Friday, March 24, 2006

Thank You Edelman PR for Visiting This Site

From SourceWatch. In October 2005, Reuters reported that Edelman is to mount an aggressive campaign against Robert Greenwald's new documentary Wal-Mart: The High Cost of a Low Price. In what is reported to be a movie industry first, Edelman's representatives emailed reporters press kits containing a point-by-point rebuttal of the film's trailer, which Wal-Mart is demanding be altered or removed from the website. (The trailer is under fire because the documentary itself will not be released until November 1, 2005.) "The press kit includes snippets from negative reviews of Greenwald's earlier works - one dating as far back as 1980 - and three examples of what the retailer calls factual errors in the latest documentary.

Come back anytime.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

What Will Essex County Do?

Last October, Lawmakers in Suffolk County, N.Y voted 17-1 to require large, nonunionized grocery retailers in the county to contribute to their employees' health insurance. The bill affects retail stores that have 25,000 square feet or more devoted to groceries, stores that have 100,000 or more square feet with 3% used for groceries.

Philip Serghini (Wal-Mart Community Affairs Manager for the Northeast), said, "We are concerned that the health care bill passed today, which does nothing to provide health care to those people without insurance, is a kind of hidden tax that runs counter to Wal-Mart's commitment to everyday low prices"

Mr. Serghini, believes that Wal-Mart provides affordable health care insurance to its employees. Does Mr. Serghini have the same health care plan as the 'associates' at his stores? Mr. Serghini notes that all Wal-Mart employees are eligible for company provided health insurance but about half of them 'decline' it. Does Mr. Serghini know why half of the employees 'decline' the Wal-Mart health insurance plan?

Some other things Mr. Serghini 'believes':

Wal-Mart provides value for customers

see here and here.

Wal-Mart provides opportunities for our workforce

see here and here and here.

Wal-Mart provides economic support for communities

see here and here.

Wal-Mart provides a helping hand for charities across America

see here.

Will Wal-Mart Impact SL Police Dept?

SL has long had financial concerns over police 'overtime' or whether to even have a police department. Having a Wal-Mart is likely to result in a need for more police officers, especially if the store is allowed to stay opened 24 hrs a day. Epping, NH had that specific problem.

Pineville, NC seems to have the same problem.
Pineville is one of a growing number of towns that have added large retail
stores in recent years only to find that the stores do not generate enough
tax revenue to cover their impact on public services, particularly police

And in West Sadsbury, Pennsylvania:
We saw a significant increase in crime and incident calls for service from the day Wal-Mart opened,'' as the anchor store in a new development in 2002, he said. Crime jumped 55 percent from the year before Wal-Mart opened to 2003, while calls for service increased 57 percent from 2002 to 2003, he said.

These are towns the size of Saranac Lake or smaller. Will police costs rise in SL if a Wal-Mart locates here? Maybe it would be best to try and determine if that will be the case or not.

Read a summary here.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Democrats Sweep SL Village Elections

In an interesting development 'Wal-Mart at any cost' Republicans were defeated in yesterdays Saranac Lake Village elections by the Democrats. The Democrats ran on a pro-development agenda but cautioned that the impacts of development on the community must first be discerned. Read more here (WNBZ) and here (ADE).

The vote counts were as follows:

Mayor Michael 838 Branch 579

Trustee Waters 797 Knuth 515

Trustee Fontana 811 Piro 677

Overall Democrats got 28% more votes than Republicans even though Democrats were cast as the anti-Wal-Mart party.

In Maine, Damariscotta residents voted in a 35,000 sq ft size cap in yesterdays elections.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

How Big is Big?

Wal-Mart - Bullying and Broken Promises

Read about it here.

Will Wal-Mart give "peanut" gifts to our schools to improve their image like they did in Chicago, IL?

Will they form a front company called "Protect Saranac Lake's future" like they did in Flagstaff, AZ?

Will they break promises after getting tax subsidies like they did in Lewiston, Maine?

Will they pull a 'bait and switch' like they did in Cleveland, OH?

Maybe they'll use threats like they did in Stoughton, WI.

Damariscotta, Maine

This is a community made up of several villages including Damariscotta, Nobleboro, Waldoboro, Edgecomb, Newcastle and Pemaquid region. Wal-Mart is also trying to invade their community so they have a website providing the facts about Wal-Mart.

Today is a special day for residents of the Damariscotta region. They are voting on size caps for big box stores. Just a couple days ago Wal-Mart supporters sent out a mailing that over estimated the amount of tax revenue the Town would get from a Wal-Mart (read more here.)

It seems the town did an economic impact study paid for by Wal-Mart (can be found here). Reviews of the deficiencies of the report can be found here and here.

Lot's more information on this website.