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Last updateThu, 21 May 2015 9pm

LOS ANGELES Friday, May 22nd 2015 7:30

ONE MOTHER'S PERSPECTIVE

  • WHO WE ARE-Women did it again. The annual Memorial Day tradition of placing flowers on graves of fallen soldiers was begun by women in the South after the Civil War. Who knew? Who now remembers that it was originally Decoration Day? Or that it is a day to decorate the graves of soldiers who fought for a better future. Memorial Day is a great deal…
  • 453 Days Later...

    Tom Rubin
    OFFENSIVE BUT PROTECTED SPEECH-Welcome news this week from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. By a vote of 11 to 1, the court overturned its injunction against the controversial video called "Innocence of Muslims" that it had ordered off YouTube back in February 2014. Here's the background. Actress Cindy Lee Garcia (photo below) was…
  • What LA Educators Should Learn From Bell Gardens High School’s Shocking Turnaround

    Jay Mathews
    VOICES FROM THE SQUARE-Bell Gardens High School in east Los Angeles County was a sorry mess when science teacher Liz Lowe arrived in 1989. It was overflowing with trailer classrooms and graffiti. More than 3,000 students crowded into school buildings surrounding a concrete quadrangle with patches of grass and some trees. Expectations were low. Not…
  • The Clean Sweep Election Finally Happened

    Bob Gelfand
    GELFAND’S WORLD- A few years ago, a group calling itself Clean Sweep argued that the voters of Los Angeles should defeat all the incumbents and replace them with fresh blood. On Tuesday, the results came close. There are two distinct lessons, one of which is quite ominous for elected officials. This election demonstrated the end of voter patience…
  • What Did Tuesday’s LAUSD Election Results Prove?

    Paul Hatfield
    PERSPECTIVE-Did the LAUSD election results signal a change for charter schools? Perhaps. Possibly. Maybe. You can make a decent case that Ref Rodriguez’s victory in District 5 points to strong support for charters. It was a battle between two well-funded candidates with diametrically opposed views on the issue. The effectiveness and fairness of…
  • (Train)ing Ourselves to Confront Modern Mass Transit

    Ken Alpern
    GETTING THERE FROM HERE-It's great to learn that Metro has an excellent new CEO with the hiring of Phillip A. Washington who comes to us from Denver. Following in the footsteps of his predecessors, Roger Snoble and Art Leahy, Mr. Washington has a first-rate reputation to maintain--but his first job will be to pass Measure R-2. Measure R-2 (perhaps…
  • City Controller’s Grandstanding DWP Audit is the Real Waste of Ratepayer Dollars

    Dennis Zine
    JUST THE FACTS-City Controller Ron Galperin’s Grandstanding DWP Audit results were finally released. Unfortunately, the conclusion and political spin that came afterwards from the controller was misleading. Here are the FACTS: The DWP’s Joint Training Institute and Joint Safety Institute are administered by DWP managers and representatives of the…
  • A Place Where ‘Special Interest’ is NOT a Dirty Word

    Denyse Selesnick
    MY TURN-We need to have a new word to differentiate the villainous “Special Interest” that everyone is always complaining about and the “Special Interest” that almost all of politicians and civic and social activists have adopted as a cause. It is impossible to have passion about multiple issues. I know I have mentioned this before, but it seems…
  • Alert! America’s Small Businesses are Being Screwed by Big Business

    Robert Reich
    THE ECONOMY-Can it be that America’s small businesses are finally waking up to the fact they’re being screwed by big businesses? For years, small-business groups such as the National Federation of Independent Businesses have lined up behind big businesses lobbies. (Photo: small businesses in Studio City) They’ve contributed to the same Republican…

 

  • Can Strawberries Help Fight Cancer?

    Christian Cristiano
    WELLNESS-There have been a number of studies over the years that could show evidence of strawberries fighting off cancer. Tong Chen lead a study…
  • Study: The Best Way to Quit Smoking … Bet On It

    Francie Diep
    WELLNESS-Oftentimes, money speaks louder than words. Apparently, that aphorism applies to cigarettes too. A new study finds that money incentives…
  • Exercise Can Help Anxiety … Here’s How

    Christian Cristiano
    WELLNESS-Statistics show that over 3 million American adults suffer from anxiety and there is no evidence that number will be declining any time…




Memorial Day 2015- Freedom Isn’t Free

J. Cole raps on the Letterman show: “Be Free’

The Star Spangled Banner … like you’ve never heard it before

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

Grand Illusion: Walmart’s Birthday ‘Gift’ to Chinatown

OUT OF FRYING PAN - Happy Birthday, Walmart! You great big mega-marketing rascal–you turn 50 this week. You’ve come such a long way from Roger, Arkansas, the tiny town at the foot of the Ozarks where you took your first wobbly steps. Now you’re an international star! The planet’s biggest private-sector employer,  with 2.2 million “associates” throughout the world—we usually call ‘em employees, but whatever– 1.4 million in the United States. Creator of history’s most efficient global supply chain, you call the shots on production, wage and workplace standards around the world—the Walmart business model ruthlessly undercut those everywhere. Plus you have shriveled and destroyed small business communities in towns across the United States.

Star power, dudes.

Now you are here in Los Angeles celebrating the big Five Oh with a new acquisition.

It’s tasteful, not large and gaudy, like your typical 200,000 square foot megastore.  A valuable little gem.

You are establishing a small-scale grocery in Chinatown near downtown Los Angeles.

The news broke February 24, right here on Frying Pan News – City Hall sources confirmed that Walmart has gotten some of the necessary permits to establish a 33,000 square foot grocery downstairs at a mixed-use complex at Cesar Chavez and Grand that includes a senior citizens complex.

Nice touch, Walmart, the senior living thing. Of course, local Chinatown mom-and-pop shops will be hard-put to keep up with your ability to stock factory-farmed foods from all over the world. Making omelets, breaking eggs—like that—can’t be sad about it.

Oh, oops! Sorry to be sour on your birthday. You look great. Check out that firm bottom line. Is that a muscular 27 percent increase in fourth quarter income in 2011 right there? DO NOT listen to the word “sagging” in reference to your domestic sales. Not what you want to hear on your 50th, Lord knows.

The haters can be vicious.

But you know that declining domestic sales are the reason it’s so important for Walmart to move into LA’s Chinatown.

You have owned the rural and suburban areas in these United States for at least a decade now–but there’s gold in them there urban communities—maybe $100 billion to be made in ten cities, Los Angeles among them.

That’s according to Nelson Lichtenstein —who probably knows more about Walmart than anyone, including Walmart.

The historian and author of the lively book The Retail Revolution—How WalMart Created a Brave New World of Business, Lichtenstein has traveled the world–China, South Africa, Bentonville, AR– to document Walmart’s wildly successful and savvy combination of visionary technical know-how and backward, virulently anti-worker politics.

The Walmart model has re-made the global economic landscape—starting with the United States. The shoppers that make up Walmart’s base are precisely those hurt by the devastating economic downturn of the last few years, Lichtenstein told Frying Pan News, so they are spending a little less at Walmart.

Here’s the New York Times on that subject. 

Since purchase power of Walmart’s traditional market has slipped it’s more important than ever to expand into cities.

Walmart may now be desperate enough for urban markets to sustain losses to get into L.A., Lichtenstein says, the Chinatown store may be an expensive experiment to establish a beachhead.

The uber-retailer has been discouraged from locating in L.A. because of an ordinance that requires reporting on employment and community standards—such trifles as health coverage, decent wages and  neighborhood environmental health.

The local Chinatown community, labor and others are mobilized against a Chinatown Walmart. The world’s Number One retailer may be in for a costly fight.

“The point is to get it in there,” Lichtenstein says. “Economics is irrelevant to placing this first neighborhood market.”

(Bobbi Murray has reported on politics, economics, police reform and health-care issues for Los Angeles magazine, LA Weekly and The Nation. This article was posted first at fryingpannews.org) -cw

CityWatch

Vol 10 Issue 19

Pub. Mar. 6, 2012

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