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Letters: Readers discuss downtown KC baseball, Colin Powell’s honor, Kansas districts

·6 min read

Not for us

I love the idea of downtown baseball, but it isn’t ideal for us. We have unique characteristics that indicate it would not work here.

Kauffman Stadium is beloved. It consistently ranks in the Top 10 of all U.S. ballparks. Fans adore the design, the amenities, the convenience and the history.

Most newer downtown parks were built to replace badly outdated and unattractive stadiums. We certainly don’t have that issue.

Most newer downtown parks were built in cities that have good public transportation. We sadly do not.

Most newer downtown stadiums are in cities north of us: Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, Detroit. With Kansas City’s extreme summer temperatures and humidity, coupled with the fact that downtown is a heat island, day baseball would become unbearable for many fans.

Most newer downtown parks showcase their cities’ skylines over the outfield fences. Stadiums should face northeast to avoid excessive sun glare. We do not have a suitable location that faces northeast.

We are unique with our love of tailgating and our regional fan base. Downtown would not allow for tailgating, and many people from small towns might not be comfortable walking through downtown after night games.

Let’s spend our funds on more necessary amenities.

- Tom Sorrells, Kansas City

Change the game

I read Sam Mellinger’s Oct. 17 commentary, “A Game-Changer for KC?” (4A) A new stadium in downtown Kansas City could indeed be a game-changer — if it included a larger purpose.

Royals majority owner John Sherman stated, “If we just do something, and everybody that lives there moves out and it’s not improved for their quality of life, I don’t think that’s a win-win.” I absolutely agree with him.

A lot of people in the area of Seventh and Wyandotte streets and to the east are homeless. Others are poor in unstable housing or living on fixed incomes. Consider building — along with the stadium — affordable apartments in the area, including housing for transitional living with wraparound services. The individuals living in these homes could work at the stadium while they get their lives together.

Many social service agencies already exist downtown and work to meet the needs of Kansas City’s unhoused population. If you want the downtown to be a more vibrant place, then please include in the stadium plans transitional living and affordable housing to respond to the needs of the homeless.

Now, that would be a game-changer.

- Beth Hill, Lake Waukomis

Too-young truckers

A provision in the infrastructure bill Congress is debating would allow 18- to 21-year-old kids to drive 18-wheel semitrucks on long-haul trips across states. An 18-year-old is not mature enough to handle a truck that size. This is just asking for more deaths on the highway.

The federal government is trying to take all control from the states, trying to run everything. The states had better open their eyes. Read the Constitution, please.

- Paul Earles, Liberty

Editor’s note: Drivers 18 and older can currently operate commercial trucks within 49 states, but not on interstate routes.

True character

Phrases such as “honorable throughout his life,” “a champion of character,” “legacy of service and honor” and “worked diligently in service to our country” are all true descriptions of the remarkable patriot Colin Powell. It is ironic that so many who mouth these phrases, like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Mitt Romney, do not in any way resemble or act like the man they praise.

Who and what inspires them? It’s certainly not honor, character or service to our country.

- Susanne Shutz, Prairie Village

Love lost?

When my kids were growing up, no student could go to school without getting several vaccines. We would not have eradicated polio, smallpox and a few other dreaded diseases without the vaccines. I never heard a parent or child object to getting those lifesaving vaccines years ago.

What is the matter with the parents of today that they object to the saving of lives through the COVID-19 vaccine, like the other vaccines their children already receive?

Could it be that the children of today are not as loved as our children were in the past?

- Leonard Glass, Overland Park

Doling it out

In the early 1970s, four of my siblings and I scoured our neighborhood every Halloween. We came home with bags filled with lollipops, taffy candies, peanut butter nuggets and the rare but prized full-size candy bars.

We emptied our candy booty onto the kitchen table, all together, and my mom perused it with her harm-seeking X-ray vision. When she was done, the redistribution process began. Since I was younger, it seemed terribly unfair. It began with the oldest and continued by age, each selected 10 pieces of candy until the table was cleared. The oldest got the prime selections. The peanut butter nuggets were left for the youngest.

After the 2020 U.S. Census, the redistricting process in Kansas feels the same way. The Republican Party, which has the supermajority in Topeka, will act like my older siblings at Halloween. Republicans will select the districts that are tastiest to them and their political ambitions. The rest of the state will get the peanut butter nugget districts.

I beseech the redistricting committees to publish their guidelines, use a transparent process and place Kansas and Kansans before party politics.

- Nancy Allen, Overland Park

Pit bull facts

As we recognize Pit Bull Awareness Month this October, there is much to celebrate given the recent repeal of Overland Park’s pit bull ban. (Sept. 22, 9A, “Overland Park becomes latest city to lift pit bull ban”)

Despite the tremendous behavior diversity among pit bull-type dogs, they are often stereotyped as dangerous. In a misguided attempt to protect public safety, many communities have passed breed-specific laws that discriminate against innocent dogs based solely on their breed — or even just their appearance — rather than judging them on their behavior.

These laws infringe upon the rights of responsible pet owners, and there is no evidence that they make communities safer for people or companion animals.

Overland Park joins a growing number of Kansas localities in rejecting these outdated policies, including Junction City, Fort Scott, Prairie Village, Paola, Andover and, most recently, Liberal. Local communities that thought they were protecting public safety are waking up to the reality that breed bans have many more negative consequences than they realized and do not better protect people.

Kansas has been a leader in overturning breed bans, and as we look ahead to the 2022 state legislative session, I urge Missouri lawmakers to follow suit by passing legislation to end breed-specific laws statewide.

- Andy Briscoe, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Central Region, Jefferson City

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