Myopic on hospital
On Tuesday, North Kansas City residents will elect a mayor. There are many facets to a mayor’s job, ranging from financial recommendations to managing city policies and employees to communicating openly and honestly with the citizens.
As North Kansas City voters, we have recently become concerned about the tunnel vision in this upcoming election. It appears that the focus is exclusively on the pending sale of the North Kansas City Hospital.
The candidates seem preoccupied with this. We think they’ve made their stances known. Candidates have clearly and in no uncertain terms, declared they are not in favor of a sale. With this on all campaign mailers, every personal visit and every campaign yard sign, shouldn’t we now focus on the other skills that qualify a mayor? Those include fiscal responsibility, community advocacy, city promotion and communication skills.
After all, whoever wins Tuesday will be in office four years. Hopefully, that person will do great things, including, but not limited to, keeping the hospital in the hands of the residents.
North Kansas City
Accidents with guns
We keep hearing both sides in the gun debate talk about gun crime and keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill. What I hear no one talking about is the danger guns pose no matter who owns them.
Just in the period since the Newtown, Conn., tragedy, there have been numerous news reports of accidental shootings.
A man killed his 7-year-old when his legally owned gun discharged as he was getting in his vehicle. A 3-year-old shot himself in the arm with a gun legally owned by his dad. A 4-year-old girl and her younger sibling were shot with a legally owned gun belonging to their babysitter. A man shot his wife when the concealed gun he legally carried discharged in a restaurant.
Occurrences such as these are not mere accidents. They are the result of negligence.
The right to possess and carry guns should come with the requirement that it be done responsibly.
Concerns about safety are obviously not sufficient to motivate responsible gun ownership. Maybe the threat of prison would.
As a contributor to the Letters of The Kansas City Star, I always welcome feedback. I have received some very intelligent letters and phone calls, not always agreeing with my stated opinion. Freedom of expression and respect for other opinions is what our First Amendment is all about. However, it is interesting to note that the feedback letters that insist that there is no position other than the writer’s position and are abusive in content are never signed.
Are these persons too vindictive to openly allow others to have an opinion or are they mentally unable to formulate and express a reason-based opinion? One responder even expressed his abusive rant on his company stationery.
It should be interesting for his corporate office to inspect this document. Fair advice: If you cannot stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen.
Front license plates
I work at an auto repair shop and have performed Missouri inspections for more than 40 years.
Frequently, I inspect vehicles without front license plates attached.
Some are on the dash, some on the floorboard, some missing. If Missouri law states that all cars and light trucks must have two plates installed, why is this not required to pass inspection?
It appears this law is not enforced as often as it should be. I have performed inspections year after year on the same vehicles that have no front plates.
I suggest that Missouri laws be changed to require only one plate and save the state a considerable amount of expense. If not, law officers need to provide stricter enforcement .
Voting in Missouri
Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander has announced a panel to review Missouri’s early voting process. Kander says that Election Day congestion at polls turns voters away, and by expanding early voting those wait times can be reduced.
Missouri allows voters to cast absentee ballots six weeks before elections. Anyone standing in line on Election Day has made the conscious decision to not vote early.
In Missouri, voters must provide a reason to request an absentee ballot. Kander claims this affidavit requirement is too burdensome and deters voters from early voting.
This claim is nonsense. The reasons permitted are incarceration, incapacity or illness, religious belief, serving as an election worker and absence from your jurisdiction on Election Day. This requirement exists because Missouri provides prepaid absentee envelopes, so casting the ballot costs the clerk’s office money.
I’d like to propose a common-sense solution to long lines on Election Day. If the goal is reducing Election Day lines, the solution is more booths. Kander’s desire to expand early voting appears to be an answer to a question that no one has asked.
Problems in Congress
People say to me, “I cannot believe that Congress doesn’t get anything done.” Rather than working for the good of the American people, members of Congress have chosen dysfunction.
In fact, Congress created the deficit. Congress created the tax code and tax loopholes.
Congress voted for unfunded wars. Lawmakers’ lack of certainty about taxes, regulation and fiscal responsibility stand in the way of business expansion.
We blame Congress. I blame the American people.
First you have to write or call and make your voices heard. Our representatives in Congress hear from special-interest groups and lobbyists far more than they hear from the people.
They have forgotten that they represent us. They seem to represent the political action committees and the donors to their campaigns.
Until citizens like us exercise our right to vote and be heard, we will not see real change in our government. These problems are our problems and will get fixed only when we make our voices heard.
I wrote to our senators and congressmen, and their replies blamed the other guy. I blame us. We elected them. Now is the time to make our voices heard.
Caps, gowns overkill
I fully support preschool for children. I also wonder whether we do our children a disservice when we dress 4- and 5-year-olds in caps and gowns for preschool or kindergarten “graduation.”
For many children, by the time they graduate from high school they have been dressed in this garb so often that it has lost meaning.
Let’s give kids the message that graduation from high school is a special event and save the cap and gown for high school and higher graduations.
Fund food stamps
Cutting the food stamps program would be inhumane (3-22, A1, “Roberts: Cut food stamps to save them”).
Looking at the numbers, the program provides an average of only $4 per day per household. Sen. Pat Roberts should try eating on a $4-a-day budget.
Sen. Roberts is concerned that some people are gaming the system. If some poor souls are squeezing a few extra bucks out of such a meager benefit, I say more power to them.
The people who are really gaming the system are the lobbyists who fight to maintain the current generous farm subsidies given to corporations in the agriculture industry. This is a waste of our tax dollars.
The only solution is to take the money out of politics. Congressional term limits and real campaign-finance reform would weaken the influence of lobbyists.
Isidro de la Herran
My wife and I enjoyed the front page, March 28 article, “Forlorn urban site is eyed for an impressive rebirth.” She worked in the U.S. Quartermaster Depot, where I met her during my last World War II military assignment there.
One major role of that depot was the return of the World War II dead from overseas. About 9,000 of the 210,000 military dead were returned via the U.S. Quartermaster Depot by 1948. The depot served 13 states and part of Canada during that program for which I was the transportation officer.
Leo J. Sweeney