I don't know where this idea is coming from that we're not real people. I'd rather be addressing the issues – there are so many of them that make it clear what a disaster is heading our way.
But it's turning personal; rather than respond to the issues I raised yesterday people are trying to divert attention by saying we're not real. That we're trying to 'hide' who we are. That's nonsense.
It couldn't be any clearer who I am: unlike "Vegas" I'm not hiding behind an alias. And it's very clear on the website nocostco.com who we are. The Concerned Citizens of Yorktown are individuals, but also include groups like Yorktown Smart Growth and Green Yorktown.
When we saw that the Chamber of Commerce used a vote by the Executive Committee to endorse Costco – ignoring the very real harm that a superstore like this does to local businesses – then we decided to start a new business group, The Yorktown Merchants Association. No wonder they're screaming so loud! They even tried to stop us from being heard at the Town Board Meeting this past Tuesday night. Free speech? I guess that's not good for business.
Please – any merchant or business in Yorktown, visit nocostco.com and find out just what kind of an existential threat you're facing. And it's not just merchants –Costco offers professional services, too. Look, I'm a violin-maker; this is not a matter of self-interest on my part. As far as I know, Costco does not offer high-end hand-made classical acoustic stringed instruments. But I have neighbors and friends who will be directly affected. And I don't want to see row after row of derelict buildings and have my choices reduced to the few options that some faceless buyers somewhere out there – where are they, anyway? Not Yorktown; – have decided is the best for its customers.
I like to make my own choices. I like the personal contact with the people I shop with – they respond to my needs, rather than computer printouts of the maximized profits per unit moved. I don't know, maybe it's just me: but the idea of getting in the car and sitting in an endless traffic jam to save a few dollars on a crate of oranges, half of which will go bad before I get a chance to eat them – well, they do serve good hot dogs. Although you can get a better lunch anywhere downtown – at least for now. While we still have a downtown.
And you can get those oranges at a great local store – Turco's. Or (at least until the end of October, when they close for the season) the Meadows Farm Market. The point is this: Costco likes to have this air of inevitability. A slick marketing campaign – they are masters at this kind of thing. But we are thinking people. We are good old Yankee skeptics. And when we take a close look at what's being offered, it's pretty clear that it's a pig in a poke. An over-sized shopping cart full of them, hauled in by an endless stream of semi-trucks.
If you want to know who we are, it's there for anyone to see at nocostco.com: we are the concerned citizens of Yorktown. We are people, not a target demographic. You want to know who we are individually? We have respect for the individual rights and privacy of our members; we can't just put their names up. But we're going to start, today, an open list: anyone can add their name. If you're with us, add your name. Make your voice heard.
I'd like to know who 'Vegas' is. I'd like to know who those few were on the Chamber of Commerce who voted to endorse Costco. Was one of them the lawyer for the developers? I'll say it one last time: We have no problem with anyone knowing who we are. We are the people of Yorktown. One ground rule going forward, at least for this blog: no comments will be considered or replied to if the person posting uses an alias. Fair is fair; if we're willing to speak for ourselves, as real people, then so should everyone.
For all we know, 'Vegas' and its ilk are sitting at Costco headquarters. Or in the offices of the law firm representing the developers. Which is fine – we'd love to have you join the discussion, and convince of why it would be such a great thing to have you come to town! But do it under your own name: show us that you're real people too. We take responsibility for what we say: it's not too much to ask the same of you.
And I hope that's the end of this diversionary nonsense. Tomorrow we can get back to what we really need to be doing: looking at the issues in detail. There's a lot to cover before the public meeting of the Planning Board Oct. 15.