The competition for the public edge with the competing visions of Coney Island takes a major step forward today with dueling stories in the New York Times and the Post. The Times has a story detailing the road taken by Dick Zigun, a major Coney player for the last 25 years who, among other things, created the Mermaid Parade and is deeply unhappy with the city's current redevelopment plans. Mr. Zigun quit the board of the Coney Island Development Corp. last week saying he felt "betrayed" the city had cut the proposed Coney amusement park from 15 acres to 9 so that it could more easily cut a deal with Joe Sitt and other land owners. Meanwhile, the Post drops a story whose timing couldn't be more interesting, revealing that Mr. Zigun sleeps on a pull out sofa in his office. This is significant because city officials are intimating his organization is violating funding agreements if that's the case. It's unclear who planted the sofabed story and whether the timing is purely coincidental, but the head of the Coney Island Development Corp., the organization Mr. Zigun criticized bitterly less than a week ago, expressed shock at situation saying that "there will likely be a city investigation" into Sofagate. In the meantime, the extra rides brought in by Mr. Sitt have been reduced, as planned, and replaced by a parking lot.
· Visions for Coney Island Differ: Breathtaking Rides, or Shopping? [NYT]
· Coney Island 'Mayor' Taps City Funds for Free Pad [NYP]