Letters to the Editor

Letters: Readers discuss ‘Sweeney Todd’ at the Rep, Clean Power Plan and the census

A killer show

Sweeney is a hottie who gets you cooking (or cooked), and “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre is just astonishing.

The Stephen Sondheim-Hugh Wheeler classic, under Eric Rosen’s direction, represents the best staging of “Sweeney” I’ve seen — just plain theater-perfect.

The eight-time Tony-winner hasn’t aged a day since its debut in 1979. Truth be known, it feels younger.

Tally Sessions as Sweeney is a romantic lead of sorts, as pursued by Ellen Harvey’s meat-pie-baking Mrs. Lovett — and both are flat-out showstoppers. Young Jordan Haas as Tobias, singing “Not While I’m Around” to Lovett, is tender and commands the house. Kansas City’s venerable Tim Scott as Adolfo Pirelli and the rest of the cast shine with great acting and incomparable voices.

The audience stood and cheered. I can only imagine that this is exactly what Sondheim would want.

Bill Doty

Overland Park

Add your voice

The Environmental Protection Agency has wrapped up the listening sessions on the Clean Power Plan. The plan sets the first federal limits on carbon pollution from power plants and encourages investment in clean energy.

Repealing the Clean Power Plan would worsen climate change, threaten our health and place our communities in danger. The plan would prevent 90,000 asthma attacks and 300,000 missed work and school days every year by 2030. It would also save 4,500 lives annually by the Trump administration’s estimates.

American families are counting on the health benefits and economic opportunities that the Clean Power Plan provides.

I strongly oppose this reckless attempt to roll back these clean air standards — for our health, for our economy and for all Americans.

Many people attended the listening session in Kansas City in February to speak in support of the plan. The comment period is still open, and you can comment online at the EPA website until April 26.

Sharon Crowe

Prairie Village

Positive future

I want to commend Grain Valley High School student John Malicoat on his “Short Take” last Monday about guns. (7A) I have to believe that his well-stated thoughts mirror those of the vast majority of Americans.

An AR-15, or any gun that has a magazine that holds 30 to 100 rounds of ammunition, is overkill for hunters. And a shotgun is best for home protection

Now John and the rest of his generation need to register to vote as soon as they can. In 2020, today’s high school sophomores, juniors and seniors will be able to vote.

It is something that will give the recent March for Our Lives real meaning.

Pat Purcell



The woman in the political ad says her employer has promised a $2,000 bonus, thanks to the Republicans’ tax cuts. It’s disrespectful, she says, for Sen. Claire McCaskill to say the tax cuts give only scraps to everyday working Missourians.

Excuse me? Disrespectful to whom?

Disrespectful to the companies that choose to share part of their tax-cut windfall with the workers who keep their businesses operating? Disrespectful to the politicians who bravely voted for tax cuts that will explode the national debt? Those tax cuts coincidentally benefit some major political contributors in a big way.

It’s surely not disrespectful to everyday workers to point out that while they may see some increase in their take-home pay, and maybe even a bonus if their employers are in a generous mood, the big winners will be large corporations and wealthy stockholders.

Maybe you thought that although a generous bonus is nice, an increase in your hourly wage would be even better. But according to that lady in the ad, such thoughts are disrespectful to somebody. I’m still not sure who “somebody” is.

Connie Weaver

Kansas City

Citizens count

The U.S. census is taken every 10 years. Counting all citizens is crucial to shaping congressional districts, taxes, revenue-sharing, growth projections and much more.

Counting all people living here is important, but visitors to the U.S. should not be counted. Using them to pad population counts is just not right.

Congressional districts should be determined by the number of citizens in them, not total population. Better yet, the government could use registered voter numbers to determine districts. This would encourage more people to register to vote.

Glen Byerly


Can’t shoot itself

A message from a gun:

To people who own me, legally or illegally, stop blaming me for your actions. I am an inanimate object who can’t do anything by myself. I usually lie or stand in a case, cabinet or safe, presuming nothing is wrong. Then you, a person, pick me up and decide to do something with me.

If people decide to abuse their right to own me or misuse me, I can do nothing to stop them. Whether I am an AR-15, AK-47 or a single-shot shotgun makes little difference. I can’t say, “Stop — this is wrong. I don’t want to do this. Put me down and leave me alone.”

Stop blaming me and punish the abuser.

Joe Booker

Kimberling City, Mo.

Clinton’s comments

Hillary Clinton said that white women who voted for President Donald Trump were responding to pressure from their husbands, bosses and sons. (March 19, KansasCity.com, “Hillary Clinton explains comments about women voters”)

How many women voted for sore loser Clinton because she is a woman? Is she saying that white women are stupid and have no minds of their own?

Why didn’t she include African-American women along with the white women who voted for Trump? Is she assuming all the black women voted for her?

I hope that African-American women will please let her know if they voted for Trump that they, too, had no one to pressure them.

She needs to wash her hands from all the dirt. I think I will send her some soap myself.

Edna South

Kansas City