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Comment on any of the postings or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org The Sunny Isles Beach Reporter would like it noted that at no time has any Sunny Isles Beach elected official written any articles for the Sunny Isles Beach Reporter while in service of our City. The Sunny Isles Beach Reporter prides itself on being independently For the People, By the People & About the People. We have made every attempt to include only material that is, to our knowledge, totally factual and can be supported by documentation, supplied upon request. We welcome any comments or corrections, if available in writing, and will publish and/or retract anything that can be so shown to have been factually incorrect.
By Judge Marc Mogil
Tonight we pay homage to a man whose distinguished career has brought to this City an extraordinary police department: Chief Fred Maas is the epitome of what American justice can produce if allowed to function absent interference by self-serving politicians.
After more than four decades, and many honors by Pope Benedict, the Governor, and police associations, the Chief is now retiring to spend quality time with his wonderful wife and family. As he mentioned to me recently, “If it were up to me, I would go another 5-10 years. But as you know, this is a partnership and she has been waiting for 44 years, many of them long and lonely days until I surfaced.”
I first knew he was a special breed when, after first moving here from New York 11 years ago, I saw him personally directing holiday traffic on a scorching day. During our many private conversations since then, when asked why he did that, he said he would never ask a subordinate to do what he would not. Plus he loved mingling with our townspeople.
The Chief’s favorite activity of appearing at 7am every day no matter the weather to protect our children at school crossings, as well as his covering shifts for his officers when their family circumstances merited, have made him a beloved, unique and sensitive fixture. How many top police brass anywhere else spend their time doing that, and also teaching Sunday school at his church on top of it all? What a special man who constantly gives of himself!
Our Chief Fred is a God-fearing, patriotic, people-loving Peace Officer in the oldest and most traditional sense of that term – elegant, gallant, intelligent and community-minded. And, I’m proud to say, a dear friend for many years.
As I myself near three-score-and-ten years, I’ve been exposed to confidential internal police operations in New York, served for 10 years as a criminal trial judge, and received firearms instruction at the FBI’s Camp Smith. At this stage of my life, it can now be disclosed without repercussion that I undertook covert operations as a CIA contract agent abroad for the United States some 45 years ago. With those experiences and exposure to good and evil, where misjudging character can cost one his life, I can say without equivocation that our Chief Fred is unsurpassed both as a professional law man, and a caring generous human being.
So much so that this police department, because of him, has been recognized by New York Congressman Lee Zeldin in the Congressional Record, something not many departments have achieved. Lee advised me that he has relayed his positive opinion of our department to President Trump. Overall, I’m so proud of what our Chief has accomplished for himself and our City.
Our incoming Chief Dwight Snyder, has been an excellent Captain and will be a superb successor for someone whose shoes are tough to fill. He recently wrote me, and I quote, “Chief Maas is a once in a lifetime leader who will never be replaced, only followed.” I fully concur.
As we who love traditional America and the brave officers of “the thin blue line” witness this transition, may God bless both these patriots with a long healthy life, safety, and happiness!
Book Review by Sharon Elster, Editor
Street Warrior by Ralph Friedman is the highly acclaimed book written by the most decorated detective in NYPD history. Set in the south Bronx of the 1970’s when the area known as Ft. Apache had the highest crime rate in the nation, Friedman worked the Anti-Crime Unit of the 41st Precinct. Only the very best made it to the Anti-Crime Unit and Friedman would prove himself to be more than up to those standards.
Ralph Friedman grew up in the Bronx on the beautiful Grand Concourse in a majestic ten story apartment building, a world away from the crowded tenements of the south Bronx. He came from a close-knit traditional family and it was purely by chance in 1967 at age 18, that Friedman decided to take the police test along with some friends. He wound up scoring in the top 5 percent, setting the wheels in motion for his eventual assignment to the 41st Precinct in the Bronx.
Until the early 1950’s, the south Bronx had been a poor but safe neighborhood of mainly hardworking immigrant families. As these families achieved a measure of financial stability they moved away from the south Bronx to nicer areas. By 1970, the south Bronx had become synonymous with total urban decay. Burning buildings, violent crime, vicious gangs and drugs ruled the streets. Bricks and other missiles were regularly tossed off rooftops directed at cops. This was a time when murder, rape, assaults and robberies were at record highs.
Ralph Friedman began his work in the south Bronx with a deep personal commitment to fighting crime and getting bad guys off the streets. A tall order but one that ideally suited him. Endowed with extraordinary courage, strength, keen instincts and compassion, Friedman faced the most harrowing dangers every day he was on the job. Within five years he was promoted to detective.
The intense reality of each violent incident literally leaps off the pages as Detective Friedman relentlessly confronts deadly shootouts, brutal assaults and undercover busts all in a day’s work. He entered crumbling buildings risking ambush while responding to police calls, he jumped rooftops pursuing criminals and sustained severe injuries fighting for his own life while apprehending some of the most evil characters imaginable. Yet with each confrontation, he remained fearless and invincible. He suffered the devastating loss of his partner in a fatal shooting. In those crime-infested streets, Friedman was even set up to be murdered but saved by an informant who tipped him off. From cover to cover, this amazing book is filled with the most gripping and incredible police stories you will ever read.
Detective Ralph Friedman made over 2,000 arrests during his remarkable career and received more awards than any other detective in NYPD history. His great accomplishments as a dedicated crime fighter earned him legendary stature. Moreover, we will never know the number of innocent lives Ralph Friedman saved by getting so many violent criminals off the streets, but there is no doubt the number is significant. That by itself is one of his most noteworthy achievements. Ralph Friedman is a true hero who faced greater danger and experienced more action throughout his distinguished career than any police movie Hollywood ever made. This outstanding book is a tribute to all our courageous men in blue who risk their lives daily protecting us.
For more information on this book go to: http://a.co/a6BoRfo
By Sharon Elster, Editor
At the 2016 Internal Awards Ceremony of the Sunny Isles Beach Police Department at City Hall this past week, former NY Judge and Sunny Isles Beach resident Marc Mogil presented Chief Fred Maas with a blue-line American flag, honoring those officers who have been killed in the line of duty protecting the public. It was flown over the US Capitol, and was received with honor by the Department for mounting within Police Headquarters.
By Sharon Elster, Editor
At the December 15, 2016 Commission Meeting, Mayor George “Bud” Scholl appointed Dana Goldman his new Vice Mayor.
Dana Goldman’s high approval and popularity among Sunny Isles Beach voters was reflected in her stunning victory over opponent Greg Capra in the November election.
We wish Mayor Scholl, Vice Mayor Goldman and the entire Commission the very best in the year ahead!
By Marc Mogil
Last night Sunny Isles Beach joined the ranks of cities hosting “the entitled ones” yearning to rewrite the election in the streets, spouting epithets against our President-Elect Donald J. Trump.
Despite predictions of “thousands” of protestors, police officers and helicopters seemed to outnumber this small assemblage who marched up and down Collins Avenue, pouting and posing for the cameras. Our Sunny Isles Beach Police Department is to be commended for handling this so well and planning for all contingencies. Police Chief Fred Maas told me, “I knew one thing for sure, they [the protestors] would not interrupt services to our residents, medical or police, under my watch. If I had to put every officer including myself on the street, which I and my captains were, we will protect our city and The Rights of our resident citizens.”
The bottom line is that we are already seeing how different Trump will be from Obama, with his provisional choices of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, General Flynn [fired by Obama as too tough on ISIS] as National Security Advisor, Mike Huckabee as Ambassador to Israel, and Rudy Giuliani as Secretary of State.
If all Americans give him a chance, Donald Trump may well become one of our greatest Presidents, doing what needs to be done, putting America first! Good riddance to Obama, Clinton and their cabal of police-hating socialist globalists, worrying about political correctness and the qualms of our declared enemies, both at home and abroad.
Onward to January 20, 2017!
By Sharon Elster, Editor
Commissioner Dana Goldman has retained her commission seat, declaring victory over her opponent Greg Capra by an overwhelming margin and Commissioner-Elect Larisa Svechin defeated Mendel Bergovoy also by a wide margin.
Unofficial results from Miami-Dade Elections:
Sunny Isles Beach Res. Area Commission Seat 1
Mendel Bergovoy 41.51% 2,228 votes Larisa Svechin 58.49% 3,139 votes
Sunny Isles Beach Res. Area Commission Seat 3
Greg Capra 34.70% 1,969 votes Dana Goldman 65.30% 3,706 votes
We wish all the candidates the best of luck and look forward to many successful years of service to our community by Commissioner Dana Goldman and Commissioner-Elect Larisa Svechin.
By Sharon Elster, Editor
As we approach the finish line of this contentious commission race, some of you may not yet have decided which candidate to vote for. A revealing article in today’s Miami New Times written by Jerry Ianelli entitled Sunny Isles Candidate Has History of Police Run-Ins, Alleged Egg-Throwing should be of help in making that decision. http://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/sunny-isles-candidate-has-history-of-police-run-ins-alleged-egg-throwing-8901732
Former Vice Mayor and Commissioner Roz Brezin found herself in the middle of a controversy over whom she supported in this election. Statement of Roz Brezin http://sibreporter.net/2016/10/statement-of-roz-brezin was published here on October 18, 2016. To finally put this issue to rest, here is the official list of community leaders and organizations who support Commissioner Dana Goldman for re-election:
Dade County Police Benevolent Association, Inc. (PBA); Florida State Rep. Joseph Geller; Miami-Dade County Commissioner Sally Heyman; Mayor George “Bud” Scholl; Vice Mayor Jeanette Gatto; Commissioner Jennifer Levin; Former Mayor Norman S. Edelcup; Former Vice Mayor Lew Thaler; Former Vice Mayor and Commissioner Roz Brezin; Former Commissioner Gerry Goodman; Mayor George Vallejo (North Miami Beach); Mayor Enid Weisman (Aventura).
It is now up to you, the people of Sunny Isles Beach to make the best choice for our City. Please be sure to vote tomorrow.
Editor’s Note: The campaign of candidate Larisa Svechin [Commission Seat 1-Northern District] informs us that she received the following endorsements: Dade County Police Benevolent Association, Inc. (PBA); Florida State Rep. Joseph Geller; Mayor George “Bud” Scholl; Vice Mayor Jeanette Gatto; Former Mayor Norman S. Edelcup; Former Vice Mayor Lew Thaler.
By Sharon Elster, Editor
I want to say something about former NY Judge Marc Mogil, who is a dear friend and has been targeted on my blog by mean-spirited people with self-serving agendas. An event that took place more than twenty years ago is being used to attack my friend. It is unfair and unconscionable. The internet has changed our world in many ways but the internet also carries information that does not always tell the whole story.
I met Marc Mogil in 2009 since both he and I are residents of Winston Towers. We became involved in the 2010 Sunny Isles Beach election and it was during that time I founded the Sunny Isles Beach Reporter. Marc Mogil is a brilliant man and as an unpaid volunteer has given of his time freely and most generously. In all these years he has never benefited financially. His input and contributions have been invaluable to every single one of us. Marc has gone on many 12 hour ride-alongs with our top-notch Sunny Isles Beach police. Our officers and Chief of Police Maas have come to know and respect Marc for his strong support of our City’s finest.
Marc has worked with the candidates he feels would do the best job for you and our City. Again, always as an unpaid volunteer. The very people who make these negative comments wish they had Marc Mogil on their team.
Because we are such a small City, our elected officials can have a much more direct impact on our quality of life than they would in a larger city. And as we all know there are politicians and their cronies who have not always acted in the best interests of their constituents. Some of the issues we face today are the result of decisions made by previous administrations since we became a City.
It is people like Marc Mogil who watch out for the rest of us by offering their talents and capabilities, gratis. Not one penny of your tax dollar ever went into the pocket of Marc Mogil and since he is NOT a candidate for office, he does not deserve to be attacked by candidates or by their operatives.
Finally, people who live in glass houses should not throw stones.
Editor’s Note: No comments will be accepted for this article.
By Sharon Elster, Editor
Apparently the word is out. Highly regarded blogger Stephanie Kienzle of VotersOpinion.com takes a hard look at Greg Capra. Here is her riveting report!
By: Marc Mogil, J.D.
As someone who was twice elected as a criminal court Judge in New York (10 years of service), exposed to both the vagaries of election politics and all types of personalities appearing before me, I’ve come to understand what constitutes a qualified candidate for public office. In doing so, I actively supported Mayor Bud Scholl for election, and was proven correct as he prevailed and is doing a magnificent job. I also have involved myself with the Sunny Isles Beach Police Department, becoming fast friends with our renowned Chief Fred Maas, and spending many full shifts riding along with our officers to see and compare how they do their jobs on patrol. Some were so extraordinary in dealing with their difficult and dangerous tasks and the public that I wrote about them to friends in Congress, and one piece was even inserted by Congressman Lee Zeldin into the “Congressional Record.”
In that light, I’ve quietly observed our Commissioners, and have become close to most. One who especially has impressed me is Commissioner Dana Goldman, a family woman who has gone out of her way to deal inter alia, with the issues of traffic studies to improve traffic flow, understanding the issues and needs facing seniors, preventing high rise building on the west side of Collins Avenue, and seeking to cull out students who illegally and fraudulently have been placed in our K-8 school from other cities, costing our taxpayers a great deal of money and overcrowding.
A graduate of the noted Brandeis University, and George Washington Law School, this practicing erudite attorney, who has volunteered in our City government for many years, has become experienced and knowledgeable in the issues facing us, paving her way for deserved elective office here. She is not an unqualified newcomer with far less of an education nor lack of governmental experience seeking office.
In her re-election bid, she is facing Gregory Capra. From his own releases and public records available to anyone at our City Hall and in New York, I noted the following:
1. As far as one can tell, he never went to college and is merely a high school graduate, which would make him the least educated person on our Commission;
2. He has not served on any volunteer committees in our City, and until he declared his candidacy by attacking Dana Goldman, did not even attend one Commission meeting so as to understand how our City works;
3. Instead of being able to say he saved us tax dollars in some way, he and his wife have COST the City quite a bit, by causing our police to be summoned to his home on at least 25 occasions over the years. The issues as stated in the police reports (personally obtained and available to anyone here under Freedom of Information), were various types of disorderly conduct and public rancorous arguments with neighbors, and one time with Fire Department EMT personnel who sought to take Mrs. Capra to the hospital for an acute alcoholic episode prompting an embarrassing scene. One need only mention the name Capra at Police Headquarters to elicit a knowing response;
4. It appears his only campaign issue is attacking his opponent, Commissioner Goldman, over her suing her condo board when he was President, since they have been long-time antagonists. I personally obtained and checked Court files and saw that the only reason her case was dismissed, with very high costs, was that her attorney failed to file a 30-day procedural notice — an issue of malpractice by the Goldman’s attorney There was NEVER a substantive decision on the merits.
Aside from attacking Commissioner Goldman and misstating a non-endorsement from former Commissioner Roz Brezin, (who personally told me she was livid at that act), he has, to date, little discussed substantive issues facing our City, nor his qualifications to serve.
As such, considering all the above, I am proud to support Commissioner Dana Goldman. As far as I’m concerned, there really is no choice when it comes to their comparative educations, experience, personalities, characters, community service, and fitness to serve!