COPAKE—Shop & Find is nowhere to be found… in Copake.
The enactment of a new town “Anti-Littering” local law last September, subsequent follow-up on lingering problems and cooperation by the publisher seems to have stemmed the tide of unwanted copies of Columbia-Greene Media’s mostly advertising publication, Shop & Find. The publication was being thrown on the ground in driveways and along roadsides or stacked to overflowing between clustered mailboxes all over town.
In some places where homes were not occupied, or occupied part-time, the papers had accumulated in unsightly heaps over many weeks.
Lindsay LeBrecht, a Copake Lake resident and real estate agent, who was among those who initially complained to town officials about the “littering” method of distribution being employed by the media company’s contractors, spoke at the January 14 Town Board meeting.
Ms. LeBrecht thanked Supervisor Jeff Nayer and Town Attorney Ken Dow for all their “hard work” in ending the practice of strewing newspapers in plastic bags across town. There has been a “definite improvement,” she noted.
The new town law addresses the way the newspaper is distributed but does not block its delivery, which is the media company’s right. There have continued to be issues with delivery of the publication in certain locations since enactment of the law, Attorney Dow told The Columbia Paper this week.
Someone suggested the problems were concentrated at homes in the Town of Copake that have Hillsdale mailing addresses, said the attorney.
Underhill and Yonderview roads were mentioned.
That situation resulted in some confusion for delivery people, said Mr. Dow, who said he worked cooperatively through several channels at the Register-Star, a Hudson-based newspaper, which is also a product of Columbia-Greene Media.
The focus of Copake’s local law was to correct the problem of having papers, flyers or letters thrown on the ground, on roads and near lakes at the same time to be “protective of the right of the newspaper to communicate,” Mr. Dow said.
The law allows for these items to be securely placed within, affixed or attached to any residence, including any porch, steps, awning, doorway, vestibule or in a receptacle so they won’t be subject to the elements or blown into a water body.
Law enforcement agencies have been made aware of the law and anyone caught tossing papers on the ground will be cited.
Mr. Nayer said he had initially tried to get the county to enforce its own existing littering law but when that did not happen, he moved forward with a local law. Now other town supervisors are having the same problem and have approached him about what to do, he said.
Among them is Hillsdale Supervisor Peter Cipkowski, who wrote in an email that at the January 12 Hillsdale Town Board meeting, board members agreed that they should ask their “town attorney to investigate the reasonableness of adopting a similar law in Hillsdale. It seems to be having an impact in Copake and we share similar concerns.” Mr. Cipkowski said that he had called the Register-Star to complain and knew other residents who also called. “The problem seems to have subsided somewhat—but not for everyone.”
Mr. Nayer said by phone this week that he had asked town Highway Department personnel to pick up any of the newspapers still littering roadsides in Copake.
The supervisor said he has not recently seen any of the papers thrown on the ground or stuck between mailboxes.
At least two other residents of places where the publication was previously tossed also say they have not seen any evidence of the publication at all—distributed properly or improperly.
The Columbia Paper contacted Columbia-Greene Media Publisher Mark P. Vinciguerra by email this week to ask for his comment on the situation.
In his email response, Mr. Vinciguerra wrote, “I can tell you we have worked with our contractors to correct delivery issues, as well as modifying the publication’s distribution strategy in some areas, including Copake.
“We felt confident we could work with residents and correct any delivery issues which were identified to us, which for the most part, I believe we have done.”
Within the last two weeks copies of Shop & Find have appeared on the ground in front of homes in parts of the Villages of Valatie and Chatham.
To contact Diane Valden email