Home values, taxes
After receiving my new property tax bill and reading about others, I have concluded that I must be one of the lucky homeowners in Kansas City (5-7, A1, “Homeowners stunned by assessments”). The value of my home in Brookside increased only $56,000 since 2011.
Perhaps it would be more easily justified if the homes surrounding me had sold for such fine prices or if we could also simply reduce these new taxes with a subtraction of our Kansas City earnings tax.
Susan J. Brandt, Ph.D.
National numbers may say that jobs are on the rise, but here in St. Louis, YRC is closing one of its break-bulk terminals (5-7, C12, “Most companies off to a good start”). Employees were notified about a change of operations via certified letter on March 12. This generic letter told employees their positions will be eliminated effective May 12. Since that time there has been no communication from the company.
What the employees do know: Teamsters with seniority have been offered the opportunity to follow the freight. Teamsters without seniority and non-union employees have heard nothing. Those in upper management have not disseminated any information. Difficult economic times call for tough decisions, not callous treatment of loyal employees.
Tyranny, fear, guns
The National Rifle Association's crusade to create a fear of tyranny has sadly resulted in a tyranny of fear. When citizens feel the need to arm themselves as they go about their lives, that is surrendering to fear.
When people say that teachers should be armed in a school amidst hundreds of curious active kids, that is discarding common sense and surrendering to fear. When a politician votes against common sense gun legislation, that is giving in to the basest of fears.
Our country, even as it continues to be a work in progress, is a great country. It has survived wars, depressions, presidential assassinations and countless crises.
Our democracy has remained intact. If only those who seem to have so little faith in our country could see that the actual threat to our democracy is not infringement of the Second Amendment but the erosion of voting rights and the power that lobbyists and the industries they represent have over our lives.
Justice on hold
Gov. Sam Cutback ... er ... Gov. Sam Brownback has reorganized the social services arena in Kansas so horrifically that he has taken the services out of the Division of Children and Family Services. The office has become so unresponsive, inaccessible and dysfunctional that we can no longer tolerate it and must take our concerns to the level of protest.
Gov. Brownback and supervisors at the Kansas City, Kan., Division of Children and Family Services: We are tired of never being able to reach anyone by phone and then going to the office only to wait hours on end to be told, “We don’t know about your case.”
We are tired of calling the state ombudswoman for resolution only to be told that her hands are tied, too. We are fed up with the convoluted manner in which Medicaid claims are stalled and pushed back.
We may be poor, but we’re people, too, many of us with grave and painful medical issues. Sorry, but we can’t handle this “right hand doesn’t know what the left is doing” monstrous bureaucracy.
Gov. Brownback, quit your stallin’, the phone call is for you, and justice is callin’.”
St. Lawrence Catholic
Kansas City, Kan.
Global warming has become a reality over the past decade, raising concerns about our future. The rising temperatures and rapidly depleting natural resources create the need for a cleaner, more efficient renewable energy source.
The answer to our solution is hydropower. Currently, hydropower provides roughly 8 percent of the U.S. energy and just under 20 percent of the world’s energy.
The problem is we are failing to fully use our hydropower capabilities. There are 80,000 dams in the U.S., with only 2,400 dams being used as hydropower facilities.
Currently, the hydropower industry is heavily regulated, which is making it difficult to acquire approval and licenses. This is dissuading companies from investing in the industry, which is why I am proposing a new policy to reinvent the hydropower industry.
The proposed policy would give tax incentives to companies that construct or reconstruct hydropower dams, decrease the obstacles companies must overcome and provide funds to continue research and development, providing continuous technological improvements. Correct implementation of the policy would generate an estimated 700,000 jobs by 2050 and double the amount of energy being produced from hydropower.
I can understand disparity in medical procedures when comparing East and West Coast prices with Midwestern costs (5-9, A1, “Hospital billings reveal surprises”).
However, vast differences between a hip replacement ranging from $24,374 at Truman Medical Center Lakewood to $66,268 at the University of Kansas Hospital are disheartening and wrong. I am most grateful for the government experts who are sharing their research with us so that some day and in some way consumers will actually be able to shop online to determine which medical facility to choose for their next operation or tests.
It seems our government and lawmakers are a big part of all our problems.
Our police somehow seem to be trying to work with citizens. I’m sure many things they do that are distasteful are things the justice system made up. All we can do is stand together as honest citizens and see a way to pluck out what’s bad.
Our young citizens, who are fresh and honest, may help us with their computers and sense of unity. Some of our young people exhibit all of the dishonesty that can pull us down.
We need to bring together an honest, respectful, self-sufficient United States — whatever it takes. We can’t allow our country to become a sick, unproductive world managed by crooks with law degrees.
These are sad times when the system can invent anything and ruin honest citizens. This doesn’t leave much for our little people in the future.
William Leroy Elwood
We hear a lot of debate on guns by citizens. So many opinions can be shown to be correct.
Many Second Amendment supporters say the government is attempting to take away a basic freedom. The other side thinks too many unnecessary big weapons are in the hands of the wrong people.
Will making laws stronger or weaker keep guns out of the hands of unscrupulous people? Probably not any more than laws keep those who don’t have driver’s licenses from driving drunk and killing someone.
Should we not require the public to have proper documentation and training to drive? How would our roads be without these checks and balances?
I have never seen the auto industry balk at state rules governing the public’s owning and driving a motor vehicle.
Maybe our gun problem is too simple to solve. Maybe the solution is in the trees, and the forest is hiding it. As a school bus driver, I must have the license and background checks. The public demands it. Kids depend on it.
Online sales taxes
If not collecting state and local taxes on Internet sales is unfair to small business, then small businesses not collecting shipping costs is unfair to Internet business (5-7, A1, “Senate backs online tax”). If state/local taxes are approved for Internet sales, then to even the field, shipping costs should be done away with.
I know how superstitious sports fans can be, but it’s starting to look as if the Royals are the real deal. Rock and roll, Royals.