LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Reading The Star’s recent interview with Joe Biden put me in a glum mood. (March 10, 4A, “Biden discusses housing and health care in KC”) I’ve spent the last year listening to brilliant, sharp-as-a-tack Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and now I’m supposed to listen to Biden?
If he’s the nominee, I’ll vote for him, but, man, what a comedown. - Lyn Elliot, Kansas City
It is a sad situation when a 74-year-old woman has to go back to work just to pay rising property taxes so she can stay in her home. (March 9, 1A, “Rising taxes price older residents out of Johnson County”) Seniors on fixed incomes should never be forced out of their homes by taxation.
Kansas offers its SAFESR partial property tax refund program, but it is limited to those 65 or over with a yearly income of $20,300 or less — a level that falls short of helping many retirees.
It would be a simple fix if legislation were passed to freeze the property taxes on the primary homes of senior citizens at the times of their retirements. At least these homeowners would then be able to manage one known expense.
Of course, there would have to be limitations to a program like this, such as the person’s level of income and freezing rates on only a main residence. A freeze might be 100% for those with less than $70,000 income per year, and the percentage reduced could decrease on a set schedule for those with higher incomes.
Seniors face increased costs every year in drug prices, medical care, insurance, groceries and utilities. Even with the best retirement planning, income cannot be stretched to cover it all when costs rise with no limit. - Terry Hammontree, Edwardsville, Kansas
To achieve peace
Pope Paul VI said, “If you want peace, work for justice.” By treating each other fairly and fostering righteous relationships in our homes and schools, we can obtain peace in our communities.
Treating all human life with justice can lead us to peace. But one way peace in our communities is obstructed is the killing of innocent people. According to a 2014 study by Samuel R. Gross and others at the National Academy of Sciences, 4.1% of people sentenced to death are innocent.
If people continue to be falsely accused and sent to death row, we cannot achieve the peace we need to live healthy lives of faith and friendship.
No mistake that anyone can make is greater than the value of his or her life. Lawyer and social justice activist Bryan Stevenson shares that message when he says, “Each of us is more than the worst thing we have ever done.”
Though people make mistakes, it is no secret that Kansas City has seen a rise in shootings recently. If all people loved their neighbors as themselves, we wouldn’t have so many killings on the streets.
By treating each other with respect, our community can work toward peace. - Elizabeth Ritchey, Lee’s Summit
You would think that 70-some days would be enough time for our leadership to have put in place a national network of locations adequately equipped to provide immediate testing to those who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19.
Such a protocol would provide us with knowledge critical to our being able to combat the inevitable spread of this virus. Instead, we are being given opinions, finger-pointing and baseless “theories” as to what will or will not be done, when or not when.
The health and safety of the citizenry are the primary responsibility of a free society’s government. Perhaps this experience will provide us with a renewed sense of the importance of this fact and will help us more wisely choose our new leadership in upcoming elections. - Douglas Washburn, Lenexa
I appreciate the headsup on the issues Mayor Quinton Lucas faced while trying to vote in Tuesday’s presidential primary. (March 11, 1A, “Kansas City mayor turned away from polls trying to vote”)
This should, hopefully, be a wake-up call for all voters to check in with their election boards before the next election to make sure they are registered to vote. Do not wait until Election Day.
Rather than disenfranchising voters, I hope this makes all citizens aware of the steps they need to take to ensure that their votes count. As the news story stated, 4,494 individuals cast provisional ballots because they weren’t showing up on the voter roll, and only 1,529 ended up being counted.
To paraphrase Travis Kelce, “We have to fight for our right … to vote!” - Debbie Hatfield, Liberty