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Letters to the Editor 3-17-19

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Shopping, retail frustration continues Los Alamos, White Rock 

Dear Editor,

After April 1, I will be shopping at the Co-op, because they are willing to absorb the new charges Visa is charging, which Smith’s refuses to do.

I am 76 and no longer drive, so I will be taking the bus or the senior van, which takes me door-to-door for $3.50 each way. I will be shopping at every store that accepts Visa because I can decide when the bill will be charged.

I have been here 51 years and Metzger’s and CB Fox are the only stores that are still here. They are still family-owned businesses. I tell people if they don’t have something at CB Fox or Metzger’s, I don’t need it. I don’t shop on the

Internet. I have never been in Smith’s Marketplace, Supercuts or Domino’s. I don’t have a problem with McDonald’s building a new place because they have been here for us for years.

When Supercuts opened, I tracked down the person who was responsible (he was based in St. Louis). I asked him why he would bring in something that would affect every hairdresser and barber in town. I also asked why he didn’t bring in something we don’t have, like a sporting goods store. He said one was coming to the old Smith’s. I’m still waiting for it to open. It doesn’t look like there is too much activity there.

When Time Out wanted to open a place uptown, they tried to rent the place where Domino’s is now. They were told they didn’t want a pizza place there. A lot of time and money was spent refurbishing the place where Subway and Otowi Station were. After Domino’s came to town, Home Run Pizza closed. His landlord told me that February was always a slow month.

The young man lost so much business after Domino’s opened that he couldn’t make it through February and had to close. Time Out’s lease wasn’t renewed. The 50-year-old laundromat also had to close because their lease was not renewed. Time Out signed a lease for that place and again lots of time and money was spent refurbishing the place. The last time I checked, the places that held Ottawa Station and subway were still empty.

The Village in White Rock has been condemned. Years ago, someone local wanted to build another Oppenheimer condo complex there but he couldn’t get financing. That would have been perfect because they would have been across the street from the Bee Hive. Why does the county prefer to build new buildings? The village can’t even be torn down because of all the work that would be required to get a permit to t3ear it down. The building that housed the Jemez House Thrift Store for 27 years has been sold and the thrift store lost their lease. They have not been able to rent any of the empty places in White Rock because the rent is more than they can afford.

I volunteered at JHTS after the Cerro Grande Fire because they gave people who lost their home anything they needed for free for six months after the fire.

The county council had a meeting with a smith’s representative about why the old Smith’s is still empty after four years. They were told Kroger will not allow tenants that compete with Smith’s. There cannot be a drug store, food store, gas station, night club or disco.

Nobody complains about Smith’s competing with our local stores. They sell pizza, you can get a beer with your sandwich, electronics, clothes and many other things that other stores carry. People tell me that things are so much cheaper at Smith’s. What local store could compete with the buying power of Kroger? The person who owned Radio Shack said he lost 40 percent of his business because people want one-stop shopping. Radio Shack has been closing stores all over the country.

Camille Morrison
Los Alamos