Letters to the Editor

Interstate 70, a salute to heroes, Angelina Jolie

Updated: 2013-05-16T22:56:11Z

I-70 goes begging

It’s so sad and disgusting that the Missouri legislature does not have the guts or competence to come up with a long-overdue plan for renovating Interstate 70.

Evidently our elected officials have curled up in fear that any positive action on their part might alienate special interests who are unwilling to pay their fair share of the bill.

Surely, the traveling public can eventually find another route around the state.

William Markey

Kansas City

Salute to heroes

Kansas City invites everyone to come and share in a celebration on Saturday , Armed Forces Day, held for those who give of their freedom to keep our country free and for those who appreciate that sacrifice.

Complimentary tours of the National World War I Museum will be available between 7 and 9 tonight for service members, veterans and their families and guests.

Salute Our Heroes is a five-part celebration that includes a remembrance for our fallen heroes, a parade and a patriotic-themed concert in Washington Square Park. The event is free.

Details of the celebration, maps and a calendar can be found at www.saluteourheroes-kc.org.

God bless America.

Ken Horvatic

Kansas City

Unemployment, guns

The unemployment rate for the U.S. has fallen from close to 10 percent to 7.6 percent. Missouri went from 9.6 percent to 6.7 percent, and Kansas went from 7.5 percent to 5.6 percent.

So Kansas actually kept pace with Missouri. Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and his tax cuts might work for you, but it doesn’t explain the overall drop. Maybe the U.S. economy is getting better, and Kansas is just riding along.

On another hot topic, as far as muskets being modern weapons for our Founding Fathers, the musket had been around for two centuries with slow improvements in accuracy and fire rate. I don’t believe our Founding Fathers ever envisioned a rapid-fire modern weapon.

James Balachowski

Kansas City

Mounting troubles

Like the song in the musical “Camelot,” it looks like the king is worried tonight. Consider the four Americans killed in Benghazi, the Internal Revenue Service targeting tea party groups and The Associated Press phone records. Oh my.

Maybe at least one of these will bite President Barack Obama or cause his removal from office. It will be interesting to see what becomes of this trio of abuse of power.

Our current president has the combined incompetence of presidents Jimmy Carter and James Buchanan while making President Richard Nixon look like a choirboy.

The AP must be especially confused after practically campaigning for Obama during both elections and keeping newsworthy stories about him off the front page for months. Phone records for reporters and editors have been seized by the justice department.

Joe Lavender


Include Congress

With the sequestration now in effect and putting various government agencies into a furlough mode, why has the most obvious and least effective group in government not been included?

The brilliant minds that concocted this legislation should also be among the first beneficiaries. Congress.

Oh, wait. Wouldn’t that hurt its productivity?

Alex Pappas

Kansas City

Pro-life, guns, Blunt

Sen. Roy Blunt is a hypocrite whose positions are determined as much by his greed (for money and for power) as by any principle he may claim.

Mr. Blunt claims to be pro-life. He is reliably against allowing a woman to choose an abortion, yet he voted against legislation to limit the size of ammunition clips for assault rifles of the sort that killed a whole classroom of 6- and 7-year-old children in Newtown, Conn.

I find it interesting that Mr. Blunt has received thousands of dollars from the National Rifle Association and its gun and ammo manufacturing sponsors. They do take care of their own, as the perpetual smile on Mr. Blunt’s face would seem to indicate.

Perhaps there is no conflict between these positions. Maybe God has intimated to Mr. Blunt that unborn children are more important to him than those who already occupy this “vale of tears.”

In that case, I would submit that Mr. Blunt has no right to impose his religious views on those of us who do not share them and who feel an unconditional responsibility toward all living, breathing human beings and toward life itself.

In the meantime, Roy, keep smiling.

John Van Horn

Kansas City

Jolie’s surgery

The announcement of Angelina Jolie’s preventive breast surgery has received a lot of press.

Genetic counseling is the process of helping people understand and adapt to the medical, psychological and familial implications of genetic disease. Two national guidelines are followed by most insurance companies — National Comprehensive Cancer Network and U.S. Preventive Services Task Force — and recommend testing affected and/or unaffected persons for BRCA1/2 mutations under specific guidelines.

Although the cost of genetic testing can be high, there are exceptions and special considerations in some situations. You can find a board-certified genetic counselor at the National Society of Genetic Counselors website (www.nsgc.org).

Less than 10 percent of breast cancer is hereditary. But family history features such as ovarian cancer, multiple women with breast cancer, early onset breast cancer, male breast cancer, early onset prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, melanoma and/or Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry increase the likelihood of carrying a genetic mutation such as Ms. Jolie’s.

Genetic counselors use the family medical history to assess the risk of having hereditary cancer, whether related to the BRCA1/BRCA2 genes or other hereditary cancer syndromes.

Lenna Levitch, MS

Molly Lund, MS

Patricia Shires, MS

Jamie L’Heureux, MS


Genetic Counselors


Consulting, LLC

Overland Park

Guns, lawmakers

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry over the sincere and heartfelt letters on each side of the so-called gun-control issue and the resulting actions of the Congress (especially the Senate) with respect to that issue.

This much I know for sure. The only thing an elected official fears is the loss of a very cushy job with great side perks, and the only principle these people respect is self-preservation.

I used to contribute to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence until it became clear that it was utterly ineffective as a force in the gun-control issue.

You want to change the behavior of the members of Congress? Make them fear they might have to actually go to work for a living.

That’s what the National Rifle Association does.

Herman Bonett

Lee’s Summit

Bridge spans history

I farm and ranch near Dodge City and have the distinct pleasure of having been served by a Kansas City Bridge Company steel truss bridge since 1959.

This Pratt truss bridge originally was built on Second Avenue in Dodge City in 1906. In 1935, the bridge was moved to a new river crossing. Then in 1959, two sections of this bridge were moved to its current location.

After the bridge was found to have a broken pin in May 2012, the Ford County commissioners decided to destroy the bridge. But after nearly a year of talks, the decision has been made to try and find a new home for the bridge.

The bridge company was located in Armourdale, Kan., with principals G.H. Wheelock, president; A.M. Blodgett, vice president; Edwin I. Farnsworth, chief engineer. Mr. Maitland is mentioned, but no title with the company is noted.

These men leave quite a legacy with a well-designed and well-built bridge. I am hoping that someone reading this is a descendant of one of these men and might have information or photos I could use in continuing the historical documentation of this bridge and its builders.

Wayne R. Keller

Ford, Kan.

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