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Letters to the editor on Afghan war, fossil fuel, natural gas, common consciousness, seniors’ planning, fluoridation

  • Published Thursday, August 30, 2012, at 5:37 p.m.
  • Updated Thursday, August 30, 2012, at 5:37 p.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.

Past time to end war in Afghanistan

Lest we forget, we are still fighting and dying in the war in Afghanistan. Now our soldiers are being targeted by the Afghan troops we are training.

I think it’s quite apparent that we are no longer wanted there, and it’s past time we left that country. Our mission (to get Osama bin Laden) is over. There is no reason to stay until late 2014.

Bring our soldiers home now, before many more are killed. End this war.

LAURIE HARTKE

Newton

More fossil fuel?

Wichita was happy to welcome Harold Hamm, an oilman and one of the billionaires dabbling in politics this year (Aug. 21 Business Today). Hamm wants to excavate more hydrocarbon fuel so the U.S. public will use more fossil-fuel energy.

Looking back, and knowing what we know, wasn’t there a concern that using fossil fuel for energy may be having an unprecedented effect on our environment? Wasn’t there a movement and popular consensus that we should increase use of renewable energy sources? T. Boone Pickens, another energy billionaire, reports that renewable sources currently make up less than 2 percent of U.S. energy use.

Here is an example of how personal priorities can lead a billionaire to influence our government in a direction opposed to that selected by a majority of the people and perhaps counter to the well-being of the people.

Developing and promoting renewable energy use seems a plan paved with opportunity, likely to generate jobs and more new billionaires. If the old billionaires are just in it for the money, why can’t they simply transition from promoting fossil fuels to renewable energy sources? They still could make money but be recognized as stewards of the Earth and humanity.

MICHAEL BURKE

Wichita

Better alternative

Thanks to the many benefits it offers, natural gas is quickly emerging as the cleaner, smarter alternative for transportation. On average, natural gas costs one-third less than conventional gasoline and enjoys a savings of 15 to 28 percent when compared with diesel.

Companies, municipalities and school districts across Kansas already benefit from natural-gas vehicles. Lawrence city officials recently announced a switch to natural gas. The Kansas City, Kan., school district added 47 new natural-gas buses to its fleet in 2011.

Beyond the obvious economic benefits, what makes natural-gas vehicles even more attractive is the ability to power them with a fuel produced in Kansas. In 2010, unconventional natural-gas drilling accounted for more than 5,300 jobs and $347 million in labor income in Kansas. By 2035, those benefits are expected to grow to more than 12,000 jobs and more than $800 million in labor income. As this domestic energy source develops, natural gas will support jobs in Kansas for generations to come.

JAMIE MADDY

Regulatory director

Chesapeake Energy Corp.

Oklahoma City

Take care of self

Believe it or not, history has formulated a far greater and healthier philosophy than what Davis Merritt’s “common conscience” envisions (Aug. 21 Opinion). The hardworking, law-abiding and innovative citizens of America can take fine care of themselves, thank you.

Merritt cannot really believe that an elite group with his conscience can take better care of the people than they can themselves.

Americans can and will take care of themselves. And with the grace of an all-wise and loving creator, they also will take care of their fellow citizens who have fallen on hard times and need a hand up.

This is the common conscience of a great society.

FORD JORDAN

Caldwell

Seniors, beware

Let this be a word of warning to older citizens considering a move to a retirement facility.

Seven months ago, I sold my house and most of my household goods in Oklahoma and moved to Wichita Presbyterian Manor. It has been a very pleasant experience – until last week. Fifty of us were notified we would need to find other housing by March 1, as they have plans to tear down and rebuild where our homes are (Aug. 23 Business Today). All of this was out of the blue.

We all hoped this would be our next-to-last move, or maybe our last. I can’t stress enough how devastating this is for people to have to move again in less than a year or two when they are physically and emotionally fragile, as many of us are.

So, seniors, when you look for retirement accommodations, investigate everything you possibly can before making a final decision.

Those in management say they understand, but do they?

PAULINE KIRKPATRICK

Wichita

Fluoridation costly

The city of Wichita says it will cost $2.3 million to start fluoridating Wichita’s water, and $570,000 annually to continue. This is very expensive mass medication, which many don’t want.

And only a small percentage of that water would go down our throats compared with the amount used for bathing, toilets, washing machines, car washing and watering our lawns.

Individuals should take the responsibility of using fluoride toothpaste, for topical and direct application of fluoride, rather than expecting and depending on the government to do everything.

ANN STONE

Wichita

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