Speak Out 3/28/05

Monday, March 28, 2005

Philly is trashiest

I'VE TRAVELED all over the country and fond Philadelphia to be the trashiest city I ever visited. Let's not allow Cape Girardeau to take over this honor.

Use solar energy

NOW IS the time to utilize active and passive solar energy systems in buildings. Even on a cloudy day, on average, 44 percent of the sun's energy is usable. Simply adding south-facing windows and a wall to store the heat will greatly reduce energy bills.

Bring back the board

EVERYBODY'S COMPLAINING because there's a lack of discipline in our schools, especially in the middle school and the junior high school. We all know what the problem is. Society has gotten away from spanking kids. In the past, if a kid was unruly and caused trouble, the teacher would send them to the principal's office, and the principal would get out the board of education and spank the kid. The kid would not act up again. It's not that difficult. All you have to do is give the principal the old-fashioned board of education.

Part of the problem

PEOPLE WHO complain about trash haulers, look at your own back door. We're not the only ones who lose trash all over the roads. So do you.

Living will on file

I HAVE a living will and medical directive on file at the hospital with the people who are going to be there in case I am incapacitated. I think what is being done to Terri Schiavo is exactly what I don't want. If I'm in that condition, I want to be dead.

Try fingerprinting

REGARDING OUR trash and litter problems, let's check into what it would cost to check for fingerprints on containers and start fingerprinting people when they get their driver's licenses. If the expense is too much for our police, maybe people who complain would contribute. Then make the punishment severe enough that these people will not want to get caught again. As long as we depend on somebody catching somebody throwing out litter, we're going to have a hard time controlling it.

Poverty knows no season

REGARDING THE comment on the homeless beggars: It truly breaks my heart to hear such cynical and cruel sentiments expressed. Those people didn't go away for the winter to their beach homes. They were out there in the snow and the bitter wind. Poverty knows no season. I saw them. And I saw my fellow citizens stopping and helping, giving coats, food, money -- whatever they could. I agree that people should work for a living, but there are many circumstances that other people can't even imagine that may take these people to where they are. Sometimes people just make mistakes. Giving the occasional unfortunate soul a few dollars isn't a burden to me. It gives me the opportunity to give b ack a little for all the blessings I have.

Little things matter

CLEANING UP the litter is a relatively little thing. Yet it's the little things that make the big difference. It has been documented that the precipitous drop in subway crime in New York City in the 1990s had everything to do with cleaning up subway graffiti. In essence, had there been no graffiti, we would not likely remember Bernhard Goetz.

Smoking ban

WHAT DO we have to do to get smoking banned in public places? I'm sick and tired of having to wait for a seat in the non-smoking section of a restaurant only to be led through the smoking section to get to my seat, which is inevitably separated from the smoking section by a sign. I shouldn't have to worry about my allergies or my son's asthma because of other people's smoke. Cape Girardeau needs to ban smoking in all restaurants and public places.

Not involved

I THINK I can speak for most Democrats. We didn't vote for high gas prices. We didn't vote for busting the federal budget. We're going into debt. We didn't vote for changing Social Security. That is for the state and family to decide, not the politicians. I think we can hold our head high.

Focus on teaching

AS A parent, the latest letter sent from Central Middle School only makes me believe more strongly that the principal and the superintendent are more interested in the public's perception of them than educating my child. We don't care what anyone said at lunch. My child said it was no big deal. What I want is some attention paid to teaching. If teachers and principals would pay more attention to teaching, our kids might actually learn something.

Litter's roots

I KNOW it's unpopular to talk about the root cause of anything these days, but I think the litter situation does have a root cause that people are not seeing. It's a throwaway, consumer society we now live in. This is also a major part of the larger environmental problems which we face. Picking up litter won't really address the root causes, but it's still important to pick it up.

Preparing for death

THE RIGHT to die is such a hard issue with all that is happening right now. I too do not wish to be left on life support if there is no hope. Yet my idea of life support is for my life to be sustained by equipment which does not include a feeding tube. If the body is sustaining itself with all functions except the ability to eat and drink, please don't starve me to death. Am I being selfish wanting all that expense for a life without quality? I think not. This case has caused me to be more specific about what I do and do not want. Each of us has our own ideas of life support and what we do and don't want. Let your loved ones know exactly what you mean. Don't let there be any doubt in their mind or guilt left afterward. I will also request that nothing be removed until all family members are in agreement and ready. I don't want my death to divide my family in any way.

Send inmates to fight

I WONDER why it is that, instead of sending our innocent sons, husbands and fathers to Iraq, we don't take all the prisoners on death row and send them. If taxpayers have to support them, they need to be doing something for the taxpayers. Surely I'm not the only one who would agree with this.

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