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SGV Trib's Editorial

This is taken from the August 13th SGV Tribune, the Opinion page. My opinon follows, in the comments.

Supervisor offsides

SUPERVISOR Gloria Molina showed up in the San Gabriel Valley last week. She wasn't here on a county business -- to apologize, say, for her role in the county seal debacle. No, on one of her infrequent stops in the region, she came to interfere in the redevelopment plans of a local city.

My Anti-Wal-Mart Nomenclature

Big Box Retailer
A large store around 200,000 sq ft with a lot of departments. Imagine the old Gemco or Fedco on steroids, or Home Depot sized Target crossed with a supermarket. There's a big Albertsons in, I think, West Covina, that might qualify. A Big Box is like the old idea of the "city center" where shopping is concentrated, except in this situation, Wal-Mart owns almost all of the businesses, and is the landlord.

Sales Tax Revenue

The proponents of Wal-Mart in Rosemead keep bandying some $500,000 in sales tax revenue that's supposed to result from building the store. If that money is so important, why not levy a simple utility tax to raise the money? People shouldn't rely on an unreliable retailer to be the "tax collector."

I calculated that if houses were taxed to raise that mythical sum, the burden would be around $35 annually, per house in Rosemead, more or less. That's guaranteed new revenues. In contrast, the Wal-Mart revenues will come from recapturing revenues lost to other cities, but also by cannibalizing the existing market. That's not new revenues. That's blight.

Costco in La Habra Stalled

The Costco in La Habra has been stalled for 18 months. Residents cite traffic as their main issue. They filed a lawsuit, and according to the judge, the issue of shortcuts is relevant. I note this because Applied Planning dismissed my assertion that shortcuts were overlooked in the traffic study.

After City Council members approved the Costco project last year, residents sued. In November 2003, Orange County Superior Court Judge Steven Sundvold ruled that the city needed to do some more environmental review.

The Hidden Cost of Low-Wage Jobs

If you've been watching the news, you've seen reference to a report that says low-wage workers are subsidized by taxpayers, and that Wal-Mart workers are subsidized more than average. The report is at this URL:

a UC Berkeley study about the costs of low-wage jobs

Read more for more info.

Wal-Mart's Political Giving

Wal-Mart and its Founding Family, a report by the Insititue on Money in State Politics (followthemoney.org), breaks down political donations by the Walton family and Wal-Mart.

Notably, they gave $10,000 to Robert Hertzberg between 1998 to 2002. After his term in the Assembly, Hertzberg later became a leader of the LAEDC, a group that later wrote a defense of Wal-Mart in Los Angeles.

SOC Signs are Being Vandalized

Stories are circulating about SOC signs being torn down, or stolen, and stakes being broken. Some vandal is out there doing dirty work to help out Wal-Mart. As if they'd need more help.

So far, reports say that on Friday night, the 29th, vandals tore down Wal-Mart signs along Delta and on San Gabriel, and broke the sticks, leaving the debris on the ground.

They need to fight clean. It's against the law to tresspass, and to mess with people's signs.

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