What a mess. The process called for by The Star to choose a firm to design and build a new Kansas City International Airport terminal has resulted in:
a) eliminating the hometown favorite in favor of an out-of-town firm because of a dispute over whether there are enough guarantees over Kansas City’s debt not being subordinated;
b) selection of a vendor with no airport design, only vaporware, and as a result:
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c) a mythical savings of $300 million.
Are we supposed to take any of this seriously?
It appears the real battle is about to begin, and it will be up to the City Council to bring sanity to it. I doubt that is possible with people such as Teresa Loar and Katheryn Shields making this decision.
When Burns & McDonnell took the risk to bring forward a viable private-financing solution, it was met with derision by The Star, Loar, Shields and others. This cabal seems to be doing everything possible to sabotage much-needed change at KCI. In Johnson County, we would have already had the groundbreaking ceremony.
With Burns & McDonnell, the airport terminal passes. Without, the cabal wins.
This decision to choose Maryland-based Edgemoor for the airport project is basically a kick in the head to the local companies that have worked so hard to make a positive mark on our community. This breach of trust could cause these companies to leave and deter other companies from moving into the market.
I firmly believe that the City Council should rethink this measure and open up the forums to negotiation so we don’t risk losing major businesses in our wonderful city.
Anyone who is concerned about the Equifax data-protection failure should know there is really is only one right answer to protect identity theft: a credit freeze. This locks your credit report and prevents others from opening accounts in your name.
It can be done online. You must contact all three credit bureaus, and it takes only about 15 minutes to complete. It costs $5 per bureau for both Kansas and Missouri residents. If going online isn’t your thing, it can be accomplished by phone.
Credit monitoring is a waste of time. That’s because bad guys just wait until one’s monitoring expires. Think of a credit freeze as very cheap (but most effective) insurance.
The Kansas Prescription Monitoring Program, or K-TRACS, is a system to help stem to overuse of prescription opioids.
I am a registered nurse working in an emergency department in Johnson County, and K-TRACS is an invaluable tool that helps us identify patients at risk for opioid overuse. Having quick access to prescription drug history is critical in assuring we are not causing possible harm.
I was surprised while doing research on this to find that Missouri is the only state not to have a prescription drug-monitoring program. Although I live and work in Kansas, opioid overuse is more than a Missouri or Kansas issue. It is a nationwide epidemic.
Gov. Eric Greitens issued an executive order in July creating a database that doctors won’t be allowed to access. I sincerely hope that the Missouri legislature will pass a bill that would support a true statewide prescription drug-monitoring program.
In a political climate dominated by divisiveness, it’s refreshing to hear a bipartisan success story. The Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, is one such story.
It insures children in working families whose income is too high for traditional Medicaid. These children often have no other way to access health insurance. Unfortunately, funding for CHIP will expire Sept. 30 unless Congress acts to extend it. This means that almost 90,000 children in Missouri and 80,000 kids in Kansas, not to mention 8.9 million children across the nation, are in imminent danger of losing their health insurance.
A commitment to authorize CHIP funding for the next five years is a smart investment. It will help children in our community have healthy futures and give their families invaluable peace of mind.
Please join me in urging our senators and representatives to vote to extend CHIP funding before the Sept. 30 deadline.
Work goes on
Thanks to Jeneé Osterheldt for her excellent columns on current and ongoing inequality and racism in this country. I grew up in the 1960s in a small South Dakota town and knew nothing about race relations.
I admit being upset and tired of hearing about the problem, thinking it had been solved — ended. But I’m appalled and horrified to see the fighting and insulting unfairness still occurring today.
In a Christian way, I try to be kind and polite to everyone, regardless of race or gender. What else can one person do?
Please stand up and challenge every unkindness you witness.
Life would be much more boring if we were all the same.
For a few years, we have seen roundabouts pop up in dozens of locations, such as Ward Parkway, Longview in Lee’s Summit, Lenexa and many more locations throughout the Kansas City area. But the question is whether they are better than traditional intersections in replacing stop signs and stoplights.
People’s opinions may differ, but there is traffic study research we can refer to. For example, a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety showed that roundabouts reduce collisions by about 37 percent overall, and that figure increases to 90 percent with fatal crashes.
Roundabouts also bring added benefits of cost, efficiency and aesthetics.
Cost is something that we all want to keep down, and they do that for sure. On average, they save between $5,000 and $10,000 a year on maintenance and electrical costs per intersection, according to some estimates.
They are proven to reduce standing traffic by keeping cars moving, and the middle of roundabouts can be transformed into decorative features with miniature gardens or tree groves.