Right to work, Coca-Cola, game tickets

02/06/2014 5:01 PM

02/06/2014 8:49 PM

Right-to-work push

Working-family incomes are on the line. Missouri’s Republican leadership is trying to convince us that we need “worker freedoms,” or “right to work,” to ease our economic woes from the Great Recession.

Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder said, “When I was a kid growing up in southeast Missouri, Tennessee was not ahead of Missouri in any economic indicator. They are today.”

Tennessee has higher unemployment than Missouri, and its median per-capita and family incomes are thousands of dollars lower annually. This apparently is better to Kinder.

Right to work is really the right to work for less. Sen. Ed Emery confirmed this when he said, “One of the things that will be advocated by the unions is look at all these right-to-work states, average wages all go down. Sure they go down.”

Why would Missouri Republicans want to drive working people’s incomes down? Working families must tell their representatives in Jefferson City that we can’t afford more pay cuts.

We need our political leaders to work on adding jobs instead of lining their pockets with money from out-of-state donors whose political agendas serve their own interests, not Missouri’s.

Roderick

Wayne Sturgeon

Montgomery City, Mo. America and Coke

The Coca-Cola Super Bowl ad has caused a controversy (2-3, B6, “Commercials strike a softer tone”). I never cease to be amazed by how there has always been a segment of the American population that is fearful of anyone who does not look or speak like them.

They claim some undefined territorial right to “America,” excluding all who are different. I will leave it to others to remind most of the detractors as to who was really here first.

Historically, those who have sought ethnic and cultural purity have fallen. I suppose it is up to the rest of us to shine brighter, to embrace our great melting pot, to find the beauty in, and the strength of, our diversity, to know in our souls that this nation was built on the notion that a person seeking freedom and opportunity makes for a great new citizen and neighbor.

I love all the wonderful and various cultural experiences of my beloved country. More important, I love my fellow countrymen and women, regardless of their race, color or spoken language.

I have a lot to learn from this wonderful mix in America.

It’s a very beautiful America. I think I’ll have a Coke.

Butch Rigby

Kansas City Game ticket costs

I have had Kansas City Royals season tickets since the 1970s and been fortunate to have seen every playoff and World Series home game they have played in Kansas City.

Last year, my opening-game ticket cost $52, and my 21-game package for four seats cost $3,000.

When playoff tickets were offered, the cost for my four seats was going to be $10,400, which I declined, and in late October when my 21-game package was sent to me, the cost was $3,700, a 23 percent increase, with the opening-game costing $102 in 2014.

I just renewed my Chiefs 2014 tickets for a 49th season, and the cost went up only 2 percent. Playoff tickets for the Chiefs would have been $120 for seats on the 40-yard line in the fourth row.

What are the Royals doing with all the extra ticket money? They have priced me out of their market.

Dave White

Olathe Will Shields

What an injustice that former Chiefs offensive lineman Will Shields was again passed over for the Pro Football Hall of Fame (2-2, B4, “Shields’ bid falls short”). The man did just about everything possible at his position, as evidenced by multiple Pro Bowl selections and a list of awards and paybacks to the community as long as my arm.

If he had been part of a Super Bowl winning team, that might have made the difference, or perhaps if he co-hosted a syndicated morning talk show with Kelly Ripa.

Ron Price

Kansas City Doctors, Obamacare

I want to thank Sen. Pat Roberts for his thoughtful remarks made in a Feb. 2 letter to the editor. It was quite a contrast to Milton Wolf’s Jan. 20 letter.

Sen. Roberts brings up a subject in which I firmly believe: full disclosure regarding women’s health care.

I agree people opposed to abortion should know up front which health-care exchange plans provide abortion. Likewise, I would like to see Sen. Roberts introduce a bill requiring all physicians to disclose whether religious beliefs would prohibit them from providing all treatment options available to the women in their care.

It is my right as a consumer to know whether my provider is meeting my needs. In questioning the doctors who treat my family, I have learned they would never withhold treatment information based on religious beliefs.

It was hard to ask the question, and everyone I asked seemed taken aback. In answering my query, almost all further stated they know doctors within their practice who do withhold information.

I’m glad I didn’t end up in those physicians’ care. I would have to take my treatment dollars elsewhere.

Paula Kahmann

Roeland Park Gusty controversy

The power-line controversy of moving wind power from western Kansas to the east was well portrayed in the TV movie, “OHMS,” starring Ralph Waite and Dixie Carter circa 1980. Many of the same issues were portrayed about disrupting life as you know it (2-2, A1, “Green idea gives some the blues”).

As portrayed in the movie, the governor doesn’t understand the issue until a tower is erected over his property. As my father told me many times, it is seldom about the ox being gored, but rather whose ox is being gored.

Proponents of today’s power lines across other people’s property need to look at this from the perspective of the land/farm owner. Maybe The Star could arrange for “OHMS” to be played locally.

Larry McCarthy

Overland Park Harm to education

Mara Rose Williams, in her Feb. 5 column, “Colleges told to prove it or lose it,” predictably genuflects at the altar of what we are all now supposed to worship — performance-based funding for public colleges.

Of course, this concept is designed to reward colleges for retaining students and, I believe, graduating them as well.

The premise is that instructors are responsible for student success more than the students are and, therefore, colleges that retain a higher percentage of their students are offering better education. In fairness, I should note that according to this concept graduation and retention rates are also increased by better student services outside the classroom.

Performance-based funding is, of course, a recipe for grade inflation and part of the general mea culpa pervasive among well-meaning but shallow academicians and politicians.

I sympathize with students today. They often work long hours while attending college or have other pressing obligations. But to promote a concept that so mindlessly has the inferential effect to reduce actual student education (which is not the same as degree-granting) is, in truth, not promoting education, but reducing it.

Elliott Schimmel

Kansas City Dedication to band

I am writing because I am a senior in high school this year and I have been a part of the band program since I was in fifth grade. Once you get to high school band, so much extra time is put into the halftime show and preparing to cheer on our school team.

I think the people in the band should be rewarded for their hard work by having band be considered an honors course and having band members receive an extra point for their grade-point averages. I heard a speaker at a leadership conference state that band kids were the best of the best for their work ethic, dedication and attitudes as people overall.

Erin Beckman

Lenexa Cheers for The Star

We have been taking The Kansas City Star for well over 50 years. I would like to give a shout out to our newest lady carrier.

She has been making sure our paper is in front of our door. We cannot thank her enough.

God bless her.

Joanne Eller

Kansas City

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