Re: City full of high-rise fans, Sept. 6 letters.
As the controversy over the Bosa towers and the potential for future highrise development continues, I have noticed another common theme that usually accompanies the statements made by those in favour of high-density development.
Many have referenced the second-hand stores and other small businesses that are apparently not visually appealing enough to remain in White Rock.
Jacqueline Twa wrote in her letter to the editor about the “oodles of tired second-hand stores.” Some fail to realize those so-called rundown stores are people’s businesses – usually family businesses that provide quality products and friendly service to the community.
For those that have put down consignment and second-hand stores, might I remind you too about the importance of their presence in our neighbourhood.
All of the items we buy to beautify our condos or houses – but eventually don’t want or can’t sell – end up at those locations. Those eyesores you refer to have volunteers that diligently sort items for repurchase to many in our community, whether we choose to acknowledge it publicly or not. When items sell at thrift stores, charities benefit worldwide and shelters receive unwanted clothing from consignment stores.
I take great offence to the assumption that these “tired” places represent something that needs to be replaced or that we should be embarrassed in some way. We should be celebrating the ability of these small businesses to survive, despite the ups and downs of the economy and the emergence of big-box stores. We should thank them for growing to the point where they could provide additional jobs and for being the embodiment of what it means to become an entrepreneur.
As for the second-hand and consignment stores, they are putting money in the pockets of people and supporting programs on a solid foundation of compassion.
So, if you want, we can go out there and put some lipstick on the buildings or do something that elevates it architecturally to a level you can live with, but don’t put down what has served us for a long, long time.
Jennifer Chandler Zehner, Surre