CRUSADERS DOUBLE UP Helias baseball defeated Rock Bridge 9-3 to advance to the state quarterfinals, while Helias soccer defeated Moberly 4-0 and also advanced to the quarterfinals. Blair Oaks baseball fell 8-0 to Mexico.
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J E F F E R S ON CI T Y, M I S S O URI WEDNESDAY 50¢
MAY 23, 2012
VOL. 147, NO. 72
STORY AND PHOTOS BY ANNE E. KETTENBRINK ANNEK @ NEWSTRIBUNE . COM
‘Disaster’ budget year ahead
Joplin Walk of Unity offers healing, hope
Business license audit finds $107K in unpaid licensing fees
JOPLIN — There is a scar. A long, dark scar, somewhat healed over, but still red with pain, still smooth with newness. The tornado left that scar, miles long and nearly a mile wide at some points. As a scar heals, the hand is drawn to it, to run along it gently, to remember how it happened, to try to take away the pain and help it heal. That is what the community of Joplin came together to do Tuesday, the first anniversary of the EF5 tornado that hit with little warning May 22, 2011. Thousands of residents, volunteers, community leaders and supporters gathered to walk the scar, to see the damage and the progress. They walked to remember those lost, to see firsthand the rebuilding, to gain some closure after a tough year. I walked because I am a former resident. I lived in Joplin for 5 years; it’s the only place I have lived away from Mid-Missouri for more than a few months.
By Madeleine Leroux email@example.com
One town, one heart
‘15th Street Walmart survivor’ Her shirt was homemade, a puff-paint badge of honor she donned to return to the 15th Street Walmart, the start of the city’s Walk of Unity. The store was destroyed in the Please see Joplin, p. 3
TOP: Participants in Joplin’s Walk of Unity walk hand-in-hand Tuesday along the 3.7-mile path the May 22, 2011, tornado took. ABOVE LEFT: Joplin community members wait to turn ceremonial shovels during the groundbreaking of the new Joplin High School. ABOVE RIGHT: Joplin residents, volunteers and supporters stream out of the 15th Street Walmart parking lot at the beginning of the Walk.
Employees of Dillons gather near the painted Spirit Tree, which was damaged in the tornado. The tree is adjacent to the lot where the Dillons store was destroyed.
Joplin remembers deadly tornado JOPLIN (AP) — Carrying small American flags and wearing T-shirts bearing the names of friends and loved ones who died when a massive tornado tore through Joplin one year ago, thousands of people made a somber march Tuesday through some of the town’s hardest-hit neighborhoods. Residents and officials are dedicated to remembering their losses but are also committed to what is certain to be a long, slow recovery from a tornado that killed 161 people Please see Tornado, p. 3
Tobacco tax increase clears legal hurdle Green tosses lawsuit to keep issue off November ballot By Bob Watson firstname.lastname@example.org If supporters of a proposal to raise taxes on tobacco products gathered enough signatures on their initiative petitions, Missourians will see that issue on the Nov. 6 general election ballot.
Cole County Circuit Judge Dan Green this week rejected a citizen’s lawsuit claims that Secretary of State Robin Carnahan’s ballot language was insufficient and unfair for voters. As approved by Carnahan — and, now, by Green — the ballot summary voters will see in November reads: “Shall Missouri law be amended to: “• create the Health and Education Trust Fund with proceeds of a tax of $0.0365 per cigarette and
25% of the manufacturer’s invoice price for roll-your-own tobacco and 15% for other tobacco products; “• use Fund proceeds to reduce and prevent tobacco use and for elementary, secondary, college, and university public school funding; and “• increase the amount that certain tobacco product manufacturers must maintain in their escrow accounts, to pay judgments or settlements, before any
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funds in escrow can be refunded to the tobacco product manufacturer and create bonding requirements for these manufacturers?” Plaintiff Ralph Brown’s suit proposed an alternative ballot title with wording changes that, Green agreed in a 13-page final judgment, “seem to more accurately describe the measure” than Carnahan’s language. But, as previous rulings in challenges to other initiative petitions Please see Tobacco, p. 3
Jefferson City is bracing for a rough budget year in 2013, as it can no longer rely on a windfall from companies making large back-tax payments. At the Finance Committee meeting Tuesday, the committee discussed the coming budget process for the next fiscal year, which will begin at the council level in late July. After discussing a new format for the budget sessions, Finance Director Steve Schlueter said the council will INSIDE have to deal with cuts this year as revenues Lodging tax expected likely will be under $30 to fall short of projecmillion. tions .......... Page B1 In the current year’s approved budget, projections have the 2012 budget coming in at between $31 million and $32 million, with expenses being slightly less than revenues. “Revenues can only be down,” Schlueter said. “I told you ’13 would be a disaster.” In recent years, the city has audited utility companies that pay the city a 7 percent gross receipts utility tax. Some companies had severely underpaid the city, and were forced to make one-time payments to cover the taxes and late fees, Schlueter said. This year’s budget includes about $1 million from some of the major cell phone companies alone. Next year, the budget will need to be reduced by between $1 million and $1.5 million, he said. Even the recently agreed to surtax settlements with Cole County won’t help the budget shortfall much. Cole County has agreed to pay the city more than $750,000 in underpaid surtax from 2007-09 during a 15-year period. Starting this year, and going through 2021, the city will be paid an annual installment of just more than $54,000, in addition to that year’s scheduled surtax payment. From 2022 to 2026, the city will receive annual payments of more than $41,000. City Counselor Drew Hilpert said those payments must be received each year by November. Shawn Schulte, committee chairman and 2nd Ward councilman, said the council would need to focus on what is truly needed within the city, rather than looking at a wish list of projects or expenditures. “All indications point that it will be a challenging budget year,” Schulte said. “Cuts may be a little deeper this year.” According to the budget schedule, the city administrator should be reviewing department budgets starting this week. In mid-June, those budgets will be turned over to the mayor, who will have roughly one month to work on the overall city budget before submitting his draft to the full council July 23. Council members will have one week to review the budget before meeting as the budget committee July 31. In other business, a city audit of business licenses has found more than 50 businesses operating without a valid city business license. Schlueter said more than $100,000 is owed in licensing fees, with about one-third of that being paid as of Tuesday. “So far, the findings have been pretty dramatic,” Schlueter said. “It’s amazing how many bills we’ve sent out all over the country.” Schlueter said so far, the city has recouped about $36,000 of the $107,000 owed. In March, the council approved an ordinance imposing a fine of up to $500 for businesses operating without a license for more than 30 days.
Business ..................A4 Calendar..................B1 Classifieds ........... D1-6 Comics ................... D7 Crossword............... D7 Dear Abby............... D8 Opinion................ B4-5 People .....................A2 Sports .....................C1 Statistics .................C2 TV Schedule............ D7 Weather ...................A2 World ................... B6-7
Man wants to bring alligators to court A Kansas City man accused of 17 animal abuse charges wants to bring live alligators into a Columbia courtroom when he goes on trial in July. An attorney for 67-year-old Ken Henderson made the request to Boone County Circuit Judge Christine Carpenter. Henderson was charged last June after animal control officials searched his van at Boone County Fairgrounds and found several animals, including seven alligators. Attorney Kevin O’Brien says the defense wants to show jurors that the alligators are domesticated and that Henderson takes care of them like pets. Henderson, who has appeared on the cable channel Animal Planet, was ordered last year not to bring his animals back to Boone County.
The city is facing a “disaster” year in 2013 as revenues plummet; departments citywide could be facing deep cuts. What do you consider the most cut-resistant city department? Where should the deepest cuts fall?
Join the discussion at www.facebook.com/newstribune
FROM PAGE ONE
WEDNESDAY, MAY 23, 2012
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storm, but rebuilt and reopened within months. As I looked around, I realized nearly all of the walkers had some sort of declaration on their shirt, of survival, of hope, of rebuilding, of remembrance. They carried signs, walked in honor of one of the 161 people who died that day and in the days to come, taken by the intense winds and swirling debris. I began near the front of the huge throng. Eventually, it thinned out, and as we turned the first corner, we were shocked to see the line of people had stretched nearly four blocks in front of us. Behind us, people were still leaving the starting area. People of all kinds came out to support the city and tornado recovery. There were young and old, babies and dogs, those who had come for the entire walk or those who joined in on the way. As we made our way up 20th Street, one of the city’s main throroughfares and one of the streets hardest hit, we began to see people lining the sidewalk. They were waiting to hand us water, to spray us with sunscreen, to offer us support.
and injured hundreds of others. The storm last May wiped away entire neighborhoods in the city of 50,000, destroyed Joplin’s only public high school and left behind a ghastly moonscape of block after city block of foundations wiped clean of their structures. “It’s been a roller-coaster type year. Extremely high highs and lots of low lows,” said Debbie Fort, the principal of Erving Elementary School, which has been operating out of temporary facilities. “It’s important that we take a moment to reflect and remember,” she said. “But it’s a new chapter in our lives. This really signifies our future, the future of Joplin.” Signs of the challenges ahead were plentiful on the 4-mile “Walk of Unity,” from the glaring absence of century-old trees in the city’s central neighborhoods to the ghostly shell of St. John’s Regional Medical Center, which formed a stark backdrop at a late afternoon memorial service marked by a moment of silence at 5:41 pm. — the exact time the tornado hit. “There is not a handbook out there that says, ‘Here’s how you develop a community that has an 8-mile-long, 25 to 30 city-block wide swath of area that has basically lost everything,”’ said David Wallace, a Texas developer whose firm was hired by the city to oversee Joplin’s rebuilding plan. He estimated the recovery will cost nearly $2 billion, about half of which has already been pledged by private sources. Throughout the day, residents, hospital workers, volunteers and politicians gathered across the disaster zone to mark the May 22, 2011, tornado, mixing somber remembrances with steely resolutions to rebuild. “It is so fitting to begin this day, this anniversary, by reflecting on our faith as dawn breaks over a renewed Joplin,” Gov. Jay Nixon said at a sunrise service at Freeman Hospital, which is eight blocks from St. John’s but was undamaged. “Scripture tells us that the path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.” The afternoon procession started in neighboring Duquesne, where more than one-fourth of the community’s 750 homes were destroyed and nine people died. The Joplin portion of the walk began past a Wal-Mart where three people were killed and 200 survived by huddling together in employee break rooms, bathrooms and other designated safe zones. City officials estimated the number of people who took the somber walk at 5,000 to 6,000. They ended at Cunningham Park, which has been rebuilt and is across the street from what is left of the St. John’s hospital. The medical center hasn’t yet been torn down because it sits atop the mining tunnels that made Joplin an early 20th century boomtown. The hospital has been operating out of a succession of temporary facilities while construction continues at its new permanent location, where it will reopen under the name Mercy Hospital Joplin. Along the route, some residents sat in lawn chairs and beneath shade umbrellas outside their partially rebuilt homes, offering bottled water to the walkers. The unity walk featured several stops, including a groundbreaking ceremony for the rebuilt Joplin High. Juniors and seniors will spend the next two years attending school in a converted department store in the city’s sole shopping mall. “The sound of hammers has replaced the sound of sirens,” said C.J. Huff, Joplin’s school superintendent. A community theater where three people died after a Sunday matinee performance will be rebuilt nearby. Those on the walk included former coworkers of Randy Mell, a 49-year-old Jasper County custodian who died while trying to save some of the more than 50 audience and cast members trapped inside the Stained Glass Theater. Insurance policies are expected to cover most of the $2.8 billion in damage from the storm. But taxpayers could supply about $500 million in federal and state disaster aid, low-interest loans and local bonds backed by higher taxes. Almost one-fifth of that money was paid to contractors who hauled off an estimated 3 million cubic yards of debris. In January, elected officials and other members of a 45-person recovery committee endorsed a long-term recovery plan that calls for the creation of four new business districts that would allow residents to live and shop nearby and a unified approach to rebuilding that ensures new construction meets certain design standards. In March, the city hired Wallace Bajjali Development Partners, of Sugar Land, Texas, as its “master developer” to oversee the rebuilding plan. Wallace, the company’s chief executive officer, said he’s secured commitments from builders who want to bring a minor league baseball stadium, a convention center and a public performing arts center to the city near the borders of Arkansas, Oklahoma and Kansas. One interested developer is a group led by former Dallas Cowboys star Emmitt Smith that envisions transforming Joplin’s Main Street business corridor into a mixed-use neighborhood with high-end lofts built atop retail space. “Everybody’s heart in America is pouring out to Joplin right now,” he said. “There’s a desire to be able to come and make a difference in this community.”
‘Count me in’ The T-shirt in front of me was simple and to the point. “Count me in.” It embodied the spirit of those who showed up in the hours and days afterward. It also embodied the spirit of the Walk of Unity. We were reminded at the beginning, this was not a race. And indeed, it was a leisurely stroll through the middle of Joplin, with friendly banter about what was for dinner tonight, how last night’s graduation parties went and the occasional sighting of someone familiar.
‘Nothing stops us’ The path of the walk reversed the path of the tornado, heading west for St. John’s Medical Center and Cunningham Park, what have become the symbols for Joplin’s devastation and hope respectively. The tornado touched down for 32 minutes; the walk lasted nearly 5 times that long. But along the way, there were stops to celebrate the progress that has been made in the rebuilding in the past year. Members of the Mormon church raised the steeple on their new building, with those in the crowd
Anne E. Kettenbrink/News Tribune
A memorial naming all 161 people killed in the May 22, 2011, Joplin tornado is dedicated Tuesday evening at Cunningham Park. The park is across the street from St. John’s Hospital, which was destroyed by the tornado. raising their hands to symbolically help. Across the street, ground was broken at the new high school. While the site of the former high school is still piled with debris, parents and students were cheered as about 20 ceremonial shovels turned dirt at the site of the new high school. Several in the crowd were dressed in school colors, with shirts that said “Nothing stops us.” And indeed, nothing has. Schools all over town opened on time just three months after the tornado.
One foot in front of another All told, Joplin’s Walk of Unity was 3.7 miles. As we approached the last leg, we could see St. John’s looming. There were flags flying for the evening’s memorial dedications. The last bit was a gradual hill, probably the toughest part of the course. We went one foot in front of the other, much as the survivors must, with one eye on the end, but another looking down so as not to fall today. There were groups handing out water, just as there had
been nearly the entire way, dwarfing the city’s four planned hydration stations. This is a community that takes care of its own. And at the end, there were employees of the former St. John’s Hospital, now known as Mercy Hospital Joplin. Lining both sides of the street, in matching shirts with a powerful fist rising up, they applauded those who had turned out to show that tornado it can’t keep Joplin down. “You made it. You did it.” I don’t think they were talking about the walk.
Notorious ‘mountain man’ Powell not ready to endorse Obama for re-election arrested in parking lot HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Police arrested notorious “mountain man” Dan Nichols Tuesday on drug charges following a months-long search that came nearly three decades after he and his father kidnapped a world-class athlete. Nichols was taken into custody after phoning the U.S. Marshals Service and saying he would be in the Walmart parking lot in Butte between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m., ButteSilver Bow Sheriff John Walsh said. Nichols showed up as promised in a 1982 red Honda Prelude with Bozeman license plates and was arrested without incident, Walsh said. “He basically turned himself in,” Walsh said. The sheriff said he did not know why Nichols called marshals. Chief Deputy Marshal Rod Ostermiller did not immediately return a call seeking comment. Nichols failed to appear in court in March on charges of drug possession and intent to distribute during a rock concert last August in Three Forks, and Jefferson County officials issued a warrant for his arrest. Nichols was 46 at the time of his arrest last year. Federal prosecutors became involved in April, charging Nich-
Tobacco: Continued from p. 1 have found, Green wrote: “The legal standard is not whether a challenger can produce a ‘better’ summary statement, but whether the summary prepared is unfair or insufficient.” And Brown’s complaint didn’t show that Carnahan failed to meet the standard,
ols with participating in a medical marijuana organization in Helena accused of illegally growing and distributing more than $1.7 million in pot. The co-founders of that operation, Montana Cannabis, are either facing federal drug charges or have made plea deals. It was not immediately clear where Nichols had been living the past few months. He is scheduled to make an initial court appearance on Wednesday, and the U.S. Marshals Service is expected to take custody of him then. In 1984, Nichols and his father, Don Nichols, kidnapped biathlete Kari Swenson. Don Nichols planned to make the then 22-year-old Swenson his son’s wife. Don Nichols was convicted of killing Swenson’s would-be rescuer, Alan Goldstein, while Dan Nichols was convicted of shooting Swenson in the rescue attempt. Swenson survived the shooting and the Nichols eluded authorities for five months until they were arrested by Madison County Sheriff Johnny France. Dan Nichols was paroled in 1991. His father was denied parole for his 85-year-sentence in a high-profile hearing last month.
Green ruled. Brown also challenged the fiscal note and its summary, prepared by State Auditor Tom Schweich after getting information from a number of state agencies and city and county governments. The summary said: “Estimated additional revenue to state government is $283 million to $423 million annually with limited estimated implementation costs or savings.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Secretary of State Colin Powell declined Tuesday to renew the presidential endorsement he gave Barack Obama four years ago, saying he wasn’t ready “to throw my weight behind someone” at this time. The former chairman of the military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff and Cabinet member under President George W. Bush demurred when asked if he was backing Obama again. A longtime GOP figure, Powell caused a stir in Republican political circles four years ago by endorsing Obama over war hero Sen. John McCain, calling Obama a “transformational figure.” Not so this time, Powell said on NBC’s “Today” show. At least, not yet. “It’s not just a matter of whether you support Obama or (Mitt) Romney. It’s who they have coming in with them,” he said. Pressed to say why he was holding back on giving Obama his blessing a second time, Powell said: “I always keep my powder dry, as they say in the military.” He said Obama had “stabilized the financial system” following the deep recession of 2008-2009 and had “fixed the auto industry.” Powell also said he thought the country was on the right path toward ending the war in Afghanistan. But he also said he thought Obama needed to work more on the economy and said he thought that he owed it to the Republican Party to listen to the proposals that likely nominee Romney will be offering, particularly on the economy. Powell said he’s “still listening” to Republican ideas, calling Romney “a good man” and saying he wasn’t ready to make a commitment to Obama. Powell has been an enigmatic figure in the Republican Party, and his name often has been mentioned in both presidential and vice presidential speculation. He was the first black head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The revenue will fund only programs and services allowed by the proposal. The fiscal impact to local governmental entities is unknown. Escrow fund changes may result in an unknown increase in future state revenue.” Among his findings, Green wrote: “In order to establish that a fiscal note is unfair or insufficient, a challenger has the burden to establish what the fiscal note should have
said. (Brown) has not set forth any assertion regarding what he believes the fiscal note should have stated.” Green noted Brown had disputed “the revenue estimates used in the fiscal note summary (but) did not introduce evidence that a different range would have been more accurate.” The attorney general’s office was reviewing Green’s ruling and had no comment. Spence Jackson, Sch-
weich’s spokesman, said: “We will not appeal this decision because we feel it supports our actions.” The petitions were circulated by the group Missourians for Health and Education, a coalition that includes the American Cancer Society. “We are pleased that the Court’s ruling ... protects the process which allows citizens to influence policy in Missouri,” said Misty Snodgrass,
the Cancer Society’s government affairs director. If the issue reaches the ballot and voters approve it, Missouri’s cigarette taxes would climb from 17 to 90 cents per pack, and taxes on other tobacco products also would go up. The revenues would be split three ways: 20 percent for smoking cessation programs, 30 percent to higher education and 50 percent to elementary and secondary education.
SUNDAY, JUNE 12, 2011
Walter E. Hussman Jr., Publisher Mike Vivion, Vice President and General Manager Richard F. McGonegal, Opinion Page Editor Gary Castor, Managing Editor A family owned and operated independent newspaper
VIEWPOINT The problem is Greece
So I returned and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun; and behold the tears of such as were oppressed and they had no comforter and on the side of their oppressors there was power but they had no comforter. Ecclesiastes 4:1
Scripps Howard News Service
President Barack Obama and visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel had major issues to talk about — such as Afghanistan, where the German military is participating; and Libya, where it is not — but the subject on which they spent the most time was Greece. Athens has already received a $161 billion bailout, largely orchestrated by Merkel, and European finance ministers and international lenders are working on a second round, on the order of $1l7 billion to $146 billion. The bailout is unpopular in Greece because of the austerity measures and high unemployment that accompanied it. And the bailout is also unpopular in Germany. Merkel’s political opponents portray it as a thrifty, hardworking Germany bailing out a feckless, profligate Mediterranean land. After his meeting with Merkel, Obama said the U.S. would participate in the bailout — if Germany takes the lead. In a sense, as the largest contributor to the International Monetary Fund, we’re already participating, but Obama’s pronouncement is likely to be similarly unpopular in the United States. Obama’s critics will ask: Why are we bailing out Greece when we should be bailing out ourselves? Like so many economic decisions freighted with moral hazard, we don’t seem to have much choice. Said Obama: “America’s economic growth depends on a sensible resolution of this issue. It would be disastrous for us to see an uncontrolled spiral and default in Europe because that could trigger a whole range of other events.” If Greece defaults, the fear is that the contagion would spread to other fragile European economies — Ireland and Portugal — and perhaps elsewhere. Default would also mean damaging writeoffs for Greece’s creditor banks. It would mean a depression for large parts of Europe, and our own economic recovery might not be immune from infection. The job of leading the rescue falls to Merkel by default. She is Europe’s strongest leader and one of its longest-serving; she is also one of the most stable. Her country is the world’s fourth-largest economy and second-largest exporter. “I’m confident that Germany’s leadership, along with other key actors in Europe, will help us to arrive at a path for Greece to return to growth, for this debt to become more manageable,” the president said. Let’s hope his confidence is not misplaced.
QUOTES By The Associated Press “Gadhafi must step down and hand power to the Libyan people, and the pressure will only continue to increase until he does.” — President Barack Obama after NATO stepped up its operation this week, launching a ferocious series of nearly 30 daytime airstrikes on Tripoli to limit Moammar Gadhafi’s ability to fight the rebels and attack civilians. ——— “Growing at 5 percent a year rather than the current level of 1.8 percent would net us millions of new jobs, trillions of dollars in new wealth, put us on a path to saving our entitlement programs.” — Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty in his first detailed speech on economic policy since he formally declared his White House ambitions.
Issue-oriented letters to the editor are welcome. All letters should be limited to 400 words in length; longer letters may be edited to conform to the specified length. The author’s name must appear with the letter, and the name, address and phone number provided for verification. Letters that cannot be verified by telephone will not be published.
Numbers game cheats retirees Donald Butzlaff New Bloomfield
Anne E. Kettenbrink/News Tribune
A house on the southwest side of Joplin, near the beginning of the tornado’s path, suffered major damage.
Twister’s devastation, aftermath exposed our true foundation By Anne Kettenbrink email@example.com When I returned to the Joplin Globe last month, much was the same as I’d left it two years ago. The floor was still covered in the same green carpeting, the building still had the same ugly façade that was installed in the ’60s, and the orange and brown curtains still hung in the meeting room. But the people were different. Always warm and welcoming, this time I was greeted with a hug by nearly every person. “How are you?” was no longer answered with the standard “fine,” but with a listing of how much was lost in the catastrophic Joplin tornado. I returned to Joplin not to pick up the splinters that were left of houses, or to hand out an endless supply of bottled water, but to help in the way that I knew how — design and paginate pages for a department that had lost one of its own in the storm. That had been my job for five years, sitting right next to what was now an empty desk with a dark computer. For three days, I was a substitute, getting back into the swing of things that I’d left years ago. The building was a fortress of safety. The tornado shelter in the basement of what was once a YMCA offered a safe place should another storm blow through. The kinship of the work family offered shoulders to cry
Anne E. Kettenbrink/News Tribune
The Somerset apartment complex at 20th and Connecticut streets was demolished in the May 22 tornado. on and an understanding smile. The work offered a diversion from the overwhelming thoughts that couldn’t be avoided once outside. On Sunday when I arrived, one week after the storm, the newsroom was bustling with more people than I’d ever seen there on a Sunday before. Despite the fact Please see Tornado, p. 11
Dear Editor: You have to wonder why the government wants to raise the age for Social Security and Medicare. By raising ages, we keep people paying into the funds for a longer period of time. Our elected officials are not doing this in our best interest. If you look at monthly payouts, by working longer and waiting for your benefits, you will receive a higher level of monthly income. Retire at a later date, and you have a shorter life span on Social Security. The government is playing a numbers game with the people who stay employed for more years. Life insurance companies have computer models that project how many people will die. They know on the average that three people per 1,000 will die under this model. It’s how they project how many people who work more years will die without ever having been paid a dime from Social Security or Medicare. But what’s not fine is that the government since the mid-’60s has raided Social Security funds, taken any excess of money and put it into our government general fund as a source of revenue to spend on other things. They have left in place IOUs in the form of bonds. I have never heard that these funds have been paid back to Social Security. They don’t have to pay back money to people who have died. Oh, I mispoke, they pay $250 funeral expense from Social Security. Our retiring workforce will be severely penalized by having a government mandate to work for more years to qualify for Social Security. For some, it is because they cannot physically perform their jobs any more. For others, health problems prevent them from working. Corporations don’t want to keep older workers on board any longer than they have to. To continue working for more years past retirement should be a personal decision, and many people would have made the decision to keep working? The working class in this country is paying for all of the salary of employees from the president to local officials. We are also paying for their retirement and health care costs. Where is the accountability for mismanagement. As a retired person, I take offense that our politicians call us a greedy generation of retirees. All we have done is pay our taxes, their salaries, health care while investing in Social Security. Stop trying to cheat retired people. We have paid our way, and the government’s way for our lifetime. __________
Response to Garber on Middle East Harold Hortamann Lohman Dear Editor: I am writing in response to Mr. Milton Garber’s letter published in the June 1 issue of the News Tribune. I can’t believe how any American can believe that Mr. Obama, Please see Your Opinion, p. 11
SUNDAY, JUNE 12, 2011
COMMENTARY Gingrich takes on traditional politics; tradition wins Scripps Howard News Service Newt Gingrich very much wants to be president. Of that, there’s no doubt. What’s also now abundantly clear is that he doesn’t have the heart, drive and self-discipline to get there. And that doesn’t reflect badly on the man. The former House speaker faced more than a year of 12- and 14-hour days, mostly seven days a week, to get to the Republican convention in August 2012. If he wins the nomination, the demands get even more brutal. It may be crazy, but that’s the way the modern American presidential game is played. Many political observers believe that Gingrich concluded that he could shortcut the traditional route to the White House by the strength of his ideas and personality. Even so, he assembled a seasoned campaign staff of savvy political veterans. Politico was on point when it wrote: “Gingrich was intent on using technology and standing out at debates to get traction while his advisers believed he needed to run a campaign that incorporated both traditional grassroots techniques as well as new ideas.” Traditionally, a politician’s announcement of a presidential campaign is an opportunity for a bonanza of positive publicity. Gingrich announced his on Twitter. The start of his campaign was almost universally described as “calamitous.” On “Meet the Press,” Gingrich showed he still hadn’t lost his penchant for going badly off message when he described the House Republicans’ prized budget plan as radical “right-wing social engineering,” for which he was forced to abjectly backtrack. He could never convincingly explain
Republican presidential hopeful, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, accompanied by his wife, Callista Gingrich, speaks in Hudson, N.H. how he and his wife, Callista, came to have a $500,000 no-interest line of credit at Tiffany’s. And just as his presence was desperately needed to stabilize and relaunch his campaign, he and his wife went off on a two-week vacation that included a luxury Greek cruise. It was clear to his campaign staffers that their candidate was not going to do the gritty day-to-day work of a campaign, importuning donors for campaign funds, sucking up to local politicians and trolling the living rooms and firehouses of Iowa and New Hampshire for votes and
delegates. On Thursday, top campaign staffers quit en mass — among them his campaign chairman, the entire senior staff and top operatives in key states. In a rare — for him — bit of understatement, Gingrich said, “There is a fundamental strategic difference between the traditional consulting community and the kind of campaign I want to run.” The consensus among political analysts is that his campaign is finished. Nonetheless, Gingrich said he was committed to continuing his campaign. He made the announcement on Facebook.
Your Opinion: Better crossings needed on Missouri Blvd. Continued from p. 10 trying to tell Israel, our only democratic ally in the Middle East, what to do about anything! Israel is constantly being barraged by missiles and avowed to be eliminated by almost every Muslim neighbor. They have had tunnels dug under their borders and arms smuggled into the country for terrorist acts by Hamas (supported by Iran), and he wants to make all these acts of aggression easier for the Palestinians? Why? Mr. Garber’s letter sounds as if no president has attempted to solve the Palestinian issue! This is absurd. Presidents Clinton and Bush both obtained considerable concessions from Israel all to be flatly refused for negotiation by the Palestinians. They were even able to obtain a Palestinian agreement to an election. What good did that do? Hamas, the terror group has still been the real controlling organization in Palestine and now Mr. Abbas has signed a pact with them essentially giving them power. How is that in America’s best interest to be on the side of a terrorist governed nation against our only Democratically governed ally in the Middle East? There is something seriously wrong with many of the people of this country’s understanding of the history of the Jewish people and the Muslim’s obsession with their elimination. Could it be the hope of decreasing the Muslim’s hate for the “big Satan” (the USA) by the appeasement of giving them a ransom of the “little
Satan” (Israel) or are they are just sympathetic to the oppressive and dangerous Muslim religion. Whatever their motivation is, we (America) had better be protecting Israel and its sovereignty against the aggressive and oppressive Muslim assault on Israel and freedom. It’s really strange. We have and are allowing the killing of our soldiers in Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan and now possibly Libya to try to promote democracy and/or inhibit dictatorships in these Muslim countries. What have we gained? To my knowledge, at best, a shaky democratic government in Iraq. Otherwise nothing! The Muslims still hate us, and they still are determined to eliminate Israel. What will it take for we Americans to learn? Another 9/11? No, probably something bigger than that! Oh, I almost forgot, Mr. Obama killed Osama Bin Laden so our worries are over.
Recognition for a good deed Ola Liescheidt Jefferson City
Dear Editor: I’m 88 years old. I was sitting in the sun on my swing, and in getting up, I slipped off onto my patio. I couldn’t get up, so I called my daughter. She and her husband were on their way to help me up when a nice young man drove by and saw me sitting on my patio in the sun. He turned
around, drove up my drive and asked if I was all right. I told him I couldn’t get up. He picked me up, gave me my cane and helped me into my house. Was that not an angel from God? He needs recognition for this good deed.
Greenway is a great resource Mary Schrantz Jefferson City
Dear Editor: Your story “A Green(er) Way about the JC Greenway Trail” was very informative. It is wonderful to have a great resource like this available. As your article pointed out however, without appropriate ways to cross Missouri Boulevard and U.S. 50/63 bicyclists are in real danger from traffic. Driving on Missouri Boulevard poses dangers from traffic and traffic patterns not only for cars, but especially for pedestrians and bicyclists. If you live on the opposite side of Missouri Boulevard from the trail and want to get there safely about the only way to do so is to cross at Bolivar (by St. Mary’s Health Center) as your article indicated. While perhaps the safest way to cross, Bolivar certainly is not convenient for those living farther west. If cross signals were posted at Dix Road and perhaps one or two additional intersections and bike lanes added to major streets, bikers could use the trail as a realistic means of
transportation from all parts of town. Unfortunately, the decades old traffic situation of Missouri Boulevard never seems to be dealt with by the city or state. I hope your article will be a catalyst to encourage residents to contact their City Council member and state officials at MoDOT to raise concern about the lack of safe pedestrian and bicycle crossings on Missouri Boulevard and the general lack of bicycle lanes throughout the city. With appropriate and safe ways to get to it, the JC Greenway Trail can be a useful, safe, energy saving and convenient resource for all citizens of and visitors to Jefferson City.
Tornado: Continued from p. 10 many of them were without homes or cars, they were hard at work, covering the devastation, the president’s arrival, the search for missing and dead, the planned cleanup. In the days and weeks since, they have remained hard at work, dispersing information to those who need it most, telling the stories of those who can no longer tell them, keeping a watchful eye on the bureaucracy that can sometimes take a terrible situation and make it worse. All the while, in their time off, they are dealing with insurance agencies, trying to find a rental that’s not too far away and digging through the rubble of their homes and cars, trying to salvage any bits of past lives, dignity and normality out of monstrous piles that don’t resemble any of those things. We’ve all seen pictures of the devastation, but pictures cannot truly do justice to what a true wasteland the landscape is. In many areas, one can stand and turn in a complete circle and see nothing recognizable for miles. A picture will never be able to capture the heartbreak that goes on for blocks in all directions, the curtain of despair that hangs over certain parts of the city. To the north and south of this wall of grief in the middle of the city, however, life goes on. In certain areas, it’s as if nothing has happened, at least physically. Restaurants are open, stores sell their wares, front yards are shaded by fully grown trees with all their bark still intact. What I found telling was the will of everyone who had lost something. Survivors were glad to be just that, and not worried about material possessions that were scattered all the way to Springfield. The supplies gathered in the break room were nearly untouched for a few days, with everyone wanting to leave them for the less fortunate. One former coworker who had lost his house planned to donate his renter’s insurance to “people who need it more.” When it scrubbed the landscape of this Missouri town, the EF5 tornado also exposed what was lying underneath the surface, the foundation upon which Joplin and Missouri are built: hard work, fellowship and stubbornness. With time and support, we can rebuild upon the same foundation. Anne E. Kettenbrink is a designer and copy editor at the News Tribune and a former designer and copy editor at The Joplin Globe.
In Loving Memory of
Walter Lauf June 13, 1915 - April 3, 1998
Dad How well I do remember the special times we had The times and seasons of my life With a very special dad How well I do remember The day God called you home You slipped into His loving arms, and I felt alone Now my heart will carry memories Of the love you gave to me Until we meet again in Heaven Where the best is yet to be. With our love Forever Mrs. Walter Lauf Shirley Boessen Ken & Marjorie Ortmeyer - Meek Grandchildren & Great-Grandchildren
Albert L. Melcher 2-24-1948 – 6-12-2010
It’s been a year today… No farewell words were spoken, No time to say goodbye, You were gone before we knew it, And only God knows A why… I thought thou though ht of you with w love today, but that is nothing new. I thought about you yesterday, And days before that too. I think of you in silence, I often speak your name, All I have are memories And your picture in a frame. Your memory is my keepsake With which I’ll never part, God has you in His keeping, I have you in my heart.
In Memory of
Arthur Eugene Baker II June 11, 1948 - Aug. 6, 2010
God’s Garden God looked around his garden And found an empty place He then looked down upon the earth And saw your tired face He put his arms around you And lifted you to rest God’s garden must be beautiful He always takes the best He knew you were in pain He knew that you would never get well on earth again, He saw the road was getting rough And the hills were hard to climb So he closed your weary eyelids. And whispered, “Peace bethine” It broke our hearts to lose you But you didn’t go alone For part of us went with you The day God called you home.
We will always remember. We love and miss you so much! Mary C. Melcher Kellie and Jason Hebenheimer Lexi, Jake and Zoe Kristin Fisher and Adam Brenneke Korbin, Maddox, Korynn and Landon
Loved & Missed by: Shirley Boessen & Mom (Mrs. Arthur Eugene Baker I) www.newstribune.com