Southern Brooklyn

What’s Wrong With Gerritsen Beach?


Gerritsen Beach grappled with its latest controversy during last night’s Gerritsen Beach Property Owner’s Assocation meeting, as they tackled the Halloween “bombing” that saw violence and destruction spill through the community.

The solution put forward by most? Silence the blogger who put the nefarious youths in the spotlight.

We’ve written before about Gerritsen Beach’s reigning doctrine: What happens in Gerritsen, stays in Gerritsen. And last night, that defense tactic took center stage.

For more than half an hour parents and community members berated Daniel Cavanagh, the blogger who runs The discussion was dominated by Renee Sior-Cullen, the mother of one of the teens who boasted on Facebook to have hit an NYPD car.

By comparison, they spent less than 10 minutes asking the NYPD Community Affairs reps in attendance about better planning for next year or punishment for those involved, and no time at all dedicated to discussing the actions of the 50 or so teenagers or the consequences they should face.

Cavanagh was accused of being a traitor “unscrewing” the community, a jobless loser and a pedophile. He was scolded and threatened.

While Gerritsen Beach residents may believe they’re the masters of their own domain, the damage affects all of us. The bus windows that were shattered will come from our tax money. The police officers dispatched will be paid by our money. If people were injured and uninsured, their healthcare would come from our money.

Gerritsen Beach is not a fiefdom run by those who shout the loudest, as some seem to think.

Cavanagh plays an active role in exposing the underbelly of a community too often mis-characterized as “idyllic” – and he does so in an attempt to clean it up. Had this year’s extreme Halloween “bombing” gone unreported, it’s unlikely those responsible would face consequences, and next year’s would undoubtedly be worse.

Perhaps the energy spent on silencing on Cavanagh would be put to better use on more engaged parenting.