Letters to the Editor

Letters: Readers discuss Missouri abortion ban, helmet laws and denying Trump credit

Economic impact

I am coordinating an annual trip of 20-plus to see an NFL game out of town. We were excited to bring our dollars to Kansas City — a first for most of us.

Unfortunately, we didn’t know we’d have to cancel our plans because your state banned abortions after just eight weeks — even in the most cruel and unusual of circumstances.

My vacation money will go to another state. I’ll make a large donation to Planned Parenthood in Gov. Mike Parson’s name.

Jen Antila


Zip them up

Too many injuries and even deaths on Kansas and Missouri highways are avoidable. Both states’ transportation departments continue to use signage and methods for reducing lanes around construction that are archaic, dangerous and annoying to drivers — and they also lengthen delays.

When lanes are reduced, signs announcing the closure are placed as much as a mile ahead of the merge point. Then, because of “Midwest nice,” everyone packs into the merge lane, leaving the not-yet-closed lane open for thousands of feet and causing an unnecessary backup.

Drivers get angry when others correctly attempt to fill the closed lane and merge at the point where the lanes convene. Some drivers even appoint themselves as the “merge police” and attempt to block the open lane, sometimes causing accidents.

Engineering studies have conclusively proved that motorists filling both lanes and then “zipper merging” at the last possible point significantly reduces delays for all drivers and decreases accidents caused by unexpected slowdowns.

Kansas’ and Missouri’s departments of transportation have officially urged motorists to use the zipper merge method, but they need to go further. They should post signs when lanes are reduced that say specifically: “Zipper merge ahead. Fill both lanes to merge point” and “Lane ends. Zipper merge.”

Eric Raven

Overland Park

Buried good

The Star has published at least two stories on its front page recently about the impact that new tariffs on Chinese goods are having on American farmers, quoting critics of President Donald Trump for enacting them.

Then last week, Trump rolled out a $16 billion plan to help farmers hit by the trade conflict, and where did The Star publish that story? On Page 8A last Friday. (“Trump adds $16B to help farmers survive trade war with China”) In contrast, the aid was mentioned prominently in the lead news story on the front page of that day’s Wall Street Journal.

It is this kind of obvious bias that pushes people to defend Trump and look for their news elsewhere.

Dave Shull


Matter of safety

Gov. Mike Parson, please do not repeal Missouri’s motorcycle helmet law. (May 27, 7A, “Gov. Parson could make a deadly mistake with repeal of Missouri’s motorcycle helmet law”)

This is not a matter of personal freedom. It is a matter of public safety, especially for the families of people too selfish to understand their responsibilities.

Riding a motorcycle is not a right. It is a privilege. We require construction workers to wear hard hats on job sites, and motorcyclists need helmets for the same reasons. In my 45-year motorcycling career, I have destroyed three helmets, and I’m still here to make this plea.

Isn’t it also ironic that you enact one of the nation’s most restrictive abortion laws because “all life has value and is worth protecting” — but apparently only until you can get a motorcycle license? Then you are free to go kill yourself by not wearing a helmet.

Brian Woods

Kansas City

Kill profit motive

To put the issue of vaccine safety to rest, drug company executives and insiders need to be removed from their positions of responsibility at federal regulatory agencies and be replaced by qualified, independent professionals.

This needs to be done for the same obvious reason that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer recently gave for Boeing being suspended from the Federal Aviation Administration’s Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee.

Vaccine skeptics may have been happy when then President-elect Donald Trump made an invitation (later rescinded) to well-known vaccine skeptic Robert Kennedy Jr. to lead his vaccine advisory board in January 2017. But the need to protect the least among us still exists, and millions of people will not accept promises of vaccine safety unless they are made by professionals who will not profit from them.

Michael Stone


Loud and clear

On Memorial Day, as Americans celebrated those who have sacrificed and served our country, the president of the United States was in Japan? (May 28, 1A, “Trump in Japan: Pomp and tense circumstance”)

Actions always speak louder then words (or tweets).

Pam George