Tuesday, June 05, 2007


A suggestion: all supermarkets and associated type stores would be required to have current contact phone numbers on plates attached to shopping carts and that they be required to pick up the cart if notified of location or be fined.


Anonymous said...

Are abandoned carts really a problem in Greenburgh? I sure haven't seen any. Therefore I see no reason for this law.

Anonymous said...

No. It's not the store's fault if people steal them. The town should be doing everything possible to be business-friendly. Creating new policies such as this fosters ill will. If a cart is found and can be identified, sure, give a friendly call. But to mandate/fine is unreasonable and unnecessary.

Anonymous said...

One of the supermakets passed the four corners had one of their employers pick up all the carts with a truck. Some belonged to turco's and some were pathmarks. If both stores hire someone to pick these up, it would be great. One has to remember he carts are taken away today and returned when the person comes back to do their shopping. Many of these people have no means of transportation to do their shopping.Is it wrong for them to take the carts, yes but they do bring it back when they return. The shopping carts are right arround the supermarkets, Across the streets from the supermarkets,in the president streets in white plains.They are not hard to find. Will someone make a call I doubt it.Just remember some of these people need the cart to bring home their food.You don't have to pass a law, word of mouth should be enough, but the supermarket should hire someone to pick them up.The stores could share the expense amongst themselves.

Anonymous said...

Isnt this law already on the books?
Thought it was created a few years ago.

hal samis said...

Removing shopping carts from store premises is called stealing and it is not a victimless crime. Those who steal can be arrested while those stores which own the shopping carts can be fined.

Let's follow the analogy to its logical end.

Premise: People need food. Food costs money. Not all people have the same amount of money to spend on food. People with little money to spend on food likely buy less food.
Conclusion: People who buy less food have less need of a shopping cart to transport it home.

Or, people should be allowed to steal money to buy food or eliminating the middlevictim, they should be allowed to steal food. Therefore to get this food home, people should also be allowed to steal shopping carts.

Or, people who buy a LOT of food should be allowed to steal cars/SUVs so they can bring more food home. They will return the cars on their next trip to the market.

People do NOT return the carts they have taken. If they got away with stealing the cart in the first place, would they want to run the risk of being caught returning the cart, say from six blocks or more away.

That people do NOT return the carts is the reason they are found abandoned. If they "borrowed" the cart to get their food home, do they rush back to return the empty cart so someone else can steal it to bring their food home?


Supermarkets do not get free carts from shopping cart manufacturers. They are a cost of business to the retailer and this cost is borne as higher prices by the store's customers: you, me and all the people who are stealing the shopping carts.

On the other hand, maybe if the stores lose so many shopping carts they will buy vans and hire employees to cruise around to retrieve missing shopping carts. This will provide more money to those who sell, service and provide gas to vans and provide employment to those who are on shopping cart patrol. This in turn will trickle down and allow more people to buy more food and they will need to steal more shopping carts; thus causing more hiring in the shopping cart recovery business.

If you want to pursue this further, read "If you give a mouse a stolen shopping cart...".

Anonymous said...

Very funny, Hal. My laugh for the day. Thanks for the lesson!

Anonymous said...

anonymous 5:49 you must have blinders on. when you travel I don't know where you're from, but these carts are all over the Fairview section. If the Police would just issue tickets for stealing the carts in broad daylight, I think that might slow down this problem. stand on 119 and just watch the people stealing the carts. nobody ever brings them back. Paul, ask The Chief how many tickets were writing for this offense. I bet not many. We already have a law on this,but it is not enforced.

Anonymous said...

Do you think a police officer is really going to give a ticket to a little old lady wheeling her groceries home?

Anonymous said...

With so many other neglected matters already to deal with, this should be the least of all town concerns.

Anonymous said...

I think having the information on carts is a good recommendation. The police should return the carts to the stores. This would create an incentive for police to enforce stopping the removal of carts from the store parking areas.

As is, stores spend a lot of time retrieving carts that selfish individuals take to their car and then leave behind.

Anonymous said...

Why don't we have Young Kaminer threaten the "little old" ladies who remove shopping carts from the premises? In order to make sure no one is offended we can have him threaten "little old" men too.

I'm sure that the majority of the town board wouldn't say anything about it.

Wait....correction.... the majority of the town board has nothing to say about anything.

Correction....the town board did have something to say about Dakfur.

Does anyone know if things are any better in Dakfur since the Town Board discussions?

Anonymous said...

This is a silly, seat-of-the-pants idea.

Anonymous said...

Which is the silly idea, labeling the carts or having Kaminer threaten old ladies?

Freemarketeer said...

Removing shopping carts from the parking lots of stores has been against the law in Greenburgh for at least a decade.
Enforcing the law would, potentially, disadvantage a particular section of the population with a strong bloc voting record. If the police attempt to enforce the Town Regulation by observing individuals who appear to be preparing to roll carts out of store parking lots and onto the streets of Fairview, they will be accused of racial profiling. The police are under enough pressure as it is, what with questions about Kapica's navy, commmand and control vehicles. Then there is the a new police station. It features an improved design by Al Regula which keeps its cost below the Wickes Law threshold - avoiding the need to deal with union labor contracts or submit the financing to a public bonding referendum (vote) - truly a Feiner win-win idea. It really doesn't matter that the size of the cells might be less than that required by the Geneva Convention on the Treatment of Prisoners - after all, the Town Public Works Garage is several inches too small for the Town's garbage trucks. But we saved a fortune on the building - and were not subject to the ugly sight of union picketers and their inflatable rat, protesting the Town's disregard for a working wage.
No, our police do not need to add another enforcement mandate which has limited applicability to their routines - especially one which is likely to stir community resentment.
This is an election year. Best not to enforce the law too vigorously or someone will get angry - and might not vote for the incumbents.
Let the rule of the free market prevail. If a shopping cart costs the supermarket $500 and the profit margin on food is around 2.5 cents per dollar of gross sales - it only takes $20,000 of sales to pay for the lost cart. Lose a mere 50 carts a week (which is 1 cart an hour during a 10 hour working day, 5 days a week) and the store needs to increase its sales volume by $1 million dollars to cover all the lost carts THAT WEEK. They can do that by raising the price of food accordingly - or they can hire someone to make sure the carts stay on premises. What they most surely do not need is another unenforced/unenforcable Town regulation!

Anonymous said...

Why does Kapica have a navy? What bodies of water are in or continguous to unincorproated Greenurgh?

Anonymous said...

The police should patrol area's that have the problems and when they see people walking on the street with the shopping carts, they should put down their cell phonesand either issue a ticket or make them bring it back. because it is STEALING and AGAINST THE LAW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Get them off of the Hudson river and have them do thier job on land!

Anonymous said...

The A&P on Central Park Avenue has its phone number and address on each cart. Still, this is a ridiculous matter that could drive even more businesses out of Unincorporated Greenburgh. It seems to me that the town has many more matters of greater priority to be concerned with - such as promoting commercial development.

hal samis said...

Dear 9:07,
aka "only Edgemont" counts,

Another elitist sentiment which can be remedied.

Perhaps the Town should "force" some low income housing in your neighborhood. That way your neighborhood supermarket can also tolerate those who do not own SUVs to transport their grocery bags home.

Do you really think that an existing law, which includes having the name and phone number on the shopping cart, will drive "businesses" out of town, particularly a supermarket without any nearby competition or are you just afraid someone will build new residential along Central Avenue and threaten your no growth School District strategy?

Before you became so concerned that new apartments could be built, didn't you used to complain about the traffic on Cental Avenue? Let me see if I can help you support the local stores.
Let's distribute store flyers in the Bronx alerting potential customers of new store openings on Central Avenue in Edgemont. After all, we must do our part to make sure that commercial businesses succeed on Central Avenue.

Maybe the commercial development in Edgemont should include more stores which provide shopping carts. Why stop with Linens N Things and the A&P? You are abandoned-deprived and why isn't this as important to you as being parkland-deprived.

Or you can help out by calling Christmas Tree Shoppes and Michal's Stores and tell them their shopping carts are in the parking lot (near the fence walk-thru) at the southern portion of the Trader Joe's parking area.

Because your concern does not stop at the Edgemont border.

Anonymous said...

"your concern does not stop at the Edgemont border"

I'm not the one who wrote, but I've got to say that I have no clue what goes on on 119, for example. So while my concern isn't only for the southern section of Unincorporated Greenburgh, it just happens to be my point of reference.

I work in Manhattan and commute from Scarsdale station, do grocery shopping at the A&P on Central Ave, use the CVS at Midway, and do most other shopping in Yonkers.

Just because I live in Edgemont and I'm not familiar with the concerns of North Elmsford or South Ardsley or Fairview or Pocantico Hills or wherever else doesn't mean that I don't care about Unincorporated Greenburgh if I were to express Edgemont-area concerns.

hal samis said...

10:53 and/or 9:07,
You seem to know so much about yourself other than your name and that you weren't the author even though both postings are signed "anonymous said".

And why should you know about the other sections of Greenburgh. There is no logical reason to do so; there are few "attractions" or destinations in any part of Town that cannot be found nearer to home. Certainly one A&P and one CVS are similar enough in merchandise so that, with today's high gasoline price, no one should be faulted for going to the nearest A&P or CVS instead of the one further away.

So when you or others speak emphatically for their own part of town, there's nothing to be ashamed of. If I owned a home in say, Edgemont, I'd also be arguing and advocating to protect my investment, my school district, my sewer district, my sidewalk district, my water district, my drainage district, my fire district...

However, what is my problem with your ilk, is that your concerns are not the same concerns of others and seldom overlap with the needs of other areas. Trying to market your concerns as "townwide" is the discordant element. As residents, voters and taxpayers of Greenburgh, you have the right to seek the highest rate of return on this "investment". As do residents elsewhere. While bartering of support along the lines of "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" is not uncommon among "civic leaders".

What gets my dander up is trying to promote a Central Avenue moratorium as a townwide benefit. And with that proposition to maintain, the absurd defenses created to support that illogical premise. If you want to "protect" your School District" from invasion, then don't be ashamed of your cause. It may even have some validity. However, it is not unassailable either. The point is if the cause is just, it need not hide like Congressional amendments attached to the main resolution.

I will still argue private property rights ala Ayn Rand. However when those of you who seek to sell "for the good of the town" when advocating a local matter, then I shall have to bring up Ayn Rand again and remind readers about her being suspicious about those who seek goals for "the good of the people".

But the original post that set this current round off was about an Edgemont resident who lives not near the abandoned cart areas of town and thus did not experience the problem but felt that solving the problem would be anti-business and could cause irreparable harm to commercial development.

And, what part of town is seeking to stop residential development by subsituting its new found enthusiasm for commerical development -- in theory -- just not in practice. Otherwise, we would be shopping in the new Dilmaghani strip center at 540 Central Avenue instead of the existing vacant health club and the adjacent carpet store.

Stupidity, cupidity and hypocrisy often go together. There's always plenty of room in the Edgemont shopping cart to buy them when they are "on sale".

However, I advise retaining your receipt to facilitate returns.

Anonymous said...

" ... my problem with your ilk ..."

It's no different than Yonkers, for example. The concerns of the Beech Hill and the concerns of Nodine Hill are not the same. So it's up to the municipal management to balance priorities to serve its taxpayers. Same with Greenburgh. I don't see why there has to be animosity for expressing neighborhood concerns that may or may not be concerns of other neighborhoods.

hal samis said...

Dear 4:25,

Let's be sure that everyone undertands that "ilk" is defined as those that reside in an area bearing the same name.

The posting that I responded to,
June 8 9:07 pm, wrote:

"Still this is a ridiculous matter (shopping carts) that could drive more businesses out of unincorporated Greenburgh.
It seems to me that the town has many more matters of greater priority to be concerned with -- such as promoting commercial development."

Translation: The Town Board should spend their time being concerned about Edgemont's problems and everything elsewhere is "ridiculous".

Now as Edgemont does not have an abandoned/stolen shopping cart problem -- but other parts of town do -- and Edgemont is currently on a mission to see all vacant stores rented and create commercial development so that these buildings/sites won't become residential developments, I don't apologize for presenting the silver finger award to Edgemont.

Anonymous said...

"Edgemont is currently on a mission to see all vacant stores rented and create commercial development ..."

Though prevalent on Central Park Avenue, in both Edgemont and Hartsdale, this should be a Greenburgh-wide mission. Isn't generating commercial tax revenue a good thing? Is there anyplace in Greenburgh that actually wants more residential development?

hal samis said...

ALL development brings in new tax revenue.

The problem is that those against residential development claim that the revenue, in so far as it is applied to school districts, is insufficient. This claim may extend to other expenses incurred by serving more residents. Or it may not. Those saying "yes" refer to an outdated study, those saying "no" claim insufficient data.

On the other hand, commercial development is assumed to bring with it little cost and thus most of the tax revenues will flow directly to the town's bottom line.

An argument that leads to creating more commercial districts and thus fewer residential or mixed use development. So lets rezone existing residential areas and allow developers to buy homes and build office buildings or retail or neighborhood health centers.

Fortunately, Edgemont is not located near the border with Mexico.

What pure economics does support, according to business models, is that only an expanding population justifies commercial development. Zero poulation growth just does not warrant the investment risk. Whereas ZPG is not wholly accurate, neither is 40 or 120 new apartments on Central Avenue the requisite incentive for investments upward of $8 million.

And Edgemont is not in favor of any or all commercial development either. Just the kind that doesn't produce any traffic (read customers/tenants), doesn't need signage etc. Think "Goldilocks" and you will be on the same page.

Perhaps everyone hates residential development. Everyone that already has a home, that is. However, one unrepresented voice in this argument belongs to those that actually own the real estate upon which development of any kind is possible. Let us, Edgemont, determine the fate and disposition of the property of these owners.

Curiously, all homes or sites, even homes or sites with school age children, are not equal. Thus only land with the potential for new homes on Central Avenue is bad and must be prevented while land owned by vocal Edgemont residents, say the Orce family, is good. A student from Central Avenue takes up more space in school than does a student from off Ardsley Road.

Vacant stores hurt whom? Certainly the owner. But another rule of economics says that "water seeks its own level" or in real estate terms, the asking price for rent can be reduced until a tenant is found. Thus, why don't landlords do this if their property is vacant. I have in the past explained this. But, it is still amusing how less than a handful of currently vacant stores produces such concern for Edgemont residents. Apparently no one there sleeps well when a story is empty.
And no storefront shall ever be vacant in Camelot.

Of course, one could argue that if there are vacant stores, then this is neither the time nor the location to be building new stores.
Especially since many developers depend on institutional financing and the lenders, in turn, are reluctant to put money out to exacerbate an existing vacancy problem.

But all this begs the question as to what was the original irk from the ilk. Edgemont finds discussing a shopping cart problem elsewehere to be "ridiculous" when compared to their own problems.

That is why I say they are elitist.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Mr. Samis is suffering from a case of Edgemont-Envy!

hal samis said...

Dear 4:29,

No, you couldn't be further from the truth and that is even taking into account listerine ads.

What it does sound like is white noise coming from Edgemont that upon spectrum analysis turns out to be the sound of one hand clapping.

Anonymous said...

Methinks thou dost protest too much with the anti-Edgemont whimpering, Mr. Samis.

Back to the topic - shopping carts - in the big picture of the town (not just Edgemont, but the town as a whole, or even the unincorporated section as a whole), this shopping carts issue is not a major concern.

hal samis said...

Dear Anonymous,

If we are in the land of methinks and verily then we will note that next to the character speaking the lines is...the name of the character.

And maybe there are characters named anonymous in the plays of Ionesco or Becket, but they did not write lines with doth or hie thee etc.

But whether the style is olde anglais or neo-modernism, quality of life still remains a major concern in Greenburgh and only the quality of life in Edgemont is not strained. Otherwise, why would anyone be discussing such "vital" issues as commercial development within the brackets of a posting talking about "misplaced" shopping carts. If Edgemont wants to discuss what they consider to be their "global import" issues, then they should go elsewhere either on Feiner's blog or on their own.

It is the attempt to turn every issue into something that concerns Edgemont which is even more objectionable than the presenting topic.

And their feeble efforts to punish those who see through their grand schemes.

Anonymous said...

No reason to argue about it. Just like the sidewalk policy, leaf collection and snow shoveling, nothing's going to happen about the shopping carts issue. It will fade away soon.

Anonymous said...

The shopping cart law may have been enforced more aggressively by the police department if one of their own second income did not include going around the town and retreiving those carts. Conflict of interest ..dare I say!