Safer roads, preschools, guns

06/01/2013 6:16 PM

06/01/2013 6:16 PM

Safer roads plan

For several years, I have had an idea for saving lives on all roads.

I was sitting in my truck in a parking lot near 92nd Street and Metcalf Avenue, where I could see two stoplights. Four northbound cars were stopped at one light. When the light turned green, they all started at the same time and maintained the same speed, accelerating to and stopping at the next light. They moved on when the light changed.

A life-saving concept would be to equip vehicles with a device that would be triggered by radar from speed-limit signs to set the maximum speed of all vehicles in that speed zone, whether on city roads, highways or interstates. For example, when a driver would exit the interstate into a 45-mph zone, the vehicle’s maximum speed would be reset to 45 mph.

Imagine hundreds of cars and trucks all traveling at the same speed on all roads. I know, a lot of people will say, “But I couldn’t get to work on time.”

That only means people would have to leave home a little earlier and save lives — maybe their own.

Bob McGuire

Kansas City Preschool vital

Kansas City leaders are right to back investments that make quality pre-kindergarten affordable (5-25, A4, “KC schools will focus on early education”). But Kansas City shouldn’t have to go it alone.

It’s about fairness. Just 48 percent of low-income children enter kindergarten school-ready, compared with three-fourths of higher-income kids.

Quality pre-K levels the playing field, especially for poor kids. And it cultivates “soft skills” prized by employers, such as focus and critical thinking, giving today’s kids a better chance to compete in tomorrow’s economy.

Congress should build federal-state partnerships like the Children’s Health Insurance Program (MoCHIP in Missouri). Federal funds would help states make pre-K affordable for every child. And funding would be limited to providers meeting evidence-informed quality standards.

MoCHIP’s success shows Republicans and Democrats can put kids ahead of politics. Let’s urge Missouri’s leaders in Congress to do it again. A child’s potential, not a parent’s income, should define the limits of academic success.

Bruce Lesley

President

First Focus

Washington, D.C. Explosion memory

The recent explosion and fire of the anhydrous ammonia fertilizer plant in Texas reminded me of a similar catastrophe many years ago at Texas City.

In 1947, I was a young airman at the Naval Air Station in Corpus Christi, Texas. A ship was offloading a cargo of ammonium nitrate fertilizer at the docks at Texas City, which is more than 200 miles up the coast from Corpus Christi.

For an unknown reason, the cargo exploded, killing all hands on board the ship and dozens of people in the town. In turn, the huge storage tanks that the fertilizer was being pumped into exploded. Pieces of steel from the ship and the tanks were found more than a mile inland.

Many Navy personnel from the base were sent to aid in the rescue and recovery effort.

Vernon McGuire

Lake Tapawingo Steve Rose column

Send Steve Rose back to the 913 section, where he can write about Kansas and Johnson County issues with some authority.

His May 26 column, “Obama’s arrogance is undoing his presidency,” about President Barack Obama is hateful and uncalled for in this time of difficulties on many fronts in our country, most of them because of myriad circumstances beyond President Obama’s actions or even control.

Shame on you, Steve.

Dorcas K. Doering

Overland Park Challenge on guns

Anyone can use the Internet to find and verify leading causes of death in the U.S. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report shows eight of 10 deaths are because of disease, one is from accidents and one is intentional, which includes firearm deaths.

The government has spent thousands of hours and millions of dollars in what is amounting to a charade after the tragic Dec. 14 Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newtown, Conn. The outcome appears dubious, with limited changes or massive changes with great resistance at great expense.

The Second Amendment served the nation well for 170 years until erosion began in the 1960s. Then political assassinations resulted in the Gun Control Act of 1968, and various groups, including left-leaning media, have been grinding away since.

I suspect some in big business and big politics, or utopians, have a role in funding/supporting this action to sap America’s independence. Hence the challenge is to follow the money.

Garrett Salmon

Olathe Prisons vs. education

Wyandotte County Sheriff Donald Ash, in his May 29 commentary, “Invest in kids to lower crime rates,” presented multiple facts to support early childhood education. He urged the Kansas Legislature to fund programs that help at-risk youngsters.

Sheriff Ash, I congratulate you on your views. However, I am afraid that in the political climate of Kansas, education is not a priority. Gov. Sam Brownback verified my opinion in 2011 when he named Kenny Wilk to the Kansas Board of Regents.

I shall never forget a meeting I attended in then Rep. Wilk’s hometown of Lansing. School board members were asking Mr. Wilk why he continued to pare educational budgets.

He answered that the people of Lansing must remember they had another important institution to be funded — the state prisons. A board member replied, “Perhaps if you spend more money on children’s education, then you wouldn’t have to spend so much money on the prison system.”

And now Kenny Wilk will serve on the Board of Regents’ Fiscal Affairs and Audit Committee.

Sheriff Ash, despite the facts you presented, I do not believe our politicians are willing to listen. However, Gov. Brownback’s policies will provide you and the other members of law enforcement with job security.

Kathyrn R. Bach

Basehor Gun violence fixes

First off, I want to say that I am an upland game bird hunter and I own guns. However, I cannot believe that anyone really buys the argument that to decrease gun violence we need more guns.

I can tell you that a big problem is the flood of cheap guns in the market. But, more important, there really are people out there, many people, who are stockpiling guns and ammo. I don’t know about you, but those people scare me a lot more than the government.

This problem is much bigger than you can imagine, and there are people who know what I am talking about. Paranoia against the government is present right here in our home state.

Combine a stockpile of high-power weapons and ammo with a little mental instability and you have a recipe for more shootings.

However, this is not where the majority of gun deaths come from. They come from the proliferation of cheap handguns on the market. Society has a problem when young city kids can get a gun in a matter of hours.

These are two different problems requiring two different solutions.

Jon Clark

Roeland Park Cut Hudler slack

Sheesh. The Royals’ season is barely underway, and the Rex Hudler bashers are lining up to take their cuts. They must have been sharpening their daggers all winter.

Come on, folks. It’s only baseball.

The guy’s not a serial killer. Let’s cut him some slack as he refines his approach.

It’s not his fault that Frank White was fired. We also can’t expect him to do things Frank’s way.

And he does have cogent comments on the game. Take heart, Rex, you do have supporters who wish you well.

On another note, Mike Moustakas may some day be a decent hitter, but right now his lack of production is really hurting the team. When this happened to Alex Gordon, he was sent back to Omaha to regain his swing and his confidence.

Wouldn’t this move help Mike, too? Putting Miguel Tejada at third would likely increase production from that corner.

Jerry Ward

Overland Park

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