Letters to the Editor

Immigration reform, Zimmerman trial, Gov. Sam Brownback

Immigration reform

Kansas congressmen must listen closely to the state’s changing population if they wish to remain relevant and competitive in upcoming elections.

I immigrated to Ulysses, Kan., at age 15 in 2001. I am a Kansas State University alum and have built a career as a visual artist, and my art is forever woven into the identity of communities across Kansas.

I’m now eligible for citizenship. I’m not alone.

The 2010 census shows the racial makeup of southwest Kansas is just more than 50 percent of Latino origin. One in every eight Kansans is Latino or Asian, and 33.9 percent of immigrants are naturalized U.S. citizens.

Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s policies are grounded in fear. They go against federal law.

They place the role of vigilantes on everyday citizens and stress social relations by forcing law enforcement to upset the very communities they are to defend. That is un-American.

I call on Sens. Jerry Moran and Pat Roberts to take immediate steps and to disengage from extremist rhetoric and fix our broken immigration system by voting for a bipartisan, common-sense approach that puts Kansas values and economic stability first and includes a road map to citizenship for all 11 million undocumented immigrants.

Armando Minjarez Wichita
Zimmerman trial

A teenager heads home with Skittles and a can of tea and is stalked by an older man with a gun. It seems to me that the unarmed Trayvon Martin was the one “standing his ground.”

Bill Hankins Platte City Brownback, Morsi

There are striking similarities between ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback.

The election bids of both men were supported by religious fundamentalists. They were democratically elected but immediately began grabbing for more power. Rather than governance through popular participation, an antimodern tyranny of the majority began to unfold.

Morsi dissolved Egypt’s Supreme Court. Brownback pushed through legislation giving him the power to handpick Kansas appellate judges. His next target — the state Supreme Court.

Morsi refused to compromise; Brownback purged his own party of moderates. Egypt was bankrupt by June; Brownback has blown a giant hole in Kansas’ budget.

The Egyptian people reacted angrily when they saw their newly minted democracy being replaced by a theocracy.

We’ll know 16 months from now which form of government Kansans prefer.

Gerald K. Gentry, Ph.D. Olathe Pre-K in KC district

I was surprised that there was no mention of the excellent pre-K program previously offered by the Kansas City Public Schools in the front-page July 12 article, “A hard sell for pre-K plan.”

I taught pre-kindergarten for 20 years in the district, and last year I switched to a kindergarten classroom after the district eliminated certified teaching positions in pre-K because of funding shortages.

In the past, our pre-K classrooms offered quality programming with certified, experienced teachers and highly trained paraprofessionals, along with an excellent curriculum developed by the state. I was proud to be part of such a fantastic program for so long, especially the years at Pershing Early Childhood Center at 59th and Park.

Maybe the idea of universal pre-K in the Kansas City district only seems like a “hard sell” because the commission and the community are not aware of how strong the program was in the past.

I applaud the community for forming the Early Childhood Education Commission to search for funds to expand and improve upon pre-K programs. I hope the commission can achieve its goal.

Laura Howard Overland Park Natural gas power

As an environmentalist, I was glad to read The Kansas City Star’s July 11 article, “The future has arrived for KC buses,” which reported that cleaner-burning compressed natural gas buses are being added to the ATA’s fleet.

Since we all know the volatility of natural gas from the recent Plaza explosion, there should be safety concerns about the fleet changes.

Also, there was an incident in my hometown when a compressed natural gas pickup incurred a disconnected hose while going through a car wash, resulting in an explosion that demolished the building and killed everyone in it.

A computer search of natural gas vehicle safety found that a natural gas bus tank was ruptured while the vehicle was sitting at a stoplight, resulting in injuries to 17 passengers and pedestrians. Other search results talked about explosions while natural gas vehicles were being refueled.

Further, natural gas prices are also volatile, so today’s good deal might not look so good tomorrow.

I appreciate the investigative reports by The Star. As a Kansas City driver, I ask for a report regarding safety of natural gas vehicles as well as safety and cost comparisons between hybrid-electric and natural gas vehicles before the Kansas City Transportation Authority proceeds with plans to change its fleet.

Donna Clark Overland Park Truth takes work

While at my yearly well woman exam recently, I was informed by the nurses and office staff that the doctor couldn’t refill my prescriptions or discuss anything with me that wasn’t related to my reproductive system because of Obamacare and new insurance regulations. The nurse specifically said, “Blame it on Obamacare.”

Upon checking with Blue Cross, we determined that it was just an office policy and had nothing to do with Obamacare or insurance regulations.

This kind of incident combined with the supposed scandals being shoved down our throats smack of a conspiracy to discredit the president as well as the entire Democratic Party.

Please do your research when force-fed information. The greed and dishonesty of many conservative organizations are a threat to our society in more ways than this.

Look into where the funds that support these causes are coming from. You will uncover some pretty evil characters who only wish to pick your pocket to fill their already overflowing ones and to gain even more power over all of us.

Please be careful, and please care enough to really find out the truth behind misinformation out there.

Ann Bolen Gardner Voter ID laws

I don’t know what the big issue is with providing proof of citizenship except if you’re not a legal citizen. I had to do it a few years ago in Missouri.

I simply drove to Topeka, went to the office that handles birth certificates and got a copy of mine. I was in that office only 10 or 15 minutes.

But I am not a college graduate, just a truck driver who doesn’t see why the people who should vote have a problem with this.

So to me, it’s the ones who are not supposed to vote who have the problem. The American Civil Liberties Union is siding with the people who are here illegally.

Peris Trow Raytown Hudler fan fumbles

I’m sure Rex Hudler is enjoyable for the players to be around (probably because he wants to stay in the Major League Baseball fraternity). However, he is abrasive and condescending to his audience.

He says he wants to give a “player’s” perspective. Fine.

But Frank White and Jeff Montgomery did the same thing without insulting the intelligence of the average fan. I can’t count the number of times that Hudler has begun a thought with the phrase “what the fans don’t realize is ...”

Please dump that guy. He’s worse than Dick Vitale.

Gerald Bond Lee’s Summit KCI misrepresentation

The city leaders or employees who misrepresent facts concerning Kansas City International Airport and don’t represent the citizens of the Kansas City area should be replaced.

Initially, they contended that KCI was not large enough for the future. Then they said changes wouldn’t cost us any more money (ha). Then we were told it will be just as convenient.

There are no savings in spending more than a billion dollars for a new, “just as convenient” airport.

Lloyd Martin Platte City