A concert promoter hosting an autism benefit on Friday has been barred at the last minute from rocking the same band shell in Asser Levy Park where Borough President Markowitz holds his annual summer concert series — and the city is citing the same anti-noise code that Markowitz has apparently flouted for decades.
Samantha LoSapio learned only last week that the city had scrubbed her plans to use the band shell because of the amplified sound — but Markowitz’s controversial Seaside Summer Concert Series has been blasting the neighborhood with the sounds of Peter Frampton, Liza Minelli and Hall and Oates since 1991.
The city has moved LoSapio and her 10-band “Jamsterdam” show to the opposite side of Asser Levy Park near Ocean Parkway, but she’s still fuming to be booted from the band shell.
“I thought that was nuts because Neil Sedaka is playing there next week,” she said, referring to the July 15 kickoff of Markowitz’s series.
LoSapio’s frustration stems from Markowitz’s apparent two-decade violation of existing city law barring amplified music so close to the two synagogues near the band shell. Earlier this year, opponents of Markowitz’s concert series sued the borough president and the city, citing the city noise law.
As a result, the Council hastily passed a bill legalizing Markowitz’s series — but that law doesn’t go into effect until Mayor Bloomberg signs it on July 12.
In other words, four days after it could have saved LoSapio’s benefit concert and three days before Markowitz kicks off his series.
LoSapio, a former Kingsborough Community College educator, had no idea that she was entering a thicket of politics and jurisprudence when she filed the paperwork for her rocking autism benefit back in January.
Her park permit was approved on March 23, and she received what she thought was final approval from the 60th Police Precinct in the last few days.
Mendy Songtag, president of the Sea Breeze Jewish Center, one of the temples that is suing Markowitz over his concert series, said that he does not have a problem with LoSapio’s benefit concert as long as it is respectful to the community.
“It’s fine as long as they are not disturbing us during our time of prayer,” he said.
Borough Hall could not be reached for comment. The Parks Department declined to comment.
Jamsterdam benefit concert in Asser Levy Seaside Park (Ocean Parkway and Sea Breeze Avenue), July 9, noon-8 pm. For info, visit http://nyjamsterdam.com.
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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