Jewels, schools and ghouls
March 09, 2012
I was glad to see that the opening performance of Chicago in the Taylor Auditorium on the campus of Missouri Southern State University-Joplin was to a large audience. Kudos to Ann Lile and all her assistants for creating such a classy performance. We are fortunate to live in an area where high caliber entertainment is affordable.

Speaking of the need for affordability, a large hall monitor flashes information about the proposed school bond issue to reconstruct the school buildings destroyed by the May 22, 2011 tornado. At first I admit I was closer in agreement with Councilman Gary Shaw, speaking on behalf of the many tax payers on fixed incomes who are probably still cringing over the hikes in utility bills that the Public Utilities Commission sanctions seemingly every few months, not to mention the soaring price of gasoline. But...the schools must be rebuilt and now not later is the time to construct them to meet future needs.

By now everybody's chatting over the news that President Barak Obama will be giving a commencement address for the Joplin High School Class of 2012. Graduation will be held beginning at 7 p.m. on Monday, May 21, 2012, at the Leggett and Platt Athletic Center on the campus of Missouri Southern State University-Joplin. The event is one day short of the day that the devastating tornado wreaked havoc in our town.

"I am hoping that people will put their politics aside and take it for what it is--an honor that the President is coming," Dr. Kerry Sachetta, Joplin High principal told me during a media event announcing Obama's visit.

I like every excuse to visit the Northpark Mall high school campus. Walking the halls is very exciting. One sees pockets of activity everywhere and a greater sense of maturity exhibited by students.

Joplin Schools communications officer Kelli Price remembers when students were chastised for speaking in the halls. "Now there's an easy-going conversation," she's observed, making her work environment quite enjoyable....

I suppose that it doesn't take much to get people's attention when their pocketbooks are assailed but what about the controversy over having a bust of Rush Limbaugh placed in the Missouri Capitol Rotunda Gallery? Should Democrats be the only state representatives objecting to it?

I have to give Rush Limbaugh credit for calling attention to the Hall of Famous Missourians after Missouri Speaker of the House Steve Tilley (R-106) unilaterally chose to add Rush's bust to the 39 others already enshrined. If money depended on it, it is highly doubtful that anyone would be able to name those honored without a visual aid. Try it. Then go here. By the way, I was surprised not to find our ex-governor and esteemed Senator Kit Bond's name missing from the list as well as that of actor/environmentalist Dennis Weaver.

When I saw a comment online suggesting that Rush be placed next to famous clown Emmett Kelley, I asked myself, why is Kelly there? Isn't he from Sedan, Kansas? A perusal of the list suggests that induction might not have required that much of a connection to the Show Me state. At least Rush was born in Cape Girardeau.

Then there's the suggestion that if we are changing the place to the Hall of Infamy based on Limbaugh's very unpopular behavior, then get Jesse and Frank James' busts ready for inclusion next....

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