Monday, January 23, 2012/lk
Where to put Walmart?
I have been hesitant to comment on the ongoing efforts by Walmart to expand.
Part of this reason is because of the negative reaction that I have received from a (local store) employee after I reacted to comments from a position in authority regarding this employee. It seems that this employee took my reaction as a personal affront.
Anyway, I do have many friends and employees at both Safeway and Rosauers. I can understand their concerns regarding this proposed competition.
I understand that there exists vocal opposition to this proposed expansion. I would like to know where the funding for this opposition comes from. I doubt that it comes from the individuals involved. In other words, I think that there is more than meets the eye regarding the opposition to this expansion.
Walmart has, in many cases, built many MarketPlaces, a grocery store, under the Walmart logo. How would we refuse to allow this? Presently they are in the process of building some of these in Portland.
I think that Walmart will either build in Hood River or in The Dalles. Which would we prefer?
I received a flyer in the mail from the HRCLE, or Hood River Residents for Local Economy. My question is, who or what is this organization; how many members and what the names of these members? They asked for money to support their purpose and as far as I know what happens to the money that they receive?
I have lived in Hood River for many years and all of a sudden there springs up another organization that claims they support the well-being of the citizens of Hood River. I really don't think that is the case and the only goal of HRCLE is to stop growth for their own goal. We know that if we stop growth the city will become stagnant.
Now I applaud Mayor Babitz and the Hood River City Council for their decision on the Walmart request to enlarge. Many hours of research went into this subject for the council to make a decision for this increase in square footage. It is going to be very hard for LUBA to overturn this decision by the council because I believe the Hood River City Council did cross all their t's and dot their i's.
So my suggestion is for the HRCLE not to appeal a possible losing cause and to use the money for something more constructive.
Walmart will not hurt the economy of Hood River. Competition is what this country was built on and every person or business enjoys that right.
Not so scenic
The most-photographed geologic feature of the Catherine Creek hiking area has been surrounded by a chemically treated three-rail fence. The unsigned fence is an "attractive nuisance." It does not prevent entry to the top of the arch. It only serves to degrade the scenic value of the feature and entice the curious to climb over and look.
Was there public notification/input of the fence project prior to construction? This reader didn't see any. On Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area (Forest Service) land, the fence is a scar and should be removed, restoring the site to its original scenic value.