Walmart devastating to other businesses

Regarding the closing of Ray's Food Place in Smith River, being from Yreka we know the devastating effect that Walmart can have on a small community.

It surprises me that the residents of Smith River are so shocked that CandK Markets would close its Ray's store. We were warned in Yreka when Walmart came to town. Other communities let us know to expect a lowered tax base and closed local businesses. But what happened? Our city and county fathers opened their arms to Walmart and the rest is history.

Yreka's downtown area has lost most everything including shoes, women's and men's clothing stores, jewelery, and specialty/gift shops. All we have left in our downtown area is used bookstores and second-hand stores. Yreka taxpayers have subsidized our Penny's store's rent to keep it open.

Recently we have had our True Value Hardware close the doors after 50 years and our Ray's Food Place has also closed the doors.

The gas that it cost for Smith River residents to drive to Walmart more than canceled out anything you were saving. I would hope that someone in the private sector would open another store for the residents of Smith River because frankly they deserve a local grocery store. But if they do, they need to make a profit and have customers.

They need the community's support. Not just a loaf of bread and a gallon of milk when you run low, but weekly shopping support. So don't feel so bad, Smith River. This is happening all over the country. The big dogs eat the little dogs and everyone suffers in one way or another.

I don't know how many employees Ray's had in Smith River, but I would check your tax base the next time you get a chance. Support your local businesses so they will be there when you need them. After all, they do their best to support you.

Robert W. Sutter, Yreka