Friday, May 11, 2007

Why I’m Looking Forward to Wal-Mart in Wellsville – by Dick Helms

Over the last year or so I’ve read more than a few articles and letters, both pro and con, regarding Wal-Mart coming to Wellsville. I’ve even written a couple from a general and business viewpoint. Today I’d like to write one from a personal prospective.

As some of you may know I am disabled due to late affect polio issues and have difficulty when I walk or stand for any extended periods. Therefore, I use a mobility scooter when I have any extended shopping to do. While I now have my own scooter to use in nice weather, I used to, and still in inclement weather have to, use the public scooters at the various retailers in town. That pretty much limits me to two, Kmart and Tops, and of the two only one is disability friendly, Tops. Tops, provides multiple public scooters and maintains them in good condition so that those with physical limitations such as mine can shop comfortably.

In contrast Kmart does little to accommodate the physically disabled. Over the years our local Kmart store has provided a single public scooter and that is often “out of order” and always in poor repair. I have often arrived needing to purchase a number of items but because the single scooter is already in use, or just as often “out of order,” have had to leave to return when the scooter is available (multiple times) or forgo any real shopping and just acquire a few quick items. I have brought this problem to the attention of store management and even corporate level numerous times, but to no avail. Sadly, I am told that Kmart will only allocate one scooter. While that demonstrates corporate level disregard for the physically impaired, it does not address the habitual poor repair of the one they do have. That demonstrates the same disregard at the local management level.

Another issue that effects us all here in Wellsville is the lack of stock in the store and the total disregard for customer input. We have all gone to Kmart to pick up some needed item, we may even have gotten it there before, only to find they are “out of stock” or just as commonly, we “don’t carry that”. I don’t know about you, but I find that frustrating.

In contrast, whenever I shop at any Wal-Mart store I find several (not one) public scooters, all in good repair, some even new. Also, when I look for an item, lo and behold! There it is, in stock and on the shelf!

The primary opposition locally comes from a former Kmart manager, current Chamber of Commerce Executive Director. Frankly I suspect that his animosity to Wal-Mart is because he knows that once the new store opens here the poor management and customer care that began during his tenure and continues today will become apparent.

Well that's my personal rant. I’ll be looking forward to your comments.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Senators' Dilemma

Our Senators, Clinton and Schumer are in a real dilemma these days. The Washington Times framed that dilemma well in the Op-Ed piece (the likes of which you will never read in our "beloved" Wellsville Daily Reporter); Pink Meat for the Anti-war Left. What is this great dilemma? Why how to best surrender and retreat while fervently hoping, and doing all they can to insure, that America does not win in Iraq. It is shameful that unscrupulous individuals like our two senators can be elected to such high office. More shameful, is to think that Charles Schumer actually carried Allegany County in the '04 elections. But, is that really such a surprise? when our local paper openly campaigns against our President and undermines America's war effort at every opportunity.

Just some food for thought.