I have no opinion on the debate over private financing vs. competitive bidding to build a new KCI. It’s nice, for a change, to have a city council I trust to make the best decision.
I do, however, have a strong opinion that we must build a new single terminal. KCI when built was way cool — open and comfortable. But it was immediately out of date, and its history has been one of continual “modifications” kludged together to fit modern security imperatives.
As a result, we have narrow concourses that cannot accommodate the simultaneous movement of passengers to and from their gates, the security lines and the crowds waiting to pick up arrivals. The curved concourses make short sight lines, so one must guess if there’s a restroom or coffee shop around the bend. The gate areas are overcrowded prisons, with wretched, shoe-horned-in restrooms.
The terminals simply weren’t designed for contemporary needs. I wish we still lived in the travel world they were intended for, but we don’t.
The only thing good about the existing terminals is the artistic flooring. If only the lighting was good enough to appreciate it.
I applaud the Greater Kansas City Mental Health Coalition’s efforts to pilot a campaign in schools against teen suicide. (May 20, 4A, “New message tries to fight teen suicide: You Be You”)
While researchers look at what is going on in schools, they should not overlook what may not be going on at home. How often are family members communicating with each other around the dinner table?
Over the past 15 years, researchers have confirmed that sharing a family meal is good for the spirit, the brain and the health of all family members. Recent studies link regular family dinners with lower rates of substance abuse, teen pregnancy and depression, as well as higher grade-point averages and self-esteem.
Yet study after study shows the majority of American families report eating a meal together fewer than five days a week. Even if they do, the average time spent at dinner is 12 minutes.
Most American families are starved for time to spend together. Dinner may be the only time they can reconnect, leaving behind individual pursuits such as playing video games, texting, emailing and watching television.
Thanks to Blunt
Congress approved a $2 billion increase for medical research funding, nearly a quarter of it dedicated to cancer research at the National Cancer Institute. (May 2, 8A, “Congress rejects Trump’s proposed cuts to medical research”)
In an atmosphere focused on budget cuts, this was a huge victory for the cancer community.
As a cancer survivor, I wanted to take the time to celebrate this funding increase and thank U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, who has long championed medical research. In 2015, he ended the National Institutes of Health’s 12-year streak of flat funding by infusing their budget with $2 billion, and he soundly disagreed with the proposed plan to slash NIH funding in the new budget. I thank him for recognizing that investing in research will cut medical costs, make life better for all Americans and bring us closer to curing cancer.
For the 15.5 million cancer survivors and their families in this country, thank you.
American Cancer Society
Cancer Action Network
Slow the end
It appears that we humans have come to a point of having the power to make ourselves extinct. We’ve been on this beautiful Earth hundreds of thousands of years. Ninety-something percent of scientists hold that the rising rate of CO2 in the atmosphere and global warming will eventually make it uninhabitable.
Left to its own appointed forces, the planet would spin in its orbit for perhaps another 7.6 billion years before being consumed by an expanding sun. Even by natural processes, humans could long be gone because of asteroids, nuclear war, volcanic eruptions, health pandemics or artificial intelligence.
The major culprit, however, is extreme weather. We are in the undeniable early stages of this cause of demise. We are the first generation to know that unless we act decisively it will all be over. Some give us 1,000 years.
As far as we know, there is no other civilization to note such an event. It would be as if we were never here. No trace of human thought and action.
We still have time to act, but the unsustainable point is approaching. Scientists and leaders in the enlightened world are working to prevent that apocalypse. Our government doesn’t seem alarmed.