Letters to the Editor

TV weather, gun safety, body image shame

Updated: 2014-02-08T05:11:06Z

TV’s snow overload

Why does everyone act like it never snows in Kansas City? Every time we have a snow of any significance, we are bombarded with reminders all day that it’s snowing.

We know it’s snowing. TV channels 4, 5, 9 and 41 told us it was going to snow.

We have windows. We can see the snow.

I don’t need to see a newscaster in the parking lot with a ruler telling me how deep the snow is. I don’t need another newscaster five miles away from the first newscaster standing by Interstate 70 telling me it’s snowing.

And I don’t need a third newscaster standing at the salt dome telling me it’s snowing.

Do I really need to watch a special program about how the snow is affecting the city?

I know how it’s affecting the city. It’s affecting the city like it has every time in the past and will every time in the future.

I get it! It’s snowing!

We live in Kansas City. It’s February.

It’s supposed to snow.

We now return you to regularly scheduled programming.

Isaac Fields

Gladstone

Gun safety laws

This is to the people who called gun safety proponents “fanatics” while repeating such National Rifle Association buzz phrases as “guns don’t kill, people do” and “you need a motive.”

Is there a motive when a curious child picks up a gun, carelessly left accessible, and shoots himself or another child? There is no motive, but a life is still gone, senselessly.

What about guns in inappropriate venues such as a bar or in a traffic confrontation? Tempers flare. Alcohol affects judgment, and a handy gun is a setup for disaster.

There are many ways to kill or injure, but none is so lethal as firing multiple rounds in mere seconds without close contact. The results are devastating.

The NRA is backed and fueled by gun manufacturers, and it has run a campaign based on fear of gun restrictions. It has worked, and gun sales have skyrocketed.

The NRA and gun makers are laughing all the way to the bank.

We need sensible gun laws by sensible lawmakers.

We have some on the left. If we can get those on the right out of the pockets of the NRA, we could move forward.

The motive: gun safety to save lives. It’s a good resolution for 2014.

Camille Buccero

Independence

Body image shame

Well-meaning news outlets and their commentators engaged in an important conversation about bodies and health after “The Biggest Loser” finale last week in which 24-year-old Rachel Frederickson won the competition by weighing in at 105 pounds.

However, I fear that we ask the wrong questions. The question should never be, “Is this person too thin?” or “Did that person put on too much muscle?”

Instead, the questions should be, “Are you healthy?” or “Do you feel beautiful?”

Words matter. Telling people that their bodies are inadequate, that they look freakish or disgusting or sick, or that their hard work has turned into something undesirable helps no one.

Pretending that you can determine another person’s health simply by looking at her (not to mention the fact that you’re not a doctor) makes you look foolish and perpetuates a culture with body-image issues.

The sad irony is that people defend their comments by pleading to the “legions of young girls who watch the show.” You mean the same young girls who are hearing you call this season’s winner “too thin” and “anorexic” and “sickly”?

It’s body shaming, and it must stop. Celebrate healthy habits and compliment people on their success.

Jake McMillian

Lawrence

Alzheimer’s funding

In 2012, the first Alzheimer’s national plan turned the national collective face toward a comprehensive approach to address quality care, family support and the development of new treatments. It offered a national proclamation of hope.

This year, another important step has been taken.

We applaud Congress and the Obama administration for working in a bipartisan fashion on the 2014 funding bill recently signed into law to include the largest increase in funding to date dedicated to Alzheimer’s: $122 million for Alzheimer’s research, education, outreach and caregiver support.

U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran with former U.S. Rep. Dennis Moore played an important role in this step, which recognizes the magnitude of this crisis and the need to advance a national response.

Thank you, Sen. Moran, for conveying the needs of so many families and securing this increase in funding. We are grateful for your leadership.

Thank you, Rep. Moore, for your courage and perpetual pursuit of progress.

We urge President Barack Obama and Sen. Moran to continue their support and energy in the Alzheimer’s crisis and to participate in finding needed answers for our families, friends and neighbors who face Alzheimer’s.

Michelle Niedens

Overland Park

Avoiding streetcars

I still have an affection for Kansas City, having been born and raised there. I want the city to thrive.

Putting streetcars on rails back on the streets should be viewed from Clay Chastain’s proposals, which I abhor.

The construction process of digging up the streets and laying miles of steel rails on prepared bases will kill some businesses along the construction route.

Assuming that the total costs of propulsion power and drivers’ salaries and benefits and the costs of liability claims, which will arise, and operating personnel have been properly guesstimated, I think a most careful review of the proposal should be taken.

Rethink the public buses solution and then how the lack of inexpensive and convenient parking for downtown was ignored, leading to its looming demise.

Businesses and consumers flocked to the outlying malls to avoid the clumsy downtown inconveniences.

Marvin Goodman

Lenexa

College basketball

Since universities and colleges now serve the purpose of polishing the students’ skills for their intended National Basketball Association careers, the NBA should choose its players from high school and set up training farm clubs.

This would do away with the pretense of obtaining an education (For one year? Please.) and save coaches and their assistants the unending one-year-and-done of the future millionaires.

If a basketball scholarship kid drops out after a year or two, he would not be allowed to join the NBA for at least three years.

Just think what the newly approved $17.5 million dorm at the University of Kansas could do for KU programs, scholarships, etc.

Don’t get us wrong.

We love the Jayhawks, Bill Self and his assistants, and we hope they win the championship every year.

But let’s get back to good old collegiate basketball.

Sue Marshall

Annie Lawless

Kansas City

Leave Afghanistan

Let me understand this. We lose thousands of our soldiers in Afghanistan, and now Afghan President Hamid Karzai turns on us and proposes a deal with the Taliban (2-4, A1, “Secret Taliban contact irks U.S.”).

Was this humanitarian act on our part worth losing one American soldier? Will we ever learn?

Pull all U.S. soldiers out, and turn off the billions of dollars we have given the country.

Richard T. Merker

Overland Park

Beatles memories

My best friend Marcia and I would walk from 51st Street and Wabash Avenue to 63rd Street and Prospect Avenue to the Katz drugstore to sit at the fountain and play the jukebox or buy a 45 record.

It seems I first heard “She Loves You” sometime in the fall of 1963 when we hitched a ride walking home from Katz one day and the car radio was on.

I wept like a baby. I was 14 years old and a freshman at Paseo High school where times were tense.

My family usually watched the “Ed Sullivan Show,” and Feb. 9 was the first time to see the Beatles. I got the “Meet the Beatles” album for Christmas (my first album).

My mother would not let me go to the concert at the old ball stadium. Now I’m 64, both of my parents are gone, and no one needs or feeds me.

But when I die, I don’t want to hear angels playing harps just George, John, Keith and Jimi playing guitars.

Judi Hartman

Rich Hill, Mo.

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