Letter to the Editor

BY DI READERS | APRIL 05, 2012 6:30 AM

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'No' to larger Co-op

I oppose the expansion of New Pioneer. The chosen site will jeopardize the location of the Farmers' Market. Our wonderful market is expanding and will continue to evolve along with the appreciation for locally grown food. The market is not only a food resource but a great tourist draw to the downtown. Currently, finding a spot to park in the ramp can be a challenge; how can the market be maintained and grow if New Pioneer is also using those parking spaces?

Please consider that shopping patterns are shifting with opportunities to buy products and groceries online with free shipping. A small percentage of New Pioneer's members (8-9 percent) accounted for 57 percent of total sales in both Iowa City and Coralville. Does this small base warrant taking a huge financial risk?

The Co-op is dedicated to environmental and social responsibility and providing the best possible wages and benefits for employees. I see no reason to risk falling behind on these goals. Let's be creative and offer more services not requiring a large footprint. There is a huge world movement toward simplicity and economy in lifestyle. The proposed building expansion seems counter-productive. Bigger isn't better and often less is more.

Bonnie Ogren
Iowa City resident

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