Friday, October 31, 2008

Market worries

The spin is already on for the asphalt-field redevelopment project slated for the soon-to-be-former “Ghetto” Chopper property on Railroad Place. With the post-noon “economic development” announcement just around the bend, most folks didn’t seem all to interested in hearing the bottom line, which is that the somewhat shabby grocery store will be replaced by something shinny and new; perhaps even contiguous with the towering structures that have created a corridor through what was once the main rail line through the city.

“It’s just another good thing gone, and it's all about money,” lamented one customer interviewed by the Post Star.

This glum sentiment was echoed by several other customers interviewed by the paper, even though prospective owner Sonny Bonacio has already adamantly insisted a market is in the works for the site. He reiterated these claims in a short news release chucked into the flotsam and jetsam of the media late Thursday afternoon, but it did nothing to allay the ongoing concerns about what he is planning there.

Fact is many people simply don’t trust the dickering between the Spa City’s most ubiquitous developer and the Capital Region’s premiere grocer. Most simply don’t buy the notion that either has any “commitment to continue serving the center city of Saratoga Springs.” The standard shopper at Ghetto Chopper’s reaction is that whatever replaces their somewhat quaint inner-city grocer will be bombastic, expensive and tailored to the teaming numbers of aristocrats filling the growing number of million-dollar condominiums.

In theory, Bonnacio’s notion of “announcing” his development was the right one: Alert the media well in advance, make sure all editors and producers within a 50-mile radius have a stake in the official announcement and then curry favor with the city representatives so that they can deal with the inundation of overzealous reporter calls and panicked cries from the public. But when you’ve got a broad cross-section of residents waiting with baited breath over the whole issue, it’s best to not put of any announcement, even if it’s for a paltry 24 hours.

Update: On the fifth day, Bonacio said “Let there be project.” And there was a project. And it was good...For those living in a news vacuum, Sonny and Neil(Golub that is) pitched their plans for a new market, about 10,000 square feet smaller than the existing one. The project would be built sometime within the next four years and would likely feature the Central Market brand name the Golubs are looking to resurect. Interesting Sonny. Keep talking. And when you get to the part about beer, make sure to follow it with the term ‘in copious amounts.’

Allowing this sucker to stew is perhaps the worst thing to do, seeing as though the channels of misinformation are now wide-open, as they were last winter when word of the sale was pushed through the public rumor mill. To put it mildly, people are freaking out. And they’ll still be freaking out long after the news vans pack up and the process of change begins its descent through the planning process.

While there are indeed some who simply can’t stand any change no matter the circumstance, there are many others who see the shabby market as part of the city’s collective identity. It’s a scar on an otherwise flawless countenance, but one that illicits a sense of home for anyone who dwells within the city proper for a prolonged period. It’s akin to Salomon Grundy’s or the Pope’s Pizza barn on Broadway; the Ice House when it was a garage where a bucket of rocks cost six bucks and a smile or the Golden Grill during the pre-Putnam gentrification days; and now the YMCA, before the block was leveled for high-rise condos.

All these places were arguably changed for the better. The buildings that stand today are far nicer, carry attractive businesses and arguably add to the economic vitality of the city far more than their respective lots did in their previous incarnations. Just think how many slices of grease pie Paul Amato would’ve needed to sell to equal the business Borders’ does in an hour; likewise at the Stadium. How many families and sports fanatics that fill the bar every weekend would have been content to hang with the rough-and-tumble crowd that once stewed in the juices poured at Grundy’s and then La La’s?

Still, there was a feeling of comfort about these places that’s been steadily erased by the steady drum beat of economic development. The Ghetto Chopper is –or rather was –among the last bastions of this faith, and one that was an all-encompassing center where all walks of life converged. Regardless of Bonacio’s plan, there are going to be many he simply won’t appease, even if he suggests handing out hundred-dollar bills to the first million customers through the door.

It’s a quandary the developer will increasingly face as he molds downtown into his own vision. Keep in mind, his projects have largely filled voids of scrubland in the heart of the city, or vacant stretches of buildings that had no marketable use absent his Midas touch. But rolling over the Ghetto won’t be nearly as easy, even though city officials are already tacitly endorsing a project that hasn’t even been proposed, much less approved. This time, he’ll have to do much more to charm the growing numbers of skeptics of the city.

20 Comments:

Anonymous Kyle York said...

"Regardless of Bonacio’s plan, there are going to be many he simply won’t appease, even if he suggests handing out hundred-dollar bills to the first million customers through the door."

And so it begins.
I took the time to attend the joint announcement by Golub then Bonacio then Mayor Johnson. They could not have been more united and emphatic about attempting something that will please everyone. It will be a long and contentious road. But my bet is a win for the community.

I am always truly in awe of Horatio's prose and profound understanding of Saratoga's past. And I agree unequivocally that "The Stadium" is a great place. With apologies, I'll not wax prosaic about what preceded it.

Now here, this beloved scar is a Parking Lot and an Affordable Grocery store. The plan is to improve on the former and retain the latter. It's a noble goal, an achievable ambition, and it's the offer of a far better future than a cracked-asphalt nostalgic past.

There is little I can say or write at this point to win over those who embrace an urban policy with a foundation of rhetoric such as "towering structures," it's "all about money," places " bombastic, expensive and tailored to the teaming numbers of aristocrats filling growing number of million-dollar condominiums."

I must have missed the design sketches.

As one of them thar' "aristocrats" I prefer to let history tell this tale. I have seen the City's review process at work and I participate passionately. Citizens helped to make the Hampton Inn project a much-improved design over the original.

Every day, I walk past the much beloved scar and I can see a scooch of room for aesthetic improvement. Call me crazy (cue the "Blowhard" cry) but I see the possibility of sustainable downtown living, a boost to the city's coffers, and a neighborhood for people.

But I'll cut to the chase, my friend. More than anything, I believe in the integrity of Sonny Bonacio. He built my home... and I paid him handsomely for it.

Were I to mention his charitable contributions, there will be counters that it's Small Change or PR by-the-buck. When the wicked ice storm hit, it was Sonny's generators that kept Public Safety on-line and in-touch. But I hear the roar of the... well, the non-aristocrats.

Neil Golub, Sonny Bonacio, and Mayor Johnson set a great example today at City Hall. Perhaps we can follow their lead and take a shot at working together to build a better Saratoga.

"Build." It's about more than mortar and bricks. Dare to be optimistic. Dare to get involved. Speak with people, not prejudice.

Of such things are great communities made.

-Kyle York
Aristocrat

4:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Kyle,
What simplistic webs you weave....the Bonacio realm, born in the waning days of the John T. Roohan dynasty...whose need for a contractor who was not "connected" to whomever.........

Please look beyond the spam, the fodder that has been emailed, and the press releases...........

It IS ABOUT THE CONNECTIONS....and the Golubs have succumbed, and made millions in the process.

7:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

folks there is only a 3 year commitment from Bonacio that there will be a grocer on the lower level.

8:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God I'd love to sympathize with you Kyle, but you seem to be so in love with what ever you have to write/say/do for/to us it makes my bile rise. To use some crass contemporary jargon, this town is fucking gay, and any idiot who paid "new Saratoga" prices to live here is, well..., an idiot. Wow, you have a fancy kitchen and a balcony! Wow! I have a fancy kitchen and nicer moldings in my little house. Who doesn't have a fancy kitchen these days? All purchased with home equity that is disappearing day by day, just like the deflating value of your future high(er)-rise ghost town. Thank you, your highness, for your contributions to the tax base and your enlightened urban pedestrian carbon credits, this town was so horrible without you! Yeah, some of town was ugly, but so were a lot of the trophy wives in town before their rhinoplasty, lipo and botox. The Red Barn/Pope's was not pretty but the Border's building is no great shakes and I'd beg to differ with H.O. about profit margins at the one big chain store in town that I have actually shopped at and welcomed. Thank you, kind sir, for reduced taxes, cleaner air, more greenspace, progressive politics (gag), and more self sufficient, sustainable living. I would rather have people like Captain Fun Al McKinney, bitching about the moneymen in town (in between endless tales of the volk music lifestyle here and abroad), than have you here writing another puffed-up PR piece for the unnecessary and ostentatious. This is directed at you personally, not at all aristocrats, I do have respect for the class and taste that is so lacking among the new money around here. Word, the Lumpen Prole. Alias, PhilthyRex (S.S. resident since '70)

10:46 PM  
Anonymous agphoto said...

I awake from my semi-slumber to greet all, secure in the knowledge that I have enjoyed reading and learning about issues that are important in previous posts, like police overtime, that were well-balanced. I feel I had nothing to add that was significant, so I kept my mouth shut.

To those who oppose this project, I request in the nicest way possible, that you do the same.

Here’s why:
1) We can all lament the places we used to go in days gone by… I miss the hamburger train that my mom took me to when I was a kid in Queens, NY. My old neighborhood in Middle Village is now in the process of re-gentrifying; but when I visited it 10 years ago the movie house that I went to every Saturday afternoon was a XXX theater, with all the fun feeder businesses and drug/thug activity that accompanies such ‘development’.

The point is that SS has, to date, avoided such periods of squalor by re-inventing and replenishing itself several times over the last 1.5 centuries. There must be something in that water, for this is the most organic community I have ever been privileged to live in. I am not rich by any means, and it is galling to hear people complain about higher taxes on a house that their family has owned outright for 2-4 generations, and crabbing about ‘the way it used to be’. A) It was only good because it was good for you, and B) it really wasn’t that good back then either. You were just comfortable with it.

2) The current RR place property: let’s face it; we are talking (putting it mildly) a world-class piece of shit; one that would be welcome in any crack-infested rust-belt community; and not just in comparison to the so-called ‘cages of the rich and wannabe’s’ that now populate the side streets of downtown (more on that below) – we are talking world-class hall-of-fame slum material. So what are we losing? Parking: no; that was a 1-hour lot; I invite you to try to leave your car there for an entire workday and see what happens: FYI as a public service the # for Matt’s is 583-1111.

“Oh sure, she looks like a dog, but once you get to know her…” Ok; let’s look inside the aptly-named ‘ghetto chopper’ and see what we find: mediocre selection of produce (and this is one of its best features!), no butcher, and a selection of fish that truly earns runt-o-the-litter status by virtue of it being laughed out of the fish counters of the 2 stores on rt. 50 north and south. If you are big on $3/off labeled meats that have hit their expire date, welcome to your Xanadu, friend—see you at the ER. Nice people, though…

The fact is, the whole grocery leaving issue was a non-starter, and it’s not because of the walking rich or poor: it’s the restaurants downtown. Ask the kitchen people how many times they trekked up to the GC to pick up that extra loaf of bread/tomato, etc. on say a Sunday when they are not getting their Sysco delivery’s till the next day and you’ll find that there is an entire economy built around serving this need. Don’t discount the owners of these places maneuvering behind the scenes, and there is no doubt that if Price Chopper abandoned this viable market, there would be a number of enterprising individuals willing to fill it (the rumor that Captain Fun and myself have been shopping for delivery Vespa’s for this purpose and that Kyle has been evaluating our business plan for possible investment remains unconfirmed at this time).

As for the (maybe) new central market concept being too upscale for the average individual; I tend to hope that the Golubs are not plagued by a sudden outbreak of dimentia and try to out-Putnam Putnam Market, because I would expect the Hamiltonians to kick their ass back to Rotterdam if so. What they are doing, if they are doing anything, is re-branding. The central market line is a slightly improved boutique label that is more fru-fru than ‘PC’s own’, but certainly on a par quality and price-wise with major brands as far as I can see.

3) For those who forgot which country we are living in here; this is part of the United States of America, where for good AND evil, capitalism reigns supreme. This is a marketplace where everyone votes/gambles with their dollars, and as long as code and design considerations are attended to, Sonny and the Developers (a future a-cappella singing group at a watering hole near you?) can do what they want with Marvin Gardens or Railroad Place. It is wonderful that they and the Golubs responded to ‘the people’s’ petitions, etc. but make no mistake that they did so at least in part because it was good business to do so. These are the last people who care about good PR, except where it helps the bottom line. That reads like an ouchy criticism, but not really. You could have bought the land, old-timers, and put up your ‘national museum of tree-hugging granola eaters’ complete with free day-care. Where were you all these years? Looking for Oma’s pizza to return?

4) Finally, the condo-mania: get real. When my parents bought a house in Nassau County in the 60’s so I could escape the drug menace (which evidently did not work- but I digress) there were farms in my village. You couldn’t even rent an apartment on a bet. Today it is littered with townhouses, condos, upscale apartments and the like. Here’s why: the world is getting more crowded, and (surprise!) people need a place to live, and (bigger surprise, at least to me) they actually like this sort of thing.

Well it takes all types, and the question is not whether this is a good or bad thing socially, but economically for those who invest/speculate in these dwellings.

Brother Kyle must admit that he is an exception in living in his condo year-round, and the tumbleweeds that roll down his hall in the winter must give him the feeling of living in the country somewhat. Perhaps if the economy does turn down further, a large number of these boxes are going to be thrown on the market to compete with the one’s being built and planned, and that might cause some nouveau riche to scan the want-ads, tough.

Yet since we all know that KY sold all his AMD stock years ago to finance the purchase, he is playing with house money. And the rest of them can take care of themselves, or maybe they have people for that. Good luck

So my advice to the middle-class (of which I am a proud member; for life I guess) is to let the developers style and preen, and the politicians take there photo-ops… think how much fun it will be if they step into an open manhole or two down the road, and you will learn how I manage to keep a perspective.

This will not be the last make-over of 12866, and it is my hope that you all, even those who disagree, live long enough to see the next 2-3 of them in good health, which has always been more important than good wealth. Happy holidays and please vote.

BTW; is it time for some election predictions? You all are going down….

7:23 AM  
Anonymous the last sane person left in saratoga said...

Kyle said:

"... Citizens helped to make the Hampton Inn project a much-improved design over the original...."

That's kind of like saying Stalin was a nicer dictator than Hitler, isn't it?

The fact is: the Hampton's design (yes, its final one) is an all-out insult to the citizens of Saratoga.

(Note: I am criticizing its design here, not its presence)

9:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder what the relative economic benefit is of a part-timer couple living in a condo vs. year-rounders? It seems obvious that someone who lives here more will spend more money here generating more economic benefit for everyone in town. And, the part-timers will be less likely to support things that will improve the city for year-rounders, like a new recreation center. There is nothing we can do about the change, but I think the economic benefits of the condos are going to a select few while the rest of us pay increased taxes for water, sewer, police, fire, roads, etc. Similarly, I'm not sure Borders, Eddie Bauer, or Starbucks brings as much economic benefit to town as locally-owned businesses.

10:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am always the "glass half empty" person, so I worry about these new multi-purpose buildings. It sounds great to have a mix of restaurant, retail, and living all in one high rise building... but do they work? You won't find out that they don't work until approx. two to three years in. A destination or service company is your best bet for any off-broadway location. But for typical retail or food service you need exposure. And Saratoga Springs is Broadway. Even Phila and Caroline are tough. If you are already established you may hold on to your following, but for most people it is out of sight, out of mind. After making a bad move a business can hang on just so long and with all these mixed use buildings popping up one after another, am I the only one worried that it hasn't proven itself to work? What happens if you end up with a lot of empty store fronts and one tiny grocery store?

1:59 PM  
Anonymous Kyle York said...

Anon 7:22-

I may spin my webs...but the only thing "simple" here is the Peoples' Hero in your mind. Sonny was born into no "realm" except the tradition of work, a foolish preference for profit over bankrupt incompetence, the guts to be bold and to live with the consequences, and a homegrown passion to give back to his community. Neil Golub knows his customers and respects them and is committed to them. Try this-- WALK through his stores then be brave and actually TALK to the man. While I respect success on the large stage of Neil and Sonny, I respect success however anyone defines it. Had you ever achieved anything, big or small, you'd be secure enough to tell us what you've done...or take pride in who you are. "The Fodder"... your realm, indeed.

PhilthyRex '70-

Okay, make it personal. I'm a person with a name and the faith of my beliefs, right or wrong. You slink in the shadows, living the Dude's life in comfort of the gutter. NOT THAT THERE'S ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT. Spread a little more Pixie Dust and take another hit off the bong and just MAYBE you can stop the world back when it was Groovy. I was here in '72 and '73 on visits to the women of Skidmore. I enjoyed their company and went home to RPI in Troy. I had a blast with those fine, fun, wicked smart women. If this place went "Gay" it's because you skipped Skidmore Socials while giggling incessantly at your Cheech and Chong LPs. FAR OUT!!! But Rex, there IS life after the Bong. It's clear that YOU simply dropped the ball my Stoner friend. You foolishly allowed The Track to thrive, and your laziness put SPAC on the map, and your Boys-Only Love-In let the UnCool citizens convert a swamp into a gem of a Park. WHAT were you THINKING BRO? You and all the other wistful pundits pining for your Woodstock on Walworth... you screwed up. You let REALITY into your sandbox. You even allowed the INTERNET to happen. So sorry that the world has let you down Rex. But maybe all is not lost. You should run for office, Lord knows you've got a vocal following. Better yet, buy some turf and show Bonacio how to REALLY make a town that's in touch with the Cosmic Vibe that lives in the windmills your mind.

-Kyle York
Bad Person

7:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agphoto: Oma's , under the guise of West Av. Pizza, ironically IS back. Same baker, same pizza. Oma's: The Sequel.

9:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yo York, ya dork, I criticized your tone, not necessarily your ideas. Hence, not ALL aristocrats. How do you get hippy from what I wrote? Hippies bile doesn't rise, they just say, "it's all good". I bagged on "progressive politics" (alias the Keehn fiasco). I haven't smoked pot since '83, right around the time I was sucking on the future Mrs. Bonacio's tits. Boo-Hoo, crybaby, I don't even care about the Price Chopper, and I don't really have anything against Sonny, but some people do, and not all those people are sanctimonious windbags, so on that level, I'm with them. I guess it's your old age that prevents you from understanding what I meant about this town being "gay", but I'll let YOU figure it out on your own. But you bought an overpriced condo, so.........? How metrosexual of you too! I don't have the energy to hate you Kyle and I would have no problem revealing my identity in person, you've probably seen me downtown hundreds of times. I'll just start asking every guy I see with a bow tie on, "are you Mr. York"? Pax, PhilthyRex

12:47 AM  
Blogger Faulkner said...

Progress is good. Saratoga will keep evolving. But the shame is knowing how cool the city once was, and how some of the attractions are being replaced by high ticket items.

Example:

There was a time when you could go out during any week night and hear live music at Aiko's, Metro, E.O'Dwyer's, and Grundys (which became La La's), just to name a few. Add the pitcher specials before the binge laws kicked in, and you had a really fun time without high cost.

A studio apartment on Broadway used to cost $425/month a mere ten years ago. As cost of living and rents go up, you have the fact that the young people who work in the city at service industry jobs can't afford to live here, not to mention the people who make a career out of the service trades.

Let's face it. Saratoga is appealing because besides beautiful nature that surrounds the town, its quaint architecture and the support of annual tourism... there is an energy that makes it special. If you price out the artists and service people who make the restaurants run, then you are going to turn Saratoga Springs into Celebration Florida.

After that you won't have to worry about criticism from a blog like this, because nobody will care.

9:44 AM  
Blogger shotinthedark said...

From The Gazette…

“Bonacio said he doesn’t know yet whether he’ll demolish the old Price Chopper after the new one is built. “We’re going to let the market decide that,” he said.”

Saratoga has been going through a golden era this past decade. Bonacio is a very smart and a very lucky person. He was able to take advantage of this golden era.
There’s little doubt in my mind that this particular golden era is over.
The 64,000 dollar question is, “When will financial reality catch up to Saratoga and pop the bubble?”
Hard times are coming; we’ve seen them before and we have made it through.
Some of my happiest memories come from those harder times.
I think Bonacio knows that the good days are behind us and he’s smart enough to, “let the market decide”.

You can’t stop people from wanting to move here. And once they do move here you can’t expect things to stay the same.
In the end, I have to agree with Agphoto’s interesting and long assessment; it’s all good.



And the following might be of interest to all of the current and past pot smokers which I gather from all of the name calling that has been going on in this particular thread, there are many.

From Today's Daily Kos..

"I think that we need to rethink and decriminalize our marijuana laws. But I'm not somebody who believes in legalization of marijuana. What I do believe is that we need to rethink how we are operating in the drug wars, and I think that currently we are not doing a good job." Barack Obama"

2:18 PM  
Anonymous agphoto said...

*cough* - another reason to vote 4 Barack, shot.

5:21 AM  
Blogger shotinthedark said...

This is a no-brainer, Agphoto.

It has been idiotic how much money we have spent harassing pot smokers.

By all accounts it's easier buying pot now than it was 20 years ago and from what I hear the quailty is even better.

Legalize it, let the farmers grow it, and tax the hell out of it.

Turn a big negative into a big postive.

7:12 AM  
Anonymous Kyle York said...

Last Sane 9:10-

Good for you and your concern about the Hampton project! Now, which meeting of the Planning Board did you speak at? The First? Or was it the second, maybe the third, right? Did I miss you? No, I'll go out on a limb and bet your critical thought is reserved for a few minutes with your convenient keyboard in the comfort of your home. Attending meetings is tough and time-consuming. Kinda' like Democracy in general. But give it a try on the local scale, my friend. You can make a difference. Yes, you can.

Anon 10:04-

I'll be bold enough to make the case that "part-timers" like me offer FAR MORE than we "take" from the community. Please click on Horatio's “Let there be project” link in the sixth paragraph of his post. Our "benefits" are nil while our contributions, in dollars and civic participation, are far more than is generally acknowledged.

Rex 12:47-

If you "don't even care about the Price Chopper," you're on the wrong Blog dude (see title). Congrats on 25 years off-the-weed, now let's try to master on-topic thought.

Faulkner 9:44-

Celebration is indeed, nothing to celebrate. You're spot-on about our energy and the folks who make this place happen. They're some of the best people in town... and incredibly, they rarely post on the blogs! I'm glad to support them and I was especially pleased to book them and pay them for the City's JULY 4th Celebration... something one blogger called a "Kumbaya Moment." And Rex, that was in a good way. I believe the town is better for the words and deeds of you, Sir William. It would be my pleasure to buy you a drink while listening to Rick & The Sisters. A good time yes, but a celebration-- NEVER!

Shot 2:18-

I believe the Best Days are ahead of us. The brutally tough times ahead will bring opportunity to Saratoga. I went out on that limb on Tom D's Post-Star blog at http://www.poststar.com/blogs/?p=6309&cat=37. We'll have it less tough...but ONLY if Obama carries the day. If Surgin' General John believes we're here to take down all the bad guys, we're all toast.

Vote as if your life depended on it.

-Kyle York
Thoughts on a Fading Post

2:27 PM  
Blogger shotinthedark said...

Don't Bogart That Joint

Lyrics: Lawrence Wagner
Music: Elliot Ingber

Played by Little Feat's Paul Barrere and Bill Payne with Phil & Friends. The original verson (on the soundtrack of "Easy Rider") was by Fraternity Of Man. It was subsequently covered by Little Feat.

Chorus
Don't bogart that joint my friend
Pass it over to me
Don't bogart that joint my friend
Pass it over to me

Roll another one
Just like the other one
You've been holding on to it
And I sure will like a hit

[chorus]

Roll another one
Just like the other one
That one's burned to the end
Come on and be a real friend

2:37 PM  
Anonymous Rosary Beads said...

One of anonymous' 7 comments above said...
"folks there is only a 3 year commitment from Bonacio that there will be a grocer on the lower level."
So as not to allow ignorance to launch yet another bogus rumor on this subject, I will clarify the FACTS.
I actually attended the press conference where Mr. Golub said that Price Chopper was committed to a "three year lease of the existing building" and a "long term lease in the new building". He confirmed that the old store would not close until the new store opens, three years or so from now. He also made it clear that the store would carry basic groceries, like bread, eggs, milk lettuce and ground beef and that the larger Price Chopper a mile down the road was better equipped to handle a variety of upscale gourmet foods.
I signed the Saratoga Healthy Transportation Network petition to keep a downtown grocery store in reaction to all of the nasty speculation that was tossed around by those who relish compromising the truth in favor of a shocking headline or blog comment. Now that I can see through the hype, it's clear to me that there never was a reason to fear losing our city grocery store. Golub even said at the press conference that he had always intended to maintain a store downtown and that it is just a matter of figuring out how to do it. So I, for one, am gratified to have expressed myself and to be able to enjoy the outcome that we've been promised.

11:32 AM  
Blogger shotinthedark said...

Massachusetts voters decriminalize marijuana
RAW STORY
Published: Tuesday November 4, 2008




Print This Email This

Massachusetts voters have approved Question 2, which eliminated criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of cannabis.

The new law, which will take effect in 30 days, calls for a $100 fine and confiscation of the substance for those caught with an ounce or less with no reporting against a person's criminal record. Those under 18 caught with cannabis will pay a larger fine, up to $1,000, and participate in a drug awareness program and perform community service.

Governor Patrick, the attorney general and district attorneys across the state were among opponents of the initiative, saying that decriminalization would promote drug use, cause a rise in violence and workplace safety hazards, and increase the number of car accidents and youths driving under the influence.

"The people were ahead of the politicians on this issue," said Whitney Taylor, chairwoman of the Committee for Sensible Marijuana Policy. "They want to focus our limited law enforcement resources on serious and violent crimes. They recognize under the new law that the punishment will fit the offense."

9:29 PM  
Anonymous Kyle York said...

Rosary Beads 11:32-

It's a great relief and a pleasure to see there is someone else who takes the time to listen, pay attention, and distinguish fact from fiction. The principals agreed that the grocery store will always...ALWAYS... be a presence. The future store WILL be SMALLER... but there will NEVER be a time of no food, no services, no grocery on the West side of RR Place. The only "closure" will be during the brief 24-48 hour transfer of in-store stock from the "OLD" (extant) building to the "NEW" facility. For the hearing-impaired, you might contact the principals, the reporters, or those who were there for the announcement. Count me among the latter, write at your leisure.

Shot 9:29-

Smoke 'em if you got 'em! I stand with you in Solidarity...but like ReformedRex, I've sworn off the magical herb. I'm hoping for a single standard of Personal Freedom in the Privacy of one's home, while Rex 12:47 seeks a Second Experience of Sexual Bliss, real or imagined. It's all Good!

-Kyle York
Supporter of The One
kyle@york44.com

2:36 AM  

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