Scanlan, who recently closed the company's lumberyard, said
store sales over Memorial Day weekend were the worst they have
been in 39 years. He attributes the loss in business activity
to the downturn in the economy and the rise of superstores such
as Home Depot and Lowes Home Improvement Warehouse. Both are
located within a mile of one another in Kingston.
"There was a time when I had a big piece of the pie...
but it has dwindled and dwindled in size," he said.
Knowing his days were numbered, Scanlan said, was what caused
him to "lose it" when he went into the Boiceville
Supermarket to buy groceries on the evening of May 22 and saw
for sale items that he believed were in direct competition with
the products that his neighboring hardware store carries.
"I looked around at all the stuff around the cash registers
and it was like putting the nail in my coffin," Scanlan
said, referring to such sundries as charcoal, lighter fluid,
propane bottles for camp stoves, and other items that are typically
on display prior to a holiday weekend.
Scanlan reacted by blocking Edwards Lane, a private road owned
by Singer-Denham that leads to the Boiceville Supermarket parking
lot, with two trucks. (Permission to use this road as a right-of-way
to the supermarket plaza was granted in an agreement made by
Scanlan's late father over two decades ago).
d in its plaza found their progress impeded by a large U-haul
truck - Singer-Denman is a U-Haul rental agency- and one of
the hardware store's delivery vans. A hand-painted sign, however,
directed customers to drive around to the back of the parking
lot using a dirt road that had not been barricaded.
The reason why Scanlan directed his fury at the Boiceville Supermarket,
rather than say Home Depot, was because of a deed restriction
that, he says, exists on the shopping plaza parcel that was
once owned by Singer-Denham.
"When my father sold the property," Scanlan explained,
"he had the foresight to put in the deed that the owner
or any successor could not [conduct] hardware store or lumber
business of any nature, be it wholesale or retail."
According to Scanlan, the Boiceville Supermarket, which has
been owned by Mario Occhi since 1989, stocks several items that
Singer-Denham also sells, including gardening tools, antifreeze,
batteries, clotheslines, extension cords and mousetraps. "All
supermarkets sell this stuff," Scanlan said. "I know
that, but it's all about the deed."
Scanlan said that he has asked Occhi to stop selling competing
items before. "Mario and I had a gentleman's agreement
that he would not do it," he said. "But if I have
to, I will go to court and seek an injunction. My attorney and
his attorney both are in agreement that I have a rock solid
case." Occhi could not be reached for comment.
But last week, in an article published in the Woodstock Times,
he said: "The contract says we cannot have a hardware store.
We are not a hardware store." Commenting on Scanlan's actions,
he said: "He can write me letters, sue me, whatever, but
he can't arbitrarily block off five businesses."
In addition to the supermarket, access to Boiceville Wines and
Spirits, Stucki Embroidery, the Boiceville Pharmacy and Ronsen
Piano Hammer Co. was blocked until 11am. Scanlan said he plans
to try to sell the hardware store rather than liquidate its
contents. But despite his decision to close it, he will pursue
the matter with Occhi. "I have to protect whoever buys
it," he said.
in the PO
"I walked in to a sea of glass,"
said Postmaster Jackie Roffe. "And there were paw prints
on all the other stores.The Post Office doors are just gone,
Roffe said she got a call after midnight, when a passerby saw
the bear in the post office and called the police. The postmistress
rushed over, but the bear was already gone.
"He's not a very smart bear," she joked. "There's
no food in here."
Roffe's good humor comes after having spent the night in the
"I slept on my desk," she said.
Roffe added that she reported the break-in to Postal Inspectors,
must do by law whenever there is damage to postal property,
then spent the night protecting the mail.
Talk about beyond the call of duty. Wasn't she afraid the bear
would return? "No, I kept the door to the office locked,
and stayed in there," said Roffe.
Roffe added that she was worried about the dangerous shards
of glass in the front of the building, which she cleaned up
in the morning (see photo).
"I didn't want anyone to get hurt," she said.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the door frames for the post office
were already at
Roundout Glass in Kingston getting re-glassed.
Roffe noted that the bear also broke a plexiglass window.