Letters to the Editor

May 29, 2014

Praising teachers, police ticketing, foreign policy

Amid ongoing news of corruption, mismanagement and breakdowns in security, time should be taken to recognize positive aspects of Kansas City Public Schools.

Praising KC teachers

Amid ongoing news of corruption, mismanagement and breakdowns in security, time should be taken to recognize positive aspects of Kansas City Public Schools.

A vast majority of the Kansas City district has quality teachers, administrators, coaches and support staff, along with students well-deserving of their efforts. Faced with constant hardships — non-caring parents, lack of funding, underlying threats of legal ramifications — there are members who remain committed to the education and well-being of their charges and not to the exploitation of reasons economic, political or social in nature.

This majority strives not for recognition or for self-aggrandizement but for the betterment of an often underappreciated and seldom-recognized district and one that shares similar ideologies with those of surrounding counterparts.

Kansas City employees represent opposite extremes — those whose actions have garnered attention and those who deserve, but never receive, the same. This serves to acknowledge the latter.

Donald L. Robertson

Blue Springs

Foreign policy flaws

Just a few months ago, Secretary of State John Kerry promised the Israelis that we would insist that Palestinians recognize Israel as a state. Now, Kerry tells Congress it is a mistake to demand recognition.

He doesn’t understand that Palestinians are not interested in recognizing Israel. They want to occupy the same land as Israel. If they recognize Israel, it weakens their demand to take over the land.

The U.S. placating Palestinians will not bring peace. President Harry S. Truman, who signed the United Nations contract to establish Israel, must be spinning in his grave with this wavering American foreign policy.

Harold Koch


Police ticketing

Issuing quotas to patrol officers to write a minimum number of tickets per day is inherently wrong (5-27, A1, “KC police step up ticketing”). It puts pressure on patrol officers to trump up charges to meet their daily quotas.

It reeks of abuse of process and malicious prosecution.

Pity the poor schmoe who is anywhere near a patrol officer who is reaching the end of his or her shift and has not met the daily quota.

B. Jerome Wheeler

Kansas City

Years ago, my father and I were threatened by two thugs who loitered in our block. They vandalized the neighborhood. They pointed a gun at my dad once.

About the same time, the Kansas City Police Department publicized its gang unit. We called the police twice and got the answering machine. A week later there was a string of robberies, and one man was shot.

Maybe the police were out writing tickets.

Oswaldo Baeza

Kansas City

Midwest Voices

It was refreshing to read Carol Dark Ayres’ May 24 Midwest Voices column, “Is media bias impairing reporting.” While I am very surprised it was published by The Star, thank you for doing so.

This should be required reading for every member of The Star editorial board at least once each week. The journalist’s creed has been forgotten in more than 90 percent of everyday reporting.

Having recently traveled to Europe, I was amazed to see the difference in reporting by CNN in Europe versus the day-to-day propaganda put out by CNN in this country to try to advance leftist goals while failing to provide the basic facts on stories.

An 18-month review of what CNN has reported on the Benghazi disaster (it would not take long because it has remained silent on this subject for the most part) would prove very interesting to your editorial board and would certainly support Ayres’ column.

David E. Bahner

Lee’s Summit

KC celebration tops

We enjoyed many celebrations with the Boston Pops. We were at the Washington Monument for the festivities on July 4, 1976, and heard Johnny Cash sing “God Bless America.”

And we have observed many patriotic functions since in different areas of America. But the Kansas City Celebration at the Station is the best of all (5-26, A4, “A time for revelry, remembrance”).

Thanks to all who made it possible, especially the mayor, Bank of America and all the supporters and participants, but highest praise goes to our wonderful symphony and conductor Michael Stern.

Kansas City is not without problems, but watching this performance and seeing the enthusiasm and patriotism makes us proud to be part of it and America. Our dedicated military deserves to be honored and always remembered for its great contributions to secure our country at home and abroad.

Please keep up the good work.

Margaret McCauley

Overland Park

New QuikTrip site

I have lived in midtown for more than 25 years and have volunteered many hours to help improve my neighborhood. I think the proposed location at 33rd Street and Southwest Trafficway is the best possible site for a QuikTrip in midtown.

It is on a vacant lot, and no buildings would have to be torn down. The site does not abut any residential properties, and it is on Southwest Trafficway, which was built to handle more traffic than any other major streets in midtown.

QuikTrip would generate tax income, and the company pays its employees a good wage. I have been told QuikTrip has options on other sites in midtown, and those would not be as ideal as this location.

I urge neighborhood leaders to work with QuikTrip to find a workable solution. QuikTrip worked with the Southmoreland neighborhood when it remodeled the store on Main Street.

This lot has been vacant for at least 30 years. I think adding commercial properties helps an area stay vital.

James Peters

Kansas City

Mary Sanchez column

I would like to thank Mary Sanchez on her wonderful May 26 commentary, “Reclaim the day’s deeper meaning.”

She wrote about a message from one of the oldest veterans in the Kansas City area. His name is Sam Montague. He turns 102 today. He wrote a manuscript when he was 90.

It opens with his feelings about Memorial Day as a veteran because the original holiday was his birthday. In his early days, it was called Decoration Day. People took flowers and flags to cemeteries to pay respects to fallen veterans and lost loved ones.

Now, it’s all about big sales, radio and TV ads. It has become buy, buy, buy.

This was an outstanding article, and I so thank Mary for writing it. This has been my opinion for a long time. Does no one know the meaning of Memorial Day?

Judy Bishop

Lee’s Summit

Gun violence

Once again we learn of another mass slaughter, this time in the beach community of Isla Vista near the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Once again it was a young white male. Once again guns were used as the choice of destruction in four of the seven victims. His father is a prominent film director.

This epidemic has no social or economic determinant. Because of the number of guns in this country and the laws that have not been passed by our lawmakers, even though 90 percent of Americans would like stricter gun laws, things remain status quo.

This is because of corporate interests following the lead of the National Rifle Association. To quote Michael Moore, “The gun is our national symbol, not the bald eagle.”

Judy Rieck

Grandmothers Against

Gun Violence

Overland Park

Real Kansas love

It was interesting to read that former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole says, “I love this state.” He hasn’t had his real residence in Kansas for more than 50 years.

Like other Kansans who go to Washington, D.C., he left for good, except for an occasional visit, usually to campaign in election years.

I can’t think of a single person who returned to Kansas from a high Washington position unless it was to run for political office here. Former President Dwight Eisenhower retired to Pennsylvania. Most stay in Washington, as Dole has.

What people do tells us more about them than what they say.

Tim Miller


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