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Examiner
  • Jerry Plantz: Facts and figures of our times

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  • Here are some local lists that may interest you, especially if you walk to work.
    Insurance.com is warning policy holders about cities where pedestrians face the greatest danger of being struck by a vehicle. They cite Smart Growth America and their latest edition of “Dangerous by Design,” an index for major cities and each state, plotting the death rate per 100,000 against the percentage of the population that walks to work.
    Five Florida cities lead the top five worst cities for pedestrians with Orlando as the riskiest city in America. Kansas City came in 21 with 228 deaths while St. Louis ranked 26th with 364 deaths.
    While Florida leads all states, the Show-Me State ranks 18 with 762 fatalities.
    The insurance industry wants you to know that, if as a pedestrian you are hit by a driver who has no insurance or not enough of it, your own uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage could cover your hospital bills. Check your policy, especially if you are going to Florida.
    Another ominous list (hey, I’m only the messenger) from NeighborhoodScout.com, which keeps tabs on crimes across America. It gathered data from the nation’s 17,000 law-enforcement agencies and the Census Bureau. Locally it found that in Independence your chance of being involved in a violent crime is one in 219. Blue Springs, one in 413 and across the state one in 222.
    Property crime odds in Independence are one in 16; Blue Springs, one in 30; statewide one in 30.
    Time magazine has a list for everything, including the cost of the average American wedding, $28.400. And a mammoth jump in Amazon sales of George Orwell’s “1984”following the revelation that the NSA collects data on millions of Americans. The year 2012 was the hottest year ever in the U.S. with 34,008 new records of daily high-temperature set at weather stations, compared with 6,664 new record lows.The federal student debt total is $1.2 trillion – and rising.
    On the bright side Business Week magazine included KC as one of its “50 Best U.S. Cities.”
    You’ll find the Royals, T-Bones, Sporting KC and FC Kansas City still in contention for playoff spots and we have the best barbecue in the world.
    If you prefer more lists, there are some 288 million on Google. Knock yourself out.
    I give you President John Adams’ toast: Independence forever.
    Jerry Plantz lives in Lee’s Summit. His website is at www.Jerryplantz.com. Reach him at jerryplantz@msn.com.

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