Lawsuit seeks end of Marty’s summer concerts

The Brooklyn Paper
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Opponents of Borough President Marty Markowitz’s proposed $64-million amphitheater in Asser Levy Park sued to block the Beep’s annual summer concert series because its amplified sound is too close to two Jewish temples.

City law prohibits the use of amplification within 500 feet of a house of worship or school — a law that has apparently been flouted for all of the 19 years that Markowitz’s Seaside Summer Concert Series has been in the Coney Island park.

Plaintiffs, including officials with Temple Beth Abraham and Sea Breeze Jewish Center, said they only became aware of the city code when they began protesting Markowitz’s bid for an even-bigger concert venue inside the park.

“This illegal activity will not only continue unabated, but will in fact escalate,” lawyers for the plaintiffs argued in court papers filed last Thursday in Brooklyn Supreme Court.

Markowitz, whose series is slated to kick off on July 15 with Neil Sedaka and Brenda Lee, fired back, defiantly saying that he will continue to hold the concerts.

“We will have the concerts,” he said. “Brooklyn deserves it. Brooklyn families need it.”

Indeed, the fact that he’s had a nearly 20-year run in Asser Levy Park makes a mockery of the plaintiffs’ legal argument, the Beep added.

“[The 500-foot rule] is immaterial to me because the concerts have occurred each and every year,” he said.

But Norman Siegel, the civil rights lawyer and frequent political candidate, disagreed with the borough president’s reading of the law.

“Part of the lawsuit will determine if Markowitz was doing this without a permit or if the Police Department was illegally giving him permits,” said Siegel.

He also dismissed the notion that the suit is frivolous because the concerts have been going on for decades — without complaint until Markowitz proposed his amphitheater.

“The people in the synagogues are not lawyers,” Siegel said. “They don’t know the legal provisions in the administrative code. The borough president said, ‘Go sue me,’ and we are doing what he said.”

Markowitz’s concerts have typically been on Thursdays, but worshippers at both synogogues say that amplified noise from the concerts routinely disrupts their non-Sabbath services.

Last July 30, for example, a concert by Frankie Valli and Connie Francis was apparently so raucous that a Tisha B’av service was ruined.

“Amplified sound from the sound-checks and rehearsals could be heard during the afternoon service,” said Alvin Turk, a vice president of Temple of Beth Abraham. “Participants of both worship services found the noise very annoying.”

Before the lawsuit, major concert promoters were already expressing an interest in programming the new venue, though critics maintain that it will not only foul their air with noise but also chew up the vast majority of the recreational space in their only public park.

Markowitz said that his detractors should be “ashamed” of themselves and accused them of holding his popular Seaside Summer Concert Series “hostage.”

“As we say in Yiddish, it is a shonda,” he said.

Markowitz’s summer concerts will include shows by the Beach Boys (July 22); George Thorogood and the Destroyers, plus Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes (July 29); John Legend (Aug. 5); and Aretha Franklin (Aug. 12).

Councilman Domenic Recchia (D–Coney Island) also sponsors amplified concerts in the park, but his series begins later in the summer, so he was not named in the suit.

He also does not have a $64-million amphitheater proposal in the works.

A spokeswoman for the city Law Department declined to comment.

A hearing on the lawsuit has been set for June 30 in Brooklyn Supreme Court.

Updated 5:18 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Joe from Coney Island says:
Marty Markowity is a disgrace. To force this ampitheatre on the residents of Coney Islan dis pathetic. How much is Marty getting in kickbacks for this project. To get rid of the only park in the area for a venu that will be used 30X a year is insane. And what about the lack of parking? marty does not care...maybe this was the emegency Marty was talikng about when he gave us the end of term limits to get relelected. These politicians do not realize they work for us.
June 22, 2010, 2:47 am
M from Brooklyn says:
Marty, the Barclays Center is a shonda.
June 22, 2010, 7:21 am
jerry from brighton beach says:
If our elected officials don't care about NYC Adminstrative Laws what does this say to the rest of us.

Here's marty giving Summer Concert without getting any legal Sound Permits for over 20 years. Not only that he doesn't have permits to solicit donations that he asks for at his concerts for over 20 years.

There's no accounting of the $ 5 & $ 10 seats they sell. There's no accounting
of the 5 gallon plastic jugs that go around & take in thousands of dollars at concerts. Open your books Marty. No regard for the Law.

Let's see those Sound Permits Marty. Stop BS the public.

Well, that's nothing new.. back when marty ran against former BP Howard Golden Marty broke the Campaign finance law then. He pleaded down to a misdemaenor & did Communty Service.. thaks to DA Elizabeth Hotltzman.

A tiger never change their stripes.

Marty's a BUM always has been always will be. Who died & left him KING.
June 22, 2010, 7:53 am
Any Mouse from Any Where says:
Only 3 years left in office. He can't get the thing built in 3 years, especially with lawsuits slowing him down. Hang in there, Coney Island, you'll outlast Marty for sure.
June 22, 2010, 10:58 am
pal from greenpoint says:
markowitz is a disgrace. to build this theater at the expense of parkland and against the community's wishes is terrible. he really is a horrible person. he's a shill for real estate development and corporations at our expense.
June 22, 2010, 1:32 pm
Sam The Jew from Midwood says:
“The people in the synagogues are not lawyers,” Siegel said.

I would bet a year's salary that a bunch of the people in the synagogues are lawyers. hahahah
June 23, 2010, 2:35 pm
sid from Boerum hill says:
Marty has friends in high places
June 24, 2010, 1:09 pm
steve from coney island says:
These same people who are blocking the concerts would be the first to scream bloody murder if Marty didnt give his free concerts which he has been doing for 20 years.Its another case of nimby.By the way i live 2 blocks away have been enjoying the concerts snce they started and wish Marty the best of luck.
June 30, 2010, 7:25 pm

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