Some folks in town think a Pullman Wal-Mart is a “done deal.” But, for reasons I outline below, it seems more and more likely that in fact a super center here is a “dead deal.”The only thing I am ever going to agree with T.V. “Rerun” Reed on is that Wal-Mart is not a done deal. Never stop fighting until the fight is over.
To begin with, the Pullman Alliance for Responsible Development’s legal appeal points out so many problems – traffic dangers, cemetery desecration, massive storm water and erosion issues, the Public Works Department’s failure to do the fiscal impact study required by city code and more – that we are very likely to win our appeal. In addition, there are perfectly legal city ordinances that can be used retroactively to make the corporation either limit its social and economic damage, or stay out of town.DANGERS! DESECRATION! MASSIVE! What a load of hyperbolic fear-mongering. And by all means let’s retroactively deprive the world’s largest corporation of its legal rights and see what happens.
But the real kicker is that some members of the City Council, city staff and key business leaders have had their desire for the Wal-Mart deal shaken by revelations that the corporation has plans for a super center in Moscow. The major rationale of reversing the flow of business has been lost and, along with it, trust in Wal-Mart, for keeping those plans a secret. At the same time, news arrives that a store that makes much more sense for Pullman, Target, has plans to build here. A Target, if of modest size and located away from Bishop Boulevard, will cause far less disruption and will actually accomplish the stated goal of super-center backers to bring people in from Moscow and even Lewiston.Moscow Smoshcow. That’s been the worst kept secret on the Palouse. Heck, PARD even had it up on a poster back in August at the Lentil festival. Why make a big deal about it now? Who exactly has had their “desire shaken?” Ed Schweitzer? Bill Paul? Ann Heath? Keith Bloom? Fritz Hughes? I don’t think so. The argument has never been that people would come from Moscow to shop here. HELLO?! THERE”S ALREADY A WAL-MART THERE. The argument has always been to keep PULLMAN SHOPPERS IN PULLMAN. Timmy argues against himself. If a Supercenter goes into Moscow without one going into Pullman, all the businesses in Pullman may as well board up their doors now.
Ah, he dropped the “T” word. Gee, is PARD in negotiations with Target? I have heard from much more knowledgeable sources that Target is only interested if Wal-Mart goes in. If they weren’t, why haven’t they come in before now? PARD’s guru Al Norman has referred to Target as an upscale Wal-Mart. You think Target wants to come in to Pullman with T.V. Reed already laying the groundwork for size and location? What a joke. If not Bishop Boulevard, then where? And how does Target not “destroy local business” the way PARD says Wal-Mart will? And again OUR GOAL HAS BEEN TO KEEP PULLMAN SHOPPERS IN PULLMAN, NOT DRAW IN SHOPPERS FROM LEWISTON AND MOSCOW. How obtuse can you get? This is just another PARD red herring trying to divert the debate. Unless PARD can deliver Target on a silver platter, SHUT UP!
As the tide shifts, supporters of a Pullman Wal-Mart are escalating their attacks on the local folks in PARD. Challenging PARD’s views, which we welcome, has given way to personal attacks, and libelous charges of fraud and duplicity designed to intimidate those who oppose Wal-Mart. Most PARD members have been in this community for 25 to 40 years. We won’t be intimidated. PARD is here to stay.Oh, the tide is shifting alright, leaving PARD’s little dinghy high and dry. That is why we got treated to this rambling, propagandistic little pep talk trying to rally the tie-dyed liberal forces one last time. The cocky rhetoric of days gone by, when PARD talked of “winning the battle for public opinion,” are long gone. Now PARD is being “intimidated.” Give me a break. PARD has been launching personal attacks on Glenn Johnson, Mark Workman, the city council, myself, and anyone else with the temerity to oppose them. They are the real intimidators
As far as “charges of fraud and duplicity” go, if the shoe fits…. Cynthia "Impartial Private Citizen" Hosick misrepresented herself and what she was attempting to do with that “19 Pullman Merchants” petition. And PARD really has been solicting donations on national anti-Wal-Mart sites. Those are verifiable facts.
What PARD members have been here for 25 to 40 years? That’s laughable. Judy Krueger perhaps? How about Tina Vona-Pergola? Jose Alamillo? Nella Van Dyke?
I hope PARD is here to stay. We need the comic relief. But given the enemies they are making, they are going to be a one-hit wonder.