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Matthew Hedger
07/13/2014 11:17 AM

Dear Editor,

Sometimes change can be good. It can be necessary.

But...is this the future you envisioned for your Amador County way of life?

Excavation and construction are already underway for the building of a Dollar General Store on the corner of Ridge Road and State Highway 88 in Pine Grove.

Dollar General has a long list of poor marks in their aggressive history. According to www.247WallSt.com they are rated the 4th worst employer in the United States.

Dollar General’s property development is handled by Cross Development. This company also finds and secures sites for McDonalds and Starbucks.

At some point, Cross Development informs Dollar General to send a manager and set up shipping lanes to their rapidly growing number of stores. The average time from submitted plans to finished storefront is three months. Once established in a given demographic area, the next phase of Dollar General and Cross Development involves building another store within 10 minutes driving time from the first. Then another…and another…

On behalf of concerned Pine Grove citizens, Rich Brandt managed to contact Dan Dover, a representative for Cross Development at their headquarters in Carollton, Texas. He voiced some concerns with Mr. Dover and was informed that, not only the Pine Grove store was in their plans, but also stores in Ione, Jackson and possibly Plymouth.

There have been three “Town Hall” meetings in Pine Grove in the last 2 weeks as local business owners and residents are coming together to do everything possible to stop this rampant and unwanted corporate growth.

Many Amador County residents choose to live here because, among other reasons, they embrace and support an environment where local businesses still have a place to thrive.

To believe Amador County residents would welcome yet another corporately owned and operated store over their established locally-owned businesses is hard to swallow. A store with the reputation of hiring 4-5 locals and having a supervisor come from somewhere else to manage does little for our local work force or our county’s tax coffers. Dollar General will, in fact, eliminate more jobs than it creates.

Dollar General already has over 11,000 stores and is planning to build 400 more in California during the coming year. This corporation is so huge that they may not yet know that their hired developers (Cross Development) has broken ground in Pine Grove!

Dollar General Stores are not of the quality we desire for our chosen lifestyles.

Growth does not have to be a dirty word. With the help of residents, civic leaders, local business owners and YOU, we can make economic and social changes in our community on our terms. So, perhaps it’s time to get involved in something...maybe THIS THING! Working together we can create more commerce and generate local growth in our own community...for our own families...for our own locally-guided future. LETS SAY NO TO DOLLAR GENERAL...and hello to “locally-grown” ideas.

I encourage all readers to go online and do a little fact finding about this company. Simply “Google” ‘Dollar General Store complaints’, or something similar, and I hope it will stimulate all of us who love Amador County to get involved.

BOTTOM LINE: THE DOLLAR STOPS HERE! Amador County already has their quota of big box stores, with Wal-Mart and Kmart. We don’t want or need more! Virtually every item sold at Dollar General Stores can be found in Pine Grove or Pioneer. We have grocery stores, hardware, several service/convenience stations, some yummy places to eat, doctors, a pharmacy, and also the county’s last video store!

Petitions are available to sign at: Munnerlyn’s Ice Cream, Pine Cone Drug, Blue Moon Cafe, Pine Grove Veterinary Clinic, Pine Grove Video and Pine Grove Market.

More information available at: www.stopdollargeneral.com and on Facebook at:

Stop Dollar General in Pine Grove!

“Growth simply for the sake of growth does not forward progress make”...

-Ray Jennings, Pioneer resident, owner, Pine Grove Video

Copyright © 2014 Amador Ledger Dispatch
Kat Everitt
07/13/2014 2:07 PM
I agree with Ray Jennings. While not a Pine Grove Resident, as a Pioneer Resident, living right off the 88 Corridor, I support much LOCAL Growth, by shopping right on the Corridor, at our Local Stores…We are a Tourist Area, and area for Retirees who want a close-to-wilderness/mountain/rural retirement; and we need growth hat will welcome families with more than more urban discount stores…we already HAVE many discount stores in the west of our small county…I for one, on a limited income, don't mind using them when needed…but you know, when I'm upcountry, I shop the local small stores upcountry. It's worth it…to see smiling, familiar faces with good quality goods to sell, and their families and loyalties upcountry, as well. We don't need more urban intrusions here: we need more good, hearty mountain folks and families…and their attractive alternatives to stores like Dollar General…Kat Everitt
Laurel Miranda
07/14/2014 8:01 AM
Since I am probably the only person who actually lives in Pine Grove who ACTUALLY lived in a very small town(under 2500 people) where there was an actual DOLLAR GENERAL I do think that I have a right to voice in on this as I know how it affected our town....GUESS WHAT it was all for the good. Sure it affected the local IGA an itty bitty tiny bit BUT NOT that much as the food selection isn't that large and they don't carry fresh fruit/vegys or meat.
I don't remember all of you complaining so much when we had a Sprouse Reitz, Longs,or Thriftys here and I think Pine Grove needs this store as that is pretty much what they are like and they will stay open later than the other stores so if at 7:30 at night you need something real quick you won't have to drive all the way down to Jackson or Martell...And gee if everyone in Pine Grove or Pioneer shops down in Jackson anyway isn't that taking money out of the small businesses in town already. And gee even if they don't pay more than minimum wage at least it is more jobs and every where I go people are complaining they don't have any jobs available in Amador County so at least you would have that
Linda Compton
07/14/2014 11:11 AM
Folks advocate supporting local markets. That's fine if you can afford it - they're pretty pricey. Most retired people up here are on limited income and need to get the most for their dollar. I agree with Laurel Miranda.
Jim Barber
07/14/2014 9:06 PM
What is wrong with competition in the market place? Sounds to me like the "local merchants and business owners" are afraid to compete with Dollar General. Allow the market place decide. Let the citizens of Pine Grove, and if the company builds in other nearby locations, the residents of Amador County vote with their pocket books, check books, credit cards and cash as to what serves them best. As a former Pine Grove resident, property owner and tax payer, I say Dollar General, The Dollar Store, Family Dollar, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Tiffany's are welcome to come and sell your wares to the good folks of this area.
Welcome and Good Luck!
Jim Barber
John Goodell
07/24/2014 6:37 AM
After hearing of the plans for this store, and having never hearing of them before, we went online to check them out. Seemed they looked interesting and useful, so on out way to the state fair, we looked up a DG store in Sacramento to check it out in person. We found a clean, well stocked, well lighted, useful variety of goods, good prices and extended hours. We didn't find anything objectionable about what we saw and the employees we spoke to were helpful, happy to work there, and nice. As other described, it had the feel of a miniature WalMart.

What it occurred to us was that this could save us several trips to Martell at 20 miles per trip at prices comparable to the big stores there. I use the Upcountry Hardware store for handy items that aren't worth the trip to Martell and I didn't see where DG would compete with them. It's no secret that the Claypools market is high priced and woefully stocked, but I have to ask where were all the "local advocates" when that market tried to expand to this very lot and CalTrans blocked them by trying to force them to pay for the traffic signal at Ridge Rd? If not Dollar General, then who will go in there - the new Target mini store, the smaller WalMart or worse some "local" junk store, bar, liqueur store or ????

No one is obligated to shop there if you wish to vote with your dollars some other place, but please don't impose your prejudice on those of us who would appreciate a clean, reasonably priced general store, unlike anything we have this side of Jackson/Martell.
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