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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Business Of Disaster

With Tropical Storm Ernesto making landfall in the Florida Keys, the business of disaster, once again, replaces the concerns of life and safety, and looks for the quick financial windfall. From today's Yahoo Home Depot Shareholders board comes this insightful take on 115 MPH winds;
"living in the Florida keys the hds ( Home Depots) for a hundred miles are sold out plywood gas cans baterries ets. and with the paths effecting 7 States that thousands of home depots that will see a ton of business because people are force to protect there home and spend money".
You can almost feel the drool of morbid anticipation dripping from this articulate gentlemans mouth! "115 MPH winds?, aw, c'mon, we need 150 MPH winds or the stock is gonna miss out!"
For the last several months, the shareholders of Home Depot have been counting on a
particulary brutal hurricane season to halt this company's current stock price freefall ( They were at 43 earlier this year, and are now around 34).
And Home Depot, naturally, is looking for any opportunity to divert attention from
it's bad reputation of having marginal, if any, customer service, disappointing same store sales, and a CEO with a Napoleonic complex.
The reason I mention this, is that in the little communication that Sunland-Tujunga has had with Home Depot,their rationale, for the store having to open here,always came down to one pathetic mantra:
"We must appease our Shareholders!" and "The Shareholders will see a profit by having a store in this area".

This is the same company that papered our town with brochures proclaiming how much "They Care" about our community.

Yes, we know what you care about, and it isn't our community.

We do have the occasional flood, and an earthquake is always a possibility, but our biggest threat seems to come from developers hell-bent on cramming as many housing developments as they can, in an area 5 miles long by 2 miles wide. We have mountains to the north and south, hence the 2 mile wide barrier.

And just as Home Depot looks for profits in natural disasters,
they also can see ton of money to be made in the man-made ones as well.


Anonymous Anonymous said:

Millions of people posses Home Depot stock as part of their retirement portfolios and yes they want to make a profit. Home Depot has donated millions following disasters and yes profits on disasters. I doubt that most people who own this company are hoping for a particularly vicious hurricane seasons.

If Sunland does not want a Home Depot because of traffic and day laborer concerns, I can understand that but get off the bash the evil corporation stick.

August 30, 2006 5:59 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Businesses want to make a profit. Do you hold Ralphs and Vons in contempt because they profit on the fact that if we don't eat food, we'll starve to death?

Joe, if your community's biggest threat is people wanting to invest by openning businesses there and building new homes, you have it pretty good. By taking a stance against reinvestment, you position yourself as unfriendly to business and will surely see your community decline over time. If you want to live in a community no one wants to invest in, move to Watts.

If Home Depot is inappropriate for the K-Mart site because of zoning and traffic, that's one thing. Make it easier on yourself by sticking to those kind of issues rather than the percieved evils of capitalism and big corporations like Home Depot.

August 30, 2006 8:06 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

That's right. Joe B. wants to pick up day laborers (not to do roofing if you know what I mean) in other areas, he wants a K-Mart (crap merchandise) in Sunland.

Why is K-Mart less evil than Home Depot? Its completely inconsistent.

August 30, 2006 8:06 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Thank you all for making this issue more complicated than it is. Home Depot is an "industrial" business and has no place surrounded by homes and schools on the only major throughway in the community of Sunland. This corporate giant is refusing to meet with the community. The published and approved community plan and stated community needs outshine a business which can go elsewhere. Do we move the entire community to accommodate Home Depot -- No. Then, do not expect the community to alter their lifestyle (which is mostly rural) to accommodate the business. Give the community a general merchandise store which will truly fulfill the needs and wants of the community. Likening HD to a grocery store is wacko, and you know it.

August 30, 2006 10:02 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

10:02 is right. This situation isn't complicated at all.

Zoning law says Home Depot is a retail business, not an industrial business. Industrial businesses are places where manufacturing is conducted. No manufacturing is conducted at Home Depot, as it is a place where goods are sold to the public.

Legally speaking, Home Depot is no different than K-Mart, Ralphs, Costco, Staples, or Ace Hardware. If you don't like the zoning laws, ask your representatives to change them. In the meantime, allow Home Depot to play by the rules all retail stores are required to follow.

Sunland-Tujunga is not rural and the addition of a Home Depot won't require anyone to change their lifestyles. The store may have effects on the properties immediately surrounding it, but so did K-Mart. From a land use standpoint, it simply doesn't matter whether the store sells general merchandise or a specific line of merchandise (hardware, office supplies, apparel, etc.).

Joe B. is doing you guys a big diservice by being your spokesman. He takes fault with Home Depot for making money by selling supplies to people in Florida that need them to protect themselves from hurricanes. That is ridiculous; again, would he take fault with Vons for making money by selling food to people in Los Angeles that need it to keep themselves alive? This is a capitalist country.

August 30, 2006 10:41 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

10:41 -- No Home Depot -- we want socks and underwear!

August 30, 2006 10:52 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Sunland-Tujunga is not rural?

I don't think you should speak on things you know nothing about.

South Central is all white and they have too many parks.

The West side needs more density and I'm sick of all of their parking spaces taking up condo room.

Chinatown has too many Yugoslavians living there.

August 30, 2006 12:29 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Joe B, you sound more and more stupid everytime I read one of your blogs. Why don't you go get a job, and give this a rest. I live in Sunland and you don't speak for me.

August 30, 2006 7:04 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Well, I live in Sunland and Joe B. speaks for me.

If you actually do want this crappola corporation who screwed its employees a few years back and has the reputation of a killer that hires cut throats to run its PR and lawyering, why not come to some community meeting and declare your opinion.

We have had meetings on Home Depot where as many as 450 people attended. Not one spoke in behalf of having a HD.

The only people who have ever spoken for Home Depot are Home Depot paid - and I suspect they are talking on this blog.

August 31, 2006 12:06 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Stop these boring home depot posts!!! Build the damn store just no day labor illegal alien lounge!

z z z z z z z z z

August 31, 2006 8:42 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The MAJORITY of Sunland Tujunga is NOT rural. Open your eyes. We are suburban with large areas of dense urban apartment buildings and rural pockets. Do you ever leave your own house?

That said, the people of Sunland Tujunga do not want Home Depot, Home Depot is making a strategic business error by opening a store here. Joe B. is doing HD a valuable service by pointing this out. THANKS JOE and TEAM! Sunland Tujunga is with you except for 7:04 pm (that's one and counting)

August 31, 2006 10:35 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

If Home Depot is making a strategic business error, it will suffer the consequences. If the store opens and no one shops there, it will close.

Why are you folks so worried about Home Depot if you are convinced it's bad for the company? Perhaps it's because you know it's not bad for the company and that your neighbors will shop there in droves.

By all means, keep up the fight, but focus on the fact that Home Depot is a poor fit for the K-Mart site, not that it's an evil corporation making a bad business decision.

August 31, 2006 11:29 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Sorry, 10:35 AM, but you've got it backwards. Sunland Tujunga is still more rural than urban with pockets of density. Check out those hillsides we all want to protect.

And 11:29 AM, how long can the contractors, the flooring companies, the hardwares, the building supply, and, you know, those who compete with Home Depot, hold out against Home Depot until Home Depot decides to close?

Yes, most of us in S-T won't shop there, but the traffic will multiple as people from the surrounding areas come over our only main drag along with innumerable semis, flat beds, delivery trucks, etc.

The supporters of Home Depot on this blogspot have to either be shills for Home Depot or one of those dense pockets referred to above.

September 01, 2006 1:04 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I just don't understand you guys.

You say that you don't want Home Depot in Sunland-Tujunga because there are several others within a 15 minute drive, yet you say that people from other areas will go to your Home Depot. Huh?

You say that Home Depot is making a big mistake by opening this store because no one will shop there, yet you say that Home Depot will drive all its competitors in Sunland-Tujunga out of business. Huh?

You say that Sunland-Tujunga is rural, yet it obviously has the population density required to substain a big-box store. Sunland-Tujunga is a suburb of Los Angeles, the second largest city in the U.S., not some rural hamlet in the middle of nowhere.

I'm not a shill for Home Depot. The company probably doesn't even know this blog exists. I'm just annoyed by people who think Home Depot should be made to follow different laws than K-Mart because it sells just hardware and not a full line of general merchandise. Zoning doesn't work that way; that's why Home Depot got building permits.

September 01, 2006 8:14 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

There is no where for a person who lives in this suburb of the 2nd largest City in the Country to buy underwear,socks, curtains, etc. We must DRIVE to neighboring Cities to shop for these items.

In these times of rising gas prices and an awareness of the damage driving does to our environment and health, having a general merchandise store just makes sense. 11 acres is big enough to have that general merchandise store AND MORE.

Wake up.. the suburbs are dead. Sunland Tujunga recognizes this and want to move into the future.

September 02, 2006 11:52 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Seems to me people who do not live in S-T should refrain from discussing our problems unless they come and spend some time. Duh!

S-T wants to remain a suburban bedroom community made up mostly of single family residences and a rural, open, place with amazingly spectacular views and an eclectic lifestyle that can find most of its everyday retail needs met without increasing the already burgeoning traffic. Duh!

Of course, people who live close to S-T would come to a S-T Home Depot if it saves them some mileage. Duh!

If enough people from proximal communities shop at HD, yes, it will put our contractors and the competing stores out of business through no fault of the unhappy community. Duh!

And we not only have Home Depot shills on this blog, we also have urban planner types who want to decimate our small rural suburb with crushing growth through urbanization, unyielding construction, overbearing traffic, gentrification, and yuppee crap! Duh! Duh! Duh!

September 03, 2006 3:05 AM  

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