A group of about 20 area residents gathered Saturday in Stella Olsen Park to protest a planned Walmart

by: JAIME VALDEZ - A small group lead by Amanda Stanaway (far right) rehearses a Walmart anti-rally parade (now scheduled for Saturday, May 18) last Saturday along Washington Street at Stella Olsen Park.
A small group of anti-Walmart residents gathered Saturday afternoon to make signs and listen to several informational speakers at Sherwood’s Stella Olsen Park.

Twenty or so people gathered under the covered picnic area at the park to paint signs protesting the May 6 announcement that Walmart would build a 145,000-square-foot on Langer Farms Parkway.

Amanda Stanaway, a Sherwood resident and one of the rally organizers, said initial plans were to march to the proposed Walmart site that day but said she was asked to postpone the march because the park hadn’t been reserved for events at the picnic shelter.

Instead, she said plans were to march in a larger group to the site on Saturday, May 18.

“It’s unfortunate we lost this week,” said Stanaway. “As soon as the first shovel goes into the soil, we can’t do anything about it.”

Another Sherwood resident, Naomi Belov, said she was pleased with the May 7 turnout at the Sherwood City Council meeting where about 75 residents showed up to express disappointment with the news that Walmart would be coming to town.

“I live here,” she said. “I don’t want Walmart.”

She said her family moved to Sherwood because it was listed as a top 10 family-friendly cities in the nation by Family Circle magazine.

“I don’t think Walmart is part of that picture,” she said.

Belov said Saturday’s gathering was simply a “meet and greet” to get to know some of those who oppose the store. She said many small local businesses were supportive of not having a Walmart in town but were hesitant about speaking out.

Belov’s daughter, Nadia, 11, sported a T-shirt she made that read: “Sherwood Tomorrow. No Walmart today.”

“I think it’s a horrible idea to have a Walmart,” said Nadia Belov.

Bob Lake, a 13-year Sherwood resident who lives near Snyder Park, said he was opposed to Walmart as well.

“If they get that Walmart, I’m putting my house up for sale and I’m gone,” he said.

Lake said he once owned All Good Baking of Oregon, a company that did custom blending of cookies, crackers and other products. He later sold the company to Con-Agra, he said.

“We’re not OK with Walmart because of their labor practices,” he said.

Kevin Austermann, a 12-year Sherwood resident, said he wanted to keep small businesses in town. He said he wants to make sure Occupy Portland doesn’t get mixed up in next week’s march, causing only confusion. He plans to check out next week’s march.

“If I see Occupy down here, I will leave,” he said.

At the end of the Saturday gathering, eight people marched up Washington Street for several hundred yards in the direction of Old Town, carrying signs. Carrying a guitar, Stanaway sang a song with the refrain, “No Walmart here.”

Plans now are for the Sherwood Community Action Committee to hold an informational meet-and-greet event on Saturday, May 18, at 4 p.m. The event, also at Stella Olsen Park, will introduce residents to the committee and will provide the community with information on the committee’s campaign to preserve the integrity of Sherwood as one of the best places in America to live.

During the event, residents will receive information about the Walmart development. For more information, contact Skye Boughey at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Meanwhile, Walmart officials say they are looking forward to being part of Sherwood.

"It’s clear that the more people get to know the facts about us, the more they see the value in bringing a Walmart store to their community,” said Rachel Wall, a Walmart spokeswoman. “We look forward to being a part of the solution for future Sherwood customers who want improved access to affordable goods and groceries, and quality jobs."

Also, the city has answered some of the questions click here involving how the planning, zoning and other processes came about involving the new Sherwood Town Center shopping complex, where Walmart plans on locating.

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