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An adversary and a friend

I lost a former co-worker, friend, political adversary this past week. The character known around the office as “Noodle,” “Catesie” or just “Richard” was a one-of-a-kind person. Absolutely everyone in our office knew “Richard.” He could have walked right out of a situation comedy show. Richard was a south ender ..., a graduate of Benton and one of the most fervent alumnus ever.

Richard was a staunch Democrat. I was a staunch Republican, we argued politics constantly, yet Richard was the kind of person that would get tears in his eyes if something bad happened to friend or foe. Those that remember Richard, remember a funny guy, quick with a joke, often off color, a song ... noted for singing the jingle to our company at whim or the Rolling Stone’s “You can’t always get what you want.”

Richard was a huge Benton sports fan and exemplified why Benton and Lafayette grads did not want their schools to close. Richard spent a lot of retirement with his son Michael. He loved his family.

Now, Noodle is standing in the middle of angels, probably telling off-color jokes ... getting them to grin, shake their heads and walk away, laughing!

David Hurst, St. Joseph

Thank you to Alzheimer’s volunteers

Right now, millions of Americans face the devastation of Alzheimer’s, including 120,000 Missourians. At the Alzheimer’s Association, our mission-driven volunteers are working relentlessly to help advance world-class research and ensure access to gold-standard care and support.

In honor of National Volunteer Week, I want to personally thank the volunteers in Northwest Missouri who have stepped up to be community educators, advocates, support group leaders, clinical trial participants, fundraisers and event attendees — all who are raising awareness of Alzheimer’s Association free-of-charge programs, basic disease information and resources for all Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers.

We rely on these dedicated volunteers to achieve our vision. As Helen Keller once said, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” Thank you to all Alzheimer’s Association volunteers!

Brenda Gregg, St. Joseph

Just another tax

I see where our Legislature is set to pass an online sales tax. They try to dress it up as a relief measure for local retail stores. A tax fairness issue. But when you strip everything off and get to the real reasons for passing it, you realize the legislature saw a new pool of potential tax money and they could not resist.

To say that this legislation will make the playing field substantially more level for local businesses is just hogwash. Have you ever heard anyone say they bought something on-line because of the taxes they saved? Probably not.

Purchases are made online because of lower prices, more availability and speed of delivery. Local stores cannot compete because there is a fundamental difference in their business models when compared to the large online retailers. This bill will not save local businesses from the intense competition from Amazon and others but it will give governments at all levels a new source of revenue and will add taxes to all online purchases. More taxes … just what we need.

Larry Haataja, Maryville, Missouri

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