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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Bad neighbors

The answer to the question posed at the very beginning of this article is so obvious it shouldn't need to be asked:

What businesses should and should not be allowed into downtown Newburgh?

Well, any that want to and that aren't illegal. A poker palace would be out of the question. Depending on whether the city has an adult-business ordinance, a strip club might be iffy. But this story wasn't prompted by an attempt to uphold the city's morals, exactly. Some downtown business owners are worried about "protecting the intregrity" of the community from certain types of "shadowy" shops they don't want next to them:

The discussion began once Barbara Ulrich, owner of the Secret Garden, questioned the board's role in protecting the image of the town.

“I've seen many shops come and go... but in all of this time, I've never seen shops that reflect poorly on the town until now,” Ulrich said.

Ulrich was referring to Orange Moon Art Studio, which operates on State Street, as well as a now defunct psychic, two businesses that she referred to as “shadowy.”

The town attorney pointed out that the zoning for downtown permits such businesses as an art studio and a psychic, and representatives of the studio pointed out that they have "a respectable clientele" as the only tattoo parlor in town and also have done murals for schools. But Ulrich says she would like to have zoning restrictions to prevent "certain businesses" from opening up shops in the downtown business district. She didn't say which kind, but she probably knows them when she sees them.

It must be nice to have such a thriving downtown that business owners can be so picky and demanding about who their neighbors are. I'd hate to have somebody like Ulrich as a neighbor. Come to think of it, I have. I wonder what kind of place her "Secret Garden" is. Sounds kinda suspicious to me.


Michael B-P
Fri, 07/24/2009 - 11:20am

It sounds suspiciously to me like Ulrich has a latent desire to open a head shop but can't allow herself to pursue that objective because of her need to cultivate a "respectable" public business persona and therefore will see to it that others abide by her strictures.