New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 6, 1987, New Braunfels, Texas
Dear AbbySnowbirds boost economy
Only Prompt Payment Can Cure Doctor’s Ailing Books
DEAR ABBY: Six years ago, I clipped the enclosed column from my local newspaper. I have found it very relevant and I think that it needs to be rerun periodically. At times, I have enclosed copies of this column to patients who have been delinquent with their accounts, and while some have been understanding, others have drawn tremendous objection to receiving any kind of pressure to pay for services rendered.
Over the years, physician overhead has increased tremendously. My current overhead is close to $100,000 a year, and in addition, due to various circumstances, I render nearly $100,000 per year of free services or reductions in my fees. Nevertheless, I still have tremendous problems in getting patients to compensate me for my services, and I know that I am not alone, as nearly every physician has the same problem. Sign me ...
AN M D. WITH $154,000 ON THE BOOKS, LAGUNA HILLS, CALIF.
DEAR DOCTOR: Tm glad you wrote. I liked this letter when I ran it in October of 1980, but I like it even more today. As a valentine to the many doctors and dentists who share the same leaky boat with you, I repeat it with pleasure:
DEAR ABBY: As a physician, I know this problem is a genuine source of concern to almost every physician.
It may come as a surprise to many, but not all doctors are rich! Far from it. We have house and car payments to make, children to raise, and business expenses just like anyone else trying to make a living. Add to that the exorbitant premiums for malpractice insurance.
People wouldn’t think of going to the grocery store, filling station or beauty parlor without cash, a check or credit card. But they come to their doctor’s office and say, “Bill me,” or, “My insurance company will take
care of it.”
Abby, some insurance companies wait 60 to 90 days (and longer) to pay a bill — assuming ifs covered — and sometimes ifs not covered!
Unfortunately, the doctor has to pay his rent, office help and family expenses within 30 days.
If after three or four months the doctor hasn’t received a dime from the patient or his insurance company, it’s customary for his office to phone the patient- and request payment, whereupon the patient usually becomes highly indignant! This person would probably froth at the mouth should his paycheck be held up for one day! Yet, that’s what the doctor’s bill is — his paycheck.
It’s unfair that the doctor is usually the last one to be paid, and sometimes he’s not paid at all! Sign me ...
AN M D. WITH
$35,000 ON THE BOOKS
DEAR M.D. I’m using your letter as a reminder to those who owe their physicians — and their dentists, too.
DEAR ABBY: My partner and I are expecting a baby in June. Since we are not a traditional married couple, it may not occur to our friends to give us a baby shower. Therefore, we are wondering if it would be acceptable for us to either ask a good friend to host it at our house (we would pay all expenses) or hers. Or would it be all right for us to host it ourselves?
EXPECTING IN OAKLAND
DEAR EXPECTING: It makes no difference whether the ex* pectant parents are tradition* ally married or not. I see no acceptable way to ask for gifts or to host your own shower.
DEAR ABBY: I am 52 years old and read your advice daily. I need help. I am in love with a 55-year-old man whose wife is an alcoholic. She’s in a home for people who are brain damaged from drinking, and will probably be there for the rest of
My problem is that his grown children have threatened him with complete isolation if he divorces her to marry me. Last year he initiated divorce proceedings, and his children carried out those threats, so he dropped the divorce action. Now he expects me to accompany him to the homes of his children and socialize with them and his grandchildren.
His children want him to have a “girlfriend,” but they don’t want their mother upset, so she is not to know about me. Abby, I do not care to socialize with people who think that being a mistress is good enough for me. My friend is angry because I refuse to attend dinners and social events with his children.
Money is a big factor in his children *8 actions. As things presently stand, everything will go to their mother, and then to them.
He can replace me much easier than I can replace him because of the law of supply and demand. What can I do?
CONFUSED IN NEW YORK
DEAR CONFUSED: Not
much. Your gentleman friend has already decided that his children’s approval is more important than your desire for marriage. Now you must decide if the privilege of being his companion is worth the anger and resentment you are feeling.
You are right. The law of “supply and demand” does put you in a tough spot.
His children may appear selfish and controlling, but their mother is still alive — though institutionalized and ill — so don’t be too harsh in your judgment of them. How many children would feel good about a father who would divorce an institutionalized mother to marry another woman?
HARLINGEN (AP) — Every year they come, in their RVs with their fishing tackle, golf clubs and summer clothes, as punctual as Santa Caus and just about as generous.
They are the “Winter Texans” who annually migrate from their chilly homes in the Midwest for the warmth and sun of the Rio Grande Valley.
The locals complain about traffic tie-ups — on the highways and in the grocery aisles.
But the complaints are of a subdued sort.
“Some people grumble that they can’t get down the aisles of the grocery store, but they’re smiling while they’re complaining because those people bring in a lot of money into the Valley,” said Chuck Giles, manager of the Valley Chamber of Commerce in Weslaco.
Estimates are that the snowbirds pump almost HOO million into the economically depressed area and its border towns in Willacy, Cameron, Hidalgo and Starr counties. They come from places as near as Oklahoma and as far away as Canada.
The grateful Valley businesses return the favor by offering such things as senior citizen discounts, dances, bingo games and favored Kosher foods.
Unemployment is higher in the Valley than in other parts of the state. The citrus industry is recovering from a devastating freeze in December 1983. Peso devaluations since 1982 have forced many merchants on both sides of the border to shut down operations and lay off workers.
“I’m sure we give a boost to the economy,” said Pearl Vance, a retired postal worker from Oklahoma. “I’m sure the long lines aren’t here before we get here, but then it’s like Christmas everyday.”
Mrs. Vance, who lives with hor husband, Robert, in a trailer park in Weslaco, said that winter visitors try to schedule their shopping trips to make it more efficient for everyone.
“We try to go to the grocery store when the working people aren’t there. We try to go at times when we can stay away from them,” she said.
The estimated 100,000 snowbirds who visit from November through April bring in about $92 million, and that $92 million turns over several times, said Dr. GUber-to de los Santos, a professor at Pan American University in Edinburg.
That represents about 15 percent of the total Valley economy.
“You have to look at the new money coming in and what does it mean in terms of the overall GNP in the Valley. When you look at the services provided and all that, it’s still a small amount to the whole economy of the Rio Grande Valley,” said de los Santos, whose university didastudy of the economic impact of the Winter Texans.
Roy Romero, a travel counselor at the Texas Tourist Bureau, says many Winter Texans return to the area because they know that it needs their money.
Signs like “Welcome Home, Winter Texans,” greet the visitors as they enter the Valley.
They go fishing in the Gulf of Mexico and shopping in Mexican border towns. Along with senior citizen discounts, they also get special treatment at some restaurants and retail stores.
News from their home states is provided in local newspapers. A television station has a “Winter Texan Report” that includes temperatures in selected northern cities and dates for dances.
Lottery foes using emotions in fight against money maker
AUSTIN (AP) — Religious groups that oppose state lotteries frequently don’t know what they are talking about, according to a state official who helped bring the lottery to the Bible Belt
“The opponents don’t have the facts, but they have emotional appeals,” Ralph Peters, director of the West Virginia lottery, told the New Lottery States Seminar on Monday.
West Virginia voters approved the lottery in a 2-1 vote. The game will complete its first year this week, according to Peters, who said it is the “first incursion into the so-called Bible Belt in the lottery business.”
The three-day seminar, aimed at helping officials in states that are getting into the lottery business, is
sponsored by Public Gaming Research Institute, Inc., based in Rockville, Md.
Several Texas lawmakers are pushing a lottery bill in this year’s Legislature, but Baptist and some other religious groups oppose the lottery as an improper way for the state to make money.
Peters said officials in states that are just starting lotteries should “get out on the rubber-chicken circuit and talk shows and radio call-in shows” to counter opponents.
"Every denomination except the Quakers at one time or another benefitted from lotteries,” he said.
Peters also said lottery foes offer misleading facts about who plays the games. Some opponents say the
games take money from the pockets of the poor in exchange for a slim chance at getting rich.
The average West Virginia lottery player has more than ‘2 years of formal education and an annual family income of $23,000, he said.
Owen Hickey, a Denver-based consultant who has helped five states and several Canadian provinces start lotteries, cautioned lottery officials that “no other government activity is viewed with as much concern, as much as a fishbowl aspect.”
Richard Darwin, manager of Online Lottery Research, said in his presentation that the games must be “squeaky clean.”
“You don’t want a disgruntled customer,” he said.His ceiling- painting business goes sky high
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11 In what way
16 Eastern sash
18 Smarties 20 Astute
22 Wild West law group
23 Invent 25 African
29 Mr Whitney
30 Auctioneers 32 Freezing rain 34 Dagger
43 Going in
45 Wrought up
46 Marked by frugality
54 Pass out
56 Benedict and
Peter 58 Records 60 Whirlwind 63 Pack animal
66 Equal pref.
67 Further down
68 Peace deity
69 Asian coin
70 English city
2 Custom obs
4 US symbol
5 Force unit
7 Most punts
8 Poetic contraction
13 Smarter 19 Gumshoe 21 Letter
23 Intervening law'
24 American hero Ethan
26 Court gear
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PREVIOUS PUZZLE SOL VEO
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31 Killed 33 Riviera
38 Track great Jesse
41 Eat away 44 Creaked
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48 Miss Landers
50 Plant louse
51 House pest
52 Kitchen garb
53 Asian weight 55 Sound out 57 Window part 59 Sour
61 Iowa college
SCOTTSDALE. Ariz. (APT - Uke many children, 5-year-old Jeremy Dommin was afraid of the dark. He had recurring nightmares. He wandered the house crying in the middle of the night. He couldn’t sleep. And neither could his parents.
Finally Allan and Mary Beth Dommin had enough. In July, they gave their son an unusual night light - the universe.
The couple hired StellarVision, a Scottsdale company, to paint Jeremy's room with thousands of phosphorescent stars. Now Jeremy's room is a miniplanetarium that features a starry Arizona night.
The skyline includes dozens of familiar constellations such as Orion. Cancer. Leo. Scorpio and the Big Dipper.
“It’s definitely working.” says Mary Beth Dommin. “He hasn’t had a bad dream since we had it installed. He doesn’t even get up in the night to get a drink of water anymore. It may be a coincidence, but I think that it has really helped.”
Jeremy isn’t the only member of his family fascinated by the stars. Allan and Mary Beth Dommin plan to install Stellar-Vision in their bedroom. And each night, the couple and their four children say their prayers under starlight in Jeremy’s
Neighbors are impressed, too.
“We don’t tell them what to expect.
We like to surprise them the first time they see it,” says Mrs. Dommin. “Some of them are pretty skeptical. But once we turn the lights off, you hear a lot of people saying ooh, aah.” The Dommins are one of more than l.ooo families nationwide who have had StellarVision iMt^iiyt in their homes since 1904, says Jim Stotler, company president and chairman of
Stotler. a Portland. Ore., building contractor, says he thought of the process two years ago while decorating a room for his 2-year-old daughter.
Stotler wanted to decorate the room with some glow-inthe-dark star stickers like the ones he had in his »a child.
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