Archive for Thursday, August 31, 2006

Planning Commission split on proposed Wal-Mart

August 31, 2006


Plans to build a controversial new Wal-Mart store at Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive failed to clear a major hurdle Wednesday night, as planning commissioners ended a five-hour debate on the project in a deadlock.

Lawrence-Douglas County planning commissioners split 5-5 on whether to recommend that the Lawrence City Commission approve a plan to build a new 99,985-square-foot Wal-Mart store on the northwest corner of Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive.

The tie vote ultimately does little to hurt or help the project. City commissioners still have the final authority to approve or deny the project. They are expected to take the issue up in two to three weeks.

A Wal-Mart representative said the retailer would ask the City Commission to approve the project, despite the lack of a positive recommendation from the Planning Commission.

"We have proposed a store that we believe fits in well with the area and the community," said Angie Stoner, a Wal-Mart spokeswoman.

Planning commissioners ended their meeting at 1 a.m. this morning, with two camps of planning commissioners firmly split on the development.

Some planning commissioners said the development had a strong design and was well thought out.

Special to the Journal-World
This Rendering shows the proposed Wal-Mart for the intersection of Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive.

Special to the Journal-World This Rendering shows the proposed Wal-Mart for the intersection of Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive.

"With this project and the project proposed on the other corner, this intersection could very easily be the nicest intersection in Lawrence," said Planning Commissioner Tom Jennings.

Other planning commissioners, though, said the project was still too large for the area and was not designed well enough to meet the city's new commercial design guidelines. Some also expressed concern that the store would create major traffic problems along Sixth Street.

"Right now, you are asking for too much, and I'm going to have to deny this plan and hope for a better one," Commissioner David Burress said.

Planning commissioners Brad Finkeldei, Joe Harkins, Grant Eichhorn, Dennis Lawson, and Tom Jennings voted in favor of the project's preliminary development plan. Commissioners David Burress, Susan Erickson, John Haase, Holly Krebs, and Lisa Harris voted against it.

The project has been the subject of a lawsuit. Developers, led by local investors Doug Compton, Bill Newsome and the Wal-Mart corporation, have sued the city for denying a building permit for the retailer.

The city denied the building permit because it believed the zoning on the property does not allow it. The developers have contended that the approved zoning allows 154,000 square feet of retail to be built on the corner. But the two sides have agreed to put the lawsuit on hold while the city considers Wal-Mart's new plan that features a much smaller store than originally proposed.

Todd Thompson, a Lawrence attorney representing Wal-Mart, said planning commissioners needed to consider the contentious history of the site.

"I think you have to ask yourself whether this plan is a good move for the corner, or do you want to stay with what you have on the books and roll the dice on the court action," Thompson said.

Some area residents were urging a rolling of the dice. Kirk McClure, an associate professor of urban planning at Kansas University, said low growth rates in both population and income levels indicate the city cannot handle the new retail sector.

"We already have a bloated supply of retail space," McClure said, adding that the city should not approve any new retail developments for two to three years except for limited neighborhood centers.

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A retail market analysis prepared by the developer, which used data from a citywide retail study that was previously approved by the city, showed the development could easily be absorbed by the community.

Planning commissioners also were urged by neighbors to deny the project. Gwen Klingenberg, president of the Lawrence Association of Neighborhoods, said she remained concerned that the project would cause large amounts of traffic to accumulate on Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive that would ultimately cut through the area neighborhoods.

The city's planning staff, though, approved a traffic study that showed that both Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive could accommodate the increased traffic. Klingenberg and neighbors, though, said the study was flawed because it didn't adequately account for traffic generated by nearby Free State High School. The developers contend the study did factor student traffic into the equation.

Some members of the public did speak in favor of the project. Greg DiVilbiss, who is an owner of the shopping center at the southwest corner of Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive said he had spoken with many retailers in the immediate area who support the project because of the additional shoppers it would add to the area.


Sigmund 11 years, 7 months ago

Commrade David Burress, the new Business Czar, fundraiser, and contributor to the PLC, will be little more than a one man planning Kommission once he is installed. He is there to provide "cover" for the current Kommission when they deny any new business from coming to Lawrence to compete with existing business. Especially if that business will compete with two of his current City Kommissioner's little grocery store.

That said, I can only hope that the current Kommission votes to deny Walmart. The cost of a second lawsuit and Wilgren's testimony under oath will make excellent reading. It will also expose the conflict of interest of the PLC the real reason for all the drama surrounding this saga.

Welcome to Lawrence Commrade, the answer is NYET!

ModerateOne 11 years, 7 months ago

Vote: What do you think about KU's official colors:

-- They are Crimson

-- They are Blue

-- No opinion

GOPConservative 11 years, 7 months ago

"With this project and the project proposed on the other corner, this intersection could very easily be the nicest intersection in Lawrence," said Planning Commissioner Tom Jennings.

I suppose if you measure "nice" on the basis of the amount of traffic, that might be true.

Walmart is such a great neighbor. They are obediently following the national program led by the repressive-socialists in Washington in doing everything they can to promote China, atheism and communism.

I think it is just wonderful that Walmart is China's number one customer. I think it is wonderful that our trade deficit with China is the largest of any other country. I think it is wonderful that we borrow more from China than from any other country.

Thank you, Walmart, for helping to ensure that America is indebted to the China both in trade deficit and in the trillion dollars that China loaned to us during the Bush Administration to cover the deficit created the patriotic fiscal liberals who have been borrowing from China to cover their socialist programs.

All hail Walmart, socialism, atheism and communism. At the rate we are going, China will annex America in a few years and we can all pledge allegiance to the Communist Party.

Thanks again, Walmart.

chzypoof1 11 years, 7 months ago

Oh lord, here we go again. Let's all argue about the "evils" of walmart, and the "good" of our Komission.

The bottom line, which has been discussed before, is that Free Enterprise in the Country should allow them to build the store. If no one goes, it has the right to fail too....

Nuff said. There is no argument for this statement. If you don't like walmart, dont go.

Brandon Perkins 11 years, 7 months ago

I agree with chzypoof1, here we go again. For some reason I have a feeling the lead story in the LJW after the next City Commission Meeting will be "City Commission changes zoning at 6th & Wak to include everything but Wal-Mart".

For not liking "big businesses" I hope boog likes his printer he exchanged at Best Buy a few months back.

What Wal-Mart should do is seriously look into the "Lawrence Gateway" area at 6th & South Lawrence Trafficway and build there. They cuold build a Supercenter and shove all the revenue that it will bring, as well as the jobs it will bring, not to mention the sales tax which will stay in Lawrence back down the City Commissioner's throats.

chzypoof1 11 years, 7 months ago

Logrithmic- You are the prime example of what I was talking about. Nothing makes you happy. If it were a target, would you be angry? I doubt it. You just hate walmart. You hate them because they are the biggest. Probably hate Microsoft too, dont cha?

If a empty building shows up in the afluent area out there, it won't stay empty long. It's not even worth the fight with people like you. Nothing will ever make you happy, especially others making $$$.

And leave the name calling at home. I'm far from ignorant since I realize what Brando said- This will bring tax $$$, convenience, and jobs to that part of town.

GOPConservative 11 years, 7 months ago

The great Conservative Republican Teddy Roosevelt was faced with a similar situation to what we have today.

Free enterprise is one thing. Uncontrolled capitalism is another. If government doesn't step in to control capitalism when it centralizes into a limited number of monopolies, free enterprise ceases to exist.

We are getting close to that situation now. Through conglomeration and the big eating up the small, a limited number of corporate monopolies now control our economy.

The elimination of competition resulting from uncontrolled monopolies is the opposite of free enterprise. Free enterprise thrives on competition.

The problem is further exacerbated when the monopolies have too much influence in Washington. They essentially own our legislative, executive and judicial branches. Through their lobby they have created a situation where most of our tax dollars now go to them rather than back to the people as quality service.

When monopolies are subsidized by our taxes, it further destroys the competitiveness of a the free enterprise system by creating an uneven playing field.

When a monopoly like Wal-Mart is used to increase the trade deficit with China so that fiscal liberals in Washington can borrow it back, that hurts our entire economy and threatens our future.

To believe that Wal-Mart represents free enterprise is folly. It represents capitalism gone sour.

Monopolies now have much more influence than they did when Teddy did his trust busting. We are long overdue in overhauling the system to bring free enterprise and competition back into the equation.

Richard Heckler 11 years, 7 months ago

Who said Boog does not like big business? I've never heard Boog utter such a statement. He has certainly been supporting plenty of new westside retail and new housing projects. Actually all of the so called PLC has been supporting tons of new projects right along with Amyx and Hack.

BTW Lawrence could live quite well without another Wal-Mart. Yes many a business owner has said they would welcome the new Wal-Mart traffic. For some reason once shoppers go to Wal-Mart they forget to go shop the small retail shops surrounding it. Time might tell. This city commission will say yes to Wal-Mart...mark my words.

cutny 11 years, 7 months ago

Oh it won't be long now Until our eyes start to feast On the too-full belly of the Wal-Mart beast

Cheap soda and chips for the poor white trash 7 bucks an hour in cold hard cash

Plastic blue bags littering Lawrence West Stretch pants on sale waistbands put to the test

Little Debbies so cheap for our healthful school lunches Obesity rules so buy them in bunches

But we're working class trying to save where we can Don't pass judgment on me and my double-wide can

If you build it they'll come buying crap they don't need but "Downtown's so expensive" is their poor trash creed

GO WALMART!!!....You ever have those days where you just gotta write a crappy poem railing against "the man" who be keeping you down? Wal-Mart is such a corporate abortion, I personally never understood the attraction.

monkeyhawk 11 years, 7 months ago

August 30, 2006 Wal-Mart as a Political Diversion By Robert Samuelson

WASHINGTON -- It's not surprising that, as The New York Times reports, leading Democratic politicians have latched onto bashing Wal-Mart as a "new rallying cry'' that "could prove powerful in the midterm elections and in 2008.'' America's political culture routinely demands at least one hideous corporate villain. In recent decades that role has fallen to General Motors, IBM, Exxon Mobil and Microsoft; now Wal-Mart has assumed the mantle. But these wishy-washy politicians have missed the obvious solution to the Wal-Mart problem: nationalization.

Congress should just buy the company and then legislate good behavior. Wal-Mart executives "talk about paying them (workers) $10 an hour,'' Sen. Joseph Biden told a rally in Iowa, according to the Times. "How can you live a middle-class life on that?''

Well, if $10 is too little, the government could order the Department of Wal-Mart to pay more. How about $15 or $20? Similarly, if Wal-Mart's health insurance is inadequate, Congress could command more coverage. (I asked Wal-Mart for coverage figures, which it declined to provide. All a spokesperson said is that more than half its 1.3 million U.S. employees are full time, enjoying higher coverage rates, and that 75 percent of all workers have some coverage through the company, the government or spouses' plans.)

OK, I jest. Congress isn't going to buy Wal-Mart -- which would cost roughly $183 billion at its current stock price of about $44 a share -- and I don't think it should. Still, pretending to nationalize Wal-Mart is a useful thought exercise. It shows why Wal-Mart as a government agency would actually provide fewer public benefits than as a grubby, profit-seeking colossus. The company's incentives would shift. Instead of trying to lower costs, improve efficiency and raise profits, it would focus on pleasing its political patrons and complying with their demands.

These would doubtlessly burgeon beyond wages and benefits. Politicians would find unending opportunities for grandstanding and meddling. Does Wal-Mart import too much from China? Order it to cut back. Does it treat suppliers brutally? Require it to be nicer. Are its stores ugly? Appoint architectural advisers.

monkeyhawk 11 years, 7 months ago

Wal-Mart would deliver more political benefits to favored constituencies -- workers, suppliers, competitors -- and fewer to the public. Retail prices would be the biggest casualty. Scholarly studies show Wal-Mart's price reductions to be sizable. Economist Emek Basker of the University of Missouri found long-term reductions of 7 percent to 13 percent on items such as toothpaste, shampoo and detergent. Other companies are forced to reduce their prices. On food, Wal-Mart produces consumer savings that average 20 percent, estimate Jerry Hausman of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Ephraim Leibtag of the Department of Agriculture.

All told, these cuts have significantly raised living standards. How much is unclear. A study by the economic-consulting firm Global Insight found that from 1985 to 2004, Wal-Mart's expansion lowered the consumer price index by a cumulative 3.1 percent from what it would have been. That produced savings of $263 billion in 2004, equal to $2,329 for each U.S. household. Because Wal-Mart financed this study, its results have been criticized as too high. But even if price savings are only half as much ($132 billion and $1,165 per household), they'd dwarf the benefits of all but the biggest government programs.

A collateral benefit is less understood. By restraining inflation, intense competition of the sort that Wal-Mart provides eases pressure on the Federal Reserve to do the job with higher interest rates. Note the paradox: at one level, intense competition destroys jobs, as some companies can't compete, but the larger effect is to increase total job creation by fostering favorable economic conditions.

No company should be above public scrutiny. But much of the political criticism of Wal-Mart is shallow and, if followed, undesirable. Wal-Mart doesn't pay high wages and benefits mainly because it's in an industry (retailing) where those are rare. In 2005, average hourly wages were $10.85 for food stores, $10.63 for clothing stores and $10.84 for department stores. As General Motors and Ford are now discovering, companies that pay above-market labor costs ultimately shrink and destroy jobs. The efforts of some local governments -- notably the Maryland Legislature and Chicago City Council -- to mandate higher labor costs on Wal-Mart are shortsighted.

There may even be political pitfalls to this crusade. By Wal-Mart's estimate, 85 percent of Americans shop during the year at the chain; in opinion polls it generally receives high ratings. People are voting with their pocketbooks. On any list of major national concerns, the "Wal-Mart problem'' would not rank in the first 50. Why, then, are some leading Democratic politicians spending so much time talking about it? People who ask that question may conclude that Wal-Mart, though a tempting target as a symbol, is mostly a diversion from weightier issues where what politicians do really matters.

(c) 2006, The Washington Post Writers Group

oldgoof 11 years, 7 months ago

Remember when Borders was the big issue?

I always love seeing those bumper stickers from the anti-corporate, anti-Borders side, shop only downtown side(It takes a village of idiots to destroy a historic property) on cars sitting in the Wal-Mart parking lot.

Herynkmom 11 years, 7 months ago

Hey! Were any of you writing all these remarks there last night? Not by my count. If you have all these opinions, why not show up and let them be heard? I sat thru it all, till 1:00 or later....

There is a saying in the East that goes something like this: You can't fix what an elephant steps on.

Lawrence, an elephant, a big gray ugly one, is ready to stomp on this town as it has so many others. If we let it, there won't be any fix later. If ever a second Wal-Mart appears, we should have sense enough to keep it out by the SLT and Highway 40.

And why does NO ONE sign their name to these comments?

Sue Herynk

ControlFreak 11 years, 7 months ago

I have a great idea. The City should allow Wal-Mart to build their store at 8th & Pennsylvania. This will eliminate the problem with the 6th & Wakarusa intersection. It will also remove the problem people were having with the luxury apartments, er condos, scheduled to be built in East Lawrence.

I think it would be great for the neighborhood. Who wants to live across the street from the Bus Company anyway? The fumes...the noise...

This way we can have a Wal-Mart closer to downtown. Then we can see how it really effects downtown businesses.

Lower prices? More convenience? A larger selection? No! Keep that kind of thing out of Lawrence! We can't have it, it would be naughty.

alm77 11 years, 7 months ago

Cutny, I'd like permission to share that poem with others! You ROCK!! It may just be the opener to my blog this week.

Katie Van Blaricum 11 years, 7 months ago

Wouldn't one huge roundabout solve all the traffic problems?

GOPConservative 11 years, 7 months ago

As for Pilgrim's comment comparing free enterprise and the laws and supply and demand to socialism, I think the ignorance of that statement speaks for itself.

Further his claim that making development pay its own way rather than using the old socialistic tax-and-spend programs of the past will turn Lawrence into another Oskaloosa has to be the stupidist comment I've seen on these boards in quite some time.

Confrontation 11 years, 7 months ago

Herynkmom: Perhaps we don't post our names because we wouldn't want to be shamed by posting a comment like yours. It didn't make any sense. What other towns has Lawrence stepped on? The whole elephant analogy is something that should stay in the East, where nothing makes any sense.

Herynkmom 11 years, 7 months ago

No, Confrontation, I think it is because you don't have the integrity to put your name where your mouth runs. Dodge City was stepped on mightly by Wal Mart. I saw it happen. Have you pulled your head out enough to take a look at other communities?

Sue Herynk

ControlFreak 11 years, 7 months ago

This is a better idea. Why don't we just take downtown out of the mix by putting a Wal-Mart there.

What is there to save anyway? It's already full of chain stores: Ambercromie & Fitch, Starbucks, The Gap, etc.

So what are we saving, the buildings? Please...

Widen the street, put in Wal-Mart next to the other chain stores, and while we are at it, put a Lowes there too.

Ace_Ventura 11 years, 7 months ago

This is the most stupid thing lawrence can pass. Lawrence is fine with one walmart. There is no reason to bring in another one.

If they do build another Wal-Mart they should put a bank on each side of it. Just to prove that the city of lawrence don't have a clue what to do.

Ace_Ventura 11 years, 7 months ago

Ohh yeah, We can have two Wal-marts but we cant have a Hooters or a Red Lobster.

Cough- Topeka has'em both.

Richard Ballard 11 years, 7 months ago

I hope they build it! The sooner, the better!

I'm tired of making a 10 mile round trip to the other WalMart store, and then fighting the huge crowds once I get there.

From all appearances, at least 90% of the people in Lawrence shop there, and keep their opinion to themselves.

The other 10% whine, complain, and Vote for our city commissioners!


Rationalanimal 11 years, 7 months ago

2 things will come about from this:

  1. Additional hundreds of thousands of dollars will be wasted on litigation that the City will end up losing on. The tax payers foot the bill for that.

  2. In the mean-time, the absence of tax revenue that would be generated by Walmart will have to be subsidized from somewhere else. Guess who the golden goose is? Property owners. Get ready for additional proprety tax hikes.

Thanks planning commission, we really appreciate the all the petty quibling over beans that costs taxpayers hundreds of thousands.

Ace_Ventura 11 years, 7 months ago

Ohh man a 10 mile round trip. It sucks to get out of your house doesnt it? I wish they would build a walmart on my house. That way I can walk 10 feet and get what I want. Lawrence isnt that big. From where Im from. If you wanted to do some major shopping you would plan a day. because it was 45 min to the mall.(One way)

Im sure Wal-Mart will be passed and it will be built along with a few banks around it. Whatever, We don't have much sayso. Just give it a few years and see this whole town turn into WiskyTangoville. Mark my words.... '=_

ControlFreak 11 years, 7 months ago

They don't need to build any banks out there, because they already have.

whiskeysour 11 years, 7 months ago

You know, all this could be solved in the people in Lawrence didn't shop at Walmart - However, having visited the one on the south end of Iowa I know this not to be true. I am betting that the future location would be just as busy as well.

Don't blame the retailer, they are simply giving consumers (the people of this fine city) what they want. Blame the people who shop there in the morning and then complain about the place in the afternoon. They are truly hypocrites!

alm77 11 years, 7 months ago

Anyone else remember their ad campaign a few years ago "We buy American whenever we can, so you can too."? That didn't last long. American goods have American pricetags. Now the mantra seems to be "We'll sell you what ever you want and we don't care where it comes from"

But I agree with whiskeysour. People must be going or they wouldn't be expanding. I wonder how many of those people are from out of town, Eudora, DeSoto, etc.

My neighbor said the other day "Everytime I walk in the door at Wal-mart I feel like I lose some IQ points." Some people HATE it, but don't know where else to go to buy, say, an ironing board, for example. And while you're there to get the ironing board, you might as well save a few bucks and pick up the other items you need for the week....

thisiknow 11 years, 7 months ago

I can't wait until I get to drive to the West side of Lawrence and shop at a Wal-Mart! I usually do not go to the West side but I will now. West siders are you ready for me? I probably will not drive my gas guzzler that burns oil like crazy and gives off an incredible display of blackish exhaust. I will instead choose to drive my 2007 Toyota. I can afford one because I save soooooo much money shopping at Wal-Mart.

wbob 11 years, 7 months ago

I didn't know there were slaves in China, if you mean that word in its literal meaning.

For those working in China for low wages, is anyone forcing them to? If not, then they must like working for low wages more than what they were doing before. Shouldn't we allow them that choice?

wbob 11 years, 7 months ago

Furthermore, if the new store is built, Wal-Mart can't force anyone to shop there. People either will or won't, based on their own preferences.

alm77 11 years, 7 months ago

wbob, I think the arguement is couldn't Wal-mart afford to pay them more?? 5 out of the top 10 richest people in America are Wal mart millionaires. The company's profits are so huge they made HALF the people on the top 10. Averaging over 15,000,000,000 EACH That's excessive. They could live on oh, say half that, and improve the lives of others by giving them a raise.

conservative 11 years, 7 months ago

log, you're pathetic. At the same time you're opposing any projects to bring higher paying jobs to town, and opposing bringing a store to town that sells things for lower prices. Then stating that the only reason people shop there is because they've given up on getting higher paying jobs.

conservative 11 years, 7 months ago


I'm not sure about "slave" labor in China, but I know that at least as of a few years ago there were a lot of prisoners in China being forced to work in manufacturing plants. And many would argue (myself among them) that a lot of those "criminals" are actually just political prisoners.

I'm also pretty sure that Wal-mart doesn't do business with any of the companies that utilize that type of labor. They have a very rigorous process of verifying that all companies they work with won't reflect negatively on them. If you've never had the privilege of going through a Wal-Mart social compliance audit then you should consider yourself lucky.

wbob 11 years, 7 months ago

Well, couldn't we all improve the life of someone else by "taking" less ourselves?

You may be confusing wealth with income, by the way.

c_doc77 11 years, 7 months ago

For the link to the Wal-Mart movie, you may have to click "search" once you get to the page for it to work.

alm77 11 years, 7 months ago

wbob, I'm not against profit or being rich. Most rich people work hard to get it and work smart to keep it. BUT I also think they can enjoy giving it too. Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are tremendously generous people. They do great things and live a great lifestyle. All I'm saying is that the Walton excess could improve many many lives, but they don't have the reputation for giving that the others on that top 10 list have.

laughingatallofu 11 years, 7 months ago

Boy, this discussion took a sharp turn. Instead of debating about whether there should be another Wal-Mart in LarryTown, it turns into "Let's beat up on Wal-Mart in general"

LJW editors. If you were doing your jobs, stuff like this wouldn't happen. You'd post a polite message to "stay on topic". But NOOOOO, I think you enjoy the fracas here. Only when someone utters a cuss word do you intervene.

oldgoof 11 years, 7 months ago

... I'm tired of reading this thread. I think I will drive to Topeka, visit Hooters and buy myself a gun at Topeka's Walmart so I can be ready for concealed carry. You others had better yield to me at my roundabout.

common_cents 11 years, 7 months ago

logrithmic posted:

"... because it imports its good from China, where the goods are produced by slave labor."

Check the labels on your stuff. You will see Taiwan, Malasia or China most of the time I bet. And $1 an hour may indeed be slave labor by U.S. standards but is by no means slave labor in any of those countries that I am aware.

Also, go start checking the labels in just about any store around. Then tell me where the majority of products are made. I think you'll have an eye-opening experience.

"... Manufacturing jobs are shrinking in our economy at a rapid pace. Why? Because labor... cannot afford to work for $1 an hour. Big businesses' response? Move the production overseas. Layoff workers."

Truth be told, many of the contract deals which were made by union bosses sucking wages from union members has caused businesses to make those changes JUST to stay competitive.

One thing to remember is that most large companies in this country were running in a horribly inefficient manner. It's time to trim fat and start getting competitive on ALL levels. It's time to realize that our economy is and has been changing into a service-oriented economy. Manufacturing has been declining for decades. Companies and workers who realized this and adjusted are doing well, those that are stubborn are the ones who faulter and complain. Deal with it.

"I love this lie GM and Ford are failing because they pay above average hourly wages. ... Why are these companies failing? ... That's why they haven't engineered a single vehicle or technology that can deal with the current energy price crunch."

I might have the company wrong, but I believe it was GM who had a union deal that when work slowed, they actually PAID people to SIT in the freakin break room. THOSE types of idiotic deals are what is breaking large companies. And... on the energy price crunch, they HAVE been making better vehicles and guess what the governments are doing? Idaho is the first of the state governments that is bucking against energy efficient vehicles by considering requiring a mileage box be installed in vehicles so that they can tax you by the mile because of the lost revenues on gas taxes due to more efficient vehicles. Don't blame companies or Wal Mart or China... blame the governments... that's where the blame should be placed.

"Now get back to work clean up on aisle 5."

Every freakin business has an aisle that needs cleaning up. I worked retail for years in small businesses... get real and grow up.

whiskeysour 11 years, 7 months ago

Is this arguement about Chinese goods being sold at Walmart based on the belief that NO non-U.S. goods are being sold at the shops downtown? I mean does the fact you may be shopping at a boutique downtown and paying $$$ for foreign goods or shopping at Wallyworld and paying $ for different goods manufactured in the same location/conditions matter?

Is that what this arguement is about, or does it go deeper than the location/conditions the goods were produced under?

white_mountain 11 years, 7 months ago

I don't care how cheap their prices are or whatever. The local mom and pops can give you the same products for about the same price if you just take the time to find them.

alm77 11 years, 7 months ago

From this article:

"If Wal-Mart were an individual economy, it would rank as China's eighth-biggest trading partner, ahead of Russia, Australia and Canada," Xu said.

It's about VOLUME. Since Wal-mart HAS this kind of buying power, shouldn't they take the lead in raising wages?

They are missing an opprotunity and doing it to the tune of billions of dollars in their pocket. I'm sorry, but the last time I checked, Third Planet, Ben and Jerry's, The New Toy Store, Waxman, or the Amyx Barber Shop wasn't hoarding billions from the despiration of poorer standards of living.

Sorry if I'm a bit curt. This issue is upsetting to me.

white_mountain 11 years, 7 months ago

I should have also mentioned you can find alot of the things you need at garage sales without having to pay a fortune for them.

common_cents 11 years, 7 months ago

logrithmic posted:

"Oh, I'm well aware that other businesses buy from China. You wanna know why? Because they have to compete with your hero Sprawlmart."

Where did I say my hero was Walmart? Nowhere. I buy one thing there: cardboard boxes. They have the particular size I need and I don't have to buy 100 at a time like I would buying online. End of story.

"Wrong about wages too. The fact is, the loss of high paying jobs in this country has to do with the owners of big business. They have been bleeding their assets since the 70s. Why build new infrastructure here when they can build it much cheaply overseas? And they can pay children to make their products at $1 an hour. And these kids work 6 days a week at 14 hours a day. Oh, but they are good Christian people, aren't they? It has nothing to do with unions and everything to do with returns on investment. The key investment? Lobbying the Congress to pass NAFTA and other initiatives that deliberately take money out of the pockets or our workers and gives them to the so-called captains of industry (billion dollar salaries to boot....). For someone who claims to have common sense, I see the common - don't see the sense."

I'd love to see the report you are quoting where a U.S. company is employing children in a plant THEY built. I understand that sometimes they are purchasing products from contractors that have children working, but I have never seen a plant built and run by one of those companies employing children.

As to those children, you do realize that most of the time, the parents of those children are forcing them to work in envinronments such as that? Stop blaming the U.S. for the world's problems and start looking outside the small box from which your opinions originate.

Sounds like you need a job... you clean up aisle 5. While you're there, straighten the shelves.

whiskeysour 11 years, 7 months ago

so what your saying is that buying from China is ok - as long as you buy from a mom and pop or a garage sale? Thats assinine, and as for other retailers being forced to buy from them to compete with Walmart, thats assinine too!

Other retailers buy from Chinese companies to maximize profits. . . they want more $$ in their pockets just like the average consumer, who shops at Walmart to keep $$ in their pockets.

Somewhere along the line people (ie consumers) must in essence vote with their feet. If you oppose Chinese products don't buy them, if you want to oppose stores who do buy them, don't shop there. Laws and lawsuits filed by the city will not work, because they don't reflect the values of the MAJORITY of people within the city. The majority of people within this city, and most others, clearly vote with their shopping preferances. They don't care about predatory pricing, overseas products, only about price.

white_mountain 11 years, 7 months ago

No No, I'm saying their cheap prices don't excuse them from all the harm they do to workers and communities.. people should instead shop at local mom and pops.. the prices are roughly the same. Or find what you need at garage sales. You can find some great deals if you just take the time to look for them.

common_cents 11 years, 7 months ago

Oh... since this article is about Lawrence wages I have a solution... it seems to work in all other areas of our community:

The City Commission should mandate that wages be raised. Call it a public health issue. That should bring tons of businesses here to bathe in the warmth of our feel-good community.

sarcasm off

conservative 11 years, 7 months ago

Log, Just yesterday you were posting about how tax abatements don't work and are bad for a community. Is your attention span so short that you don't remember yesterday? And for the record Wal-mart doesn't qualify for tax abatements because they are a department store so why do you keep acting like they are getting or even asking for one?

common_cents 11 years, 7 months ago

Whiskeysour posted:

"Other retailers buy from Chinese companies to maximize profits. . . they want more $$ in their pockets just like the average consumer, who shops at Walmart to keep $$ in their pockets."

Here, here! Finally, someone gets it. Consumers drive price. Standard supply and demand curve: economics at its finest!

Great drink btw. sip

alm77 11 years, 7 months ago

I don't think it's wrong to buy from China,(they got kids to feed too) but to build a multibillion dollar business solely on cheap labor isn't ethical either. They always say they "Give back." and that they "Care." Where are the raises and charitable giving to show for it?

pooter 11 years, 7 months ago

The WallyWorld Cheer

Give me a W!

Give me an A!

Give me an L!

Give me a squiggly!

Give me an M!

Give me an A!

Give me an R!

Give me a T!

What's that spell?


Whose Wal-Mart is it?

It's my Wal-Mart!

Who's number one?

The customer! Always!

(as long as it's not a lawrence customer)

just like lawrence to force Wal-Mart to build a store too small to begin with.


common_cents 11 years, 7 months ago


And it took 2 seconds to google this:

Many children work in Indonesia. According to the 1990 Population Census of Indonesia, 2.2 million children between the ages of 10 to 14 years, representing about three percent of the total labor force, were economically active.1 This figure does not include child workers below 10 years of age and children involved in domestic work. In July 1993, Coordinating Minister for People's Welfare, Azwar Anas, said that 2.24 million children are working in rural areas and a quarter-million children in urban areas.2 The most recent report of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (1994) reported that there are 2.7 million working children aged 10 to 14.3

Where it is the norm for children in our country to begin employment sometimes at 14 with restricted hours, full time (occasionally) at age 16. It is quite the NORM for those in countries you despise to begin working at age 9 or 10. Norms are different for different countries.

In many areas of our country you will still find children down to the age of 6 working FULL TIME, during the summers and up to 20 hours a week, if not more, during the school year. Why are you not protesting farmers about this? Why do you continue to purchase food made in the U.S.A. when much of it is produced directly or indirectly by child labor.

And don't try telling me it doesn't happen - farm boy here.

Your hipocracy is mind-blowing.

I expect you to be out there protesting Checkers this afternoon for purchasing food. Get out there... come on!

common_cents 11 years, 7 months ago

Oh yeah... and those farmers' children don't get paid.

white_mountain 11 years, 7 months ago

Lawrence should be on the cutting edge of society.. why aren't we? We could set the example for others to follow by banning big box retailers like Wal Mart and Home Depot.

common_cents 11 years, 7 months ago

Posted by alm77 (anonymous) on August 31, 2006 at 2:36 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I don't think it's wrong to buy from China,(they got kids to feed too) but to build a multibillion dollar business solely on cheap labor isn't ethical either. They always say they "Give back." and that they "Care." Where are the raises and charitable giving to show for it?

Not slamming on you at all, but thought I would give you just one link about charitable giving. And again... I'm not a Wal Mart fan, I just like to see facts before making a judgement.

There are a few more links there if you are interested.

I agree their wages are low, but they are in line with most retailers out there except Cost Co, a company I think is really cutting edge when it comes to large retail companies and employee wages and benefits.

Costco is getting blasted by stockholders. There's your problem.

common_cents 11 years, 7 months ago

Did I say I condone it? Did I say you should condone it? I just love how you continue to write words for me... it's wonderful. I've never had a ghost writer... very neat.

So, no, I never condoned it. I said it was a norm. Is our country to dictate to other countries how they should change their laws? Are we the world police? Is that what you want? I was under the impression that most people did NOT want us encroaching in the business of other countries.

I understand and agree with your point that U.S. companies should not do this. So they shut down the plant, a localized company takes it over, and then they just buy from that company. That's what will happen.

As I have said, vote with your feet. Consumers drive price, always have, always will. Buy more expensive stuff and jobs will stay here!

And as far as my childhood, suffice it to say I had a great childhood and learned how to respect the hard work done by everyone. I knew what my contribution to the family was and not only was I respected for it, but I developed a great sense as to what it takes to actually grow and produce the food so many take for granted.

You didn't care to know most likely because you knew it would have been a good story. But of course you had to throw a slam in there about bad fathers. Shame on you.

And... I never said I advocated anything, I merely made statements about norms, both in this country and outside this country.

Our own country has a history of child labor as that is a part of a developing economy. Each country must develop on its own and it is NOT the duty of the U.S. to dictate what other countries have to do - they will do it on their own as their economy develops. As those countries evolve economically and adopt regulations against child labor, there will be other countries to take their place.

Instead of acting like a typical U.S. citizen and demanding everything "now," try patience and understanding. It works... really, it does.

common_cents 11 years, 7 months ago

Oh, btw logrithmic, not once have I slammed your username, but you cannot seem to offer me the same courtesy.

common_cents 11 years, 7 months ago


I stated:

I understand that sometimes they are purchasing products from contractors that have children working, but I have never seen a plant built and run by one of those companies employing children."

you posted:

I post an article about Nike employing child labor at 2:29. Now we bestow upon you the title Lack of Common Truth too....

Read my sentence again... "I have never seen a plant built and run by one of those companies employing children."

I never said "no company exists," but instead that I had never SEEN. Now I have.

You cannot bestow upon me the title Lack of Common Truth simply because I had never seen something.

I would accept Lack of That Particular Google Search.

But... you really need to stop writing for other people and stick to the facts.

white_mountain 11 years, 7 months ago

The way I see it, it is the responsibility of employers to provide decent health care to all their employees. Wal Mart has as abysmal record at this. They should be run out of town.

PapaB 11 years, 7 months ago

Maybe we should all take a closer look at where all the merchandise our Ma and Pa stores sell before we go throwing stones at Wal-Mart. Granted, they do obtain a lot of their product from China, but all businesses cut corners and I wonder where all the merchandisers around town get their inventory.

I agree with a cartoon I saw where all the people in a small town stopped going to Wal-Mart and went to a local drug store for everything. The local drug store grew into Wal-Mart proportions, so they had to stop going there too. Yes, it was South Park, but no less true.

Wal-Mart is our own creation.

wbob 11 years, 7 months ago

We have prison labor here in America, don't we?

As bad as sweatshop conditions may be overseas, if the people are working there voluntary, it must be because they prefer it to their alternatives. Is there another explanation?

plutoadobe 11 years, 7 months ago

Check out this movie:

Might change your mind about having another Wal-Mart in our town!

alm77 11 years, 7 months ago

Common, here, on page 10 is a chart comparing giving of foundations. Bill and Melinda Gates is #1 (and he is the richest man in the US) Wal-mart is #18 and they produce the income for 5 of the top 10 richest people. To me, that doesn't add up.

I'm complaining about excess. I know that it's a reflection of their customers. How much Wal-mart crap does a person really need? Excessive consumers, excessive profits. That's Wal-mart.

common_cents 11 years, 7 months ago

Wasn't saying they were going to be the top in charitable, was just pointing to places where you could find that they do actually contribute.

Granted, Sam Walton was MUCH better with things than his kids. I personally think their a greedy lot.

But, that's what this whole conversation is about... everyone wants more.

common_cents 11 years, 7 months ago

Oh alm... here's some food for thought (not a slam)

So many people want big corporations to contribute to foundations, charities, etc... under the guise that they have it so they should give it.

If there are so many people that are upset that there is not enough giving, then why is it that our local charities and organization STRUGGLE to find volunteers.

Lots of speaking and not much doing. Not saying you are one of these, but our local orgs are really in a tough spot. Start spreading the word to get our community in the mix.

lunacydetector 11 years, 7 months ago

if the people of lawrence only voted last election, we wouldn't be dealing with all these hippy crackpots.

i'm surprised mr. mcclure didn't speak of all the blighted office space in this town. there is far greater numbers of vacant office buildings in this town than retail buildings, yet nobody screams when someone wants to build a new office building.

the downtown will thrive and survive as long as an enclosed mall is not built in this city.

glad to see the progressives are recognizing how they have stopped and reversed lawrence's growth. this is why we have higher taxes. PLEASE stop making west lawrence subsidize even further, the east side of town. we need property tax relief and the only answer is more retail/commercial taxes coming in to offset our subsidizing of the smart growth (new urbanism) ideals.

GOPConservative 11 years, 7 months ago

GOP: "As for Pilgrim's comment comparing free enterprise and the laws and supply and demand to socialism, I think the ignorance of that statement speaks for itself."

Pilgrim: You're the one trying to hold back the law of supply and demand. There is a demand for additional retail development in Lawrence, and according to the city's own studies, there is ample room for more supply.

Wrong! You want to artificially create supply by subsidizing development instead of making it pay its own way. That is socialism, Pilgrim. That is "social engineering," or whatever you leftists-pretending-to-be-conservatives call it.

Even worse, your "great socialist experiment" during those last twenty years of the past century. where City Commissioners were doing everything they could to stimulate sprawl. cost all of us taxpayers a whole wad of cash. The tax increases continue as a result of your failed social engineering experiment. Enough is enough.

You tax-and-spend socialists have no comprehension of the what free enterprise is all about. You have no idea of what fiscal responsibility is all about. It always boils down to schemes that either use government as a way to transfer tax dollars to the special interests or as a big-brother to monitor people's private lives.

On the national level, the tax-sucking special interests represent the fulfillment of Eisenhower's prediction about the military-industrial complex. On the local level, it has been the developers who have been the tax suckers. Some of those guys made fortunes on all that sprawl over on your side of town, and a lot of their profits came right out of our pockets of us taxpayers. Of course, you liberal-socialists like higher taxes.

dviper 11 years, 7 months ago

If you don't like Wal-Mart don't shop there. The free market will decide its fate. BTW I don't shop at Wal-Mart.

I find it ironic that the people bashing this development have not said a word in protest to the much larger and high density 'new urbanism' project that will be built across the street (Wakarusa). I wonder if the same arguments of traffic safety, traffic congestion, parking, greenspace islands, too much retail, etc: will be voiced?

A few other facts about Wal-Mart:.

  1. Wal-Mart gave huge donations of money to Bill Clinton while he was governor of Arkansas and US President.

  2. Hillary Clinton was on the Board of Directors of Wal-Mart until 1992.

  3. Bill Clinton gave China MFN (Most Favored Nation) trade status.

  4. Bill Clinton and the DNC (Democratic National Committee) received millions of dollars from a questionable Chinese business man, with high level ties to the Chinese communist government.

  5. Hillary Clinton has recently begun bashing Wal-Mart. Why??? She is positioning herself for a presidential run in 2008, and thinks it will appeal to her supporters.

GOPConservative 11 years, 7 months ago

GOP:"Further his claim [Pilgrim's] that making development pay its own way rather than using the old socialistic tax-and-spend programs of the past will turn Lawrence into another Oskaloosa has to be the stupidest comment I've seen on these boards in quite some time."

Pilgrim: "Yeah, well, you never were too quick on the up-take, Sam."

Do you realize how silly you look when you pull out stock phrases like that each time you get backed into a corner? That one is even more irrelevant and off-the-wall than most.

Of course, your whole paranoia about Lawrence becoming just like Oskaloosa is about as delusional as it gets. Don't worry Pilgrim, Lawrence will never be as small as Oskaloosa. Take another dose of medication, do some deep breathing, and go for a walk.

You left-wing socialists need to quit playing "social engineers" and let the free enterprise work. If we grow, we grow. If we don't, we don't.

As a conservative, I'm all for the present movement in the City Commission to make the developers pay their own way. Why not? I'm for no more subsidies and no more social engineering for growth. What happens happens. Que Será, Será.

If by making development pay for itself, new homes cost more here than in JOCO, so be it. If that means fewer commuters move here, so be it. That's free enterprise.

The fact of the matter is that gas prices are going to continue to rise, and whether you socialists like it or not, living in Lawrence and driving back and forth to the Kansas City area is looking less attractive every day.

You tax-and-spend socialists need to accept the economic conditions and quit trying to stimulate growth with social engineering and higher taxes.

You and your developer friends need to accept that the days of social engineering, subsidies and fiscal irresponsibility on the part of the City Commission has come to an end. You'll just have to let the free enterprise system work for a change without your meddling in it.

Ranting on about the "socialists" like you do when you, looney and a couple of others are bigger socialist anyone is really getting pretty old. You are like the children with big heads running around accusing people of having big heads when their heads are no where as big as yours.

GardenMomma 11 years, 7 months ago

If Walmart were it's own country it would be the world's 8th largest importer of Chinese products.

In 2004, Wal-Mart imported approximately $20 billion worth of 'stuff' from China.

In 2004, the U.S. exported less than $3 billion to China, which included materials to build the things we then imported back to the U.S.

And you wonder why there's a trade deficit?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 7 months ago

"You're either moving forward (growing), or you're going backward (not growing/losing business & population)."

I see you have your usual black-and-white-colored glasses on, Pilgrim.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 7 months ago

There is no more truth in your religion than there is in the Ayatollahs', Pil.

Confrontation 11 years, 7 months ago

Posted by Herynkmom (anonymous) on August 31, 2006 at 10:03 a.m. (Suggest removal)

No, Confrontation, I think it is because you don't have the integrity to put your name where your mouth runs. Dodge City was stepped on mightly by Wal Mart. I saw it happen. Have you pulled your head out enough to take a look at other communities?

Sue Herynk

---Does it really take intergrity to post on here? If you want integrity, try doing something important.

Your post did not say that "WalMart" had stepped on anyone. Use your eyes to read your post and you'll see that you said, "Lawrence, an elephant, a big gray ugly one, is ready to stomp on this town as it has so many others. " Besides than the stupid use of an elephant, your post also makes no sense at all. If blasting your name on the LJWorld website is so important, then why don't you do something decent in the community and get your name in an actual story. No, that would take too much integrity. Typing is easy.

Confrontation 11 years, 7 months ago

It's also funny that you originally planned to remain anonymous (based on the "anonymous" that you used to register). Now, your intergrity is so "high" that you simply added your name to your post.

GOPConservative 11 years, 7 months ago

It is a common misconception that American Eagle located in Ottawa because they didn't get their 80% tax abatement. The fact is that those against American Eagle lost that battle.

American Eagle received the 80% tax abatement from the City Commission. They received it during the era when the tax-and-spend liberals had control of the City Commission. As usual, the social-engineering Commissioners were very generous about giving up tax revenue to benefit outsiders.

American Eagle got everything they asked for and more. They were the ones who decided to move to Ottawa, which is a better location for big box warehouses anyway.

As far as new jobs, American Eagle was to be located outside Eudora. A new trailer park planned nearby was expected to be the main beneficiary of the 100 jobs it was to provide.

A few jobs might have come from Lawrence, but most workers would have been people from Eudora, Desoto and other parts of Johnson County. As I recall, the average pay was something like $7.50/hour.

But the myth of American Eagle is like the myths of old. Even though it is not true, the lie motivates the tax-and-spend liberals like Pilgrim to call everyone else a socialist, hippie, Kommissioner, leftist, etc.

As you can see above, Pilgrim is not against implying that American Eagle didn't get the abatement when in fact he knows better.

It is simply incredible how people like Pilgrim can call others "socialists" when he is the one who favors the old socialist idea of "social engineering" to stimulate growth through tax abatements and making the existing taxpayers pay the costs of sprawl.

common_cents 11 years, 7 months ago

One thing I love about this country is the fact that there is the free and open exchange of ideas and opinions.

One thing I always think is funny is that when certain people disagree with others, many times one will take to name-calling.

logrithmic - quite honestly I am entertained by your lack of constraint. It's interesting to me that you must resort to name-calling when someone disagrees with you. Very entertaining. Now onto your post.

Posted by logrithmic (anonymous) on August 31, 2006 at 4:31 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"Well, maybe it was wrong to say you condoned this but I certainly don't see any condemnation!"

I condemn one country forcing upon another the changing of their way of life. If you don't like what they do, don't buy what they make. Just as we had child labor and our economical environment changed over time by OUR OWN citizens, so must theirs. Maybe you don't agree with that, but then again, you do seem like the type of person that wants to force your beliefs upon others, regardless of their desires.


"If you ask the President of the United States, he'd say yes. "... Is it what I want? If it keeps us from doing what WalMart does, yes."

I know by the tone of your other posts you don't care for Bush, so I just think I'll laugh at you here simply because you show your true colors. (hipocracy)


"Well which is it LCS? Are you happy you worked as a child or not? Do you condone this behavior because it was practiced by your family or not?"

Obviously you didn't understand, nor fully read this section of my post. I won't bother to explain because again, obviously, you are blind to the subject.


"This is fascinating. Seem to remember quite a few wars based on need to correct wrongdoing in other countries. ... If you are using this to justify your belief that it's fine for Walmart to employ children at long hours ...This clearly is an illegal practice and I have no patience nor understanding for it.

I don't remember bringing up the WalMart incident... you were talking about Nike in China. Subject switch?

There was no doubletalk. I was just pointing out, as MANY others had done, that you have a frequent tendency to write your interpretations into others words... also very politician-like.

Suffice it to say we disagree on some subjects and agree on others. But, never once did I change your username to be insulting. At least I could stay above board on that one, unlike you.

I look forward to your link on American law applied on foreign soil when pertaining to child labor law. And don't just give me some fluff story, show me the code.

common_cents 11 years, 7 months ago

Again... you misrepresent me.

I did look it up myself, and it's not there that I can see. I see many places where U.S. corporations choose to apply U.S. regulations to their operations in other countries to satisfy labor groups here in the States. I see plenty of lawyers pulling up laws from the 1700's in order to sue foreign entities who commit crimes against U.S. citizens on their soil.

But I have not seen a U.S. statue which states that U.S. law regulates a company's operations on foriegn soil. That would be a direct invasion of the governance of the foriegn country.

If you want my position, here it is. I do not condone child slave labor anywhere.

I state your hipocracy because as your sentence reads, what Bush chooses to impose is okay with you as long as it ends WalMart. I would seriously doubt that you agree with anything else he does, but I haven't heard your firm position on that. Please state your position in a clear and straightforward fashion.

And about WalMart, I already knew about that. Let's make sure we clarify the story though. As you have left out details it would read that Wal Mart is operating much like the factories in Indonesia, employing 9 years olds or something like that. The section of law which was violated was persons under the age of 18 operating hazardous equipment, such as chain saws, forklifts, and paper bailers. The main incident involved a youth operating a chain saw to trim Christmas trees.

I still expect you to start protesting grocery stores as I guarantee you that most farmers employ persons under the age of 18 who operate hay bailers, combines, tractors, plows, brushhogs, hay loaders and other types of machinery which would be considered "hazardous" by child labor law.

PROVE to me that you are not exhibiting hipocracy by stating your position on the farmers who employ such horrid labor practices here in our country. You still have yet to state your position on this, but instead choose to try and insult my upbringing and ask me if I condone child labor because I worked when I was a child... laughable.

You still haven't gotten yet that I am not for WalMart. I don't want a second location. I really don't want the first location. I don't like taxpayers paying for the improvements necessary to support their sprawling brick and mortar. I believe that corporations coming into this town should pay for the improvements themselves. (By the way, in case you missed this part, this is where I agree with you.)

*** Note - read the above paragraph again in case you misunderstood it.

You say my sheltered perspective will never understand. You don't read closely. You merely read between the lines and infer whatever you want without even considering what the person might actually think.

Your future in energy will be non-existent because you do not pay attention to detail.

Ward 11 years, 7 months ago

Who is this planning commissioner that stated this will make 6th & Wakarusa the nicest intersection in the city?

I wish he were joking. What a joke. He needs to volunteer somewhere else. I'm sure that gazebo and the rest of the wedding cake will be absolutely fabulous. Just stunning. It will look like you've arrived at yet another wasted piece of property turned to asphalt. Ridiculous.



"With this project and the project proposed on the other corner, this intersection could very easily be the nicest intersection in Lawrence," said Planning Commissioner Tom Jennings.

"With this project and the project proposed on the other corner, this intersection could very easily be the nicest intersection in Lawrence," said Planning Commissioner Tom Jennings.

"With this project and the project proposed on the other corner, this intersection could very easily be the nicest intersection in Lawrence," said Planning Commissioner Tom Jennings.

"With this project and the project proposed on the other corner, this intersection could very easily be the nicest intersection in Lawrence," said Planning Commissioner Tom Jennings.

common_cents 11 years, 7 months ago

Food for thought on farming, since you won't take my word (or experience - although I didn't say mine was bad... it was actually fun)

I only bring these things up because most people are so quick to slam on China, Indonesia, (walmart) et. al. but choose ignore the labor that went into the very food they put into their mouths.

armyguy 11 years, 7 months ago

common_cents, you should check out Jayhawk box for your boxes, peanuts, bubble wrap, They about one tenth the price of any place I have seen in town, or out of town. Walk in box sales rule,

Wuck Fal-Mart.

Richard Heckler 11 years, 7 months ago

Shopping at Wal-Mart is your patriotic duty.

Really. The new Wal-Mart commercials say it, so it must be true.

Gone are the days of bouncing happy faces watching for falling prices; in are cheesy campaign commercials claiming that shopping at Wal-Mart buys "a whole lot of freedom."

If I didn't know any better, I'd think that Wal-Mart was running for Congress.

These ads are misleading and ridiculous. This is a company with a track record of treating its employees unfairly, of getting taxpayers to pay its bills and of running jobs out of the United States. Yesterday, I wrote to television stations and state Attorneys General in Arizona and Nebraska to ask that they remove ads from the public airways that are filled with inaccurate statistics.

View the ads and join our call for Wal-Mart to end its "for Wal-Mart" ad campaign:

These ads are the work Wal-Mart's newest employee: Leslie Dach. Ever heard of him?

After a proud and accomplished career in Washington DC, where he's advised presidents, CEOs, and Kings alike, Dach, a self-proclaimed activist and environmentalist, packed his bags and moved to Arkansas for the job of Executive Vice President Corporate Affairs and Government Relations, a job he's getting paid a reported $3 million for.

It's a new day for Wal-Mart, right? Well, not exactly.

You see, Dach first traded on his political cred in 2005 when he built Wal-Mart's infamous "PR War Room." Under his leadership, Wal-Mart and Dach's team of high-priced Washington consultants (estimated at over $1 million per month) has waged a bruising attack on their critics - a campaign to deflect attention from real issues.

But now they've gone too far.

"Working Families for Wal-Mart," a fake "grassroots group," has been Dach's biggest effort yet. Created with former Ambassador Andrew Young, who served as the sole spokesman until his outrageous comments about inner-city business owners last week, "for Wal-Mart" is a pure political sham.

And this week, taking a page from his old political playbook, Dach has led his new corporate bosses into the wild world of campaign smear ads. Watch the new ads here .

We're not going to let Wal-Mart get away with these ads.

Call on Wal-Mart to end their campaign against accountability:

The American people want more from the world's largest retailer than a fancy, overproduced television ad - they want higher wages, fair healthcare, eco-friendly policies, and a basic understanding that Wal-Mart's actions impact every aspect of our country's economy.

Leslie Dach isn't fooling anyone.

We can see through the smoke screens of corrupt politicians, and we can see through Wal-Mart's too.

Wal-Mart is going to have to sell a lot more than freedom to the American people to answer for its business policies.

cowboy 11 years, 7 months ago

I find it pathetic reading all of you " jump on Walmart people " posts. Did you all go to the same "meet up group".

Every store in Lawrence sells the same chinese crap. Go thru Target, its all there , go to westlake , its all there , go to dillons , its all there , go to kohls , its all there , go to Crown Toyota , its all there , just a different 'nese. nissan , Kia , on and on.

Citgo , Venezuela , BP Britain , all US manufacturiing has been sold out by many successive crooked administrations and this is the result. Want to get angry get angry at your government. Frigging Crooks ! Tar and feathers for the whole bunch of them. Bulldozers at the edge of DC and head to the Ocean !

Tychoman 11 years, 7 months ago

When and where, cowboy. When and where :)

GOPConservative 11 years, 7 months ago

LOL, Pilgrim. As if you have compassion for anyone other than yourself and the other socialists who are always using double talk to promote schemes to ripoff the taxpayers. No one is believing your bull, so if you might as well give up on trying to pretend are a lover of poor people.

You tax-and-spenders are like all other socialists with your schemes of "social engineering" that, curiously, also always increase the bottom line of the speculators.

Since you guys can't justify your tax-and-spend ideas, all you can do is claim that those who don't like being ripped off or losing quality of life are against "change." Gimme a break! LOL

East Hills Business Park is just outside Eudora, not just outside of Lawrence as you falsely imply. If anyone reads the archives, the nearby trailer park was a part of the development package being presented to the City Commission by the American Eagle proponents.

Common sense tells anyone but the ignorant fools who believe your crap that very few of those low-wage jobs would have been filled by anyone from Lawrence.

Anyway, changing the subject as you did avoided the fact that you were once again caught in a lie. Contrary to the subject of your daily whine, American Eagle got everything it wanted but decided on Ottawa so they could be closer to the other warehouses that already have and should continue to be located there.

Lawrence can do muich better than being the location for big-box warehouses. In that 40 acre warehouse that would have been blight on the Kaw bottoms, a high-tech company could have built a beautiful building in a good location that could have employed a thousand people at an average wage of $20 per hour.

The only reason you are still whining about American Eagle is probably because you or your coherts had some kind of backroom financial stake in all that speculation, not because you "feel the pain" of a couple of dozen Lawrence citizens were denied the opportunity to make $7.50 per hour instead of $5.15 per hour.

You crack me up with your delusional transparency.

Thanks for the laughs.

Tychoman 11 years, 7 months ago

There you go again saying that we're just jealous because of its success. You are so full of it, Pilgrim.

People who are jealous don't actively avoid those they're jealous of.

It's not jealousy we hold for WalMart, it's unadulterated distrust and anger.

stbaker 11 years, 7 months ago

I have a hard time believing that a town the size of Lawrence will support (customer base) a second Wal-Mart. Especially after the 31st street locaton just expanded their store. Ottawa has a SuperWal-Mart, Topeka has several, KC Metro area has many...And if Lawrence growth has/is tapering off some, will there be enough shoppers?

lunacydetector 11 years, 7 months ago

if the normal people of lawrence only voted last election, we wouldn't be dealing with all these hippy crackpots.

i'm surprised mr. mcclure didn't speak of all the blighted office space in this town. there is far greater numbers of vacant office buildings in this town than retail buildings, yet nobody screams when someone wants to build a new office building.

the downtown will thrive and survive as long as an enclosed mall is not built in this city.

glad to see the progressives are recognizing how they have stopped and reversed lawrence's growth. this is why we have higher taxes. PLEASE stop making west lawrence subsidize even further, the east side of town. we need property tax relief and the only answer is more retail/commercial taxes coming in to offset our subsidizing of the smart growth (new urbanism) ideals.

GOPConservative 11 years, 7 months ago

The location for American Eagle was not in the East Hills Business Park but on land adjacent to a far corner of the Park. The location was about 3.5 miles from Eudora and between 5 to 7 miles from the sprawl of West Lawrence.

Of course, none of this is very relevant. We both know your constantly returning to this petty stuff about mileage is just an obfuscation to avoid the real issues.

Contrary to you delusional statement, I don't have an "anti-business" attitude. I have been a businessman all my life. My father and nearly all members of my family were and are business people. Most of my good friends are business people. It was business people who were against the American Eagle abatement.

Most business people I knew at the time didn't like the idea of letting American Eagle get away with NOT paying millions in taxes. We are people who work hard for our money. We have to pay taxes on our businesses, homes and other property. Why should some hotshot elitist outsider from back east get out of paying taxes, especially that big of chunk of taxes?

I strongly believe in free enterprise and business, but your idea of business is much different than mine. Your kind's idea of "business" is sucking up to those who are constantly figuring out ways to screw the taxpayers and get more subsidizes and tax abatements.

The only bitching I do is to occasionally take you big-government, tax-and-spend, socialists, who are on these boards day after day bitching, whining, complaining and being as divisive as you possible can as you push to support everything possible to drive out small business.

My bitching is about your bitching, your divisive tactics, your misinformation and your outright lies.

Speaking of which, you know very well that the City Commission gave American Eagle an 80% tax abatement, but you are still trying to create a smokescreen.

There are scores of articles about that fact in the LJW archives. Typical is one that described the anger people had about the tax-and-spend liberals on the City Commission when thy passed the abatement that would have allowed American Eagle to get away with NOT paying millions in taxes that the rest of us have to pay.

That article said In part:

"The session was promised in response to bitter controversy about tax breaks granted to land an American Eagle Outfitters distribution center. The 80 percent, 10-year tax break prompted re-evaluation of Lawrence's approach to creating jobs and recruiting investment."

Tychoman 11 years, 7 months ago

What makes you assume that people like us against WalMart are against any company being successful beyond "Mom and Pop" status, as you claim?

Instead of answering my question, feel free to just leave.

Tychoman 11 years, 7 months ago

Just because I'm against WalMart's lack of ethics and destruction of all things good and decent doesn't mean I'm not for the success of others. Nothing about my posts confirm this weird conclusion you came to about me. You probably would make the same assumption that just because I don't like Bush is the same as me hating the U.S. with every fiber of my being. What a moronic conclusion to jump to.

Why do I single out WalMart? Because they singled us out and refused to back down when the city made it clear that that location isn't necessarily the best, and that the city doesn't NEED another one.

opinion 11 years, 7 months ago


You said: "Because they singled us out and refused to back down when the city made it clear that that location isn't necessarily the best, and that the city doesn't NEED another one."

A few in the city may have said that they don't want WM but their (WM's) sales are telling them something different. Our city/planning comm has yet to speak for me. I think that is what WM has come to understand about Lawrence - what is said by the loud few doesn't always reflect they quiet many.

I don't shop at WM so I don't really care if they open another one or not.

Tychoman 11 years, 7 months ago

The commission first told them a long time ago that 6th and Wakarusa is a bad place for even more development at a greater pace than it already is. It doesn't belong there, they refused to take no for an answer when they were told to build somewhere else. Plus, the city doesn't need one. People who are too lazy to drive 10 freaking minutes each way are the most vocal pro-WM people.

The quiet many? The supporters of the new WM are anything but quiet (as nice as that would be) but that brought a smile to my face anyway.

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