We all could be birds in a boxUhhh, Krista, people aren't birds. I've yet to hear of anyone who got trapped in a Wal-Mart and couldn't figure out how to leave.
I was in Wal-Mart recently and my heart went out to the little finches fluttering around inside the store desperately seeking a way back out of that big box.
They didn’t know what they were getting themselves into when they flew in, or how difficult it would be to find a way back out. They will adapt to living inside a box away from the sunshine and green growing things, and will survive by pecking holes in the dog food bags – for a while. Are they the canaries in a coal mine, showing what is “in store” for us?
A developer is in the process of trying to put a set of big boxes in a wheat field on the Whitman County side of the state line. Moscow will soon make the decision about whether to allow 77 acres on the east side of town to be converted from agricultural land into more big boxes. That is the equivalent of turning a space the size of downtown, (A Street to Seventh Street, and Washington Street to Jackson Street) into concrete and asphalt. Moscow doesn’t have a cap on the size of the boxes they can build or any say in what happens to the boxes abandoned or put out of business by the “development.”
We aren’t yet walled inside the boxes the developers are trying to build for us. But like the little birds, it will be very difficult to find our way back to the sunlight and green space once we go there. Living things don’t survive well in concrete and asphalt even if it is warm and lit up all the time.
The time is now to decide which kind of green our community needs most.
Krista Kramer, Moscow
In fact, anyone who shops at Wal-Mart does so of their own free will. They have a say in what happens to those "boxes" every day with their wallets. Apparently, Krista was at Wal-Mart and voted for a "big box" store too, unless she happened to be there on an Audubon Society field trip.
That's how we decide in a free society whether or not a particular business "deserves" to be in our community. In Moscow, the question is not about which kind of "green" they need most, but how "red" they want to become.
Since we're talking ornithology, the species that come to my mind are the ostrich, for those that are sticking their heads in the sand, the loon, for those opposing Wal-Mart, and the dodo bird, just as extinct as Moscow's retail community is about to become.
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