Letters to the Editor

Readers share views on Missouri lawmakers, riverfront development and ‘right to work’

Legislative failure

The Missouri legislature has demonstrated inertia again using omnibus bills. No one really knows how to vote for the bill, a rambling approach to lawmaking resulting in a lack of trust and reason for non-voting.

Legislators prevent or stop testimony in the committee hearing process or use the filibuster. The business world, health-care world and Missouri residents are educated in big data, customer satisfaction and the goal-driven processes for success.

Major issues hang in the balance at the close of this legislative session. They include Medicaid expansion and 911 access for all Missourians.

Non-expansion of Medicaid results in the loss of jobs for rural Missouri and inner-city hospitals. These hospitals serve as economic engines and advocates for rural communities and urban areas.

States surrounding Missouri benefit from Missouri’s not expanding Medicaid. They recruit health-care providers, resulting in health-care brain drain in Missouri.

Why would Missouri residents be deprived of quality health care and stand for it?

Nancy Barr

Kansas City

Riverfront projects

Thank you, Kansas City Star, for the excellent article on the Big Muddy (5-10, A1, “A new day for the Big Muddy?”).

Having moved to Kansas City from a small town near Chattanooga, Tenn., more than 35 years ago, I have always been perplexed by the absence of commercial development and recreational activity on the Missouri River around Kansas City.

Chattanooga is another city with a strong industrial past that has recognized the value of a vibrant riverfront.

I am excited to finally see actual plans for development along the Missouri River because that will bring attention and interest to our precious resource.

If you haven’t visited the Riverfront Heritage Trail or Berkley Riverfront Park, please take time to do so. I know you’ll be inspired.

I also urge you to participate in local events such as the Missouri River 340 Race or river cleanups sponsored by Healthy Rivers Partnership or Missouri River Relief. Such events provide opportunities for you to actually get out on the river and experience it firsthand.

You’ll be blown away by the beauty of the river.

By the way, I have swum in the Big Muddy around Kansas City and continue to live to tell others about it.

David Richter

Overland Park

‘Right to work’ flop

The Republicans have long dreamed of destroying unions. If the Republican-controlled Missouri legislature were to pass the so-called right-to-work bill, it would not realize that dream.

Kansas has the law, but it has done very little to harm unions. Workers at the General Motors Fairfax assembly plant are represented by the United Auto Workers union.

I worked at the Delco Battery plant in Olathe. Out of about 180 workers there, only two were freeloaders.

I would assume there are few if any freeloaders at Fairfax. Members realize the importance of union representation.

They will not welcome those who are not willing to pay their share.

The Republicans cannot win. Theirs is a pipe dream.

Gene DeVaux

Greenwood

Obama, second team

President Barack Obama was right when he made reference to a JV team. But he was really referring to himself and his White House advisers, who are making military decisions instead of listening to the varsity (military).

Robert Hurd

Warrensburg, Mo.

Voter identification

Missouri Sen. Will Kraus is a robotic pawn of conservative multimillionaire Rex Sinquefield, the American Legislative Exchange Council and their allies in pushing bills through the Missouri legislature that make absolutely no sense.

His current effort is to peddle voter-identification laws — a purported solution for an imaginary problem.

Kraus’ weak-kneed logic? If a person has to show a photo ID for any purpose other than voting, that is adequate justification to knock down core constitutional protections that prohibit restrictions on voting.

Kraus is wrong, but Missourians aren’t.

The proposed Missouri voter-ID bill is a mechanism to ensure that fewer non-Republicans are eligible to vote in statewide and federal elections.

Senator, you have no business holding office and certainly lack the capacity to serve as secretary of state. The least you can do is level with the people.

Your aim is to help Republicans win elections, nothing more and nothing less.

Anthony E. Weigel

Grain Valley

Lyric Opera loss

I am profoundly disappointed to learn of Ward Holmquist’s dismissal by the Lyric Opera, and I am shocked to read that Deborah Sandler seems to believe she has the skills to run the business and operations side as well as select the operas, audition performers and generally ensure the artistic integrity of every performance (5-9, C1, “Lyric Opera wants to be ‘indispensable’”).

If that is the case, it seems she has been overpaid for doing just half a job up until now.

With a budget of $6.5 million, this hardly appears to be a budget move — and given that the Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Kansas City Symphony and Kansas City Ballet all have artistic directors in addition to executive directors — it doesn’t appear to be a model favored by the Kansas City arts community.

And, per the editor of Opera News, it is not a trend seen around the country either.

We have long been supporters of the Lyric and season ticket holders. But we do not plan to continue either.

We have grave concerns about the real reasons for this shortsighted decision and have no reason to believe we will continue to experience the level of artistry that we have enjoyed during Mr. Holmquist’s 17 years as artistic director.

Judy Sherry

Kansas City

Iran nuclear talks

When describing Iran’s nuclear negotiations, all parties refer to these discussions as “making a deal.”

The news media, president, administration and members of Congress spend a great deal of time on Iran’s ability to produce nuclear weapons. Also remember that Iran, Russia and China operate under a different set of requirements necessary to approve this “deal.”

The U.S. Constitution is silent concerning “deals” or whether they are even allowed, which is also true concerning executive agreements.

The U.S. Constitution makes it clear concerning the powers of Congress and the president. Article I, Section 8 states that the Senate has the power to approve treaties and Article II, Section 2 authorizes the president to oversee foreign policy and to make treaties with foreign nations pending Senate approval.

There are many problems to solve, both at home and abroad, that require time to be spent by the media, president and Congress. The only time nuclear weapons were used was in 1945. There are many people being killed, but not by nuclear weapons.

Iran has stated several times that Israel should not exist. I believe that is absurd.

Carl M. Antrim

Independence

Thanks for caring

This month, I learned that citizens still care.

My car was hit in the parking lot at Belton Middle School while I was attending my granddaughter’s program. A wonderful person witnessed this and called the police on my behalf.

Thank you so very much for taking action.

The second lesson, I hope, and more important, has been learned by the young driver.

This could be a learning opportunity for a young man when decisions are not life-threatening. Do not leave the scene of an accident.

If you have insurance, carry your card. There are consequences.

Remember, the first time it happens, it is a mistake. The second time, it is a decision.

Thanks again to the wonderful folks for their kindness, time and becoming involved.

Also, thanks to the Belton police who responded quickly and handled the situation.

Pam Auerbach

Lenexa

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