Charles Gusewelle wasn’t just a great writer; he was a terrific reporter, covering events and stories the world over.
I had never heard of him when I drove to Kansas City on the Sunday after the election in November 1978. I was reading The Star in the hotel room that night, preparing to report to work the next day as the new managing editor of The Star.
All of a sudden I was dazzled by a piece on the op-ed page written by C.W. Gusewelle. It was so impressive that the next day I asked the new editor, Mike Davies, if Gusewelle would be interested in writing a regular column in The Star. He was, and the column appeared in a few weeks and for the next 37 years. And nearly every word of it every week was magic, no matter the subject.
He was the best writer I encountered in 42 years of newspapering. Gus will be greatly missed.
Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Editor’s note: Waller was managing editor and editor of The Kansas City Star and Times from 1978 to 1986.
Fight fat early
Growing up, I ate like normal children did: sugar and fat-filled foods. Today I face the consequences of not being as healthy as I desire.
Looking back, I do not blame myself. I was just another sugar-crazed child with little self-control. I do not fully blame my parents;for they were just trying to feed a stubborn, picky child three times a day.
Instead, I wish I was not surrounded by the influences of franchises to buy their products because an entertaining, animated character advised me to or because they gave me a plastic toy. Fast-food restaurants are notorious for such simple yet effective advertisements.
Obesity leads to several health-related complications. If children are introduced to unhealthy diets early, they’ll practice this lifestyle throughout their lives.
Stopping this spreading problem would mean a decline in unhealthy food franchise sales, but that would be worth a healthier future. Foods loaded with sugar and fat shouldn’t be advertised as entertaining to attract young minds.
Children are the future, so why not build a happy, healthy future when it’s as easy as a healthy lifestyle?
Now that my grandchildren have a new role model, I am changing my advice to them:
1. Become a bully.
2. Become a bigot.
3. Abuse the opposite sex.
4. Cheat on tests and games.
5. Be loud; it is more important than being competent.
Learn to do these things well, and someday you too can become president.
Larry F. Glennemeier
The First Robotics Competition is a great experience for high school students. People think robotics is for only nerdy kids, but it is not. It is for kids who have any interest in science and technology and want to belong somewhere.
In three years, I have changed for the better because of First Robotics. It is the club you can never leave, because the people you meet will become not only your friends but your family. My team, Team 1764 Liberty Robotics, sticks together through thick and thin. We may not have the best funding, but we make do.
I can trust everybody in robotics, and I am proud to say that I am a member. I only wish that others who write it off could see how special it is.
One of the chants our robotics spirit team does is “I believe in First Robotics.” No words have ever been more true. When you go to a robotics competition, you go for the robots but you stay because of the people.
Many people are advocating to change how the president is elected. They want to modify the Electoral College, or more often, to change to direct elections.
That isn’t going to happen because of the difficulty of amending the Constitution, nor should it happen.
Democratic forms of government give authority to its divisions (counties) via popular votes. The U.S. is not a democracy. It is a democratic republic. It is a group of sovereign states that have ceded limited powers to the federal government (although the federal government is abusing those powers).
Although the Constitution determines how many electors each state gets, the states determine how they are selected and allocated. This gives states input along with the general population and helps prevent a few large-population states from controlling a larger number of other states, just as the design of our congress does.
Trump won a majority in 29 states and Clinton won 21. As opposed to a roughly 50-50 split among voters, the states were very much in the majority for Trump. If you want change, you need to advocate for change at the state level.
As a young conservative, I’m very concerned about my college future. In 2018, I will graduate from high school knowing full well I’m going to be immersed into a world that is far more liberal than the world I live in now.
I feel as if freedom of speech is being attacked on college campuses by students and professors alike. While I accept everybody’s opinions, I worry that my grades and my social life will suffer because I am an outspoken conservative. I do not want to be labeled as a “racist” or a “sexist,” as many Republicans, young and old, are.
I personally favor political discourse, as long as both sides are mutual in respect and honesty. Although nobody’s feelings should be targeted, the moment I hear “I’m triggered” or “I need a safe space,” I will know right away that I made the wrong choice of university.
As of September 2016, Missouri passed Senate Bill 656, which allows firearm owners to conceal and carry them anywhere in the state without a permit. Firearms training isn’t required to own a gun in Missouri, which is dangerous for gun owners and other people.
Missouri takes a lot of pride in its heritage, but that doesn’t mean we should create ways to allow gun owners to potentially hurt themselves or others. People should have the freedom to exercise their Second Amendment rights, but not when it interferes with the safety of themselves and others.
People want to conceal and carry their guns to protect themselves, but without the proper training it could have the opposite effect. Lack of training makes accidents more likely.
The presence of a gun also makes a situation more likely to become violent, and concealed-carry laws allow guns to be present everywhere.
People want to own guns to stop crimes, but the number of instances where an untrained civilian has stopped a shooting is very low. Required safety training can reduce the number of accidental gun deaths.
If gun owners are being allowed to conceal and carry, they should know how to operate their guns safely.
What is welfare?
The definition of someone who accepts welfare: Those who receive health coverage and financial support from a government agency while not working.
Oh, that would be the Republican senators over the past eight years.
To the thoughtful young woman suggesting, “It’s time for healing and unity, not outrage and protest” (11-15, 6A, Letters), and to President Barack Obama, who is speaking the same niceties, I say: There is no way in heaven or hell that I will forget or forgive the way Donald Trump slimed his way to the highest office in our country.
I will be in Washington, D.C., on inauguration day, doing anything legally possible to disrupt his formal ascent to the presidency.
I encourage anyone who was deeply offended by this election to join me.
There will be a Women’s March on Washington on Jan. 21, which already has the interest of 160,000 people with about 70,000 committed to attend, so far.
Think Arrowhead Stadium or more filled with outraged female citizens of the U.S. showing their “love” for The Donald ... a beautiful thing.
As I see it, we have three options: bury our heads in the sand, flee to another country as some have suggested or stay and fight.
Ted Steinmeyer Jr.
As a new driver, I have noticed many drivers do not follow the simple rules of the road. For example, some drivers do not use their turn signals, do not know how to properly use roundabouts and run red lights.
Little things like this create an unsafe driving environment for everyone. I have experienced many close encounters because of drivers like this, but I always forget to use my horn.
However, I have noticed that these people do know how to use their horns. Anytime someone does something that even slightly bothers them, they lay on their horns.
In my opinion, we could make driving safer and create fewer accidents by requiring that when renewing your driver’s license you must pass the written exam each time. You are already required to take the vision and road signs tests, so it wouldn’t be too much of a hassle to retake the short written test each time.
This would benefit everyone and create safer roads because it would require people to review simple material every few years.