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Something important was overlooked

Something important was left out of the Sept. 12 article about the previous night’s County Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, when regulations allowing 60-story wind turbines in eastern Buchanan County were discussed.

Commission member Fred Corkins asked a simple question. “Do we want these?” His four words cut through all the talk about setbacks, property values, and decommissioning. “Do we want these?” It was as if the elephant in the room had been named.

There was a burst of applause, followed by another when Mr. Corkins said, “We are an urban county.” Why is a county with 215 residents per square mile even thinking about wind power plants? These giant structures might be appropriate in Atchison County, with 10 residents per square mile. But towering over homes, schools, and small farms east of St. Joseph, turbines would cast long shadows over our quality of life, economic development, and future growth.

I urge all members of the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Buchanan County Commissioners to recognize the truth that Mr. Corkins brought to light. Commercial wind power plants are incompatible with best land use in Buchanan County. Ask the commissioners to protect our county.

Barry Birr

Easton, Missouri

We need to respect our fellow man

We live in a democracy, and the way people speak is through Congress and their elected representatives.

About the year 1961, the courts made a law by passing a ruling that effectively took prayer out of schools. Some years later, the courts made another ruling that allows for same-sex marriages in all 50 states. Neither law has been passed by Congress, nor signed by the president, which allows for the people to speak and is required by the U.S. Constitution. I was taught in school that only Congress can make law.

When I was a young boy, my parents taught me to reverence religion. My thinking was that the Ten Commandments taught us to honor our father and mother. In religion, we are taught to honor our fellow man. In college, I was taught that honor and respect were synonymous.

Same-sex marriage and separation between church and state are laws made by the courts with no basis or foundation in law. I think the government should require these two laws be passed by Congress and signed by the president, as is required by the U.S. Constitution. Separation between church and state makes the free exercise of religion illegal.

I think we need respect for our fellow man, lest the wheels will come off and that may already have happened.

Ed Coles

Cameron, Missouri

Pope knew about laying cornerstones

Being a native Kansan with family in St. Joseph and surrounding area, I was very delighted to read the article: “Cathedral Church celebrates 150 years” in the Sept. 13 News-Press.

As the article pointed out, the diocese of St. Joseph was established by Pope Pius IX and the cornerstone was laid one year later, making the Cathedral Church the oldest church building in St. Joseph. It is beautiful and I have been inside it myself. It is impressive to see the crosses that hang from the walls inscribed with the year “1869.”

However, fewer people are aware of the background history that leads us to this milestone 150th anniversary. Pope Pius IX was born Giovanni Maria Mastai Ferretti in 1792 and died in 1878. He served as pope for an amazing 31 years.

As a young priest, he was sent to South America, specifically Peru and Chile, and he learned a great deal from stonemasons in that area. He learned customs of ‘“laying cornerstones,” and when he became pontiff, Pope Pius IX laid some cornerstones himself in Italy. Pius IX truly had vision.

James A. Marples

Longview, Texas

(former Kansan)