No to Wal-Mart
The idea of a Wal-Mart near 75th Street and Wornall Road is a mind-bender.
What could be more ruinous?
This area has been a stronghold for stable small businesses and surrounding neighborhoods for many decades.
With Wal-Mart’s notorious practices of Chinese imports at the expense of American jobs, its anti-people policies with its low pay and low benefits, assault-rifle sales and rapacious corporate greed, allowing this to transpire would be tragic.
Surely the old Bingham Junior High School could be sold to a more elevating, civic-minded entity.
John M. Edelman
Brownback’s bad plan
The proposed constitutional amendment excluding courts from school-spending issues shames in many dimensions (2-2, A4, “Plan would rein in courts”).
Look past the legislative attempt to usurp governmental balance of power.
Grit our teeth and put aside the court’s existing ruling, which provided redress for disabled students and students in poverty.
Try, if you can stomach it, to put this egregious proposal in the context of long-term growth for Kansas.
Economic success, according to Gov. Sam Brownback’s purging of income tax revenue, rests in part on great increases in business revenue and increases in the number of businesses in Kansas, increases that require an influx of business people currently living in other states.
Enterprising business people will want a state with a well-educated workforce, and they’ll want to attract talented workers who, like them, want their children to attend safe, productive schools. Diminishing school revenue would be an obstacle to recruiting these people.
Kansas’ ranking of 37th among all the states in the January 2013 Quality Counts profile already puts Kansas at a recruiting disadvantage. It would be counterproductive to economic growth to have a constitutional amendment movement that aims to limit revenue for schools.
David P. Winans
Kansas photo ID law
Last month, the Kansas voter ID law (Secure and Fair Elections, or SAFE, Act) was fully implemented.
The law has required voters to show a photo identification since January 2012, and a very complex and controversial set of registration restrictions was instituted last month.
The SAFE Act unfairly affects first-time voters, the elderly, low-income groups and people of color.
The Kansas law, as well as other voter-suppression laws throughout the U.S., has been described as “the first rollback in voting rights since the Jim Crow era” (Brennan Center for Justice).
New Kansas voters who lack proof-of-citizenship documents will have to jump through bureaucratic hoops and wait for as long as one year for their requests to be processed to obtain the state’s newly required proof of citizenship.
The new restrictions have the potential to disenfranchise thousands of Kansas voters because of the expense, time and inability of the state to institute its own policies.
The SAFE Act in general, and the voter-registration restrictions in particular, have made it increasingly difficult for average Kansans to exercise their right to vote.
We ask all Kansans to support a repeal of the SAFE Act registration restrictions.
John Bryan Mann
KanVote m ember
Valley Center, Kan.
Obama faces racism
“Do these jeans make me look fat?” the woman asked her husband.
While the husband smartly says, “No,” he might have been thinking to himself that it was the five pieces of cake that his wife ate each night that made her look fat. After all, as the old saying goes, ‘“You are what you eat.”
Likewise, for conservatives who make nasty, hate-filled comments about our president that virtually ooze with subtle racism and then feign anger and surprise when someone calls them on it, I would suggest that they need to understand, “You are what you write.”
Eddie L. Clay
Gays and Boy Scouts
I am saddened and dismayed but not shocked that The Star endorsed the effort to force the Boy Scouts of America to cave into homosexual pressure (2-4, Editorial, “A move forward by Boy Scouts”).
What a sad commentary on the declining morality of the nation.
Allowing gay scout leaders will destroy what has been a wonderful organization that has helped boys from every walk of life to become good, solid citizens.
KC’s broken fountains
The Feb. 5 front page article, “Community’s ‘signature pieces’ at risk,” bemoaned the fact that the city does not have enough money to maintain its fountains and will be looking to do a fundraising campaign. Later, in the business section, was the announcement that the Hyatt hotel plan for the Country Club Plaza was scrapped because no amount of tax increment financing would make it viable (2-5, C3, “Plaza Hyatt plan dropped”).
Yet, the developer will now submit an office building plan and ask for TIF. Is it any wonder that Kansas City’s fountains and infrastructure are crumbling?
The Plaza is not blighted and not a good use for TIF. Use TIF in parts of the city that need the development so that other economic development can happen around the project.
It seems to be the mindset of developers that they have to have a taxpayer handout for every project. Developers for too long have relied on taxpayer handouts for their projects to be profitable.
It is time to stop the taxpayer handouts.
K ansas C ity
Zombie horde and guns
I was not in World War II or the Korean War but did fight in Vietnam.
I trained at Fort Leonard Wood at age 17 with an M-14. It was heavy and bulky, and I hated it.
I arrived in Vietnam in 1968 and saw my first M-16 and loved it.
As a helicopter mechanic, I was stationed in base camps and was fortunate to have never fired it in anger.
I read the Feb. 3 article, “AR-15 is more loved and hated than ever,” and understand why it has become loved and hated.
I’m not a member of the National Rifle Association, but I do believe in the Second Amendment.
I don’t understand why anyone would need an assault weapon. You can’t really hunt with it unless you are hunting people.
You don’t need one to protect your home. They make handguns that have better stopping power than the AR-15.
If you want protection, a semi-automatic handgun will fire as many times as you pull the trigger.
That would be more than enough to protect your home or loved ones, unless you are facing a zombie horde.
‘Duck Dynasty’ mirror
While channel searching, I came upon a program I have been entertained by for the past few months and now watch called “Duck Dynasty.”
Even though many of the episodes are far out and probably fictional, I found that in a few of the episodes they did things we as kids probably also did while growing up.
I am not writing to promote the show itself, as I’m sure most of it is fictional and hard to believe. But the one episode that stays with me and resonates in my mind is in its closing.
Family members are gathered around a dinner table, and Phil, the patriarch, always starts with the following blessing: “Heavenly Father, we want to thank you.”
If more of us as family members and Americans spoke these words more often, maybe the chaos, confusion and turmoil we are now in might be eliminated.
You be the judge.
Protecting the unborn
As an educator, I was deeply disturbed by the horrific news of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newtown, Conn.
In my opinion, there is another form of violence that occurs daily in our country, which can contribute to perpetuating a lack of respect for human life — the government-sanctioned murder of thousands of the most helpless victims, the unborn.
A human fetus is not a zygote. It is what it says it is — a human being in its earliest inception and most vulnerable developmental stage.
The unique DNA structure associated with a human life is not the same as any other of the myriad forms of cells, which continually combine to reproduce themselves throughout nature in the continuum of evolution.
Instead of providing an after-the-fact violent form of birth control, why not spend more time and money promoting education for our youth on the facts of reproductive and biological human functions, along with promoting self-respect and the moral responsibility that ensues from partaking in the universal act of procreation.
If violent acts breed more violence, protecting the rights of the unborn is worth considering.