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Opening Arguments

Chain of fools

This must be my day to pick on Bloomington -- here's another nutty idea from the town that complements IU's gown:

Bloomington - Joie Canada has been keeping shop on the south side of the Bloomington square for almost forty years.

She and her father are pictured in a book, "Goodbye Mom and Pop." The book preserves in print the vanishing locally owned and operated store.

The preservation of the "Mom and Pop" store is at the heart of a plan being considered by Bloomington's mayor. The plan is for an ordinance for Bloomington's downtown would ban chain stores.

BULLETIN! There is actually a city in Indiana with a downtown that stores want to locate in! And the mayor wants to chase some of them away.

Those local shops might indeed "accommodate local tastes in a way chains can't," but they match them for price and variety, which is, you know, why the chains caught on in the first place. Is it just possible that forcing the chains to locate outside of downtown will draw the traffic away from downtown that makes it possible for the Mom and Pops to stay in business? Could it be that what was true for just about every other Hoosier city -- downtowns died when the stores moved to the outskirts, not while the stores were still downtown -- is not true for Bloomington?