Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

Wal-Mart back, with bigger request

Retailer now suing to build 132,100 square-foot store at Sixth and Wakarusa

October 28, 2006

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In today's poker-crazed world, this would be called a raise.

The stakes got higher Friday in a dispute between Wal-Mart and Lawrence city commissioners as Douglas County District Court Judge Michael Malone agreed to restart a series of lawsuits alleging the city illegally denied a permit to allow the retailer to build a store at Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive.

"Wal-Mart could not possibly be more disappointed to be back here," Timothy Sear, an attorney representing Wal-Mart, told Malone. "But we feel we have no choice but to ask that this matter be set for trial at the earliest possible date."

Malone scheduled a one-week trial to begin April 16.

The restarted lawsuit essentially ups the ante in the dispute. Wal-Mart will be asking to build a significantly larger store than the one city commissioners rejected on a 3-2 vote Tuesday. That store would have been 99,985 square feet. But Wal-Mart has abandoned plans to build that store, which was crafted as part of a legal agreement city commissioners and developers reached in April.

Since that plan was rejected Tuesday, Wal-Mart is now seeking to build a 132,100 square-foot store that it had unsuccessfully sought a building permit for in 2003. It was the rejection of that permit that sparked Wal-Mart's first lawsuit against the city. That lawsuit is being restarted. It had been put on hold since April, when the two sides agreed to consider the smaller plan.

Scott Beeler, an attorney who represents the city

Scott Beeler, an attorney who represents the city of Lawrence, reacting to the decision to restart the lawsuit alleging the city illegally denied a building permit for a Wal-Mart store at Sixth Stree and Wakarusa Drive. Enlarge video

Bill Newsome of 6Wak LLC

Bill Newsome, who leads the Lawrence development group that owns the property at Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive, explains why his company, 6Wak, LLC, sought to restart its lawsuit against the city. Enlarge video








Wal-Mart v. Lawrence timeline

Here's a look at the legal details surrounding the case Wal-Mart and a Lawrence development group have brought against the city. ¢ 2001: City commissioners approve zoning that would allow a 132,000-square-foot store on the northwest corner of Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive. Commissioners believe the most likely user will be a home improvement store. They place a condition on the zoning that would prohibit a department store on the site. ¢ August 2002: Wal-Mart announces plans to build an approximately 200,000-square-foot store on the site. ¢ October 2002: Neighbors deliver a petition with 400 names to City Hall opposing the project. City commissioners ultimately reject the 200,000-square-foot store proposal and another one that would have reduced the size of the store to 154,000 square feet. ¢ May 2003: Wal-Mart seeks a building permit to build a 132,000-square-foot store under the condition of the zoning approved in 2001. But city leaders refuse, saying Wal-Mart is a department store and thus not allowed. Wal-Mart officials contend it is a variety store. The first lawsuit is filed later that month. ¢ August 2005: Douglas County District Court Judge Michael Malone rules the case should go to trial. He said a key question needed to be resolved. Malone said a reasonable argument could be made that the city's Board of Zoning Appeals - which upheld the city's decision to deny the building permit - incorrectly believed that Victor Torres, director of the city's Neighborhood Resources Department, made certain determinations about the inappropriateness of the proposed store. But Malone noted that Torres testified under oath that "he could not give a specific reason" why he denied the applications. Developers have alleged Torres received political pressure to deny the building permit. City attorneys have denied those allegations.

The larger store also is designed differently from the one Wal-Mart sought approval for this week. The larger store was not designed to meet the city's commercial design guidelines, since the guidelines were not part of the city's regulations in 2003.

City prepared

Scott Beeler, an attorney representing the city, has said the city is "perfectly prepared" to defend itself in the lawsuits. He made no objection to restarting them.

City Commissioner David Schauner - who, with Commissioners Boog Highberger and Mike Rundle, voted against the most recent plan - said he believed the city had a "strong legal position" and was comfortable with the suit moving forward. But he said he's not yet convinced it will end up at trial.

"What I think they are trying to do is look like they are playing hardball," Schauner said. "I would not be surprised to see them come back through some channels to have a plan approved that is different than what we considered Tuesday night."

Bill Newsome, who, with Lawrence developer Doug Compton leads the group that owns the proposed site, said that's not the case. He said his group and Wal-Mart already had spent six months and more than $200,000 preparing plans they believed met all the city requirements.

"That plan was denied by three city commissioners, so our only alternative is to move forward through the courts," Newsome said. "We're absolutely committed to seeing that through to the end."

Broken faith

Tensions still were high in the courtroom Friday regarding the City Commission's rejection of the later plan. Sear, the Wal-Mart attorney, said it was now clear there were three city commissioners "who apparently never intended to vote for any plan."

But Schauner said that wasn't true. He said Wal-Mart and the developers were the ones that "broke faith" by bringing back a plan that didn't adequately deal with traffic concerns nor was designed to meet the city's commercial design guidelines.

Wal-Mart representatives and Newsome countered that their plan met all requirements and received positive recommendation from the city's professional planning staff.

"We have no apologies about the plan that was submitted," Newsome said.

Schauner, though, said he has no apologies for rejecting the plan, nor for the more than $265,000 in legal fees the city has spent on the case thus far.

"The thing I hear is why do we spend money to litigate these things," Schauner said. "I guess the alternative is to abandon our zoning codes and our building codes and let people do whatever they want.

"We're trying to protect everybody's interests and not pander to certain moneyed interests," he said.

Some neighbors near the site also said they we're pleased with the city continuing to fight the case, even though it opens the door for the court to approve a larger store for the location.

"I'm proud of the commission," said Gwen Klingenberg, a neighbor who has led opposition to the proposal. "Our commission cares about growth, but they know it needs to occur correctly. This was just inappropriate for this corner.

"This corner has been the poster child of bad planning, and now they're trying to do it right."

Comments

ASBESTOS 8 years, 10 months ago

from Mari:

"Rational, Godot, Asbestos:

Are you going to blame us liberals for not having any medical or retirement benefits? That's rich!"

No just point out that the labor hourly rates you stated were pure BS.

What is really rich is a socialist liberal like yourself trying to give the rest of the free marketer types a lesson in economics and the way free market economies work.

THAT is what is rich!

Sigmund 8 years, 10 months ago

Darn good post Marion. These hippies are living in the 60's. In the case of bozo and merrill that would be 1867 when Marx first published Das Kapital.

Godot 8 years, 10 months ago

Too bad, BlueRoom, if you had done your homework and brought your ads or receipts from the other stores with you, Walmart would have matched the prices of the other stores where you shop. Then you would have been able to buy everything at the same price you would normally have paid, at one stop, saving you all that time and hassle and money on gas (or on fares for the taxpayer subsidized T) that you would have spent driving from store to store to store

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 10 months ago

I think you assume too much, justthefacts.

Clearly, the corruption of previous planning and city commissions and their total disregard for the county's and city's main planning document, H2020, has opened the legal door for Wal-Mart, Compton, Newsome, et al.

But all of the those folks were quite aware of the shenanigans they requested of the politicians they had bought and paid for, so it's now left to the courts as to what remedy there might be.

It very well could be that the courts will rule that corruption was built into the system, and therefore 6Wak and Wal-Mart can do what they bloody well please.

Or the courts could rule they 6Wak and Wal-Mart were knowledgeable, willing and active participants in this scam, and throw the whole thing out of court.

I guess we'll know about a year from now.

cowboy 8 years, 10 months ago

Bozo , seems you may have the alcohol problem listening to your constant petty name calling. try to put a sentence together with more than twelve words. Your quips are old and stagnant , much like your baseless defenses of the city and commish that can do no wrong.

change your screen name to who you really are , Rundlebooger.

classclown 8 years, 10 months ago

Posted by Informed (anonymous) on October 28, 2006 at 6:40 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Marion, in at least one state, it's still illegal to pump your own gas: New Jersey. I was there in January and you still can't pump gas.

=======================================

Oregon as well. At least back when I lived there it was like that. I 'm sure it still is though.

dragonwagon2 8 years, 10 months ago

Stop spending my tax money defending a dead lawsuit! WalMart will win - they always win and the commissioners are helping them because now they will win in court and build exactly what they wanted in the first place!!!!! Figure it out.

The thing I am surprised at is that WalMart wants to build in that spot. In the past their policy was to build only where they could be seen from a highway (like 10). I'm surprised they aren't proposing a huge structure at the corner of 6th and Hwy 10. That policy is the reason we have a "bridge to nowhere" at the southern end of the bypass now. I'll bet that was part of the agreement when WalMart moved south - now it's just another sign of wasted tax money.

I don't know how this will all turn out, but I'm tired of paying lots of money for defending ignoramus lawsuits and building "bridges to nowhere".

I think the solution is for the city to propose to WalMart that they build on the northern end of the bypass because we all know there will be construction out there soon that will make Lawrence look like every other "developed" (tongue in cheek) area in any city of our size.

Sad but true.

DaREEKKU 8 years, 10 months ago

What's the big deal, let them build. We'll just do to the building afterward what most of the area large land developers do to buildings on tracks of land they want; have a "mysterious fire" engulf it. Frankly I don't see how anybody could argue that this Wal-Mart is in the best interest, or that Wal-Mart even cares about our city. Why are we arguing about another Wal-Mart? Shouldn't we be focused on bringing in more industry, especially higher level industry jobs? This should be a priority and Wal-Mart should get the boot. I stand with our city commission, but for different reasons.

kolisach 8 years, 10 months ago

Somehow, I doubt the problem with Walmart has anything to do with organic groceries and the alleged "conflict of interest."

When the commissioners had a problem with Walmart 4 years ago, the chain sold zilch in the way of organics.

But good try. Good story. Nothing like slinging some mud when you can't find anything better to make a point about (ask our current KS Attorney General about that one).

lunacydetector 8 years, 10 months ago

since both the Merc and walmart sell organic groceries with walmart being the biggest seller of organic foods in the world i wonder how many commissioners are members of the Merc, since according to the Merc advertisements, members are owners.

isn't it quite gutsy of the commissioners taking on walmart since some posters have written about walmart having a predatory practice of pricing everything below cost for awhile to gain a loyal customer base while running the competition out of business, then they can raise their prices to a profitable level, with no competition. please correct me if i'm wrong but isn't or wasn't boog on the board of directors of the Merc at one time, and isn't rundle employed there still?

Brandon Perkins 8 years, 10 months ago

Here is an honest question.....

How many people on here have HONESTLY never shopped at Wal-Mart? I bet that the answer is 0. Including the city commissioners....

dviper 8 years, 10 months ago

I hope the intelligent voters in Lawrence wise up and kick these worthless PLC commissioners off the city commission during the next local election in April.

Mr. Schauner said, "I guess the alternative is to abandon our zoning codes and our building codes and let people do whatever they want."

Well that is exactly what he and his fellow hyporite comrade PLC commissioners did for the illegal restaurant owners in East Lawrence. They bent over backwards looking for every possible way to approve their illegal business in a residential neighborhood.

It has been crystal clear for several years now, that Schauner, Boog, and Rundle don't believe in honest, fair, and equal treatment for all businesses in Lawrence. Their discrimination against new businesses and the development community is blatant.

Just rewind the city commission tapes it is all there out in the open. Boog and Rundle even admitted during a city commission meeting that they would prefer to 'stick it to the developers' while discussing the extension of Stoneridge Drive abutting "Mrs Collister's property on 6th Street in West Lawrence.

Schauner also said, "We're trying to protect everybody's interests and not pander to certain moneyed interests".

Schauner must just be talking about his small vocal PLC minority that elected him. He sure isn't talking about the majority of Lawrence.

Rationalanimal 8 years, 10 months ago

"Are you going to blame us liberals for not having any medical or retirement benefits? That's rich!"

Mari:

That's the whole point, we just want the govt to get out of our way (and check books) for a chance to go out and make a living and pay for medical or retirement beni's ourselves. That's it. By having a Wal-mart, I'm not forced pay $50 for a "Patagonia" cotton t-shirt down at Sunflower for the same functioning shirt at Wal-mart that costs $5. That's the downtown lifestyle the blue collar/middle class folks in Lawrence can't afford. I'm with Godot. We're not blaming liberals, we just hope some folks on here realize that that a lot of folks in Lawrence are struggling and that living the downtown lifestyle just isn't economically possible. For the single mother with three kids that is strapped for cash, Wal-mart is a godsend. I think she would rather have her dignity and pay for a shirt than get somebody's hand-me-down at one of the downtown charities. Allowing someone to retain their dignity while still enjoying the good things of society is real benevolence. That's the american dream us blue collar/middle class folks want.

Godot 8 years, 10 months ago

"Just a few of those dirty fingernail jobs of which you speak and their average salaries (not even the business owners):

Electrician: $48K HVAC mechanic: $50K Auto mechanic: $48K Carpenter: $43K"

Where in the world did you come up with those figures?

Tychoman 8 years, 10 months ago

What a disgusting turn of events by WM.

canyon_wren 8 years, 10 months ago

logrithmic--you said it all. I will be really surprised if the three commissioners DON'T win by a landslide at the next election, for their courage. Edmund Burke wrote:

"Because half-a-dozen grasshoppers under a fern make the field ring with their importunate chink, whilst thousands of great cattle, reposed beneath the shadow of the British Oak, chew the cud and are silent, pray do not imagine that those who make the noise are the only inhabitants of the field."

I feel fairly sure that those posters who are constantly ragging on "Boog" and the other brave commissioners who are willing to stand up against developers and Big Box promoters are just grasshoppers in the Lawrence-Douglas County field and do not represent the major mentality of Lawrence now. At least I hope this is true, or Lawrence is doomed to be another VERY TIRESOME and UNIMAGINATIVE Midwestern city.

LogicMan 8 years, 10 months ago

Dear Wal-Mart (and CoL):

Add a recycling center (like the south Lawrence store has) and a 'Green Goods' isle to the plans, and you'll have my full support, and likely many others too.

I'll still shop at the south store, and Target et al., but the folk that use the new north store will save lots of time and gasoline. Plus south Iowa's and Kasold's traffic will be reduced. A net reduction is vehicle emissions, thus improving our air quality very slightly, should occur too.

Stop all the lawyers, on both sides. Revise the plans. Issue the building permit. Start moving dirt!

Should only take about a week, if cooler heads can prevail.

Rationalanimal 8 years, 10 months ago

"merely noted" sure sounds like an unsupported assertion to me. You always add so much to the posting bozo.

Moving on to substance.

Mari:

How do you know whether I am a male or female? There you go assuming again. Why can't I be a single mother with a landscaping business who drops her kids off to day care during the day just b/c I believe in free market economics.

Last,

the blue collar salaries you cite is hardly the income to support a family of 4 and a downton lifestyle. That's the point. Blue collar folks can't afford the downtown lifestyle here in Lawrence. So, that means we are faced with moving out of Lawrence if we can't afford the exclusive lifestyle the elite want to push on everyone, or have the opportunity for businesses like Wal-mart that can provide competitve prices. That's what I mean by the socialist elite in this community, they want to push an exclusive lifestyle on everyone, but don't care what the practical consequences for the middle class are. For some of us, the $1.99 Whopper and Fry special is our Hotel Eldridge filet. Why can't we live in a community with low crime and good schools for our kids the same as the elite?

Rationalanimal 8 years, 10 months ago

Berserk

If WalMart goes up, I will seriously rethink my residency here.


Start packing b/c the City is about to get tee'd up in Court. And gee, what a horrible thing, millions and millions in tax revenue that will go to our kids' schools, parks, infrastructure, roads, etc, etc. Don't you just hate capitalism. The alternative is to watch Lawrence slowly die and be absorbed by the westward growth of Eudora, and Johnson County (Eulawra has a nice ring to it, or Lawjohnson is another nice name).

I personally know people who are employed at Wal-mart. They aren't illegal immigrants as many americana-racists on here wildly allege. Their hard working Americans that are very grateful to have a steady job. And for some unbelievable reason, they never complain about the pay.

For some of you on here, it might be a good idea to let a few blue collar Americans in your exclusive circles of intellectual high society and get the facts from them before you come down on Wal-mart as the "evil empire". I know, I know, its tough to tolerate someone with a little dirt under their fingernails. But, not all of us can shop at the Merc and eat at the Eldridge. But, we sure enjoy watching you and then listening to your disparaging comments about how disgusting us low society folks are for daring to eat a burger loaded with trans fat and get a bargain on a pair of pants or medical prescription.

Aren't us low society folks so ungrateful to you high society folks. I mean, you donate your old ratty clothes to the homesless organizations, you tolerate our presence in your city, you fund the homeless shelters so we have an affordable place to live, and all you ask in return is a little gratitude for the crumbs that drop from your table. How dare we ask for a means of steady employment, competitive prices, and a significant source of tax revenue. There's just no gratitude in Lawrence for the benevolent socialist elite society. No gratitude at all.

pooter 8 years, 10 months ago

I'm disappointed. I was hoping they would come back with a request for a 250,000 sq. ft. store.

*

Mari Aubuchon 8 years, 10 months ago

M.O.R.., you said:

Commissioner Schauner said it best (even if he was only joking), "I guess the alternative is to abandon our zoning codes and our building codes and let people do whatever they want". Now that is the kind of freedom that ought to exist in this country.

Are YOU serious? Consider what it would be like to have a gas station, a pawn shop, a strip bar, or a strip mall as YOUR next door neighbor.

Since when is freedom the sole possession of business interests?!!!

To others:

carolannfugate 8 years, 10 months ago

Good God man you will move if Walmart succeeds, little over the top there.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 10 months ago

What the hell are you talking about, dviper?

The Krauses don't have a permit yet, but they've been offered the opportunity to work with the city to find an acceptable solution.

They offered the same opportunity to Wal-Mart, who prefer instead to bludgeon Lawrence taxpayers with more costly litigation.

Larrytowncitizen 8 years, 10 months ago

I went to Wal-mart last night, if everyone hates it so much why was it so doggone busy? It seems that Lawence talks out of both sides of its mouth... we hate it but we frequent it too. If you hate it so much get off your butts and protest it, or are you so busy reading these blogs, you can't do that, or maybe it is drizzly and cold and it would be easier to sit in front of your computer and snipe all night long...

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 10 months ago

"Moving on to substance."

Well, we're still waiting.

Porter 8 years, 10 months ago

I don't understand the threats to "stop shopping in Lawrence" if they don't allow Wal-Mart to build. "Spending my money in Topeka", etc.

Dollars spent at a new Lawrence Wal-Mart don't go to Lawrence. You do understand that, right?

Katara 8 years, 10 months ago

BlueRoom, you are so right! For those of us who have to stick to a budget and actually shop around to get the lowest price, we have discovered that Walmart is rarely the lowest price.

I did check out the Walmart grocery selection to see if I would actually save anything. Even figuring in the coupons that I use regularly, I wasn't seeing any savings.

The only significant savings I saw was on their fried chicken at the deli, which I did buy and found to be very good, and their Sam's choice salad dressing. However, I'm not going to cross town just for some fried chicken.

I found that I save a lot more at Dillon's with their card and double coupons for the brand names. As store brand, they were pretty much along the same price.

I also have found that the $5.00 T-shirt that I buy at Walmart is not nearly as well made as the quality clothing at a higher price. I can get a $5.00 T-shirt at OldNavy if I so desire and I can get it online so I don't even have to drive anywhere.

And since I tend to buy more than 1 $5.00 T-shirt, I tend to spend enough to qualify for free shipping, so not only have I have saved money on the clothing but also on gas and time as well.

The argument that Walmart helps lower-income customers (or any range of income class) purchase more with their dollars is complete bunk.

Even if it is cheaper, it usually is made like crap and you end up replacing it once it breaks (& it usually does fairly quickly). You end up being out more money in the long run.

Mari Aubuchon 8 years, 10 months ago

Rationalanimal: Who sold you THAT bill of goods?

I would say that the "liberal elite vs. the working man" argument is more than a little past its sell-by date.

What has the conservative elite done for YOU lately?

cowboy 8 years, 10 months ago

What intelligent public official comments on a current , pending legal case ? What competent legal counsel allows this ? airheads !

Mari Aubuchon 8 years, 10 months ago

Just an interesting snippet from LJW Sunday, November 26, 1989:

"In every direction from the corner of Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive lies open Kansas farm country, complete with still-green fields to the southwest and southeast and a big yellow farm house and red barn to the north.

Looking at the present-day scene, there's little to suggest a different picture, one of land paved with parking lots and sprouting commercial outlets to serve a growing west Lawrence population that's edging toward this area.

But the outlines of that picture are already taking form."

canyon_wren 8 years, 10 months ago

Mari--you're right. It is condescending to assume that only "low-class" people shop at WalMart and only "the elite" care whether WalMart has unfair employment practices or destroys what Lawrence is. That is generalization at its worst.

Opposition to WalMart (as well as support of) can't be defined in such simplistic terms. I think there are "enlightened" people in all walks of life--as well as those who don't look beyond today and their own pocketbooks, regardless of how much or little those pocketbooks contain.

Godot 8 years, 10 months ago

Katara wrote: "The only significant savings I saw was on their fried chicken at the deli, which I did buy and found to be very good, and their Sam's choice salad dressing. However, I'm not going to cross town just for some fried chicken."

hmmm........

Rationalanimal 8 years, 10 months ago

It certainly wasn't the liberal elite, b/c it would have cost my first born and a pound of flesh. I know, your tired of hearing the working man/woman argument, your tired of seeing the dirt under our fingernails, your tired of seeing us walk by in our less than Armani clothes as you sit inside the Eldridge and enjoy a $200 bottle of wine. Why in the world can't we go back to our little huts and stay out of your sight? B/c this this America where the middle class has the opportunity to control their destiny and make a consumer market for competive prices that in turn increases our purchasing power.

And what has the conservative elite done for us, for starters they've lowered our taxes, created incentives for small businesses, moved out of the way so we can control our own destiny, and they don't condescendingly view us as tolerable vermin b/c we wear clothes from place like Wal-mart. While some of you on here can afford cashmere everything, Armani everything, Mercedes Benz everything, the rest of us have to find the best deal in town right now. That's the reality of middle class America that you elite folks loathe by your arrogance in assuming you know what's best for our families. We'd rather just have a closet full of 50% cotton/50% acrylic clothes than one Armani shirt.

canyon_wren 8 years, 10 months ago

Rationalanimal--you certainly picked the wrong name for yourself!

Rationalanimal 8 years, 10 months ago

Oh look how clever bozo is everyone. You might try reading, that will alleviate the wait.

Katara 8 years, 10 months ago

Godot,

I am very much a devotee of The Grocery Game (you will have to google it since I don't know if it is considered a "plug" link or not).

She lists all the different sales (including the unadvertised ones) and lists which coupons from which circular will get you the best savings. She unfortunately does not have Hy-Vee listed but has Dillon's/Krogers. There have been numerous times I have gotten items for free and I have yet to see Walmart top that.

Katara 8 years, 10 months ago

Godot,

Once you have a receipt you have already purchased the product at the other store. Why would you be carrying around your old reciepts with you to show Walmart? That would mean you already have the product at the lower price from the original store and you are wasting your time & gas to show just to get the same price.

It would be pretty silly to have them match the price of a product you have already purchased.

I could see perhaps bringing in the sales ad from another store if you got it in a newspaper/mailer and just happened to need other things you can purchase at Walmart.

Most stores that claim to match prices make you purchase the product at their price & then you go over to the customer service desk to have them refund you the difference.

The cashiers at the checkout lines at walmart don't have the authority to override the prices already programmed into the cash register. Just try having then correct a price when it scans incorrectly. The red vests have to come over to authorize the correction.

So you have to either wait for the red vest people to come over to authorize the new price or you have to go stand in line at the customer service desk.

Not a very efficient use of your time or money.

cowboy 8 years, 10 months ago

Yeah Marion , youre right , My Bad !

wlpywd 8 years, 10 months ago

Can i say something on this topic NOT related to walmart?? (i mean, come on, they just finished the increase on the old store...) -- Regardless of your feelings on walmart, and its pretty obvious what they are for most of us, I really HATE the merc. I want to like them so much, but, christ, terrible terrible meat n fish selections, veggies are hit n miss, and EVERYTHING is soooooo overpriced its not even funny. Why does it have to be walmart to either put them in their place or shut them down? Cant a whole foods or someone else decent see its time to re-enter the lawrence market? Surely an independent group could now do a better job than the merc is doing. There are plenty of places in town to hold another supermarket that could do it right. Hell, i still dont understand why checkers doesn't just switch over to all organics and crush them.

the end

lunacydetector 8 years, 10 months ago

someone said the walmart didn't sell much organics 4 years ago. i have news for you, they were the top sellers in the world at that time as well.

bozo, i've been to the merc a few times. for a health food store, why does the majority look strung out and unhealthy. get some sun people!

....and bozo, the Progressive commissioners did pull a fast one on the smoking ban where they wanted to discuss it if the petition was pulled then they said, "sorry" - you are wrong on that one. don't you remember? short term memory problems?

ASBESTOS 8 years, 10 months ago

"since both the Merc and walmart sell organic groceries with walmart being the biggest seller of organic foods in the world i wonder how many commissioners are members of the Merc, since according to the Merc advertisements, members are owners."

That would be a classic Conflict of Interest", especially since Rundle works there. There ARE state laws that require the commissioners or elected representatives to recuse themselves from the discussion if they have a vested financial interest. That is whey they have financial disclosure.

THis is easy.

Rationalanimal 8 years, 10 months ago

Oh how clever, canyon_wren. B/c someone disagrees with your point of view they can't be rational. Certainly if you are so rationally superior in logic and economic philosopy you can substantively point out the errors in my arguments. Please, enlighten us great Socratic one.

fed_up 8 years, 10 months ago

Does anyone else remember about 12 years ago when the elderly Mrs Nieder owned the land on the corner of 31st & Iowa and didn't want to sell it because that was all she had left, so they condemned that land, gave her the price they wanted to, and built the Target and the rest of those stores anyway? These West side property owners want the land developed, used, and making money for them. Do we really need hundreds more apartments?

Is the difference that in the first case it was only 1 little old lady with not much money that didn't want to sell vs a lot of extremely West side monied people that don't want to live near a Wal Mart?

dviper 8 years, 10 months ago

Bozo,..... Either you're playing a fool or really don't understand what the city commission is going to do for the Krauses. Their property will be rezoned and permits will be approved, despite city staff recommendations.

The development and Wal-Mart met or exceeded every request the city made. The city staff approved it. It is the PLC commissioners who have decided to 'bludgeon Lawrence taxpayers with more costly litigation'.

Larrytowncitizen 8 years, 10 months ago

Thanks to the "Commissioners" we are going to get a big box just like everyone else. Thanks Folks! Lawrence had the best design they had ever offered and we will end up with the "stock footage". Oh yes, and a big legal bill. Thanks, I really love paying our tax dollars to losing causes. That will force me to shop a Wal-mart! (Maybe that is their double-secret plan) At least the meds will be cheap when my Doctor gives me scripts for anti-depressants!

Christine Pennewell Davis 8 years, 10 months ago

round and round we go where we stop no one knows..

monkeyhawk 8 years, 10 months ago

"Clearly, the corruption of previous planning and city commissions and their total disregard for the county's and city's main planning document, H2020, has opened the legal door for Wal-Mart, Compton, Newsome, et al."

bozo, you have alleged past corruption many times. Please enlighten the masses as to exactly which deals you are referring, who was paid off, and what the results were. Since you are such a stickler for corroboration, I'm sure this won't be difficult for you.

You never know, you might gain some allies if, indeed, your claims are factual.

Mari Aubuchon 8 years, 10 months ago

Rational:

If your taxes were lowered and you can afford to start a business, your fingernails are less dirty than mine.

If you think that I and others who are willing to stand up to corporate greed wear Armani, drive Mercedes, etc..., you are sorely mistaken. You are, however, describing the conservative elite's children.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 10 months ago

Do you recommend something with content, or are you suggesting that I read your posts instead?

Mari Aubuchon 8 years, 10 months ago

Conservatives:

This is not a question of WalMart or no WalMart. There is already one in all its glory on S. Iowa. If you want to give them your money, no one is stopping you.

Also, when will you have enough power? You control every branch of the federal government. If you don't like the government you have, you have only yourselves to blame.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 10 months ago

"Certainly if you are so rationally superior in logic and economic philosopy you can substantively point out the errors in my arguments."

Actually, there is very little in the way of argument in your post-- mostly just unsupported assertion.

bastet 8 years, 10 months ago

Isn't it interesting that the new mega store on South Iowa has completely abandoned its "green" image that sold it to Lawrence in the first place? It's now a big, ugly warehouse Wal-Mart. Oh, well, of course, they have the recycling center. That makes everything okay.

Let's see what happens. Communities all over the world (including this one) have rolled over in front of the Wal-Mart juggernaut. How many stores selling cheap goods made under questionable labor practices do we really need? Lawrence may lose the money, but it will certainly lose another part of what makes it a different kind of community if it "gains" another Wal-Mart.

ASBESTOS 8 years, 10 months ago

"Electrician: $48K HVAC mechanic: $50K Auto mechanic: $48K Carpenter: $43K"

Tese are pretty much BS levels. THe average here is $23 per hour. What is REALLY paid on construction sites is:

$6-8 for illegal undocumented aliens, and they get all the overtime with straight time hours,

Electrician MAY make $20.00 an hour being the supervisor or crew leader, but their "support crew" is that pool of 6-8 dollar an hour. It is not what it was like 7 years ago, where ALL those pulling wire were ALL paid well, then it was $10-13,

HVAC tech pounding the duct together and hanging it will get paid anywhere between $6-12 an hour, the guy that checks your furnace....$10-13, the HVAC guy that diagnoses a Chille, Cooling Tower, or boiler system with complex controls, may get into the $15-22 range, but there aren't many of them,

Carpenters have the lowerst pay in the construction industry, wither rough in or finsih. That is because of all the illegal employment of Illegal Aliens. Anywhere from $6 for the rough in, forms, and framers, to 12 for the finish,

The AUTO mechanics again has been hit with the illegal alien and reduced the wage sets as well, however I do not know what an auto mechanic makes, I do know what the construction wages hourly sets are though.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 10 months ago

"I will second the fact that Merc shopers seem a bit unhealthy. i have sat and watched people come and go there and the majority of them seem to be , well , sickly looking folks."

Every now and then, you say something halfway intelligent, but other times, such as this and the rest of your post above, you are absolutely idiotic and seem to be posting from the same alcoholic rage that seems to infect the rest of the knee-jerk, misinformed, mindless posters evident on this thread.

ASBESTOS 8 years, 10 months ago

This is also why City governments are the most corrupt governments around.

It is also why City GOvernments (like Wichita) get away with murder in the environmental regulations and enforcement.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 10 months ago

If the planning staff approval is all that should be required, then we should really just do away with the city commission, and let Wal-Mart run the city with the "planning" staff of their choice.

ASBESTOS 8 years, 10 months ago

If an illegal alien is doing the work, it is probably in the 6-8 dollar an hour range, padi in CASH, no taxes, or any other benes paid.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 10 months ago

The City has gone through a long and detail process, attempting to determine whether or not a Wal-Mart should be built on the northwest corner of 6th and Wakarusa. Law suits have been filed. Landowners have made claims that it is their "right" to build whatever they want. Planning staff have been battered from all sides. Angry citizens have felt betrayed by their elected officials. Developers have effectively become a political party, attempting to purchase the votes they want on the City Commission.

An improved design, a few more trees in the parking lot or placing the buildings closer to the street, will do nothing to resolve the market impact. The town is already overbuilt in retail space. Adding a new Wal-Mart to an oversaturated market will only cause other stores to close and become vacant. Finding tenants will be difficult to impossible. It is probable that we will simply add to the already large stock of empty, deteriorating, and blighting vacant retail buildings that already deface our community. The jobs in those stores will be lost. The workers will have the unhappy choice between unemployment or going to work for Wal-Mart.

Good design is not the same as good planning.

No issue galvanized voters in the 2003 election as did the Wal-Mart issue. The voters called for good planning. They did not want sprawl, hurting the older districts of the City. They did not want overbuilding of commercial space, hurting the existing commercial districts, especially the downtown. Unfortunately, the leadership of the City failed to deliver. Sprawl and overbuilding continues unabated. No amount of architectural details can cover this failure.

BlueRoom 8 years, 10 months ago

godot: Homework? hah - there are no ads for everyday low prices. I wasn't talking about things on sale. Also, once I balance my checkbook/credit card I discard my receipts. It shouldn't have to be such a hassle just to buy the necessities. The check out lines were all backed up when we left and I can't imagine what it would have been like if I had bought things then had to verify with the check out person each price from other stores ads or my receipts. it shouldn't have to be that way. they are cheap not inexpensive.

Godot 8 years, 10 months ago

Asbestos is right about thoses wages. And most will not receive any benefits, like health insurance or retirement.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 10 months ago

It's hardly a done deal, despite your assertions, dviper.

And as I have previously stated, it will be up to the courts to decide whether or not this commission can require Wal-Mart to adhere to zoning restrictions that previous city and planning commissions so cavalierly ignored as a matter of defacto policy.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 10 months ago

Wal Marts China Price http://www.alternet.org/workplace/27829

Americans are Shopping Themselves Out of Jobs http://www.fastcompany.com/online/77/walmart.html

Wal-Mart is 10% of USA Trade Deficit with China:

The imbalance -- in combination with soaring fiscal deficits, a low savings rate and high energy costs -- has become a real threat to America's middle class.

According to a study by the Economic Policy Institute [PDF], America's balance-of-payments deficit with China (of which approximately $18 billion dollars is created by Wal-Mart) was responsible for the loss of 1.5 million manufacturing jobs between 1989 and 2003.

The study found that the jobs being displaced have changed over that period. The authors noted: "Where the largest impact was once felt in labor-intensive, lower-tech manufacturing industries such as apparel and shoes, the fastest growth in job displacement is now occurring in highly skilled and advanced technology areas once considered relatively immune."

That's a troubling trend: China -- often portrayed as the production destination of choice for cheap plastic toys and similar low-tech goods -- now accounts for the entire $32 billion U.S. trade deficit in high-tech products, and is starting to make inroads in what were considered bulwarks of first world manufacturing: automobiles and aerospace.

Aimee Polson 8 years, 10 months ago

Top court turns down Wal-Mart -- cities can ban big-box stores

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/07/13/BAG45JU7PR1.DTL

I'll chip in for the city's court fees. Just tell me where to send my money.

Brando: "shopped" was the key word. Have shopped, no longer shop. Tried to shop, but couldn't take it. It is a little disconcerting though how crowded it is...all the time. I have recurring thoughts of oily marshmallows walking around smelling of cold french fries. I bet the halloween candy is flying off the shelves. Do kids even trick or treat anymore?

Rationalanimal 8 years, 10 months ago

Mari:

You assume too much. Many of us that have dirt under our nails build your house, landscape your yard, pour the concrete for the garage housing your additional cars. It is very telling that you assumed when I said small business that I was refering to white collar small businesses. I'll give you a pass on the assumption b/c I know us small business blue collar folks are practically invisible to you.

Lastly, if you take a hard look around you in Lawrence, the dominant population of the socialist elite that run this city are driving the Lexus SUV's, Mercedes, BMW's, Infinity. Just go to any City Council meeting, watch whose sympathetic towards socialism and then watch what they drive home. Come on, you know who you are, let's be honest about it rather than arguing in the abstract about things that affect the empirical world.

classclown 8 years, 10 months ago

Be careful Rationalanimal. You know how folks don't like the help being uppity.

Brandon Perkins 8 years, 10 months ago

Berserk said:

P.S. They also hire immigrants for late night cleanup and stocking work for less than $4hr.

Berserk....FYI all "late night cleanup" and "stocking" is done by Wal-Mart employees not immigrants...get your stories straight.....

Godot 8 years, 10 months ago

I remember that my oldest son was embarrassed when we shopped at the old Merc. He would get this worried look on his face and ask, "Don't we have enough money to shop at a real store?"

monkeyhawk 8 years, 10 months ago

Does this remind anyone of the smoking ban petition? I seem to recall that the plc said they would reconsider the issue if the petition was dumped. The petition organizers complied, preferring instead to try to work out some details in good faith.

Actually, I think that the plc really wants WM to build their originally planned store, free of any "smart growth" imposed incumbrances. Why else would two lawyers - Highberger & Schauner, risk all the hard working taxpayer's money on a cause they have to know they can never win? Oops, forgot, it isn't their money - they view it as their free legal defense fund.

"If not, well you may lose The Merc, but you might just gain enough respect and gratitude from the voters for avoiding a lengthy lawsuit and fees that you might just keep your jobs." Sigmund, I beg to differ with you on that last part.

dviper 8 years, 10 months ago

Bozo if you don't believe it (the restaurant) will be approved, you really are playing the fool. The commission even talked about 'fast tracking' the process so that the Krause's could get re-opened quickly. Maybe you missed the commission meeting.

It's interesting that you've never commented on the discriminatory and unequal treatment of these two businesses (Krause's and Wal-Mart development) by the city commission.

Godot 8 years, 10 months ago

BlueRoom, You need help with your budgeting. Do they teach that at college these days, or is that passe?

cowboy 8 years, 10 months ago

I will second the fact that Merc shopers seem a bit unhealthy. i have sat and watched people come and go there and the majority of them seem to be , well , sickly looking folks.

Oh but I guess its fun to pay twice what something is actually worth cuz its labeled organic. Talk about the original scam .

I can take a cow and grass feed it , which is cheaper than grass and grain supplemented feeding programs and sell it for more to dumb ass organic food chains who charge you twice whats its worth and it tastes like crap compared to grain supplemented beef. What sense does that make.

Oh yes and all the alarmists that thought Walmart grocery would run everybody out of business , their prices aren't really very good as you have stated above. Hysterical threat not true.

canyon_wren 8 years, 10 months ago

Irrationalanimal--your disagreement with my point of view has nothing to do with my comment. I respect and even admire folks who ARE rational and disagree--and there are a lot of those folks who post. I have learned a great deal from them and they have succeeded in changing my mind in some cases. My comment was because you are "ranting and raving"--a sure sign of an irrational mind! Clear up your thoughts and you might have something worth saying!

Godot 8 years, 10 months ago

The bulk food section is the only true value purchase at the Merc. It is ironic that that is what they were all about in the first place, back when they were in that old building off of 7th street, and you went down into the basement to package your rice and granola and stuff in paper sacks, and you weighed it and priced it yourself....that was when the Merc was about providing unpackaged food at a reasonable price, before they went upscale and out of sight with their prices.

Rationalanimal 8 years, 10 months ago

Ladies and Gentleman, bozo the factician has joined us. A brilliant drive-by poster specializing in conclusory statements. Thank you bozo, you've made us all more intelligent by your presence.

monkeyhawk 8 years, 10 months ago

bozo, I'm waiting for a reply.

I know you are lurking, and it seems like you always have some sort of "clever" response to most anything I post (or to any of those who don't buy your guff).

Put up or shut up....

Godot 8 years, 10 months ago

"And I'm so glad that none of you Merc haters will be there, which will mean that intelligent conversation in a pleasant atmosphere is almost guaranteed."

Most people who talk to themselves feel that way.

justthefacts 8 years, 10 months ago

You all must just love arguing the same things over and over again. So I won't try to again interject facts about such things as vested property rights (meaning that b/c the original city council approved the original Walmart proposal, the legal outcome on this fight is pretty much a slam dunk in favor of Walmart) . Like it or hate it all you want; once that approval was given and Walmart began moving forward, the city's LEGAL authority to change it's mind was gone. All the current commissioner are doing is engaging in expensive stalling.

middleoftheroader 8 years, 10 months ago

I still say Mr. Schauner has it right when he says "I guess the alternative is to abandon our zoning codes and our building codes and let people do whatever they want." now if he would only put those words into action then this community would be back on the right track of not confusing a persons right to build a schoddy business,with the rights of everyone to hate those types of businesses. Come on people, we have no right to take away someone else's right to own and operate a business just because we disagree with their business practices. Laws dont exist simply because the majority want them too. there are principles involved.

Godot 8 years, 10 months ago

And, Bozo, that 10% discount you pay for with your annual dues now makes your purchase only 50% higher than you would pay at Walmart.

Ta Ta!!

Rationalanimal 8 years, 10 months ago

canyon_wren:

By rational thought, you must be talking about Al Gore screaming at the top his lungs that "Bush lied to America" or the shrill voice of Hilary Rodham Clinton at a daily press conference on how saying the same thing. Before I conclude your a total waste of time b/c you'd rather name call and make personal attacks, indulge me, point out specifically what irrational thoughts I have put down, make a counter argument. Of the two of us, I've yet to use an exclamation point ("!") in any of my posts. Yes, there's been a little sarcasm, but how is sarcasm and pointing out hypocrisy "ranting and raving". We (except maybe bozo) all hope you have more to add than personal attacks and name calling to a substantive discussion. And please spare us the, "there's nothing substantive" to critique reply, it illustrates that the debate is over your head.

Rationalanimal 8 years, 10 months ago

The fact is, the City has egg all over its face. They pretended to enter in to a settlement agreement with Wal-mart on the eve of getting creamed in court. The City tapped out and cried uncle, not Wal-mart. Breaking that agreement now under the new theory that the proposed site will increase traffic congestion smacks of buying time to fish for legitimate theories (recall that their orginal theory for denying the development was that the nature of Wal-mart didn't fit the original zoning). Every judge in the 7th District knows what the City did, and the credibility the City has lost as a result. That's why Wal-mart has now come back with an even bigger development proposal. The reality is, Wal-mart will probably get it b/c the trial judge, whether the old settlement agreement is admissible or not, knows what's gone on. The City fishing for a new theory only stands to heighten the color of the commission's actions being arbitrary, capricious and in bad faith. The final fatal blow by Wal-mart will be the City's own $250,000 case study concluding that big box stores like Wal-mart are good for the community.

cantbelievemyeyes 8 years, 10 months ago

I feel the same way, Redneckwoman. I am so disgusted with Lawrence that I stopped shopping there. I am now buying all my stuff in Topeka because I don't want Lawrence to get any of my money and I have found the prices to be MUCH cheaper. I am saving gas money as well. The Lecompton bridge closing was the clincher but these fights to stop free economy just sickens me. Lawrence was a wonderful city when I lived there 15 years ago and it has gone downhill quickly since. (or maybe my eyes have finally been opened.)

Godot 8 years, 10 months ago

Schauner said, ""We're trying to protect everybody's interests and not pander to certain moneyed interests," he said."

and then,

"I'm proud of the commission," said Gwen Klingenberg, a neighbor who has led opposition to the proposal. "Our commission cares about growth, but they know it needs to occur correctly. This was just inappropriate for this corner."

Looks to me like the the three dadaists are spending our money to pander, not only to the left wing control freaks, but also to the interests of the people who live near 6th & Wak - and I certainly would call those "moneyed interests." It is clear that those moneyed interests do not want a Walmart at that corner, period. They should quit playing games and just admit that no matter what Walmart does, the PLC kommishioners will not allow it to build there.

packrat 8 years, 10 months ago

The first time I lived in Lawrence, the Merc was a reasonably priced alternative to the Food Barn or Price Chopper that was located where Hastings is now. The customers were "hippies", now the "hippies" have sold out and so has the Merc.

I was wrong about Walmart proposing a 190,000+ sq ft store. I should have remembered about their original plan.

Mari Aubuchon 8 years, 10 months ago

Rational, Godot, Asbestos:

Are you going to blame us liberals for not having any medical or retirement benefits? That's rich!

If you are making that much less than the national average for these job, who really is to blame? Perhaps it is these selfsame small business owners and their big brothers in the corporate world.

Rational: I said nothing about YOUR gender.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 10 months ago

Godot--

There are no annual dues at the Merc.

But that bit of misinformation is consistent with pretty much everything else you post.

redneckwoman 8 years, 10 months ago

I dislike Lawrence as it is. I shop less & less in Lawrence every month (because of my location) & once Douglas Co. closes the Lecompton bridge in April (for 5+ months)I see myself in Lawrence even less. Even though it will bring more jobs Walmart should let it go & spend the money on a building in North Topeka. Oh wait my bad I think they already are! I guess my money will be going to my local grocer & Topeka for bigger purchases. Come to think of it I'll even save on gas too.

Godot 8 years, 10 months ago

"The Krauses don't have a permit yet, but they've been offered the opportunity to work with the city to find an acceptable solution."

The Krauses had better be careful. Perhaps if they hired a certain architect to plead their case to the commission, they would be certain to gain approval of their zoning variance. Otherwise, this commission is likely to make them jump through expensive hoops, and then say, "Sorry, we changed our minds," at the last minute. That is they way they operate.

Berserk 8 years, 10 months ago

If WalMart goes up, I will seriously rethink my residency here.

Marion, S.T.F.U, I think everyone is tired of your rambling.

I think WalMart should put a supersized pawn & crook shop in thier store. That way Marion can get away for the news for a while and experience the wonder that is WalMart, minimum wage part-time no healthinsurance overtime shortpaying goodness. P.S. They also hire immigrants for late night cleanup and stocking work for less than $4hr.

If you buy from WalMart you unanimously support thier money leeching corporate criminalism, and you have no respect for your neighbors or thier jobs.

Rationalanimal 8 years, 10 months ago

Motion for directed verdict based on the failure to establish the basic elements of the cause of action.

Granted

Godot 8 years, 10 months ago

Mari, I was not blaming "you liberals" for anything other than being totally ignorant when it comes to the financial rewards, or lack thereof, of being a blue collar worker in Lawrence, Kansas.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 10 months ago

"I seem to recall that the plc said they would reconsider the issue if the petition was dumped."

While the three "PLC" commissioners voted for the ban, the PLC never took a position on that ban. The PLC has only been concerned with land-use and zoning issues.

And I'm pretty sure that the "PLC" commissioners (who are not the PLC) never made any such comments concerning the petition. The organizers never submitted it because they knew the vote would fail to overturn the ban.

A new Wal-Mart will probably have a minor effect on the Merc, but the vast majority of shoppers at the Merc know that Wal-Mart is a fraud when it comes to a sustainable, healthful food supply.

Aimee Polson 8 years, 10 months ago

Topeka could use the economic shot in the arm by its residents staying in town to spend their money. Too bad more than half of that money will leave town once it's spent, since the businesses that appear to actually get any business are from out of town.

"Indiana Main Streets and others have determined that only 6 cents of every dollar spent with a big box retailer stays in the community. For a chain store it's 20 cents of every dollar, but every dollar spent with a sole proprietorship keeps 60 cents circulating in the community." http://www.sehn.org/Volume_9-6.html

The numbers are debatable, but you get the drift.

middleoftheroader 8 years, 10 months ago

Mari i have lived next to a gas station. and i do live near a strip mall, it doesnt bother me, however i do understand your sentiment and your point. but my point was and is that no matter the inconvenience to anyone nor the discomfort, it doesnt give me or any other neighbor or citizen the right to demand that one of those businesses not be built.

Godot 8 years, 10 months ago

I have a suggestion for the people who base their hatred of Walmart on the fact that their employees are overworked, underpaid, and lack health insurance.

The next time you call for repairs to your home, your electricity, your furnace, your air conditioner, your car, or even have your car towed, ask if the worker that comes to your aid has health insurance. If not, then go on to the next listing in the yellow pages. If you find a repair business that actually does provide its employees with health insurance, ask how much the worker is paid, per hour. If it is less than the "average" $23 per hour that Bozo believes is the standard, then make up the difference yourself, in the form of a tip.

Furthermore, if you need help at any time other than regular business hours, be sure that the worker (not the business, the worker) is paid time and a half the rate of $23 per hour, one way or another.

Then you will be true to your deeply held standards of demanding a living wage and health insurance for all.

Oh, and one more thing. Try to be polite.

middleoftheroader 8 years, 10 months ago

Commissioner Schauner said it best (even if he was only joking), "I guess the alternative is to abandon our zoning codes and our building codes and let people do whatever they want". Now that is the kind of freedom that ought to exist in this country.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 10 months ago

I merely noted that your posts consist primarily of unsupported assertion, RA.

I further note that they have remained so.

Glad you enjoy my company, RA.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 10 months ago

Hey guys-- can't stay and chat. Hafta go shop at the Merc on member's day and get my 10% discount.

And I'm so glad that none of you Merc haters will be there, which will mean that intelligent conversation in a pleasant atmosphere is almost guaranteed.

BlueRoom 8 years, 10 months ago

I took my son to the Walmart SuperStore looking for Halloween stuff today. (I hadn't been there in almost a year) and while we were there I thought it would be a good time to get other things we were needing (e.g. kitty food, kitty litter, toothpaste, deoderant, etc.) but I found out that their prices were not any lower than what I see at the other markets here in town. All I had when we left there was an empty cart and a tremendous headache. What a scam they are. It's hard to believe that people actually want another another place like this in town.

middleoftheroader 8 years, 10 months ago

The preceeding post was paid for by the committee to elect middleoftheroader city commissioner. LOL

Sigmund 8 years, 10 months ago

If the PLC Kommissioners want a way out of this increasingly expensive game where a pair of jokers isn't likely to be a winning hand, here is some advice.

Call a press conference and admit there is "an appearance of a conflict of interest." As a act of good faith ask that the matter be put on the Commissions agenda and recuse yourselves from the vote. If the zoning fails you have removed a major issue from the table at trial. If not, well you may lose The Merc, but you might just gain enough respect and gratitude from the voters for avoiding a lengthy lawsuit and fees that you might just keep your jobs.

canyon_wren 8 years, 10 months ago

Out here in SE Utah where I live, we have to drive to Grand Jct. to visit the closest Wal-Mart. I do shop there when necessary, but am anxiously awaiting the CostCo which is supposed to be built soon. (We are fighting the possibility of a Wal-Mart here in Moab, but that is another story). As much as possible, I shop locally--to save gas and support our great local merchants who will back what they sell--and who will never last if WalMart comes here.

Aside from WM's poor employment record, etc., one of the sad things about their "Super Stores" is that it usually means their "older, less noteworthy" stores wind up empty. This has happened all over our part of the country and I am sure will happen to the current one in Lawrence. The first store in Grand Jct. is looking pretty seedy as all the business goes to the newer SuperStore. Although Grand Jct. is not as big as Lawrence, it serves a shopping public similar in size because of its isolation on the Western Slope. Lawrence DOES NOT need two WalMarts!

Mari Aubuchon 8 years, 10 months ago

Rational:

Actually, I assumed that you were a contractor. What do you drive: a shiny white pick-up truck or an SUV?

Just a few of those dirty fingernail jobs of which you speak and their average salaries (not even the business owners):

Electrician: $48K HVAC mechanic: $50K Auto mechanic: $48K Carpenter: $43K

The REAL working class is mostly pink collar, by the way. The majority of those who make minimum wage in our country are women who work in the service industry caring for your kids, your parents, and your belly.

And you do NOT know who I am or what I drive.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 10 months ago

" nothing... absolutely NOTHING gives me the right to keep someone from opening up a LEGAL business on property i dont own PERIOD."

Well, YOU might not, but the community does. There are zoning restrictions for very good reasons. The community, through the H2020 process, decided that commericial activity as intense as a big-box development would bring is inappropriate for that intersection, which is shared by well over 1000 students, teachers and other staff at Free State High School.

While many posters have good reasons for disliking Wal-Mart, this action is NOT anti-Wal-Mart. If that were the city commission's motivation, why was Wal-Mart allowed to considerably expand its store on S. Iowa?

roger_o_thornhill 8 years, 10 months ago

"Laws dont exist simply because the majority want them too. there are principles involved."

What does this mean? I don't understand?

"I will second the fact that Merc shopers seem a bit unhealthy. i have sat and watched people come and go there and the majority of them seem to be , well , sickly looking folks."

Do you work around there? How is it that you have time to watch anyone come and go from anywhere? For what purpose would you do this?

"Oh but I guess its fun to pay twice what something is actually worth cuz its labeled organic. Talk about the original scam "

I thought that was religion. You know--give money to a man in a dress so that he will make sure that you get on St. Peter's list when you die.

I say who cares about Walmart?! I do think they would be better off in the long run if they had explored the property on the NE corner of K-10 and W. 6th. Maybe they looked at it--but to me it seems like a better fit. Easier service to rural areas (Lecompton, Stull, Big Spring,etc..). Only like 1.5 or 2 miles west of current proposal, right? Much easier access I would think. The area is wide open for development. Well off (6th) street access. Have delivery docks below grade to hide unsightly trucks. Put bldg. closer to road w/parking behind store--already got rid of problem of unsightly delvieries then. Lots of trees. Where's the lawsuit in that plan? 'Course I ain't no developer type and I don't own any of the land so it ain't like I know.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 10 months ago

I'd give you a link, but our "paper of record," the LJW, is woefully inadequate in providing any records of the actual votes or records of commission meetings that initially opened the door for this debacle.

So you'll have to be satisfied with my memory, which my experience here has told me is much more accurate than any of your memories.

The city and planning commissions previous to 2003, anxious to help their buddies who owned the 6Wak property in question, approved what they thought would be a Home Depot or Lowe's moving in there, despite the fact that H2020, on which the ink wasn't even dry, specifically prohibited that size or type of development at that intersection.

Not long after, Home Depot went to S. Iowa, but I don't think they ever intended to build at 6th and Waky, anyway. I think this was always a bait-and-switch scam to open the door for Wal-Mart.

Them's the facts as I see 'em. Disprove them if you can, but if it's just a matter of your memory vs. my memory, the weak grasp on reality exhibited by most of you here make me confident that my memory is quite accurate.

monkeyhawk 8 years, 10 months ago

"bozo, you have alleged past corruption many times. Please enlighten the masses as to exactly which deals you are referring, who was paid off, and what the results were. Since you are such a stickler for corroboration, I'm sure this won't be difficult for you."

Once again, I ask you to name names and instances, or does memory fail you in that regard? You may have perfectly valid details that could sway some to your point of view.

But, I suspect your gibberish is merely more of your arrogant b.s. It is not up to me to disprove your theories, or your memories. You live in an alternative universe from most of us.

As I stated before, put up or shut up.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 10 months ago

"As I stated before, put up or shut up."

More of the same old empty rhetoric. As I said, I trust my memory, and I've "put up" well above the standard you and your cohorts have ever exhibited, given that your standard is nothing but childish insults and petty innuendo against anyone who is even remotely different from the Leave-It-To-Beaver, Eddie Haskell mentality you never left behind in junior high.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 10 months ago

"The BOZO makes wild accusations in the form of the age old question, "Do you still beat your wife?" and then tells US to disprove HIS allegations!"

So if they are really that wild, they'll be really easy to disprove, right, Marion?

dviper 8 years, 10 months ago

Reply to plumberscrack at 5:01 AM who said,

"I believe Mayor Amyx and Sue Hack voted FOR this also. So, YOUR candidates are JUST AS RESPONSIBLE!

Your observation is correct about the commission vote; however, I don't support Amyx or Hack. If you had read my post after the Krause's decision was made, I called them out as hypocrites as well. I will NOT vote for any of the current commissioners.

Now, as far as posters pointing to H2020 for validity of anything is a joke. Even this current commission has ignored H2020 just as every other commission since the printing of H2020.

Mr. Schauner a few months ago during a commission meeting referred to it as a guideline, and Boog and Rundle echoed his statement during their comment time before voting. Now Schauner and posters here, refer to it as if it were law.

Just more hypocrisy and fabrication of lies.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 10 months ago

So can you point to specific examples where Rundle, Schauner and Highberger have blatantly ignored the "guideline" of H2020, dviper?

And just to confirm that my memory is indeed correct, try this link:

middleoftheroader 8 years, 10 months ago

roger_o_thornhill. what i meant by my comment was that it seems to me that many of the posters here who dont want another walmart seem to believe that if they shout loud enough or make very clear why they HATE walmart then that ought to be good enough reason to keep walmart from opening up another store. those would hardly be principled reason for taking away someones right to own and operate a business in a free society. for the record i dont want another walmart,i dont shop at the one we currently have and its closer to me then the new one will be. i also dont agree with their business practices, of which i have first hand knowledge. i used to work for walmart. however. nothing... absolutely NOTHING gives me the right to keep someone from opening up a LEGAL business on property i dont own PERIOD.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 10 months ago

Lawrence will neither die nor go broke if another Wal - Mart is not built. What it would do is allow for more choices and competition. The more Wal Marts the fewer choices.

After all it seems the city and the Chamber should at least pursue a company that offers decent wages and medical coverage for the greater majority of its' employee. Higher wages produce more sales tax revenue. Greater medical coverage for employees translates into fewer community and state tax dollars required to pay for those who cannot afford health care while being employed. Maybe Wal-Mart is not a bargain after all. It seems members of the real estate industry should have more concern for our community.

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