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Southeast Portland residents launch campaign to keep New Seasons out of their neighborhood

Residents of SE Portland who oppose the opening of a New Seasons grocery store in their neighborhood launched a campaign on Saturday, July 26, at the Clinton-Division Street fair. New Seasons is a local whole foods grocery store chain with four locations around the metro area. It caters to a higher-end clientele, and its prices put it out of the reach of most working class families. Residents fear that the opening of the New Seasons store will raise rents, increase traffic congestion, and adversely affect the People's Food Co-op, which has been a unique community institution for over 30 years.
New Seasons is proposing to build a new store on 20th Avenue, between SE Division and SE Clinton. The space was previously occupied by a Red Apple grocery store (which featured affordably-priced groceries and household supplies) and the Wash Board laundromat. Red Apple was having difficulty in the space, which has led people to wonder why New Seasons believes it can be profitable there, especially with a Nature's Northwest store located a mere 10 blocks away, up Division. The Wash Board was a profitable business and has relocated to another location. The loss of the laundromat has created hardship for local residents, though, who must now go much further away to attend to this basic need.

Sincerity of New Seasons president called into question
In email correspondence with concerned SE Portland residents, New Seasons' president, Brian Rohter, has been brushing off their concerns. He characterizes New Seasons as a local, family-owned business with cares and concerns for the community. New Season's sponsorship of the Clinton-Division Street fair was undoubtedly part of a strategy to convince people of his claims. SE Portland residents have expressed skepticism about Rohter's sincerity, however, because of the proposed store's close location to People's, and because of Rohter's history as a businessman in the area. Rohter was general manager of the Nature's Northwest whole foods chain before it was sold to the national corporate whole foods retailer, Wild Oats. Undoubtedly, Rohter once made the same claims about Nature's. Some residents believe that Rohter will simply sell off New Seasons when it gets big enough, and the neighborhood will be even worse off.

Rising rents and evictions
Already, the mere announcement of the possibility of a New Seasons store has had negative affects on the neighborhood. Residents have been reporting rent increases as property-owners anticipate increasing values; in at least one case, a houseful of people has been evicted. This pattern - formerly working class neighborhood is "discovered" by businessmen who invade it, pillage it, sell it off, and move on - has been repeated endlessly in cities around the United States. NE Portland residents have similar concerns about the Alberta Street area. Interestingly, the Alberta Street Co-op there has had difficulties competing with a nearby New Seasons store, putting the lie to Rohter's claims that the new SE store will have no affect on People's.

Rezoning shenanigans
Part of New Seasons' plan is to rezone as commercial a residential lot on Division that adjoins the property. This lot is currently occupied by a charming, early 20th Century duplex house that people live in. New Seasons' plan as filed with the city is to demolish or move this house so the lot can be used to make a bigger store. At least one resident of the house is unhappy about losing their home. Because the city currently requires that no new commercial development result in a net loss of residential housing, New Seasons is attempting to have a commercial property on the NE corner of SE Lincoln and 39th rezoned as residential. This proposal has been described as a slimy one; not only is that lot not in the same neighborhood, but the location is considerably less charming and the liveability of the current structure is questionable. This trade as it stands would clearly not be equitable in the opinion of people who have seen the proposal and the properties - certainly not for the people being made homeless on Division -- and SE Portland residents against the New Seasons are planning to block it.

Can New Seasons be stopped?
The opening of the store at that location is by no means assured at this point in time. Though New Seasons has purchased the property, the city has not granted the permits required for building a new store yet. Those hearings will take place in mid-August, and will provide an opportunity for neighborhood residents to express their opinions. If public pressure is strong enough, Rohter and New Seasons could be made to reconsider, or at the very least, be made uncomfortable. As a SE Portland resident himself, Rohter would probably prefer to keep "a good name" in the community, regardless of whether or not he deserves it; SE Portland residents who are against gentrification and do not trust him will be working hard to reveal the truth and stop his plans.

Stay tuned to Portland Indymedia for updates on this struggle as it develops...

Why don't you... 27.Jul.2003 16:28


Why don't you folks channel your energy into something useful, like burning down a Safeway.

Cheap food 27.Jul.2003 16:33


You want cheap food? How about letting them put in a Winco or Walmart? Most cheap food is cheap because the workers in the supply chain can't make a living wage.

You miss the point... 27.Jul.2003 16:58


This is about keeping people from losing their homes and to help people keep their jobs that already exsist in the community around in this area.

Point? 27.Jul.2003 17:36


The "missed" points were not well made. They made not even be valid.

As to people losing their homes, New Seasons isn't simply going to demolish an exisiting house. They are going to buy it from the owner first. Right?

Won't New Seasons bring additional jobs to the neighborhood? How is the creation of new jobs at odds with helping people keep their existing jobs?

Grocery Story? 27.Jul.2003 17:40

spelling bee

Someone forget to spell-check the graphic accompanying the article?

Some replies 27.Jul.2003 17:49

SE PDX Beat Reporter

To "please": To my knowledge, none of the SE Portland residents seeking to keep New Seasons out of their neighborhood are communists, although if they were, I don't see how that would make any difference. Their aims are clear: to defend their neighborhood from an outside encroacher whose presence they believe will have an adverse affect on what makes their neighborhood great -- it's affordablility, non-pretentiousness, and humble affability. The believe that history shows that institutions like New Seasons, run by people like Rohter, tend to destroy these slowly-grown qualities in the interest of short-term private profit.

To "mungbean": You're certainly correct that inexpensive food often comes at the suffering of workers in the production chain. One need only look at the plight of immigrant farm-workers an hour's drive outside Portland, toiling under the hot sun for long hours and low pay with dangerous working conditions and substandard housing, to see vivid illustrations of that. Certainly, good produce should cost more in order to treat workers better. Whole foods stores like New Seasons, though, often tend to stock expensive boutique-y type items whose utility is limited and nutritional value is questionable. "Fancy food", my mother used to term it. The kind of product that people don't need, but which slake the urges of conspicuous consumers. Often, the prices for the more conventional items in such a store are higher to help bolster the cost of bringing in the high-end items. SE Portland doesn't need such indulgence, in the eyes of many residents; more practical, simple, healthy food would be just fine, thank you very much, and there's already plenty of that available at People's and other stores.

To "Blank": Yes, that's right. Thanks for the note.

alberta is a lot different 27.Jul.2003 18:29


the gentrification on alberta and the rest of n/ne is a hell of a lot different than the "gentrification" you are saying is possible in SE if new season's comes in.
It is really ridiculous that you would mention the gentrification of alberta and then off-handedly mention how alberta co-op is suffering from the presence of a new seasons, almost as if the alberta co-op is the victim of gentrification.
alberta co-op is one of the major gentrifying forces in ne portland. it may not be wild oats, new seasons, or a starbucks, but it doesn't have to be. the alberta co-op is bringing more wealthier white people into what once was a community of color. alberta co-op does not offer a large portion of the foods that many african americans and latinos eat. they don't even corn tortillas!
alberta co-op is one of the first steps in a process which later allows businesses like new seasons and starbucks to come into the neighborhood.
soon the co-op might have even more competition:
alberta market, a convenience type store around alberta and 7th that has been there for years, and one of the last places african americans can feel comfortable on alberta, will soon be renovating and turning into a beourgois grocery store, a la new seasons
don pancho's, a latino-owned grocery store around alberta and 20th, is a remnant from the latino community in the area that has mostly left and moved east to around 92nd. the latino community in this area had not lived here as long, and thus has been displaced quicker by rising rents costs (b/c of factors like a smaller percentage of home owners, etc.). anyway, the owners of don pancho's are bankrupt, and are struggling to keep the store going. there are rarely more than a couple customers in the store, and the produce is rarely fresh b/c they can't afford to keep fresh produce in stock b/c not enough people buy it

what is there to do 27.Jul.2003 18:33

voice de raison

If a guy wants to buy land and open a business, who is to say he can't?
I'd rather the schmuck be able to open his overpriced store then have countless regulations for every joe that wants to open an accordian repair shop.
if you dont like the way they run their store, take your busine$$ elsewhere. In a free market economy that is all you CAN do.

Buncha Whining NIMBYs 27.Jul.2003 18:46

New Seasons Shopper

If New Seasons is so bad, why is half of the Raleigh Hills staff from southeast?

go away 27.Jul.2003 19:09


i hate capitalists

why do you come to indymedia anyway?
why can't you just watch tv and read willamette week nad leave us alone?

renters oppose change 27.Jul.2003 19:14


Guessing from the poster decrying higher rents, I'd have to guess those opposing the new seasons are mostly renters. Further, I'd guess they're the same folks that have been "gentrifying" the neighborhood over the last few years in their own low-rent way, though I'm sure they'd see it otherwise.

There aren't a whole lot of long term residents in that neighborhood. Many of the houses between Clinton and Division were vacant for over a decade, courtesy of the city's scheme to build the Mt. Hood Freeway. I doubt many long termers are against the new seasons, just the hipster radical types who move in, live there two or three years, then move on.

That's the world of real estate, folks. You move someplace because it's cool or convenient or whatever, and others follow. They'll change the neighborhood, just like you did, and their idea of progress will likely differ from yours. You're not neccesarily right and they're not neccessarily right, but if they buy a home or open a grocery store, they'll change the neighborhood more permaenently than you will.

I'll take this article with a grain of salt, as the author chose not to name a single name save for Brian Roehter of new seasons. There may or may not be any groundswell of support to stop the market. I don't know, because I can't go back and check the facts for myself.

reply to "voice de raison" 27.Jul.2003 19:18

indy reader

your spiel about "free market" is bullshit. the competition for the People's Co-op could spell the end for that 30 year old store. A New Seasons store makes 10 times in a day what People's does, i would guess. so if someone FORTY times your size and weight comes and pounds on your head, is that fair and free competition that they beat the crap out of you? or is just bullying? And wouldn't you cry out for help while that huge monster came to get you? if you wouldn't, you're a damn fool. competition and free market my ass -- this is a huge fish trying to swallow a small one, and talking all the while like it just wants to be friends. Brian R. at New Seasons is a capitalist blood sucker, and he'll roll over everything he can. if he cares so much about communities and good health why doesn't he open a New Seasons out on 82nd AVenue, where he'd have to lower prices and create a market? No, that's not what he's about. he wants to step into an area where the appreciation for good food and community has been built up by others and steal it for his own profit. the fact that his kind are free to do what he wants is why this country is in such big trouble. freedom to squash others and destroy their work is no freedom i want to grant to institutiions that much bigger than me. if in the name of freedom you want to lose yours, that's your business, but i don't live that way.

Natures/Wild Oats 27.Jul.2003 19:28


What's the opinion of Natures/Wild Oats? It's just a few blocks east on Division from the proposed new New Seasons location. How did it impact People's Co-op? What was its role in the gentrification of SE Division? Did/do people protest its presence in the neighborhood? Did they force renters out? Did people lose jobs when they moved in?

www.nonewseasons.org 27.Jul.2003 19:37

David Miller

please go to the website and check out the information on what we can do. we can at least write to people listed on the website to find out more information. and smiley, those are great questions about natures. i would love it if you could do some research on that. independent media is, after all, about that sort of thing.

so anyway, i think that really capitalism is bad. a basic law of physics says that matter can neither be created nor destroyed. it goes to follow that as the rich get rich, the poor get poorer. i am an economics professor visiting town from switzerland, and am sad to see the large amount of homeless people here as well as the large amount of people who have chased and caught the american dream. it's a disease, it seems, which infects us all. how sad i am to see what america has become.

yes, capitalism is not the way. cooperation rather than competition creates a better society. when you see someone move into a neighborhood and trying to open a store when similar stores are nearby, you must, if you have a good bone in your body, question his intent. is it good? how can it be? this man with new seasons is certainly filled with a spirit of greed. american spirit seems to have no spirit at all.

I live in, SE so up yours 27.Jul.2003 19:41


If someone wants to open a grocery store in my neighborhood that fine by me. I think having another grocery store gives me more variety to choose from. If other grocery stores can't keep up that just too bad.

Lifestyle Protection 27.Jul.2003 19:45


People are frightened of change and that is what this story is really about.

The fact is that decent produce that is also cheap is hard to come by outside of Farmers Markets. People's isn't cheap. Alberta Food Co-op is even more expensive than New Seasons. Good luck finding a reasonably-priced piece of fruit at Nature's/Wild Oats. The same with The Daily Grind.

If anything, the competition among Nature's, People's and New Seasons due to being in such close proximity, may drive down prices, and poor folks like me might be able to buy a loaf of bread for less than 3 bucks. Ahh, capitalism!

The increase in rental rates argument will not wash as renters are a transient population and their concerns are not taken seriously since they come and go so frequently.

As for the "gentrification" argument, that's just hysterical. The area is already filled with overly-educated, downwardly/vertically mobile white middle-class people. What, exactly, would New Seasons be bringing in to change the neighborhood? Tech workers? Suburbanites?

Is that what it is? Are you folks are scared that you will have to move out of the hipster magnet that is "close-in" and forced out to 82nd avenue with the poor white people lacking the good taste you have managed to cultivate?

I don't want Brian Rohter changing my neighborhood 27.Jul.2003 19:50

resident of Southeast

I get really pissed off when I see people saying that people like Brian Rohter should be free to do whatever they want anywhere they want. I strongly resent the idea that one man should be able to waltz into my neighborhood and radically change it just because he wants to be a little richer. What gives him the right? Or rather, what gives New Seasons the right? It's well past time that we wake up and see that corporations should NOT have the same rights and freedoms as people have. The New Seasons corporation is much bigger and richer and more powerful than me and the people I know in Southeast. Therefore, it definitely SHOULD have to jump through some hoops before it is allowed to do something that will change our way of life, and maybe make us give it up. Fortunately, there is somewhat of a process. New Seasons has to get permits from the city before it goes forward with its plans, and citizens are allowed to comment. Those of us who are against New Seasons should definitely turn up in person and in droves to express our feelings. Unfortunately, the city is under no legal obligation to pay attention to its residents, and -- given the pro-development stance of the Katz government -- will probably ignore any anti-New Seasons sentiment and rubber stamp the permits anyway. That's because we have lost control of our government to the corporations. We must resist, anyway. If we're gonna go down, we oughta go down swingin'. What's the phrase? "It's better to die on your feet than live on your knees"? I ain't gettin' down on my knees for Brian Rohter or any other wealthy businessman (or anyone else for that matter). If he's going to get what he wants, he needs to face a dirty fight and get muddied in the process.

a little bit about class 27.Jul.2003 19:57

not a hipster

i'm noticing a lot of people making comments about southeast being filled with"hipsters" or "yuppies" or whatever. a lot of them are certainly around, yes, and from my experience talking to people in the neighborhood, they are *not* the ones opposed to New Seasons. they want it there, and that's another reason they suck. it's other people, without all that money (and probably without that "good taste" that ^^ mentioned) who don't want New Seasons around. i certainly understand the resentment against the middle class white liberals in southeast. i have it too because they don't really care. it's like the old riddle, "how many liberals does it take to change a lightbulb? None. liberals don't change anything." i'm right there with you in your bad feelings about that crowd, and i'm against New Seasons because i'm not one of them.

thanks for reading!

Hello 27.Jul.2003 20:21


While you folks are distracted with the weighty issues of New Seasons and hating "liberals", the right-wing fascists continue to gain ground. No wonder, you children are too busy fighting amongst yourselves. Have a nice reich.

Did Rohter make any money off the sale of Nature's? 27.Jul.2003 20:39


The flyer links Brian Rohter to the sale of Nature's to Wild Oats. If I am not mistaken, Brian Rohter, (according to the flyer), was general manager of Nature's, not Owner. The flyer makes the link but does not make it clear whether he had any say in the sale of Nature's, or whether Rohter made a nickle off the sale of the store.

If it is true that he sold off Nature's the people organizing against New Seasons ought to say whether he did, and how much. If he did not have a say in the sale, or make any money off the sale of the store, then the flyer ought to make that clear as well.

Personally, I don't know what relevance the sale of Nature's brings to this issue, though if you repeat this loud enough, you just might succeed in demonizing Rohter if that's your goal.

New Season vs. Natures 27.Jul.2003 20:52


Have any of you folks actually been in a New Seasons store? Sure, they have some "bad" stuff like meat and processed foods. They also are cheaper than Natures, friendlier, anti-GMO, don't sell farmed fish (as does Natures), post lots of informational and activist-oriented info, etc.

IMO, Natures sucks, and has for years. New Seasons is much better. Why not protest the Natures just down the street? It's really no better than when it was owned by General Nutrition Centers.

Big Deal 27.Jul.2003 21:08

bag lady

New Seasons Destroys Southeast Portland!

Portland Homeless (oops, I mean PEACE) Camp Raided Again!

You'll never get Geraldo Rivera here with headlines like that.

gentry make everybody poor 27.Jul.2003 21:13

thank you

Nobody gets richer by paying higher rents.

Nobody excels by being pushed out of housing which they can afford.

Nobody but the absentee landlords and the propeller heads saving a downpayment for the burbs.

alternative use 27.Jul.2003 21:44

mobile shopper

it may be inaccurate to suggest that new seasons and peoples are strictly neighborhood stores. i don't choose safeway even though it's closest to my home. i do belong to peoples and i visit new seasons because there are things that i like to buy at each of those stores, not because they're close to my home. wild oats is as useful to me as the fred meyers natural foods section - both are off my list.
red apple was a handy little neighborhood store, one of many in that location over the years. but like the stores previously occupying the space now housing trader joes and limbo on 39th, they had no particular draw for anyone outside of walking distance and couldn't survive.
maybe i skimmed the comments too quickly and missed this, but what do those who are opposed to new seasons suggest doing with the property in the short and long term?

smell the monoculture 27.Jul.2003 22:06

down the street

maybe it is an oversimplification to break this constituency into yuppies and low renters. renters are not some kind of monolithic group of transients. there are those that rent because they believe that the cycle of ownership and debt is dehumanizing. that it encourages greed. there are those that feel that eating meat is irresponsible because of the intensive energy and resource requirements of raising meat. and those of us who treasure a store that sells food and not "foodstuffs." Amongst us are those willing to fight for these things.

Bizzare Argument 27.Jul.2003 22:53

southeast yuppy gentrifying liberal grocery buyer my ass

So what is your malfunction. OK, so if you are correct and no one can afford to shop at N.S. when they open on the S.E., they'll close the store for not being profitable. It really sounds like coop people are afraid that a store with lower prices will affect their bottom line. It might..or not. Coop people are pretty loyal, Natures folks might be loyal to Natures, or not...some of us shop a little everywhere...

So diversity is ok when you say it is and for what you think is ok, but not for grocery shopping, or you would rather I drive farther to N.S. in Sellwood using more gas instead of being able to bike. Oh and the name calling, yuppy this, and gentrification that....Please!!!!

Grow Up and get a life. Thanks to the posters who pointed out that there are bigger fish to fry in the world than whether a local health food market occupies an empty derelict building.

Bigger fish... 27.Jul.2003 23:04

definitely made up

"southeast yuppy gentrifying liberal grocery buyer my ass" reminds us that there are bigger fish to fry. Here's one, from a wall on Division near Natures.

Make a better Portland 28.Jul.2003 00:04

imagine walking

Portland is turning into Seattle. Heartless Seattle is full of people looking for their souls. Portland has a heart and a soul and wants to keep. I don't want more traffic in SE. Let's use our neighborhood association and this coalition to keep our neighborhood (I rent off of twentieth and Powell) stable. If we can resist a McDonald's on Hawthorne we can resist commercial density and big business underselling. Get up, stand up.

Also, to some of the more social commentary: Bless the meek renters. Renters only rent cause they have to. Educate, Organize! to the insults, and insensitive, So many haters looking for love and they don't even know it. Thanks for visiting the commodity inspired spiritual limbo of the U.S. to the swede economyst.

you're kidding, right? 28.Jul.2003 08:43


I'm going to protest the opening of a reasonably priced (compared to Natures), socially responsible (compared to Freddy's) grocery store within biking distance of my house? Is it opposite day or something?

All this means for me is I won't have to burn any more fossil fuels driving over to 33rd & Killingsworth to avoid shopping at FM.

And to those of you who are oppsed to Div-Clin being gentrified, that ship sailed years ago. The captain sends his regrets to those who didn't make it on board...

Hmm 28.Jul.2003 09:19


I'm also having a difficult time understanding how New Seasons is a significant threat to anyone. There prices are more reasonable than Natures, they do sell healthier foods, they are extremely friendly, and hip, they do sell ethnic foods and will stock other upon request. Their meats are locally grown and contain few, if any, additives. They purchase much of their fruits and veggies from sustainable local farms. I don't buy the argument about $3.00 loaves of bread. That is standard for this period in time. A loaf of bread in Freddies is close to $3.00. Home made aritsan breads cost $3.00, get over it. Yes, when I was growing up, that French and Italian bread was 25-50 cents, but this ain't 1960.

peoples 28.Jul.2003 09:30


If their co-op has a loyal following, it will withstand a new grocery store in the neighborhood because their current customers will continue to shop there. If not, then they are just capatalizing on someone else's idea to open their store in a good location.

It is scary to think of a neighborhood where new businesses are not allowed because it might take money away from an existing one.
Instead of gentrification, let's stagnate the neighborhood into "affordability". Better yet, lets give the local business owners the ability to crush competition before it is even born. Oh yeah, it will be much more affordable if they aren't concerned about competition!!!!

Unfortunately this is a moot point because he who makes the gold, makes the rules. If the guy throws enough cash into it, there is absotutely nothing (legal) you can do to stop it.
Viva le Canada!

reply 28.Jul.2003 10:00

Free Market Supporter (still waiting for one)

<If a guy wants to buy land and open a business, who is to say he can't?
I'd rather the schmuck be able to open his overpriced store then have countless regulations for every joe that wants to open an accordian repair shop.
if you dont like the way they run their store, take your busine$$ elsewhere. In a free market economy that is all you CAN do.>

The guy wants to buy land and what if the house owner doesn't want to sell it? It gets rezoned and the house owner is plum out of luck. That is not a free market economy. It is a lie that there is a free market economy. There is alot of freedom to exert power for those with money that the average people DO NOT enjoy. That is not free. It is a stacked deck.

New Seasons is just another mercenary company 28.Jul.2003 10:07


---If New Seasons is so bad, why is half of the Raleigh Hills staff from southeast?---

New Seasons is hypocritical. They put on this nice, we want to co-operate face, however they are putting a store in right by Peoples and are most likely going to put Peoples out of business. They say they respect Peoples, and other blah blah, but their actions speak otherwise. New Seasons has 4 stores and can go ahead and put more in other places, but I will not go along with their pretense that this is anything but a hostile attack on Peoples and the larger community that supports Peoples.

Gentrification prevents sprawl 28.Jul.2003 10:38


ANYTHING! that can be done to help prevent sprawl is good. Gentrification is part of urban renewal which helps prevent sprawl and the yuppies driving 60 mile roundtrips in their Yukons from some sterile development 30 miles away from downtown. Maybe its time to stop renting. I was practically forced to go out and buy a small cheap house in mid- NE because of my situation and its the best thing Ive ever done.

whos to say? 28.Jul.2003 11:31


this city is amazing
many other cities only have one or two gigantic " natural" groceries and no co-ops whatsoever.
these stores are really overpriced and you usully drive for miles just to get to them.
other cities and towns ive been to also fight against giant corporate move-ins only to fill the parking lots once open.
if " your" community doesnt like new seasons " your" community wont support it.
just like if you dont support a war about oil dont drive your car etc.
we all need to examine our addictions and excuses.

if we dont like " gentrification", then lets not shy away from calling tatol bullshit on the housing for investment "real estate business"
as far as im concerned these people are the leaches and nobody seems to care.

if youre really a community then stand up and be one.

Be careful what you ask for... 28.Jul.2003 12:29

Arnold the Pig

...you just might get it.

Okay, so you prevented McD's from putting up shop on Hawthorne...and look what you ended up with! Has anybody seen that monstrosity?

thoughts 28.Jul.2003 14:34

SE Resident

I oppose New Seasons putting in this particular store cause it is likely to put Peoples out of business. New Seasons may be better than Natures, but it doesn't hold a candle compared to Peoples when it comes to dedication to sustainabe culture. It is particularly annoying to hear New Seasons spout propaganda about respecting community and respecting Peoples and proceeding merrily with this new store which obviously threatens Peoples existence.

hummm... 28.Jul.2003 15:21


Im all for not letting N.S. into our comunity, although the idea of having a cheaper largr store, like Winco or Walmart does that seem a little off? espeshely since WalMart is into the whole Union Busting game?

Here's a viable suggestion! 28.Jul.2003 16:54

Hometown PDX

Grab a box of Kleenex (or at least a local brand) and have yourselves a good hard cry.

With all the issues out there this has to be one of the silliest I've seen in months. But thanks for the entertainment!

I Wish New Seasons Would Open Tomorrow in SE!!! 28.Jul.2003 17:33

Nancy Whitehead

I currently shop at Peoples, New Seasons on Tacoma and Fred Meyers (only when I don't feel like driving to Tacoma Street.) I can't wait for New Seasons to open so close to my house so I won't have to go to Fred Meyers anymore. I can't believe all the ridiculous stuff you guys are trying to say about New Seasons. I and my whole family think New Seasons is a WONDERFUL place with great people and great food at very reasonable prices (actually cheaper than Fred Meyers on most of the items I buy.) My husband and my kids actually enjoy going to the grocery store when we go to New Seasons. Tell me another grocery store that will excite my 2 toddlers and my husband and you've got my business. I live 2 blocks from the site where Red Apple was located and I only went into that dump one time. The store was filthy, had no selection and was surprisingly over priced. If improving the quality of a neighborhood is a bad thing, well then New Seasons is guilty of that. Hurry up New Seasons and open!

in response 28.Jul.2003 17:59

down the street

in response to "silliest..." i respectfully disagree. If you look deeper into the roots of our problems nationally and globally, they have very much to do with the same basic economic structures that are in play in a situation like New Seasons v People's. Corporations and nations do not hesitate to inflict their paradigm on everyone else. Sadly, many of the finer structures of nature and community die under these conditions. Think globally, act locally!

Peoples vs New Seasons? 28.Jul.2003 19:08


I really wonder how much of an impact New Seasons will have on Peoples. The Co-op is not a full service grocery and doesn't pretend to be that. By doing so, they limit their market to people who agree with the purchasing decisions of the co-op. Now, I eat organic whenever I have a choice, but I can't do all my shopping at Peoples. They don't carry a number of things I eat/drink. I don't have time to shop multiple stores. Lots of folks thought People's was going to be hurt by Nature's on Division. Peoples seem to survive that just fine. I don't see People's members abandoning the co-op for New Seasons. I was a Nature's customer since 1980, except for 5 years when I lived in NW and was a Food Front member. But I've watched Wild Oats ruin the Division Natures. I sometimes shop at New Seasons when I happen to be in those parts of town and have wished they were closer to me. If and when they open on Division, it will be Nature's that permanently loses my business, not Peoples.

investigating the "no new seasons" website 28.Jul.2003 19:11


Couldn't help noticing that the guy who created the "no new seasons" website is the same Portland-based musician who makes commercial jingles for NIKE, SPEEDO, and MERCEDES-BENZ. So, you're only against corporate domination UNLESS they send you a big, fat paycheck. how convenient!

Went to see what all the hoopla was about yesterday - checked out the New Seasons in NE. Couldn't help noticing all of the Latinos who work there (not to mention the array of haircolors & piercings on many other staffers). And the lovely old African American ladies in their Sunday Best who were - yes, believe it - actually shopping there!

One last thing, a good watchdog digs deep. If New Seasons doesn't open on that exact spot in SE, guess who will? That's right, it's Walgreen's. If I could even AFFORD to live in SE, I think i'd rather have a local grocery store than another Walgreen's in my neighborhood.

Some Small Consolation 28.Jul.2003 21:49

Your Loving Grandmother

Now now, if they do build this chain store, at least it'll be a nice new place to get your five-finger discount and dumpster. . . ; )

I don't think NS will hurt People's 28.Jul.2003 21:53


I live close to this neighborhood and am a People's member. We buy as much at People's as we can afford, and most of the rest at the Daily Grind (which has a great produce section since hiring a new produce guy during the past year). But there are certain things my wife buys at the Sellwood NS, which is a store she's been really impressed with. Now she won't have to drag all the way to Sellwood. I'm sure a lot of others our in our boat; they'll keep buying the same stuff at People's that they already do because they believe in the coop and feel like they're part of that family. I also think the point about a Walgreens coming in instead of NS is something to consider. There's no way to keep the site from having some sort of commercial business, and NS seems as good as any that can reasonably be expected. And for what it's worth, Red Apple was an overpriced shit hole. Far from being an oasis of affordability for working class people, it was predatory in the worst way.

By the way, dividing this area into "renters" and "yuppies" is idiotically reductionist. If only life were so simple. I'd say the true yuppies are a small percentage of the neighborhood's population. Also, a good number of renters around there are pretty fucking reactionary. Take a bike ride through and check out the American flag decals and "bad boy" haircuts (or whatever the hell those flat top things are called these days).

Would someone please define yuppy? 28.Jul.2003 22:05

need to check

Would you please define yuppy for me? I'm not sure if I qualify. Is age the qualifier? Or is it income? Gender +age + income? Homeownership, is it that?

And if I find out that I am a yuppy can you recommend what I should be instead. Also, would you please elaborate on why it is bad to be a yuppy, based of course on the qualifiers.

No really!!


grandma made me guffaw 28.Jul.2003 22:51

Arnold the Pig

Loving Grandmother: That was priceless. Cracked me up! Thanks! Are you really a grandmother, or just old enough to be one?

In response to the last question, I have to admit to being confused myself. I always assumed that yuppies were hippies that "made it over to the other side," to the middle or upper middle class. They still try to talk like hippies, but in their heart they really know they have become hypocritical and snooty. I'd probably be a yuppie myself, but I'm too lazy. I'm not a hippie; i consider myself bohemian lite.

Yuppy 28.Jul.2003 23:29


Yuppy stands for young urban professional. Today the average demographic would be more middle aged boomer-type that typically commutes an average of 20,000 miles a year/60 miles a day from a new sterile sub-division of look-alike energy-hog McMansions most likely in a large SUV with a soccer-mom wife driving another large SUV. Thats a generalization of course as some yuppies can be environmentally and socially conscientious though, but they are in the minority.

YUPPY-2 29.Jul.2003 00:58


Another definition of yuppy (or yuppie) is Young Upwardly-mobile Professional. as generalizations go, I'd generally agree with Sid's generalizations about yuppies. Been there, done that, worked with hundreds of the mindless critters. Near suicide, I decided I'd rather starve than spend one more day as a yuppie. Now I'm starving--and other than that--couldn't be happier. If I had money for food, I'd love to spend it at New Seasons.

Get over it, all three of you 29.Jul.2003 08:48

Not a pigeon-holing wannabe radical hypocrite.

So all this negativity towards New Seasons is some Coop folk being freaked out over competition. You pointed out in a different post what a cool, energy efficient building you have, etc. Great!! Doesn't make other local stores bad.

Now, if you think you're going to be able to rouse the Division/Clinton neighborhood into a MickyD like ferver to prevent NS from occupying an abandoned store...you are being really silly and wasting your own beautiful energy.

I think it's great they're moving in. I travel or bike to shop there sometimes. Sometimes I shop at Natures cause it's convenient, Coop is pricy to me. I also shop at Safeway as members of my family want junk from time to time. And trying to connect all of this to some nasty plan by "the man" to displace poor renters, etc. is also silly.

You should do some soul searching here, drop the hostility (it's non productive), channel your energy into continuing to do your good work, and seek to expand your customer base using positive energy - not negative! I can tell you right now, as a clinton neighborhood person, I think you are acting like a baby!

Sid's Ahead 29.Jul.2003 09:39

Arnold the Pig

Okay, we got off the subject for a while. Grandma asked a question. Sid answered it best.

But getting back to the topic:

"And trying to connect all of this to some nasty plan by "the man" to displace poor renters, etc. is also silly. "


No New Seasons on 20th and Division 29.Jul.2003 11:45


New Seasons is going to put Peoples out of business. Not right away, but down the road that is what is going to happen. New Seasons is fine with me, until they decided to come threaten Peoples. Now I dont like em!

N.S. vs. Wild Oats 29.Jul.2003 13:50


I am a SE Portland renter. I love People's Co-Op and I do the majority of my shopping there. I also do some shopping at Division Wild Oats and Sellwood New Seasons. I am a member of People's and will continue to shop there, especially during the Wednesday farmers markets. I will do a small amount of my shopping at the new New Seasons, and I will no longer shop at Wild Oats.

Co-Op members need to continue spreading the word on how People's is still the best store in town!!!!


also... 29.Jul.2003 13:58


... People's is the best store in town, and they probably will be hurt by New Seasons. N.S. should find a location that is a little bit further away from People's, they will be too close for comfort. They should pick a location somewhere else, maybe around Division and 52nd???

Natures 10 years ago 29.Jul.2003 16:38


I remember when Natures opened 10 years ago or so on Division; lots of people were convinced that it would put Peoples out of business -- yet they've thrived. I think most People's customers are loyal and shop there primarily because it's a co-op (and very cool). I'm not crazy about NS opening so close, but I really think Peoples will do just fine, thank you.

Alberta Street Coop 29.Jul.2003 18:19


another coop which is doing fine despite the fact that within 1/2 mile radius are both Natures/Wild Oats AND a New Seasons.

Shoot, up here in St. John's we'd be THRILLED to have a New Seasons! 29.Jul.2003 19:29

North Portlander

Seriously, no one wants to put stores where we are. "not enough profit potential." New Seasons turned us down.

There's an upside and a downside to stores like New Seasons coming in. It will increase the property values (and, yes, the taxes) in the neighborhood. It would also bring jobs into the neighborhood. It would bring other businesses into the neighborhood.....bringing more jobs. The downside is that it causes gentrification of neighborhoods, which is not cool. So, why not work on making it so people are elevated in terms of their earning potential......so they don't have to leave the neighborhood?

I don't know the answer, but I know I would LOVE to be able to shop at a decent store that is clean, has a great selection of products, and is just a more pleasant shopping experience. Wouldn't mind for my property value to go up either. But that is self-seeking.

But is it self-seeking? At the rate St. John's is going (no development), this neighborhood won't be a very nice place to live. Meaning.....i'd have to move anyways.

It's a hard one.

goddamn chickenshit, bourgie, reformist, lazy cowards 30.Jul.2003 00:04


You want cheaper groceries? Form a goddamn buyers club. This is the origin of most brick and mortar coops. Too lazy and self absorbed (or absorbed in Simpsons reruns or meaningless liberal coffeeshop banter) to be bothered? Then please appreciate every last ounce of pain the downward capitalist spiral has to offer. No capitalist business can exist without exploitation of labor (the whole surplus value thing). If you are the result of the American education system and have the intellect of a fucking sheep you might want to look this up. Capitalism cannot be reformed. Once the growth curve slows, New Seasons' true nature will reveal itself. I suppose there was a time when pathetic liberal fucks like yourselves hailed Fred Meyer as a savior of the working class. Ha ha.

Hey 30.Jul.2003 08:42

Arnold the Pig

So what's wrong with The Simpsons reruns?

Boarded up empty grocery stores 30.Jul.2003 13:40


20th and Division appears to be a tough place to operate a grocery store. Red Apple didn't last long, and the Food Valu before that shut down. If you don't like the New Seasons going in, then don't shop there. If you're worried about People's, shop there, but please stop trying to keep the New Seasons from opening. The last thing that neighborhood needs is an empty store, because if a discount store can't make it...and a neighborhood store can't either...an empty store is what you might be looking at for a long time. Who does that help?

People's and other parts of town 30.Jul.2003 17:58


go talk to the general manager of People's - he'll tell you that NS DID approach them a looong time ago, and they gave NS the thumbs up to be neighbors. So, if they're not worried about NS taking away their business you shouldn't be either.

As far as North Portland goes, go to some of the Neighborhood Assoc meetings some time and you'll hear all about how Zupan's (moving into Janzen Beach), New Seasons, Freddies Fresh NW, and Wild Oats have been begging the city to review the grandfather clauses in zoning policy that prohibits new large stores from building up there. I agree with the St. John's resident that it would be GREAT to shop somewhere besides freaky Freddies on Lombard & Interstate - but it's not the neighborhood keeping them out, it's the folks who control the neighborhood. Plus there aren't many empty lots over an acre that any of these stores would need to build on (if you find one, you could prob make a great commission!). Yes, I am a long-time resident of NoPo.......

NIMBY buttons 30.Jul.2003 20:53

also North Portlander

Of all the possible for-profit grocery stores, New Seasons is pretty nice. I honestly do not know if the employees are union, or if they get a living wage, but I do know that the owner is local and does support sustainable agriculture practices. I don't think New Seasons food is, on the whole, any more expensive than Food Front's - or Peoples' - and I pretty much can't afford most of anything in ANY of those stores. But I continue to belong to a co-op, and I buy in bulk , organic as much as possible for a whole host of reasons, and from a co-op even though the stuff I use would be "cheaper" from a Kroger's or Safeway. I go to New Seasons occasionally, for whatever loss-leader is running.

We humans all have NIMBY buttons, and I get pretty exercised over mine - so I won't put down the particular residents of this one... There have certainly been a lot of good points to ponder about this one.

People's Golden Opportunity Down the Toilet 30.Jul.2003 22:21


People's has a prime chance to market themselves and increase membership among the residents that live around the store. Until NS comes in, there is no other local competition, and the residents are in many ways a captive market. But what has People's done to capatilize on this situation? They've done squat. That's right, squat. They don't seem to care if neighborhood residents shop there or become members or not.

If they don't care, why should you?

Positive Alternatives 30.Jul.2003 22:31

Mr A-Positive

All you anti-NS folks are great at listing reasons why you don't want NS to relocate on Division. So what would you like to see there instead? WalMart? Walgreens? Walwhatever? I hear a lot about what people don't want, but I'd like to hear what they do want. Want a vacant store there for the next 10 years where people can go to shoot up? Want People's to relocate there and go on a mega-expansion spree?

Let's hear some positive alternatives!

No capitalist business can exist without exploitation of labor... yada yada 30.Jul.2003 22:48

Capatilist Pig

"No capitalist business can exist without exploitation of labor (the whole surplus value thing)."

Well, let's run those exploitative businesses out of town. We can start with businesses like Mirador and the local bar, then move on to places like Cinema 21, then the place you buy your made-in-china clothes, the place where you buy your gasoline, and then any place you know of that isn't wholy a sole-proprietership. These guys are making bank on the back of the exploited worker! I hope you haven't sold out and gone to work for the man, and I sure as hell don't want to hear about you ever starting your own business and exploiting some other poor sap who only wants to make a few bucks working for you.

To me, giving someone a job is not quite the same thing as exploiting them. Did I exploit the plumber who unplugged my sewer? After all, I valued his labor more than I paid him to do the job (though at the rates he charged me, I kind of feel like he exploited me). Maybe you can help me understand when a plain old job crosses the line into exploitation.

Lemons? 30.Jul.2003 23:25

Dan C

Why not make Organic Lemonade from Organic Lemons? You can't stop it most likely, whether you'd like to or not. Hit NS where they're vulnerable - make them accountable to the community and to sustainable agriculture. I suggest a letter writing campaign to ask Brian Rohter personally to help fund the next GM food labeling initiative advertising campaign.

New Seasons is What Portland is All About 31.Jul.2003 09:43

Laurel V.

Just like the majority of Portland, New Seasons Market is clean, green and never mean. They truly are the "friendliest store in town." It looks like SE 20th and Division could use a little of their love. Peace.

Laurel--- LOL 31.Jul.2003 10:30


Laurel, your sarcasm is biting. That is the funniest thing on this entire thread.

To Capitalist Pig, I anticipated your response and encouraged you to do your own research in my first post. It is not my job to lead ignorant whitetrash children such as yourself to understand the nature of economic oppression or its remedies. I prefer to mock and judge and would truly LOOOOVE to see you one day living under a bridge. You are wrong and I pray that you will learn just how wrong you are. P.S. the plumber analogy is flawed because the plumber is a IC rather than employee. Try again, little boy.

To Alex 01.Aug.2003 12:52

Capatilist Pig


I see your point about the plumber analogy, but please explain to me what the difference is between me hiring the plumber to clean out my toilet and me hiring the plumber to clean out all the plugged up toilets in my neighborhood. I would of course take some of the $$ that the nieghbors paid, but that would be a reasonable fee for lining up lots of work for the plumber, so he doesn't need to advertise or otherwise drum up business or deal with customers who refuse to pay, etc. In both cases, I value the fruits of his labor more than I am paying for them, but in one case he works for me, and in the other he, well, works for me also.


PS Why do you think I don't already live under a bridge?

We need a Blockbuster in SE 01.Aug.2003 15:42

Wayne Nagby

I think a Blockbuster Video would be a perfect fit for the SE 20th and Division site. There is no place to get movies in the neighborhood. I have to drive (or ride the bike) to Powell or Hawthorne to find a flick. If they built a nice (not bright and loud) store that would be GREAT for the area. Also, a Papa Murphy's would be a nice fit with Blockbuster. Can someone tell me who to call to request these two companies. There is no reason why our area can't get these top quality stores.

You Are All Marxist Rapers Of the Earth 01.Aug.2003 17:51


You all have reasoning that can't be reasoned with. I am alone in my fight with the world. Someday you will all join me in preaching the rightousness of thoughts in mind, spirit and anger. Let me be the light to all - especially Capitist Pig and his shit hole of a life. Please join me in grizzing the unknown of life. "To shallow to see the truth but smart enough to pay bus fare." read between the lines Cap Pig.

Freedom 04.Aug.2003 22:08

Lifetime Portlander

New Seasons has the right to build whatever it wants, wherever it wants as long as it pays for the property and makes sure that it is meeting all health and building codes. Telling New Seasons "we don't want you here because we don't agree with your philopsophy, products, profit-making, etc." is the same as saying "All the Democrats (or Republicans, or Greens, or Blacks, or Asians, or gays or whatever) need to get the hell out of Portland because we don't agree with them". New Seasons has the right to attempt to do business wherever it wants. If it fails because of bad decisions or poor marketing or a poor location, so be it. But the company has the right to do business, just as you have the right to live wherever you want.

We live in America!

New Seasons will HELP Peoples! 04.Aug.2003 23:42

Economics 101 Professor

Increased foot and vehicle traffic in that business corridor will help Peoples. Why? Because Peoples will have the opportunity to market to the New Seasons customer. A customer, with money in their pocket and a grocery list, that is looking for the type of products offered by both New Seasons and Peoples. I am sure that NS will DOUBLE the traffic to Peoples, particularly on the Wednesday Farmers' Market. It is a marketer's dream, to capitalize on the business development funded by someone else. (How many more people will see AND respond to that "sandwich" sign advertising the market?) When NS is out of stock on an item, or doesn't carry it, don't you think that the always-helpful NS staff will direct disappointed customers to Peoples? Or shoppers that will now end up seeing Peoples for the first time just because it is on the way to NS? These are people that would never have shopped at Peoples, or been aware of it, if it wasn't for NS. If Peoples converts just a fraction to co-op membership, those are members they never would have had. Or, people will shop at Peoples because now it isn't so far out of the way, since they can complete their grocery list with just one more hop to Peoples and to NS?

I know it seems counter-intuitive, but just as the Krispy Kreme has increased the sale of doughnuts at OTHER restaurants, so will NS help out Peoples.

Last point. NS is a locally owned store. It matters what this community, and city, thinks about it. For Wild Oats, that is not as important. Look at the difference in support between those stores for the Division Street Fair. I hope to welcome NS to our neighborhood with my food dollars.

to alex 05.Aug.2003 15:20

Capitalist Pig


Your logic and thoughtful comments have swayed me.


Cap Pig 06.Aug.2003 10:01


At last. I'm proud but not humble in swaying your direction in life. Someday your soul will reach the spectacle of reality and then life will really suck. Live to love and love to live. On the topic at hand, a New Season has rose and a thorn pricked the pickle jar.

Alberta Co-op 11.Aug.2003 11:08

Bob New albertacoopgrocery@hotmail.com

Just wanted to weigh in on the conversation since I have seen the Alberta Co-op Grocery thrown into the conversation at times during this discussion. We have survived in the NE Alberta area (within spitting distance of both Natures and New Seasons) for over 2 years now mainly from the support of our neighborhood. It is the neighborhood that owns the store, much different from saying "locally owned" by other stores which have much money to throw behind their stores.

We organized as a buying club in 1996 with the intention of opening up a store on Alberta Street to give residents a choice of buying healthier foods for their families other than Safeway (MLK), Albertsons (52 Ave) or Fred Meyer (Broadway) and the smaller Natures on 24 Ave. There was few options for residents in this area to go to a local store (walking especially) to buy the food that we currently carry. Gentrification is an issue that we all really care about and while aware that the area is changing (mostly due to housing prices increasing out of control), we feel that the Alberta Co-op has improved that corner considerably (our landlord says that she had offers of turning that old, boarded up appliance store that used to be here into office space) and welcome any discussion about such issues. We are constantly learning about our neighborhood and what people want in that store and we are constantly changing and adapting to the needs of our shoppers.

As for the food in the co-ops being more expensive, our volunteer board of directors at Alberta Co-op has done periodic comparisons to the 2 other stores that bookend us here and find that much of our produce and bulk items are competitive with Natures and New Seasons and even less expensive in a lot of cases. Add onto the fact that if a person gets involved in the store as a volunteer (working member), a 15% discount is subtracted from the price of the food. . We are hoping that the changes we make in the next few months make our co-op even more neighborhood friendly and you can get involved in making this happen. The neat thing about being involved in a co-op is that people can have a voice in the decisions and changes that happenYou don't always get that at the other big stores, locally owned or not...

So, please get involved in the issues and be active in making changes in the communities that you live in. I helped to organize this co-op and it's the best way to get involved! Please contact me if you have any questions, comments or want to get involved with our co-op. Thanks.

In cooperation,
Bob New, Finance/Development Manager
Alberta Cooperative Grocery

Get Real 21.Aug.2003 16:47

Grew up here

I actually grew up in SE Portland, went to Cleveland HS, live near where New Seasons wants to build, and support it. Division and Powell and the homes around them have gentrified a lot in 30 years and thank God. Unless you like titty bars and porn theaters, used car lots and vacant buildings, run-down rental houses, and speeding cars, then you should like the change. The place is so much nicer, safer, cleaner, quieter than it used to be, i.e., it's actually nice to live here.
Sure New Seasons is upscale but how many of you bitching about it live in Ladd's Addition? That's what it's catering to.
And this notion that Red Apple shouldn't be moved because poor people need a place to shop too is bullshit. Have any of you actually SHOPPED there? Ever found any organic food? 100% post-consumer paper products? Detergents without phosphates? Or just acres of Frito-Lay (i.e. Pepsico) products and ding dongs? I say good riddance to Red Apple.
Plus maybe the competition between New Seasons and Wild Oats will bring the prices down in both. Then the "poor" who shop at Red Apple can feed their kids the same good stuff that the rich buy at Wild Oats. Next time I bike home from work I hope to find Red Apple long gone . . . .