In Manhattan’s East Village on Marks Place, the very popular Kim’s Video store is up for immediate sale. As video rentals and sales decline, the store’s owner, Youngman Kim, has decided to skip the business by January, 2009. He insists that a new owner must buy his entire 55,000 videotape collection and continue his policy of only charging an inexpensive membership fee. It’s hard to believe he’ll find an interested buyer with those requirements. The wide availability of movies on the Internet and declining sales can't help his cause, either. Kim was a very successful New York City entrepreneur. Sadly for him, he should have seen this day coming many years ago. Let’s hope a local library or community group can reach a deal with Kim soon. Film students and movie nostalgia buffs should be able to enjoy this diverse collection long into the future.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
[Insert "George Orwell, 1984" reference wherever appropriate.] The NYPD wants you! A new Web site encourages the good citizens of New York City to report on bad citizens suspected of criminal activity. It’s easy now to submit “e-tips” or upload photos or videos of alleged criminals or crimes in action. The site is nypd-crimestoppers.com. This website is secure, anonymous and has five language options making it more accessible to the general public. A tipster receives an unique identification number for a tip. A call to the Crimestoppers hot line at 800.577-TIPS lets the tipster follow the case’s progress. In September, police began a similar program for cell phone users. With only 13 texts, 4 images and 1 video received so far for that concept, it can’t be said that the public is overwhelmingly embracing the “dirty rat” concept. It takes time for society to be changed. However, one of those tips did lead to an arrest. The NYPD is testing image and video transmission direct to police in the field. In the past 25 years, Crimestoppers has helped police solve 2,500 violent crimes including over 1,000 homicides. Substantiated tips leading to arrest or indictment are eligible to receive up to $2,000 from the New York City Police Foundation. It’s generally known that cell phones and personal computers are easily traceable back to the user. In a time when being Photoshopped is commonplace, it’s hoped that the police are careful in their response to any anonymous received. Bringing crime down to zero and catching real criminals is a good thing and we should all be on board with that effort. How police respond to a SPAM campaign against an innocent person remains to be seen. People, be very sure of your facts before you click that Send button.
The police department has $40 million to launch a new cadet recruitment campaign. They want to engage an experienced marketing company to help them spend it wisely. The agency must be capable of producing effective television, radio and Web ads. Maybe the NYPD should first recruit a few Darren Stevens types to work in-house so they could save money on expensive ad agency fees? Welllll? (Bewitched TV show, Samantha Stevens, catch phrase for all those under 30.)