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Cymbrowitz: I’ll ban ‘booze cruises’

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A local politician fighting for reelection is fishing for votes by proposing to ban the so-called “booze cruises” that depart from Sheepshead Bay, claiming the docks should be reserved for boats offering rods and reels, not drinking and dancing. But party-boat skippers suspect a darker motive.

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D–Sheepshead Bay) said at a candidate forum on Aug. 27 that he is drafting legislation to outlaw nautical excursions that emphasize catching a buzz over catching bass, saying they disrupt life on the bay.

But one party-boat captain, who has been in the business for more than 40 years, said he thinks the real reason the mostly white waterfront community wants to lose the booze cruises is because of the race of much of his clientele.

“A lot the people that come here are black people — they’re from the Caribbean and inner city,” said Joe Lind, the captain of the party vessel Golden Sunshine.

But Cymbrowitz, who faces Ben Akselrod in the Sept. 9 Democratic primary, insists that the partygoers’ race is not the issue — but rather it is the disturbances the visitors cause that is the problem.

“Before people get on the boat, they’re drinking in their cars, they’re urinating in the streets,” said Cymbrowitz.

According to one longtime local who is helping Cymbrowitz draft his legislation, when the pier was remodeled in the 1990s by the Economic Development Corporation, the pier was intended strictly for fishing charter boats.

“That was the intent of the pier and that was a deal that was made in a handshake,” said Steve Barrison, the president of the Bay Improvement Group. “This was never supposed to be for dinner boats, or party boats, or whatever you want to call them.”

But Lind said he is simply providing a sought-after service. He said many of his parties are subdued family affairs — and he said noise complaints about nighttime nautical voyages are nonsense.

“Right now I’m going down there for a Jewish 80th birthday,” said Lind. “My boat is completely encapsulated — the music doesn’t go out.”

Some locals say the partiers’ antics carry over to the shore, even if the music doesn’t.

In 2011, a man shot at another man on Emmons Avenue, after a tussle near the Golden Sunshine. No one was injured but Barrison said the incident upset locals.

But Lind maintains his parties are not rowdy and he said his boat, which he claims brings business into the neighborhood, is his life.

“I work very hard — very hard — to make the community proud,” said Lind. “If you take my boat away, what do I got?”

Reach reporter Vanessa Ogle at vogle@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow her attwitter.com/oglevanessa.
Updated 5:35 pm, July 9, 2018: UPDATE: Steve Barrison points out that he is only reviewing the language of Cymbrowitz’s bill, rather than actively working with the assemblyman on the legislation.
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Reader feedback

Jacob from Midwood says:
Speaking of race, we will never forget.

BIG NO to bigot Ben Akselron - we will never forget http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/30/ben-akselrod-negrohood-mailer-error-racist_n_1842641.html

"NEGROHOOD"

From Ben Akselrod: I am running for Assembly because I believe the number 1 job of that office is to keep the community safe. The current assemblyman has allowed crime to go up over 50% in our negrohood so far this year. I am fighting for video cameras throughout our community to protect our seniors who are the most vulnerable and cut down on anti-semitic attacks in our community. I will also make sure the mayor gives our community more police to patrol our streets.
Sept. 4, 2014, 10:41 am
Oliver from Brighton says:
WATCH THE DEBATE, MR. AKSELROD HAS NO IDEA WHAT HE IS TALKING ABOUT!!! NO PUBLIC FINANCING?? REALLY?? LEARN THE WORD "CORRUPTION"! BEST YET, STAY OUT OF THIS BUSINESS OF POLITICS, WITH YOUR FRIENDS LIKE GREG DAVIDZON, YOU WILL END UP IN JAIL! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hlv00TPBD0g
Sept. 4, 2014, 12:44 pm
guest from flatbush says:
Work of highly paid Cymbrowitz consultants
http://observer.com/2014/09/mailer-depicts-latino-mayoral-candidate-as-palestinian/
Sept. 4, 2014, 9:44 pm
Inga from Sheepshead Bay says:
Every time this publication writes about Cymbrowitz, his friends jump in with the same old story. Why? Very simple there are no accomplishments of Mr. Cymbrowitz except accomplishments of lie and corruption.
http://www.sheepsheadbites.com/2014/07/spending-campaign-cash-spain-cymbrowitz-struggles-get-story-straight/
http://nycpublicschoolparents.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-ny-regents-approve-fourth-gulen.html
You all also remember the toilet saga.
http://www.brooklyndaily.com/stories/2014/14/ww-web-cymbrowitz-davila-greenfield-2014-04-04-bk_2014_14.html
Anything else, friends?
Sept. 4, 2014, 11:31 pm

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