Greater Springfield Chamber’s Response to Citizen Concerns: “Stop Sending Emails”

On August 24, NPN emailed the following to Alta Stark, communications director for the Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield (ACCGS). We also copied Russell F. Denver, the president of the chamber.

Dear Ms. Stark,

We understand that R.J. Greeley Co. is a member of the Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield. As you may be aware, R.J. Greeley, in their capacity as leasing agent, is facilitating the establishment of a Capital Video porn shop at 135 King Street in Northampton. As documented at, this location is surrounded by homes, schools, churches and counseling centers. We have accumulated evidence that this porn shop may, among other things, damage commerce and property values in the area, and generally impede the revitalization of King Street, a longstanding objective of the City of Northampton.

On August 11, The Republican noted our local chamber director’s concerns about the porn shop:

“Suzanne L. Beck, the executive director of the Northampton Chamber of Commerce, said her organization has had no formal discussions about the proposed shop but that she has concerns about its location, which she described as a gateway to the downtown area. Beck said she would favor a more traditional location for such businesses, such as a dense highway zone.”

As shown below, Robert Greeley has asserted that, if he owned the building at 135 King Street, he would have rejected Capital Video as a tenant. However, he finds it acceptable to facilitate this tenancy as leasing agent. We believe Mr. Greeley’s actions run contrary to your chamber’s core mission, which is to “promote, support and enhance the economic health of the business community and the region.” I hope you will consider our information, and then do what is appropriate to bring R.J. Greeley Co. into conformity with your chamber’s goals.

Please let me know if I can assist you in any way.


Adam Cohen

351 Pleasant Street, PMB 101
Northampton, MA 01060-3961

We included with the email the content of these two blog posts:

Goldbergs’ Leasing Agent: “I would have rejected the tenant”

Real Estate Industry: Ethics and Aspirations

The latter post quoted from the Welcome Message on the ACCGS website (emphasis added):

…the Chamber’s core mission has remained constant: to promote, support and enhance the economic health of the business community and the region.

We will continue to lead the way in improving the overall quality of life in the region. And, through the support and involvement of our members, we will continue to be a leading force for economic development and civic excellence….

Also on August 24, NPN sent Ms. Stark a parcel of information via Express Mail to further substantiate our objections to the proposed porn shop. NPN sent no other communications to the ACCGS before or after August 24, although it’s possible other citizens decided to contact the chamber themselves.

On August 28, we received this reply from Russell Denver:

“Please stop sending emails to the ACCGS about this issue. This is a private business transaction.”

It would appear Mr. Denver has a narrow understanding of “civic excellence”, “quality of life” and the region’s “economic vitality”. The many studies referenced on this blog, and common sense, suggest that a Capital Video porn shop puts the safety and economic well-being of its neighbors at risk. Its products acclimate viewers to the mistreatment of women and attack the social ties that hold families and communities together.

Certainly the executive director of the Northampton Chamber of Commerce, Suzanne Beck, has expressed concerns about locating a Capital Video porn shop at 135 King Street. If you share these concerns, we encourage you to contact Mr. Denver and urge the ACCGS to live up to its own ideals.

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