Mass transit benefits
Downtown Kansas City began to wane in the 1950s, and pay parking lots began appearing.
The replacement of those parking lots by garages has been an enormous expense, at up to $50,000 per space.
There is no way for any urban center to compete with lower cost development on farmland, except with mass transit. The streetcar will still allow you to drive downtown.
Living there when we become too old to drive, we will be able to organize our lives without relying on someone to drive us. As these transit investments come online, residents and businesses will see advantages in more proximate sources of jobs and employees, with less need to pay for parking.
Other regional urban centers with reliable transit will prosper, too. This will help lure new residents and businesses to overall lower the tax burden.
Kansas City Regional
World War II memories
I was only 10 when World War II began. But I remember many of the events of the war — including locally in Lexington, Mo., where I grew up.
One of the most memorable was seeing a Japanese submarine on Main Street in Lexington, parked in front of the Lafayette County Courthouse. No, the Japanese fleet hadn’t sailed down the Missouri River to attack Lexington.
This was a two-man sub that was captured during the attack on Pearl Harbor. It was displayed as part of a War Bond Drive, and folks were invited to climb aboard the huge trailer it was mounted on and look through two windows that had been cut in the hull. There were two mannequins dressed as Japanese sailors stationed at their posts.
The interior was lighted for easy viewing. I’ve never heard anyone mentioning this story before and wonder how many readers remember this as I do. I’d love to hear from anyone who does.
Honoring local hero
I continue to be dismayed by the editorial choices made by The Kansas City Star. The June 1 paper is a good example.
On the front page is a huge, sugary soft drink accompanying an article about an attention-seeking New Yorker (Mayor Michael Bloomberg). Yet buried on A7 with no picture is a story, “Firefighter earns Valor Award,” of a real hero receiving an award for valor (firefighter Jeff Smith).
I know you need to sell papers, but local heroes deserve better.
Area rivers endangered
The Missouri and Kansas rivers are two of 10 listed in 2012 as endangered by the nonprofit American Rivers.
The Missouri River has outdated flood management, putting the public at risk. The Kansas has in-river sand dredging that causes damage to the river’s drinking-water intakes, the bed, banks and bridge supports.
Repair of this damage is expensive and paid for by taxpayers not dredgers. Five companies recently proposed to increase sand mining from the Kansas River by more than 50 percent.
This is currently under review by the Army Corp of Engineers, which will make a decision later this year.
How about letting our governor, our representatives and senators in Topeka and, most important, the Army Corp of Engineers know what we think? The nonprofit Friends of the Kaw’s website (www.kansasriver.org) has links to suggested comments to easily spread the word.
Our rivers are valuable natural resources and should not be exploited for commercial gain.
Mary Helen Korbelik
Kudos to KC justice
It would appear the Jackson County prosecutor’s office is vigorously pursuing the charges against Bishop Robert Finn for failure to report sexual misconduct of a priest.
Bishop Finn is the first bishop to ever be charged formally in a court of law.
Conversely, when Bishop Bernard Francis Law of Boston was accused of an egregious cover-up, he was never legally charged. He was (hyperbolically speaking) run out of town by his parishioners, and the Vatican pulled him in to serve as cardinal. (Outrageous.)
My point is the contrast of the adjudication of the law among Boston, Rome and Kansas City.
Boston and Rome were slackers, but Kansas City showed its pioneer spirit and stepped up to the plate to do the right thing.
Onward and forward, Kansas City prosecutors.
Mounting cancer losses
To the May 24 letter writer, I am so sorry for your loss of your mom to lung cancer. I lost a brother to the disease seven years ago at the age of 64.
He also was a very healthy man. When he was diagnosed, his doctors told him it was asbestos-related, which made sense as he was employed at paint companies all his working years and was exposed on a regular basis.
When the doctors discovered he had quit smoking 20 years before then, they changed their diagnosis to smoking-related.
Figure that out. They’ve got to blame the smoking for all cancers.
I had already lost my other two brothers to cancer, which was before they started blaming the tobacco companies. Both worked with raw chrome in their line of work without any protections from the chemicals involved.
In 1967 and 1985, they passed on at early ages. Now we know what raw chrome causes, too, but too late for my family.
If the truth were known about cancer, it is brought on by all our pollution. We need to be aware of things in our environment that are deadly.
From Tinker to Evers to Chance. From the Democratic Party publicity machine to Steve Kraske’s ear to his column.
Is he paid or just a “useful idiot”? No human intervention intended and certainly no journalism.
End liberal gun laws
Florida is considering changes to its “stand your ground” gun law. Powerful people realize that this misbegotten law might turn out to be the center of the George Zimmerman trial in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
Since these laws began to appear in various states, I have expected a return to the Wild West so often shown in those black-and-white cowboy movies of the 1930s and 1940s. Both of the people in the Florida shooting stood their ground.
If we listen to those who adore this “stand your ground” gun law and if both combatants had been armed, we might have two young men dead. Imagine this law in the situation of attacks in schools and young people frightened and confused, and those with guns shooting each other.
The NRA (and gunmakers) will not rest until every citizen from age 5 until death carries a concealed weapon. This law is spreading through the 50 states quite rapidly. But I, for one, would celebrate the end of it.
Numerous letters besmirching anyone who questions the new laws being passed by Republican-controlled legislatures to force voters to show state-issued picture identification cards before voting have been entertaining. But with a 0.0003 percent voter fraud in the last election, there can be little doubt that the real reasoning behind these new laws has absolutely nothing to do with voter fraud.
The only real conclusion, if those on the right take off the blinders, is the suppression of groups most likely to vote against Republicans. This is the utmost perversion of democracy when one group feels it is superior and alone must protect society from an inferior electorate.
Exercise for health
As a physician and marathon runner/endurance athlete, I have until recently ascribed to the philosophy that, for most people, when it comes to exercise, “too much is not enough.” No more.
Studies such as The Star cites on May 31, “Exercise research baffles scientists,” and others appearing in medical journals indicate that marathon running and other maximal aerobic exercises lasting more than a hour, especially for those over age 50, may induce heart and coronary artery damage. The recent death of legendary (“Born to Run”) ultra-marathon runner Micah True, age 58, of apparent extreme-exercise-induced heart disease raises caution.
I would urge everyone to view the video: “231/2 Hours: What is the single best thing we can do for our health?” (www.youtube.com/
It is the best distillation of beneficial exercise advice I have seen. Thirty minutes per day of walking-type exercise, even if broken into multiple segments, seems to be the safest, most effective, time-saving and realistic program for almost everyone to accrue the many benefits of exercise while avoiding injury or development or aggravation of medical conditions.
John C. Hagan III, M . D .