Joco Opinion

Letters: OP must help improve Ranchmart, justice for whom?

Improve Ranchmart

We’ve lived a few blocks south of Ranchmart for 40 years. These modest neighborhoods are beautiful with mature trees and well-maintained homes. Most homes on the market don’t take long to sell. A clean, convenient shopping area is a plus, and Ranchmart has many conveniences that people want today.

Improvements to the south and southeast side need to proceed. But Leawood should definitely consider encouraging the current landlords to attend to the north side. Ranchmart North looks even more shabby since the south side has been updated. Even so there are some really great merchants there: O’Neill’s, Foo’s, Ranchmart Wine & Spirits, Hallmark, Tower Cleaners, Paris Tailoring, John’s Barbershop and, of course, Price Chopper.

The old Seasonal Concepts space has been empty for years. It would be ideal for a family-style restaurant and has ample parking to the east.

Smaller spaces would be great for specialty shops. I would love to have a bookstore, a good jeweler or a pet supply shop close by. Just look at Corinth Center and how it has flourished since being renovated.

We live in Overland Park with a Leawood ZIP code and care about both cities and the quality of our life in this older part of Johnson County. We shop at Ranchmart for our everyday needs and eat at O’Neill’s often. If creating a CID, or community improvement district, would spur completion of the south side and help begin needed work on the north side, we’re all for it.

We have no problem paying a bit more in sales taxes for our purchases.

Lesley J. Sifers

Overland Park

‘And justice for all’

And so it goes. Another unarmed black man is killed by a white police officer who chokes him to death, seemingly oblivious to the man's cries: “I can't breathe, I can't breathe.”

The man was hardly a threat as there were several other officers around him. The whole affair was plainly caught on video.

Yet, incredulously, the grand jury could not bring itself to find probable cause for an indictment. One wonders what more persuasive evidence could have been submitted to that jury than that video with sound.

The last six words of the “Pledge of Allegiance” are “with liberty and justice for all.”

If there is anybody reading this who believes those words, I would be interested in talking to you about a lovely New York City bridge I have for sale.

Jerry Ward

Overland Park

Global warming

Those of you who, like Chicken Little, still believe the sky is falling won’t want to read the following. If you are prone to the interchange of the ideas of global warming with climate change, you might lose the debate with the populace of Buffalo, N.Y. Or, just step outside and tell us we are experiencing global warming.

Climate change has occurred dramatically over the life of the Earth since its beginning. Yes, I have been to China, where the smog from burning coal is so thick one could cut it with a knife.

Unfortunately, Washington, D.C., does not differentiate between global warming and climate change. President Barack Obama has struck a “no deal” with the Chinese whereby we agree to immediately control carbon emission while the Chinese have until 2030 to comply.

It’s just another example of his kumbaya foreign policy.

Steve Katz


County sewers

In the 2014 fall edition of the JOCO Magazine, the editor’s letter to stakeholders lists collaborating with new partners and harnessing the latest technologies as government innovation. The Bell Road battle is a good example of what these ideas mean in the Johnson County Wastewater kingdom.

Reclassify the area as a contract sewer district and you take the Bell Road community out of the multiyear battle. Shawnee agreed to pay the developer fee because no tenants were to be found. Johnson County collaborating with Shawnee appears to be a first and a new way to harness public financing.

A “developer tax” is to Shawnee as a “driveway tax” is to Mission. I hope these tax experiments are not the early stages of a long-term countywide vision. The county claims to be innovative in providing services yet not open to the latest technology.

It appears the county is trying to eliminate all septic systems and phase out pump stations. I guess the familiar gravity feed systems, index estimating and cost overruns will outpace any alternatives to future construction, upgrades or expansion of the sanitary sewer system.

In the latest edition of JOCO magazine, Stilwell’s rural appeal is highlighted. The Bell Road community’s unique lifestyle should be profiled in JOCO Magazine before the community is taken off track. I guess storm drains and curbs are next.

Jeff Harkness

Overland Park

Lost moral compass

My beloved state of Kansas through the Kansas Lottery has commenced advertising its annual Holiday Millionaire Raffle on television, and we are told “with great odds of winning a million dollars. Those great odds happen to be 1 in 175,000.

Where are our moral watchdog politicians when we need them? Isn’t gambling a violation of religious or moral law?

Maybe they are too busy defending the sanctity of heterosexual marriage. Here we find the current rate of divorce to be about 1 in 2.

Now those are great odds.

David Wristen


To send letters

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