Press release Monday and Johnson’s: an epilogue

St. Louis Post-Dispatch brought in its “All of you are embarrassing Missouri” spanking paddle, and it would seem all parties are going to behave. Nixon’s office did issue a comment–it only received the investigative report on April 20th from the Highway Patrol. Now the Attorney General’s office can proceed with facts in hand.

The Southeast Missourian is about the only site that actually covered Lt. Governor Kinder’s visit. About the so-called Grand Masterplan:

Childers, in a letter sent Monday to Ameren, demanded the company immediately begin implementing a park master plan for redevelopment — something that Ameren contends goes beyond a mere restoration of the park. The plan, for example, includes a visitor center, a tourist overlook of the damaged area and relocated roads and camping facilities.

“We will restore the park to the original configuration without any settlement. But enhancements, that’s when we think we need a settlement discussion,” Voss said.

This is the first I’ve heard, at least, where the balking point is, and Ameren has a good point. It promised to repair the Shut-Ins after the breach, not invest in a whole new upgrade. As it is, there’s been a great deal of disagreement about the Grand Plan. Yes, the public was given chances to comment on such, but commenting on the plan lasted only ten days and was more of a formality, rather than a true discussion. Now would be a good time to re-visit the “Grand Masterplan”.

About the early opening:

The park reopened temporarily last summer partly so tourists could see the disaster area. But Ameren’s plan for this summer could do more harm than good, said the department’s deputy director, Kurt Schaefer.

“It would be the Griswold family vacation — people picnicking next to an aboveground sewage tank while it’s being pumped out,” Schaefer said. “You’re talking about people who are going to have a bad experience and never come back there.”

Now that is a very good point. It’s also the first time we’ve had a chance to hear more of these details. More blog reaction here and here.

A lot of people acted silly with this, and used the DNR and this event to further political agendas. However, that counts little to the folks of Missouri when compared to a baseball player getting killed in a car accident. It’s tragic when a young man is killed, but there’s much about how this state is governed that is related to this story. It really is important news, but I guess it doesn’t have that ’emotional’ hook. Well, other than to people who love the park and the Ozarks.

I am sorry for the folks who love the area and Johnson’s Shut-Ins, because it sounds like the rebuild plans are really mucking up both the park and the Ozarks trail. Hopefully over time, the park ‘improvements’ will eventually be truly improved and the Shut-Ins will once again be a jewel in Missouri’s crown of wonders, and a delight to those who love her.

As for the personalities associated with this event, I guess as long as ’emotional’ issues grab attention here in the “Show Me” state, the politicians needn’t worry about being accountable for their actions.

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