Matthew Root has answered the remaining questions I had about the cemetery. I greatly appreciate his comments below. I think we all have a greater insight into what has been going on with this controversial subject than we have gotten from either The Daily Evergreen or the Moscow-Pullman Daily News. That was my intention. It was never my purpose to attack him personally and I apologize if it seemed that way. I can say with confidence that Dr. Root is very passionate about both his profession and the city of Pullman.
EDIT: Matthew Root is always welcome to share his very erudite views here anytime and I hope he does so.
Thanks to Dr. Root, PARD now knows that Wal-Mart is proceeding carefully with regards to the cemetery and this is really no longer an issue. I urge them to stop their attacks on Wal-Mart along those lines.
Thank you for courteous treatment of my response. When you make statements such as the one below, however, that is an attack on my character and my motives. I am a reputable business owner and I will defend the professional integrity of my company and myself.
"Could it be that Dr. Root's real issue with Wal-Mart is that the city didn't hire him as a consultant for the "historic and cultural preservation" part of the SEPA checklist?"
To answer your question on timing, Wal-Mart made a mistake in their original SEPA application. If their project is now delayed, it is only their own fault. Whoever prepared the application simply did an inadequate job.
The timing issue is one of fortunate coincidence. I paid little attention to Wal-Mart because I usually spend seven days a week and 10 or more hours a day working. I also spend a great deal of time volunteering on research projects. My neighbor -- yes Marcie is my friend and our back yards adjoin -- told me that Wal-Mart planned to develop to the north border of the cemetery. This seemed strange given the requirements of SEPA, so I did what I always do, and simply looked at the plat map of the city of Pullman. These maps are available on line and in the library, and it would have taken ten minutes to look it up and include it in the original SEPA application. A similar situation existed several years ago in Walla Walla, and the proper studies were not carried out beforehand, unmarked burials were dug up, and now it is still a mess, and I don't think that construction has even begun. It is always best to solve any potential problems before construction, not during construction. I did the city and Wal-Mart a favor by letting them know about this issue. Think of what a public relations nightmare it would have been if there are unmarked graves out there.
What PARD does is up to them and I have no connection with them. I gave Marcie the same information that I provided to the city, because she requested it.
No one should feel threatened because I brought several matters of historic fact and errors in the SEPA application to the attention of the city. I may have saved Wal-Mart both fines and civil penalties if graves are present.
Matthew J Root