River Festival is a safe celebration
The article on “hybrid gangs” was informative and had nothing directly to do with the Wichita River Festival (July 9 Eagle). But the front-page photo of the Wichita Police Department Gang Unit at Riverfest likely caused many to immediately conclude that gang activity and the presence of other undesirable individuals must be a common issue at the festival.
Quite the contrary. Thanks to the welcome presence and cooperation of many elements of the Wichita Police Department (including the gang unit), as well as private security, passive security from committee volunteers plus Emergency Medical Service and Wichita Fire Department presence, Riverfest patrons can be confident that their experience will be a safe one. Potential troublemakers simply find this focus on security “uncomfortable” and elect to go elsewhere.
There also is misunderstanding about who pays for Riverfest security. The fact is that a major portion of this security is directly funded from button purchases, not tax dollars.
As a volunteer whose involvement on the street for the nine days of the 2012 festival tallied 122 hours, I can confidently suggest that the safest place to be when out and about in Wichita during Riverfest is at a Riverfest function. It is a unique and safe celebration of our community, annually welcoming its patrons for nine days of fun and celebration.
Can provide ID
Regarding that extremely long article that mentioned a 90-year-old couple who couldn’t vote because they didn’t have the proper ID (July 9 Eagle): Give me a break.
Please tell me what the real agenda is for not wanting our votes protected with voter-ID laws. As a volunteer for AARP during the tax season, I was required by the Internal Revenue Service to see not only a picture ID but also a Social Security card before people could have their taxes done. These were all senior citizens, and they had no problem complying.
The only ones who are going to be “automatically disenfranchised” are the dead and illegals.
MARY PRESTON VAN ARSDALE
Above the law
Exactly when did it become acceptable for individuals to place their personal political ideologies above the law of the land? That is precisely what some governors, including our own Sam Brownback, are doing by their publicly stated intention to disregard the U.S. Supreme Court and refuse to implement the Affordable Care Act even though thousands of their constituents, many of them children, are without health care coverage.
One can only imagine the outrageous and inflammatory comments that would be forthcoming from these same individuals if the court had struck down the law and President Obama had proclaimed that in spite of this decision, he intended to implement the law anyway.
JACK E. NIBLACK
A July 8 letter asserting that Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, was not respectful and courteous in his commentary “Repeal, replace health care law” (July Opinion) was clearly just a partisan attack.
I’ve watched and listened to Pompeo for three years now, in his campaign and while he has served in Congress. He is clear and forceful, to be sure, but he shows courtesy, respect and decency when communicating – and asks the same of those who speak at town hall meetings.
I am confident that the letter writer disagrees with Pompeo on a number of important issues. But to attack him for being anything other than an honest, decent, respectful public servant is simply silly and unfair to Pompeo and the people he represents.
Blazed a path
I would like to thank The Eagle for honoring the life and legacy of state Sen. Curtis McClinton (July 1 Local & State).
As the first African-American elected to the Kansas Senate and a community servant, McClinton will be remembered for his contributions to the Kansas community. He was a leading light who inspired many. That is why the Kansas African American Museum chose to honor McClinton’s lifework by inducting him into the esteemed Trailblazer “Hall of Fame” in 2000.
Last June, the museum invited McClinton and his son, Curtis McClinton Jr., to be our guests for the program “A Father’s Legacy.” Former Eagle columnist Mark McCormick interviewed the two about the strong relationship and legacy of the McClinton men. The interview inspired the museum to create a father-and-son exhibit that will be on display next June. The McClintons’ photograph will be included in that exhibition.
McClinton truly blazed a bright path for others to follow through his faithfulness to his community. The museum will honor McClinton and all of our Trailblazers who passed this year during a memorial Oct. 6 at “A Tribute to Trailblazers Gala” at the Hyatt Regency Wichita.
Kansas African American Museum
The Eagle did a nice article about Wichita firefighters trying to cool off while fighting fires in this extremely hot weather (July 9 Local & State). Not everyone can do what these brave men and women do. All firefighters should be commended for the great work they do responding to fires and other emergencies around the city. I and many others are very appreciative of their hard work.
REGINALD S. NULAN