Letters to the Editor

Same-sex marriage, George Zimmerman, immigration reform

Same-sex marriage

Words can illustrate, prompt, question and/or define. But used out of context, they can cause confusion.

One example is “marriage.” Marriage was defined as a relationship between a man and a woman with the ability to procreate. The definition remained unchanged for centuries.

Now, same-sex marriage has become a controversial topic, and the word “marriage” seems to be the crux of the matter. Male couples or female couples may share the same love, caring and commitment of any male-and-female couple. But they can’t procreate. Thus the word marriage doesn’t precisely define the relationship.

The word “union” can be defined as the merging of two entities, creating a spiritual oneness. It would seem then that enacting and legalizing a civil union for same-sex couples — with all the rights and responsibilities of the traditional marriage license — would create a separate but equal platform for all couples while enhancing the dignity and acceptance of both types of relationships.

Why is this concept so difficult to consider?

Words do have meaning. They need to be used accurately to create and sustain understanding.

Larry Kauffman Kansas City Leadership needed

Trayvon Martin’s family will never get over its loss. Even if George Zimmerman had been found guilty of manslaughter, Trayvon’s family would never see justice because of the future taken from young Trayvon.

I wish all of our leaders in Washington, D.C., all of our large-city mayors, all of the interfering press and all of the tweeting celebrities would express this same outrage for all the black boys and girls who are killed each day in our large cities. Don’t these mothers and fathers and grandparents deserve this same outrage?

What are we doing — from the White House to governor’s mansions to city halls to Hollywood — to prevent this carnage? How can we continue to ignore their survivors’ pain and loss?

Too many young people are not safe in their own homes, parks and school yards. I never see the Revs. Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson or Washington bigwigs or Hollywood do-gooders organizing and participating in marches and protests for our young, endangered black children.

Are they spurred to action only for high-profile cases?

People in Kansas City don’t want our inner-city families sacrificed and ignored. Leaders must step forward now.

Fran Burkhart Cleveland, Mo. Rights of children

Several recent letter writers to The Star have expressed concern and worry about the rights and liberties of gun-owning citizens — specifically, the Obama administration taking away their guns.

Besides blatantly appealing to racial fears, this is pure fantasy. What is not being discussed is the constitutional rights of 6- and 7-year-olds to attend school without having to worry about being slaughtered by a deranged individual armed with an easily obtained firearm that was intended to kill as many people as possible as quickly as possible.

Tom Hogan Kansas City Safety on mopeds

I was almost run into by a moped that came onto the sidewalk. This vehicle was going down Wyandotte Street and just jumped on the sidewalk, crossed my lawn and parked at the neighbor’s house. There was no license on the vehicle, and no helmet was being worn by the driver.

I notice every day while driving for work that most of these scooters on the street don’t have plates. Is this legal?

Are they required to have insurance? Is there so much crime in Kansas City that the police don’t have time to enforce the laws that govern our streets?

James M. Farmer Leawood Immigration wedge

Despite Democratic leadership and the Senate’s best efforts to fix our broken immigration system, no functional immigration bill has been advanced in the House.

The reason nothing may pass is that the same factions of the Republican Party that supported Senate candidates Christine O’Donnell, Sharron Angle, Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock will have the final say. If they were willing to forfeit control of the U.S. Senate for two election cycles, from their perspective, what is wrong with forfeiting the White House for a decade or two?

These are not reasonable people, and they will do what red-state Republican legislators have done in state after state in passing stupid immigration laws.

They will talk a good game, tell you privately they really do understand, and then shrug their shoulders and tell you there is nothing they can really do about the outcome. They are a sad, cowardly lot.

I think we’ll see continued efforts to drive wedges between highly skilled immigrants, DREAMers, other U.S. workers and the undocumented.

While I am hopeful that the pro-immigration groups can continue to withstand those efforts, every day that passes makes me more certain that the fools in the Republican Party will have their way.

Tony Weigel Grain Valley Community center

I attended an informational meeting last week about the proposed community center in Kansas City, North. Officials asked for input on what amenities we wanted.

It was a waste of our time. We were not told that there is already a fully formed plan in place for a community center in Anne Garney Park at Northeast 111th Terrace and North Woodland Road. Search for Anne Garney Park and see what architects have come up with.

How nice for those folks who live nearby in Staley Farms, but not so nice for those of us who live near the old community center at 39th Street and Antioch Road. We poor and working-class folks who live in the southern part of Kansas City in Clay County get bupkis — again.

Jill Daubresse Kansas City Wal-Mart exodus

No one wants a Wal-Mart as a neighbor. Wal-Mart doesn’t want to return to its Bannister Road area.

Sam’s Club is leaving Grandview at the end of October, so that city won’t have one. Grandview has empty stores that have been that way for years.

What is the mayor doing about it? In the south Kansas City area, the International House of Prayer people have taken all of our strip mall areas, so we have nothing.

What is Kansas City Councilman John Sharp doing about that?

Also, I have had to contact several companies over the phone. I lucked out recently and reached people who spoke perfect English. The others should record themselves and hear that I don’t understand.

Valma Ealey Kansas City Less perfect lawns

The New York Times recently explored dire loss of water from the High Plains Aquifer, which feeds much of Kansas’ economy. It suggests no real solution: “When the groundwater runs out, it is gone for good. Refilling the aquifer would require hundreds, if not thousands, of years of rains.”

Why continue making similarly destructive decisions when it comes to our yards?

I’m going to cut into my yard and plant more knockout rose bushes and more of the low-lying greenery that thrived last August. I’m going to mow less lawn and less frequently. I’m not going to water my lawn until it gets bad in August.

There are hardy plants that we can use to replace large portions of our lawns. They require no gas.

We will simply have to get used to the idea of the yard looking a little less perfect, and we’ll have to find something else to do with all that extra time and money.

Readjusting our notion of the perfect yard could alleviate pressures on resources that extend far beyond our yards.

Ben Pabst Leawood Working with God

As it is in the church, Christ misses no opportunity to welcome an entity unto its sanctum of edification.

If it’s an act of love, the hand must be played. The question is, Will the host enhance the good that is in the sojourners, or will they become dissuaded by precarious elements?

The sojourners have maintained their integrity thus far. It is about working with God.

Jake Bell Kansas City