Letters to the Editor

Readers share thoughts on Ferguson, a plane crash survivor and free speech

Fixing Ferguson

What is the problem in Ferguson, Mo.? Economies of scale is the obvious answer.

There are too many small towns in that area with small, novice police departments and with small incomes and large expenses to run the city halls. Consolidation of these hamlets would increase revenues, supply adequate training and provide additional equipment.

This is an area where consolidation is essential. Compare it to decentralizing the federal government and having 50 presidents in 50 states with 50 congressional bodies.

The imagination staggers at the thought.

Don Airington

Kansas City

Plane crash survivor

Regarding Sailor Gutzler, the 7-year-old Kentucky plane crash survivor, future dictionaries should define the words “toughness” and “dedication” with the phrase, “See Sailor Gutzler.”

Jim Kilen

Kansas City

Backing free speech

Every newspaper, every magazine, every television station, every radio station and every publication of any kind should publish items from the Charlie Hebdo magazine (1-8, A1, “Outrage and resolve”). The radical Islamists cannot kill us all.

We must stand up and show them they cannot change our commitment to freedom of speech.

Richard D. Mcconnell

Overland Park

Parker’s column

Kathleen Parker’s Jan. 8 column, “Sharpton holds special place in race relations,” is the height of hypocrisy. She attacks the Rev. Al Sharpton but never mentions people such as Bill O’Reilly or Rush Limbaugh.

They have been given a pass by American whites, and Mr. Sharpton has to continually justify his positions. If she had bothered to check credible sources, she would know that black families call Mr. Sharpton when they feel an injustice has been done to them because of their race.

Ms. Parker is unfairly biased herself, and it shows.

Sidney Carroll


Medicaid expansion

I recently received a “Legislative Survey” from Missouri Sen. Ed Emery. The questions and answers were structured for backing the Republicans’ agenda to destroy Obamacare.

Children’s Mercy Hospital treats every needy child, regardless of ability to pay. Insurance and philanthropic contributions help, but most of the funding comes from Medicaid.

Missouri’s refusal to expand Medicaid has thrown away millions of dollars for Missourians’ health care.

With a majority of uninsured patients, Truman Medical Center is highly dependent upon Medicaid funding. Many rural residents are uninsured, depending on federal and state assistance. Poor people need Medicaid when the choice is between groceries and prescriptions.

Medicaid expansion could help Missouri’s health care become world class, but not by weakening rural hospitals and sabotaging uninsured poor people.

In response to the survey, I can afford whatever taxes might be needed to help provide quality health care for everyone. Most Missourians would probably agree, if offered the opportunity.

Ed Fleetwood

Village of Loch Lloyd

Pro-choice matters

Sam Lee, the director of Campaign Life Missouri, believes that choking off the supply of abortion providers will ensure that abortions will not happen (1-6, A1, “Abortion battle may slow after busy 2014”). That didn’t work for Prohibition, and it won’t work for abortions either.

Wealthy women will go someplace where abortions are more easily available and they can recover on the beach before flying home. Poor women will be driven to knitting needles or back-alley butchers.

Those who believe that babies born to women who don’t want them or are unable to care for them “have the opportunity to grow into happy, healthy, productive adults” are living in la-la land. (How many of these babies has Mr. Lee adopted?)

Pamela Sumners of NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri got it right. We need to reduce the demand for abortion through better access to contraception and comprehensive education. Only then will we accomplish the goal we share: that every child born into this world is loved and wanted.

Regina Berens

Overland Park

Food labeling reform

Congress has been debating a proposed law to standardize genetically modified food labeling across the country. Cargill thinks this bipartisan bill introduced by Congressman Mike Pompeo of Kansas is needed to avoid confusing consumers with labels that change from state to state.

Dozens of different state-level genetically modified organism food labeling laws have been proposed, and a few have been adopted. We’re concerned there could eventually be dozens of conflicting regulations about what can be printed on a cereal box, for example.

Mr. Pompeo’s bill offers a better approach for consumers. Just as the familiar Nutrition Facts label regulated at the federal level ensures nutrition information is the same in Maine as it is in California, this legislation would establish consistent rules for labeling non-genetically modified products nationwide. It would also provide oversight from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to guarantee products actually meet those standards.

Cargill produces both GMO and non-GMO foods. While we believe in the benefits of biotechnology to provide healthier, more affordable food to feed a growing world population, we also think consumers should have a right to choose.

Adopting a consistent national labeling system over a patchwork of state rules makes the most sense.

Ruth Kimmelshue


Cargill Meat Solutions


Torture after 9/11

All countries’ secret police torture people. Sorry, liberals. It’s the way of the world.

We have the remains of about 3,000 people killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York City, Washington, D.C., and in Pennsylvania. We are at war whether some people like it or not.

Doesn’t anyone remember the horror of 9/11. I cried for a month and knew our innocence was lost forever.

We should be standing together as Americans and honoring our public servants who have the job of protecting us. They see so much human suffering.

Vicki Coats

North Kansas City

New woman priest

Georgia Walker, 67, was ordained as a Catholic priest Jan. 3 at a Lutheran church in Kansas City (1-4, A4, “Group defies women’s role in church”). Walker converted to Catholicism in her midlife and became a member of Sisters of St. Joseph and served for 12 years but never took her final vows.

The ordination ceremony was performed by a Lutheran bishop, Bridget Mary Meehan, in the Lutheran tradition. A non-Catholic bishop has no business performing the sacrament of ordination in Jesus’ name.

The whole affair is to defame the Catholic Church and to ridicule the authority of the Vatican and its laws.

The church has strict rules, as does the military. Can a corporal claim he’s a captain without expecting severe punishment?

God, help female religious leaders to see clearly where they’re heading.

Therese Park

Overland Park

Recall Brownback

Kansas needs to recall our so-called governor. He repeatedly lied to the voters about the financial crisis in the state just to save his buddies in Wichita millions and cost the state.

He is an embarrassment to the Republicans in the state, and they are trying to cover for him. They know what he has done and cannot undo his mess.

The Legislature is starting to figure out this mess, and lawmakers know what’s coming. Your taxes are going to go up even after authorities raid all the funds from everywhere, and there isn’t anything anyone can do but grab one’s britches and hold on.

So, thanks to all the Republicans for putting Gov. Sam Brownback back in office.

The only solution is to recall him and half the Legislature and to show them the people in the state are tired of the lies and robbing Peter to pay Paul and the good old boys.

Mike Johnson

Kansas City, Kan.