Letters to the Editor

Readers react to green energy, Missouri highways and Kansas Democrats

Green energy, farmers

I do not have a dog in the fight between the farmers in Missouri and Clean Line Energy’s request to build the Grain Belt Express power lines. Believe it or not, the population of this country is expanding, and clean energy production is imperative to the health of this great nation.

I have relatives who farm in Nebraska and Iowa. One farm has had a power transmission line running through it since the 1950s, and the farmers haven’t had any problem planting around that structure or grazing cows that clean up the remains from the fall harvest during the winter.

If these farmers are so selfish to refuse an easement to their property (for which they are being compensated) in support of our nation, then our government should stop subsidizing them (which the majority of them don’t deserve because most of them are already millionaires).

As a cousin once told me many years ago (and yes he is a farmer) when he asked whether I knew why the bill on baseball caps worn by farmers was rounded instead of straight across, his answer was that phenomenon was due to the farmers looking into mailboxes for their government checks.

Mark Ciurej

Kansas City

Missouri fuel tax

The Missouri Department of Transportation is broke, and the legislature did nothing to increase funding during its last session.

Under the Hancock Amendment, it could have increased the fuel tax by 2 cents a gallon for three years, but the Republicans who control the state legislature refused to pass a bill to do that.

The fuel tax was last increased in 1993. The increase put the tax at 18.4 cents a gallon. That 18.4 cents now has the purchasing power 11 cents had in 1993.

The Missouri Department of Transportation cannot keep our highway infrastructure repaired without more funding.

As our roads and bridges deteriorate, you can thank the Republicans for not doing their job of funding the state Transportation Department.

A 6-cent increase over three years would still not provide the department with the purchasing power it had in 1993. A 23-cent-per-gallon fuel tax would only have the buying power that 14 cents had in 1993.

It would require a 30-cent tax just to have the same buying power that the 18 cents had 22 years ago.

For every year of underfunding the Missouri Department of Transportation, the state faces a bigger backlog of work that needs to be done.

Gene W. DeVaux

Greenwood

Democrats’ principles

What’s with Larry Meeker (8-22, “Kansas Democrats reject rebranding”)? As the recently departed state Democratic Party chairman, Meeker wanted to alter the Democrats’ long-held principles.

Didn’t he know that he is in the Democratic Party? The Democrats will not change their stances on such issues as women’s rights and the rights of gays.

Larry must be hanging out with conservative Republicans. I’m glad the Democrats are consistent in their principles.

Larry Meeker is not.

James Burrell

Lenexa

Coverage overload

I have a question. Why does F. Glenn Miller get so much press (8-26, A4, “Jury views video of Miller from moments after arrest”)?

It’s almost like he is a rock star. He’s far from it.

He is charged with capital murder in the deaths of three people, and the press is treating him like he is a hero. Don’t you think that is just what he wants?

I don’t want to see that man’s face anymore or hear about him on television. He is a disgusting bigot, and he is making a circus out of the legal system.

I say if you have to report about him, put it in the comics.

Janice Masiero

Overland Park

Selling out America

How can we get our lawmakers to be more concerned for the welfare of the United States? They helped the big-money group, which sent many of our factories to low-wage countries.

Now they have a large portion of the U.S. adult population jobless, homeless, hungry, helpless or in a state of disorder. Yet, they want to build multimillion-dollar prisons to hold a bunch of crooks whom society needs to put to work on a work farm.

Why not create prison camps on our federal- and state-owned lands? That money needs to be used to put our people back to work.

We need to fix our roads and bridges and help the United States and its people get back on track. It seems most of the candidates just work for the wealthy and the corporate farmers.

They are the same group that sold out the United States. What can anyone do?

William Leroy Elwood

Osceola, Mo.

Separate, not equal

Whether a person in our society reaches his full potential is largely dependent on his financial position. Those born into poverty or near so are likely to have poor schools, inferior housing and neglected communities.

To break out of this situation is not impossible but nearly so and certainly demoralizing. The Obama administration’s proposal for free tuition for two-year colleges is a step in the right direction. But this is such a small step.

This great country should rise to its full potential. Some possibilities include:

▪ A college education free to qualified individuals.

▪ Skilled trade school, no tuition, for people interested in carpentry, working as electricians or driving trucks.

▪ A single-payer health plan that is all-inclusive, such as expanded Medicare for all.

The list could go on and must be formulated in such a way as to not detract from a person’s natural desire to improve oneself and contribute to society.

The current struggle to afford a higher education is an abomination. The fact that we spend more on health care (with many not covered) and receive inferior results than other wealthy countries is also an abomination.

Our society’s division into haves and have-nots most likely will always be. However, it should not be so unfair as now.

We can do better.

Wayne Wagner

Independence

Schools shorted

OK, raise your hand if you were surprised by the Kansas committee set up by the Legislature to hear the school district cases for getting additional funds to educate the children of Kansas (8-25, A4, “Area schools get disappointment”).

The legislators’ signature legislation the past four years was to cripple funding for public schools so they could then blame the “failed public education system” and funnel taxpayer dollars to private or charter schools.

Please remember this cronyism the next election cycle. We won’t be Brownbacked again, but the governor’s puppets in the Legislature will all be running and needing your vote.

And we have a secretary of state, Kris Kobach, who is waiting for the chance to step in and maintain the policies of the right that continue to take the state down.

Marty Birch

Olathe

Give hope a chance

Hope allows a person to keep trying and not give up. Hope enables people to better themselves and the world.

Without hope, a person may turn to gangs for validation, drugs to dull the emotional pain or crime to fill a void. The lack of hope costs society money and economic growth. It uses up political oxygen, stifles personal growth and deprives society of potential contributions.

Society tends to be reactive rather than proactive. We handle problems as they arise rather than preventing them.

A new approach is needed where all children are given a decent emotional and social educational start. A new approach is needed where adults feel they are valued by society. And when the path forward is not clear to them, their fellow citizens will help them find the way.

All people need hope. This includes those in countries that are not trusted but are striving for a positive way forward.

If we want those people to be positive contributors to society, we must allow them to have hope. There are no guarantees in life, but hope deserves a chance.

Nina Eva Hajda

Shawnee

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