Home values, taxes
I saw on the news recently a story about folks having their Jackson County assessments more than double. We live in Hyde Park, and ours has more than tripled.
We bought a fixer-upper for $75,000. The 2012 assessed market value was $116,160. The 2013 assessed value $384,800. Honestly, I did not sprinkle Miracle-Gro on the house and it’s now three times as big.
It is some comfort that Jackson County officials may send a letter explaining that they may have goofed. But I don’t think I will ever feel the same about owning a home.
Yes, we did put in some new windows, and the house is less like a wind tunnel in winter. But trying to make an older home habitable and efficient looks to be a bad idea
Sarab Nam S. Khalsa
Medicare isn’t what it used to be now that Obamacare is taking over. I’m 73 years old, and in the last 10 years I have had health problems.
With all of the problems I had, the out-of-pocket cost to me was zero. No charges at the doctor’s office; no charges from hospitals or surgeons’ visits to the hospital; no outside money did I have to pay.
I had Medicare, and my secondary insurance took care of all the expenses that Medicare did not.
Since Obamacare started, I have had to pay about $200 out of pocket just for office visits to see my doctor.
I shudder if I have to be admitted to the hospital.
I really think President Barack Obama got something passed that if our Congress had to have the same care that we have it would never have passed.
Younger people who will be just starting with this junk Obamacare will not be taken care of like I was during my health problems.
Obama skirts truth
The truth is so alien to those in the Obama administration. I’d be surprised if they don’t offer it a path to citizenship.
Jon K. Bucher
I was shocked to see the Missouri General Assembly pass legislation that creates more onerous restrictions on non-surgical abortion.
It is infuriating to me that our elected officials advanced such a proposal designed to endanger women’s health while failing to expand Medicaid.
Women in the United States have been safely and legally using non-surgical abortion for more than a decade, and this method gives a woman the option of a more private and less invasive way to safely end a pregnancy. The Legislature’s attempt to ban safe and effective non-surgical abortion through telemedicine will particularly hurt women in rural areas who often have to drive long distances to see a doctor.
With the passage of the bill, and the failure to expand Medicaid, it is clear that women’s health is not a priority to the Missouri legislature.
I urge Gov. Jay Nixon to veto the bill.
While the issue is still hot and the government is of the mind to do something, perhaps it is not too late to earmark other good gun-control ideas.
We could slip in a ban on anhydrous ammonia, marathons and pressure cookers.
If those won’t pass, we can at least make all people who purchase pressure cookers have some kind of psychological review and make them register these dangerous products.
People don’t kill people, pressure cookers do.
Vote for change
I have learned three things about most politicians.
First, their real motivation is keeping their jobs and getting re-elected.
Second, soon after arriving in Washington, D.C., they forget they were sent to represent us and instead get caught up in the politics of the Beltway.
And third, they rely on the electorate, you and me, having short memories and forgetting their actions before the next election.
The pain and hardships we are experiencing because of the sequestration could have been avoided had our elected officials sought to reason and compromise and do what’s best for the country rather than playing a game of political chicken.
Truly, they have either forgotten why they were elected or they have lost touch and just don’t care. Either way, I urge us all to not have short memories and, regardless of all the rhetoric, excuses, denials and promises they offer as election time approaches, to remember how they voted on these important issues and hold them accountable and speak our feelings at the ballot box about their performance.
That is truly the only language they understand.
I can’t help wondering about the bunch in Washington compared with the men at the Alamo. Let’s talk about courage.
Each man at the Alamo stood his ground for what he believed in — freedom — and each man was killed for his efforts.
The bunch in Washington? Why do we, the people, keep sending this same bunch back to Washington year after year.
Will we, the people, ever learn?
Can you see even one of the bunch stand up to the lobbyists and say go jump in a lake and then have the courage to vote the way that we, the people, want him to vote?
Texting and driving
Texting while driving for people under age 21 is illegal in Missouri. This statute needs to be a federal law and corrected to include all drivers.
Last October, as we headed east on Interstate 470 at 2 p.m., an 18-wheeler going under the U.S. 50 overpass went off the road. Just as I started to blow my horn, the truck driver got back on the road, no doubt alerted by the rumble strips. The truck went off again in seconds.
As we entered Maryland two days later, also at 2 p.m., we were in the left lane curving gently to the right. With no warning, an 18-wheeler on our right drifted into our lane, forcing us off the road.
I was able to keep our car from going over the banking with quick steering and heavy braking. The big truck’s rear trailer wheels would have gone right over us. My horn must have alerted the driver who kept going and never acknowledged the near-accident.
In both cases, I am convinced the drivers were texting, not sleeping. Write your Congress members. Your life depends on it.
Albert R. St. Germain
Postal Service tips
As a concerned postal worker, I apologize to letter writers who have expressed concerns over lost packages and mail. I for one try to keep the service part in the U.S. Postal Service.
Most people don’t realize what their packages have to endure during the sorting process. Packages of all sizes and weights get dumped together and slide down chutes and ride conveyors multiple times.
The Postal Service has not educated its window clerks or the public on the proper way to package items to better ensure their safe arrival. Here are some tips:
Make sure the bottom of a box has extra tape applied. Make sure the package can handle the weight of the item.
Make sure the contents fit tightly in the box, with plenty of padding and no room to shift. Tape padding around sharp tips and edges.
Tape all the way around in both directions using fiber tape (white strands). Don’t wrap in paper; it tends to tear off. Write the address on masking tape and tape it to the contents — just in case.
I hope this helps.
Tow service rescue
My faith in tow truck operations has been restored. Marvin’s Tow Service and Sunflower Tow Service came to my rescue with more than $500 to pay the balance of the $913 bill charged by a Northland tow outfit.
It was a five-mile tow to Liberty. AAA paid a reasonable $385.
I did not know when I signed the paper with my name and where the car was to be taken that the company could fill in the blank spaces with such ridiculous fees.
Thanks again to Marvin’s Tow and Sunflower Tow for representing honorable businesses.
Margaret P. James