Tuesday, July 22, 2003
This Wednesday (July 23) is an opportunity for everyone to discuss Wal-Mart’s revised application. Proponents and opponents can take the floor of the Hood River Valley High School auditorium and state their thoughts on this. As Saturday’s editorial pointed out, the county planners are required to look at certain issues. These do not include lower prices, product selection, or treatment of employees.
However, some of the points that can and should be addressed are:
1. Protection of natural features (including Phelps Creek);
2. Grading and drainage (including flooding of Phelps Creek);
3. Compatibility to the surrounding area and/or the town.
Those who wish to speak may address one or all of these areas since they are standards that Wal-Mart must meet to be approved.
This week there will be public hearings concerning the proposed Super Wal-Mart. I hope that the citizens of Hood River appreciate the fact that city administrators are obviously willing to listen to the public. Now, I hope that they are willing to accept the decisions of this group as binding. We elect representatives in order to facilitate decision making, not slow it down.
The recent passage of a law that prohibits buildings of 150,000 square feet was intended to prohibit a Super Wal-Mart. Ironically, it had the effect of not allowing an expansion of Safeway. It also made it impossible for other businesses, such as Costco to locate in Hood River. In effect it made it possible for Wal-Mart to control the market. I, personally, think that this law was wrong and should be repealed. We cannot stop growth, but we can control it.
Tourists need to have hotels/motels in order to stay in an area. I know that many people were forced to stay in The Dalles during this past weekend (July 19-20) because there were no facilities in Hood River. Tourists also like features such as a Wal-Mart. They tend to spend money at local businesses. Souvenirs are not purchased at Wal-Mart. Local restaurants tend to gain from visitors/tourists staying in the area.
I would like to see Wal-Mart either donate their present property to Columbia Gorge Community College, set up a low cost lease, or, at the very least, indicate how this property will be utilized. I do not want to see this very visible property become an eyesore by remaining vacant.
I think that if Wal-Mart is able to answer the questions concerning drainage, traffic, utilization of the present property, etc. then we should welcome a new business.
I’ve just finished reading your editorial of July 19, “Hearing Bearing.”
In spite of the nice juxtapositioning of the words and the fact that an editorial is showing up at all, I am perplexed by two paragraphs.
Whether or not Wal-Mart provides lower prices and better selection, and offers its facilities for car washes and fundraisers, has nothing to do with the question of its application.
On the other hand, what impact Wal-Mart has had on the commercial viability of other communities, or how it treats its employees, is of no relevance in the hearings this week.
Here is my confusion:
The structure of “Whether...”/“On the other hand...” is used to set off different conclusions to sets of statements. This is not the case in the editorial.
So what do you mean?
1. The phrase “is of no relevance” should read “is of relevance” ?
If this is the case, it is a nice editorial point but a sloppy job of editing.
2. The phrases read as printed.
If this is the case, the paper is not merely guilty of careless writing, but dismissive of the cares and concerns of valley and city merchants and residents.
Please clarify your editorial!
We all have end-of-life thoughts. It is comforting for me to know that I shall die soon, but you guys have to look at Wal-Mart forever.