KC basketball winner
Last fall, hundreds of colleges and universities nationwide began the basketball season with the goal of “Goin’ to Kansas City.”
This week, 32 of those teams arrived to fight it out for the NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship in the longest-running college basketball tournament in the country.
From Lewiston, Idaho, to Denmark, S.C., from Dillon, Mont., to Waxahachie, Texas — thousands of players, coaches, fans and family members have descended upon Municipal Auditorium in downtown Kansas City to play 31 games over seven days.
For the first time in years, the NAIA tournament runs simultaneously with the Big 12 Men’s Basketball Championship at the Sprint Center. It should be fun to experience the mash-up of basketball fans from across the country at the Power & Light District this weekend.
On Tuesday night, one team will emerge as the NAIA national champion. The real winner, of course, will be Kansas City, with thousands of NAIA visitors spending time and money in the nation’s college basketball capital.
Grading state officials
It would be interesting if the residents of Missouri were given the opportunity to apply letter grades to our state legislators on an annual basis.
The constituency of the state would grade each legislator, and the results would be published statewide.
Also, does anyone know why legislators, as part-time employees of the state of Missouri, receive benefits?
Rev. Gary R. Charles
The YMCA’s recent decision to close down three urban-area Y’s while pressing forward with its mega-super-downtown Y exemplifies its commitment to stronger communities (3-12, A1, “Big plans downtown”).
For people working for a nonprofit that plasters the images of underprivileged youths across the billboards of Greater Kansas City, YMCA officials seem oddly uninterested in “promoting social responsibility,” as the mission statement proclaims.
Are low-income families going to travel to 10th Street and Grand Boulevard from Raytown or Independence to the new location for swim lessons or sports leagues?
YMCA CEO David Byrd seems to think so. He sees the move as the Y being “unwavering” in its commitment to the Kansas City community ... by leaving the community.
As a five-year employee, I was appalled to hear my locations referred to as “challenged.”
The challenge was pushing individual memberships costing $63 a month — six times the rate of a competing location. Financial assistance was offered, but typically reducing costs only 30 percent at best.
Perhaps it’s the executives who were “challenged,” for not being able to figure out what 24 Hour Fitness and Planet Fitness already know. Now, members and hourly employees will pay the price for YMCA executives’ shortsightedness.
Let atheists in parade
I don’t necessarily enjoy the constraints that have come about in the last 20 years over separation of church and state, but I adhere to the law of the land. As many atheist groups with the American Civil Liberties Union have taken up against religious activities in this country, I should be happy about the recent decision to not allow atheists to march in this year’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities.
However, I’m exactly the opposite. I know it has been a long tradition to have police, firefighters and others proudly march down Main Street USA in a lot of major cities. But I am reminded how many of the religious celebrations have been outlawed and icons removed from public property.
I find it confusing how elected officials can pick and choose now what we deem appropriate to put on display and what isn’t.
St. Patrick’s celebrations are an Irish-Catholic issue, not one of national origin. To have public services present and/or supporting these events is clearly a violation of said church vs. state. Clearly, atheists are not fighting it but rather joining in.
Either allow them also or disband the event as a clear violation.
Don’t believe Fox News
Fox News is far from the “fair and balanced” truth machine many claim it to be.
A 2010 University of Maryland study said: “Those who watched Fox News almost daily were significantly more likely than those who never watched it to believe” many facts about political issues that are provably false, by a margin of eight to 31 points.
Fox News is not the only network guilty of misleading its viewers, but it has been proved to consistently have the most misinformed viewers.
All information from any source should be confirmed by at least one other source (and, no, two different reporters on Fox don’t count).
Given this data, I sincerely hope no one still considers Fox News the last bastion of honest reporting in news reporting.
Roberts should retire
Sen. Pat Roberts, in a March 12 letter to The Star, laments his inability to schedule tours of the White House for his hundreds of constituents because of the sequestration. Surely Sen. Roberts could have done something to make sure the sequestration didn’t take effect.
He’s had months to work on that problem. I’m sure all of us Kansans will miss a tour of the White House this summer courtesy of Sen. Roberts.
However, he can conduct tours of both the Senate and House chambers because there certainly isn’t anything going on there to interrupt. The Star recently reported that a large percentage of people could not identify who Pat Roberts is.
Another substantial percentage did not think he was doing a good job.
Sen. Roberts has been on the public payroll practically all his life. It’s time to retire. Even the pope did.
I am a gun owner. I would be more than happy to register all my firearms.
What could be more patriotic than being ready, willing and able to assist a “well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state”?
How else will the state find me if I am needed? The Second Amendment has no purpose beyond this.
Those who seek to hide their guns are enemies of the state.
Obama against all odds
Eight years ago, it seemed safe to say that a black man would never be president of the United States.
Four years ago, it was believed that same man would never be able to get re-elected to serve another term as president.
That belief lasted until the votes were tallied.
In spite of the tsunami of negative predictions, in spite of all the nastiness and insults that dominated the opposition rhetoric, in spite of the predictions of economic collapse and social catastrophe, in spite of a dam of congressional and judicial obstruction, President Barack Hussein Obama has succeeded.
Now, as his new term begins, the Chicken Littles of the world are chirping again, prophesying once more of impending disaster.
Well, they were wrong in 2008.
And I believe they will be wrong again.
Obama’s presidency has become the ultimate account of achievement against all odds.
And I have no reason to believe it will be otherwise at the end of this historic era.
Fighting off the flu
What is the so-called flu season?
It occurs in the late fall and winter when a person’s vitamin D3 levels drop very low because of a lack of sunshine.
Because vitamin D3 is the human body’s natural antibiotic, a person’s immunity also drops to very low levels, making people susceptible to the flu because of their weakened condition.
Don’t live in fear and terror of getting sick.
Simply go to your grocery or drugstore and get an adequate supply of vitamin D3. Take what your doctor recommends is safe.
I haven’t had the flu since grammar school. Flu shots also will do no harm.
Robert R. Harsh
Advance spending cuts
Do you know how much of your money the federal government spends?
According to Bret Stephens writing in The Wall Street Journal recently, the amount is $115,000 per second.
By the way, 40 percent of that total is borrowed.
Do you think there might be some opportunity for spending cuts before the Democrats’ next demand for a massive tax increase?
I have two questions:
1. How about term limits for lobbyists?
2. Aren’t you glad Carnival does not operate one of our airlines?