Wednesday, November 19, 2014

ShopRite meeting was great. I think delivery to Castleton will work out really well.

Completely unrelated to all things advocacy: I got a Kindle Fire. It is perfect. I got a keyboard for it too, and plan to use it next semester in a technology classroom I have for my graduate class...which does not have a computer for the instructor.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Some things happening in our advocacy. The first meeting of the village economic development committee is set for early December. I am meeting with ShopRite about home delivery on Tuesday. And we saw boycott signs all over a house right next to the new megastore in Troy. I wonder what the spark was? It said "Stewart's isn't a good neighbor" and some stuff about greed.

On a personal mote, the semester is rapidly approaching the end, hard to believe. And our first snow was last night -- a little dusting.

 I love my recent creation:

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Although fighting a big company that is indifferent to your community's plight, and that everyone loves (as I did) is a big lift with daunting odds -- somehow I am doing it. The "Friends" are fired up, and that helps. There are other volunteers, and I'm most appreciative. Still, much falls on me, at the busiest time of the semester. But I'm not caving.

That's not to say that I think Stewart's will cave. Sometimes I think they will, and other times I think there's no chance. The Channel 13 reporter asked me on the day they locked our beloved store's door forever whether I thought our boycott would do anything to hurt Stewart's, and I said yes, that it would be like 1,000 wasp stings to the 1.5 billion dollar company. This particular sentence was the one I hoped would make the news, but it ended up on the cutting room floor.

That was OK, as the most important thing about our story is the devastating impact on Main Street -- both in terms of people and economics. I have been working on several fronts, trying to remedy all the catastrophes that the loss of our store has caused. It's not easy -- but I will keep at it.

I believe the boycott and associated negative publicity are indeed doing something! First, because they have hired shills to counter our constant presence on social media, to alternatively taunt us and pretend to be supporters, and second because I notice the East Greenbush store (boycott target # 1) is not busy! A lot of people -- more than I hoped -- are boycotting all stores, and I think maybe everyone is avoiding the new store!

I get no pleasure from this except in my darkest times, I never wanted it to get to this. I wish they would just concede, renovate our tiny store and reopen it. All would be forgiven. But until then...Stand with Castleton. Boycott Stewart's.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Our Stewart's closed on Sunday. It was a very sad day. Four unknown employees of corporate came who seemed to have little purpose aside from counting inventory and standing around blocking the aisles with plastic containers, making it difficult to shop. No free cone promotionals were to be seen.

They have now removed the sign and thrown most of the interior into a dumpster in the parking lot. The store is already listed on the real estate section of the Stewart's website with a deed restriction -- no convenience stores. We also have leaned the three to get the axe: Camden, Castleton, Saugerties.

Friends of Castleton Stewart's are in full swing, however. The company's stonewalling has only strengthened our resolve. We continue to attract media attention. The "Stand With Castleton. Boycott Stewart's" campaign is moving along. Much more to come, so stay tuned.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Our media attention continues to grow, and the FB friends site is adding members. But Stewart's continues to stonewall, parroting the same tired statement over and over again. They should fire their PR person, because seriously? They suck. They may be good at thinking up new ice cream names and promotionals, but they are in way over their head when it comes to crisis.

I wrote the paragraph several days ago and saved it as a draft.I have not gotten back to finishing it until now, and surprisingly, the sentiment is fine. We have had television and newspaper coverage galore, and now we even have the support of some elected officials. No matter -- Stewart's refuses to budge. The shop is scheduled to close tomorrow.  I am not giving up -- and will go into boycott mode if they lock the door.

This 2014 documentary, “Save Our Stewart’s,” chronicles the struggle of the Friends of Castleton Stewart’s to prevent a popular village grocery store from closing. The store is one of the few remaining businesses on Main Street, and its loss is devastating socially and economically for the tiny Hudson River town in upstate New York. It is a powerful film about the people of Castleton-on-Hudson and their protest to save their Main Street store, and ultimately, their community. It starts with a news story and then continues with a rally and finishes with Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A Changin’” (1964).