Someone was apparently very anxious to buy up all the newsstand copies of last week’s Great Neck Record.
On Wednesday, April 19, the day the paper was delivered to local newsstands, a reader reported, “I just heard from several people in Great Neck that a man they believe had a black kippah was driving a BMW convertible up Middle Neck Road taking your paper stacks out of Bagel Hut, Twiggs and Deli on the Green.”
A Great Neck resident confirmed that as she was heading down Middle Neck Road to get her morning coffee from Deli on the Green, she saw the same man, in his 40s, wearing a yarmulke and driving a BMW convertible, run out of Twiggs with a stack of papers and then swerved and cut her off, parking illegally in front of the deli. She thought it was odd that he drove his car four spots and said his behavior was erratic as he asked for copies at the deli. When the employees said that they didn’t have any copies and suggested he go to Twiggs, he said, “I already took care of Twiggs.”
Another reader reported, “I heard they were stolen, so I guess it is good he paid.”
An employee at Twiggs Card & Gift at 639 Middle Neck Rd. confirmed the original report, “Someone bought the whole batch,” said the store employee, who didn’t find the occurrence unusual but asked not to be identified. “Once every few months it happens if there’s a special article in the paper.”
Super Convenience at 665 Middle Neck Rd. reported a similar occurrence, “Someone came in and bought the whole stack,” said the employee, who also asked not to be identified. “It was a little unusual, it never happened before,” he said. “I never saw him before. I asked him to leave copies for other customers and he said he needed them all. He took everything.”
Bagel Hut at 503 Middle Neck Rd. also reported that it didn’t have any papers left, but had no information about who bought them.
The employee at Lime Lite Food Center at 170 Middle Neck Rd. said that two people came in and bought the whole stack, and at the Great Neck Station newsstand, the employee said that a few people came in and bought two or three copies each throughout the day.
Some of the other newsstands not on Middle Neck Road, like Mobil on the Run at 595 Northern Blvd., Gulf Gas Station at 566 Northern Blvd. and Lakeville Stationery at 2036 Lakeville Rd. in New Hyde Park, said that no one came in to buy the entire stack and that they still had copies.
An ongoing battle of letter writers in support of and against the Great Neck Public Schools budget and bond votes, which will be held on May 16, has been playing out on the pages of the Great Neck Record.
After the Feb. 14 bond was defeated, a letter, “GN School Bond Defeat,” by former kindergarten teacher Martha Cohen in the March 29 issue began, “When I saw a No vote for the Great Neck Public School Bond, tears came to my eyes.”
Wendy S. Roth attacked the original letter writer in her response, “Vote No on May 16,” in the April 12 issue, by saying, “Martha (Kindergarten) Cohen, I cannot sympathize with you and your crocodile tears” and urged voters to again defeat the new bond and the budget.
S. Miller responded to Roth’s letter in “Clarifying Wendy Roth’s Allegations” in the April 19 edition that disappeared from newsstands, which explained that many of Roth’s statements were untrue and encouraged voters to support the Great Neck Public Schools.
Of course, we’re flattered, but some believe that the motive of the man who purchased all the papers was to prevent readers from seeing an opposing view. Was one of Roth’s allies looking to secure all copies?
“I have no idea about it,” said Roth. “I am very surprised.”
Residents are speculating about what this mystery man thought he was going to accomplish by purchasing all of the newsstand copies, which ironically only represent a small portion of the total circulation of thousands that are delivered to homes throughout the community and thousands more who view the paper online at www.greatneckrecord.com.
“I’m glad you guys are writing a story that your paper was sold out in town and the circumstances surrounding it,” said Great Neck resident Bob Sobel, who has been an editor for many New York City newspapers. “I had tried buying the paper on Thursday at six different vendors, who told me a person had bought them all. The reason is obvious and motivated by anti-school board/bond proposal forces. This odious action was perpetrated by an unscrupulous individual among a malicious group who is against the school board/bond issue. His attempt to stifle and sabotage the rebuttal letter is an underhanded, venomous attack on the Constitution’s First Amendment. Further—and perhaps even more important to the community as a whole—it ferments divisiveness, hatred and bigotry.”