No dogs in laps
Almost every day, I see people driving around town with small dogs on their laps. I’m a safety-training professional, and doggies shouldn’t drive.
Only a few inches separate the driver from the center of the steering wheel, where the air bag is located. When front air bags deploy, they inflate about 12 inches.
To avoid serious driver injury, the National Highway and Safety Administration recommends a 10-inch clear space between the driver and the center of the steering wheel.
With a front-end bumper impact starting at 16-28 mph (as in a minor parking-lot accident), the steering-wheel airbag can fully deploy faster than a human blink, or about 200 mph.
If your dog is sitting on your lap when the air bag deploys, your pet’s head will collide with your lower face at the same speed. Neither dog nor driver might survive what would otherwise be a minor non-injury accident.
Vehicle pet-restraint harnesses are inexpensive and available at pet stores or online.
Babies and small children are secured in the rear passenger area in child-restraint seats. The same safety factors apply to pets in vehicles.
Some Kansas Citians are unwilling to consider a new airport design, touting the convenience of the current layout.
Sure, KCI can be labeled “convenient” if one uses curb-to-gate distance as the sole criteria for evaluating an airport. However, walking distance is not the only means for judging an airport’s convenience.
Convenient airports provide access to gate areas with ample seating, restrooms and dining options. They have spacious baggage-claim areas to handle multiple inbound flights.
KCI has little to offer in these departments.
Convenient airports offer nonstop flights to multiple major U.S. and international cities. KCI has never been able to operate as a true hub, owing to its design of three isolated terminals with a security checkpoint at each gate area.
KCI offers no direct or nonstop flights to Europe or Asia, an unusual gap in service for an airport that serves a metro area population the size of Kansas City.
It’s time to look beyond a narrow definition of “convenience” to give Kansas Citians — and our visitors — an airport of true convenience.
Recently, Donald Trump said, “I don’t want to hurt the Clintons. I really don’t.” Wow, what magnanimity.
Trump repeatedly said that Hillary was “crooked,” so think of all the criminal charges his Justice Department could bring against her. What a wonderful gesture. I’m sure Bill and Hillary will always be grateful to such a forgiving president.
Trump’s statement reminds me of President Richard Nixon’s famous claim: “I am not a crook.” All Americans must have felt a great sense of relief knowing that we had such an unblemished president.
Many countries around the world have dishonest, vengeful leaders, or even ruthless dictators — but not our United States of America.
How blessed have we been.
In plain sight
There has been much talk of Donald Trump refusing the presidential salary of $400,000 per year, held up as proof that he will “drain the swamp,” as he promised.
Well of course he’ll refuse the salary. That’s chump change compared with what he can expect to make by fleecing the American people.
During the contentious campaign, Trump personally pocketed $1.6 million in taxpayer money in plain sight by billing the government to have the Secret Service travel on a plane owned by his company, TAG Air, according to Politico.
That alone is worth four times the president’s salary — and would match the entire salary for a four-year term, if he makes it that far.
We know about this because as a campaign expense, disclosure is required by the Federal Election Commission. As president, however, there is no such disclosure as he stands to personally profit from the office, which he won by painting his opponent as corrupt.
This is not normal.
Snyder’s right way
The NFL recently announced its list of nominees for the 2016 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award. These nominees, one per a team, are selected by their teammates for fair play, integrity and respect for the game.
Three former Bill Snyder disciples are nominated this year — Darren Sproles of the Eagles, Tyler Lockett of the Seahawks and Terence Newman of the Vikings.
To put this in perspective, Kansas State has a total of nine players currently on NFL rosters, according to espn.com. This is more than than a statistical anomaly.
People will talk about Snyder’s 200 wins, the Miracle in Manhattan and the “greatest turnaround in college football history.” But his true legacy will be the positive impact he has had on so many people.
As a mentor, Snyder has taught young men to do things the right way. Those teachings will carry on long after he has retired.
F. J. Cronenwett
Party for all?
The article and picture of the Central Missouri College Republicans celebrating their election victory in the In Depth Section of the Nov. 29 Star (A1, “Trump’s win fuels growth of College Republicans”) showed a very positive picture of a younger generation’s engagement in democracy.
I applaud and encourage them. Our democracy depends on civic engagement.
My only concern is that I see only smiling guys in the photo. Where are the happy Republican gals? Do they have reason to cheer?
I recently received a response from Shawnee Mission School District Board President Sara Goodburn to a letter I sent last week about wearing safety pins. Ms. Goodman’s response and the board’s statement implied that a teacher who wishes to express his or her views will suffer some vague disciplinary action.
I agree with the board’s position that “district-owned devices and accounts” be used only for district business. However, I don’t think that limitation applies to what teachers wear on their person.
If you allow red ribbons, purple ribbons and black ribbons (recently sported by students in support of victims of rape and sexual assault), then it is inconsistent and hypocritical to ask teachers to refrain from wearing safety pins.
The safety pin conveys the message, “I am a safe person.” It isn’t about being a conservative or a liberal.
How does this policy support the board’s statement that it is “taking care of students and making sure that all students feel safe and supported regardless of issues or concerns occurring outside of our schools”?
Jo Dee Berger
I don’t see much commentary on obituaries, but the passing of Dr. Philip van Thullenar, “the smartest man in the world,” requires mine.
At first I thought the decedent wrote the obituary, which ran in The Star on Nov. 30 and Dec.1. But after reading every word more than once, there’s no doubt it was written by his many loving and devoted children, who admired the very earth he made his mark on.
My deep regret is that I never met this obviously wonderful, funny and erudite gentleman. I wish I had. But, of course not professionally — after all, he was a pathologist and coroner.
I address this to Maureen Dowd’s brother Kevin, to whom she turned over part of her Nov. 30 column (A9, “My brother’s election therapy guide for liberals”).
Kevin: You wrote, “This election was a complete repudiation of Barack Obama.”
How can this election be a repudiation of anything? We have no idea what Donald Trump stands for.
I am a business owner who is consistently involved in putting together business deals. The character of a person is always revealed when they are vying for the prize.
Do they tell the truth? Do they clearly communicate realistic and honest expectations? Are they misleading?
The people who voted for Trump and gleefully rejoice in the election seem to miss this critical point: Our society will not work if people handle themselves the way Donald Trump just handled his campaign.
The only things I think were repudiated were common decency and common sense.
For Christmas, I suggest that you hang out with all the other self-made men who have never benefited from government and walked both ways to school uphill.
You will eat alone, and at least you can enjoy your meal.
This holiday season, if you want to donate to help those in need, please consider giving to the Marine Corps-sponsored Toys for Tots program.
After all, Toys for Tots may be the only charity in the country where you know that 100 percent of the money you spend on your donation will go exactly where it is intended.
I want to remind everyone that during this holiday season, let’s please not forget our relatives and friends in nursing facilities. This is the time of year they need us the most.
I’ve worked in the funeral industry, and I know more senior deaths occur during the winter months. The joy we bring them with our visits is wonderful.