LETTER from TOPHER HAMMOND
To the Editor:
Cooperstown residents should stand up against the Baskin Robbins/Dunkin Donuts franchise proposed for the corner of Walnut Street and Route 28. Our town has consistently resisted the invasion of huge corporate franchises for decades, and we should oppose this incursion into our small village as well. So far, we have kept McDonald’s and Pizza Hut at bay, by keeping them several miles outside of town.
Anyone who drives around the town knows what a nightmare it is to get from Walnut Street to Route 28 during the Dreams Park season, when there is an unending line of traffic coming south on Route 28.
Putting a junk food franchise on that corner is not only going to make the traffic even more of a nightmare, but it is also going to divert tourists before they reach Main Street, where they might patronize some of our local businesses like Schneider’s Bakery, Danny’s Market, The Inside Scoop, Doubleday Café, Stagecoach, etc.
I’ll admit that Main Street has declined a bit since I grew up here in the 1970s, when we had two supermarkets on or near Main Street (the Victory and A&P), three hardware stores, a shoe store, and Newberry’s Department Store, which transformed into the Cooperstown General Store in later years but is now defunct and currently only hosts photographs related to the Hall of Fame and other local attractions.
Nowadays you have to travel to Oneonta for a lot of things you used to be able to buy right on Main Street, unless you’re looking for baseball souvenirs, of course.
Nevertheless, if we open the floodgates to trashy fast food franchises our town is going to be transformed into just another mass-produced consumption economy that will leave us looking no different than any other small town across America that has sold out their mom and pop stores to kneel at the feet of corporate giants that couldn’t care less about our local businesses.
Let’s not bow to the WalMart-ization of Cooperstown. Let your representatives know that you do not want corporate franchises anywhere near our lovely little town.