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Letters to the editor on boys ranch, education reforms, Obama’s record, privatized government, pets of homeless

  • Published Friday, June 22, 2012, at 12 a.m.

Letters to the Editor

Include your full name, home address and phone number for verification purposes. All letters are edited for clarity and length; 200 words or fewer are best. Letters may be published in any format and become the property of The Eagle.

Mail: Letters to the Editor, The Wichita Eagle, 825 E. Douglas, Wichita, KS 67202

E-mail: letters@wichitaeagle.com

Fax: 316-269-6799

For more information, contact Phillip Brownlee at 316-268-6262, pbrownlee@wichitaeagle.com.

Closing boys ranch would be a mistake

All boys deserve a second chance to be shown there is a better way to live their lives. They need guidance, direction, education and someone who cares about them.

My husband volunteered for 25 years with the Judge Riddel Boys Ranch, Youth for Christ, Boy Scouts and Big Brothers Big Sisters. We have given much time and money toward projects for troubled teens, and hope our efforts were worth it.

We look back at the times when the boys ranch had many activities and people involved. Now it seems money can be spent on frivolous things, but not for our young people.

The closing of the ranch would be a drastic mistake for concerned parents and for the boys who need discipline.

BARBARA HAMNER

Derby

Reform education

“Education problem is too many ‘experts’” (June 1 Letters to the Editor) belittled Mitt Romney as a “fixer” of what went wrong with public education. Romney is an ex-governor and a very successful businessman. His expertise comes out of wisdom, and knowing what’s wrong is the first step to fixing anything that doesn’t work.

A dozen or so governors are already on the way to fixing education, which the teachers unions won’t do. Kimberley Strassel noted recently in her opinion column in the Wall Street Journal that states have passed or are working on reforms that tackle collective bargaining, tenure, merit pay, school choice, and the use of more efficient technologies.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who soundly stomped the unions in a recall election, is busy with reform. “The Walker breakthrough was to integrate education into the broader fiscal and structural dispute,” Strassel wrote. By limiting collective bargaining, letting schools competitively bid on health insurance, and asking employees to contribute to health and pension plans, Walker has saved hundreds of millions of dollars.

Wake up, Kansas. And don’t overlook reducing our dropout rate.

TOBY ELSTER

Wichita

Proud of record

I take exception to “Obama’s record” (June 14 Letters to the Editor).

President Obama should be very proud to run on his record. His policies stopped the financial collapse of this country and the hemorrhaging of jobs, both of which were caused by the same Republican policies that Mitt Romney has sworn to reinstate.

Obama saved the American auto industry; his economic stimulus saved the jobs of police officers, firefighters and teachers; and his proposed jobs bill would save and create millions more. The last bill is being blocked by the Republicans, who think their actions will perhaps prevent the president’s re-election.

The legislation that Obama has passed and proposed has sought to protect the rights of women, the middle class, children (education), the old (Social Security, Medicare), and minority groups that do not have wealthy cronies like the Republicans (who have opposed almost all of these laws).

He has attempted to rein in the excesses that brought us the Great Recession of 2008, the mortgage crisis and the Gulf disaster.

Obama had Osama bin Laden killed and al-Qaida decimated, and he is ending both foreign wars.

A vote for Romney? Fools who disregard history are condemned to repeat it.

ROBERT KECKLER

Newton

Bloodsuckers

Regarding “Privatize jobs” (June 17 Letters to the Editor): We’ve been doing that already with our prison system. The result? Stricter and stricter laws pushed through that send minor offenders into prison with hardened criminals.

We have one of the highest incarceration percentages in the entire world. That’s not just the democratic nations – that’s the whole world. Ah, but it’s a nice moneymaker.

Sure, trust those private bloodsuckers to run things justly for the best interests of the public. You can at least vote to fire your congressmen if you don’t like their performances. Ever try to fire a CEO?

BETH VANNATTA

Halstead

Help homeless, pets

In a town where thousands of dogs are euthanized yearly, I always find it gratifying to see someone with little or nothing tenderly taking care of a pet.

I recently saw a man with what looked to be a badly damaged neck. His clothes disclosed that he was not a man of wealth. But he had his dog.

That dog was as devoted to him as he was to her. She followed carefully in the footsteps of the man.

Where do these homeless pet owners go to get shade and water for their pets? This may seem a small issue compared with others. But because it is small, we might be able to actually fix it.

We might make watering areas for these animals, or make the homeless pet owners aware of areas they can take their pets – though they must be within walking distance.

I’ve often heard the phrase, “There but for the grace of God go I.” If I were homeless and without family and friends, having a pet would at least provide some comfort.

Proverbs 19:17 says: “He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will reward him for what he has done.”

Perhaps we can lend to the Lord on this issue.

A.L. HOLZMEISTER

Wichita

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