Wednesday, January 14, 2009


So, by now everyone is familiar with the Head-To-Toe head shop on Broadway.
I hadn't been in there since the Bike Shop moved out and the new owners created this urban clothing store. Certainly no interest of mine.

However, with a series of events that took place in the Ward Nine commercial district over the last week, Head-To-Toe got caught in the sweep.

A few neighbors and our ever watchful Rebecca Martin, noticed some threatening merchandise in the Citgo station on Broadway. Both Rebecca and I had conversations with the owner, and thus, the inappropriate merchandise was removed.

This is when the news of the head shop came to light, and with tips from students and several neighbors, KPD swept in and took Tahir Chatta, who was working behind the counter, arrested him and charged him with misdemeanor weapons possession and violating a city ordinance prohibiting the sale of drug paraphernalia.

Imagine swords, knives, and drug paraphernalia sold this close to a school.

Tahir is just an employee and lives on Blue Mountain Road in Saugerties. The local paper says the police haven't caught up with the business owner yet, but that will happen soon enough. Possibly by the time I post this.

How are we supposed to keep track of who is selling those glass crack pipes from under a counter anywhere in the City of Kingston? I will have to question Tim Matthews on possible restrictions at some of these stores.

I guess I'm just pissed because Head-To-Toe is so close to me in my neighborhood and I didn't see it happening.

Thank you Rebecca and those students who spoke up about the head shop. Our police department can only act against crime that they know about. Having active and perceptive citizens bringing situations to light, helps a great deal.


Anonymous said...

It sure is good to see the police stepped right in and cleaned it up.

Anonymous said...

Drug use and sales are not restricted by geography. The trade permeates every neighborhood. Its just that we dont see it from the street so easily.

I expect to hear of a rise in drug use and an increase in arrests as the economic disaster continues to affect the community. There is a connection.

The owners of this store simply tried to make money off of what they probably assume is happening in Kingston anyway.

Rebecca Martin said...


I don't think they got shut down, but their inventory was greatly diminished. I am amazed that I hadn't noticed it either. I was told by the manager of Citgo that morning to go and check it out.

You know, we should create a citizen task force through our Resident Advisory Committee and keep tabs on things like this in the Ward. I'd like to also propose that we sit down with Arthur and try to attract some new businesses in our neighborhood. With so many storefronts, why not? Interested? I think it would be a fun and positive project - and certainly, a way to get these bums out of the neighborhood - and the city. Lots of residents around with great ideas.


Anonymous said...

I guess I'm more upset that addiction is so rampant in the Kingston area. It's a problem throughout the city.
Our county services for detox are at capacity and theres no end in sight.

Anonymous said...

We are cleaning up the result and not the cause. When the economy, education and better parenting are addressed like we mean it, then we will see a decline in drug use and all that thrives underground as a result.
Sure its good to get the bongs off the street, but where is the guidance our young adults need to become better citizens? Look no further than out schooling system and the open campus.

Anonymous said...

Thanks and Congrats to those involved!


Anonymous said...

I love what Rebecca Martin is showing in that ward. She is showing that she care's for the community that she lives in. We all should be going into the stores around us to see what is being sold and who it is being sold to. Its takes a community to raise these kids now. But that is nothing new. In my day a mother and father watched out for all the kids around them. Times have changed and we must watch our for who is around our kids now. No fathers in the community is taking its toll on our future children. We need men to step up and be fathers to our community. Thank you Mike and Rebecca for all that you guys are doing.

Rebecca Martin said...

Hi 9:12

All that you suggest is absolutely a big problem - and a big conversation.

But what I know, without any question is that knives, guns (of any sort), etc. is the stuff I do not want being sold at quick stops or head shops. In my neighborhood or in any neighborhood. The photos of what they had in the back were in the papers. Clearly inappropriate and downright dangerous.

Neighbors, if you see something similar to what we found in Ward 9 - don't be afraid to do something about it.

Jake Wilson said...

I can understand prosecuting those who sell weapons and smoking paraphernalia to underage children, but those of us who collect knives or smoke tobacco should still be able to purchase pipes and knives. I have a four foot long sword hanging on a plaque in my living room. Does this mean that the police should be able to raid my home and take my belongings? To sell a pipe is no more wrong than selling a rolling paper or a cigar wrap, those of us who use these products for tobacco should not have to suffer because people are so afraid of marijuana use. No one was hurt as a result of Head To Toe selling their products, and even if they sold a weapon that was used to commit a violent act, the person who commit the crime would be responsible. We don't shut down sporting goods stores that sell guns, which are much more dangerous than the knives that Head To Toe offers, because we understand that "Guns don't kill people; People kill people". Why can't we also realize that a bong is not going to smoke anything illegal?