Panel's Warning on Climate Risk: Worst Is Yet to Come

MARCH 30, 2014

YOKOHAMA, Japan -- Climate change is already having sweeping effects on every continent and throughout the world's oceans, scientists reported Monday, and they warned that the problem is likely to grow substantially worse unless greenhouse emissions are brought under control. --

Developing Crisis in Wayne, NJ, April, 2021

Scandalous Giveaways in Wayne's 'Mt. Laurel' Development Schemes

Wayne, N.J., April 10, 2021 -- The Wayne Township Council was alerted to the failure of Township attorneys to defend key local environmental laws in the current Mt. Laurel development process, an explosive -- and previously undisclosed -- revelation made earlier at the latest "Fairness Hearing" before the Hon. Thomas F. Brogan of Superior Court, Paterson, to no immediate effect.

    See the detailed Press Releases below.

    Activist Richard Brummel of Pompton Lakes filed a 13-page critique with the Court, shared the filing with the Council on April 7, and testified before both the Court and the Council, where Councilmember Fran Ritter (D) repeatedly pressed Township attorneys for answers before she and Councilman Al Sadowski voted, alone among the Council, to reject the latest Mt. Laurel resolution, which completed a late step in the Township approval of the "WayneBridge" development on 6-7 acres on Hamburg Tpk. at Geoffrey Way.

   The Mt. Laurel projects covered by the environmental giveaways include the WayneBridge site (above), Valley Bank ("AvalonBay"), GAF (Alps Rd., Kiwanis DR., Ratzer Rd., Olga Ct., and Rock Hill Rd.), (Preakness shopping center -- not opposed), and RockLedge (Hamburg Tpk. at Van Riper).

See Press Release on the Council hearing of 4/7/21

See Press Release on the Superior Court hearing of 3/23/21

See Environmental-Legal Critique of the Wayne Twp. Settlements as filed

Contact: Organizer Richard Brummel, (201) 749-7065, rxbrummel (at)

Residents oppposed to the unending over-development in Wayne -- and elsewhere -- should attend the soon-to-be Zoom meetings of the Wayne Township Planning Board -- as yet to be scheduled, according to the Township website, but likely to be imminent -- on the various projects for which the Township Council has already approved settlements and resolutions: WayneBridge (Hamburg Tpk. at Geoffrey Way), RockLedge (Hamburg Tpk. at Van Riper), and GAF (100 acres abutting Alps Rd., Ratzer Rd., Kiwanis Dr., Olga Ct., and Rock Hill Rd.).

Court Considers Mt. Laurel Proposals, 3-23-21

Wayne, N.J., March 18, 2021 -- Wayne's current set of proposed 'affordable housing' settlements with developers goes to an online hearing before N.J. Superior Court, Paterson, on March 23, 2021, at 10 AM.

    Let's EFFECTIVELY USE the Public Comment period via Zoom. For a link, see the Wayne Twp. Mt. Laurel webpage. The timing of the Comment Period is not known to us yet.

    (Download Zoom software Here.)

    TELL Judge Brogan that the environmental 'exemptions'and absence of ecological-impact analysis are legally 'inadequate', pursuant to State Supreme Court standards established in So. Burlington NAACP v. Mt. Laurel Tp., 92 N.J. 158, 218 (1983), which state such developments must be "in accordance with sound zoning and planning concepts, including [] environmental impact," (p. 218) and must not "sweep away" land-use protections (p. 219).

    The settlements and enabling ordinances are deficient because they LACK: (1) ANY analyses of the impacts of exempting the projects from Wayne's tree-protection ordinances (Sections 134-85.3(b) and 134-91 (in whole and in part); (2) ANY disclosure of the overall acreage of woodlands affected or destroyed by the proposals; (3) ANY disclosure or analysis of the impact on wildlife by the proposals; and (4) ANY discussion of alternatives less ecologically-destructive.

    See the Brummel Environmental Critique filed with the Court on March 15, 2021 and March 17, 2021.

    Contact your Councilmember HERE and ASK THEM what they are doing. Both the Mayor and Councilmembers Sadowski and Ritter directly received our Statement.

    Wayne is a serial environmental offender: Read about our lawsuit exposing Wayne Twp.'s massively flawed policies and practices concerning open-space preservation, below.

Still Pending, 3/2021: Let's Save The Little 'Grace-Preakness Forest' in Wayne (NJ)!

NEW! Update 3/4/21: Our Painstaking Appeal Filed March 4, 2021

Shocking 'investigative' Original complaint, filed March 20, 2020

See the Original announcement detailing the case

Who is behind this work? Richard Brummel's biographical info:

Legal-Biographical Website   - AND -   Past Media Coverage

Explanation of Three Tree-activist Related Unjustified Arrests on Long Island

UPDATE -- September 7, 2020: This case has now arrived at the doorstep of the New Jersey Supreme Court, with a legal filing imploring the Court to hear arguments to overturn the refusal of the Appellate Division on August 13th to issue an injunction protecting the forest. See the Affidavit and Legal Brief filed with the Supreme Court on September 4th.

As of 8/20, the three-acre Grace-Preakness Forest remains intact, although some preparatory spray-paint marking appeared by the planned entrance on Gow Rd. several months ago. This summer, the little forest is a rich, verdant ecosystem that supplies food and cover to wildlife large and who call it home. See photos of the forest in its summertime vibrancy here.

We are glad development – and the accompanying immoral destruction of a critical intact local woodland – has not yet occurred. But the danger is ever-present, hence the struggle for an injunction, and the urgency of the legal fight.

But we need your HELP. Organizer and litigator Richard Brummel works in restaurants to finance this work, and has received minimal contributions thus far – less than $100. See funds appeal. The filing fees to the Superior Court, the Appellate Division, and the NJ Supreme Court so far have been about $1000, copying and printing costs have been about $1000 (including color posters for a protest at the church, and flyers), and postage for 'legal service' has been a few hundred dollars. There have been incidental costs of office supplies, and process service. These are difficult expenses – and we will soon need to pay another $300 to the Supreem Court and a $500 deposit for a hearing-transcript (which Judge Brogan recentyly refused to permit be “abbreviated”, so a whole two hours must be transcribed).

Please help keep this effort alive with a contribution here: GoFundMe.

See our detailed press release on the current Supreme Court filing and news.


BACKGROUND -- Wayne, N.J., May 29, 2020: There have been a number of setbacks in the legal effort single-handedly undertaken with the filing of a massive lawsuit indicting Wayne's land-use policies on March 20, 2020 by environmental activist Richard Brummel -- SEE TEXT OF LAWSUIT -- with the tacit support of dozens of residents and nature supporters: (1) Our legal standing was challenged because we failed to 'notice' the Attorney General and DEP 30 days in advance as the fine-print of the NJ Environmental Rights Act required in 'some' cases -- which we argued did not apply due to the emergency to protect the forest; (2) We then recuited an 'intervenor' -- SEE INTERVENOR PAPERS -- from the neighborhood after an arduous search, but we inadvertently ran afoul of N.J. laws prohibiting 'any' legal-collaboration between non-lawyers, and the intervention papers were withdrawn; (3) Then the Judge, professing 'outrage' at the assisted legal-intervention, summarily, without 'notice', improperly dismissed the case on May 26th -- SEE Proposed Dismissal Order; and (4) Now, with a pretty winnable appeal -- Read APPEAL-FUNDING FLYER -- we are not receiving adequate the financial help from the neighbrohood of the imperiled forest which we canvassed over hours on May 28th.

See the Google archive of the legal papers filed.

Please help the case succeed to mobilize attention, impose legal changes,
and end 'business as usual' in Wayne -- and elsewhere -- which has so devastated our local environments!!

PLEASE contribute GoFundMe   OR   Paypal

Contact: Richard Brummel,Tel. (201) 749-7065 (anytime before 10 PM); email: rxbrummel AT

This Is What "Development" Look$ Like To Homeless Wildlife This Winter:

"...[B]y stripping the earth of its natural forests or destroying its wetlands...these are sins."

Pope Francis, quoting Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew, "On Care For Our Common Home", Papal Encyclical Letter, 2015.

We Are Dedicated To Protecting Suburban Nature:
Trees, Forests, Meadows, Wetlands and Wildlife

The Issues Are Urgent: Please Help!

Urgent New Jersey Issues

Urgent East Hills, N.Y. Issues

    Pompton Lakes, NJ, October 2019 -- Since about 2012, the author of this website -- a native of Long Island, N.Y. who relocated to northern New Jersey in 2017 -- has been trying to fill a void left by every major environmental group: stopping rampant 'small-scale' destruction of the suburban environment, tree-by-tree and acre-by-acre in the metropolitan suburbs around him. Even 70- and 150-acre 'local' developments are off-the-radar for the major groups.

    Throughout Nassau County on Long Island, beginning in our hometown of East Hill, N.Y., we see how developers, governments, and super-wealthy newly-arrived Wall Streeters destroy every piece of open land, largely or completely 'de-forest' every tract they buy up, demolish and rebuild every quaint old house, and pave over or 'repurpose' every unused piece of publicly-owned land they could grab, from North Hills and North Hempstead, on the Queens border, to Plainview and Oyster Bay on the Suffolk County border.

    We fought development in Nassau County literally from border-to-border, and it was only the surface of the issue.

    We watched -- and tried strenuously to stop -- as entire boulevards were denuded of their trees (South Oyster Bay Road) by the now-convicted corrupt Nassau County government; classic, well-built old houses -- and increasingly classy 'modern-era'homes -- were demolished to accommodate over-sized, barn-like, ostentatious, energy-guzzling new houses, often on lots of less than one acre, destroying the landscaping and trees as they went (East Hills, NY); 70- and 150-acre forests in North Hills and Plainview-Old Bethpage were bulldozed into oblivion for real estate developments, typically with insufficient or tragically deceptive 'environmental review', as approved by one-party and/or since-convicted corrupt municipal governments (North Hills and Plainview-Old Bethpage, Town of Oyster Bay, NY).

    We have testified extensively, and repeatedly submitted urgent petitions, organized innovative new coalitions, generated extensive media attention, and ultimately wrote countless legal filings to place the issues before state Courts in New York, only to watch politically connected or inept judges ignore the laws as written, or create fake technicalities -- regularly distorting settled precedent -- to avoid interfering with 'property', 'labor' and 'tax revenue' to protect the environment and uphold the law.

    But now it is time again to act! We have been again galvanized into action by the relentless loss of forests in our new home region, as well as by the new outrages committed back home, where we maintain regular family ties.

    Help us turn the global "Climate Strike" attitude into effective local ACTION to stop the destruction around us, and give Nature the chance to heal!

Contact Richard Brummel: (201) 749-7065, or email: rxbrummel (AT)

Fall 2019: New Jersey Emergency Organizing Action:

STOP Rampant Suburban Environmental Destruction

Join an Emergency Anti-Development Task Force for New York & New Jersey

September, 2019 -- See all the bulldozers & speeding dumptrucks?? If you care about our local trees, woodlands, fields and wildlife populations, you either are, or should be, very dismayed at the gluttonous "real estate gold-rush" continuing to destroy what remains of our local environments.

  Despite the snowballing global environmental crisis -- including global warming, deforestation, ocean acidification, plummeting animal and insect populations, and threatened widespread extinctions -- there continues to be, throughout our local NJ/NY communities, rampant clear-cutting and even individual destruction of majestic and irreplaceable trees in utter disregard for the crises around us.

  We recently observed, in our routine travels, dozens of acres clearcut, often totally without warning, in three locations: just days ago in Wayne Twp., along Hamburg Tpk., near Valley Rd.; a few weeks ago in Wall Twp., along Route 138 outside Belmar; and a couple of months ago in Sicklerville, N.J., off the Atlantic City Expressway -- a random sample that is tragically the tip of the 'iceberg'. Furthermore, in Oakland, N.J., a smaller but equally devastating clearcut just destroyed several precious acres along West Oakland Avenue at Spring Ave. (More photos to come).

Before and after photos of complete destruction of the ten-acre, dense, rich hundred-year-old forest at Hamburg Tpk. near Valley Rd., September, 2019. We since learned from an article in the Record that this environmental depravity will yield... yet another shopping center(!)... and that it was partially facilitated by a government action: a promise for a traffic light, according to an article. We wonder: Was anyone told of this in advance? Were the neighbors made aware? More photos to come.

This is OUR 'Amazon'!

  In other words, this wanton, relentless destruction of trees, woods, and meadows is devastating to OUR Nature and wildlife, and is reckless and immoral for the planet wherever it occurs.

  Our emergency plan is to organize residents, students, churches etc. to attend meetings, hold protests, and agitate for new state laws on tree, forest, and natural open-space protection, as well as reform zoning and require sophisticated community-notification well in advance of any proposals to destroy local environmental resources, especially trees. (More to come.)

  We must urgently mobilize locally to identify new 'projects' -- and land for sale or lease -- and pressure elected town and county and appointed zoning boards, planning boards and open space and environmental boards, to deny permits for destructive fresh development. We must demand that our still-existing natural resources be protected for the urgent public good.

We'll start holding informal meetings in local Starbucks. Please sign up now!

Contact Richard Brummel: (201) 749-7065, or email: rxbrummel (AT)

Web and social-media authors welcome! Thank you!

Please note: Content below is overwhelming NY-based because organizer Richard Brummel previously resided there.

Panel's Warning on Climate Risk: Worst Is Yet to Come

MARCH 30, 2014

YOKOHAMA, Japan -- Climate change is already having sweeping effects on every continent and throughout the world's oceans, scientists reported Monday, and they warned that the problem is likely to grow substantially worse unless greenhouse emissions are brought under control. --

Carbon in Atmosphere Is Rising, Even as Emissions Stabilize

JUNE 26, 2017

CAPE GRIM, Tasmania -- The excess carbon dioxide scorching the planet rose at the highest rate on record in 2015 and 2016....Scientists are concerned about the cause of the rapid rises because...the amount of carbon dioxide that people are pumping into the air seems to have stabilized.... Does it mean the natural sponges that have been absorbing carbon dioxide are now changing? �To me, it�s a warning,� said Josep G. Canadell, an Australian climate scientist....[A]s emissions have risen higher and higher, it has been unclear how much longer the natural sponges will be able to keep up....The record increases of airborne carbon dioxide in 2015 and 2016 thus raise the question of whether this has now come to pass. Scientists are worried....--

Read the Pope's brilliant ethical statement on protecting the Environment: 2015 Encyclical.

Local News

ALERT! Architectural Review Board Approves
Denuding of All Major Trees At 43 Westwood Circle (3/4/19)

The two statuesque backyard trees at 43 Westwood Circle planned to be destroyed per ARB approval on 3/4/19.

These two trees at 43 Westwood circle were recklessly approved for destruction by the East Hills Architectural Review Board on Monday, March 4, 2019, with no expert testimony discussed, no effective notification to neighbors, and no discussion of the environmental consequences of years of tree destruction allowed by the Board and the Tree Warden (see next article).

Environmental activist Richard Brummel testified against the proposal -- over numerous interruptions -- challenging the lack of public information published, the absence of expert opinion discussed, the value of trees to the local environment as stated in Village law and challenged the Board's asserton its actions were not having a significant negative impact on the environment pursuant to state law (SEQRA).

The Fight Resumes, 2019: The Crisis Of "Deforestation" Of The Suburbs Endures

Oakland, N.J., January 23, 2019 -- After a difficult hiatus, we resume a level of engagement in fighting the unabating environmental destruction in our hometown, East Hills, N.Y. Inasmuch as we have continue to visit at least once a week, we even have legal standing if needed.

    During a weekly visit to Norgate on January 23rd, the full ugliness and crookedness of East Hills' 'environmental/real-estate' policy was on full display, as almost every healthy, majestic tree at One Wickham Rd. was cut down under the auspices of the ubiquitous East Hills green 'tree permit' -- which is thus profoundly perverted from its original design "to protect the tree canopy for this and future generations" (Village Code Section 186-1).

Final tree of the day destroyed at One Wickham Rd., 1/23/19.

    The small (albeit Million-Dollar) plot -- roughly a third-acre -- was denuded of at least three large trees, one a beautiful, healthy double-trunk hardwood tree, above, plus at least one trunk of another double-trunk tree. All appear to have been hardwoods, likely red oaks.

    The next-door neighbor, thanking us for our concern, told us the Village gave her no forwarning that the valued trees abutting her property were targeted. Had she had notice, she could object or even sue.

    The half-century old trees were destroyed for no good reason, since they were all evidently healthy, judging by their solid trunks, and the observations of the neighbor, who expressed distress at losing so many of the trees she said were central to the beauty of the community.

Two tree-stumps freshly cut and one cut trunk in the rear at One Wickham Rd., 1/23/19.

    Thus once again the fecklessness epitomized by the East Hills political establishment and a growing portion of the residents appears to be on full display, with complete disregard for wildlife, the climate, and the intent of Village law.

    (We are verifying by FOIL -- a process typically drawn-out unnecessarily to a full month by Village Clerk Donna Gooch -- exactly what the Village authorized.)

    Inasmuch as the next-door neighbor said she never received a letter from the Village informing her of any proposed action next-door by the Architectural Review Board (ARB) it is a strong possibility this significant alteration of the local environment occurred simply by secret (non-publicized) fiat of the Village tree warden, as has been routine in the past. We filed a FOIL records-request 1/28/19 to see all the papers related to the shameful acts.

    Nevertheless, it would be completely in character for the ARB to have approved such an unjustifiable, destructive act. That was routine practice under the guidance of Chairman Spencer Kanis: widespread deforestation, and monstrously-over-sized, often terribly-designed rebuilt new houses, for which we (and some other neighbors) repeatedly sued them, but unfortunately lost through judicial distortions of well-known NY environmental-law technicalities, like 'standing'.

    We asked the unhappy next-door-neighbor to get involved, but so far we have not heard whether her spouse approved. Unfortunately, the present residents of East Hills are reluctant to fight for the environment, so this dismal situation continues, in East Hills, in 'greater Roslyn', and throughout Long Island and beyond.

    Unreasonable fear of healthy trees, profiteering by unscrupulous companies, selfish desires for additional amenities, intractable local laws, weak zoning rules, dishonest expert opinions, and even builders' belief trees impede sales all conspire -- in the absence of competent regulatory oversight by the ARB and Village Board -- to destroy our essential ecological cornerstone, the mature trees eloquently recognized even in the Village code for their importance to the common good.

One Wickham: Cut trunks reveal solid, healthy trees that were an asset to the local environment before the Village evidently gave permission for their destruction.

    Thus, we continue to see the Village-approved destruction of the tree-canopy -- the Tree Protection law notwithstanding -- and we lose the majestic local natural resources, vital habitat to our dwindling local wildlife, icon of suburban beauty, serene source of shade and cooling in the summer, vital source of oxygen, and a combatant againt Global Warming, a free natural 'machine' counteracting the greenhouse gas emissions of our gluttonous Long Island lifestyle.

    (We must give credit where due: the Village security services refused to cater to a deranged neighbor who objected to our documenting the tree destruction and pursued us throughout the neighborhood in a black Mercedes SUV without a front license plate, while spewing profanities, until the Village safety patrol evidently told her this was still America, and she should desist. Thank you!)

The tree-killer firm that devastated the environment at One Wickham Rd.

East Hills (N.Y.) Issues

Architectural Review Board Meeting Information: Here
Planned De-forestation at 2 Helen Drive Documents
Current East Hills Environmental-Legal Actions: Here
Other East Hills Environmental Issues: Reforms Proposed, Investigation, More
Old East Hills Central Pages: Here

Facebook: "East Hills Environment"

July, 2017 Photo-Essay: Gen-X / NYC Wealth Destroying the Environment in One
Long Island Suburb, Despite Legal and Civic Efforts To Halt It

Village of East Hills, N.Y.: Eight Recent Examples
Of the Abject Failure of Environmental Protection
by Local Gov't, the NY Courts,
the Media,and the Public (See narrative below)

168 Woodbine Road, East Hills, NY (Spring, 2017): Injunction denied in State Supreme Court (Cozzens, J.)

113 Revere Road, East Hills, NY (Fall 2016-Spring, 2017): Developer destroys tree after receiving 24-hours legal-notice of Court hearing.

5 Westwood Circle, East Hills, NY (Winter-Spring, 2017): Owner ignores neighborhood petition.

132 Deerpath, East Hills, NY (Winter-Spring, 2017): Neighbors refuse to act.

160 Redwood Drive (Fall 2016-Summer, 2017): Neighbors refuse to help.

25 Spruce Drive, East Hills, NY (Winter-Spring, 2017): Neighbors support developer with letters.

25 Spruce Drive, East Hills, NY (Winter-Spring, 2017): Neighbors support developer.

185 Elm Drive (Winter-Spring, 2017): Court issues injunction to plaintiffs, including neighbor, but reverses itself (Mahon, J.).

185 Elm Drive (Winter-Spring, 2017): Court issues injunction to plaintiffs, including neighbor, but reverses itself (Mahon, J.).

185 Elm Drive (Winter-Spring, 2017): Court issues injunction to plaintiffs, including neighbor, but reverses itself (Mahon, J.).

185 Elm Drive (Winter-Spring, 2017): Court issues injunction to plaintiffs, including neighbor, but reverses itself (Mahon, J.).

185 Elm Drive (Winter-Spring, 2017): Court issues temporary injunction (Steinman, J., "Special Term") but assigned judge dismisses (Pardes, J.).

East Hill, N.Y. July 8, 2017 -- In East Hills, our 'hometown', there is a law entitled "Tree Preservation and Protection", an Architectural Review Board, zoning rules, and even a 'consulting arborist' to re-evaluate trees proposed to be destroyed by new residents and developers, but deforestation is as bad as the Amazon.

    For the past five years, as an environmental-civic activist, we have mobilized, canvassed, testified, publicized, and gone to court -- NY Supreme Court and the Appellate Division -- to try to see the laws and rules upheld to preserve the 'character' and environment of this 80-year-old suburb. Tragically, instead, ecological destruction increases every year to the point that now completely leveling entire properties in business-as-usual. Every single tree on the properties, perhaps aside from the far perimeters, is being desteoyed -- as many as 15 or 20 mature trees on a less-than-acre property around a new 6,000+ square foot house encouraged by the lax zoning rules.

    A "review board" was created to draft 'reforms' in response to our front-page 2012 petition decrying the situation, but the Board's proposals, finally complete after a lackadaisical and insincere effort, don't even address tree preservation -- five years on! -- and do almost nothing to discourage the now-standard process of demolition and rebuilding -- at up to twice the size of existing houses on under-one-acre lots. It has been a farce and charade, essentially a civic sincecure for cronies of the local Mayor.

    Who's to blame for Global Warming and the global ecological crisis of species collapse and extinction? It's not "Made in China"; it's made right here in our backyard, among the "enlightened" professional suburban elite in this and many other educated, "Democratic" suburbs of NYC. It's convenient to blame the "Koch brothers", Pres. Trump, the "Scott (EPA) Pruitts". But it's really garden-variety greed, globalized cash, vanity, and extreme selfishness among the Entitled Middle- and Upper-Middle-Class that is destroying our environment, the vital habitat of local wildlife, our civic-moral-political system, and our future.

Old Country Rd., Plainview: Courts fail to uphold State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) (Peck, J.); last major development project approved by Oyster Bay under Supervisor John Venditto, "Country Pointe Plainview". Neighbors drop the fight. One neighbor seeks to "intervene" but is blocked by the Courts (Peck, Hall, Rivera, Hinds-Radix, Miller, LaSalle, JJ.).

2016-17 Winter Updates

    We continue to challenge the failure of local village, town, county and special-district governments (including water districts and fire districts) -- and the courts -- to enforce environmental rules and act pursuant to legal precedent. We have taken the necessary steps to appeal various cases, and we continue to expose what is demonstrably a "rigged", corrupt systemfavoring property, developers, and money, as opposed to Nature, existing residents, and laws as written and designed to protect Nature and our planet. At the same time, we work to mobilize the public and educate the media. (For example here). Even as we fail in the face of that corrupted process, we at least uncover and reveal the state of the 'reality', and help mark a pathway for change and future work.

    We recently finished an important request-to-appeal to the New York State's highest court regarding our unsuccessful effort, in arm's length collaboration with the Sierra Club and Green Party, to protect the small public forest of Christopher Morley Park in Manhasset/North Hills (see below). We just received some welcome local coverage. As this case proceeds at some point we may investigate approaching the federal courts on �due process� grounds, where the state courts have proven so inhospitable and unreliable, because due process cannot occur when the courts are fundamentally broken.

    As detailed below, in East Hills, both the Supreme Court and the Appellate Division ruled against us -- twice -- and permitted extensive tree destruction to proceed, despite deeply flawed approvals by the East Hills Architectural Review [and 'Tree Protection'] Board (�ARB�).

    Regarding Christopher Morley Park, the �air-stripper� has been built despite our lawsuit showing in exhaustive detail how the environmental review was a fiasco by the Town of North Hempstead and others. On December 21, 2016, the Appellate Division dismissed our highly compelling appeal. But are persisting: on February 3rd, two of the original three plaintiffs filed our "Motion for Leave to Appeal" and we are hopeful the Court of Appeals will see the clear danger of letting the Appellate decision stand, as we argued.

    Regarding "Country Pointe at Plainview", we continue to work with residents to stop further destruction of the remaining forest by the Town of Oyster Bay and the local soccer clubs. We also continue to strenuously oppose the injunctions imposed by Justice George R. Peck. We have just served an extensive motion seeking Justice Peck's removal from the case due to sensitive issues of impartiality and fairness. The motion was filed on January 19, 1017, and is available on-line at the NY court website under Index Number "600968/2014" (Nassau County).

    Regarding the Holley (N.Y.) Fire Company's Squirrel Killing Contest, the appellate court in Rochester sided with the plaintiff we helped into court, and remanded the case to the local Supreme Court in Orleans County to re-visit the SEQRA environmental issues we finally presented to it in 2015 -- after three years of work up there, and three 600-mile round trip visits that winter. Now we have to make sure the pro bono attorneys whom we handed the case off to can effectively prosecute and win the next round -- prevailing on the merits, which will mean that the proliferating hunting "contests" nationwide require "environmental reviews" due to their potential adverse impacts on Nature. We are closely involved. We are also looking at the next trip up there to show the oppoosition to any hunt that does occur without the environmental review. We recently were informed that another fire department in Sodus, N.Y. -- about 60 miles away -- also has a squirrel killing contest in February, which amplifies the adverse impact regionally (because the hunters are likely to be using the same woods and fields). That is important -- and unfortunate-- and means our legal premise is that much more compelling.

    Defamation/Libel Action Against East Hills and "Roslyn Times" We also have an appeal pending of an outrageously flawed "dismissal" of a defamation/libel action we filed in 2014 against the Mayor of East Hills and a local newspaper, "The Roslyn Times" over some very damaging and false statements published about activist Richard Brummel which both parties repeatedly refused to retract and correct at the time. Our appeal was filed last April, and we are still awaiting oral arguments.

    Overall, we have been very pressed with Article 78 lawsuits, appellate motions for injunctions, a motion to the Court of Appeals, and a massive motion (and detailed "reply") to have the judge in the "Country Pointe at Plainview" litigation -- and the Oyster Bay injunction -- recused or removed.

    Anyone wishing any specific legal paper can contact Richard Brummel at rxbrummel AT gmail DOT com or (516) 238-1646. We also welcome help and donations to give us money and time to do this arduous work, instead of 'real work'. We'll post a crowd-funding link shortly. Thank you -- Richard Brummel.


East Hills: At the N.Y.S. Supreme Court (Nassau County), Justice Roy Mahon and Justice Sondra Pardes separately vacated two injunctions against East Hills on October 6, 2016 and November 14, 2016, respectively. (Of the two, only Justice Mahon vacated his own TRO. Justice Pardes vacated Justice Steinman's.) The Appellate Division in Brooklyn then denied our emergency applications October 13, 2016 and November 25th, 2016, respectively, asking htem to prevent the tree-destruction from proceeding. In the frist case, an appellate judge literally compelled us to give the other side "notice", and the trees were cut henceforth. Significant losses to the East Hills environment ensued, which could very justifiably have been prevented if the justices -- or the Architectural Review Board -- had followed the facts and the law more conscientiously.

In both cases the judges declined to rule on the substantive issues: i.e. where we showed that independent expert opinion(s) on the record directly opposed and/or raised serious doubts about some or all of the tree destructions, and the ARB violated its own procedures. See Article 78 Petitions for 55 Oak Drive and 185 Elm Dive. Instead the courts used the clearly-unjustified -- in these (and most) circumstances -- legal feint of "denial of standing to sue" to avoid addressing the issues we raised -- and they are mandated to address. (The same legal gimmicks were used in Country Pointe (below) and Chruistopher Morley Park (above). The juridical practice is rampant and out of control.)

Subsequently, at 55 Oak Drive, the Aaronson Family cut down two healthy Oak trees because they objected to large acorns dropping on their driveway (photos above). And at 185 Elm Drive, the Schor Family cut down TWELVE trees, including (we believe) a majestic Tulip tree in what the Village consulting-arborist called perfect in condition, a wonderful large Oak, a graceful White Pine, and several strong Beech trees -- because they wanted minor extensions on the house they just bought, and they were 'afraid' of having trees anywhere near the house.

All this occurred despite East Hills Village law intended to �protect the tree canopy for current and future generations� E.H. Village Code �186-1.

We are weighing appeals of both cases to the Second Department to vindicate the legal issues and what "standing" means> we would appreciate contributions to defray our costs (link to be inserted soon).

The decision by Justice Mahon not only denied standing to the direct next door neighbor, but also silenced activist Richard Brummel, who led all these efforts, by holding him �collaterally estopped� from challenging decisions of the ARB because of prior -- erroneous -- �standing� decisions, despite the finding of the Appellate Division that he was not "estopped". We must appeal this decision within the next months -- another waste of time on a judicially contrived 'wild-goose-chase'.

(Justice Mahon -- or his staff -- has shown a pattern of dismissing cases to avoid real analysis.) Justice Mahon's decision conflicts with a ruling of the Appellate Division which previously held that the argument Mr. Brummel was �collaterally estopped� in such circumstances was �moot�. Justice John M. Leventhal of the Appellate Division, who should have known better, refused (twice) to reinstate the injunction on the basis that Justice Mahon's decision ignored precedent of the Appellate Division itself. By the time a full panel of the Appellate Division heard the motion, the opponents were able to argue the trees had already been destroyed, and the Court refused to act without explaining why.

The ARB has since permitted another new homeowner to cut down almost every tree �- fifteen in all -- at 160 Redwood Drive, again despite opposition from the Village's consulting arborist (photo above).

We repeatedly canvassed the surrounding neighborhood for support for a legal challenge to the ARB decision, but the one neighbor who agreed to go forward later backed out. He felt the ARB would come to their senses if the community were mobilized in a 'nice' way, but this has not happened in four years of conscientious and well-documented efforts (see News, Testimony). Anything lik a 'spontaneous awakenin'g of conscience in East Hills (and elsewhere on affluent Long Island) is unlikely to occur for several reasons: the overly-timid and obedient �Old Guard� in East Hills (and elsewhere) is aging out one way or another, and East Hills (and elsewhere) is being over-run -- to the real-estate agents' ecstasy -- by over-paid, over-entitled Wall Street-type Neo-Yuppies (many of whom 'bemoan' Mr. Trump because it's fashionable, but who have exactly the same moral compass of entitlement, self-indulgence, and self-aggrandizement). They are a cancer on our roads, in our neighborhoods, and in our electorate. It is they who have primarily engendered the Trump backlash -- not the third-world immigrants.

We will persist as long as possible, because the trees and birds and squirrels and raccoons cannot fight for themselves, they are the innocent ones who suffer and die, and the laws meant to protect them cannot do so without advocates to push back against the entrenched corrupt powers.

Since the above was written, the East Hills ARB at its February, 2017, meeting again permitted the clearing of almost every tree from properties with new owners, this time at 5 Westwood Circle (10 trees) and 25 Spruce Drive (10 trees), again over our strong opposition -- along with that of one neighbor at each location whom we informed of the issue (for the first time they heard it) and motivated to speak up, in person or in writing. We will update when possible.

NEWS -- December, 2016

"Country Pointe Plainview" Project: Save the Remaining 30 Acres of Forest Main Plainview Page

    Status of the Huge LI Land-development Battle v. Town of Oyster Bay & Beechwood Properties: 143.25 Acres in Plainview-Old Bethpage: This summer, despite our strenuous year-long effort to testify, organize, publicize and litigate, bulldozers destroyed over 50 acres of forest and heavily-wooded former County hospital grounds in Plainview-Old Bethpage on the former Nassau County Office Complex there. Now, in late 2016, the battle is to save the last roughly thirty acres of forest **in their entirety** from plans by the Town of Oyster Bay to level them for new soccer fields -- as the Town has telegraphed its intention from the time they approved the project.

    The author of this website organized and extensively assisted in a very strong Article 78 legal challenge by six neighbors to the 'SEQRA' environmental review which the Town rubber-stamped despite our comprehensive critique. Readers can judge the legal papers for themselves, posted HERE. Regrettably, in January The Hon. Justice George R. Peck dismissed extensive evidence and documentation, and ruled among other things, that the direct neighbors who for 30 years had been using the former Nassau Office Complex lacked "standing" to sue -- a ruling that flew in the face of established legal precedent. Justice Peck denied our effort to intervene, then slapped us -- and an allied attorney -- with a crippling injunction that is being appealed to the Court of Appeals, having (shockingly) been preliminarily sustained by the Second Department.

    Undeniably massive damage to this ecosystem has already occurred. But it is now essential that people who care about preservation of LI woods and protection of wildlife weigh in and help fight to preserve the final 30 acres of forest on the site. Visit the Facebook page, Facebook Page and see the Information Page. We also need donations, lobbying of media, letters to the Town, and legal assistance.

Village of East Hills:
More House Demolitions and Unending Destruction of our "Protected" Tree Canopy

    In August and October, 2016, we obtained two more temporary injunctions ("restraining orders") from two different justices in Supreme Court, Nassau County, to protect two Oak trees at 55 Oak Drive and eleven live trees -- including a massive Tulip, huge Oaks, a Pine and a stand of Beeches at 185 Elm Drive . The first injunction was vacated when the assigned-judge ruled we lacked 'standing' -- a finding at variance with the law -- and the appellate division then refused to act on our appeal motion until the other side had already begun cutting the trees in a gross dereliction by that Court, about which we are seeking redress. The second case is still in force after we held our ground in court last Mon, Oct. 17 in a knock-down drag-out verbal fight with the outside counsel for the Village of East Hills.

    Read the Oak Drive Article 78 Petition' and Reply and the 185 Elm Drive Article 78 Petition. We showed in both cases the Architectural Review Board -- stacked with mayoral cronies appointed without public input -- failed to even look at the facts and the record before approving the farcical applications before it. To his credit, recently appointed ARB member Cliff Lewisohn alone opposed the first application in the final vote. But the second application was approved unanimously, despite opposition by arborists and us. The Oak trees at 55 Oak Dr. were allowed to be removed because the residents were afraid the acorns would injure their children and their cars. Res ipsa loquitur -- "The thing speaks for itself."


(Please browse to see the crisis first-hand; most proposals were approved verbatim)

    The East Hills Architectural Review Board (ARB) is mandated to protect trees on all land in the Village, and the Village aestetic character. It usually meets the first Monday each month, at 8 PM in the Village courtroom. Schedule. The meetings are public, there is public speaking permitted before each vote, and the applications under review are available at the Village office typically during the full week before the meeting.

    The Village of East Hills is required by state law to post important current documents on their website,**not** just photos of Trustees, clowns and Halloween parades. But they don't, and many of their bad acts are hidden from public view as a result. We have made a strong effort, see below, to address this dereliction by the Mayor and his Village Board. As the planet is warming and species are collapsing, here in East Hills there is shameful ongoing deliberate environmental degradation caused by rampant tree removals and extensive over-construction -- both circumstances that Village law purportedly prohibits and puts under the firm control of the Village's Architectural Review Board, aka "the ARB". Meetings of the Architectural Review Board are public, normally the first Monday of the month, at 8 PM in the Village Court room. Please attend and speak up. And contact the author of this website, East Hills native, environmental organizer and activist Richard Brummel (see above, rxbrummel AT gmail DOT com, (516) 238-1646).

    Please bear in mind: the 'Tree Warden' (who is also the Building Inspector) has also been permitting rampant unjustified tree removals as well, without public scrutiny or ARB hearings: see our extensive (but several-year-old) tree permit investigation.

Architecture-Tree Board Meeting of April 3, 2017 Applications

Architecture-Tree Board Meeting of March 6, 2017 Applications

Documents for ARB Meeting of Feb. 6, 2017: 25 Spruce Drive /// 5 Westwood Circle

Architecture-Tree Board Meeting of January 9, 2017 Applications

Architecture-Tree Board Meeting of December 5, 2016 Applications

Architecture-Tree Board Meeting of November 7, 2016 Applications

Architecture-Tree Board Meeting of October 5, 2016 Applications

Architecture-Tree Board Meeting of August 8, 2016 Applications

Architecture-Tree Board Meeting of July, 2016 TO BE POSTED (for reference).

Architecture-Tree Board Meeting of June 6, 2016 Applications

Architecture-Tree Board Meeting of May 9, 2016 Applications

Architecture-Tree Board Meeting of April 4, 2016 Applications

Also: Architecture-Tree Board Meeting of Nov. 2, 2015 Applications and Results

Also: Architecture-Tree Board Meeting of October, 2015 Applications for reference.

Also: Architecture-Tree Board Meeting of September, 2015 Applications for reference.

(If this issues interests you, please help us form the "Keep East Hills Green Civic Association". Contact Richard Brummel (516) 228-1646, rxbrummel AT gmail DOT com.)

Proposals to East Hills Trustees 9/22/15:

**Prevent Killing Wildlife As Trees Are Cut Down** and
**Reform Failed Village Environmental Bureaucracy**

East Hills' Unpublicized Building Scandals, Policy Turmoil, and ARB Protest Resignation

Village of East Hills Intimidates Two Residents
Into Dropping Their Tree-Protection Appeals

Two courageous East Hills residents filed -- and under pressure withdrew -- emergency appeals to the Zoning Board of Appeals the week of August 31, 2015, in an attempt to save eight beautiful healthy trees at 5 Palm Court and 19 Candy Lane whose destruction was unjustifiably approved by the Village Architecture Tree Board in July. The Village allegedly deluged one resident -- a busy physician -- with calls and entreaties from attorneys before he gave up; officials also demanded both residents submit complex applications and $500 'fees' -- even though both are designed for 'variances' and 'special permits', not citizen-appeals of ARB decisions. In or about December, 2015, we filed a ZBA appeal with a $500 payment -- and it was unlawfully rejected. The Village counsel claimed we lacked "standing" -- although we have viewed the house in queston from our window for 56 years, and it is located within 500 feet from the property where we reside. Unfortunately "standing to sue" is now a rampantly-abused legal provision invoked with virtual impunity in environmental cases by our corrupt courts and devious lawyers, as is the case here.

Links to East Hills main information page

Plaintiff David Greengold with News-12 (LI) reporters at Christopher Morley Park on August 20, 2015 as chainsaws and bulldozers invade and vandalize the public forest. Neither the Nassau Boy Scouts who camp in the forest, nor the relevant governmental subdivisions, nor the NY courts stood up for the law (SEQRA) or Nature. It was left to a handful of citizens -- who keep fighting.

East Hills (LI) Topics East Hills (LI): 'Tree Protection' is a Fraud Appeal to NY State Commissioner of the Environment Roadkill: Our Inexcusable Motorized-Genocide Irrational Decimation of Trees Post Hurricane
North Hills (LI) Forest in Serious Peril The March in DC Against Canadian Pipeline Revealed: Federal Permits to Kill 10,000 Birds in NYS Mineola (LI) Cuts 1,000 Mature Trees Down Shocking Building Plans in the Adirondack Park
LIPA Recklessly Destroys Trees Quick-Intervention Stops Tree Destruction Our Lawsuit to Defend Trees and Homes Firehouse: Environmental Fiasco Shocking Building Plans in the Adirondack Park

Updates - September 6, 2015

Another Deeply Painful Loss:
Christopher Morley Park -- 'Air-stripper' Begins Even As Appeal Continues

      The Town of North Hempstead led by Supervisor Judi Bosworth, via its 'special district', the Roslyn Water District, destroyed and devalued part of the 40-acre public forest at Christopher Morley Park -- a rare public resource in western Nassau County -- on Thursday, August 20th, 2015, with the full complicity of Nassau County (in the district of Legisl. Richard Nicolello), the State Legislature (by the actions of Sen. Jack Martins and Assemblywoman Michele Schimmel) and the Governor -- none of whom paid attention to blatant and fundamental violations of state environmental law which three citizens documented in their -- our -- Article 78 lawsuit, now on appeal in the Brooklyn appellate court. Photos here.

      The Article 78 lawsuit remains pending on appeal, with the potential to reverse the project entirely -- a point raised emphatically to the County and the Water District by the plaintiffs.

East Hills Building-Scandal

      Multiple signs point to the unsustainable scandal of real estate greed as the residents, enforcement officials and appointees to the village Architectural Review Board spontaneously challenge the out-of-control re-development boom that is choking East Hills neighborhoods and decimating its tree canopy, despite laws specifically intended to protect the trees and the neighborhood character. See press release here.

We Are In A Battle To Save Over 100 acres of Forests and Fields in Plainview-Old Bethpage

      Plainview-Old Bethpage, N.Y., July 8, 2015 - Supplemental Article 78 Petition Filed Against "Country Pointe-Plainview" mini-city development With "smoking gun" evidence of 'fraud' in the environmental review.

      The fight begun in June against the 145-acre clear-cut development in Plainview/Old Bethpage continues in NYS Supreme Court, Nassau County before The Hon. Justice George R Peck. The judge on July 8 mildly reprimanded the attorneys for the Town of Oyster Bay, Charles Wang, and developer Beechwood Properties for failing to submit any rebuttal to the papers filed by the plaintiffs on June 10th, and gave them until August 25th (since extended) to submit their 'opposition'.

      The judge said he would decide thereafter on the preliminary injunction the residents-plaintiffs have requested, with or without a further hearing, as needed. The judge told the parties he intended to make a field-trip to view the 145-acre site which is packed with fields, forests, meadows and brushland, along with some parking lots and active and vacant old brick buildings. The Nassau County Planning Commission on Thursday July 30, 2015 approved the "subdivision" of the property into four large tracts -- an unexpected follow-up to the Town of Oyster Bay's rezoning.

      More such subdivision votes are awaiting at the County level; an unusual provision of Nassau County law was inserted as a fire-break when "adults" were in charge of County government and did not trust the localities. Unfortunately, they are all in bed with each other now, and the County has become a nightmare of incompetence and corruption of process, if not far more.

Christopher Morley Appeal Fatally Stymied by Appellate Court

      Manhasset/North Hills, N.Y., June, 2015 - Appellate Court Denies "Motion for Preference" and "Motion to Re-argue" in Fight v. "Air-Stripper" in Christopher Morley Park Forest. There are many judges in the NY State Supreme Court who are hostile to environmental litigation. The chief of the Appellate Division in Brooklyn appears to be one of them. And he is far from alone.

      The trend in NY courts is to dismiss almost every environmental case for one reason or another -- a scandalous abdication and destruction of judicial oversight. We have litigated before about two dozen jurists in NY as a citizen litigator and only about six showed an interest in giving a fair hearing -- Justices Diamond, Winslow, Peck, Brandveen, Mastro and Sgroi. The list of truly egregious judges we have encountered is long -- Justices Cozzens, Parga, Woodard ('retired'), McCormack, Hinds-Radix, Iannacci, Anzalone, and some others. It is honorable to fight on for 'justice', but important to have alternative strategies ready -- Plan B -- if possible. The courts are often an old boys network looking out for the political and governmental interests, despite pretenses of 'reasons'.

We Overcome False Smears by East Hills at Appellate Court

      East Hills, N.Y., June, 2015 - Appellate Court Supports Us and Rejects A, B Despicable Legal-Smears By Village of East Hills Outside Counsel -- who refused to provide a PDF of their legal papers for you to read here....

Updates -- June 12, 2015

Plainview/Old Bethpage, N.Y., June 12, 2015 - Article 78 Filed Against Oyster Bay
Over Devastating "Country Pointe-Plainview" "Mini-City"
See Newsday coverage.

Manhasset/North Hills, N.Y., April 3, 2015 - Massive Appeal Filed to Fight Air-Stripper
in Christopher Morley Park Forest;

East Hills, N.Y., April 17, 2015 - Rebuttal Filed (A, B) v. Scandalous Legal-Smears
By Village's %$@! Attorneys; Court Sides With Us, Again.

Rochester, N.Y., Feb., 2015 - 400-Mile Roadtrip (4x) to Challenge Squirrel Hunt
'Contest' Near Rochester, N.Y. After Three-Years' Organizing and Prep,
Appeal Pending

Updates, December 8, 2014: Environmental Actions and News:

Nassau Devastates Hicksville/Plainview;
Court Grants Temporary Order for Forest at Christopher Morley Park;
Police and DA Trump Up Charges
Against Environmental Activist

South Oyster Bay Road Tree Destruction

Plainview-Hickville, N.Y., 4-19-15 -- In the unsuccessful battle to fight off Nassau County's Neanderthal policies regarding the environmental, we found three valiant local residents who stuck their necks out as needed who agreed to go to court individually at three separate points in the fight and circumvent the paralyzed "STOMP" resident-group and its helpless and timorous plaintiffs. I located these motivated volunteers by knocking on doors.

As of this writing, the trees have been all destroyed by Nassau County -- led by Edward Mangano, Executive; Shaila Shah, DPW commissioner; Norma Gonsalves, chair of Legislature and Kevan Abrams, leader of Democratic Caucus of the Legislature. The attorneys for residents' Operation STOMP, Eisenbud Law Firm, have resigned over non-payment; BUT Buddhist leader Yushen "Freeman" Su and myself have a pending "reply" and a conference will be held by Supreme Court Justice Cozzens or his legal secretary on May 14th. We don't know if Operation STOMP plans to attend, but the legal issue of un-reviewed tree removals remains very important, and before this judge.

The volunteers were amazingly: one lifetime resident of the area -- a lady over 90 years old; one young doctor who lives and works in Hicksville-Plainview; and one Buddhist leader originally from Taiwan who lives in Plainview and leads a large assembly of Buddhist practitioners on the North Shore. The trees behind the lifetime resident's home were among the first to be destroyed after one injunction was discontinued. She was deeply pained by it. Her health has been suffering and the stress of these despicable acts -- abetted fully by the Nassau Legislature and Rep. Rose Walker and Judy Jacobs -- cannot help.

Two of the resident-volunteers got as far as the Appellate Division, Second Department in Brooklyn Heights, and one was granted an appellate "temporary restraining order" which built upon the original Article 78 Petition and legal analysis "affirmation", but a four-judge panel in Brooklyn for some unclear reason chose not to sustain their 'special term' colleague, The Hon. William Mastro, and refused to keep the protection in place, with catastrophic results.

I still don't understand why they were unwilling to allow an "intervenor" to take the issue and file an appeal when the original parties refused to do so, and the lower court would not permit it in a timely fashion, to everyone's peril. State law seems to permit that action, for logical reasons: Civil Practice Law and Rules, Section 1012(a)(2).

At that point, I implored the original petitioners to file the appeal with a volunteer attorney or by themselves with my help, but they remained intransigent and as a result the dozens of trees along South Oyster Bay Road were, as far as I know, despicably and needlessly cut down by Nassau County's contractor -- with the full complicity of local legislators and the Nassau political clique, the PR machinations of some, like a local State Senator, notwithstanding.

For some reason Newsday simply did not continue to cover the issue as far as I know, although a reporter was asking for information as the cutting resumed in mid-November. The County Legislature, faced with a delegation from Hicksville-Plainview, cut their speaking short and allowed legislators and officials to spew lies and distortions about the issue to neutralize it, on November 17th.

. The key issues here: (1) Nassau's illegal practice of circumventing environmental review under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA); (2) an apparently highly suspicious 'recusal' by the original judge in this case in Nassau Supreme Court -- about which a formal complaint has been filed in Mineola and Albany: (3) the effective abandonment of their clients -- and the trees at risk -- by the "environmental law firm" at the moment of greatest danger over money issues; (4) the tragic inability of the residents' group to move from the Internet to real life in terms of mobilizing funding, bodies, and consistent news coverage; (5) the mendacity and hardball tactics of Republican and Democratic Nassau County legislators when it came to airing the issues, assisting their residents, or honestly presenting the facts on the record; (6) the lack of effective press attention; (7) the absolute legal errors committed by the Supreme Court judge ultimately assigned the case; (8) the absence of effective environmental institutions in Nassau County to fight major issues like this; (9) the unwillingness of major local law schools Hofstra and Touro to provide legal support for citizen environmental actions, despite my urgent requests for such aid in November.

It may be presumptuous to add our own shortcomings to the larger institutional picture of why the environment is not better served here. But to be complete, despite the fact we helped prepare about ten sets of legal papers, including about four sets for "STOMP", and devoted dozens of hours including knocking on doors after dark to recruit plaintiffs, I still regret that I was not more persuasive in convincing the plaintiffs of the wisdom of acting on their own. Further I regret that when faced with a roomful of motivated people one night in Hicksville, I was not more insistent than I was that I would sponsor a critical time-sensitive follow-up meeting if STOMP failed to -- which they did fail to, despite their assurances.

The trees have been destroyed, as far as I know, and the homes of birds, squirrels, raccoons and other life, and their sources of food and our oxygen also destroyed, but yet the case is not over. Mr. Yushen "Freeman" Su, with whom I am working, is still waiting to hear if will be granted "intervenor" status in Supreme Court, Nassau, and once he is granted that status he will be in a position of replying to the papers filed thus far in the case.

With respect the to 'recusal' and 'judge- swapping' that led to a judge who doesn't know the law of SEQRA or doesn't care, as noted above we filed formal complaint with judicial authorities. It would be helpful if STOMP joined but I have not even asked. Their attorney at the time did not even bother to object, unfortunately, possibly depriving them of another avenue for recourse.

Christopher Morley Park

Manhasset-North Hills N.Y. -- The lawsuit we launched with two residents of Roslyn Estates to prevent the unnecessary, destructive, and improperly "reviewed" water-treatment facility from being constructed in the 40-acre forest at Morley met a significant success on November 5th when our appeal to the Appellate Division, Second Department in Brooklyn Heights yielded a "temporary restraining order"(TRO) preventing any work from beginning for the time being (see below).

The lower-court Supreme Court judge in Nassau County had dismissed the case because, his decision baselessly argued while parrotting the Nassau brief that the petitioners (us) lacked legal "standing" despite text-book evidence that we did have such standing. Parenthetically the judge, who is a County Court judge hearing Supreme Court cases as an on Acting Justice, inexplicably appeared to have dropped out of his candidacy for full Supreme Court justice sometime in the interim.

At this point we are preparing for a full appeal of the lower court's "standing" decision and hoping a four-judge panel will in the next few days convert the TRO to a "preliminary injunction" that would protect the forest while the Appellate Division is receiving our papers and then making a decision on the appeal.

Nassau Police and Justice System Play Politics and Arrest This Activist

Roslyn Estates, N.Y. -- On November 10, 2014, about 11:30 AM, after I was taking photos in Roslyn Estates of the cutting down of some beautiful mature healthy trees on a private front lawn, the resident accosted me physically. I called the police and walked about 300 feet away to wait for the police. But the resident and her landscaper shortly thereafter began approaching me aggressively down the street again. As I stood with my back to my vehicle, I aimed a fire-extinguisher at them when they were about ten feet away and told them "Stay back!" or words to that effect. At that point the police arrived and an hour later I was arrested for "menacing" and "possession of a weapon", the fire extinguisher.

But that wasn't all. Two weeks later the arraignment judge put me behind bars for $500 bail despite the fact I had re-appeared, lived locally, and told her I had not brought money to court and was not sure I could get it. She also slapped an order of protection on the resident, without the hearing that is said to be required.

The Nassau Police also reportedly dictated a press statement to The Roslyn News that lies about the facts to buttress their case: they said I attempted to hide the fire extinguisher when I saw them coming, which is ridiculous. (See press release, below.)

The Roslyn Times, to their credit, published an extensive article that covered all sides of the matter. One would not guess I had taken them to court several months ago for publishing defamatory statements about me by a local official. This is a newspaper chain with principles made of steel!

I have asked Governor Cuomo, the Attorney General Schneiderman, and the US Attorney Eastern District to intervene in this case because it stinks of pay-back by Nassau County and the local political cliques, possibly including one well-connected local official who threatened to be "coming after" me "with a boat" several months ago.

See our Press Release.

Adirondack Emergency: Lawsuit to Prevent 6,000-acre Tupper Lake Project Under Appeal Now

April 20, 2015 -- This appeal was lost. It is my feeling politics played a part, and due in part to the complete failure of the upstate group(s) to mobilize ANY public opinion downstate, particularly via aggressive media outreach. I tried but was given little support -- moral or otherwise -- by the group(s). There is clearly an insularity and class-chauvinism in the Adirondack movement that denigrates downstate or 'outsider' involvement. In fact it appears a large swath of the upstate 'conservation' movement is Republican, giving themselves a "house-divided" mentality from the start (i.e. anti-government, anti-regulation, pro-'Free Market', pro-Wealth, pro-Individualism, etc.). In fact most of upstate is dominated by Republican, right-wing politics.

    October 20, 2014 -- See webpages of Protect the Adirondacks!. Also see our pages Here.

    The Sierra Club and Protect! must be supported, re-buttressed, and financially assisted in fighting on. This is the largest, most destructive project ever approved in the Adirondack Park and was facilitated by the appointment of a pro-development chairman two years ago to replace a respected conservationist. Furthermore the appellate court involved, the Third Department, is a notoriously unfriendly on environmental issues. (Actually, all of them are relatively difficult on environmental issues, and only the Court of Appeals seems a relatively reliable partner.)

    A visit to the Protect homepage shows the major damage -- road-building and clear-cutting -- being done to the Adirondacks despite its critical and increasingly rare ecological functions. The "Resort" would be another outrageous contribution to the urbanization and degradation of the Adirondacks, and must be opposed as much as possible.

Environmental Action Updates

Christopher Morley Park Air-stripper

North Hills/Manhasset, 10-20-14 -- In a minor setback, the Facebook-posting judge in the Christopher Morley Park case used a baseless argument regarding 'standing to sue', raised in desperation by Nassau County, to dismiss the lawsuit filed by three local residents, this writer among them, who not only use the park extensively but two of whom reside on its edge. We fully expect a planned appeal to reverse the ruling.

    Acting Supreme Court Justice "Jim" McCormack showed himself incapable of discharging the law as clearly established -- despite his running for a full 13-year term on the Supreme Court this November, financially-supported by friends in local law firms touted on his Facebook postings!

    This was certainly a 'litmus-test issue' of judicial integrity that he failed. He earlier failed another test, by creating tests for a preliminary injunction that the law does not support, i.e. how chronologically imminent is the injury, and how controverted are facts in the case. See below for full documents on case.

    The County has not yet received the required permission from New York State to "alienate" the parkland in Christopher Morley Park -- as the governor has not yet signed on. In the meantime there has been no physical work done in the park except nailing tags into about 50 trees, then removing some or all of the tags once they became publicized.

    "There is no question at all that the plaintiffs have 'standing' in this case based on the current state of the law," said Richard Brummel, who organized the case. "If we don't have standing then no one does, ever," he said.

    "The three of us demonstrated clearly we 'use and enjoy' the park more than the representative member of the 'general public', and that is the test. This judge invented a new test, which is that we need to show that the general public -- all 1.3 million of them in Nassau -- do NOT use Christopher Morley Park. But that is presumed, according to the law. It's a truly pathetic attempt to 'punt' the case and avoid its complexities, which all run in our favor."


North Hills Forest Destroyed; Deep Defeat for This Environmentalist

North Hills, September 11, 2014 -- New York and Long Island lost a precious resource this year of 30 forested acres -- and no one really knows about its last chapter which occurred in early September.

    The same forces of reckless, greedy development that devastated Long Island in the last ten years reared their heads again in North Hills, despite some valiant but disorganized efforts of environmentalists led by this writer. A few final errors turned a possible victory into defeat.


The Project was affected by the following Violations of state environmental law:

  • The X-Cell project was illegally voted by North Hills as having no "significant adverse environmental impact" despite levelling 10 acres of rich forest, a home to innumerable animals;
  • The County IDA then approved subsidies to the X-Cell project in August despite its environmental destruction and invalid environmental review;
  • RXR (Rechler) Realty environmental review failed to indicate numerous "Species of Special Concern" -- reptiles, amphibians, and plants -- on the site;
  • The RXR project was approved with no reasonable mitigation of the loss of habitat of 17 forested acres;
  • The County IDA approved subsidies despite the environmental effects of the project on a state-designated Oak-Tulip forest and inadequate review and mitigation;
  • North Hills received millions of dollars in payments from both developers under its "Incentive Zoning" ('pay-to-play') ordinance that violated state environmental laws but was not challenged in time;
  • The Village of North Hills thoroughly violated its responsibilities under state environmental laws in repeatedly green-lighting this project and the 17 acre project next to it that was levelled in January;
  • The Nassau County Industrial Development Agency was similarly complicit by approving taxpayer subsidies in August for the X-Cell destruction, with little public notice, and subject to the same environmental violations.
In a tragedy and a travesty of law and policy, developers "X-Cell Realty" of Manhasset and Seaford -- the owners of the American Shopping Center, it seems -- finally made good on a project illegally approved by the Village of North Hills starting 17 years ago, and in early September they destroyed the last ten acres of the state-recognized Oak-Tulip forest at New Hyde Park Rd. and the LIE Service Rd.

    A 100,000 square foot office building for lessee DealerTrac -- a co-conspirator after the fact -- and a 1000-car parking lot will cover what was the last piece of natural forest left from a 100-acre protected tract, the "Grace Forest."

    The latest outrage follows a blitzkrieg destruction of 17 acres of forest adjacent to the site around New Year's by another firm owned by NY-NJ Port Authority Vice Chairman Scott Rechler of RXR Realty as a lawsuit to protect it loomed.

    Only through allegedly expired statutes of limitations and misreading of law by the judge in the case -- who was recently denied re-nomination by the Nassau Democrats -- were the projects able to proceed.

    Unfortunately personal inattention and delay added to the failures, and prevented this writer's legal challenge from successfully protecting this forest at three different times -- for which I regretfully take profound responsibility.

    As far back as 1997, the Village voted to affirm that that the project would have no significant adverse environmental impacts. It then repeatedly failed to reverse course and passed another such decision in July. It similarly failed to listen to major environmental groups last December when they urged it to undertake further environmental reviews of this and the adjacent RXR Realty project.

    But this outcome was very possibly avoidable but for the lack of awareness of the plans in the final days by the challengers, litigant Richard Brummel included.

    "I am truly embarrassed that this happened. I am also deeply pained. I take a lot of responsibility and blame for it," Mr. Brummel said.

    A complex and wide-ranging lawsuit Mr. Brummel filed in January had been decided against by the judge in the case, but an appeal was still available and was extremely promising due to the environmental impact of the planned complete destruction of the 10 acres of forest that abutted two major roads.

    The change in circumstances of the forest by among other things the levelling of the neighboring tract should have been the basis for a "Supplemental" environmental review by the applicants. But the issue was not fully raised in the lawsuit though it should have been.

    It was also not appealed promptly as Mr. Brummel was waiting for additional decisions to occur with regard to the project -- some of which indeed occurred but were not clearly evident in several visits to the village hall by Mr. Brummel.

    "There are times you learn the hard way and it's very hard. This is one of them," Mr. Brummel said.

    As a result of the levelling of the last 30 acres of the forest -- with the exception of some pieces in the Northern State Parkway right of way -- homes and habitat of several New York "Species of Special Concern" have been destroyed along with the animals themselves, habitat and other animals were destroyed, and a lush green oasis -- potential parkland, and a promising source of fresh air and greenhouse-gas mitigation along the LIE -- was shamefully destroyed.

    In its place will rise a 100,000 square foot office building and parking for almost 1000 cars, with little vegetation around it.

    In Long Island the forces of greed and construction again beat nature and natural beauty. This was accomplished with the full complicity of local village and county officials, along with a judge who is being rejected by both major parties this November, Justice Michelle Woodard.

    Photos before and after coming...

Environmental Action Updates, May 18, 2014

Proposed Toxic Evaporation Tower and Forest-Cutting
in Nassau County's Christopher Morley Park

Statement by Green Party Affiliate      Statement by Sierra Club Affiliate

Dying Turtles at Manhasset Valley Park (Great Neck/Manhasset);
Inaction to-date by Town of North Hempstead

Press Release on Turtle Deaths and Pond-Health

Environmental Testimony Before Local Bodies
Nassau County Legislature, Town of North Hempstead, Village of East Hills

Testimony on Range of Issues, Including Village of East Hills Actions

Environmental Action Updates, March 2014

Stop Privatizing Nassau County's Parks: Next Challenge:
Toxic Pollution Tower in Christopher Morley Park


   First, Nassau County allowed a pair of energy-guzzling year-round private ice-rinks to be built in Eisenhower Park with little public review -- part of what seems to be a stealth national strategy of turning ice-skating into a year-round money-making private indoor recreational sport.

Then, there were immense indoor tennis courts built at Christopher Morley Park.

Along the way the former-county then North Hempstead (Supv. John Kaiman) -owned Manhasset Valley Park was severely degraded, with numerous large London Plain Trees cut down, to make way for a private-league astro-turf outdoor league-soccer complex.

Now the Roslyn Water District is being fast-tracked to build a Toxics Evaporation Tower (a/k/a a "stripper") in Christopher Morley Park while cutting down a large swath of what little forest remains in Northern Nassau, in that park -- a 500 foot "driveway" and a 1/4 to 1/3 acre clearing, based on informal reports absent a full environmental statement.

Up until now there has been no serious opposition and neighbors of the Park reportedly welcomed the idea to keep the Toxics Evaporation Tower out of their own neighborhood.

Supposedly it will be 'safe' to expel into the air next to a swimming pool and athletic fields the ozone-depleting and potent greenhouse-gas Freon22 that has been found in three disparate wells across the Roslyn area, but the neighbors in Roslyn Estates would prefer it not to be on their own street, net to an existing water tower.

All these claims of 'safety' etc. come with apparently no formal environmental review having been undertaken to date, a couple of months at least after the project has been underway. We have sent a detailed environmental-objections statement to the County, the Water District, the Town and the State, which at this point is supposed to need to authorize the use of parkland for this purpose, to get a set of formal objections on the record. Among our objections:

-- Since the source and nature of the contamination is unknown, the current contamination may be the tip of the iceberg and not only other toxics but greater concentrations of Freon could be piped into the air by this tower;

-- Other alternatives like conservation and carbon-filtration need ot be explored;

-- The forested parkland is precious and also very small, and should be preserved both for the public and the wildlife that lives there;

-- There has apparently been no detailed environmental analysis done -- even prior to the Town of North Hempstead's provisional approval of funding this month -- as required by the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) for projects of this magnitude, location, and potential impact.

We are awaiting official replies, monitoring progress, AND organizing an opposition. Please let me know if YOU are interested. Call (516) 238-1646, 8 AM to 8 PM only, please.

19 Trees Cut Down at RXR Condominium Site Despite
North Hills Mayor Marvin Natiss's Assurances They Will Remain


   A row of trees, some over 80 years old, along the LIE South Service Rd. was cut down last week Photo despite the documented assurances of North Hills Mayor Marvin Natiss that the trees would remain.

("The trees that you happen to see flagged as I told you in our phone conversation were being saved. But you said a red ribbon it is slated for destruction. I inquired immediately and found the surveyor marked those trees not for destruction but for them to be numbered. So I would like the record to be clear for both of us. Those trees along that area you saw, the south, that service road, most of those trees are remaining. So those trees were marked in red. They are not coming down. I just wanted to let you know," Mayor Natiss said, as transcribed by the official stenographer, at a hearing October 23, 2013.)

Our calls and emails to the Village of North Hills, Nassau County, the state Department of Transportation, and the Town of North Hempstead has so far yielded no agency that would claim jurisdiction over the trees, which were less than three feet from the roadway.

(By contrast several miles east on the north service road the County had jurisdiction, see next note. And east of Sunnyside Avenue the state had jurisdiction, their agency said.)

These trees were some of the last remaining on the 17 acre forested site despicably levelled by RXR Realty -- led by Scott Rechler, also Gov. Cuomo's appointee as Vice Chairman of the NY-NJ Port Authority -- in January despite our legal-effort to save the forest.

We are working to secure media coverage, although News12 seemed adamantly uninterested last week.

LIPA Crew Cuts Down Nine Healthy Trees on Searingtown Rd.,
One Neighbor Shocked


   A tree trimming crew apparently went overboard -- and according to a source did a "favor" for one resident who said they didn't like the trees -- and cut down nine beautiful trees on Searingtown Rd. just south of I.U. Willets Rd. about 3-4 weeks ago.

One neighbor said his family was shocked and appalled when they returned home from work, and had no warning the work would ha[pen. He said they miss the trees and now face the heavy traffic on Searingtown Rd. without the welcome buffer. He also said a squirrel family lived in on of the trees.

We have again reached out toe the various agencies that have jurisdiction on local roads -- the County and Town of North Hempstead and are waiting for a reply who might have given permission, which was reportedly granted.

The wholesale destruction of trees in our area is an ongoing crime against the environment. Trees work 24/7 to fight global warming -- even as we work 24/7 to increase it with our vehicles, heating and cooling, and other consumption of all kinds.) Trees are the foundation of our local ecology -- they provide oxygen, filter pollution, provide shade and wind breaks, food and shelter for wildlife, and huge aesthetic and natural assets to our neighborhoods.

We are expecting media coverage of this.

If you wish to help fight this trend please contact me. (516) 238-1646, rxbrummel AT gmail DOT com.

"Protected" Trees Cut Down in Roslyn Heights Despite Calls to 311 (and Police)

   With the strong possibility that the work was done without any permits form the Town or County, two trees in front of 79 Powerhouse Rd. which we intervened to save last summer were cut down in November, despite calls to the Town building department and the presence of Nassau police twice.

We earlier documented our efforts to prevent the unnecessary removal of the two trees on the LIE North Service Road (a/k/a) Powerhouse Road below.

Even this modest tree-preservation was undone by the callous and possibly illegal action of the owner of the building, a local mortgage broker who came toe the scene and confronted us.

We are following up with complaints to the various agencies. Photos of the removal activities may have been lost with a recent cellphone, unfortunately.

We had received assurances from the offices the local County Legislator and Town Council,an that the trees respectively on their governments' properties would not be permitted to be removed without their offices being advised, but both moved on -- Wayne Wink moving to the Town and Thomas Dwyer quitting his office for more money.

There are many issues pending -- including pending mega-developments in Islip and Bethpage that require environmentalists' action. Please help. (516) 238-1646.

Interim Updates

Legal Effort to Halt Squirrel Killing Contest in Rochester-area -- 2/20/14

   We spent several days upstate -- 400 miles north -- trying to pin down a legal challenge to a squirrel hunting contest sponsored by the volunteer fire company (department) in Holley NY, 25 miles west of Rochester, near SUNY Brockport.

We compiled a strong legal argument and wrote up papers based on the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA).

But despite an urgent canvassing effort aided by two activists from Buffalo who drove up to help, we only nailed down plaintiffs at the last minute, and most were too fearful to proceed. One was ready, but wanted a partner. The partner needed more time to think about it. An ideal plaintiff worried about retaliation, and pointed to a fire-bomb attack on the mayor's home over another controversial issue in Holley. We sympathized with their proximity to the hunt.

Individual donors contributed $625 to our effort, which had been intended to reach $2500 and pay for legal help, but was instead used to finance my trip upstate -- and I did all the legal paper-work.

The hunt went on as scheduled and likely hundreds of squirrels were killed. Animal rights groups like Friends of Animals -- who denied us any assistance either this year or last -- hope to pass legislation banning these hunting contests, but the effort has not yet borne fruit. A bill from Sen. Jack Martins (R-Mineola) left a large loophole that would have allowed the squirrel contest to continue.

Update -- North Hills Forest -- North Hills NY -- 3/5/14

   The effort to protect the 26-acre forest in North Hills has suffered multiple setbacks since our last update.

Seventeen acres were denuded of trees in a blitz action around New Year's Day and we are now still fighting in court over that parcel and one other one.

Unfortunately, we played a waiting game searching vigorously (with no help....) for local plaintiffs.

Although we were ready with court papers when the Village voted to approve the forest-destruction on December 18, 2013, we delayed the filing as we aggressively searched for a local plaintiff to strengthen the case. (Judges are notoriously stubborn about applying the newer liberalized "standing" rule set down by the Court of Appeals in 2009.)

But on about New Year's Day and the following two days -- including a blizzard day -- it appears the developer quickly bulldozed 17 acres of trees without our watching closely enough. Our most recent visit -- when almost everything was still intact -- was about the evening of December 31. But January 4th we saw what had happened.

On Sunday January 5th, we went to court and obtained an urgent order halting further work. But shortly thereafter, the stay was lifted by Justice Michele M. Woodard whose ruling left much to be desired.

We endeavored to appeal the ruling but were delayed by days in obtaining the necessary documents from Justice Woodard.

When we finally were able to appeal her order,our appeal was denied, twice, first by a single justice then two weeks later by a four-judge panel.

I am somewhat certain that the reason for the negative decision was the lack of documentation accompanying the papers. We had planned to submit all the evidence we had, but were then informed at the courthouse we would have to have copies of it for the other attorney -- even though he already had the same evidence already in his possession. We decided to proceed with only a few pieces of the evidence (exhibits) which in retrospect could have been far too little for the court to rule upon. Another possible tactical mistake on our part.

Meanwhile the developers and Village of North Hills have moved for dismissal of our lawsuit. We filed opposing arguments, and that decision is now before Justice Woodard. When that decision comes down we may appeal that as well, depending on the outcome. If the lawsuit of not dismissed, then the case will be subject to further arguments -- or a summary judgement.

As is typical in our prior experience, the court is "taking its time" despite a legal requirement to prioritize a Special Proceeding such as this. We find this practice very objectionable, and subject ti legal recourse as well, but with significant dollar-costs.

Update East Hills Over-development -- 3-5-14

   We have been testifying month after month before the Architectural Review Board in writing and in person to prevent the exploding new homes and devastating de-forestation continuing to be inflicted on East Hills.

The source of this land-use malignancy -- which affects many irresponsibly led Island communities, including the unincorporated Town of North Hempstead -- is a mix of gold-rush-mentality real-estate speculators calling themselves developers, a new wave of crass gold-plated Wall Street twenty-something new-home buyers and their Escalade driving families, and most deplorably by the hacks and cronies who are in control of East Hills village government.

Recently we were unable to stop the wholesale destruction of some dozen or more trees, including towering possibly 100-plus-year-old Eastern white pines, at 25 Ash Drive which were allowed to be destroyed for among other things a desire to build a retaining wall on a slope that was perfectly stable thanks to the massive root systems of said trees. The architect Matthew Korn was in large part responsible for this project.

We approached neighbors asking them to stand up for the trees but they failed to respond to our last-ditch efforts.

We will shortly append links here to copies of our recent testimony that reflects the only systematic critique of current destructive wave that is wrecking the East Hills environment house-by-house, destroying oxygen-regeneration-capacity and CO2 sequestration, shade, aesthetic beauty, and food and shelter for our indigenous birds, squirrels, raccoons, and other animal and insect life.

Photo Essay of Imperiled Forest
in North Hills, LI
Click Here

Story Below

We Sue East Hills Again
to Protect Trees
Click Here

To Be Updated -- Appeal in Progress (3/5/14)

North Hills (LI) Forest in Serious Peril East Hills (LI) Topics Appeal to NY State Commissioner of the Environment Roadkill: Our Inexcusable Motorized-Genocide Irrational Decimation of Trees Post Hurricane
East Hills (LI): 'Tree Protection' is a Fraud The March in DC Against Canadian Pipeline Revealed: Federal Permits to Kill 10,000 Birds in NYS Mineola (LI) Cuts 1,000 Mature Trees Down Shocking Building Plans in the Adirondack Park
LIPA Recklessly Destroys Trees Quick-Intervention Stops Tree Destruction Our Lawsuit to Defend Trees and Homes Firehouse: Environmental Fiasco Shocking Building Plans in the Adirondack Park

Environmental Coalition Tries to Save
Remains of "Grace" Forest in North Hills
nr. the Queens Border

Current Photo    Current Photo    Court Order    Memorandum of Law    Article 78 Petition

Original Photos Here    RXR Envir. Review    X-Cell Envir. Review    RXR Village Findings

Update -- 1/9/14 -- We missed the boat to court by a few days and a large portion of the forest was pulled down by bulldozers around New Year's Day. However we are in court to prevent further work and to preserve about 10 acres that remain. The next court date is Monday January 13 at 2:30 PM. See the legal documents above. I am recruiting local people to get involved in this current phase of the effort. Richard Brummel, (516) 516-238-1646. Thank you.

12/28/13 -- Our joint letter of appeal to Town of North Hempstead Supervisor-elect Judi Bosworth, who currently represents the area on the Nassau County Legislature, resulted in her writing to the Nassau Planning Commission and to the current North Hempstead Supervisor about the Grace Forest. Thank you Supervisor Bosworth.

    The Village of North Hill unanimously approved the massively over-the-top luxury complex in a final brief consideration last Wednesday, December 18. The Mayor cut off opponents and refused to allow them to address the board after the vote. Work has not begun on the demolition yet.

    North Hills, 11/23/13 -- Two real-estate developers keep getting all green lights to destroy the remaining approximately twenty-six contiguous western-side acres of the rich and mature "Grace Forest" located in the Village of North Hills along the the Long Island Expressway and Northern State Parkway. But environmentalists are now pushing to stop the projects, which consist of a complex of two office-buildings and a 10-building apartment 'estate' surrounded by lawns and fountains suggestive of the "Chateau Versailles".

    RXR/Rechler Realty and X-Cell/"Hess" Realty remain completely supported by the North Hills mayor and board, which voted on November 4th to re-send the (updated) RXR papers to the Nassau County Planning Board for likely re-approval.

    At this late date, environmental advocates see forcing an update of out-of-date environmental impact analyses -- a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement ("SEIS") under the NY State Environmental Quality Review Act ("SEQRA") -- as the legitimate and legally-supported next, and only, step to halt the projects.

    Leaders of the Sierra Club Long Island Group and the Green Party of Nassau County appeared in late October at a hearing in North Hills to express their support for preserving the forest. Arborist Richard Oberlander and advocate Richard Brummel also testified. Co-founder of Long Island Orchestrating for Nature (LION) John DiLeonardo submitted a written statement highlighting the lethal effects of the planned projects on two animal species -- a snake and a turtle -- that the State has now identified as "special concern".

    Mr. Brummel, Mr. DiLeonardo, and Sierra Group Chair Mark Kinnucan also held a press conference at the forest that was robustly covered by News12 of Cablevision on LI several days earlier. We appreciate the media interest.

    You can help! Please sign our petition at Contact Richard Brummel at (516) 238-1646 and rxbrummel (at) gmail (dot) com. Thank you.

Grace Forest Photos Here

We Propose Action for Local Tree Protection
to State Environmental Commissioner
Among Others in State and Local Gov't

    East Hills, 9/3/13 -- After some years encountering pervasive and blatant failings of environmental protection in the Nassau suburbs -- even where citizens have supposedly achieved legal protection for neighborhoods or trees, which are widely recognized as the foundation of our suburban ecology, we have composed detailed environmental appeals to those in positions of responsibility at various levels of government in NY State.

    We addressed a seven-page certified letter to three state officials (Click Here) jointly: the Commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the head of the State Assembly Environment Committee, and the head of the SUNY School of Environmental Sciences and Forestry (ESF). In it we asked for state-level policy to protect suburban trees, to rein-in utility line cutting, and to expand the eligibility of citizens to use the courts to press for enforcement of environmental laws when they are not being properly enforced, among other points we raised.

    We addressed Town Supervisor John Kaiman and the Town Council (Click Here) of North Hempstead, asking them to expand protection to all trees on a property -- not just the front lawn; to enforce provisions related to public notifications; to firmly instruct the Department of Buildings to stop issuing tree-cutting permits anytime a builder wants one; and to effectively enforce the laws on the books, among other points. We have a meeting set up with Town officials in September, at the invitation of Councilman Thomas Dwyer, and a promise from Jon Kaiman to look into the ideas.

    Finally we again addressed the Village of East Hills (Click Here), as we have innumerable times in the past two years, drawing attention to our recent investigation of tree permits issued over a four month period which appeared to reveal serious weaknesses in the way the local tree protection statute is being interpreted and enforced. We also informed them formally of the statements made by a resident before the Architectural Review Board in June, where he said he had first-hand knowledge of widespread illegal tree removals after Hurricane Sandy. He made the claims in the course of his official testimony, in public, before the ARB. We urged the Village to investigate, as we had already urged the ARB when the statements were made. We have not been informed of any action taken.

    Finally we issued a Press Release (Click Here) to Newsday, the Roslyn News, the Roslyn Times, and News 12 about these letters.

    We invite your participation. We have already begun reaching out to "tree advocacy" groups and other environmental groups in NY. You can help too. Please call us at (516) 238-1646. Thank you. -- Richard Brummel, Organizer, Keep East Hills Green Civic Association.


East Hills Tree Protection Law
Fails in Practice

    East Hills, NY, 8/20/13 -- An analysis Full Documentation Here of over 100 recent tree-removal permit files from the Village of East Hills shows that many healthy trees, and many more of debatable health, are being removed in apparent contradiction of provisions of Village law, which promises to protect trees because:"[I]t is in the public interest to protect the tree canopy for current and future generations," Village Code Section section 186-1.

    One of the most egregious examples of tree destruction occurred in a permit issued July 5, 2013, for 26 Old Brick Road (click image to enlarge) near the LIE service Road. Six "large trees" with diameters of 15 to 20 inches -- a large portion of those on the property -- were allowed to be cut down because, according to the report, "homeowner is concerned for safety due to lean or proximity to house." (It is well established that a tree growing at a medium angle is not an unsafe tree; it is not 'leaning' but simply structured to reach sunlight on an angle.)

    In another case at 75 Flamingo Drive (click image to enlarge), the removal of a Hickory and Red Norway Maple (sic) were permitted because they were "in the way of patio construction". But the warden failed to record an analysis of the local impact of the removal, as apparently required by the tree preservation law.

    And while the law mandates the replacement of every single tree destroyed unless "it is determined" that it is not feasible, few if any 'replacements' (meager as they are) were required in most permits, despite no stated finding about feasibility. For example at 70 South Street (click image to enlarge) on April 24, 2013, four Cedars with alleged "storm damage" were removed with no replacements required.

    Despite the Village's decision not to approve a foolhardy "emergency law" proposed last winter, the East Hills tree warden has nevertheless used language reflecting the aborted law to allow tree destruction based on panic-driven "homeowner fear for safety."

    In some cases it appeared that justifications were just cobbled together, since the "reasons" offered in residents' permit applications failed to match up with reasons "affirmed" in the inspection report.

    Given unrelenting tree destruction on local private and public property, in combination with extreme storms, avoidable effects of aging, lack of legally-mandated replacement and no policy of re-forestation, our ecology is being inexorably denuded of trees.

    The consequences are clear: we are causing the loss of vital habitat for animals, reducing the cleansing of our polluted air, and destroying the natural character of the East Hills community. Ultimately, in combination with the aggressive "consumption lifestyle" prevalent here, East Hills is helping wreck the planet, not save it.

    East Hills tree permits and their supporting documents were examined under a New York State Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request covering the period from March through early July 2013. The legally-compelled process was dragged out and made unnecessarily cumbersome by Village officials (see linked page, above). For example we had to get up and walk back and forth to a service counter over 100 times to pick up each file and return it, while the receptionist had to leave her desk over 100 times to take files individually to a back room and retrieve each one separately. Appointments were also stretched out.

    Overall approximately 245 trees were permitted to be cut down during the period -- including a conservative estimate of those approved by the Architectural Review Board (ARB) for new construction, a figure which we will update shortly -- while only about 100 3-inch thick 'replacement trees' were required.

    If you live here -- or if you have similar concerns -- please help in the effort to preserve and protect East Hills' -- and/or the region's-- environment. Contact Richard Brummel, organizer, Keep East Hills Green Civic Association, at (516) 238-1646. Thank you.

See Full Story and Documentation Here

Two Roslyn Heights Trees Get Reprieve

7-31-13 -- There may be a good ending to one small local tree-protection story! (And its lessons are valuable too.)

We became aware of two imperiled trees on the LIE westbound Service Road (a/k/a 79 Powerhouse Road) about three weeks ago, when we saw large fluorescent orange �X's� sprayed on their trunks. Since then we have engaged LIPA, the Town of North Hempstead and Nassau County in an effort to preserve the trees, which are the only street-side shade trees on a heavily overdeveloped strip for two blocks between their location and Willis Avenue.

Our inquiries uncovered numerous inconsistencies and problems: No government agency appears to have requested or approved the tree removals; the Town appears to ignore the details of its tree protection law if a builder claims the wish to remove trees; LIPA claimed permissions that legislative offices could not verify; government agencies reportedly claimed they could only act after the damage was done; and jurisdiction over the trees bounced between three departments in two levels of local government.

The offices of Town Councilman Thomas Dwyer (D) and County Legislator Wayne Wink (D) have been very involved in the effort. As of today, according to Legislator Wink's office, LIPA has agreed to drop current plans to �top� either of the trees in preparation for removal. Please call them and LIPA to let them know you support this effort to preserve these and other healthy trees in our communities.

Both the trees benefited from pro bono professional evaluations at our request by certified arborist Richard Oberlander. The only reason to remove them appears to have been the convenience of the developer of the building at 79 Powerhouse Rd., which stands empty and bears a sign announcing plans to expand.

Far too many suburban trees are being lost to age and disease, hurricane-panic, destructive development, and electric utilities' dubious line-clearing operations. We desperately need to preserve ALL our remaining healthy trees! -- for the essential natural services they provide: habitat for wildlife, shade, oxygen, CO2 abatement, soil enhancement, and beauty. In addition, they are vibrant living organisms that deserve to be respected and protected. Please -- Help in this effort. -- Richard Brummel (516) 238-1646


We Uncovered Federal Permits
that Allow Massive Bird Kills in NY State

Federal permits to kill 7,200 Canada geese and 3,500 birds across NY State revealed by Freedom of Information Act disclosures we obtained in May from the US Fish and Wildlife Service with help from the office of Congressman Steve Israel (D).
Full information here. Download Info flier.


Resident Testifies He Witnessed
Rampant Tree Law Violations in East Hills

East Hills, 7/9/13 -- The apparent epidemic-level illegal -- yet thus-far penalty-free -- removal of trees in East Hills after Hurricane Sandy may have finally became a matter of official business when a resident seeking a tree waiver made extensive public allegations before the Architectural Review Board last week.

Resident Jeffrey Cohen of 133 Magnolia Lane, who claimed trees were dangerous so he did not want to follow Village law replacing a dead one, adamantly recounted watching �every one of my neighbors taking healthy trees down,� and using unlicensed arborists, after Hurricane Sandy last year.

Those witnessing Mr. Cohen's testimony, which became part of the Board's taped record, included all the members of the Board present, including its chairman anbd vice-chairman, the Board's counsel Mitchell Cohen, Deputy Village Clerk Nancy Futeran, as well as many members of the public.

Local environmental activist Richard Brummel immediately asked that the Board, which is charged with over-seeing the Village's Tree Protection law, begin its own investigation and refer the issue to the Village tree warden, the Village attorney and the Village prosecutor for action.

The Board deliberated after Mr. Cohen left and denied his request for a waiver, but also failed to discuss or take action about the allgations.

However, we are in the process of drafting a letter to Village officials requesting an investigation, and we urge other residents to do the same.

We wrote a letter in the weeks after Hurricane Sandy to Mayor Michael Koblenz and the Board urging them to look into and stop the apparent illegal tree removals, and we submitted several written complaints about such removals that we observed or suspected, but no response has ever been forthcoming from the Village.

In addition we have submitted Freedom of Information requests to the Village in an effort to review their post-Sandy tree-law enforcement efforts, but the Village has made access to the documents exceedingly cumbersome, with the Village Clerk often unavailable, no set availabilty times offered, and the Clerk failing to return phone calls.

EYE on Mineola: Where one LI village cut down well over 1,000 public trees on village property since 2010 -- with no arborist reports on record....

Why, Mineola, Why??? Click Here.

East Hills Topics

East Hills Main Page Click Here.
OVERVIEW: Two years of fighting East Hills environmental offenses, in photos and reporting Click Here.
Legal Challenge:Our Abortive Effort to Bring East Hills' Environmental Violations to Justice Click Here.
Baseless Fear of Trees Post-Sandy:Our photo-inquiry shows that even when trees struck homes -- usually an avoidable occurrence -- the results were typically far from catastrophic Click Here.
FALSIFIED RECORD: Nassau DA investigates East Hills posting of falsified hearing-transcript Click Here.
TREE MASSACRE: East Hills abruptly destroys apparently healthy trees -- including a 50-inch Oak -- at Village Park Click Here.
MEDIA COVERAGE: The Roslyn News features our petition to stop East Hills ecological degradation Click Here. Online article Click Here.

Regional Environmental Topics

LIPA ENVIRONMENTAL-VANDALISM: Tree Destruction on Long Island Click here.
ADIRONDACKS: Fighting off Reckless New Development in the Age of Global Warming Click Here.
DEATH ON OUR ROADS -- ROADKILL: Not Funny. Rampant Death and Suffering Ignored and Trivialized Click Here.

3/24/13 -- Legal Effort to Stop Over-development and Habitat-destruction:
We Take Village of East Hills to Court Over Recent Building Approvals Click Here UPDATE 4/26/13 -- We filed extensive legal research confirming our right to sue and the rightness of our issues in response to the Village's surprising, vicious, ad hominem assault on us in their "Motion to Dismiss". The Court refuses to fast-track the decision and says we will need to wait about 60 days, despite the nature of the "Article 78" proceeding.

Scenes from the Climate Change rally in Washington February 17, 2013. A massive, extraordinary effort by wonderful people to persuade President Obama to begin fighting Climate Change by refusing to approve the Canadian Tar Sands development pipeline, the Keystone XL pipeline. �Twenty years from now on President�s Day, people will want to know what the president did in the face of rising sea levels, record droughts and furious storms brought on by climate disruption,� the website quoted Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club. Visit for more information. More original photos soon.

Photo-Investigation of Tree-Falls in Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy, symptom of Global Warming, calls us to be more vigilant protecting the environment, and to question the hyped hysterical cash-based official responses. Localities like the Village of East Hills (where I live) are in panic mode and illegal tree cutting was rampant after the storm. The official response was largely non-existent, if not actually supportive based on an improperly declared "state of emergency". Now East Hills, and possibly other areas, want to suspend their tree protection completely. But we have documented that despite the power of that storm, few houses struck by trees were in any real danger Click Here, and our photo-investigation of fallen trees the day after the storm shows many if not most in East Hills had decayed trunks that could have been discovered by routine maintenance inspections, including core-sampling Click Here. Help!! Help organize Green Civic Associations: See our flyer Click Here


East Hills Updates, 2/10/13:

More Tree Destructions. Ignoring and sidestepping the village Tree Protection laws, the Architectural Review Board (ARB) continues to unjustifiably and improperly permit developers to destroy East Hills' trees and tree-canopy. Despite our testimony, achieved after demanding the village disclose relevant files prior to the ARB meetings, and based on visits to the sites and conversations with neighbors, the ARB again on Monday 2/4/13 allowed developers at 31 Pinewood Drive, 27 Midwood Cross, and 205 Elm Drive to cut down trees as follows: 3 trees 10 to 12 inches in diameter, up to nine trees including ones 24, 48, and inches in diameter (and some unknown), and Oak, Beech, and Cherry trees 14 to 24 inches in diameter, respectively. We plan to file an appeal on this and other decisions Monday.

A massive nearly clear-cutting of about a dozen large trees was proposed for 70 Oak Drive in Country Estates, but it appears that after we publicized the story and went door-to-door speaking to neighbors, some behind the scenes pressure led the home-builder to reduce the number. He submitted a vague email to the village with little of the proper documentation, and seemed to tell the ARB in January that he "tried" to save some trees but the excavation destroyed them. This "accidental damage story is a construction-syndrome about which we have already demanded village action but which continues evidently unabated and unaddressed). The ARB was highly sympathetic in October to the Builder's request, but it seems delayed as of 2/4/13.

We viewed the trees prior to the Hurricane; not all were massive, but all, with the undergrowth, constitute a small "old-growth" habitat for animals. At least one neighbor was vehemently opposed, calling the proposal "murder". Her letter appeared in The Roslyn News Click Here.

Help us promote green policies AND clean government in East Hills, see our Informational Flier and Photo: Click here.

Note that in October we requested that residents be allowed to inspect trees proposed for destruction, particularly on large properties where developers plan to clear-cut deep into the property,prior to ARB hearings on the permits, in order to properly participate in the dialogue. But surprisingly our request was not even formally replied to. The ARB chairman simply told us after one meeting: the law can't permit it; but that turns law on its head -- law is designed to promote due process, not prevent it. See our letter.Click Here. Update -- All these applications were rubber-stamped by the ARB recently and we are in a court battle to stop them, see above. Judges refused emergency injunctions, so it appears the builders may proceed before the court acts. PLEASE HELP -- call (516) 238-1646.

Photo Investigation: LIPA Tree Butchery

View the ecologically criminal tree-destruction committed by LIPA,
the LI Power Authority, throughout western Nassau County including East Hills, Mineola, Herricks, etc.
Click here.

"Topping is perhaps the most harmful tree pruning practice known" (International Society of Arboriculture, Click here.)

"'Topping' is not an approved tree maintenance practice....[T]opping is harmful to trees" (New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)), Click here.)


January 13, 2013 --

Adirondack News: We continue to follow the David and Goliath struggle launched by Protect the Adirondacks! and the Sierra Club to legally challenge the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) for approving a horrible MEGA-RESORT in the MIDDLE of the Adirondack Park. The latest news we learned is that a court date may arrive in the spring, while currently the environmentalists are piling on preliminary legal investigations to uncover illicit contacts between the developers and state officials who were sitting in judgement on the merits of the project. For current information visit the Protect the Adirondacks website Click Here. See the Protect the Adirondacks original Press Release

This is an issue we have fought hard, spending time trying to rally students upstate and in nearby Vermont. We also protested in chilly weather outside the Adirondack Park Agency headquartes in Ray Brook, NY (west of Lake Placid) during the final days of the decision process. (Our ski-masked photo circulated widely upstate.) While the state recently agreed to protect another large 70,000 acre part of the Adirondack Park, environmentalists argue that all of the Park remains under siege from potential development and the type of unreasonably hostile human-activity this Mega-resort project would create -- traffic, noise, lights, destroyed habitat, water pollution, etc. The evidence of this over-development is readily apparent. It is important to note that these forests are unusually healthy (though not completely so) as forests throughout the US and the World are ravaged by fire, drought, flooding etc. We must therefore work esecially to protect them, as they are that much more precious as Global Warming progresses. As we have told the APA, "The party's over." We must now emphasize preservation, not destruction.

We must press media like The New York Times and WNYC radio to cover it and alert progressives downstate.

See our Adirondacks pages Here.

Please write Governor Cuomo -- tell him the APA is way off-base -- Here.
Please contact your local media, and local state legislators. Thank you!

      Planet in Peril will highlight selected issues its author encounters on a grass-roots level that are connected to the larger issues of environmental calamity now facing the human race and all other species on the planet.

      Initially we posted information on environmental issues related to New York's Adirondack Park, because in 2010 we had gained an awareness of various threats and regulatory problems not widely known. (In 2012 they remain largely ignored outside upstate environmental circles!)

      Later topics included certain issues of the suburban environment on Long Island, NY with which we became acquainted through first-hand experience.

      Some local environmental slash Land Use issues we encountered were the delusional and legally deficient permission given a local firehouse in 2011 to re-build at several multiples of size and capacity in a residential area HERE; also, the cancer-like growth of traffic and noise on a local secondary road, Glen Cove Road, spanning Mineola, Carle Place, Old Westbury, Hills, Greenvale, Glen Head and Glen Cove, HERE; the appalling reality of overdevelopment and loss of old growth hardwoods in established suburban developments like East Hills, Roslyn Heights, unincoprtaed North Hepstead, etc. HERE. The common denominator is bad local government, whether village or town, abetted by lax or missing state oversight, and neglect of quality of life and environmental issues in the public discourse. That includes the generally hamstrung local newspapers.

      Intermittently driving through various major highways around NY we became aware of the uncontrolled scandal of Roadkill and began taking photos and empathetically removing animal remains. (1) Photos HERE and (2) HERE The state has many good options in law, policy and administrative practice to reduce this tragedy, so we urge you to help lobby by contacting your state legislators and local media with these and other ideas:

  • Make it illegal to deliberately strike an animal;
  • Require payment of a wildlife fee in the event of a collision;
  • Require motorists to report all incidents to police, thereby tracking this tragic issue and also deterring deliberate or consistently reckless behavior;
  • Require and enforce slower speeds in deer zones and sensitive areas, at night, and by trucks at all hours;
  • Reduce the speed limits in the Adirondack Park and Catskill Park and adequately enforce these laws; and
  • Re-engineer highways and reduce dependence on vehicular traffic.
     Looking at these animals one knows they did not deserve to suffer the terror and pain in their death. Anyone who drives through areas containing wildlife -- whether suburban squirrels, opposums and raccooons, or rural deer, foxes, turtles etc. -- knows most of these animals try VERY hard to cross streets without encountering cars; they KNOW cars are dangerous. But when speed and lights confuse them, or they are pregnant or just waking in spring, they are unable to react and lose their lives brutally. They are not stupid; they are our neighbors and deserve our active protection. Note: All the animals pictured here were removed from the road and placed in a sheltered nearby resting place.

      We previously engaged in activism with respect to urban planning and preservation issues in two upstate NY communities, Potsdam and Massena, and we may integrate some of those materials here as well.

      Ultimately we subscribe to the dire warnings of organizations such as Earth Policy Institute in Washington DC ( regarding climate change, overpopulation, degradation of natural and open-space resources, poverty and inequality, and other issues of global environmental importance.

      This website is an effort to influence local and regional policy issues that feed into the larger problems faced by the global environment -- and the grassroots constituency, a "silent majority" that is affected by them and can possibly be activated by their immediacy to take up larger issues.

      We remain however extremely pessimistic whether change of the magnitude necessary can occur without basic transformation of values and systems that govern human society, especially market-driven consumption.      

Link to Blue Planet: "Imperative to Act" A 2012 UN paper by global environmental
laureates James Hansen, Amory Lovins, Gro Harlem Brundtland, and others.

Link to Global Environmental News

Richard Brummel, East Hills, N.Y.   email rxbrummel AT gmail DOT com
or CALL -- (516) 2381646   Updated 12-24-2015