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Manhattan Beach Community Group awards

Manhattan Beach honors rogue ax men

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The Manhattan Beach Community Group awarded politicians, civil servants, and community volunteers who helped residents during Hurricane Sandy last week, honoring the do gooders for their service — as well as their skills with a gas-powered chain saw.

“This guy, Chaim Deutsch, blows me away,” Manhattan Beach Community Group President Ira Zalcman said of the Flatbush Shomrim founder, who lead a team of urban lumberjacks who cut up and carted off more than 70 trees that fell across Brooklyn roadways during the storm until the city told him to put down his buzz saw.

Deutsch, who was awarded a plaque by the civic assocation, invited some of his fellow neighborhood patrollers to stand beside him during the cermony. He also brought one of the gas-powered saws used in the group’s tree-chopping campaign.

“If anyone has a fallen tree remaining on their property, call me and this gentleman will take care of it for you,” Deutsch said, reffering to his well-armed friend.

Other hurricane heroes receiving honors included Brooklyn Borough President Markowitz, 61st Precinct Captain John Chell, NYPD Sargeant Richie Taylor, state Sen. Marty Golden, and Fred Kreizman, who works in the community assitance unit at City Hall.

“Once a year we have this annual membership meeting, and this year I decided the thing to do was to thank the people that helped us,” said Zalcman, who remained misty eyed throughout the commendations.

“Marty Markowitz made the mistake of giving me his private cell, and right after the hurricane that first week I was calling him, texting him, calling him, texting him, and he was actually calling me back and calling me back, and I said, ‘wow,’ he was there for us,” he said.

Reach reporter Colin MIxson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4514.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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