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The Star welcomes letters from our readers. Please click the button or submit a letter to The Star, 1729 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, MO. 64108. To contact the editorial board, call 816-234-4885.

Letters to the Editor

TV news, white supremacists, Easter gifts

I am shocked by the April 13 shootings at the Jewish Community Center and am further saddened that they took place in our community. My condolences go to the families affected. Of additional note is the manner in which the local media reported the events as they unfolded, or rather the manner in which they didn’t report.

Editorials

Yael T. Abouhalkah

Kansas City is living down to its high crime reputation

The recent highway shootings are among the grim reminders that Kansas City’s unacceptably high rates of violent crime and murder affect its reputation. It’s essential that leaders keep trying to reduce these rates. They are bad for businesses, bad for tourists and especially bad for residents.

Lewis W. Diuguid

Grieving is not enough to end gun violence in Kansas City

An ecumenical service for the three victims of an anti-Semitic shooting on Sunday in Overland Park filled the theater at the Jewish Community Center on Thursday morning. But prayer and grieving are not enough to end gun violence, which is affecting many parts and many people in the Kansas City area.

Steve Paul

Barbara Shelly

Research to reality, a life-and-death quandary

Peggy Battin, of all people, understands that life-and-death decisions are fraught with conflicts and ambiguity. Medical personnel give mixed signals. Loved ones don’t want to let go. Even Battin, after all her studies and intellectual wrangles, did not want to say goodbye to her husband, Brooke, when he felt it was time to go.

Mary Sanchez

No gap in Kansas law on hate crimes

One difficulty of hate-crime laws can be the high legal standards. Some call for proving not only that a murder had occurred, but at the same time that bias was the motivation. If reasonable doubt exists on either, the whole case could implode. Better to get the conviction and then offer the judge or jury the ability to upgrade the sentence if indeed the crime had been motivated by hate.

Public Editor

Is A1 coverage ‘glorifying’ F. Glenn Miller Jr.?

One of the most common reader objections comes when news coverage runs photos of accused criminals. Is picturing them the same thing as glorifying them? Even if Tuesday's front-page photo of F. Glenn Miller Jr. doesn’t glorify him or the crimes of which he’s accused, it’s putting a very provocative visual in readers’ faces.

When news looks like promotion

Of course there are plenty of stories that qualify as news that nobody would want to keep in the dark, but it’s also true that many people want reporters and photographers to tell their stories in the interest of self promotion.

Steve Rose

Kansas school funding bill is a huge win for Johnson County

Last week Gov. Sam Brownback and the Kansas Legislature made historic strides in bringing more local control to Kansas school districts, particularly to Johnson County and, specifically to the Shawnee Mission School District. They also made great strides for higher education, which has been lost in all the publicity about K-12 funding.

Johnson County sheriff’s deputies rack up huge overtime

Autonomy is sacrosanct, but so are checks and balances. With the Johnson County commissioners holding the Sheriff's Deparment's purse strings, taxpayers can be assured there will be every effort to get their money’s worth and to squeeze out unnecessary spending. As there should be.

Syndicated Columnists

U.S. founding documents are the root of political divide

The fundamental division in American politics is between those who take their bearings from the individual’s right to a capacious, indeed indefinite, realm of freedom and those whose fundamental value is the right of the majority to have its way in making rules about which specified liberties shall be respected.

Midwest Voices

More to a good life than college

Silas, our son, graduates high school next spring and is knee-deep in campus visits and SAT test prep. As he talks aloud about his own future, we hear his inner conflict: Do I pursue what I love? I’m not even sure what that is, yet. Maybe I should just pick a career that will make me a lot of money.

Streetcar is taking Kansas City on a costly ride

Even before a single streetcar leaves the station, our city spenders have deemed the project a success. So much so that a $472 million expansion of the streetcar system in Kansas City is proposed for 7.6 more miles. That’s $62 million a mile.

As I See It

Attorney general asked to help guide Kansas City area after hate-crime killings

“The murders unexpectedly attacked this intrinsic prejudice against the other because it exposed our mutual vulnerability,” Rabbi Mark H. Levin writes in an open letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. “But we need you, Mr. Attorney General, to point us in the right direction, to instruct us that we cannot allow these innocent and righteous people to have died in vain and that we must now assume the responsibility to truly understand our neighbors.”

Stand up against hateful ideologies

“While Kansas City-area residents mourn those murdered in the shootings at Jewish centers, and while we pray that the living shall seek justice, we should also learn from these terrible events,” historian Leonard Zeskind writes.

How to contribute

The Star welcomes essays of up to 600 words. An essay and color photo of the writer should be sent by email to oped@kcstar.com. or by mail to:

The Star, Opinion Pages
1729 Grand Blvd.
Kansas City, MO. 64108.

Be sure to include a one-sentence author description, including city of residence, and daytime phone number. All submissions are edited, may be republished in any format and become property of The Star.