Jeff Gauger says "many" people wanted a Trader Joe's on Friendly, while rezoning opponents were "few."
If he has any evidence to support these contentions about the relative size of the two groups, he does not offer it in this column.
He also says most rezoning opponents live near the site. Really? Opposition leaders may live nearby, but what evidence does Gauger have for his broad assertion about the demographics of this story? I don't live near the site, and I doubted the wisdom of the plan, as I did the previous attempt to spread retail development west of its current boundary.
Likewise, Gauger says there are many "fans of Trader Joe’s who don’t live close enough to Friendly Avenue and Hobbs Road to care much about more commercial development in that area." So he thinks all oppostion to sprawl is based on selfish NIMBYism and nobody has serious questions about land-use or GSO's profusion of unused retail space unless they can see it out their windows?
Here's an idea: Lots of folks from across the city would welcome Trader Joe's to town, but not at any cost or in any location. Contrary to Gauger's argument, the dispute really was not about the chain, except in the case of passionate advocates of that chain.
Which leads to another problem with the column: Gauger's roster of participants in this drama leaves out one interested party: The N&R itself. He acknowledges criticism of the paper's ludicrous front-page cheerleading for TJ, but makes no effort to justify the embarrassing article.
It's been two years since Gauger's cringe-inducing first column, which he quickly followed with something much worse. Back then, it seemed sporting to give him a bit of credit for being new to the area and not really having his bearings.
What his excuse now?