Letters to the Editor

KC homicides, President Obama, U.S. debt

KC’s homicides

Kudos to The Star’s editorial staff for continuing to keep the focus on Kansas City’s disgraceful murder rate (2-23, Editorial, “Wake up, KC Council, we have a murder problem”).

Your research proves that until now only lip service has been devoted to this troubling crisis (6 percent of Public Safety and Emergency Services Committee meeting time).

One could almost assume that, through its inaction, the City Council accepts the alarming murder rate as the norm.

This topic is clearly the elephant in the room. Status quo should no longer be tolerated.

Perhaps The Star could keep the focus on this issue by keeping a running total of the murder rate and compare it with our police chief’s goal number, assuming he has one.

Keep up the good work. This is a valuable public service.

Ritchie Sayner Kansas City Obama’s successes

Now, with the Ukraine situation somewhat in control, it is time to recognize some of the accomplishments of the Obama administration that have been totally overlooked.

President Barack Obama and hard-nosed Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke for more than an hour on the turmoil in Kiev, while Putin was hosting the global spotlight with the Winter Olympics.

What happened? No more violence or deaths in the streets, and another chaotic government disaster avoided. Congratulations.

This administration found and killed Osama bin Laden, ended the war in Iraq, is getting our troops out of Afghanistan and got unemployment down from 10.2 percent to under 7 percent, and close to 4 million people now have health insurance that they could not have afforded before.

Other than President Lyndon Johnson, I don’t believe a president has done more to secure our country, both internationally and at home, which is saying a lot with very little support from the Congress that always seems dead-

locked trying to undermine anything the president tries to accomplish.

What a great job in a gridlock.

Harry Noll Merriam Steve Paul’s column

In his Feb. 22


, “Eisenhower Memorial needs to get over Gehry,” Steve Paul states that, “A long-distance appraisal is rarely advised….” Truer words were never spoken. And if such an appraisal is undertaken, it should be done with consideration, a level playing field, and facts.

Paul’s piece presented readers with an incomplete and unbalanced view of the memorial to President and Gen. Dwight Eisenhower. He hung his hat on a skewed, partisan, one-sided view of the memorial design.

Paul cites the beliefs of one of the most militant critics of the Eisenhower Memorial, who is neither an authority nor a technical expert on the memorial’s maintenance. Neither is he fully informed. The information presented is incomplete.

We urge readers to visit the Eisenhower Memorial Commission


and decide for themselves, as thousands of Kansans have in the past two years at the Kansas State Fair, whether or not they like Ike’s memorial.

Brig. Gen. Carl Reddel USAF (Retired) Executive Director Eisenhower Memorial Commission Washington, D.C. Add another party

There’s no difference in present politics. What this country needs is a second party. No, this not a typographical error.

Murl Talbott Kansas City Rising U.S. debt

There is no doubt that the debt ceiling cannot be raised endlessly. But so many people do not seem to understand that debt is part of the system.

The country was founded with debt. Apart from wars and other imperialistic aspirations, the economic system has forced debt, public and private.

The almost religious belief in the necessity of constant economic growth can only be fulfilled with debt, private and public. All businesses want the consumer to keep on spending more and more.

The increasing concentration of wealth with the ensuing gradual impoverishment of large numbers of the population pushes state and federal governments to provide a social safety net, which necessarily becomes costlier just to keep a minimum of social peace and human dignity in this society.

So, if people do not like rising debt, they will have to give our economic system a hard look and will have to change it.

Klaus Karbaumer Platte City Civics lessons, please

Attorney General Eric Holder states that state attorney generals shouldn’t uphold laws they believe are wrong (2-25, A1, “Holder advises states on gay marriage bans”).

It is not the job of attorneys general to judge the validity of laws in our judicial system. If it were, every state attorney general would decide what laws get upheld, and the uniformity of law would disappear.

Unfair, ignorant laws must be challenged, not ignored. Elected officials swear to uphold the law. Mr. Holder forgot his oath again.

I think a lot of elected officials need to take a remedial civics class to recall the division of power between branches of government in our country.

Maggie Caison Olathe KCI’s better days

After months of reading others’ opinions pertaining to the amenities or lack thereof at Kansas City International Airport, I have decided to jump into the fray.

At the grand opening of KCI in 1972, I was there as a guest of a U.S. Customs agent assigned there. It was a sight to see. Shops were everywhere, including bars, restaurants and stores selling casual clothing, magazines and souvenirs.

In 1996, I took a family member to the airport for a flight out. There were still some shops open, such as those with souvenirs, magazines and food, but not as many as in 1972.

Now the shops are few and far between.

Doesn’t that raise a red flag that they were not being used and that the shops and food courts closed because they were not profitable?

I find it hard to believe that the majority of people who patronize KCI go there for the food and other entertainment.

I agree there should be 24-hour eating establishments, especially for flight cancellations, but I really find it hard to believe the lack of the aforementioned is going to make or break our user-friendly airport.

Joyce E. Thacker Kansas City Caring for the birds

A few days ago at the bird store, I overheard a lady asking the store owner why she would find 17 dead birds under her tree.

He responded, “Unfortunately, it’s not unusual for them to freeze to death when they can’t find water and become dehydrated.”

I asked what kind of birds and was told all kinds, including cardinals. Cardinals are really southern birds and aren’t found in places like Minnesota, even though we often see them pictured against snow.

Many of us provide birds water in the summer but neglect to in the winter, which is equally important. I procrastinated for several years before spending $50 for a heated birdbath.

If money is a problem, skip the seed for a couple of years. Your neighbor is likely feeding them.

Heated bird baths also make nice gifts. They are well-built and last many years.

Birds are adept at finding seed, berries and other food. But they can’t survive extreme, extended cold weather.

And, no, I don’t sell heated birdbaths.

Kaaren M. Jones Kansas City Worthwhile books

In the book “Love War: Twenty Years, Three Presidents, Two Daughters and One Louisiana Home” by Mary Matalin and James Carville, Mary says: “Change is certain, progress is not. All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”

So, good women and men, let’s do something.

In the book, you will read some eye-opening and profound thoughts, as well as many funny stories.

The authors comment on another interesting book, “This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral — Plus Plenty of Valet Parking! — in America’s Gilded Capital” by Mark Leibovich. I hope more people get to enjoy these books.

Theresa Cotter Belton