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Edition 2012-04-07: Keep Durango Local
This was the first edition of The Unheard Herald, an eNewspaper in pdf format with associated webpage material. The eNewspaper was created and published by Root Routledge from work done by an independed local group of community activists and volunteers, of which he was an active participant. It formed the only other investigative challenge to the narrative and pro-Big Box Store bias that was being presented by Durango's main newspaper The Durango Herald. This first edition, along with supporting activist documents, does a rhetorical analysis of the dozen or so Durango Herald articles on this issue.
This local activist effort was initiated to challenge the claims and goals of the Durango Town Coucil and Town manager and planners, which involved trying to bring in more "Big Box Stores" into the Durango local economy (we already have a Wal-Mart Superstore, a Home Depot, and an Office Depot, as well as The Durango Mall, which has large anchor stores, including JC Penny. We believe their arguments for the purported benefits did not stand up to critical scrutiny, did not adequately analyze life-time cost to our community, and that following this path would destroy the very values our local residents cherrished about our little mountain town community of 17,000 residents, in our relatively small Southwest Colorado La Plata Country with a population of about 56,000.
There are multipe associated documents, reports and communications created by the activists and town officials. Links to these documents are identified in the block below.
Disaggregation and delinking of decision elements for proper analysis of impacts (currently muddled together; no local economic or community impact analysis has been done beyond the potential demand side estimates of EPS Consulting). Continuance on all three decision elements (for proper public review, understanding, involvement and examination of impacts).
Aggregated Decision Elements:
Crader Property Annexation
Initial Zoning/Rezoning/Re-subdivision (potential land uses)
Wilson Gulch Road: Responsibility, timing and financing of construction
Does your vision count? Step forward and take charge of your future
Like a freight train on the loose — Wall Street corporate box stores seem unstoppable
What do we actually know? Has anyone analyzed this on behalf of our community; is there any research data presented?
There is a "leakage" report; but no consideration of impacts from more box stores
Where is the big box store vision's center of gravity?
Southern Ute Tribe: The property buyer and developer
Summary of the current prevailing vision
Old Economic Paradigm: Growth is our vision; growth is forever
Manifesting on a local level
Business friendly? What's that mean?
New Economic Paradigm: Locally rooted businesses owned and managed by local owners and entrepreneurs
City of Durango Documents
The City of Durango produced an area plan for Grandview in 2004. At the end of the decade they hired a consulting firm, Economic & Planning Systems, Inc (EPS), of Denver to do the analysis of the proposed Crader Property Annexation (part of the Grandview planning area) and the impact of bringing in Big Box Stores to address (try to stop and capture) the claimed leakage of revenue going to the Farmington, New Mexico, shopping centers 60 miles to the south. Several of their analysis and recommendation documents are listed here, along with the City plan and the final ordinance approving the annexation, about which thisarticle was written, launching The Unheard Herald.
Articles on Local Economy, Big Box Stores, and Active Democracy
In the process of taking on the local economy challenge in Durango, we have gathered several related research articles, books, papers and talks related to local living economies and the impact of Big Box Stores. We offer this collection as a starting point for others who may be in the same sort of struggle to save their community from the invasion and colonization of their local economy by absentee owners who look only to Wall Street for their investment guidance.
2005-05 Paula Ding: "Envisioning Local Futures:
The Evolution of Community Visioning
as a Tool for Managing Change", J. FutureStudies, v9, n4
In this article, offering an innovative tool for addressing positive democratic change at the community level, Paula Ding interviews Steven Ames, a leading expert and prolific writer on visioning. Steven Ames is a consulting long-range planner and futurist, author of A Guide to Community Visioning (American Planning Association: 1993, 1998) and developer of the Oregon Model of Community Visioning. She writes in the introduction: "Citizens' right to participate in decision-making and the planning of their future is a key tenet of western democratic thought. Community visioning is one process for community engagement that has been used to affirm the principles of democracy and address issues facing society today."
2011-04-11 StacyMitchell: "Local Index", Nation Magazine, Special-REV3
This is a one-page "Monopoly Board" style "Localism Index". It lays out on the board various statistics realted to small and big businesses. She concludes: "Perhaps we're not doomed to an economy controlled by a few giant corporations after all. A growing number of signs
suggest that local, independent businesses might just be making a comeback."