As a person who loves music and who’s lived in many different cities, I’ve had “relationships” with some radio stations, some as a listener, some as a listener/member, many of which have always stayed with me.
The early days of punk rock with Rodney Bingenheimer disc jockeying on KROQ in Los Angeles stick out. So much going on with that “New Wave.” Good freeway driving music. My ride was a 1972 MGBGT, British racing green with yellow stripes front to back.
Philadelphians should be very proud of the work being done these days on WRTI. The jazz and classical offerings there are top-notch and I don’t think their holiday programming should be missed. Ms. Courtney Blue, Gregg Whiteside and Bob Perkins, you have great musical taste and I’m proud to be a member of your station.
Al “Jazzbo” Collins was a fixture at KCSM in San Mateo, Calif. Great taste in music and funny. We lost him in 1997.
Perhaps my fondest memories as a listener are those of the great M. Dung, the DJ on KFOG 104.5 in San Francisco in the mid-eighties. I was saddened to see that Mike Slavko, (M Dung’s given name) passed away in 2017 at the age of 59. “It’s better to burn out, then it is to rust,” as Neil Young wrote, and I’m sure that applied to Slavko, a brilliant on-air presence.
One of M. Dung’s sidekicks in those great Bay Area radio days was Wes “Scoop” Nisker, his news commentator. Nisker’s tagline then and to this day was, “And if you don’t like the news, go out and make some of your own!” It’s a great adage to live by. Which brings me to this little community outside of Philadelphia… Elkins Park.
One of our neighbors posted recently on Facebook. She was lamenting the lack of positive stories in her Facebook feed where complaints about the weather, people’s health and the President seem to dominate. I’m paraphrasing, but she said something along the lines of, “Isn’t there any good community news out there?”
Well of course there is! Our local member-owned grocery store, CreekSide Co-op just celebrated its fifth year of operations. We do close to $5 million in sales, have created more than 50 jobs where none existed before and have partnered with dozens of local businesses.
We went from a hole in the ground in 2011 to this in 2018. The store, under the direction of Patti Demchuck, is looking better than ever. If that’s not good community news, then I’m sorry, I don’t know what good community news is.
Now here’s where we get to the “Go out and make some news of your own” piece. Creekside’s lifeblood is shopping dollars and member equity. It’s a good-looking store but it can’t get by on its looks alone.
I urge you, dear reader and co-op member, to take to heart the words of the great “Scoop” Nisker. Think about what you can do, not talk about, not post on Facebook, but do to make your co-op even stronger.
• If it’s spending ten percent more a week at the co-op than you have been, do that.
•If it’s telling your new neighbor about the co-op and urging them to join, then do that.
•If it’s upping your equity to $300, $400 or beyond, do that.
• If it’s volunteering in the store, saying something nice to a staff member, cracking a smile for someone you see in the store that you’ve never met before, then do that.
I’ll be honest and transparent. I’m very unhappy about who we have as President. I wish January and February in Pennsylvania weren’t so cold, but there is plenty that all of us here in Elkins Park can do to help our co-op, make it stronger, and by doing so make this community stronger.
The news is there for you to make. And it’s got nothing to do with Democrats or Republicans; Wall Street or #MeToo. It’s called CreekSide Co-op. You own it. You can make even more news by making it stronger then it is today.
Dan Reynolds is President of the Board of the CreekSide Co-op Board of Directors.
I’m guilty of staying current on the news while on vacation this week and as a CreekSide Co-Op board member, I am very worried about this week’s news and its local impact on us, the member-owners of our co-op. I’m worried that we might sit back and cheer some lower prices at Whole Foods, change our buying patterns just enough, such that CreekSide Co-op can no longer survive.
What can we do? We can continue to be intentional about using our food dollars as investment funds, being intentional about investing locally in businesses that sustain the local economy. Let me make the argument as to why we should do this.
Like many of you, I saw the announcement by mega-company Amazon that effective Monday August 28th when it closes its purchase of Whole Foods (aka whole paycheck), it would immediately lower some prices. On my Facebook feed (yours too?), a dear friend who is incredibly socially conscious and thoughtful, linked to the story that noted that Amazon Prime would be the new Whole Foods frequent shopper program with a dramatic “Score!” In Friday’s Wall St. Journal I read: “Stocks for six large food retailers, including Kroger Co. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., lost around $12 billion in value after the announcement.” Score indeed.
Winners and losers. Amazon wins and who loses? Fact: Amazon is spending nearly $14 billion on Whole Foods and any company spending $$ for an acquisition expects that to result in increased sales and profits. If Amazon’s track record is any indicator it will do to Whole Foods and the food marketplace what it has already done to so many segments of our economy. It will use data and algorithms in powerful ways to dominate online and offline sales, charging different prices to different customers while driving local businesses under. In the short-term, this means lower prices for consumers. Score! In the mid-term, it could mean higher prices and market control as this $457.54 billion dollar company (4th largest in US company market cap) and its owner, Jeff Bezos, the 3rd wealthiest American, uses its muscle to grow relentlessly and increase its profits. Who do you trust to do what is best for our community: Jeff Bezos or your community members striving to make CreekSide all it can be as the center of our thriving community?
This morning, this evening and many times this week, we will each make a choice as to how to invest our food dollars. We all have to make our household budgets work and we look for the lowest price. I ask that you remember where that leads: The lowest price comes from mega-companies that dominate their markets and have no local interest beyond the influence of their Community Relations Department. They grow larger and then can control what choices we have and then it is too late. Make your choice today: Shop CreekSide First and invest in where you live, work and thrive.
CreekSide Board Vice President
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