Letters to the Editor

KCI, texting, gasoline prices

A pain to fly KCI

I fly often. When I fly out of Kansas City International Airport, I am screened by security and then kept in a small enclosure where the seats are not that comfortable. The prices of food and drinks are too high.

If I want to shop, I have to go out of the enclosure and when I come back I have to be screened again. In other airports, I’m screened before entering terminals, and I can move around, shop or eat in the whole building.

KCI is one big pain. Is this how you want to treat passengers?

Robert A. Stompoly
Lexington, Mo. Steve Rose column

Now comes Steve Rose with the right wing’s typical slur toward unions (5-19, Commentary, “Hostess unions, the bell Ding Dongs for thee”). The very title is an insult.

Rose makes the age-old union-busting arguments: Employees are paid too much. Hostess had too many employees.

As a longtime union member and business owner, I’m sad to be the one to enlighten Mr. Rose: Companies hire, not unions. If wages were too high, the company agreed to them.

Never once has there been a unilateral labor agreement. It always takes two signatures with both sides agreeing to all the terms of wages, benefits, working conditions and length of the contract.

Rose says the union refused to take wage decreases. Does it occur to him that the employees have based their family expenses on this wage?

Does anyone believe that employees could simply go to the bank and demand a lower house payment? Or that gasoline, groceries, taxes, health care or utilities will go down because the Hostess employees accept lower pay?

The employees went to work for Hostess because the company hired and retained them with decent wages. In the real world of business, a deal is a deal.

Bill Emerson
Kansas City Unfounded texting

Teen texting and driving is big news. It gets our attention.

The Nash family just lost a precious family member. Some news stories speculated she was texting, because there was a lengthy unsent text on her phone. But that may not be the case.

She had just left her home and within seconds (not enough time to compose a lengthy text) reached the intersection on Missouri 7. What if she had composed the text earlier and was actually being responsible by not sending it?

This was an honor student involved in school, church and Future Farmers of America activities. She sounds to me like a responsible kid.

I suspect she was like every other driver on one of her first solo trips — a little nervous. What you don’t see in the news clips are the construction vehicles that lined the highway. An experienced driver would have trouble navigating them.

This is a dangerous intersection with numerous accidents. Were they all a result of composing text messages?

This is a tragedy for both families. Let’s not make it any worse with unfounded allegations.

Peggy and Mike Phillips Raymore In harm’s way

Do you have much sympathy for those who pick up bear cubs when visiting Yellowstone only to discover that mama bear has issues with this uninvited attention?

Are those who hike in the Iranian hills or drop in unannounced to check out North Korea really worthy of any particular rescue efforts on the part of our government?

In a similar vein, why get upset when someone goes to extreme lengths to have a photo-op with a terrorist and gets killed in the process?

It is certainly proper to question the U.S. drone policy. But it makes no sense to focus on disloyal citizens who go out of their way to be in harm’s way.

Thomas Stroud Overland Park Tax-cutting flop

Kansas Republicans want a utopian society where the state thrives without taxes as a way to fund the structure and mechanisms of its governance and obligations to its citizens.

Missouri Republicans want our state to be a clone of the Kansas utopian model.

What both states will achieve if the madness continues is to become clones of Mississippi with statewide poverty, a lack of adequate educational opportunities and political policies designed to deny many citizens basic human and citizenship rights.

Hang on, folks, the ride to the bottom will be rough and bumpy.

Paul Comerford Blue Springs Gas pump woes

I have been a working man all my life. I have never said anything about gasoline prices until now.

Why do these people who sit in their big, plush offices decide it’s time to raise prices again?

I would say that 90 percent of those who set the prices don’t even have to pay for their gas.

We do.

James R. Jacobs Garden City Pear tree menace

Ornamental pear trees (including Bradford, Aristocrat, Redspire, Chanticleer and others) are a non-native species that are planted all over the metro area.

It was originally thought that these trees were unable to reproduce, but in the late 1990s the trees began spreading into our fields and open areas, where they are crowding out native species.

I was in Weston recently, and you can see the pear trees all along the bluffs.

We have beautiful native alternatives, including the serviceberry, which provide spring flowers, food for our birds and insects and stunning fall color.

This year, if you’re planting new trees or replacing trees that didn’t live through the drought, please consider helping the environment by planting native trees and eliminating ornamental pears.

You can find more information on the web, including a list of additional native trees that are good alternatives to ornamental pears.

Search for the Stop the Spread campaign developed by the city of Columbia.

Kate Corwin Kansas City New energy source

Some people are excited to see support for renewable energy.

How is this practical on a grand scale?

It takes more energy to make alcohol for gasoline use than it produces.

Solar would take up all of our farm land, not to mention that our existing grid could not handle the transmission.

Why is there no mention of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, or ITER?

It is currently building the world’s largest experimental tokamak nuclear fusion reactor at the Cadarache facility in France.

The ITER project’s goal is to make the transition from experimental studies of plasma physics to full-scale electricity-producing fusion power plants.

The project is funded and run by seven member entities — the European Union, India, Japan, China, Russia, South Korea and the United States.

The United States is funding part of the project. The plan is to produce 10 times the amount of energy it uses.

William C. Strutz, DDS Shawnee Trusting Mission

Mission business owners should listen when city officials tell them they “have nothing to worry about” during road work on Johnson Drive.

Just because Mayor Laura McConwell and crew’s dim ideas like the driveway tax, ticketing drivers on phones and inviting a Wal-Mart to town have all but suffocated our once vibrant, quaint downtown is no reason to mistrust them.

Just because many of their street “improvements” have restricted flow (Nall Avenue) or simply cut off access (Shawnee Mission Pkwy) you shouldn’t doubt their expertise.

Just because they have run Mission into debt and spent our tax dollars like absolute fools is no reason for concern. So calm down and be quiet and believe them.

And if by some fluke you were right to be worried, at least be content that your boarded up business is lit by new streetlights, surrounded by new signage and has shiny, new parking meters in front.

Relax. Go to the new pool. Shop at the new Gateway.

Construction begins this summer, you know. Just because they’ve been telling us that for eight years doesn’t mean it’s not true.

Susie Genova Mission