At today’s Planning Board meeting, NoPornNorthampton had a brief exchange with Capital Video’s Anthony Nota. Public documents submitted to the Planning Board list Mr. Nota as a Capital Video “project manager”. Mr. Nota is a large, tall man. He is pictured here standing in City Council chambers beside Capital Video’s lawyer, Michael Pill. Towards the end of the meeting, Mr. Nota approached NPN’s Adam Cohen and said,
“Who are you smiling at?”
I replied, “You.”
Nota said, “Piece of shit.”
After this, Mr. Nota walked back to those who accompanied him to the meeting. One of them reached for him. Someone said, “Eddie, calm down.” (Mr. Nota’s middle name is Edward.) The Capital Video group then left the room.
Shortly before this exchange, the Planning Board, with Dr. Pill’s agreement, decided to reschedule Capital Video’s Site Plan Review for December 14 at 7:00pm. The board anticipates more of its members will be able to attend the December 14 meeting. Before that date, of course, Northampton’s City Council will give a second reading to the adult-use ordinances that were approved at its October 19 meeting. If approved at the council’s November 2 meeting, these ordinances will not permit Capital Video to open a large porn shop at 135 King Street as it currently plans. All concerned citizens are urged to attend the November 2 meeting (7:15pm, 212 Main Street).
An October 27 article by The Gazette‘s James Lowe makes no mention of Mr. Nota’s outburst, but it does report that “After the meeting let out and spectators filtered out, one looked at Nota and said, ‘Scum.'” It’s not clear if this occurred before or after Mr. Nota confronted Mr. Cohen, an exchange that was witnessed by several people. No one from NoPornNorthampton called Mr. Nota “scum” or any other derogatory expression during the evening.
Mr. Lowe’s article also quotes extensively from a letter by Capital Video general counsel Lesley Rich to Peter Brooks from Talk Back Northampton. Mr. Rich claims the proposed King Street porn shop will “offer a very pleasant atmosphere” and “the company would like to work with the community to develop a cooperative relationship going forward…” We posted this reply to Mr. Rich’s letter at the time:
How smooth and reasonable are the words of Lesley Rich. Too bad Capital Video doesn’t back them up with action.——————–
For starters, Capital Video could voluntarily agree to keep their porn shop at least 500 feet from homes, schools, houses of worship, and other places where children are likely to be found.
Capital Video could agree to stop trying to rush the city’s decision-making process with threats of going to court. See for example, their local attorney’s statements to the Republican.
Then Capital Video could voluntarily stop selling material which encourages viewers to “use, abuse and lose” women, or that involves porn performers who are not using condoms, or that depicts non-consensual activity.
The zoning proposals of the City of Northampton are asking Capital Video to make some small compromises to head off well-documented risks to the community. The rights of residents are just as important as those of porn consumers. Other towns in Massachusetts have found the right balance. So can we.
To his credit, Capital Video attorney Michael Pill did not put up too much resistance to the Planning Board’s decision yesterday to delay Capital’s Site Plan Review to December 14. Perhaps Capital Video can use this time to give substance to their pro-community rhetoric. Let’s not repeat Springfield’s experience with this company. If Capital Video can put their Wethersfield and Meriden stores on pedestrian-light highway strips, far from most homes, they can do the same in Northampton.
On Saturday, The Republican published its own report on the Planning Board meeting in “Adult store hearing postponed”. Michael Pill is quoted as saying, “I’d hope that everybody can treat everybody in this like human beings.”