Derail KC streetcar
Kansas City needs streetcars like a fish needs a bicycle (6-20, A1, “Transit grant for KC rejected”). What a colossal waste just for a minor shot of nostalgia.
Follow German example
Frequently, columns from financial pundits criticize austerity policies in Europe and single out Germany for its attempts to propose economic reforms to other eurozone countries. These commentators ignore reality.
Germany has one of the world’s strongest economies, the result of careful, long-range planning and a partnership of government, business and citizenry. The German unemployment rate of less than 7 percent is something other countries, including the United States, can only fantasize about.
Germans enjoy a superior infrastructure of rails, roads and public utilities. The German social services network provides excellent health care and education and a high quality of life for all classes of society.
Germany is a world leader in energy conservation and progressive environmental programs. Germans have accomplished their success through hard work and common-sense economic policies, combining private enterprise and government regulation in a cooperative political environment based on reality and not inane partisan ideology.
German citizens are justifiably angry that they should now be asked to bail out their profligate eurozone neighbors, who apparently want to just party on and learn nothing.
Germany works. Other countries would do well to follow the German example.
Robert A. Eberle
Sweltering in Northland
Where to cool off in Kansas City, North, in Clay County? I looked on the city list of pools, spraygrounds and aquatic centers for any in the Clay County area of Kansas City.
There is one — Golden Oaks Sprayground at Northeast 46th Street and North Antioch Road. Where do our taxpaying Northland citizens go to cool off this summer?
Sad stories on children
While reading the June 15 Star, I noticed a disturbing pattern of headlines: A6, “Man sentenced for abusing daughter”; A8, “Couple charged after kids bound, blindfolded”; A10, “Head Start cuts protested.”
The only story missing was yet another account of the conservatives’ fight to keep free birth control coverage out of health care plans.
Thank you, E. Thomas McClanahan, for your excellent June 17 piece, “An unlikely spark for an angry protest,” about the controversial statue on display at the Overland Park Arboretum. You have written an accurate commentary on the problem so many of us have with it and the other statues as well.
I would have used the word “ugly” to describe them, but I can certainly live with “mediocre.” The following quote sums it up for me: “It also seemed out of keeping with the mood of an arboretum.”
Yes. This is exactly my issue with the installation of all of the statues. It ruins the peaceful, natural and serene atmosphere.
None of the statues has anything to do with nature and, instead, are just an unwanted distraction from an otherwise beautiful place for a stroll.
Joanne Hughes has gone down the wrong road in her quest to deem one statue obscene.
The Overland Park Arboretum was never the proper venue for this display, and the mayor and City Council members made a very bad decision in allowing it.
Arboretum statue flap
The issue I have over the statue showing breasts at the Overland Park Arboretum is not the flesh displayed. It is the self-indulgent, voyeuristic pose the woman is engaged in.
I wouldn’t necessarily mind a statue celebrating the human form. But this statue puts everyone walking through the arboretum on her Facebook page.
There was no public outcry defending former Congressman Anthony Weiner’s right to take a picture exposing himself. Is this statue an appropriate use of public space?
Horse slaughter debate
As a lifetime horse lover/rider/owner, I’d like to weigh in on the side of the proposed slaughter plant in Rockville, Mo. (6-15, A1, “In Rockville, ‘The town is all for it’ ”). I know there will be a great hue and cry from the so-called animal lovers who think that the noble beast should not meet that fate, and I agree that there are many horses that should not.
However, at this time there are too many horses that are not of use, abandoned, abused or, for any number of reasons, not supported. If all the anti-slaughter people would take on a half-dozen of these horses to care for until they die a natural death, we might not need a slaughterhouse.
How about it, Humane Society of the United States and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals members/supporters? Will you step up and do the right thing and care for all these animals you are beating the drums about?
Or will you step back long enough for rational thought and let the Rockville proposal go through?
American horses are revered as companions, cultural icons and partners in recreation and sport. Nowhere in our country’s narrative are horses ever considered dinner.
Opinion polls are clear — 80 percent of Americans oppose the idea of slaughtering horses for human consumption. Horse slaughter plants in the U.S. would face massive protests; litigation; close scrutiny by local, state, federal and foreign regulatory authorities; and the prospect of a permanent federal ban.
When the last three horse slaughter plants operated here, they were a bane on the communities that were duped into allowing them to move in. They employed few people in low-paying, dangerous, high-stress jobs. Neighborhoods were beset by pollution and the unending stench of rotten blood and offal.
The foreign-owned companies did their best to avoid paying property taxes and the fines levied against them for environmental violations.
Horse slaughter is bad for horses and bad for the community and runs counter to American values.
To protect our horses, Congress should take swift action to finally ban the slaughter of American horses by passing the American Horse Slaughter Prevent Act of 2011 (S.B. 1176/H.R. 2966).
The Humane Society
of the United States
Love U.S., not Obama
Now that the Buffett rule seems to be history, let’s examine some facts.
The Buffett rule, if passed, would have provided 11 hours of government operation with no debt occurring. This being a leap year, what was the Obama administration going to do with the other 365 days and 13 hours? Obviously, just go deeper in debt.
My two grandsons each owe more than $50,000 of our debt. One is only 6 months old.
This is a serious situation. If we do not get a new administration elected this November, our country will look like Greece does today.
I love my country. I fear the present administration.
Romney, politics, truth
If liars’ pants really caught on fire, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney would be keeping a Dockers plant on round-the-clock shifts.
U.S. political puppets
We seem to be in another McCarthy era, Charlie McCarthy. The characters are dummies with wooden heads, and you can’t see who’s pulling their strings.
Hands to Hearts for kids
I work with a nonprofit called Hands to Hearts (www.handstoheartskc.org). We work with at-risk kids in the Kansas City, Kan., and Shawnee Mission school districts. We are run completely by volunteers and donations.
Servicing more than 20 schools each week, we are the largest community partner in the metro area with the Harvesters BackSnack program. We have been working with local homeless liaisons providing bags of food for homeless families.
We provide schools with a clothing closet. Our bookmobile, which will be launching in July, will provide free books to children. In the spring of 2011, we began a partnership with a school to provide reading tutors to children.
We want to involve more of the community in our mission to feed the minds and mouths of Kansas City’s youth.
Hands to Hearts is sponsoring a summer fundraiser that is open to the public. It is a benefit carnival from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 30 at Santa Fe Commons Park in downtown Overland Park.