Letters from the week of November 20

Martin: “Fantasy Island,” November 13

Justice Ain’t Free

I usually like David Martin’s columns, but his criticism of Kansas City’s Municipal Court judges is unfair.

Kansas City’s Municipal Court is the largest municipal court in the state of Missouri and, most likely, the first place that the average citizen comes in contact with the criminal justice system. The trips the judges take? They don’t design the seminars and continuing legal education or decide where they are. They weren’t going to Bike Week or Vegas for a slot-machine tour, and Molly Williams didn’t rent a Cadillac; they went to get educated on how to treat our citizens fairly and within the protections of our state and federal constitutions. The yoga class might be a very good thing. I want a relaxed, intelligent and well-trained judge to hear all of my clients’ cases and one who has been trained by the best judge-training operation in the country. Kansas City’s citizens deserve a quality criminal justice system.

Please talk about Judge Elena Franco’s initiatives to create a Veterans’ Court and to support victims of domestic violence with Step Up for Women, and the 15-year successful veterans’ Stand Down programs — all of which Judge John B. Williams, Judge Mike McAdam and the other judges helped with on Saturdays and as extra docket time. I have represented clients in that courthouse for 28 years and I know how important it is for citizens to be treated fairly. The judges at 1101 Locust are trying hard to bring Kansas City a fair and professional Municipal Court. The criticisms in David Martin’s articles are simply not fair or accurate.

F. Coulter deVries, Kansas City, Missouri

Feature: “Life of Kemper,” November 13

A Good Read

Carolyn Szczepanski’s article on Crosby Kemper III’s tenure at the Kansas City Public Library was fabulous. I didn’t realize that the library had won the 2008 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, and it is wonderful to see the changes taking place in the library system. Kemper has the heart that is needed to make the library a vibrant, living place. The changes have been exciting. Let’s hope he stays for a long, long time. He is one in a million!

Julia Mullane, Overland Park

Feature: “Monopoly Boy,” October 16

Same Old Same Old

It is no surprise that BPU has hired one of it own to help them through the rotten mire they are constantly involved in. I don’t know what it will take for the residents of Wyandotte County, who are constantly being taken to the cleaners by BPU (a facility they ostensibly own), to wake up. Malcolm X stated, once upon a time, that a man’s back can only be ridden if it is constantly bent. Wyandotte Countians must really like the ride they are being taken on by this supposed publicly owned facility. See you at the cleaners!

Marilyn White, Kansas City, Kansas

Correction: Henry Fortunato’s name was misspelled in last week’s story “Life of Kemper.” We regret the error.

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