After reading the behind-the-scenes dealings in Wal-Mart's plans to build at the intersection of Highways 96 and 100, three things came to mind: deception, greed and Dr. Seuss ("Sprawl Mart," July 1). When a Wal-Mart Supercenter is built, pavement can cover up to 1.2 million square feet. This can create major drainage problems, leading to flooding and ground subsidence. In 2001, Wal-Mart paid a $5.5 million settlement for violating stormwater discharge laws at 17 stores. In May, Wal-Mart agreed to pay a $3.1 million settlement for violating the Clean Water Act because of shoddy construction practices at 24 stores in nine states.
Meanwhile, we have a few who will greatly benefit financially if they get their way by forcing in another Wal-Mart where it is obviously not welcomed or needed. Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton wrote in his autobiography, "If some community, for whatever reason, doesn't want us in there, we aren't interested in going in and creating a fuss." Too bad CBM Enterprises' Mickey Mitchell never read Dr. Seuss' Lorax. Otherwise, his philosophy would not be "business is business! And business must grow regardless of crummies in tummies, you know."
What a precise cover article John Spragens wrote about the tragic loss of greenspace in Davidson County ("Sprawl Mart," July 1). He painted a clear picture of the frustration of trying to communicate with cagey answers from elected officials. Surely this property at Highways 100 and 96 will be developed, yet is it really such a burden on Davidson County to ask that the subarea plan updated just three short years ago be adhered to? Westhaven is an appealing draw for a Wal-Mart Supercenter, and with it just a few short miles away, this site surely has become the No. 1 interest of Wal-Mart.
It's a shame that the last remaining stretch of the historic Highway 100 with its wagon ruts and sweeping expanse has already been destroyed by illegal bulldozing on a property not yet owned by the developer, who couldn't respect its legacy.
Can Wal-Mart be stopped? Many have asked this question, and many have been thwarted. As far as the Highways 100 and 96 intersection, I will stand in opposition as long as there is hope.
firstname.lastname@example.org (near Fairview)
Well, so much for investigative journalism. John Spragens couldn't find anyone who had seen Fahrenheit 9/11 ("Nashville Is Talking...," July 1). It must be just too obvious to solicit opinions from the crowds streaming from the theater during a weekend of record-breaking sold-out shows.
Here's my opinion: Fahrenheit 9/11 is a brilliant and troubling documentary. Thanks to Michael Moore for using real film footage, actual documents and direct quotes to highlight the corruption, lies and stupidity of the Bush administration. I hope all American voters will see it so they can make an informed decision in the upcoming November elections. If political conservatives choose to keep their heads in the sand and not see the facts presented in this documentary, they should simply stop talking about it. Oh, and did I mention it's also really funny?
I've been following the drama of Metro Council member Charlie Tygard for two weeks now, and I must say what a ride! Where else in Nashville can I read an article about Tygard's shadiness ("Why This Is the Worst Metro Council Ever," June 24) and a letter to the editor from him in response (Love/Hate Mail, July 1), all in the same pages? I do hope to see ongoing coverage of Charlie Tygard. They say "think globally, act locally," and Tygard's got it. What a great idea to use community-destroying methods in your own community. To be fair, Tygard only exemplifies the widespread ideology that I have come to loathe. There are many examples of misaligned power in all forms of government, from Republicans and Democrats alike. That is why it is so refreshing to see a media outlet actually doing its job week to week unlike the newspapers owned by the misaligned, such as Gannett.
Without real journalism like the Scene produces, communities cannot address crucial issues.
One such issue that was omitted from last week's cover story ("Sprawl Mart," July 1) falls under the category of class war. Granted, space in the article was limited and adequately focused. As John Spragens highlighted so well, urban sprawl isn't inevitable. It can be contained, but only by the "well-heeled" of society. As we see so often, the poorest neighborhoods are overdeveloped and crowded. The lower classes cannot afford to fight. Corporate conquest is commonplace.
I can't help but think that if the Wal-Mart was proposed in a poor community, there would be no news article, for there would be no controversy. This is the ugly truth, which should be addressed on occasion and, if not in the Scene, then where?
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