Guns, police work
We were instructed at the police academy that the weapon on your hip was there to protect the police officer or any person being threatened by someone with ill intent. When a person is fleeing and doesn’t have the ability to harm others, the officer does not have the right to use deadly force.
I can’t imagine that this principle is not a part of today’s police department policies. What happened in South Carolina is beyond all comprehension.
Last week, districts around Missouri held school board elections. It would be nice to think this annual rite of spring would renew and refresh our public schools, but this isn’t the case. Elections came and went with minimal disturbance to the education establishment.
Per usual, voter turnout was extremely low, about 11 percent in Jackson County. Additionally, information about candidates beyond basic facts wasn’t readily available. This is a problem.
Low-information, low-turnout elections give special-interest groups a disproportionate advantage.
Missouri should make sure the interests of taxpayers and students are protected by moving school board elections to coincide with other local, state and national elections. Scheduling elections in November would assure far greater voter participation.
Missouri also should close the loophole in our Sunshine Law that allows public boards to negotiate with unions in closed sessions. Increased transparency would hold union-favored elected boards accountable to taxpayers.
Finally, public officials should push for the dissemination of more information during school board elections. Candidates should be encouraged to state positions on important issues.
To ensure that the interests of students, parents and taxpayers are protected, we must reform school boards.
Support for unions
I have thought about writing a letter to the editor many times because of all the hate of so many people. But recent news on a “paycheck protection” proposal in the Missouri Legislature aimed at unions was the last straw.
I have been a Republican all my life, but I’ve never voted a straight ticket. I voted for the best person.
My husband was in a union for more than 40 years. Today, he is retired, and if it weren’t for his union, we would be in trouble.
Besides a pension, our health care and prescription drugs are paid for, and we know the money will come each month. People who don’t want money taken out of their paychecks through their working years better remember they will retire someday, and I’ll bet they will not have saved enough money to get by.
So people better support unions. The Republicans in Jefferson City won’t help you. They get their benefits paid for by you.
Mary E. Walley
Kansas budget woes
Someone recently proposed that in order to help balance our sadly decimated state budget, the Kansas statehouse should be sold to the highest bidder.
Unfortunately, it already has effectively been sold to the moneyed interests, whose lackeys and their leader now hold the majority of seats.
Some day we will wake up and realize that we could have, should have done a recall.
It is no wonder Kansas City is considered the cow town of the flyover states. Our leadership all too often expresses our inability to join the 21st century.
The Uber transportation system has arrived in other cities to rave reviews and with little trouble to any of its customers. So why are we pushing out the service?
Kansas City is in desperate need of leadership on so many levels and with so many problems, and we choose to drive off a legitimate business that serves the entire city (on both sides of the state line). The regulations and the special taxing of this business appear oppressive.
Attacking KC killings
I am saddened by the recent murders of babies and young people in the Kansas City area. Many were because of drive-by shootings.
I am encouraged by some attempts to reduce these problems, but we need to do more. That includes:
▪ Increasing Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forté’s program of concentrating police coverage in high crime areas and monitoring the activities of undesirables. That also could be replicated in Kansas City, Kan.
▪ At least one television station is showing pictures of the most wanted suspects in the Kansas City area. This could be expanded to have all the local TV stations do this every night.
▪ A large number of good people show up on the Country Club Plaza and at the Sprint Center for events. But when the mothers of babies who were murdered in drive-by shootings held marches in their neighborhoods, only a handful of people turned out. These good people need to support neighborhoods by reporting illegal activities and supporting police efforts to arrest these killers.
I would like to see Kansas City Mayor Sly James take a leading role in coordinating an action plan for the Kansas City area as he did to stop the flash mobs on the Plaza.
Let’s keep the pressure on and not let the murders of these innocents become cold cases.
Regarding the Kansas City Power & Light Co.’s requested 12.5 percent ($140 per year) rate increase on Kansas residential customers (and its similar request in Missouri), before stressing residential customers who are still grappling with depressed economic circumstances, the company (and now the state public utility commissions) should look at how KCP&L can economize its operations.
Great Plains Energy, the holding company of KCP&L, pays its top executives millions of dollars a year.
Great Plains is essentially a government-sanctioned monopoly. This is not an enterprise facing challenges of a competitive environment. The compensation of executives at Great Plains (and throughout the public utility industry) is out of proportion to executive responsibilities regarding such monopolies.
Great Plains’ 2014 corporate proxy statement justifies its executive compensation, referring to its many financial successes (consecutive increased dividends, double-digit annual returns to shareholders, etc.).
Cut controllable expenses before raising rates.
Murray S. Levin
Anyone have an idea why Hillary Rodham Clinton chose to enter the 2016 presidential race via an online video (4-13, A2, “Clinton to tout economic fairness”)?
It makes me suspect that she might not have wanted to face the news media and be confronted with tough questions about her past.
Kansas City, Kan.
Pope Francis is correct about the indifference of mass murders of innocent people because of disagreements on religion, ethnic origin and even political persuasions (4-13, A1, “‘Genocide’ quote infuriates Turkey”).
These hate crimes don’t start overnight but rather start small like the bad apple in the barrel.
The majority of the world population is good, but if the cancer of indifference continues to grow, we will succumb to the evil and consider it normal.
We are beginning the presidential election process again, and the negative messages that will travel by Facebook, email and networks such as Fox News and MSNBC will pit members of all faiths against each other on who is right and who is wrong.
Now is the time to stand up and look at how much we can agree on and not at what our differences are, so we can avoid provoking the hate of our fellow humans.
Let’s agree on the last six words of our Pledge of Allegiance: “with liberty and justice for all.”
Pope Francis is seeking peace, liberty and justice.