Letters to the Editor

Readers share thoughts on Missouri Amendment 3, Kansas schools and the Royals

No on amendment

Amendment 3 in Missouri on the Nov. 4 ballot is a fraud from birth.

In the petition process, many who signed were sold on the falsehood that “this would help teachers.” This fraud on well-meaning signers did not reveal the hundreds of millions of dollars it would cost local school districts and their communities in paying for all the new tests.

Assessments in education are as important as cell production in a body. But cell production carried to the extreme can result in runaway growth and death. Assessments carried to the extreme in education can result in death to creativity, positive student-teacher relationships and local control.

To fill the power void created by lost local control would be a power grab by the state legislature. That bunch already owes the schools more than $600 million in foundation formula payments. Lawmakers don’t need more school control; they need to pay up.

Amendment 3 would be catastrophic to schools and their communities, and most important cancerous to the students.

Our “no” vote is more important than ever because those who will be stifled the most, the kids, have no vote at all.

Gene J. Hoppe


Public school vote

The governor and the Kansas Republican majority in the Legislature voted to strip teachers of the right to due process, slashed millions of dollars from at-risk student programs, gave away millions of dollars in corporate tax credits and eliminated licensure for math and science teachers.

This is the destruction of quality public schools.

A recent ad by Gov. Sam Brownback tries to slant all of this as pro-education. Don’t buy it.

Class sizes are increasing, school districts are considering closing schools, programs are being eliminated, test scores have dropped for the first time in 11 years and per-pupil funding, adjusted for inflation, is at 1992 levels.

The professional treatment of public educators is essential to a quality program. Educators need the freedom to create an environment of discovery, question and creativity. But with the new legislation, innovation will be threatened.

The only way to combat the bought-and-paid-for legislators and governor in our broken government is by elimination and replacement.

If you value education and lower property taxes, and believe health care is a right not a privilege, then it is pretty clear how you should vote on Nov. 4.

Shelley Dunham

Council Grove, Kan.

Political questions

The campaign literature touting Republican Jacob Turk in his race against Democrat Rep. Emanuel Cleaver in the 5th District of Missouri states, “Leadership over Politics.”

Well, that sounds good, so I have some questions for Mr. Turk:

▪ What are your positions on greenhouse gases and global warming, and how would your victory improve our environment?

▪ What is your position on raising the minimum wage in Missouri?

▪ Tell me one area where you differ from your own party on areas that affect the people of the 5th District of Missouri.

▪ What is your position on the rights of women regarding abortion in cases of rape or incest or when the life of the woman is at risk?

These are a few of the important questions I care about when voting for the representative in my 5th District.

John Koehler


Roberts, Orman

I invite you to hold your nose when you vote on who should fill the U.S. Senate seat in Kansas this particular year.

On one hand, we have would-be senator-for-life Pat Roberts, who visits Kansas every six years.

He is like former Sen. Richard Lugar, who forgot he was from Indiana. I suppose he is comfortable living in the Washington, D.C., area now.

Then we have independent candidate Greg Orman, who seems to have made no decisions on anything that matters to those who wish to vote.

The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, that’s an interesting question.

What about the Keystone XL Pipeline? I guess that’s another interesting question.

Orman put together a neat campaign, and then went to Wall Street for a fundraiser chiefly sponsored by Jonathan Soros, a son of George Soros. I wonder how that went for Orman?

It comes down to if you want a GOP guy, you have to vote for senator-for-life Roberts.

If you want to insert a new guy who can’t make up his mind, then go for Orman.

What a mess.

David W. Anderson


Vote for change

Kobach, Brownback and Roberts. Is that a law firm?

No. These are Kansas politicians who think they have the answers to make your life better. Secretary of State Kris Kobach runs around the country helping other states write immigration reform while getting paid by the taxpayers of Kansas.

Gov. Sam Brownback is taking the state toward bankruptcy. And Sen. Pat Roberts claims to own a residence in Ford County, Kan., but the Ford County tax appraiser lists Sen. Roberts’ residence in Alexandria, Va., as the address to send the bill for his Kansas property.

Gov. Brownback has eliminated income taxes on almost 200,000 businesses and self-employed individuals and cut income-tax rates for everyone else. Those cuts helped trigger a $300 million tax shortfall last year.

So who pays for this shortfall? You guessed it, you and me. Sen. Roberts is struggling in the polls, and what does he do to persuade you to vote for him?

He starts slinging political mud at his opponent, independent candidate Greg Orman.

People are always saying, “Things need to change.”

Well, Kansas, here is your chance to make a change. Vote these three politicians out of office.

Bob Williams


Support for Obama

Have you wondered why President Barack Obama’s approval ratings are so low? This is really crazy. He has done so many great things for our country.

Obama kept us out of another great depression, unemployment is below 6 percent and his health-care plan takes away worry about your insurance being canceled. The economy created more than 200,000 jobs in the private sector each month for six consecutive months through July.

This Congress decided the day the president was elected to refuse to do anything he wanted. This is how we got our no, no, no Congress.

Congressional Republicans want to do away with the middle class, provide no help for education or student loans and offer no increase in the minimum wage even though some have to work two or three jobs to survive. They want to do away with Social Security, the Affordable Care Act and anything else that could improve our lives.

We must vote them out. Let us show them we are not dumb. We must refuse to let these Republicans take over this country.

Obama’s ratings went down only because these Republicans and Fox News told nothing but one lie after the other about him.

Vote them out.

Don’t let our children and grandchildren suffer.

Donna Stone

Prairie Village

Shelly column

Wake up, Kansas, and read Barbara Shelly’s excellent Oct. 17 column, “Sam Brownback’s tenure marked by falsehoods.” Shelly’s column helps us separate the myths from the realities. Don’t let the fiction outweigh the facts.

Rev. Bill Hemmen Jr.

Overland Park

Royals memories

Reading about the excitement over the Kansas City Royals brings back a memory of 1985. My sister Catherine was a fan of the Royals, but she had illnesses that had caused her to be moved to the intensive-care unit of a hospital.

My sister Gee, who wrote to me about it, said she had asked the nurse to let her see Catherine for a last goodbye. There was just a lump under Catherine’s blanket in the hospital bed, and she didn’t speak or move when Gee spoke to her.

Gee thought our sister was dead. The nurse pulled the blanket back, and Catherine was curled up with her tiny radio and its headphone wires leading to her ears. She was listening to the Royals.

Helen Roser

Manhattan, Kan.