Popcorn Alert: Sunny Isles Beach election gets down ‘n’ dirty!

giant-meteor-2016If you think Daphne Campbell is the only lunatic running for office this election season, you’d be wrong.  After all, it’s 2016.  Absolutely nothing is normal.

The City of Sunny Isles Beach is holding an election for two of its commission seats.  As incredible as it seems, this one square mile of a sandbar populated by 20,832 souls, is divided by four voting districts, each of which is represented by a seat on the dais.  The contenders for Seat 03 (Southern Area) are incumbent Commissioner Dana Goldman and her challenger, Greg Capra.

In terms of outright crazy, Capra surely gives Daphne a run for her money.

Commissioner Goldman is supported and endorsed by The Sunny Isles Beach Reporter based on its “four point criteria – civic involvement, educational/professional qualifications, work/professional history and personal character.   According to the SIB Reporter:

Commissioner Dana Goldman [Seat 3] has proven herself to be an outstanding member of the Commission. She has performed her duties as Commissioner with integrity and has worked tirelessly to support those issues that improve our quality of life.

Whether the debate is over responsible development of our City and preventing high rise building on the west side of Collins Avenue; traffic and safety concerns [she encouraged a traffic reduction survey]; taking on serious condominium issues like fraud; overcrowding and pressing to reduce the number of illegal out-of-district students in our Norman S. Edelcup K-8 School where her own daughter is a student; or meeting the needs of our senior residents; Commissioner Dana Goldman will always go that extra mile to do what she believes is right.

Dana Goldman’s gracious and caring demeanor combined with her impeccable law credentials [she is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Brandeis University and graduate of George Washington School of Law], her multifaceted work experience and her ability to interact so well with people has made her an invaluable asset to our City. She is one of the finest elected officials to ever serve and we believe she is most worthy of your vote.

Goldman’s opponent, however, is another story.

According to Sunny Isles Beach lore, Greg Capra is every resident’s worst nightmare.  He and his wife are constantly embroiled in vicious battles with all of their neighbors.

Capra has no history of civic involvement in the local government.

Unless you count the 28 code violations committed by the condominium association, of which he serves as its president.

Or the 26 times the police were called to his house, especially in response to his wife’s out of control behavior.

Or the time she had an altercation with a neighbor’s son and threatened, “you motherf*cker, I’m going to get you.”

Or the time she was verbally abusive to the police after they were called by several of her neighbors for playing “extremely loud” music at 11:52 PM on a Sunday night, and then retaliated by throwing eggs at her neighbor’s house.

And then there was the time the police were called because she was drunk and disorderly, and had to be transported to the hospital by fire rescue.

And then there’s this:

Yeah, she’s a real gem.

Then again, the previous Mrs. Capra would probably say that her ex-husband got exactly what he deserved.

She had to file two restraining orders against him during their contested ten-year divorce proceedings in Rockland County, New York.

By all accounts, Greg Capra is a vindictive bully, who threatens to sue anyone at the drop of a hat.  His wife, Nikolina Capra, filed lawsuits against two of their neighbors in 2010, and together they have been sued, both individually and as officers of their condominium association, six times since 2010.

One of those lawsuits filed in 2013 by their neighbors, Joel and Patricia Aresty, is still open.  The original complaint filed on April 27, 2013 alleged that the Capras engaged in “public intimidation and retribution” against the plaintiffs and others in the community.  The plaintiffs also allege that Mrs. Capra has continuously been “disrespectful and antagonistic” toward Mrs. Aresty, and has subjected her to “verbal derision and disdain” in public.

The original complaint also noted, “Greg Capra owns a company that sells publications and courses in stock day-trading.  He reportedly met his wife, Nikolina, or Nikki, working at Solid Gold as a waitress.”

Interestingly, the amended complaint filed June 19, 2013 deleted the reference to Nikki’s job at the North Miami Beach strip gentleman’s club, but did add that the complaint was amended to correct scrivenor errors, to add exhibits, and “to allege the concealment of the Capras to avoid service of process.”

The complaint includes allegations of libel, defamation, “inebriated verbal assaults,” vandalism, stalking, threats of arrest and incarceration, among other things.  The plaintiffs also accused the Arestys of causing them “emotional distress and medical problems.”  They also claimed that the Capras copied all of the unit owners in the development with every single communication, written on the association’s official letterhead in the form of a “Newsletter,” for the purpose of publicly humiliating them.  They even accused the Arestys of not being legally married!

The complaint states that the publication of the one of the letters “was clearly a culmination of the ill will, hostility, and evil intention to defame and injure” the Arestys, thereby creating “an open invitation to the community to hate” them.  Requests by the plaintiffs for a retraction of the libelous letters went unanswered.

In any event, if nothing else, the complaint is an entertaining read.

Local government, however, should never be about entertainment.

Nor should it be about bullying or damaging reputations, which Greg Capra apparently excels at doing.

Every election season tends to bring out the crazies, especially in South Florida.  This year, the insanity seems to be especially prominent.

Then again, this is 2016.  Nothing should surprise.

In order to preserve my own sanity, there really is only one solution.

Stephanie

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36 Comments

  1. ClassAction says:

    Halloween is great timing for this article. Capra and his wife are perfect casting for a horror movie! Glad I don’t live in Poinciana.

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  2. Theusalover says:

    I love Sunny Isles ! beautiful, classy, clean, not panhandling or people loitering selling dope like NOrth MIami Beach ! Check the east of Walmart in 163 st ne 15 ave !( disgusting) . I love Sunny Isles !

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  3. John Rusnak says:

    Why has UTube removed the video since it does not adhere to their terms of service? Someone want to answer that one? These obnoxious dirty obnoxious postings, many of which have no substance since most of the facts have been suppressed by Sharon Elster. For shame! Get a real job Sharon.

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    1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

      I heard you were a Capra operative. You should at least make full disclosure before you attack the messenger. Just saying.

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      1. Sharon Elster says:

        Steph, The nasty and bizarre rant above, posted by the “Capra operative” is quite typical of what this individual has sent to my blog since 2014. I will not dignify these comments with a reply.

        On a more positive note, I loved your great reportage on this commission race!!

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    2. Arnie says:

      Mr. Rusnak, you are 100% correct when you say that youtube removed the video because it violated their terms of service. Do you know why? That video is laced with the most vile expletives delivered by the one and only Niki Capra, the most recent wife of Greg Capra and a legend in her own mind. In it you will find F-bombs galore, along with other assorted disgusting words even youtube could not bear to publish. This is the Capra’s world, ladies and gentlemen. If you don’t do what they say, or vote for them to stay on the crooked board or get in their way with your car they will shamelessly harass you. Niki and Greg don’t care that the residents of that island, and now the entire city, hear their crazy rants. That’s what happens when too much alcohol is involved (refer to SIB police reports). By the way, that video is available on other venues. If you search you will find. So, Rusnak, there’s the answer to your question.

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      1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

        I was fortunate (or maybe unfortunate) to hear the Capra recording before it was removed from youtube. The woman let loose a string of profanities that would make a sailor blush. No offense to sailors, of course, but metaphorically speaking. She did sound drunk, as well. At least, I hope she was drunk. I can’t imagine a sober woman saying those things, let alone leaving them on someone’s answering machine for posterity.

        She’s a real peach, that one.

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  4. Marc Mogil, J.D. says:

    Rusnak supporting Capra by bashing those who point out Capra’s heinous conduct and lack of a college education / experience and troublesome prior events at his home? Why is no one surprised? He’s been attacking good people for a few years now. This vitriolic churl loves seeing his name in print.
    Good article, Stephanie!

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  5. John Rusnak says:

    Just saying…I believe that was an expression that is used among high school teenagers.

    Yes, I am a backer of Greg Capra. I think if people really wanted to know about him, they should do a little investigating and the truth will come out.

    As far as Sharon Elster, she publishes only what she assumes is favorable to the candidate that she is backing. Anyone else doesn’t get published. Yes I hde sent numerous blogs to her concerning the untruths that were blogs that were published about mayoral candidate, Lew Thaler which had absolutely no basis whatsoever in fact.

    Here is the latest blog sent to Sharon Elster. It has been in “moderation” whatever that is supposed to mean for at least a week.

    Here is what the masthead says:

    We want to hear from you!
    Posted on October 22, 2010 by admin
    Comment on any of the postings or email us at sibreporter@aol.com

    This is the email I sent, awaiting “Moderation”.

    To the Editor:

    I noticed that every one of your postings about Greg Capra are all negative. I simply cannot believe that at least one or more contributors would have a favorable and positive view of Greg.

    Let’s face it, do I want someone so lacking in character as Dana Goldman who repeatedly lied in a deposition? I don’t think so. This is a person who sent out mailings under a fictitious name. This has been proven in court.

    I want all of my representatives to be of outstanding of character. Someone once said to me that there is a separation between the condo association and acting on behalf of the citizens of Sunny Isles Beach. Sorry, as far as I am concerned I do not want anyone to represent me who lacks character. Of course the SIB Reporter has already endorsed Dana so that tells me something about the editor.

    Does this surprise me? Not in the least. We saw it in the Lew Thaler for Mayor postings, all of which were negative and none of my numerous blogs were ever posted.

    If anyone wants to reply, please be my guest and that includes B.Marc Mogil!

    John Rusnak

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    1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

      Dude, that’s not a “blog.” That’s a comment. If the SIB Reporter won’t approve your rant, that’s her business. Me? I’m not afraid of controversy. Bring it on, dude. But, let’s be clear. YOU are not a blogger. Comments are not “blogs.” Got it?

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  6. John Rusnak says:

    I notice my blog was removed. Are you another Sharon Elster under a different name.

    What gives here?

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    1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

      You write a blog? Send me a link to your website? Oh, my bad. You meant that you posted a comment on MY blog, which wasn’t “removed.” I just hadn’t approved it as yet since I have a day job and was too busy to attend to MY blog during business hours. You know what a day job is, right? Then again, as a defrocked priest, maybe not. In any event, there’s your comment. Approved and posted. Now everyone can see what a derp you are. Alrighty then.

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  7. John Rusnak says:

    Where did you get the information that I was a “defrocked” priest. If you are going to post misinformation, at least get it right. First of all, I was never a priest. Secondly I was not defrocked. I belonged to the Brothers of the Christian Schools, one of the largest teaching orders in the Catholic Church. I was the director of fund raising for the order. Nowhere in any records is there any mention of “defrocking”. L voluntarily left the order after fifteen years of my own will. As for the defrocking information, I know where you got it and I repeat it is completely false. So check your facts before you make dumb statements which have no veracity.

    No, I don’t have a website? Do you know why? Before you jump to nasty and hasty conclusions, I started an online business called JR Mushrooms & Specialties,Inc. which I sold in 2009. I, was a pioneer, in the online gourmet business. In fact AMAZON contacted me to be on their website.

    Of course I know what a “day” job is. I owned and operated one of Washington’s finest and first gourmet food stores which I sold in 1984.

    I was also a journalist for five industry magazines in the late ’90’s and into early 2000.

    Do you have any other insults you want to hurl my way.

    Please, bring them on.

    By the way, I am now 76 years old, for your information.

    John Rusnak

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    1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

      Whatever.

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      1. Arnie says:

        I think John Rusnak needs an education on exactly what he’s been participating in. John, votersopinion.com is a blog. Back in the ‘90’s (about 20 years ago) they used to be called web logs. Subsequently, the name evolved into blogs, get it? You can blame those crazy high school teenagers for that. Most blogs offer the opportunity for readers to voice their opinions on the topic currently being discussed. Those opinions are known as comments. When an individual submits a comment, it goes into “limbo” (a place you may be familiar with by name) for moderation, also known as “awaiting moderation.” That means the moderator reviews the comment before it’s printed to ensure that there isn’t anything that would offend someone such as a racial epithet or, to give an example that’s close to your heart, preventing someone like Niki Capra, the wife of a SIB political candidate, screaming f-bombs on the top of her lungs to a resident of the condo association where her husband is president. That video went viral (you know what that means, right?) before it was taken down so sometimes limbo isn’t reliable. But no harm done because Niki has been a tremendous asset for her husband during his campaign. You have no idea. So, I hope I did a good job explaining how it all works. We like blogs, particularly during campaign season, because there’s always fun stuff to talk about and everyone is pretty much allowed to say what they want. Just so you know, there’s nothing you can do about that.

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        1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

          Thanks for the explanation about “admin. moderation.” I didn’t have the patience to spell it out for him. You’re also correct that I approve almost every comment except for ones that are racist, anti-Semitic, or filled with even more four letter words than I think are appropriate. So there’s that.

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  8. John Rusnak says:

    Is this the best you can do? Being confronted with the truth is not very pleasant is it? It is sad that you can’t own up to your flagrant inaccuracies concerning myself.

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  9. John Rusnak says:

    Why haven’t you posted my retort to your untruths. I explained it all. Are you afraid of looking terrible? If so, you are thinking correctly!

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    1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

      I just approved all the comments because I actually was busy all day. That thing called a “day job.”

      Dude, had you been a regular reader of this blog for the past six years, you’d know a few things about me. First of all, I speak the truth. You can attempt to rebut me all you want, but calling me a liar won’t fly. Secondly, I am not afraid of a damn thing. Not “looking terrible.” Not treats of lawsuits. Not bullies. Not political enemies. And, certainly not you.

      Don’t flatter yourself.

      Comments have to be pretty damn despicable for me not to approve them. Your comments aren’t even close to despicable. They’re merely pathetic.

      But, hey. You got your fifteen minutes. Enjoy them. Once this topic is yesterday’s news, I won’t even remember who you are.

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  10. John Rusnak says:

    You speak the truth? No, unfortunately it is not true. How about an apology for the comment that I was a “defrocked priest”? Never happened and it is a totally fabricated lie.

    At least I am not afraid, nor ashamed to use my name, first and last, not like “Arnie”

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    1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

      By trying to discredit a reader for not using their real name, you just lost all credibility. Your obnoxious friend, Greg Capra, tried the same manipulative tactic on the SIB Reporter blog, and it didn’t work there, either.

      I will reiterate here my own comment posted on the SIB Reporter blog: “People choose to post anonymously for many reasons, including a fear of retaliation, especially if the obnoxious bully should win the election. One can only imagine the abuse of power that someone like Capra would be capable of should he actually manage to get a seat at the table.”

      I would also add “obnoxious friends of the obnoxious bully,” because once one bully gets in power, their cronies seem to take over.

      As for your claim of not being a “defrocked priest,” were you or were you not the author who signed a letter about Pope John to the editor of Time Magazine as “Brother John A. Rusnak, F.S.C., Washington, D.C.” on November 1, 1968? (See: https://books.google.com/books?id=FUkEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA16-IA2&lpg=PA16-IA2&dq=brother+john+rusnak%2C+washington+dc&source=bl&ots=PMT3FSXue6&sig=GJlMW4VHzvV99dOR3a7wXNbD-lE&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwju9–4-IzQAhVQ3GMKHS3yCA8Q6AEIIjAB#v=onepage&q=brother%20john%20rusnak%2C%20washington%20dc&f=false)

      I rest my case.

      (CORRECTION: It was the now defunct LIFE magazine, not Time.)

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  11. John Rusnak says:

    Yes, I did write the letter to Time Magazine. So what does this have anything to do with the “defrocked priest” comment? You and your cronies have not given any evidence that I was a “defrocked priest”. I don’t think you will ever find anything and I doubt if you even know what the expression means.

    I think you have severe mental problems since your musings make no sense. I’ll repeat it once again, I was not a “Defrocked Priest”. Got it? Keep looking and keep me posted on your findings! In the meantime if you would like to see my formal exiting from the Brothers of The Christian Schools, please sent me your personal email so I can send you the proof that I was not a “defrocked priest”. I think you need to read up on Catholic faith so you don’t ensnare yourself in meaningless and disparaging comments.

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  12. John Rusnak says:

    When are you going to address my issue of “Defrocked Priest”? Haven’t seen any comments posted yet.

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    1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

      Dude, you need a life. Now I know why the SIB Reporter started blocking your comments. You’re a pain in the ass.

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  13. John Rusnak says:

    When are you going to retract your remarks that I was a “Defrocked Priest.”

    As I said earlier your ramblings don’t make any sense. A letter I wrote to Life Magazine has nothing whatsoever to do with your “Defrocked Priest” gig. I repeat again for the umpteenth time, I was not a “Defrocked Priest.” If you think so, then prove it. Again, I don’t think you know what a “Defrocked Priest” is.

    By the way, I don’t appreciate your language, Dude, Derp, Alrighty, Pain in the Ass! That language went out in the early ’80’s. But then again, I guess that is where your warped mind is.
    Get it?

    By the way, the SIB Reporter never published one word that was ever written to them. However, she continued to make unprovable remarks about Lew Thaler. Didn’t back Scholl, so I guess I paid the price.

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    1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

      You have just hurled your last insult. Buh-bye.

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  14. Sharon Elster says:

    AMEN to that Stephanie!! There’s much wisdom in the old journalistic cliche about not opening a can of worms.

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    1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

      This guy is such a schmuck! He accused me of lying, having “mental problems,” a “warped mind” and “cronies,” using antiquated words (Derp is an 80s term? Oh, REALLY?), and he doesn’t appreciate my language. And yet, he expects me to respond intelligently to any of his asinine comments. I’m done playing with him.

      Oh, and by the way. There is no apostrophe in 80s. So, yeah. He’s a derp.

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  15. (Neighbor) Moishe Hunyak says:

    Vocabulary quiz of the day:

    What do you call an old guy, formerly a “Brother” from a religious order, and then suddenly NOT; who always preferred young boys instead of girls; who took in a much younger homeless guy to live with him, and then legally gave him 1/2 of his condo by deed to stay? And who was paid (so far) ca. $4200 for “campaign food service” by Krappa? (A total farce in and of itself that the FEC has been told about)! First correct guess gets an extra 3 votes…..

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  16. a Stewart says:

    John Rusnak is an upstanding, intelligent man–something this blog has no grasp of in any way, shape or form. He has had the most amazing life that all of you would only hope to aspire to. He is a brilliant man and I support him 100 percent. All that you and your idiotic cronies have done is show, in broad colors, your absolute disrespect for another opinion. Shame on you!!!

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    1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

      Sorry, sweetie. I don’t have any “idiot cronies.” I work alone. As for Rusnak, I’ll give him the same respect for his opinion that he gives me for mine. Oh, wait. He showed me no respect whatsoever. All he did was try to insult me. He got exactly what he deserved.

      In any event, I realize this little “drama” must be very exciting for you, but you and your friend are boring me to death. I’m done with all this nonsense. Complaint department is now closed.

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  17. Marc Mogil, J.D. says:

    STEPHANIE:
    The anonymous “Stewart” doesn’t deny even ONE claim made by Moishe Hunyak — one must assume, therefore, that every assertion is sadly true, and Rusnak is the perfect paid attack dog for Capra and his wife!

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    1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

      Rusnak keeps trying to post comments, and I stopped approving them after I said I’d been insulted enough. You’d think he would take a hint when none of his comments are getting approved.

      But, more importantly, I’m on to the next story, and whatever comes after that. I said they were boring me and I meant it.

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  18. Stephanie Kienzle says:

    Memo to John Rusnak: You can stop trying to write comments now since I will not approve any of them. This is my blog, and your fifteen minutes were up a long time ago.

    Accordingly, please note:

    1. I will not be answering any of your questions.
    2. I will not be issuing an apology – public or otherwise.
    3. I don’t give a rat’s ass how many Pinocchio’s you give me. (In fact, keep them. I’m sure you’ll know what to do with them.)

    Now, be a good little boy and run along. I’m sure you’ll find someone else to annoy in due time.

    Are we clear?

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  19. […] Across the pond … well, actually, across the Intracoastal Waterway, the City of Sunny Isles Beach’s commission election was not without its drama. […]

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