Joco Opinion

September 17, 2013

Letters to the 913 editor

So Gov. Rick Perry is trying to lure businesses from Missouri to his wonderful state of Texas. Someone needs to tell him he should be concerning himself with repairing the crumbling roads in Texas.
Going to Texas

So Gov. Rick Perry is trying to lure businesses from Missouri to his wonderful state of Texas. Someone needs to tell him he should be concerning himself with repairing the crumbling roads in Texas.

There are several roadways, especially in western Texas, that are deteriorating. Because the state does not have the funds for repairs, officials have decided to chop up some of the roads with a backhoe and just turn them into gravel roads.

Many of these roads are highly traveled by huge trucks connected to the numerous oil companies down there. Despite record billion dollar profits, these companies pay little to no federal or state income taxes.

So Missouri companies, go ahead and move to Texas, and pay no state income taxes. However, your employees may not be able to show up for work if the roads are impassable.

Also, the public schools are in shambles, with record high defunding occurring. Be prepared to send your children to expensive private schools if they want a decent education. I am confused. Is this Texas or Kansas I speak of?

Barbara Nolan

Lenexa Government’s role

For those young adults coming out of World War II and those of us who reached adulthood in the late 1950s, government aid, education, the beginnings of individual guarantees and opportunities for all to succeed abounded. This was a supreme moment for American capitalism and its belief that people could take care of themselves, that we are all “self-starters.”

The system did not, however, know how to deal with those who, because of adversity, could not participate in this bounty. Today people are under the assumption that poor educational facilities, low-paying jobs (or unemployment), the plight of immigrants, excessive school tuition, ad nauseam are still the “breeding grounds” for the opportunist so beloved by the tea party and prosperity Christians.

Government intervention and spending may not be a permanent solution, but if used correctly could build future capitalists.

John Nelles

Shawnee Reform food stamps

The federal food stamp program currently transfers about $85 billion from working taxpayers to more than 100 million poor people each year. The program that discourages work, rewards idleness and promotes long-term dependence on the government is long overdue for reform.

A fiscally responsible Congress should transform the program from one that rewards dependence into one that encourages work and self-sufficiency. Some reasonable measures would include:

• Returning food stamp spending to pre-recession levels and cap future spending.

• Transferring control over food stamps from the Department of Agriculture to the Department of Health and Human Services.

• Eliminating application loopholes that permit food stamp recipients to bypass income and asset tests.

• Reducing fraud and prohibiting food stamp payments to illegal immigrants.

• Converting food stamps into a work activation program.

• Requiring drug testing of food stamp recipients.

These measures roughly follow the model of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of the mid-1990s. After passage of that welfare reform caseloads dropped dramatically and remain at a low level today.

Ed Geither

Overland Park Worlds of Fun ride

There are several reasons why I no longer go to Worlds of Fun such as long lines in sweltering heat, unedible expensive food and time-consuming searches for pointless coupons. Granted, I loved Worlds of Fun as a child and adolescent, but these were ages when it was still enthralling to go to an amusement park.

I wasn’t bogged down by the apprehension and fears of an adult in terms of safety. Now I read about this new ride, the “SteelHawk,” coming to Worlds of Fun from its sister park in California, Knott’s Berry Farm (9-9, A1, “Missouri rules open door for new ride”).

They are moving a ride that broke down several times without proper safety and repair equipment installed, such as those ever-necessary ladders and motorized cars to transport customers in times of malfunctions, to a state that has fewer requirements, Missouri. Do I really want to get on a ride that could leave me stranded and suspended at 300 feet for three hours?

Can you imagine the type of strain that could cause a person? Excuse me while I stay on the ground and watch from below where I know I’m safe.

Megan Travelstead

Shawnee Bicycling hazard

Mission Road from 135th Street going south is one of the narrowest roads in my area. Driving on it every day for work and school, the road makes travelers pay a little more attention especially because of the fact that it seems as if it is the most popular road in the Kansas City area for bicycle riding.

The road could be filled with anywhere from one biker to 10 all riding at once. Does anyone else find it dangerous for the motorists trying to pay attention to them and trying to avoid traffic only a few feet to their side?

I’ve had cars honk at me for trying to avoid bikers and also had a bicyclist knock on my window saying some not so nice words for going by a little too close to them. I was merely avoiding oncoming traffic while also trying to avoid the bike to my right.

I have nothing against the activity of bicycling, but Mission Road is small enough. Having to avoid these bikes makes it unsafe for all on this road.

John Lusker


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