Responses to Five ideas from March 11, 2007

Sunday, March 18, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 5:59 a.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

On March 11, we asked: What’s better for Missouri, local or state control of agricultural operations?

From John Ikerd, Columbia

All Missourians have a stake in a so-called agricultural bill, SB-364, soon to be debated in Jefferson City. This bill would take away current authority of rural communities to protect the health, well-being, and property rights of their citizens.

This bill also threatens the health of all people whose drinking water comes from the Missouri-Mississippi watershed and who might become infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria or E-coli O157:H7, commonly originating in large-scale confinement animal feeding operations.

This bill would make Missouri a magnet for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, or CAFOs, which currently are opposed everywhere they try to locate or operate. With local communities stripped of their ability to protect public health, they will be unable to protect the water and air we all drink and breathe.

While promoted as preserving Missouri agriculture, the vast majority of Missouri farmers don’t need or want this law to exempt them from being good neighbors and good citizens.

From Bob Sapp, Columbia

I never talk on my cell phone while my car is moving under any circumstances; there are already enough distractions inside a car (radio, CD player, air conditioner controls, eating, etc.) without adding another.

It is not unreasonable to ask people to pull off the road if making or receiving a call while driving; I am tired of having to avoid other drivers or guess what they are going to do next because they are preoccupied with a call.

As far as the bill proposed in the state legislature, it would be a step in the right direction.

I wonder what the definition of an exempted commercial vehicle would be; I can understand exempting 18-wheelers that are traveling long distances, but some of the worst offenders of cell phones I have seen in Columbia are drivers of pick-up trucks used for commercial purposes, like contractors. Pick-up drivers should be held to the same standard as passenger drivers.

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