Thursday, March 09, 2006

Comments on WalMart from Mongolia

An excellent commentary on Saranac Lake and WalMart from a Saranac Laker living in Mongolia. Click here.


Anonymous said...

I think what most of us need to ask ourselves is "why do we live here?" Do we live here because we can have great shopping with loads of choices? Or do we we live here because we love the mountains, lakes, forests, small time living, etc. You get the picture.
Years ago someone told me that no matter where you live there was ALWAYS going to be something about the place you liked and didn't like. You just had to learn to live with what you didn't like.
This is a very small town. I love it here. And I am willing to admit that due to our small size, many businesses can't make it here. We simply don't have the population to support them. But I'm okay with that. Because I don't live here for great shopping. I live here because I love the area and the people in it.
My mother lives in Tennessee. Where she lives there are no building codes of any kind. You can build whatever you want, wherever you want it. The place looks awful. There are miles and miles of fast-food places, water slide worlds, go-cart races, tons, and I mean tons of outlet malls to shop, cheap touristy type shops, loads of hotels and motels, etc. And a few years ago the only agenda for the mayor was to KEEP BUILDING ALL THAT STUFF AND MORE. If there is even the smallest amount of property that could hold something, there is a "for sale" sign on it.
A few years ago we went out to dinner. Across the street from the restaurant was woods, farm land, cows, you get the picture. My brother said "see that land across the street? In a few years there will be something on it." He was right. It's now a large outlet mall.
This part of Tennessee gets 11 million tourists in a year. Driving anywhere most of the year is a nightmare. A simple 10-15 minute drive can take you close to an hour on the main roads. My mother hates living there, but wants to be close to my brother, and so she stays.
In this part of Tennessee in order to build all this stuff they had to bulldoze mountains and totally change the landscape there. Where my mother lives the population is about 6 thousand people, but you'd never know it. There is NO HEART OR CHARACTER WHERE SHE LIVES. If my mother didn't have a few close friends from her church, she would have no friends and be alone except for my brother. And oh yes, there is a super Wal-Mart there along with everything else.
I don't enjoy visiting there at all. Can't wait to get home.
My point is Wal-Mart totally changes the character of a community. This part of Tennessee didn't look like that originally. The developers made it into something awful. Please, ask yourself, why do you live here?

Joe Marocco said...

I think your entry would make a great letter to the editor. People here need to be asking themselves that exact question and your story gives them a good example of what happens when that question ISN'T asked.