Hi there. I live out here in Podunk, Neb. Those long coal trains keep coming through my little town. Takes them 20 minutes sometimes to clear the tracks and most of them are headed for either New Madrid or Sikeston. Now they tell me you guys are gonna open up another coal burner at the new ethanol plant. I would appreciate it if you would find another way to get your coal. Those trains don't serve us at all at Podunk, so why should they go through our town? By the way, Mr. Marshall forgot to tell Mr. Herbst to go light on the value of the railroad. He shot off his mouth and now I don't know where Mr. Marshall will come down. Does he want the trains or not? He can have mine. They don't do me no good at all. Mr. Herbst seems to imply that they need them, but they have to tell him they don't want no trains in Sikeston.
As a quick Google search reveals that the town in Nebraska that officially bore the name Podunk for a few years in the nineteenth century was changed to Brock when the railroad came through, we suspect you don't really live there and are trying to make some sort of point. While it is true most of the coal presently used in Sikeston is low-sulfur coal from Wyoming which presumably passes through Kansas to get here, it won't take an extra 20 trains per day to fuel the ethanol boiler plant. For example, the Sikeston Power Plant's coal requirements are met with an average of two trains per week. The ethanol boiler plant is expected to use much, much less. As for your claim these trains have no benefit for Podunk, the ethanol produced by the plant will help everybody in the nation - even residents in Kansas - by reducing our country's dependence of foreign oil. Union Pacific spokesmen have stated in public meetings they only have knowledge of their company's plan to run an additional 20 trains per day through Sikeston. When questioned, however, they have admitted if their plan is approved by the Surface Transportation Board, there will be no limit to how many more trains they can run through Sikeston. It stands to reason, and informed sources agree, that the railroad will in fact run all the trains they can through Sikeston if their plan is approved, resulting in a significant safety hazard for Sikeston residents. This is an avoidable hazard as the railroad does have an alternative doubletracking the line from Dexter to Rockview. It appears UP just prefers to keep their costs down at the price of our safety. Do you know of a feasible alternative route or method of bringing coal to Sikeston so your Nebraska town won't have to endure one extra train every week? While they are opposed to this particular plan, Sikeston city officials demonstrated their appreciation of railroad service in September 2004 after Union Pacific announced it would like to abandon its tracks on Malone Avenue. City officials asked that the tracks not be removed as two businesses, Steward Steel and Tetra Pak, still use them and depend on rail access to remain competitive.
On the SEMO Coach: As a graduate I could not agree with you more. The talent that they have failed to recruit is criminal. They deserve to be the second rate program they have became.
I read SpeakOut everyday and I of many people who read the paper get aggravated at some of the stuff people say. But I'm really upset with whomever wrote that welfare needs to be cut out. Yes, I will tell you to some people it does. But I'm a single parent with a 6 month old, still live at home with my parents and all I get is MC+ on my daughter. Because I chose to tell the truth of where I live, I can't even get help to go to school through the government because my dad makes too much. My Dad has his own bills, he doesn't need to be more burdened with mine. So why cut it out for those who are really trying to better their lives? At least I'm going back to school so my daughter don't live on welfare. But cut it off to those who sit at their momma's house all day and give their neighbor's address just so they can draw food stamps. I have a daughter of my own like I said and can't even draw food stamps on her. I can live without getting the money to go to school, I can always get loans. But I can't live without MC+ because I don't think the doctor would let me owe him.