KC’s streetcar dream
In their headlong rush to emulate Denver and Portland, Kansas City Mayor Sly James and company have saddled us with a pathetic attempt at mass transit.
I don’t remember an energetic public discussion of using buses. All the advantages of a mobile system for transporting passengers had been clearly voiced in opposition to the streetcar dream, which is doomed to failure. Aside from envy and promises of the rebirth of downtown, why would City Hall and its co-conspirators not understand the expression of public repudiation of their plans?
How long will it take before reality penetrates their minds? How many more millions of dollars will they waste before they wake up?
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Ditch Kemper Arena
The City Council should proceed as expeditiously as possible in determining the fate of Kemper Arena. I support the plan to replace the facility with more attractive and useable space and am eager to bring more visitors to the West Bottoms.
Nobody can be held accountable for the current state of Kemper Arena. It was great for its time, but arenas have limited lifespans and Sprint Center has become the focal point as a large and very successful venue for major sporting and entertainment events in Kansas City.
Rather than spending citizens’ money on trying to prop up an antiquated structure, I strongly urge the council to pursue this matter with vigor and with an eye to the future of the historic West Bottoms.
We are eager to see this area enhanced by the new development. We may lose what some refer to as an iconic symbol, but the symbol is extraordinarily expensive. It is rarely used and will continue to be a huge financial burden on the city and the taxpayers.
Let’s look to the future with a vibrant multipurpose facility that will draw people from around the region into our city.
T. Nelson Mann
West Bottoms park
Things have started happening in the West Bottoms. Before we go much further, I would love to see a huge portion of the area set aside for a city park.
The park could be world class, hopefully incorporating part of the Kansas River and both sides of the state line, including all sorts of entertainment and play activities — perhaps a permanent Ferris wheel and some rides, a rose garden, a lake, canals for kayaks, basketball courts and horse trails. The possibilities are endless, but the city should act soon before we lose the chance.
William E. Williams
Kansas City, Kan.
Caring for refugees
Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon can accommodate more than 1 million refugees from Syria, but we can’t care for 50,000 children fleeing the violence in their countries without trying to out-politic one another? What have we become?
Old bumper stickers
While driving around the metro area, we still see automobiles with “Barack Obama for president” stickers on the bumper. I think the charitable reaction is to assume the driver has forgotten that it’s there.
Freedom of religion
“Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion or the free exercise thereof.”
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia concludes that the First Amendment favors religion. A secular ceremony remains a secular ceremony whether or not you prefer seasoning with prayer.
Thank you for the Sept. 1 story, “Victories come at a cost for Brownback.” Although I am the former chairman of the Kansas Arts Commission and a current commissioner of the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission — the combined arts agency and the former Kansas Film Commission — I am speaking only for myself.
But the record must be set straight. When the Legislature restored $700,000 in arts funding in 2012, Gov. Sam Brownback did not veto it. However, he allocated a mere $200,000 (per year) for the new arts agency for 2014 and 2015, and this includes funding for film activities. That is the same amount the Film Commission used to receive.
So for the fiscal year 2015, arts funding is effectively zero, and the new agency is effectively neutered, whereas the previous agency was proactive, effective and engaged with the people of Kansas.
Lost U.S. luster
“You don’t know who you are, you don’t know where you’ve been, and you don’t know where you’re going.” That line is from the movie, “Scrooged.”
That phrase pretty much sums up where our country is now. We are a nation of immigrants who are advocating sending children back to whatever terrible conditions they’d traveled thousands of miles to escape.
I was taught by my teachers that America is a special place in the world. America is as much an idea as it is a place.
That is our burden. We can’t have it both ways.
We can’t wrap ourselves in the flag and send poor, desperate children back to Honduras.
I have no doubt Sen. Pat Roberts is a very fine man, and I have voted for him many times. If we hope to make change in Washington, D.C., we have to be willing to vote the long-term representatives out.
Roberts is not a Kansan anymore but a good old boy in the Beltway, and I feel pretty certain he will never move back to Kansas. The problem is, as a Republican, I want my candidate to win.
The powerful Republican machine backs Sen. Roberts and would not have been happy to see someone else win the primary.
So, we keep electing the good old boys (and ladies) time after time. You see it across the United States.
Good luck on whomever you chose. I suspect we will see more of the same.
Evangelicals are shaking their heads in disillusionment at Kansas City area Republican Reps. Vicky Hartzler, Sam Graves, Kevin Yoder and Lynn Jenkins voting for a House-passed immigration bill, allocating funding for increased border security and hastening the deportation of unaccompanied minors.
Evangelicals have been among the first to respond to these scared, vulnerable children with blankets, food, even teddy bears — anything to tell these kids they’re not alone and abandoned. Now our representatives’ recent actions reflect a growing disconnect.
The love of Jesus that animates our charity isn’t being reflected through policies in Washington, D.C. Seven of 10 Americans, including a majority of evangelical Christians, say the U.S. should shelter and not rush to deport these children.
Yet our representatives seem bent on not only deporting children but deporting evangelicals’ unquestioned allegiance and abandoning our faith convictions in the name of political posturing.
Fear isn’t a conservative value. Conservatives know that competition, not protectionism, fuels growth, creativity and ingenuity. These kids are proving to be a good litmus test of this doctrine, and the results aren’t promising.
Kansas City, Kan.
Dreamers to stay
So, House Republicans’ idea of immigration reform is to make it easier to deport Dreamers, who came to the United States when they were young and grew up here — in other words, people who are, in my experience, often more motivated, harder working and more devoted to this country than many of our native born who take their privileges for granted.
Meanwhile, in the face of massive, urgent challenges, the congressional Republicans boast they are making sure the government does as little as possible. If integrity were the standard, the Republicans should deport themselves to somewhere charitable enough to take them.
But sadly, that’s too much to hope for.
Dreamers stand to make our nation a stronger, more vibrant, more constructive place. They should stay.
Lane Van Ham