Letters to the Editor

Letters: Readers discuss DoJ Russia investigation, OP arboretum and fighting poverty

Too small, inside

The U.S. Department of Justice opens a criminal inquiry to investigate the investigators who worked on the government’s probe into allegations of collusion between Russia and President Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, and The Star gave the story about three inches on Page 8A Saturday? (“Criminal review takes aim at Russia inquiry”)

Wow, I would think it might merit a little more attention than that, but, of course, we are talking about a left-wing newspaper without a hint of objectivity.

- Ralph Neighbors, Olathe

Great alternative

As a resident of Johnson County since 1983, I must take exception to the negative feedback of neighbors to the proposed expansion of the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. (Oct. 27, 4A, “Arboretum expansion in Kansas City suburb angers neighbors”)

Although it would be nice to think that 179th Street could remain pristine and rural, that is a pipe dream. I remember when a wooden bridge covered Mission Road to College Boulevard and when the area where Town Center Plaza stands was still a forest.

If the arboretum did not use the land it was so generously given, no doubt a strip mall or a high-end residential developer would take it instead. And the traffic and crime would be multiple times worse than the peace and serenity of a nature sanctuary.

Our area is blessed to have such a serene natural resource, operated as a nonprofit, among the suburban sprawl. Just look at the multiplicity of developments on your way down U.S. 69 and then ask yourself whether a few acres off 179th Street are going to a bad purpose.

I’m sorry the traffic and other annoyances of the arboretum upset folks living nearby, but I’m sure their real estate investments are way safer with the arboretum than commercialism.

Count your blessings, south Johnson County.

- Laura Sereduck, Leawood

A better future

I want to live in a nation where everyone matters — not just the wealthy.

I want a nation with affordable prescription drugs, one that saves money and provides comprehensive health care through “Medicare for All.”

I want public education, where no students suffer shaming for being unable to afford lunch. I want higher education that allows young people of all backgrounds to express their talents, contributing to the growth of the nation.

I want a nation that moves quickly to reverse the climate crisis through a Green New Deal. I want renewable energy, environmentally sound transportation and more affordable housing. I want family farms and regenerative agriculture. I want research into energy storage and sustainable plastics. I want just transitions for workers moving from fossil fuel jobs.

I want a nation where workers earn a living wage and where the elderly can retire in dignity.

I want a nation where the rights of all are respected regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, country of origin, religion or sexual orientation.

I want a nation that values justice for frontline communities at home as well as international justice and peace.

I want a better future for our grandchildren. I want to live in Sen. Bernie Sanders’ America.

- Amrita Burdick, Kansas City

Listen, learn

When researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University recently won the Nobel Prize in economics for pioneering methods to alleviate global poverty, many of us working at a Kansas City-based global nonprofit stood up and cheered.

The international recognition affirmed something that we at Children International have known and practiced for quite some time: It’s not enough to try to tackle a huge, complex issue such as poverty as has been done in the past. No, the promise of ending poverty for good will require an experimental approach and true innovation.

After years of halting progress, it’s time we adopted new ways of solving age-old problems.

If there’s one lesson we’ve learned in our battle against global poverty it’s this: In establishing programs and services, don’t assume that poor families are making bad decisions. The best, most effective programs — even in experimental stages — take shape by directly observing families and kids and by listening to them where they live.

The Nobel recognition — and Children International’s recent experiments — prove that even the most uphill battles can achieve remarkable results when the climb is purposeful, and when we take one small step at a time.

- Jack McCanna, Vice president for global programs, Children International, Overland Park