I would like to thank the mother and daughter who helped me up when I fell recently at the Hy-Vee gas station. Thanks also to the man who got out of his truck and helped.
I wish I had gotten their names, but I was too shaken to do so.
Once again, thank you.
Can’t get ahead
I worked for accountants during the farm crisis of the 1980s and for DST Systems after the savings-and-loan crisis of the 1990s, and I was part of the effort to bring Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to Kansas City for a 2009 town hall meeting about the housing crisis.
In all these crises, several things happened that were the result of policy decisions. I think of the Soviet grain embargo of 1979, which lured families into farming with the promise of financial security and community continuity.
Or there were the media coverage and government policies that persuaded many homeowners to convert all their equity into debt because they thought nothing bad would ever happen. The results: Americans’ savings were depleted.
These decisions have had far-reaching effects on rural and minority communities. According to Pew Research Center data, black Americans lost about half their wealth during the Great Recession.
After the devastation of World War II, the U.S. engaged in the Marshall Plan to rebuild destroyed communities in Western Europe.
No less of a response is needed now in our country. These devastated populations will never regain a voice in America, and their frustration, alienation and pain has become overwhelming.
The Mizzou angle
Thank you, Kansas City Star, for adding two recent University of Missouri School of Journalism grads — Aaron Reiss and Alex Schiffer — to report on MU sports.
We Mizzou grads in Kansas City get fed up reading only KU basketball stories. These guys report thoroughly on Mizzou sports, both men’s and women’s.
Keep up the good work, guys.
Clear the air
The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan puts the health of Americans at risk, especially that of children and other vulnerable populations, because of air pollution and climate change.
The Clean Power Plan sets power-plant carbon-pollution standards under one of the nation’s successful public health laws, the Clean Air Act of 1970. Under that act, the EPA is required to limit dangerous air pollutants from power plants, such as toxins, heavy metals and smog-forming emissions.
Setting standards for carbon pollution is no different. These standards are also a step forward in addressing climate change. They set expectations for new power plants to be the cleanest, most efficient and modern facilities possible.
As a nurse, I see the health impacts on Missouri residents. Attempts to roll back these lifesaving standards place our state’s communities in peril. We need stronger climate action, not cuts to existing protections.
Americans overwhelmingly support action to protect public health. Missouri should continue to take steps to reduce dangerous carbon pollution and transition to cleaner, safer energy. Our health and safety depend on it.
After the 1968 riots in Kansas City, Missouri Gov. Warren Hearnes appointed a blue-ribbon committee to study all aspects of the unrest. In 1968, the Kansas City Police Department consisted of 1,054 officers. The committee recommended the number be elevated to 1,700.
City leaders claimed this would bankrupt the city. A tax was passed, and by 1972, the department had 1,356 officers. Fifty years later, after tremendous growth of the city and countless officers assigned to specialized units that had not existed in 1968, the department now has about 1,350 officers. This is even after sharing in the monies of the Jackson County Community Backed Anti-Crime Tax passed several years ago.
To aggravate the problem, detective units generally are kept at about 10 percent of the department’s officers, but that does not mean all detective positions are filled. Fewer detectives mean fewer investigations. This means fewer crimes are cleared.
Given the current crime rate, it probably is time to bring KCPD up to 1,700 officers, which was recommended 50 years ago. Consider this in the next city elections.
Retired KCPD officer
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