Letters to the Editor

July 25, 2014

Letter writers express views on KCI, state sales tax, Hobby Lobby case

Letters to the Editor: Misguided is the best way to describe the proposed Missouri sales tax increase to pay for roads and bridges. The League of Women Voters of Kansas City, Jackson, Clay and Platte Counties and the League of Women Voters of Missouri strongly oppose this Aug. 5 ballot measure.

KCI satisfaction

As I was perusing the website for Kansas City recently, I came across the 2012-13 citizen survey. In that report, a graph titled “Overall Satisfaction with Major Category of City Services” shows an increase in satisfaction in the quality of airport facilities from 71.5 percent in 2005 to 73.5 percent in 2012-13.

If more than half of citizens who took the time to complete the survey are satisfied (myself included), shouldn’t that say something to those who want to destroy Kansas City International Airport? Have they read the report?

Why are we always so quick to tear things down? How about an upgrade instead?

Carolyn Spears

Kansas City

No on road tax

Misguided is the best way to describe the proposed Missouri sales-tax increase to pay for roads and bridges. The League of Women Voters of Kansas City, Jackson, Clay and Platte Counties and the League of Women Voters of Missouri strongly oppose this Aug. 5 ballot measure.

Three key issues are at play here:

1. This proposed sales-tax increase would be levied on a lot of taxable goods that people need to live their daily lives, whether they use roads and bridges or not. This is a regressive tax — one that hurts those on fixed incomes, the poor and the middle class. Moreover, people who drive fuel-efficient vehicles would be taxed as much as people who do not.

2. A tax on fuels that power vehicles that use the roads and bridges would be more appropriate and fair.

3. The Missouri legislature’s massive tax cuts do not make sense. This tax proposal indicates that our state cannot afford basic government functions like building roads and bridges without resorting to regressive sales taxes.

Missouri needs to stop the tax-cut grandstanding and focus on the true costs of running a state and meeting basic needs, including roads and bridges.

Linda Vogel Smith


League of Women

Voters, Jackson, Clay

and Platte Counties


Hobby Lobby case

I would like to reply to a July 11 letter complaining about “free” birth control for women by rewriting the letter from a female point of view.

Why are some American men so hooked on someone else paying for their erectile-dysfunction medication? For the uninsured, the average cost of erectile-dysfunction medication is $50 to $250 monthly. For those with insurance, it is less.

If you can afford a data plan on your iPhone, you can afford erectile-dysfunction medication.

So in light of the recent Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby case, let me throw an analogy your way:

I want to eat lunch. My employer doesn’t provide me with a lunch. However, the employer does pay me a salary, with which I can buy my own lunch. Your erectile-dysfunction medication, like my lunch, is not a constitutional right.

Get it?

Carolyn Hanes


Re-elect Spence

This letter is in support of Bob Spence’s re-election to the 6th District Jackson County Legislature seat.

I met Bob a few years ago when a building I owned was reappraised by Jackson County and officials increased its appraised value 120 percent.

I had owned the building only two years. I tried to get help with this from the county appraiser, but he would not provide the information I requested. I was very upset and called Spence’s office to complain about the lack of access on how officials made the new valuation.

Bob listened and took action right away by calling the county appraiser and ensuring that the information requested was provided. Armed with the facts, I was able to successfully appeal and get a reduction in my taxes of more than 25 percent for a savings of more than $29,000.

Politicians who promptly respond and help voters are rare. Elected officials who save me money are even rarer.

Bob Spence is running in the Aug. 5 primary for another term. I want him to continue representing me in the 6th District.

Please consider voting for Bob in next month’s primary.

Vincent Seif

Lee’s Summit

No on ‘right to farm’

I’m old enough to remember the Red Scare of the 1950s. That was a hysterical fear that communism was taking over America.

As I drive around and see those red signs urging folks to vote yes on Amendment 1, I can’t help thinking about how powerful a tool fear can be and how people can be made to vote against their best interests.

The fear we had back in the ’50s was that we would be under the control of a communist dictatorship and have no rights or ownership of our property. Ironically, if Amendment 1 passes on Aug. 5, we would lose those rights, but not to a communist political system.

We would be ceding local control to multinational corporations eager to build large-scale animal-production facilities all over Missouri. Local governments would have no power to stop the horrible pollution those factory farms produce. And homeowners would not be able to stop them from building next door.

One Chinese corporation already has 50,000 acres of Missouri farmland and owns Smithfield Foods Inc., the huge pork producer. How ironic that the “vote yes” signs are red.

The Missouri Farmers Union, which represents family farms, opposes Amendment 1. For more information, go to www.VoteNoOn1.com. Then please vote no on Amendment 1.

Susan Cunningham

Pacific, Mo.

Poison gas in Syria

The mainstream media continue to erroneously report that Syrian President Bashar Assad used sarin gas against his own citizens. Proof of Assad’s complicity is still lacking.

A weapons-testing lab in England found that a sarin sample found on the scene was of a clandestine, homemade variety, and not of the military grade sarin found in Assad’s arsenal. The American and British intelligence communities had known since the spring of 2013 that rebel factions within Syria had been developing chemical weapons.

The preponderance of the evidence suggests that it was a rebel faction. To think that we almost rushed to war over faulty intelligence after the Iraq debacle is extremely disturbing.

John Benjamin Eskew

Lee’s Summit

Controlling weight

The new suturing procedure offers a relatively straightforward and confidential weight-management process, but just thinking about the cost makes me wonder how many people can afford it (7-21, C1, “Stomach procedure tested in KC holds new hope”).

With rising health-care costs, it is questionable this new procedure will ever be affordable to the multitudes of target candidates. Also, would patients want to undergo this treatment if they had the chance to adopt longer-term, preventive weight-gain techniques as young children?

This article highlights important organic weight-control methods such as eating slowly and monitoring meat portions. While weight-loss medical treatment can prove effective, it’s important not to forget that people can prevent weight gain from the start by limiting calorie intake, exercising daily and controlling fat and sodium consumption.

Weight-control medical procedures do not guarantee patients will not suffer physical complications or emotional effects from excess weight, so it’s better to focus on preventing the issue before it ever begins.

Meixi Wang


Background noise

I was so happy to read other letters of people complaining of how loud the background music is on some movie channels. The channels have had some very good movies, if we could only hear what the characters are saying.

We have given up trying to watch the movies because of this. We are elderly but have perfect hearing, so I know that our hearing is not the problem.

We have a lot of friends who complain about the same problem. If I knew whom to contact about this, I would definitely do so.

Until then, we will all just skip those channels and watch something we can understand.

I wonder why that background music isn’t playing during the commercials.

Florence McGinnis


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