Letters | Walmart in Boulder


I just read an article in ICUMI about Walmart. (“Should Walmart come to Boulder?” Jan. 31.) Here’s my two cents: A few years ago our family traveled through small towns in the Southeastern states for three weeks. We found it was very easy to figure out if there was a Walmart in town: the smaller strip centers and small freestanding businesses were closed in all of the towns where there was a Walmart, without fail. And we figured this out without doing any “research.” I could beat the drum harder, but I think we all know what will happen over the next few years with the arrival of this bigbox chain in Boulder.

Mindy Mullen/Boulder County

Well, the cat has finally allowed the bag to be removed from around it, and we now see it’s Walmart.

On Jan. 21, four months after we learned development plans were in the works, the company was still a “mystery grocer” creeping ever closer to obtaining the city’s permission to operate in Diagonal Plaza. Even though evidence from various sources pointed clearly toward the identity of the unnamed tenant, Boulder officials claimed they were still in the dark on the matter. But by the next day, city planning department approval was historical fact and a new Walmart Neighborhood Market was scheduled to open in the fall. A day later, Walmart executives, interviewed by the Camera, stated they had never hidden the company’s identity from the people of Boulder. That, fellow citizens, was a plain and simple lie.

Not only did none of the previously submitted paperwork for Walmart’s proposal display the company’s name, instead providing only vague descriptions of the tenant, but, according to the Camera’s Jan. 24 report, “Repeated queries made by the Camera to Walmart went unanswered.” Those queries, which also went to Walmart’s architecture firm and the property owner, weren’t answered because Walmart didn’t want us to know it was them coming to town. This was standard operating procedure for Walmart, which has, over the past decade, faced steadily increasing and increasingly successful popular and municipal opposition to opening new stores. Their scheme is to bypass such resistance, keeping communities unaware until full approval of their planned stores is a done deal.

So, Walmart has offered to us its corporate hand of friendship covered with the slime of blatant dishonesty. They know that the people of Boulder could well reject their advances — we did it to the Supercenter they wanted to open here a number of years back — so they made sure we couldn’t take such action this time around. But, as the city’s economic vitality coordinator, Liz Hanson, has reminded us, “the market will determine which retail stores succeed, and I think Boulder shoppers will decide where they want to spend their grocery dollars.” Check out the detailed Wikipedia entry, “Criticisms of Walmart” to get a good picture of why the company is the antithesis of a good corporate citizen, and why we shouldn’t shop there, no matter how low the prices. Let’s put the new Walmart out of business!

John Russell/Boulder

Danish misfires

Regarding Paul Danish’s latest clumsy effort to smear the gun-control movement as racist (“Cops in the schools, gun control and race,” Danish Plan, Jan. 24), one question: If the gun-control movement is racist, why are the most virulent racists in America (the Klan, the Aryan Nations, etc.) also the most adamant opponents of gun control?

Paul Dougan/Lafayette

I’d hoped that Danish would out-think NRA’s Wayne LaPierre on armed guards in schools. Alas, gun-lust trumped analysis.

The problem is right in LaPierre’s opening statement, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun”: How do you tell the bad guys from the good guys? White hats and black hats won’t do it!

If you want armed school guards, you must screen them to near perfection; otherwise you end up with sickos with guns in schools.

Think numbers. Imagine that you can screen potential school guards to 99.99 percent accuracy — only one nutcase in 10,000 slips through. That would be amazingly good. But given the number of schools, that would mean you’ve got a dozen right-wing nuts in the U.S. armed-and-ready to commit the next Sandy Hook. Add to that, the idea of recruiting volunteers for this job, meaning you’re actively seeking nutcases for armed-guard school duty.

It gets worse: Many schools are large enough that one guard wouldn’t be enough to get around the campus. But if there are two guards, either one could go rogue — so twice the guards means twice the risk.

Dick Dunn/Hygiene

Nice art!

Thank you for the two exquisite photos by Susan France of the homeless man Onesimus in the Jan. 24 issue of Boulder Weekly. I also enjoyed David Mayhew’s photograph “The Tempest.” Art of this quality in a newspaper is rare. Thank you again. Keep it coming!

Louise Love/Boulder

Searching for good queso

Editor’s note: The following is an open letter to Boulder Weekly’s restaurant reviewer, Clay Fong.

Clay, I’m looking for good queso in town. Not the bright orange velveeta that some places actually have the nerve to sell, nor the queso fundido that reminds of a cheese pancake. But a good, creamy, flavorful queso. Thanks!

Ralph Benton/Gunbarrel

Fong replies: Ralph, I’ll be the first to admit that I may have limited queso credibility, having been raised on my Dad’s canned soup and Ortega green chile version. That said, I might check out either Agave on 28th, although their version is billed as a fundido, or Cantina Laredo at 29th Street. I can’t personally attest to either version, but I will say I’ve been particularly impressed by Agave’s guacamole and their seafood molcajete with cheese. If you don’t mind making your own, Mexican cooking guru Rick Bayless has published several recipes online, and his tequila-laced version looks both tasty and easy to prepare.