Bardo's courting of corporate chains challenged at WCU

Jon Ostendorff * JOstendorff@CITIZEN-TIMES.com * published December 3, 2008 12:15 am Comments on Topix forums : CULLOWHEE Some Western Carolina University faculty members are speaking out against plans by ... Full Story
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JRobin Whitley

United States

#1 Dec 3, 2008
NO MORE Chains! Our towns of Sylva and Cullowhee are excellent towns with the small town flavor now missing from most towns because of the influence of chains. We have an excellent bookstore City Lights in Sylva who beats any Barnes and Noble I've been too because of its service and warm atmosphere.

There are enough local businesses like Nick and Nates, City Lights, Bogarts, that the university can still have the concept of a mall but utilize local talents. Guadelupes, Spring Street Cafe, Soul Fusion and Lulu's all use local produce for their foods for a section for the vegetarians students. They can go to the hospital, Harris Regional for Starbucks AND that money goes to a good cause other than the proliferation of Starbucks. Please rethink this! Allow the community to have a say-so in addition to the faculty because this type of plan effects us all, not just the students.
BetterJournalism

Inman, SC

#2 Dec 3, 2008
Good, in-depth article by this reporter. The Citizen-Times needs more like this and less of police blotter reports and press releases.
disagree

Cullowhee, NC

#3 Dec 3, 2008
I have to disagree with JRobin Whitley. We need more here. We don't have a decent place to eat in Sylva or Cullowhee. Believe me, Bogarts is not good food. Another thing.. staff at WCU have no place to eat up here... the Burrito place, is not all the hype it's talking about in this article.. as well as Bob's mini mart and deli. I believe it's time for Sylva and Cullowhee to grow.. I'd rather shop here in town then go to Asheville or Atlanta, but, we have no choice right now.. Plus, everything here is so expensive. With the economy, people can't afford to pay those prices...

City Lights is a nice bookstore, but, the selection is nowhere near what people are wanting.. plus, prices are higher..

the people that are regular customers at these places mentioned in the article, will continue to go to their favorite places, therefore, they will not lose business.. however, the people that don't go to the places (and that's a majority) of staff here at WCU need a better place to go.. for good food, books, etc.

It would be nice if local stores, restaurants would do like Cherokee businesses are doing, they give local people at 10 or 15% discount.. do we get that anywhere here in Sylva or Cullowhee? Answer.. NO.. owners are greedy.

“Think before you write!”

Since: Nov 08

United States

#4 Dec 3, 2008
I agree that arguments can be made in both positions... but personally I do wish that "America the Homogeneous" wasn't so darn, er...., homogeneous! Unfortunately, simply wishing it so doesn't make it so.

Although, from a cynical point of view and somewhat off-topic, I do wonder sometimes how folks can pay $4 for a cup of coffee (equating perhaps to $35 per gallon) and then complain about fuel prices.:-P
JustJoeT

Inman, SC

#5 Dec 3, 2008
While sad that newspapers have a dire challenge to down-size "BetterJournalism" (#2 above), what's wrong with WCU being "a relatively isolated suitcase college"?-/ For chained-colleges go down-the-mountain to the flat-lands.
Jackson County

Cullowhee, NC

#6 Dec 3, 2008
JRobin Whitley wrote:
NO MORE Chains! Our towns of Sylva and Cullowhee are excellent towns with the small town flavor now missing from most towns because of the influence of chains. We have an excellent bookstore City Lights in Sylva who beats any Barnes and Noble I've been too because of its service and warm atmosphere.
There are enough local businesses like Nick and Nates, City Lights, Bogarts, that the university can still have the concept of a mall but utilize local talents. Guadelupes, Spring Street Cafe, Soul Fusion and Lulu's all use local produce for their foods for a section for the vegetarians students. They can go to the hospital, Harris Regional for Starbucks AND that money goes to a good cause other than the proliferation of Starbucks. Please rethink this! Allow the community to have a say-so in addition to the faculty because this type of plan effects us all, not just the students.
I live in Sylva and am a staff member in Cullowhee and agree 100 percent with you. I also know that the area simply doesn't have the volume needed to attract a lot of major chains, no matter what Bardo wants. These big chains aren't going to come to town and set up shop unless there's enough people there to support them. I too think that the community and campus need input. Besides, Starbucks coffee is overrated and expensive, and the last I heard, they are closing some locations because of too many of them!
Jackson County

Cullowhee, NC

#7 Dec 3, 2008
disagree wrote:
I have to disagree with JRobin Whitley. We need more here. We don't have a decent place to eat in Sylva or Cullowhee. Believe me, Bogarts is not good food. Another thing.. staff at WCU have no place to eat up here... the Burrito place, is not all the hype it's talking about in this article.. as well as Bob's mini mart and deli. I believe it's time for Sylva and Cullowhee to grow.. I'd rather shop here in town then go to Asheville or Atlanta, but, we have no choice right now.. Plus, everything here is so expensive. With the economy, people can't afford to pay those prices...
City Lights is a nice bookstore, but, the selection is nowhere near what people are wanting.. plus, prices are higher..
the people that are regular customers at these places mentioned in the article, will continue to go to their favorite places, therefore, they will not lose business.. however, the people that don't go to the places (and that's a majority) of staff here at WCU need a better place to go.. for good food, books, etc.
It would be nice if local stores, restaurants would do like Cherokee businesses are doing, they give local people at 10 or 15% discount.. do we get that anywhere here in Sylva or Cullowhee? Answer.. NO.. owners are greedy.
City Lights doesn't always have the selection, but I've found that they will order things and are very nice people to deal with. I admit that even though I shop at City Lights at times, I sometimes buy books online at Amazon as well. If I can't find what I want locally at a decent price, online shopping is just a click away without having to drive to Asheville and Atlanta. This being said, there is a nice atmosphere at City Lights that one simply can't get at Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million.
Dale Wright San Antonio

Laredo, TX

#8 Dec 3, 2008
I read your article with interest. Looks like the only reason they do not want the CATCash spent off campus is corporate income reasons. If they need info on how to handle the using of the card off campus, they need to contact any of the state universities in Texas. The off campus access to the spending cards have been in place at Texas and Texas A&M for at least 10 years. The students can get anything from McDonalds hamburgers to school books on the local economy using the debit card.

Since: Dec 07

Location hidden

#9 Dec 3, 2008
If they are right in their suppositions then no one will use the chain stores, if they are wrong then more people want the chain stores than donít want them. Or is it a matter of the protesters trying to protect their own business interests while keeping choice and perhaps lower prices out of their monopolistic territory?

Sounds like protectionism to me.
keep whining

Asheville, NC

#10 Dec 3, 2008
If the local places are better than the chains they have nothing to worry about. Take Asheville, there are many excellent coffee shops that do a brisk business and have no trouble with Starbucks. The crappy ones just get shut down. It's called competition.
disagree

Cullowhee, NC

#11 Dec 3, 2008
I agree with you Stone Jack Baller. It's the local business owners. And the fact that there are some "faculty" that have money interest in those businesses, therefore, they just want our money. But, what are they giving back? The University is paying them on contract to teach. Their paycheck comes from the students that enroll here at WCU, and then open a business here to get the students, faculty and staff to pay them MORE money....

And believe me.. the faculty are making a whole lot more money than students and staff.... who can afford to go eat?

of course they are protecting their "business interest" here at WCU.. double dipping

I have absolutely no interest in coffee... don't drink it, but would it not be nice to have a place to go and browse through books and relax to get out of the office or classroom? yeah..
cullowhee

Franklin, NC

#12 Dec 3, 2008
University professors are not highly paid as suggested by the last post. Maybe one day!
Competition is good so let the local businesses on campus accept the CatCard to give students more options and even the playing field.
Cullowhee doesn't want to become just another big box town with a row of chains.
Look at some of the best campus towns- UGA, Athens and UNC Chapel Hill both have a great strip of unique, local shops that make their towns special.
keep whining

Asheville, NC

#13 Dec 3, 2008
cullowhee wrote:
University professors are not highly paid as suggested by the last post. Maybe one day!
Competition is good so let the local businesses on campus accept the CatCard to give students more options and even the playing field.
Cullowhee doesn't want to become just another big box town with a row of chains.
Look at some of the best campus towns- UGA, Athens and UNC Chapel Hill both have a great strip of unique, local shops that make their towns special.
Oh please, have you even been to Franklin Street? There are more chains there than local stores for sure.

Since: Dec 07

Location hidden

#14 Dec 3, 2008
cullowhee wrote:
University professors are not highly paid as suggested by the last post. Maybe one day!
Competition is good so let the local businesses on campus accept the CatCard to give students more options and even the playing field.
Cullowhee doesn't want to become just another big box town with a row of chains.
Look at some of the best campus towns- UGA, Athens and UNC Chapel Hill both have a great strip of unique, local shops that make their towns special.
"Special" is a very subjective description. Where you see "special" others see stagnant and boring.
Be A Hero

AOL

#15 Dec 3, 2008
I used to go over to Western quite a bit for a variety of events and activities before it started looking like just another McCollege. I got tired of trying to fight my way through the congestion between Sylva and Cullowhee where the Super WalMart sprouted up like a giant cinderblock mushroom surrounded by chain fast-food dives and dollar stores.

To me it's not so much a question of Starbucks vs local, but rather a much deeper issue of people with a self-serving agenda forcing their "vision" of "success" onto a locality, with seemingly no regard or appreciation for what makes that place unique and special.

In my generation,(the previous one), people chose to go to WCU - or ECU, or UNC, or NC State - because the atmosphere, town, geography, academics, people, activities - appealed to them and what they were seeking in a college experience. I suspect that many people are increasingly attracted to places like Cullowhee because of what they DON'T have, as much as for what they might. Besides, if the Starbucks on every corner strategy actually worked, the local municipalities would be bulging with revenues they were looking to spend improving your quality of life, instead of wondering how they were going to keep the doors open and pay their employees a decent wage.

The first time I ever heard Chancellor Bardo open his mouth, I knew that WCU, and Cullowhee, and Western NC in general would never be the same if he had his way. And trust me, folks, as a lifelong resident of North Carolina, if the Chancellor does continue to get his way, there won't be any turning back.

Sadly, education in America has become just another big business that seemingly puts "growth at any cost" as its highest priority. The mucky-mucks that push this mindset are often no different than the CEO's of large corporations ... self-absorbed megalomaniacs that want to make a name and a fortune for themselves. Unfortunately, they usually do so by ramming "progess" down the throats of ordinary citizens, then they move on to greener pastures and bigger "challenges", leaving the local people to deal with the mess they inevitably leave in their narcissistic wakes.

Forcing growth for the sake of growth is not real growth. It is simply exploitation. Just look around at the shape our country and economy is in today, and you will easily understand what I mean.

It is past time for the citizens of North Carolina to "just say no" to the ambitious big-shots and money grubbers that seek to hijack our communities and institutions for their own selfish gain, before there is nothing left of our state to save.
Student

Hickory, NC

#16 Dec 3, 2008
I am a senior at Western this year and personally I am looking forward to having new establishments open on campus, even if they are chains. Although, a few of the off-campus restaurants are decent, it would certainly be nice to have places that are known and trusted to choose from. As stated in an earlier post, if the local restaurants are as good as they claim then they will still have their loyal customers. However, I will say it would be great if our CATcash did work at places on the "strip". Over the past three and a half years I have heard numerous complaints about there being nothing in Cullowhee, and I agree. This town center idea is going to be great for the WCU community.
cullowhee

Franklin, NC

#17 Dec 3, 2008
I agree let the students pay with their Catcard at any business on campus and quit trying to pit local vs chain. Just don't let WCU become a McCampus!!

Since: Nov 08

The Mountains of WNC

#18 Dec 3, 2008
Jackson County wrote:
<quoted text>I live in Sylva and am a staff member in Cullowhee and agree 100 percent with you. I also know that the area simply doesn't have the volume needed to attract a lot of major chains, no matter what Bardo wants. These big chains aren't going to come to town and set up shop unless there's enough people there to support them. I too think that the community and campus need input. Besides, Starbucks coffee is overrated and expensive, and the last I heard, they are closing some locations because of too many of them!
Many of those chains that Bardo wants to bring to town are going to be expensive. However, with the economy in the tank, it's doubtful that those chains will want to put forth the $$ outlay to come here, and will the students have the discretionary funds to spend if they are here? There are not many places to eat in and around Cullowhee, and Sylva is sadly lacking in good places to eat. A prior poster mentioned Nick and Nate's, but after closing its
downtown location, they began putting up a new building which is far from ready. Lulu's On Main is a nice restaurant, expensive, but nice. Frankly, Sylva has no place for a good mid-priced meal right now. Something has to happen soon, or all of us who enjoy eating out will take our dollars to Franklin where several new and interesting restaurants have opened recently. What does Franklin have that Sylva doesn't?

Since: Nov 08

The Mountains of WNC

#19 Dec 3, 2008
JRobin Whitley wrote:
NO MORE Chains! Our towns of Sylva and Cullowhee are excellent towns with the small town flavor now missing from most towns because of the influence of chains. We have an excellent bookstore City Lights in Sylva who beats any Barnes and Noble I've been too because of its service and warm atmosphere.
There are enough local businesses like Nick and Nates, City Lights, Bogarts, that the university can still have the concept of a mall but utilize local talents. Guadelupes, Spring Street Cafe, Soul Fusion and Lulu's all use local produce for their foods for a section for the vegetarians students. They can go to the hospital, Harris Regional for Starbucks AND that money goes to a good cause other than the proliferation of Starbucks. Please rethink this! Allow the community to have a say-so in addition to the faculty because this type of plan effects us all, not just the students.
You must be new in town! John Bardo couldn't care less what the community thinks. The community will not affect his decisions whatsoever.
Jackson County

Cullowhee, NC

#20 Dec 3, 2008
cullowhee wrote:
University professors are not highly paid as suggested by the last post. Maybe one day!
Competition is good so let the local businesses on campus accept the CatCard to give students more options and even the playing field.
Cullowhee doesn't want to become just another big box town with a row of chains.
Look at some of the best campus towns- UGA, Athens and UNC Chapel Hill both have a great strip of unique, local shops that make their towns special.
They aren't highly paid compared to corporate executives, but compared to us lowly staff members who do most of the work, they make a lot of money. Some of us have degrees too but can't find jobs where we'd be using them.

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