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The simple days of flip phones

I’ve become aware of something horrible that frightens me. I’ve realized that I’ve now outlived my ability to comprehend today’s technology, much less function in today’s world.

Many things and happenings are commonplace in the world where we live that it seems were merely science fiction only a few short years ago. I remember the awe of the adventures of Buck Rogers and of Dick Tracy’s futuristic ability to talk and listen to his wristwatch.

When I go shopping for a common item, the clerk (provided that I can find one) tells me to go to their website since the item is only available there. Each time I call some company or service provider I must first find a number to speak English or Spanish, then go through a long series of punch this, punch that and so until I can, if ever, speak to a human being. When and if I finally do speak to a human, it turns out to be someone with an unrecognizable heavy accent that I can’t understand.

I try to find a telephone number in the itsy-bitsy telephone book only to be unable to do so. More often than not, it turns out that they don’t have a so-called land line (home telephone number), only a mobile telephone. And, mobile telephone numbers are a deep dark hidden secret.

I finally broke down and got one of these wireless devices. I started with a so-called “flip phone.” After much insistence from my children I bought a “smart phone” soon to learn that the darn thing is much, much smarter than me. I couldn’t learn to use it and I had to repurchase an old-style, out-of-date “flip phone.” I don’t really know how to use it, either.

I wonder, am I the only person that the world has passed by and left all alone by the roadside, completely lost, confused and wondering where it was that I was trying to go in the first place?

Don H. Roach, St. Joseph

Don’t leave transit funds on the table

The $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act provides $91 billion in funding for transit. These dollars could significantly influence Missouri’s ability to provide critical access to jobs, health care and education — however there is a catch. Non-federal or local match funds are required. Without it, states will be leaving federal funding on the table.

The state legislature has an opportunity in 2022 to ensure Missouri can draw down federal funds. The Missouri Department of Transportation appropriation request is $8 million for transit. This is a local funding level not seen in state investment since 2002. We encourage elected representatives to stand in support of this request. It is desperately needed.

Kimberly Cella, executive director of Citizens for Modern Transit and the Missouri Public Transit Association

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