Editor:

You may have noticed the many changes that have taken place in our town. These changes are intended to improve both our town’s overall look and image. And according to the paper we have even more projects to look forward to. After all, we are the county seat and historical Route 66 runs right past downtown.

Can I offer some simple advice? Please consider taking care of the old forgotten projects before taking on any new ones.

Case in point: Drive south on Highway 66 through Claremore. Get in the far right lane. Look to your right. Take your time. Enjoy the view. What do you see? You see huge piles of brush. You also see countless utility poles with dead wires dangling in the wind.

Why are the piles of weeds and tree limbs just laying there?

Why are useless utility poles still standing?

Obviously, someone had to place these dead items in a pile. Obviously, someone had to clip the utility wires when they were turned off. Why not finish the job that was started and haul the piles away? Why not get rid of those crooked eyesores?

I could only imagine what train engineers call our town as they pass through. Something like: Dead Pole Alley.

Oh, one more thing. Before you say, “We can’t afford it.” Consider selling the antique wire insulators on EBAY. I would recommend asking at least $1.00 a piece.

Nancy Susan Strother, Claremore

(The utility poles are on railroad right of way and are property of the railroad. City Manager Troy Powell said he will have the brush piles cleaned up, if they, too, are not on railroad property.)



Restaurants needed

Editor:

Heard that the city council would not work with Applebee’s Restaurant that was coming to Claremore. They just turned away some good income for Claremore. We need some good restaurant’s here in our town, instead of throwing our hard earned money to other towns.

Applebee’s would have kept lots of money right here in Claremore. The city council needs to wake up and start getting some good restaurants in Claremore, so we can enjoy a good meal and atmosphere and keep our money here to support Claremore.

We don’t need anymore fast food restaurants.

Sally Slater, Claremore

(The city council has never refused to work with any business wanting to locate in Claremore. No representative of Applebee’s has ever approached the city about locating here.)



An errant plan

Editor:

I must admire the administration and Republican-controlled Congress’ plan for the Iraq war for its tenacity, simplicity and basis in history.

Apparently their strategy is to stay the same bungling, insufficient-force course until the last American contingent is removed by helicopter from the roof of the gazillion-dollar American Embassy.

The rubber-stamp Republicans in the Senate embraced President Bush’s handling of the unnecessary three-year war in Iraq by characterizing the Democrats’ thoughtful proposals to begin troop withdrawal as “cut and run.”

I wish this administration would cut the crap and lies and run this country. Instead, they just cut and run on finding bin Laden; they cut and run on finishing the job in Afghanistan.

“Stay the course” is not a plan.

Lt. Col. Brad DeLaney, (ret) (e-mail)





Liberals the enemy

Editor:

Conservatives are puzzling to liberals because liberals attribute their weaknesses and fears to our actual strengths. We want handguns available because we want the strength to be able to stand up to criminals by ourselves if necessary.

We want a strong military because we want to lead from a position of strength. The fall of the Berlin Wall proved what such a position of strength can accomplish. We want a strong government presence in the fight against terrorism, so we want them looking wherever the terrorists are potentially hiding, including in America.

Paralyzed by fear? Hardly. Our biggest and only fear is radical liberalism, which is an antithesis of everything our great country stands for and has fought to maintain over the years. Basically, as Michael Savage says, “Liberalism is a disease.” It tries to weaken, not strengthen. It is full of negatives, not positives. That is why they see fear in our positions, while it is actually in theirs.

Look in the mirror and you will see our enemy — liberals.

Edward Crane, Owasso





Schools still short

Editor:

Our teachers and support people are getting pay raises. This is long overdue and very much deserved.

Once again there is a fly in the ointment. There are some fixed costs to any payroll increase. FICA, retirement contributions, workers comp, insurance, all based on payroll figures.

We have now learned that the state is not supplying any funding to absorb these costs. That means the districts much absorb them from their operational funds. This amounts to 15 to 20 percent, depending on what all you include or how you figure them.

Also, the new positions added since the end of the year, those salary increases will have to be absorbed by the districts as well. Teachers who are in federal programs, and whose salary is included in those budgets, their increase will have to come from the district or grant funds.

We have the largest surplus in state history and failed to fully fund these increases. We failed to fund the Common School Building Equalization Fund for the 22nd year since the people approved the fund by a statewide vote. The increases in utility expenses and transportation costs were not included.

With the tremendous needs in so many different area and with the greatest amount of resources ever available, our legislature decided to fund a tax cut that must be at least partially paid for by public schools though a lack of funding.

Who could ever figure out it is an election year. Education their number one priority? Not by my evaluation.

Mike McGregor, Foyil