Drake Hotel Apartments is
Looking for Pictures and Stories.
The Drake Hotel
Apartments is looking for pictures of
when the Drake Hotel was in full
operation as a hotel in the earlier
years. This would include pictures of
employees, guests, special events, etc.
The photos and stories are to be used in
a special historical catalog for our
residents, guests, and community to enjoy
a pictorial look at the special history
of the Drake Hotel then and now.
The Drake Hotel was
originally constructed in the Courthouse
Square Historic District in 1922 and was
named to the National Register of
Historic Places in 1980. The apartments
were completed in 2006.
living in such a historical landmark and
we would love to know all the stories
from Carthage residents who had their
Senior Prom here, or know of famous
guests who stayed here," said Donna
Bura, Property Manager.
Anyone having pictures
to share, along with the story behind
them, can contact Donna at 417-358-3636.
Or send a letter to The Drake Hotel
Apartments, 406 Howard Street, Carthage
Popular Cash for Clunkers Program Raises
by Marcus Stern and Jake
To supporters, the Cash for
Clunkers program miraculously jolted the moribund
car market back to life, engendering hopes that
it might help revive the broader U.S. economy.
Skeptics saw it differently:
The automotive industry had hijacked an
environmental bill and turned it into a bailout
for itself with the help of the Obama
administration and a Congress besotted with
wishful thinking and a hair-trigger for stimulus
Both views may turn out to be
correct. But one thing is certain. The sight of
car buyers back in showrooms these past two weeks
has raised hopes that U.S. consumers are ready,
primed by government stimulus, to spend again.
Those hopes gained momentum by the release Friday
(8/7) of employment data showing a reduced pace
of job losses in the overall economy.
The idea, in concept, anyway,
was simple: Bring in a clunker a used car
with lousy mileage and collect up to
$4,500 in government money against the purchase
of a new car with a government-approved mileage
level. The clunker, or more properly, its engine,
is destroyed. Pollution and oil imports go down
by at least some amount, not just this year but
by many years into the future because many
of the clunkers otherwise would have remained on
the road. And inventories of new cars are cleared
from dealers lots, allowing dormant
factories to restart. Some dealers are even
claiming that potential buyers whose used cars
dont turn out to qualify for the program
are ending up taking a more normal trade-in and
buying a new car anyway.
Questions, of course, remain.
Having been broadly revamped at the behest of the
powerful National Auto Dealers Association
(NADA), will the program deliver, along with
economic stimulus, a meaningful increase in the
fuel efficiency of Americas automotive
fleet? How necessary was the $2 billion expansion
of the original $1 billion program that Congress
passed with stunning speed last week? And what
about the increasingly frustrating paucity of
believable, well-sourced data about the program?
"I am completely
infuriated by the lack of information," said
Therese Langer, director of the transportation
program at the American Council for an
Energy-Efficient Economy, a non-profit research
organization promoting energy security and
environmental protection. "We asked for the
transaction-by-transaction data but (the
Transportation Department) refused to give
By knowing the mileage rating
of the turned-in clunkers and the mileage rating
of the new cars bought to replace them, analysts
can get a better idea of the actual gas savings
likely to be realized. The Transportation
Department is releasing those numbers in summary
form, but not the raw data that analysts like
"All of this information
is being gathered and will be made public as soon
as its available," said Eric Bolton, a
press officer for the National Highway
Transportation Administration (NHTSA), which is
managing the Cash for Clunkers program.
The problem, added NHTSA
spokesman Rae Tyson, is that the rebate vouchers
the agency had received as of Friday (8/7)
contain personal information that must be
redacted before the data can made public.
"It will happen, we just
dont know when," Tyson said.
A brief timeline underscores
the rapid pace of developments.
In January, Sens. Dianne
Feinstein, D-Calif., and Susan Collins, R-Maine,
joined by Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New
York, introduced a bill to fund a national
program to stimulate the economy and get
gas-guzzling vehicles off the roads. Similar
programs had been successful in several states
The auto industry opposed the
bills tight fuel-efficiency standards. But
instead of simply resisting the measure, NADA, a
key lobbying group, seized the idea and converted
it to its own purposes. In June, the House
approved an industry-backed bill with looser
fuel-efficiency standards. A similar
industry-backed bill was introduced in the
Under the Feinstein bill,
consumers would receive $4,500 only if they
purchased a passenger car with a fuel efficiency
rating of at least 13 miles per gallon or higher
than the clunker being disposed. In the bill
passed by the House, the rating difference was
lowered to 10 miles per gallon or more.
That NADA could bring off this
dramatic change is no surprise. Its enormous
clout begins with its universality there
are car dealers in nearly every House district.
The association made more than $7.5 million in
campaign contributions to House members in the
past six years and $773,000 to senators,
according to data compiled by the Center for
Responsive Politics. Separately, it spent almost
$3.2 million on lobbying in 2008 alone, according
to a database maintained by the U.S. Senate.
At first, the environmental
proponents behind the original version were
outraged. "The truth is, the House bill and
its Senate counterpart are another big
bailout," Feinstein and Collins wrote in an
opinion piece called "Handouts for
Hummers,"  published by The Wall Street
Journal. "These bills are expertly designed
to provide Detroit one last windfall in selling
off gas guzzlers currently sitting on dealer lots
because theyre not a smart buy."
The bottom line, they argued,
"is that fuel-efficient vehicles should be
the main focus of any cash for
But the competing legislation
never went before the Senate for a vote. Instead,
the industry-backed version was slipped into a
completely unrelated war-spending bill Congress
approved June 18.
Moreover, even Feinstein and
Collins acquiesced after getting an oral
commitment from Senate Majority Leader Harry
Reid, D-Nev., that the Senate would consider
increasing the bills fuel efficiency
standards if more money was needed for the
program, according to Senate sources.
Thirteen days later, on July 1,
the industry-backed version of the Cash for
Clunkers legislation became law with the formal
name of the Car Allowance Rebate System, or CARS,
and the weaker fuel efficiency standards. The $1
billion program was expected to provide rebates
of up to $4,500 each for 250,000 auto sales.
For the next 24 days, the
Department of Transportation hammered out the
programs rules as sales-starved dealers
around the country began lining up deals.
The Transportation Department
completed the rules and waved the green flag to
start the program on July 24. Dealers across the
country immediately began promoting the program
and making deals.
Six days later, on July 30,
trade publications reported that the money was
running out. Unattributed reports said
transportation Secretary Ray LaHood would suspend
the program at midnight for lack of funds.
The LaHood reports proved
erroneous, but the media that evening began a
brief shift in attention away from the health
care debate to the delicious story of Cash for
Clunkers, a government program that was so
successful it had burned through $1 billion in
stimulus funds within days.
The news reports were based on
NADAs spot survey of dealers, which
estimated that 250,000 "clunker" sales
already had been completed or were in the
pipeline less than a week after the program
began. Nobody, including the NADA and its
dealers, was prepared for the popularity of the
Just 24 hours after the first
press reports that the Cash for Clunkers program
was running out of money, the House hastily
approved a $2 billion extension designed to
underwrite 500,000 more sales. The money was
taken from a renewable energy loan program.
Monday, after a briefing by the
Transportation Department, Feinstein and Collins
reversed themselves and agreed to support the $2
billion extension of the program, even with its
lower industry-favored fuel efficiency standards.
"The original intent of
the clunkers program was to encourage
people to buy more fuel efficient vehicles, and
the data so far tells us thats exactly
whats happening," Feinstein
said."So, I believe the right decision at
this time is that the program should be
Environmental groups such as
the American Council for an Energy-Efficient
Economy also ended up backing the additional
money for the program.
The Obama administration,
waging a full-court press, clearly was gaining
support for the costly extension of the rebate
program through the week, despite some Republican
opposition. On Thursday (8/6), the Senate
approved the $2 billion extension. A week after
the media frenzy about the program had erupted,
the Senate forwarded the legislation to a
president eager to sign it into law.
Calling it a "proven
success," President Obama responded to the
news with a statement claiming that the program
is "getting the oldest, dirtiest and most
air polluting trucks and SUVs off the road for
good" and "businesses across the
country from from small auto dealerships
and suppliers to large auto manufacturers
are getting people back to work as a result of
Ultimately, of course, the
nation will have to wait months or even years to
find out whether government got it right this
Has the program actually
revived the traditional "animal
spirits" among American car buyers, and jump
started an economy that needed a jolt, or has it
simply borrowed sales that would have been made
by this fall anyway? How truly clunky are the
clunkers destroyed by the program, and how much
better is the mileage ratings of their new
replacements. How much will gasoline use be
reduced after a year, five or 10 years?
Meanwhile, the nations
new-car showrooms for the first time in a long
time are buoyant and busy, despite some severe
computer glitches during the first week of the
program that delayed rebates and soured some
The sales staff at Shottenkirk
Chevrolet in Quincy, Ill., appears pleased
overall with the Cash for Clunkers program, even
though it took them as long as 10 hours to log
one deal on the government computer system at one
"Everyone is running out
of cars," Rich Poe, the dealerships
general manager, told the Quincy Herald-Whig.
"Ultimately, the program has done what it
was designed to dosell more cars and get
better gas-mileage cars on the road."