The Record-Review – The official newspaper of Bedford and Pound Ridge, New York

 

JuLY 22, 2011


Public notice vital to democracy 


Public notices in newspapers are critical to public access and government accountability. But Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow  (D-87th District) recently introduced legislation that would eliminate newspaper publication requirements in Westchester County and move public notices to government websites.

We look at this as something that would be bad for our business — newspapers — but also terrible for government transparency. Moving notices to government websites will make it much more difficult for Westchester County residents to pay attention to what their government is doing. 

While we acknowledge that public notices are a source of revenue for newspapers, we reject the notion that this is a subsidy. Newspapers provide a service to local and state government. We inform the public. We run public notices as paid advertisements, providing the same service we provide to all customers: we typeset the ad, publish and distribute it, and fulfill the statutory requirements for public notice. We provide a service for which we get paid.

Moving public notices to government websites will result in a less-informed citizenry. Many New Yorkers — especially seniors — do not have Internet access. But even those who do will rarely seek public notices out on a regular basis. Public notices are generally mundane, and we can hear the politicians now, scornfully blaming the citizen who is upset that he or she didn’t know of a zoning change, or tax increase, or foreclosure, because he/she didn’t dutifully check the government website. 

The target of this legislation seems to be newspapers, but the real victim is you and me. Most people think it is a worthwhile expense to pay for traffic lights and stop signs instead of simply posting a list of dangerous intersections on a government website. Publication of government’s attempt to take some action that may limit or change our rights or our quality of life is not a trivial expense to be done away with in lean budget years, or a weapon to be used against those who report on government actions. Allowing government to control the entire public notice process is an invitation for cronyism and abuse and will result in public outcry and costly legal challenges when abuse occurs. 

Newspapers have always been vigilant watchdogs for the communities they serve. Paid public notices are essential to preserving the democracy we all enjoy.

— Michelle Rea, executive director, New York Press Association


Set ‘Sale’ in Katonah next weekend


If you’re not enjoying a cool sea breeze in the Hamptons or on Nantucket next weekend, there’s still a terrific opportunity to set “sale.”

The Katonah Sidewalk Sale, held Friday, July 29, and again all day Saturday, July 30, is sure to afford everyone some hot bargains and lots of cool merchandise. Here in our towns, “Shop Locally” is more than simply a slogan on a bumper sticker. It’s becoming more and more a way of life, not only out of convenience but from a philosophical standpoint. And well it should.

We’ve heard the statistics indicating how local businesses contribute to the economy, character, unity and vitality of the community they are a part of in a unique and essential way. In our area, more than a smattering of vacant stores is both a reality and a clear indication of a still-struggling economy. But what’s equally clear is that the merchants throughout Katonah, in the other hamlets of Bedford Village and Bedford Hills, as well as in Pound Ridge, are committed to being part of the fabric of our community, rather than just in it for the buck.

In a time when dollars are hard to come by, how and where we choose to spend those dollars is more important than ever. Getting some shopping done with special offers and slashed prices, grabbing a cold beverage or a meal at a local eatery or simply strolling through town alongside your neighbors, sounds like a summer pleasure close to home.

Events like next weekend’s Sidewalk Sale in downtown Katonah are a great way to not only celebrate our community but also to strengthen it. Hope to see you there.

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The official newspaper of the towns of Bedford and Pound Ridge, New York

Editorial

NEWSSTAND LOCATIONS

Pound Ridge/Scotts Corners

  1. Scotts Corner Market – Trinity Corners Shopping Center;  55 Westchester Avenue

  2. Pound Ridge Sunoco — 66 Westchester Avenue    

  3. Sam Parker Country Market — 257 Westchester Avenue    


Bedford Village

  1. Bedford Rexall Pharmacy — Hunting Ridge Mall; 424 Old Post Road  

  2. Village Green Deli — Village Green; Routes 22 and 172    

  3. Bedford Shell — Routes 22 and 172 (at blinking light); 848 So. Bedford Road

  4. Village Service Center —193 Pound Ridge Road (at Long Ridge Road intersection)    


Bedford Hills

  1. Bedford Hills Deli – 7 Babbitt Road    

  2. Bueti’s Deli – 526 Bedford Road (Route 117)


Katonah

  1. NoKA Joe’s – 25 Katonah Avenue    

  2. Steger’s Paper Mill – 89 Katonah Avenue    

  3. Perks – 197 Katonah Avenue    

  4. Katonah Pharmacy – Katonah Shopping Center; 294 Katonah Avenue   

  5. Bagel Shoppe – Katonah Shopping Center; 280 Katonah Avenue    

  6. Katonah Sunoco – 105 Bedford Road


Mount Kisco

  1. Teamo/Mt. Kisco News – 239 Main Street    

  2. Connie’s at Northern Westchester Hospital
    400 E. Main Street    


South Salem/Vista

  1. JNR Pharmacy – 222 Oakridge Commons;
    Route 123   


Cross River

  1. Bagel Boys Café – Cross River Shopping Center; Routes 121 and 35    

  2. Cross River Shell Station – Route 35    

  3. Cameron’s Deli –  890 Route 35    

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