Pol should make peace between halal market, Bellerose

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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

Staten Island

Posted 8:40 pm, November 2, 2011
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Reader feedback

J Donuti from Bellerose says:
The writer of this letter is completely misinformed and unaware of the facts. No one wants this store to close and racism is not an issue. Mr. Sierra should know ALL the facts before writing a letter trying to defend Super Halal Meat. The store might be an enjoyable shopping experience for his family but they are operating illegally and have created many quality of life problems for our community. Look at the New York City Buildings Department website. All the violations that have been issued to this store are overdue and NONE have been corrected. The neighbors have a right to complain. The owners of this store are operating illegally and the city has walked away from this problem.
I would like to personally thank Senator Avella for his support. The neighbors surrounding this store and Senator Avella have been very patient with this nightmare.

Joe Donuti
Bellerose, NY
Nov. 5, 2011, 7:46 am
lucia from bellerose from bellerose says:
Mr. Sierra can't you see that , food carts & stores are Halal are on every corner on Hillside avenue.... so such thing you can't find Halal stores or food carts.
Nov. 5, 2011, 1:53 pm
A. Augugliaro from Bellerose says:
Mr. Sierra is completely misinformed. The neighbors in Bellerose are tired and fed up with being called racists. Why is it that just because you want a business to follow the Department of Buildings regulations and the Department of Marketing and Agriculture rules a neighborhood is being called rascist. Mr. Sierra was evidently not at the last press conference because there were others there besides as he says "Caucasian". In fact there were several South Asians there. If this market was in Mr. Sierra's neighborhood with animal blood dripping on sidewalks, milk crates full of animal fat left exposed in the rear of the store, flies on the meat and produce, he would have the same concerns. Also, for Mr. Sierra's information, this business did not have to come to the community board for approval. Mr. Sierra should become more aware of community boards, building codes, NYC regulations as far as cleanliness before commenting on Bellerose being rascist. Mr. Sierra is fortunate that none of his family members have become ill eating tainted food from this Halal Market. Another point....there are many South Asian stores on Hillside Avenue and none of them have been protested against. They are following the codes and being good neighbors unlike the owners of this Halal market.
Nov. 5, 2011, 2:49 pm
Mike W from Bellerose says:
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

Does this guy really have family in Bellerose? Does he even know where Bellerose is?
Nov. 5, 2011, 3:03 pm
floral park area from floral park says:
There is so many Halal stores in the area, even when you go to India at the airport it says go to Queens -Floral Park, New York good Hala products.
Nov. 5, 2011, 3:28 pm
Issac Massry from Bellerose says:
This guy has no idea whats going on at Super Halal Meat. This store should never have been allowed to open . They are operating illegally and continue to say f-u to the community and all city agencies. Racism is not the problem, this store needs to obey the laws and start being a good neighbor.
Nov. 6, 2011, 11:10 am
Frank from Bellerose says:
There may be problems at the Halal Market, but a lot of those Bellerose folks are racist. That Augugliaro charged at an Indian guy.

I am tired of the bull. The market should just fix up its problems. Once it does, then the resident should let it go.

And Tony Avella, he is a piece of work. Ask him about what the Asians think of him.
Nov. 8, 2011, 1:27 am
Rick from Bellerose says:
I'm glad 'Frank' is tired of the bull, now he knows what the people who are actually involved with civic issues such as these are up against. Many residents such as 'Frank' who only know about problems in the neighborhood from what he reads in the papers would certainly change their minds if they saw how blatant some of the violations of our laws are when it comes to building and health issues.

Unfortunately, a lot of these residents and homeowners only show up to civic meetings when they have a problem that affects them directly, like someone blocking their driveway.
Nov. 11, 2011, 6:11 am
Robert from Bellerose says:
I am of hispanic decent and I too am fed up with businesses in Bellerose not being held accountable for there actions. I purchased my home in 2001 with my hard earned money and have enjoyed a good quality of life in the area. My neighbors are of all different races and religions. The best thing we have in common is that everyone is a home owner who really appreciates the area. However, the neighborhood is being overun by businesses who do not share the common courtesy as do the home owners. It is not a racial thing. It about doing what is right. BTW there were alot of Delis and Supermarkets that were owned by Italian and Hispanic merchants that the South Asian community did not patronize. These businesses cleaned their sidewalks, paid taxes, and followed the rules. Unfortunately they have for rent signs because they could not survive by doing the right thing.
Jan. 17, 2012, 10:40 pm

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