Saturday, June 26, 2010

Tempers Flare At City Council Hearing On Markowitz's Asser Levy Park Concert Sound Permit Law Amendment

The City Council Committee on Public Safety held a hastily convened public hearing on Friday over a controversial bill to amend a city law which prohibits amplified sound within 500 feet of  of “a school, courthouse or church, during the hours of school,  court or worship."  The Bill was introduced by Peter Vallone (D-Queens)  at the request of Mayor Bloomberg. The legislation, if passed, would allow Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz’s concerts series in Asser Levy/Seaside Park to continue.  

Proponents of the bill on Friday repeatedly stated that the amendment was necessary in order not to deny,  "hundreds of thousands of people throughout the city," the opportunity to listen to music.  However the City could not provide a single  location besides Asser Levy Park where this amendment would apply. 


Liza Minnelli was just one of the dozens of musical artists who performed for free at the Seaside Summer Concert series over the past 19 years at Coney Island's Asser Levy Park. Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz puts the series together.

But what's music to some people's ears is horrible to others. A lawsuit filed just last week by some nearby synagogues is based on a 1935 city code that prohibits sound permits to be issued within 500 feet of places of worship.

"It's a shame. It's a shanda [disgrace]. It's sinful, it's ugly, it's political," said plantiff Arlene Brenner.

City Councilman Peter Vallone sponsored a bill to amend the law for 90 days so the sound permit issue can be studied, and the City Council Committee on Public Safety held a hearing on the matter on Friday.

"You brought to our attention that there's an antiquated law that can be misused to deny hundreds of thousand of people throughout the city to listen to music," said Vallone.

What some saw as a quick fix for concert-goers, others saw as skirting the law.

"What the city is doing here is recognizing there's an illegality and they're legitimizing it, and that is manipulation," said Norman Siegel, the lawyer for the plaintiffs.

Read /View More:

NY 1 News - June 25, 2010 - By Jeanine Ramirez   

But Fight For Continuation Of Free Shows As Part Of Seaside Concert Series
WCBS New - June 25, 2010 - By Dana Tyler

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