Speak Out 6/15/06

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Houck's a good deal

WHEN I attended Central High School in the late 1960s, football games were played at Houck Stadium, often on Thursday nights, and drew large crowds. Houck is a great venue for football, and we are fortunate Southeast Missouri State University allows the field to be rented. Spending $1.5 million for a football stadium at Central would be a waste of money.

Disturbing statement

I HAVE never voted for Attorney General Jay Nixon, but I think he has done a decent job. I was disappointed to read that he initially refused to recuse himself from representing the state against Ameren over the damages to state property resulting from the breach of the Taum Sauk Reservoir. Nixon has received $19,000 in donations from Ameren. Pocketing this money was legal under state law, but it was obvious that it was a clear conflict of interest for him to accept this money. He has since returned the donation, but his initial public statement that he would keep the money and would even accept more was disturbing.

Ordained 25 years

CONGRATULATIONS TO the Rev. Tom Kiefer, senior priest at the Cathedral of St. Mary in Cape Girardeau, on his 25th anniversary of being ordained a priest. Father Tom was ordained on June 12, 1981, at St. Lawrence Parish in New Hamburg with his parents, brother, friends and priests in attendance.

Statistical question

INQUIRING MINDS wonder if 1 million illegals enter our nation yearly, how come the media always reports there are 11 million illegals here? Either millions are disappearing, or the media are stuck on autopilot. Since the Department of Education reports that the number of English language learners in our schools grew by 105 percent in the last decade, while the general school population grew by 12 percent, it seems possible that the media are stuck.

Summer's here

HURRICANE SEASON is off and kicking. Baseball players are being tested for hormones. Kids in the neighborhood are walking. I smell charcoal. The politicians are trying to sell themselves. And everyone is complaining about every little thing. I guess it's summer. Enjoy it while you can.

Timing the lights

I AGREE with the truck driver about the timing of the traffic lights in Cape Girardeau. Kingshighway is a constant traffic back up. The timing of the lights creates a stop-and-start situation at every light. Last week my daughter and I got caught in rush hour traffic on Telegraph Road in St. Louis. Traffic moved smoothly because of the timing of the lights. I wish Cape would follow St. Louis on this. It would not only save us gasoline, but probably cut down on accidents.

Sign priorities

WHEN YOU consider that Cape Girardeau is practically covered with permanent billboards that not only deface the city but distract drivers, it is ridiculous for the administrative body to make a big deal over garage sale signs, which are temporary. Our city fathers are overdue for a reality check. Where are their priorities?

Pave Old Orchard

WHOEVER'S RESPONSIBLE, whether it's county commissioners or county highway department or the city of Jackson, needs to pave Old Orchard Road that runs by Buchheit's. Cars get a dust bath every time they go down this road. I hope something will be done about it.

For the sales tax

PEOPLE NEED to look at the benefits of the proposed half-cent sales tax will do for Cape Girardeau County. Most people pay less than $100 for roads and bridges on their personal property and real estate taxes now. Under the proposed half-cent sales tax, this road tax is eliminated and is replaced with a sales tax, which everyone who buys anything in Cape Girardeau County and drives on county roads will pay, regardless if they own any property in the county. You would have to spend more than $20,000 to pay $100 in sales tax. For most people the cost is the same or less than before with the benefits of better county roads and better law enforcement protection. This sales tax will also allow more sheriff's deputies to be on the road helping protect our county. I think everyone should vote yes on this issue.

Theories of violence

THE END of al-Zarqawi will be an interesting test of two of the theories of violence in Iraq. The conservatives have always claimed that the violence in Iraq was because of terrorism and would mostly cease with the capture or death of al-Zarqawi. Liberals have always claimed it was due to the violence between Shiites and Sunnis. Who will end up being correct?

Sign disparity

CITY OFFICIALS are making everybody take down their yard sale signs, but we have to look at all the political signs for candidates. It's a matter of taking away something that everybody enjoys still expecting us to vote for them.

No political signs

I'M ASSUMING that since Cape Girardeau got rid of yard-sale signs that political signs will be illegal as well. Is that the case? I hope so.

Trashy signs

I'M CALLING about garage-sale signs. I'm glad to see that the city is finally doing something about these signs, because they make the streets look trashy. If you're going to a yard sale, put an ad in the newspaper and give directions.

Like Truman

OUR PRESIDENT, George W. Bush, is a lot like President Harry S. Truman. Bush stays there no matter how low his polls go and no matter how many people talk bad about him. He does what he thinks right. That's what Truman did.

Remove the signs

MAYOR JAY Knudtson, city council and policemen of Cape Girardeau: There are congratulatory signs on several utility poles along Perry Avenue. They need to be taken down, because there's an ordinance against this. If you take down yard-sale signs, you should take down those signs. They do not belong there.

Political signs

I THINK most of Cape Girardeau could live with the new sign ordinance if it didn't permit political campaign signs. We're about as sick of looking at those as looking at yard-sale signs.

Carter comparison

REPUBLICANS condemned President Carter when the ayatollah held Americans citizens hostage. Republicans did all kinds of second-guessing. They suggested bombing the daylights out of Iran. Why didn't we send in a surprise raid to free the hostages? When Carter did that, our helicopters could not handle the environment. Carter should have known that, right? Then President Bush should have known the information he passed on to the American people about Iraq was basically wrong.

Drug perks

IN OUR office the doctors will not even talk to a drug rep unless the rep brings lunch for the entire office. We end up with free lunches several times a week. Sometimes the reps take the doctors out for dinners in some of the nicer restaurants in town if they promise to listen to a speech about a new drug. The reps bring in ink pens, clocks, calendars and all kinds of things. Maybe if the drug companies spent less on free lunches and other giveaways, they could sell their medicines for less so that people could afford them without having to do without food or electricity.

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