Letters to the Editor

Jackson County sales tax proposal, voter ID, President Obama

Updated: 2013-11-02T04:07:56Z

Vote no on sales tax

On Tuesday, privately funded groups will ask taxpayers for one of the largest sales tax increases in Jackson County’s history to fund private medical research with a success rate of less than 5 percent at best.

Church-funded food and clothing pantries can’t meet current demand. Thousands of families are homeless or living with relatives. Funding for Head Start programs are being cut, forcing single mothers back on welfare because good-paying jobs have been shipped overseas for cheap wages.

Grandparents are raising grandchildren. And if it weren’t for subsidized school-lunch programs, children would go malnourished, seriously damaging their mental and physical development.

It’s quite apparent our great civic leaders have lost touch with reality. Let’s show some mercy for the children of Jackson County on Tuesday and get to the polls to vote no in resounding numbers.

Mark Shaft

Kansas City

Voter ID nonsense

The Star carries letters from right-wing Republicans who think that because people have to give identification to get driver’s licenses or bank accounts the same rules apply to voting. Their analogies are silly.

Americans don’t have a right to any of those things except voting. There is no voter fraud, so people have to come up with other reasons for demanding voter identification.

It’s time to get on the right side of voter rights and stop all the excuses.

Thomas Galbreath

Independence

Legislature wrong

I have received a lot of information concerning the proposed 20-year half-cent sales-tax increase in Jackson County to support medical research. I am a progressive voter who generally supports well-thought-out and fair proposals. This issue is neither.

I understand that two private hospitals and the University of Missouri-Kansas City will receive the revenue. But proponents are asking us to saddle low-income people with another regressive tax increase, a tax they cannot avoid.

I don’t understand why our county Legislature voted to put this on the ballot. But I will remember the legislators’ decision, as I hope other Jackson County voters will at election time.

I may have missed the legislators’ rational for placing this issue on the ballot, but they are responsible. I contacted my legislators before their vote and received a “thank you for contacting me” reply.

The supporters are counting on a low voter turnout Tuesday. But I’m voting no and asking others to join me.

Dick Franklin

Independence

Respecting Obama

If you do not respect the president, then you do not respect the people who voted for him. What does that say about you?

Nita Johnson

Butler

Women as jurors

Breastfeeding clearly benefits both mother and child (10-25, A1, “Nursing moms get break, for a while”).

Each of my children nursed 15 months. With more than a month’s supply in the freezer when my maternity leaves ended, I still pumped and stored milk at work and conferences away from home.

Jury duty is a civic responsibility essential to our democracy. The power in jury trials was historically reserved for a narrow slice of the population until it was established that justice required the inclusion of women and various racial/ethnic groups in jury pools.

Unfortunately, too many sit back expecting somebody else to do the job of serving our democracy. I expected better from a physician in 2013.

State Sen. Rob Schaaf, a St. Joseph physician, is quoted, saying, “If you were in court trying to get some justice, would you want a breastfeeding mother on the jury?” How condescending.

Breastfeeding is not a disabling condition. Women’s brains work just fine while nursing.

Reasonable accommodation such as privacy for pumping/nursing doesn’t involve exempting a privileged class from civic responsibility. Nursing mothers are competent citizens.

Don’t turn the clock back to the days of “don’t worry your pretty little head.”

Rita Lynne

Broyles-Greenwood

Chillicothe, Mo.

Game day parking

The University of Kansas Jayhawks basketball team has 17 home games this season. The university has gone to great lengths to provide parking, either at a modest price or free (including shuttle buses).

There are plenty of side streets and off-campus lots to park. Yet, there are visitors who insist on paying to park in front yards or residential driveways.

In Lawrence, it is illegal to park in front yards of residential neighborhoods, whether invited or not. Fines of $30 may be issued to drivers, owners of the properties and those selling parking spaces in front yards.

Driveway parking is not illegal but, like yard parking, it creates traffic congestion, endangers pedestrians and drivers and, when cars are driven over lawns and curbs as they come and go, causes property damage that is unsightly and harmful to property values in our neighborhoods.

Everyone deserves to enjoy basketball games at Allen Fieldhouse, including the homeowners and residents in the area. Please be considerate if you choose to park in our neighborhoods on game days in Lawrence.

Rock chalk Jayhawk.

Deborah Snyder

Lawrence

Kansas’ image

I recently took a trip to Colorado. On a Saturday, I drove back to Kansas City on Interstate 70.

It speaks volumes when travelers cross into a new state and are immediately slapped in the face with two messages.

The first is a sheriff trying to catch speeders and potheads. This makes Kansas look like a police state.

The second is multiple billboards with pictures of Jesus and anti-evolution and anti-abortion messages. This makes our state look overly conservative and uneducated.

Maybe this is the reason Kansas is not progressing and people are moving out, not in.

We are publicly the laughingstock of this country.

It is disconcerting that college students upon graduation are not staying in Kansas. They are moving back to their home states or simply moving out of Kansas. Maybe this is part of a deeper issue.

Plus, how does this make us look to the traveler passing through Kansas who isn’t familiar with our state?

Joe DeMarco

Overland Park

I-435 roadwork

From what I can tell, there has been construction going on over the past four years that I have been driving on Interstate 435 eastbound.

Every day that I drive by, nothing seems to have been done, and over the years only minimal changes have been made from what I can tell in the construction process.

I don’t know whether this has something to do with how many hours or days the construction workers do their job, but it doesn’t seem it’s ever enough.

I have spent countless hours in traffic having to merge lanes.

This coupled with the constant changes in speed not only wastes my time but everyone’s time on the roads, too.

Christopher Mundy

Kansas City

Praying for U.S.

Never has America needed our prayers more than now.

Our Lord told us in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

This could be included in your morning worship service. Make a prayer chain by members holding hands and have someone lead in prayer after reading the above scripture.

We know where two or more are gathered, our God is in their midst.

Lola Smith

Independence

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