Speak Out 02/03/04

Wednesday, February 4, 2004

MLK's dream

IT WAS a rare act of civic courage when the Martin Luther King Jr. committee recognized the SEMO Coalition for Peace and Justice. But it was such an obvious choice considering that the coalition and the committee stand for and against the very same things. They both oppose violence, war, racism and poverty. They both stand for nonviolence, peace, racial and economic justice. How wonderful it was to be reminded that warmongering is not part of MLK's dream.

Stand up for truth

I APPLAUD state Rep. Rod Jetton's interruption during the governor's State of the State speech, just as his colleagues did. Gov. Bob Holden was lying and needed to be called on it. I just wish all legislators would stand up for the truth like Jetton, then we would be truly represented.

The good and the bad

I THINK AmerenUE did a good job restoring power last week after the ice. The men and women out in the trucks did their jobs very well. But if AmerenUE had kept the trees cut away from the lines like it is supposed to, we wouldn't have had nearly as many outages as we did.

Put police in Schultz

IF THE Cape Girardeau police need a larger building, why not use the old Schultz school building? It is only a few blocks away, costs less than a new building, has ample space for offices and has a large lot in back that would hold a large number of vehicles.

Too cold for recess

WHAT IS the policy that the schools use to decide when children can go outside for recess? My child attends Blanchard Elementary School and went outside Friday when the high was no more than 20 degrees. I think the principal needs to stand outside with them.

Party reversal

WHAT A difference a party preference makes. Had state Rep. Rod Jetton been a Democrat and Gov. Bob Holden a Republican, the theme of the Sunday Southeast Missourian editorial would have been reversed. Holden would have been praised for conservatively withholding some public education funds as an act of fiscal prudence in a time of economic uncertainty. For interrupting the governor's State of the State address, Jetton would have been roundly condemned for crass partisanship resulting in the crudest of anti-conservative behavior.

Cool mowing

GIVE ME a break. It is Feb. 2. The temperature is 32 degrees. It is raining. I just witnessed the most amazing act of sheer lunacy by the Scott County highway department. Driving down a country road I encountered a tractor-mower combo mowing absolutely nothing. These guys haven't had snow removal or any other meaningful work this winter, but they are out mowing in the middle of the winter. Where are they in the middle of the summer? This, my fellow Scott County residents, is how our money is being spent.

Need more teachers

TIME AND again, the Cape Girardeau School District administrators and board say one thing, then do another. Over 50 percent of students fail math and English MAP tests. What the kids need are more teachers and better leadership. Administrators, with the board's rubber stamp, feign protecting the kids, and cut teachers.

Budget-balancing act

THANKS TO the Southeast Missourian for pointing out the Trojan horse that is Bush tax policy. The goal is now clear. He plans to balance the budget by cutting taxes and by gutting programs that either protect our environment and health or foster our communities.

Focus on real issues

EVEN IF Cape Girardeau and Jackson enforce a ban on bottle rockets, I will still be shooting them off. I'm so tired of our government trying to micro-manage our lives. Why don't we ban Christmas lights on indoor trees? That is a fire hazard. Or how about cooking? I bet there are a lot more fires from cooking than from bottle rockets. Why not focus on real issues?

Common ground

I AM tired of all the complaining about the Cape Girardeau School District. Yes, there are things to be fixed. Nothing runs perfectly. If my children fought the way the school district and the parents do, they would be grounded for a long time. Both sides need to find a common ground and focus on what is positive. What kind of example is this setting for the kids?

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