Bad tourism advice
I am a high school teacher, and my current events students were livid when we read the article detailing Missouri’s placement on Fodor’s No List 2018, an international list of 10 places to avoid. (Jan. 1, 1A, “Fodor’s top 10 places to avoid include Missouri”)
Missouri has so many things available to tourists, and Fodor has looked past most of them. Instead, it chose to focus on a few unfortunate events. There is a variety of amusement parks, museums and historic birthplaces here, as well as an abundance of natural beauty throughout.
After going to the Fodor website and reading the review, I thought it seemed as though its writers had confused present-day Missouri with 1960s Mississippi.
Does Missouri have areas in which it could improve? Of course. But to list it No. 7 among 10 places not to visit around the globe? Absurd.
I notice that the mountains of Afghanistan and Syria didn’t make the list. Nor did the tumultuous, cartel-ridden states of Mexico.
I personally have never used Fodor, and I will now encourage others to follow my example. The Show-Me State is the jewel of the Midwest, regardless of the opinions of an East Coast guidebook publisher.
Hey, Fodor, your agenda is showing.
Keep guns safe
I was interested to read about the gun-owning Kansas Citians profiled Jan. 7. (10A, “What my gun means to me: Meet a few gun-owning Americans, from a geek to a grandma”)
Although each has a different reason for wanting to own guns, there was a common theme. Each in his or her own way espoused the need to be a responsible gun owner — including safe storage, training and screening of people seeking to purchase a gun.
Our organization, Grandparents Against Gun Violence, is a local group with more than 1,000 supporters. We are not against guns. We are for gun safety.
We understand that many people own guns for many reasons, and our focus is on the need for responsible gun ownership and gun safety. To that end, we distribute free gun locks and educational material at community events through our program called Lock It for Love.
Our goal is to raise awareness of the need for safe gun storage, and our fervent hope is that through this program we will save a family from experiencing the loss of a loved one through accidental death or suicide with an unlocked gun.
Thank you for profiling these four gun owners who already demonstrate that responsibility.
I was moved by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s poetic lines about “friends closer than a brother riding with me at a full gallop across the prairie” (Jan. 11, 13A, “Brownback infuriates, confuses in State of the State swan song”) — until I recalled that one of his first acts as governor was to slash the arts.
I suggest a revision for his touching image: “… like brothers running from a small-town mob after having looted savings to be used for children, the sick and the elderly.”
Open up, grow up
After reading and rereading the article concerning Kansas legislators’ fondness for being “hidden” sponsors of bills, I am appalled these people even pretend to represent their constituents. (Jan. 11, 1A, “Kansas legislator plans measure eliminating anonymous bills”)
Why not follow this simple procedure?
1. Submit a bill with your name.
2. If it’s submitted through a committee, add fellow committee members’ names.
3. If changes are made, list who made the changes.
Senate President Susan Wagle mentioned that some bills might not pass, even if they are needed, because of a “personal vendetta” by a fellow legislator.
Do we have a bunch of children representing the people of Kansas?
Catholics and other Christians celebrated Christmas for 12 days. Jewish communities commemorated Hanukkah for eight days. Non-believers may have enjoyed the overall season. This began in December and carried into January.
The engine of the American culture stopped. Americans’ work slowed down. Companies shut down and closed business. We had time to take in football, pass around the presents and go to parties.
No other time of the year has as many festivities during such a stretch of days. When this is looked at even briefly, we see that the holidays are unique. And the calendar will bring us back to experience this special period again.