Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Sunday, October 30, 2005

WSU International Students Help Make Wal-Mart's Case

In a front page story in Friday's Daily Evergreen, it was reported that the Wheatland Express will now make stops at the Moscow Wal-Mart because the Palouse Mall no longer allows stops there:

“A lot of our students don’t have cars, so they ride that bus to WinCo because it’s cheap,” said Mary Furnari, director of the (ed: WSU) office of international students and scholars.

Furnari said the trek between WinCo and the Kibbie Dome is dangerous during winter months.

“There’s no sidewalk from the [crossing light] until you get to Sixth street,” Furnari said. “In the ice and snow, they’re basically having to tramp up that hill to the Kibbie Dome.”

Rick Sirk, store manager of the Moscow Wal-Mart said he sees this as an opportunity to perform a public service.

“My real motivation in doing it was as a community service,” Sirk said.
Motley said the proximity to shopping will make things easier for people who rely on the bus.

“It’s been inconvenient because kids have had to walk more than a mile to shop,” Motley said.

Sirk acknowledged that the bus stop may improve business at his store, but stressed that placement of the stop would serve a greater need in the community.

Furnari wrote a letter to the mall’s management asking them to reconsider shutting down the stop.

In the letter, she estimated that international students from both universities bring approximately $20 million into the local economy.

She said mall management has yet to respond to her letter.

“It’s a hostile environment when students don’t have cars and are forced to use whatever public transportation we have,” Furnari said.
So let me get this straight. By not having a Wal-Mart or a competitively-priced grocert store in Pullman, WE ARE BUSSING RETAIL DOLLARS OVER TO MOSCOW. POTENTIALLY $10 MILLION DOLLARS OR MORE WORTH!!

It has been said that Pullman has two perfectly good grocery stores already. If that were the case, why are international students taking the bus to Moscow and walking over a mile to get to WinCo??? Dissmores and Safeway are both accessible via Pullman Transit. THIS IS LUNACY!! And yet supposedly intelligent and rational people in this community are fighting to the death to allow it to continue.

3 comments:

Ray Lindquist said...

Well to to be fair Tom it is at least 25 to 35 million dollars. since the says that it was both schools. Even if it was just 25 million it would be nice to have that much in the local coffers for what ever project even if it was a "Trolly" .... LOL.

Sarcastic Housewife #1 said...

Heck I figure not only could Pullman find a trolley and the revision of Main street, they also could fund not just one, but probably two new fire engines.

Dale Courtney said...

Tom,

We in Moscow just *love* your $20m per year :)

You all really do need your own Wal-Mart, though. It's good for the students. And you'll find that it'll generate even more revenue if WSU students can easily get to it.

Best,
Dale