I look around our town and only sigh. Land being slaughtered so that the newest strip mall can be put in. Give me another coffee shop. Give me another high-end boutique. I can't get enough of expensive java and $200 pair of designer, made-in-China jeans!! MORE MORE MORE I simply must have MORE!!!
We visit the local Vina Moses center now and then. It's a wonderful place, a small thrift-store where items are donated and are free for the taking to low income individuals and families. I try and make up for what we take by donating items when I can. Next door, due east, is the latest strip mall hell being put in. And hell, it is. The sounds of jackhammers fill Vina Moses with the shakings of an earthquake. As one of the volunteers told me, this daily, on-going sound, which has been going on for months, has interrupted her ability to sleep. After 30 minutes of it, I'm ready to get out. It's traumatizing for the body.
All I can think of is what a damn waste. What an utter, sad waste of resources. Why does the City of Corvallis continue to allow this raping of our land while there are already empty retail spaces littered throughout the city? I don't get it. The Strip Mall on Circle and Highland sits mostly empty, having been built over a year ago. And need I even mention the former Cannery Mall, which, remodeled years ago still has empty spaces available?
It only makes sense to me that if there is empty retail space with no plans to lease, certainly space that has set empty for 6 months or more, that no new retail buildings will be constructed.
Why not use that land in a way that would truly benefit our community? Create a Community Center. Build a shelter to house the huge ferral cat population and provide free or low-cost spade and neutering. Construct a shelter for the homeless. More community gardens. Or here's a bright idea: LEAVE THE LAND BE and let the wild and plant life have it.
I realize my ideas don't generate much in the way of profit. But I know that it is ideas such as mine that are truly needed, certainly above and beyond the desire for name brand shoes and that $5 cup of joe.