Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Not With a Bang, But a Whimper

The long legal battle over the Chelan Wal-Mart Supercenter is over. According to the Wenatchee World, the Chelan City Council decided to drop their appeal of a judge's decision last December declaring the building permit for Wal-Mart invalid. The store was allowed to open as scheduled in January and it has remained open since then.

The city adjusted the zoning laws over the summer and the Washington State Board of Pharmacy has now given permission to open its phramacy, permission that had previously been denied because of the zoning issue. The appeal, as Chelan Mayor Jay Witherbee said, "is truly moot."

So what did the small collection of well-heeled out-of-town hippies and elitists known as the Defenders of Small Town Chelan gain from this expensive and bitterly divisive episode? No wrecking ball. No $5 million extortion money from Wal-Mart. Just triumphal coverage on Crazy Al Norman's and all the other Wal-Mart haters websites. And as Laurel Jamtgard, spokesperson for Defenders of Small Town Chelan stated, "We think the debate was actually a healthy thing."

Right. We had to destroy the village in order to save it.

Meanwhile, I wonder when PARD will update their website with the fact that Wal-Mart Supercenter in Chelan has not only survived, but has not "destroyed" the town as predicted.

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