Letters to the Editor

In Defense of Joplin
Upon reading your article on “Highway Haunts” in the October 2008 issue, I feel compelled to comment on a statement made by Marie Patrick regarding the city of Joplin, Mo. Having lived in the Joplin area for almost 50 years, I found her statement alluding to the unsafe areas in the community as totally inaccurate and, in short, offensive. I might add that it displays a lack of journalistic responsibility on your part to not only repeat this ridiculous statement, but to actually highlight it in the body of the article.

I don’t know where Mrs. Patrick “walked around Joplin,” but it wasn’t anywhere in a city that I am intimately familiar with. As for needing to be armed or accompanied by guards, this is totally absurd and melodramatic.

Her reference to the “Joplin truckstop” gives the impression that this is a tiny community with one lonely facility to serve our highway professionals. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our fine city of more than 60,000 residents is the hub for medical services, business, entertainment and shopping for a 50-mile radius, encompassing nearly 400,000 people – not to mention we are served by major truckstops Flying J, Petro and Pilot, and we’re the home of CMT’s “Trick My Truck” refurbishing and filming location.

Your article, in general, was entertaining and fit the Halloween theme, but please, be more careful about casting aspersions about a location without verification or at least making it clear it is the opinion of the writer and not the opinion of Truckers News.
Gary Davis
Joplin, Mo.


Pay Attention All the Time
I was coming through Boise, Idaho, [recently] and witnessed this terrible accident involving two semis and a small compact car.

It’s a shame that this happened. It was due to multiple complications, such as the closing of a lane on I-84 to one lane just on the other side of this bridge at exit 50B. Poor signage and lack of good visual preparation to warn all vehicles to get down to a safe speed prior to the lane closure made this accident probable. I know the second truck is also at fault due to his lack of attention to the other stopped vehicles.

Yes, this could have been prevented; the blame is on all those involved, including Idaho Highway Management.

My heart goes out to the two victims who passed away in that small car.

I know as a trucker of 23 years that it is very important to pay attention all the time, not some of the time. Too many things happen out there today.
Thomas K. Short
Simi Valley, Calif.


Helping Trucker Family
My name is Kim Blahut, and I am an independent trucker.

Recently our family learned that my 23-year-old niece, Kaitlyn Steely, has Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The outlook is good, and she is hoping to go into remission in the near future.

She wants to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Foundation by walking/running in their Team in Training Marathon. Next spring they are hosting one in Rome, Italy. Kaitlyn and her longtime boyfriend, Jasen Burke, both have to raise $6,200 to get there, but 75 percent of this goes straight back into the society to find a cure and the other 25 percent is for travel accommodations and marathon entry fees. They will both be walking/running 26.2 miles.

Kaitlyn has to be the bravest person I have known. She puts on a happy face and goes to work everyday and is the type of child everyone wishes for – she graduated top of her class, went to college and then life hit her with Hodgkin’s, and it still hasn’t slowed her down. Please help her cause.

Tax deductible donations can be made at this site.
Kim Blahut and Family
Lewisville, Texas


Write us
Send your letters to Randy Grider, Truckers News, 3200 Rice Mine Road N.E., Tuscaloosa, AL 35406, by fax to (205) 750-8070 or by e-mail to rgrider@rrpub.com.

Letters must include your name, address and phone number for verification and must be no longer than 500 words.

Letters are subject to editing.

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