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Letter: Investigate Walmart

In journalism 101, they teach that the role of journalists is to be a watch dog on government and those in power. The Recorder seems to have taken the tact of being the watch dog on the watch dog.

Al Norman is representing our neighbors in a conflict with a multinational corporation (which we all know is Walmart but somehow are not suppose to say it out loud!) and it has become a sin that he has the right to speak at a public meeting. In other words, the reputation of a so-called Conservation Committee is more important than our fellow citizens and neighbors, the abutters who will be most directly affected by this project. I would guess that ninth-grade science teaches the role of and importance of wetlands. Wetlands prevent flooding, filter water and provide for biological diversity.

Thanks to the Recorder articles we can inadvertently find that the Conservation Committee had come up with a waiver to bypass state wetland regulations! Even a cursory look at the damage of Hurricane Katrina showed that the over development on wetlands was a significant factor in the scale of the destruction of New Orleans.

I oppose Walmart because I don’t want a repeat offender coming to town and opening up a crime spree by breaking environmental laws, labor laws, sex and racial discrimination laws, all of which it has been found guilty of in the past. Perhaps The Recorder could do some true investigative reporting as to why Greenfield has a coterie of officials so obsessively wedded to a corporation with such an obviously checkered criminal past. Why does the so-called “pro-growth” crowd remain mum and plug up its ears at the mention of Walmart’s extensive rap sheet? Could it be possible that Walmart has some of these officials in its pocket?

I am making no specific accusations because I have no proof and I don’t have the time or the tools of a detective or an investigative journalist. But I know enough about history and human nature to accept this as a very real possibility. Wouldn’t an investigation as to the possible corruption by a multinational corporation be more beneficial to Greenfield than the fantasist yellow journalism giving us the false impression that Al Norman is writing our laws?



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