|by Ivan Foley
A patron of the Camden Point Fire District is
angry that her child was given an article containing
the logo of an alcoholic beverage at a Halloween
event at the fire district.
Angela Turner expressed her displeasure at a Monday
night meeting of the three- member board that
oversees the Camden Point volunteer fire department.
Turner said her five year old daughterand
other childrenwere given what are known
as "glow necklaces" by Fire Chief Walt
Stubbs on Halloween night. The disturbing part,
Turner says, is that the necklaces contained a
bat-shaped piece of artwork that is the logo for
a brand of rum.
"I find it totally immoral," Turner
told the board. "I expect firemen, police
officers, etc. to be upstanding people and this
is not something I admire in the least. I think
this is a disgrace to the fire department.
Stubbs said the glowing pendants were handed
out so that kids trick-or-treating would have
a type of lighted device to help make them more
visible. Though the liquor-makers logo was
on each necklace, "it says nothing on it
about (the liquor)," he pointed out.
"I apologize for offending you on that,"
Stubbs told Turner.
Kevin Rawlings, assistant fire chief, said the
department each Halloween tries to give kids "something
Turner acknowledged her young daughter didn't
realize the logo signified an alcoholic beverage.
As for herself, Turner said she didn't realize
it until she saw an advertisement with the logo
in a magazine.
"This is how they advertise. The bat device
is their logo. If kids went to school wearing
this, they would be in trouble," she said.
Turner said she is sure the liquor company would
not hand out the device to anyone under age 21.
Turner said she was told Stubbs acquired the
items at no cost through his place of employment.
Stubbs acknowledged the beverage maker neither
was aware nor would have approved of the device
with their logo being given to children.
Kurt Dutcher, board member, said the fire district
typically tries to save as much money as possible
and looks for free items to distribute.
"But I agree with Angie in that we shouldn't
advertise any of the vices," Dutcher said.
Stubbs said he has worked to be an upstanding
member of the community.
"In the future, we won't be using any of
those items. Is there anything else you want us
to do?" Stubbs asked Turner.
"I don't want to give the fire department
a bad name. I think you knew what you were handing
out and it didn't faze you," she answered.
Rawlings said the intent was for safety for the
kids on Halloween night.
Steve Folck, president of the fire board, said
the glow necklaces were "free to the department
and it was an innocent mistake." He said
the department considered it handing out a "glowing
bat on Halloween.
Mike Kelly, board member, joined others in saying
he didn't realize the bat device was a logo for
Folck told Turner that her comments "are
duly noted and you won't have to worry about it
Turner responded by saying: "I think that's
During the meeting, Turner commented that she
had called the liquor-maker and that company officials
didn't want to talk with her about it until they
had reviewed the situation with their legal counsel.
The day after the meeting, Turner said she was
upset that the board members, in her opinion,
"kept justifying what happened by saying
it was an innocent mistake. I never said I thought
it was meant to say 'Hey kids, let's go drinkalcohol.'
She added: "I'm glad (Stubbs) said he was
sorry but there's no justifying what he did. I'll
just let (the company) take it up with them.
Turner said that in her latest conversation with
officials from the company that makes the rum,
she was told there would be an "investigation"
by the company.
"They told me the necklaces were only to
be distributed to bars, not to be given out to
children." she said.
In other business at the meeting, the board:
Heard a treasurer's report that announced
the district has $334 in checking and approximately
$28,000 in a money market account.
Heard Stubbs say that fire department runs
have numbered 106 for the year, down about 8%
from the previous year. "We didn't really
have a grass fire season," he said.
Discussed the district's intention to pay
down the outstanding loan on the fire department
building. Stubbs said the intent is to do this
so that in about 10 years the department will
be in a position to build a second station. "The
insurance companies say we probably need another
station," he remarked.
Heard the fire chief report that more than
50% of the firefighters are now state certified
Approved the idea of applying for a credit
card for the district through Platte Valley Bank.
Stubbs said he envisions the card being used only
five or six times a year, with it also being used
to pay for the cost of internet service at the
Dutcher suggested the card, which will not have
an annual fee, have only a $1,000 line of credit
and that there be no cash access available through
the card. Folck said the bank suggests the Social
Security number on the card be that of the person
who will be the primary user, which it was agreed
would be Stubbs. Folck said Stubbs will fill out
the application and it will be returned to the
bank for processing.