Letters to the Editor

Readers react to Kansas plot, Star endorsement, a hero and library etiquette

Domestic terrorists

Saturday’s story (10-15, 1A, “Three charged in plot to bomb homes of Somalis”) about the planned terrorism by three white men against Muslims and those of us who support their rights and religion was horrifying . Thank heaven for the work of those who stopped their terrible plan.

But it leads me to wonder, who — what wall, what immigration limits — will protect us from white male U.S.-born terrorists? See how easy it is to judge an entire group for the wrongs of a few?

And what about making it harder for members of such dangerous groups of any ilk to obtain weapons?

Jane Fisler Hoffman


True hero

I was deeply moved by the front-page article about Primitivo Garcia (10-16, 1A, “Forever a hero”). Often cycling to the top of Summit Street on the West Side, I was aware of the new elementary school that bears his name. Now, I can appreciate how fitting that designation was.

Primitivo Garcia is also a reminder that our country has been, and should always be, nourished by a continuing influx of individuals and families seeking a better way of life and contributing to the mosaic of our society.

George Helmkamp

Kansas City


The Kansas City Star’s editorial endorsement of Hillary Clinton for president (10-16, 28A, “In an ugly election, the choice is clear: Hillary Clinton for president”) makes valid points about presidential candidate Donald Trump’s shortcomings. They are numerous.

Though, in numbers and severity, the shortcomings and worse of Clinton are off the chart in comparison.

Nothing requires The Star to endorse any candidate. Sometimes, saying nothing is the height of wisdom.

Dennis Batliner

Overland Park

Library hangouts

Have you visited one of the Johnson County libraries lately around 4 to 5 p.m. during the week? Be prepared. It may be a shock.

Picture a room full of school-age boys and girls sitting around or lounging, talking and snacking. I haven’t visited a public library at that hour for a while, and I was astounded.

Times change, but this to me was a bit much. Maybe we taxpayers could fork out a little more money for a library addition with lunch tables, vending machines, cozy seating and tutors so the students can be adequately occupied between school release and pick-up by their parents.

But wait, we have already provided such facilities for students. We call them school cafeterias and school libraries. Maybe some repurposing needs to take place.

Betty Taylor

Overland Park

Trump mouthpiece

Almost every political candidate has a spokesperson. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, however, should consider hiring a “non-spokesperson.”

Almost every time he speaks, he says something offensive, inflammatory or plain stupid. He could really use someone in charge of getting him to just shut up.

Steve Frisbie


Civil discussions

In the midst of election season, I’ve noticed a loss of respect for others on social media. People are supporting their favorite candidates online and sharing their opinions on issues.

However, many are also using the freedom of being online to bash others and call out those with opposing opinions.

As I watch this, a few questions arise.

First, are we losing respect for alternate opinions? When people see someone publicly promoting another candidate, they are quick to comment why the others are wrong and add slurs and profanity.

The people making these comments can attack others without ever meeting them or knowing their stories. These observations lead me to another question: Has being online led us to be less respectful?

I believe that when people are in front of a screen and have no face-to-face contact, they have a much easier time tearing down others. It seems people on social media bash others in inappropriate ways that would never be acceptable in person.

As we continue to see others’ opinions online, I urge everyone to respect others’ beliefs. Let’s keep political discussions civil.

Grace Johannes

Kansas City

Needs fixing

Whatever you think of Donald Trump, he and his followers have exposed a big ugly truth. We want politicians who will work for us. That is their job. If President Barack Obama is so smart, why can’t he figure out a way? If he can’t, appoint someone who can.

If the Republicans want to block Obama every step of the way, then deal with the consequences. Tax and immigration problems are as glaring as a broken window in the winter. They need fixing.

If the Republicans are so smart, why haven’t they proposed health care reform? Answer: They are too busy whining, endlessly whining. Trump’s appeal is that he will fix it.

One more thing. No one should get $15 per hour unless they have a high school diploma. You want $15 an hour, earn it.

Education should be the way out of poverty. Stay in school, using high school as a stepping stone.

Anita B. Malott

Kansas City

Trump’s failings

I know how tortured people feel about this election, but really there is no choice. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is no saint, but Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is far worse.

Here are just a few reasons he should not be elected:

He hasn’t released his tax returns (disqualifying in itself).

He gushes over dictator Russian President Vladimir Putin.

He disrespects (that’s putting it mildly) Hispanics, women, gays, Muslims and anyone who disagrees with him.

He thinks climate change is a hoax.

Many of his businesses have filed for bankruptcy, and he failed to pay some contractors.

He believes President Barack Obama is not an American.

He appeals to individuals aligning with the Alternative Right but refuses to distance himself from them.

He believes Arab-Americans cheered on 9/11 .

He repeatedly lies about the U.S. unemployment number (says it is as high as 42 percent, when it actually is under 5 percent).

He thinks the U.S. should use waterboarding and other torture.

He is paying his family and his businesses with campaign funds.

Trump University was a scam.

I could go on and on, but you get the point.

Cecelia Baty

Overland Park

I object

The “Time Capsule” in the April 17 Arts & Culture section reprinted an original story from 1968 reporting on the death of Kenyan student Thadayo Okatch. Thadayo was my husband, my first love and the father of my son.

At that time, local people sent condolences and donations to help me travel to Kenya and bury him in his home village on Rusinga Island. We went and I did just that. I planned to return when I could make a life there.

Kansas City in 1969 was a difficult, racially charged city, and I had a black son to raise. I remarried, adopted a daughter and stayed in Kansas City to finish two degrees at UMKC. I visited Kenya many times, kept in touch with family and planned my future. My son needed to know his family.

In 2003, I bought land in Kenya, and in 2010 I retired to Rusinga to open Wayando Beach Eco Lodge.

The 2016 story said that I apparently had a “change of heart” when I remarried back in 1969. I did not have a change of heart, and I object to that phrase. How could the writer have known how I felt, what was in my heart, or what my future would produce?

Linda Okatch

Rusinga Island, Kenya

Weather woes

When I was young, the weather person gave the weather report. It took about five minutes and was usually in the middle or at the end.

We could watch just that if we wanted. It was usually the temperature, precipitation and wind for that day plus what might happen the next day.

Today, we have teams of meteorologists at the same time. They appear on and off during the news program. The stations seem to compete for the most ridiculous names for their data-gathering computer models.

Just give us the weather report. We don’t need a reporter driving into a storm to show us rain or clouds in a town 40 miles away. Once a reporter said while driving in a storm that it was so bad that no one should be driving in it.

Rain always looks the same. I also find it annoying that they have commercial spots to tell us that they will be giving us the weather. Duh.

Charlie Rogers

Overland Park

Focus on issues

TV and radio commercials are flinging more mud than a Missouri River dredge. One could reasonably conclude that nobody should be elected to any office. Even Mother Teresa would not emerge unscathed.

One thing nobody can deny: For each office being contested, there will be only one winner. When that winner is inaugurated, his or her agenda will be promoted. Whatever mud clings will no longer matter. They will be in office. They will be making the decisions.

Consequently, in making voting choices, the garbage is irrelevant. It is the issues that matter.

Regarding the presidency, if one wants to see liberal judges appointed to the federal courts, vote for Hillary Clinton. If one wants conservative judges, vote for Donald Trump.

If one wants a wall built to seal the southern border, vote for Trump. If not, vote for Clinton.

If one wants to see thousands and thousands of unvettable Syrians admitted for humanitarian reasons, vote for Hillary. If not, for security, cultural and economic reasons, vote for Trump. And so on.

Elections have fateful consequences. All comes clear once the mind concentrates on issues, not character assassination.

Lee Levin