Letters to the Editor

Readers share thoughts on education, the Golden Ox and age discrimination

Education reparations

Improving education would end the racial divide in the nation and in St. Louis.

Give free college education to African-Americans for reparations — as the GI Bill provided a college education to returning soldiers — but not to Oxford and Harvard. Give African-Americans free admission to community colleges, state colleges or state universities, and the top 10th could achieve scholarships to Washington University and Harvard University.

Good jobs, health care and economic stability would be possible for all African-Americans, who suffer a disproportionately high poverty rate.

Educational reparations could even the playing field and end the racial divide in the nation.

Ava Jordan

St. Louis

Golden Ox closing

The article on the Golden Ox closing missed the boat(s) (12-21, A1, “Another iconic KC restaurant closes its doors”).

We have lost many iconic, legendary independent restaurants in the Kansas City area over the past 15 years or so. Opening a new restaurant is risky business. A gamble, if you will.

But the thing that killed the Golden Ox and the other great restaurants was ignored. It is the elephant in the room around here.

Specifically, the casinos.

They came in 1995, first in the river, then in the moats and within a few short years the long-established iconic restaurants were history.

The fabric of our community is slowly coming apart because of casinos, and that includes having wonderful, original restaurants for all to enjoy.

That part of the sad story was not mentioned, and it should have been.

Joe O’Hara


Liberal infection

That’s a new one for me. The letter writer (12-23, Letters) calls liberalism an infection, a mental disease.

Hopefully, it’s very contageous, no one discovers a vaccine to thwart its spread and hundreds, thousands, millions of our citizens become infected with this mental disease.

Ida Mayor Clayton

Lake Waukomis

Military bonuses

The Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps is still available for young people.

Take the tests, and if you pass and pass the physical, the Navy will pay most of your college expenses and commission you on your graduation.

I went through it in the early 1960s, and it was a great way for me to earn my degree.

My family did not have the financial resources to send me to college.

Dennis Tabel

Overland Park

Leaving abusers

Just days after Ray Rice’s reinstatement to the National Football League, Janay Rice grabbed the limelight.

The news media have made Mrs. Rice a celebrity, and I think this is a terrible example for the young women of America.

Far too often we give praise to the women who forgive their offenders — including singers Whitney Houston to Rihanna.

We, as a society, forget that domestic violence is a very serious offense that happens far too often.

Instead of stories glorifying the women who go back to their offenders, we should be recognizing the women who have the strength to get up and leave these men.

That would be a much better example for the youth of America.

Nicholas Carroll

Manhattan, Kan.

Age discrimination

Wake up, Washington, D.C. Age discrimination is alive and well.

Employers do not have to ask what year you graduated from any educational institution, but they certainly ask for past employment, a fundamental key to your age.

I also have submitted countless applications to employers seeking my experience and education.

Not one response, not one.

The age group of 55 to 64 is “retired” or “your position is no longer required” in larger numbers than are being reported.

We are using our unemployment benefits, and when those are exhausted, if we are lucky, we land in lower-paying jobs just for some income.

It is a long time between 55 and the retirement age of 66 or 67. Most will have lost all the savings, equity in their homes and sanity before Social Security is even an option.

As I told a friend with education, experience and impressive skills as she talked of getting more education, this will not get you a job. It is your age.

Rebecca L. Snow-Cessor

Blue Springs

Police force training

I totally agree with teaching our law-enforcement officers when to shoot and when not to shoot.

Too many lives are being taken and not enough saved.

We pay taxes to train and equip these people. We are supposed to believe in these people’s ability to save our lives but not when they are shooting our unarmed neighbors.

That doesn’t make any sense.

Police officers sign documents to protect and serve the United States and the people in it.

But some are breaking their promises to their country and their people.

Terron Briggs

Kansas City

Painful cutbacks

I understand from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that Missouri is now one of the most food-insecure states in the nation.

Maybe this has something to do with the five-year plan to reorganize Missouri’s Family Support Division.

With one goal of elimination of 700 Family Support Division jobs by 2017, the consequences are already starting to show, resulting in many Missourians facing hunger on a regular basis.

In Kansas City, satellite offices have been shuttered, and it is close to impossible to get a worker on the phone.

Gov. Jay Nixon and the Missouri Department of Social Services, can the working poor get a little help here?

Kathleen Kennedy

North Kansas City

Parking hassles

Last month, my husband and I were determined to navigate the construction nightmare in order to enjoy a wonderful dinner at the Affare restaurant in the Crossroads area near downtown.

And while we did manage to get around all the one-way streets and construction barriers, we were confused about where to park.

We ended up finding a nearby lot, and although it was noted to be permit parking only, we wrongly assumed that on a Saturday night it would be OK.

Well, we learned the hard way that some places are just not interested in helping their neighbors, and our car was towed while we were at dinner.

The restaurant owner was very sorry and remarked that during this construction period all the neighborhood should pull together.

Obviously, the Great American Bank is not interested in being a team player.

Maybe it really needs the money.

This experience was very annoying and explains a lot about why more Johnson County residents avoid going downtown.

We hope the Great American Bank likes this great publicity.

Judith Epstein

Overland Park

Brownback’s damage

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s huge education funding cuts have deepened the recession in Kansas and slowed the economy’s recovery.

It’s going to damage us for a long time.

Kansas is near the top among states that are cutting funding for education.

Less than half the money from state taxpayers is put statewide into public schools.

If we are going to be running our country, don’t you think the government should put more money into public schools?

The government has let too many public school teachers go since 2008. Kansas has cut money from each public school student.

This is all because of the cuts to education that Brownback supported, and he still contends that he cares about education.

His actions have affected thousands of people, and it’s a mystery to me, and most of my classmates, why he was re-elected.

And it shows that Kansas isn’t willing to change, even if it means electing a bad Republican.

The system that we’ve had for 200 years is not working.

Wake up, Kansas voters.

Darby Gunter

Age 13

Prairie Village