Really got the blood boiling this morning.......

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Old 01-10-15, 05:12 AM
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Really got the blood boiling this morning.......

I really shouldn't read the newspaper on weekends when I want to unwind. In this mornings Letter to the Editor is one bemoaning the supposed "wrong" direction our city is taking. It's several paragraphs long and was a response by the reader to a news item last week about current and projected population figures for the area [side note: population here was about 25,000 when we moved here in 1999, had a big housing boom at start of the century]. I won't try to reproduce the entire letter, but here is the blood boiling section:

"....this is a city of 60,000 people that seems unable to attract retail stores other than those that cater to the lower middle class and below. Where are the stores I have shopped at all my life? We do not have a Saks, a Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom, Brooks Brothers or other stores frequented by folks interested primarily in quality. A city of 60,000 and there isn't a place to buy a man a suit of clothes.

So, who will the new residents be? Will they be affluent to any degree, or will they be lower middle class and poor, with all the accompanying issues associated with typical lower middle class neighborhoods? And what becomes of real estate values?"

There's a bit more, but you get the general gist of the letter.


I'm really hoping he shares his views with ALL his like-minded friends who live elsewhere so they never, EVER come here to live.

Will be sending in a rebuttal letter when I get time to wordsmith one properly, but right now I have to go out with my middle class family and try to lower his property values doing middle class activities while dressed in casual clothing [my tuxedo is at the cleaners].

 
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Old 01-10-15, 05:37 AM
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Regarding the list of retailers mentioned in the post, I have a brief story to offset the "quality" statement.

Back in '98 I was on a business trip to Chicago. I had recently been promoted to a high level job at corporate an this was my first big Trade Show visit with my boss and other big wigs. I wanted to treat myself to a luxury as well as a memento of the trip. I was walking down Michigan Ave amongst all the high class outlets similar to those mentioned. You know, the kind where you walk in and are not allowed to shop by yourself, but need a commissioned associate to help you find what you are looking for. I finally found a necktie that I just absolutely loved - But it was priced at $135.00 I fought with my inner self and finally determined that I could not justify that much money for a necktie. Somewhat broken, I left empty handed and headed back to the hotel. Passed a Macy's on the way and poked in for kicks and giggles - What did I find? The exact same tie, same make, same designer, same pattern - $35.00 I thought about buying two. Anyway - The author of the letter to the editor can plant a big wet one on my behind. Quality does not beget only from just a name.

Unfortunately, being in Chicago for that trip, the $100 I saved on the tie didn't last very long.
 
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Old 01-10-15, 09:18 AM
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Just wait until the writer gets back into his gated community. Then put a chain and lock on the gate and throw away the key.

Idiot probably punched the wrong zip code into the GPS of his Bentley and ended up in a normal American city.
 
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Old 01-10-15, 10:51 AM
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Our paper gets letters like that all the time as we also have a lot of transplants. We're about the same size if you consider the outlying communities. They moved here for the weather, low property taxes, and cheap housing and then ***** that there is nothing to do and nowhere to shop.

Most shoot a little lower for retail and dining (Target, Red Lobster, Olive Garden). Like those are high quality places? We have some very good places to eat (Italian, steak, Mexican, Oriental) and there is almost everything you need at WM, KM, Sears, JCP, or online. Hell, we have those and even a HD and TSC and people still complain

If they want all that stuff, then move yer butts back to LA or Chicago. You want good seafood, then live near the ocean!

They just don't understand that some companies will not move into a smaller community until the population hits a certain demographic and number.

We constantly see people who live in the valley about 15 miles away *****ing about no grocery store and they have to drive here. They have no clue how much a company would have to spend to build and they have no damn infrastructure. All on septic, small water supplier (some even haul) and yet they keep voting down incorporation where they could raise a tax bill to fix those issues. 10,000 people will not attract a major chain, no way, no how.
 
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Old 01-10-15, 11:16 AM
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That guys letter had little to do with the stores in town and everything to do with people he found to be below him moving into town. That is very common everywhere.

And a bit of an unrelated note...I love the people that fight to keep retail stores out of their town to preserve their style of living. At the same time they complain about their property taxes. The more commercial property you have, they less property tax you need to pay!
 
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Old 01-10-15, 11:19 AM
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Some people just look for something to complain about. A yr or so ago on the other side of the mountain a man built a big fancy house and then when to the county to complain about the farmer across the road who had a lot of junk equipment on his property ..... and that farmer was there decades before that fancy house was built.

Personally I live out in the county near small town USA for a reason
 
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Old 01-10-15, 01:16 PM
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I live in a city of about 35,000 people and we don't have any of those stores. What's more, we don't even have Wal*Mart, Target, K-mart/Sears or ANY large chain other than a single (and smaller) Fred Meyer which is a northwest chain owned by Kroger.

I like it this way.

What's more, if I wanted to go to Macy's or Sears I can travel about ten miles to Alderwood Mall. If I want to go to Kohl's, Target or Toys R Us I don't even have to go that far, maybe nine miles. Target has stores both east and west of me. I think Seattle has a Brooks Brothers (I know they did at one time) but it is in the downtown core and I won't go there of a bet. There may be a Saks there also but neither store holds the slightest interest for me.

I really do wish we had some retail other than groceries, furniture and appliances to add to the tax base (and relieve the homeowners a bit) but really, everything a person could ask for is within about a 20 mile radius. What I DON'T understand is the California developers that are trying to impress the natives. I know they are from California because they place THE in front of our freeway designations (THE 405) and no native does that. They just opened a new apartment/condo/retail building a few months ago. The ground floor retail is still mostly vacant as well as a goodly number of the residential units. No wonder when they are asking $1450 a month for an 805 square foot single bedroom apartment. Heck, when I bought my house the entire mortgage payment was only $1650 and that is for a 1540 square foot detached home with a small yard and two-car garage away form the "busy" (snore) streets of downtown Bothell. With today's lower mortgage rates I suspect my home could be bought for that $1450 a month. (No, my house has not appreciated much in value after the bubble burst in 2008.) Why would anyone rent under these situations?

Oh, for those that like a more "outdoorsy" feel, there is also a shooting range less than three miles away and some of the most beautiful hiking/camping country anyone could wish for within 30 miles.
 
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Old 01-10-15, 02:57 PM
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This is why I refuse the read the editorial page (or Everybody's column or whatever they want to call it). It's nothing more than an opinion that I'm unable to respond to in a timely manner. That 's what the Internet is for. Same goes for those obnoxious radio talk show host. They really burn my behind. I wish I could reach my hand into the radio and choke them and some of the **s hole callers. We have one in particular, Sandy Beach, (you may have heard of him from other cities he's been in). This guy is so obnoxious and he talks, talks, talks. I'm getting hot just writing about it.
 
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Old 01-10-15, 03:43 PM
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Y'all have me beat on population.....10k for the entire county. EXCEPT when John sends his snowbirds up in the summer, then is swells to 17k. Hey, they pay taxes on their property, and pay county sales tax, so welcome. My city is between two medium cities. We have a Dollar Store and a traffic light. The two bordering cities have the grocery, gas, HD, etc, so I am fine with that. Only 8 miles either way.

Our usual response to blusterbubs like that is "You ain't from here, are you, hoss?" Remember I-75 runs north and south, about 100 miles west of us. Try it out.
 
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Old 01-10-15, 04:55 PM
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I know your area a bit Furd, spent some time in Lynnwood and Seattle area in general. I guess the feeling is different when you are only 15-20 miles from a major metro area. I think I've even been to that mall.

Where I live, it's more like 120 miles to Vegas or 250 to Phoenix. Sure you can drive 35 miles to a few of the river towns, but you won't find a heck of a lot more than here.
 
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Old 01-10-15, 06:29 PM
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Where we live in College Park near the Hollywood section it still has a smaller town feel even though it isn't very far from the University Of Maryland. If you use Google maps though and go down route 1 you will start to see more of a big city feeling and I personally don't like that at all. Where once there were a few trees across the street from where my dads Amoco used to be(Which is now BP) but now there is nothing but high rise buildings everywhere you look so it looks more like New York city than my city. They say they did it for student housing but I can't believe we have that many students.

Underneath the apartments they have stores and restaurants which mainly cater to students so I don't even go into that part of town anymore as there is just no need to. They have changed it so much that now they have even removed a medical complex many used in the name of progress and say they are turning it into housing.
 
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Old 01-10-15, 07:02 PM
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Just got back from doing some middle class socializing with family and read up on my thread. Nice to be able to vent around here with all the other "little" people. After I get a couple of cups of coffee in me tomorrow morning, I'll warm up the MS Word and get a rather warm response sent of tot eh paper. Luckily the local paper gets Letters published pretty quick, although in this case I may have to stand in a long line of other rebutters to mine published. I've already wordsmithed some choice phrases in my mind. I'll be sure to post my letter here, too.
 
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Old 01-10-15, 07:05 PM
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Larry, I like your line about I-75 since it fits here, too [actually better, a section of it is actually in our city limits]; I may have to plagiarize that in my letter.
 
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Old 01-10-15, 07:10 PM
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I know your area a bit Furd, spent some time in Lynnwood and Seattle area in general.
Ah, yes, Lynnwood, the armpit of south Snohomish county, for lots of reasons.
 
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Old 01-10-15, 07:11 PM
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That's OK. I stole it from Lewis Grizzard. He also invited people from up north to come on down south, drink our 'shine, breathe our air, marry our women. Just ask one thing. We don't want to know how you do it in Cleveland. Delta will have back there by nightfall.
 
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Old 01-11-15, 05:26 AM
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I may have to research some of Lewis's old columns for ammunition. Loved reading his stuff back in the day.

This is a good one:

"First, we really don’t care how you did it in Chicago. Second, if you miss it so much, Delta is ready when you are."
 
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Old 01-12-15, 05:00 AM
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Response

Okay, finally got my letter written this morning. Ran out of words (250 word limit) before I really got going; I had a phrase all set that included "affluent" and "effluent", but couldn't fit it in:

"For a moment on Saturday I was afraid I had badly overslept and had awoken on April Fool’s Day. Surely no sane person could write so negative a letter about North Port and its citizens (Jan 10th, North Port Headed in Wrong Direction). With all the undesirable attributes the writer accuses us of, it makes one wonder how anyone with an ounce of common sense would decide to live in such a low-life, middle class-infested city. Perhaps he helicoptered in directly to the sales office in his gated community and signed the papers before ever venturing out among the great unwashed? Or maybe the overly dark window tint on his chauffeured limo made seeing the city too difficult. I never thought that affluence and intelligence were mutually exclusive, but I may have to reexamine that idea. The hard working middle class in North Port are the teachers, firefighters, police, small business owners, and employees that make the city tick. Frankly anyone whose boyhood shopping experiences were limited to Sak’s and Bloomingdale’s should have stayed on I-75 south and gotten off at the Naples exit. I can only hope the writer shares his deep revulsion to all things North Port with all his like-minded friends, relatives and colleagues so they will settle elsewhere. Paraphrasing the great southern pundit, Lewis Grizzard, first, we really don’t care how you did it back home. Second, if you miss it so much, Delta is ready when you are."
 
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Old 01-12-15, 05:04 AM
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Ooooh, well done!! My memory of your area zones me in on the family owned shops toward the beach area, and, of course, the larger stores, Kmart, etc. in the outlying area. But shopping the small businesses is what it is all about. Rock on, bro!!
 
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Old 01-12-15, 12:10 PM
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That was a good response! I hope it got accepted!

As I said...we have the same thing out here. Our typical response is "I-40 runs East and West from LA to Flagstaff, US-93 runs North and South from Las Vegas to Phoenix. You have all the escape routes you need".
 
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Old 01-12-15, 03:04 PM
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Every letter I've ever submitted was published usually with 4 or 5 days. Might have to stand in line on this topic though.....
 
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Old 01-12-15, 03:51 PM
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We had a guy (atheist) who ran a diatribe in our paper regarding our county recreation center allowing us to have a church related meeting there. We busted his chops and he kept coming back for more. Our sole commissioner quieted things down when he ran his answer that ANYONE or any group who is located in the county could use the recreation center, since they were tax payers, and there was nothing anyone could do about it. I noted the guy's house is for sale.:thunbup:
 
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Old 01-12-15, 04:12 PM
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Well Larry, I'm not a religious person, but I give the same respect to all people. Church related, lodge related, un-related...if it's government property, they all have the right to use it if they are residents. That guy was outa line.
 
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Old 01-12-15, 04:49 PM
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Well, I had to insert he was an atheist to make the story run right. I do not push my religion on the forums. He was stating things like it was unconstitutional and there was separation of church and state. To which we had to correct him that the Constitution said nothing about such separation, but later on Jefferson made such reference in his writings. Since we weren't "establishing" a religion, he was out in left field with a left handed batter. Nothing to do.
 
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Old 01-13-15, 12:05 AM
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I am an atheist and that clown was absolutely in the wrong. Any public building that is rented out (even if the "rent" is nothing) can be used by any group for legal purposes as long as they follow the rules just like anyone else. Now where there would be a problem is if the agency overseeing the "rental" refused to let an atheist group use the room/building for the simple fact that it was an atheist group.
 
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Old 01-20-15, 05:18 AM
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Update

Still waiting for publication. Sent an email direct to the Editor this morning after I saw a Letter that was addressing a news article on Jan 14th, only 6 days after that article was printed. Can't wait to see what response I get [I've emailed him before and he does respond]. I cc'd the local Chamber and city commissioners.
 
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Old 01-20-15, 05:27 AM
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This is exactly why I don't read or respond to the editorial pages. The ability to respond is almost non-existent, and after one day its old news and few people care. Plus it keeps one blood boiling to dwell on it. Now if it it had a live on-line comment or feed back as some papers do then it would be worth something.

I say let it go and chill.
 
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Old 01-20-15, 05:46 AM
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Actually our local paper is quite good at getting responses printed; if they weren't I wouldn't bother. I'm not so upset that MY letter didn't get published, but it's beyond reason that I was the ONLY one to respond and no letters have made print. That was the gist of the email I sent to the editor.
 
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Old 01-23-15, 04:45 AM
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Published today, word for word (I was afraid of losing my Lewis Grizzard reference), under heading "North Port critic should go home".
 
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Old 01-23-15, 03:48 PM
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Ouch, way to go, John. I always ask our paper to let me know before they alter my stuff, and they usually print vertabim.
 
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