Letter to the Editor: Wal-Mart good for us


Once upon a time, the town of Sweet Home was a thriving community. We had a Fred’s clothing store for men, Jurven’s clothing store for women, Braden’s department store for children’s shoes and clothing, Sprouse Reitz for school supplies, Epps and Franny’s furniture stores, Sears, two or more mom-and-pop grocery stores and even a Western Auto store just to mention a few of the businesses that are now closed.

We had a lot of good jobs, and our community was quite secure. Then the extreme left-wing environmental politicians, judges and political action groups decided that the protection of the spotted owl was far more important than the well-being of this small communioty. They spent millions of our tax dollars shutting down most of the logging in this area and setting aside most of the timber for the nesting of the spotted owl.

The editor of The New Era, Scott Swanson, was not here to remember how hard it was to find yourelf driving over to Albany, Corvallis or Eugene to buy what we needed once these businesses closed. You see, Lebanon was also hurt by these environmental actions. This all happened before Wal-Mart, and the same people that hate Wal-Mart are the same people that endorsed these environmental changes.

Yes. I do shop locally as much as I can. But there are just some things I can’t buy in Sweet Home, like a dress, a pair of shoes, a purse, luggage, wallpaper or new clothes for my husband and grandchildren. I think I will reserve judgment on Wal-Mart until I see where Scott buys his family clothes and school supplies.

I know of a lot of Sweet Home residents that work at Wal-Mart. No, they don’t make top wages or work full time, but they knew the wages and hours before they hired on for the job. They are not complaining. They choose to work rather than draw unemployment or welfare.

Yes, our economy would be much better if we were all paid top dollar and benefits for our work. Our economy would be much better if everyone refused to hire the illegal aliens to work for them and better yet if the government were to do its job and deport all illegal aliens.

Our economy would be much better if we did not have so many state rules, regulations and taxes. Our economy would be much better if we forced our school district and city government to hire only local people and contractors. I know they can’t, by law, do this.

Recently, I looked at items being sold in Sweet Home, Lebanon, Eugene and Corvallis. I found very little merchandise produced here in America. I even looked in the “Made in Oregon” shops and found a lot of their items were produced elsewhere.

Most products and products in the local grocery stores come from outside of our country or from out of state. I would love to see local merchants buy all the products they sell from local people, but I also realize the price they would have to charge me would go beyond my budget and that my selections would be very limited. They buy where they get the best deal also.

There will always be people who hate Wal-Mart and so be it. I have taken the time to find out some of the good things that Wal-Mart does for Linn County. I think it would be to your benefit if you took the time to seek out and focus on the positive instead of the negative.

Jeani West

Sweet Home