Nicastro must go
Missouri Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro needs to do more than end her shady behavior. She needs to resign (12-12, A4, “Legislators request review of school deal”).
In response to the revelation of her assistance suggesting appropriate wording in an initiative proposal to abolish tenure, she stated that she has no position on tenure.
That is totally unsatisfactory. She should be opposed to the elimination of tenure. Tenure, in spite of the lies to the contrary, is not a guarantee of lifetime employment but guarantees due process.
Its elimination is a goal of those against public schools to make them less attractive to great teachers who sometimes question the status quo and need to without danger of arbitrary dismissal. In the days before tenure, teachers were dismissed because a hemline didn’t reach the middle of the kneecap or the teacher was not in church on Sunday morning or was in the wrong church.
Dismissed teachers were told privately that they did not reflect values of the community. No responsible administrator or teacher should want to return to the hemline or church-attendance requirements.
Valley Park, Mo.
Aftermath of change
On fear and hate, after the Civil War we got the Ku Klux Klan. After 2008 we got the tea party.
Danger: Thin ice
With the cold weather coming in like a lion this year, we at Lee’s Summit Underwater Rescue & Recovery would like to remind everybody about the dangers of ice forming on ponds, lakes and waterways.
Before we have any ice incidents this year, please be advised that the ice that is forming might not be safe to be on. Most experts agree that ice needs to be at least 4 inches thick before people can play on it.
Also, as ice forms it is generally thicker in the middle than around the edges of the pond or lake. Parents are cautioned to be extremely watchful of your children because most young children will venture out on the ice to retrieve a toy or try to rescue a family pet that has fallen through.
In the case of animals falling through the ice, please stay off the ice and call the professionals. If the animal falls through the ice, then it is a sure thing the ice cannot support your weight.
If any organizations would like a water or ice-safety briefing, please call Lee’s Summit Underwater Rescue & Recovery at 816-525-9555, and we will come talk to your school, youth group or organization.
Rescue & Recovery
Threat to Israel
Although Israel’s objections to the terms of the nuclear treaty with Iran may seem too unbending, gauge your position in a like situation.
If a neighbor made even one of the murderous threats — steeped in religious fervor — that are repeatedly leveled at Israel, how would you react? Understanding that it is not rhetoric and that as soon as the neighbor thought he could achieve his goal hewould attack, and knowing that every one of your neighbors would happily endorse the action, is Israel’s reality.
If your existence was anchored in the piece of land on which you live, would you be satisfied with promises “guaranteed” by third parties or would you insist on measures that ensure that the neighbor’s ability to carry out those threats has been nullified, not just delayed?
The Israelis and the Jewish people have survived — at unimaginable cost — previous attempts at annihilation and, with nuclear capability, the next time could be the last. For those who desire a Middle East that is Judenrein (literally “Jew clean”) — Adolf Hitler’s dream for an entire continent — that is the goal.
The threat is real. The world cannot expect Israel to commit suicide.
Caution in Kansas
I’m seeing a need for prominent signs on entrances to businesses that must welcome firearms. They would say: “Caution: Because of Kansas firearms laws, entering this business exposes you to a higher risk of death.”
Getting past war
Buddha once said, “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”
Since World War II, people have been accusing Germans of being Nazis. The war was over nearly 70 years ago, and people still judge the Germans.
Everyone wants to move past the awful things that happened during that war. But everyday, someone calls a German a Nazi.
Everyone loves the holidays and especially the wonderful snow that comes along with them. Kids play outside and sled down hills, which adds to the joyous spirit of the wintry holidays.
However, snowy roads are not so joyous and are actually most frustrating. Yes, snowplow trucks do their best to clear roads and prevent them from icing over, but the difference between Kansas and Missouri roads in the winter is astonishing.
Main roads in both states are pretty much cleared of ice and snow, but side streets in Missouri take skill and bravery to navigate compared with the clear side streets of Kansas. Crossing State Line Road is like entering a different world.
Kansas snowplow drivers must get paid really well or are just great at their jobs. Missouri snowplow drivers need some encouragement and help.
Battle of Westport
In October 2014, we will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Westport, one of the most significant events in the history of our area. With about 30,000 troops, it was the largest Civil War battle west of the Mississippi River and one of the largest near the end of the war.
A committee has been formed to plan activities, beginning in the spring and culminating in a major re-enactment Oct. 24-26 at Byram’s Ford, a remaining part of the original battlefield, and in Swope Park.
We invite interested Kansas City area residents to assist in the planning and/or provide financial support.
Learn more at www.bat-
tleofwestport150.org. Like us on Facebook.
Battle of Westport 150
This letter is, in part, to thank the people who graciously pulled their cars to the curb when my family and I were in a funeral procession for my aunt. We noticed you and were grateful for the respect you showed.
This letter is also, in part, to call to task the yahoo who decided he needed to cut into our procession. I noticed our police escort told you twice not to enter the procession, and I noticed that you waited for the officer to drive ahead to stop cars at the intersection.
Then you cut in front of me so suddenly I had to jam on the brakes, as did the people behind me, I’m sure. Perhaps next time you should be more considerate of people who are in mourning and wait until the procession has passed to make your turn.
I can only assume that you really had to go to the bathroom and couldn’t wait another second. You should thank your lucky stars that no one was injured, adding more grief to a family that was already hurting.
Next time, take Mom’s advice — go to the bathroom before you leave.
Caring at Kauffman
I would like to thank the personnel at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.
We were attending a tuba performance this month, and my friend had a major medical emergency. The staff went above and beyond to see that my friend was well taken care of and transported to the hospital. One staff member even went to the hospital and stayed with her until her family arrived.
I visited her and saw that Kauffman staff members had even sent her flowers. They are to be commended for their handling of the situation, which they did in a very personal and caring manner. Thank you again.