Speak Out 09/07/04

Tuesday, September 7, 2004

Spend on police, fire

THE CITY is wondering what it's going to do with that $1 million accumulated from the hotel-restaurant taxes. How about the police and fire departments and the senior center? We need to pay our police and firemen more money.

Budget bleeding

THE FISCAL hemorrhaging caused by River Campus cost overruns will continue to erode the quality of academic programs on the main campus of Southeast Missouri State University. Faculty and staff salaries at Southeast continue to lag behind national averages, and health insurance benefits are the least generous of any university in the state.

Wrong priorities

I CANNOT believe that Cape Girardeau can come up with $400,000 to extend a biking trail when our police officers are still using out-of-date police radios, police cars guns and the city is paying them salaries that other departments laugh at.

No employee survey

IN ANY major corporation where a board releases someone it hired, the board never takes surveys of those who worked with the person who was released. If my boss were let go today, I would never doubt that there was some reason. Why would teachers expect any different treatment? Running a school system is running a service entity. It isn't a popularity contest.

Build it, and ...

MY WIFE and I love attending the Fox Theater in St. Louis several times a year. Build a "Little Fox" here, and we will come.

Charitable donation

BUSINESSES DONATE to charities, so why not for a police officer? Regarding the DARE car, I would not have spent $25,000 for my own car much less donated to have a Playstation and a loud stereo put in it.

Leave it alone

JUST WHEN all the frustration over the River Campus project has been settling down, now we read some Southeast Missouri State University officials want to add 450 seats. Regent Edward Matthews of Sikeston is correct in saying we need the money for education. Regent John Tlapek of Cape Girardeau questioned whether there are enough area residents interested in the performing arts. Area residents didn't want the River Campus in the first place. The concert promoter says go ahead and build it anyway, because the people don't necessarily know what they want until they have it. That really doesn't make Cape Girardeau residents sound very smart. I hope the regents stick to their guns and don't listen to this man. He's not playing with his money. He's playing with the future of Cape Girardeau and its citizens. I think the River Campus looks great the way the plans are now. Just leave it the way it is. Money needs to go elsewhere, and we need to listen to the taxpayers.

That's the limit

I NOW read that the River Campus theater needs to be enlarged by 450 seats at a cost of $10,000 a seat. Will the handful of enthusiastic local backers put up the additional $4.5 million dollars, or will the university demand even more money from this community? Lets not invest any more in this money pit.

Enforcing the rules

I REALLY don't understand the way Cape Girardeau's leadership thinks. If we're short on police and short on money, we don't need to be putting new ordinances on the books. We don't have enough police officers to enforce the current ordinances, so why adopt more that can't be enforced? The new dog and cat rule is pretty ridiculous. The city doesn't enforce the barking rules or the dogs running in the street. This is the first city that I have lived in where officials keep adding more ordinances and fail to enforce any of them.

Cheap shot at protesters

I FEEL a recent Summers editorial cartoon was a cheap shot at the protesters. I'm sure all of them have legitimate claims. There were women protesting to keep the rights that were so hard fought for in the 1960s and 1970s. And it's not as simple as an atheist being against George Bush like some of those protesters don't love God. This was a cheap shot at the protesters who might have legitimate claims. We might need to listen to what they have to say.

A rare leader

AS A teacher in the Cape Girardeau School District, I'd like to thank Mark Bowles for his fine leadership. It is rare that we have a leader as knowledgeable and compassionate. Shame on our school board's decision.

Sentencing details

KUDOS TO Morley Swingle and the sentencing of Greg McNeely in the Terry Lynn II murder case. Congratulations to Judge Mark Richardson for handing down a fair and just sentence. He had a very hard decision to make and did it with all the dignity accorded his position. Congrats also to Linda Redeffer for her article on the sentencing. It was good and accurate except for one part. In giving McNeely a life sentence, Judge Richardson said that he would be eligible for parole in 15 years. If he had given him to a 30-year sentence, also allowed by law, McNeely would have had to serve 85 percent of that sentence..

A good decision

AS A parent, I am extremely thankful that Mark Bowles will not be around after this year. My only regret is that the school board didn't relieve him immediately. I have seen the board accept one recommendation after another by Bowles and his staff. Don't blame the decisions being made by the board on the board members. They were relying on the superintendent to make sound recommendations. The timing on this couldn't be better. This one is for the parents, whose morale is never considered in these matters. Now we have a brighter future to look forward to. To the board, please don't stop there. There are others who need to go as well.

Strip-club remorse

STRIP CLUBS are a waste of time and money. I had friends who went there for a bachelor party, and the bridegroom came home with a hickey on his neck from one of the strippers. I thought they were not supposed to touch. It makes you feel uncomfortable that guys and girls can go somewhere to have a good time and it can cause people to end up not getting married. This strip club is in Cape Girardeau, if that tells you anything.

Great superintendent

I AM a teacher in the Cape Girardeau School District. I have worked in several schools under several superintendents. Mark Bowles ranks as one of the great superintendents. The school board's decision will be another school's blessing. I hope he will consider hiring me at his new school.

High cost estimate

THIS IS to the regents of Southeast Missouri State University. I was reading that the cost per seat to add seats to the theater is $10,000. That works out to $1,250 per square foot of construction costs. I have never heard of any building anywhere that costs that much per square foot to build. I guess SEMO will be a first.

Build bike lanes

I HAVE a great idea for what to do with that $1 million from the hotel-restaurant sales tax. How about some bike lanes for Cape Girardeau, a place where bicyclists can feel free to ride their bikes without being run over by people or having to get out of the way? I think it would just be a great idea.

Bragging rights

HEY, IF 1,500 seats for the River Campus theater is better than 900, why not go for 2,000? Or 3,000? That would give Cape Girardeau bigger bragging rights than Paducah.

Unfair to Kingsway

WHILE THE idea for the extension for the Cape Girardeau trail, the Lexington Trace, is a good idea, the city is once again neglecting an entire section of the city that would like access to the trail. The city needs to install a sidewalk system on Kingsway. This is a heavily used street by both cars and pedestrians. The pedestrians would be safer if there were a sidewalk taking us to the trail. This would mean that children would be more able to access the trail too. We are completely cut off while Lexington is given more consideration.

Spending the grants

I THOUGHT it was interesting that the Scott City School District received a grant to buy technology for the students in the classrooms. But the Cape Girardeau School District got a grant and hired reading coaches who don't work directly with the students. It's just another contradiction.

Ultimate loser

IN "WAR of the Roses" Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas one-up each other over their trophy house, culminating in their ultimate demise. A similar war has begun at Southeast Missouri State University as the powers that be add seats to the River Campus theater but ignore the academic side. The university will be the ultimate loser this time.

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