Speak Out 5/3/07

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Zoning revisited

THE COUNTY planning and zoning proposal failed a few years ago because the proposed ordinances were badly written and lacked foresight. With the huge amount of growth throughout the county, a set of smartly written zoning ordinances should be given serious consideration once again. How about reaching out to the community first, so everyone can understand that the intent of zoning ordinances are not to control property owners, but to maintain organized growth within the boundaries of a reasonable long-term plan?

Zoning outreach

ATTENTION CAPE Gir-ardeau County: Cape Girardeau will be knocking at your door. Once the city begins to enact Missouri Revised Statute 89.145 for planning and zoning up to two miles outside its city limits, the leapfrog effect will take place. One day the arms of the city reach out two miles, then later another two miles beyond that, and then there is no stopping the monster. Good luck to Cape Girardeau and other surrounding towns. You will never control any of my or my neighbor's property.

Mixed directions

IS THERE a law on who is allowed to direct traffic? My family was going to church Sunday while a bike race was going on. There were three college boys directing traffic onto Cape Rock Drive. They were waving their arms and yelling to go. All three were facing different directions, and we were not sure who they were telling to go. It was like a three-ring circus. I hope drivers realize they are responsible for their vehicle. Police are more direct. They look right at you and are not all over the place. We go through this race every year, and this was the first time we had to go through the intersection like this. Normally it is under control.

Fawn on parking lot

ONE OF the saddest sights I've seen in recent years was that of a forlorn fawn standing in the middle of what was once a wooded area off Bertling Street but is now a large blacktopped parking lot.

Early school start

REGARDING THE start of the school year: Over the past few years it has gone from Labor Day, then a week forward. School districts keep moving it closer to the beginning of August. The summer break gets shorter, and even winter break has been cut to barely 10 days. I was told it was so schools could end the grading period before the new year. District office people get to sit in the air conditioning in August, while a lot of the staff and students have to go out to recess and PE and back to a hot building.

Smartest woman

IS SOUTHEAST Missouri in competition for the title of the world's smartest woman? Sheryl Crow, by hard work and talent, has earned her acclaim in the music field. There is no doubt about this achievement. She is a superstar. However, can one person be the recognized authority regarding the complicated area of cancer, global warming and abortion rights? Hillary is being challenged.

Gas mileage tradeoff

WHILE I don't doubt the excellent fuel mileage hybrid cars are getting, I do have some questions. How long is the service life of the batteries in these cars? What is the replacement cost of the batteries? How are the batteries to be disposed of? My point is that the economic benefit of the gas mileage may be negated by costly battery replacement. Clean air benefits could be diminished if the batteries create a solid waste disposal problem.

Enjoy the wildlife

I THINK the section of North Sprigg Street between Lexington Avenue and Bertling Street is a natural treasure for us. One can see deer and turkey there reliably. What a pleasant respite from the other busy streets in town. Instead of destroying the wildlife in that special place, we should instead post a 15-mph speed limit and make that section of road a wildlife sanctuary.

School issues

THE FIVE-year-old Central High School is already too small. But the junior high school has room to spare, room that we're going to let a group use free of charge. The junior high needs major work. That was brought up five years ago, and the board, some of whom are still on it, ignored the concerns. The so-called unusable Schultz building is back in use by the district. Five years ago the first bond issue was supposed to take care of air conditioning for all buildings still in use. Within a year we were told the junior high didn't get done and more money was needed. Does anyone else see an alarming pattern here? We've been lied to over and over. We've got some arrogant board members who seem to think they can continue to get away with this if they pull out the "We owe it to our kids" card. The sad thing is that many residents are foolish enough to fall for it.

Doesn't sound right

I SAW Tom Brokaw interview former CIA director George Tenet. He asked Tenet if anyone ever asked him if it was a good idea to go to war. Tenet said no. Rumsfeld says no one asked him. Powell says no one asked him. Rice says no one asked her. Does this sound right to anyone?

Planning for spending

WOULD THAT the Cape Gir-ardeau School District would spend a tenth of the time it puts into planning a new bond issue into the repairs and figuring out how to increase academic achievement. What a rip-off. As homeowners, we don't wait until something has to be repaired and then hope we can foist it off on the public to pay for it. We make sure we keep it up monthly so all the expenses don't come out of one paycheck. But then, we don't have the public and bond issues to count on.

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