Letters to the Editor

Jackson County sales tax, wage protest, cellphones on planes

Voters’ victory

Thanks to Dave Helling and Scott Canon for their Dec. 1 article, “Win at all costs,” about, among other things, the expenditures associated with both promoting and opposing the proposed Jackson County sales tax to finance medical research at three Kansas City institutions.

The defeat of this measure clearly resulted from a significant grassroots turnout of voters who had information, both pro and con, provided through multiple channels. People who voted no weren’t “dysfunctional,” as Jeff Roe suggests. They were informed.

The League of Women Voters of Kansas City/Jackson/Clay/Platte Counties takes pride in having been part of this voter-education process, particularly on the regressive nature of this tax. Our league spent about $40 and the cost of gas to get to venues to speak about the issues. Time and energy of our members were gladly and freely given.

Credit must be given to Freedom Inc., the NAACP and numerous neighborhood associations that worked to inform people. The tax opponents weren’t a monolithic organization but a loose informal coalition of players with varying perspectives focused on the same goal.

This was nonpartisan democracy in action.

Linda Vogel Smith President League of Women Voters Kansas City, Jackson,
Clay and Platte Counties Parkville Low-wage protest

Applebee’s announced the installation of table tablets to speed up service and checkout (12-4, A1, “KC chain is putting tablets on tables”). It used to be dining out was a social event, which included interaction with your server, most being dedicated, hard working people who rely on tips, not wages.

Your server will now only take your initial order, deliver it, and then you dictate by computer any changes before impersonally signing off payment without a thank you to the person who has worked so hard for your dining pleasure. Your “server” has now become your “go for slave.” Tell me this ultimately won’t cost jobs.

No computer can replace a personal dining assistant such as CJ at The Jazz Restaurant near State Line Road. It is personal contact with your server that makes a meal a dining experience.

Fast- and slow-food service wages are not livable. Join us today in a nationwide demonstration against the monied fast-food corporations that promote low wages.

See you at St. Marks Lutheran Church, 3800 Troost Ave., at 6:30 a.m. or another location of your choice.

Linda Neville Overland Park In-flight torture

Flying in a silver tube plus 100 people talking on cellphones equals abuse (11-26, Editorial, “No mid-air cellphone yakking”).

Susan Hidalgo Lake Quivira Interstate gratitude

Thank you to all the men and women who have worked on the interstates in the Kansas City area the past year or so. The improvements have made a noticeable difference in improving the flow of traffic.

I’m still learning all the new ramps, but overall the design is terrific. I appreciate your hard efforts to get the work done as quickly as possible, working day and night in all kinds of weather.

Penny Zadeh Overland Park Boeing right for KC

Kansas City should try to land the 777X Boeing Co. production facility (11-30, A4, “Nixon calls special session in attempt to woo Boeing”). The old TWA maintenance base could be used right away for final testing of aircraft, and there is plenty of undeveloped land on the west and south sides of Kansas City International Airport where the new plant could be built.

Ted Durie Leawood KC Star shooters

Although it might take extra work and possible use of a magnifying glass, readers would do well to look closely at the bottom right side of the award-winning photographs published by The Star.

There people will find the names of the many talented and creative cameramen who daily bring us dramatic, colorful and often humorous images. I would lobby for boldfacing their names, but absent that it is worth the effort to get acquainted with some of the finest talent in the newspaper business.

Bob Marrin Kansas City GOP shortcomings

There is a curious trend among would-be presidential candidates. Blame President Barack Obama.

He served less than one term in the Senate before he won in a remarkable, historic campaign in 2008. Thus, he sidestepped years of rubber-chicken fundraisers, congressional committee meetings and weekend trips home visiting with constituents and benefactors.

Obama broke the unwritten rule that politicians had to serve many years in office before running for the White House. Now, several Senate first-termers are Obama wannabes.

We have the likes of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul already making treks to early caucus and primary states like Iowa and New Hampshire. Meanwhile, these do-nothings have passed little meaningful legislation.

These senators have proved they lack the experience and interest in reaching the consensus that is vital in a democracy. The days of veteran legislators with extensive experience in foreign and domestic affairs running for president may be over.

Ironically, these right-wing senators, who claim to disdain all things Obama, sure know enough to copy his campaign strategy.

Sadly, these senators haven’t learned Obama’s grace and true leadership, which the office demands, and we expect, in our president.

Becky Borton Overland Park Levings column

Darryl Levings’ Dec. 1 column, “A family vacation in Christmas,” in Star Magazine evoked fond and not-so-fond memories as well as chuckles at every paragraph.

My husband of 47 years was one who never wanted to plan trips. “We’ll find a place to stay,” he assured me. After several trips, I chose not to believe his predictions.

We did not experience motels that would not allow partridge plucking but because we were seldom on hunting trips, that was no problem. Never did he get trapped in the middle of the road or ask our 12-year-old daughter to shift from low to high to get off a hump. At least his daughter didn’t burn out the transmission.

We seldom caught fish, but after the non-planning, I became a fishwife.

Margaret Heckendorn Kansas City Love for teachers

I am touched by letters honoring teachers. Both of my daughters are teachers, and I taught for 22 years.

Teachers are unique individuals because our goal is to make sure that every one of our students becomes a successful adult. During the school year, those students become our family, and we work so hard to guide, nurture, empathize and educate them.

Our job is the best because the smiles on the faces of students guide our direction each day. We work hard to make sure their skills allow them to be ready for each step in their academic careers.

Our students teach us each day how to better guide them down this path. Teaching is the best profession because of the celebrations you have each day when a student says to you, “Thank you for your extra help. I think I understand that concept.”

I am so proud that my daughters chose to follow in the footsteps of both of their parents and become educators.

Together everyone achieves more (TEAM).

Jane Harmon Kansas City Capital disorder

I was recently made aware of a disorder that has hit the mid-Atlantic area known as ICD, or intellectually challenged disorder. It has been contained to 535 people living the Washington, D.C., area.

If you see these people, it is advised that you not look into their eyes.

However, it is safe to genuflect.

They appear to be morally indignant but have expanded super egos. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was working on a vaccine but was told to shut down its operation.

Like roaming zombies, these people with ICD are deadly.

Kelly Persinger Olathe