The recent news about the death of Kate Spade from suicide is tragic. (June 6, 1A, “Fashion ‘dynamo’ dies at 55”) We send our sincerest condolences to her family and friends. We know their deep grief, pain, confusion and shock during this time, having lost our oldest son to suicide almost nine years ago.
Regarding the reporting of her death, I encourage all journalists at The Star and other news organizations to visit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s website to review this organization’s guidelines for those reporting the death of a person by suicide. These guidelines can be found by searching for “journalists” at afsp.org.
It is imperative that as a society we come together to address mental illness and how deadly untreated mental illness can be. Journalists bear a heavy responsibility in reporting these deaths in a respectful and dignified manner for all involved.
Fountains gone dry
Management informed me that all three fountains at the Liberty Memorial — the newer one at the entrance and the two classic ones facing Union Station above the north lawn — will not run this year because of leaks.
This is especially sad because the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I is coming up in a few months.
You’d think benefactors would step forward to speed this up, because tax revenue isn’t sufficient.
Why we revolted
By President Donald Trump even suggesting he has the power to pardon himself, it seems that if left to his own designs, he would make himself king.
In 1776, the American people declared themselves free from the usurpations of a king, once and for all.
John J. Gladbach
Writing on the wall
I found it interesting that Rich Lowry’s assertion in his Sunday commentary, “Roseanne Barr’s lunacy tells us nothing about our country,” that her racist comments do not represent the views of the average supporter of President Donald Trump is directly contradicted by the guest commentary below it by David N. Smith, “Trump voters want just what he’s delivering.” (19A)
Smith indicates that the American National Election Study, the gold standard of voting research, concluded, “Trump voters supported him in 2016 not despite his fiery and divisive attitudes but because of them.”
These include his attitude toward minorities, which have been unabashedly racist all his life and are represented in many ways by his policies since his election.
Pick it up
I recognize people’s right to smoke. I also recognize other people’s right not to see discarded cigarette butts alongside the road for two reasons:
It is a fire hazard to throw burning butts out the window, and it is illegal to throw trash alongside the roadway.
On one recent morning, I counted no fewer than 140 discarded cigarette butts along Blackwell Road from Northeast Scruggs Road south to St. Margaret of Scotland Catholic Church in Lee’s Summit.
Smokers, please properly dispose of your trash.
On the up and up
In his resignation announcement, now ex-Gov. Eric Greitens declared, “I will let the fairness of this process be judged by history.” Unfortunately, history sometimes judges slowly, but the allegation by ex-aide Michael Hafner that Greitens illegally sought foreign donations can be debunked thoroughly and immediately. I personally saw the Greitens campaign diligently screen potential donors to ensure they were U.S. citizens.
In May 2016, I was in London for work. One evening I met with a friend and former colleague to attend a book launch for an American venture capitalist and author. The launch included a panel discussion featuring a group of extraordinarily accomplished people from all walks of life — people who in many ways reminded me of Greitens’ Renaissance man characteristics.
After a couple of them signaled interest in speaking with Greitens, I called his campaign manager about the prospects and followed up with an e-mail cc’d to a senior finance staffer. The immediate response: “I just want to confirm, is (the prospective donor) in the U.S.? We can only accept donations from U.S. citizens.”
No conspiracy. No foreign money. No subversion of campaign finance laws. Just due diligence.
Aaron D. Hedlund