816 North Opinion

Letters to the editor

Legislative let down

I love alliterations. Try these. Concurrence, consensus, complicity, coercion, capability, competency and conviction. A few minutes research in good old uncle Daniel Webster’s book, in the above order, was an interesting exercise in futility.

I wonder into which category each of our Missouri legislators belong. Were they thinking about their constituents as they added about $200 million of tax exemptions to special interests to the state budget in the last eight hours of this year’s session?

Was their vote in the name of those they purportedly represent? One thing we can have concurrence on is that the word statesman doesn’t appear in any definition of the above alliteration grouping.

Arthur W. Elkins


Flashy KC future

Kansas City’s biggest problems are crime and public schools, not streetcars. Tax dollars should be spent carefully on city services and infrastructure that will make people want to live, work and stay in Kansas City.

On that count, streetcars are a $575 million “want,” not a “need.” We can be wildly successful attracting millennials and entrepreneurs to Kansas City, but it will take safe neighborhoods and good schools to keep them in Kansas City when they’re ready to start families.

Otherwise, they’re off to Johnson County and eastern Jackson County. The proposed streetcar system will be stylish, but functionally redundant of the existing bus service we already have on Main Street, Independence Avenue and Linwood Boulevard.

To make matters worse, it will impose a regressive 1-cent sales tax on those least able to pay for it at a time when the city and state are pushing sales taxes that will put total sales taxes in most of Kansas City over 10 percent.

Our future is about investing in people, not flashy projects.

Dan Cofran

Kansas City

Loving guns in U.S.

The evidence is clear: advanced countries have strict regulations on gun ownership; they have one-fiftieth of the per capita deaths that we do because of gun use in the U.S. Wholesale use of guns for self-defense is a dumb idea: the shooter is often more to blame than the victim. So why do so many in the U.S. see any regulation attempt as a dastardly conspiracy?

Two reasons: The image of the rebel, strapping on his gun, still has appeal, even though he is only going to strut through his supermarket. Some of you are permanent adolescents, would-be John Waynes.

The central one for the nuttier of you, is a fear of our government. “Big government is watching me. When the black helicopters start landing in my back yard, I want to be able to shoot back.” This is as close as you can get to paranoia, outside of an asylum.

What are you traditional hunters, responsible family leaders, doing with crazies like these?

Ben Vineyard

St. Joseph

Athlete of Week

For the amount of profit that Hy-Vee makes per week in the Kansas City area, the $1,000 scholarship and the small trophy the grocery operation gives to the “Metro Athlete Scholar of the Week” is or should be an embarrassment. Hy-Vee, get real.

Jim Marsicek

Lee’s Summit


Ride-share questions

During a recent trip to San Francisco I noticed how well the many choices of public transportation all worked. Meanwhile in Kansas City the town is fighting against ride-sharing programs like Lyft and Uber.

Recently while driving on Interstate 70 I noticed a sign that said “Ride Sharing Information. Ridesharekc.org.”

Can someone please offer a truthful explanation of why the city fights these programs but advertises a website supporting ride-sharing? Also, if these programs are so bad why haven't we heard about medical transportation firms and welfare ride firms getting the same treatment?

Robert Burger