Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

Opinion

December 25, 2011

Letters to the Editor for Sunday, Dec. 25

Community shows its generosity

Dear Editor,

This is a note to let you know how great the people of Mineral Wells are. My faith and hope has been renewed in the city that I grew up in.

You always hear the negative about Mineral Wells, but we are here to attest the fact that there are genuine, caring people still living here and doing business here. It makes me proud to say that we were born and raised in this great town.

We recently held a benefit for Roy Don Burkhalter and his family on Oct. 23. Prior to that date our group asked for donations from area businesses. We have not seen such support for an individual in a long, long time. People and businesses openly and generously gave to help this family. It was amazing. We are still getting donations for this family weeks after the benefit.

Thank you to all who came and supported Don and His family, who gave money, donations or simply sent your well wishes. God has seen each one, and He will bless you over and above!

As you begin to shop for Christmas this year, consider keeping your dollars local. Continue to support our local merchants. They are an awesome group of people.

Once again, thank you for your support.

Deborah Wade, Keisha Henry and Sandy Lee, Mineral Wells

Teen shows true meaning of Christmas

Dear Editor,

This Christmas has been extra special for me because I’ve witnessed the true spirit of Christmas, which was inspired by a 14-year-old girl who was willing to sacrifice her Christmas presents to help a family in need. Her generous heart started a chain reaction that led to people giving and sacrificing.

Several S-Tec employees and their extended families along with Randy’s Service Center gave without questioning to help this family. I’m not naming names because they all know who they are. These people did not need to know all the details of the family. All they needed to know was a 14-year-old girl was passionate about making sure this family had a good Christmas.

Thanks to so many generous people, they will.

Tina Ralls, Mineral Wells

Not appreciative of media coverage

Dear Editor,

My name is Bill Stormes, and I am writing in regards to the article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Dec. 18 entitled “Is Game a Bad Bet?”

I am a resident of Mineral Wells since 2002. I also had the privilege of serving in the Armed Force Services for 28 years, retiring in 1990 as a 1SG. I also had the privilege of being the post commander of the VFW in Mineral Wells from 2007-09. It was during this time we voted to put machines in the VFW. We are a non-profit organization, and at the time we could not meet our obligations from Bingo and the club income.

I was present at the VFW the day Mr. Barbee was welcomed into the post to write his story. The post had nothing to hide, and gladly welcomes anyone questioning our integrity. Mr. Barbee started his story talking about Mrs. Pierce. Mrs. Pierce is a young, 80-year-old grandmother who enjoys getting out of her house a couple of times a week to play Bingo and occasionally play a couple of dollars in a machine. On that particular morning, she had come to the VFW to a garage sale we were having. After shopping she decided to put a couple of dollars in a machine. Mr. Barbee asked her if he could ask her some questions, and she said OK.

He asked her what her favorite game was. She said that she loved to come to Bingo a couple of times a week. He then asked her about the machines. She told him she didn’t know much about them, that she just liked to put a couple of dollars in occasionally to see what they would do. However, Mr. Barbee would like you to believe that this sweet 80-year-old grandmother is addicted to gambling and spends her Social Security check on machines and Bingo. But the truth be known, this sweet little old lady is just trying to find a little enjoyment in life.

Mr. Barbee, I suggest you do your homework. More than half the members of the VFW do not even play the machines. You might also find that 80 percent of the patrons and members that do play them are senior citizens, just like Mrs. Pierce, looking for a little enjoyment in their day. Mr. Barbee also quoted a VFW official as saying, “The VFW had brought in as much as $180,000.” First of all the VFW does not have officials, it does however have officers. I do not believe one of the officers told him that. As I stated earlier, I was the commander in 2007 when we first voted the machines in, which were not Hest, by the way. Being in that position until 2009, and an officer until this last August, I can tell you that was a misquote or a lie. All officers are kept abreast of all finances at the post monthly. We are also regularly audited.

Mr. Barbee, regarding the pictures that you placed in the paper, it is my understanding that you have to have permission for the person whose picture you are taking? I was sitting there when your photographer asked one gentleman if he could take his picture. He was told no, but yet his picture was in the paper. I have also learned that two of the ladies in the picture were not asked. And your answer to that is?

I am not claiming to know anything about Hest Technologies and do not care to know. Texas has gambling, legal and illegal. The lottery is legal in Texas, are people addicted to it? Yes! The horse tracks and Bingo are also legal in Texas. Those who are addicted  to it will do it legally or illegally. If not in Texas, then there is Oklahoma or Louisiana. Hest Technologies by all indications is legal.

Mr. Barbee, the VFW in Mineral Wells opened its doors to you and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in good faith. In return all of us have been belittled and given a big black eye. It is my opinion and that of many others here in Mineral Wells that Mr. Barbee and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram owe Mineral Wells, the VFW and its members and patrons, and especially Mrs. Pierce, a large apology for the allegations made against us.

Bill Stormes, Mineral Wells

Council meeting reminiscent of Watergate

Dear Editor,

At Tuesday night’s city council meeting I though I was living through Watergate again. For those of you who were not around during the Watergate investigation of Richard Nixon, this is what was reported:

“Declaring that ‘I am not a crook,’ President Nixon vigorously defended his record in the Watergate case tonight and said he had never profited from his public service and the President acknowledged that he had ‘made a mistake’ in not more closely supervising campaign activities. In a question on what he may do after he leaves office, he quipped that it depended on when he left.’

For those of you who were not at the city council meeting,  I for one wounder if Rick Bennett had taken Richard Nixon’s speech to give at the council meeting and, just like the House of Representatives, the six other members of city council didn’t believe Bennett and voted, 6-1, that  Bennett had violated Section 28 of the city charter.

Let’s just hope that Rick Bennett does like Richard Nixon did and resign.

Charles Thompson, Mineral Wells

The customer is not always right

Dear Editor,

In regard to Mr. Mann’s letter in the Index on Dec. 17 regarding the downtown antiques dealer:

An antique dealer does not have a wholesale source – every item has to be tracked down, paid for immediately, picked up, unloaded, cleaned, sometimes painted or repaired, priced, displayed, moved, haggled over, sold, wrapped, sacked, loaded and often times delivered. This downtown dealer spends an enormous amount of time and effort doing all these things. I have been a customer and friend for years and have always been treated fairly and considerately. When I had no family here this person always checked on my welfare and helped me in every way possible.

The cost of doing  business today is very high. Utilities, rent or building payments, insurance, advertising, gasoline, etc. are steadily climbing. To ask a dealer if he thinks he can get the asking price and offering a discount of nearly one-third is insulting. Would you say that to any other business owner? How do you know what a “reasonable” profit is? It is up to the dealer what to price it and lest we forget: any discount is the dealer’s prerogative. Some antique malls or shops give only 10 percent dealer discounts and a single item has to be at least $50. Some give 10 percent on items of $25 or over and some are even more restrictive.

As a full-time antique dealer for 28 years, I take exception to the idea that the customer is always right. It takes only one “shopper” with a degrading, hateful attitude to ruin a dealer’s day. Is a dealer obligated to take anything that is offered? Do you go in Bealls or Walmart or any other store in Mineral Wells and try that nonsense? Of course not! They set the price ­ not you. I have had an antique shop on York Avenue in Weatherford for three years and I can tell you if you check the prices in Weatherford and Fort Worth you will see what bargains and fair treatment you get at your downtown antiques store in Mineral Wells.

JoAnn Lord, Mineral Wells

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