Thursday, July 3, 2014


As many of you know, Laurel Gouveia recently passed away. As you may also know, a school known as SOMETHING GOOD IN THE WORLD has taken up residence on the site.  Trustee Slippen confirmed this at a recent village board meeting.

Something Good had already made a presentation to the board at a recent 4/28 work session. Daniel and Winn Chesnard were in attendance at that meeting and wrote about it in a letter to the Gazette; you can read their letter here

Since that time, I--and many other residents--have asked, among other things, and in writing--how a school or for that matter, any commercial enterprise, can take up occupancy on a site that is zoned RA-40, residential, and whether or not it or the buildings that SOMETHING GOOD plans to construct on the site known as Envirapods for their EARTH SCHOOL, would require any village permits. These questions have largely been ignored. 

As a result, I filed a freedom of information request for all correspondence, emails, etc. between the SOMETHING GOOD IN THE WORLD SCHOOL and the village, its staff, officials, etc. in order to obtain those answers.  I was advised by the foil officer on 7/2 (yesterday) that "the documents" in response to my 6/17/14 request were being "reviewed".

SOMETHING GOOD IN THE WORLD announced on their FB and website page--almost 4 weeks ago--that they not only plan to construct the Envirapods on the Gouveia property but are preparing to welcome "thousands of children, families and educators in the Fall of 2014"-- see bottom of page at this link
They have also published their "tuition" sheet for their "Earth School" Calendar Year 2014-2015 and have asked for payment by "July 1st"; you can see their tuition rates, full day and half schedules, by clicking on the image below. This tuition sheet was sent to the entire village board and the village manager on 6/26/14.

When and if the village responds to my foil request, I will post that information here.

Please also note that Mr. Zambrano stated the following on 6/16; here is my response:

From: Maria Cudeques Sent: Monday, June 16, 2014 3:50 PM
To: ''; 'Leo Wiegman'
Subject: questions regarding the gouveia property, the village's original resolution, etc.

Dear Mr. Zambrano:

Your email to me of June 13 states that "the Village Board has already decided to accept the property pending finalization of all legal documents". 

This does not seem consistent with the language of the resolution passed by the board on November 25, 2013, which states specifically that,

"the Village Board of Trustees is willing to accept a gift of the Real Property and the One Million ($1,000,000.00) Dollar trust fund in accordance with the Term Sheet and Use Document subject to agreement between the Village and Laurel Gouveia on the terms of the conveyance documents"

and further, that

"Village staff and counsel are directed to work with Mrs. Gouveia and her representatives to draft the above referenced documentation for consideration by the Village Board."

How does this resolution indicate that the village has "already decided to accept the property" unless the terms of the agreement have already been decided and the agreement signed?  And, if that is the case, why wasn't the public made aware of the terms of the acquisition? 

If no terms have been finalized, I fail to see how they can have been presented to the board for its "consideration" consistent with the resolution.  Is there something the public does not know?

Maria Cudequest

Cc: Board/Ef



  1. For those who have asked SOMETHING GOOD IN THE WORLD is indeed a school; this is from the village's own records when it applied for a special permit to operate on Maple Street:

    SOMETHING GOOD IN THE WORLD, per their special permit on Maple was—and is—a nonpublic school, as defined by the New York State Education Department (NYSED). See

  2. If it's a school or a lot of other things under the code, it needs a permit. Buildings need permits either way. But my question is has the board made any inquiries into these buildings and what they are doing now that they know or did they know before and not say anything?

    1. Your answer about who knew what and when is in the mayor's letter on page 2 of the 7/2/14 edition of THE GAZETTE.

  3. After reading the mayor's confession and spin in his letter to the Gazette, have you seen it yet, is it any wonder the foil documents were being "reviewed". Have you read it? It's all the talk. Nice that he kept something Good in the loop. He certainly didn't do that for the public.

  4. Everyone needs to read that letter. It's almost as bad as the Slippen Raskob switch explanation. Honestly I don't know how some people sleep at night.

  5. I'm really confused after reading the mayor's letter. He keeps calling it a garden not a school.