E-Bits highlights ILSR’s Waste to Wealth Program work, from creating jobs and recycling-oriented enterprises, to recycling policies that close the loop locally, to model waste reduction initiatives. Continue reading
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Home Depot wants to build one of its giant stores with a multiacre parking lot on the corner of Lexington Parkway and University Avenue. The St. Paul City Council has authorized city officials to negotiate a financing package with the Atlanta-based corporation that could include as much as $5 million in tax increment financing (TIF), a form of public subsidy. Once a formal plan is submitted, the City Council will vote on whether to approve the development.
Supporterscontend Home Depot will generate new jobs and tax revenue. But numerous studies have found that these giant chain retailers destroy about as many jobs and as much tax revenue as they create. This is because retail spending in a given market is a relatively fixed pie. Adding a massive amount of new retail in one location — in this case an estimated $40 million in annual sales — will invariably cause revenue to decline at established local businesses.Many of these businesses will be forced to downsize or close. The resulting job and tax losses will substantially offset the gains created by Home Depot.
BioCycle; Emmaus May 2001 Dave Block THE REBUILDING Center in Portland, Oregon was founded in 1998 through a grant that covered a forklift and a 20-foot flatbed truck. Located 15 minutes from the metro transfer station, the 70,000square-foot facility sells used building materials, which initially were all donated by the general public and other contractors…. Continue reading
Last month, Ed Trudeau, co-owner of the Vista Gas Station in Burlington, Wisconsin, drove an 8,500 gallon tanker truck to a competing Citgo Station for a fill-up. Although he managed to pump only 343 gallons before employees cut the flow, Trudeau made his point. The Citgo had been selling gas below cost, a violation of Wisconsin state law.
Sprawl-Busters NewsFlash reports that citizens of Belfast, Maine will vote on whether to limit the size of new retail stores on June 12. The referendum is non-binding, but will provide a guide for the City Council. A temporary moratorium on retail development over 50,000 square feet (slightly larger than a football field) has been in place since last summer. The moratorium was enacted in response to Wal-Mart’s effort to build a supercenter on the edge of town.
The last issue of this Bulletin reported on a grassroots effort in Petoskey, Michigan to stop a 400,000 square foot chain retail development in a neighboring township.
In April, to the thunderous applause of a packed town hall, the Bear Creek Township Board voted 3-2 to deny the developer’s request to rezone the land from residential and farm-forest to commercial, effectively nixing the big box project.
On May 15, the citizens of Glendale, Arizona voted to uphold city zoning rules that will prevent Wal-Mart from building a 220,000 square foot, 24-hour supercenter. Nearly 60 percent of voters favored maintaining the zoning and keeping Wal-Mart out.
In 1999, the City Council rezoned a 39 acre site from agricultural to commercial in order to allow construction of a shopping center. City officials and nearby residents were led to believe that the center would house small, neighborhood-serving shops in a pedestrian-oriented design.
More than 300 residents turned out for a Town Council meeting last month in Ocean Beach, California to voice their opposition to Starbucks. The chain plans to open a store on Newport Avenue, one of the main drags running through this town of 15,000 just north of San Diego.
"There has never been a chain store on this street," noted Dawna Perkins, a member of the Town Planning Board. Ocean Beach is home to numerous locally owned businesses, including eleven coffee shops.
In February, the Domini Social Equity Fund removed Wal-Mart from its portfolio. The decision to dump the Fund’s 1.2 million shares of Wal-Mart stock was prompted primarily by concerns about the company’s labor and human rights policies abroad.
Domini had initially sought to alter Wal-Mart’s practices through shareholder activism.
Located on Lake Michigan, the small town of Petoskey in northern Michigan draws thousands of visitors every year. They come for the spectacular scenery and for an opportunity to experience what many communities have long since lost: a vibrant downtown.
Renowned for its distinctive character and century-old buildings, downtown Petoskey is more than a quaint destination for tourists. Its a place that serves the everyday needs of residents.