Letters to the Editor

Readers share their thoughts on seat belts, speeding and voting

Seat belt safety

I’ve been promoting seat-belt use since 1959, when I was 14 years old and I installed them in my dad’s 1955 Ford.

Watch and you’ll see that every UPS driver is buckled in. Never have I seen another major delivery service’s drivers with their seat belts fastened, even in warm weather with the driver’s door open.

Amazing. My small grandkids know better than that.

Werner Henze

Grain Valley

Stressed-out students

All across the world, schools place too many expectations on their students. But as far as society is concerned, it’s a student’s job to be stressed.

Dealing with classes, extracurricular activities and other social events, they have little time for sleep or social and free time. Schools push the importance of grades to the point that an A in every class is the norm for students.

Even now, getting a B in a difficult class is enough punishment.

Schools will tell students to study until they can’t process any more information, and they’ll say it is better but not good enough to get the top test scores in the state.

Districts take pride in what their schools accomplish, but to what extent?

Students are more than just a prize to be won, and their hard work didn’t come from the prestige of the state.

The pressure those students feel constantly weighs them down. This level of anxiety carries on into adulthood, according to the American Psychological Association’s Stress in America survey.

Each of these brilliant minds is becoming haunted with negativity and, most important, losing the wonder and curiosity that comes with learning something new.

Kelsey Brock

Lee’s Summit

Christmas-aholics

Just thinking, if all these people who try to outdo one another with their overly decorated houses during the holiday season (12-23, A1, “‘Christmas-aholics’ brighten the season”) would just donate half the funds spent on decorations to some worthy cause like a women’s shelter or the Salvation Army, it might make a big difference in many folks’ lives.

David Fulk

Overland Park

Speeding I-70 car

A few weeks ago, I was driving to work along a section of Interstate 70 where the speed limit is 55 mph.

The traffic usually complies, moving 55-60 mph because of frequent police patrols.

I noticed in my rear-view mirror a vehicle approaching at a high rate of speed, but it swerved into another lane just feet before hitting me. How apropos, I thought, as I misread the advertising slogan embellished on the vehicle as, “You’re in god hands.”

After gaining my composure, I continued to watch it speed and weave from lane to lane before disappearing out of sight.

Could the driver be demonstrating how to drive recklessly? Was the vehicle being driven by a carjacker?

There must have been a good reason because I cannot believe it was just a representative of an insurance company late for a meeting.

Just a word of caution to those who operate vehicles with business names.

Bob Baltzell

Independence

Billions in needs

To Missourians who think that their hard-earned money should go to repairing our falling-apart highway system, broken bridges and outdated and overcrowded schools and that the bill should go to the baby boomer seniors entering Medicare, I say they’re shortsighted.

People don’t realize that a billion dollars isn’t what it used to be, even if there is nearly $7 billion in St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke’s back pocket.

We peasants don’t know the kind of cash it takes to have mansions in Missouri, Colorado and London, where the Kroenke elite watch their other sports team, the Arsenal Football Club.

And we don’t know how much it costs to maintain the luxury toys, yachts, limos, an Aspen ski condo and that private jet he needs to fly to Denver and watch his NBA and NHL teams.

So I say dig deep and give, or else Mr. Kroenke will take his football gladiators elsewhere.

Greg Bacon

Boonville, Mo.

U.S. troops in Iraq

For months, the military has made it clear that more troops were needed in Iraq and that any delay worked in favor of the enemy.

The president knew this, so why wait until after the election to announce a further buildup?

Pretty simple. He did it for political, not military, reasons.

How many died because of his delay?

What or who is he going to trade when a non-combative U.S. military member is captured by the enemy? Is The Star going to ignore this?

Bob Burns

Blue Springs

Pipeline dreams

Supposedly, building the Keystone XL Pipeline will be one of the first items on the GOP agenda. The party claims it would create jobs.

The current alternative is to use trains. From a jobs perspective, trains are better.

Many more jobs are created building and maintaining rail tank cars and locomotives, laying and repairing track and providing crews for the trains. And, these jobs are ongoing.

Such is not the case with one-time pipeline construction.

The jobs claim is bogus.

Look at relative safety. There have already been both train and pipeline accidents. Which has the potential to do more harm?

There is a third alternative: We could leave the tar sands in the ground as a strategic reserve.

Oil prices are already falling to the point where it may no longer be profitable to extract the Canadian crude.

Why build a pipeline for a money-losing operation? That makes sense only if the objective is to get the Canadian product better connected to the global market in hopes that world prices will go up.

So, does the GOP want your gas price to go up?

Tom Stroud

Overland Park

First-time voter

As a junior in high school, I will be able to vote in the next election, which I am super excited about.

I think having knowledge of different political views is important so when the election comes around the voter is informed and knows his options.

The sad thing is that some people don’t vote because they haven’t been educated about politics.

As a young person, I am glad I know and understand politics.

So when 2016 comes around, I will know whom I want to vote for and will have the proper knowledge.

I believe that teenagers don’t care what president is taking over because they think it doesn’t affect them.

But they’re wrong.

Even though as teenagers we might not pay bills, we are still affected by the president.

We live in the country the elected officials are running, and our parents are affected by it.

I think everyone who has the right to vote, not just students, needs to understand politics about what’s going on in the world because it does affect everyone.

This is why I can’t wait to vote in 2016.

Noel Miller

Liberty

Thanks for kindness

This is to publicly thank trooper Rick Scism of the Missouri Highway Patrol for the wonderful way he handled my granddaughter’s car accident on eastbound Interstate 470 at Douglas Road last month.

She was the victim of road rage, forced off the interstate and into the median and tangled in the barrier cables, hindering her ability to exit the vehicle.

She was extricated through the roof, and we are thankful the car didn’t catch on fire.

This happened at 5:30 p.m. on a Saturday, and not one person stopped to help her or followed the white SUV with darkened windows to get the license plate number.

My granddaughter was hysterical, her car was totaled and the vehicle had to be pulled from the barrier by a tow truck.

The kindness, knowledge and professionalism of trooper scism had a very calming effect on both me and my granddaughter and contributed immeasurably to the aftermath and our dealing withthe situation.

I can’t thank him enough for his kindness, compassion and assistance in this matter.

Carolyn Wilson

Blue Springs

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