Speak Out 6/11/07

Monday, June 11, 2007

Dealing with crime

LAST WEEK I witnessed more than 20 teenagers loitering in the Town Plaza parking lot at midnight. There was also a young man who had been beaten sitting on the front step of the snow cone stand. I was disgusted as I watched a patrol car drive through the parking lot and out again, never stopping to address either of these situations. Yet on several occasions, I've noticed a patrolman in the Andy's Custard parking lot during the middle of the day, only a couple of hundred yards past the speed-change sign with radar gun in hand waiting to catch someone speeding. What is the purpose of our police department? Is it to generate revenue for the city by setting up speed traps? Or is it to stop crime and protect citizens? When will our police department stop looking for crime among its honest citizens and start dealing with the issues right in front of their eyes?

Seeking pardons

NO SOONER than Scooter Libby's sentence was announced were his high-profile Republican friends asking for a pardon. Remember all those Iran-Contra folks who were let into high positions afterward and pardoned? Republicans don't like taking responsibility for anything unless it benefits them.

Bargaining decision

THE INDEPENDENCE School District violated its agreement with employees and ignored their contract. The Supreme Court agreed with the workers. If you make an agreement with employees (public or private), you have to live up to your agreement. Because of the State ex rel. Missey v. City of Cabool decision in 1969, public employees already had most of the collective bargaining rights enjoyed by the private sector. The Supreme Court simply acknowledged what was already a fact in the state. Public employees have the right to negotiate with their employers. The employers have the right to reject the workers' request. The workers do not have the right to strike.

Party history

WHAT'S UP with all the complaining about graduation parties? Back in the 1970s we had them every year with several kegs and hundreds of students at the party. No one got in trouble. We all drove home, and there was no big stink about it. What's wrong now?

Pool traffic

I WAS at the Capaha Park pool this weekend and noticed a significant increase in traffic because the pool is open and baseball has started. I was surprised to see a young man on a motorcycle driving the wrong way in the one-way circle drive in front of the pool. I was even more surprised to see him park his motorcycle on the sidewalk at the top of the stairs. I assumed a pool employee would step out and ask him to move the motorcycle and follow the one-way arrows in the future. Imagine my surprise when I saw him go into the pool area. He was an employee. Pool employees have reserved parking spots right in front. Of all people, they should know that the drive in front of the pool is one-way. I hope in the future everyone will be more cautious, especially now that school's out and the swimming pool is open for lessons and open swims.

Frightening speech

AS A child, I would pull a chair near our radio and listen to President Roosevelt's speeches. It may have been the tone of his voice. However, as a person in my 70s, I listen to Bush, and he frightens me.

Recycling at center

WHY CAN'T we have clearly marked recycling containers at the Osage Community Centre or Arena Park or other places so we can also recycle there? All of the plastics are being thrown into the trash.

Replacing lights

I CALLED AmerenUE about a street light that's been out for some time. I thought the light bulb would be replaced promptly, but it wasn't. I called again and was informed that street lights are not a priority. I couldn't believe this kind of response. It seems this is a safety issue that should be dealt with promptly.

Big difference

IN ANSWER to the "Not a free pass" comment: The difference between the Great Depression era and this era is that during the Great Depression, you had the rich jumping from rooftops. In this era, you have poor people standing on rooftops begging to be saved. That's one huge difference.

Lottery priority

I SAW in the paper where about 60 people in May and 50 in April pulled away from the filling stations without paying. I can understand that. You go into pay and have to wait until the clerks get done selling lottery tickets. There must be more money in the lottery business than there is the gas business.

Drinking excuses

IT IS scientifically proven that a very small percentage who drink beer and alcohol do it in moderation. If it works for you, great. I am from this planet, but my head is not buried in the sand. The messages we send our children will affect their lives long after we're gone. Any other excuses?

Legal clarification

THANK YOU, Morley Swingle, Cape Girardeau County prosecuting attorney, for interpreting the minors-in-possession law. Everyone I've talked has wondered about the legality of the Sikeston police ticketing innocent bystanders at that backyard party. Now they know it was illegal. Many of these students asked to take breathalyzer tests or blood tests, but the Sikeston police turned them down.

Time with your children

I'M SICK of hearing about a water park every time I pick up the paper. If you can't afford to send your children to a pool, then how are you going to afford to send them to a water park? You want to send your children to a water park so you can have the day off. That's fine, but it would be nice maybe if you would take your child to the water park and spend the day there with them.

From the heart

I THOUGHT Gary Rust's column about prayer was thought-provoking. I enjoyed it. I have a reply to it. Our daily actions always affect someone, be it family, friends or people we come in daily contact with. Our minds reflect the state of our heart, which then becomes our action. These three phases do not happen instantaneously, but they slip in slowly. And minds are changed from "I shouldn't, I wouldn't, I couldn't" and allow "maybe" to slip in, sometimes unnoticed, followed by "why not?" then "OK." Our minds become captive to feelings of our hearts. Our actions then follow through, be they good, bad or indifferent. If we would only along the roadway of life check our hearts before our minds are made up and our mouth has spoken words and caused actions difficult to explain or retract. In whatever situation we may find ourselves, peace of mind comes from the heart.

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