Wal-Mart stores bad for communities

Wal-Mart is Americanfs company store [West Side Wal-Mart study is flawed, Jan. 14]. Common sense should tell you whatfs too good to be true. They suck value from taxpayers and give a small discount to their shoppers, who think they are living better by saving when buying giant wholesale boxes of crap from places where they wreck their environment. A 2007 study found that the opening of a single Wal-Mart store lowers average retail wages in that county by nearly 1 percent. In the general merchandise sector, wages fell by 1 percent for each new Wal-Mart. And for grocery store employees, the effect of a single new Wal-Mart was a 1.5 percent reduction in earnings.

Larry Potter
Submitted at Austinweeklynews.com

Billion Dollar Winner is a worthy read

Arlene Jones has written a charming novel (Billion Dollar Winner). This fast-paced adventure covers a nostalgic time period that is different from today. Life was predictable and less stressful. People took time out for each other. She wrote about things that took place in the “good old days.” Black people lived a life of “struggle.” Yet, they enjoyed life and what it had to offer: raising their children, creating businesses, attending bid-whisk and quarter parties. Children made up games, played outside, and obeyed their elders. This was a time when our needs were met in a thriving functional community. The title of the book does not portray the total substance of the book. It has a higher calling. It is a book of life; an inner-city drama about black people. The author is a master at sending you quietly in one direction, and then jerking your chain. People who live in the Chicago area will recognize the land marks that the characters come in contact with. One day, I passed my book to a 13-year-old “video game guru.” After reading several pages he said, “This is a good story. Ifm going to read the entire book.” He also defended the occasional use of four letter words. I recommend Billion Dollar Winner to youth and adults. Enjoy this urban adventure as you laugh out loud.

Mary Morris

Your family is in our hearts

My name is Coral Sivels and I live in Salt Lake City Utah. The chances that we are related are great [Battling cancer while keeping hope alive, Dec. 27, 2007]. I want to send you well-wishes from my family in Utah. And I pray that God will keep you close to his heart in your time of need. We love and are thinking of you.

Coral J. Sivels
Submitted at Austinweeklynews.com
(Siedah Sivels, 21, died March 30, 2008 of cancer.)