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Current high schools

will outlast any

new building

I am a product of the St. Joseph school system, graduating from Central High School in 1964.

I am a proud member of the first graduating class of St. Joseph Junior College (now Missouri Western State University) in 1966.

I began my regular career in 1969 at Benton and retired in 1999, where I produced and directed 60 all-school musicals/Broadway plays and scripted variety/talent shows.

Three times I was honored as a nominee for Teacher of the Year, but I never won. I chaired three North Central evaluation committees. Benton received high honors in all three, including facilities.

Since retiring, I have continued to serve our youngsters in the area of college scholarships and contributing more than $58,000 of my personal savings and investments to Benton.

I also have a construction background. Our three high schools were built out of pre-World War II steel, brick, concrete and wood. They were built with great pride of workmanship and materials, intended to last well over 200 years if properly maintained.

These three high schools are beautiful buildings, built in majestic settings. They will outlast any new high school.

A bright and shiny new high school will be old and rundown in 10 to 15 years. A new building will become old long before its time. Buildings are not built to last today.

As Dr. Lawrence Pilgram recently wrote, “In the best interests of our students, take care and preserve what we have! Its loss would be permanent and ruinous.”

Wisely said, Dr. Pilgram.

John Ray Hoffman

St. Joseph

Group just wants

zoning regulations

The editorial in the Nov. 16 News-Press took Friends of Buchanan County to task for saying wind power plants are not compatible with best land use in this county, while at the same time we call for a 1-mile setback between turbines and property lines.

If they’re not compatible, how could we also favor a regulation allowing them? This should not be difficult to understand. We think 60-story turbines are not a good fit for a county as densely populated as ours.

But if the County Commissioners open the door to them, we want zoning regulations that keep them as far as possible from our homes, schools, farms and businesses. We are simply asking the commissioners to protect our county, whichever way they do it.

Barry Birr

Easton, Missouri