Bridge over airport
A recent Star article reported that we as a city are still $60 million short to replace the Buck O’Neil (formerly Broadway) Bridge. (Dec. 21, 4A, “KC, still $60 million short on new Buck O’Neil Bridge, looks harder at tolls, grants”)
I’m concerned that we have placed greater priority on replacing a 45-year-old airport that still safely functions to the detriment of a 61-year-old, structurally deteriorating bridge.
More than 40,000 people a day use this bridge. It is a critical transportation conduit through our city.
Please know that I’m supportive of a new airport at some point. However, we must recognize that $1 billion is being spent replacing structurally sound buildings that 30,000 people use daily.
Lest we forget the tragic I-35W Mississippi River bridge collapse in Minneapolis a decade ago, I ask our city and all of us to please better prioritize needs versus wants.
I am scheduled to undergo routine eye surgery in January, and prescription eyedrops will be required. My Kansas City pharmacy gives me favored customer pricing, but sometimes I have ordered prescription drugs from a licensed Canadian pharmacy online if I have at least two weeks to wait.
After filling my three prescriptions recently, I compared the prices I paid my Canadian source with the same brand products, not generics. Item 1: here $157, Canada $44. Item 2: here $177, Canada $59. Item 3: here $279, Canada $45. I had a U.S. coupon for the third drug, which cut the price from $279 to $60 — only $15 higher than Canada retail.
My doctors are fabulous, and my pharmacy is wonderful in taking care of me. But sometimes I think our domestic drug pricing is the major flaw in our health care structure.
It appears that U.S. pharma might be taking advantage of us. Does anyone else feel that way? Are our representatives in Congress listening?
This Congress and President Donald Trump have mangled and mutated the word “conservatism” to the point it does not even resemble what fiscal conservatism used to mean.
Conservatives of the past believed in balancing the federal budget, or at least minimizing deficits unless a fiscal crisis — as in 2008 — required infusions of government spending.
Today’s Republican majority has shown no concern about ballooning the deficit, apparently believing that President Ronald Reagan “proved that deficits don’t matter,” in the words of former Vice President Dick Cheney.
Well, any of us can feel rich if we are able to borrow all the money we want to spend and pass the debt on to future generations. That used to be a violation of conservative principles.
Neither party now wants to bring up the word “deficit.” For the Democrats to recommend higher tax revenues raises the old canard about the party being one of “tax and spend.”
So we now have a Republican Party of “borrow and spend.”
We know which side is more responsible, and it is not the one now in charge of Congress. Actually, it has been under Democratic presidents that we have had federal surpluses since the time of President Harry Truman.
Let’s take that lesson seriously.
Today in our society, we have significantly less empathy than in the past — college students being 40 percent less empathetic than 30 years ago, according to a 2010 study by a researcher at the University of Michigan.
I believe this is reflected in the reporting of sexual misconduct we are hearing about in the news. We need to address this issue at its core.
One way we can do this is by teaching children empathy. This is a learned skill, not an innate ability.
Parents can foster empathy in their children by doing the following four things:
1. Read to them about fictional characters.
2. Play with them physically, such as with roughhousing or pillow fights.
3. Ask questions about their feelings: “How do you think she feels?”
4. Show affection.
We need to take action, and this is one effective way to begin.
New Year’s wishes
As 2018 approaches, we want to hear what you’re hoping for in the new year. Submit your letter at kansascity.com/letters and we will publish the best.