School counselors, high-speed Internet, guns

02/05/2014 5:08 PM

02/05/2014 5:36 PM

National School Counseling Week is celebrated to focus public attention on the contributions of school counselors and the effect they have on students. The American School Counseling Association recommends a counselor-to-student ratio of 1-to-250.

Many school counselors across the country, including Missouri and Kansas, have caseloads that far exceed this recommendation. Research shows that comprehensive school-counseling programs help increase student achievement at all grade levels.

School counselors help students examine their abilities, strengths, interests and talents. They focus on students’ academic needs, career awareness, personal/social development and post-secondary exploration.

School counselors are important members of the education team by partnering with school personnel and parents to help remove barriers that keep students from being successful.

As our nation’s schools evolve and the debate on education continues, we should agree that schools cannot afford to reduce the number of school counselors.

Rob Lundien

Staley High School

Counseling Department

North Kansas City

School District

Kansas City

Thanks to Google Fiber, Kansas City and its suburbs have been dubbed the Silicon Prairie. Many high-tech startups have relocated to our region. But the Silicon Prairie needs broadband network expansion to grow and prosper (2-4, Editorial, “Cable providers want unfair playing field”).

Shortsighted legislation in the Kansas Senate (Bill 304) would end the expansion of competitive, high-speed fiber networks. As the Consumerist put it, “Kansas City would be allowed to keep its Google Fiber, but ... no other city in the state would be able to make the same leap.”

The language of this bill creates unnecessary barriers to extending fiber broadband networks that would increase property values, improve business conditions and grow the Kansas and Missouri economies.

This awful legislation is a pure giveaway to the incumbent network providers of DSL and cable. This bill serves no other purpose than to protect a dying business model in which broadband is slow and high priced.

We need competition via high-speed, fiber broadband.

Tom Kessler

Kansas City

Guns are not used or made any more than cars or knives are made to kill people.

Autos and guns both have safety features. Both products are designed for better performance. Technology is pushing for bigger, faster, more efficient and better handling in everything from phones to cars to guns.

Just because they could be used to kill does not mean they are designed to kill. Guns are designed for mere entertainment and sport. Cars and guns turn into killing products because of the person/persons behind them.

There are always examples of violence, and it is easy to associate guns as a killing weapon. The media’s portrayal of guns is that they are evil and bad. Rarely does one hear the positives about guns.

What will be our next dangerous weapon? A ballpoint pen?

Natalie Grusch

Kansas City

“A musical ministry” by Bill Brownlee on Feb. 3 caught my eye. I can’t say how disappointed I was as I began to read it.

The Winter Jam Tour Spectacular Christian rock concert at the Sprint Center on Jan. 31 was a positive alternative to the vile lyrics and performances by many musicians. Why not celebrate the fact that many young people are listening to music with a message that reinforces good values?

What we put into our minds affects what we become — and what our society becomes. Isn’t it time for us as parents and grandparents to consider carefully what our children see and hear?

In this light, the technical quality of a performance is much less important than the message.

Kay Fisher

Excelsior Springs

As I watched President Barack Obama in his State of the Union address last week honor that young soldier, Army Ranger Cory Remsburg, I wondered whether we revered Remsburg because of his bravery and our gratitude or because he had bourn, after 10 tours, a burden so severe that it shamed us.

War used to mean shared suffering by the nation sponsoring it. Now it means suffering mostly by those of less means hoping to come back with the GI Bill in hand. Sure, many are patriotic, but poverty is still the main driver.

The Pentagon and Congress learned from the Vietnam War the best way to keep control of their battles. Use volunteers. Pay, train and equip them well. Then entice them financially to re-up as much as possible. Better that than a public that is fully engaged and watching closely.

They can take the war away from you. From the time Winston Churchill announced that England needed to power that country’s navy with diesel oil, not slower steam power, Europe and the West have tinkered with the economies and lives of the people in the Middle East at great human cost on both sides.

Barry F. Crispin


As Right to Work fills the news in Missouri, Republican House Speaker Tim Jones says that Gov. Jay Nixon will veto it because Nixon gets a “large portion” of his funds from unions, implying unions have too much influence in Jefferson City. shows that union spending was just under $44,000 of the $1,878,893 spent lobbying in the last two years in Missouri. shows that of Missouri’s top 20 contributors in 2012, unions didn’t even place.

Yet somehow, with limited finances, the unions are able to twist the arms of politicians and sway legislation as they please. Never mind the other millions of dollars that flow into the Capitol.

Speaker Jones has a record of supporting bills that favor large donors. Records show he enjoys lobbyist-paid dinners in excess of $150, sporting events and other gifts. Now he claims he’s looking out for the interests of the working man, and we’re supposed to believe it?

When Tim Jones and friends say they’re looking out for our rights and freedoms, forgive me if I’m cynical. If he’s concerned about union money in Jefferson City, he should join Caleb Rowden, Jason Kander and Kevin McManus and reform the notorious ethics in the state.

Shawn Berry

Williamsville, Mo.

As a Latin teacher for 32 years, I was surprised to see that the Feb. 1 caption and the article itself, “Uncovering history,” in the religion section stated that the new excavation in Vatican City would teach us about the lives of lower-class and middle-class Romans.

The Romans had only two classes, the patricians and plebeians. No middle class existed in ancient Rome.

I’m not sure how this error slipped by the writer and the editors. Keep publishing “just the facts, ma’am.” Accuracy is especially important in this day and age.

Connie Henry


Like the Chiefs, the Kansas City Royals are in the midst of ticket price increases. I’ve had a partial season-ticket plan for two years, and now I’m looking at a 20 percent increase next season.

Their “dynamic pricing” model, where the prices vary according to the visiting team and day of the week, is being applied to season-ticket holders for the first time.

I realize the team has gotten better and team owner David Glass has increased the payroll, but there was not overwhelming demand for tickets last year. Despite the increase in wins, attendance for 2013 was basically the same as 2012. And there are very few games where you can’t walk up and buy a ticket five minutes before the game.

I assume the Royals are anticipating increased demand in the coming season. I have my doubts.

I renewed my tickets but cut back from three seats to two. I wonder how many others did the same or moved to a cheaper section.

Richard Johns

Kansas City


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