Archive for November, 2006


As some people may know, I’m firmly against Measure K. I’ve heard the arguments and the reasons why the City of Davis needs Target. I’d like to refute the following points, which I’ve heard most frequently in support of Measure K:

  • “Well at least it’s not Wal-Mart”
  • “It will help downtown business”
  • “It’s better than driving to Woodland”
  • “I’d save so much money”


“Well, at least it’s not Wal-Mart.”

Settling for the lesser of two evils is a cowardly act. And therefore by your own omission, Target is evil, i.e.

Well slavery is bad, but you know, I’m ok with segregation.

Perhaps that’s a bit of a stretch, but I think I’ve made my point. Author Stacy Mitchell calls Target “a pig with lipstick.”


“It will help downtown business”

A majority of stores have No on K signs posted, and to my knowledge there isn’t a store with a Yes on sign. Downtown businesses rely on the basic design principle that is generally referred to as a continual storefront. A continual storefront makes for an enjoyable shopping experience by allowing a person to walk from store to store. Has anyone walked along Howe Ave. in Sacramento from store to store? You would, if you didn’t have a car. Now picture in your mind successful retail districts. Union Square in San Francisco immediately comes to mind. The Santa Monica Promenade, and Melrose Ave. are also very well known, and highly successful. What do they all have in common?

Certainly the claim that it will benefit downtown is false. The proposed site will be more than 2 miles away from the established downtown. Target does not generate enough foot traffic to have any positive impact.

Large retailers that aren’t immediately within the designated downtown region have devastating repercussions for further growth. In the late 1940’s and early 50’s Macy’s had plans to build a store in downtown San Jose. Unfortunately the city of San Jose and Macy’s were unable to reach an accord. Macy’s opened its store on Stevens Creek Road in 1956. It was San Jose’s first suburban mall and is now known as Westfield’s Valley Fair. The original site was along First St. near San Carlos in the heart of downtown. It would have provided the necessary anchor for downtown retail. After decades of disregard and abandonment, it is slowly on the mend.


“It’s better than driving to Woodland”

Who says you need to go to Target in the first place? Virtually any “basket of goods” can be purchased here in town, other than high tech goods such as computers, and home appliances. While I personally find that the mix of retailers doesn’t suit my personal tastes, Target definitely will not better suit them. With input from students and residents, the committee for Business and Economic Development needs to compose a more comprehensive mix of retailers that address the needs for all of Davis. Target will not do this alone.

Those who want Target because “they’re tired of driving to Woodland” fail to realize the simple fact that by the time it is built they will have been long gone. Buildings don’t just materialize over night.


“I’d save so much money”

To that I have to ask, ‘On what?’ If your basic concern is the bottom dollar, then online vendors should be your first choice. While they don’t support the local economy, they certainly would be in your best interest.

Home and garden supplies can be readily found at Hibbert’s or Ace Hardware. Bicycles should never be purchased at Target, especially with as many reputable dealers in town. Prices for toiletries are about the same. Nugget will even price match all offers in town. If it’s electronic equipment, then being a young savvy consumer, your best bet would be a multitude of online vendors.

Clothing is the glaring issue. There clearly aren’t enough retailers to cater to the needs and tastes of most Davis students, nay residents. And since more students shop at malls like Arden than Target, my assertion still rings true.


Why Target is harmful for Davis

The problem with allowing Target in Davis is that in order to do so, current zoning laws must be amended. Currently retailers are limited to 30,000 square feet and grocers are allowed 50,000 square feet. The problem isn’t necessarily with Target, but big box stores in general. Once Target is allowed, it makes it that much harder and moreover illegal to keep others out. Wal-Mart, Big Lots, Kohl’s, Home Depot, Kmart, et al. will all be knocking on the door.

Students harp on residents for being under appreciated, stating that we generate x amount of sales revenue and that it’s only because of the university that Davis is different from neighboring towns like Woodland, Dixon, and West Sacramento. I know this because I have made the very same assertions, and I know unequivocally that I am not alone. However, on the same token, students need to also realize that Davis is different because it has made a concerted effort in intelligent planning. Big box and strip malls corrode the very nature of towns to the point where they are indistinguishable from one another, thus making Davis like Woodland, Dixon, and West Sacramento.

Has anyone else noticed that the very signs that are used to promote how ‘green’ the development is, are made with non-sustainable materials? This may sound trite to some, but those who are staunchly eco-friendly would not make such an oversight. I find this to be very hypocritical and antithetical to their claim.

I implore every voter to use a moral imperative when they decide to cast their votes for this and every other election. Laws are created to fulfill two distinct purposes: The protection of the individual, and service to the greater good.


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Partisan Politics

Goddamn Democrats! Given that they actually have/had a chance to take back both houses; there still seem to be a few who I’m absolutely convinced took the short yellow bus to school. I just saw a recent poll saying that Ahh-nold has 16 point lead over Angelides, gathering 49% overall. How in the hell does 10 months of quick-fix bi-partisan work from the Guhhvenator take him from 4-5 points behind to an increasingly growing margin? From widely lauded work with Laguna West, (that only recently has been getting criticized) to working as State Treasurer that should have given him enough credibility to win this pathetic election: it appears that Mr. Schwarzenegger will win re-election. The job was ripe for the plucking. If I were Mr. Angelides’s campaign manager, I’d have “He made Jingle All the Way” as our campaign slogan.

Now John Kerry has ‘botched’ a joke by pretty much saying that our service women and men are stupid:

“You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”

The spin-doctors tried removing Mr. Kerry’s foot from his mouth by claiming that the joke was meant to go like:

“Do you know where you end up if you don’t study, if you aren’t smart, if you’re intellectually lazy? You end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq. Just ask President Bush.”

Unfortunately Republicans being the political sharks they are, can taste guppy blood and are in a full-on frenzy, which most likely won’t let up until past the elections. After doing everything in their power to relinquish control, the Dems seem to have dropped their bar of soap and are now expecting a numbingly comfortable surprise that’s becoming all too familiar.

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