Priceless leadership, capital punishment, KCI

06/17/2014 6:12 PM

06/17/2014 6:36 PM

Priceless leadership

I had the pleasure of attending an award ceremony last month at the Truman Library for Congressman Emanuel Cleaver. I can’t imagine a more deserving recipient.

While at the reception, I worked up the courage to approach former Independence mayor Barbara Potts and her husband, Dr. Potts. She graciously answered my questions about being the first female mayor of Independence.

She and her husband shared the story regarding her decision to run for office and what she accomplished as mayor. What struck me at the ceremony was the huge impact these two political firsts have had on my hometown and on Kansas City.

Congressman Cleaver was the first black mayor of Kansas City, and Barbara Potts the first female mayor of Independence.

These firsts share a legacy of public service firmly grounded in a desire to make our communities better places to live.

Both of them are trailblazers who have opened up many opportunities for others. Both are humble and have incredible work ethics.

Independence and Kansas City have every reason to be proud of their political legacies, including that of a legendary U.S. president, Harry S. Truman.

Two political firsts taught me one priceless civic lesson.

Patty Petet


Capital punishment

Our elected officials love to throw around their legislative muscle on some of the most inane and inappropriate subjects. It’s time for them to address “cruel and unusual punishment” in regard to death-penalty cases.

Most of these condemned prisoners brutally murdered people. They gave no thought to their victims’ comfort or whether the victims’ deaths would be painless. They gave no thought to the pain and despair caused to their victims’ families, friends or co-workers.

Lethal injection is more than humane enough for these people who didn’t give their victims that choice.

I still think death by gas chamber, electric chair or firing squad is acceptable for people who have such disregard for human life. They didn’t care about their victims. Why should we care so much about them?

You murder someone in cold blood, you lose all right to humane treatment.

Brian Acker

Kansas City

Johnson County KCI

I notice the debate about what to do with Kansas City International Airport rages on. Here is a simple solution that will satisfy all parties.

For those who like the convenience of KCI, spruce it up a little and leave it basically as it. For those who want a brand spanking new airport with lots of food courts and shops (and for whatever reason, such as lining their pockets) build a new one — in Johnson County, where the travelers are. Talk about convenience.

Ron Platt

Overland Park

Dressing up KCI

The Kansas City International Airport Terminal Advisory Group announced its recommendation to replace our current three-terminal airport with a single-building facility. Among other advantages cited, it said that the new terminal “could create the best gateway impression of the city.”

Yeah, right. That’s like placing a colorful straw hat on a mule to make the mule more attractive.

Bruce Erickson

Lee’s Summit

Misleading TV ads

I suggest that some TV ads are misleading, especially those of certain proprietary schools. The small-print conditions, exceptions and limitations shown below the main content of the ad can rarely be read by the viewer.

Often, these take up a significant amount of space on the TV screen. One example, regarding a certain school’s courses and barely visible, states: “Will not transfer.”

I realize the media live on their advertising base. Nevertheless, consumers should be warned.

John Couture Sr.

Kansas City

Correspondence void

I was moved into Rep. Emanuel Cleaver’s district because of the last redistricting, and since that time I have written to him seven times and have never gotten a single response. Not one.

For that reason, I say Rep. Cleaver must go. We need a representative who responds to his constituents.

Steven Thomas

Kansas City

‘Smartpeople’ needed

Smartphone use these days has a price tag. I am not going to get on a soap box and take up preaching to the choir.

However, instead of getting all excited about installing all sorts of crime-prevention devices, maybe users should just do as their phone name suggests? Be smart using this phone.

Using the phone while driving can get you seriously killed.

No pun intended. Just answering or trying to dial a phone while driving is as bad as texting.

What we need is a “smartpeople” smartphone.

That, of course, is a little too much to ask.

As a species, we may be getting bigger, stronger and faster, but the jury is still undecided on the smarter issue.

Tom Spath


Insurance system

We depend on highly educated elected officials to make rational decisions when they decide to make laws, codes and regulations that affect all citizens of America.

I fail to understand how you take the current insurance system, keep it in place, continue the predatory practices of the legal system and add a huge government bureaucratic system, including the most feared part of government ever created, the Internal Revenue Service.

And the American citizen is expected to pay for all of this to be able to see a doctor or seek hospital care, and this is what is now called affordable.

Jerry Jackson

Kansas City

Climate change facts

I find it interesting that climate-change deniers use the most modern, advanced scientific studies and methods to prove that climate change happened in the past but step off using the same proven science to show the very real negative effect humans are currently having on the climate.

What the deniers conveniently leave out of their science that can’t be denied is that the current world population of more than 7 billion people totally relies on this life-sustaining climate and that this many people have never existed during the previous changes in the climate.

There is no alternative climate to save us as the deniers suggest.

With the world population expected to reach 9 billion on this very crowded planet very soon, we’ll come to regret our refusal to deny the false choices of the deniers if we don’t change our ways.

Go to and see the world population increasing right before your eyes and contemplate what the deniers of climate change are telling you.

Richard Taegel

Kansas City

Impeach Obama?

I want to see the Republicans try to impeach President Barack Obama over the Benghazi attack. I get tired of hearing the big, bold Republicans threatening to impeach our president.

I believe this would ensure the rise in our president’s popularity and also guarantee that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would become our next president.

Republicans are fossils who find their strength in providing a big tent for the rich and people who are diversity challenged.

Go ahead, speaker of the House, just try to impeach our president. Oh, by the way, I’m an old white male who supports our president and wishes him well the rest of his term.

John Koehler


Brush Creek trail

The Kansas City Parks and Recreation and Public Works departments have done a grand job connecting the Brush Creek walking and bicycling trail. It is a hidden gem.

The trail runs from the Country Club Plaza to Swope Parkway. It is wonderfully cool and blissfully traffic-free, offering beautiful views of landscapes, waterfalls, hawks and blue herons.

I’ve been enjoying watching the baby geese grow, although mama goose never fails to hiss.

If you have yet to meander down the Brush Creek Trail, consider a trip soon.

Rachael Coffman

Kansas City

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