Maybe smart meters do make some sense

Jim Turner, Independence

To the editor:

A friend explained why smart meters should be optional. I can now tell the difference.

We have a bank of electric meters outside the apartment building in northwest Independence. I stood in front of the wall of 48 meters and discovered all are digital readout smart ones. There were no apartment numbers written on them or spinning wheels, like analog meters from apartments past.

I didn’t experience any ringing of the ears, pain or loss of vision from their radio frequencies. I never got a late or inaccurate notice, after we changed to the billing system. I had to photograph the analog one in my old apartment building to settle a meter reading dispute, in my favor.

Our city manager is a good businessman. We should listen carefully to his recommendations on how we can grow as a community.


Missouri lags in basic citizen protections

Zachary Mallory, Independence

To the editor:

The Missouri state government is tasked with the responsibility of protecting the freedoms of its citizens. For the last 21 years, it has been complicit in egregious discrimination, as it refuses to ensure the equal treatment of those who are queer, trans or gender non-conforming.

This week, however, at the state legislature’s general laws committee hearing, there was an opportunity to make a vital and long-overdue course correction by voting to pass the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act (MONA, HB 208 & 350) out of committee and sending it to the floor of the House. The House held a hearing but has yet to vote.

MONA would revise the human rights statute to include protections for sexual orientation and gender identity. Believe it or not, this would protect nearly a quarter million Missourians from what is our present, yet silenced, reality: enduring disrespect and constant human rights violations. For being ourselves, we can legally be fired or denied housing, health care or public services in Missouri.

As a resident of the Independence/Lee’s Summit area, a few years ago I was working a summer job as a concession worker. I really enjoyed that job. Unfortunately, a co-worker made it a point to interrupt the work day and safety of the workplace by constantly calling me “queer” and “fag” and telling me that I did not need to work there because “queers” were not allowed to work.

Without MONA on the books, my employer felt no responsibility to ensure this harassment and violation of workers rights stopped, nor did my employer recognize my attempt to file a harassment complaint with human resources. I never heard from HR about updates or actions that would be taken against this co-worker and ultimately, I ended my time working there feeling cast aside and violated at no fault of my own. I was only 16.

This is but one tip-of-the-iceberg example of the types of interactions and workplace violations queer and trans people across the state experience daily.

No resident of Lee’s Summit or my hometown of Independence should have their rights and safety violated as mine have been. Passing MONA must be underidden by popular support in order to succeed. I urge those of you reading to call your local state representative. I’ll be calling Rep. Jonathan Patterson to say that, as a constituent of his district, I would like him to support the passage of MONA.

It is time that to fully realize the promise of “equal rights and opportunity under the law” that is enshrined in the Missouri Constitution. It is beyond time to pass MONA.