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Tattoo Studios Backed, Sheik, Vega to Perform and More

Five things you need to know today, April 24.

1. Tattoo studios urged in artists district

As the Peekskill Common Council considers scrapping a 1990 ban in favor of allowing tattoo studios in certain areas of the city, more than two dozen speakers urge the council to “go all the way” and let studios open in the downtown artists district. Coming later today on Patch.

2. Sheik, Vega to perform at Paramount

Grammy winners Duncan Sheik and Suzanne Vega have both proven their abilities to put on a great show and their gifts for incredible songwriting. The two have been friends for the past 15 years and share a talent for writing and performing original music. This Friday they will perform a variety of songs together, as well as their own sets, at the Paramount Center for the Arts in Peekskill. Coming this morning on Patch.

3. Honovich joins elite lacrosse group

It was a record-setting day for Manhattanville College’s Casandra Honovich, a 2010 graduate of Walter Panas High School, as the attacker became the ninth player in lacrosse program history to score 100 career goals. Coming later this morning in the Daily Sports Digest.

4. Art and photography at Hendrick Hudson Free Library

An art exhibit, Back Roads–Watercolors by Scott Sager, is on display this week at the Hendrick Hudson Free Library in Montrose. For details, please click here. The library also is offering an exhibit of News Photos by Charles N. Ruppmann this week. For details, please click here.

5. Chance of showers today, tonight

Mostly cloudy today with scattered showers, mainly after 4 p.m., high 59, chance of precipitation 30 percent. Mostly cloudy tonight with scattered showers, mainly before 7 p.m., low 36, chance of precipitation 30 percent. Mostly cloudy Wednesday with isolated showers after 9 a.m., high 55, chance of precipitation 20 percent.

About this column: A roundup of events in Peekskill, Cortlandt and around.

suzanne April 24, 2012 at 03:10 PM
It's nice that Patrick the tattoo artist has many friends writing to support him. However I'd like to know why the council is bending over backwards to accommodate his request to put a tattoo parlor in Peekskill. There is already a tattoo parlor in Mohegan Lake. I suggest the council focus on the downtown as an dining and music destination. A tattoo parlor will not be a positive addition to the downtown.
Mary Jane April 24, 2012 at 03:53 PM
I agree, Suzanne. What I found most interesting was that most of Patrick's "friends" that came out to support his initiative admitted that "gee, they wanted to get more tattoos, but just didn't have the money......" One fellow was so candid as to say he didn't even have $5 to speak of. I think the Council was more than accommodating by lifting the ban to the extent they did and providing for certain areas that he or others could operate. Speaking of speakers, I see Jim Knight graced us with his "non-partisan" presence. My question is did he wear his private citizen hat or did he wear his "I sit on the Zoning Board" hat? It's not interchangeable at his whim. In fact, it seems somewhat of a conflict of interest to sit on a board that makes decisions regarding where these very businesses can or can't operate, and then come to the podium under the guise of Joe Private Citizen. Too much funny business going on.
Kirsten Berger April 24, 2012 at 04:55 PM
Come on, people, what is wrong with you? In a city where there have been vacant storefronts empty for years, we shouldn't be turning away someone who wants to open a business in Peekskill, especially a Peekskill resident who already co-owns a successful business in Peekskill. I think you all are afraid of the artistic element that is coming to Peekskill and revitilizing it in their vision after it's been sitting "dead" for a long time. All the music venues and most of the eateries opened up after the artist district got going. There was a poster during the McCarthy era that read" Beware of artists: they mix with all classes of society and are therefore the most dangerous." I believe that there are still remnants of that attitude here in Peekskill to this day. Do I have any tattoos? No, not a single one anywhere. But I still think we should let this man open his business. So what if there's a place in Mohegan Lake? Nothing wrong with a bit of capitalist competition, after all, this is America.
Mary Jane April 24, 2012 at 05:09 PM
What's wrong with you, Kirsten? He's not being turned away; the City is letting him open his business. Not everyone agrees with some of you. After listening to the parade of friends that came to speak, it was very clear that this isn't the savior of Peekskill's economy that it's being painted to be. Many of the speakers, like yourself, said they don't have tattoos, and didn't want them. The rest of them, as I stated earlier, admitted they didn't have the money for tattoos. So what exactly is the economic rainbow here? I agree with your comment about capitalist competition, however, keep in mind that in the past few years, the city has had to issue moratoriums on taxi cab licenses and most recently pawn shops due to a saturation of both. Just because you, or the prospective entrepreneur says it's art, doesn't mean it's so. It's completely subjective, and folks are entitled to their opinion, and to have all concerns heard. For the record, the music venues and eateries have been very instrumental in drawing people with expendable income back into the city to spend.
Laura April 24, 2012 at 05:32 PM
First off, I am not a friend Patrick's, nor did I speak at the meeting but I was present. There was no comment about wanting cheap tattoos or five dollar tattoos, so you somehow misconstrued that. Second of all, tattooing is an art form. You may choose to not believe it is because of the stereotypes you associate with it, but it actually is. You are marking and coloring something. The skin is used as a canvas instead of paper. If you were putting these pieces on paper, surely you would be considering it art. I am consistently complimented on my pieces by many people and how beautifully done the work is. I am a twenty something female with a bachelors and two masters. I own my own home, am an active member of the community and work in an extremely respectable job. I have thirteen tattoos, some of which you can see, some you can not. I frequent my tattoo shop often to say hello. While there I go Ito the neighboring restaurants and stores to purchase food. Essentially it brings in business to the retailers around it. Perhaps instead of opposing a tattoo parlor in the downtown, you should be opposing the stores that are fronts for illegal activities. At least this would be a clean establishment with respectable individuals running it. I not lookin to be attacked by any of you, so please save any ranting and raving, because I will not answer it. Essentially I am saying allow the tatto parlor a chance in downtown, just like any other business would have a chance.
Kirsten Berger April 24, 2012 at 05:32 PM
What is art is in the eye of the beholder....what you might consider art, I might not consider art and vice versa. FOr that reason, one shouldn't block an artist from operating his business just because some people don't like that art form. Also, I'm was responding to how visciously against this so many people are. So far as I know, the city has not yet given him the go ahead to open his business in the artist district, which is what this is about. If that was decided last night, it hasn't been publicly announced as of my writing. Sunny Cover posted a comment on another column about how a high end tattoo studio would draw in people with money. Tattoos are not cheap: they can cost up to $200 per hour to get. When a person gets a tattoo, they often bring someone and that person will usually wander around to kill time and this is where eateries and places to shop comes in. Patrick's proposal includes strict restrictions on operating a tattoo studio within city limits so that not just any old person can set up shop in town. Saturation? Where is there tattoo studio saturation in town? There isn't even one in town yet to be worrying about saturation. Also, there is something else going on, it's the elephant in the room. What do people have against a tattoo studio in town? A bad experience in the 1970s when many of us supporters were still in elementary school or not even born can't be the only reason.
Laura April 24, 2012 at 05:36 PM
By the way, please excuse my grammatical errors. I'm typing on my phone and it is difficult.
Mary Jane April 24, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Laura, I was present, but did not speak, I chose to send in my comments, and I did hear the speakers clearly. Please don't assume what I think by stating I'm associating this with some so-called stereotypes. My argument is simple: Not everyone agrees with what you or he may want. We don't have to, it's our right to disagree and not all subscribe or like or want the same things.
Jim Knight April 24, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Mary Jane, you haven’t told us why you think repealing the tattoo law and allowing tattoo artists to practice in the downtown is a bad idea. Even the BID, an organization of downtown business owners, is in favor of it. Surely you noticed that they sent their executive director to deliver an official statement of support. Is anyone with whom you disagree engaging in “funny business?” The role of the zoning board is to hear applications for individual exceptions to zoning law. It does not vote on changes to the law, or comment officially on proposed changes (this last is a role played by the Planning Commission). This issue has been the subject of opinions from two different Corporation Counsels. Both opinions state clearly that volunteering to serve on a board or commission does not require that one give up one’s right under our Constitution to speak freely on public issues. If ever an issue concerning tattoo studios comes before the ZBA while I serve on it, I will do what our city’s ethics law requires: disclose that I have spoken publicly on appropriate locations for tattoo studios and, if what I’ve said impacts in any way on the issue before the board, recuse myself. I’m a Democrat. I criticized the work of a Common Council composed entirely of Democrats. How is this “partisan?”
Laura April 24, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Mary Jane, I understand why you are saying and I respect that people have different opinions. You are simply stating however that you don't want the parlor in downtown Peekskill. What exactly is your argument against it? It would bring in business, fill in an empty storefront in the downtown area and be opened by an individual who is willing to work closely with the city and be responsible about the opening of this shop. So what exactly is your opposition to the opening of the parlor in the downtown area?
suzanne April 24, 2012 at 06:29 PM
Two months ago the council was against allowing a tattoo parlor in Peekskill. Many corncerns were raised, and it seemed to be a dead issue. Now, two months later it appears, according to The Patch, a reversal. Before making any changes to the current ban on tattoo parlors, it would be prudent of the council to visit communities that currently have tattoo parlors and see the impact this type of business brings. How does a tattoo parlor fit in a 'family friendly' community? In my view, it does not.
Mary Jane April 24, 2012 at 06:59 PM
To answer your questions, Jim: No, not everyone with whom I disagree is engaged in funny business. Only those who flip-flop the hats they wear, for example Zoning Board Member and Private Citizen, or in the case of your wife, who sits on the Planning Commission, but speaks as a private citizen at a meeting on the firehouse. Wasn't your neighborhood rezoned to suit a few, but not the majority? in my opinion, that's funny business. Yes, I did take notice of the BID's Executive Director making a so-called official statement. Question to you now. Why doesn't Mr. Angell make an official statement on ALL businesses - each and every one - regarding their suitability for the downtown? Why was this potential business given some sort of seemingly preferential treatment? This BID, the very one that was the subject of a NYS Comptroller Audit, is fair and partial? I agree with Suzanne's suggestion. How about some data to support the ideology that anyone who gets a tattoo will guarantee they drop into the nearest restaurant and drop a couple hundred on a meal and drinks? Any marketing study to support what we heard last night? But for arguments' sake, Jim, I'd be open to what you say. How about he open his studio right next to the Beanrunner?
Laura April 24, 2012 at 07:07 PM
Suzanne, you've made it clear that you do not support the opening of a tattoo shop in downtown Peekskill. But, like Mary Jane, you fail to have an explanation as to why. I respect the opinions of others, but cannot see your side simply because you keep restating your opinion without any argument for it. Additionally, communities such as Beacon, Mohegan Lake, Mahopac, Tarrytown, Pleasantville, White Plains and so forth all have tattoo shops. I would argue that you would be hard pressed to find that those communities not only support tattoo parlors, but are family friendy as well. So I'm confused. Please make it clear exactly what impact you think this type of business would have?
Jim Knight April 24, 2012 at 07:49 PM
Mary Jane, You missed one of my questions: I’m a Democrat. I criticized the work of a Common Council composed entirely of Democrats. How is this “partisan?” On wearing more than one hat: I’ve explained why this is both legal and ethical. You’re entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts. To my knowledge tattooing is the only legal, retail business expressly forbidden by local law. I imagine that’s why the BID felt they should weigh in. I didn’t make any statements re economic impact, and can’t supply you with any data. I can point out that the city has been advised by its marketing consultants that there is an important component missing in the downtown: businesses that would attract a younger, hipper demographic. I would prefer that the onerous restrictions on location be removed from the proposed law. If they are, a tattoo shop could open next to Ted’s. If you like, I will be happy to publish your Email to the City re the proposed tattoo law in my blog. You must made more complete and nuanced arguments than can be made under the length restrictions of the Comments feature, and the public should have a chance to read them in their entirety.
Teleman April 25, 2012 at 02:55 AM
That there was ever an issue letting then open this business is ridiculous. The city has many empty storefronts and courts artists- tattoos are mainstream art these days_ i don't see the big deal. The goal, I would think would be to draw people to the downtown for a variety of things.
Jeff Canning April 25, 2012 at 04:12 AM
Thank you for your comments. If you would like to continue the discussion, my report on the hearing is now posted on the site. http://patch.com/A-sHnH Jeff (guest editing for Liz this week)

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