Corporate record

Wal-Mart has just attained a dubious distinction: one of the ten worst corporations of 2001, according to Multinational Monitor.    This was not an easy achievement for Wal-Mart. The corporation faced stiff competition from scores of multi-nationals, including co-honorees Coca-Cola "for alleged complicity with death squads in Colombia," and ExxonMobil "for leading the global warming denial campaign."

But Multinational Monitor said Wal-Mart earned its infamy "for continuing to source products from overseas sweatshops, for viciously battling efforts to unionize any faction of its workforce (the largest in the United States, among private employers), and for contributing to the sprawl that blights the U.S. landscape."

Mark Nykanen

Hood River

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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



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