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Speak Out 3/20/08

Thursday, March 20, 2008

School planning

WITH ELECTION time upon us, let's elect Cape Girardeau School Board members who can plan ahead farther than two years at a time. In the past eight to 10 years, our alternative school has been in four locations: the old Civic Center, the former May Greene Elementary School building, Schultz School and now the old vocational-technical school, which is being renovated at whatever cost. Where does it end? At the new high school that was built six years ago? Bravo, board members. You really have a plan. In conjunction with the alternative school planning, am I the only one who sees a problem with this program's growing numbers? We are telling these students that if they can't conform within the guidelines, here is an easier, less restrictive way. What in the world are we teaching them about society?

Do it yourself

I DON'T understand why some people are so upset with Jackson taking so long to pick up the limbs from the ice storm. We have had two ice storms and snow since. If someone has a problem with it, do like I have seen others do: Take it away yourself, or hire someone to do it for you. Don't complain about the time it takes for the city to clean up your tree limbs from your property. I consider it a privilege the city is doing it for us. Thanks, Jackson. I think you are doing a great job.

Health matters

THERE IS no evidence that going to the gym is in any way correlated with health, as another comment said. There my be some evidence showing that there is a correlation if (when you get there) you exercise.

Gas solutions

I'M ANXIOUSLY awaiting to see one of our good leaders around our community to step up to the plate and address the issue of high gasoline prices. We can use mass transit. We can use school buses for more than just carrying children to and from school. We can have vans pick up people and take them to work. We need badly to address this issue and do something about these high prices and quit putting our heads in the sand and pretending it's not happening before we have $5-a-gallon gasoline.

Bow challenge

BOW HUNTERS: Take the sportsman's challenge. Use a long bow instead of a compound bow. You might find it more exciting. You don't need all that speed anyway. All you have to do is hit the target. It wouldn't be as much noise, and you wouldn't have to have so much pull string when you hold it back.

Market price

GAS STATIONS are at it again. They are raising the price on gasoline based on what the market price is. That has nothing to do with what they've already paid for what's in the tank. That's gouging, I hope Attorney General Jay Nixon looks into this and take some of the profit away or puts it back in the taxpayer's pocket.

Good job on limbs

I SURE would like to thank the crew that is picking up limbs. You can sure tell they know their job. They did a wonderful job picking them up for us and not leaving piles lying around. Great job, men.

Latchkey kids

AS A teacher I know that now is the time for the next school schedules to be made. I also live in a block where many children are latchkey kids. They are responsible for themselves for the hour or two until their parents get home from work. When schools are dismissed early, these children are home alone far too long. I would hope that administrators would try and remember these children when making up next year's schedule.

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watch out for widow makers ! they are hanging everywhere since the ice storm(s).....

-- Posted by ..Rick on Thu, Mar 20, 2008, at 7:48 AM

Re: Market Price

Suggest that if the gas station uses the Last In - First Out accounting methods, then the prices will reflect the actual or anticipated costs of replacing the inventory in the present-day market.

Recall there are at least four acceptable inventory accounting methods used - LastIn-FirstOut(LIFO), FirstIn-FirstOut(FIFO), Weighted Average, and Specific Identification.

LIFO was suggested to be the most popular and favorable method for markets with high price volatility, such as with the current fuel markets. LIFO is supposed to ensure that enough cash will be on-hand to purchase the next lot of inventory.

Also recall that it really doesn't legally matter which method is used, but that one cannot flip-flop between methods to obtain a windfall. Suggest this point may be of concern towards the gouging claims, since many complain about gas prices that seem to rise quickly and fall slowly.

I don't claim to be even close to an accounting guru - balancing the checkbook can be a struggle, perhaps a reader with more knowledge of accounting and inventory methods can better clarify how the systems work.

-- Posted by fxpwt on Thu, Mar 20, 2008, at 10:07 AM

Gas solutions,

Why is it community leaders responsibility to do something about gas prices? We already have a tranist system in Cape. Utilize it if you wish. Even if we used all the school buses in town to bus people everywhere the price of gasoline would be unaffected. That would do nothing to the world demand for oil. The only thing that could possibly accomplish is put a few convenience/gas stations out of business.

Not to mention it would be an idiotic idea that no one would utilize...even at $5.00/gallon or $10.

-- Posted by SWBG on Thu, Mar 20, 2008, at 10:47 AM


Your explanation of FIFO and LIFO was interesting. I have never been in business and never will be, but it has always seemed fundamentally wrong to pay one price for fuel and then sell it based on what it will cost you to buy more. Of course this may be the norm and I am just naÔve. I was speaking with the cashier at Basic Fuel who informed me that she was going to have to raise the price when the tanker arrived later in the day to reflect the higher price of the fuel on the tanker. They had not raised prices on the gas already in their tanks to reflect what they were going to have to pay in the future. As a result, I always buy at one of their facilities when possible even on the occasions when other stations are as cheap or cheaper. I no longer complain about gas prices and donít see a big conspiracy, but will not pay more for it than I have to.

-- Posted by D'oh on Thu, Mar 20, 2008, at 10:58 AM

Are there any other land line based providers for local calls here in Cape besides Southwestern Bell? I'm naive about telephone services because I have had the same ones for over thirty years.

-- Posted by conservababe on Thu, Mar 20, 2008, at 11:28 AM


I think there is something called Big River.

You can also go cable with Charter if you so chose. Southwestern Bell is all AT&T now. If you have high speed broadband computer access ther is VOIP (voice over internet provider) as an option. I do not know if any will save you money or not.

-- Posted by SWBG on Thu, Mar 20, 2008, at 11:36 AM


SWBG is correct, Big River is a provider. And I use them at home for both internet and telephone. Wouldn't hurt to give them a call and compare with SWBell/ATT. I know not all companies work for all people, just I have never had a problem with BR in 10 years of service.

-- Posted by Pups on Thu, Mar 20, 2008, at 11:44 AM


My father in law was a bulk distributor of propane, gas and diesel and his profit margin was a little over a penny per gallon. Most people don't take into consideration the cost of equipment, employees salaries, insurance and licenses. I don't know about the retail side, but I doubt that it is very high either. Like I said, I don't complain about the cost of fuel, but will buy it where it is the cheapest.

-- Posted by D'oh on Thu, Mar 20, 2008, at 12:33 PM

Bow challenge,

I was not aware that a compound bow made significantly more noise than a long bow. I can't recall the last time I heard someone say that compound bow shots woke them up at night.

-- Posted by SWBG on Thu, Mar 20, 2008, at 12:42 PM

Re: Market price - It would seem that the accounting method would play a part in the rate of change in prices, but not so much on station owner margins in the long-run.

Suggest that the LIFO method would cause the fastest changes in prices for the consumer during volatile times, FIFO the slowest, and Weighted Average somewhere in between. Can't really use the Specific Identification method with gas or other bulk storage materials, since there's no way to know exactly what a particular gallon put into a vehicle actually cost the station owner.

As I understand things - the LIFO method puts the consumer at a greater disadvantage during price increases, because as KJT noted, the consumer is paying based on the current replacement cost of inventory, not what the station owner actually paid for the fuel currently being pumped. On the other hand, the consumer should gain an advantage during price decreases with the LIFO method, as the cost of the fuel currently in the underground tanks is higher than the replacement cost.

If a station owner were to (illegally) employ a LIFO practice during price increases and a FIFO practice during price decreases, then a windfall could be gained in that the calculated cost of inventory would be higher than the actual costs, I think. Again, doing some creative speculating here on how things are or might be done.

One figure heard towards the station mark-up on gas was $0.10 per gallon, but that info is a couple of years old. At today's prices, that would be on the order of only a 3% margin. Another way to look at it is that a tanker-truck of 8,000 gallons represents about $25,000 in revenue/cash-flow so to end up with about an $800 operating margin before taxes and expenses.

Re: Bow Challenge - As to the original SpeakOut comment towards bows - have to wonder if the caller has ever actually used or even been around them? Good grief! :-)~

-- Posted by fxpwt on Thu, Mar 20, 2008, at 4:15 PM

I personally like to complain about gas prices. Kind of like complaining about the weather. Great way to open a conversation with people.

You cannot go wrong with an opening comment like "Man these gas prices are gonna put me in the poor house!"

However if you said, "Man, the Man in the Whitehouse is about to put me in the poor house!" You don't know what you might get in return.

Now don't confuse Poor House with Pour House...as in Pour House Pub. Because the man in the whitehouse might drive me to drink.

-- Posted by SWBG on Thu, Mar 20, 2008, at 4:19 PM


Could you write me at conservababe@gmail.com sometime? I'd like to ask you a few more questions about your phone and internet service.

-- Posted by conservababe on Thu, Mar 20, 2008, at 4:31 PM


It surely could be the processors. I just donít know anything about that end of the oil/gas business and donít have the interest to research it. I will leave that up to Brill as I am sure he already knows all about it. I will just pay what it costs and drive where and when I want to.


An interesting analysis, it just seems as though gas prices go up more often than they go down, so it seems as though the consumer is at a ďdisadvantageĒ more often than the seller. As I have no business background and my education has been in the behavioral sciences, I am out of my depth on most of this and probably should not even comment.

-- Posted by D'oh on Thu, Mar 20, 2008, at 4:46 PM

old codger,

I agree except in the case of a monopoly or oligopoly that would have an advantage. I know you know what these are.

If you live in a one horse town it is not ethical to charge whatever you want if you are the only blacksmith to shape shoes.

-- Posted by SWBG on Thu, Mar 20, 2008, at 4:53 PM

Me'Lange...Cute avatar!

Completely agree about the Latchkey Kids...It has been a problem for decades, but it is and should be the parents' responsibility, not the schools' (taxpayers).

Statistics (2007) provide many reasons why your child should not be home alone; studies have found that latch-key kids are more likely to use alcohol, cigarettes, and illegal drugs than children who are supervised after school. This type of statistical study is no longer popular (there used to be many studies citing the adverse effects on Latchkey Kids), because we certainly do not want to lay any "guilt trips" on working mothers. Years after the fact, one of my sons admitted to me that he felt abandoned, alone, confused, resentful and sad during his few years as a "latchkey kid." I wish I had known that at the time. IMVHO, if mothers don't have to work (many, like I did, work for the "extras," not from necessity), they should be home with the children they chose to have.

On gasoline prices:

Did anyone see that federal gasoline tax raises are being considered/proposed (again)? I could only find one article (from AP) on the web about it, from January. The proposed tax could add 40 cents a gallon within five years! What are they thinking, for Pete's sake?

-- Posted by gurusmom on Thu, Mar 20, 2008, at 5:54 PM


Ok, email on it's way.

-- Posted by Pups on Thu, Mar 20, 2008, at 6:08 PM


Hate to disagree with you, but I find nothing wrong with latchkey kids if they are old enough. I was at times a latchkey, and reguardless of what some might think, I've turned out ok. lol And I in no way hold anything against my Mother who at times chose to work for what ever her reasons were. If a man can have children and work, there is no reason a woman can't do the same. Just as I have no problem if either chooses to stay home instead of working. Not meaning on assistance, meaning one parent working.

-- Posted by Pups on Thu, Mar 20, 2008, at 6:15 PM

Unethical profits?

Yes, there can be unethical profits and unethical heads of corporations. ENRON, TYCO, ARKADELPHIA, QUEST, WORLDCOM, and there you have only touched the tip of a gigantic global greed frenzy iceberg.

Corporations are not our friends. Sometimes, perhaps, sometimes, they are not our enemies, but never are they our friends.

We no longer make real, tangible products in America, providing Americans with good paying jobs in manufacturing, we now make financial and capital products.

Greed has taken hold in America among the elite, the globalists, the CEO's and Boards of internationalist corporations. That is why America will see a Depression much "Greater" than the Great depression. These corporate greedsters, are making so much money, that even the collapse of America will not stop them from their scams. They are hesitant to stop now, and try to forstall, or, even prevent a collapse, because they, like the adicted gambler who wants to get a winning hand and finish on top, these greedy corporatists want to continue their scams, to wring out every dollar that they can before the collapse, in the hopes that they will have enough money to be a big "player" after the collapse and make even more money off of our misery.

-- Posted by Brill on Thu, Mar 20, 2008, at 6:31 PM


Well this is one Liberal (don't know if I'm modern) that agrees with you. I am not forced to buy gas for my car because there are always other options if I so choose. Though, I prefer to drive, so I pay what they ask.

-- Posted by Pups on Thu, Mar 20, 2008, at 7:37 PM


It's okay to disagree. Not all kids are the same, nor their circumstances. When my kids' dad died, the oldest was almost 14. She was "in charge" of the others after school. As far as I know, none of them had a problem with being "latchkey kids."

The youngest, at 12, did...Perhaps it was due to being alone then, or his age, or just his psychological makeup.

The studies do not, of course, say all latchkey kids have problems with it, just that many do. And...I think you turned out just great!

Love, mom

-- Posted by gurusmom on Thu, Mar 20, 2008, at 7:45 PM

Hrm..quiet day on here today. Just wanted to pop in and say I'm ok. No contractions---just extreme sciatic nerve pain. They got me a support belt thingie and I'm good to go. It actually helped a lot today...and I'd much rather have nerve pains.

I had a "latch-key" period---but my mom was still extremely picky. I had to call and check in as soon as I walked in, was not allowed to have company while no one was home, could not use the stove until I was in high school, and had to do my homework first thing. I usually wasn't home alone for more than an hour and a half and she checked my homework as soon as she came in before we fixed dinner. LOL...

-- Posted by Superbethie on Thu, Mar 20, 2008, at 9:33 PM

Thanks Mom!!!

-- Posted by Pups on Thu, Mar 20, 2008, at 9:33 PM


Best Avatar ever!!

-- Posted by Donnie on Thu, Mar 20, 2008, at 9:55 PM

Ahh old codger,

Just got back on. In theory you are absolutely correct. However there are markets that are impenetrable by the average Joe. We of course could do without utilities, running water and others as such. Some things need regulation. History dictates as such. If it were not so regulations would not have come into being. The purpose of regulation is to keep others in check of taking advantage. In a pure and ethical society there would be no need for regulation.

However, and I am sure we would agree with this, too much regulation spoils incentive.

-- Posted by SWBG on Thu, Mar 20, 2008, at 10:04 PM

I never knew what the term "latch key" was until I went to college. Where I grew up we never locked our doors so we did not need a key. We walked to and from school. If no one was home we ate Ding Dongs and went out to play (probably not real Ding Dongs but some kind of Little Debbie knock off).

If we did something stupid a neighbor would tell on us so we did not do anything too stupid. I know places like this still exist. But they don't have a McDonalds, Barnes & Nobles, or even a Wal-Mart.

-- Posted by SWBG on Thu, Mar 20, 2008, at 10:11 PM

Thank you, Donnie!!

I have to give credit to Melange--she found it just for me. =)

How are you doin, btw?


I agree. Our neighbors would always tell on us if we were bad too. Extra motivation to not be bad. Aside from the majority of neighbors who'd come out and get onto you themselves. AND your mom/dad would not be mad at them for getting onto you. LOL

-- Posted by Superbethie on Thu, Mar 20, 2008, at 10:19 PM

Who Me?, I, also, was fed up with ATT and moved my phone service to Semo Communications who I think gets their VOIP service through Big River Telephone. Had the same good feelings about cutting the cord with ATT and had a similar response from them after the switch. Man I felt good. Then Cingular became ATT Wireless. Now I have to send them a monthly payment again. ****.

-- Posted by stevmo on Thu, Mar 20, 2008, at 11:20 PM

Hellomynameis, Dittos

-- Posted by stevmo on Thu, Mar 20, 2008, at 11:27 PM

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