        who is this we and why are they deciding whats good for me ?

      • Anonymous

        @Jim Donovan, And yet the reporter received a call telling him he was unwelcome and everyone would walk out if he attended. Not arguing with your description of the process, just saying it sounds like damage control over Maisel’s conveying a message from people involved with the meeting. He didn’t receive a call saying miscommunication–the meeting’s not public. He received a call saying stay out you’re not welcome. You just can’t kosher that pig.

  • Nick Lak

    It’s upsetting that these situations demote certain energies, as well as sideline the attentions of both camps, which seems to me is ultimately working to make this a better community. :):(

  • Daniel Cavanagh of GB.net

    Although I understand this is not a “public” meeting.

    I was at one point attending these meetings. How did I post this? http://www.gerritsenbeach.net/2008/06/27/this-is-whats-happening-with-mau-mau/

    That meeting was “semi-public” and I was able to report back accuratly and I believe that I believe that I get all the facts straight and that my involvement will be beneficial.

    Very suspisious.

    • Michael P. Judge

      @Daniel Cavanagh of GB.net,
      I left a message at Assemblyman Alan Maisel’s office, if he thinks he can get away with closed door meetings, he better start looking for a new job as I will make it my life’s mission to run him out of office.
      Hey, Assemblyman Alan Maisel, do me a favor, don’t run for re-election, because if you do, I’ll personally see to it that you lose. If you got a problem with what I’m posting here, then I suggest Assemblyman Alan Maisel, you contact me directly, and not on of your flunkies from your office either.
      Remember, you can be voted out like you were voted in.

  • Lisanne!

    Nice to see that they all getting their ducks in a row. Should have done so earlier, this incident is a stain on all of them.

    If you were told that the meeting would not be held if you showed up that doesn’t sound as if the meeting was meant to be private, it sounds as if it was meant to happen without your participation. You’re being penalized because you violated the golden rule, “We protect our own”.

    This is the worst kind of small-mindedness. Its counterproductive because all of you have the same goals, to make Gerritsen Beach the best community possible.

  • Arthur B

    I was at Shellbank when Alan Maisel was there (I think he was vice principle. If memory serves he was an immature little prat back then too. I spent a lot of time in the offices *cough* in my day and I remember overhearing tons of complaints about the weasel.

  • Debbie dk

    Well, I think the topic at hand should be what is happening to our water/neighborhood, not whether Alan Maisel is a stand-up guy or not, or if the Parks Dept got their panties in a twist over the woodchips story. I love this neighborhood, I grew up here-bought a house and I’m now raising my family here. I was very excited to bring my 8 month old to Kiddie Beach for the first time this past weekend, only to bring him home with a nice case of ringworm. Parents beware what your children are swimming in. I hope these toxicology reports are legit and are made public soon- until then we will be sticking to the pool! I am confident in our local organizations including GB.net, and I know they have the best interest of our community in mind. Please everyone.. keep us posted!

  • Anonymous

    Not too worried about things leaching out of the island. Most of what’s in there is in the waters anyways. Ringworm… I’d be more worried about the CSO discharges causing health problems than an old landfill I avoid.

  • poppajoe

    Dan a final note…I hope Jim D is correct and that this is all a big misunderstanding ( Isn’t that how ” WOODCHIP GATE ” began? ) this is obviously a hot match for the Beach, and I think all can agree that most everyone is looking out for the best interest of the community at large ( time will tell)…I would love to see the list of Organizations invited since it seeems from some posts that many were not. Any way best of luck …keep up the reporting

  • Jeff

    I rely on this site for much of the news re: my community – this community website should be invited to meetings of this sort. I understand the concerns of the organizers but this particular site needs to be respected for providing the service that it does to community members.

    This site can easily serve to CLARIFY matters expeditiously and to a large audience in preparation for any future meeting or more open public forum. The manner in which GB.net was disinvited was unprofessional, counterproductive and just plain foolish.

  • anonymous

    I do find it odd that the volleys , who would be the probable first on the seen response team in case of any emergency wasn’t invited , but the president of a privet club was. but I guess its a good thing they allowed the Pastor , cause when the truth comes out . Someone is going to need forgiveness for playing games with the safety and health of our loved ones .

  • Anonymous

    Just why is it so secret, and who exactly are the leading organizations in the community that will be there, I for one do not know of any leading organization in this community except maybe for the volunteers every other organization in the beach ,are only leading organizations in there own minds. Maybe the residents of Gerritsen Beach should chose who the organization are that should attend

  • ray schaefer

    to 23 anonymous 1:37am see comment 7. Have you ever been to a GBPOA meeting? Do you live in the Beach? Don’t you know anything of our history? Agnes Kennedy of GBPOA started the fight for Ps 277 in the 30’s , got sewers installed, modern separate sanitary and storm, unlike 60 percent of the city which are combined and cause most of the polution. This organization is as old as the Beach like the Vollies; next meeting 5 August, open meeting. GB cares is only 12 years old and has more members than any other organization here, maybe the residents have chosen. What organization do you belong to? Where do you volunteer?

    • Tim

      @ray schaefer, Knowing ray a little…He is one that leads by example[always going the extra yard for the community]…I think he is saying get involved in one of the organizations, instead of sitting behind a computer and second guessing good actions of the many good people of this neighborhood. Work together ,solve the problems dont make problems bigger than they are.

      • anonymous

        @Tim, The only thing thats being question is why aren’t we being told anything . As far as second guessing good people doing good things , I don’t think keeping this whole commuity in the dark is a good thing . Do you?

    • Anonymous

      @ray schaefer, Yes I have been to a GBPOA meeting, and yes a member also. I have lived in the beach for 40 years is there any thing else you’d like to interrogate me about ?. I know who Agnes Kennedy is and she has done a lot for this community, excuse me maybe I should have included her with the vollies but forgot … SORRY !… but people who think they are so very important annoy the hell out of me….(and don’t ask me where I volunteer because it is NONE of your business or anyone else’s for that matter)

    • poppajoe

      @ray schaefer, Hey Ray how are you?? Long time no see, I guess you can tell from the replies here WHY SO MANY GOOD PEOPLE throw thier hands in the air and walk away…it is a shame…and Tim described you to a tee, ” Ray is the quiet man in the background always giving his time to the community. Stay well Ray

  • John A

    Ray why so angry , people are just expressing their opinion . You don’t have to be a member of a group to know right from wrong . its intimidating statements like that , that sent wood chip gate out of control . From what I heard Miss Kennedy was a good leader and with the help of the residents thing were done But no one brought her up but you . Why ? .

  • anonymous

    Ray are you saying that GB Cars is now the controlling group ?

  • FHanley

    WHY HASN’T ALAN MAIZEL SIGNED ON TO OFFER AN EXPLANATION. LEW FIDDLER SIGNS ON ALL THE TIME.

  • anonymous

    good question

  • […] “public” “working” White Island […]

  • Me

    I knew Alan Miesel when he was AP at shellbank. He was untrustworhty then and is still so.

  • […] note: I won’t forget than the fact that I was told by Assemblyman Alan Maisel (again) not to attend the meeting because people would walk out, and I won’t forget the fact that I […]

  • […] is again issuing an apology to our readers who were expecting to get an update on what is currently going on a with White […]