Letters to the Editor

Letters: Readers discuss a more fitting Chiefs gesture, ‘road diets’ and Mike Pompeo

Don’t chop

I agree that the “Arrowhead Chop” is very offensive, especially to those who have Native American heritage. As an alternative gesture, Chiefs fans should hold two hands to the throat to reflect what the Chiefs do every year in the playoffs: Choke.

- Gary Groninger, Olathe

In the loop

I think we should rename Interstate 435 as Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Highway. We can name all of it or just the Missouri side if Kansas doesn’t want to be involved. Then, no matter where you are coming from, you will see it, and no one lives on it so there would be no complaining.

- John Severance, Overland Park

Bistate fix

I grew up in and around Kansas City and continue to visit often, though I now live in Los Angeles (I know, I know).

My first thought about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard street signs being removed after being put up was that I never want to live in Kansas City again. It is a shame some folks think intimidating and causing fear in churches with protests is a sign of respect. It is not. It is an inability to use your words to win an argument. Essentially, it means you’re not smart and lack forward thinking.

I assume folks standing up for the old name of The Paseo do not recognize “paseo” is a Spanish word, and this is not just a “Missouri thing.” Many rankings put Kansas near the bottom of most-visited states, yet Kansans stand silent, watching history pass by instead of seizing the moment.

Both states should do what is right and name 119th Street as Martin Luther King Jr. Drive on both sides of the state line. Why not? It used to be farm land. There are no historic street signs to send back to where they came from.

- Brady Novak, Los Angeles

Oath of honor?

When Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was attending West Point, he took an oath never to lie, cheat or steal or tolerate those who do. His boss, President Donald Trump, is notorious for lying.

Now we learn Pompeo’s former senior adviser, Michael McKinley, has testified under oath that he asked Pompeo repeatedly to issue a statement supporting the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, whom Trump fired. (Nov. 5, 1A, “Diplomat was told to ‘watch my back,’ transcripts show”) Pompeo denies he was ever requested to do so.

Pompeo’s not in the Army now.

- John S. Savella Jr., Overland Park

Show-Me power

The United States is poised to add 100 gigawatts of solar power in the next 10 years, with a hearty portion of this new horsepower coming from the Midwest. For perspective, one gigawatt is enough electricity to supply a medium-sized city.

Why is this important? There’s growing concern about the expenses that go into the operation of dirty power plants. This is even more crucial in light of a recent federal ruling that Ameren Missouri must spend millions of dollars on installing scrubbers in its coal plants.

Further, corporations are clamoring for clean energy. Businesses such as Walmart have made access to renewable energy one of the driving forces in choosing locations.

Missouri can make proactive changes to accelerate this growth. A proposed rule change in front of the Public Service Commission would increase our state’s solar production. A similar rule was passed in North Carolina that allowed private investment of more than $7.75 billion in solar infrastructure and employed more than 6,500 people.

Compare this with Missouri’s current investment of about $548.97 million and 2,819 employees.

It seems like a no-brainer, but it is up to regulators to act to maximize our state’s potential.

- James Owen, executive director, Renew Missouri, Columbia, Missouri

Unneeded diet

Overland Park taxpayers and other users of major thoroughfares are justifiably upset about having through traffic lanes squeezed down to allow room for bike lanes that are — and will be — virtually unused.

Users of College Boulevard between Metcalf and Nall avenues should be even more upset in 2020 when Overland Park plans to remove a through traffic lane in each direction to create on-street parking.

I was a traffic engineer for Overland Park from 1969 to 1997. This City Council has seemingly forgotten how important and envied the city’s major street system is, and how so-called “road diets” are a degradation to traffic operations and safety.

Extreme minorities (bicyclists) and mostly outside consultants (from College Boulevard) appear to be taking precedence over the overall public good — and common sense.

- Garry Metcalf, Bradenton, Florida

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