Why Three Inches Closing A Newstand Makes No Sense

| lpenner@queenscourier.com |

Best wishes to Ms. Marilyn Louie in her quest to keep her Chinatown newsstand open after 35 years.  Both the New York City Department of Transportation and Department of Consumer Affairs want to shut down the newsstand because it is three inches too close to the building it faces.  The continued demise of newsstands is bad news for newspapers.  In the 1960s, NYC was blessed with over 12 daily newspapers sold at hundreds of neighborhood newsstands.


Excessive regulations such as these have contributed to the reduction in newsstands over past decades.


How fortunate we are to be living in one of the few remaining free societies, with a wealth of information sources available for any citizen to gain access.


Today, there continues to be an ongoing circulation battle between the New York Post along with the Times and Daily News in New York City.  They face competition from other daily newspapers such as Newsday, Staten Island Advance, USA Today and the Wall Street Journal. Many of these papers count on sales by local newsstands.  These same newsstands provide gainful employment for hundreds of operators along with distributors.  Newsstands generate sales taxes which help support municipal services.  They also provide eyes and ears in keeping the neighborhood safe.  Most owners and employees are our neighbors.  They contribute to NYC and pay taxes just like you and the rest of us.


No wonder there are so few newsstands when any potential investor has to run the gauntlet between the Departments of Transportation, Consumer Affairs, Landmarks Preservation Commission and Arts Commission.


In the marketplace of ideas, let us hope there continues to be room for everyone including our neighborhood local newsstands.