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Indie? Indeed!

To the Editor:

Thank you for David King·s article about the closing of Music Shack [·The Day the Music Shack Died,· May 4]. It hit very close to home for me because I am the manager of another Albany indie, Deja View Video. After being in business for almost 20 years, we have found ourselves in a similar predicament to our former neighbors. We, too, were forced to move from lower Central Avenue because of circumstances beyond our control. All one must do is walk the block between Lark Street and Henry Johnson Boulevard and one will be offered bootleg DVDs for next to nothing. We simply couldn·t compete. And with absolutely no police enforcement, we made the hard decision to leave lower Central. We are now located at 279 New Scotland Ave., where bootlegs aren·t as big of an issue. But business still suffers in this world of downloads, cheap DVD burners, and chain stores.

In the most recent Metroland Reader·s Poll, NetFlix was voted Best Video Store, followed by the overpriced Hollywood Video and the famously conservative and even more overpriced Blockbuster Video. Besides the obvious fact that NetFlix isn·t a video store, I really wonder how they got so many votes. Getting those red envelopes in the mail just cannot compare to the experience of going to the video store, getting a staff recommendation, and possibly discovering something obscure or unusual to take home.

The only fault I found in the article was that Mr. King didn·t address what to do to save other indie stores. The simple answer is to shop there. If people desire any diversity or artistic vision at all in their entertainment choices, then patronizing independent businesses is key. Don·t subscribe to NetFlix. Don·t shop at Wal-Mart or Best Buy. Don·t illegally download an album or a movie. It·s really that simple. Sometimes saving a couple of bucks costs a lot more than we realize.

Jeremy James

Manager, Deja View Video


To the Editor:

I am writing to formally thank Rocky and Steve Roy of Music Shack for the existence of their store(s) over the years.

As an RPI student in the late ·80s, I would walk down the hill once a week to Music Shack and buy as much new rap vinyl as I could afford. A large portion of my record collection has a Music Shack price sticker on it.

One topic that wasn·t really explored in your article was the continuous support Music Shack provided for local musicians. Many artists of all genres were able to get their CDs in Music Shack. Try doing that at a Transworld location.

Thank you Rocky and Steve.

Eric Haskins (aka DJ Toast)


Facts are Facts

To the Editor:

On your editorial about the Times Union coverage of Kenneth Wilcox·s death [·Reporting Can Hurt,· May 4], I couldn·t agree with you more.

I knew Ken socially, and he was awesome in many ways, but he was also human (read: not perfect). Of course that is difficult for the family to face at such an emotional time, and perhaps it could have been reported more sensitively, but the news is the news.

Whether the accounts of his actions that night were accurate or not, the reporter had no way of knowing; but when several people give you the same details, you have to assume there is some truth to their accounts. The reporter·s job, after all, is to report. He wasn·t creating these accounts, he was reporting them.

While a reporter absolutely has an obligation to be as certain as possible of the facts, there is just so much he can do about the recollection of many witnesses who shared the same account of Ken·s actions that fateful evening. That he would be threatened for his report is inexcusable, but as you pointed out, probably said at a very emotional time. We·ve all done things we regret when we·re under emotional distress, and it·s mostly forgivable.

Let·s all take some time to respond more calmly now. Mr. Lyons was doing his job, and does it well. Calling for his job and making threats against him are actions that are unwarranted. What might be more appropriate to ask is why isn·t anyone going after the bar that served Kenny far too much alcohol? They had a legal obligation to cut him off!

Wanda Lubinski


Look Here, Too

To the Editor:

Reliable, easy-to-use, full text medical information [·Here·s to Your E-Health,· Tech Life, May 4] is available online free from the New York State Library in the Gale Health & Wellness Resource Center. This resource offers articles from medical publications and general interest publications on medical topics, medical pamphlets, a health organization directory, medical and alternative health encyclopedias, a medical dictionary, drug and herb information, health assessment tools, and links to health news and Internet resources.

The Health & Wellness Resource Center is one of a package of New York Online Virtual Electronic Reference Library (NOVEL) resources offering access from library, home, school, or office to thousands of national and international newspapers and magazines, health and medical resources, business collections, Spanish language materials, and age-appropriate materials for youngsters. It·s available free to anyone with a New York State driver license or non-driver ID at http: //, or through local libraries all over New York State.

Mary Redmond Coordinator of Library Operations, New York State Library


There·s Room for Everyone

To the Editor:

Is, as Chuck Quackenbush recently wrote in this space [·A Critical View,· Letters, April 13], ·the Albany region a glorious place to ride with motorists handling themselves like good compassionate people who treat [cyclists] like me with respect?·

Is, as Mary Lou Nolan recently wrote in this space [·Ride On,· Letters, April 20], the Capital Region a place where cyclists must ·endure· rude and even violent drivers?

Do cyclists in the Albany area, in order to be safe, have to ·grab every one·s attention and say, ·I·m here and this place on the road is mine·? Not asking nicely but grabbing it loudly,· as Brian Polhemus wrote [April 20]?

In my opinion, the answer to all these questions is, ·Yes!·

I would like to add that Albany and the surrounding region comprises a fairly small geographic area, and riding to any number of destinations·school, work, shopping, or the library·is not particularly challenging for many residents.

We have wide roads with ample room for everyone, beautiful scenery, few hills and a lovely countryside that can be accessed by bicycle in a half an hour. Yes, we have problems: Potholes and inexperienced or rude drivers are just a few of those problems.

But there are two problems that are much more serious than rude motorists or potholes: Global warming and a war that is being fought for oil. Municipalities need to support cycling as a valid if not a desperately essential part of the transportation equation.

So, don·t complain unless you can offer a possible solution. To that end, I would like to invite everyone·cyclists, motor­ists and law enforcement personnel·to join the New York Bicycling Coalition on Sunday, May 21, for a one-day class where we can learn the basic techniques required to intelligently share the road. Please check out or call 436-0889 for more information.

Claire Nolan


Metroland welcomes typed, double-spaced letters addressed to the editor. Metroland reserves the right to edit letters for length or clarity; 300 words is the preferred maximum. You must include your name, address and day and evening telephone numbers. We will not publish letters that cannot be verified, nor those that are anonymous, illegible, irresponsible or factually inaccurate.

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