News


Walmart public hearing moved to next Monday at Firehouse Arts Center

Union opponents, neighborhood supporters expected to jam 250-seat facility

The Pleasanton Planning Commission late Friday stripped a controversial public hearing on a proposed Walmart Neighborhood Market coming to Pleasanton off its Wednesday night agenda and moved the hearing to next Monday, March 19, at the Firehouse Arts Center.

Brian Dolan, Pleasanton's Community Development director who handles planning, made the decision after reports that union members opposed to Walmart are planning to "bus in" large numbers of people to object to the Walmart plan.

Walmart has already received approval from the Pleasanton City Council to open one of its Neighborhood Markets in the former Nob Hill supermarket in the Meadow Plaza Shopping Center. The shopping center is located on Santa Rita Road just south of West Las Positas Boulevard.

The council acted on a recommendation of the city's zoning administrator, who after reviewing plans by Walmart for taking over the vacant Nob Hill store that was closed in 2010, determined that the Walmart Neighborhood Market would fit the same footprint and would be no different than if Nob Hill, owned by Raley's, Inc., would have reopened its market at the site.

Given those considerations, the zoning administrator ruled the new market could replace the old one with no significant changes that would trigger a public hearing.

Councilman Matt Sullivan voted against approving the zoning administrator's recommendation. The 4-1 favorable vote also came after City Attorney Jonathan Lowell told the council that however they voted, their decision could be appealed

A few days after the council's vote an appeal of that decision was filed by Linda Martin and Angela Willmes, both Pleasanton residents, asking the commission to overturn the zoning administrator's recommendation, which would allow Walmart to move into the former Nob Hill store in the Meadow Plaza Shopping Center. The shopping center is located on Santa Rita Road just south of West Las Positas Boulevard.

Shortly after, union leaders called on members and others at a Democratic Party rally to protest at upcoming meetings throughout the East Bay where operating permits for Walmart grocery stores will be considered.

The union spokesmen made their pitch for support in battling proposed Walmart Neighborhood Markets in Pleasanton, San Ramon and other East Bay cities. Their pleas received loud applause at a Democratic Party rally in the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers hall in Dublin where 350 were waiting to hear comments from Congressman Pete Stark, who is seeking re-election in the new 15th Congressional District, and his challenger, fellow Democrat Eric Swalwell, an Alameda County deputy district attorney and Dublin City Councilman.

Union representatives urged the crowd, and especially union members, to attend the March 14 meeting (now rescheduled for March 19) in Pleasanton to show their unified objections to allowing Walmart to open one of its Neighborhood Markets at the Nob Hill site. Union leaders said Walmart pays its employees below-union scale wages, denies part-timers health insurance and then sells groceries at lower prices than the larger supermarkets can afford, threatening smaller grocers,

At its Feb. 7 meeting, more than 150 filled the City Council chambers to its limit, with many standing in the hallway outside, to comment on the Walmart issue. About a third were wearing bright yellow "No on Walmart" badges, although more of the public speakers favored the store instead of opposing it.

It's that large number of meeting participants, plus the reported plan by unions to encourage more objectors to attend the planning commission hearing, that cause Dolan and the Planning Commission to move the issue to next Monday and into a larger facility.

Given the zoning administrator's recommendation and the City Council's approval, the Planning Commission meeting next Monday is viewed by city officials as more of a public meeting, not a hearing on overturning the administrator's report.

According to a story in the San Francisco Business Times, the Pleasanton Neighborhood Market would be the first of four East Bay markets currently planned by Walmart. The others would be at a former Circuit City site in Hayward, a site in San Ramon and at former Safeway store in San Jose.

Walmart Neighborhood Markets offer a full range of

groceries, and each store would employ about 75 people.

In all, Wal-Mart is looking to open 13 Neighborhood Markets in California.

The Planning Commission meeting at the Pleasanton Firehouse Arts Center will start at 7 p.m. next Monday, March 19.

Comments

Posted by Suzanne, a resident of Las Positas
on Mar 12, 2012 at 8:41 am

So the meeting was rescheduled so it could accommodate union members being BUSED in to oppose a decision that the city council should make for RESIDENTS of Pleasanton. I hope the council remembers that they represent the RESIDENTS OF PLEASANTON and NOT union members from out of town. In addition, if the Walmart store would "fit the same footprint and would be no different than if Nob Hill" I don't see the problem. I have heard a few of the arguments against... traffic (the same as if any other business went in, so should it remain vacant?), Walmart doesn't give medical benefits to part-time workers (I have never had a job where I was given medical BENEFITS for working part-time), lower priced groceries than places like Safeway can afford.. (how about lower priced groceries that CONSUMERS can afford.)


Posted by Scott Walsh, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Mar 12, 2012 at 8:54 am

Sounds like you need the 500 seat Amador High School Theater or Carr America facility to hold this meeting, not the 250 seat, $10 Million Arts "Money Pit" facility. Should be interesting to see where all this goes.


Posted by Ptown Dad, a resident of Amador Estates
on Mar 12, 2012 at 8:56 am

Can the city ask speakers or attendees to provide their name and address to see if they actually live in Pleasanton? Why would city staff or commissioners be obligated to receive their feedback if they're not residents of our city?


Posted by Bob, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 12, 2012 at 9:02 am

I heard the unions had booked no fewer than 28 busses that can hold up to 75 union activists each. That's 2100 activists right there. My neighbor's second cousin says they're also planning to send in at least a thousand who are being flown over here from S. Korea. There were apparently up to 10,000 protesters in China Town in NY, and my wife's sister says that it's impossible to book a train from the East Coast, because they're all booked with unionists headed this way. (Fortunately, because of socialized transportation in this country, they'll probably be late.) Safeway and Luckys corporate offices are paying for the protests with the profits they make on Orowheat bread.


Posted by Agreed, a resident of Fairlands Elementary School
on Mar 12, 2012 at 9:14 am

Ptown Dad, that is a good idea.

Do both of the appellants even live in Pleasanton?


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 12, 2012 at 9:16 am

I don't know that the council has to let out of towners speak (aren't you required to give a name and current address?), but they certainly do not have to allow anyone to disrupt a meeting. I would guess they are planning for capacity and bouncers.


Posted by Alice, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 12, 2012 at 9:19 am

Just one more instance of this council catering to the unions. Is there a catered reception for them too?
If one doesn't live in Pleasanton then they have absolutely no right to have a say on what happens here...union or no union.
This whole Walmart issue is BS. Why should someone who will never work at a Walmart care if the ones that do make less or have no benefits.
Tell me how many people in this country work a job where they make less and have no benefits.
What a bunch of crap.


Posted by Agreed, a resident of Fairlands Elementary School
on Mar 12, 2012 at 9:27 am

I hope that the SEIU and UFCW don't start picketing residential neighborhoods and the shopping center like they have in some cities Web Link


Posted by P*town Truth Tellers, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2012 at 9:35 am

Whether or not Walmart's grocery store is union has nothing to do with the planning commission. The hearing should be about signage and traffic flow - and planning related concerns. The planning commission should make sure that all discourse is limited to that.

The City Attorney has pretty much implied that Pleasanton will be sued if they deny Walmart's application to open a grocery store at a site that was formerly a grocery store. And Walmart has the resources to do it. Ultimately, the unions are shooting themselves in the foot, because this is:
> Turning public opinion against grocery unions.
> If Walmart sues and wins (which they undoubtedly will), it sets a legal precedent.

Basically, all this is a show, but Walmart prevails in the end. Not sure if the union is smart enough to know they'll lose - but maybe they figure that have to do something so their members will keep paying dues for lower pay instead of going to work for higher-paying non-union shops like Trader Joe's or Whole Foods. In the meantime, we hurt surrounding merchants that are failing because of no anchor, portray Pleasanton as anti-business (which is accurate given the current city council), disenfranchise low-income folks and seniors who need cheaper groceries.


Posted by Unions Blo, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2012 at 9:41 am

Remember this at the next election for Mayor and City Council. Do not vote for council members and a Mayor that have been bought off by the unions. THIS MEANS DO NOT VOTE FOR COOK-KALIO OR THORNE - THEY ARE PAWNS FOR THE UNIONS.

Also, the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce PAC backed Cook-Kalio and Thorne, as well as the Bezerkely kook Mayor Hosterman. Drop your membership in the Chamber of Commerce if you're a member, and tell merchants displaying the Chamber sign you don't appreciate the Chamber PAC backing union pawns for the Council and encourage them to drop their Chamber membership.


Posted by Agreed, a resident of Fairlands Elementary School
on Mar 12, 2012 at 9:43 am

The San Ramon Feb 28th was rebroadcast yesterday. They discussed Walmart moving into an old Albertsons/Ralphs store space. Their City Attorney said there was no basis for even reviewing it or amending the occupancy/operating conditions.


Posted by Meadows, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 12, 2012 at 9:46 am

I live in the Pleasanton Meadows area. Most of the people writing about WalMart are either Union people or non-Union people, so ... This issue is about what is allowed, and a grocery store is allowed. If a store applying is adhering to the same conditions as the previous store, then there is no discussion. For Example, we cannot say what kind of restaurant goes where a previous restaurant was. Everyone wants Trader Joe's to move there, no questions asked. If it was Whole Foods that moved there, every one would be on board. Take the store name out of the equation and there is not a question. Where were the questions when Ranch 99 or Fresh and Easy moved in ... None, zip ... Please do what is right and let the grocery store be ... Whatever the name.


Posted by Agreed, a resident of Fairlands Elementary School
on Mar 12, 2012 at 9:57 am

If it was Whole Foods, the union would still be opposed and protesting because Whole Foods is not unionized. Occupy Oakland even broke some windows and vandalized Whole Foods near the Occupy Oakland location when Occupy Oakland got started.

If Trader Joes were opening up a bigger store there, there would still be pickets and opposition because most are non union (see this article) Web Link

When Raleys opened on Sunol Blvd many years ago, the union opposed it and picketed for months after they were open.


Posted by Rick, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2012 at 10:02 am

Let the planning Commission hear from you.

This should be APPROVED

Planning Coimmission Contact:
mhoey@ci.pleasanton.ca.us


Posted by Spooknik, a resident of California Somerset
on Mar 12, 2012 at 10:16 am

Thorne's Campaign Manager, Kathy Narum is a Planning Commisioner, imagine that!!!


Posted by not good, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 12, 2012 at 11:28 am

Union activists didn't protest non-union 99 Ranch, Fresh & Easy, Trader Joes, or Whole Foods. I don't see how Walmart is any different.
This city is about to be sued because we won't let a grocery store be a grocery store.


Posted by Bristol, a resident of another community
on Mar 12, 2012 at 11:32 am

Alice from Birdland expresses my sentiments exactly: "Why should someone who will never work at a Walmart care if the ones that do make less or have no benefits?"

Right! My Mom has always reminded me of that. I mean why should anyone care about anyone else but themselves?

Pooper Alert!!!! I've heard that Pleasanton is thinking of forming a special group of citizens called Pleasanton Against Union Pooper Enlistees and Radicals (PAUPER -- because we support pauper wages and benefits among our fellow citizens). The union poopers usually come in by the busloads and look for any open pick-up or flat-bed truck and then they leave behind their intimidating calling cards. They also write letters. This happened in Chicago all the time back when I was a libertarian public state worker fighting the libertarian's freedom loving good fight against the freedom of workers to form picket lines.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 12, 2012 at 11:55 am

not good, It's because the unions could gain 1.4 million members in a time of declining membership if they can organize WalMart workers.

Gollum, you're going to give yourself a headache. UNION--Until No Individual Opts Non-Union.


Posted by Proud of America, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2012 at 1:17 pm

Kudos to the rational people and RESIDENTS of Pleasanton, and to the City Council, Planning Commission, and City Attorney for approving the Walmart grocery.

Kudos to Walmart for helping to revive the shopping center and reinvorgate the many small businesses who need a big anchor tenant to help keep them in business by regenerating the visitors and traffic that disappeared when Nob Hill Foods closed.

Kudos to Sam Walton, too. An AMERICAN success story.

This is AMERICA--welcome to Capitalism. AMERICA--where entrepreneurs like Sam Walton have had (and continue, I hope) the opportunity and freedom to SUCCEED.

Take a hike, unions. You and your bussed-in members don't live here, we do, and, if you don't like how America 'works,' I suggest you move to Syria, or maybe to one of the many socialist-governed countries, like, say, Greece.

We all know how successful they're doing these days.

Good luck.


Posted by Anti-union, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2012 at 4:24 pm

Thanks, Suzanne, I appreciate the heads up on busing in out of area union activists... for our NEIGHBORHOOD GROCERY MART ! ! UNBELIEVABLE !! Where can an American go to have the right to form a community and buy our food where we want ??


Posted by Chris, a resident of Stoneridge
on Mar 12, 2012 at 9:14 pm


Hmmmm . . . let's see . . . "below-union scale wages" . . . union scale wages . . . which means all that matters is that I show up for work . . . not that I do what is required . . . or complete an assignment or task at a predetermined time or on schedule as dictated by the customer . . . oh wait . . . union customers are our elected union friendly government officials . . . who negotiate union contracts and who are elected by union members . . . I see . . . it is my mistake . . . we the people are not the unions customer . . . we just pay their non-competitive wages and benefits . . . we the taxpayer are so lucky to be blessed by a non right to work state.


Posted by Pleasanton Resident, a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 13, 2012 at 7:19 am

I've never belonged to a union, but I would never cross a union picket line. That being said, I think the WalMart store is a good tenant for the space on Santa Rita Road. I hope they plan on changing the traffic patterns on the exit so that patrons can turn towards downtown without going up to Las Positas and making a U-turn. Safeway needs to compete on what it does best - attractive stores with quality and service. Power spraying the carts each day and keeping the garbage cans from overflowing would be a good start. WalMart opening is like a discount gas station going in...how many customers will wait in a LONG line for a few cents per gallon - not many in Pleasanton. Regarding union grocery workers, this concept will slowly disappear because the economy has changed. Employers cannot afford to pay $18/hr plus good benefits for a job that takes a week or so of training. That's reality, and the younger workers know this.


Posted by Union Death Grip, a resident of Del Prado
on Mar 13, 2012 at 8:58 am

Let's thank the Mayor and pro-union City Council for this circus. This isn't a union town but the politicians sure act this way. What is this going to cost the city in terms of security? All the union police officers will be on overtime and I am sure Alameda County Sheriffs will join the party. At the end of the day the citizens will pay for this circus and the Mayor will go on to future political endeavors with money from the liberal, pro-union lobby. It is shameful. The citizens should mobilize for this and make their feelings known. Let's eliminate the Union Death Grip on our town.


Posted by Bob, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 13, 2012 at 9:04 am

Pleas Res: "Regarding union grocery workers, this concept will slowly disappear because the economy has changed. Employers cannot afford to pay $18/hr plus good benefits for a job that takes a week or so of training. That's reality, and the younger workers know this."

I agree. Because we cannot expect to cut into the profits of billionaires. We can't afford that in this changing economy that further enables billionaires to make billions upon their billions. The only option we have is to cut the wages of grocery clerks.

And Chris' comments are so erudite. We would be so lucky in this state if the state didn't have to pay workers a minimum wage. It would really help out the wealthy taxpayers among us who aren't workers. Keep up the deep thinking, Chris!


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 13, 2012 at 9:25 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Gollum, Don't they need you to talk to the Democrats who just sank the pipeline? Wouldn't those have been union jobs? WalMart employees don't want you, just move along.


Posted by Concerned Resident, a resident of Mohr Park
on Mar 13, 2012 at 9:38 am

Yet again, Unions are trying to use elected politicians to force businesses to hire union employees. When it's time to vote for Mayor & City Council, these thousands of "non-Pleasanton residents" AKA Union protestors, will not be around. Expect that union thugs will try to shout down & antimidate local residents. Although Walmart is trying to play by the "land use planning rules," this is about the unions battling Walmart around the Nation, & Pleasanton's politicians being directed like union puppets. Stay tuned, as some of these protestors will more than likely try to make their way over to the Castlewood Country Club.


Posted by Bob, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 13, 2012 at 9:49 am

The antimidation factor is very real. With tens of thousands of unionists rumored to be entering this city it's understandable that the politicians are antimidated. My brother-in-law's neighbor found a poop in the back of his pick-up truck yesterday morning. I told him that's probably only the beginning. Next he might get neighbors who post anti-Walmart signs on their lawns. Union sock puppets, one and all. We should only allow LOCAL residents like Walmart execs and their lawyers who are threatening to sue us into community meetings. Because they have the interests of the community at heart, whereas the unions only care about themselves.


Posted by Tom, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Mar 13, 2012 at 10:14 am

This issue was properly approved by both the Planning Commission and the Council. Lets move on and welcome Walmart Food in the location.
Don't let the Unions intimidste. This meeting should be cancelled.
Enough of Matt Sullivan and his Union friends. Glad he is terming out.


Posted by Vic, a resident of Foothill Farms
on Mar 13, 2012 at 10:18 am

I support Walmart, good products and good prices, if you don't like Walmart don't shop there. It will bring prices down at Safeway and Lucky's where I have seen cucumbers (which I didn't buy) for $1.50 each, we use to feed them to the pigs back in the day.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 13, 2012 at 10:20 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Mocking, "Bob," really nice. Just correct it to intimidation--or aren't you human?

About the poop--teamster tactic, left on the heap of unions' doorsteps of shame. Own it. And all the other games union radical (extremists!) use--your problem. The potential lawsuit would be at your doorstep as well--otherwise, the store is approved and could move in.

No one said WalMart is anything other than a business doing business. If the community wants the store and employees don't want you, seems we are done here.


Posted by Not pro-union anymore, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2012 at 10:21 am

@ Rick - yours is the most educational (and probably truthful) post on this whole thread. Sending off my letters to planning commission and city council in support of the Walmart.

To all the pro-Union people. My grandfather was on the front lines in the early 1900's fighting for the auto unions in Detroit. By the time of his death in 1990, he already said they had outlived their purpose. With federal regulations now protecting workers and requiring safe working conditions, my grandfather saw the top brass in the unions just grabbing for money and power. How many of us pay less that 10% into a retirement account? How many of us have "pensions". There was a time and place in our history/society for it - Economics, society, time, and the purpose of unions themselves has changed. Like with the need for unions coming out of the industrial revolution times have change and the need for unions has now passed.


Posted by Bob, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 13, 2012 at 10:27 am

I sit here with my little piggy toes squishing in the mud, and I have to tell ya all, it's still possible to bring back a Pleasantonian pig farm feel for the community. Walmart will do us pig farmers proud. We have the opportunity to redo Arkansas right here in our backyard.

Don't let the unions intimidate us with their threat to bring in tens of thousands of union protesters. Go with the nonintimidating Walmart whose execs and legal teams care too much about our community to threaten a law suit. You know they'll be a good neighbor. Just look at how the company treats its workers. Yessir! WhooHoo!!!


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 13, 2012 at 10:30 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Yes Kathleen, the Keystone pipeline jobs would very likely have been union jobs. That's why LIUNA quit the BlueGreen Alliance and other private sector unions decried and protested against the opposition to Keystone. Web Link


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 13, 2012 at 10:34 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

No one is buying your tripe; must be making you crazy.

You brought the execs and legal teams to us. How about all of you, union members, lawyers, execs actually go have the fight in a mud pit in Arkansas?


Posted by Bob, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 13, 2012 at 10:52 am

Times have changed and workers no longer need a fair living wage like they used to. Now they've got below poverty level minimum wage -- except in those, um, "right to work" states that let you work for less than a minimum wage. No longer do we have millionaires exploiting the little people who work for them. Now it's billionaires. No business as usual there!

Kate Bugsinrugger can't get her mind out of the poop. I mean, how can one even begin to compare Teamster poop to the way union supporters have been shot to death and had their heads bashed in throughout history? That's why Walmart's subcontractors in Korea all have machine gunners posted outside of their child sweatshop factories. It's to protect the kids from potential union poopers.

Ms. Starchy is so right to reduce supporters of unions, like herself, to mere self interestedness. I mean how could one even IMAGINE that someone who supports workers' rights might actually be against the pipeline (on, say, environmental grounds). To be a union supporter AND be in support of planetary health is just too much cognitive overload to bear for greedy, self-interested types like me and Starch. Unions are bad, really really bad. And union poopers who are against the pipeline are stupid, because they think they're putting the planet ahead of their own selfish interests. Gawd, how dumb!


Posted by P*town Truth Tellers, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2012 at 10:56 am

I hate to tell the truth here - but basically what this is - is a racist move by the pro-union leftists in this town. If we have discount groceries, then God-forbid working poor people of color might come into Pleasanton from Dublin and Livermore to buy groceries, and we can't have that - we can only cater to those affluent enough to buy at pro-union Safeway. Same reason we don't allow cheap gas in P*town. Unions didn't care about Ranch 99 coming in, because Asian people are fine; but those "other" minorities, well, we can't have that. I'm fine with the unions being racist, they just need to own up to what this is really about.


Posted by Bob, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 13, 2012 at 11:09 am

"Truth Tellers" is spot on. It's really the smartest post I've read. Because he not only tells the truths, but shows he really cares about people of color, too. See, the unions tend to have a disproportionately high number of people of color working for them. And that's bad. If people support unions its because they are racists who are supportive of workers who tend disproportionately to be people of color.

I admit it. That's why I'm against unions. I'd much rather live among old white pig farmers than unionized people of color (who are so racist). Signed, Bobs (speaking for all the other Bobs in P-town)

p.s. I do realize that bashing in union members' skulls is not even remotely comparable to Teamsters pooping in my Daddy's truck back in Chicago. Where do these union supporters get off thinking they are so high and mighty?


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 13, 2012 at 11:29 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Times have certainly changed and workers need JOBS! Aw poor baiter Bob... Unionized oil workers being bussed into Sacramento to kill an oil tax bill that would have funded education doesn't fit your agenda's narrative. HAHA!


Posted by Bob, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 13, 2012 at 11:55 am

Don't know the case to which you refer, Starch, but I know I'd agree with you on it. Because you and I are always lookin' out fer ourselves an' our own self interests. Did the oil workers poop everywhere?


Posted by Susie, a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 13, 2012 at 12:48 pm

One grocery store is replacing another. This should have been approved months ago. I object to union workers stalling this decision. We all know that Walmart hires workers that other grocery stores will not even consider hiring. This ought to be considered as a benefit of having this type of store in our community. That's in addition to allowing people in the city to have another choice. I for one will go there: and if the price is better at Safeway, I'll shop there. Let the citizens of Pleasanton determine a grocery store's success or failure.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 13, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Let see, Raley's (parent company) settles with the UFCW and then closes Nob Hill stores in Pleasanton and Milpitas and others . . . seems like BOB pooped his own (truck) bed.


Posted by Bristol, a resident of another community
on Mar 13, 2012 at 2:55 pm

Hilk-hilk-hilk. Golly, Kathleen, I sure do love your humor. That was a real knee-slapper!


Posted by member, a resident of Gatewood
on Mar 13, 2012 at 3:33 pm

It was a grocery store.

We already have a Walmart in town.

Who cares?


Posted by Elaine, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Mar 13, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Why do people keep thinking this is going to be another Walmart like we already have. After all the talk about it being a GROCERY only store, you would think people could figure out it is not a regular Walmart.
I mean really, do people think there would be TWO full Walmarts in the same town. Geez....
It's a GROCERY store people....a grocery store!!!


Posted by MrMarx, a resident of Avignon
on Mar 13, 2012 at 4:04 pm

Please, all of you please stop complaining and let's form a committee to decide for us so we can get back to watching American Idol and that housewives show. There are a lot of people out there smarter than a free market that can decide what is a fair wage, fair price and how many workers a store should employ. You all shouldn't be concerning yourselves with this complicated economic stuff. Leave it to the experts, please.
-Karl


Posted by Chris, a resident of Stoneridge Park
on Mar 13, 2012 at 7:12 pm

Union talking sock puppet Bob . . . please . . . your GED is showing . . . or lack of . . . it's hard to tell. Anyway, I abhor anyone who rigs or cheats the system, be it billionaires or clerks. Wall street greed made the mortgage mess. Unions and their puppets in Sacramento made the tremendously underfunded and unsustainable public employee pension mess.

Web Link


Posted by Bristol, a resident of another community
on Mar 13, 2012 at 7:25 pm

Well Chris, if you are into abhoring different groups of people, you're sure to find lots of company here on these posts. What have ya got against a GED? That's better than what most of us in the Republican Party can claim. Yours, in intellectual solidarity against the sock puppets, Bristol


Posted by Bristol, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2012 at 7:54 pm

Stacey, fluke is not, otherwise why would she need $3000 annually in birth control.


Posted by Bristol, a resident of another community
on Mar 13, 2012 at 8:01 pm

Removed


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 14, 2012 at 8:33 am

From the Tri-Valley Times this morning: "Michael Henneberry, a spokesman for Local 5 of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, said the planning commission should rule against Walmart because the store would take away jobs from other grocery stores in town.

"'When you want to duck an issue, you can wrap it in zoning regulations,' Henneberry said. 'The city can make decisions on what's good for the community.'

Henneberry said Local 5 and its allies have urged labor supporters to appear at the hearing and testify in favor of denying Walmart permission to open."

The city did make a decision and the zoning was already in place. And from the mouthpiece we learn this isn't really about those poor underpaid Walmart employees, it's about the possibility that someone at Safeway might lose their job. Makes me wonder why a second Safeway was such a good idea then.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 14, 2012 at 9:38 am

Stacey is a registered user.

If the other grocery stores are planning on firing workers if Walmart Neighborhood Market opens, they must've hired workers when Nob Hill closed. I wonder what the actual net job gain/loss is in the Pleasanton grocery business after Nob Hill closed, Fresh 'N' Easy and a second Safeway opened. Such data would reflect what is good for the community.


Posted by Bob, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 14, 2012 at 9:44 am

Yeah, no kidding KR! That newspaper piece should have gone on to quote what else Henneberry said. Or what other antiWalmart protesters -- whether union stinkers or not -- might have to say. Or what Walmart workers in S. Korea threatening to commit mass suicide over the conditions of their work might have to say. The extent to which these anti-freedom crusaders will go in order to take down a wonderful corporation like Walmart is enough to make a patriotic freedom-loving capitalist just retch!

These anti-freedom types don't realize how the game has changed. The world no longer cares about workers' rights to organize, to work in a safe and healthy environment, and to make a fair living wage. That is just so over! What is far more important is that Pleasanton's sophisticated residents can choose to shop for their pork rinds, fried chicken and potato chips among Safeway, Raleys, Luckys, ... AND Walmart.


Posted by Mr.Marx, a resident of Avignon
on Mar 14, 2012 at 10:13 am

The unions are right. 'The city can make decisions on what's good for the community.' Please, go back to sleep citizens, everything is under control. Victory is at hand!

He gazed up at the enormous face. Forty years it had taken him to learn what kind of smile was hidden beneath the dark moustache. O cruel, needless misunderstanding ! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast ! Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother. - Orwell


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 14, 2012 at 10:31 am

"Bob" Organize them then. Remember if you get to Korea, China is just a hop, skip, and a jump away. What you don't like is that WalMart employees just want jobs, not a union and their outrageous dues and LIFO policies.


Posted by Bob, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 14, 2012 at 10:34 am

I'm so happy Mr. Marx is quoting the idiot socialist George Orwell. All he did was write about poverty and workers' struggles. For example, 'Down and Out in London and Paris' -- the writing of which involved Orwell living homeless on the streets for over a year -- led to him contracting bronchitus which ultimately cut short his life. He would have been so much better off writing about the high grocery prices suffered by Britain's economic elites!

Then he wrote 'Road to Wigan Pier' in which he describes in "lurid" detail the so-called hellish work and living conditions of Britain's coal miners. He might have written something much more productive about Wigan Pier's neighborhood zoning ordinances. Or how organized workers, in response to guns and billy clubs, resorted to pooping in the horsecarts of the mine operators.

Then Orwell, a self-professed socialist throughout his life, wrote Animal Farm and 1984, both of which focused upon socialist revolutions that betrayed the working people who helped bring the revolutions about. Today of course we know better. There are no longer workers. Only individuals who desire to shop in an economical manner at their preferably non-union neighborhood grocery store. As to the Big Brother surveillance tactics used by Walmart to suppress it's workers' efforts to unionize, please keep in mind that these are deployed in order to ensure personal freedoms of consumers (and, of course, workers are themselves not consumers, but workers, whose job is to produce so consumers can shop where they desire).

Thanks, Mr. Marx, for your demonstrated erudition. And beware of that camera behind your bedroom mirror.


Posted by Bob, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 14, 2012 at 10:41 am

Yep, Walmart workers just want jobs. And they'll not attempt to organize a union because that is a sure ticket to unemployment, as Walmart, in the interests of preserving workers' freedom to just want below-poverty level jobs, fires anyone who as much as whispers 'union'. Thank goodness we have the liberty-loving Karen Bugsinrugger defending the right of workers to work in oppressive work conditions for below subsistence wages. I mean, what people have to do nowadays to avoid paying outrageous 1-2% of their salary to the union which bargains on their behalf! I mean, compared to most Walmart workers being eligible for food stamps, the idea of unionized workers paying union dues is simply outrageous. You're quite a girl, Karen!


Posted by Agreed, a resident of Fairlands Elementary School
on Mar 14, 2012 at 10:52 am

Bob, why don't you go over to Rosewood Drive and you and your fellow management of UFCW Local 5 start unionizing the existing Wal-mart? Why just sit in your house and write on message boards all day? Go do something Bob! Go picket on their property. Go for it!

If it is truly that oppressive over there, I'm sure they'll embrace the mob mentality of UFCW Local 5 as an improvement!


Posted by Bob, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 14, 2012 at 11:03 am

I'm happy you agree with me, Agreed. I'm of a scab mentality, just like you are. Walmart, fortunately, fires anyone who attempts to organize on its premisses, and has a glaring record of shadowing employees who might attempt to organize outside of the workplace as well. Thank goodness, because this preserves Walmart freedom to hire only people who are willing to work for sub-subsistence wages along with the govt food stamps they're eligible for as a feature of being a proud Walmart employee. But I'm with you in that I'm also against the mob mentality that wants to improve the conditions of America's workers and their families.

And yes, careful about improving the work and wage conditions of Walmart's enslaved workers in Korea; because, as Bugsinrugger reminds us, China is just a hop skip and jump away. In fact, Bugsinrugger can probably stand on the terrace of her shoreline condo in Korea and see Communist China. And from there, Putin isn't far off.


Posted by Alter - Bob, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 14, 2012 at 11:59 am

Has anyone else noticed that "Bob" makes fun of any post that doesn't agree with his position. I guess that's part of the value of freedom in America - folks can shout at and make fun of anyone who disagrees with their point of view.


Posted by Bob, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 14, 2012 at 12:08 pm

"folks can make fun of anyone who disagrees with their point of view." Yes! I laugh at comedy and I laugh when I go to the circus. And the sillier the point of view, the more fun one can have with it! (See Mr. Marx and me (Bob) above)


Posted by Agreed, a resident of Fairlands Elementary School
on Mar 14, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Unions have a glaring record of shadowing employees at companies who refuse to join their union.

Unions have a glaring record of intimidation of employees who are not willing to recruit others to join their union.

Unions have a glaring record of posting on message board forums 24 hours a day.


Posted by Bob, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 14, 2012 at 2:31 pm

Unions also have a glaring record of pooping in the backs of pick-up trucks of fathers of traumatized young girls who grow up denying all the progressive (communist) legislation that the unions have largely contributed to this country. Beware China! Save our scabs!


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 14, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Gollum, Wasn't a pickup, wasn't my dad's anything (he worked in the trades; read, not a teamster thug), and I wasn't traumatized. I just know how to spot an a-- when I see one. Dad and the union criminals taught me well. I have quite a few non-union brothers--come on over and we can "talk" Chicago style. Any day, any time--Bob from Birdland.


Posted by Bob, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 14, 2012 at 4:31 pm

I'm sometimes shocked, absolutely shocked, by the lack of civility demonstrated around here. And hypocrisy. Try to do a gal a favor by railing against the Chinese communist union infiltrators that have insinuated themselves into every nook and cranny of Pleasanton's woven fabric - they're like termites, I tell ya - and she lashes out with poorly veiled threats. I'll tell ya, no good deed goes unpunished.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 14, 2012 at 4:44 pm

Veiled? You think you can continually prod and tell lies and no one will bite back. Not so. Really, come on over. I'd like to see you pull this off in person.


Posted by Bob, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 14, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Oh, I see. Bugsinegger's ego is getting the best of her. Lies? I don't think so. Hyperbole, maybe. Sarcasm and irony, perhaps. Parody, most certainly. But never, ever a threat when someone's parodying me is enough to get under my skin. Heck, wouldn'tcha think a person would be flattered? Wooooo boy! All this must be a union plot! Did I ever tell you about the truly evil things union thugs did in Chicago? Cops were exercising their right to bash in workers heads, but the unions got all their sheeplike followers to start pooping all over the place. Horrifying, no? Oh, and they wrote LETTERS.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 14, 2012 at 5:31 pm

Yes, there was a time for unions; it was over when they pushed companies and governments into bankruptcy. Lies are what we call it when you don't tell the truth. No matter what happened "back then," it does not give you license to behave badly now--two wrongs . . . As for the poop and letters, go talk to the people that were wronged in those cases--most don't require you to even leave Pleasanton. I'm sure they'll be as happy to see you as I will.


Posted by Agreed, a resident of Fairlands Elementary School
on Mar 14, 2012 at 5:38 pm

Speaking of unions and union violence and the mob, I wonder whether Jim Hoffa will show up at the Walmart hearing? The Teamster union boss from the International Brotherhood of Teamsters is also saying Walmart is bad and should create 'good' jobs.' Web Link

Jimmy Hoffa
Web Link and Jim Hoffa, two model citizens, yes?

Jim Hoffa is telling the White House to not be involved with Wal-mart. Oh boy.


Posted by Bob, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 14, 2012 at 6:04 pm

Yeah, it's easy to sympathize with corporations like Walmart that refuse to pay workers a decent living wage. But sympathize with American workers who don't earn a decent living wage from Walmart? Screw 'em. Cuz they're probably all Chinese communists anyway.

Yeah, way back in history, unions might have been okay. But, jeez louise, workers don't need help today. There's always food stamps!

Pretty primitive idea of lying held by Ms. she-who-shall-not-be-named. No room for sarcasm, irony, hyperbole, parody --- all tools of liberal elites and sock puppet union apologists. But today, threats are a much better tool.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 14, 2012 at 6:15 pm

Bobby, I love sarcasm . . . but the impact of fecal matter and hate mail is not amusing and your statement of what actually happened is nothing but a lie trying to hide in sheep dip. If the workers seek your help, want your help--go for it. In fact, go fa--to Korea and China. Take my union, please! (Humor)

Yeah, let's use hyperbole to cover up for bad actors.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 14, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Yea, Bob's a comedian alright, posting jokes here all day against the opening of a grocery store at the vacant Nob Hill site that will bring more jobs to the state with one of the highest unemployment rates. That's so funny that I think I've peed my pants. Bob's a real laugh riot.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 14, 2012 at 8:05 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

This is predictable. The Planning Commission will have no legitimate reason to turn down the application for the replacement grocery store. The union will then appeal the Planning Commission decision and it will go to Council. Again, there will be no legitimate reason to turn down the application. Then we'll have a 4-1 vote from Council to let the application proceed. Pleasanton will gain some jobs and increased economic activity. The neighborhood will have a grocery store within walking distance again.


Posted by Agreed, a resident of Fairlands Elementary School
on Mar 14, 2012 at 9:21 pm

4x Tee's, Meggan, Bob from Birdland, b -- all probably the same person.

So which Union Rep or E-Board member are you? How are the contract negotiations with UFCW 5 going?


Posted by Agreed, a resident of Fairlands Elementary School
on Mar 14, 2012 at 9:34 pm

Oh, I need'nt have asked. I merely needed to look on the UFCW5.org website -- oh boy, another 'rally' in Pleasanton. Thrilling to know the traffic will be backed up yet again.

From UFCW5

"Rally Set for March 29
Grocery workers and their supporters from throughout Northern California will gather in Pleasanton on March 29 for a march and rally in support of good jobs.
Macys furniture store members, who are in talks for a first contract, will kick off the day's activities at their store and a march will proceed to the downtown area. Check the website, the hotline and our smart phone apps for details as we get closer to the event."

And the contract negotiations? Well, it is time for everyone to shop at Gene's [please yes, everyone shop at GENE'S] so we can avoid the 'pledge' cards.

"On Thursday March 15, meetings are scheduled to resume with the employers.
Topics scheduled include health and welfare and meat issues. In the meantime,
active and retired Local 5 members continue to engage consumers at stores in an
effort to solicit support for grocery workers through the pledge card campaign. This
week the Fremont and Watsonville areas held actions. Local 5 also announced an
"Adopt-a-Store" program recently. Unions and community groups can show a deeper
commitment to the success of grocery workers by signing up and becoming involved
in direct actions at store level. Interested parties should contact the union."


Posted by Anonymous, a resident of another community
on Mar 15, 2012 at 12:15 am

Here's an interesting read <Web Link;

D. Neumark, J. Zhang and S. Ciccarella, "The Effects of Wal-Mart on Local Labor Markets"

"The employment results indicate that a Wal-Mart store opening
reduces county-level retail employment by about 150 workers, implying that each Wal-Mart worker replaces approximately 1.4 retail workers. This represents a 2.7 percent reduction in average retail employment. The payroll results indicate that Wal-Mart store openings lead to
declines in county-level retail earnings of about $1.2 million, or 1.3 percent."


Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2012 at 12:22 am

And here's another one with the same conclusion.

Web Link

A. Dube, T. William Lester, and B. Eidlin, "A Downward Push: The Impact of Wal-Mart Stores On Retail Wages and Benefits"

"Our research finds that Wal-Mart store openings lead to the replacement of better paying jobs with jobs that pay less. Wal-Mart's entry also drives wages down for workers in competing industry segments such as grocery stores."


Posted by Agreed, a resident of Fairlands Elementary School
on Mar 15, 2012 at 12:40 am

Wal-Mart Has Minor Effect on Local Economy, Fed Says

The bank study of 40 counties in its district between 1986 and 2003 found the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer slightly boosted business growth, employment and earnings compared with counties without a Wal-Mart, senior economist Terry Fitzgerald said in a paper released today....

....

Price Declines

Wal-Mart and other ``big box'' stores do usher in lower prices for consumers, the Berkeley studies said.

The retailer's efficiency may produce other long-term benefits, forcing competitors to innovate, said Steven Baumgarten, an analyst at PNC Wealth Management in Philadelphia, with $77 billion in assets including Wal-Mart shares.

``I think at the end of the day, the long-term impact is more positive than negative,'' he said.

Web Link


Posted by Agreed, a resident of Fairlands Elementary School
on Mar 15, 2012 at 12:44 am

And another one with the same conclusion

Our research suggests that the popular belief that Wal-Mart has
a significant negative effect on the size of the mom-and-pop business sector of the United States economy is statistically unfounded. After examining a plethora of different measures of small
business activity and growth, examining both time series and
cross-section data, and employing different geographic levels of
data and different econometric techniques, it can be firmly concluded that Wal-Mart has had no significant impact on the
overall size and growth of U.S. small business activity.

Web Link


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 15, 2012 at 7:27 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Got any studies on the effects of opening a grocery store where one used to be? We've already got a Wal-Mart in Pleasanton. There's one in Livermore too. So whatever effects the above cited studies detail have already been ingrained in our local economy since what, 1996?


Posted by Kaye, a resident of Val Vista
on Mar 15, 2012 at 7:48 am

Let's pretend......Raleys has decided that they would like to re-open the Nob Hill store!! Great...grocery store for that part of town, residents love it. No more driving across town, very convenient!!
Oh but wait, what about the increased traffic. What about all the rules and regulations of opening a store on that site.
Amazing....all of a sudden it's just a grocery store replacing a grocery store!!! No problem!!!
Put Walmart on the sign and all of sudden it's like the plague has come to town!
I just hope this town can afford the law suit they are going to loose!
Let's see how loud the residents get when we have to face some kind of monetary increase to pay for that!!!!!!


Posted by Bob, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 15, 2012 at 10:18 am

Well, there it is!

"Anonymous," who obviously is a union shill probably being paid 300K a year with our higher grocery prices, posts a number of academic studies (communist, elitist) that show the supposed bad effects of Walmart on local economies. God, where do these people get their PHD's, Moscow or Beijing?

Then "Agreed," a real liberty lover, posts some studies by capitalist public relations firms that are in the business of defending other capitalist firms. On their objective and patriotic account, Walmarts are the best thing a community could desire.

End of story! Bring on the lower wages, food stamps and chicken farms. Walmart is going to do this community proud!


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 15, 2012 at 10:53 am

Kate, If Nob Hill moved back in there wouldn't be a whisper from Bob because it would be a union shop.

And Bob, WalMart (not the grocery store) already does fine by the community. We'll see if their grocery store does the same.


Posted by Bob, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 15, 2012 at 11:08 am

Katy Bugsinrugger, like me, obviously believes the public relations studies more than the Communist Chinese studies coming out of elitist universities. It's not a matter of the facts, or reason. No, it's a matter of our experiences and beliefs. Memo to enquiring minds: thousands of workers protested Walmart's labor conditions and practices in Korea last week. Please note the proximity of Korea to (COMMUNIST) China. See what I mean?


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 15, 2012 at 11:11 am

So, weren't you headed over to Korea to help them organize? Happy to pay for the OW flight.


Posted by Agreed, a resident of Fairlands Elementary School
on Mar 15, 2012 at 11:54 am

Have you seen the latest fearmongering propaganda mailer mailed out by the unions? It came today, but was postmarked March 13 with an Oakland postmark.

"Walmart stores lower property values for neighbors by generating Traffic Congestion, Trash, Noise, all while inviting Crime into Our Neighborhoods. Tell the Planning Commission this project needs a full impact review!"


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 15, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Now Bob done got me all confused! Is a Walmart setting up shop at the old Nob Hill location or a grocery store? This whole time I thought it was a grocery store. I don't want to see campers parked there overnight. Will some elitist please let me know which way is up? I can't think much for myself.


Posted by Bob, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 15, 2012 at 2:15 pm

I can help you with that, Stace, cuz we don't need some elitists from the universities telling us which end is up. Walmart leading to depressed wages within the local economy? What an elitist piece of propaganda!

It's a grocery store! It's called Walmart, but that's only because it's owned by Walmart. It really isn't a Walmart store, it's a grocery store, owned and operated by Walmart. Don't let the unions confuse you. Vote Walmart! I mean, vote grocery!


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 15, 2012 at 2:19 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Now who in the heck gone done and been approvin' a Walmart here? I'm with you Bobby Michael! Let's march our good selves down to Owens Drive and demand they close Walmart. Our local wages are sure to uncompress!


Posted by Agreed, a resident of Fairlands Elementary School
on Mar 15, 2012 at 3:34 pm

"...Walmart leading to depressed wages"

That is an amazing power! You mean a Walmart grocery store will single handedly cause salaries to be lowered all over Pleasanton, including at Oracle, Kaiser Permanente, Roche Molecular, Stoneridge Mall, and everywhere! Wow!

If opening a Walmart grocery store will cause a pay cut for the highly paid public sector administrators in our local government agencies, we need a Walmart grocery store on every corner.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 15, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Has the current WalMart Store in Pleasanton caused lost jobs and lower wages?


Posted by Randy Grimes, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 19, 2012 at 12:22 pm

I think the owner of the building should be able to use it for whatever it is legally zoned for. If folks have an objection to Walmart's policies or politics they need not shop there. Isn't this America?


Posted by Bob, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 20, 2012 at 5:29 am

When I need high-class stationary, I go to Staples. When I want a high-class chain saw I go to Home Depot. When I want high-class clothing and accessories I go to Target. When I want high-class food I go to McDonalds. Now, when I want high-class groceries, I'll be able to go to Walmart. Isn't this America? We sooooo have it all over Europe.


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