Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Friday, August 24, 2007

Time for the PARDners to Put Their Money Where Their Mouth Is

PARDner Professor Deirdre "My Other Car is A Broom" Rogers in today's Moscow-Pullman Daily News announced PARD's new "Buy Local" campaign "to offer concrete ways for residents to save money while creating a balanced local-national-global economy that builds on what is best in our community." This ought to be hysterical. You can't buy a pound of chicken or a pair of shoes in Pullman without shopping at a national chain store that is part of Rogers' "CEO-driven economic model." By the way Deirdre, the CEO of Safeway has an annual salary of $1.3 million and cashed out $13 million in stock options in 2003 even as Safeway lost $169.8 million in net income.

And how a "knowledge corridor" that will "spin new local entrepreneurial efforts" that would be located in Whitman County will help the $100 million a year sales leakage from Pullman that we all "whine" about, I couldn't tell you. But after all, Rogers is a professor of "Justice Studies," not Business or Economics (so now that Rogers is "Chairwoman" of PARD, does that mean it will become the "Justice League?") Oh, and Deirdre, the construction of high tech businesses in Washington is sales tax free. Oops.

But since PARD believes in businesses that are of "appropriate size and scale for Pullman," have I got a deal for them.

Some of you may be aware that the Pullman Baptist Church located downtown is being sold. The property is being offered for $650,000.

We all know what the PARDners think of a church being downtown. At the conditional use hearing for the Pullman Foursquare Church to locate in the old Cordova Theater back in 2005, Deirdre Rogers (at that time a proud one year resident of Pullman) stated:
that she really enjoys the downtown area, and enjoyed the Cordova (when it was in operation). She expressed concerns about the loss of the use of that space for non-commercial means, and the loss of the historic connection and historic memory.
TV Reed:
Stated his beliefs that the downtown is not the right place for a church; every attempt should be made to maintain a historic building with its historic use; commercial/retail use of the building is covered by the Comprehensive Plan. Expressed his concerns that a lot of businesses are moving out of the Central Business District and over to Bishop Boulevard.
Citizen Hosick:
expressed the beliefs that the theater is too important a part of Pullman’s history, that Pullman residents want it to remain a theater, that churches don’t belong on the street level in the Central Business District, that Pullman has a tiny downtown so every square foot should be available for retail business space which can be accessed and used by everybody, not a limited number of people.
Well, rejoice Deirdre and lift up your broom!! There is one less church downtown!! And the church certainly qualifies as part of the "historic memory" as it was built in 1932, not long after the Cordova Theater.

Here's you chance to have a retail business in the Central Business District, have a "green" business that pays those "living wages" you talk about, stop our sales leakage to Moscow and finally have a more balanced local economy." C'mon, it's a dynamite location, right at the corner of Paradise and Main. If the UFCW will bankroll your big legal expenses to fight Wal-Mart, they'll certainly pony up for this worthy project.

I hereby solemnly vow that if PARD buys the Pullman Baptist Church and turns into a retail store, I will be the first customer and say all kinds of nice things about them on this blog, in the newspaper, and on the radio about how they really are not just a lot of talk and a mortar board. Let the healing begin!!

But then again....

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Paul E. Zimmerman, M.A. said...

A "balanced local/national/global economy"... So if it's not produced locally, we bring it in from somewhere else. Brilliant!

Oh, wait, that's what Walmart does. Exceedingly well, even.

Or does this mean that we will only be allowed to import, say, a computer, if an amount of lentils of equal value is shipped out of here first?

Mexican fishing village?

April E. Coggins said...

Maybe TV Reed (during his secret negotiations) can pursuade Target to locate there. Whatever happened to Target? Or was that just another easy lie? It is getting so that when people read PARD, they see LIARS.

Bruce Heimbigner said...

We still regularly show movies in theater and they are all free. And yes we have a license that covers showing movies. The large screen is still there, but we use a digital projector. Just last we week ran kids movies all day Saturday for the Lentil festival.

Also the theater is NOT off the tax roles as the church does not own it - but eventually will. (Foursqure demonmination requires massive paper work:) So it is still in commercial use.

Having started the Greystone foundation I know a little about historic preservation and putting an historic building into active use regardless of a change in the type of use is MUCH preferred over destroying its character. In fact the current use might be considered more authentic as the orginal use was for silent movies and plays. So there was a live band, just like now.

Tom Forbes said...

Agreed Bruce. I think it was pretty obvious that PARD's objections were aimed at the church itself, not the retail aspect, much as we have seen similar attempts to drive Christ Church and News Saint Andrews out of downtown Moscow.

When the anti-Christian aspect got widely known, PARD quickly changed the tab on their homepage called "Save the Cordova" to just "The Cordova" and sent a letter to Pastor Smith to try and control the damage.

April E. Coggins said...

Bruce, PARD's main objective was to appear "involved" and "engaged" in town issues other than Wal-Mart. Tom rightly called them out as being just another anti-Wal-Mart group and PARD was trying to appear as a genuine local, grassroots community organization. The Foursquare Church and the Cordova were simply their props.