Letters to the Editor

Gov. Sam Brownback, gay rights, speed limit

Brownback’s games

Bait-and-switch alert. Evidently the Kansas governor is feeling the heat of Paul Davis’ yellow bus campaign tour (12-17, A4, “A boon for kindergarten”).

Paul Davis is the Democratic candidate for Kansas governor who believes in public schools and knows they cost money. Now enter pictures of smiling Republican Gov. Sam Brownback on the evening news next to a caption about all-day kindergarten, his “new” idea.

All-day kindergarten is an investment we need to make, he says. I agree. But there is no all-day kindergarten on Brownback’s glide path to zero income tax.

Spoiler alert: Some time this spring there will be a vote on the kindergarten program, after which the governor will have a news conference in which he expresses regret that his (handpicked) Legislature did not approve his reform measure.

Sadly, there was no money for such investment. Brownback knows it. Heck, he arranged it.

Beverly Ring Olathe Equality for gays

Gays and lesbians aren’t treated equally. I believe that gays and lesbians should be treated as equals because we are all human and different in our own ways. People should have the freedom to date whoever they want without the government’s intrusion.

The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, sometimes known as the gay community, is a loosely defined grouping of people and supportive people, organizations and cultures. They are united by a common culture.

These communities generally celebrate pride, diversity, individuality and sexuality. According to the LGBT community, LGBT people are far more likely to be victims of a violent hate crime than any other minority group in the United States and nearly nine out of 10 LGBT students have been harassed.

According to dosomething.org, 38 states have banned gay marriage through law, constitutional amendments or both.

Abigail Bollinger Platte City
Raise speed limit

The speed limit going through the city is way too slow. On Interstate 70, for example, the speed limit in places is 45 mph.

The speed limit should be 55 or 60 mph. On Interstate 435 the speed limit is 65 mph. That speed limit should be 70 to 75 mph.

Kansas City is way too big a city to have these slow speed limits. Hopefully, the state will raise the speed limits.

If it does eventually raise the speed limits, there may be fewer people on the highways because 75 mph may be so fast that some people probably will not want to go that fast.

Andre Putman Kansas City Touching series

Thank you, Denise Thomas, for your courage in sharing the journey and struggle with your husband’s dementia, and thanks to Eric Adler for writing the outstanding series of front-page articles this week (“Denise’s decision”).

Your story has touched so many lives as others face similar decisions and the unknowns of what all of us may be facing.

Rev. Bill Hemmen Jr. Overland Park Diuguid column

I wholeheartedly agree with Lewis Diuguid’s Dec. 16 column, “The silent suffering of unmentioned disability.” We must start a compassionate conversation that raises awareness and offers hope to individuals and families struggling with mental-health issues.

The shame, isolation and distorted thinking that accompany mental illness often trick people into not asking for help. These are people in our families, in our workplace, in our schools and churches.

These are people we see every day. These “people” are us.

The new mother is mortified by her feelings and tries to ignore her depression and anxiety. The executive uses alcohol every night to medicate anxiety and panic attacks.

The teenage student feels she is a failure because she can’t get her eating disorder under control. The elementary student is so anxious he can barely function at school, and his parents are overwhelmed by his obsessive-compulsive routines and meltdowns.

Mental health is about having compassion for yourself when you need support. Asking for help is a sign of great strength.

No individual or family needs to navigate the journey alone. We can learn from each other, support each other and share stories of hope and recovery.

Mary Beth Compton Leawood Prosecutor’s power

Certainly, I believe that the truly guilty should be convicted and a punishment fitting the crime should be given. However, the problem with American justice is that the prosecutor is elected to his or her position (12-15, A1, “Power of prosecutor faces new scrutiny”).

The country is full of self-serving prosecutors who exploit their positions for political gain. They are judged by their conviction rate, not by finding the truth.

They wield all the power when it comes to so-called justice. We hear about people who are incarcerated because prosecutors hide or refuse to examine evidence, refuse DNA testing or won’t re-examine old evidence.

They get plea deals by bullying the accused with the possibility of additional charges, not caring whether they are actually guilty. Even innocent people will accept a plea deal rather than face the potential of life in prison because the consequences of going to trial and losing are unthinkable.

Prosecutors have an endless supply of taxpayer money to pursue whatever case they decide to. The average person doesn’t have the funds to fight charges.

When even one accused person is the actual victim, then it is one too many. Integrity and justice should trump any win-loss tally.

Jane Watters Kansas City Women’s health

Some people continue to question the link between health care and contraception.

According to the World Health Organization, maternal deaths are the No. 2 killer of women of reproductive age worldwide.

It would behoove people to know the facts. Health care is a right that should not be determined by one’s ability or inability to pay, no matter what the condition. Ask any doctor if pregnancy is a medical issue.

David Speakman Lawrence Obamacare coverage

One of my right-wing friends was surprised to learn that the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, was dreamed up by Republicans at the Heritage Foundation. This model was adopted in Massachusetts and has functioned successfully.

My friend also didn’t know that qualifying health-care plans that were in effect when the Affordable Care Act was enacted were grandfathered in. That’s why President Barack Obama said people could keep their same plans.

Mr. Obama said people could keep their same doctors. If any of these doctors subsequently died, does that mean Obama lied or does it mean that factors other than the Affordable Care Act were involved?

Recently, someone in my family became covered under Obamacare with a policy providing coverage superior to the one he had before and with a premium $500 a month less expensive.

Thank goodness for the Affordable Care Act.

Catherine Bowser Overland Park Sharing joy, gifts

Merry Christmas to my family and friends. If this year you have had many blessings come your way from our Lord, then share some of those gifts with the children in our city.

The Guadalupe Centers have been helping area residents for more than 90 years. Give back to the community.

Florentino Camacho Jr. Kansas City A beautiful life

Life is beautiful. Let me count the thoughts.

It includes a very loving and happy family, a beautiful childhood, a loving but strict mom and dad, a brother and three sisters to now pray for, God by my side throughout my life, my faith and strong religious beliefs and an exceptional husband, now deceased.

It includes my two loyal and beautiful daughters, and grandchildren whom I love and am proud of. We have our warriors who protect our freedom, and our great friends.

What more could I ask? Of course, good health and happiness for everyone.

Florence Leber Gladstone