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January, 2006


Moo Town News
No Free Papers At The Palace
By Judy Borello

And it came to pass in those days (about three months ago) that a decree went forth from the Palace Market that all free press newspapers such as the Coastal Post and the Pacific Sun would be removed along with their newsstands from the front of the store.
This austere decision was made by owner Mary Rocca and the manager of the store Terry.

Marie Pontacq, who is my cohort in crime that writes the column next to mine called "Skeptic's Journal" was the first to bring the paper deletion to my attention. We were both astounded at the Palace Market's move to discontinue the local papers because that is a perfect place in our town to pick them up.

Being our local grocery store, most everybody walks right by or drops in to purchase groceries. Many people go to the Bank of Petaluma, then saunter a few yards and head into the Palace Market, and then head down the street to the Post Office. Location, location, location!

Then I started hearing grumbling and complaints from others in our community such as Rudy Morris, Dorothy Andrews, Dick and Jack MacFarland, Kathleen Roache, Teresa Elaine, Marcia Brown, Ted and Michele Pelton, Helen Skinner, Rhea McIssac, Marty Medin, and so on and so forth. The complaints coming in expressed two opinions: the Coastal Post had articles they really liked; and the Pacific Sun not only had interesting articles but also had the movie directory.

The Palace Market in the not too distant past was owned by the "Polish Princess" Dottie Rocca for many, many years. She was accessible, very community minded and was very pleasant to deal with. No so now.

I called the Palace Market hoping to talk to the owner Mary Rocca (Dottie Rocca's daughter). Instead I talked with the manager-Terry. I asked when I could talk to the owner? She didn't know. I asked was there a certain day I could reach the owner? She didn't know and then told me to write a letter. I said, "No letter, I want to talk to the owner personally and get feed-back." This was on a Monday. I waited until Friday and got the same answers.

On the following Tuesday after exercise class at Walnut Place, Marcia Brown and I stopped by the Palace Market so that I could personally talk to the owner.

Manager Terry came downstairs near the checkout section and I introduced myself as the lady who's been calling her and that I'd be writing an article on the no paper dilemma at the market and that it would surely be good for the owner to call me. I left my number and explained I would love nothing more than to end my column on a positive note that the Palace Market wished to cooperate with the community. I shook her hand and departed.

That afternoon I talked to Don Deane, owner and publisher of the Coastal Post, and explained everything I'd been trying to do. Don told me that it was a shame because the market was the best location in Pt. Reyes Station and the papers had been delivered there for 30 years. With hardly any free press newspapers left in the USA and it didn't cost the Palace anything to have the paper at the store, I asked Don why the market had given his paper the boot?

"Tidy," he said. "They wanted a more tidy look in the font of the market."

It was obvious to him and to me that the exchange of ideas and newsworthy topics about our community outweighs some untidiness.

Well, I waited about ten days and did not receive a phone call from the owner, so I called Terry the manager again, and asked her if she had given my number to the owner? She said, "Yes," and then added, "This is your own opinion from your own little world."

I tried to explain to her that it was more than mine and that quite a few people have lodged their complaints with the checkers and that she knew that. I was downright insulted over never receiving a phone call from the owner, and to be told in that manner that they just didn't care about the community concerns for the paper.

I know for a fact that Teresa Elaine has complained to Terry about the situation and would like to work out a positive, constructive solution to this matter.

If the Palace Market would reconsider, it would be a win-win situation for all.

PS Happy customers are your business (and good business, I might add).

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