Class warfare, Albuquerque style

I had a chance to attend last night’s meeting on the proposed West Side Wal Mart. A large and boisterous crowed turned out, largely in opposition to the project. Interestingly-enough, about half the opposition, including the most vocal opponents, came from the Bosque School which is located between the Rio Grande and the proposed Wal Mart.

I won’t go through all of the arguments presented against the store, but the evening boiled down to a bunch of people who have the financial resources to pay more than $18,000 annually to send their kids to school (in addition to what they pay to APS, but that’s a different story) who oppose the location of a store that primarily serves middle and lower class Albuquerqueans (including your humble non-profit President).

The facts are simple: the land is zoned commercial, so some kind of development was inevitable. This means traffic and all of the visual/environmental issues were bound to arise. Somehow I don’t think a Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s would generate the same opposition.

Also, while opponents note correctly that Wal Mart has three stores on the West Side, is it really up to them to decide how many stores are “enough?” If Wal Mart thinks it can turn a profit and their customers show up, then apparently there are NOT enough stores.

So, if the Bosque School simply can’t tolerate being next door to a Wal Mart, why don’t they do what the Academy has done over the years and buy all the surrounding land so that nothing is located next door? That would be one pro-freedom way to address this issue, but it seems like the leadership of Bosque would rather use their wealth and connections to manipulate the political process in their favor.

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17 Replies to “Class warfare, Albuquerque style”

  1. Yes, there were a lot of Bosque School parents, but there were also many residents who live near by in opposition. I am a lower middle class single mother who scrapes by. The things I treasure most about where I live are free – the beauty of the bosque and the feeling of safety when I walk around my neighborhood and go to sleep at night. Walmart will jeopardize both of these things. It will also add to what is already a traffic nightmare. The area simply is not a good place to locate a huge superstore. Period.

    1. Again, the land has been zoned for this type of usage for years, so you knew what you were getting into by living there. Would you really feel the same way if the store was not Wal Mart, but Whole Foods?

    2. Please explain how Walmart will jeopardize your feeling of safety. Have you ever seen how many security cameras there are at a Walmart?

      Walmart would provide your and many other area kids, even Bosque School students, an entry level job. Maybe you could even get a second job there so you won’t be scraping by.

      Environmentalists should encourage more Walmarts so folks don’t have to drive so far. That would reduce traffic, air pollution and make the world a better place to shop.

      1. The only cameras at Walmart that are active are the ones inside the store to keep an eye on the employees. The ones outside the store are not activated. They are there as a “deterrent”. Ya…right!!

        Ever checked out how many crimes are committed at Walmart parking lots!!

        Have you ever seen how filthy Walmart parking lots are!!

        Environmentalists!! Do you know how many trucks will be delivering to Walmart!! How will that be environmentally healthy for the Bosque.

        Drive so far!!! 5 miles either direction!! People go either direction to shop at the Mall or drive towards the I40!! Why can’t they just stop at the Walmart at either location?

        We already have an established grocery store, drug stores, and various small shops here. Any idea what that Walmart is going to do to those merchants!!

        1. I’m not knowledgeable on the cameras. I do know that Wal Mart has security patrols in their parking lots and invites people to park their campers in their lots.

    3. Laura, good for you for posting your opinion especially on this forum. Although I don’t live in your area I do understand and support your reasons. And disregard Paul’s comment. I know of NO ONE who checks out area zoning prior to purchasing in a given neighborhood. Besides, zoning is not fixed and is subject to change. I doubt too that Paul lives on the west side or your neighborhood thus has little knowledge of the issues facing that part of town.

  2. It’s the same old story in that part of town a few people cry loudly when anything is built there. Of course some of the arguments I heard just don’t hold up like guns being sold at Walmart please there is a Walmart right next Cibola High and there has not been one incident due to the proximity of Walmart to the school. People always use fear and children to bolster thier feeble arguments against issues they don’t agree with. This is a growing city and building new businesses any new businesses should be encouraged not discouraged. This is just a rehash of the Montano Bridge opposition 2011 style. We all know you can’t stop progress. Seems to me that they quietly built that school without any discussion or holding meetings with the surrounding communities to see how they could benefit, oh wait yeah most can’t afford the steep tuition, maybe they could put up a community center next to the school so that the people of that area could share in that beautiful Bosque!

  3. It’s a beautiful location, views of the bosque and the Rio Grande. There are few things uglier in our world than a Walmart, which distributes goods manufactured in sweatshops in China, where there is no regard for human dignity or the environment. They treat their store employees like slaves. If this is the crowning achievement of capitalism, how sad is that?

    1. I don’t get this obsession with the Bosque. It is the school, not the Wal Mart which does/will abut the Bosque. The Wal Mart will be separated from the Bosque by the school.

      As to your comments on China, the nation is industrializing and people are voluntarily willing to work those jobs, just like Wal Mart will have no problem finding 500 willing applicants to work at their store.

  4. I could be wrong (I was once, years ago), but I believe the Albuquerque Academy lands were mostly donated by Albert Simms, NOT purchased a bit at a time. Nevertheless, NIMBYs and BANANAs are particularly aggravating when they have money. Many of them probably got the money from federal government or government contractor jobs, so we, their social and economic inferiors, should just roll over for anything they do or don’t want!

    1. I take exception to your comment, “Many of them probably got the money from federal government or government contractor jobs, so we, their social and economic inferiors, should just roll over for anything they do or don’t want!”

      Kirtland/Sandia Labs is the city’s largest employer, performing necessary functions related to national defense and research. Most of Sandia’s positions require college degrees thus are high paying when compared to many jobs in the area. And the Lab’s work often leads to private sector job creation when basic research results in innovative products and services. I assume you are a social and economic inferior based on whats sounds like sour grapes simply because you failed to obtain the necessary educational credentials or couldn’t get a security clearance. Me, I chose the federal government as a career choice. Spent 22 years as an army soldier then specifically targeted the federal government as a career choice. I had a choice. I assume you did too. Sounds like you chose wrong.

  5. Watch “Wal Mart: The High Cost Of Low Price” and you may not be so keen on visiting a Wal Mart again. You can find it on YouTube.

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