News and upcoming events

Dear friends,

This week we learned that the Daughters of Divine Charity have repaired their chapel and have opened the St. Joseph Retreat Center at the St. Joseph Hill Academy campus to fill the incredible hole created by the Jesuits selling out  to the greedy, destructive developers Savo Brothers at Mount Manesa. We thank them for stepping in and providing this for the Staten Island Community.
We also learned that Judge Minardo ruled in favor of Borough President Oddo in the street naming case.  The Savo’s will have to live with the names Cupidity Drive, Fourberie Lane and Avidita Place. Cupidity means “an inordinate desire for wealth,” Fourberie means “trickery, deception” and Avidita means “consuming greed.”  (see SI Advance Article below).  We will join BP Oddo in watching the Savos every step as they continue in the building process on this site.


We are still waiting for the criminal case against Gaspare and Paul Santoro to go to trial.  The Santoros were the Certified Asbestos inspectors that the Savos hired.  With the Santoro’s falsified asbestos reports, the Savo’s were able to expedite the demolition permits at Mount Manresa and exposed thousands of residents to deadly asbestos.  The next date on the docket is March 17, 2016, however the case seems to be continously delayed.  We thank DA McMahon and ADA Frey for their continued work on this case.

We are very concerned about former Borough President James Molinaro’s involvement with the Savo Brothers and the Mount Manresa site, as we now know that the Savos paid $65K to lobby the building department for them and that he advised them in the street naming case.  We also learned that Molinaro is advocating for the development of Garden Apartments at the contaminated Sun Chemical site in Rosebank.

We continue to work with Community Board 1 and land use expert, Paul Graziano on the rezoning of Clifton, Fort Wadsworth and Rosebank.

We ask that you continue to support us by writing letters to your electeds and to the


Saturday Feb 13 – 1-6pm – The  Hibernian’s celebration event at Sacred Heart (981 Castleton Ave, Staten Island, NY 10310) from 1-6pm.  Its a fun event with bagpipers, raffles and beer.  The Hibernian’s have been very good to the Committee to Save Mount Manresa, inviting us to march in the parade every year, so if you can make it and help support this organization, it will be much appreciated.

Tuesday Feb 16 at 7:30 PM – Community Board 1 Rosebank Area Meeting
The monthly CB1 Rosebank /Ft. Wadsworth, Stapelton Area meetings are held on the Third Tuesday of every month Mt. Carmel Shrine (36 Amity Street) Next area meeting is Feb 16 at 7:30 PM.
Sunday March 6, 2016 at Noon. –  Staten Island St. Patricks day parade on Forest Avenue.  The Committee to Save Mount Manresa will be marching in this parade for the 4th year in a row. We hope to have as may of our supporters join us as we march down Forest Avenue. More info to come.

Judge sides with BP Oddo in Mount Manresa street naming case Posted on February 12, 2016 by admin Judge sides with BP Oddo in Mount Manresa street naming case By Rachel Shapiro | STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Future residents of the development on the former Jesuit-owned Mount Manresa site will be living on streets named Cupidity Drive, Fourberie Lane and Avidita Place after a judge upheld Borough President James Oddo’s authority to name the streets.

Oddo has opposed the development, which has been fraught with controversy for tearing down trees, developing densely and fraudulently hiding asbestos contamination.

A judge had ordered Oddo to issue house numbers for the streets after he initially refused to do so. While developers Savo Brothers submitted nine street names, like Pearl View Lane, Silver Bridge Drive, Timber Lane, Lazy Bird Lane and Amber Heights Drive, Oddo countered with Cupidity Drive, Fourberie Lane and Avidita Place.

Cupidity means “an inordinate desire for wealth,” Fourberie means “trickery, deception” and Avidita means “consuming greed.”
The developer argued the street names were issued in an arbitrary and derogatory manner.
Oddo argued the nine names the developers submitted were too long and some were too similar to existing street names on Staten Island.
In his decision Thursday, the Hon. Philip Minardo, wrote, “These provided names, which mean greed, trickery and deception, are not considered insensitive nor will they inflame controversy.”
The judge then suggested that the borough president could have perhaps chosen to name the streets after local fallen heroes like Army Staff Sgt. Michael H. Ollis or Army Sgt. Ian T. Sanchez.
“It is within Borough President James Oddo’s discretion to decide if the street names of the residents of the Borough of Staten Island should reflect greed, a Lazy Bird or a fallen hero,” Minardo wrote.
In a post on Facebook, Oddo celebrated the court victory, at least in part.
“The fact is that the names chosen are auricularly pleasing and historically illuminative.

This is not a victory. Victory would have been the agencies allowing us to rezone the property years ago to prevent this proposed project. Victory would have been the Jesuits not being so singularly focused on selling the property to the highest bidder, or at the very least, giving those of us in local government sufficient time to cobble together the resources needed to purchase this property. Victory would have been a developer heeding the community’s concerns and attempting to do right by – to some degree – the trees, the sacred buildings and the natural topography. This court decision is not a victory because it will not bring back the trees or the historic structures that were wantonly and spitefully destroyed. One trip down Fingerboard Road demonstrates the sad fact that those are gone forever and Judge Minardo’s correct ruling can’t ameliorate that loss. As this project proceeds through the land use process, we will continue to stay vigilant on behalf of the community.”

An attorney for the developer did not immediately return calls for comment.

A struggle between good and evil at Mount Manresa

I have seen in the Advance, the destruction of Mount Manresa.

The Savo Brothers represent the devil himself with the spear that enters the heart of everyone who has loved this sacred ground that has brought comfort to so many. The Jesuits represent Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus Christ for money.

Anyone who assists Savo Brothers in this destruction or who buys from them what they build will be dealing with the devil and will have to live with their conscience.

As for the Jesuits, hang your head in shame. Money is the root of all evil.

 I hope no one buys Mount Manresa condos (letter to the editor)

By Jocelyn Ricci  South Beach

I am thrilled at this opportunity to write about my feelings on the Mount Manresa property. I lived in Bay Ridge most of my life, and remember going to Manresa: My parents, Sandra and William, renewed their wedding vows for their 25th wedding anniversary.

Manresa has always been a very special place to my family and I. The beautiful setting, the grotto down under the earth with it’s beautiful statue of Jesus, all the mass cards of the deceased, the burning candles to remember loved ones. There was really nothing quite like this grotto. Upon entering it you could just feel the peace, the tranquility and the utmost love. Upon my father’s passing in 2007, it was his request that his service be at the Mount. It was a beautiful service. My father was my soulmate and knowing that the Mount was his last stop was very, very special to me.

When i learned of the Savo Brother’s idea of ripping apart this most sacred spot, I was absolutely appalled. These guys came in and destroyed what little Staten Island had left. I think they are a disgrace, putting up condos starting at $750,000. Really? A bigger house for Savo? A more expensive BMW? Perhaps another Rolex watch?

It’s bad luck enough that they ripped down a church and tore apart a grotto, along with all the sacred statues of saints. I’m just hoping they put those statues next
to the $50,000 pools they all have in their yards.

Bottom line? They should all be ashamed of themselves. They are greedy, needy and have made a terrible name for themselves.

So to the Savo Brothers? I hope no one buys your ugly condos, and I hope that you all can sleep very well at night.


Investigate Mount Manresa dealings (letter to the editor)

By Carinda Longueira


It is no surprise that NYC has a lot of political corruption. Many civil servants and some of our elected officials all have their hands out.

When Mayor Bloomberg requested a downzoning in NYC to establish more open green spaces, former Borough President James Molinaro, deliberately ignored correcting the zoning of Mount Manresa, a magnificent 15-acre property formerly owned by the Jesuits and used as a Retreat Property.

In February 2013, The Savo Brothers (Mount Builders), who had contributed to Molinaro’s re-election campaign for many years, purchased the property with an R3-2 As of Right zoning designation, and plan on squeezing 250 cheap townhouses into an already congested neighborhood.

Molinaro retired as Borough President in December 2013, and immediately joined the lobbying firm of Pitta Bishop. Coincidentally, the Savo Bros. (Mount Builders) became clients of Pitta Bishop in April 2014 and to date have paid them a total of $65,000 to lobby the Department of Buildings for their needed permits and approvals for this project.

Lobbying firms pay City Council members, judges, DOB and various other city agencies to push through their plans, regardless of any legality at hand or threats these projects may cause the general public. It would seem lobbying firms in NYC are nothing more than a middle man for developers to make payments for favors.

When the Savos raped the land and exposed thousands of nearby residents to dangerous friable asbestos, all of the emergency complaints that were being called in to the DOB were either ignored or were slowly being responded to with a blind eye..

An investigation into the relationship between Molinaro and the Savos, and all payments made to the DOB and any other agencies on behalf of Mount Builders for this project is called for.


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