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Wal-Mart's Type II Development Application has been deemed "complete" and residents now have only 14 days (June 20 - July 4) to submit comments to the City Planner. ANY PERSON opposed to this development may communicate in writing via electronic or regular mail during this review period. Comments should address relevant concerns and also your intent to appeal if the application is approved.
Walmart has signed a secret deal with developer Howard Dietrich to build a 150,000 sq ft supercenter, along with 600 enclosed parking spots, at SE Tacoma street and 99E. The lease can only be broken if a city agency decides to buy the property.
Is this an attempt to increase his property value and blackmail the city for somewhere in the neighborhood of 17 million dollars? Or does he really intend to build a Walmart on a site that cannot handle the proposed traffic load? What of the businesses in Milwaukie that will be affected by the opening of a big box right in their neigborhood? What about the neighbors who already suffer through frequent traffic on SE Tacoma street? How will this giant store affect emergency services? None of these questions have been addressed, as the plan was hatched in secret and only leaked out this week.
Well, it's a secret no more. Several hundred people showed up at a Sellwood-Moreland (SMILE) neighborhood meeting last night, and opposition to this development was unanimous. Also attending were members of the Portland City Council.
Tonight at 7pm about 300 people gathered in the gym of Cedar Park Middle School to attend a rally put on by Save Cedar Mill. Save Cedar Mill is the group that has formed in just 90 days to a size of about 1000 people. It was a well organized and well set up rally complete with door greeters (that was me!), interesting speakers, and a large turnout. It was a kind of pep-rally to keep people motivated and interested in the cause. The other purposes of the rally were to inform people on how to argue their points (the idea is to focus on things like traffic and how it will effect the community, not on bad business practices or anything personal), to get people involved by signing and distributing petitions, and to sell materials such as lawn signs and t-shirts. The purpose of generating revenue is to hire our own traffic analysts and to pay for our legal fees in the fight against Wal Mart.
[ Save Cedar Mill ]
This week the City of Gresham facilitated a positive and productive meeting between residents and developers to review the scope required for the Wal-Mart traffic study. Fifteen community members met with Kittelson, Pacland and City staff to address traffic concerns including local schools, pedestrians on Springwater Trail, neighborhood short-cuts, Fire Station 73, and the 2-lane bridge south of Safeway. The meeting resulted in an expanded study scope to address those issues. The City has requested a list of "hot-spots" from members, due Friday, to include in the final scoping requirements. Please forward any questions or concerns regarding traffic issues in your area. The City now estimates 3-4 weeks before the traffic study is complete and the review period will begin.
NOT ANOTHER WAL-MART RALLY! Saturday, April 16 from 11am - 1pm. Past street-corner rallies have been very effective at raising public awareness, gathering signatures to our petition, and selling yard signs. This weekend we will target the intersection at 182nd & Powell, and will meet in the Shari's parking lot. We are seeking volunteers to come for at least one hour and help picket the site and wave at traffic. T-shirts are now available and will be offered at a discount to rally participants!
[ Gresham First ]
I'm still processing last night's Town Hall Meeting. The word "wow" keeps running through my head! I can only say that it was an amazing experience. Here are a few quick highlights of the extraordinary evening:
[ Save Cedar Mill ]
As of this evening, we have 916 people who have registered their opposition to the proposed Wal-Mart store in Cedar Mill. We hope to add many more to our ranks in the coming weeks. Thank you to everyone who has signed up. Please keep recruiting your friends and neighbors to join our growing movement!
Protest on Friday
[ Save Cedar Mill ]
The rally was started off by Michael Funke, who affirmed that the WalMart north of Bend was "not a done deal". He pointed out the victories that had been achieved in Hood River and other places. He pointed out the fact that WalMart no longer takes questions directly from the community because of the problems it encountered in Gresham. He asked; "How often is it you get to fight a big corporation in your own back yard?"
The next speaker was John Schubert, who said that he had tried for many years to create a model community. He said he did not want to see Bend sucked dry and abandoned as he had seen happen in other communities where WalMart had conducted business. He pointed out the diverse group of people in Bend who are opposed to WalMart.
Our group has grown to more than 720 members--in only a month! In that short time, we've been very active and very vocal in our opposition to the proposed Wal-Mart store at the Barnes Road/Cedar Hills Blvd. site. I congratulate all of you for taking such a strong stand and for getting involved. I wanted to bring you up to speed on what's happening--and tell you how you can help propel the movement forward.
I'm thrilled that our membership has grown so quickly. A large group sends a powerful message that the community is serious about our resistance to this store. To that end, we have set a goal to double the size of our membership in the next week.
[ Save Ceder Mill ]
"Not Another Wal-Mart!" rally in BendFirst off, thank you for all the support you have given to our growing community campaign to stop the proposed Wal-Mart superstore. We have collected over 1,000 signatures in our petition drive and we are just getting started. Wal-Mart wants everyone to believe this is a done deal, but it isn't. We have hired the attorney who helped people in Hood River and Medford stop a superstore and we are building our public awareness campaign. We need to demonstrate visible opposition to this store and we need as many of you as possible to come out to our...
Earlier today [Friday, March 3], at four o'clock, i counted as many as 37 people with Anti- Wal mart signs at the intersection of Barnes Rd and Cedar Hills Blvd in the Portland suburb of Cedar Mill. People were there to protest the newly propsed Wal Mart that is to be built at that intersection. People where there for all reasons, from a fundemental dislike of Wal Mart to the threat of greatly increased traffic. People were there to protest the drop in property values and the increase in crime and loitering that has occured in other communities. For whatever reason people showed up, I am glad they did.
[ Save Cedar Mill ]
Mayor Friedman called the meeting to order. At that point he had us all stand and do the pledge of allegiance. Several proposals were presented and passed fairly quickly. Mayor Friedman then opended the discussion for citizens to speak with a three minute limit. Several people stood up and addressed the issue of WalMart:
Wal-Mart is trying to build a Supercenter at 182nd/Powell in Gresham. Help us stop this big box, Preliminary plans show a 203,400-square-foot store with more than 800 parking stalls underneath.
Wouldn't that be awful if there was a giant Home Depot or Target right in the middle of Portland? Folks driving by on the freeway would see it and sigh the sort of sigh that monoculture produces all over the place.
Well if we don't speak up, this vision will become a reality. They want to build a Home Depot or a Target on the east end of the Burnside Bridge, just a few blocks from locally owned Hippo Hardware. With enough public support, however, we could influence the planning comission to instead build a complex of locally owned businesses.
Portland is considering letting Home Depot move in to the east base of the Burnside Bridge. Today they held a public meeting asking for input on the pros and cons.
I never meant to go there as a reporter, I just wanted to see what was going on. I was curious to see how such a well-planned city acted when it set policy and asked for input. I also wanted to see if they were serious about the proposed Home Depot placement so close in to downtown, and why.
The city was asking the community if we thought a big box store was appropriate there, and if so, if Home Depot was a good fit for the area. They booked a large meeting room (actually three small rooms with the dividers removed) at the Goodwill building on SE 6th and Harrison, and the place was packed standing room only. Representatives from more neighborhood associations than I knew existed were there, as well as people who worked in local hardware stores, people who lived there and even a representative of the local skateboard community (who sensably pointed out that they had been very good neighbors for the last 14 years, and thus they really should be included in any discussions about Burnside Bridge developement, since their park is under the bridge).
The public was given the chance to speak, and the adgenda had to be extended quite a long time to give everyone a chance to give info on why this is an abysmally stupid plan (I suppose people could have spoken in favor of the plan as well, but nobody seemed to be so inclined).
In an interview posted April 5, Jeff Alworth of Oregon Blog (www.webfeet.blogspot.com) asks Randy Leonard how the city can have "anchor companies" who will protect it from economic downturns.
Leonard responds this way:
"Last year, I was asked by the Portland Development Commission and the Portland Business Alliance to go to the International Retailers Convention in Las Vegas. (the largest convention in the world). I sat in a stuffy booth for two days talking with major anchor chains about the "new Portland" way of doing business...i.e., we haven't changed our standards, but we have changed our attitude. As a result of those contacts the PDC and I are currently negotiating with some of those large businesses to locate in Portland."
Does this sound familiar? Recently it came out that PDC was negotiating with Home Depot regarding Depot locating in a new multi-story building at E. Burnside and Martin Luther King Boulevard. Is Home Depot one of the "major anchor chains" that Leonard talked to? Is Leonard part of the PDC negotiations?
This begs the question: Why does the Central Eastside need a "major anchor chain"? Is the C.E.I.D. a mall that needs an "anchor"?
According to an Article in the Oregonian, the Portland Development Commission wants to use your tax dollars to help Home Depot locate on the east end of the Burnside Bridge. The commission is considering Home Depot to anchor a mixed-use project with condominiums and offices centered at the northwest corner of the intersection of East Burnside and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. According to the Oregonian article and a brief mention in the Tribune recently, the PDC has been anything but honest about the fact that they've been talking to Home Depot.
Funny thing is if you read the FAQ's on the PDC's website they claim: The "PDC helps make Portland a great place to live and tries to keep it that way. We call it sustained livability for our city and region. We share a vision with others of a city with a vital economy, healthy neighborhoods and quality jobs for all citizens."
Yeah hoisting a mega huge Home Depot on the Central East Side - that'll help make Portland a great place to live...
President Bush, after a major fundraiser in Baltimore on December 5, made a stop at a nearby Home Depot to talk about the economy. But the site confused some people, so much so that the Baltimore Sun ran an article entitled "A Presidential Mystery," which concluded that "nobody seems to know why" he was going to the Home Depot. Well, a little digging provided the answer to this mystery: Home Depot is a major contributor to President Bush's campaigns. Home Depot executives, employees and their families have given more than $1.5 million to the GOP since 1999, most of it in "soft money," before that practice was outlawed last year. The company's political action committee has also already contributed $31,000 directly to the Bush-Cheney 2004 re-election campaign. And guess what? Buried in two small paragraphs on page 710 of the massive, stalled energy bill is a measure that would lift a tariff on Chinese-made ceiling fans - with Home Depot being the largest retailer of said fans. The measure, inserted during a closed-door conference committee and undebated in either house of Congress, would save Home Depot and other smaller companies about $48 million, at taxpayer expense, of course.
Today, Friday, Oct. 17, activists in Cascadia stood up to defend the forests of Canada. Meeting at the Office Depot on MLK near Stark, they brought banners and flyers to educate the public and Office Depot customers about how the store's paper procurement policies don't go far enough to protect ancient forests.
Although two driving passers-by had the usual blather -- "Go home!" (I am home, I thought to myself, here in Cascadia, trying to defend the forests!) and "Hippies!" -- other people honked and waved, and at least two customers told Office Depot they would be taking their business elsewhere. The first of the two was staff from one of the Community Colleges, and the second was a city employee who purchases supplies for a whole division, so these two customers represented significant business for the store. The woman from the city had not heard about Office Depot's policies before, but was quickly convinced on the spot, and went inside to tell them she was terminating the relationship. Yay!
HILLARY "WALMART" CLINTON is coming to our town to raise funds. Hillary has a history of human rights abuses. Beside being the former lawyer for Walmart, who not only employs child labor but foreign prison labor, but also subjegates the American working class to welfare as she calls for welfare reform.
Hillary "Walmarts" legacy with the war against Iraq doesn't bode well either. She voted against the fillibuster, watched as anti-war leafletters were arrested outside her office and voted for the war in Iraq as well. Her unanimous support of this illegal war and her support of child labor and prison labor should be acknowledged. Nowhere in her whitehouse biography does she aknowledge her support of human rights abuses.
This can be remedied by us. To show up outside event go to Borders Books, 708 SW 3rd Ave, Tuesday August 5, at 4:30 to gather. She will be speaking at 5:30pm. Please do not let Hillary play the liberal facade in our town. Let her know that we know who she really is and it is time for change!!!
From the open publishing newswire: Working families are standing up to Wal-Mart, demanding the mega-company pay workers a living wage, provide affordable health care for workers, stop illegal interference with workers' freedom to form a union, respect communities, respect workers, end discrimination and respect the environment. Counting three SOU students who handed out flyers earlier in the morning because they had to get back to class--our total was 20 and that included (besides students) several community organizations (Oregon Action & PeaceHouse), a couple of unions (SEIU, UFCW) and several children too. A great cross section of America--we were! [ Full Screen & Technicolor! ]
Another Report - with Audio!
Before marching, three people spoke, enumerating the grievances which have necessitated the protest, and what changes they are demanding to see in the management of Wal-Mart. The first to speak was Jeff MacDonald, grievance supervisor for UFCW, local 55. He laid out some startling statistics about Wal-Mart employment, like, 2/3 of the workers, about 700,000 people of 1.2 million workers, can't afford Wal-Mart Health Insurance because employee costs amount to about $192 every two weeks. The Walton family is worth about $102 billion. "Now is the time to tell Wal-Mart that if you want to be Americas store, provide for Americas workers, for Americas communities, for Americas families." [ Details ]
[ Audio ] [ Union Voice ] [ Demo at pdx walmart ] [ Yahoo News Story ]
From the open publishing newswire: Wal-Mart is waging war on workers -- and the first casualty is the American standard of living. We urge you to join the United Food and Commercial Workers and the AFL-CIO in launching the Peoples Campaign-Justice @ Wal-Mart. Participate in the National Day of Action on November 21, as a first step in building the grassroots movement that will transform Wal-Mart into a responsible employer and corporate citizen. Events are being held all over the country - don't miss it! In Portland, come on down to Wal-Mart at 4200 SE 82nd on Thursday, Nov. 21st from 3-5 PM for a rally. In Eugene, go to the Wal-Mart at 4550 W. 11th. Visit http://www.walmartdayofaction.com/ for more details and organizer contact info. [ Full Story ] [ Southern Oregon actions ]
Wal*Mart's history of locating their stores on native American sacred lands:
[ http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Lobby/6181/release.html ] [ http://www.dickshovel.com/wal2.html ] [ http://www.yvwiiusdinvnohii.net/News2001/0102/AIMNFO010212Morgantown.htm ] [ http://mytwobeadsworth.com/WAJR.html ] [ http://www.ibsgwatch.imagedjinn.com/sites/morgantown.htm ] [ http://bioc09.v19.uthscsa.edu/pipermail/nn-dialogue/2001-March/000028.html ] [ http://lightning.prohosting.com/~receipts/antiwalmart.shtml ]
From the open publishing newswire: Who: Community & Labor Activists
Where: Wal*Mart in Talent (near the freeway exit). Meet at the parking lot entrance (suggest you do not park in the Walmart lot).
When: November 21, 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
What: Leaflets handed to customers in support of the campaign of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW). Targets Wal*Mart for its anti-labor practices, its treatment of employees, and its support for George Bush in tarnishing "good faith bargaining" in the current labor dispute with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU).
NOTE: In Portland, UFCW is asking supporters to rally from 3 to 5 p.m. at Wal*Mart Eastport, 4200 SE 82nd Ave. (we're gonna surround 'em from both ends of the state!)