A woman wrote a letter to the editor recently about having to wait for service at the Johnson County Social Security office. (June 5, 10A) She contacted Rep. Kevin Yoder, and his staff intervened to get her an appointment.
As a former manager of the Johnson County office and the retired director of offices in Kansas and Nebraska, I can tell you that Social Security employees work hard every day to provide the best possible public service. Since I retired 10 years ago, the staffing of offices in Kansas and Nebraska has decreased by roughly 25 percent — this while the demands for services from the baby boom generation have become a gray tsunami.
It seems to me the letter writer should have asked her congressman and senators why Social Security staffing has been cut so drastically at the exact time when demand for services has risen so dramatically.
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Don’t give chase
I have written letters, commented on surveys and appealed to politicians regarding the practice of high-speed police chases. It is difficult to understand why intelligent government officials, police officers at high levels and other people in power do not see the idiocy in this practice that is becoming all too common. This most recent occurrence took four lives. Why? (June 5, 4A, “After 4 people killed in wreck, Independence defends police chase”)
Unless someone is suspected of being a mass murderer or kidnapper, little else is worth risking innocent lives to capture a fleeing person. Our highways are dangerous enough.
And it isn’t enough to lay blame on the perpetrator or quote policy and procedure. Policies must be changed now.
Sadly, nothing is likely to happen until a child or loved one of someone prominent is in the wrong place at the wrong time, as many other innocent people have been.
Post this bill
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court held that a baker could not be found liable for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple. (June 5, 1A, “Supreme Court sides with baker who turned away gay couple”)
That was the decision, and it is what it is. I personally believe that business owners should have the right to refuse service to anybody. It’s their business; let them do what they want.
But to avoid the awkward situation — for both business owners and LBGTQ customers — of a person being discriminated against and rejected, I suggest that businesses that discriminate against people because of race, gender identity, sexual orientation or religious belief must put identifiable signs on their doors that clearly state their refusal to do business with people against whom they have a bias.
These signs would also provide the 63 percent of Americans who embrace the LBGTQ community to be aware of the bigotry of those business owners, and would give them the choice to spend their money elsewhere.
Lastly, any religion that promotes inequality in any form has fallen blind to the message of Christ. What would Jesus do? He would bake the cake and deliver it with a smile on his face.
on the Plaza
No player protests
Vahe Gregorian called the new NFL policy about player protests “gutless, short-sighted and ultimately self-defeating.” (June 3, 1B, “Why Chiefs coach Andy Reid backs Jeff Colyer for governor”) A recent USA Today editorial said, “By trying to please everyone, the league pleases no one.”
Nevertheless, polls such as one from Yahoo Sports indicate that football fans overwhelmingly support the new policy, and the public supports it by a good margin. It appears that people pretty much agree that if players want to protest, they should do it on their own time, not while they are at work.
It seems it is just the media who don’t like this policy. Can you believe that the media could actually be unaware of true public sentiment on an issue?
Ideas, not parties
I commend The Star’s “Influencers Series.” (June 5, 5A) I believe this will be helpful in providing voters with good information on behind-the-scenes thought processes.
The design of the page showed no political party affiliation of any of the people who will be included in the process. I hope that not connecting participants with a political party will continue.
In fact, I would love to see political affiliations eliminated during actual voting. Maybe this would cause voters to actually look seriously at the ballot before choosing.
Paul S. Zolotor
North Kansas City