Speakout 5/9

Thursday, May 9, 2002

Call 471-6636

What is the city of Bertrand doing? It looks like they're putting in a new pump. I'm sure the water bill is going up. Why don't they try to get hooked up on rural water like the rest of Mississippi County? The water bill is already too high. I can't believe it costs that much for a city the size of Bertrand to furnish water to the residents.

(Editor's note: Due to design error the following answer was omitted from Wednesday's paper) We called Bertrand Mayor Charles McKinley. "The water rate was raised from $5 to $6.50 for the first 2,000 gallons used to pay for the new well, detention center and aerator. This is for a 10-year period to pay for the system. The city decided not to hook up with Charleston because if the water pressure would become low, it may be hard for Bertrand to have water. Charleston has no meters which is probably why they have a flat rate. Charleston was going to charge Bertrand $4 for each 1,000 gallons, which would make rates for Bertrand residents even higher."

I think the politician who can stop unsolicited telemarketers, junk mail and e-mail spamming could get elected to any office he or she wanted. The telemarketers claim it's a first amendment issue, but it's an advertising issue where they use the vehicle we pay for, such as our phones or computers, to send us unsolicited ads or sales pitches. Why can't they advertise in the newspaper or other media like reputable business' do, instead of annoying us via phone, e-mail and junk mail. Since we have to pay our phone and internet bills, they should pay us for the right to contact us. All telemarketers should have a reverse 900 number when they call us paying us $1 for the first minute and 50 cents for each minute we listen to them after that. I think spammers should pay 25 cents for each e-mail sent and an extra dollar if we actually open it. Since we have a cost on junk mail in the form of our trash bill, junk mail marketers should pay us at least the first class postage rate for each piece of junk mail they send us. Wouldn't it also be nice if congress could pass legislation stopping people who constantly forward stuff from the internet to our e-mail boxes? There are a small, but annoying group of people who get the e-mail address' of friends and co-workers, and bombard them with "cute" things they've seen on the net. Not only do they waste our work or personal time, but most are friends and we don't want to offend them by asking them to stop sending us that junk we didn't ask for. I think they should be forced by legislation to attend a computer rehabilitation class, similar to what the drunk drivers have to go through. If they don't stop, they should be sent to prison and forced to share a cell with Bill Gates. That would be enough to stop anyone from that annoying habit.

Get ready, Mississippi County. I called Charter Cable to see if FX was available. They told me they are in the process of running new cable to make everything digital. It is supposed to be available around September. You can be sure the rates will go up as well. I cannot understand why the people of Sikeston and the surrounding communities let Charter have such a monopoly on their cable television. What is a NASCAR fan to do when he can't get his weekend fix of NASCAR racing?