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Speak Out 5/9/06

Tuesday, May 9, 2006

Price gouging

HIGH GASOLINE prices: All we get is excuses. The energy secretary says the oil companies are not price gouging. The president says maybe the oil companies need to be investigated. Who's telling us the truth? I think they are price gouging, and I think the administration is covering up for them.

Taxing immigrants

WHO IS TO say how much bolstering of our economy the illegal immigrants are doing? When they buy, they have to pay sales tax. If they buy gasoline, they pay the gas tax. They might be keeping our economy going. This illegal alien thing can be solved, but it will take some smarts. A lot of callers don't seem to have any smarts.

Captive customers

BY ALL means, the Postal Service should consider raising first-class postage, now that e-mail and Internet banking are taking so much of that portion of their business. The Postal Service should continue to raise rates for packages and help UPS compete for our shipping needs. The Postal Service should continue to make complicated rules for package size and institute new ones for first-class mail. The Postal Service should institute an e-Bay holiday in gratitude for the tremendous business generated by that auction site. It should continue to spend millions on construction and landscaping. After all, the Postal Service does have such a captive audience.

Motorcycle safety

NICE WEATHER is here, and many more motorcycles are on the roads. We know we are invisible to some automobile drivers, but we ask that everyone be aware and take the time to look closely before entering highways and intersections. Drive safely this summer season.

Great opportunity

I'D LIKE to thank everyone involved in bringing Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia to Cape Girardeau to speak. What a great opportunity to hear one of the great judicial minds of our time. Thanks, of course, also to Justice Scalia for sharing with us his thoughts on the Constitution during this hectic time for the court.

Water park opinions

THE BIRDS are chirping, and the weather is getting warmer. These occurrences start the parade of illegitimate comments regarding the need for a water park in Cape Girardeau. I enjoyed reading the articles by the Central Middle School students on this matter, but their points and those of many other local citizens to motivate the building of this water park are not strong enough. An investor wouldn't see enough of a return to justify it. The tourist dollars aren't there as people who have played all day at a water park don't spend high dollars in local hotels, department stores and restaurants. For the local citizens, the water park would serve as a baby-sitter for much of the youths of the area.

Board's job

WHY IS there only one school board member who is questioning the hiring practices and business decisions of administrators in the Cape Girardeau district? Why does it take so long to get anything done? Committees have been meeting for two years on some projects with no policies forthcoming. Many district committees have the same agenda at the end of the year as they did at the beginning because no decisions have been made. The board needs to wake up and do its job.

Dependent on jobs

THE DIFFERENCE between the immigrants who built this country and today's immigrants is one group worked for what they got and the other is given what they have. If people were dependent on their jobs to get by, they would work hard. Today few workers in any industry work hard. Our auto industry is failing. Many restaurants don't give good service. Company customer-service representatives sound like you are putting them out by calling. You hear horror stories of people building new houses and having major problems. City workers can't design intersections. And cashiers at retail stores are mad when you choose their line. Take away welfare, and people will work hard so they do not lose their jobs. I know I would.

Make an effort

LIVING IN a racist society this is not the way I want to live my life. If you are racist, it is probably because you never took the time to talk with people other than your own race. We are much more alike than we are different. We work, go to school, play, laugh, cry, love our families. Don't judge a whole people by a few rotten eggs. Make an effort to get to know some one of a different race. You will be glad you did.

Dealing with drugs

THE WAR on drugs is lost. If we are going to arrest everyone who does drugs, we better start building some massive prisons to hold them all. If you arrest one dealer, there is another waiting to fill his spot. Prison does more harm than good. Drugs are readily available in prison. We need more treatment centers and halfway houses. We need more AA and NA-type meetings. Part of the high of using drugs is the idea that you are getting away with something. Alcohol is the worst drug of all, and it is legal. Either decriminalize some drugs or ban alcohol. If you all are tired of your life of addiction, please come see us at an AA, NA or Celebrate Recovery meeting. We want you. We care about you.

A father's thanks

I WANT to praise the teachers and principal at Clippard Elementary School, especially Mrs. Eicholz, the kindergarten teacher; Mrs. Dement, the third-grade teacher; Mrs. Herbst, the principal; and the nurse, Tammy Lynn. These people have taken extra steps in teaching and caring for my kids. If more teachers cared about kids the ways these four do, our world would be a different place. Thank you from a proud father.

University backup

I AM a Cape Girardeau police officer. I would like to thank all Southeast Missouri State University Department of Public Safety officers for assisting us on the streets nearby the college. I know they don't have to. I truly appreciate the backup, because sometimes they are my only backup.

Sudden increases

FUEL PRICES seem ridiculous unless you consider what they might have been if they had inched up along with everything else over the past four decades. It's the shock of the sudden increases that is hurting us. We were not able to get used to a few-cents-a-year increase. We had no way to incorporate gradual increases into our budgets. If we must travel to our jobs, it's like we've taken a rather large cut in pay.

Private venture

FEW WATER parks, unless they are huge and well-located in an area already considered a tourist area, have seldom been successful. There is one in New Braunfels, Texas, that does well. However, the locals seldom use it, as it is expensive and privately owned. If residents of Cape Girardeau want a water park, they should contact private businesses and convince them to build one, rather than hope to rely on taxpayers to invest in such a risky venture. Just the insurance alone could break a city.

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