Letters to the Editor

Letters: Readers discuss Chiefs misconduct, affordable housing and Down syndrome

Make the call

The Chiefs need a new defense. All right: defense attorneys.

Joel Grammatico

Kansas City

Roofs over heads

In response to The Star’s recent coverage of the Trump administration’s 2020 budget proposal, I am dismayed the president is again calling for cuts to housing assistance.

America is in a housing crisis. A person earning the minimum wage cannot afford a two-bedroom apartment anywhere in America. In Jackson County, rents are lower than in other metropolitan areas (for now), but there are still nearly 9,000 evictions every year, according to the Kansas City Eviction Project.

Safe, stable housing has a positive impact on job performance, and children in these environments are healthier and happier and do better in school. Yet three of four eligible households are denied federal housing assistance because of inadequate funding.

It is unconscionable that President Donald Trump would propose to put more families at risk with his budget cuts.

Fortunately, our elected officials understand what’s at stake and have stood against these cuts in years past. I call on Rep. Emanuel Cleaver and Sens. Roy Blunt and Josh Hawley to again reject Trump’s dangerous budget cuts and instead increase investments in housing assistance for low-income families.

Jos Linn

Grassroots manager for

U.S. poverty campaigns


Kansas City

But not here

We are a nation that prefers not to see or believe what happens when our bombs and drone strikes blow up children or our overarmed citizens kill one another at an alarming rate.

New Zealand’s response to its recent deadly terrorist attack of tightening gun regulations and perhaps even banning semi-automatic weapons must remain an outlier to protect our gun worship. New Zealand’s quick reaction to this attack runs counter to everything we believe.

The more I see, the more I know this nation is filled with fearful cowards hiding behind bluster and vacuous indignation.

Larry Hitchcock

Westwood Hills

Protect our health

Missouri Senate Bill 391 is a pro-factory farm, anti-property rights bill. It states that county ordinances “shall not impose standards or requirements on an agricultural operation … more stringent than existing state health or environmental laws.” The bill is a direct attack on county health boards and commissions and the residents they serve.

Twenty Missouri counties have passed health ordinances to limit negative impacts of hog waste disposal on land, water and air. This legislation would negate these.

Concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, are large-scale industrial livestock operations that are often foreign-owned. (Chinese-owned Smithfield Foods is the largest pork producer in the U.S., with brands including Armour and Farmland.) Land application, aerial spraying and off-site disposal of hog waste from “export only” CAFOs are not regulated by state or federal agencies. It’s up to the companies. This waste can contaminate groundwater and surface water and cause health problems for neighbors from air pollution.

This bill is a done deal unless Missouri voters state their opposition. Please ask your state senators to protect family farms by voting down this proposal. Learn more at www.morural.org

Dee Ann Gregory

Kansas City

Include everyone

On the 21st day of the third month, we celebrate World Down Syndrome Day. At the National Down Syndrome Society, we think one day isn’t enough.

My best friend, Kasey from Lenexa, has Down syndrome. I met Kasey, who is 33, more than two decades ago, and our relationship has grown into a very dear friendship. I work with her dedicated mother and siblings to plan for Kasey’s financial future, health care and housing. I think Kasey and all people with Down syndrome deserve a fair shot at the American dream.

I’ve dedicated my life to advocating for people with disabilities as president and CEO of the National Down Syndrome Society as well as on the board of Inclusion Connections because I know we can do better.

You can do your part. Call on your elected officials to modernize policy. Advocate in your workplace to offer career opportunities for those with disabilities. Support your favorite entrepreneur, such as PawsAbilities in Olathe (where you can pick up some dog treats).

On this important day, we encourage everyone to work alongside individuals with Down syndrome, their families and caregivers to help us educate, advocate and celebrate.

Sara Hart Weir

President and CEO

National Down

Syndrome Society