Say no to Wal-Mart
EDITOR: All residents of Sonoma County should oppose the approval of the Wal-Mart supercenter again by the Rohnert Park City Council because of the impact on local business.
UC Irvine economist David Neumark in a 2007 study found that for each new supercenter that opens in a county, two local grocery stores will shut down. A 2010 report by Sonoma State University economist Robert Eyler concluded that the proposed super center will not generate any net new sales tax but will capture sales tax revenue from local retail and grocery stores. Eyler predicted that if the super center was approved, local employers could lose as many as 211 jobs.
Pacific Market in Rohnert Park shut down in 2011, in part, because the super center was approved. The old Pacific Market site in the Mountain Shadows Shopping Center remains unoccupied and contributes to urban blight. Competition from the super center could lead to declining sales and job loss over time at other local grocers.
Civic Economics reports that locally owned firms produce two to three times more local economic activity than national chains, including locally retained profits, wages paid to local residents and purchases from local suppliers.
EDITOR: David Banister's diatribe ("Right-wing mind-set," Letters, Tuesday) regarding Charles Krauthammer's column ("Obama's address an anti-Reagan manifesto," Jan. 26) actually makes Krauthammer's point — i.e., that the environmental movement is actually more about social engineering than about either the environment or the planet.
If we truly want to discuss environmental issues (especially climate change) intelligently and meaningfully, we need to leave the hysteria to the media and the lunatic fringe.