Councilmen Chaim Deutsch and Mark Treyger fight for wooden Boardwalk

Councilmen Deutsch and Treyger seek to block new concrete sections of promenade

The Brooklyn Paper
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Two Southern Brooklyn councilmen are calling for the Parks Department to abandon its plans to replace the wooden planks of the Coney Island Boardwalk with a strip of concrete.

Freshman councilmen Chaim Deutsch (D–Brighton Beach) and Mark Treyger (D–Coney Island) have penned a letter to the city, arguing that Hurricane Sandy demonstrated the protective superiority of a wooden walkway — and demanding the city stop using a string of so-called “pilot projects” to turn sections of the promenade into concrete and faux-wood decking.

“What we learned from Sandy is that the Boardwalk is a part of our infrastructure, and if you look at the areas where the city has installed concrete, the impact of the storm was magnified,” said Treyger.

In recent years, Parks has been replacing damaged parts of the Boardwalk with concrete and synthetic boards, referring to sections of new materials as “pilot projects” — which critics complained allowed the agency to avoid having to do studies on the potential consequences of the change.

In 2011, the city proposed a plan that would turn all but the four blocks of the promenade bordering the amusement district into a concrete sidewalk, and argued that no studies were necessary since the structure of the Boardwalk would remain the same, even if its substance changed.

But after Hurricane Sandy, this paper reported that areas of the beach beneath the wood suffered only minimal erosion, while the shorefront along an experimental stretch of concrete near Sea Breeze Avenue had tons of its sand washed up onto Ocean Parkway.

Councilman Deutsch argues that the concrete conversion must be called off until the potential dangers to nearby neighborhoods have been assessed.

“We have to listen to what the community is telling us. They have experience living on the waterfront, and they saw what happened during the storm,” said Deutsch. “We’re asking for a moratorium on concrete until the studies have been done. At the end of the day, the safety of the residents is the most important.”

Deutsch also made a historical and aesthetic argument for sticking with good old-fashioned lumber.

“The Boardwalk is called the Boardwalk and that’s what it’s always been. If you use concrete, it’s not the Boardwalk that people come to the waterfront communities to enjoy,” said Deutsch.

Longtime lumber advocates applauded the pols’ move, and were hopeful that Mayor DeBlasio’s Parks Department would take a different position on the Boardwalk than Bloomberg’s.

“I think with the new administration, we’re hopeful that this moratorium will be put in place,” said Robb Burstein, president of the Coney-Brighton Boardwalk Alliance, which filed an unsuccessful lawsuit to block the concrete in 2012. “The materials they are planning to use have not been fully tested, and in terms of safety, there are better alternativ­es.”

Burstein’s group has long pushed the city to use black locust or pine wood hardened through a process called Kebony to replace damaged sections of the Boardwalk, rather than concrete or traditional rainforest hardwoods.

Deutsch’s and Treyger’s stance is a complete turnaround from the position of the previous local leadership. Former Coney councilman Domenic Recchia was an avid advocate of transforming almost the entire walkway into concrete and plastic planking. Community Board 13, on the other hand, voted against the artificial materials last year.

“We’re really pleased that we finally have local representatives as well who are representing the expressed needs of the people in the community,” Burstein said.

The Parks Department declined to comment.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Or from Yellow Hook says:
It's not like wood grows on trees.
May 19, 2014, 8:30 am
William H. Depperman from Brooklyn says:
It is time to tell The Truth!

The Bloomberg-DeBlasio Agreement to Destroy
The Brighton Beach-Coney Island Boardwalk:

Yes, the Mayor should declare the Boardwalk a Landmark! But by remaining SILENT DeBlasio OPPOSES Landmark Status for the Coney Island-Brighton Boardwalk! The “Landmarking Process” normally takes one year, BUT the media HIDES the fact that the Destruction of the Boardwalk has already begun between Coney Island Ave. & Brighton
Fifteenth Street! What is needed is for DeBlasio to first issue an IMMEDIATE STOP WORK ORDER, which he can do easily despite the Court ruling which says “the City” MAY proceed To replace the Boardwalk with Cement and does NOT have to replace it with Hard Wood!

On December 7, 2014 the New York Daily News blipped an “EXCLUSIVE ARTICLE” reporting that City Councilman Mark Treyger had called for the Landmarks Preservation Commission to designate the entire 2.6 mile Boardwalk as “an historic site and landmark, which cannot be converted to concrete.” The article was declared an “exclusive” as a phony pretext for the other media NOT to report on the proposal to landmark the Boardwalk so that far fewer people would EVEN HEAR ABOUT IT! But landmarking the Boardwalk is an issue which would concern all New Yorkers! How do we know for a fact that Councilman Treyger and all the other Brooklyn and New York City politicians were in on this many-layered scheme and cover-up100%, and how do we know that Treyger was really acting in BAD FAITH in order to raise the issue of landmarking the Boardwalk before laying it to rest as if landmarking would not work (?), or it was too late, or there were too many problems? All of which are BIG LIES!

First of all, Treyger did not even lay out the shortest surest path to Landmark the Boardwalk! Namely Treyger did not demand that DeBlasio issue an IMMEDIATE STOP WORK ORDER to prevent any further destruction of the Boardwalk and openly call for cancellation of the Bloomberg cement project! Allowing destruction of the Boardwalk, which has already begun to continue is designed to send the false message of fait accompli, meaning already an accomplished fact that since the demolition has already begun therefore no one can stop it supposedly, an obvious BIG LIE! By choosing NOT to call a regular press conference with other politicians on landmarking the Boardwalk Treyger insured that FAR FEWER New Yorkers would ever hear about New York City’s devious scheme to destroy the Boardwalk and replace it with cement and fake wood under multiple false pretexts! By appearing alone with No other City, State or National Politicians Councilman Treyger provided a pretext for diminished media coverage and conveyed the belief that FEW other politicians ARE very concerned about the Boardwalk either! The Truth? Other politicians know they dare not open their yap on THIS Bloomberg scheme where presumably $billions are at stake! But if THEY appear to act unconcerned then no one else should be either! Then the issue must really be inconsequential! What did the Daily News actually report? What’s the truth? This Treyger episode describes a standard formula used by the Capitalist Dictatorship of Millionaires and Billionaires on virtually all issues: Treyger was put out in front of the proposal to landmark the Boardwalk by the Big Capitalists and developers themselves in order to lead it to defeat! Treyger serves the same purpose as the so-called “Friends of the Boardwalk” & “Coney-Brighton Boardwalk Alliance!”

It is a fact that after Hurricane Sandy TWO AND A HALF MILES OF THE FIVE MILE ROCKAWAY BOARDWALK were largely untouched and will remain tropical hardwood. And the Long Beach Boardwalk was completely replaced with tropical hardwood! These facts are hidden by the Daily News which reported: “Park officials contend the substitute material (fake wood) is sturdier and much cheaper. It costs about $90 per square foot, compared to approximately $130 for real wood,” but then reported “Treyger (D-Coney Island) and other ‘lovers of lumber’ counter that they have already spotted cracks in the argument—and the concrete.” The News further reported: “The areas under the wooden portions of the Boardwalk sustained minimal damage after Superstorm Sandy, others said, noting the concrete stretches fared worse.” The article goes on to describe the lengthy landmarking process while knowingly covering up the fact that the Parks Department is in the early stages of demolishing the Boardwalk and just ripped out all the benches and half the railings between Coney Island Ave. and Brighton 15th Street in the pouring rain! The reason that DeBlasio, Bloomberg, Benepe, Silver and Jeffries all want to get rid of the Boardwalk is that the capitalist dictatorship intends to commercialize that 2.6 to 2.7 mile stretch beyond anyone’s most horrific nightmare, similar to the ongoing “River to River” gentrification/commercialization of 125th Street! This is the real reason crooked corrupt paid-off judges all discounted all the studies showing that hardwood was far superior to cement and plastic!

It would be a very large mistake, a mistake which is often made, to think that because DeBlasio has said nothing about the Boardwalk that means that 1.) He either does not know about it, or 2.) He knows about it, but is too taken up with other matters such as reacting to the Eric Garner Demonstrations and relentless media attacks targeting him and his wife Chirlane McCray, or that he does not think that it is important enough to openly state his position on landmarking the Boardwalk. So what is the only explanation which fits the facts? DeBlasio was the Public Advocate under Bloomberg! The Public Advocates is to act as a check on the Mayor’s actions if they are deemed harmful to the public good. If DeBlasio had a disagreement with Bloomberg and Benepe over the scheme to destroy the Boardwalk and replace it with cement and fake wood he would probably have said something then! But he did not! In fact, DeBlasio went along with Bloomberg on virtually everything while Bloomberg was mayor. When he was elected Mayor himself he dropped Bloomberg’s appeal on Stop and Frisk and gave City Workers a contract! Very good! But it is clear now that DeBlasio left all the “Big Ticket Items” alone! DeBlasio also agrees with Bloomberg’s plan to destroy the New York skyline by putting up hundreds of new el-cheapo junk tin can buildings in the center of Manhattan, some of which will use tropical hardwood for a large part of the interiors on the lower floors! Bloomberg, worth $33 billion in March, is the developers’ dream! DeBlasio has said nothing on that either! But it is a fact that the Coney Island-Brighton Beach Boardwalk is a de facto LANDMARK and historic site! But protection of the Boardwalk by the official Landmarks Preservation Commission can ONLY BE ASSURED if Mayor DeBlasio issues an IMMEDIATE STOP WORK ORDER to stop the ongoing demolition of the Boardwalk between Coney Island Avenue and Brighton 15th Street and cancel the cement/plastic scheme entirely! Failure to act immediately means at a minimum that DeBlasio passively supports the Bloomberg-Benepe staged-in scheme, carried out behind a wall of subterfuge!

The New York City Budget is $73.9 billion! The town of Long Beach replaced their entire Boardwalk with tropical hardwood for $40 million! Chump change for New York City! The “cheaper” argument is thus MOOT, VOID and FRAUDULENT! It should be noted that Treyger made his landmarking proposal probably only after reading a letter written by this writer to DeBlasio posted Online in local Brooklyn news websites. Although this writer did not propose that the Landmark Preservation Commission become involved the Boardwalk was described as a landmark and called on DeBlasio to issue an Immediate Stop Work Order, a request which was ignored!

What About the “Save the Rain Forest” Propaganda Campaign?

Where did we first hear about the “save the rain forest” campaign in regard to the Coney Island-Brighton Beach Boardwalk? Straight from the lips of people like Bloomberg! That should have alerted everyone immediately that the claim was bogus as being used! Note that it is a fact that if all the climate treaties were adhered to 100% by ALL the countries in the entire world that would have no effect whatsoever on the fossil fuels global warming runaway greenhouse effect! Ditto the fluorescent bulb campaign! The only way to reverse the runaway greenhouse effect is by abolishing the use of fossil fuels as an energy source worldwide. And that cannot be done under capitalism! Why not? Because the three pillars of capitalism are: 1.) The war industry (the military industrial complex), 2.) The OIL industry and 3.) the Banks! Is there anything which can supplant fossil fuels as an energy source? Yes there is! Tidal Electric Tidal Lagoon Technology plants have already been built and they are 3 to 4 times more efficient than nuclear power plants. There are also certain waterfalls such as the Kaieture Falls in Guyana with a total drop of 822 feet (5 times the drop of Niagara Falls) and Victoria Falls in Africa, the largest waterfalls in the world. The Kaieture Falls has been estimated to be able to supply the power for all industrial and residential needs for North and South America combined. No power is being taken from the Kaieture Falls and very little is being taken from Victoria Falls. The oil industry has made sure of that. There are at least 5 Tidal Lagoon Technology plants which have been built. One is in England, one is in France, one is in Germany, one is in the Russian Federation and one is in China. But the oil companies have put the kibosh on that. The game is Oil and Profit! Even though DeBlasio would never issue a call to Get Rid of Capitalism, a call which is needed, we are not obligated to play the fool and destroy the Brighton Beach-Coney Island Boardwalk, a New York City and American Landmark. Note that the relentless media attacks on DeBlasio and his wife Chirlane McCray are due to the fact that he is white and she is Black and that she acts as his primary advisor! McCray is also not merely “technically Black” like Obama. The term—of the Black Panther Party means not politically Black! That relationship undermines racial division, one of the main divide and conquer strategies of the capitalist dictatorship in the United States & worldwide! Failure of NYC government to stop demolition of the Boardwalk under overwhelming popular opposition proves once again that capitalism cannot be reformed! We Have to Get Rid of Capitalism!
Peoples’ Committee for Wood Restoration of Riegelmann Boardwalk 10 East 16th St., New York, N.Y. 10003 UNION LABOR DONATED PLEASE REPRINT AND DISTRIBUTE!
Dec. 17, 2014, 9:35 pm

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