The Baxter Planning Commission is abdicating its responsibility to do what is best for the community. The commission's denial to recommend an Impact Statement on the establishment of a Wal-Mart superstore is unforgivable and indicates a basic misinterpretation of the EIS process. An Environmental Impact statement (EIS) is a three point analysis of the present and projected conditions of an area. This Impact Triangle bears equally on the three legs representing the physical, social, and economic factors that determine the resources of an area and how those assets can be utilized to sustain a working and living community.
At the recent meeting on the superstore proposal, the physical factors directly affected were mentioned quite extensively. Comments were not allowed on the economic factors - commonly know as benefit/cost analysis; nor were they allowed on the social factors - dynamics of community people. The chairman made an opening statement that there were to be no emotional comments - just facts - by meeting participants, yet he allowed some people to say the superstore will be good for the economy (an emotional opinion - not factual). Wal-mart builds to maximize revenue - an emotional point (greed).
So, the two legs of the EIS triangle, social and economic, have not been addressed (by a company that is independent & doesn't do fuzzy math). Hopefully, the Baxter council is not as easily swayed into believing that this issue can be glossed over with a few comments about woodland critters and drinking water (they are Important). Council members should also realize that this decision affects all County residents.
Contact the Baxter Council now and demand a full EIS.
Bush's oil ties
I have some questions about the rebuilding of Iraq and Afghanistan (remember Afghanistan?).
What do the Bush family's oil companies financial ties to the bin Laden family (remember Osama bin Laden?), and wealthy Saudis who financed him, tell us about how we got to this point? Why was the contract to run the Iraq oil fields given to Halliburton, which has done business in three nations included in Bush's "axis of evil." Iraq, Iran, and Libya. Does war protesting aid and abet the enemy more than business contracts?
Why were contracts to rebuild Iraq awarded without an open bid process? The USAID says it's to allow for greater speed. Could it be political ties were involved in two of the largest contracts? (George Schultz, former treasury secretary for Nixon and Reagan's secretary of state, is on the board of Bechtel Group. Vice President Dick Cheney has longstanding ties to Halliburton.)
Why aren't Middle Eastern citizens and companies being involved? This would not only increase the acceptability level among the Iraqi population, it would help those war-torn countries to rebuild (similar to the Marshall Plan, after World War II).
I hope someone can help me clear this up. I would hate to think this whole thing was about money for the friends of the administration.
Patricia W. Scott
Wal-Mart is scared
I just got a very professional, slick flyer in my mail yesterday with the title, "Baxter Families Win with Wal-Mart." I called the phone directory for the Baxter Consumer Coalition, who sent the flyer out, phone number to talk to and ask some questions, no number, guess I should have known, this address is a P.O. box!
In front of this flyer is a three generation family, grinning at us, a family I've never seen in Baxter or doubt ever was.
Next to the postcard we are to tell we want Wal-Mart's Superstore addressed to the mayor and Baxter city council is a statement, it says "Paid for by Wal-Mart Stores, Inc."
I guess Wal-Mart is scared because Baxter shouldn't have been a problem getting in here! And if Baxter could say "No," why, where would it end? It's neat to see a Goliath have to back down; I do hope Baxter sends a message, bigger is not always better! Hang in there, American spirit!
Stephen L. Heinecke
Say yes to EIS
I am questioning the validity of the statement on the Baxter Staff findings of fact for a negative declaration for an Environmental Impact Study for the proposed Wal-Mart Super Center.
I would like reassurance that, with a proposed project of this enormous size, that all facts and findings are researched most carefully. After reviewing the public comments, I question the statement that the majority of comments received "have indicated that the most significant issue is that the super center would sell groceries" By the last tally I took of the public comment, I found 19 comments in support of the super-center, and 64 comments in opposition of the super-center. Of the 64 comments opposed, I count four comments of concern that specifically state the impact on local supermarket workers and the selling of groceries. 4 out of 64 is not what I would call a majority! Some comments spoke of over all economic impact on small business, on the increase in traffic and most were concerned about environmental issues with considerable questions on the impact of this mammoth project on Perch Lake. If I am reading these responses wrong I would like to be corrected. If I am correct or close to correct, I would think the response made by the planning and zoning of Baxter would not be a true finding of fact. As a homeowner of lake shore property and a lake association member on another area lake, I can sympathize with the Perch lake property owners, I would not want this gorilla in my backyard! Urge the Baxter council members to research this to best of their ability! What is the hurry? "Say yes to EIS!"
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