Educators’ blues, Kansas Speedway, wind farm drawbacks

05/13/2014 7:01 PM

05/13/2014 7:01 PM

Teachers’ frustrations

I am beyond sick and tired of seeing and hearing what the “experts” say about how our schools are being run.

Every day is a new story or editorial about school accreditation, school achievement and discipline policies, each giving the opinion of someone who isn’t in a school every day. Many probably have not set foot in a school in years.

I challenge people who are in a position of power in any educational system to spend a day in a classroom. Better yet, spend a week or a month.

Walk around the classrooms. Attempt to educate every student.

See what it’s like to try to help the ones who truly want to learn when you have a number of students who couldn’t care less and distract from others learning.

See the challenge our teachers face trying to educate every student to meet the increasing standards.

See what the administrators face when they try to discipline students who don’t care about any punishment and aren’t deterred by even the most severe consequences.

Then you can speak about what you think the solutions to our school problems are.

Kristi White

Blue Springs Nice raceway traffic

Many thanks to the police, Kansas Highway Patrol and the great folks at the speedway for the way they handled the thousands of cars last weekend. We have been to many tracks, and without a doubt the Kansas Speedway outshines them all in the way traffic is handled.

I have a much greater appreciation of how much preparation goes into making it all work smoothly.

Scott Mallin

Shawnee Wind farm negatives

Who in their right minds would place a wind farm adjacent to Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge (5-4, A1, “Some see wind farm as a threat in wildlife refuge”)? It’s an important waterfowl refuge in the Central Flyway.

A thousand waterfowl could be killed at one time if one of the flights flies though that maze of whirling blades.

This is sheer stupidity.

Donald D. Smith

Blue Springs Guns in U.S. must go

We are a stubborn people, but eventually we learn from our mistakes. This time it seems we have taken longer and paid a much higher price for our reluctance to learn our lesson.

What lesson is that, you ask? Many Americans should not have access to guns.

That is a hard concept for many people to accept, but the reality cannot be more clear. We are on an increasing path of having innocent citizens murdered by those who have no business possessing firearms.

Since we cannot agree in our legislative chambers about how to deal with this problem, we might have to bite the bullet and ban guns for all. This approach has worked in other countries, and it can work here.

The U.S. is now the most dangerous country in the world.

Our children are afraid to go to school, church and the movies. Our elderly are afraid to be out at night in their inner-city neighborhoods, and the citizens who drive to work on a daily basis are being shot at.

Get rid of the guns.

Yolande Mountjoy

Shawnee Krugman column

I just read Paul Krugman’s May 10 column, “Oligarchs grow richer from income inequality,” concerning our oligarchy government and the financial meltdown costing America millions of jobs and trillions of dollars.

No one is in jail, and no one is even charged with a crime.

Republicans and Democrats fight over gay marriage, gun control, Obamacare and Benghazi. How can this happen without the cooperation of the government?

We need to get Congress on track in fixing this problem, punishing those responsible and getting our money back.

We cannot just forget about it.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is the only person in Congress who even mentions the problem. She should run for president.

What will it take for people to demand justice?

Corky Lewis

Lee’s Summit Change in tax cuts

As an organization that has helped lead tax-reform efforts in Missouri for many years, the Show-Me Institute was pleased to see the Legislature take a baby step of progress with the passage of the recent tax cut (5-7, A1, “Tax cut enacted despite a veto”).

Make no mistake, this is a very modest tax reduction, and smaller than we had preferred. But this tax cut serves as a mile marker on the path of greater reforms. Indeed, thanks to the hard work of countless supporters of the free market, the pathway for tax reform is now opening wide.

Policymakers finally are recognizing that the words “free market” actually mean something ... and that free markets actually matter. This tax cut is just the first step on the road to enduring, people-empowering tax reform in this great state.

We look forward to the future, and we hope you will join us on our journey to make our state even better.

Patrick Ishmael

Policy Analyst

Show-Me Institute

Kansas City Rebuild the Royals

I wish David and Dan Glass would sell the Kansas City Royals to someone who’s willing to win at all cost. That cost would start by firing general manager Dayton Moore, who has accomplished very little in his tenure, and Ned Yost, whose managerial resume couldn’t get a Triple-A manager’s job with a good major league franchise.

My next move would be to clean house, and among my first moves is trading Billy Butler, the only player in baseball who makes ex-Royal Steve Balboni look like a speed merchant. We’ve been so bad for so many years that Kansas City fans believe Billy is a better-than-average major league hitter.

The second move would be to trade or release players such as Bruce Chen, Tim Collins, Nori Aoki and Lorenzo Cain and bring up kids such as Brett Eibner, Jorge Bonifacio, Donnie Joseph, Jimmy Paredes, Cheslor Cuthbert and a guy we paid millions for, Noel Arguelles.

If David and Dan Glass paid a million dollars or more for a player, they should give that person a chance in the big leagues.

John Koehler

Raytown Dumping poor people

A Rally for Dignity was held in Jefferson City last week (5-7, A10, “Protesters interrupt debate in Missouri Senate”). It involved about 300 Missouri Faith members, who rallied to encourage reluctant lawmakers to move toward expanding the scope of the Medicaid program.

The rally delayed Senate action and initiated the arrests of 23 people. Demonstrators highlighted society’s divisions. Namely, that we are divided between the haves and the have-nots. This is traditional and has been around since the beginning.

What I find disheartening is that today’s politicians, the haves, couch their arguments against expanded benefits by saying, “We need to lower government’s deficit.” This is a good idea. But I consider it sorely lacking in authority.

The underlying reason for politicians not expanding Medicaid is the age-old reality of societal division. People seen as stooping to accept Medicaid benefits are thought by some as “them,” “those people,” “you people,” “trash,” “they won’t work,” “they are no good.”

Missouri politicians, while professing religious values, seem to find it easy to dump on “them” and dictate no Medicaid expansion.

Robert M. Shettles

Liberty AmeriCorps’ birthday

This year, AmeriCorps is celebrating its 20th anniversary. As a member of the National Health Corps, I have firsthand knowledge of the huge effect a dedicated group of ordinary citizens can have on the community.

Personally, I have served many individuals by providing health education. Speaking with patients both one on one and in a group setting on topics such as healthy lifestyle, smoking cessation and asthma management helps patients receive individualized care.

Many patients would have been overlooked had my AmeriCorps position not been in place.

Don’t forget to keep an eye out for AmeriCorps 20th anniversary events. And in the spirit of community service, don’t be afraid to get involved in your community.

Jessica Reker

Shawnee

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