On Aug. 11, I saw a large number of people in Wildcat Park to see the annual cardboard boat races.
Included was a boat built by the Joplin Host Lions Club that Lions president Leroy Potter steered from the back. Five valiant Lions dressed as Vikings risked a sudden wetting should their boat sink. Chris Howard did a valiant job of building the boat with help from other Lions members.
After a slow start it stayed afloat the 200 yards and was hauled out of the water intact. The five crew members were very glad of that.
Dr. Geoffrey Hilton
Joplin Host Lions Club
I watch volunteer groups struggling with 5-gallon buckets of water in the boiling heat to ensure the survival of newly planted trees donated by other groups. Time and money are willingly given so that the treeless, tornado-ravaged Joplin landscape will eventually enjoy the benefits of trees once again.
Then I read about a company that deliberately clear-cut three acres of existing trees along a neighborhood.
I understand incoming businesses are required to include trees or landscaping as part of their build. Then I see a sign announcing a new business coming on 32nd Street, and within days the large tree-lined lot was stripped bare of all vegetation border to border.
How is it that we recognize trees among the invaluable losses to the community, so we invest the time, effort and expense to replace them, but at the same time trees that escaped the ravages of the tornado are now being ravaged by man?
And more often than not, the trees being brought down by man are devastating people and devaluing neighborhoods in just the same way the tornado did in its path.
Making excuses that destroying trees is necessary because of projects resulting from the tornado are short-sighted and disgraceful.
All trees and all people impacted by their existence deserve to be respected and valued by agencies, governing bodies, businesses and individuals.
I just read in The Joplin Globe of the visionary plans for a long overdue civic center being planned for Joplin by various organizations.
I think all of them, along with the possible addition of a larger history museum, are excellent and definitely needed.
My question: Why build such a necessary and welcome project in a gully hidden from view and hemmed in by Main Street, First Street and the railroad tracks? I realize that the city draws a hefty sum from the railroad for use of the land, but this surely does not outweigh the value of this worthwhile project.
And the plan to build a “sound wall” between the tracks and the project sounds even more absurd than the ridiculous and useless fence along our southern border to keep out illegal immigrants. In fact, it sounds even more outlandish. One can easily walk around or crawl over a fence, but one can’t walk around or crawl over a loud sound.
My suggestion is to buy land farther south, but near Main Street, in devastated south-central Joplin on comparatively level land where it can easily be seen and can provide ample room instead of a ravine hidden from view.
Also, the builders should do this as soon as possible, before everything has been replaced or rebuilt.
I made these suggestions at a meeting last summer at College Heights Christian Church, along with the suggestions of many other people. Apparently, all these suggestions that were hung on boards according to priority were simply ignored or thrown in a waste can. I have not seen one of them implemented so far, or even plans for such. I have discussed these possibilities with many other people recently, and all have agreed wholeheartedly.
I do hope that the complex plan will not be abandoned for any reason, and that it will come to fruition soon. It has been needed for many years.
Milo A. Harris