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Letters to the Editor

Editorials

Yael T. Abouhalkah

Embrace Kansas City’s low costs to attract people and jobs

Kansas City often can’t compete with much of what Boston — and other East Coast elites such as New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. — can offer. But more optimistically, Kansas City can compete for new residents and jobs on issues that are extremely important to people in general and millennials specifically.

Lewis W. Diuguid

GOP tax cut bill to cripple Missouri

The Republican-controlled Missouri legislature passed a $620 million tax cut bill that would devastate services in Missouri. Fortunately for Missourians, Gov. Jay Nixon is taking a different view. The bad legislation will decimate state finances, wiping away all taxes for people who earn more than $9,000 a year.

College graduates’ job prospects improve somewhat

The Labor Department said the unemployment rate for 2013 college graduates — people ages 20 to 29 with a four-year or advanced degree — was 10.9 percent. That compares pretty well with 13.3 percent in 2012 and was the lowest it has been since 7.7 percent in 2007 before the start of the Great Recession.

Steve Paul

Barbara Shelly

Hold the applause on Kansas school finance bill

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has signed the controversial (to put it mildly) education bill that attempts to correct funding inequities but also includes a serious threat to teachers’ job security and an opportunity for donors to write off most of the cost of sending certain students to private schools.

Kansas regents double down on repressive social media policy

The Kansas Board of Regents appears to be digging in deeper on curbing freedom of speech on university campuses. This week, a work group of university faculty and other employees found that the board's policy on social media has had a chilling effect on open dialogue in academia. The regents then confirmed what had been feared on campuses: The work group was windowdressing.

Mary Sanchez

People stand ready to remake the spirit of JJ’s in a new location

Several months ago, owner Jimmy Frantze tasked a longtime friend with helping him rebuild not so much the literal space that is the work of the architects but what JJ’s had encompassed — what JJ’s meant to Frantze as an owner of nearly 30 years, to loyal staff as a place of employment, to regulars as a comfortable roosting spot, to connoisseurs for its world-class wine list and to Kansas City as an iconic, independent venue.

NRA members need to step up on ending gun violence

For years, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been the best membership recruitment the NRA could hope for: a walking, talking, Big Gulp-banning embodiment of government overreach. And look what he’s done now, given the NRA yet another gift on the eve of their national convention.

Public Editor

Some accidental Swedish in The Star

An emailer caught a bit of gobbledegook in the TV grid: “NHL Hockey: Stanley Cup-slutspelet: Kvartsfinal 2:7.” For some unfathomable reason, that’s Swedish. Nothing wrong with such a listing in a Stockholm paper, but not in The Kansas City Star, please.

Steve Rose

Anti-Semitism in Johnson County is not the norm

The murder spree that left three dead, as a man gone berserk thought he was mowing down Jews, has given Overland Park recognition for prejudice and violence, when that is the complete opposite of what Johnson County has stood for.

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.

Syndicated Columnists

No, the Obamacare debate is hardly over and done

Celebrating the Affordable Care Act’s enrollment numbers, President Barack Obama, referring to Republicans, charged: “They said nobody would sign up.” Of course, no one said this. Obama, who aspired to tutor Washington about civility, is incapable of crediting opponents with other than base motives.

In our new Gilded Age, antitrust laws are timely

In many respects, America is back to the same giant concentrations of wealth and economic power that endangered democracy more than a century ago. Comcast’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable for $45 billion is especially troublesome.

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.

As I See It

Overuse is draining the Ogallala Aquifer

“A recent Kansas State University study informs us that the Ogallala Aquifer is down 30 percent from original levels and that if pumping continues at current rates, 70 percent of the water will be gone in 50 years,” writes Julene Bair, the author of “The Ogallala Road: A Memoir of Love and Reckoning.” She is speaking Thursday night at Unity Temple on the Plaza.

Education agreement hurts Kansas schools

“Make no mistake: This is a pre-emptive effort by Gov. Sam Brownback to sidestep future court orders to properly fund our schools,” Paul Davis, a Democratic candidate for Kansas governor, writes of the recently enacted school financing law. “Despite new funding included in this bill, the governor is quietly setting the stage for lower school funding in the future.”

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:

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