Our choice of our public servants and representatives ultimately comes down to a question of character. For that reason, I urge my fellow registered Democrats to vote for Dr. Gerald (Gary) Kitzmann for the Democratic Committee in District 7.
Gary is a man with intelligence, perseverance, and most importantly, integrity. What you see is what you get. His honesty and generosity are genuine. He is not a power broker. Never in the years that I have known him have I known Gary Kitzmann to allow holding a position to go to his head or power to corrupt him. He is truly incorruptible. That is not true of his opponents, who removed his name from his own petition to get on the ballot without his knowledge and only circulated one with his name on it when their actions were uncovered. That was an indication of their character. Gary Kitzmann has never done anything like that to anyone and he never would. Gary is dedicated to service to his community in all areas that he touches. In his long tenure as a physics professor at SUNY New Paltz, a very important community in New Paltz, Gary’s record of service to the faculty and students was extraordinary. He represented SUNY New Paltz at the state level as the SUNY Senator and served with distinction on the SUNY Graduate Research and Education Committee, advocating strongly for campuses like New Paltz to receive recognition for their graduate programs within a system that favors the larger institutions.
A committed Democrat and leader in the party, Gary has been active for years at the local and state levels, serving on the state and local committees. His presence as our advocate and champion on the state committee is an invaluable asset to New Paltz. We can count on him to be an articulate and knowledgeable voice for us there as he has been for the village, the town, the college and anyone who comes to him for help. He is there for us. I must add that, as a Native American, Gary is a founding member of the Cloudbreaker society, through which he contributes to the wellbeing of local Native Americans. He is also a leader in substantially advancing local appreciation for the Indigenous cultures of our community and beyond.
Fellow Democrats, it is a question of character. Vote for Dr. Gary Kitzmann for the Democratic Committee as the representative for District 7 for New Paltz.
Dr. Rose Rudnitski
Leadership is needed
It took a world war and the near complete destruction of their country to bring the German people to their senses. We should have learned that demagoguery, scapegoating and vicious propaganda do nothing to solve social and economic problems.
The United States has hit a barrier. Prosperity and American ideals can no longer be taken for granted. Demagogues prey on fears offering distractions but no solutions. For example, insinuations that Obama is a Muslim and that virtually everything he says or does is bad for the country comes from people like Rush Limbaugh. He is an accepted spokesman for the Republican party and they afford him an aura of legitimacy he does not deserve. Democrats do not look well either.
Fearing the electorate will vote them out of office, they whimper and collapse instead of denouncing lies and negativism. Democrats need someone like Churchill, who helped Britain find their fighting spirit. Republicans behave like they will destroy the opposition, while Democrats are acting as if they have lost their way.
We are participants in a time when lies and fear mongering threaten our democracy. There must be leadership to restore us to our senses.
The truth will set us free
There is a humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Israel denies this, but the suffering has been documented by Amnesty International, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, UNRWA (UN Relief Works Agency), CARE, SAVE the CHILDREN (UK) and many others. Many Palestinians have no electricity, heat, medicine, food or water. The mass destruction, death and suffering being visited upon the captive population of Gaza would not be possible without US weaponry and US foreign aid (PAID FOR BY OUR TAX DOLLARS). Daily life in the occupied territories of Gaza and the West Bank is indeed “ugly” -- the military check points, the separation wall, illegal house demolitions and evictions, land theft and attacks by Israeli settlers and grinding poverty are an ugly reality for Palestinians.
A group called Middle East Crisis Response (MECR) presented a vignette on the public sidewalk adjacent to the Green in Woodstock. The scene was a theatrical portrayal of life in Israel’s occupied territories. Perhaps some felt the scene was “ugly”, but compared to the reality of the ugliness of daily life in Gaza it was trivial. MECR (mideastcrisis.org) and its affiliate hudsonvalleybds.org are dedicated to supporting human rights and to ending the oppression, suffering and exploitation of Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation.
As a Jew, I am ashamed and saddened by Israel’s ongoing brutality and lack of humanity. I am also deeply troubled by the abandonment and extraordinary perversion of such fundamental Jewish ideals as compassion and concern for the suffering of oppressed peoples in order to further Zionist aspirations. As an American taxpayer, I share in the guilt for Israel’s behavior since it would not be possible without US taxpayer dollars. I am grateful to groups like MECR who have the courage to speak out and educate Americans about the ugly, but true, realities of Israeli policies and actions. I am hopeful that the truth will set us all free (including Israelis, Palestinians, and us).
Make the right choice on Sept. 14
On Sept. 14, Democrats will have a chance to vote for their Attorney General candidate. In my opinion, Eric Schneiderman should be that candidate. He is the kind of progressive candidate that would make an outstanding Attorney General.
Closer to home, there will be a primary to determine the Democratic committee persons in District 7. Josh Honig and Gary Kitzmann have served on the committee for over a decade. Both represent the best in Democratic party values. Gary has been the New Paltz representative to the state democratic party for years. They are being challenged by two of the people that favored the building of the middle school and $100 million debt taxpayers would incur. These people want to take over the Democratic Party much like they did the school board. I urge Democrats to reject these candidates and allow Honig and Kittsmann to keep serving on the Democratic committee.
Shame on you, Mr. Hinchey
After Sept. 11, 2001, I will never be able to look at a piercing blue, cloudless sky without thinking of it as a “9/11 Sky.” On that day, passenger flights going overhead to land or takeoff at Stewart International Airport were replaced by the scream of fighter jets. On the wall of my office, I have a poster with the names of the over 3,000 victims who were murdered from AA Flights 11 & 77, United Flights 175 & 93, the Pentagon and the World Trade Center. The names are positioned to spell out the words “NEVER FORGET.” I and many other Americans, and especially the people who live in the 22nd NY Congressional District who personally had family and friends murdered on that day when our country was attacked, have not forgotten. However, it appears our so-called representative in Congress, Maurice Hinchey has, since he refuses to speak out against the proposed mosque at Ground Zero on behalf of his constituents. Shame on you, Mr. Hinchey. You’d better believe that I won’t forget you on election day this Nov. 2 when I chose to replace you with George Phillips.
Join the unheard majority
The article “Dried up” in a recent edition of the New Paltz Times, is downplaying Central Hudson Gas & Electric’s (CHG&E) ability to control the water level in the Wallkill River. While we were in a serious drought in July, the water level remained “NORMAL” until CHG&E saw an opportunity to make repairs on the 4’0” rubber bladder (an inflated tube that raises the water on top of the concrete dam) and sluice way (a gate that regulates the flow of water through it), and so they LET THE WATER OUT!! This is the only factor in the Wallkill River being “Dried Up”! Within two days the Wallkill River lowered to a point where you could walk across it in spots (not necessarily in narrow spots as indicated in the article, because the Wallkill River’s width is pretty consistent).
The Town Board of New Paltz recently passed restrictive laws on property rights in the flood plain and even Plutarch Road. Plutarch Road was proven not to be in the FEMA flood map. FEMA was wrong, as proven by Town Engineer Dave Clouser, who happens to live on Plutarch. Conflict here? The flood way in front of my house is 189” above sea level. My house is 290” above sea level -- higher than the Town Hall -- yet I’m subject to the same laws as the flood plain. After attending the Town Board meeting on Aug. 19, I asked the Town Board why the Wallkill River was so low. Jeff Logan exclaimed, DROUGHT, as expected. I explained that the only reason was that CHG&E had deflated the bladder and opened the sluice way. Explaining my contact at CHG&E is John Roach (Dashville Hydroelectric Plant Manager), Supervisor Toni Hokanson asked for his phone number. This lack of information on the dam and contact with CHG&E after passing such restrictive laws in the flood way is APPALLING!
At the Aug. 26 Town Board meeting, the Town Hall was filled with outraged property owners. Jeff Logan made contact with CHG&E on his own for more information (too late) on the bladder and sluice way and claimed he spoke with unnamed engineers and unnamed hydrologist and with no supporting data assured us that the bladder that raises the Wallkill River 4’0” at the touch of a button has no impact. (Hip waders are recommended for the next Town Board meeting because it gets pretty deep). Flash boards (2x10’s) were used on top of the concrete dam until the year 2000 when CHG&E installed the 4’0” tall bladder. John Roach explained that CHG&E informed local farmers and necessary parties prior to lowering the water level. Were the Ferrante’s notified? It didn’t sound like Sandy knew in the article. Why isn’t the Town Board on the list? With the bladder down we enjoyed some rain and a 5” storm, as well with no rise in the river, no flooding. I see a lot of green grass. Are we in a drought. On Aug. 26, John Roach called me and said the work was complete and with Mother Nature’s help the Wallkill River will return to NORMAL levels. He was right about the Wallkill River rising to NORMAL, but with no rain I don’t think Mother Nature helped (observed on Sept. 2, hot and dry).
CHG&E is permitted to use our properties as a reservoir by the DEC -- did they consider the impacts? The DEC requires CHG&E to open the sluice way when the water level reaches 173’0” above sea level with no other information. The residents on Springtown Road refer to the USGS station in Gardiner, consider the impact of storms on the Wallkill Valley to New Jersey (the source of the Wallkill River) and factor in the amount of rainfall. Seems like CHG&E should ask the Springtown residents when to open the sluice way. Let’s try every February to June.
At the Aug. 26 Town Board meeting the neighbors of Springtown and Plutarch read allowed and presented a petition asking the Town Board to reverse/repeal the Flood Plain Law back to what it was prior to Aug. 20, 2009. The Town Board claimed there was no opposition or input prior to the passing of the law. I suggested in an earlier feedback letter the Town Board should get hearing aids, and now I’m suggesting a translator as well so they can understand what the people they represent are asking them for. Please join the unheard majority and attend the next Town Board meeting -- meetings are held every third and fourth Thursday of every month. You can also join a growing movement for better local government by calling 453-0215.
I have a nightmare
Glen Beck is my nightmare. As I watched him stand in the place where Martin Luther King stood years ago and declare our nation a Christian Nation, I thought, “here we go again” -- having to defend the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Now, to be clear, I accept Christianity as a religion, just as I accept Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Muslim, Native American, (the one that should get first priority if we were to be a “Religious Nation”), and all other religions. I thought that getting into the various types of Christianity (38,000 sects) would be hard, but then, it became easy when I discovered that Beck was a Mormon. I had to conclude that the Christian Nation he referred to was Mormon, so I looked into some of the Mormon beliefs.
Did you know that Mormons believe that God created multiple worlds and each world has their own God? That Mormons believe that we are only subject to our God and if we obtain the highest level of heaven, we can become gods ourselves? (Hmm. I wouldn’t mind being God of a Universe. That would be a trip.)
Also, Mormon marriages are considered eternal. If a husband and wife are sealed together in the temple, they can be together on into the celestial kingdom. The church does have a process for annulment and sees divorce as an “unfortunately” necessary evil. I can buy that -- unless of course, you married and divorced a multi-millionaire, in which case it would be a “fortunately” necessary evil -- but I digress.
Here’s my point. If Beck, Limbaugh and Gingrich want to tear our country apart with religious wars inside our country, I’m willing to give up my political stance to keep our nation from another civil war. So here’s my offer. I am going to suggest that we break the “party” barrier and come together against a possible takeover of our fundamental rights as a Democratic Republic nation -- built on the foundation of the Constitution.
I will consider voting for either and any party candidate that does not stand for dividing our country by race, religion and corporate loyalty. Any candidate that does NOT accept money from corporations that say that the Obama tax cuts are going to hurt people that are struggling. Repealing the tax cuts for the wealthy are not going to effect any other than the wealthy. So if anyone running sticks to their policy, provided that they have a policy, I will consider voting for them, no matter which party. Right now most of the Republican candidates do not look acceptable, but if they break from the propaganda and show me some facts, I’m open.
Let’s remember: United we Stand -- divided we fall. Let’s come together and give some THOUGHT to the bought and paid for propaganda. It may mean resorting to some reading and sharing FACTS with friends and family, but what the heck -- the price of losing is just too deep. It’s getting serious folks. Time to remember that Democracy is not a spectator sport.
Proud of my town
What a great, green town we live in! Three HUGE cheers for Maggie Ramirez, Joe and Joyce Braidt and all our other local heroes who worked so tirelessly to save our neighborhood and who champion our town’s commitment to environmental preservation. Thanks to the dedicated efforts of such friends and neighbors, our town can showcase 63 acres of open space for less than $600K adjacent to the elementary school in one of the most desirable areas in the Northeast. I’m a science teacher in Poughkeepsie and have had high school-level kids who have never seen a forest and can’t tell you the difference between a mammal and an amphibian. Once Manhattan was covered in green fields and forests and decorated in wild strawberries. Now Central Park is the only token tribute to NYC’s past, and it only exists because of the vision of the NY residents of 1860. I’m proud to be part of a town that has similar foresight and citizens with wisdom. Thank you!
Endorsement for Eric Schneiderman
We are writing to let you know that we have enthusiastically endorsed Eric Schneiderman for New York State Attorney General.
This was an easy decision for us to make because, as a lifelong progressive reformer, Eric has fought as an attorney, activist and lawmaker to deliver equal justice for all New Yorkers. Eric has the deepest, broadest and most diverse grassroots coalition in this race -- it’s a coalition that only a candidate devoted to fighting for equality and justice can build. Eric has been a strong leader for the interests of New York’s hard-working families from increasing the minimum wage, to championing the right to organize, to improving the worker’s compensation system, to bringing good-paying green jobs to our state.
Eric will fight against corporate corruption on behalf of New Yorkers who have been victimized by big corporations, big banks, insurance companies and other special interests that don’t play by the rules. He’s been a leader in fighting corruption and abuse in state government. He authored the most sweeping ethics reforms in decades and led the charge to expel corrupt Sen. Hiram Monserrate after he was convicted of a domestic violence crime.
Schneiderman lead the fight to end the draconian Rockefeller Drug laws that wasted taxpayer dollars and devastated NY communities for decades.
Named one of the greenest senators in the state by EPL/Environmental Advocates, Eric is an unwavering supporter of environmental justice. He believes that every New Yorker has the right to clean air, safe drinking water and healthy communities to raise their children. Eric also believes that environmental protection and job creation must go hand in hand.
As the New York Times wrote in their endorsement, “We endorse Senator Schneiderman in the Democratic primary because of his sound judgment, legal expertise, political independence and long history of fighting for government reform.”
Guy Kempe Chair, Mid Hudson Valley WFP
Jennifer Fuentes (WFP/D) Alderman,
City of Kingston Ward 5
Brian Shapiro (D/I/WFP) Ulster County
Legislator, Dist 2, Woodstock
Jim Mays, Janice Williams-Meyers,
Arthur R Richter
Citizens for Universal Healthcare
I would like to respond to Pam O’Dells letter suggesting we replace our fine Congressman Maurice Hinchey over his not making a statement on the “Mosque” in Lower Manhattan.
First of all Pam, it is not a Mosque, it is an Islamic Cultural Center, much like the JCC on the Upper West Side -- complete with basketball court. You don’t seriously suggest that we discriminate against the religion of millions Americans? Do ya?...really?
Secondly, it is, surprise surprise, not at Ground Zero, but in lower Manhattan several blocks away.
This is the latest con job perpetrated by the flaming right who have nothing, nada, zip, of real value to say, so they must create non-issues to wave the flag around.
Moreover, this is a local NYC issue, not one for Maurice who does not represent Manhattan. The Mayor, a Republican and the City Council, Democrats, support it.
And this is the ultimate Property Rights issue, which you claim to champion. This property was legally bought and the new owners have the right to utilize it in a lawful manner. You intend to return that fancy-schmancy award you won?
You say that on Nov. 2 “when...you...choose to replace Maurice Hinchey” -- last time I checked, Pam, it is not your personal choice.
I was looking down 5th Avenue at that blue sky when I saw the first tower fall, but to use 9/11 to further political ambitions is nothing short of sacrilege. So like you, when I look at the blue sky now, I might be thinking of something else, but unfortunately, it might only be your hot air.
I support Senator Eric Schneiderman
Many New Yorkers are undecided as to which Democratic candidate to support for Attorney General. As a matter of fact, not many know that a primary election on Sept. 14 will decide which of five candidates will be the Democratic nominee for Attorney General in November. My vote is unhesitatingly for State Senator Eric Schneiderman. He’s a tireless advocate for justice and fairness and has ten years of legislative credentials to prove it. His track record makes him uniquely qualified to meet head on the challenges faced by our small cities and towns in upstate New York. For example, he’s worked to stem the tide of gang and drug-related violence while holding absentee landlords accountable for drug and gang activity on their property. At the same time he was a sponsor of the law that finally repealed the draconian Rockefeller Drug Laws. Plus, he’ll use the AG office to fight for job protection and the protection of affordable housing.
Senator Schneiderman has been a leader in the fight for comprehensive property tax legislation to relieve the out-of-control financial burden on owning our homes. He opposed any increase in SUNY tuitions without approval of the legislature having determined that any change to SUNY and Community College funding would make higher education unaffordable for many New Yorkers. As Attorney General, Schneiderman will protect our water supply by suing to prohibit hydrofracking until it is proven to be safe. And he will work toward an energy future without Indian Point.
Albany insider? I hope so. Schneiderman has been the harshest critic of corruption, waste and fraud in the public sector. As Attorney General, he will fight to restore the transparency, honesty and efficiency necessary to give New Yorkers the government we deserve. It may sound like the language of politics again but he’s already got the wins to support his claims. On Sept. 14, I’ll vote for Senator Eric Schneiderman, an Attorney General who will work for all of us.
Getting dunked for open space
We’ve been told “you’re all wet,” “you’re wet behind the ears,” etc., etc. However, when it comes to preserving open space in Gardiner, we’re not all wet -- at least not yet. But this Saturday, Sept. 11 at Gardiner Day in Majestic Park in beautiful Gardiner NY, instead of us just being figuratively all wet (there are those who think that will always be the case), you’ll have the opportunity to do it “real proper like.” Carmine and I will be in the dunking booth (no, not at the same time) from 1 to 1:30 p.m. and from 3:30 to 4 p.m. (we’re working on a third shift too) just waiting for you to cool us off. And to help raise awareness and money for open space, we’re inviting folks to pledge for each “dunking” that occurs while we’re there. Pledge $5 a dunk (it can be more or less, you can cap your donation too), and if we get dunked ten times in the half hour, that’s $50 towards open space. But we need people to pledge, so send me an e-mail to email@example.com or call me at 255-5822. Or you can stop by the Open Space Fund Raising table at Gardiner Day and sign up there. Now, where did that rubber duck go to...
A vote for Eric Schneiderman
I am writing to express my enthusiastic support of Eric T. Schneiderman for New York State Attorney General.
On Sept. 14, registered Democrats throughout the state will cast their ballot in a primary for Attorney General. A lofty and powerful office throughout New York’s illustrious history, it has been held most recently by one man who ascended to the Governor’s office and another who deserves the same honor. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that the field of five Democratic candidates is so impressive.
Yet, while each contender would make a fine choice, Eric Schneiderman has demonstrated that he, more than any other Attorney General candidate, is ready to carry the torch from his predecessors and lead the fight for ethical government, the protection of consumers and the environment and the promotion of civil rights. In his 12 years in the New York State Senate, Eric Schneiderman has successfully fought for tough but fair criminal justice reform. He has also been a vocal leader in helping protect womens’ rights. Moreover, he supported a moratorium on drilling in the Marcellus Shale formation and has called for litigation to prevent hydrofracking. Perhaps most importantly, in a time when ethical government seems like a pipe dream, he has worked to pass laws that promote transparency in government; he even led the expulsion of Hiram Monserratte from the State Senate.
Eric Schneiderman is worthy of your vote because he is a proven leader with a commitment to justice, public integrity and government reform. We need him as our Attorney General.
Stop bashing teachers
Thank you Liz Pickett! I am also a partner of a Highland Central School District teacher and it was so gratifying to finally see something in the New Paltz Times that was supportive of the Highland teachers. It seems like whenever we open the paper, we see another one-sided article that bashes the Highland teachers. What a breath of fresh air to finally see someone write some positive and encouraging words about these professional educators.
My partner also feels a tremendous sense of frustration, under-appreciation, and quite frankly, “disgust” by the anti-teacher sentiment that seems to prevail among some residents of Highland such as Mr. Rizzi. It bears repeating that among all school districts in Ulster County, the Highland teachers are the LOWEST PAID on average (even with their new contract). And yet, despite the teachers’ comparatively low salaries the district has some of the best educational results in the county. In most work environments, people are rewarded for a job well done.
As an educator myself, I know it must be extremely difficult for the teachers of Highland to work in this environment. My partner puts in extremely long hours -- starting the school day at 8:30, working after school in the classroom until 4:30, and then grading papers and preparing lessons at home until 8:00 (and sometimes long after that). That’s nearly a 12-hour day. Most professionals with a Master’s degree who work that long and have nearly 20 year’s experience, are usually held in high esteem and compensated appropriately for their efforts. But for some strange reason, teachers in Highland are routinely disparaged, asked to give up well-deserved raises (which my partner has already done twice before), paid the lowest among their peers, and made to feel as if they would be better off teaching elsewhere.
There is no denying that these are difficult economic times. Public institutions and public services are being cut back and eliminated. Public schools at all levels are especially facing severe budgetary constraints. My partner used to receive nearly $500 from the district for classroom supplies and now that amount is down to $150.
Over the past ten years we’ve spent, on average, $800-1000 each year of our own money to purchase necessary classroom supplies -- things such as snacks, paper, pencils, markers, folders -- that neither the school nor the parents can afford to provide.
The Highland Teachers Association is well aware of the recession the nation is in and the financial troubles that residents of Lloyd are experiencing. The contract they negotiated, which the Board overwhelmingly approved (with one member absent), is by all accounts a modest and fair contract. To ask them to renegotiate this contract and give back their minor increases is irresponsible, insulting and unreasonable.
Go Green Day
Hey New Paltz, what are you doing this Saturday, Sept. 11 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.?
If you are going somewhere else, why not drop in at Water Street Market by the Wallkill River in New Paltz for Go Green Day (by foot, or bicycle, or bus, or a car filled with people we hope). Whether you are already well on your way to saving the planet or just climate curious, Go Green Day will be there for you! Go Green Day is a GreenWorks event with live presentations and demonstrations and crafts for the kids.
The Climate Action Coalition will be there with an energy footprint quiz and simple low cost ways for you to increase your score by lowering your contribution to pollution. You might be surprised by how much you are already doing counts and how your grandmother had a lighter footprint than you do! This is an event for families and students, so bring your friends and neighbors and find out how easy it is to save the earth with an Earth Machine Composter, save water with a rain barrel and other ways to save money and energy without reducing the joy in your life.
Enjoy the good vibes and energy of Rat Boy Junior, eat free popcorn and shake hands with a polar bear who will be there to thank you for your efforts.
New Paltz Climate Action Coalition
A friend to the people of Marlborough
I would like to take the opportunity to thank our resident lawmaker, Assemblyman Frank Skartados, for being such a good friend to the people of Marlborough.
With Frank’s help, we were able to address the long-neglected Town Hall roof and make repairs. With Frank’s help we were able to negotiate with the state and county to offer over $7 million in grant and tax benefits to stimulate business and help Kedem expand in Marlborough. And Frank and I worked together to make sure we could offer the people of Marlborough their first public access to the Hudson River by securing grants to purchase the Milton Landing property.
Assemblyman Skartados has been in the forefront to fight for school aid and property tax relief for our struggling taxpayers. After all, Frank lives here too!
Al Lanzetta, former supervisor
Town of Marlborough
Meet Me in Marlborough branches out Meet Me in Marlborough (“MMiM”) is a group of Milton and Marlboro farmers and businesspeople united to promote Marlborough’s economic vitality, quality of life, sustainable agriculture and manageable tax base through agri-tourism and our local businesses and organizations. MMiM focuses on investing in their community by spreading the word on the rewards you reap when by buy local -- supporting the local farms and businesses.
Look in your mailbox if you are a Marlboro Central School District resident -- a mailer should be in there. In it is a letter explaining what MMiM is about and MMiM coupons for local businesses in the MMiM brochure.
Many MMiM members offered these special discounts and savings to help you support local. For a larger view of the coupons, visit www.meetmeinmarlborough.com. The brochure is also full of information regarding local businesses/farms, a raffle coupon and a schedule of events being held at our farms, wineries and local businesses. It also can used as a local business directory.
Enjoy the mailer and thank you for shopping local and supporting our town!
Stay tune for the new MMiM ‘s Meet our Members” Campaign for both local residents and visitors to Marlborough. Marlborough Agricultural Alliance
Meet Me in Marlborough
The struggle of small businesses
The difficulties of small businesses are repeatedly bemoaned, but I wonder sometimes about our collective habits. It’s much easier for us to go to a big-box store for some hardware (e.g. Lowes), or a coffee/lunch (e.g. Panera, Starbucks and the fast food chains), and the prices are generally right.
However, I was particularly saddened to see the demise of a hardware store run by a friendly couple on Route 32 near the bridge in Rosendale and now am even further saddened by the impending possible closing of Gina Marie’s, also on Route 32, the other side of the bridge opposite Rosendale’s Stewarts. That café (which calls itself an ‘Ice Cream Parlor’) has been a frequent stop for me and occasional friends over the past two years because it is so good, with excellent food, not to mention clean bathrooms and friendly service.
Those are just two examples, but what I bemoan is that when business families put such honest effort and skillful hard work into their local businesses, it is frequently to no avail, not only because people won’t bother with them, but often haven’t heard of them. Others small businesses come to mind -- for example the little sporting goods store in Cherry Hill Plaza -- and so on.
People will say ‘survival of the fittest’ -- yes, true. But it’s also somewhat in our mindset, isn’t it? Should we not at least try these small unknown places and then either frequent them or let them die?
Well, I sound like I’m proselytizing, advertising or complaining -- but it’s such a pity to see good things die.