Speak Out 01/05/04

Monday, January 5, 2004

No surprise

I READ in the paper where Cape Girardeau lost the Trex Co. site to Mississippi. That is no surprise when all you read and hear is that Cape Girardeau is going broke. Is that truly a surprise?

Those bad laws

IF WIDESPREAD flouting of immigration laws is justified because they are "bad laws," does widespread running of red lights mean that stoplights are bad?

Manage better

NO NEW taxes. With the past work experience the Cape Girardeau mayor has, you would think he would know how to manage a budget without always having to have more money. Manage the money the city already has coming in better.

Close it down

THE CITY should buy out the Taste Lounge property. No crimes were reported there when it was closed.

Message for Jackson

THIS IS a message to Jackson over the fireworks issue. Thank God Cape Girardeau is being broad-minded. Jackson is being narrow-minded. Just think what you're going to do to people here. You're going to raise their insurance. People will start selling their homes and getting out of here. I'd sell mine tomorrow, but I don't think anyone wants to live in Jackson anymore with all that's going on in this town. I think if you can't clean up your act then you all need to leave office.

Married rights

I THINK it is high time that gay and lesbian couples are afforded the same rights as married couples. There are many couples here in Cape Girardeau who have long-standing relationships. They should be able to visit their partners in the hospital and have the same rights of inheritance and benefits.

Pray silently

THERE WILL always be prayer in schools. Silent prayer is as effective as organized prayer. Why is it so hard for us to understand that it is totally unchristian of us to demand rights for ourselves that we are unwilling to give to others?

Clear the road kill

I THOUGHT that the state highway department was supposed to pick up dead animals on the highway. A coyote and a deer have been on Highway 34 since way before Christmas. That's terrible. There is also a deer on Route U in Bollinger County that's been there for almost two weeks.

School spending

I'D LIKE to comment on the recent school cuts. I sat in on a school board meeting in Stoddard County where they approved $30,000 to extend a wall in their cafeteria to make room for trophies in a relatively new building. The same school approved over $60,000 to replace the lighting system in the brand-new gym. We need to keep an eye on where these schools are spending their money.

Paying teachers

SOMEONE HAS praised Gov. Bob Holden and has brought up the old argument again that teachers get paid for two weeks when they're not working. I'm a teacher, and I don't get paid for two weeks when not working. I'm contracted for a certain number of days, and I'm paid for those number of days. I'm off for two weeks at Christmas because families demand that their kids be off. Try having school during those two weeks and see how many people have an absolute fit. My contract is divided up into so many contract days, but my salary is divided up into 12 months. Someone said most teachers get paid more than state jobs. That's not true either. Our salaries are all public record. Most of us do not get paid more unless we've been on the job a lot longer.

Seat-belt exemption

I'M READING about the seat-belt laws. There is one thing that has never been mentioned. I have a dispensation from wearing a seat belt because of the confining motion with my arthritis. It is registered with the Department of Revenue in Jefferson City. Nobody seems to know anything about it. You have to have a doctor say that you are not able to wear a seat belt.

Safety in God

IT SEEMS to me God is angry at all of the world because of so much sin. There are so many earthquakes and all kinds of disasters just like Jesus said there would be in Matthew chapter 24. I think the earthquake in Iran was so terrible. There is no way to protect yourself and no warning, but there is safety in God.

Good move, governor

I THINK it was very good of the governor to think of Missouri's state employees and their families by granting the extra paid holidays.

Making the grade

BEING IN the Jackson School District, my child is not hurting from the budget cuts. What my child is hurting from is the way the schools are set up. They ought to have sixth, seventh, and eighth grades go to the same school and go back to the traditional four-year high school. My child's grades have fallen due to a change to another school that I view now as unnecessary.

Extra days off

I'M GLAD the state employees get extra days off. Not everybody has to pinch money in this society, and some people enjoy weeks off with their families. In many fields now you can have three weeks off paid with your family. Why shouldn't state workers get the day after Thanksgiving and the day after Christmas?

No perks for teachers

I HAVE no problem with state employees receiving extra paid vacation days, but I want to set the record straight for school employees. In my 25 years of teaching I have never received one day of paid vacation or so much as a Christmas bonus or Thanksgiving turkey. Teacher salaries are based on days they actually teach. We receive no pay for any days school is out of session at any time during the year. There is no such thing as perks in the public school system.

Old bridge: Keep off

BANNING HIKERS, photographers and bike riders from the old Cape Girardeau bridge is like banning people from Capaha Park because someone littered. Why should law-abiding citizens pay the price for the actions of a few?

Hiring senior citizens

MY HUSBAND and I have been looking for jobs for quite some time. We're senior citizens. Why don't businesses hire senior citizens? We are good workers. We never miss a day of work and are very dependable and honest. In the time that you hire and fire someone you could train us how to do the work, and we'd be good workers.

Deadbeats on Internet

I JUST read where Illinois is putting deadbeat dads on the Internet and how much they owe. I'm wondering why Missouri can't do the same thing.

Stoplight timing

AT THE intersection of Mount Auburn Road and William Street going eastbound, no more than six cars can turn left before this light changes to yellow. Surely the city or Missouri Department of Transportation could reset the controls. We sure would appreciate it.

Pothole repaired

I'M DRIVING north on I-55 between the 98 and 99 mile marker. The highway department has fixed the hole that I have complained about for three months. I want to thank MoDOT for fixing this terrible place in the road.

Changing filters

REGARDING THE Cape Girardeau School District's plan to cut three custodians from the payroll: Janitors start at around $16,000 a year. The district recently hired an independent contractor to change the air filters in the ventilation systems for $40,000. I think the janitors should keep their jobs and change the filters.

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