Clearing up blight
Police Chief Darryl Forté’s idea to bulldoze abandoned buildings as a step in managing violent crime caused me to wonder (1-13, A1, “Fight crime with the bulldozer, chief says”). How many of the abandoned buildings in blighted neighborhoods are owned by the city?
How much tax increment financing money, which is supposed to benefit blighted areas, has been channeled away from the development of those neighborhoods? I’m thinking of the downtown and Crossroads hotel and office building projects.
If TIF money were used for genuinely blighted neighborhoods, would the city have funds for the maintenance or destruction of those properties?
Are politicians, Mayor Sly James in the lead, seeking a glory-filled legacy rather than responsible care for the city’s infrastructure, including the socioeconomically disadvantaged, abandoned neighborhoods?
I am ready for answers.
I was impressed by Nathan Wilcox’s Jan. 11 anti-smoking letter to the editor.
I used to do smoking-deterrence training for the American Lung Association. This was one of my favorite lines: “I’ve met lots of kids who say they’d never date a smoker. I have never met anyone who has said she’d only date a smoker. If you smoke, you’re going to severely limit your pool of eligible dates.”
That seemed to get through to middle school and high school kids. It’s also good advice for anyone dating.
My husband and I quit smoking before we met and swore we’d never date a smoker. Lucky for us. We’ve been married almost 35 years.
To a non-smoker, smokers smell bad and their kisses taste bad. So, teen or adult, if you want fewer barriers to dating, either don’t start smoking or quit smoking.
Your dating life will definitely improve.
Of the characteristic to have in the president, judgment is the most important.
From both sides’ political chatter, I realized candidates were making choices about what they want to reflect about themselves and about what they think may get our votes. These choices reflect their judgment about what promises will work and what effect their words may have on us.
I am sure no person has all the personal knowledge and experience required to lead this country.
The easy problems get handled before they get to the top. The tough problems require questioning, rumination, planning, commitment and the input and support of others.
I don’t care what church the president attends. I don’t want the president to love me.
l don’t expect the president to tell me what he will do in complex situations. However, I do want the president to have the best judgment possible so he or she can make the best decisions possible.
Very little addressed in the White House is easy, clear-cut or without some fallout. Almost everything has tradeoffs. Therefore, the president’s judgment is the most important characteristic I will vote for.
Minimum wage increases do not kill jobs or stunt job growth. Here’s why.
They seek to have the fewest number of workers and still provide their products or services.
Computer analysis and workforce experts advise companies on management of employee numbers. They receive reports, studies and projections, which are used for hiring and layoffs.
In short, companies will constantly have the fewest workers while reaping the most benefits.
That is why minimum-wage increases will not result in job losses or hinder growth. Cutting jobs reduces a company’s ability to function, which they will never do.
Jonah Goldberg in his Jan. 17 column, “The bogeymen of the ‘billionaire class’ don’t reflect reality,” pooh-poohs the effects of money on American politics. He says that “politicians care more about votes than money.”
That ignores the fact that to reach voters through ads, politicians need money and lots of it. So it’s not either/or, it’s both/and. Plus, Goldberg points to the current presidential primary races as not stacking up according to which candidates are spending the most money.
However, plausible presidential candidates are necessarily prominent individuals who do not need to run ads to make themselves known. The real political action these days is in state governments, and access to campaign funds does seem to matter there. In our region we have the example of Kansas recently exempting some corporations from state income tax.
As GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump has pointed out, folks who make large campaign donations expect there to be a payback, often a cryptic clause that is put in legislation to grant a favor that most people won't get.
David N. Johnson