Joco Opinion

Joco letters — sidewalks in Prairie Village blasted

Concrete curse

Just like the Howell family of Prairie Village in the May 22 913, “Controversy over sidewalk installation continues to roil Prairie Village,” we, too object to the city's forcing five-foot sidewalks on our properties.

Pawnee between 75th and 77th streets is a quiet, two-block, residential street that has gone successfully without sidewalks for half a century. Now, despite our protests, we have flags and paint decorating our yards indicating the beginning of the controversial sidewalk project.

The 75 percent voting process the city came up with was not fair on these counts: The homeowners on the non-sidewalk side of the street had the same voting power as we do on the selected sidewalk side. But it is our side that will suffer the removal of trees, demolition of existing landscaping and new responsibility for caring for the five-foot sidewalks in winter, etc.

Also the votes of residents who did not bother to respond counted against us. Why should their vote count at all?

Our own city councilpersons voted against us. Your lack of support will be remembered in the next election. And so sadly we say farewell to the tradition of our street and brace for the addition of concrete.

Betty J. Clark Prairie Village Time to think

It’s time to take a breath. We have an executive branch of government growing ever more powerful, a legislative branch mired in a political struggle for personal gain and a judicial branch biased to a flaw.

Our citizenry is squabbling over rights already protected by the Constitution or people question what should be left to the religions not to the law. Our economy is running amok because of greed and deregulation, and the news media keeps fueling the chaos through fanatic wordsmiths with no solutions, only hate and fear.

As a people, we need to look to each other and think.

John Nelles Shawnee No tears, outrage

I had to laugh at House Speaker John Boehner's remark, “I don't want to know who is responsible, I want to know who's going to jail!” regarding the Internal Revenue Service targeting conservative and tea party groups applying for tax-exempt status. Funny, I don't recall anything close to this extreme indignation and demand for accountability and punishment about the big banks and their executives after collapsing the national economy with their bogus home mortgage deals.

Their criminal actions, which were intentional and encouraged, adversely affected every single citizen in this country, some in disastrous ways. Many will never fully recover.

Families destroyed, bankruptcies, homes foreclosed and unknown health issues as a result of these acts. Did you hear similar outrage from Mr. Boehner or his cronies that I missed? I thought so.

Nor has a single banker been charged and tried for their awful crimes. In fact, most have received enormous salaries and bonuses and are doing business as usual.

Obviously, campaign contributions, lobby influences and a very comfortable personal life are soothing balms to a speaker's ruffled feathers. But, because he is prone to crying, maybe he could at least share a tear for the banker's victims.

Henry Goben Overland Park Unacceptable politics

Political action groups on the left, right or in the middle should not even be considered for tax-exempt status because ultimately, they do not meet the definition of organizations that “promote social welfare.”

It’s not that the Internal Revenue Service should be profiling and targeting groups that qualify under current law. Of course, that IRS action is unacceptable and should be investigated.

However, the law clearly needs to be changed by the legislative branch because current law is being highjacked by these political action committees.

One key point is in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations can contribute to these political groups as the corporate entity's right of free speech. So, now the federal government is supposed to give these political action groups a free pass to avoid taxes on contributions (i.e. “income” for their organization)?

No way and by the way, the country could use the revenues to pay down debt.

Ted Steinmeyer Jr. Leawood Caring in Olathe

My sister-in-law, Sharon, had just moved here from Las Vegas and is so amazed by the courtesy from everybody that she encounters. An overwhelming thing occurred during rush hour on a weekend when we were driving on Santa Fe Street in Olathe.

Somehow her dog, Brown Eyes, managed to push the button, open the window, jump from the car and take off running. Sharon pulled over.

Traffic stopped as drivers pulled over to avoid hitting Brown Eyes. Two young men chased after him.

All total there were six young people who came out of stores, out of cars trying to capture this running 20-pound, black dog who was scared to death and not used to traffic.

One of the rescuers was able to capture Sharon’s pet. No one was hurt even with six young people involved in the rescue during rush hour.

What this says about the people in our community is they care about other people. They care about lost dogs.

They are willing to risk themselves to care for something else. Sharon was amazed that anyone would care about her dog.

Everywhere she has gone she has found people are so helpful. She has never been in a world where people were so kind, gracious and helpful.

Sometimes we forget what a wonderful place we live in where people are courteous to one another and care for each other. We often forget what a wonderful world we live in where people care for one another.

Martha Varzaly Olathe