breaking news Readers discuss bumbling Kansas City, Kevin Strickland and Veronica Malone

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Local folly

The best argument for keeping the Kansas City Police Department under state control has nothing to do with race, politics or money. Instead, the best argument for state control is to keep the clown show in City Hall from insinuating its sticky fingers into the policies, personnel and budget of what is a pretty good department. The result would be unmitigated disaster.

– Howard Hardegree, Independence

Missouri behind

To Missouri Gov. Mike Parson:

Like F. Michael Martucci of Hamden, Connecticut, whose letter was featured in The Star on Tuesday, (7A) I watched the recent “CBS Sunday Morning” national broadcast, along with millions of other Americans, about the continuing unjust incarcerations of Kevin Strickland and Lamar Johnson in our Missouri prison system.

These men have been deemed innocent from numerous perspectives, including those of prosecuting attorneys Jean Peters Baker and Kim Gardner. They are held in prison still on a legal technicality — one that you, Gov. Parson, have the power to rescind in favor of these men and justice.

Martucci mentioned that this situation “is a bad look” for you and for the state. This is true not just from East Coast and national perspectives, but locally and statewide as well. Like you, I grew up in southwest Missouri’s Bolivar, and I share that view. We are missing the mark in not coming to the aid of these wrongly convicted men.

The great state of Missouri is falling short on multiple fronts, including lax gun laws, gun violence, low COVID-19 vaccinations — and now refusing to correct injustices greatly harming these men and their families. I ask you to pardon them now, Governor.

– Stan C. McDermott, Kansas City

This isn’t justice

Bill Cosby, convicted sex assault offender, is roaming free because of an extremely frivolous technicality, while Kevin Strickland rots in prison for a crime that everyone in the world except Missouri Gov. Mike Parson knows he is innocent of. Parson says if Strickland were released, he might hurt someone. A 60-plus-year-old man in a wheelchair? Really?

Having been a Republican for most of my life until about four years ago, I still held out one vote for Parson. I sincerely hope he doesn’t intend to run again, because I can’t believe that anyone from any political allegiance could possibly be with him on this issue.

Kudos to The Star for its editorials about Strickland, and kudos to Tom Wolff for his July 1 letter about this situation. (8A)

– Joyce Kidd, Kansas City

It’s not just you

We constantly hear about free choice and freedom as justification for not getting vaccinated. However, we cannot have a free society devoid of individual responsibility. These go hand in hand.

Don’t demand to be free and then act irresponsibly. Get the vaccine.

– Stephen Kunz, Overland Park

Swimming stalwart

I want to thank both Vahe Gregorian and Veronica Malone for the wonderful profile in Sunday’s paper. (1B, “Former swim coach Veronica Malone now a transgender advocate”)

I have had the privilege to count Veronica as a friend and mentor during her coaching days and since her retirement from coaching.

Her coaching lessons were invaluable, but she has taught me even more through her advocacy, honesty and bravery.

It takes a special person to have two chapters in life that positively affected so many people. And it takes a special writer to so carefully and caringly document such a person.

– Gabe Downey, Lawrence

Artistic excellence

Last Friday, July 16, the Kansas City Baroque Consortium performed an excellent concert of Italian music from the 17th century. I have listened to hours of classical music over the decades, and that concert was one of the finest I have ever experienced.

The playing was masterful, the selections were varied and enjoyable, and the audience was delighted. I urge Kansas Citians to learn about and support the Kansas City Baroque Consortium.

– William T. Shechik, Kansas City

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