Speak Out 3/23/05

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Got used to it

MY WIFE and I moved back to Cape Girardeau in 1996. At that time I was amazed by the trash everywhere. I couldn't believe it. But after a few years, I didn't see it or it didn't bother me. I think you can get used to it and not see it, but there really is a lot of trash on the streets in town.

Trash from trucks

IF YOU want to really know where all the trash and the litter is coming from, I just suggest you follow some of the trash trucks. I followed two trucks into Jackson. For five miles, they strewed garbage everywhere. Someone needs to make them cover their trucks -- or fine them and use the money to hire somebody to pick up the trash.

Academics, not parties

IT ISN'T surprising to read a Speak Out rant against Truman State University. Truman State is highly rated by U.S. News and World Report and others for its emphasis on academic excellence. Of course, it's not noted as a party school.

More sidewalks needed

REGARDING OBESITY: I attended a conference at a hotel. A guest asked, "How does one get across the street to the restaurants on the other side of William Street?" My response: "With your life in your hands." A great majority of Cape Girardeau residents drive. Pedestrians are not recognized. There are very few sidewalks or pedestrian crossing lights for those of us who don't drive. I notice people walking around the mall to do their walking exercises. I have been a resident of Cape Girardeau for 16 years. I now see some sidewalks being made and a few crossing street lights being installed. But there still aren't enough. Why are we so behind the times? If more street lights and sidewalks were installed, the obesity rate might drop. Walking is great exercise, but since we have limited-width sidewalks, people either don't walk or resort to their repetitious boring walk in the mall like caged hamsters.

Unappreciated subs

I HAVE been a substitute teacher more than 10 years. I was disgusted after reading the recent article about substitute teachers, especially the part that said the school board would increase the subs' pay to entice better teachers. Although I love working with kids, there are a lot of pros and cons to this job. Some of the cons include not being appreciated, working for so many years for degrading pay, being snubbed by other teachers and getting constant verbal abuse from the children. The pros are getting hugs from children who appreciate you. For all the hard work that many subs do, it doesn't seem like we are appreciated.

Lady Bird's example

DOES ANYONE in Cape Girardeau County remember Lady Bird Johnson? She headed up the Clean-up, Paint-up, Fix-up campaign. At that time, we kept things clean. Shape up, people. We are trashy.

Biodegradable litter

THERE IS a problem with litter all over the United States, not just Cape Girardeau. You would think businesses would be upset about seeing their cups and their logos plastered all over the side of the road. We need to encourage businesses to use biodegradable packaging such as paper bags for grocery stores or biodegradable plastic. That way all this trash along the side of the road would disappear, and that's what we really want.

Uncovered trash trucks

I'VE BEEN reading in the Missourian about everybody's ideas about the trash problems along the highways. In Illinois, the problem is hauling trash in uncovered pickups, and the trash flies everywhere. That needs to be stopped, they need to be regulated and fined. That could be a problem in Missouri too.

Fuel economy

WE DON'T have a fuel shortage. We're just abusing the fuel we have. Put the kids back on the bus. They don't need to drive to school. Give out stamps for gas like we did during World War II. We're heating houses now that have 3,000 and 4,000 square feet. Get back to 1,000 square feet. You don't need all that stuff. We're causing all this stuff ourselves, and it's putting the burden on people who are trying to do right.

Bigger problems

AS USUAL, the people of Missouri have it backwards. They jump up and down about the trash along the side of the road. But there are potholes and other problems with the roads that tear up cars and blow out tires. Missourians worry about something that doesn't cost them anything. They don't seem to understand that you can't have good roads without money.

Positive education

I'M GETTING sick and tired of the bashing of the Cape Girardeau School District. Secondary schools in our district have some challenges with discipline, but they always have and they always will. Our administrators are doing the best they can. In many instances, their hands are tied regarding suspension and expulsion. Our job is to educate all students regardless of behavior or IQ. Even if the behavior is outrageous, our jobs as educators and administrators is to teach them and keep them in the school system, not dump them out in the streets. We want them to become productive members of society, but our options for discipline are few. Parents who are complaining should spend some time in our schools and look at the positive things that are taking place rather than the negative all the time.

Pick it up

IF THE people who gripe about litter along our highways do not like it, they can do one of two things to help. Walk along the highway and pick up litter or join an organization that cleans up this litter. Anyone who has the time to see all this litter has time to help pick up the litter. Enough about litter already.

Teach students respect

MORE PAY will not get better substitute teachers, although more pay would be nice. Most subs are capable of doing a good job. The problem is the kids have the attitude that a sub means they can do whatever they want. The students need to learn respect for others. Someone -- parents, administrators or both -- will have to teach them.

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