would like to make a few comments on the article “Minding
the Store” [Newsfront, May 26] about the proposed Stewart’s
I found your article interesting but incorrect in some aspects:
First the picture shows two houses as the proposed site. This
is not the case, it is an empty lot to the left of the first
house pictured and the first house pictured (larger Victorian
on right in picture is not part of the proposal).
My parents own that house and have since 1973. Stewart’s made
them an offer on their property after being refused by other
landowners in town as Stewart’s would not meet their selling
Also, Mr. Conklin told me in person today that he never spoke
to any of your reporters, so his comments were not direct
quotes as you had stated.
I can understand people’s concerns with this enterprise coming
into town. I applaud their going to meetings to discuss any
changes to their town or zoning laws. I disapprove of any
verbal assaults against my parents. They have been upstanding
members of the Berne community for over 30 years, volunteering
many hours of their talents and time to help others. They
talked with their neighbors about their decision before Stewart’s
went public with their plan, and they were understanding and
Living in Voorheesville myself, I have seen the Stewart’s
process of entry into a community. Many meetings were held,
opinions voiced. The process seemed to be inclusive of anyone
who wanted to have their say.
As far as the position of the Berne Store, they have been
the only store in town for many years. Their selection of
groceries is at best limited. Part of being a business is
competition, though truth be told Stewart’s will likely not
challenge their prepared food offerings (especially the delicious
subs). They both seem to offer the same limited necessity
grocery items, and I’m sure people will be looking for which
offers the best quality and price. I look at Nichol’s Market
here in town up against the giants Price Chopper and Hannaford.
They offer excellent customer service and weekly specials
as competitive business peoples do and seem to have their
niche, though there are two Stewart’s less than a mile away
that offer many similar products.
I guess my final statement would be for the people of Berne
to really look at both what they may lose AND what they stand
to gain and get involved to support their decision.
David King replies:
The picture used in the story along with the caption was misleading;
it should have featured the lot to the left of the first house
in the picture. John Conklin did speak to our photographer,
and then I phoned him and confirmed his quotes.
want to thank you for your fair coverage of the whole Stewart’s
situation in the Hamlet of Berne.
However, I would like to bring to your attention the fact
that Mr. Huth, a member of the board that voted in the zoning
change (which does seem to be designed specifically to allow
a Stewart’s to come into town), was advised publicly beforehand,
by the attorney hired by the Berne Hamlet Association, that
he might want to remove himself from the vote due to the location
of his home property (in the area directly affected), which
could imply a potential conflict of interest. To this advice,
Mr. Huth responded that there was no conflict of interest.
A week after the board voted to adopt the zoning changes—by
a two-to-three vote (Mr Huth’s vote being number three in
favor and therefore a deciding factor in the outcome of that
vote)—the Altamont Enterprise ran an ad announcing
that Mr. Huth is now a real estate agent. How can anyone not
see this as a huge conflict of interest? Incidentally,
Mr. Crosier is also in the real estate business, so perhaps
his vote should also be discounted. That would change that
three-over-two vote to a two-over-one vote, against
the zoning change.
How can we not be permitted to overturn that vote, to go back
to the beginning and do this in a fair and equitable way?
How can the Town Board overlook this terrible miscarriage
of proceedings? The vote that included Mr. Huth should be
thrown out, his motivation is far too questionable. The people
in the hamlet who have been fighting this in a fair way, following
all the rules and being deceived at every turn, need
to be listened to.
If you are interested in doing a further exposure on this
issue, feel free to look into it. The public needs to see
that things are not being done fairly, and people’s homes,
their way of life (actually a whole neighborhood) are at stake
here! Thanks for your time and attention.
response to the article “Left Behind” [June 2], I recently
had the privilege of discovering Gumaer Farms in Stuyvesant
Falls. This is a full working dairy farm in Columbia County,
not a play farm in any sense. Gumaer pasteurizes and bottles
its own milk onsite (whole, chocolate, 2-percent, half &
half, etc). It then delivers to homes in the local area, and
stores outside the local area. The milk is antibiotic- and
BGH-free, and their operation is growing. I plan to buy their
milk at the stores in Greene county which carry it (currently
Black Horse and Story Farms, both working farms), and I have
suggested it to my local health food store. Local, healthy
milk is a valuable commodity and there is growing consumer
support for it. Hopefully for all of us more dairy farms around
the state will be able to succeed using this drug-free direct
to the consumer model.
so much for your tribute to Penny Green [Listen Here, May
26]. She was my next-door neighbor since this past autumn,
a wonderful neighbor. I do odd jobs for her landlord, so I’d
have to stop by her place to check on things now and then—changing
light bulbs, adjusting the thermostat, getting rid of a dead
mouse, things like that. She kept the place beautifully macabre:
heavy drapes; Tim Burton figurines; rich, deep purple; and
black, black, black everywhere. Goth isn’t really my thing,
and she never succeeded in getting me over to Valentine’s
around the corner, but she lived and loved goth and made an
art out of it, and gave me a feeling for it. She also gave
me lunch and dinner and, once, chocolate-chip cookies. When
the weather started to get warm last month, she’d sit in the
fenced-in backyard while her cat, Kitty M, explored. And she
scolded me for mowing down the dandelions and violets that
had popped up. “You can’t take away my dandelions and violets!”
she said. “Well, I’ve got to mow the lawn,” I said, “and they’ll
come back.” “Well, all right,” she said, though she didn’t
sound convinced. I hope she saw that they did come
back a few days later. But I think she may have already gone
to the hospital for the last time by then, I don’t know. I
wish I had left the wildflowers untouched. But thank you,
also, for giving me an opportunity to put this down and get
it out. None of my friends ever met Penny, so her loss—and
so young! So vital!—would only have an abstract meaning for
them and not be personal.
reading Deirdre Fulton’s very informative article about the
‘conscience’ stand of some pharmacists [“Pharm Stand,” May
26], I wondered if these pharmacists react the same way when
unmarried men bring in prescriptions for Viagra, Cialis and
Levitra? I’ve never heard of any man having a difficulty filling
one of those prescriptions even when they are using Medicaid
to pay for it. Why are men expected and encouraged to have
sex but women aren’t supposed to use contraception? Could
it be that most of these drug store Pharisees are men?
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