These are the most-read letters from last week.
Wealth is driving average homebuyers out of Kirkwood
Regarding the letter “Kirkwood shining example of how to drain the swamp” (June 30): The letter put the Kirkwood City Council in a favorable light. However, the council has actually created a swamp by doing bad things.
My wife Nancy and I grew up in Kirkwood, and we have deep roots here. I graduated from Kirkwood High School in 1957 and my wife from Coyle High School in 1957. We met in 1959 when we were City of Kirkwood employees. Nancy was at the Kirkwood library, and I was on the Kirkwood street department shoveling rock. Working for Kirkwood put Nancy through Webster College and me through the engineering school at Washington University. My grandfather started the first filling station in Kirkwood in 1912.
Bad changes are happening in Kirkwood. Daily, we see affordable homes being knocked down to be replaced with gigantic McMansions. Kirkwood has always had affordable neighborhoods, but those affordable neighborhoods are tragically disappearing. I grew up in Kirkwood on affordable Silver Lane and Nancy on affordable Brookhaven Court. Nancy and I and our children lived on Chelsea Avenue and Club Lane — those affordable subdivisions are disappearing and being replaced with million-dollar McMansions. Kirkwood has sadly become a developer's paradise. Kirkwood is also becoming The City of the Filthy Rich, a change for the worse. Kirkwood really needs housing for the average Joe and Mary. It also needs strict building codes and zoning laws to help the average home buyer.
Dick Reeves • Kirkwood
Behavior, not racial profiling, the reason for traffic stops
Regarding the editorial ‘‘State’s traffic-stop racial disparities suggest much work remains to be done” (June 26): Isn’t it time to request the basis for traffic stops from the Missouri Highway Patrol and the local police departments?
I have observed that it is almost impossible to identify a person’s race, and most often gender, when driving in front of or behind another vehicle. Only when driving next to a car can I determine the driver’s race or gender. Automobile headrests cover a person’s head, obliterating clear vision from behind. Also, glare on windows render it impossible.
This leads me to believe that it is speed, weaving in and out of traffic, erratic behavior or mechanical issues that lead authorities stop a car. It may also relate to an outstanding warrant or the car’s license plate or tail light is out.
A question lingers that needs answering. That question is whether racial profiling is involved or if the issue is behavior and personal responsibility. There are instances of race-based traffic stops, but is it the actual basis for the statistics? Truth would benefit everyone.
Helen Louise Herndon • Kirkwood
New York fan approves of honoring former Redbirds
As an avid sports fan, educator, and father of 9½-year-old twin sons, I want to take a moment and offer a huge heartfelt thank you to the people of the St. Louis area, especially the Cardinals’ fans, for restoring my faith in one of the values I am instilling in my own children.
I recently saw videos of standing ovations you gave to Stephen Piscotty and legendary Albert Pujols upon their respective returns to Busch Stadium. It seems that capitalism has clouded our landscape and consumed many of our views, values and the ways we treat one another. As a result, ticket prices increase, athletes asking for higher salaries, etc.
These gentleman, upon their return to thunderous ovations looked past these facts, acknowledged their loving fans, tipped their hats and genuinely seemed ecstatic to be “back home.” And to you, the St. Louis fans, thanks for visually showing my sons what admiration, mutual respect and sportsmanship are all about.
Roger Silverblatt • Central Valley, N.Y.
Setting the record straight on Steele dossier origins
Regarding “Democrats also guilty of seeking dirt from foreigners ” (June 20): It’s true that Christopher Steele was an ex-MI6 agent who ran the Russia desk for the British agency. He was hired by Fusion GPS, an American company, to conduct opposition research on Donald Trump. What letter writer Harold Goedde failed to mention was that the dossier was initiated by the conservative website, the Washington Free Beacon.
The Free Beacon bowed out once Mr. Trump won the primary election. Fusion GPS then was approached and hired by Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Mr. Steele, knowing that the information he had was possibly critical to U.S. security, contacted the Department of Justice via Bruce Ohr, which was the proper course of action.
There’s a big difference between someone receiving critical intelligence information from a trusted ally and someone who receives stolen material from Russian agents in order to get dirt on a political opponent. Steele went to the authorities with his information, but the Trump campaign did not when approached by Russian agents. They then proceeded to lie to the American people about Russian contacts.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants weren’t strictly based on the Steele dossier. Let’s not forget warnings the FBI received from various allies. I encourage my fellow Americans to read the Mueller report if they wish to find the truth behind the Russian fiasco.
Craig Covalesky • Maryville, Ill.
Manager Shildt quote not fair to Cardinal Nation
Regarding “Shildt rails at naysayers, says Cards are playing exciting, fundamental baseball” (June 28): In his first full year of managing the Cardinals, a historic institution, it is understandable that Mike Shildt might feel pressure to deliver to the fan base. Thus, most of what he had to say to Post-Dispatch sports writer Rick Hummel is understandable and human. However, I think he will regret having said this: “I thought this town always appreciated good, clean baseball and effort.”
I can’t remember the last time the fan base was challenged like this by a St. Louis Cardinal.
Tom Kickham • St. Louis
Officer’s record must be included in news stories
Regarding recent letters objecting to a Post-Dispatch story mentioning Officer Michael Langsdorf’s being charged with falsifying time sheets in 2017: I do not see how the Post-Dispatch could omit mentioning this news about Officer Langsdorf without being accused of covering up facts. That the charges were dropped was also mentioned in the original article, “Police officer fatally shot in Wellston, suspect in custody” (June 24).
Charges against police officers are often dropped or otherwise kept behind the thin blue line for the sake of departmental reputations. The charging information was placed at the end of the article, but nonetheless, it was relevant and belonged in the article.
While negative facts are inappropriate at funeral services, the desired beatification of deceased officers is not always appropriate in the public record.
Tom Poelker • University City
Missouri leaves some children without health care
Regarding “Missouri leaves drug-dependent child in medical limbo after taking, then dropping, custody” (June 30): Tony Messenger’s column about Levi Moses has made me ashamed to be a Missourian. The present state administration is “pro-life” and has just passed a draconian anti-choice bill. The heartless and reprehensible lack of care and concern for actual Missouri children is infuriating. What is the matter with these politicians and bureaucrats? Every child deserves adequate medical care. Obviously, these politicians are only pro-birth and not interested in the health and well-being of the living children in our state.
Helen Nelling • University City
Greedy individuals will bring downfall of U.S.
It may come to pass that the spirit of the July Fourth celebrations will become a hazy memory, given the lack of national unity in this country. If narcissism and greed continue unabated, there soon will be nothing to celebrate. In short, the United States of America is quickly becoming the Divided States of America, all emanating from those who would twist the definition of “us” to mean “me.”
America’s first national triumph was the defeat of the British in the Revolutionary War. The self-governance born from that skirmish is both what we celebrate and why. Today, that self-governance is in peril. A nation of laws is forcibly being molded into a nation of men who would harbor their individual greed rather than their collective patriotism. If these men have their way, the same tyranny inflicted by the British will return full-circle to our country. Our liberties are in peril.
It is high time that unity be restored in the United States, lest our once great nation becomes a dim shadow of its former self. America’s last national triumph was the defeat of the Axis powers in World War II and the restoration of liberty in both Europe and the Pacific. That sense of pride, sacrifice and dedication to a common cause has taken a 74-year respite. Those morally bankrupt individuals who think America will survive as a nation of 320 million self-serving individuals are also those who would most tearfully and most woefully lament our nation’s demise.
Richard Yesley • New Athens
Reader regrets getting pregnant, not getting abortion
I’ve been a registered nurse for over 30 years. For part of that time, I worked in electro convulsive therapy, also known as “shock therapy.” I found that most people I spoke with socially knew someone who had had electro convulsive therapy. Just like abortion, shock therapy is something no one wants to talk about, yet everyone knows someone who’s experienced it.
I had an abortion as a teenager. Was I careless? Yes. I was also young, and part of adolescent mentality is the feeling that it will never happen to me.
It happened to me. I was not prepared to be a mother. I was afraid to tell my parents. For me, abortion was the only alternative. I ask for no pity; I ask for no forgiveness. I also ask for the judgment of no one.
This decision was between myself, my boyfriend at the time, and God, as I perceive God to be. I aborted a mass of cells, not viable outside of the womb, with the potential to become a person, but which at that time was not a living, breathing human being. My grandmother wasn’t so lucky. She died in 1934 of peritonitis following a back-alley abortion and left four orphaned children.
I have no shame. I do not to this day regret having chosen abortion. My only regret is having become pregnant in the first place. I’m grateful that I could do so safely and legally and will fight for the right of women everywhere to be able to do the same.
Kathryn Sherman • Shrewsbury
NBA struggles with diversity as much as NHL does
Regarding “St. Louis racial divide sadly reflected in Blues’ celebration” (June 29): Now that letter writer Robert Wallace has exposed the National Hockey League’s blatant racism, I hope his next letter to the editor addresses the diversity seen in the National Basketball Association.
Ronald Eberhart • Edwardsville