It appears it worked again.
It’s been several days since Hurricane Sandy first began battering the East Coast, and government appears to be working. I use the term government somewhat collectively because a host of hardworking folks in not just the federal government, but in state, county and city governments did and are doing their jobs.
They produced accurate and up-to-date weather forecasts and warnings. They made sure that folks heeded those warnings. They helped folks in the path of the storm evacuate and, later, helped rescue those other folks who chose not to evacuate.
By the way, I’ve always found it admirable that when rescuers get a call for help from some moron who ignored warnings that he should leave and, as a result, found himself in need of saving that they go ahead and rescue the guy. See, my response would probably be: “The heck with him, he’s a moron.”
But that’s not the way government is supposed to work. Government, since we all pretty much pay for it, is supposed to be there for everyone. Including the morons. After all, morons pay taxes, too.
There has been a lot of talk lately about the government. Since my dad served in the military throughout most of my childhood, my view of government’s role is probably a bit skewed. See, I believe that government provided my dad a pretty good job that allowed him to raise a family of seven kids. Sure the government sent him to war three times, but, hey, my dad had seven kids. War was probably a break for him.
Government provided my family with free health care. Government, at times, provided my family with housing. It did and still is providing my dad a comfortable retirement. Government did the same for hundreds of thousands of men and women my dad’s age and continues to do that for the hundreds and thousands of men and women who followed my dad’s generation into military service.
I like government. Even when it screws up. And, let’s be clear here, government does screw up. But the successes of government, the good things that government does, far outweigh the screw-ups.
Nobody knows that more than the people of Joplin.
Before the 2011 tornado hit, folks with the National Weather Service were issuing warnings to residents. Those warnings likely saved thousands of lives. After the tornado hit, city and county first responders rushed to aid the injured, fight fires, provide traffic control and guard against looting. Later, emergency workers from across the state and eventually from across the nation showed up to help. The National Guard stepped in to provide assistance.
And then the federal government stepped in with money to help pay for all of the local help. It stepped in with money to help clean up, and later with money to rebuild. And that federal money continues to flow to Joplin as the town begins reshaping itself.
Government worked in Joplin, and it’s working along the East Coast.
Over the past few days, as I’ve watched and read coverage in the aftermath of the most recent storm, I’ve been struck by the similarities between the response to Hurricane Sandy and to the Joplin tornado. I’ve watched incredibly brave and selfless government employees rush in to save lives and assist victims. I’ve watched them help folks dig out of destroyed homes and I’ve seen them provide food and shelter to thousands of people.
In short, I’ve seen government do what government is supposed to do.
We here in Joplin have an idea what the folks on the East Coast are going through. We also have an idea of what lies ahead for them. We just pray that the government continues to work as well for them as it is working for us.
It appears it worked again.
- Local News
Joplin Redevelopment Corp. says work on senior living complex, library on track
Members of the Joplin Redevelopment Corp., which is handling land transactions for Joplin’s master developer projects, said they believe the efforts for redevelopment have turned a corner that will make the projects more visible to the public. The JRC on Tuesday approved the final amendments to site development agreements separating a senior transitional living project to be built west of 26th Street and McClelland Boulevard.
Affordable Care Act deadline is March 31
Danny and Brenda Newman, of Carl Junction, had a purpose for being at Tuesday night’s informational session about the Affordable Care Act, presented by University of Missouri Extension. They have expensive COBRA health insurance after Danny Newman left his job. They were seeking information about finding something more affordable through the Missouri health care exchange under the Affordable Care Act.
Carthage Council to urge veto of just-approved cell tower bill
The Carthage City Council on Tuesday voted to ask Gov. Jay Nixon to veto a bill passed last week that would take away cities’ ability to regulate the location of cellular towers. Cities in the state lobbied against the measure when it was before the General Assembly, and they now are seeking action from the governor.
Principals address Miami School Board after test scores drop
Seven of the Miami School District’s principals addressed issues inside their schools at a school board meeting Monday night, in the wake of lower evaluation scores from the Oklahoma State Department of Education.
MSSU students, faculty go bald for cancer research
Even before Caitlin Germann had checked out her newly shorn reflection in a mirror, she was inviting her friends to feel her new do. “It feels good; it feels lighter,” she said. “Whenever you wash your hair and feel water on your scalp — it feels like that, but all over. I don’t know how else to describe it.”
Restaurant owners join list of smoke-free establishments
A few years ago, Joplin restaurant owner Mike Pawlus was on the fence. “We wanted to go to no-smoking, but wanted the city to make the call,” said Pawlus, referring to an issue before the Joplin City Council in 2010. The ban ultimately did not fly. Likewise, the Webb City council rejected a similar effort at about the same time, as did the Carthage council.
Letter cites advice on Rohr firing; investigator notes discussions on probe direction, added costs
It was special investigator Tom Loraine who advised Joplin officials in the firing of Mark Rohr without cause, a letter written by Loraine shows. The letter, dated Feb. 20, was obtained by The Joplin Globe through an open-records request filed on March 5.
Hispanics take case for growing presence to state lawmakers
Hispanic advocates gathered Wednesday at the state Capitol, urging lawmakers to remember their voices and their growing clout when voting on key issues. Adolfo Castillo, of Joplin, joined dozens of activists in Jefferson City. Castillo, who previously served on the Missouri Commission on Human Rights, said the size and influence of the Hispanic community continues to grow in Missouri.
Joplin sales tax committee to rank project list
Joplin’s Public Works Department has suggested 43 street and bridge projects for a residents’ panel to rank for funding, contingent upon renewal of the city’s capital improvements sales tax.
Former Joplin city manager says Texas hiring ‘bittersweet’
Mark Rohr had mixed feelings Tuesday night when the City Council of League City, Texas, approved a final contract naming him as city manager. “It is a bittersweet moment for me,” Rohr said by telephone.
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