As I read all the letters to the editor in recent weeks and hear the debate getting uglier and more personal, I am reminded that the issue really is one of proportion. Does Hood River really need a store as well as a parking lot of those monstrous proportions? Wal-Mart as it is fills the community's needs just fine right now. We all end up shopping there as well as at local businesses to get the products that we need.
Do we need a bigger Wal-Mart for groceries, tires, oil changes and eyeglasses? NO! We have two big grocery stores already: a newly renovated Rosauers as well as a Safeway. For tires and brakes we have Les Schwab, and Nelson Tire. These retailers are competitive, friendly and efficient. For our oil changes we also have Quik-Lube, and a new Oil Can Henry's opening up. We also have local opticians: like the Cascade Eye Center and the Eyeglass Store. I am not trying to advertise these stores, merely to point out what we already have at our fingertips. And, lest we forget, we also have The Dalles, a scant 20 minutes away.
Other local shops cater to basic needs as well as specialty goods. Why do some people constantly say that all we can buy locally is wetsuits, windsurfers and such? This sounds like old stereotypes at play! Look at Shortt Supply; they have clothes, and shoes and other basics. There are also many other downtown and Heights' businesses as well.
We have what we need, why build more? Just because we live in a capitalistic society does not mean we have to subscribe to the bigger-equals-better scenario. Bigger does not always mean better! Look at the economy as it stands now. We are officially in a recession. Does anyone really think that Wal-Mart would pull out of Hood River because we say no to a Super-Store? I think not. After all they would lose too much money.