Wind energy need
The Kansas Chamber of Commerce represents Kansas businesses, with one exception — wind energy.
The organization advocates that government should stop picking winners and losers, but that’s exactly what the chamber is doing by aggressively seeking repeal of the Renewable Portfolio Standard while ignoring tax abatements for business aircraft, oil and gas pipelines, refineries and other industry-specific incentives.
In legislative testimony, chamber president Mike O’Neal said the chamber supports the wind industry, yet he submitted trumped-up data implicating wind for 37 percent higher electric rates. The reality is that utilities and the Kansas Corporation Commission agree wind costs are responsible for only 1 to 2 percent of rate increases, with Environmental Protection Agency coal environmental regulations being the real culprit.
Interestingly, while killing the Renewable Portfolio Standard is a priority for the chamber, not one Kansas business testified for its repeal. However, one prominent Wichita business appears to want the Renewable Portfolio Standard repealed because its lobbyists are seen frequently at O’Neal’s side at Renewable Portfolio Standard hearings but don’t testify.
In pandering to the ideological whims of one business, the Kansas chamber risks jobs and economic growth by undermining an industry that local chambers of commerce have worked hard to acquire — and risks the credibility of its organization.
I would like to know about syndicated columnist Jonah Goldberg’s education to see whether he is qualified to work at Starbucks (3-22, Commentary, “Coffee, tea or a frank discussion about race?”).
The main reason I think Kansas City regulations should favor Uber and other ride-sharing services is not that they allow residents access to easier and cheaper transportation around town or that statistics bear out that ride-sharing reduces the incidence of drunken driving or that I personally feel more comfortable and safer using friendly ride-sharing services like Uber or even that I prefer to support a domestically domiciled company over a foreign behemoth.
The main reasons I support ride-share-friendly regulation is that it is here, it is working here and in cities across the country, and it’s an opportunity for Kansas City to take a progressive stance on something so many of its citizens can benefit from.
Let’s show the country that Kansas City stands for progressive thinking and embracing technology.
This type of peer-to-peer on-demand service is already being used to share ideas, share research and development and share special skills — all while supplementing or replacing traditional sources of income for Kansas City residents and delivering high-quality, low-cost services to people who benefit from them.
I urge Kansas City to craft regulations that continue to keep its citizens safe while emphasizing progressive thinking that allows ride-sharing to thrive.
Back charter schools
Charter schools are public schools open to all children. They operate independently and have flexibility to modernize and replicate effective education practices.
Nearly every academic report on charter performance since 2010 has found that charter students perform better than their traditional peers. Charter children are more likely to graduate from high school, and dozens of charters across the country have 100 percent college-acceptance rates.
Charters have become a significant part of the Kansas City education landscape: 10,200 children are part of a community of 20,000 Missourian charter students. However, there are still many students on waiting lists, and there are communities throughout the state where charters are not even an option.
Parents deserve more choices, and students deserve the shot at a better future.
The first step is strong congressional backing for the Charter Schools Program — the only federal funding source supporting the opening of new charters. We are looking to Sen. Roy Blunt and Reps. Emanuel Cleaver and Vicky Hartzler to support the Charter Schools Program.
Their votes would ensure that charters have the resources they need to serve Missouri students and give them a chance at the American dream.
Douglas P. Thaman, EdD
Missouri Charter Public
In reference to the stalled negotiations between Academie Lafayette and Kansas City Public Schools, it should be noted that Baptist Ministers Union, Freedom, MORE2, NAACP, SCLC, Urban League and Urban Summit forewarned of racial inequities in this partnership.
These concerns included a significant amount of time and resources being redirected, displacement of 400 students currently attending Southwest, testing that would apply to district students (while Academie Lafayette students would automatically matriculate) and the likelihood that the Kansas City district couldn’t sustain two quality international baccalaureate programs, which could lead to the destruction of Lincoln Academy.
I am curious why people who chose an alternative to Kansas City Public Schools feel entitled to education options at the expense of students in the district. One parent reportedly was “devastated” because her eighth-grader would have to say goodbye to his friends at Academie Lafayette, and the mother was unsure where he’d attend high school.
I can’t comprehend why she was willing to see some 400 students relocated so her son and friends (a fraction of the number who would’ve been displaced) could move into that school.
This partnership reeked of the racial and socioeconomic biases that hold our community back. Everyone who thought this union was attractive should examine their biases before moving forward.
Until President Barack Obama took office, our annual deficits had never reached $500 billion. For Obama’s first six years, our deficits averaged more than a trillion dollars annually.
Keep in mind that the 2008 recession ended in June 2009. Also, for the first two years, the Democrats had a super majority in both houses of Congress. That gave us the ill-fated, near trillion-dollar stimulus for those non-existent, shovel-ready jobs.
The Dodd-Frank financial reform failed to even mention Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or too big to fail, and do not forget Obamacare, which like the other thousands of pages of legislation, not even Democrats had read.
Budgets from the Obama White House have been virtually nonexistent. Continuing resolutions have been commonplace.
And, through it all, we have witnessed the slowest recovery since the Great Depression. Our debt now exceeds $18 trillion. Have a nice day.
Best care post-crash
A March 24 letter told of personal possessions being stolen in Kansas City after an automobile accident. Unfortunately, this has happened many times before.
Except in Johnson County.
I was in a head-on collision in Lenexa last month, unconscious, and taken to Overland Park Regional Medical Center by Med-Act. Knowing the answer, several days later I asked about my purse and, yes, it was in the hospital safe.
Somebody had counted the cash and given it to my husband. When I was discharged, the hospital gave me a sack with my possessions. My driver’s license and eye glasses had been carefully put into my shoe.
The police report was soon online, showing my car had been taken to a nearby lot on 87th Street. My son was allowed to retrieve personal items and license plates.
This is standard procedure in Johnson County. I wish it were true of all the metro area. The loss of personal items after an automobile accident makes a bad situation even worse.