Readers weigh in on clean streets, assault weapons, streetcars

07/08/2014 7:00 AM

07/08/2014 5:48 PM

Keep KC clean

Please help keep Kansas City streets and boulevards beautiful.

Drivers, please don’t throw your trash in the street.

And dog walkers, please pick up after your pet and take the bag home or dispose of it properly. Bagging the poop and leaving the bag by the sidewalk does not count as cleaning up after your dog.

Ginzy Schaefer

Kansas City

Selling assault guns

I like one large area sporting goods store. I shop there often and like the products and people.

However, when it comes to the store’s policies on assault weapons, we differ. I have no problem with the store advertising the sale of rifles and shotguns for hunting and pistols for target practice and home security.

But assault weapons, whose only purpose is to kill people, and lots of them, are a different matter. I recently received an advertising flier in the mail that includes a large picture of an assault rifle with accessories.

It is described as a “Tactical Emergency Kit” and states, “This grab-and-go kit has essentials you need to survive.”

I ask: What type of “emergency” requires a person to “grab it and go,” presumably from your home, an automatic rifle with 30 rounds of ammunition in its magazine in order to “survive”? This is a blatant appeal to the mindset of people whose thought processes are already dangerous.

Shame on the store’s marketing management.

Tom Fisher

Leawood

KC streetcar benefits

Do the opponents of the streetcar proposals know what’s at stake in having a viable public transit system in the city?

As the father of four daughters who have to drive to survive, I have a particular take on this whole car-culture mess.

Young people in particular are victimized by this trap of owning and maintaining a used car while holding down a low-paying job and paying off student loans. The problems for us seniors pale in comparison.

The worry over whether public transportation can pay for itself is in the same category as universal health care.

The high human cost of not having it is the issue.

We should try to ease some of the burdens on the young wrought by the kind of society that we have made.

Keith Hammer

Excelsior Springs

College education

Some people have said there may be more to a good life than college. As a Christian and one who competes in today’s world, I don’t see how.

Not many achieve a higher standard of living without a college degree. One can attend community college for two years and then go to a state school and have a good degree without all of the debt.

Kids need a rounded view of the world and have to learn how to live and survive in it. As one who tried private school for our children, we found it vastly limited the interaction and access to tools and information.

Once we made the change, we saw a marked improvement in the children’s growth.

As we have aged, we see the decisions and earning potential of those in our kids’ age group, and I can tell you firsthand most struggle.

Times have changed. As technology reduces entry-level jobs, humans must grow to engage the tasks left.

My children still have made good, value-based decisions and most of all learned how to love and live with others who are different.

Scott Buescher

Olathe

Evaluating teachers

As a 27-year educator who recently retired, I can promise you that eliminating teacher tenure is not going to guarantee that all teachers are strong.

If administrators were willing to drop into teachers’ rooms more often and to evaluate them objectively based on performance, rather than on personal feelings or what the teacher coaches say, there would be no such problem.

Cindy Berryman

Blue Springs

Tenure for educators

The popular misconception is that teachers granted tenure are guaranteed jobs for life. Nothing could be further from the truth — regardless of what conservatives would like the public to believe.

Granting teachers tenure only ensures that they will be afforded access to due process if their dismissal is being contemplated. In other words, they cannot be summarily fired without just cause.

Tenure was instituted to protect teachers from the undue influence of politicians, and the assault on our public schools by conservative politicians in many Republican states clearly shows the need for such protection.

Do we really want a system where politicians can influence school boards and school superintendents to fire biology teachers because they teach evolution rather than creationism or to fire English teachers because politicians may not agree with their choice of books for a literature class?

William S. Eickhorst

Professor emeritus

(retired)

Kansas City

Improve KCI smartly

I continue to read comments about whether the city should upgrade Kansas City International Airport or build a new terminal. Recent letters have discussed the issue of multiple terminals and the inconvenience of using different airlines.

I can only presume that those who voice concerns about multiple terminals versus a single-terminal design have never been to Los Angeles International Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport or Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. All of these airports have multiple terminals and huge traffic volume — much more than Kansas City will ever see.

KCI’s convenience for travelers is well-known, but adding better facility access for passengers within the security areas is necessary. I believe that improving the airport, including connecting trams, is a much smarter and less costly idea than building a single-terminal design.

Rick Sailler

Kansas City

Faith-based U.S.

With all the negative talk about how America is not a Christian country, just look at the two major Christian celebrations, Easter and Christmas, and how much they are part of our country.

Both are recognized as religious holidays, and although they have become a little too commercial, the fact they have been and will continue to be part of our culture for a majority of people contradicts the few who want to take religion out of our country.

On both days, churches are usually overflowing. They come not to be seen but because they believe.

Some nonreligious people do not believe in anything because they can’t talk to God or see him. However, if they would read the Christian history and realize there are things in this world we cannot ever see or understand, they could then join the hundreds of millions of Christians who have faith and live it out daily, not only on these two days.

Gene Zwolinski

Leawood

Climate change funds

Robert Brulle of Drexel University did a comprehensive, peer-reviewed study of financing for denial of climate change. His study shows Koch Industries to be a leading supporter to finance denial of scientific climate-change findings.

Brulle’s study says that powerful funders are passing money through foundations such as Donors Trust to try to hide their contributions. The public deserves to know who funds these efforts.

Why are the Koch brothers trying to hide their contributions?

Nancy Ferrell

Kansas City

TV ad indicator

Perhaps one way to know whether you have arrived in heaven after you’ve died — no more Nebraska Furniture Mart TV commercials.

If you are still seeing these commercials, you’re probably in the wrong place.

Bill Anthony

Olathe

Shame on Congress

Congress provides corporate tax breaks but no unemployment benefits extension. How shameful.

Elwin McKenzie Jr.

Peculiar

Illegal immigration

Seeing people’s comments on illegal immigrants being criminals reminds me of a picture I have seen of five Indian chiefs. Beneath the picture are the words “Fighting illegal immigration since 1492.”

Bill Betteridge

Independence

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