As of Thursday, May 30, 2013
A plan is needed
To the editor:
(Edited for length.)
Changes are happening in The Dalles. I just saw a show on the Current channel (Comcast) about how Walmart impacts small towns and their surrounding communities.
What sounds like a wonderful benefit for the people of The Dalles may not be the case. My extended family and friends still live there and I travel to see them frequently. As always, my emotional ties to see the people of The Dalles have a healthy community in spirit and prosperity are still strong even though I moved in 1984. I love this town. It will always be my home. Watching a wide diversity of programs on community impact, I wonder why The Dalles hasn’t built upon their unique historical, geological, botanical and agricultural heritage.
Proactive advertising, a united tourist board and residents of The Dalles could turn the high unemployment numbers around, if only they could work together and think about what’s the best thing for the community.
The area they propose to build the Walmart on is an area that tourists and possibly scientists of various specialties would be interested in seeing if only they knew about it. Nowhere west of The Dalles has an area quite like this that contains species of plant, animals and rock formations.
I fear the town will take the same downward turn that other small communities have gone. Here in Sherwood we are fighting the same battle. Walmart is attempting to come here with their megastore, too. There is controversy about a council member who will profit from this deal. Is there anything we should know about the tantalizing offer of this giant to land in The Dalles? (To see more about the controversy in Sherwood, go to sherwoodgazette.com.)
Walmart’s employment record is being questioned in some media as being unfair to their workers, long hours with no overtime if they work under 40 hours, insurance seemingly a good deal for their employees but is not when compared to their wages, etc.
When stores start closing, the employment they provide is gone. The small town charm is gone. A quick buck is not always a reliable long-term investment. Planning a sustainable healthy future for all of the citizens of The Dalles is.