Downtown Joplin

I've been following the stories about downtown Joplin. I'm not from Joplin, so I haven't voiced an opinion - until now. Since when is it appropriate to use my tax dollars to improve downtown Joplin? I'm referring to the $240,000 grant by the Missouri Department of Transportation to install "period lighting" in an area where most of the businesses are closed after dark. Is this to improve the viewing pleasure of the "cruisers" whom the downtown crowd whines so much about?

The story ("Joplin official: Sidewalk replacement improbable," Globe, July 22) concerning the downtown property owners' reluctance to spend any of THEIR OWN money for sidewalk replacement is a classic example of what is wrong with downtown. They are willing and eager to have other people's tax money, parking fees and fines spent to improve their business environment. But they are unwilling to face reality and operate as a business rather than a charity case.

To the downtown merchants, I have this to say: There is no need to revitalize downtown. Almost anything available there is available at more convenient locations. Downtown is not historic, beautiful or interesting. Downtown is inconvenient and, in many places, an eyesore. Business areas outside of downtown are not particularly pretty, but they provide adequate parking and don't charge customers to park. I object to any of my tax dollars being used to benefit businesses that refuse to spend their own money for self-improvement.

Sam Spencer

Anderson

Airport

It was reported in the paper that there would only be two flights per day to and from Joplin beginning Nov. 1 ("Joplin flights to dip to two," Globe, July 17). With this move by the carrier, it must mean that there are not enough passengers to support the need for a commercial carrier. If this is true, then why have the people of Joplin been put under the burden of expanding and keeping this burden up?

There has been a lot of misgiving of information to the public on the need of this airport. We need to find out why the runways need to be extended and why all the other expansions are needed. There are several people in this town who own their own planes, some of which are jets that require longer runways. Also, other people have prop planes.

If the commercial airlines can't make it here, then we the people are paying for these improvements for the private plane owners. Most of the commercial goods used by the people are trucked in, and the cost is much less than by air. We have the right to know the truth.

Earl Jenness

Joplin

Assessment

Regarding tax complaints, Ms. Huddleston and Mr. Spencer, you are almost right but for the word "tax." It should be "rent." If we are late on our payments, we get a late fee - "interest."

Interest is paid when something is borrowed. The word tax means we pay forever, as did the previous renters. With a good landlord we might improve the property for a break in the rent. The tax lord will raise his, the harder we try, the more he takes.

I have a friend who has remodeled one of his properties at great physical and financial labor. Now he has to sell it only to pay his property tax. The new tenant will now pay the rent increase.

Jim Keener

Joplin

Slippery slope

Recently the Supreme Court led us on another step down the slippery slope when they ruled in favor of sodomy versus the Bible. Both sides agree that this ruling will have far-reaching but unknown consequences.

We have learned from the abortion ruling and no-fault divorce laws that when things are made legal it has a magnifying effect and we get far more of it. By making sodomy legal we have made it more difficult for our most vulnerable, our children, to resist homosexual advances and influences, especially if schools are pro-homosexual.

This is called a Republican Supreme Court, but many can be deceived by this because Democratic senators have done their utmost to defeat any judge whom they believe would vote pro-Bible. In spite of this all, three of the pro-Bible votes were from Republican-appointed judges.

This means that voters are responsible for Supreme Court rulings.

Even though the court has turned wisdom upside down until it favors sodomy over the Ten Commandments in schools, this ruling could be a blessing in disguise if enough voters realize that they can correct it.

Stan Severson

Claremore, Okla.

Behind president

It is about time all Americans stopped crying over who gets the biggest piece of cake. We need to stand behind our president, like him or not. Why? To show the world that we are united and that if you come up against one of us, you have to in fact take on all of us.

It is time to show Germany, Iran, North Korea and the French a vital lesson: If anyone makes one of us bleed we will stand and we will stand tall and strong with a strength they can't even imagine. When the day comes to elect a new president, they too will have a people who will support them with pride.

Nelda Thomas

Webb City

More on WMDs

Three days before the war began in Iraq, Vice President Dick Cheney said that the administration believed that Iraq had "in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons." However, a week or so before this the International Atomic Energy Agency reported that they "had found no evidence or plausible indication of the revival of a nuclear weapons program in Iraq." To this day the evidence of such "reconstituted nuclear weapons" is a decade-old centrifuge buried in a rose garden. Why didn't Saddam have it dug up in 1998 (when the inspectors left) if he wanted nukes?

It is a good thing that Saddam is gone. Whether or not we should have invaded Iraq in 2003 (not in the early 1990's, 1998, or even 2000) is a separate issue than whether the Bush administration exaggerated or used false intelligence in order to deceive the American people.

Also, if you give a speech, have the integrity to take some responsibility for its content. As Congressman Dick Gephardt recently pointed out, Missouri native President Truman once had a sign on his desk that said, "the buck stops here."

Seth N. Jackson

Joplin