Speak Out 4/21/05

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Take responsibility

WHATEVER HAPPENED to personal responsibility? That's the notion that if you do something wrong, you have to pay the penalty. Too many individuals want to blame society for everything that happens to them. The abuse I took while I was still home does not justify my being abusive. Grow up and get over it.

For a good cause

I WAS appalled to read the poorly written article on the front page of the Sunday paper regarding the fund-raising event held in New Hamburg, Mo., on Saturday. The Kow Pasture Classic is an annual golf tournament to raise money for the Kenny Rogers Children's Center as well as for the veterans. Being a participant in the fund raiser, I was very offended to read how the article focused more on people drinking and having a good time than the thousands of dollars that the Kow Pasture Classic raised for the two charities. The fine individuals who put their time and effort into this event should be praised, but instead they were criticized for having a good time. I am sure that there are more important things in this area that deserve criticism other than good people getting together and raising money for a good cause.

Inadequate staffing

I RECENTLY witnessed an altercation between two individuals in the Jackson High School cafeteria common area where students gather before school. When high school students gather, any number of things can happen, so the school should have at least one staff member watching over the students. On the day in question there were no staff members present. Students had to find someone to break up the fight. If students try to break it up, they could receive disciplinary action. One of the students received seven stitches. Had there been staff people present it may not have been this bad. When the assistant principal was asked why there was no staff member in the common area, his reply was that when the bond issue passes we will be able to allocate staff better. The superintendent gave a similar answer. The high school plans would have added more common areas requiring more staff. If the administration would staff the areas, I would consider voting yes on the bond issue. I want to thank everyone who voted no. The last thing Jackson needs is another useless tax increase.

Changing the rules

IF YOU can't win a baseball game, just change the rules until you win. Forget what we were taught years ago: It's not whether you win or lose but how you play the game. The same ethics apply to school elections. You don't change the rules to force a win.

Cutting expenses

IT SEEMS the powers to be at the Jackson School District are at it again. If we fail twice at getting a bond issue passed with the required four-sevenths majority vote, let's lower the requirement to 50 percent. Have they ever came up with a list of ways to reduce necessary expenses? Example: not letting bus drivers take buses home for lunch. How much is this costing the school district each year?

Community ties

ONE OF the things Jackson does well is reaching out beyond the school doors. The kids have played games with residents at retirement homes. I think it's good that children learn about this. So often, as youths, you don't grow up thinking about the elderly because you can't relate to the old people. I think this helps tie the community together. I don't think the money raised from a chili supper is all that much, but the wealth that is brought to the community is what is important.

Better building

I APPLAUD Jackson School Board members for doing something different, because I don't like the look of Central High School in Cape Girardeau. If we can get a better building for Jackson, I would be happy. I don't think the Jackson School Board would ask people to build something they don't feel the community can afford.

Desperate times

MISSOURI HAS a lot more to be concerned about than seat belts, but if it helps the police to capture more drug dealers, desperate times require desperate actions.

Plain building

I AGREE that Jackson needs a new high school. We need a school with a cafeteria that will accommodate our student body so we can have a closed campus. The students are trying to rush to and from fast-food restaurants in 20 minutes or so. After seeing the artist's rendition of what the new high school is to look like, it is completely over the top. Why not build something more similar to Notre Dame Regional High School, just an ordinary building? It's my understanding that Central High School was built for far less money than the Jackson building would cost. We can dig deep in our pockets, but let's be reasonable. Fancy buildings will not educate our children any better.

Educating everyone

PRIVATE SCHOOLS don't have to take children with special challenges. Public schools must, including the mentally and physically handicapped, the behavioral challenged and other special-needs children who are being mainstreamed. Some of these children even have their own personal aide. The high school almost also must run an alternative education system for children at risk of dropping out. Just how much extra money do you think is added to the overall expense by all this? Plenty.

Great show

If you missed the production "Harvey" by the River City Players, you missed a great show. Thank you, River City Players. We enjoyed the show. We look forward to your next production.

Thanks for picking up

IT'S TIME to thank a few people. Saturday I saw people in Scott City at the interstate. I saw fraternities and sororities on Route W. I saw people on the interstate in two or three places picking up trash. Interstate 55 between Scott City and Cape Girardeau's Center Junction looks wonderful. All of the streets, main thoroughfares of Cape and Scott City look great from all the trash that's been picked up in the last week or two. I want to say thank you to each individual who was out there picking it up. We appreciate it.

Trying to get ahead

THANK YOU for the information in your editorial, "Replacing Medicaid." I am a Medicaid recipient. I have tried to buy my own insurance. At this time I cannot find insurance to cover me for my pre-existing condition. I am in a low-income family of four. I will be attending college in the fall. My husband makes $8.25 per hour. I am on Social Security disability. The government keeps taking away programs from low-income families. Are we supposed to climb up the hill if we cannot get and stay off the ground? When I read that a single parent of two could not make over $72.41 and qualify for Medicaid, I was appalled. If a single parent works part time and goes to school with two children, that would put them over the limit. How are we supposed to progress? I do not understand. This is for our children's future.

Street litter

IF YOU want to see a classic example of yard waste thrown into the street as litter, drive Bercham Street in Jackson.

Where's the plaque?

I WAS wondering when the plaque will be placed honoring the light donors for the Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge.

Learning from Cape

JACKSON IS starting to learn from the Cape Girardeau City Council members. If you can't get something they want passed, they twist it so they can -- or they include it with something that will get voter approval. Changing the Jackson School District's bond issue so it only requires a simple majority is comparable to Cape's being able to raise our trash and sewer services by up to 5 percent without voter approval. We are pretty much at their mercy, because they can raise it anytime.

Thanks for envelopes

I APPRECIATE companies that provide self-addressed envelopes to pay their bills. I'm just terrible at being able to hang onto things, and it just really makes it nice if I have an envelope handy that's already addressed.

Bad motivation

PERHAPS WE can boost Missouri Assessment Program scores in the same way teachers artificially inflate grades. Teachers regularly award bonus points to students for bringing facial tissues and paper towels, for putting their names on their papers, for raising their hands, for turning their work in on time and for doing simple projects and reports. This could be instrumental in destroying the work ethic and rewards the lazy at the expense of the productive. It destroys morale and motivation.

School salesman

JACKSON LACKS the charismatic, knowledgeable salesman to get a bond issue passed. As evidence, I offer the easily passed multimillion-dollar school bond proposal in Sikeston. Anyone familiar with the situation will tell you that onetime Sikeston School District superintendent -- now Southeast Missouri State University instructor -- Dr. Robert Buchanan was the key factor in motivating voters to pass school proposals time after time. In fact, though no longer superintendent, Buchanan again rallied voters to pass the most recent proposal with something like 70 percent approval. Buchanan is the best public school advocate and salesman in this area in at least the last 40 years.

Check the CEOs

THERE ARE lots of complaints about illegal immigrants who steal American workers' jobs. Most complain as though the fault lies solely with the immigrant, forgetting that there are plenty of companies out there gladly dumping their American workers for these low-wage, no-benefit alternatives. Meanwhile, compensation for CEOs rose nearly 25 percent last year. Maybe we should widen our field of vision a bit and see who else is to blame.

Simple school

HAVE YOU seen Notre Dame Regional High School? It doesn't have a glass atrium leading into the school. The roof of the proposed Jackson High School looks like a carpenter's nightmare with all the different peaks, slopes and curves. Keep it simple.

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