According to a follow up story from Courier Life, Lacon Court is still a mess.
Residents say the folks running the marina at Lacon Court in Gerritsen Beach are still illegally dumping fill and garbage on the filthy site — which the state ordered to be cleaned up by Nov. 6.
In fact, more than three weeks after the deadline to clean up the decrepit waterfront area passed, residents say the two lots along between Lacon Court and the Plumb Beach Channel are being used for more nefarious purposes.
Currently EVERYTHING about Lacon Court is illegal and forming a dangerous situation.
Right now there are numerous people living squatting in dry-docked boats and house boats that are on the water. They are running loud portable generators for the better part of the day and night. They are also not connected to any type of sewage or septic syetem. Instead, They have a port-a-potty that residents say they have witnessed them dumping on nearby ground to empty.
Residents are worried because the property “flat out filled with skel’s” with people walking in and out every day at every hour.
They also took down a large portion of the required construction fencing and dumped a very large amount of milled asphalt on the property where it could fall into the nearby creek.
Dumping all of solid waste on our community is disgusting and is a blatant disregard for the law. Criminal charges must be filed on the property owner(s) and whomever illegally dumped the material.
The Danza property is filled with vehicles, boats, and construction debris. The boats that Jemal was forced to remove now sit in the former danza property.
We have no idea who owns this property now, since Stephen Jemal was successfully sued by his orginal investment companies. He now owes 18.9 Million to his investment companies. We do suspect that SSJ Development still owns the properties.
Since the summer of 2008 we have been tracking the progress of a court case of two Texas based companies: “Gerritsen Beach Investments Ltd” and “Riviera Investments I Ltd” vs Stephen Jemal. You may know Stephen Jemal and his company SSJ Development,LLC – they own the vacant Lacon Court and Knapp Street properties, and plan to develop into luxury condos. Apparently, these Texas companies were investors that SSJ Development courted to invest in his development of vacant land in our area.
Anyways, after a few years in Federal court, a judgment has finally been rendered.
The Texas-based companies which were the originally investment companies for Jemal’s properties here in Gerritsen Beach won 7.8 million dollars plus interest, for a loan that Jemal failed to repay.
Jemal also lost a second case to a bank in Philadelphia. The bank loaned Jemal 11.1 million dollars for properties in Cape May County, NJ. According to the complaint, Jemal also failed to pay back this loan. This is currently being contested, but according to the complaint, the Jemals personally guaranteed these loans through a confession of judgment.
As for the fate of the properties in our area, we have not been able to ascertain what is going to happen. Speculation includes that they may be sold off to the highest bidder, given to the investment companies, or even Jemal might get to keep them if he shuffles them around.
In an interesting twist, it seems as though Jemal does not have the ownership he thought he had on Lacon Court. According to the last property owners meeting, the New York State DEC tried to fine Jemal for failure to clean up his docks but couldn’t because he was not listed as the owner. Calls to DEC and Alan Maisel were not returned.
Our neighborhood’s favorite wanna-be developer is up Gerritsen Creek – and apparently can’t afford to buy a paddle!
Two federal courts recently handed down multi-million dollar judgments against developer Stephen Jemal, the man the Daily News said would “re-energize” our waterfront. So much for that plan, huh NYDN?
The judgments include 11.1 million dollars for unpaid loans in connection with properties in Cape May County, NJ handed down in March (which Jemal apparently is still being contested before the Court) and 7.8 million dollars for unpaid loans from private Texas investors in connection with Jemal’s Brooklyn properties, including the much-discussed lots on Knapp Street and Lacon Court.
What these judgments will mean to our community remains to be seen, but one would think that the undeveloped properties in our area may be sold off to the highest bidder.
Hopefully, more to come as I make a few well-placed phone calls.
In clear violation of what someone would call “LAW”,Â SSJ Development’s properties at Lacon court are untouched, abandoned, vacant, dormant being used as storage for vehicles, boats, non-construction equipment, and dreaded WOODCHIPS!
On top of that, the property’s perimeter fence is not doing well either. It’s in overall bad shape and either destroyed or no existent in most places. Also, The property’s main gate is not even locked or even closed anymore. It’s just wide open allowing whomever inside.
ETO & SSJ Development are Playing Tag with NYPD Harbor and DEP attempting to to dump boats in various parts of the creek.
You may be asking your self what happened those boats that were 1) floating around the creek slamming into everything and 2) the boats at the property?
Well funny story. They seem to be popping up everywhere even after being returned to ETO (Lacon Ct) twice!
The boat that was adrift: First, NYPD Harbor had returned it to after it was originally adrift, then it mysteriously showed up tied up to the DEP pumping station (a pump to pump out bathrooms on boats), Harbor had to returned it again, only to find it tied to the DEP pumping station the next day. Harbor returned it again and is now investigating.
Is the ETO playing tag?
The boat that next to the boat that sank: Tuns out someone removed the boat last week and dumped it to a local marina.
Now there are TWO abandoned boats without registration on the water.
Maybe we should call ETO for help. Isn’t that what they do???
The State Environmental Conservation Officers recently arrested two fishermen in Brooklyn for catching dozens of striped bass that were undersized and in excess of allowable limits, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced.
(Media-Newswire.com) – State Environmental Conservation Officers recently arrested two fishermen in Brooklyn for catching dozens of striped bass that were undersized and in excess of allowable limits, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation ( DEC ) today announced.
While on marine patrol in the Breezy Point area, Environmental Conservation Officers ( ECO ) Jamie Powers and Kevin Thomas spotted activities on a boat that made them suspect poaching and they tracked the vessel back to its dock in Shell Bank Creek off Seba Avenue. There, the ECOs witnessed John Arena of Parksville, Sullivan County, and Mark Sarubbi of Brooklyn, struggling to drag two totes full of striped bass up to a truck.
The officers then approached the men and began counting the catch. The fishermen, who realized their day of “good” fishing had just met its end, watched as the ECOs counted out 46 striped bass – the legal recreational limit for the trip for both men is only 2. The fish weighed a total of 295 pounds and the vast majority of the fish – 40 – were less than the minimum size requirement of 28 inches.
Arena and Sarubbi were arrested and charged with possession of 40 undersized Striped Bass; possession of 44 Striped Bass over the legal recreational harvest limit; possession of 46 untagged Striped Bass; taking Striped Bass for Commercial Purposes without a permit; and failing to possess a valid food fish license. Additional charges are anticipated.
Their arraignment is scheduled for early December. They are facing thousands of dollars in fines and a possible four years in prison. The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting the case. The fish were seized and destroyed because Striped Bass are not permitted to be harvested for commercial sale from waters west of East Rockaway Inlet due to the potential level of contaminants in the fish.
Information on illegal harvest of any species of saltwater fish, shellfish or crabs can be reported to the Marine Enforcement Unit at ( 631 ) 444-0460 or by using the toll-free number of 1-877-457-5680.
Granted the 44 striped bass is a bit much and the fisherman accused should know the la but how is it that DEC will crack down on fisherman and not other BIGGER fish?!
In Gerritsen Beach the DEC wastes their time going after people who was their cars on their street because it washes into the creek while SSJ Development, ETO and Stephen Jemal get a free pass, for refusing to clean the docks and the boats that have been sinking!
Yesterday a boat that was docked at Stephen Jemals property was floating around unattended, bumping into docks and other boats. Harbor patrol was able to secure the boat and returned it to a slip on the Jemals property.
Our good friends Stephen Jemal and ETO have been up to no good lately.
First, A boat sank while docked on Stephen Jemals property at the old riveria marina and as a result the gas and oil leaked into the creek. The coast guard was notified and filed a report. Separately, On the same property a sailboat dry docked flipped over and is resting on a utility pole.
Then, the docks that were supposed to be cleared away or face stiff fines from the DEC, have started to float away and have now have ended up at various parts in the creek becoming navigable hazards.
Even more horribly an ETO worker was seriously injured, while working for ETO, receiving 35 stitches in his forehead and is facing personal bankrupcy, due to the resulting medical bills.
Looks like ETO has turned out to be a disaster on the property.
Update 10/29/09 -Â Â Email from Greg Moss Director of ETO:
Your recent article “ETO Creek Disaster” is grossly inaccurate and we would like you to make the necessary edits.
“First, A boat sank while docked on Stephen Jemals property at the old riveria marina, as a result the gas and oil leaked into the creek. The coat guard was notified and filed a report. On the same property a sailboat that flipped over and is resting on a utility pole.”
This boat had nothing to do with the ETO – there must be other people that were given permission to use the property.
“Then, the docks, that were supposed to be cleared away or face fines, have started to float away and have ended up at various parts in the creek becoming navigable hazards.”
We haven’t began or anticipate beginning any work on these docks.
“Even more horribly, an ETO worker was seriously injured, while working for ETO, receiving 35 stitches in his forehead and now no one is helping him out with his medicial bills or taking responsibility for his injury. The worker has called Jemals office with no response.”
This person had no affiliation to the ETO (and you misspelled “medical” in your article.)
I appreciate what you are trying to do here and your website is a great way for the Gerritsen Beach community to stay current with events. However, if you want to be a quality investigative reporter you should really do you homework before publishing anything.
Before I get into the debate itself lets answer why the heated debate happened in the first place. To be blunt there has a deep distrust with (ETO) Environmental Task Force Operations with local communities. There have been good reasons floating around for this distrust.
First, they are a spin off of Special Projects Management Operation Clean Bay, which has a very shady past. It was formed by National Park Rangers and staff of the Gateway National Recreation Area to clean up abandoned boats in Jamaica Bay. Needless to say it ended very badly. Whenever the term “pending litigation” has to come into play, you know its going to be bad. Basically the Park Rangers boat captains are all suing each other.
Secondly and mainly, ETO has had an ongoing relationship with Knapp Street and Lacon Ct property developer Stephen Jemal. To be blunt again, What is planned to be built by Jemal at at Lacon Court will destroy Gerritsen Beach, if not cause irreparable harm.
As you may be aware, some in the community as well as GB.net has been keeping close tabs on the Jemal developments. Recently, Jemal was ordered to clean up the docks at Lacon Court by the NYS DEC, if he did not comply he was going to be fined $10,000 a day.
ETO then, seemed to step in last minute and took over conversations with the DEC on behalf of Stephen Jemal. Jemal has not been fined since ETO stepped in.
The ETO-Jemal relationship in a nutshell: in exchange for free rent on Lacon Ct ETO would maintain 4 properties for Jemal and take over corresponding with the DEC. The property maintenance may or may not be a good thing, it depends on how you look at it, they are trimming, leveling soil, more or less cleaning the empty lot. This is all great and wonderful, but it does not help with the perceived distrust.
On to the debate!
Bill Dumphy (Gerritsen Resident, and ETO board member)confronted the GBPOA to “clear up bad reports”.
Mr. Bill Dumphy had again summed up ETO’s role in Gerritsen Beach specifically in the waterways and on Stephen Jemals lot. He stated that they are on his property because they were kicked off their previous location, literally across the creek at the sewer plant DEP, because of allegations made by a former operation clean bay member.
He stated that in the last two months he personally removed 8 boats from the creek, totaling 150 so far removed by their organization. Apparently ETO did this all for free and was expensed out of pocket.
George Broadhead, President GBPOA, is not taking issue with the work ETO does, stating he strongly believes in free enterprise. He argued that ETO stepped in last minute just when the community had them on the ropes.
Bill interjected multiple times and made it a point that ETO sent a letter to DEC urging them to fine Jemal for non compliance. Yelling “Fine the slimeball…wont affect us“. “We aren’t doing Jemal any favors.”
After contacting ETO to see what they thought about the meeting, Greg Moss President of ETO stated that no more than two weeks after GB.nets initial post, their relationship with SSJ development stared to go sour. ETO was trying to secure a contract that gave them permissions to be on the land and to also remove the docks for Jemal. However, SSJ kept pushing back and postponing meetings to secure the contract to the point where ETO felt they might of been used by SSJ to delay the impending $10,000 a day fine. As a result ETO sent a email to the DEC stating that Jemal has no intention of coming into compliance and DEC has to do what it needs to do.
They are currently looking for a new spot to relocate.