Development Plans Abound

Martha Wickett’s article Adams Lake Band plans shopping, gaming centres (Observer: June 07 2011) reports on development plans by the Adams Lake Band for the old vacant Salmon Arm GM site (a casino) and the recently cleaned-up highway property (Lot 7) between the Farm & Garden and the Piccadilly Mall (shopping centre).

Band manager Albert Quinn says Full Circle Shopping Centres Ltd., represented by Glen Bury – formerly with SmartCentres – has plans to build two large box-type stores as well as a group of 12 to 15 smaller businesses. Quinn said he’s heard a large local store is relocating to the Lot 7 development, but he’s not certain which one.

Check out Wickett’s article for further development project information.

I have heard from different sources that the two “large box-type” stores are likely Home Depot and Canadian Tire. How true that is I’m not sure but that’s what seems to be making the rounds.

While I’m not able to substantiate this personally, I’m also hearing that Walmart has signed on with SmartCentres but that they are apparently the only partner tenants on board so far.

Re-posted below is the  Duncan Morris cartoon Flooding Again first posted on Aim High on January 6, 2010.

Salmon Arm Survey: Shopping and Protecting the Environment

In WA:TER’s third column, Who pays and who benefits? (Salmon Arm Observer Feb. 10 2009), Warren Bell addresses the sponsorship of the opinion poll and why it was commissioned.

We believe that donations came from people who want that science to be comprehensive and accurate. We believe they are people who want the natural values of the delta – its rich habitat attributes, its water filtration function, and its ability to reduce the intensity of spring flooding – to enrich this community for now and for future generations.

In addition, WA:TER has made the whole poll available here.

We want you to know exactly what we have found out about what our community is thinking about this important issue, an issue which has huge implications for everyone who lives here.

Consequently, the entire opinion poll – methodology, executive summary, and every single question and answer – is being published in the Internet version of the Observer.

Check out the Observer column and the data. You know where your thoughts can be shared.

Ever Mindful

The Salmon Arm Observer scores a SmartCentre’s reporting trifecta this week by publishing part one of a three part series on the independent poll WA:TER commissioned about the developer’s floodplain proposal.

Part One, What’s on Salmon Arm’s mind? , looks at some of the overall findings of that formal opinion poll about Salmon Arm residents’ thoughts on shopping in general, Wal-Mart, First Nations and environmental stances.

Just as their efforts for an independent environmental assessment challenged the developer’s incomplete and self-serving “science”, WA:TER’s poll is the only published independent sampling of Salmon Arm public opinion.

Unlike previous reports of public opinion, which have been clearly subject to bias, this poll was carried out by a professional polling agency called Oraclepoll Research Ltd., using a randomly-selected sample of 450 people in this area, using standard industry techniques.

An important read for the general observations with more specifics promised for the remainder of the series.

Major Rumour Abounds Around Town

… that Wal-Mart may be (is) recalibrating its partnership in the proposed development that will destroy Salmon Arm wetlands. Is the anchor partner tenant about to prorogue SmartCentres’ agenda?

Wishful thinking, true or false?  Time will tell!

All ears are to the ground in the meanwhile.

Update: (4:40 pm):  I suppose I should have included the same proviso that I sent out in an email. I am not in the habit of jumpimg on speculation. It is just that this particular rumour has a different set of “legs” to it and it appears to be everywhere around town. The efforts to protect wetlands are as critical as ever.

The Wal-Marting of America by Don Sawyer

This article originally appeared in the Ottawa Citizen, and was republished in the Vancouver Sun.  It reflects my revulsion at the devastation of small town America, a pattern that is now being repeated in Canada.  It is because of the destruction of communities by the avarice and ruthless business practices of Wal-Mart and other big box retailers that so many of us rallied last year to successfully oppose the proposed 370,000 square foot development west of town.


The Wal-Marting of America

Americans have been sold on the idea that no cost is too high for low prices, and small towns are being gutted

Have you ever heard “Wal-Mart” used as a verb? Neither had I before I stopped by mother’s home town in rural Alabama last October. From my visits as a child, I remembered Grove Hill as a bustling small town, the busy commercial centre spread out around the square in front of the courthouse. There was the newspaper office on one side, lawyers’ offices, Deaver’s Cafe, the hardware and feed stores, a huge drugstore (with a real soda fountain), and of course the Piggly Wiggly grocery store that sold wonderful local sausage that would burn the skin off your tongue if you weren’t careful.

But it had been almost 20 years since I had been back, and the town looked little like I remembered it. The courthouse was still there (with the Civil War memorial in the square), but virtually every business was gone. The empty stores were boarded up and looked on the deserted street like blind eyes. Only the Piggly Wiggly survived, reduced to a few aisles of dusty cans and some wilting produce.

“What in the world happened to town?” I asked my aunt, who had lived there all her life.

“Oh,” she said. “The downtown was Wal-Marted about 12 years ago. Everyone shops out on the highway near Jacksonville now.” She sighed. “Sad, isn’t it? But what can you do?”  Continue reading “The Wal-Marting of America by Don Sawyer”