I fully understand the moral and ethical concerns related to the slaughter of innocent horses. (May 15, 9A, “Making hay from horse sense over slaughterhouses”)
But why is there not the same concern for the slaughter of 30 million cows every year? They are innocent and gentle creatures, too, led to slaughter by whips and electric prods — all of which I witnessed many years ago during a high school trip to a meat-packing plant in Sioux City, Iowa.
I can still hear the sound of the gunshot to the head.
Arlin J. Buyert
Jails a symptom
The Star’s editorial about problems with the Jackson County jail describes a sad situation. (May 16, 10A, “Is there a new sheriff in town willing to clean up the county jail?)
Whether the jail is managed by a sheriff or an appointed jail administrator is not the issue, in my opinion.
I served as chief jail auditor for the National Sheriffs’ Association, and I examined 828 jails in 49 states over 16 years. I found well-run jails directed by both sheriffs and appointed jail administrators.
Here in Shawnee County, Kan., the well-run county jail in Topeka is directed by an appointed jail administrator with more than 30 years of experience.
People need to understand that all jails are creatures of the state wherein they are located.
Neither Kansas nor Missouri mandates jail inspections or training for jail officers. These state governments leave this to counties.
Counties are also nothing more than creatures of the state, defined either by state laws or in the state constitutions.
This lack of interest in jails is an example of poor state leadership in both Kansas and Missouri.
Who we aren’t
It is time for our political leaders, those of both parties, to step forward and put a stop to what we are seeing in Washington.
Or are we to become all that we do not represent? We are supposed to be a nation of truth and honor.
Alex G. Margiotta
Not all one size
Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio is a moderate Republican and has supported some decent legislation. But nowhere in his commentary in Wednesday’s Star (11A, “Private sector has a powerful incentive to treat opioid addiction”) do I see any acknowledgment of the importance and necessity of many opioid prescriptions for pain.
For example, it is necessary and appropriate for patients to receive these drugs for three days after a number of surgical procedures. Portman’s CARA 2.0 Act would require universal restrictions to these guidelines, which come from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
I can well understand pushback from medical associations and drug companies. But it looks as if we’re overcorrecting for past errors.
Care for seniors
After years of inadequate funding, Missouri made further cuts to Medicaid last year, sending older and disabled citizens and the nursing homes that care for them into a crisis.
The individuals devastated by these cuts are not “living off the system.” Just one major illness can wipe out a senior’s hard-earned savings and leave him or her with limited funds for life-sustaining care.
State general revenues now pay an average of only $15.26 per person per day for the highly specialized, round-the-clock care that these Missourians require. This represents a $25 per-person, per-day shortfall.
The state cannot operate a deficit, and neither can senior care providers. If this funding crisis is not fixed, our most medically vulnerable citizens will have reduced access to the critical care they need.
As the administrator of Monterey Park Rehabilitation and Health Care Center, this saddens and alarms me.
As the House and Senate move to conference to finalize the state budget, we ask that lawmakers protect the amount of money appropriated to fund care for residents in nursing homes.
It’s time to make our seniors, veterans and disabled Missourians a priority.
After 40 years, Bill Shapiro has retired from public radio station KCUR. During his career there, he was host of the long-running jazz show “Cyprus Avenue.”
What a loss. He has kept this 60-plus-year-old guy feeling like he was 18.
You will be missed, Bill. Thank you for your talent.