Please permit me to bring attention to the latest edition of the Manorhaven Village News, dated September 2004. The publication was mailed to every resident in the Village of Manorhaven. Front page headlines reads as follows: Port News Exaggerates "Crime in Manorhaven"/Police Statistics and Commanding Officer Dispute Article. It should be noted that the editor is Stan Spielman who co-writes the village newsletter with Mayor Nicholas Capozzi. As always with each edition, it is overloaded with spin from the current administration. Like Bill O'Reilly of TV fame puts it, "The spin stops here" (like it should).
In this issue, the Port Washington News is criticized for reporting an actual crime committed in the Village of Manorhaven, which the Port News deemed newsworthy. The article was dated Aug. 19. Contained therein was written communications by Inspector Peter Matuza, commanding officer, 6th Precinct, Nassau County Police, in support of the village administration's contention that crime is being exaggerated in Manorhaven. What is most astounding is that the prominent local newspaper rarely reports incidents of crime, especially in Manorhaven, and when they finally do so, they are chastised by a municipality. The news media has the obligation to report newsworthy incidences of crime, making residents aware what is occurring in their community. Case in point: On Aug. 24, a unnamed individual was allegedly stabbed in the Village of Manorhaven. The assailant fled to a residence on Kirkwood Road. Nassau County Police responded with their SWAT team along with police, ambulances and other emergency units. Kirkwood Road was cordoned off from Cambridge Road to the dead end. Village residents witnessed the event. Certainly a major occurrence, yet not covered by the local newspaper. As always, the present administration under the leadership of Mayor Capozzi, saw fit not to inform village residents of this and other similar crimes in the village.
It should be noted that Stan Spielman, editor, reproduced an e-mail allegedly sent to him from Inspector Matuza, 6th Precinct. Under the caption "Here are the Police Statistics," Inspector Matuza states he reviewed the reports for January through August and compiled totals for the village. He further relates that he went to the police website where he got the totals for the entire 6th Precinct and Nassau County. He then lists the totals by village, precinct and county. Category of violations were: burglary, residence; burglary business; robbery; grand larceny of autos; larceny complaints; criminal mischief; auto accidents; aided cases; moving violations; parking violations. My question to Inspector Matuza and Mayor Capozzi is what category do the past stabbing incidences that have taken place in the village fall into? I did not recognize a category such as assaults, which may apply. I feel it is a play on statistics to suit the submitter.
Obtaining the support of Inspector Matuza was quite a surprise. Mayor Capozzi has repeatedly made it public to village residents that he was not satisfied with Nassau County police coverage and that he was looking into securing the Port Washington police. I am certain the Nassau County police were aware of the mayor's intention. In view of this, why would Inspector Matuza give consent to the Village of Manorhaven to reproduce his communications in the village newsletter, which was disseminated to every residence in Manorhaven?
May I also add that in Mayor Capozzi's column titled "Tidings & Squibs," he states in one paragraph, "We always have to review what can be done concerning homes that have illegal apartments." He further writes, "Len Baron (building superintendent) and I have been working on this for months and we now feel we have a good remedy for dealing with this problem," (etc.). He then goes on "There seems to be a renewed resurgence by a small group of so-called concerned residents to target certain types of people and homes and homeowners." Capozzi further states what he is going to do in combating the problem of over-occupancy in the village. It is commonly known that when Capozzi states 'so-called concerned residents,' he is referring to the Concerned Citizens of Manorhaven Civic Association. Mayor Capozzi and his administration must realize that a bonafide, active, civic association has obligations to its members, as well as all residents, to watch over, inform and to advise everyone as to what is taking place in the community. Mr. Mayor, this is what civic associations do. Most importantly, the village is finally making an attempt to combat the over-occupancy that has permeated the village during the present administration's tenure in office. It is quite evident that the so-called concerned residents has given Mayor Capozzi a wake-up call. Mr. Mayor, you must understand, it's deja vu all over again.
May I offer some advice to the mayor. Past experience has shown that the majority of problem over-occupied homes are owned by absentee landlords and must appropriately be penalized when violating our laws. It has come to my attention that the same problem homes and absentee landlords that were penalized in the previous administration, have re-surfaced on your watch. Being so lucrative an investment and aware of the present lack of enforcement of village codes, the same violators went back to business as usual.
I strongly suggest that village residents who have not received the Manorhaven Village News, secure a copy of the latest publication, as well as previous editions. A review of the newsletters will reveal the tone and theme of the present administration through the eyes of Capozzi and Spielman, at taxpayers' expense.
Let the spin stop now.
So be it for what Mayor Capozzi calls the pearl of Manhasset Bay.
Michael F. Ragusa
Concerned Citizens of Manorhaven Civic Association