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March 04, 2007


Dear Brian,

I wish I were as materially wealthy as you appear to be.

Robert Paul Howard

Robert, do you mean that Trader Joes is for wealthy shoppers? We've found the opposite to be more true. Cherry tomatoes, for example, are considerably less expensive at Trader Joes than at our local natural food store.

I want to emphasize that our love for Trader Joes doesn't conflict with our love for Salem's LifeSource Natural Foods. These would be complementary, not competing, businesses if TJ comes to town.


I've been "visualizing" a Trader Joe's in Corvallis for years. So far nothing...

If they offered franchises there are some of us who would cash in the kids' college fund to get one here.


Dear Brian,

No, Brian, I did not mean that a Trader Joes is for wealthy shoppers. I meant that I wish I had the wherewithall to drive an hour or more so that I could feast on various "delights" that I could purchase. Ditto for various other activities.

Robert Paul Howard

Yes, I have been hoping for a Trader Joe's in the Salem/Keizer area myself! May I suggest the Keizer Station? Yes, I know it's not Salem (officially), but there's space for it. However, if it can't be at Keizer Station I would welcome a Trader Joe's anywhere in Salem. Bring it on! Or rather, bring it here!

Those of us in West Salem alone would easily support a TJ and there is plenty of room for it.....I think.
It is always so much more chic to drive a bit of a distance to get that little extra but not necessarliy all the way to Portland.
I'll conjur on it, visualize it or whatever it takes.

We are used to having TJ's within 15 minutes of us on both sides of our old place of residence and would welcome having one right here in Salem. I'd be willing to manage or invest in a store if that were possible. We've always enjoyed having all the unusual rare finds that are stocked and the healthy products you can't find anywhere else. Build it and they will come.

Please no Trader Joes in Salem! If one came here my wife would be over there every day buying some of their fresh produce and other unique food offerings. We were close to one at our last residence and we made weekly trips there. Even though most of the stores are rather smallish, they really know how to pack in the good stuff. Even the buck99 Charles Shaw chardonnays were good enough to serve our friends (we had to pour the stuff into another upper scale brand bottle) - and never once got a single complaint. Having a Trader Joe's would definitely be an asset to Salem. I'm sure that they would have more business than they could handle if they provided the type of food and service that their other stores offer.

I moved from Salem in 1996, but still own a house on the south side. I currently live in California, a state which has Trader Joe's in even the smallest of hamlets. I would like to move back to Salem to retire (having a cheap house is the primary motivating factor), but I refuse to live in a town that has no Trader Joe's. Call me a cynic, but I've long suspected that there is a strong lobby in Salem (probably headed by the Roth grocery people) to keep TJ's out!


Salem also has a factor that you failed to mention. An underpublished number of 38% underemployment. Upon moving here to open a business as an art dealer two years ago, I did some heavy digging into the numbers. I was curious because my first job I took here was a 32 hour a week job driving a truck for UGM. We picked up donations all day long from people who lived at home and weren't working.

I found out that Salem had a pre-existing condition. A 28% underemployment. I had this data confirmed off the record by a source connected with the mucky mucks of Marion county.

Think about it the largest private employer is a struggling non profit hospital with 2800 employees. The next two biggest are two call centers, one for a dying bank and the other for a cell phone company. This town relies too heavily on the state for employment. The problem is a lack of jobs and always will be the problem with Salem.

I read on the City of Salem's website that what the region has to offer potential manufacturers is an able workforce. SEDCOR, Chamber of Commerce and the City of Salem would have to attract 200 SANYO plants to Salem to cover the current employment need. Maybe if John Kitzhaber is elected into office he will push for light rail transit linking Medford to Portland. That would create some jobs. And maybe, just maybe Oregonians would consider a county by county sales tax (and no Oregon's income tax is not the highest so stop already, we rank 29 out of 50 states). This time get the unions to back sales tax and it will pass. Lol.

As long as people continue to stick their heads in the sand and not turn full attention to job creation more companies will turn this city down.

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