Courier Life’s

Courier Life letter writers bemoan the loss of Walmart

We need a Walmart, our letter writers say

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To the editor,

School is open, yet parents of more than 1-million school-age children were denied once again the opportunity to shop for reasonably-priced clothing and school supplies at Walmart.

Polls of ordinary New Yorkers continue, resulting year after year — and now decade after decade — to support the right of Walmart to open stores across the city.

Residents in the other 59 counties outside the city, but within the state, have had the option of shopping or not at Walmart for decades. The same is true for virtually every other city and state. Only our city is behind the times.

Our residents continue to be denied the opportunity to shop at Walmart due to excuses made by politicians, such as Comptroller John Liu, Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio, most members of the City Council, along with numerous fellow liberal Democratic Party elected officials and their union allies. Many other Democratic Assembly, state Senate, and Congress members also oppose Walmart opening stores within their respective legislative districts, boroughs or any place in the city. They feel that we should oppose Walmart because of substandard salaries and unfair competition they would provide against smaller stores.

Construction of a new Walmart can provide work for construction contractors and their employees. Once opened, there are employment opportunities for many workers.

More than 10 percent of New Yorkers, including students, housewives, heads of single family households, senior citizens, and others currently out of work, along with seven percent who have given up looking, could find employment. The city would benefit by millions in sales, payroll, and real-estate tax revenue which could help fund essential municipal services everyone desires.

Walmart is the nation’s largest private sector employer with over 1,200,000 employees, and growing each year. Tens of millions of Americans, including many fellow New Yorkers own stock in Walmart. The same is true for the various retirement and pension plans many people participate in. Starting pay averages several dollars above the minimum wage for new employees around the nation. Promotional opportunities, including training for higher paying managerial positions, are common. They also offer health care and other benefits. Walmart may actually pay higher salaries and offer more benefits than some of their competitors such as Target, Kmart, Costco and BJs which are already here.

Several hundred thousand New Yorkers work off the books, full- and part-time with no benefits. Many existing retailers pay minimum wage with no benefits. Public officials opposing Walmart never talk about these abuses.

The free enterprise system made our nation great. Economic growth and the creation of wealth comes from businesses, small and large. Consumers shopping at Walmart get a bigger bang for the buck by being able to compare prices, quality and service to other stores. Many New Yorkers, poor, working class, single household, middle class, and seniors can’t afford to pay extra. They need the great prices, good quality merchandise, affordable food, drugs, and school supplies that Walmart offers.

Consumers have voted, with their feet, all over America, making Walmart the number one retail merchant success story it is today. It is time to allow Walmart the opportunity to compete in our city’s marketplace as well!

If public officials continue refusing you a choice, the only recourse you have is to vote them out of office, or deny them promotion to higher public office. Ask your local candidates in the upcoming primary or general election were they stand on Walmart. Don’t vote for them, if they will not give you a right as a consumer to decide who to patronize.

Larry Penner

Great Neck, N.Y.

Brighton Bliss

To the editor,

There have been dramatic changes in Brighton Beach in the last 10 years.

The neighborhood was primarily of Jewish families when the Trump Village, Warbasse, Luna Park, and Brightwater Towers residences were originally built.

Not anymore. Today, I can see the difference when I walk around the area. The neighborhood has come alive. It is more exciting and invigorating as it has become more cosmopolitan.

Brighton Beach is now made up primarily of Russian immigrants, a large Latino population, and Muslims. One hears many different languages spoken. It resembles a miniature United Nations.

Vans arrive each morning, carrying Russians from Long Island and New Jersey, allowing them to shop at the Russian specialty stores, and dine in the many Russian restaurants. There are also nightclubs where one can come to dine, drink, and dance the night away.

Brighton Beach is considered to be Little Odessa because it’s near the ocean, beach, and boardwalk.

There has also been a building boom. Condos are being built and the architecture of the area has really changed. I must give credit to the Russians for beautifying the neighborhood. One can find flower stands on practically every corner. The variety and the colors make for a magnificent sight.

Changes are always welcome, as long as they are for the betterment of the neighborhood — and Brighton Beach has surely changed for the better.

Etta Dorf

Brighton Beach

Seeing red

To the editor,

The Russian culture is alive and well in South Brooklyn.

In Brighton Beach, most of the store signs are in Cyrillic, and their wares have Russian appeal.

The Shorefront YMHA has all kinds of programs geared to Russians.

The Manhattan Beach Bathhouse should be used to serve all the different types of Americans living in the community.

Name withheld upon request

Settling scores

To the editor,

I am not a religious man. I won’t say that I don’t believe in God, but I will say I will wait till I’m dead to see if there actually is one.

I don’t understand how, not only President Obama, but the rest of the world, does not understand that this violence across the Middle East over a movie made in the U.S. by a lunatic is a complete outrage.

These people believe in this “God” named “Allah” and they think it is fine to fly planes into the two most important builidings in the world. Yet, some convicted idiot comes out with a YouTube movie disgracing their “God” and that gives them the right to kill innocent American diplomats who could be doing much safer jobs over here.

My suggestion to our lame-duck president is to tell all those innocent, oppressed people across the Middle East to get the heck out of town, so that the civilized countries in the world can get together and blow that whole region off the face of the earth.

Scott Byrne

Floral Park, N.Y.

‘Bold’ Shav

To the editor,

Shavana Abruzzo, I just read your “Moonies” column (“Moonies” were outta this world! “A Britisher’s View,” Sept. 13).

Wow, you are a heck of an adventurous, fearless, bold lady. Weren’t you afraid of being hypnotized or drugged, and swept away to some undisclosed spot on the map?

Wish I could hear your stories, ’cause I love a British accent.

Joan Applepie

Mill Basin

‘Pharaoh’ Marty

To the editor,

Just as the Egyptian Pharaohs built pyramids as egotistical monuments to themselves for the future, our “pharaoh” is also intent on building a pyramid to himself.

Borough President Markowitz, who leaves office next year, is spending $2 million in taxpayers dollars to have the decaying and defunct Parachute Jump in Coney Island illuminated with dancing LED lights (“Source: Luna Park operator poised to light up Parachute Jump,” online Sept. 14.

In his State of the Borough address, Markowitz vowed, “We’ll relight the Parachute Jump with enough bling so it can be seen from outer space.” No doubt the name “Marty Markowitz” in dancing lights will be visible from Mars, too.

What a waste of taxpayers’ money. I am sure $2 million could be put to better use. But wait!

There is more! Marty also wants to have a huge observation-type wheel built in Brooklyn (“Blunder wheel! City shouldn’t put observation ride in Staten Island, Coney Islanders say,” online Aug. 31).

With two pyramids, Marty will out do the pharaohs!

Ira Drogin

Sheepshead Bay

Reach reporter Shavana Abruzzo at or by calling (718) 260-2529.

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Reader Feedback

Bob from Gerritsen Beach says:
To Larry Penner,
You refer to Wal-Mart as a panacea when in fact it is the symptom of the ills that has been brought upon us by nationwide companies. You think all your purchasing problems will be solved once Wal-Mart is on the scene when in fact it has been proven the opposite is true. Over the last 30 years we have had a monopolization of our American industry that has not brought cheaper prices, on the contrary, because of the lack of competition it has increased the expense of everything from banking to gasoline. A case in point. In the year 2000 we had 15 oil companies selling gasoline in the United States; today we have seven. Gasoline prices have never been higher even though the expense of doing business is less. The same can be said for the banking industry. When Wal-Mart starts opening stores in Brooklyn Wal-Mart says it will hire approximately 300 people per store. What is not mentioned is that one of their stores could eliminate over 1000 jobs in the surrounding areas. How could that be good for New York City? Once they eliminate all competition they will raise their prices the same way the oil industry did and the banking industry did. That will leave us no competition to compare prices with.
Sept. 23, 2012, 1:23 pm
Bob from Gerritsen Beach says:
Part 2
If you lived in my section of Brooklyn you will remember a drug store called Rock Bottom. There were two locations that I’m familiar with and it was bought up by a national retail drug chain. They shut down the stores, changed the name on the marquee and raised the prices. Another example is Morris’s discount on Ave. U and East 17th St.
A large drug store chain purchased the store, even though they had a location three short blocks away, changed the name on the marquee and raise prices. Incidentally only a few months later they close down that store which is still empty. As a result they bought up the competition and now it costs local consumers more money to shop for the same product.
I worked in the retail industry for over 40 years and I could go on and on with additional examples of how monopolization destroys communities and destroys individuals ability to seek upstart businesses.
Sept. 23, 2012, 1:23 pm
I spend quite a bit of my time out on Long Island and I shop at Wal-Mart very frequently. Their prices are so much better, their stores are always clean, the service is always wonderful and shopping there is a pleasure. I do not care what you say Bob - I will continue to shop and save as often as I can. We in Brooklyn are really missing out.
Sept. 23, 2012, 2:45 pm
Bob from Gerritsen Beach says:
I Don't care if you listen to me or not Wal-Mart-Shopper, it still doesn't change the facts.
I certainly understand why people would want to shop at Wal-Mart. They do have less expensive food although I find their wearing apparel to be cheap garbage. Also if you don't mind having no choice at all and only purchase items made in China, save for the United States flag, then go ahead and continue shopping while American jobs are going overseas.
It's not that I think you or I will make a difference in the evolution that's taking place in the US, I just feel like I need to try to do something.
Sept. 23, 2012, 6:59 pm

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