Letters to the editor for October 10, 2007:

Dear Editor,

Recently, we had a lawn mower stolen from our back porch here in Ballantrae. Today I was advised that more than a thousand dollars worth of equipment was taken from a truck parked across the street from my house. Both crimes occured during the day and in both cases there were a number of construction workers on our street.

It is my belief that neither the police nor the employers of these workers take this as a serious matter. Today it is blatant theft, but what will it be tomorrow? I am concerned about the safety of my family and neighbors. It is a small step from theft to more serious crimes. We did not move to Ballantrae to be subject to criminal conduct. I am disappointed in all those concerned including the builders who use these laborers and seemingly do not feel any responsibility for their actions. I urge you to make this situation known to the public.

Jack Kean

Pelham

Dear Editor,

It seems to me that Sen. Waggoner has it backward when it comes to surcharges for people paying with credit or debit cards.

His position is that any such surcharge is unfair, mine is exactly the opposite. Merchants who accept credit or debit cards build into the price a percentage, which I understand is between three and five percent for the most part and charge all customers the same price regardless if we are paying by credit card or cash.

It seems to me this is unfair to the cash-paying customer. Also the charges, fees and additional expenses involved with credit and debit cards, while justified by larger business, are harder for the small business person to absorb.

I think the correct position is that credit cards cost the cash paying customer money and any surcharge or up charge is more than justified. Don&8217;t get me wrong, credit cards have their place, but cash paying customers should not be expected to help pay the additional cost incurred by the use of credit cards.

Charles E. McNeillie

Columbiana

Dear Editor,

I would like to comment on your article about CVA firing Kevin Oakes.

I do not think it is an embarrassment that they decided to fire him. What should be an embarrassment is what they allowed him to do when he was there. Yes, he took the team to a state championship, but at what cost?

He let boys sit on the bench who were just as good if not better than his &8220;elite&8221; few. Even when it was not a game that would count in the standings, even when the &8220;elite&8221; few were screwing up, making error after error.

At a tournament in Tuscaloosa, Kevin was thrown out of a game because one of the players broke his nose and the official told Oaks he would have to put someone else in.

Kevin argued and said in front of the boys on the bench, &8220;I don&8217;t play my subs.&8221; What did this do to the other player&8217;s self esteem? The game is more than winning state championships. It should also be about building character. But to do that you need someone with character leading them; Kevin Oakes lacks that.

I am not on the board and had no say so on the decision that was made, but am I embarrassed by the school&8217;s decision? No.

I also know had the school not made the decision it did, there may not have been a baseball team at CVA this year. That is how strongly the players who showed up for practice every day, working their hardest to only be bench warmers, felt.

Kevin told these players they would all get to play. He told them everyone would get a chance to start. He built them up just to let them down.

Kevin only thought about himself and how he looked. That is the only reason the media knows about his firing. He is still looking out only for himself.

&8220;Look at me, I&8217;m the great and wonderful coach that won a state championship and then was fired.&8221; Next time you want to know what really happens at the school, interview some of the parents or kids who are not on the field.

Teresa Masters

Westover