Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Balloon Tract Sides Make Their Case

"This is not a forum to debate...".

So says Democracy Unlimited's, David Cobb, in regards to the community forum being held tonight at Eureka's Wharfinger Building. I appreciate his candor. This is just one of those "informational" meetings, as some like to call them, that likely involves preaching to the choir. They're honest enough to admit this is pretty much an organizing meeting for those against the Arkley plan with a few speakers thrown in to convince the few that show up that might still be on the fence.

Not to be outdone, the Security National folks will be having their own meeting along the same lines on Thursday. They'll be aswering questions and presenting their case for the Marina Center. I suspect there will be a lot more fence sitters showing up for this one, at least as a percentage of those attending. I suspect the anti- Arkley folks will be more likely to attend the Democracy Unlimited meeting in the first place with the fence sitters more likely to attend the Security National presentation. I wonder which one gets the largest turnout?

Which group makes the best case would be a much more difficult to judge objectively. One thing seems clear to me, though: The Marina Center proponents have a plan and it's paid for with private money. Those opposing seem to be just opposing, for the most part, because a big box store is involved and, secondly, because they prefer some sort of government project on the Balloon Tract over a private one.

I'm pretty much in the Marina Center camp but, like I said earlier, there's nothing wrong with a good old empty lot.

14 Comments:

At 10:10 AM, Anonymous vaco said...

Summarizing Democracy Unlimited: No debate, shut up, follow orders of Fuhrer Cobb.

 
At 10:49 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Vaco says'"Shut up".

Well, I don't know that I'd go that far, at least on the issue of these "informational meetings". They're meant for each side to make their case to the public.

Problem is, it will only affect a small percentage of the public- those attending the meetings. And many of those attending the meetings might well already be committed to one side of the issue or the other.

What I'd like to see is a debate between spokesmen from each side; either televised, or run by the local newspapers. Let them have at it. It would be difficult, though, as both sides would likely take the debate beyond the merits of the Balloon Tract/ Arkley Plan itself.

It might get ugly. Then again, in a way/ the Left vs. Right thing is a lot of what this is all about. You can see that by the way the sides are drawn.

 
At 1:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Left vs Right? I think there are a lot of us who don't care about the political lines and still have a position. I for one no longer listen to Salzman, Cobb, Arkely or HELP. Their rhetoric has doomed their message.

The issue for me is not what Arkely has proposed but that our local government does nothing to plan for the future. They only wait for the next project to blow their way... looking for the silver bullet to fix their fiscal problem.

 
At 1:40 PM, Blogger Fred said...

Sure, some don't care about the political lines, but the lines for the fight- Yes or No on a big box for the Balloon Tract- seem to be separating the Left vs. Right.

You have Kerrigan, Neely, Local Solutions and Democracy Unlimited leading the fight against private development...ok, big boxes and corporations.

You have the developers, some of whom are pretty strong Republican activists, leading the fight for the Marina project. There's also a number of right leaning gadflys in favor of private development.

Seems pretty clear to me that's where the lines are drawn and that this is about more than just what ends up happening to the Balloon Tract.

Sure, there are a few that are on the fence, but the big fight is drawn along political lines. The on the fence folks are mostly spectators.

 
At 2:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mostly spectators and mostly the rest of the community. Other than those directly involved in the fight many don't care about the politics. My guess is they only feel their opinion is being hijacked for some other purpose.

The public comment at the council meetings had many saying they like the idea of development on the BT but weren't excited about Big Box.

 
At 4:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

KHUM Thusday morning will have SN's Morrissey, evidently heading into the lion's den.

 
At 2:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Attendees were also told that if they didn’t want to be part of the organizing effort, they should exit the Wharfinger Building at the end of the presentations.
The “break-out” organizing groups would include discussions of how to write letters to newspaper editors, the business of community organizing, reaching out to local merchants and organizing the next step.

Media was told that these groups were not going to be a public forum, so they would be closed to media."

Surely someone snuck in to these TOP SECRET sessions!

 
At 3:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seems fair to me. Anyone sneak into to the Arkley's Elephant Stomps?

 
At 10:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sick of this whole issue. Like Home Depot is the end of the world. The sky is falling! Give me a break.

Drive south, see all the WalMarts and Home Depots and Costcos? See all the parking lots? They're full.

Guess what? In today's world, Costco, WalMart, Home Depot - they're the new five and dimes. People go there because they have what they need.

Bonnie shops at Costco. Meserve shops at KMart.

It's time to put aside the animosity, judge the project on its merits, not on who hates who, and who wants to tell who what to do.

 
At 5:49 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Actually, when you think about it, "big boxes" are nothing new even around here. When I moved here back in '73 we had a number of them: Sears, at the Eureka Mall. J.C. Penney's on 5th Street. Montgomery Wards where Target stands now. I'm sure there's others I'm forgetting.

Of all those, only Sears is with us today. Wonder why no one's complaining about Sears?

 
At 7:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

PayLess, Longs, RiteAid, Safeway...

Anyone remember the mile long line of cars waiting to get into KMart when it first opened in Eureka? It was hilarious. The PEOPLE like to have CHOICES.

All this noise is from the usual suspects. They say they hate corporations. Oh Really?

Palco - B-a-a-a-d. WalMart, Bad. Apple Computer, Good. Holly Yashi. Good.

Corporations come in all sizes. Most start small and aspire to be big. If they play their cards right, have a decent product, and serve the people well, they will grow. That makes them evil?

 
At 9:38 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Oooh...I just thought of a good one: Pay n Pak. Remember that one? That home improvement store that used to be where the Broadway Theaters are now?

Everybody I know was sorry to see them go, despite their lousy service. I went there fairly often myself. I was told that chain was losing money everywhere but here but when the others closed, the Eureka branch had to close as well.

 
At 10:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I LOVED Pay-n-Pak! Still have stuff I vought there. AND I still shopped at Pierson's and Thomas Home Center, and Ace.

But all the contractors shop at Thrifty and other places than Pierson's, don't they?

 
At 12:33 PM, Blogger Fred said...

Yeah, Pay-n-Pak was nice to have. Real convenient, despite the lousy service. Sorry to have to see them go.

 

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