In response to "A Great Place to Live" on 8/22/08. First and foremost, your comments are somewhat understandable but annoying at the same time. I'm from Sikeston. Lived there most of my childhood and visit frequently my parents and other family. You suggest getting rid of Section 8. I agree that those able to work should be forced to do so and receive whatever help is needed in addition to their income if they are unable to afford housing. But to completely do away with it? Nah! Sikeston can't even offer a job above minimum wage at full time. I read in the paper one day (I view the electronic version daily) that one of the two largest employers are Wal-Mart. That was my second job as a child starting at $4.50. Since then minimum wage has increased to what - $6.25. Mostly everyone I know works somewhere else like Cape (AT&T), Dexter (Tyson's), Charleston (Prison or Gates Rubber) or Good Humor. For the record, my mom works at Gates - has been there for 10 years, started at $9 and has only reached $11 since her date of employment. I reside in another state, been at my job for the same amount of time, started at $9 and after 10 years make nearly $22/hr. Comparing the two, how can one afford today's economy on a 1998 salary? And my mom has NEVER been on Section 8. But she doesn't live in Sikeston city limits because she can't afford to rent or buy a house. Also, think about the landlords of the homes on Section 8. You impact their earned income when you suggest this! As for the baggy pants - telling someone what to where and how to dress if absurd. To suggest that a "law" be passed to enforce this is even more absurd. You would really like the city to use tax payer money to sit around and discuss fines for someone whose pants are bigger than YOU prefer them to be? Get a life. I mean really. To be clear, I'm not saying I enjoy seeing the underwear of choice or cracks of these young men's behinds any more than I enjoy seeing the young women in pants they can hardly breathe in or shorts that look like underwear while they walk around pushing strollers filled with children created by these saggy jean boys. But let's revisit the employment and entertainment scenes for Sikeston once more. Give these young people something to do other than walk the streets slinging drugs and maybe, just maybe, they'll have something to strive for other than seeing who's on the block each day. Sikeston has gone from sugar to (you know the word of preference) since I was a resident. The movie theater is the same one they built originally, no updates of any kind. There are no recreational activities to partake in other than the YMCA or bowling. Who lives for that? Like one other entry journalist mentioned, I grew up on Agnes, rode my bike or walked to Quick Sac almost daily, ventured through the streets of Sunset without adult supervision or fear of harm in the late 80s and early 90s. Yet today, I wouldn't allow my child or any other person with me under the age of 16 to walk into the gas station with me waiting in the car. They have torn down all of the buildings and homes on throughout Sunset because they were not tended to by the city properly and drug dealers were able to dilute the scene, nothing remains on what was affectionately known as the "Corner" or "The Bottom" since the Yarber bust some years ago. Ruth Street looks like the city's trash dump, as does Agnes, Williams, Faulkner, Osage, Petty, and every other street on the South and West side of the train tracks. Those kids don't have a chance. Who do you think actually dreams of working at Wal-Mart? What opportunities do they have to become positive contributors to the community when the school system sucks, the city isn't looking to enforce uplifting positivity in the community and the police get joy out of arresting whomever they can to "clear up the streets". The city won't even allow community related events to take place other than the Return to Sunset. I'm still trying to figure out how they pulled it off and how much longer they are going to "tolerate" it. Any amount of money can be placed to bet as to how many of Sikeston's finest PD boys will be on patrol in the area this weekend while the rest of the city is allowed to do as they please uptown. So before you take away the resources that are the only livelihood offered to most of the people that reside in Sunset or Sikeston as a whole, make sure you have something to put in place that will help them survive. Right now, based on what Sikeston was when I was raised there and what it's become today Sikeston (Sunset) is no more that spider web and it's residents are like flies caught in it's web of bs.
I say boo to the new traffic checkpoints in Sikeston checking for drivers' licenses, seat belts, etc. This comes on the heels of the new drug testing of students at the high school. If you're really serious about "protecting" the kids, then test them for alcohol on Saturday and Sunday mornings, before it has cleared their systems and while the tests can still detect it. Have we given up on educating them, getting parents involved and inspiring them to stay sober in a free country? Are we Communists, Fascists, or what?
I would like to speakout about something positive. I live in North Acres subdivision next to the hospital and I've lived there for 18 years. I walk in my neighborhood. I enjoy the fact that my neighbors keep their yards clean, the sidewalks swept and everything is trimmed and neat and all the trash is picked up. I just wanted to say something positive about my neighbors in my neighborhood, how much I very much appreciate a clean place to live.