Jim Strahle, a civilian in the Kansas City Police Department’s media relations office until his retirement last year, writes: A comment quoted by followers of the fatal shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice was officers only gave him a two-second warning before firing their weapons. However, one obvious question comes to mind: How long does it take a person holding a pistol in his hand to point it at an officer?
Robert Minor of Kansas City, chair of the Kansas City Workers’ Rights Board of Missouri Jobs with Justice and emeritus professor of religious studies at the University of Kansas, writes: We call upon Missouri administrators and the General Assembly to reverse all staff cuts to the Family Support Division and take necessary steps to ensure that Missourians in need always have the ability to see a caseworker face to face to share their unique circumstances.
Anne Foster, a Kansas City native who worked at an international nonprofit based in Kansas City and volunteered with many local nonprofits, writes: We donors are often frustrated to learn that half of our donation — or less — goes to the “cause” and the rest goes toward the organization’s advertising, fundraising or administration costs.
Andrew B. Wilson, a resident fellow and senior writer at the Show-Me Institute, writes: A surprised and outraged Franklin D. Roosevelt called it “a date which will live in infamy.” But Dec. 7, 1941, may also be remembered as one of the great turning points (for the better) in world history.
“As Missouri residents, we need to be on guard for the next attempt to take over our schools,” writes ames Wrolstad, who has been a professional educator for more than 30 years. “Support our teachers and school boards — not misguided multimillionaires — and let them do education reform.”
Benjamin Corn, a professor of oncology at Tel Aviv University Medical Center and the founder of the organization Life’s Door, writes of Rabbi Kalman Levine, who was killed Nov. 18 in an attack on a Jerusalem synagogue complex: Until the end, Kalman had the strength of spirit to stand for his values in the face of peer pressure and even fatal danger.
"Immigration reform is a difficult but necessary issue, and from here Obama and Congress must get beyond the rancor and solve the problem permanently," writes Greg Orman, who, as an independent candidate, unsuccessfully challenged Republican incumbent Pat Roberts for U.S. Senate in Kansas.
Tens of thousands of local kids go without enough food on weekends. The Star is partnering with Harvesters to raise money for the area’s hungriest children. All money goes to Harvesters’ BackSnack program, which provides low-income children weekend meals. Just $25 provides a child BackSnacks for a month; $250 provides BackSnacks for a year.
Elizabeth Alex, a traveler, storyteller and speaker with Unbound, an international humanitarian organization, writes: For 2.5 billion people packed into the poorest places on Earth, “restrooms” are train tracks, gutters, waterways or patches of grass. There is nothing restful about it. The United Nations has designated Nov. 19 as World Toilet Day.
Mariner Kemper, the chairman and CEO of UMB Financial Corp. and the chairman of the American Royal Association, writes: "Kansas City and the American Royal have a tremendous opportunity to embrace our past and look to the future by supporting the mission of the American Royal. But we can’t do that as a community without a long-term vision and a plan."
“Kansas stood up and said enough,” Pat Roberts, a Kansas Republican, writes of last week’s midterm elections, in which he won another term in the U.S. Senate. “Enough of the status quo, enough of the gridlock, enough of the president’s ‘pen and phone,’ enough of the autocratic and unconstitutional march toward a bigger, more intrusive federal government.”
Jared Weese, a senior at Park University majoring in economics who lives in Sugar Creek, Mo., writes: Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon’s refusal to release $12 million in need-based financial aid has further hurt students of military and working families who already were struggling to achieve a college degree.
Michael Hagedorn, the chairman of the Downtown Council of Kansas City and the president and CEO of UMB Bank, writes: “At a time when it was easier to develop suburban green fields, Phil Kirk turned his attention to the seemingly insurmountable task of rebuilding the city center. He spoke of cities and their buildings as having souls. To him, their decline was a tragedy that needed to be righted.”
Missouri Rep. Chris Kelly of Columbia, who serves House District 45, writes: “Amendment 10 on the November ballot is an effort to fix something that is not broken. And fixing matters of political opinion with constitutional amendments is a bad idea.”
New Lenexa resident Sarah Donohoe, who writes a weekly, slice-of-life column for the Estes Park (Colo.) News called The Thunker, writes: The game of baseball has a way of stirring patriotism in one’s soul. It is a clean-cut sport, with the athletes wearing nice-fitting uniforms and patting each other on the backside rather than trying to knock each other over with the brute force of an angry bull.
“Growing up, we are taught that America is a ‘melting pot’ and that diversity and inclusiveness are unique characteristics that help keep our country strong,” writes Brooke Palmer of Kansas City. “Yet how many times in our lives are we able to truly experience the melting of different ethnicities, ages, races, socioeconomic statuses and sexual orientations without extreme dissidence or discomfort?”
Emily Loeb, who grew up going to Royals games with her dad and now lives in Pittsburgh, writes: “Now I watch the Royals’ games on my computer, which wasn’t possible in 1985. I am far from Kansas City, but watching the games makes me feel close to home and to my dad.”
“Kemper Arena is clearly an iconic structure in our community, is historically and architecturally significant, and is an economic opportunity for the city, including the emerging new urban community in the West Bottoms,” writes Greg Allen, the president of the Historic Kansas City Foundation. “The building has unrealized potential and is clearly reusable.”
“I have been rooting for the Royals since I was a 9-year-old kid in Kansas City,” writes actor Zack Conroy, formerly from Belton and Overland Park, who is on CBS’ “The Bold and The Beautiful.” “Although I only lived in the city for two years, my dad would take my little brother and me to the ballpark every couple of weeks during the summer.”
“A few years ago, an east coast congressman mocked farm organizations for expressing concern about EPA regulating farm dust, ‘There is no plan to regulate farm dust,’ the congressman chided, ‘any more than there is to regulate fairy dust.’ The congressman must have been sniffing fairy dust because his claim turned out to be, in farm terms, bull excrement. EPA may be at it again,” writes Bartholomew L. McLeay, a lawyer practicing in agriculture and energy law.
“Teenagers are often portrayed in the media as wild, hopeless, dumb, doomed, uncontrollable and overall a disgrace to their elders,” writes Eleanor Nash, a homeschooled 15-year-old who attends Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley part time. “But this attitude is nothing new.”
The chief executive officer of Heart to Heart International writes that we have a short period of time to stop this virus before it puts the rest of the world at risk. At the same time, we have a responsibility to respond to an overwhelming humanitarian crisis where millions of people are suffering from lack of even the most fundamental medical care.
“I was relieved that Henry McCollum and Leon Brown, after waiting over 30 years, finally proved their innocence with the help of DNA evidence and were released from prison in North Carolina,” writes Darryl Burton, who was wrongfully convicted of murder in Missouri on the basis of perjured testimony and spent 24 years in prison before being exonerated and released.