Police story, democracy inaction, homework overload

03/23/2014 5:00 PM

03/21/2014 5:32 PM

Police story

Christine Vendel’s story on longtime KCPD homicide detective Dave Bernard and his family (3-19, A4, “Recounting the toll of police work”) is a poignant reminder of the burdens that the men and women of law enforcement take home with them every day.

To Mrs. Bernard’s view that KCPD “brass” did not appreciate the sacrifices of Sgt. Bernard, I can state that as members of the Kansas City Police Board, my fellow commissioners and I always held him in the highest regard.

During the Precious Doe investigation, I encountered Dave early one morning at KCI when I was leaving on a business trip. Looking tired but determined, he was departing once again to explore an out-of-town lead.

Dave Bernard was relentless in his dedication to fighting crime. He and his family have endured much, and for that we are most grateful.

Karl Zobrist

Kansas City Good government

It has been argued that government is the problem and not the solution. Let’s look at the record.

On poverty: Social Security, food stamps, unemployment compensation, Medicare and Medicaid have improved the living conditions of millions of Americans.

On health: More and more Americans have the opportunity for quality medical care. The infant mortality rate has declined. Regulations monitoring foods and drugs available to consumers have prevented many potential health risks.

On education: There are many outstanding public universities. The cost of education at all levels is a problem, but a number of programs have helped students obtain a quality education.

On civil rights: Opportunities for women and minorities have increased.

On public safety: A relatively free environment for citizens has been protected while a strong defense against terrorists has been developed.

On the environment: Pollution has been reduced.

There are many other examples in which government has played a positive role.

There are still many challenges. However, none of the accomplishments would have been possible without government involvement.

Jerry Brekke

Maryville, Mo. Coal use in U.S.

I read where President Barack Obama wants to close down more coal mines and coal-fired power plants. That may sound good to some, but the fact is we use much less coal than China.

Our coal use is heavily regulated for clean burn and low emissions, while China does none of these things. In addition to using coal for power, many people in China heat their homes and cook with coal.

It is evident that any further shutdown of coal use in this country is only a feel-good gesture, which would have little or no effect on the CO2 level but would increase unemployment and reduce much-needed electric-energy jobs. Nationwide, about 40 percent of our electricity now comes from coal.

Coal is not our enemy. Washington, D.C., is.

Robert Patterson

Lee’s Summit Democracy inaction

The best thing our Missouri representatives could do before another recess is to make a law stating that the vote of the people shall not be changed just because our lawmakers think that they know best and that their constituents must be ignorant or misunderstand the issues.

It makes me ill to think that puppy mills are still going strong in Missouri and were even referenced at the Westminster Dog Show. It was stated that one of the dogs running an obstacle course was rescued from a Missouri puppy mill. How proud both Democrats and Republicans must be to hear that on national television.

We also must not forget that one of Clay Chastain’s rail plans passed by a large majority of Kansas City voters, and their votes were thrown out as if they had never even happened.

How can we call this a democracy if our votes do not seem to count? We can’t.

And now the latest issue to be thrown back at Missouri voters is the vote on marriage in Missouri and whether it is between a man and a woman.

Thanks a lot, Gov. Jay Nixon.

Lynn Pierce

Independence Homework overload

In my experience at school, I have learned that homework can be a cushion for your grades. I have also learned that too much homework can be very stressful and end up hurting your grades in the long run.

I think when I get a lot of homework I am very stressed and extremely tired after a long day at school plus extracurricular activities.

I am not saying that students should not be given homework, just that the amount of homework should be cut down.

When you add the amount of homework a student gets plus the amount of studying a student has to do, most of the time a student will spend multiple hours trying to get his homework done after already going to school for seven hours that day.

That seems like a lot of work for a developing mind.

Tommy Sciara

Kansas City Fighting inflation

Increased pay for the same amount of work has to result in increased prices. Call that inflation. You might raise some out of poverty briefly, but very soon inflation will bring the poverty level back up to them.

Congress needs better ideas than this to combat poverty. Better education, less regulation, smarter regulation and tort reform. I know the average congressperson isn’t very bright, but members of Congress do have smart people working for them.

So where are the ideas?

Bill Moses

Liberty Medical marijuana

I think that allowing people who would benefit from smoking marijuana would be fine as long as it is medically prescribed by a doctor and distributed from a pharmacy.

Marla Conway

St. Louis Checks, government

There are three branches of government — executive, legislative and judicial. The legislative one is treating the executive branch like a puppet.

It is up to the judicial branch to stop government officials when they are going against the U.S. Constitution. What can we say about them?

Government officials may be giving police the right to come into our homes whether we say no or not. Only the homeowner has the right to say yes or no. The one with the lease as well.

Please let your words be heard.

Rev. George Otten

Kansas City, Kan. Church’s lost trust

A note to the Kansas City-St. Joseph Catholic Diocese and Bishop Robert Finn: Would it have been a lot easier and significantly cheaper to follow the guidelines set forth in 2001 for the Catholic Church’s own instruction, “Protecting God’s Children”? I took the class and recall the procedures, which must be followed by all Catholics.

How many millions of dollars would now be available for the new Catholic high school in Lee’s Summit?

We have all been harmed, financially and emotionally, simply because guidelines were not followed by diocese hierarchy.

Note to diocese: We all know what the term “self-insured” means. Our donation/tithe is being used to pay for lawsuit settlements.

Trust in decisions of the hierarchy of the Catholic Church is being shattered daily.

Rita Berry

Kansas City Lung-cancer fight

I recently began volunteering at North Kansas City Hospital. In order to work at the hospital, potential volunteers have to prove they don’t have tuberculosis.

Because I was exposed to tuberculosis in the past, health-care personnel have told me I will always test positive.

Fortunately for me, I had to have a chest X-ray. Well, I didn’t have tuberculosis, but I did have stage-one lung cancer. It was cured by having a portion of my right lung removed.

I had no symptoms. I was not a smoker.

Recently in The Star, I noticed two young women died from nonsmoking lung cancer. One was only 37.

By the time the disease was detected in them, it was too late. Maybe we ought to rethink who gets screened and when.

I urge smokers and nonsmokers alike to think about it. Had I waited until my symptoms were apparent, I would have had only a 50 percent chance of survival.

Joan Harrison

Weatherby Lake

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