Letters to the Editor

Right to work, KCI, Gov. Sam Brownback

Updated: 2014-01-18T04:42:18Z

Right-to-work ban

Right to work is wrong for Missouri. Republicans who are pushing right to work are not backed by individual voters but by big business.

Republicans admit they don’t have enough support to legislate this into law. Therefore, they’ll attempt to make it law through the ballot box.

Voters must become educated about the truth of the so-called right to work. There is no reason for pushing such measures other than to weaken unions and to put more money into corporate pockets.

Everyone has the right to work. This is protected by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. However, if individuals want the benefits negotiated by a union, they should pay their fair share.

Can you belong to a

homeowners association or country club without paying your dues? Neither should you be able to enjoy the benefits of a union without paying your share.

Non-represented workers often have lower wages, no health care or retirement benefits, and little training. Union employees with their higher incomes pay more taxes, don’t rely on government health care, retire comfortably and earn this through better training and workplace safety.

If lowering wages creates more jobs, let’s lower wages to zero, and when everyone works for free, everyone will have a good job.

Jim Cianciolo

Training Director

IBEW Local Union 124


KCI redo folly

We have officially heard from the airline industry, and what a shocker — a new terminal would drive up traveler costs and might lead to a reduction in flights (1-15, A1, “Airlines wary of pricey terminal”).

Kansas City International is the most passenger-friendly airport in the country. Does anybody believe a new terminal would have the four major airlines fighting to restructure their flight schedules to become KCI’s hub airline? Really?

Our security checkpoints work extremely well. Where else can you get through security in less than 10 minutes? Even if multiple security checkpoints cost more, they are cheaper than the $1.2 billion the city wants to spend on a new terminal.

We know the current terminals need upgrades. Fine. Determine what upgrades are needed and what they cost.

If it’s less than $1.2 billion, do the upgrades. While you’re at it, move either Delta or Southwest to the recently vacated Terminal A. That would relieve some of the parking pressure for Terminal B.

Finally, why is there still support for a new airport? Follow the money. Who benefits from the building of a new terminal and how does it affect the local economy and local politics?

The new terminal proposal is not for the benefit of KCI travelers.

Pat O’Connell

Overland Park

Brownback off base

I read with some amusement Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s statement that the “Constitution empowers the Legislature — the people’s representatives — to fund our schools.” (1-16, A1, “Strong message for courts”). Mr. Brownback, the Constitution empowers the courts — the people’s protectors — to interpret the laws, even the laws passed by the current lunatic-fringe Legislature.

Brownback’s war on education has backfired politically, and now he has been running around to all the schools of higher learning in Kansas, saying, “It’s not my fault. I’m really not anti-education like the majority of the Legislature.”

But then Brownback broke the land-speed record to get back to Topeka to sign its bill mandating massive funding cuts for education.

Brownback’s statement equating the so-called “Summer of Mercy” to the anti-slavery movement is grotesque. Brownback needs to promise that someday he will read some history books.

Richard L. Warrick


Yanked promise

“Thank you for your service” were words on the lips of Republican and Democrat politicians as they cut the pension benefits of active duty military personnel. You see, we just can’t afford to honor the pension promises made to those who gave up their freedoms and pledged to fight to preserve ours.

After all, it will save the country $600 million a year while Congress increases payments to defense contractors and their workers by billions of dollars each year.

“But,” we hear, “it’s just a small slice off those pensions, a percent or two.” Similar to, “You won’t miss the tip of that finger — or your little toe.”

How more hollow can those words, “Thank you for your service,” now sound to our soldiers, airmen and sailors?

Bill O’Neill

Overland Park

Old West showdown

A Jan. 15 letter writer credits his right to conceal and carry a 9mm handgun with saving himself from a would-be road-rage attacker wielding a tire iron. I wonder whether the writer has considered that the outcome might have been quite different if his attacker had been exercising his right to conceal and carry a handgun as well.

Steve McGiffert


Piloting skills show

I know there will be a lot of publicity about the pilots who landed at the wrong Branson airport (1-15, A8, “Senators riled by plane’s airport error”). But good or bad, take it from a pilot who has been flying for 35 years and has 6,000 hours of flight time as a captain, it took an excellent pilot to put the Southwest 737 down and stop it in 3,400 feet on a runway only 75 feet wide.

Richard Wienns


TV weather staff

I was saddened reading that KMBC-TV, Channel 9 is losing Joel Nichols and has not offered Lisa Teachman a new contract (1-4, C1, “Departure at KMBC a shock to fans”).

I’m afraid that those in charge must not understand or appreciate that Joel and Lisa are very popular with viewers and are assets to the station.

Lisa is very intelligent and straight to the point. She has always been very professional on television and radio broadcasts and very likable.

What hasn’t already been said about Joel, with his years of experience and humor? He is the reason that so many viewers watch the early-morning news on KMBC, or at least used to watch it.

People tuned in not only to get the weather forecast but to hear something humorous at 4:30 a.m. (especially on Mondays).

With the loss of anchor Larry Moore, one would think that those in charge would want to keep from losing other powerhouses of their news/weather broadcasts.

I know that stations have to play the ratings game, but losing part of your wonderful weather staff is not the way to go or your viewers will be gone.

Lynn Pierce


Kansas lights way

It’s extremely embarrassing that Missouri and Kansas just completed a beautiful bridge connecting Winthrop, Mo., and Atchison, Kan., and Missouri can’t afford to put streetlights on its side. The Kansas streetlights are wonderful.

William Ewing

Rushville, Mo.

KC homecoming

Since leaving Kansas City as a young professional in 1974, I’ve spent 40 years running charitable foundations, teaching kids, managing nonprofits and traveling the world — three years in China recently.

Last spring, I met my twin brother, who’s retired and living in the small northwest Missouri town of Albany, and we drove to the old Kansas City West Side neighborhoods of our childhood.

I decided it was time to come home to Kansas City.

It was not just because of the city it was, but the city it has become:

• The intellectual expansion of my alma mater, the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

• The thoughtful, creative urban landscape rebirth of neighborhoods and the circle of civic vitality than radiates from Westport on the north to 75th Street on the south.

• The city’s recommitment to education, entrepreneurship, the arts and social services.

Some things haven’t changed. My years away only emphasized the stark economic disparities that face Kansas Citians east of Troost Avenue.

But Kansas City seems to be doing lots of positive things these days.

So, I can’t imagine a place I’d rather live and retire to late in life.

You can come home again, if it’s Kansas City.

Jim Richmond

Kansas City

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