Letters to the Editor

Letters: Readers discuss Westport development, J.C. Nichols fountain name, political rhetoric

Sense of history

The June 16 front-page story “Big apartment development approved for Westport Road and Broadway” describes the Kansas City Council’s approval of a plan by Opus Development to build a “high-rise,” 256-unit apartment building.

Councilwoman Katheryn Shields, one of two council members voting against approval, criticized Opus for not being responsive to neighbors’ concerns and noted that other Opus developments around the country don’t “fit” the neighborhoods in which they are located.

One need look no further than the corner of 51st and Main streets here to see a recent Opus-built project that fits Shields’ latter critique — a building which is out of proportion to its surroundings.

With the recent redevelopment on the south side of Westport Road between Pennsylvania and Mill streets, it seems clear that any proposal, however generic or ill-suited, will be accepted by the city.

Perhaps Kelly’s Westport Inn and Harry’s Bar and Tables are next for demolition and redevelopment. The powers that be seem bent on turning Westport into just another place to do business. Let history and sense of place be damned.

Gary Tegtmeier


Fountain name

If you are disturbed by Steve Kraske’s call for changing the name of the J.C. Nichols fountain (June 18, 19A, “Kansas City should rename famed J.C. Nichols fountain”) you should check out Tanner Colby’s “Some of My Best Friends Are Black.”

It is a fascinating way to better understand institutionalized prejudice that relates to our beautiful fountain.

Colby deftly connects the dots of how the personal beliefs, common in the day of Nichols, resulted in a profound impact on the way our cities look today.

Rather than removing the name from the fountain, we should use this landmark as a valuable history lesson.

We should add a structure to the site that clearly and honestly tells a more complete story of Nichols’ accomplishments and his beliefs about Catholics, Jews and blacks.

Such an addition could foster a better understanding and appreciation of the nature and power of institutionalized racism and help us avoid some of these errors in the future.

To simply change the name obfuscates both the positive and negative aspects of J.C. Nichols’ profound impact on Kansas City and the nation.

Clark Achelpohl

Kansas City

Stop the hate

Hatred and incendiary rhetoric, particularly from the left lately, have to cease.

Comments from Democrats in high places have not been lost on their left-wing audience, so the shooting of Republican Rep. Steve Scalise and four others was bound to happen. These elitist personas have acted like spoiled brats because their candidate lost the 2016 election.

They now should be held accountable.

They’ve shown they can’t be gracious in defeat and, more important, do not want to work for the good of all Americans.

Those on the left adhere to the slogan, “Never let a good crisis go to waste,” so now we’re hearing them scream again for gun control. Why not mouth (or self) control instead?

The events of June 14 showed that both sides of the aisle could come together. How long will this last?

More important, was this just for show, or were Democrats sincere in what they were saying?

Actions speak louder than words. Odds are, this is one crisis Democrats will waste.

Pam Zubeck


Stop the guns

When will we be able to thank our legislators at all levels of government for enacting sensible gun-safety legislation?

I’m tired of thanking the police, EMTs and other first responders who try valiantly to address the endless numbers of situations resulting from our addiction to guns.

Nancy McDowl

Overland Park

Logical liberalism

I come from a very long, proud line of liberals. We have a few conservatives also. From my great-grandparents to my middle grandkid, we have all held jobs since before graduating from high school and paid our taxes, and none of us has ever been on welfare, Medicaid or food stamps.

We understand that there are people who are incapable of doing this and realize that a part of our taxes help the disenfranchised. That’s what societies and human beings do — help raise up the least.

Our taxes also pay for the armed forces, roads, sewers, public schools, social programs and so on — the basic things that improve and enhance all of society. People seem to forget the good their taxes do.

Debbi Mall

Kansas City, Kan.