Letters to the Editor

Letters: Readers discuss politicians dividing us, a luxury hotel and TV weather

Drunk and dirty?

Indeed, go out and pick up trash from your neighborhood, as a May 19 letter writer does. (20A) And as I do on Barrybrooke Drive in the Northland. Better yet, don’t pitch it in the first place.

But I have one additional concern.

I don’t collect the trash on three blocks on Barry Road near my house during the winter. At the end of March, I picked up three bags of trash in three blocks, and the rubbish included 69 discarded liquor bottles, mostly pints of a well-known vodka and single-serving alcohol. At the end of April, I picked up 24 more discarded alcohol bottles. And last week, 14 more.

Not only are inconsiderate people trashing our metro, and not only are they trashing my street, but they are apparently driving drunk to boot — or at least under the influence. Whom do I contact?

Gerald Valet

Kansas City

Look over here

It seems obvious that our legislators in Jefferson City don’t really want to stop abortion. Otherwise, they would write legislation that, if approved by the U.S. Supreme Court, would eliminate it.

For example, making it a felony to perform or undergo an abortion could do the trick. What’s more, any boyfriend, husband or parent who finances it would be complicit in the felony. So throw them all in prison.

Of course, our elected representatives aren’t that stupid. They know they would be civilians after the next election.

What’s really going on is that abortion, LGBT issues, gun control and the like are hot-button issues. They can be milked for votes while ignoring costly serious issues like fixing roads and bridges, providing better health care, cleaning up the foul reputation of the Missouri legislature and ending the gun violence that kills innocent people by the hundreds.

Is addressing those issues too much to ask? Yes, probably, at least until we stop falling for these diversion tactics and demand honesty, responsibility and real representation from our elected officials.

Keith Evans

St. Joseph

Room for both

The Star’s May 8 editorial opposing tax increment financing, or TIF, for a proposed downtown luxury hotel is misleading and does not give a balanced perspective. (14A, “Public incentives for a new downtown luxury hotel? Kansas City should just say no”) It says “incentives should go to neighborhoods.” I don’t disagree, but this does not preclude incentives elsewhere.

I worked for the Kansas City Corporation for Industrial Development, the predecessor to the Economic Development Corporation, during the 1970s and 1980s. I was involved in supporting statewide efforts to pass TIF legislation. Our team of economic-development professionals envisioned these types of downtown and midtown projects.

The proposed hotel is within the bounds of an area that was then declared blighted, with substantial vacant or underutilized land. We had to relocate an antiquated, undersized U.S. Army Reserve center. We recruited Whitney Kerr to be the private-sector partner, at great personal financial peril. The legislation required multiple trips to Washington, D.C., and expense to Kerr and his partner. Without that action, the Kansas City Convention Center could not have been built across the freeway and the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts would not exist today.

There is no good reason the city cannot support both the neighborhoods and a new hotel.

Martin Orr

Kansas City

Got the message

Last Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, local meteorologists went berserk with their reporting of tornadoes in Oklahoma. We missed several TV programs we enjoy, including two season finales.

I understand the need to alert the public, but some common sense should prevail. All they need to do is scroll the information and have a picture in the upper corner. If a tornado is spotted, then get serious with full coverage.

The weather they were reporting was nowhere near the metro area and affected maybe 10% of the viewing area — gross overkill. For an hour, they repeated themselves over and over with nothing new or dangerous.

Dick Horn

Overland Park

Spread it around

As a 60-year-old white male, I have the perspective to say that I perceive in our country an aging white man’s desperation to cling to the life of power and entitlement that we have enjoyed for … well, decades in my life, and centuries over the life of our nation.

Was Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s 2010 proclamation, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President (Barack) Obama to be a one-term president” racially motivated? Maybe not. But I’m not so naive as to assume that, at least partially, it wasn’t at its core an aging white male crying out for the norm that America has known throughout history.

We do live in a different time: the election of a biracial president, the #MeToo movement. White men have held the world in their grip for time untold.

Thankfully, we are evolving. The change is coming. The scales are balancing. The privilege we have known may one day be shared.

And I, as one aging white male in our society, welcome this change. Welcome to the club. There is room for all.

Jim Waltz

Kansas City

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