Wednesday, December 12, 2001
I found Ladd Henderson's attack on the Hood River News' Wal-Mart reporting way off-base (Nov. 28). Bordering on offensive. I think the News has been more than balanced in its coverage, considering the amount of advertising revenue at stake for the newspaper you would think they would be falling all over themselves to promote this project. To their credit they have put the good of the economy ahead of their financial gain on this matter. Good for them!
In contrast Henderson's sudden concern for Wal-Mart and free enterprise is so transparent as to be laughable. Funny that he just happens to be a large landowner right next to the proposed project. Hmmm. And another Wal-Mart cheerleader, Peter von Oppel, just happens to be an employee of Wal-Mart. Who are these guys trying to fool?
The bottom line is, yes, this is an emergency. Yes, Wal-Mart's predatory pricing will decimate this town, and no there is no doubt about any of this. Wal-Mart has a well-documented track record that is not debatable. Over 300 communities have either voted to reject big box retail developments or pressured developers to withdraw. This project does not have to happen. County planning must stop it. Check out sprawl-busters.com on the internet for more information.
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Lawnmower torches Arbor Vitae on Portland Drive
The riding lawn mower driven by Norma Cannon overheated and made contact with dry arbor vitae owned by Lee and Norma Curtis, sending more than a dozen of the tightly-packed trees up in flames. The mower, visible at far right, was totaled. No one was injured; neighbors first kept the fire at bay with garden hoses and Westside and Hood River Fire Departments responded and doused the fire before it reached any structures. Westside Fire chief Jim Trammell, in blue shirt, directs firefighters. The video was taken by Capt. Dave Smith of Hood River Fire Department. Enlarge