Stranded at KCI
On July 3, I checked in at Kansas City International Airport’s Southwest terminal earlier than usual because of the July 4 holiday weekend traffic.
Not long after the time came to board the plane, we were told that because of mechanical problems our flight was canceled.
Without success, I spent the next hour frantically trying to find another plane that wasn’t full. As a result, I had to spend the next 71/2 hours waiting in our airport.
Our terminals have no place to put your head down to rest either inside or outside other than a few concrete benches outdoors that are shared by smokers.
There are no benches or sitting areas in the outdoor parking lots. There is no place to walk around and nothing to see.
If there is any consideration of revamping, adding or changing our terminals, please, please consider the welfare of stranded passengers.
False KCI choice
The July 11 editorial, “Single terminal at KCI is a good starting point,” rightfully calls for increased dialogue but contains questionable statements regarding the proposed terminal.
Officials claim that refurbishing and upgrading the current terminals would cost $600 million, reducing the relative expense of a new terminal. However, they ignore the costs related to construction disruptions as well as the regular upgrades a new terminal would require.
Additionally, much of the savings would benefit the federal government, not Kansas City, as the federal government funds a large part of regular terminal overhaul.
Most airport-improvement projects across the country generate cost overruns, not savings. Perhaps this is why the Kansas City Aviation Department plans to issue $1.5 billion in bonds to pay for a $1.2 billion terminal.
Contrary to the assertion of the editorial, it may be the city government officials, and not the airport-expansion opponents, who are presenting a false choice.
City government officials have yet to present any sensible, low-cost options.
We should not accept a truncated slate of options simply because the Aviation Department has already chosen the winner.
Better political days
After every discouraging congressional vote, I have come to expect that a phone call to Washington, D.C., will produce the same message: The senator or the representative does not share your views on additional aid for disabled veterans, gun control, immigration reform, the jobs bill, combating violence against women or discrimination against gays.
It would be gratifying to have Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran and Rep. Kevin Yoder cast a vote that seems to support the common good, rather than curry favor of the most conservative members of the Republican Party and the governor.
A bright spot on my political horizon is Rep. Melissa Rooker, who is not often successful in battling the entrenched right but does manage to make her voice heard and her vote counted for the mentally challenged, the undereducated, the violence-threatened and the hungry.
I like her persistence, as I continue to long for bygone days of Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, Rep. Dennis Moore, and Sens. Nancy Kassebaum and Bob Dole.
The very fact that clear thinkers like that once had a say gives me hope that one day there may again be sane government in Kansas.
This is in reference to Ron Adams’ July 9 letter about stormwater runoff charges and other fees that are added to his water bill.
I have no water service.
My water comes from a well in my backyard. There are city water lines within a half-mile of my house, but no service is available to me.
Nevertheless, I receive a monthly bill from Kansas City Water Services Department for stormwater runoff from my property.
Is this fair and reasonable?
I think not. I wonder what others think.
Kansas City, North
Halls on Plaza
I read with sadness about the closing of Halls on the Country Club Plaza. It will leave an incredible void in our beautiful Plaza setting.
Of course, those of us who live nearby in the neighborhood have been saddened quite a lot lately. The Plaza has taken on such a corporate store atmosphere.
While I certainly do not blame Hallmark for that development, I expect the departure of Halls will hasten the disappointing trend.
I understand the decision to close Halls will not be reconsidered, but I want to be on record about how very much I disagree with it.
Once again, corporate triumphs over community.
Hallmark used to be known for community. I guess that has changed as well.
That makes me sad, too.
Food during summer
Thank you, Kansas City Star, for lifting up the need for summer food programs for kids (7-8, Editorial, “Food programs help kids in the summer”).
Please know about the Raytown school lunch program sponsored by local churches, community organizations and stores.
Dedicated volunteers put together thousands of healthy lunches daily and make them available to kids who receive free lunches during the school year.
There are no restrictions — those who need lunches just come and get them, including milk.
This program and others around Kansas City are supported in part by the annual CROP Hunger Walk, which this year will be Oct. 13.
Thanks to all who support these important programs to fight hunger in our community.
Jane Fisler Hoffman
Religion and politics
“Modern history has shown time and again that alliances between ‘throne and altar’ can only discredit both,” says Hannah Arendt in “Religion and Politics” in “Essays in Understanding, 1930-1954.”
Nothing more clearly demonstrates the truth of Hannah Arendt’s observation than recent events in Egypt.
Ousted president Mohammed Morsi lost his moral authority and political legitimacy in a technical coup d’etat. The majority of Egyptians do not want a theocracy any more than do Americans.
Not only does the secular state not threaten religion, it is — through the enforcement of just, man-made, positive laws under which all citizens are respected equals — the only reliable protection for every form of intellectual freedom and tolerance.
The lesson that Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood should take from this imbroglio is simple:
To secure religious freedom and religious tolerance, all citizens need to approach questions of leadership and representation as citizens and not in terms of their religious affiliation or belief.
If you can’t do that, you have no business seeking a national leadership role.
For democracy to work, leaders must rise above partisan politics, particularly those born of religious ideology.
The identical lesson applies equally to Americans, who are not doing especially well in this regard, either.
Gun safety lags
I’m not sure when the first safety features were installed for cars, but they included safety glass for windshields, maybe in the 1920s. Since then we have gotten all kinds of safety equipment.
Dual-brake cylinders, seat belts, airbags, side airbags, rollover airbags, antilock brakes, stability control, crush zones, roof strength, back-up cameras, lane-warning alarms, active cruise control, surround radar and handless cellphone use.
I’m sure I’ve missed some.
Almost all of these are mandated by the federal government or will be. It’s all about public safety.
You need a driver’s license and proof of insurance, plus you need to pass a test to get a license and to renew your license.
None of the above for guns.
Joseph T. Purcell