A life well lived
Stephen Metzler — business leader, philanthropist, civic organizer, social justice activist and patron of Kansas City’s arts.
The list of boards and arts organizations Steve was involved with includes the Mid-America Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, AIDS Walk, SAVE Inc., the Folly Theater, KC Friends of Alvin Ailey, Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City Young Audiences, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Women’s Employment Network and Heartland Men’s Chorus ... and this is a partial list.
Steve’s legacy is inscribed on Kansas City’s journey for social justice and lives on in our vibrant arts scene. He founded, and sustained, countless circles of people as his extended family.
His presence was for many a first real glimpse into how a great life could be lived.
Our city’s character was made kinder and more inclusive because C. Stephen Metzler stood up for the things he believed in and then took enormous risks for them.
His greatest tribute may now be that others want their own lives to be as meaningful and filled with joy.
Kathy and Jimmy Dunn
In the 1960s, my father, grandfather and uncles worked as tile setters.
They worked all over south Texas, where they put the tile in stores such as Woolworth and many others.
I was about 12 years old and worked during the summer with them. In one Texas town, there was a sign that said, “No Dogs, No Negros, No Mexicans.”
I wanted to eat in a restaurant but was told by my father that we could not eat there.
My dad told me to translate the sign from English to Spanish for him and my other relatives. I told them what is said.
This left a bad feeling in my heart and soul. Since then, I have been fighting this kind of injustice.
Today I am 66 years old and still fighting this hate speech and actions by others.
Florentino Camacho Jr.
Kansas State Director
Fair tax come-on
I’ve been wondering about the lockstep attacks by Republicans on the Internal Revenue Service and their unanimous support of something called the “fair tax.” I suspect their only goal is the abolition of the income tax and the substitution of a sales tax.
Once you start earning $150,000 or more a year, you start reducing the proportion of your spending on items such as groceries and gasoline, which have a sales tax attached, and start increasing the part spent on stocks, bonds, real estate and other more exotic investments, all of which have no sales tax affixed.
There’s nothing wrong with this, but these people’s interests obviously make them favor the sales tax against the income tax.
The really biggies, those who make millions a year, are really hot about it. It is amusing to see Rep. Sam Graves and other supposed champions of the regular guy lining up to attack the IRS and beat the drums for the fair tax, in the name of simplicity.
They all come out of the woodwork April 15 with the same aim: to shift a share of the cost of running our country off the well-to-do and onto the not-so-well-to-do.
How does it come to be that Republican Sen. Ted Cruz is eligible to run for president? We have listened for years to the false narrative that President Barack Obama wasn’t born here and therefore isn’t eligible to be president.
Following the logic that just having an American mother doesn’t qualify you as a natural citizen unless you are born on American soil or territory, Cruz should not be eligible to run.
It has been confirmed by the White House that the Russians hacked the non-secure emails of the president’s residence. Because Hillary Clinton communicated with the president by non-secure email when she was secretary of state, it is likely the Russians have them.
If so, I’m sure the Russians would be more than happy to release Clinton’s emails so we can finally know the truth about Benghazi.
Herbert J. Waxman, M.D.
Ban cars’ wide turns
Whether it’s in Lawrence, Kansas City or Topeka, you might have noticed that most drivers who want to make a right turn nowadays swing out to the left to make a right turn.
I have seen big-rig trucks do the same thing, only it’s to make sure their trailers clear the entrance.
Why do smaller vehicles have to do the same thing? They have enough room and are creating traffic problems.
And why aren’t our finest police officers stopping this bad habit? Wide-turning drivers are creating traffic problems and are an accident waiting to happen.
We live in the United States of America, land of the free and home of the brave.
We do not live in a dictatorship or in a monarchy.
We should be looking for many candidates, not just staring at one woman.
Right now, it appears Hillary Clinton will be given the nomination of the Democratic Party. Why?
Is it because she wants it, deserves it or was born a female?
These are not intelligent reasons to have her run for president.
The clever comments about Bill Clinton wanting to be “first laddie” are revolting.
This election is not some sort of sad joke.
In spite of the inventive skit on “Saturday Night Live” regarding Hillary Clinton’s desire for the last 67 years to be president, it should not be taken lightly.
The Clinton family had eight years in the White House in the 1990s.
We need fresh leadership, and we need choices.
We need to pay attention to the present, not live in the past.
We are 320 million strong and counting.
Remarks about voting rights are in the forefront again, as they should be. Let us never forget who we are as a land of plentiful diversity.
Cully Buck, Ph.D.
Best use of funds
With the presidential elections coming in 2016, there should a limit for the funds used for those individuals running.
It isn’t right to spend billions of dollars on a campaign you’re not even guaranteed to win when the money could be spent toward more necessary things.
There are people hungry on the streets and others with no jobs, or the money could be used to eliminate poverty or the government’s debt.
Most of the money in political campaigns is used for advertising, and much of it is for advertisements against the opponent.
The public tires of negative advertisements.
Elections should be based on the best candidate, not the richest, most-advertised candidate.
Rights of parents
It seems that lawmakers, for sake of the dollar, cannot understand the trouble caused by passing laws that hinder the future for children and adults.
Some laws they have passed are destroying people, beginning with the youth.
Previously, scientists concluded that marijuana destroys brain cells along with causing other problems. Now they say it’s good for certain illnesses.
Now I hear people are making cookies for sale to children? Now others want to stop the process.
Alcohol also has almost the same effect now that it had in the past — bad. Ask the college students who have been raped when alcohol was involved.
Legislators have made laws that you cannot discipline your children because some of it may be abuse.
Now the children are out of control, killing their parents and disturbing the peace in public places.
The parents have supplied their needs from birth, loved them, supplied a place to live, food and clothing, but they may have fewer rights concerning their children’s discipline. However, some police officers have no problem using force.
Will the lawmakers understand this? What’s next?