Updated with full guest and topic lineup.
The anchor store for Eureka’s proposed Marina Center would be a Home Depot.Last Thursday, at an open house put on by Marina Center project backer Security National at the Wharfinger Building, orange-smocked Home Depot employees cheerily greeted visitors, extolling the company, offering product demonstrations and seeking to build good will for the store and the larger project it would be part of, which would be located on the undeveloped Balloon Tract just to the west.
At the event, architectural elevations depicted an idealized Marina Center complex and the store itself, while videos depicted a vibrant enterprise representing wholesome “smart growth” for the long-neglected area. Brochures advertised Home Depot as “an enlightened corporate citizen,” stressing the company’s positive contributions to the economy, environment and community.Looking out over the scraggly, polluted Balloon Track wasteland from the Wharfinger’s front door, it was hard to argue that a bustling, family-friendly enterprise such as Home Depot wouldn’t be an improvement – at least for that site.But a Eureka Home Depot wouldn’t exist in a vacuum. Opponents of Marina Center cast the store as a ruthless, corporate Big Box which would suck the life out of smaller, independent and family-owned stores which sell many of the same things, and not just in Eureka, but throughout Northern Humboldt and beyond.
Critics on newspaper opinion pages and the always-rambunctious blogosphere condemn Home Depot as an exploitative employer with deceptive marketing practices and questionable customer service.On the Thursday, August 23 Humboldt Review, we’ll attempt to elucidate the true nature of Home Depot and its impacts on our region’s economy and culture. Guests include Dr. Steve Hackett, professor of Economics at Humboldt State University. Representing Security National will be Senior Vice President Brian Morrisey. Others are still being booked, and will be announced as they are confirmed.
Note that this week’s show is not a discussion of the larger Marina Center project; we’ll get to that in weeks to come as an expected economic study and Environmental Impact Report for the overall project become public.What points regarding Home Deport would you like discussed? Add you comments, or call in during the show at (707) 786-5486.
Tonight’s Topics and Guests
Arcata Mainstreet Bans North Coast Journal
Hank Sims, editor, North Coast Journal
Taffy Stockton , executive director, Arcata Mainstreet
Brian Morrissey, senior vice president, Security National
Dr. Steve Hackett, professor of economics, Humboldt State University
Chris Amaral, sales and purchasing manager, Almquist Lumber Company
Trinidad Light Pollution
Carol Rowe , planning commissioner, Trinidad