Letters to the Editor

GOP, KC schools, train travel

Don’t blame GOP

I keep reading how the Republicans are responsible for everything bad in Washington, D.C. I hear that the House has not passed a jobs bill.

Lawmakers have sent 30 jobs bills to the Senate. However, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will not allow a vote on these bills. He keeps blocking them. If Reid and the president do not get credit for them, Reid just ignores them.

It is about time the blame is laid on the Democrats for not voting on them.

Obamacare was passed with the nuclear option. They couldn’t get it passed any other way.

It has been shown how the bill hasn’t worked.

Richard Minear Kansas City Pondering issues

Two thoughts: First, how is it that there is so much antipathy toward our federal administration regarding the problems people are having gaining access to Obamacare, but it didn’t happen with the new computerized licensing in Kansas?

Second, why has no one raised a fuss about the hearing damage willfully caused by the encouragement of decibel excesses at Kansas City Chiefs games?

Bob Nash, M.D. Olathe Poor KC district

Sometimes people continue to do the wrong thing until it hurts enough to motivate change. The Kansas City Public Schools’ main tradition is one of failure.

I can remember even back in the 1990s the school district was profiled by “20/20” and “60 Minutes.” Both reports showed the Kansas City school district as a failure because of the enormous amount of taxpayer money put into it with no improvement.

I recall specifically one of the interviewers asking a representative of the schools, “What you’re saying is ‘It is a good system but it doesn’t work.” To which the reply was, “Yes.”

I’m fed up with the mantra of “what’s best for the children,” which has been repeated so many times with no real lasting improvement to the system that it just comes off as an empty platitude. Wasn’t it just a year or two after losing accreditation that the district was claiming results were improving?

I hardly think the state could do a worse job than those currently running the schools in Kansas City.

Robert Stancil Kansas City Fun train travel

Thank you, Deborah Fischer-Stout, for your Dec. 11 essay, “Get on board, KC, or be left behind,” supporting Amtrak.

I like traveling by rail. I took the Southwest Chief to visit family in Los Angeles for Thanksgiving. I got on the train at 10:45 p.m. in Kansas City. The car attendant had my roomette ready for sleeping.

The next day I had breakfast, lunch and dinner in the dining car, ate tasty food and met interesting fellow passengers, including a New York University professor and the son of a Disney artist who worked on “Bambi” and “Snow White.” I watched the countryside roll by from the observation car and enjoyed reading a novel in my room.

Sure, my trip took longer than going by plane and cost more, too. Train travel is on a par with driving a car, buying meals and gas, and staying in hotels but without the stress of driving.

If you are retired and have the time, a train trip is so much more enjoyable and relaxing. I think it’s time for retiring baby boomers to hit the rails.

Pat Weiler Prairie Village NRA, mental illness

Let’s see, we’ve got the National Rifle Association and severe mental illness. Are these two sides of the same coin?

Could we somehow get those with the compulsion to pull a trigger and others who still insist on the brutal, antiquated sport of hunting to somehow ante up a hefty percentage to help cure those who they insist have the right to freedom of carnage?

Greg Smith Kansas City Nix KCI change

The Dec. 12 editorial, “Press ahead to create a more modern KCI,” saying we should make Kansas City International Airport “more attractive to airlines so more flights will come” does not make sense to me.

The only reason airlines will add flights to KCI is if more people want to come to Kansas City. People fly into KCI so they can go shopping, visit family or friends, go to a ballgame or a concert, visit a school in the area or have a great weekend at the Sprint Center or the Country Club Plaza. Upgrading the airport will not change that.

People have to have a reason to come to Kansas City, and it’s not the airport.

Recently, I went through the new airport in Sacramento, Calif. There are a lot of shops and restaurants. All were nearly empty.

The Sacramento voters were sold a bill of goods and will be paying for it a very long time. Let’s not do the same thing in Kansas City.

Jane Gilbreath Kansas City George Will’s words

The Dec. 12 column by George Will, “Big government’s fate right behind dinosaurs,’ 

” provided the usual entertainment that I expect from this contributor. Will’s writing and subject matter suggest right-wing leanings, so I don’t necessarily read Will for his subject, but I do enjoy identifying words that require the dictionary for me to understand.

Will’s not widely used words — erudition, sclerotic, stultifying, dynamism, aggrandizement, epiphanies, sauropod and causations — were all accepted by spell check with the exception of sauropod, which I knew related to dinosaurs. My entertainment was slaked for the moment.

While attending a journalism class during my high school days, I was introduced to the Gunning fog index used to determine the readability of English writing. Naturally, I tested Will’s Dec. 12 column, and it ranked as acceptable for readability by a wide audience. Now I wonder whether Will uses the not widely used words for entertainment just like I use his column.

Bill Eltzholtz Lee’s Summit KC school blues

After 30-plus years of various efforts, Kansas City’s public school system is still a mess. Too bad.

Its history is rife with examples of misfeasance, malfeasance, waste, unconstitutional taxes and dysfunctional boards and members in addition to personal and group power plays taking precedence over the education of young people. Too bad.

Now there is much hand-wringing over the clumsy handling of a contract by Missouri Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro. In the scheme of things, this is a mere blip on the scale.

If such concern could have been concentrated over the years on issues that really mattered, the Kansas City Public Schools surely would be better today. But that did not happen. Too bad.

One thing, though, that we have learned for certain is that more money does not improve education or test scores.

Good examples are close by as illustrated by Barbara Shelly’s Dec. 13 column, “Crunch time here for Kansas City Public Schools.” With all the talk of things being for the children, overall good results haven’t materialized in Kansas City school district. Too bad.

Tim Maupin Overland Park U.S. foreign aid

I assume the purpose of sending our cash to countries that for the most part hate us is to help them secure the necessities of life such as food, water, clothing and medicine. Why don’t we try instead sending them these necessities instead of money?

This would accomplish at least two things. It would stimulate production of those goods in our country and maybe keep the cash out of the pockets of the leaders of those countries.

I doubt that any of us thought the cash reached the folks anyway.

Don Tracy Sr. Kansas City Microphone, please

Here’s a gentle request from a person who enjoys going with groups to visit wonderful places of interest. It would be so helpful if everyone who speaks to us would wear a microphone.

We cannot understand all that you say. And when someone asks a question, could you please repeat the question or give the microphone to the person asking the question?

This is a problem because people in the group are very disappointed to miss so much of the information they came to hear and maybe paid to hear.

Phyllis Hood Overland Park