Sunday, August 14, 2005

Even better than Transit Oriented Development

Big-box blues
National megastores scouting the Portland region for sites search out one common ingredient: people, and lots of them.

That's why large retailers want to locate near centers designed for urban living: Portland neighborhood hubs and suburban downtowns.

But many elected officials worry that large stores will spell death for the centers, which have developed with millions of dollars in local government investment.

They want more authority to turn away the so-called big-box stores. Short of that, they want a strategy to help their own live-and-shop districts compete. Both will be considered this fall at Metro, the regional government.
You want to "compete?" Try the free market you idiots. Oh that's right, everything government does fails miserably when forced to compete on a level playing field.

Politicians from Hillsboro to Gresham foot the bill for plans and land to carry out an urban revival theory that plays well in earthy do-it-yourself Oregon. They envision shoppers with coffee in hand combing farmers markets and popping into friends' condos down the block. Metro has designated about 40 such places as "centers," each with its own personality.

This story mirrors my post from yesterday. Our "planners" at metro and local government would like to change our behavior and culture. They don't care if you want to save some time and money at Wal-Mart, they want you to sip a latte and pop into your friends condo downt he block.

What makes government think that it's their job to do this kind of social engineering? Especially when they can't do their first mandate which is public safety. This really seems communist to me that government makes decisions on who gets what, when, and for how much depending on our elite leaders "vision" for our community.

In Gresham, where a decade of planning and subsidies fueled development along MAX light-rail lines, city officials are poised to reject a Wal-Mart Supercenter.

They want to reject Wal-Mart because it would interfere with what the government has done, against taxpayer wishes I might add, to the area. And really, I don't see the Gresham city planners sitting at the Rockwood MAX station at 10:00pm sipping their coffees. Wonder why that is?

And it's no doubt that the Fishwrapper always takes the side of government. Here's something interesting. A man named "Bernard" is quoted in this story multiple times but we never find out who he is:
...Bernard says
...Bernard says
Bernard says...
...Bernard says
"All of us have to do things to make ourselves unique," he says. "But we don't need to bring in more competition."

"Bernard" who may in fact be a made up character, doesn't understand capitalism very well.

Local governments generally hang their denials on land-use zoning and traffic. Current laws don't allow them to consider competing business districts.

GreshamFirst, a group opposing the city's proposed Wal-Mart Supercenter, is nudging the Gresham City Council to look at the issue. During a recent council meeting, members spelled out their fears. Among them: Big-box stores could hurt existing businesses and jobs.

So local governments violate the spirit of the law by turning away business for a false reason. This is like an employer not hiring someone because they are black but saying it is because the position is filled. Wal-Mart faces the same kind of discrimination from Metro and local governments.

Feel free to write to your Metro councilor with your feelings on this post and my previous post.

Email I received from my (really hardworking) Metro Councilor:
Thank you for your e-mail. I will be out of the office until Sept. 6. If you need a response before then, please contact my assistant LinneaNelson at 503-797-1886 or may also call the Metro Council office at 503-797-1540.
Thank you,
Carl Hosticka
Metro Councilor, District 3(503) 797-1549


MAX Redline said...

Off-topic, but take a look.

MAX Redline said...

>Local governments generally hang their denials on land-use zoning and traffic.<

Well...they got part of it right.

What they should have said, which would have been much more accurate:

"Local governments generally hang your genitals on land-use zoning and traffic."

By the way, can you kill that anoymous poster dork? As Bugs Bunny might say, "What a maroon!"

Daniel said...

Those anonymous posts were "blog spam." A computer script goes through blogs and posts on every single one advertising a different site.

As for the trekkies being communist... it's all so clear now.

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Tom Forbes said...


Great posts the last two days! Those same issues are exactly what we are facing over here in Pullman (

The intellectual elites are trying to force their neo-urbanist Utopia on our small rural town, including fighting to keep a proposed Wal-Mart away.

Keep up the good work!

MAX Redline said...

Yes, well the Star Trek thing was just humor. Your anonymous poster keeps returning, though, and that ain't all that humorous.

It's a mark of success, though - you must really be ticking some lefties off. And as is usually the case, all they can do is try to screw things up.

Anonymous said...

Daniel, have you ever visited the many middle America towns that have had local economies destroyed because of Wallmart and similar stores? If you had, you would have seen that these stores lower the standard of living for most anyone in the communities that they exist in.

Sailor Republica said...

Wow, Anonymous hasn't been to the towns in Middle America that I have been to. Every single one of them had/has a Wal-Mart, and all of them are doing just fine.

Your presumption, Anon, is nothing more than a red herring and kool-aid talk.

jwalker said...

I am really upset Jay. I said "What a Maroon" to anonymous several months ago.

I just cannot get over the government Portland deciding for the citizens where they will shop. What Country are we living in???

I have always wondered how the urban poor (single mothers, minimum wage workers, senior citizens, disabled)without cars (you know, those horrible awful cars) could afford the prices of everyday items in Portland.

I recently stayed in Portland for a week and had to get was outrageous. But, there was no Walmart in competition, so I payed those horrible prices. I payed a third more for the same groceries I always buy (I live in a small town. We have a Walmart.) I wonder how those people would feel about their elected officials keeping the cheaper goods from them?

Daniel said...

Just came back from Wal-Mart (Woodburn) for back to school shopping.

I purchased mutliple items that were made in America. I also purchased things that are made in China, it can't be avoided. I buy the American label when I can though if price allows. It's called consumer choice.

What I don't get is that the Wal-Mart haters buy the same socks or toaster oven (made in China) you can get at Wal-Mart but they feel better about themselves because they bought it from Fred Meyer.

Anonymous said...

The lefties are nuts. There may be more than meets the eye with the wal-mart stuff here. Just musing, but take the Cedar Mill area that was fighting off a Wal-mart off the 26 fwy and near the 217 fwy. The usual reasons for opposing it came out, most of which was NIMBY in nature. But there may be a more sinister reason these people are opposing wal-marts. They may not mention it, but I don't think the good people of Cedar Mill want a bunch of illegal aliens clogging their roads and coming to their neighborhoods, which they would if you put up a Wal-mart almost anywhere in Washington County. Maybe that is not a bad thing after all. lol

Daniel said...

There is no doubt that part of the reason that liberal oppose Wal-Mart is because of their conceited, elitist attitude.

If they can shop at Bridgeport Village then why can't everyone?

As usual the libs speak with a forked tongue. On one hand they claim they are the party of "the little guy" and "the blue collar worker" but with their actions they show that they are simply the party of big government and social engineering.

MAX Redline said...


Sorry, couldn't resist! (G)

On WalMart - there is a nationwide freaking conspiracy against them. It always starts off the same way: concerns about traffic. Then it's design, followed by some claptrap about lowering standards.

Walmart was going to build in south Ft. Myers, Fl. recently, but was vetoed because of traffic considerations. What did the commissioners do instead? According to my Mom, who lives nearby:

So. . .they have allowed to be built--it is nearly finished--directly across the street, an amusement park complete with roller coaster that runs thru the building. Other rides are in the process, and there is another building going up--don't know what it is--then, there's the brand spanking new Walgreen's just opening. Across on the other corner, CVS is nearly complete--but we couldn't have a WM.

R Huse said...

Oh man, nothing better than the Wal-Mart debate with a commie. Its like five steps before you make them basically admit their hypocrisy.

1) Wal-Mart is bad because it puts mom and pop stores out of business.

No it doesn’t. 90% of the crap Wal-Mart sells is basic big box store stock. I see this same stuff in Target, maybe Fred Meyer that sort of place. The main competition I see is between Wal-Mart and other big box stores. Cheesy basic clothes, weird made in China brand particleboard furniture, flip flops for $1. Do mom and pop stores really sell this crap? If so, maybe mom and pop better stop stocking crap and start stocking something Wal-Mart doesn’t carry.

2) Wal- Mart generates all this traffic.

That’s called efficiency. There’s a synonym for it, environmentalism. It saves the planet to go to one store and not make 20 trips to different stores. Not all of us are on welfare, we don’t have time to bike to 20 stores, we would rather drive to one. Cant we all just love Mother Earth?

3) Wal Mart is Anti Union.

Shut the hell up. When was the last time you asked to see a union card at the local Latte stand? Are you wearing union made, made in America shoes? You can get them in just about any work outfitters store; they are about $180 a pair. Put your money where your mouth is commie.

4) Wal-Mart is just plain ugly.

Well, you got me there. And that’s what its all about isn’t it? Wal-Mart is ugly. The huge parking lot is ugly and, lets face it, the people shopping there look pretty ugly. No one dresses up to go to Wal-Mart and the fluorescent lighting isn’t doing anyone any favors. That’s just too bad, Sunshine. Everyone else should not have to pay more and waste more time driving to suit your effete sensibilities. So stop trying to sound high and mighty and principled. You don’t like Wal-Mart because its ugly and those gross ugly working class people you always say you care about shop there with their ugly minivans, NASCAR shirts and their sticky mouthed kids. So go bask in the proletariat baby. FREE TIBET!

Yes Daniel, I finally started my blog

Tom Forbes said...

You guys have done some of the best fisking I have yet seen of Wal-Mart opponents. And you're from Oregon no less!!

Daniel, I'm adding you to my blogs list of links. Great site!!

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