Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Damm It, Janet

I don't know who the PARDners think they are fooling. With Don Orlich's letter to the editor last Friday and now Janet Damm's in today's Daily News, it is obvious that they have asked members to write in and bitch about the city repaving Bishop instead of their own street, no doubt trying to distract the public from their own costs to taxpayers.
I am so glad to see that someone besides myself (Don Orlich, Opinion, July 21) [Please] noticed other streets in Pullman are more deserving of repair than Bishop Boulevard. What about Crestview Street between Grand Avenue and Lincoln Middle School? How many parents and school bus drivers have wondered about this road’s condition when they saw Bishop being resurfaced? I don’t believe this section of Crestview has been completely repaved since Bishop was paved the first time. It has only been patched over the years, and very poorly patched I might add.

What about High Street between Dexter and Paradise streets? I am sure the other hills in Pullman have some streets just as needy as these I have mentioned on Pioneer Hill.

How about having developers who benefit from improved street access kick in a portion of the financing? This would have solved the “ring road” problem we have now on Military Hill near the high school and the new housing development. It looks a lot like the proposed Wal-Mart on Bishop is driving city priorities more than meeting the needs of all residents.

Now, to correct the fuzzy math of Don Pelton (Opinion, July 21) who, in his continued attempt to sell our community on the unwanted Wal-Mart, says that rival Costco (which pays the kind of decent wages Wal-Mart does not) would never come to Pullman because our residents don’t make enough money.

How does Pelton explain, then, that Costco already located in Clarkston, a town with a lower per-capita income than Pullman’s? And anyone who has ever been to the store in Clarkston knows his claim that it appeals mostly to affluent customers is just plain silly.
Damm's letter was so lacking in respcet, honesty, logic, facts, and qute frankly, intelligence, I immeditately penned a response:
I am afraid it is Janet Damm (Opinion, July 24) that is guilty of using fuzzy math, as well as fuzzy logic.

Clarkston does not have a "lower per capita income" than Pullman. According to the latest official figures from the State of Washington, the median household income in Pullman is $23,198 versus Clarkston at $29,100. Just across the river, the median household income in Lewiston is $40,871.

According to the International Council of Shopping Centers: "The median age of Costco’s members is 51.8, and they have a median income of $85,000. That’s well above the U.S. medians of 35.6 and $41,000. More than 42 percent of Costco members earn upwards of $100,000 yearly, versus just 12.2 percent nationwide."

As a warehouse club, Costco's business model is entirely different than Wal-Mart. Costco targets professionals and small-business owners who buy in large quantities for the business and home. There happen to be more small businesses in Lewiston-Clarkston than in Pullman-Moscow.

Costco's business model, along with higher median age and median incomes, easily explains why Costco chose the L-C Valley and why it is extremely unlikely it will locate in Pullman.

If PARD members Janet Damm and Don Orlich so fervently desire an alternative to Wal-Mart in Pullman, all they need to do is come up with the millions in capital to build their own. Until then, perhaps the economics and demographics are best left to those who are professionals.
I didn't have space to get into the basic problem that Damm's argument about Clarkston having less per capita income than Pullman directly contradicts Chris Lupke's editorial in which credited Clarkston's high per capita retail sales with the wonderful "living wages" that Coscto pays. You can't have it both ways. Oops. It proves once again the PARD elitists will say anything to keep from having to deal with the plebians at Wal-Mart.

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April E. Coggins said...

I wonder if Janet realizes that the sidewalk in front of my store hasn't been replaced for more than fifty years? Maybe we should halt all the walking path projects until the downtown sidewalks are replaced. Maybe the Dilke Street repavement should be postponed until my sidewalk is new.

Uncle Bubba said...

Nice letter Tom.
We all are aware that truth and reality have little meaning to some people.