Speak Out 12/31/02

Tuesday, December 31, 2002

A big solutionOUR COUNTY auditor has reported a third of a percent decrease in sales-tax receipts, and his solution is a 100 percent increase in the tax. That seems to be a solution that is 300 times larger than the problem.

Library fundingTHE PERSON complaining about paying $24 a year to use Riverside Regional Library apparently lives in the old city limits of Jackson, and his taxes go to the Jackson Public Library. His taxes are not paying for any part of the regional library. I'm sure the librarians explained this to him as I have heard them do so many times when I am in the library.

School problemsBELIEVE ME, private schools have their share of trouble with students and their parents. Every school, whether public or private, has its own problems.

Soviet collapseRONALD REAGAN did not bring down the Soviet Union. Poverty and unrest took care of that. The people of the Soviet Union were suffering as their government spent tons of money on building a nuclear arsenal and trying to fight a war with Afghanistan. Do you see any irony in that?

'TIS THE week after Christmas, and I'm still twisting away with my "Jingle Bell Rock" Santa doll. I know every move to the dance and every word to the song. I guess I'd lose more weight if I could just stop eating leftover cookies and fudge.

Good forecastingTO THE caller who complained about the weather forecast for Christmas Eve. I think forecasters do an awesome job. I once lived in an area where I was convinced the weatherman's uncle must have owned a grocery store, for he was truly the weather boy who cried wolf.

Distance smokingI RECENTLY noticed a sign at a hospital asking smokers to stay at least 50 feet away from the building. I do not know if this is the law, but it should be. I am a nonsmoker who finds it very offensive to have no choice but to walk by a smoker standing outside a business. I work at a business where almost everyone smokes, and when they all take their break at the same time and then return to our enclosed area, the smell of them makes me want to throw up. If only smokers could smell themselves, many would quit.

Give workers a breakEMPLOYERS shouldn't harass employees who choose not to drive through ice and snow to make $6 an hour. They should realize, just like the school systems, that if they are noncritical employees, they should be allowed to take a snow day without penalty. Not everyone can afford a four-wheel-drive vehicle to safely get them to and from work. Lighten up, employers, and learn to appreciate every employee as a human being.

Charging for no-call listTHE ILLINOIS No Call Law will go into effect soon, and residents will have to pay $5 to sign up. Hats off to Illinois for recognizing this is how they'll make money. Missouri really missed the boat by not charging to sign up on its no-call list. If it had, it would have over $13 million rather than breaking even with all the expense from its mailings to the list.

Good job, forecasters

I THINK forecasters did a great job. We had snow for Christmas. How often does that happen? It doesn't seem like it's very often. I think we got lucky in Cape Girardeau. Just 20 miles up the road, my cousin in Perryville had eight inches of snow.

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