All posts by JD

I am an author, artist, journalist, activist, and most importantly, I am an Individual, with my own voice, my own will and my own ideas.

The Missouri River Rages

Midwestern US: Once again the Midwest braces for the worst, yet hopes for a reprise from what is about to converge on residents, farmlands and businesses.  Hundreds scramble to find higher ground and pray as they fill thousands of sandbags and share a sense of helplessness.  One more round of mother-nature’s waters running through the channels of the mighty Missouri River and the federal government playing God with who should be spared and who is less worthy and must be sacrificed is chosen.  Residents and small business owners not considered as relevantly important struggle to save what little they can before it hits.

News reports and warnings have been broadcasted on local radio and television stations for over a week.  Peak flows are expected to arrive early in the week in riverfront communities in Missouri as the Army Corps of Engineers completes a gradual increase of releases from dams upstream in Northern Iowa and Nebraska. The surge through the lower half of the river this week will expose any weaknesses in the flood protections.  Since when do we allow the Army Corps of Engineers decide whose property is more valuable to spare?  What can we do to help our fellow citizens find safety from mother-nature’s wrath, thrown at them via the Corps levee systems in the Northwest?

“They’re going to be as prepared as they can be,’’ said John Benson, spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division.  How can anyone prepare for losing so much?  Many of the farmlands expected to flood produce food for hundreds of thousands of Midwestern families.  What do they do for income when their livelihood is under water?  Insurance doesn’t cover nearly enough of the losses.  Sure FEMA will appear and attempt to “rescue” them from their plight, but at what expense and control?

The Corps have been quoted as saying, “this summer’s Missouri River flooding could rival the record years of 1952 and 1993 in some places”. Then they announced that tomorrow, officials will increase releases from five of the river’s dams to 150,000 cubic feet of water per second — more than twice the previous record releases.  Who was allowed to decide what areas are of lesser value and can be flooded out?  Oh wait… let’s think… they did.  We just live here in America and they control what value we have not us.

As a result of this action, the river will rise 5 to 7 feet above flood stage in most of Nebraska and Iowa before moving into Missouri, where it may rise 10 feet above flood stage in several places.

So as people band together and construct last-minute levees to heights that have not been needed in decades, they hold out hope.  For those preparations will only be a temporary solution to what impending damages created by a raging and bloated Mighty Missouri River.

These Pictures were taken 4 days ago, and the levees have not even been breached yet….

©Copyright protected 2011: JD, NWU Local 1981

©United Press International,   ©International Association of Press Photographers and Journalists   Press ID # 1007490467

Alligators in the City

I almost fell out of my office chair when I came across an article the other morning here in Kansas City.  It seems that even in neighboring Independence, Missouri we have a few law enforcement officials that need common sense.   Here is the attached article as posted by WDAF Fox 4 .

A report of a wandering alligator in the woods is what lead Independence Police officers to shoot at a concrete lawn ornament over the weekend, according to a statement released by police this week.

Rick Sheridan was working in his garage when he heard gunshots, and said he found officers lined up on the bank, shooting at the large reptile.

  • Independence Police Shoot At Concrete Alligator

“The officer fired two rounds, and killed my concrete, ornamental alligator,” Sheridan said.

In a statement, Independence Police said a caller reported that his children had seen the alligator along a creek and his son had shown him the creature.  Police dispatch contacted the Missouri Conservation Department, who said that if the officer did locate the alligator, to go ahead and put it down.

According to the police statement, when police located the alligator in a wooded area, an officer fired two shots before realizing the animal was really made out of concrete.  When police contacted Sheridan, they apologized and Sheridan said he had placed the alligator there to keep kids off his property.  The officers advised Sheridan to use “No Trespassing” signs instead.

On Wednesday evening, Sheridan told FOX 4 News that he did not put the fake gator there to scare kids, but that he did not want kids and others trespassing on his property, which he says has been a problem. He also tells FOX 4 that he has repeatedly posted “No Tresspassing” signs, but that they were taken down by vandals.

Sheridan also says with a laugh that the incident has given him some notoriety around town.

“I walked into a hardware store, and two gals said ‘Look there, that’s the alligator guy’,” said Sheridan.

Now I don’t know about you, but I have owned a few concrete lawn ornaments in my day, and although they do look quite real, I do believe common sense would tell you, when it comes to wildlife, if it isn’t moving, isn’t blinking and ins’t breathing, it is either dead or not real!  If I were the home owner, I would send a bill to the city to pay for the damages to my concrete alligator.

©Copyright protected 2011: JD, NWU Local 1981

©United Press International,   ©International Association of Press Photographers and Journalists   Press ID # 1007490467