Disrespect the flag and lose benefits

We are now living in a generation where spoiled brats of the dingbat fringe feel free to dishonor our flag, which millions have died to protect.

As an old man who has served in two of America’s wars, I believe the penalty for dishonoring our flag should be the sacrifice of all Social Security benefits and a free ride out of the country.

Gordon Thompson

Grove, Okla.

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June was ‘incredible’ month for Joplin

The Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex has reached its initial $14 million funding goal and is advancing to the construction phase. This world-class visual and performing arts center will transform the heart of Joplin. It will include a 450-seat multifunction performance hall, new and larger galleries for Spiva Center for the Arts, an outdoor amphitheater that will accommodate 1,500 guests, and a stunning rooftop terrace venue.

The Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences announced plans for a College of Dental Medicine in Joplin. It is estimated the College of Dental Medicine will have an $80 million cost of construction, generate a financial impact of $45 million annually, support more than 200 jobs and generate at least $1.7 million in state and local taxes.

Joplin air service to Chicago began on June 6. The Joplin Regional Airport will now service two daily flights to Chicago and, soon, a third daily flight to Dallas.

The Joplin community is rapidly becoming an affordable, livable version of the urban lifestyle that offers viable career, entrepreneurial and educational opportunities, burgeoning music and cultural venues, bike trails and walkable streets, and robust culinary and coffee scenes. The medical school — and now the dental school — is fueling the demand for new quality-of-life amenities that continue to transform Joplin into an even greater place to live, work, play and learn.

Tobias Teeter

President/CEO, Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce

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Eliminate hog hunting in the Mark Twain

Missouri has a big problem with feral hogs. They continue to damage natural resources, destroy private agricultural and pasture lands, carry disease and threaten native wildlife and domestic livestock. That will get worse unless we do something different.

The L-A-D Foundation and Pioneer Forest own and manage land in several counties in Missouri, and we have struggled using both hunting and trapping for the past decade, so we are now focusing on trapping entire family packs and are prohibiting hog hunting on our land. Hunting and trapping in Missouri have been underway for more than 20 years, but eradication has only begun to be successful in recent years in areas where hunting has been prohibited. Shooting individual hogs scatters the packs and greatly interferes with efforts to trap entire family groups.

We support the cooperative statewide effort of public agencies and private landowners committed to eradication, including the proposed moratorium on public hog hunting on the Mark Twain National Forest, with which we share many miles of boundary. The Mark Twain is the state’s largest landholding, and it is segmented into eight large chunks of land located throughout the Ozarks. We know that hogs are continuing to spread from the Mark Twain onto adjoining lands despite determined efforts at trapping.

Unfortunately, public response to the recent Mark Twain proposal has included a serious and discouraging misinformation campaign led by a relatively small number of hog hunters who enjoy the sport and wish to perpetuate it. If the Mark Twain is closed to hog hunting, no one will be shut out of hunting game on public land, but hogs are not legal game in Missouri. Hog hunting will still be allowed on private land with the owner’s permission.

And hog hunters may eventually be recruited to help in special managed hunts to eradicate hogs from certain remote hollows where trapping or shooting from helicopters is not practical.

The Mark Twain proposal has been carefully considered and is supported by many public agencies, agricultural and conservation organizations, private landowners, and others. This is a serious effort, and if it succeeds it will be good for Missouri farmers, hunters and all who enjoy the outdoors.

Susan Flader

President, The L-A-D Foundation

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Thrilled to see Aldi come to west side of town

Hurrah! Aldi is coming to west Joplin to relieve those of us who live on this side of town from the virtual monopoly Walmart has over us now that Price Cutter is gone. While I can’t find everything I need or want at Aldi, I can find a substantial number of items on my grocery list, relieving me of the endlessly annoying and frustrating manipulations of Walmart.

At the 15th Street store, pet food is kept at the opposite end of the store from groceries, which makes no sense whatsoever other than Walmart probably has data that a large percentage of shoppers have pets. You are forced to walk the entire length of the store because Walmart assumes we are too stupid to understand “impulse buying.”

At the same store, if you want to buy an ink cartridge for your printer, you must first find someone to open the case (and good luck with that) because they are locked now. Then you must also pay for it on the spot because we are all suspected thieves. The only option is that an employee will take the cartridge up front to be held until you check out with your other purchases so that you, and everyone behind you, can wait until the cashier can figure out where it was left.

You can’t buy stamps from the cashier anymore either; you have to go to the service center and either have cash or write still another check.

At the Seventh Street store, Walmart has put up one-way gates at each entrance so that you can’t leave without going through one of the checkout lines even if you didn’t find what you are looking for. Cashier stations with live employees are severely limited and located in the middle of the store. They are cleverly (they think) encouraging you to use the self-checkout stations — lower operating costs for the Waltons.

And then, the final insult is that employees stop you as you try to leave the store and want to scan your receipt. Not the whole thing, just the bottom. Best I can tell, the only information they can glean from that is how many items you bought, more marketing data for them and another unnecessary inconvenience for the customer.

From now on, I will do as much of my buying at Aldi or Food 4 Less as I can and avoid Walmart except for items I can’t find elsewhere — or perhaps just do without. I’m sick to death of being treated like a rat in a maze, and an untrustworthy rat at that.

Dianne Slater

Joplin

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Highway money should be saved for highways

Our (Missouri) Highway and Transportation Commission gets excited when the voters vote down a tax increase for highway repairs. They say they really need the money or repairs cannot continue.

Most voters I know would support a tax increase to be used for highway work only. In The Joplin Globe (July 1), I saw where $202,857 in highway funds will be used for a walking/biking trail in Joplin. In Nevada in the past few years, highway funds have been used to build city sidewalks and for repairs to the local airport.

Offer the voters a tax proposal for the money to be used for highway use only and just maybe the voters will pass it. In the meantime, stop using highway gasoline tax money for pet projects.

Don Adams

Nevada