Keep Raytown YMCA
The YMCA’s decision about which locations are closing is blatantly unfair (3-12, A1, “Big plans downtown”).
There are 15 YMCA facilities within the Kansas City area, yet two of the three branches to close are on the east side.
One reason? Deferred maintenance costs.
Eliminating repair costs makes some sense with a 100-year-old facility (Kansas City, Kan.) or a 48-year-old one (Independence).
But the Richard C. Green Sr. YMCA (Raytown) is only 15 years old. How many deferred maintenance costs can it have?
When I moved to my new home on the east side, I greatly appreciated having two nearby YMCA facilities — one five miles to the south, the other four miles north.
Because of their proximity, I can understand why one might be shut down, but not both.
As I am currently disabled, getting to a nearby facility is difficult. Now I (and others) will have to make the 28-mile, round-trip drive to Blue Springs.
The YMCA of Greater Kansas City should strongly consider leaving the Raytown facility open so that the east-side communities can have the same accessibility to a YMCA as our downtown members.
Rev. Kathryn R. Leclere
I have read so many times in recent weeks about how the Second Amendment needs to be changed, and these letter writers are so sure that our forefathers would agree because at the time all people had were muskets.
Well, our forefathers were the framers of our Constitution, and they meant it to be just what they said.
If only people were to learn more about the country they live in instead of assuming and wanting to remove people’s rights.
Maybe they can start with the Federalist Papers, starting with letter 46 so they can understand what the Second Amendment is about and for, and then going back and reading letters 1 through 85.
“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
If it weren’t for this amendment, the rest of them would not exist.
Ending gun violence
The new talks on any new laws that may come about on gun control by our government in Washington, D.C., will in my estimation do no good at all. What I think needs to be done in this country is lawmakers must enact stricter prison sentences for crimes committed with a firearm.
Also, new safety measures need to be implemented in our schools. They include tougher door entry standards.
On a voluntary basis, a teacher, principal or custodian at the school with a right-to-carry firearm license should be allowed to do so at the school. This of course should be done so with added professional class instruction.
All kids on campus should be evaluated each year by a certified mental health expert. Let’s not ruin another business in this country but actually add jobs by the aforementioned measures.
Police security also is a good idea where practical.
Gary L. Parlier
White House tours
Doesn’t the president use the people’s money to take numerous vacations via air transportation?
Doesn’t the first lady take vacations using the people’s money?
In good conscience, how can the president close the people’s house to our children?
Isn’t the visit an unforgettable learning experience and a lifetime memory?
It was for me.
Marie S. Mentrup
Protect women’s rights
Even though Roe v. Wade granted women the right to have an abortion more than 40 years ago, conservative Republican legislators continue to propose laws that would ban or restrict women’s access to abortion.
These conservatives oppose abortion because they want to “protect the rights of the unborn.”
Ironically, many of these same GOP lawmakers oppose proposed gun-control bans on assault weapons and extended magazines.
Getting these killing machines with unlimited bullets off the streets would “protect the rights of the living.”
What a bunch of hypocrites.
They want to protect the unborn but they oppose measures to protect all citizens from the dangers of gun violence.
I am here expressing my concern over an issue that is currently plaguing the community.
On Wornall Road just north of Red Bridge Road there is construction in one of the lanes. It seems that there is frequently construction around this location.
I am expressing my concern for the safety of drivers who take this road.
Wornall Road bends in such a way that when traveling north in this area it is extremely difficult and maybe even impossible for drivers to notice that the roadwork is taking place.
As a citizen, I have noticed many cars braking hard and swerving violently in order to avoid accidents in this roadwork area.
I am asking that more signs be placed around here or simply for more sufficient attention to detail.
Renewable fuels needed
I attended the Forward on Climate Rally in Washington, D.C., last month.
I’ll be honest. The bus ride there and back was pretty rough, and the weather that day in Washington was bitterly cold and very windy.
Why did I and about 45,000 other activists endure the hardship?
We went to encourage President Barack Obama to reject the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. We went because we know we are at a time when we need to get serious about investing in clean, renewable energy sources.
Renewables are becoming very price-competitive with dirty fossil fuels, especially when the overly generous subsidies to fossil fuel industries are considered. Plus, renewables would provide more new jobs.
It’s time to plan for the future, which has to include phasing out fossil fuels. Start now with the rejection of Keystone XL, which would transport tar sands, the dirtiest fossil fuel of all.
Memories of Truman
I enjoyed reading the March 10 story, “The president & the painter,” about Harry Truman and Thomas Hart Benton in the Star Magazine.
While in the fourth grade, in 1960, my class from Norclay Elementary School in North Kansas City, took a field trip to the Truman Library.
As we went into the lobby, Thomas Hart Benton was up on a scaffolding painting his famous mural. Our teacher was a personal friend of Harry Truman’s, and after our tour Mr. Truman treated our class to a few songs on the piano and a short talk, which included a few choice colorful words.
I’ve forgotten a lot of things that happened as a child. But I’ll never forget that visit.
Thanks for the memory reminder.
Safety net programs
Many citizens are rightly inspired by President Barack Obama’s re-election.
Their hope is it may result in a more fair and responsive government and continued improvement of the economy.
But come on, folks, the president has little control over your individual problems.
One letter writer recently blamed President Obama for the small 2013 increase in Social Security disability benefits.
One writer blamed him because a relative with cancer has a difficult time making ends meet while receiving Supplemental Security Income disability.
Prior letter writers have blamed him for increases in the price of gas at the pump.
All of these complaints against our president are misplaced. Either the writers totally misunderstand the power of the presidency or they simply don’t like the current president.
Either way, they should realize that President Obama has pledged to uphold federal safety-net programs such as Social Security and Medicare.
If Republicans, especially local Kansas and Missouri politicians of Republican persuasion, had their way, virtually all of these safety-net programs would suffer.
Keep your eyes on Congress.
St. Luke’s Plaza staff
A special thank you to the doctors, nurses and staff members in the medical intensive care unit at St. Luke’s Hospital on the Plaza.
With the explosion at JJ’s restaurant and the snowstorms happening during mom’s stay there, every person our family encountered had an amazing focus, compassion and genuine concern.
The staffers were very professional throughout mom’s stay and answered every question we could possibly ask.
We were truly blessed to have such a great group of people helping us through a very trying time.
Grace (Burnett) Thomas