Letters to the Editor

Letters: Readers discuss wasting time on Mueller, Open Spaces and Hawley’s dismissiveness

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Can we please stop obsessing about the Mueller report? At this point, who cares how the heck Donald Trump got into the White House? He’s there, so let’s just deal with it.

The man is a self-serving demagogue and a narcissistic reprobate, but he didn’t collude with the Russians to get elected. No, he somehow convinced otherwise decent, patriotic people that he gives a rat’s rear end about them, when by his actions from day one it has been clear he does not.

He’s blown up relationships with our allies, coddled our enemies and cut off or cut back the foreign aid that allowed people to prosper so they can live in their own countries without seeking asylum in ours. But he’s too silly to realize what he’s done, and, worse, he doesn’t care.

We need to put the Mueller report aside and concentrate on getting this man out of the White House come 2020.

Kathleen C. Butler

Wichita

Open signs

Even though I will be moving out of Kansas City for college in a matter of months, I am a strong advocate for the return of the Open Spaces arts festival. (April 16, 7A, “After spending nearly $1 million on Open Spaces event, KC can’t afford another bailout”)

Its financial situation is dicey, but a second year of Open Spaces could help the festival get off the ground and potentially reach the level of successful festivals such as the Fringe Festival and WaterFire, which also were championed by KC Creates.

The blend of artists from Kansas City and across the map generated excitement and crowds. Just making this festival a one-off could mean Kansas Citians would miss out on great art from big names and lesser-known artists alike.

As a city, we could allow ourselves to be outshone by events in other cities such as Chicago or Austin, or we could invest in our own art scene in the form of revolutionary projects such as Open Spaces and put ourselves on the map as a modern arts hub.

Julia Kerrigan

Kansas City

Is this really OK?

Like many people, I got a smaller tax refund than expected this year, while more corporations paid no taxes at all. But everything’s really OK.

Thousands of refugee children still are imprisoned, many of them separated from their parents. Refugees slept on gravel under a bridge in El Paso, Texas, and some observers compared the images to photos of German imprisonments in the 1940s. But everything’s really OK.

We are withdrawing from international arms treaties and beginning to build smaller, more usable nuclear weapons. Hiroshima was a long time ago, and we’ve forgotten what happened there, so everything’s really OK.

We are experiencing droughts, flooding, fires, superstorms, melting arctic and Antarctic ice, loss of species — including pollinating insects that help us produce most of the food we eat. Scientists tell us we may have only a dozen years to act. But everything’s really OK.

Hate speech is prevalent, targeting members of Congress, journalists, people of color, entire religious traditions — anyone who speaks out. I guess some people forget (or maybe they speak because they remember) that words have consequences. But everything’s really OK.

Despite it all, everything is really OK. But I have to ask: For whom?

Amrita Burdick

Kansas City

Democrats adrift

Watching members of the Democratic Party vie to be the presidential nominee in 2020 reminds me of a quote attributed to Will Rogers years ago: “I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.”

I have voted Democratic for most elections. For 2020, unless the party gets its head out of its rear, it will assure four more years of President Donald Trump.

Thomas O’Donnell

Kansas City

Felt shut out

On April 11, I had a scheduled appointment with Sen. Josh Hawley’s staff in Washington, D.C., with three of my colleagues. We had traveled from Missouri to talk about the need for immigration court reform, the need for legal workers and the processing of asylum cases at the southern border.

After waiting 25 minutes, we were notified that the staffer with whom we were to meet had left the office and that it was unclear when he would return. But it was clear we had been stood up, and there was no point in waiting any longer.

Our senators’ staffers are their representatives, and so it became very apparent what Hawley thinks about his constituents: very little.

Instead of avoiding the hard issues and conversations, the senator would be wise to come up with realistic solutions. We need an Article 1 court for border cases, funding for more judges, the restoration of due process and a commitment to treating human beings with humanity. And also respect for constituents.

Angela Ferguson

Raytown

Celebrity justice

Once again a Chiefs player seems to have skirted the law — and the team and the so-called Chiefs Kingdom appear more concerned about the Super Bowl than moral values.

The lesson here is if you are a big enough star, you can get a free pass.

Phil Brandt

Kansas City

Get on board

Public transportation goes far beyond simply getting people from point A to point B. A safe, reliable public transit system plays a key role in stimulating economic development, attracting and retaining business, furthering equality and building healthier, more sustainable communities. In fact, transit is the cornerstone of local economies in urban, suburban and rural communities nationwide — and those in and around Kansas City are no exception.

According to APTA, the American Public Transportation Association, 87% of public transit trips directly benefit the economy by getting people to work and connecting them to local businesses, retail and restaurants. In Kansas City, more than 2 million veterans have ridden RideKC free to access opportunities. Businesses and developers understand the value and economic benefit it brings to their projects, often choosing to locate, build or expand in communities with adequate transit access. Home values in areas located near high-frequency public transit stations are said to perform 42% better than other areas. In addition, a household can save nearly $10,000 by taking public transportation and living with one less car.

April 25 is National Get on Board Day. The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, in conjunction with the Missouri Public Transit Association, is standing with APTA to help spread awareness of and increase support for public transportation on this day and throughout the year. Whether you use public transit or not, you know someone who does. Funding and support for it is critical in Kansas City and across the state.

Robbie Makinen

President and CEO

KCATA

Missouri Public Transit Association board member

Lee’s Summit

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