Sprawl-Busters Newsflash Blog - Anti-Sprawl news since 1998.
Subscribe to Sprawl-Busters Blog Follow Sprawl Busters on Twitter
Occupy Walmart & Order Al's Books Movies Newsflash! The Case Against Sprawl Home Towns Not Home Depot Victories Your Battles About Us Contact Us  

recent news

List articles
by the month:

2017
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2016
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2015
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2014
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2013
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2012
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2011
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2010
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2009
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2008
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2007
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2006
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2005
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2004
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2003
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2002
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2001
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2000
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

1999
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

1998
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC


Search database by text:

2008-10-02
St.Albans, VT. Vermont Governor To Appear At Pro-Wal-Mart Rally

It's payback time in Vermont. Wal-Mart has donated to Vermont Governor Jim Douglas' re-election campaign, and now the Governor is returning the favor by speaking at the company's rally in the town of St. Albans on October 4th. The rally is designed to show support for Wal-Mart's controversial supercenter project in St. Albans, which has been headline news for 15 years. On April 22, 2008, Sprawl-Busters reported that Wal-Mart has been rejected once in St. Albans by the state. The company is now in the thick of its second attempt to push its way onto a cornfield across from the St. Albans Drive-In, just off Route 89, a few miles south of the Canadian border. Wal-Mart lost its first attempt in 1995 in a case that went all the way to the Vermont Supreme Court. In this second try, local officials in the town have again given the store its blessing, as well as the regional commission set up under Vermont's Act 250 land use control law. The city of St. Albans which abuts the town, has opposed the project because of the damage the superstore will do to the downtown. A neighboring developer that has a Price Chopper grocery store as a tenant is also fighting the Wal-Mart. The Vermont Natural Resources Council (VNRC) and local residents have filed the legal paperwork needed for a "Motion to Alter" to ask the District 6 Commission to reverse its position and rescind the granting of an Act 250 permit that would allow the Wal-Mart superstore. In addition to the VNRC, the citizen's group the Northwest Citizens for Responsible Growth (NWCRG) and farmers Marie Frey and Richard Hudak, appealed. Hudak owns a prominent farm stand in St. Albans town just down Route 7. The appeal charges that the Act 250 District 6 commission, which is the local panel that hears Act 250 cases in the St. Albans area, ignored its own findings when it granted the permit. According to the Vermont Business Magazine, the appeal cites the finding that the superstore would pollute a nearby brook, increase traffic congestion, and cost as many as 200-297 jobs, and result in the closure of over 40 businesses. This week, the Northwest Citizens for Responsible Growth reports that Wal-Mart is planning a major gathering to promote their controversial proposal, and that the state's highest official, Vermont Governor Jim Douglas is scheduled to attend the event. The official calendar on the Governor's website does not mention the St. Albans rally. But the NWCRG has sent Sprawl-Busters the following press release: "The Northwest Citizens for Responsible Growth are interested to see that Governor Douglas has chosen a Wal-Mart public relations circus (Saturday, October 4) as the most appropriate venue at which to meet St. Albans voters during this campaign season. This big, expensive promotional party highlights how out-of-touch both Wal-Mart and the Governor are with the real long-term economic needs of Franklin County, and how little respect they have for due process according to Vermont laws. Could generous contributions to his election campaign, have anything to do with Governor Douglas' repeatedly coming to the aid of one of his favorite multi-national exploiters? Having failed to invest in the creation of good jobs, the rural economy and Vermont families, Jim Douglas seems determined to further undermine our local economy by lending his cache to the most egregious offender on workers rights and fair pay in America. Perhaps Mr. Douglas is unaware of the economic studies of St. Albans and Franklin County which unanimously concluded that the location of the proposed Wal-Mart in St. Albans would result in county-wide job losses. He also may be unaware that this same project is expected to create gridlock, infrastructure failures, pollution to the watershed and a permanent loss of significant prime agricultural soils. Perhaps the Governor was thinking only of his campaign contributions when he appointed a commissioner to the Environmental Commission whose family business is positioned to benefit should Exit 20 develop in the manner of Tafts Corners -- the site of an existing Wal-Mart in a plaza owned by Jefferson Davis, the same developer behind the St. Albans site. So now Wal-Mart's marketing team is coming to town to sell us a corporate takeover of our local economy. We've heard a lot about Wal-Mart's "astro-roots" groups which pretend to spring from the community but are really built on cynical marketing strategies within the corporation. Surely they don't think that everyone in St. Albans can be bought for a hot-dog and a hat! As due process still counts for something in Vermont, we will see you in court next summer or maybe next fall. We haven't dropped our appeals because the project has not changed and it is still just as harmful for St. Albans and for Franklin County as it ever was. We will not yield to intimidation, and intend to fully defend our civil rights. We, the NWCRG, have long supported the alternative of a smaller store, in a downtown location, that would reinforce rather than cannibalize our local economy. Governor Douglas ought to be ashamed of himself for participating in this attempt to intimidate citizens who have responsibly and legitimately involved themselves in the public process."

What you can do: According to Sprawl-Busters research of campaign finance records in Vermont,Wal-Mart stores contributed to Governor Jim Douglas' campaign. On February 29, 2008, the retailer gave $1,000 to the Jim Douglas for Governor campaign. As of July 31, 2008, Douglas' campaign reported that it had raised $737,596.65. Corporate contributions from Wal-Mart to the Douglas campaign could appear again after the Governor's campaign committee makes its next report to the state. Readers are urged to contact Governor Douglas' office at 802 828-3333 (Vermont activists can call him toll-free at 800 649-6825 with the following message: "Dear Governor Douglas, I was disappointed when I heard that you were scheduled to speak at a pro Wal-Mart rally in St. Albans on October 4th. I would think that you would not want to take sides in such a polarizing debate, given the fact that the developer has been trying to break into St. Albans for nearly 15 years, and the Vermont Supreme Court turned down this project in 1995. But then, when I heard that Wal-Mart had given you $1,000, it made more sense to me. I think you ought to return their Arkansas money, and tell them to put it towards employee wages for their workers at Tafts corner -- a little election bonus would help those workers meet their expenses. Based on your campaign finance report, the workers at Tafts Corner need the money a lot more than you do. Vermont does not need more sprawl, Governor, and your siding with rich developers and anti-worker retailers is not helping your campaign with the working people of Vermont." Northwest Citizens for Responsible Growth describes itself as "a not-for-profit organization of Franklin County residents who have come together to advocate for responsible development of our local resources. It is our belief that in order to prosper as a community, we must promote our local economy, protect the environment, and preserve the best of our rural culture. The NWCRG has several current appeals before the District 6 Commission regarding the 160,000-square-ft. Walmart store proposed for Exit 20 of I-89. Anyone wishing to contribute to the group's effort to stop Wal-Mart's 15 year battle to get into the town of St. Albans can email them at: admin@nwcrg.org.










 
 
"Norman has become the guru of the anti-Wal-Mart movement" ~ 60 Minutes

info@sprawl-busters.com
Strategic Planning ~ Field Operations
Voter Campaigns 
21 Grinnell St, Greenfield ~ MA 01301
(413) 772-6289