Warnings and hopes about what lies ahead

Jeff Fox

From The Examiner during the week of Sept. 7-11, 1971: 

“’ACT NOW’ ON ECOLOGY” – The necessity of acting now to save the environment was emphasized by Jerry Goede, machine construction and maintenance supervisor at Western Electric, in a speech to the Independence Host Lions Club. 

Goede’s topic, “Our Threatened Environment,” centered around the ecological problems facing mankind today. 

One hundred years ago this week, the opening of school was just around the corner, and this ad appeared in The Independence Examiner.

“We still have a choice between the type of environment we will fight and pay for, or the type of environment we may die from,” Goede said. 

“If we don’t change our ways soon, Mother Nature will change things for us in her own harsh and unsentimental way. We tend to forget that nature plays no favorites. It creates magnificently, but often destroys whimsically and sometimes totally.” 

 “CITY TO BUILD FOUNTAIN” – What is now a pile of boulders at the intersection of Noland Road and Fair will someday be a fountain with a permanent Christmas tree for Independence. 

The triangle-shaped island was donated to the city by Ira K. Witschner of Kansas City. Kenneth Ensley, city forester, said the Parks and Recreation Department hopes to plant a Norway spruce in the middle of the island. The spruce is to be surrounded by three white clump birch trees and a fountain to face Noland Road. 

• “U.S. 71 BYPASS SOON TO RECOME ROUTE 291” – U.S. 71 Bypass is about to become Missouri Route 291. George Satterlee, the State Highway Department’s District 4 engineer, said the new Route 291 signs will be installed early next year to coincide with the publication of the official 1971 Missouri highway map.  

The move is expected to more correctly reflect the highway’s function and to “decrease possible confusion to motorists,” Satterlee said. 

“The bypass designation is generally regarded as indicating a preferred route through traffic,” he said. “But development along the bypass has decreased its capability to carry relatively high-speed through traffic.” 

From The Independence Examiner during the week of Sept. 5-10, 1921: 

• “CUTTING MANY WALNUT TREES” – More than sixty walnut trees, some of them among the finest in the county, recently were removed from the Drumm farm two miles from Independence on the Lee’s Summit road. The trees were sold to the Penrod Walnut Veneer Company of Kansas City and ranged in prices from $1.68 to $200 a tree. The $1.68 tree was small and the $200 tree was a great specimen thirty-one inches in diameter and furnishing three cuts. Another tree thirty-two inches in diameter brought $100 but furnished only one cut. 

The trees were removed from among the hundreds on the farm on account of their having died or being in a dying condition. Some of the trees cut had been standing ever since the oldest settlers can remember and some were landmarks. 

• “INDEPENDENCE COTTON CROP” – Several large spreading green cotton plants may be seen directly in front of the new filling station at Kansas and Liberty streets. They were planted May 22 by T.F. Campbell, manager of the filling station, and he has cared for them during the summer. The water as it rushed down Liberty street during heavy rains washed over the plants at three different times during the summer, but in spite of this they have continued to grow and now have large, well-formed bolls needing only a few weeks of weather without frost to make them burst open and give forth their white fiber. 

• “BITS OF GENERAL NEWS” – Dr. Arthur D. Little, speaking at a meeting of the American Chemical Society at Columbia University, New York city, yesterday declared that the Desert of Sahara received daily solar energy equivalent to that of six billion tons of coal. “The world,” he said, “awaits the genius who will convert this solar energy into electric energy.” The impression Dr. Little made was that is such a thing were accomplished it would meet the needs of all the rest of the world, and that before many years such a thing will come as a result of the exhaustion or great scarcity of wood, coal, oil and other combustible materials.