Was it adding insult to injury?
Beaches on Staten Island will be closed to the public until Memorial Day, officials have said. But homeowners Emilya Malkin and Michael Lilov say the path to the beach from their house, a block from the shore, wasn’t marked — and they told the Staten Island Advance they were taken aback when Park Police demanded identification, wrote them a $50 ticket, and threatened them with arrest for trespassing (“ Family ticketed for strolling along closed Staten Island beach,” by Deborah Young).
“I am a law-abiding citizen; I would never break the rules; I would never, on purpose, take my family somewhere unsafe,” Malkin told the paper. “My whole neighborhood, it’s depressing. When we take walks now, there is construction trash, nails, empty lots. We thought the beach was open, and that we would go, and feel happy again to live here, next to the water.”
The emotional distress of losing an amenity — for a while, anyway — is one thing. But some Staten Island homeowners may also feel the pain of Sandy in their pocketbook when tax time comes. “Repairs to their wrecked homes will count as property improvements,” the Advance reports, “which could mean they'll see higher tax bills (“ Staten Island politicians quiz official on post-Sandy property taxes,” by Jilllian Jorgensen).
"They're basically rebuilding their own house, and they're going to be taxed at a higher level because it's a brand new house, when they never asked for a brand new house," City Councilman Domenic Recchia said. "They never wanted a brand new house."