These are the most-read letters from last week.
Letter: Where is the outrage from national black leaders?
Regarding, “‘It wrecked us’: 584 kids killed in St. Louis over 30 years. This grandma knows the cost.” (Oct. 20): The fact that 584 kids have been killed, the overwhelming majority of them African-American, as were the perpetrators, is appalling and abhorrent.
My question is, where were the Rev. Jesse Jackson, the Rev. Al Sharpton, and other national black activists and civil rights leaders while this carnage was taking place? Where is their outrage now as the carnage continues? Why are they not speaking out? Why have they not come here to address this explosive situation?
I guarantee you that they’d be in St. Louis in a New York minute if the perpetrators were white.
Their lack of involvement is well beyond the pale and incomprehensible. Their silence is deafening.
Gene Carton • University City
Letter: Trump, Barr threaten fabric of our democracy
I have lived through the Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam unrest including destruction of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) building at Washington University, and the ravages of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, but never have I feared for our country more than today.
President Donald Trump is cornered in an impeachment inquiry. Aided by Attorney General William Barr, who mischaracterized the findings of the Mueller report and who buried the whistleblower’s credible account, the Trump administration has launched a criminal investigation into the origins of the Russia probe.
All 17 U.S. Intelligence agencies, coupled with the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee, have conclusively determined that Russia waged cyber warfare against the integrity of our elections. By targeting vulnerable, easily manipulated voters from information gained by Cambridge Analytica, Russia worked to suppress the African American vote and elevate the status of Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Trump siphoned off razor-thin margins of votes in three crucial states, thus handing him the electoral college victory.
At the behest of Trump, the powerful William Barr sows confusion by diverting attention from impeachment toward a debunked conspiracy theory and, in so doing, threatens the very fabric of our democracy. As the late Rep. Elijah Cummings observed presciently, “When we’re dancing with the angels, the question will be asked: In 2019, what did we do to make sure we kept our democracy intact?” May Americans find the fortitude to save us from within.
Doris Schwartz • Chesterfield
Letters: Other options exist beyond Washington University
Regarding Benjamin Simon’s guest column “Full-tuition scholarship can still leave low-income students behind” (Oct. 22): While I sympathize with Mr. Simon’s concern for a student who couldn’t afford the one-year cost of required room and board at Washington University, I take exception to the logic of his article.
First of all, there are over 3,000 colleges and universities in this country from which a student can choose. Right here in St. Louis, we have the University of Missouri-St. Louis, St. Louis University, Lindenwood University, Maryville University and the St. Louis Community Colleges as well as others.
Washington University made quite a generous offer to this student by offering a four-year full ride. The only caveat was the student had to pay her own room and board, and only for freshman year when the student is required to live on campus.
I believe the university receives over 25,000 applicants nationwide and only has room for approximately 1,500 new students per year. So the fact that this student even received an offer from the university is amazing.
Washington University is an elite institution. But it is also a private university.
Fortunately, our state offers numerous other options that are far less costly, but can also offer a good education and create opportunities for anyone willing to work hard.
Mark Meiners • Chesterfield
Letter: University City government was asleep at the wheel
Regarding “Loop Trolley says it needs $700,000 from St. Louis County to keep operating, and will reduce service" (Oct. 15): University City, what have you done to allow such damage to a once thriving city? The silence speaks for itself. One would think that someone in City Hall could have taken time to study the Loop Trolley plan, but Joe Edwards’ plans were adopted with minimal scrutiny. Numerous citizens were against it because construction and traffic problems would interfere with Delmar businesses. But no, it seems that very little attention was given to the plan. After all, the $40 million of construction fees attached to the project had the ability to open all kinds of doors.
I guess all the arguing and fighting kept everyone busy. The City Council should have listened to former University City councilwoman Elsie Glickert, who fought the trolley plan. But no one did.
Now the trolley needs about $700,000. A few rubber tire trolleys could have been used and saved around $39 million. But again, no one listened.
If the trolley tracks have to be removed, who would be responsible for the cost to restore Delmar? Mr. Edwards and company? Or do you leave the tracks as they are as a reminder of what happens when no one listens? Ms. Glickert and others have been proven that they were right all along.
Joseph Colegrove • Wildwood
Letters: The problem with baseball is pure and simple greed
When World Champion Washington National’s pitching ace Max Scherzer recently complained about the lack of money being spent on pitching in baseball, he unknowingly highlighted what is wrong with professional baseball: greed. The Post-Dispatch’s Derrick Goold quoted Scherzer as saying, “Hopefully people will start spending money on pitching. Wouldn’t that be great?” Scherzer, a St. Louis native, earns over $30 million a year playing a game. That is over 500 times the average working person’s salary.
As a teacher whose students show little interest in the game of baseball, I worry for the future of baseball. I can point out that greed is not a positive way to make a difference in the world.
Paul Shaver • St. Louis
Letter: Complicity with Trump will be Republicans' downfall
In the long run, the larger, deeper problem, bigger than President Donald Trump himself, is the complicity and collusion of Republicans and their senators for aiding and abetting Trump.
Steven Kushner • Chesterfield
Letter: Don't go into student debt over useless majors
Regarding “Son’s education more important than daughter’s” (Oct. 27): Ilene G. Wittels' letter on the son being preferred over the daughter was interesting except for the elephant in the room.
Spending $225,000 plus $16,900 for an education in theater and photography is the biggest waste of time and money I can imagine and is utterly useless. It is time for parents and children to step up and get serious about what is needed to be successful in life. These types of courses are something you take for fun after you have graduated with a solid degree in a field that will actively pursue you and your newly obtained expertise.
Steve Farrow • St. Charles
Letter: Stenger's acts certainly not caused by alcoholism
Regarding “Steve Stenger, sentenced to 46 months in prison, is now due out after 27 months, prison says” (Oct. 25): It was disappointing to read Robert Patrick’s article regarding the circumstances of Steve Stenger’s sentence reduction. His corruption was based on taking advantage of his position to enrich himself, even prior to officially taking office. At no point was there a suggestion that his criminality was based on an alcohol-abuse issue. It is apparent that any contrition on his part seems contrived. Stenger’s entering an alcohol-treatment program appears as another gaming of the system for his benefit. To quote the final thought of the last Seinfeld episode: “No hugs, no growth.”
Hugh Kiel • Oakville
Letter: Ignore Rex Sinquefield’s biased civic ‘research’
Regarding Post-Dispatch reports about the influence of campaign megadonor Rex Sinquefield on the proposed privatization of St. Louis Lambert International Airport: Many reasonable St. Louisans would support government change based on quality research. However, we were subjected to biased insider research with Sinquefield’s Better Together campaign, along with associated campaign contributions and promises of leadership positions to control the now-jailed former St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger.
With the secretive Lambert airport privatization study full of political intrigue, lobbyist influence and obscene amounts of money devoted to the study, how could we have any faith in Sinquefield’s groups? And why do key representatives allow these illegitimate approaches to research on important local efforts? If medical research was conducted in this manner, we would all be dead.
Tim Fischesser • Ballwin
Letters: There is no ‘silent coup’ against Trump; look at facts
Regarding “Lying Democrats still mad about 2016 election” (Oct. 31): This letter accusing Democrats of a silent coup against President Donald Trump clearly shows the lack of fact-grasping that today’s Trump supporters display. An objective investigator, Robert Mueller, found numerous instances of obstruction of justice by the president but was precluded from indicting him because of a Department of Justice rule.
Trump’s campaign was shown to willingly accept foreign help, perhaps through ineptitude. Read the report.
The fact that the letter writer bemoans a lack of “real journalists” to call out this imagined coup is laughable. No reputable news source can find facts to support this “coup” because they do not exist.
Our president clearly solicited foreign interference in the 2016 election, accepted some, and refuses to defend us against a recurrence. And Trump strong-armed a foreign ally to create dirt on a political opponent in the upcoming election, and his chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, admits it.
What more do we need?
John Prater • Creve Coeur