Just a number
I’m 89 and was offended by The Star’s Oct. 13 editorial, “In politics, age can be an issue.” (14A) It implies that old age is a disqualification for public service, that we old folks should “find other ways” to be useful.
That’s bunk. It smacks of Kobachism, which restricts voting by means affecting mostly minorities, the poor and the elderly.
You raise the specter of Alzheimer’s among the aging. I agree that younger people should enter politics and that their candidacies are “highly encouraging,” but you don’t balance your war declaration between old and young with worries of diaper rash. That would be just as silly.
I’ll be glad to debate any Star editorial writer on the contents and meaning of the Constitution, our supreme guide for participatory citizenship.
I respectfully suggest he or she read that document, try to understand it, work to amend it if that’s his or her preference, and in the meantime respect it and learn to live with it.
Wow. Nothing says “the land of the free and the home of the brave” like being forced to pay homage to the symbols of the nation-state.
Books over tech
A co-worker of mine recently expressed his disbelief that his sons were catching up on their favorite Netflix series during school hours and on devices provided by the Shawnee Mission School District.
No doubt, this is not unique to this district, and Shawnee Mission has been proactive in implementing many project-based learning opportunities using technology.
However, I can’t help feeling depressed when walking into a beautiful library like Shawnee Mission North High School’s and needing to squint to see the small collection of books in one corner.
The district’s high schools employ one librarian, whereas Blue Valley stocks high school libraries with two licensed librarians, two full-time paraprofessionals and stacks of books.
If you live in the district, please consider voicing your support for libraries on the superintendent search survey on the district website (www.smsd.org). It will be available until Friday. Also, contact your school board representative.
It’s easy to find studies correlating high student achievement with school librarians, and a qualified library media specialist can advance technology innovation while occasionally putting something in a student’s hands that can supplement Netflix — a book, perhaps?
In your article regarding the Joplin School District’s attempts to garner rebuilding funds from FEMA, the key questions raised were whether FEMA underestimated costs of rebuilding or whether the school district was overreaching for FEMA funds. Oct. 15, 6A, “Joplin schools haggle with FEMA over cost of repairs”)
Aside from a passing reference to an insurance settlement, there was no mention of the school district’s responsibility to adequately protect itself via insurance.
For example, private insurance could have addressed the costs, noted in the article, of an improved drainage system required by updated codes.
The Joplin School District should have the means and awareness to address its exposure with a properly constructed insurance program. It should not resort to seeking handouts from federal taxpayers to rebuild because it failed in its responsibility to properly protect itself.
If government, businesses and private citizens were to better protect themselves via well-constructed insurance programs, the bureaucratic entanglement that is FEMA would be freed up to assist those who are unable to do so, not engaged with those who are unwilling to.
Robert A. Lippert
Gravois Mills, Mo.
October is Italian-American Heritage and Culture Month, when we recognize the many achievements, contributions and successes of Americans of Italian descent.
Some of these Italian-Americans who have made our country the great place that it is are Frank Sinatra, Enrico Fermi, Joe DiMaggio, Andrew Cuomo, Tony Bennett, Samuel Alito, Francis Ford Coppola, Susan Lucci, Fiorella LaGuardia, Frank Capra and Yogi Berra, to name only a few.
In fact, our country is even named after an Italian — the explorer and geographer Amerigo Vespucci.