Archer County News (Archer City, Tex.), No. 24, Ed. 1 Thursday, June 17, 1993 Page: 4 of 8
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PAGE FOUR-THE ARCHER COUNTY NEWS-THURSDAY, JUNE 17, 1993
Regarding the Harmony Boys' Home,
we have several questions, comments
and personal opinions, related to the
three articles concerning it, in the the
June 3rd edition of the Archer County
Questions about the Boys’ Home
may have been answered in previous ar-
ticles and at all the meetings you list-
ed, but our opinion is that maybe the
answers were a tad bit sugar coated in
favor of the Home, accentuating the
positive and minimizing the negative.
You stated you have stayed in Archer
City because it has been a great place
to raise a family. Would you have
thought so fifteen years ago if it had
had a home for 28 troubled boys who
had been mentally, physically and/or
sexually abused, and your children
were still very young?
We have difficulty with the word
"children" in the sentence"... what dan-
ger the children might pose to the
neighborhood." A 15-18 year-old boy,
six feet tall, 170 pounds, is beyond be-
ing considered a child, in that my past
experiences as a nurse, I have seen it
take up to three men to subdue such a
The supporters of the Boys' Home
may live here, too, and some of them
may have nothing to gain, but how
many of them live within a few blocks
of the facility, how many of them
have small children, and how many of
them have had experience dealing with
very troubled boys?
You state it's a shame that a town
would consider turning its back on the
opportunity to take part in the nur-
turing of these boys. Why do you con-
sider it an opportunity to take on the
problems of boys from, what is it, 44
counties? It seems the people of Ar-
cher City are being made to think we
are priveleged to be eligible for such a
facility, when we’ve heard other towns
would not have anything to do with it
becoming apart of their community, or
is this a misconception?
You say please consider the facts.
What are the facts? We see a project
goal of $485,000 Archer County needs
to raise, just for starters. Are we going
to get a tax increase to help sustain
the Home? Where are they going to
buy the boys' clothes, groceries, or go
if they have to go to the hospital?
Will that money be spent in another
county? Did the owners of the Home
guarantee at least 70% of the job
openings will go to people from
Carlton Deen asked, "Have all our
questions been answered?" Have they
been truly anwered? Why do children
who just need nurturing, from the
people of Archer City, need to be
surrounded by a six-foot fence and need
padded cells in the facility? Why will
extra support from our Sheriffs Depart-
ment be necessary? Does the Boys'
Home toss the boys out into the com-
munity after the age of 18, ready or
not, or where do they go then?
Most 8-18 year-old boys can climb a
six foot fence, and while they say the
padded cells are for the boys' own
protection, I'm sure they are, but they
are also used when a person becomes
violent with irrational and uncontrol-
lable behavior. Is the Sheriffs Depart-
ment going to be in the right place at
the right time, if someone didn't think
a padded cell was necessary?
The "Questions for Harmony" an-
swer states that the boys suffer from
low self-esteem, depression, problems
making decisions, understanding their
feelings about family, and forming
good relationships with peers or a-
dults. Don't statistics indicate that
many adolescent-committed homi-
cides, rapes, burglaries, etc. are consis-
tent with abused childhoods, low self-
esteem, depression, difficult decision-
making, etc? If this is true, why does
the article state these boys are no more
of a threat than other children of this
age group? The article also states the
boys are probably more of a threat to
themselves than anyone else.
Most of the people we've talked to are
not in favor of the Boys' Home. Of
them, about one-third don't want to
speak up, for one reason or another.
People, this is your town, too.
You have as much right to say you do
not want it, as do the ones saying they
Why can't the people in Archer City,
not in other towns fifteen miles away,
be allowed to vote whether we want
this facility in our city limits or not,
and let the majority* rule? Everyone is
entitled to their own opinion, as the ed-
itor's opinion is different than ours, it
is still his own, but the entire town
should decide if we want the facility,
not just a few.
Linda and Vinson Lowack
What type of security will the Home
require and will this mean increased
security by our sheriffs department?
Sheriff P. L. Pippin responds:
We do not anticipate a need to increase
security or the number of law enforce-
ment personnel on duty. A member of
our department visited the Harmony
Homes in Abilene and discussed secu-
rity with local law enforcement agen-
cies. They have not found it necessary
to increase surveillance or security be-
SERVED UP BY:
WICHITA FALLS AREA
THURSDAY; JUNE 17
Delicious Baked Goods Too!
C&B Western Wear
EDITOR'S RESPONSE. Firstandfore-
most - your letter questions the veracity
of those answering questions concern-
ing the Boys home: "Have they been
very truthfully answered?" Unequiv-
ically, Yes!. The answers have been
truthfull and accurate. There is nothing
to gain by hiding the truth, and all in-
volved have tried from the very begin-
ning to state the facts. Many of the
questions have been answered again and
again; yet, many misconceptions are
still making the rounds.
There will not be a 6' fence or any other
size fence around the Boys Home! This
is to be a home... not an institution or a
compound. These boys are not being
incarcerated. As has been stated over
and over again...these boys are not
criminals. They have been the victims
of abuse by their parents or guardians
and have been removed from their
homes to protect them.
Do statistics indicate that abused chil-
dren will later on in life become per-
petraters of adolescent and adult homi-
cides, rapes, and burglaries? Yes, they
probably do...particularly if they are not
able to get out of their abusive situ-
ations. The key is removing these
children (boys and girls) from their
abusive environments and placing those
capable of living a productive life in a
boys (or girls) home.
I consider it an opportunity to take on
the "problems" of abused boys because
these boys can become productive
members of society. I hesitate to say that
they can become "normal" because we,
as a society seem to have lost all com-
mon sense when it comes to deciding
what is "normal".
I also consider the Boys Home an
economic opportunity that this commu-
nity cannot affod to miss. The $450,000
annual payroll will benefit this area
immensly. No tax money (county, city,
or school) will be used to sustain the
home. Everything that can be purchased
locally, will be purchased
locally...including food, clothes, and
medical treatment. (Food purchases
alone would be an important component
in getting another full-line grocery store
in Archer City.)
As to the seclusion rooms that you have
referred to as padded cells, they are used
as cooling off rooms. Boys who become
verbally or physically abusive or get
into fights are placed in the rooms,
alone, to cool off. The door to the room
is initially left open. If more cooling
down is needed, the door is closed.
Fights between boys at the home will
occur...just as they do in "normal"
homes and in our schools. The seclusion
rooms are a means of dealing with such
disturbances just as in-school suspen-
sions or total suspensions are used by
our schools. Irrational and uncontrol-
lable behavior is not "reserved" for resi-
dents of the boys home. I have, regre-
tably, lost my temper a time or two in my
life. Thank God I have been fortunate
enough to be surrounded by people who
allowed me to cool off and nurtured me
back to reality and "normalcy".
cause of the homes.
We support the Boys Home because it
can help misstreated children and teens
become positive members of society.
Who is going to be liable for possible
personal injury or property damage
if it is the result of the Boys Home
Doug Worthington, Executive Direc-
tor of Harmony Family Services re-
Harmony Family Services is totally
liable for injuries or damages as the
result of action taken by its employees or
its residents. In twenty-six years of
operation, there has never been a liabil-
ity claim filed against Harmony other
than for fender-bender type automobile
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(ALL BAYLOR/Wll.DARGliR COUNTY HLSIDINLS ADMI LTliD LRLL TO S TANDS)
TEXHOMA SPEEDWAY-US 281 ON SOUTH EDGE
OF WICHITA FALLS, TEXAS
Randy K. Ammons
Lakeside City Volunteer Fire Depart-
ment recently acquired a 2 and ahalf
ton fire truck at no cost through the
Rural Community Fire Protection pro-
gram, a federal-state cooperatively
funded program administered by the Te-
xas Forest Service. The state forest re-
source and rural firefighting agency had
obtained the truck as federal excess per-
sonal property and, intum, made it av-
ailable to the volunteer fire depart-
The truck could come in very handy
this winter and early spring if area resi-
dents don't observe property safety pre-
cautions when doing any outdoor burn-
ing. Dormant grasses will bum within
a matter of hours after a rain, if sunny,
windy weather follows the precipi-
tation. If a wildfire gets started while
ground is still boggy, area firefighters
may have to fight wildfires spreading
across ground too soft to support their
Tips on outdoor fire safety are avail-
able from Lakeside City firefighters
and from the Texas Forest Service.
Contact the Fire Control Department,
Texas Forest Service, P. O. Box 310,
Lufkin, Texas 75902-0310, phone 409-
639-8100 for information on possible
cooperative fire program aid.
Besides federal excess property, cost-
sharing aid for trucks and for slip-on
pumping units is also available to qua-
lified rural fire departments through the
Rural Community Fire Protection pro-
gram. The state forest service has
placed over 2,200 trucks, slip-on pum-
ping units, and other fire apparatus
with rural fire departments and fire-
fighting associations across the state
with fire program aid. In addition, rural
firefighters have purchased over 1.2
million dollars worth of protective fire-
fighter clothing and other wildland fire-
fighting gear at discounts of 20-30 per-
cent off retail prices through the Texas
Forest Sevice Fire-Safe Fund.
Texas Utilities Electric Company
(“TU Electric”) hereby publishes
notice that, pursuant to Public
Utility Commission of Texas
Substantive Rule 23.21 (c) (2) (E),
it filed an application on April 21,
1993, with the Public Utility
Commission of Texas in Docket
No. 11972 to show commercial
operation date for Comanche Peak
Steam Electric Station Unit 2. A
complete copy of said application is
on file with the Public Utility
Commission of Texas.
Persons with questions about this
proceeding should contact Richard
Wistrand at (214) 812-4679.
Persons who wish to intervene in
the proceeding or comment upon
action sought, should contact the
Public Utility Commission of
Texas, at 7800 Shoal Creek
Boulevard, Austin, Texas 78757, or
call the Public Utility Commission
Public Information Office at (512)
458-0256, or (512) 458-0221 for
the telecommunications device for
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Lobpries, F. Mike. Archer County News (Archer City, Tex.), No. 24, Ed. 1 Thursday, June 17, 1993, newspaper, June 17, 1993; Archer City, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth825595/m1/4/: accessed March 19, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Archer Public Library.