Letters to the Editor

Google Fiber, Chiefs, welfare drug tests

Updated: 2014-01-10T22:39:07Z

Google graffiti

So, Google Fiber is going to expand its program, including even greater defacing of the streets and sidewalks of Greater Kansas City. The corporation acts as if it owns the place, spraying ugly paint that will take years to go away.

If gang members did what Google’s workers are doing even for one block, they would be in jail.

There are ways to mark a path without violating our beautiful city.

Eugene L. Lowry

Kansas City

Celebrate Chiefs

I know that a lot of people are upset about the Chiefs’ loss to the Colts on Jan. 4 (1-6, B1, “Chiefs trying to recover”). It was a painful loss to be sure, but I think we all need take a reality check.

Coach Andy Reid has taken the Chiefs from one of the worst teams in the National Football League to one of the best. We all need to be proud of coach Reid and all of the Chiefs for what they have accomplished.

Pearl Wehrman


Welfare drug tests

Cheers for Rep. Rick Brattin, a Harrisonville Republican, for supporting drug testing for welfare recipients, and cheers to Kansas for its efforts in this matter, too (12-27, A1, “Drug testing benefits debated”).

For too long a handful of poor people in America have enjoyed the high life on the tax dollars of the working man, laughing it up all the way home from their drug dealer’s happy palace because no one in power had the guts to say no.

Now, thanks to principled leaders such as Brattin and others, that party bus stops.

The drug-testing programs may be a waste of resources, as some claim, but when it’s my money that is being wasted, I say let it be wasted making things that much more difficult for a few souls on welfare, preferably the more desperate ones.

If we can’t pick on them, after all, who can we feel morally superior to?

Steve Hatfield


Hang up and fly

I completely agree with not allowing people on an airplane to talk on phones.

As technology advances, people become more and more obsessed with their iPhones, Androids, iPads, etc. People, especially teens, spend hours on their phones, talking to friends, texting or on a social networking site.

So why do we have to continue to do it on a flight?

If talking on the phone is allowed on airplanes, then people will never get a break from their phones, and that is unhealthy. It is not healthy to be so obsessed with our phones, and we need a break every once in a while.

One can only hope that talking on the phone becomes banned from airplane travel.

If it is to be banned, then other passengers will be able to keep their sanity.

Everyone needs a break from his or her phone, and any person should be able to handle at least a small amount of time away from it.

Kelly Gardella

Kansas City

Ducks, social media

I have two observations concerning the tangentially related topics of “Duck Dynasty” and the Kansas Board of Regents’ social-media policy (1-1, A4, “Kansas policy a potential liability”).

It is clear that the ruling party in Kansas has created a policy to limit the speech of persons or groups that oppose its beliefs.

How is that not a direct violation of the First Amendment?

In the case of Phil Robertson and the A&E network (1-7, Commentary, “More trouble for Phil Robertson”), those on the right seem to blatantly contradict their own long-held positions.

Conservatives have championed the right of businesses to operate largely unfettered. The lone exception is if a private business chooses to discipline a conservative employee.

Tom Witwer

Overland Park

Wind energy deaths

Your Jan. 9 editorial, “Wind energy, efficiency finally get top billing,” praising the Kansas City Power & Light Co. for more wind energy is upsetting.

Energy efficiency and conservation are admirable, but at what cost to our environment?

The current estimate of eagles, hummingbirds, geese, ducks, meadowlarks, robins and other feathered friends killed by the existing windmills is in excess of 1.4 million annually. These eyesores generate speeds in excess of 175 mph with no warnings to the birds and bees that fly into these death traps.

It’s bad enough to have this ongoing slaughter of defenseless animals, but there seems to be no concern about the long-term effects on our natural environment. Oil companies have been fined billions of dollars for killing our feathered animals.

President Barack Obama recently granted by executive order a 30-year license to the windmill promoters to destroy endless numbers of eagles and other birds without paying a fine for their destruction or requiring any warnings to help the birds avoid these killing machines.

I don’t understand the hypocrisy and find it disturbing that The Star would condone the destruction of our winged friends.

David E. Bahner

Lee’s Summit

Illegal drug use

I think the biggest issue with drugs, and it’s something that cannot be avoided, is that people will never agree on a common stand for or against drugs and alcohol.

If people all agreed that drugs were a bad thing and needed to be gotten rid of, then there would be no more drug problems. But this is very unrealistic.

So since we can’t all agree on whether drugs will be legal, we are at an impasse. I believe the main reason for that is because drugs and alcohol have the potential to be dangerous, misused and harmful to other people.

This is obviously a big problem. Misuse could lead to personal injury, property damage or even death. It’s a horrible thing because it happens often.

If drug users or people who wanted to legalize drugs were more careful and less erratic while using substances, the public might be more inclined to legalize drugs. But studies show that drugs and alcohol bring out the more destructive personalities in people.

Until people can prove that all drug users are mindful and no one’s safety is in danger, then laws must remain in place to protect people from drugs’ harmful effects.

Macon Bartalos


Obamacare charity

I have often heard from both sides of the aisle that the young and the healthy are needed to sign up for Obamacare in order to “balance out the risk pool.” In short, the young and healthy are going to be paying more so that the old and sick people can be covered.

Presuming this is true, I think the premiums paid by the young and healthy should be tax deductible.

Wouldn’t this then really be a donation to charity?

Andy Fisher

Pleasant Hill

Greatness of KC

I want to take this opportunity to say how truly amazing it was to see Kansas City area folks step up and come together for the animals during the recent cold snap.

I have always known that Kansas Citians are among the most friendly and generous in the country, but now I also know they are among the most compassionate.

Everyone — neighbors, area shelters, Kansas City Animal Control and the media — collaborated to make sure that people were educated and that dogs and cats were rescued from the subzero temperatures.

Donald Bradley wrote a great Jan. 6 front-page article, “Unfit for man nor beast,” and local TV stations ran stories urging people to bring pets indoors.

Individuals and organizations used social-media tools such as Facebook and Twitter to educate people about the dangers of leaving pets outside in freezing conditions.

I would also like to commend Kansas City Animal Control. It was professional and prompt in responses to calls, even after hours and on the weekend.

I am particularly fond of this quote by Mahatma Gandhi: “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way in which its animals are treated.”

Kansas City is truly great, and I am even more proud to be a native.

Dawn Sparks

VP of Development

Humane Society

of Greater Kansas City

Kansas City

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