A new day
When I learned about the Charlottesville rioting, a quote I recently read in the young adult book “The Courage Test” by James Preller came to mind: “America should be a place we continually make anew — every single day — by how we treat each other.”
Never miss a local story.
It was inevitable
Immediately after the election, I said out loud, “Let the riots begin.” I was not advocating riots but forecasting the inevitability of unrest given President Donald Trump’s divisive campaign and alt-right ideology.
While the White House is mired in disarray and scandal, incapable of working with an equally ineffective Congress, and the president toils to lower his golf handicap on “working vacations,” America is smoldering.
Our “locked and loaded” president is intent on initiating international crises with Molotov cocktail hyperbole. Domestically, Trump has fostered powder kegs while daring his supporters to light the fuses. Fuse lit, white supremacist Trump supporters with Confederate flags and full battle gear wielded their fists, batons and cars on anti-hate counter protesters in Charlottesville. Not surprisingly, Trump’s response was disgraceful.
For those too young to have participated in civil rights and other justice movements of the 1960s, the Trump era again calls for urgent, consistent, peaceful, loud opposition. The women’s and climate marches in Washington, D.C., earlier this year were a start, but it remains to be seen how fervently Americans coalesce to oust Trump and return values and reason to the White House.
I hope it’s before he adds more kindling to the smoldering fire.
Hands self tied
Average pay for Missouri state employees ranks last in the nation, and legislators’ hands are “tied since revenues are down,” according to a story in The Star. (Aug. 14, 3A, “How does Missouri state workers’ pay stack up with others? Not well”)
I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. The main reason revenues are down is that the legislature actively suppresses worker wages while worshiping at the altar of low taxes and squelching actions that might raise revenues, especially if they affect the taxes or profits of the very wealthy who slop the trough from which legislators fund their reelection campaigns.
I wonder if the same lament would be heard if legislative compensation were last among the 50 states. However, according to fiscalnote.com, annual base pay for Missouri legislators ranks 34th and total possible compensation 35th.
I see no reason for legislators to be compensated fairly at the expense of state employees. Maybe we should reduce the size of our porcine legislature, which would save a bundle, or maybe we should have a volunteer legislature with compensation formerly designated for lawmakers going to employees.
Or, considering how dysfunctional the legislature has been in recent years, maybe we should disband it altogether.
A new Woodlands
Attention, Kansas Legislature: The people in Wyandotte County want horse racing and simulcasting. Why can’t you agree on a suitable bill that would let Woodlands owner Phil Ruffin open these facilities?
This would be a large success for the area.
We don’t care for dog racing. The simulcasting is the main draw.
Look at Horsemen’s Park in Omaha. We need to set our sights on this kind of facility. It could create about 250 jobs at the track alone.
Let’s start looking at this area as a vacation destination. We could tie together Hollywood Casino, Schlitterbahn water park, Kansas Speedway, the T-Bones, Sporting KC plus the entire shopping experience at the Legends Outlets.
Let’s not stop. We are at the start of something very big for our area if we push it. We need to get the Woodlands area working again.
Access by foot
In news coverage about a proposed new terminal at Kansas City International Airport, it’s been noted that bidder AECOM has worked on designs for many airports, including in Boston. I have had flights into and out of the Southwest terminal in Boston. There is easy pickup and drop-off, because of its two levels.
If, however, you have walking issues, you need a wheelchair or golf cart to get to the gates. There are some moving walkways, but not in the gate areas and some jetways, which can be a long walk.
I am for a new KCI terminal, and lots of moving walkways.