Letters to the Editor

KCI, Russell drought, Southwest High School

VanLoh must go

Kansas City aviation director Mark VanLoh should be replaced. On the single-terminal issue, he first suggested a new south terminal at a large cost, then changed to a western single terminal at somewhat less cost but still large.

He stated that everyone wants a new airport, which proved to be not the case. He then stated that all the airlines want a new airport; this also proved to be false.

The director did not wait until the report from the mayor’s citizens committee was submitted before starting negotiations with the airlines for cost-sharing.

The only major change in the airline industry since construction of Kansas City International Airport is airport security, which can be accommodated with revisions. VanLoh has demonstrated poor management. The airport should be managed the same as any nonprofit.

Much of the cost in the last capital project wouldn’t have been necessary with proper reserves and periodic maintenance.

Poor personnel management was shown in the recent issue with shuttle bus operators. Rather than managing and resolving the differences with the union, VanLoh recommended outsourcing this to an outside contractor using minimum-wage drivers.

A totally bad approach. VanLoh shouldn’t be entrusted to manage any changes.

Roger Dutton

Kansas City

Drought in Russell

It was difficult to read the June 2 article, “Conservation becomes a way of life,” about the terrible drought in Russell, Kan. I read that Gov. Sam Brownback declared drought emergencies in several counties.

To have to restrict one’s normal activities such as flushing toilets, washing dishes and watering gardens must certainly be a frustration. But this is all for the greater good, right?

A responsible citizen must ask the leaders of Kansas if equal or greater restrictions are being placed on the massive animal feed lots that use more water and produce more waste that pollutes our precious water supplies (Ogallala Aquifer).

The tens of thousands head of cattle in Scott County alone produce a lot of manure and sewage. Even though these feed lots are heavily subsidized by taxpayers and are protected by laws that restrict publicity about them, they are using our water and polluting the Earth and the air at unimaginable levels.

So, Russell residents, know that your actions to survive the drought are laudable but really unnecessary because big feed lots will always have the water they need. You are paying for it in Big Ag subsidies.

Mike Mair


Troubled KC school

I taught in the classrooms of Independence and Kansas City school districts for 49 years (1956-2005). I had the privilege of teaching choral music for nine of those years (1960-1969) in Room 318 at Southwest High School.

I cannot imagine Southwest High — once one of the crown jewels of the Kansas City Public Schools — becoming a horrible place to teach. I handled my own discipline and never sent a student to the office for help. The students and the parents responded to me in a positive way.

The June 1 article, “A rare look inside a troubled school,” shows that the school district and its elected board cannot run the school.

If parents send children to learn, they will. And it is my opinion that the parents are responsible for their own. If they took this responsibilty seriously, the teachers and administrators could do the job.

Carder Manning


Kansas shortfall

Kudos to Gov. Jay Nixon for standing up to mega-millionaire Rex Sinquefield in his quest to turn Missouri into Gov. Sam Brownback’s Kansas (5-31, A4, “Revenue for May declines.”). Because Kansas is experiencing a $310 million shortfall for the year, I don’t believe we in Missouri want to go down that road.

Eva Ponessa

Kansas City

Help for America

Can anyone explain why we continue spending lives and billions of dollars anywhere but here in the United States? We have families starving and freezing in this country while we waste money elsewhere on people who are going to hate us anyway.

Let combatants in other countries continue to kill each other in record numbers, and let our people and American dollars benefit our people.

Gary Levin

Overland Park

Fizzled celebration

A May 30 letter stated how beautiful and inspirational the presentation at Union Station was this Memorial Day and compared it to the celebration in Washington in July 1976. But they were worlds apart.

I was also at the Washington Monument that day in 1976, and believe me there was no comparison to the beautiful performance here in 2014. Why the difference?

My three young children along with my husband and I put down a blanket to sit on; we were between other folks who had done the same. The performance began with smiles and laughter in anticipation of the day and the music.

As the music progressed, suddenly those around us stood and extended their fists to the sky and started shouting slogans. It wasn’t long before we were running trying to escape the tear gas that was sprayed on us by the police.

Yes, it was a different time — and we were right in the middle of it. How sad those folks had the gall to interrupt a beautiful Fourth of July for so many people who had come to celebrate our United States of America and its history.

Ina Lewis

Lee’s Summit

Dear Greyhound

It’s over. I want a divorce. I have traveled with you for more than 40 years. But on a recent Thursday night, you betrayed me.

I had gotten my ticket early to go from Lawrence to Denver. Then I found out the hard way that you were canceling that service.

At the Lawrence convenience store where the bus stop is an outside bench, I was told I would be picked up. So, at 1:30 a.m. that Thursday, I was in the dark, chilly parking lot clutching my confirmed ticket. I was there. You weren’t.

After an hour, a Lawrence police officer stopped to see what I was doing in the deserted lot at that time of night. Convinced by his concern that it wasn’t the safest place to be and thinking you were not coming, I left.

I’ve always spoken well of you. There have been poorly maintained buses and crabby drivers — one who got lost in St. Louis, Lawrence and Topeka. But I’ve been loyal.

Now I’m done. We’re through. Please refund my ticket money, and I won’t look back. Goodbye.

Nancy Hause


Safety for disabled

After spending 30 minutes standing in line Sunday for the one lobby elevator in the beautiful Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, I realized there must be a way to address the potential danger. Unfortunately, I am a mobility-challenged senior who must use a walker.

What were the designers of the center thinking, creating an exit plan that does not address our needs?

There was another event that exited at the same time as the symphony on Sunday, causing a pedestrian jam of unbelievable proportions in the lobby, with wheelchairs, walkers and canes trying to merge into a small, inadequate elevator.

I know there is a way to exit to lower floors on the back elevator without having to go to the lobby. But someone decided that elevator could not be used; someone needs to find out why. I thought it was against the law to not provide adequate handicapped provisions in newly built buildings.

I love the Kansas City Symphony, but if these practices keep occurring, my attendance may be canceled.

Susan Lord


Royals’ lasting slump

Add together the following ingredients:

1) Clueless, passive ownership.

2) Management that cannot select talent (see Bubba Starling).

3) Management that cannot develop talent (see Mike Moustakas).

4) History of grossly overpaid, underperforming employees (see Mike Sweeney).

5) Clueless customers who support the product regardless.

What do you get? The longest playoff drought in the history of area sports — 29 years. Go Royals?

Gary Groninger