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Video: Folk Singer Fears Walmart Will Turn Altadena Into "Waltadena"

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A folk singer in Altadena shot a video featuring an anti-Walmart song. It expresses his fears that the "Neighborhood Market" slated to take over a vacant lot and open next year will tarnish the rural suburb's way of life.

Duane Thorin told the Pasadena Star-News, "There's a certain folksiness and a way of living that's lovely to have here in Los Angeles. ... That's what Altadena is to many, many people. Moving a multinational chain up here, I think is predatory and is a little frightening to us."

The video, which is apparently still a work in progress, features independent shops in Altadena that many townspeople are proud of. Thorin and others who oppose Walmart fear that a new Neighborhood Market would cause these shops to go out of business. Here is a sample of the lyrics:

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Way up high upon the hillside
Up where the county pavement stops
Long ago they built a town there
Just below the mountaintops And here we chose to build a future
A quiet place where we could stay
But if we stand by and say nothing
We'll watch that future slip away
Ohhh La La ..La La La La La La.

Walmart spokeswoman Rachel Wall says that the assumptions in Thorin's video are based on flawed data. Wall wrote to the Star-News:
"The experience in California and throughout the nation is very different than what this particular video portrays. In fact, when we open a store, we see neighboring businesses benefit from the additional foot traffic that a Walmart brings and in some cases, businesses seek to open or relocate near a Walmart."

Walmart recently released its own video about its neighborhood store called "Let the Facts Speak For Themselves":