Missouri tax dance
I don’t understand what’s happening to Missouri lawmakers. Kansas legislators have cut all kinds of taxes, and now the state is headed for financial trouble.
I guess the Missouri legislators can’t look across the state line to see what’s going on. I have yet to see anyone on a soapbox claiming that state taxes are too high.
Now Missouri lawmakers are lowering income taxes by $650 million but are asking voters to add a three-quarter-cent sales tax to fix crumbling roads. I’ve always said the first thing that goes is preventive maintenance when you lower taxes.
And, of course, any sales tax increase would hurt the poor and middle class the most, and the rich get a nice break.
I think it’s time to find out who pays, who benefits and by how much.
Flights at KCI
Looking at the Kansas City International Airport website or walking by the airline ticket counters, one would conclude there are nine airlines serving KCI — AirTran, Alaska, Air Canada, American, Delta, Frontier, Southwest, United and US Airways.
Are you aware there are actually more airlines that provide flights from KCI?
You won’t find these at airline ticket counters or on the departures/arrivals board. Yet they fly many of the weekday departures from KCI.
Take away the flights by Southwest, and many of those are remaining. What are these mystery airlines?
Who hasn’t heard of Air Wisconsin, Chautauqua, Compass, Endeavor, Envoy, ExpressJet, GoJet, Jazz, Mesa, Republic, Shuttle America and Skywest. If you’re ticketed on American, Delta or US Airways, there’s a good chance you’ll fly on a mystery airline. Of the many United flights, many are on mystery airlines.
On your next flight, look closely at your ticket and the nose of the aircraft to see what airline you’re really flying. The airline that sold you the ticket has absolutely no responsibility for the operation of that aircraft.
Don’t be fooled by the paint on the plane.
Atmospheric CO2 (carbon dioxide) had risen steadily from about 320 parts per million in 1960 to more than 400 ppm last month, according to CO2now.org. Scientists say we need to keep CO2 at 350.
Recently, the United Nations Panel on Climate Change said we have 15 years of an “intensive push” to keep planetary warming to a “tolerable level.”
The meat industry, according to the Earth Day Network, is responsible for 20 percent of the world’s greenhouse emissions. This is larger than the entire transportation sector, and it requires 2,500 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef. Eating one fewer burger per week is the equivalent of skipping 320 miles of driving, according to the Environmental Working Group website.
This led me to the Internet section on vegetarian eating, and I found interesting information about health benefits and many recipes.
In the frozen-food section of the grocery are vegetarian burgers that are very tasty. Maybe McDonald’s restaurants and other chains could offer veggie burgers.
For those of us who enjoy meat, we can try eating vegetarian meals two or three days a week. This just might cut down the high CO2, which is endangering our lives.
Mary Helen Korbelik
I imagine most wealthy people are charitable. We should not assume wealthy persons are not charitable just because they choose to give anonymously.
The generous wealthy people in Kansas City do so much for the city. It is probably hard to remain anonymous.
The Hall family comes to mind first when I think of Kansas City philanthropists.
Safety at home
This month, we learned of the death of Ann B. Davis, who played housekeeper Alice on TV’s “The Brady Bunch,” after suffering a fall in her home. This type of accidental death is not new for those who are aging.
Non-conducive living environments present avoidable risks to our aging population. To broaden our approach to accommodate the needs of aging seniors, policy leaders need to consider innovative models that allow for alternatives to traditional retirement communities.
Currently, there are limited resources to assist in this effort at the federal level, and Medicare provides no options to make modifications to homes.
LifeWise Renovations has incorporated housing and health-care expertise, creating a medical model to understand the needs of the residents yet provide insight on how home improvements can enhance their ability to function in the home.
This type of intervention can help prevent avoidable accidents and allow those who choose to stay in their homes the healthy alternative to age in place with the most self-sufficiency and safety possible.
VA in KC great
I have been a Kansas City area veteran for 45 years. I have received educational, medical, post-traumatic stress disorder and disability benefits. During all of those 45 years, I have been treated with respect and appreciation for my service (1966-69 U.S. Army) by all at the Kansas City Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the national offices.
The VA paid for my college education. The medical and PTSD treatments at the VA Medical Center are outstanding. I prefer to go there now rather than private medical practices.
I recently had cataract surgery at the VA Medical Center. It was an extraordinary experience.
The wait time for the surgery was less than a month from first exam to the surgery and recovery. My vision is almost back to 20/20.
The director, Kent Hill, is a veteran himself and will not tolerate any abuse of vets.
I’m sure there are bad apples in some of the VA hospitals across the country but not here in Kansas City.
Thank you, former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, and God bless the Kansas City Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
Michael J. Callahan
New unrest in Iraq
Republican saber-rattling about the current situation in Iraq has a reached a high point, led by Sen. John McCain blaming President Barack Obama. These folks are not being honest and, thus, here are a few reminders.
Before the U.S.’s ill-conceived incursion into Iraq in 2003, there was marginal religious influence in Saddam Hussein’s very secular Iraq. Iraq is now engulfed in a full-fledged, Islamic-based civil war.
When the U.S. captured Saddam and had him executed (along with his Ba’ath Party), it left a huge political vacuum in the Middle East. Guess who filled that vacuum? Iran, which has gained significant regional influence and strength since. Before that, mortal enemies Iran and Iraq kept each other somewhat contained.
The U.S. lost more than 4,500 service men and women and spent trillions of taxpayer dollars, and what was won?
Peace in the Middle East? A stable Iraq?
We won nothing, just as we will win nothing in Afghanistan, just as we won nothing in Vietnam.
Will we ever learn?
And, finally, the very painful question. Were all those precious lives sacrificed and dollars wasted for nothing?
That will be up to each of us to resolve on our own.
Ted Steinmeyer Jr.
Off-leash dog park
On a recent Wednesday morning, I took my dog and a friend’s two dogs to Penn Valley Park. At 11 a.m., there were no places to park.
The cars and trucks were parked on the grass surrounding the park. I counted 42 vehicles.
Where are the off-leash dog parks in Kansas City?
If there are enough folks who can take the pups out on a weekday morning and fill the park to overflow, a real need is obvious. I can’t take three dogs to walk in Loose Park. These guys want to run and play.
By the way, the dogs were giving me the stink eye all the way home.
I finally stopped at McDonald’s and got cheeseburgers for them.