Support local businesses, urges local pharmacist
By Carolyn B. Edwards BCC Staff Writer
Local pharmacist Wayne Antenen has a bone to pick with the Bandera Electric Co-op. As US Congressmen rail against the US Olympic Committee for clothing our athletes in ugly costumes produced in China, Antenen says the co-op, through advertising in the Texas Co-op Power magazine also drives business out of Bandera.
At the same time, he would like to encourage residents to give some thought to supporting their local business people when they plan to make a purchase.
"I went to the annual meeting of the co-op and I was impressed with the patriotism," said Antenen. "The meeting started with employees who were veterans carrying in the flag and there was the national anthem and the pledge."
With such a public display of support for America, Antenen was surprised to see a full-page color ad in the Texas Co-op Power magazine for drugs from Canada.
The ad, from CanadaDrugs.com advertises a 20 to 80 percent savings for customers who order the prescriptions by mail order.
"People often don't realize that there is no FDA-type agency in Canada. A lot of the mail order drugs are counterfeit," advised Antenen. "In the US, a lot of prescriptions have holograms to ensure you're getting the real thing."
Antenen also suggested that our blazing hot Texas temperatures may not be the best thing for a box of medications sitting in the mail box.
"This kind of thing can put people like me out of business," he said.
When customers start doing business with out-of-state and out-of-country drug providers, "We also lose tax revenues."
Antenen also expressed concern about the Co-op Connections Card, a discount card issued by Bandera Electric Cooperative for its members to get discounts on their purchases at local businesses.
"The card is like a little insurance card," claimed Antenen. "When a customer uses it, it transmits their information via the internet to the provider."
That may not be a problem for many customers, but Antenen says the card companies may then contact the customer and try to roll them over onto their mail order service.
According to Katy Haby, Communications specialist at BEC, that is not the case with the BEC Connections Card. "We do a lot to help our local community and businesses," said Haby. "There is no solicitation done following the use of the Connections Card."
Haby added that since BEC introduced the discount card in February of 2010, members have saved over $240,000 shopping at businesses that honor the card in the seven counties served by BEC.
The Texas Co-op Power Magazine is produced by Texas Electric Cooperatives (TEC), a statewide association representing 76 electric cooperatives. Co-op members receive the magazine monthly.
The magazine's editor, Carol Moczygemba, said the magazine's advertising director sells ads directly and the magazine also runs ads sold by a national agency. She offered to call Antenen to hear his concerns and to pass them on to the magazine's advertising director.
If you share Antenen's concerns about an all-American cooperative magazine pushing foreign drugs, contact them online at TexasCoopPower.com/share, via email at
or snail mail at Editor, Texas Co-op Power, 1122 Colorado St., 24th Floor, Austin, TX 78701. Include your town and electric co-op.
Pictured: A full-page ad in the Texas Co-op Power magazine leads a local pharmacist to think Texas electric co-ops don't support America.
This kind of discount card may lead to business dollars leaving Bandera, a local pharmacist claims.