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letters - Aug. 11, 2011

Maybe dial down the library rather than up?

To the Editor:

Was it 10 or 15 years ago there was a bit of clamoring for a new library? Now we have some more clamoring; this time as part of a proposed public-private multi-million dollar development on B Avenue.

Mr. Bill Baars, Lake Oswego Library director, wrote in the Review that libraries 'have been positioned as economic development drivers.' So that's why we need a new library, to drive economic development.

If we need more library space how about extending the second floor over part of the parking lot, or getting rid of most back issues of magazines stacked on shelves or getting rid of the DVD and CD sections. With Netflix, Redbox, iPods, computers, movies on television, why should Lake Oswego taxpayers pay for the entertainment of cardholders?

And, as an aside, why should the CD collection contain the music of the Rolling Stones? And, maybe there should be a charge for the users of the ever-expanding bank of library computers.

Maybe in these times of tight budgets, the mission of the library should be defined down or leveled off rather than expanded.

Joe Stern

Lake Oswego

Walmart to diversify cities

To the editor:

Kudos to Elena King of Lake Oswego for alerting us to the effects of having a Walmart grocery store and pharmacy establish itself in the communities of West Linn (and Lake Oswego).

While two different successful market chains have been unable to maintain a grocery store in the West Linn location now being considered by Walmart, I had not considered the possibility of hordes of people, maybe not all of them white, swarming in from Tualatin and Tigard, and even from as far as Wilsonville and Sherwood, to clog our highway and destroy the style of living that God has chosen to give us here in West Linn.

Surely our taxes will go up to cover the necessary doubling of our police force and public works department while our quality of life drops just as surely.

I don't look forward to negotiating a highway littered with broken glass and jammed with older cars driven by the uninsured as I pursue, in my 20-year old Volvo, the upscale, high-end life style that is afforded me by my Social Security check.

My only hope is that the Lake Oswego location will intercept most of the unwashed before they reach our fair city. Woe is me.

Tom Neff

West Linn

If they build it, do not shop there

To the Editor:

I feel strongly against the coming of Walmart to the local community. To shop at Walmart is to line the pockets of the richest family in the world (recently noted as worth more than $90 billion, and not sharing much with their employees), and is mostly to shop ourselves out of jobs.

Currently, Walmart is the world's largest employer, and its size dwarfs even giants such as ExxonMobil and General Electric.

Why is this not to be celebrated? Because Walmart is riddled with thousands of lawsuits for its well-known shabby employment practices.

Walmart blocks workers from organizing, discriminates against women and virtually ignores federal and state labor laws when it comes to their employee's hard-earned overtime pay.

Furthermore, Walmart is the single largest importer of overseas goods. In their effort to give the consumer the lowest price, they ruin local and national vendors by unfair trade practices that result in monopoly control of markets.

It has been shown over and over that when Walmart comes to town, small local businesses fail. Do we really want to support this in our community? The business practices of Walmart only exacerbate U.S. economic problems by the utilization of hostile labor practices and buying mostly from overseas sources.

If Walmart arrives in West Linn and Lake Oswego, please join me in expressing concern over local small-businesses and employee welfare by not shopping there. Let us not shop ourselves out of our wonderful local stores and jobs.

Karen Kovalik

Lake Oswego

Anticipating Walmart in LO

To the Editor:

Like it or not, it's sure to come

As universal as chewing gum,

As patriotic as apple pie,

As engaging as the summer sky.

We're now in step with the rest of the nation

With our own brand-name of unification.

We can breathe the bargain-laden air

Knowing that it's really there,

A model of corporate gratuity

And its bounty of discountability.

James Fleming

Lake Oswego