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An open letter to state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside):
I have family in Glen Oaks and they shop at Super Halal Meat in Bellerose. We enjoy the shopping experience and would have to travel farther to another specialty market that specifically caters to Muslims with halal products.
We believe that every business needs to comply to laws to keep customers and the public safe and also to be good neighbors.
But what I do not appreciate is that it seems that with your public vow to close the market you indicted, convicted and sentenced this business to death in the court of your own mind with the jury being the neighbors on the block or close by in opposition.
This is America, the land of capitalism, and with our delicate economic climate no senator in America should vow to close a business down without due process afforded to all constituents to make the necessary corrections to be within the law.
I am sure racism is not an issue with your office, but in following the story every protester seems to be of Caucasian decent, which in Community Board 13, which includes Bellerose, amounts to 20 percent. I did not see the other races which make up the rest of the geographic population. Can we blame the owners for feeling discriminated against?
I hope and pray that you were not offended or have taken the matter personally. You have to take the high road and bring peace to your constituents, not join in their fight by leading the protest or, God forbid, take sides.
Wasn’t this business presented to the community board for permission to proceed with zoning? Isn’t it then that the community board presents the community with the proposed business and then it has a right to a public hearing? I am not sure of those laws and how they work, but given my little experience with my own community board, this is more or less the way it works.
It is too late for “not in my backyard” after the large investment this business has invested and continues to invest to make amends with its neighbors. The witch hunt is on because they failed to attend their community board meetings.
They blame the market for rats, which are in every city in the world. With no one to stop them, four rats breeding can multiply to 1 million in one year.
The residents are seeking whatever they can get their hands on to get this business out after it has been established, and that seems unfair to the business.
My heart goes out to it. Its owners have a choice of selling their property now before the unrelenting campaign against them brings so much publicity that it may lower property values.
You have no legal responsibility or obligation to respond to me, as I do not live within your jurisdiction, but I shall forward a copy of this letter to my own state senator.
I implore you to promote small businesses and make peace in your jurisdiction. I pray you heed this advice. Politicians are not in office to destroy businesses based on allegations and the wants of minority opposition. They eventually have to comply with the letter of the law within a statute of limitations.
Joe Anthony Sierra
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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