Might was right, and Rite was wrong in Port Townsend, WA. Here’s the release from the sprawl-busting citizen’s group in this coastal community, scene of the latest battle with the Rite Aid Corporation: In the small Victorian seaport of Port Townsend, WA, the falling of a corporate giant reverberated across the Olympic Peninsula. A band of proverbial ‘Davids’ defeated a quintessential ‘Goliath’ at the closing of a 3 month encounter. The Rite Aid Corporation told the Port Townsend Citizens Group “Rite is Wrong” in conversations with 3 company officials on May 1 and May 3rd that the unwanted store would NOT be built. The giant convenience store chain will not build in Port Townsend. At the City Council meeting, citizen’s group spokespersons Joe Pipia and Freida Fenn announced the victory to a packed house. “Rite Aid has an unconscionable track record of pharmacy law violations. State pharmacy boards have fined them $50,000 in Washington, $22,000 in Oregon, and a whopping $147,500 in Connecticut. We consider them to be a public health threat,” said Rite Is Wrong co-founder Fenn. “We did not want Rite Aid selling drugs in our community.” The Rite Is Wrong citizens’ group collected 2,650 signatures on a petition in which area residents pledged to boycott the store should Rite Aid build there. In a town of 8,300 people, this level of local opposition convinced corporate planners that Port Townsend was not a good business risk. “When I presented a copy of our petitions to City Council, and announced Rite Aid’s withdrawal, the City Hall Chambers broke out in deafening cheers,” said RIW co-founder Pipia. “Citizens who had come in support of the petition drive clapped and catcalled from the packed seats, ringed the room, and the foyer and stairwell. It was a euphoric moment in the life of this community.” Pipia and Fenn then asked the Council to enact a moratorium on commercial construction until new architectural design standards could be written and passed to protect the town from chain store development.
For further information about Port Townsend’s defeat of Rite Aid, contact Freida Fenn at: [email protected] For other Rite Aide defeats, contact: sprawl-busters.com