Wal-Mart as town-wrecker

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Back in the late 1990s, I was taking my mom to a two-day religious observance at the tiny Christian church she belonged to, whose nearest congregation was in Gilroy. After dropping her off, I took a wrong turn, missed the short cut, and ended up driving through the main business district. It was shocking! About three-fifths of the shops were closed and there were almost no cars parked along the streets. I couldn’t imagine what had happened. I had been taking my mom to Gilroy twice a year since she got too old to drive, and this wasn’t the first time I had taken a wrong turn at a confusing intersection on the way back, and ended up driving through town. But the business district had always been thriving. I kept driving, and had just left the edge of town when I saw it: A Wal-Mart, with the parking lot packed with all the cars that used to be in the business district. Gilroy was a lot like Auburn. The local businesses could make it when the Wal-Mart was 20 minutes away in San Jose. But when Wal-Mart moved in right on the edge of town, it was curtains for the locals. I hope everyone realizes just how much is on the line in the upcoming court battle. Gordon Ainsleigh, Meadow Vista