The cautionary tale of Coldwater Creek - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

The cautionary tale of Coldwater Creek

Posted: Updated:
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Tazewell County Man Busted for Growing Marijuana

    Tazewell County Man Busted for Growing Marijuana

    Monday, September 1 2014 8:04 PM EDT2014-09-02 00:04:51 GMT
    Roger Lee Sparks, Jr.Roger Lee Sparks, Jr.
    A Richlands man is in custody after Tazewell County Deputies find $350,000 worth of pot, including 115 plants and more than a pound of harvested marijuana, and guns in his home.
    A Richlands man is in custody after Tazewell County Deputies find $350,000 worth of pot, including 115 plants and more than a pound of harvested marijuana, and guns in his home.
  • Officers In Tazewell County Work To Keep Your Holiday Travel Safe

    Officers In Tazewell County Work To Keep Your Holiday Travel Safe

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:50 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:50:12 GMT
    Police patrolling the roads this Labor DayPolice patrolling the roads this Labor Day
    According to AAA, 34.7 million people are expected to hit the road this Labor Day. Many police officers are out in force to keep you safe.
    According to AAA, 34.7 million people are expected to hit the road this Labor Day. Many police officers are out in force to keep you safe.
  • After fatal McDowell County crash, Troopers caution against drinking and driving over Holiday Weekend

    After fatal McDowell County crash, Troopers caution against drinking and driving over Holiday Weekend

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:00 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:00:38 GMT
    While many are safely celebrating Labor Day, State Troopers want to caution everyone about the dangers of drinking and driving.The West Virginia Department of Transportation says over the last 5 years in the Mountain State, almost 800 people have been killed in a drink driving crash just during Labor Day Weekend. Troopers released these pictures from Sunday morning's fatal crash to show the consequences drinking and driving can have.Read full story on Sunday morning's fatal crash in McDowell ...
    While many are safely celebrating Labor Day, State Troopers want to caution everyone about the dangers of drinking and driving.The West Virginia Department of Transportation says over the last 5 years in the Mountain State, almost 800 people have been killed in a drink driving crash just during Labor Day Weekend. Troopers released these pictures from Sunday morning's fatal crash to show the consequences drinking and driving can have.Read full story on Sunday morning's fatal crash in McDowell ...
  • OPINIONState Journal EditorialsMore>>

  • Business community must raise a voice against status quo

    Business community must raise a voice against status quo

    Friday, August 29 2014 9:00 AM EDT2014-08-29 13:00:23 GMT
    As our state's business leaders gather at The Greenbrier this week for the 2014 West Virginia Business Summit, we hope they have a sense of urgency and realize what they must do to bring this state into the 21st century.
    As our state's business leaders gather at The Greenbrier this week for the 2014 West Virginia Business Summit, we hope they have a sense of urgency and realize what they must do to bring this state into the 21st century.
  • Lesson from Ferguson: Do not lose hope

    Lesson from Ferguson: Do not lose hope

    Friday, August 22 2014 8:00 AM EDT2014-08-22 12:00:24 GMT
    The images from Ferguson, Missouri, look like snapshots from a war zone. We still don't know why city police officer Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown, but we do know the fallout shines a glaring light on what happens when scores of people are disconnected from the American Dream.
    The images from Ferguson, Missouri, look like snapshots from a war zone. We still don't know why city police officer Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown, but we do know the fallout shines a glaring light on what happens when scores of people are disconnected from the American Dream.
  • Political bickering overshadows need for change

    Political bickering overshadows need for change

    Friday, August 15 2014 11:39 AM EDT2014-08-15 15:39:41 GMT
    New ideas and ways to move our state and nation forward are in short supply during this election season.
    New ideas and ways to move our state and nation forward are in short supply during this election season.

For nearly 15 years, Idaho-based clothing retailer Coldwater Creek has operated a giant distribution center near Parkersburg. Unfortunately, the company has filed for bankruptcy and the distribution center is going to close. 

In addition to the lost jobs and lost opportunities, West Virginia and the Wood County Development Authority now have to deal with a 1 million-square foot warehouse and a host of financial issues. State leaders seem certain they will find a new tenant for the property, yet one has to wonder where we will be on the creditor list when Coldwater Creek begins the bankruptcy process. 

On a deeper level, why was the state so involved with this company in the first place? Retail is a fickle industry driven and affected by market factors that are incredibly difficult to navigate. Why did we invest so much, upwards of $13 million, over half of which is still owed to us? Was there any oversight on the state's end? 

If taxpayer money is used as investment capital, then these questions must be asked and answered. As we have said many times before, these kinds of peculiar deals are rarely a good idea. The reason behind them is pretty simple — state partnership usually eases West Virginia's restrictive tax structure on the companies involved. We see this and we have to ask, why not reform the entire system? 

In some cases one could argue the program works — Toyota Motor Manufacturing in Putnam County or Gestamp in South Charleston — but even then, would it not be more prudent to make the rules universal and give everyone a fair chance to compete? Picking winners and losers stymies true competition. Trotting out success stories makes for good headlines, but reality counter punches pretty hard when the plan goes off script. 

Economic development does not happen when state officials cook up ideas that shift the cost of doing business from a company to taxpayers. True, lasting, sustainable prosperity will take root in West Virginia only when government stops looking out for government and starts working for the people. 

That means a tax code that does not penalize reinvestment and growth, courts that prize fairness over politics and schools that adequately prepare our young people for the 21st century workplace. 

Putting taxpayers on the hook for millions of dollars is rarely a good idea. Watching our investment plummet down the rabbit hole of bankruptcy court and legal fees is one more reason on a long and detailed list of why the system needs to change.