Hickman Mills progress could turn on school board election

Suburban school districts around Kansas City are being asked not only to educate their students well but to play a role in figuring out how to help students in other districts that are struggling. They are crucial to the region’s well-being, and voters must choose wisely on April 8 when electing school board members or deciding on a bond issue.

Kansas City streetcar moves on without Brookside

Bowing to time pressure and vocal opponents, streetcar planners have recommended that Kansas City’s expanded line skip Brookside — for now. It was a disappointing action, but even so, the City Council on Thursday should accept the decisions by the NextRail advisory panel.

Airport security works either way at KCI

A long-running assumption in the civic conversation about the future of Kansas City International airport has involved the relative efficiencies in security that might result from single-terminal operation. Not necessarily so, says the Transportation Security Administration’s man in charge.

Insurance coverage is good for everybody: Sign up

Under the new federal health care law, March 31 is the deadline for signing up for health insurance, either through the federal marketplace, HealthCare.gov., or from a private insurer. If you aren’t insured through an employer, or don’t already have an individual policy, you have compelling reasons to act quickly.

Mayor Sly James offers a poignant reminder on KC’s murders

Mayor Sly James touched the appropriate bases Monday in his mostly upbeat State of the City speech at Park Hill High School. The mayor also properly focused on a grave concern to this community: Kansas City for years has been too complacent about its high murder rate.

Eileen Weir would be a passionate mayor for Independence

Independence is a community with many assets. But it’s also a somewhat slumbering city that faces problems in providing a high quality of life for its residents. Electing an energetic and aggressive mayor would improve the city’s abilities to handle its challenges. The Star recommends Eileen Weir in the race against Jim Schultz in the April 8 contest.

James E. Stowers Jr. set a standard for success and giving back

To say James E. Stowers Jr. lived a good and admirable life would be an understatement. But humble understatement was one of Stowers’ main personal gifts. Stowers, who founded American Century Investments and the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, died March 17 at age 90.

Police board too complacent about Kansas City’s high murder rate

Kansas City’s homicide problem didn’t begin with the current police board, or the current chief or department. But enough is enough. Police commissioners must send a message that reducing homicides is their top priority, and the top performance metric for the department and the chief.

Capitol Watch: Raise for schools, not legislators

The most important task for Kansas lawmakers is to comply with a court order to fix funding inequalities among wealthy and poor school districts. But it won’t be easy. Some controversial elements are likely to remain in the bill. And there’s also the matter of where the Legislature and governor are going to come up with $129 million.

Keep ‘free days’ at the Kansas City Zoo

After Tuesday’s disruptions outside the Kansas City Zoo, officials charged with operating one of the region’s most enjoyable family attractions have a top priority: Keep offering selected “free days” of admission in the safest possible environment for visitors.

Bill comes due on Missouri’s cigarette addiction

Missouri lawmakers have long allowed the makers of off-brand smokes to maintain a competitive advantage over larger cigarette producers. The legislators appear ready to sacrifice a hefty amount of funding for schools, mental health and other state services so their friendly manufacturers can continue to sell cheap cigarettes in the state.