Speak Out 9/11/05

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Less driving

KUDOS TO Blair Packaging with facilities in Cape Girardeau and Scott City. Blair is changing to four 10-hour days a week to aid their employees in conserving gasoline. Every little bit helps. It would be great to see more employers making such an effort.

No action taken

I HAVE contacted area animal shelters that deal with animal abuse. To date, the situation of a large number of dogs remains the same. They are allowed to roam, are left severely undernourished, reproduce indiscriminately and prevent walkers and runners from the road in their vicinity. Everyone talks about them, but nothing is being done. Why report abuses if actions isn't taken against the owners.

Safety factors

WHENEVER A sport or hobby begins to interfere with the safety of others, it becomes an issue. One of those hobbies is antique tractors. When these caravans are on our two-lane roads, traffic cannot travel at normal speeds. It becomes a serious issue to pass these caravans safely. Many of our roads have curves that obstruct the view in several areas. If we are to share the road with these hobbyists, more regulations should be in place for safety of everyone.

Scope of disaster

HURRICANE KATRINA caused severe devastation over an area almost as large as Great Britain. To insinuate that the relief effort was too slow is to be completely oblivious to the sheer size and scope of this disaster. If you honestly believe that the government had the capability to provide immediate relief to everybody in this area all at once, then I've got a bridge to sell you over Lake Pontchartrain.

Age limits

THE UNITED States is the only country that prohibits 18-year -olds from drinking beer while allowing them to freely engage in sex and abortions. I seem to be the only person bothered by this.

Flood-plain rules

I OWN a home in Southern Illinois that has never been flooded in recorded history. However, FEMA deems the property part of a flood plain. Consequently, I cannot build any new structures on the property unless they are elevated above the flood plain, nor can anyone finance the purchase of my property since FEMA mandates that the property does not qualify for flood insurance. If FEMA can impose such harsh regulations that have effectively stopped the growth of our rural communities near the Mississippi River, why should the federal government be able to use our tax dollars to rebuild a major city that is obviously part of a flood plain? If federal money is to be used to bail out New Orleans, that city should be subject to the same regulations for rebuilding as we are in Southern Illinois.

Community entrance

WHEN THE powers that be plan the new I-55 interchange for Jackson's East Main corridor, I hope they consider what a significant gateway to the area this is. Some great examples of what we should shoot for exist the Chesterfield overpass on I-64/U.S. 40 and another at the I-70 entry to Wentzville. Both of these have beautiful detailing with brick and railings and have a nice sign with the city's name. Let's have something that reflects the community known as the home of "beautiful homes, churches, and schools" and not just a standard concrete overpass.

Traffic jam

WHO CHANGED the timing on the stoplights at Route K and the interstate? Since mid-August the traffic jam there has been unbearable in the morning. The people exiting off southbound I-55 to Route K get a left-turn arrow but can't turn left due to the red light backing up cars into the lane they are turning into. So they turn anyway and block all the lanes, leaving people in the westbound lane with a green left-turn arrow sitting there with all the lanes blocked until the red light changes.

Heed the warnings

WHETHER PEOPLE left or didn't leave the hurricane disaster areas is no longer something we should be complaining about. The fact is some stayed, and they need our help. For years we have been told there is going to be a major earthquake in Southeast Missouri. Has anyone left?

Pick up those bodies

HERE IT is 10 days after the terrible hurricane, and the news media are still showing dead bodies floating in the streets of New Orleans. I understand the need to get the living first to a safe place, but for God's sake couldn't someone pick those bodies up and put them in a more humane place? No one would want to have a family member, friend or neighbor left like that. I know disease is terrible in New Orleans, but I know something could be done. Why not use some of the military equipment to pick up the bodies? I suppose this all involves more red tape. I am so disappointed in our government.

Command failures

THE RED Cross had food and clothing on the way to the New Orleans Superdome on the day after the hurricane and before the floodwall broke. The Red Cross trucks were turned back by the Louisiana Department of Emergency Management because Louisiana officials did not want to attract any more people to the Superdome. At about the same time the mayor of New Orleans refused to use available school buses to take people to safety because he wanted air-conditioned buses instead. Now both the mayor and the state are blaming our president for not doing enough to help them.

Beyond politics

I AM disgusted with the people who use the terrible situation on the Gulf Coast to make political points. Sadly, there are folks willing to be led by those who preach the politics of hate and fear and a media willing to print any outrageous claim made by the left. Please rise above this and think for yourself. Let's take care of the people who need help.

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