http://pleasantonweekly.com/print/story/print/2012/02/17/letters


Pleasanton Weekly

Opinion - February 17, 2012

Letters

Not truly 'free'

Dear Editor,

I read with much concern your editorial Feb. 10 about the benefits of the Climate Action Plan. Specifically, how can you claim as a benefit the "free" visits to homes by experts and "free" water-saving devices? To be truly "free" the experts would have to donate their time and the water-saving devices would have to be donated by their manufacturer. Is this what is happening? I think what you really mean is that the city (taxpayers) will give pay for these items that will benefit only a few. Why can't the people who will use these services pay for what they use?

Don't need another Walmart

Dear Editor,

As a 37-year Pleasanton resident and (retired) cyclist-commuter who lives near the Nob Hill site, I have concerns about locating a Walmart grocery store there.

Residents of Pleasanton Meadows are significantly impacted by congestion at the Santa Rita/Las Positas Boulevard intersection, since it is one of two entry/exit points from an area of several hundred homes. The intersection is heavily congested twice a day by elementary school traffic, a fire station access must be preserved, and there is a dangerous mid-block crossing to southbound Santa Rita Road and the market parking lot. Speeds on Santa Rita Road are frequently excessive, and traffic patterns pose significant dangers for cyclists like myself. The original traffic patterns have already been altered (by a lawsuit) in the interests of cyclists' safety, although the problems have not been fully resolved. Since Walmart stores typically attract large volumes of traffic, these problems can only increase.

Although we shopped at the Nob Hill, I ask, do we need another market in this area? There are already six within two miles. Another has opened at Rosewood drive, and it appears to have minimal traffic. Moreover, do we need another Walmart, and especially an employer like Walmart? Typically its impact on the job market is negative; for every two jobs it provides, three are lost, and those are better jobs with benefits. It is unlikely that Walmart will be able to provide significant savings in such a highly competitive business.

Therefore, I urge a re-evaluation of these potential impacts. The public needs to be heard

Lunardi's for produce

Dear Editor,

For years, I've hoped to see a Lunardi's market in Pleasanton. They carry top rate produce, much better than any other market in Pleasanton. Their prices are extremely competitive, too.

Walmart treats workers horribly; I have no reason to trust their idea of decent food. We simply don't need another store with so-so produce. For example, last week I had to run all over town to find a decent bunch of Swiss chard (in season now); finally Safeway had Little Bear chard, from Texas -- which was decent. Gene's and Lucky had chard with brown spots all over it imported from Mexico, while Raley's chard was organic, but it had gigantic, leathery leaves.

I'd like to see our city and the Nob Hill property manager court Lunardi's. I know this chain is the best fit for our city, creating strong competition in meat and produce. A win-win for all of us. If you like the middle-of-the-store foods cheaper, then go with Walmart and enjoy your diabetes. I vote for Lunardi's. I hope you will write Lunardi's as I have done. Check out the Lunardi's in Danville. If enough of us court them, maybe they will come.

Market would be blessing

In response to Councilman Matt Sullivan's assertion (Guest Opinion, Feb. 10) that the Pleasanton Weekly and the Chamber of Commerce are the mouthpiece for Neighborhood Walmart, I say Bravo! The proposed Market would be, in my opinion, a blessing.

Sir, you state that Walmart "has a long history of detrimental effects on both the local economies and the food system in general." Holy Cow! Thanks for the heads up! Banish them! Refuse their dirty sales/property tax money and ship them back to Arkansas! Poison our children, destroy the economy of the city of Sullivan? Let's return their tax millions. Who supports evil?

Mr. Sullivan, in business, we compete. As such we can't charge whatever we want. You may be mixing up running a business with running a utopian society.

Facts:

* Nob Hill vacated years ago. Our center is 67% vacant (soon 75%). They were in this location from 1984 to 2010. Pleasanton's General Plan designates the site as a grocery store. The Market is a grocery store only.

* Four other grocery stores have opened since Walmart applied for occupancy: Fresh and Easy, Ranch 99, Smart and Final and the new flagship Safeway store. The Safeway store required Pleasanton's General Plan to be altered more than once. The store was built directly over a native California Indian burial site.

* We tenants of Meadow Plaza are going broke. The average loss of business here since Nob Hill left is 40%. Walmart's plan calls for extensive upgrades inside, a pharmacy, a flower shop, more. Ninety-five new jobs can be expected. Lastly, Mr. Sullivan, what happens if Walmart walks away?

Scott Miller, Real Estate Broker and tenant of Meadow Plaza

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