Thursday, June 28, 2007

Manhattan Beach Meeting Gets Very, Very, Very Testy

We should note that that Manhattan Beach Civic Group voted yesterday to "disavow" those controversial ideas about checkpoints, metal detectors & privatizing the beach to keep "thugs" out. There was apparently quite a spirited discussion, which you can read all about at Gerritsen Beach.Net. What's just as interesting, though, is that the blogger that broke the original story of the email with the controversial ideas was not greeted warmly by some in the audience. Check it out:
Al Smaldone got up and started saying that “Outside forces are separating our community, and to Keep on blogging!” a direct shot at me. At this point two people, Dr. Oliver Klapper, a professor at Kingsbourgh Community College and Robert Gevertzman, CB15 Member, who were trying to see what I was doing all night, and never approached me or introduced themselves, started to harass me loudly. Saying I had no right to be there. Asking me if I needed permission to write down names and what people were saying. They continued with: “What are you typing? Why are you’re simulcasting the whole meeting, you have no right to do that.” When I told him my first name and said that this was a public meeting he started yelling “Who are you, where are you from”. The meeting who was now jeering me calling for my name and who I was. I replied with Dan from Gerritsen Beach. At one point I think I was told I was out of order.

The NY Post was there as was Courier life. I saw that the NY Post reporter was asked to stand up and ID himself, and then was accused by a few people of causing problems.

Saying that the community of Manhattan Beach are elitists might be unfair, but the president and his cabinet who run the civic group are. The whole meeting was very unprofessional, unorganized and they acted like the only reason they cared is because of the attention it got. It seems like thats what Ron and his friends want to do. Ron let the meeting be run like a circus, let his people bully others around. I felt as though it there was no sense of community or respect for one another.

I left early before the rainstorm, to protect my equipment and to avoid another confrontation.
All in a good day's work and fun.

[Photo courtesy of GerritsenBeach.Net]

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