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Archive for Friday, June 30, 2006

Wal-Mart submits plans for Sixth St. development

First-class’ project calls for 5 buildings

June 30, 2006

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Let the review begin.

Wal-Mart leaders and local developers submitted plans to City Hall on Thursday that would allow the megaretailer and five other businesses to locate at the northwest corner of Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive.

"We want it to be something that the entire city will be pleased with," said Angie Stoner, a Wal-Mart spokeswoman.

The plans give a glimpse at what the Wal-Mart store may look like. As part of the required submittals, the company presented a draft of the architectural design of the store.

Company officials, however, said the design could change dramatically after they receive input from city planners next week. Part of an April court settlement between Wal-Mart and the city required that Wal-Mart submit a plan for the building that keeps with the "highest level of aesthetics."

Wal-Mart has submitted plans for a 99,985-square-foot store at the northwest corner of Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive. Wal-Mart officials say the store will have a look somewhat like the retailer's store at 15700 Metcalf Ave. in Overland Park, pictured above.

Wal-Mart has submitted plans for a 99,985-square-foot store at the northwest corner of Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive. Wal-Mart officials say the store will have a look somewhat like the retailer's store at 15700 Metcalf Ave. in Overland Park, pictured above.

In addition to Wal-Mart, the plan includes four other buildings. Those are:

¢ A 7,300-square-foot building that could accommodate a restaurant.

¢ An 1,800-square-foot building listed as a coffee shop-type of business.

¢ A 5,000-square-foot building that has no use listed.

¢ A building that is divided into a 4,900-square-foot space and a 2,500-square-foot space.

Bill Newsome, a partner in 6Wak Land Investments, said those buildings would be designed in a similar style as the Wal-Mart.

"This will be a first-class development," Newsome said. "It will send the right message for this intersection. It will send the message that Lawrence is a high-quality place."

The public won't get its first chance to weigh in on the project until August. Planners have a goal of presenting the project to the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission for review at its Aug. 23 meeting. The plans will have to be approved by city commissioners before construction could begin. It is expected to take 12 to 18 months to build the store.

The plans come after Wal-Mart and the city reached an agreement in April to halt a 3-year-old lawsuit on whether the retailer should be allowed to build on the site. The two parties agreed to suspend the lawsuit to give Wal-Mart time to submit plans for a store smaller than the 132,000-square-foot center it was seeking permission from the court to build.

The new store would be 99,985 square feet, which is about half the size of many new Wal-Marts.

Neighbors, though, are concerned that the plan submitted to City Hall is designed to easily accommodate expansion. That's because a large lot directly east of the store is left vacant on the plans.

Reader poll
What do you think of the new Wal-Mart plans for Sixth and Wakarusa?

or See the results without voting

"It looks like it would be very easy to punch out one of the walls and just expand," said Alan Cowles, president of the West Lawrence Neighborhood Assn., which has been concerned about traffic congestion in the area.

Such an expansion would require a future City Commission to rezone the property, but the April agreement does not preclude a future City Commission from considering an expansion request from Wal-Mart.

The ownership group for the property, though, said that was not the plan for the property. Newsome said the property was zoned for office use, and that had been the zoning for the piece of property well before the Wal-Mart project was proposed.

"There is no agenda for any retail other than what is on this plan," Newsome said. "If a viable (candidate) comes along and wants that lot, we're prepared to move forward on it today."

Comments

lori 8 years, 6 months ago

I think it's pretty funny to use the terms "first-class" and "Wal-Mart" in the same thought.

hobb2264 8 years, 6 months ago

"We want it to be something that the entire city will be pleased with," said Angie Stoner, a Wal-Mart spokeswoman.

Good luck with that in this town...

Bialystocknbloom-

The commission has already approved the Wal-Mart. This is just a matter of what it looks like. Like it or not, there will be a Wal-Mart at 6th and Wakarusa. Also, just so you are aware, there is already a "northern bypass" for Lawrence... it is I-70.

neo_star 8 years, 6 months ago

the store at 157th & Metcalf in OP is pretty well designed, don't knock it until you've seen it. Sure, it's still another wallymart but that store is the best design those price chippers have come up with to date.

Redzilla 8 years, 6 months ago

I agree, Lori. A "first-class" Wal-Mart is like a pig in a prom dress.

audvisartist 8 years, 6 months ago

They should have put K Mart out there instead.

Tanya Spacek 8 years, 6 months ago

what Wal-Mart pays its employees allows them get food stamps and Medicaid. actually, they don't have much of a choice. it's Medicaid or no health insurance, food stamps or no food. that sucks away quite a bit of the "added revenue." considering Wal-Mart gets buttloads of tax breaks and incentives to build a store, there isn't a good side to any of this. we'll end up paying out the butt for the "privilege" of having another Wal-Mart plant itself down in our town. woohoo.

Jeanne Cunningham 8 years, 6 months ago

Did you try to vote? It didn't work when I tried.

scott3460 8 years, 6 months ago

"the store will have a look somewhat like the retailer's store at 15700 Metcalf Ave. in Overland Park, pictured above"

Yipee, more Johnson County sprawl being delivered to Lawrence by the same helpful developers and real estate interests that have brought us:

-the 23rd Street traffic nightmare -scads of ugly westside development thrown up in the 90's without any thought to planning and traffic - the current intersection of 6th and Wakarusa -year after year of "widening" and other work on 6th Street -screwy plans for the "development" of Clinton in to a resort destination for the wealthy -paving over the Baker University wetlands -abandoned chemical plants and other brownfields -etc....

Can't wait till I get to sit for 45 minutes in traffic at 6th and Wakarusa like I get to at 435 and Metcalf!!! That is when I make the mistake of wandering in to the bowels of that wastleand. Lawrence used to be a nice town, too bad it being ruined by the wrong element.

Godot 8 years, 6 months ago

They should put in a mini-Walmart on the ground floor of the Hobbs Taylor building.

gontek 8 years, 6 months ago

I was just out at 6th & Wak the other day thinking to myself, I need a reflective sun sheild for my cars windsheild, I sure wish there was a walmart out here. Now I either have to hop onto K-10 and drive 70 mph across town to the dead end of the highway to go to Walmart, or I could just go to Westlake at Kasold.

Sarcasm aside, a walmart there would be nice, I could drive from my residence downtown to walmart on 6th and hit the Hyvee on the way home.

Godot 8 years, 6 months ago

You want to get some of the benefit of Walmart's success, move to Arkansas.

cutny 8 years, 6 months ago

Yeah, gosh, that 10 minute drive across town to go to the existing Wal-Mart is just BRUTAL isn't it QuitBitchin? Oh, it's such a long drive I need a nap when I get home. Macon, for someone who does not shop at Wal-Mart, you spend a suspiciously large amount of time defending them. Wal-Mart is a travesty, and the fact that there's going to be another is not a good sign.

conservative 8 years, 6 months ago

I'm glad it's finally going to be built. And frankly I hope they do expand it eventually. It'd be nice to have a full featured one on the North side of town.

Emily Hadley 8 years, 6 months ago

I have an idea, 1. let's not shop there and 2. make sure they don't get tax incentives to build. If they do, maybe we should finally get that living wage from all the revenue that they'll bring (and take from) the city. (Before anyone flips out in their reply, the living wage is a real minimum wage that would be required of large companies that receive tax dollars in exchange for boosting the local economy, such as Border's Books and Wal-Mart. These large companies that can angle for tax breaks are often corporations that export about 5% of their gross revenues to pay their administration and marketing salaries. The living wage compensates for that economic loss and takes care of employees' basic needs so that tax-paid social services don't have to. It also allows smaller, unsubsidized businesses to compete by keeping their lower wages.)

pundit 8 years, 6 months ago

1st Class Walmart.

What an oxymoron.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 8 years, 6 months ago

A DEEEEEEEE-LUX Walmart! OOOO-WEE!

Note to self: avoid that intersection for the remainder of my natural life. Just a Walmart, even without all the other crap, would make that intersection a log-jam of honking cars. Now, with all the other "deluxe" enhancements AND THE HIGH SCHOOL, that intersection is going to be a mess. Those high school kids will be having wrecks every couple of weeks.

Holy Moses. This seals the deal for me: I'll never live in that part of town. Too many cars. No real "character" to the area. Why? What do I need out there? Geez.

jafs 8 years, 6 months ago

I believe the new Wal-Mart will take away more from Lawrence than it provides. The reasons are well-known: the jobs provided are low-paying and without benefits, there are a variety of tax breaks, etc. given to large developments which offset the tax revenue, traffic congestion, etc. I find it disturbing that many suggest that if one dislikes the direction Lawrence is moving in, one should move elsewhere. What kind of town/city Lawrence becomes is up to the residents, and we should all exercise our Constitutional right to express our views and attempt to create the kind of place we would like Lawrence to become. Also, given the current economic climate, it seems harsh to criticize those who can't get other jobs than Wal-Mart type jobs. It seems that America (with Lawrence as a microcosm) is becoming a "love it or leave it" country with little tolerance for dissent, and a country which cares little or nothing for the welfare of its' citizens. This stands in stark contrast to the founding of this nation, which was founded on the principles of free speech and the right to dissent, and an attempt to provide opportunities for all. I believe the founders would be rather disappointed with present-day America.

alm77 8 years, 6 months ago

OldE,

Too bad for me, I already live here. Now what am I gonna do?

Wal-mart sucks and I don't shop there and I won't. Not even when it's in my freaking back yard.

Tony Kisner 8 years, 6 months ago

Walmart was really killing us when they were pitching the idea in the first place, "we'll be a good neighbor, clean - nice to look at, well kept". At the same time the kept the dump on Iowa looking like a war zone. Are they to be trusted to be good neighbors? This thing will look like trash in 5 years like they all do. Not much return on investment to pave the parking lot, and paint the building.

Note, I think the evil empire some how shut down the voting on LJW.

jafs 8 years, 6 months ago

Macon, without government involvement, we would still most likely have child labor, brutal and inhumane treatment of employees, no minimum wage at all, etc. Businesses are generally only concerned with the bottom line. If we want our society to be humane, we must use government to ensure that possibility. Pilgrim, why shouldn't we as Lawrence citizens be concerned about the kind of jobs a business is going to bring to our town?

conservative 8 years, 6 months ago

Jafs, please tell us exactly what tax breaks Wal-mart is getting. I am personally not aware of a single one.

And Jafs, the people saying if you don't like the direction then move, are simply responding to the scores of posts in other threads saying if you don't like smalltown Lawrence you should get out.

jafs 8 years, 6 months ago

Conservative, I am not aware of the specifics, but it is well-known that businesses generally get a variety of tax breaks when they come into a town, predicated on their "creating jobs" and helping the local economy. Also, who is paying for any necessary infrastructure creation? Wal-Mart or the city? Also, I have not seen many (if any) posts like the ones you mention. Lawrence has become a small city already, and much of the small town atmosphere has been lost. The current question, to my mind, is will Lawrence become a functional and sustainable small city?

bender 8 years, 6 months ago

I say we let them build it, and then invoke eminent domain and take it away from them.

ladysilk 8 years, 6 months ago

The caption under the picture says it all...lets turn Lawrence into another Kansas City or Topeka. Lets make 6th and Wak look like Metcalf or Wannamaker!

conservative 8 years, 6 months ago

Jafs, for your edification. Retail businesses don't get incentives like industrial businesses do. They don't qualify for the tax abatements. And Wal-mart has to pay for the cost of the street improvements. It was part of the agreement in letting them build.

So where do you stand now that they aren't getting any sort of free ride?

Christine Pennewell Davis 8 years, 6 months ago

oh build it already I think the high and mighty can deal with the poor other side of track people in the neighbor hood for a little bit every day. Just in case you do not know it the trash goes that way all the time just to check it out and see how the other half lives. Must tell you I like the other side of town in the HOLIDAY season you rich people are really tight wads on decorations.

freudian_slip 8 years, 6 months ago

I'm not in favor of any big retail outlet being so close to any public school, even if it's a high school. It puts too much congestion in a confined area. The traffic will lead to many student car wrecks. Guaranteed.

Not a good combination between the students who drive eratically and the scum that shop at Wal-Mart driving half baked.

bookoff 8 years, 6 months ago

I can't believe so many people on here want a Wal-Mart. I live in Lawrence because its not Topeka or Johnson County. Why would people living here want this town to turn into that? I don't mind change at all, but it seems like a step backwards to me. I think we all pay tenfold in the long run for extra convenience.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 8 years, 6 months ago

"I find it disturbing that many suggest that if one dislikes the direction Lawrence is moving in, one should move elsewhere."

Yeah. Like... WHERE would I move? Every city and town is doing this sort of thing. The lure of sales tax revenues is an opiate that city governments can't resist. I'm not a Walmart hater, but when a city's leaders allows an intersection to get as nasty with traffic as 6th & Wak is getting, our needs are not being met. I'm not that upset with the idea of Walmart having more than one location in town (it'll make the old one less crowded), but I don't like what it does to that intersection. You have all the commerce on the existing corners, plus the high school, plus the ever-increasing commuter traffic heading for 40 Hwy/K-10/I-70. THAT was ENOUGH. You don't have to be a traffic engineer (like Ethan Hunt) to know that we won't be having a Holly Jolly Christmas at 6th & Wak this coming December. And Walmart won't care. As long as they can fill their lot with 19 year old minivans (along with that golf cart with a blue light on top), they'll be happy.

Christine Pennewell Davis 8 years, 6 months ago

these are the same students that go flying out of there now at lucnch to go across the street? well I bet most people going to walmart will be driving better than that, have you seen these highschool kids at the end of the day trying to get the heck out of there and lhs as well I do believe they are the bigger risk walmart or no walmart.

freudian_slip 8 years, 6 months ago

No, I disagree momma. High school students are just trying to get home and do their homework and spend quality time with family. Have you seen the way cookers drive when they hear the prices on Sudafed have just been rolled back at Wal-Mart!?! They'll come screaming over to the west side from the east side like they have fire coming out their ass! The east side Wal-Mart knows these peoples faces, so now they will have fresh pharmacy workers to con.

CheyenneWay 8 years, 6 months ago

You will shop at this store once it opesn, it is a tradition among your people. The desire to purchase cheap asian knock-offs compels you to the very core of your exsistence.

Just make sure you watch the Frontline episode about Wal-Mart. It can be watched FOR FREE at the following website.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/walmart/view/

bookoff 8 years, 6 months ago

Why are all of the pro-Walmart people saying "move if you don't like it"? This is my town too, I have been here for 10 years. I can voice my opinion too, even if im not pro-big business. Down with bullies.

conservative 8 years, 6 months ago

Bookoff, I haven't told anyone to move, but I've seen the number of posts in other threads on this topic where the anti-walmart people said they liked the small town atmosphere of Lawrence and if you wanted it to grow you should move. In other words both sides have their people who are telling people they disagree with to get out.

Xresident 8 years, 6 months ago

I grew up in Lawrence and love it for what it is but this Wal-Mart is going to happen and is already slated to go there. The best thing the city can do at this point is regulate how it will look, what they can do there etc. The one they referenced at 159th and Metcalf was a 2 year fight with the City of OP. (I live 2 blocks north of this Wal-Mart) Things the city made them do was limit the amount of truck delivery traffic and the times of delivery. They also required a HUGE amount of landscaping. (You can hardly see the store) The store is by far the best looking Wal-Mart I've ever seen and people are constantly blown away by it (for a Wal-Mart) when they see it the first time.

They city also kept Wal-Mart from allowing overnight stays by semi trucks, which I guess Wal-Mart allows in some areas.

Basically, for those that say we don't need one or it isn't good for jobs, then let the public speak. If the this creates awful traffic, that is because people are shopping there!!! If people are being hired to work there, it means they needed the job. If it is so bad for the community, then the community won't work there or shop there. For the developers, Wal-Mart is a no brainer. Their objective is to find a store that will be used by the public as well as be a good tenant for them. Wal-Mart is an "A" credit tenant who brings in other strong national tenants to their development. I know that "Lawrence" doesn't like this type of sprawl, well stay downtown then and don't go that way. My bet is that people that live out there already, will be more than happy to shop there.

As for "consumer1" goes, if you're more than happy to spend the $750,000 to fight the thing, break out your check book and stroke a check. I think the city has spent enough tax payer money in this losing battle, especially when the neighborhood will be happy to have it.

By the way, the south OP Wal-Mart is sandwhiched between 2 high schools less than a mile away on 159th street. I have not seen one accident there in the 3+ years the Wal-Mart has been there.

Godot 8 years, 6 months ago

Jafs wrote: "I believe the new Wal-Mart will take away more from Lawrence than it provides. The reasons are well-known: the jobs provided are low-paying and without benefits."

Yeah, they should continue to be unemployed. That is much better for the community.

conservative 8 years, 6 months ago

bialy, funny from my side it feels like the residents of Lawrence are overwhelmingly yes. Wonder what an actual poll would show.

fletch 8 years, 6 months ago

"This will be a first-class development," Newsome said. "It will send the right message for this intersection. It will send the message that Lawrence is a high-quality place."

Yeah, because when I think Walmart, I think high-quality.

Sarah Rahija 8 years, 6 months ago

After reading all of these really interesting responses ... I find myself silently responding to many of them.

I see people demeaning those who shop at WalMart (maybe it's what they can afford, maybe they like to get everything at once instead of shopping at 5 different stores, maybe they don't want to support small businesses that charge outrageous - opinions are highly valued here - prices for similar items, maybe they like shopping late at night, maybe a lot of things) and those who work at WalMart (maybe it's the only skill-set they have ... maybe it's the only timeframe they have so they don't have to hire childcare or so they can be home with their children during the day ... maybe it's a second job ... maybe a lot of things).

We all have choices ... like it's been stated, we choose to live in this community, we choose (to some degree) the job we work, we choose where we shop, we choose to share our opinions. In those choices we have responsibilities. Upon choosing to live in a community, we are responsible to vote for community govt. figures that represent the best interests of the community and letting them know our needs/opinions in community issues, responsiblities to work our jobs to the best of our abilities (if unhappy, find a way to change the situation), make responsible financial choices, AND in sharing our opinions, respect that other's have opinions too (although they may not be the same as, ever change to, or remotely reflect anything that resemble our own).

After living in this community for a measly two years, I have noticed that relationships are important to many. Relationships between business and community, government and community, and neighbors and community. This is a great place to share opinions and ideas, meet others with similar interests, and maybe locate resources to help us make positive, responsible choices with amazing results -- why tear others down, it only creates hostility and further divides the community.

Sorry for the long post ... saved everything for one instead of responding to individual posts. I am sure there will be lots of sarcasm posted in response to this, maybe even name-calling, or attacks on my educational level or social station. That's okay ... we all have our opinions.

conservative 8 years, 6 months ago

MKLady, Great Post!

Quitbitchin. Here's a perfect example from a local company. The same product from Packerware sells for less at Wal-mart than at Target.

imagold 8 years, 6 months ago

If you don't want traffic out there, quit building out there. Houses included. Simple. The school brought in too much traffic if you ask me. Young, inexperienced, in a hurry, drivers. And speaking of Free State students, if they aren't as hoity-toity as some out here, they'll probably be working at Wal-Mart to help pay for their beer before the prom. Get crackin' on that store. I can't wait to be able to stop there on my way home.

Kelly Powell 8 years, 6 months ago

macon: You have to admit that lawrence pays people less then similar size towns do.....We have a 20 thousand plus temp labor pool that comes in every year and is willing to work for sh!t.....

passionatelibra 8 years, 6 months ago

I don't understand why everyone is arguing over the 2nd Wal-Mart, it's already been approved. Is there a way that it can be stopped that I haven't heard about?

thisiknow 8 years, 6 months ago

once you buy groceries at Wal-Mart, you will be hooked!!!!! Excellent prices, quantity, quality and you will not have topay grocery store price for the little extras you might need,ie,toilet paper and laundry detergent. The fact that all of you are griping makes me believe you do not feel the pinch of the soaring prices. I feel it and I will shop where I can stretch my dollar.

fletch 8 years, 6 months ago

passionatelibra: It can't be stopped (for the most part), but it's at least important to be vocal to developers to let them know that developing stripmall after stripmall is irritating people and poor land-use policy. I'm happy Walmart is making steps to avoid making this look like a giant concrete parking lot with a monolith Walmart cube at the end, but it's still another Walmart and probably not needed by the town.

I only say this from having lived in suburbs during most of my developmental life. I drive around the Dallas suburbs and almost every major intersection has a Super Walmart, Super Target, or Big K at it. First off, it's just silly to think people can't drive the extra two miles to the next Walmart down the road. Second, all of these developments take up a huge amount of space because of the giant parking lots that are never full except the day after Christmas. The problem is that Walmart (and Target to a lesser degree) has a policy of building new stores rather than renovating old stores. This usually leaves an empty husk of a Walmart store that is almost completely useless to any other businesses (too large for grocery stores, too ill fitting for other large retailers, too expensive for local businesses to retrofit). When that Walmart goes away, all the other businesses at the shopping center dry up. Then the property values around it go down because nobody wants to live next to an abandonned shopping center.

At the end of the day, this Walmart's going to go up, and it's probably going to be successful, because god knows it's a hard 10 minute drive for all those people up at 6th and Wak to go to the other one. I still wish Walmart had been willing to consider putting in a Sam's Club instead. It would have still given them corporate profit, and it would have done great business in a college town where you have to drive to Topeka or JoCo to get to the closest Sam's. But we'll never see that day, I guess.

Sheryl Wiggins 8 years, 6 months ago

Sarah~I think you said that very well, thanks!

jbrittm 8 years, 6 months ago

As someone who used to live on that side of town, I feel that another Wal-Mart is not needed. I mean, you've got two grocery stores - HyVee and Dillons - within a mile of you already. Not to mention the Walgreens. I agree with some that this would just be a waste of money and space.

freudian_slip 8 years, 6 months ago

Posted by Bowhunter99 (anonymous) on June 30, 2006 at 1:51 p.m. (Suggest removal)

a bunch of whinners that complain about Wal-mart, yet visit it very often...

what a bunch of pigs on prom dresses!


Where did we all say that we frequent the place? Don't be a hater. I won't be crowding the aisles of your favorite store making it hard for you to get to your NASCAR beer koozies and orange Igloo drink coolers. You'll have plenty of room to roam around and shop for your $8 bass t-shirts and $10 Lee jeans.

GardenMomma 8 years, 6 months ago

All right everyone! Everyone who has commented on this article should also make your comments known to the city commission. It doesn't matter which way you feel about the developements - for or against. MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD in the place where it counts. I will. Then, when the decision doesn't go the way you want you can't complain because you did your part - make your voice heard, your opinions known, and let the city commission and the rest of the decision-makers know what the public wants.

Do not just write on this blog, write to your representatives. Do not think your opinion doesn't matter. It won't matter if you don't make it known where it counts - in public forum. This LJW blog is not a public forum. Go to the city meetings, write letters, send e-mails. Do it or don't complain at the result.

scott3460 8 years, 6 months ago

"You may not be a hater, but you definitely have that superiority complex set on full tilt boogie. Does being so high and mighty give you a nose bleed?"

What's so wrong with being superior? Many of the people that comment here are probably, in fact, significantly superior to the breeders and dung producers that make up most of walmart's customer base. Our whole society is based on striving to be superior and screwing your fellow man in order to do so. What's the harm in letting it show?

scott3460 8 years, 6 months ago

"at least give them credit for providing what the majority of people want to buy"

Who was it that said you would never go broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public? Maybe Twain, or perhaps, Ambrose Pierce? Will Rogers? Anyway, whoever it was was dead on right.

Rebecca Valburg 8 years, 5 months ago

Posted by Jafs: "I believe the new Wal-Mart will take away more from Lawrence than it provides. The reasons are well-known: the jobs provided are low-paying and without benefits, there are a variety of tax breaks, etc. given to large developments which offset the tax revenue, traffic congestion, etc.

and

"I am not aware of the specifics, but it is well-known that businesses generally get a variety of tax breaks when they come into a town, predicated on their "creating jobs" and helping the local economy. Also, who is paying for any necessary infrastructure creation? Wal-Mart or the city?"

Okay, if you don't know the facts, or as you put it "are not aware of the specifics," you're not making yourself look any more intelligent by making them up. Everyone else has pointed out that Wal-Mart DIDN'T get tax breaks in Lawrence. Their jobs ARE low-paying compared to jobs that require degrees or professional experience - Wal-Mart doesn't even require a high school diploma (hell, they have a program set up to help you get a GED for FREE). When you compare apples to apples (for example, an entry level job at Target, Home Depot, or any grocery store), Wal-Mart usually comes out on top. Regarding benefits, Wal-Mart has one of the better benefits packages offered by retailers. Health insurance, even for part-time employees (check your other big box retailers for that), a 10% discount on nearly everything (keep in mind that lots of Wal-Mart merchandise is actually sold below cost when comparing the discounts other companies offer, as well as how much of your daily consumables can be purchased there), discounts at close to 100 other companies (rental cars, travel, cell phone carriers, etc), 401Ks, stock matching, corporate grants given to the non-profit orgs you choose to volunteer for, and lots, lots more. If you prefer to compare them to mom and pop shops, keep in mind that Wal-Mart can buy insurance policies (life, health) in bulk. There are people working at your local Wal-Mart that also work at or even OWN local businesses - I suspect it's the benefits, not the pay, keeping them. As for the infrastructure, last I heard, the bill for the current expansion in Lawrence was in excess of $30 million, several times what the cost of just abandoning the building and starting over. And yes, Wal-Mart had to pay for the street to be expanded, and the new stoplight to be put in.

Rebecca Valburg 8 years, 5 months ago

If you want to hate Wal-Mart, I have absolutely no problem with that - there are a lot of great reasons to do so. Your "well-known" reasons, however, are largely the result of believing unfounded rumors and propaganda put out by organizations with their OWN money-making agendas. Take the time to educate yourself - ask someone who actually works there if you'd like - making up your own facts and believing propaganda only detracts attention away from the real problems.

You may not like McDonalds, either, but there's absolutely no sense in standing on the street corner bemoaning the "fact" that they only use hamster meat in their Big Macs.

Rebecca Valburg 8 years, 5 months ago

And before you comment to the city commission, please make sure you read and understand the article. The Wal-Mart going in is a done deal - if you recall a few months back, Wal-Mart took legal action against the city, because it was going against its OWN ZONING trying to keep it out. Battling at this point is a waste of taxpayer dollars. Like it or not, Wal-Mart has made sure to get the law on its side.

If you are concerned about the color of the facade of the building, or the plants you want used in the landscaping, those are the types of things that your commissioners can negotiate at this point.

Rebecca Valburg 8 years, 5 months ago

And no, observer. I do not get a bonus to "fluff propaganda" for Wal-Mart, if that's what you tell calling out liars.

Has Wal-Mart been a great company for me to work for for the last five years? Absolutely - I've learned a lot, made some great friends and connections. Honestly, I'm not real content there right now, and I am exploring other options (that's how I KNOW how Wal-Mart compares to other companies), but my discontent doesn't all of a sudden make Wal-Mart's insurance non-existant, or my pay drop to $2.50 an hour. As I've said, there are things to dislike about Wal-Mart, but making up lies doesn't help anyone's situation. No, I don't get paid to defend them, I just dislike people that post lies because they like to draw attention to themselves and gain support more than I dislike Wal-Mart today.

I'm always up for a good discussion, on Wal-Mart or any number of other topics, but if you're going to make up "facts" to support your point of view and then cry and get angry when you get called out on it, that's just immature.

Rebecca Valburg 8 years, 5 months ago

No, I absolutely DID NOT say that "anyone who points out Wal-Mart's bad policies and action are all liars." If you'll read my posts, you are getting upset over the fact that I suggested comparing the pay to other retailers, refuted the comment that Wal-Mart doesn't offer insurance (I know, because I HAVE it), clarified who paid for the street expansion, etc. We hadn't even gotten into the "history and reputation for destroying businesses, communities, mis-treatment of employees." You're making blanket statements, so there's no intelligent way to even BEGIN a conversation with comments like yours. If you'd like to engage in a conversation about capitalism, the laws of our country, democracy, how to let Americans dream big and yet still limit them from becoming "too big" (recall, Wal-Mart started out the SAME year that K-Mart and Target did, with a lot fewer original resources, and has REPLACED a lot of big hitters from that era), how to have a global economy and still protect our own citizens, etc - I would LOVE to talk to you. But you don't. You just want to cry about Wal-Mart, pretend that if it went away, all of the streets would suddenly be paved in gold, everyone would be rich, and all of your worldly problems would be solved. How many conversations have you HAD with Wal-Mart employees? If they're really screwing their people, how is it that they still have people applying DAILY for jobs, and have so many people walking around with 15 or 20 year stickers on their badges? How many other places want to hire single moms with weird schedules, people with no education, no job experience, etc and give them a chance? Yeah, they're cheap labor, but they're also getting valuable job experience and skills that make them a little more marketable the NEXT time they get a job. It's a trade-off. They hire the people that the government is supporting, and give them the opportunity to support themselves. But this isn't what you want to hear. The real problems are too big to get your head around, so you'd rather just whine about Wal-Mart.

Godot 8 years, 5 months ago

Lawrence small business owners can barely afford to pay themselves after they pay their employees minimum wage with no benefits. Unlike WalMart, they don't even bother to help their employees file for medicaid and food stamps; they don't have the staff to do it.

Rebecca Valburg 8 years, 5 months ago

Tell us where YOU shop, observer. Where do you buy your toothpaste, toilet paper, light bulbs, trashbags? Are you going across the street and buying them from Target? (It's the same basic game there, just by a different name) Or do you have designer brand names not carried by Wal-Mart on all of these items as well? I venture to bet that my toothpaste works just as well as yours (at least according to the research my dentist cited), even though I'm probably paying less for it. Theoretically, you're actually helping Wal-Mart by totally NOT shopping there - if you JUST buy your basic consumables there and get your clothes, furniture, etc elsewhere, they're losing money on you. And most people DON'T buy EVERYHING there, but enough people buy enough other stuff that they do quite well.

My favorite are the closet Wal-Mart shoppers - those you see downtown complaining loudly about it, but you see with their carts loaded to the top that evening. Does it make you feel better to be complaining about the fashionable thing to be complaining about, even if you know nothing about it?

Godot 8 years, 5 months ago

Do Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and George Soros own stock in WalMart? Just a question.....

Rebecca Valburg 8 years, 5 months ago

There are THOUSANDS of Wal-Mart stores in the US. You are referencing ONE incident in, I think California, where an employee was complaining to a manager about not being able to afford the health insurance (it's $10 every two weeks). I don't know the specifics, but I do know that there ARE people that get angry because working at Wal-Mart as a cashier for 20 hours a week doesn't make for a cushy existance for their three kids and unemployed spouse. Wal-Mart isn't welfare, it's a corporation - they do expect a little in return. It was not corporate direction, it was ONE manager, in ONE instance that when cornered, suggested public assistance. Hmmm. I think you're right - let's shut them down and turn every person that depends on their Wal-Mart paycheck to feed and clothe their family out on the street in exchange for that screw-up. Guess what? Even Wal-Mart has managers that have lapses in judgement. But from this instance, you're making it sound like part of employee orientation is sitting down to fill out food stamp applications.

In my experience, people work best when you give them room to improve and move up, whether their aspirations be to run a region of the nation's Wal-Marts, or just to run their favorite department in the store. It doesn't even make sense for Wal-Mart to encourage their people to remain on federal or state assistance. Seventy-percent of their managers started out in hourly positions at Wal-Mart - Wal-Mart thrives on the competition the comes from giving people possibilities, not food stamps.

Rebecca Valburg 8 years, 5 months ago

"Posted by observer (anonymous) on June 30, 2006 at 9:01 p.m. (Suggest removal)

anywhere but wal-mart. not going to waste my time and money where I can't get decent service and I don't deal with clerks who are clueless as to what they stock or where it is. and also, won't deal with any business who treats their employees and suppliers like wallyworld does. average wal-mart employee is poorly trained and does not have a clue as to meaning of customer service."

You have a lot of personal opinions and experiences about your local store for someone who never goes inside.

Rebecca Valburg 8 years, 5 months ago

Where are you getting your facts? The waiting period for PART-TIME, USED TO BE 2 years. It's since been reduced, at a time when other retailers don't offer part-time employees insurance EVER. For full-time, there's a 180 day waiting period until you're covered. (There's a special plan that's offered as soon as you get your first check, but it's just a temporary insurance plan). You pick the plan that you want, and the deductibles vary from $350 to $1000. Like every other plan I've been on, there are things they pay, and things they don't. I wish they paid for birth control, but my dental insurance is the best I've ever had. It's not perfect, but it's not bad. Off the top of my head, I don't know the average hours. Wal-Mart's prime hours are evenings and weekends, so they do attract a lot of people that just want to work there as a second job, but most jobs in the store are full-time. To qualify for full-time benefits, you have to work 34 hours (which a lot of outsiders that don't think it through complain loudly about - one of the big reasons it's gotten increased TO 34, but 5 years ago, you could work 28 hours and get full-time benefits, now to encourage people to work more hours (and get the media to stop running with "facts" such as yours), they've increased it to 34. Looks better on paper, but most employees regard it as a bad thing - yet another reason people squawking without educating themselves is a bad thing).

As for the rate of pay, that depends completely on how you want to calculate it. If you take all of the people that work in the store during the course of a year, and divide it by their average rate of pay, one would think that you'd get a good number, and that's probably where someone arrived at $8 for you. But, when you take into consideration the fact that cashiering isn't a fun job, and that you'll probably have 10 different people trying that slot during the year before you find one that doesn't mind it, you realize that you're counting those 10 people that tried it and hated it for as much as you're counting the one that's been folding clothes all year (and for the last 10 years). If you pick a time during the day, though, and go in and ask everyone what they're being paid, and divide it out, you'll probably come up with a number a lot closer to $13-14 an hour. So, full-time, you're talking $23-$30K a year. Not great, but nowhere near the $12K you're citing. With another income, it's do-able.

Rebecca Valburg 8 years, 5 months ago

And of the six I supervise at Wal-Mart, I believe five ARE supporting themselves. (One only works a few hours a week, because he's also working an internship, and I don't remember if his parents are helping this semester or if he got a loan). I wasn't able to conduct a store-wide survey, because again, there wasn't the "How-To-Get-On-Food-Stamps" meeting at our store.

If you have questions on benefits and want real information, call the personnel office. The number to the local Wal-Mart is 832-8600 - just ask for personnel. (And they're hourly, not management. And if you don't trust this Wal-Mart, pick another)

Christine Pennewell Davis 8 years, 5 months ago

well no matter what most insurance plans suck or are to exp. for the avrage person I do not think walmarts sound to bad. and as for fuul time part time most store do not even hire full time postions that much, it is cheaper to hire a bunch of part time so as to get out of the insurance part.

ASBESTOS 8 years, 5 months ago

Mr. Cory you can't do math very well if you take 34 hours a week times 52 weeks in a year times $12-14 an hour you get 23-24.7 K "nowhere near" 30K.

The thing that gets me about Wal Mart is their employment of illegals, as they have been hit by that many times and still won't learn.

They need to hire Kansans if they are going to MAKE PROFIT off of Kansans.

Christine Pennewell Davis 8 years, 5 months ago

fyi most places now consider full time 36 hrs. a week so I would say walmart is ok. but if you do not want to shop there go to target and pay double the price for the same stuff just a diffrent name. PS the food at target is way to expensive and they treat their employes like sh**. and the insurance sucks.

Christine Pennewell Davis 8 years, 5 months ago

last time I looked walmart was nation wide. and illegals are every where in this time so that is a bougus point. try looking behind the scene at alot of places and you see alot of illegal as well as legals you just think are illegas.

Rebecca Valburg 8 years, 5 months ago

Wal-Mart does pay for insurance on part-time employees - has for years, though now the waiting period has been reduced.

Asbestos -

If you'll recall, we established that 34 hours was the minimum number of hours needed to be considered full-time. Generally, if you're full-time and WANT 40 hours, you can have them (though perhaps maybe not in your preferred area - you may have to volunteer to cashier for a few of them).

As for the employment of illegals, again, that was an issue that was blown completely out of proportion. Wal-Mart asks on the application if you are legal to work in the US, and if you're not, you're not hired. If you lie on your application, it's instant termination, even if it takes years to discover. They run a background check before you're even eligible to be interviewed - if the check doesn't come back favorably, the store can't even hire the person if they WANT to override it. And they review your photo ID and social security card in orientation - if you don't have them, you don't continue.

The issue you heard about with Wal-Mart employing illegals was like this. A few stores in a very small area (and I think again, in California or maybe Nevada) were using a third party cleaning service for the care of the waxed floors at night. They paid the company, the company sent guys in at night to run the heavy equipment to take care of the floors. THAT company was hiring illegals, and apparently some in management knew about it and looked the other way. THAT'S what the big stink was about. Corporate found out about it, and now all floor maintenance HAS to be done by Wal-Mart employees - all outside companies' contracts were ended. (Including LaborReady in some of the KC stores, even though there were never problems with that company directly). I suspect that this also may be why you'll notice that the floors of newer stores (including the one in town) are colored concrete, which does not need stripped and waxed all the time.

This particular store does not have many ESL people, but keep in mind that just because someone struggles with your native language, does not mean they are living here illegally.

justsomewench 8 years, 5 months ago

what i do know is that, once walmart moved to lawrence, my family's small business went under almost immediately and it was the only one of it's kind in town. there were no other extenuating circumstances. we lost everything, the business, our home, ... not to mention the emotional wreakage of trying to navigate a losing battle.

support your local business owners, folks. walmart has zero compassion for them.

TruthSeeker 8 years, 5 months ago

Schwata and Compton are laughing all the way to their bank. What do they care about what Lawrence turns into. They'll take us for all they can and retire in Florida with their millions earned from shady business deals and buying votes.

lunacydetector 8 years, 5 months ago

this walmart will be the downfall of our progressive city commissioners. what will they run on next election? they didn't stop walmart, but they were able to polarize the community at the time. they wasted our taxdollars on a losing cause. spend, spend, spend.

i wonder what divisive issue they will embrace for the next election? how are they going to rally the troops again? it is easy to guess there won't be a gay marriage amendment on the forthcoming ballot to keep the troops fired up. i wonder if the progressive commissioners are hoping for complacency, because this is the only way they will get elected again.

Rebecca Valburg 8 years, 5 months ago

Wal-Mart is SUPER hard for small businesses to compete against. Our economy is a weird, rather messed-up at times, thing. Recall that in 1962, Wal-Mart WAS just a family small business in Arkansas, after Sam Walton had a Ben Franklin store yanked out from under him. It's on one hand the ultimate American dream, to be able to start out with pretty much nothing, build your little company the way you want it, and in a little more than 40 years, have more money than generations of your family to come have any idea what to do with, yet on the other hand, it turns into a horrible monstrosity. It's the way capitalism works. People have a limited amount of money to spend. If you come up with a new business idea, they still have the same amount to spend, so you're taking money that they would spend with someone else if you succeed. If you open up a restaurant, and people eat there, you're either taking away from other restaurants or the grocery store. The thing that's so overwhelming about Wal-Mart is how amazingly well it did. Whether they like it or not, people vote with their dollars. If people liked going 5 places to get everything they needed, they would. But they're tired, and short on time, and so they go to Wal-Mart, which gives Wal-Mart more money, with which they expand, and MORE people have the option of going. And now, it's been established as the business solution. Eliminate Wal-Mart, and the small businesses of the 50s won't come back - another big box retailer will just move in, because now we know that that works. It does completely suck, but if even if Wal-Mart would have shut down in the mid-70s, the ball was already rolling with Target, K-Mart, Woolworth, etc. The US is a capitalist nation, and people (and their corporations) want to make money. Personally, I'd prefer the government regulate everything a little more (like the size of corporations, the amount of wealth individuals can amass, the size of cars we can drive, etc), level things out, and give more people a chance, but that's not how capitalism works.

Rebecca Valburg 8 years, 5 months ago

It also ties into democracy. We all want to have a democratic nation, but then we want to make individual decisions that best benefit us personally, not necessarily the group as a whole. Back to your dollar being your vote - 20 years ago, stores weren't open 24 hours - I can remember Wal-Mart not being open on Sundays. Companies compete, though, and in order to not lose sales to one another, now they're all in a race to steal as many sales hours as possible from one another. Once the Wal-Mart here is converted to a SuperCenter, the only day that you won't be able to shop there will be Christmas Day. We can all as individuals probably see that it would be really nice if workers could spend Sundays, late evenings, and holidays like Thanksgiving with their families, but obviously enough of us aren't sensitive to things like that it's profitable for stores to be open on these days now. It's not the man behind the curtain creating monsters like Wal-Mart, it's the self-centered, greedy consumer. Wal-Mart's only been in existance for a little over 40 years - how scary is it to think where we'll drive things in another 40?

justsomewench 8 years, 5 months ago

(richard, you must think i needed your brilliant assistance to understand the nature and history of consumerism. i didn't. the next enron is just waiting for a public relations guy just like you. go sell your soul while the gettin's good, will ya?)

buy local, folks.

Rebecca Valburg 8 years, 5 months ago

You don't get it, do you? I think consumerism is for the birds, but until we're all willing to give up our self-centered, selfish ways (and force everyone else to do the same), things like Wal-Mart are what we're stuck with. It's going to get a whole lot worse before it gets better. The rich in our country keep getting richer, and the poor keep getting poorer. Had your family's business exploded, at what point would your family have put their foot down and said, "hmmm, we've really got enough, we'll stop here and leave room for others?" Remember, your family business wasn't pushed out by what most would consider a mojor corporation - at the time the Lawrence store went in, there were only 483 other little discount stores named Wal-Mart in the US - not what most people would see as a huge concern, even now. Small companies push other small companies out all the time, in this case, it's just a matter of the company that pushed your family out continued to be sucessful. Crazy successful, at that. It would be AWESOME if everyone WOULD buy local, but it's easier, cheaper and faster not to, so most people aren't going to. If we really want to change things, and really make overall improvements, it's going to take DRASTIC changes to our economic structure, and if you study these in other countries, these generally aren't happy, feel-good times for anyone involved. Nor are they real easy to come by, because like it or not, the people with money have the power here, and they like the current structure.

If you think I'd be any good at public relations, you obviously haven't read my posts - most people don't want the changes I'm talking about. We're all involved in little races to see who get get the most, the biggest, etc - just check out the SUVs on the road. None of it's healthy for the public at large. What do you drive? How big is your house? How many opportunities in life have you been given? If everything was leveled out, and everyone was given an equal shot, are you willing to accept that your personal quality of life (and that of your family) may suffer substancially for the good of the group? Most people aren't. We're all hypocritical, myself included. Even if you refuse to set foot in a big corporation (or subscribe to any other big company - who's your internet provider? where does your insurance money go? what brands are in your house?), you're still supporting them with your tax dollars, because our government supports them. And how do we escape it? See, now THAT would be an interesting discussion, instead of, "I hate Wal-Mart, and these are the reasons I made up to hate them" or "This is reason I dislike them, but I sure like everything else about consumerism, capitalism, etc."

Rebecca Valburg 8 years, 5 months ago

Wal-Mart, and others like it, are symptoms of a much bigger problem. Eliminating it and hoping that whatever takes its place is going to be a feel-good, selfless company that's going to give 100% of its profit back to the community and not hurt any of the businesses around it is insane. And everyone gets REALLY angry when this is pointed out ("go sell your soul while the gettin's good, will ya?"), because it's much easier and safer to just hate the biggest symptom and pretend that it's the problem, than it is to wrap your mind around what exactly needs done to fix things.

monkeyhawk 8 years, 5 months ago

Some realize that the "hate WalMart" campaign stems from the democrat's "smart vision". The opposition is peeved that WalMart is not a union shop.

"The good news is that the annual hemorrhaging of union membership slowed last year," said Teamsters' President James P. Hoffa. "And that's not really good news. A worker's right to join a union has been continually eroded by a corporate takeover of our government."

Union membership is at an all time historic low. I wonder what would happen if WM suddenly unionized? Would the hate disappear?

Godot 8 years, 5 months ago

asbestos wrote "The thing that gets me about Wal Mart is their employment of illegals, as they have been hit by that many times and still won't learn."

Bogus. If you are that concerned about employers who hire illegals, don't eat at fast food joints, don't eat chicken or beef or pork or fruit or vegetables. Don't eat at all.

Rebecca Valburg 8 years, 5 months ago

And at what point would YOU have drawn the line? Two hundred years ago, lots of individual little farmers had a few cattle. They'd butcher, and sell the meat to their neighbors, or maybe trade it for what their neighbor had. At some point, butcher shops became the norm in little towns - instead of buying your meat from an individual, you went to the butcher, who bought in bulk from a person or two, and sold to many. Later, people got tired of having to go to a bunch of little stores (the produce market, the butcher, the bakery), and grocery stores cropped up, pushing the little local butcher out of business. Now, the grocery stores are being merged with what started out as "variety stores," in the names of SuperCenters, SuperTargets, and BigKs. We may not like it, but not too many of us are willing to go back to butchering our own cow, either. Where do you draw the line? Wal-Mart is the result of the continuim we've been headed down for decades, and unless we MASSIVELY change things, we're going to keep going down the same path. Is it completely bad? Where did it start to be bad? Where would YOU have drawn the line?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 5 months ago

I don't think it's fair to say the Wal-Mart is just a "symptom" of the problem. They have actively sought to create this situation, whether through their anti-union activities, pitting US labor against slave labor overseas, predatory retail practices or political contributions designed to maintain government support for their business model.

The only reason Wal-Mart can do what it does is because of an economic system based on cheap energy, but even that cheap energy isn't really all that cheap. Workers in the US work longer hours than in almost all other industrialized countries, and that is the cost of this sprawled-out consumer culture, and imperial foreign policy.

Remove the expenses of building and maintaining millions of miles of pavement serving that sprawl, and neither the wars for oil nor the permanently large military required to conduct them would be necessary. That would allow every one in this country to cut their current workload by 20%. With an extra 10 hours a week to do what's really necessary for a good life, creating truly local economies isn't such a far-fetched idea. But it's a really scary idea for those whose wealth is so dependent on the current insanity.

kingdork44 8 years, 5 months ago

And Lawrence was so concerned about it's population drecreasing. And then steps in Wal-Mart, with alot of high paying jobs. Where is that front-in loader to Gag me with!!

Christine Pennewell Davis 8 years, 5 months ago

so some people want to get rid of walmart so now you must get rid of target, kohls sears pennys all the big store to satisfie your need for revenge umm, so real big of you. try to just move on people it is coming if you do not like it than just do not go there the less people that go the more of a chance it will be seen as a flop and the doors shut.

Godot 8 years, 5 months ago

Good point, mommaeffort, but you shouldn't expect logic or consistency from the smart growth/progressive/walmart haters. It is strictly political, not logical. It is about unions. It is about a huge, efficient, profitable corporate entity that, by its very success, shows the world that unions and government are not the solution to anyone's economic problems, they are the problem.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 5 months ago

Yep, Godot, if we'd all just sit back and enjoy the race to the bottom, life would be so much simpler for those of you who know that all the answers to everything have been found, and they're on sale at Wal-Mart now.

Godot 8 years, 5 months ago

Bozo, I must have hit your nail right square on the head again.

Godot 8 years, 5 months ago

Bozo, what is it about Target and Kohls and JC Penny and Sears that exempt them from your hatred of mediocrity? They all sell about the same thing, but at higher prices.

Christine Pennewell Davis 8 years, 5 months ago

well find hoffa and he can set the record straight, he was after all a mob man.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 5 months ago

Godot, can you cite where I granted anyone an "exemption," whatever that might be?

Godot 8 years, 5 months ago

Bozo wrote: "Godot, can you cite where I granted anyone an "exemption," whatever that might be?"

Well, then, get on with it!! Destroy them! Run them out of town! Damn the Big Box Stores (aka BBS) Reveal for all of us who do not know their hiring practices , their wages, and the adequacy (or lack thereof) of their benefit programs!!! Inquiring minds would like to know!

Cough up, Bozo.

PS: at the same time, reveal the wages and benefits offered by the mom-and-pops in downtown Lawrence.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 5 months ago

You're the one who claims that Wally World (including all the various big boxes) and sprawl are the epitome of human civilization. Prove your case.

barelygettingby 8 years, 5 months ago

I find it funny how many people think that adding a Walmart is what is "turning Lawrence into a Topeka or Jo Co". In reality, it is the nouveau riche with their half million dollar houses that really aren't worth that money, that is making that area of town nothing but a snob community. Just about everyone shops at Walmart for something, even the snobs. One Walmart in this town was not enough BEFORE all the new development, let alone after.

barelygettingby 8 years, 5 months ago

How is traffic at 6th/Wak any worse than anywhere else in town. Traffic is ridiculous all over town. It's the people on the road creating the traffic probs, not the businesses in the area. Keep people who do not know how to drive off the roads and maybe it would be a little safer, not to mention less congested.

justsomewench 8 years, 5 months ago

Richard-

Sorry for the delay in response, but let me get back to my first message's intent, which was not to get into a political debate on how to cure us from ourselves. The small business person still needs us. They may very well be fending off the inevitable (the ultimate of which is ugly to predict), but it is easier for me to sleep at night making investments to local endeavors - when and if I can. For example, I have been fortunate enough to have spent nearly my entire working life working for small or locally owned businesses. I frequent the small specialty shops when I am able. I make those same recommendations to folks when I'm able. I don't claim anywhere that I can live without frequenting a McDonald's or Dillon's or whatnot, it would be nearly impossible, but if I can do something, I do. Ironically, I even worked a couple of years in high school AT Wal-Mart.

Unfortunately, I am not equipped to intelligently volley or predict with you the future face of our capitalist society. Perhaps someone who IS could engage in this discussion with you. What I can do is offer the same intent from my original post in this discussion. So, again:

Support your local businesses, folks.

justsomewench 8 years, 5 months ago

understood, qb. sometimes it's simply not feasible. when it is, though, even at the expense of a slightly higher expense, i do try. call me sentimental, but i feel better knowing it will directly benefit someone in my community. walmart/petco/borders won't feel the loss of my money a bit.

Godot 8 years, 5 months ago

bozo wrote: "You're the one who claims that Wally World (including all the various big boxes) and sprawl are the epitome of human civilization. Prove your case."

I have not claimed that. Stick to the facts at hand, Bozo. I have asked you to prove why Walmart is any worse than Target, Kohls, JC Penny, Sears, Home Depot, or any of the other big box, corporately owned stores, and to explain why you do not oppose those corporate intrusions into Lawrence, but you oppose Walmart. You would have people in Lawrence spend more at these stores than they would for the exact same items at Walmart. Why? Do you hold stock in these corporations, is that it? Or is it because you failed to buy Walmart when it was a good deal, and you are now trying to ruin it for the people who did buy? Or is it that you owned KMart stock and rode it downhill from the $30 range to the pennies before you sold, and now bitterly hold WalMart responsible for your poor investment decisions? What is it?

The fact is, you cannot answer me truthfully, because if you did, you would have to admit that the reason you oppose Walmart is purely related to your leftwing Soros-inspired brand of politics-of-hate.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 5 months ago

" I have asked you to prove why Walmart is any worse than Target, Kohls, JC Penny, Sears, Home Depot, or any of the other big box, corporately owned stores,"

Never said, so I have no obligation to prove it. Wal-Mart is only "worse" because they are so much bigger than any of the others.

"leftwing Soros-inspired"

Sure wish my "mentor" would cut loose with a little more of his cash. That last check he sent me is just about spent.

Godot 8 years, 5 months ago

Godot, to Bozo: "The fact is, you cannot answer me truthfully, because if you did, you would have to admit that the reason you oppose Walmart is purely related to your leftwing Soros-inspired brand of politics-of-hate."

That would be "hate" of things middle America loves, (choice, quantity, convenience and low price) and "hate" of success (that would be Walmart's).

Why don't you hate Berkshire Hathaway? That company is huge, it is unbelievably successful, it wipes out the competition at any and every opportunity, AND it is the all-evil industry, insurance.

Godot 8 years, 5 months ago

""leftwing Soros-inspired"

Sure wish my "mentor" would cut loose with a little more of his cash. That last check he sent me is just about spent."

Better organize a union for the Move.on bloggers.

Godot 8 years, 5 months ago

Bozo continues to dodge the question.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 5 months ago

Godot, I'm getting breathless trying to mouth all the words you want to claim ought to be coming out of my keyboard.

Godot 8 years, 5 months ago

Come on, please, justify your position with reason. Just once.

Godot 8 years, 5 months ago

Have fun not shopping at JC Penny, Target, Home Depot, Sears, Hobby Lobby, Michaels, Dillons, McDonalds, Long John Silvers, Taco Bell, Burger King, etc., and don't even think of buying your car insurance over the 'net from Geico (aka Berkshire Hathaway) one of the most successful and cut-throat insurance companies in the world.

Godot 8 years, 5 months ago

You said, " I do not and will not shop at anyplace with the "ethics" they (Walmart) have."

Explain how the businesses I named are ethically superior to Walmart.

Godot 8 years, 5 months ago

Observer wrote: "I don't need to explain why or even if I think they are superior or not. It's simply what I have seen and read about wal-mart that has formed my opinion."

Now, if there ever was proof that we need more people to visit the library, this might be it.

Godot 8 years, 5 months ago

If your only support for your argument is "because I said so," you may as well be talking to the wall.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 5 months ago

I buy very, very little from any of those places, Godot. But your assumption that I do only goes to illustrate that we are approaching a Soviet-style command economy where you have to buy everything from state-owned and operated stores (Wal-Mart owned and operated stores in our case.)

Rebecca Valburg 8 years, 5 months ago

Observer -

Pretty much every piece of "information" you've put up or defended on here regarding Wal-Mart was utterly false, remember? Shall we start with the company direction for employees to get on federal aid? Or would you rather talk about the lack of health insurance offered to employees?

Sometimes people form opinions, and then refuse to even acknowledge that there might be information out there that refutes their point of view. This also makes them very prone to latching onto propaganda that supports their point of view, without checking the source, and verifying the truthfulness. And when cornered on it, occassionally, they'll post things like this:

"I have my opinions and I sure don't feel a need to explain myself to you and others like you. If I think someone or something is wrong, I say so. I don't have to justify that to anyone other than myself."

As I've stated before, I dislike capitalism, consumerism, corporate America, etc. And this may come as a shock to you, but there are a lot of things that I dislike about even Wal-Mart. I just dislike mindless sheep even more.

Since you refuse to cite your "information," here's my recommendation: Check the source, and see what they have to gain by persuading you. Obviously, Wal-Mart's information is going to be biased - they want to get you into the store to shop. But a lot of the anti-Wal-Mart information is just as biased. Most of the Down-With-Wal-Mart sites I've seen also offer a lovely array of anti-Wal-Mart t-shirts, bumper stickers, etc. Hating Wal-Mart is hugely popular, and if you want to make a ton of money, you don't even really have to dislike the company, you just have to set up a website with some "info" you made up and sell T-shirts at $20. Also, a lot of the stuff put out is indirectly through unions. Wal-Mart is expected to be anti-union, so I won't even try to get into that one, but a pretty good discussion was held on the topic earlier in this thread, and I'm going to assume that you can do the math and figure out how profitable if the employees from thousands of stores were paying union dues. So their information will be a little slanted, too.

Godot 8 years, 5 months ago

bozo wrote: "I buy very, very little from any of those places, Godot. But your assumption that I do only goes to illustrate that we are approaching a Soviet-style command economy where you have to buy everything from state-owned and operated stores (Wal-Mart owned and operated stores in our case.)"

Your analagy is a bit off base, bozo; Wal-Mart does not own and operate the stores I mentioned. They are competitors of Wal-Mart, and they are thriving.

It is true that corporate America has taken over retail in the US; this fact makes your single-minded hatred of Wal-Mart even more unsupportable.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 5 months ago

"this fact makes your single-minded hatred of Wal-Mart even more unsupportable."

In the words of John Hartford--

"Don't leave your records in the sun, cause they just won't play, just won't play, just won't play, just won't play, just won't play, just won't play, just won't play, just won't play, just won't play, just won't play, just won't play, just won't play,"

freudian_slip 8 years, 5 months ago

Posted by quitbitchin (anonymous) on July 1, 2006 at 10:55 a.m. (Suggest removal)

"Where did we all say that we frequent the place? Don't be a hater. I won't be crowding the aisles of your favorite store making it hard for you to get to your NASCAR beer koozies and orange Igloo drink coolers. You'll have plenty of room to roam around and shop for your $8 bass t-shirts and $10 Lee jeans."

hey, you describe the place pretty well. sounds like you've been there a time or two. closet walmart shopper!


Yep, I went to the Wal-Mart in Dodge City a few years ago for the first time and have never been back to a Wal-Mart again. Not in the closet though, about anything. Excuse me for a moment, I must wipe the blood from my nose.

Godot 8 years, 5 months ago

Bozo has no grounds for her arguments, she just argues.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 5 months ago

just won't play, just won't play, just won't play, just won't play, just won't play, just won't play, just won't play, just won't play, just won't play, just won't play, just won't play, just won't play

Godot 8 years, 5 months ago

reminixcent of the child who sticks her fingers in her ears and repeaats, "nanner, nanner, nanner, nanner...." when she knows she cannot win an arumment....

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 5 months ago

Argument? Your continual repetition of your strawmen does not constitute an "argument."

Godot 8 years, 5 months ago

To Bozo, a "strawman" is a vaild point that she cannot refute.

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