Letters to the Editor

Readers react to food waste, the old Northeast and military downsizing

Food left uneaten

An obscene amount of prepared food goes to waste in this country.

I was recently at an establishment in Brookside. As I went to be seated, I passed by plates with half the meals remaining after the patrons had gone.

Many people hesitate to ask for containers, thinking it makes them appear cheap or it’s too much trouble to cart around a doggie bag.

Restaurants are only one of many sources of food waste. Hospitals, schools and nursing homes dump out tons of uneaten food. Grocery stores throw out food that has expired yet is still fresh and edible.

In some small towns, the wasted food is retrieved by farmers and fed to livestock. I doubt that is the case in our city. Harvesters — The Community Food Network is an excellent organization, but it is limited because of health laws that prevent it from retrieving leftover food.

It is tragic to me that while many are starving in other countries, we continue to waste food on a grand scale.

Karen Chastain

Kansas City

Old Northeast

The building at Independence Avenue and Benton Boulevard that collapsed in 2014 was at one time the Benton Theatre (10-15, A7, “Fatal fire should prompt inspections”). When I was growing up in the 1940s and 1950s, I was sort of fascinated by the curved front of the building with its bright neon sign.

My mother, who spent her teen years in the old Northeast, told me there was a dance hall above the theater.

Vernon C. Hales


Military downsizing

Our grandson has 18 years in the service, and the government is putting him and many others out. They won’t get in their 20 years needed for retirement.

It’s pretty bad. He was in the Marines and now the Army.

Leonard Hachinsky

Kansas City, Kan.

Minimum wage

I see letters from people opposed to raising the minimum wage.

Their simplistic solution? Get skills to get better-paying jobs.

Consider these scenarios:

▪ Joe is going to school to get skills for a better job. But meanwhile, Joe has to eat, pay rent, etc. Minimum wage doesn’t begin to cover Joe’s expenses. How’s Joe supposed to live until he gets that better-paying job?

▪ Mary is working two minimum-wage jobs to pay her expenses while going to school for said skills. But with her hours, she must go to school part time, and it’s taking her much longer to get that better job. She’s exhausted.

▪ And there’s poor Larry, who is below average IQ-wise. He’s great at flipping burgers but doesn’t have what it takes to get skills for a better job. But Larry still needs to eat, pay rent, etc. What’s he supposed to do?

If the minimum wage had kept up with inflation, it would be $10.90. We should at least bring it up to that point to be fair to the Joes, Marys and Larrys in America.

Suzanne Conaway

Kansas City

Internet access

President Barack Obama is promising Internet access as a part of government housing. What a waste of taxpayers’ dollars.

Why can’t the government-housing tenants simply go to their local libraries like my 82-year-old mother?

These Americans already have taxpayer-funded Internet access. Why pay for it twice?

Joe Lavender


Brownback cloud

What is it going to take to make Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and his lackeys in the Legislature understand that the “experiment” failed miserably? The loss of thousands of non-farm jobs should send a message to them.

Gov. Brownback, the sun is not shining in Kansas. There is a dark, ominous cloud blanketing the state. It’s time to get Kansas back to the good name it previously had.

Ralph McLaughlin

Overland Park

Downtown hotels

Regarding the Oct. 19 front-page article, “Small hotels are booming downtown,” the information makes it clear that the current plan by the city administration to hand over tax benefits to a private corporation for the proposed 800-room hotel is nuts.

Clearly, plenty of companies recognize there is a need for hotel space and are filling it without using government cronyism techniques to get easy money from the city.

John Gillis


Pledger case

Responding to The Kansas City Star’s Oct. 12 front page story, “Pledger's case takes unusual twists,” I would like to say she needs to quit wasting my tax dollars and accept responsibility for her poor judgment.

She seems to be trying to find any avenue available to get out of trouble. A beautiful life of a young girl has been destroyed, and the lives of survivors have been forever changed.

What she should've done was stay home, dial 911 and let the police take care of the situation.

Suzanne Hendrickson

Kansas City, Kan.

Aid to businesses

I wonder why Troostwood Garage on 55th Street and Troost Avenue closed after 80 plus years in business, and why it took more than five months to reopen Michael Forbes Restaurant in Brookside?

What if anything did current Kansas City codes regulations do to affect these business?

Edward “Gomer”


Kansas City