Speak Out A 04/23/02

Tuesday, April 23, 2002

Bike trail is bad idea

IT'S TWO years down the road. MoDOT has finished Highway 34-72 project in Jackson. They have put in the four-lane limited-access highway with a bicycle trail on the north side. It's 5 p.m. on a beautiful late spring evening. I'm leaving my apartment on the north side of Jackson Boulevard. The traffic is heavy with people hurrying home from work. I am looking for a break in traffic to exit, not thinking to look the other way because traffic coming from the west is on the other side of the median. Finally, there's a break in the traffic. I step on the accelerator. There's a thud. Oh, my gosh, I've run over a child on a bike. The ambulance comes, and the child dies later that night. I'm a nervous wreck. I can't stand myself. This has ruined my life and taken away the life of a precious child. Nothing anyone says will ease the pain the parents feel. The child begged to ride his bike to the soccer field, I heard the parents say, but because our state and city allowed this bicycle trail, they thought it must be safe. People of Jackson, do we really want a bicycle trail on this busy highway?

Israel on U.S. welfare

WHY SHOULD the American taxpayers be stuck with supporting Israel to the tune of $3 billion each year? Why is Israel our responsibility? It's no wonder the Palestinians don't like America, because the $3 billion pays for tanks, airplanes and guns that kill Palestinians and pays for new Israeli settlements on Palestinian land. The Palestinians are forced to live in crowded camps under miserable conditions. Americans are supposed to be fair-minded. What has happened to our thinking? Why should Israel be on American welfare rolls at $3 billion a year and nothing for the Palestinians?

No action on shrub

THIS IS concerning the shrubs blocking the stop sign on Bloomfield Road. School buses can't see the cars, and if there's a car coming at you, you can't see the kids. The shrub has been there forever. There is a guy who works for the city and goes around giving people tickets. He lives down the street, a block from where you turn to go to Jefferson Elementary School. I have confronted that man face to face about this shrub, but he doesn't seem to care.

Sounds like cop-out

KIM MOTHERSHEAD, a SEMO regent, said this about the increase in tuition and parking fees: "Shame on the government of Missouri for making us have to put this cost on the backs of students." I am appalled that a person in a position of leadership would make such a statement. Regents are supposed to make hard decisions, not try to place blame. As a taxpayer, I feel no shame for helping elect the state legislators, and I doubt they feel shame for having to cut the budget. I cannot think of anyone who should feel shame in this case except the official who appointed Mothershead to this prestigious management position.

Boosting revenue

THE SEMO regents voted to raise our tuition and fines for illegal parking, then one of them tries to shame the legislature by saying: "They made us do it." Are we really supposed to believe this? The regents also stated that the $40 fine increase was not designed to merely increase the university's revenue. Are we to believe this too? During the construction of new parking garages, spaces will be at a minimum and the fines will fill the university's treasury. Wait and see.

Wait until primary

PROTOCOL AND good taste would require a person be nominated by his party before he starts running in the general election. Jim Talent should spare us his cries for a debate with Sen. Jean Carnahan until both are nominated by their parties. I am sure we can all stand the suspense of what his positions are until after he is nominated. Only those with a vested interest are in favor of debating before the nomination takes place. That appears to be Talent, who needs exposure and the news media for campaign revenue. There will be plenty of time for the two of them to debate from August to November.

Highway dangers

LATELY I have been seeing advertisements for the 100-mile yard sale along Highway 25 to be held again this year. Highway 25 is not an appropriate place for this as it is extremely dangerous to both motorists and those stopping at the yard sales. People walk across the highway in front of traffic, out in front of oncoming cars and from in between parked cars and park on the side of the road without pulling completely off of the pavement, open car doors into the path of oncoming motorists, abruptly pull onto the highway from the shoulder in front of oncoming cars and abruptly pull off of the road without using turn signals. I have been witness to all of this. It is difficult for me to believe no one has been killed or injured in the years that this has been going on. It is a nightmare for those who must travel the highway. I am also very surprised that the Missouri State Highway Patrol allows this event.

Directors deserve credit

I AM a member of Jackson's ninth-grade band. I just want to thank the caller about good music in Jackson. We work so hard for what we do, but the band directors deserve the credit. They are some of the best around. We couldn't have done it without you. Thanks.

They'll go elsewhere

SHAME ON Kim Mothershead and the rest of the members of the SEMO regents for trying to place the blame of the tuition increase on the state. Raising tuition 15 percent isn't going to make the school any more money. It's going to make more students go elsewhere to get an education. Most students go to SEMO because it's a cheap and easy education. It they have to pay the same to go to SEMO as they would going somewhere else, they might as well go somewhere prestigious and get their money's worth.

All scream for ice cream

LET'S SPEAK out for Baskin Robbins. I do not think I have ever heard a more ludicrous reason for closing a business in my life than that a company is pulling out of "smaller, non-strategic markets." Let's all contact Allied Domecq and voice our opinion. They can be e-mailed at www.allieddomecqplc.com/contact/contact-.... If you love good ice cream and want to see a family business continue to succeed, let's help the Schmidts keep their successful, nearly quarter-century-old business.

GET OFF Gov. Bob Holden's back. He has his spending priorities in order. A student can learn more about life from attending one St. Louis Cardinals baseball game than sitting in a college or university classroom for a whole school year listening to professors drone on about a world in which they never resided: the real one.

Give some examples

ACCORDING TO Sen. Peter Kinder, our state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act will "restore the free exercise of religion from undue interference by the government." How wonderful -- I think. The generality was so extraordinarily glittering I think we need a follow-up column specifically defining or giving examples of "undue interference by the government." For example, would the law in any way inhibit Attorney General John Ashcroft's efforts to infiltrate so-called religious groups who use religion as a ploy for plotting acts of terrorism?

GOP waste too

REPUBLICAN U.S. Sen. Kit Bond recently got a quarter of a million federal tax dollars for the study of Goth culture among teen-agers in Blue Springs, Mo. Republicans waste our money away just as much as Democrats do. Tell the truth.

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