Speak Out 2/27/08

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Dangerous meds

YOU RAN an article saying that the gunman at Northern Illinois University may have just gotten off his medication. We have millions of young Americans who are taking mind-altering prescription drugs. These drugs are dangerous to a small percentage of the people taking them. Some people go crazy when they get on or when they get off these drugs. They're good for most people, but for some these are bad drugs.

Utility rates

WHY DID Jackson raise utility rates so much when it has millions in surplus? I understand smaller raises and keeping a surplus, but to raise rates by such a large percentage and so fast hurt some of us. I think we deserve an explanation.

Reason for inspectors

360 LAND Development partner Mike Mathes comments on the the lack of need for inspectors outside the city limits by saying, "In the county we don't have nobody baby-sitting us." Remember, those inspectors are there for a reason: to make sure the work is done right.

Playing at home

SHAME ON the Jackson School District administrators for telling Jackson fans for so many years that district playoffs could not be held at the old gym. It may have been a challenge, but it seems to have worked this year under the most adverse conditions with the construction and weather. Just think of the many opportunities missed by not having home-court advantage and the loss of revenue through ticket sales and concessions.

Pain at the pump

HERE WE go again. Spring is around the corner, and gasoline prices are skyrocketing. It costs me over $12 a day to drive to work and back. If gas hits $4 a gallon this summer I will have to consider selling my truck. We are getting the same old excuses from oil-industry analysts: Oil companies are switching to the summer blend, demand is getting higher, problems in the Middle East, blah, blah, blah. What about independent refineries getting shut down by big oil to reduce competition and supply? How about the 2,600-plus oil company mergers since the 1990s? It's simple economics. Reduce the supply and you can charge more for a particular product. I think this has gotten out of hand. I hope our next president will do something about it.

Concert etiquette

I'VE BEEN attending Southeast Missouri State University's orchestra concerts for more than three decades and have witnessed tremendous growth in the program. I'm looking forward to hearing the double piano concertos next week, but I'm not looking forward to the audience. I have noticed a decline in proper etiquette from the current concertgoers. Formal procedure is to hold your applause until an entire work (all movements) is finished. For example, it can be distracting to clap after every movement of "Messiah." Holding your applause will allow an entire work to be performed without any distractions.

Thank-you bandwagon

I HAVE always prided myself on never being susceptible to the bandwagon effect, but this time I have been overwhelmed by irresistible forces. Thank you, AmerenUE.

Election plan

I AM disappointed in Mary Kasten for not explaining her plan not to run again before the election. If I had known her plans, I would have voted otherwise. I wonder how many other people feel the same. I can't put into words the disappointment I feel in Kasten, who stooped to a level I didn't think she would ever achieve.

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