Letters to the Editor

UMKC, Boy Scouts, abuse in church

UMKC progress?

If the University of Missouri-Kansas City is to become a world-class university, why would it sacrifice valuable campus real estate for stores and housing that students cannot afford? Which houses will officials tear down next to make room for their next new building?

Tom Usher Kansas City Boy Scouts change

The recent Boy Scouts of America decision to allow gay scouts but not gay leaders sends a mixed message to youth: It’s OK to be gay, but once you turn 18, you’re not welcome (5-24, A1, “Group allows gays as Scouts”).

This half-baked scheme is an insult to all who value equality. Parents should consider alternatives to the Boy Scouts, such as Navigators USA and Camp Fire. They truly build character without institutionalizing discrimination.

Jeffrey Levine Kansas City Station celebration

Thank you, Lance Cpl. Tim Donley, for your fine rendition of our national anthem at Celebration at the Station. There were no vocal acrobatics and no mangling of the lyrics. You sang it straight — the way I like it.

Pam Workman Independence Steve Rose column

When uber-right-wing E. Thomas McClanahan left and Steve Rose took his place, we thought we might get a little less tea party fantasy. However, in his May 26 column, “Obama’s arrogance is undoing his presidency,” Rose beats the drum for the bogus scandals that exist only in the minds of the right.

Rose not only uses Fox News as a source, but he puts Fox News and “truth” in the same sentence. Has that ever happened before?

Scott Gregory Roeland Park Abuse in church

After several decades of inestimable suffering from child-abuse scandals within the Roman Catholic church, it’s time to ask the question: Have all the games played by the hierarchy in all these years really protected the church?

Has the reliance of the hierarchy upon passage of time, fading memories, denial, financial payments and apathy of the flock proved to be a path to healing?

Jeff Weis Kansas City Unforgivable losses

The governor and secretary of state of Kansas are working on privatizing the Osawatomie State Hospital. Sadly, the dietary department is the first to get the boot.

This affects the lives of 25 Kansas citizens in this department. The governor is sending the contract to an out-of-state company.

How do you like them sending Kansas’ tax money to another state?

Deb Bauer Osawatomie, Kan. Oil pipeline spill

The recent ExxonMobil tar-sands pipeline spill in Arkansas proves that it’s too risky to build another pipeline in the U.S.

TransCanada wants to build the massive Keystone XL tar-oil pipeline bisecting the United States to the Gulf of Mexico. This would carry nine times more tar sands than the broken Arkansas pipeline right through Kansas, putting the health of millions at risk if a spill were to occur.

The symptoms of exposure to crude-oil spills can include respiratory problems, central nervous system problems and blood problems. Tar sands is oil on steroids, containing potent carcinogens such as benzene and concentrated with aromatic hydrocarbons that pollute the air.

And a barrel of oil refined from the tar sands produces three times more climate-disrupting greenhouse gas emissions than a barrel of conventional oil. The latest American oil-spill disaster filled suburban streets and backyards in Arkansas with 80,000 gallons of toxic tar-sands crude after ExxonMobil’s pipeline burst on Good Friday.

A 2010 tar-sands pipeline spill into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan has still not been fully cleaned up, three years and nearly $1 billion later. Kansans should wonder whether we will be next.

Lori Lawrence Wichita Brownback, abortion

I was horrified to see that Gov. Sam Brownback signed Senate Bill 142, or “Let Doctors Lie,” into law. When this bill goes into effect, Kansas will officially be a scarier place for women.

I want all women of child-bearing age to know that now they need to be aware of their ob-gyn’s political beliefs. Why?

Because now doctors can legally (and with protection) withhold information from women about their sonogram results if they think receiving such information might influence a woman to terminate her pregnancy.

And the withholding isn’t limited to sonograms. Doctors are protected for withholding any information about the pregnancy.

It isn’t right, and it’s dangerous. A woman has a right to know the truth about her pregnancy. Information should support a woman, help her make a decision for herself and enable her to take care of her health and well-being.

Amanda Hemmingsen Lawrence Repeating history

One of the biggest failures from Washington, D.C., politicians was Prohibition from 1920 to 1933. Now we are looking at gun regulations, which would meet the same colossal failure if implemented.

It is estimated there are nearly as many guns as there are people in this country. Does anyone really think more gun regulations would have any effect on human behavior?

We now have laws against drugs and illegal immigration. So how has that worked?

What is that old saying? “Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it.”

No more appropriate saying could be made.

Bob Patterson Lee’s Summit Cancer survivors day

Sunday will be the 28th straight year of celebrating National Cancer Survivors Day in Kansas City. It’s a joyous and hope-filled day for all the people who have had a cancer diagnosis, for their loved ones and for the people who have given them life-saving treatments and soul-saving support.

This yearly gathering lets our local medical and social services show what they offer and how deeply they care.

Every day can be a celebration, whether the cancer was diagnosed a day or a decade ago. I started celebrating 35 years ago when my husband, Dick, battled lung cancer.

Survivorship took on new meaning in 2008 with my own breast-cancer diagnosis. I’m delighted that in August I’ll be cancer-free for five years.

Cancer touches so many of us, directly or indirectly. The 28th annual Kansas City Celebration of Life Rally will be at noon Sunday at the Cancer Survivors Park, just west of the Plaza at 48th and Roanoke.

It will be a day of information and inspiration, music and fun for everyone.

Annette Bloch Kansas City Respect warranted

I don’t believe that anyone wants to diminish the Second Amendment rights of anyone. I believe the issue is keeping lethal weapons out of the hands of the wrong people.

I consider my vehicle to be a lethal weapon, when misused. After all, cars don’t kill, people kill. We, as citizens, have to register our vehicles and have that information available to any police officer regardless of what state we are in.

Using the logic of the National Rifle Association, if only law-abiding citizens obey the traffic laws, then we should not have to have them. After all, I should be able to drive as fast as I want to. If the laws keep only the good guys from going as fast as they want, then we shouldn’t have any laws for the road.

This all sounds pretty ridiculous.

The fact is that we live in a society that asks that we try to be respectful of one another. Unfortunately, that means that laws sometimes require us to do things that we may find an imposition.

We want our toys, and we can have them if we show respect to one another.

Donna Sunderson Olathe Baseball announcers

I watched a Mets-Braves game earlier this month. It is so nice to have good announcers.

They didn’t say anything that would embarrass the teams. They didn’t talk through the whole game. And when they did talk, it was interesting.

Perhaps Rex Hudler could tape a few of those games and learn something.

Jannie Waller Lenexa