Tougher Kansas City ordinances fight crime

Kansas City Councilman John Sharp responds to a Star editorial, saying that “lambasting the City Council Public Safety and Emergency Services Committee for not appearing to care about the city’s high murder rates and not spending more time grilling police commanders about plans to reduce them reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the role of City Council committees.”

Kansas City Municipal Court’s costly ‘crisis’ cases

“Municipal courts are commonly viewed as ‘traffic courts,’ handing out fines for traffic and other minor violations as a way of encouraging compliance with the law. While this is true of all municipal courts in general, the Kansas City Municipal Court has evolved into a role that is far more complex,” writes Presiding Judge Joseph Locascio.

A border-war truce would hurt KC-area growth

“In The Star’s Feb. 14 editorial, the last sentence reads, ‘The public would be well-served by ending these wasteful taxpayer subsidies.’ “ writes Chris Wally, who heads a real estate consulting firm. “That’s a great sound bite that ignores the harm the proposed border-war ‘truce’ will bring to area growth.”

Researching new cures and therapies at the University of Kansas Medical Center

“Translational research deserves to be a priority for growth in our region,” writes Douglas A. Girod, the executive vice chancellor of the University of Kansas Medical Center. “It benefits our population and our economy. As the metro area considers the future of biomedical research, KU will continue to work across all borders in its efforts to improve human health.”

Finding ways to help those in need

“I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t had the opportunity to join those Kansas City children in their box camp, shivering in the cold and learning what it’s like to have nothing — and neither has Congress,” Ben Proffer of Kansas City writes. ”I guess that’s something we have in common.”

Let teachers lead so Kansas City schools can succeed

“We believe that if Kansas City empowers its educators and parents, drives resources to the school level, provides all children with the benefits of pre-kindergarten and holds schools accountable, then the city could create unprecedented opportunity for future generations,” writes Ethan Gray, the founder and CEO of CEE-Trust. “After all, that’s the promise of a great education system.”

Big visions require strategy and time

“There’s great benefit in bringing together a diverse group of Kansas City leaders who understand that the long-term future of Kansas City is a regional one, not purely local,” writes Jim Heeter, Jim Heeter, the president and CEO of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.

An Iran deal: How hard can it be?

“The Obama administration has rightly called the P5+1 interim nuclear deal a diplomatic breakthrough — one that revived a seemingly irrevocable channel of communication and put the United States on the right course with Iran,” writes University of Kansas journalism student Matt Johnson. “There was finally a crack in the stern, defiant Iranian countenance — and a glint of optimism.”

Revealing real income inequality

“There are two main reasons for the upturn in income inequality under President Barack Obama,” Daniel C. Willingham writes. “The first of which Obama cannot control, but the second — which has plagued his presidency since day one — could be improved if he would drop his liberal dogma and be the post-partisan president he promised voters in 2008.”

Expanding KanCare improves access and reduces costs

“I believe KanCare is a viable model worthy of expansion regardless of how you feel about the ACA, and I believe Kansas should get the full benefits of federal funds,” writes Ken Bacon, the CEO of Shawnee Mission Medical Center. “Most importantly, I want people without health insurance to have access to care so they can improve and manage their health, which will lower costs. Ultimately, that benefits society and our state.”