Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Firing up the debate

The letter to the editor that ran in the Freelance about Hollister Police Chief Miller retiring spurred plenty of activity in the newspapers online comment section. I am always interested in hearing what people have to say but I believe a forum that allows people to post their thoughts anonymously is flawed. I always attach my name to any articles I write or comments I make and I believe that everyone should be required to do the same. Any coward can lash out and say nasty things about people when they are allowed to hide behind online pseudonyms. I try not to respond to any of the slanderous comments but sometimes I can't help myself. However I am not about to get into a battle of words with anyone who doesn't have the courage to attach their name to their comments. I would however love to hear from fellow bloggers that identify themselves and invite you all to share your feelings about what I write whether positive or negetive and I promise to respond to your questions and comments with honesty and integrity.

I would like to clear up a serious misconception regarding the Hollister Motorcycle Rally and Johnny's. It does bring in some much needed extra income for us. When we have a rally, during the month of July we do about one month's extra business. That does not equate to hundreds of thousands of dollars as some people would like to think. We only have so much space and it is limited. Out of the extra money we make we pay a food bill as well as beer and liquor bills that have doubled, twenty five extra employees wages and many other extras. I take the opportunity to give extra money to our church and local charities like the Community Pantry. We purchase new equipment and make necessary repairs to the bar. If there is any left after that we put it in the bank for relief during slower times which usually befall us by the middle of August.

The rally isn't all about money in the first place. It put Hollister on the map and gives people a reason to get off the freeway. Because of the historical significance that Johnny's holds we see people from all over the globe and we love it. People from as far away as Australia, Italy, Japan, France and Germany come to visit us and soak up some history. Johnny's is to Hollister what the Arch is to Saint Louis or the Golden Gate Bridge is to San Francisco. This may not seem like a great analogy to some people but we are the tourist destination of our fair city and proud of it. People are free to stop by and check out our guest book any time. It is truly amazing.

My prayer is that the new political climate will allow us to once again have a fun motorcycle rally that brings lots of business to our deserted downtown. We have lost many businesses that were icons in this city which saddens me. I thank God every day for a wonderful business with the best customers that anyone could hope to have. My employee's are awesome too and that's why people keep coming back. Feel free to share your thoughts, just be sure to sign your name.

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