Letters to the Editor

Letters: Readers discuss tarring South Americans, Westport convenience and Baby Alfie

Not our way

I’m surprised that The Star printed a letter to the editor Thursday, given its blatant and senseless bigotry. (12A) The more I think about it, the more I am appalled.

I am so taken aback by its saying “People coming up from South America have no right to enter this country” that I feel like I’m sputtering helplessly.

It’s wrong. It’s just so wrong. How can the writer justify condemning an entire continent of people?

I know of no reason the millions of people of South America should be barred. They have as much right to enter our country as those from anywhere else. They are as good as we are. Maybe even better.

Barbara Young


In the thick

For the merchants of Westport to oppose the streetcar route on Main Street is extremely short-sighted. (May 3, 4A, “Merchants: KC Streetcar too far away from Westport”)

If Westport merchant and landlord Bill Nigro thinks women won’t walk four blocks to his establishments, then how far does he think they are walking now? On a busy Friday or Saturday night, with the streets closed and access to small lots near the businesses blocked, women are parking as far away as the Southwest Trafficway to the west, Main Street to the east and 43rd Street to the south.

Perhaps if the 4,000 Westport employees didn’t all have to find places to park, it would free up some parking spaces.

Perhaps too many Westport business owners think it’s fine to make their living in the district while living in suburban areas they deem more desirable.

Perhaps there’s really more to “Westport” than the four square blocks of bars and restaurants. Perhaps those of us who actually live there are looking forward to easier, faster transportation, both north and south.

Who knows? Maybe the businesses along Main Street and the eastern part of 39th and Westport Road will begin to thrive again. That would be a bonus for all of us.

Jane Gilbreath

Kansas City

Left behind

In his recent guest commentary, chairman of University Academy charter school Bush Helzberg asserts that parents living within a certain district are choosing to send their children to nonprofit charter schools in the district 40 percent of the time. (May 3, 13A, “Charter schools deliver results to district students”)

He claims that competition among the charter schools increases the quality of education but does admit that some charter schools fail. In the next paragraph, he states that this enhanced quality exists even for students who are randomly selected (but he does not state their numbers).

The point here is that most of the students who attend charter schools are self-selected by motivated parents. Such self-selection, in itself, provides charter schools with parents and students who are driven to excel. Foundations and grants provide additional funding, which essentially amounts to covert tuition.

Charter schooling is nothing more than a slippery way to privatize education in this country. This is to the detriment of the public school system, which gives all students the opportunity to advance academically.

Privatization discriminates against the poor and will financially squeeze out public schools and their impoverished students, who, without public education, will be left out of the education process altogether.

Robert Stuber

St. Joseph

Our choices

Who knows if there could have been a better outcome for England’s Baby Alfie, whom columnist John Kass recently wrote about? (May 1, 9A, “Parents understand England’s Baby Alfie and the politics of life”)

But one principle is clear: When a government funds your medical care, it usually starts to act as if it owns your body and your children’s bodies. We have to require the government to respect our rights as patients and as parents.

Richard E. Ralston

Executive director

Americans for Free

Choice in Medicine

Newport Beach, Calif.

Pick me! Pick me!

Dear David Glass,

I read that “The W Guy” from the Royals had been let go. (May 2, 1B, “Run with KayCee ‘The W Guy’ is over; critical Facebook post surfaces”) As much as it hurts me to see him go, I can understand why. The poor guy would have been standing around, because as of Thursday there had been only four wins at Kauffman Stadium this season.

So I’m applying for the position.

I do not have a white “W” in my garage. However, I did find a 4-foot “L,” and since it looks like the theme this season is “Just lose baby,” I thought maybe you could hire me and I could put on a uniform from the past — say the 1990s or early 2000s — and stand up there with my “L.”

I’ll be very punctual, and you won’t have to pay me much. In fact, I’ll just work for peanuts.

Now, I realize that after you unload Moose, Jon Jay and Lucas Duda around the All-Star break, I’ll be very, very busy the second half of the season. I may need a few more peanuts, and possibly a lot of beer.

Greg Schoen

Overland Park