Photos: Moon Valley Residents Protest Grand Opening of Goodwill Store

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See also:
-Moon Valley Elitists Plan to Picket the Grand Opening of a Goodwill Store

As New Times has reported before, hundreds of people signed an online petition asking that Goodwill not open a store there, and prominent residents of the neighborhood, including former Republican U.S. Congressman John Shadegg, were leading a fight against the City Council's approval of the store.

Vice Mayor Bill Gates, who represents Moon Valley as part of his district, told us months ago that Goodwill -- which signed a 25-year lease at the location -- was open to the idea of sub-leasing the location if the residents found a different tenant to go in there, an idea that obviously didn't pan out.

There is a legitimate side to the complaints from the residents, though, as Gates' chief of staff used to work for a lobbying firm that included Goodwill among its clients.

The Moon Valley activists allege that's the reason why their complaints weren't effective, and why zoning issues for the Goodwill store went off without a hitch.

Many of the complaints, however, involve the thought that Goodwill isn't good enough for the neighborhood.

"More concerning, was the complete absence of any retail that would be of value to Moon Valley residents," said one e-mail sent out to community members by "neighborhood advocate" Amy Mais. "We did not see any nice grocery stores, restaurants, or destination spots for families with children. If Goodwill moves into Moon Valley, the shops, restaurants, and services that our community wants and needs, will close up or relocate. They will be replaced by low end retail that is not appropriate for our neighborhood."

(FYI, there's already a dollar store in the shopping center).

Just a few days ago, Mais fired off an e-mail to Gates, which was also copied to several other people in the neighborhood, containing the full laundry-list of complaints, which sums up all the reasoning for the protest. You can check that out in its entirety on the next page.

Meanwhile, just minutes after the Goodwill store opened this morning, it was packed. People were driving circles around the shopping center's parking lot, looking for a spot.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley