As I read the April 24 newspaper, I became very frustrated, and then sad, and then scared. First up was the A2 article reporting Georgia will allow guns into churches, bars, airports and government buildings.
How comfortable will I be when I visit my brother who lives in Atlanta?
Next was the A4 article on Kansas nullifying local gun laws. As a Leawood resident, how comfortable will I be walking into public places or going to restaurants and grocery stores?
Next, on A6, an article said Kansas is hoping to exempt itself from the Affordable Care Act. I recently became eligible for Medicare, which has saved me quite a bit of money. How comfortable will I be that Kansas will not seek an exemption from Medicare rules?
All of this is frightening. One good piece of news was the article on the front page about JJ’s restaurant reopening this summer.
Thanks to the Star for your reporting.
Leawood Balance essential
The mainstream Republican Party may finally be starting to fight back against the tea party, which has held so many Republicans hostage since the 2008 elections.
Had Republicans earlier heeded the words of 12th century philosopher Adelard of Bath concerning skeptics of reason and logic — “For this generation has a gigantic vice, that it considers nothing discovered by moderns worthy of being accepted” — the GOP would have sent the tea party back into the caves.
Both modern conservatives and the progressives have ideas and solutions that, if they would they respect each other and work together, would achieve the proper balance needed for a rapidly changing world.
Shawnee Michelle Obama visit
Although it was a good thing for first lady Michelle Obama to come to Kansas to help celebrate the 60th anniversary of Brown vs. the Topeka Board of Education Supreme Court ruling, it wouldn’t have been fair to the graduating seniors for her to take their special time away from them and from those who wanted to celebrate with them (4-25, A5, “After uproar, first lady alters her Topeka graduation plans”).
You graduate only one time. I went to school in Kansas City, Kan., with children of all skin colors and ethnicity before the 1954 Brown ruling, so my vote was for the graduating seniors of the Topeka school system to have their individual graduations. May 16 is now the date for Mrs. Obama’s speech.
Our children should come first, before any other considerations.
Overland Park Kraske column
I enjoyed Steve Kraske’s April 19 column, “Another surprise by Dole,” about Bob Dole and the former senator’s current tour of Kansas — until the second-to-last paragraph. Inserting that Dole “played a supporting role in ushering in the bitter partisanship that still grips Capitol Hill” was totally unnecessary.
It served no purpose and only demeans the character of the writer.
Kansas City End political gifts
It is way overdue for Missouri politicians to ban the acceptance of gifts from lobbyists. After all, gift is just another word for bribe.
The politicians may deny that, but the gift is given for one reason — vote my way.
Overland Park Heavy-handed Kansas
Grandma has some dementia but still retains her awareness and lives independently — dresses, washes, cooks and goes about her daily routine. Our family lives very nearby and checks on her every day.
Nevertheless, the state of Kansas has threatened to seize custody of her and place her in a state-funded nursing home, cutting us off from all rights to her care.
Even though we have located better alternatives, and even though my mother has legal medical powers for Grandma, the state has turned a deaf ear to our request for the necessary medical information needed to place her in an assisted-living facility of our choice.
State officials are instead working with another relative, who has hired a lawyer in an effort to take complete guardianship over her and place her in a nursing home. This person does not have any legal authority but will soon have everything — because he wishes to cooperate with the state’s objectives.
We’re definitely not happy to find ourselves in a situation where a state can decide that an elderly person is incompetent regardless of evidence to show otherwise and refuses to work with that person’s immediate family.
It’s scary. I’m not planning to retire in Kansas for sure.
Spring Hill Praising 1 percenters
Often, people blame the wealthiest 1 percent for the problems the rest of us face. I have always thought that targeting the top 1 percent was not appropriate.
Among them are people who are or have been very generous through philanthropy. To blanket all of the richest people in America with criticism is to overlook those who have donated much of their wealth for good causes.
James Stowers was a man we could admire for the way he led his life and the way he spent much of his fortune to support research for better ways to provide health care to all Americans.
Ewing Kauffman established the Kauffman Foundation. It works to improve educational and entrepreneurship opportunities.
Richard Bloch, a cancer victim, used much of his wealth to fund cancer research.
Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and others have pledged their wealth to improving the quality of life for people here and around the world.
For those of us in the 99 percent to blame the 1 percent for all of our problems is simply shortsighted.
There are people among the 1 percent who richly deserve our disdain. The Koch brothers readily come to mind.
Gene W. DeVaux
Greenwood Tax on KC track
I would urge everyone who lives or owns a business in Kansas City between State Line Road and Interstate 435 and from the Missouri River south to Gregory Boulevard to read everything you can about the sales tax proposed for much of that area, to help finance the streetcar expansion.
The other part of the streetcar proposal is the assessment that city officials plan to tack on to county real estate tax bills. That means if you live close to the line, you will pay an additional tax.
Oh, excuse me. They call it an assessment. Even nonprofits would pay on any amount of value over $300,000.
Yet another proposed sales tax increase is by Missouri to increase funding for roads, bridges and other modes of transportation. That one would be for the entire state.
It does make you wonder how the businesses in this area, including the Power Light District, could tolerate their customers paying any additional sales taxes.
Kansas City Sporting KC cheers
This past Saturday, my son Carter had the wonderful opportunity of winning the Sporting Club Network Youth Reporter Contest. Playing soccer himself for a Youth Sporting Affiliate and being a big Sporting KC fan made this experience even more special.
He was able to interview one of his favorite players, which qualified him to win a game-day experience at beautiful Sporting Park. Sporting Club Network’s ever-generous Liam O’Connell gave Carter, his friend and our family an all-access tour of the facilities, with an emphasis on the broadcasting and journalism aspects of the park.
Carter was able to witness firsthand the game commentating from Cal Williams and Diego Gutierrez, see the postgame news conference and meet some of his favorite players.
Every person representing this great organization, from the owners to the players and support staff, was friendly and more than accommodating for an 11-year-old with a dream.
I know it is something that will influence him in years to come. I continue to be impressed by all this club does for its fans and the Kansas City area. This organization is truly a gem for a great city.
It should be cherished and supported so it can continue to grow.