Letters to the Editor

Letters: Readers discuss the KCI redo, tax abatements and accommodating kids with autism

Wrong contractor

This whole project to build a new terminal at Kansas City International Airport is a joke. Burns & McDonnell deserved a better chance to win the contract, and the City Council and mayor are playing political football with taxpayers’ money.

Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate should keep building in the inner city and let a hometown player have a chance. Kansas City taxpayers need someone they can trust, and they are not getting it from City Hall.

Michael L. Gunter

Kansas City

For the rich only?

On Wednesday, I attended a lengthy meeting of the Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority. The board members were discussing two potential projects: a new downtown hotel and a building renovation slated to become market-rate apartments. Abatements were being requested for both projects, which supposedly would “not be viable without” them.

There was discussion of rooftop spaces, swimming pools, ballrooms, basketball courts and fitness equipment. City employees and civic leaders touted how these projects would put us in the same league as Denver and Nashville.

The hotel received 100 percent abatement for the first 10 years and 37.5 percent for next five. The apartment project received 90 percent abatement for 10 years.

While the majority of people in attendance were very pleased with the results, I felt profoundly sad. Kansas City averages 40 evictions a day. We have families who desperately need decent housing. Why should our city residents, who pay the majority of the taxes, make do with less?

We are not Denver or Nashville. We are Kansas City — a city that needs to use common sense when spending our tax dollars.

Janet Parks

Kansas City

Include everyone

Thank you, Whitney Ellenby, for pointing out the possibilities for providing sensory-friendly restaurant hours, performances, flights and more for the autistic among us. (Nov. 29, 15A, “Autistic children also deserve their own opportunity”)

The Americans with Disabilities Act requires “reasonable accommodations.” Setting aside specific performances, as Ellenby describes “The Lion King” on Broadway doing, is another helpful step for enrichment for autism families while avoiding disruption for people without disabilities.

There were some great ideas in this commentary.

Tassy McMahon

Kansas City

Pretty big deal

“Too big to fail” has come a long way since 2008, when we learned that the very corporations that created the Great Recession would not be held accountable. On the contrary, the taxpayers they betrayed were made responsible for nurturing them back to health.

Now we have a president who thinks he’s too big to fail himself, supporting tyrants in Russia and Saudi Arabia.

More than 240 years ago, our nation was founded on the premise that the King of England was not too big to fail.

Armand Way


Help is here

The holidays can be a difficult time for people. Every year, the suicide rate increases during this season. According to the Centers for Disease Control, suicide is among the top 10 causes of death in the United States, and it is the third among adolescents, according to the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Most of us have experienced or know someone who has experienced depression. Depression, especially among adolescents, can go unnoticed. And if families do recognize it, they may feel ill-equipped to help their loved ones resolve it.

Too often, the untreated illness reaches a crisis point and someone is lost to suicide.

For those of us in the medical community, it is common to screen for all types of preventable illnesses, such as diabetes and cancer. Suicide is now among those prevention screenings, and thankfully they are more readily available in Kansas City for children 12 and older.

Our young people are our most valuable asset. Protecting them against suicide is paramount. Routine suicide screening should be welcomed and embraced by all of us as family and community.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day at 1-800-273-8255. Suicide screening will save lives.

Heather L. Jones


Out of sync

Yipes, you guys — who writes your headlines? Thursday on Page 8A, one read, “There’s more TV Christmas movies than ever.”

There is more movies? I am not a stickler (however, I am old), but that one jumped out at me with its incorrect subject-verb agreement.

I just had to vent.

T.J. Snyder

Mission Hills