Speak Out 4/15/05

Friday, April 15, 2005

Protect health care

I AM furious at both the Democrats and Republicans. This is about cutting Medicaid. I don't use Medicaid, but taking away health care from the poor people and mentally ill people is the height of callousness. I just can't believe this being done. If you want to cut waste, cut some of the nonsense like the programs that cart people around and take them to restaurants. But don't take away their health care.

Great performance

I WENT to see "Guys and Dolls" at Southeast Missouri State University. What a wonderful job everyone did -- the girls at the ticket booth, the ones who helped you find your seat, the production staff, the orchestra and all the cast. We need to thank all the ones behind the scenes whom people tend to forget to thank. Everyone's skills and talent working together made this production a super one. Thank you for a job well-done.

Giving money away

THE REASON many voters did not vote for the Jackson School District bond issue was because the district has all these chili suppers and then turns around and gives the money to other organizations like the senior center. Why doesn't the district keep that money for the schools? Why make our taxes higher? I don't go for that at all.

Still need the money

THE BOND issue for the Jackson School District has only been put through two times and absolutely will not be dropped. We may have to do it like Kelly School District did: seven or eight times. We really need a new high school. It's so overcrowded. There are such good teachers there. The education and curriculum are wonderful. Let's work together for a better school for our children and grandchildren.

Not more subsidies

THE LATEST figures I've read say subsidizing ethanol production costs taxpayers 51 cents a gallon. It's wrong enough to subsidize what should be a free-market commodity but now I see where some Missouri politicians want to force everyone to use it. This get-re-elected tactic is another reason why we're behind in oil drilling, exploration and the use of nuclear power. Let's make America more energy independent but not through more government subsidies.

Where the people are

THE NEW sidewalks the city is putting in are very nice. Now if the city could just put some sidewalks in neighborhoods that have houses, then people could actually use them.

Chuckhole champ

I THINK Cape Girardeau should change it's nickname from the City of Roses to the City of Potholes.

It's an ugly area

I AGREE with Councilwoman Loretta Schneider about how ugly Siemers Drive and the whole area west of the interstate is. I find it odd that the mayor thinks grass and trees would be more expensive than parking lots.

Unbelievable claim

I SAW an article in the Southeast Missourian about the claim made by John Kerry that there was voter intimidation last fall in the election. One of the examples he gave was that people were called and told that Republicans vote on Tuesday and Democrats vote on Wednesday. If people are that stupid, do we really want them voting?

Unwise use of money

PEOPLE IN the Jackson School District think money has been used unwisely in the past. We also think $27 million is too much.

Not so fancy

I THINK that people would be more likely to vote for a school tax if the school district were not asking for such an expensive and fancy school. Cut some of the things that really aren't needed. Think about everyone on a fixed income. It's not that easy to come up with the money.

Through the cracks

I HAVE had more than one child attend Jackson schools, including one with special needs. The children who act as if they want to learn are taught. If they are in sports, the coaches make sure they make the grade. But the children who have attention-deficit disorders, antisocial disorders and problems of that nature can kiss their education goodbye. They fall straight through the cracks. The district has encouraged parents to allow their special-needs kids to drop out. Why would I want to give the district any more of my money when it selectively educates the students.

Special cleanup

NOW THAT warm weather has arrived in Southeast Missouri, I think the city should organize a Cape Girardeau cleanup day full of clearing debris from vacant areas and cleaning our main streets. If a cleaning day was well publicized and supported by the city, I believe that many people would pitch in and help out. I also believe trees are needed along Kingshighway between Broadway and Bloomfield Road. This strip of Kingshighway looks exceptionally bad due to sprawling parking lots and the flood-control channel.

Hurting our children

THE NEED for the Jackson School District bond issue will not go away by simply voting the matter down. The longer it takes to pass the bond issue, the more expensive the building and renovations will be. Renovations need to be made. The high school is not the school it was 10 or 20 years ago. The only people being hurt by not passing the bond issue are our children.

Needs support

AS A graduate of Jackson High School, I find it disturbing that Jackson voters are unable to see the benefits to the whole town that the school bond issue would have provided. Yes, taxes would have risen by a small amount, but this seems like a small price to pay to keep Jackson High School a quality school. I live in Cape Girardeau now and have no children, but I felt it was my civic duty to vote yes on the bond issue that passed a couple of years ago. People of Jackson, wake up. Don't let such a great institution limp along without your support.

Keep school history

HAS THE Jackson School District tried to cut some of the waste out of its budget? I and many others believe the answer no. The district should tighten its belt like the rest of us. Those of us who are still reliving our good old days at Jackson, pick up the Learning by Design magazine from the American School Board Journal, issue No. 14, 2005. Read the article entitled "History Lessons" by Royce Yeater. Some of us "no" voters do not like the idea of A Building being bulldozed for a parking lot. This article studies the costs of renovation and the importance of historic schools to the students of a district. The "yes" side talks about tradition, but when it comes to the roots of that tradition, are we so quick to chop the tradition down to build something new? Some of us "no" voters would be willing to pay even a higher tax to preserve and renovate the campus the school has.

Come together

I THOUGHT one of the things parochial schools promoted was community service and helping others. Jackson residents have helped parochial schools over the years by attending chili suppers and fund raisers. The Jackson School District has offered educational services that parochial schools aren't able to and even lent a helping hand in the event of a disaster. It is the parents' choice to send their children to a private school. They have made that choice based on what is best for their families. But sometimes we have to choose what might be best for someone else. I don't want our community to be divided on this issue. We need to come together for the sake of the kids.

Here's a prediction

I'VE LOOKED pretty closely at the proposals to change Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and I make the following prediction: The average person who is currently covered under these programs, and who is not in some way cheating these programs will never know there were changes except for the additional paperwork that may be required to certify their needs. All these doomsayers will be proven wrong.

Legal winners

LAWYERS ARGUE tort reform would harm the victims. One only has to look at the Terri Schiavo case to see the problem. She was awarded $750,000 for the malpractice part of her case. lawyers got $550,000 of that award, $150,000 went toward her care and there was about $50,000 left at her death.

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