I went to the Hood River County Courthouse meeting on Monday night. Inside was standing room only, with 60-70 people milling about outside the court room, unable to hear a word since no one bothered to turn on the PA system.
The Wal-Mart we have is big enough for Hood River. Never have I seen the parking lot full, which to me means this existing store is already larger than what the entire Gorge population needs. We don't need a super-giant Wal-Mart, getting into the food business. Rosauers is a small (21 stores) chain. If Rosauers goes under, twice the number of people will be out of a job than what Wal-Mart plans to hire at half the wages. This is not a win-win situation. The only one that will win with a giant Wal-Mart, is corporate headquarters of Wal-Mart.
I personally would not buy any food items at Wal-Mart. Who needs irradiated, genetically engineered foods, processed junk food, milk with bovine hormones, etc. There's nothing healthy in what they have to offer.
I also want to remind everyone, Wal-Mart will not be buying and selling produce and fruit from out local farmers and orchardists. Wal-Mart will be buying the cheapest stuff, regardless of quality, and marking it up to whatever the market will bear. If you like to continue seeing the orchards and farms of the valley stay in business, say NO to the super size Wal-Mart. The Wal-Mart we have is more than big enough for the entire Gorge.
The rumors that Wal-Mart will pull out totally if they don't get their big store are scare tactics -- a joke. They'll never give up a money maker, even if it's only a medium-sized one.
Joy H. von Buschow