Your Voice: Bookstore worries, ACA fears and a mayor mourned
Dec 06, 2013 | 2783 views | 7 7 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
City should have fought to keep bookstore


I agree with Nathan Tran, who wrote about losing Barnes & Noble in favor of Sports Authority. I understand if B&N made the independent decision to pull out of Tracy, but it is such a bad trade for our city. Losing the bookstore attached to the mall will, I fear, only add to our mall’s further decline. The mall has been in a state of flux for the last several years as it is, with many stores pulling out and storefronts being filled with temporary businesses or left empty altogether. I wish there had been more done to fight for B&N to remain, not only for its community involvement but for its attributes as a place of gathering and quiet refuge.

Janice Lampkin, Tracy

$26.01 is too high a price


In the state of California, it has become a criminal felony crime and offense, punishable by death, if you owe money on a medical bill. Many medical providers use unprofessional, illegal and criminal tactics to recover any money owed to them, even as small as $ 26.01. These are the same medical providers that tried to stop President Barack Obama’s health care bill, paid billions to stop any changes to fix or improve the current system, then said our system is perfect — if you can afford medical insurance, you have medical insurance. However, 100 million Americans are under-insured or have no medical insurance coverage at all. That is a national tragedy, because many lives will be lost and cut short, simply out of greed. We have the most expensive medical system in the world, thus rank 31st in quality behind that of a third-world nation in South America. This situation has now changed, where medical providers are now scrambling for patients, facing lower revenues, stuck with huge payments on overpriced infrastructure, staff and equipment. Some are facing bankruptcy. This could not happen to a nicer bunch of folks. These organizations have so little care, no compassion and no mercy; they would give Nazi Germany a bad name. We are cursed that two medical providers within in the walls of our local hospital are more concerned with your ability to pay than your medical condition. So that is the state of health care in our no-horse community of Tracy. God bless us. We need it.

Al Galaviz, Tracy

Health act a disaster by all measures


Obamacare supporters who continue to decry GOP opposition seem unable to grasp that this Democratic Party measure is not a solution to the nation’s health care problems, but rather a disaster of epic proportions that is harming and even destroying people’s lives.

As of mid-November, some 100,000 people had signed up for Obamacare — but astonishingly, more than 5 million people had lost their health insurance policies or had them canceled because of Obamacare. Now estimates are that another 80 million to 130 million people will lose their coverage next year, again thanks to Obamacare. This is a failure that makes the Titanic voyage look like a success.

The Obamacare backers should talk with Edie Sundby, a California resident and stage-4-gallbladder cancer survivor, or the cancer-stricken children of Ronald and Krista Alford in Gainesville, Texas, who all lost their health insurance because of Obamacare. Thousands and tens of thousands more Americans will suffer and, yes, die because of this disaster caused by Democratic Party politicians.

And then we have the $1 billion, 500 million-line Obamacare website from hell that CNN Money headlined “To fix Obamacare website, blow it up, start over” and that four computer security experts warned members of Congress is not secure enough to use. And now a senior political analyst at Time magazine has finally told us — as Sarah Palin did years ago — that Obamacare really does contain “death panels.”

My suggestion to Obama, hundreds of congressional Democrats and Obamacare supporters is really simple: Apologize or hide, because the disaster that is hitting America will be coming for you in due season.

Stephen Wampler, Tracy

Former Press reporter mourns Bilbrey


I was truly saddened to hear about the passing of Dan Bilbrey. We got to know each other well on a personal and professional level during my years as a news reporter for the Tracy Press and Tri-Valley Herald. During my family’s ‘Tracy years,’ the town doubled its population and Dan was a big part of city’s leadership. While there were plenty of concerns about Tracy’s growth back then, I was always impressed about how the city stuck to its standards of having growth pay its way. Were things perfect? No. But Tracy’s residents were and are lucky to have people like Dan Bilbrey step into the breach when leadership is needed. He was a good friend and a dedicated and thoughtful statesman for Tracy and San Joaquin.

Scott Howard, Chico

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December 16, 2013
Re.. Barnes and Nobel

I have heard from store employees that the real reason that Barnes and Noble is closing their Tracy store (which is the top money producer in central valley book stores) was that the mall wanted to raise their rent. When Barnes and Noble said they were not willing to pay more that they already pay for rent along with the thousands of dollars in revenu daly they were asked to vacate. Our store was considered redundant due to there being a store in Pleasanton and a store in Stockton. I think the Mall made a bad decision to not negotiate with Barnes and Noble. A Sports Authority in the mall puts at least 3 other mall businesses in danger of closing Big 5, Finish line, and Foot Locker. I think that there are enough empty stores in Tracy that Sports Authority would have been welcome as a business. I will no longer shop at the mall as I am one of those people who only visited the mall when I went to Barnes and Noble which was 1-2 time a week. I guess my money will be spent in Pleasanton or Stockton.

December 17, 2013
Such insight. I am glad ya told us that's th reason why th Corporation is closin many of thair stores across th nation. So now Tracy an th Mall is at fault for thair decision ta cut back on their operations? Simply amazin. Glad yer friends thair are so insightful an willin ta let us know.
December 10, 2013
The city didn't do anything wrong on this count. Actually, it is NONE of the city's business if a large, publicly-traded, organization makes a business decision to leave a market and maximize its return to its shareholders.

I enjoyed B&N but I imagine that I will also enjoy the new Sports Authority as well.

In 2008, B&N stated in their Annual Report that "...2008 also vindicated our long range real estate strategy: first, to exit the declining small store business in the malls; second..."

Also, see the following stats for number of stores by year:

'12 - 691

'11 - 705

'10 - 720

'09 - 726

'08 - 726

'07 - 713

'06 - 695

This information is straight from the annual reports. I'm not asking you to believe me. Go look for yourselves and check. Sure appears that they are pursuing a strategy whereby they trim the number of locations.

The mall lost a business and gained a business. Who knows what the sales tax impact will be.

December 10, 2013
The departure of Barnes & Noble should have been a wake-up call for our city government. It seems we have more businesses closing than opening in this city. A Sports Authority was something this city could use but over and above losing a bookstore? I think not. Did our city government make any effort to convince Barnes & Noble to stay? Relocate within the city? This city does so many thing ass backwards.
December 10, 2013
It's apparent ta me that many haven't been payin much attention ta th fact that Barnes & Noble has been closin down many of their stores all over th country an not just in Tracy alone. An just because someone don't think th city didn't approach th corporation in an effort ta get em ta stay in Tracy isn't th same thang as knowin fer a fact th City didn't.

Funny, if th City would have offered em a healthy tax brake th same people complainin that th City has basically done nothin ta keep em here would be complainin that th City was buyin them ta stay with special tax favoritism.

Th bottom line here is that a major retailer looked at their profit ta loss ratio an decided th pull th plug because th citizens of Tracy were not patronizin thair establish enough ta warrant it stayin open. So rather than continue with a money loosin operation, they closed th doors.
December 10, 2013
I’m sorry to see B & N go to, but unfortunately that’s the negative side for many of us when it comes to progress and they way people shop and most importantly spend. It’s already a done deal, nothing any of us can do to stop it and hopefully they or another book store will locate here somewhere, but you can understand why this would be a risk to those who invest in such a dealing.

When I first came to Tracy in 1986 the town and many other communities had several mom & pop videos stores that were all taken out by Blockbusters, and of course we know what progress has done to them. Many of you who are old as I am will recall the days when we had milkmen, delivering our milk, eggs, butter and orange juice to our doors. We would always leave our used glass milk bottles by the front door for pick up with a note of what we needed for the week. The invention of refrigeration in grocery stores ended that era.

December 09, 2013
Ms. Lampkin,

I'm glad someone agrees! I wasn't entirely sure about the B&N's economic effects on West Valley, but I do know that many patronize the mall for books! It's great to see another aspect of this situation.

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