Sunday, June 21, 2009


The idea of a "closed campus" at the Kingston High School is surreal. I almost cant believe it's happening. I somehow expect something to change before the school year starts. Isn't that always the case?

So, there's a big article in the Freeman about the fiscal impact the new rules will have on the 10 local eateries along the Broadway gauntlet in front of the high school. It's focused more on the merchant impact more than the education and safety of the students.

I know the shop owners in this area because I actually patron these shops. I have been there during school hours and during summer vacation and there is a difference in the level of business. However, when you have a more developed dialogue with the owners, you get past the initial shock of the situation and realize that after a short period of transition and diminished sales, it's expected that folks who avoided these shops during the day, will come in for your product.

Employees at the Hospital, Verizon, YMCA and even Ci
ty Hall will no longer avoid the mid day mayhem that has continually plagued the area. For those who do not live and work around the high school, I don't expect you to understand, but when taking alternative routes to get through town becomes the norm, that's when it hits you that something must change.

The threat of losing business must be scary for anyone during this time of economic stress, more so in New York State. But take pizza for example...havent we all patronised just about all of the pizzarias in the area? I have.
(just look at the size of me).
Customers will come to where the product is good. Sami's wil
l do as well as the other pizzarias that arent across the street from a high school so long as they continue to make great food.

Joe DePoala told the Freeman: “I don’t think everyone will close, but one or two places might have to.” I would have to agree that some of the shops did rely completely on the school trade. That would reveal a faulty business model in my opinion. Joe also told the paper that businesses have to adapt to marketplace changes. Sounds like he went to business school.

I chatted with Gabe Cicale, owner of the Monkey Joe's right down the block. We talked about this issue since reporter Kyle Wind had just interviewed him regarding the campus. His quotes in the atricle are right on in that there is a large demographic that choses not to patron these shops because of the students and the business model that depends solely on the influx of students to survive is flawed.

Ironically, here I am in my last six months of serving on the Common Council, and the changes we pushed for in this portion of Ward Nine for so long are finally coming to life. Imagine, the numerous calls about the parking, litter and mid-day rumbles in the neighborhood will diminish just as I'm heading off to other adventures.

To the next Alderman...your job just got easier.


Anonymous said...

Ironic is the word. The school has been the focus of so much in Ward Nine & Five. Your predecessors Gallo and Schupp had to deal with the same problems you have. Now the BOE steps up and attempts to fix an ongoing problem at the campus.

It's true that the article in the paper did focus on the local business owners, but the dilemma of feeding all the students remains. Lets see how the admin handles that one.

Good luck on your other "adventures".


Anonymous said...

Let's come back in 1 year, Fathers day 2010 and look at how many of those 10 or so businesses had to fold.

BTW, who says the business model of serving the high School students is a bad one? The campus has been open for so long that it would make sense to build a business around the students. This is move will make an already eroding taxpaying business base, erode further. I am all for student safety, but the kids that went to these places, are not the kids who got in trouble.

I predict a huge increase in violence and other acts of disobedience within the walls of KHS. IMHO, that makes the school far more dangerous for the good kids.

There should have been some compromise, this all or nothing approach is the easy way out. When will the School board start to think outside the box?

Anonymous said...

Has there been any questions on the Multi-National food service company (ARA) that is now going to service KHS and what the contract calls for? It would be interesting to see what the contract says and how the profits are going to be split? The profits are not going to help the local economy just a gig company. Our kids will have to support this company and the local vendors will be closed.

Anonymous said...

You know it's going to be tough on the next Alderman to keep up the pace you've set for that job. You've been all over that ward and have engaged so many people for so long, he or she is going to have to step up once in office. You make it look easy.

Anonymous said...

construction has begun expanding the lunchroom at khs,at what i think is at the tax payers expense,to help this outside company make just doesn't seem right saying local shops are wrong for doing business off the student population but this company can.i can see the headlines next year-DUE TO THE CLOSED CAMPUS POLICY THE STATE MANDATES KHS CONSTRUCT A NEW FACILITY BECAUSE OF OVER CROWDING-DETAILS AT 11

Anonymous said...

Point well made. I totally agree with you Madsen.