Year-round school, abortion, coal

07/20/2013 5:00 PM

07/19/2013 5:55 PM

Year-round school

Some school districts have year-round schedules, with short breaks throughout the year. This seems like a much better alternative to the system we have now.

There are still about the same numberof school days, but the students do not forget the material over the summer.

Why have we not switched to this system yet?

Hank Lobaugh

Olathe Abortions rights

The Kansas legislators who passed House Bill 2253 and Senate Bill 142 undermined medical progress with radical and unscientific stipulations. On July 1, the resulting law went into effect, sending Kansas backward on more than just women’s right to choose.

The legislation requires that physicians caution patients about an alleged increased risk of breast cancer associated with abortion — an antiquated myth that was disproved by the National Cancer Institute in 2003.

And because the law bans many organizations from providing sexual health training (even when non-abortion related), fewer young adults will learn about their bodies and how to form healthy relationships — skills necessary to prevent unwanted pregnancies in the first place.

Notably, women constitute fewer than 25 percent of the representatives and 30 percent of the senators. I wonder whether greater gender equity would shift the legislators’ stances.

Indeed, we need to move toward policies that unite Kansas in making progress — in science and in conscience.

Katherine Heflin

Master of science student

Health Policy

Harvard School

of Public Health

Silver Lake, Kan. War on coal, people

President Barack Obama announced his war on coal last month, and the Kansas City, Kan., Board of Public Utilities has announced it is one of the first casualties.

The president knew that benighted members of Congress, who still must face elections, would not vote for a tax to stop the overheating, and then flooding and elimination of Earth. So he’s having the Environmental Protection Agency handle it.

A recent BPU newsletter reports that the new EPA rules on coal emissions mean that the BPU may not be able to afford coal in the future. That’s too bad, the company said, because coal costs about half what other energy sources cost and coal is much more effective.

But wait. The BPU said it will be able to pay the $250 million cost of the new standards by charging customers an environmental surcharge, soon to be well-known by the initials ESC.

The BPU also will start a fund for customers “in temporary financial crisis” after trying to pay their fair share of the $250 million. Notice, this is all temporary. Once the waters stop rising, we’re OK.

The BPU noted it has done “benchmarking research” to aid customers, including ending late fees for those who prepay and upgrading its website.

Oh, what a lovely war.

Bob Friskel

Kansas City, Kan. Twinkies return

Emporia, Kan., is the perfect place to make Twinkies (7-13, A10, “Twinkies make early return at Wal-Mart”).

Ken Hedden

Parkville Keep KCI as is

My family traveled to Florida recently.

After walking a mile upon arrival and taking a tram to the baggage-claim area, we had to walk again to find ground transportation. Kansas City International Airport it was not.

At KCI, we had arrived an hour before boarding, took the bus, checked bags curbside, ate and hit the restrooms before standing in a short security line. We purchased bottles of water; other passengers were eating sandwiches. We experienced the same easy-peasy, stress-free airport we always have.

On our return flight, thousands of travelers congregated at the departure terminal to stand in four lines for the security agents to check papers. We then entered the bottleneck-long, amusement-ride corrals, until ultimately our carry-on luggage and our persons were cleared.

This took nearly an hour, and we hopped on the tram to our gate. We passed a plethora of eateries and souvenir shops, but after a week, we’d had our fill. The airport was not our destination.

I sang, “I want my KCI.”

Our population exceeds theirs by 230,000. Until we build a Disneyfarm or an Experimental Prototype Prairie of Tomorrow and the accompanying resorts to draw those crowds here, leave our airport alone.

Tammy Clem

Stilwell KC Museum director

The Kansas City Museum could not have had a more knowledgeable, innovative and articulate director than Christopher Leitch (7-15, A1, “Kansas City Museum’s future in flux”).

Having belonged to the Friends of the Kansas City Museum for a number of years and serving on the Cliff Drive Corridor Management Committee for more than eight years, I am stunned by this turn of events.

The Cliff Drive Committee met monthly at the museum, and Christopher attended each of our meetings. His long-term goals for the museum were truly visionary.

You will be hard-pressed to find anyone who will have the passion that Christopher has for the museum.

Evelyn Hougland

Olathe Post-racial myth

Barack Obama is elected president in 2008. America pats itself on the back for electing a black man president.

Chief Justice John Roberts and his Supreme Court decide “America has changed,” and they gut the Voters Rights Act.

You see, we are so racial-neutral now the federal government doesn’t need to intervene when states openly pass laws to prevent or alter ballots from minority voters.

It’s so nice to know so much change has made life for non-whites so easy.

Then comes Florida and the undisputed killing of Trayvon Martin.

Once again, white America must face how people really feel about black men. Has the election of one black man to the highest office in the land made black men less scary?

Apparently, not in some eyes. Black men are suspect even if they are standing, walking, smiling or talking on a cellphone.

I myself have a husband and two sons. Am I afraid for them?

Always. However, my fear did not begin with the Martin verdict. It did not end with Obama’s election.

I was born in 1962. I have never feared for them more.

Robin Marshall

Blue Springs Dressing casually

Am I the only one noticing that letter carriers for the U.S. Postal Service have been dressing a bit more casually lately?

The letter carriers in our Brookside neighborhood have all but given up on their traditional uniforms and have opted for anything from mesh shorts and a T-shirt to jeans.

One guy who dropped off a larger box to my office recently was identifiable as a U.S. Postal Service worker only by the truck he drove.

I’m not aware of any recent cut to the uniform budget, but I think as long as they are delivering mail door to door, they should be in uniform so people know who is walking through their yards.

Matt Hoefer

Kansas City Chuck Ned Yost

I am sorry to say, Kansas City Royals fans, but as long as Ned Yost is manager the Royals are not going anywhere. His handling of the pitchers is awful.

He pulls starters when they still have their good stuff and are obviously in a groove. I have seen too many times the starter pulled for no apparent reason, and we go on to lose the game.

Ned, give them some credit and a chance to finish what they started.

The batting order seems to be an ongoing experiment. How can there be any consistency when the order changes practically every day?

Good managers stick with their first six or seven in the order so they get used to it and gain confidence.

I just do not think Yost knows what he is doing, and it makes me wonder whether the players might think that. A player has to believe in his manager to be successful.

If there is doubt, it spreads throughout the roster. I just don’t think Ned Yost is the guy to get the Royals to the next level, and neither did the Milwaukee Brewers.

Let’s get a manager who can before it’s too late.

Michael Dean

Shawnee

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