Letters to the Editor

Christmas thanks, bike-lane safety, McCaskill off base

Thanks for Christmas

Having been raised a strict Catholic in the 1950s and 1960s, I get my Gs mixed up. You ask, What are the Gs?

Well, I say, isn’t it obvious?

They are grateful and guilt.

I have so much to be thankful for, in no special order — my spouse, my family, my education, my job, my friends, my health, and I could go on and on. God has blessed me, and I’m bursting with gratitude.

I try to give back, but guilt says it’s never enough. Guilt wants me to be miserable this time of year — every year.

I’m going to choose to ignore guilt and go with gratefulness and give back as much as I can and be joyous and filled with gratitude for the first Christmas ever. Give thanks to the Lord, our God.

Grateful is here to stay.

Lorraine Green Overland Park
Best gift of all

During the holidays, we exchange gifts and reflect on life experiences. Over time, we don’t remember many of the gifts we’ve received, but a few are treasured for a lifetime.

I am lucky enough to have received the ultimate gift.

In 2007, a grieving family made the decision to give life. Because of its generosity, I received the heart transplant I needed to survive.

Without it, I would have never met my beautiful granddaughter, Khali.

Now it is my turn to give back.

I’m in nursing school and will complete my RN training in May. I hope to work in the transplant field some day.

I also advocate for the men, women and children in need of transplants. I proudly serve on the Thoracic Transplantation Committee of the United Network for Organ Sharing, which runs the national transplant network.

UNOS develops policies to ensure that available organs are matched with transplant candidates as fairly and efficiently as possible.

As you think about meaningful gifts, please remember the 120,000 people who need transplants.

Please commit today to giving them this greatest of all gifts by signing up on the donor registry: www.donatelife.net.

Merle Zuel Bonner Springs Bike-lane safety

While appreciating the health and eco-friendliness of bicycling, I question whether marked bicycle lanes along city roads offer bicyclists a safe, legal right-of-way.

Every car must display an identification tag demonstrating its owner is registered with the state, has paid property and licensing taxes and carries insurance against damages the vehicle may cause.

The car’s operating condition is inspected to ensure that it is safe. Automobile drivers, similarly, must be licensed and their aptitude tested.

Neither of these registrations is required of a bicyclist or bike.

My concern is with the physical layout of bicycle lanes along congested roads designed for heavier cars and trucks. Automobiles must proceed in one direction to the right of the center line, thus drivers can see approaching cars on all sides.

Most bicycle lanes aren’t directional so, although cyclists typically pedal with car traffic, it’s not a given or a requirement. Car drivers must be alert for bicycles traveling in either direction on either side.

In my city, there are marked bicycle lanes on a Missouri highway that actually crisscross and co-occupy car traffic lanes, particularly where there are right-turn-only lanes.

Let’s rethink and re-engineer for everyone’s safety.

John D. Colle Blue Springs Front-page story

Are you serious? An article about a freshman Kansas basketball player on the front page (12-22, A1, “Canada roots sustain KU star”).

This really is a cowtown, cornpone place isn’t it? Shameful and sad.

Lionel Baker Liberty McCaskill off base

Reflecting on Sen. Claire McCaskill’s sponsored bill to deal with sexual assault/harassment in the military, I preface my comments by saying that unwanted sexual contact/harassment is unacceptable in any part of our society.

That said, I find Sen. McCaskill’s bill to be an attempt to latch on to an emotional issue to divert attention from her unacceptable representation of the citizens of Missouri.

The bill is unnecessary and another attempt at more government.

The U.S. military has adequate laws to deal with the issue. All the president has to do is issue an order to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the military hierarchy in each service can take it from there.

What is not needed is another law that will become so complicated that no one will be able to understand it. We are inundated with those.

Sen. McCaskill would do better sponsoring legislation that would insist that all members of Congress and their staffs be subject to the same laws they foist on the American public, as well as signing on to stop the outrageous slush fund that legislators twist for their personal use and abandoning the party line to deal with the health-care fiasco.

Bob Burns Blue Springs Judge cartoons

A good idea to sell more Lee Judge cartoons to help charity would be to print them on Charmin.

Al Sunseri Belton Avoiding new war

What is the worst possible outcome for our country in the civil war in Syria? I believe it would be for the jihadists to get possession of chemical weapons.

Our secretary of state, John Kerry, has worked tirelessly with the Russians, other countries and the Assad regime to destroy the weapons. And, amazingly, this effort is moving forward.

What is the second-worst possible development for the U.S.? It would be to violate former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s doctrine which is:

• Don’t go to war without a clear threat to our vital national interest.

• Don’t go to war without an exit strategy.

Lobbing missiles into Syria would be a first strike of a deeper military involvement of the United States.

With our huge national debt and our excellent army depleted by the long, hard and indecisive Iraq and Afghanistan wars, we must not play with the idea of a third war in the Middle East.

Jean M. Green Kansas City Thank you, Big Oil

I wish a merry Christmas to the big oil companies and all the other firms that set the retail price of gasoline.

You have given us our Christmas present of a 10-to-15-cent price increase on the cost of a gallon of gas, just as you did before Thanksgiving.

I find it rather funny that gas prices increase right before a major driving holiday. I am sure it is just a coincidence.

I know you need the extra money more than we do as you have big year-end bonuses to pay.

What I do not understand is how our government officials do not see this as price fixing, but then again they have more important matters to be concerned with.

Jeff Kocen Overland Park Immigration sadness

I was born in Mexico, but I’ve spent most of my life in the U.S. I have dual citizenship by birth.

Yet, institutions make me feel like a second-class citizen. I constantly face institutionalized racism.

Nearly every day, some organization demands I prove my U.S. citizenship. People look at me and assume I am an undocumented immigrant.

This year, I have used my American passport more than I have ever before used it to travel outside the country.

Recently, Johnson County Community College refused to let me enroll in a class until I proved my citizenship.

Arizona’s “show me your papers” legislation is slowly entering our neighborhoods. This makes me unequal to my peers.

The color of my skin and sound of my name are things I love about myself. They’re also what institutions use to question my legal status.

We’re all worthy of the same treatment regardless of what we look like. Remember this when you hear about legislation targeting me and others who look like me.

Aude Negrete-Banos Overland Park