Croghan, New York • ICBTS News

Building gingerbread houses is a long standing tradition in the upstate New York village of Croghan, but a group of young mothers and their children received a rude surprise when state officials burst into their children’s party with weapons drawn.

Shortly before the raid, Croghan moms teaching children how to build gingerbread houses without a building permit.

“On the floor!” yelled one code enforcement official, “lock your f**’n fingers over your heads!”

The resulting scene of 12 crying children under seven years old, and five mothers laying face down on the floor of a Victorian home recently featured on a home improvement special has caused a bit of a public relations nightmare for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

“The governor regrets the optics on this,” said one state house official, “but the facts are straightforward: New York education law requires a permit for building gingerbread houses as a part of our “takes a village” Community Responsibility Act. There is no charge, we repeat, no charge for the permit, but if you’re going to teach children how to build model homes, you need to let the state know what you’re up to. If you don’t, you may get an unpleasant knock on your door.  What kind of a world are we creating when we teach children they can build homes without adding to the tax base?”

New York state has recently attempted a public relations campaign wooing businesses back to New York by promising them a brief period of tax relief, before settling into the massive tax and regulatory burden associated with trying to run a business in the empire state.

“Just come over to our corner,” said an aid to the governor. “Kiss the ring and you’re fine.  Is that so difficult?”