Need moderates in government
The words “moderate” and “compromise” have become pejoratives. Polarized extremists are intolerant of their moderate colleagues, even as they seek the votes of moderate in-betweens in order to get elected. When debating policy, they do not look for an acceptable middle ground through compromise; it’s all or nothing.
A government of domination by the extremes can easily lead to a “tyranny of the minority.” They ignore the wishes of the majority of the population that does not actually favor the extreme positions held by those on either the far right or the far left.
Extreme authoritarian power often ends with an extreme backlash in response, where more is lost than was gained. We need to seek out and elect those who are willing to pick up the mantle of “moderate” and the practice of “compromise” before we have irreparably damaged our country.
Not just words
I was a teacher in USD 259 for 34 years, and each superintendent I worked for addressed the teachers in a similar fashion at the beginning of the school year. It usually involved telling the teachers how appreciated and valued they were. Because the message usually came right after bitter salary negotiations during which the district balked at giving teachers raises and tried to add to the workload, the words seemed meaningless to me.
In a National School Supply and Equipment Association survey, teachers said they spent an average of $552 out of their pockets in one school year for classroom supplies and materials. That translates to Wichita teachers spending more than $2 million of their own money in one year for supplies.
In another study, 37 percent of teachers spent at least 10 extra hours of work each week in which they were not paid. In Wichita, that would convert to 473,000 hours, and using an average salary would come to $20 million worth of free work each year given to the district.
Wichita teachers deserve better. I hope the district finally will value its teachers with action instead of just words.
Fix the problem
Whatever happened to common sense, logic, loyalty, work ethic and, most of all, good management?
From the 1940s through the 1980s, we worked and produced the best products in the world. The companies stayed in business and made money.
For the past 20 years or so, all we have heard about are handouts, bailouts, sellouts, bankruptcies and entitlements. Every level of government – from federal to the state, county and city – is short of money and asking for loans and grants.
Our school system is at the top of the list. The Kansas State Board of Education recently recommended an additional $450 million in state spending on public schools (July 11 Eagle).
We hire and elect people to do a job. When there is a problem, they appoint a committee and maybe a subcommittee to find out why there is a problem. But who fixes the problem? China? Japan? Russia?
What happens to the money to operate efficiently?
Busch is best
As chairman of the Kansas State Board of Education, I know and have worked with both of the District 8 candidates for the state board. Only Kathy Busch has the experience, education and ability to be a positive voice for education in the state of Kansas.
I have not seen a time when there are so many important issues facing the education of the children in Kansas. Busch understands those issues – ranging from the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, common core standards for reading and math, the next generation of science standards, the new social studies standards, teacher and principal evaluation, school accreditation, high-stakes testing, teacher licensure, and technology to social issues such as hunger, language, social media and bullying. These are just a few of the issues the next board will face in the next four years. Kansas needs Busch’s steady hand and informed experience as those issues are debated and policies are created.
Please vote for Kathy Busch in the Aug. 7 primary election. There will not be a second chance. The primary will determine the future of Kansas education.
DAVID T. DENNIS
O’Connor for DA
With the announced retirement of Nola Foulston, this will be the first time in 24 years that Sedgwick County voters will be electing a new district attorney. This is one of the most important elected positions in our government. That’s why we must make certain we choose wisely, and that’s why I’m supporting Kevin O’Connor.
O’Connor has more than 20 years of experience as a prosecuting attorney. He served 17 years in the District Attorney’s Office as a prosecutor and trial division supervisor. He also has served as prosecutor for the Butler County attorney and currently as prosecutor of high-level cases for Attorney General Derek Schmidt. While deputy district attorney, he prosecuted some of the most serious and complex cases brought before the court. Recognized as a tough but fair prosecutor, he was named by his peers the 2004 Kansas Prosecutor of the Year.
During my 50-plus years working in the local criminal justice system, I’ve seen a number of district attorneys come and go. I’ve seen no one better qualified to serve as district attorney than O’Connor.
Join me on Aug. 7 and cast a vote for Kevin O’Connor for district attorney.
Research shows that water fluoridation offers perhaps the greatest return on investment of any strategy to protect the health of our community. The money saved by avoiding the need to fill and extract diseased teeth more than makes up for the cost of the fluoridation.
For most cities, every $1 invested in water fluoridation saves $38 in dental treatment costs. For Wichita, that is an annual savings of $4.5 million.
Other benefits from water fluoridation are not as obvious but just as important, such as parents not missing as much work to take their children to the dentist because of cavities and other oral health needs. The loss of productivity of employees because of oral health issues is something that should not be underestimated.
Fluoridating the water in Wichita is not only good for our health, it could help improve the economic vitality of our community at a time when it is desperately needed.
Water fluoridation is safe, affordable, natural and effective, and every reputable health authority agrees that without fluoridation we are not as healthy as we should be.
Do your job
When are the city of Wichita’s leaders going to do their job, and research for themselves the facts about water fluoridation? If they were to honor their sworn oaths to protect Wichita’s citizens, they would do so and then tell the “medical and dental professionals” that the city will not fluoridate to our water.
Through their most recent propaganda campaign, health care professionals are preying upon an unsuspecting public using the dental health of young children as their bait. Slick full-page newspaper ads and television commercials paint a lovely picture of how much better the world would be if we just added fluoride to our water supply. Unaware of the dangers, the public trusts these health professionals.
Everyone has a goal of better health, medical and dental, but the facts about water fluoridation are in direct conflict with that ideal. I urge our city leaders to educate themselves on the issue before allowing self-serving interests to contaminate our water supply. Learn the facts claimed by both sides before allowing a brainwashed public to stick its neck in a noose through a ballot.