Friday, May 26, 2006

What's Next----------??????

These 'outsiders' with 'disposable income' are trying to have their way again.
First, they change the school mascot from a fierce REDSKIN to a wimpy storm; Next, they change the spelling of Schoeter's Field!!!!; Now they are sending out direct mail trying to get us to build a 121,000 sq ft Wal-Mart SuperCenter. These 'outsiders' are in the minority so it's not really certain how they make all these changes.

What's next? Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies; rivers and seas boiling; 40 yrs of darkness, earthquakes, volcanos; the dead rising from the grave; human sacrifice?


Something must be done with these 'outsiders'.

Wal-Mart and Schroeter's Field

There was a sad little letter in the Thursday edition of the ADE which can be viewed here, at least for the next 14 days.

What does Schroeter's Field have to do with Wal-Mart? Nothing actually, unless you are a conspiracy theorist. There have been several letters in the ADE, in the last few days, from out of town 'native Saranac Lakers' concerning the spelling of Schroders (Schroeter's) Field. These letters are the result of a 'news update' at the popular Saranac Lake memories website Bunksplace.

First the Saranac Lake Redskins, then Schroeter's Field. What's next--------------????(Drop a letter to the editor at the Adirondack Daily Enterprise link below to voice YOUR opinion. Go to "Virtual News Room" )

The Letter:
We native Saranac Lakers are really getting fed up with the “NEW” so-called Saranac Lakers changing all that made Saranac Lake a desirable place to live. Some with no backbone stole our beloved Redskins from us. A minority, mind you. Another minority of aliens are doing everything possible to keep our town from having a place to shop for groceries and clothing because they have their little specialty shops and we should shop there whether we like it or not. Sound familiar?

No one forced them to move to OUR area, but they came and decided to change it to fit their lifestyle. What about our lifestyle? Now they are changing the name of Schroeter’s field to Shroeder’s field. We all played ball there as children growing up here and have fond memories of George and his family allowing us to use their hose when we were hot and their garage when it rained. Their name was SHROETER. What next? If you weren’t born here, don’t call yourself natives.

Maybe all of us old-timers should contact the Minutemen to guard our borders. By the way, no one had a problem with Ames being in North Elba. Is it just Wal-Mart? Conflict of interest, anyone? Downtown is great if you like pizza, subs or alcohol. Enough is enough. I’m sorry I brought my family back here to enjoy what was a beautiful, caring town of beautiful, caring people. You can have it. Tony Anderson and Bill Wallace must be rolling over in their graves, among others. If they are allowed to do that in our NEW TOWN.


This letter is an example of an attack on the civil rights of "non-native Saranac Lakers" (NNSLers). NNSLers include ANYONE who was 1)not born in Saranac Lake General Hospital and 2) did not graduate from The Saranac Lake High School. The nice thing about this definition is that if you were born in SLGH (damn, who changed the name to AMC?) and did graduate from SLHS (damn, it's not in Petrova anymore), you will keep all the "rights" of a Native Saranac Laker (NSLer) forever. You can be living in Vermontville, NY or Luanda, Angola and you still have a full voice in what happens in SL. A "NNSLer" is an alien. It doesn't matter if you've lived here for 50 yrs. Keep your opinions to yourselves and you will be tolerated and allowed to live in OUR (NSLers)TOWN. If you express an opinion WE (NSLers)don't like, please just leave the area. Go back from whence you came. Don't make us form a Minuteman group (a group by the way that is responsible for the formation of some bigoted, racist groups - Here, Here).

NNSLer's are everything that is wrong with SL. They are responsible for all change, even the spelling of Schoeter's Field. Now you NNSLers want to have an opinion about Wal-Mart! What's next ----------??????

Sometimes you can be ashamed to be a NSLer.

PS Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott, Edelman CEO Richard Edelman and you PR/Direct Marketing guys in Rochester.....we don't mean you. You are honorary NSLer's.

Wal-Mart SEC Form 10-K


A Panopoly Of Wal-Mart Facts

You won't find these facts at Go to the facts section of to read how:

The Walton Family saves $91,500.00 per hour in Federal Taxes (and they don't do it by shopping at Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart drives down retail wages by $3,000,000,000 a year.

California subsidizes Wal-Mart to the tune of $86,000,000 a year.


FLORIDA: 12,300 WAL-MART Workers and their Dependents on Medicaid
GEORGIA: 10,261 Children of WAL-MART Employees are Enrolled in PeachCare for Kids
TENNESSEE: 9,617 WAL-MART Workers on TennCare

WAL-MART Costs Taxpayers $1,557,000,000,00 to Support its Employees


$50 MILLION to settle an off-the-clock class action suit in Colorado

Wal-Mart is paying eleven million dollars to settle Federal allegations it used illegal immigrants to clean its stores.

Wal-Mart is facing a class-action lawsuit for discrimination against $1.6 million former and current female employees.

Wal-Mart currently faces lawsuits in thirty-one different States for wage and hour abuses potentially involving hundreds of thousand workers.

Currently in the U.S. there are 26,699,678 SQUARE FEET of empty WAL-MARTS


2001: EPA orders WAL-MART to pay $1.0 MILLION fine for Clean Water Violations in: TEXAS, OKLAHOMA AND MASSACHUSETTS

2004: WAL-MART fined $3.1 MILLION by EPA, the largest ever for a retailer, for Clean Water Act violations in TEXAS, COLORADO, CALIFORNIA, DELAWARE, MICHIGAN, SOUTH DAKOTA, NEW JERSEY, TENNESSEE and UTAH

2005: Connecticut EPA orders WAL-MART to pay $1.15 MILLION for Clean Water Act violations in 22 stores

WAL-MART Imported $18 BILLION from CHINA in 2004
Lee Scott earnings for 2005: $27,207,799
Average WAL-MART Hourly Sales Employee Earnings: $13,861


The WALTON FAMILY Has Given LESS THAN 1% of Their Wealth to Charity
Bill Gates has given 58%

The links for supporting information and documents are there too. We, the WalMart shoppers, actually deserve the credit for alot of this crap. What we won't do for "Everyday Low Prices".

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Wal-Mart Going Green

Read "Can You Still Hate Wal-Mart" by Mark Morford.

Last October Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott announced that Wal-Mart is going 'green'. Huge plans from stores generating 100% renewable energy to eliminating bad plastic packaging and generating zero waste. So Wal-Mart suddenly is very concerned about the Earth's environment.

Morfords column discusses the more obvious reasons for Wal-Mart's sudden change in attitude towards the environment. Read it soon.

Some of my fav quotes:

Sometimes you just have to allow that something grand and good and healthy might actually be born from the bowels of the dank and ravenous megacorporate world, like flowers from a dung heap, like vodka from old potatoes, even if it comes right alongside the nastiest, most abusive federal environmental policy you will see in your lifetime.

There has been, to date, very little good to say about this most voracious and powerful of low-end, trashy retailers.

Wal-Mart has always been, quite appropriately, the devil.

Seems Wal-Mart has realized one vital maxim that so many fundamentalist right-wing capitalist GOPers have so far failed to grasp: The apocalypse is just really bad for business.

They are the George Bushes of the retail world -- drunk with power, cheaply made and full of crap

Morford can really turn a phrase!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Wal-Mart Decides To Help Further Split The Saranac Lake Community

A report on WNBZ radio here.

Multi-billion dollar Wal-Mart is worried. The company obviously will only survive by building an out-of-scale box store at a site that 70% of residents do not support. This must be the case, because Wal-Mart has started a PR campaign to build support for the company.

Now here we have some 'outsiders' with huge amounts of 'disposable income' telling us, the life long residents and common people of SL what we should do (part snark here). This is sure to upset the Wal-Mart supporters in the area because they do not like outsiders with disposable income influencing their decisions. CARD is sure to tell Wal-Mart to cease, desist and mind their own business. Don't call us, we'll call you.

The mailing says the store “blends with the design” and the “distinct character” of the community.

Keep in mind that a PR company's job is convincing you that a shit sandwich tastes great.

Saranac Lake Mayor Tom Michael had yet to see the flyer, but said he was disappointed Wal-Mart was launching a public relations campaign. “[I’m] wondering if they feel they need to get public opinion on their side because they’re project has issues,” he said. “The planning process is not a popularity contest. It’s a set process. I’m just disappointed they feel they need to start a PR campaign to get their store approved.”

This outragious ploy by Wal-Mart should be criticized by supporters and opponents of Wal-Mart because they are attempting to pit area resident against resident.

It includes a tear-off card that residents can return to a Wal-Mart Community Relations Office in Rochester. They can check off if they’d like to support the proposal by writing letters, attending meetings or becoming involved in “local pro-Wal-Mart efforts.”

Thanks Wal-Mart, but area residents are already writing letters, attending meetings and have become involved in local groups that either support or oppose you. Maybe you should think about spending those PR/marketing dollars on your employees.

Book Review

This is for the conservative among you. Excerpts of a review of Charles Fishman's book "The Wal-Mart Effect" in the American Conservative magazine.

This book demonstrates that the Wal-Mart effect is the most powerful market force expelling jobs and technology from our own country. Not only does Wal-Mart create low-wage jobs that lure further illegal immigrants here to do jobs that Americans could not afford to do even if they wanted to, but it provides a place those illegals can afford to shop.

In January 2001, after Wal-Mart was done making its “statement,” Vlasic filed for bankruptcy. Fishman discerns the same “devastating success” among other suppliers, from Huffy bikes to Lovable lingerie: bankruptcy and closed factories here, a diaspora of jobs and entire industries to the Third World.

“Do Americans need clothing to be so inexpensive that the people making it cannot afford a toothbrush?” The answer is no, of course we don’t, but Wal-Mart’s cost-cutting dynamic not only demands it but forces all who resist it out of business. The ultimate goal is not really “low prices for the consumer” but the obliteration of all competitors. Once this goal has been achieved through reverse predatory pricing (AKA dumping), once Wal-Mart has become one-stop shopping for every product and every service in every land, the pressure to keep prices low will abate, to say the least.

Wal-Mart’s pricing monomania has rooted out wasteful practices like the packaging of bottles, jars, and canisters of product in cardboard boxes but has itself created another gigantic category of waste: the bargain TV or DVD player or lawn mower that, purchased without the benefit of a knowledgeable service person and manufactured with cheaper and cheaper materials, soon breaks down, is not worth repairing, and winds up dumped in the trash—the Pickle Caper writ large. Fishman notes, “In the Wal-Mart economy, we as consumers often buy too much just because it’s cheap.”

(my emphasis)

Gracie Or Karla - Who Has Wal-Mart's Loyalty?

Karla is the loyal, shop at Wal-Mart 5 times a week type person. She goes into Wal-Mart to buy trash bags and her shopping cart just seems to fill itself before she can get out of there. Most of her checks in her checkbook are made out to Wal-Mart. Supposedly, Karla shops for what she needs. She wants one thing and one thing only - low prices.

Gracie is the more stylish, upscale shopper that Wal-Mart is now interested in. Gracie only goes to Wal-Mart less than once a week to get cleaning products. She buys fewer groceries from Wal-Mart (meat is not as fresh) and tends to avoid Wal-Mart in general.

Karla doesn't make as much money as Gracie and thus is more susceptible to economic downturns and high gas prices. Gracie has more 'disposable' income. So who would you court? Wal-Mart thinks future growth is dependent on the Gracie's of the world.

So Karla, you loyal Wal-Mart supporter.....see ya around

Read about it here.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

More Wal-Mart Facts

Wal-Mart has 3,856 stores in the USA. That is one store for every county in the USA or one store for every 78,000 people.

Wal-Mart's net sales for 2006 was $312.4 billion dollars, about the cost of the Iraq War thus far.

53% of Americans live within 5 miles of a Wal-Mart store, 90% live within 15 mi.

Wal-Mart is as big as Home Depot, Kroger, Target, CostCo, Sears and KMart combined.

If Wal-Mart was a country, it would rank 20th in gross domestic product and would be China's 8th largest trading partner.

What Do Anti-Wal-Marters Want? Just Ask Sam Walton.

Walmartwatch has started "A Handshake With Sam" proposal.

Walmartwatch asks "WHAT DEFINES A GREAT AMERICAN INSTITUTION? And what are its obligations to the common good?"

They then propose The "Handshake Agreement" below is an agreement of shared principles offered in good faith to the executives and board members of Wal-Mart.
The interesting thing about these seven proposals is that they are all based on quotes from WalMart founder Sam Walton.

You can sign a petition supporting this proposal at Walmartwatch.

The "Handshake With Sam" proposal consists of seven different 'items' of moral responsibility that Walmartwatch proposes that Wal-Mart excutives and board members support. They can be seen in this pdf of a NYT ad.

A 23 page detailed overview of the proposal can be viewed here. A 2 page informational brochure of the proposals is here.

For those that have a slow modem, the seven proposals (without the supporting Sam Walton quotes) are:

1) Protect human dignity
2) Ensure quality and affordable healthcare coverage
3) Use market power to improve supplier conditions and wages
4) Enable and embrace self sufficiency
5) Buy local first
6) Keep it clean
7) Prove worthy of the public trust

Monday, May 22, 2006

Final Results - ADE Retail Store Location Poll

Lake Flower Avenue at Will Rogers Drive 30.5%

Between Broadway and Depot Street 21.6%

Other (identify site with a comment) 9.8%

None — no large-scale retail in Saranac Lake 38.1%

What to think?

1) A large group (38.1%) of residents want NO large-scale retail development in Saranac Lake. However, we don't know what large-scale retail development means to the respondents in this group. An unknown proportion of this group is probably opposed to Wal-Mart no matter what the size or location of a store.

2) Less than 1/3 of residents want the store to be built at the Lake Flower Avenue site. This shouldn't be surprising given the overwhelming win of Democrats to the Village board last month. If this group truly wants a Wal-Mart they need to start thinking compromise.

3) One fifth of respondents want the store to be built in the Depot Street area and one tenth want it built in an 'other' location, but probably downtown. This is a total of 31.4% of respondents. Add in a portion of those in the last group that are likely concerned about the size of the store and you have a large group that wants a store built in the downtown area.

4) The smallest group are those supporting Wal-Mart at the Lake Flower Ave site (if you consider groups 2 and 3 to be in favor of retail development downtown.)