As I prepare to leave Kansas City for a move out of state, I think sadly about leaving certain people and places behind. We have many venues to be proud of, without doubt, but one deserves to be brought to your readers’ attention.
The Children’s Place is a day treatment program for children who are victims of abuse, neglect and trauma. The entire staff does an outstanding job creating a safe, nurturing and educational environment for these 2- to 5-year-old kids.
I hope some people will read this and decide to donate their time or money to this important cause.
Ellen I. MacDonald
Kansas City Genetic alterations
I read with great suspicion Blake Hurst’s April 19 column, “Science backs safety of GMO foods,” extolling the safety of genetically modified foods. It is the policy of the Farm Bureau, of which he is a state representative, to approve of genetically modified foods and oppose labeling for their use.
Mr. Hurst suggests that waiting until every technology is proved safe is to preclude progress. But consider that the current practice of selling unmarked genetically modified foods makes us all guinea pigs.
The loss of a chunk of the honeybee population could be linked to industrial agricultural techniques, and the rubber-stamping of these new technologies pushes us further in that dangerous direction with limited knowledge of possible outcomes for subsequent generations.
Like the tobacco companies before them, the agribusiness spokespeople control the publication of their research results and can be trusted to use that information only to their own benefit.
Since the 1950s, it has been the policy of our government to encourage large-scale farming practices, which have resulted in reduced nutritional quality in our foods, widespread health decline in the U.S., and the dissolution of the small farm and small-town culture.
It’s time to slow down.
Fairway Language matters
The tragic April 13 murders aimed at the Jewish community in our area and the continual battle our society contends with when it comes to hate crimes is unbearable. Let us implore our citizens to be cautious in the language used during this grieving process.
I have heard on several occasions, from acquaintances, professionals or strangers in line at the store, comments that in effect noted, “and these were good Christian people.”
We must realize that hate crimes harm the very fabric of every individual, no matter race, ethnicity, gender, religion or class. A life taken is a light lost for all of us.
Let us not become victim to the subtle language of anti-Semitism.
Tyler Mary Stewart
Kansas City TV news blues
In our humble opinion, Lisa Teachman is fortunate to have left KMBC-TV, Channel 9, when she did. Over the past few years, KMBC news has gone from one worthy of viewer trust to a jumble of new faces.
From Larry Moore, whom everyone trusted, to Len Dawson, a man who knew sports, to meteorolgist Bryan Busby, Kelly Eckerman and their colleagues, this was a news team that was knowledgeable, personable and trustworthy.
The evening news became a family tradition, often watched over dinner.
Although time waits for no one and changes are inevitable, the personnel changes and replacements in the past few years have left this once-proud team in shambles, with often inarticulate news readers in front of the camera. For us, the last straw was the initial coverage of the Overland Park shootings when KMBC announced breaking news and then had a reporter broadcasting from the scene by cellphone.
We switched to another channel, which had live coverage complete with a camera crew showing the shattered car windows and up-to-date factual information on what happened.
Bill and Kathy Butler
Gladstone Missouri solutions
Like many states, Missouri experiences significant issues with its governing bodies as well as its ability to generate needed revenues. Yet our solutions appear to be limited by our unique “Missouri” approach to problem-solving:
1. Our political process is stymied by being the only state to essentially place no limits on campaign contributions.
2. We continue to be in the minority of states refusing to allow early voting.
3. We have one of the lowest tax rates on cigarettes in the nation, so low it isn’t remotely close to the states surrounding us.
4. Our incredibly low gasoline taxes have not been raised in 20 years, despite strong evidence of declining roads and bridges.
To solve these problems, our legislature has refused to reform, seeks to cut taxes for the wealthy, seeks increased taxes on those who can afford it least, cuts funding for schools and hopes to pay for it all by cutting more taxes in order to attract businesses to our state.
But businesses also come to states with solid public services such as health care, infrastructure, a strong educational system and a responsive political institution that places the good of the people first.
Just ask Kansas.
Raymore Republican position
Republicans’ reluctance to support extending unemployment benefits, food stamps, expanded Medicaid, job-training programs, etc., is based, they claim, on their hatred of the national debt.
This is pure obfuscation. Their real intention is to preserve the power and wealth of the upper class.
During the last 30 years, under the heading of supply-side economics, special-interest tax breaks for rich people and corporations plus ill-conceived business and financial deregulation have devastated the economy, particularly the working middle class, exacerbating the need for government borrowing.
Attempting to reduce the national debt by cutting entitlement spending would serve only to create a permanent underclass like that of Third World countries.
I believe the unspoken intention of the GOP leadership is to do just that, because without a lower class there cannot be an upper class.
The solution is simple: We should implement tax reform, with a rollback of tax rates to those in effect when Ronald Reagan took office and the addition of a serious inheritance tax.
We need pragmatic governance based on statistical and scientific evidence and not on extremist or discredited economic philosophies.
Lone Jack Loose Park pests
Come on, Kansas City. It is so simple to see that the quantity of goose poop at Loose Park (and other locations) is unhealthy for the park and for its users, we the people.
The park is not designed for the geese, but we seem to give it to them.
Contact your City Council member and Mayor Sly James.
Tell them we want action to harvest the geese to provide for meals for hungry people.
Perhaps the city will also get tree rats, also known as squirrels, classified as pests so we can drastically reduce their population.
It would be nice to have backyard tomatoes and apples and not have the squirrels eat them all.
Kansas City Public service kudos
Across the country and in communities such as Raymore, government employees serve and protect our nation every day. During Public Service Recognition Week, May 4-10, we will gratefully acknowledge their service.
I would like to personally thank the many active and retired federal, state, county and city workers of Missouri. They take care of our veterans and stand with our military to defend our country.
Right here in Missouri, air-traffic controllers at Kansas City International Airport and elsewhere ensure the safety of thousands of passengers daily. These are critical services.
We may not realize all the things that America’s public servants do each and every day that affect our lives. Let’s not take them or the service they provide for granted.
During Public Service Recognition Week and throughout the year, please take a minute to say thank you to public service employees.