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The GOP’s Health Care Plan Would Hurt All Of Us

The congressional Republican health care plan will be a disaster for working families. The plan will take health care away from 24 million people across the country and impose painful taxes on working people.

Budget experts predict that out-of-pocket expenses will skyrocket because companies will shift prices to their employees. That means thousands of dollars less in the pockets of working people.

The proposed cuts to Medicaid will wreck our state budget and hurt people in our community who already are struggling to make ends meet. Their plan weakens Medicare. It takes three years off the life of the Medicare hospital fund in order to give a huge tax break just to people earning more than $200,000 a year. Their plan does nothing to deal with skyrocketing prices for medical care and prescription drugs.

The people cutting America's health care under the banner of reform have never had to worry about care for themselves or their families. CEOs, billionaires and right-wing politicians get the best care because cost isn't a factor for them. The rest of us don't have that luxury. Congress should focus on expanding coverage for more working people, not putting high-quality care out of reach.

Mike Christensen
Saint Clair, Mo.
March 23, 2017

Film On James Baldwin’s Unfinished Biographies

I just saw a movie at the Tivoli called "I Am Not Your Negro," an Oscar-nominated documentary about the writer James Baldwin's unfinished literary project about Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.

I went to see the film because I find the topic of race relations interesting, and I wanted to see if I could learn anything that would help me improve them. Baldwin says that white people are guilty of apathy and ignorance. He also asserts that he is not a Negro (he uses the derogatory term here), and says that white people have to figure out why they have created the myth of the Negro.

I believe Baldwin makes a good point. I believe I am guilty of both apathy and ignorance. While I may have voted for candidates or proposals or written letters to the editor that could have helped African Americans, I never visited their homes or schools, except for a chess tournament in high school and a couple of friends I made in college — and that was due to campus housing, so I don't think that really counts.

It is my own lack of effort and fear of the unknown that has contributed to my apathy and ignorance. I must overcome both my laziness and fear if I hope to dispel this myth of the Negro, if I hope to improve race relations.

Michael Nolan
March 23, 2017

Takes Issue With “Religion Of Global Warming”

This letter is in response to Ryan Kennerknecht's recent letter regarding global warming. Mr Kennerknecht cites throwback articles and memories from his childhood as evidence of global warming; and that these should serve as the proverbial canary in the coal mine to warn us about man-made global warming. Let me explain this to you, Ryan.

Setting your anecdotal experiences aside, the earth had a climate long before man ever came along. Paleoclimatology, which essentially studies fossilized pollen, reveals that the earth's climate has cooled and warmed as long as it has been here. The cyclical nature of these changes is governed for the most part by the earth's spacial relationship to the sun, specifically the delineation (tilt) of the earth's axis. The axis is tilted at about 22 degrees from the plane of its rotation around the sun. This is what gives us our seasons.

As the earth spins on its axis and rotates around the sun, the delineation changes. The axis, on its tilt, warbles like a spinning top does on a table. This warbling changes the orientation of the axis to the sun, thus changing the angle and intensity of the sun's rays that hit the earth. This happens over the span of tens of thousands of years.

This is the primary cause of climactic changes on our planet. Warming and cooling trends occur over spans of tens of thousands of years. There are other factors like sunspot activity, but they are far more negligible.

The most negligible of any of the factors which control our climate is man. One volcanic eruption puts more carbon dioxide in the air than all the cars in the world do in a year. More "greenhouse gases" burp up out of the seas every day than we put into the air.

I learned this before the religion of global warming was birthed. Ryan, you are a product of our current socio-political environment. The constant bombardment by media-driven self-proclaimed planetary experts has led you to believe the sky is falling.

David Swope
Sunset Hills
March 23, 2017

Organized Opposition To Crestwood’s Prop C

Crestwood City Administrator Kris Simpson, in his letters published in the South County Times, seems intent on convincing voters that we have a real deficit. We don't. The "deficit" is an artificial bookkeeping trick to deceive the residents into voting for Prop C. There is no deficit.

The "rainy day fund" was set up in 2016 specifically to deceive the voters into thinking the city is currently in financial trouble when it isn't. There is no reason to have six months or 47 to 48 percent of the budget set aside since a financial disaster of that magnitude is extremely unlikely.

In 2004, the board of aldermen in a budget session conducted by then City Administrator Greer was told by a financial consultant that a reserve of 25 percent would be nice to have for the city's credit rating to issue general obligation bonds, but was not an absolute necessity. An alderman and several other residents were present at that Saturday morning meeting.

It is all part of the city's dishonesty to get its hands on as much tax money from the residents to spend as possible. It is nothing more than the old "tax and spend" routine. In-hand revenues should drive spending, spending should not drive the collection of revenues to pay for it.

Patricia Schelinski, Treasurer
Crestwood Citizens Against Prop C
March 23, 2017

Senior Concerned Over Rising Property Taxes

I am writing in reference to the letter in the March 17 Mailbag, "Property Taxes Have Increased 200 Percent In 20 Years." I am in agreement with the letter writer, Sgt. Olsen.

I have also seen my real estate tax increase. I understand the need in the increase in tax rates on some items that make up the real estate tax — parks, fire and other community needs and services. What I do not agree with is what comprises the biggest part of my tax burden. I know this is going to cause an uproar, but I feel that the real estate part of our taxes that go to schools should be grandfathered in for seniors at the rate paid at the age of 65.

In fact, it would be nice for all St. Louis County real estate to be capped at the age 65 level. I am aware that other states have grandfathered property tax rates, i.e. California. Where I live I can expect an increase every two years. That's hard on someone living on a fixed income.

I wonder if there are others in Missouri who feel as I do about their increasing real estate tax?

Jim Jeske
Concord Village
March 23, 2017

Allen McCoy for Kirkwood School Board

I have known Dr. Allen McCoy for over five years, and had the privilege to work directly with him for over two years during his time at Air Mobility Command.

Although he had no previous military experience, Allen's exemplary work ethic, intelligence and innate common sense ensured his products were not only exactly on the mark, but better than expected. He never provided a product without doing thorough research on the issue. One of his major strengths is his compassion to find the "right" answer, which he pursues to the end.

Allen's first child was born while we were working together. It was easy to see that he would be a very loving father who would be invested in the future of his children and their friends.

Allen becoming a member of the school board will benefit not just his children, but all of your children and your community for years to come. I wholeheartedly recommend casting your vote on April 4 for Dr. Allen McCoy.

Glenn A. Mackey, Col (USAF, Ret)
O'Fallon, Ill.
March 23, 2017

Chad Kavanaugh for Kirkwood School Board

Voting for the right Kirkwood School Board candidate is vital to our district's success. Chad Kavanaugh has our vote for the April 4 election!

He has shown a sense of good judgment since the day we met him over 20 years ago.

Chad and his wife Lynn have shown their dedication to the district by sending their three children to our schools. Lynn is on staff at Kirkwood High School; Chad has volunteered countless hours in the community, being a part of his children's school experience as well.

Chad's expertise in management and leadership with Enterprise and World Wide Technology will help the district as it faces current and future challenges. Chad will bring wisdom to the table which will be essential when hiring a new superintendent, making financial decisions, hiring and retaining the best teachers and continuing to support our children from early childhood through high school graduation.

Our children deserve the best and Chad Kavanaugh has the courage to face up to the hard truths and the confidence to be our best voice.

Brad and Amy (Moeller) Kocher
March 23, 2017

Chad Kavanaugh for Kirkwood School Board

Kirkwood residents are fortunate to have Chad Kavanaugh running for Kirkwood School Board. I feel certain that Chad will be an enormous asset to our school board, committed to the high standards that Kirkwood offers each of its students.

My husband Bill and I have known Chad for more than 20 years. We know Chad as a good listener who carefully considers options before making decisions. With his action-oriented approach, Chad will be committed to the quality of education for all students, always mindful of the parents, teachers and administrators.

Chad is a person with a strong sense of community responsibility. With his background in business, good listening skills, deliberate decision making and strong sense of fiscal responsibility, Chad is an excellent candidate for the Kirkwood School board.

Betsy and Bill Wendell
March 23, 2017

Jennifer Pangborn for Kirkwood School Board

A review of the letters written on behalf of candidates for the Kirkwood School Board made it clear that all have a history of caring for the Kirkwood School District and working on behalf of our children.

And all understand the value of attracting and retaining highly qualified staff. What is more difficult for voters to determine is who will best balance the needs of the district with the generosity of the taxpayers. Taxpayers have only asked that they can trust monies are spent in the most effective and responsible manner by members of the board of education.

I believe there is a candidate voters can trust to provide leadership which can increase student achievement with spending levels that voters can support. This candidate can help work through the issues facing our district. Delivering a higher achieving and more responsive district is a challenge she is up to. Please give Jennifer Pangborn your vote on April 4.

Wallace Ward
March 23, 2017

Jennifer Pangborn for Kirkwood School Board

As a long-time educator, I understand that a healthy school district needs board members who have a strong innovative vision, but who can set aside their own agendas and seek to understand all stakeholders before making decisions.

Jennifer Pangborn has a strong vision for the Kirkwood School District. She has become tireless in reaching out and communicating with community members, teachers, administrators and students to best understand our schools' needs.

She understands the need to create an equitable and challenging educational environment for all students. Her knowledge of what is currently happening within our schools, including the areas for future improvement, is valuable.

Jennifer is professional, energetic, approachable, and analytical. Her extensive professional background in community planning enables her to be a skilled active listener. Additionally, her experience in engineering and STEM is a vital aspect to the innovative future of our school district.

Join me on April 4 in voting for Jennifer Pangborn for the Kirkwood School Board as she will be a strong voice for the best interests of our children.

Stephanie Elliott
March 23, 2017

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