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Coney Island residents criticize plan to light up iconic Parachute Jump ride

Residents: Use the money to repair libraries and post offices

for The Brooklyn Paper
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The city wants to spend $2 million to illuminate Coney Island’s iconic Parachute Jump, but some residents say they would rather see the money used to keep the lights on in communities left powerless by Hurricane Sandy.

“This is like buying a Cadillac when you can’t afford a bicycle,” former Community Board 13 member Todd Dobrin said about the city’s Parks Department’s decision to add more bling to the 73-year-old landmark.

Dobrin said the money Borough President Markowitz allocated to the project would be better used to restore library, police, postal, and other services in Coney Island, Seagate, Brighton Beach, and Manhattan Beach — a move some meeting attendees cheered.

“How in good conscience can money be put into something that is very attractive and would be a tourist draw, when we’re going to get clobbered here?” said Brighton Beach activist Ida Sanoff.

CB 13’s Parks and Recreation disagreed with Dobrin and Sanoff, voting in favor of allowing Luna Park owner Central Amusements International to oversee the light installation.

Since the summer, Central Amusements has been promoting its plan to spark up the Parachute Jump, winning over Coney stakeholders with a video showing how they plan to illuminate the ride with dancing LED lights synchronized with the brilliant beams of its Scream Zone.

Markowitz called for the ride to be returned to its glimmering glory in his February State of the Borough address, vowing an inter-galactic shimmer-fest would be underway before he leaves office next year.

“We’ll relight the Parachute Jump with enough bling so it can be seen from outer space,” he said.

Opponents to the plan said board approval was inevitable since its members were handpicked by Markowitz, Councilmen Domenic Recchia (D–Coney Island) and Mike Nelson (D–Brighton Beach).

“The people who appointed them want them to pass it,” said Brighton Beach resident Arlene Brenner. “I resent $2 million being spent on lights when there is so much need in the community.”

Yet committee members stuck to their guns.

“This is about making Coney Island beautiful,” said committee co-chairwoman Barbara Teitelbaum. “I’m not being paid here.”

Others said the money Markowitz earmarked for the project probably can’t be used for anything else.

“If you took it away from the project, you’d never see that money,” said board member Marty Levine.

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Reader Feedback

Thomas from Bay Ridge says:
This structure is iconic and one Of a kind - Of course we need to put the required funds into repairing it.
It's not unusual that there would be detractors for any intiative.
I think this paper's style Of reporting is just to exagerate or even manufacture conflict instead Of objectively reporting on the facts.
Dec. 5, 2012, 8:34 am
Or from Yellow Hook says:
It may be iconic, but it has been idle longer than it was active.

If it is iconic of anything it is iconic of the never ending mantra of "The return of Coney Island" that never happens, and is a hole to pour money into.
Dec. 5, 2012, 9:06 am
Tony from Park Slope says:
Get Coney operators to recover and, in the process, expand the amusement district, and the economic situation in C.I. will improve over the long term. That said, get these people the services and relief they need. The city went balls-to-the wall for Manhattanites and corporate-NYC, Coney & the Rockaways need help NOW. Light the parachute jump AND help these people.
Dec. 5, 2012, 9:37 am
Thomas from Coney Island says:
Before they start decorating they should reconstruct, and before they reconstruct they should figure out how to keep all of it from washing away in the NEXT hurricane, and the annual flooding we'll be facing down here with sea rise from global warming!
Dec. 5, 2012, 11:38 am
Bay Ridger from Bay Ridge says:
The FEDS will pay for the storm damage. Some of the Coneys and Rockaway residents need to come to terms with not rebuilding in those areas. The tax payer shouldn't have to pay for rebuilding shoreline homes again and again when we all know they'll be gone again with the next big storm.

Realize, too, that without public incentives and public investment, Coney Island would have remained a dump. At least you have some middle class people going there now and spending money.
Dec. 5, 2012, 11:53 am
Or from Yellow Hook says:
Thomas, it wasn't global warming that caused the flooding from Sandy.

It was the moon tide. We sent a man to the moon, you'd think he'd have fixed that gravitational pull thing while he was up there.

Then again, you could let that genius senator of ours Chuck Schumer build his sea wall fantasy across the harbor. Of course the water has to go somewhere, and that somewhere will be even more water in Coney Island and South Beach SI.
Dec. 5, 2012, 3:34 pm
Joey Bots from Bots says:
Global Warming!!? Do people still believe in that?
Dec. 5, 2012, 4:09 pm
Ronny B from Bensonhurst says:
Another gift contract for Valerio Ferrari and the snakes at Zamperla, CAI or whatever they are calling themselves for tax reasons.
I sure they will F it up like everything else they put their mitts on.
Dec. 6, 2012, 1:49 am
sal from coney island says:
They may as well change the name of Coney Island to Zamperla Island. Watch out Dinoland , your next.
Dec. 6, 2012, 9:58 am
nancy from coney says:
take the money and help coney rebuild look at all the damage go 2 seagate etc
fix the jump but dont need 2 lite it up
Dec. 7, 2012, 11:36 pm
ethan from jospeh says:
You are niss to me because you
Dec. 13, 2012, 7:48 pm

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