Speak Out 5/18/06

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Thanks for hard work

A COUPLE of weeks ago there was some criticism of the former Old Town Cape director on Scott Moyers' Biz Blog. Anyone who knows anything about downtown laughed at how out of touch the comments were. But Moyers' business column this week underlined again that downtown and Old Town Cape continue their renaissance, and some of the credit surely is owed to Tim Arbeiter. Thanks, Tim, for your hard work on behalf of Cape Girardeau at Old Town Cape. We expect greater things now that you're at the chamber.

Security lights

MOST BUSINESSES have security lights that remain on when the business is closed. That is to light the area so that when law enforcement cruise by they can see if there is a break-in or suspicious activity going on. It also deters such activity from happening.

Piece of history

IT WOULD be a travesty if the county paved over May Greene Park. This park is historic. And it gives a charm to the neighborhood and the city, and it would be sorely missed. Chuck Martin at the Convention and Visitors Bureau and John Mehner at the chamber should speak up against destroying this part of our town's history. They have spent significant money determining what makes Cape Girardeau a distinct place, and gardens like May Greene and the rose garden are clearly part of it. County commissioners, do not mess with this garden.

It's safe, if ...

CONTRARY TO a Speak Out comment, Southeast Missourian editor Joe Sullivan's suggestion to swim in the Mississippi River is based on sound scientific evidence. Worries about the river causing human sickness or death due to ingesting polluted water are unwarranted, if one condition is met. According to the latest analysis of scientific literature (see in particular "Belly Bombing in the Big Muddy" in the spring issue of Intuitive Science), the ill effects resulting from swimming in a polluted river are neutralized by a river filled with balls resulting from errant shots by golfers near a river located in a downtown area.

Rainy-day suggestion

CAPE GIRARDEAU schoolteachers and administrators will be getting a higher-than-normal pay increase next year, which is great. My concern is what happens if state funding isn't there, heating bills rise and the district isn't able to meet its payroll. Will it be no raise for the following year? I hope all educators put back a good portion of that raise for a rain-soaked day.

Parking conundrum

WHAT IS so bad about Hardee's losing nine parking spaces? I have never seen more than five cars parked at Hardee's at one time. I always see customers at Global Trading. If Hardee's wants extra parking spaces, it should pay for them. Cape Girardeau should stop bullying local business owners.

Police presence

I AM glad the Jackson police are out in force near and around the West Lane, Orchard and the junior high schools. This is the most congested part of town in the morning. Everyone is in a hurry to get kids to school. There are children walking to and around schools. The police are needed there to enforce laws and to be on hand in case of an emergency or, best of all, to prevent one. A police presence reminds all of us to watch our speed and to be aware of what's going on around us. I feel our children are much safer with their presence.

Traffic nightmare

IT SEEMS to me that Jackson parents feel they are above the law. They hardly stop at stop signs. They cut in front of you. They speed. Jackson streets are an absolute nightmare between 7:20 and 8 a.m., especially Farmington Road and Route D. I either witness a near accident or am part of one myself almost every morning. If parents had their kids ride the bus to school, we wouldn't have as many cars on the road going to and from the elementary schools.

Too convincing

I WISH the water park supporters would stop teasing us by saying they are willing to drive all the way to Santa Claus, Ind., to go to a water park. Give me a break. I can't believe the lengths people will go to try to persuade others. For many reasons, I am glad this area doesn't have one of those water parks. Those parks are costly to construct and to maintain as well as an insurance nightmare.

At-risk assistance

NO MATTER how talented and educated your teachers and administrators are, there will always be a small percentage of students who need more intense one-on-one instruction to learn new skills being taught in classrooms. A small percentage of those students are those who will need services above and beyond what can be provided in the general education classroom (students who receive special-education services). But the remaining students who struggle and do not qualify for special education will fall through the cracks and continue to struggle till they get so frustrated they will drop out, or worse. At-risk programs in schools are sorely needed in order to provide help to those student who need a little more help than the average student but don't qualify for special-education services.

Year-round concern

MAYBE SOME parents want teachers to be in charge of their kids, but not all. I think it is up to me to get my kids to bed, make sure homework is done and teach my kids how to act when we go out to eat, not the school or teachers. But I also want my kids to be allowed to be kids. I wish teachers cared as much as about the kids all year, not just during the MAP testing.

Abused policy

IT SEEMS that the Cape Girardeau City Council has decided to take the private property of one small business and give it to another. That is wrong. This is abuse of eminent domain. I would urge everyone who still believes in the spirit of our U.S. Constitution to stand with Jerel and Belen Lichtenegger against our city government.

No tax relief

THE CAPE Girardeau City Council has decided we do not need a sales-tax holiday on back-to-school items. I would imagine the decision is due, in part, to the council's arrogant assumption that consumers have to shop in Cape Girardeau. Vote with your pocketbook. It seems that's all our politicians understand anymore.

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