Archive for Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Wal-Mart meeting draws smiley faces

July 11, 2007

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This architect's rendering shows the Wal-Mart site at Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive.

This architect's rendering shows the Wal-Mart site at Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive.

Angie Stoner, a Wal-Mart spokeswoman, talking about the proposed store and development near Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive.

Angie Stoner, a Wal-Mart spokeswoman, talking about the proposed store and development near Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive.

It was a Wal-Mart-friendly crowd.

Developers Doug Compton and Bill Newsome said comments had "pretty much all been positive" from the about 30 people who attended an open house Tuesday night at Free State High School to view plans of the retail store proposed in northwestern Lawrence. It features a native grass area, landscaping and natural building materials.

"I think it's going to be a beautiful addition, really, to the neighborhood," said Nancy Burke, who has lived in the area for nine years.

"They're doing this all over the country. People need to get up and see them," her husband, Dave, said.

He said they travel often and have seen the looks of Wal-Mart stores across the country.

The project, in the northwest corner of Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive, has drawn opposition from some neighbors concerned about it adding traffic to the area, particularly with the high school nearby.

Wal-Mart released the plans for the new 99,840-square-foot store, four smaller buildings, surrounding landscaping, a pedestrian path, seating areas and other features in June. Wal-Mart and the developers agreed to the city's request in April to delay the start of a possible civil trial until September. A trial would determine whether the city had illegally denied Wal-Mart a building permit.

After the April election, new Commissioners Rob Chestnut and Mike Dever replaced two of three commissioners - David Schauner and Mike Rundle - who had opposed the Wal-Mart plan. Commissioner Boog Highberger retained his seat.

Wal-Mart spokeswoman Angie Stoner said organizers sent invitations to 500 people from surrounding neighborhoods for the Tuesday meeting. Members of the public could speak with an engineer and view renderings of the store and the proposed development.

Roger Bain, who has lived in the neighborhood for nine years, said the group made a good presentation, but he has opposed the plan from the beginning.

"I just don't think there's any real need for it," he said. "I'm not going to shop there, and I don't know who will."

Bain said he was concerned a new Wal-Mart would weaken Lawrence's downtown.

"I really hate to see that. (The proposed store) is nothing that you wouldn't see in Johnson County or Topeka or Wichita or any place like that," he said.

Neighbor Susan Winter said how to safely handle traffic was her main worry.

"I don't think it's really Wal-Mart's concern as much as it is the city's," she said.

Dan Gaumer said he has supported the proposal but most of his neighbors oppose it. The plan appeared to address his traffic concerns.

"I like the truck pattern. They've done about as much as they can do - to load and unload in back of the store. I think it will do a good job handling it the best you can."

Lawrence-Douglas County planning commissioners are scheduled to have a full hearing on the plan July 23, and city commissioners are scheduled to consider it in August.

Comments

packrat 7 years, 9 months ago

I guess I needed the tags around the race statement.

x96merrill3 7 years, 9 months ago

If you opposed Wal-Mart and got an invitation to gather as much information to support your case as possible, would YOU pass it up? Sorry, nay-sayers, you aren't going to be able to spin the turnout numbers in your favor. 30 people represent only 6% of the residents in that area...which, in the world of advertising, would be an OUTSTANDING return. Does that mean 94% oppose it? Of course not. It means the other 94% are also either in favor and like the way things are going, or they are just plain appathetic.

Kam_Fong_as_Chin_Ho 7 years, 9 months ago

Don't lay any blame on the people that actually showed up; they got off their duffs and made their voice heard. They problem lies with the apathetic majority who opposes WalMart but does nothing about it...other than gripe on a message board about it.

armyguy 7 years, 9 months ago

When organizers send invitations to 500 people from surrounding neighborhoods for the meeting that shows that most of the people here in Lawrence don't care if Walmart is in the area.

purplesage 7 years, 9 months ago

One of these days, there will be a Wal-Mart on the N side. If you live that way, you know you'll shop there once it is built. I'm not a Wal-Mart fan but I still go in because I have to watch my nickels and dimes.

How about a N. Lawrence K-Mart? If they'd just get in the ballpark on the prices, I would go there anyday.

Crossfire 7 years, 9 months ago

How stupid do The Walton's think we are. The fact that 470 of the 500 invitations went ignored tells that most of the people do not want to hear any more propaganda from the great junk seller. It is still the same Monster. It's just hiding in the grass. Landscaping does not change the reality of what they are. A turd in a pretty box is still a turd.

Ragingbear 7 years, 9 months ago

Good to see that Wal-Mart thinks that 30 people are a proper representative sample of the 100,000 or so Lawrence residents.

DaREEKKU 7 years, 9 months ago

Of course Doug Compton had a smile on his greedy little face.....I wonder how much he'll be making off of this whole debacle....

Rightytighty 7 years, 9 months ago

Yeah goes to show only 30 people wanted to hear what Wal-mart had to say.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 9 months ago

The reason only 30 people turned out is because everyone knows this is a done deal.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 9 months ago

Wal-Mart is not good for business anywhere. Too much money goes to China and Bentonville,Arkansas.

Face it big boxes have plenty of shortcomings not good for land use. They are too big, out of scale and out of tune in small towns. They are hard on local businesses and on the families, relationships, and communities sustained by those businesses. They create huge traffic burdens. They usually pay low wages, even within the generally low wage retail sector. They provide few benefits or protections to employees. *Their profits are exported out of town all the way to China.

None of the above are acceptable when speaking of land use in Lawrence,Kansas. Simply put Lawrence,kansas cannot afford to use our land that would promote any of the above.

We would probably rather have other businesses come to town. Light "Green" industry and professional services provide higher wages, stable taxes, and fewer demands on our infrastructure.

monkeyhawk 7 years, 9 months ago

Roger Bain, who has lived in the neighborhood for nine years, said the group made a good presentation, but he has opposed the plan from the beginning.

"I just don't think there's any real need for it," he said. "I'm not going to shop there, and I don't know who will."

Personally, I don't think there is any real need for his house to be there. I'm not going to buy it, and I don't know who would. That reasoning is just as silly.

boooozo..........

"The reason only 30 people turned out is because everyone knows this is a done deal."

No, the reason only 30 people turned out is because most of the opposition does not even live in the invited area, and I would venture to say, they probably never visit the west side of the city.

For the record - I don't care if the store is built or not, but I am damn sick and tired of paying lawyers (from Overland Park, no less) to defend the actions of your has-been ideologue buds. Besides, my great big Cadillac suv can continue to haul a lot of recyclables across town.

Oracle_of_Rhode 7 years, 9 months ago

I'd venture to guess that Wak-Mart selected the 500 invitees from a list of known sympathizers and 30 of them showed to the PR stunt, along with media rooters like LJW. This certainly is not the type of turnout and viewpoint you'd get from an open public meeting in Lawrence.

I love how the renderings hide the monstrosity and how no cars are in the parking lot. Fun-nee!

A glossary:

Native grasses = plastic bag graveyard Pedestrian walkway = sidewalk Wak-Mart = A city government that $old out the city

lynn3 7 years, 9 months ago

500 invitations could have only meant that they people who live within a certain distance got them. This could mean that only those who live in the apartments and duplexes south of 6th. The people who live in these home may not even be the homeowners. They might not have the concern as those who plan to stay in the area for decades to raise their children. I have also lived in the area for 9 years and oppose the development based on traffic concerns. I did not get the invitation and don't know anyone else who did. I live south and east of the corner and will be affected because it is necessary to drive through the intersection.

Lucky 7 years, 9 months ago

The City of Lawrence is under budget pressure and should require that either Wal-Mart reimburse the City for the $300,000+ in legal fees or Doug Compton pay the City these legal fees before the project moves forward.

Keep it simple - give Lawrence back the $300,000+ in legal fees and the project breaks ground.

riverrat2 7 years, 9 months ago

I own a home in the area and I wasn't invited. This area is (soon to be was) the only entrance to Lawrence that doesn't look dirty and neglected. That's about to change evidently. Just couldn't put something nice there so now we'll get another S. Iowa St.

Warren6032 7 years, 9 months ago

Lawrence should accept the north Walmart bc it's going to happen whether the neighbors wants it or not. We're spending too much money in legal bills, we're fighting a losing battle. We should be spending our money on more important issues such as homeless, affordable housing, etc., instead of legal bills and round-abouts

llama726 7 years, 9 months ago

"I can't believe the journalist had the guts/stupidity to quote people stating that a new Walmart will weaken Downtown Lawrence:

If you don't like Walmart, do not shop there. Take your business elsewhere. Let those who want to shop there, do so."

That's absolutely ridiculous. People still use local businesses to find out things and get the service they need, then go to big box stores to make their purchases at discounted rates. Once all competition is dead, those prices go up.

Learn to fight it. Mission, KS outright rejected allowing a Wal-Mart to build in their neighborhood. A petition went around and they ended up not opening there.

Emily Hadley 7 years, 9 months ago

If you oppose this, please make it known where it can have an effect--write to commissioners, tell people, and attend the meetings. This store will ultimately make our city lose money, as its sales will come from existing stores, not new business, and those dollars will be funneled out of the local economy so quick that Wal-Mart's own employees will have to apply for government assistance.

Kam_Fong_as_Chin_Ho 7 years, 9 months ago

Wal-Mart is not good for business anywhere. Too much money goes to China and Bentonville,Arkansas.

Face it big boxes have plenty of shortcomings not good for land use. They are too big, out of scale and out of tune in small towns. ========== I totally agree. What was the reaction when you mentioned these points at last night's open house?

Linda Endicott 7 years, 9 months ago

Not to mention that Wal-Mart apparently is trucker-friendly.

At the Wal-Mart here, there are always trucks sitting in the parking lot with their engines running all night long, while the driver sleeps.

Just out of curiosity, when did this trend of truckers stopping for the night and parking on on and off ramps start? They weren't allowed to do that when I was a kid...seems dangerous to me.

Mkh 7 years, 9 months ago

jumpin_catfish (Anonymous) says:

"Doug Compton was called greedy in this forum. Let's see he's a hard working... Money doesn't grow on trees but a smart hard working person can make money with a tree and benefit many of their fellow citizens. Build the Wal-mart and let the naysayers eat at local burger."


LOL! Ha Ha Ha! Yeah money doesn't grow on trees, but if your Doug Compton it doesn't take "hard work" to become worth millions. You just have to marry into the Chase-Manhattan Bank family. Hard work, Ha! Doug Compton has sold out the character of Lawrence by being backed by one the most Elitists corporations in history.

stuckinthemiddle 7 years, 9 months ago

max1 Yes, and excellent idea... and that might be housing that Wal-Mart employees could afford and they could live near their work.

jlw53 7 years, 9 months ago

Dougie and Billy Boy have ingratiated all the right people and will continue to junk up the town with their overblown "developments". Get rich now, but you will pay dearly down the road when knocking on the gate.

bugmenot 7 years, 9 months ago

Wal Mart's cheap because it hoists its costs of doing business onto those who are unable to protest. From slave laborers to China making your ugly, cheap crap to the underpaid cashiers who (at least the women) won't ever get a promotion or health insurance who sell it to you. I'm constantly amazed at the people who can turn a blind eye to reality because they want to save 5 cents on off-brand coke. Selfish, selfish.

Orwell 7 years, 9 months ago

Kam Fong: Watch the broad brush. I live within walking distance, I oppose the proposal, and this story is the first I heard about lat night's gathering. I would have been happy to get off my duff if they'd bothered to let my duff know about it.

Btw, on the "too much in legal fees" argument should we exempt from all ordinances anyone who can afford to tie the city up in court? If so, our laws only apply to the less well off.

average 7 years, 9 months ago

I'm tired of this fight, but hopefully capitalism will eventually crush Wal-Mart.

I'm not too proud to admit that I have shopped in the Lawrence Wal-Mart before. I refuse to do so any more. Twice this year I've shopped there, seeing if the selection was somewhat better on something. When I tried to buy a few things, there were only two cashiers open and 5-7 carts deep on each line. No indication that anyone was likely to open any more lines either. Both times, I left the cart in the aisle and walked out of the store.

The Lawrence Wal-Mart has turned into an understaffed filthy hellhole. "Displays" block all the main aisles and the employees there are are universally angry (not that I entirely blame them). And this is in a town with competition just across the street! Many other towns in America now have virtually no choice in shopping but the Super Wal-Mart and no recourse as the experience and merchandise gets worse and worse. I hope Lawrence doesn't follow that path.

TheYetiSpeaks 7 years, 9 months ago

I love the whole anti-China view. I think a quick check of any of your precious stores downtown would find an abundance and majority of items made in China. You see, the way the world economy works is countries export and import goods. The US exports plenty of goods to China I would imagine. If you could would you have everyone stop buying all goods from China? I think you would find that the crashing of China's economy would be a horrific blow to the world's and our economy as well.

packrat 7 years, 9 months ago

The city of Lawrence should reimburse Walmart for the extra legal fees that the previous Kommission caused. I'm glad that we appear to have a city commision again.

The trailer court idea in place of Wal-mart would have the west siders up in arms. Keep the slums west of Iowa.

TheYetiSpeaks 7 years, 9 months ago

average says: "When I tried to buy a few things, there were only two cashiers open and 5-7 carts deep on each line."

Having never...EVER, been to the Wal-mart here and seen less than doulble digit cashiers at a time, I would say your statement is either a bold lie or you sir are blind.

perkins 7 years, 9 months ago

Now is perhaps not the best time to extoll the virtues of Chinese imports after the recent scandals regarding tainted pet food, toothpaste, and other products shipped to the US from China. One Chinesse official was executed recently for allowing adulterated drugs to be sold.

Regarding Wal-Mart benefits, they aren't bad, but it takes six months for a full-time employee to receive them. I know of no other company that requires such a long waiting period, but maybe some workers in retail can inform us more precisely what the industry norm is.

Bloggers on both sides have done the usual good job of presenting pros and cons. I love downtown but squirm at blocking competition. If Wal-Mart does prevail, at least Lawrence residents can know they encouraged Wal-Mart to look elsewhere to build.

Emily Hadley 7 years, 9 months ago

What you have said is not at all true. People in Lawrence demand many things that we cannot buy locally, and things for which we want a higher quality or lower cost option. This Wal-Mart is not in demand; it is not even needed to relieve traffic from the newly expanded existing store. Of course I want Lawrence to grow, but why in God's name would that solely mean 'build another Wal-Mart'? I want LAWRENCE to grow, not just the coffers of the largest corporation on Earth (and our landfill's portion dedicated to broken plastic crap). I, for example, would LOVE to have more options on food, shoes, music, electronics, home decorating, car accessories, and bike accessories. Unfortunately, I have to go to Missouri to get a decent vegan breakfast and I have to order a ton of stuff online because I can't afford to travel far enough to buy it in-store. I just spent $250 online for boots from a leather-free store in NYC, because there are NO options for me here.

If we had a Moo Shoes, a Blue Koi, a Khyber Pass, an Amoeba, an Eden Alley, a The Last Record Store, a Corner Restaurant, a Cherin's Appliance, a Pizza Pi, a Foodswings, a Pryde's, a Ronald's Donuts, or an Annie's in Lawrence, Lawrence sale tax revenues would include a LOT of money from me that I do not currently spend here. Not the case with a second Wal-Mart. Make more sense?


Pilgrim (Anonymous) says:

"emilyhadley (Emily Hadley) says:

'This store will ultimately make our city lose money, as its sales will come from existing stores, not new business,'


Using that logic, Em, ALL new businesses take sales from existing stores. Just wanted to make sure we can put you down in the "Absolutely No Growth, Period" column."

Emily Hadley 7 years, 9 months ago

By the way, the note about sales primarily coming from other local businesses isn't my unbased opinion, it is the conclusion of those studying this project on both sides. According to those on the Wal-Mart side, the company intends to pull sales from Target, Kohl's, JCPenney, and World Market, as well as local businesses, by offering slightly fancier-looking goods in the new slightly fancier-looking store.

I don't like those other stores all too much, but I prefer keeping them going to seeing the entire southwest end of town follow the course of every failed and crumbling shopping center in town.

Confrontation 7 years, 9 months ago

"This area is (soon to be was) the only entrance to Lawrence that doesn't look dirty and neglected.

Yes, McDonald's and empty storefronts really make that intersection beautiful.

Baille 7 years, 9 months ago

Nice to see in our rush to medicority that Doug Compton and Bill Newsome remain in the lead.

Rightytighty 7 years, 9 months ago

The last time i visited wal-mart it was 9 a.m. and they where having a cult meeting and singing songs i haven't been there since.

Confrontation 7 years, 9 months ago

Emily would be the only one shopping at her suggested stores. If you aren't pleased with your vegan food choices here, then feel free to cook your own food. Also, anyone who likes to brag about spending $250 on a pair of boots is not going to be someone who needs Wal-Mart. "Lawrence sale tax revenues would include a LOT of money from me that I do not currently spend here." Obviously, you're someone who can overspend and bash those with lower incomes for choosing Wal-Mart. Not everybody thinks so highly of themselves.

Dayna Lee 7 years, 9 months ago

When I was growing up, I was glad there was a Wal-mart. I'm still glad there is a Wal-mart. If they want to build 5 more, great! If you don't like their store, don't shop there. If you want to live on the edge of town again, you'll just have to move further out. It doesn't matter where you live in this town, there is going to be one neighbor (or more) that make you want to move.

Escapee 7 years, 9 months ago

The combination of Wal Mart's lying, cheating 'business' tactics, and rural communities with less than thriving downtown areas is lethal to the downtown.

When are people going to get really, really pissed about that?

It's rotten. It's a scam of the largest kind. And it hurts people that don't deserve to be hurt. Do you want the downtown area to be only offices for doctors, lawyers, and weeny-head developers? That's what's coming friends. Yes, low prices are just too much temptation for some people. Yes, low prices are a 'necessity' for some people. And, yes, low prices from this sort of business will eat your socks as surely as you consume their goods.

I don't know how people like Compton sleep at night. Alone, for sure.

budwhysir 7 years, 9 months ago

Hey john boy, lets open another store in redneck USA. Im going to open a store so I can be in the news every day and get free publicity. Heard enough, dont care if it opens, wont go there when it does, wont read another article about the problems. Thank you and have a good life

RedwoodCoast 7 years, 9 months ago

I originally moved to Lawrence from Pittsburg in 2000. I did this because Pittsburg didn't have a downtown where I could enjoy the weather while checking out books, music, outdoor gear, grabbing a coffee, getting ice cream, stopping to watch a movie, etc. In Pittsburg, I had to drive miles through traffic lights and stop signs just to do all of these things. In Lawrence, I could walk to all of these, as they were all within 6 blocks of each other on the same street. Of course, Lawrence also had a university with much more cultural and study diversity than Pittsburg State.

Pittsburg has a Wal-Mart. It was actually the first Wal-Mart Super Center in Kansas. Within ten years of its opening, four separate grocery stores in town folded. It was great. I mean the financial vacuume. It was a great financial vacuume. Even stores in neighboring towns suffered. I couldn't get a job at a local grocery store in high school because they knew my family shopped primarily at Wal-Mart. They hated Wal-Mart. The only grocery stores that survived did so because they were either an Aldi or were located all the way on the other end of town.

My point is, I moved to Lawrence because Anytown, USA, always has a McDonalds, Wal-Mart, miles of traffic-light-dotted roads with no character, etc. I was living in Anytown, USA, and decided to move to Lawrence, KS. What puts the Lawrence in Lawrence? Where is its character? It certainly isn't going to be found in some Wal-Mart and it certainly won't be embellished by an additional Wal-Mart. They might act in character, but the bottom line is that they really really want your money and are experts at strategically schmoozing you into giving it to them.

bugmenot 7 years, 9 months ago

Hey Yeti, do you ever wonder why so many non-Wal-Mart stores sell crap from China? Because Wal-Mart does. They have to compete with Wal-Mart in every town in America. To do this, they either have to distinguish themselves by selling nicer things (which cost more), or they have to play the game Wal-Mart created by selling as cheap as possible. It's pretty easy to get cheap goods from a country where factories very typically enslave their workers.

The point is that Wal-Mart, as the biggest player in the game, has the option to play the game fair or dirty. The reason they (and people who shop there and support them) should be ashamed is because they decided to do things knowing full well that, to slash prices to the bone, means someone else has to bear the cost. If you shop at Wal-Mart, you need to be aware that things are cheap because Wal-Mart makes sure it does things the cheapest possible way. I have no beef with their measures like not putting up ceilings or taking a no-frills approach to design. Those are pretty smart and fairly decent cost-cutting measures. The problem is, to keep "rolling back" prices, they've had to do more. They cut into workers' pay, they don't offer health care, they keep women (and men, but more often women) out of positions which would entitle them to more money or health care. This keeps the working poor poor. And shopping at Wal-Mart, which, believe me is no coincidence. They outsource the production of their goods to countries which don't watch out for workers' health and safety. They treat their truckers VERY badly. Child labor, forced labor, companies who dump their toxic trash into the local water supply. The point is, everything costs a base line amount. Wal-Mart pushes beyond that amount by thrusting the cost onto those who make, distribute, and sell those goods. They create secondary costs by running their business without regard for the communities in which their goods are made, shipped, and sold. Remember when they had their big "Made in the USA" campaign, back in the early 90s? It was quietly dropped to "roll back" your prices.

bugmenot 7 years, 9 months ago

What makes them even dirtier is that they have the gall to pretend they're helping Americans, particularly small-town Americans and low-income Americans. The reality is, because of the way they play the game, they drive wages down in every town they come to. Not doctors' or lawyers' wages, but the wages of the very community they say they're "helping" by keeping their prices low. Their prices are low because their employees are paid so little and because they get their goods from a very cheap source. Not necessarily China - in fact, it's getting more expensive to get goods from China anymore, because of the negative attention (apparently ignored or overlooked by people like Yeti) they're getting from human rights groups. No matter, Wal-Mart will find another country whose poor it can take advantage of, all to squeeze prices down 1 or 2 cents. Its competitors have no choice but to change their business model (i.e. no longer sell basic necessities at affordable prices) or to find ways to cut costs, too. There is such a thing as paying too little for something, and Wal-Mart has brought us there. People don't care why things are cheap; just that they are. And, apparently, they're too stupid to see that it's because of Wal-Mart's business practices.

If you're okay with the out-of-sight-out-of-mind philosophy and really do care that much about saving a couple of bucks on things instead of trying to ensure your money doesn't support human rights abuses or DOES support the American working class, I suppose you can live with that. I can't. But, don't pretend Wal-Mart's doing the right thing in the world or in America.

Escapee 7 years, 9 months ago

Gotta go to these stupid meetings, kids. Squeaky wheel gets the oil. In this case ... the publicity. Have you noticed that Compton plays under the street lamps? This is so he can be seen and keep a presence in the community for his issues. If you wanna slap his little tush off your streets, you must show up to play the game. GO to the meetings. STAND up and SPEAK out. Be heard. Save your Downtown.

Emily Hadley 7 years, 9 months ago

Confrontation, I work 60-70 hrs a week to get by. I still need shoes. I wasn't bragging, and it definitely wasn't one pair of boots. Quality steel-toed work boots are not cheap, nor are most well-made womens' boots (Work boots, dress boots, and dress shoes, if you must know. Boots are CHEAPER off-season). I order things online generally more than one at a time, due to the time and effort of finding a store I trust, products I think I actually want without trying them, and dealing with shipping. I'd rather buy in a store, and definitely rather buy locally.

You are suggesting that nobody would go to an independently owned electronics store which has sold tools and appliances and been known for its customer service for over a hundred years? That nobody would eat amazing Northern Chinese cuisine here?

By your logic, people who don't like the crap that they can already buy stores here can make their own cheap plastic crap, not expect anyone to open a store selling it! I am saying that we DO want more choices, we DO want growth. This is not growth. At the most it's a tumor.


Anonymous user Confrontation (Anonymous) says:

Emily would be the only one shopping at her suggested stores. If you aren't pleased with your vegan food choices here, then feel free to cook your own food. Also, anyone who likes to brag about spending $250 on a pair of boots is not going to be someone who needs Wal-Mart. "Lawrence sale tax revenues would include a LOT of money from me that I do not currently spend here." Obviously, you're someone who can overspend and bash those with lower incomes for choosing Wal-Mart. Not everybody thinks so highly of themselves.

karensisson 7 years, 9 months ago

That's odd, I live in that neighborhood and never saw any announcement about that meeting.

We all know it's a done deal, with Mayor Hack doing Doug Comptons bidding (so he doesn't take his insurance business away from Mr. Sue Hack).

coneflower 7 years, 9 months ago

I live in the neighborhood also and I did not get an invitation in the mail. 500 households - that should have included just about everyone in the neighborhood.

Do you suppose the invitations were sent only to people registered to a political party that begins with an R?

What a crock.

Emily Hadley 7 years, 9 months ago

"Also, anyone who likes to brag about spending $250 on a pair of boots is not going to be someone who needs Wal-Mart."

Who needs a Wal-Mart? They literally make cities poorer.

gr 7 years, 9 months ago

"Who needs a Wal-Mart? They literally make cities poorer."

Sounds like lots of people go to Wal-Mart. Why would they want to put in another store when no one goes there?

Unless you are one who enjoys restricting people's freedoms. No Wal-Mart, the poor HAVE to buy more expensive things padding your pockets while the richer go to other towns.

Keith 7 years, 9 months ago

Yeti sez:

"The US exports plenty of goods to China I would imagine."

That requires a pretty good imagination if you've seen our trade deficit with China. The only thing we're exporting that China is buying in bulk is T-bills.

turdinablanket 7 years, 9 months ago

Sweet WAL-MART on the west side! Haha you complaining libs! I can't wait to waste tons of money there.

TheYetiSpeaks 7 years, 9 months ago

bugmenot-

I would like to address some of the many inaccuracies in your long-winded but respectable rebuttal. 1. "Hey Yeti, do you ever wonder why so many non-Wal-Mart stores sell crap from China? Because Wal-Mart does." Actually, I remember quite clearly growing up, long before the days of the Galactic WalMart Empire, that most everything came from China, Taiwan or the like. The practice of buying goods cheaply from foriegn sources is not a WalMart idea. It is this kind of thinking that is killing the Anti-Walmart crowd. Please spare me the evil, Darth WalMart stories. In this world they do not corner the market on evil.

  1. "It's pretty easy to get cheap goods from a country where factories very typically enslave their workers." So your problem is with China. Write your congressman and tell him you dont think American companies should import from China. If you think other companies would stop importing Chinese goods because WalMart did, then you are sadly mistaken. There is not many companies in America that wouldn't give their left arm and right leg to be WalMart.

TheYetiSpeaks 7 years, 9 months ago

  1. "The reason they (and people who shop there and support them) should be ashamed is because they decided to do things knowing full well that, to slash prices to the bone, means someone else has to bear the cost." This may be news to you and your happy little existence but many people shop there because its all they can afford. Most people do not aspire to be seen in generic clothing as I am very sure you well know.

  2. "They cut into workers' pay, they don't offer health care, they keep women (and men, but more often women) out of positions which would entitle them to more money or health care." It's funny. I know several people who have worked there over the years, men and women, and they have mostly positive things to say. Furthermore a few of those still work there and made it their career choice. I also had a female companion who once upon a time recieved a job offer from WalMart. The pay was superior and the health benefits were superior but she could not bring herself to leave her home, as the job was a couple hundred miles away. Maybe you should get your information from actual employess and not the Anti-WalMart propaganda websites.

  3. "If you're okay with the out-of-sight-out-of-mind philosophy and really do care that much about saving a couple of bucks on things instead of trying to ensure your money doesn't support human rights abuses or DOES support the American working class, I suppose you can live with that. I can't. But, don't pretend Wal-Mart's doing the right thing in the world or in America." I applaud you for your alleged support of "working class America" and the downtrodden. I trust that all the name brand goods that you overpay for has been vigilantly researched by you to ensure that you have not been contributing to the human rights abuses you profess to avoid. I wonder how many Nikes, Huffy bikes, Timberland shoes, RCA electronics, or Spiegel clothing there is in your domicile. Dont pretend that your Anti-Walmart stance has anything to do with your compassion for working class America or a few million Chinese citizens. I think the real reason they irk you is this: They won the game. The game of capitalism that I was told was integral to the American way of life...The American Dream. Maybe, just maybe your hatred of WalMart can be chalked up to a little good, old fashioned jealousy.

jumpin_catfish 7 years, 9 months ago

Doug Compton was called greedy in this forum. Let's see he's a hard working, ambitious, job creating entrepreneur which equals greedy to Lawrence's Wal-mart haters. But folks like Doug expand the tax base which in turn supports many of those whiny liberals such as the T, help for the homeless and many other local services. Money doesn't grow on trees but a smart hard working person can make money with a tree and benefit many of their fellow citizens. Build the Wal-mart and let the naysayers eat at local burger.

Scott Drummond 7 years, 9 months ago

"Wal Mart's cheap because it hoists its costs of doing business onto those who are unable to protest. From slave laborers to China making your ugly, cheap crap to the underpaid cashiers who (at least the women) won't ever get a promotion or health insurance who sell it to you. I'm constantly amazed at the people who can turn a blind eye to reality because they want to save 5 cents on off-brand coke. Selfish, selfish."

And don't forget - immoral.

West_Sider 7 years, 9 months ago

Before you flame me please know that I am no Walmart fan but... I'd better not see any comments from anyone on this list who has also commented on the "don't raise our taxes" list. We need to increase the size of our tax base to decrease the load paid by us all. In your rebuttals to this comment please don't throw out the "it doesn't add to the tax base" argument. Many of the families that live on the West side of town shop in Topeka during their lunch break or after work. They can now do their shopping on the way home. Also, please don't whine about the pay or benefits of these jobs. People working fast food jobs or jobs that have zero benefits (probably half the jobs in this town) can go to work for a corportate entity that actually provides at least something to them. Also, here is what appears to me to be a non-biased article on the economic effects that Walmart has on a town. I would love to read others comments on its content: http://www.free-eco.org/articleDisplay_print.php?id=518

chocolateplease 7 years, 9 months ago

This whole thing sounds rigged.

The 500 invitations probably went to the big apartment complex and duplex area nearby, which has alot of students and other less permanent type residents, hence the low turnout and apathy. Throw in a couple of folks who get tired if they have to drive more than 2 minutes to a store, and there you have it.........smiley faces galore. This newspaper should have done a better job reporting on that angle, that being the truth of what this little parade of a meeting supposedly meant. A whole lot of nothing.

I dare the Wal-Mart corporation, or whoever determined the "guest list" to show it to us. I guaranty that it left out almost all of the family homes located near the intersection. They already know what the neighborhood thinks, and they could care less. This was pure show.

Horace 7 years, 9 months ago

The artist's rendering is missing the morbidly obese riding around in carts because they're so disgustingly fat they can't walk.

I hate going in there. Just looking at about 1/4 of the customer base is enough to induce vomiting.

Where do those people come from?

Sigmund 7 years, 9 months ago

Why do we need this WalMart? Maybe because the property taxes alone will pay a good portion of the empTy buses $1,400,000 expenses. Let's not forget the price pressure to keep the price of everything from goat cheese to golf balls down. Even if you shop elsewhere the prices your preferred merchants can charge you will be reduced! No one has been able to name one item made in China that isn't sold elsewhere under the same name or a different name. Absolutely no one in Lawrence will be forced to work or shop at WalMart. Build it and get it on the tax roles ASAP!

Sean Livingstone 7 years, 9 months ago

Move on, if you're invited and didn't show up, blame yourself. If you don't show up for voting, and would you blame Bush who won the election back in 2000?

coneflower 7 years, 9 months ago

I doubt 500 invitations went out.

The 30 people who showed up were developers, realtors and people who came with them. Betcha.

No way would a random sampling of 30 people be 100% positive. I live in this neighborhood and I've been to the city commission meetings and I know the dissent that is out there.

What a phony deal.

coneflower 7 years, 9 months ago

Anonymous user

x96merrill3 (Anonymous) says: If you opposed Wal-Mart and got an invitation to gather as much information to support your case as possible, would YOU pass it up?

I live a couple of blocks from where Wal-Mart would be and none of the neighbors I talked to on my walk this evening got any invitation. None of us knew about this meeting.

I think they are lying about sending out 500 invitations.

coneflower 7 years, 9 months ago

This is curious: The LJ World's "Where to Write" page used to contain contact information for the city commissioners. Now it is just federal and state representatives. Hmmmm.....

byron 7 years, 9 months ago

They only sent out invitations to wasmart friendly people.

coneflower 7 years, 9 months ago

byron (Anonymous) says: They only sent out invitations to wasmart friendly people.

Not 500 of them. I've not heard of a single invitation. This whole thing was staged - like a Bush town meeting.

Eileen Jones 7 years, 9 months ago

Pilgrim,

Paranoia is a word you like to toss around quite a bit, isn't it?

We know you have more than an observer's interest in this matter.

karensisson 7 years, 9 months ago

Re: Doug Compton and his "hard work" -

Some of that "hard work" is widely believed to have included bankrolling the smear against David Schauner in the 2002 election. Schauner is an attorney who once worked on a case involving spousal abuse. A high-quality postcard was anonymously mailed to voters claiming that Schauner himself was a wife beater - thousands of postcards. A clear case of libel, but done anonymously - the dirtiest form of dirty politics.

Currently Doug Compton's "hard work" involves being a godfather to Sam Walton's grandchildren.

Doug Compton's "hard work" also involves having Alan Hack (married to Mayor Sue Hack) Insurance insure his many properties, and threatening Sue Hack that he will withdraw his business from her husband if he doesn't like her votes. The source for this is Sue Hack herself.

Doug Compton's "hard work" involves slapping particle board on the face of the Masonic Temple in downtown Lawrence and leaving it to rot for years, making an eyesore in the most public part of Lawrence.

Not all "hard work" is good work. Not all "hard work" benefits our community. Profiteers like Doug Compton are happy to ruin Lawrence, and they've installed their shills on the city commission.

Linda Endicott 7 years, 9 months ago

I've seen those cult meetings, Rightytighty. They're pretty creepy...

Emily Hadley 7 years, 9 months ago

Have you guys seen this?? Wal-Mart 'training' videos posted by Human Rights Watch.

http://www.hrw.org/campaigns/walmart/video.htm

WWoftheW 7 years, 9 months ago

500 hundred hand picked invitations. I don't know anyone who got one and I live near there. Also, if you read the second page the majority of the people who attended are opposed to the Wal-Mart.

packrat 7 years, 9 months ago

I received an invitation. I could not go do to work.

blackwalnut 7 years, 9 months ago

packrate: I'm curious (don't answer if it's too personal) whether you are registered as a Republican, or live in multiple-family housing, near the (why bothered to call it "proposed") new Wal-Mart.

I live very close to the new Wal-Mart, I did not get an invitation, and I do not know anybody who did. I talked to 5 of my neighbors. The people I asked are aware of this issue and I'm sure they would have noticed if they'd received an invitation.

It doesn't matter, it was clearly a photo op for Doug Compton, but they should not pretend they invited a decent sampling from the affected neighborhood because it is clear they did not.

Sean Livingstone 7 years, 9 months ago

Walmart is good and bad at the same time. When Ford first built its first automobile for the masses, we all thought it was good, but now we all know how bad it has led the world to today's environmental problem. Walmart will be judged in history as the bridge to narrow the gap of the world, it is the most successful brand to dominate China and basically kills off thousands of family run business there, just like here. But, hey, it's freedom, and Walmart, like it or not, represents that. You have the freedom to buy and shop at Walmart or not do that, you have the freedom to work for or not for Walmart, but if over 51% of the people do, that's freedom and that's democracy, like it or not.

Matt Toplikar 7 years, 9 months ago

I know for a lot of you, it seems that people like to bash on Wal-Mart for no good reason. There are actually many common sense reasons why there is a large movement within the town to stop another store from being approved. If you've ever wondered why so many people despise a seemingly bland and seemingly friendly department store, come see the documentary screening of WAL-MART: The High Cost of Low Price @ Liberty Hall on Monday August 6th at 7pm.
If you can't make it there are many other books and documentaries on the subject, including Bill Quinn's --How Wal-Mart is Destroying America-- and the PBS Frontline Report : Is Wal-Mart Good For America?

packrat 7 years, 9 months ago

I'm actually not registered to vote in Kansas at the current time. I was registered for the last election then moved away and then back. I live in a single family home.

I think someone invited me due to my race.

Eileen Jones 7 years, 9 months ago

packrat (Anonymous) says: I think someone invited me due to my race.

I doubt you're Wal-Mart's main racial target: white trash. Whatever it is, Wal-Mart targeting by race is screwed.

Eileen Jones 7 years, 9 months ago

Pilgrim says Wouldn't be so interesting if it wasn't so prevalent among the looney left in Lawrence.

We're flattered.

Sad, though, the right never cares about human rights issues and community issues. Republicans have become the f*** you party - the party of Greed and Selfishness.

BTW I never considered myself part of "the left" until this administration went to the right of Atilla the Hun. But I'm proud to be left of that.

Eileen Jones 7 years, 9 months ago

livingstone (Anonymous) says: Walmart is good and bad at the same time.

No. Wal-Mart started out good, and became bad. The generation that is close family friends with Doug Compton is filled with unmitigated greed and there is no ideal they hold except more, more, more income for themselves. Sam Walton would be sorry to see it.

Eileen Jones 7 years, 9 months ago

Pilgrim,

There's your problem. You make sweeping assumptions of everyone who disagrees with you. Everybody's a communist if they aren't you. A little extreme, isn't it?

It's only a few self-described right-wing posters in here who can't stay on a topic and instead come up with these sweeping stereotypes and extreme exaggerations. It makes this forum nearly useless. It doesn't earn you any respect. You're in the minority though, so you haven't quite destroyed it.

Careful about using that word "loony" - while making ridiculous statements like the above.

Warren6032 7 years, 9 months ago

I vote for the Wamart. If you do not like it - then don't shop there. If you don't like their wages - then don't work there (some people have no other alternative other than being jobless-homeless). Downtown is for the yuppies - if you're a yuppie shop downtown.

Emily Hadley 7 years, 9 months ago

The problem with the live and let live theory above is that Wal-Mart employees require public assistance to live, and the company eagerly provides their employees with paperwork for government assistance as one of their 'benefits'. Why shouldn't they pay their employees a fair wage? I don't want my tax dollars to compensate for their profits from unfair labor.

Wal-Mart employees should be unionized all over the world, but the company uses pretty serious tactics to discourage it, far beyond the scare tactics and lies in the training video I posted earlier

( http://www.hrw.org/campaigns/walmart/video.htm )

Google 'wal-mart' plus the word employees, the word workers, the word labor, you name it, you will find plenty of real facts on what this corporation does to people, families, and communities.

I am floored that we even have to have a discussion on this, much less that we are dealing with a pro-Wal-Mart city commission and planning commission. Our city administration is a disgrace to our city's history and community.

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