SOUTHEAST MISSOURI State University can do whatever it wants with its retail, research and residential development because it all falls under the University Foundation. The university for the past several years have been controlling the city. Now it appears it has the mayor as a lap dog. I don't agree that the university should be involved in such developments. it hired an out-of-town firm to do most of that. It would have been nice to use local people for this.
I AM proud of the one person who understands that bylaws should be followed the same way for everyone. If someone accepts a job that they will do unless there are other professional and volunteer commitments, appoint someone else. Exceptions are unfair, even if it is a woman.
Health care for kids
NOW THAT the election is over, it is time to move on to important business. I propose Missouri pass a bill that ensures health care for all children until age 18. This would save taxpayer dollars by eliminating the need for uninsured families going to the emergency room for a child with a cold or fever. It is time for Missouri to set the standard in this country.
JACKSON IS the entity that is most responsible for the new I-55 interchange. Jackson needs its own exit. It happened to work out that Southeast Missouri State University's farm is on the right of way. Considering that SEMO, Jackson and Cape Girardeau are all government entities, we really can't say much. It is much easier for the negotiations to take place when all of the players are on the same team. I'm proud that the area around the new interchange is going to be developed. How else are you going to attract anyone off the highway? The people who are going to work and learn at SEMO's proposed development there are going to need places to stop too.
NOT-FOR-profit universities and hospitals need to stay out of private real estate business. Our tax base shrinks with each development, and the private risk takers take a financial hit. Hospitals and universities heal and teach. That is what they claimed for their not-for-profit status. They shouldn't develop and own property that is removed from tax rolls.
A second chance
I WAS recently released, honorably, from the military, where I worked alongside some convicted felons and former druggies. These people have changed their lives to serve their country. They worked just as hard as their clean-cut counterparts. I agree that if someone commits a felony or uses drugs while in the military that he should be dealt with appropriately. But to say that the military doesn't allow these people to enter is false. Everyone deserves a second chance -- except terrorists, rapists and murderers.
KINGSHIGHWAY AND Mount Auburn Road are not the only streets suffering from street-light outages. I own property on West Rodney Drive. My neighbors and I have reported street-light outages for weeks with no response from Ameren other than "We will get to it." The residents in my neighborhood are mostly elderly and frightened by recent vandalism where there is no light. I pleased to see the mayor is as upset as I am. Wiring is not the problem. We have light bulbs that are burned out. It would appear to any reasonable person that the annual fee paid by the city to Ameren should be sufficient to keep someone fully employed to change light bulbs. Why doesn't the city take over the maintenance of lights?
Dems can't decide
SO THE Democrats are going to bring bipartisanship back to Washington. I think Nancy Pelosi needs to concentrate on unifying her party first. The Democrats can't come up with a stance on Iraq. They can't decide who is going to be the majority leader. They can't decide if they want to raise our taxes. They can't decide if gay marriage should be legal. They can't decide if they want to be anti-gun or not. Had enough?
Kids need balance
I AGREE that kids today need to be more active. It is not because both parents are working and don't have the time. My parents both worked and were gone before we went to school and didn't come home until well after we got home from school. We made snacks of butter pasta, mayonnaise bread and ramen noodles. None of us was overweight. We watched TV after school. At night we played board games. Fast food was a weekend treat, and one casserole dish fed eight people, not four. What we think are normal portions are wrong. We don't feel we get our money's worth if we are not stuffed. One reason our kids sit so much is because they have two or three hours of homework. They also do video games for entertainment, because you can no longer let your child run in the neighborhood or woods because of the sickos who might harm them. My generation of the 1960s and 1970s was not one big exercise class like some make it sound. It was balanced. Get back to that, and you won't see the obesity in kids today.
I'M TIRED of the misinformed callers who say the military is a place for uneducated criminals. Military members have a 90 percent high school diploma rate, compared to 75 percent fortheir civilian peers. The military is made up of over 50 percent from the upper middle class. The all-volunteer military is educated, informed, equipped and trained beyond the parameters of any other military force in the history of the world.
THE PLANNING and Zoning Commission should not have members who are self-serving, own large stakes of property in the city, are developers or who have numerous affiliations that keep them from serving properly.
Paying to drive
WITH AN AAA study revealing that over 75 percent of the car-truck crashes are caused by the drivers of the cars, it is nice to hear that commercial driver's license holders are not the only ones on the road who have our records checked in other states when we renew. I have no sympathy for the woman who is having trouble renewing her license. When I renew, it costs $60 for the license, $5 to keep my motorcycle endorsement, around $95 for the hazmat background check, a written test for the hazmat endorsement, and I have to start the renewal process at least 90 days before my license expires to ensure that the process is completed before my license expires -- $160 every five years just to keep my license. And my record is clean. Driving is not a right.
AS CORE inflation rates drop to their lowest rates in 13 years and new-car sales and new-home sales continue to climb at a record pace, one has to wonder why Democrats want to tinker with the economy.
Help the police
IF YOU are unhappy with the way things are done in Cape Girardeau, get involved. The police deal with a lot of issues. The shootings on Good Hope Street and Hanover Street have been dealt with. Dealing with the crack dealers is a more difficult problem. The police arrest one dealer today, and a new one will show up tomorrow. If the police patrol an area more than they already do, dealers will move to another corner or part of town. The drug task force is in place to help combat the problem by finding the source of drugs. This takes time. For every good tip the task force gets, it receives 10 bad tips that must be investigated. Instead of criticizing the police department, start helping them by sending in tips on the tip line. If you see drug activity, write down the plate number and send it in. The more information the police have, the more likely they are to clean up that corner.
Paying for politics
CHURCHES HAVE meddled in politics for too long. It's time for them to start paying taxes on the money they bring in and on their property. If they want to tell the public how to vote, they should pay for that right just like the rest of us.