Bad Will Over Goodwill

I go away for 24 hours, and look what happens:  I miss the biggest bonehead story of the year.

In case you missed it:

Tina Dragone

Tina Dragone owns a women’s clothing store in Westport.  Not just any women’s store, mind you, but an “upscale, fine” one.  It is located at 1687 Post Road East, near an animal hospital and takeout Chinese place.

Or, to be more precise:  several hundred yards, and across the street, from Goodwill.

Goodwill — which has been in Westport 50 years, or in other words, decades longer than Tina Dragone — wants to move a few shopping cart lengths down the road, to the site of the currently closed Peppermill.

Tina Dragone freaked out.

Last night she told the Planning and Zoning Commission that there were “32 arrests” there.  She complained about larcenies, shopliftings, and stolen handbags.  (Goodwill’s attorney replied that there were 7 police calls this year — some from people locked out of their cars.)

She said that Goodwill hires “ex-convicts.”

She added, “to have this kind of element coming into our neighborhood is ludicrous.”

And, she said — using perhaps the royal pronoun — “we are really afraid.”

On, Westporters responded in force.   They slammed Tina Dragone — the heartless human being, not the store — for everything from mischaracterizing the people who shop at Goodwill, to the fact that “given the scope of FBI investigations,” Tina’s own customers may actually be the spouses of “future cons.”

I’m sorry I missed today’s brouhaha.  But “06880” readers are invited to chime in.

Some of you crucified Lynsey Addario for winning a MacArthur genius grant and photographing Afghan women.

There’s no telling what you’ll do to this poor, fearful women’s clothing store owner.

32 responses to “Bad Will Over Goodwill

  1. oh we don’t need to do anything, she did it all herself. i have a twilight zone based fear of goodwill items but am more fearful of this store owner’s class consciousness (someone ought to inform her that no matter how much more expensive her store’s items are priced than those at goodwill buying them will not put she or her clients in any social register, i.e., that store is no more ‘fine’ than goodwill)

  2. “crucified” ? Come on.

  3. Don’t most folks just think she might have gotten a little carried away??
    You know how that happens…

  4. you know whats funny about all of this?
    I could most likely purchase one of Tina Dragones over priced articles of clothing at goodwill for around 50$ less

  5. Parvenu.

  6. Huntington’s?

  7. anonymous: In this high-tech world, one finds that most text and email messages fail to follow the rules of capitalization. Those of you who are guilty of committing these offenses to the English language should take note of the following:
    “Capitalization is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off a horse and helping your uncle jack off a horse.”

  8. Anonymouser:

    Two prickly grammarians send our heartfelt thanks for the best laugh of the month (so far).

    Now, about Ms. Dragone…

  9. Flash forward to the year 2050, you will see Goodwill still standing in Westport. Tina Dragone – who?

  10. ‘picky grammarians’ shouldn’t worry so much – unless they want to – about ‘capitalizations’ or the lack of. well regarded conferences focused on ‘the english language’ that i have attended since the early 1990’s chart the changes in english grammar including punctuation throughout the language’s history, i.e., once you step outside of SAT guidelines, most experts express that there is flexibility.


    • Not all alike

      About those well-regarded conferences –were the sponsoring agencies Gen X or Gen Y? And that second sentence your wrote is a doozy, unless, of course, it is two sentences rolled into one. I can’t tell because there is no cap to signal a new sentence.

  11. What is an ex-convict? Does she mean someone who was wrongly convicted and had the original conviction overturned? What’s so wrong with that?

  12. Clarence Darrow

    An ex-convict is one who has served his/her felony sentence and is free or on parole. It does not pertain to your supposition of wrongdoing. But it is called a second chance and/or foregiveness of which the Dragon Lady is apparently unfamiliar.

  13. anonymous: whatever,
    ee cumings

  14. Noel Alexandra Canfield

    Tina Dragone and her ilk need to step off the platform and stop living in a bubble. When I lived in Westport there were more than a few residents who committed crimes who just didn’t happen to get caught. If I can live in New York City among all manner of criminals, not just the white collar and just plain white kind, I think that Westporters can handle a few ex-cons working at Goodwill. Dragone must be one of those people for whom black kids wear T-shirts that say “No, white lady, I don’t want your purse”. Carry a pepper spray when you shop at Goodwill, yo.

  15. The Dude Abides

    As a former federal prosecutor, I applaud Goodwill for hiring anyone with a record. The return of many felons to jail is a result of the inability to find work. While Ms. Canfield makes a good point, I don’t believe this is a race issue. Westport has always been a welcoming haven for those less fortunate. That is why it stands out in Fairfield County. I suggest Ms. Dragone consider expanding her operation and taking over the present Goodwill building. Thus, enabling Goodwill to build a larger facility down the street where it can hire more that need work and expand their operations. I could certainly use a wider selection of Brooks Brothers suits to choose from. I do believe they call it Good Will for a reason.

  16. I guess ex-con Martha Stewart wouldn’t be welcome in her store. Maybe that’s one more reason why Westport “doesn’t work” for her anymore.

  17. The Dude Abides

    I think Martha left town for other reasons but your point is well taken. If the Justice Department ever gets its butt in gear over the housing bubble fiasco, we may see more of our neighbors in the category of Ms. Dragone’s furor.

    • If the Justice Jepartment were do do as you say, Barney Frank and Chris Dodd and all of the senior management at Fannie and Freddie would become guests of the state as well. Not going to happen.

      • The Dude Abides

        Frank and Dodd have immunity but there will be some goats hanging before election 2012. I see Wall Street shooters before the quasi-governmental Mae/Mac. I may be wrong but not likely.

        • The Wall Street shooters own this Admin.: “Bought and Paid For.” Finreg will increase the profits of the big banks and enhance the cartel.

        • They do not have immunity for criminal activities; stupidity yes, but criminal activities no.

  18. The Dude Abides

    Yeah, a little disheartening on the big “change” logo. Now the avalanche from “Citizens Unlimited” will really open the floodgates. Indemnification on the civil action side but I guess you are right on criminal behavior. What’s your take on the QEII?

    • QEII has a very high risk of destabilizing the economy further. The Fed cannot simulate sustainable real growth. The impetus for real growth must come from somewhere else. Without increased real growth, QEII will create higher expectations for inflation and eventually higher inflation. Bernanke sounds like all of the failed Fed Chairmen from the 1960’s and 1970’s.

  19. The Dude Abides

    Far more stimulating than talking about Bad Will Tina. What about the 3 trillion that Corporate America is holding? Why don’t the states stand up and offer super tax incentives and arguments that the American worker can be 10x more productive than the Asian???? They might just get a piece of the pie then. Was not Greenspan as failed as those of the 60-70’s???

  20. Greenspan’s regime was problematic, so yes I guess he was, but by 1971 we were well on our way to our current set of problems. There are interesting differences in economic growth on a state by state basis. The Federal Government would do well to examine why those differences exist. The American worker is far more productive, if he has the right tools (capital investment). An American worker with a shovel has no real economic advantage over any other worker with a shovel. BTW BMW is expanding pr0duction in the US; but not in New England or the Northeast. Drive north on Route 8 starting in Bridgeport with your eyes open; there is a lesson to be learned.

  21. The Dude Abides

    I had dinner with an economist the other night. He said he had a meeting with Governor-Elect Malloy and told him CT needed to lower taxes to bring some recovery to the state. Malloy looked at him like he was an idiot.

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