business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Press-Enterprise in Southern California reports that three women who describe themselves as "military wives" living in the community of Hemet have filed suit to prevent the completion of a new Wal-Mart Supercenter there, one of 40 the Arkansas retailer plans to build in the state over the next five years.

Unlike most anti-Wal-Mart initiatives, which generally occur before building has begun, the steel girders for the Hemet Wal-Mart already have been erected.

The paper says that the women maintain that the construction already has created problems for their neighborhood, including speeding delivery trucks that endanger children. They say that "the area, made up of single-family homes, couldn't handle the increase in traffic, noise and pollution that a Wal-Mart Supercenter will bring."

The women are being represented by Raymond Johnson, a Temecula, California, attorney who has more than a dozen anti-Wal-Mart cases on his plate. Johnson is saying, among other things, that Wal-Mart should have been forced under the law to file an environmental impact statement, and should have been compelled to pay its fair share of the cost of road construction and traffic improvements.
KC's View:
This whole ongoing California story is just a fascinating look at democracy in action. The answers aren't simple…but neither are the business, social and cultural questions being posed by Wal-Mart's invasion of the state with a fleet of supercenters.

These stories keep popping up - from Thornton, Colorado, and Windsor Township, Pennsylvania - as various groups start to organize against the Bentonville Behemoth.

It sounds like the folks in Hemet might be a little late to the party. It'll be interesting to see if their battle against Wal-Mart can gain any traction.