Friday, October 27, 2006

Wal-Mart Town Hall a Rousing Success

Last night in Spring Valley nearly two hundred area residents packed the Town Hall to listen to speakers lay out the dangers that a super Wal-Mart will bring to the Monsey/Spring Valley community. As the Rockland Journal News reports this morning the Alliance's Richard Lipsky told the crowd, It's not a done deal...It's something that you can come and counteract, but you have to make your voice heard."

And if last night's gathering is any indication, there is a growing awareness of the dangers of the proposed development. Brian Ketcham, the traffic engineer hired by the Alliance, laid out in expert fashion the vehicular nightmare that lies ahead for all within this Route 59 corridor. His expertise was bolstered by the anecdotal evidence laid out by speaker after speaker about the inappropriateness of this heavily trafficked site. In addition, the meeting began with a moment of silence for the woman who had been killed last week while trying to cross Route 59.

What was particulary heartening about he meeting was its composition: a diverse group assembled that represented all of the various communities that are impacted by the project. African-American speakers were followed by people from the Orthodox community and they, in turn, were followed by labor spokespeople. As strong environmental statement was given by Legislator Ellen Jaffee, who attacked Wal-Mart's abysmal record in this area. She was seconded in her sentiments by a representative of the Rockland Council on the Environment who talked about the high rates of asthma in the county.

The main point made by speakers from the audience was the need to use this meeting's passion to mobilize the entire community. The Alliance promised that that mobilization will occur and there are plans to rally next month un front of Ramapo Town Hall. All in all, this was a very inspiring and promising meeting that will undoubtedly lay the ground work for the job of defeating the Walmonster.