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Letter: 7-Eleven In Great Neck

How disappointing that the narrow-minded people who practice the not in my back yard (NIMBY) philosophy have attempted to prevent 7-Eleven from opening up a 24-hour convenience store along Middle Neck Road for over one year.  (“After Year Of Controversy 7-Eleven Advances” (Carol Frank -- June 14).)


Contrary to popular myth, not every Great Neck resident has a six-figure income and is a millionaire living in Kings Point. Any independent public opinion poll would tell you that there are many other residents who would welcome a 7-Eleven into the neighborhood.  There are also several thousand maids, visiting health care providers, landscapers, painters, roofers and construction workers who work for residents of Great Neck Village along with Kings Point and other neighboring villages and other unincorporated areas of Great Neck.  Many travel along Middle Neck Road to and from work and would welcome the convenience of shopping at a 7-Eleven. Many can’t afford to patronize the more “upscale” and “yuppie” stores.


Hundreds of vacant gas station sites similar to this one have been successfully converted to 7-Eleven stores with no negative impact on crime, traffic and the environment. The owners of 7-Eleven provide gainful employment to construction contractors and their employees building their local establishments. They also pay taxes like the rest of us. 


By being open 24 hours, they also provide additional security to a neighborhood whose streets are virtually empty late at night. Don’t forget that they also provide gainful employment to stock clerks, cooks and cashiers along with those who deliver beverage and food supplies.  Many are actually students working their way through college, single parents, retirees looking for supplemental income, new immigrants or one of the 8 percent of fellow Great Neck residents currently out of work. All are neighbors, who also pay taxes and are just trying to earn a living. Most customers are also Great Neck neighbors patronizing the establishment on a voluntary basis. How many mothers may have to run out for baby formula or others for medicines late at night?


How disappointing to see that liberal communities such as the Village of Great Neck have thrown their lot in with the Moral Majority social police and politically extreme reactionary conservatives who attempt to use government rules, regulations and zoning laws to impose their own moral values on others.  


For those who don’t like 7-Eleven, please feel free to patronize one of the many other overpriced “trendy” or yuppie establishments along Middle Neck Road. You are welcome to pay more for far less satisfying products. This is the basic nature of free enterprise and how life works in a free society.  Consumers are free to make their own individual decisions and choices on a voluntary basis to select which establishment they desire to patronize and spend their money.


Many of us would welcome 7-Eleven opening a store to fill one of many vacant other storefronts on Middle Neck Road and Northern Boulevard.


Larry Penner